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

Day Six: Sioux City to Council Bluffs, Iowa

October 18, 2019

Retracing Lena Huppler Bevers’ Travel Log

The Bevers family had a late start on Saturday, October 18.  Lena’s daughter Florence explains in her travel log that they “were waiting for an answer to our telegram from Edgar.”1  Herbert and Lena’s son Edgar had enlisted in the military on July 21, 1918 and would be discharged on Oct. 25, 1919.2

The drive for this day was one of the longest they made during their 27-day trip.  Lena says they had fine roads all the way from Sioux City to Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Route 1021 of The Official Automobile Blue Book describes the condition of the road as: “Dirt practically all of the way.”3  By following this route the distance between the cities was calculated at 106 miles.4  The 1917 Blue Book included instructions on how to use the book most effectively5:

Our motel happened to be on Lakeport Avenue, so when we set out at 10:00 AM we just needed to make a couple turns to get on Old Lakeport Avenue (at mile 4.1 in Route 1021 above), which became Old Highway 75 (K45). At one time this highway was the King of Trails Highway.  Fifteen minutes later we were in Salix, the first town that Lena mentions in her travel log and 15 minutes after that we were at the second town, Sloan.  Both of these towns are still small, as well as all of the towns we went through until we got to Missouri Valley.  

In Salix, this appeared to be an old building, but the brick face had been re-done and looked quite modern.
The center building is the Sloan Museum, which was closed when we passed by.

As we were driving south on Highway K45, to our left we could see wooded hills a few miles away and to the right, Interstate Highway 29 was nearly always in sight.  In Lena’s travel log, this was the first day that she mentioned the landscape they were traveling through: “Followed the Bluffs around for a long way.”6  Lena didn’t mention any other towns, but Florence did: “…drove thru Whiting, Onawa, River Sioux, Missouri Valley, Loveland, Koney Creek/Crescent ….”7 So we were able to follow closely the route they had taken. Whiting, Onawa and River Sioux were on Highway K45. At Mondamin we turned east for about five miles, then turned south to reach Missouri Valley. We skirted the bluffs for about thirty miles. 

This building was in Whiting, another small town we traveled through.
At mile 37.1 in Route 1021 above, a “fair grounds” is mentioned. We found the Monona County Fairgrounds at the edge of Onawa.

The town of Missouri Valley was the largest town we went through today until we came to Council Bluffs.  In this town we began driving on the historic Lincoln Highway, which is another transcontinental highway.

Lincoln Highway sign in Missouri Valley, Iowa (Photograph by MRW October 18, 2019)
On this section of the Map of Iowa Showing Principal Automobile Routes, the highway marked red with the number 105 is the King of Trails Highway. The highway marked green with the number 10 is Lincoln Highway.8

The first transcontinental highway across the United States was the Lincoln Highway, named after Abraham Lincoln.  The idea of creating this transcontinental was Carl Fisher’s, who had also built the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.9  In 1912 Carl Fisher enlisted communities to build connecting roads from San Francisco to New York City.  The project would cost $10,000,000 and Fisher raised funds for the project by asking for donations from auto manufacturers and accessory companies.  In 1913 the Lincoln Highway Association was established. Membership was open to the public by paying a $5.00 membership fee. The Lincoln Highway was marked by painted signs, mainly on telephone posts: red, white and blue bands with a blue capital L.  For about 25 miles between Missouri Valley and Council Bluffs, the King of Trails Highway and the Lincoln Highway traveled the same roads.

(From The Official Automobile Blue Book10)

Today was a very breezy day, so after we checked into our motel at 1:30 PM, we stayed indoors, rather than go to the River Front.  We decided it was a good day to do our laundry at the laundromat across the street from the motel.  This evening, making sure our devices were all charged was a priority.  The Bluetooth was plugged into a bathroom outlet, the camera battery charger was plugged into the entryway outlet, a phone was plugged into the outlet near the bureau, and the I-pad and laptop were plugged into the wall outlet by the desk.

Notes:

  1. B. Winkelmann, Our Trip to Texas [Transcription of Our Trip to Texas by Florence Bevers, 1919] (unpublished, n. d.): 2.
  2. C. M. Bevers, personal communication with E. J. Jones (October 17, 2019).
  3. Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, The Official Automobile Blue Book 1917, vol. 5 (New York: Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, 1917): 1077-78, https://ia800405.us.archive.org/15/items/case_gv1024_a92_1917_vol_5/case_gv1024_a92_1917_vol_5.pdf.
  4. Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, The Official Automobile Blue Book 1917, vol. 5: 1013-14 & 1077-78.
  5. Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, The Official Automobile Blue Book 1917, vol. 5: 11.
  6. Lena Bevers, Our Trip to Texas (unpublished, 1919): 2A.
  7. B. Winkelmann, Our Trip to Texas: 2.
  8. The Kenyon Company, Map of Iowa showing principal automobile routes (Des Moines, Iowa: The Kenyon Company, 1919), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Iowa_Showing_Principal_Automobile_Routes.jpg.
  9. James Lin, A Brief History of the Lincoln Highway, https://www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/history/.
  10. Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, The Official Automobile Blue Book 1917, vol. 5: 1012.

