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Renée was of French parentage, and Reverend Braun was a German citizen. After their marriage, they became American citizens.

A glimpse of European history was recorded in an experience of Renée Nicolet, on her trip to America to join Reverend Braun. She traveled from Geneva to Paris on the last train to run during the Franco-Prussian War, while French soldiers tore up the rails behind the train.

Reverend and Mrs. Braun remained in Iowa for a few years, then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Reverend Braun became head of the Calvin Theological Institute. He held a pastorate at Huron, Ohio, for a brief time before coming to Nebraska. In 1878, Reverend and Mrs. Braun moved to Saunders County, where he accepted a call as pastor near Malmo, Nebraska. He spent eight years there, then for three years held pastorates at Portland, Oregon; Albany, Oregon, and Stockton, California.

He returned to Nebraska in 1889, to become the pastor of the German Reformed Church in Gruetli, a Swiss settlement northwest of Duncan, where he remained for thirty-four years; he also served the Reformed Church at Duncan, as pastor.

Reverend and Mrs. Braun had five children: two sons and two daughters are deceased; Seth married Olga Egger, and died in Columbus; Gideon married Bertha Glur. A granddaughter, Helen Elaine, daughter of Gideon and Bertha Glur Braun, married John Schack, in 1947.

Reverend Braun retired from the pastorate at Gruetli in 1923, and moved to Columbus, where he died, February 11, 1932. Mrs. Braun died in Columbus on January 24, 1940.


Gideon Braun, son of Reverend John Baptiste and Renée Nicolet Braun, was born on April 23, 1886, at Malmo, Nebraska. His only brother, Seth, who married Olga Egger, died in 1948.

Gideon Braun attended the district school in Gruetli, Columbus High School, Fremont Normal, Peru State Normal, and was graduated from the Wayne State Normal, at Wayne, Nebraska. He taught in the Platte County public schools for several years, then bought a farm two and a half miles east of Columbus, on the Lincoln Highway.

On June 12, 1916, he married Bertha Glur, daughter of Jacob and Anna Urech Glur, natives of Switzerland. Bertha Glur attended the Columbus public schools, graduated from Columbus High School, and the Kearney State Teachers' College. She taught German in Columbus grade schools for several years.

Gideon and Bertha Glur Braun had one daughter, Helen Elaine, who attended the Columbus grade schools,. graduated from Kramer High School in Columbus, and the Kearney State Teachers' College at Kearney. She taught in the Albion city schools. Helen Elaine married John Schack, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Schack, in June, 1947.

For twenty-one years, the Gideon Brauns made their home on the farm. During that time, Mr. Braun was interested in stock raising. He now lives in Columbus, and is assistant operator at the Columbus Power House of the Loup River Public Power District.

Gideon Braun served an enlistment of two years, 1901-1903, with Company K, First Nebraska National Guards. The Brauns are members of the German Reformed Church.


G. H. Brazeal, of the G. H. Brazeal Furniture Company, was born August 11. 1919, in Norwood, Missouri, and came to Columbus in January, 1946.

Mr. Brazeal attended the Farragut, Iowa, High School and the State Teachers' College, at Maryville, Missouri.

On September 9, 1940, at Dennison, Iowa, he married Doris Schnepp. Mr. and Mrs. Brazeal have one son, Terry, who was born at Shenandoah, Iowa, January 21, 1946.

During World War II, Mr. Brazeal's military record included thirty-two combat missions with the United States Army Air Forces, over Europe. He was in the service from June 25, 1942, until October 7, 1945. For his part in the air offensive over Europe and the Normandy Invasion, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and has four battle participation stars.

Mr. and Mrs. Brazeal are members of the Congregational Church and attend the Federated Church, in Columbus.


Theodore John Bredehoft, leading Butler Township farmer, and son of Mr. and Mrs. John Bredehoft, was born in Columbus, Nebraska, August 9, 1894. His father was born in Hanover, Germany, December 7, 1863, and came from there to Platte County in 1868. He died in Columbus, February 23, 1943. Mrs. Bredehoft was born in Wisconsin, August 18, 1865.

