Union Club ~ Civil War Substitute for "Council of Defense"
A recent find for the Historical Society is the original record
book of the Union Club, which was organized in Brownville in
1863, during the strenuous days of the Civil War. It was a time
of great differences on the war question, even in Nebraska, and
this book is valuable because it establishes the status of many
citizens of Nemaha and surrounding counties. We quote entire the
record of the first meeting:
At a meeting held at the office of C. W. Wheeler in Brownville
on the evening of the 28th day of February, A. D. 1862 for the
purpose of taking the initiatory steps to form a Union Club, the
following gentlemen were present, viz.: T. R. Fisher, O. B.
Hewett, W. H. Hoover, R. W. Furnas, R. V. Hughes, A. D. Marsh,
C. F. .Stewart, C. W. Wheeler, S. R. Jamison, Jonas Hacker, T.
C. Hacker, John L. Carson, and C. G. Dorsey. The meeting was
temporarily organized by the appointment of John L. Carson
president and Charles G. Dorsey secretary.
An oath was then administered to each person present to support
the constitution of the United States. The Organic Law of the
Territory, etc. as required by rule in preliminary organization.
A motion was then made and accepted, that the meeting proceed to
the election of permanent officers for the club. Whereupon a
vive voce vote was taken resulting in the choice of the
following persons to fill the offices set opposite their
John L. Carson, president: C. W. Wheeler, vice president; T. R.
Fisher, corresponding secretary: C. G. Dorsey, recording
secretary; W. H. Hoover, treasurer: K. V. Hughes, marshal; C. F.
A tax of fifty cents was by vote levied on each member present
for the purpose of procuring a charter and other needful
expenses, which tax was thereupon paid in by each person present
to the treasurer.
The corresponding secretary was then directed to draw five
dollars from the treasury and therewith procure a charter for
the Club. On motion the meeting was adjourned subject to the
call of the corresponding secretary. This record is signed by
the president and the recording secretary. Through the records
of succeeding meetings no light is given as to the parent club
or where the charter was issued. The presence of R. W. Furnas at
the preliminary meeting and the absence of his name in the
further records of the club would indicate that he was home from
the army for a brief time and was responsible for the idea of
The next meeting was on March 19, after the charter had been
received, and the record says: "The Club was opened and the
additional obligations imposed on the original members and they
were then imitated in the mysteries of the Order and instructed
in the Signs and Pass words."
The minutes show that during the next seven months the Club met
once or twice a week. Unfortunately the record does not mention
the discussions that took place. It is a cold record of the
examination and admission of members. But this list, with the
occupation of the men, is very valuable.
The process was to propose the names of new members, appoint a
special committee to investigate them, and vote them in at a
succeeding meeting if the report of the committee was
satisfactory. Here is the list of members taken in after the
Wm. Amsbary, Minister M. E. church.
Frederick August, laborer, Brownville.
John August, teamster, Brownville.
R. F. Barrett, register, U. S. land office.
David Bell, farmer, Nemaha County.
Wm. Bell, farmer, Nemaha County.
James Berry, merchant, Brownville.
N. Blakeley, farmer, Beatrice.
Wm. Blakely, clerk, Brownville.
J. W. Bliss, soldier, U. S. A.
Fred W. Britmeyer, shoemaker, Brownville.
Hiram Burch, Minister M. E. church.
Enoch Clark, farmer, Nemaha County.
George Clark, farmer, Nemaha County.
S. L. Collins, minister, Nemaha County.
J. L. Columbia, soldier, U. S. A.
S. F. Cooper, soldier, U. S. A.
J. E. Crow, freighter, Brownville.
Wm. T. Den, merchant, Brownville.
Chas. Denser, tinner, Brownville.
George Denser, tinner, Brownville.
John C. Denser, tinner, Brownville.
Phillip Denser, tobacconist, Brownville.
H. H. Dobbins, minister, Brownville.
Jonas Drury, carpenter, Brownville.
H. H. Dye, saddler, Brownville.
James R. Dye, carpenter, Brownville.
James Entwistle, farmer, Nemaha County.
A. G. Gates, mason, Brownville.
David Gilchrist, farmer, Nemaha County.
Henry Gilchrist, farmer, Nemaha County.
W. Grant, shoemaker, Brownville.
David Gwin, Physician, Brownville.
H. Hackney, Brownville.
Wm. Hackney, freighter, Brownville.
W. W. Hackney, freighter, Brownville.
Wm. Hanley, farmer, Nemaha County.
Chas. Haywood, farmer. Pawnee County.
Lewis Hill, soldier, U. S. A.
