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City. The Bellwood Yard has the largest shedding capacity in the Platte Valley. He handles hard and soft coal, barbed wire, sashes, doors, mouldings, etc. He is also serving as mayor.

   Chas. Kellogg is the manager and the elevator has a capacity of 14,000 bushels of grain and is equipped with dumps and latest machinery. They buy and ship $3,000 to $5,000 worth of grain per month.

   W. B. Rochon was appointed Postmaster in 1893. The office has 300 lock and call boxes and is a money order office. He is an old pioneer of the county having come here from Wisconsin in 1867.

   Miss Paige has been here two years and has a fine millinery stock and as well does plain and fancy sewing.

   He is engaged in the General Merchandise business. A choice line of groceries, dry goods, boots and shoes, and country produce is offered. He has adopted the cash system. He is a member of the city board.

   L. Bock first worked in the Mohler shop. On April 19, 1896, he opened his own Blacksmith shop equipped with two forges. He made a specialty of horse-shoeing. He operated the business for 33 years in the building east of his home. His residence was the home of his daughter, Mamie, and her husband, Ora A. Brandenburgh, after Mrs. Bock passed away.

   Dr. Rittenhouse was known as a good physician and surgeon who practiced in the Bellwood area for 13 years. He was a graduate of the Chicago Medical College. He was also the town druggist and as a partner of C. Belsley had his office in that building.

   He is the proprietor of the leading restaurant and hotel which he started in 1881. It was a good business and was popular with hunters.

   He had a general mercantile business with a complete line of groceries. Salt was kept in carload quantities. Mr. Kellogg responded to Uncle Sam's call and became a volunteer to help crush the rebellion in the south. He was a member of the brave body of men known as Co. K, 136 N. Y. Infantry.

   Mr. Taylor ran a large livery barn. He made it a point to keep good horses and vehicles. When the war broke out, he left his home to fight for his country. He was in the Andersonville prison for 15 months.

   These two men owned the Bellwood sorghum factory. It has the capacity to turn out 60 to 70 gallons of good syrup per day. Mr. Yates is a carpenter and contractor by trade. Mr. Suddarth owns one of the largest leading wagon and repair shops in the city.

   Mr. Benedict was a horse breeder and had a Clydes and Belgian stallion, as well as a fine Mammoth Jack, Spanish breed.

   These are some of the people who were instrumental in providing the basic groundwork for Bellwood as we know it now. Everything has a beginning and they helped make Bellwood's.

Village Ordinances of 1886

   Following are excerpts from a nicely printed and bound booklet.

           VILLAGE GOVERNMENT 1886
   Chairman Board of Trustees-F. M. Young.
   Clerk-T. B. Mench.
   Treasurer-H. I. Converse
   Marshal-Robert Devoe.
   Street Commissioner-Jerry Wagoner.
   Attorney-W. T. Callaway

Board of Trustees

David Belsley                        E. L. Carpenter
T. B. Mench                             Peter Kurt
                   F. M. Young

          General Ordinances of Bellwood
Billiard & Pool Tables, Sec. 1
   It shall be unlawful for any persons or person to keep or rent any billiard or pool tables for hire or to play games, to see who shall pay for any drinks, cigars, or anything whatever within the incorporated limits of Bellwood. Any person found guilty shall be liable to a fine of not less than ten or more than fifty dollars for each offense.

Billiard & Pool Tables, Sec. 2
   It shall be unlawful for any person or persons who are engaged in the sale of malt, spiritous and vinous liquors within the village of Bellwood to allow the use of Billiard & Pool tables within or adjoining their place of business where such sale of intoxicating liquor is conducted.

Preservation of Order, See. 1
   That all persons who shall conduct themselves in such a manner as to be obnoxious to others, making any hideous noise transferring from or upon the sidewalks, without the consent of the owners, any goods, boxes, or articles of any nature. Being a nuisance, exposing in a lewd manner, their person or persons, indulging in boisterous, lewd & obscene talk, or creating disturbances of any sort.
   All such persons shall be fined not less than $2.00 nor more than $20.00 and shall stand committed to jail until paid.

Missiles, Sec. 1
   It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to fly any kite, to play at ball of any kind or to throw or cast any ball, stone, snowball or other missile in any street, highway, or public place where there is danger of frightening horses or other animals, or any passenger or person.

Nuisances, Sec. 1
   That all manure, straw or rubbish of any kind laying around adjacent to and on the outside of any buildings and all manure piles, hay or straw covered buildings, and all stove pipes running through the roof of buildings are hereby declared nuisances and that the owners thereof within the city limits are required within one week after the publications of this ordinance to abate said nuisance under the penalty of $5.00.

