New Virginia Cemetery Plot Map

New Virginia School

Courtesy DeNellda Conway
New Virginia School, District #65, began as a flat-roofed sod building. A frame house was built in 1884 by Rober McCallum and j.P. Braynard. This is the 1927 construction.

Bladen Centennial

New Virginia Church

Those Virginians who were not Baptists organized a Methodist group in the southeast part of Catherton precinct. The congregation raised over $1600 and hired area carpenter-farmer Svend Lindquist to construct a 28 by 40 foot building. On Augst 18, 1906, the night before it was to have been dedicated, the New Virginia Church burned to the ground. Sunday morning the congregation met at the New Virginia schoolhouse as usual and made plans to rebuild using the insurance money.

The second New Virginia Methodist Church was dedicated on April 14, 1907. This congregation held its celebration of 100 years continuous activity May 2, 1982, and still meets monthly with a carry-in dinner. Prime movers in the early church history were Ed Payne, Clarence and John Wilson, Mrs. Marker, E.J. Peterson, A.A. Cooper, Daniel and Jay Lovejoy, and Rolly Broks.

Bladen Centennial

First Meeting of the Otto Cemetery Association

New Va school house Dist 65, Webster Co. Nebr May 28, 1887

Pursuant to previous announcement the Otto Cemetery Association met for the purpose of transacting all business that should come before them. President in chair. House was called to order. The minutes of the last meeting being read and offered, the looking into and reading of the deed for the land for the Otto Cemetery Association, a deed was settled on and accepted by the majority of the trustees and ordered to be recorded. On motion of John Wilson the cemetery was to be laid out in lots and sold to defray expenses, keep up repairs, and necessary expenses by consultation, if was agreed upon for the trustees to lay out and arrange the grounds, and June the 4th was set apart for the laying out of the cemetery in blocks.

On motion of John Wilson, Otto Skjelver was selected treasurer of the Otto Cemetery Association for one year, from the time this association was organized.

On motion of John Wilson the Cemetery Association is to meet Sept 9th.

On motion of John Marker, C ? was elected vice president of association for one year from time the association was organized.

On motion of A. A. Cooper the association adjourned.

E J Peterson

Named changed from Otto Cemetery to New Virginia Cemetery May 4, 1925

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New Virginia School History

School was first held in a dug out in 1882-1883 or sod house. The first frame school house was built in 1884. In April of 1886 a 12 ft extension was added on. In 1899 a new 20 x 32 ft school house was built. In 1901 – repaired and painted school house. In 1904 the anti room or hall was built on and a book case was built cost 125.00 dollars. In 1907 new desks were bought for $450.00 and the old ones sold for 60 cents apiece. The storm cellar was built in 1912 and the coal house repaired. In 1916 9 mo school started.


1883-1884Nora McCall – first teacher taught 2 mo.
Mattie McCall – taught 1 mo for Nora
1884-1885Fr. Brooks – 6 mo$30.00
Mary Robertson – 2 mo$25.00
Jo Brooks – 3 mo$27.00
1885-1886Addie McFrittle 2 mo$30.00
1887-1888Aristole Smith$30.00
1889-1890S F Bailif$35.00
1890-1891Ella Renasberg$40.00
1891-1892SS Fisher$33.00
1893-1894Belle Spanble$40.00
1894-1985Mildred McCall$65.00
1896-1897Retta Able$30.00
1897-1898William Fraizer$40.00
1898-1899J. M. Scales$40.00
1899-1900Mamie Wiedman$35.00
1901-1902Grace Onstat$35.00
1902-1903Bruce Payne$40.00
1904-1905Della Mccallum$40.00
1905-1906E G Peterson$40.00
1906-1907Visa Dickerson$45.00
1907-1908Blance McCartney$40.00
1908-1909Bernice Marker$45.00
1909-1910May Dickerson$45.00
1911-1912Clare Dyer
1913-1914Mable Lund$60.00
1914-1915Nellie Brooks
1915-1916Francis Nolan
1916-1917Homer Fetty$65.00
1917-1918Leonard Springer$70.00
1918-1919Mildred Arnold$70.00
Helen Johnson
1919-1920Alta Coon$66.00
1920-1921Grace Keagle$90.00
1921-1922Ella Davis$100.00
1923-1924Pauline Pitney$80.00
1925-1926Alice Whitaker$70.00
1926-1927Pauline Hathjen – first teacher in new school house
1927-1928Mildred Lutz
1928-1929Gertrude Wiggins
1930-1931Dewey Adams
1931-1932Maxine McClure$50.00
1932-1933Dorthy Arneson$50.00
1933-1934Veva Feis$35.00
1934-1935Marie James$45.00
1938-1939Verdell Noble

