Dawson County, NEGenWeb Project - Holcombe Cemetery

Dawson County NEGenWeb Project

War Memorial at Lake Helen
War Memorial at Lake Helen
(see more)
Photo taken July 7, 2003 by Connie Snyder

Holcombe Cemetery

(Lake Helen)


    Southwest part of Lake Helen and just west of Lafayette Park. (Gothenburg)
SUBMITTED BY:   The Cozad Genealogy Club.

Names Index

Gothenburg's first graves were those of Frankie Dennett Isaac Holcombe and Mary Adams. A sod school house is believed to have stood on the corner of 20th and Ave F. Funeral services for these three people were held in this school house. Frankie Bennett was born in 1872--died 1880. Isaac Holcombe born 1854--died 1877, Mary Adams born 1806--died 1880. The burial plot was on a small rise just north of the school house.

Later a homesteader plowed over these graves. This upset Mrs Sara Holcombe and she donated a plot on her land to be used for the cemetery. This plot became known as the Holcombe Cemetery. It was located in the area which is the Southwest part of Lake Helen and just west part of Lafayette Park. The three graves were then moved to this plot. Other people in the community used this cemetery for their loved ones also. The Holcombe and Isaac Abercrombe families came from Georgia. The land where Lake Helen is located, as well as the land used for the lake, was homesteaded by Robert Holcombe, Isaac Abercrombe. His Uncle, homesteaded a tree claim north of what is now Lafayette Park and the Rodeo grounds. Mr. Abercrombe was a Civil War veteran and a Confederate soldier. For this reason he was unable to file on more than a tree claim. Mr. Abercrombe and Robert built a house on the Abercrombe land in the spring of 1874. They sent for the rest of their families in the fall of that year. Robert Holcombs Mother, Sara was a widow. Her husband was a Doctor in the Civil War and had been taken prisoner and had died in the prison. The family had traveled to Gothenburg on an immigrant train. The family consisted of Sara, a son Marlin, a daughter Mary, and another son, his wife and a baby. Isaac was twenty three years old when he died, leaving his wife and baby.

The Platte Valley Farm and Cattle Company Investment Co. from the Eastern states came out West to buy up the land North and West of town in 1901. They had plans for making Gothenburg into an industrial city and needed the property for the electrical power system they had planned to build.

The company bought from the Holcombs, the property where the cemetery was located. At that time the cemetery had expanded South and North and had a number of graves. It was necessary to re-locate the cemetery once again.

Holcombe bought land from Wm. Ehmen, which was located 2 miles East of Lafayette Park area for the new cemetery. The 1889 Gothenburg Independent News stated it was a sad day for the descendants, when the graves of their loved ones had to be moved. A town Cemetery Board had been formed prior to this time. They decided the fee for re-locating these graves to the new cemetery would be $25.00. These were hard times for the homesteaders and to many of them this was a large amount of money. Some of the families, who could afford it, moved their loved ones graves to the new site. For the families who could not afford it or families who had since moved on to a new area, the graves were moved to a mass grave. It is believed to have been located on the hillside directly Northeast of the development site. The new cemetery known as the Gothenburg Cemetery holds the graves of Mary Adams, Isaac Abercrombe, Isaac Holcombe and Frankie Bennett. The oldest person buried in Gothenburg was Mary Adams, aunt of the Holcombs and Abercrombes. People did not live to an old age during the period of development of our land. The Holcombe Cemetery was the burial spot for babies and young adults who did not have the privilege to live to see their dreams and hopes for the future come true.


Adams, Mary M.          July 13, 1806 - Sept. 22, 1880

Collison, Louis Gilbert, Son of Mr & Mrs A. C. Collison
                   died Sept  2, 1887  age 19 mo. 29 days.

Croskett, Eva, Daughter of James Croskett, N.Platte,
                   died March 8, 1887

Holcombe, Isaac J.      June 27, 1854 - Jan. 22, 1877

Johnson, ______,  child of Anton Johnson   Aug __, 1885

Karlson, Vollard        Dec 11, 1859 - Oct 17, 1887

Kenyon, Arthur Edmard, son of Chas. H and M. E.
          Kenyon   died Nov. 9, 1889  age 7 years

McCurdy, Mary, wife of D. A. McCurdy    died Jan 6, 1888
                        age 34 years

Murphy, Vernie, child of Mr & Mrs E. D. Murphy of Brady
                   died Oct 27, 1889   age 18 months

Nelson, Peter of Brady   died Feb. 1 1889  age 25yrs

Peterson, W. G.          died Apr. 29, 1887  age 29 years

Sullivan, ______         died Jan 17, 1890  age 28 years
          Worker on the canal.

Bennett, Frankie         1872 - 1880

War Memorial at Lake Helen


War Memorial at Lake Helen Will E. Sievers
Manley Hoppes
Ray Harnan
Charles Streeton
Leonard Banks
Jerry Cerney
William Golden
Horace Golden
Ralph McFate

Howard Nickerson
Iver Stewart
William Miller
Harm Martens
Ira Welliver
Carl Kuhlman
Marion Florom
George Maline
Fred Sadler


War Memorial at Lake Helen Gerald Atkins
James Shelley
Raymond Estle
William Aunspaugh
Lester Heidebrink
Keith Craig
Donald Speck
Paul Gonzales
Orval Ostendorf
Everett Portiner
Elmer Preitauer
Vernon Hanson
Marvin Gieken
Walter Heidebrink
Herbert Kruse
Kenneth Beck
Merle Aunspaugh
Keith Dircksen
War Memorial at Lake Helen

Korean War

Robert Wallace
Richard Stevens

Vietnam War

Lynn Wieser
War Memorial at Lake Helen


If you are able
Save for them a place inside of you
And save one backward glance when you are leaving
For the places they can no longer go
Be not ashamed to say you loved them
Though you may or may not have always
Take what they have left
And what they have taught you with their dying
And keep it with your own
And in that time
When men decide and feel safe to call war insane
Take one moment to embrace
Those gentle heroes you left behind

Major Michael Davis O'donnell
Photos taken July 7, 2003 by Connie Snyder

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