Sunday, December 29, 2019

4 Lines After 30 Years

Year end is always a time to look back. Today instead of looking just at this past year, I'm looking back to when I started keeping track of my family history. In the beginning I kept it on paper. Then in 1995 I got my first home PC and family tree software, and in 1997 connected to the internet. What I wanted to know at that time was the country of origin for each of my family lines. 

As a hobby genealogist working full time, I do the best I can. Going to court houses and anywhere at a distance requires taking vacation days, so while I know things I need to do I just don't have many opportunities to get them done. 

So, I'll just briefly recap my four Grandparents' lines today.

MENKE - my Grandpa Kenneth was the son of Charles Albert, who was the son of Henry Menke. Those three generations are well documented with the basic four (birth, marriage, death and burial) and much more. Henry came from Germany about 1859 "with his parents" according to one biography of him, but I have not learned their names. I have seen online more specific locations of where Henry came from, but I don't see where they're getting the information. Finding Henry's parents would be the next great thing to find on this line.

MANN - my Grandma Doris was a daughter of Clarence, who was a son of William Mann. William came from England about 1851, but I've never found any reference to an exact location. I've also never seen any reference to siblings or parents. I have his birthdate, and if there was an online database where I could search by that it would help. There is one called FREEBMD, but the records there start in 1837. William was born in 1830. I'm stuck at William without knowing his parents' names or his birth place.

BELL - my Grandpa was Stan, his father was Cicero, Cicero's mother was Martha (father is something that "they never talked about"), Martha's father was John Silas and his father was David Bell.  This line is well documented back to David, his children were mentioned in land records. David's place of birth may have been Augusta County, Virginia or Buckingham County, Virginia. His father may have been Joseph Bell and his mother may have been Elizabeth Henderson. I need to work with online Virginia records to see if I can confirm something there. The Bell's in Virginia are believed to be Scots-Irish people, in the US before 1780. I have faith that the Bell line does come from Scotland or Ireland.

McGRATH - my Grandma Violet was a daughter of Arthur, Art was the only son of John McGrath. John was from Dublin, Ireland according to most records. He was in Illinois by 1858. I have his second marriage certificate which gives his parents as Arthur and "R. McCarty". I believe the R stands for Rebecca because that's the name of John's oldest daughter. John's birth year varies a lot in different records so I'd love to find an official birth record for John, But more than that I need to find his first marriage record to Rachel Jane Simmons. This is one of my goals for 2020. A family Bible would really help here, if only I knew of one.

This is only a small part of the work I've done in 30 years. I'm looking forward to retirement, but it seems so far off yet. Hoping 2020 will be a good year!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Christmas Dinners in the News

A little history of Mann family Christmas dinners as played out through the Beatrice Daily Sun...

Mr and Mrs Oscar Mann of near Goodland, Kas., drove to Ellis the last of the week and visited Mr Clarence Mann and family and Will Camp and family and then drove on to Iowa to spend the holidays with relatives Miss Helen Camp, daughter of Mr and Mrs Will Camp who has been attending school in Kansas, accompanied them and will spend the holidays with her parents here. (December 27, 1929)

My Grandma and her twin brother, children of Clarence, would have been 9 years old. There were likely several cousins around their age that would have come with their Uncle Oscar. They must have had fun with them. Their cousin Helen Camp was twice their age.

Dinner Party
The following families enjoyed Christmas dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Mann in Beatrice: Mr. and Mrs. Earl Bartlett and son, Arvid, Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Bartlett and children, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Carpenter, Mr. and Mrs. Pearle Nickeson and Donald and Betty and Mrs. Eva Mathias. (January 3, 1944)
During WWII, the Mann family was celebrating together with a few of the men off to war. A Grandson-in-law had lost his life in service about six months before this Christmas.

Holiday Mann Reunion
A holiday reunion of the family of Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Mann was held at their home at 113 South Sumner St., Sunday, Dec. 28.
All of the sons and daughters were present and most of the grandchildren. A dinner was served followed by an exchange of gifts. (January 9, 1953)

This article goes on to mention everyone present, a total of 67 people. The home at 113 South Sumner Street was a two bedroom home with an unfinished basement. 