Closed School
Reopened in 1951

1951-1952Bernice Marker
1952-1953Thelma Hasselbacher$225.00
1953-1954Mrs. Jean Gilbert – 5 mo
Mrs. Jolene Sanger – 4 mo
1954-1955Mrs. Joan DeBord$182.50
1955-1956Miss Jeanette Martin$172.50
1956-1957Mrs. Darline Pitney
1957-1958Mrs. Barbah Bright
1958-1959Mrs. Joy Pruner
1959-1960Mrs. Schmalle
1960-1961Mrs. Ruth Bridges
1961-1962Mrs. Ruth Bridges
1962-1963Mrs. Bernice Shackleton
1963-1964Mrs. Bernice Shackleton
1964-1965Mrs. Don Burge
1965-1966Mrs. Don Burge
1966-1967Mrs. Don Burge
1967-1968Mrs. Myrtis Alber
1968-1969Mrs. Myrtis Alber
Mrs. John Yost (last six weeks)

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New Virginia Church Insurance Certificate

This certificate is dated October 13, 1906 – some two months after the original structure burned down.

New Virginia Church Original Drawings

We found these original drawings of the New Virginia Church. These are obviously much different than the church that was constructed, but they are very neat documents nonetheless.

The CA & HA markings are presumably for Hot Air (supply) and Cold Air (return).

New Virginia Church Warranty Deed

This is the original Warranty Deed dated April 29, 1905 from John & Mary Wilson which provided the site for the New Virginia Church.

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The Building of a Church

The settlers from Virginia viewed
This land their hearts desired.
Homesteading in the Seventies
On acres they acquired.

They had lookes long for what they found
In this fair neighborhood.
In that great distance from their homes
Hone had seen land so good.

They named it New Virginia,
Because of memory’s hold.
It still had all they wished for it
When they were gray and old.

With sod, they built their homes and school.
More immigrants arrived,
Bohemians, Germans, Swedes, and Danes.
They, and the country thrived.

At meetings held, the settlers urged
For Sunday-School and church.
The sod school house became the place
To make Divine research.

The years sped on; the “soddy” was
Replaced by wood and nail,
But still the place where those who wished
Learned of the Holy Grail.

The Lord showered blessings on the land,
The people were devout.
Their savings they were glad to use;
And thus it came about

When at a meeting of these folk
A good sized fund should start
That they might raise an edifice–
A building set apart

To worship God and hold a school,
Where all could study more
About His teachings and His love;
Or a lost faith restore.

The years were long and hard, but they
Made plans and funds soon grew.
And when they had enough to build
Construction fairly flew.

The day of dedication set,
The planning grew apace.
The preachers who were taking part
Knew all the populace.

The day drew near, all work was done,
The dawn would bring that day.
Alas! The night a story told
That swept all plans away

A fiery light flared to the sky!
Catastrophe had come!
The little group that gathered there
With shock and grief were numb.

The wagons creaked along the road
When came another dawn.
With firm set lips, those pioneers
Brought with them Faith and brawn.

They journeyed to the frame school house–
Prom prayer they rose, to start
Another building on the site,
A House, to stand apart.

The small school house was more than filled,
Where services were held.
The call for building funds met with
Success unparalleled.

In scarcely more than half a year
They realized their dream,
Their church was built — a Holy place,
To worship God Supreme.

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New Virginia Church Dedication

The dedication services of the New Virginia Methodist Episcopal church, seven miles north of Inavale, were held last Saturday and Sunday and were the occasion of great rejoicing in that community. For twenty years the people have worshipped in the school house and, summer and winter, have maintained a Sunday school. Two years ago they began a subscription to build a new church, and soon had the building under way. They were greatly delayed, however, on account of illness in the carpenter’s family. They finally succeeded in completing the building and were ready for dedication early in August of last year. Unfortunately, on the Saturday night before the dedication the church took fire and was totally destroyed. This was a great blow, as the building was only partially insured. It was with gloomy faces that the people came back to the old school house the next morning. Yet they were not wholly discouraged, and soon had subscribed enough to replace the building. Thus after two weary years of sacrifice and waiting they have as nice a little church as can be found anywhere.

