NEGenWeb Project

Resource Center
On-Line Library

NE History & Record of Pioneer Days
Vol VII, no 2 (part 1)  




Picture or sketch



By REV. WILLIAM H. BUSS of Fremont

   Rev. William H. Russ was awarded a prize of $100 March 18, 1916, for the best poem on Nebraska. Mr. Buss was pastor of the Congregational Church of Fremont. The award was made by a special committee chosen to dispose of a prize offered by John D. Haskell of Wakefield for a poem suitable for the semi-centennial anniversary of Nebraska in 1917. The special committee that selected the poem comprised Dr. L. A. Sherman of the department of English of the university. Prof. Mary Crawford of the Kearney State Normal school and Pres. W. E. Nicholl of Bellevue College. This committee was appointed by state superintendent A. O. Thomas of Lincoln, Judge Paul Jessen of Nebraska City and Ross Hammond of Fremont comprising a state wide committee on celebrations of the birth of the state.
   Several hundred poems were received by the committee and the ode was graded on meter, spontaneity, dignity, typical of Nebraska, appeal, individuality of thought. harmony and poetic beauty.


Now laud the proud tree planter state,
   Nebraska, -- free, enlightened, great;
Her royal place she has in song;
   The noblest strains to her belong;
       Her fame is sure.

Then sing Nebraska through the years;
   Extol her stalwart pioneers:
The days when, staunch and unafraid,
   The state's foundations, well they laid,
       To long endure.





The land where Coronado trod,
   And brave Marquette surveyed the sod;
Where Red Men long in council sat;
   Where spreads the valleys of the Platte
       Far 'neath the sun.

The land, beside whose borders sweep
   The big Missouri's waters, deep.
Whose course erratic, through its sands,
   From northland on, through many lands
       Does seaward run.


The foothills of the Rockies lie
   Afar athwart her western sky;
Her rolling prairie, like the sea,
   Held long in virgin sanctity,
       Her fertile loam.

Her wild-life roamed o'er treeless plains,
   Till came the toiling wagon-trains, --
And settlers bold, far westward bound,
   In broad Nebraska's valleys found,
       Their chosen home.


Now o'er her realm and 'neath her
   Her golden harvests richly lie; --
Her corn more vast than Egypt yields;
   Her grain unmatched in other fields;
       Her cattle rare: --

Alfalfa fields, by winding streams;
   And sunsets. thrilling poets' dreams; --
These all we sing, and know that time
   Has ne'er revealed a fairer clime,
       Or sweeter air.


O proud Nebraska, brave and free;
   Thus sings thy populace to thee.
Thy virile strength, thy love of light;
   Thy civic glory, joined with right,
       Our hearts elate.

Thy manly wisdom, firm to rule:
   Thy womanhood in church and school;
Thy learning, culture, art and peace,
   Do make thee strong, and ne'er shall cease
       To keep thee great!

The author suggests that the following stanzas to be numbered III and IV could be utilized on occasions.





Her heaving bluffs uplift their heads
   Along her winding river-beds, --
And, pleasing far the traveler's view, --
   Well guard her Elkhorn and her Blue,
       Encrowned with wood.

And there, by landmark, ne'er to fail,
   Upon the ancient westward trail;
Or graven stone, securely placed,
   By eye observant may be traced
      Where wigwam stood.


Her honored cities grow in wealth;
   In thriving commerce, public health;
Her first, the gateway of the west;
   Her Omaha, that will not rest,
      Nor take defeat.

Her capital of worthy fame,
   That bears the mighty Lincoln's name,
And thousands of Nebraska youth
   Hear summons to her fount of truth,
       At learning's seat.


