William A. Jennings and Lucy Emma Whipple were born and married in Wyoming and moved to Nebraska at an early age. They had eight children, seven boys and one girl. Fredrick Groom and Zylphia Jane Ganierd were born in Casville, Wisconsin, Grant Co. They were married in Wisconsin and had three children, two boys and one girl. They moved to Nebraska when the children were 12 years, 8 years and 11 months old.
John Albert Jennings was born June 22, 1879, at Ord, Nebraska, Valley County, son of W. A. and Lucy Emma Whipple Jennings. Olive Hannah Groom Jennings was born December 1, 1879, at Casville, Wisconsin, Grant County, daughter of Fredrick Groom and Zylphia Jane Groom. She came to Nebraska with her parents in a covered wagon at age 11 months.
Both the Jennings and the Grooms moved to Petersburg, Nebraska, and lived there for many years. They moved to Nance County in 1932 and lived since then in and near Fullerton.
At age 17, John Albert Jennings and Olive Hannah Groom were married. They had 10 children, 6 girls and 4 boys. J. A. Jennings passed away January 1, 1947, and Olive died December 15,1961. At one time they had three daughters, 2 daughters-in-laws and a granddaughter teaching in Nebraska.
Joseph H. McKillip was born on January 2, 1902, in Boone County, Nebraska. He is the son of Daniel J. McKillip and Ada Robertson McKillip. He has two sisters Edith and Thelma.
His family moved from Humphrey, Nebraska, to Belgrade, Nebraska, in March of 1919 to the Sprague farm just west of Belgrade, now occupied by Ron Scott.
Joe finished his junior and senior years in Belgrade High School and graduated with the class of 1921. His classmates were Sadie Campbell, Helen Clark and Dillard Winn.
He played on the basketball team in 1920 and 1921. The biggest thrill was the night the team beat the Genoa Indian School team on the home floor. That was quite an accomplishment and honor. Dean Halton was the coach.
Some of his high school teachers were the greatest. Professor Riggs, Stella Deaver, Nettie Shively, Miss Hagar and Bess Cooley. Bess Cooley was Spanish teacher, having just returned from the Philippines where she had taught for five years. They made it a real pleasure to attend classes and were real pals out of school as they would join in at our parties and dances.
Belgrade was a prosperous and upcoming town in those days. Just a reminder of the business places that we were proud of were:
From the west side of main street was Charles Pepper's filling station; Carl and Less Cooper's garage; Jess Clark's pool hall; Belgrade Village Hall built by Frank Bressler, the local carpenter; Charles Smith, grocery and dry goods. Next was George McChesnee's grocery store. Also specialized in Red Goose Shoes. Upstairs were the offices of Dr. Glen Fonda. dentist, and Dr. Delaney, M.D. Just west of the store was Colley's lumber yard. Next was Sam Vosburgh Insurance Office; Norcross and Rose Drug & Jewelry Store, Mark Andersen's cream station; Ira and Floyd Irby's Barber Shop, Dad Clayburg's, soft drinks and cards; Farmer State Bank; Ana Foland's grocery store; Orville (Dutch) Kedel's drug store; upstairs was the Belgrade Opera House, noted for home talent plays and good dance orchestras that drew crowds from miles around. Pearl Osborn's dress shop; H. C. Kayton cream station; you could order machinery repairs through our good blacksmith, Tommy Hinton; and Dr. H. E. King's office were some of the other stores on the west side of the main street.
Many stores on the east side of the street were: the Belgrade Herald, Editor Bob Dopf; the Chicago Lumber Yard, A. W. Hetrick, Mgr. later G. V. (Casey) Cahou was manager; Wolcott Harness & Shoe Shop. Belgrade Theater, Delbert Knight showed the latest in good movies; Andrews Implement Store; a
cafe, the U.S. Post Office; upstairs were Lodge Halls for the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs. That building was torn down and now Bessie's Cafe occupies that location.
East of the Post Office was a shed that housed the Fire Department's hose cart. Across the street, the Bank of Belgrade and the Belgrade Hotel, now the BelHorst Inn. There was Nelson and Harris's grocery and dry goods. Harris later sold his share to Olie Nelson and moved to Monroe. Fred Brown's Barber Shop; Van Wormer's Meat Market, was later sold to W. P. (Bill) Hayford, Ralph Wolcott helped Bill in the shop and Bill also supplied Belgrade with ice from an ice house at the bayou. Ben Ainlay's Insurance and Real Estate Office and John Eldrige's Bakery, which was later sold to Mr. and Mrs. Cliff DeLancey and they operated a cafe; Dr. Yocum's dental office and Rolf's Boarding House.
The Hord Ranch was a big asset to Belgrade, managed by Dan Haun. They employed about 15 families, most of them lived in Belgrade. The farmers could always find a ready market for their surplus grains.
Dr. G. W. Jackson was our veterinary. He kept a nice herd of Jersey cows and kept Belgrade supplied with milk. After graduation Joe worked for Olie Nelson in his grocery store. Testing cream and buying poultry and eggs for $35 a month.
He received his appointment as rural mail carrier on September 5, 1922 and was the proud owner of a new Model "T" Ford. Our winters were quite severe with a lot of snow and the roads had to be all hand shoveled as there wasn't any snow equipment then. Many days Joe shoveled right along with the crews and would go as far as he could, then he would come home at night.
In the spring when the thaws came, the roads were impassable for cars, so the route was made by team and buggy. Those were long weary cold days, often from 8 a.m. until 7 or 8 p.m. on cold days. Many times a mail carrier would have to walk along side of the team to keep warm.
