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.

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

Obituary – William Gibson

William_Gibson_ObituaryWilliam Gibson was born January 29, 1866 at Rock Island, Ill., and died at Mullen, Nebraska, Nov 27, 1958, at the age of 92 years 9 months, and 28 days.

As a boy he moved with his parents, Alexander and Ellen Gibson, to Iowa, and from there at an early age he moved to Custer County in Nebraska, and later filed on a homestead near Tryon, Nebraska. In the year 1900 he moved to Mullen and in 1905 filed on a Kinkaid homestead in South Cherry County, where he lived until his later years when he moved to Mullen, where he spent the remainder of his life.

He is survived by two sons and two daughters, John A. of Mullen, Nebr; Frank of Denver, Colo; Mrs Irene Johnson, Omaha, Nebraska, and Mrs Pearl Waterman, Indianapolis, Ind. Four sisters, Mrs Maggie Hazelbaker, Springdale Wash; Mrs Ella Bower, of Hamilton, Mont; Mrs Agnes Thompson, LeRoy, Iowa, and Mrs Mary Neal, Tryon, Nebr. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held in the Episcopal church November 29, 1958, with Father John Yamamoto in charge. The music was furnished by Mrs Glenna Buchfinck, and the remains laid to rest in his lot in Cedar View Cemetery at Mullen, Nebr.

Pallbearers were E G Long, Wes James, Lee Isom, Allen Smith, Louis Folk and John Kraye.


We wish to thank everyone for the acts of kindness and expressions of sympathy during the sickness and passing of our father and grandfather.

Mrs. Irene Johnson and Family
Mrs. Pearl Waterman
Frank Gibson and Family
John Gibson and Family
John Gibson Jr. and Family
Jeffie McMannis and Family
Barney Gibson

Virginia Cemetery – Southern Cherry County Nebraska

Long’s Cemetery – South Cherry County

Long Family History

Ella Jones Funeral Card


Willard Jones Funeral Card


Obituary, Willard Jones

Willard_Jones_ObituaryA service of worship in memory of Willard Jones of Fairfield was held in the Fairfield Community Presbyterian Church on Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. Rev. R. Keith Roumpf conducted the services. Mrs. Russell Broderick was organist. Pallbearers were George Briggs, Jack Briggs, Norman Jones, Donald Jones, Ronald Jones and Stanley Schliep. Interment was in the Fairfield Cemetery. Arrangements were by McLaughlin Funeral Home.

Willard Jones was born on Dec. 25, 1881. He was the son of George Thomas Jones and Margaret Standard. He was raised on a farm near Fairfield. Mr. Jones had four brothers and five sisters, all of whom preceded him in death.

On Nov. 25, 1908 Mr. Jones took as his bride, Ella Smith. This couple lived all of their married life around and in the Fairfield community. They were very much a part of a generation that knew little besides hard work and love shared in raising a family. Willard always took pride in farming with harses and kept a team for plowing gardens long after his retirement. Mr. Jones was a member of the former Congregational Church of Fairfield.

He was preceded in death by his wife less than a year ago.

Surviving are six children: Mrs. Audrey Egan of Ayr, Wendell of Jerome, Ida.; Vilas of Mullen; Mrs. Berdena Schliep of Clay Center; Mrs. Velma Briggs of Hastings and Mrs. Virginia Hatman of Wynnewood, Okla. Twenty grandchildren and ten great grandchildren and several other relatives and friends survive to mourn his passing.

Services held Thursday for Vilas H. Jones, 60

Vilas_Jones_ObituaryFuneral services were held on Thursday afternoon, May 16, for Vilas H. Jones, 60, who died on Monday, May 13 at the Pioneer Memorial Hospital.

Services were held form the United Methodist Church at Mullen with the Rev. Dwight Kemling officiating.

Mrs. Doris Miller and Wayne Hampton furnished the music, with the songs, “Precious Memories” and the “The Lord’s Prayer”.

