Charles and Maggie in the 1890s

Following the marriage of Charles M. Daily and Maggie O. Bonewitz on November 18, 1891, they set up their household at 4801 Leavenworth in the developing area of West Side in Omaha, Nebraska.1  Their residence was about four blocks from Maggie’s parents, brothers and one of her sisters.  Maggie’s parents and brother Sidney lived at 4817 Pacific.2  Her brother Harman lived at 47th and Pacific with his wife Cornelia and his son.3  Her sister Carrie lived at 4824 Pacific with her husband Charles White and their two children.4  About two miles away, Maggie’s sister Emma was living at 1213 South 29th Street with her husband John Thompson and their three daughters.5


A section of an 1892 map of Omaha, Nebraska identifying the locations of the residences of the Daily, Bonewitz, White and Thompson families.6

Charles and Maggie were living in a city that had begun as a small frontier village in 1854.  In less than forty years, it would be called “the metropolis of Nebraska” and described as follows:

“Upon entering Omaha we find ourselves treading finely paved streets and surrounded by a busy throng of active, energetic people, substantial and elegant buildings on every side, stores filled with goods from every clime, and all the appliances of modern civilization, and can scarcely realize the fact that some are living here who remember when the buffalo, the deer and the wolf were hunted by the Indian over the hills, the bluffs and the prairies where this great city, occupying an area of 24 2/3 square miles …, now stands.  The streets are broad, cleanly, well lighted and many of them excellently paved with granite, Colorado sandstone, asphaltum, or cedar or cypress blocks, making fine drives and roadways.”7

Before their first wedding anniversary, Charles and Maggie became the parents of Gladys Melvina, who was born October 10, 1892.  Gladys was a seven month baby.8  By 1896, which was the year their second daughter Oranna Josephine was born, Charles and Maggie were living in a house that Charles had built.9  It was located at the corner of Pacific Avenue and South 46th Street, only 1 ½ blocks from Maggie’s parents’ home, and on the same street and very near to her brother Harman’s house.  The 1897 Omaha city directory explains that the houses in much of Omaha had been re-numbered that year,10 so from that point forward the Dailys’ house had the address:  1022 South 46th Street.  Maggie gave birth to a son on March 7, 1899, but the baby only lived two days and was buried in Evergreen Memorial Park.  Then a year later, Robert Lee was born on May 10, 1900.


Prior to his marriage, for a few years Charles Daily had been working for Maggie’s brother-in-law, Charles White, who had been running a coal and feed business.  Around 1891 White began working at a bakery,11 so Daily changed employers and in 1892 can be found working with West Omaha Coal & Ice Co.12  Although it is not known whether Daily had ownership in this company, he did have a significant role as evidenced by Daily’s name being printed in the company’s advertisement in the 1894 Omaha City Directory.  (See the ad below.)  Then in 1897, Daily was employed by Omaha Coal, Coke and Lime Company as a teamster.  At that time, a teamster was a “‘person who drives a team of horses’ (especially in hauling freight).”13

Advertisement in Omaha City Directory for 189414

There are a couple interesting things to note in the advertisement of West Omaha Coal and Ice Company.  One thing is: the location of the “Yard” is close to the location of Charles and Maggie’s first address (4801 Leavenworth would be one of the corners of 48th and Leavenworth).  Another interesting thing is that this business has telephone numbers.  The introduction of the telephone in Omaha and its dissemination within the city was quiet and slow.  It had begun about 15 years earlier, shortly before Maggie’s family moved to Omaha.

“… Louis H. Korty, an Omaha railroad executive, had seen Bell’s exhibit at Philadelphia and became interested in its possibilities.  In the summer of 1877 he sent to Boston for a pair of the instruments.  He induced a fellow railroad man, J. J. Dickey, to cooperate with him and in November connected the telephones across the Missouri River to establish connection from his office at Omaha to the Union Pacific Transfer at Council Bluffs.

“Messrs. Korty and Dickey then formed a partnership, acquiring license rights from the Bell Company at Boston for a portion of Iowa and all of Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.  For a year they were content to lease their telephones in pairs to provide private lines without interconnection to customers in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska.  In the spring of 1879 they admitted S. H. H. Clark, then president of the Union Pacific, into partnership and organized the Omaha telephone exchange.  This was brought into service in July 1879 ….”15

During the year before the telephone exchange was organized (1878), Korty and Dickey, running their business as Omaha Electric Company, had enlisted 150 telephone subscribers.16  These were two-party lines which did not connect to other subscribers.  When the telephone exchange was formed, which was named Nebraska Telephone Company, it had two operators, and the first telephone directory was issued.17  Soon afterward the telephone company “reported it had 323 subscribers that were interconnected by 160 miles of telephone wires.”18

The first mention of telephones in an Omaha city directory was made in the 1883 edition: “Omaha is connected with all the principal cities in Nebraska by telephone, and with Council Bluffs, Iowa, by that marvelous invention, the telephone ….”19  This issue of the city directory has the first listing of Nebraska Telephone Company.  By 1887, there were 4,500 subscribers and a press release announced that it provided service to 70 fire and 40 police department “boxes.”20

Very little mention of the telephone service is given in the city directory until the 1892 edition, in which it was reported that the Nebraska Telephone Company was about to erect a three-story fireproof building that would be “adapted exclusively for telephone purposes, … fitted throughout with all the latest and most improved apparatus and appliances pertaining to the telephone business.”21  The 1894 edition announced the following:

“The Nebraska Telephone Co., has completed and now occupies its fine new fire-proof exchange building, at the corner of South Eighteenth and Douglas streets, and is operating its system mostly through underground wires, thus relieving the city from much that was dangerous as well as inconvenient and unsightly.

“The adoption of the underground system caused the laying of 1,500 miles of copper wire in 40,000 feet of 100 pair cables.  The improvements cost about $180,000 and bring the company’s operations up to the highest state of efficiency, by the adoption of the latest improvements and inventions.”22


On April 30, 1897, Charles wrote a letter to his father, Joseph S. Daily, who lived in Fredericksburg, Indiana.  This is known because Joseph makes note of this fact in a letter dated May 13, 1897 which he sent to his son Charles.  It is unlikely that Charles’ letter still exists, but Joseph’s letter is in possession of one of his great-grandsons.  At the time that Joseph wrote the letter, he was afflicted with catarrh.  Currently, the word catarrh isn’t used much in the United States, but the condition is as common as ever (catarrh is the build-up of mucus in the nasal passages and in the throat.)23

Charles may have sent his father a copy of The American, which was a weekly newspaper edited by John C. Thompson, the husband of Maggie’s sister, Emma.  John was a printer, and having opened his own shop about six years earlier,24 he started printing a newspaper as an organ of a secret society called the American Protective Association.25  Joseph declined Charles’ offer of having the newspaper sent to him, saying he didn’t have time to read it.  The text of Joseph’s letter follows:

“C. M. Daily

“Dear Son.

“Yours of April 30th 1897, at hand.  I have not seen or heard of your expose in 98.  altho it may have been in some of the Papers I read as I pay no attention to such matters.  As to the Amrican News-Paper, you nead not send it as I have not time to read so many Papers.

“My healh is bad and has been so for a year.  I have Cattarh in my nose which if I could get rid off I believe I would be well.  I am doctoring for to cure the Cattarh all the time, I cannot sleep well of Nights.

“We are having Plenty of rain, and the farmers are getting along well with their Planting.

“Your affectionate Pa

“Joseph Daily”

Letter written by Joseph Daily to his son Charles Daily, dated May 13, 1897

Joseph mentioned that he had not heard of “your expose in 98.”  He was referring to the Trans-Mississippi Exposition that would be held the next year in Omaha from June 1 until October 31, 1898.  The purpose of the exposition was “to showcase the economic, cultural and artistic achievements of the individuals who lived in this region.  All of the buildings, which housed over 5000 exhibits, were built as temporary structures.  A monument to the exposition is in Omaha’s Kountze Park, the former site of the exposition.”26  This exposition is the largest event Omaha has ever hosted.27

“William Jennings Bryan brought the idea of a multistate agricultural fair to Omaha leaders after he attended the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.  From this, plans were developed for Omaha to be the site of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition five years later.

“… The cornerstone for the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition and Indian Congress was laid in April [1897] and the project got underway a week later.  Thomas Kimball, chief architect for the Trans-Miss Exposition, supervised the design of classical buildings around a central lagoon, which became the “Grand Court” and centerpiece for hundreds of activities.  The Trans-Miss was located on 184 acres of land in North Omaha donated by the Kountze family.”28

Joseph, still suffering from catarrh, wrote another letter to Charles, dated March 9, 1899.  He noted that Charles had written a letter to him, dated on the sixth.  At the end of the letter, Joseph mentions that he previously wrote a family history and sent it to Charles.  It is not known at this time if that original document still exists, but it may be the basis of the History of the Daily’s, which is the research work of Charles’ daughter, Iona Daily Zick, and has been distributed among Joseph and Charles’ descendants.  The text of Joseph’s letter reads:

“Dear Son Charles M.

“I received your letter of 6 inst. today.  We are all well at this writing, I say we are all well – there is but me and Mattie my wife here in Washington county.  I am afflicted with Lingrip Catarrh and have been so afflicted for [the last] 3 or 4 years and am in the habit of saying we are all well that means my wife is well.  I think maby when it gets warm I will get better  It has moderated to day and I feel better.  We have had a long cold winter and this for March so far has been like January.

“The only excuse I will make for writing this letter with a pencil instead of pen and ink is I am sitting at my writing desk with pencil, and would have to get up to ink and pen ….  It is a task for me to write any way since I have been sick.

“you ask me about Mattie’s Picture  I think I sent you her Picture with my own several years ago when I give you a history of your Ancestors – your grandfathers and great grandfathers.

“I am weak and exhausted so I will have to quit.

