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Railroad

The Railroad had selected some sites for their stations. Fairmont was not on railroad land.  April 1871, the Railroad hired 4 men to take pre exemption claims on the land wanted for the town site and proved up on them and then deeded it to the railroad.  Up to this time, there were 2 post offices established near Fairmont, first one was on the southwest corner of the quarter just northeast of present town site which was called Hesperia, the post office was moved to W. H. Brown's residence and then to Dan Spades store.  Then the name was changed to Fairmont which means "Fine surrounding and some-what elevated position." 

1871 J. E. Porter opened a general store in Fairmont at 5th and F Street (Cubbison's Corner) was the starting point of businesses in Fairmont. Main Street has had 3 changes:

  • 1st stage from Depot south to the Cubbison Building (5th & F) burned in 1888.
  • 2nd Front Cubbison east. 1901 and 1905 Fires
  • 3rd to  present main street.  Fires mostly caused these changes 

Burlington and M Railroad attracted many settlers, in 1872 Fairmont was the furthermost western town on the Great American Desert.  There was no other town west for over 500 miles or between it and Denver Colorado

By the fall of 1872 Fairmont had a School building, hotels, more stores, lumberyards, and coal and feed yards under construction.  Three brickyards were started to supply materials.  All materials for construction and maintenance for both Geneva and York had to come through Fairmont the nearest shipping point.  

1872 the First Newspaper "Fairmont Bulletin".  In 1881 there were 3 newspapers, "Fairmont Bulletin"  "Nebraska Bulletin" and "Nebraska Signal".  The "Nebraska Signal" was published in Fairmont until 1957 when it moved to Geneva  and is still in publication to date. 

 

1873 Fairmont had 2 hotels and many stores. The Bulletin listed 7 Attorneys at law; 2 Doctors; 5 implements; 1 bank, 1 bakery, 2 blacksmiths;3 carpenters; 2 confectionery; 4 dry goods; 2 druggists; 3 Elevators; 1 furniture; 4 grocers; 2 hardware; 2 hotels ; 1 Insurance;Various Lawyers; jewelers, lumber; land;livery;3 millinery; 2 meat markets; monuments; Newspaper; painters; 3 restaurants; 4 Saloons, shoe and boot store; Tailor and Dressmaker; Livery Stable and wagon Maker.

1880 population was 1800 it was the "Metropolis of the Era". 

One of the first major business enterprises was organized in 1884 the Fairmont Creamery Company.  In 1886 507 Lbs of Butter was churned and sold to the Fairmont citizens for 45 cents a pound, by 1887 they made 2,400 pounds of butter in one day and was shipping out 15,000 pounds of butter a week.  The original plant was operated alone in Fairmont until it purchased Crete Creamery  in 1889, Tobias in 1890, Friend 1891.  BY 1891 they employed 100 men and was making 7,000 lbs of butter daily/  DeWitt 1892, Fairbury 1893, Geneva 1893 and in 1894 the company was moved to Crete.  Milford and Hebron in 1895.  In 1907 the stockholders voted to move it to Omaha. In the 20's Fairmont Creamery was the largest in the world with offices not only in New York and other large cities in America but also Europe. 

Dr S. F. Ashby a practicing Dr in Fairmont since 1885 bought the building and made it into a Doctor's office and small hospital.  In 1913 he was joined by his nephew A. A. (Bert) Ashby.  After WWII Dr. Charles F. Ashby joined his father.   The office was open one one day a week until 1969. 

The Railroad was big in 1888, it employed 50 people.  Our depot closed in 1971.

Transportation gave Fairmont a great start, and the Railroad, Major Hiway, Airport, Fiber Optic Running through Fairmont plays an important part in Fairmont's future.  

 

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Village of Fairmont635 6th AvenueFairmont, NE  68354

PH: 402-268-3341

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