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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (June 28, 1908)
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unday . Bee
Go Into the Horn
THE OMAHA DEE
. Best . Vest
PAGES 1 TO A.
OMAHA, SUNDAY MORNING, JUNE 23, 1908.
SINGLE COPY FIVE CENTS.
VOL. XXXVIII NO. 2.
JONATHAN EDWARDS PIONEER OF NEBRASKA AND OMAHA
Descendant of the Famous Preacher Who Has Spent Ilia Boyhood and Manhood Years ia the Work of Building Omaha and Nebraska to Greatness Even Among the Greatest of the World.
was love at first eight. During the next two year he was a frequent
visitor there and on October 17, 1867. he married Miss Walker. The
marriage took place In a house which stood on the very spot now oc
cupied by the main Armour packing house. Rev. F. M. Dlmmlck of
Omaha officiated. After the ceremony the two rode away on their
honeymoon trip across the plains to the Edwards farm.
"It was love at flist sight with me, all right." says Mr. Edwards.
"And It was the kind that lasts. It was a very hard blow when she
died seven years ago. Even In her last years she was one of the
handsomest women In Omaha and I used to be very proud to walk
out with her on the streets of the city."
THE great, great grandson of Jonnthan Edwards, the eminent
New England theologian. Is a pioneer of Nebraska and of
Omaha. Hi3 name Is the same as that of his Illustrious
ancestor. The only break In the line from the great theo
lonln to the pioneer of Omaha was merely one of name.
The son of th theologian was named Timothy. But Timothy's son
and grandson ami gr atirnndson bore the name Jonathan.
A wise man and a clcse observer of the effect of heredity and
training upon men Faid that oni should exercise great care in cho s
lng one's ancestors. Though this is In a sense humorous, it contains
a great deal of truth. Joimthan Edwards of Omaha was extremely
careful In the choice of his forefathers. The men were nearly all
either mlnlHters of the Ftern, stiiet old Puritr.lral type or else
patriots taking a lending part in the governmr.Bt of the colonies In
the early days. Among his illustrious ancestor are these: Jnhleel
Wondbridge, who was seventh In a line of ten preachers; Joseph
Dudley, who was cbl f JusUce of the colony of Massachusetts and
afterward governor of the same colony; Rev. Solomon Stoldard, a
famous missionary of Northampton. Mans.; John Elliott, a famous
missionary among the Indians it f-'V" kbrld-re, Mass.; J(hn Plerpont,
a famous minister In Connecticut. John Gordon, a cousin of Mr.
Edwards, was once in a meeting of sixty-two ministers and found
that he was related more or less nearly with all but ten of them.
The original Edwards who sailed from England and planted his
family on the unknown shon-s of the new world was William Ed
wards, who came over when a boy with his mother. That was In
1612. The old world ancestry was Welsh and English, and from
the former probably came the d?cp religious grounding which has
characterized the several generations since that time. The family
was very prominent and influential during colonial days In religious
and educational work and the men could assume the uniform of war
as well as the S"n of the church, as they showed during the revo
Some Modern Relatives
Aaron Burr was a cousin of Mr. Edwards' father. Others of hli
ancestors and njjar relatives who attained prominence In public life
were the following: Henry Edwards, who was governor of Connecti
cut; Matthias Ogden, who was governor of New Jersey; Plerpont
Edwards, a brother of Mr. Edwards' grandfather, who was a circuit
judge In Connecticut. All the presidents of Yale college during the
last hundred years, with the exception of only two, have been mem
bers of this family. These Include Timothy Dwight the first, Timothy
Dwlght the second and Timothy Dwight Woollsey.
The grandfather of Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, wife of the presi
dent, and Mr. Edwards' father were first cousins. Nicholas Butler,
now president of Columbia university, Is his first cousin.
The family has moved westward constantly and steadily as far
back Into the centuries as it can be traced from the time when
William Edwards crossed the Atlantic with his mother and settled
on the bleak shores of New England down to Mr. Edwards In Omaha;
yes, even to his grandson, who has carried the name on to Colorado.
The grandfather of Jonathan Edwards of Omaha moved west to
New York and carved a home out of the wilderness. Tho father
of Mr. Edwards moved west to Ohio In his turn and later came to
Nebraska. This man was 20 years of age when be settled In Ohio.
