The village of Holstein, located in Cottonwood Township, was platted in 1887 when the Kansas City and Omaha Railroad came through the area. Most of the land in Cottonwood Township had been settled in the 1870's and a settlement may have begun before the arrival of the railroad in 1887. The town was incorporated in June, 1889 with boundaries which embraced a tract of land six miles long and three miles wide, one-half of Cottonwood Township. Holstein became known as the "Six by Three Town." Why such a large area? Some said they expected the town to grow, but others explained that it was necessary to include that large an area to get enough citizens to sign a petition for a liquor license; the population was sparse. The new village was named Holstein in honor of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany, former home of many early settlers. In 1915 the village boundaries were amended to contain only portions of section 22, 23, 26 and 27, Cottonwood Township.
Reports for School District#11, later known as Holstein School, were first filed for the 1876-77 school year. John C. Hargleroad was the first reported teacher at a salary of $12 per month. A one room school house may have existed as early as 1872. Some time later a two story frame building was erected. The brick structure was erected in 1908 at a cost of $8,000.
In 1889 because of the large area of the town, the eighteen square miles, an additional school, known as West Ward, was built on Section 21. This school closed in 1936.
The Class of 1909 was the first high school graduating class. It consisted of one student, W. B. Hargleroad, Jr. Because of low enrollment, the junior and senior high school grades were discontinued in 1970.
When the brick schoolhouse was built in 1908, the old two story frame building was moved south of the railroad tracks on Depot Street and used as an opera house for several years. It was torn down in 1914 and in 1915 W. G. Hargleroad built a large brick two story building on the west side of Depot Street. The lower floor of the building was known as the "Opera House" because plays were given here in the early years and later movies were shown in the theatre. The second floor was divided into two small offices which were used by the various doctors and a large room used as a public meeting place and dance hall. During the 1920's the upstairs hall was used as a gymnasium since the school did not have one. In later years the building was used as a tavern.
Holstein post office was established in 1888 with A. S. Thompson as first postmaster. The post office was located in his combination drug and grocery story on the corner of Depot and Fillmore Streets and served a population of about 150 area residents.
Several businesses were opened in 1888 including a drug store operated by Mr. McPeak; general merchandise store operated by J.H. Freeman of Juniata and the hope Brothers Hardware Store. Elijah Minnix opened the first hotel in 1889.
William Westering and G.H. VanAntwerp erected the first brick store building in 1900. The Holstein Mercantile Company occupied the building which cost about $4,000. The building was destroyed by fire in December, 1927. A brick building was rebuilt on the site about 1929. Miller Grocery and Locker were located in the building form 1945 until 1971.
The first grain elevator was built in 1888 by C.J. Furer. During the 1890's there were as many as three grain elevators in Holstein. Farmers Union Cooperative Association of Holstein was organized in 1919. A concrete elevator was erected in 1958 and in 1967 Juniata Farmers Cooperative Association purchased the assets of the Holstein Co-op.
A flour mill was established about 1890 by Schelhemer and Clark but it did not operate long. A second mill, which stood about 200 yards west of the railroad station, was begun about the same time by Nicholas Metzer. It was a steam roller mill with a capacity of forty bushels of flour per day. The mill closed in 1894 and the plan was moved to Alma , Nebraska.
Several weekly newspapers have been printed for Holstein area subscribes. The HOLSTEIN RECORD was founded in 1889 by W. S. McCauley and discounted in 1890. The HOLSTEIN NONPAREIL was founded in 1890 and discontinued in 1893. The ADAMS COUNTY INDEPENDENT was printed in Holstein during 1897. The HOLSTEIN WEEKLY EXPOSITOR was issued briefly in 1900. The HOLSTEIN HERALD was begun in May, 1916. The HOLSTEIN REPORTER was printed in 1924 and 1925.
The Holstein State Bank opened in 1888 with T. B. McAuley as President.. In 1890 A. G. and J. F. McAuley were proprietors. In 1895 the bank's capital was listed as $10,000. The bank closed in 1897. The Farmers and Merchants Bank with M. A. Hargleroad as president, was in operation in 1890, but operated only a short time. William Madget opened a bank at Holstein in 1899 which lasted only a few months.
The First State Bank of Holstein was established in 1902 with A. L. Clarke was president and W. B. Hargleroad as cashier. A brick bank building was erected in 1914. The bank continued operation until 1931 then the Depression caused its failure.
No bank has operated in Holstein since 1931. Fred Hageman used the brick bank building as a hardware store for a time. The building remains in almost original condition and Lewis Upholstery occupies it today.
