Spencer, Nebraska page 126 with picture of Crawford and Martha Brownfield
â€œCrawford A Brownfield born Nov 2,1876 at Springfield, Ill, to Elias and Elizabeth Funkhouser Brownfield, and died May 24,1941. He married Martha Edith Diehl on Jan 29,1913 at Fremont, Nebr, who was born Jan 17,1884 at Hooper, Nebr, and died June 9, 1962.
Crawford and Martha adopted an 8 week old baby girl, Myrtis LaVerne Brownfield, born April 6,1921.
Crawford came by covered wagon with his parents when just a young boy to Polk County, and lived on a farm near Shelby, Nebr, In the spring of 1891 he moved with his parents to the homestead southeast of Spencer, Nebr, Here he lived with his family until Jan 29, when he married Martha Diehl.
Crawford drove a team and wagon 30 miles to Oâ€™Neill, Nebr to purchase building supplies to build a new home 1 Â½ miles southeast of the Brownfield homestead. They lived here until the spring of 1931 when they moved to town.
In 1935 they started a rooming house. They rented rooms by the night to travelers going through Spencer, also rooms to school teachers by the month. Martha cooked meals, washed and ironed for the five teachers at a time for only $30.00 a month. She kept Crawford busy doing dishes.
Crawford and Martha were active members of the Methodist Church. Martha was superintenednet of the Sunday School for many years. Crawford was janitor of the church, and also caretaker of the Union Cemetery until his death.
Crawford, Martha, Elias and Elizabeth Brownfield are buried at the Union Cemetery at Spencer, Nebr. Elias died in 1944 at age of 102 at Glendale, California. His eye sight was still good, as he could thread a needle without glasses.â€
Spencer, Nebr. Page 126 and 127 with picture of Elias and Elizabeth Brownfield
ELIAS BROWNFIELD AND ELIZABETH FUNKHAUSER (no I didnâ€™t misspell the name, there seems to be more than one spelling in the book)
â€œElias and Elizabeth Funkhauser Brownfield came to the area in 1891 in a covered wagon caravan from Shelby, Nebr with five of their children, Janettie, Crawford, Homer, Dora, and Edith. An older son, LeRoy, stayed in Shelby as he was teaching school there. The Henry Dickey family was also in the caravan.
Janettie had the responsibility of driving the cattle on the way. They forded the Niobrara River about three miles south and east of their homestead.
Elias and son Crawford had been to the homestead the year before and put up a sod house and barn. They returned to Shelby to get their family.
About 1896, Elias built a large barn with the help of neighbors. The support studdings were of native cottonwood. The main part would hold 20 head of horses with a lean to on either side for cattle and hogs. It also had a large hay loft.
Eliasâ€™ homestead was halfway between Oâ€™Neill and Fort Randall, where soldiers were stationed at that time. Freighters and homesteaders on their way back and forth boarded overnight with the Brownfields. Later when the railroad came to Spencer, freighters loaded and came that far to get an early start for Oâ€™Neill the next day.
Elizabeth had a carpet loom. From the sale of these rugs and the money from the freighters, she had a large frame house of nine or ten rooms built. Mr Tinsley, a carpenter from Spencer, did the building in about 1903.
The Brownfields had a beautiful homestead with many fruit trees and berries of all kinds. There were rows of walnut, cedar, and cottonwood trees. A large garden along with the fruit provided ample food for the family and also for Janettieâ€™s family when they lived there.
The Brownfields were life long members of the Methodist Church which Elias helped to build.
Elizabeth Brownfield died of cancer in 1910. Elias retired from farming in 1917 and lived for a few years with a sister in Boise, Idaho. In his later years, he lived with his youngest daughter, Edith, in Glendale, California where he passed away at the age of 102 in 1947. Both he and Elizabeth are buried in the Union Cemetery at Spencer.â€ Written by Amelia Nelson Koehn, grandaughter.
Spencer, Nebraska page 127 with picture of Myrtis and Norman Hartman.
MYRTIS LAVERNE BROWNFIELD
â€œMyrtis LaVerne Brownfield was born April 6,1921 at Omaha, Nebraska. She married Norman â€œLanceâ€ Hartman at Burke, SD on July 5,1938. Lance was born Dec 9,1909 at Chapman, Nebr, and died Aug 16,1969 at Omaha, Nebr.
Myrtis and Lance had two children; Norma Jean and Donald Louis Hartman
Norma Jean born Jan 2,1941 at Spencer, Nebr. She married Don Olson on May 14,1962 at Cheyenne, Wyo, Don was born July 27,1937 at Grand Island, Nebr. They have two children.Todd Eugene Olson and Sheila Dawn Olson.
