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Biggest Land Sale Known In This Part of the State

By Bob Williamson
(from a 1909 Newspaper Article)

Each year the state prints some new figures for land values in the state of Nebraska.  Following this the county commissioners set land tax levies and taxes seem to always go up.  This makes the following newspaper article of February 12, 1909 interesting.

   $25,600 the Sum!

   What may be regarded as the biggest land transaction ever made in this vicinity occurred this week when Emanuel Ulmer purchased the W.G. Hummell farm consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, adjoining his farm for twenty-five thousand six hundred dollars.  Mr. Hummell gets the use of the farm until March of next year free of charge.    This is the largest price ever paid for a farm in this vicinity, but the place is well worth it, considering the quality of the soil and the improvements. 

   Mr. Ulmer now owns four hundred acres of the finest farming land in Richardson County. He has his original place of one hundred and sixty acres, an eighty on the south of that, and the Hummell place adjoining his farm on the west.  This makes his place worth close to seventy-five thousand and places him in the list of large landholders of this county.  

  Mr. Hummell will farm another year, and will then doubtless retire and enjoy the fruits of his labors.

    Most of the property is still in the hands of Pennsylvania Colony descendants who either are actively farming it or renting it to a relative.  The land, which originally carried tracks of the pioneers trek westward is known as “ridge” land and has deep black soil.  Having left the Pennsylvania Mountains, and the rocks behind, Emanuel Ulmer left his birthplace, his widowed mother, Catherine; and two brothers, Israel and Martin, and a sister who later came to join him in Nebraska.  This young pioneer came to Nebraska to marry Sarah, one of the daughters of Jacob G. Heim, the original family who came west to establish a new colony of German farmers. To this couple were born six children, Mary who married Charles Wuster, Norman who married Pearl Wachtler, Edna, who never married, Walter who married Laura White and was a missionary in China and later doctored in Dawson, Reuben who married True Stratton, and Nelson who married Cecelia Smith.

   The land is located about ½ mile south of the Humboldt corner intersection on both sides of highway 75.  Richardson County’s first half land taxes were due May 1, 05.  Would be VERY interesting to know the land tax of 1909 on this property.


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