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   B. F. Leachman, the first native white child of Richardson county, was born August 18, 1855. The first death in the county was that of Mrs. Purgett in February, 1855. The first recorded marriage was between Wilson M. Maddox and Miss Margaret Miller, which occurred in October, 1855. Mrs. Maddox resides in Falls City.
   The first minister of the gospel, Rev. Hart (Methodist), came in the summer of 1855. Mrs. Samuels, a one-armed lady, taught the first school, in 1855, in a small log hut near Muddy Creek. The boys chopped the wood and built the fires, and the girls swept the cabin and carried water from a spring nearby. The school children's dinners consisted principally of corn bread and bacon. Wheat flour in those days was a luxury, and some biscuits, made from a sack of it, donated by a family in our neighborhood, was long remembered by us children as a great treat. The first physician in the county was Mrs. Sallie Dodge, as she was familiarly called. Uncle Jesse Crook came in August, 1854, and squatted on a claim. His wife and three small children, with a small colony from Tennessee, arrived at Muddy Creek on the 17th day of April, 1855, crossing the Missouri River at sundown, at a place known as St. Stephens. The Crook household goods were in a wagon drawn by oxen, and in driving off the ferryboat the wagon upset, throwing most of the goods into the river. We stopped over night at St. Stephens, and next day, April 17, 1855, journeyed to our new home a mile and a half northeast from the place now occupied by Falls City. Our cabin had one door, a stick and clay chimney, completed only about half way up one



end, and was without windows or other improvements. The men had to sleep in the wagons, and the cooking was done on the outside by a campfire. There was nothing to be seen but wolves, Indians and the vast prairies, and our only music was the howling of wolves. The Indians were very fond of coming to our cabin and watching us at our work.
   Where we crossed the Muddy to our new home the banks were so steep that it was necessary to fasten ropes to the end of the wagons so that by holding onto them the men kept the wagons from tipping forward on the oxen. The first Fourth of July celebration in Richardson county was held at Salem on the 3d, 1856, as the fourth came on Sunday, and the second was at Rulo, on the 5th of the same month. The first Fourth of July celebration at Falls City was in 1857, General Jim Lane was the orator of the day, Major Burbank had the only confectionery stand, and the music of the occasion was made solely by a fife and a drum. The exercises, including dinner, took place under a brush arbor. Mrs. Jesse Crook and other pioneer women, most of whom have long since passed to the great beyond, prepared the dinner. The great feature of the celebration was a war dance by the Indians for which we gave them dinner.
   The Indians were very friendly. Their reservation was about three miles south of Falls City and was a very interesting place for the whites to visit. For years we had no church houses, and our religious services were held in the groves on the banks of the streams and in the cabins of the settlers. The people had a high regard for these services. I saw men, women and children attend them in their bare feet. The first church building (Methodist) used exclusively for church purposes in the county was erected in Falls City in 1867 and dedicated the same year. Most of our provisions, such as sugar, coffee, flour, etc., was hauled in wagons from St. Joseph, Mo., so that we were often short of some kind of food. I knew one family that lived for



weeks in the winter of 1855-56 on nothing but corn bread and coffee made of corn meal; and another family had nothing to eat for weeks but parched corn. The father of this family went to Missouri, over twenty miles, through sleet and snow two or more feet deep, and returned home with only a ham. The town of Archer was laid out from public land in the summer of 1855. It was situated on the east side of Muddy Creek about three miles northeast of Falls City, near the claim of Judge Miller, who had moved thereon the same summer. Judge Miller's daughter, Margaret, was married to Wilson M. Maddox (now deceased) at her father's house in October, 1855.
   The town of Archer consisted of one hotel, owned by Judge Miller, two general stores, kept by Abel D. Kirk and John F. Welty, one blacksmith shop, four or five dwelling houses, and two lawyers, William Loan and Abel D. Kirk. The first county officers were Frank L. Goldsberry, county clerk; Louis Mesplais, county treasurer; ----- ----- McMullen, sheriff; Judge Miller, probate judge; and Jesse Crook, surveyor. The town site of Archer was abandoned in the year 1857, because the government survey in the allotment of land to the Indians included it inside the halfbreed line.1 Isaac Crook, brother of Jesse Crook, settled
   1 The initials of McMullen's Christian name are E. G., and Miller's Christian name was John C. Archer derived its name from its founder. The change of the western boundary of the half-breed tract was the result of a resurvey made in 1857 which left Archer about three-quarters of a mile within the reservation, but the original line was reéstablished by act of Congress June 12, 1858. See Watkins, History of Nebraska, I, 378, and articles on Archer and the half-breed tract by Isham Reavis, republished in the Sunday State Journal, February 7 and February 28, 1909.
   Mrs. Wilhite, author of this paper, and her husband, Judge J. R. Wilhite, live at Falls City. According to Records of Nebraska Territory, in December, 1854, Governor Cuming appointed Christian Bobst judge of probate of Richardson county, Robert T. Archer, for whom the town of Archer was named, sheriff, and Neil J. Sharp county clerk. In 1855 Governor Izard appointed county officers as follows: March 16, Neil Johnson Sharp register of deeds; May 31, J. C. Lincoln



here with his family on or about April 15, 1856, and here his children grew to maturity.
   Fighting prairie fires was one of the worst pioneer hardships. Very often the settlers would have to turn out for this purpose day and night; and often homes, crops and live stock were consumed.
   David Dorrington, wife and children settled at Falls City in September, 1857, where they built their dwelling house and made other valuable improvements. They lived here until death, and their children who still live here are William E. Dorrington, Mrs. Annie (Dorrington) Reavis, wife of Judge Isham Reavis, and Kittie L. (Dorrington) Towle, wife of Edwin S. Towle. William E. Dorrington is the oldest resident in point of time now living in Falls City. David Dorrington and Mother Dorrington, his wife, died long ago. Squire Dorrington, as he was familiarly called, was mayor, justice of the peace and member of the city council and of the school board.
treasurer; August 3, A. D. Kirk surveyor; in November, J. C. Lincoln register of deeds, E. G. McMullen sheriff, John C. Miller judge of probate; December 27, Ambrose Shelley treasurer. On November 6, 1855, the first election in the territory of county officers--five in number--was held. According to the record above named, those chosen in Richardson county are as follows: John C. Miller judge of probate, Ambrose Shelley treasurer, J. C. Lincoln register of deeds, E. C. McMullen sheriff, Jesse Crook surveyor. Frank L. Goldsberry, county clerk, is omitted. According to local historians, Christian Bobst was the first actual judge of probate, 1854; E. G. McMullen first sheriff, 1857; Frank L. Goldsberry first clerk, 1855; Isaac Crook first treasurer, 1857; J. J. Leabo first surveyor, 1857. But pioneer records as well as memories are often infirm.--ED.

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