Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Stories: The John Henry and Caroline Virginia (Sinco) Johnson Family

Excerpted from the Sutherland Centennial 1891 – 1991, published in 1991.

John Henry Johnson was a widely known and highly honored early pioneer of the Sutherland Community, arriving here in the year of 1885. With an eye for what the future had in store for this area, and having faith and acting in good judgment, he reaped the benefits of his hard work.
John Henry was born in Putnam County, Indiana on May 29, 1847, the son of Abraham and Lucinda (Woods) Johnson. Abraham was a farmer in Indiana until 1885, when he moved his family to Ringgold County, Iowa. There he also farmed. John Henry was about eight years of age when the family moved to Iowa, there he received his education.

On completing his education, Mr. Johnson farmed until 1885, when he came to Lincoln County and obtained a homestead on the NW ½ of Section 30, Township 13, Range 34, 12 miles southwest of Sutherland.
He was an eye-witness and a participant to the wonderful transformation which took place here in the years to follow.

His first years here were characterized by toil of the most strenuous sort, but he persisted and by unremitting industry, and sound judgment in his operation, he finally realized the success which was bound to result from his enterprise. He conducted general farming operations and in later years retired to a home on eight acres in the town of Sutherland.

April 14, 1870, he was united in marriage to Caroline Virginia Sinco, a native of Jefferson County, Iowa. They became the parents of 10 children: Leona J., the wife of Fred Pierson of Sutherland; Ottie, the wife of C. B. McKinstry, a banker at Sedgwick, Colorado; Eunice, the wife of S. E. Anderson; Mable, the wife of J. N. Buchanan of Sedgwick, Colorado; Mary Francis, the wife of Harry McElroy Stewart, a farmer near Sutherland; Bertha who was a teacher in the Sutherland Public School System; Mortimer, who was in the hardware and implement business; Abraham, a farmer near Elsie, Nebraska. Alger, who had a furniture and hardware business in Laramie, Wyoming; 
and Otto V. who at the outbreak of the war between the United States and Germany offered his service to his country, becoming a member of Company K, 355th Regiment, 89th Division. He was sent overseas with his Regiment, and after active and faithful service was killed in battle on November 6, 1918; five days before the signing of the Armistice. Otto was a young man of excellent qualities of character, popular among his associates, and his death was greatly regretted throughout the community.
Mr. Johnson gave his political support to the Democratic Party. Was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

He passed away at his home on August 16, 1926. His wife, Caroline, died July 24, 1927. Both laid to rest at the Sutherland Cemetery.

Note: The Sutherland American Legion Post #208 was named after Otto V. Johnson. You can read more about that HERE in a previous post.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Stories: Dr. Dan Nguyen Family

Excerpted from the Sutherland Centennial 1891 – 1991, published in 1991.
I moved to Sutherland, Nebraska in June 1979. My wife, Marie, followed me in August of 1979 after completing her contract with Western Nebraska Technical College. I had previously been practicing Medicine in Bridgeport, Nebraska, and Marie was the Director of the Cosmetology Program. Our first contact prior to the move was the current president of the Hospital Board, Ken Beatty. We had already visited with the current Physicians, Drs. Tran and Pham about the practice and it seemed like a good opportunity for us and it would move us closer to my wife’s family in Grand Island.

The Power Plant was still being built and it was difficult finding a place to live. We made arrangements for a small house and when we arrived, much to our surprise, the tenants decided to stay and the landlady told us we would have to make other arrangements. Pat Thomas quickly found us a place to live in his mother’s mobile home next to Charlie and Alice Fleecs’ house. We were very lucky to even find this.

On September 25, 1979, Dan’s brother came to visit for the first time and ironically that was the same day we discovered we would be expecting our first child.

Marie joined the Mrs. J.C.’s and Dan had time to develop the practice. I remember the winter being particularly cold and icy. Marie drove to North Platte every day to work as an instructor at the North Platte Beauty School.
In 1980, our first child was born, a baby girl, Kaili Marie Nguyen. This was the first of Dan’s family to be born on American soil. One month later we bought our first home and moved in July 1, 1980. It was located at 411 Elm. We remodeled it extensively and lived at that home nearly three years. Elmer and Bonnie Nelson were our neighbors to the south and they were just like our surrogate parents.

