NEGenWeb Project - Blaine County
Who's Who in Nebraska, 1940
Thurman A. Smith
LAINE COUNTY, one of the sandhill region group, was Indian hunting ground when the first white man explored its river valleys. There was big game in abundance and doubtless it was a favorite resort. This is evidenced by Indian bone and stone implements as well as by arrow points and fragments of pottery which have been found. Even as late as the present, collectors make numerous and valuable finds on wind eroded fields.
The following legend is told in connection with one of the discoveries:
As Chief Smoke Maker lay dying, a score of his braves stood about on the hill overlooking the North Loup river, flowing and glowing in a bold southward curve.
In an encounter with government surveyors on Spring Creek miles down the North Loup valley he had been wounded. With skill that belied their haste they had constructed a travois from ash poles cut in the canyon. Tenderly had they placed their stricken chief upon the conveyance and taken the up-river trail.
Outwardly indifferent to the burning pain of the bullet-wound through his chest, Chief Smoke Maker endured the agony aggravated by the jolting. Through the long night they had traveled toward where the sun, blood-red, had dropped below the sandhills. Without resting they had urged their tough mustangs on, even after the sun arose in the misty east.
At last they halted. Chief Smoke Maker was failing rapidly. Even as their medicine man began the incantations of his magic formula, death came. In accordance with their burial custom, they cut cottonwood and willow along the river and erected a scaffold on the low hill overlooking the stream. The chief, wrapped in his blanket and buffalo robe and with all his brilliant trappings of beaded buckskin and eagle feathers, was laid to rest on the scaffold. Later they would return and gather the remaining bones to deposit in the ossiary of their tribesmen.
Briefly they discussed leaving the large silver medal their chief always wore suspended by a thong about his neck. The Great White Father at Washington had given the medal to his father, also a chief, as a special mark of respect and peaceful intention--a treaty the white man never kept for long. Custom prevailed and they did not remove the priceless medal from the lifeless chest of their beloved chieftain.
During the summer of 1884 Henry H. Copp came with his family to claim a parcel of public domain adjoining the hill where the scaffold had been erected. Copp's son Alvah D., a youngster of exploring tendencies, one day came upon the grinning skull of the Indian chief. Investigation disclosed the burned off posts in the soil, great quantities of beads and the tarnished medal. He polished the silver on his boot leg until it glittered as, brightly as when cast sixty-seven years before.
The medal was about two inches in diameter and bore on the obverse a replica of the bust of President Monroe, truncation HURSTF. Legend: "James Monroe, President of the U. S., A. D., 1817." Reverse: Two hands clasped, on cuff of one three stripes and as many buttons. The other hand (Indian's) with bare wrist. Above were crossed peacepipe and tomahawk; legend: "Peace and Friendship." After more than half a century Mr. Copp retains and treasures the medal. However, he does not vouch for the truth of the tradition of Chief Smoke Maker.
The Indian did not tolerate passively the invasion of his hunting grounds by the whites. Joseph 0. Barton, who with his family settled in the North Loup valley, found it necessary to be constantly on guard. One day during his absence from home his wife, Rose, defended her daughter from abduction by a party of Sioux. With her husband's needle gun she held the chief and his braves at bay until the intruders departed.
Among the first cattle ranchers were Rankin Brothers and Field Brothers whose spreads were on the Middle Loup, a river flowing through southwest Blaine County. Both these ranches have had much to do with the history and development of the Middle Loup territory.
The Sawyer Ranch, just over the line in Loup County, was established in 1879 and was closely identified with the settlement of Blaine County. Fred and George Sawyer were typical cowboys, but their eastern culture gave them high rating in pioneer business and social circles of their community.
Taylor S. Northup and wife Helen, from New York City, established the first ranch in Blaine County territory tradition states. It was located on Hawley Flats east of Boiling Spring and south from the confluence of Goose Creek with the North Loup. The proprietors spent several fortunes in the development. Unfortunately the ranch never paid dividends to its eastern financial backers. Closely associated with the Northup ranch are the names of
Thomas Burke and Pete Rodocker, early day foremen-cowpunchers; Annie McCormick-Steuer, a housekeeper who became Mrs. Thomas Burke, and John Featherston who suffered an injury making him a cripple for life while riding for the spread.
Richard R. Greenland, first settler on Buffalo Flats, later Purdum, was a famous cowboy of the old west. Perhaps no other man was more familiar with beginnings in the North Loup Valley. Unfortunately he has passed over the "Great Divide" and a valuable source of information is closed.
Brewster, county seat of Blaine for fifty-two, years, was the first town. George Washington Brewster, wealthy newspaper publisher and direct descendant of Elder William Brewster of Mayflower fame, came from Oakland, Neb., and homesteaded in 1884. He expended his fortune building his town and declared through his newspaper that "Brewster would soon be the state capitol because of its central location."
