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Nebraska Colonization Company

RG4369.AM:  Nebraska Colonization Company

Records:  1854-1868
Dodge County, Nebraska Territory:  Land settlement company
Size:  0.5 cu.ft.


The Nebraska Colonization Company was organized in Quincy, Illinois, in June of 1854, less than a month after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill opened these territories for settlement. Under the leadership of Jonathan H. Smith, president; J. W. Richardson, secretary; and James C. Bernard, treasurer; it was organized as a joint stock company of settlers recruited from Illinois and the surrounding states. The character of the company is clearly indicated by section three, article one of their constitution which provided for "a literary institution which shall be known as the Nebraska University." A prospecting party in the spring of 1855 selected the site of their settlement, to be called Fontanelle, on the Elkhorn River about twelve miles from the present city of Fremont. Fontanelle was the original seat of the county of Dodge, but later became a part of Washington County, and it was the intention of the leaders of the colony that the city should also become the territorial capital. Failure to secure a railroad connection, depression, and other reverses brought a relatively early demise to the town.


This collection consists of one manuscript box of material arranged in three series: (1) Minutes, 1854-1856; (2) Record of property allotments, 1858-1868; and (3) Miscellaneous papers, 1855-1856. These records relate to land allocations and titles, and general business affairs of the colony.

Note: All of this material was removed from the manuscript collection of Arley B. Show [RG4371], who gathered them for research purposes. Much of it has been transcribed and can be seen in the Show collection.


Series 1 - Minutes, 1854-1856

Box 1
  1. Minutes, 1854-1856 (includes land records, constitution and articles of incorporation)

Series 2 - Record of property allotments, 1858-1869

  1. Records issuance of deeds and certificates of title, 1858-1869

Series 3 - Miscellaneous papers, 1855-1856

  1. Miscellany (includes certificates of title and copies of land records)



Dodge County (Neb.) -- History
Fontanelle (Nebraska Territory) -- History
Nebraska Colonization Company
Nebraska University
Washington County (Neb.) -- History


Revised 10-17-2007   TMM


For additional information about this collection, please contact our Library Staff.

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Last updated 10 February 2009

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