In October of 1982 we discovered that a second addition to the Nguyen family could be expected in June of 1983. We decided to put the home up for sale and look for a bigger home. In the meantime our daughter, Kaili attended Grandma Ruby’s Busy Bees Pre-School at age 3.

Finally our home sold in April of 1983,and we bought a home down the street at 211 Elm. We moved in April 16, 1983, and our second daughter was born one month later. We named her Danielle after her father, and she too was a beautiful baby girl.

We lived and worked in Sutherland for five years and planned to live there and raise our family, when suddenly an opportunity to buy another practice in North Platte came to our attention. This meant a move closer to the hospital. It was pretty clear after faithfully serving the Sutherland community for five years that this was not realistic on a full time basis. Dr. Dan decided it would be better to practice in Sutherland part time and in North Platte part time.

On September 3, 1984, we moved to North Platte, and both Dr. Dan and Marie continued to drive to Sutherland to continue working there. Marie has since retired from hair dressing and is working in North Platte, while Dr. Dan continues to serve the people in Sutherland at the clinic.

While living in Sutherland, the Nguyen family were members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the Mrs. J.C.s, the Lions Club, the Optimist Club and an extension Club.

We have fond memories of living in Sutherland and still keep in contact with many of our friends there.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

North Platte Giving Day

Over the years, I have watched successful "Giving Days" be established in Lincoln and Omaha and have an incredible impact on non-profit organizations there - raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm not pleased to share that the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation in North Platte has established the first-ever North Platte Giving Day. Here's to hoping locals generously open their wallets and support these non-profits that provide so many vital services to our communities.

Here, in alphabetical order are the charities included in the Giving Day:
20th Century Veterans Memorial
American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Lincoln County
Boy Scouts Overland Trails Council
Brady School Foundation Fund
Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Center
Caring for the Heart - Nebraska
Community Connections
Connection Homeless Shelter
D and N Event Center
Deborah's Legacy, Inc.
Fur the Love of PAWS Rescue
Gift of Hope Cancer Foundation
Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska
Golden Spike Tower - Relocate and Save the Depot
Goodfellow Shoe Fund
Great Plains Health Callahan Cancer Center
Great Plains Health Care Foundation
Guardians of the Children Flatrock Chapter
Heartland Singers
Hershey Public School Educational Foundation
Hershey Youth League
L2 for Kids, Inc.
Lake Maloney Trail Fund
Legal Aid of Nebraska
Lincoln County CASA
Lincoln County Community Development Corporation
Lincoln County Crime Stoppers
Lincoln County Historical Museum
Little Lamb Christian Daycare and Preschool
Maxwell Public School Scholarship Foundation
Miss Nebraska Scholarship Foundation Fund
Nebraska Children's Home Society
Nebraska Youth Center
NEBRASKAland DAYS Foundation
NET Foundation for Television
NET Radio
North Platte Area Children's Museum
North Platte Area RSVP Fund
North Platte Catholic Schools Endowment-Trust, Inc.
North Platte Citizen Advocacy, Inc
North Platte Community College Foundation
North Platte Community Playhouse
North Platte Concert Association
North Platte Habitat for Humanity
North Platte Kids Academy
North Platte Public Library Foundation Fund
North Platte Public School Foundation
North Platte Recreation Center Fund
North Platte Senior Center - Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska

Giving Day begins at midnight on May 3, 2016 and continues until Midnight - a full 24 hours to give! All you need is a credit card or debit card and Internet access! There are matching donors available, and cash prizes for those non-profits with the most donors and the most donations!

Mark your calendar and be sure to participate!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Stories: Sutherland Longhorn Bar

Excerpted from the Sutherland Centennial 1891 – 1991, published in 1991.

The earliest reference to the Longhorn Bar in Sutherland is “Mr. Joe Altmeier was the first owner of the Longhorn Bar. It was located on the west side of Walnut Street in the building where John Emery had operated a Drug Store, and had moved it.” (Sutherland Centennial, p. 84).

While no date is given for that reference, elsewhere in the Sutherland Centennial Book, we find that “In July, 1932, four strangers robbed Emery’s store of a number of watches. Mr. John Emery moved his drug store and fountain to the southeast corner of Front Street and Walnut St. In May, 1934, a new all modern automatic ice cream machine was installed at the drug store.” (Sutherland Centennial, p. 58)

The inference is that sometime between the 1932 robbery and the 1934 installation of new equipment, the Emery Drug Store had moved. From that, we infer that the Longhorn Bar in Sutherland dates from approximately 1933.