Booming his county and town, he published the Brewster News at Oakland for some months. In Brewster he erected several buildings among which was a large hotel occupied by himself and family: Elizabeth, daughter Mollie L., and two sons, William and Ben A. At his own expense he bridged the North Loup, built county fair buildings rivalling those of modern times and constructed the Brewster Block, which must have cost as much as all the other buildings in town.
At the suggestion of Brewster, who was a Civil War veteran and a Republican, the new county was given the name of Blaine in honor of the presidential candidate. The town was named for Elder Brewster and not for the newspaper publisher, as some contend.
Among the first business establishments old timers recall S. Swengel, hardware and groceries, and George W. Drew, general merchandise. Drew's wife, Flora, was his assistant and the postmaster. Mrs. Drew later conducted a general store. George F. Cole operated a general store in a sod building and preached on Sundays. John Albright, Frank Howell, W. S. Richey, druggist; L. H. Harris "rocket store" and the St. Charles Hotel were other popular establishments.
E. W. "Wright" Rankin of the Rankin ranch, ambitious for prestige, platted and built a town which he named Ladora, a contender in the battle for the location of the county seat. It was not more than one-half a mile southeast of Brewster and upon the same sagebrush-covered, gravel flat. Several business concerns were also established.
Northwestward up the North Loup river was platted a third town, which also became a contestant in the battle for the location of the county seat. Records do not reveal its sponsor but tradition says it was merely a town on paper.
At the insistence of George W. Brewster and others the governor appointed as temporary officials: M. C. Lyons, clerk; David C. Dale, Joseph 0. Barton and William Schlingman commissioners, with Dale as chairman.
These officers held their first meeting in Brewster, June 24, 1886 and arranged for three voting places: Brewster precinct at Brewster, Rankin precinct at the home of Russell Dunning near the confluence of the Dismal and Middle Loup river and Purdum at Purdum postoffice on Buffalo Flats. The second meeting was held at Brewster Sept. 16, 1886. At this session they arranged for an election to be held Nov. 2 of the same year.
Nov. 6, 1886 the board met to canvass the election. Purdum cast 25 votes; Rankin 31; Brewster 107. Outside interests were neglected in the voting, with Rankin precinct failing entirely to vote for district and state candidates. The results of the county election was announced by the board Nov. 8, as follows:
The two candidates for county clerk were William H. Smith and Edward H. Riggs, and each received 66 votes. The tie was decided by the toss of a coin and Smith won. Riggs was appointed deputy clerk. Tradition states that Smith was unable to qualify. The others were County Treasurer Robert Dorgan; Judge Robert Smith; Attorney M. B. Wealch; Surveyor Uriah Hollopeter; Sheriff Andrew "Jack" Robbinault; Superintendent Addie Leach; Commissioners T. C. Jackson, Taylor S. Northup, R. 0. Dunning. The vote for county seat location was Ladora 63; Blaine Center 43; Brewster 24. Since no candidate received a majority, no election was declared.
In a special election called for Nov. 23 of the same year, Ladora won by a majority of eighteen. The commissioners met Jan. 4, 1887 and declared the town to be the permanent seat of county government. They held their first session in Ladora on Feb. 22, 1887.
Brewster was defeated but not whipped in his fight to have his town declared the county seat. By devious wire pulling and unrecorded machination, he won in the general election of 1887 and in January of 1888 Brewster became the premanent (sic) seat of county government.
One term of district court was held in Ladora. One of western Nebraska's outstanding murder cases was tried at this session. Judge T. 0. C. Harrison presided at the trial of Mike Yoakum, who was charged in the shooting of Lincoln Downing. Yoakum was acquitted by a jury. John H. Evans' plea for the defendant was a masterpiece. Judge Harrison and his reporter Charles W. Pearsall chose to sleep in the hay loft of the livery barn in preference to the hotel accommodations of that period, relates the late George A. Evans.
Ladora appears to have been executed instead of dying a natural death. All her business houses were moved to Brewster and the last residence went up in flames the following year. When it was evi-
dent to Ladora supporters that they were losing to Brewster, ninety electors of Purdum, Rankin and Brewster precincts signed a petition asking that the board of Loup County commissioners annex Blaine County territory to Loup. Western Loup County had recently lost a move to have Almeria designated as the county seat, Such an annexation would have resulted in a new election and Almeria would have been assured of victory. A counter-petition saved the situation and Brewster and Taylor have remained county seat towns to the present time.
The problem of law violation frequently arose in those days to plague residents of the community. Doc Middleton established a saloon and gambling joint in the building that now houses the telephone exchange and in January 1889 the Brewster News demanded: "Shall the Brewster whiskey ring run the county?"
