Holdrege Area Genealogy Club

Holdrege Area Genealogy Club The Holdrege Area Genealogy Club is located at the Nebraska Prairie Museum in Holdrege, Nebraska. We meet the 4th Monday of every month at 2:00 PM.

The Holdrege Area Genealogy Club is associated with the Genealogy Library at the Nebraska Prairie Museum in Holdrege, Nebraska. They meet once a month, usually on the 4th Monday of the month at 2 PM. The public is welcome to attend. The meetings are held at the Museum at 2701 Burlington Street, Holdrege, Nebraska.

01/27/2019

HOUSING ACT

There wasn’t any architect,
No banker made a loan
To solve their housing problem
They were strictly on their own
They didn’t sign a mortgage
And they didn’t own a lot
They stopped their covered wagon
At a likely looking spot.

Only sod to build their houses
Hard packed earth their floors
Windows few and far in between

And had made were their doors
No Timber, now lumber mills
Not even native stone;
But when at last they had them done
A home to call their own.

No mansion, but a sturdy house
Their own strong hand had made
It stood on fertile acres
That had never been surveyed.
No warranty, no abstract fee
No red tape legal fuss; They just came out and built the west
And left all that to us

01/27/2019

THE SODDIE BECAME THE HOME OF MANY EARLY SETTLERS

Written by Sandra Slater

This part of the country had few trees to build anything. The Pawnee Indians built sod structures called earth lodges that were a round structure. Perhaps this is how the white man learned to build their sod houses.

As the white man came to this area, they learned to build sod houses. These houses were warm in the winter and cool in the summer and they could be built relatively inexpensively. The prairie grass, used in these sod houses, could get as high as 6 feet tall. Blocks of the sod were cut with the curved edge sod cutter if the homesteader had a sod plow available to him. A 16x20 foot house would require about 3,000 blocks to be cut. They were placed with root side on the outside of the structure creating a wide wall at the bottom of the structure and thinner walls at the top. The window and door opening were at least 3 feet wide. This made a solid structure that was almost fireproof.

The housewife had to deal with sifting dirt and insects and mice burrowing the walls and roof and at times, a leaking roof. She found numerous ways to make this a comfortable home by either plastering or papering the walls, making cozy rugs and adding her special family treasures to the home.

One way to find out more about the farm house and the sod structures on the farm is to search for the homestead papers for Nebraska found on Fold 3 or Ancestry or go to the Homestead Monument at Beatrice, Nebraska where they will locate the papers for you. Records indicate that only about 50 percent of the homestead claims were completed in the 5-year time frame.

Recently, Holdrege Area Genealogy Club was requested to research the Peter Bengston family who came to Phelps County in 1881. None of their five children married so little could be found about this family until the detailed account from the homestead papers were located.

On August 27, 1887, Peter Bengtson, a Swedish settler in Phelps county, completed his homestead requirement and had his neighbors testify that he had been on farm for 5 years and had made these improvements.
He built a sod house 18 X 12 feet with a wing 12 X 12. The sod house had two doors and 3 windows covered with boards and sod worth $50. Other improvements were a frame stable 16 by 24 with straw roof worth $25; frame granary 16x16 feet covered with straw worth $10; a well and windmill valued at $200; 55 acres of fence worth $100 had been built and about 500 shade trees had been planted.

He also had 3 plows, 1 cultivator, 1 wagon, 1 mower, ½ interest in a self-binder, 1 hay rake, 1 harrow, 6 horses, 8 head of cattle, 75 chickens, 12 hogs. In the house they had 1 Stove, 2 tables, 2 beds, 1 sewing machine, 3 chairs, 1 cupboard and cooking utensils.

He had farmed for six seasons, raising wheat, corn, broom corn, oats, rye and potatoes. The first year he broke 52 acres of land and raised corn and broom corn; 2nd. year total acres broke was 66 acres and he raised wheat, corn and broom corn; 3rd. year he had broke 76 acres, then continued to till more every year. 1887 had a total of 95 acres of cultivated land and had raised 1200 bushels of corn.

