Richardson County - Genealogy Trails







Frances E. Brown Swope

Roberta J. "Bobby" Gentry-Cettel

Martin Luther Herbert

Minnie Myrtle Herbert

Joseph Morrison

Ferba E. Shafer Morrison

Mrs. Minnie L. Morrison Batchelder

Child of Jones Myers

Mrs. James Hopper

Jacob Shroyer

John W. Curtis

Cora Belle Durfee   

Mrs. May Wissler   

James Harrison Ray    




    Frances E. Brown Swope


    Argus, Astoria, Fulton County, Illinois, Thursday December 24, 1891 Sad Death of a Former Citizen  


    The following letter from Edward Swope, of Stella, Nebraska, to his mother in this city, gives an account of the death of his wife, who was a sister of Abram Brown, of this township.  Mr. and Mrs.Swope, at one time lived here, but went to Nebraska about fourteen years ago.  Mr. Swope and children have the sympathy of a large circle of relatives and friends in South Fulton in their sad bereavement.



    Stella, Nebraska, December 18, 1891


    Dear Mother;


    With a sad heart I send you sad news.  My dear Frances is dead.  Yea, last Sunday at 11:30 a. m., she was taken away from me.  


    On Tuesday following, at 3 o'clock she was laid to rest in Prairie Union Cemetery.  


    She was not feeling well for a few weeks, before she was taken down, had the grippe or a cold.  


    On Friday morning she got up, and went about her work, had breakfast nearly ready, when her right foot became partially paralyzed.  I then got her to lie down on the couch, and in less than one hour her right hand bacame paralyzed.  She lay still and talked till about 12:30 when she fell into a deep sleep or stupor, from which she could not be aroused.  She remained so for 47 hours when she breathed her last.


    Note: Frances (Francis) E. Brown was born Lodi, Seneca County, New York, died December 13, 1891

    Stella, Nebraska, buried Prairie Union Cemetery.


     She married Edward Franklin Swope August 16, 1857 in Fulton County, Illinois.  They had 8 children:  Clinton, Annie, Charles, William, Ina, Edgar, Frank and Walter.  


    Submitted by Sara Hemp, descendant of Edward Swope's sister <>


    Roberta J. "Bobby" Gentry-Cettel

    Born: November 16, 1922 in Richardson County, Nebraska
    Died: September 11, 2007 in Portland or Gresham, Oregon
    Marriage: Richard W. Cettel
    Survivors: husband, 2 sons, 2 daughters, 14 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren

    The Oregonian - September 23, 2007

    Obituary edited for length. Full reprint available from The Oregonian Newspaper, Portland, OR."  

    Submitted by:


    Martin Luther Herbert


     Herbert – At his home five miles southwest of Falls City, on March 8th, 1885, of Chronic Diarrhea, Mr. M. L. Herbert, aged 48 years.


    Mr. Herbert leaves a wife and one child to mourn his loss. 


    For several years—ever since his discharge from the Army—Mr. Herbert had been a constant sufferer from the disease which finally terminated in his death.


    He was an honest, upright citizen, a kind husband and obliging neighbor, and his loss will be deeply felt in the circles in which he moved.


    He was buried in Steele Cemetery on Wednesday morning, with the honors of the G.A.R. by his  comrades of Veteran Post No. 84, of this city.



    Note:  Martin Luther Herbert, a Civil War veteran from Illinois. He and his wife moved to Nebraska in the early 1870s and homesteaded in Falls City. He died in 1885 from an ailment he got from the war. He is buried in Falls City.


    Falls City Daily News, March 12, 1885, page 4, col. 12

    Contributed by:  Mark Herbert





    Minnie Myrtle Herbert


    Herbert – November 12th, Myrtle, only child of Martin L. and Emma Herbert.  Aged 2 months and 5 days.


    When the evening shades were falling

    Death the little one was calling;

    Pale and dim she grew and weakly,

    Bearing all her pains so meekly;

    Then to us she seemed still dearer

    As her heavenly home drew nearer.

