NEGenWeb Project



Transcribed, Compiled, and Researched

 By Don Baer Jr.


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Diary of Hester Alice (Clingman) Diemer

All photos and biographies in possession of Don Baer Jr. (unless otherwise noted)

Graphics by Keepsake Publishing 

Books available by Don Baer Jr.

Grandpa’s TrunkÓ- a geneographical portrait of his Baer line. 1997

Diary of Hester Alice (Clingman) DiemerÓ -The diary of early pioneer life.1999

To order copies contact:

Don Baer Jr.

3091 Buckhaven Road

Chino Hills, California 91709

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To Brianna Rose Baer

May you always know your history.

I love you!

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Hester Alice (Clingman) Diemer’s biography
Hiram Yard Diemer’s biography
Log by Hiram Diemer
Start of wagon trip by Hester Diemer
Map of wagon trail
Obituary of Hester Diemer
Final Decree of Hester Diemer
Obituary of Hiram Diemer
Obituary of Eda (Diemer) Baer
Letter from Hester to her sister, Mary
Letter from Hester to her family
Biography of Harrison Diemer
Biography of Abner Briggs Clingman
Biography of Cyrus Clingman
Biography of Mary Clingman
Biography of Cornelia Clingman
Biography of Ann Eliza Clingman
Biography of Franklin Clingman
Biography of Stephen Clingman
Biography of George Osterhout
Biography of Samuel Wright Rising
Biography of Albert Wright Rising
Biography of P.N. Meysenburg
Descendants pages

Henry Diemer
Dr. Brown
Arthur Diemer
Eda Diemer
Lola Diemer
Hiram, Euta, Isaac, and Harrison Diemer
Abner Briggs Clingman
Cyrus Clingman
Anna Eliza, Hester, Mary, and Cornelia Clingman
Franklin Clingman
Stephen Clingman

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Don Baer Jr., great great grandson of Hester Alice (Clingman) Diemer, transcribed this diary and letters.

 The original diary, letters, final decree, newspaper articles, and biographical sketches are in possession of Don Baer Jr. The source of information has been footnoted in all cases where he does not have the original documents.

 The spelling has been left as it is in the diary. Punctuation such as commas, periods, and capitals at the start of a sentence have been added in most cases, for the ease of the reader. No apostrophes have been added in the diary, however the reader will note that Hester was inconsistent with the use of them in the diary.

 Where the word was completely unreadable, the reader will see a blank line ____. Where the transcribing of the word or its meaning were unclear, it is followed by a (?).

 Approximately 50 or more people are mentioned throughout the diary. Their relationship in most cases is apparent through the context of the diary. Some however, remain unclear. There are many family members mentioned in this diary. In the back of the diary, the reader will find several biographies or memoirs of some of them, and also a descendant's tree for the Diemer and Clingman lines containing the family members mentioned.

 The reader will also find the diary to be repetitive or dull at times as Hester rarely allowed herself to enter personal thought or feeling in the diary. What the diary does do is document the early pioneer life of a settler to a new land, and the hardships they went through to start a new life.

 In this diary the reader will experience the hardships of the blistering hot summer days to the winter nights below zero with only a wood stove to provide heat in a sod house or covered wagon. The reader will also experience prairie fires to the great Locust invasions of 1874, Indians, and the death of a child.

 As a boy, my father remembers boxes full of Hester's diaries up in the attic of his grandma, Eda Diemer, daughter of Hester. These diaries are gone now. Their fate is unknown. Most likely thrown away in the late 1930's or early 1940's. Walter Baer, grandson of Hester must have found these diaries in the 1920's and realized the historical value of saving this diary. In the 1920's, Walter Baer transcribed the wagon trip, however, did not complete the entire diary. Now for the first time since 1874 this diary is now being read in full. This diary serves as a great historical document that should be shared with those interested in pioneer life.

 The diary starts near Cedarville, Illinois, in 1868, with short, one-word entries. In the diary the handwriting appears to be different than the handwriting for 1873 and 1874. It is believed Hiram Diemer made the 1868 entries. After the last 1868 entry, three pages of the diary are ripped out and the diary picks up again chronologically in 1873.

 The 1873 and 1874 entries belong to Hester Diemer. It starts on the day she and her family left Davis, Illinois, located in the upper North Eastern corner of Stephenson county, by covered wagon, on their way to settle in the relatively new frontier of Nebraska. Nebraska had been a state since early 1867.

The diary is preceeded by a biographical sketch on Hester and Hiram.

