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Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, December 27, 1908, HALF-TONE SECTION, Image 17

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unday Bee
A Pape far th Home
Best t';. Vest
The Omaha
Nebraska City, a Self-made Town and the Fountain Head of State History, is a Thriving Center of Busy Industry and Commercial Activity in Its Later Days of Life.
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THE story of Nebraska Is only th story of a mighty pil
grimage. Every state has a story, In the telling of which
there are two distinct methods. One Includes only lta
resources; the things that are present today and will In
crease or decline tomorrow. The other Is mUty, Intangi
ble, historical, a hovering phantom whose presence la not visible,
but which Is nevertheless always there, an Influ
ence not to be avoided.
The great motive In men's affair that entered
Nebraska more than half a century ago was to pass
through the state over the shortest practical trail.
Twenty-live years later it was represented by the
homestead and stock ranch. The romance of the
Nebraska pioneer is one of the most thrilling In
hlBtory. Men are living who took part in it, yet
it has gone into history as a distinct romance but
illy to be spared from the story of western progress,
The first occupant of Nebraska, the trapper, was a
destoyer and not a builder. He made neither a
past nor assured a future for this new empire. He
was no broader than the Indian trail that he traveled
and subsisted largely on the buffalo; he was a cum.
berrr of 'he earth and spelled no progress what
ever. This was his farm and he reaped Its harvests
of fur w) ere no man sowed or tilled.
Tales of the Trail
Along their trail lu after years the great emi
grant v.ai.118 Uotied white the limitless plain to
the not of the Kocky mountains, and the emigrants
lett tueir toll by tno trail in nameless mounds on
tlie prairie. Yet their splendid achievements have
proved ttat the white man's footsteps were surely
not 011 th rong trail. Out of the west came the
mtb4uge of Infinite Buace; into the west rode the
Dieu of a conquering freedom. They found the
ring of the Indian tepee still warm where his little
flio had burned till the day of their inroad. The
coming of the railroad broke the silence of the
plulLS and it did more; it marked the beginning of
the end of tho wilderness.
In the early settlement of the state Nebraska
City plays a most prominent part. It was here that
the first ground was broken for agricultural pif
poses; it was here that the first state fair u '
and In the address delivered by J. Stertini ton rrom a farmer !
wagon many of his predictions -have been fulfilled. Mr. Morton
was not only prominent In every step taken In the development of
Nebraska, but he was prominent In national affairs as well. He
was the originator of Arbor day and a prominent cabinet officer.
The name of J. Sterling Slorton and Nebraska City are Inseparable.
It was here at Nebraska City that the government for many
years transferred the great stores of army supplies from the Mis
souri river steamers to the hundreds of freighter that supplied the
army posts far to the west
of foreign capital has been a
factor In Its existence ' or its
growth; Its buildings are owned
by its own people, Its banks are
capitalized by home money, Its
large factories have been built
and are operated with home .
dollars and home talent; the
merchants have grown up with
their town and today present
an unbroken front of growth
and prosperity that will com
pare favorably with any city of
its size in the Missouri valley.
Every factory In the city has
grown from diminutive size and
primitive business until they
rank among the best and most
prosperous in the state. For
tunes have been made and lib
erally expended tfn the building
up of the city. The founders
builded more -"wisely, perhaps,
than they knew. There are
those living yet who can point
out landmarks that hold sacred
memories; log houses and fur
traders cabins. " Primitive
buildings have been cleared
away, but sentiment still ling
ers about the spot and Is a con
necting link between the past
and present This Is a day of business expansion and rapid devel
opment, and those who are Blow to grasp opportunities are soon left
in the background.
For many years Nebraska City, like Topsy, "Just grew," and
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the city awoke to the fact that
mere natural progress was not
all that might be desired. A
city does not grow within itself
and out of its own resources.
There must be a cause for a
city, a country back" of It. Trade
must flow naturally to build a
city as water flows into a lake.
Where all these conditions are
favorable the building of a city
Is certain as the growth of a
plant. Commerce, like force,
follows the line of least resist
ance, and it is commerce that
builds every city. Trade and
manufacturing are the indus
tries that bring together a large
population. Nebraska City Is
In touch with a large circle in
the Missouri valley. The farm
er's produce, the dairyman's
butter, the . cattleman's beef,
the sheep raiser's mutton and
wool, the great amount of pork
produced, all. In fact, that the
county produces, Is directly or
Indirectly in touch with the
whole valley.
If this whole country were
new again and you were to se
lect a practical place for
a thrifty little city, you would probably not go
far from the Missouri river, and you would find that nature had
done all that you could ask to make this region around Nebraska
, City uncommonly attractive. The next lucky fact Is that the .right
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Quite naturally its growtn was along tne lines of least resistance, kind or men had begun the development. Begun is the right word,
As a consequence It was only within recent years that the people of toT aB much as has been accomplished the work has hardly started.
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Nature Is not only bountiful, but beautiful here, alBO. It would
seem hard to find a more attractive panorama than the City and the
river as they appear from the tower of the State Institute for the
Blind, which crowns one of the hills, and there are few who hava
viewed its beauty from this emminence who will not concede this
to be one of the fairest of cities. The city Itself spreads in a valley
before you, showing its solid qualities by well built
blocks, Its beautiful homes, trees and shrubbery.
