William and Dinah Nutter (circa 1903)

    The Life and Times of William and Dinah Nutter

  Prairie Pioneers

William and Dinah Nutter

Lancashire County, U.K.

Reedley Hallows area
Reedley Hallows area - Area from which William and Dinah (Ingham) Nutter emmigrated.


The Early Years in England

Jewell Mill

Jewell Mill
Jewell Mill in Reedley Hallows taken in 1971 before it was demolished to make way for the M-65 Motorway. Pendle Water passes the mill on the right (the Southwest). The weaver's cottages where William Nutter and Dinah Ingham lived prior to their 1852 marriage were behind the mill.

Until quite recently, Jewell Mill stood on the banks of a small river called Pendle Water in an area of northeast Lancashire known as Reedley Hallows. It was different than many of the cotton mills scattered across Lancashire as it was located a bit outside of town. To the south and east, across Pendle Water and the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, which parallels it there, was the burgeoning cotton mill town of Burnley. To the west and north were the rolling green hills of an area the local people have called Pendle Forest for hundreds of years.

Pendle Forest is not and never has been a forest in the sense of being heavily wooded. A millennium ago, a forest was a protected hunting ground for the king. It was later subdivided into vaccaries (cow farms) and then into grazing land for local farmers' herds. The most remarkable feature of Pendle Forest is brooding Pendle Hill, which dominates the landscape for miles around. Looking more like a mountain, at 1831 feet, Pendle Hill misses that "official" distinction by a mere 169 feet.

Pendle Hill Pendle Hill (viewed from the north northeast)

Opposite views from Jewell Mill into the surrounding countryside are exemplary of two huge pieces of Northern England's socio-economic history. Once upon a time, almost all of northern England looked like the view toward Pendle Hill: expanses of beautiful green farmland stretching over hills as far as the eye can see, divided by ageless, mortarless stone fences separating one field from another. Occasional hamlets and villages dotted the countryside and agriculture was the basis of commerce.

In the other direction, there is the smoky mill town of Burnley and environs. "King Cotton" - the cotton manufacturing industry - had drawn people from the villages and from all over England and Ireland into these densely populated clusters. Towns grew swiftly. Row after row of terraced houses, each connected to the next, flanked cobbled streets in all directions. So much grey stone and asphalt replaced the green of the valleys. Most cotton mill workers lived in the towns.

The Jewell Mill had stone cottages on the adjacent property where many mill employees lived. These cottages were very small and were colloquially referred to as "two up, two downs", describing the number and configuration of the rooms. Families generally used the rear room on the ground floor as a kitchen, dining room and living room as it usually had the largest fireplace, an oven and a water pump over a "slop stone" -- a crude sink. Upstairs rooms, usually heated by whatever heat was lost from downstairs, were generally used as bedrooms. The ground floor front room was seldom used, but often served as a bedroom for those enterprising families who took in boarders to supplement income.

At the end of 1851, William Nutter and Dinah Ingham were each boarding with families in the cottages adjacent to the Jewell Mill.

William, who was nearly 22-years-old, was working as a lap-maker -- rather unskilled work in a mill. A cotton lap was made by pressing together raw cotton, about two feet thick, from larger pieces of raw cotton. The raw cotton came to the lap-maker after passing through the blowing room where a strong stream of air blew impurities from the cotton after it was delivered and unbaled. The lap-maker passed the cotton laps into the card room where the cotton was further combed before spinning. It seems likely, considering William's great intellect and ability, and because of his age and the variety of his different job titles he held soon thereafter, he was being trained in many of the facets of cotton manufacturing.

Dinah Ingham was just 17 years old and had only recently moved out of her family home. She worked as a rover in the card room, operating a roving machine. This process of twisting and further drawing out the cotton fibers was the last step before the spinning process.

One can only speculate what attracted William Nutter to Dinah and vice-versa. She was a fresh-faced, blue-eyed girl with long, dark brown hair prone to curl if not tightly drawn back. William was very light-skinned and sported a substantial head of reddish hair. (Whether he had already grown his trademark beard by then isn't known). He was an avid reader, self-educated and imbued with an insatiable curiosity -- particularly about scientific and social matters. Dinah couldn't read or write, which was not particularly unusual for women in those times. However, she demonstrated great strength and fortitude by extricating herself from the disastrous influences of her father's household to make her way in the world on her own.

William Nutter's Childhood and Background

Elizabeth (Knowles) Nutter
Elizabeth "Betty" (Knowles) Nutter (1795-1872), mother of William Nutter and his 17 siblings. Photo was taken about 1867.

The Mormon descendants of William Nutter's sister, Nancy, claim that she and William were from a family of 21 single births. Because the Mormon culture places great value on fertility, this may well be a bit of Mormon braggadocio.

The parish registers of Newchurch-in-Pendle suggests the actual number of siblings to be 18. John Nutter (1795-1848), a cotton weaver, married Betty Knowles (1795-1872) at that church in 1814. They lived for many years on an ancient farm called Whitehough in Barley-with-Wheatley Booth, about 2 miles east of the "big end" of Pendle Hill and 2 miles north of the Jewell Mill. It appears that all of their children were born there: John (1814), Thomas (1816), Susannah (1818), Grace (1819), Ellen (1821), Mary (1823), Peggy (1823), Elizabeth (1824), James (1825), Robinson (1827), Adam (1829), William (1830), Sarah (1831), Jane (1832), Isabella (1834), Hannah (1835), Rebecca (1836) and Nancy (1838).

Whitehough Farm
Whitehough, Barley, where William Nutter was born in 1830. (1971 pen and ink drawing by Austin Hatfield, a well known artist, who sketched many scenes in the Yorkshire/Lancashire area.)

Even William Nutter hyperbolized a bit about the size of his family. He claimed to remember 15 children of his parents at the dinner table at one time. However, there were never 15 children alive at the same time. His older sister (Mary) and brother (Robinson) had died in infancy before William was even born. Two elder sisters (Peggy and Elizabeth) each died at the age of nine in the years following William's birth. Between William's fourth and seventh birthdays, four little girls were born and each died in infancy (Sarah, Isabella, Hannah and Rebecca). During roughly the same period, the eldest four children married and moved out of the home at Whitehough, near Barley.

The net result of this was that William spent his late childhood and teen years under his parents' roof in a more manageable-sized family of six children: William himself, older brothers James and Adam, older sister Ellen and younger sisters Jane and Nancy. He was very close to each of these sisters, particularly Ellen, who affectionately called him "Willy".

For many years, the sole breadwinner of the Nutter brood was the father, John Nutter. Though he always worked as a weaver, it is likely he also took day work on the local farms, particularly when he and the family were younger. It was the natural order in those days that, as the children passed the age of six, they began elementary work in the cotton mills to supplement the family income. Lucky were those families willing to forego the added income and allow sons (and sometimes daughters) the opportunity to attend school and learn the basics of reading and writing. It isn't known whether such opportunity was afforded to the elder children. However, it was certainly afforded to the younger sons of the family, including William.

By 1838, John Nutter's years in the poorly ventilated cotton mills began to take their toll. He began to suffer from "asthma"-- actually byssinosis, a disease resulting from prolonged inhalation of cotton fibers and dust. It diminishes breathing capacity and its victims suffer chronic bronchitis and malaise. In its final stages, there is pulmonary hemorrhaging. Contemporary doctors would then misdiagnose consumption (tuberculosis), as they did for John Nutter in mid-October, 1848. After that, families would simply accept the inevitable conclusion. John Nutter's "inevitable conclusion" came when he died at Narrowgates Farm, the family's new home, on 29 October, 1848.

William Nutter
From a tintype, this is likely the earliest picture of William Nutter.

Chance encounters through life's journey often have a profound effect on the course of that journey. Perhaps the most significant chance encounter in William Nutter's life occurred after his father's death when he was introduced to the Mormon religion. How it happened is forever lost to history -- William seldom, if ever, spoke about his experience with the Mormons.

Mormonism seemed to consume him for a time. Always intellectually hungry, he read voraciously about the new religion and presumably attended services. He is known to have attempted to convert members of his family, including his mother. He was successful in converting his youngest sister, Nancy.

Mormon missionaries had been recruiting in England and other European countries for almost a decade by the time they aroused William Nutter's interest. They had concentrated their efforts on Northern England, particularly Lancashire, a densely populated area that was well-known as a hotbed of "Non-Conformist" religions (ie., any Protestant religion that was not Church of England). The roots of the Wesleyan Methodists, the Baptists and even Christian Science reach into Lancashire at the very early stages of their development.

Certain wags credit the success of Mormon recruitment to their espousal of polygamy (for a while). In reality, the polygamy doctrine was not "revealed" until 1852 and the revelation barely made a ripple, positively or negatively, in conversions. Most considered polygamy to be an optional part of the practice of their faith.

The allure of the Mormon faith was its revelation of new scripture, which seemed to speak more meaningfully to modern mankind. Mormonism was also that it seemed to be "above the fray" when compared to the older, competing Christian sects. Finally, the Mormon religion was then inexorably intertwined with the opportunity, adventure and possible prosperity on the American frontier.

William Nutter thought the Mormon faith was giving his life some direction. In a very practical sense, that direction was westward.

Dinah Ingham's Childhood and Background

Wheatley Lane
Wheatley Lane - A current day photo of Wheatley Lane, along Wheatley Lane Road in Old Laund Booth, where Dinah Ingham was born, in 1834.

Well Head Farm
Well Head Farm - Dinah Ingham's mother, Olive Heyworth, lived here with her father (Leonard), stepmother, and brother. Leonard Heyworth hired William Ingham as a farm hand, butcher, and coachman just before 1820. Olive "got herself in a family way" and married William Ingham in 1822. As a result, her father "cut her off with a shilling" and he never saw his daughter and her family again. After 1831, Leonard Heyworth moved to Burnley Lane Head in Briercliffe with his son Benjamin and his family. He died there in 1836.
Cuckstool Lane Top
The house at Cuckstool Lane Top on Wheatley Lane Road where Dinah spent her early childhood. Her two younger sisters were born there and her mother died there in 1840. After the family moved, the house was turned into a pub.

Dinah Ingham was born 2 June, 1834 at Wheatley Lane, Old Laund Booth in Pendle Forest. The family into which she was born would probably now be dubbed "dysfunctional".

Her father, William Ingham (1789-1855), had joined his majesty's army in his late teens. He served some of his time in the American colonies during the War of 1812. It is likely he also served on the European continent during the Napoleonic Wars. Sadly, the only real legacy of his military service was his enduring enjoyment of alcohol.

William Ingham returned home to find his beloved grandparents and father dead. He assumed responsibility for his elderly widowed mother, Grace Kenyon Ingham (1749-1823), and began working as a farm hand, coachman and butcher for the household of Leonard Heyworth (1772- 1836).

Leonard Heyworth's daughter, Olive Heyworth (1798-1840), caught William Ingham's eye. This gentle lady was crippled due to a horse riding accident as a young girl, and appreciated William Ingham's attention. Nature quickly took its course and Olive was pregnant by the end of 1821. Leonard Heyworth promised to "cut her off with a shilling", (ie. disinherit her), should Olive wed William Ingham. After they were married at St. Mary's Church, Newchurch-in-Pendle on 8 April, 1822, Leonard Heyworth made good on his threat.

William and Olive Ingham first lived at New Laund where three children came along in the first five years of the marriage; Grace (1822), Thomas (1824) and William John (1826). Sometime during the next six years, the family moved to Wheatley Lane where the next child, Henry, was born in 1832. Henry met a gruesome end a little over a year later when he fell into a mop bucket filled with hot water and was scalded to death.

Dinah was born the next year and was named for Olive's mother, Diana Heyworth, (who, incidentally, was a first cousin to her husband, the father of Olive, Leonard Heyworth). Olive never really knew her mother as she had died a few months short of Olive's third birthday and was buried on Christmas Day, 1800.

The last two children in the family were born at the family's next home at Cuckstool Lane Top: Margaret on 14 September, 1837 and Mary Ann on 24 August, 1839.

Dinah Ingham had only vague memories of her mother. She recalled she was an ample woman with dark hair and a pronounced limp. Seven pregnancies and deliveries aggravated the childhood injury to her hip and eventually severely compromised her ability to walk. She spent the last few months of her pregnancy with Mary Ann in bed. Oldest daughter Grace had long since assumed almost all of the housekeeping chores.

Dinah (1850s)
Dinah Ingham - A charcoal drawing of Dinah Ingham Nutter dating from the 1850s

Dinah did remember the early morning hours of 24 February, 1840, when six-month-old Mary Ann awoke the whole household with her "skriking" (crying). Seventeen-year-old Grace eventually emerged from an upstairs bedroom with a taper to investigate why her mother was having trouble quieting the infant downstairs. Grace discovered her 42-year-old mother in bed bearing the unmistakable pallor of death while little Mary Ann was still attempting to nurse from her. From that day on, their eldest sister Grace was the only mother little Dinah, Margaret and Mary Ann would ever know.

Olive's sudden death required that the coroner be called in from Blackburn. After an investigation, he ruled that she had died from nothing more specific than "natural causes". She was one of the first people buried at the new churchyard of St. Ann's parish, a few hundred yards down Wheatley Lane road from the Ingham household.

While childhood had not been idyllic for the Ingham children while Olive was alive, conditions in the household deteriorated substantially. The father, William Ingham, had always drunk heavily. After Olive's death, his drinking increased. He often arrived home "well-oiled" and subjected his family to horrible outbursts of temper and abuse.

The Ingham family soon thereafter moved to smaller housing less than a quarter mile away at Lower Harpers Lane. William Ingham's antics continued there. In grotesque irony, the Ingham's former home at Cuckstool Lane Top was converted into a tavern where William Ingham often drank his evenings away.

Thomas Ingham, Dinah's oldest brother, was a tragic figure in her childhood as he battled tuberculosis for years. He was never strong enough to work and spent most of his teen years at home in bed while "consumption" robbed him of his vitality. Finally, he died at the age of 21 in March, 1845 and was interred in the same grave with their mother.

Dinah's only surviving brother, William John, was eight years Dinah's elder. He seemed to readily learn their father's patterns of alcoholism and abuse. He did his greatest damage to the family long after Dinah left home and after their father's death. Still, his villainy was evident early on.

Dinah's eldest sister, Grace, delivered an "illegitimate" daughter late in 1845 whom she named Alice. Four years afterwards, late in the summer of 1849, Grace had another child named Olive. She made no declaration about the paternity of these two children. Unfortunately, these two children "weren't right" (were slow or retarded) and they died in childhood. Some sad family lore suggests these births may have been the result of sexual abuse at the hands of her father or her brother William. There is little doubt there was physical abuse; sadly it is a rather small step from one sort of abuse to the other, particularly when alcohol is involved. When Grace became pregnant yet a third time she declared that a local lad named Levi Ingham, (no close relation), was the father. Their daughter, "little" Dinah, was born in November, 1852. Grace and Levi had banns called for a wedding the following spring, but the wedding never occurred. Apparently, Grace and Levi continued a relationship as they had a son William in 1856 (who died in infancy) and another son, Thomas in 1859. "Little" Dinah and Thomas both grew up and raised families.

Dinah was seldom the focal point of any difficulties in the household. The father, William Ingham, seemed to direct his anger at his eldest daughter, Grace, and his youngest daughter, Mary Ann. Family would later speculate that William viewed Mary Ann's birth as the cause of his wife's demise, and that Grace had provided inadequate care for her mother during the pregnancy.

Whatever abuse Dinah saw as she was growing up, it was enough to cause her to move out of the house in Lower Harpers Lane just after her seventeenth birthday in 1851. She boarded with a family who lived in the cottages adjacent to the Jewell Mill. It was there she met William Nutter.


Off to America - The Years on the East Coast

William Nutter and Dinah Ingham were married by banns at St. Ann's Church in the nearby village of Fence on 10 April, 1852. Their first home together was a small cottage, already nearly three centuries old, at Holme End. Located along Pendle Water, they were less than a five minute walk from their work at the Jewell Mill.

In the fall of that year, Dinah determined she was expecting a baby. About that same time, both William and Dinah decided to take the first ceremonial step in becoming members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, the formal name for the Mormons. On 10 October, they walked the half mile to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and took a boat to the Mormon mission at Accrington, a few miles southwest of Burnley, where they were baptized.

Both the Nutter and Ingham families must have thought the conversion of William and Dinah was, at the very least, peculiar. Yet, there is evidence both families still held them in the highest regard. The Nutters always respected William's intellect. And Dinah's sister, Grace Ingham, gave birth to a little girl on 27 November, 1852, whom she named for her beloved sister, Dinah, who was asked to be godmother. Still, encounters with William and Dinah during this period must have been hard work as William took seriously his duty to actively recruit for his faith.

William and Dinah's first daughter, Olive, was born 7 April, 1853. Dinah bore the distinction of being the only female in her family to marry -- let alone have nine months elapse -- before the birth of her eldest child.

New Laund Cottage
New Laund Cottage - William and Dinah's first home. Originally built by a distant ancestor, Ellis Nutter, early in the 1600s. Now the building is divided into two residences. The residence at the left used to be the "shippon" or barn. Coincidently, New Laund Cottage was also the residence of Dinah's parents in the early 1820s, and it is where Dinah's grandmother, Grace Kenyon Ingham, died in 1823.

The young family soon moved from Holme End across the field to New Laund. By coincidence, this was the cottage where Dinah's parents had lived for the first years of their marriage more than thirty years before. This dwelling was also already more than two and a half centuries old. Here, their son, Moroni, was born on 14 October, 1854. The unusual name comes from the "angel" who had revealed the Book of Mormon to founder Joseph Smith in New York some years earlier and is probably a good indicator of the religious fervor of the parents.

William and Dinah's religious fervor had already been simmering for nearly two years. They soon made the decision that they were going to emigrate to the United States and were ultimately headed for the Mormon "Promised Land" in Salt Lake City, Utah. The brief history of the Mormons to this point was filled with numerous incidents of persecution and even some of full- fledged massacres in New York, Missouri and Illinois. Mormonism's founder, Joseph Smith, had himself been murdered in 1844. His successors, (mainly Brigham Young), had selected the Utah territory as the "promised land" to put as many miles as possible between the Mormon faithful and the "gentiles" (non-Mormons).

The Mormons had originally found New England to be fertile ground for conversions. However, by the 1840s, they had an active missionary force experiencing astounding success in several European locations, particularly Great Britain and Scandinavia. Missionaries set up processes to funnel huge numbers of converts to Salt Lake City. These processes usually consisted of three steps for those of meager means: transport across the Atlantic, a substantial layover in the east while the converts earned and saved more money for the journey westward, and finally the arduous journey to Utah. Only those converts of somewhat substantial means could afford an uninterrupted journey directly to their westernmost destination. In 1854, the Mormon Church contracted with the Black Diamond Shipping Line for the SS Juventa to carry the next load of recently converted faithful from Liverpool to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One has to wonder if the Mormon parties to that contract were aware that the SS Juventa had been declared as unseaworthy by the British government.

In those days, emigration from England to the United States meant virtually total severance from one's family -- almost comparable in its finality to a death. In a sense, the best the family remaining behind could hope for was to not hear from the emigrants for a long time, perhaps forever, perhaps indicating that they had reached their destination and had flourished.

No one in Dinah's family could read or write, so they had to rely on the members of William Nutter's family who may have received correspondence. However, it is doubtful the Nutter family received many communiques from William Nutter as they would have to have stayed long enough in one location to send a letter and receive the reply. As will be demonstrated, that would seldom be the case for the couple.

Ink drawing
An ink drawing of a draught horse pulling a boat through the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

Short boat Tiger
Horse drawn canal company short boat Tiger on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, with traditional brightwork decoration. Photographed around 1900.

Late in March, 1855, William and Dinah packed two "packages" -- perhaps wicker baskets, perhaps simply blankets tied up around their worldly possessions. With the two infants, Olive and Moroni, they walked the half mile to the Leeds-Liverpool canal, spending the first shilling or two of the money they had saved over the last two years on passage to Accrington.

The canal headed through the town of Burnley. At one point it bee-lined straight as an arrow for the "long mile" near the center of town and passed in an overhead culvert over a main road westward out of Burnley. The canal then meandered west and south towards Accrington. No doubt William and Dinah looked back at Pendle Hill believing they would never see it again.

Surely their hearts were heavy having said their final good-byes to many whom they loved and much that was familiar. They must have been apprehensive as their journey was dangerous and they had two infants depending on them for safety. But there was also an overriding excitement as they contemplated a new life in a new land. Over the next few years, they would see things they could never have imagined.

At Accrington, William and Dinah joined up with other converts from the area and continued with them onward along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. Just after Blackburn -- a town like Burnley only larger -- they began passage through a series of forty locks. This took their craft over the lowest part of the hills that virtually surrounded the smoky town. The locks were an engineering marvel in their times. No doubt William peppered the boatman with questions about how the locks worked.

After Blackburn, the countryside leveled out all the way to Liverpool. The city must have been a culture shock for the "faithful" aboard the canal boat. Called "the crossroads of Europe" by some, Liverpool was teeming with people. The Irish were arriving in droves, fleeing the starvation that came after the potato famine in the late 1840s. Often, the pitifully poor Irish could only afford passage to Liverpool from their homeland and had to stay there for years to work earning money for their passage to the United States. They did the dirtiest, most menial work in the city.

Many foreign-speaking Europeans and Scandinavians also passed through Liverpool on the way to America. These immigrants often would have sailed to the seaport of Hull on the eastern coast of England, and then traveled by railway across England to Liverpool. From there they sailed to the United States. This was a common route for Mormon converts from Scandinavia.

Juventa The Juventa - According to The Church in the British Isles, on June 4, 1863, Charles Dickens visited the Amazon, another ship carrying LDS converts to American, before it set sail from London to see what the Mormon emigrants were like, and he noted: "I had come aboard this Emigrant Ship to see what eight hundred Latter-day Saints were like�. Nobody is in an ill-temper, nobody is the worse for drink, nobody swears an oath or uses a coarse word, nobody appears depressed, nobody is weeping, and down upon the deck in every corner where it is possible to find a few square feet to kneel, crouch or lie in, people, in every suitable attitude for writing, are writing letters. Now, I have seen emigrants ships before this day in June. And these people are strikingly different from all other people in like circumstances whom I have ever seen, and I wonder aloud, 'What would a stranger suppose these emigrants to be?', I should have said they were in their degree, the pick and flower of England."

Liverpool Harbour was so busy during these times that ships had to wait for a docking berth off shore. When one became free, a ship would dock and a flurry of activity would ensue as passengers, supplies and packages (luggage) were swiftly brought aboard to cut down on expensive berth time. Of course, these were the "modern" ships powered by steam engines. The Nutters would travel aboard a sailing ship.

There were a few hours to spare when the Mormon group arrived. William and Dinah had never been to a city before. They had never seen so many "non-British" souls. If William were true to character, he went about the city observing and learning as much as he could, unabashedly interviewing whomever he encountered.

Faster moving steamships continued to move briskly in and out of the harbor. The Latter Day Saints entourage assembled in one area of the dock under the direction of Mister Glover, a Mormon "company leader". Eventually, there were about 570 people in this area. Dinah would later remember being frightened when the small boat arrived and the first of their group began boarding. She couldn't imagine the vessel holding all of the assembled faithful, let alone crossing the Atlantic. Of course, the little boat was merely to transport them to the fully-rigged sailing ship, the Juventa, anchored off shore.

As the emigrants boarded the Juventa, their names, ages, occupations, nativity and a tally of their packages were entered into the ship's manifest. Mister Glover and other members of his company showed the arriving passengers the ship's amenities (which were few) and explained the rules for an orderly journey. It was Saturday, 31 March, 1855.

Steamships traversed the Atlantic in about two weeks. Sailing ships took three to four times as long for two obvious reasons: they were slower and took a less direct route. Steamships went in a straight line to America to minimize fuel consumption. William and Dinah's vessel swooped southwest, passed between the Azores and the Canary Islands off southern Europe, and then let the trade winds carry them nearly due north to the eastern coast of the United States.

The good news was that the weather warmed soon after they left England. The bad news was that they were subject to archaic living conditions in an aging, leaky, condemned ship for five weeks.

Though there were nearly six hundred people aboard, there were probably fewer than three hundred sleeping berths below deck. As a result, travelers shared berths, sleeping in shifts. Two or three meals per day were provided for passengers as part of the six pounds sterling each adult had paid when they booked passage. However, no food was provided for the children, Olive and Moroni, as they traveled for free. The parents were expected to provide for them out of their own rations.

Meals were a monotonous sequence of porridge and bread with canned preserves. Few vegetables -- mostly potatoes, carrots and turnips -- turned up on the menu. Very occasionally, meat was served: mutton early in the voyage, ham and salt pork later on. At times, soups were made, generally out of the aforementioned ingredients. Several milk cows were likely carried aboard to provide a minimum amount of dairy products. Very little fresh water was available.

Appetites were probably dulled anyway. Few of the passengers had ever been at sea before so a substantial proportion discovered they were subject to seasickness. Even "fresh sea air" was unlikely to stimulate much desire to eat considering the enduring aromas from the seasick, the cattle and a boat full of unwashed people.

Again, William Nutter likely took the opportunity of this dreadful journey to learn. He engaged crew members in conversations about the "art" of sailing and listened to their experiences working and travelling to other destinations throughout the world.

Certainly, the Mormons talked among themselves to pass the time. Everybody had a story to share regarding their journey thus far or their conversion. Of course, Mister Glover's duties during the voyage included sharing his experiences living in the "promised land", Salt Lake City and keeping the faithful focused on their ultimate destination.

Finally, Captain Watts guided the Juventa into Delaware Bay out of the wide open Atlantic Ocean early in the morning of Tuesday, 7 May, 1855. The bay narrowed into the Delaware River and passengers began getting a close view of the country that would be their new home.

Actually, the "city" of Philadelphia had been incorporated just a year before, but that was a mere formality. The incorporation had united a number of boroughs occupying Philadelphia County that had long since grown together and become a sprawling and very diverse city. Some neighborhoods had rows of stone dwellings, but most houses were wooden and built in rows, usually adjacent to some large manufacturing complex. The city buzzed with activity and industry.

As a port city, it had a central point for immigration. Once the passengers disembarked and were processed, they were subject to an army of hawkers offering accommodations and work. The Nutters passed on these "opportunities" and quickly went to the part of Philadelphia where some cotton and woolen mills were clustered. They believed their expertise and experience in the trade would be in great demand. Sadly, they were wrong.

As they trod around the city, their attitudes became more and more desperate. Perhaps they stayed for a few days, or even weeks, using up what precious little money they had paying for food and accommodations. Finally, one day at the market docks, a crewman on one of the boats offered them a job in a "truck garden" down river in Gloucester City, New Jersey. The little family, two infants and two packages in tow, boarded his boat and went to Gloucester City.

It seems both Dinah and William worked in the truck garden - essentially a small farm where a variety of crops were grown to be shipped to the nearby markets of Philadelphia. They were paid three dollars a week each and Dinah would later recall that they were expected to work from "sun- up to sundown". She never noted who, if anyone watched the children.

Gloucester City wasn't actually a city and didn't legally exist as a town until its incorporation over a decade later. All the locals called the settlement "Gloucester", but it was actually a part of Union Township that had suddenly begun to grow because a textile mill (the Gloucester Manufacturing Company) had been built there in 1844. It seems probable that William and Dinah took the work in the truck garden because the mill was nearby and they were hoping for a position to open.

Gloucester 1850
Gloucester waterfront (1850) - In 1844, David S Brown purchased a plot of land on which to build his new mill. He constructed the Washington Mills and Gloucester Manufacturing Company, located on the riverfront, between Mercer and Monmouth Streets.
Washington Mills
Traffic on Ellis Street. Washington Mills featured in the foreground, with the Gloucester Manufacturing Company in the background to the right.
Mill Blocks
Mill Blocks of Gloucester City - The first (upper left) on the corner of Hudson and King, was built in 1844. They were built to serve as inexpensive housing for workers and are therefore the Nutters' likely residence during their time there. John Nutter was probably born there and their eldest son, Moroni, likely died there.

The gamble eventually paid off. William Nutter worked at the Gloucester Manufacturing Company for nearly two years. The steady employment must have been refreshing as there is no doubt they had seen some lean and hungry times already in the "Land of Opportunity". In fact, the Nutters were probably malnourished part of the time. The infant, Moroni, died during their time there. It seems likely their meager circumstances contributed, at least indirectly, to the baby's death. Dinah gave birth to another child, their third, on 6 March, 1856. They named the boy John after William's father.

On 18 January, 1857, the Nutters were introduced to the extremes of American weather. In one day, a snow so deep that it was measured in feet rather than inches fell on the Delaware River Valley. It was immediately followed with temperatures hovering near zero and gale-force winds. The storm paralyzed Philadelphia and Gloucester City was similarly affected.

Ever mindful that their time on the East Coast was supposed to be but a brief layover on the way to Utah to replenish funds, the Nutters decided to return to Philadelphia. The wages William made at the Gloucester Manufacturing Company were enough to live on, but there was little hope of savings. Wages were substantially higher in Philadelphia.

As the Nutters left for Philadelphia in the fall of 1857, events were occurring elsewhere which would make this return to the city almost as disastrous as their first time there. On 24 August, the New York branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company reported that almost their entire capital had been embezzled. The failure of the company triggered a run on the banks. The New York Stock Market fell by as much as ten percent daily in response. The British then withdrew their capital from American banks. A general panic (called "The Panic of 1857") was set in motion, which hit the manufacturing sector in Philadelphia by December. What we would now call an economic depression was firmly in place by the beginning of 1858.

William Nutter did find work in a small cotton factory upon arrival in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, the manager paid no wages -- he simply provided room and board. William took the position but kept an eye out for positions opening in other factories. At least he did not have to concern himself about food and shelter for his family.

This employer was not fondly remembered by Dinah. As testimony to what kind of person he was, years later she recalled that an old, toothless man, who also worked for his board, was repeatedly harassed by his employer/landlord for taking too long to eat his meals.

William heard there was work available on the railroad in the state of Delaware. He arranged for passage on a boat down the Delaware River, but no food was provided for the family. Dinah recalled that they were all hungry, but had no money. A black man, who was a cook on the ship, took pity on the Nutter family and secretly brought them something to eat. The railroad work never materialized and they took temporary work on a farm soon after their arrival. William neglected to negotiate wages and, when their work was finished, they barely had enough money to pay their fare back to Philadelphia.

When they reached the port of Philadelphia, their ship was required to anchor off shore Saturday night until Monday morning. Once more, the family had not planned for food for this extended layover and had again run out of money. This time, it appears the family went without anything to eat for the entire time they were off-shore.

Once ashore, they encountered an Englishman who heard the story of their recent hardships and referred William Nutter to a friend in a cotton factory. He actually found employment in the depths of the "Panic" in a card room at a wage of forty dollars per month.

Unfortunately, William worked only for a little while, before he suddenly became ill, as did their five year old daughter Olive. A doctor diagnosed the girl's illness as "summer complaint", a contemporary term for dysentery when it occurred during the summer. It is simple to state the fact that Olive died and was buried in Philadelphia. However, it is worth considering the day-to-day implications for Dinah and the family. Readers should imagine a mother dealing with a child with dysentery (probably actually food poisoning) and a husband similarly afflicted and not working. Then, there would be realistic concern that she and John, the other child, might catch whatever was making William and Olive ill. Dinah had to watch as the child became dehydrated, became weaker, and finally, died, with no assurance the same fate wouldn't befall her husband.

Ultimately, William had to ask for a ticket to an almshouse, a private facility for the destitute, as he lost his employment. He was able to obtain a ticket for himself but not for Dinah and John. Still, he went to the facility early on a summer evening (in 1858) hoping to plead that his wife and child should be accommodated as well. The superintendent of the facility answered the door and bellowed, "What the hell did you come here for at this time of night?".

Quaker House of Industry
Quaker House of Industry (circa 1870) located at 112 N 7th Street. Photo taken by
Robert Newell. The Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor was established in 1795 by Quaker Anne Parrish. The society's original mission was to provide relief and an opportunity for improvement in quality of life for women widowed by the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793. The Female Society opened the House of Industry, where women were employed to sew and weave. The House of Industry was the Female Society's main focus until 1949, when new opportunities for women had begun to open, so the sewing room was closed.

Never known for having a cool head, William apparently let the superintendent know what he could do with his "charity". Though he was terribly weakened from his illness, he was invigorated by his rage. He went further along the street where, since it was a warm summer evening and people were outside on their front porches, he went from house to house appealing to people for help. One citizen suggested he inquire at a "House of Industry" nearby. The facility was run by the Quakers and provided food and clean beds for those out of work. Mercifully, the staff there took in the young family that night and for a few nights thereafter until William fully recovered.

Soon afterwards, William began working for Guy Taylor & Co., in their carding and spinning departments. It is quite probable that this was the same position he had lost due to his illness. Taylor was impressed enough with William Nutter's industry and expertise that he promoted William to foreman. For nearly two years, the Nutters would enjoy a stability and relative prosperity that had eluded them for so long.

During this time (1858-1859), William Nutter wrote letters home to England and actually received replies. Certainly the Nutters in England passed along a smattering of news about Dinah's family, the Inghams. Dinah finally learned that her father, William Ingham, had survived less than a year after their departure, dying two days before New Year�s Day, 1856.

Dinah gave birth to twin boys at their home in Philadelphia on 9 June, 1859. Perhaps motivated by a sense of nostalgia and forgiveness, she named the twins William H. and W. Hingham, after her ignominious father. Of course, little William's middle initial (H) and Hingham's name came from an erroneous rendering of Dinah's maiden name. (Speakers of the Lancashire dialect in the north of England drop the initial "H" in most words where there is an initial "H". Then, with a charming equanimity, they add an "H" where it doesn't belong in words beginning with a vowel. Hence, "Henry Isaac Ingham of Higham" would be introduced as "Enery Hisaac Hingham of Eye- um").

Sadly, little Ingham or Hingham failed to thrive and died shortly after his birth. He was buried next to his big sister, Olive, in Philadelphia, in hope his sister would keep him company during his eternal sleep.

William and Dinah, with William's sister
A tintype photo, likely taken in Salt Lake City in 1861. Seated at left is Dinah, age 27, likely quite far along in her pregnancy with Ellen (born 14 July, 1861). William Nutter, age 31, is seated at the right. Behind them is William's sister, Nancy (Nutter) Stanworth.

In the letters from England, William learned that his sister, Nancy, now also Mormon, had married another convert named Samuel Stanworth in 1856. Wisely, Samuel and Nancy Stanworth had postponed starting a family for a while, saving Nancy's wages to follow William and Dinah to America, then travel with them to Salt Lake City. As a result, the Stanworths made the trans-Atlantic voyage via a steamship and had money at hand to begin the journey west. They brought with them their newborn daughter, Ann Elizabeth Stanworth, who had been born 3 February, 1860 in Burnley.

The reunion of William with his sister Nancy must have been extraordinary. William would have brought Nancy and her husband up to date about the difficult times they had experienced over the past five years. Nancy could update William and Dinah with more complete and nuanced news about the family that remained behind. William learned his 65-year-old mother was thriving. Dinah learned her father had actually drunk himself to death. Her sisters Grace and MaryAnn were still under the diabolical influence of their brother William, while her sister Margaret had "escaped" and married.

The Stanworths probably brought with them a small hand-loom at the request of William. Dinah believed she could use it to weave cloth in her spare time for extra income.

Considering the characters of the people involved, it's likely the parties to the reunion spent only a short amount of time on thoughts of the past. Rather, they probably talked much about the journey, the adventure and the life that lay ahead of them. There was much that had to be planned. It's likely that others of the "faithful" would be travelling with them to Salt Lake City and that Mormon Church members would assist in some of the planning.

William Nutter tendered his resignation to Guy Taylor. Taylor said he regretted seeing William leave and, as an aside, advised William that, if he ever needed work, he should get in touch. Of course, William Nutter thought that was very unlikely.


The Journey to and Escape from the "Promised Land"

William and Dinah Nutter, with their two little boys, John (age four) and Will (age ten months) left Philadelphia in late April, 1860. William was 30 and Dinah was 25. With them was William�s sister, Nancy Stanworth, her husband Samuel and their three-month-old daughter Ann Elizabeth. They proceeded to "some point on the Ohio River" according to later newspaper articles.

The logical destination would have been Pittsburgh, as it was a straight journey by rail across Pennsylvania. In the western part of the state, they would pass through the Allegheny Mountains, then into the hills around Pittsburgh which was already a thriving industrial city. This would have been the first time the Nutters had seen countryside like this since they had left England. Might they have felt some pangs of homesickness passing through there? If they did, it was never recorded.

Nutter rail travel The Nutter party likely travelled by rail from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. The first leg would have been on the Harrisburg & Philadelphia Railroad, and the second leg on the Pennsylvania Central Railway.
Nutter river travel The river travel of the Nutter party on their way to Salt Lake City. From Pittsburgh down the Ohio to the Mississippi, up the Mississippi to the Missouri, and up the Missouri to Florence, Nebraska.

From Pittsburgh, the Nutter-Stanworth entourage took a series of boats and barges for hundreds of miles. First, they skirted the southern Ohio border with West Virginia (then simply Virginia) and Kentucky. They then followed the southern borders of Indiana and Illinois with Kentucky until they reached the great Mississippi River. They proceeded north past St. Louis, Missouri, and turned westward on the Missouri River, traversing the entire state of Missouri. At the border with Kansas they went northward on the Missouri River to Florence, Nebraska, north of present-day Omaha.

Mormon Emigrants (Church Trains) - 1860-68

The Nutters made their journey to Salt Lake City in 1860. What isn't well known is that the Mormon trail to Salt Lake City was bi-directional. Mormon leaders had discovered that loaded ox teams could be sent from Utah to the Missouri, pick up emigrants (and merchandise), and return to Utah in one season. Starting in 1860, by means of these "down and back" trips, the Mormons could export their own flour, beans, and bacon to supply the emigrants, and use the cash saved to buy and freight back needed supplies not available in Utah. Furthermore emigrants could be saved the expense and trouble of obtaining their own wagons or carts and draft animals to take them west.

The 2,200-mile round trip could be made in approximately six months. Church leaders arranged for the men, equipment, and supplies, and organized the trains into groups of about fifty each. The captain of each company was given complete authority to get the job done.

All the men involved were regarded as "missionaries," and were given credit on the tithing books for the value of service rendered--they were in effect paying their 10 percent church tithing "in kind." There was one other fringe benefit--bachelors often found brides among the emigrants--had first pick, so to speak. Happily, romance flourished throughout the entire Mormon immigration period.

Each wagon was pulled by four yoke of oxen or mules and carried about 1,000 pounds of supplies. The teams were expected to reach the Missouri River at Florence (old Winter Quarters or modern North Omaha), in July and return with ten to twenty emigrants per wagon and all the freight they could load.

Since the Nutter's wagon train left Florence in June, it would not have been part of the return leg of one of these "down-and-back" trains, though they likely met several of these on the trail, as they were heading east to Florence.

This system lasted for the period 1860-1868, and required about 2,000 wagons 2,500 teamsters, 17,550 oxen and brought approximately 20,500 emigrants to Utah. The first three years, the jumping-off place was Florence, Nebraska Territory. In 1864, however, the Mormons switched to the community of Wyoming, Nebraska, where they followed the (little known today) Nebraska City Cutoff Trail.

The transcontinental railroad reached Utah May 10, 1869, and from that time on emigrants could ride the rails all the way to Zion.

Dinah vividly recalled that the boat trip from St. Joseph, Missouri to Florence had taken three days. This was quite a bit longer than usual due to the boat continually running aground. This would indicate the level of the Missouri was low, probably as a result of a dry, warm spring.

There was a layover of several weeks in Florence while more of the Mormon faithful assembled. In 1860, virtually all of the town's major businesses were devoted to the staging services and provisioning for the Latter Day Saint pioneers. The church regularly sent seasoned guides there to act as wagon train masters once a sufficient number of travelers had arrived. Unfortunately for the Nutters and the Stanworths, their wagon master would be John E. Smith -- a "profane man and a drunkard", Dinah would later recall.

John Smith claimed he was a Mormon "elder" and possibly, this was true. He was one of the many sons of Hyrum Smith, who would later become president of the Mormon Church. Smith's job while in Florence was to assist the pioneers in preparing for the grueling 1,032 mile trek to Salt Lake City, a journey he had made many times. Additionally, he supervised and organized the assembly of the wagon train. He was also the "spiritual leader" for those Mormons traveling with him, an ironic function considering his behavior after the journey began. That behavior, incidentally, does not seem to have been mitigated by the fact that one of his sisters and her family accompanied this group.

William Nutter and his brother-in-law, Samuel Stanworth, each purchased a wagon, a yoke of oxen and food sufficient for the entire journey -- mostly sacks of rice. The wagons were not the huge Conestoga type -- most were large carts with bows of wood covered by canvas about a foot taller than the tallest man in the train. Those who purchased wagons were asked to share them with people of lesser resources. Some of their personal belongings were loaded onto handcarts, to be retrieved once they arrived in Salt Lake City. This handcart train went on ahead of the wagon train as it moved faster.

Heading out
Wagon train, similar to that joined by William and Dinah, assembling to head west, leaving "civilization" behind.
Echo Canyon
Echo Canyon - One of the last canyons through which the Mormon emigrants descended, this deep and narrow canyon made it a veritable, and frequently noted, echo chamber. More than 60,000 Mormon emigrants started out to the "promised land" from 1847 to 1869. An average of 1 out of 10 died along the way.

Seventy-five wagons set out from Florence within a few days of Dinah's 26th birthday, early in June, 1860. Oxen usually pulled the wagons but there were other cattle, mostly cows, which walked the trail with the group. There were a few horses, mostly ridden by scouts and guides.

The trail to Salt Lake City was a well-marked corridor which had been continually used and improved for more than 15 years by tens of thousands of the Mormon faithful. However, the "Mormon Trail" had actually been pieced together from older territorial and Indian trails (ie. the Ox- Bow Trail, the Oregon and California Trails and the Hastings Cut-Off into the valley of the Great Salt Lake). These trails had been blazed years before by trappers and traders.

William and Dinah began their thousand mile walk across the gently rolling land west of Omaha while the two children, four-year-old John and William (who would have his first birthday during the first week of the trek), rode in the wagon. On the first day, Dinah realized that little Will could not be trusted to stay put in the wagon as he was just starting to walk. From that point onward, each day, Dinah would have to tie him in the wagon without enough slack in the line to allow the child to reach the sides of the wagon.

The wagon train covered 10 to 15 miles per day, dependant on the terrain and the weather. At that pace, they could look forward to a journey of about three months -- if all went well.

About five days west of Florence and Omaha, the land flattened out. Each morning, the faithful could rise and look to the western horizon and know that their expected destination that day lay just beyond. While the wagon train plodded along, scouts would ride out miles ahead to insure there was no trouble in the train's path. Mainly, they were concerned about Indians, but the natives tended to stay south of the Platt River. The scouts also looked for buffalo herds, as they sometimes stampeded. On occasion, the scouts would shoot a buffalo or two for food when the train caught up to the kill site. The scouts also looked for fresh water and could report back if dangerous weather lay ahead. It seems this train was destined not to suffer any interference from any of these troubles. This train's troubles were traveling with it.

Around 4 July, 1860, Edward and Sarah Oliver, with their seven children, a daughter-in-law and grandchild, suffered a setback when the axle on their wagon broke. They were friends of the Nutters and "Lancashire Folk" like the Nutters and the Stanworths, from Manchester. They left the train for repair of the wagon at Wood River Center. They were supposed to rejoin the wagon train some time later and when they didn't, the Nutters wondered what became of them. They would find out some time later.

Mormon Trail
The first Mormon trek to Utah started in the Mormon town of Navoo, Illinois. However, they spent the winter of 1846-1847 at what is known as their "Winter Quarters", and continued on to Utah the following year. The Winter Quarters area, evolved into the town of Florence, (now north Omaha) and was the main staging area for Mormon wagon trains heading to Utah until 1863 (as it was for the Nutters). So for all intents and purposes, the Mormon Trail started there. At Fort Kearny, it intersected the Oregon Trail, which originated in Independence, Missouri, and the two trails were co-located until they reached what is now western Wyoming, where the Oregon trail branched off to the north, and the Mormon Trail continued southwest from Fort Bridger, Wyoming, to the Salt Lake valley.

As the Nutters continued their walk across the Great Plains, William and Dinah passed the time talking with others on the train. William knew he would need to learn all he could about farming, which would likely be his livelihood in Utah. As he had never farmed, he had a lot to learn and he aggressively did so. Dinah had a similar mission. She had run a household and been a mother in cities, towns and villages where goods and services were fairly accessible. But as the wife of a farmer on the prairie, she would need broader expertise. Also, as they walked, William began teaching Dinah the alphabet and elementary arithmetic by drawing letters and figures on the side of the wagon.

Wagon master John E. Smith began to display his worst attributes soon after the trek westward began. All along the Mormon Trail were supply depots and stores set up by enterprising settlers to serve those that might be passing. Though the primary customers were Mormon, there were enough "gentiles" passing through that these stores almost always carried a substantial supply of liquor. John E. Smith may have observed the Mormon custom of temperance while in Salt Lake City, but while out on the trail, he is reported to have regularly drunk to excess.

Smith's drinking was certainly problematic. If he drank before they were to break camp for the day, they would lay over another night on some pretense or another. On at least one occasion, they broke camp finally in the middle of the day and Smith informed those in the train that they would travel all night to make up for lost time. This was a major hardship for those traveling. Many nightly chores had to be done "on the fly": cooking, tending to children, putting them to bed, milking the cows and otherwise tending to the cattle. It was inconvenient -- no one suspected it would be dangerous.

As the train crept along under the starry night, one teamster in a wagon lit his pipe. The sudden flash spooked some of the cattle, which began a stampede. Yoked oxen began running with the free cattle across the prairie, dragging wagons along with them, some on their sides. Though it was all over with in less than two minutes, the train had to stop for the night, take stock and assess the damage. Dinah Nutter had just finished milking a cow. The pail had been knocked out of her hand and trampled into a shapeless mass. Had she been a few feet to the left or right, it is unlikely she would have lived. Wagon master John E. Smith paced the length of the wagon train, cursing and swearing.

Along the way, John E. Smith also conducted regular services for the faithful. Several weeks after the stampede incident, he summoned everyone to a service where attendance was mandatory. Smith explained to the assembled group that he was a Mormon elder. He also explained he could issue a curse and was about to do so. He further explained that a knife, a very expensive knife, had been stolen from him, and that his curse would come down on whomever had stolen it. Almost immediately a Welshman came forward with the knife in question claiming he had "found" it.

Smith didn't adequately counsel the travelers en route about areas where the water was too alkaline both for both humans and cattle. As a result, several of the children and many of the cattle sickened and died. Also, an epidemic of whooping cough swept through the wagon train. Scores of infants sickened, among them little Will Nutter and the Stanworth's daughter, Ann Elizabeth. On 10 August, 1860, Ann Elizabeth died, one of twelve little ones who succumbed en route. Years later, John Nutter would recall being awakened before sunrise to say good-bye to his little cousin. She was laid out in a little cracker box, much too small for a comfortable bed, and was buried by the trail. Luckily, little Will Nutter survived.

Dinah recalled that one family, quite wealthy and well-outfitted, had three children and three yoke of oxen. They lost all three of their children and all three yoke of oxen along the route. Finally, as they passed over the "great divide", the wife died and was buried next to the trail.

There were many desperate periods for those on the wagon train. Dinah would later recount that she was genuinely fearful of her fellow travelers when some ran short of provisions and fresh water. Ironically, two major dangers they had feared -- Indians and buffalo stampedes -- never materialized as a concern for this particular train.

For most of the journey, the pioneers kept to the north side of the Platte River even after they had completely crossed Nebraska and entered what is now the state of Wyoming. At the town of Casper, they crossed the Platte and headed southwest. Late in August, 1860, they traveled the Hastings Cut-off which descends into the Great Salt Lake Basin and they arrived in Salt Lake City on 1 September. Many on the wagon train were surprised, and somewhat put out, that there was no formal greeting for the "faithful", who had suffered such hardship just to get themselves and their loved ones to this Promised Land.

Heading out
Old photos of businesses on the main street in Bountiful, Utah. Despite the fact that the western terminus of the Mormon's journey across the plains was the settlement of Bountiful, (and Mormons were generally supposed to eschew alcohol), there was a thriving saloon near the town center.

William and Dinah had arrived after the small grain harvest but found work during the potato and vegetable harvest. They had been told that a wagon and a yoke of oxen were very desirable commodities in Salt Lake City and that indeed seems to have been the case. They were able to trade those items for ten acres of rather sandy land some miles outside Salt Lake City in the Sessions Settlement, now the city of Bountiful. On the ten acres was a small house built from coby (sun-dried brick).

After the harvests, William found other work during the winter. Often, wages were paid in produce, but William occasionally brought in some real money. Wood for fuel to heat the small home and to cook with was not readily available. It had to be hauled from the mountains more than five miles away.

William and Dinah believed they had been misled as to the quality of life they would enjoy in the "Promised Land". The first winter was very difficult and meager for them. Food was about the only thing which seemed plentiful. Household supplies, furniture, tools, etc., were very hard to obtain. Any products produced outside Utah were horrendously expensive.

Even though William was just a beginner when it came to farming, he realized that his ten acres of sandy land was unlikely to yield anything more than subsistence-level living. He looked to the Mormon religion for hope but was disappointed. The religion actually expected service from him and financial contributions. He was beginning to feel uneasy about the Latter Day Saints in general.

William and Dinah were comfortable with the Mormon doctrine of polygamy in theory. They understood it was an option some may choose. They were disgusted, however, when they saw the reality of it in Salt Lake City -- or at least the reality of how it was practiced.

On occasion, they would observe wagon trains coming in from the east. They were appalled to see married men of meager circumstances waiting to survey the wagons for teenage girls as prospective brides. They claimed that they had seen girls as young as thirteen separated from their families to become the plural wives of much older Mormon elders.

One day, they saw a face they recognized. Edward Oliver, the patriarch of the family who had dropped out of sight trying to get a broken axle fixed on his wagon at Wood River Junction back in Nebraska, showed up with his family's young nurse who had traveled with them from England. When the Nutters inquired where Edward's wife, Sarah was, Mr. Oliver explained she had remained behind in Nebraska with their children. As the Olivers were friends, both William and Dinah were appalled at this turn of events. How could Edward Oliver simply abandon his family and take on a plural wife? Eventually, Edward Oliver fathered seven children with the plural wife, prospered and remained at the Sessions Settlement until his death in 1875.

William and Dinah had a daughter born at the Sessions Settlement on 14 July, 1861. They called the daughter Ellen after one of William Nutter's sisters. Later biographies of the Nutters would refer to this child as "Helen". Again, this is an error due to speakers of the Lancashire dialect who routinely drop the initial "H" of a word only to add "H" to words beginning with vowels.

William's sister, Nancy Stanworth, adapted better to Mormonism. Just ten days after little Ellen was born, Nancy gave birth to her second child, Ambrose Nutter Stanworth. The Stanworths flourished and had six more children of whom five reached adulthood. Regardless of how differently the Stanworths viewed Mormonism, they remained in contact with William and Dinah for the rest of their lives.

News that the "war between the states" had begun in the east began to arrive in Utah. The Civil War delighted the Mormon elders. After all, Brigham Young had prophesied that the "gentiles" in the east would destroy each other. There was also the added benefit to the Mormons that discontented converts would be disinclined to leave the west and travel through the "war ravaged" United States.

Early in 1862, the Nutters' disenchantment with their religion reached a crescendo. They decided that they no longer wished to be Mormon and they no longer desired to live among the Mormons. They decided to leave Salt Lake City and head eastward.

Certainly, the practical application of polygamy had disturbed them. The attitude of the Mormons toward the "gentiles" and the American Civil War had appalled them. The numerous broken promises about their living conditions and circumstances in Utah disappointed them. Yet, there had to be more.

Both William and Dinah eschewed the practice of any religion for most of the rest of their days, and they passed on that attitude to most of their children. Just in case anyone was unclear about this attitude, William Nutter displayed a plaque in his home in his later years which read simply "I defy Jesus Christ!". (One of his granddaughters, Jean Nutter Nelson, would later observe, "It must have been quite a conversation piece".) It certainly demonstrated a degree of embitterment that seemed to have grown out of something more than simply a gradual disenchantment with the religion. It is far more likely that there was a specific incident or circumstance which piqued William Nutter's legendary temper.

Neither William nor Dinah spoke much about their two years in Salt Lake City or Mormonism in general. In fact, their son John was completely unaware of why his older brother was named Moroni. It wasn't until, as Sheriff of Buffalo County in the 1890s, he escorted a prisoner to Salt Lake City and saw a statue of the angel, Moroni, that their son John realized the derivation of the name. In light of such a complete silence on the subject, it is unlikely William and Dinah discussed the specific incident or circumstance, if there was one, with anyone.

Yet Dinah Nutter gave some indication of the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back" in her interview with historian Samuel Bassett circa 1908. She alluded to the Mormon Endowment House, carefully distinguishing between those who had passed through it and those who had not. She also spoke of the "fearful oath".

The Endowment House was the holiest of Mormon places in those days, long before the Mormon Tabernacle had been built. Passing through the Endowment House was an elaborate, highly stylized ceremony which marked the next step in the process of becoming a full-fledged member of the Mormon religion. Among other steps, the faithful were first cleansed and anointed, then witnessed re-enactments of certain biblical events. Then, they overheard discussions between God the Father and God the Son, et al, before they finally took the "fearful oath".

Late in the Nineteenth Century, many ex-Mormons wrote accounts of their experience with the religion. The essence of the "fearful oath" exemplified for them the defining moment when the Mormon Church finally asked too much of them as individuals. The oath asked for complete obedience to the church hierarchy without question. The oath also asked them to embrace Mormon doctrine actively. No longer would they be allowed to pick and choose what doctrines best suited their life-styles. Instead, they were expected to actively embrace all facets of the religion. Many of these ex-Mormons saw this process as an abrogation of their individuality, an enslavement of sorts.

Those who knew William Nutter in his later years were not surprised that he would be disinclined to take an unnecessary oath, especially one that would deny his autonomy as an individual and require his obedience to a group of individuals for whom he had lost respect. Yet, since people anxiously waited years to go through Endowment House, William Nutter's refusal to do so would stick out like a sore thumb and seriously compromise his ability to thrive in the tightly knit Mormon community.

It was an incredibly courageous act to leave Salt Lake City. Since they had not gone through the Endowment House, they were not subject to retribution by the "Avenging Angels" (a murderous band of Mormon thugs officially called the "Danites"). However, as soon as they announced their intention to leave, each would be regarded as a "persona non-grata". They would have a long and, this time, unguided, journey eastward to an undetermined destination.

For increased safety, William and Dinah arranged to travel with two other families (one named Morgan). However, another fellow traveler, a certain Mrs. Allen traveling alone, would seriously endanger the party.

J. G. Allen, Mrs. Allen's husband, had recently taken a sixteen-year-old plural wife. This had so infuriated the first Mrs. Allen that she wanted to leave her husband, leave their religion and leave Utah. J. G. Allen wished to do whatever he could to facilitate her safe departure. There was one major problem: Mrs. Allen had gone through the Endowment House and was likely to be followed by the Danites. She and those who assisted her in her escape were in danger of their murderous retribution.

J. G. Allen arranged for William Nutter to trade his homestead for two yoke of oxen and a wagon, but no cow. For some reason, Dinah traded the hand loom her sister-in-law had brought to her from England for a gold watch. Mr. Allen also agreed to give William Nutter three sacks of flour and a musket to ensure the safe passage of his wife.

The Nutters, the Morgans and another family (whose surname Dinah couldn't recall) left Salt Lake City in June of 1862. They travelled ten miles east to a storage depot on the Hastings Cutoff where they met J. G. Allen, his wife and picked up the three sacks of flour. The gallant Mr. Allen had brought his wife to the depot without shoes. Allen also said he had secured a cow for the Nutters but had to leave it back in Salt Lake City. William Nutter declined to return for it.

On the second night of their journey, a group of Danites caught up with the party. They inquired as to the whereabouts of Mrs. Allen. Dinah told them that the wagon axle had broken and that Mrs. Allen had panicked and traveled on ahead with another group. The Danites then left in pursuit of that group. In fact, Mrs. Allen was hiding in the thicket a short distance away and within earshot of the entire exchange. For several days, Mrs. Allen hid in nearby thicket each night to ensure her safety. Dinah would bring her meals to the thicket in the darkness and reassure her that she was safe.

Instead of going east by way of Casper, Wyoming, the party took a more direct route eastward toward Fort Laramie. Along the way, they met a westward wagon train. The train had stopped to bury two men and a woman from their party who had been killed by Indians. The incident very much worried the travelers. The three souls being buried had stopped at a trading post near Fort Laramie where some Indians had attempted to negotiate a trade with them for some of the horses. Failing that, it appears the Indians followed them, murdered them and stole the horses before they could rejoin the main wagon train.

At Fort Laramie, Mrs. Allen finally traded a ring to get a pair of shoes. The party then travelled due south into Northern Colorado and crossed the South Platte River. It's probable that the soldiers at Fort Laramie had recommended this route as a safer passage through Indian Territory. They were going to cross over the river once more at Julesburg but encountered Indians who threatened them if they did so. Therefore, they followed along the south side of the South Platte until it joined with the Platte. They didn't cross to the north side until they were about a mile west of Fort Kearny in the fall of 1862.

Years later, when Dinah was asked if they had any trouble crossing the Platte, she replied, "Not at all." She explained, "Mr. Nutter walked on the near side, driving the oxen; Mrs. Allen and myself waded in the river on the off side with whips to keep the oxen from turning back. The water was not deep except in the main channel where it nearly came up to the wagon box". Yes indeed -- no trouble at all.

ADDENDUM - The Likely Incident Which Caused the Nutters to Part Company with the Mormon Church is Uncovered

While researching this book, the author had occasion to interview, mostly by phone, scores of descendants of William and Dinah Nutter across North America. For the most part, these interviews were conducted to get information about William and Dinah's children and their families.

In the autumn of 2003, the author telephoned Jack Pearl of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, a great-grandson of William and Dinah's daughter Ione. He was very helpful in supplying information about Ione's family and was delighted to help. The conversation took a serious turn when the author remarked off-handedly that the longevity in his family boded well for him. Jack explained that he had prostate cancer which had metastasized to his bones and that he probably wouldn't be alive much longer.

Because Jack had indicated profound interest in this project and because of his circumstances, he was sent a very raw unedited copy of the story of William and Dinah Nutter soon after the telephone conversation. After enduring some catastrophic side effects from his chemotherapy over the months that followed, Jack sent a response in a three-page typewritten letter from his hospital bed, excerpts of which follow herewith:

..."Reading your manuscript, I was particularly keen to read what you had to say about the Nutters' experience when they lived in and around Salt Lake City. There is a story that Ione (daughter of Dinah)...told to Jessie (my grandmother Pearl) that fits into the events you describe...here is the story as it was told to me by my great-grandmother back in the 1940s when I was about eight years old, but also retold many times in the ensuing years insuring that I got it right."