   Rev. Wm. H. Buss was born in England, February 6, 1852, and in the following year his parents came to this country with their family. He acquired his early education in Wisconsin, and Illinois, and his higher education at Oberlin College, in Ohio. He was graduated with the Class of 1879, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and ranking fifth in a class of fifty members. In his Junior year, he was chosen class poet, and his Commencement message was "An Ode to Oberlin." Immediately on leaving Oberlin, he entered the Chicago Theological Seminary, and took the three years divinity course, including Hebrew. He was graduated in 1882, with the degree of Bachelor of Divinity. Rev. Mr. Buss was ordained a minister of the Congregational Church, at Burlington, Iowa, June 6, 1882, and far two years was assistant pastor of the Congregational Church of Burlington, Iowa. He next organized a new church at West Burlington, and built for it a house of worship. In February, 1887, he was called to the pastorate of the Deadwood, (S. D.) Congregational Church. and served the same for four years. In October, 1890, he accepted a call to the First Congregational Church of Fremont, Nebraska, where he served eleven consecutive years. In 1901 he was summoned to serve New England Congregational Church, of Aurora, Ill., the Illinois Pastorate continuing four years. January 1, 1906, he was recalled to the pastorate of Fremont Church, and remained in office until the summer of 1918.
   Rev. Mr. Buss has served as a delegate to the National and International Councils of his denomination: and also as a delegate to an International Convention of the Christian Endeavor Society, at Baltimore,



Md. At two commencements of the University of Nebraska, he has delivered the annual baccalaureate Sermon. He managed the Fortieth and the Fifteenth anniversaries of the Fremont Church, which were elaborately celebrated. And for thirty-one years he has been closely identified with the religious, civic, and educational affairs of the city.
   During his pastoral work, he has composed and published many poetical writings, of which not a few have attracted wide attention. In 1916 he contested with over 400 competitors for the prize of $100.00, offered by Hon. John D. Haskell, of Wakefield, Nebraska, for the best Hymn, which should be written by a Nebraska author, in honor of the semi-centennial of the Commonwealth. Rev. Mr. Buss won the prize, which naturally brought him congratulations from many parts of the west. This "Hymn to Nebraska," was set to appropriate music by John Prindle Scott of New York City, and has been sung, not only during the Anniversary Celebration, but also by great numbers of school children in various parts of the state.
   Mr. Buss' family consists of his wife, whom he married in Burlington, Iowa, in 1885, and three children, a daughter and two sons. The sons are business men in Chicago, and the daughter resides in Fremont.
   The daughter, before her marriage, was several years a prominent teacher in the public schools and has served also as an efficient accountant. One son is an officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and the second son, is associated with the Hamilton Club of the same city. The latter was a sergeant of U. S. Marines, during the World War.
   In the Spring of 1917, Rev. Mr. Buss, suffering with an affliction of the eyes, and having served in the Gospel ministry for thirty-six years, decided to resign his pastorate, and undergo special treatment. The First Congregational Church, upon accepting the resignation, expressed great love for, and appreciation of their minister. and of his extended pastorate. After an interval of two years service, as pastor of Arlington Congregational Church during 1922 and 1923, Mr. Buss returned to Fremont, and is now living in comparative retirement, much improved in health. His memories of the past, and the love of the people fill his heart with gratitude and joy, since he regards them as intangible assets, representing the truest wealth. Yet he is not allowed to be idle, being constantly called upon for special sermons, memorials, and a variety of pastoral service; so that in the evening of his active life, he finds his experience, richly fraught with the gladness of useful living.


   The first homesteader to file on land in the Grand Island land office was A. M. Templin, who homesteaded in 1871 near what was called the Lone Tree, now Central City. Mr. Templin was a successful farmer, a leader in the dairy industry, a student of economic and political affairs, and is the writer of History of Early Settlement of Loup Valley. He died at Omaha, October 7, aged 74 and was buried at Palmer, where he lived for many years.

   John Hunter Howard, pioneer homesteader in Dawes county in 1885, died October 12, 1923, at his home near Crawford, aged 61. Mr. Howard was well known to the editor of this magazine during the early years of Dawes county. He was one of the pioneers who had the courage and intelligence to stick to his land during the drought and disaster of the 90's. He emerged from these troublous times as the owner of a large and prosperous ranch to which he gave intelligent direction. In the community life of Dawes county Mr. Howard was a most valuable citizen giving both time and money to the creation of a strong, pure, progressive society.



The Pioneer Doctor

Alexandria, Nebr., Oct. 15, 1923.