Theodore has three brothers: Walter, married to Amanda Krueger, a farmer in Polk County, Nebraska; Fred, a farmer in Platte County; and Carl, who works in Hastings, Nebraska. He also has one half-sister, Lena, who is the wife of G. H. Rodehorst, a farmer, living at Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

Theodore attended school in District 16, and is now engaged in farming, although he at one time followed the trades of automobile mechanic and salesman.

On August 6, 1930, at Madison, Nebraska, he married Eileen Gottberg, daughter of Jacob and Bertha Gottberg. They had three children: Theodore, Jr., born July 6, 1933; Elaine, born April 15, 1935; and Norma, born April 6, 1940. Norma and Elaine attended school in District 16; Theodore, Jr. was a student at Kramer High School.

The History of Platte County Nebraska

In 1914, Mr. Bredehoft was in the Canadian Army, at Alberta, Canada. The Bredehofts are members of the Immanuel Lutheran Church of Columbus. Politically, Mr. Bredehoft is a Republican.


Orrin C. Breese, son of Achilles and Kathrene Stocum Breese, was born in 1870, at Horse Heads, New York. His parents both lived and died in Breeseport, New York. He had two brothers and four sisters: Harvey, Ernie, Amandy, Nettle, Nellie and Florence, all of New. York.

Orrin attended school at Breeseport, and upon its completion came to work in Columbus, in 1895. He is now a stationary engineer.

On January 16, 1896, in Columbus, he married Kathrene Way, daughter of Warren and Mary F. Dodge Way, of Columbus.

Warren Way, owner and manager of the Way Coal Company in Columbus, in the early 1900's was born in 1850, in Peru, New York, and died in Columbus in October, 1909. Mrs. Way was born in Krols Ville, May 12, 1849, and died in Columbus, July 12, 1925. Kathrene Way Breese had two brothers: Herbert, who died September 8, 1902, in Columbus; and Byron, a carpenter, who married Florine Finnigan and lived in Columbus. They had a son, Byron Way, Jr.

Orrin and Kathrene Breese had two sons: Archie, a veteran of World War I, was born February 13, 1898, in Columbus. He was an auditor and died in Chicago, October 3, 1945. Lester, born February 23, 1901, in Columbus, married Anna Hoessel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Hoessel, of Columbus. He was employed for a time in the Fricke Drug Store, and is now a restaurant manager in Fremont, Nebraska.

Orrin Breese's hobbies are competitive outdoor sports, horseback riding and music. He is a member of the Methodist Church, the M.W.A., and politically, is a Democrat.


Charles Bremer was born in Westphalia, Prussia, on July 28, 1828. He received his early education in his native country where he learned the trade of brewmaster.

He immigrated to the United States in 1849, living in Philadelphia for about six years, from there he went to Illinois, then to Omaha early in 1856. He was one of the organizers of the Columbus Town Company in March, 1856, and one of the thirteen men who arrived in Columbus May 29, 1856 to found the town.

He was married in Omaha in 1857 to Margaret Mary Becher, a daughter of Gustavus G. Becher Sr., who had the first store in Columbus.

Charles and Margaret Mary Becher Bremer had five daughters, Josephine Elizabeth, born March 17, 1858, died in Berkeley, California, January 23, 1929. She was married to Charles Rakestraw, who taught at the Old First Ward School in Columbus. Anna Pauline was born December 25, 1859, died in Columbus, September 11, 1900. She was married to Joseph W. Coolidge. Eleanor Emilia, born February 16, 1864, died July 10, 1918, in Columbus. She was married to George Fairchild. Cecelia Augusta died in 1873. Mary Katharina, born May 6, 1871, died November 25, 1891.

Charles Bremer was one of the first brewers of Nebraska. He started the Columbus Brewery in 1864 and continued in that business until 1875. His brother-in-law, Philip Metz, who also died in September, 1875, started the Metz Brewery in Omaha.

Charles Bremer died September 19, 1875. His widow, Mrs. Margaret Mary Bremer, died in Columbus several years later.


Vivian M. Brian was born in Polk County, May 6, 1889. He is a son of Matthew and Anna Laura Harrington Brian.