Theodore Hill, merchant, Brownville.
J. W. Hollingshead, farmer. Pawnee County.
T. G. Jamison, clerk,
Jesse John, justice of peace, Brownville.
S. W. Kennedy, farmer, Nemaha County.
B. F Lushbaugh, Pawnee Indian agent.
J. M. McKenzie, Minister M. E. church.
D. H. McLaughlin, miller, Brownville.
Timothy McLaughlin, laborer, Brownville.
John McPherson physician, Brownville.
T. Manholl, Minister M. E. church.
John H. Mann, soldier, U. S. A.
H. H. Marsh, deputy postmaster, Brownville.
Jno. B. Maxfield, Minister M. E. church.
Albert Mead, gunsmith, Brownville.
James Medford, carpenter, Brownville.
John W. Middleton, saddler, Brownville.
J. H. Morrison, butcher, Brownville.
Rob't. Morrison, hotel keeper, Brownville.
F. M. Paulin, justice of peace, Aspinwall.
Daniel Penny, farmer, Nemaha County.
Wesley Penny, farmer, Brownville.
Isaac Range, farmer, Nemaha County.
C. P. Richardson, soldier, U. S. A.
Alex Robinson, shoemaker, Brownville.
Benjamin Rogers, liveryman, Brownville.
Joshua Rogers, teamster, Brownville.
J. L. Roy, soldier, U. S. A.
John L. Scott, soldier, U. S. A.
A. Sherfy, sexton, Brownville.
John A. Small, liveryman, Brownville.
Peter Smith, laborer, Brownville.
Andrew Stevens, farmer, Nemaha County.
S. L. Swan, clerk, Brownville.
G. C. Thomson, Brownville.
T. S. Ward, farmer, Nemaha County.
Fred I. West, laborer, Brownville.
George Wheeler, farmer, Nemaha County.
A. G. White, minister, Brownville.
R. I. Whitney, government contractor, Brownville.
Evan Worthing, saloonkeeper, Brownville.
T. H. Ausden
George P. Belden
Jacob B. Berkley
George F. Bixby
J. R. Brockman
J. K. Chamberlain
George W. Dodge
B. F. Dorsey
John H. Drury
J. L. Fort
R. W. Frame
W. G. Glasigow
T. M. Green
James M. Hacker
Wm. H. Hacker
Wm. M. Hannaford
H. S. Hill
W. W. Hill
W. S. Hughes
J. R. Kelley
John A. Kelso
W. H. Kendall
Levi T. Knox
H. T. G. Krupfer
James H. Lahne
J. J. Leach
W. R. Leach
|Wm. H. McCreery
J. L. McGee
H. P. Manning
Joseph S. Marsh
Wm. R. Massey
James G. Melvin
R. V. Muir
J. F. Neal
W. B. Phillips
Calvin E. Phippenny
W. J. Rains
Samuel H. Randall
W. W. Randall
T. N. Sanders
J. Q. A. Smith
R. B. Smith
W. W. Smith
R. A. Stewart
B. B. Thompson
George L Turner
C. P. Ware
On April 19, 1863, the club elected A. G. White president, in
place of John L. Carson, who was absent from the territory, and
at the same meeting assessed the members ten cents each to pay
for badges. About this time the club made preparations for, a
big meeting of the Lolay National League for the 2nd of May, and
a committee was appointed to hire a hall and a band and procure
On May 22 this resolution was adopted: "Resolved That this club
will co-operate in the formation of a Territorial Grand Club,
and will do all in its power to secure the union of all leagues
and organizations of Union men throughout the Territory under
some uniform organization."
On June 26. 1863, a new election of officers was held, with this
result: A. G. White, president; Jonas Hacker, vice president;
Chas. G. Dorsey, recording secretary; Thomas R. Fisher,
corresponding secretary; Wm. Hackney, treasurer; W. H. Hoover,
marshal; Michael Barada, sentinel.
On August 26, the club adopted a resolution as follows: "That a
committee of ten members be appointed to meet the grand lodge of
the United Sons of Liberty at Nemaha City on tomorrow evening
and to use their endeavors with said grand lodge to bring about
a union of the two Union organizations under the organization of
the Loyal League of America." At the same meeting the officers
were authorized to procure a charter under the Loyal League of
America. With this merger of the scattering Union clubs into a
territorial league, which seems to have been perfected, the
record kept by C. G. Dorsey closes. It would be interesting to
find the further records of the organizations at Brownville and
Source: Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days, Volume I,
Number 1, Published Monthly by the Nebraska Historical Society,
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