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The History of Platte County Nebraska


Interior of the office of Becher, Hockenberger, and Chambers. Left to right: Edwin H. Chambers, Gus G. Becher, Jr., Henry J. Hockenberger, Mrs. Mark Burke, and Miss Miller.


The interior of the office of Becher, Hockenberger, and Chambers,
taken on December 30, 1947. Left to right: Mrs. Mable Smith;
Georgeanna Bruhn (Mrs. Glen Kluck); and
Helen Wurdeman (Mrs. Oliver Smith).


The Columbus Real Estate Improvement Company was started on the 21st of April, 1888, and was to continue for a period of twenty-five years. It was organized for the purpose of buying and selling real estate, principally in Platte County. It also intended to develop water courses, flumes, canals, etc., in this part of the county. The capital stock was one hundred thousand dollars, and was administered by the board of directors. The officers held office for one year. The incorporators were: John P. Becker, David Schupbach, C. H. Davis, Jonas Welch, H. P. H. Oerlich, and Adolf Jaeggi.

Filed for record April 21, 1888, at Platte County Court House.


The Speice, Echols, Boettcher Company, abstractors and dealers in real estate, loans and insurance, was organized in 1900 as the Elliott, Speice Company, by H. S. Elliott, G. B. Speice and J. C. Echols. This company was reorganized in 1913, and at that time continued its office at 2607 Thirteenth Street.

The original company was incorporated in 1910. The incorporators and officers elected were: Hanson S. Elliott, president; Gustavus B. Speice, vice president; and Jackson C. Echols, secretary-treasurer. It was capitalized for fifty thousand dollars divided into five hundred shares at one hundred dollars each. The corporation commenced on March 1, 1910, and the articles of incorporation were filed for record on that date. After the company's reorganization, in 1913, the articles of incorporation were amended by the Speice, Echols, and Boettcher Company.

On April 4, 1913, at a special meeting of this company, article two was changed to read as follows: The name of this corporation shall be "Speice, Echols, Boettcher Company." The principal place of transacting its business shall be Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska. Said amendment to be in effect from and after May 1, 1913. Filed for record April 12, 1913.

Thirty-six years later, in 1949, the Speice, Echols, Boettcher Company occupied the same location on Thirteenth Street and dealt in real estate, loans, and all kinds of insurance. The company maintained a bonded abstracting service and several notaries public were available to the public.

The 1949-1950 officers included: Walter Boettcher, president; John Armstrong, vice president; and M. A. Boettcher, secretary-treasurer. Others employed in the

Real Estate


Speice Echols Boettcher office on Thirteenth Street, around 1910. Left to right: Leo Waiter, Walter Boettcher, and Hanson S. Elliott

office in 1949 were: A. W. Frischholz; A. W. McAuliff, abstractor; and Pauline Wielgus (Mrs. Devlin), stenographer.


The name of the corporation was ATLAS LAND COMPANY. Principal place of business was Columbus, Nebraska. Capital stock was two million dollars divided into shares of one hundred dollars each. At least seventy-five hundred shares had to be subscribed and paid before the business could commence. The general nature of the business is the dealing in real estate. The company was to have power for itself, or as agent for others, to buy, take, own, improve, lease, mortgage, sell, convey, or otherwise dispose of real estate in the United States and to take, own, hold, pledge, hypothecate, will, assign or transfer any kind of property, real or personal acquired in the course of its business and to do all things necessary or expedient in carrying out the business for which it was organized or calculated to promote its business. Corporation to commence at the time of filing these articles. It was to continue for a period of ninety-nine years unless sooner dissolved by law or by mutual consent.

Incorporators were: A. C. Thompson, C. N. Thompson, C. C. Goodrich, W. M. Condon, E. W. North, and P. E. McKillip.

Filed for record September 8, 1919.


