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Published Monthly by the Nebraska State Historical Society
Associate Editors
The Staffs of the Nebraska State Historical Society and
Legislative Reference Bureau
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Entered as second class mail matter, under act of July 16,
1894, at Lincoln, Nebraska, April 2, 1918.




   The program of the annual meeting of the State Historical Society has been postponed on account of the influenza. The regular business session will be held January 14, 1919.

   G. W. Ablot of Inland is still living on the homestead he obtained in pioneer days. Mr. Ablot and A. M. Lathrop are the only early settlers now living in the precinct of Adams county where he settled. He drove over the site now occupied by Hastings when it was open prairie. He remembers the terrible Easter storm of 1872, in which great numbers of cattle and other stock were frozen or smothered to death in snowdrifts. Many cattle were driven before the blizzard to perish in the Blue River valley. For some time afterward people roamed over the prairie procuring the hides of the frozen animals which they brought to the towns for sale. (Adams County Democrat, November 15.)

Mr. and Mrs. Albert Frank of Longmont, Col., have been visiting relatives in Minden, and Mr. Frank relates that in 1857 he was employed in a military wagon train which carried building material from Fort Leavenworth to Salt Lake City, that the train was burned by the Mormons in the Green River valley, and that he and other employees of the party walked back to Leavenworth - a distance of two thousand miles. (The Minden News, November 15.)
   This was the year of the outbreak of the Mormon rebellion. In October two supply trains were destroyed by Mormons in the Green River valley, distant about one thousand miles from Fort Leavenworth by the route then traveled. Salt Lake City was about two hundred miles farther.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Torpin of Oakdale celebrated the flfty-fifth anniversary of their marriage on November 17, and four generations of their family were represented. They were early residents of Fremont, but have lived at Oakdale for the past twenty-five years. Henry Torpin and Anna M. Bruner were born in 1841, he near Philadelphia and she near Carlisle, Pa. They were married on November 17, 1863 at Coe Town, Ill. In 1882 the firm of McDonald & Torpin, contractors, was formed and engaged in building railroads in Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Wyoming, and Nebraska. In the spring of 1886 the firm of Henry Torpin & Son was formed and it took part in the construction at many railroads in Nebraska. In 1891, Mr. Torpin and his son organized the Torpin Grain Company which bought or built a line of elevators on the Northwestern railroad. Lately, however, Mr. Torpin has devoted most of his time to the management of the Torpin Land and Live Stock Company.

   Only twenty-five years ago there were people in Dawson county who thought it wasteful to pay bounties for scalps of coyotes, and they urged their objections in the Dawson County Pioneer. Though it was admitted that the numerous pests were destroying numberless fowls and other domestic animals besides, it was argued that the loss would not be as burdensome as the taxation to provide the proposed bounty and that Dawson would be flooded with scalps from adjoining counties. It was said that the pelts of these pirates were then worth only a quarter of a dollar each, a scarcely appreciable stimulus to procuring them. Now, however, in that part of the state the finest skins command the comparatively princely price of eighteen dollars. But this grade, used in the trade for imitation fox, is very scarce. The common grades bring from two dollars to nine dollars apiece, or general average of about five dollars. But this automatic stimulus serves only as a check. The alert cunning of these little Ishmaelites preserves them from extermination. They are taken mostly by poison.

Legal Residence of Nebraska Governors

   No resident of Lancaster county has so far become governor of Nebraska; but on November 5, 1918, Samuel R. McKelvie, of Lincoln, in that county, was elected governor, and, according to the constitution. he will assume the office January 9, 1919. Following is a statement of the legal residence of each governor at the time of his election and his tenure of office:

   David Butler, Pawnee county, March 27, 1867, to March 1, 1871.
   William H. James (acting governor), Dakota county, March 1, 1871, to January 13, 1873.
   Robert W. Furnas, Nemaha county, 1873-1875.
   Silas Garber, Webster county, 1875-1879.
   Albinus Nance, Polk county, 1879-1883.
   James W. Dawes, Saline county. 1883-1887.
   John M. Thayer, Hall county, 1887-1891.
   James E. Boyd, Douglas county, 1891-1893.
   Lorenzo Crounse, Washington county, 1893-1895.
   Silas A. Holcomb, Custer county, 1895-1899.
   William A. Poynter, Boone county, 1899-1901.
   Charles H. Dietrich, Adams county, January 3, 1901-May 1, 1901.
   Ezra P. Savage, Custer county, May 1, 1901-January 8, 1903.
   John H. Mickey, Polk county, 1903-1907.
   George L. Sheldon, Cass county, 1907-1909.
   Ashton C. Shallenberger, Harlan county, 1909-1911.
   Chester H. Aldrich, Butler county, 1911-1913.
   John H. Morehead, Richardson county, 1913-1917.
   Keith Neville, Lincoln county, 1917-1919.

