This is a Saunders County NEGenWeb Project web page


   The Lone Troop 1 participated in community services. They appeared on programs, also attended church of their choice, which was required.

   The Troop entertained the parents, families and friends at a square-dancing party. This was a project for the Scouts to earn a Badge. Mrs. Bohumil Dvorak served as Day Camp Chairman for the District Girl Scouts for two years. These activities were held on the Wahoo Luther College Campus, one week each summer. Mrs. Andrew Andersen and Mrs. Richard Zimola Sr. of Wahoo assisted.

   Mrs. Dvorak completed her training for Scouting at Fremont, Wahoo and Columbus.

   The Malmo Girl Scout Troop went on several hikes, cook-outs, and over-night camping. One breakfast was prepared in a wooded area, where the girls enjoyed wading and falling into deep mud. What fun they had!

   The Troop helped to clean the city park, where they sometimes had a cookout. They also assisted the city maintenance in cleaning the streets. The community and sponsoring organizations have helped the Scouts with many projects.

   Mrs. V.E. Johnson was elected president of the Prairie Hills Girl Scout Council, which was organized in 1956. She was the first one to have this honor. Mrs. Dvorak was elected chairman of the Camping Committee the same year. This newly-organized group serves thirteen counties. Submitted by Mrs. Bohumil Dvorak

Malmo Girl Scout Lone Troop #1
Malmo Girl Scout Lone Troop #1


   The Malmo Cub Scouts was organized in 1949. Reverend Reuben Kron from the Malmo Lutheran Church was the Scoutmaster. Mrs. Jack (Alva) Schultz was the first Den Mother and Mrs. Gilbert Irene Odell was assistant Den Mother. They met after school at School District #75 and in the Cubs' homes. The mothers served lunch. Some of the projects were: reading books, crafts, and coin collecting. The first Cub Scouts were: Jerald Volin, Gilbert Odell Jr., Robert Hudson, John Schultz, Peter Dauel, and Gary Dauel.

Malmo Band
Malmo Band


   Malmo sponsored a band from about 1905 until it was disbanded in November, 1917. Mr. Charles Prokop of Wahoo was the director.

   The members usually practiced once a week at the Malmo Town Hall which was east across the alley from the present Community Hall.

   The Malmo Park was west of the Burlington Depot (now a grain storage bin). There was a band stand. Concerts were held the summer months for ice cream socials, Young People's meetings and picnics.

   After WWI, Louis Pokorny of Weston was the Malmo Community Band's director for many years. Malmo sponsored the band, furnishing the hall for practice. It disbanded after WWII. Josephine L. Jenny

The Malmo Community Band in the 1930s
The Malmo Community Band in the 1930s
Back Row, Left to Right: Melvoy Kantor, unknown, Willard Barry, Milton Kantor, Louise Pokorny Navrkal, Lucille Pokorny Beach, Henrietta Novak Dvorak, Edward Vanek, unknown, Wilma Novak Bejvancesky, Vera Pokorny Davis. Middle Row: Harry Reimers, Vanek, Malcolm Anderson, Mrs. Anton Franta, William Veskrna, Louis A Novak, Henry Novak, Director, Louis Pokorny, Henry Pokorny, Sr., John Vanek, Sr., Alyce Novak Nay, Jarmila Pokorny Scholtman, Jon Vaca. Front Row: Alvin Kaspar, Walter Bahm, George Brabec, Clarence Pestal, Howard Blomgren, Henry Pokorny, Jr., Rudolph Vanek, Richard Vanek, Mildred Pokorny Benson, Mildred Novak Pacal, Charles Novak, Ohnoutka, Kenneth Nordahl, Alfred Peterson.


   The once-famous Malmo Starlight Orchestra was organized May 10, 1930. Jerry Volin was the very able and talented leader and director. Most of these boys were neighbors and started practicing on the farm by getting together for the fun of it. It grew and, as they practiced, they began drawing crowds. Interest grew until they were in great demand. The original members were: Jerry Volin -- clarinet and accordion; Harry Riemers -- piano and accordion; Clarence Dauel -- drums; Fred Volin -- C-saxophone and clarinet; Frank Vaca -- trumpet; Wm Dauel -- trumpet; Theodore Volin -- tenor saxophone and Edward Dauel -- bass. Others joining were Helen Kavan -- piano, and Zelbert Barry -- piano. Abner Dauel was the ticket seller and stood with a cigar box at the door, taking tickets. Henry Olson was the caller for square dances, sounding out such terms as "Ladies in the center and Gents to the outside," "Join hands," and "Promenade."

   They practiced often, and to some, music was a natural talent. In Malmo, they played in the old town hall; also held concerts out in the bandstand south of the hall. Many were the dances and wedding dances that they were called upon to play. They played at Appleton, Bruno, Yutan, Wahoo, Colon, Prague, Weston, Abie; at the Farmers Union Hall in Cedar Bluffs, Wanahoo Park in Wahoo, and Whiteway which was across from the Star-Lite of today on Highway 92, and at the Dutch Mill in Omaha. The orchestra also was on several radio stations: KMJ York, KFOR Lincoln, and WAAW Omaha. Jerry Volin has the special program from an event of the American Legion held in the Edensburg Lutheran Church of Malmo on September 22, 1929, asking them to play several numbers.

   They received offers to play farther away, but, due to the fact they did not wish to travel, they did not accept these.