Todd Eugene Olson born Jan 21, 1964 at Grand Island, Nebr. He married Connie Jo Kuhlman on June 7,1986 at Grand Island, Nebr. She was born April 24,1965 They have a son, Jacob Lee Olson born Sept 15,1988.
Sheila Dawn Olson, born March 10,1967 at Grand Island, Nebr.
Donald Louis Hartman born Oct 6,1942 at Grand Island, Nebr. He married Armon Rose Barksdale on Oct 26,1963 at Monroe, Louisiana. She was born Jan 10,1940. They have two children, Scott Allen Hartman and Deanna Lynn Hartman
Scott Allen Hartman was born Feb 20,1965 at Grand Island, Nebr. He married Janna Sue Daniels on Oct 5, 1984 at Albany, La. She was born March 21,1967. They have a son Christopher Lance Hartman born March 9,1985.
Deanna Lynn Hartman born on Dec 19,1971 at Omaha, Nebr.
Myrtis lived with her parents on the farm near Spencer and attended grade school in a one room country school, Dist 14 southeast of Spencer. Then she went to Spencer High School after moving to town in 1931.
After she married, they lived in Spencer where Lance was employed as a mechanic at Ralph Friedrich Garage. He was also the town marshall.
They moved to Grand Island, Nebr in 1942. Lance began work for the Union Pacific Railroad. In 1967 they moved to Columbus, Nebr, where Lance worked as a Union Pacific Railroad Engineer until his death. Lance is buried at Westlawn Cemetery in Grand Island, Nebr.
Myrtis stayed at Columbus, Nebr and was manager at the Hotel Evans from 1969 to 1972. She moved back to Grand Island, Nebr in Oct of 1980.â€
Spencer, Nebr page 264,265 with picture 50th wedding anniversary of Chris and Janettie Nelson
CHRISTIAN NELSON AND JANETTIE BROWNFIELD
â€œChristian Nelson and his brother Charles came from Jutland, Denmark in 1883 to an uncle in Pilger,Nebr. They had only two dollars left between them when they arrived. After working for farmers there for awhile they went to another brother Nels west of Verdigre to farm on their own. While there, they purchased milk products from a neighbor. Not trusting the good woman too far, they always gave some to their cat first. If the cat ate it, they would too.
When homesteading opened in the present Boyd County, Chris and Charles decided to try it. They traveled ina wagon with a teamof one horse and a mule. In order to locate their homestead, they started at a given point near Niobrara and stepped it off. They missed the location by about four miles. That winter they made a dugout in the bank near the Ponca Creek east of present Bristow. Their only neighbor was another Dane, Otto Knudsen, his Indian wife, and their grown children.
One day during the winter their mule fell through the ice in the Ponca Creek. Chris and Charles wrapped their coats around it and brought it into the dugout by the fire until it was dry.
By spring they were low on food, so Charles went back to Niobrara to get supplies. Meanwhile, all Chris had to live on was a bushel of shell corn and what he could forage from the land.
Chris went to Oâ€™Neill to the government land office to get the correct location of his land. It was on the Ponca Creek about 3 and Â½ miles east of Spencer. They built a one room frame house. Charles returned to Niobrara and a younger brother, John, from Denmark, joined him.
In Aug 1892, Chris was married to Janettie Brownfield, a neighbor. 14 children were born to them, Ten grew to adults. Clara, Elmer, Alfred, Oscar, Elsie, Karl, Amelia, Florence, Goldie and Roy.
In 1893-94 severe drought hit the country and Chris went to Minn to work in the iron mines while Janettie returned to Shelby to live with relatives. The next spring they were back on the homestead. The summer had been so dry that much of the seed planted the year before came up that spring.
In 1894 when he learned that Barrett Scott was to be hung from the Niobrara River Bridge, he rode horseback as fast as he could to try to prevent it, but he arrived too late as the hanging was over with.
In the fall of 1898, hog cholera hit the community causing heavy financial and much hardship to everyone in the area.
Telephone and railroad were the big things that happened. Chris being very vary of the telephone, would not let his wife talk on it. Janettie would have to call him in to the house to answer it.
They moved west of Naper in 1913 for four years. When they came back to Spencer, they moved on the Elias Brownfield farm. Sons Elmer, Alfred and Oscar worked for the contractor that laid the brick street in Spencer.
Chris and Janettie celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1942 at the Niobrara State Park. Chris died in 1946 and Janettie in 1961. They are buried at the Union Cem at Spencer.
All the children are deceased at this writing except Goldie Nelson Bryce of Bloomfield and Amelia Nelson Koehn of Niobrara and over 120 other descendants. â€œ written by Amelia Nelson Koehn daughter.
