Monday, October 29, 2018

Newspaper Clippings - Harvard, Nebraska, March, 1912

With the "first blizzard of the season" in March, it must have been a mild winter in central Nebraska. Several people took the train to Harvard, it's a distance of 10 miles. My Negley relatives are mentioned a couple of times in this week's Eldorado news. I wish I understood the "Brice" comment near the end. Unfortunately, the Harvard Courier is available only on microfilm. If it were digitized, I would be able to find the Negley name a lot.  

Harvard Courier, March 2, 1912

At noon on Sunday snow began falling and by evening the wind had reached a high velocity so we found our selves in the first blizzard of the season. It left the east and west roads badly blocked. The wheat fields were wind swept but the stalk fields retained an abundance of snow.
Hay Bros. sale was quite well attended.
Jennie Austin took the train for Harvard Saturday evening.
Henry Bender of Sutton was in our midst Friday.
Wm. Stephens, Geo. England and Negley Bros. were Harvard visitors Saturday.
Banker Houghton of Hampton was here on business one day last week.
James and Newt. Shonkeiler were shaking hands with friends here Friday.
Frank Turner and wife Sundayed at Harvard.
Frank Leonard drove to Harvard Saturday.
Mrs. H. Iliff is on the sick list.
Carl Wood's were in Stockham Friday.
Roy Brenneman of Inland was out Friday.
Gertha Anderson of Stockham visited relatives here Friday.
Jas. Nelson was in Lincoln last week.
William Grosshans of Sutton was in our midst one day last week.
School Dist. 69 has been without a teacher since Feb. 19, but will resume work March 4th.
Anton Lentz departed for Fremont and other points which he will visit prior to leaving for South Dakota.
As revival meetings are in progress at Stockham, Rev. Littrel preached Sunday at 11:00 a.m. instead of the evening hour.
Rosa Engelhardt returned from Harvard Monday, where she visited relatives.
The township board met in regular session Tuesday.
L. Shouse of the O. Shouse Com. Co. of Hastings was in town Wednesday.
Adam Heisor who has been visiting at Hastings returned home Wednesday.
The Mennonite Brethren will begin revival services Sunday, Mar. 3rd. A minister from North Dakota will conduct a week's meeting.
Harry Brenneman's sale attracted a fair attendance with good prices prevailing.
John A. Yost is on the sick list.
John Dennis was called to Sutton Thursday by the serious illness of his brother.
Little Marie Taylor is on the sick list.
Henry Schmer took the train for Hastings Saturday.
Beginning on March 4th Rev. E. N. Littrel assisted by Prof. and Mrs. Clauson who are graduates of the ...

Moody Institute, Chicago, will conduct revival services. Let's go and hear the gospel preached and sung.
Joe Didtman of Buckley, Ill., came back to spend the summer with us.
W. S. Kilgore made a drive to Sutton Thursday.
Charles Wilson was in Stockham Thursday.
Calvin Negley accompanied the crew that took the snow plow east on Monday - presume that "Brice" held the plow handles.
Fred Meyer lost his driving horse Tuesday.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Will of Thomas Merritt, 1853

There are 201 pages of the probate file for Thomas Merritt of Williamson County, Tennessee on Ancestry. I have a Thomas Merritt in my tree, but it turns out this is not his probate. I'm posting this to include it in the Slave Name Roll Project to help the descendants of the people included. 

In the inventory documents, the names of the people enslaved by Thomas are given on at least three different documents. Some of the names differ on those documents than on his will. Four years separate the Will and the Inventory Appraisal. I've transcribed the Will below.

Releasing - Adaline, Mary, Fanny, Prior, Jane, Peter, Jerry and William, Lucy, Annis, Minerva, Jim, Milly, Joanna, Charles, Mary, Daphny, Bob, Moses, Silas, Lewis, George and Jacob.

from Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 at

In the name of God, Amen
I, Thomas Merritt of the County of Williamson, in the State of Tennessee, do make and publish this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me heretofore made.
Item 1st It is my will and desire that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid, so soon after my death as possible, out of any monies that may be on hand, or may first come into the hands of my executrix, hereafter named.
Item 2nd, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Rebecca Merritt, for and during her natural life, the tract of land on which I live, containing about one hundred and eighty five acres; also all my slaves with their increase, also all my stock of horses, cattle, hogs & sheep, household and kitchen furniture, farming utensils of every kind, together with every other article or piece? of property, debts due me, chosen? in action or money which may be on hand at my death.
Item 3rd It is my will, that at the death of my said wife Rebecca that my said tract of land, together with all other property that may remain except my slaves, be sold, the land on a credit of one and two years, the other property on a credit of twelve months, and the preceeds thereof with any money that may be on hand, together with my slaves aforesaid with their increase, be equally divided among my children, or the heirs of such as may die, together with the children of my deceased son John A. Merritt, To wit Nancy Moon, Jane Johnston, Susan Johnston & Narcissa Johnston, Amanda Moulton, Henry J. Merritt, Bennett B. Merritt, Harvey M Meritt, and Rebecca, Susan, Mary, Frances & Sarah Merritt daughters of said deceased son John A. Merritt, each of which said children of my said deceased son will be entitled to the one fifth of a share of my estate after each of my children accounting for advancementws made by me to wit - 
To Nancy Moon the sum of three hundred & fifty seven dollars for negro, Adaline valued at $300, feather bed & furniture $30 & bedstead & bureau $27.00

To Jane Johnston negro girl Mary valued at $400.00, bed and furniture $30.00 & Bureau $20.00 making in all $450.00
To Susan Johnston negro boy Prior valued at $400.00, bed and furniture $30.00 & Bureau $20.00 making in all $450.00
To Narcissa Johnston negro girl Fanny valued at $400.00, bed and furniture $30.00 & Bureau $20.00 making in all $450.00
To Amanda Moulton negro girl Jane valued at $500.00, Boy Ellick valued at $400.00 bed & furniture $30.00 & Bureau $20.00 making in all $950.00
To my deceased son John A. Merritt, and with which his children will be chargeable, one negro boy named Peter valued at $300.00. One feather bed & furniture $20.00 making in all $320.00
To Bennett B. Merritt one negro boy named Jerry valued at $300.00 One horse at $40.00 one feather bed & furniture $20.00 making in all $360.00
And to Harvey M Merritt one negro boy named William valued at $700.00 One horse at $40.00 & one bed & furniture at $20.00 making in all $760.00
And to Henry J. Merritt one hundred acres of land valued at $800.00 & one bed & furniture $20.00 making in all $820.00
Item 4th I nominate and appoint my wife Rebecca Merritt executrix to this my last will & testament, and it is my will and desire that no security be required of her for the execution thereof. 
In testimony whereof I hereto set my hand and affix my seal this 6th day of October 1853.
Thomas Merritt
Signed, sealed & published in our presence, and we have subscribed our names hereto in the presence of the testator, and at his request and in the presence of each other Oct. 6th, 1853
J. M. E. Stewart
M. L Andrews

In this inventory appraisal, dated August 18, 1857, the names and ages of the enslaved are listed as:  "Lucy age 70 years, Annis 49, Minerva 27, Jim 10, Milly 7, Joanna 5, Charles 3, Mary 18 months, Daphny 20, Adeline 14, Bob 65, Jerry 10, Louis 29, Lee 14, George 12 and Jacob 55 years old". Also "two of the negroes at the iron works who have not as yet come into my possession Moses about 60 years, and Silas about 25 years old."

Friday, October 5, 2018

Friday's Faces from the Past - Miss Canon City, Colorado

Not her official title, of course, but there is no name on this photograph. The picture itself measures about 2" x 4", the brown decorative cardstock frame about 3-1/2" x 6". There were flaps that fold from top and bottom to close, but they've torn off. The picture comes out easily from corner tabs. The photographer's logo is "Affleck, Canon City, Colo." which was easy to trace. In 1930, James Melvin Affleck was a photographer who lived with his wife Grace in Lincoln Park, Fremont County, Colorado. 

The collection of old photos I have once belonged to someone in the Negley family - either my Great Grandma Sadie McGrath or her sister Alice Negley, or maybe their brothers, Bill and Cal, or even their parents Josiah & Sarah. Several pictures were identified as family, and others with names were friends who also lived around Harvard, Stockham or Eldorado, Nebraska. Miss Canon City doesn't seem to fit with any family in my tree. I would guess this pretty lady and/or her parents were friends of the Negley family and likely lived near them at some point in time.

My guess is she is in her twenties and the photo was taken in the 1920's putting her birth within a few years of 1900. She would be a generation younger than Sadie and Alice. Maybe she is a daughter of a close friend. 

I tried uploading the photo to Google Images hoping there was another one somewhere on the internet, but no match was found. So, now I'm hoping someone who reads this post recognizes this woman and will tell me about her. I'm interested in learning who she is, and will be glad to return this photo to her family. Please leave a comment if you have any ideas.