Honorary pallbearers were Roy Arends, Joe Bader, Harry Deidel, Dale Eppenbach, Ted Evans, Gordon Hansen, Glenn herr, Glen Hodges, Don Long, Gerald Long, Ed Macke, J.E. Macke, Arthur Mathews, Robert Murphy and Allen Smith.

Active pallbearers were Connie Boyer, Richard Cash, Don Herbig, Ernest Leach, William Sonnenfelt and Rolland Ridgway.

Interment was in the Cedarview cemetery at Mullen with Marcy-Upton Post 109 of the American Legion furnishing the military honors.

Vilas Howard Jones, the son of Willard and Ella Jones, was born on a farm near Fairfield, Nebr., on March 21, 1914. He attended school there and graduated from Fairfield high school in 1932.

He came to Mullen in March, 1946 with the United States Geological survey. He was in partnership in a grocery store for a short while and then took up the work of an automobile mechanic, being employed for many years in the Chevrolet garage. Shortly before his final illness he began to work for the Nebraska Department of Roads.

He was married to Neva Little on August 5, 1946, and four children were born to this union.

Mr. Jones was a member of Marcy-Upton Post 109 of the American Legion at Mullen and Lewis Trobough Post 256 at Fairfield. He joined the United Methodist Church at Mullen in 1959.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Velma Briggs.

Survivors include his wife; sons Sgt. Donald of the Air Force at Colorado Springs and Ronald of Mullen; daughters Mrs. Robert (Bonnie) Bain of Curtis and Jean at home, two granddaughters;

One brother, Wendell of Jerome, Idaho; and sisters Mrs. Ed (Audrey) Egan of Ayr, Mrs. Raymond (Berdena) Schliep of Clay Center and Mrs. Virginia Hatman of Wynnewood, Okla.

Neva June Andrews

Neva_June_Andrews_ObituaryNeva June Andrews, 76, of Mullen died April 14 2004 at Hillside Estates in Curtis, Nebraska. She was born June 11, 1927 to Carl and Teenie (Long) Little in Cherry County. She attended rural school and graduated from Mullen High School. Neva married Vilas H. Jones of Fairfield, August 5, 1946 in Kansas. He preceded her in death in 1974. To this union four children were born Bonnie, Donald, Ronald and Vonnie (Jeanie). She married Garlan Andrews November 12, 1982 in Mullen.

Neva was a secretary at Mullen Public Schools from 1968 until her retirement. After retirement she enjoyed ranching with her husband, Garlan. She was a member of the United Methodist Church. Her joy in life was her family and all the students she mothered while working at the high school.

Survivors include daughter Bonnie (Bob) Bain of Curtis, Donald (Debra) Jones of Omaha, Ronald (Jean) Jones of Hastings and son-in-law Dan Gibson of Beaver Lake. Stepchildren Retonia (Tim) Gruntorad, Kearney, Glen (Colleen) Andrews, Gordon and Rodney (Yvonne) Andrews, Mullen. Grandchildren: Michelle Votaw, Sharmin & Joe Gonzales, Cody Bain, Connie & Shawn Landon, Mellanie Portillo, Tom Jones, Tina & Don Nelson, Jason & Angie and Ryan Jones, Terra Gibson, and Wade Gibson. Step-grandchildren, Randy Simonson, Jennifer Simonson, Seth and Jake Andrews, Katie Andrews, Alandrea Andrews and Michael Andrews, and 10 great-grandchildren. Brothers Elmer and Paul Little, sisters, Thelma Pearman, Minnie Miller, sister-in-laws Berdina Schleip, June & Tex Evans, and Norma Pearson.

Her parents preceded her in death, step-father Joe Ulrich, two brothers, Ivan and Carl, and daughter, Vonnie Gibson.

A memorial has been established to United Methodist Church Cedarview Cemetery both of Mullen and Hillside Estates of Curtis. Pastor Lila Slater officiated. Music was by Lois Folk & Alisa Phillips. Neva’s grandsons were pallbearers. Funeral services were April 17 @ United Methodist.

