You will find the Pictures, History and Stories

about Ashland’s Historic Homes on this page of our website:


Historic Homes histories, memories & stories
. . . the following are detailed below:

* * W. A. Harnsberger

* * Squire Hill – Grover & Mary Ann Squires

* * Shedd, H. H. – Harnsberger, Carl W. – Proctor, Ron & Elaine

* * Dennis Dean ‘Limestone House’

NEW page * “Dennis Dean Limestone House & History” < link

has very important & substantive historical information
about Dennis’ contributions to the Ashland community,
dating from the 1860’s,
including his part in bringing the railroad to Ashland
this early family, we have made a special page for it
(You are invited to see the ‘Railroads of Ashland‘ page, as well)

* * Ernest A. Wiggenhorn Mansion

NEW page * * “Earnest A. Wiggenhorn” <link

the history of the Wiggenhorn Mansion is extensive.
The family has informed the AHS that their private collection
of photos contains interior photographs that were
taken and published in a magazine ‘of the day’ similar to
‘House Beautiful’ – it is their intention to make those
photographs available for the AHS to publish here.

* * P. W. (Phillip Weeks) Folsom

* * Walton, Charles N. & Pearl – West, Earl & Alice

* * The Beetison Mansion

NEW page * “The Beetison Home & Mansion” < link
has so much important historical information about
this early family, we have made a special page for it

SEVERAL new homes have been ADDED (2012-2013):


courtesy of Glimpses of The Past – Lillian Bailey



* LUTTON HOME  1925 Adams Street

* DARST – WILLIAMS – OWEN HOME –  502 North 12th Street

* ULSTROM – LUTTON – REISEN HOME – 1641 Clay Street

* * * We have MOVED our stories about the Burlington Depot
to our NEW  Railroads of Ashland   < page
this page will describe the important history
of RAILROADS in the growth of Ashland NE

W. A . Harnsberger home – NE Corner of 15th & Clay

A historical presentation was given to the AHS-SFHPS by Brenda May and her mother and an article appeared in the Ashland Gazette about the W. A. Harnsberger home.

“These walls can talk: about Ashland’s past”

A family that bought the historic Harnsberger home finds drawings,
poetry and the family’s history under wallpaper.

The aticle below appeared in the Ashland Gazette on October 14th 2007
we reprint it here, with grateful acknowledgement to Suzi Nelson, Ashland Gazette ASHLAND, Neb.:

Members of a local family made an interesting discovery as they peeled away wallpaper in their historic home.  It started as a simple remodeling project. Brenda May was taking off old wallpaper in preparation to redo a water-damaged wall in the staircase leading to the second floor of her home.  As she peeled away the gold-striped paper, which had probably been glued on 50 years ago, she found drawings underneath on the original plaster.  The drawings were of women in long dresses and men in top-hats and long coats.  May was intrigued by them, but they did not pique her interest as much as what she found further down the stairs.  At the first landing, the wallpaper removal revealed several names.  The entire wall was filled with names like “Miss Duty Von Mansfield” and “Miss Armstrong”  under the heading “Teachers of Ashland Public School of 1902.”
The names came with a poem:
” Our teachers dear We love them all
For we are at their Beck and call ”

The name Emma Frances Harnsberger was written below.  The words, written in a fancy but youthful script, were not the first seen by the May family.  In an upstairs hallway, the wallpaper had peeled away after years of humidity and  active occupants.  At the time, the family didn’t think much of it, writing it off as a child’s scribbling.  But with this newly revealed handiwork, May’s daughter, Savannah, took it upon herself to do a little research upstairs. As she peeled away the layers of old wallpaper, more information was revealed about previous occupants of the house.  Emma Harnsberger had used the upstairs hallway to record her family history.  On the top of the wall was ” Harnsberger Family, written the 15th day of May 1902. ” Below, the names of Emma’s family were listed, with dates following, probably their birthdates, May guessed.