The services began on Saturday afternoon when Rev. A. V. Wilson, assisted byt the pastor, laid the cornerstone. Rev. Wilson preached a short sermon from Phil. 3, 18, after which the corner stone, containing copies of a number of the county papers, the discipline, the names of the members, the names of the the trustees and names of the donors, the Lord’s Prayer and the church papers, was placed in the wall. This stone, a beautiful granite block, was presented by Mr. Ed McAlister of Red Cloud.

Rev. J. W. Embree of Superior preached the dedicatory sermon Sunday morning, taking for his text Eph. 5, 27. The church was dedicated free of debt. There was no begging for subscriptions.

There were services in the afternoon and evening, at which former pastors of the church presided. The church was filled to its utmost capacity and many were unable to gain admission. The following ministers were present and took part in the services: Rev. Embree, Rev. Fonch, Rev. Priestley and Rev. Wilson.

Red Cloud Chief
April 19, 1907
Nebraska Newspapers Project

Johnny Wilson & Bonnie Skjelver Marriage License

This is the Certificate of Marriage for Johnny Robert Wilson and Bonnie Harriet Skjelver dated October 3, 1942.

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Marilyn M. Goedert Obituary

Marilyn Mae Goedert was born Oct. 7, 1948, in Alliance to Russell and Ruby (Reeves) Sommers. She attended grade school in Hyannis and later attended school in Wallace, graduating with the class of 1966. Following high school, Marilyn enrolled in the School of Practical Nursing at Kearney State College.

Following her education, Marilyn moved to Denver and worked in the surgical operating room at Colorado General Hospital and later was a private scrub nurse for three neurosurgeons in Denver. She moved to Omaha where she worked at Nebraska Medical Center as an operating room nurse for 17 years. She was the director of Recovery Services at Nebraska Organ Recovery System for 15 years. For the last nine years, she worked as a video monitor at Nebraska Medicine.

Marilyn was united in marriage to her high school friend, Jim Goedert, on March 1, 2018. Jim nicknamed her “Red” because of her auburn hair.

Marilyn loved good food and traveling. She also enjoyed “Find a Grave,” power shopping and entertaining friends and family. She will be remembered for her sense of humor, which could make anyone smile.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband, Jim Goedert; children, Andrew Neal and Andrea Neal; stepchildren, Jimmy Goedert, Jeffrey Goedert and his wife, Joleen, and Jonathan Goedert; grandchildren, Titus and Shepard Neal, Caitlyn and Taylor Goedert and Kelli Kuecker; great-grandchild, Theodore Kuecker; mother, Ruby Sommers; brother, Wally Sommers and his wife, Janey; along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Marilyn was preceded in death by her father, Russell.

Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation.

Bonnie Wilson Funeral Program

Bonnie Wilson Obituary

Bonnie Harriet Wilson (Skjelver), the daughter of Otto and Elsie Skjelver (Lambrecht) was born May 31, 1921, on her parents’ farm north of Inavale, Nebraska in Webster County. She departed this life October 3, 2018, at the Colonial Villa Nursing Home in Alma Nebraska, at the age of 97 years, 4 months, and 2 days.

As a young girl, she attended the New Virginia county school, and then graduated from Red Cloud High School in 1940. While attending school Bonnie and her sisters lived in an apartment in Red Cloud during the week and would spend the weekends back on the family farm. She continued her education to receive her teaching certificate and taught for several years at North Star and Harmony County Schools. She told stories of building fires to keep warm and also hauling water into the schools.

On October 3, 1942, she was united in marriage with Johnny Robert Wilson in Smith Center, Kansas. To this union, they were blessed with three children, Teresa Ann, Robert Leroy, and Jayne Jo.

Bonnie was a very active farm wife and enjoyed helping out on the family farm and ranch. She would prepare and serve meals to all the farmhands and family always with a freshly baked dessert. On Wednesday afternoon you could find her working on a quilt with the ladies in the church basement. And in the evenings Johnny and Bonnie enjoyed playing cards with their many neighbors and friends.

Bonnie was active in the UMW Church group, Ladies Aid and the Ladies Extension Club. She was also a 4H leader for many years and helped with many 4H projects for her kids and grandkids.

She was preceded in death by her husband Johnny; a daughter Teresa Wilson; her parents; and a sister Eloise Sanford.

