AND RECORD OF PIONEER DAYS
Published Monthly by the Nebraska State Historical Society
Editor, ADDISON E. SHELDON
The Staffs of the Nebraska State Historical Society and
Legislative Reference Bureau
Subscription $2.00 Per Year
q All sustaining members of the Nebraska State Historical
Society receive Nebraska History without further payment.
q Entered as second class mail matter, under act of July 16,
1894, at Lincoln, Nebraska, April 2, 1918.
SECRETARY SHELDON IN EUROPE.
FATHER CHRISTIAN HOECKEN.
Rev. Michael A. Shine explains that "Father Hogins," named as payee in the draft made by Peter R. Sarpy, a copy of which was printed in the October number of Nebraska History, was Rev. Christian Hoecken, a Roman Catholic missionary to Indians. Some account of Father Hoecken's heroic care of passengers on the steamboat St. Ange who were stricken by cholera on the voyage from St. Louis to Fort Union, in 1851, is given at page 102 of volume I of the History of Nebraska. Father Hoecken himself died of the epidemic when the boat had reached a point near the mouth of the Little Sioux River where, on the evening of June 19, he was temporarily buried, "with all the ceremonies of the church," as Father De Smet relates. On the boat's return the coffin was exhumed and carried to Florissant for final interment. This village, founded near the middle of the eighteenth century, is situated about sixteen mires in a northwesterly direction from St. Louis and three miles south of the Missouri river.
ORIGINAL OWNER OF GIBSON TOWN SITE DIES.
Mrs. Jane Thorp Gilmore, who was intimately associated with pioneer life in Nebraska, died on November 1 at her home in Gibbon. The Gibbon Reporter's story of this interesting woman's life is in part as follows: "She was a sister of John Thorp, founder of the Soldiers Free Homestead Colony which made settlement at Gibbon Siding, Buffalo county, in April, 1871. Mr. and Mrs. George Gilmore with their three children moved from Ohio to Nebraska in an emigrant car all of their household goods and a team of horses. In a box car on the siding at Gibbon they furnished meals for transients and visitors until their hotel building was completed. In a box car a the Gibbon siding they entertained at dinner officers from Fort McPherson, located near the present city of North Platte, who came in a friendly way to call on the members of the colony just arrived. Accompanying the officers were Sergeant Michael Coady, then in charge of the few soldiers remaining at Fort Kearny, and also William Cody (Buffalo Bill), then a scout and hunter, stationed at Fort McPherson.
"Mrs. Gilmore was part, owner of the original town site of Gibbon and the first deeds given for lots in the village contained a provision that no intoxicating liquors should be kept for sale."
CHARLES McDONALD, NONAGENARIAN PIONEER.
Two skeletons were found by workmen who were digging a hole for a gasoline tank at Alliance on October 24. The bones were found about six feet underground, lying side by side, their heads toward the northeast. No remains of a coffin were found, and so it is thought that they died before that part of the country was settled, their bodies lying undiscovered until they were covered up by the shifting sand. In each of the upper jawbones there was a very large tooth still sound.
Mrs. William Henry Bruss of Fullerton is one of triplets, who will have reached the age of seventy- nine years next December, and who are perhaps the oldest triplet sisters in the world. The other sisters are Mrs. Sara. Jane Fisher of Huntington, Indiana, and Mrs. Elizabeth Little Beck of Lena, in the same state. All of them have recently become widows. Two of the husbands were veterans of the civil war. Mr. and Mrs. Bruss settled in Nebraska in 1889. Mr. Bruss died oil the 13th of last October. (The Fullerton Post.)
The Bayard Transcript observed the thirty-first anniversary of its beginning on November 1. Commenting on the incident R. A. Wisner, the publisher, says: "In looking back over the course which marks the path from its humble beginning in a sod house in the western part of this city, up to the present time, there is it feeling of satisfaction on the part of the present publisher that it has in some measure at least filled the sphere in life for which it was intended . . . . . Perhaps no one outside of those interested have realized or could realize what the struggle was to keep a publication going in Bayard in an early day. At least it was not a boy's job." The Transcript has now an up-to-date plant for a country town, including a Model C intertype which cost $3,700.
Captain Frederick A. Williams, an old time printer of Omaha who came west in the fifties, has been reunited to his wife after a separation of forty years. Captain Williams had gone east on a business trip a few years after the marriage and was reported among the dead following a fire which destroyed a hotel in which he was a guest. But though Williams escaped death he was badly burned and was taken to a hospital where he was confined a long time. After his recovery he tried in vain to find his girl bride. Only a few months ago Mrs. Williams applied for a pension, and she asked Congressman Lubeck to assist her in obtaining it. As a result of the proceeding the bride and groom of forty-five years ago were brought. together and are living happily in their home in Omaha. Captain Williams is now eighty-three years old and his wife is a few years younger, says the World Herald.
F. X. DeLone, one of the pioneers of Omaha, celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday anniversary on October 23. The World-Herald says of the event: "Mr. DeLone came to Omaha in 1856, and he and three other men lived for a time in a little shanty where the municipal auditorium now stands. Mr. DeLone was active in business here for many years. At one time he owned the ground now occupied by the Conant hotel. He gave it away. In 1891 he built the DeLone hotel at Fourteenth street and Capitol aveue, the building now occuipied by Lister hospital. When the building was erected DeLone told his friends that whoever tore it down would have to dynamite it. This remark was recalled recently when workmen attempted to cut a doorway through the basement wall. The work which ordinarily would require but a few hours, took several days. It is said to be the best constructed building erected in Omaha up to that time."
(handwritten note: See C 1560)
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard were the first settlers at Julian. Julien Bahuaud came a year or two after Mr. and Mrs. Bernard, and then came Mr. and Mrs. Jean Lavigne and next Mr. and Mrs. Jean Marie Bize.