“Your affectionate Pa Pa

“Joseph Daily”

Letter written by Joseph Daily to his son Charles Daily, dated March 9, 1899

Notes:

  1. Omaha City Directory Including South Omaha for 1893 (Omaha, Nebraska: J. M. Wolfe & Co., Publishers, 1893): 247.
  2. Omaha City Directory Including South Omaha for 1893: 152.
  3. Omaha City and South Omaha City Directory for 1891 (Omaha, Nebraska: J. M. Wolfe & Co., Publishers, 1891): 103.
  4. Omaha City and South Omaha City Directory for 1892 (Omaha, Nebraska: J. M. Wolfe & Co., Publishers, 1892): 686.
  5. Omaha City and South Omaha City Directory for 1892: 644.
  6. Omaha City and South Omaha City Directory for 1892: front.
  7. Omaha City and South Omaha City Directory for 1890 (Omaha, Nebraska: J. M. Wolfe & Co., Publishers, 1890).
  8. M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview by R. Thiele, recording (ca. 1984): 19.
  9. M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 4.
  10. McAvoy’s Omaha City Directory for 1897 (Omaha, Nebraska: Omaha Directory Company, 1897): 11.
  11. This statement is based on the fact that the 1892 Omaha city directory has an entry for C. P. White which indicates his workplace is a bakery; Omaha City and South Omaha City Directory for 1892: 686.
  12. Omaha City Directory Including South Omaha for 1892: 169.
  13. Online Etymology Dictionary, “Teamster,” https://www.etymonline.com/word/teamster.
  14. Omaha City Directory for 1894 (Omaha, Nebraska: The J. M. Wolfe Directory Co., Publishers, 1894): 813.
  15. The Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph Company, The History of L T & T (The Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph Company: Lincoln, Nebraska, 1955): 3, http://bellsystempractices.org/Miscellaneous/the_history_of_lincoln_telephone_and_telegraph_-_1955-small.pdf.
  16. Jim McKee, “The telephone comes to Omaha” (Lincoln, Nebraska: Lincoln Journal Star, Jan 24, 2015): https://journalstar.com/news/local/jim-mckee-the-telephone-comes-to-omaha/article_5b1f1678-bada-5b27-8220-f08fc40e99a2.html.
  17. Jim McKee, “The telephone comes to Omaha.”
  18. Jim McKee, “The telephone comes to Omaha.”
  19. J. M. Wolfe, Wolfe’s Omaha City Directory 1883-84 (Omaha, Nebraska: Herald Printing, Binding and Electrotyping Establishment, 1883): 19.
  20. Jim McKee, “The telephone comes to Omaha.”
  21. Omaha City and South Omaha City Directory for 1892: 9-10.
  22. Omaha City Directory for 1894: 10.
  23. Jill Seladi-Schulman, Going with the Flow: Recognizing and Treating Catarrh (Postnasal Drip) (Healthline Media, September 28, 2020): https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/catarrh#definition.
  24. Omaha City and South Omaha City Directory for 1892: 644.
  25. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, The American, http://nebnewspapers.unl.edu/lccn/2017270212/.
  26. Trans-Mississippi Exposition, Omaha, Nebraska, 1898, http://www.historicomaha.com/transmis.htm#:~:text=The%20Trans-Mississippi%20Exposition%2C%20held%20in%20Omaha%2C%20Nebraska%2C%20from,housed%20over%205000%20exhibits%2C%20were%20built%20as%20temporary.
  27. Liz Rea, History at a glance (Omaha, Nebraska: Douglas County Historical Society, 2007): 56, http://www.douglascohistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/History-at-a-Glance-9-2007.pdf.
  28. Liz Rea, History at a glance: 51, 54-55.

Four Weddings in Omaha

On October 14, 1882, a young man named Charles W. Savidge arrived in Omaha to begin serving as the pastor of First Methodist Church.1   Located at Seventeenth and Davenport, the congregation had been established in September 1855,2 a year and a half after the village of Omaha had been incorporated in Nebraska Territory.  When Rev. Savidge wrote his autobiography in 1914, he had served as a minister in Omaha for 31 years, having left the city for only one year to minister in Grand Island, Nebraska.  Regarding one of his accomplishments, Rev. Savidge stated, “I have now married nearly three thousand couples.  I have married all kinds of people, all colors, nearly all nationalities and all ages; some have been young, some old and others middle-aged.”3

Nearly six months after beginning his ministry in Omaha, Rev. Savidge performed the marriage ceremony of John C. Thompson and Emma V. Bonewitz.  The groom was the 22 year-old son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Thompson and was a newspaper editor, residing in Brownville, Nebraska, a city about 75 miles south of Omaha.  Thompson is mentioned in a history of Brownville:

“April, 1882, J. Thompson, a young man who learned the printer’s trade in the Advertiser office, purchased an office in Fullerton, Neb., and established a Republican paper in the old Advertiser office, on the north side of Main street, between First and Second. He has named his paper the Brownville Republican.”4

The bride was the 18 year-old daughter of John E. and Josie Bonewitz, whose family had moved to Omaha in 1880.  The wedding was performed on May 6, 1883, at Emma’s parents’ home and announced in one of the city newspapers, Omaha Daily Bee:

“At 4 p. m. Sunday, at the residence of the bride’s parents, No. 1623 Dodge street, Mr. John C. Thompson, editor of the Brownville Republican, was united in Marriage to Miss Emma V. Bonewitz, Rev. Savidge, of First M. E. church, officiating.  Only the relatives and intimate friends of the high contracting parties were present, but the affair was a most auspicious one, and the presents received were both costly and beautiful.  The happy couple left Sunday evening for their home in Brownville.”5


Rev. Savidge had performed his first wedding in 1879.  He has related that at the time he did not know what to do in that ceremony, so he asked a Presbyterian pastor who served in the same area and he was given some instructions.6  Thirty-five years later, Rev. Savidge wrote:

Some ministers have a very long and tedious marriage service, but my service is short and to the point.  There is not so much dependent on the length of the service and the minister as there is upon the contracting parties themselves.

“It is up to them whether they will be happy or miserable.  Here is a copy of my brief marriage ceremony:

“ ‘Will thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy state of matrimony?

“ ‘Wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife in health, and forsaking all others, cleave thee only unto her?’

“The bridegroom answers, ‘I will.’

“I then ask the bride the same questions concerning the groom.  She answers, ‘I will.’

“I then direct the bridegroom to place the ring on the third finger of his lady’s left hand and, holding the hand, to repeat after me these words:

“ ‘With this ring I thee wed, and with my worldly goods I thee endow; in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.’

“I then close that part of the service with these words: ‘For as much as this man and this woman have consented together in holy wedlock, have witnessed the same before God and this company, and signified the same by joining of hands, I pronounce that they are husband and wife together, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.’

“I then offer the following brief prayer: ‘And now may God, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost bless, preserve and keep you.  The Lord mercifully look upon you; so fill you with all benediction and grace that ye may so live together in this life that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting.’

“Sometimes I add this prayer: ‘Lord, bless this man and woman, now this husband and wife.  Bind them together Thyself and may they never be separated by any discord or difference or rent apart by the action of any divorce court, but may death alone break this bond.  In order that they may live long and prosper, we pray they may believe in Thee, the living God, as much as Daniel ever did.  That they may take the Bible as the inspired word of God and Man of their counsel, thus laying the foundation of happiness here and felicity forever.  For the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.’ ”7


A year after John and Emma’s wedding, Rev. Savidge performed the marriage ceremony of Emma’s 23 year-old sister, Carrie Bonewitz, who had arrived in Omaha with her family in 1880.  Carrie married 25 year-old Charles P. White, the son of S. M. and Anna White, on June 12, 1884.  At least six years prior to their marriage and before Carrie had moved to Omaha, White and Carrie’s brother Orlando were boarding at the same boarding house, Donovan House, in Omaha.8  White resided in Omaha for a few years between 1878 and 1884, but on his marriage license his residence is recorded as Tobias, Nebraska.  Tobias was a new railroad village that had been platted and incorporated in the early spring of 1884.9

One of the witnesses of this marriage was S. H. Buffett.  This was White’s employer, a grocer whose name, Sidney H. Buffett, can be found in the Omaha city directories starting at 1870.  Initially, White had worked as a teamster for Buffett,10 later he worked as a clerk.11  The other witness who signed the marriage license was William T. Lyons, who was probably White’s mother’s brother.

Marriage Record of Charles P. White and Carrie Bonewitz

In 1886, Rev. Savidge performed a third wedding for a member of the Bonewitz family.  This time, 27 year-old Harman (sometimes called by his middle name Finley) married a 25 year-old dressmaker, Cornelia B. Higley, on December 29.  When the 1880 U. S. census was taken, both the Bonewitz family and the Higley family resided in Fairfield, Iowa.12,13  Harman and his father and brother Orlando had gone to Omaha for work as early as 1878, but apparently, Harman didn’t permanently move to Omaha until 1880 when his entire family moved there.  In 1885, Cornelia was still living with her parents, Judson and Ruah Higley, in Fairfield when the Iowa state census was taken,14 but in 1887 Cornelia and her parent’s names appear in the Omaha city directory.  One of the signatures of the witnesses on Harman and Cornelia’s marriage license is possibly Cornelia’s father’s signature.  The other signature is very difficult to read, but may be the signature of Harman’s brother-in-law, Charles P. White.

Marriage License of Harman Bonewitz and Cornelia Higley

In his autobiography, Rev. Savidge had some sage words regarding “The Marriage Fee”:

“The true minister of the Gospel does not charge a regular fee for his services at the marriage.  He depends upon the generosity of the bridegroom and his appreciation of his bride.

“The minister has many avenues for his surplus change and his income is generally limited.  Don’t forget the preacher, boys!

“It is very poor taste indeed for the bridegroom after the ceremony to ask the minister what his bill is or what the charges are.  This is often done, but it is not the thing to do; it throws a sort of coldness over the meeting.

“The bridegroom ought to have his offering for the minister in his vest pocket, or better still, in an envelope, and then quietly hand it to him.

“That sum ought not to fall below $5.00.  A ten-dollar bill looks better to me!

“The groom who remembers the minister liberally will not lose in the long run.  A man ought not to be married often during this earthly life and he can afford to be manly and generous at this time.

“This whole transaction from start to finish is a test of manhood.  Brother, walk up and stand the test!

“I have often married people where I received no fee at all, but it seemed to me a good deal like tying up cattle.

“The largest fee I ever received was $50.00, but I prayed eight hours for that fellow.  I said, ‘Lord, work him up and help him give me a good fee, for I need the “dough.” ’

“He gave me, sealed in an envelope, ten five-dollar bills.  I praised the Lord and used the money.  One of the smallest, meanest fees I ever got, was some shade trees for the church and the trees died.  I guess they got ashamed and quit.”15

After serving at First Methodist Church for six years, Rev. Savidge was assigned to Grand Island, Nebraska in 1888.  He only served there one year, because during that year Rev. Savidge felt a conviction that his work in Omaha was not done.  He has written: “God seemed to pull on me and put a message from Himself in my very soul, that He had plans for me in this city, and the past twenty-four years have proved that my convictions at that time were from God.”16  So Rev. Savidge requested to be assigned to Omaha again and to found his own church, which would be called the People’s Church.  He has explained how he started the new work in Omaha:

“I … hired Boyd’s Opera House on Fifteenth and Farnum Streets for twenty-five dollars every Sunday.

“… The congregation was made up of the unchurched masses.  Men and women who never went to any regular church went there.  Harlots, drunkards and gamblers came to see and to hear: Many of these were benefited.

“I started a Sunday School in the lower part of the city and we instructed children of all nationalities and colors.