Prior to his advent in Brewster, Middleton was said to have figured among the "bad men" of northwest Nebraska. He allegedly had been the leader of a gang of horse thieves with rendezvous in the sandhills of Cherry County, known as "Rustlers Roost." His lieutenant, "Kid" Wade, never was known to have operated in Blaine County. "Kid's" sister, Mrs. Frank Daily, lived in Brewster during those hectic days when one seldom concerned himself regarding his neighbor's antecedents.
Perhaps the outstanding tragedy in Blaine Country's early history was the accidental shooting of Judge C. W. Aikin. While he was attempting to assist in the settlement of a cattle rustling case, Aikin and one of the rustlers whom he had captured were shot and instantly killed by a deputy sheriff. The leader of the rustlers, a Negro, was arrested following the double tragedy. To the everlasting shame of the authorities of that period the Negro went free.
Unfortunately no records are available as to the early history of fraternal and civic organizations in the county. Memory, faulty at the best, recalls that these vigorous groups existed: Grand Army of the Republic and its auxiliary, the Women's Relief Corps; W. C. T. U.; County Agricultural Society; A. 0. U. W.; Degree of Honor; and several others of minor importance. An item from the Blaine County Democrat of 1888: "We are informed that a vigilance society was organized in German Valley. The object and purpose of this society is to put a stop to claim jumping." Tradition states that the "Vigs" filled a recognized need and claim jumping became unpopular.
The Catholic Church was early on the scene with Masses read in the Edward McCormick soddy on Hawley Flats. Unfortunately, no record is available of the name of the priest who officiated.
The first Sunday school in the county is said to have been organized in the soddy home of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin B. Smith and Experience Hack Smith, mother of the former. The first superintendent was Benjamin F. May and other officers and teachers were Mr. and Mrs. Fred W. Spencer, George W. Clay and wife, John A. Hoagberg, Mrs. E. P. Dunn, Mrs. George Pixley, Victor and Anthon Carlson. The first church, a Methodist Episcopal, was established at Brewster in September 1890. William M. Scott, Charles H. Fish and George W. Aukney were the incorporators. Among the active members were Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. VanNeste, Judge and Mrs. C. W. Aikin and daughters Jessie and Stella, Mrs. Parker, Olive Albright, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Barton and others unrecorded.
In March 1899 the G. H. Brewster Memorial Congregational Church was established in Brewster and Pleasant Valley with a membership of thirty-seven. This organization has been active since its inception, and has a church building and parsonage at Brewster. It seems appropriate that in the town named for Elder Brewster there should be a Congregational Church. It is also noteworthy that one of the church's active workers, Mollie L. Brewster-Erickson, should be a daughter of the town's founder. Among the active workers of the pioneer church were: Fred W. Spencer and family; John Ferguson and family; J. Christy Golson and family; E. B. and Anna L. Smith, Elsworth and Esther Sandall; Charles and Sina Van Neste and son Paul; Joseph and Rose Barton and son Edward; Charles and Laura Fletcher and sons Guy and Olin; P. C. Erickson and wife Louise Pitt-Erickson; Grace Gardiner-Harris and others. The present pastor, Rev. Frank Raef, has a large parish that includes the Brewster, Dunning and Purdum Churches, with several preaching points.
The Dunning Congregational Church organized Oct. 30, 1900 with a membership of eight. It has maintained religious activities to the present time and owns a church building and parsonage. In early days there was a Christian Science group in Dunning led by the L. H. Harris family.
A Methodist Episcopal Church was established at Purdum in 1886. Among its organizers and membership one finds the names of Sanford and Ruth Oldham, prominent religious and educational workers of that period.
The Purdum Congregational Church was organized in November 1907 with a membership of thirty-six. When this church was formed, folk from all denominations united and its membership list indicates that Purdum had the largest percent of church folk of any Blaine County community. In the passing of the late Levi A. Cox the church lost an outstanding man.
Pleasant Valley Methodist Episcopal Church was established during the 90's. Later it merged with the Congregational. At present the Church of God is the active religious group in that community. The large membership has a church building and supports a pastor. The present pastor is Rev. Mr. Cuttshall.
The First German Evangelical Lutheran, St. John Church, was established in German Valley April 30, 1904. Prominent in its organization was Christian Schipporeit, one of the first settlers in the valley. This church supports a pastor and has a building and pastor's residence.
Blaine County's first two banking houses were in Brewster. Sept. 27, 1887, articles of incorporation were filed for the International Bank of Brewster; L. H. Harris and U. Harris incorporators. Peder C. Erickson was bookkeeper and cashier. It was reorganized as the International State Bank, July 21, 1890, with the same personnel.
The First Bank of Brewster filed articles of incorporation April 2, 1888. The incorporators were residents of Taylor, Neb., the cashier being the only one who resided in Brewster. The personnel was F. A. Dann, A. P. Cully, A. U. Dann, George F. Scott and Darwin W. King.
The Home State Bank of Dunning was incorporated July 23, 1917.