    But rest little Myrtle as the gentle bird

    Folds its wearied wings,

    Tomarrow at our Father’s word

    Thou shalt ascent and sing.



    Note:  She died when she was only two months old.  From what, I do not know.

    She is also buried in Falls City


    Falls City, Nemaha Valley Journal – November 19, 1874 - page 2 col 3
    Contributed by:  Mark Herbert




    Joseph Morrison   

    After having spent a busy life full of energentic toll and always with a humor in all of this work Joseph Morrison departed from this life at 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning January 21 at the age of 82 years, 9 months. He was born in Kentucky, April 21, 1829, when but a small child he and family moved to Illinois and it was there that he spent his young manhood days and was later married to Miss Ferba Shafer and to this union was born nine children. Three of which have preceded Mr. Morrison to the great beyond, those still living are Robert Morrison of Hamlin Kans.: Mrs. R. M. Stumbo of Perkins Okla.: Mrs. John Howard of Bogue Kans.: Edward Morrison, who has lived by his parents for the past few years and Mrs. Rosa Wagner of Morrill Kans.


    On the 11th day of this month Mr. and Mrs. Morrison were married sixty years, certainly it was quite a journey of life to make together. After spending several years in Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri they came to Kansas in 1868 and after remaining here along the state line near Pony creek for about five years they moved to Graham county, Kansas, where they lived for nine years and on account of the droughts and many crop failures they were compelled to move back to this part of the country and here they have remained for the past thirty years, and the past 26 of these years have been spent on the place where Mr. Morrison passed away.


    Mr. Morrison was ever a hard working man and was never satisfied while idle, even in his last few years he could be seen working in the field on a hot day and making himself useful at all times. Along with his ambitious nature he was always very cheerful and had a jolly word for everybody. This good nature characterized his last illness which was of about seven weeks duration. Those who were by his bedside during this time say that there was never a complaining word left his lips and he would some times try and encourage those who were attending him despite his severe pain. His death was probably a complication of stomach and heart trouble coupled together with old age.


    Probably the highest attribute that could be paid Mr. Morrison was the esteem in which he was held by his neighbors and we can say that we never in all our experience saw people to help where ever and when ever they could, more willingly.


    The funeral services were conducted at the home by the Rev. Keve of the Methodist church of Falls City, the pastor of the church to which Mr. Morrison joined toward the latter part of his life, the sermon delivered was of a very fitting nature for one who was of full age and had spent a long useful life. Burial was made in the Steele cemetery at Falls City. The neighbors acted as pall bearers to carry Mr. Morrison to his last resting place. Only three of the children were able to attend the funeral, Edward, Robert and Mrs. Wagner.


    The life of the one just related should be an inspiration toward the sunny disposition of the younger generation. Besides the sons and daughters still living Mr. Morrison leaves twenty-nine grand children and ten great grandchildren besides a host of friends to mourn his departure.



    Falls City Journal, Monday, January 22, 1912

    Transcribed and Contributed by:  Kim Freeman


    Please also see "Batchelder Family History"





    Ferba E. Shafer Morrison          


    Ferba E. Shafer was born at Hagerstown, Md., May 9, 1834 and died at the residence on the farm about six miles southwest of Falls City at 3:30 Sunday morning, March 10th, 1912, where her husband died January 21, 1912. Mrs. Morrison was living alone, a grandson was with her during the night. Sunday she was in usual health but near midnight she was taken sick with heart failure or apoplexy. The neighbors were called over the phone Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Jenkins arrived shortly before her death.


    When a young girl she moved with her parents to Illinois where she married Joseph Morrison, January 11, 1852. Remaining in Illinois a few years then removed to Wisconsin then, to Missouri and in 1868 to Kansas near the state line on Pony Creek. Here they remained five years then went to Graham county, Kansas, for nine years but were unable to remain there because of the crop failures and drought and returned to this county and purchased the farm where they have lived for twenty-six years. She was the mother of nine children, those surviving are:


    Robert Morrison, Hamlin, Kansas, Mrs. R. M. Stumbo, Livingston, Mont, Mrs. U. Stumbo, Perkins, Oklahoma, Mrs. John Howard, Boge, Kansas, Mrs. Rose Wagner, Morrill and Ed Morrison, who lives on the adjoining farm.