Editor Hebron Journal:
    If any class of men ever justified their Creator in being proud of his handiwork, it must certainly have been the pioneer doctors of the great west. My personal acquaintance with them is confined to those who were practicing in Thayer and Jefferson counties prior to 1875. To wit: Dr. Thomas at Alexandria and Dr. Kinnemon of Fairbury.
   Everyone who knew them was their friend, and many stories of their kindness and courage are still extant.
   When the great Indian raid of 1864 terminated at Big Sandy Station in Jefferson county, the 1st Nebraska cavalry was hastily mobilized at Meridian, and took the field with orders to drive the Indians across the Colorado line. The regiment, of which Dr. Thomas was surgeon, and E. M. Correll quartermaster, was moving over the old stage road, which followed closely the Blue river, from Meridian to Hebron. When about half-way between the two towns a boy twelve or fourteen years of age suddenly appeared beside the trail and approaching Dr. Thomas, cried out, "For God's sake, Mr., can't you divide a little with us? Our folks ain't had anything to eat for two days." "My son," replied the Doctor, "We are pursuing the Indians, and it would be a violation of orders to divide our rations with anyone. But soldiers are a careless lot and if you follow our trail, perhaps some of them will lose something that may be of help to you."
   A few rods farther on, the doctor cut loose from behind the saddle, all the rations he was carrying, and looking back soon afterwards, he saw the boy pick them up, and start hurriedly for home.
   In 1876, a physician from the east arrived in Fairbury, and opened an office on the main street. A few days later, a farmer from Bower drove into Fairbury and inquired for a doctor. He was directed to the office of the newcomer. Entering the Doctor's office, he said, "Doc, an emigrant is at my house with a broken leg. I will take care of him and his team until he is able to travel again, but I want a doctor to set his broken leg."
   "Well!" said the Doctor, "If you will guarantee my fees, I will go with you." "No" replied the man, "I will care for him and his team without pay, but I want a doctor who will assist him without a fee."
   "I am not practicing my profession for my health," replied the doctor, to which the man replied, "I supposed you were a human being, but I see my mistake," and without another word he walked out of the office and inquired for Dr. Kinnamon.
   Fifteen minutes later he appeared with Dr. Kinnamon on the street, and the first man he met was the new doctor. "Say, Kinnamon," said he, you're a d---m fool to go out there gratis." "Possibly," replied Kinnamon, "but I'd rather be a d--m fool than a d--m brute," and the two proceeded on their way to Bower, where Kinnamon rendered the necessary assistance without hope of reward.
   "Now, Doc.," said the farmer, addressing the new doctor, "Don't ever have any business at or near Bower. If you do I'll kill you if I'm there. Such skunks as you ought to be run out of Jefferson county with a coat of tar and feathers. You're a disgrace to the frontier."
   The farmer took care of the injured man, and Kinnamon faithfully attended him until he was sufficiently recovered to resume his journey, and no demand was ever made upon him for their services.

Dictated by "Old Hayseed."     




