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The History of Platte County Nebraska

is interested in farming. At present, he is a district manager for the International Harvester Company in an area covering a large part of central Nebraska.

The Hausers live in Columbus, and are members of St. Bonaventure's Catholic Church.



John T. Hay

John T. Hay, Secretary of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce in 1950, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on January 30, 1921. He is the son of Ronald H. and Luella Hay, of Lincoln. His father was born in 1894, in Lincoln, and is in the concrete products business. His mother was born in 1895, in Ainsworth, Iowa.

John attended the Lincoln schools and was graduated from Lincoln High School in 1938, and the University of Nebraska in 1942, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Following this, he spent one semester in study at the Graduate School of Business of Harvard University.

On May 25, 1942, at Lincoln, John T. Hay was married to Mable Secund, the daughter of Nels Secund. Mr. Secund is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Hay have one daughter, Susan Diane, born October 18, 1946, at Colby, Kansas.

During World War II, Mr. Hay served two years in the European Theatre of Operations as captain in the Quartermaster Corps of the United States Army. During his period of service, he was awarded four Battle Stars.

Before coming to Columbus, John T. Hay was secretary of the Colby, Kansas, Chamber of Commerce.

He came to Columbus on December 15, 1947, to become the general manager of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. He succeeded Fred A. Wiren, who went to Oakland, California.

John T. Hay holds memberships in the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, the B.P.O.E. Elks, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Organized Army Reserve, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the Y.M.C.A. Politically, he is affiliated with the Republican Party.


Allan C. Hayes was born in Platte County, Nebraska, August 15, 1888. He is the son of Patrick and Catherine Sheehan Hayes.

Patrick Hayes was born in Ireland in 1840. He came to Platte County from St. Louis, Missouri, in 1865, and died in 1908 in Columbus, Nebraska. Catherine Hayes was born October 10, 1848, in Ireland; she died in Colorado Springs, Colorado, January 22, 1933.

Allan C. Hayes had four brothers and three sisters: Martin, John C., Edward, Patrick Jr., Johanna, Catherine and Margaret. Martin lives in Denver, Colorado, and Johanna, Mrs. Joseph Ryan, at Colorado Springs. Margaret is a registered nurse, and Catherine a beauty operator in Colorado. Edward died in 1893, and Patrick Jr. died in 1921.

Allan Hayes attended the District 12 School in Platte County, and the Columbus grade and high school. After farming and clerking, he was employed by the United States Postal Service.

On August 18, 1914, Mr. Hayes was married in Columbus, Nebraska, to Miss Ernestine Stanzel, daughter of John Stanzel and Ernestine Stanzel Nather.

John Stanzel was born December 27, 1866, in Austria, and died April 1, 1896, in Columbus. His wife, Ernestine, was born August 5, 1867, in Austria, and died June 7, 1926, in Columbus. After Mr. Stanzel's death, she was married to Frank Nather.

Ernestine Hayes had four brothers and three sisters: Joseph Stanzel, deceased; Otto Stanzel, of the Louis Glur Store and in the Civil Service; Frank Stanzel, a baker in California; John Stanzel, an employee of the Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha; Mary Stanzel, Mrs. Louis Glur of Columbus; Theresa Nather, Mrs. Walter Thrun, deceased; and Elizabeth Nather, Mrs. Lester Schultz of San Diego, California.

Allan and Ernestine Hayes have five sons and two daughters: Elizabeth, Mrs. Jerome Langan; Allan Hayes Jr.; Dorothy, Mrs. Bernard Cuba; Catherine, Mrs. Charles Putnam; Patricia, Mrs. Bernard Kennedy; Margaret Mary; and Richard. Allen Jr. married Mary Jane Jeffers. Margaret Mary and Richard attend St. Bonaventure's School in Columbus.

The Hayes family are members of St. Bonaventure's Catholic Church. Mr. Hayes is a Democrat.


