History of Custer County, Nebraska
transcribed by: Melody Beery

The present-day school system of Custer county has long been heralded to the world as one of the best in the central west, and the facts bear out the reputation. No county in the state has made greater development or
achieved such a signal success in forty years.  The initial years were largely handicapped by conditions which must always prevail in a new country. There was no money for school purposes and the first districts had to resort to all kinds of schemes to secure any kind of school privileges.

The first school houses were built of sod, and from these the entire system has developed until to-day there are to be found in every town in the county great brick structures into which all grade-schools granduate fine classes of young Custerites. The road from sod to brick has been long and the toil of development sometimes irksome but the tireless efforts of the teachers and the sacrifice of the patrons have banished the "soddy" and ushered in the great, brick high school.  For the data which follow the present county superintendent of public instruction, C. T. Grimes, is to be given credit.


The people of Custer county have always held the education of children in high regard, and the very first settlers gave the matter considerable attention. In the spring of 1874 Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Eubank settled in the unorganized territory which afterward became Custer county.

At that time there was neither school district nor school, but during the fall Mrs. Eubank brought this important matter before the settlers and they were delighted to have her organize and conduct a private school for them. She gives the following account of her experiences:  "We could not have a public school, because there were no funds. At last I concocted a plan. I would organize a neighborhood school.  'But where is your salary to come from?" my husband asked. I replied, 'I will teach without any stimpulated salary. I will take what each feels he can give." Accordingly I drew up a subscription paper and presented it to my neighbors. They were delighted. They had very little money, but there were vast herds of elk and many antelope and deer; the men were good marksmen, and .killed many elk. So it came to pass that the most of my salary consisted of elk meat. This was in the winter of 1874-5. That fall, 1875, we built a kitchen of logs, and when it was completed I used it for a school-room. That was the first school in what is now Custer county."

About the same time the cause of education was attracting considerable attention along Victoria creek, in the community of New Helena. During the summer of 1876 a private school was taught by Miss Callie Dryden in the home of Mrs. Forsythe. In order to secure a certificate. Miss Dryden would have to make a long and unhappy journey over to North Loup, in Valley county,-where the superintendent,  having supervision  over the schools of this section, then resided. This this young lady refused to do. To overcome this inconvenience Judge Mathews, the sage o:New Helena, evolved a new plan. He decided to conduct the examination himself. Ac Accordingly he drew up his questions and submitted them to the teacher. She wrote the answers in the best manner she could, considering writing material to be had and other inconveniences. After she had completed net writing the Judge gathered up the answer papers and carried them to North Loup. He laid the case before the county superintendent Oscar Babcock, who, after due consideration, decided that the case was very unusual, but nevertheless, the exigencies of the occasion demanded that the certificate should be issued, and it is altogether likely that no other Custet county certificate was ever issued in such manner. The next year the lady secured a regular certificate from Superintendent Eubank, and she was one of the first certificated teachers in Custer county. During the summer of 1878 was erected a splendid cedar-log building which for several years served the people as an educational and social center.  This building is still standing.


In the fall of 1877 E. D. Eubank, the first superintendent of Custer county, was elected and for four years he was busy organizing new districts and re-arranging boundary lines to meet the rapidly changing centers of population. During his term of four years he formed twenty-seven school districts.  Early in the administration, petitions were received from the people of what are now districts No. 1 and No. 2. No. 2 was the first preesnted, but a remonstrance was filed against the formation of the district and action on it was deferred. Later, the objections were finally withdrawn, but not until after another petition had been presented, and thus it came about that the first petiton presented resulted in the establishing of the second district by number, that is, No. 2. District No. 3 was" organized in 1880, covering the greater part of the southwest quarter of the county and comprising 900 square miles of territory, but before this organization was effected Alfred Schreyer taught a term of school in an upstairs room in the home of David Sprouse. The next year a sod house was built, and for many years it was the seat of attraction for almost every kind of public entertainment, from preaching and Sunday school on down to political meetings and general elections.  Before the close of the year 1881, districts Nos. 23, 26, 27, 34, and 42 were carved out of this territory, and within a short time thereafter Nos. 73, 88, 89, and 102 further reduced the size. Before the close of the year 1885, Nos. 106 and 113 were cut off, and so the -territory of this district continued to be divided and subdivided until nearly a hundred schools are now being supported within the limits of what once was district No. 3. About the year 1882 settlers came into the county in great numbers, and educational affairs became very interesting. Schools were established in almost every part of the county.  D. M. Amsberry, superintendent from 1882 to 1888, organized more than 160 districts, and changed the boundaries in many places.  The first teachers' examination ever held in Broken Bow was conducted by Superintendent Amsberry, on the third Saturday in January, 1882. Miss Raymond was the only person taking the test.


