Seward County was formed in 1855 and later organized in 1867. According to Wikipedia, it was originally called Greene County but was renamed in 1862 after William H Seward who was the Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. They didn’t even wait for the Civil War to get over. Clearly these were some futuristic thinkers.
Seward, Nebraska is the county seat of Seward County. The other big city is Milford. Villages include: Goehner, Pleasant Dale, Staplehurst, Utica, Beaver Crossing, Bee, Cordova, and Garland. I either didn’t know there was a “Bee, Nebraska” or forgot.
Seward, the city, is home to Concordia College.
Mrs. CN went to Concordia for her first two years of college out of high school. After that, she ran out of money and was forced to join the rest of us heathens at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. We were dating while she was at Concordia. There were times I would get into my car and drive the 30 miles to Seward to see her in a state of which I had no business being behind the wheel.
These trips mostly occurred late at night. I would stand outside her dorm in the middle of the night and try to get her attention. At first, you try saying her name in a loud whisper. You don’t talk loudly, or yell, because you’re going to attract the attention of the wrong people. It doesn’t take you long to realize this is completely futile.
At some point you escalate to throwing rocks. Not big rocks, mind you. Pebbles, really. Not too big and not too small, and at just the right velocity for said rock to strike said window hard enough to wake a young woman but not break the window.
I have no memory of how I knew which window was hers. It remember it was on the second story. I do remember how difficult it was to make sure you were hitting your target. It’s much trickier than you think. You pick up a small rock. You throw it at the window you think is the right one. If it’s not, you’re probably going to wake someone who would then summon the authorities.
Apparently I was pretty decent at the rock-throwing process.
I shouldn’t have to remind you that there were no cell phones then. Not only were there no cell phones, there were no phones in their dorm rooms. If I tried to call her past a certain time in the night I would get an operator. I remember calling one night desperate to talk to her as young people are sometimes. I must’ve told this poor operator woman that if she didn’t allow me to talk to my gal that I was going to drive all the way to Seward and she didn’t want me doing that. She probably kept me on the phone for 30 minutes and I ended up driving to Seward anyway. That was probably the “broom trip”.
That was the time I threw a broom. I can’t tell you where the broom came from or why I choose to throw that instead of a small rock, but I’m guessing that since the small rock didn’t do the trick I graduated to the next thing I could find. What young woman is going to ignore a man willing to throw a broom at her dorm window?
It’s a good thing she responded to the broom because the next thing would have been a trash can. Would I have been able to toss that at a second story window? Hell. No. Maybe Adam Carriker could do that, but not me. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have tried, though, because I am an incredibly stupid but determined person sometimes.
I can imagine what have happened. Trash cans make a lot of noise. The police would have come. That would have gone something like this:
Rookie Cop: Fella, you want to tell us why you were throwing a trash can at the dorm, here?
Veteran Cop: It’s pretty obvious the rocks and broom didn’t work (pointing to scattered rocks and broom), so he had to go with the trash can.
[I shrug with acknowledgement at the veteran cop.]
Rookie Cop: Tell you what. If your girlfriend shows up in the next three minutes... you can go with her, otherwise....
Veteran Cop: Otherwise, you’re going to get in your car over there in the parking lot, and you’re going to sit there the rest of the night. A patrol will be by to check on you every few minutes. If your car moves even a foot, you get to go to jail.
And I would have stayed there all night. And probably broke up with my girlfriend, never coming back to Seward again.
But that’s not what happened. I never had to throw a trash can. Never had to break up. In the end my gal married me anyway. She must be a loony.
National Places of Historical Stuff
There are nine places in Seward county on the National Register of Historic Places.
There are the John Cattle, Jr. House, Harry T. Jones House, the Seward County Courthouse, a ballroom, a German Lutheran church, but no bridges.
Then there’s the Germantown State Bank Building shown below. It looks like a German bank building, doesn’t it? Apparently the bank closed in 1930 due to the depression caused by the “Dust Bowl”, a time at which dust storms were so bad they destroyed everything in sight, including the economy (yes, that is a vast simplification). But this building... wow, it’s kinda German scary looking isn’t it?
This is where it begins... Seward County:
With the history of J Precinct, begins the history of Seward County. In the fall of 1858, Daniel Morgan and his sons, William, Thomas and Lewis, made the first settlement in the county, taking up a pre-emption claim on Section 26, Township 10, Range 3, and receive the honors of the historian. Mr. Morgan continued his residence until 1878, at which date his death occurred. At this period, Nebraska was a wilderness. Hardly a settler had pushed his way west of the Missouri River, which was the nearest point of obtaining supplies--a distance of fully seventy miles, with many unbridged streams intervening, making it a long and perilous journey.
Later we find this:
In the year 1865, a party of 700 Pawnee braves camped near the ranch and partook of a royal feast of water-melons through the generosity of its genial host. Near the close of this year, a war party of fourteen Pawnee braves camped here, purchased a large fat dog from one of the settlers, and held their usual preparatory feast and war dance. About two weeks later, they returned, with several of their number shot and wounded, built a large fire in the shape of a circle, and sat around it for two days and nights without partaking of food, in silence and with bowed heads, evidently mourning over the unsuccessful issue of their expedition. When questioned as to the cause of their misfortunes, they replied, “Heap Sioux.”
It’s hard to imagine what life would have been like then.
Maurice Purify, Erwin Swiney, Tim Fischer
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