Lynch is located near the east end of Boyd County, close to the South Dakota border. John Lynch, first to stake a claim in 1890, promptly established a post office in his dugout-home. Many settlers followed. In 1892 a meeting was held to organize a village, and incorporation was achieved in January 1893.
Even with all building materials freighted in from Niobrara or Fort Randall, the town grew fast. Mulhair started a general store in 1890, and other shops were soon operational. A mill was established by 1895.
In 1896 a tornado nearly destroyed the town but people worked together to rebuild and clean up the debris. The Chambers brickyard was in production by 1900.
In the original survey, four lots and $1,000 was given to School District 36 to insure education for the youth. There have been four schoolhouses. The first was a soddie, and the latest is a modern brick building with two major additions.
The first churches, Methodist and Catholic, both organized in 1892. The Seventh Day Adventist, Wesleyan, and Lutheran, also active congregations, came later.
Pioneer doctors best remembered are George Ira and his son Guy; Drs. A.D.Neeley, R.E.Kriz, Joseph David, and Wm.Becker. Dr.Walden, the first dentist, filled a tooth for 50 cents. Tom Figgis was the druggist.
Wells furnished the first water supply. In 1903 a reservoir and water mains were constructed. A system of springs supplied the water for Lynch from 1913 to 1972, when the village joined the rural water district.
The Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad reached Lynch in June 1902. Those were boom days, with new businesses established, brick buildings replacing frame structures, fine residences appeared, and both electric lights and telephones were installed. The "Lynch Journal" was published, concrete sidewalks replaced board walks, and three land-plots were annexed to make room for growth.
The Nebraska State Bank opened in 1946, and a honey factory in the 1950s. The town added hard surfaced streets and lighting for the athletic fields. A swimming pool and bath house was built and donated to the community by Dr. and Mrs. R.E.Kriz. The Lynch High School Alumni Association was formed in 1951. It continues to hold an annual social event with members coming from far and near.
Lighting has progressed from bulbs hung on wire in the center of the street, to curbside poles and mercury vapor lights. A modern disposal plant was completed in the 1960s. The R.E.A. made it possible for Three Rivers Telco to build in Lynch in 1964, providing the latest telephone equipment to serve a three-county area.
There was continued expansion all during the 1970s, including new homes, a T.V. tower, a new hospital and clinic, a new ball field, and a bridge over Whiskey Creek. A community hall was truly a "do it yourself" project, built without public funds, loans, or grants. Through donations of land, money, time and materials, a dream became a reality. It is presently the hub of community activities.
The 1980s found a retreat center opened. A public library opened in 1983 as a part of the Nebraska Library Commission. It was made possible by people in the community, who again donated space, books, and time to the project. A tennis court was also constructed using this "self-help" system.
A volunteer fire department has been active since the early 1900s. The community has a number of lodges, youth organizations, American Legion and V.F.W. posts and auxiliaries, plus a strong community club.
The community of Lynch, with a population of 357, is blessed with people who take pride in their town and believe that things can always be made a little better. They are willing to work together to make it so.
One can sum up the history of Lynch by saying that its greatest asset is its people.
By Velma McDonald, local coordinator, Box 166, Lynch, NE 68746, and Velma Sixta, Larry Halstead, Doris and Ernest Darnell.
ADDITIONAL MATERIAL: History of Boyd County, Luree Snider, 1938; Not So Gay Nineties , George MacGinitie, 1972; Out West , Dayton Duncan, 1987; The Lynch Diamond Jubilee Book; and village board minutes. A centennial book is currently in production.