Here is part 2 of the naming of Nebraska counties. Will there be a part three? Probably so, as there are so many sections of Nebraska! 🙂 I am still referencing Perkey’s Nebraska Place Names by Elton A. Perky for this information.
No “E” or “I” counties in Nebraska, but did not want to skip the poor letters!
Fillmore: This one might be easier to guess. Millard Fillmore was President between 1850-1853. I have to say that there is not a lot that I recall about the man as far as Presidents go, but he must have been well-liked or memorable to have a county named for him almost two decades after he was done serving.
Franklin: Any guesses? Benjamin Franklin of course. Definitely a memorable name!
Furnas: Established in 1873, Robert W. Furnas was governor the time this county came to be.
Gage: William D. Gage was a Methodist minister and chaplain. This county was actually established in 1855 – a dozen years before statehood. Gage was one of the commissioners appointed to find the county seat. He died that same year.
Garfield: James A. Garfield: 20th U.S. President
Gosper: Not sure I had ever heard of this county. John J. Gosper was secretary of the state of Nebraska, probably when the county was organized on AUgust 29, 1873. The boundaries were not defined until March 2, 1881. Does that seem like a long time for clarification anyone else too?
Greeley: Horace Greeley, American Journalist and political leader. He died a year after this county was established. One has to wonder – did he ever know that a Nebraska county was named in his honor? Not like you could send a quick e-mail or anything. “By the way, sir, clear out in the new state of Nebraska, we like you!”
Hall: Chief Justice of Nebraska Territory in 1858, Augustus Hall. Who also happened to be a former congressman from … Iowa? This county was initially established in 1858, but boundaries were re-established both in 1864 AND 1871. Would be interesting to know what the disputed areas were.
Hamilton: This is one of my favorite counties as my grandparents used to live there, and I still have an aunt & uncle & cousins and their families who make their residence there. So rather ironic that I accidentally missed this page in the book that I am referencing. Oops! So this was added a bit late. Anyway, you may have guessed that Alexander Hamilton, first United States Secretary of the Treasury is the one that Nebraska honored for county 28.
Harlan: Was initially part of Lincoln County. In 1871, a man who lived near Republican City was given this honor of a county name. He happened to be a revenue collector, and his until James, was a senator from … Iowa. Not sure how Iowa had such the influence – affecting the naming of at least three of Nebraska’s counties so far!
Hayes: Named for Rutherford B. Hayes, the newly elected U.S. President, in 1877.
Hitchcock: Phineas Warrener Hitchcok, a United States Senator from … Nebraska. (Finally someone from our state!) He was serving in 1873 when the county was established.
Holt: An original JAG (anyone else watch episodes of that tv series?) A judge advocate general of the army under President Lincoln. But first Joseph Holt was postmaster general and secretary of war in President James Buchanan’s cabinet. He was from … Kentucky? How his name made its way to Nebraska is not immediately evident to me. Perhaps someone saw him in action as a judge and wanted our new state to also represent justice? Or he helped to get mail to the Nebraska Territory? One can only guess. Or wildly speculate. Both of which I seem to be doing well.
Hooker: General Joseph Hooker, Union army commander in the Civil War.
Howard: Probably for General Oliver Otis Howard who was a union officer during the Civil War and commander in the Indian Wars. Or for Howard Paul who was the son of early settlers. If your ancestors are from the Paul family, I know which version you will believe! 🙂
Jefferson: The person is clear: President Thomas Jefferson. The boundaries were not and continued to fluctuate with Gage County and Jones County. This last county was eventually absorbed into Jefferson County. So, poor Jones has been lost to history as I have no idea was Jones was (although I do know that he wasn’t a U.S. President. He was probably a senator from Iowa). 🙂
Johnson A former vice president of the U.S. (1837-1841), Colonel Richard M. Johnson was from Kentucky. Another state that must have had many transplants to Nebraska.
Well, I have a little boy who is up rather early today. He was anticipating “mommy time.” So a paint brush is calling my name. More to come …