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Early Settlers

    The Chase County Historical Society, located in Champion, Nebraska, has since it's inception in 1938 collected personal histories of residents of Chase County, Nebraska.  These oral histories provides a history of Chase County that goes beyond facts and information about the state.  Listed on these pages are transcripts of interviews of many early settlers of Chase County, Nebraska.  I am grateful to the Historical Society for the work it's researchers did in preserving these stories, and for permission to share them here with other researchers.  These stories and other important historical information about Chase County can be found in their published Histories of Chase County, copies which can be purchased from the Society or viewed in the Imperial Republican Library.  The Society welcomes any additional stories about early settlers that you may wish to contribute to their files.

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Mr. and Mrs. Sherman McCoy

        Sherman McCoy came to Chase County in 1888 and settled on a homestead north of Imperial.  He brought Mrs. McCoy to Chase County as his bride in 1890.  They stayed until 1895 until Mrs. McCoy became so unhappy that they returned to their former home at Chariton, Iowa, where they remained for a year and a half.  Charles Bonner lived on the McCoy place during their absence, and the Pearl Post Office remained at their home.  Mr. McCoy became Postmaster on October 14, 1891.  After their return to Chase County, Mrs. McCoy was very happy here and they lived in their sod house until 1899, when a new house was constructed, which was east of their sod house.  (Information provided to the Chase County Historical Society by Mrs. A. O. Stenger, granddaughter of Charles Bonner, and published in the Chase County History II in 1965.

 

Charles McGrath

        Charles McGrath homesteaded in Perkins County in 1884 and in 1915 he moved from the homestead to Wauneta, Nebraska.  He was elected to the legislature in 1918, taking office in 1919.   In the fall of 1919 the legislators were called into special session regarding a riot and hanging of an African American man in Omaha.  He was elected again to the legislature in 1931.
        (Information provided to the Historical Society by Mrs. Robert Terry, daughter of Charles McGrath.)

Charles W. Meeker

        Honorable Charles W. Meeker was one of Chase County's early pioneers and was born in Covington, Indiana on November 19, 1853.  He died in Imperial on May 27, 1941.  Mr. Meeker was graduated from Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant Iowa and was issued a Bachelor of Science degree in 1975.  Tow years later he was admitted to the Bar and began the practice of law.  He came to Chase County in the early 1880's.  He became active in the organization and development of the community, and personally carried the Petition for Organization to Governor Dawes who issued the proclamation on April 12, 1886.  In 1888 he was elected to the Nebraska Legislature.  He was Chase County's legal advisor for a number of years.  When it became evident that horse and buggy would soon be supplanted by motor vehicles requiring better highways, Imperial citizens began a movement to designate and mark a highway across the state from West to East.   Meeker was very involved in this movement and was publicly referred to as "Father of the DLD>"  The Great Transcontinental Highway U. S. Number 6 is the result of this movement which had its inception in Imperial.  (Information provided to the Historical Society by Mrs. Byron Hoile, daughter of Charles W. Meeker, and published in Chase County History Volume II in 1965.)

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