Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg, June 15, 1857

John McConihe writes to John Kellogg on June 15, 1857 about his efforts to incorporate the town of Beatrice, Nebraska and organize the political structure of the county. He praises the town's location next to the Big Blue River, and predicts rapid settlement, since "the emigrants are following in our tracks daily". He expresses the wish that Kellogg could arrive soon with "lots of money" because of all the potential for investment and development.

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Friend John

Yours of the 25th came to hand to-day with the $200# draft enclosed. I have just returned from the South and was much delighted with the Country. I took along with me a substitute for you and he is now on the ground battling manfully for us. The boys are hard at work ploughing and erecting a log house and the town site is being surveyed. The saw-mill will be in running order in a few weeks and Beatrice will be fairly in the field as a town. The emigrants are following in our tracks daily and soon the Country will be all taken up. We have three families who will be on the ground in a few weeks, as soon as the house is finished. Judge Kinney is pushing things right along. Chapman has promised us a Post Office within forty days and has forwarded the application We are trying to organise the County and have our election for County Officers held on the 27th July, when we are to have a celebration at our town. The ladies of Nebraska City are making us a large

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flag and some of them are going out to the celbration. "Beatrice" and the "Nebraska Association" are all the town talk at Nebraska City. The big Blue River is a very pretty stream and unlike most streams in this Territory is clear water and rock-bottomed It is well timbered with good stone-cool near our town and fine lime stone projecting out the banks. Teams can cross easily at our City and the adjacent Country is like a garden. The town is similarly located to the Blue, that Omaha is to the Missouri. To all appearances we have a good thing of it, but it will cost some little money to "boost it."

I am truly "pitching in," John, as you say ad there is "no use talking" out here unless you do pitch in and that too a little blind. Why, the people here are wide awake and looking way ahead and unless you squint with them, you find they have seen all the show. A Company started last week for Fort Kearney to build up a town and a town is in full block at the mouth of the "Running water." Everywhere they are pushing forward.—

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If the crops are good this year, and the Country now has the appearance of it, the West will move right along and Nebraska will be soon filled up. I am perfectly satisfied with things as they are and since my journey through the Southern cities, and much better pleased with Omaha, its location and prospects. None can compete with her and property is just as high in the poorer towns. Our investments will surely double by fall, except East Nebraska which is a dead cock in the pit. Government took the City lands for "swamp lands," and Andrews shaved us badly on it. I know not whether he will do anything about it as I have not seen him but once since his return.

I daily see chances here where a few hundred would pay as well as thousands and a man must be on the jump all the time to keep posted.

Our Office is erected on the inside 22 ft of Farnham St. lot and its cost will be near $800#. I shall rent 1/2 of it. for $15 a month. The Capitol is being finished by the City and will be done by

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fall. The new Hotel and Court House are getting along finely. Farnham St. is to be graded to the River for a landing and bids are being received now by the City.

Property of course is slow as the prices are fast. I am writing in Smiths Office and his pen is "awful." Seffingwell in my absense was put in my bed, sick with the Rheumatism. Western priveleges these. You had beter for your own interest perhaps come out here early in September say about the 10th. I wish you were here with lots of money, since when you saw what could be done, you would think our money (invested) was a very small pile. I will write again when I get in our new Office, in a day or two, Remember me to all —

Your friend


About this Document

  • Source: Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries, John McConihe Correspondence, Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries, MS308, Box 1, Folder 2
  • Date: June 15, 1857