"At the time that the Nutters arrived in Salt Lake City in the early 1860s, things were not that easy to come by and anybody with an extra skill or two to go along with their religion became a highly prized commodity. Apparently, William was a highly skilled man because he worked his way up into the Church Hierarchy quite quickly. The day came when he was asked to join the inner sanctum of the church and become one of the elders. Apparently that was ok with him but then he was instructed to perform an initiation rite that made him furious. According to the story, the inner elite group of Mormons were making a practice of raiding the wagon trains heading west, killing everyone so that there were no witnesses, stealing all the possessions worth taking, and then strewing evidence around to blame it on the Indians. When William heard this, he was outraged and stomped out of the church. However, he didn't just go straight home; he sneaked around to an open back window of the chapel and listened to what transpired next. Sure enough, the elders decided that they couldn't let him get away with a secret like that under his belt so they plotted to assassinate him. He then went home and hatched a plan. It must have been the fall of the year when everyone was going out for their winter wood supply. Because everyone had to go so far to get their wood, it was common for families to pack up for two weeks to go to the hills and get their wood. William decided that this would be perfect cover to get himself and the family out of the house without raising the suspicions of the neighbors. So they spread the word around the neighborhood that they were heading out for the winter's wood supply off in a different direction than he actually planned to leave. Then they packed up everything they could for the trip and left post haste."

Jack noted, "This story is so outrageous in its accusations that I never knew whether to completely believe it or not until some corroborating evidence showed up...recently. I watched a documentary program on Public Television that described an archeological dig on the remains of an old wagon train somewhere in the vicinity of Salt Lake City ('Burying the Past', a special about the Mountain Meadows Massacre Site in southwestern Utah.) The train had been raided and apparently everyone in it killed. They found Indian artifacts but they concluded that they were not the kind of things that the Indians would have left behind. Furthermore, they found evidence that the Mormons had been there...."

"Then, to top it off, just at the end of 2003, I watched a Ken Burns documentary 'The West' which documented an incident that was even closer to the accusations in the story. In one small segment of that program he documented a case where a man (...not William Nutter) was actually instructed by the Mormon Elders to go out and raid a wagon train just as it was described in the story. In the Ken Burns description of events, the Indians and the Mormons cooperated together to raid the wagon trains.. The Indians didn't mind getting the blame for it because they were trying to put fear into the westward migrating people to keep them off their land".

Jack closed saying "My theory as to why this story may have never been heard outside our branch of the family is that, out of fear of word getting back to the 'Avenging Angels', Dinah never dared to breathe a word of it until that chapter of her life had passed. Then and only then did she feel the confidence to confide the story to her daughter Ione".

Jack Pearl passed away on 25 May 2004.


An Attempt to Co-Exist with the Native Americans

Artist's rendering of Fort Kearny Artist's rendering of Fort Kearny
The stage station at Fort Kearny, 1863. The stage station at Fort Kearny, 1863.

In the autumn of 1862, William and Dinah Nutter and their party crossed the Platte River near Fort Kearny, Nebraska. One of the two families traveling with them left to follow the north side of the river to Omaha and beyond. Mrs. Allen said she wished to continue eastward as well. William eventually found some men in a freighting party on the Platte who agreed to transport the lady. He made a favorable assessment of the freighting boss and extracted a gentlemen's agreement with him to protect her. She was ultimately headed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she had friends. The Nutters watched the freight barge float away and never heard of or from Mrs. Allen again.

It unlikely that William and Dinah had decided to settle in the area of Fort Kearny when they left Salt Lake City. William would not have been savvy enough, when he had passed through the area two years before, to recognize that it was some of the finest farmland in the country. More likely, they were simply interested in making contact with their friend, Sarah Holland Oliver. They had encountered her husband, Edward Oliver, in Utah after he had abandoned Sarah and their family in favor of the family's teenaged nurse whom he had taken as a plural wife.

They found Sarah Oliver and her family nicely settled along the Wood River some fifteen miles east of Fort Kearny. The Nutters and the Oliver family had much in common, not the least of which was an enduring disgust for the Mormon faith. The Olivers extended hospitality to William, Dinah, their two sons John and Will and their baby, Ellen. Sarah Oliver's sons, actually closer to William Nutter's age, had now been through two harvests in the Wood River Valley area and told William Nutter of the success they were enjoying. William was intrigued. If he and Dinah continued eastward past the Missouri River there was a chance they could become involved in the American civil war. They really didn't have the resources to return to England; staying in Nebraska seemed the prudent thing to do. The only problem seemed to be difficulties with the Indians and the Olivers claimed the problem was manageable, particularly with assistance from the soldiers at nearby Fort Kearny.

William Nutter traded with Solomon Richmond one of his two yokes of oxen for a farmstead and acreage about two miles east of present-day Shelton, Nebraska. (Mr. Richmond then got another piece of property in the area and years later, he married a daughter of A. W. "William" Storey, another local resident). Dinah traded the gold watch she had procured back in Utah for a milk cow and set up house for the family.

In 1862, the current site of Shelton was occupied by "Peck's store", two crude buildings made of cottonwood, one 24-by-24 feet, the other 30-by-30 feet. One of these buildings was Henry Peck's residence with his wife and family. The other was a general store of sorts, where small amounts of household necessities were available along with large amounts of Red Jack Bitters (a liquor). The store served more than twenty-five families who had homesteads along this 20 mile stretch of the Wood River. Peck's store also served as a center for the community.

First house in Nebraska
Log cabin which was William and Dinah Nutter's home on their farmstead in Nebraska.

The Nutters passed the winter of 1862-1863 in their crude, cottonwood-log cabin. William worked cutting and hauling wood to Fort Kearny. He also worked on an occasional basis for some of his neighbors throughout the winter. When spring came, they planted a small acreage of potatoes and other vegetables. They also planted a full eighteen acres of corn-- breaking holes in the sod with a pick-ax and dropping corn kernels in each hole. No weeds grew in the newly-broken sod, so the corn required no cultivation whatsoever.

William decided he was going to build another room onto their cabin measuring about 12-by-18 feet. He hauled a substantial amount of the cottonwood from an area four miles south near the Platte River. He then found drier wood to the north near the bluffs about seven miles away in an area of growth that had been burned.

William and a neighbor named Charles Huyler left their families for days at a time to harvest and haul the wood back to their houses. On at least one occasion, they left on a Wednesday with three days of supplies, intending to return early Saturday evening. When they failed to return, Dinah went outside and looked to the north. Well after nightfall, she saw many small fires flickering in the area where her husband and Mr. Huyler were supposed to be working. She suspected these fires indicated there were a number of men encamped near the bluffs, probably Indians.

While Dinah stood transfixed by the points of light on the bluffs, some of her nearest neighbors, among them Jim Jackson, noticed the lights as well. Knowing Nutter and Huyler had been working out in that area, they went to the Nutter home to find out if the two men had returned. Feeling helpless, the group looked off to the bluffs, not quite sure what to do. If they piqued the attention of the Indians, they might endanger the entire neighborhood.

Everyone spoke in whispers. The neighbors made sure that none of the surrounding houses lit any lamps. They started at every little sound and expected at any moment to hear an Indian "War Whoop" break the mounting tension. In the distance, the campfires began to die out. After midnight, the group heard some movement in the underbrush across the Wood River. The neighbors raised their guns in the direction of the noise. One of the men yelled "Halt!" A moment later, Jim Jackson yelled, "Don't shoot! It's Nutter!" and with that, Nutter and Huyler came sloshing across the river somewhat puzzled by the welcoming committee.

When asked what was going on back at the bluffs, the men explained the fires were indeed Indian campfires. Just as Nutter and Huyler had finished work, they noticed a band of Sioux had set up camp among the timber. Nutter noticed them before they noticed him. He and Huyler dropped into a nearby creek and moved as quickly and silently as they could until they found a beaver hole partially carved out. They crawled into it and hid for several hours until they felt they could safely return home.

Years later, Dinah would tell her granddaughters of two other incidents which seem likely to have occurred during this period when William was frequently gone overnight. One night, Dinah was in bed with little Ellen when she awoke to a rustling sound outside. She rolled over to suddenly confront an Indian looking through the window at her. Ellen awoke and began to cry. The Indian inquired, in Pidgin English, "Baby sick?" Dinah replied, "Yes, smallpox". It was a brilliant response; a smallpox epidemic had recently ravaged a nearby Sioux settlement. The Indian quickly moved on.

The other incident occurred in broad daylight. Dinah was outside and some Indians approached. She gradually, cautiously, made her way back to the cabin. She then ran out toward them brandishing what appeared to be a pistol. It was, in fact, a spigot off a vinegar barrel. The important thing was that the Indians believed it was a gun and dispersed.

In the summer of 1863, the corn on the Nutters land which was supposed to be "more than knee-high by the fourth of July", was indeed that high and then some. William worked constantly, either on the farm or cutting and hauling wood for the substantial addition he was building onto their cabin. Dinah worked on the farm that year herself (a fact she seems to very deliberately highlight in those latter life interviews). Perhaps why it stuck in her memory was the fact that she was pregnant with twins. No doubt their son John, now seven years old, looked after his brother, little Will (age 4) and their sister, Ellen (age 2) while the parents worked the farm.

The harvest was a good one. The Nutter's 18-acre farm yielded 600 bushels of corn that fall. William was able to sell it for a dollar per bushel to the Holiday Stage line which operated on the south side of the Platte River. Six hundred dollars was more money than William and Dinah had ever had at one time. Dinah later recalled what was perhaps the first "non-essential" purchase in years: a pair of number five boots for five dollars. Since there were no shoe stores in the area, they had to be ordered from Omaha. A freighting party brought the boots to Peck's Store with the normal delivery of other goods.

William finished the 12-by-18 foot addition to their cabin in November, 1863. The added space was likely very welcome as Dinah had delivered twin girls on 30 October, whom they named Ione and Lyone.

Anxious for another successful harvest, William and Dinah planted another considerable acreage of corn and other vegetables quite early in 1864. Dinah noted that many of the neighbors who planted later lost those crops to an infestation of grasshoppers which plagued the area late in that summer. However, events were unfolding elsewhere that would make a grasshopper infestation pale in comparison.

It actually began a couple of years before when Sioux Indians raided settlements in Minnesota and killed thousands of settlers. News of the massacres spread throughout the prairies complete with the gory details. This set the settlers and the soldiers in the heartland far more on-edge than usual; there had recently been a pervasive feeling that the military had gotten the "savages" under control.

In July, 1864, some Cheyenne Indians ambushed eleven wagons in a train and killed everyone just a little over thirty miles west of Fort Kearny. A few weeks later, the Cheyenne succeeded in virtually clearing the Little Blue Valley (southeast of Kearney, near the Kansas state line) of settlers through the horrific massacre of just one family named Eubank. Troops and traders from Fort Laramie, Wyoming and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas reported heightened activity by Indians in all directions.

The commander at Fort Kearny had long since become extremely concerned about the fort's security. His manpower was already thinly stretched as the American Civil War was raging in the east. He also had good reason to doubt the loyalty and competence of some of his own troops; most of the replacements he received were captured Confederate soldiers who had opted for service in the Union army in the west rather than incarceration.

During the first week of August, 1864, news of a number of small "incidents" in the general vicinity convinced the command of Fort Kearny that attack by Indians was imminent. Some of these incidents were merely reports of large numbers of Sioux warriors assembling together, "menacing" travelers. However, the fort went on high alert.

On 9 August, 1864, Jim Oliver and Thomas Morgan (both friends of the Nutters who lived midway between the current towns of Gibbon and Shelton) went to Fort Kearny with a load of vegetables. They left their wives and children at the home of Mr. Morgan. The men didn't return.

Another neighbor named Cook was dispatched to the Fort by the men's worried families. Cook reached the fort only to find that Oliver and Morgan had been pressed into service to defend the fort from what the commander called "an imminent Indian attack". Cook was instructed to ride back along the Wood River, rouse the inhabitants from their beds and have them assemble at Peck's store, prepared to defend themselves.

As Cook rode off on his mission, a summer thunderstorm moved in adding more drama to the situation.

Cook awoke the Nutters well after midnight and told them about the situation. Dinah and William roused the children from their beds and began loading some of their belongings into the wagon. They hurried westward to Peck's store through the driving rain. After they had traveled about a mile and a half, Dinah made a casual inquiry about the toddler, Ellen, when young John responded that he thought she was up at the front with William and Dinah. The Nutters had to turn around and retrieve the little girl from her cradle where she had fallen back to sleep.

Just before daylight, all of the settlers along the Wood River had assembled at Peck's. The women and children were led into a roofless log stable being built adjacent to the store. The men got together and selected August Meyer as their captain. Meyer, a German, had served five years in the army and had, by far, more experience in conflicts than anyone else.

The families waited. After daybreak the men, one and two at a time, went back to their homesteads to tend to cattle, pick up belongings, etc. William Nutter set out in the afternoon with his eight-year-old son, John. Near their home they spotted Jim Jackson riding toward them at full speed, his long hair streaming in the breeze, whipping at his horse with his hat. He hesitated only to shout to Nutter, "Three hundred Indians! North side of the river!" William and John then ran to the river and jumped in to conceal themselves. Periodically, they would stick their faces out of the water for air.

Nebraska Indian Wars

According to James T. King, in his Forgotten Pageant: The Indian Wars in Western Nebraska, the first serious skirmish with Indians in Nebraska was in 1854, the result of a dispute over a cow belonging to Mormon travelers. Coincidentally, this was also the year the Kansas-Nebraska Act was signed into law. In addition to dividing the land west of Missouri into two territories, Kansas and Nebraska, the law also provided for "popular sovereignty", which would allow the settlers of the new territories to decide if slavery would be legal there. Pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers rushed to Kansas, each side hoping to determine the results of the first election held after the law went into effect. The conflict turned violent, aggravating the split between North and South until reconciliation was virtually impossible.

The influx of settlers undoubtedly increased tension between the settlers and the Indians. However, the first military response in Nebraska was an attempt to provide protection for overland travelers to points further west. With the outbreak of the Civil War, the military presence in the territories was weakened, as troops were withdrawn to serve in the war. This emboldened the Indians and they started to put pressure on the settlers. In August 1864, a series of Indian attacks on settlers and others, led to a brutal response by the military which became known as the Sand Creek Massacre.

It was these and rumors of similar events that led to the panic by the settlers in eastern Nebraska, and their exodus from Nebraska in 1864, including the William Nutter family.

With the end of the Civil War, returning troops, and fresh new waves of settlers, the end of Indian power and influence in Nebraska was approaching. Violence continued sporadically until 1890, when "the last flickering embers of Indian resistance were snuffed out". Most incidents during this time were in western Nebraska, and didn't threaten the Nutters, who had returned to the Wood River valley in 1869. Eastern Nebraska was home to the Pawnee, who had decided to partner with the military in their actions against the Pawnee's traditional enemies, the Sioux. So the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho raiders rarely ventured east of Ft. Kearny during these years.

Eventually, they tired of their position. William emerged from the river first, and then gingerly climbed a tree on the river bank for a better view of the threatening brood. From his perch, Nutter was able to see that it was a herd of buffalo, not Indians, which Jim Jackson had spied. William and his son, John, returned to Peck's with the welcome news.

When Jim Oliver and Thomas Morgan finally arrived at Peck's store from Fort Kearny, they brought fresh news of murders and other atrocities supposedly perpetrated by Indians in the area. On the night of 10 August, most of the settlers decided a retreat eastward was a reasonable and prudent course of action. August Meyer and his wife, Edward (Ted) Oliver and his wife, John Britt and George Burke all decided to remain behind and continue their lives despite the danger. The Nutters and their five children decided to head east along with their neighbors: James E. Boyd and family; the Crane brothers; Mr. Cook and his family; Henry Dugdale and his family; Mrs. Francis and her family; French George; James Oliver and his family, Mrs. Sarah Oliver with her children Robert, John, Sarah Ann, Jane and Eliza; James Jackson; Mrs. David (Sarah) Owen with her son, Joseph; Thomas Morgan and his family; Mr. Payne and family; Henry Peck and family; Jack Staats and family; William Story and family; Horace Tague and family plus Mrs. Wilson and her family.

After clearing their households of their belongings, the settlers left the area and headed toward Omaha. At Grand Island, a few of the locals threw up a breastworks and prepared to defend themselves. Still, the Wood River Valley settlers proceeded to Omaha -- encountering many deserted homesteads.

In fact, the entire area, all the way to Omaha had pretty much emptied. When the Nutters and their neighbors arrived in Omaha, they found the stores closed because every able-bodied man had been pressed into service. These armed men patrolled the countryside just outside Omaha on horseback

Most in this entourage crossed the Missouri River into Iowa. From there, they dispersed. Many would eventually find their way back to the Wood River Valley. William and Dinah Nutter had decided they were going to return to England with the five children.


Back to England, Back to Philadelphia, then Back "Home" to Nebraska

Along with hundreds, possibly thousands of others, William and Dinah Nutter had left Nebraska in August, 1864, without ever having seen any evidence of Indian molestation. In fact, the nearest verifiable event occurred some sixty miles away from their farm. None of that mattered. The whole eastern end of Nebraska had virtually emptied in a frenzy of fear, the seeds of which were sown at Fort Kearny.

The Nutters' decision to return to England may seem extreme in retrospect, particularly since the journey ultimately took the better part of eight months. However, it is likely they felt they were out of options. William was disinclined to ever put his family in jeopardy of an Indian massacre. He also was not interested in participating in the American Civil War which eliminated settling in any state east of the Missouri River. If he knew anything about Canada, it was probably that the Indians had even more of an upper hand there. England seemed the only choice. Besides, the comfort and familiarity of "home" began to have had to have a certain appeal.

It is known that the Nutters disposed of most of their household goods at Omaha for what Dinah believed were "fairly good prices". They selected Montreal, Quebec, Canada as their point of exit from this continent, probably because it was as far away as possible from the "hot spots" of the Civil War.

In Samuel Bassett's interview with Dinah in 1908, she had a curious lapse of memory regarding the return to England. "Of the journey from Omaha...Mrs. Nutter can recall nothing as to the route or mode of travel," he recorded. Therefore, there has to be some speculation about these months.

Since it is known they left Nebraska in August, 1864 and arrived in England early in May, 1865, after a two week voyage, it seems obvious that there was a layover (or several layovers) of substantial duration. Even in those years, such a journey did not take upwards of nine months. If Dinah couldn't recall much about the journey, it seems the layover(s) were likely to be primarily at the near end of the journey (Iowa) or the far end (Montreal, Quebec) -- the two points she actually did mention. Certainly if the layover were in Chicago, for instance, or along the St. Lawrence River, it seems probable she would have recalled it and mentioned it. If the layover were in Iowa, Dinah's day-to-day life with her family would likely not be so memorable, hardly contrasting from the life they enjoyed in Nebraska.

Another consideration must be the winter season which occurred in the middle of these months. Travel in the winter months through the Great Lakes region, the upper Midwest and Canada would surely have elicited some memorable experiences. While winters on the plains were never a "walk in the park", winter on the route the Nutters traveled was also a force to be reckoned with.

It therefore seems likely that the Nutters actually laid over in Iowa until early spring. Such a layover would afford the Nutters time to extract those "fairly good prices" for their various household goods. Several of their neighbors, including their good friends, the Olivers, are known to have spent a long time in Iowa waiting for safer conditions in Nebraska.

Travel aboard ships and barges were always cheaper than travel by train. The Des Moines River in Iowa allowed a connection with the Mississippi River. In 1864, many points along the Mississippi were connected by rail with Chicago and other points to the east. Given that the Nutters' destination had to be Lake Erie, they either went to Chicago and traveled a route all around Michigan via Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, to Lake Erie or went directly by rail to Detroit, Michigan or Cleveland, Ohio and headed across Lake Erie to Lake Ontario avoiding Niagara Falls via the Welland Canal. The Welland Canal wouldn't have impressed the Nutters as they had traveled through the engineering marvel that was the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in England nearly a decade before. From Lake Ontario, they would head up the St. Lawrence River to Montreal, Quebec.

Dinah did recall a "feeling" about this journey. As they traveled through a country that was embroiled "in a Great Civil War", she was astonished to see complete and utter peace and tranquility all along their route.

The Nutters and their five children left Montreal and crossed the Atlantic this time in two weeks. Such a relatively short voyage indicates they returned on a steamship and most definitely landed at Liverpool. Aboard ship, the twins-- each eighteen months old -- came down with scarlet fever.

Once they disembarked at Liverpool, they realized their funds were so depleted they didn't even have train fare to Burnley. Though they had entertained thoughts of a leisurely canal ride to their home town area, the twins' illness necessitated a quick train ride. So, William Nutter pawned his watch and they headed for home. As they hurriedly boarded the train, there was an ironic coincidence. They noticed just in time they were about to forget their daughter Ellen once again. She was still asleep on a bench in the railway station.

They went to the village of Barrowford just north of Burnley where James Nutter, one of William's brothers, lived with his wife, Mary and their family. The reunion must have been emotional but the next item on their agenda had to be medical treatment for the twins.

A medical doctor was called in. He told the parents that the twins were gravely ill. In fact, he simply set aside little Ione as "hopeless" and practiced his healing arts on Lyone. In the end, Lyone died and "hopeless" Ione lived nearly ninety more years. It was an inauspicious beginning to their return trip home.

William and Dinah's families were, quite naturally, delighted to see them after more than a nine year absence. They must have enjoyed a certain celebrity status. Though emigration was a comparatively common experience, returning emigrants were rare. Returning emigrants with stories about Indians, the "wild" west and other quintessentially American things were even rarer.

They regaled the many Nutter family members with stories of their adventures, but William and Dinah had to be about the business of living. William secured work as a spinner in a nearby mill and they found a house for themselves and the four children.

Dinah discovered her two younger sisters, Margaret and Mary Ann, were both now married and raising families of their own. As a matter of fact, Mary Ann had just given birth to her fourth daughter the same day that William and Dinah had arrived in the area. Dinah's sister, Grace, was living nearby, still unmarried, with her two surviving children. Dinah�s ne�er do well brother, William, had simply "disappeared" several years before.

The Nutters were steeped in conflicting emotions. Their American Odyssey ultimately ended in a defeat, or failure, of sorts. Now they were back home in the bosom of their families and in familiar circumstances. Yet these were precisely the circumstances from which they had worked so hard to free themselves. They now lived in peace and safety. But, they had owned a substantial acreage at one time and made six hundred dollars in less than a year. It's doubtful they could aspire to do either if they stayed in England. They had acquired so much knowledge and experience for living and surviving on their own. Those skills would disappear from lack of use in England. These emotions were never far below the surface.

Early in June, 1865, barely more than two weeks after their return to Lancashire, William and Dinah went shopping at the market place in nearby Marsden. As they made their way from stall to stall, they became more and more aware that they were eliciting quite a bit of unwanted attention from other shoppers. Some actually laughed out loud; one person said that they looked like Indians. To be fair, their attire was probably very unusual, probably pioneer-like and very different from the other citizens' clothes.

Of course, William Nutter lost his temper. He hurled epithets at the crowd and declared he had not traveled thousands of miles back to the country of his birth to be an object of ridicule. He went home straightaway and wrote to his former employer, Guy Taylor, in Philadelphia. He wanted to know if there was a job there for him. William Nutter was going back to the United States.

He eventually received a favorable reply from Taylor. Not only was Guy Taylor anxious to employ him again, he sent William Nutter money for his passage. William was delighted and began making arrangements for a return to Philadelphia.

Westgate area of Burnley The Westgate area of Burnley where the Nutters lived in the months before returning to the USA. Is it really any wonder that the Great Plains held an allure for the family?

Burnley from the southwest A view of Burnley from the southwest. Note the canal at left and the innumerable row houses in the distance. Both William and Dinah were born in the area of the rolling farm land in the distance. Burnley is located in a valley surrounded by beautiful green hills in virtually every direction. A dense pall of smoke and soot often obscured the view from town.

Burnley and countryside On the rare clear days in Burnley during its industrial heyday, one can see that the lush green countryside was not that far away.

YorkshireStreet William and Dinah's home at 18 Anne Street was just behind the buildings on the right. This photo, taken in the early 1900s was taken from the viaduct which carries the "straight mile" portion of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal over busy Yorkshire Street.

In the meantime, Dinah determined she was pregnant and William decided to stay until the child was born. The Nutters had moved deep into the town of Burnley to 18 Anne Street, a short cul-de- sac near the "straight mile" portion of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. One has to wonder why they would move to a point so far away from family and friends on the "Pendle" side of town. Perhaps it was near the mill where William worked. Perhaps it was to minimize undue incidental influence from family regarding their decision to return to the United States. Some lore does survive that Dinah was less than enthusiastic about their return west.

There is some reason to believe that a conflict, at least with one of Dinah's sisters, was about to develop.

On 4 December, 1865, Dinah gave birth to a little girl whom they named Margaret. Interestingly, the little girl was baptized on 12 December. This indicates that their complete break with religion of any kind was apparently not fully entrenched in the mind of at least one of the parents. Another item of interest is that this little girl was civilly registered and baptized as "Margaret". Yet she was known for her entire life as "Elizabeth". Obviously, there was some intrigue afoot here.

Little "Margaret alias Elizabeth" was named for Dinah's sister, Margaret. It is known for certain that, for some reason, Dinah and her other sister Mary Ann stopped communication of any sort with their sister, Margaret about this time. When they communicated with each other over the years that followed, neither sister made any reference whatsoever to Margaret though she was certainly alive and, indeed, outlived both of them. It was very uncharacteristic of Dinah to shun anyone in such a Draconian manner, let alone her own sister. Whatever the problem was that caused the rift is forever lost to history. However the disagreement must have been very serious for Dinah to change her daughter's name.

William Nutter went to Liverpool in January, 1866 and sailed to Philadelphia aboard the SS City of Boston. Four years later almost to the day, that ship would vanish on a return trip to England. Dinah remained behind in England with all five children until William had established himself and had earned enough money to pay for passage for the rest of the family. It was July, 1866, before they finally left Burnley and England...forever.

William Nutter worked for Guy Taylor in Philadelphia at a new location called the Taylor & McBride Company on Spruce Street near 25th Street. At first, he worked as a spinner, but was eventually promoted, again, to foreman of the carding room. At their new home, 2116 Naudain Street, Dinah gave birth to another daughter, Alice Nan, on 21 June, 1867.

The three eldest children, John, Will and Ellen, all attended school in Philadelphia. Again, it seems strange that the school selected was not a public school but one which was connected with a church -- Old Bethany Presbyterian. It appears that William and Dinah's complete disdain for organized religion was still not yet in place.

In the winter of 1868-1869, after five daughters in a row, Dinah finally gave birth to a son whom they named Thomas. Shortly after the baby's birth, William left his wife and the seven children for Nebraska. This time, William made the entire journey from Philadelphia to the Wood River Valley by train. (Within a few months, a railroad actually spanning the entire United States from east to west coast was completed).

Pursuant to the Free Homestead Act of 1867, William purchased a "squatters rights" parcel of 160 acres straddling the Wood River -- the northeast quarter of section 8, town 9, range 13 west in Buffalo County about eight miles west of their former farmstead. He paid three hundred dollars for the land and "improvements" -- namely a log house, a log barn and a corral. The former owner, A.W. "William" Story had built the house in 1859. He had been killed by Indians on a buffalo hunt in 1865.

William Nutter Land Grant Land grant for 160 acres issued to William Nutter by President Grant in 1877.

William worked temporarily with the Union-Pacific Railroad as a section hand and prepared the home for Dinah's arrival with the children. He was surprised and delighted to see how many of his former neighbors had returned: all of the Oliver family; August Myers; Henry Dugdale and family; Solomon Richmond; the Crane Brothers; Mr. Cook and Family; Mrs. Francis; James Jackson; Joseph Owen and his mother; Thomas Morgan; Henry Peck and family; Horace Tague; et al. Evidently, the Wood River Valley had an allure for many others as well.

William was curious as to what had become of the crop harvest that he had abandoned during the stampede of 1864. The Olivers actually gave Nutter a milk cow in payment for the crops Ted Oliver had harvested minus his labor.

Back in Philadelphia, thirty-five-year-old Dinah purchased train tickets for herself and the seven children; John (age 13), Will (age 10), Ellen (age 8), Ione (age 5), Elizabeth (age 3), Alice (age 2) and Thomas, (who was a few months old). They were also transporting all their household goods from Philadelphia. Obviously, when one considers the ages of the children, Dinah had to heavily rely on the eldest two boys look after the younger children. At least aboard the train, the children were contained.

Westgate area of Burnley Train typical of the times. Shown here are the Directors of the Union Pacific Railroad on the 100th meridian 247 miles west of Omaha, Nebraska Territory. The train in background awaits the party of Eastern capitalists, newspapermen, and other prominent figures invited by the railroad executives. By John Carbutt, October 1866

It likely took three days to travel to Chicago. At Union Station in Chicago the family had to switch trains with all of their belongings. Another few days would be required from there with possibly another change of trains at Omaha. West of Omaha, the land flattened out and began to look familiar. Thomas, the baby, had been very fussy since Chicago and seemed to not respond to any of his mother's attempts to comfort him.

Eventually, Thomas fell asleep. Unfortunately, he began suffering convulsions indicating his fever was escalating. Near Grand Island, a bearded gentleman walked through their train car and witnessed a convulsion. He knelt down next to Dinah and said; "I am sorry, Madam, but your baby appears to be dying". That blunt, but unfortunately correct assessment of the situation was made by Ulysses Grant, now four months into his first term as President of the United States. He was bound for some ceremonial recognition of the new trans-continental railroad. Minutes later, little Thomas Nutter died with another convulsion.

Dinah Nutter had made arrangements with the train conductor to have the train stop at a siding at Wood River Center since there was no station there in 1869. Dinah disembarked carrying the still warm body of baby Thomas. John and Will off-loaded their belongings and looked after their four little sisters. The family waited under the hot July sun as someone rode off to let William Nutter know his family had arrived.

William collected his family in a borrowed wagon. That evening he dug a grave for his son, Thomas. Overcome by emotions from the day's events, he neglected to properly mark the location of the baby's grave. By the next Spring, no one could recall exactly where the grave was.


Co-Existing with Mother Nature on the Prairie

In 1869, there were mainly three kinds of homes on the Nebraska plains: sod houses, log houses and "holes in the ground". The last may sound crude but they were very utilitarian. Homes dug into the earth were relatively warm in the winter, cool in the summer and comparatively easily maintained. Possibly the worst aspect of a "hole in the ground" was their attractiveness to snakes and rats.

William and Dinah Nutter's new home was actually a combination log home and hole in the ground. It had been built by A. W. "William" Story in 1859 and had been occupied by him and his family until he was killed by Indians while hunting buffalo in 1865. His family had left it empty (except for the aforementioned rats and snakes) until William Nutter arrived in the Spring of 1869. For $300, he purchased "squatters rights" on the home, a log barn and a corral setting on a 160 acre parcel. That is not to say he paid cash. On the contrary, credit was often readily available in those years and the Story family was well-acquainted with William Nutter.

Nutter Log House Some of the Nutter family in front of the cottonwood log cabin that had been their home from 1869 to 1888. This photo, taken in 1903 shows the additional room built by William Nutter, at the far right. From left to right are Walter Scott (a neighbor); B.F. "Frank" Nutter; his wife Katharina Link Nutter; their son, Lyman Nutter; William Nutter (seated) with his daughter, Elizabeth Robertson (behind); Dinah Nutter (seated) in front of Banks Nutter (son of William Nutter the younger) astride a horse behind her; then William Nutter the younger at the far right; Across the roof are Elizabeth Robertson's sons (left to right); Lorton, Robert and Benjamin.

Dinah was also well-acquainted with the home she was bringing the children to as well. It was a 12-by-18 foot log structure constructed over a dug out area near the Wood River. Inside were two rooms and a loft. Later on, William added another room to the north end of the log house. It is likely that, in 1869, the roof was made of sod as that was the style in those years for almost any structure. It is also likely that the rooms had a dirt floor. An area in the kitchen was dug out even further for cool storage of items.

Both William and Dinah were amazed how much the Wood River Valley had changed in just five years. The most significant and profound difference had to be the train tracks which ran a half mile south of the Nutter home. At least twice per day, a train whistle would remind all the settlers that they no longer lived in a wilderness. The area began to be comparatively "built up" (though not even "built up" today by eastern standards). There were several buildings in Wood River Center (now Shelton) which weren't there in 1864. One was an old railroad shanty, 14 feet by 18 feet, with a sod roof. This served as a schoolhouse where the elder Nutter children went to school.

The building of the railroad would bring enormous growth to this area quickly. The Union Pacific Railroad had completed construction of a rail line across Nebraska by 1867 just as the territory received statehood status. A sweetheart deal between the railroad and the United States government awarded Union Pacific ownership of half the land twenty miles either side of the railroad line to defray the cost of construction. The railroad then conducted an extensive advertising campaign in the east and even in Europe complete with glowing descriptions of Nebraska's lush farmland.

On 10 May, 1870, Dinah added a seventh child, a little girl, to their home by the Wood River. Again, there was some ambiguity about the little girl's name. In the census of June, 1870, the child was listed as "Emma". Thereafter, this daughter was always called Jane or Jennie. It should be noted that "Emma Jane" was a very popular pairing of names in England during the 1860s.

Interestingly, the census of June, 1870 also reveals that the Nutters had two boarders living with them. The two men, Wesley Folsom and Albert Fuller, were both working as farm hands on the Nutter farm. It is quite possible the men slept in tents on their property, simply taking their meals with the Nutters. It is likely these men were two of many veterans of the civil war who had been recently enticed westward by the Union Pacific railroad's aggressive advertising campaign. William Nutter had already lived through one harvest there and probably had enough liquid capital to employ the men for even more extensive and aggressive planting and cultivation.

Shelton street scenes The Nutter homestead was almost equidistant from Gibbon, Nebraska (to the west) and Shelton, once called Wood River Center, to the east. These are early street scenes of Shelton.

Gibbon street scenes Gibbon photos taken in 1881. Top: Looking east on Front Street from Gilmore Street. Left to right are the S.D. George general store (1871); W.H. Kelley harness shop (1871); the bank building (1881); the post office, built by Christopher Putman; and a hotel built by George Gilmore. Bottom: Westward view along Front Street. Left to right are the first building in Gibbon, the LaBarre store and hall (1871); an unknown small building, L.J. Babcock hardware store (under construction), D.H. Hite drug store and residence; I.N. Davis store; S.B. Lowell store.

The Nutters' 160 acre parcel of land was located near the Gibbon-Shelton township line. It was equidistant from the two towns of the same names which were beginning to grow near their respective railroad sidings. In the years to come, the two communities that grew around these towns seem to both claim the Nutters as their own.

An early colonist of the neighborhood described the area as "a bountiful area...the Wood River being vast and serpentine" flowing through "vineyards literally festooned with wild grapes". "There are wild plum trees loaded with fruit...herds of buffalo feed off the lush prairie grass along with antelope, elk, black-tailed deer, quail and prairie chickens."

No doubt, 62 new colonists, mostly from New York, were looking forward to such an idyllic scene as their train steamed into the Gibbon railroad siding on Saturday afternoon, 7 April, 1871. However, five days before, a prairie fire had blackened the earth in the area, burned down many fruit trees, and, of course, scattered the wildlife.

One of the colonists looked out into a field adjacent to the siding upon arriving and spotted a farmer planting potatoes. The farmer, none other than William Nutter, was beckoned by the colonists who peppered him with questions about the area. Nutter explained he was planting on "old land"-- land that he didn't even own. He described the horrific prairie fire, blamed it on the fact that there had been no appreciable rainfall since the previous August and talked briefly about his earlier experience with Indians. He noted, however, he had harvested some "huge" potatoes the previous year. He said that Gibbon was soon going to have a hotel, but for now there was a shanty where someone cooked and served meals. No doubt he mentioned that he, his wife, seven children and some farm hands lived in a log cabin over a 12-by-18 foot hole dug into the prairie some several miles distant. He explained that all the successful farmers in the area resided in log houses, sod houses or "holes in the ground". After this hard sell from William Nutter, which of these colonists wouldn't want to settle nearby?

The colonists went to sleep that night in accommodations provided by the Union Pacific Railroad-- two boxcars at Gibbon siding. The next day, Sunday, they held a short informal religious service. Then, they discussed among themselves whether they would stay in the area and only one of their number decided to return east.

Agents of the Union Pacific Railroad had left the colonists with intelligible descriptions of land available for "squatter's settlement" in the area. The colonists explored the area which stretched out as far as William Nutter's land some five miles east of Gibbon. By Monday, the colonists decided to assign the twenty-eight available parcels of land by lot, with consideration given to those who wished to live adjacent to each other.

By nightfall on Monday, the wind switched around to the north and blew furiously. Snow began to fall. On Tuesday morning, 10 April, 1871, the snow -- unencumbered by any growth on the burnt prairie -- had blown level with the top of the railroad cars in which the colonists were sleeping. Despite such a cruel greeting by Mother Nature, the colonists stayed. In order to stake their squatter's rights claim, their first order of business had to be construction of a dwelling on their land. Though most had come from an area in New York where the houses were "finished", they set about constructing log or sod houses like the old colonists. Only one or two did build finished houses out of railroad ties the Union Pacific sold to them.

To the credit of the new colonists, the next order of business was building a school. Of course, it would be of the one-room variety and required some cooperation and interaction with the "old colonists" to finance the school building and pay the teacher. The schoolhouse in Gibbon, a building 22-by-32 feet, was finished in December, 1871 in time for the winter term. It was fully outfitted with desks and seats, two good stoves, a dictionary and text books. One of the first teachers was Samuel Clay Bassett, a new colonist.

The heads of the households of the old colonists in the Gibbon area at that time (1871) were Henry Dugdale, August Myers, William Nutter, Mrs. Sarah Oliver, Edward Oliver, James Oliver, Joseph Owens, Martin Slattery, George Spearley, John Reddy, Oliver Thompson, Patrick Walsh and Thomas Wood. Some welcomed the new colonists with less than open arms. The ranchers, particularly, realized the days of letting their cattle free to graze virtually anywhere were over. In fact, they would need to build fences.

Others among the old colonists welcomed the newcomers. William Nutter enjoyed the company of several of them, but particularly developed an enduring friendship with Samuel Clay Bassett, who settled just northwest of the Nutters. Each man had a healthy respect for the intelligence of the other. Both were voracious readers. Bassett would also become a published writer and de facto historian of the area. A great debt is owed to Bassett for the detailed biographies he wrote about the early years of William and Dinah Nutter.

The spring of 1872 saw another influx of new settlers to the area. It also saw another addition to the Nutter family. On 22 April, 1872, Dinah had her eighth living, thirteenth child in total. The boy was named Benjamin Franklin Nutter by his father, in honor of one of his heroes, the founding father. About six months later, William received a letter from his sister in England. Though the news was inevitable, he was nonetheless saddened by the death of his mother, Betty Knowles Nutter, at the age of 77 years.

The harvests of 1871 and 1872 were both very profitable efforts. Again, the Nutters had more money than they had ever imagined possible. However, the discipline of so many lean years had taught them thrift and an inclination to save. Rather than considering a more elaborate scheme of building an entirely new finished home like some of their neighbors (who were enjoying similar short-term prosperity), they simply added another room to their log house to answer the demands of their growing family. It turned out to be a very prudent decision.

In February, 1873, the post office at nearby Wood River Center officially notified the United States government that the town was being renamed "Shelton". At the same time, the Oliver brothers, Edward and James, built and opened a finished store there with the profits from several lucrative harvests. They stocked many household necessities such as stoves, furniture, crockery, plows, spades, well buckets, rope, pork barrels, molasses, five gallon kegs and lamp oil. They were also well-connected with several stores in Omaha. Goods from Omaha could now come by rail. The Oliver brothers, anticipating future growth, built a two story structure. The spare room upstairs was used as an additional schoolroom as the Wood River Valley grew. Another, larger school was built in 1882. The Nutter children attended school at this location and at the old converted railroad shanty nearby.

In the Winter of 1872-1873, there wasn't even a hard frost. The mild weather seemed a gentle and auspicious welcoming for the new town of Shelton. The farmers began planting by the end of January and continued their "Spring" work at such a pace that most of it was completed well before the "official" arrival of Spring on 21 March. April was balmy and dry for the most part and uncharacteristically leisurely. On 12 April, 1873, most families in central Nebraska celebrated the Spring holiday of Easter at their homes with more-substantial-than-usual meals and perhaps an Easter egg hunt.

On that Easter Sunday, Dinah was in some stage of preparing Easter dinner when she looked out the window facing west and noticed some dark clouds -- particularly threatening dark clouds. She had not spent these years on the prairie without developing recognition of what sort of clouds brought a storm.

After an eerie calm, she spotted a dust cloud at eye level (which was ground level). She shuttered the windows and went about her business. The wind blew around their sunken home and the Nutters enjoyed their Easter feast. By bedtime, the wind was howling and the Nutters went to bed with the advent of nightfall.

The Nutters awoke and went back to sleep several times before they realized it was actually rather late in the morning. This Monday, no one inside the house was going to see daylight as there was more than a foot of snow covering their house. It's likely everyone was beginning to have headaches as most of the oxygen in the house was being sent up the chimney with no other opening allowing in fresh air.

Regardless of conditions, cows needed milking and other livestock needed tending. William dug his way upwards from the front door. He was incredulous at the depth of the snow and the force of the wind. As he made his way to the barn, he realized he could easily lose his way as there were complete "white-out" conditions. He was no more than fifteen feet away from his home yet, already, he could not see the house in the driving wind and snow. He backtracked to the house and ventured out again only when connected to the house by a rope.

Many Nebraskans lost their homes when they simply blew over. Many lost their barns and livestock. Many lost their lives. Whole families were wiped out. Found frozen, some likely died first as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Some saved their livestock by driving the animals into their homes with their family. Some saved their family by getting them out of rickety houses into better-built barns.

William and Dinah didn't lose any livestock. William and the elder children each followed the rope out to the barn each day, tending the cattle, milking the cows and patching the barn. All of their chickens were lost.

Unbelievably, the raging snowstorm continued until Wednesday, 15 April, 1873. The Nutters, along with many of their neighbors had begun to get very concerned about their supplies of wood for fuel and their supply of lamp oil, as lamps were burning around the clock to keep the buried household out of the dark. In the end, there were several feet of snow on the ground with drifts towering over the plain. Of course, the thaw that inevitably came filled much of the Nutters' home with water, caused the Wood River to overflow and washed away most of what had been planted. The family lived mostly in the loft for days, or perhaps, weeks, before the spring sunshine dried things out.

In October, 1873, more neighbors began moving into the "neighborhood". About fourteen miles north of Gibbon and Shelton, the "Saxon Colonists" began to settle the bluffs. In truth, these people were Saxons, Germans and Bohemians, united by their common language, who had left Germany some years before and who had settled in Northern Michigan. They left before they suffered through another long, brutal winter there. Conditions were difficult in their new home in Nebraska and the timing of their arrival could not have been worse. In the end, they struggled and stayed but suffered through some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. However, their neighbors to the south never held the Saxon colonists in the highest regard dubbed them "Bohunks" -- a derogatory term for Bohemians.

By the spring of 1874, migration to Nebraska had dwindled to nothing. Stories of the storms and other assorted hardships had drowned out the Union Pacific Railroad's propaganda campaign about the idyllic nature of the area. On balance though, settlers had enjoyed several abundant harvests in a row, but even that was about to change.

The summer of 1874 had been very dry and hot. The Nutters, like so many other settlers, often found themselves looking westward for rain clouds that would bring some relief. One day in July, they looked west and spotted a strange haze on the horizon. It wasn't a rain cloud; no one had ever seen anything quite like it. It wasn't until the "haze" was virtually on top of the settlers that they realized the cloud appeared to move deliberately with animation. It was, in fact, a swarm of grasshoppers.

The insects swarmed into the fields for a feast. Three foot high stalks of corn bent over to the ground simply from the weight of alighting grasshoppers. Farmers were frightened by how swiftly their field seemed to be leveled by the marauding insects. Some, but very few varieties, of crops were unmolested by the swarm. It didn't really matter -- the destruction was near enough to total.

The odd climatic events of the previous year or two had set up precisely the perfect conditions to ensure this grasshopper overpopulation anomaly. The grasshoppers that devastated the Wood River Valley had laid their eggs long before they arrived. After gorging themselves there, the insects headed north and devastated the first crops cultivated by the Saxon colonists (the "Bohunks").

Only because the Nutters and many of their neighbors had been frugal with their harvest windfalls from previous years did they weather the meager harvest of 1874. Many of their neighbors benefited from the "kind-hearted, generous people in the east" who sent relief after hearing of the devastation of their crops by the grasshoppers.

In the late spring, early summer of 1875, the grasshoppers came again. (Perhaps no one informed these locusts that they were supposed to be on a seventeen-year cycle). Though their devastation came earlier in the season, the result was basically the same - complete destruction of the cash crops. For many, this was the last straw. Some simply abandoned their claims and moved further west or back east. Many who remained behind didn't realize that this year's grasshoppers had laid eggs and that another disaster was in the making for the next year.

William and Dinah Nutter had lived on their land with their family now for almost six years. The last step in a squatter's rights claim was to register that claim with the nearest United States Land Office, which, for them was in Grand Island. Many of the old colonists had never registered their claims, but all of a sudden, there were stories circulating about people "jumping claims". Specifically, William and Dinah heard that their land may be claimed by someone else. After years of procrastination and upon hearing the claim jumper planned to make his move the next day, William and some of his neighbors walked through the night to Grand Island over twenty miles away rather than risk waiting for the next morning's train. They finally formally registered their claims.

On 18 December, 1875, Dinah gave birth to a son, their ninth living child (fourteenth in total). Again, William decided to name the child for historical figures he admired. This time, it might be said, it didn't work out quite as well for this little boy as it had for his elder brother, Benjamin Franklin Nutter. William selected the French Statesman, the Count of Mirabeau (Honore Gabriel Riquetti) and Diogenes, a Greek Philosopher, to honor. Not surprisingly, young Mirabeau Diogenes Nutter went by the nickname "M.D." most of his life.

In April, 1876, the farmers in the Wood River Valley were tentatively planting the next harvest. Many had tried to first clear away and destroy what they believed were grasshopper eggs. But it started to become clear that the whole area was totally infested. The grasshopper eggs began to hatch. Again, a few more settlers simply abandoned their claims and left the area. Then, something miraculous happened.

Early in May, 1876, came a late spring storm. First came the rain. Then there was sleet and snow. The temperature plummeted and the ground refroze. Those grasshoppers that had hatched didn't survive. Those ready to hatch died in their eggs. This anomaly of grasshoppers was completely eradicated. The harvest of 1876 may have been late, but it was intact.

William and Dinah Nutter's silver wedding anniversary was 10 April, 1877. If any attention was called to the occasion, it isn't remembered. Perhaps it was because Dinah was three months along in her last pregnancy. In her forty-fourth year, Dinah delivered a little girl on 2 October, 1877, child number fifteen of whom ten were alive. The child was not given a name. Even when the little girl started school more than five years later, she was referred to as "Madam" Nutter in the school records. The little girl was allowed the opportunity to select her own name. She did so after she began school. "Madam" was known as "Louise" throughout the rest of her life.

For some reason, in the weeks following this pregnancy, Dinah felt compelled to communicate with her sister, Mary Ann, in England. She had last corresponded with her while living in Philadelphia, some eight years before. How she even knew what address to use can only be imagined. Though she couldn't have known, Mary Ann had been widowed, remarried and had moved several times. Possibly the letter was sent in care of one of William's family with whom he kept up a regular correspondence.

Dinah enlisted her son, John, to write the short letter which she dictated. She had learned to read over the years thanks to her husband and her children's tutelage. However she never mastered cursive writing or printing more than a few words). Dinah brought Mary Ann up to date on her family in the brief missive. In turn, Mary Ann enlisted her eldest daughter to respond with a letter and "a slight token of my love for you in the enclosed Valentine", sent 30 January, 1877.

This Valentine Day greeting, which, no doubt, reached Dinah well after 14 February, was the beginning of a loving, though quite intermittent, correspondence which continued for forty years.


Administration of the Farm, the Household and the Family

Farming is difficult work -- everyone knows that. However, to imply that a successful farm is merely the product of hard work is to do a great disservice to the talents of a farmer.

In fact, a successful farmer is the administrator of an extremely complex business. Some of the modern "buzzwords" of business -- time management, allocation of resources, market assessments, prioritization, capital investment, labor cost analysis and risk management -- all are disciplines in which all farmers had to excel if they meant to succeed.

Often, farmers would select a "cash crop" -- a sort of "specialty". In 1883, William Nutter selected navy beans as his farm's specialty and enjoyed enormous success, due in part, to almost a complete lack of competition. As his son (Mirabeau) would tell a reporter years later, "Dad made a killing in navy beans in the 1880s." The crop was extremely profitable in the harvests of 1883, 1884 and 1885. The next two harvests weren't quite as productive whereupon William was forced to diversify to a greater extent and begin practicing crop rotation since he had "tapped out" the nutrients in the soil where he had planted the beans.

Of course, like most farmers in this area, William Nutter grew a variety of other crops, mostly for consumption by his family and livestock. Eventually, it became more efficient to purchase small grains, like rye, oats and barley from the local store or from other farmers. Still, the Nutters continued to grow potatoes and vegetables. William also began planting an apple orchard early in the 1880s which eventually included 2,000 trees. Though it may have been a wise business decision in the long run, he actually planted these trees and other sorts of trees because the railroads had stripped the land bare of trees all along the rail line. William simply missed them.

All farms had livestock. Horses, of course, were transportation. Oxen were draught animals used mainly for plowing and hauling. Cows provided dairy products. Sheep provided wool and meat. Hogs were sources of meat (and an aromatic nightmare). Raising and keeping all of these animals was extremely labor intensive as they needed daily "tending" (ie., feeding, cleaning their stalls, milking, shearing, grooming, etc.). These were perfect work assignments for the growing children, both male and female.

Eventually, as the area surrounding the Nutter farm became more densely populated, there were neighbors closer (often no more than a half mile away) in all directions. Farmers began drifting towards specialties; dairy farms, sheep farms, poultry farms, hog farms (downwind, it is hoped) and crop farms. The Nutters, for example, could begin to "farm out" their cattle to a neighbor who specialized in raising and tending that particular sort of cattle. Or they could trade, barter or simply purchase outright the products of the neighbor's "specialty".

Though the Nutters raised hogs in the early years, eventually one or two farmers in the area began specializing in hog farming. Since pork meat was in great demand and kept well when smoked, only one or two local farmers (rather than everyone) would have to maintain a smokehouse and a slaughtering operation. As a result, manpower resources on adjacent farms could be freed up for other work.

When the 2,000 apple trees William planted began bearing fruit, a local source for the fruit became William and Dinah Nutter's farm. The hog farmer's wife, wanting to make apple pie, apple sauce or fried apples would bring some back bacon or a half ham to the Nutters in exchange for some bushels of apples.

William Nutter learned what he needed to know about farming mainly through his own experience and the experience of his neighbors. However, he also subscribed to the regular publications of the agricultural departments of nearby universities. He also subscribed to the "Popular Science Monthly" (forerunner of "Popular Science" magazine) soon after it began being published in 1872 and had nearly a full up-to-date set of it by the time he died. He also collected copies of the "North American Review", a collection of poetry, prose and essays reflective of contemporary culture. William himself was a poet, though there are no known surviving examples of his work.

William Nutter enjoyed solitary work and there was a great deal of that sort of work on the farm. While he may have been engaged in the most strenuous kind of manual labor, his mind was often elsewhere in contemplation of some profound subject. William would bring reading material with him into the field and peruse it during the periodic breaks in his toil. No doubt what he read would fuel his next profound contemplation.

It seems as if his earlier obsession with religion (specifically Mormonism) was replaced by a similar driving obsession with matters scientific. It also seems likely that his well-known dismissal of the idea of a supreme being and his enduring contempt for organized religion were probably ideas which gained much traction as his interest in science escalated.

William Nutter had little interest in matters outside his home and farm. There are those who would say he had little interest in matters outside his head. He had only a passing interest in current events and little, if any, in politics. Agents of the local Democratic Party repeatedly approached Nutter to urge him to run for a variety of local offices. He was one of the most senior residents of the area, was very well respected and his intellect was almost legendary. The agents knew he had a chance in this heavily Republican area if he could attract the Independents and secure some cross- over voting. He always refused their solicitations. At least the Democrats could still depend on his vote.

Not one of William Nutter's family or biographers seems to have ever presented a single opinion or anecdote which indicates he was at all sociable or that he was a nurturing father. He was known to enjoy intellectual discussions with neighbors, family and, particularly, with clergy. However, even in these situations it is again his intellect that is remembered, not his reasonableness nor his finesse in pleasant conversation. However, he was delighted that many of his children were also intellectual, ardent readers and, for the most part, espoused scientific analysis and logic, rather than a reliance on any organized religion, to answer most of life's questions. His eldest two sons, John and Will, were carbon copies of their father in their philosophies, their love of learning, science, literature and nature while not resembling him at all in disposition and demeanor.

After the windfall harvests of 1883, 1884 and 1885, William Nutter turned over all financial matters concerning the farm and the household to Dinah. This must have been a great source of satisfaction to him, as her ability to handle these matters was a testament to a two-decade effort on his part to educate her in basic arithmetic, reading and writing. In addition to William's efforts, Dinah had also collaterally benefited from the schooling of her children. William's relinquishment of the financial matters to Dinah demonstrated his complete and utter trust in her abilities. It also showed how little he cared for the social mores of the time, as many men regarded control of the household finances as the man's domain and tantamount to the man's power base. In practice, William was probably delighted to relinquish these duties allowing more time for his scientific contemplations. It is also interesting to speculate that William may have handed over the finances to Dinah simply because she was better at it. Evidence about their respective personalities does actually support such speculation.

Dinah Nutter should never be dismissed as a hard working simple woman whose husband was kind enough to train her in the complexities of the English language and arithmetic. She had to possess a brilliance of her own to attract and keep the interest of a man like her husband. She had to possess an enormous strength of character to elicit the enduring and universal admiration of everyone who knew her or met her. In fact, she possessed several admirable attributes which her "intellectual" husband sorely lacked; she was extremely social and a very nurturing parent. Additionally, she was an adaptable, resilient, even-tempered and pragmatic person, quite unlike William. Some called her "stoic", and while that may be true, she was not stoic in the sense she simply accepted her lot in life. Rather, she actively participated in charting the course of her life. In a very real way, William and Dinah were partners who built on each others' strengths.

The hard work attached to being a wife and mother on a farm is well-known. Yet it is not detailed, analyzed and considered in many works about life on the Great Plains or elsewhere. Like the farmers' role, it would be a disservice to merely attribute the successful and efficient running of a household simply to hard work. The same business disciplines mentioned at the beginning of this chapter as requirements for a successful farmer were also required by a wife and mother at these times.

Consider Dinah's first eighteen years after her she joined her husband in Nebraska in 1869 with the children. She performed all of her household duties within the confines of a drafty log home twelve by eighteen feet. For the majority of that time, she had at least two children under five years old. For half that time, she was either pregnant or nursing an infant. For most of that time she was cooking, baking, clothing, sewing and washing for more than a dozen people.

In most households today, serving a full meal to more than a dozen people in a large home, well-outfitted with modern appliances and conveniences, sends chills down the spine of most hosts or hostesses. Dinah had to accomplish this same task, three times every day, with very primitive implements and raw materials amidst a myriad of other household tasks.

Cooking and baking "fueled" the farm in a very real sense. Because of that, the meals had to be "hearty" (large) to ensure that they fueled the hard work each family member did. Preparation began well before dawn. Wood had to be gathered (which, in turn had to have been grown, cut, hauled and stored) to heat the oven and fuel the stove. But keep in mind that the ashes from the previous day's fire would have to be cleaned out of the stove and stored somewhere. Ash was very useful in making soap, it could be thrown on manure to keep odor at a manageable level or it was sometimes used, with other ingredients, in fertilizer.

Breakfast was "very hearty" (huge) on most farms. There was almost always ham, bacon and/or sausage and eggs. There were one or two carbohydrate fillers; pancakes, muffins, oatmeal, corn meal mush, suet pudding and regular or sourdough bread, etc. It wasn't all that unusual to have a fruit pie served at breakfast.

Remember that ham, bacon and sausage were not products bought at a store. Hogs had to be raised, tended, fed, bred and slaughtered. The meat had to be smoked, cut and spiced. If one were lucky, these meats could be purchased, bartered and/or traded from a local hog farm. Otherwise, the slaughtering, smoking and spicing of meats required a great deal of labor, time and expertise at home.

The eggs, of course, were an intrinsic part of most meals and baking. Eggs came from the hens in the hen house, which was almost always under the domain of the farmer's wife. The hen house had to have been built, or converted from another structure. Sometimes the hen house was simply an area set aside in the barn. Throughout some of the year, the hen house had to be heated. Hens needed regular tending; the hen house needed to be cleaned regularly, the hens needed feeding, eggs needed to be collected.

Pancakes, muffins and bread required flour which was eventually available from local grain farmers and the local general store. Prior to that time, one had to sow, cultivate, grow, harvest and store wheat and arrange for milling. The process would be similar for oats for oatmeal and corn for cornmeal recipes.

Many of these foods required water and milk in these recipes. Of course, that meant the water had to be hauled from the nearby Wood River or (eventually) hand pumped from the ground. The milk had to come from cows which needed milking twice per day and tending at least once per day. Any butter would have to be churned from cream. When maple or fruit syrup was served to top these breakfast items, the products of nearby trees would have to be harvested, processed and stored.

Keep in mind that after each ingredient was stored, mixed, cooked and baked in various tins, skillets, crockery, pots and pans, the vessels would have to be washed in water collected, pumped and boiled with soap made from lye, ash, fat, and other ingredients.

Lunch for the farm family was sometimes eaten in the field or at school and often had to be prepared beforehand. Therefore, food for lunch had to be food which was unlikely to spoil or melt. Whole fresh fruit or dried fruit qualifies. Cheese was often part of the lunch fare, along with something baked; biscuits, bread or cornbread. Raw carrots kept well also. If there was any meat at lunch, it was likely to be dried (jerky) if it was summer.

Lunch didn't require the flurry of activity in the kitchen area which other meals did and often meant that they family did not convene in the home for the meal. However, it did require work throughout the day; fruit and carrots had to be picked, cheese had to be made from milk and bread, biscuits, muffins, etc., had to be baked and meats had to be dried.

Dinners were another huge undertaking. Meats were beef roasts, pork roasts, hams, chickens, mutton, quail, rabbit and/or stews and soups made from these meats. Again, these animals had to be raised, tended, fed, captured, slaughtered and variously prepared before cooking.

Of course, potatoes (fried, baked, roasted or boiled) figured heavily in the evening meal. All kinds of vegetables and legumes were included, some of which had to be planted, raised, harvested, peeled and cleaned. Among those were carrots, turnips, spinach (and their "greens"), corn, peas, navy beans, Lima beans and green beans.

Breads, biscuits, muffins, pies, cakes and puddings all had to be baked for "filler" food and dessert. And yes, even in those days, she would likely make cakes and cookies.

So, it can be said with some certainty that Dinah, during her lifetime, planted potatoes, vegetables and legumes, weeded them as they grew, hand-harvested, washed, peeled, trimmed and shelled them, cooked them in various manners, alone and together and canned them for storage. She also took the small grains (rye, wheat, corn, barley, etc) and baked bread, biscuits, muffins, cornbread, pies, cakes, etc. She also kept chickens, insured they were warm, fed them, cleaned the hen house, gathered eggs and occasionally beheaded a few chickens, plucking and bleeding them properly. She also smoked pork for hams and bacon, made sausage, dried meat, made roasts, stews and soups. She fed, tended and milked the cows, separated the milk and cream, made cheese and churned butter. She picked fruit and sometimes peeled and cooked it or canned it. She gathered wood and kept a fire almost constantly burning in her stove for cooking, baking, canning and washing dishes and clothes. She attempted to vary the family's diet, tried to cater to tastes, considered nutrition and the availability of certain food.

