© MJH for Buffalo County NEGenWeb Project, 2001

History of Buffalo County
and Its People

by Samuel Clay Bassett





    In the early days in the history of the land beyond the Missouri River there were M many trails across the territory, one much traveled being up the Platte River on the north side. This trail crossed the Loup River at or near where is now the City of Columbus. It was a difficult crossing for the Loup was deep, with a strong current. To cross at that point emigrants swam their oxen across. Out of the wagon box they made a boat, some of them covering the box with skins of animals, others using a tent cloth, and in this improvised boat they ferried over their families and goods. In order to avoid this crossing many emigrants continued up the Loup River on the east bank, crossing to the west bank in the locality of where is now Nance County, and continued their journey up the South Loup across what is now Buffalo County when they crossed the low divide to the Platte River and continued the journey along the Platte River Trail. Thus it was that there were numerous wagon trails up the South Loup River and no doubt thousands of emigrants, traveling over this trail, have camped in the immediate vicinity of Ravenna, as here was to be found luxurious pasture for the stock of the emigrants, as well as an ideal camping place--timber and plenty of good water. These trails were plainly in evidence in the '70s when settlers living in the southern part of the county came to the Loup for wood. Many of these wagon trails were worn so deep that oxen could no longer travel them and then a new wagon trail was made beside the old one.


    The Union Pacific Railroad was completed across Buffalo County in the years 1866-67. Some of the tribes of Indians, more especially the Sioux in North-western Nebraska, were not friendly to the building of the railroad and in order protect the workmen the general Government stationed troops in the territory to the north and small army posts--forts they were called locally--were built for


the comfort and convenience of the troops. One of these frontier posts was located on the south bank of the South Loup River in the center of section 16, town No. 12, range No. 14. In the month of June, 1871, the writer and a considerable number of colonists who had, in April, settled on claims in the vicinity of Gibbon, visited the South Loup country in order to view the land, there being no settlers in the northern part of Buffalo County at that date. The company camped for the night at the point where was located this post known as Fort Banishment. The earthworks--rifle pits--extended, in the form of a square from the bank of the river to the south. Within the enclosure were buildings constructed of oak logs, one for the soldiers, the other for their horses; the roofs were of poles and willow brush covered with sod and dirt. It is recalled that nailed on the outer walls of the buildings were a score or more of the feet of timber wolves, the feet being much larger than the feet of coyotes. It might be mentioned that below the fort, on the south side of the river, was an island embracing several acres, and on this island--thus protected from prairie fires--was a considerable growth of oak, yellow and black, many of the trees from two to three feet in diameter. It seemed that the trees to build the fort came from this island, access to which was by means of a beaver-dam bridge over which could be driven teams with loaded wagons.
    When the courthouse was built at Gibbon in 1872, wood to burn the brick was hauled from the South Loup River, and practically all the trees on the island referred to were made into cord wood and hauled away. Much timber, cottonwood and oak, along the South Loup, of a size suitable for ties had been cut and used in the building of the railroad.


    One of the earliest settlers in the northern portion of Buffalo County was Erastus Smith, who made settlement in 1874, at the point where is now the Town of Ravenna. Mr. Smith brought with him a herd of some thirty-five head of shorthorn cattle, the first registered cattle of that famous breed to be brought into the county. He engaged in the cattle business keeping an average of one hundred and fifty head of registered and grade shorthorns.
    Realizing how greatly settlers in Buffalo County were handicapped by lack of knowledge of climatic conditions, more especially as respects annual rainfall, in co-operation with the weather bureau of the University of Nebraska and the United States Department of Agriculture, in the year 1878 Mr. Smith began keeping a daily record of temperature and rainfall and which he continued until his death in 1909, a period of thirty-one years and which record is still (1915) being kept by members of his family. Mr. Smith was one of the most faithful and painstaking reporters connected with the weather bureau service. In the earlier years it was required that the temperature be taken three times in twenty-four hours, at 7 A. M., 2 P. M., and 9 P. M.; it is related that in the thirty-one years in which Mr. Smith kept his record some member of his family was always at home to make the record at the time required.
    When Mr. Smith came to Buffalo County he shipped his household goods, six head of horses and grain for his teams and provisions for his family to last a