Twelve of the thirteen living children of Mrs Clarence Mann, Beatrice and their children enjoyed their annual holiday dinner with her in her home at post-Christmas dinner Sunday. (January 15, 1969) 

This was the first Christmas after Clarence had died. Probably, besides this dinner of the siblings, there was also a grand gathering of the 100 plus descendants of Clarence and Cora Mann. I'm not sure what year the final Christmas gathering of all the descendants of Clarence and Cora Mann was, but this only mentions children and grandchildren. Cora died in July of 1971.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Friday's Faces from the Past - JJ Willy Photo of Four Children

Here I have another photo of children who don't fit in my tree anywhere that I know. Two girls, one boy, one infant of unknown gender were photographed by J J Willy. Children whose parents were probably friends of my Great Grandmother Sadie McGrath or her sister Alice Negley. These children likely lived in Eldorado or Stockham or maybe Harvard, Nebraska around the turn of the century. It would be interesting for me to learn the identity of these children and how they knew my family. I would also like to pass this photo on to their descendants. 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Newspaper Clippings, DeWitt, Nebraska, 1884

When looking for an obituary for my Second Great Grandfather, David A Roscoe, issues of the DeWitt News-Times were missing for the dates immediately following his death on May 13, 1884. Following that date, June 5th was the next issue on the microfilm. I took copies of the Local News as a reminder that I had looked and to share here. Maybe this will help someone else.

My hope is that someday the DeWitt News-Times can be digitized. I'm helping locally to raise funds to digitize all Hall County, Nebraska historic newspapers and I'm aware of the cost and community interest it takes. DeWitt would have my support if they ever consider getting these digitized.

De Witt News-Times, June 5, 1884, top of page

Column I
Pray for rain.
Two ice cream saloons in De Witt.
The population of Beatrice is 6000
Seed Buckwheat at H D Rogers
Framers report a good stand of corn.
Go to Leeper & Crane for canned goods.
The M. E. Church is receiving a coat of paint.
A. H. Denison has a new sign at his harness shop.
Mr Anderson has started his vegetable wagon.
Don't spend your money to see a one-horse circus.
Nebraska is well represented at Chicago this week.
John Calvin lost his stable a few nights ago by fire.
W. H. Staley has built a fine porch to his house.
George Grant has fixed his saloon up in first-class style.
Beatrice, as well as other towns, has a few burglars.
White and Leacock are shipping corn from Swanton.
Richard Davis is building another addition to his house.
Ladies ready made underware at cost at Miss Allensby's.
Mr. Lewis has put a street lamp at his place of business.
Fall Wheat and Rye will soon be ready for the harvesters.
Carpenters are now at work on Mr. Huestis' new house.
Mr. Adam Bucher, of Castor, was in our village last Monday.
Sixteen carloads of stock went up the road Tuesday evening.
Dunning letters have been mailed this week by the hundreds.
Daily papers have been in demand in our town this week.
Carpenters have commenced work on Wm. Nelson's new house.
Leeper & Crane are agents for the celebrated Prairie Bird cigars.
Western will celebrate the 4th. of July this year in grand old style.
C. S. Doty, representing the state Journal, called yesterday.
Strawberry festivals are in order now in every town in Nebraska.
Dr. Duncan and family returned last week from their eastern visit.
Friend will celebrate the 4th of July by holding a county re-union.
An awning has been put to the building occupied by W. H. Coble.
Mr. J. C. Ogle, late of Illinois, is now proprietor of the De Witt house.

Column II
Ladies are invited to look over the large stock of Millinery goods at Miss Allinsby's before purchasing
The big Camp meeting of the Seventh-Day Adventists commenced at Beatrice yesterday, June 4th.
The five thousand bushels of corn that spoiled in Col. Stratton's cribs at this place, is being shipped east.
Mrs. Storms and her sister, Mrs. Leacock, passed through De Witt last Saturday on their way to Exeter.
MARRIED - At De Witt, Sunday, June 1st, 1884, by Rev. E. J. Hancock Mr. N. Roberts and Miss L. Sebring.
Contractor Hickman, of Beatrice has been in our town a few days this week figuring on the school building.
A few loads of potatoes would bring a good price in De Witt if brought in before the new crop is grown.
Those persons having magazines belonging to the De Witt Reading Club are requested to leave them at this office.
Two young girls left their homes at Juniata last week without cause and were found working in a hotel at St. Joseph, Mo.
Supervisors Moffitt and Wilkinson were in De Witt Monday viewing the location for a bridge across the Blue north of town.
We depended on a party at Western for the particulars of the death of Superintendent Storms, but we were disappointed.
Candidates for Congress are begining [sic] to spring up in all directions. Nebraska is full of good men, but they can't all get there.
The strawberry and ice cream sociable given at the M. E. Church on last Friday evening, was a success in every particular.
We have held the publication of our paper one day in hopes that we would be able to name the man who is to be our next president.
Go to Leeper & Crane and get prices on Teas.
The date of the Nebraska Sunday School convention has been changed from Jund [sic] 3, 4 and 5, to June 24, 25, 26. The convention will meet at Wahoo.
Our old friend James Fike, of Pleasant Hill, made us a pleasant call Tuesday. Jim is one of our oldest subscribers, and didn't fail to renew while here.
Byron Drum, the ten year old son of postmaster Drum; at Beatrice, accidently shot himself while taking a gun from a boat last Saturday. He died instantly.
Our people are talking of helping the people of Western celebrate the 4th of July, which is no more than...