The Dunning State Bank incorporated May 19, 1919. The officers and directors were L. W. Wilson, F. H. Field, M. S. Eddy, G. C. Zutavern and M. E. Harris.
The Purdum State Bank incorporated in 1914, the personnel being E. L. Thomas, L. G. Crampton and G. H. Cox. This is the only bank in Blaine County that is doing business at this time. J. F. Moody is president and G. H. Cox is vice-president and cashier.
The Lincoln and Black Hills Railroad Co., filed articles of incorporation Sept. 3, 1887 and built a grade to within five miles of Brewster. No rails were laid beyond Sargent, and Brewster is still an inland county seat.
The Nebraska and Western incorporated and completed their line through the southwestern part of Blaine County during the late eighties and Dunning became the railroad shipping point for a considerable territory. This accounts for its being the metropolis of Blaine County.
Blaine County was organized during the final years of a wet cycle and crops were abundant until 1889, when drouth and famine were general. Perhaps not a dweller in the central Nebraska region failed to receive some form of relief. The E. B. Smith hog ranch was stocked with 500 head of swine, of which 100 were brood sows. Not a bushel of grain was in the valley when winter came. Mr. Smith knocked in the head 400 animals and most of the breeding stock starved before spring.
Not less than eleven groups or individuals acquired water rights or incorporated for the purpose of constructing irrigation canals between the years 1894 and 1896. In the Middle Loup valley five irrigation projects were incorporated and at least two excavated canals. The records show: Custer County Pioneer Irrigation Co., August, 1894; Middle Loup Valley Irrigation Canal Co., February, 1894; Lillian Precinct Irrigation Ditch & Power Co., August, 1894; Harris Canal, water right filed 1896.
L. H. Jewett constructed a canal that irrigated about 600 acres in the forks of the Dismal and Middle Loup.
The North Loup valley activities were fully as extensive. The Compton Irrigation & Power Co., was incorporated by Thomas Dentler, S. W. Bivens, George H. Shirk, John M. Evans and M. L. Frizzell, December, 1896; Newton Irrigation Co., April 1895, with acreage for most part in Loup County; Blaine County Irrigation Co., incorporated November, 1894 by T. S. Northup, S. A. Daily, Pat McCormick, J. N. Fletcher, E. W. Rankin, P. C. Erickson and W. E. Swengel, Vineland canal water right filed January, 1896 by Taylor S. Northup and Pat McCormick, irrigated Northup ranch and other Hawley Flats farms.
The Brewster Irrigation & Power Co., incorporated in September, 1895 with a proposed system to irrigate the south side of the valley from west of Brewster to a point east of Sawyer's ranch. Incorporators were L. H. Harris, J. N. Fletcher, I. S. Dodds, J. C. Golson, B. S. Sawyer, Albert Nixon, Dr. W. S. Irwin, S. A. Dailey, C. H. Stewart, John Ferguson, Sr.
The North Loup Valley Canal was incorporated and financed by Peder C. Erickson and Mollie L. Brewster- Erickson during the period 1894-96. The head gate was located east of Brewster one mile on the north side of the river. The canal was about ten miles in length. This project gave employment to labor and its waters irrigated a large area for several years or until normal rainfall made irrigation unprofitable. Mr. Erickson invested thousands of dollars but received nothing in return. Blaine County is not within the agricultural area and has no extensive irrigation projects in operation.
Dunning was first known as Lena postoffice in 1882. Elisha Taylor was the first postmaster and Fred Field succeeded him. In 1886 the postoffice was moved to the present location and was named Dunning for R. A. Dunning. The cattle ranch of Fred and Floyd Field was three miles east and was one of the finest spreads in the county. This ranch is now owned by W. G. Zutavern.
Among the first business folk in Dunning was L. H. Harris who erected the first hotel where he and his wife and two children, Lottie and Bert, lived many years. Mr. Harris also owned and operated a large general store and a coal and lumber yard. Fred and Floyd Field, Miner Brothers, Dr. Boaz, Overman, Manderville, Blakley, Turnbull Caywood, Roberts, Dr. Owens, Bolejack, Fees, Pete Starr, Jones and Thompson are names connected with the early settlement of Dunning.
The first graded as well as the first high school was in Dunning and Laura Parker Miner is given credit for sponsoring the first class ever graduated. Tradition states that among the first class members were Marcia Caywood, Lottie Harris and Alice and Maggie Blakely. Dunning furnished three county superintendants: Laura Parker Miner, Etta Brooks and Halbert H. Thompson.
The Dismal river, south of Dunning a short distance, in early days had a fine growth of red cedar but Custer County settlers had cut and hauled most of it away by 1879. On the Dismal river is the site of an early Indian village and Wild Horse Flats boasted a herd of wild horses. Floyd Field, perhaps the oldest pioneer settler, relates that he "tried his luck in catching wild horses."