His parents came to Nebraska in 1880 and settled southwest of Columbus on a farm in Polk County. Vivian had three sisters and two brothers: Pearl, Mrs. William Fyfe of Polk County, Crystobel, Mrs. Walter Roberts of Columbus, Lelia, Mrs. Wade Troupe of Kansas City, Missouri, Colonel Adrian Brian, who is with the United States Army and was an instructor in Military Science at Rutgers University, at New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Herbert, who died February 22, 1915.

Vivian Brian attended the Polk County schools, and was graduated from High School and the Fremont Normal.

He was twice married, his first wife was Elizabeth Jones. They had a son, Herbert Alden Brian of Columbus. Mrs. Brian died December 21, 1918. On November 5, 1926, Vivian Brian was married to Marguerite Weaver Whaley, the daughter of Louis and Grace Schrack Weaver of Columbus.

Mrs. Brian had two children by a former marriage. Elizabeth Whaley, the wife of Charles Gruenig, of Boone, Iowa, and F. Howard Whaley Jr., who is with the United States Army.

Mr. Brian farmed the Brian farm in Polk County from 1913 to 1915. He came to Columbus in 1915, where he has been an auctioneer; for the past several years he has conducted the weekly stock sales at the M. H. Van Berg Sales Pavillion near Columbus.

Since 1926 Vivian Brian has been the manager of the Columbus Laundry and Dry Cleaning establishment.

He is a Democrat and served on the City Council. He has been prominent in civic and fraternal affairs and holds membership in the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, the B.P.O. Elks and the Wayside Country Club.

Socially Mr. and Mrs. Brian are members of the Dinner Bridge Club. Mr. Brian's hobby is horses.



Herbert Alden "Bert" Brian, son of Vivian M. and Elizabeth Jones Brian, was born February 9, 1917, in Columbus, Nebraska.

His father was born May 6, 1890, in Polk County and his mother was born in Buffalo, Wyoming, March 31, 1892. His mother was graduated from Fremont Normal College. She died in Columbus December 21, 1918.

Herbert attended the Columbus schools and was graduated from Kramer High School, and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He is a member of Phi Kappa Psi, Social Fraternity.

During the time he was at Lincoln, he served in the R.O.T.C. from September, 1934, to June, 1938. He was commissioned a Lieutenant-Colonel.

He has visited in New York City, Washington, D. C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Mexico and Canada. He has long been interested in ranching and cattle raising. His hobbies are horses, photography, music and sports.

After his graduation he spent a few years working in Texas and then returned to Columbus.

Among his interesting experiences was driving a bus in Glacier National Park in Montana. He is a member of the Grace Episcopal Church in Columbus.


Doctor Everett Guy Brillhart, son of Guy L. and Sara Eaton Brillhart, was born October 19, 1905, at Schuyler, Nebraska. His father was born at Kendallville, Indiana, and his mother was born in Scotland. He has one sister, Irma, who is the wife of Marian H. Walters, of Columbus, Ohio.

Everett Brillhart was graduated from the Hastings High School and studied for six years at the University of Nebraska, where he received the degrees of Bachelor of Science in 1929, and Doctor of Medicine in 1931. Following this, he served an internship at Tulsa, Oklahoma.

On September 4, 1931, at Tulsa, he was married to Bernice Fugate, the daughter of C. B. and Maude Wright Fugate, of Tulsa. Mrs. Brillhart has three sisters and one brother.

Doctor Everett G. and Bernice Fugate Brillhart have one daughter, Sue, born January 1, 1934. She attends Kramer High School.

The Brillharts made their home in Shelby, Nebraska, for fourteen years, 1932-1946, and Doctor Brillhart practiced there for nine years before World War II. During the war, Doctor Brillhart was a Medical Reserve Officer, and saw service from 1941-1946. He served with the 35th Infantry and was stationed at Little Rock, Arkansas, and Los Angeles, California, in the United States. His overseas assignments included England, France and Germany. He received his discharge in December, 1945:

Following a short time spent in work at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, the Brillharts moved to Columbus, in January; 1946, where Doctor Brillhart was associated with Doctors Maurice C. James and Julian E. Meyer, in the medical offices of James, Meyer, and Brillhart, in the Weaver Building, at Fourteenth Street and Twenty-fourth Avenue.