That was In 820. He took an active and Influential part In the
politics of the young commonwealth. In 1840 .he "stumped" the
state on behalf of General Harrison In the "Tippecanoe and Tyler
The present senior member of this famous family first set his
bold foot npon the site of Omaha June 2, 1858. He was only 8
years of age then, having been' born August 10, 1846. Of course he
illrint vAntiira ilnnn Into the land at TndlAns. Hla father, rnothnp
and sister were In the party. They bad started westward from Pitts
burg, Pa., making their way by water and land in true pioneer
fashion. The little party proceeded west from the Missouri river
and built their cabin In Forest City, near the present site of Gretna.
It was a brave little community with big expectations and a ulce
soundlng name, but with little other prospects for building up a
great city. At that time the country was still almost In a primeval
state. The buffalo roamed free and the Indians considered the white
men their rightful prey. The shriek of the locomotive and the roar
of tbe flying train of cars had not yet displaced the raucous cry of
the bull whacker and the slow, creaking progress of the cumbersome
emigrant or freight wagon.
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Early Day Manners
"Lees thao two week after our arrival we were Initiated Into
the manners of the new land," says Mr. Edwards. "There was a
land dispute between two men named Noonan and Matthews. They
bad nearly come to a settlement when a well-known character named
Ranger Jones happened along with a Jug of whisky. The Jug was
opened and shortly afterward the dispute was also opened. Words
changed to blows and suddenly Matthews raised his rifle and deliber
ately shot Noonan through tbe head, killing him instantly. The
murderer fled. About twenty years afterward I saw him while I
was with a surveying party south of Sidney."
Jonathan Edwards, who had been a political factor in the early
Ohio community, soon took a similar position In the primeval wilder
ness of Nebraska. "General" Edwards was soon tbe recognized
leader in Forest CJty and all the other Bettlers looked to him as to a
father for care and counsel In the emergencies which presented them
selves In the pioneer community.
"We bad one Indian scare there," says Mr. Edwards In relating
an amusing scene of excitement. "Someone started the rumor that
the redskins were coming and all the settlers rushed to the home of
cny father. Preparations were made there for defense. The night
passed, however, and ther was no sign of the Indians. The scare sub
aided by next morning. However, a neighbor of ours, Bob Shields
by name, had left his home In such excitement that he had no time
to put on his pants. Arriving at our bouse he begged my father to
furnish him with an extra pair. Now, most men In that country and
time bad but one pair of these useful articles of dress. But my
father having Just come from the east was the possessor of two speci
mens and fce gave one to the terrified Mr. Shields, who put them on
In such a hurry that he had them reversed. But neither this fact
nor tbe Jibes of those who saw him Interfered with the speed of his
"There were many Incidents of that kind In the life of a boy on
the frontier. One day I remember seeing twelve big, dirty Indian
bucks slouch up to our cabin during the absence of my father and
demand of my mother the preparation of a meal. There was no
help for It and she bad to go to work and cook a big "feed"' for them
out of our scanty store of provisions.
Fine Trip for a Boy
"When I was a boy of 15 years It was nothing for me to drive
alone In a big -wagon through the unsettled country to the mouth
of tbe Platte river, where the nearest grist mill was located. It was
t somewhat dangerous drive, but I never feared. Once on the way
aome I fell asleep on the wagon, the oxen wandered off the road
ind when I awoke night had come ou. I got oft and walked in each
direction In search of the road. I dared not go any farther than
tuch a distance a I could hear the sound of the clanking of the
xen's chains. But I couldn't find the road. So I calmly unhitched
'.he oxeu and lay down under the wagon, where I slept until morning,
when I found my way and reached home safely. My father and
mother were not at all worried because of my not arriving sooner.
Boys in those d hud the self-reliance of men. They drank It to
from the very air."
When the civil war broke out the youngest bearer of the name,
Jonathan Edwards, felt th) blood of his revolutionary ancestors stir
ring in bis veins. He immediately demanded of his father that be
be allowed to enlist. But h'. father did not see the proposition In
that way la view of the fact that hU son vu only IT years of ag
But within a year be passed his eighteenth birthday. A few days
after that h left the little cabin, walked the twenty-five miles to
Omaha and enlisted In the First battery, Nebraska cavalry, Company
D, known better as the "Black Horse cavalry," with Major Arm
strong of Omaha In command. After one year's service It was con
solidated with the First Nebraska regiment under Colonel John M.
