Merrick County's 100th Year: 1858-1958


AUSTIN PHELPS, 1875: born 1839, in Illinois; was Civil War Veteran; married Miss Marie Cummins in 1869; homesteaded 10 miles east of Palmer in 1875, and later located at Clarks; children. Carrie (Mrs. Al. Locke), Mary (Mrs. Frank Harland), Edward and Carlyle.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN PHELPS, 1867: born in Wisconsin in 1861; son of Elnathan Phelps, came to Merrick County in 1867 with his parents; His father died in the tornado of 1871. Abraham suffered a broken collar bone, and was knocked senseless. His sister Rose had a head injury. He was married in 1880 to Miss Cora Richfield and in later life they lived near Clarks. Children: Gertrude (Mrs. Paul Cunningham), Alnathan, William and Archie.

JOHN M. MILLER, 1872: born in Ohio in 1838; Civil War Ventera; married in 1862 to Alcinda Inbody; homesteaded in 1872 twelve miles northeast of Central City; children: Lovina (Mrs. James Pitt), Amanda (Mrs. F. H. Brown), Clarinda (Mrs. Dudley Miller), Joseph, James, William, Noah, Louis and Fred.

WILLIAM PHELPS: son of Bela and Henrietta Phelps, born in Illinois in 1851, a half-brother of Joseph Phelps; married in 1872 to Miss Mary Sidebottom; located in the early 1880's two miles west of Central City; children: Lily, Samuel, Claudie, Walter and Effie.

ADDISON J. PARKER: born 1856 in Sarpy County, came to Merrick County with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jason Parker, bought the first quarter section of land South of the Loup in Nance County, when the Indian Reservation land was thrown open for sale in 1878. In 1901 he returned to Merrick County.

J. G. GAGLE, 1870: Mr and Mrs. J. G. Gagle left Indiana in 1868 to emigrate to western Kansas. In 1870, they came to Nebraska and homesteaded on a farm 6 1/2 miles north and two miles west of Central City, or about 3 1/2 miles northwest of where the Gagle service station is now located. Of their ten children, two still reside in Merrick County. They are David E. Gagle who has operated the Gagle Service Station for the past twenty-six years; and Hattie (Mrs. Joe Fullington), who lives a mile and a half northwest of Central City.

WILLIAM F. CAMPBELL: brother of John F., born 1837, married to Miss Florissa Curtis, June 1, 1862; was Civil War Veteran; after the war brought his family to this county homesteading 160 acres close to the present location of Palmer on the southeast; Eleven children: Silas, Leander, Sabina (Mrs. Clarence Newlon), Mahala (Mrs. Sherman Cox), Prier, Horner, Orlando, Robert, Walter, Francina (Mrs. Arthur Nicholas), and Ruby.

ABRAM COLBORN, 1883: born in New York state in 1825, married in Canada in 1849, moved to Wisconsin and then to Howard County Nebraska in 1873, located on 80 acres 2 miles south of Palmer in 1883. Eleven children: Alonzo, George, John M., Hiram E., Marcus W., Benjamin F., Abraham L., Mary Catherine, Katie (Mrs. Ernest Atwell), Mabel (Mrs. Wm. Ross), Mrs. Nettie McCartney.

GEORGE COLBORN, son of Abram, homesteaded in the early 1870's on the farm southwest of Palmer where the Harry Weber family lived before they moved into Palmer a few years ago. George established a store and blacksmith shop on his claim.

HIRAM E. COLBORN, 1876: son of Abram, born Dec. 11, 1855, in Sauk County, Wis., homesteaded about 3 1/2 miles south of present site of Palmer in 1876; married in 1886 to Miss Mary Goodrich whose family came to Merrick County in 1872; Seven children: Benny, Mary Gertrude (Mrs. Lowell Smith), Lysle, Etoile (Mrs. Alvah Gee), Avery, Katie (Mrs. Elmer Izer), and Jessie (Mrs. Mel Mordaunt).

JOHN M. COLBORN, 1874: son of Abram Colborm, born 1853, in Canada, homesteaded in 1874, 2 1/2 miles south of Palmer, south of the present Gus Schlueter farm; married in 1880 to Miss Belle Jolls. Six children: Jessie (Mrs. W. E. Green), Lena, Edith (Mrs. H. E. Trout), Lee Jolls, Mark S., and Susie.