After Joe's mother's death in 1923, his father sold out on the farm in 1924 and moved to Fremont, Nebraska.
Joe joined the Belgrade Fire Department in 1924 and played with the Belgrade baseball team several years. He married Lucille Ainlay on June 1,1925. Their daughter, Betty Jean, was born at Grand Island, Nebraska, on October 15, 1930.
There are fond memories of the years we lived in Belgrade. Hunting and fishing in the Cedar River, the old bayou and the old duck pond. Joe also ran a trap line through the winter months that proved quite profitable as furs were a good price. He would catch muskrats, mink, racoon (sic) and skunks.
They didn't have gas heat those days and wood was plentiful along the Cedar River. Joe always cut and stored a supply to keep the family warm through the winter.
A vacancy on a longer route caused him to apply for a transfer to Genoa, Nebraska, which was granted. We moved on February 1, 1934.
Joe had an exceptionally good 75-mile route, but after battling the elements for 43 years, 12 years on the Belgrade route and 31 years at Genoa, he decided he had been through enough winters, so he retired on October 1, 1965.
His patrons were always the greatest, always so thoughtful and kind to him and he always enjoyed serving them to the best of his ability.
Joe helped organize the Nance County Historical Society and served as its first president. It has developed into quite a show place for all of Nance County.
Joe's hobbies are hunting and fishing and refinishing old furniture.
Anton Pelikan was born in Czechoslovakia on April 20, 1883, and died May 19, 1972. He came to the United States in 1891 when he was 8 years old. He grew to manhood in Saline County, Nebraska.
In 1918, he came to Nance County, Nebraska, where he lived on the same farm until 1968 when he moved into Fullerton. He married Anna Nabity at Central City on November 28, 1923. They had two daughters, Alice and Anna. Anna died at age 7.
Alice married Richard Gabriel on May 14, 1947. Richard passed away on December 6, 1975. Mrs. Pelikan died on October 25, 1975. There are four grandchildren: Leonard Gabriel, Dennis Gabriel, Vickie (Gabriel) Christensen and Mariann Gabriel.
Benjamin Joseph Ainlay was born in Brussel Ontario, Canada, the son of John and Eliza Jane (Walker) Ainlay. In 1876, the family and their six children moved to Howard County, Nebraska, to a place known as Canada Hill, so called because of the large number of Canadian emigrants living there. They settled on a farm near the towns of St Paul and Boelus. Two children were born to them while they lived in Howard County.
On March 13, 1880, the family moved to Nance County, Nebraska, where they lived for ten years on Timber Creek on a star mail route named Redwing. The means of travel from St. Paul was by horse team and wagon. They had some teams of oxen, which were used to break prairie and till the land. Five more children were born there.
Nance County was a Pawnee Indian Reservation until about that time when the United States government traded the Indians out of it and opened it to settlement as Nance County. John Ainlay, in 1881, purchased a tract of this government land, the deed signed by Chester Arthur, President of the United States - Recorders Receipt No. 1226. Registered November 20, 1882. The price was $3 per acre. The family had been living in a "combination dug out" and sod home, and with the help of neighbors, a 2-story house was erected. A sawmill located down the creek furnished the cottonwood and oak lumber.
The first school, a sod and log structure, was built in 1880. Labor was donated by the parents of the district; Ben's father, John Ainlay, who was a cabinet maker and carpenter in Canada; and a neighbor, a Mr. Ellsworth, built the desks and seats. School District No. 9 opened its first term with a large enrollment, including six Ainlay children. Miss Fannie Ellsworth was the first teacher at a salary of $25 a month. Parents furnished the fuel for the school term. Ben Ainlay often recalled and was grateful for the solid training in the little sod school house District No. 9 Redwing. He spoke of the spelldowns, the debate teams, the box socials and the "musicals". The Ainlay's were a happy family and enjoyed singing.
In 1890 John Ainlay sold their farm to Henry Hellbusch, Sr., and moved to Farnam, Nebraska, in Dawson County. This time the mode of travel was by Burlington Railroad. The oldest son went to the passenger train with the mother and the younger children to help care for them enroute. John Ainlay, Ben and brother Charles traveled on a free pass, with their faithful dog, "Shep", accompanying the car of livestock, machinery and houshold (sic) effects.
Ben completed his schooling in Dawson County, and attended Lincoln Business College. He was a member of a college male quartette (sic) group and spent some time touring with them in the area. He returned to Farnam, Nebraska, and worked in a bank as a cashier for two years.
In 1901, Ben Ainlay and his bride, Mayme Garven Ainlay, moved to Belgrade, Nebraska, where he opened an insurance and real estate office. An advertisement appearing in the 1902 History of Belgrade, Nebraska, It's
resources and Advantages reads:B. J. Ainlay, Real Estate and Loans. Improved and unimproved land in Boone and Nance Counties for sale at prices that make gilt-edge investements (sic) and desirable homes. Lands bought and sold. I show you the country free of charge.
This he did, driving a team and a top buggy. As time progressed, a Maxwell car was used.
He was active in community affairs from the beginning. With his ability for meeting people he had a keen interest in promoting and developing the civic and educational welfare of Belgrade, serving on the town board, school board and as a member of the volunteer fire department.
During World War I, he was a loyal worker on the "Home Front", selling War Bonds, organized Red Cross workers and serving as a "Minute Man", who delivered one-minute "pep talks" at gatherings and movie theatres in Nance County and nearby towns. During the severe influenza epidemic at that time, when often entire families were stricken, he delivered hot soup and checked to get help for their care.
