is just one of the many farming settlements that arose in the 19th
century that have been "replaced” by nearby, larger towns. As
transportation got easier in the 20th century, bigger towns close to
the community offered more goods and services and before long,
was a semi-ghost
is located in the Minnechaduza Valley in north central Nebraska
in Cherry County. When the Freemont, Elkhorn & Missouri
Valley Railroads were being built through the area in 1885, a
settlement was established to house government warehouses holding
supplies for the nearby Rosebud Reservation. The supplies were shipped
by rail and then hauled by horse and buggy to the Indians on the
became known as the "Gateway to the Great Rosebud Reservation."
W.T. Crook was the yardmaster for the
Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad
being built through Cherry County and the settlement soon took his
name. The area surrounding
drew both farmers and ranchers and the settlement began to grow.
In it’s first year, School District 16 was
organized and a two-story frame building was erected for the children
of the community. A post office was established, with Fredrick Baumgartel as its first postmaster,
who collected and distributed the mail
that was brought to town daily on the passenger train. Dairy
farmers soon became an integral part of the community and large
quantities of cream were shipped East by rail.
By 1914 there were 600 people living in
the town and more children were attending the school which offered
grades 1-10. Soon, a new addition was added to the existing
school. By this time the town boasted two restaurants, two
hardware stores, churches, two banks, garages, and lumberyards. There
was also a drug store, meat market, hotel, saloon, elevator, movie
house. Traveling salesmen were often seen going between
and the Rosebud Reservation with their wares.
The Sacred Heart Catholic Church was built
in 1917 but is no longer there. In 1940 a new brick school
building was completed including high school level classes.
took its toll on
as it did many small towns. Eventually both banks closed, along with many
other businesses. Later when US-83 bypassed
in favor of nearby Valentine, it spelled the final demise for the town.
In 1907 the German Lutheran church located
Crookston was torn down and rebuilt at a new location.
In 1952, the German Lutheran Church built in 1907 was moved inside
and is still in use today. At the present time the population has
dwindled to 69 people, with the only businesses being a post office,
school, church, elevator, and a liquor store.
is in north central Nebraska in
of America, updated March, 2017.