During the month of August, 1882, Mr. Amsberry organized and conducted the first county institute for the county. It was held in a wareroom of the lumber yard at Westerville. Only a few teachers were in attendance and the superintendent was his own general manager, instructor, and conductor of the whole affair. The next year he changed his place for holding the institute, called it for Broken Bow and held it in the room now occupied by the Custer County Chief. He secured the assistance of several experienced instructors and laid the foundation of what has come to be one of the important factors in the educational system of Custer county â€Ã¢€Â the teachers' institute.


History of Custer County, Nebraska
transcribed by: Melody Beery


The following description of the Mason City schools, written by M. M. Warrington, will give a suggestive idea of the varying scenes and changes through which most of our graded schools passed â€Ã¢€Â from the little sod shanty to the splendidly built and well equipped institutions of learning that adorn all of our towns.  ''The town of Mason City was started in April, 1886, and continued to grow in rather an apathetic manner until the arrival of the railroad, in July of that year, and then things went on with a boom. "Among the things to be provided were school facilities. The only building in the way of a schoolhouse in sight was one of sod, north of Muddy creek, near town, which was the schoolhouse of the district as it was then formed.  "Henry M. Kidder, a young attorney who had cast his fortunes with the embryo city, was employed to teach the fall term of school, which was attended by the boys and girls from the town. The population of the town grew so rapidly in the fall months that the winter term of school was held in a sod house north of the railroad track, near where the railroad section-house now stands. Miss Lincoln Groat was the teacher, this term being under the old district arrangement

"School district No. 169, the Mason City district, was organized in March, 1887, by electing John A. Hall director, C. H. Coricks moderator, and Mrs. Ellen O. Gates treasurer.  The lady finally refused to qualify, and Judson C. Porter was appointetd treasurer in her place. J. J. Tooley. now secretary of the state banking board, was elected teacher, which position he held for three years. The first term of school was held in a store building which had been moved from old Algernon.  The second school year another teacher for the primary department was added, in the per-
son of Mrs. J. H. Kerr. 
"The red-brick schoolhouse. of two rooms, was built in the summer of 1888. This building was partially destroyed by a cyclone on July 2, 1892. One story of it was rebuilt that year, and a vacant store-room rented for the primary department. This arrangement continued for two years, when an additional frame structure of two rooms was built. The present two-story-and-basement school building was erected in 1905. The first high-school work done in the Mason City schools was under the superintendence of J. H. Hays, in 1895 and 1896. when the first class was graduated. Now seven teachers are employed in the Mason City schools, and the schools occupy a prominent place among the other good schools of Custer county."


Broken Bow school district was the twenty-fifth district to be formed within the county. It came into existence during the last part of the closing years of Superintendent E. D. Eubank's term of office. The first school was taught in the spring of 1881, by Mrs. Martha E. Lewis, wife of Moses Lewis, who resided on his homestead a mile east of the north part of the city. Since her three boys, John, Amos, and George, constituted the greater part of her pupils, the school was taught in her sod house. In the fall the school was moved to a sod shanty located a block north of where the Grand Central hotel now stands.  The school site had previously been located a mile or more from town, and to remedy this inconvenience, the director, C. D. Pelham, called a meeting of the district, at the postoffice in Broken Bow. The site was placed where the South Side school now stands and in the next year a new house was put up. In the meantime school was held in a frame storeroom on the southwest corner of block No. 2 of the original townsite. In 1885 a new frame building was put up in the southeast part of town, but this was abandoned when the North
ward school was formed. During the year 188S the present South ward building was erected, and it was not until January 1, 1911, that the full, complete system, including the high school was established. The Broken Bow high school represents an outlay of about  350,000 and is not only the best in the county but also one of the modern and well equipped high schools in this part of the state.