Carl Emil Heibel was born in Bismark Township, July 29, 1889. His parents were Siebert and Louisa Lueke Heibel.

Siebert Heibel was born July 1, 1856, in Hessen, Germany, and died August 17, 1934. Louisa Heibel was born in Oldenburg, Germany, July 27, 1857, and died in Columbus, October 25, 1903.

In 1867, Siebert Heibel immigrated to the United States with his parents, Valentine and Anna Gela Reitz Heibel, and after spending two years in Illinois settled in Bismark Township on a homestead. Siebert was a brother of Julius Heibel of Columbus.

Carl Heibel had two brothers and four sisters. One sister, Maria, died May 1, 1906. The others: Bertha, married to Paul Roth; Clara, married to Adolph Korte;


Paul, married to Anna Klug; Walter, married to Hattie Johnson; and Maudeline, married to William Albers.

Carl E. Heibel received his education in the school of District 2 and worked on his father's farm.

On June 21, 1917, he was married to Miss Esther Pilling, daughter of John W. and Mattie Campbell Pilling. Mrs. Heibel has one brother and two sisters: J. Edward Pilling, a rancher, employed later by Montgomery Ward and Company in Denver, married Elizabeth Kelly; Birdella Pilling, wife of Arthur Ahrens; and Mattie Pilling, wife of Calvin Gertsch.

Mr. and Mrs. Heibel have two daughters: Elaine, born April 15, 1921, and Dorothy Mae, born March 11, 1924. Both girls attended the District 2 School and were graduated from Kramer High School in Columbus. Elaine is the wife of Elwood Klug and Dorothy Mae is the wife of Jerome Luckey. They both live on farms near their parents' home. Elaine and Dorothy were active in 4-H Club work, the Luther League and Sunday School. Elaine served as organist for St. John's Church.

Carl E. Heibel was engaged in farming and stock raising in Bismark Township for more than thirty years. He holds a membership in the Farmers Union Local 370 of Colfax County.

The Heibels are members of St. John's Lutheran Church on Shell Creek, and Carl Heibel is a member of both the Brotherhood and the Men's Bible Class of that church.


Julius Heibel was born in a dugout in Bismark Township July 25, 1869. His parents, Valentine and Anna Gela Reitz Heibel, were early-day pioneers in Nebraska. Valentine Heibel was born in Reimboldhausen, Germany, July 19, 1819. He came to the United States with his family in 1867 and settled in Williamson County, Illinois. For two years the Heibels toiled in the sugar beet fields during the summer and in the factory during the winter. While residing in the beet colony, the Heibels were neighbors of the John Benning and Christian Schreiber families. On the counsel of immigrants, the three families decided to move west. A remembered incident of the railroad trip to Columbus was the hike across the frozen Missouri River at Omaha, where the pioneers made connections with the newly constructed Nebraska Division of the Union Pacific Railroad. The families arrived in Columbus February 18, 1869, and the men immediately filed for eighty-acre tracts of government land.

The rigorous climate and late spring delayed their building on the newly acquired lands, so for several weeks the three families, then comprising nineteen persons, secured lodging in a small house on Eighth Street and Twenty-first Avenue.

As the ground began to thaw, the men built a dugout on the hillside of the Heibel homestead and the three families moved into this temporary home. It was during this time that Julius Heibel was born. Several weeks later, the Bennings constructed a sod house on their land a mile south, and the Schreibers built a sod house on their new farm a quarter mile to the east. Before another year had passed, the families replaced their sod houses with log cabins. A few years later frame houses were built.

Valentine Heibel became a prosperous and well-known Bismark Township farmer before his death, September 17, 1883. Anna Reitz Heibel, also a native of Germany, was born October 31, 1825, and died in Platte County November 1, 1918.

Julius Heibel is one of five children. Anna Heibel became the wife of Karl Dittberner. John Heibel, who married Anna Asche, died March 18, 1930. Catherine Elizabeth Heibel married John Rickert. Seibert Heibel, who married Louisa Lueke, died August 17, 1934.

