This special edition of the Lincoln State Journal was intended to promote Nebraska as a state, and provide towns an opportunity to advertise their status and attract new residents.
County seat of Lincoln County, on Union Pacific Railroad Two Hundred and Thirty-two Miles from Lincoln, Population Three Thousand Five Hundred.
The county seat of Lincoln County is located at the confluence of the North and South Platte rivers, which is spanned by two excellent wagon bridges; is the end of a division on the Union Pacific railroad; is 230 miles west of Lincoln, and employs over 500 men, the company disbursing $50,000 per month. It is a city of 3,500 inhabitants, and is rapidly increasing. The county contains seventy-two townships, six miles square, and capable of maintaining a population of a million.
The Chicago & Northwestern and Burlington & Missouri River railroads have been surveyed to points beyond and will pass through the city. Work will soon commence on the Sioux City & Denver Rail Line, passing through this point. The Union Pacific branch to the northwest starts from North Platte, thereby giving it control of all the territory along the line; right of way has been bought and grading partly completed. Other lines are projected. North Platte is without doubt destined to become one of the great railroad centers of the state. A good system of water works will be erected during the year 1887. Packing houses are now being talked of with good prospects of successful formation. Individual wealth of the residents of North Platte amounts to $5,000,000.
The city contains seven churches, all having large congregations; one high school and six graded, and employ fifteen teachers, the attendance of scholars being about 700. There is one national and two private banks, with ample capital, five hardware and implement stores, four dry goods houses, five clothing and gentís furnishing establishments, eight grocery and feed stores, three coal and four lumber dealers, four meat markets, four drug stores, two jewelry and fancy goods stores, two jewelry and dressmaking establishments; four weekly papers, the Telegraph, Tribune, Nebraskan and People in Government; seven hotels, two restaurants, nine livery sale and feed stores and a daily stage line to Gandy, Logan County, Cottonwood Springs and other towns throughout the county. There is in course of erection a grist mill with a capacity of 100 barrels per day. The city is lighted by electricity and assumes a metropolitan aspect.
The soil of the surrounding country is of dark, rich alluvia clay and sandy loam, and is very fertile and productive, anything that can be grown in the semi-tropical portion of the United States can be raised here. The climate is unsurpassed, a delightful medium between the rigorous north and the hot and enervating south; the winters are clear, mild and pleasant, with occasional storms, the mean elevation being 2,000 feet above the sea.
The amount of merchandise in North Platte during the year 1880 summarizes as follows:
Goods and Services
Value in Dollars
Lumber to the value of
Brick home manufacture 8.00 per M
Furniture, sashes, window glass, etc.
Groceries and feed
Drugs, oils and paints
Watches and jewelry
Crockery and glassware
Total value of goods and services
Real estate transfers in North Platte in 1880 amounted to $1,425,000. The exports in 1880 amounted to $1,435,000. The exports of Lincoln county, of which North Platte is the chief shipping point, are as follows:
Value in Dollars
The surplus corn raised in the county is fed to cattle by the stock growers who are now largely engaged in corn-feeding cattle, in place of allowing them to range at large, as has been the practice in the past. Hay is now fed to all cattle wintered in this portion of the state. One company, who have their office in North Platte, put up 25,000 tons in 1880 on their ranches in the northwest part of the county.
All classes of business men are prospering. This being a land office town the amount of business transacted here before the United States land office very materially assists the town through the numerous real estate and land agents, who are all doing a thriving business. Land and prospective railroads are the leading them for discussion.
North Platte also seems destined to become the leading financial center of this portion of Nebraska. The banks are all established on firm foundations. Among the leading money dealing institutions in the city is a loan and trust company with a capital stock of $500,000, and a building association with a fund not to exceed $400,000. Quite a number of private loan agents are here who obtain a good income from loans on real estate. The rate of interest range from 9 to 12 per cent on real estate to 1.5 on chattel property. At its present rate of growth North Platte will be a city of 10,000 inhabitants within six years.
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