The Ranch South of Mullen

John A. Gibson, Sr. was a frequent in poker games at the Mullen Vets club, and at one point he had a run of good luck that helped fund the purchase of a ranch south of Mullen. The ranch consisted of 1,050 acres and had an irrigation well for alfalfa hay. After John, Sr. passed away the ranch was owned by siblings Bud, Barney, and Jeffie. The ranch was eventually sold around 1977.



This is part of the ranch owned by the Gibson family. The 1,050 acres also extended West of Highway 97.

Reeves 50th Anniversary

Brothers Elzie Reeves & Bulus Reeves married sisters Anna Gilkey & Ida Gilkey, respectively, in a double ceremony on April 1, 1918 in Hot Springs, South Dakota. For their 50th anniversaries the Reeves family gathered in Mullen, Nebraska to celebrate.

Elzie Reeves, Anna (Gilkey) Reeves, Ida (Gilkey) Reeves, Bulus Reeves

Gibson Men in California Photo

September 1951 – Mac, Bud, Frank, John Sr., Unknown

This is a great candid photo on the Oakland, California ferry in September of 1951. The family was in California for the funeral of Shirley Gibson.

Bud & Betty Gibson Wedding Photos

November 14, 1948 – Bud & Betty Gibson

Barney Gibson Photo at Mullen Cafe

February 5, 1951 – Barney Gibson in Front of the Mullen Cafe

Wilson Farm 1953 Aerial Photo

1953_wilson_farm_aerial_photo

Representative Clara Humphrey

Clara_Humphrey_Nebraska_Blue_Book_1926_P250CLARA C. HUMPHREY (Republican). Ninety-first district. Born in Custer county, Nebraska, November 10, 1885. Graduate of the Broken Bow high school. Married October 30, 1910, to A.G. Humphrey. Has three children. Has been a school teacher. Homesteaded in Hooker county. was postmaster at Mullen, Nebraska, for four years. Affiliates with the Episcopal church. Member of the O.E.S. and is past worthy matron of Winifred chapter at Mullen. Address: Mullen.

Source:
Nebraska Blue Book, 1926
Page 250


1925_Representatives
Representative_Clara_Humphrey

Note:
Clara’s younger brother, Carl Jeffords, was also a Nebraska Legislator from 1943-1946.

Minnie Myrtle Stubbs Picture

Minnie_Myrtle_Stubbs_Reeves

Weddings Around the World

Under a wide prairie sky, Sherry and Eddie Harlow, high-school sweethearts, pass through a hail of rice and good wishes leaving New Virginia Church, near Red Cloud, which her pioneer grandparents helped build.

Under a wide prairie sky, Sherry and Eddie Harlow, high-school sweethearts, pass through a hail of rice and good wishes leaving New Virginia Church, near Red Cloud, which her pioneer grandparents helped build.

A World Full of Weddings

June, aside from rhyming gaily and conveniently with croon, spoon, love’s tune and honeymoon, has other useful and important hymeneal attributes: in much of the world spring planting is about done, marriageable boys and girls graduate from institutions of learning and the weather is getting just fine-“rare,” the poets called it. For these and a lot of other emotional and anthropological reasons June, bridewise, is very big. The world’s young folks, who get married to the tune (love’s) of many millions a year, like the month and in America about 400,00 of 1961’s estimated three million of them have taken, or will take, the plunge at this bright and happy time.

Last week Life sent photographers to sample 13 wedding on four continents. In Spain, Nebraska and York, England (p. 43) members of old local families were joined in matrimony in a solemn Christian ritual that has varied little over the centuries. But it is still a grave and joyous ceremony whether it takes place to the strains of Lohengrin, or the drums of a tribal dance or the tintinnabulation of a set of Chinese cymbals tapped by a troupe of hired merrymakers.

Source:
Life Magazine
June 16, 1961
Pages 36-37

Note:
The picture spanned two pages in the magazine layout, which is why there is a gap between the left and right sides.

District 65 – New Virginia School

District 65 was called “New Virginia” which in turn gave that name to the Methodist Episcopal church nearby. Henry W. Lambrecht remembered the sod school house as having a flat roof. A sod schoolhouse was in use before the school district built a frame house in 1884. The carpenters were Robert McCallum and J.P. Braynard. Sabbath school was held in the school house before the New Virginia church was built in 1907. In July 1882 the Webster County Argus reported that there was a [farmer’s] alliance held in District 65, called New Virginia. In 1927 a modern two-room school house was built, the old frame having served its time.

