. . . A website devoted to the discovery and preservation of the history of Pauline, Nebraska, USA! Located on the banks of the Little Blue River in southern Adams County, this tiny community once sang withthe rhythm life: the shouts of school children, the hymns of church women, the transactions of business people, the whistle of trains, and the anvil of the blacksmith. It was the music of preachers and teachers, of farmers and farm wives, of railroaders and elevator men, of saints and sinners and everything in-between. But bit by bit, the music faded into yesteryear, seemingly carried away by the ceaseless ebb and flow of the Little Blue River. Silence now bandies about the tattered, aged walls of the few remaining institutions; it echoes through streets once teeming with activity. But it is not a quiet kind of silence; it is a silence that begs to be heard, a story that cries out for re-telling. Thus, The Pauline Project was born.
-Gaze in awe at the beautiful, stained-glass windows of Pauline Methodist Church, and learn about the efforts of faithful church women whosupported the church in every aspect of its ministry, thus melding together a community. Read about pheasant suppers, bake sales, Christmas plays and programs and the Word of God.
-Discover what life was like for the owner of a general store who would stop at nothing to serve his patrons and the institutions of Pauline. Read about the Evans Store in the business section, visit the photo gallery at the bottom of the page, and learn more about Owen and Lizzie Evans' personal contributions in "Families & Persons of Interest."
-Step into the shoes of a store owner's grandchild, with an entire lumberyard and hardware store as your playground, as T.W. Jones' granddaughters reminisce about their grandfather's business.
-Smile at the foibles of a well-meaning, dedicated banker who unwittingly entertained a younger generation.
-Share a smile, a tear, a laugh with students of days gone by in the "School" section, and enjoy looking at memorabilia from generations past.
-Find yourself drawn to the incredible beauty and nostalgia of black and white photography from the early 1900s.
The people of Pauline were preachers and teachers, church women, bankers, lodge members, scholars, soldiers, saints, sinners andeverything in-between. But no matter their lot in life, whatever their calling, they were, above all else, neighbors. Not the type that just happen to live next door to each other and wave in passing on the way to somewhere else. The faces of yesteryear were neighborly neighbors: keenly interested in, intricately bound up in, one another's lives. At the end of most major features are included snippets from newspapers of decades past. These brief news items greatly add to our understanding of institutions, people and their relationships; many are sure to bring a smile to your face. Be sure to check out "In The News" at the end of each major feature!
Our home page photo was taken in 1911 from the east side of Pauline's main street (Kingston Avenue), facing north. From left are the Purdy & Son grocery and dry goods store, the Pavelka Blacksmith shop, Pauline State Bank, the C.K. McCleery & Co. General MerchandiseStore, the Glazier & Woods store (advertising hardware, harness and sporting goods; furniture, carpet and draperies; farm machinery, wagons and buggies), S.T. Davis Barber Shop, Ernest Harriett Drug Store, Enos Vaticek Harness and Shoe Repair, Abbott Grocery Store and the John Leighfield/Matt Burroughs Livery Stable, where horses were cared for while people took the Missouri Pacific rail to Hastings. Photo is from the Benny Leighfield collection, courtesy of Doris Evans Alexander.
The unincorporated village of Pauline came into existence in 1887, located in Little Blue Township at the junction of two railroad lines, the Kansas City and Omaha (K.C. & O.) and the Missouri Pacific. A Burlington railroad attorney charged with securing rights-of-way for feeder lines such as the K.C. & O. named the town in honor of his wife, Pauline Shallenberger Ragan. The neighboring village of Ragan derived its name from Mr. Ragan. Married in 1882, John N. and Pauline Ragan made their home in nearby Hastings, where Mrs. Ragan was active in cultural and civic affairs.
The town of Pauline took shape on the east half of the Northwest quarter of Section 9, the junction of two rail lines on the James McCleery homestead, the Little Blue River coursing life through its veins. Railroad rights-of-way were also purchased through the homesteads of McCleery, Jonas Goding and James Dean for the Missouri Pacific, and through the homesteads of McCleery and Dan Olmstead for the K.C. & O. Early settlers helped with the building of both railroads, using money from sale of rights-of-way and wages to improve their homesteads or farms. The rail lines were completed in 1888 and began service that year.
The town's population swelled to 200 in 1917. A church, a school, a town hall, a post office, a bank, two grain elevators, stockyards and a profusion of other business establishments sprang to life over the years. But one by one they fell victim to fire, drought, or "progress" - mechanization that took people to larger communities.
The K.C.& O. rail line was eventually purchased by the Burlington and operated through the 1930s. Its tracks were taken up in 1940. The Missouri Pacific maintained a presence in the community for nearly a century, the last train rolling through town on March 2, 1985.
The church and the east grain elevator remain viable institutions, having survived into the 21st century. About 40 people currently inhabit the community.
*Taken from "Pauline and Community, 1887-1987, 'A Trail in Time' ".
May this site stir up for you a pleasant memory, warm your heart with nostalgia, and bring to your day a bit of the unhurried, neighborly pace of yesteryear in Pauline, Nebraska, USA. Thanks for your visit . . .