It might be of interest to know that the home place (the eighty
where Arthur Heim lives), was bought from Tom Fenton for $2300.
The quarter sections now owned by Wesley Heim and Melvin Heim were
bought at the same time as the home eighty from speculators for
$12.00 per acre. The Joseph G. Heim quarter now occupied by Lloyd
Heim was bought in 1879 for $1,050. Land prices took a slump because
of the grasshopper years. Eighty acres of this farm were "broke
out" the same year and sowed to fall wheat. From that one crop
of wheat they were able to pay for the whole quarter and had money
besides, wheat at that time yielding about 20 bushels per acre,
and selling for $1.25 per bushel.
To present and oncoming generations this might sound like a snap
and easy money, so it might be well to state that the prairie sod
was plowed with what was called a "sod buster", a walking
plow. It had to lay the sod just right so the grass would rot over
winter. The ground was prepared for sowing by horse drawn machinery,
the sowing done by hand. The grain was cut with a side rake harvester,
and every sheaf bound by hand. The side rake harvester, while a
great improvement over all previous methods, was far down the scale,
as we know harvesting machinery today. The horse drawn machine cut
the grain was which collected on a platform and was raked off by
hand into bundles the proper size for a sheaf.
Corn was put in with hand planters which were a great improvement
over the hoe but required much stopping and plenty of muscle and
It sounds like a tall tale but it is said to be absolute truth
that that Joseph G., Sam and their sister Sarah, planted eight acres
each a day. The price of corn these years was ten cents a bushel.
The land bought originally for Joseph G., Sam F. and Jonathan
Heim and for Emmanuel Ulmer was raw prairie. No fences, hedges,
trees, roads or buildings, but having learned not to shun hard work
it was not long until the prairie began to be dotted with substantial
homes, orchards and windbreaks. Hedges were put in for fences.
Jacob G. Heim made several visits to his old home in Pennsylvania
and in Ohio, where he was not too heartily welcomed by some of the
older people who were fearful lest his account of the fertile land
and no stones might induce their children to also come west. Their
fears were well grounded as in March 1879, Mr. And Mrs. John Sippley
with their family of Henry, Mollie, Ella and Andrew, and John Gross,
who was Mrs. Sippley's father, came from Bucyrus, Ohio. They bought
a farm about a mile east of Jacob G. Heim. John Gross was Mrs. Heim's
In the fall of 1879 came Mr. And Mrs. Frederick Marquardt and
two sons, John and David. They bought the Alex Coleman farm, now
owned by Mr. and Mrs. Arlo Coons, located several miles north of
Dawson. Mrs. Marquardt was a half cousin of Mrs. Jacob G. Heim.
In September 1880, Mr. And Mrs. Christian Wuster came, bringing
four children, Anna, Henry, Thomas, and Charles. They bought the
farm next south of her parents, the Fred Marquardts.
During this winter of 1880, Mr. And Mrs. David Wagner and family
of Will, and his wife Kate, George, Sam and Reuben, came. They bought
a farm southwest of Dawson. He was a half uncle to Mrs. John Sippley,
Mrs. John J. Heim, Mrs. Jacob Ulmer and Johnnie Heim. His wife,
Christina (Eckard) was a sister of the "Four Eckards"
father and so she was their aunt.
Mr. and Mrs. John "Johnnie" Heim came in May, 1881,
bringing their family of six, Rosa, Regina, Jonas, Christ, Linda
and Alma. They bought a farm from Tom Fenton which now belongs to
Dr. Harlan S. Heim. Along with them came John. J. Heim and Emanuel
Ulmer. John J. Heim soon returned to Pennsylvania.
Emanuel Ulmer of Pennsylvania, a young unmarried man (but had
already picked the girl) worked for Jacob G. Heim. He soon married
Sarah, eldest daughter of the Heims and bought the farm now occupied
by Mrs. Charles Wuster. Jacob G. Heim had bought this farm previously
for $1600 from a Mr. Rickart and sold it to the Ulmers for $3300,
showing the rapid rise in the price of land.
In March 1882, Mr. And Mrs. John J. Heim and family of Lizzie,
Jake, Anna, Mary, Israel, Willie, and Lucy, came to Nebraska. They
purchased the Henry Allen farm just across the road north of the
Jacob G. Heim place, where Lowell Heim now lives.
Henry W. Heim, another unmarried man, whom I suspect, had romantic
ideas too, came in 1883 when his uncle, Jacob G. Heim, returned
from a visit in Pennsylvania. He worked for his uncle for a short
time and then rented the "O'Donnell farm. He married Regina,
second daughter of Johnnie Heim. They bought the farm now owned
by Alfred Ramsey, east of Dawson. Later they sold this farm and
bought the one owned by Johnnie Heim, his father-in-law to be.
In October 1883, Mr. And Mrs. John A. Kerr and family of Minnie,
Charles, Emma and Carrie, came from Bucyrus, Ohio. Mrs. Kerr's sister,
Ella Eckard, came with them and later returned to Ohio. They bought
a farm a half mile east of Jacob G. Heim's. Later they sold this
and bought another southwest of Dawson. Mrs. Kerr was a granddaughter
of John Gross and a cousin, once removed to Mrs. John J. Heim, Johnnie
Heim and Mrs. Jacob Ulmer.
In January '84, Mr. And Mrs. Jacob Ulmer came with their family
of Rebecca, Sarah and Solomon. They bought the eighty-acre farm,
which now adjoins Dawson on the northeast and also is the next farm
south from Jacob G's place. This farm was purchased from "Uncle
Billy" Fenton, Mrs. Ulmer was a sister of Mrs. John J. Heim
and Johnnie Heim and as stated previously, related to several other
families of the Pennsylvania-Ohio group.
In November 1884, Mrs. Catherine Ulmer (mother of Emanuel Ulmer)
came from Pennsylvania with her family of Israel, Sarah and Martin.
They bought the farm where Berton Williamson now lives and in 1885
Israel and Martin bought the farm lying across the road from it.
This last farm was purchased for $8000 from a Mr. Kiess. This is
where the Elmer Thacker family now lives.
In February 1885, Mr. And Mrs. John Eckard of Bucyrus, Ohio, came.
John had visited his aunts, Mrs. John Sippley and Mrs. David Wagner,
so knew he liked Nebraska. His new bride was a sister of John A.
Kerr and he a brother to Mrs. Kerr. He was a cousin once removed
to Mrs. Jacob G. Heim through the Gross kinship, and through the
Wagners was a cousin once removed to Mrs. John J. Heim, Mrs. Jacob
Ulmer and Johnnie Heim.
In March 1886 came Mr. And Mrs. William Stoltz and family of Charles,
Jacob, Isaac, Samuel, William F. Ezra and Clara. They came from
Pennsylvania and bought a farm several miles northeast of Dawson.
Mrs. Stoltz was a niece of Mrs. Catherine Ulmer. She was also related
to Mrs. Jacob G. Heim and Jacob Ulmer.
In February 1887, Ella, Emma and George Eckard came from Bucyrus,
Ohio. They were young people and were sisters and brother to John
Eckard and Mrs. John Kerr. They were also related in some degree
to all the other so the colony here.
After this no more families came to make their home here in Nebraska.
Land was going up in price quite rapidly and they could not buy
without going rather deeply into debt.
As noted all the families mentioned were related to each other in
some way and so make up the foundation of the Pennsylvania Colony
in Nebraska. Those who came here from Ohio had originally lived
in Pennsylvania and had only "stopped off" in Ohio before
coming to Nebraska.