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Maywood, Nebraska


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Maywood was originally called "Laird," but the name was changed since there was another Laird on the mainline of the railroad in Colorado. A meeting was held in 1881 at Israel Wood's house, and the group decided on the name "Maywood," for Wood's daughter, May. In 1888 the town consisted of a post office, a store, a saloon, and three houses. In 1890 the Nebraska State Gazetteer & Business Directory listed Maywood as "a flourishing village in the northwest part of Frontier County with a population of 100, with a full line of businesses and shops.” Maywood had a large two-story hotel across the street from the train depot, with a large dining room and comfortably furnished lobby. It was the favorite gathering place for local people as well as travelers. According to the local paper, traveling salesmen called it "a home away from home."

The school and churches were started early. In 1887 Methodist services were held in the schoolhouse. A church was built in 1894. The Christian Church organized classes in 1907, with the church built the next year. Both buildings have been enlarged and remodeled to meet the needs of their congregations. School was first held in a dugout north of the town site in 1886. A three-room structure was built north of the Methodist Church in 1888 and a three-story brick school was built in 1910. In 1964 a new elementary building was added and after consolidating with Stockville and Wellfleet, a brick high school was built. Enrollment was 190, with buses traveling over 640 miles a day.  In 1896 there was a principal and one teacher; in 1987 the staff included 25 certified teachers.

"The Maywood Eagle”, a weekly newspaper, was started in 1891 with Newton Bogue as owner and editor. It was the source of local communications, family gatherings and events as well as school and church activities and national news. It changed owners in 1910 but continued to be an important part of the community. It was sold to out-of-town owners in 1948.

In 1889 a dam and mill were built. The flour from the mill was sold in North Platte and McCook as well as to nearby towns. The "lake," formed by the mill pond, was an important part of Maywood's business and social activities. Fishing was enjoyed by both young and old. During the winter, ice was cut and stored to be used in the heat of the summer. An article from the "Eagle" in 1893 stated "skating has been all the rage on Lake Maywood, which is one of the finest skating ponds in the state...professional and amateurs alike enjoy the smooth surface..." A severe storm in 1947 put an end to all that; flooded creeks dumped an overflow of water into the lake, and the excess water took out the old cement dam.

The Southwest Nebraska District Fair was started in Maywood in 1915 and held annually for many years with much success. Buildings, a grandstand, and race track were built. A $1,000 purse brought in some of the best racehorses in the state. Entertainment included band concerts, movies, ball games, tractor pulls, boat races, and foot-races. Over the years, new events were added and building space was doubled. There were balloon ascensions, fireworks, and an airplane show. The fair came to an end in 1923. All buildings were auctioned, with only the small ticket office remaining. It has been restored and moved to a small park on Main Street.

The Maywood Trail-Ride started in 1960 with 86 mounts. Held annually until 1977, the event drew over 1,500 horses and 3,000 spectators. According to the Game and Parks Commission, this was the world's largest one-day trail ride. Once a year the town came alive with trailers, trucks, and people camping everywhere, but the event was discontinued because of a lack of available land where that many people could ride. Maywood's current population is 333, with a well-rounded business district. The town celebrated its centennial in 1987 with many activities throughout the year. Memorial Day weekend was set aside as a special three-day celebration. Many people returned to take part in the event and pay tribute to the hardy pioneers who came here 100 years ago.

The authors of this article wish to thank Jean Shirley of Maywood, Nebraska as most of the information for this article was taken from the article which she wrote and posted on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Virtual Nebraska web site. ADDITIONAL MATERIAL: “One Hundred Years of Memories" Wellfleet and Maywood, 1987. "Maywood Memories" by Jean Shirley, 1986

MAYWOOD as depicted in this model village made by Deb Shirley for the Maywood Centennial. Named for Mr. Wood's daughter May, the town is one of five incorporated towns in Frontier County.

Perkin Merchandise, with Opera House on second floor.

The "new school" built in 1909.

Maywood's iceman, Claude Brown and Son, delivering ice.

Methodist Church, 1894, with original schoolhouse in background, dedicated 1888.

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Maywood Public Schools#1 Tiger DriveP.O. Box 46Maywood, NE  69038

308-362-4223Fax: 308-362-4454

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