Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Looking Back: Dorchester's Firsts


Most area historians concur that "Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska" -- written in the late 1800s -- is an authority on Saline County's earliest days. No other collection of information is as vivid or thorough.

Through the online edition of "Andreas' History," the Times has compiled a collection of Dorchester's firsts -- including the first couple married in town, the first birth, the first death, and the first official sermon.

Here is a look back at some the firsts of our community, whose roots begin in the year 1870, when Dorchester's location was selected by the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad and the survey was made. 

* First Residents: Before buying the site that would become Dorchester from the U.S. Government, the railroad sent four men to claim an entire section of land, with each claiming 160 acres. Two of the four men who settled at that time were James Seely and Edward McIntyre -- Dorchester's first residents. Both made a permanent location here. The other two remained just long enough to secure the land and transfer it to the railroad.

* First Birth: The first birth occurred in early 1872, and was that of John, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Hawkins. The next birth occurred October 10, 1872, and was that of Ed McIntyre Parker, son of Hon. and Mrs. T. B. Parker.

* First Death: The first death occurred in the spring of 1873, and was that of Burke, the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Windrem.

* First Sermon: Sometime in late 1870 or early 1871, the first formal sermon in Dorchester was preached by Rev. Frederick Alley, a Congregational minister.


* First Official School: The first schoolhouse was built in 1872.

* First Church: The Christian church was built in the summer of 1878. 

* First Bank: The Bank of Dorchester was established in October 1881.


* First Newspaper: The Dorchester Star was established August 21, 1881.

* First Village Board: Dorchester was incorporated as a village in 1881, with N. B. Alley, Thomas Jarrett, John Oberlies, S. G. Panter, and W. H. Pallett listed as Trustees; C. F. Thomas, Clerk; J. H. Clark, Treasurer; and M. O. Alley, Marshal.

* First Census Count: In 1879, Dorchester had 673 residents. A year later, it had 954.


18 comments:

  1. Thanks for the information regarding "Andreas History." I did not realize that it was considered the first and foremost authority on Saline County's earliest days. Do any of the amateur historians out there have an opinion on J.W.Kaura's book, "Saline County Nebraska History"?

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  2. What about the town's first drunk?.............

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    1. Probably nearly everyone. You had to have a "sip or two" to make it in those days.

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  3. I don't know who the first town drunk was, but Cynical Richard you must be the current town drunk.You have to be drunk because a sober person wouldn't make some of your comments.

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  4. I think I know who the town's first pain in the *** was! It must have been an ancester of Cynical Richard!

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  5. Ricard, if you dont have anything nice to comment, just dont write in, this article is great, it doesnt need some smart a** comment like that, you need some help, or u have to much time on your hands.

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  6. I don't know who the first town drunk was,but cynical richard you are the current one with your comments.

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  7. Comeon guys, I'm no cynical richard fan but give him some credit on this one. That's funny.

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  8. Cynical Richard is really the first child born in Dorchester. That makes him a ... well, you know. I can't say it or my comment won't get printed.

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  9. "late 1873, when John Warren and Miss Lizzie Roe were united in wedlock."

    At least unwedded expecting couples back then did the right thing and put child before their own selfish wants. Those days are gone.

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  10. Don't forget: first blog, Dorchester Times.

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  11. why does everybody hate on dick???

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  12. A Cynical Richard FanNovember 30, 2009 at 9:48 PM

    I for one, enjoy Cynical Richard's comments. Don't you like humor? Come on people, lighten up, life is way too short!

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  13. ahh cynical richard, you crack me up!

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  14. Because he is a negative person, I pitty anyone that is married to him. He must not have much of a life, you can tell by what he rights, he is not a happy person,thats why he writes such a negative writer.

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  15. I like Cynical Richard's comments. They are funny, don't take him so seriously.

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  16. way to go Dick got them stirred up again keep em commin

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  17. go richard , let's go to joe's!

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