As a Republican, Ben Ainlay took an active interest in political affairs and was a faithful worker for the success of the party in Nance County. He served as a delegate to county and state conventions and was chairman of the Nance County Republican Central Committee for many years. He served District No. 50 in the Nebraska House of Representatives, from 1913-1919, and as a member of the Nebrasks (sic) Senate from District No. 9, 1917-1919. He served as director of the Cedar Valley Public Power and Irrigation District. He also served as Nance County Assessor for 10 years.
He retired in 1962 after 62 years in the insurance and real estate business in Belgrade.
He died on January 25, 1966. His hobbies were music, reading, hunting and fishing.
Mayme Morse Garven Ainlay was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, in 1881, to Anthony and Mary Morse Garven. At 8 years of age, she moved with her parents to Farnam, Nebraska. She attended school there and the Franklin Academy, a Congregational school, in Franklin, Nebraska. She was married in 1901 to Benjamin J. Ainlay and came to Belgrade as his bride, where she spent the remainder of her life.
In addition to raising a large family, she found time to take part in civic and educational affairs. She was an active worker in the Ladies Aid Society, a member of the school board, serving as its secretary for a number of years; in Red Cross work for the local chapter in World War I. She was a charter member of the Priscilla Rebekah Lodge of Belgrade.
She died on August 22,1950.
Mr. and Mrs. Ainlay are survived by five daughters: Miss Marguerite Ainlay of Belgrade, Nebraska; Mrs. J. H. (Lucille) McKillip of Genoa, Nebraska; Mrs. Harold (Dorothy) Whitehead of Monroe, Wisconsin, Mrs. Helen Vogt of Bettendorf, Iowa; and Mrs. James (Elinor) Kennedy of Covina, California. Their only son, Benjamin J. Ainlay, of Troy, Kansas, died in October of 1979.
The Charles Grafft family moved from Page County, Iowa, to the farm they had purchased in Nance County, Nebraska, in 1907. They built the house on the farm now occupied by Dick Allington. A daughter, Grace, attended rural District No. 37 while the family lived here. She died in 1908 at the age of 13 following amputation of her leg. They sold this farm and purchased a farm at the edge of the seven hills area of Nance County. This farm is now owned by Clifford McCray.
Following the marriage of their son, Eben Grafft, to Ruby Hadfield in 1911, Mr. and Mrs. Grafft and daughters, Fannie and Stella moved to the home they built at 713 Division in Fullerton.
Mr. and Mrs. Eben Grafft and children moved to Holt County, Nebraska in 1918 or 1919. Stella Grafft married Aaron Hadfield in 1912. They lived in
Nance County, Nebraska, throughout their married life.
Mrs. Grafft died in 1917. Mr. Grafft later sold the home at 713 Division and resided in Oklahoma several years, later returning to Fullerton where he died in 1931.
A granddaughter, Bethel Hadfield Bearce resides in Fullerton.
Fannie Grafft married Frank Baker and lived in Oklahoma.
Earl Grafft married Nellie Bearce and lived in Texas, Missouri and Iowa.
George Rieken was born at Peoria, Illinois on June 16, 1879. He was the first baby to be baptized in the first Lutheran Church built at Peoria, Illinois. When he was about 12 years old his parents came to Nebraska settling at Humphrey. A few years later they moved three miles north of Cedar Rapids Nebraska, where he grew up. He married Carrie Michael at Albion, Nebraska, on October 2, 1902.
Carrie was born at Belgrade, Nebraska on August 30, 1885 to Henry and Ida Michael on the place where Edward Ksiazek lives now. Henry Michael had the first boarding house in Belgrade, just north of where the post office building is now. She put up lunches for the men who built the railroad to Cedar Rapids.
After George and Carrie were married they lived north of Cedar Rapids in a sod house where they farmed. Later they moved closer to Primrose, Nebraska and that is where some of us had seen the first power driven car and it almost scared us to death.
Mr. and Mrs. Rieken moved to Nance County in about 1907, where George bought 160 acres of land for $900. Without any buildings on the land, they rented a place south of it with buildings. We lived there for two years. The place was south of the Timber Creek Store, about two miles from where Miss Beverly Abbey lives now.
George had cut the sod for the last sod house in Nance County and built it himself. It was cemented on the inside and had wooden floors and a shingled roof, which made it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They built a new frame house a short distance from the sod house in 1914. In 1920, they moved to Howard County where more land could be farmed and there was pasture land for cattle. In 1933, they moved back to Nance County and later moved to Boone County where they celebrated their 50th anniversary.
In the picture of the sod house, three of the children are pictured with their father in the back, with the first mule colt he raised. He liked to raise horses and would sell a good many matched teams.
They raised a family of nine children, of which eight are still living. Our grandfather, Henry Michael, helped to get the first Lions Club started in Fullerton and also the Eagles Club. He was into real estate in Fullerton. They left Fullerton in 1938 for California, where he passed away in 1939.
John Smiley Moore, grandfather of Nettie (Moore) Myers, was born on February 21, 1829, at Sharon, Ohio. On January 1, 1852, he married Hannah Bigley, who was born on March 13, 1829, at Sharon, Ohio. The following spring they moved to Cascade, Iowa, later moving to Delaware County, Iowa, and stayed there for 21 years. Their seven children were born there.
