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.
Isaac Piedalue was one of the earliest homesteaders in Chase County. He came in 1885 to the Lamar area. Isaac, grandfather of Doris Piedalue Carpenter, had a large family of 15 or 16 children, including some step-children. He married a widow by the name of Mrs. Robert, who had eight children, and together they had two children of their own, whom they named Vic and Agnes. The marriage was also the second marriage for Isaac.
came to Chase County with his sons Anatele, Abselom, Caleb, Arthur and Hector. They
were French Canadians who had formerly lived on the border between the United States and
Canada. Isaac owned eight farms in Canada, and dealt with hay. When the United
States enacted a protective tariff, he had no market for his large quantities of hay.
He was no longer a young man when he lost everything and brought most of his family
to Nebraska to homestead.
His son, Hector Piedalue, homesteaded near the property of his parents. His house was used for a school house because he could vacate it during the day.
Abasolom and Caleb were married before coming west. A house was rented in Ogallala for the wives and children to live n while the men built homes in Chase County. The family slept on tables and under tables in a two-room house until their homes were built. Family members recall how the the Piedalue wives never became accustomed to life in Chase County and missed their fine homes, schools and church. The experienced prejudice for being Catholics and experienced difficulties because of the language barrier. Hector Piedalue and Domino Robert, a son of Isaac's second wife, were the only two family members who stayed in Chase County.
Doris Piedalue Carpenter told researchers that her childhood occurred during the depression. "So many times I have heard others tell of what a terrible time this was, but it was not so for me. My father had as great or greater financial difficulties as the other people, I'm sure. But I never felt deprived because I never heard anyone complain. I don't recall hearing my father complain about any misfortunes."
Doris also told a story which she said was " told to me with a smile and twinkle in the eye. It was told by a cousin whose parents homesteaded near Lamar. She said, 'of course, we burned the only fuel available. Papa built a lean-to to keep them dry. He then loaded the children in the wagon and drove across the plains so the children might gather buffalo chips. We would drive home with a wagon load to the shed where papa saw that we placed them in orderly stacks. We had toe neatest and best protected stacks of anyone around'."
(Information provided to the Historical Society by Doris Piedalue Carpenter.)
email Linda Banks at: FlorenceEm@AOL.com
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