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First Morse Bluff School District #14 in 1880's
First Morse Bluff School District #14 in 1880's

owned shed off the school grounds. Students up to 21 years of age came just to learn to read and write. There were many more pupils from December to April after they helped complete harvest and before spring farm work began. A resident of Saunders County remembers an incident back in 1895 when the superintendent, who was known to take a few drinks, fell asleep at his desk shortly after school started. One of the bigger boys set the clock ahead to 11:30AM. The superintendent, upon awakening, saw it was time to dismiss for lunch. He went to an eatery, found no lunch prepared, got into an argument with the owner, and returned to school with a black eye.

   A second frame building was constructed just west of the present school in 1895. In 1900, the curriculum included classes for 9th and 10th grade students. Mary Vopalensky and Ray Killian were members of the first graduating class there in 1902. Walter Fleming, a present resident in the district, was the only member of the second graduating class in 1903, and his wife, the former Louise Seligmann, was the only member of the third graduating class of 1904.

   The present brick building was completed in September 1923. The 9th and 10th grades were discontinued after the 1951-52 school term.

   Some school districts adjoining Morse Bluff consolidated with it. They were as follows: District #15 in 1960, District #79 in 1963, and District #77, 78, and 86 in 1970.

   In 1968 an election was held to determine whether District #14 would join other districts in forming a new class six district in North Bend. This proposal was passed by all districts involved and North Bend Central Junior-Senior High School (District #95) became one of the first class six districts in the state. With the building of a new Junior-Senior High School in North Bend in 1969 further changes occurred. Since the 1968-69 school term, students in grades 7 and 8 receive Junior high education in North Bend. Many of these Junior High along with Senior High students are transported by bus.

   The school presently has 42 students in kindergarten thru the sixth grade with three full time and one part time teacher, an aide, and janitor. We are proud of our school and the pupils that have gone on to become leaders in their high school, college, and community.

   I'm sure many of you reading this now could tell stories comparable to the one that happened at this school way back in 1895. Hopefully, this story will remind former Morse Bluff students of fond school memories. Submitted by Deanna Wolf


   Early records show in 1872 the Director of District #54 was M.A. Malloy. Mary Fleming was the teacher with an enrollment of 36. She received a salary of $25. a month for a four month term. In 1873 the term was increased to five and a half months with a salary of $26. a month.

   In 1875 school was in session two terms of three months each. In 1876 Walter Fleming taught three months at $40. a month. Ellie Nicols taught three months at a salary of $25. a month.

   Maggie Krause taught in 1878. Mary Malloy taught the second three month term. There were 32 pupils enrolled with average attendance of twelve.

   Present day teacher is Donna Vacha of Cedar Bluffs with an enrollment of five pupils. They are Greg Hines, Billy Kavan, Bobby Kavan, Dwayne Kavan, and Timmie Kavan.

   The school joined other districts in the area in 1968 to form a Class VI District in North Bend so the grade level is Kingergarten to sixth.

   Present day school board members are Francis Zakovec, Debbie Kavan, and Larry Racek.


   The first record of District #91 is in 1878. The Director was Mr. E.D. Malloy, whose post office address was Sand Creek. There were seventeen pupils in attendance and the number of days taught were 120.

   The present brick building was constructed in 1938. The oldest living resident in the district in 1983 is Joe Sweet.

   The school has sometimes been referred to as the Hartford School since four generations of Hartfords have lived in and attended school in District #91.

   A tradition of the District through its entire history has been a Christmas program each year and a District patrons picnic at the close of the school year.

   At the present time, nine pupils are enrolled in the school, namely, Malinda Hartford, Crystal Johnson, Becky Vech, Missy Johnson, Brian Vech, Melissa Hartford, Robbie Kruger, Bobbie Hansen and Marsha Zakovec. The present members of the school board are Olga Virka, president, Eugene Hartford, secretary and Mary Johnson, treasurer.


   A hunter, photographer and professional wildlife artist, Mrs. Charlotte Edwards of Morse Bluff, paints pheasants, ducks, geese and hunting dogs in their natural surroundings. Each acrylic picture tells a story about the water fowl she has painted.

   Her efforts have won her numerous awards and most recently in 1983 her painting of a Canada goose was chosen for the Nebraska Games and Parks Commission Habitat Stamp for 1984. She has received honorable mention three times.

   Mrs. Edwards says she does extensive research, observing and photographing fowl around the Morse Bluff area. She also intends to raise Canada geese in a fenced area near the home she and her husband Jack built. She paints about one wildlife scene a week, usually 30 a year. No two paintings are alike.

   Painting was started as a hobby when she was 27 while living in Bridgeport, Nebraska. Being the mother of three, she painted at night after the children were in bed. Having a love of nature, painting wildlife came naturally.

   She began her career by taking an "old wrinkley" piece of canvas and some left over tubes of oil paint. This she tacked on a board and with some 10¢ brushes created her first painting, a copy of a calendar picture by wildlife artist Robert Bishop. She still has the painting.

