Nebraska Centennial History
In and Around Republican City, 1867 – 1967


By Erma Kammerer


Nebraska Centennial History

In and Around Republican City, 1867 – 1967

Nebraska’s Centennial is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The objectives: To develop the appreciation by NEBRASKANS of the Natural, Cultural, Spiritual, and Material resources of the state of Nebraska. Nebraska is a land of fundamental beauty. Here, a God fearing, hard working, happy, people live in a state blessed by an abundant supply of water, rich soil, and resources. In the turmoil of the space age, we sometimes lose sight of our heritage. The Centennial will focus our attention on our past and will direct our interest to the future of this great state.

I have talked to many of the older people, and will tell the stories they told me. I can remember most of their parents. We have put off too long getting this history together. Many cannot remember the exact facts they heard when they were children.

I talked to Mary Breiding, at the rest home in Franklin, April 1, 1967. Her family lived in Orleans before 1884. This is the year she started teaching school. She taught the Hoffmeyer School north of Republican City. Her family moved to Cobeldick community, S.W. of Republican City her mother rode a little Red Indian pony with a sack of grain behind and in front of her to Munson Mill to be ground into flour. Once three men thought the pony was running away with her, but they could not catch her. They moved to Republican City about 1898. Mary is the oldest teacher living that taught here. Their house burned in 1905, it was south of Grandpa Cassell’s, and was my first experience seeing everything a family owned burn.

Lennie Workman said he started to school in 1900 to Mary Breiding; he was 4 years old. Lennie always loved to talk to and listen to the old men, Sam Patterson (Mildred Waggoner’s grandfather) and Fred Fox (had the hardware store, and built the first frame house in Harlan County). He told many times of killing a man. Mr. Patterson spent his early years near the Mexican border. Once he was robbed of his team, wagon, and money. Some time later he and a Mexican boy were riding some mules, he told the boy, "here comes my team, and I’m going to get them". He came to this part of the county and homesteaded the land later owned by Maxie H. Haskins. It is now Patterson Harbor, since the building of the Harlan County Dam.

When Dick Springsteens lived near Dodge City, Kansas, the Indians were the terror of the lives of everyone. Once he saw a cloud of dirt and thought they were being attacked. He hurried to harness the team to drive to Dodge City. Aunt Till, his wife, walked out on the tongue of the wagon to see better and found that he had put both collars on the same horse. The cloud of dust was a bunch of Texas cowboys driving cattle north. They would shout, "Indians are coming." The settlers would pack up and go into town or the fort. Then the cattle could eat all the growing crops and grass.

Clara Workman’s father (Jim Scott) made a yoke for a team of oxen, and gave it to Oscar Kent (George Kent’s father). They would like so much to get it for sentimental reasons.

Meta Hull said her folks, as well as many of the young people of the surrounding country went to dances at Munson’s Mill. Her Grandpa Bogenrief came to Crow Creek neighborhood in a covered wagon. When Grandma saw they were to live in a cellar, she cried for days. They had three or four children and Jim was born soon after. When Jim was three days old, the older girl came in and said it was so funny outside. It was a prairie fire. Grandpa George was gone to Reamsville for another load of lumber to build a house. The fire burned what lumber he had hauled, all the feed and had the ends of the timbers what held up the roof of the house burning. They had sod covering the straw roof; this saved the family. Grandma Crawled up the steps, with some water, and got the fire out of both ends of the roof. When he got home, he had no feed for his team. Grandma Bogenreif, helped organize the first Sunday school in a sod dug out near Crow School. They built the house that Cornfords live in.

The L. A. Camp family came to Nebraska from Iowa in 1886, settled near Ashland, then to Superior, and on to Republican City in 1904. They came in on a freight train and had to walk to their new home---the Francis Cain place 1 mile west of the depot.

Grandma (Margaret) and Grandpa (William) McFarland came to Nebraska from Maryland in 1865 with 5 of 11 children and homesteaded in Phillips Co., 6 miles south of Republican City, just east across the draw from Pleasant Ridge Church (known in early days as Sod Church). The oldest girl (Hessie Guest’s mother) at age 19, and two of her sisters operated the first McFarlane hotel in Republican City, when they were constructing the first Burlington Railroad (Burlington was built to Bloomington in 1880 and on to McCook in 1881). Grandpa was a miner in Colorado and helped support the family, while the boys and girls kept the home fires burning. When he came home to visit, he came to Kearney on the train and walked across country to the home. (Some 60 miles) The family encountered many hardships such as drought, prairie fires, and rattlesnakes. One day in spring as Grandma Mcfarlane with 3 children and a neighbor lady, Mrs. Nixon, were going to town for their monthly supply of groceries they had a frightening experience. Andrew was walking and herding the team of oxen to town, while his mother and Mrs. Nixon were knitting and mending. As they came to the Prairie Dog Creek, the oxen were hot and thirsty and plunged into the bank full creek overturning the cart and throwing all the folks into the rushing water, Mrs. Nixon drown. The baby, John was floating down along with his mother when she grabbed him, fastened his clothes in her teeth, reached up for a limb of a tree and hung there. Andrew ran over to the flourmill on the creek and got help. The men rescued Belle (Margaret Harrison’s mother) grandmother and John. Belle had about passed out but they gave her first aid as best they knew and after she coughed up a large gob of organic matter, resembling a cucumber, she recovered quickly. In those days they weren’t privileged to get much education. Grandma’s Mother died when she was small and she took the responsibility of helping raise her own brothers and sisters. She could quote scripture by heart and being anxious her family be raised in a Christian Community she donated land for the first Sod Church, which is now the Sod Church Cemetery, across the road south of Pleasant Ridge Church.

Clarence D. Stone told me his father, Marcus D. Stone, came from Missouri to Beatrice in the fall of 1872, the next spring they homesteaded the place Clarence lived all his life and still owns it. His sons, Harold and Dean, farm it. President U. S. Grant signed the patent for their homestead. In order to get another quarter of land, one could get a Timber claim grant if a section of land had no trees or creek on it. M. D. Stone got a section 4 miles S. E. of his home and put out 10 acres of trees for a timber claim, then proved up on it. Art Francis owns it now.

John Lutjeharms, son of Gerd and Anna Lutjeharms, was born in 1874 in Oldenburg, Germany. With his mother, brother William, and sister Anna he came to the U.S. in 1883 to Columbus, Nebraska. They moved to Harlan County in 1886 where Mrs. Lutjeharms had purchased homestead rights north of Republican City, where Helen and Elton live now. The children were all young and the widowed mother faced many hardships. She walked to Wm. Schluntz’s (Mrs. Schluntz was her sister) to shuck corn, before daylight and after dark. One night she got last and slept in a straw stack, the children were scared but stayed in the house. In 1903, John was married to Emma Metzger and moved onto the farm he had purchased and which is now the site of the New Republican City. Many is the time he plowed fields and drove cattle from the ground of the new town site. John had to walk and carry grain to the mill at Naponee to have flour made. When he got home, his mother would send him, with some of the flour to the Hunt family (Grandparents of Dollie Goedeken and Junior Hunt, where Otto Goedeken now lives.)

Cal Hull’s father came to Glenwood Township, in 1873. Of course the Indians were the terror of all. The Hulls had a bulldog. Once he was barking so, Grandma looked out, here came a mad buffalo bull. They had just a comforter hanging up for a door. She got the children up on the ridge roll that held the roof, and the dog finally chased the buffalo away.

Grandpa Romjue came to Smith County in 1872, and on to Phillips County the next year. Meta Hull’s grandfather, Kit Bogenrief married Alfred Romjue (Meta’s parents).

About 1881, there was a post office, store, and sod blacksmith shop about 15 miles south of Republican City known as Old Sod Town. Dr. Z. F. Burt was the first country doctor there. (13 miles north of Gretna) Joe Williams carried the first mail out there horseback once a week. Railroad to Republican City in 1881, possibly the first mail out there.

Susan Harrison Hecht’s mother’s father homesteaded in the Bainbridge area N.W. of Huntley in 1872; name Charles H. Brown. Her mother’s twin brother, Joshua A. Brown freighted from Alma to Kearney with oxen. John A. Harrison homesteaded south of Naponee in 1878. The family came on the railroad to its end at Wichita, then across to Phillips County by covered wagon, and a team of horses. Grandma Hecht, Irvin Hecht’s mother, told of a wounded buffalo lying down across the door way and the children couldn’t get in to the house until the men came and got the buffalo away.

Most of the pioneer women wanted something growing in their yards; they would walk miles to get the start of some hardy plant. My grandmother and many of her neighbors started a thorny shrub this was so hardy that some still grow in fencerows.

In 1930 Grandpa Russell (J. A. Russell) wrote a story and it was published in the Harlan County Journal:

Boundary lines of the County were defined in 1871, up until that time it was part of Lincoln County. It was named for Tom Harlan. The first election was held in a grove east of Alma in 1871.

County Judge... Joseph Gould

Treasurer... Gib Parish

Supt. Of Schools... Hiram Luce

Clerk... Alexander Burke

Sheriff... James Rider

Coroner... W. P. Carr

County Commissioners... Thomas Sheffery

... Huey Tremble

... J. W. Foster

Alma was declared the County Seat.

Republican City had the first frame house, built by Fred Fox in 1872. Part of the lumber of that building is in the Ulis Wolf building here in town.

Dr. McPherson laid out the first town site in 1872. Dr. McPherson, Clares McPherson, Fred Fox were some of the first businessmen.

Jerome Forbes had the first Blacksmith shop. Dan Stoddard taught the first school in Harlan County. (He built the house that Betty Rawson lived in, not long before he died.

John McPherson had the first store. (Part of the lumber in Ott’s house and our house was in a big 9 room house that Chas. McPherson built in the old town.

A man by the name of Burdick was killed on Methodist Creek by buffalo in 1873.

First courthouse was built at Melrose 1873. (West of Orleans) Orleans was the first called Melrose. D. N. Smith laid out Orleans in September 1872. A Victor Vifquain tried to start another town a mile east of Orleans called Napoleon.

May 20, 1872 Wm. James, Secretary Of State and acting Governor, called an election for June 29, 1872 to elect officers and locate a County Seat. Voting places #1 Republican City, # 2 Melrose Store, also Alma and Orleans. None of them received a majority, another election was held – nothing was decided. It was sent to the courts. Court said the election of 1871 was legal and Alma would be the county seat. Lumber was hauled from Lowell and Brownville (200 miles).

The railroad was finished to Bloomington by 1880 and to McCook by 1881. They had to go to Kirwin, Kansas (40 miles south) to the mill. The Naponee mill was built in 1875. Republican City had a Munson Mill S.W. of town started a few years after 1874.

Bainbridge, now Huntley, was started in 1873. Some familiar names there: David, Schroeder, Wm. McCarty, and Rienhart.

The snowstorm of 1870 - 1871 killed half of the cattle in the county. One man and his horse were found frozen on the divide after the storm. Three men froze east of Phillipsburg.

The first bridge across the Republican River in the county was at Republican just west of the bridge that came down when the dam was built. Then in 1897 –98 the steel bridge was put up. (My dad helped on it to get money to get married. May 1898. He said that he didn’t think he would ever live to see it taken down.)

Grandpa first crossed the divide in 1872. Not a furrow was plowed between Turkey Creek and the Platte River, except the fireguard at Walker’s ranch, the half way house. The first bridge across the Plate River at Kearney was built in 1873. Grasshoppers took the corn in ’72,’73,’74, and part of it in 1875. There was more planted that year. The wheat was cut yearly before the hoppers came. There were severe crop failures in ’80, ’90, and 1904.

This Material was taken from the History of Alma, 1870 – 1906

This was published in the Harlan County Journal. Many of the pictures are in an Atlas made about that time.

Before 1870 Harlan County was the natural home of countless herds of buffalo, and the favorite hunting grounds of the Indians. Some said that there were more buffalo in this county then in any other locality.

This book mentions Gen. Carr, of Fort McPherson. He made several campaigns against the Indians, assisted by Buffalo Bill (Wm. F. Cody). Buffalo Bill was buried on top of Look Out Mountain, Golden, Colorado. In 1967 his 121st birthday was celebrated. His grandson, Fred Barlow, of Cody, who was pictured, wearing grandfather’s jacket, it hangs in a Museum in Nebraska. Buffalo Bill staged the World’s first rodeo on July 4, 1882 at North Platte, Nebraska.

In August 1870, 40 men and 9 wagons came in from the eastern part of the state. J.W. Foster (grandpa mentioned him) erected a house on his claim adjoining Alma (log), then went back to Nebraska City. When he came back he brought a load of lumber and building material.

In February 1871, several men called the "Wise Men" came in from Cheyenne, Wyo.; Among them Thomas Harlan, Thomas Mullally, and J. H. Painter. They settled in the upper Turkey Creek area. Some followed the creek south to the river, then west to Alma.

There were always glorious accounts of the beautiful Republican River valley, many wild animals and plenty of feed. In February the grass was green and good grazing.

J. H. Painter lived 3 miles west of Alma and had the first Post Office at his farm. Frank Shaffer built the first log house in Alma.

The first church sermon (not Methodist) was preached in Foster’s grove July 4, 1871. Republican City had the first Methodist Church, 1874, and the only one in the county for many years. There has been continual service there for 93 years. Methodist Church in Alma 1880.

In 1872 the town of Alma had many quarrels and broke up. The county seat was moved to Melrose. (Later brought back to Alma). Several businesses were moved to Melrose. Alma was now "DEAD"

In 1875 Frank Shaffer moved a little house from his homestead near by, this was the first house in Alma after its resurrection. There was not store until 1877. This building was used for many things including Courthouse until one was built in 1880.

The first newspaper "Alma Standard" started 1879. Alma consisted of 40 acres, 3 small houses, 1 store, one room including Courthouse, and a sod blacksmith shop.

In 1879-80 came the B-M Railroad Bridge across the river. In 1880 the first Methodist Episcopal Church. 1885 a 2-story school building was built. 40 x 70 ft. First depot 1880. Telegraph February 16, 1880. First regular train March 1, 1880. Depot burned March 2, 1880, started another depot March 16, and completed it in 2 weeks. Courthouse corner stone was laid April 14, 1880.

In 1872 Republican City caused a Mandamus, demanding that Melrose show cause why republican City should not be regarded as the legal County Seat, by virtue of the election of 1872, when it was declared the county seat. Strife did not cease then Alma and Orleans again contested in 1881. State men decided the permanent county seat would be Alma. In 1889 the brick courthouse was built, the one that was knocked down in 1964 to build the present one. (1966-67) Many bitter county seat troubles took years to subdue. (Not settled). There has been no Melrose since 1876.

Shaffer’s hired man, Waudell, was 2nd death and first person buried in the Alma Cemetery. Second was the Mr. Burdick that Grandpa mentioned being killed by buffalo.

In winter of 1870-71, James Duncan came to Melrose. Mrs. Duncan was the first white woman in the county. In 1871 the Bartlett family (didn’t say if relative of Dr. Bartlett) arrived. These were the first children in Alma precinct. The daughter, Mary was the first white child born in Alma precinct.

The grasshoppers of ’74 stopped progress. Many left, then come came back in ’75. They had fair crops.

Dr. E. R. Batty, dentist that pulled 4 of my double teeth when I was about 6, was mentioned and picture in book.

In 1887, the K.C. & O Railroad from Huntley – Minden –Fairfield (87 mi.), I think they had 2 depots for a while. They planned a big barbeque for November 25, to celebrate. But that morning there was a ragging blizzard and there was no celebration. Z.T. Kemper was the depot agent. Later ran a dime store. (Faith’s father.)

Made a new school 1905-1906, the last herd of buffalo, about 35 head, was seen in August 1873 by J.C. Mitchell, Elizabeth Seyler’s grandfather. The last deer killed by Thomas Neff, in 1889, weighed 115 lbs. Some people by the name of Neff, built the long house, as it was called in Republican City. Part of this house is the second house west of Ulis Wolf’s Quonset.