Thayer. Soon after the organization was completed the Sioux In
dians In western Nebraska and Wyoming went on the warpath and
the regiment was ordered west to fight the red man Instead of east
to fight the white. There the regiment remained until the close of
Young Edwards was mustered out by special order of the War
department In Omaha. As he was about to start for home a very
small Incident happened which had a very great deal to do with his
life's happiness. A comrade, Walter Walker, asked him to take
Bome of his effects to his home. Walker's father, Louis A. Walker,
was a farmer. His farm comprised the land on which Swift's, Ham
mond and Armour packing houses are now located. This was right
on Edwards' way home and he gladly consented to do the errand.
And there he met his fate. At the house be was met by a girl who
seemed to him the most beautiful and lovely creature he had ever
seen. She was Miss Lucy Walker, sister of the young man who had
sent the package home. When young Edwards left the Walker farm
he had left not only the package, but bis heart there as well. It
Lean Life in Kansas
On the farm they remained until the father of Mrs. Edwards
moved to Kansas. She Insisted that they should not go, but her
husband thought he saw that she was homesick and therefore In
sisted that they go also. They moved, accordingly, to Montgomery
county, Kansas, where they remained four years, which were lean
years of grasshoppers and drouth.
At the end of that time they returned to Nebraska, settling in
Omaha, where Mr. Edwards entered the employ of the I'nion Pacific
and did much surveying in the west. Then he was In the operating
department for several years. In 18S9 lie left the railroad nnd en
tered the Internal revenue service under Collector John IVters. He
was with the Woodmen of the World fiv years and dnrlns the last
three years he has held and Is still holding the position of chief clerk
In the tax department of the county clerk's oillce.
Since the death of his wife Mr. Edwards has made his home with
his daughter, Mrs. Frank 11. Schwaleuberg, Jr., 3006 Dodge street.
She la the only daughter. There is also one son, Louis W. Edwards,
special salesman for the M. E. Smith company. "My wife named
Mm after her father," he says In explanation of the fact that he does
not bear the honored family name, Jonathan. "I named our daugh
ter and she named our son." But Louts Edwards lins a son who
bears the name Jonathan Edwards, and so the name Is being handed
on down the generations.
Mr. Edwards is a member of several orders, two of which he la
particularly proud. These are the Sons of the American Revolution
and the Grand Army of the Republic. He is eligible to tho former
on several counts. Two of his great grandfathers nnd one of his
grandfathers were prominent during revolutionary wnr days. Jah
leel Woodbrldge was a member of the continental congress. Timothy
Edwards was a member of the committee of safety of Mnssnrhusetta
and Robert Ogden was speaker of the house of burgesses of New Jer
sey and on the committee of safety of New Jersey. When the
British occupied New York he was compelled to flee for his life.
j Prominent in Grnnd Army
He has taken a prominent part Mi grand army n flairs. lie was
commander of George A. Cu.st.v p..'?. No. 7, Onii.ha, hi li3. lie
was Junior vice commander of the di. i.:rt:..eni: in l!)0fi; he Iiub I.een
a delegate to the national en,niiiii..eat i and in now on the stall of
Commander-in-Chief Charles G. Bui ton.
Mr. Edwards had the distinction of bi Inn th" youngest county
commissioner in Nebraska, when, in 1 S 7 1 ,' at 'he .ge of 2T. years, he
was elected to that office In Sarpy county. Ho was : h;o a riemher
of the Board of Education In Omaha from 1895 to IS.) 7 and was
president of the board In the latter year.
There are many stories told of the members of the Edwards
family who have appeared In the different centuries through which
the family history is traced. Jonathan Edwards, grandfather of the
Omaha member of the family, used to say that his father, Timothy
Edwards, "had sixty feet of daughters." Though daughters are not
usually measured this way. It was a striking way of stating the size
of the family of Timothy, for he bad ten fine daughters and every
one was six feet tall. Rev. John Plerpont had a daughter, Sarah,
who became the wife of the great preacher, Jonathan Edwards. She
had marvelously beautiful, lustrous, brown eyes. These eyes appear
at times In some member of the family to the presnt day and are
known as "Plerpont eyes." Mr. Edwards' cousin, William E. Annin
of Washington, has a daughter, Susanna, who has tho eyes in the
present generation. Timothy Edwards was a noted preacher of East
Windsor, Conn., who had charge of one church continuously for
sixty-four years and was still in the active discharge of his duties
when be died at the age of 89 years.