year, to Kearney; disposing of one horse he loaded his belongings onto wagons and with the members of his family started for the new home, some twenty-five miles distant, crossing the South Loup River at Peter's Bridge; in that portion of Buffalo County to which he journeyed, there were no settlers, the streams unbridged, and his sod house was the only habitation. In crossing the Beaver, near his claim, the wagon containing his household goods and provisions upset, all his goods were lost in the stream, including a cook stove, and three of his most valuable horses were drowned.
    In those early days the Union Pacific Railroad Company having secured a decision from the courts which enabled it to evade payment of taxes on its lands, and there being very few settlers in the northern part of the county, it was many years before there were children enough of school age, and taxable property sufficient to warrant the establishment of a school within reach of the few settlers there located, and hence it was that Mr. Smith and his few neighbors were located in a school district, and paid taxes to support a public school, whose schoolhouse was in the Wood River Valley of the Platte some twenty miles distant. Also as a matter of history, but not pleasing to record, it might be added that all crops planted the first year by Mr. Smith and the members of his family, including a large garden, on which his wife expended much labor, took much pride in, and set great store by, was entirely destroyed by migratory grasshoppers, which even dug holes in the ground that they might get the last tiny rootlet of an onion.
    In the year 1886 the Burlington Railroad was built into Garfield Township and Ravenna was founded and became a division station. Mr. Smith sold to the Lincoln Land Company a two-thirds interest in the townsite of Ravenna, he retaining every third lot.
    In the early history of Buffalo County the Platte and Wood River valleys in the southern part were first settled by homesteaders who engaged in farming operations, while the northern part of the county, as well as the counties of Sherman and Custer were largely given over to cattle ranches; when settlers began to take homestead claims in this section there was much friction between the cattle men and the homesteaders; out of such friction grew the Ketchum-Mitchell-Olive tragedy and the killing of the cowboys by the sheriff of Custer County. It is true that some of the early settlers in that region "rustled" cattle found on the range and it is also true that cattlemen, by intimidation and by force endeavored to discourage and keep out would-be homesteaders; in the contest the homesteader prevailed and occupied the land as it was right and best that he should; the homesteader established a home for himself and his family, organized school districts, erected schoolhouses and supported public schools, instituted churches, bridged streams, laid out and improved public highways, enhanced the cause of civilization, while the so-called cattle men occupied the public range with their large herds of cattle but contributed nothing to the development of the resources of the country or the upbuilding of the community.


    The many Indian relics discovered from time to time by Erastus Smith, his grandson Lawrence Smith, and others, of specimens of pottery and stone imple-


ments used by Indians, as well as human bones of a bygone age, seem to clearly indicate that in this immediate vicinity was an Indian village and an Indian burying ground, doubtless of the Pawnee tribe of Indians, this being the home of the Pawnees when the white man came and one of the four confederated tribes of Pawnee being known as Pawnee Loup.
    The Village of Ravenna was incorporated October 12, 1886, the board of trustees then appointed being Henry Boyle, M. S. Taffee, Joseph Bohac, E. Geist and R. M. Rankin, with Edw. Cronau as clerk.
    In the year 1891 a system of municipal waterworks was installed at an expense of $8,000. This system as completed in 1915 comprises six miles of 8-inch, 6-inch and 4-inch mains, the total cost $40,000. In 1915 a sewerage system was installed at a cost of $22,000.
    In the year 1912 a privately owned electric light system was installed, by the Ravenna Electric Light, Heat and Power Company, A. T. Shellenbarger, president. The following are the names of the village officials at the close of the year 1915; Dr. Frank J. Wilkie, mayor; Carl Linn, A. R. Kinney, James Motsick and Wm. Vieregg, trustees; R. M. Thomson, attorney; A. E. Erasim, treasurer; C. B. Cass, clerk and superintendent of the cemetery. O. O. Geist, superintendent of waterworks and sewers; A. A. Mrkvicka, marshal; James Raymond, night watch.
    In the year 1878, December 11, the Beaver Creek postoffice was established with Erastus Smith as postmaster. The name was changed to Ravenna on the completion of the Burlington Railroad in 1886. The names of postmasters in their order have been, Erastus Smith, W. A. Way, A. T. Shellenbarger, F. P. Wilsey, W. F. Richardson, Charles Miner, Frank Howard. Mr. Miner served as postmaster for sixteen years and relinquished the office to Frank Howard in March, 1915.
    The volume of business of the office approximates fifty thousand annually.
    The physicians who for a term of years have served the people of Ravenna and vicinity are, Dr. Charles A. Hale, Dr. John H. Penn, Dr. S. M. Bentley and Dr. George Buol.
    A municipally owned cemetery of five acres was established in 1886, of which C. B. Cass has served as superintendent for more than twenty years. This is one of the handsomest and best cared for cemeteries in Central Nebraska. It is maintained by revenue derived from the sale of lots; ten acres adjoining on the south have been purchased and improved for cemetery purposes.


