Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jake Haigler

Written by John W. Haigler


Jacob Russell Haigler, better known as Jake Haigler, located his dugout and corrals in the Republican river and the Arickaree before there was a railroad. The first post office was established at his ranch in 1879 when the settlements were few and far between. They consisted principally of cattlemen and cowboys connected with them. Haigler Ranch had open doors to all comers. I have been informed by James M. Morris, now of Littleton, Colorado, that Jake Haigler was one of the first Commissioners of Dundy County.

In 1881-1882, the Burlington Railroad extended their lines from Indianola, Nebraska to Denver, Colo. They established a camp about one mile from the Haigler ranch house and made this camp their headquarters while building the road. After moving their camp on west, they built a depot and established a stock yard and named the station Haigler. Cattle from many miles around were driven and shipped from this station.

Jacob, third son of Eli Haigler and Elizabeth Ann (Hinkle) Haigler, was born in Franklin County, Missouri, February 7, 1836 and died September 29, 1905 at his ranch near Young, Gila County, Arizona.

Jake, as he was commonly called, never married. He was seven years old when his father died and fifteen when his mother died. His education was of a common school. After his father died, the family moved to Holt county, Missouri in 1843 where his mother entered a homestead in Section 12, Township 60, Range 39 and 40. After his mother died in 1851, his brother, John W. and sister, Mary went back to Franklin County, Missouri and made their home with an uncle, Isaac Hinkle. When the war broke out in 1861, he left Missouri and in company with several others, went to the gold fields of California. From Missouri they went to New York and there took a ship for Panama. Here they crossed the isthmus with pack mules, took a ship again on the Pacific Ocean and landed at San Francisco, California. From there he went to the gold fields near Sacramento. Here he prospected for awhile, then drifted into Nevada. From there he went to Idaho where he engaged in the sheep business and remained there during the early seventies.

He then came back to Missouri, Holt County, for Christmas or 1875. After spending the winter in Holt and Franklin County, Mo., during the spring of 1876, he, with friends from Missouri went to western Nebraska and Colorado and in June of 1876, he located his ranch, which is now in Dundy County, Nebraska and built his dugout on the hog-back between the north fork of the Republican River and the Arikaree. He was widely known as a cowman and his ranch was headquarters for roundup parties of cattlemen from Texas to Montana. From letters of C. L. Ray, Jake was the most hospitable cowman on the river. His ranch was open to both grangers and cowmen. He was a man who had a big heart and a very pleasant personality. He had friends by the score. As Jimmy Morris said, “Jake Haigler was the highest type of man. He was all honor and his word was as good as gold, as brave a heart as a lion.” In 1881-82, the Burlington Railroad extended their lines to Denver, passing through his ranch near his house and named the station in honor of his name.

Among the men who worked for Jake was the distinguished Irish cook, Billie Welch, who was widely known for his Irish jokes and whit. Jake’s foreman was William Goslin. There were two other men I know of, James Webster and Dick Burnes. I understand Jake built the first hotel at Benkelman and put Billie Welch in charge of it. Later he was interested in a store at Benkelman with James Morris. The fall of 1883 he sold his ranch and visited one year in Missouri. In 1886 he again engaged in the cattle business in Arizona, near Payson and Tempe. The firm name was Ming, Haigler and Kensel. From 1886 to 1903, Jake made several trips back to Missouri to visit his only brother. His ranch house was the scene of many battles with the Indians when old Geronimo was on the war path down in Arizona. One time the Indians took several hundred head of his cattle, and after killing what they wanted to eat, Jake and his men got the rest back. One time some of his cowboys were killed by the Indians, but never at any time did they try to harm Jake Haigler.

His tragic death, as taken from The Silver Belt, a paper published at Globe, Arizona, states the following:

“Jake R. Haigler of Pleasant Valley, near Young, Arizona, was thrown from a mule he was firing on Sept. 26th or 27th, 1905. He had gone to fix a watergap up the creek a short distance from his home. He had been warned to be careful about this mule, as she was tricky. W. J. Young had told him that morning before he left for him not to ride that mule. After Young left, Jake saddled up the mule and went to fix the watergap. Mr. Young was away that night and Jake did not return. His going and coming was not unusual for he would often go to some of the neighbors. The mule came in next morning without the rider and an alarm was put out. A party composed of W. J. Young and others started looking for him. He was found near the water gap. Near this place stood a leaning tree where a cattle trail passed. The supposition is that when passing under this tree, Jake leaned over to one side and the mule jumped. He being old and quite feeble, it is thought when the mule jumped that Jake fell off and his foot hung in the stirrup. The mule probably kicked him and going around, his head struck a sharp edged rock, on which was found matted blood and grey hair. He had crawled to the water edge of the creek to get a drink. He was unconscious when found. A physician was sent for, which was some sixty miles. He rallied for a short time, but passed away soon after. Death came September 29, 1905.”

