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In June of 1870 my grandfather, the late M.S. Hills homesteaded in Section 2, Township 15, Range 6 of Mariposa precinct, Saunders County. He was the first settler in the area.

The surrounding area settled rapidly. Many of the settlers were foreign born, and while they had received a good education in their native country, they could neither read nor write in the English language. Many of them could not express their ideas or thoughts in what was a foreign language to them, and they could not speak the language well enough to be understood.

It did not take long for the settlers to become acquainted. Soon they came to depend on my grandfather to accompany them to Fremont, Lincoln or Ashland, which at that time was the county seat of Saunders County. He explained the business they wanted done. Also they wanted him to tell how to plan for their families, should they be taken by death. All of these trips were made by lumber wagon.

Late in the summer of 1872 a number of these neighbors came to my grandfather asking him if he would start a school. They wanted their children to be educated in the English language and to be able to handle business deals. My grandfather told them that he had no authority to do so, but if some of them wanted to go to the State Superintendent in Lincoln, he would go with them.



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