Museum open Sundays 2:00- 4:00 p.m., June - August
Many thanks to Gloria Oberg, Faith Keil, Pat Nygren and the Dixon County Historical Society for allowing me to make this page available for Dixon county researchers on the internet.
Dixon County Historical Society Museum
The main building is used to house many exhibits in the two levels. Find your memories in the Photographs, histories, church memorabilia, bibles, scrap books, doctor's equipment, musical instruments, Civil War flag, clothing, jewelry, furniture, kitchen utensils and many more.
These items are representative of the lives of people who lived in Dixon County through the years.
This building was formerly the Assembly of God Church and was purchased for $400.00 by the Dixon County Historical Society. They held their first meeting in this building in October 1965. The members began accepting donations and setting up displays. This process continues today.
In 1966, a donated wooden windmill was set in place by the main building.
In 1978, the Nyen house was bought for $3000. This acquisition doubled the ground area. The house itself is destined to become a research center.
Maintenance continues to be done by the building and grounds committee.
The School House
Soon after the settlers arrived, their concern for furthering their children's education prompted them to build school houses and hire a teacher. The first school house in Dixon County was built in the spring of 1862 at Ponca.
In order to preserve an example of the early schools, Dixon County Historical Society purchased Logan Valley School, District #77. It had been open from 1893 to 1961 and was located in the southwest corner of section 6, Wakefield, Twp. In 1966 this schoolhouse was bought for $50 and cost $100 to have it moved. The inside was finished in the spring of 1974. All work was volunteer. Articles from closed schools and gifts were donated so the inside looks like the rural school of yesteryear.
The early school terms were only for seven months. Two fall months, September and October; three winter months, December, January and February; and two spring months, April and May. Even then some of the older students might only attend a few weeks in winter. The teacher usually stayed with a school board member's family. The teacher had to arrive at school early so she could get water carried in for the water cooler and get the wood stove started to warming up the schoolroom. Then she could get down to preparing for the day's classes.
Families seeking to escape the crowding in the East, with a sense of adventure and courage came West to turn the prarie into farms. The first Dixon County settlers arrived in 1856. These hearty pioneers staked out their claims and built sod shanties close together for protection from enenies and loneliness. The Homestead Act of 1862 allowed a farmer to obtain 160 acres for very little cash. They had to live on the land for five years and make improvements; building barns, stables, homes and breaking sod to plant crops and trees.
Cottenwood saplings were available from river bottoms and along creeks. Being hardy and abundant, many cottonwood groves were planted around homesteads.
These people started farming with hoe, plows and other tools they brought with them. As the years progressed, the machinery improved, such as displayed in this building constructed in 1980-81. The threshing machine is displayed on the north side of the schoolhouse.
As towns were built, fire trucks, schoolbuses and many other changes made life easier.
Alot of hard work by our forefathers prepared the way of life of many conveniences and the comfort we enjoy today.
Gloria Oberg, current President of the Dixon County Historical Society
It was on February 28, 1964, that ten persons met at the Allen Community Club to organize.
There were eighty-seven charter members. Two items from the early meeting survived: a $2.00 yearly dues and meetings at the museum on the third Tuesday of each month.
One county supervisor remarked that the Historical Society could make money go farther than anyone he knew. That's possible with "working together". There has been an immeasurable amount of volunteer work done by members through the years to perpetuate the purpose set forth in the constitution.
The purpose of this society shall be to bring together those people interested in history and especially in the history of Dixon County. Understanding the history of our community is basic to our democratic way of life, gives us a better understanding of our state and nation, and of our American heritage.