Frank K. and Rose Betts Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

It was Grandpa and Grandma Betts who influenced my developing years. They never fully recovered from the tragedy of my father’s early death as he was their only son and they had considerable pride in him and hopes for the future of his family. They welcomed me into their home in 1917 and I returned to Scudder School where I had started my education.

Grandma always had a witty saying to emphasize life’s truisms and Grandpa reinforced her teachings with his emphasis on justice, honesty, and right living. They were faithful members of the Pierce Chapel church and were one of the families instrumental in having the church moved the four miles to the northeast to its present location across the road from the cemetery.

From them I learned to be involved in community affairs for they believed life could be better for everyone if efforts were made to improve it. So, as I reached adulthood, I began to serve on various boards. These experiences broadened my outlook and enriched my life whether it was the local school board in District #7 on which I served nearly twenty years or those beyond the neighborhood. I became involved at its beginnings in 1933 with the farm program which has evolved into the ASCS and served on the county board for quite a number of years. I was a member of the county Soil Conservation Service board from 1951 to 1960. Probably the most challenging and equally rewarding was the “Elevator” board of the Farmers Cooperative Association as we farmers turned directors organized a new grain, feed and fertilizer business during the 1950s. The Coop bought an old elevator and built grain storage, including the flat storage south of the highway in Clarks and the cement tube facility along the railroad track and developed the business from a volume of a few thousand dollars to more than a million in about a decade. I am continuing to serve on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Clarks at the present time.

On September 15, 1965, I married Rose (Shepherd) Colby and we have since lived in Clarks, though I continued to farm until 1973. In 1966 we purchased a newly built house from the Flora Ferguson estate. In June 1967 the infamous “100 year” flood wiped out the plantings that were there and we have since developed the large yard into a pleasant place to spend retirement years. We stay as involved as possible in church (United Methodist), the Lions Club (my membership exceeds 35 years), Masonic Lodge and Shrine, Eastern Star, and Senior Citizens.

Submitted by Frank Klar Betts


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

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