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Merrick County website
Central City Friends Meeting
Centennial Celebration, 1899-1999



     The establishment of the Friend's meeting and college at Central City reads like a romance. One evening five people met in a private home for a prayer service and in that little prayer circle was born the determination to establish a college whose watchword should be "Love and Service."
     There were no Friends living at Central City at this time but a school property was situated about two miles from this town.

     This building had been erected by the Methodists who conducted a successful school for a number of years, but owing to a spirit of concentration prevalent among school men their support was transferred to Wesleyan at Lincoln and the property came into the possession of James Stephen, a trustee of the institution and a prominent citizen of Central City.

     Herbert Mott, to whom is due the establishment of both church and college came to Central City in 1897 and contracted with James Stephen for 320 acres of land and the school building. It is interesting to note that James Stephen might have sold the building for a brewery but had refused to do so at a financial loss. Herbert Mott's plan was to start a Friends settlement and thereby raise funds to pay for a college property. The Nebraska Friend was issued to aid the enterprise and Friends responded to the call. During that same year a Friends church was built in town not by the Friends but by the business men and citizens of Central City.

     In the center of the college section twenty-six acres on which the building stood was reserved for college purposes and the remainder of the land was sold for sufficient money to pay for all. The school was opened September 11, 1899 and 126 young people responded that first year.

     These pioneer workers for the college were makers of history. The problem before them would quell the enthusiasm and quiet the zeal of ordinary people. They had it in time a well built brick building but at the time of its purchase it was used as a storehouse for grain. There was practically no equipment, not even a heating plant for several years. There were no dormitories and no endowment. The campus was a cornfield. But these were not people of ordinary caliber and they were eager for the educational, social and religious environment of a college community. Special mention should be made not only of Herbert Mott but of James Stephen, Elwood Knight, Joseph Joyce, A. E. Hadley, W. D. Gibson, and R. W. Townsend.

     These, with a score of other unselfish men and women have borne the responsibility and heavy burden.

     The cornfield has given place to blue grass and alfalfa, a shaded avenue leads to the main building, which is a fine structure built of brick and stone.

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     On the basement floor are the kitchen and dining hall together with coal room and a number of dormitory rooms.

     On the second floor are four large cheerful class rooms with ample furniture and black boards for class work; the boys Y. M. C. A. room is also on this floor, and a modest beginning of a museum, also here are the general and president's offices.

     The third story is reached from the south by a broad well lighted stairway. This floor contains the girls Y. W. C. A. rest room, one of the most cheerful rooms in the building, partially because it has been touched up by a womans' deft hand; here is situated the chapel where the students all love to meet and sing, and cheer in athletic rallies.

     Newspaper clipping, article written by Eli Perisho, President of the college 1904-1908.

Do you remember?

The plays staged in the Chapel?

June Festivals?

Walt Nielsen and Jean McMillan's wedding in the Chapel?

Wilda Mott and Andy McConaughey's wedding on the lawn of the college?

Someone putting one of the teacher's cars upstairs in Hord Hall?

When Grace Gibson cooked at the college?

What Louise Eaton did at the college?

People who stoked the furnace?

Who the four Rubes were?
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D. Riley Haworth


D. B. Gilbert


Samuel Haworth


Emmet E. Hadley


Eli H. Perisho


Stacy J. McCracken


Stephen S. Myrick


Floyd W. Perisho


Homer J. Coppock


Ora W. Carrell


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Nebraska Central Academy

Alumni by Classes

     Since our records of Nebraska Central Academy graduates are not up to date we have not attempted to indicate which persons are deceased. The William Penn College Alumni Office will appreciate information in this regard.

Townsend, Edna


Wallis, Lillie A.

Evans, Ed N.

Willeman, Verdi M.

May, Mildred (Mrs. Earl Stacy)

Wilson, Walter H.

Stephen, Carrie (Mrs. E. N. Evans)




Emry, Ella (Mrs, William Truesdell)

Baker, Lee

Joyce, Rachel (Mrs. Vance Siler)

Chapman, Mattie

Mesner, Julia M. (Mrs. Milo H. Crosbie)

Collins, George

Roberts, Clyde Elvin

Connor, Mabel (Mrs. Percy Burke)

Hockett, Elma (Mrs. W. H.Green)



Crosbie, Milo H.

Joyce, Clarice M. (Mrs. Elton B. Hoskins)

Jewell, Alta L.

Kellogg, Asabel S. 

