Baker — Beman Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Vernon and Marie Baker
Vernon and Marie Baker

My grandparents, Abram P. Beman and Esther Lamb Beman, came to Nebraska with her parents. Squire and Carolyn Stark Lamb, from Madison. Wisconsin in 1857. Both couples first settled on land where the town of Schuyler now stands and five years later moved near Wood River. Squire “Pap” Lamb drove a stage from Wood River to Fort Kearny and Mrs. Lamb operated the Western Stage Inn.

Abram Beman was born in Chateaugay, New York in 1834 and died in Merrick County in 1911. He was the grandson of Nathan Beman w ho fought in the Revolutionary War. Esther Lamb Beman was born in Cooperstown, New York in 1838 and died in 1914. (In 1869 Abram and Esther Beman came to Merrick County. They purchased a homestead which remained the family home for many years).

My father, John Wesley Beman, was born in Hall County in 1866 and farmed in Merrick County until he died in 1935. My mother, Elizabeth (Hall) Beman, was born in Henry County, Illinois, in 1871 and died in 1943. She came to Merrick County as a young woman to teach school. They had seven children Percy (1892-1967), Leonard (1894-1911), Helen (1896-1917), Marie (1897), Alice (1902). Ralph (1903), John (1905).

I, Marie, taught school in Merrick and Nance Counties until I was married. Vernon J Baker and I were married in 1924. He was born in 1891 in Wayne County, Nebraska, the son of Andrew S. and Rebecca Davis Baker. He served in the Navy during World War 1 and attended York Business College.

We moved to Central City in 1927 and Vernon operated the Star Mail Route between Central City and Greeley for five years. He worked for many years in the high school and later in the Post Office. We were both active in the Presbyterian Church, the American Legion and Auxiliary, and the Masons and Eastern Star. Vernon served as elder in the church for over thirty years and as Clerk of Session for twenty years. In 1965 he was elected Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church which met in Columbus, Ohio. He held offices as Adjutant, Commander, and Chaplain of the American Legion and was the first Barracks Commander of Merrick County Barracks of World War I Veterans. I was active in the Ladies Auxiliary and served as President. Vernon was a member of Lone Tree Lodge of the Masons and was Master in 1949. We both were members of the Arbor Chapter of the Eastern Star and served together as Worthy Patron and Worthy Matron in 1959.

We celebrated our Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary in 1974. Vernon Baker died on April 28, 1978 and is buried in the Central City Cemetery.

Our daughter, Verna Marie, was born in 1930. She attended Central City schools and graduated from Hastings College. She married James W. Grant of Columbus, Nebraska. They have two children, William and Janet.

Compiled by Marie Beman Baker


Merrick County Historical Society, History of Merrick County, Nebraska (1981), Volume I, Dallas, Texas : Taylor Publishing Company, 1981.

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