Mr. Heibel acquired his education at the District 2 rural school and the Christ Lutheran Parochial School. He was engaged in farming until his retirement to Columbus. On September 20, 1894, at the Green Garden Lutheran Church in Madison, Nebraska, he was married to Amanda Clara Agusta Wrasse. Mrs. Heibel is the daughter of Carl and Caroline Dittberner Wrasse. Mr. and Mrs. Heibel are the parents of five children:

Seibert Heibel, born in Platte County November 13, 1895, died February 10, 1896. Arthur Heibel, born March 1, 1897, is married to Mathilda Egger and is a farmer. Magdalena Heibel is the wife of Edward Muhle. Metta is employed at the George Schweser and Son store in Columbus. Lillie is the wife of Otto Schupbach.

Julius Heibel, a Republican, is a member of the Farmers' Union. While living in the country, the Heibels were members of the Christ Lutheran Church. Mr. Heibel served on the school board of the parochial school of that church, and since living in Columbus has become a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church where he served as a church trustee.


Otto Heiden, son of Michael Christian Heyden, early Platte County settler, was born in the sod house of his father in Bismark Township November 20, 1875. His father, born November 7, 1832, worked as a coachman in his native Germany before immigrating to the United States in 1866. After three years in Wisconsin, Michael Heyden came to Nebraska in 1869, settling in Bismark Township. He died at his home there in May, 1915. Otto's mother was Henriette Friedrike Louise Voss Heiden. She was born in Seltz, Germany, March 4, 1838, and married there. She died in Bismark Township November 7, 1910.

Otto Heiden was the youngest of a family of five. One child died in infancy. The others were John, Robert and Alvina. John was born in Germany. Robert was drowned in the Missouri River in 1914, and Alvina is the widow of Emil Karrer and lives in Urbana, Illinois. The spelling of the Heyden name was changed in 1900 from Heyden to Heiden.

The History of Platte County Nebraska


Otto Heiden

Otto Heiden received his early education in District School 10 and at the St. John's Lutheran School. In 1904 he was married to Miss Mary Amelia Herring, daughter of John Jacob and Caroline Wilamina Engwer Herring.

Otto and Mary Herring Heiden had a family of four daughters, all graduates of the Columbus High School. Laura Esther, a stenographer, who worked several years in the County Superintendent's office, married Walter Behle and lives near Columbus; Anna Louise married Werner Alpers of Columbus;. Florence Margaret married Charles Haddad and lives in Scottsbluff, and Olive Pauline married Alfred Buxton and lives in Omaha.

Otto Heiden lived in Bismark Township until 1933, when he moved to Columbus. In 1934, he moved to a small farm three miles north of Columbus, where he built a new home. He died there November 14, 1944.

He was a member of the Sons of Herman, the Modern Woodmen, the Izaak Walton League, and the Farmers Union, and was a president of the Farmers Union Local No. 388, a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, and a Democrat.

His widow, Mrs. Mary Heiden, lives on the Heiden farm north of Columbus.


John Held, one of the thirteen original founders of Columbus, was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, January 13, 1824. He died at his farm home in Bismark Township in 1873.

Mr. Held received his early education in Wurtemberg, Germany. In 1854, after five years in the German Army, he immigrated to the United States.

He settled first in Columbus, Ohio. In 1856, he came west to Omaha, and in March of that year joined a group known as the Columbus Town Company. The thirteen men of this company founded Columbus May 29, 1856. Mr. Held was among the first group who settled on farms in Columbus Township. His home was where the Smith Dairy is now located. He later moved to Bismark Township.

On March 13, 1861, he was married to Miss Margaret Schneller, who was born in Hessen, Germany, January 1, 1840. She came to the United States in 1855.

John and Margaret Schneller Held had a family of eight children, six sons and two daughters. Jacob and Gesene died in childhood. The others were: Louis, John, Julius and Richard of Bismark Township, all deceased; and Emil and Mary, Mrs. Albert Klug, of Columbus.

