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Published Quarterly by the Nebraska State Historical Society
Associate Editors
The Staffs of the Nebraska State Historical Society and
Legislative Reference Bureau

Subscription $2.00 Per Year

q All sustaining members of the Nebraska State Historical Society
    receive Nebraska History without further payment.
q Entered as second class mail matter, under act of July 16, 1894, at
    Lincoln, Nebraska, April 2, 1918.

  The editor of this magazine sailed from New York on the steamer Carmania, October 6 1918. October 17 he landed at Liverpool, reached London on the 19th, crossed the channel on the 23d and reached Paris on the 24th. He was upon the line of the Meuse and Argonne Forest when the armistice was signed, November 11. The months of November, December and part of January were spent in visiting the war devastated regions of Belgium and northern France, in the camps of American soldiers (especially those of Nebraska) in France and Germany, and in the study of war conditions in Europe as widely and intensely as crowded days and nights would permit. The main purpose of the journey was to secure at first hand important material for the Historical Society library and museum, and to initiate among the Nebraska soldiers overseas the systematic preservation of Nebraska's part in the great war for the Historical Society of their own state. A large amount of war material was secured. From time to time short stories of Nebraska in the World War will appear in these columns, some of them gathered while in Europe, others assembled by the men who took part in the war.


  The World War is the greatest single event in human history, both in magnitude and ultimate results. We are now too near the great affairs of the past five years to properly appraise them. Nebraska's part in the conflict was an important one. Its history must be adequately collected, preserved, exhibited in relics, written in books. This is pre eminently the work of the Historical Society. It is now gathering the material. In due time there will appear in book form a series of publications bearing the seal of the Historical Society and giving the most vivid and accurate account of the deeds of Nebraska men and women during these years. We ask the aid of every loyal Nebraskan in this work.


  The overseas cap is a badge of honor and distinction. It signifies an experience which all will envy. It is not the only title to honor in the world war. The most important work in sustaining the government was done thousands of miles from the battle front. The preparation of food and machinery, the organization of funds, the inspiration and unification of the public mind, the service of succor and relief--these were among the great things done at home. Upon them the final victory depended. Out of the spirit which these engendered among those who held each other's hands and upheld the world's great cause must come the sane reconstruction now needed. Nebraska is at the heart of the American continent in physical location and in feeling. Her heartbeats were strong, full and regular in those serious months when her sons had been summoned, some of them never to return. It is the story of this part of Nebraska's service which most needs appreciation and record.

  Hereafter Nebraska History will appear as a quarterly magazine. The monthly issue was found impracticable with the many lines of Society work and the small office staff. Each quarterly number will contain more material than the monthly issues and more time for carefully editing the same will be secured.


  Each one of the 1300 members of the Historical Society can render valuable service by sending brief letters of historical information or criticism. Many of our members do this. Whenever there is an important find of historical material relating to Nebraska we shall be glad to have immediate information.


  Some of the most important additions ever procured by the Historical Society are now being added to our library and museum. Among the most notable may be mentioned:
  A complete set of United States war films.
  Complete files of the Woman's Division State Council
   of Defence (sic).
  Under an act passed by the Nebraska legislature last winter all the files and papers of the Nebraska State Council of Defense are to be turned over to the Historical Society for preservation.


  The curator of the Historical Society museum attended the meeting of the American Museum Association at Philadelphia May 19 22 (?), having a place upon its program for presentation of a museum display case invented by him.
  The discussion of the papers read, as well as the personal contact with museum men of national standing, broadens the horizon of those who help to maintain this organization.
  During his stay in the east he visited, not only the museums of Philadelphia, but the National Museum at Washington and the great museums of New York as well.
  Because of the interest in the boulder placed on our University campus by the class of 1892, Mr. Blackman visited the "Dighton writing rock" near Dighton, Mass., while he was in the east. The comparative study of the petroglyphs on the two rocks will be discussed later, as well as some very interesting items observed in the museums visited.


  The Nebraska State Historical Society put on an exhibit of papers of the state during the meeting of the State Press Association, which took place in Lincoln on February 20 to 22. Long tables were placed in the halls at the Lincoln Hotel, where the meetings were held, and about sixty or the more than 13,000 volumes owned by the Society were placed for the inspection of the press fraternity. Among the collection were many papers published in the territorial years of the state. The first paper printed and published in Nebraska, "The Nebraska Palladium," which began publication at Bellevue July 15, 1864, was of great interest to the newspaper people. "The Nebraska Commonwealth," established Sept. 7, 1867, which later changed its name to "The Nebraska State Journal," was another old time paper which was thoughtfully examined. "The Stars and Stripes," the official newspaper of the American Expeditionary Forces, published in France, was on exhibition. The Society has the complete files of this publication acquired by Secretary Sheldon while on his recent trip to France.


