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Phelps Helps Newsletter
Holdrege Area Genealogical Society

To Subscribe, Write:
The Holdrege Area Genealogy Club
P.O. Box 164
Holdrege, Phelps County, Nebraska

Vol. 6-2
Summer 1997
The Holdrege Area Genealogy Club
meets at the Phelps County Historical Museum
on the first Monday of the month at 2:00 PM.
The public is welcome!

Phelps Helps Newsletters can be found on the Internet at


1. Nancy Larson

2. Phyllis Schroder

~New on Our Bookshelf~



1958 Atlas of Red Willow County, NE

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July 1965

Research Guide to Grant Hooker & Thomas Counties in Nebraska

Centennial Nebraska - In and Around Republican City 1867-1967

1957 Hastings City Directory

Early Pennsylvania Birth 1667-1875

First 100 years of Minden School, Minden, NE



Trails West to Red Willow County, NE

The Museum of Appalachia Story


The 50th Anniversary of the Allied Victory of World War II


District #35 School Days Treasurers, Phelps County, NE


We wish to thank Ara for all the months of work collecting information about this Phelps County school, its. pupils and its teachers.



(Searched Bertrand. Holdrege, Loomis NE)


This information was collected by Per Samuelsson, from a CD rom containing 1.3 million names.


They left from the sea harbors of


MALMO 1874-1930

STOCKHOLM 1869-1930

NORRKOPING 1859-1919


KALMAR 1880-1893


Information found on this CD rom consists of age, parish, harbor, occupation and day leaving Sweden of Phelps County immigrants. Mr. Samuelsson's information is on file in the museum library in printed form.



Here is an updated list of current members who have an email address. If you have an email address, and you're not on our list, please let Sandra Slater know so we can add your name.




Dale and Lillian Samuelson of Guilerland, NY

Dick Dyas of Sun City West, AZ

w0jcp@juno. com

Art Viren of Agoura, CA

Patti Simpson of Hastings, NE

Sandra Slater of Holdrege, NE

Rosey Gleason of Holdrege, NE

Per Samuelsson of Sweden

Dean Leopold, Loomis, NE

Kevin Olson, Leavenworth, KS

Kjell Nordqvist

Nancy Larson

Laureen Riedesel

The Reference Librarian @ State Genealogy Library Beatrice, Nebraska


Holdrege Area Genealogy Club would like to nominate Sara Firehammer for Outstanding Genealogist Award. Sara is a Granger, Indiana resident and member of our club and does a valuable service for our club even though she lives so far from us.

We're glad her own family genealogy led her to Phelps and Harlan County, NE.

She has indexed the Holdrege Area Genealogy Club "Phelps Helps" newsletters which has been included on the Holdrege Area Genealogy Club's homepage on the internet. As a result, we have been contacted by many genealogists in United States, Canada and Sweden, who have requested research and copies of our newsletters. Some have joined our genealogy club.

Sara leads a busy life taking care of her husband and two young children. She has also done some indexing projects for her local genealogical society.

Sara, we hope some day to personally meet you, until then, please accept this as our way to say THANK YOU SARA!!!


The library volunteers are continuing to catalogue the historical collection in the museum. They have cataloged over 3100 books and other printed material, which is mostly of Phelps County History and it's residents. We are requesting more histories and photographs of the 77 schools of Phelps County.

The library has many books about other counties in Nebraska and other states and are emphasizing adding materials from the counties surrounding Phelps County. Additional items being collected are family histories, town and county histories, atlases, maps, directories, etc which you may donate.

Please contact the Phelps County Museum Library at 995-5015 or the Holdrege Area Genealogy Club at 995-6712.




