Friday, 1 January 2016

Herboldsheimer, Daniel & Sarah, Ranch - United States Department of the Interior National Park Service National Register of Historic Places

Herboldsheimer, Daniel & Sarah, Ranch - United States Department of the Interior National Park Service National Register of Historic Places

Name of Property historic name-
Herboldsheimer, Daniel & Sarah, Ranch
Location street & number city, town-
Potter, Nebraska, NE, county Chevenne, zip code 69156
1 building(s)
1 object
Number of Resources within Property Contributing 6
Noncontributing 2 buildings, sites 6, structures objects 8.
Stone Materials- foundation walls limestone limestone, log roof shingle

Describe present and historic physical appearance.
The Daniel and Sarah Herboldsheimer Ranch, located in Cheyenne County, represents an excellent example of an early Nebraska ranch utilizing stone building material and technology in the High Plains region of the state. The ranch still retains the majority of representative buildings and structures used in the stock raising and wheat growing operations of the Herboldsheimer family beginning in the 1880's. The ranch includes two dwellings, the c. 1905 limestone house, and the c. 1888-1900 log and limestone house. The large stone barn is situated east of the main dwelling and the remaining outbuildings are arranged in an ell-shaped manner. The property also includes a stone corral built by Herboldsheimer in 1900. The nomination consists of eight contributing resources: six buildings, one structure, and one object; and eight noncontributing resources: two buildings and six structures. Structural and historical integrity is uniformly high for all contributing resources.

The property continues to be occupied and operated for agricultural purposes. The Herboldsheimer Ranch is located approximately nine miles northeast of Potter, a small town (1989 population: 369) in Cheyenne County. Cheyenne County is located in the High Plains region in the extreme western part of Nebraska, which geographically supports grain and livestock production. The region is characterized by flat-lying land which is composed of sandstone of stream-deposited silt, sand, clay and gravel overlain with loess. Native vegetation is Buffalo grass (short grass) prairie. Lodgepole Creek and the South Platte River transect the region from west to east. Cheyenne County, one of the largest counties in the state, boasted a huge cattle industry for many years until it experienced a collapse of that business in favor of wheat farming. The Herboldsheimer Ranch is a striking assemblage of late nineteenth and early twentieth century agricultural architecture, noted for its use of limestone in the construction of the majority of buildings in the ranch group.

The ranch is a relatively compact group of buildings efficiently arranged in an ell-shaped manner. Located north of the public road and oriented south and east, the ranch is divided into domestic and agricultural areas by a lane which runs north-south. The domestic functions are located west of the lane, and to the south is the front yard. Agricultural storage and animal facility areas are situated east of the lane in a north-to-south pattern, with the stone milk house serving as the north terminus and the large stone barn serving as the major south terminus. The waterworks area, directly east of the lane, originally included the reservoir, windmill, and well (see site plan). Only the well remains today. Landscape features on the property include only a small number of deciduous trees along the lane (see site plan), and shrub plantings around the main dwelling. The main ranch group is situated on the original 160 acre homestead obtained by Daniel Herboldsheimer in September 1888 from the Union Pacific Railway Company.

This nomination comprises a four acre tract of land that contains all of the representative buildings and structures in the ranch complex. Because the property is being submitted under Criterion "C", only that parcel of land that contains the architecturally significant resources is being nominated. The inventory of principal buildings, structures and objects follows, beginning with those resources that contribute, and followed by those that do not, with their numbers corresponding to the accompanying site plan.

Contributing Buildings 
1. Stone house (photos 1, 4, 5) built c. 1905, one story with loft, square, 11 x 11.5 meters (36' x 37'G"), native limestone, rock faced ashlar, wood shingled truncated hip roof with gabled wall dormers, cellar, double hung windows with one-over-one pane arrangement, stone lintel hoods and lugsills, porch addition on east facade, main level consists of four rooms, loft contains four rooms, presently serves as main dwelling house.

2. Log and stone house (photos 1, 2, 3) built c. 1888-1900, one story, rectangular, 9 x 12.5 meters (29'6" x 41'), wood shingle gable roof with rear shed addition, house built in various construction stages, original dwelling hewn log with chinks, one-half dovetail notching (c. 1888), with second construction episode utilizing smooth-faced rubble stone, single-pen addition, east side of log (1895), date stone inscribed with "HA 1895 R9" is set above main entry door, and third construction episode utilizing rock-faced ashlar stone wrap-around addition, three room, shed wing and west gable extension (c.1900), square window openings on all facades, frame window surrounds, stone lintels, additional entry on east facade, house converted to carriage shed after 1905 stone house built, now used for agricultural storage.