  In addition to the usual historical and genealogical magazines, this library has received by gift or purchase the following titles:

History of Richardson County.
History of Gage County.
Centennial History of Illinois.
Pioneer history of Minnesota.
Early Connecticut Marriages.
General Science.
Munsell's List of Titles.
Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History.
The Great Union Pacific Railroad.
Social History of the American Family, Vol. 3.
Iowa Authors and Their Works.
These Hard Times.

  The last two books are by Mr. Calvin Elliott, their chief interest to Nebraskans being that Mr. Elliott was one of the first regents of the State University.

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Men and Women Who Made Our State

  These obituaries are compiled largely from death notices printed in newspapers which are received and kept on file by the Historical Society. While the sketches have been carefully edited, it has been impossible to avoid and correct all inaccuracies. The lives of some subjects of the obituaries were of unusual public interest, and in such cases the sketches have been duly amplified. Statements of fact, particularly those which are of record, have been verified as far as practicable. Obviously, it is very desirable that these records, which will always be used for reference, should be correct, and surviving relatives and editors of local newspapers should carefully cooperate in preventing errors.

  Mrs. John T. Van Buskirk died November 24, at her home in Beatrice; was born July 22, 1847, in Wells county, Ind.; came to Nebraska July 4, 1856, settling at Nebraska City.

  Mrs. Susannah Little, a resident of Gage county since 1864, died November 25 at her home near Beatrice, aged eighty seven years. She owned a farm on which she had resided for nearly sixty years.

  Mrs. Catherine Miller died at Seattle, November 26, aged eighty one years; came to Lincoln county, Nebraska. with her husband in 1860 and they started a road house at a point east of Cottonwood Springs; moved to North Platte in 1867.

  Mrs. Marie Montgomery died December 2 at her farm home near Firth, where she had resided forty three years; born in Doylestown, Ohio, May 11, 1834; came to Nebraska City in 1862, where she lived for thirteen years, before moving to Firth.

  Mrs. J. W. West, maiden name Malinda Spurleck, died at Howe, Neb., Dec. 5, born May 20, 1823, in the state of Alabama; came to Nemaha county, Nebraska, in 1852, and lived there until the time of her death.

  Vaclav Kublicek died December 6 at his home near Crete; born January 16, 1847, in Bohemia; came to America in 1864, first to Chicago and after about six months to Arago, Nebr.; then settled on a homestead near Crete, in 1865.

  Mrs. Sarah Parks died December 28 at Red Cloud; was born in Northamptonshire, England, July 14, 1832; came to America, landing May 22, 1855; reached Salt Lake City October 24 of the same year; four days after was married to William Parks, to whom she had been previously engaged; in 1859 they left Salt Lake City for Omaha with a government train, escaping from Mormon surveillance; had lived in Webster county about forty years.

  Robert Alexander Wilson, born eighty six years ago; died at Blue Springs on January 30. Mr. Wilson came to the territory in 1866 and for a time was government agent on the Otoe and Missouri Indian reservation near Barneston, Neb. In 1861 he surveyed and platted the original town site of Blue Springs.

  Carl Gustaf Rosengren, born in Ephriam, Utah, June 16, 1866, died January 21, near Colon: came to Fremont with his parents in 1867.

  John W. Pittman, born March 26, 1834, in Harrison county, Indiana, died January 21, at his home near Union; moved to Weston, Ia., in 1855, where he was a storekeeper; came to Nebraska May 28, 1859, in debt from his business venture, and took a preemption claim near Rock Bluffs, but soon engaged in freighting across the plains from Nebraska City on his own account; in 1867 settled permanently on 160 acres of land in Liberty precinct, Cass county, which he increased to a farm of over 600 acres; married Miss Lydia A. Goodwin of Marion county, Iowa, and they had nine children.

  Willam Powell, born in Massillon, Ohio, March 19, 1843, died January 28 at Syracuse; came to Nebraska in 1857 with his parents, who settled in Johnson county; August 12, 1864, enlisted as corporal in Company A. First Regiment Nebraska Veteran Volunteer Cavalry, from Fort Kearney; mustered out May 28, 1866.

  Thomas Long McNeil, born in New York City May 23, 1828, died about January 22, at Ogallala, where he had lived many years; came to Nebraska in 1865 and settled on a farm sixteen miles southwest of Lincoln; joined Lodge No. 19, A. F. & A. M. of Lincoln, on February 1, 1870, and remained a member until his death.

  Lewis Friel Cornutt, born in Grayson county, Virginia, May 22, 1833, died January 11 at Nebraska City. He left Virginia with friends in September 1854; traveled by wagon and arrived at Nebraska City November 6 of the same year. He soon went to Atchison county, Mo., but after a short stay returned to Nebraska City; in 1860 moved to Colorado; came back to Nebraska City in 1864; in the spring of 1868 moved to Cheyenne, but again returned to Nebraska City in 1871. He was mainly engaged in the merchintile (sic) business in all of these places. though he also gave attention to the development of gold mines at Central City, Col., and to freighting at Nebraska City in 1868.

