Yellowstone and the Great West: Journals, Letters, and Images from the 1871 Hayden Expedition

By Marlene Deahl Merrill | Go to book overview

I
From Omaha to Cheyenne and Ogden
Traveling by Train

THURSDAY, MAY 25

Left Omaha at 12 Noon.

For many miles passed through country quite hilly, though with sides sufficiently sloping to allow of cultivation. The soil is very rich -- a yellowish marl -- the "Gheff deposit" or loess.1

Dined at a "smart" town called Fremont. At half past three o'clk passed Columbus, Geo. Francis Train's future capitol of the U.S.2 It is said to be about midway between the Atlantic and Pacific. Earlier we passed the Elkhorn river where the sandstones of Cretaceous #1 appears on the bluffs. Near Columbus we passed by a bridge the Soap river which flows from the north in to the Platte. It abounds in sand bars. All the rivers in this vicinity are noted for sandbars and shifting channels.

The valley of the Platte in the eastern pan of Nebraska is from 5 to 10 miles wide, and is very rapidly settling. Towns are springing up everywhere as if by magic. I noticed that the majority of the farms seemed to have been chosen from lands situated from 1 to 5 miles back from the Rail Road. The difference in the prices of lands thus situated may and probably has been the cause. Now and then a church or schoolhouse was passed indicating clearly that the attendants of civilized and established society were being transplanted to this beautiful prairie land.

Supper at Grand Island station. Our party got cups of sweet milk from a milkman near by. Grand Island is 175 miles west of Omaha. Sunset was splendid.

At Fremont saw three Indians at Depot begging of passengers, two women and one man. They belonged to some of the Reservations nearby and were decently but grotesquely clad.

____________________
Panorama 1. Red beds of Echo Canyon, May 30-31.

-39-

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