Archives for July 2012
Otto Skjelver Sr., born in Norway in 1849, came to America as a young man. He settled in the SE quarter of Section 28, Catherton Precinct in Webster County, Nebraska, where he raised his family of five daughters and two sons. In the late 1880’s, the post office was named in his honor as “Otto” Post Office.
Otto Sr. died March 13, 1925. His son, Otto Jr., inherited the land and raised his family of four daughters there. At one time, the telephone switchboard between Campbell and Inavale was in their home. Otto Jr. raised corn, wheat, cattle and hogs.
When Otto Jr. died, his oldest daughter, Bonnie, bought the land, and she and her late husband, Johnnie, farmed the land for many years until their son, Robert and his wife Diana, began farming it in 1974. Rob and his wife are still farming the land today. They raise Hereford cattle and hope to pass the land on to their two daughters, Laci and Amber and their families.
Over the years, Otto Skjelver Sr.’s descendants have played an integral part in the success of the Webster County Fair. While Bonnie volunteered as an Open Class Superintendent for many years, Rob has also volunteered his time as a past 4-H leader and a current Fair Board member. Rob’s family helps every year working at the fair, ensuring that the tradition of the Webster County Fair stays alive. There have been three generations of the family who are current 4-H members in attendance at the Webster County Fair over the span of the last several decades.
In June of 1977, Johnny and Bonnie Wilson were presented with the Nebraska Pioneer Farm Award for the Payne Homestead ground being in the family for more than 100 years. This award is given by the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben and is traditionally presented at the county fair.
Johnny Robert Wilson, the son of Con and Wilella (Payne) Wilson, was born August 15, 1918 on the farm north of Inavale, Nebraska in Webster County. He departed this life on Sunday, November 27, 1994 at the Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings, Neb., at the age of 76 years, 3 months and 12 days.
As a youth he attended the New Virginia District #65 rural school, District #41 and graduated from Red Cloud High School in 1936. On October 3, 1942, he was united in marriage with Bonnie Skjelver at Smith Center, Kan. To this union three children were born, Teresa, Robert and Jayne.
In March of 1945, he joined the United States Army and served in the Pacific Theatre of Operations, stationed in the Phillipines. At war’s end, he returned to the Wilson homestead and engaged in farming and ranching his entire life. His pride and joy were his Hereford cattle.
Johnny was baptized and was active in the New Virginia Methodist Church. He was an active community leader, a school board member and a member of the New Virginia Cemetery Board. His favorite pastime was playing cards with his family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter Teresa Wilson on September 23, 1968; a sister Verna Lutz; and three brothers Charles, Francis and James.
Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife Bonnie; son Rob Wilson and wife Diana of Bladen, Neb.; daughter Jayne Hogeland and husband Bill of Alma, Neb.; five grandchildren, Laci and Amber Wilson and Geoffrey, Grant and Gillian Hogeland; two sisters Retta Hanson of Red Cloud and Edna Meyer of Peoria, Ariz.; nieces, nephews, and a host of family and friends.
Funeral services were held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 30, 1994 from the First United Methodist Church in Red Cloud, Neb., with the Rev. Dennis R. Linton-Hendrick officiating. Keith Crowe sang “Farther Along” and “One Day At A Time”, accompanied by Marjorie Lockhart, organist. The casket bearers were Marion Duval, Clair Duval, Ron Bartels, Larry Vance, Kenneth Lovejoy and Ken Larrick. The honorary casket bearers were Bud Lambrecht, Norman Johnson, John D. Harvey, Russell Krichau, Pete Moriarty, Russell Lutz and Desco Lovejoy. Interment was in the New Virginia Cemetery with the Simonson-Williams Funeral Home of Red Cloud in charge of the arrangements.