Schuyler, NE

Schuyler, NE

Daniel Hashberger was the first official settler within the present city limits of Schuyler in 1856. In 1857, there were fewer than a dozen families in the area, but the spirit of cooperation helped them to survive in this promising but forboding land. The most significant event in the founding of Schuyler, however, was the coming of "The Iron Horse."

Early in 1866, the line reached Schuyler, which at that time was known as Shell Creek Station, and was the property of the Union Pacific Railroad. There was a station, a section house and a few small units.

In 1869, the legislature divided Platte County into three separate counties. The eastern parcel was named Colfax County in honor of Schuyler Colfax, then vice-President, and Shell Creek Station was then re-named "Schuyler," and was designated the County Seat of Colfax County. In April 1869, the town was platted by officials of the Union Pacific Railroad and sold to the Clarkson Bros.

The community continued to grow and on June 7, 1870, the County Commissioners designated that Schuyler be incorporated as a town.

Schuyler had its brief glory as a "trail town." Dissatisfied with marketing and shipping facilities of the Kansas Railroad and its terminal point of Abilene, a number of Texas cattlemen sought another vantage point from which to ship their cattle. In 1869, Union Pacific officials began to woo their trade and the two groups negotiated on freight rates and an agreement was reached. Schuyler was selected as the terminus point because of the rich grazing land on the Platte River bottom, which could be purchased reasonably for stockyards.

A spur track was built in June 1870, and Schuyler was in business. During 1870 the long trail from Texas was beaten barren by the thunder of thousand of hooves of longhorns and between 40,000 and 50,000 head were sold at Schuyler.

The town began to prosper and the population jumped from fewer than 100 to more than 600 in a year. Schuyler’s glory was short-lived, however. Homesteaders fenced off the trail - cattle trampled crops and farmers resisted by stampeding the cattle. Laws were enacted protecting the farmers and the trail moved West.

So it was that a city was born, and no longer was it a lawless cowtown.