Reminiscences of Uncle Bob, Part Four

In March 1913, Charles and Maggie Daily moved their family from a farm near Topeka, Kansas (see Reminiscences of Uncle Bob, Part 3) back to Omaha, Nebraska.  Charles probably took employment at a company he had worked for previously, in the 1890s.  Whether he started working there immediately or later in the year, by the time the 1914 Omaha city directory was issued, he was a foreman at West Omaha Coal and Ice Company.1 When the Dailys arrived in Omaha, they intended to move into the home that they owned in the neighborhood called West Side.  Renters were still living in their house so they had to wait until the first of April to move into it.  During the interim, tragedy struck the city.  At about age 84, their son Robert recounted the event:

Interviewer:  … Let’s see, the tornado in Omaha —

Uncle Bob:  That was on the 23rd of March.

Interviewer:  And I believe your house was damaged?

Uncle Bob:  Yeah, our home was completely gone except one side wall of our own home.  We were, we moved up there just, see, 10 days before the, uh, tornado and we had to wait till the first of the month.  Easter Sunday, see, uh, the tornado was on Easter Sunday, and we had to wait till the first of the month to be able to get in our own home.  So, we stored all our household goods in Grandma’s basement.  She had a 13-room house, a full basement apartment underneath.  An’ o’ course, when the storm hit, why, it took a lot.  But when it finally did move, why it just crushed the foundation down and we just lost all our household goods, see.

Interviewer:  Ohhh!

Uncle Bob:  It set that big house down on there.  An’ our own home was two blocks north of there and all it left was just one side wall.  The house went completely away from there.  We never found it, see.2


The following photographs of damaged homes are from the interviewer’s collection.  They are not labeled, so it is not known whose homes these are.


On the evening of Easter Sunday, six tornadoes struck eastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa. The most destructive of these raced through Omaha, striking 2000 homes and demolishing 750 of them, thus displacing over 2000 residents and killing 94 people.3  The tornado entered the city from the southwest, immediately striking the workers’ cottage area of West Side where the Daily home was located as well as the homes of relations of the Dailys:

As the whirlwind raced over West Lawn and the Bohemian cemeteries toppling tombstones, it struck the worker cottage area from 53rd and Francis to 51st and Center and on to Leavenworth Street.  It splintered a long strip of houses, killing eight people in the 48th and Pacific neighborhood.  A score of fires broke out due to ruptured gas lines.  The amount of debris in the streets, at times concealing fire hydrants, prevented firefighters from responding effectively.  Fortuitously, evening rains squelched the fires throughout the city.4


Within the path of the twister were the homes of:

Charles and Maggie Daily at 1022 S. 46th.5

Maggie’s brother Harman Bonewitz at 1048 S. 48th with his wife Cornelia and son Roscoe.6

Maggie’s mother Josephine (nee Smith) Bonewitz at 4817 Pacific (where Maggie’s brother Sidney Bonewitz was also living).7

Maggie’s aunt Joanna Gantz at 4909 Hickory with her husband John and daughter Adda.8

Joanna Gantz’ son, J. Harmon Gantz at 4850 Hickory, with his wife Helen and two daughters, Dorothy and Bernice.9

Thankfully, none of these families lost lives to the whirlwind. But unfortunately, West Omaha Coal and Ice, Charles’ employer, which was located at 4801 Leavenworth10 would also have been in the path of the tornado.

A map of the tornado’s path through the city,
published by The Omaha Daily Bee11

Soon after the tornado passed through the city, Omaha’s Mayor James C. Dahlman issued a proclamation:

To the People of Omaha: A great calamity has struck our city.  Many lives and homes have been destroyed.  The authorities, with the assistance of Major C. F. Hartman of Fort Omaha, with 200 troops, are doing all that can be done tonight in guarding property and rescuing the dead and injured.

Tomorrow it will be necessary to properly patrol this district, which extends over several miles of territory, and until matters can be adjusted, so that property may be protected and men have an opportunity to clear the wreckage.  No one will be allowed inside the lines unless properly authorized, so I call on the public generally to be patient.

Thousands of volunteers are doing all they can tonight.  I appeal to the people in this hour of distress to house and feed all that need help until other arrangements can be made.12

Throughout the night, reporters were busy gathering information and by the time the printing presses started at about 4:00 A. M., the front page of the Morning World-Herald was full of descriptions of the destruction caused by the tornado, as well as preliminary lists of the deceased and the injured, stating where the injured were recovering.  Portions of the front-page article follows:

Cyclonic conditions, unknown to all, prevailed over the Missouri valley during the day, and a gigantic twister suddenly appeared, at 5:45 o’clock, as a manifestation of this disturbance.

The wind demon came careening over the prairies from the southwest and drove a diagonal course through the residence district to the north east ….

