Phelps Helps Newsletter Fall 1998

Phelps Helps Newsletter
Holdrege Area Genealogical Society

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

Vol. 7-3
Fall 1998
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



Vanna Lyttle

Wanting additional information on John Gustus family. John Gustus was Sheriff of Phelps County from 1899 to 1911.

Madeline Younglove

Researching Henry and Lizzie Woodside Johnston who were residents of Harlan County, NE from 1884 to 1909.

~New on Our Bookshelf~


MORE 1880 NEBRASKA SOUNDEX HAS BEEN PURCHASED We wish to thank Mr. Steven Overturf of Whittier, California and Rosy Gleason of Holdrege, NE for their donations which helped us purchased several more 1880 Nebraska Soundex'. We have about half the 1880 Soundex completed with eleven to purchase. Anyone wishing to make a donation, contact Ada Hinson, treasurer.


Purchased by the Holdrege Area Genealogy Club.

FURNAS COUNTY NEBRASKA, PAST AND PRESENT, Purchased by Holdrege Area Genealogy Club.

THE STULL FAMILY 1814-1872 By Wayne V. Jones


NELSON-LINDGREN FAMILY - Donated by Patti Simpson Hastings, NE

Sharon Kelley , 1918 Whipkey, Dr, Gooding, Idaho 83300 visited our library at the Phelps County Museum in June. She has donated information on the James and Mary Jayne (Robinson) Johnson family who came to Phelps County in 1879. Their fifteen children were

Ella May, Jesse, Jenny, Holloway Robinson, Frank, William, Wesley, Louise, Marble, Galen, Corbella, Nelson, Charles, Hale and Watson.


CELEBRATING 60 YEARS TOGETHER - Sam and Eileen Schrock


THE ARGUS - 1908 Atlanta High School Yearbook - Carolyn Klassen


We are seeing more visitors than usual in our library doing research. This of coarse is rewarding to all the many volunteers who have worked many hours indexing books and organizing the material in the Library.

Our member Patti Simpson, has provided us with a site on the internet which has given us more visibility to the world. We receive an average of five to six queries a week requesting research information. Each query is answered and information is sent to them about the museum library with a invitation to come and visit. This has giving us an opportunity to meet these researchers as then visit the museum.

Our internet site recently received a Links2go Key Resource award for Nebraska. We were told that fewer than one page in 1000 were chosen. We want to thank Patti Simpson for creating this page for us.

Check us out at


Sandra Slater


THIS INTERESTING NEBRASKA MAP (copy of map only available on hard copy newsletter)

This map of Nebraska is dated 1859 and shows several of the present counties. Adams and Kearney County were organized in 1872. You will notice that Adams County is missing. Kearney, Dawson and Kearney County are shown but only Buffalo County is approximately it's present side. Kearney County included about four of our present counties and a larger Dawson County was entirely north of the river. You will notice that several of the county names no longer exist such as Shorter, Minden and Jones County. Phelps County was organized in 1873 and is a part of Kearney County on this map.


Eleven of our members went to Kearney August 3rd to research at the Calvin T. Ryan Library at University of Nebraska of Kearney. A staff member gave us a tour

showing us the books and microfilm of genealogical importance. She also demonstrated their library card file on computer. We all felt this was a good learning experience and many of us came home with some additional family information.


We are seeing more visitors than usual in our library doing research. This of coarse is rewarding to all the many volunteers who have worked many hours indexing books and organizing the material in the Library.

Our member Patti Simpson, has provided us with a site on the internet which has given us more visibility to the world. We receive an average of five to six queries a week requesting research information. Each query is answered and information is sent to them about the museum library with a invitation to come and visit. This has giving us an opportunity to meet these researchers as then visit the museum.

Our internet site recently received a Links2go Key Resource award for Nebraska. We were told that fewer than one page in 1000 were chosen. We want to thank Patti Simpson for creating this page for us. Check us out at


Sandra Slater



We have been given a small number of high school year books from Atlanta, Bertrand, Loomis, Funk and Holdrege. We would like to receive more of these year books for our library. If you do have year books to donate, contact the museum staff or call Sandra Slater at 9956712.