The further history of the Longhorn Bar shows that the bar was later sold to C.R. Frisbie, who moved it across the street east where it occupied the north part of the building that housed the S.G. Aden Grocery Store. There were apartments and rooms on the second floor. In later years, Hurshel and Vera Wisdom operated the Sutherland Style Shop on the whole lower floor. The building has since been demolished.

Robert Goedert, who had worked for Mr. Frisbie later purchased the business from Mr. Frisbie and in time moved it to 924 First Street.

Subsequent owners were Wesley Van Vleet (July 1958), George Kallhoff, Art and Henrietta Minshull, Gene and Margaret Baker (October 1978), who moved the business to its current location in the mid 1990’s, Terry Schmidt, and present owners Dave and Becky Cheloha (2004). (Sutherland Centennial, p. 84)

In all, the Longhorn Bar has been a fixture in Sutherland for more than 80 years, with nine owners.
The buildings occupied by the Longhorn Bar have a very storied history as well. The bar currently occupies the footprint of four original buildings.

On the corner is the Sutherland State Bank Building. The reference the Centennial book states “February 20, 1908, saw the bank moving to a new building on the corner of Front and Walnut Street.” (Sutherland Centennial, p. 41).

Next to that, on the east on First Street (The original Front Street) is the Star Theater building. While the date of the construction of the building is unknown, in 1934, during the construction of the Sutherland Reservoir, John Townsend was hired by the Goodall Company of Ogallala to oversee the preparation of the Star Theater. Improvements to the theater in October, 1939 included new upholstered seats and air conditioning. The Star Theater continued operating in Sutherland until the mid 1970’s. (Sutherland Centennial p. 102)

Directly to the north of the Sutherland State Bank Building, the Longhorn Bar occupies a building that originally held three separate business locations opening on Front Street. The earliest reference to this building in the Sutherland Centennial book is that James F. Humphrey constructed the building sometime during the late teens. (Sutherland Centennial, p. 45). At one time, Tim Aden’s great-great uncle Vance VanArsdall, operated a barber shop in one of the business locations, sometime before 1921 when both he and his wife, along with an infant daughter, died of an influenza epidemic. (Sutherland Centennial, p. 591, and “Find A Grave” records for the Sutherland Cemetery).
Finally, Dave and Becky Cheloha purchased a vacant lot that had previously been occupied by a building that was originally the post office, and is believed to have been built in 1911. This building was condemned and demolished in 2014. The vacant lot will eventually serve as the beer garden for the Longhorn Bar.
It was announced in early April that longtime Sutherland business, the Longhorn Bar, has changed ownership. Dave and Becky Cheloha, after having owned the bar for 12 years, have sold the business to Tim Aden.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Know Nebraska: Lincoln Highway - Duncan

A trip down Nebraska's Lincoln Highway toward the eastern end of the state takes you through myriad beautiful small towns. Duncan is one of these.
In Lincoln Highway lore, Duncan is famed for its "tree lane". Pictured above, these two lines of trees lined the original Lincoln Highway in 1913.
From Duncan wasn't always Duncan. The first post office was established in 1869, " the fertile valley of the Platte River, six miles west of Columbus," and according to legend, called "Cherry Hill," for the wild cherries found in the Sandhills. The first postmaster was Alonzo Shepard.

In 1871 the Union Pacific platted a town at this location which it called "Jackson." However, since that name was already taken by a town in Dakota County, the railroad was obliged to choose another. Finally, in 1880, the name was changed to "Duncan," for a favorite conductor on the UP.

The Village of Duncan was incorporated on March 7, 1913. Newspaper accounts noted, "it is located 100 miles west of Omaha, and is quite a stirring little business center."

From Today, Duncan has several businesses including a gas station, bar, two auto repair shops, beauty salon, three home daycare facilities, local garbage collections service, farmers’ cooperative, convenience store and an equipment repair and welding shop.

Duncan is also where all Dorothy Lynch salad dressings are manufactured.  In 1964, Tasty-Toppings, Inc. purchased the recipe and rights to Dorothy Lynch and built a production facility in Columbus, Nebraska.  The company later expanded its production capacity with a modern 64,000 square foot plant in Duncan.