Not all homestead papers give you such a detailed description but will definitely give you a detailed listing of the home and other structures. Most of the houses were not any larger then most of our living rooms. Hard to visualize raising a family of 10 to 12 children in them.

An organization called the National Sod House Society in Nebraska still meets in Nebraska. A number of the members were once raised in a sod homes and currently two of their members in the 30s and 40s are currently living in their family’s sod house. Both men have modernized with electricity and running water. You can contact this organization at https://www.facebook.com/pg/National-Sod-House-Society. Nebraska Prairie Museum is home base of the National Sod House Society.

The Nebraska Historical Society has a research program locating sod structures in Nebraska. The project consists of a sort of DNA test on the material these sod buildings were built with. This includes type of soil and grass that was used, how the building was constructed, old photographs and current photos of the building. Anyone who might know of a current sod structure should contact Diane Laffin who is Architectural[SS1] Historian at the Nebraska State Historical Society. The Historical Society’s phone number is (402) 471-4782

06/26/2017

Homesteading in Nebraska

Come and hear Susan Cook, Chief of Interpretation, Resource Management of Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, Nebraska.

Event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 1:00 P.M.
Nebraska Prairie Museum
2701 Burlington
Holdrege, NE

There is no charge for this event. There will be a Question and Answer time following the lecture, as well as coffee and cookies served.

Sponsored by the Phelps County Genealogical Society and the Furnas County Genealogical Society

Questions: call Sandra Slater 308-995-5015
or Nancy Knuth 308-824-3789

GERMAN & SCANDINAVIAN FAMILY HISTORY EXPONEBRASKA PRAIRIE MUSEUMNorth on Highway 183, Holdrege, NebraskaAugust 25-27Spon...
08/08/2016
Welcome

GERMAN & SCANDINAVIAN
FAMILY HISTORY EXPO
NEBRASKA PRAIRIE MUSEUM
North on Highway 183, Holdrege, Nebraska
August 25-27
Sponsored by Holdrege Area Genealogy Club
FEATURING
Ruth Ellen Maness, AGsm
Ruth Has Over 35 Years’ Experience Researching German and Scandinavian Records
For Agenda and Registration Form Go To
https://www.familyhistoryexpos.com/viewevent/index/146
or call 501-733-0932
Consult With The Expert Ruth Maness
20 Minute consultation with professional genealogist. Reserve your spot by registering by August 15, 2016
PROGRAMS INCLUDE:
German Church, Civil Registration Vital Records
It’s Not All On Line
Reading Germanic and Scandinavian Gothic Script to Decipher Record Patterns
Avoiding Mistakes in German and Scandinavian Research
German and Scandinavian Websites

07/27/2016

Letter received by Sandra Slater:

Hi,

I frequent thrift stores in the Minneapolis area and if I feel orphaned photos are traceable I try to return them to family for my cost plus shipping. Last weekend I bought some. Two (3X4) are later copies of 1890s originals; the male pic is inscribed, "My father/ William Grant Rouse/ about the time he was married (1897)", the woman's has, "My mother/ about the time she was married/ Elsie Dora Wilson". She has a white blouse with a ruffled collar; he is dressed in white tie. The third is (4x6) a photo of them together later in life, perhaps an anniversary, he is wearing a suit and she is sporting a corsage. They are Find A Grave Memorial# 22918898 & 22918922. The photos are inscribed in their daughter Dorothy Rouse Bakker's handwriting. She is Find A Grave Memorial# 73539798. Dorothy's daughter Barbara married David McConahay in Sioux Falls 15 Jul 1962. Dorothy was a founder of the Mayflower Society in SD; I believe she would appreciate my endeavor!

David McConahay was from Holdrege, NE. Son of Dr. Harold "Mac" McC. and Bernice "Bernie" Nokes. Included in the cache were 1928 HS graduation pics of them, one beautifully hand-colored and framed inscribed to Harold from "your pal" Bernice. They married in 1935; son David was born 13 Feb 1939. There was a younger daughter Ann. I have also a photo inscribed "Mac's Mom and Dad's wedding Day", Clyde and Mildred Ireland McC., married 23 Sept 1903. Find A Grave Memorial# 58527645 & 58527651. Lastly, a 1954 Xmas card with the 2 children pictured on the cover; there were a few more cards but I bought the only one dated.

