William Alexander Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

William Bruce Alexander and Daisy Florence Rose were married December 20, 1905, in Tazwell County and settled on a farm near Lilly, Illinois. A son, William Earl, was born June 9, 1907, but died September 1, 1907, and was buried at Minier, Illinois. On January 1, 1908, Daisy died, a young wife of 21 . She was buried at Minier also.

William remained on the farm until 1909. He left Illinois for Omaha, Nebraska, where his parents lived, remained there temporarily, then moved to the Gardiner-Silver Creek area, where he farmed.

In 1910, he married Emma Vonder Lieth in Merrick County. Five children were born, Lelon Edward, February 9, 1912, Herman William, May 30, 1913, at Duncan, Ray Eugene and Ruby Ellen, twins, April 18, 1916, in Omaha. On January 11, 1919, after the death of his father, Ivan Bruce was born at his grandparents’ east of Silver Creek on the Old Mill Race Farm.

After their marriage, William and Emma lived in Alda where he worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. After a short time he was transferred to Duncan. In 1914, the Alexanders moved to Binney Street in Omaha. William, known as “Bill”, worked for Itens Biscuit Company in the baking department. In 1918, the family moved to the Sam Taylor farm in Gardiner, now owned by Jim Edmison, to resume farming.

Bill’s health failed and soon he was admitted to the hospital at Excelsor Springs, Missouri. He died in his home in Gardiner on August 31, 1918, age 33.

After the loss of her husband, Emma and the children moved in with her sister, Mrs. Margaret Mason, on a farm north of Gardiner, for nearly two years. Some of the children attended Gardiner School, District #8. In 1921, they moved to Duncan where the children attended the Public High School. It was the sixth of April, 1936, when Emma died en-route home by auto with her family after visiting her sister, Mrs. Mason, west of Silver Creek. Emma was 51.

Ivan Bruce, “Pete”, was graduated with the class of 1940 at Silver Creek High. Pete had polio and spent two years in treatment in Lincoln. At his death on March 5, 1 948, he was parts man and bookkeeper with the Jericki Implement.

Lelon married Mildred Boss in Silver Creek, October 11 , 1941 , and now resides in Silver Creek in retirement from the Union Pacific Railroad.

Herman married Leona Novicki November 16, 1935, in Omaha. Their children are Renee, Timothy and Lynnette. He is retired from the Union Pacific Railroad. They live in Fremont.

Ray married Bernice Boss December 1, 1939. They had Frederick, Branda and Betty Lou. Bernice died in Columbus on August 4, 1968. Ray’s second marriage was to Elizabeth Czarnick July 19, 1969. He is employed with Zimmatic Irrigation at Newman Grove. They live in Genoa.

Ruby married March Warner March 24, 1 945, at O’Neill, Nebraska. March died August 11, 1969. Ruby lives at Chambers and works at O’Neill.

Submitted by Lelon Alexander


Persinger, C. E., A History of Merrick County, Nebraska: From “the Beginning” to 1895, Dallas, Texas : Taylor Publishing Company, 1981.

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