H.C. Maxon came to this part of the country in 1886
and settled three miles west of the present town site. Brothers Jap
and Willard Senteny arrived about the same time from Bayard, Iowa, and
the name of their home town in Iowa was given to this new settlement.
It underwent two moves before it settled down to really being a town.
E.M. Stearns also found his way to this area in the
'80's, liked what he saw, and induced three other men from Wisconsin (Thomas
Winter, Louis Kranfelder, and Dr. Robert Coddington to come here.
A committee composed of these three men and headed by Stearns organized
the town of Bayard in 1889.The Chimney Rock Transcript was first published
by E.M. and J.J. Totten. The July 10th issue stated that "The Bayard
Townsite is now thoroughly organized and ready for business.”
The railroad, 10 years over due, came to Bayard in
1900. The Lincoln Land Company, a subsidiary of the Chicago, Burlington,
and Quincy had bought up homesteads and relinquishments from the settlers.
The property they purchased comprised of the present town site. This
new location marked the end of “old town” and there was a general exodus
of businesses to the new and present site. When the new location
was established, the Paine Investment Co., of Lincoln took over.
They rounded up prospective settlers in the eastern part of this state,
from western Iowa, northern Missouri, and from parts of Kansas. Not
only transportation was supplied to the new settlers, but also other inducements
were offered by the investment company. Trainloads of new comers
were welcomed by the town’s brass band. The town of Bayard, with
its railroad and its fine new location, was rolling!
The name of Durnal has been a familiar one in local
history since 1884 when Roszel (Frank) Durnal settled in the Chimney Rock
area. Mary Seimiller came to Redington with her parents in 1885.
In 1889 Frank and Mary were united in marriage (see the bedroom for a photo
of their wedding attire!). Their daughter Alta and son Fred were
pupils in the first school in this part of the country (Chimney Rock School,
District No. 50). Pioneers R.F. and Mary Durnal deeded a portion
of their homestead to the Nebraska Historical Society. On this land
are located Chimney Rock and the natural ampitheatre of the famed “Gift
of God Pageant”.
Information taken from the Bayard Transcript, 70th
Anniversary Edition, 1958