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Lehman; James E. North; R. H. Henry; C. D. Evans; and C. E. Morse.

This association was not in force except for private business.


The Columbus Savings Bank, Loan and Trust Company was formed on April 10, 1886, for the purpose of receiving and depositing money, make loans on real estate, buy and sell notes, mortgages, bonds, and all kinds of securities

Capital stock was one hundred thousand dollars, one thousand shares of one hundred dollars ($100) each.

Incorporators were: A. Anderson, J. P. Becker, Gerhard Schutte, Jonas Welch, John W. Early, W. A. McAllister, C. H. Sheldon, O. T. Roen, Robert Uhlig.

Filed for record April 10, 1886.


The Globe Savings Association was organized in April, 1920. The majority of the group of organizers were Eleventh Street business men. The incorporators included: Josef Fisher, H. A. Viergutz, Robert Pohlner, C. F. Ewert, Theodore Moersen, P. F. Luchsinger, Carl Kramer, Carl Roelle, J. H. Hinkelman, W. J. Wass, John Meyer and J. M. Levine.

The general nature of the business was the accumulation of a fund for, and assisting its members in buying, building upon, and improving real estate. The capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars was divided into one thousand shares of one hundred dollars each.

The articles of incorporation were filed for record on April 8, 1920. The association commenced business at 2411 Eleventh Street on July I, 1920.

In 1937, the stock of the Globe Savings Association became part of the Columbus Land Loan and Building Association by purchase and through incorporation.


The Pioneer Cooperative Credit Association was organized in Columbus in January, 1929. On January 8, 1929, a meeting was held to incorporate the association, the purpose of which was to deal in real estate of all kinds. No definite amount of capital was stated. The value of a share of stock was listed at ten dollars.

The Board of Directors that were elected included: Charles B. Galley, Columbus; Leo C. Moersen, Columbus; George J. Schwank, Columbus; Fred C. Luchsinger, Columbus; Frank A. Tworek, Duncan; Rhine Rade, Columbus; and C. F. Grossnicklaus, Platte Center.

The articles of incorporation were filed for record on April 12, 1929. The incorporators were: Charles B. Galley, Charles J. Carrig, Joseph R. Kinnan, Lewis G. Rapp, Moritz Egger, Fred W. Asche, Ferdinand Gruenther, John K. lossi, Theodore Moersen, George Crosier, Matthew Abegglen, Fred Luckey, Frank A. Tworek, Aloys S. Albracht, J. M. Jostes, John Backenhus, Albert E. Houser, J. H. Hinkleman, and P. F. Luchsinger.

The Pioneer Cooperative Credit Association was dissolved in 1937.


The United Finance Company was organized and incorporated in 1928. The business was started on February 25, 1928. At that time, the capital stock was twenty-five thousand dollars, divided into two hundred and fifty shares, at one hundred dollars per share.

The owners and incorporators were: L. Fredrick Gottschalk, Fredrick O. Gottschalk, Bruce T. Clarke, and Howard A. Clarke. The Articles of Incorporation were filed for record on February 28, 1928.

The Articles of Incorporation stated that the general nature of the business was "to buy, sell, and deal in stocks, bonds, mortgages, notes, commercial paper, securities, insurance, real estate and personal property, in its own right and for others on commission, acting in respect thereto as principal, agent, or broker; to loan money; to borrow money and secure the payment thereof in any lawful manner."

The Articles of Incorporation of the United Finance Company were amended in 1936 thus:

"At the adjourned annual meeting of the stockholders of the United Finance Company of Columbus held at its office on July 15, 1935, the following amendment to the Articles was unanimously adopted:

Article 3. The capital stock was to be sixty thousand dollars, in shares of one hundred dollars each."

The amendment was filed for record at the Platte County Court House on January 29, 1936.

In September, 1939, the United Finance Company and the Gottschalk Insurance Agency purchased the Aerni Building, at 1363 Twenty-sixth Avenue, and remodeled it for offices. The

The History of Platte County Nebraska

opening of the building which served the two companies was held on September 28, 1939.

On December .1, 1941, the United Finance Corporation was dissolved as of the close of business on that date by action of its stockholders and Board of Directors, as provided by law. Upon the dissolution, there were assets of forty thousand dollars and no liabilities. These assets were distributed pro-rata among the stockholders. The Board of Directors, which consisted of: Stuart S. Hadley, president; Harold Kramer, vice president; and F. O. Gottschalk, secretary and treasurer, were assigned to manage the corporate affairs and distribute its assets.

The dissolution was filed for record at the Platte County Court House on January 16, 1942.

In the late 1940's F. O. Gottschalk purchased the other interests in the business and became the owner of the company.


The beginning of the Miller Allied Securities Company was in 1926, when A. R. Miller left the First National Bank, of which he was vice president, to found his own company. After two years in private business, the Miller Allied Securities Company was formed and incorporated in August, 1928.