   The Lexington Pioneer prints a very interesting account written by Michael Delahunty who settled at what was then called Plum Creek station on May 5, 1867. His account includes the familiar frontier story of the wrecking of the Union Pacific train by Indians near Lexington, August 7, 1867. As his account contains some personal observation and new material it is printed in part as follows:
   On the night of August 7, 1867, occurred the railroad wreck and it took place about 3 1/2 miles west of the present site of Lexington. The wrecking was done by the Indians shortly after dark, about nine o'clock. The section men had been working at that point during the day and had left their tools alongside the track. The Indians being on the lookout and watching them from the islands in the Platte river, took the tools, pulled out the spikes and raised the rails to a height of three or four feet. They then took down the telegraph wires and fastened blocks of wood to each rail. As there was only one wire used for telegraph, the agent discovered at once that he could not send or receive messages and he ordered the section men to go and find the trouble. So brother Jim and six men, Tim Murphy, Pat Handerhand, John Kearn, Thompson, Wallace, and Pat Griswold, went out on the hand car to find the trouble and the first they noticed was a fire built along the north side of the track and the Indians were hiding on the south side in some tall grass. The hand car hit the blocks of wood which the Indians tied to the rails and jumped the track. About this time forty Indians on ponies appeared and started yelling and shooting arrows and guns at the section men, who were armed and who returned the fire. The Indians kept riding in a circle around the men, who realized that they were in a bad fix and when the chance came they made break to get away and in doing so the first man captured was Pat Handerhand. The Indians took their tomahawks and cut him to pieces. The next man they got was Thompson. They scalped him. Pat Griswold got shot in the hip and the other three men made their escape uninjured. About the time they were scalping Thompson a freight train came along and run into the trap. It had about twenty-five cars and the first four or five cars were filled with dry goods and provisions, and when the Indians heard the noise of the wreck, they left Thompson and the others and went to the wreck. The engineer and fireman were killed instantly when the train was wrecked, the conductor was uninjured and he ran back on foot toward Plum Creek and stopped another train which was coming along and backed the same into that station. The next day the two brakemen on the wrecked train showed up at Brady Island. The Indians after plundering the cars and taking all kinds of merchandise set them on fire and held a big Pow-Wow or Indian dance.
   The same night the conductor of the train received word from quarters at Omaha, that if it was not safe or their lives in danger for all the men to leave Plum Creek. So he took the men and their families on the train, with the exception of Patrick Delahunty, who stayed with Daniel Freeman and his family, to guard their property, and we went east as far as Elmcreek where we stayed all night in a sod dobie. The next morning we received orders to return to Plum Creek to see how things were. The only two women on this train were my wife and Pat's wife and children, and we sent them on to Grand Island. When we got back to Plum Creek we could see a black smoke where the wreck was so the conductor hooked a flat car on the front of the engine and we all got aboard with our guns and amunition (sic) and started toward the wreck. About a mile from the wreck we stopped as there were Indians around and we were afraid of being surrounded. After the



train stopped we saw the Indians riding around in circles with bolts of calico tied to their horses' tails and a bunch of them around two barrels of whiskey. Brother Patrick being a crack rifle shot and having a long range rifle, 50-70 calibre, they delegated him to pick off the leader, which he did with the first shot. This caused them to scatter and leave for the islands in the river. We then moved to the wreck and hooked onto the caboose and pulled it away from the burning cars. We found coffee, sugar, dry goods and other provisions scattered about; boots with the tops cut off -- the Indians cut the tops off and put them on their legs but wouldn't wear the bottom part -- in fact we picked up about three carloads of merchandise that was left on the ground.

   August Raasch, first postmaster at Norfolk, and a member of the German Colony which first settled at the junction of the Elkhorn with the North Fork, died at Norfolk December 8, 1922. Mr. Raasch was born at Konigsberg, Germany, came with his parents to Wisconsin, served in the Union army and was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg. He arrived with other members of the German colony at the present site of Norfolk in 1866 and has been one of the most influential and efficient citizens of that community. A family of eleven children, one of them Representative Obed Raasch, member of the legislature from Madison county, have been born to him and his wife.

   One of the best known pioneers of Colfax County, Patrick J. Murphy, died October 13, 1923, at Columbus, aged 82. He and his wife homesteaded in 1872 and lived for 34 years on their farm, subsequently engaging in the grain and live stock business. He was born in Ireland, but was a thorough going American throughout his long life here. A large family of children grew to manhood and womanhood in their home which was a center of hospitality and good will to the community where they lived.

   G. W. Hervey died at Omaha, January 21, 1923. Mr. Hervey was one of the most efficient agricultural editors in the history of Nebraska. For forty years he was active in the promotion of pure bred stock and other phases of agricultural life. At various times he was editor of the Nebraska Farmer the Agricultural department of the Omaha World Herald, besides many other agricultural pamphlets and publications. He died at the age of seventy-six having served his state and country well.

   James Irving died, at Silver Creek, October 18, 1923, aged 87 years. He was born in Nova Scotia, homesteaded in 1872 seven miles north of Schuyler. He operated a blacksmith shop throughout his Nebraska career. He was a friend to all the small boys of the neighborhood and a friend to forestry. Nothing stirred him with greater indignation than the destruction of Nebraska trees. --

   William Campbell died at Beatrice November 12, 1922, in his eighty-seventh year. He was a soldier in the 11th Illinois Cavalry commanded by Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll. He was with Colonnel (sic) Ingersoll when the latter was captured by the Confederates. He arrived at Brownville, Nebraska, October 4, 1866, homesteaded and became a successful leader and business man.