The script included William Albert Harnsberger and Josephine Wiggenhorn Harnsberger, the parents.  The children were listed below: Augusta Ernestine, Emma Frances (written just a bit bigger than her siblings), William Ernest and Earl Wesley: followed by a fancy swirl.

insert – correction – July 5, 2012: we recently received an e-mail of a correction needed, regarding the ‘script” described above:

“The script included William Albert Harnsberger and Josephine Wiggenhorn Harnsberger, the parents. The children were listed below: Augusta Ernestine, Emma Frances (written just a bit larger than her siblings), William Ernest and Earl Wesley: followed by a fancy swirl.”  The last name is that of my grandfather, Carl Wesley (Harnsberger). not “Earl.”
Sincerely, R. Scott Harnsberger, Huntsville, Texas

The AHS wishes to thank Scott for this correction.  The Harnsberger house is a local favorite and famous for its history.  Records show it was built in the late 1800s and probably finished in 1902.  William Albert Harnsberger was a local businessman who ran an implement dealership.  His wife, Josephine, was a member of the Wiggenhorn family, which had been a part of Ashland since the community’s early years and had founded Farmers and Merchants Bank.  The upstairs hallway also revealed names of another family:  Ella Imogene McCaig, John McCaig, Irene McCaig and Harold McCaig.  May showed pictures of the writings to members of the (AHS) Saline Ford Historical Preservation Society at a recent meeting. Martha Fricke, whose late husband, Robert, was a descendant of  the Wiggenhorn family, said the McCaigs may have been related to the Harnsbergers.  ( Inserted note:Martha “Marney” (Cook) Fricke, Vice President of the AHS-SFHPS, passed way January 6, 2010 – her many contributions to the AHS-SFHPS and the Ashland NE community will be and are sorely missed ) May said although the writings and drawings are quite interesting, she will have to cover them up.  The upper walls of the stairway will have new drywall placed over the old plaster and lathe, something that cannot be put off, she said.  The bare plaster that contains the writings is still in good shape but will have to be painted, she added.  “As much as I really hate to, what do you do with it?” asked May.  May said she will honor the home’s history by keeping a salvaged piece of the  wallpaper that preserved one of the drawings and by framing photos of the writings.  She also plans to put a time capsule in the repaired wall that will have a picture of her daughter, copies of the Ashland Gazette and photos of the home past and present.  NOVEMBER 2010 update: Brenda May has had the complete roof restored & replaced.  Her ‘next project’ in the restoration of the famous home is to have the exterior completely repainted, gutters replaced, etc.

Christmas photo taken in 2010, by Brenda May, current owner The ‘carriage house’, shown in ‘No.32’ above, still stands in remarkable condition
The photo was taken many years ago is from a postcard ^ entitled ‘Ashland homes at 15th and Clay streets’

2012 – 2013: Brenda May, the owner, has continued the restoration and
refurbishing of this historic property, installing a new roof & painting the exterior.
Her ‘Halloween” displays are the subject of lots of pictures and conversation








SQUIRE HILL – 602 Dale Street

SQUIRE HILL 602 Dale Street, Ashland, Nebraska Legal Description: Lots 5-8 Block 4 Beetisons Addition to Ashland By Marie Squire Groenjes, April, 2008
In 1915 my paternal Grandparents, Grover and Mary Ann Squire, bought four lots in the Beetison Addition situated in East Ashland, Nebraska.
The lots were part of the Israel Beetison farm. Israel came to Ashland in 1859 to settle land,
then served in the Civil War, married and returned to farm in 1867.
Some of his land would have been the Government Land Grant given to Civil War Veterans.
 My Grandparents’ lots sit on a hill that slopes on all sides, giving a wide view of the surrounding country.
Grandfather contracted with a Mr. Peterson to build a two-story house
in the style of the Sears Farmhouse.  It cost $600 in 1915.
 Grandfather worked for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad
and he also sold nursery stock by horse and buggy.
My Father, Clifford P. Squire, also worked for the same railroad.
When he married my Mother, Mearl Marie Shirley, June 25, 1924,
he took over ownership of the property and he added the front porch,
a basement and a back porch or summer kitchen.
Above – left > the protrait photo from their wedding day – written on back of portrait < right below – a B&W snapshot of Cliff & Mearl Squire – June 25, 1924 – in the yard of “Squire Hill”