* NEW *


*NEW* Phelps County Marriage book, 1878 - 1923, Volume 1, Compiled by Dick and Marjorie Dyas and Published by Holdrege Area Genealogy Club is now on sale. Included are entries of bride, groom, marriage date, parents name if found, book and page number of marriage record to help locate the marriage record on microfilm at our museum or at the Courthouse. Price $15.00 plus $4 shipping and Handling. Add .75 for tax if resident of Nebraska.



James JOHNSON, was the son of Andrew and Eliza Wells Johnson, he was born May 18, 1822 in Orange Co., New York. When he was in his early teens he was given up to die with quick consumption, he heard the doctor tell his mother that he would not last three months. When his mother came into his room he insisted that she help him redress. He said "Mother, if I can't live but three months, I am not going to stay in this bedroom, I am going out of doors into the fresh air and sunshine." He insisted when his mother tried to keep him in bed, thinking that the exertion would shorten his life. It was a warm spring day, she spread an old quilt on the ground. He was happy to be out of doors in the sunshine and fresh air. Later he would walk each day a little farther. He surprised everybody by getting better.

When he was in college he sawed wood in a wood yard to help pay his way. In those days, this work was all done by hand. It had to be split and piled. In spite of the hard work he found time to study music and became a fine violinist. He had quite a large book of violin music, solos, duets and trios. When he would gather the older boys around him with their violins and they would play out of the book, it was a thrill of ecstasy.

James also found time to study astronomy. Sometimes he would get the children up at night and take them to study the heavens and point out certain stars and tell them the facts concerning them, how fast they were going through space, etc. He was a man of few words, the children would have to ask him questions to get anything out of him. When the children were going to the teacher's institute, James was a tremendous help to them, any questions that would come up he could tell them all about it. He had many books, encyclopedias, history, etc.

James and his family moved to Phelps Co., Nebraska in 1879. His wife Mary Jayne died May 7, 1887. When she became ill, James took her to the best doctors in the country, but to no avail. He had to mortgage the farm for the medical bills, and therefore lost it. James passed away January 12, 1901, at Phelps Co., Nebraska.

A few years after the mother died, James and some of the children went to Colorado, where his eldest daughter Ella May and family lived. It was here that his daughter Louise died form Typhoid Fever, as did Ella May's eldest son, Charles. James Johnson took the body of his daughter back to Phelps Co., for burial and decided not to return to Colorado. When his son Frank returned to Colorado to get their possessions and take them back to Nebraska, someone had been there before him and had stolen them all including the family Bible, and the glass from the windows. (Ref: Family History written by Jennie Johnson Metcalf, Daughter)

More Excerpts From the March 1, 1887

Nebraska Nugget




The Capital City.


Her Business Men; Her Magical Growth;

Her Railroads; Her Industries, and Our

Prophecy of Her Great Future.


is a dealer in real estate, loan and insurance. He located in Holdrege in the spring of 1886 and has already established a lucrative business. He handles only the best insurance companies and negotiates loans in real estate at the lowest possible figure. Mr. Johnson has one hundred farms in this and adjoining counties for sale on the most reasonable terms and at figures varying in price to suit purchasers. All correspondence promptly answered.


This is quite an extensive institution, and it might be much more of an advantage to the people than it is. The business manager, Mr. Conger, is a surly, impetuous and disagreeable man to deal with and competition is a great boor to him. Mr. Jones, who travels and buys in large lots through the country, and the bookkeeper, Mr. Baldwin are pleasant gentlemen to deal with and on this fact rests the success of the company. Mr. Baldwin does the major part of the business and Mr. Conger makes the noise. The yards and pastures of this company cover nearly 2,000 acres of land and their business will reach a hundred thousand dollars a year.


Mr. Raymaker came to Holdrege from Hastings in 1886 and embarked in the loan business. His office is with S.A. Dravo. The only fault Mr. Raymaker finds is that he cannot get enough money to supply customers. Since coming here he has built a fine residence in West Holdrege, where he now lives.