The object of this business was to operate as a unit with authority to subscribe for, own, hold, or deal in the stock of other corporations or associations, as a holding company or otherwise; to act as agent, representative, or trustee for other corporations, firms or individuals; to issue, own, buy, sell or otherwise deal in securities and evidences of indebtedness of all kinds; to acquire, hold, convey, or otherwise deal in real estate; to make unsecured loans or loans on both real or chattel security; to act as insurance agent and broker; to act for hire as custodian or bailee of valuable documents, securities, monies, papers, and chattel property; to do a general abstract business covering realty or personalty; to finance the purchase of merchandise and automotive vehicles for other parties under specified terms and conditions.

The original stockholders in 1928, four of whom are now deceased, were: A. R. Miller, Leonard Miller, Theodore Kaufman, C. C. Sheldon, R. M. Campbell, A. Swislowsky, Doctor E. H. Nauman, Doctor L. C. Voss, Harry Lohr, and A. D. Hineman.


John H. Moeller, who has had wide experience in finance work, organized the Consumers Credit Company in 1941, and it has been open for business since September 18th of that year, at 1251 Twenty-sixth Avenue.

Before organizing the Consumers Credit Company, Mr. Moeller had experience in banking at Leigh, Nebraska. He came to Columbus in February, 1935, to enter the Columbus Bank, which he helped to organize.

On August 3, 1935, he sold his interest in the bank to Ben McNair. In 1939, he purchased the Columbus Credit Bureau, which he conducted at 1251 Twenty-sixth Avenue until he sold it to Fred Gruenhage in 1946.

The finance and loan companies in Nebraska operate under the state bank laws. Mr. Moeller's business primarily is in the field of small division loans on furniture, automobiles, and personal loans. He also writes insurance for all of the larger insurance companies.

The Columbus Credit Bureau is affiliated with the National Consumer Reporting Corporation, which operates in all the cities of the United States and Canada. This affiliation enables the local bureau to obtain a rating quickly from any part of the country.

Mr. Moeller's bureau covers a territory in and around Columbus which includes twenty-two towns with local correspondents in each.


The Columbus Credit Bureau was organized in Columbus, Nebraska, in September, 1932, by a group of Columbus business men.

The objects and purposes of this organization were to obtain and furnish credit information; to improve existing methods of obtaining and disseminating among its members and others information to the subject of credits, to combine by any lawful means for protection against imposition, injustice and fraud; to advocate and effect such changes in existing laws as would best conserve the business interests of honest debtors and creditors; to promote greater security and uniformity in the customs and usages of trade, to render more uniform and establish more firmly the basis upon which credits are granted in every branch of commercial enterprise, and to establish and preserve such relations between its members that the welfare of all may be more highly conserved.

This association was not organized for pecu-


niary profit and therefore no capital stock was authorized.

A Constitution and By-laws were adopted by the Board of Directors and a copy was filed with the Secretary of State.

The first officers were: H. H. Hahn, president; Carl W. Mueller, secretary-treasurer. The members of the Executive Council included: Vivian Brian, Fred Schweser, A. E. Trowbridge, D. E. Maxwell, and Dick Gammel.

The Columbus Credit Bureau was to commence business on September 6, 1932, and terminate fifty years thereafter.

The Articles of Incorporation were filed at the Platte County Court House on September 6, 1932.

In 1946, Mr. Mueller sold the business to Fred Gruenage.


The financial story of Platte County as reflected through its organized mediums from May, 1856, to January, 1950, followed unswervingly that of the national pattern in its cycles of highs and lows.

However, the intensity of the depression being felt in any particular period of lows was governed more or less by the financial status of the community at that time. The stages of development affecting the financial status through the years were the direct result of settlement, the acquiring of real estate, government, transportation, agriculture, stock raising, business, manufacturing, politics and power.

Columbus was founded near the end of the twenty year cycle which began with a low in 1836 and resulted in the panic of 1857.

The history of this panic dates back to Andrew Jackson, then President of the United States, who, fearing the consequences of wild speculation in land, ordered all government land offices in 1836 to take only gold or silver in payment for land. The result of this order was that all of the people holding paper currency which bore the imprint on it, "Pay in gold," went to the banks for exchange and six hundred banks closed their doors. The people stopped buying goods, factories closed down and thousands were out of work. This led to the establishment of the National Treasury in 1840.


Twenty years later in 1857, the settlers in the New Nebraska Territory were caught in the same type of financial panic which was the result of wildcat banking following a period of speculation in real estate which was sold at high prices. The motto among the speculators that brought about the panic was, "Quick sale and big profits."

The results of the panic of 1857 were felt in 1858 and 1859, but by 1860 the country at large had recovered.