Malmo Starlight Orchestra
Malmo Starlight Orchestra
Back Row: Helen Kavan, Clarence Dauel, Jerry Volin the Director, Edward Dauel. Front: William Dauel Sr., Frank Vaca, Ted Volin, Fred Volin. Taken Aug. 11,1932

page 93


   Louis Pokorny began taking organ and trumpet lessons in 1903. He walked to Weston, Nebr. (3 miles) for his lessons from a blind instructor.

   In 1905, he played in the Weston Band directed by Ferdinand Pacal. He played here for 5 or 6 years.

   Approximately 1912, he played with the Swedeburg Band for many years.

   In 1931, he organized an orchestra and played mostly for church affairs.

   In 1935, he started a class of beginners in Malmo, from which emerged the Malmo Community Band with the help of older musicians.

   This band continued to play at State Fairs, County Fairs, various town celebrations, Memorial Day services, and parades, and gave concerts. He directed this band until he was 77 years of age, at which time it dissolved (approx. 1966).

   He was also church organist for 15 yrs., beginning in 1904.

   He was choir director for about 10 yrs. after being the organist. These were both in the Czech Moravian Brethren Church which is now the Czech Presbyterian Church near Wahoo. by Lucille Beach

Malmo Community Chorus -- 1914
Malmo Community Chorus -- 1914


(image links to larger map)


   Morse Bluff Precinct was created out of the northern part of Douglas Precinct, which was one of the first three organized December 3, 1866.

   The village of Morse Bluff, the only town in the precinct today, lays 1½ miles south of the Platte River on Hiway 79. It was platted in 1887 on land originally owned by William Wheeler and later transferred to Chester LeRoy Morse of North Bend, just across the river. It was on the David City branch of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad which was built through the town in the same year. The town was named for Mr. Morse and the Bluff was added so as not to confuse it with another Morse on the same railroad line.

   The Bank of Morse Bluff was organized in 1890. Officers were Jesse Gidley, president and J.C. Hall, cashier.

   In 1910 a water system was installed.

   Today the township officers for the 1983-87 term are Keith F. Racek, Chairman; Eugene L. Hartford, Clerk; and William Kracl, Treasurer.


   Mr. and Mrs. Anton Cuhel worked hard to save enough money to come to America. Through friends he learned of people in the central part of the United States in someplace called Nebraska who could help him buy a little farm, so that when he arrived with his family they could immediately start living on their own place. The family received word that the man had just the kind of farm they wanted and that they could pay for it upon arrival at North Bend, Nebraska.

Threshing Days
Threshing Days
Women brought lunch to field.

   They decided they had finally saved enough for the trip. Boat transportation was secured and paid for and all arrangements completed.

   Mrs. Cuhel packed and made brown bread for the family to eat as they only had enough money for the boat fare and farm. When morning came on the day of leaving, Mrs. Cuhel was found dead. Everyone was shocked, of course, but they had to make the best ofthe situation. They had to leave and there was no money for a funeral, so Mr. Cuhel made a small grave and buried her himself.

   Everyone was made ready to leave. Each child had a cloth sack packed with the family possessions and two loaves of hard rye bread. There were eight children and the youngest being only two, missed his mother a great deal.

   They had quarters on the ship far down below as it was cheaper. Mr. Cuhel found odd jobs for which he received hot coffee for the family to go with the bread they brought.

   After arriving in America, they still had to get to Nebraska. He met a policeman in Philadelphia who helped him get money for train fare. He was Czech also, so it was easy for them to talk. He also gave them money for food as the bread was gone and the children were hungry.

   The man he had written met them at the station in North Bend and took them to the farm. It was near North Bend and Morse Bluff with no buildings, only hills, so Mr. Cuhel figured he could make a dugout. He paid the man, who promised to send papers by mail and handed him a piece of paper with something written on it, which he said was a receipt.

   That night the family slept under the stars. Their dream of a home had finally come true. The next morning as they were digging the dugout, a man came and told them this was his land. It was evident the real estate man had been a crook.

   Things were really bad now. No farm, no money, and nowhere to go. It happened that there was a farmer nearby who was very sick and could use their help. They went to his farm where Mr. Cuhel and the boys built another dugout to live in while they worked for him.

   The older children worked in the dugout, washing, cooking and cleaning. It was hard work, but at least now they were in America. About four years later Mr. Cuhel brought home a new wife which helped ease the burden on the small ones.


   One of the earliest settlers in the Morse Bluff vicinity was Joseph Datel and family. Mr. Datel was born in 1826 in Kolec, Czechoslovakia. His wife, Anna Sukova was born in Kobelinki, Austria. They were married in Austria on May 25, 1852, and came to America in 1867 bringing their seven children with them. One of the children died on the voyage and was buried at sea.

   The family first lived at Fort Madison, Iowa where Mr. Datel worked at his trade as a blacksmith. In 1871 they moved to Saunders County and located on a farm south of Morse Bluff. Here he farmed and did blacksmithing. He spoke and was able to read Bohemian, German and English. Mrs. Datel, however, never learned English.

   In 1882 they moved to North Bend where he bought a blacksmith shop. In all 12 children were born. Mr. Datel died in 1902 and his wife lived to be 94.


   The first school building in Morse Bluff District #14 was located south of the present building. Some students would drive a horse and buggy many miles to school and stable their horse in a small family

page 94

Back Contents Next

Return to
The Saunders County NEGenWeb Project

© 2002 - designed by Connie Snyder for The NEGenWeb Project.