Day Five: Beresford, S. D. to Sioux City, Iowa

October 17, 2019

Retracing Lena Huppler Bevers’ Travel Log

Fri. – Oct. 17.

Pa and Mr. McElhany went to Beresford to get Rob.  Got the car fixed and left there at 4 P. M.  Had dry roads all the way to Sioux City.  Got there at 7 P. M.  Stayed over night at the Hotel.  It was a fine day. – Lena Bevers

Yesterday I related that Rob (most likely a member of the traveling party) had gone to Beresford on Thursday to have an axle made.  On Friday, Pa (Herbert) and Mr. McElhany went to the town to pick up Rob and the axle that had been made in one day.  Then they were able to complete the repairs to Mr. McElhany’s car on that day also.  So, after a two-day delay, Herbert and Lena’s family get on the road in the late afternoon.  Upon leaving the Fleege farm, they drove about 40 miles to get to their destination, Sioux City.

From Beresford, my mother and I had about 50 miles to drive today, so we didn’t leave the motel until 10:30 AM and we made several stops along the way.  We headed down Highway 1C and came across a sign for a cemetery in Emmet.  This confirmed for us that we were passing the area where the Fleege farm was located.  Several miles down the road we took a short side trip in order to locate Spink, a town that is mentioned in the 1917 Blue Book on the route from Sioux Falls to Sioux City.  When we got to Elk Point, we decided to eat a picnic lunch at the city park and campground where there was an historical exhibit explaining an event that occurred when Lewis and Clark’s party camped at “Elk Sign” campsite.  And we also stopped at a place where the 1917 Blue Book states there was a racetrack along the route.

Route 919 from The Official Automobile Blue Book 19171
Emmet Township is the location of the Fleege farm, where the Bevers family stayed two nights. (Photograph by MRW October 17, 2019)
Spink is a town on Route 919 of The Official Automobile Blue Book 1917.  (Photograph by MRW October 17, 2019)
Elk Point is the location of the first democratic election to the west of the Mississippi River.  (Photograph by MRW October 17, 2019)
One of the landmarks identified in the 1917 Blue Book Route 919 was a racetrack.  This is what we found at that point along our drive.  A local resident told us that there was a racetrack beyond this gate, and across the railroad tracks and the highway (to the right), there was another racetrack for cars, which at one time had been a racetrack for horses.  (Photograph by MRW October 17, 2019)
 

According to the description of Sioux City in The Official Automobile Blue Book 1917, one hundred years ago, there was only one bridge crossing the Big Sioux River from South Dakota to Iowa.2  When we arrived at the river between South Dakota and Iowa, we found a bridge that looked brand new.  And not far from it was a bridge for the train tracks that we had been traveling beside since we left Elk Point.

(Photograph by MRW October 17, 2019)
(Photograph by MRW October 17, 2019)

In 1917, upon entering Iowa, the speed law was “In a careful and prudent manner, not to exceed 25 miles an hour.”3  According to 1917 Blue Book, Sioux City had a population of 47,000 to 48,000.4  Two years later, a map of Iowa highways reported the population at 61,774.5  It took Herbert and Mr. McElhany three hours to drive to Sioux City and when they got there they checked into a hotel.  This is the only day that Lena writes that they stayed in a hotel.  At the bottom of Route 919 in the 1917 Blue Book, there is the name and location of a hotel, Martin Hotel.  There is also an advertisement for the hotel under the description of Sioux City.6  It is unknown whether this hotel is where the Bevers family stayed, but there is a possibility that they did. We checked into a motel on the southeast side of the city at 2:15 PM.

“Originally six stories in height, the main body of the building rested on a two-story base, capped by an elaborate cornice featuring heavy dental molding and classically-inspired scrolled brackets. … When the Martin Hotel opened in November 1912, it was proclaimed as Sioux City’s largest, finest and most modern hotel.  A 7th floor was added in 1918, requiring the removal of the original cornice, which was replaced by a simpler design featuring dental molding. … It was eventually converted into apartments and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.”7

Martin Hotel, c. 1913 (Courtesy of the Sioux City Public Museum)
Former Martin Hotel (photographed by MRW October 17, 2019)
Looking east along 4th Street toward Pierce Street, c. 1913 (Courtesy of the Sioux City Public Museum)
Looking east along 4th Street toward Pierce Street (photographed by MRW October 17, 2019)

Notes:

  1. Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, The Official Automobile Blue Book 1917, vol. 5 (New York: Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, 1917): 971-72, https://ia800405.us.archive.org/15/items/case_gv1024_a92_1917_vol_5/case_gv1024_a92_1917_vol_5.pdf.
  2. Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, The Official Automobile Blue Book 1917, vol. 5: 1068.
  3. Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, The Official Automobile Blue Book 1917, vol. 5: 1234.
  4. Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, The Official Automobile Blue Book 1917, vol. 5: 1068.
  5. The Kenyon Company, Map of Iowa showing principal automobile routes (Des Moines, Iowa: The Kenyon Company, 1919), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:1919_maps_of_Iowa#/media/File:Map_of_Iowa_Showing_Principal_Automobile_Routes_back.jpg.
  6. Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, The Official Automobile Blue Book 1917, vol. 5: 1068.
  7. Sioux City Public Museum, Walking Tour of Fourth Street (Sioux City, Iowa: Sioux City Public Museum, 2014).