Mesner, Frank D.

Lebert, Fred C.

Roberts, Mable A. (Mrs. Charles Grieve)

Mesner, Charles Warren

Mesner, Gilbert M.


Nash, Frank R.

Crites, W. Frank

Sorrells, Mary

Jackson, J. Clifford

Wadsworth, Pearl

Mecay, Will

Wilder, James G.

Myers, Mabel

Reeves, Mary L. (Mrs. Neil McMillan)


Townsend, Bertha E. (Mrs. Percy L. Davis)    

Caldwell, Katherine

Wilder, Clara G. (Mrs. William Everett)

Davis, Hal

Wildman, Lela M. (Mrs. David McMurrin)   

Emry, Harriet F.

Ferris, Mamie (Mrs. Percy Gardner)


Fraker, Bertha H. (Mrs. Herbert C. Hartzell)

Adams, Elmer S.

Joyce, Mabel (Mrs. James Stephen)

Davis, Harry G.

Kellogg, Mary (Mrs. Errol D. Peckham)

Ellis, William Albert

Schultz, Lou F. (Mrs. Clyde E. Roberts)

Finch, Iona M. (Mrs. M. William Perry)

Shelton, Clara

Grieve, Charles E.

Stephen, Lucy Margaret (Mrs.Everett Myers)

Grieve, Clifford A.


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Renneker, Nofle W.

Remy, Alice

Roberts, Lucy A. (Mrs. Lee Pinkhard)

Reynolds, Mary (Mrs. John Roberts)

Wilder, Charles H.

Roberts, Alma

Van Sickle, Alice (Mrs. Edgar Daily)



Crosbie, Clarence S.

Davis, Percy L.


Grieve, William A.

Branaman, Harold

Harris, Jessie A.

Hadley, Evadine, (Mrs. Hubert Peckham)

Jones, Charles

Hockett, Lindel C.  

Mesner, Hugh P.

Johns, Edith

Mesner, John E.

Johnson, Edith

Potee, Harvey

Lowe, Ethel (Mrs. Floyd W. Perisho)

Roberts, Josepha (Mrs. C. Snow Mathis)

Marsh, Earl C.

Remy, Davis S.

Myers, Esther (Mrs. Elmer Watkins)

SorRells, Adaline

Roberts, Martha (Mrs. Eklund)

Stephen, Lillian (Mrs. Lee Van Zant)


Van Sickle, Ida (Mrs. Dan Hartford)

Caldwell, Floy (Mrs, Emmett Frescholn)

Wegner, Edward

Caldwell, Rosina (Mrs. George Moore)

Collins, Sidney (Mrs. Walter Hamlin)

Hoskins, Edith (Mrs. Paul A.Mendenhall)


Jackson, Edith (Mrs. Aldis Tucker)

Baldwin, Earl

Jefferson, Frank

Bice, Lawrence S.

Mendenhall, Alice (Mrs. E. Worth Coulson)

Campbell, Franklyn B.

Myers, Frank

Douglas, M. Josephine

Porter, Frank

Ellis, Ora (Mrs. Albert L. Marshburn)

Rash, Grace (Mrs. Havener)

Gibson, Raymond

Schroeder, John B.

Halling, Otto

Shelton, Harry B.

Hanson, Gurney F.

Townsend, Hazel (Mrs. R. R. Potee)

Hockett, Alta (Mrs. George Johns)

Townsend, Murray

Hockett, Clara (Mrs. Charles Wilder)

Tucker, Aldis J.

Holtz, Emmet

Willeman, Ernest M.

Mack, Donzella (Mrs. Paul Enge)

Quisenberry, Gladys


Rash, Roy H.

Campbell, Robert

Workman, Wilma (Mrs. Esek Perry)

Clark, Estelle

Collins, Ella (Mrs. William Grieve)


Gaw, Jennie (Mrs. Jake Benner)

Barnes, J. Roy

Hockett, Maud (Mrs. William Pratt)

Carter, Halliene

Hoopingarner, Willis

Clements, Curtis M.

Joyce, Stanley

Kanter, Emma J.

Mendenhall, Paul A.

Lindall, R. Myrtle

Mesner, Raymond D.

Perisho, Lester T.

Millsap, Ruth (Mrs. Frank Zimmerman)

Retzlaff, Henry E.

Smith, O. Keith

Sullivan, Wyndham


Watkins, Grace C. (Mrs.Raymond Gibson)

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