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Nebraska County Countdown: #22 Saline County

The home for Salt?

Established in 1855 and was given the name Saline. Named after a famous Nebraskan? Nope. A former president? Nope. The name Saline, signifying salt, was given to the county under the false supposition that it contained great salt deposits.

Nobody ever thought, “Maybe we should change the name?”

County seat is Wilber. However at one point it was Swan City and then it was moved to Pleasant Hill. It moved to Wilber after a group of 300 people went to Pleasant Hill as a show of force to carry away the county records.

If one thing I’ve learned from working on these county articles is that the county seat was a hot button issue back way back when.

General Victor Vifquain was the county’s first settler and was alone as the first settler for over a year. That was probably a lonely time. He was a veteran of the Civil and Spanish war.

Invention that We All Need

William Petersen invented the Vise-Grip pliers in his DeWitt blacksmith shop in 1915. The Dewitt plant produced millions of pliers in 1920 until the factory closed and production moved to China in 2008.

The Last to Fall

Army Pfc. Charley Havlat of Dorchester was the last confirmed American combat fatality in the European Theater during World War II. A firefight erupted nine minutes after a cease-fire order and an armistice had gone into effect on the day. Neither the American nor the German soldiers were aware of the cease-fire until minutes later.

Annual Wilber Czech Festival

I have never been...but I’ve heard this is worth the price of admission.

I’ll pull it straight from Nebraska: 150 Years Told Through 93 Counties by David Hendee:

Stir together tens of thousands of kolaches with dozens of polka, marching and brass bands. Roll in roast duck and dumpling dinners. Sprinkle in accordions, beer gardens and costumed dancers to taste. Fill with parades, car shows, and art and quilt exhibits. Garnish wtih brightly colored storefronts and the Miss Czech-Slovak USA Pageant. Set the time for three days. Serves 50,000 guests, more or less.

Wilber was designated the Czech Capital of Nebraska in 1963 and the Czech Capital of the U.S. in 1987.

Only 21 maps to go!

Husker Stuff

Greatest Husker to Wear #22: Ralph Brown (DB), Doug Dubose (RB), Rex Burkhead (RB) and Jeff Makovicka (FB)

Notable Husker to Wear #22: Cory Ross and Dan Schneiss

Current Huskers Wearing #22: Devine Ozigbo (RB) and Alex Davis (OLB)