Mr. Breach is serving his third term as city marshal and he is the best marshal Holdrege has ever had. He also handles school furniture, seats, desks, maps, charts, etc., and does a good business in his line.



H.S. Glaze & Co., the monument and tombstone men of our city, are constantly but quietly putting out some of the finest work in their line we have seen in the state. They have just about completed tow large monuments which are to be placed in the cemetery at Alma. One to be placed over the grave of J.W. Burnside, the late treasurer of Harlan county, and on over the graves of Joseph Mitzger and son. These two alone cost $800 and the workmanship on them is excellent. Mr. Glaze tells us that their business is rapidly increasing and they will soon be compelled to enlarge their building and increase their laboring force.


One of the most reliable as well as one of the most successful men in Holdrege, is Guy Crandall, He located in 1884. He buys horses and mules by the carload and sells them on therms to suit purchasers. This year he established a branch business at Curtis. Since January 1, Mr. Crandall has shipped in sixty head and his business is very satisfactory. His large barn has been doubled in capacity this winter. Given & Martin is another firm of the same nature, but they are not residents. They make regular shipments to Holdrege however, and have established a good trade.


Mr. Olmstead opened a grocery store in Holdrege in December, 1883, and for a time was one of the leading merchants. He sold out in 1885, but soon opened again, and is now proprietor of the Eureka bakery in connection with which he runs a lunch and oyster parlor. He has a large trade in the bakery line.


We have four barbershops one on East Ave. by Mr. Cole, two on West avenue, by Ed. Haven and Mr. Mullinex, respectively and one on Hopwood street by Joe Eastman.


Occupy two fronts of the Commercial State Bank building, facing West Avenue and Hayden street, two of the best business streets in Holdrege. Their large stock comprises dry goods, carpets, clothing, boots, shoes, hats and caps and gentlemen's furnishing goods. They intend putting in a large stock of fine,millinery goods in the spring. This store is very commodious and well arranged and it is a pleasure to walk through their store and view the fine display of goods. They have a ladies' department which Miss M.A. Boller is the presides over. (They carry a stock varying from $16,000 to $20,000) Business has been very satisfactory since the first day of July 1886, when the store was first opened to the public. John Ledlie and H.D. Rea both came from Des Moines, Iowa, and have an extensive business experience, which with their energy and strict business principles, will carry them to the front. Their business is most gratifying and the gentlemen are well pleased with Holdrege.


Started in business two years ago in a small frame on West avenue, and on account of the large increase in business was compelled to look for more commodious quarters which they now occupy on Hayden street, directly west of the post office.

The two store rooms now occupied were built expressly for this firm and are 42 feet front and 65 feet deep. Each line, dry goods, millinery, clothing, men's furnishing goods, hats and caps, boots and shoes, etc., are arranged in departments, making it the only store of the kind in Western Nebraska and all goods in the several departments are purchased as nearly as possible direct form manufacturers, which enables this house to carry the largest stock and to give its patrons the lowest possible prices.

Paige Warnick, as manager, has made the business a grand success. The business of 1887 opens up largely in excess of last year when the year's business was upwards of $35,000.

The motto of this house is an equitable division of the profits with their large trade, asking for themselves only a fair compensation for their labor and a margin sufficient to meet the ordinary expenses in an economically managed business.


On the corner of West avenue and Hopwood street we find one of our large general merchandise stores. The owner, Mr. Brown, succeeded A.P. Erickson in the spring of 1886. The large trade enjoyed by Mr. Erickson has been increased b y the present owner. Staple groceries of the best quality, a full line of dried and canned fruits, crockery, queensware, glassware. Exchange produce at market price keeps on hand a full stock of boots and shoes, hats and caps, dry good and notions. He employs a full staff of efficient clerks. Albert C. Olson, Gustav Westine, Alonzo Cone T.D. McMillan have all been working with him for some time and are very clever young men. L. Brown came here from Naperville, DuPage county, Ill, where he was engaged in the same line of business. Having gained the confidence of the people in this county Mr. Brown is calculating to remain among us.


