History of Eustis, Nebraska

History of Eustis

Eustis was founded along the Burlington rail line in 1886 and named for Percy Sprague Eustis who was the General Passenger Agent at Omaha for the Burlington and Quincy Railroad. Many of the early settlers were of German lineage. They liked the canyons and hills around the village because of the resemblence to their native Germany.

William Schilpp and family parked in their first automobile.

Part of the land for the original Eustis town site was purchased from Gott Schmeeckle and other homesteaders by the Lincoln Land Company. The majority of the land was purchased from the railroad which had been granted the land by the federal government. Lincoln Land Company was incorporated to purchase and sell real estate and to lay out and plat towns and villages in Nebraska. The site for the town of Eustis was surveyed by Anselmo B. Smith and was deeded by the Lincoln Land Company on June 26, 1886 for the price of $250.

Eustis was organized in 1886 but was not officially incorporated until 1888. On March 21, 1888, a petition requesting incorporation was presented to the Frontier County Commissioners. The petition was approved and F. C. Schroeder, John Koch, George Walker, Christ Grabenstein, and W. I. Benham were named village trustees. M. C. Dival was appointed Justice of the Peace for Fairview precinct.

1912 - The city waterworks was completed. A 50,000 gallon steel tank and tower was installed. Running water to homes and businesses was a reality.

1913 - Electric lights were available in homes.

Downtown Eustis during the Corn Show, circa 1920.

1933 - Produce receipts looked like this: Hogs, $2.40; Wheat, $.26; Corn, $.15 to $.17; and Hens, $.07. At Bluel’s Bakery, you could buy large pretzels for 19 cents a dozen, cinnamon rolls for 18 cents a dozen, and two pounds of hamburger for 25 cents.

The 1931 Eustis marching band lines up in front of the old Eustis High School. This building was used until 1936.

1938-39 - The big Monaghen dragline was brought into Eustis on the rail line to dig the Tri-County Canal. A depth of 95 feet was reached on the canal north of Eustis.

1941 - Many Eustis ladies and youth groups worked at the North Platte Canteen. Gas and coffee were rationed.

1953 - The first irrigation wells were brought to Eustis. Natural gas to run the pumps cost $2.00 per 24-hour day.

Looking east down Railroad Street, with the Lutheran Church visible in the background.

1960 - Main street was paved.

1970 - Voters approved a new gym, classrooms, and an indoor pool for the Eustis Public School.

1977 - The new American Legion Hall was dedicated.

1981 - The Eustis Fair Board replaced three old buildings with a large new multi-purpose building.

Customers pose for a photo in Gauger’s Store. The original store burned and was replaced with the brick buiding which is now H&J Grocery.

1985 - The Eustis Public Library celebrated its 50th anniversary and Clayton Yeutter, a Eustis native, was named U.S. Trade Representative.

1986 - Marked the centennial year for Eustis.

1993 - Eustis was proclaimed “The Sausage Capital of Nebraska” by proclamation of the Nebraska Legislature.

A View of Downtown Eustis - Past and Present

Circa 1920