Nebraska Historical Marker: Village of Halsey
Village Park, Halsey, Thomas County, Nebraska
View this marker's location 41.903036, -100.270119
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In 1885 surveyors designated a route through the Sand Hills for a Burlington Railroad branch line. The rails reached this point on the Blaine-Thomas county line in 1887, and a town was laid out. It was named Halsey after Halsey E. Yates, the son of Burlington official Charles E. Yates. A depot was constructed, followed by a post office and school/church, both built of sod.
The first general store was on the west side of Main Street, a block north of the depot. Other buildings included a blacksmith shop, saloon, and the "Shady Nook" hotel. Area ranchers drove their cattle to town for shipment to market, bought supplies, and often stayed at the hotel. In 1904 the depot burned, bringing change to Halsey's configuration. The town was resurveyed and rebuilt mostly in Thomas County.
In 1902 President Theodore Roosevelt designated a national forest reserve (now part of the Nebraska National Forest) southwest of Halsey, where all the trees were hand-planted. While the population has declined, Halsey remains alive with community spirit.
Elton A. Perkey, “Perkey’s Nebraska Place Names” (1995), Nebraska State Historical Society
See Nebraska Historical Marker Program for more information.