Offenses, Sec. 4
   If any person shall play at any games of cards, dice, or any other games of chance on which money, drinks, cigars or any article of value or the representation of either, shall be staked or bet within the corporate limits of Bellwood, they shall upon conviction thereof, pay a fine in any sum not less than $10.00 nor more than $50.00.

Offenses, See. 6.
   Any person or persons who shall, within the limits of Bellwood, keep any bawdy house, or house of ill-fame for the purpose of prostitution, and any person who shall rent a house, or room for this purpose shall be fined in any sum not less than $10.00, nor more than $100.00 for each and every



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Offenses, Sec. 7
If any person or persons shall without lawful authority and intentionally cut down, injure, mutilate or destroy any living tree or ornamental shrub or bush within the limits of Bellwood be fined a sum not less than $5.00 nor more than $25.00 for each tree or shrub destroyed.

Sidewalks & Crossings, Sec. 1
That it shall be unlawful for any person or persons to ride, drive or lead any horse or other animal or drive any vehicle on any sidewalk within said town and any person or persons violating any of the provisions of this section, shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $1.00 nor more than $5.00 for each and every offense

Domestic Animals, Sec. 1
   The running at large of mules, horses, sheep, swine or cattle of any kind upon the streets, alleys or public grounds in the corporate limits of Bellwood is hereby prohibited and declare a nuisance.

Saturday Night In Bellwood

CIRCA 1914

   As Bellwood prepares to celebrate its hundred year anniversary, poignant memories of my youth, as my three brothers and I were growing up in this small Nebraska town, come winging back.
   Saturday night, during the warm summer months, was a very special night in our young lives. The main attraction was the weekly band concert. The musicians, young and old, sat on benches in the screened band stand in the center of the block long city park, with the stores and shops on the street circling the park. The screens on the band stand were a deterrent for the pesty summer insects trying to disrupt the musical program. P. W. McDermand, the cashier at the Bellwood Bank, was the dedicated conductor for many years.
   The townspeople and the farm families for miles around, gathered to hear the snappy popular tunes, with a mis-toot now and then by an eager, amateur musician.
   The small children in "Sunday" clothes danced their fanciful little steps, in circles around the band stand, oblivious to the audience of admiring adults gathered around them.
   The more sedate teenagers promenaded on the sidewalks, round and round the park, playing the eternal boy, girl game. I recall times when my mother put final stitches on a new dress at the last minute so I could model it on Saturday night. The promenade always ended in cliques of boys and girls with small talk of school, of who loved whom at the moment, interspersed with giggles and laughter. Many a romance budded on Saturday night.
   The farmers squatted against store fronts or sat on park benches, intent on the discussion of crop prospects and farm operations. All were vitally concerned with weather conditions. I can recall my father's routine duty each morning as he made three observations - namely the temperature, the direction of the wind and a check on the sky for clouds. No doubt politics entered into these conversations, but small farm communities seemed far removed from the political world, with only newspapers as a news media.
   The women gathered in the three grocery stores to refurbish the family pantries with staples. Most families had big gardens for fresh vegetables, shelves filled with home canned foods, and cured meats hanging in the smoke house. It was a time for catching up on community gossip. No illness, birth, marriage nor romance was overlooked. I have often wondered how the house wives with so few conveniences had enough "left over" energy to gather their broods into the Model T or horse drawn carriages for the trip to town on Saturday night.
   Usually the Methodist or Catholic ladies would hold an ice cream and cake social in the park to replenish the church coffers. Long tables near the grand stand held an array of home made cakes. The ladies, scoop in hand, were ready to serve your favorite flavor of home made ice cream-all you could eat for ten cents, plus ten cents for a generous slice of cake. Twas many years before the days of calorie counting, fortunately, as rich cream was as common as low fat milk is today.
   I recall that gathering at Hayek's Cafe on the west side of the park was also a Saturday night routine. I shall never forget the sodas and sundaes concocted at the soda fountain, nor the glass cases with the tempting array of penny candies. What patience the Hayeks must have had waiting for us to decide on our choice of candies, with the dime we had saved to squander on sweets.
   Could this small town tradition be labeled "Saturday Night Fever?" Not likely, as it was long before Rock'n Roll had taken over the country. Only semi classical scores, popular sentimental lyrics and snappy marches drew the Saturday night crowd. Yes, in those days we all marched to a different tune.

