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People Working Together


Laverne Schmit Post No. 327
American Legion

   In 1947 the veterans of the Bellwood Area decided to form an American Legion Post in Bellwood. After several meetings, it was decided to call it the Laverne Schmit Post 327 in honor of Laverne Schmit, who served in the Navy and was killed in a plane crash near Bermuda on Jan. 10, 1943. His body was returned on Nov. 21, 1947 and laid to rest in St. Peter's Cemetery near Bellwood. The American Legion Post 327 received its charter in 1947.

   The following officers were elected: Carl E. Carson. commander; Frank Markus, vice commander; Roe Clark, adjutant; Calvin Sorensen, finance officer; Dr. J. M. McNally, service officer; Rev. D.B. O'Conner, chaplain; and Fred Mansfield, membership chairman.

   The following Veterans were charter members: Carl Carson, Frank Benedict, Leo Bock, Marlin Scholz, Walter Hoshor, Anthony Hiller, Paul Hiller, Ludwig Rohrich, Otto Selzer, Floyd Napier, Otto Selzer, Jr., Fred Dvorak. Jr., Albert Hunt, Raymond Hough, J. W. Eschliman, Roy Bock, Howard Loveless, Bernard Adams, Walter Peters, Harold Bock, Fredrick Mansfield, Ebeart Kamenske, Frank Markus, Frank Beard, J. M. McNally, Wm. Fischer, George Smith, Wilton Gunderson, Francis Besch, Maurice Sylvester, Orsie Adams, Jr., Allen Baer, Leo Schmit, Audrey Kreizinger, Matt Supancheck, Leo Nicolas, Robert Schmit, Bernard Meysenburg, Harold Kroesing, Roe Clark, Leo Adamy, Leonard Adamy, Harry West, Jr., Harry McDonald.
   The following Commanders were elected: Carl Carson 1948, Frank Beard 1949, Cal Sorensen 1950, Leo Bock 1951, Gordon Zeller 1952, Melvin Hiller 1953, Adolph Kosch 1954, Marlin Scholz 1955, Audrey Kreizinger 1956, Ebeart Kamenske 1957, Otto Selzer, Jr. 1958, Gordon Zeller 1959, Frank Markus 1960, Raymond Hough 1961, Otto Selzer 1962, James Cockson 1972, Edwin Mastny 1973, Anthony Hiller 1975, Steve Smith 1978, Jerome Didier 1979.
   The American Legion voted to build a new Legion Hall in 1971, and in October, 1973 they moved into the new building. The Legion Auxiliary helped with the furnishings in the new hall, which became debt free in 1977.
   The American Legion has been active with services on Memorial Day, and with military funerals through the years. They had many fund raising projects from which they contributed to many youth programs in the area. They also contributed to various community projects through the years.






Leo Richard Adamy

Anthony Victor Hiller

Howard Gerald Loveless

Richard Glenn Bouton

Richard Evers Anderson

James Walter Powers

Harley Hodgkins

John Joseph Urban

Francis Joseph Besch

Leo Raymond Urban

Leo Herman Bock*

Duane James Zimmer

Edward John Steiner*

Wilton Hanford Gunderson*

Leo Peter Nicolas

Dr. Alfred Donald Peck

Irving Loy Weyand

Birch Oran Fenstemaker

Paul John Meister

LaVerne Nicholas Schmit*

Harvey Darwin McDonald

Deryl Duane Smith*

Maurice Allen Benedict

George Anthony Smith

Walter William Hoshor

Francis Dale Smith

Edward Norman Durkee*

Jay Oscar Higginbotham

Jarold J. Harris

Octie Lee Mansfield

John Lowie Higginbotham

Robert Edwin Forsse

Carl Louis Kreizinger

Dick Minnick*

Leo Joseph Kreizinger*

Garland Henry Mais

Robert Morbach

James Edwin West

Joseph Peter Nicolas

Orsie Willard Adams

Jimmie Miller

Maurice Dale Sylvester

George Dworak, Jr.

