The Wesley Chapel Neighborhood by Matt Steinhausen

(click here for the Steinhausen index page)


This is a history of the Wesley Chapel Neighborhood located SW of Lincoln, NE in Lancaster County.  If you are related to any of the people mentioned in the history or would like to make any additions / corrections, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I hope you find this informative.  I would like to thank all of the people that helped gather information for this compilation.  Thanks, Matt



Wesley Chapel, ca 1908

Photo by Willie Grimm


Wesley Chapel

“My parents moved to Lincoln, or out west, where they said milk and honey flowed; but it was a long time till we found milk, and much longer before we saw any honey.”  Anna (Grimm) Steinhausen  


Wesley Chapel Methodist Church was an anchor for the community of pioneers and farmers in the Rokeby-Denton neighborhood of Lancaster County, Nebraska, serving parishioners from 1893 until 1951.  Local girl Pearl Reddish wrote, “…the main social interests for our family involved the school and the church.”  The Wesley Chapel was built across the road from Prospect Hill School District 103, 1 ½ miles west of Rokeby, Nebraska near SW 27th St. and Rokeby Road.  The idea of the church began with a group of neighbors seeking regular religious services.  In 1875 or 1876, Sunday services began in the schoolhouse of District 29 (near SW 29th St. and Bennet Road), approximately two miles south of where the Wesley Chapel would be built.  In 1879 services were moved to the new District 103 schoolhouse until the completion of the church in 1893.  Thanks to the efforts of the community, the church’s construction was completed debt free.  In September of 1938, Wesley Chapel celebrated 45 years of service.  Three of the original church members, Mrs. Joseph Burgess, Mrs. A.F. Steinhausen and Mr. J.J. Jones were still active members at the time of the 45th anniversary.  In 1946, three churches, Rokeby Congregational Church, Jamaica Church and Wesley Chapel combined services, alternating churches.  Out of this combination came Trinity Chapel, located on Rokeby Road between SW 12th and 1st Streets.  None of the original three church buildings exist today though Trinity Chapel was partially built from the lumber of both Wesley Chapel and Rokeby Congregational Churches.


Wesley Chapel Cemetery

Wesley Chapel Cemetery sits just east of the original chapel site.  Most of the early leaders of the church are buried in the cemetery.  The cemetery lot is approximately 132’ x 132’ on land purchased from A.F. and Anna Steinhausen for $30 in approximately 1901.  The cemetery land overlooks Lincoln and is one of the higher points in Lancaster County.



Not surprisingly, most of the people buried in the cemetery are linked, not only as neighbors and fellow parishioners, but they would also become a complex web of in-laws as the succeeding generations would marry.  Some of the neighbors, family and church members were buried elsewhere, in nearby places like Pleasant Hill Cemetery (also called Yankee Hill Cemetery) at SW 12th & Pioneers Blvd, Sunnyside Cemetery in Denton, Centerville Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial Park at South 14th & Pine Lake Road or Wyuka Cemetery at 36th & “O” Street in Lincoln.  


The most interesting stories of those memorialized in the cemetery may be the most tragic:  Eight year old Lawrence B. Smith died after being stepped on by a work horse in 1901 (and is supposedly the first burial in the cemetery, though other stones have earlier dates); Stella May Reddish died on March 15, 1903, eight days after the birth of her son Ralph Glen, who would die four days later; 31 year old Willie Grimm whose skull was sliced in an accident at Cushman Motor Works in Lincoln, leaving behind a young wife and five month old daughter; Eunice (Burgess) Clark, who died at 24 of pneumonia, only months after her marriage; Banks Alstadt, killed by a sow in 1929 at only 2 ½ years of age.  


1903 plat map by Brown and Scoville



The Region

The Wesley Chapel Neighborhood is located in south-central Lancaster County, Nebraska, in-between the communities of Denton, Martell, Sprague, Centerville, Saltillo, Jamaica and Lincoln, the town of Rokeby in the middle.  Saltillo, Centerville and Jamaica no longer exist and Rokeby has only two occupied houses


Recalling the early days, area pioneer Mrs. B.F. Smith wrote, “There were no trees except a few willows along the low places.  Mr. Smith and I planted seeds to get the trees you see around the old homestead.  It was nothing to carry the water half a mile.”


The land was suited for crops and grazing.  Within years of pioneer settlement (late 1800s), much of the original sod had been turned by the plow for crops, and barbed wire fences erected for cattle and sheep.  American Indians did not create problems for most of the area settlers.  Though Indians were sometimes seen, it is likely they were migrating to hunting grounds or reservations, and did not live amongst the new inhabitants. 


In about 1892 rail service for Rokeby and Martell was provided by the Rock Island, Jamaica was served by the Union Pacific and Saltillo by Burlington-Missouri.  Denton was also served by Burlington.  Eventually many of the post offices and train depots disappeared, the Rock Island Line through Rokeby and Martell was abandoned in the 1970s or 80s. 


Yankee Hill Lake was created by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s for flood control, only one mile west of the Wesley Chapel site.  Farming is still the predominant use of the local land, but the urban sprawl of Lincoln is promoting hundreds of new homes to pop-up in the mostly rural area.   


The People

Much of the information on the people was derived from the biographies and autobiographies of members of the Wesley Chapel Ladies Social Circle, which were assembled by Mrs. Emanuel Peterson in 1924.  Some common biography topics included; love for the land, deep religious values, illness and the “Blizzard of 1888” in January.  Other sources of information included:  the Lancaster County Biographical Album of 1888; on-line computer resources; Mark Steinhausen, grandson of two of the church’s early leaders and lifelong resident of southern Lancaster County; the memoirs of Pearl Reddish, an interesting and vital resource to the research; and information provided by Violet (Faig) Peterson, Fern (Pierce) Jappert, Crystal (Burgess) Smith, Susan (Reddish) Curelop, Sue Williams, Teresa Sullivan and many others.  


Almost all of the Wesley Chapel members were farmers.  Many were of English or German background who came to Nebraska from the Eastern U.S. or Europe seeking opportunities to own their own land and raise their families.  Most were religious and prohibitionist.  Many of the children raised in the area attended either District #103 “Prospect Hill” (across the road from the church), District # 6 at Rokeby, or district #108, sometimes referred to as the “Burgess and Peterson Schoolhouse,” located at SW 40th and Denton Road. 


The following families are either buried in the cemetery or associated with the church/neighborhood.    




The Bowers family members were instrumental in the creation of Wesley Chapel.  They were leaders in the church before the chapel was built.  Taken from the writings of Pearl Reddish in 1974:  My mother used to wish I had known the "Bowers women."  One, in particular, would take her to Sunday School Class outside the little old schoolhouse, line them up around the back, while she taught the lesson for that day.  Her eyes would water, and as she wiped them, she would assure her class she was not crying, but something about the air made them water.  I don't think my mother ever named a single thought or principle this good woman taught them, but the gentle personality gave them more than any "Teachings" she could have ever put out to them.