This is their story:


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B. February 25, 1841

D. February 5, 1919

Hester Alice Clingman was born February 25, 1841, died February 5, 1919, age nearly 78 years.  She grew to womanhood at the home place and on January 25, 1859 was married to Hiram Y. Diemer.  They lived near Cedarville until 1873, when they moved to Butler County, Nebraska, where they located on a farm four or five miles from David City.  1873 and 1874 were the "grass-hopper" years and the settlers in that new country suffered untold hardships.  I hope some of Aunt Hester's children or grandchildren will write more detailed account of the life to the family in the early days.  In that prairie country, the first homes were sod houses.  Probably their first home was of that description, but the house I remember was a comfortable frame structure set in a grove.  In her later years, and long after the children had left home, she and Uncle Hiram moved to David City where he died, probably about 1910.  I am not certain of this date.  I visited at her home after his death.  She kept his easy chair in its accustomed place near the stove.  After a few years she went to western Nebraska, near Scott's Bluff, I believe, to make her home with her son, Arthur and his family.  After Arthur's death, she lived with Wayne, his son, until her death in 1919.  Her chief and almost her only interests in life were her family and her church.  She was a member of the Methodist Church most of her life and when she lived in David City, took great comfort in being near the church so she could attend regularly.  She treasured the pictures of her grandchildren and great-grand-children and was interested in the least detail about them.

Mr. and Mrs. Diemer had seven children of whom four died in infancy or early youth.  Those surviving were Arthur, Edith, Adelaide.

Arthur was the oldest child and was born about the time of the Civil War.  I remember him as a young man.  He farmed with father and taught school.  He was married to Rosa McKellip, probably about 1886.  Shortly afterwards, they took charge of the graded school at Garrison, Nebraska.  Afterwards Arthur gave up teaching and lived on the home farm.  For some years he and his father farmed and operated a threshing machine.  One son, Wayne, was born, I think about 1890.  After the "Kinkaid" land was opened to settlement in western Nebraska, Arthur and his family located in that section near Scott's Bluff.  Wayne is married and still lives there. 

Edith, or Edie as she was called, married William Baer.  For several years they lived on a farm near David City and later moved to the vicinity of Rising City where they still live.  There were three sons, of whom they lost one in early youth.  The other two grew to manhood.

Addie became the wife of David Miller.  They also farmed not far from her parent's home.  For perhaps twenty years, they have lived in Columbus, Nebraska.  There were several girls and one boy, Roy.  The oldest girl was named Mabel.  She graduated from the High School in David City about 1900.  All the children are married now and in homes of their own.

1Source: Bessie Madge Clingman, of Mt. Vernon, Iowa collected or wrote the above at the turn of the century. Bessie Madge (Clingman) West was one of Stephen Clingman's daughters. Sent to me by Gordon Clingman.


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(Husband of Hester Alice (Clingman) Diemer)

B. January 25, 1833

D. April 5, 1911

The following is taken directly from "The Illustrated Album of Biography"2

It is a Memorial and Biographical record containing a compendium of local

biography of hundreds of Prominent Old Settlers and Representative Citizens

of Butler, Polk, Seward, York, and Filmore Counties, Nebraska.

Published 1899 by Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago

Hiram Y. Diemer, a public?]spirited and enterprising farmer and stock raiser of Butler County, stands among the foremost men of his calling. He has devoted his life to agricultural pursuits almost exclusively, and is the proprietor of as good a farm as can be found in Olive township, His home being located there section 10, where he settled in January, 1874. He was born in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, January 25, 1833. His father, Michael Diemer, was born in the same County and state and was a carpenter and shoemaker by trade, and his wife, our subject's mother, Susan (Rasley) Diemer, was also a native of Pennsylvania. Both the father and mother were of German ancestors. They moved to Stephenson County, Illinois, in 1847, and settled on a farm near Freeport.

Our subject was married in Stephenson County. Illinois, January 13, 1859, to Miss Hester Clingman, daughter of Abner Clingman, of Stephenson County, Illinois, and a sister of Judge Clingman, of Butler County. Their Children were born in Stephenson County. The oldest, Arthur B.  is now a resident of Butler County, Nebraska. He married Miss Rosa Mckellips, daughter of Darwin, a sketch of whom will appear on another page of this volume, and one son, Arthur Wayne has been born to them. Eda F. Baer, the oldest daughter, is the wife of William Baer, of Butler County, Nebraska; Addie L. is the wife of David Miller, also a resident of Butler County.

Mr. Diemer is a Republican in political views and has used his influence and elective franchises in the support of the candidates of that party since its organization, and although he has never taken a very active part in political affairs, he is always ready to lend a helping hand in all matters which tend to the upbuilding or strengthening of good government. He and his wife are both charter members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and are zealous, devoted workers of that denomination. Mr. Diemer is also endowed with activity, persistence, and a good capacity for well?]directed labor, which have placed him in the forefront among the farmers of his vicinity, and his labors have been rewarded by the acquisition of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, well stocked and equipped with all modern conveniences, and his is one of the pleasant and attractive homes of the County.

Arthur B. Diemer, our subject's oldest son, although still a young man, occupies a place of considerable prominence in Butler County. At the early age of eighteen years he fitted himself for the profession of a school?]teacher, and, with the exception of one year spent in a drug store in David City, he has since been continuously engaged in teaching. He is at present also performing the duties of town clerke in Olive township. 

2This book is in possession of Don Baer Jr.


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*All biographies in possession of Don Baer Jr. (unless otherwise noted)
Copyright 1999, ©Don Baer, Jr.

Reproduced in the NEGenWeb Resource Center by Permission