Thursday, July 1, 2010
"You Want to Move Where?" - The Document - Continued
As I wrapped up my visit to the court house Bonnie asked if there were any marriages that may have taken place in the county. I knew that Fred and Tena Nelk had been married in Franklin County so I did not expect that any other family would appear in the marriage records. To my surprise the Marriage License of Fred’s brother Charles Nelk and Emma Shelley had taken place in Cheyenne County.
The biggest surprise came when I pulled out the papers I had brought on the Rolf Habben homestead and asked if she could help me locate where his land had been. I was shocked to discover that the Nelk and Habben homesteads were adjacent to each other at the crossroads of Rd 127 and Rd 46, which is
7 miles east of Gurley, Nebraska.
Rolf Habben’s old homestead is now owned by the Poppen family according to the plat map. Now this really sparked my interest because according to the delayed birth certificate for Tena’s daughter, Tessie, it states that a Mrs. Poppen witnessed her birth. I headed over to the Sidney Library and there I found a local history book that included biographies. I found the Harm and Hannah Poppen family, who had moved to Cheyenne County in 1889. The Poppen’s had emigrated from Sandhorst, Germany which is about 5 miles from where the Habben's lived in Wiesens, Germany. The Poppens had also been living in Wilcox, Nebraska and so were the Habben's and Nelk's. I think it is very likely that Hannah Poppen could be the person called out on the delayed birth certificate. After visiting with Hannah’s grandson I learned that the Poppen homestead was close to the Habben homestead so that also reinforced my theory. We probably will never know for sure but I’m pretty confident in my reasoning.
With the droughts and various plagues in the 1890’s many families gave up their homesteads. Fred and Tena Nelk left Nebraska about 1899 and settled in Wheaton, Traverse County, Minnesota.
Next my trip to the homestead……..