B. & M. R. R. Land in Nebraska [German Language edition]

This translation of an 1882 German language document published by the Burlington Railroad Land Commissioner has an index of Nebraska land agents, describes the lands available for purchase, and presents a list of 12 advantages to living in the Nebraska. The railroad also touts its role in settling the region, noting that it "open[s] the land, develop[s] traffic with the rest of the world, and connect[s] resident[s] to the marketplace". It also claims that "the progress in this region has been remarkable since the building of the Burlington road ten years ago, the district has been rapidly populated with the best and solidest class of immigrant", showing both the railroad companies' targeting of immigrants as land buyers and their perception of their role in settling the Plains.

Index of our Local-Agents

These agents replace the company in their different locations.

Whoever wishes to buy land, should first meet with our agents, they are all reliable people, and are able to give all necessary information. They get their payment from the company, and ask no payment from the buyer for their personal service. The main land office of the company is located in Lincoln, Neb.

P. H. JOHNSON,B&M Land Office, east end Union Depot, Omaha
A. B. FULLERAshland, SaundersCounty, Nebraska
W. H. DICKENSONWahoo,"""
C. W. PIERCEWaverly, Lancaster""
WM. BUNTINGDavid City, Butler""
J. H. MICKEYOsceola, Polk""
ALEXANDER NEILSONCrete, Saline""
TOBIAS CASTERWilber"""
F. M. SUTTERDeWitt """
G. W. HANSENFairbury, Jefferson""
W. H. SOMERSBeatrice, Gage""
T. B. PARKERDorchester, Saline""
...........................Friendville, """
H. G. SMITHExeter, Fillmore""
H. G. BLISSFairmont, """
L. D. FOWLERSutton, Clay""
WORK & DUNGANHastings, Adams""
A. B. CLARKKearney Junc., Buffalo""
L. A. KENTMinden, Kearney""
C. W. KALEYRed Cloud, Webster""
WM. CATHERCatherton,"""
J. G. CHILDSRiverton, Franklin""
STEWART & FULLERFranklin, """
J. P. A. BLACKBloomington,"""
V. C. UTLEYSyracuse, Otoe""
F. M. WOLCOTTWeeping Water, Cass""
H. H. SPELLMANFirth, Lancaster""
J. J. BRIGGSMilford, Seward""
ED. McINTYRESeward, """
G. A. DERBYUtica, """
N. P. LUNDEENYork, York""
O. A. ABBOTTGrand Island, Hall""
L. D. RICHARDSFremont, Dodge""
BECHER & PRICEColumbus, Platte""
N. R. PERSINGERCentral City, Merrick""
M. A. HARTLEYLoup City, Sherman""
MORTENSON & BABCOCKOrd, Valley""
T. L. REDLONNorth Loup, Valley""
D. MOOREScotia, Greeley""
PATRICK HYNESO'Connor, Greeley""
LUNDEEN & LOVESt. Paul, Howard""
JOHN PETERSAlbion, Boone""
C. P. MATHEWSONNorfolk, Madison""
BARNES & TYRELLMadison, """
GRAHAM & ELLISWisner, Cuming""
J. T. SPENCERDakota City, Dakota""
CRAWFORD & FEATHERLaPorte, Wayne""
L. M. HOWARDSt. Helena, Cedar""
J. H. BROWNPierce, Pierce""
JOHN BARZYNSKI, Polish Ag't,St. Paul, Howard""

The Estates of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad Company in Nebraska

lie completely in the eastern portion of the State, but are divided in two exceptional and separate bodies; the Platte River forms the dividing line and therefore the southern region is denoted the South Platte District and the other named the North Platte District. There are no noticeable differences between these two main land bodies regarding their fruitfulness, healthiness of climate, or quality of the water stores.

The southern district is the older in culture, and therefore in many respects far ahead of the other region, in this more civilized district, churches and schools and railroads are already found. Of the entire 150,000 acres that remained available for purchase as of January 1, 1882, in the South Platte District along the line of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad (two roads station fares transportation) people take land where they want to, and only a very insignificant portion lies more than ten English miles from the nearest town or railroad station, and overall people find schools in the district so well established that the distance to the next school house is seldom more than two miles, if not closer. The progress in this region has been remarkable since the building of the Burlington road ten years ago, the district has been rapidly populated with the best and solidest class of immigrant.

The North-Platte-District was even last year still a remote pioneer district, single and alone of the land, still lacking the railroad, emigrants there still managed to carry their production to the world market place. This district attracted the poor class of emigrants seeking to homestead, there has been relatively very little buying of land from the Railroad Company at all so long as a selection of government land was available free. But this period already has passed, because the good government land has been picked over and is now unavailable, railroads arrived into the largest part of the region during the years from 1879 to 1881 and they are yet in construction to open the land, develop traffic with the rest of the world, and connect resident to the marketplace. Settlers who could not bring their grains or livestock 20 to 50 miles to the next station have already emigrated off the cheap estates. The forethought? These wanderers were already clearly visible in 1878 and in that year a considerable quantity of land was sold to the same people, yet the beginning of rapid construction of the railroad through the region in the last three years caused an important increase in the land sales. There are 400,000 acres yet to be purchased, which are inexpensive and of good quality.