He is on the staffs of St. Mary's Hospital and the Lutheran Hospital. His professional affiliations are: the American Medical Association, the Nebraska State Medical Association, the District and Platte County Medical Associations and he is a member of the Phi Chi Medical Fraternity.

Doctor E. G. Brillhart is also a member of the Izaak Walton League, the B.P.O.E. (Elks), the Lions Club and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. Politically, he is affiliated with the Republican Party.

Doctor and Mrs. Brillhart attend the Methodist Church.


Charles Brindley was born in Marsden, England, on April II, 1820, and died July 29, 1888, in Columbus, Nebraska.

He immigrated to America in 1850, and came to Florence, Nebraska, in 1857, with the Mormons. He was among the group that settled near Genoa in 1857.

In 1863 he came to Columbus, where he lived for twenty-five years.

He was the sexton of the Columbus Cemetery from the time of the organization of the cemetery until 1888.

He was married in England. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brindley had a family of two daughters and four sons: Mrs. Samuel Galley, who lived in Columbus, and later at Creighton, Nebraska; Mrs. C. A. Newman, of Columbus; and George, Hiram, Charles A. and Frank Brindley, all of whom lived in Columbus.


Hiram G. Brindley was born at Alton, Illinois, in November, 1853. When he was four years old, he moved with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brindley, Sr., from Illinois, and located in Nebraska, on a farm twenty-two miles west of Columbus, and later moved to Columbus, in 1863.

Hiram attended school in Columbus. Later, he was employed at the Pawnee Indian Reservation and then was engaged in the draying and ice business in Columbus.

In 1881 he formed a partnership with Chris From of Columbus, in a cigar and confectionery store. They also had a billiard room.

Hiram G. Brindley was a member of Wildley Lodge Number 44 of the I.O.O.F.


Sarah Fitzpatrick Brindley was born December 25, 1858, in Cleveland, Ohio, where she spent her early childhood. In the fall of 1870 the Fitzpatricks came west,, crossing the Missouri River on a ferry boat. They located on a farm one and a half miles west of Oconee.

Sarah was ambitious to secure an education so that she could enter the teaching profession, so she came

The History of Platte County Nebraska

to Columbus and worked in Mrs. Drake's Dressmaking Shop for her room and board, while attending school. After receiving her teacher's certificate, she taught in various rural schools in Platte County. Her first school was west of Humphrey. After a term there, she taught in the Browner District, northeast of Columbus, and the next year, in a school near the Pat Murray farm, west of the city.

From there she went to Monroe, where she taught one summer and winter term. She then came to Columbus to take a position in the Third Ward School, where she taught for many years, serving as principal of the school during part of that period. In 1910, she went to Kearney, where she was in charge of the Girls' Dormitory at the State Teachers College for fifteen years. Retiring in 1925, she returned to Columbus.

Of the many memorable experiences which were hers during the long years she devoted to the education of children in city and rural schools, perhaps the most noteworthy was the part she played in the historic blizzard of 1888, when she was teaching in the Third Ward School.

In a reminiscent mood, she related how Doctor D. T. Martyn, Sr. summoned O. L. Baker, with the latter's carryall; how they arrived at the school house when the storm was at its height, to be joined later by Dick Jenkinson, with his dray, whom Mr. Baker, in turn, had summoned, and how they conveyed the hundred or more frightened children safely to their homes. In telling the story, however, she minimized the part that she, and other teachers, played in allaying the fears of the children until help arrived, and in aiding the three men in getting them home.

Her activity in educational circles was not alone limited to the school room. She was a member of a reading club for many years, the members of which devoted their time to the study of books, drama, pictures and other intellectual endeavor. She was a charter member of the first Columbus Woman's Club, and was again a charter member of the present club, when it reorganized in the early 1930's. She was also a member of Chapter CH, of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, and of the Reading Kensington, a social organization. She was a member of the Congregational Church, and later affiliated with the Federated Church.

