Rebecca Winters Genealogical Society Homepage
OUR CHARTER MEMBERS TELL THEIR STORIES
Three Charter Members were present at the May 14, 2008 anniversary meeting.
Two younger brothers and I were born in Walthill, Nebraska. Our paternal grandfather helped move buildings from Quinton into Walthill (including the post office) to enlarge the town.
A few years later we moved into Rosalie, where I saw my first movie, started school, watched some of the city men run with the high wheeled cart of water hose to our house, a chimney fire had been reported. There was no fire.
Three years later we moved to a farm six miles east of town. My new second grade consisted of three boys, two named Dale. To attend high school, in Walthill, I had the honor of living with my maternal grandmother, Maude (Evans) Nelson. Once in a great while her mother, my Great Grandmother Anna Omans Evans, living in Sioux City, IA would come to visit. NOW I think of MANY questions I could have asked both of the ladies about our ancestors!
Along came 1952, we moved to a farm west of Lyons, Nebraska where I finished high school. The move has hard for me, I was moving away from all our relatives and friends. (It was the adjoining county......big deal!)
My mother's parents, Albert and Maude Nelson decorated graves in the Lyons cemetery all my life. Many years later I learned that even my Grandfather's grandfather was also buried there. His parents, Oscar and Hedvig (Wigren) Nelson are buried in Oakland. (I now possess the deed for those Oakland graves.) There were many more ancestors there than those buried in Walthill: my paternal grandparents, Levi and Carra (Saucerman) Bourelle and his parents, my French great grandparents, Napoleon Bonaparte and Matilda (Couture) Bourelle.
In 1956 I came to Scottsbluff a friend that had attended high school in Lyons. Met and married a local young man, Henry Henkel. I was happy to get away from the hills of northeast Nebraska covered with corn......YES....on a still, hot night you can hear the rustle of the corn growing!
Thought I was the first of my family to be in Western Nebr., WRONG! I found out my great great grandfather, "Major" Henry M. Sweeney lead two, possibly three wagon trains to the California gold field. Now I look at Mitchell Pass every day and think of him going through it. Then I found a photo of great grandfather, Sylvester Evans taken in 1912 in Gering. He had been here to visit his widowed sister Mrs. P. L. Rubottom. Their sister from Rosalie had come to visit Mrs. Rubottom and died here. Deborah (Evans) Walsworth and Sylvester Evans are buried in Lyons. They had another sister and brother, Mrs. Rosabel (Evans) Carpenter and Thomas K. Evans homesteaded in Sioux County. She is buried in Mitchell, he in Scottsbluff.
So, I certainly was NOT the first out to Western Nebraska, first, last or somewhere in the middle, I'm happy to be HERE!!!
Since 1967, I have served 5 terms as President; 5 terms as Vice President; 7 years as Secretary; and 5 years as Newsletter Editor. Besides being on the Charter Committee, I have served on numerous other committees including: budget, nominating, float, 4-H judging, year book, by-laws, and program.
Tisa Maree Anders was born in Pueblo, Colorado (1960) to Mary Elizabeth Cotton Anders and Dale Eugene Anders. She and her twin, Lisa Laree, joined older brother, Kevin (1958). Sadly, Lisa died when she was only 10 days old and was buried in their mother's hometown of Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The entire Anders family moved back to Scottsbluff when Tisa was a baby. In 1965, sister Andrea completed the family circle. Until Tisa was nine, the family resided in town. From age nine to eighteen, they lived on a farm east of Scottsbluff. During her teen age years, she was active in her church youth group (First Christian Church) as well as worked as a nurse's aide with the elderly at local nursing homes (former Gra-Mar and Bel-Air). Tisa graduated from Scottsbluff High School in 1979.She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (B.A. in Psychology and Religion, 1983; M.S. in Guidance and Counseling, 1989), Iliff School of Theology (Master of Divinity, 1993),and University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology (Ph.D., Religion and Social change 2002). In the first incarnation of her career, Tisa worked as a social worker in Omaha for the Nebraska Department of Social Services. After ordination to social justice ministries in 1993 in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), she began her nonprofit career in prison work (1993-2005), political advocacy for women (2005-06), interfaith ministry (2007-present), and public history (2006-present). Tisa embraced the professional calling as an historian in her doctoral work where she explored the relationship of religion and politics in the career of L. Maria Child (1802-1880). Child was a well-known author and reformer in nineteenth century U.S. As an independent scholar, Anders' general areas of research interest are nineteenth-century U.S. reform movements, black farmers, agricultural history, international peacemaking. Specific topics include L. Maria Child (mentioned above), Junius G. Groves (1859-1925, African American farmer), and "The Cultural Significance of Sugar Beets in Western Nebraska." She has presented extensively on these topics at regional and national conferences. Her current publications include several book reviews, encyclopedia entries, along with journal articles and two books in the works. Anders has received numerous awards including the Edward N. Tihen Historical Research Grant from the Kansas State Historical Society (2004) for her work on Junius Groves and a Lola Homsher Endowment Research Grant (2008) for oral interviews in eastern Wyoming as part of her Sugar Culture Project. Her interest in genealogy and history has been heavily influenced by the research, work, and publications of her mother. In fact, Mary Anders gave Tisa the gift of