continuation of Marie Squire Groenjes history of Squire Hill:
We saw the sun rise over Beetison fields, pastures and The Seven Hollows.
It was always a spring ritual to cross the pasture into the Hollows to look for violets and mushrooms. I recall a disgruntled old ram chasing us into the woods on one occasion.
Now the sun comes up over the Iron Horse Development.
I don’t know when this hill became known as Squire Hill, but in my childhood, after a good snowfall, the City would close Dale Street and 6th Street on a weekend to make a safe sledding run.  People came from town and even brought four-man toboggans.
The latest addition to the house was a new kitchen in place of the back porch and decks
both at the kitchen level and above on the second floor. This was done in 1989.
The family always considered landscaping an important part of the home.  From Grandfather to my Father trees and gardens were planted and cared for even through drought.
Grandfather, being a nurseryman, grew many kinds of fruits and berries.
In 1939 I helped my father plant Siberian Elms given out by the Government,
and a hedge of Mulberry.   Most of them remain today.
Gerhard and I have added hardwoods and evergreens to the mix.
Hills on the prairie feel the wind the year around.
More photos from Marie Squire Groenjes collection:
left – photo taken June 24, 1924 right – winter scene – circa 1940’s

ahs  more-


Shedd-Harnsberger-Proctor Home
 NW corner of 16th & Boyd
1602 Boyd Street, Ashland, Nebraska Legal Description: Lots 11-12, Block 14, Flora City Addition to Ashland By Elaine Proctor 2008
The abstract of title begins as the East Quarter of Sec. 2, Township 12, and Range 9 East in Saunders County.
It was probably 80 acres in all and started selling in 10-acre segments in 1860.
The Flora City, Smith-Warbritten addition was deeded in 1868.
Although our house isn’t as originally built, that part of the house does still exist.
It was originally a square house with three or four rooms upstairs and probably 3 down.
When we remodeled, we could see that the living room had been opened up making one room out of two; probably the parlor and dining room with the third room being the kitchen. Going upstairs there were possibly 3 or 4 bedrooms and later, when the back part of the house was added on, the back staircase was added and a bathroom.
In the attic you can see the original roof and where the addition was added on.
Kate L. Shedd purchased these lots in March of 1880 for $175.
She and her husband, H. H. Shedd, had a mortgage of $1400 in August of 1881.  We feel the house was built at that time as that was a large sum of money for that day and age.
The mortgage was released in December of 1885. These dates I feel are close, making our house about 127 years old.  I think the Shedds owned this property until 1923 and then sold it to Carl W. Harnsberger. H. H. Shedd was a prominent citizen of Ashland and an early member of the Congregational Church. Mr. Shedd came from eastern Iowa in 1871 and had a general store in Ashland in the late 1870s. As I said, Kate L. Shedd and her husband bult our home.  Mrs. Florence Williams referred to him as the Honorable H. H. Shedd;
former congressman and Lt. Governor of Nebraska (1885-1889) He was a Republican and an active member of the Nebraska Historical Society in 1885.
He was a long-time organist, choir director and Sunday School Superintendent of the Congregational Church.  The three windows on the west side of the church were dedicated in his name to the church by the town in appreciation for the honor he had brought to Ashland and for his community involvement. When we bought our home in 1973 we received a very nice letter from Florence Williams, church clerk for the Congregational Church.
Mrs. Williams gave us a little history about our home and I found some on the internet.
When we started “remodeling” our home, I never dreamed we’d wind up
 tearing out everything inside and starting over.
Ron wanted to keep the house as true to the original as we could.  The house had fallen into such disrepair we couldn’t save any of the once-beautiful oak floors.
The first twenty years we had the old windows throughout the house with the exception of those in the living room. Those were probably replaced when either P.D. Pyle and Willard Smith or Louis and Gretchen Johnson owned it.
Our home was an apartment house when Pyle and Smith lived here
but Johnsons returned it to a single-family home.
Eventually we did have to change the windows but stayed with the same style, only smaller.
We tried to salvage the woodwork also.  We went through gallons of stripper but reached a layer of paint that could not be penetrated.
We couldn’t at that time buy wood trim of that period so we tore it all out & Ron
routed all new trim for all the doors & windows.
He used #2 grade pine 1x4s, still not quite as wide as the original approximately 5 inch wide
woodwork, but it was close enough to look right.
When we gutted the upstairs, we found the outlines of how the rooms had been
when the house was built with the bedroom doors on an angle
rather than square with the hall making a sort of vestibule at the top of the stairs.
We put the doors back the way they had been originally.
Dick Harnsberger came to visit us once and he said there was a bedroom in this open area when he lived in the house so there must have been a hall before it was made into apartments. Dick was very pleased with what we’d done. He said we had returned it to a home again.  We did do some re-arranging of some of the rooms upstairs but only to imrove closet arrangements.
Dick Harnsberger sitting on the porch of home – circa 1927
The foundation is large 1 ft. x 3 ft. x 18 in. quarried blocks.
To fill space large flat stones were cemented in to make the wall even.
The structure of the house we found at the time we gutted the upstairs
is called “balloon” framing, meaning the framing 2×4 area continued from the basement
all the way up to the second floor with no sill plate between floors.
We also found that carpenters and construction techniques have changed a lot through time.
Some little things we’ve found in our home that we’ve never thought of changing are initials
on the back of the riser of the stairs going to the basement:
C.H. + V.P. (probably Carl Harnsberger plus Virginia Packer)
and on a post some names of carpenters that are not legible.
We’ve tried to do the house honor by restoring it to some of its former glory.
Ron’s mother, Mrs. Esther Anderson, said she could remember Mrs. Shedd sitting on our porch (in the area we have screened in) when she was a young girl about 13 or so (1913).
We have found the Shedd’s lots in the cemetery.  I think it is important to remember times and places of the past. So many times they tear down the old for building something new with less charm and character.
LEFT > circa 1975 before restoration – 2009 after restroration < RIGHT