Joseph Tompkins Bowers was born and raised in Billerica, Middlesex County, MA.  In approximately November of 1830 he married Almeria Stevens (also spelled Almaria) of Chelmsford MA.  Both were natives of the state and supposedly of English descent.  The Bowers family moved often, from Massachusetts to Long Island, NY to Dutchess County, NY then to Virginia in approximately 1856, four years later to Clermont County, OH, later to Ripley County, IN and finally Jackson County, IN.  It is unknown exactly when Joseph and Almeria came to Nebraska.  They were included in the 1880 census in the Denton precinct.  Joseph Bowers had a wife prior to Almeria named Nancy Bennett, to which there were three Bowers children including Dr. Josiah Bowers and Anne (Marshall).  Supposedly the Bowers children listed here are born to Almeria:  Ellen (Osborn), Arthur E., Dudley W., William E., Herbert S. and George.  Joseph Bowers died in 1881.  Almeria (Stevens) Bowers does have a memorial in Wesley Chapel Cemetery.  It is unlikely she is actually buried there because her date of death, February 1887, is six years prior to the building of the church.    


Dr. Josiah Bowers was born April 20, 1820 to Joseph Bowers and Nancy Bennett (Joseph’s 1st wife).  He died in 1904 at 84 years old.  (One source stated Josiah was a Lincoln physician but I have not found any data to confirm his occupation)


Arthur Eugene Bowers was born on Long Island, NY September 9, 1840.  A.E. enlisted August 20, 1862 in Company K, 5th Indiana Cavalry, honorably discharged June 15, 1865 as a Sergeant having fought in numerous battles of the Civil War.  Mr. Bowers married Maria Baldwin, daughter of William and Pearl (Brown) Baldwin on February 22, 1874.  Miss Baldwin was born on January 26, 1844 in Jackson County, IN.  The Bowers moved to Nebraska shortly after their marriage and settled on a farm in Lancaster County (NW sec 31, Yankee Hill precinct).  A later atlas of approximately 1910 shows the Bowers farm at SE section 20 of Yankee Hill precinct.  They had three children, William B., Alma (died 1884 at three years of age) and Benjamin A.  Mr. Bowers was a Class-Leader in the early Methodist Church and was involved with the creation of the Wesley Chapel.  Three-year old Alma Bowers (marked Al. Marie, possibly named Alma Marie after her grandma Almeria?) has a marker in the cemetery near the Osborn memorial.  Maria (Baldwin) Bowers died July 31, 1920.  A.E. died June 11, 1927.        


Dr. William B. Bowers, (born October 11, 1876; died August 23, 1949), son of A.E. and Maria is buried with his wife Etta V. Pierce, (born November 16, 1879; died February 7, 1962) daughter of George and Barbara (Appel) Pierce, near the rest of the Bowers clan in the Wesley Chapel cemetery.

William and Etta were married June 14, 1906.  


Dudley W. Bowers, (spelled Duddley by the International Genealogical Index) like his brother A.E. Bowers, was born on Long Island, NY, on November 28, 1842.  Dudley also enlisted with his brother on the same day, served in the same company, and was discharged on the same day as A.E.  Dudley went back to Indiana but soon moved to Memphis, TN, then to Bourbon County, KY for four years before returning to Tennessee and eventually back to Indiana.  In the spring of 1874 Dudley came to Lancaster County NE to buy 160 acres (SW sec. 31, Yankee Hill precinct).  He married Lucy G. Miller in Butler County, IN on April 27th, 1875.  Lucy was the daughter of Alfred and Emily (Guild) Miller, born on May 6, 1848 in Butler County, OH.  The children of Dudley and Lucy were Herbert M. and Norman G.  Dudley was School Treasurer of his district and, like A.E., was active in the Methodist church serving as a Class-Leader and helped create the Wesley Chapel, though they are buried elsewhere.   


Edward H. Bowers was born to Joseph and Almeria Bowers in approximately 1848.  Edward Bowers was married to Emiline (last name unknown) of Indiana.  Emiline was nine years his junior.  According to the 1880 census they lived in the Denton precinct.  Edward and Emiline are not buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery.


William E. Bowers was born in approximately 1852.  No other information is known at this time.


According to the “History of Wesley Chapel” (date and author unknown), “The four Bowers brothers, William, Ed, Dudley and Arthur were leaders in the church” in the 1890s. 


Herbert Stevens Bowers was born in Fishkill, Dutchess County NY per the Nebraska Biographical album (born on October 25, 1855 in Lowell, Massachusetts as per  Mr. Bowers did receive a college education at Wesleyan College at Bloomington, IL and started teaching in Lancaster County, NE in 1874.  He was elected County Superintendent of Schools in 1879 and re-elected twice before he moved to Pawnee City to serve as Superintendent before he came back to Lincoln to work as Superintendent of city schools.  In 1888 he was elected Assistant Superintendent of the Lincoln Schools.  H.S. married Nancy Jane “Nannie” or Lehmer, daughter of Derrick and Isabella Lehmer of Somerset IN, in 1881.  They had a child named Jessie Lehmer on July 11, 1885.  Mr. and Mrs. Bowers, like all Bowers family members of Lancaster County, were members of the Methodist Church.  H.S. and Nannie are buried elsewhere.



Medad Osborn was born in Orleans County, NY on October 17, 1823 to Orrin and Naomi (Woolcott) Osborn.  He was raised in NY on his family’s farm.  In 1847 he worked in a saw and grist mill with Henry and James Osborn in Washtenaw County MI.  In about 1850 he built a woolen mill named H. Osborn & Co where he managed for about 20 years.  In 1872 Medad decided to move to Nebraska to buy land and build a farmstead.  On September 13, 1877 he married Ellen Bowers.  Ellen, daughter of Joseph and Almeria, was born August 12, 1831 in Lowell, MA.  They were early leaders in the Methodist Church and helped create Wesley Chapel.  Mr. Osborn died January 8, 1893.  Mrs. Osborn died February 7, 1907.  The large stone at the Bowers plot reads “Osborn” on one side and “Bowers” on the other.



Benjamin F. Smith was born in Blair County, PA on November 3, 1840 to Eli and Eva (Smith) Smith.  Mr. Smith did receive some public school education and worked in a woolen factory, like his father, and later worked on his father’s farm.  Mr. Smith was a Civil War Veteran, enlisting on two different occasions, first with Company D, 3rd Pennsylvania Infantry and later with Company K, 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry, discharged in August of 1865.  B.F. married Elizabeth Harnish on Christmas 1865 or 1866.  Mrs. Smith was born near Williamsburg, PA to Daniel and Susanna (Schultz) Harnish in Huntingdon PA on October 8 in 1844 or 1845 or 1846 (depending on whether you believe her gravestone, autobiography or the 1888 Lancaster County Album).  Her mother died at a young age so Mrs. Smith lived between relatives.  Mrs. Smith never received an education, she said she only attended school for a few weeks.  Tract records show “Bert. F. Smith” acquired his Lancaster County land in section 32 of Yankee Hill precinct on May 14, 1868 (across the road to the south of Wesley Chapel Cemetery.  John Smith, Adam R. Smith and A.J. Smith each acquired land on the same section, the same year, probably siblings that purchased ground to exchange with their brother B.F.   Son Eli M. Smith was born on January 8, 1868.  Later that year, Mr. Smith came to Lancaster County, Nebraska.  Mrs. Smith waited until Eli was eight months old before she followed her husband.  Mrs. Smith and young Eli traveled by train, stagecoach, ferry and lastly a team of oxen driven by her husband.  Upon arriving at the sod home her husband had built, Elizabeth found the roof to be caved in from heavy rains the night before so they had to stay in the “dugout” until the new house was built.  In 1924 Mrs. Smith wrote, “Mine has been a busy life, with an average amount of care and sorrow, lived among friends and neighbors I loved, and have never regretted having come to Nebraska.”  Mr. Smith died February 22, 1925 and Mrs. in 1927.  The other Smith children include Daniel L., Ida M., Marion C. Carrie E., Emma B. and John Q.  