Carry a full line in the general merchandise business. Their stock of groceries is of the very best that can be bought in the market. They also carry a full stock of dry goods, boots and shoes. The firm located in Holdrege in 1886. E.H. Snow was in the general merchandise business in Taylor, Loup county, Nebraska. All the members of the firm came from the state of Vermont. They have purchased the valuable lot south of the opera house, where they intend to put in a large stock and in a year or so erect a commodious brick building. They are very agreeable and efficient business men and treat their customers with the greatest consideration, having the interest of their customers always in view.


Our noted jeweler came here from Lincoln, Nebraska, in May 1886 and soon filled his store with a full stock of jewelry, gold and silver watches, some of the most elegant gold watches in the country. His watches and clocks are of the best make, and his silverware is all of the finest and latest patterns. His experience in the watchmaking and jewelry business for the last twenty years will guarantee a complete success for him here. His patronage is already most flattering. His son, Mr. Chas. Beghtol, is an engraver and watchmaker by trade, and judging form his work he is destined to become on of the most skillful artists in the country. The stock carried by Mr. Beghtel is never less than $6,000.


Have already gained the reputation of being the lowest priced furniture house ever in Phelps county. In September 1886, they came here from Ottumwa, Iowa and purchased the stock of C.L. Warren, in Cooper's building on East avenue, and at once ordered a sufficient quantity of goods to more than double the stock which made the largest and best assorted stock of furniture ever exhibited in the city. Early in December they purchased the stock of their only competitor, Mr. J.C. Rundstrom. This stock was joined with the first stock, which required an addition 25x30 feet to the rear of the building, making the total length 140 feet by twenty-vie wide. On entering the room the customer will observe a line of fifteen chamber suits, and on either side will e found parlor goods, dressers, side boards, book cases, lounges, center tables, etc., etc., and a well filled chair rack above, besides an almost endless variety of rockers. In the rear will be found the kitchen furniture and a neatly arranged coffin a and casket exhibitor, which keeps the coffins securely hidden from view when not needed. In addition will also be found a fine line of picture molding, picture and window shades. The Union Sewing Machine is also handled by this firm and is the only machine which will sew both backward and forward without changing or stopping the machine. Not withstanding the fact that Holdrege has already had seven different firms in he furniture business, Lunkley & Eaton have come to stay, and believe that honest and fair dealing combined with the prosperity in store for the town, will make success their lot.



by Daniel H. Burrows <>

June 1997


connect to USA



French-Spanish 1565-67 Florida

English-French 1613-1629 Canada

Anglo-French 1629 St.Lawrence Riv.

Pequot War 1636-37 New England

??? 1640-45 New Netherland

Iroquois 1642-53 New Eng.; Acadia

Anglo-Dutch July 1653 New Netherland

Bacon's Rebellion 1675-76 Virginia

King Philip's 1675-76 New England

War In North 1676-78 Maine

Culpepper's Reb'n 1677-80 Carolinas

Leisler's Rebellion 1688-91 New England

Revolution in MD 1689 Maryland

Glorious Revolution 1689 New England

King William's War 1689-97 Canada

Queen Anne's 1702-13 New England

Tuscarora 1711-12 Virginia

Jenkin's Ear 1739-42 Florida

King George's 1740 GA & VA

Louisbourg 1745 New England

Fort Necessity 1754 Ohio

Anglo-French 1755-58 Canada

French & Indian 1754-63 New Eng;VA

Siege of Quebec 1759 Canada

American Revolution 1775-83 USA

Wyoming Valley 1782-87 Pennsylvania

Shay's Rebellion 12/1786-1/1787 Massachusetts

Whiskey Insurrection 1794 Pennsylvania

Northwestern Indian 1790-95 Ohio

War with France 1798-1800 Naval

War with Tripoli(Naval) 1801-05 North Coast Africa

Burr's Insurrection 1806-1807 South Mississippi Valley

Chesapeake (Naval) 1807 Virginia

Northwestern Indian 1811 Indiana

Florida Seminole Indian 1812 FL (GA Volunteers)

