Sunday, January 14, 2018

Elks baseball – another trip down Memory Lane


Rummaging through some memorabilia recently, we came across a photo of what was labeled as the 1950 Chadron Elks baseball team.  We have a few team photos from those years – but none that has shown together the two stalwart pitchers who brought great strength to the Elks in their heyday years.

Above at left in a warm-up jacket is Ed Puck.  Next to him is Andy Anderson.  Peeking over Puck's left shoulder is long-time team manager Paul Rhodes.

A few years ago, Con Marshall penned a story featuring Andy Anderson, but also providing a bit of information about Ed Puck.  Old-timers well remember both these fellows, especially Andy Anderson, who has called Chadron home for many years now.

Con has graciously allowed us to post his story.  It's originally dated 2014, but it's a timely story we think you'll enjoy.  Just click on the link below:


Saturday, January 6, 2018


That's Curtis Baldwin.  He and his brothers George and Ernest operated "test farms" at three locations in western Nebraska during the 1920's and '30's.  By the 1940's, they were also operating Baldwin Iron Works in Dawes County.  Their lasting legacy, however, was the Baldwin Gleaner combine.  But there's more to their story...
Read about the

Monday, December 25, 2017

WWII was over; these were East Ward 1st Graders!

FRONT ROW (L-R):  Russett Ann Tangeman, Richard Lenington, Mary Masek, Ernest Milburn, Mildred Zarr, Lawrence Denton, Irene Pugh, and Robert Olson.
MIDDLE ROW:  David Rice, Kathleen Higgins, Karen Sweigln, Robert Crawford, Eric Pokorny, Darlene Dau, Keith Schieldhaver.
BACK ROW:  Kenneth Maika, Bill Hallsted, Marilyn Morgan, Butch Sinclair, Janet Goodrich, Beverly Cronk, and Hildegarde Neilson.
(Photo courtesy of Lawrence Denton)

NOTE:  You'll find close-ups and more class photos in our SCHOOLS GALLERY

Saturday, November 25, 2017

No cell phones? Kids had "Time on Their Hands"

by Larry Miller

On a winter day back in 1947, the Lincoln Journal-Star published a story about how high school students in Chadron were spending their time.  The report was based a survey of 77 high school students and was conducted by Chadron State Teachers College.  We don't know if the kids were from Chadron Prep, Assumption Academy, Chadron High – or all of those schools.

It wasn't front page news, but the page 6 story offered some interesting contrasts with today's young people – most of whom are attached to a smart phone or some other "social media" device.

Slugged "Time on Their Hands," here's the text of that newspaper report from 70 years ago:

"A survey conducted by the state teachers college at Chadron in the local high school has brought out some interesting statistics as to how these pupils spend their time.  

Most of the students had outside work, averaging an hour and three quarters daily; an hour and 28 minutes is spent listening to the radio; a little over an hour watching or participating in sports; an hour reading; 48 minutes playing a musical instrument; 36 minutes on dates.  They attend the theater twice a week on the average.

Only two of the seventy-seven students surveyed cannot dance.  Twenty-eight percent receive an average weekly allowance of $2.05, while those who work earn nearly four dollars in their out-of-school time."

It would be interesting to compare those findings with contemporary data.  

We'd hazard a guess that only two of seventy-seven students surveyed today CAN dance.  We're also inclined to think that kids aren't reading books much these days.  Although we suspect they do spend more than an hour reading – but it's top-heavy with short bursts of items from Facebook and other social media.

And 70 years ago, if you asked someone if they had a cell phone, they likely would have thought you had the misguided notion they were doing time in the basement jail at the old City Hall with a pay phone at the end of the hall – not a device appended to their person nearly 24/7.

Not sure which of those two scenarios is worse.   ...Sigh.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sharing stories about the old C&NW "Cowboy Line"

Retired railroader Lynn Bilyeu
There's something about railroading that captures the imagination.  And we were pleasantly surprised to see a Scottsbluff Star-Herald story about the Chicago & Northwestern Railway line that served western Nebraska and the surrounding region for many decades.

The story was told by a railroader whom we've had the pleasure of knowing for many years – Lynn Bilyeu of Chadron – pictured here from a photo taken a few years ago.  A long-time telegrapher and dispatcher with the C&NW, Lynn is also a veteran amateur radio operator (KØODF) and is one of the few who continues to operate "CW" using Morse Code.  But that's another story!

Here's a link to Steve Frederick's story in the Star-Herald:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Chadron native authors book on running

by Con Marshall

A Chadron native, who recalls he “hated running” when he was in high school in the mid-1970s, has written a book some 40 years later telling how much he loves it, or at least how it has become his passion and made him much healthier.

The runner-turned-author is Bill Watts, who lives in Littleton, Colo.  His book is titled “Running for the Average Joe.”  It is being recognized as ranking among the most comprehensive books ever written about running, covering what one noted runner says is “everything from A to Z” about what has become one of America’s more popular and healthier activities.

Watts, 59, said he got what amounted to a “wakeup call” on January 1, 2002 when he learned that his blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate “were all through the roof” and he tipped the scales at 199.5 pounds, a lot more than he should have weighed.

He knew it was time to change his lifestyle or he was in trouble.  Although he refuses to call it a New Year’s resolution, his new resolve has remained with him.

While he said initially he couldn’t jog more than halfway around a 400-meter track without thinking he would pass out, five months later on Memorial Day he was in the throng that ran the Bolder Boulder.

Since then he’s run hundreds of 5-K and 10-K races and completed 88 marathons, which are 26 miles, 385 yards, in 31 states and also has run numerous longer races, often to benefit causes he supports.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

In the shadow of Sheridan Gates


This undated photograph shows the ranch of Rex Earl.  Located in the Beaver Valley community just to the east of Chadron, you can see the "Sheridan Gates" in the background.  This is the region through which many settlers and and U.S. Army troops passed in the waning years of the 1800's.   Photo is courtesy of the Dawes County Historical Society Museum.