We would like to give the kind reader a complete description of the eastern half of the state. We invite him to recognize the differences between the South-Platte and North-Platte districts, which is a little hillier than the gently rolling southern district, when buying the land, especially climate, water, and other considerations. The hillier landscape in the northern region is really very rich in grassland growth and is ideal for cattle breeding, and would be very cheap to buy, from $1.12.1/2 to $1.50 and acre. The main difference is that the northern district is not yet very developed, the railroad, crossroads, bridges, towns, churches and schools are not yet built in large numbers. Yet the region strives rapidly forwards, as the cheap land lures many there, both the poor and the rich, the last mainly for cattle breeding, and inside the next five years, as the railroad expands, the whole northern region will be populated. The people in the middle would prefer, however, the southern district, especially for the better and more numerous schools for the neighborhood children. The largest quantity of land in the southern district lies within 50 miles of Lincoln, the Capital of the State.

THE STATE OF NEBRASKA lies approximately in the middle of the United States between the 40th and the 43rd degrees north latitude and between the 95th and the 104th degree west longitude of Greenwich. The State contains 75,995 English square miles or 46,636,800 acres of land. The length of the state is 412 English miles, the width about 200 miles. Nebraska forms actually the low slope of the Rocky Mountains and lies on the east border about 900 feet above sea level, at Kearney 2,114 feet, and on the west border 5,000 feet. The eastern border and part of the northern border are marked by the Missouri River; the Platte River divides the state from west to east into northern and southern districts. The neighboring states and territories are Iowa in the East, Kansas in the South, Colorado and Wyoming in the West, and Dakota in the North.

People in the State live in two equal regions, an east and west district, and people in the east half have a region unmatched for fruitful agricultural, while the other half is yet, with small exceptions along the Republican River, still a wilderness. The land in the entire state is nearly all the same, the differences are relatively unremarkable, although the greatest differences are in rainfall. In the southeastern portion of the state within 80 miles of the Missouri River, the rainfall averages 38 inches a year, and within the next 100 miles of this district 32 inches falls, the quantity decreases the further west and northwest a person travels. Between Kearney and the next 80 miles west, only 26 inches falls, then over a small stretch 19 inches, and in more than a third of the entire state, in the northwestern corner its the same, only about 16 inches of rain falls annually. In fact, the increase of the overall rainfall is particularly tied to the cultivation of the land, and therefore a greater portion of the state could be pulled into the rain belt from year to year. In other words, the cultivation of the land widens the rain zone here, builders and planters and all other civilizing factors influence increases in the rainfall, the cultivation of the land would perhaps put more than 100,000 acres a year into production. This is easy to see and we will explain it briefly here. The ground of the prairie, although porous, is also very solid, as for hundreds or even thousands years only the wild men and animals roamed the land and it was not cultivated. The entire area is thick with the roots of the prairie grass, the region overall undulates gently, and the rain, so long as it fell on uncultivated prairie penetrated the earth only in very low quantities. Throughout the greater region the land drained uninterrupted into channels in the land, and then through brooks and rivers to the sea. Rainfall on the uncultivated prairie creates little humidity, and the air must stay dry as the sun can pull little humidity off the earth, if the necessary humidity is missing, then frequent rainfall cannot happen. This explanation should be easy for a person to understand. Diverse attempts have proven that that cultivated land picks up on the average 10 to 12 times as much water during a strong rain as the uncultivated prairie. Naturally, this change in the quantity of yearly rainfall does not change suddenly, but gradually, and in the western portion of the state the same process would take longer than in the eastern region. In the future hundreds of thousands of acres of pasturelands may be transformed into fruitful acreages. Still people must be careful not to progress too far, and should otherwise settle where people are already, where the rainfall is already enough, where good harvests are assured, and people should stay in the eastern half of the state, where there are few dangers, and where a hundred thousand acres of the best land is still available very cheaply, and on schedules where even the poorest can move to a home.