   Mrs. Fred A. Stock died at Falls City, November 14, 1922, eighty-eight years old. For fifty years she was a resident of Richardson county, coming with her husband from Wisconsin with the German colony which settled at Arago.



   Henry J. Lee, pioneer who came to Fremont in 1869, died there January 30, 1923, aged 86. He was reputed the wealthiest man in Fremont. His fortune was made in the wholesale hardware business and in the rise of Nebraska real estate. In early years he was in the freighting business between Omaha and Denver. He owned many Nebraska farms and had a passion for raising fine livestock.

   In addition to the mummy Cheyenne Indian in the State Historical Museum, found in the Power River country by Mr. A. N. Keith, explorers in the Ozark region of Missouri during the past year have found the mummified remains of Indians covered with slabs of limestone in rock shelters there. Estimates of 1,000 years as the age of these remains have been made, but this is subject to further study.

   At Overton, Dawson county, January 27,1923, died Matt Wilson, the second oldest living pioneer in the county, aged 81. He worked on the construction of the Union Pacific railroad in 1866, homesteaded at Overton, became section foreman, was married in 1872 and was one of the industrious, successful settlers in that region. He became the owner of two sections of choice land and left an estate valued at over $100,000.

   A pamphlet upon Dawson county, printed by the Dawson County Pioneer in February, 1874, contains interesting information about the region at that time. Statement is made that the first land put under the plow in the county was in 1872, a tract of about one hundred acres. In 1873 it was estimated that 2,500 acres were under cultivation. The date of the first house erected at Plum Creek, now Lexington, is given as June 1, 1873.

   Lee Herron, eighty-eight years old, lives at St. Paul, Howard county, and believes in "my wife, my trusty rifle, my mother's bible and my congressional medal." He is one of the very few persons who possess the latter. He received it for heroic daring at Fort Larned, Kansas, the night of September 1, 1868, carrying dispatches through an Indian infested region and on the way fighting off the red skins until rescued by the cavalry.

   W. H. Woods. historian and prophet of Fort Atkinson, favors the Historical Society with broadside No. 16, edition 1922, history and hopes of Nebraska and Washington county. Historian Woods has the historical spirit. He is always at it. Late in the night he thinks over the ancient times and traditions and at the earliest cock-crowing he is up converting his midnight meditations into solid reams of historical copy. Mr. Woods has been at this work fifty years and gives promise of continuance for fifty more. There ought to be one person in every county animated by the historic fervor that burns in the good Grand Army breast of W. H. Woods.

   The town of Ainsworth is planning to erect a worthy monument to the memory of Mrs. Nancy J. Osborne who homesteaded the land on which Ainsworth now stands about the year 1884. When the railroad was constructed and the town located she gave from her homestead the land for the court house and for a city park. She was a very liberal woman in many other ways, having an interest in all efforts for the improvement of the frontier society where she lived. The editor of this magazine remembers very well meeting Mrs. Osborne on the occasion of his first visit to Ainsworth in 1884. She was so full of energy and ambition that her spirit dominated the early settlement and her name was spoken with sincere regard from one end of the railroad to the other.



     Some very interesting early day stories of life around the town of Allen, Dixon county, are appearing in the Allen News. They are carefully being clipped in these rooms and arranged in the Dixon county history section of the Historical Society.

   George L. Berger, one of the Royal Buck colony in the Republican valley, writes a letter of remembrance from himself and wife, located at 181 South Grande street, Orange, California, where they are spending the winter. Mr. Berger has been for many years an active worker in the Historical Society ranks.

   John C. Luckert died in Knox county November 3, 1923, aged 81. He was a soldier in Company K, 146th New York volunteers, rising to the rank of captain. After the civil war he enlisted in Company F, 9th U. S. Infantry, where he was quartermaster sergeant. His regiment was located at Sidney Barracks and took part in many Indian fights. Later he settled on a homestead in Knox county.

   George W. Campbell died on his homestead near Adams, Gage county at the age of 88 years. He was a Union soldier, spending 417 days as a prisoner in Andersonville and other southern prisons. When he homesteaded in 1868 he and his family lived for the first year in a covered wagon and with a team of mules and one yoke of oxen he broke out prairie for himself and neighbors.

