WELCOME to our Home Page of the AHS – SFHPS in Ashland NE

Postcards donated: above is a rare color picture ^ looking East from just west of 15th & Silver Street corner; pre 1917 when streets were paved
Postcard shown below is a photo taken just west of 14th Street, looking West, from the same time period

The photo above, is from the AHS-SFHPS postcard collection, recently donated by Dick Harnsberger, looking east from 15th & Silver, circa 1911.

Silver Street is now paved . . . and ‘horseless carriages’ have replaced the buggy J Come visit Beautiful Historic Ashland . . lots of FREE parking . .

We WELCOME you to our NEW Home & Headquarters !
OPEN 1 – 4 pm Thursdays and upon request.
also Open 1-4 Sundays – May through October
located in the former Ashland (Carnegie) Public Library building becoming the Ashland History Museum [ AHM]
The address is 207 North 15th Street

The Ashland History Museum  [ AHM ], circa 2015

formerly the Ashland (Carnegie) Public Library, circa 1911

The Ashland History Museum [AHM]
held its Inaugural Open House Oct 10th & 11th, 2015
The [AHS] & [AHM] have established OPEN HOUSE hours as follows:
Each Thursday afternoon from 1 to 4 PM all year, excluding holidays.
Each Sunday afternoon from 1 to 4 PM, from MAY through OCT, excluding holidays.
Requests for Tours at other times/days may be made
by e-mail to

the ACRC . . the Ashland Community Resource Center & Library – opened JAN 2015.

GRAND OPENING & Dedication of the ACRC & Library  was held February 7th, 2015

The Ashland Gazette  article ^ above, shares the story, event & several pictures.

Pictured are (from left) major donors Jeff and Tricia Raikes, Mayor Rick Grauerholz, Library Director Heather St.Clair and major donors Bill and Ruth Scott.
(Grateful acknowledgment to Suzi Nelson,  Editor, Ashland Gazette

We Wish You a Historically Good Day ! !    sm

Our E-mail addresses are:


1909            2018
Plan to ‘stay awhile’ . . . . NO parking meters  J
   Ashland Historical Society    
   Saline Ford Historical Preservation Society    
Ashland NE 68003
Preserving, recording and “telling” the rich history

of the Ashland NE community and area


Ashland NE was founded in 1857. The name Ashland is credited to an ardent admirer of Henry Clay * who was “charmed with the natural beauty of the scenery & its seeming advantage of becoming a future city.” Clay’s home, Ashland, Kentucky, was honored.

* Henry Clay, Sr. (April 12, 1777 – June 29, 1852)  was a nineteenth-century American statesman and orator
who represented Kentucky in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, where he served as Speaker. He also served as Secretary of State from 1825 to 1829.

He was a dominant figure in both the first and Second Party Systems. As a leading war hawk, he favored war with Britain and played a significant role in leading the nation to war in 1812.He was a major supporter of the American System, fighting for an increase in tariffs to foster industry in the United States, the use of federal funding to build and maintain infrastructure, and a strong national bank. Dubbed the “Great Compromiser,” he brokered important compromises during the Nullification Crisis and on the slavery issue, especially in 1820 and 1850, during which he was part of the “Great Triumvirate” or “Immortal Trio,” along with his colleagues Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun. He was viewed as the primary representative of Western interests in this group, and was given the names “Henry of the West” and “The Western Star.” In 1957, a Senate committee chaired by John F. Kennedy named Clay as one of the five greatest senators in U.S. history. In his early involvement in Illinois politics and as a fellow Kentucky native, Abraham Lincoln was a great admirer of Clay.
With acknowledgement to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the information above, gives a brief bio of Henry Clay, Sr.

