This story is how Juniata was
removed from the county seat.
Two years after the first election, another railroad came
through Nebraska called the St. Joseph and Denver City
Railroad. It was suppose to cross the Burlington at
Juniata with the farmer's help of buying $75,000.00 in
bonds. This money would lay 25 miles of track in Adams
county. The election failed to pass.
The new railroad crossed east of Juniata. It was then that
the town of Hastings sprang into being. In June, 1873, the
citizens of Hastings decided that they should have the court
house and be the county seat. They thought that they were
more worthy because they now had more businesses and
more people. They wanted an election to decide the decision.
Voting took place. Both Hastings and Juniata watched for
cheating at the voting places. Juniata won the election with
more than two-fifths of the votes.
Then in 1877, another election was held and fights broke
out in both towns. Some thought that there was also
cheating during the counting of the ballots. This time
Hastings won with 844 votes to Juniata's 535 votes.
But Juniata citizens took the case to court. A Kearney
Judge said that Hastings should be the county seat in
1878. The Kearney judge's house burned down, and so all
of the records and ballets were lost. Now there was no
proof of which town was worthy.
Since now the judge had spoken, Hastings citizens could
wait no longer. They went with wagons in the night to the
Juniata court house and carried all the records to Hastings
on September 27, 1878. Juniata never did get the court
There is no picture of the court house as it was in Juniata.
The jail was not moved until November, 1878. It stood right
behind the court house. The jail had been built in 1872; its
walls were of 2 X 6 lumber laid with the six inch sides
together and eight inch spikes driven through them at
four-inch intervals. The room was very small (16 feet by
20 feet). It had an iron door set with three large bolts
and padlocks.There is no record of any person having
escaped from the jail.
There is also no picture of the jail.
There is a marker at the site of the court house.
Learn more about:
Welcome to Juniata | First Settlers | School History | Firsts in Juniata
Thanks to the Adams County Historical Society for letting us borrow these excellent pictures
of Juniata's beginning. If you would like to learn more about Adams County, visit their
web site at http://www.rootsweb.com/~neadams