He was buried where he always said he wanted to be buried, on top of a little hill near the Mogollon Mountains overlooking his ranch and his last home. He had many friends in Phoenix, Tempe, Clifton, Globe and Holbrook, Arizona. His ranch was located on a creek near a large spring in Gila County, Arizona, 125 miles from Holbrook, the nearest railroad station in a mountainous country. This writer, a nephew, was called by wire when Jake was first hurt, but it being a long way there, Mr. Haigler had died and was buried before I arrived. So this was the ending of Jacob R. Haigler, whom the town of Haigler, Nebraska, was named after.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nebraska Storms

If you live in Nebraska or Kansas, you grow up learning to keep an eye on the weather. Yesterday evening there were thunderstorms around the area. These wonderful 'acts of nature' sometimes bring fierce thunder and lightening and sometimes the feared tornado. A note from Cal this morning at 6:26 a.m. said, "I am writing this 6/16 PM, our server tower was hit by lightning this AM and we are out of service until you receive this."

It seems that the weather is more severe this summer than usual, but we have also gotten some of the nicest spring days that I remember for quite a few years. Every day the weather around us is erupting with some kind of storm. I found a website "" written by a storm chaser, Brian Thalken who takes amazing pictures of the storms across Nebraska and Kansas that he is chasing. He even has a live camera on his site that shows current activity when he is out chasing a storm.

I grew up loving thunderstorms. Probably because my dad loved to sit on the east porch out of the rain and listen and watch the lightening flash across the sky and the thunder roll and rumble in the background. We liked to sit there with him. It is a good memory of thunderstorms.

-- have a "nice weather day!"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Author is at Work

Mamma and I went Garage ‘Sailing’ on Friday. We found her a desk for $10 and an office chair for $5.

Here she is showing off her “new” office which she shares with the “toy room” … She has a desk, lamp and office chair in her “office corner” and a little couch to complete the sitting room side.

She is working hard on typing some notes that she brought along to work on.

My next project is to get her computer networked or somehow capable of getting online so she can check her email on her own computer and get on the internet to do family research.

As some of you know, she is spending the summer here to work on her autobiography. We hope to get it finished up by the end of the summer so we can figure out how to get it published and shared with family and friends.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Grandpa - Lester Adams

My Grandpa got a 1936 Harley Davidson motorcycle. A man gave it to him in a bucket and he put it together himself. Miraculously, it ran! He rode his motorcycle alot after he got it put together. It was a beautiful sky blue. Sometimes he had to push it to get it started, but it never broke down on him. It was the only motorcycle he ever had.

His cousin, John Hoover, sometimes had to help him push it when it didn't want to start. He doesn't remember much else because it was a long time ago. There weren't any other motorcycles like that in the Haigler area at the time. My Grandpa's motorcycle is worth alot of money now, and he wishes he still had it. He sold it right before he went into the service.

(age 10)

Class of 1935

This picture was taken of the "Class of 1935" at the recent Alumni Reunion in Haigler. Pictured from left to right are:
David Roach, Don Harford, Virginia (Clegg) Harford and Wallace McKay.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Filed Claim & Robbers

Highwayman Robs Train

Shooting on Bryan Train

They Came - They Went

They got up this morning – early – before I opened my eyes – and stealth-fully snuck out the door, hopped in their car and headed for Haigler. They had come last Monday to spend the week attending the SDA Kansas-Nebraska Camp Meeting held at the College View church in Lincoln.

From the “guest room” in my house they drove back and forth enjoying such speakers as Dennis Smith, a pastor from New England, Dan Smith, Senior Pastor at LaSierra University Church in Tennessee and Timothy R. Jennings, M.D. They took my mother with them and enjoyed time together while I had to work during the day, attending with them only a few times during the week.

What a blessing it is to “get a new perspective on life” from knowledgeable people who’s lives are dedicated to “helping others.” I really wish I could have heard more of Dr. Jennings talks. His research and style made knowing how our minds work so easy to understand. I purchased his book, “Could It Be This Simple?”, A Biblical Model for Healing The Mind, which contains what he has learned about the connection between ‘what we believe’ and how it affects our mental state of mind.