newer photo of this beautiful restored home, taken in summer of 2012

The P. W. (Phillip Weeks)
    208 North 15th – Ashland

Legal Description: Lots 1 & 2 of Block 18 of Flora City Addition to Ashland by Shirley (Raikes) Hemke October 2, 2008
My Grandparents, Philip and Clara Folsom, lived in the house at 208 North 15th Street from 1914 until 1956 when it was sold to Grandmother’s brother, John Hoffman. The house has been owned by LaVerne “Lefty” and Carol Anderson for several years. The Folsom family originally came from Norfolk, England on the ship Dilegent in 1638 and settled in Worcester, Vermont. They traveled west in 1869, crossing the Missouri River on the ice on March 1. They homesteaded on land about three miles south of Ithaca, moving later to Wahoo, then south Bend and finally to Ashland in 1892. Philip W. Folsom was the oldest of eight children. He graduated from Ashland High School in the class of 1895. In 1897 he started a tobacco and cigar shop and also repaired watches in his home. The 1900 census lists him as a cigar maker. In 1898 he married Clara Hoffman and they had two daughters, Mildred and Glendora.

Hoffman family gathering – Clara (Hoffman) Folson is second from the left When she was 9 years old, Mildred contracted infantile paralysis, now known as polio, and she spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Glendora married Forrest Raikes. The cigar shop was sold in the fall of 1904 and in the spring of 1905 Philip started a jewelry store and continued to operate it until his death in 1941. In addition to watch repair they sold pianos, sewing machines and glass-headed dolls. Clara Folsom continued to live in their home with her invalid daughter, Mildred, and Harlow, Phillips brother, ran the P. W. Folsom Jewelry Store and Watch Repair business at * 1419 Silver Street the building east of Breadeaux Pizza.














show Michael Murman owns the building & is Owner of Glacial Till Vineyard. Mike is assisted by his sons, John, Tim & Craig – the vineyard & winery are located near Palmyra NE in Otoe County.  The building is now used as the Glacial Till Winery Tasting Room http://www.GlacialTillVineyard.com 2011 Insert: an Art Gallery has been added to the Glacial Till Winery Tasting Room

The house remains much the same as it was when my Grandparents lived there except for some interior renovating.  I remember the stucco exterior and the spacious veranda and wide steps which accommodated Mildred’s wheelchair.
China cupboards were built into the dining room and I have a free-standing breakfront with a round glass front from the dining room.

The yard was beautifully landscaped.  Bushes lined the alleyway and lots of flowers were planted in front of the bushes.  In the center of the side yard was a pergola with a birdbath in front of it.  The birdbath and octagon-shaped stepping stones leading from the front sidewalk around the side to the back door and around the fish pond in the back yard were made of small stones set in cement.
The fish pond was also made of the small stones set in cement and was stocked with goldfish. In the winter the goldfish were kept in large ten-gallon crocks in the basement of the house.

I liked spending a Saturday night with Grandma and Grandpa Folsom and helping Grandma feed the fish and change the water.  At the back of the side yard was a grape arbor running from the fish pond to the garage.  The Folsoms rented out rooms in the upstairs of the house, mostly to school teachers since the house was only three blocks from the school.  My first-grade teacher, Miss Petersen, roomed there.  I remember going to dinner at my Grandparents’ house every Sunday.  I have lots of fond memories of that home.  The FOLSOM House, featured above, was that of Shirley (Raikes) Hemke’s grandparents The AHS is very grateful to Shirley (Raikes) Hemke, a Board Member of AHS, for sharing the family heirloom collection of photographs, displayed above.

