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Nebraska National Register Sites
in Polk County

Rural Sites

Clarks Clarks Site [25-PK-01] Listed 1973/08/14

The Grand band of the Pawnee established this village, near Osceola, some time after 1823 and remained there until about 1845. There is evidence that other bands lived at Clarks during the 1840s. The village was besieged and burned by the Delaware Indians in 1832. However, many of the Pawnee may have been absent on a summer bison hunting expedition when the attack occurred, and the village was rebuilt following their return.

Charles H. Morrill Homestead, pdf [PK00-002] Listed 1973/06/04

The Charles H. Morrill Homestead is located on a picturesque site near the Big Blue River. The original house, a one-story frame dwelling, was built in 1872 and exhibits subtle Italianate detailing in its design. The one-and-one-half-story log house, finished in 1901, was built by Ludwig Rudeen. In 1879 Morrill became Governor Albinus Nance's private secretary, and in 1904 he was elected Republican national committeeman. He was elected regent of the University of Nebraska in 1889, serving as president of the Board of Regents from 1892 to 1902. In the 1890s he and Dr. E. H. Barbour, professor of geology, initiated yearly geological and paleontological expeditions into all parts of the state. These expeditions gathered the initial collections of the University of Nebraska Museum. Later in life Morrill liberally financed expeditions and maintenance of the university's collections. When the university museum building was erected in 1927, it was named Morrill Hall. A county in western Nebraska, organized in 1908, and a community northwest of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, also bear Morrill's name.

Strickland Archeological Site [25-PK-05] Listed 1996/07/03

The Strickland site is significant in prehistory on the basis of the presence of one or more Lower Loup phase cultural components, and a reported historic Pawnee presence. The site is located in an area with a high potential for increasing the understanding of hunting and lithic acquisition strategies of Lower Loup phase groups. The site is also located within the buffalo hunting range of the historic Skiri Band of the Pawnee.

Urban Sites

Mickey House Governor John Hopwood Mickey House, pdf [PK01-005] Listed 1977/05/27

John H. Mickey, a businessman and politician, was an influential and respected citizen of Osceola and president of the State Bank of Osceola. He was elected Nebraska governor on the Republican ticket in 1902, serving two terms. The house was built by Mickey about 1883-84.

Polk County Courthouse Polk County Courthouse, pdf [PK01-004] Listed 1990/01/10

Polk County was organized in 1870 during a period of pronounced settlement in Nebraska. County officials built a courthouse in Osceola in 1871-72. However, fire destroyed this wood-frame building in 1881, and the county replaced it with a more substantial brick courthouse the following year. By 1916 population and prosperity in the county were sufficient to foster interest in a more elaborate and up-to-date courthouse. Because of delays, construction on the new facility did not begin until 1921. The following year the new Beaux Arts-style courthouse was dedicated.

Wilson House Victor E. Wilson House, pdf [PK04-006] Listed 1988/07/07

Located in Stromsburg, the dwelling was built for Swedish immigrant Victor E. Wilson, who was elected to the state legislature in 1909. During the teens Wilson served as state banking examiner and was also elected state railway commissioner. The frame house, constructed in 1906-7, is completely sheathed with wooden shingles and exhibits elements of the Shingle style. The parlor, which boasted a massive chimney with flanking bookcases and half-timbered ceiling and walls, housed Wilson's library table, which converted into a billiard table. The parlor was remodeled in later years.

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