The huge, fashionable residences of the denizens of West Farnam hill suffered alike with the simple cottages of West Side and the substantial homes of Bemis Park and northern Omaha. …

Omaha has long been regarded as tornado-proof, on account of its barricade of surrounding hills, but this imaginary protection was swiftly proven a flimsy fabric indeed.  The twister, reaping a harvest over half a mile wide, swept over the hilltops and down the valleys with the neat and deadly precision of some omnipotent mowing machine. …

… Streets and boulevards are so enmeshed in wreckage that travel, even on foot, is practically impossible, while street car and telephone service is almost nil.  Automobiles and other vehicles are likewise nearly helpless ….13

Relief efforts began immediately, including the organization of a Citizens Relief Committee, which had the responsibility of disbursing funds and supplies, such as food, clothing, fuel and other necessities.  “A sub-committee investigated aid requests using vehicles donated by wealthy Omahans; upon verification, requisitions sped to the destination in trucks loaned by businesses and in horse-drawn wagons lent by the Army.”14 During the following months, over $350,000 in aid was dispensed.

The city established neighborhood relief stations to distribute donated food and clothing; teachers opened additional stations in schools for relief and to act as shelters and congregants did so in their churches.  The state contributed $100,000, some of which went for low-interest reconstruction loans.  The Omaha World-Herald resurrected its “Tow Line” appeal and collected approximately $50,000 towards the relief effort.  Several hotels offered free lodging to the poor, and the Real Estate Exchange worked to prevent gouging on rents.15

A relief station at 48th and Leavenworth,16 near the Daily property

Everyone in the city was involved in cleaning up after the tornado because of “a fine, brownish dust that entered homes through the smallest of openings and settled on furniture and carpets.”17 Organized clean-up efforts began the first weekend of April in order to remove the wreckage in the streets and lots:

Over 10,000 volunteers met at 27 locations in the affected areas to pitch debris into trucks that removed it to designated dumping areas.  Groups volunteered in units of college students, school children and factory workers.  The newspapers praised the heroic effort that cleared the ruble, made the streets passable and precipitated a rapid rebuilding effort.18

A Restoration Committee handled the reconstruction effort:

This body secured large amounts of money from local financiers and likewise made trips to Chicago, where they secured additional funds from the railroads running into Omaha.  For the purposes of restoration they loaned money without interest for a term of years and in some instances practically gave it away.19


Robert explained how his family rebuilt their homes:

Uncle Bob:  So, Uncle Finley, that’s mother’s brother, older brother, he was a carpenter. [Harman was his first name, Finley was his middle name.]  Always had carpentry.  In the first place was, we had to build up Grandma’s home, see.

Interviewer:  Um hmm.

Uncle Bob:  Build up a cottage, we built up a cottage for Grandma.  An’ that’s where I worked all the time that summer, ten cents an hour, cleaning bricks and cleaning – [chuckling]

Interviewer:  You’d’ve been 13?

Uncle Bob:  Yeah, I was coming on 13, not til May, see. …  Built Grandma’s house.  And uh, then built, well, first we built a, uh, called it a barn, but when it come right down, it was just the size of a one stall garage, see.

Interviewer:  Mmm.  Um hmm.

Uncle Bob:  We lived in it.  There was a loft in it ….  An’ that’s where we lived while uncle was building Grandma’s house, and then built our house. … We had a nine-room house.  Took that out, see.

Interviewer:  So, you left a new house in Omaha when you moved up here?

Uncle Bob:  Well, it [wasn’t] that new.  From 1913 to 1915.  Yeah.

Interviewer:  Two years.

Uncle Bob:  … An’ we built another house in 1914 there.  Uncle had a, had a house in lot, just in the second lot, uh, can’t tell you the direction, got different direction down there.  But there was a house in between our home and his, the one that he rented.  Of course, it [the tornado] damaged that one there, so he sold it to dad and he tore that down and built a cottage up there, jus’ small four-room cottage.20

The newly built home of Charles and Maggie Daily one year after the tornado. (March 1914)

Besides helping to re-build homes, Robert continued attending public school.  Robert related the difficulties he encountered during his schooling because the curriculums of various schools were not comparable.

Interviewer:  Now, would you, you would have been through school, or you would have been through 8th grade?

Uncle Bob:  No, I’d been through so much, I’d had so much free schooling, see.  I didn’t, I didn’t graduate until 1915 from the seventh grade. …

Interviewer:  I see.  Okay.

Uncle Bob:  ‘Cause I’d had free schooling.  From moving in from the farm, coming into town, they sent me back. [The Dailys moved from a farm west of Omaha into the city in 1908 when Robert was 7 years old.]

Interviewer:  Um hmm.

Uncle Bob:  Well, I was only in there 15 months, and then we moved to Kansas.  When we moved to Kansas, Kansas had a different set up, see.  So, I had to pick up that.  Well, I was [down there] four years, well, then when we come back to Omaha, and they sent me back again, because I didn’t have the education along [with] them.  I had lots of free schooling, though.

Interviewer:  Did you ever finish eighth grade?

Uncle Bob:  No.

Interviewer:  You didn’t.

Uncle Bob:  Just 7th grade.  … after I graduated from the 7th grade, I did put in from September until 1st of March, that’s how much, in 8th grade.

Uncle Bob:  And Oranna, she started in – at that time we had a two-year high school and a four-year high school.  One was more of a business [school] and Oranna wasn’t cut out for that kind of work.  After she went there, well, she wasn’t interested in educating, she was always interested in more, want’n t’raise a family and –

Interviewer:  Housework.