Eli Martin Smith born January 8, 1868 in Williamsburg PA, married Kate “Ada” Travitz on June 2, 1891 in Saltillo.  Ada was born December 26, 1867 in Marshaltown, Boone Co. IA to Phillip Travitz and Margaret (Yeager).  Ada’s death record indicates she had a twin sister, Mrs. Alice Sutter of Thompson Falls, MT.  Miss Travitz met Mr. Smith while visiting her two sisters in Nebraska.  Ada’s and Eli’s ages only separated by 13 days.  The Smiths had children, Lawrence Benjamin on October 6, 1892, and Ethel on May 14, 1895 while living near Johnson, NE in Nemaha County before moving in 1896 to their farm on the east side of SW 27th about ¼ mile south of Rokeby Road.  On June 1, 1899 Floyd Phillip was born. Mrs. Smith died Aug 13, 1935, Eli outlived her by 24 years dying August 9, 1961.


Lawrence Smith died on June 6, 1901 while helping his father bring the horses in from fieldwork.  Mark Steinhausen was told Lawrence slipped off the back a work horse, caught his foot in the harness and had his head stepped on by the horse.  Alma (Miller-Craiglow) Smith says she was told the horse kicked Lawrence while he was removing the single tree. 


Ethel Smith married Floyd E. Campbell:  see Campbell


Floyd Smith, son of Eli and Ada, died in 1980.  Floyd married late in life to Alma E. (Miller) Craiglow.  They did not have any children together though Alma had six children from a previous marriage.  Floyd lived on his family’s farm near SW 12th and Rokeby Road for most of his life.  Randy Steinhausen says he remembers going to the Smith house for a Shivery after the wedding of Floyd and Alma.  I asked Alma about her and Floyd.  She said she had met him in Lincoln not long after she arrived in town because she shopped at a grocery where he would deliver eggs (and/or milk?) from his farm, with a horse and wagon and his father riding along according to Alma, but it was many years later before they became more closely acquainted.      

Ida May Smith (born October 22, 1869) married James Carson Miller (born March 18, 1861) on September 1 1889, they moved to Moores Stone, VA (or Moores Store?).  James Carson Miller was a minister in the Church of the Brethren and taught for about ten years at Bridgewater College.  Ida died September 21, 1941.  Their children were: Carrie Rebecca born April 28, 1892; Ruth Elizabeth, born July 5, 1897; Wilbur Smith, born February 28, 1902; and Lester Paul, born Jan 4, 1908.   


The cemetery has a stone that reads “J. Quincy Smith 1871-1872”.  John Quincy was the infant son of Benjamin and Elizabeth born October 24, 1871 and died September 20, 1872.  The stone is probably just a memorial as opposed to a grave marker because the cemetery wasn’t created until 20 years after his death. 


Marian C. Smith (born Jun 16, 1875) married Wallace Angelo and moved to Leslie, Idaho.  They had a daughter named Dorothy (Angelo) Peterson.


On March 12, 1903, Carrie Elizabeth Smith (born January 1, 1878) married George Louis Williams (born September 12, 1875), son of Anson and Mary Kathryn (Brown) Williams, who lived about three miles north of the Smith farm.  George and Carrie built their home at SW 12th and West Denton Road.  They had a son, Hartley Williams born May 17, 1904.  George died on March 11, 1956; Carrie died April 30, 1959.  Hartley Williams married Velda “Vearl” Russnogle on January 1, 1935.  


Daniel L. Smith, son of B.F. and Elizabeth Smith was born January 16, 1883.  He was married to Mary Ellen Davis, born November 8, 1887.  The 1921 census listed D.L. and “Ella” Smith with children Benjamin, Blanche, Bertha and Leonard.  Eli H., Gordon and Willard were born later.  The Smiths lived at section 32 of the Yankee Hill precinct.  Daniel died May 22, 1957.  Mary Ella died December 13, 1960. 


Emma B. Smith (born June 1886) married Gordon Angelo (born November 21, 1884) and moved to Fairplay, Colorado.  They had children Irene, Lois and Howard.


Adam R. Smith, older brother of B.F. Smith was born December 27, 1833.  He was proficient at shearing sheep and making wool into cloth, having worked many years in a Pennsylvania woolen factory like his father.  Adam was married twice.  First to Mary A. Shinefelt, with whom he had four children; Jacob, Catherine (Craig), Flora C. (Shaner) and Bertha M. who died as an infant.  He later married Sarah Bateman, daughter of John and Christina (Hollar) Bateman, also of Pennsylvania, on January 4, 1877.  Mr. Smith came to Nebraska in approximately 1879, 11 years after his brother B.F., and purchased 100 acres in section 26 of the Yankee Hill township, one mile east of Rokeby.  He returned to Pennsylvania for the winter and came back in February 1880, Mrs. Smith following two months later.  He served as School Director, Road Overseer and Deacon of the Dunkard Church.  Adam Smith died June 20, 1904.  Sarah died February 22, 1909.


The Smiths were not Methodists, but were “Dunkards”, or members of the Brethren Church.  Nonetheless, some Smith women were members of the Wesley Chapel Ladies Circle and the Smiths are buried alongside their mostly Methodist neighbors.



Henry Grimm was born in Hesse-Darmstadt Germany January 3, 1839 and moved to the U.S. with his family in 1949 to Baltimore, MD.  He enlisted in 1861 in the 8th Battalion, District of Columbia, during the Civil War.  In 1864 Henry went to Europe and married Maria Suter of Switzerland in August of 1865.  After marriage they came to the U.S. where Henry worked as a cabinet maker and for a time worked in the coach building department of the New York Central Railroad.  Henry lived in Martinsburg, WV, Harrisburg, PA and Albany, NY before coming to Lincoln in around 1877.  He bought a farm in near Rokeby but lived in Plattsmouth, NE for two years while working for the Burlington and Missouri Railroad before he moved his family back to his farm in rural Rokeby.  Henry and Maria (“Marie”) Suter Grimm had seven children:  Anna (Steinhausen), Henry, Elizabeth (Kauffman), Louis “Louie”, Mary (Reddish), Emma (Sittler) and William D. “Willie”.  Henry worked in the Havelock shops during the week and would walk home to spend the weekend with his family.  Emma Grimm Sittler wrote, “When our little home of 80 acres was paid for, father quit his work at the shop and came to live with his family on the farm.”  The Grimm family farm was located ¾ mile west of Rokeby on the south side of the road.  Maria died October 9, 1914, of heart failure only three weeks after the passing of her youngest son, William.  Henry married Lucy E. Stuart in 1917 and moved to St. Cloud, FL with his new bride.  Henry died March 28, 1921.


