Phelps County Nebraska 2-Story Sod House

Phelps County Nebraska
2-Story Sod House


Some of this information is from a Dover Phelps County Atlas dated 1980.

Do you know any additional information about a Munson family that would have lived near the Platte River in Westmark Township in the 1870s? If so, please contact Sandra Slater about this story.

This is a story of the only two-story sod house built in Phelps County. It was built in Westmark Township about 15 miles north west of Holdrege, Nebraska. It may have been built by Andrew and Minka Nyquist although the 1880 Atlas says it might have been the Munson family. This piece of land was owned by the Union Pacific Railroad until December of 1886 when Andrew Nyquist purchased the land from the railroad. The Nyquists' sold this land of 160 acres with two story sod home on May 7, 1887.

There are no exact measurements of the house but it is thought to have been 20 feet wide and 24 feet long with walls 10 feet high. It is believed that there was a cellar under the house. This is evidenced by the depressions in the ground that still could be seen in 1979. The rooms down stairs consisted of a kitchen, a front room and two bedrooms. There was a bedroom upstairs. It had a wood floor and the walls were white washed. A heating stove stood in the front room. Rafters laid on a wood frame at the top of the walls and the sod house had a shingled roof. The roof was not too good as the Lyon boys remember snow on their bed that had sifted down through the shingles.

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