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Nebraska...Our Towns

DAVEY -- LANCASTER COUNTY

The Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad, building its line from Fremont to Lincoln in 1886, was the reason this town was established. A station, needed every 8-10 miles along the line, was placed in Section 30 of Rock Creek Precinct on land which Michael Davey had homesteaded. Davey, who built a dugout when he arrived in Nebraska, was well established by 1885. The town was platted by the Western Town & Lot Company and filed on October 14, 1886, and appropriately named "Davey."

As a new "railroad town," Davey seemed to "spring to life." Even before the rails were completed and in use, there was a lumberyard, three stores, and an elevator.

Pat Dore built the first store. The post office was established February 1, 1887. By then, Phillip Opp's blacksmith shop was established, a second elevator was built, and there was a drug store.

The town's first home was built by Al Norton, closely followed by the Opp home. This and several other early homes still grace the streets. Davey has about 50 neat, well-kept homes, several of which were built in recent years. The current population consisted of long-time residents plus many younger families who like this living in a smaller community. Many of these residents commute to Lincoln to work. Davey, one of Nebraska's growing communities, recorded 193 residents in the 1990 census, 30 higher than the 1970 census.

The first school was built one mile east and one-half mile south of town, across from the Danish Lutheran cemetery. Church services were held in the schoolhouse for many years. In 1889, after the town got started, a larger school was built in Davey for the 50 or more students. The big white structure served as the educational facility for the community until 1969 when several districts consolidated to form "Central." A new building was erected on the old missile site near Agnew. The old Davey schoolhouse was purchased by Mr. Shandera, moved to a more central location, where it was made into a fourplex.

In about 1871, before the town was started, Bethlehem Lutheran Church was organized east and south of Davey. This beautiful little country church burned in 1948. A new church edifice was built in the eastern part of Davey.

At one time there were two Catholic churches in this area -- one about two miles north of town, and another in Davey. The town parish purchased the old Methodist church in 1901, which served them until it was destroyed by fire in 1919. At that time, the two parishes joined to become St. Mary's, and a beautiful stone church was completed in 1923. The cemetery which was established near the old St. Patrick's church is still used, but the building was moved away. The parish currently has about 60 families.

Davey held its centennial celebration in 1986. This progressive little town has a good city water system, sewers, street lights, and both hard-surfaced and graveled streets. A large community hall in the center of town provides space for the many activities which are held throughout the year.

 

By Jane Graff from material written about Lancaster County by Elinor Brown; and Perkey's Nebraska Place Names .