Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Cherry County stories

"In the early eighties a colony of homesteaders from Sullivan, Indiana, under the leadership
of a young Methodist minister, Rev. Scamahorn, came to Gordon and settled in Cherry and
Sheridan counties. They established churches and schools and set about building orderly
communities. The cowboys and the preacher first met at the crossing on the Niobrara River
near the twelve-mile cow camp of Zake Newman. The cowboys lined up on the bank and
covered him with their guns. They shouted: 'Preach.' He stopped in mid-stream and
delivered the best sermon he had. They shouted: 'Pray." He prayed. Then they dropped
their guns and told him to go on. But he did not go on. He told them he was a Methodist
preacher who always took up a collection when he held religious services. He passed the hat
and they threw in silver and bills, a generous offering. It was only a prank and they knew a
good sport when they had met one."

"It all goes in a Life Time" In the Sand HIlls of Nebraska from 1880 to 1933 Mrs. Lulu
Kortz Hudson, Report of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture, Nebraska Home
Economics Association, 1934.

"One of the early surveyors in Cherry county was Joe Esterbrook. He homesteaded in west
Cherry County, built for himself and family a sod house with a dirt floor and a pole roof
covered with sod. His wife was a real helpmate and 'they lived luxuriously on boundless
hope,' but nearly all sod roofs leaked, in fact the only drip spot in their home was in the center
of the room under the ridge log. There they placed their bed. One night they were wakened
by water dripping on their faces. 'Joe,' said the wife,'get the dish pan and fasten it by the
handles to the ridge log.' It was done by the sleepy Joe without much thought of how the pan
might sway and tip when it filled with water. 'We hear not the airy footsteps of the strange
things that almost happen,' and the homesteaders enjoyed a dreamless sleep until the pan
filled to overflowing, gave one lurch and emptied its contents. Their good nature was shockproof
and water-proof. Theirs was the beauty of cheerfulness.


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Last updated 14 September 2005

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