Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska National Register Sites
in Butler County

Rural Sites

Butler County District No. 10 School [BU00-013] Listed 2011/12/07

The District No. 10 School is located in the northeastern corner of rural Butler County. As one of the few remaining one-room schoolhouses in the county, the No. 10 School is important to our understanding of rural education in this portion of Nebraska. From the earliest days of education in Nebraska, up to the period of consolidation, the District 10 School represents the history of rural education. The gable-roofed, one-room, frame building is an excellent local example of a one-room school house.

 Upper Oak Creek Descent Ruts of the Woodbury Cutoff [BU00-073] Listed 1992/11/27

Located in southeastern Butler County, these ruts are the longest contiguous sequence known to still be extant along the Woodbury Trail. In 1847 Lt. Daniel Woodbury was sent out from Table Creek (near present-day Nebraska City) to find a suitable site for a new fort. Evidence suggests that he took two different routes, one going and another on his return to Table Creek. Since his primary mission was to find a site for the new fort the route out was more direct, but not suitable for a road. After establishing a site, however, he used the return trip to plot a route for a new trail to the fort. It was this road that became known as the Woodbury Cutoff of the recently established Ox Bow Trail. These ruts have additional significance because they reveal a manner of descent of a wagon train from a ridge. The "fanning" of the ruts along the descent of the ridge demonstrates the need for wagons to leave their line for safety reasons, and in preparation for establishing a campsite.

  Clear Creek Bridge, pdf [BU00-083] Listed 1992/06/29

Located northwest of Bellwood, this small-scale truss carries a secondary county road across Clear Creek. The structure is a pin-connected Warren through truss, resting on concrete abutments and wingwalls. Two bridge plates reveal that the structure was built by the King Iron Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio in 1891. King originally built the span at the small town of Ulysses near the southern edge of Butler County, where it stood for some thirty-eight years. Then, in 1928, the truss was moved to its present location. Pin-connected Warren trusses are rare with only two examples known to exist in Nebraska, this structure and the Honey Creek Bridge in Nemaha County.

 Big Blue River Bridge, pdf [BU00-084] Listed 1992/06/29

Located a mile from the small town of Surprise, this small-scale bridge consists of a single-span pinned Pratt bedstead, flanked on each end by a single steel stringer approach. According to county records, the Butler County Supervisors awarded a contract to the Canton Bridge Company for a bridge over the Blue River near Surprise. Using components rolled in Pittsburgh by Jones and Laughlin, the Ohio-based bridge contractor evidently erected this bedstead early the next year. The Big Blue River Bridge is technologically significant as one of the oldest documentable examples in Nebraska of this peculiar structural type.

 Linwood Site [25-BU-01] Listed 1972/03/16

This impressive Pawnee village, located near the town of Linwood, is mentioned in the journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (1804) and Zebulon Pike (1806) as well as in those of numerous other travelers through the 1850s. The village was occupied at least twice, the first time from 1777 to 1809 and the second from 1850 to 1857. The latter occupation was the last for the Grand Pawnee as a distinct cultural group prior to their relocation to the Genoa Reservation in present-day Nance County. It is believed that the Oto tribe also occupied Linwood during the 1820s. Missionaries in the 1850s and settlers in the 1870s noted over 100 earthlodge sites, defensive sod embankments, pony corrals, burial grounds, a possible ceremonial structure, and deeply rutted trails leading in and out of the community.

 Bellwood Archeological Site [25-BU-02] Listed 1974/08/13

The Bellwood Site is a large Pawnee village located on a Platte River terrace near the town of Bellwood. Two occupation episodes are evident. The earliest occurred during the period A.D. 1650-1750, prior to the Pawnee having close contact with Europeans. The latter occupation was about A.D. 1795-1800 by the Grand Band of the Pawnee confederation. These separate occupations prior to and following Pawnee acquisition of the horse, gun, and other European commodities have furnished archeologists with an excellent opportunity to evaluate the nature of Pawnee-European interaction.

 Barcal or Skull Creek Site [25-BU-04] Listed 1972/03/24

The Barcal Site is a large Pawnee earthlodge village on a prominent natural terrace overlooking Skull Creek near the town of Abie. Three lodge sites and a variety of other village features such as storage facilities, horse corrals, and meat drying racks were excavated. Structures showed evidence of rebuilding, implying the community was abandoned and later reoccupied. On the basis of pottery characteristics the site has been dated A.D. 1700-1750, spanning the period of first European contact with the Pawnee.

Urban Sites

 Chauncey Taylor House, pdf [BU05-012] Listed 1982/06/25

The Zeilinger House was built in 1888 for Chauncey S. Taylor, a local jeweler. Local legend states that Taylor brought with him to David City an "18-inch-square" model of a former home, which was copied by the carpenter to construct the present house. The property was later owned by the John and Richard Zeilinger families, founders in 1892 of a successful hardware business in David City. The house is an eclectic composite of the Queen Anne and French Second Empire styles and features a prominent three-story corner tower.

 David City Park and Municipal Auditorium, pdf [BU05-047, 069] Listed 2000/11/15

The history of the David City Park began in 1889, when twelve acres were donated to he city for use as a park. Over time additional land was added to the park through purchases and donations. As the park increased in size, improvements were also made. A number of recreational facilities including a swimming pool, athletic field, and golf course were added. Although there are several buildings within the park's boundaries, the most prominent structure is the Municipal Auditorium. Constructed 1941-43, this WPA project is an excellent example of an Art Moderne-style building.

   Thorpe's Opera House, pdf [BU05-056] Listed 1988/09/28

Located in David City, the three-story brick commercial building was constructed in 1889 by William Thorpe as a recital hall for his daughter, Estelle. Estelle's favorite color, blue, was used in the interior of the second floor opera house, which contains box seats, a "U" shaped balcony, and a multi-leveled gallery. Groups such as the Boston Comic Opera Company and the Tennessean Jubilee Singers performed at Thorpe's Opera House.

    St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, School & Grottos, pdf [BU06-001] Listed 2008/12/19

This architecturally significant property contains a 1914 Gothic Revival church, a 1921 school, a chapel and several contributing grottos and shrines dedicated in the 1930s. Together the buildings and objects create a district that exemplifies the evolving aesthetics and design principles of Dwight's Czech community over a period of three decades. The large scale of the church in relation to the community it serves is testament to its local significance.

 Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad Depot, pdf [BU06-014] Listed 1979/10/11

The Dwight Depot is a typical example of a small town railroad station, of the architectural style used by the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad, a former Chicago and Northwestern subsidiary. Using a standard set of blueprints, the railroad constructed nearly identical depots in each town, making only minor structural changes from one to another. Construction of these simple frame buildings was a cost-saving factor for the railroad. The Dwight Depot was built in 1887 and served the town until 1962.

 Surprise Opera House, pdf [BU14-008] Listed 1988/07/06

The one-story concrete-block community hall and opera house was constructed in 1913 by the town of Surprise. The interior has a stage and balcony, with a wooden floor and pressed tin ceiling. The last performance, "Sparking Down in Arkansas," was held in the opera house in 1954.

How to list a property on the National Register

Return to Nebraska National Register Sites Index Page

Return to National Register information


NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Top
Last updated 25 November 2009

For questions or comments on the website itself, email
Nebraska State Historical Society - P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68501
Nebraska State Government Homepage
 |  Website Policies  |  © 2009 All Rights Reserved