    The funeral will be held from the residence, March 12th at 10:30 a.m. The services will be in charge of Rev. O. M. Keve and Undertaker Reavis.


    The interment will be in Steele cemetery in the family where lot the husband was so recently laid to rest.



    Falls City Journal, Monday, March 11, 1912

    Transcribed and Contributed by:  Kim Freeman


    Please also see "Batchelder Family History



    Mrs. Minnie L. Morrison Batchelder   

    Mrs. Minnie L. Morrison-Batchelder, wife of Willliam W. Batchelder,  died at her home in Batchtown, Sunday evening, Sept. 20, 1888, aged 28 years, 7 months and 6 days.

    She was born in Morgan county, Illinois, Jan. 24th, 1860,  and was married to W. W. Batchelder in Graham Co. Kansas, June 30, 1878 at the home of her parents.


    In the fall of 1880, they came to Batchtown, the early home of her husband,  where they lived in the enjoyment of a pleasant affinity which was ended by the decree of the Death Angel.


    Besides her consort, Mrs. Batchelder leaves three bright little girls, the youngest being two years of age, an aged father and mother at Falls City, Nebraska, two brothers and four sisters all living in different parts of the west, and many distant relatives, and a host of sympathizing friends  at Batchtown and throughout the immediate community.


    She became a member of the Methodist Church at the age of sixteen and maintained an honorable Christian deportment during the remainder of her life.


    She was held in high esteem by the best members of society, and, though young in years, she had a particular love for the company of the aged, among whom she found some of her most intimate friends and associates. The predominant characteristic of her inestimable life and influence in the home and the social circle was a love for everything good and enobling, and a dislike for everything low and groveling. As a wife and mother, she possessed the highest traits of character; such as are well worth the imitation of any mother in her love for husband, children and home.


    The walls of her ever cheerful home always bore some ornament, placed there by her own busy fingers; but the most endearing shrines are those “the heart hath builded” and which will adorn the walls of memory as long as time lasts. Her funeral was preached in the M. E. church by the writer and immediately afterwards the remains were followed to the private burial ground of A. B. Lowe, and interred beside the resting place of a little girl, who died in infancy several years ago.


    Among the company of mourners, was the mother of the deceased, who arrived from Falls City, Neb., Tuesday.

     J. F. Tribble

    Transcribed and Contributed by:  Kim Freeman


    Please also see "Batchelder Family History"




    Child of Jones Myers

    Humboldt – This community is suffering from a severe epidemic of grip. The 18-month-old child of Mr. and Mrs. Jones Myers, northwest of this city, died.

    Omaha World Herald – Mar. 3, 1922
    Transcribed and contributed by:  Marla Zwakman

    Mrs. James Hopper

    Stella – The body of Mrs. James Hopper, who died Monday night at her home at Russell Springs, Kas., will arrive on the afternoon train at Stella Friday, and be taken to the home of her sister, Mrs. Charles Lambert, in the country, seven miles northeast of Stella.

    The funeral will be at Prairie Union Baptist church Saturday afternoon.

    Omaha World Herald –Mar. 3, 1922
    Transcribed and contributed by:  Marla Zwakman

    Jacob Shroyer

    Humboldt – Funeral services for Jacob Shroyer, 86, pioneer of this vicinity, were held here Sunday.

    Omaha World Herald – May 2, 1922
    Transcribed and contributed by:  Marla Zwakman

    John W. Curtis

    Stella - Funeral services were held for John W. Curtis Tuesday afternoon. He was ill two days.

    A Nebraska pioneer, he came to the state in 1878, retiring from the farm two years ago.

