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Nebraska...Our Towns

Nebraska...Our Towns

Elyria -- Valley County

Elyria's main intersection. Memorial flag pole in the center of the intersection. Midway Market occupies the Bortos' Brothers Store built in 1908. It was Holub's from 1915-44.
Elyria's main intersection. Memorial flag pole in the center of the intersection. Midway Market occupies the Bortos' Brothers Store built in 1908. It was Holub's from 1915-44.

Just over 100 years ago in 1888, when the Burlington Railroad was built in this area, a new town was born. It was first named Eldan or Eldon, but then was changed to Elyria, for a town by that name in Ohio.

The railroad built a station, along with a well, supply tank, a very large windmill, and a coal shed. Later a post office was built and then a town hall. (The town hall is still standing on the corner by the highway.)

In 1910 the Elyria school district was formed. There were 36 students in this one-room school.

The early settlers were predominantly Polish, with some Danish, Swedish, Irish, and Czech families. All were God-fearing people, and so churches were established at an early date. The Baptist Church was established first and was active until people started attending the church in Ord. The Catholic Church held its first Mass in 1900 and although it still stands today, it was disbanded in 1984 because of a shortage of priests.

Elyria is a close-knit community, enjoying many festival days, weddings, bazaars, dances, and anniversaries. In 1976 during the bicentennial of the United States of America, Elyria dedicated a historical marker on the town flag pole, and buried a time capsule at its base.

Elyria's population in the 1920s was up to 200, with about 20 businesses at that time. Since then the population and businesses have declined. The present population is officially listed at 62, when everyone is home.

Pride in the community, however, has not declined. In fact it is bigger than ever. Centennial activities were well attended, evidence of the fact that while we are small, we are not forgotten.

By material written by Valory Rocheleau for the centennial. Submitted by Iryne Kapustka, Elyria, NE 68837