In 1888, H. D. Watson established the historic Watson Ranch, at one time containing 8,000 acres, reaching from the fertile Platte Valley on the south to the rolling hills on the north and from downtown Kearney to a point five miles west. During its existence, the ranching operations were devoted to grains, poultry, vegetables, and a 250-acre fruit orchard, primarily of cherry, peach, plum, and apple trees.
From the Kearney Daily Hub, April 21, 1917
“Kearney has it and has it bad,” said the Kearney Daily Hub on May 14, 1902. “The dandelion is taking the town, literally overrunning it from end to end, covering lawns and terraces, and furnishing ‘greens’ enough to supply the inhabitants of a large city if the crop was harvested and marketed.”
Bolte Manufacturing Company catalog, 1912. NSHS RG5000.AM (photograph at left).