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Nebraska...Our Towns

Nebraska...Our Towns

Weston -- Saunders County

The interior of the Catholic Church at Weston, taken in 1907 by Louis J. Kubista, award-winning photographer who was born in Weston
The town of Weston, looking north on Elm Street, ca. 1880s.

The post office, "Troy" at first, was established April 14, 1873, in the home of postmaster William Greene, several miles southeast of what was to become the town of Weston. In 1877 William Hill was appointed postmaster. Through the efforts of Hill and his father-in-law, Captain Wm. Davis, the Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad laid its rails through Chapman Precinct and locate a station about seven miles from Wahoo, by coincidence on land owned by Capt.Davis.

The Village of Weston was platted in 1877, and businesses sprang up everywhere. Clark & Son established a grain business [shovel house] in 1877 that became Clark, Heaton & Company in 1878. This firm built an elevator in Weston in 1880 and was instrumental in establishing the bank. Thomas opened a general store, Olmstead a hotel, Franklin a restaurant, and Keay put a reported $5000 worth of stock in his new shop. With Weston only a few months old, 22 businesses were actively trading. Henry Stevens, a blacksmith, arrived in 1879, and John Bartek established a store the following year.

A town hall was built in 1880, and although the streets were named, they were not "posted" until quite recently. A news item in 1881 stated, "The Fourth of July procession will form on Race Street and march to the hall."

In 1882 Weston had 100 inhabitants. That year Scott and March opened a hardware store, Ingersoll and Smith started a meat market, Frank Hakel put a street lamp in front of his store, and a bandstand was built on the cross-section of Pike and Elm Streets.

Weston incorporated in 1885. The five-man board met in Keay's store on the north side of the tracks on January 13 with Levi Olmstead, chairman; Campbell, clerk; March, treasurer; and Woolley, marshal. In 1890 the "New Era," a paper published at Wahoo, listed a total of 33 businesses in Weston.

Initially, there was a Bohemian Lutheran, a Methodist, and a Catholic Church. The Swedish Baptist Church was moved to Weston in 1889, with a larger church built the following year. The Weston (Czech) Presbyterians formed in 1879, meeting in various homes and schools for a number of years. They purchased the Methodist Church building in 1920, renaming it the Weston Presbyterian Church of Hope. Moved to Saunders County's museum grounds in Wahoo in 1981, this church and its history are now preserved at that location.

Concerned for the education of the children, Capt. Davis donated the money to build a one-room school in 1878. It had homemade furnishings and a wood-burning stove. A new school was built on South Street in 1886, and five years later the upper story was added to include classes 1-11. A brick school was built on Tom Madigan's land in 1915, housing K-12 classes until 1973. It presently serves K-8 students.

A water tower was built in 1908, and sewer system completed in 1915. Two block and brick buildings were added to the business district between 1912-18. The Weston Bank erected a brick building in 1920, but unfortunately it closed in 1930. Electric lights were turned on in May 1921, when the power line was completed from Wahoo.

In 1954 St.John's Catholic School was built. In 1965 a new, all-steel building was constructed to house the volunteer fire department and the city offices. In 1976 a metal building was erected on Pike and Elm for a tavern, and in 1987, a metal building was added to store town equipment.

Today, in addition to the post office, Weston's businesses include a lumber and building center, a bar and dance hall, an oil and feed company, co-op bank, repair shop, insurance agency, body & paint shop, a carpenter, a trucking company, and an elevator, which still uses the UP line for shipping grain. One mile north of Weston, on Highway 92, is the Bower Cafe, Semrad Car Repair, and Hakel Restaurant & Garage.

Weston's highest population, 425, was reached in 1900. The 1980 census recorded 286 residents. Gary Rezek presently serves as mayor, with council members George Wonka, Kirk Bartek, John Spicka, and Don Cerny. The Weston Community Memorial Park, at Race and Ash streets, is a fine place for a picnic. Travelers are always welcome.

By Antoinette Rezek, 2311 South 10th, Lincoln, NE 68502. Pictures courtesy of Rezek and Joe F. Kubista, of Wahoo.