Principal place of business --- Columbus. The general nature of the business the buying, selling, mortgaging, improving and holding of real estate, and personal and mixed property for investment; the making and collecting of loans on both real estate and personal property, for itself and as agents for others; the buying, selling and collecting of commercial paper, stocks, bonds and other securities, both for investment for itself and as agents for others; the writing of various classes of insurance as agent; the leasing of farm and city property and the making of all forms of conveyance; the purchasing, acquiring or leasing, renting, selling, mortgaging and disposing of personal, real and mixed property necessary or convenient to the proper conduct of the business of the corporation.

Capital stock --- two hundred and fifty thousand dollars divided into shares of one hundred dollars each. Fifty thousand dollars thereof shall be subscribed, and twenty-five thousand dollars thereof shall be fully paid before said corporation shall commence business.

Time of commencement November 15, 1920, and the termination shall be November 15, 1970.

Incorporators: D. A. Becher, Henry Buss, H. F. Brodfuehrer, G. W. Viergutz, George W. Galley, John J. Galley, and John Bakenhus.

Filed for record November 26, 1920.


The Columbus Improvement Association, made up of Columbus business men, was a commercial association, organized and incorporated under the above title in 1940.

The corporation was capitalized at twenty-five thousand dollars, divided into two hundred and fifty shares at one hundred dollars per share.

The general nature of its business was to purchase or lease real estate, improved or unimproved, and to hold, sell, mortgage, lease, operate, improve and develop such property, etc., and to conduct all such business that might arise out of/or be connected with, the carrying on of the above mentioned objects of the corporation.

The incorporators were: Philip R. Hockenberger, for the Becher, Hockenberger, and Chambers Company; Ed

The History of Platte County Nebraska


Fricke; Elmer L. Bradley; Isadore E. Levine; E. M. Neilsen, and Otto F. Walter.

In 1940, the Columbus Improvement Association bought the Commercial National Bank Building and lot at the southeast corner of Thirteenth Street and Twenty-fifth Avenue and erected a modern store building which was occupied by the Roger's Jewelry Company from 1940-1949, under lease.


The Columbus Theater Company was organized in 1922, when the managers of several local business firms cooperated in the building of the Columbus Theater.

The stockholders were: Clara Lehman Gray (Mrs. A. M. Gray), Samuel Gass, Jr., Henry Gass, Jr., Doctor E. E. Koebbe, Doctor D. T. Martyn, Doctor F. H. Morrow, Charles B. Fricke, E. C. Miessler, E. W. North, Rose North Evans (Mrs. C. D. Evans), Robert Lund (for the Lund Estate), G. W. Viergutz, and Philip R. Hockenberger (for Becher, Hockenberger and Chambers Company).

In 1926, the building was leased to the A. H. Blank Company for twenty-two years. A new lease was taken by that company in 1948.

COLUMBUS MODEL HOUSE, INCORPORATED Principal place of business was Columbus. The general nature of the business was to buy and sell real property; to construct buildings thereon and to do all other things necessary in connection with said objects. Capital stock-ten thousand dollars in shares of one hundred dollars each. Corporation to commence July 1, 1935, and terminate July I, 1981, unless sooner dissolved by law.

Incorporators: Otto B. Johannes, Ben B. McNair, Otto F. Walter, R. H. Heynen, F. C. Dussell, J. T. Boyd, Mrs. J. R. Prest, Frank W. Shonka.

Filed for record September 26, 1935, Platte County Court House.

(page 385, no header)


This is a reproduction of a transfer of land from Sally Ayer, the widow of Captain Valentine R. Goodrich, of the Eleventh Regiment of the United States Infantry in the War of 1812, to John Browner. The transfer was made on June 15, 1863. It was received for record on that day and recorded in Book "B" of Deeds. Doctor C. B. Stillman was the County Clerk of Platte County at that time.


This is a reproduction of a land grant to Francis Smith, from the United States of America. It was entered in the numerical index and received for record on July 1, 1885. It was recorded in Book "R" of Deeds, on page 520, by John Stauffer, County Clerk of Platte County. This grant was signed by President James Buchanan.

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