CLAUS FREDERICK HOLTORF, 1878: Born in 1841, at Holstein, Germany, came to Merrick County in 1878, homesteading about 6 miles north of Archer. Children: Adolph, Frederick, Rosa G. (Mrs. T. Neuhofel), Minnie F. (Mrs. George Grage), John H., Marx C., Wilhelm C., and Molly.

LUTELLUS L. FRAZER, 1878: born in Pennsylvania 1836; Civil War Veteran, came to Merrick County in 1878, and homesteaded 3 1/2 miles southeast of Archer. Children: Howard M., Jessie M. (Mrs. C. K. Sinsel) John N., and Arthur L.

JEFFERSON D. VAN PELT, 1879: born 1849 in Ohio, homesteaded 160 acres in the northwest corner on Midland precinct about 5 miles northwest of Archer and 5 miles east of


Palmer; children: Mayo, Milo, Sophia (Mrs. A. Nitzel), John B., Iona (Mrs. William Trebilcock), and Jessie D.

MILTON A. RAWLINGS, 1887: born at Bloomfield, Iowa, 1853; conducted a grocery and drug business at Mount Vernon, Mo., before coming to Archer in 1887. He operated a hardware store for two years, and then bought a farm northwest of Archer, Children: J. Oren and Samuel.

PAUL FRAUEN, 1868: born in Germany in 1847; in 1868 homesteaded 80 acres near the Lockwood Station about 7 miles southwest of Chapman in the southwest corner of the county; married in 1876 to Catherine Paustin, who was also a native of Germany; children: Cecelia (Mrs. Max Cornelius), Otto, Henry, John J., and Anna (Mrs. Chris Sass).

WILLIAM B. SHOEMAKER, 1871: born in Keokuk County, Iowa, in 1850; came to Merrick County in 1871, and later homesteaded on a farm four miles southwest of Chapman; children: Evelyn, Beatrice (Mrs. Frank Ritter), Inez, William N., George and Sarah.

CLARK NEWCOMER, 1871: born in Pennsylvania in 1835; came to Nebraska in 1871 and later homesteaded 160 acres at the northwest edge of the present town of Central City. Mrs. Newcomer died in 1879, and he was married in 1886 to Mrs. Elvira J. Porter Nash

WILLIAM F. SINSEL, 1875: born 1841, in West Virginia; married in 1866; came to Nebraska in 1875, and homesteaded about 1 1/2 miles south of present location of Archer; children: Charles J., Guy R., Thayer A., and Carl W. who married Jessie who later became County Treasurer.

ISAAC PLACE, 1873: born in Illinois in 1842; served in the army during the Civil War, came to Nebraska in 1873 and took up a timber claim two miles north of Palmer, where his grandson, John D. Place and family now reside. Children of Mr, and Mrs. Isaac Place were: Franklin who died young, John, Melissa E., and Janis (Mrs. J. R. Burke).

JOHN A. MILLER, 1873: born in Germany in 1842; came to America with his parents in 1856, and settled first in Wisconsin; served in the Civil War; married in 1868 to Miss Albertina Hoffman; came to Merrick County in 1873, and homesteaded about 8 miles south east of Palmer on the farm now owned by his son John. Mr. and Mrs. John A. Miller had 13 children: Amelia (Mrs. John Scheibe), Julius, Elizabeth (Mrs. Wm. Otte), Susie (Mrs. Henry Thede), Julia (Mrs. Herman Ruphoff), Esther (Mrs. Albert Peters), Ferdinand, Mollie (Mrs. Oscar Ernst), August, Emma (Mrs. Wm. Krause), John, Sarah (Mrs. John Beyers), and Clara (Mrs. Wm. Retzlaff).

THE DINSDALE FAMILY did not come to Merrick County until 1908, but they settled across the river in Nance County in 1886. Mr. and Mrs. George Dinsdale (Sr.) were natives of Yorkshire, England, came to America in 1882 and farmed in Douglas County Nebraska before coming to Nance County, where they purchased farm land. In 1908, Mr. Dinsdale sold his stock interests in Nance County and moved to Palmer, where he built a fine home and engaged in the elevator business.
      In 1909 while engaged in stacking hay Mr. Dinsdale was thrown and fatally injured. His sons, later with the help of his grandsons, have continued and expanded the business into one of the largest farming, grain, and cattle feeding operations in the county.