But, Dinah didn't do all of this, all of the time, every day. This is why farmers and their wives have children.

By the time each of the children passed their fifth or sixth birthday, they were assigned some duties related to the running of the household. Most of these duties had to do with tending the animals, preparation of food and the supply of fuel (wood). Sometimes, these duties were regularly rotated, sometimes the duty stuck with the child throughout their adolescence. Whichever the case, these assignments had a two-fold purpose. First, it taught the children skills needed to someday run their own household and perhaps, their own farm. Second, it freed up a great deal of Dinah's time for other work - and there was much more work to do.

After all, when was the last time anyone saw a naked farmer? It was Dinah who had to arrange for clothing to be made or bought. She had to wash the clothes and mend them as well.

Dinah made the majority of the family's clothes in the early days. As a girl, she had learned to sew from her elder sister, Grace. Most material was bought from the store or from a neighbor. Though both she and William knew how to spin and weave, making cloth required a loom and more spare time than either of them had.

Of course, clothes were passed down from one child to the next. But there were thirteen years between Will and Frank, so little, if anything, was passed down after that long. Then, there came a time when the five girls in-between them were basically all the same size. So again, little, if any, clothes were passed down -- but there was probably some trading. There simply was no way around the fact that new clothes had to be bought or made.

In these times, it is unlikely that the children had more than two or three changes of clothes. Since the Nutters didn't attend church, "good" clothes weren't absolutely necessary. Hygiene left a lot to be desired in those days and two or three sets of clothes seems likely to be the bare necessities. These clothes were likely all work and school clothes and would be rather simple. In fact, some of the clothes were likely made from flour sacks.

Imagine Dinah's wash day -- which probably came along slightly more frequently than once a week. The soap would have to be made in advance out of lye, fat, ashes and other ingredients. In preparation, Dinah would have to sit with a paring knife slicing bits of soap off the bar into warm water. Then it was time to get several pots of water boiling.

Clothes, underclothes, stockings, shirts, blouses and dresses were washed first. Often, clothes for males and clothes for females were often washed separately for some contrived "hygienic" reasons. Bedding was washed separately and not too often. Rags were washed last. Rags had a number of uses -- none too appealing; diapers, cleaning cloths for the house, towels, bandages, feminine hygiene pads, etc. All washing would have to be hung up to dry-- outside if possible or around the heat of the stove indoors, if not. Some of the washing needed ironing. Then, in her spare time, Dinah would have to mend clothes that were torn or worn through.

A photograph of the family, taken around 1882, shows the parents and all ten children in their "good" clothes -- sons in suits, daughters in "fancy" dresses. It also seems probable this may have been the first time all of them possessed good clothes, all of which were finely tailored and appear to have been store-bought.

William Nutter Family
A photo of William and Dinah Nutter with their ten surviving children. Standing, (left to right) William Junior, Ellen, Benjamin Franklin "Frank", Elizabeth, Ione and Jane "Jennie". In the front row are Alice, Mirabeau, the parents -William and Dinah, Louise and John. (Based on the apparent age of Louise - who was born in October of 1877 - this photo seems likely to have been taken in 1882, very possibly on the occassion of their 30th wedding anniversary.)

Before the 1880s, the nearest real doctor to the Nutter family was at Kearney. Luckily, the family appeared to have been very healthy. The children grew up during the time of several great epidemics of typhoid, smallpox, diphtheria and cholera. One advantage of rural living was that epidemics, for the most part, swept past rural areas and flourished in the cities and towns where the population was most concentrated.

When one of the family did injure themselves or come down with a normal childhood illness, it was, of course, Dinah who acted as healer. Dinah learned her healing arts from other mothers, who, for the most part, exchanged misinformation with each other. William Nutter tended to the equation whatever he learned from his reading. There was a lot of misinformation floating around in those years. Much of it was actually printed in "medical" books. It has been suggested that any patient sitting in an average doctor's waiting room today has a more comprehensive understanding of medicine than the average doctor practicing in 1880.

Therefore, the health and hardiness of the Nutters was due to the convergence of good nutrition, physical fitness (a by-product of their hard work) and a great deal of luck and good heredity.

The elder children passed into adulthood. John Nutter at age 22, leased some school land nearby in 1878 and began farming in his own right but continued to board with his parents. John's exercise in independence meant his father had to hire a farm hand, John Sweeney, to help with the family farm. It isn't known whether John's father was entirely supportive of him striking out on his own. It became a moot point soon as John met and began courting Anna Carlson. She was a recent immigrant from Sweden and was working as a maid at the farm house of John Depew in Kearny. They were married at Kearney on 2 May, 1882 and went to live in Platte Township where they began their family.

At the same time, his two sisters (Ellen and Ione) began courting two brothers (Walter and Boyd Williams) either late in 1880 or early in 1881. Dinah would later remark "two sisters as different as they could be met two brothers as different as they could be". Walter Williams and Ellen were married 22 November, 1881 and Ione married Boyd Williams the following spring on 28 March, 1882.

Less than two weeks later, Dinah and William celebrated their thirtieth wedding anniversary on 10 April, 1882. Then, less than three weeks later, John�s wife gave William and Dinah their first grandchild. The little girl was born 30 April, 1882 and called "Olive" after the Nutter's first daughter, born just over thirty years before. After that, the grandchildren just kept on coming.


The Octagonal House

Either late in 1885, or early in 1886, there was another one of those "chance encounters" in William Nutter's life. A man, traveling on foot across the plains, happened by the Nutters� log cabin asking for food, a place to spend the night and if there was any work available. William Nutter was extremely interested when he learned that the man was a finish carpenter.

The Nutters had just enjoyed their second rather lucrative harvest of navy beans and were, again, in receipt of more ready cash than they had ever imagined possible. Like many of their neighbors, they were contemplating building a "finished" house, more in keeping with the success they were enjoying. Though the three eldest children had married and moved out, nine people in a log cabin was simply too Spartan an existence for a successful farm family by then.

Of course, William Nutter had researched house designs but had been fascinated with octagonally shaped houses since he first saw one in 1860. In that year, on the way to Utah, William and Dinah saw an octagonal log house in northeast Omaha, Nebraska built by Dr. Willard Richards. It is believed Dr. Richards was influenced by Orson Fowler, a phrenologist, whose works on other matters were later published in Popular Science Monthly which William Nutter read avidly. Fowler was a bit of an eccentric who promoted "octagonal living" as a means to improved physical and mental health. Many Americans bought his idea and octagonal houses began sprouting up all across the Midwestern United States in the 1860s. Some people built the houses simply because eight sides allowed eight vistas to the horizon. That supposedly afforded residents a clearer view of oncoming dangers such as Indians, storms, trespassers, etc.

The octagonal shape actually appealed to William Nutter for entirely different reasons. With its lack of right angles on the outside, it had, in his opinion, less wasted space and had rooms that gave the illusion of being bigger than they actually were. Perhaps Dinah agreed with him. More likely, she would have been delighted to move into a larger home regardless of what shape William would have dreamt up.

So, when the aforementioned traveler identified himself as a finish carpenter stopped by the Nutters' log cabin asking for work William and Dinah must have practically pounced on him. One can imagine that William started extracting from the visitor whatever expertise he could and the two men likely drew up the plans together. Ground breaking for the house began after the Spring thaw of 1887.

A basement was dug and concrete walls were erected to hold back the earth. Then, a three and half foot foundation was built to ensure that the next time the Wood River flooded out, there would be no flooding inside the house. (Incredibly, the three and half foot foundation was no more than an inch or two higher than the worst flooding experienced over the next century).

William Nutter ordered lumber from out of state. Most local wood was cottonwood which, when seasoned, is very hard, very difficult to work with and prone to warping. Finished, milled wood was ordered, arrived by railroad and was carted to the Nutter farm.

The frame and sides went up quickly. Each of the eight sides was sixteen feet and each reached up eighteen feet from the foundation. In a relatively short time, the Nutters, the journeyman carpenter and some of the neighbors had effectively built the outside shell of the house. The inside began to be defined; five rooms on the ground floor, mostly fifteen and a half feet by eighteen feet. Upstairs there were six rooms arrayed off an exterior staircase. Above that was a huge attic room.

The building effort had to suffer a hiatus or at least, a substantial slowdown, as the harvest of 1887 began. Imagine the anticipation of the family as the immense octagonal structure developed just a hundred yards away to the east along the Wood River when viewed from the humble log cabin that had been their home for eighteen years.

Some accounts say the family moved into the octagonal house on 12 January, 1888. The date is probably apocryphal as it has other local significance as the day of the great snowfall. In fact, the family probably moved in piece-meal as the various rooms were finished throughout the late Fall and early Winter. Children of "squatters" would no doubt understand the importance of "filing claim" to preferred rooms.

The Nutter farm The Nutter farm (taken about 1890). In the foreground (left to right) are B.F. "Frank" Nutter, William Nutter Senior and Mirabeau Nutter. On the right is the new barn built at the same time as the house in 1888.

As has been noted, on average, each of the rooms in the new house were eighteen by fifteen feet. Therefore, each of the rooms was larger than the entire log cabin that had been their home for eighteen years. Their new home had much more than twelve times the living space they were used to. It had amazing modern conveniences; a plumbed-in bathroom with hot and cold water and toilet, a furnace, a water heater and a kitchen with running water (hot and cold) plus a huge stove.

On the ground floor, was the kitchen with an adjacent pantry, a dining room, a formal parlor, a library/office and another room off the kitchen used variously as a living room/work room/play room/storage room. Upstairs were five bedrooms each virtually the same size. One bedroom, however was split in two, half used as a small bedroom, the other half as a bathroom. Above that was an enormous attic. The house was crowned with an observation deck resembling a New England "widow's walk". At the front entrance to the house was a large porch room.

The parents certainly had their own bedroom. Teenage sons Frank and Mirabeau likely shared a bedroom, little Louise likely got the little bedroom, daughters Libby (age 22) and Jennie (age 18) would likely share a bedroom and son Will (age 28) probably got his own bedroom after the finish carpenter, who boarded with the Nutters during the time the octagonal house was built, moved on.

Life was forever changed for all creatures on the Nutter farm. Not only did the family get a new house, a large, new barn was built conveniently near the house. The family and the animals were quite nicely settled in by Thursday, 12 January, 1888. On that day, Mirabeau and Louise were returning from school in Shelton without their coats about three in the afternoon. The sun had made the air warm and dry - but quite hazy - as if it were Indian Summer, not January. Suddenly, the wind switched to the North. In a matter of a few minutes, the temperature dropped precipitously and snow began to fall; first in large flakes, then small flakes driven by a horrific wind. Farmers, who, a half hour before, were driving their teams in their shirtsleeves, suddenly couldn't see the heads of the cattle in front of them due to the density of the blowing snow.

The Nutters found shelter in their new home after the livestock had been put away in the massive new barn. The structures were sorely tested though; there were sustained winds of fifty-six miles per hour and the mercury eventually plummeted to thirty-four degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

Others were less fortunate. The storm became known as the "Schoolchildren's Blizzard" as scores of children perished on their regular walk home from school. Most were found frozen to death just a few yards away from shelter after the snow. The death toll in Nebraska was well over a hundred, in the Dakotas, it was well over a thousand. In many counties, at least half the livestock perished.

The storm and the intense cold that followed lasted three days and was followed almost immediately by another fierce storm. It was actually several weeks before the eastern United States heard about the death toll, the greatest in recorded history up to that time. Then, two months later, the New York City area was hit by a similar winter storm of its own with a similar loss of life.

Just eleven days after the "Blizzard of 1888", on 23 January, 1888, the Nutters' eleventh grandchild was born in the old log cabin behind their new house. Sadly, the little boy died within minutes. The boy's mother, William and Dinah's daughter, Alice, had now given birth to two little boys, both of whom had died in infancy.

Alice had horrified her parents two years before when she married "that no-good Wes Scott" at Kearney on 2 January, 1886. She then "ran off" with her husband to western Nebraska and settled on the Colorado border near the town of Verango. There their son, Weaver, was born on 2 December. Little Weaver died the following September, some believe of malnutrition. After a failed harvest in 1887, Alice and Wes returned to the Shelton area and her family, very pregnant. William and Dinah said that Alice and Wes could live in the log house as they were in the very final stages of moving into the octagonal house with the rest of the family.

The family believed Alice lost the second boy, Celcer, because she was also malnourished. Of course, they laid the blame for this squarely at "that no-good Wes Scott's" front door (which used to be their own front door). After all, he was not working and had nothing. Offered work on the Nutter farm, he regularly declined, pleading poor health. The Nutters believed Wes was a lazy opportunist who thought he could live off the wealth of the Nutters. Nonetheless, William and Dinah allowed the couple to continue living in the log house on and off for several years. That way, Alice's parents and siblings could monitor Alice's living conditions and health. Alice gave birth to children at an alarming rate thereafter. Wes Scott worked when he felt up to it. He appears to have spent some of his free time thinking up bizarre names for the some of the children that followed; (Colin, Cecil, Basil Oliver, ColRussel, Tela Wessie and Icis).

Throughout the 1880s, land prices in Nebraska skyrocketed. This made it difficult for the Williams brothers, Walter and Boyd, who were married to the Nutter sisters, Ellen and Ione, to buy land. They had leased land since their marriages, but were not able to save enough to purchase farms of their own. Like many other young families in the area, they were intrigued by the opportunities in the Northwest. In 1888, each couple decided to move. Walter and Ellen headed to the Dalles in Oregon. Boyd and Ione at first went a bit further North to Seattle, Washington but eventually settled in Salem, Oregon.. This was the first time any of William and Dinah Nutter's children would live farther away than a comfortable ride in a buckboard wagon. Interestingly, the descendants of Ellen and Ione would regard those two sisters as the pioneers in their ancestry, barely aware of the pioneers who had preceded them.

William and Dinah's daughter Elizabeth "Libby" married Alabama native James F. Robertson on 20 February, 1889. Libby was always one of their more difficult children and carried her negative attitude and sour disposition into the marriage. After five years and three children, James Robertson also went to Washington State seeking opportunity in 1894 and appears to have found it. He neglected to ever send for his wife and sons. Libby returned to her parents' octagonal home with her three sons and they lived there off William and Dinah's good will for the rest of her life.

Son Will Nutter finally married at the age of thirty-two on 26 November, 1891. His bride was a petite and vivacious seventeen year old girl nearly half his age named Laura Myrtle Comstock. Laura was just two weeks away from delivering their first child when she and Will attended the next Nutter wedding. On New Year's Day, 1893, Jennie Nutter married Will Hogg in the parlor of the octagonal house. They settled on a farm nearby. Both newly-married married couples were able to take advantage of the latest trend in land prices. In the early 1890s, land prices suddenly plummeted in Nebraska for a variety of reasons. Both sets of newlyweds purchased farms nearby where they began raising the children that came along.

On 22 March, 1893, Anna Carlson Nutter, the wife of William and Dinah's eldest son John, died at the hospital in Kearney following complications from the termination of a pregnancy. John was left with four little girls and a boy, all under ten years old, to raise. Certainly Dinah and her two younger daughters, the recently-married Jennie Nutter Hogg and Louise (now age fifteen) stepped into the breach and assisted John in the care of the children. Despite the fact that John's marriage to Anna had been far from idyllic, or perhaps because of that fact, John was quickly able to court and marry a "successor". On Christmas Day, 1893, John wedded twenty-two year old Jennie Reinholdson, another recent immigrant from Sweden, who had only a very superficial grasp of the English language. Jennie quickly assumed the care of his household, the five children and the children of her own who came along soon thereafter.

The octagonal house became the social center of the extended family with all but two of the children and most of the grandchildren living on farms arrayed around the Nutter land. Dinah thrived in this environment. William, however, seemed to withdraw. It wasn't all that unusual that, as he passed through his sixties, he began to hand off more and more of his duties on the farm to his sons Frank and Mirabeau. What is unusual is that he grew even more reclusive and solitary in his activities. He began buying books at a rate which alarmed Dinah. Some would cite that her alarm was a result of a quaint lack of appreciation for books due to her borderline literacy. In reality, William's appetite for books seriously taxed their finances, which was Dinah's domain. Nevertheless, William Nutter amassed a huge collection of very expensive books in his library. Among them were the complete works of English Philosopher Herbert Spencer, English Naturalist Charles Darwin, Italian Anthropologist Tito Vignoli and other rather esoteric sets of works often (in those times) not even found in the libraries in the larger towns, let alone a farmer's private library.

Some say that William became more compulsive and reclusive as he entered his sixties (1890) but others say he was simply a voracious reader and a brilliant scientist. Whatever the case, perhaps an incident that occurred when he discovered an entire harvest of apples had been ruined by worms speaks volumes about his behavior.

As was typical, his very first reaction was anger. He then scoured all available sources for data on the worms and found little, if anything worthwhile. Next, he set aside one room in his house for study. He then catalogued the 2,000 trees in his orchard and analyzed the worms he collected noting their number and size relative to where they were found in the orchard.

A professor of horticulture from Nebraska State University heard of his work and eventually visited the Nutter farm to observe the work William was doing and, supposedly, incorporate William's data into a bulletin soon to be published under the aegis of the university. Based on William Nutter's investigations and "like investigations", the professor recommended yearly spraying of the trees to kill the fruit pests. Whether William Nutter's study actually was intrinsic to the recommendation is not certain. However, Dinah believed it was important and took great delight in telling the story of, what she believed to be, her husband's great scientific contribution.

The Nutter farm Per the recollections of Theta (Nutter) Potter: "I grew up on this farm. By the time I was born, the octagon house had gone through several changes. The windows were changed. The closed porch was opened,as you see. The post by my grandfather is a part of that porch. The windows are different but it is the same house.

The man (in the bib overalls) by post is Mirabeau Nutter. Donovan Nutter (his son) is to his left. To his right is Loyal Boyd VanDyke, husband of Mamie (Hogg) Vandyke, who is standing in the front row, third from the left. Lizzie (Hogg) Nutter is behind boy with mallet (she is 4th woman from left). Possibly daughters: Pauline (1st from left), Elva (2nd from left), Janet (between Mirabeau and Donovan)." The others are still unidentified.
The Nutter farm Per the recollections of Theta (Nutter) Potter: "The barn is on the home place, William and Dinah's farm. My grandfather (Mirabeau) inherited it and then my father (Donovan). Mirabeau Nutter is the man in bib overalls, and that is probably Lizzie Hogg Nutter with daughter Pauline. I can't recognize the other men.

I have no memories of the small barn beside the windmill but I do remember the much larger barn. Of course my memories began at least 60 years after the original buildings were built. There was a steel windmill later (see the bottom leg by the horse in the barn picture). There is a large door to the far right of the building. My grandfather parked his car inside in later years. The door and window placement is as I remember it. I have many vivid, happy memories playing in this barn, watching my grandfather and father milk cows, playing with new lambs and calves, and later working with 4-H calves, etc. There was a massive hay mow as well. The trees behind it were along Wood River, the river that ran through the farm."


William's Long Decline and Dinah's Widowhood

Sometime during 1896 or 1897, William Nutter began to slow down. After he had turned 60 in 1890, he had begun handing off the vast majority of his farm work to his sons Frank and Mirabeau. What portion he did retain became ever more difficult to accomplish.

At first, he attributed his difficulty with work simply to old age. However, he eventually began to have difficulty with rather simple tasks - specifically walking. Ultimately, in about a year's time, William Nutter was transformed from a robust man, going about the business of his farm, to a little old man shuffling around the house with a walking stick. His days of uncertainly shuffling about his home came to a quick end probably due to a single incident.

[Editor's Note: Readers with sensitive stomachs may want to skip the next paragraph...]

Someone discovered William on the floor one day, his head surrounded by a substantial pool of blood. The situation appeared critical at first but quickly shifted to "simply" gruesome when William was further examined. He had indeed fallen, but his most serious injury was a result of him having fallen on his walking stick which had fully pierced his cheek and perhaps his palette. Considering the amount of blood which would result from such an injury and the freakish nature of the injury, it seems likely the family would have called in a doctor. Whether the wound was stitched and/or bandaged, for the rest of his days William carried more than just a scar as a reminder of this incident. Some exterior facial tissue apparently was displaced and healed inside William's mouth. Periodically, a patch of hair would have to be clipped from inside his mouth.

William was confined to bed for some weeks and never walked again. The family procured a wheelchair which afforded him the opportunity to be wheeled around to other rooms in the house and, occasionally, outside.

Several doctors were consulted. One doctor offered a particularly upsetting, ignorant and cynical diagnosis; "locomotor ataxia". This is the paralysis associated with the tertiary stage of syphilis, apparently ignoring the fact that he had not gone through the first and second stage nor had he engaged in behavior likely to cause him to contract the disease. Another doctor diagnosed "apoplexy" (a stroke) despite the fact that William's paralysis was "lateral" (on both sides) rather than "bilateral" (on one side) and had not resulted from an "incident" or series of them.

Whether or not the Nutters ever got an accurate diagnosis during William's lifetime is really a moot point. At the end of the nineteenth century, there simply was no treatment for any for any of these conditions. This is also true of the likely "correct" diagnosis as his symptoms, in retrospect, were classically those of Parkinson's Disease.

Consider a man of William Nutter's energy, vitality and lack of gentle sociability being forced to rely on others and a chair with wheels for mobility or simply being totally bedridden. Imagine his anger, frustration, irritation and impatience. The nearest target, of course, was Dinah and she endured William's irrational and abusive manner not out of any desire to cast herself as the long- suffering wife, but rather because she fully comprehended how profoundly awful her husband's situation was for him. A bedroom on the ground floor was set aside for William just off the kitchen. A curtain gave him his privacy and served, by his choice, as a wall between him and family, friends and often, the world.

As 1899 began, although so many of their family had married and were raising families of their own, Dinah was still running a household serving more than a dozen people. Frank, Mirabeau and Louise were still all at home, as was Libby and her three sons, Lorton, Robert and Ben. Behind the octagonal house in the log house was the growing family of her daughter, Alice and "that no-good Wes Scott" - all occasional guests at the Nutter dinner table.

On 28 February, 1899, William and Dinah's youngest daughter, Louise, married Reuben Miller and moved to Gardner Township, a few miles north of Gibbon and Shelton.

With all the work attendant to running the household, Dinah now had to contend with a demanding husband confined to bed. Eventually, she had to deal with his inability to feed himself and his incontinence. Though Dinah felt she was physically up to the task, there came a time when she had to realize there were only twenty-four hours in a day. The Nutters were now people of means. Hiring a live-in assistant seemed the logical solution. Enter Katie Link.

Katharina Link had been born in Mundelsheim, Germany and came to Nebraska with her family when she was fourteen years old in 1883. Her parents had settled among the other "Bohunks" north of Gibbon and Shelton. She became a friend of the Nutters' youngest daughter, Louise. When Dinah wondered out loud whom she might hire to help care for her bedridden husband, Louise proffered Katie Link's name.

Katie jumped at the chance to work as William Nutter's nurse. After all, she would be able to live in with the family in the magnificent octagonal house. She was very petite and charming, giving Dinah some pause as to whether she would be capable of all her duties, among them lifting William out of bed into his wheeled chair. Katie pointed out that Dinah, who was also comparably petite, had been doing so for some time and then quite deftly demonstrated that ability.

An added perquisite to Katie's employment was her daily access to the two handsome young men running the farm; Frank and Mirabeau Nutter. Katie was closing in on her thirtieth birthday soon and marriage was likely the next item on her agenda. Marriage into this family would also ensure great financial security long term.

Katie set her sights on Mirabeau Nutter. Unfortunately, Mirabeau wanted nothing but a great deal of distance between him and Katie. Frank was more easily seduced. By late Spring, 1899, Katie was expecting a baby.

Katie expected Frank to marry her. Frank was reluctant at first. Katie then went to Dinah and explained her situation and said that she must convince her son to marry her. She also planted an additional thought for Dinah to contemplate; if Frank didn't marry her, people may assume that he refused because it was not his baby. Since "everyone" knew Mirabeau disliked her intensely, the only logical inference "everyone" would make was that the baby she was carrying was fathered by William Nutter. The brave pioneer woman was strangely moved by the thought of such malicious gossip and gently prodded Frank to do "the right thing".

Though his body was shutting down, William Nutter's mind was as sharp as ever. He thoroughly believed that Katie had clearly set a trap for Frank and he was outraged by the passive role he and his illness had played in setting the trap. He wanted no more of her "nursing". He vociferously forbade Dinah to allow Frank's wedding to be conducted at their home.

Katie and Frank were married at her parents' home in Luce, Nebraska, 9 June, 1899. Family members claim that, up until that date, Frank had been a very spirited, animated, cheerful young man. They also said that after he married he was very dour and withdrawn. Whether or not this was, in fact, true, it is certainly a fact that Frank and Katie were very much at odds their entire married life regarding interests, personalities, priorities and philosophies.

As was often the case, Dinah set the tone for the family. She believed Katie should be embraced by the family, welcomed as Frank's wife and as the soon-to-be mother of her grandchild. She insisted Frank and Katie should come live in the octagonal house. William Nutter was, at first livid, but Dinah's cool determination eventually won out with everyone - except their daughter, Libby. She could not contain her intrinsic negativity and moved out of the octagonal house into a little home on her brother William's farm with her three boys.

On 17 January, 1900, in an upstairs bedroom of the octagonal house, Katie gave birth to the Nutters' thirty-first grandchild, Lyman Karl Wilhelm Nutter.

The fact that, apart from the Parkinson's Disease, William Nutter was extremely healthy and fit probably served him poorly in his final years. The general course of the disease eventually leads to complete paralysis whereupon pneumonia or circulatory disease finally affords the patient a release from their ordeal. It was fully nine years before this happened to William early in the morning of 13 May, 1906.

William's long farewell had allowed Dinah to slowly adjust to widowhood. They had "celebrated" their golden wedding anniversary alone in 1902 after William had become bedridden. Sometime in 1903, his great mind slipped away. After robbing a body of its strength and mobility, the disease in its most advanced stages sometimes attacks the patient's mind producing "Parkinson's Dementia". For more than two years, William was unable to recognize family and friends. Dinah had really lost William quite a long time before his death.

For the first time in her seventy-two years on earth, Dinah had the means and opportunity to do just about whatever she pleased. She made some choices which speak volumes about what she loved and what she thought was important.

Early in her widowhood, Dinah made a trip out west to Washington and Oregon. Several portions of her large family lived there. She hadn't seen four of her granddaughters since they left Nebraska as children in 1888 and had never met two grandsons from the same families. There were half a dozen great-grandchildren there whom she had never seen. In fact, she had only ever met her one great-grandchild, Amy Graham, who was locally situated in Nebraska.

Daughter Jennie, her husband, Will Hogg and their sons had moved to Salem, Oregon in 1904. Daughter Ellen and her husband Walter Williams who had moved West in 1888, were settled on a farm near Madras, Oregon. Ione had herself been widowed in 1897 after moving West in 1888 and had remarried. She and Oliver Perry Mauzey were living near Salem, Oregon. The children of these sisters were all in northwest Oregon or southwest Washington. Additionally, a son and two daughters of Dinah's eldest son John had recently moved to the area as well.

Dinah and kids Taken in Denver, Colorado, likely in February, 1907, around the time of Olive Nutter's marriage to Charles Holmes. Reuben Miller and Louise (Nutter) Miller flank the "passengers" in the car. Their children, Gerald and Ruby are at the front. Olive (Nutter) Holmes, John Nutter's eldest daughter, is in the next row with her grandmother, Dinah. Charles Holmes is at the back-center.

Dinah also made a trip to Denver, Colorado in February, 1907 to attend the wedding of her eldest granddaughter, Olive Nutter, to Charles Holmes.

In 1907, Samuel C. Bassett, a friend and neighbor of William and Dinah's, began research on his book "The History of Buffalo County". In it, he gives much space and detail to the life of the Nutters and relies almost entirely on several personal interviews with Dinah for that information. It is very clear from his writings that he had the utmost respect for Dinah.

Bassett wrote, "No historical account of this family is at all complete that does not include some further mention of the mother of this family; she enjoyed little in the way of educational advantages and at an age when she should have been playing with her dolls (she) was helping to earn the family living by winding bobbins for the weaver's shuttle. She it was who loyally, patiently, uncomplainingly followed the varying fortunes of the family, seemingly never discouraged, always hopeful, doing her share of work most laborious, enduring her full share of all privations, bearing fifteen children...

He continued, "As the years came and went, she came to be the financier of the family. She it was who saw that the children had food in plenty and of good quality, that they were comfortably clothed...she it was who saw that the children were regular in attendance at school and attended to the cares and duties assigned them. In furnishing, from memory only, on request, something of the history of her family, its travels, its privations, its toils and struggles at times for the barest necessities of life, its times of great peril and sore affliction, she was much more likely to recall some humorous feature or incident than one of peril or great privation and seemed not to realize that people who thus meet and overcome such almost insurmountable obstacles, and at last secure by industry, economy and integrity a comfortable home for themselves and their immediate family are true heroes and heroines of real life. Notwithstanding all the toils and privations incident to her life and travels, Mrs. Nutter in the seventy-third year of her age pursues her daily task with a vigor of step and sprightliness of movement to be envied by many a person still on the sunny side of life".

Even though, to a person, everyone in Dinah's family who knew her, spoke of her only with great love, respect, reverence and warmth, it is nice to have similar testimony from an "outsider" like Samuel C. Bassett.

Dinah's son Frank, his wife Katie and their two sons (another son, William Benjamin Franklin Nutter, had been born in 1906) moved into their own home which Frank had built about 1907 on eighty acres he purchased northeast of the original Nutter farm. In 1908, Dinah's daughter Alice, her husband Wes Scott, and their eight children moved from the area of Gibbon, Nebraska to relocate in Julesburg, Colorado. Only Dinah and her son Mirabeau were left living in the octagonal house.

Mirabeau made some changes to the fifty-year-old log house that had been the Nutter home. First, it appears he filled in the hole over which the house was built. Secondly, the loft was apparently removed as that would now have been at ground level. Thirdly, a room on the north side of the cabin (built by William Nutter) was torn down. From that point onwards, the log home was used primarily for storage of a variety items and was eventually torn down in the 1930s.

On 6 July, 1910, Mirabeau himself finally married. His bride was Lizzie Amanda Hogg, sister to Will Hogg who had already married Jennie Nutter, Mirabeau's older sister. Additionally, almost two years to the day after Mirabeau and Lizzie were married, Lizzie's brother, John Hogg, married Beatrice Nutter, the daughter of Mirabeau's eldest brother, John. (Though there were other multiple intermarriages between the Nutter family and other families, such as the Links, Bakers and the Scotts, the Nutter-Hogg alliances seem to be the only "triple-header").

Early in 1912, Dinah received a letter from a relative she had never met. In the letter was a proposition so intriguing she could not resist it. For Dinah's part, she had to travel alone by train over a thousand miles east to Worcester, Massachusetts where she would be met by the relative. He then accompanied her back to his sister's home in Pawtucket, Rhode Island where she walked in the front door at 28 Privet Street.

The relative, Dinah's nephew Albion Tattersall, called across the parlor to an elderly lady sitting by the fireplace. In his "broad" Lancashire accent he asked "Mootha, does ta knoow this lady 'ere?" ("Mother, do you know this lady here?"). Mary Ann squinted as she looked over until the proverbial penny dropped. Sisters Dinah Nutter and Mary Ann Tattersall had been re-united again after forty-five years.

Sisters Dinah Nutter and Mary Ann Bottomly The two Ingham sisters reunited in Rhode Island and Connecticut after a 46 year separation. MaryAnn Ingham Tattersall Bottomley (age 73) is standing. Dinah Ingham Nutter (age 78) is seated.

The Pawtucket Evening Times published a story about the sisters' reunion in the 17 June, 1912 edition. "Mrs. Mary A. Tattersall of Burnley, England...is enjoying the company of her sister, Mrs. Dina Nutter of Nebraska whom she had not seen in 45 years. Mrs. Tattersall who is 73...is of very pleasing disposition, being inclined at all times to joke. Everybody enjoys her stories of English life which do justice to Dickens or Thackeray. Mrs. Nutter is three years older than Mrs. Tattersall. The two have not been apart since their long separation. Where you see one, you see the other."

Clearly, this was not the finest example of probing, investigative journalism. The reporter was interviewing two septuagenarian sisters who had been separated for forty-five years. One had crossed the Atlantic several times and almost the entire United States. She had dealt with hunger, Indians, locusts, storms, et al. The best this reporter could do was give her name, residence and the fact that she was three years older than her sister (which, by the way was incorrect - Dinah was five years older).

Though Mary Ann's life story held some amazing stories as well, the reporter's thought processes were apparently paralyzed by the charm of a "foreign" lady who was indeed quite more of a "character" than her sister Dinah.

As testimony to just how much of a character Mary Ann Tattersall was, one need only consider how she came to be in America.

The previous November, (1911), Mary Ann's youngest son had married, at age 33, a woman of whom Mary Ann did not approve. When the rest of her family supported this "wayward" son's decision, she wrapped many of her clothes and other possessions in a blanket tied around a walking stick. She then headed for Liverpool where she boarded a ship bound for Boston near where three of her other children were living. She did all this without telling any of the remaining family in England. Obviously, these are not the action of your "run-of-the-mill" granny.

For the several weeks Dinah was in Rhode Island and Connecticut, she and Mary Ann were inseparable. For at least two of the weeks, the sisters lived at Albion's summer cottage on Watch Hill, Rhode Island on the Atlantic Ocean. She also spent time at Albion's home in Pawcatuck, Connecticut and at his sister, Grace Haworth's home in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

The sisters had corresponded very sporadically throughout the years, but the letters were invariably short, of the "we are fine - we hope you are fine" variety. The sisters now had a chance to recount to each other the stories of their lives with all the nuances their animated talk could deliver.

Of course Aunt Dinah regaled her nieces, nephew, grand-nieces and grand-nephews with the stories of her life. Interestingly, some of them remembered many stories and anecdotes that had not even seemed to survive among Dinah's own descendants.

Again, all of the New England relatives remember Dinah very fondly and lovingly. They particularly remembered her full and beautiful snow white hair, her "sprightliness" (as mentioned by Samuel Bassett) and her home made peanut butter which no one could seem to duplicate after she left.

When it came time for Dinah to leave, it must have been very difficult. At ages seventy-three and seventy-eight, the sisters had to know they would never see each other again. Yet then again, they had already parted company twice before in their lives believing the same thing. Ironically, the two sisters might have met again had the World War not occurred. In 1916, four years after his mother had returned to England, (on the HMS Lusitania, incidentally), Albion Tattersall began trying to orchestrate yet another reunion of the sisters just as soon as the North Atlantic became safe for passenger ships.

Four generations Probably the last photo taken of Dinah Nutter, taken in the Summer of 1918. This four generation grouping shows (left to right); Dinah Nutter; granddaughter Inez Nutter Reynolds holding her daughter, Janice; at right is John Nutter, Dinah's son and Inez's father.

Once Dinah had returned to Nebraska, she asked her son, Mirabeau, to have a small house built on the farm near the octagonal house for her to live in. Mirabeau and Lizzie had a second child on the way and likely there would be more thereafter children coming along. Though Dinah dearly loved Lizzie, she wisely understood that two women living under roof both attempting to run a household was a recipe for disaster. While the little house was being built, Dinah took one more trip to the northwest and again visited with her daughters Ellen, Ione and Jennie plus the many grandchildren in Oregon and Washington. When she returned to Nebraska, she moved into her newly-built home. Her son Mirabeau and grandsons Bob and Ben Robertson, all very accomplished woodworkers, had worked most of a year to ensure Dinah would have a home befitting the beloved matriarch of the family.

The house actually had four small rooms and was nicely appointed inside. The moldings around the doors and along the hard wood floors were very ornate. In fact, the sturdy little structure would survive Dinah for decades and was eventually moved very near the railroad tracks onto a remote part of the farm where it stood until relatively recently.

Dinah still took many of her meals in the octagonal house with Mirabeau, Lizzie and family. She helped with the children a bit and regularly hitched up a horse to the old buckboard and visited friends and family nearby. Seemingly, there were always new grandchildren and great- grandchildren arriving and she always enjoyed the ones that were already here.

On the morning of Friday, 27 December, 1918, Mirabeau awoke, looked out kitchen window and noticed there was no smoke coming from the chimney of his mother's little house. He strode quickly out to the house and found his mother unconscious on the floor from a stroke. He carried her to the warmth of one of the rooms in the octagonal house. She never regained consciousness and on Monday, 30 December, 1918, Dinah's life slowly ebbed away a little more than halfway to her eighty-fifth birthday. Coincidentally, it was sixty-three years to the day since her father died.

William Nutter House & Family

William Nutter Family

A Nutter family gathering on the farm in 1904, likely on the occasion of Dinah's daughter Jane "Jennie" Nutter Hogg preparing to move to Oregon. By this time, William Nutter Senior was bedridden and therefore not in the picture. Standing, left to right: William Nutter the younger; his wife, Laura; Beatrice and Olive (two of John's daughters with Anna Carlson); Jennie Nutter (John's 2nd wife); John Nutter; Robert Robertson (Elizabeth Nutter Robertson's son); B.F. "Frank" Nutter; Jennie (Nutter) Hogg; Lorton and Ben Robertson with their mother, Elizabeth (Nutter) Robertson at the far right; Orville Nutter (William the younger's son) stands in front of Lorton and Ben; Dinah Nutter is seated in front holding Harold Nutter (son of John); On the left in the front row: Ebert and Banks Nutter (sons of William the younger); Ronald and Glenn Hogg (Jennie's sons) continue the row on the other side of Dinah; followed by Marjorie and Hilda Nutter (John's daughters); Pearl Nutter (daughter of William the younger); Inez Nutter (John's daughter); Perry and Wellington Nutter (sons of William the younger). Absent are three of John Hogg's children with Anna: Herbert Nutter, and his sisters Elsa, and Effie. Effie had married John Graham, a local farmer, the year before, and they had an infant daughter at the time this picture was taken. Perhaps they didn't appear in this picture because of an illness. Also absent were Louise Nutter, her husband, Reuben and their family.


Dinah Nutter Dinah (Ingham) Nutter

There was a very heavy snowfall on New Year's Day, 1919, which continued well into the next day. Dinah's funeral was held at the octagonal house at two o'clock in the afternoon on Thursday, 2 January, 1919. Of her ten living children, only five were in attendance: John Nutter, Elizabeth Robertson, Frank and Mirabeau Nutter and Louise Miller. Ellen, Ione and Jennie didn't make the journey in from the west coast. Alice was in Julesburg, Colorado and was unable, for whatever reason, to travel. Will had moved to western Nebraska and claimed the snow storm prohibited his travel. Possibly his absence was a petulant display of his displeasure over the funeral being conducted by a minister. The minister's presence was engineered, in part, by a couple of Dinah's daughter-in-laws, and he was asked to conduct the services simply because he was a friend of many in the Nutter family.

The family and friends who were in attendance would recall Dinah's burial for the rest of their lives. Luckily, the grave had been dug prior to the onset of the storm. Dinah's coffin was lowered into the grave at the Riverside Cemetery just north of the town of Gibbon next to where William had been interred nearly twelve years before. The snow storm began to abate during the burial, but the wind, unhindered by anything on the Nebraska plain, chilled the mourners to the bone.

Dinah had a total of 62 grandchildren, only one of which was born after her death. Since 9 grandchildren had died in infancy or before reaching their majority, there were fifty-one alive when she died of whom twenty were in attendance at her funeral. There were 118 great-grandchildren eventually, 23 had been born by the time of Dinah's death but only two were at the funeral. If nothing else, these numbers show that Nebraska was merely a stop off point for Dinah's descendants as they eventually populated virtually every state west of the Mississippi River.

Dinah's estate was probated in 1919. Liquid assets were equally distributed among the ten children. The Nutter farm was divided in half with 80 acres going to Frank, 80 to Mirabeau. (John and Will were already settled and comparatively well-to-do; In fact, John had retired four years prior). The proviso to Frank and Mirabeau's inheritance was that they were required to look out for the interests of their sisters, Libby and Alice. By the end of that same year, Mirabeau and Frank traded half a quarter section with each other leaving Mirabeau with the whole of the original Nutter farm of 160 acres.

[The history of the Nutter ownership of property in Buffalo County can be found here.]

Libby only outlived her mother by five years, dying of liver cancer in 1923 age 58. Will died of the same disease ten years later age 74. Given the fact that Will's wife also died of cancer (along with many of their younger children) and that, for some years, Libby, Will, his wife and family lived and worked in close proximity, one has to wonder if all were exposed to a carcinogenic agent.

Son Frank died in 1939 at the age 69 from blood poisoning after injuring his hand. It probably could have been avoided had he gotten earlier medical attention.

Still, Dinah and William's best legacy to their family would be longevity. Dinah was heading towards her eighty-fifth birthday when she died. William was nearly seventy-seven and who knows how long he would have lived had Parkinson's not wreaked its havoc on his body. Except for the daughter and sons already mentioned, the remaining seven children all lived at least until their eightieth year, some lived years beyond that with three daughters living to their ninetieth year and beyond.

The longevity really took hold in the next generation. Among the fifty-two grandchildren who grew up, only ten died before they were 70, 11 died in their seventies, 14 died in their eighties, 17 in their nineties and one at 103. There is only one still living (in 2010) now in her nineties.

William and Dinah Nutter's first great-grandchild was born in 1903, the last in 1972. In- between, there were just under 300 great grandchildren, of whom more than 220 are still alive.

William and Dinah Nutter's first great-great grandchild was born in 1924. This generation contains more than 300 people and, it's likely the last few will be born in the next few years.

In a few years, the first of William and Dinah's great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren should likely start coming along, even though the generation consisting of a few hundred great- great-great is still growing.

Nearly a thousand people walk the earth today because a red haired young man noticed a dark haired girl in a noisy cotton factory in England a century and a half ago.


William and Dinah Nutter's Surviving Children and their Families

William and Dinah (Ingham) Nutter had a total of fifteen children. Five of those children (Olive, Moroni, Ingham, Lyone and Thomas) died in infancy or early childhood. Anything that is known about their brief lives has been included in the text of the story of their parents. The lives of the remaining ten children are going to be further detailed in the pages that follow along with brief overviews of their spouse(s) and the families with those spouses. Among these stories about William and Dinah's children, readers may find certain facts and stories repeated not in an effort to fill pages, but so that each child's biographical entry can stand on its own.

At the end of each biography of William and Dinah's children are brief entries about each of the grandchildren. These are not meant to be comprehensively biographical. However, it is hoped these entries "place" each grandchild in time and place, record known (and hopefully, interesting) anecdotal information plus data about the number of their descendants. While this sometimes makes for tedious reading, it is included in an attempt to better connect the readers from these more remote generations with the main subjects of this book.

JOHN NEWTON NUTTER - (1856-1935)

John Newton Nutter

As the eldest surviving child of his parents, John Nutter was well-positioned to remember most of the odyssey of his parents across America, back to England and back across America.

John was born 6 March, 1856, during the Nutters' brief stay in "Gloucester City" (then Union Township) in New Jersey. The family returned to Philadelphia soon afterwards and left for Utah in April, 1860.

Though John had just turned four years old, certain events of the journey westward were sharply carved into his memory; the cattle stampede that occurred on the wagon train, the morning he was awakened to say good-bye to his little cousin who had died of whooping cough before her burial along the trail. He recalled clearly how he was careful to be well-behaved on the journey and how he dutifully walked westward with his family lest he suffer the fate of his little brother, Will, who was "hog-tied" in the wagon for his own protection.

Of the time in Utah, John remembered little. It seems likely that John learned to read and write at a Mormon school near Salt Lake City. Once the family relocated to Nebraska, he was likely schooled at home. The events surrounding the Indian scare in late 1864, which drove the Nutters, along with most settlers of eastern Nebraska, from their homesteads, was sharply etched into eight- year-old John's memory. He recalled the family's time in England, meeting his grandmother and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins for the first time. He attended at least a half term of school there.

John grew into his early teens while the family lived in Philadelphia (1866-1869). His formal education progressed there at the Old Bethany Presbyterian School. John assisted his mother considerably in the daunting task of getting the six other children across the country by rail with all of their belongings.

Once the family settled in the log cabin on the Wood River between present-day Gibbon and Shelton, Nebraska, John sporadically attended school at the one room building that was previously a railroad shanty throughout the early 1870s. It was sporadic not because his parents didn't value higher education. Rather, his brawn was needed for farm work at home and he had long since progressed well beyond the challenges offered in the one room schoolhouse situation.

As his father read voraciously, he followed a path directly behind his father often through the same books. On those occasions when they worked together, John and his father enjoyed deeply intellectual discussions. Not surprisingly, John's life philosophy very much mirrored his father's. He developed as an atheist and was very interested in all of the natural sciences. Unlike his father, he carefully tracked current events and politics for his entire life, assessing them from a liberal Democratic point of view.

John grew into a very handsome young man sporting a full head of black, curly hair. He grew a moustache which had a decidedly reddish tinge to it. He was average-to-tall in height and was built like one would expect any young man to be built who had worked hard on a farm.

John leased a tract of school land in 1878 totaling 164 acres and began farming it in his own right. Soon after, he bought the acreage and bought and swapped some additional land. The eventual total of his land holdings came to nearly 600 acres.

In 1880, John met Anna Carlson, while serving as a deputy for Buffalo County Sheriff Simon Seeley. Anna had been born 5 August, 1862 in Oskarshamn on Sweden's southeastern-most coast to Carl and Marta Catherina (Nilsdotter) Carlson. Her parents had come to Varna, Illinois with the family in 1870 and then to Phelps County, Nebraska in 1879. Because she had begun her education in Sweden and finished in Illinois, Anna was as comfortable with the Swedish language as she was with English. Some of her correspondence with "My Own Darling John" Nutter still survives. In it, she articulates her affection very well and reveals some profound, typically Scandinavian, melancholy over her father's dislike for the "godless" John Nutter.

John and Anna Nutter

Children of John and Anna Nutter. From the left: Elsa, Effie, Olive, Herbert, with Beatrice in the chair.

Nevertheless, John and Anna were married on 2 May 1881 while John was serving as a deputy under Buffalo County Sheriff Simon Seeley. Their wedding occurred in Kearney at the home of Sheriff Seeley and his wife Ida who was Anna's sister and likely the person who introduced John to Anna. She and John settled on his homestead in Platte Township, away from the "Fort Farm Island" holding for the first two years. John then moved into a small farmhouse on the Fort Farm Island farm and set up his wife and growing family in a larger home on a farm between Shelton and Gibbon; the "home" farm. This arrangement appears to have given Anna some pause about the likely long term success of their marriage. However, in the first six years of their marriage, John and Anna became the parents of four children. After the birth of the fourth child, Anna was unsuccessful in carrying some number of pregnancies to full term. A fifth child was born in 1891.

As might be expected, John's living arrangement (separate from his wife and family), Anna's frequent pregnancies, John's growing enjoyment of alcohol and, at the very least, the rumors of his infidelity took its toll on the young marriage. Her daughters would later say that, had Anna lived, she would have likely divorced John. However, that was not to be.

John Nutter was elected Buffalo County Sheriff in 1892. He, Anna and the children moved into the home in Kearney previously occupied by Anna's sister Ida and her husband, Simon Seeley, (the outgoing sheriff). Anna then discovered she was pregnant once more. Some have said she attempted to terminate the pregnancy; others claim she simply miscarried. Whatever the case, she developed blood poisoning and died suddenly 23 March, 1893.

John Nutter was devastated. Despite his inclination to live life on his own terms, Anna was, no doubt, the love of his life. His mother, Dinah, and his newly-wed sister, Jennie Nutter Hogg, stepped into the breach and assumed the care of the five young children.

Jennie Reinholdson Nutter as a young girl in Sweden

In the Summer of 1893, John met Jennie Reinholdson, a 22-year-old visitor from Sweden. Jennie had been born 27 March, 1871 in Ost Furtan, Brunskog, Varmland, Sweden to Britta Jansson, a teacher in the village who died a few days after Jennie's birth. Jennie's father, Olaf Reinholdson, allowed Britta's mother to assimilate Jennie into her own family and Jennie was raised with an uncle who was close to her own age. Jennie had come to Nebraska to visit that uncle where she met John Nutter. After John proposed marriage, Jennie abandoned her plans to return to her native country.

John and Jenny Nutter

On Christmas Day, 1893, John Nutter and Jennie Reinholdson were married. Considering Jennie had nothing but a rudimentary understanding of the English language at that point, it is hard to know for sure if she realized the enormity of the task she faced. Marriage to John Nutter under the best of circumstances was bound to be hard work. He continued to insist on separate residences. However, there were his five children with Anna to raise. Plus, they would have children of their own as well; three girls in the first five years, a son five years later, another son nine years later, then a daughter three years later as Jennie neared her forty-fourth birthday.

John Nutter served a second term as Buffalo County Sheriff and then returned to Fort Farm Island in 1896. Jennie moved into the other farm east of Gibbon with the children. There, she "executed her task" with such grace, strength and stoicism that she earned the enduring love and respect of all who knew her, particularly her stepchildren.

Jennie's mettle was sorely tested at the end of 1903 when she gave birth to her first son, Harold. Already at home were three daughters under ten, two teenaged step-daughters and a teenaged step- son, plus another step-daughter in her early twenties. Someone suggested that if the step-son, Herbert, were to move westward with his Aunt Jennie Nutter Hogg, her husband Will and their two sons, it would ease the growing chaos at home, free up a bedroom, and perhaps, offer Herbert a unique opportunity to prosper. All of the concerned parties agreed and Herb went to Oregon.

A few years later, in 1906, John�s mother Dinah was widowed. She was intent, after years of being unable to travel because of her husband's illness, to go to the northwest and visit her three daughters and numerous grandchildren who lived there. Fully aware that John�s wife Jennie was still very overburdened by her family responsibilities and that John was of no significant help, she proposed that the remaining daughters of John's "first family" still at home, Olive, Elsa and Beatrice, accompany her on the trip west. And so they did.

John Nutter continued to live separately from his wife and family. His drinking continued and, it is believed he fathered at least one other daughter with a local woman during this period. Still, he built up substantial wealth over the next decade through hard work and his sharp business acumen. His lifelong thirst for knowledge was seemingly never quenched. He was well-respected in the community as an extraordinarily ethical businessman.

As a boy, John's chores included procurement of wood for fuel. He was therefore acutely aware that the Wood River Valley area lacked mature trees. As a result, he made it a life-long priority to plant literally hundreds of trees, perhaps thousands, on his properties. John was also a great story-teller, always at the ready to tell tales to anyone who would listen of his family's early adventures during his formative years.

John and Jennie had another son, Donald, in 1912, then their last child, a daughter, Jean, three years later when he was nearly 59, she nearly 44. In that same year, 1915, John retired from active farming allowing tenants to farm the Fort Island acreage.

Don and Jean Nutter - Youngest children of John and Jenny Nutter

Left: Inez, Hilda "Stub", and Marge Nutter;   Center: Jenny and Jean;   Right: Olive Nutter and her half-brother Don (Don stayed with Olive and Charlie for several months)

Jean, Don, Harold, Marge, Hilda, and Inez Nutter

In 1920, John asked his son Herbert to return from Oregon and farm the Fort Farm Island acreage. It seems he then moved into the house at the home farm where his wife and children lived. None of this went well. Herbert soon returned to Oregon with his wife and daughter. John returned to his solitary existence in the house at Fort Farm Island. In an odd example of John's code of ethics, John quit drinking alcohol that same year as the eighteenth amendment and the recently-passed Volstead Act would have made him an outlaw had he continued to imbibe.

As the years passed, most of John and Jennie's family married and/or moved away until just the youngest two, Donald and Jean were at home with Jennie. Son Herbert passed away in 1931 in Oregon. Donald gradually began taking over the farm on which John lived. John's health began to fail in the 1930s as he suffered a series of strokes. One morning late in the Fall of 1935, Donald discovered John in his chair, paralyzed by yet another stroke. He took him back to the "home farm" where he died a few weeks later on 10 December.

John Nutter's widow (Jennie) and his ten living children, in ascending age, together for the first time on the occasion of John Nutter's funeral in December, 1935. Left to right; John's widow, Jennie; Jean Nutter, Don Nutter, Harold Nutter, Marjorie Nutter, Hilda Layman, Inez Reynolds, Beatrice Hogg, Elsa Evans, Effie Graham and Olive Holmes.

A week later, all ten of John Nutter's living children attended his funeral. Five of his "out-of- state" daughters came to Nebraska and some actually met a few of their siblings for the first time ever. Despite the miles that would remain between them, each made an effort to maintain contact with and visit the others for the rest of their lives.

Of course, all this delighted Jennie. She maintained a cordial and loving relationship with her children and step-children, and reveled in the grandchildren and great-grandchildren that came along. After John's death, Jennie�s youngest children, Donald and Jean, spent the horrendously hot summer of 1936 refurbishing the home on Fort Farm Island and moved Jennie into the house where her husband had spent so many solitary years. Donald and his mother lived there for another 35 years.

Though Jennie had lost contact with her family in Sweden many years before, her daughter Jean re-established contact in 1965 through her genealogical research efforts. Jennie's father, who had stepped out of her life just days after she was born, was found to have married and raised a family in northern Sweden. In 1969, when Jennie was ninety-eight, she finally met her sixty-four year old "kid brother", Thorvald Reinholdson, who traveled from Sweden to meet her and her family.

Jennie died in November, 1970, five months short of her one hundredth birthday.

                                                       Reunion of west coast children of John Nutter and their families
: John Hogg and his wife Beatrice (Nutter) Hogg are 2nd and 5th from the left. Their daughter Betty (Hogg) Nims is 7th from the left. Beatrice is holding her first grandchild, Betty's daughter Linda. Standing at the left is R.W. "Will" Hogg, older brother of John Hogg. 8th from the left is his daughter Margaret. 3rd and 6th from the left are Johnny Evans and his wife Elsa (Nutter) Evans, Beatrice's older sister. 4th from the left is Inez (Nutter) Reynolds, also a sister of Beatrice. Inez's son Bob Reynolds is 6th from the right. 5th from the right is Beatrice's Aunt Jennie (Nutter) Hogg, wife of Will Hogg. 3rd and 4th from the right are Olive (daughter of Johnny and Elsa Evans) and her husband Thorvald Jorgenson, followed by Evelyn and John Evans, Jr. (far right) with their son Richard down in front of them.
Seated in front: From the left, Spence (1st), Ladd (2nd), Nancy (3rd), Billie (7th), and Jean (last on the right) are the children of John and Beatrice Hogg. Only their son Dick is missing. 6th from the left is Inez's youngest son, Dick. Seated to the left of Jean in the picture is Edna Elizabeth (Nutter) Pearson, sometimes referred to as Betty, and sometimes as Steve (reason unknown). The other woman seated in front of Betty Nims is Ramona "Mona" Evans, youngest daughter of John and Elsa Evans. The young boy seated in front of her is John Evans (son of the aforementioned John and Evelyn Evans). To the right of Mona is Dick Reynolds, son of Inez.

The Children of John Nutter and Anna Carlson

Olive Nutter

Charles and Olive (Nutter) Holmes

Olive Kathryn Nutter (1882-1955) - taught school for a few years in Buffalo County and was boarding with her aunt, Louise Nutter Miller at Ravenna in 1900. In 1906, she went west with her sisters and their grandmother. Olive, however, went no further than Denver, Colorado, as a romance had bloomed for her as she passed through that area. She married Charles Holmes (1878-1949) early in 1907 and the marriage, in the long run, was less-than-happy and childless. "Ollie" and Charles made their home in Englewood, Colorado where they lived quite separate lives. Charles spent the entire marriage socializing with a rather unsavory crowd. Olive joined social clubs and earned the love and respect of many in her community. She died of a heart attack in 1955.

Taken in Denver, Colorado, likely in February, 1907, around the time of Olive Nutter's marriage to Charles Holmes. Reuben Miller and Louise (Nutter) Miller flank the "passengers" in the car. Their children, Gerald and Ruby are at the front. Olive (Nutter) Holmes is in the next row with her grandmother, Dinah (Ingham) Nutter. Charles Holmes is at the back-center.

Charles and Olive (Nutter) Holmes in their backyard.

John and Effie (Nutter) Graham

John and Effie (Nutter) Graham

Effie Diana Nutter (1883-1978) - was named "Euseffa Irvine" at birth, but her name was changed very early on in her life. In 1903, she married John Edward Graham (1871-1966), a local farmer, with whom she had two daughters. When the younger daughter, Georgia Beatrice (1908-1925), died suddenly of a throat infection during her senior year in high school, Effie was plunged into mourning and a profound depression which lasted for years. John retired from farming in 1929 and moved with Effie and their surviving daughter, Amy, to a small home in Gibbon where John died after being retired for thirty-seven years at the age of 95. Effie died thirteen years later, also at the age of 95. Daughter Amy Renetta (1903-1999) moved to Denver, Colorado and had wed Max Lowdermilk (1910-1966) in 1935 who built a large retail bakery chain and, unfortunately, lost the same. She and Max had no children. Amy and her mother were both widowed within a few months of each other in 1966. Coincidentally, like each of her parents, Amy died at the age of 95.

(from left) Amy & Georgia Graham; Georgia & Amy Graham (1908); Amy Graham (1927); Georgia Graham

Herbert Nutter

Herbert Spencer Nutter (1885-1931) - was named for a great nineteenth century English philosopher whom his father admired. He moved to Oregon with his aunt, uncle and cousins in 1904 and worked his way up in the Wells Fargo Company in Portland. In 1911, he married in Salem to Edna Eugena Bacon (1890-1969), a native Oregonian, with whom he had a daughter. The marriage supposedly suffered, in part, because of Herb's avocation as a musician. An accomplished clarinetist, he socialized with other musicians and was subject to the temptations of the "underground culture" associated with musicians in that era. In a venture bound for failure, Herb returned to the simple life of a Nebraska farm with his wife and daughter in 1920. In 1921, he returned to Portland, Oregon and the employ of the Northern Pacific Railway Company where he worked until his death in 1931 from Bright's Disease. He and Edna had divorced three years earlier after which she married two more times. Herb's only daughter, Edna Elizabeth �Betty" (1912-1973), married Walter Malvern Pearson and had an only son, Terry Spencer Pearson (born 1945). He has six children and at least five grandchildren.

John and Elsa (Nutter) Evans family: Olive (top left), John Jr. (top center), Howard (bottom right) and Rosalie (seated on her mothers lap)

Elsa Theodora Nutter (1887-1990) - moved to Salem, Oregon, when she was 19 years old. She began working in a prune packing plant where she met John William Evans (1878- 1961) whom she married shortly afterwards in 1907. The couple moved south to Coos County for six years where they had a dairy farm and where their first three children were born. They returned to farm near Salem where their last two children were born. After her husband died, Elsa continued to live on her own during her eighties (during which time she laughingly referred to herself as an "octa-geranium") and well through her nineties. Sadly, she survived all five of her children and three of their spouses. Additionally, macular degeneration robbed her of most of her eyesight. She died in a nursing home, still spry and alert, just 5 days short of her 103rd birthday, survived by 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and several great-great grandchildren.

