• Frontier Trails Across Gage County • Famous Gage County People
• History of Gage County Town and Villages • Unincorporated Towns in Gage County • Historic Buildings in Gage County
• History of Beatrice • Historic Business in Beatrice • Historic Buildings in Beatrice
Related Resource: Nationally Distinguished Nebraskans: A Brief Bio-Bibliography of 900 Individuals by E.A. Kral.
Research and compiling of the information below was done by E.A. Kral in cooperation with the Gage County Historical Society. Duplicate files of the Kral collection are housed at the Gage County Museum. These files are open to researchers. The following are distinguished persons who were born or resided in Gage County, Nebraska since 1854.
Hollywood film star Robert Taylor (1911-1969) appeared in over 80 films from 1934-1969. He set a Hollywood record for longest contract with one studio (24 years with MGM), narrated two Academy award winning feature length documentaries in 1944 and 1948, and was co-recipient of Golden Globe for 1953 as world's male film favorite. He was born in Filley as Spangler Arlington Brugh, and graduated from Beatrice High School in 1929. Many of his boyhood homes in Beatrice still stand. He attended Doane College at Crete for two years, and then graduated from Pomona College, Claremont, California in 1933. The Robert Taylor Memorial Highway, located east of Beatrice on US Highway 136 to Filley, was dedicated in 1994. The Gage County Museum houses a special Robert Taylor Exhibit and archival materials. Consult Jane Ellen Wayne, The Life of Robert Taylor (Robson, 1973, 1987) and The Beatrice Daily Sun, October 8, 1993, a 48-page supplement, and Nebraska History, Vol. 75 (Winter 1994) 280-291 and American National Biography, Vol. 21 (1999) 404-405 and Jane Ellen Wayne, The Leading Men of MGM, (Carroll & Graf, 2005) Chapter 5 and Linda J. Alexander, Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood, and Communism (Tease Publishing, 2008) and Charles Tranberg, Robert Taylor: A Biography (BearManor Media, 2010) and E.A.Kral, Robert Taylor's Nebraska Years (pdf version HERE).
Clara Bewick Colby (1846-1916) was the editor of the Woman's Tribune in Beatrice between 1883-86 before moving the newspaper to Washington, D.C. She was an active woman's suffragette with friends such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Her husband, General Leonard Colby, was a lawyer, Nebraska Senator, county judge, and a General with the Nebraska National Guard. When the National Guard was sent to help bury the dead after the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1891, Colby brought back to Beatrice a Sioux Indian infant known as Lost Bird. The 1995 book Lost Bird of Wounded Knee by Renee Samson Flood recounts the life of the Colbys and their adopted child, Lost Bird. Consult American National Biography, Vol. 5 (1999) 194-195 and Encyclopedia of the Great Plains (University of Nebraska Press, Fall 2004).
Harold Lloyd (1893-1971), famous silent screen actor and director, was born at Burchard and lived in Beatrice for two years. His first acting experience was in Beatrice at the old Paddock Opera House in "Macbeth" in 1904. In an interview with Mr. Lloyd in 1949, he remembered selling popcorn in the local saloons and practicing his acrobatic skills on the beams of a foundation near downtown. He was chased away numerous times by the police. Today, this same building houses the Beatrice Police Department. He was regarded as one of the great comedians of silent films in the 1920's, famous for wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a straw hat. During his career that extended from 1912 to 1947, he acted in over 200 films and produced a dozen more. Recipient of an honorary Academy Award in 1952 for lifetime achievement, he was featured on the cover of Time, July 25, 1949 and October 15, 1990. He also lived in Humboldt, Pawnee City, and Omaha before moving to California. Consult Current Biography (1949) 357-359 and Omaha World Herald, April 11, 1993, pp. E-1, E-7 and American National Biography, Vol. 13 (Oxford University Press, 1999) 787-788 and Lincoln Journal Star, May 11, 2003, pp. F-1, F-6.
James "Wild Bill" Hickok (1837-1876) was tried for murder in Beatrice for killing David McCandles at Rock Creek Station. Hickok started his notorious career in 1861 at Rock Creek Station, southwest of Beatrice in what is now known as Jefferson County. At his trial in Beatrice he was acquitted after pleading self-defense. He served in the Civil War after the Rock Creek incident. Later he performed for two years in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and gambled in card games. Consult Joseph G. Rosa, They Called Him Wild Bill: The Life and Adventures of James Butler Hickok (University of Oklahoma Press, 1964) and American National Biography, Vol. 10 (Oxford University Press, 1999) 741-742.
Samuel Avery (1865-1936), educator and administrator, was chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1909 to 1927 (except for nine months in 1918 when he was assistant chairman of the chemical committee of the national council of defense in Washington, D.C.), the longest tenure of any UNL chancellor to date; during Avery's Administration, enrollment grew from 3,611 to 11,848, several colleges and schools were established, and seven major buildings were erected, including Memorial Stadium; born at LaMoille, Illinois, he lived at Crete, and earned degrees from Doane College in 1887 and the University of Nebraska in 1892 and 1894 and Heidelberg University in 1896; after teaching chemistry at Beatrice High School during the 1892-93 school year, he was professor of chemistry at UNL from 1896 to 1909 (except for two years at Idaho) and from 1927 to 1935. Consult Robert N. Manley, Centennial History of the University of Nebraska, Vol. 1 (1969) and R. McLaran Sawyer, Vol. 2 (1973) and Sunday World Herald Magazine, June 18, 1936, pp. A-1, A-8 and New York Times, January 26, 1936, Sec. 2, p. 8.
