John McConihe, Correspondence
MS 308
Box:1
Folder:2
Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries

Navigation

Previous Letter
Next Letter
————————————————————
Page Image

Friend John

Your note of the 6th is at hand and as it is so windy and dusty out— doors I reply immediately. I had already written you as to how things look at Omaha. It has never been my intention to "pull up stakes at Omaha" and if I remain in this Country it will be at Omaha City. My intention was and still is to go down to the new town, Beatrice and attend to our interests there. Stay there as much as needed and drive to Omaha whence necessary. Be at Omaha the greater half of the time and whenever business requires. To get this thing all arranged, started, and divided up this year and then to stay at Omaha all the time. There is little to do at Omaha just now and our property will take care of itself during the intervals of my absence. I do not think we had better sell now, as we cannot invest to more advantage or profit. If land throughout the territory advances, we will make money in Omaha property. At all events, everybody here, says and thinks that there is money to be made in City—Property even at the present price and I am willing

————————————————————
Page Image

to run the risk, until I see and understand better for myself.

Beatrice, the new town, has a good prospect for sucess, and at the meeting on the 20th held in my office 25 substantial men convened and ten persons sent propies and all were in good spirits— being much pleased with the favorable reports of the Locating Committee. A tax of $50# was voted to pay for a saw mill, now ready at Nebraska City, which will start for the town on Tuesday next. — "I want John K to write what he thinks of it & e." Well I talked much and long with John about it before he left, told him I could furnish him with means & e.He said he did not doubt but there was money in it but at the same time he would not go into the Country on a claim or to start a new town for $5000# a year. He had determined to Clerk it and said he could not pitch in, "it was not in his blood" "nor in any of his family." !!!!!

As our horses were entirely useless for the purpose most needed in the new town, and as I had an offer I sold them for six lots in Fort Calhoun north $410 and some $50 to boot, getting $360# for the whole thing.

————————————————————
Page Image

Some say I made a good trade and will soon get $500 for the lots. Others think the lots worth only $350# one thing is sure, I was awful sick of that team, and the plight of the wagon. I think I shall get a good single horse and wagon and that it will cost only about $125# and that out on the claim it will cost very little to keep them.

Now, John, in relation to keeping up your interest in the town. You see every man means to be there in person or by substitute. Now I think our interests at Omaha will not suffer by my occasional absence, and that it is hardly worth while for you to come out just now as you are making it pay in Troy and as you cannot make anything here, except upon capital, and would be upon expenses just as soon as I think you can make it pay I will insist on your coming. If you are willing to let your money remain on speculation and in speculations with mine, to take the chances I take, I am willing for a while to do as in my judge—ment I think best. If we fail, I wish you to consider that it was not my fault but that your were acting for yourself. But

————————————————————
Page Image

John, next fall will settle the question as to how much we can make out here. I shall be economical, honorable, honest, and look to our interests as one. We are engaged in a business transaction and are knowingly taking the risks to obtain large profits. Now I propose you have a substitute in the town of Beatrice and that I furnish him for you. I propose you make the following offer to a good man vis. That he is to go down apon upon your claim, and protect your interests in the town of Beatrice as long as need be or is necessary, that you furnish him with necessary money for improving the claim ($320 or 160 acres of land) and advance money for his support. (Or some such arrangement.) That you go halves in the profits or divide the profits after deducting expenses. I will get some man for you, and make some arrangement or bargain by which you will not loose but a trifle (and the same risks and losses I will have), if the town should by any means be a failure. I have a good man in view and have talked with him about it. He will give now $100# for your interest, but I think there is $500# in it above expenses by fall. It will take some ready cash all around to secure the claims

————————————————————
Page Image

build our house, buy farming implements and purchase food say about $400# for each of us. If we get 320 acres each, it will, you know (as it will be good selected timber land), be worth when pre—empted $2.50 an acre at least there is $400 above cost. If only 160 acres (all we can pre—empt altho we may hold on to 320,) we make say half as much $200#. Then what is our interest in the town north? You visited Fremont last fall. It has changed very little and has been divided into 200 shares which call for $100 & $150#. I think our town has a better chance of sucess as there is no town in the vicinity— but Fremont is surrounded by towns. Odurs ought to sell for as much. If it does bring 200 shares 40 members, @ $100 (very low) a share, we will make $500# in all at low figures $700#. Expenses $500# Profits $200#. If we have any kind of sucess we ought to make a good thing out of it say $500 to $1000#. You can come on in the fall, go down and pre—empt our land and then that will need no more atten—tion. All the boys in town are pitching in and are pre—empting and we can do it as well. I wish the Land Office would open!!!

————————————————————
Page Image

What a spree. We could and would make!!! At Sioux City lots doubled up three or four times this spring and land in the vicinity was as dear as well could be. Very few outside speculators had a chance to enter any land, and many less by investing in town lots instead of wild land. It would be just so here and I would be sorry not to have property, if the land office should he advertized[sic] ever. My visitnits— the Nemaha Country will post one up, and that will help us some, if the cursed office will ever open. If I want money I will draw on you, and you must cash up a little more. I will not lay out more than $500# for you and most of that will be valuable in the fall. It takes cash to start these things, but I be—lieve we will soon begin to "haul in" and that it will not all be "outlay". Send me a power of attorney to bargain, and act for you in the "Nebraska Association" full & unreserved. Date it May 23 1857. You might make it gerneral in its bearing also. The house has not arrived but is daily expected. I will take care of that also. Write often as letters from Troy are doubly welcome. My health is not good.

Yours truly

John McConihe

P.S. I have spent all day searching the Records to trace out the titles to our lots. Therefore spent half a day but did not succeed in a single lot and I can assure you it was the meanest work imaginable and the Records are in the most confused condition, all mired up, but I suceeded in tracing them (5) all out. Only five of our lots are in the pre—empted town and I will get Warranted Deeds from the Mayor on Monday. We have to pay the Register for search on each lot, 50 cts including certificate of good title. I paid only 25 cts doing the work myself. When we set deeds we will pay about $10# to the Company for the land and then the title is good. Hurrah!