Pauline History


by Catherine Renschler

The Kansas City and Omaha Railway Company was organized in 1886 to build a feeder line from the St. Joseph and Grand Island Railroad at Fairfield west through southern Adams County and then south to Alma in Harlan County. The line was built across Adams County in 1887, establishing the towns of Pauline, Leroy (earlier called Millington), Roseland and Holstein. John Ragan of Hastings was attorney general for the K C & O Railroad and he named the new town in Little Blue Township in honor of his wife, Pauline.

Pauline was built on the farm of James McCleery on the Northwest quarter of section 9, Little Blue Township. The first store was built by Ducan & Jeffries in 1887. It operated about three years and then was sold to Phineas Townsend. Later owners of the store were John Moran, John McCleery, Cash Fairman, Bert Port, S. True and M. M. Abbott.

The second store building was erected in 1887 by Samuel Heaps. It was a general store on the main floor, a restaurant in the basement and a large hall on the second floor. Church dinners and social gatherings were held here until the Methodist Church was built. This building burned down in 1891.

In July, 1888 the name and site of the post office was changed from Kingston to Pauline. Kingston, one of the earliest settlements in Adams County, was located on the southwest quarter of Section 32, Hanover Township, one mile directly northwest of  Pauline. When the railroad bypassed Kingston the little town died. Wilson Duncan was postmaster during the move to Pauline. Free rural delivery was established in Pauline in 1904 with Charles Brower as first rural carrier. Luther Goding became rural carrier in 1905 and continued until 1920.

In 1884 the people who had been attending Union Sunday School services in the District #8 school house organized  a Methodist Church. Rev. Hardman of Ayr was the first minister. Services continued to be held in the school and later when Pauline business buildings were built, services were held over the Heaps store. When that building burned the group was forced to meet in the railroad depot.

The first church was erected in 1891 at the corner of Hastings Ave. and Maple Street. It was a frame building about 38 by 50 feet. Lucian Dean was the carpenter. The congregation outgrew the small frame building and in 1907 the present building was constructed on the same site.

The year 1888 was one of rapid growth for Pauline. Besides the new post office, the first hardware store was opened by B.K. West; the first livery barn was built by M.M. Parkins; the first blacksmith shop was built by J.B. McCleery and rented to Jerry Allen and the first grain elevator was established by Clyde Gaunt. It was later purchased by Dow Black.

In the fall of 1891, Miss Nellie Jones built the first brick store building in Pauline. She operated a general store for about five years before selling to Mr. McCleery.

During the drought years of 1893 to 1897 Pauline lost population and may stores closed. Even the railroad depot was closed and moved away. Later the Leroy depot was moved into Pauline.

Like most towns Pauline suffered several disastrous fires. A fire in 1891 destroyed the general store built by S.L. Heaps and the West hardware store. In August, 1910 the meat market, Hotel Windsor and the cream station all burned. The hotel guests all escaped, but some lost their personal belongings. Matt Burroughs owned the hotel and was only partially insured. The hotel was never rebuilt.

On November 16, 1917 the Farmers Union Store, M. M. Abbott general store and an empty building owned by J. Slater burned. In 1923 a fire wiped out most of the buildings on the west side of the main street including Carl McCleery's store in which the post office was located. Jennie Lay was the postmistress. After the fire the post office was moved into the Evans Store and Cora Franklin was appointed postmistress. She served until 1955 when Owen Evans was appointed. After Mr. Evans death in 1963, Eleanor Poen served until the office was closed in 1967.

The Bank of Pauline was incorporated in November, 1895 with capitol stock of $7,500. It was associated with the First National Bank of Hastings. On October 17, 1906 bank robbers used nitroglycerine to blow the bank safe. Fifteen hundred dollars was taken. The bank cashier at the time was F. M. Ferry assisted by Ray Bauder. The loss was covered by insurance.

The depression of the 1930's delivered a blow to Pauline from which the village never recovered to its former level of business activity. The bank closed in 1932. Through the efforts of cashier, Mrs. D. J. Franklin, the bank paid out 97 cents on every dollar.

Tom McCleery opened the first drug store in Pauline in 1907. he later sold it to Ernest Harriett, who sold to Clarence Taylor of Guide Rock in 1915.

In the early years Pauline had several doctors, among them were Dr. Beattie and Dr. Theodore Lightner. Later Dr. William Franklin opened an office in Pauline. In 1905, after his graduation from medical school, Dr. Eugene Foote set up practice in Pauline. He hired John Leighfield, who operated the livery stable, to drive him to visit patients. Soon Dr. Foote was receiving calls form Ayr, Blue Hill, Roseland and Glenvil so he purchased a two cylinder Maxwell Roadster. Dr. Foote left Pauline in 1907 and later established the Foote Clinic in Hastings. Dr. Merriwether served the community after Dr. Foote.

Doc Vonderfecht and Doc Snow served the community as veterinarians.