Three youngest children of John and Elsa (Nutter) Evans: John Jr. (left), Rosalie (center), Ramona (right)

John and Beatrice Hogg and their three eldest children: From left, John "Lad", Jean, and Richard "Dick".

John and Beatrice Hogg

Frances Beatrice Nutter (1891-1984) - was always known as �Bea" or "bea-AT-ris". She moved to Salem with her sister Elsa and graduated from high school there. After teaching school for two years, she married in 1912 to John Alexander Hogg (1882-1964), a fellow Nebraskan, who was a younger brother of her uncle (by marriage) Will Hogg and aunt (by marriage) Lizzie Hogg Nutter. They had 3 sons and 4 daughters, all born in Vancouver, Washington, where John was the proprietor of a book and stationery store. The family did very well and John entered into local politics serving as city treasurer and mayor. In the 1940s, he made an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate. However, John and Beatrice drifted apart late in life and John moved into a room in the basement of their Vancouver house on Franklin Street. The bookshelves lining nearly every wall spoke to John's continued passion for reading and self-learning. He died peacefully in 1963 at age 81. Beatrice returned to school after World War II and became a licensed practical nurse. She worked at Vancouver Memorial Hospital in that capacity for 13 years, finally retiring at age 73. Beatrice remained active and very healthy as she passed her ninety-third birthday in November, 1984 but died on the following Christmas Eve as a result of injuries suffered in an auto accident. Her seven children were all college educated, employed variously in teaching, engineering (chemical and electrical), pharmacology, etc. Most of the 24 grandchildren are similarly well-educated. Nearly all live in the west and southwest.

Beatrice Hogg and children
Beatrice Hogg and children (photo taken in 1963 at the time of John Hogg's funeral): (from left) Lad, Jean, Beatrice, Betty, Billie, Nancy, Dick, Spence

Bill Jansen

Jean (Hogg) Jansen

Nancy Ann Jansen

Diana Jansen

Richard "Dick" Hogg

Bettye "Self" Hogg

Maureen Hogg

Joanne Hogg

John E. "Lad" Hogg

Pauline "Pollee" (Sandel) Hogg

Patsy Hogg

Jeffrey P. "Jeff" Hogg

Frank Leslie Nims

Betty Miles (Hogg) Nims

Linda Jean Nims

David John "Dave" Nims

Nancy (Hogg) Perry

Daniel Fred "Danny" Nims

Robert Spencer "Spence" Hogg

Margaret (Aja) Hogg

Frederick L. "Freddie" Meissner

Marilyn Frances "Billie" (Hogg) Meissner
Pictures of the John A. & Beatrice (Nutter) Hogg children and grandchildren taken by Freddie Meissner, who was a photographer by trade. (circa 1954 - before Nancy was married to Thorton Perry, and before the youngest grandchildren were born.)

The Children of John Nutter and Jennie Reinholdson

Maynard Everette Reynolds, called "M.E.", shown at his home in Corvallis, with his high school sweetheart and life-long wife, Inez

Graduation photo of Inez Virginia Nutter

Inez Virginia Nutter (1894-1968) - was, at first, given the Swedish name Ina Signe by her Swedish mother. After graduation from high school, she married Maynard Everette "Everette" Reynolds (1895-1994) and moved to Red Elm and then, Dupree, both in South Dakota. During most of their thirty years there, they farmed and Inez taught school. However, at various times, Everette also sold real estate, published a newspaper, ran a restaurant and a grocery outlet, worked as a milkman and served as the County Register of Deeds and auditor. In June, 1942, the couple moved to Corvallis, Oregon where they lived the rest of their lives. In retirement, they travelled often to visit family. A car accident on one of these visits precipitated Inez' death from an embolism while in a Decatur, Illinois hospital. Everette survived her by nearly a quarter century, dying two months after his ninety-ninth birthday. Their eldest son, Robert (1915-2006) moved to Portland, Oregon in 1936. He learned carpentry then in Corvallis, Oregon and eventually became a contractor. His parents joined him there with his younger brother in 1942. Except for a stint in the Sea-Bees during World War II and a year in Alaska, he lived in Oregon until 1952 when he moved to Yerington, Nevada. He had two children and 3 grandchildren. Everette and Inez' only daughter, Janice (1918-1966) married in 1938 to Clyde Baker (1912-1985) who was pursuing a career in the military. The couple was stationed in Alaska for many years and their two daughters plus one of their two sons were born there. They were also stationed in Ankara, Turkey for a while. After the family moved to El Paso, Texas, Janice was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her health deteriorated and her marriage and family life were very strained by her decline. Janice died in 1966. Some of her descendants now live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a few live in Texas, Arizona and California. Everette and Inez' younger son, Richard Everette Reynolds (1930- ) had three sons with his first wife and a daughter with his second wife. He continues to live in Corvallis, Oregon with his third wife.

Everette Reynolds

Everette and Inez Reynolds family. From the left, Inez holding her youngest child, son Dick Reynolds; son Bob Reynolds; Everette Reynolds, holding onto his granddaughter Patricia Anita Baker; daughter Janice (Reynolds) Baker, wife of Clyde Baker and mother of Patricia.

Hilda Marguerite Nutter (1896-1985) - used the name Margaret legally throughout her whole adult life, but her family always simply called her "Stub" - a nickname surrounded by much folklore as to its origins. The favorite explanation seems to be that it referred to her well- known stubbornness. After teaching school in Shelton for a few years, she married in 1920 to Charles Hooker Layman (1894-1942), a veteran of World War I and a Seventh Day Adventist. Charles worked in the building trades for years in the area of their home at Grand Island, Nebraska and died after a fall from scaffolding at work. Stub lived a meager existence for the balance of her life in Grand Island. Elder son Charles (1921-2006) lived near Washington, DC and had three children from two marriages. The younger Layman children were twins born in 1925; Keith was in the navy during World War II and moved first to Pendleton, Oregon, then to Southern California where he died in 1983. He had one son from his first marriage, three children from his third marriage. His twin sister Carolyn also lives in California with her only daughter.

Marjorie Nutter

Marjorie Isabel Nutter (1898-1990) - taught school after graduation and then, in 1921, began working for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Omaha, Nebraska and completed her studies at a business college there. During the 1920s, she met a wayward Danish Count with whom she fell in love. However, the Count mysteriously disappeared while on a motorcycle tour of the west coast. It seems likely he perished in an accident along one of the coastal roads. Some family members believe that this tragedy had much to do with the fact that Marjorie remained unmarried for the rest of her life. In 1928, she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where her employer's headquarters was located. She retired in 1963 from the telephone company and began work for the Minnesota Institute of Arts. Even after a second retirement, she served as a volunteer for the Institute and for the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. She also did volunteer work for 35 years at the local Methodist hospital and she had served during World War II as a Red Cross nurse. After suffering a stroke in 1984, she moved to a nursing care facility in Boulder, Colorado to be near family. She died six years later.

Harold Nutter

Harold Nutter on the sax

Harold enjoyed gardening

Harold Kenneth Nutter (1903-1999) - who was originally named Harold Sydney Nutter, occupied a unique, almost solitary position amidst his many siblings and half siblings. By the time he was three, his five elder half-siblings had either married and/or moved away. His next sibling wasn't born until almost nine years later, affording him an "only child" status for some time. He became an accomplished musician, adept with the saxophone, clarinet and violin. After graduation from Gibbon High School, he married Josephine Scott (1906-1972) in 1923 and soon thereafter, like his father, decided to buy his own acreage to farm in his own right. He farmed the land northeast of Gibbon until his retirement in 1970 and also worked as a regular and substitute mail carrier in the area from 1950 to 1972. Harold enjoyed nearly 30 years of retirement and lived on his own amidst his family near Gibbon until shortly before his death in 1999 at the age of 95. Harold and Josephine had a daughter, Genevieve (born 1925) who trained as a nurse in Lincoln, Nebraska after marrying Gordon Robb. She has three daughters and four grandchildren. Harold and Josephine also had two sons. Richard Harold Nutter (1929-1996) had three daughters with his wife, Grace Osler, from whom they had their five grandchildren. He farmed and, like his father, served as a substitute mail carrier until taking the job full-time. John Ronald Nutter (born 1933) married in 1951 to Ruby Loewenstein and had 2 sons born during the time they lived in Kansas. They eventually returned to the area near Gibbon, Nebraska and have 5 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren in the area.

Don Nutter - High school graduation

Don Nutter and daughter Lori

Don and Margaret Nutter

Donald Oakley Nutter (1912-1980) - was given his unique middle name for no other reason than it facilitated his initials spelling his nickname. He graduated from Gibbon High School like his siblings and began working his father's Fort Farm Island land while in his teens. As his older half-brother (Herbert) had opted out of farm work and returned to Oregon and because his full brother Harold had purchased his own land, Don's father eventually turned over all of his acreage to Don. There was also an understanding that Don would take care of his mother for the rest of his life - a duty Don gladly and lovingly undertook. Two months after his mother's death, as he approached his fifty-ninth birthday, he married Margaret Estella Mohn Bennett (born 1933) who had recently come out of a failed marriage. With Margaret came a ready-made family of four sons. Also, Don and Margaret had a child together in 1972 as he approached his sixty-first birthday. Lori Lynn Nutter would know her father just a short time though as Don died of an apparent heart attack eight years later. Lori married in 1991 to Heath Gregor.

Beatrice Hogg and children
Family of Yale and Jean Nelson (center). Clockwise around Jean are her husband, Yale Nelson; daughter Marilyn "Lyn" Nelson, Robert Nelson, Steven Nelson and Thomas Nelson.

Jean Nutter - Hastings College (1935)

Jean Helen Nutter (1915-2003) - was the last child of her parents, born when her father was fifty-nine and her mother was forty-four. She graduated from Gibbon High School and attended Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska. After graduation in 1939, she was a social worker in Hastings but eventually moved to Denver, Colorado. There she was married fellow Nebraskan Yale Roy Nelson (born 1918) in 1942. The two had met while at college in Hastings. Jean and Yale moved several times in their marriage as Yale worked as a pilot for United Airlines (three of their children were born during two different tenures in Chicago, Illinois - the other child was born during their time in Seattle, Washington). Eventually, they returned to the Denver area where Yale spent the latter part of his career at the United Airlines Training Center as an instructor. As she raised her family, Jean pursued the rather daunting task of maintaining regular, loving contact with her "immediate" family along the west coast and in Colorado and Nebraska, some of which was facilitated by her access to United Airline passes. As her interest in family history burgeoned in the 1960s, she expanded this interest in family to Sweden, England, and to more of the USA. She was an avid and tireless researcher and is responsible for collecting the major portion of the information found in this book. All of Jean and Yale Nelsons' children live in the greater Denver area. Son Robert Yale Nelson (born 1945) is retired from the telecommunications industry as is his wife. He has a son and daughter by two previous marriages. Son Steven Arthur Nelson (born 1947) is self- employed and is married, has a step-daughter and grandchildren. Son Thomas Cavett Nelson (born 1952) is married, has a son and daughter and is a successful businessman in the field of medical care. Only daughter Marilyn Jean Nelson (born 1955) is married and has a daughter. Both she and her husband John Heins perform, compose and teach music.


William Hingham Nutter

William and Laura Nutter

William and Dinah (Ingham) Nutter's second surviving son was born on 9 June, 1859 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His identical twin, Hingham William Nutter died soon after birth.

Throughout his life, he always used the name William H. Nutter. However, the initial "H" was derived from an incorrect rendering of his mother's family name of Ingham. (Speakers of the Lancashire dialect in Northern England drop the initial "H" in most words and often insert an "H� when a word begins with a vowel).

"Will", as his family called him, was a few days short of his first birthday when his parents -- after traveling by rail and water from Philadelphia to Florence, Nebraska --began the journey by wagon train to Salt Lake City, Utah. In later years, Will would relate that he was "hog-tied" into the wagon by his parents who feared he could fall out undetected. Will contracted whooping cough like so many other children on the way. Fortunately, he survived, unlike so many others.

Naturally, Will had no recollection of his family's time in Utah (1860-1862). He had no substantial memories of their retreat to, and their first time living in, Nebraska. His memories became somewhat clearer of his family's return to England in 1865 when he was six years old. He remembered some of his many cousins near to his age. He clearly recalled the time in Philadelphia after his parents returned to the USA. He began attending Old Bethany Presbyterian School there and was edified by the responsibility he shared with his elder brother, John, as they watched over their younger sisters on the long journey by train back to Nebraska in the summer of 1869.

Will began attending school in an abandoned railroad workers' shack near Wood River Junction (now Shelton), Nebraska. He had easily mastered reading and printing early on, but curiously, he was a teenager before he became proficient in cursive writing. Like his father and his elder brother John, he was a voracious reader and a life-long atheist with a strict moral code. It was not unusual for the three of them to be engaged in long theoretical, philosophical and scientific discourse at home or while at work on the farm.

Unlike his brother John, Will had no particular affection for alcohol and was the "dutiful" son - - his father's faithful right-hand man on the farm with seemingly no particular interest in striking out on his own. He honed his carpentry skills during the building of his family's octagonal house, presumably guided by the anonymous finish carpenter who lived with the family in 1887 while the house was being built. Once the carpenter moved on, Will had his own bedroom. That one room he had to himself was comparable in size to the entire log cabin in which all of his family had lived in for the previous twenty years. A few years later, in the spring of 1890, thirty-one-year-old Will Nutter met a beautiful and petite sixteen-year-old girl, Laura Myrtle Comstock, at a dance in Gibbon.

Laura Myrtle Comstock had been born in Lisbon, Illinois on 22 February, 1874, the second child and eldest daughter of (George) Elmer Comstock and his wife, Evalina Rosaltha (Eastman) Comstock. The parents and nine children moved to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1888 where Laura�s mother and little sister, Cora, died. The remaining family then moved to Gibbon, Nebraska in March, 1890. Originally, Elmer Comstock (1843-1915) was from Clinton, New York. His grandfather had come to that area of New York from Rhode Island where his ancestors had lived for two centuries since coming from England. His marriage to Evalina Rosaltha Eastman (1846- 1889) was not particularly well-received because Evalina�s father, Peter Eastman had married Abigail Smith, a "Negro woman" who became mother of his children. Laura Comstock was well aware of her mixed heritage and cherished it because it came to her through her much-beloved mother. However, she was also discreet about it when she felt she needed to be.

Will Nutter and Laura Comstock were married at her father's home in Gibbon on Thanksgiving Day, 1891 (November 26). Fifteen months later, she gave birth to their first child. Over the next twenty years, a dozen more children came along.

Family picture of William and Laura Nutter. (Left to right) Perry Nutter; his father, William Nutter; Pearl Nutter; Orville Nutter; their mother, Laura Nutter; Wellington Nutter

Family picture of William and Laura Nutter about 1902. (Left to right) Wellington Nutter; William Nutter (the father), Perry Nutter; Pearl Nutter; Banks Nutter; Laura Nutter (the mother) and Orville Nutter

Will bought his own farm adjacent to his parents. It seems likely that his parents contributed significantly to the purchase in recognition of his long service on the family farm. Will paid the mortgage off very soon after 1900. A few years later, Will became relatively well-off financially and began to speculate in land and oil fields near Edinburg in southern Texas. Unfortunately, he parted with a great deal of money and bought property sight unseen.

In 1909, Will and Laura left their five youngest children in the care of their oldest daughter, Pearl, then age 14, and headed to Texas with their four older boys. These older boys fondly remembered their time in Texas, riding motor bikes and horses. For Will and Laura, it was a sad time as they realized they had bought land that was virtually worthless. The land was dry and infertile and drilling for oil would have required further capital investment. They sold the land at an enormous loss.

The Nutters rebounded financially rather quickly even under the strain of a large and rapidly growing family. Will's farm was a lucrative endeavor though he always seemed to be looking elsewhere for alternative or additional ways of making a living or, at least, additional income. During these years, Will seriously entertained thoughts of emigration to Australia or New Zealand but set his sights on more conservative alternatives after he passed his fiftieth birthday in 1909.

Laura was an accomplished and talented seamstress. Whether or not times were lean, Laura made almost all of the children's clothes. As one can imagine, this was no small task. However, Laura's detractors (most of who were married to her sons) would recount a story to demonstrate her "extravagance". It seems that, when Laura shopped for material, she would also buy a bolt of outing flannel and use it for diapers. If the baby did anything more than wet the diaper, Laura would throw out the diaper and its contents. It would seem that, if one weighs Laura's contribution to the family as a seamstress against several yards of dirty, discarded flannel, Laura begins to emerge as a woman ahead of her time...at least in the realm of disposable diapers.

Just after the birth of their thirteenth and last child in 1913, three more events occurred in rapid succession which radically changed the family chemistry: eldest daughter Pearl married, then eldest son Orville William married and brought his wife into the household and finally, Will and Laura�s twelve-year-old son suddenly died. As if in reaction to the changed family configuration and chemistry, Will, Laura and the family moved to Scotts Bluff in western Nebraska selling the farm and their homestead to Will's brothers. Will moved the sixteen people of his family into a rather large rented home at 1815 Avenue C right in the center of the town and took in several boarders as well. At least one of the boarders, Lucy McCarter, earned her board looking after the Nutter children.

Will and Laura dabbled in a couple of business ventures; a laundry and a restaurant/cafe called the "Dew Drop Inn". In both of these establishments, they relied heavily on the labor of the children who periodically objected and resented their conscription into the family businesses. Son Perry eventually moved back to North Platte on his own. Son Wellington ("Duke") joined the United States Navy. Son Banks got a job at the Scotts Bluff Sugar Factory. Finally, there was such acrimony among the family, Will simply sold the businesses and took the family back home to Gibbon late in 1920. From that point onwards, Will was wealthy enough to buy back some of his land from his brothers, lease it out to others, and consider himself retired though he and Laura still had up to as many as eight children left at home to raise.

Will and Laura Nutter never had a problem providing for their large family. Controlling them was quite another matter. Members of the extended family and older residents of the Gibbon area attempt to be discreet, but still describe most of the Nutter boys as "wild, tough and unruly".

All of the local law enforcement officers were familiar with most of the Nutter boys. On at least one occasion when they were young, the Nutter boys played "Cowboys and Indians" along the Wood River. Though that may sound benign -- the problem was that they were using real guns and live ammunition as they played.

Another bit of lore involves a neighbor's windmill which towered over the neighborhood on the Nebraska plain. Depending on which source one wishes to believe, the Nutter boys would climb the structure and lash themselves, each other or an unfortunate neighbor child spread-eagle to the rotating blades.

Many of the boys were proficient boxers and were too often anxious to show off their abilities in that area. At least two of the brothers earned "golden gloves" status. There are some in the family that claim Will's oldest daughter, Pearl, also displayed some significant proficiency in boxing as well and was known to have bested her brothers on occasion.

In the early years of prohibition, Will�s sons began exploring their talents as distillers of alcohol. One doesn't have to strain one's imagination as to what ensued when the boys combined consumption of alcohol to excess with a desire to showcase their pugilistic talents.

On several occasions Will Nutter searched for and destroyed several stills his sons had constructed. Another time, Will spotted what appeared to be a drunken cow in a pasture. He searched and found that the boys were brewing beer in a trough nearby where the unwitting cow had recently imbibed.

There survives yet another story regarding the Nutter boys and moonshine -- though it's likely that it is actually an agglomeration of several stories. It seems the boys were "between stills" and needed to go to a local man, Jake Vohland, to obtain some illegal alcohol. The boys contrived an elaborate scheme to simply take the moonshine without paying for it. When the plot went wrong, some sort of altercation followed and the Nutter boys were arrested and detained for several days in the local lock-up facility. The jail was unmanned overnight and the boys succeeded in escaping through a skylight each night during their incarceration and returning before the staff arrived in the morning. The boys wreaked some kind of havoc each night knowing they would not be blamed. (After all, everyone knew they were locked up). Judge Wooley heard the charges against the boys and encouraged them to inform him about illegal stills in the area and who Jake Vohland's regular customers were. The judge was quick to dismiss the charges when one of the boys mentioned that Judge Wooley himself was, in fact, one of Vohland's customers. All of this must have made Will and Laura proud.

As a result of encouragement from their father's sister, Libby Robertson, some of the boys actually joined up with the Kearney chapter of the Ku Klux Klan for a while -- a curious association considering they were well aware of their mixed heritage.

For the most part, Will seems to have left it up to his diminutive wife to be the enforcer of discipline. It has been said that, when Will retired at age 60 (1919), he abdicated much of his responsibility in guiding and watching over the "children". Perhaps he simply gave up. Instead, he became a more avid reader and scientist as he grew older, like his father. The Nutter house had no library, study or office room like his father enjoyed, so Will came up with his own rather unusual solution. He purchased an old white hearse which he parked in the yard. He stored his books and papers inside the hearse and spent many hours alone in it. Everyone -- Laura, the children and even the neighbors -- knew that this was his "office" and that, while he was sitting in the hearse, he was not to be approached or disturbed.

As the disciplinarian, Laura would win no popularity contests among most of her hell-raising sons. Her three daughters would also perceive her to have relied too much on their service in the household. At the same time, the children all revered their father. And why not? After all, Will could always appear to be "above the fray" -- he could simply retire to the front seat of his hearse.

Will and Laura worked well together on at least one aspect of their life; dancing. They had met at a dance and each was very accomplished, particularly in spirited two-steps, jigs and reels. Laura's frequent pregnancies slowed her down none at all. In fact, she supposedly delivered at least two of the children the day after a night of kicking up her heels.

By 1930, all of the children had finally moved out of the house except the youngest two. Some were married and others were out of state, working where they could find work in the great depression. Early in August, 1933, Will developed digestive problems. A number of folk remedies were employed all to no avail as his symptoms became more and more acute. The family finally called in a Doctor Jones on the afternoon of 26 August, but it was too late. Will died at seven o'clock that same evening of an obstruction in the bowel from a cancerous tumor at the age of 74. He was buried at the Riverside Cemetery in Gibbon two days later. He had asked that no religious services be part of his funeral, but someone in the family decided to have the service at the local Presbyterian Church which was conducted by Reverend Daniel Mergler.

Laura lived only four more years and died of bone cancer in Yuba, California on 26 September, 1937 at the age of 63. However, much had happened during those four years. Virtually all of her children had moved to the west coast -- only Perry would remain behind in Nebraska. Laura herself had gone to California with a mind to staying there. In 1935, President Roosevelt signed a bill creating the "Rural Electrification Project". Indirectly, that would assure the continued employment and prosperity of the six of Will and Laura's sons who became electrical lineman as the northwest United States continued to grow.

All of the children of William and Laura Nutter (except Eldore). (Left to right) Perry, Banks, Everette, Victor, Orville, Wellington, Forrest and Darwin; in front, their sisters; Rose, Pearl and Muriel. Photo taken in 1946.

The Nutter brothers of William and Laura Nutter who worked as lineman. (Left to right) (at rear); Orville, Everette, Forrest; (at front) Wellington, Victor and Banks

The Children of William H. Nutter and Laura Myrtle Comstock

William Orville Nutter (1893-1973) - was always known as Orville and formally switched his first and second name around after reaching his majority. Sometime after 1910, he was apprenticed as an electrician in Kearney, possibly along with his friend and soon to be brother- in-law, Coyd Pickrell. He married in 1914 to Myrtle Pearl Reese (1897-1979) and the couple lived with Orville's parents during the first six years of their marriage -- first in Gibbon, then in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska. Orville finally got a job with Kearney Power and Light Company and moved back to North Platte in 1920. Soon after, he got a job as a lineman for the phone company and moved to Kearney where family lived until about 1936 when they moved to Roseville, California. He worked for several companies there as an electrician until his retirement. Family members remember him as a man of great intellect, much like his father and grandfather before him. He and his wife both died of Alzheimer's Disease during the 1970s. Sadly their three sons and a daughter did not enjoy the longevity of their parents. Kenneth Bruce Nutter (1914-1971) married twice, had one son and four grandchildren. Coyd Levain Nutter (1919-1994) had two sons, seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Gerald Galen Nutter (1924-1987) had a son and daughter, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Jolita Mae Nutter (1934-2001) had four children with her husband, Robert E. Miller, plus at least 3 grandchildren.

Pearl Lurella Nutter ( 1895-1988) - was the only girl among her parents' first nine children. As one might expect in a rural farm family, she was disproportionately called upon, in relation to her brothers, to provide care of her siblings. In fact, at the age of only fourteen or fifteen, she was left for months with sole responsibility for five of them while her parents and some of the older brothers went to Texas for an extended time. No one denies that Pearl was the nurturing influence in the family. By the time she married Coyd John Pickrell (1892-1962) of Kearney in 1913, she was disinclined to begin a family right away. In fact, it was nearly eleven years after their marriage that the couple finally had a son who, sadly, was stillborn. Three more sons were born in the next few years, one died as a child. Pearl's husband Coyd was a lineman and electrician who earned a good living in Kearney and is credited with training, directly and indirectly, his six brothers-in-law in that field. They moved to Roseville, California in 1937 and remained there until 1957 when they moved to San Diego where Coyd died. Pearl returned to Roseville in 1966 where she lived until the effects of Alzheimer's Disease required she move near her son and his family in Puyallup, Washington in the 1980s. She died there at the age of 93. Eldest surviving son Lloyd Gilman Pickrell (1926-2003) died in Kirkland, Arizona after marrying twice. His second wife, Wanda Nadine Keenan (1925-1999), had been previously married to Lloyd's uncles Darwin and Everette Nutter. By his first marriage to Madge Meekins, Lloyd had a son and a daughter. Pearl and Coyd's next son, Garnett Berdine Pickrell (1928-1932), died before his fifth birthday. Their youngest son, Garland Bennett Pickrell (born 1933), served in the US Navy and married in 1964 to Kathryn Franzen Bryant. In addition to her children from a previous marriage, they had a daughter and now, three grandchildren. Garland is retired from Boeing Aircraft Corporation and lives in Puyallup.

Perry Alden Nutter (1897-1984) - was named for Commodore Matthew Perry and John Alden, a settler of the Plymouth Colony. He was the only one of his parents' family who never permanently moved to the west coast. At age 16, Perry began working in the cafeteria and laundry at the tuberculosis hospital in Kearney, living near the institution with other staff in the locally famous "Frank House" in the same town. Some years afterwards, he moved with his parents and the family to Scotts Bluff. Here his father tried his hand at two different businesses: a restaurant and a laundry. This was unlikely to be coincidental -- Perry's father was probably doing his best to use whatever expertise Perry had acquired. However, Perry left the family's home in Scotts Bluff and moved to North Platte, Nebraska where he took employment with the railroad. He worked with them for the next forty-eight years most of the time as a baggage expressman. Perry's work required extended periods away from his home base. In the 1930s, when the railroad contracted to securely transport gold from mining projects in Canada to the Denver Mint, Perry moved from Nebraska, living in Deadwood and Lead, South Dakota for some time before returning to Grand Island. After remaining single until nearly his fortieth birthday, this handsome, always dapper and compact gentleman finally married eighteen-year-old Dorothy Wilke (1918-1990) in 1936. The marriage was far from idyllic and ended in divorce twenty years later, but Perry was an extraordinarily loving and doting father to the seven children that came along. Even his nephews and nieces who lived on the west coast remember him fondly calling him a "jewel". He and Dorothy also lived in Gibbon and St. Paul, Nebraska at times during their marriage. After Perry retired from the Union Pacific Railroad in 1965, he moved to Puyallup, Washington, to be among his many siblings in the area, but he missed his more immediate family. Therefore, he returned to Marquette, Nebraska and eventually moved in with his daughter, Barbara in 1981 when his health began to deteriorate. He died at the age of 87 from heart disease in 1984. Eldest daughter Sally Elaine Nutter Roberts (born 1937) lived in California and Colorado before returning to Omaha, had six children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Second daughter Betty Lou Nutter Lyons Ogle Sacco Cannon Niedfelt (born 1939) has nine children from three of her marriages, several of whom live in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida as do some of the eighteen grandchildren. Third daughter Barbara Sue Nutter Townsley (born 1941) lives in Grand Island, has a son and a daughter plus six grandchildren. Eldest son David Perry Nutter (born 1943) is married, lives in Lincoln, Nebraska and has a daughter. Second son Daniel James Nutter (1945-1999) remained in Nebraska, married and has two daughters. Youngest daughter Dorothy Delores Nutter Salmon (born 1948) also lived in California for a while but has returned to Nebraska along with her husband and two sons. Youngest son John Adrian Nutter (born 1952) is twice divorced, has one son and has lived variously in Colorado, Anchorage, Alaska and Seattle, Washington.

Wellington Thomas Paine Nutter (1899-1991) - was named for Thomas Paine, the American political theorist and writer, and George Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, from whom he also took his lifelong nickname of "Duke". He left the family home in Scotts Bluff to join the US Navy and, in his own words, "saw the world". He returned to Nebraska in the early 1920s, first to Kearney, then back to his parents' original home near Gibbon. In 1924, Duke married Wilma Hazel Dettamore (1904-1969) in Kearney and, with his brother Banks, their wives and children, they moved to Spring Valley, Iowa, just north of Winterset. The brothers opened a bakery but the depression took its toll and, after 1930, everyone returned to Gibbon. Afterwards, he and Banks trained with their brother-in-law, Coyd Pickrell, like their younger brothers Everette and DeForest had, and all became lineman -- first for the telephone company, then the electric company. After President Roosevelt signed the Rural Electrification Act in 1934, their expertise was always in demand. In the late 1930s, Duke and his growing family moved around Ohio and Iowa following his work. In 1939, he and his family plus Banks and his family relocated to the Tacoma, Washington area where their sisters had settled earlier. Duke and Wilma raised their family in Puyallup where they lived the rest of their days. Duke retired from Tacoma City Light Company in 1964. Sadly, he enjoyed his retirement with Wilma for only five years until her death from breast cancer. Duke stayed on his own for many years and ended up outliving his two eldest sons before dying himself just before his ninety-second birthday. His eldest son, Wellington Perry (Duke Junior) Nutter (1925-1980), who was a lineman like his father, married twice and had one son. Second son, Donald Dean Nutter (1929-1979), died in an auto accident, left a wife, three sons and a daughter and now has three granddaughters. Elder daughter Doris Wilma Nutter (1929-1929) was Donald's twin, but was born the day after him and died shortly after birth. Younger daughter Nola Delores Nutter Bacon (born 1935) has two sons and two grandsons. Youngest son Ronald Lee Nutter (1937-1996) died of cancer in Shelton, Washington just a month and a half after his wife died of the same disease. They left three children and two grandchildren.

Lincoln Banks Nutter (1901-1978) - like his brother Orville, was always known by his middle name and switched his names around for all legal purposes by the time he was an adult. He was named for Sir Joseph Banks, a British naturalist and, of course, Abraham Lincoln. He was married to Isabella Whitcher (1901-1975) in his hometown of Gibbon in 1922 and after his brother Duke's marriage two years later, the lives of the two brothers and their families parallel for roughly 15 years (see above). Banks and his family moved to Puyallup, Washington in 1939 where he continued to work as a lineman until his retirement. By the time his wife died of a heart attack in 1975, Banks was already suffering from Parkinson's Disease like his Grandfather Nutter. Ironically, he died of the disease at virtually the same age as his grandfather. Banks and Isabella's eldest son, Ebert Bruce Nutter (1922-1947) died with his wife of eighteen months, when a train hit the car in which they were traveling near Knightston, California, Second son Dewey Ray Nutter (1927-1989) was married three times. By his first wife, he has three sons and four granddaughters, all in Washington. By his second wife he had six children, all of whom moved to their mother's native South Dakota after their parents' divorce. With his third wife he had a daughter and two grandchildren. Banks and Isabella's eldest daughter Mary Jane Nutter Pierce Johnson (1929-2000) died in Roseburg, Oregon, and had three sons and three grandchildren from her first husband, two sons, two daughters and five grandchildren from her second husband. Second daughter Geraldine Joanna Nutter Ballard Zachery Brasier Roehr (1932-2004) married four times. She had a daughter, three grandchildren and a great grandchild from the marriage to her first husband, three children and six grandchildren with her second husband and a son with her third husband. Banks and Isabella's third son Gary Lee Nutter (1934- 1995) had a son with his first wife, two daughters with his second wife. Third daughter Belva Annette Nutter Bennett (born 1936) lives in Tacoma, has one son and four grandchildren. Banks and Isabella's youngest son William H. Nutter (born 1942) lives in Puyallup, has been married twice and has three sons and two grandchildren from his first wife.

Ebert Ingersoll Nutter (1902-1914) - was named after Karl Eberth, a German anatomist and Robert Ingersoll, an American orator known as "the great agnostic". Ebert was twelve years old when he was kicked in the head by a horse late in the summer of 1914. He seemed to recover from his injury and was eventually able to return to school. A dubious bit of folklore survives that a teacher corrected Ebert by smacking him in his head. Whatever the case, a blood clot became dislodged which eventually caused his death.

Everette Clinton Nutter (1904-1974) - was named after Edward Everette, an American orator and statesman and George Clinton, another American statesman. He was actually one of the first of the brothers to be trained by his brother-in-law, Coyd Pickrell, as a lineman. His father sent him to Kearney to live with the Pickrells in the mid-1920s hoping a trade and steady work would "tame" him. By 1930, he was working with the Kearney Telephone Company and eventually got work with the electrification efforts along with his brother, DeForest, in various localities across the Midwest (principally Ohio and Iowa) late in the 1930s. Everette finally joined many of his siblings in Washington State sometime before 1941. It has been said that a few of the Nutter boys made very poor choices for wives. Everette, despite the fact that he waited until his forty-third birthday to marry first, actually seems to have made two poor choices. First was Lois Frost McDaniels who was divorced with four daughters when she married Everette in 1947. After they had a daughter together, Everette began the process of adopting the four girls Lois had. Lois then abandoned Everette and all but her eldest daughter after the adoptions. After Everette and Lois divorced in 1951, he released custody of Lois' daughters with her previous husband's parents (the McDaniels) and put his daughter with Lois (Sandra) in the care of his brother, DeForest and his wife, Edith, where she flourished. Everette married again, after the death of his youngest brother Darwin in 1962, to Darwin's widow, Wanda Nadine Keenan (1925-1999) and welcomed the opportunity to provide for and care for the three young daughters of Darwin with Wanda. However, Wanda�s interest in yet another family member, Darwin and Everette's nephew Lloyd Pickrell, contributed to the end of this marriage after a little more than five years. A few years after he retired, Everette discovered he had lung cancer and moved to Dade City, Florida, to be with his daughter and her family. He died there on 7 July, 1974. His daughter, Sandra Kay Nutter (1948- 1984) married Illinois native Kenneth Nichol whose work on oil pipelines necessitated frequent moves around the country. About 1981, she, her husband and their family resettled in Bremerton, Washington. Sandra drowned in a river rafting accident on the Yakima River at the age of 35. Her son and oldest daughter live near Chrisman, Illinois and another daughter lives near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Sandra has six grandchildren.

DeForest Gilman Nutter (1905-1978) - was named for Lee DeForest, an American inventor and Daniel Colt Gilman, a famous American educator. Though many of his brothers were proficient boxers, Forest was clearly the best of the brothers in the ring. He was trained as a lineman by his brother-in-law, Coyd Pickrell, and did line work for the telephone company throughout most of the Midwest. On New Year�s Day, 1930, Edith Koons (1912-1972) from North Platte joined him in Missouri Valley, Iowa and they married. Just a little over a year later, their first and only child, Walter DeForest Nutter, was born at Kearney, Nebraska. The family moved to Bremerton, Washington late in the 1930s. After raising their own son, in 1951, Forest and Edith lovingly welcomed into their home Everette's little girl who had been abandoned by her mother. They raised her until her marriage in 1967. Even though Forest was battling prostate cancer, it was Edith who died during an afternoon nap in 1972. Forest survived her by six years. Their son Walter (1931-2005) retired from the United States Postal Service and lived in Bremerton, Washington.

Victor Hugo Nutter (1907-1974) - was named for the famous French novelist. He had begun his career as a lineman with the local telephone company in 1928 when Esther Bell (1912-1998), a local girl, announced she was expecting Victor's child. Since Esther had to have been only fifteen when conception occurred, her parents offered Victor two choices; marriage or legal charges for having sex with a minor. When the Bell's pressed the issue, Victor acquiesced. He and Esther married on 10 September, 1930, eighteen months after the baby's birth. Despite the inauspicious beginning, the marriage lasted forty-four years and produced three more children. The family left Arnold, Nebraska in 1941 and settled in Chehalis and then Yelm, Washington, south of Tacoma in 1951. Victor worked for Puget Sound Power & Light Company for the rest of his career and died of lung cancer two years after he retired. His wife, Esther survived nearly another quarter century and died of esophageal cancer at the age of 85. Their only daughter, Doris Jenet Nutter Halfacre (born 1933) still lives in Tacoma. She had a son (deceased), two daughters, one grandchild and two great-grandchildren. The eldest son of Victor and Esther was Jack Hugo Nutter (1929-1965) who died of a cerebral hemorrhage when his only son was 5 years old. That son now lives in Puyallup and has four sons of his own. The next son was Larry Nutter (1938-2002) who recently died of lung cancer in Pinehurst, Idaho leaving a daughter and three sons from two of his three marriages plus a total of four grandchildren. Youngest son Leon Eldore Nutter (1947-1980) died at 32 from cancer of the brain stem leaving a son and a daughter through whom he has two grandsons.

Evalina Rosaltha Nutter (1908-2005) - was named for her mulatto grandmother Evalina Rosaltha Eastman Comstock but she has been known throughout her adult life as Rose Lee. She was a brilliant student in school and a gifted athlete overshadowing her sister Muriel who struggled in school. Their mother, Laura, perhaps in a misguided attempt to "equalize" the girls, downplayed Rose's accomplishments and favored, or appeared to favor, Muriel. As a result, Rose sought an early exit from her parents' home. Though she married in 1925 at Kearney when she was just 16, she had made a good match with Royal Lawrence Holmes (1905-1977) and they enjoyed more than a half century together. They lived in Hastings, Nebraska until they became the first of the family to move to the Tacoma, Washington area, settling in Parkland in 1936 or 1937. The Holmes' had four children of whom only two grew to adulthood. In her sixties, Rose's interest in horseback riding blossomed and she became quite a well-known and expert rider. She enjoyed the pastime well through her eighties. In her widowhood, Rose outlived her only surviving son and in 1998, she moved to California near her only surviving daughter as Alzheimer's Disease began to compromise her ability to live on her own. Rose and Roy's elder daughter Joyce Lorine Nutter (1925-1934) drowned in a sand pit near Gibbon just after her eighth birthday. Their youngest child was a boy who lived for three days in 1946. Son Larry Dolan Holmes (1933-1999) had three sons, one daughter and nine grandchildren. Daughter Sherie Lee Holmes Korver Dixon (born 1939) lives in Shingle Springs, California and is twice widowed with four daughters and five grandchildren.

Jessie Muriel Nutter (1910-1974) - was known as Merl or Muriel throughout her life and legally dropped her first name. Muriel was a poor student and was pulled from school early. Based on the fact that several cases of dyslexia have been found among her descendants, it seems likely she had the same problem. At home, Muriel worked hard and was often praised and encouraged by her mother. Under Laura's able tutelage, Muriel became an accomplished seamstress. If Muriel's sister Rose had ever found any reason to be jealous of Muriel, that quickly changed once Muriel married Luther Claude Scott (1910-1980) in 1928. Luther was an alcoholic who worked as a farmhand on local farms. They had a daughter and a son before they moved to Yuba City, California in 1935. As they moved around that area of California and eventually, Washington State, Luther's alcoholism and abuse of his wife and children escalated. Unfortunately, Muriel began drinking too much as well, further taxing the family's already meager resources. In 1948, Muriel finally had had enough and divorced Luther. She moved to Centralia and remarried to Dewey Emmanuel Lamb (1921-1995) in 1952 with whom she enjoyed comparatively much more stability. Muriel died from cancer and a thrombosis in Centralia in 1974 just short of her 64th birthday. Muriel and Luther's youngest daughter, Sharon Kay Scott (1943-1943) lived just a few hours. Eldest daughter Doris Ilene Scott Dye (born 1929) lives in Olympia. Her son drowned at the age of 31 leaving a wife and two sons. Doris' daughter has one son. Luther and Muriel's son Duane Luther Scott (born 1933-2007) was divorced and had two sons, both of whom predeceased their father..

Eldore Emmanuel Nutter (1911-1985) - was strikingly unlike any of his brothers in appearance, personality and demeanor. This led to gossip in the more extended family that he did not have the same father as his brothers. Lacking definitive DNA evidence at this point, it is compelling to note that, whenever photos of Eldore and some of his brothers were presented to disinterested observers outside the family, along with a picture of William H. Nutter, only Eldore was consistently selected as William H. Nutter's son. This would seem to indicate that Eldore's difference in appearance from his siblings arose as a result of his greater resemblance to their father. Eldore moved to Roseville, California in 1937 with his mother and for years seemed to move back and forth between there and the other family base near Tacoma, Washington. Perhaps it was his marriage, in 1947, to Doris I. VandeKamp ( 1913-1988) and his employment with the Boeing Aircraft Corporation which settled the question, resulting in them settling in Renton, Washington. He died there in 1985 from stomach cancer. Eldore and Doris had no children.

Darwin Clifford Nutter (1913-1962) was named for his father's hero, English evolutionist Charles Darwin. Though his name now has more benign implications, in his youth Darwin's name was a "red flag" to teachers and others who regarded Charles Darwin as a "godless" influence on society. He married Audrey Angela Bayley (1917-1970) in their hometown of Gibbon, Nebraska, in 1934 when he was 21 and she was 16 and expecting a baby. Three years later, Darwin, his wife and two children moved to Roseville, California with his mother and older brother Eldore. Somewhere along the line, Darwin developed an expertise as an auto body repairman which insured his regular employment for most of his adult life. Darwin moved back and forth several times between California and Washington and his marriage to Audrey ended in divorce in 1946. He married secondly to Wanda Nadine Keenan (1925-1999) in 1951 and they settled in Yelm, Washington in 1955 after the birth of the first two of their three daughters. Darwin was sickly as a child. Doctors thought he had rheumatic fever and his brothers would pull him around in a wagon rather than allow him to walk. Finally, an abscessed tooth was discovered to be the problem. Once it was pulled, he returned to normal and, like his older brothers, he became a golden gloves boxing champion. However, the infected tooth left him with a much damaged artery to his heart which eventually required surgery and for which he required continued treatment. Yet, his heart problem would not turn out not to be the source of his undoing. Rather, his prolonged exposure to paints and solvents in his work combined with his heavy cigarette smoking seems to have resulted in his contracting lung cancer. He died just short of his forty-ninth birthday in 1962. Darwin's only son, Glen Alden Nutter (born 1935) lives in Allyn, Washington and has been married three times. His only daughter has one son. Daughter Shirley Joan Nutter McLeod Hebard McAllister (born 1935) has a son and two daughters. Darwin had three daughters from his second marriage. The eldest was Judith Carol Nutter Brahun Hughes (1953-2002) who had two daughters and one grandchild. The next daughter, Terri Lynn Nutter Peterson (born 1954) had three children and a grandson. Youngest daughter Cheryl Ann Nutter White Bonomi (born 1955) has three children and one grandchild.


Walter and Ellen Williams

Walter and Ellen Williams

Ellen Nutter, sixth child and eldest surviving daughter of William and Dinah (Ingham) Nutter, was born during the time they lived among the Mormons near present-day Salt Lake City, Utah. The family resided at the Sessions Settlement near the growing town of Bountiful when Ellen arrived on 14 July 1861.

Ellen was just a toddler when she was forgotten...twice...by her family. She was left sleeping when her parents and older siblings abruptly left the homestead in Nebraska in 1864 fearing an impending Indian attack and then again, a few months later, as her parents left Liverpool train station bound for their hometown in England. Of course, Ellen herself had been oblivious to both the incidents as she was just a toddler. Once her parents recovered from their initial panic, they were eventually able to see the humor in the occurrence with due deference to Ellen's feelings.

Ellen began school at Old Bethany Presbyterian in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when her family returned to the USA. After the family homesteaded in Nebraska, Ellen was schooled first in the make-shift school in the abandoned railroad shack near Wood River Center, then in the room above Oliver's Store in the same community after it was renamed "Shelton". She finished school in the late 1870s and became the first teacher at Bluff Center School nearby.

Either late in 1880 or early in 1881, Ellen met Walter Stanton Williams who was nearly ten years her senior. Not incidentally, Ellen's sister, Ione, met Walter's younger brother, Boyd. Both Walter and Boyd had left their father's home in Ray County, Missouri and were boarding with local families while they worked for the Union Pacific Railroad.

Walter Stanton Wiliams (1851-1930) was born in Salem Township, Henry County, Iowa to Lilburn Johnson Williams (1820-1910), an Indiana native and Margaret Amanda Leseur (1825- 1859) whose precise origins remain obscure. There is family lore that suggests Margaret or her father was a Creole (ie. of mixed French and Indian heritage). Lilburn's family had originated in Wales. They were Quakers who immigrated to a Welsh community south of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early 1700s. Afterwards, the Williams' ancestors moved south to North Carolina then, incrementally, westward through western Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, then Iowa. Lilburn Williams, a blacksmith who saw service as a captain in the Civil War, seems to have moved often himself - from Indiana to Iowa to Illinois to Missouri then Kansas.

Walter Williams married Ellen Nutter on 22 November, 1881 and moved into a sod house near Kearney. If they farmed, it was a very small farm on leased land. Walter's main work was as a grading contractor, expertise he had picked up from his time with the Union Pacific Railroad. Mules were the muscle behind his work on the railroad and on the farm. Despite Walter's hard work, the couple was financially unable to buy land as prices in Nebraska spiked in the 1880s. In 1887, he and Ellen decided to seek their fortune elsewhere. The young couple had also acquired three other mouths to feed by that time; daughters Bertha Olive, Alice Loretta and Ethel, all born in that sod house.

Ellen and Walter imagined their future was on the west coast. However, when they left Nebraska, they headed due southward first almost all the way through the entire state of Kansas to Meade County near the Kansas border with Oklahoma. They had received news that Walter's father Lilburn had recently been widowed again and was having difficulties. They travelled by covered wagon pulled by some of the many mules and other cattle which traveled with them. Their first destination was the latest homestead of Walter's father, Lilburn Williams. Walter's brother, Boyd and his wife Ione, Ellen's sister traveled with them having married just months after Ellen and Walter.

Lilburn Williams was a disowned Quaker who had already been married and divorced prior to marrying Walter and Boyd's mother (Margaret Amanda Leseur) in Lee County, Iowa in 1847. After Margaret's death in 1859 in Ray County, Missouri, Lilburn married Mrs. Malinda Caroline Knight Hathaway twelve months later. Thereafter they had moved to Meade County, Kansas, where Malinda had also died on 10 March, 1887 leaving him with several teenage children still at home. Walter, Ellen and their three little girls wintered with the family there along with Boyd, Ione and their two little girls.

And what a winter it was. In mid- January, 1888, all of the plains, from the Dakotas to Texas, were hit with a snowstorm of historic proportions. Snow measured in feet rather than inches, sustained winds of more than fifty miles per hour and temperatures which fell just below thirty degrees below zero Fahrenheit characterized the storm which lasted several days. Walter's father lost some of his livestock in the storm and Walter lost a few of his mules. If Walter and Ellen had entertained thoughts of remaining on the plains, the blizzard may have well been the proverbial "last straw".

Ironically, when Walter and Ellen left Kansas in the spring of 1888, they traveled next through Denver to Ellen's birthplace near Salt Lake City, Utah. This was an incredibly long and arduous journey. Again, the family entertained thoughts of settling in Utah, but eventually continued westwards. Walter, Ellen and their daughters plus Boyd, Ione and their daughters arrived in Seattle, Washington in February, 1889.

The Walter Williams family moved around southern Washington and northern Oregon quite a bit during their first years in the area. Walter began working for the Union Pacific Railroad once more, building railroad lines through the area. This work allowed the Williams' to amass some money with which they could buy land. It also allowed for them to survey the area for the best land for the best price. During this period, in 1892, their last child, a son named Wallace, was born at Wood's Landing, Washington along the pristine shores of the Columbia River. In 1898, their daughter, Ethel, died during their time in The Dalles, Oregon.

Bertha and Alice Williams (left and bottom), eldest daughters of Ellen and Walter, and their double cousin Jessie Williams (top), daughter of Ellen's sister, Ione and Walter's brother Boyd.

Within the next few years, Walter purchased an entire section of land (640 acres) about forty miles west of Madras, Oregon. To the north was the Warm Springs Indian Reservation; to the west were the Cascade Mountains. Even today, this area is still rather remote, well away from the amenities of the nearest large town, Madras. This beautiful landscape was to be their home for several years. They then moved to a similar, but smaller piece of land south of Madras in Crook County.

Walter farmed the land, growing wheat for the most part. Again, he chose mules as his beasts of burden and had as many as two hundred on the land west of Madras. On the smaller farm, he had a stable of about fifty. Ellen ran the household. On the larger farm, Ellen's specialty was cooking several enormous meals each day for the many farm hands that often lived with and near them.

Over the years, Ellen grew interested in religion. Walter had influenced her somewhat with the elements from his family's Quaker roots. She had found some comfort in religion upon the death of their eleven-year-old daughter in 1898. But it was the death in 1912 of their only son Wallace in a hunting accident which sent Ellen deeply into a religious fervor which she continued for the rest of her life.

In her widowhood, Ellen's mother Dinah travelled to the west coast at least twice, (1907 and 1912), accompanied on the first visit by Ellen's youngest sister Louise, her husband Reuben Miller plus the Millers' son and daughter. This would be the first time Ellen had seen her mother and sister in more than two decades. It is believed that the Millers were contemplating relocation there. However, they eventually returned to Nebraska for good.

After World War I, Walter and Ellen sold the farm (which everyone called "the ranch") in Oregon and moved to a home at 62 North Road in Rock Creek on the outskirts of Stevenson, Washington. Their daughters had each married and moved there some years before. Walter invested his savings and the money from the ranch primarily in a mutual fund called Electric Bond and Share.

Unfortunately, Electric Bond and Share was extraordinarily vulnerable to the stock market crash of 1929. The fund's manager, Samuel Insul, fled the states to avoid prosecution and soon afterwards threw himself under a train in the Paris subway. Ellen and Walter's wealth was mostly lost.

Volney Branstetter, husband of the Williams' daughter, Alice, also took a big hit from the stock market crash, so they moved in with Walter and Ellen. As if in reaction to his financial ruin, Walter's health began to fail. Walter's problems were more than financial though. A cancerous stomach tumor was discovered. Confined to his bed, he developed pneumonia and then suffered a pulmonary hemorrhage from which he died on 25 October, 1930, two weeks after his seventy- eighth birthday.

Ellen Williams continued living with Volney and Alice. Early in her widowhood, she returned to Nebraska with a mission; to save the souls of her atheist brothers and sister. Though her siblings were delighted to see her again after so many years, they were, at the same time, appalled that she had become, in their opinion, a religious zealot. Ellen went back to Washington with her mission unfulfilled.

Ellen enjoyed a happy, modest and devout old age and delighted in the occasional proximity of her four grandchildren and some great-grandchildren. After her eightieth birthday (1941), her short-term memory began to fade, though her ability to remember events from earlier times remained sharp. In September, 1945, Ellen fell in the home she shared with her daughter Alice and Volney Branstetter and broke her hip. She was transported to a North Bonneville, Washington hospital where she succumbed to pneumonia on 22 September, 1945, at the age of 84.

Because only Bertha Olive, the eldest child of Walter and Ellen Williams, had any children, they left a comparatively small family which is still growing. The details of those descendants are set out below.

The Children of Ellen Nutter and Walter Stanton Williams

Ray McKeighan, son of Alex and Ellen McKeighan

Thought to be the home of Alex and Bertha McKeighan in Stevenson, WA - 1913

Bertha Olive Williams (1883-1964) - was born in the sod house that was her parents' home near Kearney, Nebraska on 28 February 1883. Her formal education took place in any number of makeshift schools throughout southern Washington and Northern Oregon as her parents moved around that area. As haphazard as her education might have seemed, it was comprehensive enough to enable her to become a teacher soon after the turn of the last century. Soon after, she met and married Illinois native Alexander McKeighan (1878-1928) settling first in Collins, then Stevenson, Washington. Their first child died at birth about 1903 but they eventually had a daughter and two sons and adopted another daughter in 1925. Alex McKeighan worked as a highway contractor and eventually became the Washington State Highway Superintendent before he succumbed to Bright's Disease at the age of 50. Bertha took in young teachers for room and board to supplement her income in her widowhood and eventually remarried to Azro Patterson Gordon who was the sheriff of Skamania County. After his death of her second husband, Bertha moved in with her daughter in Vancouver, Washington. Her mind remained sharp in old age perhaps as her result of her love for quiz shows on television and her love of a good game of cribbage. She had hip replacement surgery but developed a reaction to the material used in the prosthetic joint and eventually had to have the joint removed. She was effectively immobilized and died soon afterwards. Oddly, all of Bertha's descendants have left the Northwest and moved to the south except for the family of her adopted daughter Louise LaVonne McKeighan McComas Strecker (born 1924). Bertha and Alexander's eldest son, Ray McKeighan (1905-1986) worked for the United States Army Engineers for 35 years. His son Linn McKeigan (born 1936) worked for IBM before retirement in Austin. Texas. His two daughters whom he finished raising after his divorce also live in Texas. Bertha and Alexander's daughter Helen Elizabeth McKeighan Lawrence (1907-2006) lived in Dothan, Alabama with her son Russell M. Lawrence. Russell and his wife lived for years in the Panama Canal Zone where they raised their family. They have two sons in Texas, a daughter in Arkansas and three grandchildren. Russell's only sister, Carol Elaine Lawrence Ester (born 1942) lives in Texas, has one son there and two granddaughters. Bertha and Alexander's youngest son, James Knox McKeighan (1910-1990) was a civil engineer with the United States Corps of Engineers who finally retired in Washington State after moving often during his career. He and his wife had no children.

Alice Loretta Williams (1884-c. 1964) - married Volney Z. Branstetter (1868-1962) in 1911 in Wasco County, Oregon. Branstetter had a wheat "ranch" near Alice's parents' ranch. And, like Alice's parents, Vol and Alice took a big financial hit in the stock market crash of 1929. Vol had sold his ranch and invested money but continued to work on farms near Stevenson for many years.

After her husband died at 94, Alice moved to a nursing home in Yakima where she died a few years later. She and Volney had no children.

Ethel Williams (1887-1898) - was born in her parents' sod house near Kearney, just before they left Nebraska. She died at the age of 11 during the family's time in the Dalles, Oregon.

Wallace Harvey Williams (1892-1912) - was born at Woods Landing on the Yakima River in Washington. He was named for two of his father's brothers. He died in a hunting accident in 1912 near Madras, Oregon at the age of 20.

IONE NUTTER (1863-1953)

Ione (Nutter) Williams

Boyd and Ione Williams

Ione Nutter, the seventh child and second eldest surviving daughter of William and Dinah (Ingham) Nutter, was a twin sister to Lyone, both born 30 October, 1863 in a log cabin about two miles east of present-day Shelton, Nebraska. Her father had worked hard that summer, building an additional room onto the log cabin in which they lived in addition to the regular work on the farm.

Years later, Ione's mother Dinah would recall that she worked very hard on the farm that summer and fall as well, quite memorable to her as she was pregnant with the twins. The new room, measuring 12 feet by 18 feet, effectively doubled the family's living space.

The twins were not quite a year old when their mother and father snatched each of them up in their cracker box cradles in the middle of the night to escape from what they believed was an impending Indian attack. In the autumn of 1864, most settlers in the eastern third of Nebraska abandoned their homes and their claims to flee eastward believing the "savages" were on their way to lay waste to their communities. Ione's parents took her and the family all the way back to England via the port of Quebec in Canada. On board the ship, the twins contracted scarlet fever and by the time the family landed at Liverpool and made their way to a relative's home in Barrowford, Lancashire, the twins' condition was critical. A doctor was called in and Ione was set aside as "hopeless". He did his best to save Lyone but she died 17 May, 1865. "Hopeless" Ione recovered and flourished.

The Nutter family returned to the United States the next year and settled again in Nebraska in the summer of 1869. Ione began school in an abandoned railroad shack near Wood River Center (later Shelton), Nebraska a few miles east of the family's new homestead. Again, the substantially augmented Nutter family settled in a log cabin which would be Ione's home until she married.

Ione's elder sister, Ellen, met Walter Stanton Williams in 1880 or 1881. Some time afterwards, Ione was introduced to Walter's younger brother, Boyd Witten Williams (1856-1897), who like his brother Walter, was boarding with a local family and working on railroad construction. These were the "two sisters, as different as they could be" who met "two brothers as different as they could be" in the estimation of the girls' mother, Dinah Ingham Nutter.

Jessie Williams (left), daughter of Boyd and Ione Williams, with her double cousin Alice, daughter of Ione's sister Ellen and Boyd's brother Walter.

The courtships moved along in tandem. Ione and Boyd married on 28 March, 1882 at Kearney, four months after Ellen and Walter. Like Ellen, Ione had three children in the first few years of her marriage. Unfortunately, the second child, a boy, was stillborn in 1884. Both families decided to seek their fortune elsewhere in 1887. Though their ultimate destination was the northwest (ie. Oregon or Washington), they headed due south at first to meet and winter with the Williams brothers' recently widowed father, Lilburn Johnson Williams at his most recent homestead in Meade County, Kansas.

The winter Boyd and Ione spent in Kansas was punctuated by the "Schoolchildren's Snowstorm" in mid-January, 1888. The storm lasted several days and buried much of the plains in several feet of snow accompanied by winds in excess of fifty miles per hour and temperatures falling beyond thirty degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

The Williams' time in Kansas was the only time Ione would meet most of Boyd's siblings. It was not the only time she would meet his father.

In the spring of 1888, Ione and Boyd accompanied Ellen and Walter on the long trek north towards the Pacific Northwest. They made the journey by covered wagon pulled by mules and drove mules and other livestock along the trails through the Rockies. They stopped for some time in Denver and for a more extended time in Salt Lake City. The Williams entourage arrived in Seattle, Washington in February, 1889.

That summer, Ione gave birth to a son in Seattle. It appears that, as soon as they were able to travel, the two Williams families parted ways. Boyd, Ione, the two girls and the newborn John Franklin Williams headed for Gray's Harbor on the Pacific coast of Washington. They then went south to McMinnville, Oregon but ultimately settled in a burgeoning town of four thousand souls further south named Salem.

Grace, John, and Jessie Williams, children of Boyd and Ione Williams

No family lore survives to explain why Ione and Boyd settled in an urban area when the background of both was agricultural. Also, no lore or documentation survives to tell us how Boyd and Ione provided for their family throughout the early 1890s. However, it is clear that Boyd began drinking heavily during this period. Those who knew Ione would later speculate that she may have tolerated the drinking, but when Boyd began being abusive, there simply was going to be no way she would tolerate that.

Considering the mores and circumstances of those days, Ione made a tremendously courageous decision; she decided to leave Boyd.

