Turn of the century celebration

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the first in a series entitled “Perusing The Past” highlighting the history of Perkins County and its people as is documented by the Perkins County Historical Society and other history documents about Perkins County. 

Since the United States officially became a country in 1776, celebrations have been held to commemorate its independence every year on July 4th. It was no different in Perkins County in the early 1900s. These pictures are all believed to be from a July 4th celebration in the City of Grant in the early 1900s. (Top): The sheriff at that time, W.J. Watkins, leads a parade on horseback down Central Ave., in Grant. In the bottom right-hand corner of the photo you can see the livery stable with the wagons all parked around it. Hatch’s Super Foods now stands at this location. (Below, left): Notice in this photo at right is a building that still stands today, which is currently being used as a residence. This building was originally the First National Bank building, it also housed part of the county offices at that time. Also in the center of this photo, toward the back, is a large, white building that served as the first courthouse in the county. It was nicknamed the White Elephant and was located where the current library is today. It was a giant, two-story building that was known to sway back and forth when the wind would blow. (Below, right): The last photo is an up-close photo of the old First National Bank building at left, and what was the Farmers and Merchants Bank building at right, where it looks like a picnic is being held. The Farmers and Merchants bank housed the county treasurer’s office, while the First National Bank had the rest of the county offices. Both buildings were thought to have been built around 1886. The local newspaper at the time stated that the First National Bank building was the “finest bank west of Omaha.” 

(Information provided by The Perkins County Historical Society; Photo by Hiram Eppler, courtesy of the Perkins County Historical Society)

Perkins County Post

P.O. Box 751
Grant, NE 69140