Sunday, February 10, 2019

Negley Properties in Eldorado, Nebraska

Josiah and Sarah Negley moved from Decatur County, Iowa sometime between 1883 and 1887 to Clay County, Nebraska. They were in their late 30's and had five children.1
I don't know if they owned property in Iowa (I haven't had the opportunity to look), but I've found a few deeds for property they owned in Eldorado, a town that no longer exists. This map of Eldon (the original name of Eldorado) was in a book at the Clay County courthouse. I think that "State Street" is Highway 14 so if that's correct, about all that is left of Eldorado today is a few houses that stand in the area of Block Three between Maple and Center streets. The railroad tracks were torn out years ago, but I remember them crossing the highway. Eldorado sat between Harvard and Stockham on the line. I've seen a note in the social column of an old the Harvard Courier that said Sarah Negley took the train to Stockham which is a distance of about 5 miles.

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The first deed I found was in Sarah's name. This wasn't the first time I have found deeds in my female ancestors' name, so I'm no longer surprised but still curious if there was a reason for a married woman being named and not her husband. On December 1, 1897, she paid $75.00 for Lot 1 in Block 3, the top right corner of the left hand block between Maple and Center streets. The deed states the Lot "having been contracted to be sold to William J. Stockham by said Pioneer Town Site Company... and said contract being subsequently assigned to said Sarah M. Negley". 

In November, 1904 Josiah contracted to purchase from Pioneer Town Site Company Lot 2 in Block 3, the property just south of the Lot Sarah bought in 1897. On December 18, 1907 for $50 the property was conveyed to Josiah F. Negley.

On September 29, 1908, Calvin Negley, youngest son of Josiah & Sarah had just turned 21 years old. He paid Art & Daisy Cranstone $750 for Lots 1, 2, 3 & 4 in Block 4. That's the small corner piece of land to the east (right) of Railroad Street. His father witnessed the deed along with Ezra Ayer, a neighbor and family friend. 

On January 12, 1909, Josiah received the deed for land he contracted  in July, 1906. Out Lots E and F, which as stated in the description "Said premises being formerly known as Lots one (1) and two (2) in Block numbered (2)..." .

1909, at age 63, Josiah is still buying property. For $100 he bought Lots 3 and 4 in Block 3 "having been contracted to Milton A. Fairchild by Pioneer Town Site Company...". The name Milton A. Fairchild was familiar to me from a photograph I had found with the Negley family's possessions in the Old Trunk in the Attic. 

At this point, Josiah and Sarah owned Lots 1 through 4 in Block 3 and Outlots E and F, or Lots 1 and 2 in Block 2. Son Calvin owned four Lots in Block 4. In 1912, Josiah became the Justice of the Peace in Eldorado. His sons Calvin and Bill ran general mercantile stores in Eldorado and Harvard at times, but I haven't been able to find more information on when exactly. I would guess they had a store on the property that Calvin owned, but I'm not sure. 

On April 10, 1913 Calvin sold his four Lots in Block 4 to George W. Dill for $350. That was quite a loss for him after paying $750 for it five years before.  A year later a fire destroyed the towns grain elevator and lumber yard which would have been devastating to the town.  

Josiah Negley suffered a stroke about 1915 and was paralyzed until his death in April, 1922. Just three weeks before his death, he and Sarah sold to Adam G. Ross and Peter Hein "Out Lot F" for $200. The description matches exactly with the earlier deed calling it "Outlot E and F", for which they paid $100. 

Three days after Josiah's death, his children gifted their interest in Lots 2, 3 and 4 in Block 3 to their mother for $1.00 and love and affection. Spouses Lena Negley and Art McGrath relinquished all their marital rights and interests. 

The final two deeds I found that day were between Sarah and two of her children, dated March 28, 1923. She conveyed Lot 1 in Block 3 to Calvin and her unmarried daughter Alice got Lots Two, Three and Four in Block Three. Both for $1.00, love and affection, to have and to hold "from after my death". Sarah died on October 11, 1927.

1 Clarification: Josiah and Sarah had six children: George Oscar, Newton, Alice, Sadie, William and Calvin. Newton died in August, 1887 and the next month Calvin was born.


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