Our Thursday afternoon Open House gatherings have been a HUGE success !
Please join us for the sharing of Ashland History this coming THU afternoon!
located at 207 North 15th Street  – in the former
Ashland (Carnegie) Public Library building [circa 1911]


^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
JOIN US as a “FRIEND” of “Ashland Historical Society – Ashland NE”

*  OPEN HOUSE each THU pm – 1 to 4 pm
*   next Quarterly Meeting will be July 12th 2015
Also watch the Ashland Gazette
& our FACEBOOK page for meeting details
‘Link’ to >  AHSociety/Events Calendar page 
for details & meeting times & location
Link to >  AHS MEETING RECAP  < summaries
of recent meetings may be found there

SEVERAL new homes have been ADDED
to our Historic Homes -Ashland NE < link (2012-2015):


courtesy of Glimpses of The Past – Lillian Bailey





1925 Adams Street


502 North 12th Street

NEW page * “The Beetison Home & Mansion” < link
has so much important historical information about
this early family, we have made a special page for it

NEW page * “Dennis Dean Limestone House & History” < link
has very important & susbstantial historical information
about Dennis’ contributions to the Ashland community,
dating from the 1860’s,
including his part in bringing the railroad to Ashland
this early family, we have made a special page for it

NEW page * “Earnest A. Wiggenhorn Home & Mansion”
has important historical information about the home
and the Wiggenhorn family. E. A. Wiggenhorn founded
Farmers & Merchants Bank in Ashland in 1883.
F & M Bank is the oldest continually operating family owned business in Ashland
We will be posting photos of the interior of the mansion, upon receiving
them from the Wiggenhorn-Fricke family collection & archives.
These include photos taken & the ‘story’ written and published in
a national magazine ‘of the day’, similar to House Beautiful.

* * We have MOVED our stories about the Burlington Depot
to our NEW Railroads of Ashland   link
 this page describes the very important history

of RAILROADS in the growth of Ashland NE

1907 Ashland Depot, Freight House, later Depot Cafe * The 1st model 4-4-0 locomotive serving Ashland 1870


scroll down the page  to see  ‘acknowledgement & thank you’  to
Photography by MJ  for the collection of
over 100 photos of Historic Ashland


” . . Bob and Christy Luebbe, owners of Linoma Software,
bought the Silver Street Square
building in downtown Ashland recently and are currently remodeling the second floor to house the business . . ”
excerpt from Suzi Nelson’s recent article
in the Ashland Gazette – LINK > ” Luebbe plans to restore . .”

The photo above is from THE FIRST 100 YEARS Ashland Nebraska: 1857 – 1957
The photo below, ‘looking west on Silver Street’, circa 1919 or later
The “X” in the upper left hand corner points out the Hoffman Building,
one of the sites where Ashland Public Schools classes met, following the fire &
destruction of their orginal building (built in 1866), until the current building was completed


A complete history is being compiled and MANY pictures for you to recall !

The Asland Gazette is seeking your memories of the Hoffman auditorium, which occupied the entire second floor of the building.
PICTURES ? ? ?  Stop by the Ashland Gazette offices anytime
OR  the Ashland Historical Society offices (1438 Silver Street)
on THURSDAY afternoons between 1 and 4 pm
We will “scan” your pictures or album, often returning the orginal to you while you wait.
Your help in “remembering” the historic times & events of the Hoffman auditorium.

We have developed  SEVERAL  new pages  !

check these new pages out and follow our progress !

The link >  Ashland – Sheffer Cemeteriespage

contains information & the directories of both cemeteries.

 The link >  page ASHLAND GAZETTE history< < compiled by AHS

contains the storied history of the Ashland Gazette  < < link to their website

the oldest continually operating business in Ashland, dating to 1879


this NEW page describes our Annual Celebration,

provides pictures from the past & will have NEWS

and EVENTS scheduled for our 2014 STIR UP

2014  –  66 years of Stir-Up CELEBRATION and still COUNTING

see pictures of Stir-Up 2012, 2013 & 2014,

as well as past celebrations, on their own page !

Let us know how we are doing . . please  !

Send us an e-mail ! . . .   INFO@AshlandHistoricalSociety.info


Settlement in the Ashland area is over 150 years old so it is fitting to pause and look backward.

Saline Ford, Flora City and Ashland, as the town has been variously called, came into being by virtue of brave and enduring men and women with the spirit of adventure, strong enough to bear the hardships of traveling to an unknown land to establish homes.

NEBRASKA was part of the great Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

Maps discovered in Canada were drawn by Father Marquette in 1673, with both the Missouri and Platte Rivers accurately charted.
In the summer of 1804 the Corps of Discovery under Lewis and Clark came up the Missouri River from St. Louis, and detached a party to investigate the Platte River.

