From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More about Arabia, Nebraska

Arabia, along Highway 20 in Cherry County, Nebraska


I found the following information about Arabia online:

In the Nebraska State Gazetteer, Business Directory and Farmers List for 1890-1891

Arabia, a station and post office on the F. E. & M. V. R. R., in the eastern part of Cherry county, 16 miles from Valentine ... Population 40. (Source)

A bit of research reveals that the F. E. & M. V. R. R. was the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad. In 1903, it was "absorbed into the C&NW, which already had de facto control." (Source.)

-- In 1925 Nebraska Place-Names by Lilian Linder Fitzpatrick, A.M.

Arabia. Henry V. Ferguson of Sioux City, Iowa, auditor for the railway, named this town after Arabia in Asia because he imagined that the soil in the vicinity resembled the desert sands of Arabia. This assumption proved incorrect, however, for the soil was found to be very fertile. (Source)

-- In Early History of Cherry County, Nebraska by Charles S. Reece, 1945.

Ten miles from Wood Lake we come to Arabia. This station was named by Henry V. Ferguson, an auditor of the railroad who thought that because the soil was sandy, it resembled the Arabian Desert in Asia. However, he soon found that it was a fine grass land.

The railroad built a section house and put up a water tank and wind mill when the railroad reached the place. There was a store and Post Office for a number of years, but these have all been discontinued and removed. Their school district No. 50, was organized in 1888. Miss Emma O'Riley was the first teacher, and taught during the years 1888 and 1889. This district has pleasant memories for the writer of this history as he taught the school for three years in the early nineties [1890's].

The Arabia Community covers a large territory, and is entirely a ranching section of the county. It is made up of successful, prosperous ranches. As in other sections of the county, the ranches have become larger by buying up holdings of small operators. Being on both the railroad and Highway No. 20, gives it an advantage over many sections of the county.

The railroad was built through Arabia in the summer of 1882, and the first settler arrived in that year. George Vlasnik, who homesteaded the place owned for many years by J. C. McNare, and now the home of W. G. O'Kief, southeast of Arabia, about three miles...

...Arabia has been an important hay shipping station, and hay has gone from there to supply U. S. Government forts, livestock markets and private feeders over a wide territory. The railroad maintains stock yards here to accommodate ranchmen at shipping time. (Source.)

Related post: Memories of Arabia, Nebraska

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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