The Price Girls Go Pioneering

By Mrs. Mary Price Jeffords

In the fall of 1881, I taught the home school in Ohio and in the meantime I read all the homestead laws I could get. I did not see why a girl could not do anything a boy could. School closed the middle of March, it being only a seven months terms.

Start For Nebraska

My sister, Agnes, later Mrs. D.O. Brown, and I, later Mrs. C.H. Jeffords, after many talks, decided to go to Nebraska.

We spent the entire summer in Lincoln and after the fall election went to Seward where Agnes and I secured schools to teach near that town. I had a three and Agnes a four months term.

After finishing my term of school, I went to Westerville where we had some old friends. I looked over the country there but found nothing that looked good. The next week Mr. Longfellow, John, Ed and Mary came along and I arranged to go back to Seward with them.

Bought Team and Outfit.

Agnes had finished her school at Seward and we decided to buy a team and wagon for $350.00 and drive to Custer county.

We bought our outfit from a man named Brock. When we got started west, we went along nicely until our wagon began to scream. I did not know what that meant. A man was coming toward us, and he up with his whip and demanded us to stop. He said, “Do you know you are ruining that wagon? It needs grease.” I asked what we would do as we were a long way from Grand Island. He spoke quite sharply and said, “One of you get out and hold my team and I will grease it for you.” When that was done, he said, “The next town is Grand Island. Get a box of grease and use it.” When we got to Grand Island, I made for a shop that sold grease, and Agnes went to look for a stove.

We got a hundred pounds of flour, a sack of cornmeal, a sack of graham flour, a slab of bacon, fifty pounds of sugar and spices of all kinds, a tub, an ax, a hammer, a saw which the boys said was no good–dishes, a hoe, rake, bucket and everything we could think of that we might need.

After we got all our things loaded we started for Broken Bow. The first night we stopped at Fletchers, in Sherman county. The next night we spent at the home of a family named Jenkins in Lee Park — the man was called “Polecat” Jenkins. I asked why he was called “Polecat” and they told us that during the hard winter he killed polecats to make a living. Mrs. Jenkins was a mother I was proud to know. She doctored me for a sore throat and did all she could to help us.

The next morning Lem Gandy came along. He took me to Westerville and we stopped at Dunlaps for two days, resting our team. When we got to the Charley Jeffords place my father, J.R. Price, brother, John, and uncle, Wood Price, were there. They wanted to know how we had thought of so much stuff when neither one of us had ever used an ax at all and a hoe very little.

One Sod House on Two Claims

Agnes and I filed on claims adjoining and we had the boys build a house across the line for us so that we could each eat on our own land. I did not take a homestead, but took a pre-emption and told my brother, John, he could have it when he was old enough. He was nineteen then.

Taught New Helena School

Agnes and I began looking for work. Preacher Jackson came and offered Charley Jeffords $40.00 a month to teach. Jeffords was going to Iowa for the winter, and later Mr. Jackson offered me $30.00 to do the same work. I told him no, that I could do just as well as Jeffords. Then Mr. Bathrick came and offered me $30.00 and I found that to be one of the nicest neighborhoods in the county, near New Helena. I stayed there five months.

The first of October, Agnes and I took our team and went to Mason City to see County Superintendent Amsberry. We found their home to be a lovely one and made friends with Mrs. Amsberry, Minnie, Amy and the rest of the family. We still look forward each year to going to the Home Coming to meet our many friends there.

On our way home from Mason City, we stopped at the home of a man by the name of Shaw. He had a nice lot of potatoes, and I asked if he would sell us ten or fifteen bushels of them. He sold us fifteen bushels at thirty cents per bushel. We also got some cabbage and squashes, in all spending $5.00.

Got Lost and Camped for the Night

It was dark by the time we got started on our way again, and we got onto the Ash Creek road and became lost, so we decided to camp for the night. We let the horses pick around. About 4:00 a.m. I told Agnes I would take the back track and that way we could find where we were. When I finally found my way, I was at the Dan Lewis place near Broken Bow, then I started home. When the sun cam up, Agnes started out and found the Boss Neth place. I got home about on o’clock. After that we were very careful when we went out on the prairie with no roads to follow.