    The Ravenna School District was organized in the year 1884. with Erastus Smith, D. Hutchison and Frank Coulter as trustees.
    The first teacher employed was Mrs. Alva Adams. The first high school established was in 1887 and the second in 1912.
    The first high school building was erected at a cost of $18,000. The new high school building, completed in 1915 at a cost of $40,000. Twelve grades are taught and thirteen teachers employed; 460 students were enrolled in 1915. The present members of the school board--1915--are Charles Miner, George Smaha,


R. M. Thomson treasurer, Dr. J. H. Penn secretary, C. B. Cass president, Roy Greenstit.
    In an edition of the Ravenna News for the year 1913 is given the following account of the public schools of the village:
    "The people of Ravenna are justly proud of their system of schools and no factor in the development of our city receives more loyal support than does our institution devoted to the acquisition of knowledge and the application of the power derived therefrom.
    "The university course as now offered is fully credited by the University of Nebraska for thirty-two points, graduates from this course being admitted without further examination. At the present time eleven of our graduates are pursuing courses in the above named institution. Many others are in attendance at other higher institutions of learning, in all of which our records are accepted in full faith.
    "The normal training course for the training of teachers is fully approved by the state department of public instruction. Graduates from this course are given second grade county teachers' certificates which are exchanged for first grade county certificates after a teaching experience of one year. A majority of the rural schools in this part of the county are presided over by graduates of our normal training department.
    "Under the provisions of the free high school law we are authorized to receive into the high school such non-resident students as are unable to secure the higher instruction in their home districts from which we receive a compensation of $27 each annually. At the present time there are on our roll twenty-two such non-resident students.
    "A department of music has been installed this year that gives every evidence of success. Our students are taking an interest in this subject not hitherto manifested and we are led to believe that this department will remain as a permanent feature of the school work. Musical instruction is given in each grade daily and, in the near future, it is expected will develop the ordinary musical faculties of the child.
    "A course in Domestic Science conducted according to the Crete plan has been in successful operation for the last two years from which very gratifying results have been derived.
    "The athletic work is now in charge of a competent instructor and the work in this department is progressing with much satisfaction.
    "The former plan of simply turning the children loose at play time has been discarded and in the future play time as well as study time will be supervised. It is believed that all the elevating and ennobling influences of the teacher in the school room may be counteracted in a very short time by the indiscriminate and reckless commingling of all classes in uncontrolled association in play. Our ideal playground of the future will contain many pieces of playground apparatus which under the teacher's direction may become instruments of education and means of drawing forth the best elements of the child's nature."



    The Ravenna News was established in the year 1886 by C. B. Cass, who has served continuously as its owner, publisher and editor.
    The News is an ideal local newspaper. Its policy is always constructive, never destructive. Its aim has been to develop and build up the village and the surrounding community. Its editor keeps in close touch with the people of his community, is in full sympathy with their desires and aspirations, has their full confidence and in a newspaper way The Ravenna .News has served its people loyally, willingly and acceptably.