The movement of French people into the
Nebraska country began before the territory was opened for
settlement, the first men coming from France being trappers,
or Indian traders. For a hundred years or more they had
roamed over this region, and to them it owes many geographic
stories were told and songs sung. The address of welcome
was by Mr. C. L. Mesnet, speaking both in English and
French, with responses by several of the others.
The following interesting records are copied from inscriptons on monuments in the Catholic and protestant cemeteries, respectively:
Daniel Carre took a homestead near Beatrice in 1867 and has lived there ever since. On November 11 there was a reunion of the relatives at the old Carre home to celebrate the eighty-fourth anniversary of his birthday.
Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Cherry of Weeping Water celebrated the half century anniversary of their marriage on September 30. Mr. Cherry came to Nebraska in 1866 and Mrs. Cherry in 1854.
Following is a record of the deaths
since September 2 of pioneers who settled in Nebraska not
later than the year 1867:
Mrs. Emma L. Barnard died in Los
Angeles, California, late in October, nearly eighty-four
years old; in 1856 was married to Edwin H. Barnard at
Canajoharie, N. Y., her birthplace. In August, 1856, Mr.
Barnard surveyed the town site of Fremont which he and John
A. Koontz had just appropriated as a claim. He was born in
Kirkland, N. Y., in 1830. The Barnard's lived in Fremont
more than fifty years. (Fremont Evening Tribune, October
Frank Helvey, born in Huntington
county, Indiana, July 7, 1841, died in Fairbury, July 4,
1918, having lived in Nebraska continuously since 1849. In
1846 Joel Helvey, with his family, comprising his wife and
six children, started west. They first stopped at old Fort
Kearny, but Nebraska at that time was not open to white
settlement so they soon moved into a log cabin on the
opposite side of the Missouri River. About three years later
the Helvey family obtained permission of the caretaker of
the remaining property of the abandoned fort to settle in
the Nebraska country providing they would take their chances
with the Indians. Thereupon, Mr. Helvey and his three sons
built a ferry boat in which they profitably carried
emigrants to Pike's Peak across the Missouri River, at Table
Creek, in 1849 and 1850. On October 10, 1853, Joel Helvey
was judge of an election at Table Creek, which came to be
called Nebraska City the next year, for a provisional
delegate to Congress, whose mission was to aid in the
passage of the pending bill to organize the territory of
Nebraska. Similar elections were held at other places on the
eastern border of the Nebraska country, on October 11, but,
probably by mistake, the election at Table Creek was held
October 10. These were not legal elections, and neither of
the two delegates chosen was recognized by the Congress,
though both went to Washington with the purpose stated.
The Cook Weekly Courier relates that Martin Halfmann's house, situated two and a half miles north of the town, was torn down in September. It was built by at Mr. Ashton in the late sixties. Its original location was near a cottonwood tree famous for its enormous size.
B. H. Groves, superintendent of schools
at Falls City, Nebraska, has recently presented to the
Nebraska, State Hostorical [sic] Society a volume
entitled "Second Annual Report of the Commissioner of Common
Schools of the Territory of Nebraska to the Seventh
Legislative Assembly, Session 1860-6l."
made or authorized. However, an act of the sixth
assembly, approved January 1, 1860, cured the apparently
inadvertent defect by providing that "for present school
purposes, and until by further enactments, civil townships
be formed in this territory what are now known in the
organized counties as precincts, or that may hereafter be
formed as such, shall be known as townships." But civil
townships were not formed during the territorial period, and
in the revision of the statutes in 1866 "precinct" was
substituted for "township" in the cases adverted to.
On September 29, 1918, exercises
commemorating the dedication of the "Stone Church" fifty
years ago took place at Febing, a hamlet of about a score
people, in Benton precinct, Nemaha county, seven miles
southwest of Auburn, where the church is situated. The
Nemaha County Herald of September 27, 1918, contains a
history of the church in part as follows:
L. H. Badger, who lives near Fairmont, Fillmore county, completed fifty years of continuous residence on the same farm, on October 20. His father located the claim in 1868, when Mr. Badger was twelve years of age, and the son has lived there, ever since. The Fairmont Chronicle challenges anyone in Fillmore or York counties to show a like continuous residence for half a century.
The annual meeting of the Adams County Old Settlers Association was held at Juniata on September 26. with an attendance of more than one hundred. The newly elected officers are: T. A. Shattuck, president; Ora Lamoreaux, vice president; Mrs. Lucy Partridge, secretary-treasurer. The 1919 meeting will be held the last Thursday in September at Hastings,
An Indian arrowhead was recenty found in the trunk of one of the trees at the Cosmopolitan hotel, at Crete.
The editor of this magazine has seen
many extraordinary devices used upon the Nebraska frontier,
but one of the most remarkable is the burglar proof safe
which held the county funds of Holt county at the time of
its organization. This safe just came into the possession of
the State Historical Society and is now on exhibition at its
rooms. It. will be the wonder of future generations of
Nebraskans, for there is nothing like it. The following
letter from J. T. Prouty, the county treasurer who kept the
funds in the safe, written at Spencer, Nebraska, July 16,
1918, is self-explanatory:
county were safely kept in the only safe vault and bank combined in the county, described as follows: A cottonwood board 2 feet 4 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide, receptacle 14 inches long, in which to keep the cash. This board was a part of the sheeting of a shingle roof dwelling house. I exhibited the board at the Holt county old settlers picnic yesterday as a souvenir of forty years ago. Would like to have this board kept as a relic on display at the State Historical Society. Now if this is considered in keeping with historical supplies and worth while of frontier life in Nebraska I will send it if you so advise."
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