Agnes A Good Shot

Agnes was good with a gun. She could kill a prairie chicken or any other wild thing, and in fact, did. I could not hit anything so she kept meat in the house while I did the washing and baking, for we could not run to the bakery as we do now.

They called Mr. Jeffords the “Lone Man” for he was the only one between Callaway, Arnold, and Broken Bow. That winter, 1883, Wood and John Price and Charley Jeffords spent the winter together. They got wood out of the canyons for fuel. Agnes and I taught school but we came home for Christmas.

That winter I inquired who in the district had a hog for sale, and Jim Forsyth wrote me that he had one he would sell for six cents a pound, dressed. I agreed to take it and when Wood Price came for me he asked if I planned to feed the entire county. When I asked his reason for thinking that, he told me I had bought five hundred pounds of meat and the man had dumped it into his wagon and left. What could I do? I had to spend my month’s wages for meat, and fat meat at that. The boys never got through guying me about my hog. My uncle and brother and Agnes and I were gone most of the time. We sold $12.00 worth of the meat and the rest we fried down and made sausage and lard.

Mary and Charley Get Married

After Christmas I did not get back until the first of March. Wood came after me about April 10 and Mr. Jeffords took me back April 16. He said we would go by way of Broken Bow. We did and were married by Judge Benjamin. Mr. Jeffords took me on to school and then went back home to work. We thought we were very smart and and would not let anyone know of the marriage until school closed. I did not see him again until the last week of May when he came for me.

Early Wedding Presents

The neighbors had some gifts for me: Mrs. Frank Cozad, a Newfoundland pup which I called “Bingo”; Mrs. Bob Farritor, three blooded chicks; Mrs. Jacobs, a hen and twelve chicks; Mrs. Ross, twelve chicks; Mrs. Isaac Merchant, a jar of plum butter; Mrs. J.H. Bathrick, two sheets and Mrs. W.O. Bowley a jar of butter. Mr. Jeffords wanted to know what all this meant, and I told him that everything was useful and I would far rather have these things than something I must put up and look at.

Jeffords Gave Writing Lessons.

During the year, 1883, Mr. Jeffords gave writing lessons to a number of people who came to his home for instruction. Among them was Boss Neth, who could write in German but not one word in English. In a few evenings he mastered the art well enough to write to his wife in Illinois, telling her to come out west where he had found a home. The wife, Alice, came with their two children, and we formed a friendship that lasts until this day.

During the year, I had my first experience in laying out the dead. Our neighbor’s child, Belle Hill, a young child, passed away, and when I went to the home and took an inventory things looked very discouraging. However, we sent for some of the neighbors, who came and brought food and aided. Hers was the first grave in the Broken Bow cemetery, as you will learn if you look up the history of the cemetery.

The first county fair in Broken Bow was held just east of the courthouse. People from all parts of the county came and enjoyed the fair and ate their dinners in the shade of the wagons.

In the fall of 1884 the Finch-Hatton boys brought me a dog. They were going back to England and were determined to leave the dog in a good home. They had invested some thirty or forty thousand dollars in cattle, but had lost it all and were returning to their native land. I asked them why the names were joined and they said it was because the Finch-Hatton estates had been joined.

During the fall of 1886, John Price and his wife moved into the Loup country. Their home was partly a dug-out and partly sod. The snakes were very bad, and one night Mrs. Price felt something crawling on the bed. She thought it was a mouse but next morning was greatly surprised to find a big bull snake curled up asleep on the bed. She did not stay long in that place.

Emerson Purcell, a Wild Little Devil

In the fall of 1886 Dad Price came home and said, “Jeffords, there’s a nineteen year old kid starting a paper at Merna. He is Emerson Purcell, George Purcell’s boy, and his paper is called the Merna Record. He is a bright kid but they tell me he is a wild little devil and I don’t believe he can make it go.”