“… When the hot weather came on, I was compelled to give up the opera house and transfer my services to the Newman M. E. Church.”17

In the fall of 1891, Rev. Savidge decided to discontinue his association with the Methodist Episcopal denomination.18  He determined to be an independent minister and once again established the People’s Church, purchasing the old United Presbyterian Church building located on 18th Street near California for $1,000.19


That same fall, Rev. Savidge performed a fourth marriage ceremony for the Bonewitz family.  In about 1886, the family had moved to West Side, a developing addition to Omaha.  At some point in the late 1880s, Josephine Bonewitz began running a boarding house in that area, and a man named Charles M. Daily became one of the boarders and became acquainted with Maggie Bonewitz, the youngest daughter of John and Josephine Bonewitz.20  The son of Joseph and Amanda Daily, Charles Daily had worked his way from Indiana, across Illinois and Iowa for about 15 years, and finally settled in Omaha.  His first known employer in Omaha was Charles P. White,21 who was operating a feed and coal business, and was the brother-in-law of Maggie.  Daily worked for several years for White and on November 18, 1891 when 35 year-old Daily married 24 year-old Maggie, White signed the marriage certificate as a witness.  The other witness was Maggie’s other brother-in-law John C. Thompson.

Signed Marriage License of Charles M. Daily and Maggie O. Bonewitz
Charles Monroe Daily and Maggie Oranna (Bonewitz) Daily on their wedding day, November 18, 1891

The dress that Maggie wore on her wedding day was passed down to one of her daughters and then to one of her grandsons.  About ninety years after Maggie wore the dress for her wedding photograph, one of her great granddaughters posed for a photograph wearing Maggie’s dress.  The dress is still brought out for display at the biennial reunions of the combined Daily and Bevers families.

Maggie Daily’s wedding dress, modeled by a great granddaughter

As time went by, Rev. Savidge began to be consulted by many families regarding marriageable prospects.  In his autobiography, he writes:

“I am a firm believer in marriage.  We can never beat the evils of the present day except the people enter the marriage relation and establish their own homes.  God says, ‘He setteth the solitary in families.’

“Marriage is the order of God, the foundation of society, the church and the state.  Many people among us who have their own homes do not know the intense desire of those who are not so situated.  Our cities are crowded with women, good women, who have no chance to meet agreeable gentlemen, and there are many good men on ranches, farms and in mining, and even in our crowded cities who have small opportunity to meet good women.

“In recent years, on account of my age and experience, many come to consult with me on this subject.  Mothers bring their daughters and beg me to use my influence to have them properly settled in life.  It might do the skeptical on this subject much good to read some of the letters I receive.  One lady said, ‘The desire for a home and love is with me constantly; it haunts my every waking hour.’

“In the Bible you may read a very beautiful story of how Isaac got his wife, in Genesis, twenty-fourth chapter.

“Abraham’s eldest and most trusted servant attended to this business with alacrity and devotion, and with the evident blessing of God.

“Other people can dip in a little to help others if they have the skill and ability.  I have a bureau of information on marriage in my downtown office, which in the past year has worked wonders.  I have a most competent secretary who takes the details off of me and I hope to assist many worthy people in the future.”22

One last quote from Rev. Charles W. Savidge: “It is a perfectly natural thing to marry.  Man never got up this scheme; it is a plan of God.  It is folly to try to beat it.”23

Resources:

  1. Charles W. Savidge, Have faith in God (Omaha, Nebraska: Beacon Press, 1914):38-39, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/religion/MECHURCH/faith/pages/hfig0038.htm.
  2. David Marquette, History of Nebraska Methodism: First Half-Century (1904): 56, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/religion/MECHURCH/hmec/pages/honm0052.htm.
  3. Charles W. Savidge, Have faith in God: 89, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/religion/MECHURCH/faith/pages/hfig0083.htm#ch25.
  4. John McCoy, transcriber, History of the State of Nebraska by William Cutler (Chicago: The Western Historical Company, 1882): https://www.kancoll.org/books/andreas_ne/nemaha/nemaha-p6.html#press.
  5. Omaha Daily Bee (Omaha, Nebraska: Omaha Daily Bee, May 8, 1883):8, https://www.newspapers.com/image/466624152.
  6. Charles W. Savidge, Have faith in God: 89.
  7. Charles W. Savidge, Have faith in God: 89, 91.
  8. J. M. Wolfe, publisher, Wolfe’s Omaha City Directory 1878-1879 (Omaha, Nebraska: Herald Publishing House and Book Bindery, 1878): 97 & 286.
  9. Helen Kottas, “Nebraska…Our Towns, Tobias — Saline County”: https://casde.unl.edu/history/counties/saline/tobias/.
  10. J. M. Wolfe, publisher, Wolfe’s Omaha City Directory 1878-1879: 286.
  11. J. M. Wolfe, publisher, Wolfe’s Omaha City Directory 1881-1882 (Omaha, Nebraska: Herald Printing, Binding and Electrotyping House, 1881): 421.
  12. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GYYV-9R3L?cc=1417683&wc=XHBX-C68%3A1589394762%2C1589396075%2C1589395491%2C1589396695 : 24 December 2015), Iowa > Jefferson > Fairfield > ED 81 > image 60 of 64; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., n.d.)
  13. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GYYV-9RN5?cc=1417683&wc=XHBX-C68%3A1589394762%2C1589396075%2C1589395491%2C1589396695 : 24 December 2015), Iowa > Jefferson > Fairfield > ED 81 > image 19 of 64; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., n.d.)
  14. “Iowa State Census, 1885,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939Z-YGHT-J?cc=1803643&wc=M6L6-Q23%3A145017901%2C145048501 : 1 April 2016), Jefferson > Fairfield, Fairfield > image 67 of 152; State Historical Society, Des Moines.
  15. Charles W. Savidge, Have faith in God: 92-93, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/religion/MECHURCH/faith/pages/hfig0092.htm.
  16. Charles W. Savidge, Have faith in God: 51, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/religion/MECHURCH/faith/pages/hfig0045.htm.
  17. Charles W. Savidge, Have faith in God: 51-52.
  18. Charles W. Savidge, Have faith in God: 55.
  19. Charles W. Savidge, Have faith in God: 56, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/religion/MECHURCH/faith/pages/hfig0056.htm.
  20. E. J. B. V. Bevers, personal communication with M. R. Wilson, ca. 1976.
  21. Omaha City and South Omaha City Directory for 1889 (Omaha, Nebraska: J. M. Wolfe & Co., Publishers, 1889): 194.
  22. Charles W. Savidge, Have faith in God: 93-94.
  23. Charles W. Savidge, Have faith in God: 92.

The First Few Decades of Charles M. Daily’s Life

One hundred years before I was born, my great-grandfather Charles Monroe Daily was born to Joseph and Amanda (Black) Daily.  Born on September 30, 1856 near New Albany, Indiana,1 he was the fourth child born to them, the third son.  The 1860 U. S. census recorded his family living on a farm in Franklin Township, Floyd County, Indiana.  The household included (with their ages): Joseph (30), Amanda (27), Thomas (10), Patrick (8), Syntha [Cynthia] (6), Charles (3), Martha (1), Andrew Black (22) and Huldy Dailey (40).  Andrew Black was probably Amanda’s brother and was working as a farm laborer.  Huldy Dailey was probably Joseph’s sister who was a “Criple.”2

Charles’ mother gave birth to three more sons (William, Robert and Joseph Albert).  A few days after the birth of Joseph Albert, Amanda died on February 19, 1866.3  The baby Joseph only lived for three months, dying in May 1866.4  When the 1870 U. S. census was taken, the Daily family was still living on a farm in Franklin Township, Floyd County, Indiana.  At that time the household included (with their ages): Joseph (41), Thomas (19), Patrick (17), Cynthia (15), Charles (13), Martha (11), William (8), Robbert (6) and a farm laborer named Henry Black (60).5   Charles and all of his siblings except Cynthia had attended school during that year.6  As an adult Charles would report that the highest grade he completed was 6th grade.7

It is not known where Charles was located when the 1880 U. S. census was taken.  Charles was not living with his father, nor were any of Charles’ siblings living with their father.  Joseph Daily, who had remarried in 1874, was living with his new wife Mattie (Lafollette) Daily and her brother and sister in Fredericksburg, Indiana.8  Neither was Charles living with his elder brothers and sister, each of whom were married and living on farms in Franklin Township, Indiana.9,10  It is also unsure where Charles’ younger sister and brothers were at that time.

According to Charles’ son Robert, Charles and his younger brother William “kinda left home real early on account that they had a step-mother,” the two youngsters “worked out for neighbors, always a farm around” and Charles “looked after Bill his brother.”11  A Daily family historian has written that Charles “when still quite a young man started to work west through Illinois, Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska where he settled.”12  Charles was about 32 years old when he arrived in Omaha.  At that time the city of Omaha was described as follows:

“… Within its limits nothing is wanting that will in any way conduce to human happiness.  Trade in all departments is being rapidly developed.  Buildings to meet its wants have either been erected already or are being rapidly pushed to completion.  A few years ago a six-story building was a structure worthy of comment, not only in the west, but almost anywhere; to-day in this city eleven story edifices are stretching upward to the skies.  Brick and stone have long since taken the place of the pioneer wooden structure, and the stone even sometimes taken from the shores laved by the Atlantic.  The banks are nearly all in buildings of their own, that at once attract the attention by their massive, substantial proportions as well as their beauty of architecture.  Their stability never was questioned, and the returns of the clearing house demonstrate the volume, as well as the rapidly increasing percentage of business, as well as the faith of the public.  The railways from the city point everywhere and gather up the treasures of the earth for the city’s general distribution.  Cable and electric cars have to a large extent displaced the former horse cars and landmarks of an earlier date are rapidly passing away.  The electric light has outshown the feebler rays of gas, and ere long will wholly monopolize the domain of illumination.  The drainage of the city is perfect, natural facilities largely aiding those who have that portion of the public works in hand.  The police of the city are well organized and the malicious, found in all large cities, are kept under proper restraint.  The administration of the law is in able hands and the courts of justice are models of purity and excellence.  The schools and churches are of the highest standing.  Each ward in the city is provided with an excellent school building and able teachers, and the youth of both sexes are well trained for business, the professions or social requirements.  The high school is equal in its training to many of the colleges of the land, and taken as a whole, the intellectual advantages of the city are unsurpassed.  The churches are numerous, their pulpits ably filled and their congregations large.  The water works system is of the finest description;  the fire department efficient and well equipped, and in no detail of the city’s service is there anything whatever not fully equal to the best anywhere to be found.”13

The first time Charles’ name can be found in the Omaha city directory is in 1889.  The entry reads: “Dailey Charles M, clk Chas P White, res West Side.”14  Charles was working as a clerk at a business run by Charles P. White.  White’s business handled “coal and feed” and was located at the corner of Leavenworth and Missouri Pacific Railway in West Side.15  West Side was a newly developing area on the outskirts of Omaha.  It would later be described as an area of workers’ cottages.16  A year later, the 1890 city directory indicates that Charles Daily was working and living at the same places.  Then in the 1891 directory, he was boarding at 1023 S. 48th Ave and he was still working for C. P. White.17  Interestingly, C. P. White’s residence was also 1023 S. 48th Ave.18  That year White’s business was selling ice as well as coal and feed.  It is also noteworthy that C. P. White was married to Carrie Bonewitz, whose sister was Maggie Bonewitz, Charles Daily’s future wife.