They went as far upstream as the present day Yutan area, and decided the Platte was not a navigable stream.
In 1819, Major Stephen H. Long was charged with exploring the sources of the Platte River and the Arkansas River Valley.

He reported Nebraska was ‘unfit for cultivation and uninhabitable’.   J

Nebraska is about the geographical center of the ‘continental United States’ – “lower 48” and at one time reached as far north as Canada.
It was called Indian Territory until treaties began to be made with the Indians in 1854.
Before that time, persons coming to Nebraska to stay had to get a permit from Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis.

Meanwhile, the great Western migrations to Oregon and California had begun.

The famed Oregon Trail was used by the first great emigrant train in 1841, beginning at the Missouri River and crossing Nebraska lands, with 900 persons and a thousand animals.
Various groups, lone families, and loners headed for the valley of the Platte at Fort Kearny,
the only route of travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific within the temperate latitudes“.

There were several starting points
(Independence MO, Nebraska City and Plattsmouth NE)
which likely came together at the Saline Ford crossing on Salt River, where the only known rock-bottomed ford lay to furnish a safe crossing for freight caravans.

Most of the Saints on the Mormon Trail kept to the north of the Platte, but a monument along the Salt Creek in Ashland remembers a lad who died here, far from the goal of Utah.

After Nebraska became an organized Territory in 1854, Governor Cuming proclaimed that Cass County was to extend “to the limit of the ceded lands to the west”,

100 miles from the Missouri River.

In 1862, “the people” petitioned that Calhoun County’s name be changed to honor Governor Alvin Saunders.

Today’s boundaries reflect the arrangement made to give Saunders County citizens 12 sections of land that included the infant town of Ashland which was established as the Saunders County Seat.


The first settlers who came to Ashland,
and, in fact, to Saunders County,
were Joseph Stambaugh, his wife, and three small children.

They stayed one month because of the ‘unseasonable weather’: August of 1856.

In March of 1857, Reuben Warbritton and his wife, John Aughe and the Stambaugh family came, and the men staked out claims and built homes.

The Staumbaugh home, 17 X 17 feet, reportedly stood on the corner of 13th and Silver Streets.

The other two homes were 10 X 12 feet; all were made of sod; and all were located in Section 35.

In June, 1857, Harrison Ramsey settled nearby and was the father of the first born settler in the county.

The second child was the Stambaugh’s fourth, their son, John.

The Stambaughs had 10 children who survived the rigors of pioneering.

( photo below taken from a picture-postcard – mailed in 1909 )

(The building above was both the Selma Hotel and the Farmers and Merchants Bank)

(The building, below – with the cupola – is the National Bank – today the Lutton Law Offices) entrance to the ‘F & M Bank‘ was the corner entrance – Selma entrance at the ‘canopy’, shown above; entrance to the Selma Hotel, was at the ‘canopy’ – near where the carriage is parked, pictured below

Farmers & Merchants Bank has extensively remodeled the building over the years

The bank now occupies the entire first floor, the canopy has been removed The Selma Hotel has been closed – remodeled into several very fine apartments; the entrance to which is toward the west front of the building, maintaining the Selma name – simply carrying on the tradition – now called The Selma.


Business started in Ashland with the first frame building in 1863, housing Fuller and Moes’ general store.

Dennis Dean built a mill in 1864 at the site of the brush dam on the creek made by Archibald Wiggins.

Joseph Humes and Mr. Warbritton operated a sawmill; Henry Howe opened a wagon shop;

Henry Reasoner set up the first blacksmithy in the county; and Audrey Barnhill operated the first hotel,

coming to Ashland in 1864, being driven by Indians from his property near the present site of Wahoo.

Barnhill’s hotel is presumed the first west of Plattsmouth,

and was constructed from a two room house built partly with logs.

The house was purchased from Warbritton and was enlarged with a porch

The hotel stood at the foot of old-map Third Street, now determined

to be 13th Street south of Silver, after new plat & street maps were made.

Main Street lay on the lowland near the

Saline Ford Crossing and is now known as Birch Street.

It extended on both sides of the creek, and Haine and Valentine

put up the first stone building and opened a general store.

‘old Main street’ contained a toll bridge across Salt Creek.


Ashland became the first County Seat of Saunders County in 1866 and bore that status for seven years.