3. Stone barn (photos 6, 7, 8) built 1898, rectangular, 10 x 20 meters (32'9" x 65'6"), native limestone, smooth ashlar walls, present wood shingle gambrel roof rebuilt in 1921 with frame cupola, one-story extension built c. 1921, square, 8.5 x 8.5 meters (27'9" x 27'9"), west smooth-faced rubble stone wall originally part of the stone corral, stuccoed, east and south walls frame, wood shingle gable roof.

4. Stone milk house (photos 1, 6, 10) built 1888, one-story, rectangular, 3.5 x 4 meters (11'6" x 13'), native limestone, north wall is rubble stone, east, south, west walls are smooth ashlar, wood shingle gable roof with stepped parapet wall on south facade, gable entry.

5. Stone granary (photos 1, 6, 7, 9) built c. 1900, one-story, square, 4x4 meters (13' x 13'), native limestone, rock-faced ashlar, wood shingle gable roof with parapet walls.

6. Chicken house (photos 1, 11) built c. 1920, frame, rectangular, 3x5 meters (9'9" x 16'4"), shed roof. Contributing Structure

7. Stone corral (photos 1, 6, 9, 12, 13) built 1900, native limestone, smooth-faced rubble stone, walls approximately 2' thick, 8' high, wooden gate, loading chute. Stone hitching post (photo 3), built 1890's, limestone.

Non-Contributing Buildings and Structures 9. Machine shed (photo 11, background) large metal quonset building. 10-15. Granaries (photos 1, 3, 4, 6, 12) contemporary metal granaries. 16. Shed (photos 1 , 4) small frame storage building, rectangular plan, gable roof.

The Herboldsheimer's first house was constructed of sod (no longer extant). The majority of stone buildings originally utilized pole and sod material for roof construction. In 1898, Herboldsheimer excavated a reservoir eight feet deep and lined it with the limestone. Originally located west of the windmill (see site plan), the stone walls were demolished and the reservoir was filled in around 1946. Building remnants of a farrowing house (see site plan) are included on the property, but are not counted in this nomination due to loss of integrity. Integrity is uniformly high for all contributing buildings and structures. Although minor modifications have been made to the dwellings, especially in the interior spaces, structural and historical integrity of the ranch complex, as a whole, is preserved .

The property, although no longer occupied by descendents of the Herboldsheimers, continues to be occupied and operated for agricultural purposes.

Period of Significance Significant Dates Architecture

Significant Person Architect/Builder
Herboldsheimer, Daniel 
The Daniel and Sarah Herboldsheimer Ranch is architecturally significant (Criterion "C") on a state-wide level, as a well preserved example of an early Nebraska ranch. The property is important for its associations with folk building traditions in that it reflects the availability of materials and technology utilized by an early settler in the establishment and development of a ranch in the High Plains region of western Nebraska.

Herboldsheimer, the son of German immigrants, utilized locally available materials, namely stone, to construct the majority of buildings in the ranch complex. The period of significance is derived from the original construction date of the earliest ranch building (1888), through significant later additions (1921), inclusive of all construction dates for contributing ranch buildings and structures.

Daniel Herboldsheimer, son of German immigrants Barthalamews Sabastian Herboldsheimer and Barbara Pfieghardt Herboldshiemer, was born in Cookstown, Pennsylvania on November 2, 1857. Daniel was known to family and friends as Dan Heimer, using his full name only on legal transactions. His family later moved to Guttenburg, Iowa. In 1878, Herboldsheimer homesteaded near Kenesaw, west of Hastings, Nebraska and married Sarah Alice Segraves on January 1, 1880.

In September 1888 Herboldsheimer purchased a quarter section of land northeast of Potter in Cheyenne County from the Union Pacific Railway Company for the sum of $402.00. The 1900 census listed his occupation as a farmer. According to local histories, he raised livestock in the early years of the ranch operation, but later turned to wheat growing. Herboldsheimer died November 27, 1945 and was buried in the Potter cemetery.

Major Bibliographical References-
Cook, A.S., "Heimer of Nebraska Built for the Years", The Western Farm Life, April'15, 1942. Herboldsheimer,

Mrs. Wesley, Danial Herboldsheimer Ranch, Nebraska Historic Buildings Survey Form, September, 1984, on File, Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, NE

Mathewson, Kate, "Daniel Herboldsheimer Family",

History of Cheyenne County Nebraska 1986, Cheyenne County History Book Committee, Curtis'Media' Corporation, Copyright 1987.

McAlester, Virginia & Lee, A Field Guide to American Houses, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, Copyright 1984.

Geographical Data Acreage of property, 4 acres-
The property is described as a square tract.of land commencing at a point at the extreme southwest corner of the southwest quarter of Section 7, Township 15 North, Range 51 West, thence running North 417.5 feet, thence east 417.5 feet, thence south 417.5 feet, thence west 417.5 to the point of beginning, a rural legal description in Cheyenne County, Nebraska.

