POLK COUNTY, NEBRASKA HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
The first settlers came here in 1867 to build cabins along the Blue River, Albert Seavers, James Clark, Rev. Query, William Hanshew and John Mickey. During the next few years a flood of people took up homestead and railroad land. The southern part of the county was settled by folks from Illinois, Iowa and other eastern states, the area around present day Shelby by German immigrants, and the northern part of the county saw many Polish immigrants while Swedish settlers took land around present day Stromsburg.
The village of OSCEOLA was first located three miles southeast of the present location in 1870, later established on Davis Creek in the center of the county. It became the county seat.
STROMSBURG was founded by Lewis Headstrom who came to the area to establish a settlement for Swedes.
ARCADE had a post office in 1874, the name changed to "Cyclone", the Union Pacific Railroad line was built through the village in 1879 and the name was changed again -- to SHELBY
In 1906, the Union Pacific Railroad wanted two towns on their line from Stromsburg to Central City for shipping points for grain and commerce. Lots were sold out in the farmland in the designated areas and the villages of POLK and HORDVILLE were established.
These volumes are valuable resources in your genealogical research:
EARLY DAYS IN POLK COUNTY by M. Flodman 1966
OSCEOLA 1871 - 1971 by Centennial Book Com.
POLK COUNTY HERITAGE (includes
POLK COUNTY HOMESTEADS by
Rich Pehrson 2017, available from Polk County Historical Society
SHELBY CENTENNIAL 1879 - 1979 by
HISTORY OF STROMSBURG 1872-1972