George D. Baker (1868-1933), film director, writer, producer, stage actor, magazine illustrator and amateur photographer, was among the pioneers of the silent film era; directed comedies featuring John Bunny and Flora Finch and other films starring May Allison, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore, Marion Davies and Bert Lytell, and was writer of 36 films; from 1910 to 1916 with Vitagraph (purchased in 1925 by Warner Brothers Studio) he directed 60 films, from 1916 to 1919 with Metro Pictures (later merged in 1924 with Goldwyn and Mayer Pictures to form MGM) he directed 16 films and from 1919 to 1924 as an independent, he directed 13 films. Born at Champaign, Illinois, he lived with his family in Beatrice from 1881 until 1886, the year he graduated from Beatrice High School, then studied two years at Chicago Conservatory of Dramatic Art, followed by 25 years in the theater at New York City, and then at Los Angeles in the movie industry. Consult Beatrice Daily Express, February 23, 1918 and Carolyn Lowrey, The First One Hundred Noted Men and Women of the Screen (Moffat, Yard and Company, 1920) 12-13 and Anthony Slide, The Big V: A History of the Vitagraph Company (Scarecrow Press, 1976) 46, 57 and obituary in Variety, June 6, 1933, p. 62 and Ephraim Katz, The Macmillan International Film Encyclopedia, 4th ed (Macmillan, 2001) 78.
Alice Coleman Batchelder (1874-1948), arts administrator and pianist, founded in 1904 the Coleman Chamber Music Concert Series in Pasadena, California, which is considered the oldest enduring chamber music series in the nation. She had studied compositions and took piano lessons in Europe, then taught privately in California and initiated the development of music programs for school-aged children; her efforts resulted in attracting talented musicians to California and encouraging new talent among ensemble performers. Born in Beatrice, where her father had established the Beatrice Express, she relocated with her family to Washington, D.C. in 1876 when her father sold his newspaper interests and became secretary for U.S. Senator Algernon S. Paddock. Consult Hugh Dobbs, History of Gage County, Nebraska (Western Publishing, 1918) 245-247 and American National Biography, Vol. 2 (Oxford University Press, 1999) 322.
Harold R. Bohlman (1893-1979), orthopedic surgeon, introduced vitallium as a substance to replace injured bones and joints, and specialized in the fields of traumatic surgery, pathology and surgery, and hip and knee surgery at hospitals in the Baltimore, Maryland area. A graduate of John Hopkins Medical School in 1923, he performed the first total hip joint replacement using vitallium on September 28, 1940 at Columbia, South Carolina. Born near Adams, he lived and attended rural school near Pickrell, graduated from Beatrice High School in 1914, and from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa in 1919 after becoming a pilot in the U.S. Air Service during World War I. Consult Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Vol. 25 (July 1943) 688-692 and Lincoln Star obituary, April 6, 1979, p. 23.
Edwin Booth (1906-1996), writer, published almost 50 western novels, with 38 of them printed in foreign editions. He also contributed several short stories to anthologies and served as an officer for Western Writers of America. Born in Beatrice, he and his family also lived at Norfolk and Lincoln before moving to Iowa and then Colorado, where he studied engineering at Colorado College. After holding jobs as a prairie dog exterminator on New Mexico ranches and office manager of a wholesale grocery firm in California, he started his own accounting business and published his first novel in 1956. Consult Contemporary Authors-New Revision Series, Vol. 63 (Gale, 1998) 39-40.
Frank A. Brewster (1872-1961), physician, was credited with being the first doctor in the nation to own and use his own airplane for professional purposes, beginning with his purchase of a Curtiss JN-4D biplane piloted by Wade Stevens and their first medical emergency trip on May 23, 1919 from Beaver City, Furnas County, Nebraska to Herndon, Rawlins County, Kansas to perform successful surgery on Guy Sidey, an oilfield worker whose skull was fractured in an accident. During more than four decades, he was responsible for building hospitals at Arapahoe, Beaver City, Holdrege, and Lexington, Nebraska and at Oberlin, Kansas, and airports at Beaver City, Grand Island, Holdrege, McCook, and at Oberlin. He was the subject of short feature film in Technicolor by Paramount Studios of Los Angeles titled "The Flying Doctor," shown in motion picture theaters in 1939. An airport at Holdrege was renamed Brewster Field in 1960, and his posthumous induction into Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame occurred in 1998. Born near Beatrice, he attended the Beatrice Public Schools, attended Western Normal in Lincoln, taught a rural Gage County school from 1894-1896, graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1900, and was a physician at Beaver City until 1923, then at Holdrege. Consult Beaver City Times-Tribune, May 29, 1919, p. 1 and Who's Who in Nebraska (Nebraska Press Association, 1940) 888 and Lincoln Sunday Journal and Star, May 15, 1960, p. B-11 and Lincoln Star, October 3, 1960 p. 3 and obituary in Holdrege Daily Citizen, October 17, 1961, p. 1. See also Literary Digest, June 21, 1930, pp. 29, 32 and New York Times, May 5, 1935, Sec. 2, p. 5 and October 18, 1961, p. 43.