C. P. White Coal & Feed, Omaha, Nebraska
Entries for this business can be found in the Omaha city directory from 1887 to 1891.

Notes:

  1. Shaw-Messer Chapel, “In Memory of Charles M. Daily” (Watertown, South Dakota: Shaw-Messer Chapel, March 12, 1945).
  2. “United States Census, 1860,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GYBY-3RS?cc=1473181&wc=7QK5-R7B%3A1589426070%2C1589423360%2C1589422457 : 24 March 2017), Indiana > Floyd > Franklin Township > image 4 of 20; from “1860 U.S. Federal Census – Population,” database, Fold3.com (http://www.fold3.com : n.d.); citing NARA microfilm publication M653 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  3. History of the Daily’s (unpublished, n. d.): 1.
  4. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 10 August 2020), memorial page for Joseph Albert Daily (14 Feb 1866–9 May 1866), Find a Grave Memorial no. 134995828, citing Silas Daily Cemetery, New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by John Ozzy Williams (contributor 47315704) .
  5. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-69R9-3QM?cc=1438024&wc=92KT-2JM%3A518664801%2C519250701%2C518720802 : 8 June 2019), Indiana > Floyd > Franklin > image 15 of 20; citing NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  6. “United States Census, 1870,” Indiana > Floyd > Franklin > image 15 of 20.
  7. “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9M1-5855?cc=2000219&wc=QZFM-WRZ%3A791611401%2C793270701%2C793367301%2C793379401 : accessed 5 July 2020), South Dakota > Codington > Watertown City, Watertown, Ward 3 > 15-24B Watertown City Ward 3 bounded by (N) 4th Av S; (E) Maple, ward line; (S) city limits; (W) city limits, ward line > image 3 of 24; citing Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012.
  8. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GYBZ-LJ5?cc=1417683&wc=XCT5-W38%3A1589401272%2C1589395180%2C1589403077%2C1589396220 : 24 December 2015), Indiana > Washington > Fredericksburg > ED 183 > image 3 of 6; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., n.d.)
  9. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-LBF7-97K?cc=1417683&wc=XC5C-VZ9%3A1589401272%2C1589399936%2C1589395978%2C1589395374 : 24 December 2015), Indiana > Floyd > Franklin > ED 65 > image 12 of 17; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., n.d.)
  10. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GBF7-9GX?cc=1417683&wc=XC5C-VZ9%3A1589401272%2C1589399936%2C1589395978%2C1589395374 : 24 December 2015), Indiana > Floyd > Franklin > ED 65 > image 11 of 17; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., n.d.)
  11. M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview by R. Thiele, recording (ca. 1984): 2-3.
  12. History of the Daily’s (unpublished, n. d.): 1.
  13. Omaha City and South Omaha City Directory for 1889 (Omaha, Nebraska: J. M. Wolfe & Co., Publishers, 1889): 3.
  14. Omaha City Directory for 1889: 194.
  15. Omaha City Directory for 1889: 846.
  16. Dennis Mihelich, ed., Ribbon of Destruction (Omaha, Nebraska: Douglas County Historical Society, n. d.): 8.
  17. Omaha City and South Omaha City Directory for 1891 (Omaha, Nebraska: J. M. Wolfe & Co., Publishers, 1891): 214.
  18. Omaha City Directory for 1891: 928.

An Introduction to Charles Monroe Daily

  • Born on September 30, 1856 near New Albany, Indiana
  • Parents: Joseph S. Daily and Amanda Black
  • His mother died when he was 9 years-old
  • As a young man he worked his way across Illinois and Iowa
  • He arrived in Omaha, Nebraska about 1888 and worked at jobs such as clerk, foreman and teamster
  • Married Maggie Oranna Bonewitz on November 18, 1891
  • Children: Gladys, Oranna, Robert, Iona, Elizabeth, Joseph (and an un-named baby boy)
  • A tornado destroyed their Omaha home on Easter Sunday 1913
  • Charles and Maggie farmed outside of Omaha, Nebraska, outside of Topeka, Kansas and north of Watertown, South Dakota
  • Retired from farming in 1932 and moved into Watertown, South Dakota
  • Died on March 9, 1945 at the age of 88 and is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Watertown, South Dakota
Charles Monroe Daily on his wedding day November 18, 1891

Miss Maggie’s Early Life

When I was a child, occasionally I would ask my mother where our ancestors were from.  She would tell me that her father’s father was from England, her father’s mother was from Switzerland, her mother’s father was Irish and her mother’s mother was Pennsylvania Dutch.  It was not until I was well into adulthood that I learned that my mother’s grandmother Maggie was not actually born in Pennsylvania, nor were Maggie’s parents born there.  It was Maggie’s grandparents who were born in Pennsylvania.  Her paternal grandparents (John Adam Bonewitz and Mary Margaret Rider, also called Peggy) were already married when they moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio about 1820, but Maggie’s maternal grandparents (Harman Smith and Barbara Flora) were still children when they moved with their parents to Ohio about 1822 and 1815, respectively.

Subsequently, all of Maggie’s grandparents moved to Indiana.  When Harman and Barbara Smith moved from Ohio to Huntington County, Indiana (about 1843), their children were still young, which included Josephine Smith.  Late in life (about 1853), John Adam and Peggy Bonewitz moved to neighboring Wabash County, Indiana and their son John Esli Bonewitz moved with them.  Somehow, John Esli met Josephine and they married in 1856.  They lived in Indiana for a few years, then in the early 1860s, they moved to Fairfield, Iowa, which is where Maggie was born on November 9, 1867.1

When the 1870 U. S. census was taken in Fairfield, Iowa, Maggie, at nearly 3 years-old, was the youngest in a household of three adults and seven children.2  Maggie’s father was 35 years-old and her mother was 32 years-old.  She had two older brothers and two older sisters:  Orlando, age 13; Harman, age 11; Carrie, age 9 and Emma, age 5.  Maggie’s mother’s sister Malissa Griffith and Malissa’s two children William and Viola, age 8 and 7 respectively, were also living in the Bonewitz household.

Little is known of Maggie’s life as a child, but from what is recorded in the 1940 U. S. census it is known that she attended school through the fifth grade.3  Also, from the 1880 U. S. Census, we learn that two more brothers (Claudius and J. F.) were born after Maggie,4 one when she was eight or nine years-old and the other when she was twelve.  When Maggie was about ten years-old, her father and eldest brothers traveled 230 miles due west of Fairfield to Omaha, Nebraska and a few years later the entire family moved there. 

The annual Omaha city directories reveal information about the occupations and residences of the family.  Beginning with the 1878-79 city directory, entries can be found for John, Orlando and Harman Bonewitz.  When the 1880 U. S. census was taken, the Bonewitz family was listed in Fairfield, even though the 1880 Omaha city directory has an entry for John.

When Maggie’s family arrived in Omaha, she was 13 years-old.  Maggie’s teenage years were filled with many family events, including deaths, marriages and changing residences.  Sadly, two weeks after the census was taken in Fairfield, Maggie’s nearly six-month-old brother J. F. passed away.  His grave is in Omaha, not Fairfield.5  Less than 10 months later, Maggie’s other younger brother Claudius died at nearly five-years-old.6

Omaha, which “derived its name from a tribe of Indians that were formerly the owners of the soil,”7 was a booming city.  It was established in 1854 and immediately experienced rapid development.8  After a brief slowdown due to a financial crisis in the late 1850s, the city resumed its expansion as Omaha became the outfitting center for immigrants to Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.9  An article in the 1870 Omaha city directory identified several factors which attributed to Omaha’s development:

“The mines of the west, the termination of the [Civil] war, and the initiation of the U. P. R. R. [Union Pacific Rail Road] brought back vitality.  Capitalists made homes here; railroads one after another came from the east, making Omaha their objective point; a fleet of steamers gave connection with the south; the Government established here headquarters for the army of the West; manufactures sprung into existence; the U. P. R. R. constructed workshops, employing hundreds of hands, and executing every description of work, and prosperity which has known no interruption, returned.”10

The population when John and his sons arrived in Omaha was about 26,215.11  When the Bonewitz family moved to Omaha in 1880, the census report gave it a population of 30,652.12  The population in 1884 was estimated at 55,23013 and in 1887 it was estimated at 96,717.14

According to the city directories the family moved several times.  Upon moving to Omaha, the first address of the family was 1314 Jackson.15  The first time that Maggie’s name is listed in the city directory is in 1884.  Her residence was at 1623 Dodge, which is the same address listed for her sister Carrie and her father.16  Her father’s entry notes that his occupation was “boarding.”  Maggie’s parents ran a boarding house and it is likely that Maggie assisted her parents in this endeavor.  In 1885, Maggie’s residence was at 1209 Georgia Avenue17 and in 1886 she lived at 1113 Georgia,18 both of these addresses were listed for her father and brother Harman also.

Other family events that occurred in the first half of the 1880s included the birth of another brother (Sidney) in January 1882.19  Maggie’s sister Emma married John C. Thompson in May 188320 and her sister Carrie married Charles P. White in 1884.21  The next year, tragically, Maggie’s eldest brother Orlando passed away.  In the Omaha city directory, he is in the list of “the most prominent persons who have died within the city of Omaha during the year 1885,” and is given the date of death of August 27.22  (This may actually have been the date of his burial.)  Not long before Orlando’s death the Bonewitz family posed for a family portrait.23  Based on how old Sidney appears to be, the photograph may have been taken in late 1884 or early 1885.  Maggie, standing on the left, would have been about 17 years-old.