Many fires destroyed the town as they did most all towns then, as there was not enough water to fight them.

September 1884 almost entire south side of Main Street was destroyed. One evening Frank Shaffer’s livery barn north end of Block 13, November 1884 implement sheds owned by Pretty man burned. S.E. Corner block 13 November 1890, Shaffer House block 12 also 3 buildings to the north of it. Facing John St. and 3 stores to the west. From Harlan County Bank (city hall) east to the corner and north to alley, including 6 stores and a hotel. A few days later lumberyard and sheds, N.W. corner of block 11, when book was written Alter owned it, now 1967 Hardman Lumber Company. Jan. 12, 1898 business houses on S. W. Corner of block 11 burned. 4 large store buildings. In 1899-store buildings block 16, Brown addition south of Burr Hotel fire destroyed 2 fine brick buildings and a frame building on corner. August 1895 General merchandise store in block 13 burned. October 1891 the Tribune Office located on block 13 burned. At the time the book was printed nearly all had been rebuilt with brick or cement blocks.

Now February 16, 1967, as I write this paper for our I.M.P. Club Nebraska Centennial year lesson, most of the buildings are still standing. Many have been remodeled and new fronts put on.

Mr. Gaslin was Co. Judge 16 years and gave many sentences to " Wild West" criminals.

Another big fire destroyed the Zulauf Furniture Store, where the Ben Franklin store is now (owned by Henry Stuhmer, who built it). I remember the Burkey hardware store on the corner, and Gould’s department store before Geo. And Chas. Joyce had the furniture store, Then Zulauf. This fire happened in 1959 or 1960. A hard south wind carried sparks and several people were kept busy putting out fires on their roofs. The Republican Fire Department pumped water out of the lake to help supply water to fight the fire.

I hope this history, along with many others that I have written, will come in handy when the next centennial celebration is here.

February 1967, Erma Cassell Kammerer

 

Mr. and Mrs. Charley Neece came to Harlan County about 1898 and worked for Mr. Hickman. Grandma Hickman smoked a pipe and could spit tobacco juice across the kitchen floor. Neece’s built a log house near the south shelter house. Ralph was born in this log house. Later they built a frame house north of the bluff, it burned down and they built another one on the same foundation. Ralph was small, sitting in a little rocker, and they almost forgot about him in their excitement of the fire.

Andrew Anderson bought homestead relinquishment for a place southeast of town, between the Schlatz and Dean Drummond farms in 1870’s. He picked this place because there was a creek that would furnish water and wood, two very necessary needs of pioneer families. Grandpa Anderson went to California after his service in the Civil War, made good money came back to Nebraska, built a nice home and was cheated out of his place. Then he came to Harlan County. Ezra Losey homesteaded south of town, possibly the farm now owned by the Randalls. Myrtle Anderson’s father, John Losey, bought the place near Naponee that Charles Bush had homesteaded. He broke most of the land.

Ethel Skeels Hensley is the only charter member of the Rebecca Lodge. It was organized in 1906. Her mother, Mrs. Knauber and two children were early settlers; She married James Basque in March 1870. They lived in Crow Creek Community. Many times the buffalo would run over the top of their dug out home. Ethel and Ed were the first twins born in Phillips County, just one half mile south of the Nebraska line, in a dug out. They moved to Republican City in 1882 when Ethel was 18 months old. The Indians often visited her folks and wanted flour. Steven Workman married a widow, Louise Scott with six children about 1870. One of Ethel’s sisters was born at Workman’s in 1872

On June 6, 1965, we celebrated the 91st birthday of the Methodist Church in Republican City, with a special meeting at 2 o’clock after a fellowship dinner in the dining room of the church. Several visitors were present: Mr. and Mrs. Howard Johnson, of Holdrege; Mr. and Mrs. John Sindt, Bloomington; Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Roll, Alma; Mrs. Mildred Stoltz. Naponee; Miss Lillie Hunter, Republican City; Mrs. Francis Rader, Okley, Kansas; Rev. and Mrs. Arlan Johnson, Wilcox.

Jerry Waldo read some of the history of the church from the beginning, from the Church Messenger published by the Woman’s Society in 1951. Here are some of the facts: In the Republican City Ranger of February 27, 1930, Rev. E. V. Price said: "Old records show some very interesting things"; Rev. F. A. Burdick organized the Republican City Class on February 15, 1874, with 18 members, being the first class of the Methodist Episcopal Church organized in Harlan County. Shortly thereafter a church structure was begun. It was not to be less than 24 by 40 feet in size. But owing to the great grasshopper plague in 1874 and the two years following, the building was not completed and dedicated until January 15, 1880, with Bishop Andrews officiating. The dimension lumber made from native cottonwood sawed at the mill on Mill creek in Republican City, but the finishing lumber and other material was freighted across from Kearney with a team of oxen by Elam Mitchell, Alice Haskins grandfather, who owned the first team of oxen in this section and made regular trips from old Fort Kearney to Fort Hayes.

The first church continued to serve as a place of worship until 1907 when it was replaced with a new building with a basement. The old building was sold and moved onto a lot on Main Street where it served as a store, a café, and Equity cream station---just south of the Commercial Bank.

The wooden building was erected in 1906, at a cost of $3,000. As far as the records can reveal there has been continuous service during all these years. For a number of years the "Republican City Circuit" comprised all of Harlan County.

We were badly in need of Sunday School space. The first Sunday in 1930 there were 162. There was much discussion about a new church or additional room. There was not room at the present location, and because of the parsonage they did not want to build in another part of town.

Rev. Vincent R. Beebe was pastor at the time the wooden church was burned on Sunday morning, November 9, 1930. While the ashes of the old building still smoldered, the Trustee Board met and voted to build a new modern church of brick costing $20,000. Trustees: M. H. Haskins, J. G. Hunter, Brown Gifford, Earl Could, O. R. Cassell, G. H. Woolman, and David Hunter.

The corner stone was laid Sunday afternoon, July 5, 1931. The new church was dedicated November 1, 1931, eight days less than a year since the wooden church burned. Rev. J. F. Gettys, D. D. of Omaha officiating. Dr. Gettys who as a young man had been converted in the old church in Republican City nearly 45 years before.

Every lodge, club, and church organization in the community furnished equipment for the new church kitchen.

Many records were burned with the church in 1930. There was only $2,000 insurance on the church and $500 on the furnishings. These were years of financial crisis. Dr. Bert L. Story met with the board to assist them in their planning.

The general contract for the new church was let to Bushboom Bros. Of Fairbury, Nebraska for $14, 695. Completion date: September 1, 1931. Plumbing contract to E. O. Carpenter, of Republican City for $425. Electrical contract to Guy F. Baker of Alma for $490. Contract for Blower heating plant to the Campbell Heating Co. Of Des Moines, Iowa for $ 1, 295. The face brick to be used came from Endicott, Nebraska.

It was with great personal sacrifice that the people have met the financial strain placed upon the community in these times of depression. The years of depression and drought lasted for into the 1930’s. Finally in 1943 times were getting better and under the heroic efforts of Rev. Harvey Weary and loyal members of the church the debt was liquidated, only after Maxie Haskins, who held the note for the debt, agreed to cut the amount in half.

The joy of having a beautiful, modern, debt free church was soon dampened, however, by the feeling of insecurity as to what was to happen to the entire town of Republican City. By the end of 1944 plans were already quite well formed for the building of the Harlan County Dam across the Republican River, which would back up water to completely inundate our little city. It was said that the town would be completely relocated, but no information was given as to how it would be accomplished. The next year some of the farms in the river valley were bought by the government so that work on the dam could begin. From that time to the present (April 1951) it has been a continuous process. One after another farms have been bought from members of the church and they were forced to move to other places to find farmland. Now there are only about 55 active church members still living in Republican City. Ten years ago the total active membership was listed a 178.

In December of 1949 an agreement was finally secured with the government wherein the church was to receive $76,000 cash for the church building and $6,000 cash for the parsonage and both building were to remain the property of the church to salvage or to move as they could. That seemed a very good figure at the time, but before anything could be done, costs arose 25%, causing limit to the amount that could be done. It was utterly impossible to replace the type of structure, which they have with the amount of money, after they have struggled so desperately to build and pay for it. Nevertheless, plans are in development for the building of a new church. The Word of God must continually be preached to the people if progress is to continue. The parsonage will be moved and remodeled to a limited extent.

The members of this church have carried on through years of difficult times, but they are still faithfully looking forward to the renewed development of the church in the new town site of Republican City. We have confidence that their faithful devotion will receive a just reward.

List of Pastors on record in the Methodist Church:

Reverend F. A. Burdick 1874

Reverend G. L. Hickman 1879 – 1880

Reverend G. A. Hobson 1881 – 1884

Reverend Pitchfood 1885 – 1885

Reverend C. E. Fulmer 1888 – 1890

Reverend W. A. Boucher 1890 – 1891

Reverend J. H. Carmichael 1891 – 1893

Reverend E. H. Gould 1893 – 1894

Reverend W. R. Uncapher 1894 – 1895

Reverend Geo. C. Ebersole 1895 – 1896

Reverend T. H. Day 1896 – 1897

Reverend A. G. Forman 1897 – 1898

Reverend W. S. Blackburn 1898 – 1899

Reverend J. C. Street 1899 – 1900

Reverend A. P. Beall 1900 – 1902

Reverend Erastus Smith 1902 – 1903

Reverend Harvey Anderson 1903 – 1904

Reverend Olin O. Wood 1904 – (2 months)

Reverend W. J. Crago 1904 – 1907

Reverend William Haskins 1907 – 1911

Reverend A. C. Spencer 1911 – 1912

Reverend Lester E. Lewis 1912 – 1914

Reverend Ray A. True 1914 – 1916

Reverend W.S. Porter 1916 – 1918

Reverend J. A. Miller 1918 – 1919

Reverend Harold H. Miles 1919 – 1920

Reverend A. H. Brink 1920 – 1921

Reverend B.D. Brooks 1921 – 1923

Reverend J. F. Hageman 1923 – 1928

Reverend E. V. Price 1928 – 1930

Reverend V. R. Beebe 1930 – 1931

Reverend J. V. Bandy 1931 – 1932

Reverend William F. Haskins 1932 – 1936

Reverend Robert Jeffrey 1936 – 1940

Reverend Harvey A. Weary 1940 – 1943

Reverend Charles C. Catlett 1943 – 1949

Reverend Erwin A. Keil 1949 – 1954

Reverend Otto W. Michel 1954 – 1957

Reverend Jerry McInnis 1957 – 1963

Reverend Joe E. Baer 1963 –

 

I gave the history of the ladies’ Aid at the birthday celebration of the Methodist Church, June 6, 1965.

Republican City has had a Methodist Church since 1874, but not until May 1908 was the Ladies’ Aid Society organized, although there seemed to be some memories of an organization before then.

Rev. William Haskins acted as temporary chairman and Mrs. Bertha Travis Secretary, when 24 ladies met at the Haskins home to discuss this work. All 24 ladies met at the Haskins home to discuss this work. All 24 ladies expressed a desire to have an Aid Society. They elected:

Mrs. William Haskins - President (Aunt Lucy)

Mrs. J. A. Harris - Vice President

Miss Myrtle Lamphere - Secretary

Mrs. Ida Johnson - Treasurer

Mrs. Nellie Haskins of Atkinson is the only living charter member. Mrs. Agnes Could Camp, Aurora, Nebraska, and Mrs. Mildred Haskin O’Dale, California, are two others in the list of the first 65 members; I have made a list of these members.

A Committee was appointed to write up a Constitution and By-Laws. These were changed so many times—according to the minutes of the first several years. The day of meeting was also changed to avoid conflicts. In October 1917 it was changed to the second Wednesday, but it has not been on that day all the time since.

They had dues of 10 cents a month, raised to 25 cents and back to 15 cents. They had all kinds of projects to raise money; quilting, rummage sales, sewing for others, ice cream socials by the dozens, served dinners of all kinds, many for 35 cents and 50cents, charged penalties if hostess served too much, making button holes for outsiders, served the husking contest at Alma, cleared $74. 34. One hostess and committee served a two course dinner at the Aid meeting.

They charged 50cents an afternoon for sewing or quilting, if there were at least 6 members working and they worked 2 hours or more, an additional 5-cent for each member working. Later it was raised to 10cents for each member, if they worked at least two hours.

Once they decided to ask the husbands to become honorary members and charge them $ 1. They planned a dinner for the men and would ask them then. This dinner was postponed several times and I didn’t find that they ever had it, but later several of the husbands did join and pay their $1.

There was no printed lesson to follow. Every meeting opened with several prayers. Many poems were read. One "Wet Blanket People" Committees were appointed at every meeting: Literary, Social, Devotional, and soon a Missionary Committee. Almost every meeting someone, many times several, signed her name to the Constitution and became a member, or members.

The money from some of the ice cream socials was used to fix up the Sunday school rooms in the basement. I was teaching at that time and how swell we thought it was to get the small children by themselves. All went to the main church for the closing of S. S. by the Superintendent. Next they applied their meeting toward erecting a parsonage.

In January the society was divided into 3 sections, fifteen members in each. My Grandma Cassell was one of the first three Captains. At one meeting every member brought a hemmed flour sack to be used as a tea towel. Another time each brought a 12 in. Square wool block to be put together as a comforter to be sold. The first Bazaar was October 1909.

They had sale day at Gillespies’s Saturdays. Later they alternated Saturdays with Williams Store. The Society bought flour and two to four ladies baked it up into bread and sold it on Saturday. They decided to give Mr. Gillespie a loaf each week to pay him for his trouble. They always demanded old flour as it made better bread. Once Grandma Cassell moved to buy 4 sacks of flour, before the price went up. Nelie Haskins, our only living Charter member, helped bake the first sack of flour into bread.

The society bought percale and calico and cut out aprons, sunbonnets, and other useful things, for the members to take home to sew. Then they were ready to sell at any time.

The parsonage was built about 1912. Screens were put on in June 1913. They bought a piano for the church in 1915, and discussed buying one for the parsonage the next year. The best sink and a pump were put in the kitchen in 1916. The parsonage was wired for electric lights in 1917. City water and a bathroom were not put in until 1926.

They started repairing the rug up the center aisle in 1909, were still discussing and mending it in 1915. Finally they decided to borrow enough money to put in a new rug and 2 small rugs on the platform. These surely improved the looks. Curtains in front of choir helped. The church board refused to help the ladies get a windmill and pump to water the parsonage lawn in 1917. In 1917 was the first mention of "our share in foreign fields".

Now the war is on and 1917 they decided to take up Red Cross Work. Several months there was no meeting because the flu was so bad. May 1918 was the first time the Aid had over $100 on hand.

They served the Junior-Senior Banquets, Masonic dinners, and Alumni. One year we went in the red on the alumni dinner. The ladies cancelled the unpaid balance. Many dinners were served for 35 cents and 50 cents.

Once there was a committee appointed to talk secretly to the undesirable members. One name was mentioned that they were to talk to. (I know the lady)

But still, the home people were not forgotten. As early as February 1909, a committee was appointed to visit all the new people coming to town, the sick and anyone the church might help. Christmas baskets were distributed to the needy, and other assistance was given when needed. Once the ladies helped the L. L. Hutchinson family, (may have been when they lost the twin girls, Elosia Sawyer’s folks). Miss Jennie Lamphere was Santa Claus for the Baker children. Ladies organized to help with a sick boy; this was the crippled son of Mr. and Mrs. U. C. Breithupt; he was a great care. The father was a teacher and later Co. Supt.of schools. The girl was Mrs. Clem Seyler, President of the W.S. C. S. three years until she had to give it up. She died in less than a year of cancer of the liver. Mrs. Breithupt was a charter member of the Ladies’ Aid.