Henry Grimm, son of Henry and Anna Grimm died in Florida.  Henry was a bachelor and worked as a baggage man for the C.B. & Q. in McCook, NE.  On December 14, 1930, while on vacation in Florida, Henry was taking a boat tour (similar to a glass bottom boat) when it exploded.  Three people including Henry were killed.  His body was shipped back to Nebraska and buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery. 


Louie Grimm joined the Navy and came back to Nebraska upon completing his duty.  Louie was a bachelor and farmhand for most of his life, living and working on the A.F. Steinhausen farm.  Louie is also buried with his family at Wesley Chapel Cemetery.


William “Willie” Grimm was the youngest of seven children.  He was an amateur photographer and a mechanic/machinist at Cushman Motor Works of Lincoln.  Willie died in an accident at Cushman at the age of 31 years on September 16, 1914.  He left behind Hazel (Pearson), his wife of 1 ½ years, and six-month old child, Ruth Grimm.  Hazel eventually remarried and lived in the rural Fairbury area.  Pearl Reddish, Willie’s niece wrote about her uncle’s funeral.  The funeral was held in Wesley Chapel Church.  The awe, the beauty, the solemnity of the occasion seeped into the depths of this little nine-year old's soul and memory, - to be there forever, I thought then.  So many flowers.  Overwhelming fragrance of the carnations.  Hymns that made direct connection with Heaven.  (Later I played them over again and again on the old parlor organ).  "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere" especially appealed to my childish fancy.  The coffin with its white satin lining and the pallid face cushioned there.  The morticians (Castle, Roper, Matthews) looking so solemn, - and they hadn't even known Uncle Will!  The procession across the churchyard to the cemetery, where the grave had been prepared by relatives and neighbors.  Then someone rushing back to the church for a chair when it was noticed that Grandma Grimm seemed to be very weak.  "Dust to dust …"  Neighborly handshakes and expressions of sympathy.  Then home again to wonder about the meaning of it all.”



Herman David Carl Steinhausen was born September 5, 1830 in Germany.  Mr. Steinhausen came to the U.S. to buy land in 1877.  His wife stayed behind while Herman brought his children Alvina, Herman, Albert Felix, Fred and Albert (note two Alberts).  It is thought Herman D.C. brought his sons to avoid the military service they faced in Germany and to take advantage of the opportunities available for land and jobs in the U.S.  Herman D.C. built a small home about ½ north of SW 27th and Rokeby Road (the stead is now pasture).  He later moved to North Platte, NE where his two sons Albert and Fred worked.  Herman D.C. died January 4, 1904 at his rural Lincoln farm.  To our knowledge Herman’s wife never came to the U.S.


Albert Felix Steinhausen came to the U.S. with his father when he was 12 years old.  A.F. “Felix” was a farmer who raised sheep, cattle and hogs.  He built the modest farm into a large one, hauling in an elevator that once served Rokeby and built a number of large barns for livestock, hay and grain.  One barn included an arena for sheep and livestock sales.  Felix married his neighbor, Anna Grimm in 1890.  They had two children, Roy and Anna.  Stories say A.F. smoked cigars once a day…all day.  A.F. owned the land on which Wesley Chapel Church and Cemetery would sit.  Felix’s brother Fred had a daughter Bertha that stayed with Felix and Anna.  Bertha married Wilbur Peterson:  see Peterson


Roy Steinhausen married Jessie Howe Burgess in 1913.  Their parents worked together to build Wesley Chapel when Roy and Jessie were toddlers.  Roy and Jessie moved between farms around the Rokeby area after they got married.  They had five children:  Marie (Maus), Elsie (Sieck), Mark, Opal (Buchta) and Hilda (Jacobson). 


Anna Steinhausen married Ralph Stephens:  see Stephens



Elizabeth “Lizzy” Grimm married Paul Preston “Press” Kauffman December 25, 1895.  Press was born in Mt. Pleasant, IA to Benjamin C. Kauffman and Carrie Witmer on January 26, 1869 They spent most of their lives in Mt. Pleasant IA, but later moved to California. 


Charles W. Kauffman (b. Jan 15, 1854) was an early leader of the Wesley Chapel.  Charles was the brother of Paul Preston, and like his brother, had a wife name Elizabeth as per the 1900 census.  The census listed Elizabeth as being born October 1853 in Iowa.  Paul and Elizabeth had four children, three of them living at the time of the census.  


Earl Kauffman is buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, son of Charles W.  Earl’s stone reads “son of C.W. and L.H., 5 years and 21 days, January 25, 1888”.  (Is it possible his death was related to the Blizzard of 1888 that occurred only 1 ½ weeks prior?)



Adelbert W. Reddish son of Hiram J. and Eliza M. (Watkins) Reddish was born in Wyoming County, NY on May 7, 1842.  A.W. enlisted in the fall of 1861 in Company A, 9th New York Cavalry, promoted to Corporal, and participated in numerous Civil War battles.  He even had his horse killed under him at Winchester.  In July 1865 A.W. was honorably discharged and returned to his home in NY.  Mr. Reddish and Marian Ranney of Batavia, Genesee County, NY were married on February 20 (or 27th), 1867.  They had two sons, Oscar in 1875, and Clarence in 1879.  A.W. left his farm near Warsaw, NY to move to Nebraska in March of 1879 (section 32, Yankee Hill township), though tract records show he acquired his land in October of 1873.  Mr. Reddish was one of the early Wesley Chapel church leaders.  Adelbert and Marian are buried in Wyuka Cemetery of Lincoln. 


Adelbert’s brother Allen C. Reddish lived in the Wesley Chapel neighborhood at one time and operated a blacksmith shop in Lincoln.  Allen and his family left Lancaster County, perhaps to the west coast, but little is known about the Allen Reddish family.


Clarence V. Reddish married Mary Grimm April 12, 1904.   Mary was born April 4, 1878 and was a teacher.  Clarence was a farmer.  Coincidentally both Mary and Clarence’s families’ came to Nebraska from New York, and both were born soon after their families’ had arrived here.  They grew up within a mile of each other.  The children of Mary and Clarence were Pearl, Earl, Irvin, Clyde, Donald and Orville.  Clarence and Mary are buried in Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery.   


Clarence’s first marriage was to Stella May Brady, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Brady, on February 10, 1901.  She died shortly after childbirth in 1903.  The child, Ralph Glen Reddish died four days after his mother.  Stella and Ralph are buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery. 


Oscar D. Reddish married Esther Barrett on October 28, 1908.  Miss Barrett was born south of Saltillo (south-central Lancaster County) and she lived between Lancaster, Otoe, Johnson and Furnas Counties before finally settling back into Lancaster.  Oscar and Esther gave birth to Arthur O. Reddish on November 24, 1910.  Oscar and Esther are buried elsewhere.      