Richard R. Greenland and wife were among the first to locate upon the fertile Buffalo Flats. George W. Purdum and family were early settlers and established the first postoffice, probably prior to 1886. Parker Giles established the first trading post that was later purchased by G. H. Cox and is still owned and operated by Mr. Cox and J. F. Moody. Purdum boasted a "brass band," a MWA lodge with a sod hall, and the first automobile.
Purdum has produced many outstanding citizens. The second county superintendent of Blaine was T. C. Beck, followed by Mrs. Sanford (Ruth) Oldham and the present incumbent, Gwynee L. Neubauer in addition to Mrs. T. C. Jackson, instructor in teachers' institute, and Rev. Homer Cox. The town has always maintained a high religious, moral and educational standard.
Among the names of the earliest settlers are: Keller, Oldham, Cox, Giles, Riggs, Jackson, Simonton, White, Teaford, Dunn, Schlasman, Pritchard, Robbinault, Heitter and Beebout. Kate Dunning Keller, an early day poet, was a resident of Purdum.
According to record Blaine County schools were first organized as follows:
Dist. No. 1, petition by C. W. Beau and others, Jan. 5, 1887, at Rev. B. F. Dill home in Ladora.
Dist. No. 2, petition by Joseph C. McCartney and others in the Eugene H. Leach home in Pleasant Valley, Jan. 24, 1887. First teacher Jessie Dunn, in her soddy.
Dist. No. 3, petition by W. F. Reed and others March 18, 1887 in Reed home, first teacher Emma Reed.
Dist. No. 4, petition by Joseph 0. Barton and others, March 5, 1887 in Barton home. First teacher Mollie L. Brewster in Barton soddy.
Dist. No. 5 petition by E. J. Albright and others, April 4, 1887 at Brewster Hall.
Dist. No. 7, petition by George F. Purdum and others, March 12, 1887 at Purdum P. 0.
Dist. No. 8, petition by J. W. Spicer, 1887, home. Charles Fish first teacher.
Dist. No. 9, petition by R. 0. Dunning and others April 4, 1887 at Dunning home.
Dist. No. 10, petition by Frank S. Clapper, George W. Clay, Fred W. Spencer, E. B. Smith, George Pixley and others, organized April 18, 1887, at Clapper soddy home. First school in Clark Davenport sod house, Belle Clay, teacher.
Dist. No. 11, petition by Thomas B. Miller and others April 18, 1887 at Miller home.
Dist. No. 18, petition by John Fees and others, April 2. 1888 at Fees home.
Dist. No. 19, petition by C. B. Clayton and others February 9, 1889 at Clayton home.
Among the active and potential teachers of that period were: Mrs. Josie Howell, Mrs. Dack Simonton, Carrie and Dora Cooper, Lewis Calkins, Kate Dunning, B. S. Swingel, G. Hollie Cox, Ella Golson Robbinault, Laura Miner, Gertrude Teaford, Nettie Ferguson, Jennie Shull, Mollie L. Brewster, Belle Clay, I. S. Dodds, Hollie Baker, Mary Fish, Jessie Dunn and Thurman A. Smith.
The present superintendent is Gwynne Neubauer. Blaine County has three twelve-grade schools and one ten-grade with a total of thirty districts. The valuation of high school property is $82,920; eighth grade rural schools $29,342.
The first physician to locate in Brewster was W. S. Irwin, M. D., who practiced for about twenty years prior to his death. Purdum had two resident physicians, Dr. A. B. Cox and his son, Dr. C. B. W. Cox. The son was active for approximately thirty years.
Dunning's first physician was Dr. Boaz. Later Dr. Owens and Dr. Williams served the community.
The Brewster News, established 1884 by George Washington Brewster, was published over a period of forty years by Peder C. Erickson; the present, owner and editor is Olin Fletcher.
The Blaine County Democrat was established 1886 in Ladora by Ellis and Button. It was consolidated with the Brewster News about 1891.
The Blaine County Booster was established about 1912; the present publisher is Orrin B. Winter.
Doubtless the first established home was a soddy; the first schools were held in sod shacks; the first religious gathering was in a sod-house home; the first election was held in earthen huts not much better than those constructed by the Indians who hunted the buffalo, elk, and antelope prior to the settler's coming. These modest homes were heated with cowchip and twisted hay fires in cook stoves and an occasional fireplace constructed of sod and clay mud.
Even today one still finds soddies here and there in the sand hills. William Lovelace, architect and builder, besides making his own ranch a show place in the county has also built the Cottonwood School on Goose Creek, the Lovelace and Moody residences and Prudum bank and store building. In the vicinity of these modern stucco structures is a baled-hay house, pine board shacks and dignified frame farm houses.
The courthouse today is a cement structure fully adequate. The official personnel: Clerk, Elmer N. Demary; Treasurer, Mrs. E. Smith; Judge, Albert Arms; Superintendent, Gwynee L. Neubauer; Attorney, Carl G. Humphrey; Surveyor, Scott L. turner; Commissioners, Carl Foote, Gus Jochem; Kyle Cox.
