Firsts in Brown County, Nebraska

The first term of court was held November 27, 1883, F. B. Tiffany, presiding. Among the jurors were: H. S. Potter, W. D. McCord, O. B. Rippey, C. F. Barnes, F. W. Sellors, A. L. Sisson.

The first patent issued for land within the limits of Brown County as it then stood, by the United States government, as shown by the records in the Valentine land office (now extinct) was to Charles W. Wyman of Carns, Nebraska, April 10, 1881.

The first teacher’s examination was given in 1883 by Supt. J. L. Harriman. The applicants were: Millie Cheney, Minnie Briggs and A. W. Scattergood. At the conclusion of the day’s labor the superintendent announced that “ladies first” had always been his motto but as the young man present had to walk to Johnstown yet that night he desired to write out his certificate first, that he might be on his way, providing of course that the ladies would not object. Thus it was that A. W. Scattergood, just graduated from Cambridge University, received the first teacher’s certificate in Brown County.

The next year, 1884, teacher’s institute was held, conducted by Supt. W. G. Townsend and several rural schools were organized that year. Among the pioneer school ma’ams were Lou Richmond, Lou .Bain and Nellie Murphy Unique and interesting experiences are told by these teachers who taught for about $25 a month and boarded round.

The first marriage license issued in Brown County was to L. D. Bates and Miss Columbia L. Mills on September 8, 1883. The next four to follow were: Harry L. Brown and Louisa Humstaker; Chas. W. Stannard and Juva Melins; Daniel D. Bennett and Julia A. Carns; Jasper L. Stanley and Martha E. Berge.

Nesbit Hose company was organized June 30, 1890.
President, J. A. Rogers
Vice president, J. M. Kingery
Foreman, T. J. Smith
Assistant foreman, J. A. Douglas
Secretary, W. H. Williams
Assistant secretary, Frank Boyd
Treasurer, L. M. Short
Charter members:
F. A. Pennell
J. A. Rogers
R. M. Nesbit
Ned Jones
L. M. Short
C. G. Alton
T. J. Smith
W. H. Williams
J. G. Ackerman
J. M. Kingery
J. F. Wyvel
Charles Marsden
Earl J. Pollock
Bert Fournier
W. O. Toliver
Z. Funk
B. A. Miller
W. E. Spencer
J. A. Douglas
H. O. Paine
M. White
W. H. Hogan
Louis Reif
E. W. Fair
J. Reif
E. T. Ash
Frank Boyd
Edgar Heffley
Alex Altschuler
O. C. Bartlett
W. G. Hedges
C. B. Sargent
Frank W. Sellors

In 1936 Mrs. Elizabeth Sellors Deer gave to the city of Ainsworth, the Sellors Pioneer Memorial cabin to be used as a museum for any relics of pioneer days as may be placed therein. It is built of native logs and stands on ground given by Mrs. Osborn, near the east side of the Court House Park. Mrs. Deer built it as a memorial for all pioneers of Brown County, especially honoring her father, Frank W. Sellors, who played an important part in the early history of Ainsworth and Brown County.

The first birth in the county was Arthur L. Kirkpatrick, son of Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Kirkpatrick. He was born on a ranch near the Niobrara River
The first pair of twins were Lee and Lou Magill, born to W. H. Magill and wife August 24, 1882 on Pine creek.

The accidental shooting of Alfred Chase, brother of Byron Chase in the western part of the county was probably the first death in the county. Edgar Crandall’s death by shooting was one of the earliest fatalities. Both these men were buried in Grand Prairie cemetery, the first cemetery in the county.


Brown County NE,

Jones, Lillian L. Days of Yore: Early History of Brown County, Nebraska. Ainsworth, Nebraska. November, 1937.

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