A court house was built in Ashland in 1870, with the deed of conveyance dated June 7, 1871.

Picture above is of the Courthouse and Grounds (between Silver and Adams Street and North 19th and North 20th Streets, in today’s description.)

Agitation began in 1873 to move the county seat to Wahoo but the proposition was fought every step ot the way.
Tales still circulate concerning the removal and relocation
of the county seat to Wahoo in December of 1873,
which occured after a four- way
referendum on where the county seat should be, showed Ashland in second place !

The county records were taken to Wahoo in December of that year, allegedly by stealth in the middle of the night, and the changeover was achieved.

In November, 1878, the courthouse and grounds were sold to Dr. von Mansfelde.

As late as 1903, every precinct in Saunders County voted for bonds for a new courthouse (in Wahoo), except East and West Ashland.
The vote: West Ashland 71-38 against; East Ashland 59-20 against.

Nearly a century later, a Saunders County hospital issue passed
in spite of Ashland’s opposition to the Wahoo facility.
But bonds for a new judicial center and jail
received strong support from Ashland.

That facility was built and opened in 2009.

Although Ashland was reported in 1869 as “a small village with a few cottonwood shanties”,with the migration to Silver Street came more “stately mansions.”

In 1870 Hiram Paddock is said to have erected the first store there, a frame building made from lumber hauled by teams from Omaha.

The building boom continued with the Snell “block”

* *  “now” refers to a caption from  The First 100 Years  Centennial Book in 1957

which was built in 1870 on the SW corner of 14th and Silver;

the bank “block” on the corner of 15th and Silver

(built by the Simingtons who introduced banking to Ashland in 1871);

the aforesaid courthouse; and a three story building with a photograph gallery

on the third floor, living quarters on the second floor, and a meat market on the ground floor.

James Thomas had a shop where he made wagons;

Theodore B. Wilson was the first lawyer in town

and in the county; Jacob A. Jury was a bookeeper and salesman;

David Dean started his lumber yard at the site of

Mead lumber Co. at 201 North 14th Street.

Thomas Bissell ran a road house.

Silas M. Nichols had “one of the principal . . furniture houses of the county,” and was undertaker as well.

This business was taken over by O. D. Harford in 1886 and run by Harford’s son-in-law, Kenneth Marcy,

assisted by his son-in-law, B. C. Perryman, later the full proprietor.

Don and Lois Fick now own and direct the Marcy Morturary of Ashland

and the Svoboda Funeral Home of Wahoo.

Masonic Lodge chambers occupied the second floor of the building in Ashland.

* * 2012 – the Pomegranate Lodge (Ashland) closed their lodge

They have merged with the Masonic Lodge in Ceresco


MANY NEW ITEMS  Stories – Pictures – Links

are now posted on  HISTORY – ASHLAND NE   < LINK

other Historic Ashland Homes are shown on: 

Historic Homes  (multiple homes)  <link
Dennis Dean Limestone House  <link
Beetison Home & Mansion  <link

   We invite you to DISCOVER  Historic Ashland NE

click above ^ ^ for a link to their website

The Ashland Chamber of Commerce
provides a wonderful website of current events,
a calendar of events & activities, links to merchants,
as well as many groups & churches in the Ashland area


We invite you to share your stories, your family history, your photos, your proud heritage, that is embodied in your ASHLAND NE experiences !

Whether you are an Ashland pioneer family or a “newby” your stories are important to the fabric  that makes up this beautiful community. 

After all . . . we like to describe Ashland NE as
that has (2) nearby “suburbs

Omaha is about 25 – 30 miles east of us . .  J
Lincoln is about 25 – 30 mile west of us 
Come stay awhile . . there are NO parking meters . . NO ‘rush hour traffic’ 
We are a community of FAITH with several growing & vibrant congregations;
AGPS public schools are second to none – one that others emulate !


Our Ashland NE Churches page provides information about the many places of worship in the Ashland NE area, as well as links to several of the area church websites
You may also want to visit the website of the Ashland-Greenwood Public Schools The link to their website is news.AGPS.org






One of the greatest proposals to bring attention ot Ashland’s historic past and present is still on the drawing board.  Contributions by many have continued to keep this important project alive.