In February of 1857, two-year-old Nancy slid under the ice on the river near their home, (when the new baby was just four days old) the body wasn't found until spring. The family left Delaware County, Iowa, in a covered wagon to Fremont, Nebraska, in the fall of 1873. Moving from there 1 1/2 years later to a homestead at Pinnacle Hill in Boone County, 4 1/2 miles northeast of Belgrade, Nebraska. A sod house was built and later a frame house was built with the lumber hauled from Fremont, the closest railroad town. This new house was their pride and joy, but they nearly froze to death the first winter.
On nice winter days they would go to the river in a wagon to cut ice and store it in an ice cave for summer use; they also cut wood for fuel for cooking and to heat the house. They raised vegetables, storing them in the cellar for winter meals.
A tribe of Indians lived not too far away and when the Moore's were at the river the Indians would come over to see what was going on and admire and touch the youngest child, (a little blonde blue eyed girl). One winter when the Indian chief was hunting a blizzard came up. The Moore's heard a knock on their door and opening the door they found a very sick Indian; they took care of him until he was well enough to go home to his tribe. The Indians told them they would never have to circle around the Indian Village to go to town that the Moore's were welcome to travel through their village, but all other white people would still have to circle the village to go to town. Later the Indian chief sent one of their ponies to the little blonde girl because the family had been so good to him. The little girl (Lettie) rode the pony to school each morning then turned it loose to go home.
Some of the large cattle drives went by the Moore section of land. They liked to stop there knowing they were safe from the Indians.
John Moore wouldn't allow any drinking, card playing or other gambling on his place, so the men were always sober and didn't cause trouble with any Indians that might be passing by.
John Moore was one of the founders of the Methodist Episcopal Church at
Pinnacle Hill and with his wife was always active there.
After turning 21 years of age in November of 1885, his son, Joseph Wm. Moore bought a quarter section of land in Nance County, just east of his parents' homestead, from the government for $8 per acre. Before that it was Indian land and could not be bought or homesteaded.
Joseph Wm. Moore and Carrie Frances Martin were married in November of 1895 and lived on the place for 30 years. They were the parents of four children, Gladys, lives in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and has seven children; Nettie lives in Fullerton, Nebraska, had five children with the second and third deceased, Voil G. lived only seven weeks; and Ilo the youngest passed away in 1975 at 75 years of age. He had seven children.
Nettie Moore's husband L. R. (Bunch) Myers was a rural mail carrier for 41 years before he passed away in 1967. She taught school three years before she was married.
This is the story of the Moore family who homesteaded in Boone County, but wound up in Nance County.
Mr. and Mrs. William Wetovick were married in Plesna, Poland, on May 7, 1885. They left their homeland for America in 1889, when both were in their 20's. Mrs. Wetovick's brother Jon Fyda was to meet them in the Village of Duncan and the train didn't stop, so it took them on to Grand Island, where they spent the night on an open platform until the next morning when the train came back from North Platte.
They lived in a sod house until they moved to Nance County in 1893, 9 1/2 miles east of Fullerton in another sod house. In 1903, they moved 4 1/2 miles east of Fullerton. They encountered floods that came from Prairie Creek, north of Central City, and also dry years. In 1915, they bought 38 acres on the east edge of Fullerton's city limits, and lived there until retiring in 1937. They bought a house one block from the Catholic Church and lived there for 12 years.
They had six daughters and two sons: Mrs. Sophie Boro, deceased; Mrs. Anna Boro of Silver Creek, Nebraska; Mrs. Emily Koziol, deceased; Mrs. Albina Zima of Ashtabula, Ohio; Mrs. Victoria Warloski of Columbus, Nebraska; Mrs. Leocadia Siemek, of Fullerton, Nebraska; August Wetovick, Sr., deceased; and Edward Wetovick of Kearney, Nebraska.
A. R. (Rangley) Hadfield was born in Waukeshau, Wisconsin. His family later moved to Osage, Iowa. Rangley left home at a young age and drove a freight wagon in Colorado, dressed game for the railroad and participated in a cattle drive from Texas to Colorado.
He came to Nance County around 1876 and purchased a quarter of land in Loup Ferry Township, south of North Star. He bought a grasshopper breaking plow to work his land and helped other farmers to break the sod on their land earning money in this fashion to pay for his quarter and two additional quarters which he acquired.
Rangley married Jessie O. Burke on December 22, 1883. Their five children were Gwendolyn Maybon, Georgie Coakley, Aaron, Ruby Grafft, and Clifford.
Though Rangley was essentially a farmer, he never lost his love for livestock. He had a large herd of cattle and the best horses and mules in the area.
In 1910, Rangley moved to Fullerton and a home was built at 506 Reynolds now owned by Dr. Donn Simonson. Aaron and later Clifford farmed the home place. Clifford lives in Fullerton, with his wife Emma Alvina, daughter of Hans Frenzen. Clifford and Emma have two children, Mrs. Robert (Wynona) Forbes of Palmer, Nebraska, and Clifford Douglas of Belgrade, Nebraska.
Bethel Bearce, a daughter of Aaron, also lives in Fullerton.
Jacob Benjamin Rohner, familiarly known as Jake, was born on April 16 1865, in Sioux City, Iowa. He was a Swiss descendant, his parents having come from Switzerland. He married Emma May Gelston, who was born in Elk City, Nebraska, in 1870. The family came to Nebraska in 1890 and lived near Belgrade, Nebraska, later moving to Fullerton where he was a dealer in farm machinery and automobile sales.
