could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

                                     Gardner Township

Harrison – Sartoria – Loup – Beaver – Garfield – Cherry Creek
Armada – Scott – Rusco – Cedar – Schneider – Gardner

        Second tier

        Sixth from west, first on east
        South of Nantasket & St Michael

        Rolling farm land
        Watershed ridge runs northeast to southwest diagonally through the township from two miles south on eastern
             border to two miles north on western border

        Streams in northeast half flow north
            Cherry Creek flows north to empty into the South Loup

        Other streams in southeast half of township flow southeast into Hall county, to Wood River.

Towns – none

Communities – Luce
        Named for John Luce, first postmaster in 1885
        Located at an intersection about 2 miles east & 2 miles north of the SW corner
        At turn of century - Progressive spot - store, post office and 2 blacksmith shops,
        Sodtown Telephone Co. had their switchboard here

John Luce –
1831 – born in Pennsylvania.
        Mother died when he was 6 days old
        Raised by grandparents
1847 – Apprenticed to a carpenter (age 16)
1851-2 – Had to quit after 4-5 years because of failing eyesight
        Blind for 2 years but regained eyesight
1858 – married, had 6 children – 3 before war, eldest survived
Civil War - served in Union Army
1866, Jan. – discharged, returned to Pennsylvania
1869-1877 – last three children born in Pennsylvania
1878 – Came to Gardner Twp, got soldier’s homestead
        5th of family to settle in Gardner ?
            Other Luces in NE, one in Cedar twp – maybe females
Hardships – Paid $2.50/acre to have 15 acres of sod broken = $37.50
        Worked at $.60/day to pay for it = 62 ½ days (2 months)
        Went to Loup River for fuel (prob. 5 miles)
        Severe winter 1880-81 burned hay and cornstalks
Post office September 28, 1885
1924 - died

Churches & Cemeteries
Evangelical Church
        1879 – started in Schneider Township
            First meetings were in a sod schoolhouse
        1880 – small frame church was built
        Later - new building 3 miles east and 1 mile north in Gardner Township
        Present Zion Ravenna United Methodist Church.

Zion Evangelical Lutheran (Missouri Synod)
        1885 – Organized
          1890 – winter – built first church building in Sec. 3
            (11 ½ miles north & 1 mile west of Shelton)
        School started in winter of 1890 –
            Taught in German in mornings & English in afternoons.
        Small cemetery here – 8 burials

        1897 – Church taken down and rebuilt on present 5 acre site in Sec. 22 –
            A mile west and 2 ½ miles south of old location, near Luce which is mile south & mile west
                (now church is 9 mi north, 2 west of Shelton)
            Parochial school operated until 1945
        1912 – Present building erected – typical country church with tall spire

        Larger cemetery here – Still in use
        Also known at various times as St. Michael Church, Luce Church, North Shelton Church
        Mrs. Floyd Pope put together a history of the church
            Custom in early years – girls in front, ladies behind on west side
                Boys in front, men behind on east side

1874 – 7 filed
1875 – 2 filed - George Gardner

George Gardner – Township named for him
        First settler [but 7 filed the year before he arrived]
1843 - Born in New York state
        Moved with parents to Pennsylvania
1861 - Age18 in enlisted & fought in Civil War – 42 battles, shot in lung
1864-1875 - Returned to Pennsylvania
1875 (age 32) - Went to Buffalo County in spring
        2 terms on County Board of Supervisors
1883 - Married (age 40) – 5 daughters
1890 - Wife died
1895 (age 62) - Retired to Shelton
1915 - Remarried (age 72)

More settlement:
1876 – 2 filed – George Peck
1877 – 6 filed – Emma Peck – can’t find them
1878 – 37 filed – (after drought and grasshoppers

Elizabeth J. Aufderhide, - man, 60, either widowed or divorced in 1880

Joanna Dean
– widow

        2 sons, John & Albert, born in R I about 1858, 1859
        She, husband James & 2 boys in Providence in 1860
1870 John in reform school in R I, nothing on rest of family
1878 came to Buffalo County. Why here?
Boys moved on to Tacoma, Washington

F. Rohrbach

John Luce

1879 – 19 filed

John A. Hogg,

Samuel Urwiller

4 Barrett – D, Wm, Luke, J. H. – not related to each other
        Luke went to Shelton twp, joined by brother, Wm, not the above Wm.

5 Mulbach - H., JGA., F.A, W. F. & E.
        One family of father and 2 sons
        Don’t know if the others are related

3 or 4 Urwiller, Saml, F & J, Samuel

Samuel Urwiller –
        1844 – Born in Switzerland
        1854 – Came to US to Rochester, New York with family (age 10)
        1857 – Moved to Michigan, farmed (age 13)
            Employed in farm labor
        1867 – Began work as carpenter (age 23)
        1868 – Married, had 5 children,
        1878 – Came to Buffalo Co., homesteaded in Sec. 4, Gardner twp.
            Relinquished it and went to Cherry Creek twp
            Later bought 80 acres in Gardner twp.
        1883 – father moved here from Michigan to be near his children
        1883 – wife died
        1884 – remarried (age 40), had 4 children
            One son farmed in Gardner tp
            One son farmed the home place
            One daughter married a Gardner twp farmer
        1908 – Retired to Ravenna

John Hogg
        1844 – Born In Pennsylvania
        1865 – came to Iowa, carpenter,
            Married daughter of a carpenter (age 21), had 12 children, 9 survived
        1872 – established grocery store in Mitchellville, Iowa (age 28)
        1879 – lost it all, came to Nebr. With $3 after freight costs
            Worked in Shelton mill for $1/day, advanced to millright @ 1.50/day
            Traded gold watch for relinquishment on a homestead
            Built sod house, no floor for a year
        1893 – Served on County Board of Supervisors
        1906 – Went to Oregon
            Regain health
            Visit son who raised prize winning hogs
        1908 – returned to Nebr. and retired to Shelton

        2 sons farm in Buffalo Co., 1 dau married a Nutter farming here

We move buildings but -----

In 1878 the Rohrbachs took a homestead in Gardner Township. When the surveyor informed them that their sod house was in the middle of the road, they built another in the center of their land.

When a prairie fire came through they threw water on the sod house and stayed inside until the danger was past.

Several years later they built a two-room frame house with an attic.

Dances were held there, with all the neighborhood invited, and a fiddler providing the music.

The Rohrbach's great grandson, Bruce Muhlbach, now owns the homestead.

[2005-Bruce Mulbach et al trust owns se Ό 9-11-13 and sw Ό 10-11-13] 

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Revised: 02/11/2018