Ray & Floy Ruggles were guests for six days, but the time went by so fast that I barely knew they were here. I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful, considerate and kind aunt as Floy and an uncle who loves her.

Could It Be This Simple?

I Remember When

I ran across the following note I wrote quite awhile ago and thought I'd share it with you today:

I remember when we didn't have plastic, penicillin, computers, DNA, electricity, inside plumbing and automatic transmissions! Somewhere I saw a list of things invented in the last 50 years and it was HUGE!!

We didn’t have electricity or indoor plumbing in our house until I was 8 years old. My mamma’s cousin Doris’s husband, Bob Schorzmann came and wired the house and put in the light fixtures and switches. I remember the day the REA man came and turned on our electricity. Daddy was gone somewhere all day and we couldn’t wait for him to get home that night. We ran around and turned on all the lights upstairs and down.

When daddy came over the hill by Ern Workman’s west of our place, he saw the lights of the house and said he thought we were going to use a whole month’s electricity in the first night!! But when he got home, he danced around our circle when we sang. “Let there be light” and we laughed until our sides hurt.

We got indoor plumbing at about the same time. My Uncles Ed Rath and Owney Fisher came and helped turn the pantry into a bathroom. There were some other neighbors that came too. Dick and I were fascinated by being able to walk through the wall between the pantry and kitchen before they plastered it up. And we were in the way while they were stringing the electric wires and plumbing pipes through the walls. They installed a tank and pump in the basement that pumped the water from the cistern out by the fence that got it’s water from the windmill down the hill. They put in a hot water heater that worked from a propane tank out by the cistern. Boy, were we getting FANCY!? Mamma didn’t have to hand pump the water for baths and dishes anymore. All you had to do is turn the faucet!! FANCY SMANCY!!

We have seen a lot of changes in our lifetime. Life used to be simpler when the phone wasn't in your pocket and credit cards hadn't been invented yet.

I remember when gas was 18 cents a gallon and you drove 50 miles an hour. The tires had "white walls" and Nebraska license tags said "The Beef State" and Kansas was “The Wheat State”.

You could go to town and buy 100 chicks, 5 gallons of frozen pie cherries and 10 bushels of Elberta peaches which even the kids helped peal and put in the jars for canning.

A stick of peppermint candy was a penny and soda pop was 5 cents. We had never heard of Coca Cola, but we did know about grape soda and crème soda.

You could trade a pound of butter and a crate of eggs for groceries and live on $10 for a long time!

Our toys were made of tin, rubber or wood and we only had a few, except for our neighbor, Karen - She had EVERYTHING! A dollhouse with furniture and a family of dolls, toy dishes, a little stove and toy sized pans, a toy iron and ironing board.

My first job, at the age of 14, paid 50 cents an hour and I thought I was rich! We didn't know about the 40 hour work weeks, we just worked until it was done. We didn't get SSN numbers until we got REAL jobs.

We had Continental Trailways AND Greyhound buses that stopped at every town along Highway 34 from Lincoln to Denver and you could ride the Denver Zephyr if you wanted to go in "luxury". No one I knew had ever been in an "airliner".

Our cars all had 4/50 air conditioning: (4 windows open and 50 miles an hour) and FM radios were a thing of the future. No one had even heard of “tape decks” until into the 1960s when “they” came out with 8 tracks.

Our music was either on the radio or 45 records. LPs came along and we thought we had it made! Then we got transistor radios that allowed us to take our music with us anywhere!

We had "adding machines" that had 9 numbers and a 0 with a pull down handle that added the numbers together. They were not electric. The first "calculator" I saw weighed 2 pounds and cost so much the ordinary person couldn’t afford one. We all learned how to use the SLIDE RULE.

Our bicycles had “fat” tires and the brakes worked by moving the peddles backwards. You kept a patch kit nearby and knew how to use it.

What things do YOU remember from when you were a kid?


Happy Birthday - Claudine Sterner

Hope your birthday is a happy one, Claudine!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

1968 40th Reunion

Click on picture to enlarge - Right Click to download

Here is a photograph of those attending their Haigler High School, 40th reunion. A good time was had by all those attending.

In Attendance were Art Klinzmann, Marvin Carlock, Wayne Ferguson, Kathy (Schorzman) Fry, MeryLu (Wall) Simmons, Terri (Blecha) Yost, Louise (Zuege) Thomsen.