A story survives that Ione packed up her children and their belongings and set off on foot with a milk cow in tow for The Dalles, nearly a hundred miles away. When she arrived at her sister Ellen's home there, one can only imagine what happened. Ellen's husband was Boyd's brother, so Ione's story of alcoholism and abuse, at the least, left Ellen and Walter somewhat conflicted. Ellen, who was substantially more conservative than Ione, likely felt Ione should "work it out" somehow with Boyd. And apparently, Ellen and Walter did not entertain the possibility of making Ione and her three children a permanent addition to their household. Ultimately, Ione and the children returned to Salem for either a trial separation or reconciliation. Whichever was the case, nature was about to decide the future of their marriage.

Ione (Nutter) Williams

Throughout the mid-1890s, there were typhoid epidemics across the United States in the growing and congested urban areas where water and sewerage systems were overtaxed. Salem was no exception. Boyd came down with the disease early in March, 1897. He was either back with Ione and the family or she simply took pity on him and personally nursed him throughout his illness which proved fatal on 16 March, 1897 at the age of 41. He was buried at the Salem Pioneer Cemetery.

Ione's oldest daughter, Jessie, had to quit school and go to work. It isn't known where Ione worked in these years, but a good guess is that she did some work at the fairgrounds where Oliver Perry ("Perry") Mauzey trained horses. He also supplied horses for the local police force of which he was a part time officer.

In either 1898 or 1899, Ione's father-in-law came to Oregon from his home in Meade County, Kansas. It is unclear what motivated Lilburn Williams, now nearly eighty years old, to come to the west coast. Some family members claim he had lived in Oregon years before had worked as a surveyor and longed to see the northwest one more time. Others say Ione requested his help and perhaps, his financial assistance as well.

Ironically, Lilburn Williams' presence probably facilitated the blossoming romance between Ione and Perry Mauzey. Once Mauzey obtained a divorce from his wife, Flora, he and Ione were married on 3 June, 1900. The census that year records the new family at 500 High Street in Salem; Mr. and Mrs. Mauzey, the three Williams children and Lilburn Williams - "boarder". Lilburn returned to Kansas that year where he died in 1910 at the age of 90.

In 1901, Perry and Ione bought a home and some property at 142 Miller Street in downtown Salem. On Christmas Day that year, Ione's elder daughter, Jessie, married George Pearl who worked in the same laundry as Ione. Before the next Christmas, Ione was a grandmother at the age of 39. Also, during the same time, Ione's 12 year-old son, John Williams, left school and went to work living mostly away from home. Daughter Grace moved out and married in 1906, leaving Ione and Perry on their own.

In 1904, Ione's sister Jennie, her husband Will Hogg and their two sons came to Salem and bought land along the Williamette River near Salem. They successfully farmed the land and became very well-to-do. There doesn't seem to be much evidence that either Ione or Jennie had much contact at all with their sister Ellen Williams who lived near Madras, Oregon. Perhaps Ellen's growing religious fervor was a divisive factor. In 1907, Ione's recently widowed mother Dinah Nutter came to Salem from Nebraska. Dinah hadn't seen Ione in nearly 21 years and had never even met her son-in-law Perry nor her own grandson, John Williams. Dinah also visited again in 1912.

Ione and Perry made a comfortable life in Salem. Perry was well-liked and respected by Ione's family. John returned home occasionally in between jobs. Jessie, Grace and their families lived some distance away from Salem. As soon as Jessie's boys attained a reasonable age, Grandma Ione and Perry would arrange for each to have a horse of their own, trained by Perry. In the meantime, Perry maintained his association with the Salem police department.

In 1920, Perry Mauzey was shot in some sort of altercation. As he was 68 years old, it was amazing that he survived. However, his career in the strenuous work of training horses was soon over. Perry and Ione moved to Columbia City, Oregon along the Columbia River in 1922 and lived either with or near daughter Jessie and her husband, George Pearl. Perry never fully recovered and died on 23 September, 1923. Ione returned to their home in Salem.

As she approached her sixtieth birthday, Ione was a widow for the second time in her life but in rather different circumstances. This time, she owned a home of her own and she was a woman of some means.

Ione with her 3rd husband, Casper Hepp

Ione met her next husband on the streets of Salem. Casper Hepp was a "huckster" - a not altogether complementary term for a traveling salesman. He was supposedly selling brushes and related cleaning products in front of a store when Ione first met him and was apparently smitten.

Casper Hepp had been born in New York City one year to the day after Ione. His first wife had died leaving him with at least one son, Arthur, to raise. He then married his second wife, Barbara, in 1895 and had four daughters with her. In the early days of their marriage, Casper saw service in the 8th US Cavalry during the Spanish-American War and lost a leg in the conflict. Soon after 1905 he and the family moved to Seattle, Washington. By 1920, they were in Portland, Oregon and within the next few years, Barbara died.

Truth being stranger than fiction, Ione was married to the hobbling one-legged huckster with the New York accent less than two years after Perry's death. Casper brought to bear his considerable powers of persuasion on Ione. He convinced her that they should move to San Francisco, California and open a store selling cleaning supplies. It is not known why they selected San Francisco. Perhaps Casper wanted to be near an established veteran's hospital as he had chronic difficulties with the amputation site of his leg. Perhaps he wanted to remove Ione from the scrutiny of her family as some believed the old huckster was simply anxious to have easy access to Ione's considerable financial assets.

The couple did move to San Francisco, California and rented a storefront and apartment at 1781 Mission Street. At this store, called "American Janitor Supply", the Hepps sold cleaning equipment and other hardware for many years and they prospered. Later, the Hepps built a small home around the corner at 52 Isis Street where they lived the rest of their lives.

Ione welcomed the periodic visits from Oregon of her children and grandchildren at the holidays and other times of the year. Strangely, no one ever recalls her going back to Salem for any reason at any time. Still, she retained the property she and Perry Mauzey owned at 142 Miller Street in Salem and even replaced the frame house on the land with a brick house. Her son John Williams collected the rent and did maintenance on the structures. Ione always contended she would return there to live one day.

Late in the 1930s, Casper and Ione would periodically welcome into their home Ione's sister, Alice Scott for extended stays. Alice had been widowed in 1934 in Julesburg, Colorado and had lost her sight after an operation for glaucoma. Ione was also plagued with similar problems with her eyes but never lost her vision totally.

The site of Casper's leg amputation was unrelentingly problematical. Attempts to wear a prosthetic leg led to regular visits to the veteran's hospital for treatment of irritation, inflammation and infection. In the 1930s this led to an ominous succession of further incremental amputations and complication upon complication. Of course, gangrene was almost inevitable and indeed that was what finally caused Casper's death on 6 August, 1940 at the age of 75.

Ione's younger daughter Grace Zimmerman, who had become a widow in 1938, eventually left her home in Grant's Pass, Oregon and moved in with Ione on Isis Street. Ione enjoyed good health and a clear mind throughout her eighties and even lived to see a couple of great-great grandchildren before her death on 10 March, 1953 in her ninetieth year. She was buried next to Casper at the Presidio Military Cemetery in San Francisco.

The Children of Ione Nutter and Boyd Witten Williams

Jessie Williams, daughter of Boyd and Ione Williams

Jessie Amanda Williams (1882-1980) - The earliest memories of Jessie Amanda Williams were probably from the nomadic period following her family leaving the sod house near Kearney, Nebraska where she had been born. The family went to visit her paternal grandfather's farm in Meade County, Kansas in 1887. From there, her parents headed to Denver, Colorado, then Salt Lake City, Utah, then Seattle and Gray's Harbor, Washington followed by McMinnville and Salem, Oregon by 1893. At 14, she had to leave school when her father died in a typhoid epidemic in Salem. Though all the family seems to remember Jessie as a gem of a woman, she officially became a "Pearl" when she married George Leslie Pearl (1873-1943) on Christmas Day, 1901 in Salem. The couple left Salem in 1905 for an area north of Portland along the Columbia River near a town called Clatskanie. They bought a "stump farm" where, as the name suggests, little farming was possible and where logging was the principle industry. In addition to running the household and raising the children they had, Jessie also worked as a cook in the logging camps. George worked as a teamster and a logger, but often "wandered", looking for opportunities elsewhere - sometimes as far away as Alaska. He worked right up until death at 70 as a night watchman in a logging camp. Jessie lived on her own for many years and then with her children as cataracts and glaucoma robbed her of her eyesight. Of her six children, three sons and one daughter lived to adulthood. Sadly she outlived her three sons dying just after breaking her hip at the age of 97.

Her eldest daughter, Grace Olive Pearl (1902-1990) was the eldest great-grandchild of William and Dinah Nutter, the main subjects of this book. She married a logger named Otto Cantwell with whom she had four children. Eldest daughter Frances Ann Cantwell Vandebogart Christians (1924- 1976) was murdered while taking a lunchtime break from her work in a secluded area overlooking the Pacific Ocean. She left a son and a daughter and now has a granddaughter. Grace's son Leslie Everette Cantwell (1926-1934) died the day before his eighth birthday. Grace's daughter Lurena Rae Cantwell Brady Miller (born 1931) lived for several years in Ketchikan, Alaska but now resides in Toledo, Washington. Her only son died in a traffic accident. Her daughter and a granddaughter are still in Ketchikan. A grandson lives in Seattle and another granddaughter is in Richmond, Virginia. Grace's youngest daughter, Judith Lee Cantwell Holsey (1940-1997) died in Oregon after a lifelong battle with diabetes and left no children.

Jessie Amanda Williams Pearl's next child was Grace Ione Pearl (1904-1904). She only lived five months.

Jessie's eldest son, George Herbert Pearl (1905-1933), married very young to Lyla Langdon and had two sons Raymond George Pearl (born 1924) and Dean Pearl (born 1926). Lyla later divorced George. George remarried Lurena Hughes in 1931 but was crushed to death in a logging accident two years later. His sons by his first marriage were later adopted by Lyla's second husband and used his surname (Arnold). The family has lost touch with them. Both are married and, at last contact, Dean was living near Los Angeles.

Jessie's youngest daughter Gertrude L. Pearl (1909-1910) died of whooping cough near Clatskanie at the age of three months.

Jessie's youngest son, Harold Lester Pearl (1911-1973) began as a logger and eventually got involved with supplying equipment to mills and ultimately became quite successful in the logging business. He died on a European tour in Bucharest, Romania. With his second wife, a Canadian named Pearl Martin, he had one son Jack Leslie Pearl (1939-2004) who lived in Burnaby, British Columbia as does his widow, only daughter, grandson and granddaughter.

Grace Williams

Grace Diana Williams (1886-1985) - married William Lloyd Zimmerman (1883- 1938) and moved from Salem to Grant's Pass, Oregon near the Northern California border where her husband worked for years with the railroad. After his death, Grace moved in with her mother, Ione, on Isis Street in San Francisco and lived there until the early 1970s. By then, the little house was in the midst of a very industrial area under a freeway overpass. Grace finally moved to her daughter's home in Lake Oswego where she died just short of her hundredth birthday. Grace's only child, Dorothy Lyle Zimmerman (1907-1996) married Joseph William Wise (1900-1983) and lived for years in Eugene, Oregon where he worked for Pacific Fruit and Produce. Their only son, Richard Louis Wise (born 1939) lives in Gleneden Beach, Oregon and has no children. Dorothy's elder daughter Kay Corinne Wise Wood (born 1941) had a son and a daughter in Fresno, California. Younger daughter Donna Eileen Wise Willis (born 1944) has a son and two daughters born in Portland. By 1985 that family had moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

John Williams

John Williams II - Mayor of Oregon City

John Franklin Williams (1889-1959) - was the youngest child of Ione and Boyd Williams. He left school and home at the age of 12 and went to work as a "Gandy dancer" (ie. a laborer in a railroad maintenance gang). Not long afterwards, he became an attendant in the local insane asylum and held other odd jobs, sporadically returning to his mother's home. He finally got regular work with the Oregon Electric Interurban Company and married Annette Blodgett, a trained nurse, in Portland in 1917. After joining the National Guard, he was almost deployed into action during World War I. However, the war ended and John ended up being quarantined in Seattle as a result of the Spanish Flu epidemic. In the city of his birth, Seattle, he got work with the Great Northern Railroad but was laid off in 1919 when he embarked on an odyssey in pursuit of work which took him all the way east and south to New Orleans, Louisiana. Ultimately, he returned to Portland, Oregon in 1920 where their first son was born and where he began a career with the Union Pacific Railroad. The family moved to Seattle next where the second son was born. In 1937, he lost an arm in a railroad coupling accident. The company provided work for him afterwards for the rest of his career. He became a Mason and worked his way up through the Masonic hierarchy to a position of substantial influence and respect in that organization and in the community at large. He died just short of his seventieth birthday from Hodgkin's Disease. John and Annette's elder son. Gene Merritt William's (born 1920) served in World War II in the Pacific theater. He has been married twice and has three sons by his first wife and six grandchildren. He was with the Occidental Insurance Company in Salem for many years. The Williams' younger son, John Franklin William's II (born 1928), saw service in the Korean War. He has a son and a daughter with the first of his two wives and has two granddaughters. Early in his career, he managed radio stations but later went into advertising and started his own agency. He served as Mayor of Oregon City, Oregon from 1998 to 2002.


Elizabeth Margaret Nutter

Elizabeth Margaret Nutter

Elizabeth Nutter was born as "Margaret" on 4 December, 1865 at 18 Anne Street, near the town center of Burnley, Lancashire England. She was the only child of William and Dinah (Ingham) Nutter born during their brief return to England from their Nebraska homestead. Her parents were already well along in their preparations to return to the area of their Nebraska claim by the time she was born. In fact, her father left for America a month and a half after her birth followed by the rest of the family some months later.

"Libby" was less than 4 when her parents finally settled back in Buffalo County, Nebraska, into the small log cabin that would be their home for the next eighteen years. She was educated with her siblings at the crude school facilities in nearby Shelton.

Elegance and gentility are difficult commodities to accrue or maintain on the frontier though her sisters did quite a good job in doing so. Libby had no interest whatsoever in such attributes and was quite competitive with her siblings, particularly her older brothers. She actually demonstrated substantial expertise in "breaking" horses and in horsemanship in general. Libby bristled if her brothers, her father or anyone deferred to her because she was a member of the "weaker" or "fairer" sex.

Libby taught school in rural Buffalo County for a couple of years. She also studied for a while at a Baptist Seminary in Gibbon at some point in her life.

James Robertson

Despite the fact that she was aggressive and "earthy", Libby attracted the attention of a burly native of Wedowee, Alabama who had recently come to Nebraska. James F. Robertson (1861- 1925?) was smitten with Libby and married her at Kearney on 20 February, 1889, just over a year after she and her family had moved into the octagonal house. It is unclear whether the young couple moved into their own home or simply lived with Libby's parents in the octagonal house.

Libby gave birth to three sons in the first five years of their marriage. Sometime after the summer of 1894, James Robertson announced his intention to head to the northwest - specifically Washington or Oregon. He left Libby and the three boys with Libby's parents at the octagonal house. He said he would send for them once he was established.

Apparently, Jim Robertson never quite got established. The only thing known for sure is that Libby claimed he never sent for his family. His sons claimed that their mother heard from him occasionally. Some say he sent for them but was ignored. But it seems most likely that Jim saw an opportunity to get out of his marriage with Libby and did so. If he did go to Washington or Oregon, he was not recorded in the censuses of 1900, 1910 or 1920 unless he heavily obscured his identity. Libby began describing herself as a widow in the census of 1910 and did so again in 1920. Still, one source in the family claimed James Robertson died after Libby - in 1925 in Renton, Washington.

For the rest of her days, Libby and her three boys lived off the good will of her parents and her brothers, particularly William. Until 1900, they lived with her parents in the octagonal house. She then prevailed upon her brother Will to build her a small house between his parent's farm and his adjacent farm. She spent the rest of her life in this little home.

Libby grew corpulent over the years and was remembered as not particularly industrious by those family members who knew her. Though she had a very small home, it seemed always in disarray. To be fair, she was of great assistance to her mother as she cared for her father, William Nutter, during his final illness. However, there were frequent, very ugly disagreements between Libby and the wife of her younger brother Frank's wife, Katie Link.

Libby's chief avocation seemed to be finding fault with anybody whom she encountered. After doing whatever damage she could among her family she broadened her horizons. In nearby Kearney there was a growing chapter of the Ku Klux Klan whose philosophies resonated well with Libby's bitter disposition. Though she had to hide her own foreign birth, Libby found camaraderie among the hooded bigots.

Sadly, she was able to recruit some of the sons of her brother Will, into the Ku Klux Klan, though these boys would have to deny their own origins as well. Each had a "Negro" great- grandmother on their mother's side.

Luckily, Libby's three sons did not inherit her unpleasant personality nor her bitterness. Each was a devoted son who spoke in glowing terms of their mother while most family members within earshot simply wondered who the boys were talking about. Each of her sons owed an enormous debt to their uncles; Will Nutter had always insured they had a place to live while Frank and Mirabeau taught them virtually everything they knew about farming and trained both Bob and Ben to become very skilled carpenters.

Of her parents' ten children who grew up, Libby was the first to die. Ten days before her fifty- eighth birthday, Libby succumbed to cancer of the liver at her son's home in York, Nebraska on 24 November, 1923. She was buried with her parents at the Riverside Cemetery.

The Children of Elizabeth Margaret Nutter and James F. Robertson

Lorton William Robertson

Lorton William Robertson (1889-1976) - graduated from Gibbon High School in 1906 and attended college at Kearney. He taught school for seven years afterwards and farmed near Ravenna, Nebraska during that time. On 16 May, 1911, he married Florence Urwillwer at St. Michael, Nebraska. The marriage was an unhappy endeavor, childless and ended in divorce. His major work during his life was as a mail carrier out of Ravenna from 1919 to 1959 though he also hauled oil and gas during this time, worked in Rasmussen's Grocery and was employed by Major Brothers Locker for a time as well. In 1945, he married secondly to the former Clara Alice Razim (1897-1976) and welcomed her three daughters and son into their home as his own. Clara passed away after a brief illness in 1976. Lorton was asked what he would do after Clara's death. He said he had a "plan". Less than a week after Clara's funeral, Lorton leveled a shotgun at his head in his home and ended his own life. He was 86.

Robert Burns Robertson

Robert Burns Robertson (1891-1977) - was named for the renowned Scottish poet who was intrinsic to the Scottish heritage of which his father was so proud. He graduated from Gibbon High School in 1910 and then attended Kearney College. Thereafter, he taught school locally and worked on several local farms, mostly on land owned by his uncles and cousins. He specialized in sheep farming and was a master carpenter. Bob did not serve in World War I as he believed his role then was to ensure his mother's well-being after the marriage of his older brother Lorton. When another opportunity to serve came along with World War II, Bob joined the United States Army at the age of 51 and served in Okinawa among other places in the Pacific theater until August, 1945. He enjoyed the camaraderie of the younger soldiers who all seemed to call him "Pop" because of the age disparity. Bob lived on his own for most of his life and never married. He maintained better contact with his many Nutter cousins than he did with his two brothers but, in truth, was sociable and agreeable with virtually everyone he encountered. He cultivated and enjoyed a certain celebrity status in the local community around Gibbon and Shelton as a historian and was enormously proud to be the grandson of one of the earliest pioneer families in Buffalo County. He battled Parkinson's Disease and significant blindness from macular degeneration in his old age but maintained his independence and cheerful disposition. He died at the Nebraska Veterans Home in Grand Island on 22 March, 1977 at the age of 85. There is evidence that Bob fathered a son with a woman in the Gibbon area and that son continues to live nearby.

Benjamin Harrison Robertson (1894-1979) - also graduated from Gibbon High School and taught school locally for two years. Later he farmed in the Gibbon and Shelton area for nearly 60 years retiring finally in 1975 at the age of 81. He married at Kearney on 8 September, 1931 to Lodema Woods whom he had known all his life. In fact, she had grown up on a farm adjacent to the farm on which his mother lived. "Ben" and "Deemy" never had any children and, essentially, grew older and more eccentric as the years passed. Both were compulsive talkers and both simply took little notice of each others' monologues while visitors were unintentionally discouraged by the cacophony the couple generated. Like his mother, Ben gained an enormous amount of weight as he grew older. Despite his obesity, Ben lived until he was 84. Deemy died a little over four years later.

ALICE NAN NUTTER (1867-1958)

Alice Nan Nutter

Alice Nan Nutter was born on the first day of summer, 1867, at 2116 Naudain Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents, William and Dinah Nutter, had just come from England the year before with her five older siblings, repeating a journey they had made nine years before. As before, their time in Philadelphia was to be merely a stopover during which her parents would save enough money to move westward.

And move west they did - in July, 1869. As a result, Alice never had any childhood recollection of living anywhere else but in the log cabin along the Wood River northeast of Gibbon, Nebraska. Like her siblings, Alice attended school in nearby Shelton, first in an abandoned railroad shack, then in a room above Oliver's store. Like her sisters, she taught school in the rural schoolhouses in the area. Alice was a beautiful girl with sharp blue eyes and curly black hair like her mother.

At 16, she met Wesley Elton Scott (1862-1934). For some reason, Alice's parents and older brothers took an instant and vehement dislike to him. Granted, Wes was crude, illiterate and disinclined toward manual labor. However the intensity of the Nutters' feelings seems to indicate that there was something more to their disdain for "that no-good Wes Scott" - always the full moniker reserved for him. As the Nutters generally had a proven history as a forgiving and inclusive lot, one has to wonder if they may have known something about him or saw him do something which they found utterly intolerable or unforgivable.

So, it was with great horror that the family learned that Wes and Alice married at Kearney the day after New Year's Day, 1886. The couple then "ran off" to western Nebraska.

Little but the basics is known about Wesley Scott's origins. Born on 20 August, 1862, he was the eldest child of farmer Jacob Wesley Scott (1828- after 1880), a native of what is now West Virginia and Effie Jane Waters (1842- after 1880) who had been born near Georgetown, in Brown County, Ohio. After Wes came a daughter, Effiette, then three more sons; John, Thomas and William all born on the Scott farm near Bethlehem, Iowa near the Missouri border. Whatever drew Wesley Scott and his family to Buffalo County, Nebraska early in the 1880s is unknown.

Wes and Alice Scott settled in Verango, Nebraska along the state's border with Colorado. Even today, Verango is still a very small village, squarely in the middle of nowhere. One can only imagine how devoid of facilities and amenities it was when the Scotts chose it for their home in 1886. Their first child, Weaver, was born there on 2 December, 1886. The child died somewhere over the state line on the prairie in Colorado on 21 September, 1887 - some say from malnutrition - and was buried along the trail. Alice always contended that the child died from drinking unboiled water from a buffalo wallow. Of course, Alice was already expecting a second child by that time.

While they wandered the prairie land of Nebraska and Colorado, Alice's mind yearned for stimulation and challenge. When they came close to civilization, Alice would buy newspapers to catch up on current events. She would then use these newspapers as visual aids while she did her best to teach Wes Scott to read and write. Wes was an anxious student and both realized that his "talents" would likely flourish if he, at the very least, learned to read and write.

Wes and Alice's foray onto the prairie after eloping, for the most part, was a complete failure. It did not surprise her parents when they returned to the Nutter homestead late in 1887 seeking shelter for the winter and a home in which Alice could give birth. Alice's parents, along with the rest of the family, were in the midst of moving into the magnificent octagonal house they had recently constructed on their farm. Despite the fact that the Nutters loathed the company of Wes Scott, it was apparent that they thought it prudent to offer the log cabin that was their former home to the young couple. The Nutters felt they could at least monitor Alice's condition and circumstances.

Alice gave birth to another son on 23 January, 1888 in the log cabin. The infant, named Celcer, died within a few hours. Again, some say that Alice was malnourished and believe that was the cause of the infant's failure to thrive. The infant was buried on the Nutter farm.

Another son, Colin Cecil, was born a year later on 21 January, 1889. Subsequent records indicate he was born either in Colorado or near Amherst, Nebraska (northwest of Gibbon). If correct, this indicates that Wes and Alice left the Nutter farm again only to return once more by the time a fourth son, Basil Oscar Scott was born on 7 February, 1891. The Scotts then returned to Colorado where ColRussell (later called "Carl" or "Rusty") was born 17 November, 1893. Once again, they returned to the Nutter farm by 1895 where a sixth son was stillborn and buried on the farm.

Wesley and Alice Scott with their younger children (about 1908). (Left to right) Icis Scott, Wesley Scott holding his namesake who was known as "Buster", Tela Scott, Rose Scott and Richard Scott being held my his mother, Alice (Nutter) Scott

Some descendants of Wesley and Alice Nutter Scott in a 1976 photo taken on the occasion of the golden wedding of Wesley "Buster" Scott and Marion Scott. From left to right (with an * marking a child of Wesley and Alice Scott); Oliver Lindblom, Tela Scott Lindblom*, Rose Scott Mikelson*, Kitty Scott Ryzek (daughter of Richard Scott*), Ruth Scott Miller*, Wesley "Buster" Scott*, Tammy Fine (Buster's granddaughter), Marion Scott (Buster's wife), Sharron Fine (Buster's daughter), Cynthia Fine (Buster's granddaughter), Richard Fine (Buster's son-in-law) and Lonni Fine (Buster's granddaughter)

The Scotts stayed either at the Nutter Farm, or later, in a small frame house they purchased nearer to the town of Gibbon for the next thirteen years. Four daughters; Tela Wessie (1897), Rose Mae (1898), a stillborn girl (1900) and Icis Edith (1903) plus two more sons; Wesley Elton (1905) and Richard Ray (1907) were all born during their time near Gibbon.

During these years, Wes Scott lived down to the expectations of his in-laws. While living on the Nutter farm, he was often afforded the opportunity to do "an honest day's work" on the farm and he regularly refused citing ill health. However, he did engage in trading of equipment, cattle and other commodities with the locals and some of the deals were regarded as "shady". This mortified his in-laws who highly valued their good reputation in the local area. All the more galling to the Nutters was the fact that Wes was actually making a decent living for his growing family - something the Nutters never believed he would do without doing an honest day's work.

It was also during these years that the relationship between Wes and Alice and between Wes and his children deteriorated even further. Their daughter Bess would note many years later "(my parents') life together was mostly misery for both of them almost from the beginning. Two more opposite people could never have happened to each other. Mother was little, soft and gentle while Dad was big and hard and tough."

Wes and Alice agreed on virtually nothing. Wes had some strong opinions about how children should be raised and about how a house should be kept. It appears that Alice decided these were issues on which she was going to take a stand. For instance, Wes believed the girls should do certain household chores, like washing the dishes. Alice refused to enforce such a rule. So, when Wes would see dirty dishes in the kitchen, he was known to spit chewing tobacco juice on the floor implying that if she tolerated dirty dishes, she should be able to handle a wad of brown sputum as well.

Wes regularly returned to the Julesburg area in conjunction with his business deals. In the end he saw the Julesburg area as a better venue for his type of "work". Among its many advantages was the fact that it was 300 miles away from the scrutiny and familiarity of his in-laws. It seems that, several years before Alice, Wes and the family left the Gibbon area in 1908, there was a huge disagreement between Alice and her mother, Dinah, along with some, perhaps all four of her brothers. No doubt the Nutters were scared to death to have Alice and the children live away from their scrutiny. Sadly, it appears Alice never again had any direct contact with her mother and was estranged from most of her siblings until well after she was a widow herself.

Wes put a down payment on a section of land north of Julesburg and another smaller parcel in town on which he commissioned a home to be built. By May, 1908, he brought Alice and the children there somewhat before the house was completed. The family stayed in a hotel for a time until they could occupy the house.

The Scott family home in Julesburg, Colorado - Then (1908) and now (2016).

Soon, the house was "finished" - if one can use that term for this structure. The building was on property at the corner of Oak and 9th street near the center of the town of Julesburg (later given the address of 913 Oak Street). The yard was heavily graveled, devoid of any grass, shrubs or trees nearby, save for a small willow outside the kitchen window. It was essentially a stark, gray cement block cube two stories high with four square rooms on each floor. The four upstairs rooms were all used as bedrooms. On the ground floor, the room to the left of the entrance was the dining room, leading to a large kitchen at the back of the house. To the right of the entrance was a parlor off which there was Wes and Alice's bedroom separated from the parlor by a curtain. There was an unfinished attic room used for storage and a basement with a dirt floor. On the front and back of the house were long porches sheltered by a shingled roof supported by wood posts

There was no inside running water. All water had to be carried in buckets from the outside pump near the back porch. There were no closets. There was no sink. There was no inside toilet - the two-seater outhouse was moved as necessary, sometimes near the barn, sometimes moved nearer the machine shed. There was no electricity until 1925, when it was brought in by their son, Colin. Electricity was then distributed throughout the house by drop cords hanging from the ceilings.

Perhaps in comparison to previous residences, the roominess of this house better suited the sizable family. The family grew just a bit more with the birth of the two last children of Alice and Wes Scott; Ruth Mildred in 1908 and Elizabeth Grace (Bess) in 1912. However, the stark, cold, gray house without amenities or adornment seems to have served as a metaphor for the bleak life endured by most of the Scott family children and their parents.

Though the house stood on a substantial tract of land was well within the town of Julesburg, it still had the trappings of a rural farm; there was a cement block barn for cattle, feed, hay and grain. A wooden tool shed housed small pieces of farm equipment and eventually served as a garage. There was also a chicken shed attached to the barn as well as a small corral for horses and cattle.

Wes Scott began speculating in real estate and was rather successful. He also continued trading other commodities, specifically horses and other cattle. His family never saw him put in a full day of any kind of "work" once they moved to Julesburg. There were numerous "business meetings", sometimes at home but most often, elsewhere. Alice was left in the dark as to the details of Wes' various business deals and became suspicious of their nature. Amazingly, the chasm between Wes and Alice widened even further. She grew resentful of her estrangement from her family back in Gibbon and Alice would herald Wes' impending arrival home to the children with the uncharacteristically disparaging announcement "Daddy-devil has peeked over the fence".

Wes' undeniable wit, charm and intelligence were apparently spent away from his home in his business dealings. At home, he was stern with the children and with Alice. Any wit he showed almost always had a nasty edge to it. Alice and the children seemed to enjoy his absence rather than his company. She never went anywhere and is said to have gone five years without ever having left the house.

Half of the section of "school" land north of Julesburg which Wes had purchased separate from the home tract, was farmed for several years by his three oldest boys, Colin, Basil and Rusty. The other half was leased to a family named Ebke. However, the boys' work and remuneration for the same became a point of contention between the boys and their father. The boys, the elder girls and Alice herself seemed to believe that Wes' business dealings, though they paid the bills, had little value and were actually matters of some question or shame. Meanwhile, their own hard work seems to have not been recognized by Wes as a valuable contribution.

At some point tensions in the household escalated. There survives a story that, on separate occasions, Basil and Rusty each had an extreme physical confrontation with their father. In each case, the boys were supposedly so badly beaten that their actual survival was in question. Naturally, this marked the end of the "business" association Wes may have had with these two.

Many of the children left home as soon as it was feasible. Colin, Basil and Rusty lived in a one room house out on the farm for years, but the eldest two joined the army while Rusty enlisted in the Air Force during World War I. (In the 1930s, the one room house was moved off the farmland to the home property at Oak and 9th streets). Tela and Rose were both married during the Great War. Icis began her self-destructive wanderings during those years as well and, at one point, returned with a baby (Dale) whom Alice ended up raising as her own.

Alice received word that her mother, Dinah Nutter, had passed away back in Gibbon, Nebraska on 30 December, 1918 at the age of 84. Some said that Wes forbade Alice to attend the funeral, some say Alice herself refused to go. It was actually a moot point as a snowstorm made travel, even by rail, impossible. In Dinah's will was a provision that, her two youngest sons (Frank and Mirabeau) would inherit the family farm providing they insure the well-being of two of their sisters; Libby Robertson and Alice Scott. Libby had been abandoned by her husband years before. The Nutters, or at least Alice's mother, apparently believed Wes Scott was still likely to abandon Alice and the children. Alice, not usually inclined toward bitterness of any sort, was nonetheless disturbed by the terms of her mother's will. Perhaps she perceived the passing of an opportunity to be financially independent of her husband.

By 1920, Wes had retired to the delight of no one. Colin had returned from the war but refused to engage in battle with his father so he hired on as a farm hand nearby in southwestern Nebraska. Basil got married, and lived nearby for a while working as a dray man. Rusty went to work as a lineman for the Union Pacific Railroad. Rose lived nearby with her husband and family for many years and became quite adept at "handling" her father and his difficult ways. Tela and her family simply moved away to Nebraska. Icis showed up occasionally, always while her father was away, never for long, never for good. Wesley Junior and Richard (aka Buster and Dick) were champions to their younger sisters Ruth and Bess as they ran interference for them with their father.

Matters grew worse in the 1920s. Wes Scott occasionally still continued to look for business enterprises in which to invest even in retirement. With a peculiar lack of caution, Wes invested most of his savings in a natural gas well scheme presented to him, (and to a number of other local residents), by a stranger passing through the Julesburg area. When Wes Scott and the other investors later went to Arizona (and/or Nevada) to look into the progress of the enterprise, they were horrified to learn there was no progress simply because there was no such well. Once again, Alice and Wes were poor.

As difficult as it may be to believe, things got even worse. Wes mortgaged the farm and took over direct management of operations. The problem with this arrangement was that Wes was quickly sliding into dementia - perhaps Alzheimer's Disease or simply senility from arteriosclerosis. In the earliest stages of the illness, Wes became very difficult - more so than usual. Relief actually came for Alice and the family when Wes' physical condition began to deteriorate quickly in the wake of his mental abilities. Soon he "simply" required constant care and was bedridden. By the time the census enumerator came to the Scott house in 1930, all the children lived elsewhere except for the youngest, Bess. There was an extraneous note near Wes Scott's name saying he was "not well".

By 1931, Alice lost the sight in her right eye. What caused the blindness is in dispute. She did not have cataracts. It seems that she may have had glaucoma or a detached retina but given the number of people in the family who suffered from macular degeneration, that condition seems as likely a cause as the others. She consulted an ophthalmologist who said she must have surgery on her left eye to save her remaining sight. Alice agreed to the operation and went to a Denver Hospital for the surgery during which she would have to be awake. She clearly remembered the doctor doing the surgery in the midst of which he let out a barely audible gasp. From that point onwards, Alice was totally blind.

She returned to her home in Julesburg and began to adjust to her plight. Her daughter Bess, who had never even been asked to do even regular household chores was suddenly the only "able" person in the house and upon her shoulders landed virtually all the household duties. Bess' father was now senile and bedridden. He needed to be fed. He needed his diapers and bedding changed. Alice, her mother, was adapting to her total blindness and reassuming as many household chores as she could manage. No doubt, nineteen-year-old Bess had to be simply horrified by the grim future that lay ahead if she stayed at home. In November, 1931, Bess "ran off" and got married to Willard Peters (aka. "Stub"). Realizing that young love and impetuousness always trumps practicality, Alice gave her "baby" Bess her blessing as she headed for Sidney, Nebraska to be married.

The only Scott children then remaining in the area of Julesburg were Rusty and his wife Molly and Colin with his wife Frieda, who lived some three houses away. Rusty was virtually no help to his parents, but his wife occasionally assisted Alice.

Colin was as helpful as he could be, but his health began to fail markedly as 1932 began. He was taken to the Veterans' Hospital in Denver by mid-February and suddenly died on 26 February at the age of 43. Someone, possibly Colin's widow, Frieda, or perhaps hired help had to be employed to assist Alice and Wes in their home until Wes died on 15 January, 1934. At some point soon thereafter, Alice's daughter Ruth went to Julesburg, tied up some basic loose ends and drove her mother to Buster and Marion's home in Pasadena, California. For most of the remainder of her life, Alice made her home with them.

Ultimately, it was Buster who returned to Julesburg in 1935 for a while. He made some improvements on the Scott home, among them bringing city water into the house. He arranged to rent out the house for a while and finally sold the farm and the house in 1941.

In the meantime, Buster realized how heavily time weighed on his mother. He persuaded her to learn Braille which she quickly did - an amazing accomplishment for a woman close to 70. She was able to pass much of her time reading Braille literature. She interacted with the grandchildren quite a bit and reprised her role as a teacher on occasion to help them with school work. Unfortunately, she could do little to help with the running of a household - the work with which she had been most familiar for the past five decades. However, she designated herself as the family's dishwasher - a task she could quite handily execute by touch regardless of her blindness.

At her own discretion, Alice would occasionally leave the various homes she shared with Buster and Marion and stay with some of the others. She even rekindled a relationship with her sister Ione and stayed with her for some time in San Francisco in 1939.

Sadly, Alice was bound to outlive two more of her children. About 1937, the family received word that Icis had died in San Francisco from a drug overdose. Alice hadn't seen her for years and was practical enough to know she would never come to a good end. She was still profoundly saddened. Alice moved to Oregon with Buster and Marion in 1940. Many of her other children moved there as well. Her youngest son Dick died in Bend, Oregon on 14 June, 1945, leaving a wife and two little girls. Alice had now survived seven of her fourteen children.

In the summer of 1945, Alice moved with Buster, Marion and the family to Coeur d'Alene, then Post Falls, Idaho. Eventually, Rose and her family, Bess and her family, plus grandson Dale all moved to that area. Even in these years, Alice entertained a fantasy that a medical procedure would be discovered that would restore her sight. She yearned to see the numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren that had come along just once. Sadly, her world remained dark and it gradually got even darker.

Alice moved with Buster and Marion to Santa Monica, California in 1951, then back to Spokane, Washington in 1952, then to Newport, Washington the year after that. She also had brief stays with Ruth in California and Rose and Bess in Post Falls. Beginning about 1954, she began to have intermittent difficulty recognizing voices of various family members and remembering who they were. She also intermittently suffered from "waking nightmares". These were horrifying hallucinations which, for their brief duration, were absolute reality for her. Most often these terrors seemed to involve children in distress or danger. By 1955 or 1956, the already daunting requirements of Alice's day-to-day care became more than her children could be expected to provide. Reluctantly, they installed her in a health care facility at Spirit Lake, north of Post Falls.

Alice's daughter, Bess, wrote the following poem in 1955:

      How many times I heard her say, "O, miracles happen every day,
      I know they do! It just could be - One may restore my sight to me."
      Long years she waited, hoped and prayed; her looked-for miracle seemed delayed,
      Then came a day she knew at last, her dream of seeing faded fast.

      The death of hope, an ugly thing, takes all the promise out of Spring,
      Steals the warmth from the Summer sun, Leaves desolation when it is gone.
      Tho' years of pain have reaped their toll, Alone could not destroy her soul,
      The endless days in sightless dark, Snuffed its last and ling'ring spark.

      She waits the death that still eludes, for life goes on but her excludes.
      She's lost in worlds we do not know, Alone she wanders to and fro.
      How long to roam so restlessly? So frail, so weary, mind at sea.
      Surely earned she, life's repose! How long to wait? God only knows.

Alice died 10 October, 1958, a few months after her ninety-first birthday.

Ten of the fourteen children born to Wesley and Alice Scott reached adulthood. Their stories follow.

The Children of Alice Nan Nutter and Wesley Elton Scott

Colin Cecil Scott (1889-1932) - The birthplace of Colin Scott is disputed. Some family members said it was the Nutter farm near Gibbon, Nebraska. His obituary reported it was near Amherst, Nebraska. The censuses consistently recorded it as Colorado. He was 19 when his family moved to Julesburg, Colorado and he lived separately from the rest of the family in a small house on the farm north of Julesburg which his father owned. Basil and Rusty later joined him there but each of them had a gruesome altercation with their father and the boys soon thereafter joined the armed services during World War I. Colin fought in France and came home safely. He did farm work in the Julesburg area and across the state line in southwestern Nebraska. His sister Ruth recalls that Colin was a gentle and kind man, much like their mother in disposition and very different from his father and next two brothers. He also was clever with mechanical things and earned spare cash as a handyman. He married in his early thirties to a widow named Frieda Wonderling Conner. She was unable to "give him children". Far too late, it was found that the reason for that was she had advanced syphilis from her first husband. Colin died from complications of the same disease in a Veteran's Hospital in Denver, Colorado on 26 February, 1932 at the age of 43.

Basil Oscar Scott (1891-1973) - was remembered by his sister Rose as a very patient and loving tutor when they were young. However, after the family moved to Julesburg, Basil got into a physical confrontation with their father and was nearly beaten to death by him. He summarily joined the army, served in France from September, 1917 to September, 1918 where his battle experience was far more horrifying than that of his older brother. Upon his return home, he was a changed man. He worked on neighborhood farms as a dray man and married Kansas native Mildred Katherine Glover (1901-1983) with whom he had a son and a daughter. They moved to Ventura, California in the 1920s but were often avoided by his siblings and his mother who also came to southern California as well. Sadly, Basil had turned into a cruel, angry, unhappy and bitter individual. Basil had no surviving grandchildren and was completely estranged from his ex-wife, son and daughter by the time he died. His son, Vernon Eugene Scott (1924-1983) married Valerie Patricia Fischer (1926-1973) and had no children. He outlived his mother in Santa Cruz, California by only eight months. His sister, Mildred Mae Scott (born 1920) had one stillborn child, Charles Rodney Johnson in 1941 with her husband, Charles Edward Johnson.

ColRussel Scott (1893-1967) - legally used the name Carl Russell Scott all his adult life, but everyone in his family knew him as "Rusty". He was the first of his family to graduate from high school and farmed half of his parents' section in Julesburg after school for a while. After a near fatal physical confrontation with his father, Rusty went off and joined the United States Air Force near the end of World War I. It appears he saw no action in the war and returned home and got a job as a lineman with the Union Pacific Railroad afterwards. He then began a career with the United States Post Office as a mail carrier handling the route between Julesburg and Ovid, Colorado. As a result of his chosen profession, he was the only one of his family who remained in the Julesburg area. In 1928 he married a woman whom everyone called "Molly" but whose real name was Fannie Carver (1901-1999), a native of England. Rusty and Molly never had any children. When Rusty retired, he and Molly moved to Port Charlotte, Florida. Rusty died there on his seventy-fourth birthday, 17 November, 1967.

Tela Wessie Scott (1897-1990) - was originally named Wessie Tela but began using Tela as her first name in school. She finished high school after her family moved to Julesburg in 1908 and taught school in Deuel and Garden Counties in Nebraska after graduation. In 1915, she met Oliver Lindblom (1893-1986) at a dance in Julesburg. On 20 January, 1917, she and Oliver �ran off" to get married in Gibbon, Nebraska, her birthplace and home of many of her mother's family. (Perhaps there was a message in this choice of location for Tela's father, Wes Scott). Oliver and Tela's first home was a sod house on the Nebraska prairie north of Julesburg where their first son was born. Next, they moved to nearby Chappell where the second son was born. The Lindbloms next moved to Sodtown, Nebraska, where their daughter was born and where Oliver gave up farming and began work as a telephone lineman. After a brief time in Dawes County in northern Nebraska where Oliver worked on a ranch, the family moved to Buffalo County, not far from Gibbon, where Tela and Oliver lived the rest of their lives. In Miller, Nebraska, they ran the local telephone office. For nearly two decades after 1931, Oliver worked as a road maintainer on the Pool highway and, in 1936, he and Tela moved to a "basement" house - entirely underground - on a farm near Gibbon. Tela raised prize-winning turkeys there and even dabbled in raising other animals such as chinchillas making a good living doing so. After celebrating their golden wedding in 1967, they actually had another, larger, celebration for their sixty-fifth anniversary in 1982. Had Oliver lived just a little over two months more, they would have been able to celebrate their seventieth. Oliver and Tela both lived to be 93; though she survived him by four years. The Lindblom's elder son, Marion Oliver Lindblom (1917-1975) lived in Washington State for many years prior to his death. His second wife, Nobuko, was a Japanese national whom he married during his service abroad in World War II. After Marion's death, she had him cremated and took his ashes back to Japan with her when she returned there to live. By his first wife, Lola Fish (1920- 1983), Marion had a daughter, Carolyn (born 1941), who married Jon McKown with whom she had three children. Marion and Lola also had a son, Clifford Ray (1938-1977). Clifford and his two teenaged sons died in 1977 when Clifford's one-engine, six-seat airline crashed and burned near Omaha. After Marion and Lola had divorced during World War II, Lola remarried - to Marion's younger brother Raymond Earl Lindblom (1920-1999). Raymond and Lola had a daughter, Christi Kay (born 1959) who is now married to Robert Roland and has two children. Oliver and Tela's daughter Ruth Jean Lindblom (born 1925) is married to Harold Anglin but has no children.

Rose Mae Scott (1898-1989) - When the census enumerator came to the home of Wes and Alice Scott in 1900, their year-and-a-half old-daughter had not yet been named. (Considering the names they had given their children thus far, perhaps some more prolonged consideration was appropriate). Rose graduated from high school in Julesburg and married 3 months before her eighteenth birthday on 3 June, 1916 to Henry Mikelson (1895-1957). He was also a native of Nebraska whom Rose had met two years earlier. They had had two sons in the first two years of marriage in Julesburg. Many years later, Rose wrote an account which mainly detailed the events of the first quarter-century of their married life. Called "Mother's Chicken" it has been transcribed onto 55 typewritten pages. The account is a very cheerful and hopeful story of the journey of Rose, her husband and their three sons around most of the western United States before, during and after the Great Depression and World War II. The family moved literally dozens of times; to Goshen Hole, Wyoming (1919) and back to near Julesburg (1920); around Loveland, Franktown, Parker, Castle Rock, Watkins and Aurora - all towns in the area north of Denver, Colorado (1923- 1940); to Bend, Sheridan and Independence in Oregon (1941) and finally, to Coeur d'Alene and nearby Post Falls, Idaho (1945) after some detours up and down the California coast. Most of these moves were driven by a search for work and there seems to be little Rose and "Hank" Mikelson wouldn't try; farming, dairy farming, milk processing, grading, bridge and highway construction, trucking, hauling coal, owning a filling station and a cartage company, logging, working in a lumber mill, et al. Incredibly, the narrative detailed much hard work, but few hardships. Rose's story is a happy story of a happy family and reveals her as a very intelligent and resilient person who seemed never concerned about money but who was always vigilant and cognizant of her family's happiness and well-being. Rose and Hank settled in Post Falls, Idaho as did her sister, Bess and her family. Brother Buster and his family plus nephew Dale Scott also made their homes there for many years. Hank worked for years at a local government irrigation project and died just after their forty-first anniversary on 17 July, 1957. Rose worked for several years at the Lake Medical Center over the Washington State Line but eventually found the work too physical, dangerous and emotionally exhausting. She finally held several clerical and retail positions before she retired. Her mother died the year after her husband, Hank, followed a few years later by their son, Donald. Before Rose herself died, at the age of 91 on 11 December, 1989, she had lost both of her other sons as well. Resilient and cheerful to the end, she took delight from her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the area. Eldest son Harold Ralph Mikelson (1917-1987) lived in Spokane, Washington for years after his military service, but eventually settled in Post Falls where he had a service station and dairy. With his wife, Dorothy Schober (1918-1980), Harold left three children; Sandra Mikelson Shopbell (born 1944) who has a son, a daughter and a granddaughter; Harold Ray Mikelson (born 1947) who has two daughters and four grandchildren; and Benjamin Arden Mikelson (born 1950) who has two daughters and a granddaughter. Rose and Hank's middle son, Donald Mikelson (1918-1965), married Velma Howe in 1938 and also served in World War II. For most of his married life, Don worked as a trucker. Their sons Donald (born 1939) and Richard (born 1942) each have three children and several grandchildren. Rose and Hank's youngest son, Norman Mikelson (1927-1978) was a private pilot. With his wife, Fern Grindle, they had a son, James Mikelson, (who has one son) and two daughters. The elder daughter, Mickey Mikelson Petty, lives near Denver and has an adopted daughter. The younger, Janice Mikelson Cox has two sons.

Icis Edith Scott (1903-1937?) - seems to have lived outside the sphere of her family even as a young girl. Her sister Rose related that Icis didn't even follow her around as a child like little sisters often do. Instead, Rose was often sent out to find Icis who seemed to wander even at an early age. Toward the end of World War I, fifteen-year-old Icis became pregnant by Lars Holey (1896-1972), a twenty-two-year-old local farm hand. Her father, Wes Scott, responded by simply throwing Icis out of the house. Supposedly, Icis would bring the baby, Dale, to see her mother when Wes Scott wasn't at home. On one of those visits, Icis left the baby with Alice and disappeared. Over the next 17 years, Icis occasionally showed up in Julesburg each time showing ever more the toll taken by her lifestyle away from the family. In general, the family knew little, if anything, as to where Icis lived and to what depths of despair she sank. However, it does seem that one or two members may had relatively regular contact with her. Some way or another, her family eventually found out she had an advanced case of syphilis in addition to a growing problem with alcohol and drugs. Either late in the 1920s or early in the 1930s her brother, Buster, actually travelled to San Francisco to find her and help her straighten out her life. Sadly, his quest ended with the realization that her circumstances had become so desperate, she was beyond all help. About 1937, the family learned Icis had died having overdosed on narcotics, either deliberately or accidentally. Since everyone knew, deep down, Icis' story would never have a happy ending, the family seemed to dote on her son, (Lewis) Dale Scott (1918-1983?). Dale called his grandmother, Alice Scott, "mother" and went to school in Julesburg and finished school in California. He married about 1936 in California to a woman named Peggy whom he apparently later divorced.

Dale served during World War II as an Ace tail gunner over Japan - arguably one of the most dangerous assignments of that war. Happily, he returned home in one piece early in 1945 but his experience in the war had taken its toll on him. Dale married again to a woman named Ruth introduced to him by his aunt, Ruth Scott Miller. After going to Bend, Oregon with his uncles, he eventually began to work as a long distance trucker. He and Ruth had at least two children and by 1952, they were living in Salt Lake City, Utah. His second marriage ended in divorce due, in no small way, to his excessive drinking. Family members readily excused his drinking citing the trauma of his war service as the root cause. He was hospitalized several times in Veteran's facilities for debilitating tremors either resulting from the trauma of his service in the war or from his drinking or both. He eventually returned to the northwest and was remembered dabbling in beekeeping in his later years. Dale married a third time to a woman named "Bill" who died during their time in Post Falls, Idaho in 1968. He is believed to have died in a hospital near his last residence of Jacksonville, Oregon in November, 1983. The whereabouts of his children with Ruth and their descendants is unknown.

Wesley Elton Scott (1905-2001) - Although Wesley Scott shared his father's name, he appears to have shared little else with him. In fact, even his legal name was seldom, if ever, used among family and friends as almost everyone called him "Buster" or "Scotty".. He began life as just another boy in the middle of a rather large, dysfunctional family on the Colorado prairie, yet Buster was destined to make a major positive difference in the lives of the many people he loved as a son, brother, husband, father, trailblazer, inventor, entrepreneur, worker and friend. In his youth, Buster was a good student and very protective of his mother and his sisters. However, soon after his high school graduation, he simply hopped a cattle train headed for Southern California and never looked back. By 1925, Buster was settled there and met Marion Moore McMillan (1907- 1991) whom he married the next year. Early in the marriage he began work with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and, because of the nature of his work, he and his family weathered the years of the Great Depression better than most. They settled in Pasadena and began actively encouraging many of the family to join them there. After the death of his father in 1934, his mother and nephew Dale did join them, as did others, on a less permanent basis. In 1940, Buster and his family moved to Medford, Oregon and many of the California contingent followed. Buster opened a brake shop, but sold the business to move to Fall Creek near Eugene to work with his nephew Harold Mikelson. They moved then to Springfield and then to Bend, Oregon where Buster's brother Dick had settled. Buster worked in several mills in the area then in an ordnance shop. Early in 1945, they moved to Couer d'Alene and then Post Falls, Idaho, where he farmed for a few years and returned to the Insurance business with New York Life Insurance. During this time he also put to rest an affection on alcohol which had become problematical over the years. In 1951, Buster and Marion moved back to California (Santa Monica), then up to Spokane, Washington the next year. He opened an auto parts store in Newport, Washington but moved again to Cottonwood, Arizona for a year, then back to Spokane. The many later moves and the business start-ups were mostly repeated attempts to help out his son who made poor use of the opportunities his parents afforded him. Buster and Marion eventually enjoyed a comfortable retirement in Spokane. Buster busied himself in his workshop for the most part. He had a brilliant mind and had always been extremely creative and inventive. Among his creations were a pinball machine and a stabilizer for automobile suspensions which, had he done the patent work, would likely have made him a very rich man. Apparently, the creative process was an end in itself for Buster. Marion died in Spokane in 1991 at the age of 83, Buster passed away there ten years later at the age of 95. Buster and Marion's son Wesley Donald Scott (1928-1998) was known as "Donald" all his life. His life began tenuously as he stopped breathing for extended periods the day he was born. Early in life he developed a substantial drinking problem which generally thwarted his ability to live a stable life of any sort. No one is certain how many times he was married, but family members estimate as many as eight (though one or two marriages may have been remarriages to previous wives). As previously noted, his parents interceded often, helping him start up various businesses. Donald left the Northwest in the 1952 for California and spent the rest of his life in the desert areas of Arizona and California. With his first wife, Donald fathered three children. Susan Gail Scott (born 1950) is married to Eddie Newnam, lives in Cordes Lakes, Arizona and has a son, a daughter and three grandchildren. Vicky Lynn Scott (born 1952) is married to Ronald Hazlewood, lives in Fort Mojave, Arizona and has a son and a daughter. Donald's only son, Wesley Lawrence Scott (born 1951) was badly burned while playing with matches in 1956. He suffered some diminished capacity from his trauma and then developed a seizure disorder. After an accident on a bike, he was ultimately institutionalized and currently lives in a health care facility in Bullhead City, Arizona near his sister's home. Buster and Marion Scott also had a daughter, Sharron Alice Scott (born 1933) who lives in Spokane with her second husband, John P. Carbon Jr. With her first husband, Richard Fine (1930-1987), a chiropractor, she has three daughters. Eldest daughter Cynthia Fine Taylor has 2 daughters and lives in Spokane. Middle daughter Loni Fine Hanka lives in Helena, Montana. Youngest daughter Tammy Michelle Fine Bramlett lives in Bellingham, Washington and has a son and a daughter.

Richard Ray Scott (1907-1945) - was the youngest son of Wes and Alice Scott, born 26 May, 1907 near Gibbon, Nebraska, about a month short of his mother's fortieth birthday. His family moved to Julesburg, Colorado, during his first year and he went to school there and was a brilliant student. He graduated from high school there and worked on various farms, including his parent's farm for a while, but simply despised farm work. By 1930, he was working as a "jack-of- all-trades" at the hotel in Julesburg. He met Audrey Lucille Carter (1911-1992), a native of Arkansas, about that time and married her at Lexington, Nebraska on 30 March, 1931. Dick's brother Buster (Wesley Elton Scott Junior) continually attempted to entice him to come to southern California and, of course, he finally succeeded. Like many of his family, Dick moved around the west coast for a while but in 1940, he, Audrey and their two little girls, relocated to Bend, Oregon, a rapidly growing logging town in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains. Both Dick and his youngest daughter were asthmatic and had not adjusted well to the southern California climate. In the moist, moderate climate of Oregon, they seemed to fare much better. Dick found work in the cornerstone industry of the area, logging, and soon became very involved in the International Wood Workers of America, the union representing the loggers and related laborers. Dick�s great intellect, charisma and dedication to the fledgling labor union movement resulted in an almost meteoric rise within the international union. He became the president of Local 67 and became a business agent for the national union in a little over four years. However, a brilliant career was brought to a screeching halt in less than a week. Dick consulted a doctor after he noticed some bruising on his legs and began experiencing some excessive bleeding on his gums when he brushed his teeth. The doctor hospitalized him at St. Charles Hospital in Bend, Oregon, for observation and, six days later, he was dead on 14 June, 1945 from massive internal hemorrhaging. Doctors guessed he had pernicious anemia or leukemia. Though he championed the idea of a "safety net" for the widows and orphans of loggers, his family was left to survive on a very small insurance policy. Audrey had but a sixth grade education and was left with two little girls to provide for. She moved with her in-laws, her mother and younger sister to Idaho after Dick's death in 1945. She went to "beauty school" and learned to cut and style hair to make a living for her and her little family and eventually remarried to Herman Wattenford (1915-2003). Dick and Audrey's elder daughter, Dixie Lee Scott (born 1935) married Thomas Lassiter in 1956 and had three children; Thomas Everette (born 1958), Ninette Kay (born 1959) and Kitty Lee who was stillborn. Dixie and Thomas Lassiter were divorced and he was awarded custody of the two surviving children due, in no small part, to her limited cognitive abilities and other physical problems. Thomas Lassiter then put the children in the custody of one of his relatives and, as a result, Dixie and her family have lost contact with them. Dixie lives in a health care facility in Washington. Dick and Marion's younger daughter, Kitty Ruth Scott (born 1938), married in 1957 to Loren John Ryzek and have a daughter Lorrie Ryzek Bensel (born 1958) and a son Jon Ryzek (born 1961) both live in Washington State near Kitty and have three children each.

Ruth Mildred Scott (1908-2008) - Everyone in the Scott family thought Ruth would be the last child, the baby of the family - after all the mother was heading towards her forty-second birthday when she was born. And she was the baby for nearly four years. Her older sister Rose remembered that Ruth was never jealous of the next little sister that came along and usurped her position. Ruth graduated from High School in Julesburg and went on to be a teacher for several years afterwards. It seems everyone in the family knew Ruth's marriage in 1928 to Victor Russell Miller (1911-1983) was a mistake except Ruth, though she tumbled to it soon. Victor was three years younger chronologically, but trailed even further in maturity - her sister Rose referred to him as "one of Ruth's children". Like her sisters Ruth moved often early in her marriage, mostly around Colorado and Nebraska. Unlike her sisters, the marriage was an on-again, off-again affair, mostly off-again. Victor worked as a barber when he wasn't drinking to excess and, for a while Ruth was a hair stylist in the same shop. During one of their separations, Ruth finally gave into her brother Buster's repeated invitations to come live in Southern California and she moved there with her son and daughter. Ruth attended business school, settled in Glendale and became a secretary for the Lockheed Corporation. Though she and Victor reconciled on occasion even during her time in California, she ultimately divorced him in 1947 and he returned to Colorado. Ruth married a second time to Parley Blass Harvey (1892-1980), a railroad engineer, in December, 1956. The marriage was troubled almost from the beginning. Parley was an unusual character, much older than Ruth and probably ill-equipped to step in as a father figure to Ruth's young daughter. Parley and Ruth divorced after about ten years. The third time was the charm when Ruth married Charles Uhl Bond (1909-1972) in 1969. Ruth and "Derby" (as he was known) enjoyed their time together and traveled quite a bit during their brief marriage. After his death from prostate cancer, she again assumed the name Miller. When she retired from Lockheed, Ruth went to work for the Glendale Library and was a regular contributor to the Glendale City Newsletter. Ruth eventually found it necessary to move into an assisted care facility in Glendale where she died in 2008 at the age of 99. Ruth and Victor's only son, Jerry Scott Miller (born 1934) has always worked in law enforcement and security. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, Lynne. With his first wife, Jacquelin Joy Morgan, he has a son, a daughter, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Ruth and Victor's elder daughter, Judith Marlene Miller Varela (born 1935) lives in San Clemente, California. She has a son living in Salt Lake City, Utah, another in Phoenix, Arizona and a daughter in California plus three grandchildren. Ruth and Victor's younger daughter, Saralee Beth Miller Hodgson Sells Haller (born 1946) lives in Van Nuys, California.