In 1912 the society purchased the Communion Set, they used it once and decided to keep it. They bought some silver and dishes. When the new church was built, every club and organization helped furnish the kitchen.

Twice Republican City entertained the District Conference for two days—in 1917 and 1925. The ladies served both dinner and supper. Early in 1926 an Epworth League Convention met here and again the women served the meals. So, their organization had had its social and service functions as well as its financial responsibilities.

In 1911 it was voted for each member to contribute all of the eggs laid on Sunday in September to the Aid Treasury. If any one received less than a dozen eggs, she was to contribute the price of one dozen. Almost everyone in town had a few chickens.

November 9, 1930 the frame church burned and a new one was built in 1931. During the depression and drought years that followed the Ladies worked primarily on two projects—supporting the local church and helping pay off the church debt.

September 11, 1940 the charter meeting of the Woman’s Society of Christian Service was held in the church parlor. Rev. Robert Jeffry had charge of the meeting. Mrs. Kate Haskins signed the Charter first---by request. Mrs. Fern Blodgett was the last secretary of the Ladies’ Aid. She extended Best Wishes to the new Recording Secretary of the W.S.C.S. Mrs. Blodgett said, "May we cherish the memory of the Ladies’ Aid and by its experiences make our new organization all that the plans and purposes have been outlined to do." 40 voters cast ballots for officers of the new organization. Ballots were prepared, marked, and counted. Mildred Waggoner and I were the tellers. Elected officers were:

President - Edith Achen

Vice President - Florice Guest

Recording Secretary - Opal Snyder

Treasurer - Fern Blodgett

Sec. Missionary Ed. - Myrtle Anderson

Sec. Young Women & Girls - Lona Haskins

Sec. Children’s Work - Hazel Jeffry

Sec. Student Work - Delsie Meierhenry

Sec. Supplies - Kate Haskins

Sec. Christian Soc. Rel. & - Local Church Act.

Alice Haskins

Sec. Literature & Publ. - Florence Lantz

 

Enrollment and initiation---September 11, 1940. Now we have study books and programs. The first study book "investing in our heritage". Now we have more calls for money to help many organizations here and in foreign lands. More pledges, more askings, more money is sent away from home.

The first big dinner was the Youth Rally Day February 1, 1941. Everyone seemed to be on some committee.

There was a pound shower for the Rev.Weary’s at the next church night. The 3rd Wednesday evening was church night with supper-program and games. Even had program books. Bought the first roll of paper tablecloth in June 1940. Bought a piano from Mrs. Garver. Served Decoration Day Dinner 1942, and many other years, because there wasn’t a café part of the time. Served Eastern Star dinner April 1944. The Orly Cassell farm sale February 1945 (cleared $55.35) served many farm sales all through the following years.

Usually had over 20 meetings, twice the secretary mentioned that there were only 13 or 14 at meeting. Now we are glad if we have 13. (June 10, 1965)

We purchased shades for the south windows in the sanctuary in February 1946, and again in the spring of 1965.

First meeting in the new town of Republican City was with Mrs. Edith Achen, in the small house on east side of the street, later owned by Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Rule. The November meeting was with me. After the business meeting, I invited them to the basement where I had a plant sale. Sold $11.05 worth of Mums, mostly, to start their new years and swell our treasury a little.

Dedication and ground breaking service and last meeting in the church in the old town was February 17, 1952. Then we drove to the new site and broke ground for the new location. I have pictures of all of these happenings in my scrapbooks.

We served at the Dam Dedication, June 10, 1952. We were prepared to serve 500 people, but such a dusty day, everything got covered with dust, and about all that was clean was pop. We nearly froze our arms getting pop out of the farm tank of ice water. We cleared only $124.85. Such a day.

Church and Sunday school were held in the W.R.C. Hall until the church could be moved and made ready. W.S.C. S. ladies were the janitors. First W. S.C. S. meeting in the church basement was April 18, 1953. Several big dinners were served. The carpenters convention in the club building, was about the hardest, had to move in everything, tables, oil stove and carry water to wash the dishes. Later served 3 or 4 South Platte Chamber of Commerce dinners in the school gym. This necessitated carrying or hauling all the dishes from the church. We borrowed all the dishes and silverware from the Naponee School, auditorium, our church, school and most of the members for the carpenter’s dinner.

Other Notes I thought Interesting.

Mrs. W. J. Sawyer, Mrs. Jim Bash (Tessa Thomas’ mother) and Mrs. Henry Travis (Cartha’s Mother’s sister) were appointed to make buttonholes.

Mollie McFarlane and Beth joined the Aid in 1911. Mollie is being cared for in the Senior Citizens Home at Franklin. (June 9, 1965)

The first time I saw Mother’s name, she helped Mrs. True serve November 1915. The Aid did sewing for her Grandma Cassell’s in March 1916. Several children there, I remember the day.

Found the name of Edith Achen, Florice Camp and Viola Neece in January 1917. Grandma Cassell was an active member from the beginning until July 1921. I know she went to the meetings longer than that, but was not able to be so active. Grandpa had died in April 1919; she built the new house in 1922, attended meetings and church for some time. Died in January 1930.

The last alumni banquet in the old town was opened to all friends. 125 came and that was almost more than we could take care of. Remember we were still cooking all meals on the old cook stove, using cobs for fuel. Usually they were piled outside so were too wet to burn decently. Every time we went to use the stove, it was jammed with junk, and we would spend an hour or so getting it to burn without smoking. Then had to open all doors to get the smoke out so we could see and breathe.

Charter Members of the Ladies’ Aid. Later these Ladies Signed the

Constitution and become members

Mrs. William Haskins (Lucy) ----- Mrs. O.J. Vallicott

Mrs. Olive Vertrees ----- Miss Agness Gould

Mrs. Kate Haskins ----- Miss Joy Gifford

Mrs. J. W. Bash ----- Miss Mildred Haskins

Mrs. F. E. Haskins ----- Miss Ethel Gould

Mrs. Jennie Breithaupt ----- Mrs. Nellie Taylor

Mrs. G. A. Brooks ----- Miss Pansy Smith

Mrs. W. J. Sawyer ----- Mrs. E. M. Koll

Mrs. Lillie Neece ----- Miss Edna Mott

Miss Jennie Lamphere ----- Miss Maggie Cassell

Mrs. Etta Hunter (Dave) ----- Mrs. T. M. Gordon

Miss Bertha Bly ----- Mrs. Stella Romjue

Mrs. Tina Weed ----- Mrs. Laura Gilbert

Mrs. Ellen Brandt ----- Mrs. Jessie Doty

Mrs. Ida Johnson ----- Mrs. Sam Harvey

Mrs. H. A. Travis ----- Mrs. Andrew McFarlane

Mrs. Iva McEwen ----- Miss Beth McFarlane

Miss Myrtle Lamphere ----- Mrs. Dean Drummond

Mrs. J.A. Harris ----- Mrs. C. A. Luce

Mrs. Sarah Cassell ----- Mrs. Hattie Hewitt

Mrs. J. E. Gosnell ----- Mrs. A. C. Spencer

Mrs. S. A. Whitney ----- Mrs. W. J. Russell

Mrs. Mary Kirtley

Miss Ada Booher

Miss Nellie Young

Miss Verda Springsteen

Miss Nora Kelly

Mrs. W. A. Cassell

Mrs. T. L. Benedict

Mrs. W. A. Lawrence

Mrs. W.S. LaRue

Mrs. W. L. Washburn

Mrs. S. D. Faubion

Mrs. C. R. Bush

Mrs. N.A. Breiding

Mrs. M. M. Borden

Mrs. Grace Camp

Mrs. _____ Kelly

Mrs. Ona Williams

Mrs. America Stoddard

Mrs. Ruth Gifford

Mrs. Garvin Gould (mother of Agnes & Ethel)

 

In September 1965, our Woman’s Society celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Woman’s Society of Christian Service. I gave this report. Some will repeat what I said at the last of the report before this.

The organization meeting of the W.S.C.S. was held at the church, Wednesday, August 28, 1940. Rev. Robert A. Jeffrey called the meeting to order. He explained the changes made in the government of the Methodist Church and its affiliated organizations.

Mrs. Fern Blodgett was nominated and elected temporary secretary. She was the last secretary of the Ladies’ Aid. Edith Achen, Myrtle Anderson, Fern Blodgett, and Florice Guest were nominated and elected a committee to formulate a constitution and by laws.

With Rev. Jeffry as Chairman and Mrs. Mildred Waggoner and Mrs. Emma Kammerer as tellers, the 40 voters formed a line and marched to a ballot box and deposited their ballots, which had been printed with 2 names for each office and a blank line for a write in name. Mrs. Lona Haskins (Mrs. Wm.) furnished the music. Rev. Jeffrey announced the results of the election as follows:

President - Mrs. Edith Achen

Vice President - Mrs. Florice Guest

Rec. Sec. - Mrs. Opal Snyder

Corr. Sec. - Mrs. Fern Blodgett

Treasurer - Mrs. Elsie Hunter

Sec. Missionary Work - Mrs. Myrtle Anderson

Sec. Children’s Work - Mrs. Hazel Jeffrey

Sec. Young Woman and Girls Work - Mrs. Lona Haskins

Sec. Student Work - Mrs. Delsie Meierhenry

Sec. Of Supplies - Mrs. Kate Haskins

Sec. Christian Social Relations and

Local Church Activities - Mrs. Alice Haskins

Sec. Literature & Publications - Mrs. Florence Lantz

 

On September 11, 1940 the Woman’s Society of Christian Service met at the church to install the above officers. Rev. Jeffrey presided. He also read "The New Day". The recording secretary took her place.

These ladies signed as charter members.

Mrs. Kate Haskins - M. H.

Mrs. Lillie Neece - Chas.

Mrs. Myrtle Anderson - John

Mrs. Georgia Hill - Miles

Mrs. Elsie Hunter - J. G.

Mrs. Edith Achen - J. E.

Mrs. Fern Blodgett - Chas.

Mrs. Irene Hecht - Olen

Mrs. Venna Workman - L.E.

Leola Cassell - P>

Mrs. Alice Haskins - Ray

Mrs. Flora Sindt - John

Mrs. Gladys Hawley - Carl

Mrs. Cartha Waldo - Haskell

Mrs. Delsie Meierhenry - Wes.E.

Mrs. Hazel Jeffrey - Rev. Robert A.

Mrs. Rose West - Wm.F.

Mrs. Opal Snyder - Floyd

Mrs. Lona Haskins - Rev. Wm F.

Mrs. Mildred Waggoner - Clarence R.

Mrs. Erma Kammerer - Lou L.

Mrs. Florence Lantz - J. Frank

Mrs. Grace Camp - L. A.

Mrs. Maggie Lamphere - C. W.

Mrs. Ruth Lethem - John

Mrs. May Cassell - Orly R.

Mrs. Leta Smith - Weye

First Standing Committees:

Spiritual Life - Pastor’s Wife

- Grace Camp

Program - Florice Guest

- Alice Haskins

- Myrtle Anderson

- Florence Lantz

Finance - Edith Achen

- Elsie Hunter

- Rose West

- Cartha Waldo

Membership - Kate Haskin

- Lillie Neece

Fellowship - Gladys Hawley

- Delsie Meierhenry

Publicity & Printing - Vernna Workman

- Leta Smith

The rafters of the church have always been a problem. Always dusty, and in 1940 we had Noble Skeels clean them. Myrtle Anderson had the first lesson "Investing in our Heritage", the Bible. Women of the Bible were the real pioneers in Christian living. Lillie Neece led the devotions. They decided to continue the 10-cent teas. Maud Tokinson offered to see that the chairs were taken to the schoolhouse to be fixed. Also decided to have a lid made for the water tower. (September 1940) Mrs. Lona Haskins was elected musician for the society. They would sponsor a Father – Son Banquet, 35 cents a plate, Church night the third Wednesday of each month.

In October, Mrs. Anderson moved to extend the Charter membership until the first of the year. Later I found that they had written in about it, but never another word about it. Faye Nichols (Abott) explained the Society would receive 10% of all Avon products sold to society members.

Leola Cassell and Cartha Waldo were appointed to see that the stove grates at the parsonage were repaired. Bazaar and rummage sale early in December Committees: Bazaar: Guest, Hawley, Meierhenry, and Susan Hecht;

Rummage: Hunter, C. Waldo, Kammerer, Schluntz, and Griggs; Food: Mrs. Grace Camp and Mrs. Lona Haskins.

Mrs. W.J. Sawyer (Grace Schlatz’s Mother) and Mrs. E. M. Koll were sisters, and their mother was Mrs. Vertress. Koll’s built the house Tessa Thomas has. I don’t remember Miss Bly, Mrs. Weed, or Mrs. LaRue. Mrs. Iva McEwan, Misses Jennie and Myrtle Lamphere were Bud Lamphere’s sisters – Mildred Waggoner’s aunts, Mrs. S. A. Whitney and Miss Myrtle Lamphere were postmasters for years – just before Myrtle Anderson, then George Woolman. Ada Boohler was Elsie Hunter’s sister. Mrs. W. A. Cassell, not our relative, husband was railroader. Mrs. J. W. Bash is Tessa’s mother.

The Ladies’ Aid

The old church bell had long been cracked

Its call was but a groan

It seemed to sound a funeral knell

With every broken tone,

"We need a bell," the brethren said

"But taxes must be paid,

We have no money we can spare

Just ask the Ladies’ Aid

The shingles on the roof were old

The rain came down in rills

The Brethren slowly shook their heads

And spoke of monthly bills,

The chairman of the board arose

And said, "I am afraid

That we shall have to lay

The case before the Ladies’ Aid."

The carpet has been patched and patched

Till quite beyond compare

And thru the aisles and on the steps

The boards showed hard and bare

"It is too bad," the brethren said,

"And efforts must be made

To raise an interest, on the part

Of members of the Aid."

The preacher’s stipend was behind

The poor man blushed to meet

The butcher and the grocer

As they passed him on the street.

But nobly spoke the brethren then,

"Pastor you shall be paid.

We’ll call upon the treasurer

Of our good Ladies’ Aid."

"Ah!" said the man, "the way to

Heaven is long and hard and steep;

With slopes of care on either side:

The path is hard to keep,

We cannot climb the heights alone

Our hearts are sore dismayed;

We ne’er shall get to heaven at all

Without the Ladies’ Aid."

Copied by Maggie Harvey

 

Day of Prayer, February 28, 1941, Youth Rally February 1, 1941 cleared 39.25, pound shower for Rev. Weary’s at next church night. Bulb and plant sale at April meeting. Lantz & Kammerer had charge, cleared $8. 47. Decided against making a cookbook, served Decoration Day dinner, paid $10.00 toward support of missionary to Sumatra June 1941. Bought first roll of paper table clothe $2.31 (used exclusively for society). Venna Workman chairman of the next rummage sale. Served Rebecca Lodge dinner @ 30 cents a plate. We had a stand at the State corn-husking bee. Edith told of elastic clothesline, we ordered a gross to sell for 10cents each. Bought a piano from Mrs. Garver, paid $20.00, balance in March. 1942 officers Florice and Edith exchanged places. A rising vote of thanks was given our outgoing and first president, Edith. Leola moved to divide our society into two divisions, each division to serve one of the next two dinners, Father-son and Republican Valley Athletic Banquet.

Served Decoration Day Dinner. A quilting committee to have quilts in frames at all times, so we could spend time quilting at each meeting. Edith Achen was to find out if a "Sugar Allotment" could be obtained for the church. Reception for teachers 1942. Griggs left for California and the Society had a farewell for her.