Margaret E. Brewster (1912-1999), military officer and realtor, was among the first 200 women officers selected for entry in the regular U.S. Army in 1948, inaugurating a physical training program and serving in several high leadership positions at military bases in Germany and the United States before retiring in 1965 to become a professional realtor in San Antonio, Texas. Earlier, she joined the Women Army Auxiliary Corps during World War II, served in Southeast Asia and Germany, graduated from Officer Cadet School, then was placed on ready reserve after the war ended before being recalled to active duty in 1948. Born in Beatrice, where she graduated from high school in 1930, and knew future movie star Robert Taylor, she earned degrees from the Universities of Missouri and Michigan, and was an instructor of physical education at four different colleges. Recipient of several awards, including the Legion of Merit, she was interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Consult Beatrice Times, November 5, 1948, p. 1 and obituaries in Washington Post, August 22, 1999, p. C-6 as well as the Beatrice Daily Sun, August 18, 1999, p. A-5.
Robert C. Brewster (1921- ), diplomat and consultant, was a foreign affairs analyst with the U.S. Department of State and a foreign service officer from 1948 to 1981 during which time he served in several high leadership positions in Washington, D.C., Paraguay, and Ecuador; as U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador from 1973 to 1976 he proposed a solution to the long-standing "tuna wars" between the two nations, secured assent of Washington authorities to it, and successfully negotiated Ecuador's agreement; earlier as director of personnel at the Department of State he inaugurated and directed the first effective system to adjudicate employee grievances. After his retirement as Inspector General of the Department of State he served as consultant to several prestigious organizations in the Washington, D.C. area, and founded and led a non-profit corporation that has raised thousands of dollars to support a local public library. Born in Beatrice, where he graduated from high school in 1939, he graduated from the University of Washington in 1943, and after military service he attended the National University of Mexico and studied at Columbia and George Washington Universities. Consult Beatrice Times, July 30, 1947, p. 3 and New York Times, February 18, 1975, p. 2 and Who's Who in America, Vol. 1 (2003) 595.
Glenn W. Burton (1910-2005), agronomist and research geneticist, developed Coastal and other improved Bermuda grasses, resulting in improved hay and pasture for livestock production and in improved lawns, golf courses, and playing fields worldwide. He authored or co-authored over 675 papers and book chapters, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1975, and awarded the National Medal of Science in 1982. Born at Clatonia, he moved to Red Willow County when a young boy, and in 1932 he graduated from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. After receiving his doctorate degree at Rutgers University in 1936, he spent his career at Coastal Plain Experiment Station at the University of Georgia at Tifton. Consult Omaha World Herald Magazine, February 3, 1957, p. G-5 and Notable Twentieth-Century Scientists, Vol. 1 (Gale, 1995) 283-284 and Who Was Who in America, Vol. 17 (2006) 34.
Berlin Guy Chamberlin (1894-1967) , professional football player and coach, was a participant in the forerunner to the National Football League and in the NFL from 1919 to 1928. As head coach for six seasons with Canton, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Chicago, his record was 58 wins, 14 losses, and 5 ties, with a winning percentage of .780 and four NFL championships. He was inducted in the NFF College Football Hall of Fame in 1962 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. Born near Blue Springs, he graduated from Blue Springs High School in 1911, attended Nebraska Wesleyan from 1911 to 1913, and then the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1913 to1916, where he distinguished himself as a football player. The UNL Athletic Department has annually awarded a senior Cornhusker player with the Guy Chamberlin Trophy since 1967. Consult Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: Football (Greenwood Press, 1987) 102-103 and American National Biography, Vol. 4 (Oxford University Press, 1999) 638 and Crete /NE/ News, December 1, 2008, p. A-6. Also the Gage County Museum Exhibit contains Chamberlin artifacts and extended files available.
James P. Collman (1932- ), chemist, researcher and educator, is known for discovering how certain metal-bearing enzymes control essential biological functions (for example, during respiration, electrons extracted from food are used to transform oxygen from air into water, creating energy to heat the body and operate the muscles and brains of every air-breathing organism) and for inventing artificial enzymes that imitate "the real thing"; has published over 330 scientific papers and three books, including Naturally Dangerous: Surprising Facts About Food, Health and the Environment (University Science Books, 2001), a book intended for the general public; has lectured worldwide by invitation, and more than 40 of his students at Stanford University occupy teaching positions at colleges worldwide, with 12 more founding small companies; former postdoctoral student K. Barry Sharpless won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; elected to National Academy of Sciences in 1975. Born in Beatrice, where he graduated from high school in 1950, he graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with bachelor and master's degrees in 1954 and 1956. A grandson of the former U.S. Senator Algernon Paddock, Prof. Collman was inducted into the Beatrice Educational Foundation's Hall of Fame in 1999. Consult Beatrice Daily Sun, December 7, 1966, p.18 and Chemical and Engineering News, December 17, 2001, p. 28 and Who's Who in America, Vol. 1 (2003) 1008.