On August 15, 1883, she married Charles A. Brindley, a member of a Columbus pioneer family, who taught school for several years and practiced law in Columbus. Later, Mr. Brindley went to Aberdeen, South Dakota, where he died, October 6, 1933.

Sarah Fitzpatrick Brindley had three brothers: Bernard, James W., and Thomas Fitzpatrick.

She died March 2, 1935, at her home in the Whitmoyer Apartments, in Columbus.


Ben V. Brodfuehrer, born in Columbus, Nebraska, December 17, 1873, died in Columbus on March 19, 1923. He was a son of Herman W. Brodfuehrer, pioneer Columbus jeweler and expert craftsman, who came to Columbus in 1873. The father's home and store were on the site of the present Fromel Jewelry Store, at 1267 Twenty-sixth Avenue. The first building was a frame one, and later Mr. Brodfuehrer built a brick building, which was remodeled.

There were seven children in the family: Mrs. Peter Peterson, of Denver, Colorado; Mrs. R. O. Ring, of Douglas, Arizona; Mrs. Cleve Hennigen, of Holdrege, Nebraska; Mrs. Walter Davis, of Seattle, Washington; George; Herman, Jr., of Columbus, who was employed by the Union Pacific Freight Depot; Alvin, of Mitchell, Nebraska, and Ben.

Ben attended the Columbus schools and served an apprenticeship in his father's store. He followed the jeweler's trade at other points in Nebraska, and in Red Oak, Iowa, Austin, Minnesota, and Mason City, Iowa.

While working in Red Oak, he married Anna Wilmanette Deventer, of Waterloo, Indiana, on August 19, 1902. They had twin daughters, Dora and Bertha.

Following the death of his father, in 1915, Ben Brodfuehrer took over the management of the Brodfuehrer Jewelry Store estate, and later acquired ownership of the store.

The Ben Brodfuehrers were members of the Methodist Church.


Ferdinand George Brodfuehrer, son of Herman F. and Emma Scheidel Brodfuehrer, a family well known in Platte County and Columbus, was born December 8, 1903, in Columbus.

His father, who was a railroad clerk at the Freight Depot, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, August 18, 1871. He came to Columbus in 1873. His mother was born in Platte Center, Nebraska, on September 21, 1877. Herman F. Brodfuehrer died in Columbus on October 13, 1945.

Ferdinand Brodfuehrer attended the Columbus schools and the Boyles Business College, at Omaha. He married Lucille P. Burgess, daughter of Walter M. and Luella Myers Burgess, in Columbus, June 29, 1927. Ferdinand and Lucille Brodfuehrer have one son, Richard F., born in Columbus on June 30, 1933.

Mr. Brodfuehrer, formerly engaged in the retail gas and oil business and in the wholesale paper business, is now a railroad clerk.

During World War II, he served in the United States Army from December, 1940 until August, 1945.

He was stationed in Arkansas, California, Alabama, North Carolina, and in the European Theatre of Operations.

Politically, Ferdinand Brodfuehrer is affiliated with the Democratic party. He is a member of the American Legion. The Brodfuehrers are members of the Methodist Church, in Columbus.




Eugene H. Broekemeier, proprietor of the Coast-to-Coast store in Columbus, since opening in 1935, is a native Nebraskan. He was born at Wisner, March 18, 1901, the son of William and Anna Brockman Broekemeier. His father was a farmer.

"Gene" attended the Wisner schools and was graduated from business college. He came to Columbus, March 30, 1935, from Wayne, Nebraska. Prior to his coming here, he was engaged at different times in farming, banking, insurance and retail supervision. Besides being the proprietor of the Coast-to-Coast store in Columbus. From 1941-1948 he was the general supervisor of the Coast-to-Coast store at David City, Nebraska.

On July 24, 1927, Eugene Brokemeier (sic) was married to Ella Rosenkoetter, the daughter of Carl and Johanna Bulk Rosenkoetter, at Grand Island, Nebraska. They have one son, Harlan, who was born at New Ulm, Minnesota, March 4, 1930.