Edith Achen is now C.S.R. & L.C.A. In 1943 Myrtle Anderson is still secretary Missionary Education. Opal Snyder wrote "Thus ends our year of 1942, Let us hope for a better one in 1943." Alumni banquet 1942; Mrs. Hasty gave the society some dishes. Rising vote of thanks. In February 1943 we collected used fat to be used in the war effort. Farewell for Weary’s and teachers’ reception. Wives of school board. I was chairman of reception committee. Kathryn Seyler was elected president for 1944 (her mother Mrs. U.C. Breithaupt, was a charter member of the Ladies’ Aid.) Myrtle Anderson, Vice President; Lona Haskins, Recording Secretary. Eastern Star Banquet, cleared $20.00 Appointed a committee to attend to rest room repairs, and the kitchen sink wouldn’t drain. Piano tuned. Kathryn was elected President again for 1945. Kathryn died in a short time of Cancer of Liver and other organs. Opal Snyder, Vice President, Elsie Hunter, Recording Secretary, Edith Achen Treasurer, Tessa Thomas, Musician.

Decided to put outlets in at least 3 rooms in the parsonage. We served the Graham White sale. Had a social leader at each meeting. I was C.S. R. & L.C. A. secretary in 1945. We bought shades for south windows in the sanctuary in 1946.

Had a farewell for M.H. Haskins and family as they were leaving for California soon. Helped serve the D. D. Garver 55th anniversary dinner. Myrtle Anderson was elected president 1948, re-elected in 1949 and I was vice-president. Served my folks (Orly Cassell) 50th anniversary family dinner at the church, May 18, 1948.

Mrs. Estella Shaulis very sick in Grand Island. Took a religious census in 1948. Moved to repair the bathroom and sink at the parsonage. Lou rewired the parsonage, for safety. Marvin and the pastor helped and all donated their work. In 1950 Florice Guest moved. We decided not to rent the church dishes. Would rent the trays for 10 cents a dozen or 3 dozen for 25 cents. Revised the bylaws. Floyd Snyders leaving for Colorado Springs. Fern Blodgett elected President in 1950 –51. Myrtle Anderson, secretary. Myrtle Anderson, Florice Guest, and I were the committee to investigate and start work on the "Church Messenger" Nov. 1950. Gave clothes to the Holbrook family and food to the Marsh Family. Each member volunteered to take food each day. Lost several members, Sula Stolts, Ruth Lethem, Fern Blodgett, Elsie Hunter. Rev. Cattlett passed away April 2, 1951. Myrtle Anderson finished the year as president. Also 1951 –52. Edith Achen, secretary and Pearl Neece Vice-President.

September 3, 1951 was our first meeting in the new town of Republican City at the home of Mrs. Edith Achen (in the small house later owned by Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Rule, and now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Rose.) Second meeting with Christel Waggoner on the farm. I had the November meeting and had a plant sale in the basement, so I provided the starting flowers in many of the yards in the new town. Also increased the treasury over 11 dollars. The February meeting at Mothers. Guest day but only 2 guests. Church Messengers are ready for sale at $1.50 each.

Groundbreaking ceremony February 17, 1952, we had the regular service in the church in the old town, then came to the new location to break ground. I have pictures showing my day, Jim Hunter, and Rev. Keil with shovels. Made plans for Dam Dedication dinner.

We were hoping to have our bazaar in the new church but it was not ready, so we had it in the Wayside grocery building where Peg Stanton’s bait shop is now. The first grocery store was in this building. We moved it from the old town; it was the café just north of the depot.

We saved coupons to buy silver ware for the church, but as far as I know we didn’t get any that way. Sunday school and Church were held in the W. R. C. Hall for sometime after the church dismantled to move.

In 1953, we had two meeting a month, 2nd Wednesday regular, and 4th Wednesday the Missionary meeting without eats. Elsie Hunter, lives in Alma now, we met with her March 11, 1953. Decided to buy new stoves instead of used ones, but we finally bought one of each. Ella Hunter and I were appointed to find a janitor for the church. We contacted Mrs. Robert Patterson and hired her for $20.00, April 1953. In June 1957, someone asked her to give $5.00 of the $20.00 to the church. She is still doing that.

We served the lunch when the Guy F. Atkinson Co. had their machinery sale just east of the dam where the large cement slab is, that was the floor. Later they sent us a card of thanks with a check for $25.00. Dessie Gosnell was elected president 1954-55, I was treasurer. Student secretary Myrtle Anderson: News Reporter, Christel Waggoner. Beatrice Schippert presented the society with a large punch bowl and 12 cups after Joyce’s shower. Served C. of C. Dinner @ 1.25 August 12, 1954 cleared $147.34 again in 1955.

In October 1955, we bought 15 Bibles for the Junior S.S. We gave clothing to the Lula Jeffers family. I was elected president 1956, then in June I went to summer school and started teaching that fall. (I taught 8 years, so could help only in the summer if I wasn’t in school.) Mother resigned. Ella Hunter passed away. Erica Bishop, Vice President was elected President and Blanche Rule, V.President to finish the year 1956.

All appointments are increasing and more money is needed each year. Virginia Frazier and Juanita Reifsteck resigned. Blanche Ruel and Loraine Kroutil moved away. Membership 1958 was 26. A list P. 129 in the 1953 – 1959 secretary book. The list on page 141 shows 21 active members in 1959. Virginia Boohler, Florence Lantz, Betty Grassmeyer, Willa Rae Kokes moved away. In May 1960 Voight Oil Co. Donated $50.00 to the society. In October 1960 it was reported that 50% of Methodist women belonged to the Woman’s society of Christian Service.

At our first meeting of the 1965 –66year, we used the lesson on the 25th anniversary of the W.S.C.S. We invited the societies of the other three churches in the larger parish: Ragan, Wilcox, and Hildreth. The last two could not come so we postponed the tea. Only two of the charter members were there. Edith Achen and Gladys Hawley received a corsage for missions. I received a corsage, also, because I was the only other one of the ones present at the organization meeting. Several more of the original 40 were in town but did not come to the meeting, Myrtle Anderson, Cartha Waldo, Leola Cassell White, and Susan Hecht (who is not a member now.)

As I reviewed the minutes of the last 25 years, I found that Edit Achen and Myrtle Anderson have had offices almost every year.

I made a list of every woman mentioned in the minutes since 1908, there were 356 listed. There may have been more, but if they weren’t on a committee or program, or an officer I don’t have their name.

September 21 1965, Erma Cassell Kammerer

McPherson Normal College

The McPherson Normal College was incorporated at Republican City, Nebraska, August 13, 1884. The board secured buildings and elegant furniture, and a library of 2000 volumes, a cabinet of minerals are among the attractions that this institution offers to students. Prof. H. F. Morton of St. Louis was elected president. J.S. Stoddard, A. F. Smith, C. W. Whitney, A.H. Gould, J. H. Mitchell, and E.D.Crawford were the directors.

The first annual term of this institution began Monday, September 1, 1884. The tuition for each quarter of 18 weeks payable in advance: Primary $8.00; Intermediate $10.00; Grammar $13.33 1/3; Piano $16.00; Collegiate $16.66 2/3; Normal $16.66 2/3; Vocal $12.00; Board, fuel and light per week $3.00, students can reduce the cost of board to $1.00 per week by renting rooms and boarding themselves. Course of Study included: subjects, Elocution, Geometry, Trigonometry, Civil Government, Latin, Greek, French, German, Bookkeeping, Drawing, Geology, Mental Philosophy, Moral Science, Also a Normal Course including a model school. The course of study lists all classes taught in the model school. First 2 years included: Outline map studies, multiplication, drawing, slate, writing slate, addition to division, oral geography, calisthenics; Intermediate: Spelling, Arithmetic, Four simple rules, Writing, copy No. 1,2,3, Drawing B, C. Cards, Music Songs, Scale of G, C; Arithmetic to Interest; Academic Course started with the Grammar Dept. 5th grade and 6th grade, Algebra, Arithmetic complete, Ancient History, French or German, Latin Greek, Geometry, Music Scales D, A, F, B, Ancient Geography; Collegiate 7th thru 9th years; Elocution, Bookkeeping, Analytical Geometry, Geology, 4 foreign languages, Botany, Chemistry, Logic, Music Composition, etc.

The Normal Course consisted of Theory and Practice of Teaching, History of Education, School Supervision, Practice Teaching, and more. My Aunt Myrtle said the college had school until 1891. She said she did not go to the college, but liked to stay in town with a friend and go to their programs. They taught elocution and recited with many gestures. They had a string orchestra of 6 or 8 members, most of all banjos; this was a big help with the programs. I have finally found a picture of the College building, after it was being used for a Hotel. Burlington Hotel was one of four hotels in town.

The School Bell

The school bell has been mounted on a cement base at the football field, north of the speaker’s stand. This bell has a history that I think every one should know. I did a lot of ‘yakking’ about it being left on the ground so long. The bell was on the old building that was torn town in 1916. It was placed on a bell tower east of the 1917 building. Moved to the new town and on two posts near this building at the southwest corner, but not for long. I understand that Supt. A. E. Goedeken did not like the bell so he took the clapper out. When the post rotted off, the bell was left on the ground west of the school in new Republican City. Finally it is mounted.

I have pictures of a high belfry on the old square school, (Jennie McQuiston Meyers furnished this picture. (Taken about 1910) Then a picture of Grandpa Bash with Helen born 1913, in a baby buggy, Schoolhouse in the background, still has the high belfry. But the picture about 1915 shows no belfry, but the bell is there. Maybe blown off in a storm. The bell stayed on the building until it was torn down.

Leonard Achen found this information about the bell, in the Harlan County Democrat, published at Republican City by N. J. Ludi. He was the grandfather of Erma Roll, George H. Woolman, Chicago, and Harry Woolman, Wahoo. All are here tonight. This item said, "The college bell which has lain upon the ground since the college was destroyed by fire will be erected and placed in the belfry of the Presbyterian Church. It seems that the bell is the property of the village of Republican City" The paper was December 14, 1895.

Then on December 21, 1895, a week later, an item says. " The College bell was placed in position in the belfry of the Presbyterian Church Saturday and Sunday it’s familiar tones were heard for the first time in over a year. It has old-fashioned ring and recalls many pleasant memories of the old hall. The ashes of which have been scattered by the four winds of heaven."

My aunt, Myrtle Russell McCarty, said the college disbanded in 1891, she did not go to the college she graduated with the first class of the high school in 1892 (pages 20 and 38).

We have no date when the college burned, but these figures show it was between 1892 and 1895, and the first item mentions over a year that the bell had been on the ground.

I can find no time that services were stopped at the Presbyterian Church, but when the new school building was built in 1916 –1917, it was cleaned up and the first 3 grades had school in it. Grammar Grades in the basement of the Methodist Church, and the high school had classes in the old Opera house. Burned winter of 1922 –1923. The Methodist church burned November 1930.

I attended several Sunday school picnics at Nora Kelly’s across the street west of the Presbyterian Church. Sometimes we went into the church to look around. It was so dusty. I have a picture of the two Sunday School Classes, taken east of the church about 1912. Nora Kelly Faubion and Agnes Gould Camp were the teachers.

The first school in Republican City was a frame, gabled, one room building north of the Jess Achen and Geo. Bogenrief homes, a little west. Mother and Aunt Myrtle were in with the larger pupils. There was no High School in town; the college filled the need for older pupils. In 1883, the records showed this building was in fair condition. This building was not built for a school. In the fall of 1888, they moved the school into a square brick building. Mary Breiding and Lennie Workman said this brick building was destroyed in a storm, and was rebuilt. There were three teachers. Three rooms upstairs, H.S. Grammar room and science room, Primary and Intermediate rooms and a large hall downstairs. I can remember of them telling that lots of laboratory equipment had come form the college. Mr. Rice teacher 1888, Mr. Browning until spring of the next year, then Mr. Thomas finished the year, Miss Sylvia Butter taught the following year. This aunt of mine was one of the first class of 4 to graduate from Republican City in 1892. Mattine McPherson Bragg McKee was also in that class. Grandpa Cassells came to the farm where Marvin lived in 1885, they walked to town to school, as did my mother and sisters from their farm between Vern Waggoner’s and Marvin Kemmerer’s, district # 72 was organized March 31, 1893. Then all the pupils went there. (I went there the first 7 years)

Republican City School was formed August 8, 1872 and organized August 15, 1872 (Alma was formed August 21, 1872, but not organized until January 10, 1873,) so Republican City was District # 1 and Alma Dist # 2. They met at the home of Dr. John McPherson to complete organization. F. A. Burdick was one of the first teachers. (Our church records show that Rev. F. A. Burdick organized the first Methodist Church in Republican City, and for some time it was the only Methodist Church in Harlan County, organized in 1874.)

Here are some facts I copied from the records of the Co. Supt.’s office.

1874 Dr. J. F. Rich reported 30 pupils, ages 5 to 21 in District # 1. Luella (Ella) Skeels received a teaching certificate in 1874. (Mrs. Garvin Gould, Vaude Wintersteen and Noble Skeel’s aunt.)

1875 Mrs. S. E. Clark taught 6 months @ $25. Dist. # 1 and 3months @ $20 Dist. 21. Mrs. H. L. Rines taught 3 months @ $30 in Dist #1. Joseph Snyder taught 3 month @ $30 in Dist # 1 some terms were Sept. to Nov. Others were April to June.

1879 John W. Lohr was Co. Supt. Of Schools (dad bought the farm where Roy Brugh lives from him about

1880 District teachers Institute was held at Bloomington for Harlan, Franklin and Kearney Counties. Rose B. Gifford attended from Harlan County. Mrs. E. E. Vermillion was recommended as a teacher. At this time 61 boys and 60 girls lived in the district and 36 boys and 38 girls attended 105 days with a qualified teacher.

1881 Teacher’s institute was held at Alma. Miss Ella Piper, R. N. Piper, Supt. Attended. Mr. Phoebe Smith (Earl Schriver’s Grandmother) was a teacher.

1884 Lola Skeels (Wintersteen) received a teacher’s certificate.

1885 P.P Bently was an instructor. Later Co. supt. Of Schools for several years. (I remember him as Superintendent.) Jennie L. Waggoner (Schippert) and Belle Parsons were teachers.

1874 William Schluntz reported 41 pupils in Dist # 14, D. D. Garver reported 25 pupils in Dist. # 21. Dr. J. F. Rich reported 30 pupils in Dist # 1.

1878 Jerome Forbes reported 47 pupils in Dist. #1; District 21 was appraised August 9 1886 for $20.00 per acre. Appraisers: J. W. Lohr, Jerome Forbes, and J. S. Gifford.

1881 Rich Workman was 8 years old. Maggie Rolland Waggoner, her sister Minnie Rolland Hewitt, and Myrtle Lamphere, (Mildred Waggoner’s Aunt)

1904 Maggie Drew (Saladen) was 5 years old. Aaron Dover was 9 years old and retained because his work was incomplete

1912 Jerome Forbes reported 47 pupils in Dist. # 1.

Buildings Conditions fair. 60 boys and 76 girls in Dist. Frame building 1883. We had a picture of the assembly room in the new brick building. In it were my parents, Uncles Joe, Vern, and Arch, Odo Forbes, Joe William, Maggie Patterson Lamphere, George Woolan, Rich Workman, (ones we know).

The square brick building was torn down and new brick school was built in 1916 –1917. My dad, Tom Gordon, and W. H. Williams were three of the school board. We had classes all over town that year. The small children in the old Presbyterian Church (a block south of Massey garage) Intermediate grades in the basement of the Methodist church (frame church that burned in 1930), the high school in the opera house, and upstairs over the Williams store and Luce’s drug store (this building burned in 1922 –1923 that winter). Poor teachers! We were so interested in the crew of fellows building the Thomas-Bash building across the street it must have been almost impossible to have classes. Laboratory was the stage, and many times something was spilled and ran off onto the main floor. We moved into the new building in the spring of 1917. Erma Wooman Roll was one of the classes to graduate that spring. This is the reason there was on graduating class of 1916. Because up to then it was 11th grade H.S., 1917 was first 12th grade graduation class. My class of 1918 was the first class to go the whole year before graduating.