The Ansley district was organized during the year 1888, with Miss Michael as teacher, her school was composed of twelve pupils the school population increased very rapidly so that in 1890 a second, or primary, teacher was employed. It was not long until a larger building was required and this, after rapid succession, was supplanted by the prescnl beautiful, brick structure, erected at a cost of S27.000, with an equipment valued at $8,000.  The district employs ten teachers, carries a course of twelve grades, is accredited as a normal training high school, and has an. enrollment of about 300 pupils. The personnel of the present school board is as follows: A F. Pinkley, president; E. P. Gaines, secretary, J. T. McGowan, treasurer; and H. D. Reed D. P. Scott, and E. O. Morris. Professor Clem Wilder has been engaged as the superintendent for the year 1918-19.


The Anselmo district came with the busy times between 1884 and 1887  with J. A. Homis teaching the "young idea how to shoot." He carried on his work in the Methodist church.  In 1888 a two-room building was put up and two teachers were employed. This number of teachers was found adequate to the needs of the district until 1905, when a third was found necessary.  The present beautiful, brick schoolhouse was erected in 1916. at an expense of  $11.000, four teachers being employed and eleven grades introduced. That same year the school was organized as a high-school district. The school equipment is valued at $7,000, five teachers are employed, and more than 150 pupils are enrolled. Already the building has come to be too small for the accommodation of the rapidly increasing school population, and the people are beginning to plan for an addition to their educational plant.



No community in the county has shown a greater interest in school affairs than that manifested at Arnold. The district was found necessary during the early '80s, but because of the lack of railroad communication with other points, the school population did not increase very rapidly. In 1911 two teachers were introduced and an attempt at high-school work was begun. Progress was made so rapidly that by the fail of 1915 it was found possible to open the school in a most beautiful, convenient, and commodious brick structure that had cost, including equipment, the goodly sum
of 325,000. 
The district is accredited for high-school purposes, and eleventh-grade work is given.  Six teachers are employed. Like many other school plants in Custer county, this one has
become inadequate and before many years will have to be enlarged.



During the closing year of Mr. Amsberry's term of office, the Callaway high-school district was organized. It was one of the hundred or more to be carved out of the original and interesting district No. 3. The first building was greatly impaired, and a second was erected in its stead. Not only was this structure found to be too small, but the location proved unsatisfactory, hence, in 1906, the present site was secured and new building erected, at a cost of practically $30,000 for the entire plant. The school grounds are ample, and are well provided with trees and shrubbery, thus giving a very attractive appearance.  ¦ The school maintains eleven grades, employs seven teachers, and has enrolled as many as 325 students. 


District No. 28, including the village of Comstock, was the first to be organized by Superintendent Amsberry in the early part of the year 1882, and Mrs. Ida Strop was installed as teacher. Her school was made up of ten or twelve pupils, varying in age from five to twelve years. For some time the school did not grow very fast, and not until 1907 or 1908 was any attempt made at organizing a high school. From 1911 to the present time a good eleven-grade school has been maintained. There are six teachers, with 155 pupils. The present building was erected in
1905 and with furniture, grounds, and fixtures represents an investment of S10,000.


Sargent not only has a very progressive people, with enthusiasm for the education of the youth of the community, but also one of the most beautiful, convenient, and expensive school equipments in Custer county. The district was organized in 1884, with Mrs. A. R. Humphrey as teacher. Twenty-five pupils engaged her attention.  In 1897 a second teacher was found to be necessary, and from that time the school has increased in enrollment and grown in importance. In 1914 the school site was changed and a new house.was erected, at a cost, including furnishings, of about $30,000.  The school carries twelve grades and is fully accredited to the State University. It is also accredited for high-school purposes.  The school requires and employs ten teachers.


The Oconto district was one of the last graded schools to be established. Originally the territory of this district was a part of district No. 34, but in 1896 the people from the country turned out at the school meeting in a body and voted to move the schoolhouse out of the village and to locate it more than a mile in the country. This so much displeased the villagers that they immediately petitioned the county superintendent to detach a part of the territory and form the present district No. 256.  One teacher was employed until 1908, when a second teacher was engaged. During the year 1909 the present building was erected and a third teacher was added to the corps of instructors. The school now employs four teachers, gives eleven grades of training and enrolls 120 pupils.



