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O'Neill on Northern Nebraska

In December 1874 the Central Union Agriculturist and Missouri Valley Farmer of Omaha invited "the attention of our readers to the following circular issued by Gen. John O'Neill, of O'Neill City, Holt County, Nebraska. We hope that such as can do so will furnish him with the desired information.

"Sioux City, Iowa, November 12, 1874. Dear Sir: -- I am getting up a pamphlet on Northern Nebraska, for general distribution in the Eastern and Middle States, and in Europe, and desire to give a sketch of each county north of the Platte river. I have traveled through several of the counties in person, and would like to visit all of them, but I fear that I cannot spare the time, as I intend going east in a few weeks to lecture in the principal cities of the Eastern and Middle States on Northern Nebraska and its advantages for immigrants, devoting considerable time to each county, with the view of attracting a large immigration there next spring and summer.

"I commenced this work on a small scale last winter, and in spite of many difficulties, succeeded in bringing out and locating a colony in Holt county, and I believe I did a good deal towards directing public attention in the east to what I consider the fairest and most productive part of the State -- that is, the Elkhorn valley, and all of the country north of the Platte river.

"While east last winter, I found that the southern and middle portions of the state, through the influence of the Union Pacific and the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad companies and other interests, were thoroughly advertised, while Northern Nebraska was but very little known. This deficiency I shall try to remedy so far as in me lies, and with a little assistance which will be most benefited, I am certain that I can do a good deal in this direction this winter. . . .

"I shall feel under many obligations for a copy of any pamphlet, circular or newspaper article on your county, or any portion of it, which you can send me. I shall also be pleased to receive reliable information on the subject from any and all parties who may feel interested in furnishing it.

"From the immense number of letters which I have recently received from all parts of the country, and the number of persons who met me here to select their claims at the Dakota City Land Office, and returned to bring on their families in the spring, I have no hesitation in saying that I will be able to bring out a large number of families to Northern Nebraska next year."

O'Neill's Northern Nebraska as a Home for Immigrants was subsequently published at Sioux City, Iowa, in 1875.

(February 2009)



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