The town was moved in 1951-1952. My scrapbooks show knocking the schoolhouse down in January 1953. First high school in the new town was held in the New Town Motel and Legion Hall. I have pictures of the new town school taken in September 1953, that shows the outside was almost completed, but the inside finishing went on during the school years and classes were held with no doors on the grade rooms.

The last class to graduate in the Old Republican City was the class of 1952, Maxine Brugh, Nancy Stanton, Ella Zimmerman, Pete Kerr, Lee Rebman, Robert Savely, Arvid Smith and Kenneth Page. The first class to graduate in the new town was 1953: Chester Hawley, Janet Booher, Eileen and Lloyd Laird.

Now in 1967, many schools are being redistricted; our school is small. We have a modern new building, well equipped to come up to state requirements. Many meeting have been held to make plans for several small schools to go together to have a required high school. At this time nothing is definite. So history is still in the making as far as our school is concerned.

History of Alumni

By Loretta Brugh

From the records of the Alumni book, I find that the first Alumni Association was in May 1925. At this meeting a play committee was appointed to select a play to earn money for alumni expenses. A play "Believe Me Xantippe" was given April 22,23, 1926 and consisted of the following cast: Kyle Woolman, Floyd Cassell, George Woolman, Howard Doty, Lennie Workman, Glenn Swayne, John Booher, Erma Cassell, Anita Wintersteen, and Madge Canady.

Year of 1926 banquet was held June 4, 1928 in the basement room of the city auditorium, Ladies Aid served 100 guests at 50cents a plate. Years of ’29, ’30, ’31, ’32, ’33, ’34, ’35, ’36, ’37, ’39, not much banquet news except election of officers and expenses. The names Erma Kammerer, Cartha and Haskell Waldo, Carl Hawley, and Maye Workman seemed to be the favored ones to carry on the banquet. In 1937 they changed the meeting time to the Easter Vacation, not so favorable. The date was changed back to May. The class of 1941 was the 50th class to graduate from the high school even through the school had been in operation for 69 years. 51 plates were served the aid for $16.10. Now my arithmetic states that amounted to 32 cents a plate. Imagine that!

In 1942, the banquet was a picnic in the Alma Park, May 3. It was decided to have the 1943 meeting Saturday evening, Dec 26 in the church basement. 40 guests present. No banquet was held until May 23, 1947, as this period was the World War 2 period, at this time the classes of 1944, ’45,’46,’47, and ’47 were honored. 49 present. In 1948 the Alumni voted to purchase a Service Plaque in honor of the Republican City Alumni who lost their lives in the W. W. 2 Contributions collected $46.00 the plaque cost $44.50.

In 1950 the W.S. C. S. served for 85 cents, in 1951 the 60th graduating class was honored. This was also the final visit to their old home school, as well as the old Republican City Town. There were 125 in attendance. Mary Breiding was honored for her 40 years of teaching most of them in Harlan County. In 1952, the banquet was held in Naponee due to the fact there was no suitable building available. In 1953 the banquet was held in the church basement at the new town site. In 1954 the banquet was held in the new school auditorium plates $12.5. Years 1955 – 1958 in the church basement during the month of May. About this time we decided that the class of tens would act as the committee as: ’08, ’18, ’28,’38,’48,’58, would serve in 1958.

In 1959 the association honored 12 seniors, only 6 attended. Special recognition was given to Howard Johnson, class of 1910. He has been graduated 49 years but this was his first appearance at an Alumni banquet. In 1960 He and Jennie McQuistion Meyer were honored on their 50th anniv. In 1961 it was voted to set May 29th as the definite date each year. So remember that and make plans accordingly.

Years of 1960 thru 1966 the banquets have been held in the school auditorium. Classes 1923, 30,31,32,33,49,59,and all graduated 12 seniors. Class 1921 had 14, Class 1924 had 16, Classes 1924, 25, 38,37, 41, had 13. Class 1929 had 17, Classes 1936 and 1938 had 18, and Class 1940 had 15. All other years and classes of 11 or less, except the class of 1834 with 22 seniors. 1935 had second honors with 21 members; the smallest class was 1956 with only 2.

The committee of 1966 made an effort to secure the correct addresses of the members from class of 1892 to 1966, and have completed the list of over 400 alumni with the exception of about 10. We know your occupations take you to other places and we would like to have you notify the association of any change of address and keep in mind May 29 is the Republican city Alumni Date and plan your vacation accordingly if possible. Write to Alumni Association, Box 1 Republican City, Nebraska. 68971

At this time the class of 1926, those present: Beulah Harvey Schworer, Mildred Whitney Stoltz, Vera Gifford Weir, and Loretta Lutjeharms Brugh would like to honor Miss Nelle Booher, who was our Freshman Teacher and Mr. Miles E. Cadwallader our Junior and Senior Teacher and our Senior Class Sponsor of 40 years ago.

There were banquets before 1925, never very successful financially. The committee wouldn’t try it again; someone else would plan a dinner, never much cooperation. In 1925, Mr. Cadwallader was Superintendent. He said a good Alumni Association was the best thing a school could have, and as all 5th grade teachers were Alumni namely: Erma Cassell, Margaret McFarlane, Augusta Cain, Margaret Drew, and Verona Bowes, he advised us to get the ball rolling and we did.

The Anson Teeter family (parents of Mrs. Jay Drew) came to Nebraska from Michigan when Mrs. Drew was 7; they homesteaded 7 miles S.W. of Republican City. Lived in a sod house in constant fear of the Indians, who would travel over the prairie, single file by the hundreds. They always wanted everything they could see. He sold his homestead about 1897 and went back to Michigan. The Drew’s ate lots of dried buffalo meat it is very good. The Drews as well as the Teeters came in covered wagons.

Mr. J. W. Markin, Superintendent of school at Naponee 1929-1933 wrote this article and gave it to Mr. Jason Drew, father of Margaret Drew Saladen.

The Passing of a Great Nebraskan

I believe we owe the future generation of Nebraska the great Heritage of Nebraska History in the making, which is being lost by allowing the old pioneers to pass on without some note of their early experiences. I have found a silent pioneer unable to tell of its some 300 years of life in the making of Nebraska. A giant cottonwood lying at rest in the Republican River, by the information I am able to find it has stood at least 300 years.

In 1871 Elisha Drew and family migrated from Prairie Du Chien, Michigan. And settled on a homestead in Harlan County some four miles from the confluence of the Prairie Dog and the Republican Rivers. On this homestead stood a massive cottonwood measuring in 1872, 28ft. 9 inches in Circumference, in 1920 36ft. 7 inches in circumference. The bark says Mr. Drew, was 5 or 6 inches thick. This tree stood about 4 miles south and west of Republican City, Nebraska near the old camp ground of the Sioux Indians during their hunting season, and near the present site of the Indian burial ground, remembered by the many Sioux being killed by the U.S. troops protecting the early settlers (1830). The Sioux were always friendly to the Drew Family. Often exchanging buffalo meat for such items as sugar. Spotted Tail, the old chief was especially interested in Jay Drew, then a young lad in his teens. He told the father and Jay that he, when a boy, played under the "heap big tree" just as they saw the squaws and children there. Preparing and drying buffalo meat while the braves were hunting in the Republican Valley. Spotted Tail said his ancestors had camped under the great tree "many moons" before he was born and had held the great tree in reverence.

Mr. Jay Drew told me that Spotted Tail was a man of some 90 years of age in the 1870’s when they first came to Nebraska. Comparing this tree with another tree that grew under similar conditions, we may be permitted to infer it to be 300 years old.

In the past hundreds of people from Nebraska and Kansas drove to the old Drew homestead to see this tree and the Log house built by Mr. Elisha Drew in 1872 and yet standing. Many stated this was the largest tree in Nebraska and others that this was the largest cottonwood they had ever seen.

About 16 years ago the Prairie Dog washed the dirt from the roots of the tree, allowing it to fall across the stream. It remained green and continued to grow until about 1923 when it was stripped of its branches for fuel and then its bark loosened, came off and its heroic life ended. Freshets turned the massive trunk around down stream. During the past 5 or 6 years floods have carried it some 8 miles down stream to its present resting place at Horn’s Ford in the Republican River, south of the north overlook between Doak and E. Harvey Farms.

We shall regret to see this great tree pass or lie unnoticed in the future, since it has furnished shelter and protection for 2 great human races at the parting of the ways of civilization and savagery. We stand in awe before the great monarch of the plains, one of the great wonders in the creation and beautifying of the universe. There is not a date as to when this was written.

Phillip Ott (father of Ervin and Robert Ott) came to Nebraska at the age of 20. He stayed with his brother the first year, on the farm across the road east of where Dallas Ott lives now. He purchased some land north of Dallas and built a dugout and stayed in it at night. During the day Venus Van Spronson (father of Lennie Van Spronson) taught school in it. In 1881 Phillip married Albina Graf (daughter of Jacob Graf) and they moved into their dugout. Sam Schippert owned the land where Dallas is, so Phillip and Sam traded places. He built a sod house and later he built the house where Dallas lives. This land has been owned by the Otts’ all this time.

William Waggoner’s came to Naponee in 1874 and stayed with relatives a while. Frank was born in a sod house east of Naponee 1877. The family came to Harlan County, built a sod house north of where Henry Renz lived. William took a timber claim permit, but didn’t put out any trees, so a Mr. Specer took it. They lived in this area until Frank was 13 years old. When he was 20, he, two Parsons boys and my uncle Vern Cassell went to South Dakota to work. He married Maggie Rolland in 1904, worked in Prairieview, Kansas a time. Came back and built the house where Rolland lives, lived there until 1928, moved to Republican City in 1928, and to Alma in 1951 when the town had to be relocated. Frank has been a director in the Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company for 57 years. Maggie Rolland Waggoner was born in a 2 room dugout, 10 miles south of Republican City 1881. Got water out of the ditches after a rain, had to boil it before using. Her parents, Peter and Jane Rolland were born in Glasgow Scotland, lived in New York, Illinois and Iowa, 1878. In 1886 they moved to Republican City. Grandma Rolland was a good nurse, used home remedies. Once she had helped with some Diphtheria patients, changed her clothes in the barn and burned them to protect her own family. She went day or night, whenever called. In 1896, Maggie joined the Daisy Stoddard band. They went to Holdrege in a wagon to play at a political rally when James McKegen was running for Congress. That evening they went on to Loomis in a buggy to play; home that night as there was no money to pay for lodging. In 1897, four of the girls went to Stamford in a wagon to sing at the Christian Church. They thought they had a real treat, because they stayed all night with a Mrs. Lewis. Started working in the Post Office in 1897, age 16, worked 4 years, went to Montana to help her sister and came back to work in the Post Office again until she was married to Frank Waggoner, in 1904.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Voight and 4 children (August the baby) came from Germany in 1902 and stayed with his sister Mrs. Albert Molzahn and family for a time. They moved into the house east of Jay Drew’s and Frank worked for Brown Gifford. Later, he farmed south of Prairie Dog Creek. They lost everything in the 1935 flood. Helen Voight Raasch is one of the younger daughters.

Mr. and Mrs. Will Horn lived in a log house S. W. of town where Earl Stone lived before the Government bought the valley; Here Jim and Rada (Hawley) were born.

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Woolman lived in Hastings 1871-1888 and worked on a dairy farm. Parents of George and Frank Woolman, Ida Forbes, Edna Ellrod, and Blanche Allen. They came to Harlan County and homesteaded the land where Dean Stone lived about 1888. First house across the road east of the Rolland house. The family of Alfred Harlan (parents of Mrs. Frank Woolman.) went to Furnas County from Harlan County in 1888, homesteaded there, and stayed 18 months. Went to Plattsmouth and worked on the railroad to get money to improve his homestead south of Arapahoe. Grandpa Woolman was a Quaker Minister. They lived in Republican City. The Woolman’s lived in Alma about 1885; he had a shoe repair shop there. George had a shoe repair and harness making shop in Republican City for a good many years.

Pioneer Manuscript

By Wm. Chapman

The old Republican City, in day gone by, before the construction of the Harlan County dam was thought of, the first white boy born here was William Chapman, born on February 21, 1873. There have been several excerpts written, but not quite authentic. Wm. was born just two blocks from where he now resides. His parent’s home was where the old Presbyterian Church stood years ago, but some one will remember it.

Dr. John McPherson who came here from Brownsville, Nebraska gave the town site for Republican City. He hauled a sawmill from Brownsville and located it west of what is now Vern’s station (Ridgley)

The first livery barn was north of the station, operated by Wm. and Thad Benedict. Jerome Forbes was the first blacksmith; Dr. Rich was one of the first physicians to practice here. Mr. Phillips, located where the stockyards are now, ran the first hotel. It was dug back in the bank and the front was sodded up. A few will remember L. K. Morris, first lumber yard owner and Sam Hood, his assistant. Walt Starr had the first herd of buffalo in captivity. L.K. P. Hayes was the first barber and having no hot water on cold mornings, broke ice on the water pail to shave. Our druggist was C. A. Luce. Buck Cady had the first grocery store, Fred Fox the hardware. Mrs. J. P. Dempster was attorney at law, and Dan Stoddard was the first schoolteacher.

Dr. McPherson and Young built a building for a mill on the river down by the bridge, but failed to get machinery that could be run by waterpower. The pontoon bridge was west of where the river bridge now stands.

Pearl McPherson and a girl by the name of Blackburn were the first white girls born here --- a few minutes apart. Grandmother Workman assisted with these three children coming into Republican City and the care of them.

The place which Albert Schluntz now owns, south of the track was known as the Maryette place, but the farm house was built of logs and was located north of where the depot stands now. The first depot agent, Mr. Love used this log house as a barn for his saddle horse. John McPherson owned the only brickyard that we ever had. A. T. Smith was the first postmaster. I remember Charles E. McPherson as the first County Treasurer for Harlan County.

These people I have written about, have passed to the great beyond. There is no date on this item, published by the Journal. Just below was an item about Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Chapman celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary on February 22, 1950 (Will was 77 years old) I believe he had written before this. Ralph Stoddard had written to Mrs. Nora Keester, and sent this original copy.

Facts about Nebraska from the new book by Allen Carpenter (1967)

The ethnic backgrounds of Nebraska people are extremely mixed and not very distinct. First immigrants from Europe to come in large number were from Germany. There are more citizens with German background than any other in the state. Probably next is Czech, followed by Swedish, Danish, Irish, Poles. About 4000 original settlers. Indians about 10%, 300 Ponca live 10 miles west of Niobrara, 1200 Sioux east. Fox in S. E. Nebraska, 1175 Winnebago and 1200 Omaha, which live on reservations, Pawnee was largest tribe and most powerful. None remain. People going across our state told time by the position of the Big Dipper. Knew they were on the right trail when they saw Chimney Rock, court house Rock and Scottsbluff. 1828

Notable sights to see: Pioneer Village at Minden, House of Yesterday at Hastings, Willa Cather Museum in the original bank building in Red Cloud. The Kearney Opera house (now torn down) was the only building big enough for major productions between the Missouri River and Denver. Stolley park was a fort built by Wm. Stolley to protect his family and nearby settlers from the Indians, now is a state park, Stolley planted 6,000 trees, it has a long underground stable 88 ft. long. Broken Bow has the only 2-story sod house in the United States. Old Jules Sandoz is buried in Alliance Cemetery. Each year NEB and RASKA, a team of oxen pull a Conestoga wagon in parades over the state.

In 1819, Major Stephen H. Long said the land west of the Missouri Rive was the "abode of perpetual desolation" the Great American Desert. The Union Pacific corrected this and called it the "Great National Pasture Ground, it will prove to be the Northern Nile." Our Treasures: Largest ground water supply in the nation – would cover the state 34 feet deep.