Uncle Bob:  That was her turf.21

A high school Robert’s older sister Oranna may have attended was the High School of Commerce.

At this time, many students’ school careers ended with eighth grade graduation. Students who went on to high school were preparing to enter a profession that required college and generally came from more well-to-do families. The High School of Commerce offered classes in typing, stenography, telegraphy, bookkeeping, commerce law, etc., that prepared students for opportunities for better paying jobs in the business field. The program originated in the basement of Omaha’s Central High School in 1911, but the response was so great that within a year, classes were moved to the old Leavenworth Elementary School building at 17th and Leavenworth Streets. The school quickly became overcrowded and was replaced in 1922 by Technical High School.22

High School of Commerce, Omaha, Nebraska, 191222

After the Dailys had lived in Omaha for two years, at Maggie’s urging Charles found another farm for them and on April 10, 1915, the family headed to northeast South Dakota.23  Robert’s reminiscences will continue.


  1. __________, Omaha City Directory Including South Omaha 1914 (Omaha, Nebraska: Omaha Directory Co., 1914): 250.
  2. M. R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Uncle Bob Interview by R. Thiele, recording (ca. 1984): 7-8.
  3. D. Mihelich (Ed.), Ribbon of Destruction (Omaha, Nebraska: Douglas County Historical Society, n. d.): 3.
  4. Mihelich, Ribbon of Destruction: 8.
  5. Omaha City Directory 1914: 250.
  6. __________, Omaha City Directory Including South Omaha 1913 (Omaha, Nebraska: Omaha Directory Co., 1913): 133.
  7. Omaha City Directory 1913: 133-134.
  8. Omaha City Directory 1913: 333.
  9. Omaha City Directory 1913: 333.
  10. Omaha City Directory 1913: 954.
  11. “Map Showing Devastated District, with Principal Points Marked,” The Omaha Daily Bee, March 26, 1913, morning edition, https://nebnewspapers.unl.edu/lccn/sn99021999/1913-03-26/ed-1/seq-2/.
  12. J. C. Dahlman, “Mayor’s proclamation,” Morning World-Herald, March 24, 1913.
  13. __________, “Tornado kills 60, injures 152, in Omaha,” Morning World-Herald, March 24, 1913.
  14. Mihelich, Ribbon of Destruction: 46.
  15. Mihelich, Ribbon of Destruction: 42.
  16. S. Jones, “Back in the day, March 23, 1913: Monster tornado rips a scar across Omaha on Easter,” Omaha World-Herald, Mar. 23, 2021, https://omaha.com/news/local/history/back-in-the-day-march-23-1913-monster-tornado-rips-a-scar-across-omaha-on/article_53e17c40-74b1-11eb-a848-4b45501f7435.html.
  17. Mihelich, Ribbon of Destruction: 46.
  18. Mihelich, Ribbon of Destruction: 46.
  19. Mihelich, Ribbon of Destruction: 47.
  20. Wilson, Robert Lee Daily Interview: 8.
  21. Wilson, Robert Lee Daily Interview: 9-10.
  22. Nebraska Memories, “Omaha High School of Commerce,” http://memories.nebraska.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/ops/id/2/rec/13.
  23. Wilson, Robert Lee Daily Interview: 9.

Reminiscences of Uncle Bob, Part Two

In the blogpost, Reminiscences of Uncle Bob, Part One, the focus was on the life of Charles and Maggie Daily while they lived on two farms 13 miles outside of Omaha, Nebraska.  Today’s post continues to reveal aspects of their life through the stories that their son Robert told during an interview when he was about 84 years-old.

Robert related that in January of 1908, when he was seven years-old, his family moved from the farm back to the house in Omaha where they had lived prior to 1901.1  Robert’s cousin Bill Bailey, who had been living with them on the farm since about 19052, had returned to Floyd County, Indiana.  Bill’s 18 year-old brother Alpha (Joseph A. Bailey) came to live with the Dailys in Omaha and Robert states, “Alpha was, well, I said brother, ‘cause he was with us for eight years.”3

In his interview, Robert tells about his father’s occupation at that time:

Interviewer:  Was he back into the coal and ice business then?

Uncle Bob:  Yeah, he, well, no.  I’ll take it back, take it back.  He went into the potato chip business.

Interviewer:  Now, that was something new to me that I just discovered recently.  What, he …

Uncle Bob:  That would ha’ been in the, in the year of 1908.

Interviewer:  Did he manage the potato chip factory?

Uncle Bob:  Yeah, it was just a home [business].  Well, he had one these here like the old-fashioned, uh, mail [or milk?] carrier wagons and one horse.

Interviewer:  Uh huh.

Uncle Bob:  I know, uh, my cousin was with us.  See, my cousin come to our place in 1908.

Interviewer:  And what cousin was that?

Uncle Bob:  That was Alpha, Alpha Bailey.

Interviewer:  Alpha Bailey.

Uncle Bob:  …I know Alpha worked in the, in the factory.  It was just a big vat, you know, and they had the potato slices.

Interviewer:  Well, you made ‘em?  It was a family operation, then?

Uncle Bob:  Yeah, well, Dad and …, even Ruth Thompson.  She was Ruth Thompson then. 

