In 1975 the newly organized Greeley County Historical Society met with the commissioners and asked for the old courthouse to use as a museum. Many meetings, circulating petitions etc. and time was put into this by board members. Thus permission was given to use it for a museum. It was named Horace Greeley museum, and put on the National Register of Historical Places.
Each room in the three story museum contains a wealth of history from the area. We have period rooms, a special collection of lanterns, marbles, bells and a Columbi mammoth skull that was discovered in Greeley County. In the library we have the Ghost Towns through current newspapers. Some of our prized possessions are canceled warrants and vouchers, among these are those who hauled stone for the courthouse, first Dr.’s, sheriff, commissioners and scalp vouchers.
GENEALOGY – The genealogy room is the “high-light” of several of us involved with the museum. We have the first census-1877 thru current. Marriage, birth and death records. Homestead records. We research diligently and have fulfilled all requests at this time.
MAMMOTH – The mammoth skull discovered by an area farmer has been identified as that of a female Columbi Mammoth dating to 11,000 B.P. (Before Present).
COLLECTIONS – Among the various items housed at the Horace Greeley Museum is the "eye catching" marble collection, and spinning tops. In this same room we have a razor collection, ladies hair combs, curling irons, hair weavings, wig form making tools, barber shop equipment, and various souvenir dishes. There is also a beautiful collection of bells, belonging to one person, Vivian McKinney, that was collected over a 25 year period.
There is one very impressive collection of lanterns, bicycle-railroad-fireman-marine-miner lights and an early street light. Oil cans, tools, waffle and wafer irons, various mouse traps, and a leather traveling tool kit add to the collections.
In another room we have displays of early ranching memorabilia; also a copy of the first brand issued in Greeley County. Many of the early day homesteader-photographer-lawyer, Dave Beckstrom’s, items that were used by him are displayed.
PHOTOGRAPHS – The hall walls are lined with hundreds of pictures depicting ranching, farming, railroad, early residence and business places, families, schools, and churches. These pictures are perhaps studied more than any other items in the museum.
PERIOD ROOMS – The upper floor is a parlor, ladies wear, kitchen , high school, grade school, and military rooms. This entire area along with the court room, upon completion of the building in 1890 was said to have been the largest open area under one roof between Kansas City and Denver.
COURTROOM – The judges bench, gavel, spittoon, witness chair, and the thirteen jurors chairs are displayed in the court room. Due to community response, the courtroom also houses a quilt display, early farming tools, musical instruments, railroad items, hospital related display, an oak Dr.’s cabinet which is complete – meaning patent medicines; optometrist, dental and medical tools. This cabinet dates back to horse and buggy days of the pioneer doctor. With the Dr.’s medical cabinet is a book entitled "Buggy Tracks" depicting the trials and triumphs of the doctor’s life.
JAILS – The basement area "highlight" attractions are the jails. The men’s jail still contains the two cells. The women’s jail was an open room with bars across the windows. There is a library established in one basement rooms and storage in another.