Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Luneburg and Kolm Move to Schuyler, Nebraska from Wisconsin

The first of our relatives to settle in Nebraska were two sons of William and Anna (Klauck) Luneburg: the civil war veteran Henry J. Luneburg (1841-1880) and family, and his brother Fritz Luneburg (1838-1895) and family. The moved from Middleton, Wisconsin to Schuyler in Colfax County, Nebraska between 1871 and 1875.

In October 1878 both William and Anna Luneburg died in Middleton, Wisconsin. About a year later, in November 1879, their youngest daughter Doris, her husband Henry Kolm, and their children joined the Luneburg brothers in Schuyler.

When Henry and Fritz arrived in Schuyler, it was a young town. The railway station was built in 1868, and the first general store opened in 1869. In 1870, the year Schuyler was incorporated, Texas cattlemen started driving thousands of head of cattle into the newly established stockyards. Businesses were opened to serve the cowboys, and many newcomers settled in town. The population reached population of 600 by the end of that year.

This initial prosperity did not last long - grasshoppers and drought plagued the settlers during the mid-1870s, causing the cattle to be moved further west. Times were tough until the rains returned in 1877. The occupations of Henry and Fritz Luneburg during this period are unknown. In 1880 Fritz was a laborer living in Shell Creek Precinct, northeast of Schuyler. Henry died before the 1880 census was taken. Fritz died in 1895.

When Henry and Doris (Luneburg) Kolm arrived in Schuyler in 1879, Henry worked as a carpenter, as he had in Wisconsin. By 1888 he was breeding cattle and horses on a farm owned by the Wells and Nieman Flour Mill Company, just north of Schuyler along Shell Creek. Doris and her daughters cooked for the ranch hands. When the 1900 census was taken, it appears they were living on this ranch, in Grant Precinct.

Later, son Charles Kolm had a farm in Richland Precinct, closer to the Platte River. This farm was located two miles north of the Platte River, near Schuyler, which was mostly pasture and hayland at the time.

In about 1905, Henry Kolm retired, and he and Doris moved into the town of Schuyler. Even after Henry retired he was supposedly asked to come out to the ranch to look after machinery.

Henry Kolm died in 1909 and was buried in Schuyler cemetery. The widow Doris eventually returned to Middleton, Wisconsin to live with one (or both) of her married daughters, Anna (Kolm) Orth or Lena (Kolm) Staack. She died in 1924, and her body was returned to Schuyler, where she was buried next to Henry.

Herny & Doris Kolm grave

(Information about living on the ranch taken from a letter from Ramona “Mona” Staack Gray to Leland “Lee” Kolm, 1976. “I’m sure Mother said she was two when they moved to the ranch.” (her mother, Lena Kolm, was born in 1886). Mona indicates it was either the Fuller range and or the Wells-Nieman ranch.)

Schuyler Links
Obituary of Doris (Luneburg) Kolm (note that there are many typos and phonetic spellings in the original!).
Township map of Colfax County, Nebraska, from the 1885 Atlas of Nebraska
History of Schuyler, Nebraska (from the from the Nebraska "Our Towns" site)
Andreas' History of Nebraska, 1882 - Colfax County (including a description of the business of Wells & Nieman's Flour Mill).
Information about Schuyler from 1892 History (scroll to bottom of page)
History of the First Presbyterian Church of Schuyler (organized in December 1869. Minnie, Marie and Anna Kolm, daughters of Henry Kolm, jr., were members of this church)
A methodist minister in Schuyler (where the people apparently drank too much) from A Frontier Life: Sketches and Incidents of the Homes in the West, by Charles Wesley Wells, 1902.
Satellite Map of Schuyler
Schuyler today

Related Links
Railroad map of Nebraska, 1874
Prairie Settlement (Library of Congress exhibit about the settlement of central Nebraska - Custer, Buffalo, Dawson and Cherry counties - west of Colfax County.)
Ranchers and Farmers Collide in Nebraska, 1884 (homesteading in Custer County)
Nebraska State Historical Society Photographs, 1850-1938 (photos from all over Nebraska, including Colfax county).
Wessel's Living History Farm in York, Nebraska. Focus on the 1920s-1940s. At this time our ancestor Will Kolm was living on the west coast. His brother Charles was running the Kolm family farm in Colfax County.

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