Interviewer:  Um hmm.  Um hmm.

Uncle Bob:  That was Mother’s sister’s girl.  She worked in there too.  That’s when she was just out of high school at the time.

Interviewer:  Well, that was something I had never heard of before, I didn’t know about this potato chip factory.

Uncle Bob:  Oh, Dad’d load up his wagon that way.  He had routes to go.  ‘Course he had help to make the chips, you know.

Interviewer:  Um hmm.  Um hmm.

Uncle Bob:  I remember Alpha workin’ in there, and stirring the potatoes in the big vat that way and, uh, get’n ’em ready for next day’s delivery.

Interviewer:  Sure, sure, delivering the next morning.

Uncle Bob:  Then when night’d come, why, he’d bring home, oh, anywhere from eight to ten sacks, and I’d peddle ‘em in the, around our, where we lived, see.

Interviewer:  Um hmm.  How much did a package of potato chips cost?

Uncle Bob:  Ten cents.

Interviewer:  Ten cents!  (Chuckling)

Uncle Bob:  And course, they was big ones, you see, they was half pounders.

Interviewer:  I’m sure they were.  Ohhh!  Now, how long did he do that?

Uncle Bob:  Well, that, I suppose …we was only in Omaha 15 months at that time, so it was in that there length of time, see.

Interviewer:  In about a year’s time.

Uncle Bob:  But Mother wanted to get back to the farm again, so Dad went lookin’ around again.  Then’s when we landed down in Kansas, see.4

The 1909 Omaha City directory has an entry for Charles which reads: “Daily Chas M, Potato Chip Factory 935 N 24th, r 1022 S 46th av.”5  The address of the Potato Chip Factory (935 N 24th) was the same address as Maggie’s brother-in-law’s residence and printing company (John C. Thompson & Son).6  In the business directory, there was a listing in the section for “Potato Chip Factories” which read: “THOMPSON’S U-CAN-ET-A POTATO CHIPS, 935 N 24th.”7 In the 1910 edition of the business directory, Thompson’s was not listed, instead there was a listing under Charles’ name. Robert states: “…the potato chip factory was on the back end, back end of the building where Uncle John had his printing shop. … He had his printing press set type, y’know.  And you could see that, there was a big board with all the set type and he printed.”8  When asked, “Did you raise a lot of potatoes on the farm and that’s why you made potato chips?,” Robert responded, “No, no, that wadn’t it.  You don’t raise potatoes down there, anyway.  Whatever there was, they were just for eatin’.  I don’t know how he come to get into that, but he – little one-horse outfit, y’see.”9

Robert mentions that Ruth Thompson was just out of high school when she started working at the potato chip factory.  In the spring of 1908, Ruth was 14 years-old, a year younger than Robert’s eldest sister Gladys.  According to Robert, Gladys went to high school in Omaha while their family was still living on the farm.10  In the early 1900s, there were not very many options for education beyond grammar school in Omaha.  A perusal of the 1908 Omaha city directory reveals there were a few trade schools, such as barber, dressmaking or railway training; a few business schools; several Catholic or other religion-affiliated schools; Creighton High School for young men; and Brownell Hall (a residential school).  One of the possibilities of where Gladys and Ruth could have attended was Omaha High School (a public school), located a few blocks from the Thompson home.  


The newly-built east section of Omaha High School, completed in 1902.11

“Omaha High School was located at 20th and Dodge Streets. In the late 1890s, the original brick building was deemed unsafe and unhealthy. Construction began on the replacement building in 1900. The east section was completed and in use by 1902. The south section was completed in 1905, and the west section was completed in 1910. The last section was completed in 1912. Parts of the original building were used until 1910. The old building was then removed, leaving an open courtyard at the center of the new building.”12


While the Daily family lived in Omaha, Charles rented a farm.  Robert told a story of an event that occurred at that farm:

Interviewer:  Mom used to tell the story about somebody that set the barn on fire.  Now, who was that?  And where?

Uncle Bob:  Well, oh, the barn we had, uh, burn, that was out in Grand Isle, Nebraska.  Y’see, when we lived in Omaha, my cousin was with us still.  And Dad rented a, out at Grand Isle, Nebraska, rented a quarter out there.  That was sweet corn country at that time, and raised a lot o’ sweet corn.  An’ the barn, ‘o course, was, uh, never knew how.  Cousin never smoked or anything like that.  An’ he got up an’ been out an’ got the horses ready an’ back in gettin’ breakfast. … They always figured that some, some, uh, let’s say tramp or man, slept in the barn that night.

Interviewer:  Oh, I thought maybe it was, I thought it was, uh, kids playing with matches.

Uncle Bob:  No, never knew just how it happened.

Interviewer:  I see.

