Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Stories: Benonia Ausbury and Elizabeth (Osenbaugh) Humphrey Family

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

Several weeks ago, I posted the first story of the Humphrey family transcribed from the Sutherland Centennial History Book, then didn't return to the family history. Today's post is the second installment of the Humphrey family history. 

Benonia “Ben” Ausbury Humphrey, the son of James D. and Mary E. Humphrey, was born on February 18, 1846 at Sidney, Shelby County, Ohio, one of 11 children. At the age of 21 years, he moved from Ohio to Mount Pulaski, Illinois.

Elizabeth Osenbaugh, the third child of John and Martha (Whitney) Osenbaugh, was born on a farm near Hartford City, Blackford County, Indiana, on March 7, 1855. She was five when the family made its brief move to Henry County, Missouri, to help “make it free from slavery”. Her father moved the family to Macon County, Illinois, where Elizabeth grew up.

Ben and Elizabeth were married on March 8, 1874, at Maroa, Macon County, Illinois. They farmed near Weldon in Dewitt County, Illinois, where their first son, James Fernando Humphrey was born on April 22, 1875. They returned to Maroa, Illinois, where their son, William Ransalaer (Rance) was born on January 27, 1877. The third and last child, Charles Elmer, known as Elmer, was born on February 3, 1882.

The family moved to a farm south of Paxton, Nebraska, in 1893. Most homes in the early years were made of sod, however, Ben shipped the lumber and windows by rail from Illinois, for a home made of lumber.

The youngest son, Charles Elmer, passed away on November 14, 1900, at the home, and is buried in Riverview Cemetery in Sutherland.

Because of Elizabeth’s failing health, the couple moved into Sutherland and built a home that is still in existence in the north part of town. In later years they lived with their son, Rance, and his family.
Elizabeth died at home in Sutherland, on July 5, 1918, and Ben passed away in Sutherland, March 11, 1922. Both are buried in Riverview Cemetery.


They were among the earliest settlers, their “homestead” one of the first. The two surviving sons, both moved to Sutherland and raised their families. Ben’s two brothers, James Wesley and Joseph H. Humphrey, were some of the early settlers.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Stories: John Dudley and Cora Mathers Stewart, Harry Gene Stewart

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

John Dudley Stewart was born on April 16, 1918 to Harry McElroy and Mary Francis (Johnson) Stewart, at their farm home west of Sutherland, Nebraska.
He attended a country school and then the Sutherland Public School, graduating with the class of 1935. He helped his father on the farm until March 1942 when he enlisted in the United States Army.
Cora Mathers was born June 25, 1918 to John and Rosa Bell Mathers at their farm home southwest of Paxton, Nebraska. She attended the Paxton Public School, and graduated with the class of 1936. Cora worked at a local café, and Hehnkes Store, and was a Postal Clerk at the Paxton Post Office.

Cora and Dudley were married in Abilene, Texas on June 6, 1942. After Dudley’s discharge from the Air Force, they returned to Sutherland, where he was engaged in farming with his brother, Harry Gene.

Dudley was Past Master of the Sutherland Lodge #299 AF and AM, Past Patron of the Platte Valley Chapter #305, EOS. He was a member of the Sutherland School Board for a number of years and was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church.

Cora was Past Matron of Platte Valley Chapter #305 EOS, Deacon in the Presbyterian Church, Member of the Genburnie Extension Club, and 4-H Club Leader.

Dudley became seriously ill in February, 1962 with the influenza, and after an extended illness, died in the Sutherland Hospital, August 13, 1962. After Dudley’s death, Cora accepted a position in the Sutherland Post Office. She also worked in the North Plate Post Office. Cora was appointed Postmaster of the Sutherland Office, August 11, 1979, and retired October 28, 1983.

Dudley and Cora had four children: Edyth Ann, born in 1947; Mary Jane born in 1951; John Dennis, born in 1953; and Carol Ina, born in 1955.

Note: Cora Stewart passed away on Saturday, October 17, 2009.

Harry Gene Stewart

Harry Gene Stewart was born April 23, 1925, at the farm home of his parents, harry M. and Mary F. Stewart, northwest of Sutherland. He attended school in Sutherland and graduated in 1943. Throughout school he excelled in sports and singing. A bout with polio limited his sporting endeavors but his singing continues to delight all that know him. After graduation, Harry Gene joined his father in farming the home place and the Tracy farm west of Sutherland. He married Ruth Hazel Coker on January 1, 1947 at the Presbyterian Church. They have three children: Peggy Jean, born in 1948, Harry Michael born in 1950, and Timothy James born in 1955. Harry Gene is Past Master of the Sutherland Lodge #299 AF and AM. He has been for many years, and is currently Worthy Patron of Platte Valley Chapter #305, EOS. Harry Gene is an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Sutherland and continues to live on the farm where he was born.


Note: Harry Gene Stewart passed away on November 12, 1998. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sunday Stories: Harry McElroy and Mary Francis (Johnson) Stewart

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

Harry McElroy Stewart was born July 9, 1884 in Portglenone County, Antrim, Northern Ireland. He had brothers and sisters, James, John William, Elizabeth, Jane, and Sam.

In May, 1906, he came to the United States of America. He spent three years in New York City, where he was a street car conductor. He then moved to Sutherland, Nebraska, where he resided for the rest of his life.

In 1917, he purchased a farm four and a half miles northwest of Sutherland, and that same year on June 3, 1917, was united in marriage to Mary Francis Johnson, daughter of John Henry and Caroline V. (Sinco) Johnson. Mary was born in Jefferson County, Iowa on May 20, 1883, one of 10 children.
When Mary was about five years old the family journeyed to Nebraska in a covered wagon and homesteaded 12 ½ miles southwest of Sutherland, Section 30-13-34, now owned by Goederts.
Mary’s father, John Henry Johnson, was a strong supporter of the Methodist Church, and his name is inscribed on the cornerstone of the Methodist Church built in Hershey, Nebraska. Her brother, Otto V. Johnson, was killed in World War I, and the Legion Post in Sutherland is named after him.

After receiving her education, she taught school for several years until her marriage to Harry M. Stewart on June 3, 1917. Harry and Mary lived on the farm until the time of Harry’s death. Harry served on the Sutherland School Board for many years; was Past Master of the Sutherland Lodge #299 AF and AM; Past Patron of Platte Valley Chapter #305EOS; an Elder in the Presbyterian Church; and an ASC Committee Member at the time of his death on October 15, 1952.
Harry M. and Mary Francis Stewart became the parents of six children: John Dudley, Genevieve Lowary, Patricia Francis, Harry Gene, and twin daughters that died at birth.


Submitted by Cora Stewart

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.

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