War of 1812 1812-15 General

Peoria Indian 1813 Illinois

Creek Indian 1813-14 South

Lafitte's Pirates 1814 Local

Barbary Pirates 1815 North Coast Africa

Seminole Indian 1817-18 FL & GA

Lafitte's Pirates 1821 Galveston

Arickaree Indian 1823 Missouri Riv; Dakota Terr

Fever River Indian 1827 Illinois

Winnebago Indian 1827 Wisconsin

Sac & Fox Indian 1831 Illinois

Black Hawk 1832 Illinois & Wisconsin

Toledo 1835-36 Ohio & Michigan

Texan 1835-36 Texas

Indian Stream 1835-36 New Hampshire

Creek Indian 1836-37 Georgia & Alabama

Florida (Seminole) 1835-42 FL, GA, & AL

Sabine / Southwestern 1836-37 Louisiana Indian

Cherokee 1836-38 ---

Osage Indian 1837 Missouri

Heatherly Disturbance 1836 Missouri

Mormon 1838 Missouri

Aroostook 1839 Maine

Dorr's Rebellion 1842 Rhode Island

Mormon 1844 Illinois

Mexican 1846-1848 Mexico

Cayuse Indian 1847-48 Oregon

TX & NM Indian 1849-55 ---

California Indian 1851-52 ---

Utah Indian 1850-53 ---

Rogue River Indian 1851, 1853, 1856 Oregon

Oregon Indian 1854 Oregon

Nicaraguan 1854-58 Naval

Kansas Troubles 1854-59 Kansas

Yakima Indian 1855 Local

Klamath & Salmon 1855 Oregon & Idaho River Indian

Florida Indian 1855-58 Florida

John Brown's Raid 1859 VA

War of Rebellion 1860-65 General

Cheyenne 1861-64 Local

Sioux 1862-63 Minnesota

Indian Campaign 1865-68 OR, ID, CA

Fenian Invasion of 1866 From New England Canada

Indian Campaign 1867-69 KS, CO & Ind. Terr.

Modac Indian 1872-73 Oregon

Apaches 1873 Arizona

Indian Campaigns 1874-75 KS, MO, TX, NM, & Indian Territory

Cheyenne & Sioux 1876-77 Dakota

Nez Perce 1877 Utah -- should be Idaho

Bannock 1878 ID, Washington Terr. & Wyoming Terr.

White Riv. (Ute Ind.) 1879 Utah & Colorado

Cheyenne 1878-79 Dakota & Montana

Spanish-American 1898-99 Cuba

Philippine Insurrection 1899-1902 Philippine Islands

Thursday, August 28, 1919

Phelps County Men Who Died in the Service (Pictures included on Hard Copy Only - join to become a member and receive your hard copy at home. See membership info at top)

Private Guy Wehland

of Holdrege, Nebraska was sent to Camp Funston Sept. 22, 1917. He was transferred to the school of aeronautics at Camp Arcadia, Calif., and was killed there by an explosion of flash powder while acting in the capacity of flash man. His wife and infanct child made their home near the camp for sometime. His body was brought here for burial.


Kenneth Moore,

son of Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Moore of Bloomfield, Ia., was killed in action July 26, while attempting to save a wounded comrade Kenneth Moore was formerly employed as a machine operator on the Holdrege Progress, was the first boy going from Phelps county to be killed in battle.


Floyd Max Grove,

eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Grove, living north of Holdrege was born December 9, 1899 at Elmwood, Case County, Nebr. He enlisted on May 27, 1918 in the regular army and was assigned to the 9th Field Artillery and stationed at Fort Sill, Okla. While there he contracted a severe case of diphtheria and died March 2nd after a soldierly fight against this disease. Floyd Grove was the first Phelps county soldier to give up his life.


Private Alvin Marion Salisbury,

son of J.E. Salisbury of Atlanta, Nebr., was born May 15, 1890 in Phelps Co., Nebr. He was united in marriage Sept 25, 1912 to Ethel Agnes Trip and was called to serve his country Sept. 5, 1918. He was sent as a private to Camp Grant and attached to the 47th Co. 161 Depot Brigade, where he died from pneumonia Oct 28.