Uncle Bob:  Alpha run out right away quick.  ‘Course, one horse broke, had broke loose.  The fire seemed to be in, right near, in front of the horses, something like that.  An’ o’ course, when he got right there, opened the barn door, the horse come out an’ knocked him down.  It could ha’ been, it could ha’ a been such a thing, that he would ha’, uh, wouldn’t ha’ been able to get out there.13


One of Charles and Maggie’s grandsons is the keeper of a trunk which holds many mementos of the Daily family.  One item is an invitation to the Commencement Exercises of Bassett High School in Bassett, Nebraska.  Maggie’s cousin’s (Viola J. Griffith) children were two of the nine graduates in the Class of 1908, graduating on May 28.  For a period of time during Maggie’s childhood, Viola and her brother William and their mother Malissa Griffith (nee Smith) lived in Maggie’s home in Iowa.14  Five years after their mother died in 1880,15 Viola married John G. Van Winkle in Keya Paha County, Nebraska, with William standing as a witness of the marriage.16  Viola’s children who graduated from Bassett High School 23 years later were Josie and Orlando Van Winkle whose ages (based on their ages in the 1900 U. S. census) were 20 and 17, respectively.17  Josie may have been named after Maggie’s mother Josephine Smith and Orlando may have been named after Maggie’s uncle Orlando Smith.  Bassett was about 230 miles from Omaha in north central Nebraska.

Josephine Van Winkle, estimated date about 1908

During this period when the Daily family lived in Omaha, there are a few additional things that can be noted.  Robert mentions that he and his sisters would often visit their grandmother’s sister Joannah (nee Smith) Gantz.  He said the Gantz family “lived just over the hill from us.  We’d stop at Aunt Joannah’s quite often.  They lived just a block from the church we went to for Sunday School when we was kids.”18  The church to which Robert is referring is probably South West Methodist Episcopal Church.  Robert also mentions that his father took a trip to visit his brother William who was living in Nevada, but Robert is unsure of the timing of the trip, saying: “Dad’d been out there while we lived in Omaha the first time.  He’d been out there, went out there a few months.  I don’t know where Dad got all his time, but that’s, that’s when he had the potato chip factory.  Whether he didn’t have it very long or not, why.  I remember it so well, bringing potato chips home and I’d deliver ‘em, some around the neighborhood. … Yeah, he done that back in, sometime in 1908.  Maybe, maybe he’d been out before that.  See, it could ha’ been.  I don’t know when it was.”19  And lastly, Maggie’s sister Emma passed away in November 1908.  An announcement in the Omaha Daily Bee stated: “The body of Mrs. Emma Thomson [sp.], wife of J. C. Thomson [sp.], an Omaha printer, will arrive in Omaha, Wednesday and fureral services are to be held, Thursday.  Mrs. Thomson died at Loveland, Colo., from which place the body is being brought. The Thomsons live at 935 north Twenty-fourth street, Omaha.  Mrs. Thomson was 43 years old.”20

Uncle Bob’s reminiscences to be continued in part three.


1 M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview by R. Thiele, recording (ca. 1984): 4.

2 M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 19.

3 M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 11.

4 M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 4-6.

5 Omaha Directory Company, Omaha City Directory 1909 (Omaha, Nebraska: Omaha Directory Company, 1909): 291.

6 Omaha Directory Company, Omaha City Directory 1909: 1133 & 1384.

7 Omaha Directory Company, Omaha City Directory 1909: 1383.

8 M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 19.

9 M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 19.

10 M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 9.

11 Nebraska Memories, “Omaha High School’s new east wing and original building,” http://memories.nebraska.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/ops/id/4/rec/14.

12 Nebraska Memories, “Omaha High School’s new east wing and original building,” http://memories.nebraska.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/ops/id/4/rec/14.

13 M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 10-11.

14 “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6W2S-T6C?cc=1438024&wc=KKTP-FM9%3A518655701%2C518688401%2C519561701 : 11 June 2019), Iowa > Jefferson > Fairfield, ward 3 > image 6 of 14; citing NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

15 Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 07 March 2021), memorial page for Melissa Smith Parsons (23 Apr 1843–14 Nov 1880), Find a Grave Memorial no. 43065696, citing Bethesda Cemetery, Fairfield, Jefferson County, Iowa, USA.

16 “Nebraska Marriages, 1855-1995,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2ZP-D7Y9 : 28 November 2018), John Graber Van Winkle and Viola Griffith, 24 Dec 1886; citing Marriage, Springview, Keya Paha, Nebraska, United States, Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln; FHL microfilm 2,078,763.

17 “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-68N9-4VJ?cc=1325221&wc=9B7H-CXX%3A1030896901%2C1032582501%2C1032587901 : 5 August 2014), Nebraska > Keya Paha > ED 140 Keya Paha, Pine, Mills & Simpson Precincts > image 27 of 29; citing NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

18 M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 20.

19 M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 14.

20 “Mrs. Emma Thompson,” Omaha Daily Bee (November 5, 1908): 2, https://nebnewspapers.unl.edu/lccn/sn99021999/1908-11-05/ed-1/seq-2.pdf.

Reminiscences of Uncle Bob, Part One

In 2010 and 2017, I went to the Douglas County Historical Society (Nebraska) to search for records of the families of John and Josephine Bonewitz and Charles and Maggie Daily.  I found several birth and marriage records, but one record that was most important to me was not found, the birth record of my grandmother, Elizabeth (nee Daily) Bevers.  Of the seven children of Charles and Maggie, four births are recorded in Douglas County: Gladys, Oranna, an un-named baby boy and Lillian Iona.  Robert and Elizabeth’s records aren’t in the Douglas County birth register and their last child Joseph was born in Kansas. 