The Merna district seems to liave been named after a previously discontinued district.  In the early days cattlemen had a custom of organizing large tracts of land into school districts. They invariably chose territory on which very few, if any, settlers lived, so that a school would not be needed. Two purposes were accomplished by this plan. First, It avoided the school tax and, second, it prevented the annexation of unorganized territory to other organized districts for school taxation. In the course of time the county superintendent would discover that the district
extsted only in name and he would give some new district that number. This, it seems was the case with district No. 15. However, in 1884, there being a school population of more than twenty pupils within the community, the county superintendent granted the petition that added the Merna district to the list of schools.  Miss Affie Gordon was the first teacher and twenty-five pupils were enrolled.  In 1905, a high-school, with four teachers, was supported. Three years later the present building was put up, at an expense of 325,000.  Nine teachers are employed and 193 pupils are attending school.



District No. 33 has been constantly in the lime light since the year 1914, and has been written and talked about a great deal. Many magazines, including the Ladies' Home Journal and practically every farm paper in the United States, have written articles about this school. The picture of the building and a depicture of its floor plans have been printed in many publications. The plant was erected in 1915, at a cost of about $4,500. It has a teacherage, a bam, and a complete equipment.  Two teachers are employed and ten grades are taught


When the state rural-school inspector visited Berwin in 1916, he was quite generous in his commendations of the Berwyn school property, which he declared to be one of the best three teacher buildings he had ever seen. When completed the entire plant cost about $7,000.  It stands on an elevated plat of ground and faces down the main street of the village.  Considering the fact that the school district is very small and the village .itself has just recently begun to grow, the people, deserve to be given great credit for their school. A good ten-grade course is given and the teachers have been unusually strong in their work.


Unfortunately the Lodi community has two schools where one could well supply all the needed school advantages, thus dividing the interest and needed success. District No. 73 has for the past three years employed two teachers and maintained a good ten-grade school. The people arc interested in such affairs and are looking forward to a better school condition. Ten grades are maintained and successful work is being done in each.


Nine miles northeast of Broken Bow another ten-grade, two-teacher school is maintained. It was opened in September, 1917, is growing in popularity, and the number of attendants is increasing. Grades nine and eleven are open to students.



District No. 32 is an interesting" two-teacher school, organized in 1917. It is located in the valley of Muddy creek, about seven miles southeast of Broken Bow. The people are enthusiastic over their new building and the results of their efforts. The building is well equipped and the grounds contain numerous new playground devices. The ten-grade work usually done in such schools is being accomplished.


In the sand-hill region of Custer county has lately been organized what is known as the "Hoosier Valley High School." It was formed by combining districts Nos. 210. 252, and 262.  It is composed of fifty sections and has about ten miles of railroad to help defray the expense of the school.   When completed the plant, will comprise a two-room school, with a teachers' residence, a good well, and a bam.  This will be the first school of the kind in the county and its progress will be watched with interest.


The Longwood school is especially interesting bezause of its splendid building aoc grounds. It is the best equipped one-teacher school in the county and one of the best of its kind in the stale. The building has a large school-room, a porch, a vestibule, a cloakroom, library, dinner room, and a' full basement, which is reached either through the dinner room or from an outside entrance. This plant is standard as to light, heat, and ventilation. The entire plant is valued at $3,000. A good salary is paid the teacher and, of course, none but a good teacher is ever secured.


About seven miles southwest of Callaway, in a beautiful community known as Sand Valley, is found a very successfully conducted ten-grade school. It is district No. 95. It came into usefulness with the rush of school organizations between the years 1882 and 1888. This school is well located and well equipped, with two pleasant rooms, so arranged that they may be thrown together, Una forming a large assembly room. It is well lighted and heated. Trees have been planted and a splendid well, with a windmill, adds to the advantages. There is a barn for horses and a large yard for carriages. The course covers ten grades.




For the last five or six years the school sentiment of the county has grown to a very high order. Nearly all of the schools have good, comfortable houses which are well kept.  More than 150 room-furnaces are in use and a half hundred wells give good drinking water. The teachers are earnest, progressive, and thorough; the children are interested and happy, and the patrons are earnestly endeavoring to bring the Custer county schools up to the realization of what they should be a Thing of beauty and a joy forever."


by Mrs. J.C. Kellenbarger
[source: Pioneer Stories of Custer Co. Nebraska,
published by E.R. Purcell,
publisher Custer County Chief, Broken Bow Ne 1936,
transcribed by: Melody Beery]

A study of old attendance and record books and warrants of the Dale School, District 31, located eight miles northwest of merna, reveals many interesting facts and events.

