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 respective names:

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. Stewart, sentinel.

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 organization.

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 second meeting:

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, Brownville.
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.

John Argabright
Thomas Arnold
George Ashley
John Ashley
T. H. Ausden

Antoine Barada
Michael Barada
Wm. Bagley
John Beard
George P. Belden
Jacob B. Berkley
George F. Bixby
John Blacklaw
A. Borsh
J. R. Brockman
John Brown
Richard Buckan
Jeremiah Burnett
Daniel Butler

Antoine Cabany
Samuel Callen
Richard Carr
J. K. Chamberlain
Benjamin Chapman
John Chapman
John Collins
Thomas Collins
John Crine

A. Dodd
George W. Dodge
B. F. Dorsey
John H. Drury

Wm. Foliat
J. L. Fort
Joseph Foster
R. W. Frame

Robert Gilman
W. G. Glasigow
T. M. Green
Stephen Groesbeck

James M. Hacker
Wm. H. Hacker
Joseph Hamilton
Wm. M. Hannaford
A. Hellman
Chas. Helman
Johnathan Higgins
H. S. Hill
W. W. Hill
Philip Huffman
George Hughes
W. S. Hughes

Charles Keiswetter
J. R. Kelley
Riley Kelly
John A. Kelso
W. H. Kendall
Wyman Kent
Levi T. Knox
H. T. G. Krupfer

James H. Lahne
J. J. Leach
W. R. Leach
John Long
Wm. Lyda
Wm. H. McCreery
J. L. McGee
James McLure
David McReynolds
Jacob Mahron
H. P. Manning
Jeremiah Marlatt
Joseph S. Marsh
Wm. R. Massey
Jos. Medford
James G. Melvin
R. V. Muir
Thomas Murray

J. F. Neal
Israel Noggle

Joseph Opelt

Goldsberry Pavy
Samuel Petit
Allen Phillips
E. Phillips
W. B. Phillips
Calvin E. Phippenny
Silas Pierce

Jesse Rains
W. J. Rains
Samuel H. Randall
W. W. Randall
George Reane
Francis Redfern
Levi Richmond
Wm. Rossell

T. N. Sanders
George Sapp
Joseph Saulsey
Joseph Schutz
Daniel Shadley
Samuel Skaats
J. Q. A. Smith
R. B. Smith
W. W. Smith
Samuel Snyder
Amos Stephens
Jacob Stephens
Mark Stephens
R. A. Stewart
Wm. Stilwell
Jeremiah Stringham

Seymour Tomlinson
B. B. Thompson
George Thompson
Wm. Thorn
N. Thorp
George L Turner

Wm. Vandeford

Samuel Wagstaff
Louis Waldter
C. P. Ware
Gibbard Watts

Peter Zook
Wm. Zook

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 speakers.

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 other towns.

Nebraska AHGP

Source: Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days, Volume I, Number 1, Published Monthly by the Nebraska Historical Society, February 1918.

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