A presentation of the history of the FOLSOM house was given by Shirley (Raikes) Hemke at a meeting of the AHS-SFHPS – a summary of that presentation was  published in the FEB 2009 newsletter a recap of that presentation is posted – click here > FEB 2009 newsletter

A picture from the past – the 1948 Stir-Up Days Royalty
the very first Stir-Up celebration !

WALTON – WEST HOME – 508 N 13th Street

A Look at South Half of Lots 7-8-9 Block 3 of Folsom’s Addition: The Walton – West Home
By Earl and Alice West July 2009

In 1992, we moved our family into a house that has since brought us a lot of enjoyment and a lot of work.  Older houses always have needs for up-keep. But older houses have history.  We would like to tell you about the history of our house at 501 North 13th Street.  The Abstract of Title tells us that Joseph Stambaugh * * filed ownership for Lots 7-8-9 on June 30, 1865.

A filing was later made by C.N. Folsom and Pearl Folsom on Apr. 23, 1903; followed by A.B. Fuller on July 8, 1912; and by Charles Walton on July 9, 1919.  * * Editors note:The first settlers who came to Ashland, and, in fact, to Saunders County, were Joseph Stambaugh, his wife, and three small children.  They stayed one month because of the ‘unseasonable weather’: August of 1856.  In March of 1857, Reuben Warbritton and his wife, John Aughe and the Stambaugh family came, and the men staked out claims and built homes.  The (original) Staumbaugh home, 17 X 17 feet, reportedly stood on the corner of 13th and Silver Streets.  The other two homes were 10 X 12 feet; all were made of sod; and all were located in Section 35.  In June, 1857, Harrison Ramsey settled nearby and was the father of the first born settler in the county.  The second child was the Stambaugh’s fourth, their son, John.  The Stambaughs had 10 children who survived the rigors of pioneering.  continuing the West’s memories & history . . .Charles N. Walton was born in 1878.  He lived his early years on a farm in Knox county.  Charles attended University of Nebraska and graduated in 1905.

He married Pearl Sanders from Hodgeville, Kentucky in 1906.  Charles taught for years in Kansas and at Wahoo, where he was superintendent of schools.  Charles and Pearl moved to Ashland, where he established the Ashland State Bank in 1913.  After the bank closed early in the depression, Charles and Pearl spent a few months in California.  They returned to Ashland.Charles established a real estate and insurance business that he operated on Silver Street.  Charles and Pearl Walton had a house built on Lots 7-8-9 in 1926.  They were the first owners of the present structure at 501 North 13th Street.  They made it their home together until Pearl’s death on August 31, 1963.  Charles continued living in the house until his death, at the age of 96, on June 29, 1974.  The house and lots were given to their nephew, Edward Lundak.It was rented out for a short time.  In 1978, Tom and Susan Sandberg purchased the house.

In 1985, Sandbergs remodeled the small kitchen by expanding east into a back porch.  This project added much needed footage to the kitchen area, which now includes a small dining area.  Tom handcrafted walnut cabinets and many updates.  Tom and Sue lived in the house with their family until l992.  That is when it became our house, the West’s home.  The house has a Dutch Colonial design.This style is a two-story house with a gambrel roof, flared eaves and a side-entry floor plan.  The house has a wide living room on one side and the dining room on the other.  The living room has a fireplace on the east end, flanked by built in bookcases.  A sun room with casement windows on the south of this room is one of the features of the house.  In the dining room there are two Colonial corner cupboards which add convenience for storage.  The second floor offers three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an entry to a second-floor balcony. Features of the Dutch Colonial house are symmetrical façade and a front entry with a fanlight and sidelights.  The house has cast iron radiators and a boiler for heat supply.  One of the second floor bathrooms has the original tub and pull-chain toilet.  Over the years, “The Walton House” has become “The West House”.

Added historical notes by Peg Lutton, Vice President of the AHS: C. N. Walton may have been known as Charles when he was Superintendent of Schools in Wahoo, but in Ashland he was always “Charlie”.  Charlie was always Mr. Republican. When Republican candidates came to town campaigning before an election, it was Charlie Walton who took them up and down the streets of Ashland to meet the business people.  He was always a delegate to the Republican conventions and was Chairman of the local group.  Charlie liked to play bridge. Monday night was bridge night and the foursome always played at the Walton home.