The Bonewitz family (with their approximate ages):
Back Row: Maggie (17), Orlando (27), probably Emma (20), probably Carrie (23) (Emma and Carrie could be the opposite)
Front Row: Josephine (46), Sidney (3), John (49), Harman (25)

When the 1885 census of Nebraska was taken, Maggie along with her father, mother and three brothers lived on 28th street.24  Maggie’s sister Emma and brother-in-law also lived in the household and they had a daughter, Josephine, who was one year old.  In addition, there were five boarders in the household.  Another marriage took place in December 1886.  Maggie’s brother Harman married Cornelia Higley.25

In the newspaper Omaha Daily Bee, an announcement was placed describing Maggie’s 20th birthday:

“Wednesday evening a large number of young friends assembled at the residence of Mr. John E. Bonewitz, in West Side, and passed a very pleasant evening, the gathering being in honor of the twentieth birthday of his daughter, Miss Maggie.  Quite a number of invitations had been sent out and as a result the house was filled with merry, fun-loving young people.  Some very nice and costly presents were bestowed upon the young lady, who made an admirable hostess on this occasion.  At 11 o’clock a very fine lunch was served, after which the assembled friends were entertained with music and games.  Those in attendance were G. L. McIlvane and Miss Robertson, J. E. Hardy and Miss Emma Lyman, A. S. Gantz and Miss Anna Higley, Charles Roberts and Miss Hannah Roberts, George Ritchie and wife, T. W. Smith and wife, C. P. White and wife, H. N. Stump, Ernest Gantz, Mr. Christ, of Sac City, Ia.; John Collins, Rockport, Mo.; John C. Thompson and wife and the parents of the young lady.”26

Besides Maggie and her parents there were 20 people in attendance at her birthday party.  Some of the guests were:

  • A. S. Gantz (Argola) who was Maggie’s 18 year-old cousin, the son of her mother’s sister Joannah.  The Gantz family had been living in Fairfield, Iowa at the same time that the Bonewitz’ family lived there in 1880.27 
  • Ernest Gantz is possibly a relation of Argola.  There was another Gantz family that lived in Fairfield in 1880 which included a young person named Ernest.28
  • Argola accompanied Anna Higley who was probably the 17 year-old sister of Maggie’s sister-in-law Cornelia.  The Higley family was also living in Fairfield in 1880.29
  • C. P. White and wife were Maggie’s brother-in-law Charles and her sister Carrie.
  • John C. Thompson and wife were Maggie’s brother-in-law and her sister Emma.
  • H. N. Stump was a carpenter living in West Side.30  (Maggie’s father was a carpenter at the time.)31

The newspaper article notes that the Bonewitz family lived in West Side.  This was a newly developing area about three miles west from the post office and was near the West Side train depot grounds.  It would later be described as an area of workers’ cottages.32 This is the area that members of Maggie’s family would reside for the next 30 years.

Notes:

  1. Shaw-Messer Chapel, “In Memory of Maggie O. Daily” (Watertown, South Dakota: Shaw-Messer Chapel, March 15, 1947).
  2. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDVC-DFR : 17 October 2014), Maggie O Bonewits in household of John E Bonewits, Iowa, United States; citing p. 5, family 37, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,898.
  3. “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9M1-5855?cc=2000219&wc=QZFM-WRZ%3A791611401%2C793270701%2C793367301%2C793379401 : accessed 5 July 2020), South Dakota > Codington > Watertown City, Watertown, Ward 3 > 15-24B Watertown City Ward 3 bounded by (N) 4th Av S; (E) Maple, ward line; (S) city limits; (W) city limits, ward line > image 3 of 24; citing Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012.
  4. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MD2G-RHC : 13 July 2016), Maggie Bonewitz in household of J E Bonewitz, Fairfield, Jefferson, Iowa, United States; citing enumeration district ED 81, sheet 409D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0347; FHL microfilm 1,254,347.
  5. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 19 July 2020), memorial page for Freddy Bonewitz (Jan 1880–Jul 1880), Find a Grave Memorial no. 170992635, citing Prospect Hill Cemetery, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA ; Maintained by SRGF (contributor 47487065) .
  6. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 19 July 2020), memorial page for Claudius Coan Bonewitz (7 May 1876–23 Apr 1881), Find a Grave Memorial no. 170992581, citing Prospect Hill Cemetery, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA ; Maintained by SRGF (contributor 47487065) .
  7. Collins’ Omaha Directory (Omaha, Nebraska: Charles Collins, Publisher, June 1866): 19.
  8. Collins’ Omaha Directory: 21.
  9. Collins’ Omaha Directory: 24.
  10. Omaha Directory for 1870 (Omaha, Nebraska: J. M. Wolfe, Publisher, 1870): 17.
  11. J. M. Wolfe, publisher, Wolfe’s Omaha City Directory 1878-1879 (Omaha, Nebraska: Herald Publishing House and Book Bindery, 1878): 27.
  12. J. M. Wolfe, publisher, Wolfe’s Omaha City Directory 1881-1882 (Omaha, Nebraska: Herald Printing, Binding and Electrotyping House, 1881): 11.
  13. J. M. Wolfe, publisher, Omaha City Directory 1884 (Omaha, Nebraska: Herald Printing, Binding and Electrotyping Establishment, 1884): 9.
  14. Omaha City and Douglas County Directory 1887 (Omaha, Nebraska: J. M. Wolfe & Co., Publishers, 1887): 2.
  15. J. M. Wolfe, Wolfe’s Omaha City Directory 1881-1882: 116.
  16. J. M. Wolfe, Omaha City Directory 1884: 100.
  17. J. M. Wolfe, publisher, Omaha City and Douglas County Directory 1885 (Omaha, Nebraska: Herald Printing, Binding and Electrotyping House, 1885): 102.
  18. Omaha City and Douglas County Directory 1886 (Omaha, Nebraska: J. M. Wolfe & Co., Publishers, 1886): 113.
  19. State of California, California Death Index, 1940-1997 (Sacramento: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics): http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=cadeath1940&h=709689&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt .
  20. Marriage license of John C. Thompson and Emma V. Bonewitz (State of Nebraska, Douglas County, May 6, 1883).
  21. Marriage license of Charles P. White and Carrie Bonewitz (State of Nebraska, Douglas County, June 12, 1884).
  22. Omaha City and Douglas County Directory 1886: 15.
  23. A descendant of Josephine Smith Bonewitz’ brother Obediah Smith contacted the author through Ancestry.com and subsequently supplied this photograph which her grandmother had labeled John and Josephine Bonewitz.
  24. “Nebraska State Census Collection, 1860-1885,” (Online publication – Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009): http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=nestatecensus&h=1420813&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt .
  25. Marriage license of Harman F. Bonewitz and Cornelia B. Higley (State of Nebraska, Douglas County, December 29, 1886).
  26. Omaha Daily Bee (Omaha, Nebraska, November 20, 1887): 11, https://www.newspapers.com/image/149885912.
  27. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YYV-9P9W?cc=1417683&wc=XHBX-4WL%3A1589394762%2C1589396075%2C1589395491%2C1589396321 : 24 December 2015), Iowa > Jefferson > Fairfield > ED 80 > image 17 of 23; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., n.d.)
  28. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GYYV-9R3L?cc=1417683&wc=XHBX-C68%3A1589394762%2C1589396075%2C1589395491%2C1589396695 : 24 December 2015), Iowa > Jefferson > Fairfield > ED 81 > image 60 of 64; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., n.d.)
  29. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GYYV-9RN5?cc=1417683&wc=XHBX-C68%3A1589394762%2C1589396075%2C1589395491%2C1589396695 : 24 December 2015), Iowa > Jefferson > Fairfield > ED 81 > image 19 of 64; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., n.d.)
  30. Omaha City and Douglas County Directory 1887: 660.
  31. Omaha City and Douglas County Directory 1887: 75.
  32. Dennis Mihelich, ed., Ribbon of Destruction (Omaha, Nebraska: Douglas County Historical Society, n. d.): 8.

An Introduction to Maggie Oranna Bonewitz

  • Born on November 9, 1867 in Fairfield, Iowa
  • Parents: John Esli Bonewitz and Josephine E. Smith
  • Moved with her parents to Omaha, Nebraska about 1880
  • Married Charles Monroe Daily on November 18, 1891
  • Children: Gladys, Oranna, Robert, Iona, Elizabeth, Joseph (and an un-named baby boy)
  • In 1909 Maggie and Charles decided to try farming; they moved their family to a farm in Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas
  • In January 1913, Maggie and Charles returned to Omaha
  • On Easter Sunday, March 23, 1913, a tornado drove through the west side of Omaha, destroying Maggie and Charles’ home
  • In April 1915 Maggie and Charles moved their family to a farm in Rauville Township, Codington County, South Dakota
  • Sometime later Maggie and Charles moved to a farm in Lake Township, Codington County, South Dakota
  • Maggie and Charles retired from farming in 1932 and moved into Watertown, South Dakota
  • Her husband Charles died on March 9, 1945
  • Died March 15, 1947 at the age of 79 and is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Watertown, South Dakota
Maggie Bonewitz, on her wedding day
November 18, 1891

The Early Life of Herbert J. Bevers

Herbert James Bevers’ life begins in the county of York, in central northern England, an area where it is likely that his ancestors had lived for hundreds of years.  Some information can be gleaned about his childhood from the Bible of his parents, Alfred Cockin Bevers and Mary Naomi Bridges.  Herbert was born on March 8, 1869 in Sheepridge, which is in Huddersfield Parish.  Three children had been born to his parents before Herbert’s birth, but one sister had died when she was 16 days old.  So, when Herbert was born, his brother George, who had been born in Hull, York County, was four years-old, and his sister Ada, who was born in Bridlington, York County, was one and a half years-old.  Two months after his birth, Herbert was baptized on May 16, 1869.1

List of “Children’s Names” in the Bible of Alfred C. and Mary N. Bevers

Child’s Name    Parents’ Names    Mother’s Parents’ Names     Profession

Baptismal record of Herbert James Bevers, dated May 16, 1869

From the lists of births and deaths in the Bevers’ Bible we can follow where Herbert’s family was living during his childhood.  While living in Sheepridge, a sister and a set of twin boys were born, but none of them survived their first year of life.  The baby girl and one of the twins died while the family was in Sheepridge, but the second twin died in Barnsley.  It appears that the Bevers family had lived in Sheepridge for about four years.  The 1871 Census of England was taken while Herbert’s family was living in Sheepridge.  At that time, Herbert’s father was a “Collector and Canvasser for Prudential Insurance Company.”2

After moving to Barnsley, a town about 20 miles southeast of Sheepridge, another sister, Gertrude, was born when Herbert was three and a half years old.  Then about two and a half years later they would be in Sheepridge again for the birth of another sister, Agnes (but called by her middle name Maud).  At that time (April 1875) Herbert’s brother George was nearly 10 years-old, his sister Ada was 7 ½ years-old, Herbert was six years-old and Gertrude was about 2 ½ years-old.

The family made a longer move sometime before May 1877, for another son was born in Liverpool, on the west coast of England.  This son lived for about 14 months, dying in Bootle, a town three miles north of Liverpool.  In 1881, when the Census of England was taken, the Bevers family was located in Kirkdale, a ward of Liverpool.3  Herbert’s father was a “tailors cutter” and his brother George at the age of fifteen was a “pupil teacher.”  Herbert and his sisters were “scholars.”  At the end of 1881, another brother was born and the family was living in Bootle.  They were still living there nine months later when the baby died.  At that point (August 1882), George was 17 years-old, Ada nearly 15 years-old, Herbert was 13 ½ years-old, Gertrude 10 years-old and Maud was seven and a half years-old.

