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A village of about 200 inhabitants some six miles southwest of Lincoln was laid out in 1856 by Thomas C. Meyer of New York, a Mr. Spencer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a Mr. Blatchford of New York, and the Morgan brothers of Dwight, Illinois. The survey was made by Conroy Pierce, County Surveyor. The earliest settlers in this township were Samuel C. Foster, D. F. Wright, C. Wright, James Braucher, Samuel McGarvey, the Rankins, and others. The first settler in the village was Thomas Debety, who built the first house therein, and lived here a few years. The house is now the residence of Mrs. Harriet King. Wm. Sample built a stone store after the town was platted. The building is now occupied by Abram Eisiminger for the same purpose. Albert McCollister was the first postmaster in town, using for his office a small building now unoccupied. As soon as the town began to fill with residents Charles D. McCauley erected a second store and George Barry, a when, becoming inadequate to the increased wants of the school population, it was sold and the present two story house built. It contains two rooms and will accommodate about 100 pupils. The first teacher in the little frame school house was a Mr. Wilburt who was probably the first teacher in town.

The Christians erected the first church in Broadwell. They yet occupy the house. Among their earliest ministers were Revs. Charles Berry and Allen Rice. They were followed by the Methodist Episcopal Church who built a frame church near the schoolhouse which they now occupy. Among their early ministers was Rev. Simmons who labored in various localities in the interest of his denomination.

The town enjoys a very good trade in grain and stock, nearly all being shipped to Eastern markets. There are at present two stores, three shops, two churches and one school.