Some interesting facts about Nebraska

    1. First Methodist Church in Nebraska, at Nebraska City, by W. B. Gage.

    1. Now there were 32 Methodist Churches. More than any denomination.

    1. First Sunday school Convention at Beatrice.

    1. Nebraska Wesleyan University was organized

    1. Methodist Hospital at Omaha was stated.

    1. First School at Fort Atkinson

    1. First School for white children outside the fort at Bellevue.

    1. First Free High School

    1. Ak-Sar-Ben was started

    1. First High School in Nebraska at Nebraska City.

    1. Rev. S. P. Merrill, first white child born in Nebraska, July 13, 1835 parents are missionaries.

    1. First Steamboat on Missouri River

    1. Stage Coaches, last know trips by stage coach was 1900

    1. First telephone between Omaha and Council Bluffs.

    1. First Newspaper at Bellevue

    1. Omaha World Herald became famous when Wm. Jennings Bryant was Editor

    1. First rodeo in Nebraska by Buffalo Bill at North Platte July 4, disputed by Texas

    1. Capitol from Omaha to Lincoln. 30 people in Lincoln.
    2. Lincoln had grown to 2,500

 

Nebraska’s Human Treasures

William Jennings Bryant came to Lincoln in 1887, first Democratic Congressman. 1890-1912. George William Norris, to Beaver City 1885, In Republican Senate 1913, in Congress 47 years. J. Sterling Morton, Arbor Lodge 1858, he was Secretary of Nebraska Territory, then acting Governor 1898, Secretary of Agriculture under President Cleveland, first Nebraskan to serve on a President’s cabinet. Oldest son Joy founded the Morton’s Salt Co.; Second son Paul was Secretary of Navy under President Theodore Roosevelt. Walter Judd, Charles G. Dawes, George W. Beedle, Willa Cather, She received the Pulitzer Prize for "One of Ours" in 1923. Marie Sandoz, best-known book "Old Jules"; Bess Streeter Aldrich, "A Lantern in her Hand"; John Gneisenau Neihardt, "The Cycle of the West"; Edwin Ford Piper, "Barbed Wire" told of disappearance of free cattle range in Nebraska. Dr. Richard Tanner the "Diamond Dick" of Norfolk. Yosette La Flesche Tibbles, "oo-Mah-H-Ta-Wa-Tha" is considered the first work of an Indian Artist ever published. Charles S. Simmons Scottsbluff, painter of frontier scenes. Howard Hanson, one of America’s most distinguished composers and conductors. Father Flanagan, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Entertainers: Harold Lloyd, Fred Astaire, Henry Fonda, Marlon Brando, Robert Taylor, and Johnny Carson.

State Colleges: University of Nebraska 1869, Nebraska Wesleyan, Methodist Union College, Seventh Day Adventist, Creighton College, Catholic; Chadron, Kearney, Peru, and Wayne State Colleges: Midland, Concordia at Seward, and Dana, All Lutheran; Hastings, Presbyterian; Private Colleges: John J. Pershing at Beatrice, Hiram Scott at Scottsbluff, and John F. Kennedy at Wahoo; Two year colleges: McCook, Fairbury, Norfolk, North Platte, Scottsbluff and York.

In 1948, 500 leading architects of the country were invited to take part in a poll to determine the 25 finest buildings the world has ever seen. The Nebraska State Capital was given 4th rank among all the buildings of the world’s history. Goodue designed the beautiful $10,000,000 State House, as an expression of the Nebraska Pioneer faith and frontier hope. Ground was first broken in 1922; the new building was built around the old one, which was still being used. The massive building towers 400 feet against the prairie sky, "a monument of the past and a promise of the future". Above all looms the gold-glazed tower, topped by the gigantic statue of the Sower—sowing seeds of good will for a more noble living in the future. The outside of the capital is made notable by many carvings, sculptures and inscriptions. The Executive mansion was completed in 1957, regal and elegant. Other out-standing buildings in our capital: State Historical Society, Pershing Municipal Auditorium, home of William Jennings Bryant, Antelope Park, Pinewood Bowl.

Many of the homesteaders were Civil War Veterans. I have often wondered how they could have enough money to buy homestead rights from someone else. At first the applicant required to be 21 years of age, head of a family, a citizen, and had not borne arms against his country. He could acquire 160 A. of land free except for a small filing fee. The settler must make improvements, cultivate five acres of land the first year, and live on the land for the first 5 years before he could obtain the title. Later the law was liberalized so that a Union soldier could count the time served in the Civil War against the five-year period. Also if one had the money, land could be purchased for $1. 25 per acre. Later timber claim of 160 acres could be added if one planted 10 acres of trees in four years and a certain percent of the trees lived. Later the price of the land raised. I think Grandpa Cassell paid about $7.00 an acre for the homestead rights on the place Marvin lives now. He purchased it in 1885, lived in a sod house, S. W. of Marvin’s house. Dad was 10 years old. He had homesteaded near Chanute, Kansas, came to Nebraska and lived near Steele City, a short time, then to Harlan County. (To Kansas from Florid, Illinois)

At one time there were four hotels: Gage House, Berry House, McFarlane Hotel and Burlington Hotel, where the college Dormitory had been, two drug stores, two grocery-dry goods stores, two livery stables, two meat markets, two barber shops, two saloons. Most every town had a bandstand at the intersection, and regular band concerts. The town pump and watering trough for the horses. I have had many drinks out of the old rusty tin cup wired to the pump so that it would not come up missing. All teams were watered before the long trip home after buying the month’s supplies. Later a new hotel was built near the depot, called the Easton House.

The Community Library Association was organized March 23, 1924 with Mrs. Bertha Travis, Charley Scott, and Tom Gordon the Trustees. Committee on Finance: C. H. Waldo, Tom Gordon, and Joe Zdychnec. Many people served as officers and librarians over the years: Winifred Talcott, Constance Bush, Myrtle E. Woolman, Dollie snider, Pearl Neece, Opal Snyder, Rev. and Mrs. Hageman, Lola Wintersteen, M.E. Cadwallader, Carmel Meyers, Nora Roll, Alice Barber, as well as many others whose name were not so numerous. In 1926, 85 paid dues. Books from the traveling library were used. After moving to the new town, the Bookmobile was a great help in furnishing books that were requested. About 1962 –1964 it was decided to give the books to the church and school. Mrs. Fonda Rose Fischer, teacher in the high school, and two girls worked long hard hours, repairing and cataloging the books to be used in the school library.

Republican City had many old Settlers’ picnics in the groves and along the river. Decoration Day was a long awaited day, the parade to the cemetery from town with the Civil War Veterans leading, The Woman’s Relief Corps ladies with wild flowers to decorate the soldiers graves. Everyone marched around, led by one of the Veterans, each year they became feebler, some rode in buggies, later cars, and then a son of a Veteran led the parade. There were many picnics at noon all over town. At 2:00 o’clock a very large crowd enjoyed the program at the Opera House over the stores. Each year Jerome Forbes would step out at the last and say, "Well, good by folk, I’ll see you next year" He got so feeble, but always wanted to come. He was in town if he couldn’t get to the program. Any one attending the Memorial Day Services at the cemetery now will hear the names of all the veterans of all wars buried in the Republican City and Sod Church Cemeteries.

Everyone celebrated the signing of the Armistice at the end of World War I, November 11, 1918. A parade, horse races, local band, many of the children were dressed in Scout Suits and as Red Cross Nurses. All thought the war was over.

Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Booher purchased a farm east of town and the acreage in east part of town in 1906. They came her from Western Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Booher lived on the farm from about 1928 until they sold it to Robert Hawley about 1954 or 1955.

The Rebman families came to Harlan County in 1870 from Germany. Charley, (father of Rastus and Rufus) and Chris (father of Edgar and Augusta Hadley) bought farms north of town. Rastus farms much of the land now, with help of his sons Eugene and Keith. Mrs. Chas. Rebman was Otellia Newfeldt, she too, came from Germany in 1913 from Salwasburg. The Rebmans from Wuertemberg. Edward and Lee Rebman farm the land their grandfather owned.

William Hecht came form Germany in 1876 when he was 9 years old. He married Jennie Muir; their daughters are Leona Rebman, and Violet Fritz. They lived south of Republican City. Grandpa Muir came to Harlan County in 1869, when there were only Indians and the cabin that Buffalo Bill used when scouting, he returned to Illinois, experienced the Chicago fire of 1871, then came back and settled between Naponee and Republican City, on the south side of the river, 1871. Carl Hecht, Irvin’s father was able to obtain a homestead, but William could not, so had to buy his land.

George and Fred Doty were carpenters for many years. Their father came to Republican City before the turn of the Century. George married Jessie heath, had 7 sons, two pair of twins, Howard and Harold; and Early and Myrl, others were Harry and George Jr. Fred married Mount they had one son Frankie.

Tom Kelly was postmaster for years; his sister Nora was a faithful worker in the church and Sunday school. She married Otis Faubion he did cement construction work. The John Faubions lived just south of the schoolhouse. I think they lived south of town on a farm before coming to town.

Another family having two sets of twins, The J. Frank Lantz, he came to Republican City 1923 and printed the Ranger until the last. Twins: Virginia (Booher) and Virgil; Marion and Marjorie.

William Schippert, father of Eugene Schippert and Ella Savely, was born in Wurtemburg Germany in 1859. He and his wife Christina came to Iowa in 1882, then to Harlan County in 1886. They bought the farm north of the Tom Savely place, he lived there the rest of his life, he died in 1912, his wife in 1935. Eugene and Jim, his son, now farm the home place. John Schippert, his brother came to America at the same time, he bought a farm just north of William. John lived there until his death. His son, Walter, farmed the home place he now lives in Missouri, but owns and manages the farm with the help of his son, Harold.

Andrew J. Stanton Sr., Great Grandfather of Mrs. Beatrice Schippert, was born in Germany in 1827. He came to America with his son Andrew J. Jr. in 1862. Took up a homestead just south of Nebraska – Kansas State line and lived in a dugout. He died from effects of the blizzard of 1888. Andrew Jr. took over the homestead and farmed many years, built a sod house. His wife, Margaret was of German Descendent. Their oldest son, Noah, father of Beatrice Schippert, and Jack Stanton, grandfather of Roy and Lee Stanton, were of the third generation to live on this farm. Andrew Stanton Sr. was one of the first homesteaders in Kansas, is buried in the "Sod Church Cemetery". He was born 140 years ago, April 27.

Herman Worthman, Lee Stanton’s grandfather, came from Germany and homesteaded the farm where Harold Stone lives. Jay Drew built the frame house about 1885. Ida (Roy and Lee’s mother) was born out there. Chrystal Waggoner’s mother taught the school when Ida was small. The family came to town before 1900. They built the house that Roy lives in about 1904 or 5. Ida married Harvey Stanton 1909, he died when the flu was so bad in 1918. Just before Raymond was born. Raymond lost his life in World War II on the Bataan March.

Bert Abbott’s parents came to Phillips County in 1881, forded the river at Riverton. Bert was born that fall; he lived most of his life in Kansas. He moved to Republican City in 1944 when he married Mrs. Faye Nichols.

Mrs. Myrtle Woolman’s (George) parents the Ludi’s were married in Illinois in 1879 came to Republican City in 1885 when Myrtle was 5 years old. Grandpa Ludi’s mother married James Duncan, when he was a small boy his father had gone to New York on business and was never heard of again. So he was a half brother to Jim, Jess, and Fred Duncan. Their mother was killed in a cyclone. The Ludi Family published the paper in Republican City for many years. Some of the family still has a publishing company in Wahoo, Nebraska.

Haskell Waldo’s grandmother Harmon was a relative of Dr. Rich, the first doctor in Republican City. Clarance Waldo came to Republican City in 1915, when he bought the Commercial State Bank from Arthur H. Warren. The Warren’s moved to Edgar. Haskell was 12 years old and rode around on a bicycle, said his name was "sky-gak kaki ack", therefore the nickname of Kak.

J.S. Gifford, Cartha’s grandfather had a private bank, prior to 1903 when the Commercial State Bank bought his holdings for $500. J. B. McGrew was President and Moffett was another owner. Brown Gifford was president of the White Bank, run by Joe Zdychnic, who married Marian Giles a teacher here about 1925. This bank did not operate many years. J. G. Gifford had many experiences; he took care of Buffalo Bill in the cave, near Indian Hill, when he had a broken leg.

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Clarke, parents of Faye Abbott, came from Michigan to Guide Rock then on to Republican City. He worked for the railroad when the first tracks went through here. In 1910, he bought the butcher shop from Charley Rider, this shop was west of the printing office. Mr. and Mrs. Bud Nichols came to Republican City in 1910; they had one of the two barbershops in town. (Bill Capps had the other one.) Faye was also a barber, she had a beauty shop, gave the first Marcels. (Curling the hair with metal irons, then she put in a permanent wave machine.)

Mr. and Mrs. Gottlob Haussermann came from Fellbach, Wuertemberg, Germany to Iowa, then to Harlan County in 1881. He bought homestead rights on the farm where Ernest lives now. This is where John was born. Mrs. John Haussermann (Mimmie Schluntz) was born in a frame house where Dexter Schluntz lives.

The Hofmeyer family (Marie Lutjoharms Grandparents) settled N.E. of town, and lived in a dugout near the home of Dora Knosp.

In 1884 the William Hickmans were living near the creek east of Republican City. (Parents of Lillie Hunt Hofmeyer.)

The Wallace Hunts had many buffalo and Indian experiences at the time they lived in a sod house in the bank between where Ernest Haussermann and Otto Goedeken’s live (the Hunt Homestead).

William Schluntz homesteaded the farm where Dexter lived in 1873; Henry was born in the log house, south of the present house.

John Lutjeharms had never seen bananas until they were coming out on the train. Near Chicago, they saw a crib of ear corn, the children thought is was a lot of bananas.

Mrs. Dollie (Jess) Snider’s father came to Harlan County with his sister and family, the Austin Dixons, when Ernest was 2 years old and Jim was a baby. They settled N. W. of Republican City and much of the land there is still owned by the Dixon family.

Mr. and Mrs. Albert Schlatz and two children (Otto 1 year old) came to Nebraska in 1886, after a 4-week journey. He worked for $10.00 a month for Warner and Bendel on the farm west of Naponee, (Bill Bendel’s grandfather.). Then worked for Fred Kanzelmeyer, Sr. on Crow Creek, In 1892, he bought the farm where August Schlatz lives, lived in a dugout just south of the present house, then had a sod house, later built the frame house where Albert Schlatz now lives. Two of Otto’s brothers died of diphtheria the week he was born a sister was older.

In 1892 the schoolhouse District # 42 was built, Hugh Doak was the carpenter. There had been a sod schoolhouse before that. This building was moved to Camp Joy at the old town site and is being used by churches for Bible School Summer Camp.

Otto Schlatz told me that he remembers a 3-story mill built on the canal. The canal started at the Gould place, (Hezzie and Florice Guest lived there until the valley was purchased by the Government) and was dug across the Albert Schluntz and Bradshaw places. There was a bridge across the canal just north of the river bridge. When the mill was completed, the company gave a man the cash to buy the machinery, but he was never seen nor heard from again, therefore no mill.

Otto told me that the college was a frame building east of the Presbyterian Church, just north of where Tessa Thomas lived last. Maggie and Frank Waggoner said the college came to Main Street, just between the Frank Peterson harness and shoe shop and the Filling Station that Clarence Fosters had at the last and moved to the new town. The brick building in the next block west was the dormitory, and later the Burlington Hotel. The college burned down after 1891. I can find no one that has a picture of it, so exact location cannot be proved. Maggie Waggoner said there was a building between the Dormitory and the little house that John Snells lived in. It was used as a skating rink, and then it was called a Tabernacle for religious meetings. A Rev. Miller came here for meetings and as he was a Christian Minister, it was called a Christian Church.

