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Showing posts from May, 2005

Wilber Republican - Aug 1960

Wilber Republican - Aug 1960 A land stake on 160 acres of choice bottom land three miles northeast of Western along the Swan Creek in South Fork Precinct in 1861 by Michael Frederick Witt which was followed by a land grant signed by President Andrew Johnson in 1867, on this same property, earns for Roger Zabel of Western the family land ownership record in Saline County.
Michael Frederick Witt came to the United States in 1865 with his family from Germany where he had worked in the government forests, traveling first to Wisconsin and then to Johnson County, Nebraska, by ox team, moving west to Saline County on foot staking a claim along the Swan Creek on land which would make the family self-sufficient. Timber was plentiful along the creek for building and fire wood; a spring and the creek provided the necessary water and the rich bottom land gave the homesteaders their first sable crop, corn.
Other families who settled in the Swan Creek vicinity at the same time making the journe…

Fairbury Journal-News of 2-5-1980

This article was copied from the Fairbury Journal-News of 2-5-1980
Natl. Register Lists Western Farm Bldg.
The Michael Witt "Fachwerkbau" near Western was entered into the National Register of Historic Places Jan. 14, 1980, says Marvin F. Kivett, State Historic Preservation Officer.

The "fachwerkbau" or "half-timbered building" was built in 1868 by Michael Witt, who was of German decent, and one of the pioneer settlers along Swan Creek.

The house is significant as a relic of German folk architectural traditions in the state and is, in fact, the only known existent structure of its type in Nebraska.

The National Register is the nation's list of significant cultural resources relating to the fields of architecture, archaeology and history.

Area Architectural Rarity On Historical Places List

This article was copied from the Fairbury Journal-News of 2-15-1980
Area Architectural Rarity On Historical Places List
Sod houses, dugouts and log cabins were the usual dwellings of the early settlers in this area.

A half-timbered building -- Fachwerkbau -- was an architectural rarity on the Great Plains, and one near Western that has survived over 110 years, was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The fachwerkbau or "half-timbered building" was built by Michael Witt in 1868, as a five-room dwelling, and was erected in the traditional medieval German style.

The front now faces east, and the double doors open to the wide off-center hall which runs through the building to a door on the west. A wide boxed stair, which ascends to the loft from the rear, occupies a position along the south wall of the hall.

There are two rooms on each side of the hall, the largest being on the north where the formal parlor occupies the north…