Arthur O. Reddish married Lorine Giles, b. 19 Mar 1904.  Art lived most of his life ½ mile west of Wesley Chapel on the south side of Rokeby Road.  Arthur and Lorine had 4 children: Arthur Orval, Janet Jean (Hatterman), Richard Ronald and Gary Giles.


Joseph Burgess was born to Joseph and Keziah (Howe) Burgess in Lancaster, England on August 28, 1859.  In 1882 Joseph left England for Nebraska and purchased 160 acres near SW 40th and Denton Road (SE sec 18, Yankee Hill precinct).  Joseph married Annie Beeley Shilton on September 12, 1883 in England.  Two weeks later they came to America and settled in Lancaster County.  Annie Beeley Shilton Burgess was born in London England on November 4, 1859 and lived with her family between Naples, Italy (where her father had his business), London and Manchester.  Joseph and Annie had 14 children, 11 that lived into adulthood:  William, Annie, Harry, Mary, George Alfred, Ada Gertrude, Jessie Howe, Maud Victoria, Lily Longden, Eunice and Joseph Ismay.  (It is my hunch that Mrs. Burgess had her hand in the naming of the Wesley Chapel having been a member of the ‘Wesleyan’ Church of England in conjunction with her husband being a key member of the fund raising committee)


George Burgess married Nell Clymer.  George and Nell attended Rokeby Congregational Church and had a daughters Evelyn, Phyllis and Crystal. 


Crystal Burgess married Lawrence Campbell:  see Campbell


Ada Gertrude Burgess was born January 3, 1892.  She married Walter John Luckhardt in Council Bluffs, IA on May 1, 1913 and had three children:  Rose Ada, Walter “Harold” and Dorothy Eunice.  The Luckhardts were early members of the church and had burial plots picked out but later opted to rest at Lincoln Memorial Park.  Their original plots just south of the east walk-in gate have since been passed on to Matt and Kim Steinhausen. 


Harold Luckhardt never married and is buried in Lincoln Memorial Park.  Both Rose and Dorothy married Schwabauers, Rose divorced but Dorothy and Harold Schwabauer resided near Denver and later in Salinas, CA.


Lily Longden Burgess was born on October 6, 1899 and joined Wesley Chapel at the age of 12.  She played keyboard, taught Sunday school and was involved with almost every aspect of the church.  Lily married Sam Alstead and they had one son Banks Alstead who was killed as a youth by a sow at the Burgess farm.  They also had one daughter Edith.


Eunice Burgess married Hulbert Clark but she died within months of marriage of pneumonia in December of 1924, having aged only 23 years. 



Though not buried in Wesley Chapel cemetery, the Haase-Burgess connection has many ties with this area.  Leona Victoria Haase married Harry Burgess on October 29, 1920.  Harry Burgess was a WWI veteran, Pvt, Co A 134 Infantry.  Harry and Leona’s children were Harry M. “Melvin” and Lois. 


Harry’s sister Maude Victoria Burgess married Leona’s brother Walter R. Haase.  Their children were “double cousins.”  Water and Maude Haase had children Ervin, Clarence, Dorothy and Ruth.  Clarence F. Haase was killed in Pearl Harbor aboard the U.S.S. Penn. in 1941.  Both families rest in the Denton “Sunnyside Cemetery”. 



Emanuel Peterson of Dayton, IA married Anna Olivia Olson of Leland, IL on September 16, 1885 and farmed 80 acres in Iowa for 5 ½ years before moving to Nebraska with their son Wilbur Emanuel.  Mr. Peterson acquired the land near Denton in a trade with his father-in-law in 1890.  Anna’s brother Oscar Olson had already established a home near Denton, which made the transition easier.  Not long after coming to Nebraska, the Petersons had a daughter, Esther Anna.  Later, two more sons, Orin Gustave and Clarence Calvin completed the family.  Mrs Peterson assembled the Wesley Chapel Ladies Circle autobiographies in 1924, which are a vital link to the history of the area.


Wilbur Emanuel Peterson married Bertha Elizabeth Steinhausen December 18, 1907 in the A.F. Steinhausen home.  Attendants were Miss Anna “Toots” Steinhausen (bride’s sister), Roy Steinhausen (bride’s cousin), Miss Esther Peterson (groom’s sister) and neighbor William Grimm with the groom’s little brother Orin Peterson as ring bearer.  Bertha was born April 10, 1889 in a sod house near North Platte but was forced to move in with her uncle Felix and aunt Anna Steinhausen at about 6 years of age, some years after her father Fred Steinhausen died in a well digging accident.  Bertha’s sister, Anna “Toots” stayed with her maternal family near North Platte.  Wilbur and Bertha had one daughter and six boys:  Anna Esther, Roy Emanuel, Elmer Earl, Melvin Ellis, Orin Everett, Orval Edom and Clarence Wilbur Albert, the last born on his father’s 38th birthday.  Clarence would go on to be known as “Wilbur” as a tribute to his father who died when Clarence was a child.  Bertha and Wilbur had middle names that started with an “E” so the first six children did as well.  Anna Esther was born and died on August 17, 1909 and is buried at Wesley Chapel under a stone that bears nothing more than her name.   Bertha’s sister, cousin and aunt were all named Anna Steinhausen.  Bertha died in 1940 two days after an appendectomy.


Melvin Ellis Peterson married schoolteacher Violet Faig, daughter Willie and Anna (Keszler) Faig.  Violet said that Melvin’s mother died in 1940 while they were dating, he needed a new cook, and she got the job.  Children of Violet and Melvin are Ann (Anderson) and Beverly (TeSelle).  Violet Peterson taught at area school districts #130 and #69 as well as near Pleasant Dale.  They raised dairy cattle land originally owned by Emanuel Peterson.  Melvin Peterson died on October 18, 1995.  Violet was a charter member of the Trinity Chapel until moving to Milford to be near daughter Beverly.          


Orval Edom Peterson married Annabelle Johnson of Sullivan KS.  They had one son, Orval Elvin “John” Peterson.  Annabelle died in 1984 at about 60 years of age due to diabetes related illness.  Orval E. remarried and moved to Ottumwa IA.  Annabelle is buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery. 


Esther Anna Peterson, born June 16, 1891 to Emanuel and Anna Peterson, married Nathaniel Harrison Moore February 21, 1911.  The couple had a daughter, Edith Naomi, February 20, 1914.  Esther was a member of the Martell Ladies Aid Society, Burnham Missionary Society, Wesley Chapel Church and the Wesley Chapel Ladies’ Social Circle.  Esther would eventually marry two more times (Sheffick, Loos).  Daughter Edith Naomi moved to Juneau and later to Sitka, AK for work.  Edith eventually married a Mr. Alvin Helm.  

Orin Gustav Peterson married Eleanor Jones of Denton.  The Orin G. Peterson family lived on one of Emanuel Peterson’s farms located on Claire Avenue west of Coddington Blvd.  Orin G. and Eleanor had two daughters, JoAnne (Lahm) and Marilyn (Stevens).   Orin G. died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease and is buried in Lincoln Memorial Park.    