   Governor Butler was removed from office on March 1, 1871, by virtue of the adoption of articles of impeachment against him on that day, and William H. James, then secretary of state, became acting governor according to a provision of the constitution. Holcomb and Poynter were populists, but elected as fusionists; Boyd, Shallenberger, Morehead; and Neville wore elected as democrats; all the rest as republicans.
   On March 8, 1999, Monroe L. Hayward was elected to the office of United States senator to succeed William V. Allen, whose term expired March 3 1899, but he died, before taking the official oath, on December 5, 1899, which was the next day after the session of Congress in which he would have taken his seat began. On December 13, William V. Allen was appointed by Governor Poynter to fill the vacancy left by Hayward's death, and he was seated on December 18. On March 28, 1901, the legislature elected Governor Dietrich for the remainder of Hayward's term.
   At 9:50 a. m., May 1, 1901, according to a provision of the state statute the secretary of state accepted the resignation of Governor Dietrich, whereupon Lieutenant-Governor Ezra P. Savage became governor. Immediately thereafter, Governor Savage signed and delivered to Dietrich a certificate of his election as United States senator, as authorized by a federal statute. Senator Dietrich took his seat in the senate on December 2, of the same year.



Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days

 Some Account of the Reinterment of Soldiers Originally Buried There and
the So-called "Horse Creek Battle Ground"

   The following is quoted from the Scottsbluff Republican of September 6, 1918:
   Back in the sixties the government maintained a small fort at a point about four miles west of where Scottsbluff now stands. It was known as Fort Mitchell, but nothing remains there to-day to designate the site it once occupied. In 1865 occurred an uprising of Indians at what has ever since been known as "Horse Creek Battle Ground," which is situated about seven miles southeast of Henry . . . . . A detachment of soldiers was sent from Fort Mitchell to subdue the warring Indians. A number of soldiers, including the captain, were killed and they were buried in a plot of ground near the fort, and which today is a part of the Hall [R. S. Hunt] farm.
   The Nebraska State Historical Society some time ago obtained and recorded an account of the establishing of Fort Mitchell and a description of its site. In volume XVII of the Society's publications I made the following statement:
   In August and September, 1864, Captain Shuman, of the Eleventh Ohio Cavalry. built Camp Shuman at a point three miles west of the Scott's Bluff gap. The post was afterward named Fort Mitchell, for General Robert B. Mitchell, then commander of the district. At the same time minor fortifications were built at Ficklin's and Mud Springs. Ficklin's was nine miles east of Scott's Bluff, and Mud Springs, at the north end of "Jules" Stretch," was eight miles easterly from Courthouse Rock. This new route or cut- off was named for Jules, the ranchman.
   On January 19, 1910, Mr. Robert Harvey in a report for the committee of the Society on marking historic sites gave the following description of the situation of Fort Mitchell:
   Mr. Sowerwine, a pioneer of Gering and a Pike's Peak emigrant, who had traveled over the Oregon Trail through Mitchell Pass, volunteered to show me the old site which is in the northeast corner of the southwest quarter of section 20, township 22 north, range 55 West, on the high bank of the west side of the Platte river, and about three and a half miles west of the town of Scott's Bluff. The wagon road from Scott's Bluff crosses the river and a narrow stretch of low bottom, and ascends through a cut to the second bench, about twenty feet above the river. Before it has reached the summit, a lane turns south to the home of Mr. R. S. Hunt. the owner of the land. Along this lane, and just inside the wire fence on the left, is the northwest corner of the old stockade, 228 feet from the center of the wagon road. That part of the fort now discernible was apparently the adobe stockade, and though now fallen, trampled upon and rounded over, its outline is clearly defined. The inclosure was in the form of a trapezium, no two sides parallel, yet so nearly a rectangle that it might be so considered. The north and south ends are each 90 feet in length, the west side. 140 feet, and the east side 120 feet. The east side lies parallel to the edge of the bluff, and the west side is parallel to the lane fence, which protects it from the effects of travel in the lane. The large double gate was evidently on the south side at the southwest corner, and the road leading down the bluff to the ford is about 150 feet from the gate. The wooden parts of the structure were apparently burned, as the ground is thickly strewn with charcoal. The only evidence I found indicating military occupation was a brass army button, a hub of an army wagon, and numerous fragments of broken window glass, apothecary bottles, and others of stronger make and of different colors, evidently from the sutler's store. Having an instrument with me I took the following bearings from the southwest corner of the stockade.
   The west wall bears north 30o west; the south wall bears north 67 1/2o east; the perpendicular wall rock on the northeast side of Scott's Bluff bears south 43o 45' east.
   On the range of bluffs to the southwest are two small buttes in close proximity to each other. The east one is the smaller and has a very sharp peak, which bears south 47o 35' west. The bearing of the north wall is north 72o east. About a quarter of a mile southwest is a low knoll which is said to be the burial ground, and that there were two graves. Upon visiting the spot, I found what were said to be headstones of native rock. I am of the opinion that if interments were made there, the bodies have been removed. I found a grave, however, thirty-five feet to the northeast, on the slope of the knoll surrounded with small stones.
   In July, 1916, Mr. Sheldon, now secretary of the Historical Society, took photographs of the landscape of the vicinity, including the site of the fort.
   On October 21, 1918, Mr. R. S. Hunt wrote to me as follows:
   I moved to this farm in April, 1904. 1 was told that there were six or eight graves on the farm on a knoll about a quarter of a mile a little south and west of the site of old Fort Mitchell. It was all hearsay from neighbors as to the exact number of graves and nobody knew who the dead were.
   I corresponded with the G. A. R. and the war department at Washington, but there seemed to be no available records of any soldiers buried here.
   Finally, about 1912 or 1913, a neighbor from Iowa was visited by