1860; 1870; 1880; 1885 (state censuses); 1890 (Civil War Veterans census), 1900, 1910 and most Nebraska Counties in 1920


1850, 1880 and 1885


1879 to 1986


1883 to 1904; 1909-1910 (We also have the newspapers from 1883 to 1997)


(the "Atlanta Echo", in German) 1945-1946


Everton's Genealogical Helper's Family File, Volume 1, 2, 3 The Roots Cellar


Our volunteers are available to assist you on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons or by special appointment. The library is open during museum hours and you are always welcome.


If any of the following relatives of mine have left any "tracks" in Phelps County, I'm interested to know about it. Nothing is too small for my interest!

Anna Lovisa NELSON, d. 1944 in Bertrand (I have obit)

Anders Johan NELSON, d. date? in Bertrand

Anna & Anders and their two children Edwin J & Emma left the province Östergötland, Ydre "county" Sund "parish", Sweden in 1883 and settled in Bertrand shortly after.


Emma Nelson, d. 1954 in Bertrand (I have obit), m. Orin SMITH in Bertrand. They had four children born in the early 1900's:

1. Eugene SMITH, lived in Bertrand 1954

2. Russel SMITH, lived in Seattle 1954

3. Wallace SMITH, lived in Seattle 1954

4. Elaine SMITH, m. Neudorfer and lived in

Tacoma in 1954.

Edwin J. Nelson, lived in 1910 in Spokane, WA, m. Viola and they had 2 children:

1. Edwin

2. Julia.


Anna Lovisa had a brother, Gust L. SAMUELSSON (Gustaf Leonard SAMUELSON) left Sweden 1886 and lived for sometime in Bertrand. He was a housepainter. From a marriage-record I know that he was m. in 1903 to Emily ANDERSON. She was a school teacher in Ash Grove school in 1898. Gust & Emily lived in Spokane, WA. Emily died in 1908. (I have her obit).

Any information on any of the above mentioned relatives of mine would be greatly appreciated!

Per Samuelsson, Värmdöviks Dalgång 25, 139 40 Värmdö Sweden


I am looking for a Swedish emigrant named Ulrika PETTERSDOTTER when living in Sweden and was born on 09 FEB 1864. She immigrated to America in 1881. She was visited by a nephew from Sweden in 1913 and then lived somewhere in Nebraska (the exact name of the place in Nebraska is not known). She was married to a Swede who was a farmer and had two daughters. He may have been born around the turn of the century. The husband's name is not known, so it will probably be difficult to find her. Any information would be greatly appreciated!


Kjell Nordqvist

Slånbärsvägen 19

691 47 KARLSKOGA Sweden

~1947 Orphan Home School Census~

The following is the 1947 School Census taken at the Orphan Home.