I believe David was a cardiologist in the Kansas City area, I believe I find him on a website as age 77 and retired from a Mission Hills, KS clinic. I also note his mother and MIL died in that area, likely close to their children toward the end.

If you could please circulate this information around your club and perhaps post it on your genweb site I'd appreciate it. As the McC. children attended school there in the 50s and 60s hopefully someone there knows them (School reunion roster?) and can get in touch with either or both.

I am sending this same letter to the Minnehaha Co, SD genealogy site, but thought I had a better chance in NE with the family living there within a generation.

My scanner is on the fritz now; I will post all these pics on findagrave when I can.

Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

Best,

Kent Gebhard

Nebraska Prairie Museum
07/04/2016

Nebraska Prairie Museum

The Nebraska Prairie Museum was just awarded Top Rated Specialty Museum by Trip Advisor. A plaque was given to the museum with quotes from some of the many visitors who wrote reviews online on the Trip Advisor website. Many complimentary reviews from Nebraska Prairie Museum visitors have been uploaded to the museum's web page and page. The page has a 5-star rating.

We at the Nebraska Prairie Museum are so grateful to our visitors, our membership and our friends in Phelps County who support the museum. This award is a testiment to the support we get from all of you. Thank You.

Thank you for inviting us to Holdrege. We are so thrilled to bring the Scandinavian and German Research Expo to your are...
07/01/2016
Familyhistoryexpos.com

Thank you for inviting us to Holdrege. We are so thrilled to bring the Scandinavian and German Research Expo to your area. For details go to: https://www.familyhistoryexpos.com/viewevent/index/146

A Family History Expo provides networking, training, skill building, products, professional research assistance, opportunities to volunteer, share your skills with others, and the opportunity to discover something new at each event.

We're excited to have the expo in Holdrege! It will be a great opportunity for family historians to know more about thei...
07/01/2016
Familyhistoryexpos.com

We're excited to have the expo in Holdrege! It will be a great opportunity for family historians to know more about their Scandinavian and German ancestors.

A Family History Expo provides networking, training, skill building, products, professional research assistance, opportunities to volunteer, share your skills with others, and the opportunity to discover something new at each event.

10/24/2015

Holdrege Area Genealogy Club will meet on Monday, October 26 at 2:00 p.m at Nebraska Prairie Museum. Hope to see you there!

05/20/2015

GAR RECORDS DONATED TO OUR LIBRARY

Grover Post Grand Army of the Republic organization records have been donated to our library. This is the very earliest post in Phelps County. One book has all the member’s names, their occupation, address, enlistment and discharge dates. This is wonderful information if you are searching for information on your Civil War relative.

The GAR organization was comprised of Union Veterans that had served in the Army, Navy or Marine Corps.

The 1862 Homestead Act gave them the right to claim 160 acres within railroad grant areas (other homesteaders got only 80). Another amendment in 1872 gave Union veterans the right to deduct the length of their war service from the five-year residency needed to prove a homestead. This is why we have so many Civil War Veterans who came to Nebraska.

I have been contacted by Dean R. Podoll from La Vista, NE who is compiling information on the Civil War Veterans of Nebraska. So we searched to see what we could find out about the GAR posts in Phelps County. Here is the list below:

No 134 Loomis (Pratt Post) 1893-1896 Peak membership 17. . The post was named after Captain Harvey Pratt of the 73rd ILL Infantry. Charter Member included Thomas Hatch, 73rd IL Inf.

No. 134 Atlanta (Pratt Post) 1897-1901- Initially the Post was located in Loomis. and relocated to Atlanta in 1897. The Post met at the schoolhouse on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. Membership was 29. Oldest Atlanta veteran was Oscar Roberts who died 29 Sep 1924, age 91.

No. 213 Bertrand (McClellan Post) 1885-1888 – Peak Membership was 18 in 1886. The Post was named for General George McClellan of the Army of the Potomac.