Mr. Held fought in the Indian Wars in 1859. He helped organize the first rural school district in Bismark Township, District ; served as first school director, and was a Democrat.

He died in December, 1873. Margaret Schneller Held Schwartz died in 1922.


Emil Held was born in Bismark Township March 9, 1868. His parents were John and Margaret Schneller Held.

John Held, one of the original thirteen founders of Columbus, Nebraska, died in 1873. His widow, Margaret Schneller Held, married Henry Schwartz.

Emil Held has one sister, Mary, Mrs. Albert Klug of Columbus. Four brothers Louis, John, Julius and Richard Held, and two half-brothers, Edward and Frank Schwartz are deceased. Another half-brother, Otto Schwartz, lives in California.

Emil Held attended the District 2 School near his home, and the Columbus High School. He operated the home farm until 1893. In 1895 he bought one hundred sixty acres of land on Section 25, Bismark Township, where he engaged in general farming and stockraising. On October 26, 1893, Emil Held was married to Miss Rachael Schmid, daughter of Adam and Barbara Baumgartner Schmid. Barbara Schmid Held was born in Colfax County July 19, 1875. She died in Platte County June 8, 1911.

Emil and Rachael Schmid Held had a family of six children: Lottie, Mrs. Herman Cattau of Columbus; Elsie, Mrs. Herman Kunneman of Columbus; Lillie, Mrs. Walter Lueke of Columbus; Margaret, Mrs. George Jones of Kearney; Louis, married to Miss Hilma Christensen; and Gertrude, Mrs. Ellis Gash of Chicago. All attended school in Bismark Township, District 2. Lillie and Margaret attended the Columbus High School; Louis and Gertrude were graduates of that school. Louis, a graduate pharmacist, owns and manages a drug store in Hildreth, Nebraska. Gertrude attended Ward-Bellmont at Nashville, Tennessee.

Emil Held was active in the political affairs of Bismark Township. He was a member of the Township Board and for fifteen years was the school director of District 2. He served as secretary and trustee of St. John's Lutheran Church, and was a member of the Cemetery Board of Calvary Cemetery. A charter member of the Shell Creek Local, he served as secretary for one year. He was a director for twenty-one years of the Richland Cooperative Association.

In March, 1920, Mr. Held retired from active farm work and moved to Columbus. A charter member of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbus, he served three years as vice-president and nine years as president.



Otto Held was born in Bismark Township September 9, 1887. His parents were John and Louise Marie Grotelueschen Held. John Held was born in Bismark Township July 21, 1868. He died at Fullerton, Nebraska in 1942. Louise Grotelueschen Held, a native of Wisconsin, was born February 14, 1869. She died in September, 1923, in Columbus.

Otto Held was one of eight children: Edward, married to May Russel; Frank, married to Xaverius Abts; Martha, Mrs. Ralph Cunningham; Stella, Mrs. Albert Mueller; Alma, Mrs. Albert Russel; and Anna, Mrs. Merwin Boyd. One brother, Ernst, died at Fullerton, Nebraska, in 1910. Frank, Stella and Anna live in Platte County.

Mr. Held's grandfather, John Held, who came to Platte County with the original Columbus Company on May 29, 1856, and took up a homestead on Shell Creek in Bismark Township, died in 1873.

Otto Held attended the Rural School District 2 in Bismark Township.

On June 9, 1915, he was married to Miss Rose Elise Mueller at Christ Lutheran Church in Bismark Township. Mrs. Held is the daughter of Frederich and Magdalene Karlin Mueller, prominent Platte county residents.

Mr. and Mrs. Otto Held have one son and one daughter. Violet, born in Columbus, is the wife of Walter Buss, a Lutheran parochial school teacher, and lives at Leigh, Nebraska. Earl, born in Columbus March 10, 1922, and married to Dorothy Badge, is an Air Corps veteran of World War II. Since his discharge, he has lived in Napa, California. Both of the Held children attended the Columbus schools, the Immanuel Lutheran Parochial School, and are graduates of Kramer High School.