Well, you all know what Emerson Purcell has accomplished in Custer county and that his Custer County Chief is widely known. I guess you can’t tell what is in a boy when he first starts out.

What a time we had when the first train came to Broken Bow! We were very proud of our county and the people in it. I do not believe you will find a place where the people were as loyal as they were in Custer county at that time.

Pioneer Stories of Custer County, Nebraska
Pages 74-76

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.

Nebraska Blue Book, 1926
Page 250


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

Jacque Jeffords POW Record

Download (PDF, 97KB)

The National Archives
Korean War Data File of American Prisoners of War, 1950 – 1953
Link to Record

“Seeing Yanks Outdo MIG’s Helped Lot”, Ex-POW Says


Father and son…Future is clear cut.

Jacque Jeffords, 24 year old Mullen, Neb. repatriated prisoner of war, was in Omaha Thursday making up for lost time and planning for the future.

Young Jeffords returned to his hometown and a hero’s welcome August 30 after 32 months in North Korean prisoner of war camps.

He was captured November, 11, 1950 after three days of hiking toward American lines. His B-26 was shot down in Communist territory.

“I almost made it,” he said, explaining that he was within 20 miles of the lines when a North Korean patrol found him hiding in the mountains.

The weeks that followed were a haze of interrogating sessions for the then 21 year old Air Force corporal. The Commies shifted him from place to place, shooting questions hour after hour.

“They didn’t learn anything,” he said. He added that he did not see a Russian interrogator throughout his imprisonments.

Most of his internment was in Camp 3 a few miles from the Yalu River on on North Korean soil. The locale was “right under” MIG Alley.

That fact, he said, kept prisoner morale at a peak.

“We always watched the dogfights,” he laughed, “and I never saw an American plane turn tail from the MIG’s.” He said that was the favorite tactic of MIG pilots.

“They always turned and headed for the Yalu. Our pilots would follow. We could see the tracers from their guns. Then when it looked like they were going to score a kill they would have to turn around. That was awful to see.”

The son of a retired rancher, young Jeffords wasn’t inclined to dwell on the treatment.

“We all got a share of brainwashing. On some–very few–it worked. Most of us laughed at them. We did anything to miss the classes, but they managed to round us up–just like cattle.”

The former prisoner said he knew, “quite a few of the men who went over to communism.” Was it due to a lack of education?

“Some of them had college degrees, others hadn’t gotten through the fifth grade. Some day they’ll realize what they’ve done,” he observed.

His future, he revealed, is clear cut. He will re-enlist in the Air Force.

“I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than serve my country. Perhaps it will help to keep others from being Communist prisoners.”

En route to visit relatives in Des Moines, Ia., young Jeffords and his father, John Jeffords, stopped to visit friends here, Mr. and Mrs. Loyal Cohn, 5107 Dodge Street.

Omaha World Herald
October 29, 1953

Minnie Myrtle Stubbs Picture


Eclipse Church

In the early part of this century a great need was eventually felt for a church building at Eclipse Cemetery, especially since there were so many funerals and the distance to travel was so great. The various Tucker families were most gracious to lend the use of their home to those in sorrow, but still it was a distance to their place, and was a hardship in frigid weather.

Once a group of people built a little sod house for church purposes on the ranch of Judd Gragg, but money with which to pay a minster could not be raised, and before long the little undedicated building was being used as a granary by Mr. Gragg. So it too, did not fill the need for a community building.

Eventually there was money enough to build a church building, enough to match that coming from the Episcopal Church, and in 1916 the building was constructed. The Reverend George Ware was one of the the most encouraging forces behind it. In 1918 the church was dedicated, and in 1978, they celebrated their sixty year anniversary as an Episcopal Church.

After the erection of the church, Bishop Beecher made the trip to All Saints Church to hold Memorial Day service almost every year. Later the Rt. Reverend Howard R. Brinker. D.D. carried on the tradition.