Left to cherish her memory are her son Robert Wilson and his wife Diana, her daughter Jayne Hogeland and her husband William; 5 grandchildren, Laci Dinkler and husband Scott, Amber Gibson and husband Wade, Geoffrey Hogeland and wife Kelli, Grant Hogeland and wife Tiffany, and Gillian Hogeland; 11 great-grandchildren, Makayla, Morgan, Jacob and Janaya Dinkler, Lee and John Gibson, Ian, Iaasc, Emerson, and Elliett Hogeland, and Everly Hogeland; sisters Doris Padovan and Ila Young, and a host of nieces, nephews, family members and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 am, Monday, October 8th, 2018 at the United Methodist Church in Bladen. Interment will be in the New Virginia Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the New Virginia Cemetery.

Jeffie Gibson DeFusco Obituary

Jeffie Claire DeFusco died on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at home in the company of her Daughter, Sue Ellen Piccus and her Granddaughter, Ellen K. McMannis and her son in law, Gary Piccus.

Jeffie was born August 2, 1926, in Omaha, NE to her mother Lucy Martha Jeffords Gibson and her father, John Arthur Gibson. Her siblings, John A. (Bud) Gibson, Jr., Shirley Ann Wuelzer, Barney Bill Gibson, and Joe Michael Gibson all predeceased her. She was also predeceased by her two husbands, her son Mike McMannis and her grandson Dyami Piccus.

She grew up in the sand hills of Nebraska. Graduating high school in Mullen NE.
She worked for Western Union, trained in Cleveland, OH. She was then posted in San Francisco, CA where she met her first husband, Darrel R. (Mac) McMannis. In 1948 they were married in Mullen, NE and lived in Iuka Kansas where wheat farming and truck driving supported the young family. They had a daughter, Sue Ellen McMannis and a son, Michael Dwane McMannis.

Jeffie & Mac purchased and ran a Laundromat in Guymon, OK while still wheat farming. Jeffie became a licensed private pilot and enjoyed that until her hearing loss increased. She was a bowler and traveled to Phoenix, AZ to compete in National Competition with her team. Little did she know she would move there in 1962.

Jeffie continued her education, becoming a Medical Assistant. She later was the operations manager for The Ophthalmology Center of Dr. Sheldon Zinn.

Mac died in 1967 and Jeffie met and married Al DeFusco. They enjoyed traveling to horse racing tracks throughout the Southwest and owned their own horse who even won. Al died in 1980.

She loved music, dancing and visiting with friends of all ages. She was always able to tell an interesting story of some life experience to entertain her audience. She was a great Scrabble and poker player and an avid reader.

Her first “grandchild” is Lisa Splawn Poteet. She came into her life in 1980 at age 5 with her mother Rita K. Moors who married Jeffie’s son Mike and bore him 2 children Ellen and Tim. They spent many years enjoying good times. Jeffie also helped raise her son’s children Ellen Kathlyn McMannis and Timothy Miles McMannis in Phoenix.

Jeffie moved to Oak Bluffs, MA permanently in 2004 after spending many summers there with her daughter, son in law and granddaughter, Julianne K Piccus.

She worked for M.V. Land Bank as a property attendant, mostly at “her” beaches = Wilfords’ Pond and Tashmoo. She enjoyed seeing the return of the children each summer for 5 years.

Jeffie took her granddaughter Julianne on a cross-country trip after “Jewelz” graduation from high school in 2002. They traveled to Nebraska, saw Mount Rushmore and enjoyed each others company from M.V. to Phoenix.

A caring life loving lady Jeffie walked many a mile with a smile on her face and love in her heart.

Our thanks to so many people who helped her through these last few years especially Hospice of M.V. , Elder Services, and Supportive Day Care.

John A. Gibson, Sr. Masonic Lodge No. 282 Certificate

Bulus E. Reeves Obituary

Services for Bulus E. Reeves will be Monday at 10 a.m. at Table Memorial Chapel in North Platte. Graveside services will be held at 2:30 CST at the Cedarview Cemetery in Mullen.

Mr. Reeves, 87, died Friday at a North Platte nursing home. He was born March 11, 1898, in Iowa and had been employed by the CB&Q Railroad as a section foreman for more than 40 years. He is a former resident of Mullen.

A memorial has been established to the Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Mullen.

Mullen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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


Gated Community

One of the first things we needed to put up was a baby gate. Luckily Evenflo makes a nice looking gate to contain our craziness to one level at a time.


I Love This Bar

Our basement bar is complete, and it has been quality control tested by a few of us to ensure it is fully functional. The bar has a small sink and an opening for a mini-refrigerator. We went with a faux bronze tin ceiling above the bar area. These are a lightweight vinyl tile that look like tin, but they lay in a regular 2′ x 2′ drop ceiling grid. To finish it off we went with some Tiffany style pendants.