Blaine County doubtless suffered less from the depression and drouth than counties outside the Sandhill region. Stock raising and dairy products are its principal industries. The people have found
their place in the economic program. With normal rainfall they will be prosperous and happy. They are hopeful. The 1939 valuation was $2,666,695. In 1886 the estimate of county expense was $2,200, which was considered ample for all needs.
With a rich heritage of pioneer ancestry they face the future undismayed by the present drouth cycle. United in effort, they have dedicated their best achievements to fulfillment of the high ideals of the sod house dwellers of 1886.
ARMS, ALBERT HENRY: County Judge; b Chicago July 27, 1899; s of William Henry Arms-Mary Schanard; ed Lakeside HS; comml law by correspondence, U of N; preliminary law under Carl Humphrey, Brewster; m Catherine Hill June 22, 1920 Ellsworth; s Albert Henry Jr, George Francis; d Edna Marie, Helen (dec), Margaret (dec), Mildred, Clara Ann; 1915-16 worked on ranches, Sheridan Co; 1916-19 opr ranch in Sheridan Co, father's & grandfather's homestead; 1919-21 emp in store, Ellsworth; 1921-24 filed on homestead in Cherry Co, proved up on claim & sold in 1924; 1924-28 opr ranch in Blaine Co; 1928- owner & opr garage & auto sales agcy, Dunning; 1934- co judge, past secy-treas Blaine Co Rep Com; mbr Neb Assn of Co Judges; Cath Ch; Rep; hobbies, baseball & hunting; res Dunning.
BAKER, JESSE THEODORE: Farmer & Rancher; b Logansport, Ind Mar 1, 1872; s of Theodore Baker-___; ed Logansport Ind; 1884-90 lived in Neb with parents; 1890-91 att school in Idaville Ind; 1892-93 lived in Redfield S D; 1892-1919 farmed; 1896, 1901, 1919 tchr in Blaine Co; 1919-20 worked for Standard Potash Co, Lakeside; 1921-22 farmed in Wyoming; 1922-35 emp by E. H. Riggs, Brewster; 1935- rancher; Rep; hobbies, reading & mathematics; res Brewster.
COPP, ALVA DELANCY: Rancher; b York Co, Neb Dec 12, 1874; s of Henry Harrison Copp-Sybel Elmetta Jewel; ed Central City, Blaine & Loup Cos; m Esther Jane Johnston Dec 25, 1900 Brewster; s Harry, William Howard; Curtis Milton, Alva D Jr; d Nettie (Mrs D P Farquhar), Elma Rose (Mrs R C Spencer) Flora M, Esther Jane; 1880 parents homesteaded Loup Co; moved to Blaine Co Apr 6, 1885; 1891-98 worked on farms in Neb; 1898- opr ranch in Blaine Co; 1916-24 Blaine Co commr; 1907-34 mbr dist sch bd, past pres & past treas; Farmers Union; Dec 25, 1886 found in Indian grave 2 miles NW of Brewster, one of the five peace medals given by ex-Pres James Monroe to five Indian chiefs; hobbies, fine cattle & baseball; res RFD Brewster.
COPP, HENRY HARRISON: Retired; b Tioga Co, Penn Aug 2, 18401; s of Lorenzo D Copp-Eliza Marvin; ed Penn; m Almetta Jewell 1873 York Co (dec); s Alva D; Charles S, Henry Harrison; d Mabel M; 1870-80 homesteaded in York Co; 1880-83 homesteaded in Loup Co; 1884- homesteaded in Blaine Co & bought additional land, farmer & stock raiser; 1886 one of org of Blaine Co; during Civil war volunteer from Ia in first Mo engineers, saw action under Gen Grant at Shiloh & Vicksburg; AF&AM; GAR adjt; hobby, fishing, res Brewster.
1Died Sept 26, 1939.
COX, GRANVILLE HOLLIE: Banker; b West Sonora, 0 Jan 10, 1873; s of Levi A Cox-Elnora Lease; ed Hawleyville Ia; m Gertrude Keller Feb 13, 1898 Purdum; s Roy Kyle, George Levi; d Bessie Ethel (Mrs J F Moody); 1894-99 farmed in Blaine Co, homesteaded land adjoining father's; 1899-1924 owner & opr gen store Purdum; 1914 org & dir Purdum State Bank; 1921- cash, owns controlling interest; 1910 bought first auto in Blaine Co, took 3 days to drive from Omaha to Purdum; Neb Bankers & Amer Bankers Assns; AF&AM: Scot Rite; deacon Congl Ch; Rep; hobby, baseball. 1879-86 father farmed leased land near Clarinda Ia; 1886-87 farmed near New Helena, Custer Co; 1887 filed on homestead in Blaine Co; ranch of approximately 3000 A, including original homesite, still in possession of family. Res Purdum.