Pearl would not let them smoke in the house, so various of the players might sit with an unlit cigar in his mouth.  Ed Kuhl and Charlie Laune were regulars with Lyle Lindquist or Bob Thomas making up the fourth.  Pearl Walton was a true Southern lady and always retained a bit of a southern accent.  They were  members of the Congregational Church but when a new pastor preached on the equality of the races, Pearl took her membership down the street.  Pearl had a large tapestry on the South wall of her living room picturing a tiger.  She enjoyed handwork and made beautiful hooked rugs – she made one large enough to fill her dining room floor.  Pearl also enjoyed gardening and spent many hours in her yard.  One year for her birthday her friend, Margie Bliss (Mrs. Connor), mother of Mae Bishop Byrom, dropped a dump load of barnyard manure in Pearl’s front yard.  What a birthday surprise! ! Pearl was delighted – it went right on her flower beds.

Lots 10-12, Block 3, Folsom’s Addition to Ashland
502 North 12th Street, Ashland, Nebraska

The boy on the steps of the home is Donald Darst.

Lots 10-12, Block 3, Folsom’s Addition to Ashland
502 North 12th Street, Ashland, Nebraska

The May 9, 1929 Ashland Gazette carried pictures and an article about homes being built and renovated in Ashland at that time. Following is the information carried about the home at 502 North 12th Street that Jerry and Ruth Darst were building.  “The ten room home of Mr. and Mrs. Guilford Darst is now nearing completion.  This house will have a bath on each floor, a breakfast nook, and a spacious sun parlor.  A large garage is to be built not adjoining the house.
This home is built on attractive lines, with spacious sunny rooms.
The four bedrooms on the second floor are large and, like the rest of the building,
will have all the latest and most attractive appointments when completed.”

Guilford Darst, son of Jerry and Ruth, said that Forrest Wilson was the builder and architect of the home. Mr. Wickwire did the painting.  The house is Georgian style with a rounded copper portico at the entrance.  There is a sun porch with many windows on the southeast corner which is balanced by a screened-in porch on the northeast corner.  The interior is in the Spanish style with ornate double sconces adorning the walls in the living room.  A center fireplace on the west wall of the living room is flanked by bookcases with leaded glass doors.  An art deco chandelier hangs in the dining room.  The kitchen is galley style with a breakfast nook and has cupboards with glass doors.  The walls are plaster, the floors are wood and the woodwork and crown molding are gumwood.  There are glass doorknobs throughout the house.  The home has four large bedrooms upstairs and two full baths with 1920s black and white tile.  The master bedroom on the southeast corner has its own bath and a wood-burning fireplace.  An uncle of Jerry Darst, Guilford F. Railsback, lived with them and stayed in that room.  The southwest bedroom had a built-in cedar closet.  There was a full third-floor attic.  The original owner of the land was C.N. Folsom and wife.  All of the homes in that northeast section of Ashland were built about 1929 on land that the  Folsoms had originally owned.   The Darsts raised their three sons in that home, Guilford, Robert and Donald.  In 1946 they sold it to J. Fred Peters and his wife Clara.  The home was the scene of the wedding of their daughter Margaret to Claude Denton Lutton, Jr. in March of 1948.  The home was sold to Clarence and Dorothy Castner in 1949 and then to Dr. Martin and Florence Williams.  When the Williams went to the Care Center, the home was sold to William J. Kraft and his wife.  Mitchell and Sheryl Miller bought the home and made some changes to the interior.  At the present time (2012) the home is owned by Ruth Barnes Owen
who presented a history of the house to the Ashland Historical Society at its June 26, 2008 meeting.


1925 Adams Street


Block 46, Miller & Clark Addition to Ashland Silver Street to Adams Street, 19th Street to 20th Street histories below, prepared by Peg Lutton 2012