being a member of the Rebecca Winters Genealogical Society when Tisa was just a child. It thus came as a delightful surprise to find out that she was a founder when she and her mother attended our 40th anniversary in May 2008. Tisa loves the myriad ways genealogy can be applieded ranging from finding one's own history to utilizing these research methods and content in other types of historical endeavors. For example, she is working on the life story of Junius Groves, an African American farmer originally from Kentucky. Groves rose from slavery to be one of the wealthiest men in the U.S. due to farming and business endeavors in eastern Kansas in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One of her topics with Groves is an examination of bi-racial efforts in two of the agricultural organizations that he co-founded. The main rescource to determine an association member's race is the census records. Connected to Groves is her volunteerism with the Votaw Colony Muesum out of Kansas. They sponsor Reconnections, annual public history events. In addition to educating the general public on these fascinating parts of history, the purpose is to reconnect modern-day descendants of Kansas' nineteenth-century black colonists as well as the descendants of their white benefactors. Genealogical research is primary in this process. To trace and find descendants, volunteer researchers begin with the 1890 Kansas census records. Tisa's professional organizations include Agricultural History Society, Western Association of Women Historians, Organization of American Historians, National Coalition of Independent Scholars, and Peace History Society. She is volunteer staff (Grants Coordinator and Nonprofit Consultant) at Votaw Colony Museum, Inc. Additionally, she works as the Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Greater Denver Interfaith Alliance and founder/CEO of Writing the World, LLC (www.writingtheworld.com), both in Denver. Tisa visits Scottsbluff frequently and is proud as well as honored to be one of our founding members! Rev. Tisa M. Anders, Ph.D.; Founder and CEO--Writing the World, LLC. Website: www.writingtheworld.com; Phone: 303-399-1079. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Education and Outreach Director--Greater Denver Interfaith Alliance--3030 Downing St., Denver, CO 80205; Phone: 303-297-8010 x106; Email: Tisaandersemail@example.com
MARY E. “COTTON” ANDERS
I was born in Torrington, Wyoming on March 9, 1933. I spent my first 5 years in Wyoming and then the family moved to Scottsbluff where she I have resided ever since except for a two year period in Pueblo, Colorado.
When I was a child, my Dad told me this story. “When he was out in the pig pen one day he noticed a lump over in the corner of the pigpen. He went over to see what it was, picked it up, and wiped off the dirt. He was surprised to see it was a blond, blue-eyed baby girl. Since it was the depression and things were hard to come by, the family decided to keep the baby” …ME, of course. I never did believe him. I knew the stork had brought me!
I have been a teacher, secretary, mom, and genealogist. I have one son, two daughters and 2 granddaughters. My current occupation is trying to keep healthy and reading my genealogy notebooks. I started researching my family tree in high school. My genealogy goals were to go back on all my kids’ lines (maternal/paternal) when they entered the U.S.A. Goal accomplished. I’d sort of like to pursue my Cadwell line back in England—have had little luck. I’m sure they’re Welch though. My current goals are to get my genealogy data in “apple-pie order” to leave to the University of Wyoming’s Western History Division at Laramie, Wyoming. The surnames I’ve researched are: Cadwell, Gilbert, Pettit, Wickins, Hamilton, Sanders, Plymate, Cotton, Hughes, Chappell, Anders, Waddell, McDonald, Robb, Whiteside, and Russell. I have researched in Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, New York, and Illinois.
I served the Society in almost every capacity there was. President, Librarian, taught Genealogy classes, and probably was on every committee there was at one time or other—yearbook, newsletter editor, nominating, constitution, etc. etc. I was most gratified to find more people interested in genealogy so I could share that interest with them. It didn’t happen till after I was married and had 3 children. The U.S.’s 200th birthday celebration had a lot to do with stirring up interest in ancestry.
LOIS “DITTMER” FAIRFIELD
I was born in Columbus, Nebraska on March 6, 1937. I grew up in the vicinity of Clarks*, Nebraska (Merrick County) where we lived on the Junction Ranch, which was a meeting place for Indians, trappers, traders and military back in the early days—mid 1800’s. My father and I found many pieces of glass trading beads, coins, buttons, and other items along the Platte River. I worked in the food service business for Morrill County Hospital and am now retired. I married Joe Fairfield and we have two children. I’ve lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Scottsbluff, Nebraska and Bridgeport, Nebraska. I started researching my family tree in 1967. My goal is to find as many great grand parents as possible. I’m currently researching the surnames of Fairfield, Spencer and Michael on my husbands family line, in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, Nebraska, Iowa and Indiana. Most of my family came from Germany and Switzerland. The Swiss family goes back into the 1400’s in the canton of Glarus.**. I have served the Society as President; and served a 2nd term as Vice President 2003-2004. Editors note: Lois was unable to attend the meeting but is a lifetime Charter Member
* Present day Clarks is located just slightly northeast of the junction of highways 92 and 30.
**Glarus is located in East-central Switzerland, 36 miles East of Lucerne. The present day capital of the canton is also named Glarus
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