Column III
Professional Cards
J. K. L. DUNCAN, M. D.
PHYSICIAN and Surgeon. Office one door east of G. H. Hunt's Residence east of R. R. track.

Will always be found in office opposite Post Office, when not professionally engaged.

Physician & Surgeon
Office in Wehn's Drug Store. All calls promptly attended to.

MRS. JAMES E. SHERRILL, offers her professional services to the afflicted.
Address   DE WITT, NEB


ATTORNEY and Counselor at Law.

And U. S. Pension Agent.

NOTARY PUBLIC and conveyancer.

Pay the highest market price for Grand and stock.

TRANSIENT, 10 cents per line, regular customers, 5 cents per each insertion. Announcements for Church services, Marriages, Birth, and Deaths inserted free.
Chandler Sisters have opened a full line of Millinery in Nelson's building. Prices very low.
Leeper & Crane have the Cream of the candy trade.
Go to Mrs. Dann's for bread, cakes and pies.
Ladies Gause underware, Kid Gloves, and ladies and childrens Stockings at the millinery store.
Have you seen those Elegant panels at Perry's gallery? They are just the kind for standing figures. Parties desiring views of their residence, or any exterior pictures, will do well to call on O. H. PERRY.
Wild & Son have received a large lot of Ams, Shoulders and dried beef.
The finest Oil Stove manufactured, at Murray & Hollingworth's.
The celebrated Kansas Flour at E. Hastings.
Go to Mrs. Dann's for bread, cakes and pies.
Bargains in Carpet, Carpet Warp, and Floor Oil Cloth, at E. Hastings.

De Witt News-Times, June 5, 1884, bottom of page

Column I
FASHIONABLE DRESSMAKING - By Miss Nettie Birdsall, of Binghampton, N. Y. Room at Mrs. Dann's, north of bank
It will not be long now till the new school building will begin to loom up.
The weather has been quite cool in Nebraska for several days, but no frost.
Miss D. A. Chinnock, of Lincoln is visiting her friends in De Witt this week.
"What is the Convention news?" has been asked a great many times this week.
Some of our citizens who went fishing last Saturday, came near being drowned.
De Witt has seven base ball clubs but nary a foot ball club. Why not organize?
DRESS-MAKING - By Miss Mary Ambrose. Room at Mrs. Calvins east of Depot.
J. J. Pierce is in Chicago with a lot of stock that he shipped from this place Friday.
All bids for building the new school house must be in by six o'clock this evening.
Several of our business men are attending Surpervisors meeting this week at Wilber.
The De Witt Literary club will have a pic-nic this afternoon in Dr. Goodell's grove.
Miss Emma Craig has returned to her home in Illinois, where she will probably remain.
Capt. O. H. Phillips, of Beatrice, came up Monday to visit his brother, Mr. Jas. Phillips.
Hardware of all kinds at Murray & Hollingworth's.
The houses of Alfred Hazlett and C. M. Emery at Beatrice, were burglarized Sunday night.
The county Supervisors are in session this week with a large amount of business to attend to.
Dr. Duncan has the finest fence in the village. We have not seen it but that is what we hear.
Our job department has had a rush the past two weeks, and we have turned out some fine work.
Go to William Wild & Son for the choicest collection of Flowers ever brought to De Witt. Prices as low as [?] the county.

Column II
...4th of July, which is no more than they should do, as Western helped De Witt last year.
Some hungry devil who was too proud to beg but not too honest to steal, broke into the De Witt meat market Sunday night and helped himself to a few choice cuts.
Dr. J. E. Hiltz gave two lectures on Spiritualism in De Witt last week. The house was well filled with chairs and benches, but very few of our people were sold out by him.
Cole's circus company carried $8,000 out of Beatrice, and still the people of that city and surrounding country, are soon to be swindled out of more of their cash by another show.
News reached us yesterday of the death of Mr. John Burger, who for the past six years has been a resident and much respected citizen of Gage county. Mr. Burger has many frends in De Witt who will miss him.
A gentleman from Friend, by the name of Carnehan, has rented the Blue Valley house and will take possession July 1st. Mr. Dulin, at that time will open the Iowa house and run a first class hotel.
Decoration day was observed by the people of this place and vicinity, and seven soldiers graves were decorated by the school children. A short address was made by Hon. H. M. Wells, at the cemetery, when the exercises closed and the people returned to their homes.
A. W. Carmichael has made the first delivery of his books, "Anecdotes and Incidents of the Rebellion," and they are giving perfect satisfaction, not only with the old soldiers, but everyone is interested. Mr. C. is still canvasing and es [sic] the book is more than worth the price, everybody should subscribe. 
Willard H. Stormes died May 27th, of lung fever after an illness of but a few days, aged 45 years. He came to Saline county in 1872, and located a homestead in South Fork Precinct, where he died. He filled the office of Sheriff one term, and at the time of his death was on his second term as county Superintendent. His remains were followed to the cemetery by at least one thousand friends, one hundred and fifty of them being Masons, to which order he belonged. The many friends of Mr. Stormes, are now in sympathy with the widow and fatherless children of our esteemed county superintendent.

Column III
I am closing out my entire stock of Dry Goods and Clothing. If you want good bargans call and examine my stock. Good Domestics at 7 to 9 cents. Good print 20 yds, $1.00 Standard 16 yds. $.00
H. Hitchcock

All persons knowing themselves indebted to the firm of H. D. Rogers & Son, are requested to call on the undersigned, or cost will be made.

Our merchant, E. Hastings, has lately received an immense line of Boots, Shoes and Slippers. It takes a great quantity of these goods to supply his trade. It is no secret that the cause of this success is the superior quality of the goods he keeps and the low price at which he is able to sell them.

Avery's corn planters and check rowers at Denny & Pelcer's.
You can buy a hat at Hitchcock from fifty cents up.

H. Hitchcock sells boots and shoes twenty per cent lower than any other house in the county.

Go to Mrs. Dann's for bread, cakes and pies.
G. A. Hunt's stock of clothing is the largest in Saline county.

At the lumber yard of H. Hollingworth you can find Oak and Cedar posts. Illinois and Iowa coal, and everything that belongs to the lumber trade.

A handsome stock of clothing has just been opened up at the Red Lion Store. Call in and get good clothing cheap.

The best variety of Canned goods in the market at Leeper & Crane's.

Free Delivery
Flour and Feed delivered free to any part of the village by,

Land for Sale
Eighty acres of land, Forty acres broke, for sale on reasonable terms. Land is located about six miles southwest of De Witt. Persons wishing to buy will receive all necessary information from Mr. Burns, De Witt.

Estray Notice
Strayed from the farm of the undersigned, about ten miles west of De Witt, one black mare pony with white star in face. Any person returning the same or giving information of her, will be liberally rewarded.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

C L Mann Selling Out

In 1940 my Great Grandpa Clarence Mann sold off his farm equipment. As of April 1st in the census of 1940, he was 61 years old, renting a home at 640 West Bismark in Beatrice for $12 a month with 4 people in the household. He noted he was seeking work and had been unemployed for three weeks (that would be about March 4th). He reported income of $200 in all of 1939.

This sale bill would likely have been posted in the Post Office, banks and many other businesses in the area. There isn't much here, probably the last of the farming equipment he ever owned. He had been a full-time farmer for many years. In the next few years, he went to work at Dempster Mills in Beatrice.


On the R. D. Hemminger acreage on Beatrice Memorial Drive west of Rock Island Railroad, on

Monday, Mar. 4

Commencing at 1:00 o'clock


Bay mare, 10 years old, wt 1150 lbs.


Kentuck press drill
Dempster two row cultivator
P. & O. two row disc cultivator
John Deere 12 inch gang plow
Case one row lister
One row cultivator
McCormick mower
Hay rake
Manure spreader

Three section harrow
Mitchell box wagon
Hay rack
Steel wheel truck wagon
Four wheel trailer
Five shovel garden plow


Two sets of work harness
Set of leather nets

Forks, scoops, 3 rolls slat cribbing
Hog trough, grindstone
Other articles too numerous to mention

Terms: Cash

C. L. Mann

Ruyle & Ruyle, Auctioneer and Clerk