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Nebraska County Countdown: #17 - York County! There’s A Barn With Sheep Living In It! And Marbles!

What’s A Modlite?

Well... look at York County all proud of themselves with a new courthouse.

York County was organized in 1870. There is not a consensus on what or who York was named after. Some say it was named after York in England. York is a city in North Yorkshire, England. York, England was founded by the Romans in A.D. 71. That’s a long time ago.

It was not named after the Grand Old Duke of York, who had 10,000 men that he led up a hill and back down again, which is not something all that exciting. It was also not named after Alvin C York, better known as “Sgt. York”. Sgt. York won the Medal Of Honor in World War I. If you aren’t aware of his story, you really should look it up. The fact that one man did what he did against the Germans is nothing short of completely amazing.

A personal favorite famous York? Michael York, who starred with Jenny Agutter in “Logan’s Run” which was a really cheesy science-fiction movie made in 1976. He was also in the Austin Powers series. Then, there was the 1971 movie, “Zeppelin”, where he starred with Elke Sommer.

There is also, of course, Randy York, who works for the University of Nebraska athletic department as a writer. Before working at the athletic department, Randy was with the Lincoln Journal Star for 15 years, so he has a fair amount of Husker history in him.

Others say York County might be named after settlers from York County, Pennsylvania. Given everything been going on in Pennsylvania, let’s just move on. (Maybe that’s what they were thinking back then?)

I found this, published in 1882, regarding the early history of the town of York:

The site of York was taken as a pre-emption claim by Messrs. Ghost and Sherwood for the South Platte Land Co., in the spring of 1869. They erected a small frame building which was situated just south of the public square, near the Central Hotel stables. In October, 1869, the city of York was surveyed and platted, and when the spring of 1870 opened it was represented by one sod house and the frame building referred to above. In the fall of 1870, two brothers by the name of Elwood inaugurated the first store in York County in the old pre-emption house, which they maintained until the following spring, when they packed up their little stock and went sadly away, believing with all sincerity that the future city was only a phantom and unworthy to be courted. A few weeks after their premature departure, F. O. and J. H. Bell came out from Lincoln with a wagon load of general merchandise and opened the second store where the Elwood’s had vacated.

Those Elwood brothers sound like that guy who sold his Apple stock along long time ago, never realizing what it would be worth. Pity.

If York County is confused about its past, it might be because there seems to be a fair amount going on at the present.

The County website lists Junction Motor Speedway as one of its attractions. The racetrack itself appears is in McCool Junction They appear to race quite a variety of cars, both closed and open wheel. I confess that I am not familiar with “modlites”, a type of racer that looks like something that would star in a Mad Max movie except that it has a lot of advertising on the side. There was no racing August 11, because Delmar’s granddaughter got married. Delmar is the owner. August 18th, they’re racing again: IMCA Sport Compact, IMCA Hobby Stock, IMCA SportMod, IMCA Modified, NeSmith Late Model and Nebraska Modlites

I’d like to visit that track someday.

Another attraction – Lee’s Legendary Marbles And Collectibles, which calls itself the world’s largest marble collection. Their website no longer works, but KETV did a bit on them late recently so they must still be there.

There appear to be multiple golf courses in the area as well as the York Country Club. I do not golf. I cannot respect a game where you can’t scream at your opponents while they’re playing. I have seen people do truly horrible things on a golf course, so don’t give me this crap about it being a “gentleman’s game”. It is no more civilized than any other sport, it just costs a lot more than bowling.

Famous places on the national register include the Bradshaw Town Hall (no idea why), Clem’s Opera House, W.S. Jeffery Farmstead, York Public Library, and the York Subway? So... when I first saw this, I thought, “Why the hell is a chain-based sandwich shop in York on the National Register of Historic Places?” Can someone explain this?

One site, wikimapia, says of the Farmstead - “House across the street from barn. Sheep living in barn.” That’s certainly... notable.

I do not have a Nebraska history book, but I found this, a history of York County from 1903. There’s a lot of church history, and that includes this bit:

No church history of York would be complete without mention of Mr. Butterfield, father of E. A. Butterfield. He homesteaded the land where his son now lives, building a small sod house about where the K. C. R. R. comes onto the farm, living here alone, the later part of 1870 and 1871. He sought the companionship of his fellow man, and at times on Sunday would collect some neighbors and teach them from the bible. We think that to him should be accorded the honor of being the first bible class teacher upon the territory now covered by the city of York. As we reccollect (sic) him standing beside a dry goods box, near a little building about where Murphy’s blacksmith shop now stands, in the spring of 1871 teaching from his open bible to the three or four persons who would listen to him. There early pioneers builded (sic) better than they knew.

York County was organized in 1870 but was not named after someone from the Civil War. That’s amazing!


Husker Stuff!!!!

Well known 17s -

  • Reggie Cooper - who was a second-team All-American safety in 1989, All Big Eight.
  • Dan Hadenfeldt - punter from 1995-200. All Big in Year 2000. Set a School-Record - 44.54 career punting average (1997 - 2000)
  • Todd Peterson - wide receiver from 2004-2008. Fourth on Nebraska’s All-Time Receptions List and Career Receiving Yardage List
  • Shane Swanson - wingback and punt returner whom I played against in high school. Ha!
  • Sam Koch, punter, and Derrie Nelson, defensive end, are both from York.

This year’s 17s:

Andrew Bunch - Sophomore Quarterback rumored to be battling for a starting position.
Sedrick King - Senior outside linebacker