James W. Crabtree (1864-1945), educator, author, and administrator, served as secretary of the National Education Association from 1917 to 1935 during which time membership grew from less than 10,000 to more than 200,000, the association's headquarters opened in Washington, DC, publication of the NEA Journal began, and services were expanded; secretary of the U.S. President Herbert Hoover's Advisory Committee on education and the World Federation of Education Association. Born in Scioto County, Ohio, he graduated from Peru Normal School in 1887, then was a school administrator in Nebraska until 1910, including positions at Ashland, Lincoln and principal of Beatrice High in 1896-97 and president of Peru Normal from 1904 to 1910, with his bachelor and master's degrees from the University of Nebraska in 1908. Consult New York Times obituary, June 11, 1945, p. 15 and Biographical Dictionary of American Educators, Vol. 1 (Greenwood Press, 1978) 324-325.
Irving S. Cutter (1875-1945), educator, physician and college administrator, helped develop the University of Nebraska Medical Center at Omaha from 1915 to 1925, then as Dean of Northwestern University Medical School from 1925 to 1941, he helped develop the institution into one of the nation's outstanding centers of training and research; after 1934 he distributed his daily column "How to Keep Well" to more than fifty newspapers nationwide. Born at Keene, New Hampshire, he was an instructor at Humboldt, Nebraska in 1896, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska in 1898, served as principal for Beatrice High School from 1898 to 1900, earned his medical doctorate in 1910, then was in private practice in Lincoln until becoming a professor three years later; recipient of honorary decorate from University of Nebraska in 1925 and Northwestern University in 1941. Consult obituary in New York Times, February 3, 1945, p. 11 and National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 34 (1948) 116-117 and Who Was Who in America, Vol. 2 (1950) 141 and The First Hundred Years of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine (University of Nebraska Medical Center,1980) 31-42.
Harold T. Davis (1892-1974), distinguished educator, was a mathematician who taught for half a century at several universities and authored or co-authored more than 70 publications on a variety of topics, including several books in the field of mathematics. He was considered a notable by American Men of Science, 7th ed (1944). Born in Beatrice, he earned his bachelor's degree from Colorado College in 1915, a master's degree from Harvard University in 1919, and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in 1926. Consult Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph obituary, November 18, 1974 and Who Was Who in America, Vol. 6 (1976).
Charles B. Dempster (1853-1933), co-founder of Dempster Mill Manufacturing, became renowned for the production of windmills used worldwide and the first practical and efficient 2-row cultivator. By his death in 1933, the firm had grown to include 250 employees, over $1 million in gross sales, and offices in several states. Since then, the company has diversified to include electrical water systems, steel tanks, water well pumps, fertilizer spreaders and sprayers and recycling trailers, and towers with annual revenues of $10 million at the turn of the 21st century. Consult National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 41 (1956) 280-281 and Lincoln Journal Star, November 21, 2002, pp C-1, C-4.
Stephen E. Epler (1909-1997) was the founder of Portland State University in Oregon in 1946 and served as a top administrator of three California community colleges. He was known as the originator of six-man football in 1934 at Chester, Nebraska, which by the 1950's was played by more than 2,500 small secondary schools nationwide. Born at Brooklyn, Iowa , he earned his bachelor's degree from Cotner College in Lincoln in 1932 and a master's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shortly afterward. After teaching at Beatrice and Chester, he earned a doctorate from Columbia University in New York City, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and held various college administrative positions on the West Coast for the remainder of his career. Consult Time, October 11, 1937, p. 43 and July 29, 1946, pp. 51-52 and Lincoln Journal Star obituary, July 15, 1997, pp. C-1, C-3.
Horace C. Filley (1878-1973) was a professor of farm economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1911-1949 where he developed, about 1924, the first course of cooperative marketing offered at any college in the nation and served farm organizations and the farm industry statewide. Born at Filley, he attended the local schools and Peru State Normal, graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1903, then was a school administrator in Nebraska before earning a master's degree from UNL in 1911, and later a doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 1934. He was inducted in the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement in 1957 and a building on the UNL East Campus was named after him. Consult Omaha World Herald Magazine, October 22, 1950, p. C-21 and National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 57 (1977) 692.
Daniel H. Freeman, (1926-1908), farmer and stockman, was the first to file a claim under the Homestead Act of January 1, 1863. His land was selected in 1939 as the site of the Homestead National Monument of America. Born in Preble County, Ohio, he was in Nebraska on special duty for the U.S. Army when he filed his application for 160 acres of land northwest of Beatrice. Consult Portrait and Biographical Album of Gage County, Nebraska (Chapman Brothers, 1888) pp. 521-523 and Reader's Digest, January 1946, pp. 109-113 and Nebraska History, Vol. 43 (March 1962) 1-27.