   A letter from Mrs. Alice Hall, county superintendent of Madison county says: "Pioneer history has always been interesting to me. When I came to Madison I found that this was school district No. 1. With the help of pupils we searched out the events and personnel of the first school in Madison county and, I think, the first school between Columbus and Niobrara. This includes an account written by the first teacher whose granddaughter was a pupil of mine."

   A. N. Keith of Kaycee, Wyoming, a member of the Nebraska Historical Society and a former Nebraska pioneer, writes a letter announcing the finding of another mummified Indian in the Powder River country. This warrior wore a feather headdress, soldier's trousers, and had on his person a captain's commission. The Powder River country was a continuous battlefield between white men and the Indians from 1863 to 1879. We may expect to find still more Indians cached away in the rocks of that region.

   Henry Howard, of Elk Creek, Johnson county, an honored pioneer Nebraska, a member for many years of the Historical Society, died at the home of his daughter, Dr. E. R. Miner, Macomb, Illinois, November 2, 1922 aged 82 years, 7 months, 17 days. Mr. Howard was not only one of the pioneers who laid the foundations of this commonwealth, but thru a long and useful life was a builder of its superstructure. His name will stir tender memories in the mind of all who are familiar with the first years and first settlers of Nebraska.

   W. H. Woods, the historian of old Fort Atkinson. sends from his home at Fort Calhoun a photograph of a bronze watch fob seal, facsimile of the great seal of Nebraska and asks about its origin. The editor of this magazine knows of only three or four of these early medals, one of them in the Historical Society museum. They were struck off, apparently, in the year 1867. The engraver and the promoter of them is not yet known. Can any pioneer old enough to remember the events of 1867 shed light upon this question?




   Armistice Day, November 11th, 1922, was made an especially notable day at Aurora, by an exhibition of war relics brought together by soldiers of the World War, the Spanish American War and the Civil War. A condensed description of the more important of these is as follows:
   Among the World War relics there were German shells, rifles, war crosses and vases made from shells, beautiful pieces of hand-embroidered French and a German rosary and priest's robe. Occupying an important position in the exhibit was a picture of Roy Kline, Company B, 155th Infantry who made the supreme sacrifice for his country.
   In the Spanish-American and Civil War collection there were swords from the collection of General Delavan Bates, a ring fashioned by a rebel while in prison, small firearms and rifles, one of them dating back to the Mexican War in 1848 and made in 1822.

   Mrs. Adella Wilden of Cozad writes a letter of thanks for use of Historial (sic) Society photographic views along the Oregon Trail at a meeting of the Daughters of the American Revolution. These views are the result of many years travel by officers of the Society.

   One of the earliest pioneers of Red Willow county, John Longnecker, died there November 8, 1923, aged 79. He located on a homestead in November, 1871, near Indianola and is the last survivor of the group of eleven men locating there at that time.

   The article "Bohemians in Nebraska" written by Miss Sarka B. Hrbkova and published in Volumne (sic) XIX of the Historical Society publications has been translated into Czechoslovak literature which circulates in that country across the waters.

   Garvin H. Gould died at Republican City, November 4, 1923, aged 77. He homesteaded in 1872 in Harlan county, living in a dugout as was common at that time. He participated in all the trials of pioneers in the Republican valley and gained a well earned reputation as a man of enterprise and honor.

   Gordon Robinson, born March 13, 1844. on the Isle of Man, came to Elk Creek, Nebraska. in 1867, and made his continuous home in that locality. He was an interesting type of the rugged Scotchman, never married and died June 12, 1924, with the affectionate regard of the entire community.

   The Valentine Republican of January 24, 1924, prints a very interesting story of the first cemetery at Valentine. This cemetery was established July 31, 1883, when "Peg Leg" Jack Adams was shot at his road house on the Minnechadusa, west of Valentine. The next burial was Clarence Hand, a bad man from Montana who came to Valentine looking for a man named Keye. When they met Keye pulled his gun first and Hand was buried. Many others of the early burials were from violent deaths. The editor of this magazine remembers very well the first time he arrived in Valentine. The railroad had recently been completed to that point. Swinging from one of the new telegraph poles a few yards from the depot was a man hanging by the neck from a rope. Nobody seemed to be paying any attention to the man and conversation on the subject was greatly discouraged.