ADAMS COUNTY DIRECTORY 1925-26
Published by Wolfe and Pickering, Kenesaw, Nebraska
Alphabetical List of Holstein Residents
Agee, Austin, Salesman, wife Cleo, Arlene Dell 8, Erma Lucile 5, Lee 10
Blauch, E W, Oil Truck Driver, wife Anna
Bohlke, H F, Farmer, wife Mollie, Mildred 13
Christensen, Christ, Mgr Opera House, wife Minnie, Leona, Lila 14, Clarence, Leonard 16, Julius 14
Christensen, Vinita, School Teacher
Churchill, George, Laborer, wife Maggie, Earl 17
Clark, J A, Implement Dealer, wife Della, Margie 16, Glen 10
Clark, L E, Farmer, wife Della R
Collins, W D, Cafe and Soft Drinks, wife Mary, John 15, Vasta 16, Mary, niece 18
Dickersen, F E, Druggist, wife Gertrude, Roberta 5, Dorothy 4, Earl 3, Richard 1
Dutton, Mrs. Sylvia, widow, Housekeeper
Eich, John, Laborer, wife Lily, Minnie 17, Wilma, 16, Anna 14, Norma 10
Eigenberg, H T, Stock Buyer, wife Sylvia, Faye 13, Thelma 5, Vern 9, Dale 6, Russel 2
Essinger, J W, President, Essinger Garage & Oil Company, single
Fernow, A B, Retired, wife Josafena, Hazel 17
Fisher, John, Retired, wife Mary
Gentert, Casper, Retired Farmer, wife Florence
Gentert, Conrad, Retired, wife Katherine, Lovina, Addie, Viola Wagner 10, Hebert Wagner 11
Giese, Jacob, Retired, wife Margaret
Golgart, Mrs Caroline, widow
Granstrom, Gus, Farmer, wife Edith, Bernard 7
Grueber, Rev. L C C, Pastor Lutheran Church, wife Martha, LaVern 3, Rhoda l
Hagemann, F C, Contractor and Builder, wife Adah
Halbmaier, John, Laborer, wife Pauline
Hansen, George, Salesman, wife Essie, June 3
Hansen, Henry, Retired, wife Orgenia
Hansen, Peter, Retired, wife Mary
Hardin, H L, single, Manager Silvey Lumber Company
Hargleroad, Mrs. Phoebe, widow, Beulah 13, Ted l7
Hargleroad, W B, Jr., Cashier First State Bank, wife Anna, William 11, Beverly A 8
Hargleroad, W B, Sr, County Commissioner, wife Maggie, Grace 16, Ralph 14
Harrington, Cecil, Laborer, wife Neola
Hendricksen, Robert, Barber Shop, wife Cecelia Gerene 3, Eilene 3 weeks
Hershey, S S, Machine Shop and Garage, wife Mary
Huckfeldt, Joseph Sr, Retired Farmer, wife Mary
Hupf, Henry, Carpenter, wife Elsie, Paul 3, Ritta Ann 7 mos
Hupf, John Jr, Carpenter, wife Elizabeth, Lucile 3
Johnson, Harry, Principal of Schools, single
Johnson, Peter, Janitor, Holstein Schools, wife Sena
Joynt, C B
Joynt, F S., Retired Farmer, wife Laura
Joynt, L F.
Kennedy, Henry, Hotel, wife Jane
Kennedy, James, Salesman, wife Vivian
Kitts, A J, Laborer, wife Arrelee
Kramer, O N, Section Foreman, wife Catherine, Norma 1, Asa 15, Walter, Ira 6, Lyle 3
Kunselman, E H, Salesman, wife, Ruth
Kunselman, J L, C B & Q Agent, wife Marvel, James 8
Laird, L D, General Merchandise, wife Telena, Don 7, Lola 4
Lukow, Frank, Rural Mail Carrier, Bertha, Laura, daughters, Hulda Einspahr 13, Magdalena Einspahr 7, nieces, Amandus Einspahr 6, nephew
McCoy, W A, Hardware Dealer, wife Ethel, Ruby 8, Claude 6, Dale 2
Mains, John, Engineer, wife Clara, Marvin 3 mos
Manske, Miss Bertha
Maxwell, John, Decorator, wife Anna, grand children, Yetive 10, Loraine Whipple 7
Monroe, J A, Dairy Farmer, wife Betty, Harold Giese 18
Neal, G O, Meat Market, wife Reba, Alta 12, Alvin 11, Alfred 10, Alma 8, Genevieve 5, Selma 4
Nelson, Arthur, Superintendent, of Schools, single
Nelson, Romain, Salesman, wife Nora
Nelson, Walt, Manager, Farmers Union Co-Op Association, wife Cora, Lee 7, Walt Jr. 3
Oelschlager, A R, Asst-Cashier First State Bank, wife Alma, Lois 4
Offer, Miss Hilda, Saleslady
Osgood, R G, Soft Drink Parlor, wife Dora, Pauline 13, Evelyn 11, Lawrence 8, Betty 3
Petersen, A P, Farmer, wife Emma
Petersen, Harry, Barber, Single
Peterson, Clara, Housekeeper
Peterson, Lars, Thresherman
Peterson, S W, Retired Farmer
Reichert, Karl, Retired Farmer, wife Mary, Lena, Bernice 13, Karl, William 17, Walter 15
Rumbaugh, Rev C H, Pastor Evangelical Church, wife Alta, Paul 2, Jean Lucile 1
Sahling, Jacob, Clerk
Saunders, L E, Manager Nebr-Iowa Grain Company, wife Nettie
Saunders, Miss Myrtle
Sipke, Leon, Truck Driver
Van Veghten, Furniture and Undertaking, wife Carrie
Wagner, D W, Painter and Decorator
Wagner, Fred, Secretary Essinger Garage, wife Rose, Irene 7, Harold 4
Wagner, Mrs. Minnie, George 14
Wagner, Miss Emly, School Teacher
Wolcott, Blanche, School Teacher
Wolcott, Mrs. Eliza, widow
Zubrod, Jake, Drayman, wife Rosa, Leona 11, Leonard 9, Billy 7