John P. Fulton (1902-1966), cinematographer, was known as a trick photographer in Hollywood after 1929, where he was in charge of special effects for over 250 films for such movie studios as Universal, Goldwyn, and Paramount, and collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock on several movies: recipient of Academy Awards for Best Special Effects in "Wonder Man" (1945), "The Bridges of Toko-Ri" (1954)' and "The Ten Commandments" (1956). Born in Beatrice, Nebraska. he moved at seven years of age to Omaha, then at age 13 relocated to Los Angeles area, where he graduated from Polytechnical High School in Hollywood then began his career. Consult American Cinematographer, Vol. 64 (December 1983) 42-52 and Tom Weaver, A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde: Interview with 62 Filmmakers (McFarland, 2010) 15-32.
Thomas J. Hargrave (1891-1962) was president and chairman of the board of Eastman Kodak Company for two decades, during which time color film was introduced in 1942 for use in similar cameras and company sales expanded by 80 percent with addition of chemicals and plastics to its world-leading production of cameras and photographic supplies. He was featured in a November 23, 1946 Business Week cover story. Born in Wymore, he attended the local schools, graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1912, and earned a law degree from Harvard University three years later. Consult Current Biography (1949) 247-248 and National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 49 (1966) 4-6.
Paul Henderson III (1939- ), journalist and private investigator, has had a long career as a reporter in which he received numerous awards, including the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for local investigative reporting at the Seattle Times. Born in Washington D.C., he lived in Beatrice, where he attended elementary school, and graduated from high school in 1957 from Wentworth Military Academy in Missouri and its Junior College in 1959 from Wentworth Military Academy in Missouri. After three years in the military service, he continued his education at Creighton and Omaha Universities, and began his journalistic career at Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha. Consult Contemporary Authors, Vol. 144 (Gale, July 9, 1994) 192.
Josie Walker Hinds (1873-1984) was ranked as the 379th longest-lived person in the world in validation studies released on September 12, 2002 by scholars affiliated with Gerontology Research Group. She is one of 27 persons with Nebraska connections to reach 110 or above. Born October 6, 1873 at Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, she lived at Odell from 1883 to 1925, where she graduated from high school and married banker Charles N. Hinds. She died on March 30, 1984 in Furnas County, Nebraska at the age of 110 years and 176 days. Consult "Nebraska's Centenarians Age 107 or Above-1867 to 2001," Crete News April 24, 2002 supplement p. S-12 and Crete News October 2, 2002, p. C-1 and Nebraska Health Care Association website.
George R. Hughes (1907-1992), archeologist, educator and institution administrator, he specialized in the translation and study of ancient Egyptian artifacts while serving with the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago from 1934 to 1975; he was field director from 1949 to 1964 of the Institute's survey of the ancient temples of Luxor, and supervised publication of the survey's eight large volumes, then became known for his 1965 translation of a prayer book believed to be ten centuries old and found prior to the flood waters behind the Aswan High Dam; he was author or co-author of almost 100 scholarly publications and articles, and was the Institute's seventh director. Born at Wymore, he graduated from Wymore High School in 1925, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1929, graduated from the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 1932, and earned doctorate in Egyptology from the University of Chicago in 1939. Consult Chicago Daily Tribune, March 24, 1954, Pt. 1, p. 11 and Janet H. Johnson and Edward F. Wente eds, Studies in Honor of George R. Hughes (Oriental Institute/University of Chicago, 1976) and Directory of American Scholars, Vol. 3 (1982) 244 and obituary in New York Times, December 30, 1992, p. A-13.
Harry Weldon Kees (1914-1955), poet and journalist, compared favorably with poet Edward Arlington Robinson. He published three volumes of poetry, 57 critical reviews in magazines such as Time, and 14 short stories, and engaged in abstract expressionist painting. He was born in Beatrice, where he graduated from high school in 1931. He attended Doane College for two years, one year at the University of Missouri, and his senior year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he graduated in 1935. Kees disappeared in 1955 with speculation that he might have jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge or perhaps left the country. Consult American National Biography, Vol. 12 (Oxford University Press, 1999) 450-451 and James Reidel, Vanished Act: The Life and Art of Weldon Kees (University of Nebraska Press, 2003).
John David Kilpatrick (1847-1891), railroad builder and businessman, was primary founder with his five brothers (Henry, William, Robert, Samuel, and Joseph) the enterprise known as the Kilpatrick Brothers, which for 40 years before World War I and the advent of advanced mechanization owned several businesses in farming, livestock, mining, and railroad construction in over a dozen western and mid-western states; known for completing more than 4,500 miles of roadways and construction of pipelines and reservoirs, they attained an aggregate wealth of about $85 million; his father Samuel Kilpatrick had settled on a farm 10 miles west of Beatrice in 1859 and filed after Daniel Freeman a claim under the Homestead Act of January 1, 1863. Born in Jasper County, Missouri, J.D. Kilpatrick left the family farm in 1867 to begin his career and subsequent enterprises, but died in Beatrice. Consult Hugh J. Dobbs, History of Gage County, Nebraska (Western Publishing, 1918) 599-603 and American Builders, Vol. II, No. 2 (1953) 1-7 and Beatrice Daily Sun, Centennial Edition, July 21, 1957, Sec. A, p. 13 and Chris Millspaugh and Jean Swartling, It's in the Blood: The Story of the Kilpatrick Brothers (Purdy Ranch/Picabo Livestock, Idaho, 2005)
Charles L. Littel (1885-1966), educator and administrator, was one of the early pioneers of junior colleges in Washington and New Jersey, having served as founder and first superintendent of Centralia College (1925) and credited as co-founder of Yakima Valley (1928) and Grays Harbor (1930) Junior Colleges and founder and first president of Junior College of Bergen County, Teaneck, New Jersey (1933), now a branch of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Born at Bertrand, he graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1912, and served in Nebraska public schools from 1902 to 1922, including superintendent of Blue Springs in 1912-13. Consult New York Times, April 10, 1949, Sec. 4, p. 11 and Who Was Who in America, Vol. 7 (1981) 353.