Nine months ago, a Daily descendant gave me an audio file which provides a clue as to why Elizabeth’s birth record can’t be found in the Douglas County birth register.  The audio file is a 100-minute recording of an interview given by Robert Lee Daily, Charles and Maggie’s son, when he was about 84 years old.  Robert relates, “… I was born in Omaha and only in Omaha for one year, and then we moved out on the farm, 13 miles out, … and lived out there seven years.  …we went out there and we stayed there ‘til 19-, well it’d ‘ve to been, ah, I think we left the farm in the spring of 1908, in January of 1908.”1  Elizabeth would have been born when the Daily family was living on a farm west of Omaha.

When the 1900 United States census was taken in Ward 7 on the west side of Omaha, Robert was three weeks old, having been born on May 10, 1900.2  The census, dated June 1, records that Charles and Maggie’s family was living at 1022 South 46th Avenue in a home that they owned, without a mortgage.  Charles was 43 years-old and working as a teamster (driving freight).  Maggie was 32 years-old.  They had been married eight years.  Their daughter Gladys was seven years-old and had attended school for 9 months, and their daughter Oranna was four years-old.

The census taker that visited the Dailys also visited a few of Maggie’s relations:

Maggie’s parents John and Josephine Bonewitz, along with their son Sidney and a cousin Sidney Smith and their nephew and niece Barry and Nellie May Howlara [sp. ?], lived one and a half blocks away from the Dailys.3

Harman Bonewitz (Maggie’s brother) with his wife Cornelia and son Rosco lived on the same street as the Dailys, two houses away.4

Judson and Anna Higley (Harman Bonewitz’ parents-in-law) lived one block away.5

John and Joannah Gantz (Maggie’s mother’s sister and her husband) with their children Anna, Adda and Harman lived about eight blocks away.6

The 1900 Omaha city directory has an entry for Charles in the classified business directory.  Under the heading “Feed, Hay and Grain. (Retail.),” the entry reads: “Dailey C. M. 3901 Leavenworth.”7  One of Charles’ business cards having this same address has survived and its image has been provided to me by one of Charles’ great grandsons.

A business card of Charles Monroe Daily, most likely dated about 1900.

In the interview that Robert gave, he related some information and a few stories about his family’s stint of farming west of Omaha: “… it was two different places.  … for one year, one place and then the rest of the time up ‘til I, uh, well, just before I was eight years old, see.”8  He stated that for a couple of years, one of Robert’s cousins, Bill Bailey, worked on the farm with them.9  Bill was the son of Charles’ sister Cynthia.  The Bailey family lived in Franklin Township, Floyd County, Indiana when the 1900 U. S. census was taken.10  At that time, Bill Bailey was 15 years old and he was not attending school.  It’s not known which years Bill worked at the Daily farm, but he would have been between 16 and 23 years-old.  One of Robert’s stories about the farm follows:

Interviewer:  How big a farm did you have?  You say, you went to the farm.

Uncle Bob:  Quarter, quarter section.  Well, since the second one.  We didn’t farm too much.  The first one was a quarter.

Interviewer:  Outside of Omaha.

Uncle Bob:  No, that was, oh, in Omaha, that was a quarter, yeah.  At the most it’d ha’ been a quarter.  Yeah, I can remember.  I can remember, like I said, uh, I went down, we went down after the cows.  Alfalfa is a very poisonous thing when the, when there’s dew on the ground.  And I know, going down to the pasture and o’ course that’s when I was pretty small.  We all went down there.  See, the bull had got over in the alfalfa field and a cow got over there and o’ course they were swelled up so big, from bloat.

Interviewer:  Um hmm, um hmm.

Uncle Bob:  And they were dead, at that time.  That’s one thing we had to fight so hard.  From that time on, since little, I knew alfalfa was dangerous, see.

Interviewer:  Um hmm, they overate.  Uh huh.

Uncle Bob:  They don’t eat very much.  If you fill a cow up, if it’d filled up first, then they can eat alfalfa on top of it.   But if they get nothing but alfalfa, it turns to gas and just, I lost cattle ….11

Robert identified the location of the farm: “…West Dodge, is what we called it.  It was out 13 miles.  That place used to be about, well I guess, pretty near right where the, ah, where the Flanigan’s Home is.”12  Flanagan’s Home was not in existence when the Dailys lived in that area.  It wasn’t until about 13 years after the Dailys left that farm that Father Flanagan acquired a farm for his ministry of caring for boys.

“In 1917, a young Irish priest named Father Edward J. Flanagan grew discouraged in his work with homeless men in Omaha, Nebraska.  In December of that year, he shifted his attention and borrowed $90 to pay the rent on a boarding house that became Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys.  Flanagan welcomed all boys, regardless of their race or religion.  By the next spring, 100 boys were living at the home.”