There were two sons, Ralph, born on January 1, 1895. He died on September 1, 1896. Lester Leo was born on May 22, 1904. He married BenDena Monica Zeller and they had one daughter. He is now retired and living in Columbus, Nebraska, where he had owned and operated the Rohner Motor Company, worked for United Finance Corporation and owned and managed the Gottschalk Insurance Agency until his retirement in 1969.
Alfred Brown, Sr., was born in Meigs County, Ohio, in 1841. He was the son of John and Mary Hampton Brown. His father and older brother died when he was 13 years old, leaving him the oldest of the four remaining children. In 1861, he enlisted in the Union Army, and fought in the Civil War for four years. He was engaged in many major battles and was wounded once. His younger brother, Harvey, was killed in a battle near Reseca, Georgia, in 1864.
After the war, he farmed for seven years in Ohio before moving to St. Paul, Nebraska, in 1872 with his wife, the former Ruth P. Crowell, and small son, Ora.
They were former neighbors of the Paul Brothers, who founded St. Paul.
The following spring they moved to Loup City, Nebraska, to their homestead. There he farmed, also served as the first Sunday School Superintendent, County Treasurer and County Commissioner, until they moved to Nance County in 1878.
Their farm, which was purchased from the government, was located in the western part of Nance County in the community now known as Glenwood.
It took three days to move their livestock which consisted of 935 head of sheep, some cows, a team of horses and a span of mules. That first fall they put up over 100 tons of hay, using very primitive tools.
Their first house was made of lumber purchased in Kearney, framed in Loup City and then moved to Nance County.
It was a hardship to go to St. Paul after the mail so a post office was established in their home. Also, at that time, a Star Route was formed from St. Paul to Genoa and then they got their mail three times a week. There were four other post offices on the route.
After losing many of the sheep to dogs and wolves, they commenced raising cattle and hogs. He bought more land until he owned 480 acres.
The family consisted at that time of Ora, Evalina, Jr. Alf., Ben and Mittie.
Ora never married. He died in 1944.
Evalina (Wages) died in 1905. Her four sons then made their home with their grandparents.
In 1913, Ruth P. Brown died. Alfred Brown remarried in 1923 to Mrs. Julia Gage of Palmer. He died in 1933 at the age of 92.
Jr. Alf Brown married Ruth I. Niles of Fullerton in 1906. He lived on a farm across the road from the original home his entire life. He raised purebred Belgian horses and did diversified farming. He died in 1972 at the age of 92. Their children were Harvey, Roger, Jack and Ruth Marie.
Jack married Maxine Lamberson and died in 1972. Their three children are Joan, Buster and Barbara.
Harvey and Roger still live in Nance County.
Harvey married Leta Lamberson. Their children are Dyke, Jay R. and Donna who all reside near Fullerton.
Roger married Elsie Jacobsen. Their four children are Bryan, Jean, Robert and Kenneth.
Ruth Marie married Dale Wages, and lives in Montana. Her six children are Dean, Jean, Joyce, Judy, David and Janet.
Ben lived on the home place for many years. He was married twice. His first wife was Myra Carter. His second wife was Inez Gates. His children are: Mildred Ada (Pelican), Beulah (Sterling), Benjamin and Buren.
Mittie married Oscar Hadley. Their children are Oscar and Dale.
John Fehrs, son of Hans and Christina (nee Nitsen Fehrs), was born in Germany on July 24, 1854, and came to the United States May 27, 1881. He lived in Iowa until 1885 before he came to Nebraska. He received his naturalization papers on September 14, 1906. He married on July 12, 1889, Anna Bokelmann, daughter of Peter and Anna Hedwig (nee Vagts), who had also come from Germany. They lived on a farm south of Genoa, one year in the Skeedee area and then came to live in Timber Creek Township choosing this area because of a settlement of people, who had come from Germany and because there was an established Lutheran church. John died in 1928 and Anna in 1924. A brother, Henry, shared their home.
There were five children:
Henry Hans, born June 21, 1890, died February 1947.
Marie Welhemena, born May 24, 1900, died May 25 1900.
Peter John, born February 3, 1892, died August 4, 1918.
Helena Christina, born April 21, 1893, died in 1968.
Herman Carl, born July 26, 1896, died November 1 1970.
Henry and Helena, familiarly known as Lena, lived in the family home and continued to do so after their parents' death.
Peter served in the United States Army in World War I training at Camp Funston, Kansas, and serving as a Private in Company "A" of the 28th Infantry in France, where he gave his life on August 4, 1918. The family always lived with the added sorrow that he never had a furlough to come home after he was drafted.
Herman was married to Helen Naomi Irwin, daughter of Lewis Richardson and Eva Rose (nee Graves) Irwin on October 20,1935, and they lived on a farm in the Timber Creek area moving to the "home" place after the death of Henry.
On November 23, 1937 a son, John Allen was born. He attended school at District No. 62 and No. 7, graduated from Belgrade High School in 1955, and from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1960. He enlisted in the United States Navy, was chosen for Officer's Candidate School, graduated and served until 1964. He attained the rank of Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve. He married Sharon Kay Hansen, daughter of Louis and Annabel (nee Rieken) Hansen, on October 17, 1964. They have three sons, Troy Allen, born on March 9, 1966; Steven John, born on April 10, 1968; and David Louis, born on October 3, 1969. They now live at Norfolk, Nebraska.
Lewis Richardson Irwin was born on September 21, 1875, in Union Mills, Indiana. He came by covered wagon with his parents, James and Martha Virginia (nee Snavely), to Nebraska in 1878 and lived in Seward County. He escaped possible disaster in the blizzard of 1888 because his riding horse refused to be restrained and took him from a neighbor's farm, at a rapid gait, arriving at his parents' home just before the storm struck.
