This area of the Little Nemaha Valley was settled in the late 1850's. Many settlers were Northern European immigrants. By 1881, the Missouri Pacific R.R. had begun constructing its Kansas City-Omaha line through the area. The townsite was platted March 7, 1882, in a former cornfield donated by Clark Puffer, and named for Archibald A. Talmage, Superintendent of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Talmage's location on the railroad made it a good shipping point for agricultural and mercantile products.