The soil of the state, especially in the eastern region thereof, is a rich humus, from two to eight feet deep, with an ever so fruitful subsoil of forty to 200 feet. The famous natural scientists of the land declare the soil in Nebraska is of the same composition and fertility as the soil in the Rhineland. Professor Aughen of the University of Nebraska writes:

Three quarters of the state are covered by loose ground, which in many places may be 200 feet deep. This American Geologic earth form is called "Laccrutine," and it is one of the richest grounds in the world, and like similar forms is consistently fertile. The top portion of the layer is normally two to ten feet deep and consists of organic substrata, the same has a dark or a blackish color. This soil contains about 10 percent carbon and phosphorous, about 4 percent iron and a reasonable quantity of pebbled earth. The latter is so pulverized, that it can only be seen with a microscope. With human willingness, this earth can be cultivated and moistness put into it, and the entire portion of the layer stands against the threat of drought. In dry years, humidity is forced away from here, but with heavy rain the earth acts as a great sponge and the humidity rapidly recovers. The shift from grasses to the cultivation of grains, root crops and fruits is possible as the soil is one of the best in the world. In fertility is it near unsurpassed.

What is important to the agriculturalist in the composition of the soil, is that: First, the same is very easy to work, and in two or three years of cultivation, the ground is prepared and the gardeners work stops. Secondly. The same becomes fertile so rapidly, that a person in one hour in the heavy rain can bring another acre into production. As soon as the frost is off the ground, people are able to plow, harrow and sow. Often the land is already tilled and sowed in February and March. Third. If near drought conditions returned, attraction of humidity to the subsoil could help drought resistance with little damage to plant growth. And while people in the region from Illinois and other states have a base soil of blue tones, rain there does not soak in, and in a wet year such land is unworkable, and in a dry years drought lies in quickly, both cannot happen here. There may be good level ground in other areas that are able to produce, but seldom do they have so thick layer of humus as eastern Nebraska, except for western Iowa, there is not region with the same fertile subsoils. Moreover, cultivated land here is so much more fertile than the uncultivated prairie, although two times in the last several years drought appeared making some acreages appear to have fertility shortage.

The soil is the greatest wealth of the state of Nebraska, and a person can be convinced of this soon enough if he takes the time and expense to make a trip here, such a move is possible and important as there are many railroad connections and the price for land exploring tickets is small.

Next we want to look at the climate of Nebraska, which is not less important than the soil composition, and although this zone gives its inhabitants little to wish for, sometimes there are very fast changes in weather. Yet because there are neither forests nor mountains, and this is neutral, people should expect sudden episodes of bad weather. Mainly, the climate of this state is temperate, the air pure and dry, and many people have already moved here for health considerations, with very favorable results. There are many rainy days in the spring, but this is necessary for plant growth. Yet strangely as it seems, and this is true, the rain usually falls during the night, and therefore work on the land is rarely interrupted because of rainy weather. Also the rain only falls during the active farm months, when it is most necessary, beginning in March and ending in September or October. During the harvest time, July and August, there are only a few low thunder storms, the autumn rains come in late August or September, and from October to the end of February not much rain and also only a little snow falls. On these grounds fall grains do well, or else winter wheat, which needs to be planted by the first week in September to get the fall rains or there is nothing to see of it. Whoever is happy to observe this rule, should constantly make good harvests of winter wheat. The heat of summer occurs during July and August which is natural for this latitude. Temperatures in excess of 90 degrees, would, however, be moderated by a constant breeze, that is more prevalent in the countryside than in the towns, and it is very seldom oppressively hot. Dr. Childs of Plattsmouth has made careful and most conscientious observations for nineteen years, and recorded 29 days where the thermometer reached one hundred degrees Fahrenheit and of those, 12 alone were in 1874, the other 17 fell in 7 other years, and during eleven years of these 19, the thermometer did not register above 100 degrees. The most exceptional season of the year here is autumn. During the months of September, October, November, and usually to the middle of December, sometimes until Christmas, there is little to wish for so far as the weather is concerned. During the so-called Indian Summer, the air is warm and dry and overall exceptional. During this season people do not willingly stay in their houses, because nature is never and nowhere as attractive as in this region during the autumn months. This is also when residents are otherwise agreeable, because as soon as the corn is fully ripe, the good weather usually is brought here. The winter on the prairie is dreaded by many people because people sometimes write very untrue things about it, and what is true about winter in northern Dakota and Minnesota says ever so little about Nebraska. Neither does the great heat and the dry hot winds of southern Kansas or southwestern Arkansas. Nebraska lies at a fortunate middle point, and neither of these extremes exists, which people often accept as valid for all of the prairie states, including this state. Naturally we experience cold weather in the winter, that is expected at this latitude. But the cold is never quite so unbearable as when the thermometer dips below zero, this happens on some winter mornings, but because the air is dry the cold is not nearly as perceptible as it is in other regions where the weather is wet and cold and uncomfortable even when the temperature is higher. The entire winter is usually short in duration, 4 or six weeks, during which time the thermometer, during the night, often stands below zero, and sometimes falls ten or sixteen degrees below, although very seldom 20 degrees below. Yet there are few days during the entire winter when the sun doesn't shine, therefore the cold days are seldom very strong and, during the middle of the day, the thaw often races in after the cold night. The coldest weather usually comes after the middle of December and in the month of January, and in comparison February is almost always a very pleasant month, so that wheat is sown nearly every February. The month of March often brings cold, stormy days, events that this latitude is famous, but altogether this month is not otherwise cold, and an important portion the Spring labor is done in this month.

