Halifax Chronicle articles
(detail of article)
Richard Holland Tufts grave at Tufts Cove Cemetery
Ada Tufts and sons stone at Tufts Cove Cemetery
In the succeeding September (1856), the first building in Niobrara was erected. It was known as the "Old Cabin," was situated on the bank of the Missouri, and constructed of logs three feet in diameter, designed to subserve the double purpose of protection against the elements and their Indian enemies. The old cabin being built, they returned to Sioux City and Council Bluffs, and invited friends to join them in starting the town of Niobrara. The L'Eau qui Court Company was then formed, consisting of the following members: B. Y. Shelley, President; James Tufts, Vice-President; H. W. Hargis, Secretary; J. Austin Lewis, Treasurer; W. H. Benner, R. R. Cowan, George W. Gregg and Henry Thompson, all of whom became residents of Niobrara; and in addition, a number of prominent gentlemen of other places, as Judge A. W. Hubbard, and M. F. Moore, of Sioux City, and Joseph Holman, of Dakota City. In the fall of 1856, improvements were commenced by the company, but during the following winter the Poncas burned what houses and other buildings had been erected, except the "old cabin" or "fort," into which the settlers had retreated for safety, and in which B. Y. Shelley, R. R. Cowan, M. Huddleston and J. T. Smull passed the winter. During this winter the L'Eau qui Court Company was incorporated, its claim defined, and liberal ferry and bridge privileges guaranteed. The claim of the company comprised almost the entire Niobrara bottom, for a town site, about 3,000 acres in extent. The desire, and even the hope seem to have existed, to build up a very large town in a very short time, in an entirely unsettled country. Niobrara became the county seat during this winter…….