The Bahensky Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Jim and Anna Bahensky
Jim and Anna Bahensky

In 1868, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bahensky and his parents came to United States on ship from near Prague, Czechoslovakia, with two children, Anna (two years) and Winslow James (Jim) a baby. They all stopped near the Big Blue River in Nebraska. Later, Joseph and wife took up a homestead and settled near Crete, Nebraska, in Saline County. There, Damon (KD), Joseph Jr. (Joe), Gusta and Stephen (Steve) were born. Joseph and Jim drove an oxen and horse to Nebraska City to get lumber to build a house.

In 1882, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bahensky and family came to Merrick County, to a farm southwest of Archer, Nebraska, on Prairie Creek, on north side of the road from Albert Brunk. John Miller lived one-half mile west on the north side of the road. There are no buildings on any of the three places now. During the blizzard of January 12, 1888, Jim drove a team of horses and wagon to the school a quarter of a mile to pick up kids and teacher. His dad rang a bell for them to find their way back home. They all stayed at the Bahensky home until the storm was over. In 1913, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bahensky moved to to a farm in Howard County, west of Palmer, Nebraska, where Ronnie Bahensky now lives.

Anna worked as a cook in Omaha, Oregon, Hord’s in Central City, and S.N. Wolbach’s in Grand Island. She later stayed home with her parents.

Jim and Damon worked on the Burlington Railroad grade with four head of mules between Ord and Archer. Then they went to Colorado to work. Damon got sick so they came home. They farmed in the hills northeast of Cushing, Nebraska, for awhile. Later they went to the University in Lincoln.

Jim started driving a team of horses for a state veterinarian out of Lincoln, and helping with his work. He saw that Jim was doing good work, and went to sending him out on veterinary calls by himself. He later continued the work for himself. He specially treated horses for fistula and polevia (sores on their neck and shoulders). He took a state veterinary test in Lincoln, and received doctors licenses with high honors. He visited Damon near Prague, Nebraska, and met Anna Belik. They got married February 10, 1898. They farmed different places in Merrick County between Central City and Palmer. In 1912, they moved to a farm two miles southwest of Palmer in Merrick County and continued to do veterinary work. They lived where Don McClellan now lives. They had three children. Lillian Vetter, worked in St. Paul, Omaha, and Anselmo, Nebraska. She retired to Palmer in 1978, was deceased in 1980, buried in Palmer Cemetery. Alice Kutch lived on farms in Howard County, and retired into Palmer in 1969. Alton and wife Martha farmed the home place, and retired into Palmer in 1967.

Damon, a teacher near Prague, married Emma Kaspar of near Morse Bluffs, Nebraska, moved to St. Paul and worked in the courthouse, then to a farm southwest of Palmer in Howard County. They had two daughters, Mabel still on the home farm and Julia Gibson in Omaha. Their three sons, Leonard, Raymond, and Clinton, retired in St. Paul.

Joe stayed on the farm with his parents.

Gusta married Weldon Harshburgcr of Merrick County, and later went to Oregon, California, and Arizona. They had one daughter, Mabel Ball. Both were deceased in Arizona.

Steve married Ruby Kutch of Oregon, farmed in Merrick County, later moved to a farm in Howard County in 1914. They had four children: Edna Zuehlkeon living on a farm southwest of Palmer, LeRoy now in Lincoln, Melvin and Lyle on farms southwest of Palmer. Lyle is still on the home farm. Mrs. Steve Bahensky,age91, in 1981 is the only one living of the older group.

All the deceased are buried at Palmer Cemetery, but Gusta. Mr. Joseph Bahensky lived from 1 839 to 1924, Mrs. Joseph Bahensky 1841 to 1922, Anna 1865 to 1944, Jim 1868 to 1955, Damon 1870 to 1960, Joe 1871 to 1950, and Steve 1880 to 1964.

Submitted by Mrs. Alton (Martha) Bahensky

W. J. Bahensky Children

Jim Bahensky of Archer and Anna Belik of Prague were married February 10, 1898. They farmed different places in Merrick County, and ended their farming and veterinary work near Palmer, where Don McClellan now lives. They had three children: Lillian, born December 29, 1898, Alice, born May 3, 1900, and Alton, born June 30, 1901. They celebrated their 57th Wedding Anniversary in 1955. Jim was deceased March 25, 1955, and Anna November 1, 1966. Both are buried in Palmer Cemetery.

Lillian worked in the courthouse in St. Paul, then Omaha, and later took a beauty course. She married Henry Vetter and moved to Anselmo, Nebraska, where she continued beautician work. She retired to Palmer in 1 978, and was deceased in 1980. She was buried in Palmer Cemetery.

Alice married Don Kutch October 17, 1918. They lived on farms in Howard County, retired and moved to Palmer in 1969. Don was deceased January 18, 1976. They have one son, Bernard, born May 6, 1920, who farmed with his folks. He married Loraine Meyers, a neighbor, November 7, 1941, and farmed for himself for awhile. Then they moved to Idaho Springs, Colorado, to own and manage a grocery store. They have two daughters married, and now five grandchildren.

Alton farmed the home place with his folks, married Martha Nielsen November 29, 1936, and continued farming the home place. They retired and moved into Palmer in 1967. They have two sons, James and Charles, who both graduated from Palmer High School, James in 1966 and Charles in 1968. James who was born June 3, 1948, went five years to University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. He worked seven summers for Dinsdales of Palmer, one summer in Omaha, and at the University to support himself through school. He is now employed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center of Omaha. He has later taken a night course and got a Master’s Degree. He married Judy Woebbeckke of Seward on August 31, 1969. They have two children, a daughter Ashley and a son Jacob. Charles was born February 3, 1950. He worked for Bill Kuccra and Lemmermans’ Chicken Farm of Palmer during summers. He went to Denver, Colorado, to an 18-months course in electronics, then came home and worked for Orville Nicholas with electronic work. He enlisted in Air Force Service in October 1, 1970, and got back into electronic work. He has served three and half years in Germany, and is now stationed in Almogordo, New Mexico. He’s signed in now until October, 1982, in Air Force Service. He married Judy Bergholtz of Grand Island October 9, 1971. They have a son, Sean, and a daughter, Kendra, born in Germany.

Submitted by Mrs. Alton Bahensky


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

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