Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Don’t Give Up Too Soon, The Treasures Are Waiting

The Onion satirical newspaper headline "W...
Image via Memories of Elsie, Pg 19. ,
Caption as follows;
Approximately 1915, Mae (Fuhr) Nomer was the teacher. Front row~ Helen Kennicutt, Elaine Softley, Gwendolyn Stewart, Pearl Kennicutt, Lucille Savage, Emma Grace O’Connor, Marjorie Fid­dock, Blanche Schweer and Helen Fiddock. Back row: Maurice Lee, Vernon Allen, Travis Schweer, Roy Spath, Coley Allen, Ralph Softley
I’ve been researching the tiny little town my Grandparents grew up in, Elsie Nebraska, hoping to find stories about them and their parents.  I did search after search, checking each and every link that showed even the slights prospects, with terribly disappointing results. 

Finally, I started looking for newspapers that covered the area.  The frustration I was having got compounded by the fact I wasn’t even sure what county it was in.  So I checked on Wikipedia, and found out it was in Perkins Co. Nebraska.  I decided to search that county name. 

One of the first links I came across was a neat little site that had all kinds of historical information, and school listings for Perkins.  While browsing this site I found a link that said “Memories of Elsie, Ne”.  So I clicked on it, and started reading a pretty neat little history of My Grandparents home town.  After a short period, I came across a section that was talking about the Post Office.  Describing the building, and routes.  One section caught my attention right away, to say I was shocked is an understatement.
Records show a route leaving Elsie by way of Phebe to Strickland, 22.75 miles and back three times a week. They left Elsie — Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:00 a.m. and arrived at Strickland by 12:30 p.m. Leaving Strickland Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:30 p.m. and arriving at Elsie at 7:00 p.m. So you can see it wasn’t always as easy as today’s routes. The miles covered today are faster and with better transportation. However, this was back in early 1900’s and they only had horses and buggies as a way of travel.
Through the years there has been several route drivers. The following is a list of them.
       North Route                                    South Route
      Charlie Mart                      Grant and Rose McClintock
       Walter Troxel                          Bill and Ada Schweer
                Sandy McCown   Ambrose Casey
                                T.C. Coleman
                                Harold Sexton
                                Sandy McCown
Well, Bill and Ada Schweer were my Great Grandparents!  I was so amazed, I continued to read, and came across many other stories, and pictures of my family. I didn’t even know existed.  For that matter, I had no idea that they had been mail carries.   The picture above is of the Elsie School, and just happens to have both my Grandfather, and Grandmother in it.  My Grandmother is Elaine Softley, 2’nd from the left on the front row, with the cute little sun hat on.  Grandpa, is Travis Schweer, 3 rd from the left on the back row, with the black cowboy hat.

This just goes to show, you can’t give up.  You never know when or where you’ll find that hidden treasure vault.


tony said...

What an Amazing Find! Just Goes To Show,The Answers Are Out There If You Are Determined ! Well Done!

Eric S. said...

Hey Tony, Yeah, I was about to give up on that possibility when I found the link. There is still information from the local papers of the area on microfilm at the Neb Historical Library. I need to see if I can request copies of it.

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

I'm so glad you've shared your research "journey" with readers. Many beginning family historians are not aware of how much you can uncover by sticking to it!
Evelyn in Montreal