   The woman's club at Tecumseh held an Indian meeting February 4, 1924, assisted by the camp fire girls. It was a splendid display of Indian relics and pioneer material.

   John Evans, 65, died at Octavia, Butler county, January 17, 1924, He homesteaded in the same neighborhood in 1870 and bore a prominent part in the pioneering in that region.

   George Vance, 81, died at Bloomington, January 23, 1924. He homesteaded in the fall of 1872, three miles north of Naponee on Dry Creek and was one of the very earliest pioneers in that locality.

   W. E. Garlow, 84, died at David City, January 30, 1924. He was a union soldier in the 3rd West Virginia cavalry, taking part in 65 battles and skirmishes. He and his wife homesteaded in the spring of 1870 on the south edge of David City and have lived there continuously ever since.

   William Riley Munkres, 69, died at Chadron, January 31, 1924. He was one of the earliest pioneers in Dawes county, settling on a beautiful homestead in the Bordeaux Valley, five miles northeast of Chadron. He was well known to the editor of this magazine during the pioneer period in Dawes county.

   Several copies of the Marquette Independent, found in clearing out an old attic in Hamilton county, are the subject of an historical article in the Aurora Register, June 26, 1924. The issues are dated in 1884. Market prices as given in the publication are as follows: Wheat 43c; corn 16c. oats 13c; rye 30c; barley 25c; hogs $3.85 per hundred.

   Joseph Pavik, 83, died near Farwell, Howard county, January 28, 1924. He was born in Bohemia and served as a soldier in the Austrian army against Prussia in 1866. He homesteaded in 1876 in Howard county, hauling all his products to Grand Island with an ox team in the early years and sometimes getting five and six cents a dozen for eggs at the end of the journey.

   Drilling for petroleum in the region near Nehawka began in 1924. James T. O'Hara is the pushing spirit back of the enterprise. He has had many years experience in different fields west and south and is fairly persuaded that Cass county has all the indications of a petroleum deposit, in fact. that a "dome" which should contain gas and coal is quite clear from the structure of the rocks. After drilling through 800 feet the drill was stuck in a mass of flint rock and shale and a new start will have to be made. Later: Drilling was abandoned.

   A chapter of early newspaper history in the North Platte valley is given by the Scottsbluff Star Herald of December 29, 1922. The text is the passing away at Los Angeles of J. F. Ringler, aged 70. Mr. Ringler homesteaded at Minatare in 1886 and soon after established a newspaper called the Trumpet. There were many difficulties in publishing a newspaper fifty miles from the railroad and on one occasion Mr. Ringler got his edition out by purchasing wall paper, cutting it into convenient lengths and printing his forms on the inside, after the fashion of newspapers published in Vicksburg during the siege. The Historical Society hopes to obtain a file of the Trumpet.



   Ezra Bryan, 80, who settled at Kearney in 1870, died at Syracuse, New York, June 19, 1924.

   Peter Dahn, 80, died December 23, 1923, at Alma. He was born in Denmark and was one of the 1873 pioneers of Harlan county, homesteading on Dry Creek.

   Mrs. Diana Chalfant, born July 30, 1850, died near Union, March 29, 1924. She married in 1866 Willian (sic) Chalfant who was a member of the First Nebraska regiment during the civil war.

   Fred H. Young, for 40 years publisher of the Genoa Leader, died at St. Edwards, March 17, 1924. He was a typical newspaper man of the pioneer period, serving his community as only a pioneer editor may.

   Frank Tuch, 78, was born in Bohemia and settled in Knox county in 1870. He ran a flouring mill on Bazile Creek for many years and was widely known throughout the Knox county region as a person of intelligence and influence.

   Mrs. Arthur Sturm, 88, died near Nehawka, January 30, 1924. She was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, and arrived in Nebraska in the spring of 1856. She was married in 1857 and lived all her life on the homestead where she came as a bride.