his father, a Mr. Billings, who was with this Captain W. D. Fouts when he was killed. He was positive as to his being buried here. At the time Captain Fouts was killed two or three other soldiers were killed, too, but this man was not certain that they were buried here, in fact, it he thought they were not.
   After 1 got this definite information I corresponded with the war department again telling what I had learned. That directed their search to the Iowa records and they found the record of Captain Fouts. Then I was to find his remains. I didn't have time so referred them to undertakers in Scottsbluff, Wilcox & Co. They promptly took up the remains and sent them to the Fort McPherson National Cemetery. That accounts for the paper record of his internment.
   As to other soldiers buried here, there seems to be no record or at least none that can be found. At the time of the removal of Captain Fouts they looked for other bodies. One was found, but it was the remains of a child.
   The past spring the remains of two more adult bodies were found and turned over to Wilcox & Co.
   I think Mr. Heil was mistaken as to the time the two soldiers were sent from here. We looked for some last fall, but found none. During the winter the wind blew away a great deal of the earth from the place where the bodies were interred and in farming over it my men run onto the bones. Then I called Wilcox & Co. and they procured what they could and as I said as to their disposal of them I know nothing.
   As to where Captain Fouts was killed I am not certain, but I think Mr. Billings said it was up the river from Fort Mitchell some twenty-five miles. This is the extent of what I am able to do for you.
   On October 9, 1918, Mr. L. A. Heil, superintendent of Fort McPherson National Cemetery, wrote to me as follows:
   Yours of October 3, 1918, duly at hand, and I have searched all the data available in this office, and find nothing of the deceased soldiers you mention. But the following memorandum is found in the pocket of the interment register:
   'Disinter the remains (human bones) of four deceased soldiers now buried on the farm of Mr. R. S. Hunt, three and one-half miles distant from Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
   'Encase the same in tin-lined boxes 24"x12"x10", to be hermetically sealed, and otherwise comply with the laws of the state of Nebraska governing the disinterment of dead human bodies.
   'After the bodies are properly encased, the boxes are to be marked as follows:

   'Superintendent Ft. McPherson National Cemetery,
         'Maxwell, Nebraska,
   Weight ............. lbs., and delivered to the railroad agent at Haig, Neb. The old graves are to be refilled.
         'June 14, 1915.'

