By Susan Doak
SW Nebraska Genealogy Society
MCCOOK, Nebraska -- During the monthly SWNGS meeting, we had a visitor appear, Ben Lashley, and he was trying to research a family member who just happened to be Senator George Norris's first wife, Pluma (Lashley) Norris.
Pluma died shortly after the birth of their third child, Marion, from peritonitis. Of course, Ben didn't have that information when he came to our library, it was one of the facts that we found for him in the multitude of books and records we house. Point being, Ben is not a computer guy and doesn't indicate that he ever will be and yet in about 30 minutes we found Pluma, her parents, her wedding to George and her cause of death.
The second request came through the mail from another person who was researching (sans computer) his mother's parents; the L.E. Hart's who lived for a time in Bartley. Part of his request named his grandfather as a Methodist Episcopal minister for the Danbury area, a postmaster for Bartley and an editor for the Bartley Inter City Ocean. I have heard of that publication before but have no idea if those writings still exist anywhere. I have found his grandparents and links to several relatives but the name under which they first appear is Harte.
SWNGS gets several research questions each year and we try to answer the questions just as other genealogy societies do all over the world. If you wish to send out requests to societies please understand that they are 99 percent volunteer staffed and most work on a limited budget.Please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope with your request. Several societies (including SWNGS) also provide contacts to paid researchers in their area.
While researching names I came across the occupation: proprietor of the city panatorium. I thought it was a typo and was referring to the city auditorium and then I realized that building didn't even exist in the early 1900s. After a bit of searching, I gave up and contacted Linda Hein at the Nebraska State Historical Society. She had seen the name before but was also clueless. So the search went on and I found a notice in one of the old papers concerning the fact that Mrs. Axell had sold the city panatorium. So, it was a business....only what business could that be? Several searches later I found a notice of a Panatoria in New Jersey. Long story short, it is a fabric dyeing and cleaning business, the precursor to a dry cleaning facility from what I can deduce.
If you have any clues to the Bartley Inter City Ocean, or know of any church records for the Methodist Episcopal Church out of Bartley or Danbury, we at SWNGS would really appreciate the additional information. When cleaning out a home or buying boxes at an auction, if you come across books concerning early SW Nebraska history, church or school annuals, maps, etc., and don't wish to keep them, please contact us. We are a 501C organization and you will be given a receipt for your tax deductible donation.
Remember, Legacy Family Tree lessons take place Saturday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m., Merit Building room M-3. Bring your lap top or tablet and notes on your family so that you can enter information as the lessons progress. Contact us at swngs.nesgs.org if you wish to attend.