Ulysses, Butler County, Nebraska

Ulysses is located in a romantic nook among the trees on the south bank of the Big Blue River, overlooking the picturesque scenery of the valley. The surrounding country is beautiful in the extreme. Far as the eye can reach, a rolling billowy landscape is seen, checkered with the squares of emerald wheat and waving corn, of finely cultivated farms, while good substantial homesteads indicate the homes of a refined and intelligent people. The blue on either side is lined with heavy timber, including a great many varieties. Its waters are well supplied with the smaller species of fish, and afford ample water-power at this point.

If one stands quietly on the banks of the Big Blue they may hear the stories in the wind of days gone by in what was once a bustling farm community.

The first people of whom there is any account are the Pawnee Indians, followed by the exploring party of General John C. Fremont- then the Mormons.


1858 - The first permanent settlers - Soloman GARFIELD, James BLAIR

1864 - Joseph SHIELDS and his family settled in one of the timber groves of the Big Blue in the southern portion of the county. The first cabin Mr. Shields built still stands today located on the east side of town along the river, shaded by a huge beautiful cottonwood tree that has protected her. This little known historical marker stands proudly on the farm owned by Mrs. Lucille PALMER JOHNSON and farmed by the Richard URBANOWSKY family. It is located 1/2 mile east of Ulysses.

1866 - Rev. Abraham TOWNER was the first local minister to settle on the Blue and gave Ulysses its name. Mr. Towner and Mr. Shields kept peace between the Indians and the white man.

1867 - David REED, J.M. PALMER, Dr. S.T.W. THRAPP (the first physician), McD. TOWNER take up residence

1868 - Christopher DAVIS, James DARNALL, Georege REED, Robert REED, G. McCARTY homesteaded the town site. J.M. PALMER settled upon the present site of Ulysses and was the original proprietor of a part of the town. In June 1868 the town site was laid out and that year Geroge McCarty and Robert Reed opened the first store.

1871 - W.R. DAVID and J.N. BATTY opened the second store

1869 - A school district was organized with the help of Summer DARNELL, Dr. THRAPP, and J.M. PALMER, and was taught by M. WILKISON, ex-county judge.

Search for your Ulysses ancestors Ulysses Settlers.


SERMON - Rev. William WORLEY preached in the groves along the Blue River in 1868, his labors partaking more the character of missionary work of the Methodist Episcopal Church and who organized the first circuit in the county.
BIRTH - Son born to Dr. S.T.W. Thrapp in 1867
MARRIAGE - 1869 when William Thomas Shields and Miss Mary Adeline Skillman were wed.
DEATH - 1870 taking a son of Jacob Kenauber, buried in what is known as the Karpisek Cemetery north of Ulysses.

Ulysses Township Library
410 C Street
Ulysses, NE 68669

Businesses 1867 - 1967

World War I Veterans
World War II Veterans
Korean Conflict Veterans
Peace Time and Vietnam Vets
Spanish American Veterans
National Guards

St. Mary's Catholic Cemtery
Grimm Cemetery


John McCoy
Carolyn Woolsey Wilkerson's Homepage

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Sue Baker