Pony Express
Historic Resource Study
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Chapter Five:

NEBRASKA (Continued)


Very, very little is known about this particular station site other than its supposed location. According to the Mattes and the Hendersons, this site was probably in Deuel County, two miles southeast of Chappell, Nebraska. [68]


The exact location of Pole Creek No. 2 Station site remains unknown. The name occurs in the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract, and Mattes and Henderson place the station along Lodgepole Creek near the town of Lodgepole, about halfway between Nine Mile Creek and Pole Creek No. 3. Trail historians Mattes and Henderson also suggest a possible connection between this site and another, that was later occupied in 1865 by E. Farrell. [69] Several other sources also list Pole Creek No. 2 as a station. [70]


The Pole Creek No. 3 Station site was likely about three and one-half miles east of Sidney, Nebraska, in Cheyenne County. [71] According to Mattes and Henderson, the station's log and sod dugout once stood on the north side of Lodgepole Creek, which flowed through the St. George Cattle Ranch. For a time, Rouliette and Pringle operated the site as a stage ranch, near the intersection of the old California Road and stage routes heading for the North Platte and Bridger Pass. [72] Other sources also identify Pole Creek No. 3 as a station. [73]


This supposed site is presumably on State Highway 285 and U.S. 385, about three miles south and one mile west of Gurley, Nebraska. The site does not occur in official records, but would serve as a logical place for a relay station between Pole Creek No. 3 and Mud Springs. In 1960, Mattes and Henderson identify Midway as a station between Pole Creek No. 3 and Mud Springs, and noted that evidence of structures existed at the site. [74] In 1866, Margaret Carrington, an officer's wife, noted that the mail station received water from a "government well" at the site. [75] Mrs. Francis Carrington, possibly a relative of Margaret's, mentioned this station in her diary as well. [76]

48. MUD SPRINGS STATION: NR 4/24/73, 73001068

The Mud Springs Station is well documented and it has been well researched by several authors. Nevertheless, its exact location is in dispute. This site is possibly located about twelve miles southeast of Bridgeport, Nebraska, in Morrill County. [77] Sources generally agree on its identity as a home station for the C.O.C. & P.P. Express Co. [78] James McArdle served as stationkeeper for the Pony Express and stage lines, which probably shared the same sod structures. Mud Springs also later served as a telegraph relay station. In February 1865, Fort Laramie soldiers clashed with Indians returning from the Julesburg siege in the Battle of Mud Springs. [79]

In 1896, Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Scherer purchased the property surrounding the Mud Springs site. In 1939, Mrs. Scherer donated the station site to the Nebraska State Historical Society. Thereafter, on June 11, 1939, Dr. A. E. Sheldon, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Historical Society, dedicated a native-stone monument with a bronze Pony Express symbol and plaque on the site. As late as 1951, the monument and plaque still stood at this location. [80] The text reads:

MUD SPRINGS STATION/A Station on the Pony Express Route--1860-61./A station on the First Transcontinental Telegraph Line./A station on the Overland Stage Route./Battle between Sioux Indians and U. S. Troops, Febr. 6th-7th, 1865/This site given to the State of Nebraska/by/Mrs. Etta A. Scherer and children/To be preserved as a memorial to all the early settlers who/won the West./Monument erected June 11, 1939,/by/The Mud Springs Womans Club. [81]


From Mud Springs, Pony Express riders followed a route that passed through Pumpkin Seed Crossing and southwest of the Court House Rock formation, where the Pony Express station was located. [82] This site is five miles south and one and one-fourth miles west of Bridgeport, Nebraska. Most sources generally agree on its identity as a C.O.C. & P.P. Express Co. station. [83]


Trail historians generally agree that Chimney Rock was a Pony Express station, [84] however, the exact location of this site is still unclear. Two traditional sources place the station between the Chimney Rock formation and the river: one places the station at Facus Springs, nine miles northwest of Bridgeport, while the other source locates it two miles south and one mile west of Bayard, Nebraska. [85]


This site is reportedly one mile west of Melbeta, Nebraska in Scotts Bluff County. The 1861 Overland Mail Company contract listed the site as an unnamed Pony station, later named for Benjamin F. Ficklin, superintendent of the entire Pony Express route. [86] Other sources also identify Ficklin's Springs as a station. [87]

The site originated as a Pony Express station and later served as a telegraph station and temporary garrison in 1865. In 1871, cattle rancher Mark M. Coad acquired the sod station. [88] As late as 1987, a marker stood on Nebraska State Highway 92 identifying the station's visible stone foundations. [89]


This site is probably near or at the old Fort Mitchell (1864-1868) site, twelve miles west of Ficklin's Springs and about two and one-half miles northwest of Mitchell Pass, near a bend of the North Platte River. [90] Even though Mabel Loving and Roy Bloss identify Fort Mitchell as a station after Scott's Bluff, [91]other sources generally link the two sites but differ on its function as a relay or home station. [92] The Oregon Trail Memorial Association placed a granite site marker with their circular bronze Pony Express motif near the North Platte bridge, which stood as late as 1960. [93]


The Horse Creek Station site is most likely located on the west bank of Horse Creek, about two miles northeast of Lyman, in Scotts Bluff County. The station served as a stop for the Pony Express. [94] Several sources identify Horse Creek as a station, which, according to Mattes, possibly also served at one time as the site of Joseph Robidoux's second trading post. [95]

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Last Updated: 17-Jan-2008