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The Old Ledger [Wm. Drews/Draves and Sylvia (Dunwoody) Draves]--Introduction
Keith County, NEGenWeb
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THE OLD LEDGER: A Record of Life on the Nebraska Prairie


[Transcribed by Elizabeth Mary Ann (Draves) McKee.]

A very special Thank You to Ms. Mary Ann McKee, who's hard work, dedication, and generosity made this transcription possible.

[Permission to reprint granted to Susan Anderson, NeGenWeb Project-Keith County, and USGenWeb Project by Ms. Elizabeth Mary Ann (Draves) McKee (surviving family member of William and Sylvia Draves. The material contained herein may not be reprinted elsewhere without the express written consent of the submitter, except in the case of personal use only, in which this statement must appear on all pages.]


The Old Ledger is a remarkable chronicle of a family's daily life in Keith County in the early 20th century. I am so indebted to Mary Ann who told me about the treasure she had in The Ledger and offered to share it with me so that I could make it available to researchers. On these pages you will find a Table of Contents, a surname index, and soon, some excerpts from The Ledger. I have made every effort to copy Mary Ann's maintenance of the exact spellings, as found in the Ledger. This means you may find varied spellings of the same name for the same person, such as HUEY, HUGHEY, and HEWEY

I hope you can find a trace of your ancestors here, and if not, I know that you will enjoy this glimpse into the daily lives of early Keith Countians as much as I have.

--Susan Anderson


This is an old Ledger/Diary kept by Wilhelm August Heinrich Drews/Draves from 1900 into 1913. It was found amongst the possessions of his son, Wilhelm August "Oley" Draves, after his passing. Oley's son Leonard Hiram Jewel Draves sent a copy of the old Ledger to me, Elizabeth Mary Ann (Draves) McKee, when he hear I was writing a book about the History of the Drews/Draves family.

Having majored in Anthropology, I utilized that training to sort out all the records in the Ledger, and put the information in chronological order. I am certain that I have made numerous mistakes, and there are probably a lot of typos, but we have enough of the record of their life in those Nebraska Sad hills during the first part of the 20th Century to make us appreciate their hard work, and out Heritage. Thank God for their propensity for recording even the mundane tasks. Those are what helps the people mentioned in the Ledger to come to life for us.

Now I give you the information, without changes in spelling (as far as my computer would allow). There were a lot of times the computer automatically changed the spelling when there were too many letters, or not enough. When that happened I didn't argue with this "Smart Machine!"

The following entries [Table of Contents page] were found in the front of the Ledger, in an alphabetized section which appeared to be used for addresses or something of the sort. It appears that Wilhelm & Sylvia used these front pages to set up a "table of Contents", as well as make a few other unrelated notes. I give them, just as they were recorded. I have not changed the spelling or edited except for clarity, and putting the entries in date-sequence.

The entries in the Ledger for the first 5 months of [1907] were all in Sylvia Dunwoody's handwriting. Probably transferred to this Ledger from her own well-kept notes.

--Elizabeth mary Ann (Draves) McKee

If you are interested in having your own copy of the transcribed Ledger, please visit Mary's Books for more information.

Barbed Wire Jump to:
Table of Contents
Surnames 1
Surnames 2
Surnames 3
Surnames 4
Surnames 5
Surnames 6

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