Clarence Calvin Peterson, son of Emanuel and Anna, married Evelyn Sittler, daughter of Edom and Emma (Grimm) Sittler.  They had one daughter, Barbara (Allbery).  Clarence and Evelyn lived on a farm near SW 40th and West Denton Road.  Evelyn was an area schoolteacher.   



Mary Ella Exley was born October 10, 1876 between Lincoln and Denton (sec 17 Yankee Hill) to George H. and Esther (McGinnis) Exley.  She lived most her life within three miles of her birthplace.  Mary was a member of the Christian church until 1915 when she joined Wesley Chapel.  She married Logan A. Rogers February 18, 1897.  They had four children: Orville Wibur, Esther Mina, Vesta Edith and Chester Logan. 


Orville Wilbur Rogers is buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery, his gravestone etched with the dates 1898-1908.  Mark Steinhausen remembers hearing stories about his grandmother Anna Steinhausen tending to Orville who died of diphtheria.  To prevent the spread of the disease she had to bath outside and burn her clothes before she was reunited with her own family.    


Daughter Esther Rogers, like her siblings, attended school at District 103 (across the road from Wesley Chapel Cemetery) where Logan Rogers was a teacher.  Esther was also a teacher at the school for a time.  Logan and Mary lived in section 31 of the Yankee Hill Precinct as per the 1921 atlas. 


Pearl Reddish wrote the following in one of her memoirs.  “Logan A. was a rather unusual kind of person to be found operating a farm, - at least in those days.  He had a law education, which accounted for the fact that he made his way to the county courthouse when the fields were wet, - or his curiosity had been whet.  He knew exactly how to find out whether "that fellow still has a mortgage on his place."  People learned his driving habits…in the middle of the road or street, but so slowly other drivers could dodge around him.  Never heard of his being in an accident.  But I could sort of imagine his wife's feeling as she would cling to the car door while his attention wandered to the crops.  His own crops were planted in season, but his love for reading, visiting the court house, imparting information to neighbors kept him from doing many of the normal chores around his place.


I guess the intelligence of this man and his wife (involved in church and temperance causes) was passed on to his children.  Esther became a teacher, - finally in college.  Vesta was a registered nurse.  Chester, a grad of Uni. Nebr., has long been with the FBI.  The oldest child, a boy, died in childhood, of diphtheria.”  As a young girl, Pearl once heard Logan say no one would remember him or his name after he was dead.  The thought left such an impression on Pearl that she proved him wrong by including him in her memoirs. 



Joseph Jones, originally from Northamptonshire, England, lived about 2/3 of a mile south of Rokeby Road on SW 27th  (SW sec 32 Yankee Hill) .  Mr. Jones married Laura Emily Bliss of England on March 1, 1904.  Mrs. Jones set sail for the U.S. aboard the White Star S.S. “Cedric” and arrived in Rokeby on March 20th 1904.  The 1921 Lancaster County Atlas records four children: Frederick George, Wilfred Joseph, Ruth Alice and Helen Louise.  Mr. Jones served as the Sunday school superintendent at Wesley Chapel for 25 years and was active in the church for its first 45 years. 


Joseph’s parents Loisa Denton Cole (1843-1928) and George W. Jones (1843-1940) are buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery.  Note the names of Joseph’s children, Frederick George and Helen Louise. 


Joseph’s sister Alice Jones married John M. Denman (born October 8, 1860 in Florence, Erie, Ohio) on August 1 or 7, 1887 in Wakeman, Huron, Ohio.  The Denmans owned land a couple miles north and west of Wesley Chapel Cemetery but later maps show them owning a farm ½ mile east of Rokeby.  John died October 4, 1942, Alice died May 6, 1949.  They had children: Mary Elizabeth, Leeman George, Gordon John, Esther Louise.



Samuel Sylvester Griffin, born September 8, 1850, at one time owned land that is now the site of at least a portion of Martell.  He also had a younger brother, Lewis, that also lived in the Martell Area.  Their father Edwin Griffin, and grandfather Sylvester Griffin, fought side by side in the Mexican-American War, where Sylvester died of injury after a battle at Shiloh.  Samuel married Mary E. (Walker) Griffin (b. March 11, 1848, d. March 4, 1892) on September 2, 1869.  They came to Lancaster County from Iowa soon after marriage in 1870.  Their children were John E., Samuel H., Frederick Earl, William (died at 3 years of age) and Emma M.   Samuel outlived his wife by almost 30 years, he died September 10, 1919.  They are buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery with most of the other Griffin family.


Frederick Earl Griffin, son of Samuel and Mary, was born on October 12, 1875, on his family’s homestead in Lancaster County (sec 4, Centerville).  Frederick Earl Griffin married Cora May Angelo on February 10, 1898.  Cora was born to Hardin and Susan Angelo in Illinois on December 26, 1874.  Hardin called Cora May his delayed Christmas gift (ironically Cora died on Christmas, 1956).  Cora came with her family to Nebraska in October of 1881.  She was the oldest of eight children.   Cora and F.E., like many of the other Angelo and Griffin family members, are buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery.   F.E. Griffin died August 19, 1976, 100 years old.  (Harden Angelo m. Susan Arnold in Caldwell MO April 3, 1878, same folks to Cora Mae, married 4 yrs after her birth?)


John E. Griffin (July 11, 1870-November 12, 1904), brother of F.E. and son of Samuel and Mary is buried at Wesley Chapel Cemetery. 



Elmer E. Frantz (born December 12, 1870, died March 22, 1942) and his wife Fedilia J. (born August 10, 1854, died November 24, 1944) lived on SW 27th about ½ mile north of Rokeby Road.  They did not have any children. 



Fred H. “Herman” Priesner (“Herman F. Priesner” as per was married to Mary Rose Butterfield on February 16, 1899 in Lancaster County, NE.  Mary was born in MI and the youngest of six children.  The Priesners lived at sec 5, Centerville precinct.  Their children were Carl, Willard, Louella and Loretta.  F. H. lived from 1869 to 1954, Mary R. was born in 1873 and died in 1943. 


Daughter Louella Priesner went on to marry Earl Reddish on March 5, 1929.  Son Carl Priesner was born April 25, 1900, died June 1, 1988 in Keith Co, NE.  Son Willard Priesner was born January 11, 1903, died May 1969, Keith Co, NE.

Daughter Loretta had two daughters and lived in CA.


Herman Priesner had at least five sisters.  Though none were buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery, they did have many links with the community:  Caroline Priesner married George Keszler June 5, 1884 in Lancaster Co.  Caroline and George had a daughter Anna, who married Willie Faig, parents of Violet (Faig) Peterson (see Peterson).  Emma Priesner married Charles L. Fisher May 15, 1890 in Lancaster Co.  The Fishers lived about five miles west-southwest of Wesley Chapel.   Sarah Matilda Priesner married John Kern (see Kern).  Anna Miss Priesner was a seamstress and worked in tea room at Miller and Paine.  Anna was born about 1876, died Dec 28 1963, and is buried in Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln.  Wilhelmina Priesner was a Lincoln teacher and truant officer.  Anna and Wilhelmina did not marry.



