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Nebraska National Register Sites
in Knox County

Rural Sites

 Ponca Fort Site [25-KX-01] Listed 1973/04/03

Ponca Fort was a fortified Ponca Indian village (near the present-day town of Verdel) occupied A.D. 1790-1800. The site comprises numerous earth lodge sites encircled by a protective wall perhaps six feet high. In some areas the fortification is still visible and archeological excavations determined there was originally a ditch three feet deep and ten feet wide. An earth embankment supporting a post palisade was discovered inside the ditch. The Ponca were actively involved in the fur trade, but thwarted Spanish efforts to gain a solid foothold in the Missouri River trade. European goods such as guns, hatchets, knives, beads, kettles, and cloth have been recovered from Ponca Fort, a testimony to the village's important position in the local fur trade.

Ponca Agency Archeological District (1865-1877) [25KX23, 25KX86, 25KX218] Listed 2006/07/12

The Ponca Agency Archeological District is located in rural Knox County. This district has the potential to provide significant information regarding the life of the Ponca people at a specific period in time, during which a process of forced acculturation and rapid change to reservation life was introduced in the midst of extreme climatic conditions, food shortages, and struggles with Brule Sioux invader bands. The archeological district may also help document the challenges faced by the Agency personnel who were charged with providing services to aid the Ponca during this transitional period before they were removed to Indian Territory in Oklahoma by the United States government.

  Ponca Tribal Self-Help Community Building Historic District, pdf   [KX00-171] Listed 2003/03/13

The Ponca Tribal Self-Help Community Building Historic District is near the town of Niobrara in Knox County. The main structure in the district is the Ponca Tribal Self-Help Community Building (Community Building) constructed in 1936. The district is significant for its association with the Indian Emergency Conservation Work program, a New Deal program designed to provide relief for Native Americans during the Great Depression. The Community Building was also an important cultural center for the Ponca Tribe in Nebraska.

 Gross State Aid Bridge, pdf   [KX00-313] Listed 1992/06/29

Consisting of a 180-foot, Parker through truss with pinned connections, the Gross State Aid Bridge, located near Verdigre, was erected in 1918 by the Western Bridge and Construction Company of Omaha. It is noteworthy as one of the few intact state aid structures remaining and as one of the best-preserved examples in Nebraska of this relatively uncommon vehicular truss type.

Niobrara River Bridge, pdf   [KX00-334] Listed 1992/11/12

In 1902 the C.& N.W. constructed a wooden bridge across the mouth of the Niobrara River near the town of Niobrara. The structure consisted of three truss spans and a series of shorter approach spans over the flood plain. Despite attempts to shield the timber structure from flooding and weather, the Niobrara River Bridge had deteriorated to the point of replacement by the late 1920s. In 1929 the C.& N.W. designed a replacement structure, had it fabricated using steel rolled by the Illinois Steel Company, and erected it using a railroad construction crew. The lengths of the old and new structures were similar. The principal difference between them lay in the materials used. The 1902 bridge relied almost exclusively on timber for both super-and substructure; the 1929 replacement used an all steel superstructure and concrete substructure to form a heavier, more durable structure.

Urban Sites

 Pospeshil Theater, pdf   [KX02-008] Listed 1988/09/28

Constructed by brick manufacturer John Pospeshil, the two-story brick building, located in Bloomfield, has a raised entry leading into the first floor opera house, which has a stage and balcony. The interior is decorated with an elaborate pressed tin ceiling and fanciful woodwork, including wainscoting, pillars, and railings. The grand opening was held on September 20,1906, and featured the Wallack's Theater Company of Rock Island, Illinois.

 Knox County Courthouse, pdf   [KX03-010] Listed 1990/07/05

The county was organized in 1857 as L'Eau Qui Court County. In 1873 the county received its present name. The river town of Niobrara was the first county seat, achieving that designation in 1857. The community remained county seat until 1902 when Center, the present county seat, acquired the coveted status. Following the move county officials acted quickly to build a courthouse in Center. According to supervisors' records, the facility was built to be a temporary expedient. In April 1902 the county board held its first official meeting in the new building. In February 1934 construction began on a new courthouse, which was completed in October of the same year.