   Mrs. Edwards said her work improved with each painting. She feels that when you teach yourself, you come up with your own style. By taking lessons, one learns in a couple of months what it took her years to learn.


   Sacred Heart Church at Cedar Hill near Morse Bluff is a small church which stands among Cedar trees. It is located six and one-half miles north of Prague, and two and ½ miles west of Morse Bluff where the pastor resides. Fifteen acres of land and half of the cost of the church was given by Mrs. Harriet S. (Colton) Noteware, wife of the late James Noteware. Most of the people were of Czech and Moravian descent. At the time of its founding, the church was in the Omaha Diocese. In. 1887, when the Lincoln Diocese was established, this parish was transferred to it.

   Mr. Noteware is buried on the north side of the church. The cemetery is located in the southeast corner of the land.

   The parish celebrated one hundred years in 1979. At that time Father Jerome Pokorny was the pastor in charge. Father John Hebert was the pastor three years. Now Father Meldon Wass is the pastor. There are 103 members at this writing. The oldest is 84 years and the youngest is around seven months old. Joseph Nemec, son of Mr. and Mrs. Adolf Nemec, is a seminarian at Mount St. Mary's Seminary at Emmitsburg, Maryland.


   A Thursday evening fire in Morse Bluff on October 28, 1982, destroyed a wooden elevator to the ground. 10,000 bushels of corn were stored in the Ladehoff Grain Co. elevator when it went up in fire. This was the worst fire that the small community had seen in years. No one was injured in the fire.


   Sacred Heart Church, Cedar Hill near Morse Bluff, Nebraska, is located about six miles north of Prague, Nebraska being a mission church to St. John's Parish of Prague. It was declared an independent Parish on July 1, 1945. It became the mother church to a newly organized Parish of St. George at Morse Bluff, Nebraska, where a resident pastor was installed to serve the Cedar Hill and Morse Bluff Parishes. The Rev. George J. Livanec became the pastor.

St. George's Rectory
St. George's Rectory
Morse Bluff, Neb.

   In the beginning of 1945 two prominent businessmen of Morse Bluff, Mr. Emil Wolf and Mr. Phillip Walla conferred with Rev. Bishop Louis B. Kucera. Mr. Wolf offered a garage dance hall, which he owned, free of charge, to be used as a temporary chapel. Mr. Walla promised a house, which he owned, to be used for the Pastor to live in when it became available. It was a small house with no modern conveniences. The Pastor received a small main altar for the Chapel from the Catholic Extension Society. The side altars and pews were given to him by neighboring parishes. The Rev. George J. Livanec said his first Mass in the St. George Chapel on July 1,1945.

   In 1951, Father Livanec acquired a large comfortable home with enough adjoining ground where the new church was planned to be built. The property was sold by Wilma Kunkle to St. Georges Catholic Church. Lots 9,10,11,12,13, l4 and 15 in Block 8 for the sum of $6375.00.

St. George Church
St. George Church
Morse Bluff, Neb. 1983

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   In October 1954, construction was started on the new church. The church was built of metal with a brick front. The building consists of the church 39 X 80 feet and a social hall 39 X 37 feet, at the cost of $24,000 and 4500 hours of donated labor. It was completed in 1955. The corner-stone was laid by the Dean Monsignor Matthew V. Nemec on September 25, 1955. That day the first Mass was offered in the new church. The St. Georges Church was dedicated on Wednesday, December 21, 1955. The Most Reverend Louis B. Kucera, Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska officiated at the dedication and offered the Solemn Pontifical Mass. At that time the Sacred Heart Church of Cedar Hill again became a mission church to St. Georges Church of Morse Bluff, Nebraska.

   August 5, 1961, Rev. George J. Livanec passed away. Following his death Rev. John Kozlik of Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska offered Sunday masses until in October 1961. Rev. Henry Denis was appointed to serve the Morse Bluff and Cedar Hill Parishes. Rev. Henry Denis served from 1961 to 1974, Rev. Otto Ekhaml served from 1974 to 1978, Rev. Jerome Pokorny from 1978 to 1979, Rev. Jack Hebert from 1979 to 1982 and Rev. Meldon Wass is the present Pastor. by Albin L. Cihacek


Established as Slavonia on Dec 12, 1872
Name changed to Cedar Hill on May 13, 1874
Discontinued on March 10, 1888

Postmasters:                     Dates of Service
Fredric F. Doubrva          Dec.12, 1872-May 12, 1874
Bissel P. Rice              May 13, 1874-Jan. 29, 1876
James H. Noteware           Feb. 1, 1876-Sept. 17, 1877
Harriet S.C. Noteware       Sept.18, 1877-Oct. 23, 1882
Rainsford Brownell          Oct.24, 1882-Jan. 15, 1888
Rainsford C. Brownell       Jan.16, 1888-Mar. 10, 1888
Benton, Saunders County
Established on June 8, 1868
Discontinued on April 23, 1877
Morse Bluff, Saunders County
Established on January 20,1888


(image links to larger map)


   Newman Precinct is situated on the west line of Saunders County, bounded on the west by Butler County, on the north by Elk, on the east by Chapman and on the south by Oak Creek Precinct.