and All Taxpayers Address Child DOB Age Sex Place of Birth

Andy Anderson Lexington Louis Anderson 5-19-41 6 M Lexington, NE

Ethel Anderson Lexington Marion Anderson 1-5-37 10 M Lexington, NE

Lexington Roberta Anderson 11-9-31 16 F Gr Island, NE

Simon Lecher (uncle) Chadron Delbert Broberg 7-2-43 4 M Chadron, NE

Mary A Lecher (aunt) Chadron Alfred Broberg 7-2-39 10 M Chadron, NE

Chadron Robert Broberg 9-3-40 6 M Milford, NE

Chadron Theadore Broberg 8-15-37 9 M Milford, NE

W W Brown (Grndfather) Lexington Jimmy Brown 3-18-40 7 M Kan City, KS

Esther S Bennett Holdrege Darlene Bennett 3-5-33 14 F Holdrege, NE

Holdrege Dixie Lee Bennett 9-5-35 11 F Holdrege, NE

Bernice Morse Holdrege Carol Clipper 6-17-34 13 F Caldwell, TX

Lester A Cobb Chicago

Leta Kyta Denver Jean Cobb 12-17-29 17 F Holdrege, NE

Eric B Carlson So Dakota Charlotte

Wilhemenia Carlson Rapid City Carlson 4-13-31 16 F Rapid City, SD

Mrs. Sallie Armstrong Kentucky Carrie Combs 8--17-35 11 F Amburgy, KY

Richmond Combs 4-1-31 16 F Alais, KY

Clifford Dedrick Martha

Margaret Dedrick Lincoln, NE Dedrick 8-2-30 17 F Republican City, NE

Oscar Doggett Nelson, NE Beverly Doggett 3-18-41 7 F Nelson, NE

LeRoy Doggett 11-18-39 8 M Nelson, NE

Larry Doggett 2-11-38 9 M Nelson, NE

Dwight Exstrom 6-13-29 18 M Minden, NE

Duane Exstrom 6-13-29 18 M Minden, NE

LaGrant Exstrom 8-23-32 16 M Keane, NE

DeLorer Exstrom 5-5-34 13 F Keane, NE

Price Everedge Kentucky Woodrow Everedge 3-16-30 17 F Lotts Creek, KY

Louis Everedge 5-2-39 8 F Lotts Creek, KY

Thomas Fastenau Bertrand Donna Fastenau 6-26-34 13 F Bertrand, NE

Andrea Peterson Omaha Stanley Fastenau 4-14-39 8 M Bertrand, NE

Sterling Fastenau 4-14-39 8 M Bertrand, NE

Ethel Lois Foster Lucile Foster 11-20-34 12 F Grand Island, NE

Hershel Foster 11-10-39 7 F Grand Island, NE

Henry C. Gilmore Holdrege, NE Mary Gilmore 2-7-41 6 F Omaha, NE

Dorothy E. Pamadoro Omaha, NE William Gilmore 2-21-44 3 M Omaha, NE

Gene Gilmore 10-6-42 4 M Omaha, NE

Cyrenus Griffis Cozad, NE Clayton

Edith Cooper Griffis Griffis 4-2-31 15 M Greeley, CO

Marian Johnson Greeley, CO Vance

Martin Johnson Johnson 12-10-31 15 M Greeley, CO

Bernice Dea Norfolk, NE Theola Klat 10-12-34 12 F Newman Grove, NE

Albert Landgren Bridgeport Amanda 9-9-30 16 F Louisville, NE

Robert 9-13-32 14 F Louisville, NE

Millinar Allen Hawes Mypls., MN Lance 6-14-42 4 M Rockford, IL

Chrystal B. Hawes Donnie 10-24-43 3 M Mypls., MN

Jordan 11-17-44 2 M Little Falls, MN

Edwin McMann Hemingford Marian 11-25-36 10 F Angora, NE

Gerold 9-24-36 9 M Angora, NE

Alice 12-15-40 6 F Angora, NE

Twila 5-8-43 4 F Angora, NE

John 10-18-44 2 M Angora, NE

Gustav H. Palm Mypls., MN Beverly 1-8-33 14 F Mypls., MN

Ruth Palm Mypls., MN Donald 10-16-36 10 M Mypls., MN

Eugene 4-8-35 11 M Mypls., MN

John 2-29-39 8 M Mypls., MN

Darlene 11-25-40 6 F Mypls., MN

Eleanor 10-17-42 4 F Mypls., MN

Charles Poole Henry 2-29-31 17 M Orvid, CO

Orville 12-19-33 13 M Julesburg, CO

Dale 5-22-36 11 M Julesburg, CO

Alice 6-18-36 9 F Scottsbluff, NE

Gerald 12-27-41 5 M Mitchell, NE

Jennie Peterson Betty 9-21-31 16 F Chicago, IL

Julius Regelin Elm Creek Alfred 11-23-34 12 M Oxford, NE

Opal Regelin Denver

Florence Everedge Kentucky Orville Smith 4-8-31 5 M Cordia, KY

Leonard Smith 4-29-33 14 M Cordia, KY

Luther Smith Spring 47 10 M Perry Co., KY

Edgar Smith 1-8-39 7 M Perry Co., KY

Alfred Wermeskerch Cleone 12-10-33 13 F Roseland, NE

Martha Wermeskerch Hastings Doris 1-23-32 15 F Glenville, NE

Standley Delbert Stone Alma, NE Carl 1-20-42 5 M North Platte, NE

Ellen Stone Kenneth 11-11-40 6 M North Platte, NE

John 9-27-39 7 M North Platte, NE



Written by Sandra Slater

In the fall of 1887 or summer of 1888, a father needed a home for his motherless children. It is not known for sure who this family was. Newspaper accounts would indicate that the father was a L. W. Larson who was a blacksmith in Loomis, NE.