No. 111 Phelps (Glover Post) Membership unknown. The post was probably named for Sergeant T. B. Grover on the 2nd United States Cavalry. Grover was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Grover Post started in Phelps Center, Phelps County, Nebraska on September 9, 1882. This was Phelps Counties second County Seat. Charter Members included Pvt. John Carter, 22nd Indiana Inf.

No. 111 Holdrege (Glover Post) 1882-1937 – Peak membership 52 in 1884. . On January 12, 1884, the post was moved to Holdrege, Nebraska. Last member to survive was Landy Walker who died 12 Jan 1937. GAR purchased a cemetery section at Prairie Home Cemetery, Holdrege where many their Civil War Veterans are buried.

128 SACRAMENTO (Mulligan) Dec. 5, 1882-1884 Charter surrendered 2/29/1884 – Named after Brig. General James A. Mulligan-1830-1864...23 ILL.13 W.Va...Killed at Winchester, Va. Charter members include Cpl. Abner Johnson-13th W.Va. Inf. Met at schoolhouse on 1st & 3rd Saturdays. Membership: Charter-14 Peak-17 in 1884 Total-19

If anyone has additional information on these Posts, please let us know.

05/19/2015

Sandra Slater of Holdrege received the Nebraska State Genealogist of the Year Award at the Nebraska State Genealogy Society's Conference in Grand Island.
In 1980, when she volunteered in the research library at the Nebraska Prairie Museum in Holdrege, it was mostly empty shelves in one room of the museum. Since that time, it has grown to three rooms, each filled to overflowing with research ,aterials. She does most of the research for the requests that come by mail, phone, email or in person.
ESU #11 sends students to Mrs. Slater who are interested in working in libraries. She shows these high school students how a library works, and how the work is done.
Mrs. Slater has done book research for the published Lesher Referendum Dollar project, and has produced a PowerPoint program for the German POW camp at Atlanta. In 2014 she co-authored the book, "Plum Creek-The Rest of the Story" for the Phelps County Historical Society.
Almost every PCHS and Holdrege Area Genealogy Club newsletter has an article written by her. She was awarded the Phelps County Community Foundation's "Random Acts of Kindness Award" in 2014, and a Holdrege Hometown Citizen award in 2015.
Sandra is always happy and willing to help anyone find out more about their genealogy. For all these reasons, and also because she is a very special person, the Holdrege Area Genealogy Club nominated her for the state award.

05/17/2015

Our Club meets the 4th Monday of each month at the Nebraska Prairie Museum, and you are always welcome to come to our meetings.
We would be happy to help you with your family history questions as well. Our volunteers are available every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon at the Nebraska Prairie Museum's Don O. Lindgren Library from 1:00 to 5:00 PM to answer any of your questions.
We have an extensive history collection on local businesses, town histories, obituaries, marriages, school histories and family biographies.
We also have a large selection of historic newspapers on microfilm for Phelps, Gosper and Harlan Counties, Elm Creek in Buffalo County and Overton in Dawson County, Nebraska.
If you wish to use the microfilm, please come on the days our volunteers can assist you.

Holdrege Area Genealogy Club's cover photo
05/15/2015

Holdrege Area Genealogy Club's cover photo

Holdrege Area Genealogy Club
05/15/2015

Holdrege Area Genealogy Club

Address

2701 Burlington St
Holdrege, NE
68949

General information

Our Club meets the 4th Monday of each month at the Nebraska Prairie Museum, and you are always welcome to come to our meetings. We would be happy to help you with your family history questions as well. Our volunteers are available every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon at the Nebraska Prairie Museum's Don O. Lindgren Library from 1:00 to 5:00 PM to answer any of your questions. We have an extensive history collection on local businesses, town histories, obituaries, marriages, school histories and family biographies. We also have a large selection of historic newspapers on microfilm for Phelps, Gosper and Harlan Counties, Elm Creek in Buffalo County and Overton in Dawson County, Nebraska. If you wish to use the microfilm, please come on the days our volunteers can assist you.

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