   George Newman, from whom the precinct takes name settled upon Section 29. The only village in this precinct is Touhy, which was platted in 1892. It is situated in the southwest quarter of Section 35, Township 14, Range 5 east of the sixth Principal Meridian.

   In the winter of 1868-69, a schoolhouse was built upon section 29. A second schoolhouse upon Section 14 during 1872. A third school house was erected on Section 8 in 1873. In the early 1900's the Touhy School District #111 was moved across the road from Oak Creek Precinct into Section 35.

   There are only two rural schools in operation today in Newman precinct, they are District #74 in section 24 and Touhy School District #111 in section 35.

   It was formally made into a precinct Feb. 1, 1871.

   The precinct takes its name from an early settler Geo. Newman, who came there in 1867 along with James Dunlap and Marsilliat B. Giffen. J. Worley and Joseph Kastl came in 1868. Iver Jensen took up a claim here in 1866. In the year 1863, approximately, a man named Barnhill established what was known as the old Barnhill Ranch and maintained it until 1865, when he sold out to A.J. Jemison, who in turn ran the place until the coming of the RR.

Postmasters: Dates of Service Anton K. Walla Jan.20, 1888-Apr. 4, 1888 John L. Hanks Apr. 5, 1888-Sept. 10, 1890 Samuel W. Auten Sept. 11, 1890-May 23, 1893 Joseph F. Prai May 24, 1893-Nov. 21, 1895 Nicholas C. Wagner Nov. 21, 1895-Jan. 30, 1898 Hiram Watts Jan. 31, 1898-Sept. 19, 1900 Hans M. Mackprang Sept. 20, 1900-Apr. 21, 1911 Emil R. Sanberg Apr. 22, 1911-Nov. 27, 1916 Frank E. Lehmer Nov. 28, 1916-Apr. 1, 1938 Fred W. Earle Apr. 2, 1938-Dec. 30, 1945 James Vopalensky Dec. 31, 1945-Sept. 29, 1966 Antoinette Buchholtz Sept. 30, 1966-Dec. 1, 1966 Raleigh R. Robertson Dec. 2, 1966- Rural Route #1 Established Feb. 1, 1904 Carriers: Dates of Service Frank A. Hines Feb. 1, 1904-June 14, 1904 Frank I. Krause June 15, 1904-May 31, 1935 Leo H. Sholts June 1, 1935-Nov. 21, 1937 Charles J. Hampl* Nov. 22, 1937-Apr. 2, 1938 Frank E. Lehmer Apr. 4, 1938-Feb. 29, 1940 John H. Beto March 1, 1940-May 14, 1948 William H. Pabian* May 15, 1948-June 24, 1950 Frank I. Vlasak June 26, 1950-Sept. 29, 1982 Charles L. Beranek Sept. 30, 1982- *Served as substitutes until a regular carrier was appointed.

   T.E. Cork and Martha J. Jemison were the first to be married in 1865. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Webb, a Baptist minister. He was thought to have been one of the old circuit riders.

   Precinct Officers 1983-87: Chairman -- Joseph J. Pospisil, Clerk -- Larry Woita, Treas. -- Leonard J. Chapek.


   Touhy is a picturesque little village situated on a hilltop where the falling rains flow in three directions. The north half is in Newman and the south half is in Oak Creek Precincts.

   In the early '90's, much of the land around Touhy was prairie land with but few fences which offered open range. Every summer a large herd of cattle ranged over sec. 34, 35, and 36. The only watering place was a long windmill near what is now highway #79. There were tents, corrals, and tanks to accommodate the cowboys caring for the cattle. Antone Strizek, as a boy of 7 or 8, cared for some 500 cattle during the summer months. Attendants were paid $1.00 per head per month to herd and watch them.

   In the early nineties large herds of cattle ranged over the prairie land area in open range. The only watering place was a lone windmill, which still stands about a half mile northwest of Touhy. In 1890, the John Parker family purchased the farm where the greater part of Touhy now stands.

Touhy -- In background -- first white child born here.
Touhy -- In background -- first white child born here.

   On April 21, 1891, Harry Parker was the first white baby born in Touhy. In 1892, Anton Chapek started a general merchandise store and hardware on the north side of the road at the crest of the hill. He also managed the postoffice located in his store. The Postoffice was to be named Parkers Burg until it was learned that there already was a place with that name, so it was named after a Union Pacific Railroad master, Patrick Touhys. Later the "s" was dropped and the village was known as Touhy. In 1895, Anton Chapek built the first house in Touhy, located on the east side of Main Street next to where

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