WARREN BURKMAN, 1879: son of Elias and Amelia B. Burkman was born at Medina, Ohio, Aug. 1, 1847; married to Elma Folsom of Wisconsin in 1867; settled on a farm 4 miles northeast of Palmer in 1879. They had five children: Genevieve (Mrs. David Baird), Frank, who raised eight daughters and one son, Bert, Clifford, Pearl (Mrs. Charlie Yatmon).

JOHN F. CAMPBELL, 1874: born in Porter County, Ind., Apr. 2, 1840; son of Samuel and Elizabeth Campbell; married Feb. 22, 1865, to Matilda Penrose of Knox County, Ohio; homesteaded 80 acres 1 1/2 miles south of Palmer in 1874 and bought 160 acres adjoining. Nine children: Elmer, Etta (Mrs. Wm. Rice), Nancy (Mrs. P. Petersen), Mary (Mrs. John Coolridge), Clara (Mrs. James Kyle), Andrew, Laura (Mrs. Edward Terry), Myrtle and Delbert.

SIMONSON: Two related branches of the Simonson family came from Norway in the early days and settled in Worms Community. Onon Simonson, born in 1848, came across the water to Illinois in 1866, married Miss Berte Egeland in 1870, and they homesteaded in Sec. 20, T. 13, R. 8, about a mile south of where Worms now is, in 1873. They had two children, Simon and Anne. Simon married Miss Selma Wagner in 1895, and their



children are Berte, Ella, Oscar, Onon and Norman.
     Another Simon Simonson, born in 1851, arrived in Grand Island from Norway in 1880, and in 1881 moved to his homestead north of Worms. Children in his family: Simon K., John, Anna, Dorothy (Mrs. Ed. Seim), Lafe Andrew, Onen, Thorval, and Emma (Mrs. August Helzer).

DAVID Y. CLARK, 1872: born in New York state in 1841; married to Lucy A. Perkins in 1862; in 1872 he homesteaded five miles southwest of Central City. Children: Charles, Grace, Katie (Mrs. John Desch), Guy, Frank, and George. Two of their sons, Guy and George became well known doctors. 

GEORGE A. CLARK, 1871: born 1840 in New York state; Civil War Veteran; Married in 1861 to Miss Florence A. Stickler in Illinois; homesteaded in 1871 on Silver Creek two miles west of the present Gambles service station. Two children were born: Carroll E. and Lela (Mrs. G. A. Rose). Two brothers, Oliver and William M. Clark, also came to Merrick County.

WILLIAM M. CLARK, 1871: born 1847 in Pennsylvania; homesteaded in 1872 six miles northeast of Archer and six miles northwest of Central City; married in 1875 to Miss Emily Bovee; children: Minnie (Mrs. George Drye), Josephine (Mrs. John Dillon), Oscar, Florence, Lela and Estella.

JOSEPH B. WHITE, 1871: born in New York state 1837; Civil War Veteran; married to Miss Laura Ann O'Neill in 1865 in Waterloo, Iowa; arrived at Lone Tree in April, 1871. He was a mason and builder. Children: Margaret (Mrs. Hugh Miller), Emeline (Mrs. John Baird), Elizabeth (Mrs. David Jackson), Laura (Mrs. Sid Baird), Hattie (Mrs. Bert Hughes), Rose (Mrs. James Danks), Josie (Mrs. Albert Miller), Arthur, Daisy (Mrs. David Green).

EUGENE HILTON, 1859: born in Maine 1844; came to Iowa with parents in 1857; in 1859, Eugene came to Lone Tree with his mother, Mrs. John Hilton, and two sisters, Fannie and Annie, and they took charge of the Lone Tree stage coach station. The Hilton ranch was one mile east of Lone Tree station. Eugene carried mail from Eagle Island to Wood River one year, homesteaded more land in 1868, and was married to Miss Helen Groves in 1869. Children: John, Minnie (Mrs. Frank Moore), Guy, Raymond, Fay and Verne.

THOMAS M. WILLEMAN, 1872: born in Ohio 1874; came to Nebraska in 1872 and homesteaded eight miles northwest of Central City; married to Miss Alice McIntosh in Ohio in 1874, returning to the homestead in Merrick County. Children: Roy, Myley (Mrs. Joseph Emmert), Lloyd, Verde, Sidney and Ernest. Mr. Willeman was Civil War Veteran.


Table of ContentsPhotos & Illustrations, Index of Names

NEGenweb Project / Merrick County / On Line Resources

Site Updated: 03 December 2015