During the next several years, all the members of Herbert’s family would immigrate to the United States.  Resources give varying years for their arrivals in the USA, but I will report the years as they were recorded in the U. S. censuses.  Herbert’s father immigrated to the United States first, in 1883,4 leaving his family presumably in Bootle (Alfred’s daughter Maud wrote a letter to her father dated September 29, 1883 which identified her address as 13 Orlando Street.  An Internet search for this address locates it in Bootle, not Kirkdale nor Liverpool).  Then in 1884 Herbert’s mother and sisters immigrated5, joining Alfred in South Dakota.  Herbert would have been 15 years-old at that time.  It is not known why he stayed in England.  According to the 1940 U. S. Census, the highest grade that Herbert had completed was 6th grade,6 so he probably was no longer attending school.  His brother George immigrated in 1885,7  but Herbert didn’t immigrate until about 1888.8

When George Bevers immigrated to the USA, he settled in Philadelphia.  The first time there is an entry for him in the Philadelphia City directory is in 1886.9  He lived there nearly all of the rest of his life.  One of Herbert’s grandsons believes that Herbert spent some time in Philadelphia,10 but Herbert’s name cannot be found in the city directory.  Another source states that Herbert went to Virginia for a time.11  I have found no documentation to corroborate this either.  After Herbert traveled to the USA, the first thing that is known for certain is that Herbert was a resident of Phipps Township in Codington County, South Dakota when he married Lena Huppler in 1892.12  But the story of their life together will have to wait for another time.

  1. “West Yorkshire, Non-Conformist Records, 1646-1985” (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), http://www.Ancestry.com.
  2. “1871 England Census” [Class: RG10; Piece: 4372; Folio: 86; Page: 19; GSU roll: 848087]. In the repository of Ancestry.com (Provo, Utah, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2004): https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/7619/WRYRG10_4369_4372-0637/25690148?backurl=https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/18041304/person/620842544/facts/citation/145258692549/edit/record.
  3. “1881 England Census” [Class: RG11; Piece: 3684; Folio: 133; Page: 23; GSU roll: 1341882]. In the repository of Ancestry.com (Provo, Utah, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2004): https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/7572/LANRG11_3682_3686-0678/9137172?backurl=https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/18041304/person/620842544/facts/citation/140137474899/edit/record#?imageId=LANRG11_3682_3686-0679.
  4. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RGL-SS6B?cc=1727033&wc=QZZH-HGB%3A133638201%2C135920101%2C135948601%2C1589092018 : 24 June 2017), South Dakota > Kingsbury > De Smet Ward 2 > ED 257 > image 6 of 8; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  5. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch, South Dakota > Kingsbury > De Smet Ward 2.
  6. “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9M1-58J8?cc=2000219&wc=QZFM-WH1%3A791611401%2C793270701%2C793367301%2C951353501 : accessed 14 May 2020), South Dakota > Codington > Watertown City, Watertown, Ward 3 > 15-24A Watertown City Ward 3 bounded by (N) Kemp Av; (E) Maple; (S) 4th Av S; (W) ward line; also Barton Hospital, Codington County Jail, Watertown City Jail > image 17 of 42; citing Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012.
  7. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DZV6-7M?cc=1325221&wc=9B7K-NQX%3A1030550501%2C1036056801%2C1036357801 : 5 August 2014), Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > ED 976 Philadelphia city Ward 38 > image 28 of 33; citing NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-68DY-PH?cc=1325221&wc=9B7H-9LQ%3A1031648401%2C1033119401%2C1033119402 : 5 August 2014), South Dakota > Roberts > ED 282 Agency, One Road & Spring Grove Townships > image 4 of 11; citing NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. James Gopsill’s Sons, Publishers, Gopsill’s Philadelphia Directory (Philadelphia: James Gopsill’s Sons, Publishers, 1886): 182.
  10. M. E. Bevers, Willis Bevers Family History Slideshow (Unpublished, n. d.): 6.
  11. “Herbert James Bevers Family,” In The First 100 Years in Codington County, South Dakota, 1879-1979, by Codington County History Book Committee (Watertown, South Dakota: Watertown Public Opinion Print, 1979): 116.
  12. “Application for Marriage License of Herbert J. Beavers” (Circuit Court, Codington County, South Dakota, November 23, 1982).

What Became of the Huppler Orphans?

Immigrants John and Anna Huppeler1, with their six children, arrived at the Port of New York in April 1874.2  Two months later, at the Circuit Court of Monroe County, Wisconsin, a declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States was signed by John Huppler.3  Then nearly a year later, the name John Huppler appears on the Wisconsin state census.  As of June 1, 1875, he and his household were residing in Burns Township, La Crosse County.4  The census record indicates that there were four males and four females in the household, presumably these are John and his sons Christian, John and Friedrich and his wife Anna and daughters Rosetta, Anna Elizabeth5 and Lena.  This census of Burns Township also includes the household of John’s brother Jacob Hueppler, which had two males and three females.6  There is also a David Hueppler, which is probably another brother of John, having two males and two females in the household.7

Tragically, both John and Anna Huppler lose their lives within several months of being recorded on the 1875 Wisconsin census.  A century after their deaths, in a tribute to their daughter Anna Elizabeth’s 105th birthday, a statement is made: “When she was 6 her mother died and 6 mo. later, her father died. The 6 kids were placed with different families.”8  (According to other documentation of her age, Anna Elizabeth was actually eight years old when her parents died.)  The ages of the other children were: Christian, about 12; Rosetta, age 10; John, age 6 or 7; Friedrich, age 5 and Lena, age 3.

So, what became of these six children?  There is some family lore and a few documents that lead us to some possibilities of where the children were placed.  One family historian, a descendant of Lena, obtained from a descendant of Christian a copy of a document dated March 4, 1876, signed by two Supervisors of the town of Burns in La Crosse County, Wisconsin.  The document bound Christian as an indentured servant to William Sawyer of Burns until Christian reached the age of 21 years-old.  A portion of the document reads as follows:

“… Whereas Christian Huppler now 13 years of age, a minor son of John Huppler and his wife Anna, late of said Burns, both deceased, is a resident of said town of Burns and destitute of means of support and has become a charge whom said town for support ….  The Supervisors of the town of Burns have and by these presents do put and bind this said Christian Huppler unto the said William Sawyer as a servant for and until he shall have attained the full age of 21 years which will be on 22 Aug 1884 during which time the said servant shall serve his master faithfully, honestly and industriously….  The said William Sawyer hereby covenants, promises and agrees to and with said Board of Supervisors that he will furnish and provide said Christian Huppler with suitable and sufficient clothing, board and food and proper care, medical attendance in case of sickness and cause him within the said term to be instructed to read and write and in the general rules of mathematics and use him with proper care and extend to him suitable treatment and at the end of said terms he will give to said Christian Huppler the sum of $100.  And for the time performance of all and singular this covenants and agreements aforesaid, the said parties bind themselves each unto the other firmly by these presents.  In witness whereof the parties have set their hands and seals 4 Mar 1876.”9

William Sawyer was a farmer who had been living in La Crosse County since at least 1860 (his name is on the 1860 U. S. Census of the town of Bangor).10  According to the 1870 U. S. Census for Burns, William Sawyer’s household included his wife and three children, as well as another child, two farm laborers and a domestic servant.11  Christian himself can be found on the 1880 U. S. Census as part of the William Sawyer household, which was still residing in Burns.12  This census record identifies 16 year-old Christian’s relationship to the head of the household as “servant” and his occupation as “farm hand.”  Christian also attended school within the census year and he could read and write.  The birth place listed for Christian and his parents is “Switland” (this is assumed to be Switzerland).

1880 U. S. Census record of the William Sawyer household, which includes “Criss Huppler.”

According to the widow of one of Christian Huppler’s sons, the Huppler girls were raised by families with the name of McIntyre, Campbell and Christians, and she said that young John Huppler was raised by his uncle Jacob Huppler.13   She also said that “one boy died young of malaria after moving south.”  As yet I have not been able to locate the placements of Rosetta nor Friedrich Huppler, but I have collected some information about Anna Elizabeth, John and Lena.

Sorting out who Anna Elizabeth was raised by and when she left Wisconsin has been difficult to determine.  According to the above-mentioned article written when Anna Elizabeth turned 105-years-old, as an orphaned child “she lived and worked with the Alex McIntyre family” and the article also states that “two of her … brothers came to South Dakota and when she was 16 she joined them.”14  Alternatively, the text of the funeral folder of Anna Elizabeth seems to contradict the article, stating, “In 1880 she came to South Dakota with the William MacIntyre family.”15  William McIntyre was an early settler and businessman in Codington County, South Dakota (one source states that his arrival in Dakota Territory was in 1877, not 1880).16

“William and Adelaide [his wife] came to the tree claim he had staked two miles west of what is now Watertown.  They were accompanied by a large contingent of settlers including two of his brothers.  …They were very active in the early years of the city.  He served as mayor and was appointed to the group authorized to organize Codington County.”17

Anna Elizabeth might not have actually moved to South Dakota at the same time as William McIntyre.  In the 1880 U. S. Census of Sparta, Wisconsin, there is a record of a 13 year-old girl by the name of Annie in the household of Ester McIntyre who was married (not widowed), but her husband wasn’t in the household at the time the census was taken.18  The relationship of Annie to the head of the household (Ester) is recorded as “adopted.”  According to a posting about Esther McIntyre on the Find-a-Grave website, Esther’s husband was Alexander McIntyre and they had adopted Annie.19  Perhaps this is Anna Elizabeth Huppler.  Another posting on this website indicates that Alexander McIntyre moved to Watertown, South Dakota in 1886.20  If Anna Elizabeth did go to South Dakota when she was sixteen (which was 1883), then she may have left from the Alex McIntyre home, three years before he moved to South Dakota.

1880 U. S. Census record of the Ester McIntyre household, which includes adopted 13-year-old “Annie.”

Possible confirmation of the statement that young John Huppler was raised by his uncle Jacob comes from a census record that actually leaves us with some uncertainty due to spelling inconsistencies.  There is an 1880 U. S. Census record of a man named Jacob Hipler, living in Burns, Wisconsin21, the same town where Jacob Huppler was living when the Wisconsin state census was taken in 1875.  The Jacob of this 1880 census record is from Switzerland, as well as the two children in the household.  One of the children is named John, but the other is listed as Laura.  Yet both of the children are in the age range of John and Lena Huppler.  In the census record, their relationships to the head of the household are: son and daughter.

1880 U. S. Census record of Jacob Hipler household, which includes John and Laura.
(I propose that this is actually Jacob Huppler with his nephew John and niece Lena Huppler.)