John C. Kern was married to Sarah Matilda Priesner.  Sarah Matilda was born March 16, 1872 in Jefferson County, IA.  Her family moved to Kansas for a year and then to Nebraska in about 1875.  On December 27, 1900 John and Sarah Matilda were married.  They lived on the A.E. Bowers farm until 1910 when they moved a farm one mile north of Rokeby, at which time they joined Wesley Chapel.  In 1924 the Kerns moved to Lincoln on Sumner Street.  The Kerns had two children, Edith and Estella.  


Edith Kern married Albert Sandfort.  Edith, like her mother, was a member of the Wesley Chapel Ladies’ Social Circle.  Edith would go on to serve as the president of the local Women’s Society of Christian Service chapter, of which all the social circle ladies became charter members on August 21, 1940.  The Sandforts lived on the Kern farm one mile north of Rokeby.  The Sandforts had two children, David and Jane. 


Mark Steinhausen remembers helping with threshing on the Kern farm in his youth.  He said John would come out to the farm from Lincoln to help with the harvest.  John had a large, bushy mustache, which was not appealing to the young helper.  Mark said he and his friend Melvin Burgess would race to the water bucket during breaks and get a drink before it was contaminated by John’s big hairy mustache soaking in the dipper full of water. 



Edom Sittler married Emma Grimm December 23, 1902.  Emma was born September 28, 1880 in Plattsmouth to Henry and Marie Grimm.  The family moved to Rokeby soon after Emma’s birth.  Emma yearned to get an education and studied at home.  She went on to Nebraska Wesleyan University and became a teacher where she earned $30/month.   Emma and Edom had two children, Evelyn and Melvin.  Edom Sittler was killed in February of 1928 by bull he co-owned with James Williams, on James William’s farm, formerly Keszler farm (sec 7, Centerville).  Emma died in 1933.  The Sittlers are buried in Wyuka cemetery. 


Melvin Sittler married Mary Giles August 1, 1931.  Mary’s sister was Lorine Giles, wife of Art Reddish Sr.  Melvin and Mary had children Rodney, Randall and Stanley.  Stanley died just shy of seven years old due to an unknown/undiagnosed illness.  Mary died in July 1956 of cancer. 


Melvin later married Lela Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Miller, on Valentines Day, 1963.  Melvin played an important role in preserving Lancaster County History.  He documented newspaper entries from the area newspaper(s) for the Nebraska State Historical Society, it is called the “Sittler Index.”  Melvin and Lela also trekked around the county to visit cemeteries to record tombstone information and preserve old cemetery records so area settlers and ancestors wouldn’t be forgotten.  Melvin died of a heart attack while making one of his many trips to the Nebraska State Historical Society.  



Anna M. Steinhausen was born in her parent’s home on SW 27th and Rokeby Road February 11, 1897 (her parent’s anniversary).  The house was later converted to a chicken coop after a larger home was built in 1900.  Anna married Ralph E. Stephens November 12, 1919 at her family’s home.  Anna and Ralph raised sheep, cattle, hogs, chickens, and bred dogs.  Anna was also a sports fan, especially boxing and wrestling.  Randy and Diane Steinhausen live in the house in which Anna lived nearly her entire life.  Her nieces and nephews knew Anna affectionately as “Auntie”.  Ralph always kept nice cars and was a good horseman with three teams of well manicured draft horses.  Ralph’s parents were Thomas E. and Julia Stephens.  The Stephens family lived between Cass, Otoe, Lancaster and Harlan counties in Nebraska.  Their Lancaster County farm was located on section 18 in Yankee Hill precinct.  Children of Thomas and Julia were Harold, Orville, Ralph and Lucy. 


Lt. Orville L. Stephens was an airplane pilot early in the history of American flying.  Orville was a WWI veteran who was commissioned at Barron Field, TX .  Orville died in a wreck over a desert in the southwest U.S. trying to locate a canopy cover that had detached from his plane.  Lt. Harold M. Stephens, Orville’s older brother, was also a WWI veteran who had been assigned to Artillery Camp in Saumur, France.  Their sister Miss Lucy Stephens lived in the Stephens family home north of Denton Road (section 18, Yankee Hill) and was a member of the Wesley Chapel.  Lucy never married.


BARRY (information provided by Eileen Hanson)

Katherine Barry is buried alone in Wesley Chapel Cemetery.  Her stone reads; Mother 1886 – 1918.  Katherine was the wife of Edward Barry.  The 1921 Lancaster County atlas lists Edward D. (actually Edward J.) as having no wife but did have children Marguerite, Willie, Isabelle, Irene and Marie.  Edward Barry was the son of David and Mary Ellen Barry.  The Edward Barry family lived on a farm owned by David Barry about two miles north of Wesley Chapel Cemetery.  Katherine was born Frances Katherine Fischer to Wilhelm Edward and Katherine Fischer.  She died of the flu on December 12, 1918, just days after of the birth of her daughter Marie.  After Katherine’s death most of the Barry children moved to be raised by other relatives. 



Floyd E. Campbell, born July 18, 1895 to Charles Campbell and Ida (Hurlbut), married Ethel May Smith in 1915.  Ethel, daughter of Eli and Kate “Ada” Smith, was born near Johnson, NE May 14, 1895.  She moved with her family to their farm on SW 27th.  Ethel and Floyd had two children, Evelyn and Lawrence.  Floyd died on May 15, 1924, according to one source he was dragged to death by a horse. 


After Floyd Campbell’s death, Ethel went on to marry Merle (Merrill?) Stewart who had three children of his own:  Doris, Helen and Leonard.  The Stewarts lived near South 14th and Old Cheney before moving further south to the Saltillo Road area.  Ethel is buried next to her 1st husband Floyd and her Smith ancestors in Wesley Chapel Cemetery. 


Lawrence Campbell, son of Floyd and Ethel was born on August 16, 1919.  He married Crystal Burgess, daughter of George A. and Nellie (Clymer) Burgess.  Lawrence died October 9, 1961.  Crystal went on to remarry.  Lawrence was nicknamed “Humpy” probably because of his last name, Campbell was pronounced like “camel”, camels have humps, thus the nickname Humpy. 


Merrill Stewart’s first wife and Ethel Smith’s first husband were cousins, thus the children of the Campbells and the Stewarts were not only step-siblings, but were also 2nd cousins.



Evelyn Campbell (b 1916, d 1968) married Lyle K. Judson (b 1906, d 1967) 


ERNST (information contributed by Margaret Langenberg)

John Henry Ernst married Anna Steffens on September 4, 1890 at the German Presbyterian Church in Hickman, NE.  Anna was the niece of Gerd Niemann who operated a saloon in Hickman with Mr. Ernst.  Anna was John’s third wife, his previous two wives both died.  John had two children from his second marriage, Paulina and Mary.  John and Anna had a son, John Jr. while living in or near Hickman before they moved to a farm in the South Pass precinct (south of Hickman) in 1895.  Jacob, Charley and Anna Sophia were born while at the farm.  In 1902 the family moved to a farm west of Rokeby.  Ben “Bennie”, Amanda and Harry were born there.  Another daughter died at only two days old on May 8th, 1908, and is buried in an unmarked grave.  Anna died July 6, 1910 (her marker is dated July 5th) and was buried near her daughter.  Anna’s young son Harry died only a few months later on November 10, 1910, and was buried near his mother and sister.  Anna’s grave went mostly unmarked until 1953 when the funds from a death of her son Charley were used to purchase her stone. John lost his lower leg in a wagon accident and had a “peg leg”.  John moved to Sherman County in 1914 and lived to be 92 years old.


