Mr. Charles Hole of Fillmore County

Mr. Charles Hole came to America, in 1870, from West Pennard, near the famous city of Glastonbury, Somersetshire, England. He landed in Poston, and made his way up to Detroit, where he lived for two years. In April 1872, he came to Exeter, Nebr., and homesteaded 80 acres of land three miles south of town. There were three other young men who came from Somerset at that time and settled in this neighborhood, Alfred Corp, “Bill” Haimes, already mentioned elsewhere, and Frank Appleby, a cousin to Haimes. We can quite imagine how great would be the change of environment offered to these young men by the open prairie, they having come from so beautiful a county as Somerset; it being only excelled for beauty by its neighbor, Devonshire, and from such an historic place as Glastonbury.

According to the old legend, it was to Glastonbury that Joseph of Arimathea came with eleven other disciples, when sent to England by Philip, the Lord’s disciple, soon after the death of Jesus. Taking with him”.

“The cup, the cup itself, from which our Lord
Drank at the last tad supper with his own.
To Glastonbury, where the winter thorn
Blossoms at Christmas, mindful of our Lord.”

At Glastonbury is found the site of the earliest Christian Church in Great Britain; said to have been completed in the year 64, A. D.

Here too, is the burial place of the famous King “Arthur” and his Queen, “Guinevere.”

We are reminded of Tennyson’s “Morte D’ Arthur”:

“Pray for my soul; more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of,
But now farewell, I am going a long way
To this island valley of Avilion;
Where I shall heal me of my grievous wound.”
But the King died.
Also of his “Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere:”
“Then in the boyhood of the year
Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere
Rode thro’ the coverts of the deer
With blissful treble mingling clear,
She seem’d a part of joyous spring.
A man had given all other bliss,
And all his worldly worth for this
To waste his whole heart in one kiss
Upon her perfect lips.”
“Me hopes to use the brogue common in this part of England I baint saying more than is necessary about thick there three lads coom from Zomerset, and the ist’ry of their plazes.”

Having commenced my Christian ministry in that country, and for nearly three years going in and out its thatched homes, and old world gardens, and having’ climbed the Quantock and Brendon hills, and visited the shrines of its Poets and Prophets, and many of the places made famous in Blackmore’s “Lorna Doone;” all of which are places that Americans love to visit. I thought it would be to our advantage; “If us knows something about the plazes I have tooched upon and which I say, show us in contrast perhaps more so than oother plazes, the great changes of environment some people have made in coming from the old world to the new.” There’s a country where hedges, ferns, flowers and fruits are most luxurious and abundant, yet, they came and settled on an open prairie, an antithesis in every relationship.

Frank Appleby found an early grave; he died at the residence of Warren Woodard in the spring of 1872, and was the first white man buried in this district, his grave being at first south of town, but his body was afterwards laid to rest in the new cemetery.

He was a carpenter by trade and went to work on the new bridge over the Platte River at Kearney. Having to work in the water, he caught a cold which developed pneumonia with which he died.

Mr. Hole married and settled in Exeter in 1878. Then in 1881 he built his present home, having now lived in it 33 years. They are believed to be the only people in town who have lived so long a time in one house. On the afternoon of their marriage they bought a cook stove, which stove, after 36 years, they are still using. It has not only had the regular wear and tear for so many years, but the first two winters it burned corn; which is considered extra hot in the burning. Corn at that time was worth only 10 cents a bushel, so in many cases it was burned instead of coal.


Pioneer Stories of the Pioneers of Fillmore and adjoining Counties, by G. R. McKeith, Press of Fillmore County News, Exeter, Nebraska, 1915.

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