He came to Nance County with his parents, three sisters, Eva, Gladys, and Etho, and one brother, Willis, in 1901 and lived on a farm near Genoa.
On November 27, 1907, he married Eva Rose Graves, who was born on November 5, 1888, daughter of William Allen and Sarah Martha (nee Pickerel) Graves. She was a Nance County teacher. Lewis died on January 30, 1952 and Eva on December 25, 1958.
They had five children all of whom were Nance County teachers at some time. The children are Leta Ramona, born August 29, 1908, who married Vernon Luther Morris on June 1, 1930. They lived on a farm on the western edge of Nance County until they retired and moved to Fullerton in 1978. Ramona was a teacher for 20 years the last five years being in the Wolbach School. They had one daughter, Linda Lu (Mrs. Jack Sample) and three grandsons.
Helen Naomi born on her mother's birthday, November 5, 1911. She married Herman Carl Fehrs on October 20, 1935. They lived on a farm in Timber Creek Township. They had one son, John Allen, born on November 23, 1937, who married Sharon Kay Hansen. There are three grandsons. Helen now lives in Fullerton. She belongs to Peace Lutheran Church, Peace Lutheran Church Women, Timber Creek Home Extension Club, Nance County Home Extension Council, Nebraska Contest Writer's Association, first life member of the Nance County Historical Society, a charter member of the Fullerton Flower Belles Garden Club, the Fullerton Woman's Club, served on the Fullerton Park, Tree and Recreation Board and the Advisory Committee of Fullerton Adult Education classes and American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 151.
Etho Arlene, born on July 19, 1914, married Marion Howard Wilson on March 30, 1940. They live on a farm at St. Paul, Oregon. Arlene was a teacher in the Salem, Oregon, school system until retiring in 1976. They have one daughter, Marlene Kay (Mrs. John Fox), one son, Douglas Marion, and one grandson and one granddaughter.
Richard Leslie, born on September 3, 1917, lives in Rockville, Maryland. He is now Laboratory Director of the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He married Lorella Garton on May 25, 1943, and they have two daughters, Cynthia (Mrs. Jim Power); Martha (Mrs. Kerry Fedderly) and one son, Richard Garton Irwin. There is one grandson.
Virginia Eloise, born on September 12, 1923, lives in Fullerton, Nebraska with her husband, Wm. M. Anderson, Jr., whom she married on June 1, 1946. She is a bookkeeper for Whited & Son's John Deere Implement Co. They have one daughter, Jeanne Eloise (Mrs. Ralph Horacek), and one son, William Lee. There are three grandchildren.
William Myers was born December 18, 1854, and in about 1866 came to Nebraska from Calhoun County, Illinois. He resided first at Blair, then Shelton and then in Nance County. He was a farmer, steam boat operator on the Missouri and was a fireman on the railroad. After coming to Nance County, he lived 12 miles southwest of Fullerton on the north side of the Loup River.
Abigail Finas was born March 28, 1861, and in about 1868 came to Nebraska from Greggville, Illinois. William and Abigail Myers were some of the first settlers in Nance County when land in the county had been kept by the Government for the Pawnee Indian Reservation but was being sold to settlers as school land for $2.50 to $3.00 per acre. The money was to be used to start schools, so it was called School Land. In 1879, just recently married, they came in a covered wagon pulled by oxen from Shelton, Nebraska. They crossed the Loup River four or five miles west of where the Palmer Bridge now stands on a Ferry Boat run by John Luddington. There were no roads, they just drove across the prairie in the direction they wished to go. They settled on Horse Creek just at the foot of hill country. They had partly hill land and partly valley. They wished to run their cattle in the hills and water them in Horse Creek or the Loup River. They built the first wooden frame house in that part of the country. Others were "Soddies" or "dug outs". They hauled their lumber from Grand Island across the prairie in wagons often getting stuck in the sand south of the Loup River.
There was a Pony Express that brought the mail once or twice a week for 2¢ a letter. One post office was on Cotton Wood Creek, land now owned by Alf Brown; another post office closer to them about 1 1/2 miles on land later owned by George Russell. "Amrow" was the name of one and "Lone Tree" the other. The old post office was still standing a few years ago on land now owned by Donald Cunningham.
There were no houses between their place and the ferry boat landing west of the Palmer Bridge. Pawnee Indians were frequent visitors at the little house asking for food. Prairie fires and grasshoppers were other problems.
Then at the time of the Horse Creek Murder, William was with the possee (sic) that looked for the killer. Abigail stayed at home alone with three small children while the men looked day and night for the killer. She was frightened that it may be their turn next. There were some good times too, when neighbors dropped in for a night of square dancing to William's violin music. New neighbors kept coming into the territory. Some of them were Bales, Lawrence's, and later the Russell's.
They lived on the same farm all their lives enlarging the house as needed to hold ten children. William died in 1922 and Abigail in 1942. Their children were Leatsy Mae, married to Ed McCloud, now deceased. Purl Oscar, married Marie
Henke, now deceased. George Wesley, now deceased. Emery William, married to Ida Grouch and then to Alice Owens, now deceased. Luella E. of Ft. Morgan, Colorado, Estella Grace, married Harry Gravis, now deceased. Bernice Marie married Harley Scott, now of Ft. Morgan, Colorado. Iva Zerelda married William Fredricken, now of Fullerton. Ina Carolyn married Melvin Williams of Fullerton. Abbie Fern married Guy Gilson now of Fullerton.
