News & Events
May 14, 2013 -
March 01, 2013 - Gary Lewis has on display in the collection room some examples of stretch glass.
Although our area had been
organized into townships before 1870, Manti was the only village
or town that existed in eastern Fremont County as of 1869. A
handful of settlers owned scattered parcels of land in these
townships, on which they raised corn, wheat, oats, cows, pigs,
horses and mules. Between 1865 and 1868, several farmers settled
between Manti and the future town of Farragut. Our two counties
were so sparsely settled that Native Americans freely traveled
through the Farragut area as late as 1872. Between 1870 and
1880, however, enormous changes took place.
The first and most important of these changes was the
construction of two railroad lines. The Burlington & Missouri
River Railroad Company (B & M) was the first to enter our area
when it opened its line between Red Oak and Hamburg on August 1,
1870. The second was the CB&StL (Council Bluffs & St. Louis
commonly known as the Wabash), which ran its Council Bluffs to
St. Louis route through the newly planned town of Imogene in the
fall of 1879.
The second major change was the emergence of new towns.
Railroads often planned towns every seven miles or so along
their tracks. Two of these towns were Farragut and Imogene, both
in eastern Fremont County. The first residents of these planned
towns were the railroad workers, and railroad “town companies”
gave the towns names and drew up the first plats. In the case of
Farragut, the B&M named the town Lawrence in the spring of 1870
ran the first train through in August 1870, and platted the town
that railroad workers christened Lowland in September 1870. In
1872 townspeople changed the name to Farragut in honor of Adm.
David Glasgow Farragut, a Civil War naval hero. As the new
railroad towns sprang up in 1870, however, many Manti residents
moved to the new Page County town of Fair Oaks (now called
Shenandoah) or to the new Fremont County town now called
Between 1870 and 1880, several small villages also formed
well away from the railroad lines in eastern Fremont County High
Creek (1871), Vaughn (1873). Walkerville (1874) and Farmer’s
City (1876). High Creek and Vaughn grew up around mills where
farmers took their grain to be ground. Walkerville was an
important trade center for farmers in western Page County.
Before 1879 Farmer’s City was the only settlement in Monroe
Township, and it developed around a schoolhouse and church.
The emergence and growth of our area would not have occurred
without the large population increase that took place here
between 1870 and 1880. The new railroad lines made it easier for
people seeking a new home to travel, and hundreds flowed into
Fremont County’s eastern townships. Some new residents became
businessmen, while others were farmers and stock raisers who
bought inexpensive land from the railroads. In 1876 it was
estimated that ten thousand acres of prairie land had been
broken up, fenced and planted that year in Locust Grove Township
Four significant agricultural changes took place here in
1870s as well. First, barbed wire replaced the Osage Apple
hedges that earlier settlers used for fences. Second, production
increased as farms grew in number. Thirdly, the railroads
enabled farmers to ship more products out. Finally, the
emergence of the area’s nursery business already could be seen
in G.W. Perkins’ hedge plant farm and A.N. Rich’s nursery and
fruit farm, both in Fisher Township.