Spencer, Nebr page 265 with picture of Lois, Carl, Bob and Ada Nelson
â€œCarl Nelson and wife Ada and two children moved to the Alfred Loomis farm in 1929 where Ada kept house for her widowed father and two brothers. Carl traveled for Advance Rumley (tractor ) Company, then farmed with Mr Loomis and Ed. He started working for the Omaha World Herald in 1937 as a mail subscription solicitor which he continued until his death in 1971. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and Our Saviorâ€™s Lutheran Church.
They moved into Spencer in 1938 where both children graduated from high school, then attended the University of Nebraska. Lois became a Medical Technologist and worked in Kansas City for 38 years. She has retired and lives in Spencer with her mother.
Son Bob, spent 2 years in the Navy, then worked as a meteorologist until retirement. He and his wife Joyce, live in Lincoln, Nebr.â€
Spencer, Nebr page 265
Clifford (CC) and Louise Nelson
â€œCC was born at Chamberlain,SD in 1900. His parents were Theodore andMartina (Jensen) Nelson. The family consisted of brothers Roy married Ida Rust, Esty married Emma Rust, and Stanley and sisters Myrtle married Melvin Thomas of Newcastle, and Sylvia married Paul Talich of Bristow. The family moved from Viborg to Chamberlain and to Wagner where CC grew up. They came to Boyd County when he was 16 years old.
They settled on a ranch on the bank of the Niobrara River south of Bristow. CC and his brother Roy drove cattle by horseback across the Mo River on the ice. The rest of the family, with the household goods and machinery, came by train. During the 30â€™s they lost the ranch and moved to Bristow where they ran an implement store.
CC met his future wife, Anna Louise Bergh of Brunswick when his sister Sylvia brought a school teacher friend home for a 4th of July visit. They were married in 1934 and raised two children Anita (Mrs Vernon Saldeen) of Illinois and Curtis of Spencer. Another son, Robert died quite young. Anita has two sons, Paul and Melvin.
Louiseâ€™s family settled in the Brunswick area in Antelope County, sold out and moved to Georgia where Louise was born in 1900. The climate didnâ€™t agree with her father so they returned to Brunswick.
CC and Louise started out on a farm east of Bristow and in 1940 bought the ranch one mile west of Bristow where Curtis and family still live.
CC built the first stock dam in the county after seeing one in Mexico on a trip to visit his sister. He and his brother Esty, were instrumental in organizing the Boyd County Fair which was a circuit fair in the early days. CC served as Fair President for 25 years. Esty and Emma started the Dairy Bar in Spencer. Louise helped organize the county extension clubs.
CC and Louise moved to Spencer to retire where CC died in the summer of 1989. His sister, Sylvia of Oregon is the only surviving sibling.
Spencer, Nebr page 265 and 266
CURTIS AND MARY NELSON
â€œ Curtis was born in 1937 in Norfolk while his parents, CC and Louise Bergh Nelson lived east of Bristow. In 1940 his father bought the ranch west of Bristow where Curtis now lives . Curtis has a sister, Anita (Mrs Vernon Saldeen) who lives in Illinois. A brother, Robert, died quite young.
Mary was born in 1938 in Lynch to parents, Elmer and Vendella Johnson Dahlberg while they lived on the farm northwest of Lynch in Mullen Township. Mary moved with her parents to Spencer in 1954.
Curtis and Mary met in high school and were married in 1959. They started their married life on the Fuhrer place just west of his parents and moved to the home place when CC and Louise moved to town.
Curtis took a very active part in bringing Rural Water District #2 to competion. He had a very personal interest because his parents always hauled water for household use and he continued to do so until the Rural Water system was installed.
Curtis and Mary have raised three childrenâ€”Janet (Mrs Steven Classen) of Spencer, Alice of Kansas City,Mo and Roger who is a senior at the U of Nebr in Lincoln. They have two grandchildren Leslie Kaye and Andrew Steven Classen.â€
Spencer, Nebr page 267 with picture of Douglas and Virginia
DOUGLAS NELSON AND VIRGINIA RATHJE
â€œDouglas James, the son of Oliver and Lorraine (Mashino) Nelson, grew up on two farm sites northeast of Spencer. He attended rural school, and graduated from high school in 1975 from Spencer High School. He has been ranching and farming in Boyd and Holt Counties.
Virginia Ann, the daughter of Martin and Zelma (Todd) Rathje, grew up on a farm southeast of Shelby,Nebr. She attended the Surprise Public Elementary School and the Rising City Public High School, graduating in 1984. Virginia continued her education at the U of Nebr-Lincoln, graduating in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the Agriculture College. She taught the agriculture education classes at Spencer-Naper schools for two years.
Doug and Virginia were married on Sept 15, 1990. Doug is currently farming/ranching north of Spencer, and Virginia is employed by the Spencer Veterinary Clinic. They reside along Whipple Street, in Block 37 in the Conklin House.