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Nebraska...Our Towns

springview1jres.jpg (17364 bytes)SPRINGVIEW -- KEYA PAHA COUNTY

"Seeping Spring," discovered when a town was being platted as the Keya Paha County seat, was the impetus for its name, "Springview." The central location required that several homesteads be relinquished and the land signed over to the fledgling government. A post office was granted in July 1885.

Funds to build a courthouse were secured from the sale of lots in the town site. The simple wooden structure was completed in 1886 at a cost of $1,126.

J.F.Carr, first postmaster, built Springview's first store. Drs. Lambley and Bridgman were the first doctors, with J.T.Eaton dispensing medicine. Nickell and Ditto were blacksmiths; Burnham and Kenaston practiced law; and Crossley and Whitney operated the first bank. W.C.Brown was an attorney who later served in the senate.

In 1889 there was a great fear of the Indians, whose land was just across the Keya Paha River. Even after the Battle of Wounded Knee, settlers thought that remnants of the Sioux tribe would surely attack the town. The women and children were moved into the courthouse, which had been ingeniously turned into a fort, using barrels of salt. Two men finally went to the Rosebud Agency, where they learned that the rumors were baseless. Some folks left the area anyway, but most were imbued with new courage.

The drought of 1893-94, when no crops were raised for two full seasons, was disastrous. Church organizations in the East sent carloads of flour, clothing, bedding, and all manner of supplies to help people survive. An "issue house" was set up in a saloon.

springview2jres.jpg (14853 bytes)The Springview Flour and Grain Company, one of the oldest existing businesses in town, was established in 1905. The famous Square Deal Pancake Flour and wheat flour are no longer made, however.

The "Keya Paha Press," was first published in 1885. The paper changed hands several times over the years and is now the "Springview Herald," owned by Don Rossenbach.

School was first held in a log house. Classes occupied a building and several rooms in other locations for several years. In 1913, when state law required compulsary education through age 16, a county high school was needed. In 1964 a brick high school was built, and the old school facility to became the Keya Paha County Historical Museum.

Sunday schools were established by the circuit rider Rev. Frady. Springview's churches include: Methodist Episcopal, New Hope Community, Non-Denominational, and Seven Day Adventist, at present.

springview3jres.jpg (19962 bytes)Fires bring tragic memories to a community. Early settlers saw prairie fires, set by the Sioux on the reservation and whipped by high winds, sweep across the countryside, burning everything and everyone in its path. Years later the volunteer fire department's hose carts were kept in the old State Bank building and hooked to the first car arriving after the initial blast of the siren. In 1953, a county fire district was organized. Recently a new building was completed, with room for the two fire trucks and the ambulance.

An "electric road" (an interurban rail line) was proposed in 1909 to run from Valentine through Springview and on to Jamison and Naper, but nothing came of it. The Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad, which crossed Nebraska about 20 miles south of Springview, was as close as we came to that mode of transportation.

Three privately-owned telephone companies were in operation in the county at the turn of the century. Today we are served by "Three Rivers" cooperative, owned by the users and headquartered in Lynch.

springview4jres.jpg (17683 bytes)The town well at Springview's main intersection was a landmark for many years. There were many problems in keeping the windmill and elevated supply tank from freezing in winter, but Frank Miller kept things oiled and in working order for $8 a year. A water tower was built in 1916. Frank Rody removed the windmill and pulled the pump. A flag pole took its place, observing the bitter years of World War I. A new courthouse was built in 1914, O.A.Shipley, contractor, at a cost of $55,000. This building continues to serve the area.

Springview's population has remained constant for a number of years at about 350.

From an article written by Lucile Carr, with additions

by Betty Kurzenberger, HC 82 Box 30, Springview, NE 68778.

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL: Keya Paha County Centennial Book.