Ina Carolyn married Melvin E. Williams on June 24, 1922, at Fullerton, Nebraska. To this union 9 children were born. Barbara June married Ed Bridgland of DeGraffe, Minnesota. Evelyn Darlene married Elmer Meyer now of Belgrade, Nebraska. Wilford Melvin, married Rachel Peterson, now deceased. Wesley Wayne, married Florence Berst, now of St. Paul, Nebraska. Richard Ray, married Patricia Ohern, now of Genoa. Ralph LeRoy, married Donna Wicht, now of Dannebrog. Melva Jean married Lyle Nicholson, now of St. Edward. James Lynn, married Jeanette Nelson, now of Central City. Carolyn Kam, married Micheal Brannan, now of Norwalk, Iowa.
William A. Scarlett was born in Orange County, North Carolina, on October 9, 1830. When he was 14 years old his parents moved to Indiana where he lived until 1849. In 1849 he crossed the plains with a small party going to California where he gained considerable wealth in the new gold field, later returning to Indiana.
On December 13, 1853, he married Lydia A. Faucett in Orangeville, Indiana. When they heard of the government selling land for $3.50 an acre in Nance County, Nebraska they immediately decided to come west and look the land over. On March 3, 1879, they left Illinois. They started out in three covered wagons driving cattle and horses making from 13 to 25 miles a day. There were a lot of prairie chickens and wild game along the journey and by baking bread they got along nicely. He bought 492 acres. Buying four places, 160-160-92, giving Tom Scarlett and George Scarlett 80 acres apiece. Ernest Fickwiler buying the 92 acres.
Eight miles west of the town, now Fullerton, which was only a land office and a postoffice at that time, they lived in a cabin on Horse Creek until the house was built. The lumber for the building was hauled from Central City over old buffalo trails and crossing the Loup River on a Ferry.
In the fall of 1880, Almira and four other members of the family went back to Iowa in a covered wagon. Roads had improved, put the team in a stable for 10¢ when starting back to Nebraska went to hotel bought coffee three quarts for 15¢. Slept in a new barn and paid 10¢ for each of them. January 29th., crossed the river at Council Bluffs, Iowa, on ice and camped at Fremont, Nebraska. Then Schuyler and Genoa arriving home safe.
Later William gave a corner of his home place for a building of a school house in 1884, and in 1900 donated more land north of the school house for a Methodist Church. They resided on the 169 acres which they settled on until their deaths. To this union were born eight children, six girls and two boys. William died July 6, 1905, and Lydia died March 6, 1907.
Emily Jane Scarlett was born October 15, 1854. She married W. Eli Lawrence on April 19, 1878. They had four children: Gertie, Arland, Pearl and Lessie. Emily died January 4, 1937 and Eli January 18, 1937.
Evander Thomas (Tom) Scarlett was born in Mercer, Illinois December 25, 1858. He was united in marriage to Arbell Versaw, February 24, 1879, at Altoona, Iowa. Five children were born to this union. Jessie, Olin, Vernie, and Clarence and Clara, twins. Tom died August 3, 1918, and Belle died on December 6, 1945. Their daughter Jessie married Munson Knowles.
George A. Scarlett was born in Mercer, Illinois, on April 20,1861. He was united in marriage to Nancy Morrison, born June 28, 1881, at Fullerton, Nebraska. Three children were born to this union: Minnie, Charley, Lydia. He died October 24, 1895, and Nancy died January 25,1948.
Almira Anna was born in Mercer, Illinois, on September 28, 1856. She married Ernest E. Fickwiler October 31, 1888. They had a large home wedding.
Eighty invited and a big feed. Bought their home place, 1/2 mile south of Scarlett's place, in 1890 where they lived until 1911 when they moved to Fullerton.
Ernest E. Fickwiler, son of Anna and Chris Fickwiler, was born in Trenton, New Jersey on April 10, 1862. When he was four years old, he moved to Pennsylvania and in 1870 they moved to Blue Mound near Bloomington. At the age of 22, he decided to go west. He and two other boys started out on January 29, 1885. No one had heard of Fullerton, Nebraska so they could only buy tickets to Genoa. They arrived in Fullerton by train at 12 o'clock at night, staying at the hotel. After the other boys looked around in the morning, back home they went. When he arrived in Fullerton there was a livery barn, hotel, land office, post office, Wilk's bank and Bake's grocery store.
Ernest went to the livery barn and hired a team and driver taking a sled for there was lots of snow. Paid the driver $1.50. He was gone all afternoon until very late at night. The country was all prairie with very few homes. He drove up the Cottonwood and the places he saw was Judson Loucks, Chas Downing then the Scarlett places. No more until Horse Creek. In less than a week he went out again with Mr. Green on his way to Cottonwood. Stopped and got work at Dan Bridgland. Wages were $16.00 a month or $200.00 per year. Started farming the next year by himself boarding with Theo. Lenker. Batched the next year until he married in the fall. Bought six chairs for $1.00 and they are still in the family. Sold 50 bushels of oats for $5.00 to buy the wedding ring. People burned corn for fuel in 1895. Corn was 8¢ a bushel. Corn made 50 and 60 bushel per acre.
