Silas Garber, the Nebraska Governor who lived in a dugout

Silas Garber, the Nebraska Governor who lived in a dugout

September 6, 2015

Story by Jim McKee and the Lincoln Journal Star

While living in a crude dugout on the bank of a creek, Silas Garber founded the city of Red Cloud, Nebraska, established Webster County, was elected county judge, was appointed register of public lands, operated a general store and was elected governor of Nebraska.

Silas Garber was born in 1833 in Ohio where he grew up and attended school. At 17 he moved to Iowa where he became a farmer and married in 1857. In 1861, Garber joined the Union Army’s Missouri Infantry during the Civil War rising to the rank of sergeant. In 1862, he reenlisted in the 27th Iowa as a lieutenant, becoming a captain the following year. While he was active in the Civil War, his wife died.

Immediately following the war, having fought in eight decisive battles, he moved to California for four years working as a miner and merchant. After returning briefly to Iowa, then stopping for a short time in Guide Rock, Nebraska, Garber and his brother began exploring western Nebraska. In 1870, he filed for the first homestead in western Jefferson County, which later spun off, becoming today’s Webster County.

Read the full article by clicking here