Mr. Edwards' father died at the age of 81 years and his mother
at the age of 92. His sister, tbe wife of John Hickey of Gretna,
Neb., died In 1902.
Government Method of Redeeming: Damaged Money
WASHINGTON, June 27. If you are a
foolish woman you have probably
already put your surplus cash into
the oven for summer storage. It's
a habit to which foolish women
succumb in the spring.
In the spring a young man's fancy gets busy
with thoughts of love, but the mind of the foolish
woman of maturer age begins figuring on Just
what she shall and what she shall not secrete in
the stove for summer safe keeping. Whatever
things she decides against there is one Item which
Is sure of admission. That's money. It's like a
disease with some women, which causes them at
the mere sight of a cold oven to be seized with an
uncontrollable longing to stuff some money Into
its darkest corner.
The madness attacks hem even at sight of a
cold stove of any description, and it is no exag
geration to say that at this moment there must be
thousands of dollars wrapped in wads of paper
and lying in the lap, so to speak, of a parlor stove
in countless American homes.
If anyone doubts this statement he has only to
communicate with the Division of Redemption at
the United States treasury in Washington. There
the tragic truth will be disclosed. Spring is the
season for the outbreak of the disease, but the re
sults reach the treasury In both tbe spring and the
Tbe explanation Is simple. When the weather
turns warm In the spring the foolish woman, true
to her Instincts, decides that summer Is on tbe Job
to stay. No more fires in the parlor stove. Out
go the ashes and, after cleaning up the interior,
she stuffs a lot of paper Inside and sooner or later
coyly conceals the family surplus of cash beneath
Sooner or later, also, there comes a cold day.
Daughter has a caller and wants to make things
cosy and pleasant for him. Or perhaps pa, trying
to entertain the minister while ma and the daugh
ter are getting supper, hits upon the happy
thought of starting a little blaze. Or, most tragic
of all, the foolish woman herself flustered by the
meet fug of the Missionary society with her, does
the detd herself In an awful lapse of memory.'
In any case the result is the same and can be
viewed any day at the treasury. Sometimes the
fragments are smaller, sometimes larger. Occa
sionally even the ordinary eye and intelligence
can detect signs that the charted pieces were once
dignified legal tender. But as a rule It take tbe
wonderful skill of Mrs. Amanda E. Brown to find
any such evidence.
For twenty years Mrs. Brown has been ldentl-fler-in-chlef
of damaged currency for this govern
ment. To her skill scores of banks and hundreds
of business firms and of private individuals in
cluding foolish women owe their receipt of crisp
new bills in exchange for little heaps of hopeless
looking shreds and patches.
Mrs. Brown's desk Is directly under the light
of a north window on the ground floor of the
Treasury building. In its pigeonholes and com
partments are official-looking manlla envelopes
and a few boxes, each of which contains a case
that is, some fragments of alleged money. The
tools of her work He before her several fine steel
scalpels, a four-inch magnifying glass and a half
Inch thick piece of plate glass the exact size of a
bank note and ruled off in fifty squares of exactly
As the reporter sat beside her the other day
she spread a sheet of stout manila paper before
her, picked up one of the boxes and emptied out
ten or twelve charred pieces of paper ranging from
bits about a quarter of an inch square to a couple
of pieces containing a square inch or a little more.
They looked absolutely blank at first. They
might have been any pieces of burned paper.
Mrs. Brown did not handle them with her
fingers, but with marvellous delicacy of touch sep
arated them with the scalpel till they lay spread
out upon tbe manlla sheet. Then she handed the
magnifying glast. to the reporter, indicated one
of the larger fragments and intimated that It
showed the word "dollars" and a figure or design
found only on United States twenty-dollar notes.