As other towns in Nebraska search for historic moments in their past to celebrate and spur on interest in their cause, Ashland sits on some of the most documented important history in the whole state.


will be erected where many pioneers crossed on the 1846 Oxbow Trail, where the Otoe and Missourian Indians lived in this area, where the Lewis and Clark Expedition journeyed up the Platte River in the pirogue boat, and where Nebraska’s First Astronaut; in 2007 & again in 2010, Clayton C. “Clay” Anderson was raised and graduated A-G High School in 1977.

Artist Gene Roncka, of Willow Point Gallery in Ashland, continues to redesign portions of the Memorial to cut costs as the country suffers from the economic downturn.

The approval of the city of Ashland, the NRD, the Department of Roads, the Governor, the Nebraska Travel and Tourism Department and grants from the Comunity Cultural Development Partnership and the Ashland Rotary Club;  in addition to the very successful


ornament sales and OPPD’s offer to contribute plus the many who have helped to support fundraisers dedicated to financing the TOWERS OF HISTORY Memorial proves the continuing interest in Ashland’s history.

A conceptual replica of the


may be seen at
Willow Point Gallery
* 1431 Silver Street
* Downtown Historic Ashland NE

The Willow Point Gallery also displays the collections of Mr. Ronckas’s paintings, commemorative ornaments and the Archie Hightshoe wildlife collection.

Visit the Gene Roncka Gallery / Museum and experience what so many others have enjoyed.
Recognized by Nebraska Travel and Tourism and featured in several national magazines.

Click below to learn more about Artist Gene Roncka:

A link to gallery & for Gene’s bio & more info

click on the   TOWERS OF HISTORY
photo of the gallery or the ornament, to learn more


Historic walking/driving tour maps of Ashland are available at Willow Point Gallery, the Ashland Gazette offices and St. Stephen’s Church.

The maps show 24 historic sites which are identified by signs in place from spring to fall.

BE SURE TO VISIT other merchants, galleries & historic sites, while you are here




The Gift Niche   &   Glacial Till Tasting Room & Gallery
1414  Silver Street           –          1419  Silver Street
Enjoy a glass of wine & more art displays at Glacial Till


Cooper Studio & Gallery  (winter & summer !)   1526 Silver Street

We are very grateful to Photography by M.J. 
for their donation of their collection
Reprints are available from Photography by M. J.  Studio

Ashland NE is the Hometown of Clayton C. “Clay” Anderson


click above ^ ^ for ” Clay’s Page
with pictures, stories, logs and more about his
2 Space Shuttle & ISS Missions – Clay’s Adventures in Space’

 LINK  ^  ^  to US ROUTE 6   ^  ^  Tourist Association
LINK to US Route 6 Tourist Association  ^ ^  NEBRASKA  page
See our OWN NEW webpage of Historic U. S. 6 in ASHLAND
Many NEW photos, maps from ‘long ago’ & local history

Instant LINK: > >  Route  6 –  Historic  U S  6<  < our page

NEW ! ! Malerie’s  Stay on Route 6”  blogspot!

Malerie Yolen-CohenMalerie Yolen-Cohen, author of the “Stay On Route 6” blog visited Historic Ashland on Saturday the 11th of June 2011, while on her cross-country trip along US 6, which began May 20th, at the east coast origin of US 6 in Provincetown MA
(Follow Malerie’s blog by ‘clicking’ the blue link above)
She met with the ‘AHS welcoming party’
at Cheri O’s for lunch
and was interviewed by
Suzi Nelson of the Ashland Gazette

See our  Facebook page  for more pics of Malerie’s visit

STAY ON ROUTE 6 – the BOOK  has just been released ! 
 ” Fan of the Open Road ? “
“Toss the Print Version of Stay On Route 6 on Your Dash and DRIVE: “
Malerie & the U S Route 6 Tourist Association are making

 Route 6 is the longest continuous highway in the nation;running from Provincetown,on Cape Cod,MA to Long Beach / Lancaster CA; a distance of 3,652 miles
Learn more about Historic Route 6 across the nation:





click ^ on either logo ^ above

ASHLAND is one of the NE communities along Historic Route 6

click here > >   for the printable MAP of Ashland

   Ashland Stir Up Days

2018 will mark the 70th annual celebration of Stir Up Days in Ashland

The AHS – SFHPS is humbled and proud to provide
you with the newest AHS Quarterly Newsletter, via e-mail:

We are able to preserve funds for ongoing projects through the e-mailing
of our quarterly newsletter, thereby saving printing and mailing expense.

