Small Town Power Struggles and Tragedy

Zoo Nebraska is a remarkable, true story about small town dreams and tragedy.  Carson Vaughan tells the story of how one man’s childhood dream of working with primates in Rwanda turned instead into building a zoo in Royal, Nebraska.  Soon the whole town of Royal was involved in promoting and maintaining this zoo. This was a great tourist attraction and a boon for Royal’s economy. Unfortunately the logistics, labor and cost of maintaining this zoo turned into a nightmare, and the nightmare eventually turned into a tragedy. The author interviewed each person involved and tells the story from different perspectives. Sargent residents will be able to relate to the small town power struggles and how this tragedy could have easily happened in any similar small town.

Carson Vaughan is from Broken Bow, Nebraska.  So come check out a local author.

The Beginnings of Our Library – or – The Politics of Sargent in 1919

1918 Sargent Main Street


The year was 1919, and the citizens of Sargent were desperately wanting a library for the town. The first mention of this in the newspaper was February 20, 1919 when the Reverend Paul Moser wrote a letter to the editor. He proposed building a town hall. This would include a restroom for the farmer’s wives, a public drinking fountain, a room for a public library, and a big hall where business and socials could be held. He acknowledged that this would be expensive, but stated “What is there that is worthwhile, that is not expensive?”

By March 11 the Sargent Township had the “most remarkable meeting ever heard in Sargent precinct.” One hundred fifty people were present. The Sargent Women’s Club had decided that this city ought to have a library. They planned to take advantage of the Carnegie Corporation’s offer to provide the money “to build and furnish a building to any town or precinct that will provide a site for the building and make a levy for the raising of money for the maintenance of such building.“

Some people were against this idea because they had heard that the Carnegie Corporation would only furnish the books, and that the town would have to build the building. A State Library Commission representative was present to help explain the proposition to the voters. John Wall of Arcadia was also present to tell about his experience working with the Carnegie Corporation to build a library in Arcadia.

After hearing all of the wonderful things about what a library would mean to the town, many people changed their mind in favor of a new library with hearty applause. The result of the ballot was 106 for and 31 against. The plan was to levy 3 mills for the library each year for library maintenance. “All in all it was one of the best meetings of the kind ever held in Sargent.”

An editorial in the March 13, 1919 newspaper stated: “When the hospital buildings and the library buildings have actually materialized, Sargent will have something to be proud of. Taken with our fine Electric Light System, our municipal water works plant, our up to date public school building, our churches, and many fine residences, we will be in a position to invite people to make their homes here without having to blush when the invitation is given. We will certainly be able to offer many advantages that a number of larger towns cannot boast of having.”

Such excitement! Things were looking up for our little town.  However, a library didn’t materialize in our town until the year 1928. Why did it take so long? What problems did they encounter?  . . . To be continued.

Come To The Library’s Book Sale

The Sargent Library is cleaning out our storage of discarded books to have a fundraiser during Junk Jaunt. Bookworms, crafters, homeschoolers, and all ages will have a great time looking through 1000+ books. This will be held at the Sargent Community Center (314 W. Main St.) Sept. 27-29 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. All proceeds will go to the Friends of the Sargent Township Library.

Book Sale Flyer

The FCC says the majority of Nebraska is covered with reliable, fast cell phone coverage. We know that’s not the case.

“The Nebraska Farm Bureau was recently granted a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to challenge the legitimacy of coverage maps from various major cellular carriers in Nebraska.
Although phone carriers say nearly all of Nebraska is covered with reliable, fast cell phone coverage, we know that isn’t true. Help us get the cell phone coverage you deserve no matter where you are in Nebraska by running speed tests throughout the state.” – Nebraska Farm Bureau

Read this PDF for more information.

Sargent Library’s Online Bulletin Board

There is now an online bulletin board on the library’s web page. This is intended to be a place where people can post community announcements. If you want to know what is happening in Sargent, check the bulletin board.

This will only be successful if the community participates. If your organization has something happening, you can bring in a flyer for the library to post, or you can email a picture file to the library at Either way, your flyer will be posted online for everyone to read. Be sure to bookmark this page and visit often. Library Bulletin Board

There’s Lots of Reading Fun Planned For This Summer

We’re so excited. The summer reading program doesn’t start until June 1st, but we are currently doing all of the prep work. This year’s theme is “Libraries Rock!” and each child from birth to 5th grade will receive a Back Stage Pass booklet. Included in this booklet are lots of coupons that kids can use to get free stuff around town. (Pizza, ice cream, balloons, hamburgers, swimming passes, books, etc.) In order to have these coupons activated, the child must practice reading each week, and then come into the library to have their booklet stamped.  The parents and child can decide how much reading they need to do each week.

Coupon booklets will be given out to the kids at school. If your child doesn’t attend Sargent Public Schools, you are welcome to come in the library and pick up a booklet.

Be sure to show your appreciation to the following businesses that have agreed to provide prizes: Sargent Swimming Pool, Trotters, The Ritz, Forget Me Not Shoppe, Sargent Post Office, and Mr. Rudy’s. Also  Emily Jandreau has been a big help for lining up the prizes, and helping with the booklet.

Get ready to “rock” this summer!


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