Those class members unable to attend were. Vonnie (Day) Dawes, Pat (Douglass) Gardner, Carol (Mann) Mattheis, Marvin Oster, Jackie (Smith) Bachman, Eileen Walker, Dwight Wall,

One class member, Jim (Goose) Trembly, is deceased and remembered by his classmates.

--Kathie (Schorzman) Fry

See them as they were in 1968: Class of 1968

Go to TOP

Haiglerites 90+

Haiglerites 70+

Haiglerites 1 - 69 (Some of these have moved past the 70 mark!)

  • Aaron Irwin - May 7th
  • Bernice (Smith) Douglass - February 15
  • CD Samler - January 19
  • Cal Freehling - November 29
  • Claudine (Wiley) Sterner - June 8, 1940
  • Dan Leinen - September 10
  • Dick Gregory - May 29, 1946
  • Elaine (Adams) Corkle - July 29
  • Eunice (Gregory) Richard - December 14, 1951
  • George Sharp - March 27
  • Glenda Smith - December 31
  • Janice Irwin - December 27th
  • Jerry R. Sampson - August 17
  • Joanie Henderson - January 2
  • Joann (Adams) Webster - March 5
  • Joie Brown - December 4
  • Joyce (Tucker) Lovenburg - Sep. 17
  • Karen (White) Lindell - June 13, 1946
  • Karen Harford - May 20
  • LaVern Smith - January 12
  • LaVeta (Smith) Blecha - January 12
  • LeNeta Carlock - May 7
  • LeeAnn Steinbeck January 30
  • Leone (Gregory) Carlson - January 27, 1943
  • Lloyd Douglass - March 18
  • Marlin Crouse - May 7
  • Mel Fisher - August 8, 1946
  • Paul Freehling - May 23
  • Sally Leinen - March 25
  • Sharna Richardson - January 15, 1959
  • Sherri Gregory - January 20, 1945
  • Stanley Carlock - December 12
  • Tim Steinbeck January 31

GOC Observers

  • Alice Gregory
  • Barbara (Dexter) Platon
  • Claudine (Wiley) Sterner
  • Dallas Adams
  • Dick Gregory
  • Don Harford
  • Evoi (Billy) Clark
  • Gail Harford
  • Gladys Freehling
  • Glen Childers
  • Hazel Daniels
  • Karen Harford
  • Leah (Gregory) Brewer
  • Leone (Gregory) Carlson
  • Lillian Mahon
  • Lillie White
  • Linda (Harford) Jones
  • Lloyd Douglass
  • Melba Harford
  • Myrna Oster
  • Posts about GOC
  • Ray Harford
  • Richard Gregory
  • Sam Clegg
  • Sherri Gregory
  • Veda Douglass
  • Virginia Harford

Flying Haiglerites

Haigler Twins

  • Haigler Twins
  • Laurene Rohn & Larry Crabtree
  • Marilyn and Gerrald Logan
  • Gail & Galena Roach
  • Kyle & Kaleb Greenwood
  • Ryan Jean & Lucas Walker Mildenberger
  • LuAnn Green Wall and LuRue Green Krutsinger
  • Edgar and Edna Williams - b. 1895
  • William & Stanley Palmer
  • Frank & Frances Tiff - (Shauer)
  • Fernando & Mahala Trembly - (McBride)
  • Donna and Dennis Workman
  • Marlene and Darlene Workman
  • Rodney and Ronney Workman
  • Rusty and Randy Flamig
  • Robert and Richard Ambrosek
  • Chase & Seth Barron (Grandsons of Delford Trembly)
  • Robert & Delbert Tucker (Alvie's)
  • Ali and Alvie Tucker
  • Albert and Elva Enfield
  • Natalie and Nicole Harford
  • Sharon & Shirley Williams
  • Lloyd and Floyd Smith
  • Jami and Joni Pevler
  • Stella and Zella (Altman) Wall
  • Janice & Julia Relph
  • Pearline and Pauline Freehling
  • Sharon Ruth and Sheila Louise Rose
  • LaVerne & Laveta Smith
  • LaVoine & LaVonne Smith
  • Elois & Elaine Adams
  • Dorothy & Donnie Brown
  • Carolyn and Marilyn Samson
  • Galena & Gail Collicott
  • Grand-daughters of Rae White
  • John "Keefe" and Kiara Grace Schorzman