DEMARAY, ELMER NASSAU: County Clerk; b Canton, Minn Feb 11, 1887; s of Melvin J Demaray-Mary E Gray; ed Cedar Rapids Ia HS 1907, won letter in baseball; m Renna M Smithson June 20, 1917 Cincinnati; d Maxine Eloise (dec), Dorothy Ann; 1907-08 emp by U S Express Co, Cedar Rapids Ia; 1908 filed on homestead under Kinkaid law, Blaine Co; 1908-14 farmed on homestead; 1914-19 emp by B&O RR, Cincinnati; 1919-22 ranched with father in Blaine Co; 1922-26 Blaine Co treas; 1927 Blaine Co clk; during World War with 83rd div, hdqrs troop, O/S with AEF; Amer Leg; Neb Assn of Co Clks; Farmers Union; AF&AM; Congl Ch; hobby, fishing; res Brewster.
FLETCHER, LAURA MAE: Homemaker; b Burwell, Neb June 22, 1877; d of Joseph 0 Barton-Edna R Davenport; ed Blaine Co; m Charles Jackson Fletcher Dec 26, 1897 Blaine Co; s Guy Otis, Olin Bertram; 1884 came to what is now Blaine Co with parents & settled on homestead; father helped org Blaine & was first co commr 1886; 1897-1900 homemaker on farm near Brewster; 1900-23 with husband in gen store Brewster; since husband's death in 1938 has made home with son in Brewster; was music tchr several years; Congl Ch; Federated Woman's Club; hobbies, flowers & needle work; res Brewster.
FLETCHER, OLIN BERTRAM: Publisher; b Brewster, Neb Dec 15, 1910; s of Charles J Fletcher-Laura Mae Barton; ed Brewster HS 1929; Hastings Coll 1929-32; 1932-34 worked on various jobs in Blaine Co & in Oregon; 1934- owner & pub Brewster News; NPA; hobby, music; res Brewster.
HUMPHREY, CARL GILBERT: Attorney; b Broken Bow, Neb Mar 24, 1912; s of Arthur Gilbert Humphrey-Clara Jeffords; ed Hooker Co HS; U of N, BA 1933; LLB 1935; Delta Sigma Phi; Phi Delta Phi; m Josephine Hubbard July 9, 1938 Fairbury; 1936-37 co assistance dir; Mar 1, 1939- first lt inactive res U S A; U of N ROTC; Epis Ch; hobbies, collecting Indian relics, fishing & hunting; res Brewster.
JACKSON, MRS MARY SKLIBA: Retired; b Chicago Apr 22, 1861; d of Wensel Skliba-Mary Mishka; ed Boone Ia HS; m Thomas Carlyle Jackson May 8, 1889 Boone Ia; s Thomas Kent; d Mary Rachel (Mrs E B Arnold), Iris Jeanette (Mrs Wallace Ihmsen), Aurilla Theresa (Mrs M 0 Patterson); 1887 came to Blaine Co; tchr in county inst; 1900 tchr near Purdum; 1889- has lived on farm including original homesite, has 35 A orchard; hobby, Bible reading. Husband homesteaded near Purdum 1883. Res Purdum.
MILLER, THOMAS RADLE: Store Manager; b Moulton, Neb Feb 5, 1896; s of Thomas B Miller-Emma M Perry; ed Loup Co; m Mary J Yocum Jan 6, 1915 Taylor; s Harold Rex; d Eleanor Emma (Mrs Elbert Smithson); 1911-15 worked at various jobs; 1915-34 ranched; 1934- rancher, mgr & pres Farmers Co-op Store Brewster; 1924- mbr sch bd Blaine Co; 1922-24 mbr sch bd Loup Co; opr 1700 A ranch, raises fine mulese (sic) & cattle; has trapped, bought & sold furs 25 years; hobbies, hunting, fishing & trapping; res Brewster.
NEUBAUER, GWYNNE LOGAN: County Superintendent of Schools; b Purdum, Neb Nov 21, 1904; s of Louis F Neubauer-Dora Logan; ed York HS 1924; CSTC; m Gertrude Ewing Nov 21, 1926 Brown Co; d Dora Marguerite, Renna Gertrude, Meda Louise, Marcia Ilene, Wilda Rae; 1924-34 tchr in Blaine Co; 1927-28 supt of schs Brewster; 1934- Blaine Co supt of schs; NSTA; NEA; AF&AM; OES; Congl Ch; Dem; hobbies, hunting & fishing; res Brewster.