St Paul Lutheran Church

1883 - 1967

In 1958 the members of the St. Paul Lutheran Church celebrated the 75th anniversary of its start. This was the first Lutheran Church in Harlan County. The church was established January 8, 1883. Fifteen adults and 32 children made up the congregation. The services were held in the homes for a time. The charter members were: Jacob Graf, Wilhelm Schluntz, Johannes Haufler, Johannes Fritz, George F. Laipple, and Gottlob Amman. Johannes Fritz gave the land and a house of worship was made of sod. It served as church and school, one and a half miles east and one mile north of the present church site. Albert Bauerle and Henry Schluntz were the first baptized members of the church. Benches were hand made and a table served as pulpit and altar. Confirmation classes three days a week and grade school two days a week were conducted, many of the children walked a number of miles to school.

In 1884 a small sod parsonage was built for the first resident pastor, Rev. F. W. Herz, who remained for almost 10 years. The Immanuel congregation near Hildreth joined the St. Paul group and the same pastor served both, this merging saved the St. Paul group from having to disband.

Phillip Ott gave the land for the new building, located three miles north of the present Republican City. In 1900 a debt free frame church was completed. A cemetery plot was laid out south of the church and in 1907 a parsonage was located south of the cemetery. An addition was built in 1911. In 1916 an addition was built on the north of the church, including a belfry and steeple. In 1926 the Ladies’ Society was organized.

August 7, 1938 the church which was one of the oldest in the area, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground, with a total loss. It was decided to build a new church immediately. Rev. Landdeck, August Schluntz, Karl Sindt, and John Haussermann served on the building committee. Art Muckle of Bloomington was carpenter, William Fratzke worked full time. Other men of the congregation worked when they could, and of course, the women had many moneymaking projects. They partitioned the basement, furnace, kitchen, made draperied, and several things upstairs. The building committee bought the piano. The cost was $30.00. The dedication service for the new debt free church was held April 23, 1939.

In the fall of 1956 a propane forced-air gas furnace and an electric range were installed in the basement and additional wiring was done in the kitchen. In 1957, more improvements were started: outside doors, basement windows replaced with glass blocks and steel sash windows, kitchen enlarged, steel cabinets installed with a double basin sink, folding doors to make Sunday School rooms, chairs and draperies completed December 1957. Emil Sindt, the churches oldest member, 90 years, presented the Sunday school with an oak altar he had designed and made. This was dedicated on May 4, 1958.

Ministers who served St Paul Lutheran Church

Friederich Schedtler 1883-1884

Jacob Dilges (supply Pastor) 1884

F. W. Herz 1884-1894

Theodore Seyler 1894-1907

H. Mack 1907-1910

L.C. Kumpf 1910-1913

H. Dahlke 1913-1918

J.F. Kiesow 1918-1927

J. Gemaelich 1927-1933

C. Hollensen 1933-1938

H.H. Landdick 1938-1941

Edward Huffermann 1942-1947

A. C. Zeilinger 1947-1948

W. A. Gebhard 1948-1951

Albert Jungmeyer 1951-1955

C.F. Schaffnit (supply pastor) 1955-1956

Karl Trost 1956-1962

Rev. Baack (supply, from Franklin) 1962

Rev. Howard Stroble 1962-

Rev. Karl Trost is retired and lived in Loogoatee, Indiana. Rev. Stroble was born in Indiana. His parents were farmers. They have two children, Ruth Jennine and Kevin Luther.

Total number baptized - 416

Total number confirmed - 232

Married - 94

Funerals - 81

The St. Paul Ladies Aid was organized in 1926. In February 1928, Mrs. Henry Renz was elected President, Mrs. Ervin Amman Vice-President, Mrs. Will Sindt, Secretary, and Mrs. Robert Ott, Treasurer. The ladies met for quilting, sewing for missions in New Guinea, purchasing Sunday School Song Books, and supporting the Martin Luther Home and many other projects. In 1929, Mrs. Adolph Amman was elected President; others remained in their offices. Twenty-two ladies were active in the society at this time. Often they would have an all day meeting with the hostess serving the noon meal. During this year the aid painted the ceiling of the church, purchased Altar Cloths and Christmas tree decorations. In 1930, Mrs. Paul Grable was the only new officer, elected Secretary. A sum of $57. 68 was reported in the treasury, Miss Ella Schippert, Mrs. Inez Schippert and Mrs. Schippert joined the society. The 1931 officers were: Mrs. Paul Grable, President; Mrs. John Haussermann, Vice President; Mrs. Henry Schippert, Secretary; and Mrs. Adolph Amman, Treasurer. In October of this year the treasurer reported there was $102.95 in the Naponee Bank that closed. March 1932 was the first meeting of the New Year, because of bad roads and weather. Several Quilts were made and sold. September 1933 a bountiful dinner was served by the Ladies Aid at the home of Mrs. August Schluntz for the guests of the Mission Festival and 50th anniversary of the church. A new gas lamp was purchased for the Church.

Children’s day June 24, 1934 a picnic was held at the Fritz farm north east of Alma. In 1935 the aid served at the Schippert and Ervin Amman sales. Officers: Mrs. August Schluntz, President; Mrs. Robert Ott, Vice-President; Mrs. Ervin Amman, Secretary; and Mrs. Ben Sindt, Treasurer. In 1936 it was decided the church janitor had a new broom. Said item was purchased for 69 cents. In 1937 the "eats" committee for the Conference at Alma reported that Mrs. Burkey of Alma offered to serve meals at 30 cents each or dinner and supper for 20 people for $12.00.

The January 1, 1938 treasurer’s balance was $45.70. The ladies held an all day meeting at the Ervin Ott home with ladies bringing dinner for about 30 men working on the new church. In February 1939, Rev. Landdeck met with us as we had a lot of business concerning our church. During the year everything was purchased or donated for our new church. Records for 1940-1946 are now available. The members planned a program for the removal of the Service Flag in 1947. The church was completely painted and cleaned on the inside in 1948. 1949 Mrs. Lena Fruhling was President; Mrs. Edna Rebman, Vice-President; and Rosa Skiles, Secretary-Treasurer. Several sets of tea towels were made from feed sacks in 1950. In 1951, Rev. Jungmeyer had the devotionals at our meetings during the year.

In 1952, a food and fancy work sale was held November 4, $123.75 was collected. $175.48 in the treasury. Betty Schluntz became a member in 1953.This made 8 active members. 1954 a reception for Mr. and Mrs. William Schluntz. 1955 it was decided to get new curtains for the basement and try to get the windows fixed so they wouldn’t leak. A reception for Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Asche. 1956 a dinner for the new minister and wife, Rev. and Mrs. Karl Trost. The ladies of St Paul agreed to help the ladies of Peace church with the celebration of Rev. Schaffnit’s 40th year in the ministry. A new electric stove was purchased from Hogeland’s in Alma and a complete Youngstown Kitchen was installed in 1957. 1958 was the 75th year anniversary for St. Paul church, a celebration was held in October. A reception was served with the ladies Aid assisting for Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Lennemann. An appreciation dinner was given for Mr. Emil Sindt. A Memorial fund was set up for the church. 1959 the Lutheran Standard was subscribed to by the Aid. Bible school started June 1st for one week. The Christmas fund was sent to the A. L. C. to help our ill and infirm. There were 9 active members in 1960. We served the Harold Ott and Lyle Skiles sales in February. This year started the use of candle lighters in our church services. Acolyte robes were ordered by the Aid. 1961 the basement of the church was painted with a sealer to prevent water from coming in. New linen for the Altar was purchased. The aid served the Ervin Ott and Mike Hadley sales. Linda Hough and Don Lewton were married in May.

In 1963, we purchased the new dishes to serve 100. New carpeting for the church was purchased. $149.00 was netted from the ice cream social and bake sale held in Republican City, July 6. A new dorsal curtain and pulpit cloths were added to our church. The ladies Aid have joined the American Lutheran Church Woman’s Organization of the church. A farewell dinner for Ralph and Lena Fruhling was held. Our ladies bought a new vacuum sweeper in 1964. Bible study from the Scope was added to our meetings. The A.L.C.W. planted Rose bushes by the church in 1965. We added new bookracks for the pews in 1966. Also purchased 24 new steel folding chairs. As of the beginning of 1967, we have $470.54 in the treasury. We thank all the ladies that have helped us with banquets, sales, and donations. Thanks be to God for the blessings he has bestowed upon us. May our A. L. C. W. further the work through the years to come.

Virginia Ott is to be thanked for collecting this information

Mother, Eliza Ann Stover, was born in Oglo County, Illinois, and came to Nebraska at eleven years of age and settled with her parents on Crow Creek in 1872, in Franklin County, four miles south west of Naponee. Married Samuel C. Patterson in June 1876, have marriage certificate.

Father settled on Creek, afterwards named for him, Patterson Creek, in 1871 (Maxie Haskins Farm). For data on his life, see typed sheet, which he wrote previous to his death in 1925. He was a real pioneer.

Bought high chair from Ben Mills in 1877, still have it. Granddaughter has chunk wood iron heating stove purchased of Fred Fox in 1875.

Mr. Patterson sold beef cattle to first butcher in Kearney. Town of Kearney was founded two years later then Republican City.

In early pioneer days mail came by stage to a stockade where Orleans is now located, was known, as Melrose and settlers must go for mail there by horseback mostly. When Mr. Patterson came in 1871 he got no mail for two years, being no established place.

In the Easter storm April 13, 1873, he and a hired man were snowed in a tent for three days while the blizzard raged and a large herd of cattle drifted with the storm to Kansas, where they went into a deep ravine and perished.

Once when he was on a drive to Kearney, over night and left a young lad with his young timid wife, a wonderful watch dog gave the alarm of trespassers, bounded back and forth from the corrals barking and throwing himself against the door, next morning they found a fat hog had been butchered on the premises.

The prairie fires they fought and also when John and I were left alone, he fed many Indians. My father was often urged to write a book.

Written by Maggie Patterson Lamphere, Mildred Waggoner’s mother.

 

Samuel C. Patterson, was born November 19, 1838 near the City of Belfast in the north of Ireland. In the spring of 1849, he came with his parents to America spent his boyhood years in Kentucky, came to Kansas in the spring of 1856, the next 3 years was in government employment in Indian and Mormon Wars. Went from Utah to California in 1859 from there to Washington and Idaho, spent the next three years gold mining, returned to Kentucky via the Isthmus of Panama in the summer of 1862, and spent the winter. I came to Leavenworth in the spring of 1863 and outfitted for Montana, returned to the Missouri river in 1864 and engaged in the freighting business west and in railroading until the spring of 1870, when the Apache Indians attacked and captured my outfit near Las Cruces, New Mexico. In the spring of 1871 preempted land in Harland County and have remained up to the present time. Was married in 1876, wife died in 1893, had four children two are dead and two survive. John F. Patterson and Maggie Patterson Lamphere.

Written by Samuel C. Patterson, Mildred Waggoner’s grandfather.

 

Republican City had many lodges and clubs: The Odd Fellows Home Lodge # 71 was instituted March 3, 1879, Sam B. Harvey, C. A. Luce, and Ben D. Mills were three of the Charter members. Jess Snider, Noble Grand, and Steve Henderson secretary when they relinquished their charter, March 20, 1945.

Rebecca Lodge, Republican # 230 was started in August 1907. Ethel Skeels Hensley is the only Charter member living. There were 46 charter members both men and women.

Royal Neighbors of America, Fern Camp # 650 of Republican City was chartered in 1897 and disbanded in 1948. I could find no records but Mrs. Addie Calkins Recorder of the Alma Chapter, wrote in and found the above record, but all else was destroyed.

The Woodman of America had a lodge here for many years, no doubt chartered about the same time as the Royal Neighbors. Mrs. Ernest Seyler told me that Will Horn was a 50-year member.

Memorial Legion Post # 361 of Republican City was organized January 21, 1952. Dallas Ott is commander; they have a very active post. The latest project is the purchasing of the log cabin and moving it to town as a Centennial Project. It is a popular place to take pictures.

The Memorial Unit Auxiliary # 361 was started April 23, 1952. The Auxiliary is also very active. The Quota membership has been reached.

The chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star # 304 was chartered May 12, 1926. Mrs. Florence Lantz was the first Worthy Matron, George H. Wollman, first Worthy Patron and Mrs. Rose West was the first Associate Matron. There were 30 charter members, those still living are: Tessa Thomas, Grace Cassell, Gladys Hawley, Henry and Nora Richter, and Hazel Johnson Simic (Dr Simic’s Mother). There are about 15 active members.

Republican Masonic Lodge # 98 A. F. and A.M. was chartered July 27, 1882. At first it was called Zaradatha Lodge. The first Master was Edward Cornet, Jerome Forbes, S. D. and Oscar A. Margott, J. W. First petitions were Joseph Kelly and C. A. Luce in January 1883. Dinner at the Gage House. Some of the charter members were: P.J. Dempster, Jerome Forbes, Thomas C. Hance, J. F. Kelly, and James Muir. P.J. Dempster was the first acting secretary.

At a meeting of Zaradatha Lodge August 13, 1883, by order of the Grand Master B. L. Rewals, the name was changed to Republican Lodge # 98 and charter granted at this time.

Officers:

E. Cornet, W. M. J.B.Forbes, S. W.

G. G. Coon, I. W. L. K. Morris, Treas.

P.J. Dempster, S. W. C. A. Luce, S. D.

T.C. Hance, J. D. J. F. Kelly, S. S.

James Muir, I. S. J. D. Kelly, Tylor

At present officers are:

Marvin Kammerer, W. M. Leonard Achen, J. D.

Rodney Richter, S. W. James D. Bishop, Tyler

Wayne Kelly, I. W. Albert Lyden, Chap.

Robert Lloyd, S. D. L. W. Workman, Treas.

L. L. Kammerer, Secretary.

 

The LlaRevo Club, when first started, was a social club made up of Royal Neighbor Lodge members. Started in 1906. It is still meeting, but no longer required members to be lodge members. In 1963 it and the Carnation Club (degree of Honor affiliate) went together, as many belonged to both.

At one time a group of ladies started the IT club. "In Trim" all were going to be in good trim. It did not last long. Faye Abbott and Vera Gosnell belonged.

Before 1920, the Y.L. Club was started; any one could belong if she attended Sunday School’s Young Ladies’ Class three Sundays in a row. Needless to say, we had a good attendance for a while, and lots of club members. It was reorganized and called the Golden Rod Club; I think it met until about the time so many moved away from the valley.

The I. M. P. (Improved Modern Priscilla) was organized in 1909. Tessa Thomas and Nancy McFarlane are the only charter members around here. On May 12, 1960 the club celebrated the 50th year with a tea and invited guests. Tessa gave some of the past facts. My aunt, Alice Cassell joined the club in a short time, later another aunt, Edith Achen and I became members.

Leola White and Maye Chandler belonged to a club called THE club. Maye thinks it was the Happy Hour Club. In May 1930 they entertained their mothers and guests at the home of Mrs. Mary Cain (Francis) Leola has one of the printed menus, with program and list of members.

At several time there have been Boy Scout Troops, right now 11 boys: Billie Barker, Larry Waggoner, Orly Stolts, Jim and Gary Buttermore, Doug Illian, Steve Wessels, Roger Peterson, Keith Whetstine, Rich Hawley, Larry Jeffers, and Gary Stone are affiliated with the Alma Scouts, with Neil Stuhmer, and Dr. Huebner leaders. Bob Hawley is Chairman of the Scout Committee.

Many 4-H clubs have had lessons in livestock, sewing, cooking and other hobbies. Now the Lakeview Club with Dallas Ott leader, Bill Waggoner and Wallace Gladman, Assistant Leaders have livestock. Kathy, Larry, Julie, Jean and Paul Waggoner, Jimmy and Jerry Ott, Sally Graf, David Kelly, Joan and Gail Gladman are members. Marvin Kammerer is leader of the Alma Livestock Club and Krisit Kammerer belongs.