Arthur Michael Ronkar

Marvin Fenstemaker

Harold Kirchner

Robert Randolph

Philip J. Kennedy

Loran Randolph

Melvin E. Hiller*

Virgil Graves*

Gale Hodgkins

Allen Neal Baer

Elbert Eugene Souders

Robert Charles Connell

Frank Irving Beard*

James F. Jacob

Jesse Donald Bell

Eugene Napier

Richard J. Garfield

Francis Stemper*

Oland Jay Sandusky

Joseph M. Speicher

Robert Francis Reichwein

Paul W. Hiller*

Gerald Higginbotham*


Irvin Moell*

Truxton Hodgkins

Dewayne Stemper

Donald Dean Hall

Norris Hodgkins


Thomas J. Anderson

Donald Ray Baer*

Audrey Kreizinger

Robert Warren Bouton

Wilber Napier

Ivan Schaefer Graves

Richard Brandenburgh

Harold Eugene Kroesing

Richard Bell

Harry Lee West, Jr.

Bernard Adams

Wayne Harvey Connell*

Dale Owen

Lester Fey*

Emil H. Jakub


Gerald O. Reichwein

Elizabeth Catherine Brochtrup

William A. Brandenburgh

Evelyn Marie Morbach

Albert Hunt


Clinton E. Polark*

Rita Mary Brochtrup

Willis Cady


Raymond Hough

Kathleen Urban Armstrong

Boyd Baer


Dale W. Meyers

Jay Carl McDonald

Roy Adams Bock

Frank Donald Benedict

Virgil Smith

Harold Ben Bock*

Walter Pieters

Wendall Wayne Weyand

Wayne Eschliman

Ebert Frank Kamenske

Jack Selzer

Howard J. Ebel*

Marlin Scholz

Harold H. Ebel

Denton Gans*

Walter Michael Ronkar*

Jack Stemper

Lemuel Brandenburgh

Donald Schmit

Francis Hiller

Edward Selzer

Harry John McDonald*

Paul J. Peters

Larry Knight Patchen

Donald Hicks

Earnest Carl Koenig

Raymond Didier

Leonard Robert Adamy

Clarence Ewert


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Max Hall


Carroll Beringer

Mike Benedict

Kenneth Klein

Michael Besch

Gordon Zeller

James Cockson

John M. West

Michael Eller

Dwane Mick

Thomas Forre

Carroll Schrier

Gerald Hiller

Keith Carpenter

Mike Hiller

Norman Sherman

Terry Hollman

Paul Beringer

David Hoshor

Ronald Schmid

Clint Kallenbach*

Dean Meyers

Gerald Kosch

Jerome Didier

Raymond Mais

Ralph Romshek

Howard Meyers

Henry Romshek, Jr.*

Leroy McDonald

Eugene Schmit*

Melvin McDonald

Lynn Carpenter

Marvin McDonald

Dwaine Schmit

Vernon Nicolas

John Eller

Leo Osantowski

Joe Romshek, Jr.

David Raric*

David Davis

Kenneth Schmid

George Meyers

Michael Sliva

Robert Carson

George Smith

Donald Schreier

Steven Smith

Oran Kennedy

Thomas McCawley

Robert Brandenburgh

Mike McCawley

Fred Mansfield, Jr.

Donald Sliva*

Jerome Beringer

Richard Carson

Jack Anderson

Orville Schmit

3 west, 1 3/4 south
of Bellwood
1835 McDonald, Sylvester CW 1914
1833 Stewart, Dan CW 1902
1836 Miller, Fred CW 1913
5 west, 3 north of Bellwood
1914 Nebosis, Walter John WW2 1969
1950 Sliva, Donald Vietnam 1973
   Rogers, John
Rose Lawn
1917 Bock, Harold WW2 1976
1909 Mikkelsen, Andrew WW2
   Polark, Clinton WW2 KIA
   Higginbotham, Gerald WW2 KIA
   Carson, Carl WWI
   Bock, Leo WW2
1930 Nickolite, Virgil P. Korean 1976
1917 Dickey, Lawrence WW2 1972
1885 McNally, James M. WWI 1967
1891 Hiller, Jacob WWI 1968
1923 Hiller, Melvin WW2 1975
Papillion, Nebr.
1997 Sorensen, Calvin W. WW2 1978
Beckius, Leonard 1913-1973 WW2
Ebel, Howard 1917-1951 WW2
Hiller, Paul 1923-1962 WW2
Hough, William 1896-1968 WWI
Kelly, Leo 1921-1945 WW2
Klein, Joseph 1896-1965 WWI
Mais, Bernard 1848-1897 Civil War
Markus, Frank 1892-1976 WWI
Proskovec, James L. 1909-1970 WW2
Schmit, Eugene 1928-1962 Korean