SCHIPPOREIT, FREDERICK CHARLES HENRY: Implement Dealer; b Blaine Co, Neb Mar 17, 1893; s of Frederick Christian Schipporeit-Anna Wendt; ed Blaine Co; m Eitel Austin May 8, 1922 Broken Bow; 1893-1914 farmed with parents; 1914 emp CB&Q RR shops, Omaha; 1915-17 farmed home ranch; 1922- farmer; 1937- opr impl bus; 1917-18 in U S army Fort Riley Kas, 11th div med dept ambulance co; Amer Leg; Luth Ch; hobbies, hunting & fishing; res Brewster.
SMITH, MRS ANNA L: Homemaker; b Lake George, N Y Sept 29, 1860: d of William Henry George- Margaret Stilson; m Edwin Bradley Smith Mar 1, 1876 Warrensburg N Y (dec Mar 27, 1929); s Thurman A, Maurice E, William G (dec), Mark F. Wesley J, Ernest E (dec), Arthur J; d Eva Louise (Mrs Lloyd Skiles); 1881 came from N Y & lived on homestead in Valley Co; 1884 moved to Blaine Co territory & in 1886 active in org of Blaine Co; developed one of the large cattle ranches of Co, helped org the first church; first SS was org in Edwin B Smith soddy. The Smiths at one time were owners
& oprs St Charles Hotel, Brewster; during World War knitted for ARC held co record for number of sweaters & socks made; lived for a short time in Kearney following the World War, later retd to North Loup River valley; Evang Ch; hobbies, potted plants, flower garden, embroidery & knitting: res Taylor1.
1Lived in Blaine Co 50 years.
SMITH, EFFIE: County Treasurer; b Dodge Co, Neb July 31, 1881; d of John Ferguson-Jeanie Robertson; ed North Bend; m William G Smith (dec) Nov 17, 1907 Burwell; s Wallace Ferguson; d Helen Rae; 1891-1907 came to Blaine Co & lived with father; 1907-14 homemaker on ranch; 1916-27 opr hotel, Dunning; 1927- co treas; past mbr dist sch bd; Neb Co Treas Assn; Amer Leg Aux; Congl Ch; Dem; hobby, flower gardening; res Brewster.
SPENCER, HARRY BURT: Rancher & Stockman; b Monona Co, Ia Apr 23, 1884: s of Fred W Spencer- Alvira J Clay; ed Blaine Co; m Edith I Waters Apr 25, 1906 Blaine Co: s Fred M, Ray W, Ralph George; d Etta A (Mrs T C Miller), Hazel M (Mrs Lloyd Smith, dec), Ruth I (Mrs Clyde Campbell), Catherine M; 1886-1906 came to Neb with father & settled on homestead in Blaine Co; 1906- ranching in Blaine Co; 1931- secy-treas Farmers Union; mbr dist sch bd; deacon Congl Ch, SS supt 29 years; hobbies, reading & hunting; res Brewster.
SPENCER, ROY CLAYTON: Rancher; b Blaine Co, Neb July 31, 1897; s of Fred Webster Spencer-Alvira Clay; ed in Blaine Co, Lincoln; m Elma Rose Copp Dec 27, 1925 Taylor; s Donald, Jerry Lee; Teddy Roy; d Ima Rose; 1914-29 with father on ranch in Blaine Co, emp as foreman; 1929- opr ranch & gen mgr of the Spencer Ranch Co: 1931- mbr & treas sch bd Blaine; mbr Farmers Union; hobby, raising Hereford cattle; res Brewster.
THOMPSON, HALBERT HAROLD: Rancher & Stockman; b Scandia, Kas Oct 29, 1895; s of Andy Thompson-Linnet Glasgow; ed Dunning HS; KSTC; U of N; m Ruth McMurtry June 4, 1917 Scandia Kas; s Donald Deryl; 1915-17 tchr in Blaine & Thomas Cos; 1917-19 farmed near Scandia Kas: 1919- owner & opr ranch on Goose Creek consisting of 3240 A, running average of 200 head of cattle under HT brand; 1920-27 tchr in Blaine Co; 1927-34 Blaine Co supt; 1936- cattle inspector for Production Credit Assn of Broken Bow & Valentine; 1938- range & farm inspector for soil conservation program under AAA; Dem; hobby, travel; res Dunning.
WHITE, SAMUEL J: Farmer & Stockman; b Wabash Co, Ind Mar 5, 1877; s of George W White-Eleanor Sewell; ed Blaine Co: m Alma Keller Oct 2, 1902 Brewster (dec); d Lois (dec), Blanche (Mrs Doran Baker); m Nettie Troyer Rogers June 2, 1936 Dunning; 1886 came to Neb with parents & settled near Purdum; 1895-97 tchr at Purdum; 1900 homesteaded; 1902- farmer & stock raiser; 1906-09 & 1928-31 co commr; mbr dist sch bd for 25 years; one of first shareholders in Purdum State Bank; helped sponsor bridge over North Loup near Purdum; 1936 del to state Rep conv Omaha; mbr Sandhill Feeder Cattle Producers Assn; Congl Ch; Rep; hobby, travel; res Purdum.
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