PANICS OF 1873-1877

During the presidential term of Ulysses S. Grant a wave of fear swept over the country when too rapid railroad building, speculation in Western land, inflation of stock and wholesale dealings of speculators again produced a panic. The crisis was reached in September, 1873, when twenty firms of stockbrokers failed.

Jay Cooke and Company, Financiers of the Civil War and the Northern Pacific Railroad was the first to close its doors. This company had been one of the richest and most reliable of the financial houses. Immediately the prices of all kinds of stock dropped and a great financial panic began.

Many banks failed, business was paralyzed, and intense excitement prevailed. Terror stricken business men tried to redeem their fortunes on the New York Stock Exchange. Factories closed all over the country, and by now hundreds of thousands were thrown out of work.

In 1877, a panic was felt when the stocks again dropped, but recovery was evident in business and a surge of mad money making began in 1878.


In 1892, in the political field, the Populist Party had a candidate for President of the United States.

In 1893, in the middle of prosperity, a panic turned the attention of the public to food. The people of Platte County and all Nebraska had experienced partial and total crop failures. By midyear of 1893, they were suffering with the rest of the West.

All over the country mercantile establishments, railroads and banks failed. The silver mines in Colorado and Nevada were shut down and miners were out of work.

Crop failures continued through 1894, but once more the financial storm was weathered. Soon the United States was engaged in the Spanish-American War --- 1898, and Omaha was preparing for the celebration of the Omaha World's Fair.

Prosperity again loomed around the turn of the century. Platte County with the rest of

The History of Platte County Nebraska

Nebraska experienced good times, prices for real estate were raised, new real estate companies were formed, a new building and loan was established, the Columbus Telegram obtained a new editor and other new business firms made their appearance in Columbus, the county seat.


Following the good years of the early 1900's, a financial panic struck a new blow in 1907, when ready cash disappeared. Many big businesses throughout the nation could not pay their bills while others paid with clearing house certificates and emergency currency. The panic affected the thickly populated manufacturing areas and the larger cities of the East and West. However, it was felt only slightly and for a short period of time in Columbus and Platte County. Moreover, many had learned from previous experience the importance of setting aside profits from prosperous years so that they would have available cash for the bad years. They planned from peak to peak, and from depth to depth of the financial cycle.

Another conservative move in Platte County was that most businesses at that time owned their property and thus were relieved of the overhead of rent. This occurred during the time that Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States.


The long European War, better known as World War I, which commenced in 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918, was followed by a brief period of recession in 1920, during the last year of Woodrow Wilson's term as President. The United States had entered the conflict in 1917, and about that time prices on foodstuffs skyrocketed and all real estate boomed. The great demand for food opened the world markets.

Farm land in Platte County doubled and trebled in a short time. Prices went from one hundred to three hundred and even four hundred dollars an acre. In the frenzy, the buyers forgot that land is never worth more than what it can produce when prices are conservative. A recession was felt, when at the end of 1920 European countries had re-entered their peace time occupations and were producing most of their own food. Hence they bought decreasing amounts of American farm products. The result was that the prices of farm land and other property fell rapidly and banks, insurance companies and loan companies came to their rescue with mortgages.

The prices through the 1920's remained high and farmers continued to receive them for their food products at home. However, the cost of living was also so high that the owners of mortgaged farmland were unable to pay off their mortgages.

After an era of prosperity in the 1920's, the crash came in 1929 when millions were lost in the stock market. This crash created bad times in the commercial banking field and banks all over the country closed their doors.

For the first time in the financial history of Platte County, the banks were unable to offset the effects of the panic. In 1930 the Central National Bank of Columbus bought a large portion of the securities of the First National Bank which was established in Columbus in 1882, and the First Investment and Securities Company was organized to liquidate the remaining bank securities.

In February, 1931, the Columbus State Bank, organized in 1875, and its county branches discontinued commercial banking. In January, 1932, the Farmer's State Bank, organized in 1917, discontinued commercial banking. A few months later in 1932, the Commercial National Bank, organized in 1899, as an outgrowth of the Commercial Bank of 1887, closed its doors. The only bank left in Platte County when Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President in 1933, was the Central National Bank which is now the largest bank in the state outside Omaha and Lincoln. The Columbus Bank began commercial banking in 1935.

During the 1930's, the people of Platte County, together with those of adjoining counties, suffered a long period of drought. During this time The Loup River Public Power District was organized, and a group of far seeing business and professional men proceeded with plans for a government allotment.

Many obtained work on the construction of the canal, and farmers along the right of way were able to sell their land to the government at fair prices. Thus, locally the citizens of the county were helped during the period of stress. This period was followed in December, 1941, by declaration of war and again the years from 1942-1946 were prosperous for the farmer. After the war was over the shortage created by the war also created a demand for new business and manufacturing.

In 1949, prices remained high, but a slowing up was noted in business in the last six months of the year.

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