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Historical Newsletter
February 1998


A rural mail carrier's wagon, currently on display at the Museum of Nebraska History, was recently donated to the Society by Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. Umberger of Lincoln. The wagon was used for rural mail delivery at Gretna, Sarpy County, during the first part of this century. Complete with shafts and doubletree for either single-horse or team driving, the wagon also features removable windows and a unique charcoal-burning footwarmer stove.

The Society has also acquired a l960s "Mike-Bike" made by the Sensation Manufacturing Company of Ralston, which began making power lawn mowers in 1944. Pioneers in the design of rotary blade power mowers, the company also produced "Mike-Bike" motor bikes. Donated by Gerald and Evelyn Shrader, Nehawka, this "Mike-Bike" was used in Arizona to service irrigation and may be seen in Plains Power: Nebraska-made Vehicles, now on exhibit at the Museum of Nebraska History.


The Sunday Afternoon at the Rock speakers series continues in February. As part of the series the exhibit Un Tesoro de Nebraska (A Nebraska Treasure) will be on view at the Chimney Rock Visitor Center from February 20 through March 6. This exhibit was the result of numerous interviews with Mexican American traditional musicians, craftspersons, and long-time community leaders undertaken through the Mexican American Traditions in Nebraska Project. The project was a collaboration by the Nebraska Mexican American Commission and the NSHS. Two of the people responsible for this project will speak at the Chimney Rock Visitor Center on Sunday, February 22. Gwen Meister, grants coordinator for NSHS, and Olga Olivares, director of the Mexican American Historical Society in Scottsbluff, will discuss the project and the valuable information gained from their interviews.

Two other speakers will be featured at the visitor center during the February portion of the Sunday Afternoon at the Rock series. On February 8 Carol Ahlgren, architectural historian for the NSHS, will present a program entitled, "Nebraska Highways: A Cultural Landscape." On February 15 Charles Trimble, past president of the Nebraska State Historical Society, will discuss "American Indian Perspectives on Western Expansion." All programs are free and open to the public and begin at 1:30 P.M. Limited seating is available. For more information contact the Chimney Rock Visitor Center at 308-586-2581.


The Nebraska Department of Roads has announced that additional funding has been made available for transportation enhancement projects in Fiscal Year 1998. The Transportation Enhancement Selection Committee is requesting proposals for projects to build trails, preserve historic transportation facilities, and landscape or beautify streets and highways.

Governmental agencies are encouraged to apply for funding through the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, better known as ISTEA. Application forms may be requested by calling 402-476-7331. Final applications are due March 2, 1998.

If you have questions about the program contact James Pearson at the Department of Roads, 1500 Nebraska Highway 2, Lincoln, NE 68509-4759 or call 402-479-4881.

By Cindy S. Drake, Library Curator

New Acquisitions of Interest to Genealogists

Descendants of Peter Winter, 1748-1814: Waldecker, Mercenary, and Blacksmith, [compiled] by Mildred Hopkins with Dwayne L. Pretzer. (Families in Lancaster County including William Jennings Bryan and his family).

Do Butterflies Have Ears? and Other Family Lore, by Hugh A. Fogarty. (Family in Douglas County).

Genealogical and Local History Books In Print: Family History Volume, compiled and edited by Marian Hoffman.

A Family History of Andrew and Sophia (Huetter) Gless and Their Children, 1853-1996, [compiled] by Elmer E. Gless. (Family in Colfax County).

From Cookstove to Microwave: My Memories 1915-1996, by Phyllis Helzer. (Family in Dawes County).

A Czech Family Heritage, Bohemia U.S.A., 1765-1996, by Jewel B. Lansing. (Family in Cuming County).

"From Bloody Blokes to Damn Yankees": Descendants of William and Mary Rawes Rudd, Westmoreland County, England, by Dorothea M. Rudd. (Family in Keith County).

We Veitches, Veatches, Veaches, Veeches: An Historical Treasury of the Descendants of James Veitch, the Sheriffe, compiled by Laurence R. Guthrie (Families in Otoe, Brown, Cass, Nance, and Richardson counties).

Zalesky Genealogy, compiled by Tillie Wanek, et. al. (Family in Saline County).

Descendants of Robert and Susannah Barrett and Jeremiah and Elizabeth Barrett of Sommersetshire, England . . . to Saline County (DeWitt, NE) and Gage County, Nebraska, U.S.A., [compiled by Elizabeth Price]. (Families in Saline and Gage counties).

The Cemeteries of Read Township including the Blue Valley and St. Peters Cemeteries with a Map and 437 Obituaries and Lists of 512 Known Burials in both Alphabetic and Location Sequences, edited and assembled by Jerry A. Althouse and Richard C. Ludden.

Nebraska Born Veterans Buried in Colorado, 1862-1949, by Gerald E. Sherard.

Harlan County Nebraska Cemetery Book, by the [Holdrege Area Genealogy Club].

The Education of Edward Cudahy, by W. Kane (Family in Douglas County).

A Selected History of Wilber and Czech Culture in Nebraska, 1873-1997, by E. A. Kral.

A History of District 82, the Wilber-Clatonia Public Schools from 1873 to 1992, and a History of Rural School District 97, Saline County, Nebraska, from 1874 to 1965, by E. A. Kral.

125 Years History of DeWitt, Nebraska: Its Families, Its Community 1872-1997, by Doris Peters and Mary Garrison.

Family Treasures: Videotaping Your Family History, a Guide for Preserving Your Family's bLiving History as an Heirloom for Future Generations, by Shala M. Bannister.

A Genealogist's Refresher Course, by Judy Jacobson.

Daniel Gregory and His Wife Sarah Lamont: Their Ancestors and Descendants, compiled by Richard B. Walker. (Families in York, Fillmore, Gosper, and Dawson counties).