We invite you to join our ‘e-mail list’ of Members & Friends of the
AHS, to receive updates, meeting schedules, & Quarterly Newsletters
send your request to INFO@AshlandHistoricalSociety.info

Membership Information:

Ashland Historical Society

aka; Saline Ford Historical Preservation Society
(Renewal / Enrollment Annual Dues – due October 1st each year):
Patron $75 Family $35 Single $20

You may mail your Renewal or Enrollment dues to:
Marilyn (Kolb) Wright, Treasurer
Ashland Historical Society
1438 Silver Street Ashland NE 68003

Your dues will go toward supporting the Society’s objectives.

Dues are for the fiscal year of October through September each year.

Interested in becoming a Member of the AHS ? ?


Invitation to join the AHS < printable form & information

Interested in making a contribution to the AHS ? ?

ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY < is now available . . learn more
for you, your company, your estate, etc. to
contribute tax-exempt donations for the continuing
support of the Ashland Historical Society – SFHPS

Your support is greatly appreciated & certainly needed at this critical time,
as we have moved to our NEW museum; located in the historic Ashland (Carnegie) Public Library building
[constructed in 1911 * registered on the National Register of Historic Places]

THANK YOU for your thoughtful consideration.

Once again, Thank You for your generous & continuing support; be that support . . tireless hours of volunteering, financial & other contributions of historical articles, pictures and history of our families as we now share the “living history” of Ashland NE to Members and the world !


 Much of what you read here was compiled and published by the

Ashland Chamber of Commerce and the Saline Ford Historical Preservation Society, in a published book entitled The First 150 Years * Ashland NE * 1857 – 2007, as well as photos from the families, friends, patrons, anonymous donors, “antique buffs”, the Saunders County Museum, & the NE State Historical Society; – from literally everywhere, as Members, Friends, website ‘surfers’ share new things with us daily !

We were able to glean information from The First 100 Years * 1857 – 1957, as well.

While that publication is out of print, the AHS maintains a digital copy

The AHS will be offering a CD of the  The First 100 Years * 1857 – 1957  for sale very soon

As was written in the INTRODUCTION of The First 150 Years * Ashland NE * 1857 – 2007; “When Ashland celebrated its Centennial, men grew whiskers and women wore sun bonnets. They produced a history of the first 100 years that we treasure today.” “The photos from that book and from the LOOKING OVER OUR SHOULDERS series and ASHLAND’S MAIN STREET REMEMBERED documented Ashland as it was.”

“We are attempting to document Ashland as it is today.”

That INTRODUCTION went on to say;We have produced a book for the first 150 years – a history of the people, by the people and for the people.”

“Those who wrote these stories remain undentified but you will hear your own voices in what they have written.” “We are given the opportunity to reflect upon the activities and accomplishments of our unique city through the history of the businesses, organizations, and activities of its people.”

” THIS IS ASHLAND !     THIS is who we are ! . . . “

The Ashland Historical Society and the Saline Ford Historical Preservation Society are pleased, proud and humbled to be able take the “story” of our city to the next level; by sharing and making it available to the entire WORLD, through the ‘World Wide Web’.

We offer this thought, definition and analysis of the word history:

The term ‘history’ is derived from the Greek word ‘historia’ which means  ‘information’ or ‘an inquiry designed to elicit truth’.

It is just “man — his story” — the story of efforts to satisfy his craving for an orderly social life.

“ History is a connected account of the course of events of progress of ideas.”,   Rapson

acknowledgement to www.articlesbase.com

  Ashland Historical Society   
   Saline Ford Historical Preservation Society    
207 N 15th Street @ Boyd Street * Ashland NE 68003
We are continually updating and preparing
this website for your information and enjoyment
We gratefully acknowledge YOUR contributions;
encouraging you & others to continue to build
our AHS website – sharing ASHLAND
with the WORLD, via the “WWW”

Contact our “Web Geek” with articles,
pictures and history we may share here!
The “Web  ^  ^  Geek”
Our E-mail address  is: