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About The frontier. (O'Neill City, Holt County, Neb.) 1880-1965 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 22, 1955)
Prairieland Talk . . .
Fateful Order Issued 65 Years Ago
By ROMAINE SAUNDERS, Retired, Former Editor The Frontier
LINCOLN—This from the archives: i
Headquarters Department of Dakota, St. Paul,
Mipn., Dec. 12, 1890.—To the Commanding Offi
cer, Ft. Yates, N.D.: The Division Commander has
directed that you make it your special duty to se
cure the person of Sitting Bull. Call an Indian
agent to cooperate and render such assistance as
will best promote the purpose in view. Acknowl
edge receipt and if not perfectly clear repeat back.
—M. Parker, Assistant Adjutant-General. By com
mand of General Gurger.
The carrying out of the foregoing order
resulted in the killing of the
noted Sioux ghost dance pro
moter by the Indian police, Lieu
tenant Bullhead precipitated the
battle of Wounded Knee, the last
open conflict between Indians
and the pale faces. Bullhead later
fell with a bullet in his side.
Now on the day this is writ
ten just 65 years since that order
was dispatched from military
headquarters to the commander
at Ft. Yates, a new generation Romaine
has taken over who never heard Saunders
of Wounded Knee or Sitting Bull. Here they are
with whom I meet from time to time, from the
Dakotas, Nebraska, and some from Iowa, who can
tell you what the TV show put on or who won
at the card party but manifest ignorance of the
history of the great prairieland in which they live.
Clergymen, clerks, teachers alike should se
cure a copy of Will Spindler’s latest book, “Trag
edy Strikes at Wounded Knee,” and become in
formed on events of that period of our history that
sawr the end of Indian wars and introduced what
is seen today in efforts to help the red man. It
took the slaying of nearly 200 on Pine Ridge and
bringing terror to hundreds of Indian children and
women to bring it about.
* * *
Time wasted, millions spent while commis
sions, boards, committees and delegations beat
the air in vain and fancy rag chewing over the
“farm problem,” while Clodhopper Jack out on
the land looks on and grins as he goes about the
business of producing another supply of grub for
the experts and loafers like me.
* * *
A friend in a distant city, who as a lad of 11
years landed in Holt county in 1882, has a philoso
phy of life evolved from memories of the days that
were. In a recent letter he observes that “the tools
of technology can never again bring the peace and
inspiration we knew in prairieland in that natural
environment oldtimers thought of as God’s coun
try.” Yes, the glow of the pink dawn and the gold
of sunset on prairieland for more than 70 years
have written upon the scroll of time their changes.
The antelope is gone, the prairie chicken no long
er wings away as it did of yore, wire fences stretch
across from post to post where you, old timer,
once roamed at will. Yet here lies much of prairie
land unspoiled by the hand of man. The prairie
roses bloom, the goldenrod nods its bright crown of
floral glory, the meadow lark is here from spring
until autumn, the gollen crested eagle soars aloft
o dp stately wings, the sly coyote trots to his hide
away, the landscape is robed in green in summer
and lies peacefully under a blanket of snow in
winter. The lakes, the streams where flow crystal
nectars of the sand, the sweep of grass lands are
still here. Prairieland patriots have their worries
in these days of astronomical inflation but we
haven’t been floored yet. And the sunbeams come
and go and the wind blows and the stars glow and
Tom Nightengale can still handle the fiddle and
* * *
“If I were a young man with my way to make
in the world, I would pack my bag and hurry to
Texas,” an outburst from a gifted writer in a
popular publication. As he sees it, the Lone Star
state is the “boomingest, wealthiest, most vital,
expanding and exciting state in the Union.” Com
ing up across Texas from El Paso at one time, the
train I was on was all but blown from the track
and the flying dust and sand were so thick that
I wondered how the engineer could see the next
town for a stop.
Today we reach a hand across the snow to
bring to friends afar and those near the old, old
story that is ever new and expressed in a word,
merry Christmas. December brings to Prairieland
Talker not only the memory of the earth’s greatest
event but adds to him one more milestone down
the highway of time. I was a cold weather baby
in the long ago in a countyseat town in southern
Wisconsin. On that same December morning five
years later the baby girl who became my life’s
companion first breathed the air of Sullivan coun
ty, Missouri. She now lies under the sod on Pros
pect will The day we observe as Christmas is
doubtless not the true birthday anniversary of
that Babe bom in a stable in Bethlehem, because
there was “no room in the inn.’’ The day is not
important. What is important is the message that
came from a celestial Being to those sheep herd
ers watching their flocks at night on Judean hills
and which comes to us down through the cen
turies, “For unto you is bom this day in the city
of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
* * *
North Nebraska inherited its most noted out
law from Texas, the redoubtable Doc Middleton.
Billy Reed, who shot Sheriff Barney Kearns at
the Arcade hotel which stood where the Knights
of Columbus hall now is — Third and Douglas
streets, came from Texas and returned there to
fall in a fight with a bullet in a vital spot.
* * *
It was in the Texas dust storm period of the
30’s that a rancher down there brought his herds
to Nebraska and filled them up on good prairie
laud hay in the Swan and Josie country of the em
pire of Holt. Montana, Wyoming and Dakota cat
tlemen did likewise. A contributor to the Nebraska
History magazine at one time wrote down that the
grass lands of the Nebraska socalled sandhills re
gion surpassed anything in America for stock rais
ing. Citizens are commended for loyalty to their
home state. None surpass a Texan in this respect.
Oil wells down that way contribute a major share
in the boast of being the “wealthiest.” Nebraska
has its oil fields, too.
* * *
A little old lady, her face showing what can
not be concealed of the marks of time, carried a
parcel and headed for the postoffice. That parcel
contained a gift for an absent one from that moth
er’s home and with that parcel went a mother’s
heart throbs. Scores of mothers, of daughters and
sons are taking their packages to postoffices to
send them on the way this last week before Christ
mas to remind someone far away that they are not
forgotten. And there may be lonely souls sitting
the winter days through and no gift as a token of
love or cheering message ever comes to them.
* * *
Over in Illinois, Welfare Director Otto L. Bet
tag is promoting measures to the end that the state
provide homes for aged men and women who are '
at present in mental institutions, who are not men
tally ill but have been so committed by members
of their families who have taken that way of stow
ing away mother or dad. Today’s paper reports 20
babies born in Lincoln. Hardly think that a Ne
braska baby when grown up will petition for
mother or lad to be sent to Hastings.
* * *
Three of the Ford millions float this way to
fill the treasuries of some of our educational in
stitutions and hospitals. Responding to a com
munity call, $4,000 was tossed into the fund to
see that 1,000 needy children in the capital city
were given a merry Christmas. “The poor ye
have always with you,” whether it be a homeless
kid or big institution covering a city block.
• * *
A lady, a native of O’Neill, now residing 2,
000 miles hence, writes to Prairieland Talker, and
among other interesting observations wonders why
with all the modern conveniences, push buttons,
gadgets, washers and dryers there is so little time
to just live, visit a neighbor, see your friends or
just relax, as did our mothers who had to build
fires, scrub on a washboard, do their own baking
and mending and care for a large family. Well,
sister, our mothers lived in a peaceful age while
we inherit a troubled world.
There Is a Santa Claus
New York, N.Y.
“I am 8-years-old. Some of my little friends
say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you
see it in the Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth
is there a Santa Claus,
It was only September, and 1897’s Christmas
was three months in the future. But Virginia O’
Hanlon’s concern was with an important problem
t’ at, to her, knew no season. That was why she
wrote her letter to the New York Sun.
The answer to Virginia’s question, written In
a moment cf deep spiritual insight by Francis B.
Church, stands even today as a testament express
ing two thousand years of faith. It has been re
printed here because it always will deserve to be
“Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They
have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical
age—they do not believe except what they see—
they think that nothing can be which is not compre
tiensible by their little minds.
“All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s
or children’s, are little.
“In this great universe of ours, man is a mere
insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with
the boundless world about him, as measured by
the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of
truth and knowledge.
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
“He exisits as certainly as love and generosity
and devotion exist, and you know that they abound
and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.
Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were
no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there
were no Virginias. There would be no childlike
faith then, no poetry, no romance to make toler
able this existence. We should have no enjoyment,
except in sense and sight. The eternal light with
which childhood fills the world would be extin
“Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well
not believe in fairies!
“You might get your papa to hire men to
watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to
catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see
Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove?
Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that
there is no Santa Claus—the most real things in
the world are those neither children nor men can
“Did you ever see fairies dancing on the.
lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they
are not there—nobody can conceive or imagine all
the wonders that are unseen and unseeable in the
“You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what
makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering
the unseen world which not the strongest man, or
even the united strength of all the strongest men,
that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy,
poetry, love, romance, can push aside the curtain
and view and picture the supernatural beauty and
“It is all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world
there is nothing else real and abiding.
“No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and
he lives forever — a thousand years from now,
Virginia, nay ten thousand years from now, he will
continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
This is the month to give money to charitable
causes, and get it taken off your income tax, if
you have any money.
Why is it that deep-voiced commentators
sound so authoritative, even when talking about
There are always two ways to look at a ques
tion and usually more than two and your way is
often the wrong way.
Despite all the co-eds could do, the football
season has come to an end, and so has another
The best friends are usually not those people
thought of as such.
CARROLL W. STEWART, Editor and Publisher
Entered at the postoffice in O'Neill, Holt coun
ty, Nebraska, as second-class mail matter under
the Act of Congress of March 3, 1879. This news
paper is a member of the Nebraska Press Associa
tion, National Editorial Association and the Audit
Bureau of Circulations.
Terms of Subscription: In Nebraska, $2.50 per
year; elsewhere in the United States, $3 per year;
rates abroad provided on request. All subscriptions
are paid in advance.
Audited (ABC) Circulation—2,530 (Sept. 30, 1955)
When Yon and Were Young . . .
Curious Held at
Bay by New Fence
Whitt emore Trial Is
50 Years Ago
For the preservation of the
property and building material
on the hotel corner, a fence is
being erected to keep out mis
chievous boys and curious men.
. . . William Krotter was a wit
ness at the Whittemore trial in
district court. . . Miss Anna
Kiltz and Thomas EL Alderson
were married at the home of the
bride’s parents, seven miles
north of Chambers. . . Mrs. Ida
Vequist Widtfeldt died at her
home in Shields township at the
age of 27. . . William Jilg is
preparing for a big public sale
at his place six miles northwest
of town. . . Philip Heckel of
Dorsey suffered a broken leg
when a horse he was riding fell
with him. . . Doctor Brown of
Chambers started for Virginia
where he always spends the
20 Years Ago
An oil transport went into the
ditch north of the city and was
badly damaged. The transport
was loaded with gas for South
Dakota. . . The Busy Hour club
held a Christmas party at the
home of Mrs. John Schmohr. . .
Edwin, son of Mr. and Mrs. C.
W. Porter, left for near Cham
bers to spend a week with his
grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. EM
F. Porter. . . At the meeting of
the county board, they sold the
county jail building to Jake Her
ley and EM Pavel of Chambers.
. . . Miss Loretta Enright, who
is teaching at the Petersburg
public school, came home to
spend the Christmas holidays. . .
Mrs. George Weingartner, who
underwent an operation recently
at the Stuart hospital, returned
home. She is in satisfactory con
dition. . . The South Side Im
provement club held its annual
Christmas party at the home of
Mrs. EYances Clark. . . The to
tal amount of money raised by
the ladies of O’Neill in their
campaign to furnish toys to ev
ery poor child in O’Neill and vi
cinity amounted to $112.
10 Years Ago
James W. Skeels was arrested
at the Western hotel and taken
to the county jail. FBI agents
have been on his trail for over
two years. He is charged with
desertion from the air field at
Lincoln. . . Mrs. Ella Riley died
at the home of her daughter,
Mrs. James Cronk, after an ill
ness of several months. . . Mrs.
Loren Nelson will spend the
week at Columbus, O., on bus
iness. . . The fire department
hustled out in response to an
alarm turned in from the Nu
Way cafe. . . Frank Howard, ac
companied by his daughter,
Margaret, went to Sioux City
where Frank expects to under
go hospital treatment. . . Orville
K. Dailey of Inman and Miss
Marion W. Weston of Portland,
Ore., were married at Portland.
One Year Ago
An ammunition truck figured
in an accident at the Burlington
railroad crossing of U.S. high
way 20 at the east edge of town.
A car driven by Eldon Croxen
crashed into the rear of the am
mo truck that had stopped at
the crossing. . . E. J. Revell and
Elmer Juracek received a plaque
given by the Goodyear Tire and
Rubber company. The award
was in behalf of the Holt coun
ty soil conservation district. . .
Mr. and Mrs. V. C. Johnson will
observe their golden wedding
anniversary with open-house at
their home. . . For the year
1954, St. Peter’s Catholic church
has sent 1,037 pounds of clothing
to needy people in foreign lands.
. . . O'Neill merchants are wind
ing up one of the best merchan
dise seasons in history. Shoppers
have thronged the stores daily.
Arrives for Holiday—
Miss Ann Waters of Omaha ar
rived Monday to spend the holi
days at the Mrs. William J. Biglin
Bulls Average $239
BUTTE—The annual Niobrara
Valley Hereford association win
ter sale and show Tuesday, De
cember 13, grossed $5,147 for the
bulls, with an average of $239.87,
it was announced by Walter G.
Sire of Butte, secretary.
A bull exhibited by Dewey C.
Schaffer of O’Neill was named
the grand champion by Dewey €.
Schaffer of O’Neill, judge. The
grand champion was purchased
by Ed Murry of Taylor.
C. H. Fisher of Spencer show
ed the reserve champion.
J. M. Magness of Miller, S.D.,
was the auctioneer.
Rural Youth Group
to Sing Carols
The O’Neill Rural Youth held
a business meeting and a Christ
mas party on Sunday, December
11, at the courthouse assembly
room. The recreation and dec
orations were planned in holiday
style. Lunch was served and gifts
were exchanged. A group of
guests was present.
Future events will be Christ
mas caroling on Friday, Decem
ber 23, and in January an IFYE
student from Nebraska, who has
been to India, will speak, ac
cording to Audrey Henderson,
Alfred Joseph Lucas
Clearwater — Alfred Joseph
Lucas, 76, died Tuesday, Decem
ber 6, at the Neligh Antelope
Memorial hospital. He had been
a Holt and Antelope county res
ident for many years, moving
into Clearwater last March. Sur
vivors include: Widow — Nora;
four sons — William, Thomas,
Floyd and Arthur; four daugh
ters — Mrs. Deloss Thompson.
Mrs. Lloyd Kimes, Mrs. Vernon
Hixson and Mrs. Vincent Seir;
17 grandchildren; eight great
grandchildren and six sisters.
NELIGH — Funeral services
were conducted Tuesday, De
cember 13, at Neligh for Hugh
Raymond, 63, who died Sunday,
December 11, at Antelope Me
morial hospital. Survivors in
clude one daughter, three sons,
seven grandchildren, two sisters
and three brothers.
Hold Yule Party—
The Eagle Creek 4-H club met
at the home of Betty and Mary Jo
Curran on Sunday, December 11,
for a Christmas party beginning
with dinner at noon. The after
noon was spent playing games,
singing Christmas songs and ex
changing Christmas gifts.
The next meeting will be held
January 22 at the home of Vin
cent Ernst. — By Vincent Ernst,
Rex W. Wilson,
Robert M. Langdon,
PHYSICIANS & SURGEONS
128 W. Douglas St., O’Neill
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Box 205, O’Neill
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FRANCIS GILG — HARRY E. RESSEL
Phone 150 Phone 548-M
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AMERICAN LEGION AUDITORIUM
Sunday, December 25th
and His Orchestra
Admission: Adults, $1 ; Students, 50c
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Meet February 29—
The 1956 Nebraska irrigation
clinic will be held February 29
at Broken Bow, A. Neil Dawes,
Holt county extension agent, an
nounced last week .
He said the one-day meeting,
to which all farmers and ranch
ers in a 19-county area are invit
ed, will present outstanding au
thorities on irrigation problems
and methods, as well as panel dis
cussions on such important mat
ters as crop insects, fertilizers,
sprinkler irrigation, cropping sys
tems and irrigated pastures.
More than a thousand ranchers
and farmers attended the 1955
irrigation clinic, which was held
at Central City.
Mr. Dawes stressed that the
1956 meeting will bring new ideas
and methods to the attention of
Nebraskans, and urged all ranch
ers and farmers in Holt county to
make arrangements to attend the
Mr. and Mrs. Harden Anspach
spent the weekend in Lincoln.
They brought their grandson, Ste
vie, home with them. Mr. and
Mrs. Kieth Anspach and Kelly
came up Tuesday from Lincoln to
spend the holidays.
Mr. and Mrs. Milton J. Baack
entertained Mr. and Mrs. Willard
Solfermoser, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer
Murman, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon
Carpenter, Mr. and Mrs. Lou Rei
mer, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Smith
son and Mrs. Charles Houser Fri
day evening after the Atkinson
Carnival skating parties, Sun.
night, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1, at Ne
ligh Rink. 34p30
Mrs. G. D. Janzing of Emmet
spent Friday evening at the Ger
aldine Schoenle home. She went
by train to Omaha to visit her
husband, who is in St. Joseph’s
hospital. Mr. Janzing will cele
brate his 88th birthday anniver
sary Friday. Mrs. Janzing also
visited a brother in Omaha.
Donohoe Const. Co.
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Formerly with the Internal Revenue
Audits — Bookkeeping Systems
Golden Hotel Annex — 108 No. 4th St. — O’Neill, Nebi.
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