Schmit, Lavern 1921-1943 WW2
Schmit, Leo C. 1894-1954 WWI
Steiner, Peter G. 1846-1978 Civil War
Supancheck, Matt 1892-1959 WWI
Kosch, Adolph C. 1895-1978 WWI
Selzer, Otto J., Sr. 1896-1979 WWI
   Allen, W. C. - CW
1842 Bear, J.D. - CW 1921
1896 Beard, Frank - WW 1 & 2 1976
1909 Bell, Ira-WW 2 1972
1917 Bell, Dorothy - WW2 1967
   Bell, Samuel - Confederate
1892 Bock, Adam -WWI 1918
1837 Bouton, Albert A. - CW 1921
1845 Bouton, Smith A. - CW 1919
1839 Buffalo, Bryant - CW 1920
   Canahan, James W. - SP. AM.
1897 Canahan, William - CW 1911
1846 Carpenter, Judson - CW 1922
1843 Cleland, Robert - CW 1939
1915 Davis, Darrell D. - WW2 1969
1894 Fischer, Wm. S. - WWI 1971
1893 Gaither, Ernest - WWI 1971
1846 Grisinger, Israel-CW 1889
   Hadcock, Frank - CW
1893 Jackson, Ben - WWI 1973
1838 Jacob, Henry - SP.AM. 1937
1844 Jerdon, James E. - CW 1915
1942 Kallenbach, Clinton Jr. -Vietnam 1968
1838 Kellogg, John E. - CW 1898
1924 Kennedy, Phillip - WW2 1950
1888 Mansfield, Fred - WWI 1963
1827 Mark, John A. - CW 1899
1916 McDonald, Harry - WW1 1956
1835 Miller, Samuel D. - CW 1914
1895 Minnick, Arlie - WWI 1918
1836 Olney, M.V. - CW 1911
1841 Pace, George W. - Confederate 1918
1825 Randall, Flavious - CW 1909
1952 Raric, David - Vietnam 1976
   Rittenhouse, Alfred - WWI 1934
1828 Robbins, L.B. - CW 1883
1889 Rohrick, Ludwig - WWI 1965
1928 Romshek, Henry Jr. - Korean 1974
1891 Rose, (Pete) Ernest - WWI 1949
1845 Rose, Joseph - CW 1923
1891 Schutt, Benjamin F. - WWI 1918
1830 Sheldon, Charles M. - CW 1907
1920 Smith, Deryl - WW2 1952
1845 Smith, Phillip - CW 1913
1834 Thompson, Charles A. - CW 1903
1826 Warren, M. W.W. - CW 1891
1826 Waldo, L. M. - CW 1902
1845 West, James A. - CW 1934
1849 Wilsey, H.N.- CW 1876
1841 Young, F. M. - CW 1923
1878 Young, Roscoe - SP. AM. 1899
   Died in Manila
1919 Gunderson, Wilton H. - WW2 1978
1892 Langhorst, Fred H. - WWI 1979

1 Sarah Swartz (1 grave)

Section 2, Center Twp.