“In 1921, Father Flanagan purchased Overlook Farm on the outskirts of Omaha and moved his Boys’ home there.  In time, the Home became known as the Village of Boys Town.  By the 1930s, hundreds of boys lived at the Village, which grew to include a school, dormitories and administration buildings.  The boys elected their own government, including a mayor, council and commissioners.  In 1936, the community became an official village in the state of Nebraska.”13

One of the stories that Robert tells is about how he lost his toddler curls:

Interviewer:  Oh, that’s right, you used to have lot of curls!

Uncle Bob:  Yeah, oh, curly head when I was, up until I was, I’d say somewhere around four years-old or older.  That’s when I got, just had to cut the hair off of it.  Dad had a bumble bees’ nest underneath the salt trough out in the yard, out in the barnyard.  And o’ course, Dad was gonna get, get those bumble bees.  Course, I had to be on the job to see it done. (chuckle)  And uh, he’d take a jug of water out there, you know, and set up a trough.  An’ bump the trough and ‘course when they’d come out, why they uh, buzz around that jug.  Course … like that when they could pass over that … edge, just one right after the other they’d go right down that jug, see.

Interviewer:  Ohhh!

Uncle Bob:  But I had to be so close that way an’ they’d come too close an’ I went to fight them.  And then they’d come on to me.

Interviewer:  Uh huh.

Uncle Bob:  An’ got tangled up in my hair an’ I got belted!

Interviewer:  And that’s when you decided the curls had to go.

Uncle Bob:  (chuckling)  Well, that’s when Mother decided.

Interviewer:  (Laughter)  Ahhh.

Uncle Bob:  You’ve probably seen my picture when I, when I was a girl, didn’t you?  When I had curls.

Interviewer:  Um hmm, um hmm.  Yes, I have seen pictures of that.

Uncle Bob:  That’s when I had, I had curls, that way, my head was full of curls.  Yep.14

Robert truly did have a head full of curls.  A portrait of Charles and Maggie’s children attests to this fact.  On June 10, 1903, the Daily children posed for the portrait.  This was about six months after Maggie had given birth to their third daughter, Iona, who was born on November 20, 1902.  The ages of the children are written on the back of the portrait.

Oranna (7 years, 2 months old), standing on left
Robert (3 years, 1 month old), sitting on left
Gladys (10 years, 8 months old), sitting on right and holding Iona (6 ½ months old)

In his interview, Robert mentions that there are two trunks that hold documents and mementos of the Daily family.  One of the trunks is in possession of one of Charles and Maggie’s grandsons. 

A trunk which holds many historical documents and mementos of Charles and Maggie Daily and their children.

One of the mementos in the trunk is Robert’s locks which Robert says were kept in a Cascarets box.15  Cascarets Candy Cathartic was created by the Sterling Remedy Company in 1894 and it included the ingredient cascara, a potent remedy prescribed, as early as 1877, for constipation and other intestinal illnesses.16  A Cascarets box was a rectangular tin box nearly the size of a pocket watch, so it fit easily in a vest pocket.  The box held six brown lozenges, which had a taste comparable to chocolate.

Cascarets advertisement from the Omaha Daily Bee, April 14, 190117

Another memento in the trunk is the wedding invitation of Maggie’s cousin Anna Belle Gantz (the daughter of Maggie’s aunt Joannah Gantz).  Anna Belle married Warren A. Rider, whose family lived in Fairfield, Iowa when Maggie’s family and her aunt Joannah’s family lived there in 1880.18  The marriage ceremony was on Thursday, September 8, 1904 at South West Methodist Episcopal Church in Omaha.  The church was only two blocks from the home of John and Joannah Gantz.

Two family events occurred in early 1905.  Maggie gave birth to their fourth daughter, Elizabeth, on February 26.  Within two weeks, Charles’ father Joseph S. Daily passed away, on March 4 in Fredericksburg, Indiana.  Joseph had commented to Charles about his poor health in letters written in the late 1890s.

Robert relates that when Elizabeth was one year old, Maggie became sick and was nursed back to health by her sister Emma (nee Bonewitz) Thompson:

Uncle Bob: … Y’ see, their mother Emma, she was a, she had to make the living all the time an’ she was a nurse.  Couldn’t take care of the family, like that.  She was the one that pulled Mother through when Elizabeth was a baby.  Mother had double pneumonia at that time, see.

Interviewer:  Ohh, uh huh.

Uncle Bob:  And Elizabeth was just a year old.  And uh, she pulled through the crisis …

Interviewer:  With the pneumonia.

Uncle Bob:  Course, Emma came to our place and stayed with Mother.

Interviewer:  Oh, uh huh.

Uncle Bob:  Stayed right with her all the time, ‘til she pulled her through.  That’s the reason Mother was always, had to be careful, ‘cause her lungs were a little weak.19

An additional item that is in the previously-mentioned trunk is a letter addressed to Mrs. C. M. Daily.  The envelope was postmarked August 13, 1907 in North Manchester, Indiana.  It cost two cents to mail and it was addressed to R #1 Box 71, Benson, Nebraska.  The Benson Post Office was about four miles to the northwest of downtown Omaha20 and it was about nine miles from the location that Robert identified as the location of the farm where the Dailys lived.

