Allen G. Crabtree
Has Lived In This Vicinity Since 1854
Not many people remain who came to Nebraska in 1854. Allen G. Crabtree, who lives twelve miles east of Lincoln, arrived in the state
that year, and although he was only five years old, remembers his first night on Nebraska soil.
The family was driven up from St. Joseph by a man hired for that purpose. They crossed the Missouri river, at Kenosha, twelve miles
south of Plattsmouth, of which town it was than a rival, into Cass county. Mr. Crabtree remembers that they almost lost their cow off
the flatboat. The night, like many others, was spent under the stars, in a bed of leaves scraped together for comfortable sleeping.
The rig in which they made the trip was an open one.
Mr. Crabtree, who will celebrate his eighty-first birthday August 19, has lived in this vicinity ever since 1854, seventy-six years.
He may be listed with the true pioneers, who almost preceded civilization into Nebraska. Indians predominated on the prairie. He remembers
many incidents in which they took part, but they were in the main friendly.
His parents, Abel and Elizabeth, built a two roomed log cabin where Rock Bluff later sprang up. After a number of years they built on
another room, and felt that they had an unusually commodious home.
Schools were few and short termed. Three months a year was as long as the pioneer children received schooling, their education being obtained
largely from their struggles with life in a new country.
When Mr. Crabtree was fourteen he began driving a team of oxen for a Mr. Jewett and freighted to Denver, then a small mining settlement.
He made several trips to the Rocky mountains at this tender age. When not freighting he herded cattle for twenty-five cents a month.
His cattle grazed over the prairies where Lincoln now stands.
Half a dozen families settled in their vicinity. Young is the only neighbor he can now recall by name.
One of the early teachers he had was named West.
In 1878 Mr. Crabtree bought a farm just south of Eagle. The next year he married Eliza Umland. .After farming thirty-five years they
retired and spent several years in Lincoln. He still owns a half section of land in Cass county.
On Mrs. Crabtree’s death in 1926, Mr. Crabtree returned to the vicinity of Eagle to make his home with his daughter, Mrs. Clara Ketelhut.
Mr. Crabtree has five children: Mrs. Etta Moss of Garden City, Kansas.; Henry, who died many years ago; Mrs. Clara Ketelhut; William Crabtree of Cairo,
Nebraska and Mrs. Varena Curley of Seward.
He has ten grandchildren. Although the oldest child in his father’s family, Mr. Crabtree is the only one of the six still living.
He is a cousin of J. W. Crabtree, well known educator and former Nebraskan, now secretary of the National Educational association.
Mr. Crabtree as he looks on celebrating his eighty-first birthday and as he was in the eighties.
The Lincoln Journal Star
Transcribed and Contributed by: Sharon Gregory