Sunday Stories: Ernest and Cora Danielson

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

The history of Ernest and Cora Danielson is their life in Sutherland, Nebraska. Coming to America as immigrants made life hard for Ernest.  He was farmed out to the Bratt Ranch in Keith County after he finished grade school. This was an arrangement whereby a child was taken in and given room and board for doing chores and tasks he was able to do. Ernest’s first summer wages was a milk cow that he gave to his parents so the family could have fresh milk.

Still on a ranch in his teens, Ernest was riding horseback home to Sutherland when his horse tripped and fell, breaking his leg badly. His leg became infected and the Dr. told him it should be amputated. An Indian squaw told him she could save his leg with a tool that looked like a meat tenderizer to make it bleed out the infection. This was successful, however the injured leg healed shorter. He walked with a slight limp but was very active until his death.

Later in his teens he returned to Sutherland and joined his father in the carpentry business. Through the years Ernest helped to build the Lutheran Church, the Methodist Church, the High School, the Hospital, several family homes in the area and a home for the family on Pine Street.

Ernest was the manager of the baseball team, was a member of the Odd Fellow Lodge and attended the Lutheran Church until his marriage.
Ernest was born May 29th, 1882 in Gailsburg, Illinois to Carl and Betsy Danielson. Cora White was born May 9th, 1889 in Hershey, Nebraska. Her parents were Simon and Sarah White who homesteaded south of Hershey. On January 1st, 1914, Ernest and Cora Mallissa White were married in North Platte. Cora had completed “Normal School” in North Platte and taught at O’Fallons, Nebraska several years before her marriage. She rode horseback to and from her school.

For a couple of years they tried farming south of Sutherland, but were dried out or hailed out. They moved into town and Ernest resumed his carpentry. In the thirties when money was so scarce, the family survived with an orchard, chickens, and a big garden. Lots of canned food and home-made bread and rolls were everyday fare. The children wore hand-me-down clothes or homemade, some from flour sacks.

Through all these hard times they were faithful to the M.E. Church. They instilled Christian morals in their children. Cora was a good Bible student and taught the Mary and Martha Sunday School class for over 30 years. She was proud of her ten year perfect attendance pin. She belonged to the Royal Neighbors and was bookkeeper several years for the Lodge.

They enjoyed their later years in the small house he built for themselves. Ernest never really retired before his death on June 11th, 1963. Cora passed away on June 17th, 1973. They are buried in the Sutherland Cemetery.

To this union three children were born. Esther Danielson Walbert and her husband live in Sutherland, Nebraska. Grant and his wife live in Bellevue, Washington. Vance and his wife live in Lincoln, Nebraska. All the children were born in Sutherland, Esther on January 22, 1918; Grant on December 18th, 1920; and Vance on February 18th, 1928.

Ernest and Cora were dedicated to their family, church and hometown of Sutherland.


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