Otto Held, employed in the parts department at Ewert Brothers in Columbus, was previously engaged in farming, the automobile business, implement sales and cement work.

The Helds are members of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Columbus.


Jacob Held was born in Germany October 19, 1846. He died January 31, 1923, in Columbus.

In 1867, he immigrated to the United States. He came directly to Platte County where he located on a homestead twelve miles north of Columbus near Shell Creek. In 191 1, he retired from farm work and moved into Columbus.

Mr. Held had three sisters who lived in Colfax County: Mrs. Zetters, Mrs. Anna Mohr, and Mrs. Mary Knause.

On January 27, 1870, he was married to Miss Anna Marie Asche. The Asche family were also among the pioneer families in Platte County.

Jacob and Anna Marie Asche Held had five sons and two daughters: Jacob, R. B., T. G., Louis, Edward, Mrs. S. V. Schure of Humphrey, and Mrs. Fred Dasenbrock of Sherman Township.



Herman Henry Hellbusch

Herman Hellbusch, prominent Columbus Township farmer, was born in Sherman Township July 28, 1890. He was the son of Henry and Mary Boe Hellbusch, early settlers of Sherman Township. Henry Hellbusch was born at Oldenburg, Germany, in 1858; he died in October, 1893. Mary Hellbusch was born July 21, 1864.

Herman Hellbusch has one brother, Otto, and two sisters, Mathilda, Mrs. Fred Meinke; and Minnie, Mrs. Herman Inselman. Herman attended the district school in Sherman Township.

On August 8, 1912, he was married to Miss Martha Siefken at St. John's Lutheran Church in Grand Prairie Township. Martha Siefken Hellbusch was the daughter of Henry and Magdalena Bahlberg Siefken. Herman and Martha Hellbusch have four daughters and one son. Stella, Mrs. George Lasasso, was born April 2, 1914, and attended the Denver School of Nursing, as did her sister, Hilda, Mrs. Pat Costello. Hilda was born September 20, 1916. Arthur Hellbusch was born March 8, 1917; he married Vernetta Lueke and farms near his father. Evelyn, Mrs. William DeWitt, was born April 27, 1922, and attended a beauty school in Denver. Delores, born December 15, 1924, attended the same Denver school. All were students of Immanuel Lutheran Parochial School and the Kramer High School.

Herman Hellbusch, in addition to farming, conducted a dairy business for several years. A Democrat, he has long interested himself in the civic progress of Columbus Township.

The Herman Hellbusch family are members of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Columbus.


Julius Hembd was born in Prussia, Germany, January 13, 1843, and died February 1, 1911.

Mr. Hembd, a soldier if the Prussian Army during the Austrian-Prussian and Franco-Prussian wars, settled first in Wisconsin and in 1876 came to Platte County. He homesteaded in Sherman Township thirteen miles north of Columbus, where he married Lena Hellbusch, a native of Germany. Mrs. Hembd died shortly after the birth of a son, Otto. In February, 1877, Mr. Hembd married Gesena Ahrens, daughter of Edwin and Gesena Kunneman Ahrens, Platte County pioneers.

Julius and Gesena Ahrens Hembd were the parents

The History of Platte County Nebraska

of Anna Hembd, deceased, who was married to George Michaelsen; Bertha, Mrs. Ben Fix, who resides in San Francisco, California; Minnie, Mrs. Helzer of Los Angeles, California; Emma and John, who died in infancy. Herman, who died in 1918, was married to Ida Asche.

Julius Hembd was a hard-working ambitious man who won success through perseverance and untiring energy. At the time of his death he had accumulated considerable property. The Hembd farm was later the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Michaelsen, who lived on it until their retirement to Columbus in 1943. Anna Hembd Michaelsen died in Columbus January 25, 1947. Her half-brother, Otto Hembd, died August 18; 1918, and on May 20, 1947 Mrs. Gesena Ahrens Hembd died at Columbus.


