On January 2, 1863, Robert T. Gale filed the first homestead in Seward County, then "Greene County." A surveyor, he chose an irregular tract along Plum Creek that provided shelter from the north winds and fresh spring water year-round. Robert and Amelia Wooley Gale settled on the claim early in 1864. The following year the Gales and baby Clara Jane narrowly escaped icy flood waters that swept away their belongings and livestock.
Just as the nucleus of a town emerged, and before the claim was "proved up," Gale's health failed. He died March 25, 1868, and was buried on the northwest corner of the homestead. The Gales' baby, Alfred, died the following winter, also of tuberculosis. Gale's heirs received the patent to the homestead in 1869, and Amelia later moved to Oregon.
A century later, when the abandoned burial grounds were rediscovered and letters written by Amelia were found, the family's compelling story emerged. This marker honors Robert and Amelia Gale and all who braved hardships to make their homes on the Nebraska prairie.
Seward Area Chamber of Commerce
Nebraska State Historical Society
U.S. 34, east edge of Seward