The women of All Saints Guild was organized in 1910 with Mrs. A.J. gragg first president; Mrs. Placer Tucker, Treasurer; and Mrs. Thomas Quinn, Secretary. A few years after that the Helping Hand Community Club came into the picture. Both worked for the upkeep of cemetery and church.

On November 1, 1981, the Eclipse Church resumed regular church services as a non-denominational organization. We were blessed with John Gale as our first minister. he and his family came to use from Tryon for nine months and we were deeply saddened to lose them.

We continued having regular church services with the help of many wonderful guest speakers. During this three month interval we also began working on our badly deteriorated church walls. Dave Christensen did the carpenter work, which was quite a challenge with no electricity. The work was completed within a two week interval and we were so pleased to have John Gale and his family back to help us celebrate the completion.

On November 21, 1981, we were again blessed with a wonderful minister from the Arthur Baptist Church, Paul Kondy is still with us as we hope he will continue to be for a very long time.

As far as we know, there have been only two wedding in the church. The first was November 3, 1956 with Don Bullington and Bonnie Connell. Milt Seson and Laura (Davis) Sedlacek were married on January 28,1984.

With God’s help we know that our little country church will continue to grow and be a wonderful service to our fine community.

McPherson County: Facts, Families, Fiction
Published 1986
Page 115

Eclipse Cemetery

The following is written from an article by Mrs. Mabel Quinn who had corresponded with Mrs. Thomas P. Wood, Cressage, England. Mrs. Wood was the former Elvira (Vira) Tucker.

On a very hot July day in 1890, a man, woman and little baby drove into Tucker’s from the east, in a covered wagon. They asked for milk for the baby and a meal for themselves. The three month old baby was very ill with dysentery, and had been very badly neglected. Mrs. Tucker bathed the little girl in an effort to abate her fever.

The man and woman claimed that the baby’s mother had died and the woman was a sister of the man. They insisted that Mrs. Tucker keep the baby for awhile as they had no way to keep milk for it, as they traveled to Whitman. Mrs. Tucker had four little children and would soon have another. She felt she must decline but suggested they go see the Dave Edwards family who lived a half mile down the Dismal River on the Grant Keith homestead. They consented to keep the baby and the father agreed to return for it the first rainy day they could get time off from his hayfield job near Whitman. They never returned and nothing more was heard from them. They had given a false employer’s name and the address was fake as well.

The little girl had seemed to be getting stronger and nearly well when suddenly a few weeks later she fell into convulsions and died.

There was no cemetery near. Mr. Tucker made a little pine coffin. Mr. Edwards dug a grave on the northwest corner of Mr. Tucker’s tree claim, located thirty miles southwest of Mullen, Nebraska in Hooker County and the little unknown baby was laid to rest. Mr Tucker put a barbed wire fence around the grave. Some time later the Edwards lost a baby and soon after so did the Tyrrels, neighbors of the Edwards to the east.

Mr. Tucker eventually fenced a plot of land and said he wanted it used for a community cemetery. After the post office was established in the Tucker home and name Eclipse, the cemetery became known as “Eclipse Cemetery”.

Funerals were usually held at the home if a minster could be found but most time only a hymn was sung by the group of gathering neighbors and friends and the Lord’s Prayer said in unison at the gravesite. In summer, prairie flowers were gathered and used and in winter the flowers from the house plants that every pioneer mother grew in her sod house windows were offered. There was no embalming of a body, no telephone over which to call a doctor if one could be found. Many a saddle horse made its last trip whose rider was endeavoring to get a doctor “in time” or to order a casket from Alliance or Broken Bow. Baptism was often administered by Mrs. N.L. Reuter.

The Tucker’s hospitality was always extended to the funeral parties and the women of the community always brought food and prepared a meal for their comfort. The men dug the grave and acted as pallbearers. In bad weather, the trip to the cemetery was made one day and the burial the next.

Of the many “who have come to make their bed” are those of divers faiths, Mormons, Roman Catholics and almost any Protestant denomination one can mention.

McPherson County: Facts, Families, Fiction
Published 1986
Page 131