Source:
Webster County: Visions of the Past
By Mabel Cooper Skjelver
Published 1980
Pages 78-79


District 65, New Virginia, a one-room school house built in 1884

District 65, New Virginia, a one-room school house built in 1884

District 65, New Virginia school house built in 1927

District 65, New Virginia school house built in 1927

Photographs courtesy of Henry Peterson and Margaret Lambrecht Votipka (Mrs. Ed.)

Source:
Webster County: Visions of the Past
By Mabel Cooper Skjelver
Published 1980
Page 79


This is the location of the New Virginia school house. It is situated in the middle of the section one-half mile East of the New Virginia Church. The original school building burned down in early 2003, but the foundation can still be seen in the satellite imagery.

New Virginia Methodist Episcopal Church

The Virginians and other early residents in the southeast area of Catherton precinct built a church seven and a half miles north of Inavale in the northwest corner of the SW 1/4 of section 26. The present church is the second structure that was built. It is one of the two remaining country churches left in Webster County. The other one is the Dane church, or St. Stephens, in Batin precinct.

The Bladen Enterprise reported on September 15, 1905 that the New Virginia church construction was being “pushed right along.” Svend Lindquist was the carpenter, a Danish farmer-carpenter, then living in Batin precinct. The church dimensions were 28×40 feet. The roof was being put on and the congregation hoped to have it ready for dedication in November. Its cost was $1,652 and was erected under the superintendency and guaranty of Ed Payne and Clarence Wilson. These two men had contributed the two largest sums to the building fund, with John Wilson, Mrs. Marker and E.J. Peterson also large contributors. At that time the New Virginia church was thought to have the largest and most expensive rural church edifice in the county. It had a membership of 30 and an attendance of 75, with a Sunday School of 50.

Unknown problems delayed the dedication for the Bladen Enterprise on August 10, 1906 reported that the dedication of the New Virginia church building which was to have taken place the past Sunday, (August 6) had been postponed until Sunday, August 19, 1906. A fire of unknown origin destroyed the new church Saturday night before it was to be dedicated the following day – Sunday. *

John Marker then lived across the road from the building site and had gone by the church about dusk and had not noticed anything unusual. However, one mule of his team became frightened and difficult to handle. He got the team quieted down and went on home. When he came from the barn, the church as ablaze. While help was called there was no means to put out the blaze, so the structure was entirely destroyed.

On Sunday morning, the congregation gathered at the school house (District 65) and after a short sermon by the District Superintendent, who had come for the anticipated dedication, the congregation discussed their loss. They decided to use the $1,000 insurance monies and to request the balance needed by subscription.

Enough money was obtained by subscription at great sacrifice to the members, so that rebuilding could begin immediately. A new structure was built by Fred Gaverka, and Inavale carpenter, at a cost of $1,650. Masonry work on the chimney was the work of Allen A. “Al” Cooper. The new church was dedicated April 14, 1907. While the church’s name came about because many of the original congregation came from the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia, many German and Swedish families were charter members. Family names connected with the New Virginia Methodist Episcopal church include: The Wilson Brothers, Clarence, Albert and John; Alford Marker and sons, John and Ford; J.B. Wisecarver; Richard T. Payne and sons, Frances E. “Ed” and Bruce; A.A. Cooper; William Matheny; Henry Williams; Daniel Lovejoy; Eric John Peterson; Henry and Carl Lambrecht; Swan Johnson; with the Jay Lovejoy and Rolly Brooks families becoming members sometime later.

Pastors of the New Virginia Methodist Episcopal church were recalled by Ray Wilson, a longtime church superintendent, who generously served the New Virginia church with his time, energy and money.

Before 1905 New Virginia was part of the Bladen charge, and Rev. T.C. Priestly was the first minister after the second church was built. He was followed by Folden John Bean, E.A. Van Dyke, McVey Hancock, Blackwell Wilson, and Priestly Bromwell.