   Everett Bigsby found an Indian stone-mill in Dooley canyon, Banner county, when a road grade was being constructed in May, 1924. The stone is about 15 inches by 10, slightly hollowed and with it was a small stone used to crush the grain in the good old days before electricity did the work.

   The Omaha City Council granted permission to Major Isaac Sadler Chapter of the D. A. R. of that city to erect markers at historic spots in that locality. Markers already planned for include one on the site of the old Territorial capitol, one at the old grist mill near Florence and one near the Cottonwood tree which the Mormons planted near Florence in 1846.

   "Indian Bend" is a curve of the Big Blue river near Ulysses. There was heavy timber at that point, good springs and almost always an Indian camp in the early days. A series of articles by. Mrs. Gurney Perry in the Ulysses Dispatch gives this and other interesting events of the pioneer days. The first sawmill, which later became a grist mill, on the Blue at this point was built by J. M. Palmer and David Reed.

   In the death of Nathaniel W. Smails, 77, at Fremont, March 26, 1924, one of the oldest, most active and widest known pioneer editors of Nebraska has passed on. Mr. Smails was a forceful writer, true friend and out spoken democrat in the days when it took courage to be a Nebraska democrat. For thirty years he published the Fremont Herald and the files of that publication now in the custody of the State Historical Society testify to his ability as an editor and publisher. He was a repository of a vast fund of information respecting the formative period in this state, and kept the joy of personal interest in the true history of those early days.



   A history of Thayer county, including a directory of the county, is announced as in process of publication by the Champion at Hebron.

   Antone Heimes, 79, died in Cedar county, January 29, 1924. He was born in Halberbracht, Germany. He homesteaded in Cedar county about 60 years ago and his marriage was the first one in the Little Bow Valley church. His nearest neighbor was many miles away and all supplies had to be hauled by ox team from Yankton or Sioux City.

   A beautiful Indian dart was found in a corn field near the village of Belden, November, 1923. It is known that the locality was a favorite one with the Indians years ago.

   Anna Barbara Zwiebel, 84, died near Waco, January 9, 1924. She and her husband, Phillip, located, in the spring of 1857, near Papillion and for more than 50 years continued their residence in that locality, enduring all the hardships of pioneer days and making a competence for themselves and their children.

   James Lovell, 77, founder of the village of Center and a resident of Knox county for 53 years, died December 29, 1923. He was a member of the famous Bruce colony which settled near Creighton. In 1901 Mr. Lovell platted the village of Center and deeded to Knox county free the site for a court house, where the county seat, after 40 years of controversy, was placed by the voters and has remained there.

   Mrs. Ellen Sheppard, 90, died at the home of her daughter at Superior May 22, 1924. She was born in England, emigrated to America in 1870 and with her husband made the third filing on land in Nuckolls county, in November, 1870. In 1871 the Indian massacre took place at Spring Ranch, only seven miles from the homestead, and the Sheppard family retreated 90 miles to Beatrice until the danger was past.

   The Bloomington Tribune of May 24, 1924, has a very good two column history of the village of Naponee. In it is discussed the origin of the name "Naponee" which some have ascribed to the name of the old Indian chief. The article says that the town was named by Mr. Phillips, a first settler, and was named from the town in Canada whence he came. The story gives the time of July, 1873, for the grasshopper invasion. In the opinion of this magazine the correct date is 1874.

   The Potter Review discusses the origin of the name of that town and disposes of the legend that it was named after Tom Potter, the noted railroad man of 40 years ago, one time general manager of the Burlington and later of the Union Pacific railroad. It appears that the station, Potter was named long before Tom Potter came to the Union Pacific in 1886 and the Union Pacific headquarters think it was named from an early roadmaster. Nothing is more common than to associate the name of a place with a well known citizen and sometimes nothing is more misleading. A conspicuous example, is Butler county with David City as its county seat. The statement has many times been made that the county and town were named after David Butler, first state governor of Nebraska. Yet the origin of both names is entirely different from the legend.

Vol VII, no 1  Prior pageSpacerTOCSpacerNext page  Vol VII, no 2, part 2
Return to NE History & Record of Pioneer Days

© 2001, 2004 for NEGenWeb Project by Ted & Carole Miller