"This is the case of the burning of a store,
building," said Mrs. Brown. "We received this
box, about four by six Inches In size, full of
charred pieces accompanied by a letter stating
that in it were the remains of f 65 two twenties,
two tens and a five. ,
"When I first turned the contents out H
seemed as if there was nothing but mere burned
paper. But I carefully sorted It until I discovered
these pieces, which were unmistakable fragments
"You know It is an easy matter, at least for
the experienced eye, to discriminate between
burned money and any other burned paper. Cur
rency ia made of the best linen paper, especially
manufactured for the government. When burned
It looks almost Ilk burnsd Unsa cloth and can be
separated at once from ordinary paper.
"After I bad Identified these fragments as
money I gave them several baths In acid, whlcb
brought out traces of the engraving. I have not
finished the case yet, but the identification of one
twenty-dollar note is certain.
"As the fragment contains less than two-fifths
of the original size of the note, tbe person having
It redeemed will be required to make affidavit to
the circumstances of its loss. He will then re
ceive one-half the face value of tbe note. In that
way, you see, the government Is protected against
redeeming the same note twice for full value. Oh,
yes, such attempts are often undoubtedly made,
but owing to the precautions taken they do not
"Do you ever reeclve money from wrecked
"Yes. We often have money that has been in
salt water some time, but those cases are rarely
difficult. The bills are generally intact and can
be spread out to dry."
"Is most of the money you receive damaged
"Yes. After a great fire we always have par
ticularly heavy receipts of Injured bills. Now w
are getting money from tbe Chelsea fire, but we
are also still receiving damaged bills from Cali
fornia, even though It is two years since the
"We have received hundreds of thousands of
dollars from San Francisco for redemption and
90 per cent of it has been made good by the treas
ury. That is an unusual percentage; but tbe San
Francisco money cam to us In excellent condi
tion. "In the first place most of It had been put
away carefully. The bills bad been laid In piles
Instead of being all crumpled up, as they often art
In small stores or In private bouses. The fire
coming on at night, tbe money was In safes, which
at least prevented some Injury, even when the
safes were not fireproof.
"Then, too, our men were on tbe ground when
the work of recovery began and told people bow
to ship tbe burned money. Tbe piles of bills must
not be handled more than Is absolutely necessary.
They must be packed In cotton and put into stout
boxes which contain nothing else.
"We sometimes receive packages containing
both bills and coin whlcb have been through a
fire. The coin, no matter bow It is wrapped. Is
to beavy that It will slide about, and aa nothing
Is much more fragile than burned paper, the bills
are broken Into little pieces, which are entirely
useless for Identification."
"Suppose someone bad a counterfeit bill and
burned It and sent the fragments for redemption
has that happened T"
"Well, we have had burned counterfeit money,
but It may have come with other bills, you know,
and not have been recognised till it came to us." (
"Then you can detect a counterfeit even In
these little black scraps?"
"Oh, that Is one of the most Important require
ments. And It Is not so difficult as you would
think. The quality of the paper Is as distinguish
able when a good bill and a bad bill have been
charred aa they were before."
"Do you receive much money from women?"
Mrs. Brown smiled.
"In the spring and the fall we get it every day
from people chiefly women, I am afraid who
have hjdden It in the stove or range."
"Oh, not every day I"
"Every day, I assure you. Sometimes two or
three cases a day. Here's one now. The woman
writes that the bills were in the fire all the time
It burned and remained In the ashes several hourt
after the Are was out. Two hundred and ten dol
lars In all. Too bad."
"I suppose," said tha reporter, "you get many
letters full of appreciation and gratitude."
Mrs. Brown smiled again, this time with a pe
culiarly signiflcent expression. She admitted that
the redemption division Is not embarrassed by any
particular richness In the shape of thanks.
Of course people do receive only their legal
doe. but It they could see the infinite pains and
care taken by thla wonderful little woman to res
cue for tiem some salvage from the results of
either mtefortune or their carelessness. It does
aeem aa if they would realize that but for her ex
traordinary patience and sjtlll they would be many
dollars poorer than they are.
Not long ago a small bank In a western state
was burned, and aa the safe was not fireproof the
money contained In it was reduced to a charred
mass. The banker, not wanting to trust the
burned bills to the express or the mail, put them
In a suitcase and brought them himself to Wash
ington. Within a few days tbe entire amount of the
money which was said to have been burned with
tba exception of only f 5 waa Identified.