at Eleven [10 CST/8 PST] 16 January 2000 Vol 4, #03
Evening EAGLELARKS, HUSKERS and all ships at sea,
There are scraps of paper stuffed everywhere, in books
as bookmarks, just lying around, or in drawers. They have a
sentence or a paragraph on them with an idea of a story later.
I picked one up today.
Those who know
me well know that I have a most hearty laugh, a roar, even.
I let one go today that shook the house. But, more about that
later. First a few facts about one of my favorite spaces in
Nebraska ... Nuckolls county.
county has a nice history. Just ten years before  my
great great grandparents arrived from Switzerland the population of
the county was eight. The county had its beginning twelve
years earlier than that . It was named for Stephen
Nuckolls, a southerner.
There was a
government relay station about a mile and a half [southeast] from
the present community of Oaks. Its name was Oak Grove.
Sixteen miles of the Oregon Trail passed through the county and this
station. The Comstock family ran this station and one other
northwest of the Oak Grove station.
Government wagon trains passed through on this trail, consisting of
twenty six wagons, each pulled by six yoke of oxen. A lot of
animal to water and feed.
courthouse in Nelson was begun in 1890 under a contract for
$28,390. G. E. McDonald was the architect. A special
election was held to pass on a bond issue worth $35,000. The bond
issue carried, but suit was filed to determine the validity of the
proceedings which went all the way to the Nebraska Supreme Court.
I don't know if they are still there or
not but on the way to the bell tower there are two goddess' of
liberty lying prone. They are made of metal. There must
have been four of them for it was written that they stood at the
four gable ends of the roof facing outward, watching the world below
go by. A wonderful trivia question would be which arm is
holding the torch. But, the sharp crew of trivia players we
have would immediately recall that our lady of liberty in New York
has the torch in her right hand, so why ask the question unless it
Every time I have
visited the courthouse the clock in the clock tower has always
registered exactly seventeen minutes after twelve. I remarked
about this a couple of times and received, among snickers, lame
excuses which ranged from there wasn't money to fix it or it has
never worked since the clock was installed. Even my cousins
laughed at me and gave me similar answers.
Well, it is funny. The story goes that the Courthouse
officially finished with the installation of the clock at precisely
12:17 o'clock in 1891. The clock is said to have the
distinction of having been correct to the smallest fraction of a
second twice a day ever since.
would be true if the clock never ran. So, I asked what made
the clock tick?? Dumb ...... I should have known I was
stepping into a straight man role for a joke. On the most
close inspection of the clock faces one discovers that the Roman
numerals are part of the face as they should be. However, so are the
hands. The clock was intended solely for ornamental purposes
... there are no clock works!
wonderful week everyone!