St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church and School Complex [KX05-001] Listed 2011/03/21

Constructed in 1911 and 1952 respectively, the Rose of Lima School and the St. Rose of Lima Church are significant for their role as the center of primary Catholic education for the Crofton area from 1911 through the present day. Together, each building of the complex (school, church, rectory, and convent) creates a cohesive unit representing architectural styles ranging from Italian Renaissance Revival to Contemporary Ranch. The school and the church represent the early works of significant architects William L. Steele and James E. Loftus, respectively. Additionally, the school's construction and continued significance through the 1960s parallels broad trends in Catholic parochial education in the United States and in Nebraska.

 Argo Hotel, pdf   [KX05-015] Listed 1999/05/05

The Argo Hotel, constructed in 1912, is located in Crofton. It is significant for its association with the building boom of second generation hotels that was occurring on a statewide basis during the first quarter of the twentieth century. The hotels built during this period, as exemplified by the Argo, were multi-floor, brick buildings that offered the most modern conveniences (such as indoor plumbing and gas or electric lighting), and catered especially to the businessmen who traveled on the railroad. Aside from providing pleasant quarters for travelers, the new hotels became the symbol of a prospering community with a bright future. For this reason, towns and cities of all sizes thought it was important to showcase a "modern" hotel as an indication of their prominent standing in the state. It is within this context that the importance of the Argo Hotel is realized. The building is also significant for its association with health and medicine. In 1940, the hotel was converted into a health clinic which provided a much needed service to Crofton and the surrounding area.

 Rad Sladkovsky (Z.C.B.J. cis 8; Pishelville Hall, pdf  ) [KX09-001] Listed 1982/06/29

Pishelville Lodge Hall Sladkovsky is one of the most notable lodge halls in the state and is believed to be the first Czech lodge hall constructed in Nebraska. The modest one-and-one-half-story frame structure is located in the Pishelville or "Second Bottom" Bohemian community, first settled in 1869-70. The original building was constructed in 1884, and around 1920 a rear addition was added. In 1897 Lodge Sladkovsky was among thirty-one midwestern and plains lodges to found the new Zapadni Cesko Bratrske Jednoty (Z.C.B.J.) or Western Bohemian Fraternal Association headquartered in Omaha. Sladkovsky, which withdrew from the Cesko-Slovensky Podporujici Spolek (C.S.P.S.), was a charter lodge of the Z.C.B.J., incorporated in 1897 as lodge eight.

 Pilgrim Congregational Church and Manse, pdf   [KX10-001] Listed 1972/03/16

The Pilgrim Congregational Church and Manse recall the work of the Reverend Alfred Riggs, a Congregational missionary who devoted most of his life to the Santee Normal Training School and to the education of the Santee Sioux Indians. The Reverend and Mrs. Riggs came to the Santee Reservation in June 1870. The church was constructed in 1870-71, shortly after the Reverend Riggs's arrival, and served both as a chapel and a training school.

 Church of Our Most Merciful Saviour, pdf   [KX10-002] Listed 1972/03/16

The church, built in 1884, is a one-story structure with board and batten siding. The building played an important role in the religious life at the Santee Indian Reservation and is the only surviving Episcopal mission there. The Reverend Samuel D. Hinman, a prominent early missionary on the Santee reservation, is credited with building the first mission.

 Z.C.B.J. Opera House, pdf   [KX14-001] Listed 1988/07/06

Located in Verdigre, the one-story brick Czech community hall was constructed in 1903 by Lodge Bila Hora (White Mountain) 5, with a rear addition made in 1913. Access to the opera house is through double doors on the front facade. The interior features a balcony and a stage with an elaborate proscenium arch, scenery curtains, and a prompter's box.

 Commercial Hotel, pdf   [KX14-006] Listed 1990/04/05

The Commercial Hotel, constructed in 1900 in Verdigre, is an excellent representative of first generation hotels built between 1854 and 1900. The hotels constructed during this period were typically two-story frame buildings without "modern" conveniences, such as indoor plumbing and gas or electric lighting. In many instances these buildings were constructed in anticipation of the railroad passing through the community, or in response to business activity that resulted from an existing railroad line.

 Winnetoon Jail, pdf   [KX17-018] Listed 1995/02/27

The Winnetoon Jail, was built in 1907 in the town of Winnetoon. It is a good representative example of an early twentieth century jail designed for a small community, where its use would normally be limited.

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Last updated 10 December 2009

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