The water supply of eastern Nebraska is satisfactory and of the best quality. Little brooks are very numerous in the eastern end of the state, within 100 miles of the Missouri River, and in this area the depth of the wells on average is low. There are also many places where good pure water can be found for livestock. Sometimes there is water flowing out of the land. People call these ditches, "draws," which are formed by the natural drainage canals of the land, these are not only gathering points for rain water, but permanent water for livestock as well, these would soon evaporate, but they are fed by small springs which never totally dry out, and people plowing near them should leave them be. If people go farther to the west and the north, they find fewer of these small brooks, but a number of bigger and different kinds of rivers, these are easily seen on the map. Yet flowing water is necessary neither for the agriculturist nor the livestock breeder, people are clearly able to produce food and must have other access to the best and purest water. Mr. Cornelius Janse, a German Mennonite in Jefferson County, has two wells on his sheep pasture, which is 960 acres of high prairie he has closed. On this land there is not a drop of flowing water, because the ground lies higher than the water table. His two wells each go 90 feet deep and they supply all the water drawn by wind pumps, enough water for his 2,300 sheep, also his other animals and his household. A good wind pump builds up wells, water reservoirs, etc., and a resident can construct one for 150 to 200 dollars. He will have water in quantity to stop his pumps. This is only one example, on the railroad line of the B & M a hundred such wind pumps easily satisfy a person that these are practical pieces of equipment, and inexpensive to install, considering the expense of buying land with running water. We are ready to declare, that a good well, naturally at different depths, can be drilled at every location of land, but where water lies deep, drilling may cost 40 or 50 cents per foot.

Now that we have explained the important things, soil, climate and water availability, we will examine other things that people seeking new homes would like information on.

The products of this region are mainly many kinds of cultivated cereals, as is usual with this latitude, wheat, rye, oats, barley, Indian corn, broom corn, potatoes and all sorts of root vegetables, which all thrive and yield richly with good handling of the land. Official reports from the state and immigration bureau are enough to prove this. Also stock raising is an important branch of the agricultural industry here, and it promises significant profit, because animal food is of high quality and cheaper than anywhere else, and the healthy and pure air of the region ensure that sickness and epidemic are uncommon, and cattle, sheep and swine, with ordinary treatment thrive, and their meat find is desired on the marketplace. Experience in other states has taught, that for the best results, it is important to connect animal husbandry with the cultivation of cereals. The land is easy to find. A bushel of Indian corn, can be transformed into 12 pounds of pig meat, the corn is worth between 15 and 25 cents, the twelve pounds of swine flesh brings usually 35 to 40 cents on the average. Cattle breeding is only rewarding were Indian corn grows. Cattle breeding is profitable in Nebraska, and with only 1874 as an exception, there have been consistent harvests of Indian corn. Also the native grasses are very rich in nutrients, the so-called bluestem grass is the best wild grass generally available. The region as almost completely free of the great green and the so-called buffalo fly. These insects in many regions bother the cattle exactly at the time that they should be getting fat. The winters are short and moderate, and with exception of occasional days, the cattle roam free the entire winter. For the night they should have shelter, but the sun shines during the days almost the entire winter, and the cattle find it well to graze in the harvested corn fields, on the prairie, or next to a bail of straw or a haystack. It is a fact that all established cattle operations have been successful, these have caught on so that the yearly growth of cattle amounts to 110 percent, even without calculating the hundreds of railroad loads of fat cattle that are yearly sent to the meat markets in Chicago. An important cattle-breeding operation belonging to Mr. T. H. Leavitt can be found near Lincoln, it is named "Riverside Stock Farm," and it is worth seeing. There alone people find 250 cattle and over 200 hogs, all of the best full-blood races. The situation is very ideal, it has a nice brook and 20 acres irrigated by the brook are thick with wood, as are 800 acres of the best natural pasture. In addition to cattle sales, 20,000 pounds of cheese is made here each year, part of this is sold at the house, the rest is sold quickly to markets in Colorado in the eastern United States. For the person that has an interest in cattle breeding, it is worth touring this piece of ground with its facilities and cattle stables. The property lies near the town of Lincoln and people are able on walk there, and they are generally received in a friendly manner. People can find reproductions and descriptions of the operation in the American Agriculturalist for December 1878. This is naturally an undertaking which requires capital, which is proof that the capitalist as well as the poor man finds success in this region. A very important law, called the herdsman law is beginning to make it possible to raise cattle without building fences. Under this law, people need no fences, which are costly, otherwise people look after their cattle and their neighbor's cattle in a common herd, so it is very inexpensive and the repair of fences would cost more than the cost of a guardian, and the capital this saves issues profit. A good farmer, when he is able, plants a thorny hedge on his piece of ground, either Osage Orange or a kind of Acacia which carries the name honey locust, and, in five years, both these plants build a thick hedge and the best, cheapest fence that requires no trimming.

