Alliance, NE: Potash History Lives at Highland Park

Researcher Becky Herian presented the history of Antioch, NE, a sandhills boom town in the beginning of the 20th century which bloomed to a population of almost 2000 as its inhabitants pushed to deliver potash from the surrounding alkali lakes. While along highway 2 near Antioch, about 15 miles east of Alliance, there still stand determined monuments of the concrete structures which supported the reduction plants and pumping stations.

In its heyday, Antioch supported 43 businesses including 2 lumberyards, doctors and pharmacists, a grocery store, several churches, a clothing store and a movie theater featuring 10 cent viewings. Unique for its time, Antioch had steam heat, electric lights and indoor plumbing. Many of the names of the businesses and surrounding lakes are names deep-rooted in the sandhills history and are prominent today. Becky pointed out that one of the doctors from Antioch was the gentleman who delivered the brother of a current Highland Park resident.

Potash was a key ingredient in fertilizer used in the cotton belt. While there was no argument the American potash was of better quality than imports from Germany, the last potash facility closed in 1921 being unable to compete financially with the more cheaply produced European product. The town may have all but evaporated with the wind, but as our friends and neighbors attest, the history lives on in its area ranchers, pharmacists and researchers like Becky.

Quality Life-We will create a living environment that radiates love, peace, spiritual contentment, dignity and safety, while encouraging personal independence.

Submitted by Brian Stephenson, Environmental Services Supervisor

Highland Park Care Center, Alliance, NE