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Nebraska...Our Towns

Uehling

Dodge County

The entire Theodore U ehling's family pictured in front of his home, May 10, 1905
Uehling's main street, 1910.
A crowd gathers on main street to celebrate the end of WWI, 1918.
Uehling's Main Street, 1986. [Uehling]

In 1847 Theodore Uehling, age 11, from Saxe Meininger, Germany, came to Wisconsin with his older brother Frederick. In 1860 Theodore, soon after his marriage to Katherine Schwab, moved west, arriving in Omaha that summer. After a short stay at the Clarke Creek settlement for protection from the Indians, the Uehlings moved to Section 18 in Dodge County, where they built a log house roofed with slough grass. They raised a large family: Otto, Henry, Edward, Ludwig, Martin, young Theodore (who drowned in Logan Creek) Fred, Lenora, Frank, and Louisa.

In 1864, when the Union Pacific Railroad received a government land grant to built its line across Nebraska, Uehling traded his farm on Clarke Creek for the land on which Uehling now stands, and built his home across the road from the future town site. The famed "Orville Uehling Round Barn" on the National Register of Historic Places, currently owned by his great grandson Russell Uehling, is found at that location.

In 1905 the Great Northern line was built between Ashland and Sioux City. Uehling sold 68 acres to the Uehling Town Site Company, reserving three lots for himself on the corner of 5th and Main. Lots laid out in a cornfield on the east side of Logan Creek were billed as "one of the most beautiful sites in the fertile the Logan valley."

On January 23, 1906, Fred Uehling was appointed postmaster. When the first train came into town at 12 noon on February 17, Theodore Uehling's building was completed, stocked, and ready for business. A two-story frame schoolhouse was also built that summer. Under the supervision of the board (Krammerer, Green, and Ludwig Uehling), two teachers were hired to teach the 30 students.

On August 28, 1906, the big "Send-Off Day Auction" was held. Hand bills carried glowing accounts of the new village, and special excursion trains brought prospective buyers from the north and the south. In just two hours, 62 lots were sold.

This was a time of great activity. Fred Shindle put up a 17-room hotel on 4th and Main. Directly across the street to the east was the Merchants Hotel, later made into two modern homes. L.A.Green built a drug store just north of the post office. Hulger Christenson, Joe and Hannah Hansen were succeeding druggists. At one time Uehling had a chiropractor, an optician, five dentists, twelve doctors, and three veterinarians.

A two-story general store was constructed by Henry Peiper and Walter Miller. Later tenants were Steckleberg, Daubert, Monnich, and Soderling. The building then became an implement store and is now an insurance agency. The Cherney & Watson Lumber Company has become the Agland Cooperative.

Newspapers came and went. "The Uehling Press" was established in 1906 by Gus Weber, and "The Times," started by R.D.Kelly, existed for only five years. The last weekly paper, "The Messenger," is no longer in business.

A Congregational Church, organized in July 1906, dedicated its building that December. St.Paul's Lutheran Church, built five miles north of Uehling in 1869 on 40 acres of land deeded to it by Simon Kerly, was moved into town during the winter, when Logan Creek was frozen over. Before the move was completed, however, spring floods set in and it was surrounded for several days by water.

The Hooper Telephone Company extended lines to Uehling in 1907. A fine waterworks system, that included three deep wells and a 130-foot tower, was installed in 1909. An electric plant was built in 1915. At 10:45 p.m. the lights would blink to warn patrons to either light a lamp or go to bed, as the generators would be turned off for the remainder of the night.

Uehling's highest population in 1930 was only about 25 more than the present population of 270. There are currently 24 businesses and a host of active service organizations including, American Legion and auxiliary, rescue squad, firemen and auxiliary unit, a Lions Club, a business club, and Golden View Housing. Community facilities include an auditorium, a post office, a fire station, and the new village office.

Arwilda Uehling, 129 Third Street, Uehling, NE 68063, and Kathryn Wagner.