  Andrew Christenson, born at Trelleborg, Sweden, September 26, 1838, died January 12, at Malmo; came to the United States in July, 1867, lived in Omaha until 1870, then settled on a homestead in Saunders County.

  Mrs. Sallie M. Camp, born in the state of New York June 9, 1832, died January 16 at Humboldt, came to Nebraska in the spring of 1861 and settled near Auburn.

  Mrs. Henry Jones, born in Prussia December 2, 1849, died January 18, at Wilber; came with her parents to this country in 1867, who settled on a homestead in Jefferson county, which Mrs. Jones owned to the time of her death.

  Benjamin Nathan Leisure, born in Indiana on August 3,


in Pawnee City, December 28; came to Butler county in his boyhood.

  George W. Howe, born on a farm near North Bend May 26, 1866, died December 31, 1918, at Fremont.

  Daniel B. Colhapp, born in Covington, Ky., January 24, 1846, died January 2, at Tecumseh; when he was nineteen years of age he became an apprentice in the printing office of the Nebraska Advertiser which was started at Brownville, June 7, 1856, by Dr. John McPherson and Robert W. Furnas.

  Mrs. Nancy A. Gessell, born at Lancaster Ohio, December 27, 1834, died January 7, at Beatrice. She was married in 1857 and lived at Odell, Neb., and later moved to Beatrice.

  Simpson McKibbin, born in County Down, Ireland, in May, 1834, died January 10, at Emporia, Kan.; emigrated to America in 1848; lived for a time in Grant county, Wisconsin, next in Clayton county, Iowa; came to Nebraska in 1864, settling in Hendricks precinct, Otoe county, where he became a wealthy farmer; was married in 1860 to Miss Harriet M. Douglas of Mitchell county, Iowa, who survives him. The town of Douglas was named for Mrs. McKibbin.

  Mrs. Peter Frederick, Sr., born July 22, 1838, at Delphos, Ohio, died January 11, at Falls City; came to Richardson county in 1863 and had resided there ever since.

  Dinah Hingham was born in England in 1835; married to William Nutter in 1855, they emigrated to Philadelphia together in the same year, and thence to Salt Lake City, via the Nebraska route, in 1859; in 1862 came to Nebraska, squatting on a farm near Shelton, Buffalo county; left in the panic caused by the general attacks on white settlers by Indians in 1864 and returned to England, but soon came back to Philadelphia and, in 1869, to Nebraska, settling on a homestead near Gibbon, where Mrs. Nutter died on December 31, 1918. Mr. Nutter died in 1908. That through all this vicissitude this staunch couple had acquired and developed one of the finest farms in Buffalo county and had cared for their fifteen children, shows that the traditional English heart of oak is not a myth and that they inherited it. Furthermore, while, like many English folk at that time. they were seduced by Mormon emissaries, they had the moral courage to renounce and escape from this evil, un English system.

  Thomas Swobe, who died at Berkeley, Calif., January 20, 1919 had a long and notable career in Nebraska. He was born in Johnstown, Fulton county, N. Y., March 17, 1843; went to Niles, Mich., in 1857; October 16, 1861 enlisted as a private in Company E, Twelfth Regiment, Michigan infantry Volunteers; reenlisted in the veteranized regiment, February 4, 1863; was mustered out as first lieutenant of Company K, March 6, 1866. He was on staff duty about two years; quartermaster of the Second Division, Seventh Army corps; post commissary at Washington, Ark., in 1865, and in December of that year was detailed as adjutant general on Brevet Brigadier General May's staff, Southern Division of Arkansas: came to Nebraska in August, 1866; was employed in the city clerk's office for a year then became secretary of the Central Land Company; elected city clerk of Douglas county in 1869; elected councilman of Omaha in 1872 and in 1874; in 1876 engaged in the hotel and railroad dining hall business with J. F. Markel; was one of six men who built the Millard Hotel, in 1882, which was conducted by himself and J. E, Markel until 1891, and afterward by himself alone. In 1883 he became a member of the syndicate which founded South Omaha and the Union Stock Yards Company and brought the packing houses there, and was one of the trustees of the site and their secretary; 1890, director of the Omaha Driving Park Association; 1891, director of the Real Estate Owners' Association of Omaha; 1892, member of the council of Nebraska Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion.