Alice Nutter Scott about 1929 with her youngest daughter, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Grace Scott (1912-1973) - When Elizabeth Scott was born, her father was 50, her mother 45. "Bess" was indeed the baby of the family, but as she grew into a beautiful young woman with a great intellect, she became the darling of the family. Many of her brothers and sisters held great hopes for her. Later, in middle age, Bess began writing a journal which still survives. Like her sister Rose's work "Mother's Chicken", it chronicles much of her life through the Great Depression, World War II and beyond. In Bess' work though, the retrospective portion (prior to the 1950s) is somewhat telling in the parts she omits. She is very careful to "go easy" on her father. She doesn't discuss the years immediately before her marriage when she, alone, was at home with her parents and when she was Wes' care-giver for some time as her mother adjusted to her blindness. She does rebuke herself for her perceived lack of initiative in not finishing business college. She records nothing of her meeting or courtship with Willard George Peters (1910-1959), whom everyone called "Stub", except that they were married at Sidney, Nebraska on 14 November, 1931. In fact, they had met formally at a dance several years before but had flirted with each other in high school where Bess was a cheerleader and Stub played center on the basketball team. Bess writes vaguely about the difficult times during the first two years of their marriage noting only that they lived with "others" in Colorado. She and Stub headed for California in 1933 where their only son, Scott, was born in a home they shared a home with Bess' sister Ruth and her husband. Thereafter, they briefly returned to Holyoke, Colorado, where Stub's parents lived with a view to taking over Stub's father's blacksmith business. However, they left for Southern California once more and settled in Temple City and then Victorsville in the desert. Like so many of her siblings, Bess, Stub and their son, Scott eventually went to Oregon where work was more plentiful in 1941. Stub worked in Lapine, near Bend, Oregon for a while. In 1946, the Peters' once again followed many of the family, this time to the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho area settling in Post Falls. Except for a brief time in 1950 when Stub's work took him to Glenrock, Wyoming, and another period when the returned once more to Holyoke, Colorado, Stub and Bess made their home in Post Falls for the rest of their days. Bess' narrative reveals no sense of adventure about any of these times such as was found in her sister Rose's narrative. Rather, Bess seems to characterize these years as a succession of events that simply happened to her and her family, often far outside their control or even liking. Stub died suddenly on 27 September, 1959 from his second heart attack, five years after his first one. Since Bess' sister Rose had been widowed just over two years before, the sisters found it mutually advantageous to move in together in 1960. They looked out for each other and developed a far closer relationship than they had ever enjoyed as youngsters. In her widowhood, Bess worked for a time at the Lake Medical Center with her sister Rose, but found it unrewarding, difficult, dangerous and exhausting. After other jobs she finally found work in the office of a dentist in Post Falls which she enjoyed and found challenging. Once her son graduated from the University of Idaho, he moved to New York almost immediately, married and began a family. Though he regularly encouraged his mother to move to the New York, Bess could simply not imagine living on the east coast. She and her little family had to make do with her fairly regular, almost annual visits until Bess suddenly died of a stroke on 31 December, 1973 at the age of 61. Until recently, Bess' only son, Scott Willard Peters (born 1934) lived in Potomac, Maryland with his wife Nancy Rose Vasconcellos-de-Monge, a native of Ecuador. After graduation from the University of Idaho, Scott joined the United States Army and worked in public relations at West Point. He moved to New York City in 1961 and pursued a career in news reporting, for many years with United Press International, there and in the Washington DC area after 1972. His elder son, Mark David Peters (born 1962), lives and works in real estate in Miami Beach, Florida and is unmarried. Younger son Kevin Scott Peters (born 1967) is also unmarried and lives in Frederick, Maryland working in surgical veterinary medicine. Daughter Jennifer Elizabeth Peters Todd (born 1965) owns her own business and has recently relocated to Texas. She has three children. Scott Peters and his wife sold their home in Maryland in 2004 and joined their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren near Austin, Texas.


Emma Jane Nutter

Robert William "Will" Hogg

William and Dinah Nutter's tenth child (seventh still living) was the first one born on the Nutter homestead following them settling for a second time in Nebraska. She was born on 10 May, 1870, and was recorded as Emma Jane Nutter when the census enumerator took the family information just over a month later. Her mother called her "Jane" throughout her life. Everyone else called her "Jennie".

Like her siblings, Jennie was educated in the school at nearby Shelton and eventually taught school herself in District 8 of Buffalo County. It was during that time she met a fellow teacher named Robert William ("Will") Hogg in 1892. Will had just returned from two years in Oregon. He had come back to Nebraska in the autumn of 1891 to help his ailing father run his sorghum factory. He then began teaching locally in Buffalo County after his father recovered. In no time at all after they met, Jennie was smitten with Will Hogg and so they had much in common; Will Hogg was also smitten with Will Hogg. Nevertheless, they made a handsome couple and were married on New Year's Day, 1893 at Jennie's parents' home; the octagonal house on the Nutter farm between Gibbon and Shelton, Nebraska.

Jennie in light dress at the lower left. Will Hogg at the right in the 2nd row.

Will Hogg (1869-1952) had been born in Butler County, Pennsylvania just six months before his parents, John Alexander Hogg and the former Margaret Hall, went across the country and homesteaded near Rippie, Iowa. Both of Will's parents came from Irish families which had been in the United States for just a couple of generations. The Hogg family stayed in Iowa just ten years before moving on to Buffalo County, Nebraska where they settled and prospered. Will Hogg had begun farming for his father when he was ten years old and attended school intermittently. This was not problematical though as Will was a quick study. He eventually attended an agricultural college from 1887 to 1890 after which time he borrowed fifty dollars and moved to Oregon where he taught school for a year. His parents had called him home to Nebraska when his father was taken very ill. It was during his brief tenure as a teacher in Buffalo County that he met and married Jennie Nutter.

Will and Jennie had only been married a few months when Anna, the wife of her older brother John Nutter, died. John was left with five young motherless children to raise. It was Jennie who stepped into the breach along with her sister, Louise Nutter, to care for the little ones until John remarried on Christmas Day, 1893. These events laid the basis for an enduring close relationship between Jennie and these children along with their new step-mother (also named Jennie) who happened to be close to the same age as Jennie Hogg.

The young couple leased some farm land in Buffalo County for the first two years of their marriage, but a drought in 1894 wrought havoc on established farmers let alone those just starting out. Will then worked for another farmer for a couple of years for twenty-five dollars a month. They saved enough for a down payment on farm along the Platte River costing four thousand dollars. During this time, Jennie gave birth to their eldest son, John Glenn Hogg, on 5 May, 1896 at her parents' home. A little over two years later, on 7 December, 1898, Jennie gave birth to another son, Ronald Valentine Hogg, at her brother John Nutter's home on Fort Farm Island.

As Jennie and Will Hogg raised their two boys, Jennie monitored the growing difficulties at her brother John's home. Jennie's "new" sister-in-law Jennie was, to say the least, challenged by her growing family; four children of her own, five step-children and a poorly behaved husband. When Jennie and Will Hogg decided to move to Oregon in 1904, they offered to take with them eighteen year old Herbert Nutter, John's oldest son. All parties seemed amenable so the Hoggs sold their farm along the Platte and settled in West Salem.

The Hogg family about 1916; Ronald and Glenn at the rear; Will, Margaret and Jennie in front.

The Hoggs bought a farm in Oregon along the Williamette River. Success came quickly and they built a beautiful home overlooking that river on a farm that eventually included 700 acres. About 50 acres were set aside as an orchard where they grew cherries, prunes, walnuts, apples and peaches. Most of the farm produced small grains; corn, clover, rape, alfalfa, oats and barley. They also had 20 Jersey Cows, Poland China Hogs, Hampshire Sheep and White Rock Chickens.

The Hoggs also had another addition to their family after moving to Oregon. Margaret Diana Hogg was born 28 September, 1907 and named after each of her grandmothers.

The Hogg family developed into a finely-tuned machine with almost all of its energy directed to the good of the massive farm. The Hogg sons attended Oregon Agricultural College at Corvallis, Oregon but each returned home after earning a degree to apply their augmented expertise at the family farm.

The Hogg family in 1951. The parents, Will and Jennie, are at the right. At left are their children, Ronald, Margaret and Glenn.

After the family's farm, Will Hogg�s passion during his life in Oregon was promoting Cooperative Agricultural Organizations. He was a charter member of the Salem Fruit Union and a Co-op Creamery. In 1932 he formed the Polk County Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Association and was later elected its Director and Secretary-Treasurer. In 1934, he became director of the Pacific Supply Cooperative and the Williamette Cherry Growers Cooperative.

Not surprisingly, the farm generated enormous wealth for the Hoggs. Unfortunately, an attitude developed within the little family which made each member of the Hogg family suspicious of any romantic ties. The insulting premise for this was the belief that any relationship with the younger Hoggs had to spring from a desire by some "outsider" to enjoy a share of the family's wealth. While the parents and the three children were all quite sociable, any romantic liaison among the children was generally viewed skeptically and was summarily sabotaged. As a result, the little family grew old together, mutually dependant, steadily wealthier and locally renowned. Will Hogg even ran for Senator but lost in a close election.

In 1949, Will Hogg suffered a stroke while operating a power lawn mower. Although he was eighty years old at the time of the incident, it was only then that he retired from work on the farm and from his active membership on various agricultural cooperative boards. He had actually almost fully recovered from his first stroke when a second stroke landed him in a Salem hospital on 17 May, 1952. He died the next day.

Jennie survived Will by almost seven years and enjoyed relatively robust health. She died on 16 April, 1959 in a Salem, Oregon hospital just a month short of her eighty-ninth birthday after being ill for less than two months. She was buried next to Will at Belcrest Memorial Park in Salem.

The Children of Jennie Nutter and Robert William Hogg

John Glenn Hogg in Americus, GA. Souther Field in Americus was a primary training airfield and an aviation supply depot in WW I.

John Glenn Hogg (1896-1985) - who was always called by his middle name, was born in his maternal grandparents' octagonal house between Gibbon and Shelton, Nebraska. He moved with his family at the age of eight to Oregon and rarely returned to the state of his birth. After graduation from high school, he was drafted into service during World War I and returned home to Oregon after the Armistice to attend Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) at Corvallis. He graduated in 1922 and attended business college thereafter. For the rest of his life, he worked the family farm, first with his father, then with his brother. He never married. He died at the same age as his mother, (just before his eighty-ninth birthday) from cancer on the 23 February, 1985. His body was donated to science.

Ronald Valentine Hogg (1898-1994) - was born in the home of his Uncle John Nutter at Fort Farm Island. He was so young when his family moved from Buffalo County, Nebraska to Oregon, that he had no recollection of his years there. He attended Oregon Agricultural College at the same time as his older brother and graduated a year later than Glenn in 1923. Ronald was a talented farmer and a shrewd businessman and was recognized across the United States as an expert judge of sheep and sheep herds. His expertise was in great demand for decades. Well into his forties, he enlisted and served in the US army during World War II. He never married. During his later years, he endured the surgical removal of his colon due to cancer. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 14 September, 1994 at the age of ninety-five.

Margaret Diana Hogg (1907-2005) - lived in the same home in which she was born, overlooking the Williamette River. She was a retired music teacher, specializing in piano theory. She had studied both at Portland and Salem many years ago and had a studio in Salem for many years. Her family's wealth has ultimately been concentrated into her hands, allowing her to hire personal care givers in her later years. In tandem with her relatively good health, Margaret continued to live on her own as she passed into her late nineties. Like her brothers, she never married. The family's estate passed to Oregon State University as this final chapter in the story of this solitary branch of the Hogg family played out.


Benjamin Franklin Nutter was born 22 April, 1872 at the Nutter homestead alongside the Wood River, northwest of Shelton, Nebraska. He was the thirteenth child of his parents, the eighth one living and the first son to survive infancy since his elder brother Will's birth almost thirteen years before.

A story survives that, when he was a boy, he was called "Ben" and didn't care for it much.

In his young mind, "Frank" - from his middle name of Franklin - sounded manlier. His father offered to call him by that name and he remained "Frank" for the rest of his life. Frank's father thought there was merit in the little exercise. When Frank's youngest sister was born, she wasn't even named until she was old enough to select a name for herself.

Frank went to school with his siblings in the facility above the Oliver brother's store in the town of Shelton. The last few years of his education were in a newer schoolhouse built in 1882. As a young teen, Frank was a bit pudgy, but as he assumed more duties on the family farm, the baby fat melted away. As he approached his majority, he stood five feet seven and had a muscular, toned body.

In the decade following his tenth birthday, Frank's older siblings married and began families of their own. Some of the nieces born during this time had fond memories of their young uncle Frank. They recall him being a handsome, high-spirited young man, inclined to joke, tease and play with the young ones. These memories contrast sharply with the impressions of Frank later on in his life.

Frank learned plenty and quickly about farming, mostly from his next eldest brother, Will, whom he greatly admired. He was also a quick study in carpentry as he assisted Will, their father and others during the building of the octagonal house on the Nutter farm when he was fifteen years old.

Early in the 1890s, Frank's father, who was into his sixties, began relinquishing management of the family farm. Frank's oldest brother, John, had married and bought quite a bit of farm land in his own right some years before and was prospering nearby. His other older brother, Will, married late in 1891 and bought some nearby farm land with help from their parents. These events set up Frank and his younger brother Mirabeau as "heirs apparent". Naturally, that scenario would not play out until after the death of their father, but in a real sense, the Nutter land was managed and farmed by the two brothers from the mid-1890s onward for many years

As Frank's father became more and more disabled by what was probably Parkinson's Disease, Frank's mother became more overtaxed by her duties of running the household and acting as nurse to her husband. Frank's younger sister Louise introduced Katie Link to the family as someone who may be able to ease Dinah's burden.

Katie (nee Katharina) Link (1869-1944) had been trained as a nurse in nearby Hastings, Nebraska. Of course, training for nurses in those years was mainly practical, not clinical. However, practical nursing care was precisely what Frank's father, William Nutter, needed. It was clear that his decline was inevitable and that "only" palliative care was required. Frank's mother, Dinah Nutter, could scarcely believe the diminutive Katie Link was capable of the heavy lifting required in William's care. Katie simply demonstrated she was quite up to the job.

Katie was the only one in her family who was not married and she was heading toward her thirtieth birthday when she took on the nursing position at the Nutter home. Family members outside the octagonal house claim that Katie was less-than-subtle in her pursuit of one of the Nutter boys - Mirabeau. He demonstrated a similar lack of subtleness in rebuffing her. Those same family members note that Frank was an easier target. By the spring of 1899, Katie was pregnant.

At first Frank declined to marry Katie. He was contemplating investment ventures and possibly relocation with his brother Will and his family. Will had Frank convinced that Texas, or perhaps even New Zealand or Australia beckoned to them. In addition, Frank�s brother John urged Frank to do whatever was necessary to avoid the marriage.

Katie then made a shrewd move. She approached the family matriarch, Dinah Nutter. She explained that Mirabeau's disdain for Katie was well-known. If Frank did not marry Katie and thereby acknowledge the child as his, people in the area might jump to the conclusion that the actual father of the child was the other man in the house; her patient and Dinah's husband, William Nutter. After all, it was well-known that Katie was providing him with the most personal kind of care. Dinah suddenly weighed in on Katie's side.

Wedding of Frank and Katie Nutter in 1899. Others in the photo are Katie's family; her mother, brothers, sisters, their spouses and children.
Standing L-R: Fred (foster son of Gusrav Link), William Heusel, Sophie (Link) Heusel, Frank Nutter, Katherine (Link) Nutter, Emma Heusel Miller, Katherine Link Swanson, Marie Link rose, Fredericka Link Urwiller.
Seated: Katharine Rapp Link, Jacob Fred Link, Mary Link Spahr, Fred Spahr, Grandma Link (Maria Magdalea Sautter), Christiane Katherine Fugar Link, Gustov Link, Samuel Urwiller.
All children: Carl Link, Albert Link, Sophie Link Urwiller, Emma Link Lange, Allie Heusel Haug, Henry Heusel, Gustave E. Link (Gus' son), William Spahr, Herman Spahr, Fredrick Spahr, Lena Spahr, Matilda Link Everet, Wilhelmenia "Minnie" Link Woehrele, Amelia Link Whitson, Rose Link Wens, Lydia Link Hughes, Esther Urwiller Basnett, Rose Urwiller Knerl.

At half past one o'clock on Friday, 9 June, 1899, in front of 100 guests, a stoic Frank Nutter waited in the downstairs parlor of the Link home in Luce, Nebraska. Katie descended the stairs behind five bridesmaids, wearing a bunch of white carnations on the bodice of her wedding dress and a wreath of orange blossoms in her hair. The couple exchanged vows before the Reverend Hempkin of Ravenna. Some say, they never saw the fun-loving, animated side of Frank Nutter's personality ever again.

Frank Nutter, his son Lyman and wife Katie in 1901.

In fairness, Frank could have done much worse. Katie was a beautiful, hard-working, pleasant and petite woman. A native of Mundelsheim-am-Neckar, Germany, she had immigrated with her family in 1885 to an area north of Gibbon and Shelton, Nebraska in Cherry Creek Township. That area of Buffalo County had been heavily settled by German speaking immigrants who, like the Link family, came to the area after a brief layover in Michigan. Her father, Johann Jakob Link (1825-1885) had died soon after their arrival in Nebraska leaving her mother, Maria Magdalena Sautter Link (1831-1917) to finish raising the six living children (out of a total of twelve). Though Katie was the last of her family to marry, she had married at least as "well" as her sisters Mary Spahr, Sophia Heusel and Fredericka Urwiller and, unlike each of them, she had married outside the "Bohunk" (ie. German speaking) culture with the Englishman Frank Nutter.

Frank and Katie Nutter's two sons: Lyman on the left, William on the right. About 1907.

Frank and Katie Nutter's son was born at the Nutter's octagonal house on 17 January, 1900. Katie's alleged affection for Kaiser Wilhelm was possibly indicated by the child's given names of Lyman Karl Wilhelm. The child was very small - supposedly close to two pounds at birth. Family lore credits Lyman's survival with Katie placing the scrawny infant in a pan of warm milk on or near the family stove.

When the census enumerator called at the Nutter's octagonal house in June, 1900, there were a few interesting points in his data. William Nutter was still noted as a "farmer" and owner of an unmortgaged farm even though he was totally disabled at that point. Frank, living in the same house, was also designated as a farmer and owner of an unmortgaged farm. Younger brother Mirabeau was simply a "farm-hand".

The health of Frank's father continued to decline until his he succumbed on 13 May, 1906. Three weeks later on 2 June, Katie gave birth to her second son, William Benjamin Franklin Nutter, named for his recently-deceased grandfather and father. This child was also very small when he was born and was supposedly also immersed in a pan of warm milk on or near the stove for long periods. Who knows if this seemingly bizarre practice had any merit? Both boys did live more than three quarters of a century.

During these years Frank Nutter acquired an eighty acre piece of land immediately northeast of the Nutter's home quarter section. He built a comparatively large and nicely finished wood frame home on the property where he and Katie made their home for the rest of their lives. On this same land, between Frank and Katie's house and the octagonal home, stood District 8 School where most of the more extended family would attend school over many decades.

In the years following his father's death, Frank and his three brothers (John, Will and Mirabeau) bought land, sold land and swapped acreages. The net effect of all of these transactions was that, by 1919, Frank owned the eighty acres where he and Katie made their home, eighty more in the section west of the octagonal house and an entire quarter section (160 acres) west of that plus another sixty-two acres detached and east of all these acreages. None of these land holdings, substantial as they may have been, included the original Nutter farm which was then totally in Mirabeau's possession.

Frank Nutter with his grandsons Norden, James, Bill and Gene in the 1930s.

Frank was a very efficient and hard working farmer. Years later, it was his "thrift" which would be touted as his most memorable quality in his obituary. In fact, family members would recall him as being as "tight as bark on a tree". While there is substantial evidence he was a shrewd businessman, a very successful farmer and very, very "careful", there is also evidence that he actually spent considerable sums on items which were not really life's necessities. In fact, within the context of the times, they could be considered luxuries.

Frank and Katie Nutter's home was one of the first in the area with hot and cold running water. And, well before the Federal Rural Electrification Project brought electricity to virtually every home in the state, the Nutter's spent a substantial sum electrifying their home.

Early in the 1920s, Frank and Katie also bought an organ which occupied a prominent position in their parlor. Yet no one can ever recall either of them playing it. (Katie's sisters may have. If so, why wasn't the organ in one of their homes?). Also, a Murphy Bed was installed in the dining room for those times when Katie was ill and/or otherwise infirm and "unable" to remain continuously ambulatory throughout the day.

Frank also had a number of automobiles. Though he always used draft animals on the farm, he ventured into operating motor vehicles early on though not always with great skill and comfort. He bought at least one car brand new from a dealership in Shelton - a Ford Model T. The salesman gave Frank instructions on its unique method of operation (for it lacked a clutch in the traditional sense) while standing on the car's running board as Frank drove.

Frank heard there was an opportunity for thrift in fuel consumption if he were to shut off his car's engine and coast when going downhill. He availed himself of such opportunities when taking Katie to visit her sisters in the hills north of Shelton and Gibbon. His boys were always transfixed by the bulging veins and tendons in Frank's neck as their normally stoic father gripped the steering wheel for dear life while the car hurdled down those steep hills.

Earlier than many of his neighbors, Frank Nutter's home was equipped with a telephone though it was installed without his approval or knowledge. His son, Bill, arranged for it to enable regular communication between Katie and her sisters. The phone was in the home for some time without Frank actually noticing it. It was mounted right behind Frank's regular seat at the dining room. The first time it rang during a meal, Frank nearly had to be peeled off the ceiling.

Those who were only children when they knew Frank seem to universally remember him a "stern". Those who were adults say he was "sad and quiet". No later anecdotes seem to survive about the lighthearted side of Frank's nature remembered by Frank's nieces before his marriage. The logical conclusion therefore must be that the scheming, foreign bride he took broke his spirit and trapped him in a forty year long melancholy marriage. The facts may not support this.

Over all, the extended Nutter family was not subtle about their contempt for Katie Link - in fact most continued to poignantly call her "Katie Link" throughout her entire marriage to Frank. While it is clear she was pregnant at the time of her marriage to Frank, it is also clear she did not become that way by herself and, perhaps the characterization of Frank as a victim, "trapped" as it were by a wily woman should, at the very least, be re-examined. The Nutter family was never likely to accept Katie as she was an older woman, one of the "hired help" and who betrayed her "foreign" origins every time she opened her mouth. There is also anecdotal evidence that she was disinclined to provide Frank Nutter with a house full of children as her sister-in-laws had.

Katie was an intensely religious woman married to an atheist from a family of atheists. Interestingly, she was so successfully dismissed as a religious zealot that none of her family and the extended Nutter family was even able to identify the religious denomination under which she practiced her zealotry. For the record, she was raised German-Lutheran ("Evangelisches") and was buried as a Presbyterian

That is not to say Katie wasn't a religious zealot. One of her grandsons recalls approaching her repeatedly for some information about what her life was like back in her native Germany. On each occasion, the conversation invariably turned to religion and the boy ended up in possession of several religious pamphlets and precious little information about Katie's homeland.

The Nutters always said "Katie enjoyed ill-health her entire life". Her immediate family does not deny this. An injury to her spine while she was performing some work as a nurse did cause her continued discomfort throughout her adult life. As she grew older she walked bent-over and with some difficulty, making her appear even shorter in stature than she already was. She also had �a bad heart" as she got older and that, in fact, proved to be her undoing.

Frank's health was nothing but robust. Though Katie is universally credited as a very good cook, the pudginess of his youth never returned - he remained very muscled and fit. He worked very hard on his farm and was very fastidious about his farm equipment and his tools. He appeared to enjoy solitary work like his father before him, but was never driven by the kind of intellectual curiosity his father and brothers were known for. Unlike his father and brothers, he never entertained the idea of an early retirement.

One day in the spring of 1939, while Frank was engaged in what is called "sheep dipping", he accidentally thrust a large splinter of wood into his hand at the base of his thumb as he lifted a sheep over a wood panel. As was his custom he did his best to remove the splinter once he returned to the house. However the wound became infected and his hand began to swell. He spent his sixty-seventh birthday (Saturday, 22 April, 1939) in great pain. The pain and swelling was so bad by the next day, the family insisted on summoning a doctor to the house against Frank's wishes. When the doctor called at the house, he assessed that Frank, at the very least, needed to be hospitalized.

As Frank headed out of the house with the doctor, he is said to have stopped before opening the car door to take a long, circumspect look around his farm. It seemed as if, at some level, he knew he was looking at his land for the last time.

In the General Hospital at Kearney doctors began treatment of the infection with sulfa. It was also their opinion that his hand, certainly septic and possibly gangrenous, should be amputated. Frank refused, noting he had come into this world with his hand and intended to leave the world with it attached. Early the next day, 24 April, 1939, he left the world as he intended. It is doubtful that the amputation would have actually saved his life as the septicemia was quite advanced by the time of his arrival. He was buried at the Riverside Cemetery north of Gibbon 26 September, 1939.

Katie fared poorly after Frank's death. Her son Lyman, his wife and two (eventually three) sons lived with her and she gradually became less and less capable of assisting in the day-to-day running the household

By 1942, Katie's adopted country was again at war with her native country. Having been the subject of much gossip for her alleged affection for Kaiser Wilhelm during the First World War I, Katie felt it necessary to affirm her allegiance by purchasing small American flags, affixing them to her clothes, displaying them around her home and distributing them to visitors.

Katie's heart disease finally proved fatal to her on 6 January, 1944 the day before her seventy- fifth birthday. She was interred next to Frank a few days later.

The Children of Benjamin Franklin Nutter and Katharina Link

Lyman Carl Wilhelm Nutter (1900-1975) - was born on 17 January, 1900 in the octagonal house belonging to his Grandparents Nutter. He graduated from Shelton High School in 1919 after which time he continued to assist his father with his farm work as he had done since childhood. He met Lorena Wynn (1903-1976), whose family lived in Missouri, though she herself was a native of Washington State. The couple was married in Kirksville, Missouri just a week before Lyman's twenty-sixth birthday. Lyman's brother, William, married two months later, and, in an odd symmetry, the brothers fathered two sons each in the early years of their marriages, followed a decade and a half later by another son each, ultimately following the symmetry to the end when each of the brothers died in the months following their seventy-fifth birthdays. After their marriage, Lyman, Lorena and their boys lived in a small home on his father's land so Spartan that it had a dirt floor. Late in the 1930s, the young family joined Lyman's widowed mother in the family home and retained it as their own after Katie's death in 1944. By the time of his death in the Kearney Hospital on 28 August, 1975, Lyman had spent his entire life within the view of the octagonal house in which he was born. He was buried at the Riverside Cemetery north of Gibbon. Lorena joined him there the next year, a few months after what would have been their golden wedding anniversary. Eldest son Norden Gale Nutter (1926-2007) and middle son Franklin James Nutter (born 1927) farmed together for years, neither marrying until about their fiftieth birthdays. Norden served as a corporal after World War II in Okinawa and was in the reserves thereafter. He attended Kearney State College earning a Liberal Arts degree specializing in journalism. A retired farmer, Norden lived south of Gibbon. His wife, Ruth Krovas Campbell (1927-2004), had children by a previous marriage. Franklin James Nutter goes by the name "Jim" and lives on some of the land his father and grandfather farmed with his wife, the former Nadine Ondrak. Lyman and Lorena's only grandchildren are the three children of youngest son Denten Loyst Nutter (born 1943). He and his wife, the former Janice Basnett, also make their home on a piece of land from the old family farm.

William Benjamin Franklin Nutter (1906-1981) - was only sixteen years old when he finished school and began teaching. He and Susie Myrtle Baker (1906-1997), a native of Garwood, Texas who was raised in Columbus, Texas, were both only nineteen when they married at Hollinger, Nebraska on 21 March, 1926. For nearly thirty years they farmed some of the land on which "Bill" had worked for his father as a boy. Early in their marriage, there were many lean years for the Nutters and others in Nebraska. There were times when Susie had to return to her native Texas for extended periods with the kids simply to ensure everyone had enough to eat. But eventually they persevered. For more than two decades, Bill was at the helm of the District 8 school board and took to heart his responsibility to ensure quality education in the district. He also maintained high visibility in the community as a member of the Masonic Lodge, the Shriners and the Rotary Club. In 1955, Bill and Susie retired from farming and went into the motel business in Texas and elsewhere and finally owned and operated a motel in Beloit, Kansas. Bill died of a heart attack in Madison, Wisconsin on 15 July, 1981 while visiting his son and his family. Susie outlived Bill by more than sixteen years. Though she contributed her part to the farming and motel endeavors, she also became a licensed practical nurse and worked as such while they lived in Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa and Kansas. In retirement, Susie returned to Gibbon where she lived in her own home well through her eighties. Ill health eventually required that she move to a health care facility in Columbus, Texas where she died on 21 December, 1997, ten days short of her ninety-first birthday.

Bill and Susie Nutter's eldest son, William Robert Nutter (1927-1996) married Helen Fling, another native of Garwood, Texas in 1950. After the birth of their first child, a son, the young family moved from Kearney, Nebraska to Lake Jackson, Texas in 1954. There, two daughters and another son were born. Sadly, their eldest son died at the age of ten in a drowning accident there. Eventually, Bill and Helen separated and managed a rather amicable divorce. Bill's continuous employment as a chemical technician during their life in Texas was likely the reason he contracted lung cancer which proved fatal to him just before his seventieth birthday. Helen was with him at the end. Only their two daughters have married from whom there are three grandsons.

Bill and Susie Nutter's middle son Gene Douglas Nutter (1929-2004) was born in Columbus, Texas but grew up near Gibbon, Nebraska. He graduated from high school there, graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and worked for a time thereafter at the Bureau of Standards in Washington DC. He returned to his alma mater for his post-graduate work in physics and mathematics. He married fellow student Mary Ann Souder there on 9 June, 1956 (his 27th birthday) and received his Master's degree the next day. Gene and Mary Ann lived in Southern California for the next eleven years where their son and daughter were born and where Gene worked as a research engineer. In 1967, Gene and his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin where he worked as a research engineer, serving as assistant director at the University of Wisconsin's Instrumentation Systems Center, which he helped establish, and co-authored a book which has come to be known as the "bible of radiation thermometry". Gene took a disability retirement in 1988 after more than 18 years of chronic health problems. For the next seven and a half years, Gene and his wife traveled the United States looking for the ideal retirement location deciding ultimately to settle in extreme western North Carolina overlooking Lake Chatuge and the state line with Georgia. Their son Johann is a senior software engineer with his own business in Longmont, Colorado and he has a daughter and two granddaughters. Their daughter Kathleen is a student at the University of Wisconsin, is married and has a son.

Bill and Susie Nutter�s youngest son is Douglas Robert Nutter (born 1943). He was born in Kearney, Nebraska where he still lives. He and his wife, the former Dorothy Volpat, have a son Brian (born 1972) and a daughter Deborah (born 1975).


Mirabeau and Lizzie (Hogg) Nutter on the occasion of their wedding in 1910

Elizabeth Amanda (Lizzie) Hogg

Sometimes William Nutter was brilliant. Sometimes he was a great thinker with a fresh view of the world and revolutionary ideas. Sometimes, but not often, his wife Dinah found it necessary to "rein him in". One has to wonder why she didn't do so when he proposed to name their child "Mirabeau Diogenes" after his birth on 18 December, 1875.

Perhaps she was simply tired. Just as she passed her forty-first birthday in June, 1875, Dinah may have noted the fact that the previous three years and three months had been the longest she had ever gone during her marriage to William without having a baby. It would probably be about that same time she determined she was then pregnant with their fourteenth child. The eight children still alive were all still living with them in their twelve by eighteen foot log home along the Wood River.

Mirabeau Diogenes got his name as a result of his father's admiration for a French Statesman (Honore Gabriel Riquetti, Count of Mirabeau) and a Greek philosopher (Diogenes). It seems as if everyone in his family got used to calling him Mirabeau, but his first foray outside the family didn't go well. When he first began attending District 8 school in session upstairs from Oliver's store in Shelton, he was registered as "Mary Bo" Nutter in the school records. We all know how cruel kids can be.

Possibly Mirabeau's revenge was that, by the time he was a teenager, he was six feet tall, towering over his mother and sisters and noticeably taller than his father, brothers and most other men in the area. Additionally, he was muscular and rather nice looking with a strong jaw and a substantial crop of curly dark hair, both inherited from his mother. In those days he was called a "natty" dresser, remembered by his nieces as quite a "dandy". There are some who say he was quite aware of his striking appearance. He wasn't afraid to publicly display his vocal talent and organized a quartet in which he, his brother Frank, sister Louise and their niece Olive (Ollie) Nutter (daughter of John) sang at special functions. He also used to call for the square dances in the neighborhood.

After he finished school in District 8, Mirabeau was sent off to "Normal School" (the 1890s version of a community college) at York, Nebraska to hone his agricultural skills. At the same time, he was already acquiring prodigious skills as a carpenter under the tutelage of his elder brother Frank. Mirabeau had prepared himself well to take over his parents' farm, with his brother Frank.

At the turn of the century, events moved quickly to place Mirabeau in the circumstances which would serve him well for the balance of his life. He dodged the advances of Katie Link, his father's nurse. Instead, his brother Frank married her and began a family. Their father died in 1906 leaving his 160 acres to be divided equally between Frank and Mirabeau. Frank had bought 80 acres northeast of the farm, built a home and moved his family into it. Mirabeau then bought Frank's 80 acres from the inheritance. By 1908, Mirabeau farmed all of the original 160 acres owned by his parents and there was only he and his mother residing in the formidable octagonal house. Over the next ten years, Mirabeau's older brothers would buy, sell and swap pieces of land among themselves. Mirabeau steadily worked only with his quarter section - his parents' original farm - though after World War II, he is known to have purchased some pasture land about seven miles north on which his nephew, Bob Robertson, would later live.

Well into his thirties, "M. D.", (as Mirabeau usually represented himself to those outside his family), began courting thirty-year-old Elizabeth Amanda (Lizzie) Hogg (1877-1968). She was the daughter of John Alexander Hogg (1844-1922) and Margaret Hall Hogg (1844-1926) who were both natives of Butler County, Pennsylvania. Lizzie's parents' families had only been in the USA for a couple of generations since their emigration from Ireland, though the Hogg family itself was originally from Scotland. John Alexander Hogg's grandfather, Robert Hogg Senior, had distinguished himself in his service in the army during the War of 1812. The Hoggs left Pennsylvania in 1869 and homesteaded near Rippie, Iowa in Poweshiek County east of Des Moines. Though John Hogg had worked for years as a carpenter in Iowa with his father-in-law, William Hall, he established a grocery business in the little town of Mitchellville. (It was during this time that Lizzie was born). When his business failed, John Hogg moved further westward to Shelton, Nebraska in 1879 where he found employment at the Shelton Mills. He purchased land which already had a sod house on it and this is the home in which many of their children grew to adulthood. In 1906 the Hoggs moved to Oregon to the area where elder son Robert William Hogg (husband of Jane "Jennie" Nutter) had settled two years previously. However, they returned to Buffalo County in 1908 when they purchased a home and property in the town of Shelton. Lizzie was married from that home to Mirabeau Nutter on 6 July, 1910.

Mirabeau and Lizzie began their family right away. A daughter, Pauline was born in May, 1911 in the octagonal house. The next year when Lizzie was pregnant again, Mirabeau's mother Dinah left the growing family to travel for a few months to visit extended family in New England. Upon her return in the summer of 1912, she requested that Mirabeau have a small house built nearby so that she could live on her own and leave the octagonal house to the new family. While his mother visited his sisters in the northwest that same year, Mirabeau, with the assistance of his nephews Bob and Ben Robertson, built Dinah a small, four-room home in which she lived happily for the rest of her days.

The children of Mirabeau and Lizzie Nutter (1921). (Left to right) Pauline, Elva, Lindley, Janet and Donavan.

Mirabeau and Lizzie had a son in 1912, twin girls in 1915 (one died at birth), another daughter in 1918 and a son in 1920. It was just two days after Christmas, 1918, when Mirabeau awoke on a Friday morning to look out the kitchen window and see no smoke come out of the chimney of his mother's little house. He ran into her home to find her collapsed on the floor from a stroke. Mirabeau carried her back into the warmth of the octagonal house where she died the following Monday.

Sometime during these years, the Nutter homestead acquired the name "Kenmore Farm". No one knows the origin of the name and it doesn't really matter since no family members used it much. The specialties of the farm in 1919 were listed as Chester White Hogs and S.C. Brown Leghorn Chickens. Crops grown for sale were primarily corn, hay and alfalfa. The orchard yielded plenty of apples, way beyond the personal needs of the family.

Mirabeau and Lizzie Nutter about 1940

The story of Mirabeau, Lizzie and their family on the Nutter farm during the next two or three decades was very much like so many of the farmers in that area. There were very lean times beginning late in the 1920s with the start of the Great Depression and the 1930s were no better with hot, dusty summers, terrible droughts and poor crop yield.

Mirabeau and Lizzie were both very intelligent people and it should come as no surprise that most of their children were brilliant as well. They all did well in school, adapted well to the pursuit of higher education and were heavily encouraged by their parents. No matter how lean times were, the Nutters did their best to lend their financial support.

However, late in the 1930s, Mirabeau badly injured his leg during farm work. Unable to meet the day-to-day demands of the farm, Mirabeau summoned his son Donovan from his studies at Kearney State College. The father didn't recover for months and Donovan never returned to college. Slowly, Mirabeau began transferring his responsibilities on the farm to his son and, by 1952, when he was nearly 78, Mirabeau "retired"...as much as farmers ever retire.

Mirabeau Nutter and Lizzie, and their daughter, Elva.

Mirabeau still gardened two or three hours a day in retirement raising potatoes, onions, squash and other items for consumption by the family. He also kept and tended his work horses who had mostly retired with him. The balance of his day was spent in his workshop often indulging what had always been his passion; carpentry.

Of course Lizzie worked in the house mostly. Canning the yield from her husband's garden was no small task by itself. Family recall she was an outstanding cook and even a better baker, often using the wood stove in preference to the "modern" one. She was a doting grandmother, happily with regular access to her only grandchildren - the six children of her son Donovan who lived with their parents in a home just east of the octagonal house. For decades the house had been the "social center" for most of the Nutter family and it remained thus during Mirabeau and Lizzie's tenure there. Very few Sundays passed without several visitors calling in.

Sadly, late in the 1950s, Mirabeau began to suffer from memory loss similar to what would now be associated with Alzheimer's Disease. While this was obviously problematical, it was actually his tendency to wander which finally necessitated his confinement to a nursing home in Kearney. He retained enough understanding to assess his new circumstances and let his family know that he despised living in the home. Mercifully, he didn't have to endure his circumstances for long. He died late in the evening of 7 January, 1960 in his eighty-fifth year and at the same age as his mother, his sister Ellen, and their aunt Mary Ann. On 11 January, 1960 he was interred at the Shelton Cemetery.

Lizzie survived Mirabeau by nearly another nine years. She lived to see six great-grandchildren come along and she enjoyed good health as the years passed. It was trouble with her gall bladder which proved to be her undoing, usually the problem of a much younger woman. She had surgery to remove her gallbladder after Christmas in 1968 in Kearney. She did not survive. At the age of ninety-one, Lizzie died a half century to the day after her beloved mother-in-law, Dinah Ingham Nutter. She was buried next to Mirabeau.

The Children of Mirabeau Diogenes Nutter and Elizabeth Amanda Hogg

Pauline Elizabeth Nutter (1911-1980) - moved around the country in pursuit of higher education and her career as a brilliant teacher and professor. After she graduated from Gibbon High School and after she got her bachelor's degree at Kearney State Teachers College, she taught home economics for several years at the state agricultural college in Logan, Utah. She received her Master�s degree from the University of Arizona at Tucson. After that, she attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and finally received her doctorate in nutrition and physiological chemistry at the University of Rochester in New York. Throughout her career she also taught at Kansas State College in Manhattan, Kansas, the University of Utah at Provo and finally, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln from which position she retired. In the midst of all this, she married, in 1942, to Thomas Doryland (1914-2002), a student pilot who pursued a career in aviation. Unfortunately, Doryland may have loved flying but had little affection for regular employment. Pauline died at 69 from lung cancer. She and Thomas had no children.

Donovan Hogg Nutter

Donovan Hogg Nutter (1912-1989) - as the only surviving son of his parents, inherited the family farm. Though he was as brilliant as any of his siblings, his time at Kearney State College was curtailed when he was required to return to the farm when his father badly injured his leg. In 1940, he married a local girl named Ramona Emily Major (born 1914). Together, they had six children whom they raised in a home built just east of the Nutter octagonal house. Donovan gradually and successfully took over the farm from his father and ultimately, was able to pass the enterprise onto his son and retire himself. In retirement, doctors discovered a tumor on Donovan's pituitary gland. Surgery to remove it was successful. Some in his family believe that the tumor and/or the surgery was somehow connected with a cancerous liver tumor which developed later and proved fatal to him on Valentine's Day, 1989 in the Good Samaritan Hospital at Kearney. Donovan and Ramona have the only grandchildren in Mirabeau and Lizzie's line. Eldest daughter Carol Lynn Nutter (1941-1997) married Roger Hartge (born 1937), moved to Illinois, then Van Wert, Ohio, where she worked as a lab technician. After a divorce in 1974, she married Franklin Delano Roby in 1981. She died of leukemia and bone cancer in Lima, Ohio leaving a son and a daughter with Roger Hartge and five grandchildren. Middle daughter Theda Louise Nutter (born 1947) also moved to Ohio and married James Marion Potter there in 1969. Her son and daughter were born there and the family still resides there after some time in New Orleans and Japan during the father's career with the US Navy. Youngest daughter, Tovey Jill Nutter (1949-1951) died of a brain tumor. Eldest son Steven Mirabeau Nutter (born 1943) is a retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel retired near Abilene, Texas. With his wife, Kathleen Atchison (born 1946) from whom he is now divorced, he is the father of a son and a daughter and has two granddaughters. Middle son Craig Emerson Nutter (born 1944) is now the fourth generation of Nutters farming land near the octagonal house. With his wife, the former Julene Kay Beck (born 1946), he has one son, three daughters and six grandchildren.

USS Philippine Sea - Van Donovan Nutter served on this ship for 5 years during his re-enlistment.

Youngest son Van Donovan Nutter (1954-2012). Van served in the U.S. Navy, 1972-1976, then he obtained his associate's degree from Central Community College in Grand Island. He re-enlisted in the Navy in 1986, served eight more years, five of which were at sea on the USS Philippine Sea. He was a highly decorated electronics specialist. When not at sea with the Navy, Van was stationed in Virginia. Later, he moved to Jacksonville, Florida then Merkel, Texas where he lived with his elder brother. With his wife, Kathleen Carol Fredericks (born 1955), he had two sons and one daughter from whom there is one grandchild. Van and Kathleen were divorced in 1985. He died in an auto accident in 2012.

Elva Rae Nutter

Elva Nutter showing off her flower and cherries

Elva Rae Nutter (1915-2004) and Elna Ruth Nutter (1915-1915) - were twins but Elna died soon after birth. Elva lived with her parents in the octagonal house most of her life until 1969. She then bought a home of her own near Fairfield, Nebraska. In 1984, she retired from her long-time position at Baldwin Manufacturing Company in Kearney. A stroke badly disabled Elva, necessitating confinement to the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Gibbon where she died from heart disease in 2004.

Janet Nutter - Gibbon High School - Class of 1935

Janet Yvonne Nutter (born 1918) - fought significant hearing loss all her life. Early on she moved to the northwest and was trained there as an x-ray technician. She retired after many years in that medical field. She continues to live in retirement near Seattle, Washington. Janet had a companion of many decades who died several years ago.

Lindley Mirabeau Nutter (1920-1925) - was the youngest grandchild of William and Dinah Nutter, the only one born after their deaths. His death in the waning days of summer in 1925 is surrounded by much family lore. The little boy was discovered, very ill, in the watermelon patch. Some say Lindley's distress was from appendicitis, some say it was food poisoning. Whatever it was it very swiftly ended his short life with less than two days having elapsed from onset of symptoms until his death.


The fifteenth and last child of William and Dinah Nutter (the tenth living) was a daughter, born at the Nutter homestead along the Wood River on 2 October, 1877. As has been noted in several places in this book, her parents did not name her and allowed her to select her own name once she grew up. In the 1880 census and even for the first year or two of her education at the District 8 School, she is listed in the records simply as "Madam".

Calling the little girl "Madam" may sound quaint and English. The truth may be quite different. In the Lancashire dialect, if one were to refer to a little girl as being "a right little madam", it would mean the child was assertive, strong-willed and a bit difficult. Is it possible that young Louise Nutter (as she was eventually known) exhibited rather early on some of the characteristics for which she was eventually known?

'Madam' Louise Nutter. Center-right is her older sister Jennie Nutter.

As Louise grew up she developed no particularly strong alliance with any of her siblings. She did, however, enjoy a very close, sister-like relationship with her niece Olive, the eldest daughter of her eldest brother, John Nutter and, to a slightly lesser extent, several of Olive�s younger sisters. "Aunt" Louise was only just a little over four years senior to "Ollie". It's likely this close relationship between Louise and her nieces arose in 1893 when the mother of these little nieces died suddenly. It is known that Louise, her older sister Jennie and their mother stepped in to care for the little girls for most of that year and intermittently thereafter.

Reuban Miller (about 1890)

After Louise finished her education at the District 8 School, she found a teaching position near Sodtown, almost fifteen miles north of her parents' home. As noted before, this was the area in the hills where the "Bohunks" (ie. the German speaking immigrants) lived.

It was during this time that Louise met Katie Link. She brought Katie home to the octagonal house and introduced her to the family as a prospective nurse for her ailing father. The rest, it is said, is history. It was also during this time she met Reuben B. Miller (1878-1956).

Reuben Miller had been born in Washtenaw County, Michigan on 13 April, 1878. His father, John Gerald Miller (Johann Gerhard Mueller) had been born in 1825 near Leipzig in what was then Prussia and is now Germany. He married Mary (Anna Maria) Stuber (1834-1912), a native of Luesslingen or Muhledorf, Switzerland whose family had come the USA in 1847, first to Ohio, then to Michigan. Reuben was not yet two years old when his parents moved from southeastern Michigan to Gardner Township in Buffalo County, Nebraska. John Gerald Miller, died on his farm there on 4 October, 1896.

Family members note that Reuben Miller was a quiet, easy-going gentleman. They are also quick to add that it was a good thing he was so inclined as the person he chose as his lifetime partner, Louise Nutter, was anything but quiet and easy-going. However, Reuben would prove to be a very shrewd businessman with a knack for making money.

Reuben Miller and Louise Nutter on their wedding day in 1899

Reuben Miller married Louise Nutter at the Buffalo County courthouse in Kearney on 28 February, 1899. They set up housekeeping on some leased farmland a few miles southeast of Ravenna, Nebraska in Gardner Township. Reuben's widowed mother and two of his brothers lived a few houses away. Louise's niece, Ollie Nutter, came to stay with the young couple soon thereafter as she got a job in the same school where Louise was teaching.

At this home in Gardner Township, Louise gave birth to their first child, Gerald Dale Miller on 6 October, 1902. The Miller's second child, a daughter named Ruby Geraldine was born 22 July, 1905 at the home of Louise's brother John Nutter at the Fort Farm Island farm near Gibbon. Possibly Louise was availing herself of some post-natal care from John's daughter Ollie who had moved back home.

Reuben and Louise Miller with their children, Gerald and Ruby (about 1906)

After the death of Louise's father in May, 1906, she, along with Reuben and the children accompanied Louise's mother on an extended visit to the west and northwest. They were in attendance when Louise's niece, Ollie married Charles Holmes in February, 1907 in Denver, Colorado. They also visited with Louise's three older sisters (Ellen, Ione and Jennie) in Oregon with a view to settling there. For whatever reason, Louise was not inclined to transplant her young family there so she and Reuben returned to Gardner Township in Buffalo County, Nebraska by 1908.

Perhaps there is a story which explains the wildly different circumstances of the Millers as shown in the 1910 and 1920 censuses and in a 1919 land survey. Perhaps there is no story and Reuben simply showed his legendary business acumen early on. Herewith are the facts. In 1910, Reuben and Louise Miller are living with the two children on a modest farm in Gardener Township. They owned the farm but it had a mortgage. Reuben was a farmer, Louise was still teaching. By 1919, Reuben owned three acreages in Cherry Creek Township almost due west of Ravenna totaling 400 acres. The Miller home was on the most southern portion of land and the enterprise was called "Wayside Farm". The census of 1920 revealed Reuben owned the land free and clear. But, it also revealed that Reuben was living on his own without Louise and the children and with Herbert and Flora Book, their two children and another young woman named Henrietta Thorpe age 22. Louise and the children are nowhere to be found in the township, the county or even the state. Family members seem to recall that, as Gerald had gone off to college at York, Nebraska, Louise and Ruby went along to "keep house" for him for some period of time.

Reuben and Louise Miller

Louise had very strong and specific aspirations for each of her children; she envisioned Gerald as a medical doctor and Ruby as a music teacher. Whether Reuben shared these ambitions with Louise is unknown. It became a moot point starting when Ruby fell in love and married a local farmer at the age of nineteen and began a family soon thereafter. Gerald taught school early on, married another teacher and moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and then Manhattan, Kansas where he continued as a professor in the agronomy department at Kansas State College.

In 1926, Reuben gave up farming and took a job in a meat rendering plant in Omaha, Nebraska. He and Louise lived just south of the city in an area called Gilmore. Periodically, there were visits from their only grandchildren, Ruby's children.

During the depression years and into World War II, Louise developed strong opinions about social matters and current affairs which contrasted sharply with the views held by most of her brothers. She harbored a bitter dislike for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and distrusted most organized religions but believed Roman Catholicism was particularly pernicious. She was an ardent Anglophile and a great admirer of Winston Churchill. She was very outspoken about her views and no one in the family was at all unsure of her points of view as she aggressively proffered them at the drop of a hat. As usual, Reuben tended to remain silent during those times when Louise felt the necessity of stridently voicing her opinions.

Reuben and Louise Miller

In 1943, Reuben Miller retired. Louise and he returned to the farm which they had leased to their daughter Ruby and her husband, William Link. Eventually they sold the 100 acre portion and three 80 acre pieces to them and moved into the town of Ravenna. One of the highlights of their retirement was the purchase of an Airstream trailer in which they extensively toured the northwest. This enabled a final visit between Louise and three of her sisters; Ione, Alice and Jennie, not to mentions some of the nieces with whom she had been so close as a young woman

Reuben died of complications following a prostate operation on 23 October, 1956 at the age of 78. Louise did not adjust to widowhood very well. In the years following Reuben's death her memory began to fail and by 1959 it was obvious she could not live on her own. Her family had no choice but to put her in the Good Samaritan Home in Ravenna where her mind continued to deteriorate. She died there on 17 August, 1969, just short of her ninety-second birthday, the longest-lived of all of her siblings. Both she and Reuben are buried at the Highland Park Cemetery in Ravenna.

The Children of Madam Louise Nutter and Reuben Miller

Gerald Dale Miller

Gerald Dale Miller (1902-1992) - according to his mother, should have been a medical doctor. Instead he began teaching locally right out of high school and followed that vocation, at one level or another, for the rest of his career. In 1928 he married a fellow teacher, Zelma Reiker (born 1902) while he was in Agricultural College at Lincoln, Nebraska. Zelma taught grade school in Lincoln until her retirement in 1969. Gerald taught at the University there then transferred to the agronomy department at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, the position from which he finally retired. Sadly, Gerald's end was much like his mother's end having to spend years in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. He died in 1992. Zelma died in 2005 in Manhatten, Kansas, aged 103. Gerald and Zelma had no children.

Ruby Miller

Ruby Geraldine Miller (1905-1992) - according to her mother, should have been a music teacher. Indeed, as a young woman she became an accomplished pianist and was a charter member of the Sodtown Band. However, Ruby let go of her mother's aspirations for her when she met another member of that band, a young farmer who was also a student at the Grand Island Business College. He was a local fellow named William Jacob Link (1900-1966) and was nephew to Ruby's aunt by marriage, Katharina ("Katie") Link Nutter. Before their marriage in 1924 on the lawn in front of her parents' home, Ruby had attended Kearney State Teachers College and she taught school for several years after their wedding. About 1927, Ruby and Bill began leasing the farmland belonging to Ruby's parents after the elder couple moved to the Omaha area. It was hardly the easiest of times to attempt to make a living farming as the great depression began soon afterwards and three children came along in fairly rapid succession. Then, the1930s were marked by scorching summers, dust storms and drought. Still, they endured. About 1940, Bill and Ruby purchased outright 340 acres of her parents' land and eventually did quite well. They instilled in their children, among other things, the value of higher education and did what they could to facilitate it. Beginning in the 1950s, eight grandchildren came along and Ruby enjoyed becoming a nurturing, doting grandmother. In 1959 Bill Link suffered his first heart attack. His third and fatal heart attack occurred on 3 February 1966 as he drove his truck in from one of his fields. Ruby did her best to cope with widowhood and moved off the farm into Ravenna three years later. In 1973, Ruby herself suffered a stroke, but substantially recovered from it. She remained an active member in the United Methodist Church at Ravenna and as a member of the Eastern Star. She finally gave up driving at the age of 84. When she died at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney on 31 March, 1994, she had successfully avoided, for the most part, what she had dreaded most; the fate of her mother and brother - prolonged confinement to a nursing home. Ruby and Bill Link's elder son is Dale Ronald Link (born 1926), a graduate of the Nebraska Agricultural College at Lincoln. After serving two years in the service for his country in Japan, he returned to work his parents' farm, first with his father, then on his own. With his wife Margaret Zetta Nelson, he has two sons, five daughters and six grandchildren. Ruby and Bill's younger son, Bruce William Link (born 1927) served two years in the US Navy then graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University at Lincoln. He moved several times during his career as a nuclear physicist and is now retired in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. With his wife, Donna Lightbody, he has a son who lives in Kansas, a daughter in Alaska and a daughter in California plus two granddaughters. Ruby and Bill's only daughter, Sheila Lee Link (born 1931) also got her degree from Nebraska Wesleyan and taught music. She finally settled in Oregon in 1965 and worked as a guidance counselor. She earned a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Oregon at Eugene and still lives nearby in a town called Veneta. She has never married.


The Ancestry of William and Dinah (Ingham) Nutter

If the "complete" ancestry of William and Dinah (Ingham) Nutter, so far as it has been researched, were to be included in this book, it would make this book more than ten times larger. However, it is extremely unlikely that it would make it ten times more interesting Therefore, it is more practical to select some of the more interesting genealogical lines and to include them here.

In the pages that follow are several genealogies plus some accompanying commentary. They are not complicated charts at all, but rather easy-to-follow paragraphs that show, step-by-step, generation by generation, various lines from a remote ancestor down to either William Nutter (1830-1906) or Dinah Ingham Nutter (1834-1918). If you are descended from the couple, these genealogies belong to you as well.

In some of these genealogies further along, you'll notice quite a few famous people out of ancient European history. These are not included out of conceit. They are included because, at some point in history, it is only people who are rich and/or famous whose histories are recorded.

Consider some numbers. Everyone has two parents, four grandparents, eight great- grandparents, etc. and the number continues to double with each receding generation. Over thirty generations, (about six or seven centuries), any given person will have more than thirty-three million ancestors! The approximate population of England was about four million about the year 1400 (thanks to the bubonic plague having wiped out roughly one-third of the population about 50 years before). It is therefore very statistically probable that any one English person is likely to be descended from most of those four million English people, many times over; be they royalty, peasants and all those in-between. In view of these facts, claims of descent from King Edward III (1312-1377) of England for instance, places one in a not-too-exclusive club as it is likely there are truly millions of us.

In addition to that, because William Nutter (1830-1906) and Dinah Ingham Nutter (1834-1918) come from the north of England and, therefore, farther away from the seat of power in London, they were actually more likely to have royal ancestry and have people of wealth and influence in their family history. The reason for this is simple. In the south of England the English class system flourished. In the north, there was less distinction among the classes and there was less wealth. There was substantial movement from one class level to another - upwards and downwards. In a matter of a few generations, a member of one of the handful of wealthier families could pass from upper class status to working class (middle class) simply by being the youngest son of a youngest son of a youngest son. Similarly, a couple of "good" marriages in successive generations could easily lift a family up from the lower class to the next level of class.

Another factor which made the north of England different than the south was the north's greater use of the copyhold system. The copyhold system grew out of feudalism and roughly worked as follows; A wealthy person (sometimes even the king) owned land which they let out for copyhold. A copyholder held the land paying an annual rent of six pence per acre, a price fixed "in perpetuity" (ie. forever). The copyholder had the right to pass his hold on the land to his heirs, he could sub-divide it among his family, he could rent out portions to lessees at whatever rate was agreed upon. Essentially, the copyholder had virtually all the rights a free holding landowner had provided he continued to pay his six pence per acre per year. The net effect of this system was to enrich and empower an upper middle class stratum for several centuries.

There were many of these copyholders, contemporarily called "yeoman", among William and Dinah Nutter's ancestors. There were also those who were designated as a "Gentleman" among them too. This described a free holding landowner whose income resulted from others working his farmland. Finally, there were ancestors called "husbandmen" which generally and simply means "farmer". However, in years gone by, husbandmen were working overseers of a well-established, large farms, often lessees of land "in service" to a wealthier land-owning relative.

In truth, the overwhelming majority of the ancestors of William and Dinah Nutter were simply farmers and, in more recent generations, laborers in some facet of the woolen or cotton manufacturing industry. However, as has been stated, these pages are an attempt to present the more interesting people in their histories.

Notes on the Paternal Ancestry of William Nutter

The genealogy which follows is the product of many decades of research by several people often working in concert with each other. The genealogy of the Nutter family as a whole has been the subject of study by many people for years due to the fact that so many people named Nutter are still in the area and so many figure in local genealogies. Also, throughout the history of the local area, Nutters have figured heavily.

Over the past few decades, members of the Mormon Church have copied and indexed almost all of the parish registers of England. Examination of that data shows, as certainly as can be known, that anyone with the surname Nutter is descended from a few people living in eastern Lancashire and west Yorkshire in Northern England in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. In addition, there is substantial evidence that the large Nuttall family, found mostly in the Rossendale Valley (just south of the area where the Nutters flourished), are likely also descended from the same progenitors.

The name Nutter is actually a product of the Middle English words "Not-herd" - referring to one who herds cattle. It has nothing to do with nuts - the kind one eats or the kind one may find in a mental institution. Unfortunately though, in modern Britain, "Nutter" has recently crept into modern vernacular as a term describing a person of questionable sanity.

Perhaps the most daunting aspect of researching the Nutter family is their high concentration in a very small area and their aggravating use and reuse of a small pool of Christian names, particularly; John, Robert, Henry and Ellis. Most people would probably not have a problem believing there were plenty of John, Robert and Henry Nutters - but Ellis?

In the middle decades of the 1600s, there were twelve Ellis Nutters, of varying ages, living within a few miles of each other around Burnley in Lancashire. In fact, when one of these Ellis Nutters died in 1666, his widow Ann married yet another Ellis Nutter the next year. He was the first Ellis' third cousin, once removed and a neighbor. These Nutter lines were very difficult to sort out.