But in addition to cereal farming and stockbreeding there is yet another trade that plays an important role in the older counties of Nebraska. We mean the fruit growing. Where fruit grows people find pleasure. The soil and climate of Nebraska are both favorable for fruit growing. Already in 1873 Nebraska got its first prize for the best and biggest selection of fruit at an exhibition at the American Tree Breeding Society in Richmond, where fruits from all states were on exhibit. In 1874 at Boston, our state again received first prize, and at the 1876 World' Fair in Philadelphia the state was recognized for its nice, sound, pleasant fruit of all types that flourish in this latitude. People find load bearing fruit farms naturally a little west of Lincoln, but because the region is young, they where only planted within the last five years. But from the east border of the state to Lincoln, especially along the Missouri River, in the older counties people find many load bearing fruit farms, which produce thousands of bushels annually, and the quality of picked fruit here is never to be overstated.

Yet what use is fertility and farming success if farmers in the region are locked out of the largest marketplace in the country. People only need to look at the map to see, and people would wonder, how many railroads already cross over the land, where for ten years the Union Pacific was the first and only railroad, and it was not quite useful for removing produce, and was otherwise not built for this purpose. The small map on the cover of this book shows that half the state is not connected by railroad to the rest of the region. The largest map section shows that the railroad is complete in this interior half of the state, and this is possibly one of the newest railroad maps available. Railroads are numerous in eastern Nebraska south of the Platte River and connections between different roads are wisely put in a table. The capital city Lincoln, for example, has railroad connections in seven directions, with the possibility of 2 or 3 more in the near future. And the traffic over these roads is very important for the region, especially the freight transportation. All the many small stations and villages, and a number of larger towns, build good marketplaces to buy and sell.

The class of the inhabitants of this state is mixed, but the cross cut is very good. People find farmers from all the eastern states, especially from Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Europeans are also strongly represented, mainly the Germans, Scandinavians, Bohemians, and English. The German element is the most sizable among them, and in the southeastern portion of the state almost a quarter to a third of the population speaks the German language. There are important settlements of Germans in different regions that will be mentioned here. In Cass and Otoe counties many Germans can be found, the south half of Lancaster county is almost half German, for the most part from Evangelical Lutheran denominations, and there is an important German Presbyterian Congregation in and around Hickman. Seward county also has a very large German population, also Lutheran for the most part, with an important Mennonite Congregation in the southeastern portion of the county. In Saline county people can find many Germans and many Bohemians, the latter are Catholics with churches in all towns in the county. Near Beatrice people find an important settlement of Prussian Mennonites from the region around Danzig. Jefferson county has a large colony of German-Russian Mennonites, a significant settlement of Evangelical Lutheran Germans from Illinois, and a group of German Mennonites from Canada. The lands of the Railroad Land offices in Beatrice and Jefferson county have already been sold. There are also many Germans in Fillmore and York counties, the same is so in Clay county, but there is also very little land still available here. German-Russian immigrants, part Mennonite, part Reformed, are building a very significant settlement in the northern portion of Clay county, the southwestern portion of York, and the southern portion of Hamilton county. Also people find many Germans in Franklin county and a significant settlement of Lutheran German Russians. In Sherman county, north of Kearney, they have built a German settlement; and they have places for many more; that settlement is Evangelical in belief. In Boone county in 1879 a German-Russian Mennonite colony was founded, and in Platte county, Post Office St. Bernard, a significant German Catholic Colony was founded by Mr. Bernhard Schroeder. There is strong proof that the class of citizens here is good and intelligent, because there is overall a very large number of churches and schools. Christian congregations of all denominations are already established, and school houses have been built all over. In the old regions the district schools are only three miles from each, so that everyone lives near a school, and in the newer regions, north of the Platte River, there are also many school houses, and more are being built all the time, as many as are necessary.

Government land in the east portion of the state is almost completely unavailable, what remains, with few exceptions, would have been picked up in 1879 when the influx of immigrants was tremendous. In the last four years this company has sold more land than any other railroad land office in the country, and on January 1, 1882 only 600,000 acres remain unsold.

Whoever wants to come, come soon, because the opportunities are dwindling fast.

We receive many letters asking about land with wood. We have none. Next to all brooks and rivers there are actually stands of trees, and also some of significance, but only there, where it is characteristic to guard wood in the beginning. In unsold railroad, state and school lands, however, the wood was cut long ago or and stolen by people looking for the smallest sprout. But mostly hard coal is used for winter needs, and it is not expensive as the farmer hardly needs any 8 or 9 months of the year, otherwise corn cobs of Indian corn make the best and most comfortable fire material. Also there is enough wood on the land so that in large towns like Lincoln firewood brings $4 or $5 a cord. Because all native woods grow very fast, people could also plant an acre, which in a few years would be significant. People, when they travel around the region, can already see clumps of trees planted all over. The native trees are mainly elms, ash, poplar, walnut, oak, linden, maple, box elder, acacia, wild cherry, hickory, willow, red cedar and others.