2 Crocker graves (2 on Kovars)

Section 10, Franklin

3 Brooks (3)

Section 29, Oak Creek

4 Ulysses (in town) 6

Section 28, Ulysses

5 Butler Center Cem. (2 or 3)

Section 32, Franklin

6 Blahak Family (6 or 8)

Section 20, Alexis

7 Union (Dunlap)

Section 24, Plum Creek

8 Knauber Cem

Section 17, Ulysses

9 Thomas Ware

Section 10, Plum Creek

10 St. Peter's (Surprise)

Section 2, Read

11 Fricke Guenther Family

Section 22, Skull Creek

12 Nimburg

Section 11, Linwood


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13 Urban

Section 23, Oak Creek

14 Fairview

Section 4, Reading

15 Pleasant View

Section 33, Alexis

16 Grim

Section 11, Ulysses

17 Rising Sun

Section 26, Reading

18 St. Joseph's Cath

Section 7, Alexis

19 St. John's Evan .

Section 32, Reading

20 Zion German Luth., Garrison

Section 27, Union

21 Immanuel Luth., Millerton

Section 20, Union

22 Pleasant Hill

Section 9, Union

23 Garrison

Section 23, Union

24 Edholm Valley

Sections 35 & 36, Bone Creek

25 Linwood

Section 27, Platte

26 Blue Valley, Surprise

Section 15, Read

27 Loma

Section 35, Oak Creek

27 Center

Section 16, Center

28 Dwight Blessed Virgin

Section 25, Plum Creek

29 Abie

Section 22, Linwood

30 Bohemian National, Abie

Section 23, Linwood

31 Bruno

Section 17, Skull Creek

32 Bohemian National

Section 2, Skull Creek

33 Appleton

Section 12, Franklin

34 Linwood Hill

Section 1, Linwood

35 St. Mary's Cath .

Section 2, Linwood

36 Marietta

Section 26, Savannah

37 Bellwood

Section 24, Alexis

38 I O O F, Brainard

39 Holy Trinity, Brainard

40 Circle Mound, Rising City

Section 10, Reading

41 David City Catholic

Section 29, Franklin

42 David City

Section 37, Franklin

43 Ulysses Twp

Section 29, Ulysses

44 Ulysses Catholic

Section 32, Ulysses

45 Bell's Family


46 Savannah

Section 12, Savannah

47 McNally

Section 32, Savannah

48 David City

Section 29, Franklin

49 Good Hope, Dwight

Section 31, Richardson





Laverne Schmit Post No. 327
American Legion Auxiliary

   Our unit is named for LaVerne Schmit who served during World War II in the Navy. At the time of his death on January 10, 1943, he was on an Atlantic Air Patrol Flight off shore from Bermuda.
   An application for our charter was made in April of 1950. We had 32 senior members and two junior members. Continuous charter members for the past 30 years are: Lillian Benedict, Opal Benedict, Viola Stack, Marguerite Hiller, Meraldeen Hough, Delores Kreizinger, Ella Markus, Claryce Selzer, Lucille Selzer, Mary Margaret Zeller and Linda Hiller..
   Our main program is to help the American Legion and their families in time of need. We also have Girls State, Poppy, Hospital Community and several other projects..
   We have one Gold Star member, Delores Kreizinger. There are now 44 senior members and 14 junior members.

Boy Scouts of America
Troop No. 178

   Original charter was issued in 1964. Scoutmaster was Frank Beard. Assistants: Gerald McDonald and Eb. Kamenske.
   1980 Scoutmaster: Harry Lee Wilson
      Assistants: Robert Bell and Robert Wilson
   There are fifteen active members in the troop. Projects for 1980 include a hike and camp, April 27th, clean up and paint at the Ball Park, and a float in the Centennial Parade.


