Osceola, Nebraska

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Osceola is a city in and the county seat of Polk County, Nebraska, United States.[1] The population was 921 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the first settlers of Osceola, which included the families of Reverend James Query and Vinson Perry Davis, arrived in October 1868. Davis is credited with naming the settlement after a city of the same name in Iowa[3], which had been named after Chief Osceola of the Seminole Tribe. After three years of settlement and disputes over the permanent location, the town itself was organized by frontiersmen William Francis Kimmel and John Hopwood Mickey in the early fall of 1871. It had been decided in an election by a margin of 14 votes, prior to the formation that the "geographic center of the county" was best suited to be the settlement's site. A courthouse was erected the following spring and a general store was founded in May. During the summer, a post office was built, which served as a terminus between the cities of Lincoln and Ulysses. The town's first full year concluded with the establishment of a public school. The following year brought Methodism to the town, and a church for the faith had been completed by 1878. In the succeeding year, Nebraska Wesleyan college was founded in the church, serving 11 students by means of 4 instructors. The school would later move to Fullerton. The Omaha and Republican Valley Railroad, reached the town in 1879 and named a locomotive after the city, however it was ultimately renamed the number "9." Two years following the arrival of the railroad, the settlement was incorporated as a village on August 26, 1881 after accumulating a population of 200 citizens. The city would ultimately reach its peak of 1,200 residents in 1920.[4]

A newspaper titled The Homesteader was established in August 1873. It was renamed the Osceola Record in March 1876, and as of 1995 it is known as the Polk County News. It currently has a circulation of approximately 1,850 subscribers.[5]

The city experienced a drought from 1893-95. During the final stages in 1895, much of the city was burned by a two-hour-long fire that left only two buildings standing.[3]

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