Rev. Axel Nordin, Pastor of the Phelps Center Church, took Mr.Larson's children home to his mother, Mrs. Lars Nordin to care for. The following summer Rev. Nordin traveled east to Chicago obtaining donations for the children and bringing home another orphaned child from Pennsylvania home to Nebraska.

Rev. Nordin called together a committee and told them he was a poor man, not even having a cow to furnish milk for these homeless children who were dependent on him for their support and two cows were immediately received. It was determined that there was a great need for an orphan's home in Phelps County.

In 1889 a committee was formed to solicit funds for an orphanage and a building was built at Phelps Center. The Children's Home received an endorsement of the Evangelical Free Mission conference and the Christian Orphans Association was established.

The association's constitution made provisions that every homeless child would be admitted of any race or creed and that they would be raised in a Christian loving environment.

In 1891 a half section of land was bought in section one of Laird township, six miles north and two west of Holdrege and the Children's Home was moved to that location. Thirty children were living at the home at that time. One year later an addition of a two story building 60 by 80 feet in diameter was added. The original building was then used as a kitchen. In 1903 a two story School building was built near the home and in 1904 a laundry was built and water, steam heat and gas plants were put in. In 1905 a home for the superintendent was built.

By 1910 after 21 years in existence, 250 children had lived at the home and only three deaths had occurred. Swedish people from several states in the Midwest sent

donations. Holdrege alone had raised $13,000 dollars. Ten workers and teachers and sixty children were located at the home.

By 1919 60 to 75 children were being cared for. Nationality, creed or distance from orphanage did not matter to the Christian Homes organization. If a child needed their help, they were ready to open their doors.

A new brick building was built in 1926 just west of Holdrege, NE. and workers and orphans said good bye to their beloved home at Phelps Center. A farewell celebration was held at the old children's home with over 200 attending. At the event 15 former bachelors posed for the cameras to have their picture taken. They had all found their wives among the crew of workers.

Christian Children's Home housed 103 children in 1935 and was at full capacity. The children's home remained open until 1954. That year they had 7 boys and 9 girls attending the orphan home school. A new vision was born and the building became a home for the elderly.

Information on the children can be found in the Nebraska census and in school census records and the local newspaper. A children's reunion is held every few years. We are always happy to share what information we have collected in the scrapbooks at the museum library.

(Information for this article was taken from numerous articles located at the Phelps County Museum Library)


Written by Dale Samuelson

Twenty-three-year-old Carl Johann Samuelson didn't realize he had just met a feminist whirlwind when he was introduced to Inga Greta Johansdotter in the Nykil Parish area of Östergotland in Sweden in 1851. She was already a 24-year-old widow with a 5 year-old son and a strong determination to live a better life.

Six years earlier she had married another farm laborer, but six months after the wedding, the man died of a "long disease". Four months after his death, her son was born.

Her home was at Wadstugen, Sweden, a cottage near the shore of Lake Asunden just south of the town of Rimforsa and across the lake from the Kattilstad Parish church.

She had lived there all her life with her parents, and probably most Sundays had taken the Church Boat across to the church. She could read her prayers by the age of eight according to the church records.

In April, 1852, Carl Johann came to Kattilstad where they were married. Except for a brief period immediately after when he returned to Nykil to finish his job contract, he moved into Wadstugen and lived there with Inga Greta until coming to America.