Brownie Girl Scout
Troop No. 136

   The Brownie Girl Scout Troop No. 136 was started in 1970 with 19 members. As the girls became too old for Brownies, they advanced to the Junior Girl Scouts.
   The Junior Girl Scout Troop No. 134 was started in 1972 with six members. Again as the girls became too old for Juniors, they advanced to the Cadet Girl Scouts. The Cadet Girl Scout Troop No. 137 was started with four members.
   The purpose of Girl Scouts is to teach the girls to help other people, be courteous, and to do her duty to God and her country.
   The Brownies sold calendars, and the Junior and Cadet Girl Scouts sold Girl Scout cookies to make money to help pay for their different projects. The girls make Christmas gifts for their parents and made favors for the residents of the Villa and david place. The girls made several art projects for themselves and their families.
   The Girl Scout Troops had a brunch for their parents and families to help celebrate Girl Scout Week and they sang at church. The Girl Scouts have sung at the cemetery at several of the Memorial Day Services. They collected money for the Heart Fund, helped sell chances on different items that helped the retarded. They went Christmas caroling. The Girl Scouts helped clean up the town on different occasions.
   The following have been Girl Scout leaders: Barbara Hahn, Sharon Haley, Janice Bykerk, Cora From, Beverly Kallenbach, Ethel Reha, Chris Cockson, Betty Hiller, Janelle Schmale, Diann Nester, Rhoda Cook, Pat Mick, Barbara Trofholz, Joyce Navrkal, and Dorothy Oborny.


Improvement Program

   Bellwood entered the C.I.P. in 1971 and 1972. The first meeting was held on February 26, 1971 and the following were appointed as the board of directors: Glenn Forre, Ray Kouma, Lumir Oborny, and Robert Wilson. The board of directors then elected the officers: Chairwoman, Mrs. Ruth Cockson; Vice-chairman, James Cockson; Secretary, Anna Kinnison; and Treasurer, Robert R. Bell.
   Progress was shown in our town with five new picnic tables in the park, trash cans placed in front of each business place, and three flower beds were made in the town park with members of the W.W.T.K. Club furnishing the first flowers. The cement form that was made helped to keep the garden intact. Trees were planted by the Boy Scouts. Forty trees were cut down in the residential area. The removal was necessary because many of the trees had died from Dutch Elm disease.
   With encouragement from the Club, many buildings were painted, others beyond repair were torn down. Three old time business buildings were among those - namely, The


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Bellwood Hotel, Gunderson Drug Store, Peck's Confectionery and Didier's Grocery store on the west side of main street.
   The Firemen took the lead in full participation of the improvement program. Grounds were cleaned, new sidewalks were made, the inside of the fire hall was painted and a new kitchen and furnace were installed. They also added new fire fighting equipment purchased by the Bellwood Rural Fire Protection District.
   The bleachers at the ball park were painted by the Fertile Valley 4-H Club. Bellwood can boast of the most colorful bleachers around as all colors of paint were used.
   Several new homes have been built and due to the serious illness of Mr. Perry, volunteers helped Mr. and Mrs. Perry landscape their yard after their mobile home was moved onto the site of the old Bellwood Hotel lots.
   In 1972, the same officers were elected and hoped to continue the Community Improvement Program. Five-hundred tulip bulbs were planted in the park flower garden, more trees planted, new fronts were added on store buildings and new street improvements were made in the business district and near the school.
   Due to ill health, Mrs. Cockson quit as chairwoman in April and the program was abandoned. In spite of the fact the program was short-lived, the Bellwood citizens are proud of their new look.
   In recent years we can boast of two new churches, the Bellwood Methodist Church and St. Peter's Catholic Church, a new elementary school, community hall and ball park improvements and playground equipment adjoining it.


Daughters of Union Veterans
Of The Civil War
Kady Brownell Tent No. 25

   The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War is the oldest Women's Patriotic organization. On June 3, 1885, five young girls held a meeting to organize the First Tent named Mrs. Major McKinley Number One in Massillon, Ohio.
   The tents are named for army nurses who served in the Civil War and loyal women of the Civil War era whose patriotic deeds were recorded or known in their community. Members number about 20,000 in a majority of the states of the Union.
   On May 19, 1934, thirteen daughters and granddaughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War met at the home of Mary E. Smith, mother of Mary (Mrs. Fay) Smith. for the purpose of instituting a tent in Bellwood. The Department President of Nebraska had charge of this meeting at which the plans were laid and the officers were nominated.
   The Tent was then chartered on May 25, 1934 in the school gymnasium with the Department officers conducting this meeting. Julia Grant Tent No. 22 of Surprise exemplified the Ritual Work and installed the officers of Kady Brownell Tent. Estella Reichwein was the first tent president elected and installed. The Charter was signed by fourteen members. Two of these charter members remain in the Tent today, namely, Mary (Mrs. Fay) Smith and Viola Stack, although Viola's membership was not continuous since she was away from the area for over ten years during the 40s and 50s.
   The work of the organization is designed to perpetuate the memories and aspirations of our Civil War ancestors. The historical projects include maintaining the museum and headquarters in Springfield, Illinois, placing commemorative plaques and markers at appropriate universities, public buildings, parks and battlefields, and recording and preserving Civil War monuments throughout the country.
   Patriotic projects include flag presentations, participation in patriotic ceremonies on national holidays, and cooperating with other patriotic organizations. Kady

