THE FREMONT COUNTY HERALD. December 17, 1891. "Hamburg, Ia., Dec. 15, 1891. To the Editor of the Herald:
"William Lewis, a former noted resident of this vicinity had about 1,070 acres of bottom land on the old bed of the Big Muddy in Missouri, south of Hamburg. From the point where the Nishnabotna enters the old bed, south to the present channel of the Missouri, a distance of five miles, the water way has contracted and accretions have been formed on each side. Above, or west of the outlet of the Nishnabotna to the main river, about 3 miles, the old channel has been filled up by a sudden change in the river course, and as I am informed, the doctrine of accretions does not apply. Here is where the Lewis land is situated.
After Lewis' death, the Allen brothers, young men, tried to carry the land and the mortgages on it. In the usual way the land reverted to the mortgagees, the Lombard investment Company. The Goldens of this place have some land in that vicinity. For some time they have had a dispute with the Lombard's about their lines and the ownership of the made land. A building erected by the Goldens, was torn down by the opposite party, and an agent of the Lombard's received corporeal punishment for the same. There have been numerous suits in Missouri between the parties, in which the Goldens have been successful. A suit is now pending in the U. S. court to be held at Omaha. It was expected that the parties would come here to take depositions in the case, but instead, the Lombards were last week having surveys made to fortify their claims. I have heard that about 800 acres of land are in dispute. I am not posted as to the merits of the controversy, but I think the old settlers here are in favor of the Goldens. It is said that they now raise good potatoes in the old bed of the Missouri. There may be some other suits grow out of this litigation.
"The change in the river's channel puts part of Nebraska on the east side of the water. Above, where the Nishnabotna enters the old bed, it is dry land between two states, and below only a comparatively small water way separates Nebraska from Missouri. As the suits heretofore have been in Missouri where the land is, the Goldens have had Rockport lawyers for their attorneys. .....etc....etc.."
Hazel: I believe the earthquake which rocked Fremont county and which caused the change in the course of the Missouri river which is being referred to in the above quote, occurred in 1867. There seems to have been only a slough across the neck of an extended, peninsular, ox-bow situated southwest of Hamburg prior to 1867 which reached northeastward from near Peru, Nebraska. The Missouri river soon after the earthquake cut across the neck of this peninsula, following the slough.
This account describes the size of what was known as McKissick's Island which, as the early government survey maps suggest, reached to the Fremont county line. Just last year, Missouri surveyors located the old "50 miles" marker, and for me, raises the question as to whether McKissick's Island should not be a part of southwestern Iowa instead of Nemaha county, Nebraska.--Walter