Fillmore County

The Old Downey Home, And the Last "Soddy" in Fillmore County, Neb.

Biography of William Downey

William Downey was a native of New York State, and went with his parents to Michigan, where he grew up to manhood, living in Kalamazoo and St. Joseph Counties. He came to Nebraska in May 1871 along with Messrs. Ramsdell, Stephens and Krader, the latter settling in Dodge County. They traveled all the way with wagons and teams, and were six weeks on the road. Mrs. Downey and the children stayed near Lincoln about nine months. Mr. Downey and Mr. Stephens came to this district and sought claims, Mr. Downey homesteading in July on the west half of the north …

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1890s Sod House in Southern Boone County

Biography of W. B. Graul

W. B. Graul came from Pennsylvania to Nebraska with his father; Levi Joseph Graul arrived at Milford, April 1, 1871. They settled on a farm one and a half miles north west of Goehner, in Seward County, where the mother still lives; the father was killed by lightning on May 19, 1897. Their first night in Nebraska was spent in visiting with William Bivens, the wind that evening was so strong that it upset their wagon. When the father commenced farming he had only a team of horses and five dollars, so he rented a small house; which was guaranteed …

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1890s Sod House in Southern Boone County

Biography of W. H. Miner

W. H. Miner came from Illinois in 1870 and located on the North West quarter of Section 12, Town 8, Range 1, West, and lived through the first summer in a tent, which became a well known land mark and place of call for many of the incoming settlers. That was the time when this country side was one vast open plain without a house or tree, the wild animals being glad of any shade afforded them by the kindly weeds. An antelope was so enjoying what shads a large sunflower could give when Mr. Miner crept up and shot …

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1890s Sod House in Southern Boone County

Biography of W. H. Taylor

W. H. Taylor was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, a country which has given birth to some of the fairest women and brightest men of modern times. Though not among the very first settlers of any country, he has seen something of pioneer life in both Canada and the United States. At the age of four years, he with their family left Ireland on a sailing vessel; the voyage lasting eight weeks, during which time most of the family including himself had the smallpox. They arrived in Canada and settled in Carleton County, in what was then an unbroken wilderness; …

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1890s Sod House in Southern Boone County

Early History of Exeter, Nebraska by W. J. Waite

My good friend and neighbor, Rev. G. R. McKeith, has asked me (W. J. Waite) for a few lines regarding my recollections of the early days of Exeter. I have gotten somehow out of the writing habit and my first recollection of Exeter is somewhat vague. The first time I saw it, I didn’t see it because it wasn’t there (or should I say here?) In the early days of the summer of 1871, the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska, (for such was its legal and official name at that time), was in operation from Plattsmouth to Crete, …

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1890s Sod House in Southern Boone County

Biography of William McGhie

William McGhie was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and was therefore a citizen of no mean city. Having been born in the “Granite City” amidst its seats of learning, culture and art, beautified with its world famed granite buildings; there is no knowing what might have been the filling in of his life had all things been equal, but unfortunately he was deprived of the advantages of a true home and of a mother’s love and leading, she having died in his infancy. After struggling up to manhood he worked about the farms on the outskirts of the city, and evidently …

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1890s Sod House in Southern Boone County

Remembrances of Mrs M. E. Babcock

Mr. William N. and Mrs. M. E. Babcock came to Nebraska in the fall of 1870, remaining through the winter in Ashland. Mr. Babcock took up a Claim in February, 1871, and they moved onto it in May of that year. The land joined Dr. Smith‘s on the West, part of which is now the Town 1Presumed to be speaking about Exeter, Nebraska. Mr. Babcock died eight years ago and we are indebted to Mrs. Babcock for these reminiscences, who, let me say, fully appreciates the experience of having grown up with a new Country. Their first shelter was a …

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1890s Sod House in Southern Boone County

Biography of William Ramsdell

William Ramsdell is a native of Michigan. His first visit to Nebraska was in 1865 when he came in the service of the Government because of the depredations committed at that time by the Sioux Indians. He, with his Company arrived at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on the 17th of June, and then made their way to Fort Kearney, Nebraska, from which point they crossed the State to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. As soon as the Indians knew of the presence of the Government soldiers they wanted peace. It will be remembered that the Sioux Indians had taken advantage of their opportunities, …

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