The following is a copy of a letter written by Blanch Persons Bednar 22 May 1948 and addressed to the her friends in Solon Springs, Wisconsin. She was living in Seattle WA with her youngest son, Bud. The trial she is referring to was a car accident that occurred May 1947 when the car Blanche and several of her adult children were riding in was struck by a logging truck. Two of her children died in the wreck. And most of the family members suffered severe injuries.
Seattle Washington May 22nd 1948 Dear Friends, I had hoped I would be there for the reunion at the L.C.S. hall, but it will be impossible. Our trial will start June 16th and I can not leave'till after it is over. It was a year ago today since it all started and I don't know how much longer it will be yet. As long as I can't be there I will try to put down on paper the things I remember best about the days gone by. I was married May 28th 1899 in Butte, Nebraska. For seven years we lived on a farm two miles out of Gross. In July of 1906 we left there and went to Quinn, S.D. to take up a homestead. The first four years we did very well so we bought a second place of 160 acres and went in big for small grain. Then came the Army Cut Worms, they took over 275 acres of grain from us in one year. The next year it was the Grasshoppers. The year after that we dryed out from lack of rain. All in all we didn't do so pretty good. Frank took a trip out to Superior, Wisc. and dealt for a place in Blueberries in Jan. of 1915. He came home and listed for a sale and sold almost everything we had. On March 15th o the same year, Frank, Harvey, and Eugene took an immegrat (sic) car and four horses and came to Superior. After they got unloaded the man we were buying from said he had changed his mind and didn't want to sell now. The Howe Bros. Co. took them out to see the place there in Solon. Frank and the boys moved into the Leo Lord saw mill camp on the Little Buckey creek, north of what later became the Frank Waterburry place. On March 15th, the same day Frank and the boys left for Wisc., I took the five younger children and went to my sisters in white River, S. D. We planned to stay only three days before moving on. As usual, a late spring blizzard came along and we were snowed in for over a week. We had to go by slay (sic) 50 miles to the nearest railroad at Winner. About half way there the drifts got so big we had to stop at a hotel in Carter. I worked for our room and board for three days before we were able to go on. We spent a few days with my mother in Gross, Neb., finally arriving in Solon Springs on April 8th 1915. From St. Paul on I was so sick I couldn't see straight, and the kids cried and wanted to go back home. Frank met us at the 2 P.M. train and we had soup at Mrs. Rainney's soup stand by the post office. Then we went to see our new home. The road was so icey and melting snow made water every. The trees were so high one could see nothing but the sky overhead. I was tired and worn out, so I cried and like the children, wished I were back in S. Dakota where there were no trees and one could see for more than two feet ahead of them. After I had rested up and became interested in the building of our new home, I forgot about how disappointed I had been that first day. In the weeks that followed my biggest worry was the children. They had been raised in the open prairie and here there was nothing but trees and brush. I'll never forget one day just before we moved into our new log home. One of the chickens we had bought from Bruce Coleman died. I told Gene and Lawerence to take out back and bury it. A few minutes later I heared Laura and Mable calling for help. They had tried to follow the boys and got lost in the brush. The funny part of the whole things is that when I found them they wer'nt (sic) more than 30 feet back of the house. This is one of the times I remember best. But in that first year I spent many a worried minute hunting for my poor lost kids. That first year we went to Solon for the 4th of July. The next year we went to Fred Hills. The two years following that we built a big bowery and had the 4th of July doings at our place. Before the L.C.C. hall was built we went around to each others place on Sunday. I remember one Sunday at our place. The men and boys had a tug-o-war. They made so much noise that they frightened Jake Smith's team into running away down on the meadow. I remember another gathering at Wards. Mr and Mrs. Hendry were there. They had only two children then, if I remember right. Florence spoke a piece called "Bowser Shall Be Tied Tonight". Mrs. Ward went out and hunted eggs. She brought in one big one and one small one. She held them up to the crowd and said, "These remind me of Mrs. Johnson and Mrs Bednar." Fred told me that in five years there wouldn't be any one left to go to school there. He got fooled again. We had school there for 23 years, I think it was. Our children went to Lincoln for several years where there was no school at the McKinley. Frank passed away in March of 1924. We stayed on the farm for two years, then moved to town for a year. We had been back on the farm for about a year and a half when Martin took sick and joined his father. With all of the older boys out on there (sic) own, I had no one to help me run the farm. So in 1931 the younger children and I moved back to Solon to stay. If I were there with you folks I would no doubt have a lot more to say. But for a letter, this is getting rather long. Here are some pictures taken in those first years. The one where Buddy is standing in the door way must have been taken when the men were building the hall. I didn't write enough on the back and I can't remember for sure. Please take care of the pictues 'till I get there sometime this summer. I'll see you all then. Your old (not so old) friend Blanche Bednarfrom the Butte, Boyd County Nebraska Courthouse
I, Frank J. Bednar do declare on oath, that it is bona-fide my intention to become a CITIZEN of the United States and do renounce and adjure forever all ALLEGIANCE AND FIDELITY to all and any foreign Prince, Potentate, State, and Sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly to The Emperor of Austria of whom I was a subject. Frank Bednar Subscribed in my presence and sworn to before me, at my office in Butte this 5 day of December A.D. 1893 G. T. Bastedo Clerk of the District Cour of the County of Boyd Neb.
I, Martin Bednar do declare on oath, that it is bona-fide my intention to become a CITIZEN of the United States and do renounce and adjure forever all ALLEGIANCE AND FIDELITY to all and any foreign Prince, Potentate, State, and Sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly to The Emperor of Austria of whom I was a subject. Martin Bednar Subscribed in my presence and sworn to before me, at my office in Butte this 5 day of March A.D. 1897 E. G. Barnsum Clerk of the District Cour of the County of Boyd Neb.