Miss Leona McAllister
"The Haigler Centennial" book calls Heigler, Nebraska, the cornerstone of Nebraska. And,
mentions that Miss Leona McAlister was one of the "gifted" writers who took time to record the
happenings of the prioneer ancestors of Dundy County.
Dundy County has been described as a "puddle" and a "bubble" in the "puddle" was the
community of "Ives", later to be "Parks". This area was settled by many families from the British
Isles. Among them the Hardwicks, Morrisons, McGonangles, McCormacks, and the
McCallisters. The latter name to be corrupted to McAlister by recordings in the records.
In March of 1886, the McAlisters arrived in "Collins", which was the name at the time for
Benkelman. In a biographical sketch of the family, Miss Leona McAlister was said to be two
This sketch, found in "History of Dundy County, Nebraska, 1880 1987, by the Dundy County
History Book Committee, 1988, was written by Marguerite Forch. It is delightful
and fraught with humor.
This week [4 April 2001], a copy of The Schoolma'm's "History of Dundy County", undated,
arrived in its manuscript form. Parts of this book were either originally collected from articles and
letters published in the Benkelman Post, or/and articles containing material from this book were
included in articles, such as "Down thru the Years" in that newspaper.
As best knowledge, Miss Leona McAlister was born in 1884 and died in 1939 in Parks, Nebraska.
Mrs Burnetta David Holbert was a good enough friend to Miss McAlister, that she was given an
original manuscript of the book. Now, yellow with age, a copy of it has reached these hands, with
the request that it be put on the WWW because it is such a treasure of early history of the area
and the pioneers of Dundy county. It is also here in memorium to a person who loved her history
and was forever the teacher by recording this material.