I will admit that I did not know the part about Dorothy Lynch, nor did I see a 64,000 sf production facility, but I love the idea that a town with a population of 351 is home to this plant.
Inside "My Place", you'll find this amazing bar. I was told that the front bar is original to the establishment, but the back bar was purchased from Minnesota, possibly in the 1970's.
Above is a photo of the bar interior, dating from 1916.
The text on the back of the photograph names the people in the photo.
Main Street in Duncan, possibly dating from the early Lincoln Highway era, as there seems to be a row of young trees in the foreground.
The Duncan Rural Volunteer Fire Department is located right downtown.
The St. Stanislaus complex is very beautiful, and the history of the Catholic Church in the area is fascinating. I believe this new church was built in 1939.

A quote found on the Duncan community website states: What is not mentioned are the porch parties on hot summer nights or sledding down a hill on a snowy Sunday morning.  Nor is there mention of how citizens rally around a neighbor in need, or the words of a lifelong resident and former postmaster who said at age 90, “That although the outward appearance of Duncan has changed, the essence of it has not – peaceful evenings, kids being kids, and citizens striving for a better life”.

On a quick road trip down the Lincoln Highway, one doesn't get to experience all these great little towns have to offer. From the history of Duncan: "When you visit the fascinating village of Duncan, be sure to take the time to drive south across the Platte River, and east to Duncan Lakes. The road along the lakes wind around and around, truly one of Nebraska's "scenic views." In season, you'll see swimmers, picnickers, water skiers, and fishermen."

One day I'll have to return to Duncan, spend some time and truly explore the area.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday Stories: Sutherland Doctors

Sutherland was privileged to have many Doctors practicing their medical technologies from the beginning of the village.

The first Doctor to be listed in the newspaper was Dr. McCabe who practiced here several days a week in 1897. Another Physician and Surgeon, Dr. Eves, with headquarters in Hershey, had an ad stating he would begin stopping in Sutherland on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays. He was available at Blackmore’s Drug Store. His last ad appeared in 1901.

Dr. J. R. Merrifield, specialist in lenses for the eyes, had an ad January 1899, that he would be at the Sutherland Hotel on January 15. Consultation and examination free.

Dr. R. H. McCrosson was the first Dentist in town. His office was at the Sutherland Hotel in April 1899.

Other Doctors who served this area between the years 1902 and 1907 were Dr. F. W. Kruse, Dr. D. J. Hall and Dr. W. W. Covell.

In September 1907, Dr. Kruse leased the Etchison cottage planning to have a private hospital. It was to accommodate four patients. Another Doctor here at that time was Dr. B. C. Elms who had an office in one of Thomas’ buildings on Front Street.

In September 1909, Dr. Paul R. Silberts purchased the practices of both Dr. Kruse and Dr. Elms. In 1913, he moved his office to the rooms above the old Post Office.

Dr. E. J. Porter, Physician and Surgeon was also practicing here in 1913. Dr. Porter moved to Elsie, Nebraska in 1919.

In the newspaper dated December 11, 1913, Dr. G. O. Gordon, M.D. purchased the practice of Dr. Silbert who moved to Omaha.

Dr. Warrick, eye, ear, nose, throat, and eyeglasses specialist traveled through Sutherland for several years during 1917-1919. His main office was located in Hastings, Nebraska.

Others who maintained a practice in Sutherland between 1917 and 1919, were Dr. D. W. Vanderhoof, Dr. Anderson and Dr. J. C. Wilson.

In February 1921, Dr. W. A. States, Chiropractor, moved his office from Ogallala, rented two rooms in the telephone building, and began practice here.

Also during the year 1921 two other Doctors came to Sutherland. Dr. G. C. Rice, who came from Bayard, had his office in the Chaussee Hotel. Dr. Charles F. Heider, M.D. of Elm Creek also moved his office to the first door west of the Farmers State Bank.

Dr. Heider installed the first X-Ray machine, or as it was referred to in the newspaper, “a 100 volt 60 cycle stabilized fluoroscope and radiographic machine” in early 1922.

Other Doctors who were in Sutherland for a few years were Dr. C. N. Moore who purchased Dr. G. O. Gordon’s practice in November 1922. Dr. Gordon and family left for their new home in Bellflower, California.

In September, 1923, we find that Dr. R. J. Streigle and Dr. Lucille McConnell opened offices located in the Sutherland Drug Company. Dr. Striegle was a specialist in children’s diseases. The Doctors Striegle and McConnell practiced in Sutherland until late 1925 at which they left for Rochester, Minnesota, where they were to take special training at the Mayo Brothers Hospital. Dr. A. C. Schoch of North Platte took charge of their practice.