In the first of the two genealogies that follow, these Nutter men in the first six generations were among the wealthiest residents of Pendle Forest. Ellis Nutter (c.1530-1603) had enriched his estate significantly and in 1566 he arranged a marriage for his eldest son Henry, to Alice, a daughter from the wealthy Halstead family. However, that marriage was childless. After Alice's death in 1604, Henry married a distant cousin, Rosamund Nutter, with whom he fathered four children while he was in his fifties. Had those children never been born, the substantial wealth would have passed to the line from which "our" William Nutter (1830-1906) was descended.

It is interesting to note that John Nutter (1567-1641) married an Ingham in 1597. In fact, William Nutter and Dinah Ingham were related to each other in several different ways through the Nutters, Knowles, Baileys and Smiths. There are also several cases where these ancestors themselves married distant cousins. For instance, Ellis Nutter (1602-1675) married Mary Moore whose mother, Mary Nutter Moore Parker was his third cousin (see that genealogy a few pages ahead).

Perhaps this particular genealogy best shows the determination required of people who do genealogical research. Jean Nutter Nelson, who did so much of the research on this work, was able to assemble the information on the last four generations of this genealogy (from Robert Nutter, the wool comber of Barley Green on down) in one or two afternoons of research in the registers of Newchurch-in-Pendle. It took her nearly another twenty years to find information which confirmed Robert the wool comber's correct baptism and thereby bridge to his parents.

Genealogy Showing the Paternal Ancestry of William Nutter

Note; The William Noter below is likely a descendant of Roger de Noteho (living 1256), father of Adam de Noteho who held some land in Colne manor (1323), father of Henry de Notehagh of Colne manor (1324) whose son Roger de Noutherde was also mentioned in the same year.

William Noter - may have been one man or a father and son with the same name; yeoman of Barnside at Foulridge in the Manor of Colne, Lancashire, England, England in 1406; appointed Master of the Forest of Pendle near Burnley Lancashire in 1423 and was granted a free tenancy there in 1426 at "Forester's Dole" near Wheatley Lane in Goldshaw Booth; He probably married one of the several illegitimate daughters of Sir Henry de Hoghton of Pendleton near Clitheroe who, as Chief Forester of Blackburnshire (East Lancashire) appointed William as Master of Pendle Forest; they had at least two sons, the elder of which was...

John Nutter (c.1423-after 1498) - yeoman of Goldshaw Booth in Pendle Forest near Burnley, Lancashire, England; with his wife, whose name is unknown, he had several sons, among them...

Robert Nutter (c.1453-1524) - yeoman, of New Laund in Pendle Forest, near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He was the agister of New Laund in 1507 when he was granted copyhold status of that same land plus some land in adjacent Goldshaw Booth; He married a daughter of John Robinson, gentleman of Old Laund and through this marriage secured his claims on the aforementioned lands; they had at least one daughter and three sons; Before his own death, he had divided his copyhold lands equally among his three sons, namely Henry (died 1513), Christopher (died 1520), who both predeceased him, and his youngest son...

Ellis Nutter (c.1480-1547) - yeoman, of the Waterside portion of New Laund, near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He was granted additional freehold land at Filly Close by Sir John Towneley in 1506 and later acquired land at adjacent Reedley Hallows by virtue of his marriage to Towneley's kinswoman, Ellen, daughter of Miles Parker by Elizabeth, daughter of Lawrence Towneley; They had at least two sons; The younger son, John (c.1513-1585) inherited Waterside and Reedley Hallows was inherited by his elder son...

Henry Nutter (c.1510-1558) - yeoman of Reedley Hallows, near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He married Sybil (died 1593), probably the daughter of Henry Barcroft and had three daughters and six sons, (one of which was born after his death); his eldest son and heir was...

Ellis Nutter (c.1530-1603) - yeoman of Reedley Hallows, near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He married Ann, an illegitimate, but acknowledged daughter of Oliver Ormerod yeoman of Crawshaw Booth, Rossendale and significantly enriched his estate including some lands at Little Marsden; He arranged the marriage of his eldest son, Henry, to Alice, a daughter of the wealthy local Halstead family in 1566, but the marriage was childless and it appeared likely Ellis' wealth would eventually pass to a younger son. However, after his death, his eldest son Henry's wife Alice Halstead died in 1604 and he married again fathering several children in his fifties to whom the wealth passed; One of the younger sons of Ellis, who might have inherited substantial wealth had his brother Henry not remarried and had children was...

John Nutter (1567-1641) - husbandman of Heyhead in Little Marsden, near Colne and Burnley, Lancashire, England; married in 1597 to Ann (1568-1630), daughter of Henry Ingham of Halgh Row, Reedley Hallows, near Burnley, Lancashire; their eldest son was...

Ellis Nutter (1602-1675) - husbandman of Heyhead in Little Marsden, near Colne and Burnley, Lancashire, England; married about 1626 to Mary (1597-1681) daughter of Hugh Moore of Higham, near Burnley and who was an aunt to the famous English mathematician and astronomer Sir Jonas Moore; their eldest son was...

John Nutter (1628-1692) - husbandman of Little Marsden, near Colne and Burnley, Lancashire, England; married sometime before 1662 to Elizabeth who died in 1708; they had at least six children of whom the eldest son was...

John Nutter (1667-1698/1707) husbandman of Little Marsden, near Colne and Burnley, Lancashire, England; married in 1692 to Grace (born 1671) daughter of Michael Pickles of Little Marsden and had a daughter and a son...

William Nutter (1693-1744) - of Colne, Lancashire, England, England; after fathering two illegitimate sons with Sarah Hartley, he married in 1716 to Ellen (1690-1741) daughter of John Smith of Raygill in Colne; The eldest of their eight children was...

John Nutter (1717-1772) - husbandman of Little Marsden, near Colne, Lancashire, England, England; married in 1734 to Elizabeth (1716-1770) daughter of William Berry of Little Marsden, near Colne. The eldest son among their seven children was...

Robert Nutter (1742-1785) - wool comber of Barley Green, near Newchurch-in- Pendle, Lancashire, England, England; He married in 1767 to Mary (1747-1818) daughter of Bernard Bailey of Twiston near Clitheroe; She survived him by 33 years and also survived 5 of her 6 children of whom the eldest was...

John Nutter (1769-1800/02) - weaver of Barley, near Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancashire, England, England; He married in 1791 to Grace (1772-1836) daughter of John Wildman with whom he had two sons; After he died in his early thirties, she remarried to George Heyworth with whom she had 3 more children; John and Grace's eldest son was...

John Nutter (1795-1848) - weaver of Whitehough and Narrowgates Farms, Barley, near Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancashire, England, England; married in 1814 to Elizabeth (1795- 1872) illegitimate daughter of Ann Knowles with whom he fathered at least 18 children; among these was...

William Nutter (1830-1906) - who married in 1852 to Dinah Ingham (1834- 1918) - the main subjects of this book and the parents of 15 children

Notes on the Paternal Ancestry of Dinah Ingham

In 1443, there was a William Ingham, yeoman, living at Fulledge in Burnley who had a substantial estate. It is likely that he was a grandfather or great-grandfather to the first Ingham in the following genealogy. It is also likely that he was ancestral to the numerous Ingham family branches that still survive within a fifty mile radius of Burnley and beyond.

Like the name Nutter, the Ingham name seems to have its roots in east Lancashire and west Yorkshire. The name comes from the Norse for "Ing's settlement" - Ing being a common Scandinavian first name, the "ham" part surviving still in our English word "hamlet".

The Inghams in this line did not enjoy the wealth and social status that the Nutters had, but they were not desperately poor either. This was because they consistently married "well".

Edmund Ingham's married in 1565 to Jane Holden, a month after she had given birth to their son. Jane was the daughter of Richard Holden, a wealthy Catholic gentleman of considerable estate at Chaigley, just over the county boundary in Yorkshire. Richard Holden was not particularly happy with his daughter's marriage but the wealthy family of his wife, Ann Nowell, at Read, near Whalley, looked after the interests of the couple and their eleven children for many years.

Their youngest son Henry Ingham (born 1578) moved from Read to West Close, near Higham on the outskirts of Burnley with many of his siblings. At 41 he married Jenet, daughter of John Pollard, a wealthy clothier. He secured a hold on land at West Close and passed it on to his only son John Ingham (1623-1693) who lived on that land his entire life. His wife Margaret (1626- 1693) was the daughter of Christopher Dodgson, a wealthy yeoman of nearby Padiham. They had 8 children, among them three sons who farmed the land at West Close.

When their middle son Thomas (1661-1718) was widowed in 1697 he married within months to his third cousin Anna Birtwistle (1662-1736). Anna already had two illegitimate sons and proceeded to have eight more children with Thomas Ingham over the next eleven years, the last one, John, born when Anna was 47 years old.

As the youngest son, John Ingham (1709-1792) lost any connection with the family land at West Close. His marriage to Isabel Bailey (1712-1746) did nothing to enrich them though the Baileys were wealthy copyholders in Goldshaw Booth and were descended from the Nutter family in two different lines. John and Isabel had 6 sons and, after her death, he had 2 more sons with a second wife, all of whom, along with his sister Ellen's 2 illegitimate sons (who bore the name Ingham) quickly made "Ingham" the most common surname in the area.

Because they each lived until almost 80, Thomas Ingham (1736-1816) and his wife, Margaret Knowles (1737-1816) seem to introduce longevity into this line. (Margaret's father, Jonas Knowles, died in 1795 age almost 90). Several of their children lived into their eighties but not Dinah's grandfather, their oldest son Jonas Ingham (1758-1818), who died at 58. However, there is a family tradition that Jonas' death was premature and occurred as a result of a gruesome accident.

Dinah Ingham Nutter's father William Ingham (1790-1855) kept up the family tradition of "marrying above his station". Leonard Heyworth (1772-1836), father of William's bride Olive (1798-1840) was far wealthier than the Inghams and made sure that his disobedient daughter and her low-class groom benefited not at all from their forbidden nuptials.

Genealogy Showing the Paternal Ancestry of Dinah Ingham

John Ingham (died 1545/7) - husbandman of Read, near Whalley, Lancashire, England had a son...

Thomas Ingham (c.1500-1573/4) - husbandman of Read, near Whalley, Lancashire, England; he married Agnes (died 1566) and had at least 7 children, among them...

Edmund Ingham (before 1538-1597) - husbandman of Read, near Whalley, Lancashire, England; he married in 1565 a month after the birth of their first child, to Jane (c.1545- 1587?), daughter of Richard Holden, gentleman of Chaigley manor in Yorkshire; Among their 11 children, the youngest son was...

Henry Ingham (1578- ? ) - husbandman of Read then of West Close, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married late in life (1619) to Jenet (born 1595) daughter of John Pollard of Habergham Eaves, near Burnley; their only child was...

John Ingham (1623-1693) - husbandman of West Close, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1646 to Margaret (1626-1693) daughter of Christopher Dodgson of Padiham; John and Margaret died within two weeks of each other near Christmas, 1693 and their farm passed to their eldest son John; a younger son among their 8 children was...

Thomas Ingham (1661-1718) - husbandman of West Close, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; four months after his first wife died in 1697, he married secondly to Anna (1662-1736) daughter of John Birtwistle of Higham near Padiham with whom he had 8 children in the next eleven years; the last child, born when Anna was 47 years old, was...

John Ingham (1709- ? ) - husbandman of Higham, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1732 to Isabel (1712-1746) daughter of Edmund Bailey and had 6 sons with her; after her death, he married secondly in 1747 to Mary Crabtree (1723-1800) and had 2 more sons with her; because he had 8 sons and because his sister Ellen had 2 illegitimate sons bearing the surname of Ingham, they became ancestral to descendants carrying the most common surname in the district; among the family with his first wife was...

Thomas Ingham (1736-1814) - weaver and wool comber of Fence Gate, Higham, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1757 to Margaret (1737-1816) daughter of Jonas Knowles and they had 5 sons and 3 daughters; their eldest son was...

Jonas Ingham (1758-1818) - weaver of Higham, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1788 at the age of 30 to a woman nine years his senior, Grace (1749-1823) daughter of William Kenyon, an innkeeper in the Gisburn, Yorkshire area; They had two sons, the younger of which was...

William Ingham (1790-1855) - weaver, coachman, butcher of Higham, Goldshaw and Old Laund Booths, all near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He served in his majesty's army in the United States during the War of 1812 and in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars; he married in 1822 to Olive (1798-1840) daughter of Leonard Heyworth of Goldshaw Booth and fathered 7 children among whom was...

Dinah Ingham (1834-1918) married in 1852 to William Nutter (1830-1906) - the main subjects of this book and the parents of 15 children

"Lancashire Witches" and the Lancashire Martyrs

The Story of the "Lancashire Witches"

The next two genealogies show the connection of William Nutter (1830-1906) and his wife Dinah Ingham (1834-1918) to characters in a tragic episode of the history of Pendle Forest. Like the history that Salem, Massachusetts in the United States would later have, Pendle Forest is known for witch trials.

The story actually spans nearly twenty years. Beginning with the deaths of Christopher Nutter in 1593, then his son Robert Nutter in 1595, both yeoman of the Greenhead portion of New Laund, the local populace in Pendle Forest accepted that each had been bewitched to death. Two old women, Elizabeth Southerns (nicknamed Demdike) and Anne Whittle (called Chattox) took credit for the witchcraft and began wielding influence with the locals threatening many with their "powers" and occasionally they were enlisted to cure sick people and animals. In the years that followed, fifteen more people died, supposedly as a result of the practice of the "black arts" by Demdike, Chattox, their relatives and associates. An ancestor to William Nutter (1830-1906), Hugh Moore, was one of these 15 additional victims

Then in March, 1612, Alizon Device, Demdike's granddaughter, was accused of laming John Law by his son, Abraham Law. Law brought the girl to the attention of the authorities, notably Justice of the Peace Roger Nowell. Nowell was well aware that his diligent prosecution of this "outbreak" would earn him favor with King James I. James had ascended the throne in 1603 and had made ridding Britain of the evils of witchcraft a high priority - (rather like a 17th century George W. Bush).

Roger Nowell prosecuted this outbreak of witchcraft vigorously. These hapless "witches" eagerly told of their "powers" and, sadly, they informed on each other. In addition to the desperately poor among them, several out of the yeoman class were also accused; Alice Nutter of Roughlee plus her daughter, Elizabeth Hargreaves along with her husband Christopher Hargreaves of Thornyholme (all ancestral to Dinah Ingham Nutter as shown in the second following genealogy). Also, Alice's sister-in-law, Jane Nutter Bulcock and her son John Bulcock were among the accused. (For some reason, charges against Elizabeth and Christopher Hargreaves were dropped). In all, eleven people were hung at Lancaster pursuant to Roger Nowell's investigation including all the aforementioned defendants.

The Story of the Lancashire Martyrs

William Nutter (1830-1906) was descended from Mary Nutter Moore Parker (c.1561-1614) as shown on the first of the next two genealogies. Her father, Robert Nutter (c.1510-1570?) was the patriarch of a family with great prospects - he was wealthy and had a large family (mostly sons) of whom Mary was the youngest.

In 1557, Robert Nutter arranged for his eldest son Christopher to marry the daughter of his cousin Ellis Nutter, thus reuniting two thirds of the copyhold land of New Laund and making Robert and his son two of the richest men in Pendle Forest. By the time Robert died, probably in 1570, he had 3 grandsons, several sons with university degrees (or in the process of getting them), male descendants galore insuring the survival of his name and great wealth.

Sadly, it all began unraveling soon afterwards.

Eldest son Christopher died in 1593 supposedly as a result of being bewitched by Demdike. Then Christopher's eldest son Robert was reputedly bewitched to death two years later in his late thirties leaving three little girls. Christopher's second son, Ellis, died in 1600 before his fortieth birthday leaving only one son, John, who became very wealthy, influential and respected locally, but who died childless after two marriages at the age of 72 in 1656. Christopher's youngest son Christopher, died childless in 1606 age 41.

Robert Nutter's youngest son Richard was a ne'er do well who fathered only an illegitimate daughter. Robert's son Henry died at the age of almost 90 in 1642 after a childless marriage that had lasted 55 years. Robert's son James was a staunch Catholic who died in 1620 when he was nearly 80. He had only one son, Ellis, who became a priest in 1601 and died a few years later.

Robert Nutter's two remaining sons, John and Robert, each graduated from university - John from Cambridge, Robert from Oxford. Each went to the continent to study for the priesthood and was ordained at Rheims in France - John in 1582, Robert in 1581. Each returned to mission work in England and was martyred for their faith.

John met his fate relatively quickly when he was shipwrecked upon his return to England. He was imprisoned at Marshalea Prison, convicted of treason for attempting to carry out his priestly duties. He was hung, drawn and quartered 12 February, 1585 at the Tower of Tyburn near Holborn.

Robert entered England in 1584, was tortured and imprisoned in the Tower of London before he was exiled to Normandy in France. He returned to England, was recaptured and imprisoned first at Newgate, then at the Marshalea. He escaped in 1590, he was hidden by family and friends for nearly a decade. He was recaptured in 1600 and imprisoned at Lancaster Castle where he was hung drawn and quartered on 26 July, 1600.

Both brothers were raised to "Venerable" status by the Roman Catholic Church and await canonization as saints.

In less than a century after "old" Robert Nutter's death, not one of his descendants carried his surname. His substantial estate had been divided among more than two dozen descendants through female lines.

A Line of Ancestry Showing the Descent of William Nutter through the Catholic Martyrs and through the "Victims" of the Lancashire Witches

William Noter - may have been one man or a father and son with the same name; yeoman of Barnside at Foulridge in the Manor of Colne, Lancashire, England, England in 1406; appointed Master of the Forest of Pendle near Burnley Lancashire in 1423 and was granted a free tenancy there in 1426 at "Forester's Dole" near Wheatley Lane in Goldshaw Booth; He probably married one of the several illegitimate daughters of Sir Henry de Hoghton of Pendleton near Clitheroe who, as Chief Forester of Blackburnshire (east Lancashire) appointed William as Master of Pendle Forest; they had at least two sons, the elder of which was...

John Nutter (c.1423-after 1498) - yeoman of Goldshaw Booth in Pendle Forest near Burnley, Lancashire, England; with his wife, whose name is unknown, he had several sons, among them...

Robert Nutter (c.1453-1524) yeoman, of New Laund in Pendle Forest, near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He was the agister of New Laund in 1507 when he was granted copyhold status of that same land plus some land in adjacent Goldshaw Booth; He married a daughter of John Robinson, gentleman of Old Laund and through this marriage secured his claims on the aforementioned lands; they had at least one daughter and three sons; Before his own death, he had divided his copyhold lands equally among his three sons, namely Henry (died 1513), Ellis (died 1547), and his middle son...

Christopher Nutter (c.1476-1520) - yeoman, heir of the Greenhead portion of his father's copyhold at New Laund; he married Elizabeth Whitaker who survived him by at least 25 years; their eldest son was...

Robert Nutter (c.1510-1570?) - yeoman of Greenhead, New Laund Booth, near Burnley, Lancashire, England; he married first to Alice, daughter of James Hartley (died 1565); their family suffered much from their adherence to Roman Catholicism long after it was healthy to do so in England; Their sons John Nutter (c.1547-1584) and Robert Nutter (1550-1600) both became priests; John went to Cambridge University then the Catholic Seminary in Douay, Belgium and was was ordained at Rheims, France in 1582: He was shipwrecked upon returning to England and was imprisoned for his "treasonous" beliefs at the Marshalea Prison; He was hung, drawn and quartered in 1584 at the Tower of Tyburn, near Holborn, England; His brother Robert Nutter was an Oxford University graduate who studied the priesthood at Rheims, France and was ordained there in 1581; Upon return to England, he was imprisoned and tortured in the Tower of London but was later exiled to Normandy; He returned to England, was imprisoned at Newgate and the

Marshalea before escaping north in 1590; He was hidden by his family and friends for ten years but was recaptured, imprisoned at Lancaster where he was hung, drawn and quartered in 1600; Both John and Robert Nutter have been elevated to "venerable" by the Catholic Church, the last step before sainthood; Their brother James' son Ellis was also ordained a priest at Rome in 1601 and was martyred in England in 1603; The youngest daughter in the family, by Robert's second wife, Elizabeth, was...

Mary Nutter (c.1561-1614) - who married in 1590 Hugh Moore, yeoman of White Lee, Higham, near Padiham, Lancashire England; after having six children with him, he died, supposedly after being "bewitched" by Ann Whittle (called Chattox) and others in 1599. Mary's eldest brother, Christopher Nutter (c.1535-1593) and his son Robert Nutter (c.1558-1595) had also both supposedly suffered similar fates in recent years; these accusations and others led to the Lancashire Witch Trials of 1612 where many of the accused were hung at Lancaster for their "crimes". Despite this entanglement with superstition, the son of Mary's eldest son Hugh Moore became one of the greatest scientists of his time; Sir Jonas Moore (1616-1679) was a mathematician and astronomer whose work resulted in the establishment of Greenwich Mean Time for the world; In 1602, Mary married again to a very wealthy yeoman named Henry Parker (c.1573-1651) a clothier of Wheatley Lane near Burnley and had 3 more children with him, the last of which was born when she was about forty-seven (1608), but it was with her first husband, Hugh Moore with whom she had a daughter...

Mary Moore (1597-1681) - who married Ellis Nutter (1602-1675) yeoman of Heyhead in Little Marsden near Burnley and Colne, Lancashire, England, England; their eldest son was...

John Nutter (1628-1692) - husbandman of Little Marsden, near Colne and Burnley, Lancashire, England; married sometime before 1662 to Elizabeth who died in 1708; they had at least six children of whom the eldest son was...

John Nutter (1667-1698/1707) - husbandman of Little Marsden, near Colne and Burnley, Lancashire, England; married in 1692 to Grace (born 1671) daughter of Michael Pickles of Little Marsden and had a daughter and a son...

William Nutter (1693-1744) - of Colne, Lancashire, England, England; after fathering two illegitimate sons with Sarah Hartley, he married in 1716 to Ellen (1690-1741) daughter of John Smith of Raygill in Colne; The eldest of their eight children was...

John Nutter (1717-1772) - husbandman of Little Marsden, near Colne, Lancashire, England, England; married in 1734 to Elizabeth (1716-1770) daughter of William Berry of Little Marsden, near Colne. The eldest son among their seven children was...

Robert Nutter (1742-1785) - wool comber of Barley Green, near Newchurch-in- Pendle, Lancashire, England, England; He married in 1767 to Mary (1747-1818) daughter of Bernard Bailey of Twiston near Clitheroe; She survived him by 33 years and also survived 5 of her 6 children of whom the eldest was...

John Nutter (1769-1800/02) - weaver of Barley, near Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancashire, England, England;

He married in 1791 to Grace (1772-1836) daughter of John Wildman with whom he had two sons; After he died in his early thirties, she remarried to George Heyworth with whom she had 3 more children; John and Grace's eldest son was...

John Nutter (1795-1848) - weaver of Whitehough and Narrowgates Farms, Barley, near Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancashire, England, England; married in 1814 to Elizabeth (1795- 1872) illegitimate daughter of Ann Knowles with whom he fathered at least 18 children; among these was...

William Nutter (1830-1906) who married in 1852 to Dinah Ingham (1834- 1918) - the main subjects of this book and the parents of 15 children.

A Line of Ancestry Showing the Descent of Dinah Ingham through one of the "Lancashire Witches", Alice Whitaker Nutter

William Noter may have been one man or a father and son with the same name; yeoman of Barnside at Foulridge in the Manor of Colne, Lancashire, England, England in 1406; appointed Master of the Forest of Pendle near Burnley Lancashire in 1423 and was granted a free tenancy there in 1426 at "Forester's Dole" near Wheatley Lane in Goldshaw Booth; He probably married one of the several illegitimate daughters of Sir Henry de Hoghton of Pendleton near Clitheroe who, as Chief Forester of Blackburnshire (east Lancashire) appointed William as Master of Pendle Forest; they had at least two sons, the younger of which was...

William Nutter (c.1430-after 1474) yeoman of Roughlee Booth in Pendle Forest near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He married Margaret (?) and had at least three children including...

Richard Nutter (c.1460-c.1507) yeoman of Roughlee Booth in Pendle Forest near Burnley, Lancashire, England; With his wife, whose name is unknown he was the father of...

Miles Nutter (1486-after 1563) yeoman of Roughlee Booth in Pendle Forest near Burnley, Lancashire, England; when he was close to 50 years old, he married Elizabeth (died 1580); they had two sons of whom one was;

Richard Nutter (c.1535-1584) - yeoman of Roughlee Booth in Pendle Forest near Burnley, Lancashire, England; About 1561 he married to Alice Whitaker (c.1545-1612) daughter of Giles Whitaker, yeoman of Huncoat near Padiham, Lancashire with whom she had four sons and one daughter; In her widowhood, Alice, a woman of some means, mixed socially with some of the desperately poor women in the area and as a result, she was accused of witchcraft along with them; After a brief trial at Lancaster, most were condemned to death by hanging; The sentence was carried out on 20 August, 1612 securing her place in local history as "Mistress Alice Nutter, the elegant witch"; Her only daughter was...

Elizabeth Nutter (c.1582-1648) - married Christopher Hargreaves (died 1639) yeoman of Thorney Holme in Goldshaw Booth near Burnley, Lancashire, England; At first, both of them were accused of witchcraft along with Elizabeth's mother in 1612 but inexplicably, the charges were dropped against them; Among their large family was a daughter...

Elizabeth Hargreaves (1614-1698) - married in 1642 to Thomas Jackson of Goldshaw Booth, near Burnley, Lancashire, England; their eldest daughter was...

Helen Jackson (1646-1702) - married in 1668 to John Crook (1640-1713) of Padiham, Lancashire, England, Innkeeper; their son was...

John Crook (1679-after 1736) - Innkeeper at Padiham and at the Thorne Hotel in Burnley, Lancashire, England; He married in 1709 to Mary (1688-1767) daughter of Christopher Almond, Innkeeper of Padiham; their daughter was...

Ellen Crook (1714- ? ) - married in 1737 to William Kenyon (1716-1760) Innkeeper of the Gisburn area in Yorkshire, England and at Clitheroe, Lancashire; Among their children was...

Grace Kenyon (1749-1823) - married in 1788 after getting pregnant in her thirty- ninth year by weaver Jonas Ingham (1758-1818) of Higham, near Padiham, Lancashire, who was nine years her junior; their second son was...

William Ingham (1790-1855) - weaver, coachman, butcher of Higham, Goldshaw and Old Laund Booths, all near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He served in his majesty's army in the United States during the War of 1812 and in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars; he married in 1822 to Olive (1798-1840) daughter of Leonard Heyworth of Goldshaw Booth and fathered 7 children among whom was...

Dinah Ingham (1834-1918) - married in 1852 to William Nutter (1830- 1906) - the main subjects of this book and the parents of 15 children

Notes on the Royal Descent of William Nutter

Only one line of royal descent has been discovered for William Nutter (1830-1906). This genealogy is "less royal" than the many connections in his wife's ancestry as it meets up with royalty way back in 1090 with the birth of Robert de Caen, one of 21 illegitimate children of Henry I, King of England. (Dinah's lines connect to royalty more recently, in the mid-1300s, with the great-great-great-great-great grandson of Henry I).

Like many of the royal genealogies shown in the following pages, this one begins with Charlemagne. Most people have heard of him, but most really don't know why he was important in European history. Perhaps the best explanation, unfortunately, begins with Adolf Hitler.

Have you ever wondered why Hitler's tenure was called the "Third Reich"? What was a "Reich" and what happened to the first and second ones? "Reich" is the German word for empire and Charlemagne essentially assembled the first "Reich" when he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III in Rome on Christmas Day, 800. The pope made it holy, Rome made it Roman, Charlemagne was emperor - Holy Roman Emperor - get it?

Charlemagne's empire included most of France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg - basically Western Europe. Western Europe had been in chaos since the fall of the Roman Empire in 476. Charlemagne restored order to most of a continent, assured an enduring Christian influence, preserved much of western civilization and fostered the climate in which it would flourish for centuries. Not bad credentials for anyone's resume. Is it any wonder he is called "Charlemagne" (ie. Charles the Great)?

The Holy Roman Empire (The first Reich) continued in some form or another until a greatly diminished empire passed from existence in 1804. The second Reich or Empire was assembled from 1871 to 1914 as the Germans tried to exert influence over Western Europe once more. The Third Reich, as we know, flourished briefly through World War II.

After Charlemagne died in 814, much of his empire got divided among his descendants into smaller kingdoms, principalities, duchies, etc. The net effect was that Charlemagne became ancestral to virtually every royal family in Europe. That is why he shows up at the top of so many of these charts showing royal ancestry.

This chart shows descent through the influential Counts of Flanders (in Belgium). Note these counts augmented that influence as they married into various royal families (Saxon England, Italy, France). Finally, a daughter of a Count of Flanders married William, Duke of Normandy in France. He conquered England in 1066 and became William "the Conqueror", King of England. His son, Henry I, was nicknamed "Beauclerc" meaning "good scholar". He apparently indulged in something apart from scholarly pursuits as he left a passel of 21 illegitimate children. According to one encyclopedia, Robert de Caen was the "most important bastard child". He married the daughter of the Earl of Gloucester and eventually inherited that title. After all, "most important bastard child" probably didn't buy him much status.

Robert's son William married Hawise Beaumont, daughter of the Earl of Leicester and the great- granddaughter of Henri I, King of France and Anna, daughter of the man some historians call "the first Czar of Russia". Their daughter married the Earl of Hereford.

The line passes out of the gentry to Maud de Clare who marries a veteran from the Third Crusade, Roger de Lacy, who eventually became Constable of Chester. His daughter was granted lands at Tunliea (Towneley) near Burnley upon her marriage to Geoffrey, Dean of Whalley in Lancashire. This was the defining moment in history for what would become the Towneley family. They were suddenly the wealthiest, largest land-owning family in the area around Burnley in Lancashire for next several centuries.

Wealthy families often have younger daughters of younger sons who get married to men a step or two below their station. That was the case with Elizabeth Towneley who married Miles Parker. In turn, their daughter Ellen Parker married Ellis Nutter and apparently did not enjoy an idyllic marriage. A church court records that, in 1537, after about thirty years of marriage, Ellis "drove his wife from his house". The reconciliation, if there was one, is not recorded. They only had two sons so perhaps their differences had started many years before.

The descent from these two love-birds is the same as in the first genealogy of this series.

Genealogy Showing the Royal Descent of William Nutter

Charlemagne (742-814) King of the Franks 742-814 - crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the pope in 800 and reigned over most of western Europe; with his third wife, Hildegarde of Swabia (758-783) he had 3 sons among whom he split his empire into three portions which are now (roughly) France, Germany and Italy; his eldest son was...

Louis I (778-840) - called "the Pious" or "le Debonnair"; Holy Roman Emperor 813-840; he further divided his empire among his four sons from his two marriages; with his second wife, Judith of Bavaria (800-843) he had a son...

Charles II (823-877) - called "the Bald", Holy Roman Emperor and King of France; he married first to Ermantrude of Orleans (died 869) with whom he had a daughter...

Judith, Princess of the Franks (born 843) - after marriages to two successive Kings of Wessex (England), a father and a son, she eloped in 863 with Baldwin I (died 879) who had been created Count of Flanders; they had three children among whom was...

Baldwin II (died 918) Count of Flanders - married Aelfthryth (872-929) daughter of Alfred the Great, First King of all England; the eldest of their three children was...

Arnulf I (900-965) Count of Flanders - married Adela (died 959) daughter of Heribert II, Count of Vermandois (in France); their eldest son was...

Baldwin III (940-962) - was Count of Flanders very briefly until his father reassumed the title upon his premature death at 22 years old; he married to Mathilde (died 1008) daughter of Hermann Billung, Duke of Saxony (in Germany) who survived him by 46 years and who survived her son and daughter-in-law; the couple had only one son...

Arnulf II (961-988) Count of Flanders - assumed the title when he was just 4 years old; he married Rosila (955-1003) daughter of Berenger II, King of Italy (a great-great grandson of Charlemagne) with whom he had a son...

Baldwin IV (980-1036) Count of Flanders - married Otgiva (died 1030), daughter of Frederic, Count of Luxembourg (great-great-great-great-great grandson of Charlemagne) with whom he had a son...

Baldwin V (1012-1067) Count of Flanders - married Adela (died 1079), daughter of Robert II, King of France (great-great-great grandson of Charlemagne) and had, among others, a daughter...

Matilda, Princess of Flanders (1032-1083) - married William, Duke of Normandy (1028-1087) who, in 1066, invaded and conquered England earning him his place in history as William the Conqueror. Together, they had 10 children, among them...

Henry I (1068-1135) King of England - married and had 3 children plus 21 other children with more than seven mistresses; Among his 6 children with his mistress Sybil Corbet was...

Robert de Caen (1090-1147) Earl of Gloucester - married Mabel (died 1157) daughter of Robert Fitz Hammon, Earl of Gloucester and had 2 children, one of which was...

William Fitz Robert (1121-1183) Earl of Gloucester - married Hawise de Beaumont (died 1197) daughter of Robert de Beaumont, Earl of Leicester whose grandparents were Henry I, King of France (son of Robert II noted previously) and Anna, Princess of Kiev, daughter of Jaroslav, called by some "the first czar of Russia"; William and Hawise had a daughter...

Amice Fitz Robert (1160-1224) - married Richard de Clare (1162-1218) Fourth Earl of Hereford and had a daughter...

Maud de Clare (c.1177-1213) - married Roger de Lacy (died 1211) a crusader who was made 7th Constable of Chester with whom she had a daughter...

Alice de Lacy - who, when she married Geoffrey, Dean of Whalley, Lancashire, brought with her as a dower substantial lands at "Tunliea" (Towneley) near Burnley; Their eldest son was...

Geoffrey "the younger" Dean of Whalley - who inherited Towneley and whose wife's name is unknown; their elder son Roger was the last Dean of Whalley and their younger son was...

Richard de Towneley (died 1295) - Lord of Towneley near Burnley, Lancashire; He married Cecilia who survived him and with whom he fathered a daughter...

Cecilia de Towneley - heiress of Towneley manor who married John de la Legh (died about 1331) with whom she had three sons; the eldest married twice but had no children; the second son was...

Richard de la Legh de Towneley - Lord of Towneley; he was the Sheriff of County of Lancaster (Lancashire) and assumed his mother's surname; with his wife Elena their eldest son was...

John de Towneley (1343-1399) - gentleman of Towneley manor; married Isabella, daughter of William Rixton; their eldest son was...

Richard de Towneley (1387-1454) - gentleman of Towneley manor; married Alice who survived him and with whom he had...

John de Towneley (died before 1473) - gentleman of Towneley manor; married Isabella, daughter of Richard Sherburne of Stoneyhurst, near Mitton, Yorkshire, England; their second son was...

Lawrence Towneley (died after 1474) - of Barnside, near Colne, Lancashire, England; with his wife, whose name is not known, he had a daughter...

Elizabeth Towneley - married Miles Parker, yeoman of Brownbrinks farm in Old Laund Booth, near Burnley, Lancashire; he died after 1525 and after fathering...

Ellen Parker - married Ellis Nutter (c.1480-1547) Yeoman of the Waterside portion of the New Laund copyhold, near Burnley, Lancashire, England. He was granted additional freehold land at Filly Close by Sir John Towneley in 1506 and later acquired land at adjacent Reedley Hallows by virtue of his marriage to Towneley's kinswoman, Ellen. They had at least two sons; the younger son, John (c.1513-1585) inherited Waterside and Reedley Hallows was inherited by elder son...

Henry Nutter (c.1510-1558) - yeoman of Reedley Hallows, near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He married Sybil (died 1593), probably the daughter of Henry Barcroft and had three daughters and six sons, (one of which was born after his father's death); his eldest son and heir was...

Ellis Nutter (c.1530-1603) - yeoman of Reedley Hallows, near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He married Ann, an illegitimate but acknowledged daughter of Oliver Ormerod yeoman of Crawshaw Booth, Rossendale and significantly enriched his estate including some lands at Little Marsden; He arranged the marriage of his eldest son, Henry, to Alice, a daughter of the wealthy local Halstead family in 1566, but the marriage was childless and it appeared likely Ellis' wealth would eventually pass to a younger son. However, a year after his death, his eldest son Henry's wife Alice Halstead also died and Ellis married again fathering several children in his fifties to whom the wealth passed; One of the younger sons of Henry, who might have inherited substantial wealth had his brother Henry not remarried and had children was...

John Nutter (1567-1641) - husbandman of Heyhead in Little Marsden, near Colne and Burnley, Lancashire, England; married in 1597 to Ann (1568-1630), daughter of Henry Ingham of Halgh Row, Reedley Hallows, near Burnley, Lancashire; their eldest son was...

Ellis Nutter (1602-1675) - husbandman of Heyhead in Little Marsden, near Colne and Burnley, Lancashire, England; married about 1626 to Mary (1597-1681) daughter of Hugh Moore of Higham, near Burnley and who was an aunt to the famous English mathematician and astronomer Sir Jonas Moore; their eldest son was...

John Nutter (1628-1692) - husbandman of Little Marsden, near Colne and Burnley, Lancashire, England; married sometime before 1662 to Elizabeth who died in 1708; they had at least six children of whom the eldest son was...

John Nutter (1667-1698/1707) - husbandman of Little Marsden, near Colne and Burnley, Lancashire, England; married in 1692 to Grace (born 1671) daughter of Michael Pickles of Little Marsden and had a daughter and a son...

William Nutter (1693-1744) - of Colne, Lancashire, England, England; after fathering two illegitimate sons with Sarah Hartley, he married in 1716 to Ellen (1690-1741) daughter of John Smith of Raygill in Colne; The eldest of their eight children was...

John Nutter (1717-1772) - husbandman of Little Marsden, near Colne, Lancashire, England, England; married in 1734 to Elizabeth (1716-1770) daughter of William Berry of Little Marsden, near Colne. The eldest son among their seven children was...

Robert Nutter (1742-1785) - wool comber of Barley Green, near Newchurch-in- Pendle, Lancashire, England, England; He married in 1767 to Mary (1747-1818) daughter of Bernard Bailey of Twiston near Clitheroe; She survived him by 33 years and also survived 5 of her 6 children of whom the eldest was...

John Nutter (1769-1800/02) - weaver of Barley, near Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancashire, England, England; He married in 1791 to Grace (1772-1836) daughter of John Wildman with whom he had two sons; After he died in his early thirties, she remarried to George Heyworth with whom she had 3 more children; John and Grace's eldest son was...

John Nutter (1795-1848) - weaver of Whitehough and Narrowgates Farms, Barley, near Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancashire, England, England; married in 1814 to Elizabeth (1795- 1872) illegitimate daughter of Ann Knowles with whom he fathered at least 18 children; among these was...

William Nutter (1830-1906) - who married in 1852 to Dinah Ingham (1834- 1918) - the main subjects of this book and the parents of 15 children

Notes on the Royal Descent of Dinah Ingham Nutter

Like the previous genealogy, this one begins with Charlemagne. For the sake of variety, it shows a different line, through an Italian ruling family beginning with Gisela, Princess of the Franks marrying Eberhard, Count of Friuli, who was later canonized as a saint. (There are more saints to come - some with better names).

After five generations of the family in Italy, Princess Rosila married one of those influential Counts of Flanders from the previous genealogy and the descent proceeds through to the aforementioned Henry I, King of England. This time the family descends from a "legitimate" child. Henry's wife Matilda was a Scottish Princess. Her grandfather, King Duncan, was murdered by his cousin, Macbeth, about whom Shakespeare wrote some sort of play. Matilda's mother was a pre- conquest English Princess - St. Margaret. (Another saint, better name).

Ironically, King Henry I of England, father of 21 illegitimate children, fathered only three "legitimate" children; two sons and a daughter with his wife. And by the time he died, those two sons were dead. This left only his daughter, Matilda, who styled herself as "Empress" and who engaged her cousin Stephen in a civil war over the disputed succession of the English crown to a female. Ultimately, the cousins made peace, allowing Stephen to continue as king but Matilda's heirs to inherit the throne.

Matilda's heir was Henry II. He was a massively powerful European leader, controlling, through inheritance from each of his parents and through his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, all of Britain and most of France (Normandy, Brittany, Maine, Anjou, Touraine, Aquitaine and Gascony). Henry brilliantly managed and added to his empire. However, it was his personal relationships where he failed miserably. Many American filmgoers became aware of these failures in the 1960s when two films both starring Peter O'Toole as Henry ("Becket" and "The Lion in Winter"). These films detailed his difficulties with his friend Thomas a Becket and with his estranged wife and sons.

Henry was succeeded by his son Richard "the Lionheart" who, in turn, was succeeded by his brother John who lost many of the crown's French holdings. Even after he signed the "Magna Carta" and gave away substantial powers, England still fell into another civil war. John died of dysentery before the conflict was resolved.

John's 9-year-old son Henry (III) succeeded him and reigned for the next 56 years. His reign was marked by further loss of territory in France but is remembered for commissioning the building of Westminster Abbey.

After Henry III's death in 1272 began a succession of three very different King Edwards which lasted just over a century. Edward I conquered Wales and made many brutal incursions into Scotland, efforts detailed in the film "Braveheart". He made his son "Prince of Wales" the title every heir apparent since then has held. That prince became Edward II and the presence of his "favorites", (a euphemism for his homosexual lovers), in court life were a constant source of irritation for the barons, not to mention Edward II's wife Isabelle of France. The queen entered into an adulterous alliance with Roger Mortimer and the lovers engineered Edward II's abdication, imprisonment and likely, his brutal murder. His son, Edward III began his 50 year reign over England at age 14.

Because Edward III was the grandson of Philippe IV, King of France and because his wife Philippa was the granddaughter of Philippe IV's brother, Edward III saw an opportunity to claim succession to the French crown. His challenge began the "Hundred Years War" between England and France which obviously extended beyond his own life.

One might expect that Edward III having 13 children and more than 21 grandchildren seemed likely to ensure the smooth succession to the throne. In fact, quite the opposite occurred. When Richard II, son of his eldest son Edward, the Black Prince, (who predeceased Edward III) died without children, descendants of Edward III�s other sons began a thirty year fight for the throne in a conflict known as the "War of the Roses". The family of Edward III's son John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, had as their badge a red rose for Lancashire. The family of Edmund, Duke of York, was the white rose faction for Yorkshire. The whole conflict was sorted out ultimately at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Henry Tudor (a descendant of John of Gaunt) defeated and killed Richard III (a descendant of John of Gaunt, Edmund, Duke of York and Lionel, Duke of Clarence - all sons of Edward III). Then he married the niece of Richard III and became father to the infamous Henry VIII. One problem solved - another created.

While the rest of the monarchy is descended from three sons of Edward III, Dinah Ingham can only claim one - John of Gaunt. John wasn't at all gaunt. He was born in Ghent (Gand) in Belgium where his mother's family lived and "Gaunt" was the contemporary British rendition of that city's name. John's three sons and one daughter by his mistress Katherine Roet Swynford were legitimized by the pope after their marriage in 1396. (It is nice to have influential friends).

The retroactively legitimized daughter Joan married Sir Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland. Their son Richard Neville became Earl of Salisbury after his marriage to Alice Montagu, daughter of the former Earl of Salisbury and sided with the York faction in the War of the Roses. Ironically, the family arrives in the County of the Red Rose (Lancashire) with the marriage of their daughter Eleanor to Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby.

Their son, James Stanley was in holy orders but fathered and acknowledged an illegitimate son, John. Illustrative of the mores of the times is that the name of the mother of this son is recorded nowhere. John's daughter Margaret moved west to Clayton-le-Moors with her marriage into the Grimshaw family. Her daughter moved over the county border into Yorkshire with her marriage into the Holden family at Chaigley Manor.

The Holden family remained Catholic well beyond the time it was healthy to be so. Apparently, their influence had not waned to the point where they could not arrange a marriage with one of the most influential families in east Lancashire - the Nowells. Richard Holden married Ann Nowell of Read in Lancashire - a cousin of Roger Nowell who so successfully prosecuted the Lancashire "Witches".

Their daughter, Jane Holden, married Edmund Ingham in 1565. The notes on the descent from them to Dinah Ingham Nutter are set out a few pages previously under Dinah's paternal ancestry.

Genealogy Showing the Royal Descent of Dinah (Ingham) Nutter

Charlemagne (742-814) King of the Franks 742-814 - crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the pope in 800 and reigned over most of western Europe; with his third wife, Hildegarde of Swabia (758-783) he had 3 sons among whom he split his empire into three portions which are now (roughly) France, Germany and Italy; his eldest son was...

Louis I (778-840) - called "the Pious" or "le Debonnair"; Holy Roman Emperor 813-840; he further divided his empire among his four sons from his two marriages; with his second wife, Judith of Bavaria (800-843) he had a daughter...

Gisela, Princess of the Franks (820-874) - married to Eberhard, Count of Friuli in Italy (died 864); (Eberhard was later canonized as a saint); they had a son...

Berenger I, King of Italy (died 924) - who ruled most of Italy and was briefly a Holy Roman Emperor; he was deposed in old age and was murdered while a prisoner at Bamberg in Germany; he married Berthilda of Spoleto (died c. 915) with whom he had a daughter...

Gisela, Princess of Italy (died 910) - married Adelbert, Margrave of Ivrea in Italy (died 924) and was mother to...

Berenger II (900-966) King of Italy - married Willa, daughter of Boson, Count of Arles in France with whom he had a daughter....

Rosila (955-1002) Princess of Italy - who married Arnulf II (961-988), Count of Flanders with whom she had one son...

Baldwin IV (980-1036) Count of Flanders - married Otgiva (died 1030), daughter of Frederic, Count of Luxembourg (great-great-great-great-great grandson of Charlemagne) with whom he had a son...

Baldwin V (1012-1067) Count of Flanders - married Adela (died 1079), daughter of Robert II, King of France (great-great-great grandson of Charlemagne) and had, among others, a daughter...

Matilda, Princess of Flanders (1032-1083) - married William, Duke of Normandy (1028-1087) who, in 1066, invaded and conquered England earning him his place in history as William the Conqueror. Together, they had 10 children, among them...

Henry I (1068-1135) King of England - he married first to Matilda (c.1079-1118), Princess of Scotland, daughter of Malcolm III, King of Scotland and his wife, St. Margaret of Wessex; In addition to 21 illegitimate children by various mistresses, he had two sons with his wife, each of whom died before their father, and a daughter...

Matilda (c.1102-1169) Empress of England - struggled with her cousin, Stephen of Blois to succeed her father and rule England throughout her entire reign; At the age of 12 she was married to Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor who was 21 years her senior and after his death in 1125, she married two years later to 14 year old Geoffrey "Planta Genesta" (Plantagenet) (1113- 1151); she secured the English throne for their descendants thereby founding the House of Plantagenet which ruled England for the next three centuries; their eldest son was...

Henry II (1133-1189) King of England - married to Eleanor (c.1122-1204) daughter of William, Duke of Aquitaine and divorced wife of Louis VII, King of France; they had 5 sons and 3 daughters; but only two sons would survive Henry II - Richard I "the Lionheart" and the youngest...

John I (1166-1216) King of England - who was forced by his barons to sign the Magna Carta in which he relinquished the absolute power of English monarchs; married first to Isabella (1188-1246) daughter of Aymer Taillefer, Count of Angouleme in France by his wife who was a granddaughter of the King of France; their eldest son was...

Henry III (1207-1272) King of England - who became king at the age of 9 and reigned 56 years; He married in 1236 to Eleanor (c.1223-1291) daughter of Raymond Berengar, Count of Provence in France and descendant of many ancient Spanish monarchs and some Polish and Russian Dukes; Their eldest son was...

Edward I (1239-1307), King of England - known as "Long Shanks" for his great height; he married first in 1254 to Eleanor (1241-1290) daughter of Fernando (Ferdinand) King of Castile and Leon (Spain) and descended from King Henri II of France; they had 14 children among whom the youngest son was...

Edward II (1284-1327), King of England - he was the first "Prince of Wales", so designated after the Welsh were conquered and annexed by England; he was deposed and abdicated in 1327, imprisoned at Berkeley Castle, Gloucester, he was horribly murdered that same year; his wife, Isabelle (1292-1358) daughter of Philippe IV, King of France was his second cousin, twice removed and was descended from, among others, the Dukes of Savoy and Provence, King Henry II of England, the Kings of Aragon, Castile and Hungary plus the early czars of Russia and the Emperors of Byzantium (Constantinople); Isabelle was responsible, along with her lover, Roger Mortimer for Edward II being deposed in favor of his 14 year old son...

Edward III (1312-1377) King of England - who reigned for 50 years and fathered 13 children with his wife, Philippa (1311-1369) daughter of William V, Count of Hainault (in Belgium), the count being married to Edward's first cousin; Philippa was descended from the Kings of France in two lines, the Kings of Hungary, Castile and Aragon et al; It was the struggle for succession to the throne among the descendants of the children of Edward III and Philippa which caused the thirty year War of the Roses nearly a century later; still, Edward and Philippa are ancestors of all the subsequent monarchs of England, not to mention several million other people; Their fourth son was...

John of Gaunt (1340-1399) Duke of Lancaster - who married three times; through his first wife, he was ancestral to the Aziz dynasty in Portugal and three English Kings, through his second wife he was ancestral to the Kings of Aragon and great-grandfather to Isabella of the Ferdinand and Isabella who financed Columbus' voyages to the New World; through his third wife Katherine (c.1350-1403), a daughter of Sir Payne Roet, he is ancestral to the House of Tudor and the Kings of Scotland after James I ; Their youngest daughter was...

Joan de Beaufort Plantagenet (c.1379-1440) - who married Ralph Neville K.G., (1364-1425) Earl of Westmorland with whom she had 14 children among whom was...

Richard Neville (c.1400-1460) Earl of Salisbury - who married in 1421 to Alice, daughter of Thomas Montagu, Earl of Salisbury and they had a daughter...

Lady Eleanor Neville - who married Thomas Stanley (1435-1504) Earl of Derby (in Lancashire), King of the Isle of Man, descendant of the Royal Houses of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales; Among their sons was...

James Stanley (died 1522) - Bishop Of Ely, Cambridgeshire and later Warden of Manchester in Lancashire; He fathered an illegitimate, though acknowledged son...

John Stanley - son and heir of his father's estates, he married Isabel, daughter of Sir John Harrington leaving a daughter...

Margaret Stanley - who married in 1507 to Thomas Grimshaw (1467-1539) Gentleman of Clayton-le-Moors, Lancashire whose daughter was...

Ann Grimshaw - who married John Holden, Gentleman of Chaigley Manor in Yorkshire; they had a son...

Richard Holden - Gentleman of Chaigley Manor in Yorkshire who married Ann, daughter of Roger Nowell of Read, near Whalley, Lancashire; they had a daughter...

Jane Holden (c.1547-1587?) - who married in 1565 to Edmund Ingham (c.1536- 1597) of Read, near Whalley, Lancashire; among their many children was...

Henry Ingham (1578- ? ) - husbandman of Read then of West Close, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married late in life (1619) to Jenet (born 1595) daughter of John Pollard of Habergham Eaves, near Burnley; their only child was...

John Ingham (1623-1693) - husbandman of West Close, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1646 to Margaret (1626-1693) daughter of Christopher Dodgson of Padiham; John and Margaret died within two weeks of each other near Christmas, 1693 and their farm passed to their eldest son John; a younger son among their 8 children was...

Thomas Ingham (1661-1718) - husbandman of West Close, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; four months after his first wife died in 1697, he married secondly to Anna (1662-1736) daughter of John Birtwistle of Higham near Padiham with whom he had 8 children in the next eleven years; the last child, born when Anna was 47 years old was...

John Ingham (1709-1792) - husbandman of Higham, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1732 to Isabel (1712-1746) daughter of Edmund Bailey and had 6 sons with her; after her death, he married secondly in 1747 to Mary Crabtree (1723-1800) and had 2 more sons with her; because he had 8 sons and because his sister Ellen had 2 illegitimate sons bearing the surname of Ingham, they became ancestral to descendants who carried the most common surname in the district; among the family with his first wife was...

Thomas Ingham (1736-1814) - weaver and wool comber of Fence Gate, Higham, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1757 to Margaret (1737-1816) daughter of Jonas Knowles and they had 5 sons and 3 daughters; their eldest son was...

Jonas Ingham (1758-1818) - weaver of Higham, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1788 at the age of 30 to a woman nine years his senior, Grace (1749-1823) daughter of William Kenyon, an innkeeper in the Gisburn, Yorkshire area; They had two sons, the younger of which was...

William Ingham (1790-1855) - weaver, coachman, butcher of Higham, Goldshaw and Old Laund Booths, all near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He served in his majesty's army in the United States during the War of 1812 and in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars; he married in 1822 to Olive (1798-1840) daughter of Leonard Heyworth of Goldshaw Booth and fathered 7 children among whom was...

Dinah Ingham (1834-1918) - married in 1852 to William Nutter (1830- 1906) - the main subjects of this book and the parents of 15 children

Notes on Another Royal Genealogy of Dinah (Ingham) Nutter

The following genealogy starts with - who else? - Charlemagne. (Okay, this is the last time). This genealogy takes a detour through just over a dozen generations of French Kings - the earliest of the "Capetian" kings of France who would continue to rule France nearly a millennium.

None of the early Capetian (ie. descendants of Hughes Capet) kings were particularly great monarchs. However, inadvertently they provided for their young country something a young dynasty needs; secure, uninterrupted, uncontested succession of one king to another - father to eldest surviving son for eleven generations represented here and beyond. This kind of consistent succession is virtually unknown elsewhere in history among European dynasties.

Additionally, the kings of France established some extraordinary liaisons early on through opportunistic marriages. Hughes "Capat�, the Great Count of Paris, virtual "King of France" married a daughter of, arguably, one of the greatest early German Kings, Henry "the Fowler" and his wife, St. Matilda. Henri I married a daughter of the Grand Duke of Kiev in Russia, (son of St. Vladimir, called by some the first Czar of Russia) and a daughter of St. Olav, King of Sweden. Some of the later French kings built many liaisons with their neighbors to the south in Spain with marriages into the royal families of Castile, Aragon and Navarre.

King Philippe II, called "Augustus", is regarded by historians as the greatest medieval French kings. He regained much of the territory lost to England (Normandy, Brittany, Anjou, Maine and Touraine). He also joined the Third Crusade in 1191 and was the instrument of great social reform in France, essentially eliminating serfdom.

Louis IX called "the Saint" because he was - according to the Catholic Church which is in charge of these matters. He was the grandson of Philippe II, but was not the social reformer his grandfather was. In fact, he was often away from his kingdom on several of the crusades making him quite a better Catholic than a Frenchman. But he did get that "saint thing" in recognition of his efforts in the Holy Land.

The last of the French kings ancestral to Dinah Ingham was Philippe IV. Even though his grandfather was a saint, Philippe quarreled often with the Pope Boniface VIII. Philippe actually sent his army to seize the pope in 1303 but the old pontiff died soon thereafter and Philippe then engineered the election of a Frenchman as Pope Clement V. He then arranged to have the papacy moved to Avignon in France sowing the seeds of a chaotic period for the papacy called the "Great Schism" during which there were often 2 or 3 competing popes.

Philippe's daughter Isabelle married Edward II, King of England. Then, his niece's daughter married Edward III, King of England (son of Isabelle and Edward II). Descent from Edward II down through Lady Eleanor Neville is duplicated in the previous genealogy and in the notes about that genealogy.

This genealogy goes through George Stanley, another son of Thomas Stanley and Lady Eleanor Neville. George Stanley inherited the title "Lord Strange" by marrying Jane, daughter and heiress of John Strange who held lands at Knockyn in Staffordshire south of Lancashire. His son, Sir James Stanley spent his adult life at Cross Hall back in Lancashire near the town of Chorley. His son and grandson moved onto family land at Bickerstaff near the ancient town of Ormskirk.

Out of this family, Elizabeth Stanley married a bit beneath her station to George Jackson of Altham in Lancashire, some 30 miles away. Her granddaughter, married into a younger branch of the locally influential Rishton family. Her son, Nicholas Rishton, was a boatman on the River Calder transporting people and goods back and forth between Clayton-le-Moors and Burnley. Nicholas was married, widowed twice and had no children when he moved to Burnley and married a third wife named Sarah Holden in 1719. Three years later, Nicholas was dead at the age of 40 leaving Sarah a widow with twin baby daughters, Mary and Martha, plus a newborn son Nicholas.

One of the twins, Martha, remained unmarried through her entire life but had at least one daughter, Hannah, with one Oliver Ashworth from Newchurch-in-Rossendale, a town in the next valley over from Burnley. His origins are obscure because there were actually five Oliver Ashworths in that area. His role in Martha and Hannah's life is also unclear though there must have been an enduring relationship. (It is unlikely that the name "Olive" shows up two generations later coincidentally). Perhaps Oliver Ashworth fathered Hannah but was otherwise "engaged" - ie. married with children elsewhere.

Hannah married well - to William Heyworth, a gentleman farmer. Their son Leonard enjoyed similar status. Leonard Heyworth married his first cousin and fathered Olive Heyworth, mother of Dinah Ingham Nutter (1834-1918), the main subject of this book. In turn, Dinah and other children of Olive�s named their daughters the uncommon name of "Olive" and the name was passed down among dozens of their descendants over several generations

Another Genealogy Showing the Royal Descent of Dinah Ingham Nutter

Charlemagne (742-814) King of the Franks 742-814 - crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the pope in 800 and reigned over most of western Europe; with his third wife, Hildegarde of Swabia (758-783) he had 3 sons among whom he split his empire into three portions which are now (roughly) France, Germany and Italy; his eldest son was...

Louis I (778-840) - called "the Pious" or "le Debonnair"; Holy Roman Emperor 813-840; he further divided his empire among his four sons from his two marriages; with his second wife, Judith of Bavaria (800-843) he had a daughter...

Adelaide, Princess of the Franks - married Robert "the Strong", Count of Anjou and Blois in France (died 866); their son was...

Robert I (c.865-923) King of the Franks - he married Beatrice of Vermandois in France, was elected King of the Franks by the nobles in 922 and died in battle a year later; their son was...

Hughes "Capat" the Great Count of Paris (died 956) - who married Hedwig, daughter of Heinrich "Henry the Fowler" King of Germany; their son was...

Hughes Capet (c.939-996) King of France - who was elected by the nobles in 987 and thereby founded the "Capetian" line of French Kings who ruled France for nearly nine centuries; he married Adelaide (c.954-1004) daughter of Guillaume III, Duke of Aquitaine in France; their son was...

Robert II (966-1031) King of France - called "the Pious", he married Constance (died 1032), daughter of Guillaume, Count of Provence in France with whom he had a son...

Henri I (1008-1060) King of France - who married Anna (1024-1075) daughter of Jaroslav, Grand Duke of Kiev (himself the son of St. Vladimir, called by some the first Czar of Russia) by Ingirith, daughter of St. Olav King of Sweden; their son was...

Philippe I (1052-1108) King of France - who married Bertha (1055-1093) daughter of Floris, Count of Holland; their son was...

Louis VI (1081-1137) King of France - called "the Fat" who married Adelaide (1094- 1154) daughter of Umberto, Count of Savoy in France; their son was...

Louis VII (c.1120-1180) King of France - who married Alix (1140-1206) daughter of Thibaut IV, Count of Blois, Chartres and Champagne in France with whom he had a son...