The first items in the treasurer's record book date back to 1884-fifty-two years ago, and cover the years 1884 to 1923- a period of thirty-nine years.  The attendance book covered various periods, 1884, 1886, and 1891 and 1898.  The warrants began in 1884 and continued until 1927, forty-three years.  The first records are indefinate as to distinct lengths of terms and salaries, the attendance records and expenditures not having been recorded during the first term.  The school was in the process of organization and no money appropriations were recrded before February 26, 1884.

The First Sod Schoolhouse-
Just when the sod structure was erected is not definitely known, but the walls were erected or partially erected April 20, 1883, when the Joseph Kellenbarger family passed there on their way from Hamilton county to their new homestead in Dale valley.  An item April 26, 1884, states that David Cardon was paid $19.20 for a cedar ridgepole and rafters, which were hauled from the Cedar Canyons.

The school opened in a sod schoolhouse with dirt floor and roof, homemade seats and desks for children and teacher.  There was also a board nailed on stakes driven into the ground at the back of the schoolhouse, reaching from side to side of the building.  A water bucket stood in the northeast corner.  Two of the old homemade desks are now treasured keepsakes in the community, one in the possession of Mary McCauley, which had been used by her mother, Mrs. Bridget Couhig-McCauley, and the other in the home of Almon Krenz.  These resembled the later custom-built desks in that they had hinged lids.  Books were brought from home by the children and they were few.

Katie Farritor First Teacher-
The first record of teachers shows that Miss Katie Farritor, now Mrs. Hugh Clark of Broken Bow, on July 10, 1884, was paid $54.00.  A check on the same day was given to William Couhig for $21.00 for boarding the teacher.  This was a part of her salary, her term being three months at $25.00 and the two checks amount to that  sum.  In a recent letter from Mrs. Clark, she, as she recalls past events, is of the opinion that she taught the months of May, June and July, 1883.  Eleven pupils were registered during that first term-Bridget Couhig, Maud Lohr, Kearney and Will Kellenbarger, Lizzie, James and John McCarty, Budd and Ernest Dailey and Anna and George Fleishman.

During the early years, the school was divided into terms of two or three months and these were held at various seasons of the year.  The second teacher, Annie Gordon, now Mrs. Wm. Coulter of Merna, taught a summer term from May 12 to September 5, 1884.  Five weeks were missed on account of sickness and school was suspended July 4 for celebration.

This was followed by a fall term from September to November.  During the summer term 30 pupils from 13 families were registered, 11 of whom are still residing in Custer county.  Attendance in early terms varied from 11 to 50 in 1892, and perhaps more in some winter terms.  The attendance varied, depending on the season of the year in which school was held.  Ages from 4 to 23 were registered, the older boys and girls attending during the winter terms and periods of slack farm work.  Records for 22 early terms show an average daily attendance of 31 pupils.

With a school of 30 to 50, one could easily infer that it was probably much more exciting to attend school than to do routine work at home.  The school terms increased in length as times prospered.  In one school year of seven months three different teachers were employed.  One can imagine that progress might have been as erratic as the length and time of terms, or different personalities of the various teachers.

Wood Floor Added-
Remarks in the visitors' attendance book in 1885 stated that the sod building was in a very poor condition and there was a lack of seats.  This old sod schoolhouse was used for several years, a wood floor installed and new furniture added.

Frame School Building Erected-

Receipts of money were low.  In 1884 and 1885, the receipts of money for state and district apportionment from R.C. Talbot, treasurer of Custer county, were $292.48 and expenditures $292.31, leaving a balance of 12 cents.  Receipts from 1885 to 1888 were $757.34 and expenditures $744.91, leaving a balance of $12.43.  These expenditures did not include the expense of building a new frame schoolhouse, which was completed prior to October 23, 1888, when John Fodge received a check for part payment on same.

A School Teacher at 14-
In a letter from Mrs. Bair-Barrick of Beverley Hills, California, (who taught school in 1886-1887 at Mis Euroia Weimer) during the celebration of Dale School's fiftieth anniversary in 1934, she wrote, "The old schoolhouse had a dirt floor and a dirt roof, but we kept it looking nice and we had happy days.  They gave me a new schoolhouse and I remember so well our pleasure in the building, but we did just as good work in the first dirt school as when we had a frame building."

