History of Johnstown, Nebraska

A Methodist church was built in 1884. The United Brethern church was organized December 12, 1885, Rev. Campbell, minister. Among the very earliest ministers was John Calvert. Rev. Elias Frame and Jeremiah Frame filed on claims near Johnstown on April 7, 1880, the first filings made in what is now Brown county at the Valentine land office.

The first store in Johnstown was opened in the railroad depot by W. H. Marriner in 1882. Later it was moved to a building north of the railroad under the firm name of Scattergood and Marriner. The next year George Weber of Lincoln put in a general store and in 1884 established a bank. Farleigh and Diamond put in a stock of drugs in 1884. Dr. Farleigh was the first physician.

After the establishment of Johnstown station on the newly built railroad the post office was moved from “Evergreen” to the section house and Mrs. Parsons was the postmistress, wife of the section foreman. Dan Hart was the first depot agent.

The earliest school in that locality was conducted by W. G. Townsend in the Harrison Johnson home. The late A. W. Scattergood taught a spring term in 1883 in a little log house about one mile north of the townsite. Miss Lou Richmond taught there in 1884 and had an attendance of twenty-one pupils, and W. G. Townsend taught in Johnstown that year.

The A. Scattergood family came into Johnstown in 1883 on the first “Passenger Coach” brought to the station, attached to a construction train. The homestead adjoining the town on the northwest is still the home of two daughters, Mrs. Doyle and Miss Mabel Scattergood.

Other early settlers in the west part of the county were Frederick Schulz, Gottleib Schulz, Ed Fancher, John Brill, Charles Cowley, W. G. Townsend, B. M. Chase, George Carpender, D. D. Carpender, Casper Lochmiller and sons William, Casper, Fred, Phillip and Henry, H. C. Stone, J. W. Terry, Max Rauscher and Jackson Billeter.
Johnstown became an incorporated village on January 9, 1913. The first trustees were Peter Wantz, A. Holt, Mark Williams, Frank Miller, Stanton. Rose. A fine brick school building was erected the same year.


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

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