    The oldest incorporated creamery company in Nebraska is the Ravenna Creamery Company, located at Ravenna, in Buffalo County. This creamery company was incorporated in October, 1869, by the following parties: Erastus Smith, F. E. Shaw, F. W. Sears, W. Z. Tillson, Henry Boyle, J. W. Dunkin, A. W. Wicher, M. Friend, James A. Clark, W. W. Pool and C. E. Davis. The capital stock was $9,000.
    This was one of some three hundred creamery plants promoted in Nebraska between the years 1885 and 1912, which cost the original stockholders at least two prices, and which statistics published in the 1912 annual report of the Nebraska Dairymen's Association disclose ,that of the total number, 23 per cent ran not to exceed one year, 50 per cent not to exceed two years, 63 per cent not to exceed three years and 80 per cent not to exceed four years. In the year 1895 the capital stock of the creamery was increased to $15,000, and about this date C. A. Clark, an experienced creamery man from New York, was employed to take charge of the plant. In 1904 C. A. Clark, J. dark and J. S. Clark having purchased the entire capital stock surrendered the original articles of incorporation and reincorporated under the same name with a paid up capital of $30,000, which in 1914 was increased to $75,000.
    This creamery was operated for a time on the "gathered cream" plan, but soon adopted the so-called "Centralizer" plan--shipping cream by rail from near and distant points, thus largely extending its patronage and the territory from which cream was secured; also the company engaged in the manufacture of ice cream, the handling of eggs, and the, till then comparatively new industry, buying, fattening and shipping of dressed poultry. Such poultry, when purchased, is closely confined in crates holding six dozen fowls each and fed twice a day for some six to ten days with a ration of buttermilk, cheap wheat flour and corn meal, when they are in prime condition for the table.
    The output of this company for the current year (1915) approximates very closely to 900,000 pounds of creamery butter, 60,000 head of dressed poultry, 6,400 cases of eggs, 24,000 gallons of ice cream, at a total expense for raw material and labor of approximately $326,000.
    The present (1915) officers of the company are: C. A. Clark, president; J. S. Clark, secretary, and C. D. Conn, treasurer.



    The dairy industry cannot be said to have greatly flourished in Buffalo County in any period since its first settlement.
    A close analysis would disclose that dairying in the county-and in the state as well--bears a close relation to the rural population, and further that dairying on our farms is a side issue rather than a principal source of farm revenue. Some ten creameries have been built in the county, none of which except the Ravenna creamery were operated for any long period of time on account of insufficient local patronage. Commercial dairying in Buffalo County is best represented by cream shipments, such cream being largely manufactured into creamery butter.
    The butter manufactured by the Ravenna Creamery Company, as given here-with, is largely from cream produced in counties other than Buffalo, and hence the shipments of cream from the county as herewith given approximates very closely to the total of the commercial dairy industry of the county.
    Cream shipments from stations in Buffalo County, as reported to the Nebraska Railway Commission, from July 1, 1913, to June 30, 1914:


Elm Creek........

    It is estimated that from the foregoing number of gallons of cream could be manufactured approximately 975,000 pounds of creamery butter; the approximate value of the cream paid to the producer, $288,000.


    The Ravenna Mills were originally built by C. S. Seeley about the year 1891, and about ten years later came into possession of Shellenbarger & Davenport, who suffered a total loss by fire and rebuilt the mill in 1902. In 1904 the prop-


erty came into the possession of the Ravenna Mills, Incorporated, which corporation has since owned and operated the business. The active managers are: A. R. Kinney, president and manager, and Robert S. Dickinson, secretary and treasurer.
    This property represents an investment of about seventy-five thousand dollars and does an annual business of about three hundred thousand dollars.
    The mill has a capacity of 500 quarter barrel sacks of flour daily, and the elevator and feed mill has a capacity of handling two or three cars of feed in addition daily. Ten men are given steady employment and additional help is required in the busy season.
    The products of the mill are marketed chiefly in the northwestern part of Nebraska, and in Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota.
    The lower grades of flour are sold in eastern cities and exports to England. The management is planning to enlarge the plant to a capacity of 1,000 sacks of flour daily and a storage capacity of 75,000 bushels of grain. Mr. Kinney, the manager, states: "It is a well known fact that the high lands of Buffalo County produce the choicest hard winter wheat grown anywhere in the world, and the Ravenna Mills flour is known far and wide for its excellence."