   There is no record as to when or what part of the cemetery these bodies are buried, or whether they were ever buried.
   There is a proper record of the interment of Captain Wm. D. Fouts, 7th Iowa Cavalry, killed by Indians in battle in Dakota, June 14, 1865, and reinteered in this cemetery June 20, 1916.
   There is no record of interments from Fort Mitchell in this cemetery."
   On October 28 Superintendent Heil wrote again:
   Yours of recent date at hand, and in reply permit me to state that I have searched the Interment Register of this cemetery from its establishment, and find very little that throws any light on the information which you desire.
   Herewith I inclose an exact copy of the interments therein found, including the duplicates.
   I therefore see no means of arriving at any satisfactory data of those you seek.
   The early records of this cemetery are very vague and unsatisfactory.
   I have been superintendent here only since July 7, 1918, and can only refer to matters as I find them on the records.

The Record.

   John Anderson, Pvt., Co. C, 7th Iowa Cav., died Sept. 18. 1864, Ft. McPherson.
   Fred Dyer, 7th Iowa Cav., Ft. McPherson.
   Benj. Groms, Sgt., Co. A, 7th Iowa Cav., Ft. McPherson.
   Lieut. Heath, 7th Iowa Cav., Ft. Kearny.
   D. M. Lyons, Corp., Co. C, 7th Iowa Cav., Ft. McPherson.
   C. B. Lellen, Pvt Co. C, 7th Iowa Cav., Ft. McPherson.
   A. Newton, Pvt., Co. D, 7th Iowa Cav., Ft. McPherson.
   Wm. D. Fouts, Capt., Co. D, 7th Iowa Cav., died June 14, 1865; reinterred June 20, 1915, from Scottsbluff, Nebr.: killed in battle Horse Creek, Dak.

   Grave 801 is marked "Four Unknown." No date of interment, names, organization, or other means of identification, either on the headstones or Interment Register."
   The quartermaster-general in his report. to the secretary of war, dated September 14 , 1915, stated that during the year four known soldiers were removed from Scott's Bluff to the Fort McPher-

Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days


son National Cemetery. It seems probable that these were remains of deceased soldiers of the garrison of the fort.
   On October 9, 1918, Mr. Earl H. Gans of Wilcox & Co., Scottsbluff, wrote me as follows:

   Three years ago when the body of the captain was found, the government gave us instructions that in case any more bodies were found to notify them.
   Some weeks ago Mr. Hunt was doing some work near where the body of the captain was found. He notified us and we found two graves. We found small pieces of the box and two skeletons. The names as far as we know are unknown, also the military organization. The government furnished us with complete paper, permits, etc., and ordered the remains sent to McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Neb.
   The remains were shipped in metal lined boxes.