School District #8, later known as Pauline School, was formed in 1872.  The first school house was built on the south side of a natural lake formed by springs near the Blue River in section four.  Laura Fouts was one of the first teachers.  Old-timers told that Miss Fouts had to pull the window shades so the pupils would not watch a neighbor, Mrs. Fairbanks, who like to dance on the roof of her dugout nearby to the distraction of the children.

The first frame school building was moved into Pauline when he village was organized. By 1907-08 there were 73 pupils enrolled with two teachers, Nellie Sherman and Eileen Kress.  High school classes were started in 1913 with seven students in the ninth grade. In 1923 a four room two story brick schoolhouse was built.  At this time the school offered ten grades and was later increased to twelve by 1930.  After 1947 no high school classes were taught.  In May, 1983 Pauline school held its last classes.  Three pupils had been enrolled during 1982-83. 

Pauline reached its highest population of 125 in 1900.  Due to the declining rural population this once prosperous little community has lost most services.  The post office closed in 1967 and the Missouri-Pacific Railroad ceased operating the line through town in 1985.  

Hastings City and Adams County Directory, 1895
Alphabetical listing of Pauline residents

  A village at the intersection of the M P RR and KC&O RR about twelve miles south-east of Hastings on the Little Blue river.  One church, one school, one AOUW lodge and a money order post office.  C. H. McCulloch postmaster. Population 53

Allen,  J. R.              blacksmith

Allen, Fannie Mrs

Black,  Dow             grain dealer

Conley,  Bruce         boarding house

Conley, Kate Mrs

Cronin,  Pat J

Cronin, Elizabeth, Mrs

Falkner, Mary Miss         teacher

Johnson, Henry                 livery

Johnson, Emma, Mrs

Jucker,  Jacob

Jucker, Anna  Mrs

Jucker, Emma   Miss

Jucker, Susie,  Miss

Jucker,  Albert

Livingston,  Ida  Miss

McCleery,  Dan

McCleery,  Jane  Mrs

McCleery,  Carrie A  Mrs

McCleery,  John

McCleery,  Clinton

McCulloch,  C. A.                postmaster and general merchandise

McCulloch,  Amy Mrs

Mathers,  J. L.                         section foreman (railroad)

Mathers,  Elizabeth  Mrs

Mathers,  Jennie Miss

Mathers,  Chlo  Miss

Missouri Pacific Railroad station

Townsend,  Phineas             general merchandise

Townsend,  Wm

Townsend, Lena  Mrs

Woitizek,  Iguaz

Woitizek,  Antonia  Mrs.     



Published  by Wolfe and Pickering, Kenesaw, Nebraska

Alphabetical List of Pauline Residents

Allen,         Harry       Mail Carrier,   wife Mollie,  Elmer 16, Newell 14.

Black,         Mrs. Dowl.

Brenneman,     J. M.   Mgr. Farmers Elevator,  wife Elizabeth,  John 15.           

Brooks,      Rev. B. D.      Methodist minister,  Wife Lillie.

Brown,       George      Farmer,  wife Rachel,  Zona 8, Howard 5, Grald 11, Alton 2.

Buzard,        Katherine    School Principal.

Evans,         O. G.        Merchant,  wife Lizzae,  Ruth 3.                                      

Ferry,         F. N.         President Pauline State Bank,  single.

Franklin,     Mrs. W. A.

Grogan,     Bill     C B & Q RR depot agent, wife  Ania,  Flora 7, Eileen 5, William 3.

Harren,     Harold   School teacher.

Hedrick,     B. L.    C B & Q RR section foreman,  wife Edna,  Laferme 10, Mary 5, Gail 8, Warren 7.

Hughes,    Ema         Widow.

Jones,     Aaron    Merchant,    wife Hazel.

Jones,     Glenn    Clerk.

Jones,     T. T.    Retired farmer,  wife Elizabeth.

Jones,    T. W.    Merchant,    wife Jennie.

Leighfield,    John    Farmer,   wife Lizzie,

Lewis,     J. W.      Methodist Minister,  wife Florence.

Lofquist,    Mrs. Alice   Widow.

Lofquist,     Alfred    Garage operator,   wife, Cora.

Lofquist,    Miss Della.

Parker,        J. G.    Section Hand,  wife Clarinda,  Mary 14,  Iva 13, Glen 11.

Pavelka,    Wm.   Blacksmith,    wife Tillie,   Caroline 10,  James  4.

Purdy,         Mrs. Elizabeth.

Purdy,         W. L.    Cashier, Standard Oil Co.   wife Florence.

Quig,            Alice,     widow,  Ruth  9,  Durward 17,  Ray 12.

Richeson,     A. A.  Mail Carrier,   wife Ethel,  Arlene 4,  Donald 5, Dale 1.

Richmond,     Lucile    School Teacher.

Schlanning,    Henry      Elevator hand.

Sime,     Arthur   Oil Agent,   wife Ovary,  Delores 1.

Smith,     B. C.    Farmer,     wife Margaret,  Alice 12, Eleanor 10, Virgil 7, Delbert 5mos.

Fouts,     M. J.    Retired farmer,   wife Maria

Yost,     Mrs. Nettie,  widow of C. H.,   Nurse.

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