Brownell Tent No. 25 cooperates in planning for Memorial Day services every year and places flowers on graves of departed sister members and deceased servicement [sic] of the Civil War as well as all other wars.
   The organization is highly rated for its outstanding work at Veterans' Hospitals, Soldiers and Sailors Homes, and in many other areas. Many volunteer hours are donated by many many members.
   A college scholarship program is maintained for worthy descendants, and special awards are given at various United States service academies.
   Eligibility for membership in the organization is through lineal descent only and a war record of one's ancestor must be furnished. The minimum age is eight.
   Kady Brownell Tent No. 25 had the honor of having the National President during the 19177-78 year, namely, Anna Kinnison. Anna is presently the National Treasurer residing at Headquarters and Museum in Springfield, Illinois during the 1979-80 term.



Fire Department

   Mr. Conrad Meister, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Bellwood, called for a town meeting November 12, 1912, for the purpose of organizing a fire department. The meeting was held at the office of the Farmers Grain Company. Charter members of the organization were as follows: O. A. Brandenburgh, John P. Delaney, John B. Reemts, Roy Classen, Elles Roberts, Jas Hall, Jr., H. A. Taylor, Dayton J. Smith, John M. Sauser, Phillip G. Smith, A. T. Curtis, Daniel E. Burkey, Will S. Andrews, Henry A. Whitney, Chad J. Rumler, John W. Grant, Thurman Fox, Peter Powers, Jr., Matt J. Sauser, John H. Thomas, and Virgil H. Graves.
   John Grant was elected the first Chief, Dan Burkey, Asst. Chief, John Delaney, John Thomas, and Peter Powers, Jr., Trustees.
   On Jan. 6, 1913, a resolution was read and passed to request the Village Board of Trustees to purchase a 34 inch bell from W. S. Nott Co. of Minneapolis for use as a fire alarm. The bell can be found today on the tower at the north end of the center park on Main Street.
   The first fire apparatus consisted of a (soda-acid) chemical tank, mounted on wheels, some hose and leather buckets. This was pulled by man power to the location of the fire. In 1922 a used Model "T" Ford was purchased, and the chemical tank was mounted on this. This was later transferred to a 1931 or 32 Chevy truck.
   The first water pumper truck was a 1936 Chevy truck with the pump mounted in front. The truck is with the department today, used mostly as a parade showpiece.
   In 1951 a Rural Fire District was formed. Utilizing the increased tax base from this expansion, more modern equipment was purchased from time to time. The department presently has a 1951 Ford Pumper, 1971 Chevy Tanker, 1959 Chevy Van, 1952 Dodge Utility 4 x 4, 1952 GMC 6 x 6 Tanker, and a 1974 Chevy Ambulance. The Department presently provides fire protection and ambulance service for all residents of the Bellwood community. Present active members in the department are as follows:
   Jack Selzer, Gene Moyer, Ray Hough, Everette Hough, Robert Trofholz, Jerome Didier, and Robert Bell, Jr.
   Jack Romshek, Joe Romshek, Ray Kouma, Charles Oborny, Garland Mais, Ralph Romshek, and Harry Wilson.
   Robert Wilson, Jim Cockson, Don Peters, Tom Hough, Chris Brandenburgh, Bill Hough, and Jerry Oborny.
   Dave Hough, Gary Navrkal, John Kula, Dan Hough, Doug Romshek, Jim Sylvester, and Jerry Hiller.


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