   In the fall of 1863 eight companies of the Seventh Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Cavalry were detached from their field of action in the Civil War to protect settlers on the trans-Missouri plains from hostile Indians, and they arrived at Omaha on September 19. On June 11, 1865, Captain William D. Fouts, in command of Company D and small detachments of A and B, of that regiment, in all four commissioned officers and 135 enlisted men, left Fort Laramie in charge of about 1,500 reputed good Indians who were sent to Julesburg to separate them from the influence of bad Indians. These wards being "ostensibly friendly," were indulged with a good equipment of bows and arrows as well as guns. On the night of the 13th Captain Fouts and his command camped on the east bank of Horse Creek and the Indians on the opposite side. Early in the morning of the 14th Captain Fouts crossed the creek to get the Indians started on the march when they shot him dead. His body was found stripped and mutilated. The Indians then "fled two or three miles to the Platte."
   Captain John Wilcox, of Company B, had started the wagons on their way eastward at sunrise. After going two miles the train halted for the Indians to close up. Just then firing was heard in the rear, and soon a messenger brought news of the revolt. Thereupon Captain Wilcox dispatched a courier on a swift horse to get help from Fort Mitchell, eighteen miles distant, in the meantime dividing his command - consisting of parts of companies A and B - and ordering sixty-five of them to dig rifle pits outside the wagon corral, and the remaining seventy to mount the best horses available and proceed to the scene of action. They found the squaws and papooses swimming the river. The 500 warriors attacked the soldiers who, being so greatly outnumbered, retreated to their defenses at the wagon train. When Captain Shuman arrived with a small reenforcement at about nine o'clock, the united command followed the Indians, but finding that they had all crossed the river. It was thought imprudent for so small a force to attempt the passage of the swollen stream in the face of the overwhelming number of the enemy. Captain Fouts' command lost four killed - himself and three privates - and four wounded. Captain Wilcox, who made the official report of the affair, estimated the loss of the Indians at twenty to thirty. He related that, "After repairing the telegraph line, broken by the Indians during the action, and interring our dead, (except Captain Fouts, whom we afterward interred at Fort Mitchell), we took up our line of march and arrived at Fort Mitchell a little after night-fall."
   The exact place where Captain Fouts was killed has not yet been ascertained. Assuming that the Indians followed Horse Creek in their flight, the skirmish between them and the soldiers was at or near its mouth. If Fouts was killed about two miles above the mouth of the creek, the place is about three miles southwesterly from Henry, just inside the Wyoming line. As Captain Wilcox reported, it was then in Dakota, that part of which had been taken from Idaho on the 26th of May, 1864. It fell within Wyoming when that territory was organized July 25, 1868. The battle-field is about two miles and a half southeast of Henry.
   Colonel Thomas Moonlight, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, and then in command of the sub-district of the plains in which the trouble occurred, reported that "There must have been some unwarranted provocation given on the part of Captain Fouts which led the Indians to believe that they were not to be honorably dealt with." But his march from Fort Laramie to the rescue involved a foolish escapade which, with other shortcomings, weakens the force of his accusation. Furthermore, the innate hostility of the Indians is disclosed in the report of Captain Wilcox. Notwithstanding the treacherous murder of his comrade, Captain Fouts, Captain Wilcox declares that, "When within 600 yards of the enemy I halted my command in line and sent the interpreter (Elston) to the front to signal and tell all who were our friends to return, and they should not be harmed, but protected. But all were hostile, and with hideous yells charged upon us."
   Instead of being "an uprising of Indians," as stated by the newspaper quoted from, this mutiny was an incident of the general war carried on by the Indians of the plains from August, 1864, until they were finally settled on reservations in 1879. The Custer massacre in 1876 was the grand tragedy of the final policy and process of sub-

jugation. The moral, or immoral, quality of policy and process is a different consideration.


Passing of the Nebraska Pioneer

   These obituaries are compiled largely from death notices printed in newspapers which are received and kept on file by the Historical Society. While the sketches have been carefully edited, it has been impossible to avoid and correct all inaccuracies. The lives of some subjects of the obituaries were of unusual public interest, and in such cases the sketches have been duty amplified. Statements of fact, particularly those which are of record, have been verified as far as practicable. Obviously, it is very desirable that these records, which will always be used for reference, should be correct, and surviving relatives and editors of local newspapers should carefully cooperate in preventing errors.