    The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes was organized about the year 1880 by Rev. Father Thomas P. Haley, with a charter membership of fifteen families. About the same date (1880) a church building was erected at an approximate cost of fifteen hundred dollars. It is stated that the first pastor was Father J. P. Haley, but practically three or four miles north of where Ravenna now stands was called "Paris," and consisted of three sod houses, a blacksmith shop and a postoffice. In one of the sod houses Father J. F. Hayes said mass in 1883. In 1887 was the first confirmation at Ravenna by Bishop O'Connor. At that date the congregation consisted of eight German, eight Irish and some Bohemian families, the Bohemians being attended by Father Maly.
    In 1915 the church had a membership of fifty families, the pastor in charge being Very Rev. Joseph Macourek, vicar general.
    The First Congregational Church of Ravenna was instituted November 3, 1886, with Rev. Robert M. Travers as pastor. The charter members were: Robert M. Travers, Mrs. Robert M. Travers, Mr. and Mrs. Alex. H. Gray, F. P. Boyden, Mrs. Mary Boyden Smith, Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Petitt, Mrs. Olivia Jeffries, John Pany. In the year 1887 a church building was erected at a cost of approximately fifteen hundred dollars. In the year 1893 a parsonage was built which has since been remodeled and improved.
    In 1915 the church had a membership of eighty-two. Rev, H. M. Triplett is the pastor.
    Lutheran Trinity Church (German), in Schneider Township, was organized in 1898, with Rev. William Landgraf as its first pastor, and the following charter members: Albert Thom, Hermann Rohde, Sr., John Pape, August Burke, Karl Thom, Henry Petermann, Fred Schmidt, Martin Keilig, Sr., Hans Voss, Carl Kutz, Albert Bedke.


A church building and parsonage have been built at a cost of approximately two thousand dollars. In 1915 the church had a membership of twenty-three, its pastor being Rev. W. E. Harms.


    The Citizens State Bank of Ravenna was organized in 1902, with a capital stock of $10,000. The officers and shareholders were: John Skable, president; William Benesh, cashier; directors, John Skable, William Benesh, Joseph Simon, Joseph Sheble, Ed Miner.
    In 1915 the bank had a capital stock of $25,000; surplus, $5,000; deposits, $175.000. Officers: F. J. Coats, president; M. L. Bonson, vice president; A. E. Erazim, cashier; H. J. Klatt, assistant cashier.
    The State Bank of Ravenna was established in 1886, with a capital of $25,000. The officers: C. N. Davenport, president; R. M. Thomson, vice president; J. H. Harrison, cashier; A. O. Skochdopole, assistant cashier; directors, C. N. Davenport, S. N. Wolbach, J. H. Harrison, R. M. Thomson, A. C. Mayer, A. R. Kinney, R. H. Paine.
    In 1915 the bank had of capital stock, $25,000; surplus, $5,000; deposits, $190,000.


    Cedar Mountain Post No. 220, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized in Ravenna, July 17, 1886, with eight charter members: Henry Cochrane, John S. Salsbury, Thomas J. Perry, Jacob Long, R. J. Malin, J. B. Vanbrunt, M. G. Wheelock, Jeremiah Towney.
    In 1915 the post had a membership of six, with John S. Saulisbury as commander. Since the organization of the post there have been sixty-six members, of whom John S. Salsbury, W. O. Picket, William Lamb, Casper Shrader, Paul Miller, Joseph Clayton, C. G. Perkins and John Michie are living in Buffalo County. Twenty-six old soldiers are buried in cemeteries located in the vicinity of Ravenna.
    Kismet Lodge No. 112, Knights of Pythias, was organized at Ravenna April 3, 1889. The charter members and officers: J. W. Dunkin, P. C. ; Edw. Cronau, C. C.: W. R. Hershberger, V. C.; C. N. Davenport, P.; W. G. Hyer; K. of R. and S.; H. H. Rankin, M. of F.; F. E. Taylor, M. of E.; C. B. Cass, M. A.; Frank Valek, I. G.; Joseph Smaha, O. G.; C. A. Day, W. I. Greiner, A. B. Hlava, A. W. Wicher, J. H. Niles, J. H. Keck, Frank Fiala, Frank Krajicik, W. J. Eckerson, Charles Pedirit, Joseph Bohac, Joseph Hlava, Joseph Shebl, B. Engstrom, J. A. Kilgore, A. Goodrow, George Smaha, Henry Boyle.
    In 1915 the lodge had a membership of sixty-five. Officers: William Vieregg, C. C.; Robert S. Dickinson, V. C.; Carl Linn, prelate; R. A. Murray, K. of R. and S.; C. N. Davenport, M. of F.; James Motsick, Treas.
    Ravenna Lodge No. 95, A. O. U. W., was organized October 26, 1886. The officers: F. W. Wicher, P. M. W.; A. S. Potter, M. W.; Henry Friend, F.; F. W. Sears, Rec.; Henry Boyle, Fin.; Edw. Cronau, Recorder; C. N. Davenport, G.; T. T. Gologly, O.; R. S. Boyle, I. W.; David White, O. W.