In the distance the chimney stacks tell the story of
Morton-Gregson company's meat-packing estab
lishment is one of the prominent institutions of the
city. It has a capacity of handling 1,600 hogs per
day and its annual output Is about 300,000 head,
and they employ from 300 to 400 men. The Union
Stock yards is one of the busy points of the city.
The Great Western Cereal company also employs
about 200 men and manufacture a large variety of
cereals,. When we add to these two large estab
lishments the two large flouring mills, the Nebraska
City Vihegar Works and the Nebraska City Can
ning company, and many other smaller establish
ments, it can readily be seen that this is a manu
facturing city.
Otoe county has 616 square miles and a popu
lation of more than 27,000. It la one of the rich
est agricultural sections of the state, as the as
sessed valuation of the land was the highest of any
county in the state. The entire assessed valuation
of the county is $43,000,000. Of the 125,000
farms In the state Otoe county has 2,500, with an
average of 160 acres to a farm. The present season
the county produced 123,000 acres of corn, which
averaged about forty bushels per acre. The farm-'
era marketed last year 33,000 bead of bogs, while
the present season they harvested 37,000 acres of
wheat. The county originally was known as Pierce
county. Its present name was taken from an In
dian name signifying Lovers of Pleasure. The first
permanent settlement was about 1854. The county
bas ten thrifty .villages, among them Syracuse, with
a population of 2,000. The last season has been
one of unusual prosperity and the farmers and bus
iness men go into another autumn with a feeling
of contentment and satisfaction.
Jonathan Chapman Was a Pioneer Orchardist and Loved to Do Good
Mother of Nebraska History
In fact, Nebraska City seems to be the mother of the early his
tory of Nebraska. It bas sent out many of its best sons and daugh
ters to all parts of the state, and hey are acting a prominent part
in its development.
Travel and transportation have always been the prime factors of
civilization. Just before the advent of the railroad, from 1855 to
1860, there were fifty-nine steamboats on the lower river and S00
steamers arrived in one season at Lawrence, Kan. It was the
golden era of steamboats on the Missouri river.
Nebraska City is strict! a self-made town. Not a dollar's worth
ONATHAN CHAPMAN, better known as
Johnny Appleseed, was born in Boston,
Mass., in 1775, and those pomologlcal socie
ties which do honor to his memory have
agreed on January 15 as the day of his birth, al
though the records do not establish the fact with
certainty. Swedenborgian missionary, hermit and
lover of his fellow man, Johnny Appleseed's life
was on of usefulness.
The first trace found of him In history records
him as being in the territory of Ohio In 1801 with
a horseload of apple seed, which he planted on
and about the borders of Licking creek, the first
orchard thus originated by him being now within
the boundaries of Licking county. For the next
five years Chapman drops entirely out of sight
He is next heard of in 1806, when he descended
the Ohio river with two canoes lashed together,
both canoes being loaded vita apple aeed from
the orchards of western Pennsylvania. , With
these two canoes thus burdened Chap
man passed down the Ohio river to the mouth of
the Muskingum. He passed up the Muskingum to
the mouth of White Woman creek, thence up the
Mohican into the Black Fork to the bead of navi
gation in the vicinity of those counties which are
now called Ashland and Richmond.
It appears that this canoe voyage was the only
one in which Chapman made use of this means of
travel, for all the rest of his trips were made on
foot The seed he obtained for nothing from the
cider presses of the orchards of western Penn
sylvania and he carried it in leather bags over
the old Indian trail that led from Fort Duquesne
to Detroit
In personal appearance Chapman was small
and wiry, with long, dark hair, a scanty beard
that was never shaved and keen, black eyes. Gen
erally, even in the coldest weather, he went bare
footed, but would occasionally make himself a
pair of sandals, deeming even moccasins too much
protection fiom the elements.
Ills dress was generally composed of cast-off
clothing which he bad taken In payment for
young apple trees, but during the latter half of his '
life he came to the conclusion that all clothing
beyond that demanded by the dictates of decency
was superfluous and wore only a 'coffee sack, with
holes cut in it for his arms and his bead.
Among the Indian tribes he frequently met
with in bis wanderings Chapman was treated with
the courtesy and consideration always shown by
the red men for those they deemed mentally af
flicted or, as they phrased it, "under the care of
the Great Spirit"
His diet was as meager as his clothing. Ha
believed it a sin to kill any creature for food and
in his brotherhood with all created life was a
worthy disciple of St. Francis, carrying the doc
trines of Emanuel Swedenborg to a length no
other disciple of the mystic has advocated. He
claimed to have frequent conversations with an
gels and spirits and always carried with him a
few volumes of the Swedish teacher's works.
As ho had no tract society to furnish him with
literature and no private means with which to
buy many books, be hit upon an original plan for
the spreading of the Swedenborgian teachings.
His few books he divided rach Into several pieces,
which be !eft with people he interested In his
mission. On bis next trip he would collect the
portions left on the former trip and distribute
other portions, thus endeavoring to spread the
knowledge of Swedenborg's writings as widely as
(Continued on Pag Foot.),

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