   Charles A. Morell, born in Sweden January 9, 1863, died at Gothenburg October 26; came to America with his parents when one year old; they first settled in Omaha, then at Oakland, and in 1884 at Gothenburg.
   Titus E. Hall, son of Sybrent Hall, died October 26 at his home in Pasadena, Cal., buried at Lyons, Neb.; came from Wisconsin in 1866; drove a stage with Tekamah as headquarters; his last route from the railway terminus at Herman to Tekamah; county commissioner in 1885.
   Mrs. Timothy Murphy, died October 28, at the farm home near Dakota City; a resident of Dakota county since May 10, 1856.
   Noah S. Wood, died in Dillon, Mont., October 31, the last of three brothers who came to Table Rock in 1857.
   William F. Sweesy, born in New Jersey, May 5, 1828, died in Omaha November 2; came to Omaha by steamboat, in 1856; with Aaron Root, his brother-in-Iaw, built the Tremont House on Douglas street; in 1866 bought twenty-two acres of land west and south of the present site of Creighton university; he was appointed register of the land office at Omaha in 1867, and in 1876 he was United States marshal for Wyoming; built the Brunswick Hotel, now a part of the Rome, and other important structures.
   Mrs. Henry Hubbard. born in White Pigeon, Mich., October 9, 1835, died at her home in Weeping Water November 3; in 1865 came to Weeping Water, or Weeping Water Falls as it was called; her husband, a miller, built the three mills on the Weeping Water.
   J. W. Hall, born in Kentucky April 7, 1854, died at Beaver City, November 5; came to Nebraska in 1865 and settled near Vesta.
   James C. Boyd, born in Blount county, Tennessee, June 10, 1837, died November 4 at Dunbar; came to Nebraska City in 1864; began farming in Otoe county in 1867; county superintendent of public instruction for Otoe county 1880-1885, and sheriff one term; teacher of the first school in Dunbar.
   David Griffith of Verdon, died November 6 at the age of seventy one years. He came from Iowa county, Wisconsin, and settled near Verdon in 1866. His son, Dr. David G. Griffith, is superintendent of the Nebraska Institution for Feeble Minded Youth, at Beatrice.
   Patrick McEvoy, born in Ireland, died in Omaha, November 9, aged seventy-six years. His parents came in a wagon to Omaha in 1854, from their former home in Illinois.
   Mrs. Mary A. Latta, born in Connecticut October 2. 1833, died November 10 at Tekamah; married to W. W. Latta May 10, 1857; they came to Nebraska in a wagon drawn by oxen, crossing the Missouri river at Sioux City and reaching Tekamah July 25, 1857; starting with little besides a breaking plow and cooking utensils they acquired a large acreage of fine farming land which was heavily stocked with cattle.
   Mrs. Silas Holcomb died on November 12, at Lincoln. The body was taken to Broken Bow, the former home of the family, for burial. Mrs. Holcomb went first to Broken Bow in 1883. The family lived in Lincoln during the time that her husband was governor and Judge of the supreme court [1895-1898; 1900-1905]. They then went to Washington state, and in 1909 returned to live in Broken Bow; but in a short time Mr. Holcomb was appointed a member of the Board of Commissioners of State Institutions, and since then the family has resided in Lincoln.
   George M. Drexel, died at Florence November 18, sixty-five years old; had lived in Douglas county for sixty years.
   Mrs. J. K. Cornelius, born in Kilkenny county, Ireland, May 12, 1841, died November 19 at Humboldt: came with her relatives to America in 1854 by way of New Orleans, and to Nebraska in 1865, settling on a farm northeast of Humboldt; was one of the first members of the Catholic church at Dawson.
   Mrs. Joshua Gapen, born December 13, 1830, in Union county, Indiana, died November 19 at the home of her son near Plattsmouth; moved to Nebraska with her parents in 1866.
   Charles Frederick Schafer Templin, born in Lancaster, Ohio, September 17, 1847, died at Nebraska City November 15; came to Nebraska in 1860; it is said that he wrote the call for the first prohibition convention in Nebraska.
   Joseph Kruntorad, who was born in Bohemia eighty-two years ago and died on November 15 at Spencer, came to Nebraska from New York in 1885 and went to Boyd county, where he built the first house between Spencer and Butte. He farmed his homestead until ten years ago. (The Spencer Advocate, November 21.)
   William Asa Cox, born in Andersonville, S. C., February 24, 1849, died November 16 at Falls City; came to Nebraska from Illinois in a prairie schooner, crossing the Missouri river at Brownville.
   Harrison Wixson, who died at Beaver City on November 17 seventy-five years old, had been a mail carrier in Nebraska for twenty-


Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days

eight years. In the course of his service he traveled about 128,000 miles, a distance of more than five times around the world. It is said that he never lost a piece of mail or was disciplined for misconduct. This veteran had never ridden on a railroad train until last summer, when he went from Wilsonville to Beaver City by the line which follows the route he had traveled in the mail service before the road was built. He first carried mail in 1882, from Arapahoe to Wilsonville, and then from Beaver City to Cedar Bluffs (in Decatur County, Kan.. forty-two miles by the railroad west of Beaver City). He had other routes, but during the last nine years he has had the daily route from Beaver City to Oxford. (The Times-Tribune, November 21.)
   Mrs. Katherine Wolcott Green, died November 21 at Omaha; lived on a homestead at Elk Creek, Neb., for more than fifty years; lately at Akron, Col.; before marriage taught in the public schools of Omaha.
   Mrs. Katherine Reichert, born in Germany. November 11, 1833, died at Louisville November 22; came to America a young girl and to Nebraska in 1858; her first home in Plattsmouth a dugout; was the third wife of her husband and bore five children.
   George P. Schwab, born in Germany, April, 23, 1833, died November 23 at Clay Center. With his parents he came to America on a sailing vessel, the voyage lasting fifty-eight days; had been a resident of Clay county since 1880; at one time one of the largest land owners and most successful farmers and stock raisers in the county and president of the Clay Center State Bank; father of thirteen children, eleven of whom survive him.
   Frank C. Bosler, son of Herman Bosler, a: pioneer cattleman in Nebraska and Wyoming, associated with W. A. Paxton, Alex Swan and others, died November 26 at Carlisle, Pa.; his Nebraska property included stock in the Omaha stock yards and the Ogalalla Land and Cattle Company: He was widely known as a successful and wealthy business min.

   Eliza, wife of Daniel Freeman, born at Brantford, Ontario, December 28, 1832. died December 1 at Lexington, Neb. In 1861 the family moved to Fort Leavenworth and in the fall Mr. Freeman opened a store at Plum Creek station, which was situated on the Oregon Trail - but then commonly called the road to California - about three miles east and six miles south of the site now occupied by Lexington. Here Mr. and Mrs. Freeman kept a store and eating house until the Union Pacific railroad reached that part of Nebraska, in 1866, when he started a store on the site where the railroad station called Plum Creek was soon afterward built. As Freeman claimed the site as a homestead and the two parties could not come to an agreement about it, the station was moved about a mile farther west. The name of the town was changed to Lexington in 1889.
   In 1873 Mr. Freeman established the Dawson County Pioneer, the first newspaper of that county. He was drowned while trapping near Deadwood, S. D., in 1877. The Freemans are regarded as the very first settlers in what is now Phelps county, and among the very first in Dawson county. Seven children survived their mother. The site of the first Plum Creek is in the extreme northwest corner of Phelps county.
   An interesting story, by Mrs. Freeman, of "Early Days in Dawson County," is printed in Nebraska Pioneer Reminiscences, published in 1916.
   Following is part of a letter written by Dr. G. C. Paxton, of Chambers, Nebraska, to his wife, on January 18, 1888:
   'We have had severe blizzards every few days all winter, but on Thursday, the 12th inst., there was the worst storm that was ever known in this or any other country. On the 11th it snowed and was very blustery, but on the morning of the never-to-be-forgotten 12th, the wind was blowing a soft breeze, from the south, and every one said, 'We are going to have a January thaw,' but alas how untrue. In less than one minute, without warning, with no indication that death and destruction would follow that awful storm, with no premonition that an impending and horrible doom await them, the people were out attending to their stock, or at their respective avocations, when it came. The wind blow a terrible gale, the air was full of powdered snow and so cold that hundreds of cattle and live stock of all kinds froze to death. Such was the state at affairs when Lee and Crof Baker, a man by the name of Gorman, from Scotia, Neb., and myself, started to go from our store to Mr. Wry's, our boarding house.
   The time was 1:30 o'clock p. m. when we started. We could not see five feet from us in any direction. We got probably within twenty feet of the house, got lost, shouted as loud as we could, but could hear nothing but that fearful wind. We were not clothed to be out half an hour. After trying to find the house we started with the wind which was blowing from the northwest. We were frightful looking human beings with ice hanging from our whiskers and clothes, our faces a sheet of ice, but we staggered on. We went through corn stalks, over cultivated farms, came to trees, went within a few yards of houses, shouted and screamed, but no echoing voice returned. By this time night was approaching, but still we traveled on, determined not to yield until we were forced to do so. We finally came to some cabbage and castor bean stalks and we knew we were close to a house. We shouted long and loud, and a dog heard us and barked, and we followed the dog who led us to a hog shed which we welcomed with open arms. More dead than alive, we crowded in among the hogs. There was not a dry thread on us when the ice melted. My toes were frozen as I didn't have very warm shoes and only cotton socks. I pulled my shoes off and my feet froze solid and I would have lost them only for Lee Baker, who told me to put them under his coat. I feel very grateful to him as he saved my life. He had no overshoes so he put his feet under a hog and kept them from freezing. We stayed with the hogs ten hours when the storm abated and Mr. Gorman ventured out and found the house. I could hardly walk when I started to go in. We were out altogether thirteen hours.