What advantages does this region offer over others that make it better for the person intending to move for his own betterment?

First. The position of the land is the best, in the right latitude, in the central belt of the local population, with great potential for trade and wealth.

Second. The land itself is the best and most wished for body of unsold land in the West.

Third. Railroad connections are complete in all directions, and the land connected with all the big market places in the country.

Fourth. The population consists of the best class of immigrants from Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and other states. German residents are lacking nothing, and are found in every school district, and often in important offices.

Fifth. The early springs and mild winters are favorable for stock breeding, so the region is one of the best in the world for this purpose.

Sixth. It is one of the best Indian corn regions in the country.

Seventh. The climate is healthy, and the water is the best.

Eighth. The region is no longer so young and untested, and these claims we make are by the experiences of hundreds.

Ninth. The claim of title ownership comes directly from the government, is not open to attack, and the Warranty Deed from this company gives the buyer the best title that any one could receive.

Tenth. The sales conditions, freight and passenger rates are as liberal as offerings for any other direction.

Eleventh. All the advantages of a civilized region, churches, schools, railroads, bridges, and many more, are already established, and, even in the big cities where people often wander, it is pronounced that all lead friendly lives with little hustle and bustle, and they seldom encounter a policeman on the streets.

Twelfth. Taxes are relatively low. And this company is the only one that differentiates between speculators and the citizen, the first we look constantly to avoid, the latter is constantly welcome.

The Sales Conditions for the Year 1882.

We wish to call special attention and guide all to our property deeds, and proclaim that the Railroad company offers better land at low prices, on long credit terms and at low interest rates than any other company in the US, and people would find, that this company, which has done business with more than 19,000 buyers, handled things in a right and liberal manner.

First Sales Conditions. Ten Years Credit.

At the time of the sale, only the interest for one year at 6 percent would be demanded. At the beginning of the second, third and fourth years the same payment would be due, and the first payment of the principle would be due at the beginning of the fifth year.

First Example
80 Acres, at $5.00 per Acre, $400.
Time of PaymentInterestPrinciple Total
At Time of Sale$24.00$ ......$24.00
In one Year24.00.........24.00
In two Years24.00.........24.00
In three Years24.00.........24.00
In four Years20.5757.1577.72
In five Years17.1457.1574.29
In six Years13.7157.1470.85
In seven Years10.2857.1467.42
In eight Years6.8557.1463.99
In nine Years3.4257.1460.56
In ten Years57.1457.14
Entire Payments$167.97$400.00$567.97

With these first terms each buyer can receive only 80 acres.

Second Sales Condition
Likewise ten years credit, however with other division of payments.
Example for Condition No. 2
160 Acres, at $5.00 per Acre, $800.
Time of PaymentPrincipleInterestTotal
At Time of Sale$80.00$80.00
In one Year..........$43.2043.20
In two Years..........43.2043.20
In three Years90.0043.20133.20
In four Years90.0037.80127.80
In five Years90.0032.40122.40
In six Years90.0027.00117.00
In seven Years90.0021.60111.60
In eight Years90.0016.20106.20
In nine Years90.0010.80100.80
In ten Years90.005.4095.40
Entire Payments$800.00$280.00$1080.80

Under these second terms the buyer can receive 160 acres, but not more.

Buyers using these first two terms must take an oath that they will buy the land for their own use, for cultivation or stock raising and not for speculation.

Section for cheerful emigration from Europe.

We would not take on the responsibility of advising somebody to emigrate, otherwise only those who have already determined to move should take notice.

Instead of staying in the large cities in the eastern states, or leasing a piece of land in the old states, those wishing to be involved in agriculture, we advise and direct to situate themselves farther west without delay, and suggest they actually travel to the middle of the United States. For citizens of the eastern states, from New York and from the New England states, but also Illinois and Iowa, which do not sit quite in the middle, land is very expensive to buy, and in many regions it is quite bad; or people have just enough for them, but not for their children; or those that desire a better interest on calculated capital, all need to pull away and found new homes here in Nebraska. The main reasons for these tremendous native emigration are quite simple, the land is expensive in the old states, and the manner of the place is not the best, here the land is fertile, the climate healthy and strong, the water splendid, and the land is very inexpensive.