  The Old Settlers Historical Society of Howard county is one of the most active in the state. Its membership includes all persons who have lived in the county thirty years or more.
  At Home Rest Farm, near Murdock, the fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of George Buell and George E. Vanderburg was celebrated upon the homestead taken by Mr. Buell fifty years ago.
  Kearney county organized a county historical society, April 10, with C. P. Anderberry president and Lee A. Richmond secretary.
  April 7 was the forty eighth anniversary of the arrival at Gibbon of the Soldiers Free Homestead Colony. Thirteen of the original colonists responded to the roll call.
  The Douglas County Association of Nebraska Pioneers will hold its annual picnic in August this year, and is making a campaign for a thousand new members, which will bring its roll up to 3,000. Charles Unitt is president and Mrs. Mary Cormack is secretary. These pioneers will miss the face of David H. Mercer, former congressman, who was the president last year.


A preliminary meeting was held on April 8 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Anderberry, Minden, to organize a county historical society. A committee to draft a tentative constitution and by laws was appointed, composed of Lee A. Richmond, Mrs. J. A. Martin, C. P. Johnson and Mrs. R. W. Walt. C. P. Anderberry was made temporary Chairman.


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Some of the Material Gathered in Person by Secretary Sheldon.--
Now in Our War Exhibit.
Picture or sketch

  June 17 a heavy sack of war material from France arrived at the Historical Society rooms. It is part of that gathered by Secretary Sheldon from the battle fields of Belgium and France last November. An interesting story goes with some of these articles. Last November the hardest fought battle fields of northern France and Belgium were covered with the debris of war. The dead had been buried. The rifles, machine guns, crippled tanks, and cannon, helmets, gas masks, canteens, camp outfits - all the equipment of the armies which had fought were scattered thickly everywhere. Blood stains were upon the ground and upon the camp outfits and scattered uniforms. Hand grenades, bombs and other explosives were lying in a reckless way in the trenches and dugouts. More than one fatal accident occurred to visitors upon these battle fields at that time.
  In the collection of helmets just arrived are some which were picked up from the German trenches in front of Ypres, others from the great plain in front of the city of Arrus, while still others were picked up where they lay along the Hindenburg line in front of Cambrai.
  There is a trench spade with a broken handle taken from one of the advanced trenches of the Hindenburg line. Near it lay a broken rifle and part of a uniform. A gas mask was taken from a dugout of a German Artillery camp in the same sector.
  The French and Belgian cities which were occupied by the German armies were liberally sprinkled with signs, in German, giving road directions and police regulations. Most of these signs were made in a durable nanner, with heavy black letters upon hard wood, securely fastened to buildings and street corners. A number of these were torn down with some difficulty by Mr. Sheldon and brought to America. Some of these signs are shown in the picture on this page. A typical one reads as follows:

Jedes Betreten des Rasens ist streng
          Der Chefarzt.

This is an order to the soldiers to "Keep off the grass."

  One of the most interesting parts of this collection was presented to Mr. Sheldon by a Scotch captain who had in charge the propaganda work under the patronage of Lord Northcliffe. The purpose of this propaganda was to reach the German army, convince it that Germany was losing the war and thereby break down the morale. It was begun in a systematic and extensive way - just about a year ago. A force of several hundred specially trained men was employed all along the allied battle lines. These men were equipped with balloons about six feet high and capable of carrying a burden of several pounds each. When the reports indicated fair weather and a wind blowing toward Germany, hundreds of these balloons were sent up

from back of the allied lines. At the bottom of each balloon was fastened a strong, slow burning cord about as large as a man's thumb and several feet long. At intervals along the cord, by means of strong metalic clips, bundles of propaganda literature printed in German were fastened. The balloons mounted to a height of several thousand feet and drifted back from ten to twenty miles over German camps. As the cord slowly burned the papers were released and thus fell into German hands. One of the effective pieces of literature was a series of maps, prepared from day to day, showing the advance of the allied lines and the retreat of the German army. Although the German high command issued the strictest orders against the reading or handling any of this literature by German soldiers, yet for weeks every batch of German prisoners would be found supplied with some of the maps and papers. The inevitable effect was to discourage the German soldier in the ranks. He could tell whether the map correctly showed the retreat of the German army where he was located. If he found it true there he would infer it was true elsewhere. One of the maps in this collection has upon its back the following legend:



Read the official despatch below, then turn and look at the facts!
Berlin, Official. October 14, 1918. Evening. In Flanders the enemy attacked us upon a wide front between Dixmude and the Lys river. We drove him back in defeat.

  Turning to the other side one finds a map printed in German with red lines showing a wide retreat of the German army during three days fighting. Across the map is printed in red letters, "The Victory of the Allies. Prisoners taken 15,000, Cannon 180."
  The Scotch captain who had charge of this propaganda work was a professor of music in the University of Edinburgh before the war and his favorite instrument was the violoncello. He was years In Germany studying music before the war.
  The World War collection of the Nebraska State Historical Society is designed to be the greatest of such material within the state. A special effort is made to procure everything which will commemorate the work of Nebraska soldiers. Every man and woman who wore uniform during the war in any capacity, or had part in war work, is invited to have a part in making this collection.


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