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Women Homesteaders

The morning edition of the Omaha World-Herald, January 8, 1913, on microfilm at the Nebraska State Historical Society, reported the "painful experiences" of three young women homesteaders in Grant County, Nebraska. The members of the trio (two teachers and a dressmaker) actually lived and worked in Omaha but planned to visit their claims during the holiday school vacation of 1912-13. The newspaper reported:

"Thrown from a load of hay and badly injured when their team was scared by a drove of wild horses, kept in suspense by the wild animals while a western Nebraska winter storm was approaching, and then taken in a rural free delivery wagon to Whitman, Grant County, the nearest railroad station, to be sent to a hospital in Omaha, are some of the experiences of Misses Katie and Clara Tombrinck and Elsie Hire of South Omaha, who went to spend the holidays on their land claims. . . .

"Miss Clara Tombrinck and Miss Hire are South Omaha school teachers. Miss Katie Tombrinck is a dressmaker. . . .

"During the holiday vacation they went to Hire, Nebraska, fifteen miles from Whitman, the nearest [Burlington] railroad station, to visit their claims and [to be] with Miss Hire's folks, who occupy claims there. Fearing a storm soon after they had finished a New Year's dinner at the home of Miss Hire's parents last Wednesday, they started for their own claims on a load of hay, meant to supply their stock during the storm."

However, a subsequent runaway with resulting injury interrupted the women's plans, and they were returned to Omaha for hospital care and treatment. The World-Herald concluded with the encouraging observation that they were expected to recover.

(April 1997)



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