Franklin County, Nebraska
For Another Day
Franklin County Chronicle, October 10, 2000
I just can’t get over how much positive response I received from the public on the four pioneer obituary articles.
I received to nice letters, with lots of information: one from Thomas Carroll of Shawnee Mission, KS. Thomas told me all about the Sturgeon family that lived in Franklin. If I get the O.K., I will print what Thomas has to say next week. I will have to do some research on his family, the Sturgeons. I have seen that name in the history of our county. I know some things about a Thomas Carroll family who lived in Ash Grove Township.
I also received some of the Hager, Lynch history from Janet Blank and her father, Tom Lynch. These people are anxious to share with me the story of their family. Thanks to them, we will soon know it all.
Evonne called this past week and said I had an envelope at the Chronicle office. I picked it up this morning and found a world of information inside a manila envelope from Elsie Price of Grandview, WA. She said, “This is a portion of clippings that belonged to my mother, it must have been her favorite pastime. It’s not all the obituaries, but of many other special times in our part of the world. My mother was Edna Pardoe. She wrote the Naponee News for the Bloomington Advocate, Franklin Sentinel and Alma Journal. She moved to Naponee in 1914. There is much Naponee information in these clippings, but there are Bloomington and Franklin articles too. Some clipping have a larger print-darker in color, etc. These were from the Republican City Ranger. Their pages were type set, each letter by hand. The papers were printed; then the type in the case was washed to get the ink off and each letter put back in its special spot until next time. Other papers advanced to Linotype printers, which is now considered obsolete too. I think you will find this collection interesting and I hope you can find a home for what you don’t want. All good wishes, Elsie (Pardoe) Price. I have spent the day reading them and have hardly begun. Let me tell just a few of the things I have learned today among these graciously given clippings.
“Rev. Julius Beitel was born near Akron, Ohio, June 18, 1852. Passed away April 3, 1942, 89 years old. In 1882, he married Sadie Sandborn and had four children. In the fall of 1885, he moved to Franklin and became an instructor in the Academy for two years, and then taught in the Bloomington School. Beitel then taught in Naponee, and while there was ordained a minister. He then located in Trenton and Palisade and Monument Co. Rev. Beitel returned to Franklin in 1901 so the children could attend Franklin Academy. His first wife died in 1893. On October 28, 1914, he married Mrs. Jeannie Johnston Daniels and their home has been in Franklin for the past 27 years.”
“Word has been received in 1944 of the death of Wilmer Olson, third son of Mrs. Hannah Olson, who was in the service in Italy. Mrs. Olson has two other sons in the service at the present time. Her brother was killed in action in World War I. The sympathy of this vicinity is given to Mrs. Olson, who has sacrificed so much by giving her relatives into the service for her county.”
I just love the name Hannah, it’s such an old-fashioned name and rings with trust and comfort.
I learned Anna E. McRae’s maiden name was Leonard, I didn’t know that. She was married to Colin McRae. He was one of the soldiers at Camp Cameron north of Naponee, on the corner. He came back to that site and homesteaded on that land. He knew there was a log house on it that was the officers quarters, a self made house. The Leonards lived northwest of Naponee. They were also homesteaders in the early days in Franklin County.
“Anna E. Leonard was born in Portland, Maine on January 14, 1853, the daughter of Mark and Anna E. Leonard. She died in Bloomington, June 25, 1942, at the age of 89. The family moved from Portland, Maine to Covington, Kentucky, then to Indiana, and from there to Franklin County, NE., arriving at Lowell, NE. on April 14, 1873, six days after the great Easter Blizzard of 1873, and thence to Bloomington by team and wagon. She was a resident of Farmers township since that date.
“She married in 1874 and was the mother of eleven children. Mrs. Leonard was a devout member of the Catholic Faith until her death. She was a real pioneer and went through many interesting experiences of the early days in this county. The pallbearers’ were Mr. George Bashford, Mr. Ernest Graf, Mr. John Wohleb, Mr. John Carney, Mr. Tom Lane, and Mr. Elmer Parr.”
This is just three items inside this packet full of history. There is a neat poem about Naponee in the early days, and also an article on the 1918 flu, which I have wanted to know more about. There is also obituaries of John Miller, Marshal Croft and John Ramsays and the weddings of Bush-Hecht and Tecker-Bradshaw. There must be at least 400 clippings in this envelope, and each with a story to tell.
I don’t know whom I talk to when I write my columns, but if any of you have something to tell me, please write to me. The more people I talk to, the more I learn.
The wind one morning, sprang up from sleep,
Saying “Now for a frolic, now for a leap!
Now for a madcap galloping chase!
I’ll make a commotion in every place!” William Howitt
Rena Donovan, For Another Day.
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