After eight and a half years, the indenture of Christian Huppler was completed on August 23, 1884 when he turned 21 years-old.  Two years later he made his way to Codington County, South Dakota and began farming.22  Apparently, Christian’s relationship with his master William Sawyer was a good one, and after settling in South Dakota, Christian wrote to William.  This fact is known due to the existence of a letter written by William’s daughter Lena Sawyer to Christian.  Lena Sawyer’s letter states that she was writing a week after William Sawyer received a letter from Christian.  In her letter dated September 15, 1889, she calls herself his friend, she tells him of her impressions of South Dakota and informs him of the doings of the members of her family.  According to the wife of a family historian who is a descendant of Lena, the text of the letter reads:

“Father received your letter last week.  We are glad to know that you keep well and like Dakota.  I think it is just the place for young men and women too if they have plenty of courage.  I have often thought that I would like to own a piece of land in Dakota but could not well take a homestead. What kind did you get and are there any claims near yours.  I want land for speculation, not for a home for I could not stand Dakota winters.  I think some of taking a trip to Huron this fall to visit the cousins there.  Susie and Johnnie have moved to Mankato, MN.  Mother went East the middle of July.  She returned last week and brought a niece with her from NY.  Frank went to CA the first of July.  He thinks of spending a year in a law school at San Francisco then will settle in Stockton.  Said he would not be back for 10 years.  Allie has been home a month.  She is going to teach in the Graded School at Long Prairie next year.  Helen is at home. She is very anxious to learn short-hand and type-writing.  Edgar has moved to LaCrosse and working at carpentry.  Your friend, Lena”23

The 1915 South Dakota state census record of Lena Bevers indicates that she had been living in South Dakota for 29 years, which would mean that she moved to South Dakota in 1886, when she was 14-years-old.24  This is the same year that Lena’s cousin Kate Huppler Dellman moved to South Dakota with her husband J. H. Dellman.25  Kate was the second daughter of Jacob Huppler.  If it is true that three-year-old orphaned Lena was taken in by Jacob Huppler, then Kate would have been sixteen-years-old at the time.  Around five years later, in December 1880, Kate married Julius Dellman.26  Then, in the same year that Christian Huppler moved to Codington County, the Dellmans moved to Watertown, South Dakota.  Perhaps young Lena Huppler had joined the Dellmans during their move to South Dakota.

According to family lore learned by one of Christian Huppler’s descendants, Christian was instrumental in bringing all of his siblings to South Dakota.27  Briefly, the following information is known about the residences of Christian and his siblings as young adults.

  • “Christian’s name is one of 22 settlers who signed a petition filed April 16, 1889 asking that the area be organized into a civil township known as Phipps Township.”28
  • It is not yet known which family took in Rosetta Huppler when her parents died, nor when and how she made her way to South Dakota.  But she was living in Phipps Township, Codington County, South Dakota when she married Gottlieb Christian in 1900.29
  • Anna Elizabeth “had her own homestead near the McIntyre home which was north of Watertown and just west of Rauville.”30  Also, she and her husband Dougal Campbell were living in Phipps Township in 1900.31
  • As a young man John Huppler must have lived in South Dakota for a short time.  He was there in 1892 when his sister Lena married Herbert Bevers.  John and his sister Anna Elizabeth were witnesses who signed Lena and Herbert’s marriage certificate.32  John must have returned to Wisconsin about 1893 because he was married there about 1894.
  • Little is known about Friedrich.  As yet, no record has been found of his living in South Dakota.  Some family historians give him a death date of about the year 1900.  Perhaps he died in the south of malaria, as one story reports about one of the Huppler boys.33
  • According to Lena’s marriage license dated November 1892, she was a resident of Watertown, Codington County, South Dakota at that time.34

Notes:

  1. The Huppler name is spelled in a variety of ways on different documents.  When a document is referenced, the name is spelled as it is written in the document.
  2. “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK97-V815 : 11 March 2018), John Huppeler, 1874; citing Immigration, New York City, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 175,744.
  3. “Declaration of John Huppler,” (Circuit Court, Monroe County, Wisconsin: June 12, 1874).
  4. Wisconsin Historical Society; Madison, Wisconsin; Census Year: 1875; Roll: 3 (https://ancestry.com. Wisconsin, State Censuses, 1855-1905 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007).
  5. Both names (Anna Elizabeth) are used throughout this article because some resources refer to her as Anna and some refer to her as Elizabeth, Liz or Lizzie.
  6. Wisconsin Historical Society; Census Year: 1875.
  7. Wisconsin Historical Society; Census Year: 1875.
  8. Jenkins Methodist Home News, v. 6 no. 3, “105th Birthday” (Watertown, South Dakota: Jenkins Methodist Home, August 1972), 1.
  9. M. A. Bevers, email communication to M. Wilson, April 20, 2020.
  10. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW9S-VXG : 18 March 2020), William Sawyer, 1860.
  11. “United States Census, 1870”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN9L-331 : 19 March 2020), William Sawyer, 1870.
  12. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN4R-LFZ : 17 September 2017), William P Sowyer, Burns, La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States; citing enumeration district ED 44, sheet 335A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,255,432.
  13. M. A. Bevers, notes of an interview with Geraldine Huppler, widow of Jim Huppler, July 1991 (posted to Johannes Hüpperle in “Bevers-Daily-McFerran-Nelson Families” family tree on Ancestry.com, n.d.).
  14. Jenkins Methodist Home News, “105th Birthday.”
  15. Shaw-Messer Funeral Home, “Anna E. Campbell, 1867-1972” (Watertown, South Dakota: Shaw-Messer Funeral Home, January 3, 1973).
  16. “William McIntyre Family,” In The First 100 Years in Codington County, South Dakota, 1879-1979, by Codington County History Book Committee (Watertown, South Dakota: Watertown Public Opinion Print, 1979): 264.
  17. “William McIntyre Family,” In The First 100 Years in Codington County, South Dakota, 1879-1979: 264.
  18. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNHW-FTG : 23 August 2017), Ester Mcintyre, Sparta, Monroe, Wisconsin, United States; citing enumeration district ED 29, sheet 93A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,255,439.
  19. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 28 March 2020), memorial page for Esther E Husted McIntyre (27 May 1837–8 Jul 1912), Find a Grave Memorial no. 88550806, citing Leon Cemetery, Sparta, Monroe County, Wisconsin, USA; Maintained by Susan Hunt Williams (contributor 47664730).
  20. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 28 March 2020), memorial page for Alexander “Alex” McIntyre (18 Jun 1838–18 Nov 1907), Find a Grave Memorial no. 88523698, citing Leon Cemetery, Sparta, Monroe County, Wisconsin, USA; Maintained by Susan Hunt Williams (contributor 47664730).
  21. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN4R-RN5 : 17 September 2017), Jacob Kipher, Burns, La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States; citing enumeration district ED 44, sheet 341B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,255,432.
  22. “Christian Huppler Family,” In The First 100 Years in Codington County, South Dakota, 1879-1979, by Codington County History Book Committee (Watertown, South Dakota: Watertown Public Opinion Print, 1979): 208.
  23. M. A. Bevers, email communication to M. Wilson, April 20, 2020.
  24. “South Dakota State Census, 1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMHW-WHC : 29 July 2017), Lena Bevers; citing State Historical Society, Pierre; FHL microfilm 2,283,122.
  25. “J. H. Dellman Family,” In The First 100 Years in Codington County, South Dakota, 1879-1979, by Codington County History Book Committee (Watertown, South Dakota: Watertown Public Opinion Print, 1979): 156.
  26. “J. H. Dellman Family,” In The First 100 Years in Codington County, South Dakota, 1879-1979: 156.
  27. M. L. Winzenburg, email communication with K. Bevers, Apr. 19, 2017.
  28. “Christian Huppler Family,” In The First 100 Years of Codington County, South Dakota, 1879-1979: 208.
  29. M. A. Bevers, notes of the marriage record of Rosa Huppler and Gotlip (sp?) Christian (posted to Rosetta Huppler in “Bevers-Daily-McFerran-Nelson Families” family tree on Ancestry.com, n.d.).
  30. Jenkins Methodist Home News, “105th Birthday.”
  31. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMRS-CZZ : accessed 15 April 2020), Anna E Campbell in household of Degald Campbell, Fuller, Richland & Phipps Townships, Codington, South Dakota, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 102, sheet 7B, family 131, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,548.
  32. “Marriage License of Herbert J. Beavers and Lena Huppler” (Circuit Court, Codington County, South Dakota: November 23, 1892).
  33. M. A. Bevers, notes of an interview with Geraldine Huppler.
  34. “Marriage License of Herbert J. Beavers and Lena Huppler.”

The Huppelers’ Arrival in the USA

On an early spring day in 1874, the R. M. S. City of Paris arrived at the Port of New York.  This ship had been serving as a passenger liner since 18661 and its record as a fast ship along with the records of the other four or five ships in its fleet contributed to its owners being granted a contract to transport mail by the British Post Office Government.2  Thus it holds the prefix “R. M. S.” which means Royal Mail Steamship.3  It was an iron-hulled, screw-propelled steamship, but it was fitted with sails also in order to navigate in unpredictable weather.  (Initially, steamships were propelled by paddlewheel.  The first screw-propelled steamship was built in 1840.4  Screw-propellers became the standard mode of propelling steamships until they were replaced by steam turbines in the early 1900s.  The transition from wood hulls to iron hulls began about 1850.5)  “After four years of service, City of Paris was lengthened to 397 feet (121 meters) and re-engined with compounds ….  This raised her tonnage to 3100 and her capacity to 150 cabin and 400 steerage.”6

City of Paris passenger liner, 1866 (Public Domain)7

On April 9, 1874, Henry Tibbits, the Master of the R. M. S. City of Paris, submitted a ship manifest to the Collector of the Customs of the Collection District of New York.  Listed on this ship manifest as one of the families who traveled in steerage is the Huppeler family, which included:

#185      Joh Huppeler, age 42, male, laborer

#186      Anna Huppeler, age 40, female, wife

#187      Christ Huppeler, age 9, male, child

#188      Rosetta (sp) Huppeler, age 7, female, child

#189      Anna Huppeler, age 6, female, child

#190      Joh Huppeler, age 4, male, child

#191      Friedr Huppeler, age 3, male, child

#192      Lena Huppeler, age 2, female, child

A section of the manifest of the R. M. S. City of Paris, dated April 9, 18748

On this manifest, the country recorded to which the Huppelers belonged was Germany, but the naturalization documents of Christian, Anna, John and Lena Huppler indicate that they had been subjects of Switzerland.9  The R. M. S. City of Paris picked up passengers in Liverpool, England and Queenstown, Ireland.  At this point, it is not known exactly how long this specific voyage across the Atlantic Ocean was, but it is recorded that “In a famous February 1868 race, City of Paris and Russia sailed from New York within an hour of each other. The Inman liner [City of Paris] claimed 8 days, 19 hours, 23 minutes to Queenstown, while the Cunarder [Russia] required 42 minutes longer using a slightly different course.”10

The ship manifest also records that the Huppeler family intended to become inhabitants of the United States of America.  When they disembarked from the ship they would have been processed as immigrants at Castle Gardens, New York City.

“Prior to 1890, individual states (rather than the federal government) regulated immigration into the United States.  These regulation efforts were varied and inconsistent.  …

“On August 1, 1855, the [state of] New York opened the first official immigrant receiving station in New York City.  It functioned as an immigrant processing center and was the first of its kind in the United States.  Castle Gardens operated as an Emigrant Landing Depot until April 18, 1890, when the United States government assumed control of immigrant processing.  In total, the center processed approximately 8 million immigrants (mostly from northern and western Europe).