    The World Herald, Omaha
    Wednesday, August 23, 1922

    Cora Belle Durfee

    Birth: July 27, 1894 (Rulo, NE)
    Parents: Lewis M. & Maggie (Elshire) Durfee
    Marriage: Fred Dobson; Clarence Currie; Jacob Vilhauer
    Death: Aug. 2, 1991 (Missour Valley Nursing Home, Pierre, SD)
    Funeral: Aug. 6, 1991 (Our Savior Lutheran Church, Highmore, SD)
    Burial: Highmore City Cemetery (Highmore, SD)
    Age: 97 yrs 5 ds
    Locations: worked in Faith, SD; Highmore (1914)
    Organizations/Civic: Our Saviour Lutheran Church (Highmore, SD)
    Preceded in death by: parents, husbands, three sisters, three great-grandchildren

    [Survivor information omitted for privacy]

    From the memorial leaflet
    Contributed by:  Jacque McDonnell

    Mrs. May Wissler    

    Resident of Nebraska, Since 1854 Succumbs
    Special Dispatch to the World Herald
    Table Rock, Nebraska, December 8.--Mrs. May Wissler of DuBois died at her home there, according to word received here.

    She came with her parents to Richardson County in 1854.

    She is survived by her husband, six sons and four daughters.

    The World Herald:  Omaha, Tuesday, December 9, 1924

    James Harrison Ray    

    James H. Ray is Dead

    Former Sheriff of Richardson County is Summoned By the Grim Destroyer

    James H. Ray, a former sheriff of Richardson County, dies at his home near Barada last Monday night. Mr. Ray’s death was the result of an attach of pneumonia. The news of his death came as a great surprise to his many friends through Richardson County. But a few weeks ago he as seen on the streets of Falls City in his usual health and greeting his friends in his customary cherry manner.

    James Harrison Ray was 67 years of age, having been born in Illinois in 1837. He was the eldest of a family of nine children. He grew to man hood in his native state, attending the public schools and developing habits of activity and industry that stood him in good stead in his later and more strenuous years. When about twenty years of age he entered Christian College at Jackville, Illinois, and graduated from that institution with honors and then engaged in teaching, and later followed the same profession in Iowa. While teaching at Prairies City, Iowa, he was married to Miss Julia Cassel of that place.

    In 1865 Mr. Ray came to Nebraska, crossing the Missouri River at Brownville. He took a homestead southeast of Humboldt and soon became prominently identified with the development of that section of the county. He shared in all the hardships of the pioneer and did his part in the up building of Old Richardson. He was a man who made friends because he deserved to have friends and few were those who ever spoke of him in any but the kindest way.

    In 1886 he became the republican candidate for sheriff and was elected. So well did he serve the people in this capacity that two years later he was re elected and served another term. As an official he was every mindful of the trust reposed in him and he discharged his duties in a painstaking and thorough manner. Mr. Ray’s wife had died many years before and in 1888 he was married to Mrs. E. J. Pope of Humboldt. At the expiration of his second term in office, he removed from this city to a farm near Barada, and there he lived until his death.

    Besides his wife he leaves seven children, four sons and three daughters. The sons are Lorin of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ben, a United States soldier now serving in the Philippines, and Willis and Elmer of this county. The daughters are Mrs. Frank Pope and Mrs. Alex Hatfield of Oklahoma and Miss Neva Ray of Pawnee City. There are many people in Richardson County who knew Mr. Ray and who extend to his family the full measure of sympathy.

    James H. Ray was in many respects a remarkable man. To him a generous nature forbade the accumulation of great wealth but as compensation it have him friends of the kind that take no cognizance of a man’s bank account. He was in every respect a good citizen. He was a man of pronounced convictions and of unquestioned integrity. Of him it may truly be said that a good man is gone.

    His funeral was held on Tuesday and was attended by many of his friends and neighbors.< The remains were taken to Humboldt for interment.

    The Falls City Tribune
    February 12, 1904