FOUNDING FAMILIES/ORIGINAL SURVEY OF TOWN Information - Sign at ROOSEVELT PARK
The establishment of Fort Butler led to the founding of Hebron. Claims were taken up around Hebron and farther to the west under the post’s protection. The city of Hebron was founded on the Little Blue River by people from Ohio who called themselves the “Union Colony” Thy called the settlement of their “City of Refuge” and selected their Biblical name “Hebron” for their new home.
The land belonging to E.J. Hulse was first surveyed in 1869 by E. M. Correll. E. J. Hulse recorded the plat in Jefferson County on the 14th of September. It was not until 1870 that the town was fully organized. Certain blocks and parts of blocks were set aside for public use. The balance was divided into eighteen shares and distributed to the colony members who paid their share of the cost of the land and survey. Hebron’s eighteen founding fathers were: E. J. Huse, John C. Past, Ed S. Past, E. M. Correll, Jacob Hendershot, L. J. Correll, C. J. Rhodes, F. J. Hendershot, C. A. Elliot, Dr. C. W. Walker, A. C. Ring, W. F. Tolles, Fayette Kingsley, G. D. Proctor, William H. Bradt, A. Thompson, J. H. Williams, and Miss E. S. Potter.
L.J. Correll erected the first building in Heborn in Oct. of 1870. Miss Potter built a small frame building that served as the first post office. The Hebron Literary Association was formed in 1870 and the Christian Church was organized the same year. In 1871, Miss Potter built the first school. A new mill on the banks of the Little Blue built in 1873 added to the prosperity and growth of Hebron.
In 1874, Hebron, having three or four business houses organized a “bucket brigade” volunteer fire department. The buckets were wood and tended to fall apart when needed the most.
1870 – Formation of the Hebron Literary Association
As early as Dec. 31, 1870, the Hebron Literary Association was formed. Both men and women were members, and the group held mock trials, debates, and discussions on various problems. Eight years later a library was organized, and soon it had 300 volumes. Upon erection of the town hall “the opera house” several rooms were reserved for reading rooms. Later the mortgaged town hall was passed into private hands and the books were stored for a few years until the library organization was revived.
The Christian Sunday School first met on May 1, 1870, and the church was organized July 8. Six years later the first church in Hebron was built by the Catholics. In later years, the Christians, Methodists, and Presbyterians all erected churches in the city.
1871 – Schoolhouses in Hebron
Hebron’s first school was built by Miss Potter in 1871 and was taught by Miss Weltha Rawson. It had one window, one door, and all around the single room were benches high enough to keep the pupils’ feet off the floor. Students in this school came for miles on horseback. In the fall of the same year a second schoolhouse was built, measuring 12x14 feet.
1873 – The Mill
The location of a mill, at Hebron in 1873 was important in the settlement, as it was the nearest mill for hundreds of persons in the southern part of the state. Some farmers brought their grain 200 miles, coming from Bloomington, White Rock, and Concordia, Kansas., and many other points. Lumber used in construction was hauled from Marysville, Kansas, and the stone obtained from a quarry nine miles east of Hebron. Wetherald, Wood and company built the mill on an acre of ground donated by Isaac Erritt of Cincinnati, Ohio, who owned the section of land north of it.
1874 – Formation of Volunteer Fire Department
In 1874 the village of Hebron, having three or four business houses, organized a “bucket brigade” volunteer fire department. The buckets were wood and had a tendency to fall apart when needed most. Other equipment included several cisterns near the outskirts of town, and a hand pump with hose for use on buildings closer to the business district. In 1879 a hook and ladder wagon were bought, and a fire barn erected. In the winter of 1884-85, the business section of Hebron was burned by a fire which started in a millinery store owned by Mrs. Surbaugh. The city purchased new hose carts and 1,000 feet of hose in 1891.
1881 – Women’s Suffrage Association
Thayer County was the first in the state to organize a permanent woman suffrage association. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton both lectured in Hebron. Representative E. M. Correll introduced a joint resolution to submit the woman suffrage question to a vote in 1881. The resolution passed both legislative houses but was defeated at the polls. Correll was later made president of the American Woman Suffrage Association.
1911 – Hebron College
In September 1911, the Hebron College and Academy was founded with a faculty of three: Paul H. Buehring, president; Magnus Paysen, director of music; and L. Young. The academy has been discontinued.
The county has provided several state officers and legislators and its citizens have been powerful in many private organizations.