Hobson: Descendants of George and Elizabeth Hobson, compiled by Earl H. Davis, Marie D. Wiles.

A History of the Houfek Family of Colfax County, [compiled by] Dennis F. Houfek.

Miscellaneous Obits From Denni Pokrok (Daily Progress), November 1915, compiled by Margie Sobotka. (Czechs in Nebraska).

The Pioneer Story of Bill & Ane Petersen and the Evolution of the Vise-grip, by Harriet P. Fort. (Family in Saline County).

Colorado Physicians Born in Nebraska, 1881-1967, by Gerald E. Sherard.

In Search of Confederate Ancestors: The Guide, by J. H. Segars.

The following titles were compiled or edited by Ernest C. James under his series, Ancestors and Descendants of the James Family. These families are from Butler, Valley, and Burt counties.

History and Biography of the Dobson Family.

The Hollingsworth Family and Collateral Lines of Atkinson and Ree.

Biography, Ernest C. James, Jr., 1920-1942.

Biography of Ernest C. (Jessie) James, Greenfield, Iowa: Fifty-First Iowa Volunteers, Spanish American War, and the Philippine Insurrection.

Ernest C. James and Cora Gregory James Family and Collateral Lines of Their Descendants.

Descendants of Ernest Clare James and Cora Blanche Gregory: Excerpts From "Notes From the Welcome Farm" by Edith James Skinner Pertaining to the James Family.

The Lobdell Family and Collateral Families of Baldwin, Bryan, Burwell, Fenn, Heath, Hyatt, Pierce, Prentice, Reynold, Scott.

Narrative and Publications Relating to Lucy Ann Lobdell: The Female Hunter of Delaware & Sullivan Counties, New York.

The Rivenburg Family and Co-lateral Families.

Descendants of Cornelius Anthonisse Van Schlick and AL-Stoch Hartwell.

Thank you to Kevin Brown, who donated the funds to purchase One Line of the Solomon Leonard Family, by Anne W. Cassidy. Thank you to Adrian Z. Hodson, who also donated the amount needed for this title. Her donation will be used instead to purchase another title. And thanks to Norman L. Case, who donated the entire amount to purchase Filby's Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1998 Supplement, Part 2.


The Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center staff will be hosting a glass and stained glass workshop at the center, July 26-31. Two fully paid scholarships are available to participants. The workshop is limited to twenty registrants. The staff are also working on a 1998 workshop on the care of ornamental architectural metals. This workshop will be limited to fifteen people. For more information contact Julie Reilly, associate director/chief conservator at the Ford Center, 1326 S. 32nd St., Omaha NE 68105-2044 or call 402-595-1171.


The Nebraska Indian Wars Reader, 1865-1877, to be published this spring by the University of Nebraska Press, provides a comprehensive look at the Indian Wars in Nebraska in the years immediately following the Civil War. Editor R. Eli Paul, senior research historian at the Nebraska State Historical Society, has assembled a first-rate anthology of eyewitness accounts, combined with the most significant historical scholarship on the subject. The anthology comprises articles previously published in the Society's quarterly, Nebraska History, along with new material being published for the first time. Ordering information will be provided in the Historical Newsletter when the book is available


From the Antelope County Historical Society:

The History of Antelope County, 1868-1883, by A. J. Leach. Reprint of 1909 edition. Cost $10. Index to the book, $3.

The History of Antelope County 1883-1973. Cost $7.

Early Day Stories. Abridgement of the original book by A. J. Leach about his 1852 trip from Michigan to Oregon on the Oregon Trail. Cost $10.

The War Years-The People of Antelope County, Nebraska. History of World War II. Cost $30.

Postage and handling of any combination of books is $3. Order from Antelope County Historical Society, 305 K St., Neligh NE 68756 or call 402-887-4999.


Opportunities and training are available to Nebraska State Historical Society volunteers interested in lab work, archeological excavations, cataloging, research, data-entry, filing, and special projects. Volunteers support the Society by working with curators and other staff in the following areas: conservation, archeology, museum collections, research and publications, historic preservation, and administration.

Historical Society volunteers enjoy many benefits, not the least of which is the satisfaction of making a lasting contribution to the preservation of our state's history. Other benefits include a discount of twenty percent at all the museum stores, free parking validation for downtown Lincoln garages, valuable experience in a variety of fields, interaction with great people in an interesting atmosphere, volunteer recognition activities and receptions, annual educational tours throughout the state, and invitations to special exhibits and openings.

For more information about these or other volunteer opportunities, contact the Volunteer Services Office, P.O. Box 82554, Lincoln NE 68501-2554 or call 402-471-4955.


February 19: Brown Bag Lecture, "Brownville's Black Community," by Pat Kennedy, social studies department, Benson High School, Omaha, and Rob Bozell, associate director, archeology division, NSHS. 12 Noon, Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

March 19: Brown Bag Lecture, "Autobiography of Red Cloud: A Modern Detective Story," by R. Eli Paul, senior research historian, research and publications division, NSHS. 12 Noon, Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

Thirtieth Annual Dakota Conference, May 28-30, Augustana College, Sioux Falls SD. Conference theme is "Crossing the Borders: Interdisciplinary Studies of the Dakotas." For further information, contact Harry F. Thompson, conference director, The Center for Western Studies, Box 727, Augustana College, Sioux Falls SD 57197; tel: 605-336-4007; Fax: 605-336-4999; e-mail: hthomps@inst.augie.edu

In observance of Presidents' Day, the NSHS Library/Archives will be closed Sunday, February 15, and Monday, February 16. Society administrative offices and museum offices will be closed Monday, February 16, 1998. The Museum of Nebraska History will be open regular hours both days.

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Last updated 9 January 1998

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