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William Arthur Danley, Businessman


Studio portrait of William Danley taken by R. Busse, Chadron, Nebraska.
The back of the photograph is signed to Miss Jennie Hollenbeck, William's future wife.


Born in Danvers, Illinois, in 1860, William Arthur Danley moved to Niobrara, Nebraska, with his parents and sister in 1879. He began doing grading work for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad and in 1884 purchased a dairy in Chadron. In 1888 he married Jennie Hollenbeck. After holding several different jobs, he purchased Lambert's bakery in Chadron. Danley twice served as postmaster of Chadron, and served on the city council for six years. In 1907 he sold his bakery and purchased a book and stationary business, which he operated until his death in 1927.


William Arthur Danley began his 1888 diary not with a set of expectations for the volume, but with an accounting of his life to date.

Chadron, Dawes Co. Neb
Feb. 1, 1888
I'm going to start a Journal and if any body wants to know me before this just strike me for information

I was borne in the North room of the house on the Old Danley Homestead in Stouts Grove McLean Co Ills. 1 mi from Danvers. Sept 2, 1860.

I have lived in Illinois, Iowa & Misouri. I came to Nebraska in 1879 Crossed the Missouri on Jack Thomas' Little Bee. Stayed in Niobrara 2 years Was drownded out by the Flood in Spring of '81 and pulled for the R.R. at Oural. Worked on the R.R. up to Valentine stayed at Ft. Niobrara 2 years Then pulled for the White River Country.

Am here yet on my Homestead, with Pa, Ma, Maggie, Leta, & Warren. I am running the Chadron Dairy have 20 cows 7 horses, 2 pigs a Dog and an awful cold.

So Be It for a start.


His most important entry is that for the day of his wedding to Jennie Hollenbeck, in which he accounts for his entire day from rising at 4:00 a.m. to retiring at midnight.

Wed 19 (Dec)
Got up at 4 H.M. E.B. But did not deliver milk Pa did, Stayed at home the first time for two years Rode Daisy to town Got my hair cut and shaved Got a Buggy, Bought a clock. Got home at 11.
P.M. H.M. Got ready to Get Married
Maggie & I started for town at 5-30 Got to town at 5-20 took Maggie to Mrs. Hollenbecks, found the Front room full of Parasants.
Went down and combed my hair. Got back at 6-45 Reached Mr. Powelle at 6-50 He spent a few minutes drilling us and at 7-10 We started for the Church (It was full of People anxiously waiting us. The music by Miss Wilson started at 7-15 and we marched up under the Horse shoe and Mr. Powell Married us. I was a little weak in the knees, but got through all O.K. and shook hands with everybody.
Went back to Mother Hollenbecks and packed up our preasants and got home at 9.
Eat a Lunch and Went to Bed at 12 0'clock.


Even more interesting than his account of his wedding is William's entry for the next day. Clearly his diary was important enough that he wished to share its secrets with the person closest to him, his new wife.

Thurs. 20
Got up at 4. H.M. E.B.
Helped Ma & My Wife dress Turkey and numerous other things Johnie & Henry ___________ & Mrs D. Lewis took dinner with us. Tom & Grace stoped a few min.
P.M. H.M. Had this Book looked through by My Wife and Went to Bed.


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Last updated 13 April 2010  

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