It is believed John Ernst Jr. was a hired hand for the Reddish family.  He went on to marry Ethel Strelow and lived in the Highland precinct near Kramer.  John Jr. and Ethel had two children, John and Virginia.  John Jr. disappeared between 1922 and 1924.  My grandfather Mark Steinhausen said he remembers a story from his father Roy about a farmer down southwest who was having a difficult time with money.  The Martell banker (John Carl Sittler?) told the farmer that he had to make a payment by a certain day or else the bank would be forced to take his farm.  Apparently on the day the money was due the banker got a note from the farmer that stated he could have the farm, and the wife, and the kids.  The farmer was never heard from again.  I can only assume that this story is in reference to Mr. Ernst but I have no proof other than circumstance.


Maria “Mary Marie” Ernst married Ewald Fraas.  They lived in Sherman County, NE for a few years and then moved to the Denton area.  They farmed in the Denton and Centerville areas until they retired in Crete.  They are buried in Sunnyside Cemetery in Denton with their son Walter Fraas, who died at 19 from injuries received in an accident with a runaway team.


The other Ernst children moved to Sherman County in the Hazard-Litchfield area. 



Floyd and Marie (Steinhausen) Maus.  Floyd’s parents were Roy I. and Retta (Clymer) Maus.  Marie is the daughter of Roy and Jessie (Burgess) Steinhausen.  Their children are Ann Marie in Ft. Lauderdale and Roy Lee in New York City who lives in the Bronx and works in Manhattan.   Floyd was born in Ainsworth, and then moved to Orchard/Ewing area until his mother died then his dad moved to Lincoln area and sold cars.  His father later married Hilda Carlson.  Marie attended college in Peru for one year, later graduated from Lincoln School of Commerce Business College as an accountant.  Floyd Maus died in 2006.  Marie is living in Tucson, AZ.


SHERWOOD (info provided by Kenneth W. Sherwood)

Kenneth DuMont Sherwood was born at 1245 Van Dorn Street in Lincoln, NE on April 12, 1906 to Elbert Vertner and Pearl (Dart) Sherwood.  Kenneth was the 3rd of 7 children.  He and his brother Corel became interested in flight in their young adulthood.  Both took flying lessons in Lincoln where they became friends with Charles Lindberg.  They built their own planes and flew from the pasture near their home located ¼ mile south of SW 12th and West Old Cheney Road.  Corel Sherwood was killed when his plane crashed near Ellis, NE in 1925.  Kenneth became a stunt flyer with the University of Texas flyers and walked the wings of a bi-plane and did parachute jumps.  His friend and pilot, Jerry Marshall would then do a “dead engine” landing.  Jerry Marshall, a pilot for American Airlines was killed in what was then called “America’s worst air disaster” (17 deaths) in 1938.  Kenneth gave up flying the same year and became self-employed as a plasterer, a trade that also was the profession of his father, Elbert, and his grandfather Frederick Oscar Sherwood.


On February 4, 1928 Kenneth DuMont Sherwood was united in marriage with Rachel Dietz.  Rachel (Dietz) Sherwood was born on April 26, 1911 at 500 B Street, Lincoln, NE to Henry and Amelia (Maser) Dietz.  She was the 5th of 9 children born to the German immigrants from Russia, and the first born in the U.S.  She was educated in the Lincoln Public Schools and was a member of the Friedens Lutheran Church on 6th and D Streets. They had 10 children.  Dorothy Jean (Frischknecht), Dean Dumont, Eleanor Waunita (Black), Alvin Neal, Patricia Ann (Tagart), Kenneth Wane, Ronald Edwin Keith, David Jack, Ruth Louise and Gary Neal.

The Sherwoods lived in many places around Lincoln until 1962 when they purchased 10 ½ acres of the former Henry Grimm farmstead from Ethel (Smith) Stewart for $2500. 


Kenneth suffered a stroke at age 55 which forced him into retirement, and a later stroke, which paralyzed his right side, required he move into Lancaster Manor, where he died on March 31, 1976.


Rachel did domestic work most of her life for many notable Lincolnites including John Selleck, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska, Jack DeVoe and Lyle Holland, local attorneys, Robert Russell of Russell Oil Company, John D. Campbell of Miller and Paine, and James Swanson of Hovland Swanson.  Rachel retired in the 1970s after suffering a stroke.  She maintained her home in the Grimm house until she fell and broke her hip in the spring of 1987.  She then resided with her son Kenneth W. until her death in December of 1997.


Dean DuMont Sherwood was born on September 22, 1929.  Dean served in the U.S. Army as a military policeman in Korea from 1944 through 1948.  Dean returned to Lincoln after his military service and married Norma Jean Aksamit from Crete, NE.  The marriage ended only one year later.  He then met and married Ruth M. Springer of Florence, SD.  They had 6 children.  Dean engaged in many professions during his lifetime, mostly in the furniture industry.  He was employed by Ernie’s of Ceresco when poor health forced his retirement.  Heart problems and diabetes forced Dean into the Veteran’s Hospital.  He had a leg amputated as a result of health problems and died about 2 weeks later on March 11, 1993.   Ruth M. Springer married Dean DuMont Sherwood on March 10, 1949.  Ruth was born on June 18, 1928 near Florence, SD to Cleveland Grover and Maude Springer.  Ruth came to Lincoln to attend Union College.  Ruth left school to tend to her home and children.  Ruth died on June 25, 1997.


Bryon James Hanseling was born on January 21, 1970 to James Hanseling of Seward, NE and Pamela (Sherwood) Hanseling.  He was the grandson of Dean and Ruth Sherwood.  Bryon contracted pneumonia and passed away on January 18, 1972, only 3 days from his 2nd birthday.  Bryon was buried in his “sailor suit”. 


Heather Sherwood was born October 27, 1972 and died the next day.  Heather is the daughter of Julie Sherwood, granddaughter of Dean and Ruth Sherwood.



Alvin Neal Sherwood was born on June 8, 1933, the 4th child of Kenneth and Rachel Sherwood.  He was severely burned when he pulled a coffee pot over and onto himself while playing at his grandparent’s home (Henry and Amelia Dietz).  He died about a week later on November 25, 1934 at 1 year, 4 months and 17 days.




There may be some unmarked graves near the stone of Anna Ernst.  Names associated with these graves may include Brittain (spelling?), Walker and Ernst as per the cemetery lot map.  It is likely these are children’s graves but there are no solid records to confirm their identities.


(click here for the Steinhausen index page)