J. A. Russell, (my grandfather) homesteaded the place where Louis Brugh lives in 1872, came from Industry, Illinois. It took them 20 days to make the trip. He with Jim Schroeder and Andy Hastings, encountered a band of Pawnee Indians at Red Cloud, they kept saying "to Bak", Schroeder gave them some tobacco that is what they wanted. Hastings’s land was across the road north now owned by Brugh’s. Grandpa stayed 2 years made a two-room sod house and some furniture. In the fall of 1874, he and Hastings went back to Illinois and were married. (Susan Ellen Skiles) In the spring of 1875, both couples returned to Harlan County in the covered wagon. I have heard many stories about buffalos, snakes and the team of oxen grandpa worked and hauled freight with.

Mollie Mcfarlane often told me about coming to Nebraska. Her father, Ben Ryan, came in the covered wagon, brought the older ones, Mollie, John, and Laura. The mother came on the train with the younger children: Nora (Richter), Fred, Lula (King), and Mina (Hammond) a baby from Wayne County, Iowa, in 1888. Mollie was born in 1871 died 1967. Two of Mollie’s sisters worked for my Mother and Mrs. Wilson were in the group picture taken at our house when mother had a Carpet Rag Sewing Bee. (Floyd was about 2 years old)

The Joe Richter Family came from Germany in 1870s to Marysville, Kansas, and to Naponee in 1884 bought homestead rights to the place 4 miles S. W. of Naponee owned by the Richter’s until last few years. Henry and Joe Richter were born at Marysville.

Thomas S. Hunter and his wife Mary Atchison Hunter came from Illinois in 1875, Iowa 1876, Phillips C. Kansas 1883 and to The Heath place south of Republican City in 1890. They lived in a sod house. They were the parents of Dave, Jim, Will, Robert and Ella Hunter

Lawrence and Johanna Meracle homesteaded the place where the north shelter house is, in 1872. Lived in a log house, then built the frame house. Lived there until their deaths. Etta, Mrs. Dave Hunter, taught school. She was another student that took Normal Training at the McPherson College. Orin and Charles were others in the family.

Cecil Doty’s father’s father’s sister, Amanda White Doak, daughter of John and Margarett White was born near Paris Edger County, Illinois, September 3, 1848 and at the time of her death was 79 years 1 month and 14 days. (Died Oct 1927) When about 4 years of age, her mother died. At about 9 years of age with another sister they began working out and drifting away from home, little by little until reaching Wisconsin near Lacrosse. Later to Grange, Fillmore Co. Minn, where she became united in marriage in 1865 to Henry Craig. They moved to Republican City, Nebraska in July 1871. To this union were five children: George May 29, 1868; Lee, Oct 1869, McDonald, Kansas; Eugene Dec 7, 1870, Eldorado Springs, Mo; Violette Nette Craig Whitmarsh Aug 29, 1872, Lincoln, Nebraska; Alvin Jan 29, 1874, Toppenish, Washington.

July 3, 1878 she was married to Joseph Uplinger and to this union 7 children were born: Samuel May 3, 1879, John, Margaret, (Harvey, Evan), David all Republican City and Amanda Uplinger Mungal Gascoigne Sept 4th 1884, One daughter Eva died at the age of 24 and one son Charles died at the age of 1 ½ years. Hers husband Joseph preceded her in death, Feb 1893.

In December 1897 she was again untied in marriage to Hugh Doak, who survived her. She was survived by a half brother Ed.White and three half sisters. Hannah, Mary and Himimda, Tom White and Sister Susan Coons. This last paragraph as it was written: by a second marriage of her father John White, she leaves to mourn her loss Ed. White of Kansas City, Mo. And 3 sisters, Hannah, Mary and Himimda and one half sister one brother Thomas White and one sister Susan Coons. Having preceded her in death. Two sisters Rachel Pardo of Naponee and Izilla Sweet, Canton, Illinois, survive her. Delph Lucille Uplinger born Aug 11, 1906 was in Myrle Doty and Vern Lethem’s class in school.

The Charles L. Brugh family came to Harlan County in 1894. They had bought the land from Mrs. Hanna’s brother Steinman, two years before. Roy owns all or part of it now. Ralph, Frank and Louis are brothers. Andy Hastings homesteaded some of this land in 1872.

Mr. and Mrs. John Stotts and several children (one Maude, mother of Estalline Parish) homesteaded the land that Don Hecht owns, south of town. They came in 1890, lived in a dugout, built a two-room frame house, the children slept in the dug out. Soon after they settled here, the mules ran away and started back to Diller, where they had lived before. Mr. Stotts had to get on the train and go to Superior to get his team.

Grandma Uplinger with five small children lived in the valley east of town. John, Sam, Dave, Maggie (Harvey) and Amanda (Gascoigne). Dave told us that many times his mother gave their meal to the Indians, she was afraid they would harm her children. While getting a meal she would be startled to find several Indians in her house begging for food.

James W. Bash came to Alma and worked as station agent with Mr. Z.T. Kemper. His uncle Frank Bash (Milton Bash’s grandfather) lived north of Alma and he stayed with them. Mrs. Bash and Tessa came out from Ohio and the family was sent to Oberlin. Here Tessa graduated from High School in 1902. She went to the University of Nebraska to study music. Her father was agent in Orleans, Loomis, Curtis, then Republican City. They lived in the house where Pete Kerr lived, just east of her last home in the old town. They lived in the house on the hill at west end of Main Street when I first took music lesson of her. She had to help lots of us onto our ponies and get our music tied to the saddle so it would not be lost. Tessa married James F. Thomas in 1909, soon after Thomas and Bash Music Company was organized.

About 1895 Mr. and Mrs. Jay Drew and son Clem and Al, were baptized in the Republican River as were many others. My mother and aunt Myrtle also. It was in the winter, and the ice had to be chopped away. The Drews became members of the newly organized Christian Church, my mother and aunt were Baptists, as their grandfather and his brother were Baptists Ministers.

In 1921 Jay Drew wrote this item for the "Ranger".

As I read an occasional article in the "Ranger" about early times in this section of the country It Jogs My Memory of Some Experiences of the Early Days. My father Elisha Drew homesteaded in the fall of 1869. Then we wintered in Beatrice, back to homestead in the spring, the place later known as the William Lethem Place. Settlers from the mouth of the Prairie Dog up stream are: Loren Carter, J. D. Stoddard, Joe Rice, Rebecca Drew, Edwin and Evelyn Woodward, Milton Butler, Elisha Drew, Charles Reiter, Mrs. Will Mack, Jabas Cobledick, Johnson Lee, George Drew, Doctor Wolfe, Oscar Carter, Milt Irwin, and Snson Teeter.

My brother, Wren Drew, homesteaded on Chrystal Creek. His wife, Sadie, named Chrystal Creek. Their Child Myrtle was the first child born in Harlan County. I have seen as many as 4000 buffalo in one herd and we always had plenty of buffalo meat. Many were shot for sport and their hides. Buffalo Bill’s dugout was on the north side of the River where Mill Creek entered the river. I was personally acquainted with him. He told me many tall tales of his contacts with the Indians. My job on the trip from Michigan was to drive the milk cows behind the wagon.

Charles McPherson had the first drug store in Republican City, part dugout and part sod.

The parents of Dave and Levi Garver homesteaded the farm where Taylor’s Marina is now.

J. S. Gifford, Grandfather of Cartha Waldo and Freda Byers, homesteaded S. W. of Republican City at the bend in the river west of the Frazee Corner. While living here, Brown rode a horse to Kearney for supplies. A rattlesnake bit him between his thumb and forefinger. He cut it with his knife; they had to ford the river to get him to the Doctor as soon as possible. He always had a crippled hand caused by the bite. He married Ruth Kelly in 1888. Grandpa Gifford owned land in western Nebraska; they drove their cattle out there every summer. One summer Mrs. Gifford took the children, Joy, Mirth, Fay and Cecil, just learning to walk, out there in a covered wagon and stayed all summer in a sod house with a dirt floor, while Brown cared for the cattle. Brown was quite a hunter, he killed quail, dressed them packed them in ice, and shipped them to a hotel in New York City. They were a real delicacy. When J. S. Gifford had the bank, some fellows blew the safe thru the wall into the Central Office. After that he took the money home at night.

Eli Massey, came in 1869, and homesteaded the Lew Gruwell Place, he returned to Illinois, but came back to the west. He did many kinds of commercial work, Threshing, shelling corn, well digging and repair work. His son Fredrick, Francis’ dad, homesteaded the place Ray Massey lives on. The family had a country grocery and dry goods store there near their sod house. In later years, Eli had a hardware store in town, Shorty’s maternal grandparents, John Hellman, homesteaded the place south east of Wayne Kelly’s farm in Franklin County.

George Wolf, Ulis’ father, lived S. W. of Republican City. Later had a hardware store in town. Ulis’mother came with her parents Wayne and Anna Williams, in a wagon train of 20 families, from Kirksville, Missouri 80 years ago. Most of these families settled S. W. of Republican City. He has heard his mother mention Joseph Snyder, (Floyd and Victor’s dad) Wise, Wolf and Kiser. Ulis Wolf has had a hardware store many years. He added groceries and notions when he moved to the new town.

Centennial Activities

Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Matteson gave the Legion Post a log cabin, which they moved from 7 miles north of Gretna and reassembled it in Republican City. It is proving to be a very popular place for picture taking. It will be dedicated before the parade on May 27 when Republican city have their centennial celebration. Following the parade everyone is urged to come to the picnic. There will be several games, one a ballgame between the Whiskers and Shavers. The judging of the whiskers, announcement of winners, the winners of the dress contest will ride on a float in the parade.

A large crowd enjoyed the style show and tea at the schoolhouse April 15, two skits were enjoyed: The top performers in "Aunt Melissa’s Beaus" were Mrs. Doris Haussermann and Mrs. Vivian Graf as the bashful beaus and Mrs. Elma Jean Waggoner and Mrs. Marjorie Schippert the Melissas. In "Sparkin’ Peggy Jane" Cartha Waldo, Esther Stone, and Hazel Wells the lovely young ladies, while Gwen Stanton, Marguerite Kelly and Mildred Ott showed their love in song and dance. The style show was in four divisions: Judges Mrs. Bob Phillipson, Franklin; Mrs. Don Kennedy, Bloomington; and Mrs. Kent Kulbertson, Phillipsburg. K-6th grade winners were: 1st Kristi Kammerer, 2nd Diane Dunse, and 3rd Lisa Schippert. Junior-Senior: 1st Sally Graf (authentic), 2nd Kathy Waggoner, 3rd Julie Waggoner. Authentic Dress: 1st Mrs. Ted Woods, 2nd Mrs. Jim Horn, and 3rd Mrs. Bill Waggoner. Best Dressed: 1st Mrs. Clarice Colburn, 2nd Mrs. Leola White, and 3rd Mrs. Dallas Ott. Mrs. Maye Chandler, and Mrs. Anna Richarson made a lovely centerpiece that reflected the Centennial Theme.

April 22, a large crowd enjoyed playing cards, and then retired to the basement of the American Legion hall where the ladies pies were sold. Ask Erma about the lid of her box----oh well it helped swell the centennial funds.

The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) was organized about April 1899. In 1903, it seemed to be reorganized, mention was made of the balance from the old W.C.T.U.of $1.10. There are minutes of meetings until 1948. I found the complete list of 66 members. Mrs. Clara Hemke was County Treasurer in 1940. The last minutes were written by Mrs. Fern Blodgett, Sept 5, 1948. Due to losing so many members by death and moving away, only 4 were present. By this time it was known that the town would be moved, and many more of our faithful members would be leaving the community. Mrs. Lillie Neece moved that the W.C.T.U. organization disband. Mrs. Blodgett wrote: "It is with regret that we say adieu and close the books of the W.C.T.U."

It was indeed a sad time for the faithful, hard working members of all the organization to have to disband, move to various parts of the state and country. Had it not been for this history, many of them would have been forgotten. Many times while writing these facts a lump comes in my throat and tears to my eyes, because all these organizations recorded the name of my Grandmother (Sarah Cassell) as a charter member and a very active member until the last. I knew almost all of the ladies mentioned.

The G.A.R (Grand Army of the Republic) and W.R.C.(Woman’s Relief Corps) were the first two organizations in Republican City. The G.A. R. soon after the Civil War. Grandpa Cassell gave the lot to build the hall. The old building south of Noble Skeels’ was a very good-looking meeting place for many organizations; it stood just south of Main Street. When the Old Soldiers were gone-so was the G.A.R. The W.R.C. continued to function until about 1957, moved their building to the new town, but had no funds to remodel it. Some of the American Legion Auxiliary Members tried to combine the two and make one meeting place, but some were obstinate, so all lost in the deal. The Ladies gave their large flag to the school. They had to send their Charter in to Headquarters at Hastings.

The School Bell

Our school bell has an interesting history. It was the bell on the McPherson College, 1884 to 1891. When the college closed the bell was given to the Presbyterian Church. Then it was given to the Republican City Public School. It was used on two schools in the old town and is now in another town. I think it deserves better care than it is getting.

The Republican City Cemetery Association

In 1874, Thomas Harlan surveyed the land for the cemetery. Sec. 32 –twp 2 – Range 17. There were 256 lots, 24 x 24 with 4 ft alleys between and a 23 ft road around the outer edge. A 24 ft. road both ways across the center. February 18, 1882 a meeting was called to organize the association. The land was purchased from W. H. Burr. The first trustees were: L. Cady, Chairman, L.K. Morris, M.C. Wilson; Treas. C.A. Luce, Sec; B. D. Mills, Sexton; B.D. Mills. It was decided to fence the cemetery and put a lock on the gate. Also to build a walk over the fence at the south gate. The first walk was of wood. Now there is a cement walk there. They purchased the material for the fence from Fred Fox for $64.00. The original name was the Cedar Grove Cemetery. In 1895 the Constitution and By-laws were adopted and the name was changed to Republican City Cemetery. Carl Faubion told Lou that many times he dug into Red Cedar boxes some were placed cornerwise. We think the oldest grave there is a child’s grave and stone just S. E. of the cedar trees. East of the monument dated 1872. Several lots at the northwest corner were set-aside for the Potters’ Field, for burial of people who had no family or funds. Later (1901) the association bought additional land on the north and west from Mr. Lucore. This has never been divided into lots. It is farmed and the money from the crops helps to pay the expenses. (Marvin Kammerer farms it now) Present officers: Jerry Waldo, President; Bill Neece, Vice President; Lou Kammerer, Sec.Treas; Mullally township levies taxes to take care of the Cemetery. At present Republican Township does not help at all.

Lou Kammerer was president of the Chamber of Commerce at the time the Government was buying the land in the valley and town for the Harlan county Dam and Lake. In order for the new town to retain its identity, legal action was necessary to receive a permit to call it Republican City. Lou was also president of the town site committee and after several meetings the present site was decided upon. There were two principle reasons for this; first we would benefit from the water of the lake cooling the prevailing south winds; next the dam being here it was felt that the tourists would need someplace to buy supplies. After a lot of traveling back and forth, a committee met with Col. Berrigan and the Corps of Engineers in Omaha, Nebraska December 15, 1950. At this meeting, the final plans were made for the removal from old Republican city. We did not receive our final settlement until October 1951 causing many hardships; mainly prices of everything went up. To make our business district look better, several of us furnished the money to build a shopping center. The first board of Trustees: C.C.Hawley, president; C. G. Hutchins, Vice President; Adolph Goedeken, Secretary-treasurer; L. L. Kammerer and Glen Space, directors, and so it remains.

I have collected this material from many sources, and I am not responsible for wrong dates or other mistakes. Many facts are taken from obituaries and family records, but most of them have been passed from one generation to the next by word of mouth. I have copied some letters written and published by pioneers in past years.

Erma Kammerer, May 1967


Return to Harlan County NEGENWEB page HERE.

Page by PS Designs
Last update 2008