A letter addressed to Maggie postmarked August 13, 1907

In 1907 Benson was a small town which had begun to be developed 20 years earlier.  A streetcar line ran from the business district of Omaha to Benson.21

“Some people were in the town founding business just to make money.  One of the earliest in Omaha was Erastus Benson and his partner Clifton Mayne.  Together, they speculated by buying a chunk of land from one of the Creighton brothers, platting lots and opening businesses, and flipping their land for jacked up prices.  It worked!”

“Benson Place was a village founded in 1887 by a land speculator named Erastus A. Benson.  He was a banker and land speculator who ran a streetcar line all the way to his village northwest of Omaha.  Soon after renamed simply as Benson, the area grew in leaps and bounds after 1900 by attracting residents with good land values and exclusive properties.”22

The letter that Maggie received was from her paternal grandfather’s second wife, Amelia Mary Bonewitz.  Maggie’s paternal grandfather was John Adam Bonewitz.  His first wife Mary Margaret Rider died in 1859, eight years before Maggie was born.  A year later, John married a widow named Amelia Mary (nee Hower) Noftzger.  At the time of writing the letter to Maggie, Amelia was about ninety years old and she was suffering from dropsy which refers to “swelling caused by fluid retention” (now called edema) and it usually occurs in the feet, ankles and legs.23  The text of Amelia’s letter follows:

1

North Manchester August 13th 1907

My dear faraway Granddaughter

I will try to pencil a few lines to you in my weakness not fit to write as I am very poorly havent been able to get out of my chair without help since February 8th had been very near deaths door sick all this year feeling a little relieved of a hard cough lasting several months my great trouble now is dropsy from that I find no relief an as have been trying for several weeks to sew a little to help time to pass more easily as I cant read as much as I would like on account of severe head trouble am on my sewing which is poorly done I made a little block for you

2

the centre pieces are of some you sent me some years ago the other pieces my Granddaughter sent from California if I had goods to fill the block then I would work the seams but will send it as it is hope it will reach you in due time but will need pressing on the wrong side as it may be pretty messy [?] my children are all in usual health as far as I know would write more but dea child I am in so much pain I must stop had a hard night of suffering I often do havent heard from any of your folks since the wedding time fear they are ill some of them

3

please excuse this scribbled rambling letter now may God bless you and all yours is the prayer of your

Grandmother

                A M Bonewitz

P S I mad the block week before last waited to feel better before writing but am worse so will do this before I go away which may be any day now with much love I will say good bye for the present   A M B

Uncle Bob’s reminiscences to be continued in part two.

Notes:

  1. M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview by R. Thiele, recording (ca. 1984): 4.
  2. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DHWQ-CT6?cc=1325221&wc=9B7F-6T5%3A1030896901%2C1030788401%2C1031517601 : 5 August 2014), Nebraska > Douglas > ED 75 Precinct 3 Omaha city Ward 7 > image 17 of 37; citing NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  3. “United States Census, 1900,” FamilySearch, Nebraska > Douglas > ED 75 Precinct 3 Omaha city Ward 7 > image 16 of 37.
  4. “United States Census, 1900,” FamilySearch, Nebraska > Douglas > ED 75 Precinct 3 Omaha city Ward 7 > image 17 of 37.
  5. “United States Census, 1900,” FamilySearch, Nebraska > Douglas > ED 75 Precinct 3 Omaha city Ward 7 > image 17-18 of 37.
  6. “United States Census, 1900,” FamilySearch, Nebraska > Douglas > ED 75 Precinct 3 Omaha city Ward 7 > image 25 of 37.
  7. McAvoy’s Omaha City Directory for 1900 (Omaha, Nebraska: Omaha Directory Company, 1900): 867.
  8. M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 4.
  9. M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 12.
  10. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6WNQ-44?cc=1325221&wc=9BWQ-ZJ8%3A1030552501%2C1031971001%2C1032575501 : 5 August 2014), Indiana > Floyd > ED 52 Franklin Township > image 5 of 15; citing NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  11. M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 22.
  12. M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 11-12.
  13. “Boys Town History,” https://www.boystown.org/about/our-history/Pages/default.aspx.
  14. M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 12.
  15. M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 12.
  16. Samira Kawash, “Cascarets Candy Cathartic,” March 15, 2010, https://candyprofessor.com/2010/03/15/cascarets-candy-cathartic/.
  17. Omaha Daily Bee (Omaha, Nebraska, April 14, 1901): 7, https://nebnewspapers.unl.edu/lccn/sn99021999/1901-04-14/ed-1/seq-7/.
  18. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YYV-9GKJ?cc=1417683&wc=XHBX-4WL%3A1589394762%2C1589396075%2C1589395491%2C1589396321 : 24 December 2015), Iowa > Jefferson > Fairfield > ED 80 > image 16 of 23; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., n.d.)
  19. M.R. Wilson, transcription of Robert Lee Daily Interview: 17.
  20. 1892 Omaha City Directory: front map.
  21. 1892 Omaha City Directory: front map.
  22. Adam F. C. Fletcher, https://northomahahistory.com/2017/03/30/the-lost-towns-in-north-omaha/.
  23. David Heitz, What You Should Know About Edema (Healthline Media, September 19, 2019): https://www.healthline.com/health/edema.

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.