Otto Hembd was born in Platte County December 12, 1874, and died there August 18, 1918. His parents, Julius and Lena Hellbusch Hembd, natives of Germany, were among the early settlers in the County. Otto had one half-brother and three half-sisters.

He received his early education in the district school and assisted his father on the farm. During the Spanish-American War he enlisted in Company K, First Nebraska Regiment, and was sworn into service April 27, 1898. After a year of active service in the Philippines, he was wounded during the battle of Quinga in April, 1899, and was mustered out August 23, 1899. Returning to his old home community, he resumed his occupation of farmer.

On February 12, 1901, Otto Hembd was married to Miss Mary M. Adamy, daughter of Nick and Catherine Wagner Adamy. Nick Adamy, Sr. was born October 14, 1849, in Ettelburk, Luxemburg, Germany, and died in Columbus July 23, 1932. Mrs. Adamy was born in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany, October 4, 1853, and died in Columbus December 6, 1931.

Mary Adamy Hembd had five brothers: Richard, George, John, Frank, and Nick Adamy, Jr., all of whom lived in Platte County.

Otto and Mary Adamy Hembd had a family of four children: Lena, Cecilia, Louise, and Julius. Lena Catherine married Raymond M. Hauser and lives in Columbus. Cecilia Anna, also of Columbus, married Harold Phillips. Mary Louise is a nurse in Columbus. Julius Hembd, Jr. married Violette Efting; they live on the farm.

Otto Hembd was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Columbus Camp No. 4 of the Spanish American War Veterans, and the St. Bonaventure Church.


Julius Hembd, Jr. was born in Shell Creek Township March 12, 1908. He is the son of Otto and Mary Adamy Hembd. Both his paternal grandfather, Julius Hembd, and his maternal grandfather Nick Adamy, Sr. were early settlers in Platte County.

Julius Hembd attended the district school and St. Francis Academy in grade school. He was graduated from the Columbus High School. While in high school he was a member of the football team.


Franz Henggeler

On June 20, 1929, Julius Hembd, Jr. was married to Miss Violette Efting, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Barney Efting. Mr. Efting is deceased and Mrs. Efting lives in Los Angeles, California. Mrs. Hembd has one brother, Raymond Efting, who is married and also lives in Los Angeles., Julius and Violette Efting Hembd have a family of seven children: Otto Bernard, Thomas, Margaret Mary, Gary, Virginia, Dennis, and Phyllis Ann. They all attended St. Bonaventure's School where Otto and Thomas were prominent in athletics.

The Hembds are members of St. Bonaventure's Church in Columbus.


Franz Henggeler immigrated to the United States from Switzerland in 1853. The Henggelers first settled in Dubuque, Iowa, and from there, in 1857, moved to Omaha, Nebraska.

Mr. Henggeler, with his family, came to Columbus April 15, 1858, and homesteaded northeast of Columbus, in the Shell Creek Valley, later a part of Bismark Township. He raised stock and for a few years manufactured Swiss cheese. Through his good business judgment, he was in a remarkably short time, financially independent, and was able to erect a large brick home on his farm. The yard had a number, of fruit trees, which were well cared for, as were his fields and herds of cattle. He constructed a private bridge over Shell Creek where he grazed his cattle on the north of the creek.

Mr. and Mrs. Franz Henggeler had three sons and two daughters: George, Joseph, Fred, Rosa, Mrs. George Berney; and Emma, Mrs. J. H. Kersenbrock.


George Henggeler was born November 3, 1850, in Canton Zug, Switzerland, and died January 26, 1925, in Columbus. He came to the United States at the age of three years with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Franz Henggeler, who located first in Dubuque, Iowa, moving in 1857 to Omaha.

One year later, after a three days' drive overland from Omaha, Franz Henggeler and his family reached

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