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My great grandfather, Philip Hanner, was a "Nebraska Pioneer" --The year was 1873 when he migrated to Butler County, Nebraska and homesteaded......

Franklin Township 15N, Range 3E, Butler Co.

Section, Name, Deed Book, Page
11, W1/2 NE1/4, Phillip Hanner, 11, 94
11, W1/2 NW1/4, Phillip Hanner, 26, 77
11, N1/2 SW1/4, P. Hanner, 26, 78

Also his sons:
11, SE1/4, William Hanner, 11, 278
13, W1/2 NE1/4, Jacob Hanner, 11, 186
13, NE1/4 NE1/4, Jacob Hanner, 26, 56
13, NW1/4, Jacob Hanner, 11, 119
13, SE1/4, Jacob Hanner, 4, 615

My great grandfather Philip Hanner lived in Butler County almost 67 years.

Here is his obit and short history of his life and accomplishments.

Philip Hanner, pioneer settler and resident of Butler county, near David City, for almost 67 years, passed away at his home at 12:15 a.m., Wednesday, February 22, 1939, at the age of 95 years, 10 months and 27 days. His death was due to the infirmities of his advanced age. He became weaker on February 12 and continued so until falling into a deep sleep two days before his death from which he did not awaken.

Funeral services were held at 2 O'clock Saturday afternoon, February 25, in the Christian church, with pastor, Rev. C.W. Lessley in charge. Two hymns, "Rock of Ages" and Beautiful Isle of Somewhere," were sung by a ladies quartet, Mrs. Raymond Bock, Mrs. Fred L. Bock and Misses Alma Taylor and Ida Howie, and Mrs. Fred Bock and Miss Taylor sang a duet, "The Old Rugged Cross." Mrs. Elvin Thomassen was pianist. The pallbearers were George cooper, John Eberly, John Schweser, John Schlentz, Oscar Talbot and John Wankmiller. Burial was in the David City Cemetery.

Born in Waverly, Ohio on March 25, 1843, Mr. Hanner spent his boyhood working on a farm in Ohio, in the summers engaging mostly in hoeing corn at 10 cents per day. He learned the blacksmith trade by working as an apprentice, and when about 20 years of age he migrated to Illinois, where he and his brother, Jacob, owned and operated a blacksmith shop in Williamsville for several years. There were no schools near Mr. Hanner's childhood home, so his mother taught her children to read from the Bible, printed in German. The man from whom he learned blacksmithing taught him to read and write the American language and to figure and spell.

In 1873, he and his parents, two brothers and youngest sister came to Nebraska, traveling as far as they could by railroad, to Schuyler, and Philip Hanner walked into Butler County, chose a farm and bought it from the Union Pacific Railroad Company. He then built a frame house 16 X 18 feet in size on the property. With youth and determination he endured the pioneer hardship and helped in the progress of the county, being a farmer either actively or associated with farming constantly throughout his lifetime. In the early days he was deeply interested in opening roads and having bridges built to replace the prairie trails in order that the pioneers might be able to reach each other more easily in times of prairie fires or Indian scares.

Grandfather Hanner, as he was familiarly known, saw wonderful changes in Butler County in his lifetime, the treeless prairie without railroads, farm houses, towns and schools, with only prairie trails, bands of Indians camping near, cowboys driving cattle in from the south, rattlesnakes, prairie dogs, hoot owls and prairie fires, giving way to modern towns, schools, churches and homes, good roads and paved streets. In the early days his trading place, Schuyler, was a day off by team or on foot; he saw that replaced by a two-minute trip to David City by auto. In the early days news was disseminated mostly by some traveling salesman coming into a store or place of business; he saw that give way to the radio and daily papers.

Three years after coming to Butler county, Mr. Hanner was united in marriage to Maranda A. Naracong, on September 16, 1875. To them were born eight children, seven sons and one daughter. Two sons preceded him in death, Hervey Hanner dying in 1918 and Harry in 1929. The children who with their mother survive are Renwix L. Hanner of Surprise (my grandfather), Clarence J. Hanner of Omaha, Earl Hanner of Salem, Oregon, Henry Hanner of zanesville, Ohio, Frank Hanner of Whittier, California, and Mrs. Raymond Piers of David City, with whom Mr. and Mrs. Hanner had made their home for several years. Mr. Hanner is also survived by 15 grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and many friends.

Mr. Hanner was brought up in the Lutheran faith, but with his family united with the David City Christian Church, where he attended regularly as long as his health permitted.


Philander B. ROYCE

My other great grandfather, Philander B. Royce, also homesteaded in Nebraska. He was the father of Winifred Royce - Hanner who married Renwix L. Hanner......(my grandparents).

Philander Bilson Royce, one of Nebraska's, Butler County's thrifty and well to-do farmers, whose home is situated on section 32, Savannah township, (80 acres) was one of the early settlers of that community. He first located on section 22, of Savannah township, April 6, 1870, homesteading the southwest quarter of this section.

Mr. Royce was born in New Haven County, Connecticut, December 23, 1843, a son of Bennett B. and Julia Ann Benham-Royce. Bennett B. was a son of Welcome Roys, and the name was spelled "Roys" until our subject's father changed it to "Royce."

Philander B. Royce left Connecticut when seventeen years of age, went to New York Infantry, and served nealy four years in Companies I, F and D, respectively. He was in all the battles of the Civil War in which the Second Army Corps, of the army of the Potomac, participated except three, and was mustered out July 14, 1865, at Arlington Heights.

After the close of the war, Mr. Royce served one year on a whaling ship in the Arctic regions. He returned to New York in 1868 and married in Wayne county, of that state, to Miss Ellen A. Roys, a distant cousin. After his marriage he lived in New York state and worked on a vessel on the lakes. He went to Nebraska to visit friends, and although he went with no thought of staying, he was so much pleased with the country and the advantages it offered that he decided to make Nebraska his home. He is industrious, progressive and is endowed with a good capacity for well directed labor, and he soon had a productive and well improved farm and a commodious and comfortable home. In politics he was formerly a Democrat but is now identified with the Populist party, and on that ticket was elected county commissioner. He was also one of the charter members of the Bellwood G.A.R. Post.

Mr. and Mrs. Royce are the happy parents of a family of four bright, interesting children, upon whom they have bestowed the following names: Charles B., AliceL., Edward W. E., and Winifred E. Royce.

This is the information I have on my two Nebraska pioneers.

Thank you
Ellen McCulloch
6 October 2003



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