Oh! that was an awful night. We beat ourselves until we were sore to keep from going to sleep and freezing. I thought of you and the little ones more than once that night. What people were those where we stopped! They could not do enough for us. We stayed with them a day and a half, and John Dougherty and Mr. Chatterton took us home in a sleigh. We were only six miles from home, but we went much farther than that. These people were Germans and would not think of accepting anything for their kindness. This was our experience, and I wish ours had been the worst [?] case. Old Tom Keller was frozen to death that night. A man by the name of Glaze was found the next morning stark and stiff within ten feet of his door, and another man was found in a dooryard dead. Mrs. Crupee went out to look for her husband, who was lost in the storm; he came back in her absence and started after her, but did not find her, after getting lost and slaying out on the prairie all night. Dr. Lukens, a. young man who slept here with me since you left, started for his stable and has not been found. I need not go on. There were fifteen in this immediate vicinity whom I have heard of. Fifteen coffins were ordered from Ewing yesterday besides these. All along our trail cattle and sheep were scattered and frozen. One Mr. Graham lost 140 cattle, Mr Holcombe, 350 sheep, and others in proportion. There are as many as a thousand cattle lost in this valley, besides sheep, hogs and horses. The mail carrier to this place drove to within tell feet of the Shamrock stable, turned and went until his horses would go no further, unhitched and stayed by a sod wall all night, froze his feet so badly I may have to amputate his toes. Next morning both horses were found dead close to his sleigh. The weather is pleasant today, but we are looking for another storm.

The Red Cloud Agency Buildings

Picture or sketch


   Volume XIX of the publications of the Historical Society contains: a description of the Red Cloud Indian agency which was situated near the site now occupied by the town of Henry, Scott's Bluff county. It was conjectured that the accompanying picture. taken by Mr. A. E. Sheldon, represented a building belonging to the agency, but the following letter, dated December 9, from Mr. Eric H. Reid, of Torrington. establishes its identity:
   As requested, I return herewith the photograph of the "Soddy" and barn at the old P. F. ranch. Mr. Thomas J. Snow was with the Pratt and Ferris Cattle Company when the old ranch was purchased. At that time it was the property of Nick Jonice (I am not sure about the spelling). a former government interpreter, brother-in-law of Red Cloud. He and Senator T. G. Powers both agree that the "Soddy" shown here is not the original "Soddy," but is a sod building constructed by the Pratt and Ferris Cattle Company for their ranch, and it was probably not erected until late in the 70's or in the 80's. Evidently, in taking this picture the camera was pointed almost to the northwest, as the sun shows on the south end of the barn, and the east side of the barn is in shadow. Just west of this barn is an old slough, generally dry, and it was across this slough, south and east from the barn, that the agency sod building was situated.
   Mr. Snow remembers the old agency buildings quite well. The largest faced the north; there were some more buildings joining it facing the same way, and then there was a series of buildings or a continuation of building that faced east. These buildings made the west and south enclosures of a compound 120 feet square, the north and east sides of which were themselves sod walls. These walls, as Mr. Snow remembers, were loopholed for riflemen. As Mr. Snow and Mr. Powers remember it, this was known as Red Cloudy agency, and it was the site of Little Moon post office. Mr. Snow has recently seen in print the statement that Little Moon post office was situated at the Bridle Bit ranch at the mouth of Horse creek, but is very sure that the writer, whose name he does not now remember, was in error about this. He says there was a post office at the old Bridle Bit ranch at one time, but he does not remember its name. Mr. Snow told me quite a little about Jonice and his half-breed family consisting of three or four boys and four or five girls, and his son-in-law who was himself a half-breed by the name of Louis Shango. (Again I refuse to, take the responsibility of the spelling of this name.)
   Senator Powers says that Nick Jonice and two of his brothers are buried in the old military cemetery at Fort Laramie together with some of Nick's children, and that the headstones with their names on can still be found there.

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