Private Martin Horn,

son of Mr. and Mrs. John Horn, of Ragan, was killed in action in France, Sept. 26, 1918. martin left Holdrege with the second contingent from Phelps county on Sept. 22, 1917 being sent to Camp Funston and transferred early last spring overseas, where he was on the principal American fighting line.


Private Charles Marion Martin,

son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Martin, of Hodlrege, was born near Pittfield, Ill., in 1895. He left Holdrege Sept. 22, 1917 for Camp Funston and was attached to the famous 89th Division. Private Martin died from wounds received in action on October 1st on the front near Verdon.


Private Glenn Morrison,

son of Mr. T.L. Morrison of Loomis, Nebr., was born in Loomis in 1893. He entered the service May 26, 1918 and trained at Camp Dodge, Iowa. He was a member of Co. B 350 Infantry, 88th Division. Like so many other of our boys he contracted pneumonia and died in France Oct. 9, 1918.

~Harlan County Nebraska~

NOTE: The Phelps Helps Newsletter highlights Harlan County Nebraska in this section. With many of our subscribers interested in and from Harlan County, and since Harlan County is a connecting county to Phelps County, the Phelps Helps will carry a page of history information on Harlan County.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Today, Mascot barley exists. Like so many small towns, Mascot prospered in early years because the railroad came to town. The information below came from the research efforts of one of our members, Dick Dyas, who spent many months researching records and interviewing many individuals from the Mascot area. This Mascot, NE book is located in our Harlan County, NE section in the Phelps County Museum Library.

On January 30th, 1884 the railroad was assigned property through the town of Rouse located in the northwest Harlan County in Spring grove township. Because there was another Nebraska town with the same name, Rouse was named Mascot in late 1885. This village had it's largest population growth between 1900 and 1940.

George Hutchinson was the first depot agent and his wife, Sylvia operated the post office and general store. Henry G. Gorsenbach came to Harlan County about 1887 and Jackson M. Grace settled in the area in 1891. These two gentleman were to play an important part in history of town as both operated several business and later built several houses in Mascot.

Many of Mascot's former residents are buried in Spring grove Cemetery located on Sec. 34 in Spring grove Township. There are about 100 marked graves in this cemetery.


A news article from the Lincoln State Journal in 1924 told of the problems of starting church services in Mascot, NE. The information came from a tattered, aged, yellowed document owned by Senator J.M. Grace of Mascot, who had gone to Lincoln to visit his sons Frank and Louis.

"On Sep. 31, 1893, the first religious service was held in Mascot, NE. It was held in a tent conducted by Rev. Charles W. Savage of the Peoples Church of Omaha. The following Sunday the Peoples Church was organized with a membership of 20.

The next two years proved disappointing to the project of building a church as the community was so impoverished by a terrible drouth that subscriptions were unpaid. During this time the little faithful band passed thru trying times. First they were burned out of Grace's hall on December 29 1894. About six weeks later an angry landlord unroofed the building where their services were held. "Sep of 1895 found them homeless. By the greatest self denial they raised sufficient funds to begin the work of building a church here".

Signed, Sylvia Hutchinson

Grace's Hall, which the letter chronicles as having been burned, was the upper part of the building in which J.M. Grace had his store. "The angry landlord" was none other than an ex-minister who had conceived an intense dislike for the People's Congregation, and so had his sons unroof the sod building in which they convened after the fire. With the cornerstone of the new building laid, the men of the vicinity donated their labor and a brick church was soon completed. This church was torn down in 1919.

Harlan County


Sarah (Sally Jane) Rifenburgh

My great grandparents Lewis and Sarah Jane (LOBDELL) RIFENBURGH went to Harlan Co., NE from Wisconsin about 1874. They had previously lived in Albany Co., NY. Lewis died in Florida about 1902 and he had remarried. I have no information about where Sarah, also known as Sally Jane, died - if she died in Nebraska (after 1880) or if she went to Florida. Lewis's daughter by a previous marriage, Rosillia, married Leslie O. BOOHER and they moved to Florida along with Lewis. Would like to contact anyone who knows of these people or who can help me find out what became of Sally Jane.

Doris M Denton


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