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History of Thayer
York County 150 Years

History of Thayer

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Editor's Note - Source:” Yesterday and Today: History of York County”

The village of Thayer was built on the south side of Lincoln Creek in Thayer Township in 1887, the land being bought from David Price.

The Thayer Four Mill operated by water from an earthen dam on Lincoln Creek.

A post office a mile north was later moved to the mill site and later uptown.

A concrete dam had to be put in and in the winter, blocks of ice were cut for summer use by the community and some was sent by rail as far as Fremont.

Mr. Tharp and John Haines operated the mill for many years. The area was an ideal resort in the summer with shade trees on the R. B. Price land for boating, fishing and picnics. William Stine was depot agent for the Chicago NW Railroad in 1887; he also had a photography shop and a light plant that provided electricity to the town in a small way.

Dray wagons hauling freight were run by W. Blackburn, then Ed Mosley and Peter Kelch.

The first school building was used on Sunday for church. A brick structure was later built (which still stands today).

The Methodist Church was the first to be built. Zion Lutheran was organized in 1901 and the Presbyterian Church a short time later.

Dr. Lewis Linvill came in 1888 to heal the sick and Dr. David Boswell arrived in 1891.

Frank Randall was the first druggist.

Jake Keller was the village blacksmith for many years.

William Jones operated the hotel and later added a restaurant.

Several general stores supplied groceries and dry goods. Mr. D. Weber ran the first store and was also postmaster until E. Eckles took over in 1903. Mrs. Eckles operated the telephone office for many years.

In 1912, Paul Mueller and Paul Schmidt ran a general store, which lasted seven years. Then Mueller became the cashier of Farmers State Bank and Schmidt managed Octavia Lumber Company. Otto Wutke was the first cashier of Thayer Bank.

There were two elevators – the Updike Company and Farmers Grain Association. Fire destroyed the Updike elevator and it was not rebuilt.

Two cream stations bought eggs and chickens.

Thayer became incorporated in 1914 and the main street was named Cedar Street. At this time, 150 people lived in Thayer – the peak of population was in the early 1920s when there were 200 people.

For entertainment, an opera house was built and William Heiden had motion picture shows once or twice a month.

With the dust bowl of the 1930s, business suffered and many closed as well as the banks.

During World War II, the railroad ended through Thayer and the rails were taken up to help the war effort.

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Editor's Note - Source: “Yesterday and Today: The History of York County” as written by Jerry Finley

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Editor's Note - Sources: “Yesterday and Today: History of York County,” “Nebraska, Our Towns” and the Henderson Chamber website

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Editor's Note - Source: “Beginnings, From Prairie Lands to Busy Villages” and “Yesterday and Today”

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