Dr. L. F. Stater, Chiropractor opened her office on May 10, 1924 in the rooms over the Courier office. She practiced in Sutherland until August 1926 at which time she attained a position with a clinic in Omaha.

Dr. Coy V. States rented rooms on the second floor of the telephone building in September 1926 for his Chiropractic office. He was open on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays each week.

Also in September 1926, Dr. and Mrs. Scott Wisner of Hummeston, Iowa came to Sutherland and rented a building four doors west of the Farmer’s State Bank. In October he started his practice in his home two doors west of the Presbyterian Church. Dr. Wisner was an Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon. Dr. States, Dr. Wisner, and Dr. Heider all moved to North Platte in early 1927, where they continued their separate practices for many years.
Dr. Ralph S. Russell first came to Sutherland in September 1927, joining Dr. Heider just prior to his move to North Platte. In late 1931 he moved his office to the McKinley building. Dr. Russell built the original hospital located on Maple Street where the present clinic is. Dr. Russell practiced in Sutherland until July 1940 at which time he and his family moved to California.
In 1928, we find Dr. F. H. Shambaugh who practiced here until September 1936 at which time he moved to Kimball,Nebraska.
Dr. Harlan E. Moore came to Sutherland in July, 1940 when Dr. Russell left. 

Dr. Richard A. Fleebe became associated with Dr. Moore in May 1946 and 
Dr. John C. Baker in December of 1952. Dr. Fleebe passed away in March 1955. 
Dr. Sam Blattspielier moved to Sutherland to join the staff at the hospital in August 1956, and moved to Mullen in December 1957. Dr. Hyel H. Moss came in July 1958. Dr. Baker accepted the position of Assistant Medical Director of the American United Life Insurance Co. of Indianapolis, Indiana, and left the Sutherland Clinic on May 1, 1964. 
Following the death of Dr. Moore, Dr. Richard Maxwell came to Sutherland in 1964. Dr. Bill Hoewing joined him in practice in July 1965.

Note: In researching more information on this, I found the obituary for Dr. Moore, which states he died suddenly in his office at the Sutherland Hospital on August 9, 1964. One of his pall bearers was listed as Paul Maxwell, but Connor White took his place. 
In researching Paul Maxwell, I found that he  was a lab technician at the Sutherland Hospital and died suddenly on August 11, 1964 at the age of 53. UPDATE: His son, Dr. Richard Maxwell, returned to Sutherland to take over the hospital. Dr. Maxwell died while moving cattle in the wilderness area of Idaho in 1986 at the age of  49. He is buried in Idaho. (Thank you to his nephew for providing this updated information.

Drs. Pham and Tran practiced here for several years, leaving in April 1979 when 
Dr. Dan Nguyen took over the clinic. He still practices in Sutherland and North Platte.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Know Nebraska: Ogallala's Front Street

Ogallala's Front Street Steakhouse and Crystal Palace Saloon is a Nebraska treasure, one that we're very fortunate to live near enough to visit frequently.

Growing up, our family made it a point to visit Front Street every summer, a tradition we've tried to keep up with our own families. It is a favorite to take visitors to, including our grandchildren (Who, as you can see, enjoy it immensely).
It's made all the easier to be excited to go to the show now that our niece is in her third year as part of the cast.
The Revue at the Crystal Palace Saloon is the longest running summer stock theater in Nebraska. The summer of 2016 will mark their 54th year of entertaining visitors.

In 2015, Front Street was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Though the owners are in their 80's, they have worked hard to keep the place up. It's been under one ownership since a group of investors came together to create it in 1964. Front Street pays homage to Ogallala's reputation of being the end of the trail for Texas cattle drives in the 1870's.

Front Street has been for sale since 2010. When it failed to attract a buyer, the owners decided to go the auction route in 2013. However, that failed to generate an offer. Now, a group of investors have come together to purchase the iconic tourist attraction, It's a unique situation in which they are hoping to raise the money to purchase the business and keep it open, saving it for the community and for posterity, all the while, hoping that a permanent buyer will come along.

Front Street attracts 50,000 visitors each year, so c'mon and join us down at Front Street (anyone who has ever been to the stage show will understand that!) and be a part of the Nebraska Tourism Industry. You know you've been looking for that unique opportunity, and this certainly is that!