Mr. Broekemeier is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and is interested in civic affairs. Politically, he is affiliated with the Democratic Party. Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Broekemeier are members of the Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Columbus.


Ellis G. Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. George W Brown, was born on a farm in Columbus Township, on April 5, 1870. His father, who had served with the Union Army in the Civil War, came to Nebraska with his wife and her sister and husband, Mr. and Mrs. M. K. Turner, in 1869. The purpose of the trip was to see the land in Platte County which had been given to Mrs. Brown and to Mrs. Turner by their father, Mr. Craig. They each received one half section. George Brown was one of the early school teachers in Platte County. In 1877, he homesteaded on land near Cedar Rapids, Nebraska. It was on this homestead that Ellis Brown grew up. He attended the local schools and the Cedar Rapids High School.

Ellis left high school three months before he was graduated, to work for the Union Pacific Railroad. He began work on September 2, 1889, as a messenger boy for the agent at Cedar Rapids, Nebraska. His first month's salary was five dollars.

A year later, he was transferred to Norfolk, Nebraska, in the dual capacity of baggageman and telegrapher. These-were the "Norfolk Boom Days," and Ellis Brown often recalled the time when he spent three solid weeks in the railroad station, "with his shoes on," catching perhaps a cat nap on an office desk and food when he was able, and working the rest of the time.

In 1891, he returned to Platte County where he began his duties as a telegraph operator and ticket clerk in Columbus, then a dispatching point for the Union Pacific branch lines. On July 28, 1898, Mr. Brown was promoted to agent and operator, at Humphrey, Nebraska. He returned to Columbus nine years later, and on July 23, 1907, when he was promoted to Columbus agent, a position which he held until his retirement, on November 30, 1939, a period of thirty-two years. He was the seventh Union Pacific agent in Columbus from the time the city had been given a depot, and he served as agent longer than any other person. Among the prominent personalities Ellis Brown met through his position with the railroad were: The Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren S. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

At the time of his retirement, Mr. Brown was one of the men longest in the service of the Nebraska division of the railroad. He joined the Old Timers Number 3 Club, in Omaha, when it was first organized, and was one of its oldest charter members in point of service in the entire system.

On December 25, 1893, Ellis G. Brown was married to Rosa Belle Phillips, a former resident of Cedar Rapids, then living in Ames, Iowa. Rosa Belle was born at Emerson, Iowa, on July 4, 1874.

Ellis and Rosa Belle Brown had seven sons and four daughters. Six sons followed in their father's footsteps, railroading with the Union Pacific: George, who was killed in a diving accident at Shady Lake, on August 17, 1917, was a ticket clerk at Council Bluffs, Iowa, at the time of his death; Harry, Ralph, Carroll, Howard, and Ellis Brown, Jr. hold various positions with the railroad. One son, Jay, is with the New York Life Insurance Company, in Washington. The four daughters are: Cora, the wife of R. Y. Lisco; Helen, Mrs. W. D. Dover; Clara, Mrs. Fred Kluck, of Colfax County; and Ruth, Mrs. Lowell Grimes, of Columbus.

Ellis Brown became a member of the Knights of Pythias in 1893 and for many years was a trustee of the grand lodge of Nebraska, as well as chancellor commander of both the Humphrey and Columbus lodges. He was also a member of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce for many years.

Mrs. Brown died on October 11, 1925, and Ellis G. Brown died in Columbus on December 21, 1942, three years after his retirement from the railroad which he had so faithfully served.


Harry Craig Brown, son of Ellis G. and Rosa Belle Phillips Brown, was born in Columbus, Nebraska, November 14, 1896. When he was two years old, his parents moved to Humphrey, where his father was agent and operator at the railroad station. They lived there until 1907, when his father became agent at Columbus.

Harry attended the Humphrey schools in grades one to four, the Columbus schools in grades five to twelve, and was graduated from the Columbus High School.

During World War I he spent seven months at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Chicago, and then was stationed at Pelham, New York, and at the New London, Connecticut, Submarine Base. Upon his discharge from the Navy, he returned to Columbus, where he entered the employ of the Union Pacific

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