“When immigrants disembarked at Castle Garden, they had to register with their name, birth place, and destination.  A clerk at the Railway Agency would then purchase a railway ticket for the immigrant to travel to that destination.  The immigrant’s baggage would be weighed and checked to his destination.  Exchange brokers for immigrants to exchange foreign currency and a restaurant were also located at the center.  A station for [letter] writing was also available, in which an immigrant could send a letter free of charge to inform family or friends of their arrival.  The Ward’s Island and medicinal department was an important bureau at Castle Garden.  There, immigrants without the means to support themselves would be cared for until assistance came from friends or the immigrants would be disposed of as laborers.  A large blackboard with the names of ships who were or would shortly be at port was kept for friends of the immigrants to know when they arrived and locate them.  The Labor Exchange was where immigrants, and others, could apply for and generally find employment.  Immigrants could also find boarding houses to rest for one or two days before heading out to their destinations.

“Castle Gardens was a very busy and important immigrant receiving station.  To illustrate, in 1869, 2884 letters written from immigrants to their friends were forwarded, over $41,000 was sent from these friends in return.  Also in 1869, 4393 telegraph messages were forwarded and 1351 answers were received.  Also, 504 steamers and 209 sailing vessels arrived carrying passengers.”11

Five years earlier than when John Huppeler’s family arrived at New York City, another Huppeler family had immigrated to the United States – the family of John’s brother.  The ship manifest of the S. S. William Penn (“S. S.” means single-screw steamship12) lists the following members:

#259      Jacob Huppeler, age 42, male

#260      Catherine Huppeler, age 52, female

#261      Anna Lise Huppeler, age 11, female

#262      Catharine Huppeler, age 9, female

This steamship had picked up passengers in London, England and in Havre, France.  This Huppeler family had traveled in steerage, the country to which they belonged was recorded as Switzerland and they intended to become inhabitants of the United States.  Of the 613 passengers listed on the ship manifest, 158 of them were from Switzerland.

A section of the manifest of the S. S. William Penn, dated April 2, 186913

Notes:

  1. “SS City of Paris (1865)” (November 16, 2019), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_City_of_Paris_(1865).
  2. “SS City of Paris (1865)” (November 16, 2019), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_City_of_Paris_(1865).
  3. “Steamship” (December 17, 2019), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamship#Name_prefix.
  4. “Steamship” (December 17, 2019), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamship#First_ocean-going_steamships.
  5. “Inman Line” (November 18, 2019), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inman_Line#1850–66.
  6. “SS City of Paris (1865)” (November 16, 2019), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_City_of_Paris_(1865).
  7. “File:City of Paris (1866).jpg” (September 7, 2009, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SS_City_of_Paris_1866.jpg.
  8. “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK97-V815 : 11 March 2018), John Huppeler, 1874; citing Immigration, New York City, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 175,744.
  9. Microfilm images of naturalization papers of Christian Huppler, Anna E. Huppler, John Huppler and Lena Huppler, South Dakota State Historical Society, Pierre, South Dakota.
  10. “SS City of Paris (1865)” (November 16, 2019), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_City_of_Paris_(1865).
  11. Becca Curtis, “US Immigration History” (August 17, 2018), https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/US_Immigration_History.
  12. “Steamship” (December 17, 2019), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamship#Name_prefix.
  13. “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV3Q-S25K : 11 March 2018), Jacob Huppelar, 1869; citing Immigration, New York City, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 175,664.

Why go to Texas? — Why leave Texas?

In my series of blogposts from October 13 to November 8, the focus was on how Herbert and Lena Bevers and their family traveled from Watertown, South Dakota to Raymondville, Texas.  But I didn’t address why they chose to move to a farm in Texas.  As recorded in the U. S. censuses and state censuses, from the beginning of their marriage in 1892 until 1919, Herbert and Lena farmed in four locations in South Dakota:

  1. Agency Township, Roberts County (1900)
  2. Rau Township, Codington County (1905)
  3. Oxford Township, Hamlin County (1910)
  4. Elmira Township, Codington County (1915)

The first property that I have evidence of Herbert owning was a homestead in Agency Township, Roberts County.  In the Register of Deeds Office in Sisseton, Roberts County, there is a record of Herbert paying $400.00 on October 24, 1902 for 160 acres from the United States.  A deed record in the same office shows that on the following day, Herbert and Lena sold that property for $2,300.00.  It is not known whether he purchased property following the sale of that homestead, but according to the 1910 U. S. census and the 1915 South Dakota State census, Herbert was renting farms, instead of owning them.

Somehow Herbert heard that land in southern Texas was available.  The New Handbook of Texas provides a description of land development that we can use to speculate:

“The real surge of Anglo settlement came after the building of the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway into the lower [Rio Grande] Valley in 1904.  Close behind the tracks came the land promoters, who worked enthusiastically to convert pastures to plowed fields. … The railroad companies, more aggressive than land promoters, bought large tracts of land, subdivided them, and sold them to customers they recruited elsewhere.  Magazines, pamphlets and brochures with photographs of the happy and easy life that awaited the new settler in the area were scattered throughout the Mississippi valley.  Between 1905 and 1910, on the first and third Tuesday of the month, prospective farmers could purchase thirty-day round-trip tickets from St. Louis and Kansas for twenty dollars and from Chicago for twenty-five.  The excursions would take them to investigate the possibilities of the ‘Magic Valley.’  They bought land, settled in communities planned by ranchers or land developers, chose the most profitable cash crop that could be cultivated, and began to recruit Mexican day laborers.”1

Two men who saw the lucrative advantages of being real estate agents in southern Texas were Alva A. Lindahl and William A. Harding, who in 1910 lived in Minnesota.2,3  (On November 6, 1919, Lena stated in her travel log, “we waited for a telegram from Harding.”4  It is quite likely that she was referring to William A. Harding.)  By the mid-1910s Lindahl and Harding were purchasing and selling property in the newly established Raymondville area of Cameron County.  One example of their sales is the transfer of 6000 acres (known as Rancho Tresquilas, San Juan de Carricitos Grant) for $205,000 from Harding to Lindahl.5,6  The grant in this description refers to “the earliest Spanish land grant [which] was El Agostadero de San Juan Carricitos, made to José Narciso Cabazos on February 22, 1792.”7

A review of deed records in Cameron County deed registers reveals that Lindahl and Harding sold properties as individual agents and also in a group.  In 1916 Frederick Kammrath, who was from Minnesota and the future father-in-law of Herbert and Lena’s daughter Florence, purchased 160 acres from a group which included Alva A. Lindahl, his wife Ethel G. Lindahl, his father Ole Lindahl, his sister L. V. Harding and his brother-in-law W. A. Harding.8  Alva A. Lindahl served as the trustee for this group.  In the 1920 U. S. Census, Alva A. Lindahl’s occupation is listed as farm dealer and W. A. Harding’s occupation is real estate salesman.

In 1919 Herbert and Lena joined the stream of people traveling to Texas to begin a new farming endeavor.  One of their grandsons relates what he was told about their experience:

“Grandpa had … a farm near Raymondville but it was all cactus and mesquite trees so they had to clear the land.  The South Dakota horses were not familiar with the cactus so they didn’t know enough to walk around them.  Their legs got full of thorns and swelled up.  Grandpa had to buy some Texas horses to clear the land.”9

Mesquite trees and cactus near Raymondville, Texas (Photograph by EJJ November 9, 2019)
Cactus along U. S. Highway 181 (Photograph by MRW November 5, 2019)

Obviously, the climate and terrain of southern Texas was drastically different from South Dakota, but also the social atmosphere was very different.  In the late 1790s, Spaniards had settled in that area and in the early 1800s immigrants from Mexico began arriving.  Over time the Tejano culture developed, an intermingling of European, primarily Spanish, culture and Mexican culture.  In the 1880s and 1890s, Anglos moved into the region and gradually took control of ranches through marriage and defraud.10  An ethnic divide began to develop, with Anglos assuming superiority over Hispanics.  The division escalated following the arrival of the railway:

“The county’s new residents, however, mostly Protestant and white, were more reluctant to assimilate, and as a result ethnic divisions began to widen.  After 1910 social relations came to be increasingly dominated by ethnic separatism. … Segregated facilities – including churches, schools, and restaurants – were established for Hispanics and Anglos, and many of the former felt the sharp sting of discrimination.”11

“As more settlers came in from northern states and transformed ranches to farms, ranchers (early white settlers) sided against farmers (newcomers); the division led to the reorganization of [Willacy County in 1921]. … Relations between Anglos and Mexicans became even more antagonistic during the late 1920s, as evidenced by the Raymondville peonage cases of 1927, which showed that Mexicans were controlled by the Anglo minority ….”12

One family event is known to have occurred while the Bevers family was in Texas.  Eight and a half months after arriving in Texas, seventeen-year-old Florence married Theodore (Ted) Kamrath, the son of Frederick Kammrath, on July 20, 1920 in Brownsville, which is located about 50 miles south of Raymondville on the Mexican border.  It is believed that Herbert and Lena farmed near Raymondville for only one year.  One of their grandsons was told that they gave up and returned to Watertown, but their son Willis stayed in Texas for another year, working on a road crew before returning to Watertown.13  Florence and her new husband didn’t stay in Texas either.  They moved to Ted Kamrath’s home state, Minnesota.

Notes:

  1. A. A. Garza, “Willacy County,” The New Handbook of Texas vol. 6 (Austin, Texas: The Texas State Historical Association, 1996): 975.
  2. Year: 1910; Census Place: Center Creek, Martin, Minnesota; Roll: T624_710; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0110; FHL microfilm: 1374723.
  3. Year: 1910; Census Place: Winnebago, Faribault, Minnesota; Roll: T624_696; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0090; FHL microfilm: 1374709.
  4. L. Bevers, Our Trip to Texas (unpublished, 1919): 11.
  5. “Harding, W. A.,” General Index to Deeds – Grantors (Brownsville, Texas: Cameron County Clerk): 51.
  6. “Lindahl, Alba A. Trustee,” General Index to Deeds – Grantees (Brownsville, Texas: Cameron County Clerk): 51.
  7. A. A. Garza, “Willacy County,” The New Handbook of Texas, https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcw10.
  8. D. Kroeker, “Alva Andrew Lindahl,” Kroeker Family Tree, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/71024103/person/36240481145/facts.
  9. D. L. Bevers, Herbert and Lena Bevers trip to Raymondville Texas [Transcription of Our Trip to Texas by Lena Bevers, 1919] (Unpublished, n.d.): 4.
  10. A. A. Garza & C. Long, “Cameron County,” The New Handbook of Texas vol. 1 (Austin, Texas: The Texas State Historical Association, 1996): 919.
  11. A. A. Garza & C. Long, “Cameron County,” The New Handbook of Texas vol. 1 (Austin, Texas: The Texas State Historical Association, 1996): 921.
  12. A. A. Garza, “Willacy County,” The New Handbook of Texas vol. 6 (Austin, Texas: The Texas State Historical Association, 1996): 975.
  13. D. L. Bevers, Herbert and Lena Bevers trip to Raymondville Texas [Transcription of Our Trip to Texas by Lena Bevers, 1919] (Unpublished, n.d.): 4.