Because of the scarcity of timber in "treeless" counties such as Cheyenne, the most readily available construction material was sod. Its use was widespread by early settlers who set up homesteads on the prairie lands, and needed basic shelter. As families became better established, some of them desired more substantial dwelling houses constructed of permanent materials, such as log or stone. Limestone outcroppings, located along Lodgepole Creek and its tributaries, provided a source of building material and found favor with settlers in Cheyenne County.

The Herboldsheimer ranch house illustrates the chronology of this housing pattern: their first home, a soddy, was replaced following construction of the log dwelling (c. 1888). That same year, Herboldsheimer began building with the locally available limestone. The closest source was over five miles south at Point of Rocks, so the burdensome task of quarrying and hauling the stone was necessary before he could begin construction. The stone was also used in later additions to the log dwelling and in construction of the main dwelling house. Stone was also used in constructing the barn, most of the outbuildings, and the corral. Architecturally significant, the Herboldsheimer Ranch represents an excellent example of a Nebraska ranch, retaining the majority of buildings used in the stock raising and wheat farming operations of the Herboldsheimer family beginning in the 1880's. The ranch buildings are important for their associations with folk building traditions. Herboldsheimer, the son of German immigrants, utilized his own masonry skills and readily available materials, namely limestone, to construct his buildings. The most notable building on the ranch is the one-story log and stone dwelling. The house was built in various construction stages.

The original house was log (c. 1888), with later construction episodes utilizing smooth-faced rubble stone (1895) and rock-faced ashlar stone (c. 1900).

 In Nebraska the house stands as an important product of folk architecture. These folk houses were strongly influenced by geography, and constructed of materials found in the proximity of the building site. In many cases, the native materials were quarried and prepared by the builders themselves. Because of the availability of building materials from one locale to another, as well as building traditions settlers brought with them, the structure and form of these folk houses varies from region to region (McAlester, 1984, p. 63). The Herboldsheimer house remains today as a product of folk building traditions in Nebraska; it reflects the availability of native limestone as building material in the High Plains region, and illustrates the building skills used by an early settler in the preparation and treatment of the stone.

The 1984 Nebraska Historic Buildings Survey (NEHBS) of Cheyenne County identified five similar ranch properties which utilized stone construction for the majority of buildings. They include the Gunderson Homestead (NEHBS # CN00-5), the William Kidney Homestead (CN00-13), the F.W.'Krueger, Jr. Ranch (CN00-31), the Adams Ranch (CN00-32), and the Herboldsheimer Ranch. For the most part, stone construction was found in the valley area along the major stream, Lodgepole Creek, which runs east-west through the county. At the time of the survey, the integrity of these ranch groupings, for the most part, was poor, with many buildings abandoned and in deteriorated condition.

The Herboldsheimer Ranch exhibits a high degree of integrity and in comparison to other surveyed ranch properties, contains a concentration of stone buildings and structures in its agricultural group. On a regional level, the Herboldsheimer property represents one of the best examples of a stone ranch complex. Cheyenne county, in comparison to other counties in the High Plains region, contains a large number of agricultural complexes utilizing stone construction for the majority of buildings. Although stone construction was identified in other counties, these properties were generally cases in which only single stone buildings were recorded, either as part of a larger ranch complex or as the only surviving structure of a rural grouping. The Herboldsheimer ranch gains further importance due to the survival of the stone corral. Constructed of smooth-faced rubblestone, the corral represents an excellent example of a stone wall system found in a ranch complex. Although remnants of stone corrals have been identified through the NEHBS, none compare to the nature and condition of the Herboldsheimer corral.

To date., twelve Nebraska farms or ranches have been listed in the National Register: the Thomas Majors Farmstead (NEHBS #NH09~ 10), the Retzlaff Farmstead (LC00-22), the Peter Peterson Farmstead (LC00-21) and the Kehlbeck Farmstead (CC00-36), all located in the Southeast Region of the state; the Knoell-Bang Farmstead (DD00-50) and the Zavadil Farmstead (CD00-9), Northeast region; the Jeffery Farmstead (YK00-2), and the Pisar Farmstead (SA00-3), Central Plains region; the George Gather Farmstead (WT00-13) and the Pavelka Farmstead (WT00-104), Republican Valley region, the VJarner Ranch (BN00-29), Scotts Bluff region; and the Spade Ranch (SH00- 30), Pine Ridge region.

The Herboldsheimer Ranch is the first agricultural property to be nominated in the High Plans region of Nebraslca. Today, the property represents an important Nebraska ranch type in that it reflects the availability of materials and technology utilized by an early settler in the establishment and development of a ranch in the High Plains region of western Nebraska. The ranch type is associated with the agricultural context: High Plains Cash Grain and Livestock Production.

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