Her mother died two years later in 1854, but her father lived until 1867, dying in the midst of a multi-year severe drought that left people starving. Meanwhile, she and Carl Johann were responsible for their seven children plus her first born.

Family history recalls her independence. With or without Carl Johann's approval, she took the small amount of money she inherited from her father, and bought tickets to Quebec for herself and her oldest and youngest daughters.

In April, 1869, they took off, leaving Carl Johann back in Sweden with the rest of the family. It appears his job was to keep working until he could make enough money to get more of the family to America.

How many women immigrated to this country ahead of their husbands and children? A first feminist?

Four months later, their oldest son, Carl August, 11-years-old, left the parish to come to America. So far, no evidence of how he came or with whom has shown up. By then his mother had gotten to Altona, Illinois and that's where he went.

In June, 1870, Carl Johann, with the remaining four children, left Wadstugen for "North Amerika". Probably because he needed to save money, he recorded the children's ages as younger than they actually were. It also may mean that the children were undernourished and very small for their ages.

In the U.S. Census taken in August, 1870, he, Inga Greta and six of their children are back together in Altona. Inga's first son is shown to be in that area, also. They baby daughter had died meantime.

The 1880 U.S. Census shows they and their children are living in Divide Precinct, Phelps County, Nebraska. In March, 1884, Carl Johann made his final payment for the south half of the southeast quarter of Section 7-7-18W.

There are many stories about Inga Greta's independence and forthrightness. We suspect she heavily influenced the decision to move from Illinois to Nebraska. There was good land available for homesteading, and these were land-hungry people. They were successful homesteaders, and she was certainly a superb example of a very determined pioneer woman!

~News Article~

~From the Holdrege Republican ~

of July 17, 1885

Last Monday night some person or persons not having the fear of the law before them broke into the lumber office of the Nebraska Lumber Co., and stole there from a brand new suit of clothing belonging to Mr. Otto, the yardman. They also broke into the money drawer and got a few dimes, nickels and postage stamps. There burglar's outfit consisted of a rusty flat file which they left behind them presumably as a "car'-de-visite." The safe was untouched and nothing of value was taken, other than the articles already mentioned.

Messers. McGrew, Hymer and Lewis intend to at once commence the erection of a fine two-story brick block on East avenue opposite the First National Bank. There will be four store buildings running north from the corner of Hayden street. Mr. C. C. Rittenhouse of Hastings is now at work preparing the plans and specifications. Who can doubt now that the future of Holdrege will be a prosperous one?

Harvesting has commenced all over the county and our implement men are running over the business. It is wonderful to note the immense number of labor saving machines of all kinds going out daily from the agricultural warehouses. The crop indications must be excellent or such investments would not be made by our farmers.

We do not wish our board to supervisors to make lavish expenditures of public moneys but would be pleased to know that they have appropriated funds sufficient to fence the public square and plant it thick with forest trees.

Dravo has just received a large stock of legal ore and now has one of the best law libraries in this section of the state. If "by reading of many books much knowledge is to be gained" then we shall expect Sam to develop into a veritable Solomon in due course of time.

Drs. Guild and Maberly will soon build an office in connection with each other on Hayden Street opposite the post office. Guild will prescribe the anesthetics and Maberly will draw the incisors.

Gilleran, the popular East avenue meat man, bought a flock of 84 fine sheep from C. Boehl of the Empire Roller Mill. Now look out for juicy chops and luscious roasts.

The opera house is rapidly nearing completion and we hope the management will get some first class company to dedicate it in good shape and manner.

Married - At the residence of the bride's parents in Holdrege, July 16, 1885, G. Norberg, Esq. To Mrs. C. E. Burnett, Rev. E. A. Abbott officiating.

Cooper & Moore have moved into their elegant new store building and look as happy as bees in a new hive.

John Lawler has been roaming over the wilds of Keith county the past week.

Mr. Dunlavy has moved into the building on Grant street formerly owned by Mr. Fritts.



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