Tobias, NE 68453
PO Box 45
Tobias, NE 68453
Helen Kottas, Town Historian
This museum housed in the original bank and Tobias Print Shop, saved in the 1891 fire which burned most of the business district.
The Village of Tobias was platted in 1884 by the Lincoln Land Company as the town of "Castor" on the new rail line west of DeWitt. It came into being because officials of the Burlington Railroad believed there was a need for "greater convenience" to the settlers. The closest railroad was approximately 18 miles away, and those producing the cattle and hogs were having "a difficult time marketing them."
In 1891 a major fire destroyed 22 buildings, which drastically changed the face of the community. The shops that rebuilt used fire-proof construction, which greatly improved the town's appearance. But, some businesses waited before rebuilding. By 1893 times were hard, and people struggled just to survive as a drought and money panic gripped the nation for several years.
The early settlers were of German, Czech, Irish, and English descent. Today the citizens are mainly of German heritage with a smaller percentage of Czech and English. The role of the small railroad town began to change after automobiles and trucks became popular. During the Depression years, Tobias lost many businesses, including its two banks. Since then there has been a continual decline to its present population of about 140.
A State Historical Marker, honoring Sgt. Leodegar Schnyder, who served in the Army 53 years (longest of any non-commissioned officer), is located near Tobias. Schnyder, who enlisted in 1837, first saw action in the Seminole War. In 1849 he was transferred to Fort Laramie, which was at that time an isolated outpost on the overland trails. After he retired in 1886 he settled on a farm north of Tobias. He died in 1896 and is buried at the old Atlanta Cemetery. The Tobias Community Historical Society, instrumental in documenting this story, assisted in the dedication that took place on October 1, 1973.
Tourists and townspeople alike enjoy the tree-shaded park which has playground equipment and a shelter with picnic tables. Tobias, located in the southwest corner of Saline County on Highway 74, is our town, and we invite you to stop by for a visit.
Collections of household appliances, kitchen wares, tools, medical items, military articles, Tobias High School trophies and pictures and old newspapers are displayed in the museum.
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