Keith Co., Chattel Mortgages -Book 27

According to the Marriam-Webster website a Chattel is an item of tangible movable or immovable property except real estate and things (such as buildings) connected with real property.

With that definition in mind and while seeing this Chattel Mortgage book come up for sale on eBay one day we decided to jump at the opportunity to bid on and subsequently win this rare piece of Keith County, Nebraska history. From the moment we learned that we had the winning bid we began working on a plan to digitize and ultimately built a database of the people whose names appear on these pages.

The oldest chattel mortgage is dated 24 March 1890 and was between Lars P. Nelson and Robert B. Howell of Keith County, Nebraska. Mr. Nelson mortgaged two red and white heifers with calves for $30.00 for three months making the note due on 24 June 1890. The document specifies the location of the chattel (Sec. 28, Twp 13, Rng 39) and indicates that Mr. Larson is in possession of the property and has full rights to mortgage it. The chattel mortgage document signing was witnessed by James Barrett.

Most of the contracts in this books are similarly written but obviously the chattels will change. We are relatively certain that a family researcher will find the information both useful and interesting and may even add some little known details about their ancestors for their research project.

  • Project Name: Chattels bk27
  • Project Manager: Barbara Goldman
  • Project Status: Complete
  • Project Donated by: Purchased in an
    online auction (eBay).
  • Project Statistics as of: 25 Oct 2021


Number of Names indexed


Year of oldest record


Number of Pages in book

  • Source Information:
    Keith County Chattel Mortgage Records :
    Book #27, 1890-91 [online database].
    © 2021 West Nebraska Family Research
    & History Center; Scottsbluff, Nebraska,
    Data and digital images taken from
    original records located onsite.

  • Our most sincere gratitude and
    appreciation to Barbara Goldman for
    working so diligently on this project, not
    only were the pages brittle and difficult
    to work with but the names were nearly
    impossible to read at times.

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