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RG0707.AM:  William Dunn, 1842-1919

Diary (transcript):  1865

Nebraska City and Syracuse, Otoe County, Nebraska:  Teamster, farmer

Size:  One item


William Dunn was born in Royton, England on January 11, 1842. His family emigrated to American in 1854 and settled first in Utah. In 1858, Mrs. Dunn and her four sons moved to Nebraska City, Nebraska, where William, as the oldest son and the family’s chief breadwinner, took work as a teamster with a freighting train.

Around 1866 William and his brother, George, formed a jewelry business. That same year he married Sarah M. Warner. Five daughters were born to the Dunns.

Upon the dissolution of the partnership with his brother in 1868, William Dunn purchased a quarter section of land northwest of Syracuse. He retired from the farm and moved to Syracuse in 1904. He died there on October 16, 1919.


This collection consists of one item, a diary from 1865 entitled, “An account of a trip from Nebraska City to Denver with the Ingham and Christy train in the spring of 1865.” This typescript of William Dunn’s diary records the difficulties faced by traveling in midwinter, including muddy, mushy, or frozen roads; ice-caked stream crossings; blizzard conditions; and exhaustion from being “too cold to sleep.” Biographical information on Dunn from published sources is also provided. (Dunn appears as entry #2009 in Merrill Mattes’s Platte River Road Narratives.)

Note: This collection consists of the transcript only. History Nebraska does not hold the original diary.


Diary (transcript), 1865, Feb. 15-June; biographical information included


Subject headings:

Dunn, William, 1842-1919

Freight and freightage

Nebraska City (Nebraska) — History

Otoe County (Nebraska) — History

Overland journeys


Revised TMM      12-26-2006