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The Charles H. Morrill Homestead

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:41 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Stromsburg is a place full of unique places to visit. Yet another fascinating place is a house, that was once the summer home of an important Nebraska historical figure.

If you look around, you’ll notice Charles H. Morrill’s impact. There is a county named Morrill, there is a town named Morrill, and there’s Morrill Hall at the University of Nebraska. We visited with Cindy Schofield, who now lives at the Charles H. Morrill summer home. “He actually was a homesteader, who came from New Hampshire,” Schofield said. “He worked his way to Iowa, then he headed further west to Nebraska and chose to live in Polk County. He got some railroad land that was homesteaded to him, and he settled here.”

The current “homestead” house is not the original one. “The original house was built when Morrill arrived in 1871,” Schofield said. “Eventually he moved to Lincoln, then on to Los Angeles. He wanted a summer home, so he chose his original home site to build this current house. He was a farmer, he was in the Civil War, he was involved in cattle and banking, and he was very interested in the dinosaur digs happening in the western part of the state during his lifetime. He went out west, and collected many specimens, and donated them to Morrill Hall. He was an NU Regent, and he was the secretary for Governor Nance. He was instrumental in the founding of Nebraska.”

It turns out this is the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Homestead. “My dad farmed for the third generation of the Morrill family,” Schofield said. “When they passed away, and they were settling the estate, my dad was able to buy the farmland, and he continued to farm it until he retired.” Now, Cindy and her husband John live at “The Homestead”. They have gone to great lengths to renovate and restore the house. “It took a lot of work,” Schofield said. “It was vacant for more than 50 years. It was built by a Swedish builder. It has a Swiss-chalet style to it. All of the logs are original, the sidewalks are original. There have been some additions to the home, but for the most part, this is the original home.”

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