Ummo F. Luebben (1867-1953), machinist and farmer, was known as inventor of the round hay baler, which he conceived with his brother in 1903, then patented in 1910, which revolutionized the laborious task of haying into a one-man, low-cost operation with a machine that automatically gathered the hay, rolled into a round bale, and ejected it; after he sold manufacturing rights on a royalty basis to Allis Chalmers in 1940, the company developed the basic concept into a new baler named the Roto-Baler, which was introduced to farmers in 1947. Born at Sheboygan, Wisconsin, he lived near Milford and in Lincoln and Omaha, and was associated with his brother in Beatrice from 1908 to 1913. Consult Beatrice Daily Express, April 3 and April 7, 1908, p. 1 and Sunday /Omaha/ World Herald Magazine, October 3, 1943, p. C-5 and Beatrice Daily Sun, October 20, 1993, pp. A-1, A-2.
Walt Mason (1862-1939), journalist and humorist, was known for publishing verses under the heading "Uncle Walt" while at Emporia Gazette from 1907 to 1920 that appeared in more than two hundred newspapers that had a combined daily circulation of five million. He began his newspaper career at the Emporia Gazette and then wrote for the Lincoln Journal and from 1893 to 1907 for the Beatrice Daily Express before relocating to Emporia, Kansas. He published seven books, almost all collections of his verses. Consult American National Biography, Vol. 14 (Oxford University Press, 1999) 664-666 and Gage County Historical Society, The Quarterly Express, November 2002, pp. 2-3.
David I. Maurstad (1953- ) businessman, politician, government official, known for 20 years of public service beginning with election to Board of Education, District 15 (1989-1990), Mayor of Beatrice (1991-1994), Nebraska Sate Senator (1995-1998) and Nebraska Lieutenant Governor (1999-2001), he was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush to be regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Region 8 based at Denver in October 2001, serving as senior FEMA official at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and for the Colorado wildfire season the same year with 22 presidentially declared fire emergencies, then from 2004 to 2008 he was FEMA Assistant Administrator for Mitigation and Administrator of the National Flood Insurance Program, supervising a record number of flood insurance claims and payments exceeding $15 billion for the 2004 Florida hurricane season and three hurricanes, including the disastrous Katrina, in 2005, implemented the modernization of the nation's 92,000 flood maps, oversaw the program that resulted in all 50 states and U.S. territories and 16,000 local communities adopting approved mitigation plans, and administrated $5 billion in mitigation grants to help make the nation more disaster resilient; he then became vice president and national business manager for risk and emergency management with Post, Buckley, Schuh, and Jernigan, Inc. (PBS&J) based at Chantilly, Virginia. Born at North Platte, he resided in Beatrice, graduated from Beatrice High School in 1971, earned degrees from Platte Community College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and was partner in a family insurance business in Beatrice. Consult Lincoln Journal Star, April 6, 1997, pp. D-1, D-7 and September 25, 2000, pp. B-1, B-5 and January 28, 2001, pp. C-1, C-4 and Beatrice Daily Sun, December 29, 2001, pp. A-1, A-3 and August 28, 2008, pp. A-1, A-2 and October 16, 2008, p. A-3. See also Nebraska Blue Book 1998-99 (Clerk of the Legislature) 426 and Omaha World Herald, June 6, 2005, pp. B-1, B-2.
Harvey E. Newbranch (1875-1959), journalist and editor, had a 56-year association with the Omaha World Herald, and was recipient of the 1920 Pulitzer Prize for an editorial entitled "Law and the Judge" which opposed race rioters. During his tenure as editor and later as director, the circulation of the newspaper in creased from 35, 226 in 1905 to 241,396 in 1949, and a new World Herald Company building was dedicated by him in 1947. Born in Henry County, Iowa, he later attended public schools in Wymore, where he was editor of the Arbor State at age 16, then graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1896, the same year he became a writer with the Omaha newspaper. Consult National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 44 (1962) 288-289 and Sunday /Omaha/ World Herald Magazine of the Midlands, April 7, 1985, pp. 6-7.
George W. Norris (1861-1944), politician and lawyer, was known as the father of the Tennessee Valley Authority that made electricity available to rural America, and gained approval of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which ended "lame duck" sessions of Congress. During his 40 years as Congressman and Nebraska Senator, he appeared on the cover of Time, January 11, 1937, and was credited with approval of the Unicameral in the Nebraska Legislature in 1934 after the idea was discussed for 20 years. Born at Sandusky, Ohio, he relocated to Nebraska in 1885 to establish a law practice first in Beatrice, then six months later at Beaver City, where he became active in politics in 1892, and then moved to McCook, where he was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1902. In 1957, he was ranked as the greatest senator in American history in a nationwide poll of professional historians and political scientists. Consult Omaha World Herald Magazine, May 14, 1961, pp. 4-5 and Dictionary of American Biography, Sup. 3 (1973) 557-561 and American National Biography, Vol. 16 (1999) 499-501.