Even if only Americans found it advantageous, under the given circumstance, to make a change from the older, more developed states and emigrate from there to found new homes in this region, why shouldn't the immigrant from Germany join him, and together have a relatively greater advantage? Unfortunately only a few from Germany are coming at this time, because until now the extra fare caused them to stay in the eastern states, while the better informed Americans travel to here, but after traveling here for a year, the Germans opened their eyes; but every year opportunities here are somewhat less favorable, as earlier arrivals have taken the better ground. People find thousands of Germans in Nebraska (because the German people here are overall very numerous) many who regret that did not move to Nebraska ten years earlier. It would be right and overall profitable to see that the same mistake is not made again.

The fertility of the land in Nebraska and the ease with which it is worked by a few German residents, yes not many land here, are a good example for others until they themselves are dedicated to the scene and place. The exact explanation of this and other observations are already made in this book, and they are not exaggerated, be it in cover of the land, climate or other conditions. Contrary to it all, we would not suggest that roasted pigeons fly into mouths here, or that agriculturalists achieve only large harvests, or that it is never uncomfortably warm in the summer, or never right cold and stormy in the winter. But we would like to make the following points that every intelligent person can be convinced, the first, through good and sound working of the land, (deep plowing and proper weed control) people here can harvest more per acre than possible anywhere else where land is still at a reasonable price. Nowhere else is there a more fertile land than eastern Nebraska. Those who want to can cultivate cereal crops and easily control weeds; that is the condition of the land in cultivation, so loose and light to work, that a strong and sound man, with a good pair of horses, could rapidly put 60 acres into good order.

Second the climate here is very agreeable and favorable for all agricultural work typical at these latitudes. Naturally there is seasonal heat in the summer, and at times right cold days occur in the winter; also each year is different from another, one provides more rain, and another year less, but in general our declaration that the climate is a favorable one for farming, and for people and livestock is not upsetting. With variances in rainfall, sometimes too strong or too low, the peculiar land composition (already described here somewhere else) protects against bad results that are otherwise unpreventable, or at least reduces them a little.

Our third point, that there are many favorable sites available for those seeking homes and there is no other region were speedy acquisition of good land, near good people, and with the possibility of future luck and good fortune both bodily and spiritually, than people could find anywhere else but in eastern Nebraska.

But opportunities for people to be self-employed as blacksmiths are also very real here, mainly with people who have come here from Europe. Those who come here must have the desire to work an honest trade, with intelligence and take care going about it, and also they should make arrangements as quickly as possible to learn about the land. Under these conditions a good future is certain.

If but the shoemaker only cobbles, the tailor only wants to sew, then he could possibly starve. People must accept what this land has to offer in the beginning. People think that those going into strange land, next to strange people, speaking a strange language, must not rely on other people, here a person must help himself if he wants to move forward. Families without means, mainly with immature children, face many risks, when they arrive in a strange land without the necessary conditions to help themselves. A family that arrives here must have a minimum of $500, better yet, $1,000, in the pocket, and they could build a permanent home with it, and from there they could build a future without worries. Yet people must go with forethought and circumspection, then if the middle is small, people would not be so disappointed.

Nebraska offers the German agriculturalist more favorable opportunities than the neighboring states, Kansas, Minnesota, or Dakota Territory, because Nebraska's climate lies in a fortunate and better middle point. Here it is rarely to hot or too cold even when extreme temperatures are common north and south of us. And Colorado in the west is like the western end of this state, only a pasture region, and only after using costly irrigation. East of us the western half of Iowa has a few advantages, it is even as desirable as eastern Nebraska, but it longer settled, with little land left unsold, and for the little remaining land people must now pay double to four times the fair price, and the freight price to the greater marketplace is little or no cheaper, the shipping price here is little higher if at all, and the soil not lower in fertility.

Up until now, German immigrants played an important part in settling the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and most reported there living conditions as favorable as they lived near friends or acquaintances, and in both states German residents are numerous. But also from there many are selling and coming to Nebraska, as both named states along with the prairie states curse immigrants. Wisconsin, through a sheet [newspaper] named "The Outsider in Wisconsin," has made false and unbalanced reports. We do not wish to challenge anyone or any neighboring state, we find it absolutely unnecessary; if people make a sightseeing tour of our state thinking of buying a home to move to, they seldom stay out. But we would like to steer the attention on making comparisons to Minnesota and Wisconsin, because both states lie farther north, people there can grow wheat well, but many of the other crops, mainly Indian corn and all types of fruit do not grow well there. But wheat cultivation alone is too uncertain, it is at risk to bad weather from the sowing to the harvest, and people need very expensive machines to work the land, there the scythe could not have reaped, and people must have a reaping machine, which costs at least $200, and a threshing machine costs $600 or $700. Finally, an individual cannot bring in the harvest alone and hired help is needed, wheat agriculture has many expenses at sowing, harvesting, and threshing. Also, Indian corn, where it grows, provides very similar in yields, is much less dependent on weather, requires much less care, and absolutely no expense near the harvest, because people in time can do it themselves, thereby not taking on machines. Additionally, instead of selling Indian corn, people can use it to fatten their cows and pigs and livestock, so the profit is more significant than another grain farm. In comparison with the only wheat agriculture in Minnesota and Wisconsin, in Nebraska plants and animals are possibilities and plant cultures include root vegetables and all the fruit varieties of the temperate zone. And it requires an entire life time to fell the trees and excavate the stumps in the woods of Wisconsin in order to bring a piece of land under cultivation. During the first few years with a good team of animals, only 40 to 60 acres could be ready for the plow and the ground there is not particularly fertile. People can already plant on the fresh unplowed grass some Indian corn for animal fodder, immediately in the first year. The author of this line talks from experience, in that he himself came from Germany thirteen years ago, first to Wisconsin, but soon became disappointed, with the trouble and lifelong anguish of cultivating that expensive and demanding land, where the goose berry bushes bud in the last half of the month of May. And this was not even in the northern portion of the state. Already others saw that in this season in Nebraska, there were green wheat fields, and the Indian corn was already growing. Additionally, summer in those forest regions is ever so warm, and more oppressive than here, because the continuous wind over the prairie makes even the warmest months far more bearable. Who could blame anyone from moving away from Wisconsin or Minnesota especially to purchase land in eastern Nebraska.

