U. S. Coast & Geodetic Survey
Bench Mark

"P 2"
O'Neill Magnetic Station

Jerry Penry
August 2, 2009

The "P 2" bench mark at the Holt County courthouse in O'Neill, Nebraska, was originally established as a magnetic station most likely between August 5 and October 28, 1900, according to the USC&GS Annual Report of 1901 which listed the Nebraska stations. It is also listed in the Annual Report of 1907 as being set in the year 1900. It is a white marble post measuring 6" square and is reported to be 32" in length. When USC&GS ran their precise levels through O'Neill in 1901 they established Bench Mark "O 2" in the steps of the First National Bank in the downtown area and also chose the existing O'Neill magnetic station as another bench mark location. In order to give the monument a traceable designation, it was named Bench Mark "P 2". The O'Neill magnetic station and bench mark "P 2" are the same monument.

This is a remarkable example of how an important monument has been preserved despite several building projects including a new courthouse building. When I first viewed the bench mark / magnetic station in the 1990's, I noticed it had been preserved and the concrete sidewalk was built around it. Today it appears that another recent sidewalk project has been done, but the monument has been preserved once again.

The location of the monument at the west entrance to the courthouse.

The 6"-square bench mark/magnetic station in the concrete walk.

A well-preserved monument by people who recognized its importance.

Close-up view of the monument.

This is what the courthouse looked like when the monument was placed.

The USC&GS Annual Report of 1901 lists the O'Neill Magnetic Station.
It is believed to have been established sometime between August and October of 1900.

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© Jerry Penry 2010