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The Velvick Family
Photos and story submitted by
Beverly Velvick Zuerlein


Charles and Rebecca Velvick's first homestead, although it is altered somewhat. Their first was a soddie built into a hillside. If you look closely you can see that the back of the house is built into a hillside and that the back fireplace appears to be rising right out of it. Later Charles built a nice home typical of the early 1900's. Those are two of their sons on the wagon, but I am not sure which two.


PictureCharles Velvick was born in London, England, in Oct. of 1823. At the age of four his little family immigrated to the US where they settled in Crawford county, PA. Charles resided with his family until about 1849 when he decided to venture out on his own. He moved to Juneau County, Wisconsin where he engaged in the logging business in order to secure enough money to purchase his own land. He toiled for 9 long years scrimping and saving until finally he was ready. In 1858 he sailed down the Mississippi and then up the Missouri to Brownsville, NE where he began the journey by land.

Studying the countryside for just the right farm land, he finally selected 160 acres approximately 11 miles SE of what is now Humbolt, Richardson county, NE which he purchased for $800. Charles decided he should work a couple more years to earn money to set up the farm thus he returned to the logging camp. It was still nine years before Nebraska would become a state.

Eager to begin farming he returned to Nebraska in 1862 and began work on his sod house. However with the Civil War commencing he decided to join the Nebraska Volunteer Calvary, enlisting in Oct of 1862. By September of 1863 he had been promoted to Lt. Velvick. He reported that he spent much of his time fighting Indians up and down the Missouri River and as far North as Devil's Lake, ND. Family history states that he was also at the Battle of Cumberland Mountain in TN. Though there was a division of Nebraska Cavalry there I can not verify that he was among them.

Finally, service time over, he came home to finish establishing his home. Ready to set up housekeeping he met and married Rebecca Ann Snyder, a neighbor residing with her family close by his farm. Charles and Rebecca spent many wonderful years building their farm into one of the most productive in the area. (tax records confirm this) They were blessed with a fine family of 12 children. They knew their share of sorrow as did so many of our early pioneers as they laid to rest two young sons.

Charles lived on the farm until his death at the age of 90. Rebecca had preceded him in death by three years.


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