We advise the immigrant from Germany again, do not stay sitting in the East, come directly to the West. Buy your ticket to Lincoln, Nebraska, from here could explore in all directions, because Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska, has railroads in seven directions. And for all avoidable extremes, do not go too far south, not too far north, else you would regret it.

We will explain the travel routes shortly.

For the sea journey people should choose one of the best steam-ship lines, upon which people find all the best and most comfortable furnishings for such a journey. Whoever could accomplish this should start the journey early in the spring. Agriculturalists find easier work in the spring, and those who have already found their farms should arrive here in May.

New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore are the three harbors for immigrants on this side of the ocean. Of course each of these three landing places would have many wishing to deceive German arrivals, so for protection New York with its "Castle Garden" is near the surest landing place. Without "Castle-Garden" and its tremendous accommodation, New York would only be the farthest landing place, but those who land at the "Castle Garden" can handle ticket buying and money changing with no danger. In "Castle-Garden" alone can people complete all their financial transactions, and they can get tickets and provisions for the further trip, and the baggage could be further transported, as well.

Next we will make a statement about the best lines to travel to the West, to put us here all together

  • Time Tables
  • in addition, which the emigrant can make considerable use.
  • From New York
  • People take either the
  • New York Central
  • New York, Lake Erie & Western, or the
  • Pennsylvania Railroad.

Whoever takes one of these lines leaving from New York City Tuesday evening, is at 8 o'clock Thursday morning in Chicago, and Friday noon in Lincoln, Nebraska, so in summary, it takes 66 hours for a person to arrive.

  • From Philadelphia
  • People take the
  • Pennsylvania Railroad, or the
  • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

Exactly the same time would be required to Lincoln as it was from New York, and the same for

  • Baltimore,
  • From where people either
  • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, or the
  • Pennsylvania Railroad use.

Of the different railroads we have here only such recommendation about which lines for the emigrant are fastest, surest and with the fewest transfers on the way to your destination, and travelers do well to mark these.

The fare prices over the different roads are about the same, for it is the same distance, and if small differences develop, they are due to the advantage of speed, certainty, and a direct route with the fewest interruptions.

Whoever wishes to go to the estates of this railroad company, or mainly to the southern portion of this state, should see it as unlimited. Tickets from Chicago should go on over the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. With no other railroad can people cover the trip from Chicago to Lincoln without an overnight and many interruptions. This point is very important and should not be overlooked.

Absolutely do not bring too much luggage. If you own canvas-things, or good clothes, do not leave them in Germany. Such things are better and cheaper there than here. But heavy objects, such as iron hand working tools, some people have brought these along, throw them into the ocean if you are paying for the carriage, the tools and the machinery here are much better and the ones you bring along are not practical for local use. This fact that makes many German craftsman unhappy, but it causes them to address the situation.

We hope to give you a little nod when you get here, as we like useful people. We could mention much more, if this pamphlet was bigger, put the main points are given here, and with it must we be satisfied.

German Books, like these

and maps of our estates, would be sent postage paid to all parts of the world. Send our address to our friends in this land or in Germany.

  • Address:
  • Land Commissioner B. & M. R. R.
  • Lincoln, Neb.__________________________________________________________
  • Galley-proof the Nebraska Staats-Anzeigers, Lincoln
  • [a local German language newspaper]

About this Document

  • Source: B. & M. R. R. Land in Nebraska [German Language edition]
  • Author: Burlington Road Land Commissioner
  • Extent: 22 pages
  • Publisher: Nebraska Staats-Anzeigers
  • Published: Lincoln
  • Date: 1882