Algernon S. Paddock (1830-1897) was a two-term U.S. Senator who in 1891 introduced pure food bill legislation and was later vindicated by passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906 with enforcement by a federal organization that became known in 1931 as the Food and Drug Administration. He was a valuable member of the Utah Commission, which was formed to allay the practice of polygamy through governmental process. He was also appointed by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln as secretary of Nebraska Territory from 1861 to 1867, but declined appointment by U.S. President Andrew Johnson in 1868 as governor of Wyoming. Born at Glens Falls, New York, he relocated to Omaha in 1857, where he became a lawyer and an active member of the new community. In 1872, he moved to Beatrice, where he was a businessman and resident the remainder of his life. Consult Beatrice Daily Express, October 18, 1897, p. 1 and Beatrice Daily Sun, June 19, 1925, pp. 1, 8 and Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. 14 (1934) 133.
Arthur S. Pearse (1877-1956), educator and zoologist, was one of the pioneer ecologists who taught at the University of Wisconsin and Duke University from 1912 to 1949, and founded the Marine Laboratory at Beaufort, North Carolina in 1938. He authored more than 150 papers and eight books, including the textbook Animal Ecology in 1926. Born at Crete, he lived in Beatrice, where he graduated from high school in 1895, then earned bachelor and master's degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1900 and 1904. His doctorate was from Harvard University in 1908. Consult his autobiography Adventure...Trying to Be a Zoologist (Duke University, 1952) and National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 47 (1965) 420-421.
Carroll G. Pearse (1858-1948), educator and administrator, was a distinguished superintendent of schools in Nebraska and Wisconsin from 1884 to 1913, president of Milwaukee State Normal School until 1922, and was one of four Nebraskans to date who served as president of the National Education Association (1911-1912). Born at Tabor, Iowa, he graduated from Doane College at Crete in 1884, and was superintendent of schools at Wilber, then Beatrice 1888 to 1895, followed by nine years in Omaha. From 1922 to 1941 he was a sales person with the publishers of Compton's Encyclopedia. Consult his biography by Louise Mears, Life and Times of Midwest Educator Carroll Gardner Pearse (Nebraska State Journal Printing, 1944) and National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 42 (1958) 180-181.
Robert B. Pirie (1905-1990) was an expert in naval aviation and carrier-force operations, serving with distinction during World War II in his supervision of missions on carrier flagships in the Pacific. He was the first head of the aviation department at U.S. Naval Academy, and achieved the rank of vice admiral in 1957. For four years he was deputy chief of naval operations for the U.S. Department of Navy, and was inducted into the Naval Aviation Hall of Honor at Pensacola, Florida in 1986. Born at Wymore, he graduated from the local high school in 1922, then from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1926. Consult Omaha World Herald Magazine, December 7, 1958, pp. 3, 39 and November 20, 1960, pp. 20-21 and New York Times obituary, January 12, 1990, p. A-25.
Eugene M. Rhodes (1869-1934) was a notable Western novelist, publishing almost a dozen books about life in the southwest, emphasizing a romantic past, several of which were serialized in Saturday Evening Post from 1907 to 1926. He also published more than 30 short stories, nearly 50 essays, and almost 50 poems. Born at Tecumseh, he and his family lived in Beatrice from 1871 to 1873, and then moved to Kansas and later to New Mexico, where he became an accomplished horseman and independent rancher. After more than 20 years at Appalachian, New York, he returned to New Mexico. Consult American National Biography, Vol. 18 (1999) 398-399 and Dictionary of Literary Biography: Twentieth Century American Western Writers, 3rd series, Vol. 26 (Gale, 2002) 248-261.
Leona Petsch Schnuelle (1904-1988), teacher and homemaker, was known for creating family recipes, and was grand prize winner in the 1960 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest for her Dilly Casserole Bread Recipe; based on consumer popularity, her recipe was one of ten inducted in 1999 into the newly established Pillsbury Bake-Off Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC; contest memorabilia, including cookbooks, were donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History so researchers may study cooking trends in American culture. Born near Hollenberg, Kansas, she taught in Jefferson county, lived near Harbine and Crab Orchard, then lived in Beatrice from 1965 to 1985. Consult obituary in Beatrice Daily Sun, September 28, 1988, p. A-7 and article of May 25, 1999, pp. A-1, A-3 and Omaha World Herald, May 26, 1999, pp. 49-50.
