Stanley & Opal Bice Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Stanley and Opal Bice

On July 19, 1931, Stanley B. Bice and Opal Daniels eloped and married secretly in Papillion, Nebraska, later announcing their marriage on Stanley’s birthday, October 17, 1931. Stanley, the son of William H. and Etta Campbell Bice, and Opal, daughter of B.D. and Emily Roark Daniels, began their married life on the Bice family farm near Central City. Due to the drought and depression, Stanley transitioned to welding and worked in various industries, including war work and heating and air conditioning. The couple lived in Denver for 32 years before retiring to Central City in 1978. They have one son, Thomas Newell, who, along with his wife Marilanne, joined them in Central City, where they run an antique business. Stanley and Opal are active in the Christian Church and enjoy various hobbies and community activities.

William & Etta Bice Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

William & Etta Bice 50th Anniversary

William H. Bice was born on July 21, 1860, in Schenectady, New York, to Jeremiah and Irene Bice. His grandfather, Joshua Bice, was born in New York State in the late 1700s. In the 1870s, Jeremiah moved his family to Iowa and later to Merrick County, Nebraska, where he bought a farm near Chapman. William joined in 1884, farming and teaching. He married Anna McQuiston in 1887, who died in childbirth in 1889. In 1892, he married Etta V. Campbell, and they had three children: Lawrence, Ethel, and Stanley. William, an active community member and educator, built a modern farmhouse in 1914 and was known for his orchard, vineyard, and beekeeping. He died in 1944 and is buried in the Chapman Cemetery.

Bice — Tilley Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

A History of Merrick County, Nebraska to 1895

Ethel Bice, born near Chapman in 1901, was the daughter of William H. and Etta Campbell Bice. She married Ralph W. Tilley in 1929. Ralph, born near Grand Island in 1902, was the son of Will F. and Floy S. Wilcox Tilley. The couple had two sons: Donald, born in Alda, Nebraska, and Loran, born in Central City. Ethel and Ralph, both graduates of Grand Island Baptist College, were active in education and community work. They taught high school in Nebraska, and Ralph held superintendent positions. Later, they raised turkeys commercially and moved to Grand Island in 1950.

The Bittinger Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Margaret Hayes — Vinson Bittinger April 1942

The Bittinger family traces its origins to John Bittinger, born on November 3, 1817, in Chambersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. John and his wife Rebecca Kail had six sons. Their second son, Charles Henry, and his wife Anna Hittle Bittinger, moved to Nebraska in 1877 and homesteaded near Clarks. They had three children: Walter, Otis, and Mabel. Otis Allen, born in 1878, married Fannie Bird in 1908 and managed the Clarks Telephone Exchange. Their son, Vinson, served in the U.S. Air Force and later managed the family business. Vinson and his wife Margaret Hayes had five children and maintained their home in Clarks, Nebraska.

Michael Vinson Bittinger Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Mr and Mrs M V Bittinger, 1969

Michael Vinson Bittinger was born on September 25, 1944, in Grand Island, Nebraska, to Vinson and Margaret (Hayes) Bittinger. He grew up in Clarks, Nebraska, graduated from Clarks High School in 1963, and attended Creighton University. In 1966, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Pearl Harbor by 1969. Patricia Ann Salerno was born on October 10, 1944, in New York City. She graduated from St. Helena High School in 1962 and St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in 1966, then moved to Hawaii in 1968 to work as a nurse. Michael and Patricia met in Honolulu, married in New York City on May 30, 1969, and settled in Clarks, Nebraska, before moving to Central City in 1979. They have five children and are active in their community.

Black Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Earl and Bertha Black

Earl Clifton Black and Bertha Peregrine Black married on February 6, 1916, in Fullerton, Nebraska. In 1918, they relocated to a farm in Merrick County’s Fairview Community, near Central City, bringing their young son Willard. They later had two more children, Winona in 1918 and Merlin in 1921. The family were active members of the Methodist Church and engaged in their local community. Bertha documented their daily farm life, highlighting their hard work and self-sufficiency. The Blacks retired to Central City in 1960. Bertha passed away in 1965, and Earl in 1979, leaving behind a large family.

Willard & Celia Black Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

A History of Merrick County, Nebraska to 1895

Willard E. Black and Celia McCollister Black, high school sweethearts from Central City, Nebraska, are set to celebrate their forty-fifth wedding anniversary on July 27, 1981. Willard, born near Fullerton, Nebraska, moved to Merrick County in 1917. Celia, born near Goehner, Nebraska, moved to Central City in 1920. The couple has primarily lived on a farm north of Central City, where Willard and his brother Merlin formed a farming partnership post-World War II. They have three children: Dale, Linda, and Jolene, and have been active members of the Methodist Church. The Blacks plan to retire to Central City soon.

Albert & Minnie Blauhorn Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Albert Blauhorn Family

Albert Blauhorn, born September 30, 1897, to Julius and Marie (Buss) Blauhorn, and Minnie Garrett, born October 14, 1896, to Joseph and Mary (Abel) Garrett, were married on June 8, 1921, after a three-year courtship. Albert and Minnie farmed near Palmer, Nebraska, until 1964 before moving to Central City. They have three daughters, Winona, Betty, and Fern, along with numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The couple has been active in the Archer Zion United Methodist Church since 1927. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1971 and value their family traditions, particularly their Christmas gatherings.

Ervin & Bonnie Blauhorn Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Ervin and Bonnie Blauhorn

Ervin Blauhorn, born near Palmer, Nebraska, is the eldest of seven children of William and Anna Otto Blauhorn. After farming with his father, he served in World War II with the 3rd Armored Division in Europe. Post-war, he returned to farming. Bonnie Scharvin, born in Sioux City, Iowa, and raised near Archer, Nebraska, graduated from Archer High School and Nebraska Central College. She taught in Merrick County schools for forty-five years. Ervin and Bonnie married on June 22, 1947, and settled on a farm near Archer. Both active in community and church affairs, they retired in 1967 and reside in their new home.