Mrs. Barrick was only fourteen years old at the time of her teaching experience at Dale and only two of the board would sign her contract on account of her age.  However, she said, "If I fail, you need not pay me."  The second term all three members signed the contract.

Burned Corn for Fuel-

Funds for school salaries were low for a good many years, probably due to the low prices for farm products, the cost of the new building and the vicissitudes of pioneer life.  The warrants were paid by various members of the community and former teachers, who collected interest by holding them.  Records show that corn was sold for 20 cents a bushel in 1886 and 15 cents in 1890.  In 1886-1887, the school board bought corn to the amount of $29.65, which probably was used for fuel.  The old sod schoolhouse was torn down and removed in the fall of 1888.

Free Books-

In accordance with an act entitled, "An Act to Provide Cheaper Text Books, and for District Ownership of Same", approved April 7, 1891, the school board entered into a three year contract with the American Book company, by which they could buy books at a specified minimum price.  Prices were quoted on Harper's readers, McGuffy's Revised Eclectic Speller, Ray's Arithmetic, Harvey's Grammar, Barnes' History of the United States, Spencerian Copy books, etc.  Checks show $146.28, or $18.28 yearly, spent for books and supplies from this company during the next eight years.  These books are remembered and cherished by many of the older residents of the county.

In 1889, a written contract for an eight months term was signed by C.M. Layman, in which he promissed to teach the two fall and two spring months for $30.00 per month and the four winter months for $35.00.  However, he only taught two months and Warren Wells carried out the remaining time of the contract.

In July and December, 1898, two checks carried internal revenue stamps, showing that people were beginning to pay for the war with Spain.

Early Teachers-

Among the early teacher's besides those mentioned were Wm. Elliot, Helen Elliot, Mary McCormick (Mrs. Tim Maroney), S.K. Redman, Mary Griffin, Mrs. Amelia Jones, Merna, Anna Beals (Mrs Almer Hunt), Luella Wheeler (Mrs. Ollie Smith), Lizzie McGrath (Mrs. Mike McCarthy), Moses L. Smith, Alpha Bell (Mrs. Charles Leisure, Anselmo), Anna Sweeney (Mrs. J. D. McCarty), Clara Jeffords (Mrs. Humphrey), Lizzie Laughran (Mrs. Hubert Cox), Anna Bader (Mrs. George Fleishman), Chloe Brotherton (Mrs. Claud Hall), and Lena Wood (Mrs. Burch).

Payments for cleaning the schoolhouse ranged from 50 cents in 1886 to $5.00 in later years.  Salaries ranged from $25.00 to $100.00 (the high peak in 1925 and 1926), then dropped gradually to $60.00 and now seem to be on the upgrade again.  During the two years 1924-25, the ninth and tenth grades were added and two teacher employed.

58 Teachers in 52 Years-

Of the fifty-eight teachers employed in the fifty-two years, thirteen taught here more than one term or year and fourteen once attended school at Dale.  These former students were Anna Sweeney, C.M. Layman, Lena Wood, Anna Krenz, Mamie Downey, Loretta Walsh, Lura Kellenbarger, Agnes Fleishman, Dladys Daley, Mary McCauley, Lily McCarty, ruth McCarty, Monica and Theresa Fleishman.

The frame schoolhouse as originally built, with the exception of an anteroom, which was added in 1889, still stands on the same spot on which it was built about fifty years ago.  Of the eighty-six residents of the district at this time (July 10, 1936), sixty-nine are original residents or descendants of original residents.  Dale celebrated its fiftieth anniversary November 16, 1934, at which time many former teachers and students attended.  The occasion was one to be long remembered by those present.  Among these were three generations of three families: E.B. Daley, W.H. Kellenbarger, and E.B. Wood.  Three generations of the J.D. McCarty family have attended school at Dale.

Thus we see from the records some of the ups and downs through which a pioneer school passed.  Today we have better buildings and equipment, more books, graded classes, longer terms of school, and far more advantages in many ways than our ancestors ever dreamed of.  Yet along other lines we are experiencing many of the trials through which they passed - blizzrds, drouths and grasshoppers.  Yet they lived and prospered and the large barns and dwellings which they erected and groves of trees which they planted bear their silent testimony of prosperity at some earlier time.

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