-Dorothy Bell Becker
June 1980


Mayors Of Bellwood

1904-05 Joe Rose
1906-07 C. D. Burch
1908-11 F. M. Young
1912-13 C. Miester
1914-15 F. C. Judevine
1916-17 P. W. McDermand
1918-20 0. A. Brandenburgh
1921-22 A. Nanktes
1923 J. M. McNally
1924 Z. E. Matheny
1925-26 0. A. Brandenburgh
1927 J. J. Kirchner
1928 W. T. Randolph
1929-30 A. P. Fair
1931-33 C. H. Smith

1934 A. C. Kosch
1937-39 S. J. Demuth
1940-49 Ben Baer
1950-51 L. M. Wagner
1951-54 Carl Carson
1955-59 W. Hoshor
1960 Robert Raric
1967-68 Robert R. Bell
1969 Jack Selzer
1970-73 Robert J. Wilson
1974 Floyd Sherman
1975 Bill Macoubrie
1976-78 Dean Kallenbach
1979 Gary McDonald





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Bellwood Celebrates
Nebraska Centennial, 1967

   The Bellwood community staged its largest celebration since the "dirty thirties." The three day event, planned for Nebraska's Centennial year, goes into the record books as most successful.
   On Sunday afternoon, an old fashioned threshing bee with steam engines providing the power for the thresher, was held. The equipment was supplied by John Forney.
   On Monday an estimated crowd of 5,000 persons watched the 11th hour long display of antiques and floats from most of the Butler county towns, Schuyler, Columbus, Stromsburg, and others.
   Drill teams from Omaha, bands and saddle clubs from throughout the area also added to the color of the parade.
   Seated on the reviewing stand was Nebraska Centennial Queen, Nancy Griffin, and a number of Bellwood's senior citizens and other special guests. Mrs. Sadie Flake, 79, the oldest living person born in Bellwood, was on the stand along with the following: Father G. C. Messman, Father Francis Murphy, Dr. Don Peck of Ft. Collins, Colo., Dr. Fay Smith of Omaha, Mary Sauser, 80, Gus Meinyer, 83, Henry Fruth, 86, Mrs. Alice Brandenburgh, 94, Mrs. Henry Topil, 93, Harry West, 81, Gussie Kirchner, 92, Anna Stemper, 81, Mrs. Mary Smith, 80, Mrs. B. J. Kopecky, 82, Mary Morbach, 84, Mrs. Frank Bock, Sr., 81, Mrs. Henry Brase, 82, Mrs. W. D. Benedict, 83, Helen Siefert and Margaret Hoshor of New York City, Mrs. Jasper Bell, 81, O. A. Brandenburgh, 81, Robert Wilson, Nick Puetz, 82, B. J. Kopecky, 84, Mrs. Tom Sandusky, 87, Tom Sandusky, 94, H. G. Davis, 90, Mrs. Abbie McDonald, 83, Rudolph Schmid, 80, Mrs. Bertha Selzer, 91, and Rev. and Mrs. Carroll H. Prouty.
   The 'Contemporaries' entertained in front of the reviewing stand following the parade.
   Judged winners in the costume review were the children of Mr. and Mrs. Roy From of Bellwood, first; children of Mr. and Mrs. John Albin of Valparaiso, second; and the children of Mr. and Mrs. George Romshek of Shelby, third. In the couples division, Mr. and Mrs. Tony Hiller, first; Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lee Wilson, second; and Mr. and Mrs. George Romshek, Sr., third. Authentic costume winners were Mrs. Denzil Winterfeld, first; Miss Rosemary Adamy, second; Miss Rita Benedict, third. Winners in the beard contest were as follows: Brothers of the Brush, Gene Napier, full beard, first; Ray Hough, runner-up; partial beard winner, Ron Schmid beat out John Hoshor by a whisker. The best mustache was worn by Darrell Davis and Phil Hunsche, second.
   Tuesday's program highlight was the beef barbecue. Over 1,100 pounds of beef were prepared. A softball game and contests ended a grand Centennial celebration.


  •    Bellwood celebrates Nebraska Centennial
    July 16, 17, 18, 1967.


Nebraska Centennial parade.



Nebraska Centennial parade, July 17, 1967.



Pioneer Farm Awards

   Our Centennial celebration wouldn't be complete, if we didn't honor the families who have been on the same farm for one hundred years or more.
   The Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben started this program in 1971.
   The following people of our area have received this award or are eligible for this honor.

Minnie M. Creech
Mildred F. Hookstra
Eileen Loomis Nekl
J. D. Bell Farm
Artie Hudson
Harry Reisdorff
Clarence J. Birkel
Gerald DeWispelare
Martin E. Meyer
Marie Homan Estate
Elizabeth Kosch
Tom, Gerald, Elizabeth, Vickie and Kenneth Kosch
Mr. and Mrs. Gordon G. Zeller
Gerald Janicek
Jerome Meysenburg
Burch Fenstemaker




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© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 by Ted & Carole Miller and Carolyn Wilkerson