R.B.E. Hill served from September 24, 1905 to July 18, 1909. The following pastors served the New Virginia Church in later years: H.M. Bassett, Sept. 1910-1911; M.C. Smith 1911-1914; Scott Blunt, 1914-1915; A.E. Murless, 1916-1917; J.W. Borden 1918-1919; Charles E. Schofield 1920-1922; David Simpson 1922-1923; M.E. Henry 1923-1925; Glen W. Marshall, 1925-1928; O.L. Bebb 1928-1929; H.B. Lansing, 1930; C.O. Freeman, 1931-1932; C.C Warriner, September 1933; P.J. Kirk, 1934-1935; O.R. Kleven, 1936 as an evangelist, with C.C. Eston as pastor while Rev. Kleven was holding revivals; Earl L. Russell, September 1937-February 11, 1938; W.A. Mansur, February 11, 1938-September 1939; Ralph Good, 1940-1942; Leslie Moore, 1951. In 1942 ministers were not plentiful, and Inavale became part of the Red Cloud charge. New Virginia then did not have a pastor, but community church services and Sunday school continued with Ray, Norva and Mayme Wilson, Rollie and Veda Brooks, Grace and Margaret Lambrecht and others in the community doing what they could to keep the church active. In 1950 the New Virginia charge was reopened for a short time. The families in the community gathered for a carry-in noon meal, that was followed by a religious service conducted by lay people in the community or by a minister from Red Cloud that was willing to accommodate a rural congregation on occasion.

Lloyd Crabill was the first Sunday School Superintendent of the New Virginia church, and it was he who suggested the name for the new church. The congregation participated in annual Sunday School conventions which included the congregations at Plainview, District 66, Pleasant Prairie and New Virginia – District 65. The New Virginia Ladies Aid was organized in 1907 and is still an active organization.

* Many thought the fire was connected with Rev. R.B.E Hill’s attempt to remove boot-leg liquor from Inavale.

Source:
Webster County: Visions of the Past
By Mabel Cooper Skjelver
Published 1980
Pages 80-82


New Virginia Methodist Episcopal church second structure built 1906-07

New Virginia Methodist Episcopal church second structure built 1906-07

New Virginia Methodist Episcopal Church

New Virginia Methodist Episcopal Church 1955


1907-04-13_New_Virginia_Methodist_Episcopal_Church_Program_Page_1 1907-04-13_New_Virginia_Methodist_Episcopal_Church_Program_Page_2

Elsie (Lambrecht) Skjelver Picture

Ellen (Olson) Skjelver Picture

Taken in Norway – Age 18

Wilson Farm 2007 Aerial Photo

Wilson Farm 2003 Aerial Photo

Wilson Farm 1994 Aerial Photo

Wilson Farm 1990 Aerial Photo

Wilson Farm 1981 Aerial Photo

Wilson Farm 1980 Aerial Photo

Wilson Farm 1958 Aerial Photo

This is the photo that was presented to Johnny Wilson in recognition of the 1958 Webster County SWCD Conservation Award.

Bonnie Skjelver Baby Picture

Ivan & Lillian Reeves Photo

Source:
Photo courtesy of Gary Crandall

Tilda & Otto Skjelver Jr. Picture

This photo is of Otto Skjelver, Jr. with his eldest sister, Tilda.

Ed Payne Homestead

Francis “Ed” Payne came in 1877 and entered a homestead and timberclaim in section 34, eventually owning all of that section. Ed Payne’s parents, Richard T. Payne, came in 1883, along with daughters Carrie and Pinkney, and son, Bruce Payne.

Source:
Webster County: Visions of the Past
By Mabel Cooper Skjelver
Published 1980
Page 63


Ed Payne Homestead 1886

Photograph courtesy of John Wilson, grandson of F.E. Payne

Ed Payne is holding his daughter, Wilella, with his mother, Mrs. Richard T. Payne in the background. His sister, Carrie, later Mrs. Noah Harvey, is in the foreground with her hand on a post. Two neighbor friends, Daisy Wilson, later Duval, and Della Wilson, later Bean, are in the foreground.

Source:
Webster County: Visions of the Past
By Mabel Cooper Skjelver
Published 1980
Page 69


Current location of Payne homestead pictured above. Also location of the original Otto Post Office, of which F.E. Payne was the first Postmaster.

CM Wilson & Siblings Photos 1942

These photos were taken in June of 1942, the day of Mary (Wisecarver) Wilson’s funeral.  John and Mary had eleven children in all.

(L to R) Claude, Grace, Don, Lula, Roy, Daisy, Con, Dell