Philippe II "Augustus" (1165-1223) King of France - who married Isabelle (1170- 1190) daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Hainault in Belgium; their son was...

Louis VIII (1187-1226) King of France - called "the Lion" who married Blanche (Bianca) (1188-1252), daughter of Alphonso VIII, King of Castile, part of Spain,by Eleanor, daughter of Henry II, King of England; their son was...

St. Louis IX (1215-1270) King of France - who married Marguerite (1211-1295) daughter of Raymond-Berengar IV, Count of Provence in France with whom he had a son...

Philippe III (1245-1285) King of France - called "the Bold" who married Isabella (1247-1271) daughter of Jaime I, King of Aragon in Spain with whom he had a son...

Philippe IV (1268-1314) King of France - who married Jeanne (1273-1305), daughter of Henri III, Count of Champagne in France and later King of Navarre in Spain; their daughter was...

Isabelle (1292-1358) Princess of France - she married Edward II (1284-1327) King of England and first "Prince of Wales" after his father, Edward I, annexed Wales; they had a son...

Edward III (1312-1377) King of England - who reigned for 50 years and fathered 13 children with his wife, Philippa (1311-1369) daughter of William V, Count of Hainault (in Belgium), the count being married to Edward's first cousin; Philippa was descended from the Kings of France in two lines, the Kings of Hungary, Castile and Aragon et al; It was the struggle for succession to the throne among the descendants of the children of Edward III and Philippa which caused the thirty year War of the Roses nearly a century later; still, Edward and Philippa are ancestors of all the subsequent monarchs of England, not to mention several million other people; Their fourth son was...

John of Gaunt (1340-1399) Duke of Lancaster - who married three times; through his first wife, he was ancestral to the Aziz dynasty in Portugal and three English Kings, through his second wife he was ancestral to the Kings of Aragon and great-grandfather to Isabella of the Ferdinand and Isabella who financed Columbus' voyages to the New World; through his third wife Katherine (c.1350-1403), a daughter of Sir Payne Roet he is ancestral to the House of Tudor and the Kings of Scotland after James I ; Their youngest daughter was...

Joan de Beaufort Plantagenet (c.1379-1440) - who married Ralph Neville K.G., (1364-1425) Earl of Westmorland with whom she had 14 children among whom was...

Richard Neville (c.1400-1460) Earl of Salisbury - who married in 1421 to Alice, daughter of Thomas Montagu, Earl of Salisbury and they had a daughter...

Lady Eleanor Neville - who married Thomas Stanley (1435-1504) Earl of Derby (in Lancashire), King of the Isle of Man, descendant of the Royal Houses of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales; Among their sons was...

George Stanley (died 1497) - who inherited the title "Lord Strange" and lands at Knockyn in Staffordshire, England upon his marriage to Jane, daughter and heiress of John Strange of Knockyn; they had a son...

Sir James Stanley - of Cross Hall near Chorley in Lancashire; Marshall of Ireland; Married Anne, daughter of John Hart of Lullington Castle in Kent; their son was...

Henry Stanley (1515-1598) - Gentleman of Aughton and Bickerstaff, near Ormskirk, Lancashire; married Margaret, daughter of Peter Stanley Esq. of Bickerstaff, a distant cousin, and they had a son...

Sir Edward Stanley (1560-1640) - of Bickerstaff, near Ormskirk, Lancashire; he married Catherine, daughter of Sir Randall Mainwairing of Over Peover, Cheshire; their daughter was...

Elizabeth Stanley (1584-1665) who married George Jackson (1584- ? ) of Altham, Lancashire; they had a son...

Lawrence Jackson (1617-1654) - of Rishton in Lancashire; with his wife, whose name is unknown, he had a daughter...

Elizabeth Jackson (1643- ? ) - who married Edmund Rishton of Clayton-le-Moors in Lancashire, (son of Nicholas Rishton); their son was...

Nicholas Rishton (Rushton) (1681-1721) - a boatman of Clayton-le-Moors and of Burnley in Lancashire; with his third wife, Sarah (1694- ? ), daughter of Robert Holden of Accrington, Lancashire, he had twin daughters and a son among whom was...

Martha Rushton (1720-1775) - who, with Oliver Ashworth of Newchurch-in- Rossendale in Lancashire, had an illegitimate child...

Hannah Rushton (1743-1831) - who married in 1765 to William Heyworth (1739- 1814) Gentleman of Pendle Side Farm, near Barley in Pendle Forest; they had 10 children among whom was...

Leonard Heyworth (1773-1836) - Gentleman of Goldshaw Booth in Pendle Forest near Burnley, Lancashire who married first to his first cousin Diana (Dinah) Heyworth (1764-1800) daughter of his uncle Robert Heyworth and had three children of whom the only daughter was...

Olive Heyworth (1798-1840) - who married in 1822 to William Ingham (1789-1866) a weaver, butcher and coachman of Goldshaw and Old Laund Booths in Pendle Forest; they had seven children among whom was...

Dinah Ingham (1834-1918) - who married in 1852 to William Nutter (1830- 1906); they had 15 children and are the main subjects of this book.

Notes on the Descent of Dinah Ingham Nutter from Irish Royalty

It has probably happened to many of us. It is March 17th - St. Patrick's Day. You are in a drinking establishment wistfully contemplating what it would be like to be "ethnic" - in this case, Irish. Suddenly, some ale-soaked Irishman condescendingly consoles you with "Never mind mate, it's St. Paddy's Day - today we are all Irish". If you are a descendant of Dinah Ingham Nutter, you are now holding the ultimate trump card; Brian Boru is your ancestor.

Chances are slim that the ale-addled Irishman will even know who Brian Boru is. Brian Boru was the simply the first, last and only native king of all Ireland. Ireland had been divided into five kingdoms for most of history; Ulster, Munster, Leinster, Connaught and Meath. For centuries, these kingdoms (and alliances thereof) fought with each other. (Imagine that�the Irish fighting amongst themselves). Ultimately, the Irish assassinated their "High King" Brian Boru in 1014 and returned to fighting among themselves.

Fast forward just over a century and a half. Brian Boru's great-great-great-great grandson, Diarmait MacEnna (more popularly known in history as Dermot MacMurrough) is deposed as King of Leinster in 1168. He flees to England, approaches King Henry II and asks the English to invade Ireland on his behalf. King Henry sends Richard Clare, Earl of Pembroke to Ireland. Pembroke subjugates much of Ireland, including Dublin and wins the hand of Diarmaid's daughter in marriage for his trouble. Diarmaid dies suddenly. Pembroke continues occupying Ireland. The Irish complain, write poetry, songs, etc. for the next eight centuries about the English presence on the Emerald Isle despite the fact the English were invited there by the Irish.

(Though these are the facts, you may want to keep them to yourselves. The Irish hate to be reminded of this part of their history. On the slim chance you encounter an Irishman who has a short temper or a penchant for fisticuffs; it is probably safer to keep silent about this part of your ancestry).

The genealogical line passes through the Mortimer family and the Earls of Arundel (the FitzAlans), arguably among the most influential people in England during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Some married grandchildren of reigning kings of England.

Coincidentally down the line, Lady Elizabeth Fitz Alan marries Sir Robert Goushill and they have a daughter Joan who marries an English Baron, Sir Thomas Stanley who serves as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. From there down to Dinah Ingham Nutter is a genealogical line repeated from elsewhere in this book.

Genealogy Showing the Descent of Dinah Ingham Nutter from Irish Royalty

Brian Boru (926-1014) King of Munster, later King of all Ireland - assassinated after the battle of Clontarf; He was the only King of all Ireland inclusive of all five kingdoms of ancient Ireland, namely Ulster, Munster, Connaught, Meath and Leinster; with his wife Gormlaithe mac Finn, daughter of Murchad mac Finn, King of Leinster, he fathered a son...

Donnchad mac Brian, King of Munster (died 1064) - who, with his wife, whose name is unknown, had a daughter...

Deabforgial, Princess of Munster (died 1080) - who married Diarmait mac Maelnamo, King of Leinster (died 1072) with whom she had 3 children of whom one was...

Murchad mac Diarmait, King of Leinster (died 1070) - who, with his wife, whose name is unknown, had a son...

Donnchad mac Murchad, King of Leinster (died 1115) - who, with his wife, whose name is unknown, had a son...

Enna mac Murchad, King of Leinster (died 1126) - who, with his wife, whose name is unknown, had a son...

Diarmait mac Enna (1110-1171) Last King of Leinster - sometimes known as Dermott Mac Murrough, banished by his enemies in 1168, he returned to Ireland two years later with his English son-in-law (Richard de Clare, called "Strongbow", Earl of Pembroke) and their men to recoup his Kingdom; with his wife, whose name is unknown, he had a daughter...

Adive (Eva) mac Dermott, Princess of Leinster - she married Richard de Clare (1130-1176) called "Strongbow", Earl of Pembroke, who successfully subdued most of Eastern Ireland and began the English rule over Ireland which has lasted, in varying degrees, for nine centuries; this marriage produced only one daughter...

Isabella de Clare (died 1220) Heiress and Countess of Pembroke - who married William Marshall (1146-1219), who by virtue of his marriage, became Earl of Pembroke; they had 10 children among whom was...

Eva Marshall (died 1246) - her second husband was William de Braose of Brenock in Wales with whom she had four children, among them...

Maud de Braose (died 1301) married Sir Roger Mortimer (1246-1272), Lord of Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire, England with whom she had three children; among them...

Isabella Mortimer - who married John Fitz Alan (1246-1272) 6th Earl of Arundel in Sussex with whom she had only one child, a son...

Richard Fitz Alan (1267-1302) 7th Earl of Arundel - married Alicia, daughter of Thomas, Marquis of Saluzzo in Italy; they had a son...

Edmund Fitz Alan (1285-1327) 8th Earl of Arundel - he was executed at Hereford by the partisans of Queen Isabelle for his allegiance to King Edward II; He married Alice de Warenne (died 1338), daughter of William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey in England with whom he had 5 children, the eldest of which was...

Sir Richard Fitz Alan (1306-1376) 9th Earl of Arundel - he married Eleanor Plantagenet (1318-1372) daughter of Henry Plantagenet, Earl of Grosmont, grandson of Henry II, King of England; they had seven children among whom was

Richard Fitz Alan (1346-1397) 10th Earl of Arundel - after serving on the governing council during King Richard II minority, he was later executed by the same king for treason; he married to Elizabeth de Bohun (died 1385) daughter of William de Bohun, Earl of Northampton and grandson of Edward I, King of England; they had three children among whom was...

Elizabeth Fitz Alan (died 1425) - married Sir Robert Goushill of Heveringham, Nottinghamshire in England; among their seven children was a daughter...

Joan Goushill - who married Sir Thomas Stanley (died 1459) a baron who was First Lord Stanley and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; among their children was...

Thomas Stanley (1435-1504) Earl of Derby - in Lancashire, King of the Isle of Man; he married secondly to Margaret, daughter of John, Duke of Somerset and widow of Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond (thereby she was grandmother to King Henry VIII); with his first wife, Lady Eleanor Neville, he fathered several sons, among them...

George Stanley (died 1497) - who inherited the title "Lord Strange" and lands at Knockyn in Staffordshire, England upon his marriage to Jane, daughter and heiress of John Strange of Knockyn; they had a son...

Sir James Stanley - of Cross Hall near Chorley in Lancashire; Marshall of Ireland; Married Anne, daughter of John Hart of Lullington Castle in Kent; their son was...

Henry Stanley (1515-1598) - Gentleman of Aughton and Bickerstaff, near Ormskirk, Lancashire; married Margaret, daughter of Peter Stanley Esq. of Bickerstaff, a distant cousin, and they had a son...

Sir Edward Stanley (1560-1640) - of Bickerstaff, near Ormskirk, Lancashire; he married Catherine, daughter of Sir Randall Mainwairing of Over Peover, Cheshire; their daughter was...

Elizabeth Stanley (1584-1665) - who married George Jackson (1584-? ) of Altham, Lancashire; they had a son...

Lawrence Jackson (1617-1654) - of Rishton in Lancashire; with his wife, whose name is unknown, he had a daughter...

Elizabeth Jackson (1643-? ) - who married Edmund Rishton of Clayton-le-Moors in Lancashire, (son of Nicholas Rishton); their son was...

Nicholas Rishton (Rushton) (1681-1721) - a boatman of Clayton-le-Moors and of Burnley in Lancashire; with his third wife, Sarah (1694- ), daughter of Robert Holden of Accrington, Lancashire, he had twin daughters and a son among whom was...

Martha Rushton (1720-1775) - who, with Oliver Ashworth of Newchurch-in- Rossendale in Lancashire, had illegitimate children among whom was...

Hannah Rushton (1743-1831) - who married in 1765 to William Heyworth (1739- 1814) Gentleman of Pendle Side Farm, near Barley in Pendle Forest; they had 10 children among whom was...

Leonard Heyworth (1773-1836) - Gentleman of Goldshaw Booth in Pendle Forest near Burnley, Lancashire who married first to his first cousin Diana (Dinah) Heywoth (1764-1800) daughter of his uncle Robert Heyworth and had three children of whom the only daughter was...

Olive Heyworth (1798-1840) - who married in 1822 to William Ingham (1789-1866) a weaver, butcher and coachman of Goldshaw and Old Laund Booths in Pendle Forest; they had seven children among whom was...

Dinah Ingham (1834-1918) - who married in 1852 to William Nutter (1830- 1906) ; they had 15 children and are the main subjects of this book.

Notes on the Descent of Dinah (Ingham) Nutter from Scottish Royalty

Saint Patrick's day has now receded into a distant memory. It is now summer and you find yourself at the "Highland Games", a celebration of the Scottish culture often held in the suburban areas around major metropolitan centers throughout the United States.

You see large, red-haired men in plaid skirts hurling telephone poles. Other men in skirts squeeze what appear to be old vacuum cleaner bags while blowing into reedy things to create a sound akin to a cat being slowly lowered into a blender. At a nearby kiosk, someone is selling haggis (sheep bladders filled with oats and ground organ meat). Young "lassies" dance not so far away like poodles on a hot griddle.

You contemplate your own "vanilla" ethnicity - your Englishness. You again wistfully contemplate what it would be like to be "ethnic" - Scottish, for instance.

Well, if you are descended from Dinah Ingham Nutter, you, in fact, have Scottish blood coursing through your veins - Royal Scottish Blood no less. Yes, when the Celts, Picts, Scots and Angles all finally got together and called their land "Scotland", the fellow in charge was an ancestor of Dinah Ingham Nutter.

The Royal house of Scotland was founded by Fergus Mor Mac Erc, a Christian Irish chieftain, who extended the Kingdom of Dal Riata in Northern Ireland across the sea into southwestern Scotland about the year 503. His descendants gradually increased their territory and influence over the next three centuries until Kenneth Mac Alpin became king over most of the land now called Scotland.

The business of being a Scottish king was difficult. Few died natural deaths. Though the genealogy following looks like a neat, father-to-son hand off from generation to generation, note the many gaps between the reigns of the fathers and the sons. This is a result of the practice of "tanistry" for succession in the Scottish royal house. Tanistry required a reigning king to name a living relative as his successor, seldom his son, as the "most qualified" to serve after him. Of course, this led to somewhat more chaos than usual over royal succession as the royals changed their minds, were murdered by their chosen successors and as their sons tried to rectify the supposedly impaired judgment on the part of their fathers.

The Royal House of Scotland during these times contained few "celebrities". However, William Shakespeare did do some publicity for at least three of them in writing his play "Macbeth". While the title character is not ancestral to Dinah Ingham Nutter, the king he murdered (Duncan Mac Crinan) and the king who arranged for his demise (Malcolm III) loom importantly in the bard's work.

Also, Malcolm's wife, St. Margaret, (herself an English Princess) is the patron saint of Scotland. She is revered by the Scots to this day which perhaps explains why seemingly every Scottish woman who is not named Jean is named Margaret. She is remembered for fostering many socio- political reforms, often in the name of religion, throughout Scotland in these dark times.

Once Matilda, the daughter of King Malcolm III and St. Margaret married King Henry I of England, the notes on that genealogy are the same as printed previously in this book.

Genealogy Showing the Descent of Dinah (Ingham) Nutter from Scottish Royalty

Fergus Mor "the Great" MacErc (c.440-501) King of Dal Riata 498-501 - in southwestern Scotland; he came with his brothers, Angus and Loarn, to Scotland from Northern Ireland establishing their domain, a Dal Riatan homeland in Scotland; as a youth, he supposedly met St. Patrick who predicted he would be the father of a nation; his son was...

Domangart (died 507) King of Dal Riata 501-507 - his brief reign was described as "turbulent", probably through internal conflict with his cousins; with his wife, an Irish Princess called Fedlim the Fair he had a son...

Gabhran (died 558) King of Dal Riata 538-558 - married Luan, daughter of Brychan of the Gododdin and had a son...

Aedan Mac Gabhran (c.532-608) King of Dal Riata 574-608 - he was anointed king by his distant cousin, St. Columba; with one of his three wives, and among at least seven sons was...

Eochaide Buide "the Yellow-Haired" (c.583-629) King of Dal Riata 608-629 - he was selected as his father's successor as a child in 590 by St. Columba and, by 608, was in fact the only one of his brothers surviving; with his wife, whose name is unrecorded, was a son...

Domnall Brecc "the Pock-Marked" (died 642) King of Dal Riata 629-642 - Killed in battle at Strathcarron, near Falkirk, attempting to extend his domain over the Strathclyde Britons; with an unnamed wife, he fathered...

Domangart II MacDonald (died 673) King of Dal Riata 660-673 King of Scotland 660- 673 - first king to amalgamate most of Scotland under his rule; with an unnamed wife, he fathered...

Eochaide II "the Crooked-Nose" (died 697) King of Dal Riata 695?-697 - Murdered by agents of his cousin after a brief reign; with an unnamed wife he fathered...

Eochaide III (died 733) King of Dal Riata 726-733 - after his death, the Pictish Kings defeated the ruling families of Dal Riata for some years; with an unnamed wife he fathered...

Aed Find "the Fair" (died 778) King of Dal Riata (750-778) - he re-established the kingdom of Dal Riata; with an unnamed wife, he fathered...

Eochaide IV "the Poisonous" King of Kintyre about 781 - he married his cousin Fergusa, daughter of Fergus MacEochaide (son of Eochaide III above) with whom he had a son...

Alpin, sub-King of Galloway in 834 - he married a Pictish princess and had a son...

Kenneth Mac Alpin(died 858) King of the Scots 840-858 King of the Picts 847-858 - actually the first King of most of what is now Scotland; by an unnamed wife he fathered...

Constantine I (died 877) King of the Scots and the Picts (863-877) - he was killed in battle at Crail in Scotland; by an unnamed wife he fathered...

Donald II (died 900) King of Scotland 889-900 - he died in battle at Forres in Scotland having married an unnamed wife with whom he fathered...

Malcolm I (died 954) King of Scotland 943-954 - he died in the battle of Fetteresso, near Dunnottar in Scotland having married an unnamed wife with whom he fathered...

Kenneth II (died 995) King of Scotland 971-995 - he ruled Scotland over a period of great rivalry over succession to the Scottish throne, but was the first to suggest that the throne pass �patrilinearly�; from father to son; this concept was ultimately adopted among his descendants; he died, under mysterious circumstances at Finella's Castle near Fettercairn in Scotland having married an unnamed wife with whom he fathered...

Malcolm II MacKenneth (c.954-1034) King of Scotland 1005-1034 - after his father did so much to insure the succession to male heirs of monarchs, Malcolm II fathered only daughters with his unnamed wife; In his old age he did whatever he could to insure the succession of his daughter's son Duncan including slaughtering some relatives; his elder daughter was...

Bethoc, Princess of Scotland - she married Crinan "the Thane" (c.975-1045) Earl of Atholl and Lay Abbott of Dunkeld, Scotland and were the parents of...

Duncan I Mac Crinan (c.1001-1040) King of Scotland 1034-1040 - he married Sybilla of Northumberland and was murdered by his cousin and general; his son was...

Malcolm III (c.1031-1093) King of Scotland (1054-1093) - battled often with the English ultimately dying in one of those battles; his wife, St. Margaret (c.1045-1093), was the daughter of Edward Atheling, Prince of Wessex in England with his wife, Agatha, a Hungarian Princess; Margaret died 3 days after finding out her husband and son had been killed in battle; their daughter was...

Matilda, Princess of Scotland (c. 1079-1118) - married Henry I (1068-1135) King of England with whom she had a daughter...

Matilda (c.1102-1169) Empress of England - struggled with her cousin, Stephen of Blois to succeed her father and rule England throughout her entire reign; At the age of 12 she was married to Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor who was 21 years her senior and after his death in 1125, she married two years later to 14 year old Geoffrey "Planta Genesta" (Plantagenet) (1113- 1151); she secured the English throne for their descendants thereby founding the House of Plantagenet which ruled England for the next three centuries; their eldest son was...

Henry II (1133-1189) King of England - married to Eleanor (c.1122-1204) daughter of William, Duke of Aquitaine and divorced wife of Louis VII, King of France; they had 5 sons and 3 daughters; two sons would survive Henry II - Richard I "the Lionheart" and the youngest...

John I (1166-1216) King of England - who was forced by his barons to sign the Magna Carta in which he relinquished the absolute power of English monarchs; married first to Isabella (1188-1246) daughter of Aymer Taillefer, Count of Angouleme in France by his wife who was a granddaughter of the King of France; their eldest son was...

Henry III (1207-1272) King of England - who became king at the age of 9 and reigned 56 years; He married in 1236 to Eleanor (c.1223-1291) daughter of Raymond Berengar, Count of Provence in France and descendant of many ancient Spanish monarchs and some Polish and Russian Dukes; Their eldest son was...

Edward I (1239-1307), King of England - known as "Long Shanks" for his great height; he married first in 1254 to Eleanor (1241-1290) daughter of Fernando (Ferdinand) King of Castile and Leon (Spain) and descended from King Henri II of France; they had 14 children among whom the youngest son was...

Edward II (1284-1327), King of England - he was the first "Prince of Wales", so designated after the Welsh were conquered and annexed by England; he was deposed and abdicated in 1327, imprisoned at Berkeley Castle, Gloucester, he was horribly murdered that same year; his wife, Isabelle (1292-1358) daughter of Philippe IV, King of France was his second cousin, twice removed and was descended from, among others, the Dukes of Savoy and Provence, King Henry II of England, the Kings of Aragon, Castile and Hungary plus the early czars of Russia and the Emperors of Byzantium (Constantinople); Isabelle was responsible, along with her lover, Roger Mortimer for Edward II being deposed in favor of his 14 year old son...

Edward III (1312-1377) King of England - who reigned for 50 years and fathered 13 children with his wife, Philippa (1311-1369) daughter of William V, Count of Hainault (in Belgium), the count being married to Edward's first cousin; Philippa was descended from the Kings of France in two lines, the Kings of Hungary, Castile and Aragon et al; It was the struggle for succession to the throne among the descendants of the children of Edward III and Philippa which caused the thirty year War of the Roses nearly a century later; still, Edward and Philippa are ancestors of all the subsequent monarchs of England, not to mention several million other people; Their fourth son was...

John of Gaunt (1340-1399) Duke of Lancaster - who married three times; through his first wife, he was ancestral to the Aziz dynasty in Portugal and three English Kings, through his second wife he was ancestral to the Kings of Aragon and great-grandfather to Isabella of the Ferdinand and Isabella who financed Columbus' voyages to the New World; through his third wife Katherine (c.1350-1403), a daughter of Sir Payne Roet, he is ancestral to the House of Tudor and the Kings of Scotland after James I ; Their youngest daughter was...

Joan de Beaufort Plantagenet (c.1379-1440) - who married Ralph Neville K.G., (1364-1425) Earl of Westmorland with whom she had 14 children among whom was...

Richard Neville (c.1400-1460) Earl of Salisbury - who married in 1421 to Alice, daughter of Thomas Montagu, Earl of Salisbury and they had a daughter...

Lady Eleanor Neville - who married Thomas Stanley (1435-1504) Earl of Derby (in Lancashire), King of the Isle of Man, descendant of the Royal Houses of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales; Among their sons was...

James Stanley (died 1522) - Bishop of Ely, Cambridgeshire and later Warden of Manchester in Lancashire; He fathered an illegitimate, though acknowledged son...

John Stanley - son and heir of his father's estates, he married Isabel, daughter of Sir John Harrington leaving a daughter...

Margaret Stanley - who married in 1507 to Thomas Grimshaw (1467-1539) Gentleman of Clayton-le-Moors, Lancashire whose daughter was...

Ann Grimshaw - who married John Holden, Gentleman of Chaigley Manor in Yorkshire; they had a son...

Richard Holden - Gentleman of Chaigley Manor in Yorkshire who married Ann, daughter of Roger Nowell of Read, near Whalley, Lancashire; they had a daughter...

Jane Holden (c.1547-1587?) - who married in 1565 to Edmund Ingham (c.1536- 1597) of Read, near Whalley, Lancashire; among their many children was...

Henry Ingham (1578- ? ) - husbandman of Read then of West Close, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married late in life (1619) to Jenet (born 1595) daughter of John Pollard of Habergham Eaves, near Burnley; their only child was...

John Ingham (1623-1693) - husbandman of West Close, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1646 to Margaret (1626-1693) daughter of Christopher Dodgson of Padiham; John and Margaret died within two weeks of each other near Christmas, 1693 and their farm passed to their eldest son John; a younger son among their 8 children was...

Thomas Ingham (1661-1718) - husbandman of West Close, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; four months after his first wife died in 1697, he married secondly to Anna (1662-1736) daughter of John Birtwistle of Higham near Padiham with whom he had 8 children in the next eleven years; the last child, born when Anna was 47 years old was...

John Ingham (17091792) - husbandman of Higham, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1732 to Isabel (1712-1746) daughter of Edmund Bailey and had 6 sons with her; after her death, he married secondly in 1747 to Mary Crabtree (1723-1800) and had 2 more sons with her; because he had 8 sons and because his sister Ellen had 2 illegitimate sons bearing the surname of Ingham, they became ancestral to descendants who carried the most common surname in the district; among the family with his first wife was...

Thomas Ingham (1736-1814) - weaver and wool comber of Fence Gate, Higham, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1757 to Margaret (1737-1816) daughter of Jonas Knowles and they had 5 sons and 3 daughters; their eldest son was...

Jonas Ingham (1758-1818) - weaver of Higham, near Padiham, Lancashire, England; he married in 1788 at the age of 30 to a woman nine years his senior, Grace (1749-1823) daughter of William Kenyon, an innkeeper in the Gisburn, Yorkshire area; They had two sons, the younger of which was...

William Ingham (1790-1855) - weaver, coachman, butcher of Higham, Goldshaw and Old Laund Booths, all near Burnley, Lancashire, England; He served in his majesty's army in the United States during the War of 1812 and in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars; he married in 1822 to Olive (1798-1840) daughter of Leonard Heyworth of Goldshaw Booth and fathered 7 children among whom was...

Dinah Ingham (1834-1918) - married in 1852 to William Nutter (1830- 1906) - the main subjects of this book and the parents of 15 children.


The Siblings of William and Dinah Nutter

William Nutter and Dinah Ingham were both middle children from comparatively large families. Both remained in contact with some of their siblings long after they settled in Nebraska. Both had nephews and nieces who eventually came to the United States. What follows are the stories of their siblings and the descendants of those siblings.

The 18 Siblings of William Nutter

In the baptismal entry of William Nutter�s second youngest sister (Rebecca), Archdeacon Rushton made a notation that she was the eighteenth child of her parents. Therefore, the next (last) child (Nancy) should be the nineteenth. In the registers of Newchurch-in-Pendle, there are records of �only� eighteen in total.

Among the descendants of the aforementioned Nancy, the family lore says she was actually the youngest of twenty-one children. Since stillborn children and miscarried children were not baptized, there were �opportunities� for stillbirths and miscarriages which could have been unrecorded in the normal records.

Perhaps the �real� story lies in the fact that, when the mother of these 18-21 children died in 1872, she had survived all but five of her brood.

The stories of her children are as follows;

John Nutter (1814-1855) was first born and first of his family to marry (in 1836 at Colne). With his wife, Rebecca Folds, he had three daughters; Eleanor, Elizabeth and Martha. Before 1850, he and the family moved to Bradford in Yorkshire where he died a few years later. Rebecca married again to a widower, Eli Broadbent, who also had a family. She died in 1878.

Thomas Nutter (1816-1848) also married in 1836. With his wife, Margaret Hartley, they lived at Roughlee for many years early in their marriage. They moved around the other side of Pendle Hill about 1846 to Clitheroe where Thomas and the oldest son, Henry, both died in 1848. Margaret moved back to Barrowford with their three daughters (Mary, Ann and Nancy) and a son, Thomas. She married again to Stephen Howarth in 1861.

Susannah Nutter (1818-1860) was married to a neighbor lad, James Singleton of Whitehough, in 1839. Over the next fourteen years, they became the parents of eight children; Mary Ann(1840), Margaret (1841), Susannah (1843), Ellen (1845), James (1847), Sophia (1849), Jane (1852) and John (1854). Susannah died in 1860 at the age of 42 after a long illness and soon thereafter, her mother, Betty Knowles Nutter took over housekeeping for the family. The Singletons moved down to Byerden (now Barden) Lane nearer to Burnley and James Singleton Senior took a second wife, Elizabeth Ibbotson in 1861 and summarily sent his former mother-in-law to live with her son James Nutter and his family. Over the next few years, all but the youngest Singleton child was married and each settled locally near Burnley. However, the oldest daughter, Mary Ann (1840-1908), had wed Joseph Buck (1836-1919) at Burnley in 1860 and began their family of fourteen children there. When her Uncle William and Aunt Dinah Nutter returned from the American frontier in 1865, Joseph Buck was intrigued by their testament about opportunities on the Great Plains. In 1869, Joseph Buck emigrated to the USA, worked for a year with the Union Pacific Railroad before he sent for Mary Ann and the children. The rest of the Buck children were born on their homestead southeast of Shelton, Nebraska. Three of their four surviving sons married and had families. Six daughters survived to adulthood; Fanny (committed suicide at age 28 by drinking lye), Sophia (died during surgery at age 24), Ada (married John Stock), Lena (married Everett Amos), Elizabeth (married Halleck Stonebarger) and Suzanne (married John Newton). Most of the Nutters were well aware of their nearby cousins and mixed with them somewhat sparingly. There seems to be a lasting impression among some family members that the Bucks were the �poor relations�.

Grace Nutter (1819-1847) married in 1838 to another neighbor lad, Robinson Hargreaves (1816-1888) of Narrowgates. Their two eldest sons, Richard and Thomas died as infants. Their next two sons, Robinson (born 1841) and James (born 1842) each married and had families in the Burnley area. Daughters Margaret (born 1843) and Elizabeth (born 1845) lived with various aunts and uncles after her mother�s death. Margaret finally married James Dearden when she was forty. Another son called Nutter Hargreaves (born 1846) appears to have died in infancy. It was the birth of the last son, Henry Hargreaves which proved fatal to his mother in 1847. He grew up, married and fathered a family in the Burnley area. Grace Nutter Hargreaves had delivered eight children in nine years. Had she kept up that pace and survived, she might have matched her mother�s dubious procreation record.

Ellen Nutter (1821-1893) and William Duckworth had banns for their marriage called three times in July of 1843, but there is no record that the marriage ever occurred. Perhaps he was unsure that Ellen�s son, Adam Nutter (1840-1886), was actually his. In the 1851 census, we find Ellen Nutter, age 30, living with her mother and noted as �unmarried�. Then, on 3 October, 1852, Ellen Nutter, age 31, a spinster of Blackburn (and a daughter of a John Nutter) marries at Blackburn to her sister Grace�s widower, Robinson Hargreaves. He and Ellen appear in the 1861 census in Habergham Eaves, Burnley with his children by Grace. Thereafter, Robinson Hargreaves shows up as a boarder (and widower) with a family in Colne in the 1871 and 1881 censuses. Where did Ellen go? It is known through family documents that she ended up married to Thomas Leaver. That marriage took place in the Spring of 1870 following a divorce or an annulment, it is hoped. (Incidentally, Thomas Leaver, who was a gamekeeper at an estate east of Burnley, had been married first to a woman named Ellen Whitaker. He also had a relative in the same area, whose name was also Thomas, who married a woman named Ellen Duckworth � that�s three Thomas and Ellen Leavers in a short time and small area). Ellen died on 31 December, 1893, and Thomas Leaver died in 1902. Ellen�s only child, Adam Nutter, had been mostly raised by Ellen�s mother, Betty Knowles Nutter. Adam was working in a brewery when he died, unmarried, in 1886.

Mary Nutter (1822-1823) only lived a few months.

Peggy Nutter (1823-1832) died at the age of nine.

Elizabeth Nutter (1824-1834) was also nine when she died.

James Nutter (1825-1889) was the brother with whom William Nutter was the closest. James married in 1849 to Mary Heyworth (1829-1890) and they had a daughter, Alice in 1850 and a son John in 1855. Sadly, Alice died in 1869. When William, Dinah and the children returned from the American frontier, they went to James� house first in Barrowford, in part, no doubt, because their mother (Betty Knowles Nutter) lived there. Eventually, James, Mary, their son John and Betty Nutter went to Leeds Street in Burnley to live. Young John Nutter married and raised his family in the home he shared with his parents. James Nutter died in 1889; his wife Mary died the next year.

Robinson Nutter (1827-1828) was less than a year old when he died.

Adam Nutter (1829-1829) died soon after birth.

William Nutter (1830-1906) is the major subject of this narrative.

Sarah Nutter (1831-1834) died a week before her elder sister Elizabeth.

Grace Ingham James and Jane (Nutter) Whynall

Jane Nutter (1837-1897) had a son, Thomas Nutter (1850- 1892/1900) before she was married, in 1854, to her neighbor James Whynall (1829-1900). They had six daughters together; Elizabeth Ellen (1857- ?), Mary (1859-1859), Eleanor (1862-?), Susannah (1864-1866 ), Ruth (1866-1952) who was married to John Pickup in 1886 and Sarah Emma (1875-1962 ) who was married to John Butterworth in 1900. The family moved to the Rochdale area in the 1880s. From there the Whynall daughters would write letters to William and Dinah in the USA on behalf of their mother who could not write. The family returned to Burnley before Jane�s death. Their two youngest daughters each raised families in Burnley; Ruth Pickup had a son and a daughter, Sarah Emma Butterworth had two sons and two daughters.

Isabella Nutter (1834-1834) died at the age of five months and just six months after two of her sisters.

Hannah Nutter (1835-1836) lived only thirteen months.

Rebecca Nutter (1836-1837) was noted as the �eighteenth child�, but sadly, she only lived two months.

Grace Ingham Samuel and Nancy Alice (Nutter) Stanworth

Nancy Nutter (1838-1923) was the only family member William Nutter was successful in converting to the Mormon faith. She married Samuel Stanworth (1835-1886) in Burnley in 1886 and they delayed beginning a family to save for the journey to Salt Lake City with William and Dinah. In 1860 the Stanworths with their infant daughter Elizabeth arrived in Philadelphia, met William, Dinah and their sons and accompanied them on the long journey to Utah. On the way, their baby daughter died of whooping cough and was buried next to the trail. Once in Utah, Samuel and Nancy Stanworth adapted well to the Mormon ways and stayed in the area around Salt Lake City for the rest of their lives keeping up only sporadic contact with William, Dinah and the family. In her widowhood, Nancy married William Wallace Hammond. Most of her children, Ambrose Nutter Stanworth (born 1861), Nancy Alice Stanworth Hinton (1863-1950), Samuel Nutter Stanworth (1865-1947), George Washington Nutter Stanworth (1866-1868), John Nutter Stanworth (1868-1887), James Nutter Stanworth (1869-1941) and Emmanuel Nutter Stanworth (1873-1949) married and raised Mormon families.

The 6 Siblings of Dinah Ingham Nutter

Grace Ingham  Grace Ingham Grace Ingham (left) and Dinah Ingham Barrowclough - Grace's daughter (right)

Grace Ingham (1822-1895) - became the de facto mother to the younger children as her mother's health and ability deteriorated. She, in fact, found the mother, Olive Heyworth Ingham, dead in bed when their youngest sister, Mary Ann, was just 6 months old (1840). She virtually raised Mary Ann and sisters Dinah (age 6) and Margaret (age 3) and also nursed their ailing brother Thomas (age 16) who died from his tuberculosis five years later. Grace never married but gave birth to five children. Some of Grace's children "weren't right" and that, combined with some other family folklore, suggests that as many as three may have been the result of incest with her father or brother William. Both were alcoholic and both were remembered to be verbally and physically abusive with her. Grace's two eldest daughters died young; Alice (1845-1851) and Olive (1849-1862). Her first son, William, died soon after his birth in 1856. Son Thomas (1859-about 1902) married twice and had several children with each wife. Daughter Dinah (1852-1914) was born as a result of a liaison between Grace and one Levi Ingham (no close relation). Dinah married John Barrowclough (1850-1933) in 1876 with whom she had nine children and their descendants remain primarily in England though one grandson did emigrate to Australia where his descendants still reside. Dinah and Jack always provided a home for Grace whom they revered and respected. Grace suffered from epileptic seizures most of her life. One of these finally proved fatal to her as she approached her seventy-third birthday.

Thomas Ingham (1824-1845) - spent almost his entire short life in ill health. He had tuberculosis and his sisters remembered only that he spent most of his time in bed or in a chair wrapped up in a shawl. His sisters remembered him with great fondness though; all four sisters named at least one of their sons after him. (The four sisters honored their mother similarly, each naming a daughter Olive). Thomas died of a massive pulmonary hemorrhage after his twenty-first birthday in March, 1845.

William Ingham (1826-1891) - was remembered by his sisters as a tyrant and an abusive alcoholic. Sadly, some lore passed down through the family suggests he actually may have fathered at least two of his sister Grace's children. His tyranny over his sisters (except Dinah who had gotten married) increased after the death of their father in 1855 and his control over their lives included control over the money they earned in the mills. It is likely he blocked or at least, delayed, marriages for Grace, Margaret and MaryAnn, protecting these sources of additional income for a while. However, after MaryAnn eloped in 1860, William was basically left with his sister Grace and her children in his household. This situation uncomfortably resembled responsibility for him.

As a result, he proceeded to "wander" (as his sisters termed it) for the next thirty years. He simply does not appear in the censuses of 1861, 1871 and 1881 anywhere in England. A story survives that he briefly reappeared in the Pendle area late in the 1860s for some time and was very ill and infirm. His sisters had no problem turning their backs on him in his predicament.

Ironically, it was MaryAnn's soft-hearted husband William Tattersall who arranged for accommodations and care for William Ingham until he was well again. William Ingham then appears to have continued his "wanderings" until his final illness early in 1891. He is known to have briefly lived at 12 Thorn Street in Burnley. He worked as a coal miner until his condition deteriorated to the point that he required constant care. He then entered the Burnley Union Workhouse, a sort of hospital and convalescent care center for the indigent. The resident doctor at the workhouse diagnosed �enteritis", a general term for gastro-intestinal disease which, in his case, was likely the result of years of alcohol abuse. He was desperately ill for at least a month. Nevertheless, none of his sisters visited or gave him any assistance whatsoever. Only his niece, Susan Tattersall (daughter of his sister MaryAnn and the aforementioned William Tattersall) looked in on him sporadically. At an age similar to his father and from basically the same illness, William Ingham died on 14 April, 1891. His niece Susan bought a grave for his burial at Wheatley Lane Cemetery near where the family called home. His sister MaryAnn joined him there in that grave thirty-three years later. Susan was buried there fifteen years after that.

Henry Ingham (1831/2-1833) - was "above a year old" when he was baptized on 16 April, 1833. It was odd that he was baptized at all; his eldest sister Grace was the only other one of the Ingham children ever baptized. Only another entry in the burial registers five days later would explain why he was christened; "On 21 April, 1833, Henry, son of William & Olive Ingham of Wheatley Lane, above a year old, was buried (scalded to death)". Henry was apparently only baptized following the accident which precipitated his death; he had fallen into a mop bucket of scalding hot water. One can only imagine the horror of the incident itself. Can we possibly comprehend the four days that followed as the parents and elder siblings watched the horrendously disfigured child slowly and painfully die? Nearly eighty years later, his younger sister (who was yet unborn at the time of his death) would bolt from her chair when her own great -grandchild, a toddler, ventured too near a bucket of hot water. Her dramatic response spoke volumes about how indelibly the incident had to have been etched into her mind - merely from the retelling of it.

Margaret (Ingham) Simpson Margaret (Ingham) Simpson - circa 1919

Margaret Ingham (1837-1929) - along with her elder sister Dinah, for some reason Margaret seems to have enjoyed immunity from their father's alcoholic abuse. The net result was a childhood alliance between the two sisters. It did not last through their long adulthoods though. After Dinah married and began a family of her own, Margaret followed in the footsteps of their sister Grace giving birth, without marrying, to a son, Thomas, on 1 June 1854 while she was still just sixteen years old. The child's father may have been the man she later married but it was a moot point as her own father and brother did not allow her to marry. It is likely not coincidental that Margaret finally did marry just over three months after she turned twenty-one and could therefore marry whomever she wished. With husband Thomas Simpson (1822-1897), a farm laborer, she had three daughters and one more son born at Royal Oak in Barrowford. When her sister Dinah returned from America in 1865, their relatively brief reunion turned sour in the months that followed. Dinah had named the daughter she gave birth to in December of that year "Margaret" but poignantly changed the child's name to Elizabeth shortly thereafter. Whatever the cause of the rift between the sisters is forever lost to history, but the antipathy between Margaret and Dinah also extended to Grace and MaryAnn resulting in Margaret's complete estrangement from all of her siblings despite the fact that she lived within a mile or two of her sisters Grace and MaryAnn for the remainder of their days. Margaret's husband, Thomas Simpson died in March, 1897. After a night of drinking at a local pub, he died after passing out face first in what was little more than a puddle. Margaret continued to live at their home at 7 Mount Street in Barrowford among her family.. Her one daughter Mary Procter, who married and had a family, occupied the house next door. As the final count for Mary's family reached an even dozen, her family spilled over into Margaret's house in her old age and even a few great-grandchildren were among the visitors or short-term residents at Margaret's house. She died a few months short of her ninety-second birthday in April, 1929. Sadly, her children did not inherit her relatively extreme longevity. Elder son, Thomas Ingham (1854-1929), died the same year as his mother having married and fathered at least two daughters and two sons. Younger son, Robert Simpson (1869-1952), never married and was a farm laborer all of his life in the area of Barrowford. Daughter Margaret Jane Simpson (1862-1930) married Thomas Duerden but had no children and died just the year after her mother and brother. Daughter Olive Simpson (1863-1864) had died young in a typhoid epidemic. Daughter Mary Simpson (1865-1934) married in 1885 to William Procter and gave birth to twelve children but only eleven grandchildren populated the next generation. The family remained mostly in England except for Alice Procter (1896-1964) who married a minister, Frank Hartley (1895-1971) in 1922. The following year, they emigrated to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where their son and daughter were born. Their son died in service during World War II when his ship was sunk off the coast of Algeria. Their daughter still lives in Michigan with her husband, a retired physician. Most of their five children and grandchildren live outside Michigan in Pennsylvania, Colorado and California.

Grace Ingham  Grace Ingham MaryAnn Ingham Tattersall Bottomley - circa 1880 (left) and 1910 (right)

MaryAnn Ingham (1839-1924) - was exactly six months old when, on 24 February, 1840, her cries woke up everyone in the family's home. Eldest sister Grace discovered the infant still attempting to nurse from their mother who had died during the night. It appears that the abuse that followed, first from her father (who blamed her for his wife's death), then later from her brother, did not break her spirit. In fact, later in life she would credit her emotional survival to the love and kindness of her sister Grace in addition to the affection, support and love she later received from a local lad, William (Bill) Tattersall. She married Bill Tattersall (1840-1869) in 1860, not coincidentally, the week after her twenty-first birthday. A month later, she gave birth to her second daughter with Bill, followed by three more daughters and a son during their brief, idyllic marriage. Clearly, Bill Tattersall was the love of MaryAnn's life. The mere mention of his name, even when MaryAnn was elderly, would unfailingly bring a tear to the steely old woman's eye. In 1869, a thief slipped poison in his ale at a local pub as he returned from his aunt's funeral, took him into the back street and there he relieved him of his money, his gold watch and his suit. Taken to his home in Greenfield, Colne, MaryAnn took care of him until his death less than a week later. Thus began the most dreadful decade in MaryAnn's life. At first, Bill's father, now over seventy, was of great assistance in caring for the younger children. As the years passed however, the old man became child-like himself. Then MaryAnn took solace from Bill's best friend and her boss, Albion Hartley, a married man. (Later, he became the father of Wallace Henry Hartley, the bandmaster on the HMS "Titanic"). MaryAnn had twin boys with Hartley whom she named Thomas and William. One child lived a day, the other lived eleven months. Naturally, she felt the need to put some distance between her, Albion Hartley and the scandal - she moved to the Burnley Lane area of Burnley a few miles away and lived there the remainder of her life. Then she met James Bottomley (1824-1890) an older, recently widowed mill worker with a family similar in size to hers. They married in the summer of 1876 when she was six months pregnant and blended their families together with little success. After she had two sons with Bottomley and endured two years of chaos and abuse, MaryAnn left him taking with her the eight children. She set up her own household just in time for a thirteen week long cotton-operative strike which brought the family to the brink of starvation. Gradually thereafter, she settled into the roles she enjoyed the rest of her life; head of the household, grand matriarch of an extended family and well-known character in the neighborhood. MaryAnn was a respected midwife in the area and would often prepare the dead to be laid out and buried. She never took any money for her services and actually never worked for a wage of any sort after the mid-1880s. Instead, her family dutifully "tipped-up" their wages to her which she used to run the household and the wage-earners in turn were granted an allowance. She raised several grandchildren in her home and the extended family reveled in her stories, her acerbic wit and regularly sought out her company and mostly deferred to her opinions. At the turn of the twentieth century, a series of emigrations began among MaryAnn's family. Eventually, three of MaryAnn's children went to the United States and the vast majority of her grandchildren would settle there or in Canada and New Zealand. MaryAnn herself visited the United States in 1904 and 1912, the second time being the occasion of a reunion with her sister Dinah Nutter after a 46 year separation. After MaryAnn returned to England, she remained vital and healthy. She "held court" day and night with frequent visits from various family members. She assisted her daughter in the shop she had purchased and chatted with customers who came in for the midday meal. She carried on what appeared to be a courtship with Jack Barrowclough (1850-1933), the widower of her niece Dinah. She smoked a pipe, played innumerable games of dominoes, took snuff and occasionally used cocaine as an elixir. Her health remained robust until her last few days. On 10 January, 1924, a bout with pneumonia proved fatal nearly halfway to her eighty-fifth birthday.

Grace Ingham
All members of MaryAnn Ingham Tattersall Bottomley's household in 1906; left to right, standing; son, Tom Tattersall; grandson Charles Holden; son Willie Tattersall; grandson John Albion Holden; seated, left to right; MaryAnn; granddaughter Alice Holden; daughter, Olive Tattersall Holden

MaryAnn had six children with her first husband, William Tattersall and two with her second husband, James Bottomley. However, when she left her second husband, she never divorced him but did reassume her first husband's surname and eventually changed the surname of her two children by James Bottomley to Tattersall. Some abridged information on MaryAnn's children and their families is as follows;

Alice Ingham (1858-1930) - married William Henry Totterdell (1855-1906) and had seven children of whom four survived infancy. She remained in England and never travelled abroad, living rather meagerly until she married secondly to Friend Goddard (1865-1933) in 1921. Her eldest son Charles Totterdell (1880-1921) also remained in England as did his two children, both of whom died childless. The younger son Walter Totterdell (1896-1938) moved to Lima, Peru, working as an engineer on a steamship. His widow and two daughters eventually resettled in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Some of their descendants still live near there, but most live near Vancouver British Columbia. Alice's elder daughter Grace Totterdell (1891-1968) married a French Canadian, emigrated to Bermuda, then Pennsylvania, then Ontario and died childless. Her younger daughter Ethel Totterdell (1894-1983) emigrated to New York, then Bermuda, then Australia, then Bermuda again, then Virginia, then Mexico, then Virginia again. Her one son by the first of her two husbands lives in Bermuda. His children live in Bermuda and South Africa.

Susan Tattersall (1860-1939) - moved with her brother to Lewiston, Maine in 1889 but returned to England soon afterwards. She joined her sister and brother in Connecticut years later but ultimately returned to England in 1919. She never married.

Olive Tattersall (1862-1934) - married William Henry Holden (1862-1944) in 1882 but his alcoholism and her mother's dislike for him caused the marriage to fail a little over two years later. She never divorced him but made her home with her mother for the next four decades. She worked in cotton mills for years but finally bought a shop in Burnley which doubled as a small cafe. She traveled extensively in 1925 and 1926 visiting relatives in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada and then in New England in the USA. She retired thereafter and lived with her sister Susan in Brierfield, near Burnley until her death. Her eldest son Charles Holden (1883-1936) emigrated to Indiana, then Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1910 where his family of four remained as do some of their descendants. Others are in Massachusetts, California, Ohio, South Carolina and Missouri. Her younger son John Albion Holden (1885-1967) emigrated to Connecticut in 1910 but returned to England in 1912. He emigrated again with his family in 1923 to Ontario, Canada, then Michigan. His descendants are in Michigan, Delaware, Indiana, Nevada, California and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Olive's only daughter Alice Holden (1894-1988), who was the result of her relationship with Mark Lund, married a Canadian and emigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, where she spent the rest of her life. Her only son drowned at age 14.

Sarah Tattersall (1865-1936) - married Henry Windle (1861-1923) in 1885. She lived her entire life in the area of Burnley. She accompanied her mother to New England in 1904 and traveled to Australia once and to New Zealand twice after her daughters had emigrated there. Her elder daughter Susy Windle (1886-1981) made her fortune in New Zealand where her two daughters and five granddaughters were born. Some of her descendants now live in Australia and some are also in Florida in the USA. Her younger daughter Mary Windle (1891-1965) had a son and a daughter. The son married late in life and died childless in Australia. The daughter died in New Zealand leaving a son and daughter who are both childless.

Albion Tattersall (1867-1925) - married Martha Jane Lund (1865-1933) in 1886. Albion emigrated to Lewiston, Maine in 1889 with his sister, Susan, but returned to England shortly thereafter. He emigrated again in 1900 to Pawcatuck, Connecticut where he prospered. For a while he worked in the local weaving trade but eventually bought a saloon and became very influential in local politics. It was he who arranged the reunion between his mother and her sister Dinah Nutter in 1912 and his summer cottage at Watch Hill in Rhode Island was where the sisters stayed together for an extended time. Albion and Martha had six children of whom only two survived infancy. Son William Tattersall (1887-1942) worked in the textile industry all of his life. He was father to seventeen children who all remained in the area during their working lives; however, the grandchildren are now spread across more than 20 states. Albion's daughter Olive Blanche Tattersall (1894-1977) had two sons of whom one was killed in World War II at the Battle of Casino. The other son and his descendants remained in the area.

Grace Tattersall (1868-1947) - married Benjamin Haworth (1870-1953) in 1896. They emigrated several years later to Connecticut, then to Rhode Island where her husband continued to work as a boiler operator and engineer. Grace engineered very successful investments and they became comparatively wealthy. She also was a voracious reader and avidly followed current events and the arts. Many family members and friends were beneficiaries of her philanthropy. The Haworths had only one daughter who in turn had only one daughter. She has no children and lived on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Tom (Bottomley) Tattersall (1876-1925) - married Ellen Hewitt (1881-1953) in 1906. He worked as a winder in the local coal pits. He committed suicide in the wake of difficult divorce proceedings leaving his widow with six children to raise (three others had died in infancy). All of the family remained in England, mostly in the area of Burnley. Edna Tattersall (1911-1999) had two daughters. Tom Tattersall (1912-1985) had one daughter. Clifford Tattersall (1915-1999) has a son and a daughter and is the only one of his siblings to have grandchildren and great- grandchildren. Clarence Tattersall (1916-1944) was shot down near Liesse, France in World War II. Ada Tattersall (1920- 2008) died a widow and was childless. Edmund Hewitt Tattersall (1922- 2003) was survived by a daughter who died childless.

William (Bottomley) Tattersall (1878-1950) - married Annie Elizabeth Wiseman (1881-1968) in 1911. It was, in fact, this marriage which precipitated his mother's petulant and impulsive journey to the USA in 1912. "Willie" and Annie had no children. They oversaw the settlement of several of Willie's half-sisters estates as none who remained in England had children living locally. As a result, Willie and Annie ended up owning the shop and three adjacent homes in Burnley and other real estate. Before World War II, they sold it all and moved to the English resort town of Blackpool where they lived until their deaths.


The Lancashire Dialect

Throughout this book, there are a number of references to the Lancashire Dialect spoken by William Nutter and Dinah Ingham as they grew up and into adulthood. This chapter is being written to further clarify what the dialect is, facilitate some understanding of it and give some examples of it. Though volumes upon volumes have been written on this subject, this will be but a brief introduction to the mode of speech the family used, which is part of the family heritage.

The dialect is not a matter of English with some sort of strong accent. It is, in fact, almost an entirely different language. There is evidence that William and Dinah would revert to their "old way" of speaking if they wished the children not to understand what they were talking about.

One demonstration of how profoundly different the dialect is from our spoken American English (while still, nevertheless, being English) is the following scenario. If any one of the Nutters' descendants could be transported back in time to 1853 (when Dinah was still illiterate), most of what Dinah had to say would be utterly unintelligible to them. Yet ironically, it is likely Dinah would actually understand most of what the person from the twenty-first century had to say provided they didn't speak of televisions, airplanes, etc.

Some have challenged me on the idea that an illiterate dialect speaker might understand someone speaking "standard" English yet comfortably speak a dialect. However, an etymologist (a language expert) agreed with me and an episode in my own personal life verified it as well. In the 1970s, a custodian where I worked was an illiterate black gentleman from Alabama. He understood my mid-western accent and I understood his Alabama accent. But his cousin showed up one day at his work and these two guys spoke "country" - their dialect - between themselves. I had no idea what they were saying.

Possibly the most essential difference in the Lancashire dialect is the use of "thee" and "thou" in regular conversation. Both German and French and, for that matter, several other languages have two words for "you" - one formal, one familiar. Most of us recognize these terms from their use in prayer instead of "you". While it may seem formal in prayer and, therefore counterintuitive, "thee" and "thou" are, in fact, the "familiar" form of "you". The theory was that, when one talks to god, one should use the familiar form out of love for their heavenly father.

But dialects grow out of convenience of speech so the mouthfuls "has thou", "art thou" and "will thou" become "asta" and "arta" and "wilta". Dialect speakers would say "Wur asta bin?" (Where have you been?), "arta gooin' 'oom?" ("are you going home?") and "wilta be thur?" ("will you be there?").

They also don't say "something", "anything" and "nothing". It's "summat", "owt" and "nowt". They signify the beginning of a thought or sentence with "nay", "'ey", "'ey up" or "'appen" for "perhaps". They often add "like" at the end for no good reason at all.

They practice a peculiar economy in seldom using the whole word "the". Instead, they blend it in with the adjacent word. "Appen 'e'll goo to't shop like" means "Perhaps he'll go to the store". "Ey, asta got owt from't shop?" means "Have you gotten anything from the store?". "Nay, Ahv left th'oven dooer oppen" means "I have left the oven door open".

Then there are differences in pronunciation. The Lancashire dialect speakers dislike the letter "L" unless it begins a word; "old Liverpool and Bolton" is pronounced "owd Liverpoo' and Bowton". A "U" is almost always said with one's lips thrusted out as is a double "O". "Cook" and "Book" rhyme with "Duke". A double "T" in the middle of a word is much like a glottal stop - making a bottle sound more like a "bokkul".

Very seldom is something "good" in Lancashire. Rather, it is "gradely" or "grand" (pronounced "grond"). "Very" is seldom used as an intensifier - never is anything "very grand" or "very gradely". It is "right grand" or "right gradely" - but "right" must rhyme with "eight". "Fur" is another intensifier used instead of "quite". So, if you're "flaid" (frightened) of someone but really frightened of someone else, then you're "fur-flaid" of the someone else.

Families consist of a "fayther" (or, in some villages,"father" rhyming with "gather"), "mootha" (or "mum") and "t' childer". Sometimes there was a "Grondad" or "Grammar" and "broothers" and "sesters". Whenever someone refers to someone in their own family, they claim them as "our" Tom or "our" Alice. However, when children are little, they are, with great affection, called "it" as in "give it summat ta eight" (give it something to eat).

Lancashire dialect speakers love the shortest way through a thought, sometimes adopting ugly little Scandinavian words instead of the old Germanic stand bys. One's mouth, ears, teeth and head suddenly become a gob, lugs, peggies and a noggin.

One has to wonder why they have so many terms for being drunk: druffen, bottled, sozzled, tight, palatic (a corruption of paralytic). The same question arises for the numerous terms for stupid; gawmless, daft, dozy, barmy, pottie, simple and thick. A good fight has several names as well; bash, baste, lambaste, punch-up, paste and wallop.

In Lancashire, if you're pleased or happy, you're "chuffed" or "fain". If you're not, you're "dischuffed" and perhaps you "have a face like a wet week". If you're worried, you're "mithering". If you're deprived, you're "oined".

Clearly, the Lancashire dialect is much more than a strong accent. It was a colorful pallet which William and Dinah Nutter, along with their families and neighbors, used in regular conversation among themselves. Their often somewhat limited knowledge of "formal" English was reserved mainly for church, school, letters and legal proceedings. Most folks were able, but not necessarily comfortable, with the "formal" language.

If Dinah could speak to you about her family from 1853, it might sound like this;

Ey, Ah 'am reight fain to sithee lad (lass). Asta eerd owt abeht me famly? Futch tha cheer up to't table - sit thee deawn.

Me fayther were a weigh-ver an bootcher cowd Willyum Hingum. 'E is allus fur addled wi' suppin' ale. Tha' knaws 'e'll drink 'issel' to't dee-ath!

Me brootha Will's a baddun but air Tom were allreight. 'E wur allus poorly. 'E deed as 'e made up full age. Mogret and air MurryAnn were babbies when us moother deed. Air Grace wurt best. She wur lak a moother to uzall. "Ers 'ad childer but she in't wed.

A careful read through the last three paragraphs may produce some understanding of what's being said. The real test is to have someone read it to you. Chances are slim you'll be able to understand much, if anything.

In "English", the translation is as follows;

I am very glad to see thee lad (lass). Have you heard anything about my family? Fetch your chair up to the table and sit down.

My father was a weaver and a butcher called William Ingham. He is always quite addled from drinking ale. You know, he will drink himself to death.

My brother Will is a bad one but Tom was alright. He was always ill. He died as he turned full age. Margaret and our MaryAnn were babies when our mother died. Our Grace was the best. She was like a mother to us all. She has had children but she isn't married.

For those with access to a computer, there are numerous sites dedicated to the Lancashire accent. Some even feature recordings which allow one to actually listen to the spoken dialect. Of course, there is always the alternative of traveling to the Pendle area of Lancashire and listening to the local folk. Virtually everyone who visits the land of our ancestors falls in love with it, the people and even their unusual manner of speech.