    In 1915 the lodge had a membership of fifty-three. Officers: C. B. Cass, P. M. W.; W. H. Margritz, M. W.; C. N. Davenport, Rec.; A. V. Hlava, Fin.; Edw. Cronau, Treas.; R. C. Salsbury, F.
    Ravenna Hive No. 44, Lady Maccabees, was organized October 17, 1911, with the following officers: Jessie I. Petersen, P. C.; Anna Weidner, C.; Madge M. Dietlein, L. C.; Margaret C. Moore, R. K.; Sadie E. Glass, F. A.; Bessie L. Glass, chaplain; Leona M. Leidloff, L. A.; Dora E. Cunningham, Sec.; Martha Ruggles, Sent.; Veva Michie, picket.
    Samson Lodge No. 329, Modern Brotherhood of America, was organized at Ravenna December 2, 1899. In 1915 the lodge had a membership of ninety-eight. Its officers: Mrs. Rosa Goodwin, president; G. T. Cupit, vice president: G. A. Winkler, secretary; Mary L. Tibbetts, treasurer; Willis Hutchison, guide; trustees, C. B. Cass, William Goodwin, Willis Hutchison.
    South Loup Camp No. 1408, M. W. A., was organized at Ravenna June 10, 1890. Its officers: Samuel Evans, V. C.; J. C. Patterson, clerk; Joseph Haier, banker; C. A. Day, Adv.; John A. Kock, sentry; Chas. H. Hale, escort; Jos. W. Evans, watchman.
    In 1915 the camp had a membership of 143. Officers: G. A. Winkler, V. C; W. H. Morgritz, Adv.; C. H. Piderit, clerk; H. H. Rasmussen, banker; Albert Polenz, escort.
    Ivy Camp No. 1806, R. N. A., was organized at Ravenna September 1, 1899, with a charter membership of twenty-four, and the following officers: Miss Libbie Smaha, oracle; Mrs. Mary Bengsh, past oracle; Helen Zimpfer, vice oracle; Jessie Humpal, chancellor; Mrs. Ulasta Slavintinsky, recorder; Mrs. Emma Karel, receiver; Miss Olga Hach, I. S.; Miss Bessie Hosek, O. S.; managers, Elsie Meek, Mrs. Geist, Mrs. Lucy Smaha; marshals, Miss Adele Hlava and Miss Blanche Hach.
    Les More Castle No. 2, Royal Highlanders, was organized at Ravenna March 1, 1897, with the following officers: John E. Mellett, P. I. P.; Dr. John H. Penn, I. P.; C. H. Freeman, C. C.; C. B. Cass, W. E.; John S. Molynaux, ---; L. W. Brownfield, Treas.; Frank R. Donner, guide; M. McAndrews, herald; Hans Henry Luth, censor; F. Schieck, second censor; Jas. DeMaranville, C. of A.; J. Foster Buehner, warder; S. G. Swain, Sent.; Frank Kellogg, P. C.; Albert T. Walton, Canton Swain, Fred Harris, Fred Hlava, O. L. Miller, Dr. Samuel M. Bently.
    In 1915 the castle had a membership of 190. The officers: Ferd Thompson, I. P.; C. H. McConnell, P. I. P.; Mrs. Edith Hughes, C. C.; Ina Skochdopole, W. E.; H. J. Klatt, Sec. and Treas.
    Ruze Vitezstvi No. 92, Jednota Ceskych Dam (J. C. D.), Bohemian Woman's Auxiliary to Z. C. B. J. Order. Organized February 22, 1898, with twenty-three charter members. Membership of fifty-three in 1915- First officers: Mrs. Joseph Shebl, president; Mrs. Mary Hach, secretary; Mrs. Anna Jelinek, vice president; Mrs. Josephine Valek, treasurer. Officers in 1915: Mrs. Barbara Kolar, president; Mrs. Anna Jelinek, vice president; Mrs. Mary Hach, secretary; Mrs. Barbary Skochdopole, treasurer.
    Zizkuv Palcat Lodge Cesko Slavonsky Podporujice Spolek (C. S. P. S.) was first organized at the farm home of Albert Skochdopole, in Garfield Township,