Four children were born to this union. Clara Eva was born October 11, 1889, on a farm eight miles west of Fullerton. Married John O. Rishel on April 24, 1921. Bought a place and lived a block east of Knowles Garage in Fullerton. John passed away April 19, 1959. Elsie Emma was born June 9 1892. She married Hestle Elmore on August 28, 1949. She died October 14, 1969, and Hestle died September 20, 1970. Effie Mae was born March 12, 1894. She married Allen Moses on August 28, 1949. Effie died July 23, 1957. Lydia Almira was born August 12, 1896. She married Allen Waggoner on February 22, 1928. They moved to a farm four miles north and west of Clarks. They had two children, Donna Jean, born January 18, 1929, married Carl Hoffer and lives in California. Ivan Eugene, born February 10, 1932, married Marylin Knox on November 2, 1955. Allen Waggoner died September 20, 1949.
Clara worked in the grocery store and as bookkeeper at the creamery for over 15 years. Lydia worked at the Post Office for eight years.
Ida Florence was born in Mercer, Illinois, on November 26,1863. United in marriage to S. W. Downing on November 11, 1885. Four children were born to this union. Willie, Eva, Ethel and an infant. Mother and baby both died in childbirth on December 21, 1899. She was 36 years old. Billie Downing died February 9, 1923, in Idaho and Eva died in 1918.
Minnie Elizabeth was born in Polk County, Iowa, on December 23, 1865. United in marriage to John W. Reeves on December 13,1883, at Fullerton. Four children were born to this union. Alta, infant who died, Hazel, infant who died. Minnie died May 7, 1913. John Reeves died July 22, 1935 at Los Angeles, California.
Rose Mae was born in Polk County, Iowa, on May 13, 1868. United in marriage to George W. Moore September 16, 1891 at Fullerton. Six children were born to this union. Vera, Leslie, Ira, Percy, Harry and Ruth. They moved to Idaho in 1902. Rose died November 23, 1923. George died September 19, 1937.
Bertha Ellen was born in Polk County, Iowa, on January 15, 1877, and died March 24, 1877.
Munson Livingston Knowles was born December 31, 1873. He married
Jessie Mae Scarlett on September 23, 1896. Born to this union was Leonard F. Knowles, 1899; Ina Mae Newman on June 12, 1903 and Theo. T. Knowles born June 6, 1907. He died December 15, 1955. Munson died April 28, 1941. Leonard married Mildred Richards on August 12, 1919. They have one son Richard Munson, born on January 5, 1924. Richard married Janette Depue on January 15, 1942. To this union was born three children, Barry, February 17, 1945, Beverly, December 31, 1946 and Susan Faye, November 19, 1954. Barry married Cindy Hannuman September 22, 1978, Beverely married Joe Ferguson September 30, 1965 and Susan married Joe Miller April 6,1974.
Leona Adele Steffes and Martin John Schumacher were married on October 20, 1924, in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Leona was born on December 30, 1893, in Humphrey, Nebraska, to John Thomas Steffes and Lena Marie Edwards Steffes. Martin was born on Janaury (sic) 5 1897, at St. Mary's, Nebraska, to Christian and Helen Schumacher.
Leona attended school in Humphrey, Nebraska graduating from high school. She attended Kearney Normal in Kearney, Nebraska, 1918-1919 and the School of Music in Lincoln, Nebraska, 1919-1920. She taught in Wymore, Orleans and Blair, Nebraska.
Martin moved to Fullerton, Nebraska from Cedar Rapids, Nebraska, in 1923.
Four children were born to this union: Marion Helen, John Martin, Leonard Joseph and Janet Louise.
Arthur R. Loftus was born at Fullerton, Nebraska, on January 23, 1912. He served in the Army during World War II. On May 2, 1949, he married Clara Barbara Steiner at Fremont, Nebraska. She was born on June 27, 1916, at David City, Nebraska, to Frank M. and Margaret M. (Beringer) Steiner.
Mrs. Loftus began an early career in cafe and restaurant work. She worked in the Home Cafe at Genoa for one year, and following its sale in 1942, she came to work as a cook in the Griffin Cafe at Fullerton. She became manager of the restaurant in 1943 and in 1944 she leased the business. She later sold her stock in the cafe to Larry Pachunka. In 1945, she opened her own restaurant, Clara's Cafe, in the building which now houses Wayne's Clothing The business was later moved to the Griffin Cafe building where it was destroyed by fire. Mr. and Mrs. Loftus reopened the business some months later in the building now the Eagles annex. They operated the cafe there until their retirement in 1978.
The are the parents of a son, LaVern Arthur Loftus, born on May 31, 1951.
Charles Otis Nesbitt was born at Champaign, Illinois, in 1878. He came to Nance County in about 1885 and lived with the G. B. Bateman family, five miles northwest of Fullerton. After working on farms for several years, he began farming on his own in 1898.
He married Ella Peregrine in 1902. The couple farmed northwest of Fullerton until 1909 when they bought their first farm eight miles southwest of Fullerton. The couple had six sons, Merle, Oliver, Edwin, Kenneth, Alvin and Melvin. Kenneth Nesbitt resides in Twin Falls, Idaho, and Melvin Nesbitt resides at Fullerton, Nebraska. The other sons are decreased. Two grandsons, Oliver Nesbitt and Donald Nesbitt, reside in Fullerton.
Charles Otis Nesbitt donated the land for the South Side Evangelical Church and was also very instrumental in forming the church and keeping it going. He taught the Sunday School class as well as firing up the furnace on winter mornings. In later years the church was sold and removed from its original site, 5 miles south and 3 miles west of Fullerton.
Charles Otis Nesbitt died in 1955. His wife died in 1952.
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 by Ted & Carole Miller