When European settlers first came to Cuming County, they saw only what the Omaha, Pawnee, Otoe, and Ponca, and a few early trappers and traders had always seen: grass. They found acres of big bluestem, little bluestem, switchgrass, and sideoats grama. With slough grass growing as tall as a man on horseback, landmarksa lone tree or a bend in the riverhelped them find their way home to families burrowed into their dugouts like gophers on a mound-dotted prairie. Beginning in the 1860s, railroad tracks crisscrossed the state, bringing Germans, Bohemians, Scandinavians, Irish, and more. Eventually, a network of dirt roads, graveled county roads, and paved highways replaced the deer paths and Indian trails. So has run the winding path of Cuming County's continual transformation into a patchwork quilt of farm fields, cattle yards, homes, and businesses, stitched together with the firm threads that make a county strong.
About the Author
Author LaRayne M. Topp is a lifelong resident of Nebraska. She was assisted in her study of the county's history by those willing to open their photograph albums and historical society archives and dig deep into their memories to help piece together this pictorial history of Cuming County.
Table of Contents
1 Formative Years: Early Settlers Carve Homes 9
2 County Design: Boundaries Etched in Stone 17
3 Agriculture: Plows Break Sod 25
4 Manufacturing: Born of Necessity 39
5 Commerce: Businesses Flourish 47
6 Country's Might: Backing the Cause 61
7 Organizations: Longing for Community 69
8 Tragedies: Perseverance During Great Loss 91
9 Entertainment: Homemade Fun 99
10 Cause for Applause: Cuming County Flourishes 111