November 15, 1885, with a charter membership of fifteen. The following officers were elected at time of organization: Albert Skochdopole, president; Frank Fiala, vice president; Frank Skochdopole, secretary; James Hervert, treasurer.
    In 1897 this lodge membership was transferred to the Z. C. B. J. (Zapadni Bratrska Jednota), Western Bohemian Brotherhood, and at present the lodge has an active membership of 157. The organization has ocupied [sic] its own building for a number of years and has purchased a fine site for a proposed new hall and auditorium, to cost not less than $10,000. Present (1915) officers: Joseph Brt, president; Frank Fiala, past president; Vencil Kuticka; vice president; Frank Slavintinsky, secretary; Anton Erazim, treasurer; A. V. Hlava, collector.
    Bily Dub Camp No. 117, Woodmen of the World (Bohemian), was chartered October 8, 1907. First officers: Bart Neiberk, consul; Albert Mrkvicka, vice consul; Alois Klinkacek, banker; James Motsick, clerk; Joseph Kolar, escort; Joseph Musil, sentry; Vaclav Razim, Louis Macek and Anton Jelinek, managers; Dr. C. A. Hale and Dr. J. H. Penn, physicians. Present (1915) membership, fifty-two. Officers: Joseph Brt, consul; Frank Slavintinsky, adviser; Louis Vesely, clerk; Joseph Witter, banker; F. J. Macek, flagman; James Motsick, escort; John Sklenar, sentry; Thomas Suchy, watchman; Rudolph Finder, Louis Klinkacek and James Kostal, managers; Dr. J. H. Penn, physician.
    Ravenna Lodge No. 3471 I. O. O. F., was organized November 20, 1909. Charterb members: John S. Salsbury, N. G.; Charles A. Liedloff, V. G.; E. F. Carr, Sec.; A. R. Norton, Treas.; Dr. John H. Penn, John Akred, W. M. Feldmayer, Jacob Gehrt, Hermon Witte, Roy Salsbury, George Hutchison, Joseph Hafner, W. F. Stark, C. Feldmayer, E. E. Evanson, George H. Morgon, D. N. Henry (past grand), E. S. Wiley, C. H. Rockey, H. C. Decious. In 1915 the lodge had a membership of forty-eight. Officers: W. F. Stark, N. G.; A. U. Wilson, V. G.; G. A. Winkler, Sec.; Wm. Butler, Treas.
    Fidelity Rebekah Lodge No. 284, I. O. O. F., was organized November 21, 1910, with twenty-eight charter members. Its first officers: Lilie Akred, N. G.; Rachael A. Butler, V. G.; Dr. E. A. Carr, Sec.; Mrs. Walter Newberg, Treas.
    A dispensation was granted for Lotus Lodge No. 289, A. F. & A. M., at Ravenna, June 11, 1914, and charter issued June 1, 1915. The petitioners for the dispensation were: Alfred G. Hunt, W. M. ; Courtland D. Conn, S. W.; George W. West, J. W.; Albert V. Hlava, Treas.; Charles Miner, Sec.; Claude A. Jones, S. D.; Louis M. Ferrier, J. D.; Edw. Cronau, Lorin M. Walther, Frank C. Moore, Clarence E. Collender, James M. Mewhirter, Walter Newberg, John H. Penn, Robert M. Thomson, Clark Biggerstaff, John A. McDonald, Mac W. Wade, Frank J. Benesh, Andrew G. Ward, George C. Moore, J. Hlava, John J. Witte, Leroy Brewer.

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