Janet Shaw (1919-2001), actress, after being under contract with Warner Brothers Studio in the mid-1930s, she participated in nearly 70 Hollywood movies, receving film credits for at least 34 of them from 1935 to the early 1950s, and performed with such notables as Bette Davis in "Jezebel" in 1938 in role of Molly and with Robert Taylor in "Waterloo Bridge" in 1940 in role of Maureen; she also appeared with other natables such as Clark Gable and Tex Ritter, and had role as Louise in Alfred Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt" in 1943; upon completion of acting career, she was employed at Bullocks Store in Los Angeles as supervisor of millinery departments. Born in Beatrice as Ellen Clancy, she took an interest in acting by watching silent films and knowing aunt Olive May performed on stage, then in 1927 at eight years of age moved to California, where she graduated from Beverly Hills High School before pursuing her career; Ellen returned to Beatrice in 1994 after becoming ill, and resided at Paddock Kensington for two years, followed by Parkview Center. Consult obituaries in Beatrice Daily Sun, October 16, 2001, p. A-5 and Los Angles Times, October 23, 2001, p. B-10 and articles in Buck Rainey, Serial Film Stars: A Biographical Dictionary, 1912-1956 (McFarland, 2005) 166-168 and Gage County Historical Society's The Quarterly Express (March 2013) 2.
Alexander J. Stoddard (1889-1965) was an innovative leader who chaired the Educational Policies Commission for a decade, advised General Douglas MacArthur in the organization of the Japanese school system after World War II, and was one of the pioneers of the use of television as a teaching device. He was superintendent of schools at Providence, Rhode Island for eight years, Denver, Colorado for two years, Philadelphia for nine years, and Los Angeles for six years. Born at Auburn, Nebraska, he served as principal there for two years, then superintendent at Newman Grove and Havelock, and at Beatrice, the latter from 1917 to 1922 before relocating to schools in New York until 1929 when he moved to Providence. After attending Peru State College from 1909-1910, he earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1922. For 45 years he was a public school administrator. Consult Saturday Review, May 20, 1961, pp. 56-57, 71 and New York Times obituary, October 19, 1965, p. 43 and Crete /NE/ News, August 3, 2005, p. B-4.
Oscar V.P. Stout (1865-1935), civil engineer and educator, was credited with pioneering the field of agricultural engineering while at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1891 to 1920 as professor of civil and agricultural engineering, dean of College of Engineering for eight years, and research projects in irrigation, including invention of device for measuring irrigation water. He later was engaged in irrigation investigation for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in California, and was the first recipient of the Cyrus Hall McCormick Medal of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers in 1932, the same year he was awarded an honorary doctorate from UNL. Born near Jerseyville, Illinois, he moved at the age of 12 to a farm near Beatrice, graduated from Beatrice High School in 1884, earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1888, worked for railroads and served as city engineer for Beatrice 1890-91, then was on UNL faculty. Consult Agricultural Engineering, Vol. 13 (July 1932) 174 and Vol. 16 (September 1935) 373 and National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 26 (1937) 333-334 and Who Was Who in America, Vol.1 (1942) 1195.
Edward W. Washburn (1881-1934), chemist and educator, was known for isolating the constituents of petroleum more accurately and completely than had been done before, for producing crystals of rubber, and for providing the first method used in preparing "heavy water" in quantity after his colleague Harold C. Urey discovered the isotope of hydrogen called Deuterium. The latter resulted in the new field of atomic chemistry, and awarding of the 1934 Nobel Prize to Urey the same year Washburn died. Washburn was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1932. Born in Beatrice, where he graduated from high school in 1899, he attended the University of Nebraska for one year, and then taught at McCook High School for two years before earning his bachelor's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1905 and his doctorate in 1908. He taught at the University of Illinois until 1922, compiled the International Critical Tables of Numerical Data of Physics, Chemistry and Technology (1926), and then was chief chemist at the National Bureau of Standards at Washington D.C. Consult American National Biography, Vol. 22 (1999) 743-744.
Kenneth S. Wherry (1892-1951), lawyer, businessman, and politician, was a two-term U.S. Senator known for authoring 1947 legislation that altered previous 1886 law on presidential succession to interpose Speaker of the House and president pro tem of the Senate between the Vice President and members of the cabinet, and for persuading the U.S. Congress in 1951 to approve the constitutional amendment limiting the presidency to two terms. He also advocated the importance of American air force superiority to the nation's security and deterrence to war, and was credited with locating headquarters of Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha in 1948. Born at Liberty, he lived in Pawnee City, where he attended school, then graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1914, after which he attended Harvard University for one year, then was a funeral director with offices in Nebraska and Kansas. Consult Current Biography (1946) 634-637 and American National Biography, Vol. 23 (1999) 155-156.
Joseph D. Williams (1926- ), salesman and corporate executive, devoted a 46-year career to Warner-Lambert, manufacturer and marketer of pharmaceutical, consumer health care, and confectionary products that ranked among the 100 largest industrial companies in the United States before it merged with Pfizer in 2001; as president and CEO from 1979 to 1991, he eliminated non-core business and product lines, increased annual revenues from 2 to 5 billion dollars, and brought scientific discovery from laboratory to the marketplace, resulting in new products of much benefit to the world; recipient of many awards and recognized for fundraising by United Negro College Fund and other organizations. Born at Washington, Pennsylvania, he earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska in 1950, and was a Parke-Davis salesman in Beatrice until 1955. Consult Wall Street Journal, November 28, 1984, p. 18 and Forbes, November 17, 1986, pp. 178, 180 and International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 10 (St. James Press, 1995) 549-552 and Omaha World Herald, February 12, 1994, pp. 23, 25.