The first permanent white settlement in the Ashland area dated from 1857.  At that time frontier developers proposed a number of possible towns, filing their plats at the Cass County Courthouse in Plattsmouth.  One of these was for Salina, the earliest known form of Saline Ford.  Calhoun County had been formed in Territorial Nebraska November 3, 1858 in memory of the late South Carolina senator, John C. Calhoun.  Once the Civil War started, residents couldn’t stand this so on January 8, 1862 the county name was changed to honor Nebraska Governor Alvin Saunders.  When the war was over, Ashland and the whole area was growing and Saunders County needed a county seat.  Ashland lay just outside Saunders County boundaries and her people chafed increasingly over the distance they had to journey to do business at the county seat of Plattsmouth.  A bill was introduced in the territorial House of Representatives on January 25, 1866 to detach the 12 sections comprising most of today’s Ashland Township from Cass County and add them to Saunders County.  The transfer became law on February 12, 1866.  We still call the north edge of the 12 sections the “county line road.”  Organization of the county was completed in October of 1867 when Ashland won the title of county seat by a 78-16 vote.  The County Board met for the first time in Ashland on November 10, 1866.  They used the second story of Moe and Fuller’s store building at 11th and Birch Streets,  moving the furniture in the small room as required for County Board meeting for County Court proceedings.  There was no jail or safe, so Dennis Dean, the mill entrepreneur, took the county valuables home with him each evening because he had a safe there.  In 1870 a modern, two-story courthouse was built (pictured above) on the hill on Silver Street between 19th and 20th streets.  On October of 1873 a countywide election was held on the question of changing the county seat as Ashland was an inconvenient distance away for settlers further out in the county.  The vote was inconclusive as none of the four locations received a majority.  So, with obvious pre-arrangement, a courthouse janitor in Ashland, left a side door unlocked on December 20, 1873.  A team and wagon, three men and piles of bouncing county record books took off during the night for Wahoo.  Very soon Wahoo residents raised money to erect a two-story courthouse there.  The Ashland Courthouse stood empty until 1878 when Dr. A.S. von Mansfelde bought  it.  Dr. von Mansfelde was born in Mansfelde, Germany in 1845 and came to the United States in 1862 with his parents.  He was married to Julia Lubhart in 1868 in Chicago.  He graduated with a medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago in the class of 1872 and was well known in medical circles in the Midwest.  In 1875 he was called from Chicago to perform an operation on one of his nephews in Lincoln and stayed, devoting himself to surgery.   In 1880 he established the Omaha Medical College and during the administration of President Taft, he revised the medical regulations of the U.S. Army.  He was Secretary of the Nebraska State Medical Society for eleven years.


Dr. von Mansfelde moved to Ashland in 1878 and bought the Courthouse.  He added two two-story wings to the Courthouse building, pictured above; one for family and one for patients, and turned it into a private hospital known as Quality Hill.  His wife, Julia, was his anesthetist when he performed surgeries.  The home was a showplace with tennis courts, many flowers and a fish pond big enough that fish could live in it over the winter.  Earl Butts was his gardener and cacti lined the circular driveway.  He lived very well and had a driver and carriage.  There were always servants in the home.  In the 1885 census Augusta Mansfelde, the Doctor’s mother, was living with them and there were four servants.  The records show many mortgages on the property when Dr. von Mansfelde owned it.

He and his wife raised their five children there. Julia Duty was born in Chicago in 1871 and graduated with the first 12-year high school class in Ashland in 1889.  She  graduated from the University of Nebraska and taught mathematics in Ashland High School for over 50 years, dying in 1960.  Johanna was born in 1874 in Chicago, graduated from the University of Nebraska and taught in Omaha for 32 years.  She moved to Los Angeles, CA where she lived for 17 years dying there in 1945.  Belle was born in 1876 in Nebraska, graduated from the University of Nebraska and taught at Central High School in Omaha for years, dying in 1929.  A son, George, was born in 1877 and died in 1878.  Charles Herbert was born in 1879 in Nebraska, graduated from the University of Nebraska Law School and practiced law in Omaha for 4 years.  He drowned in the Platte River in 1905.  The obituary says the funeral was held on the lawn of Quality Hill.  The funeral procession then marched to the cemetery.  There was a fierce electric storm preceded by blinding clouds of dust and torrents of rain.  The funeral party was drenched.  Alice was born in 1883 in Ashland and died in 1951.  The Doctor’s wife Julia died in 1916 and is buried in the Ashland Cemetery.  In May of 1917 Dr. von Mansfelde married Sylvia Butts in Chicago.  She was a sister of his gardener Earl Butts and was about 30 years younger than he.  His daughters were outraged because their family was Prussian royalty and Sylvia was a housemaid.  The daughters built a large home at 21st and Boyd Streets.  Alice kept house and cooked for her sisters.  They enjoyed playing bridge and always found time for a game when there were four of them.  Their home was heavily mortgaged and they lost it to foreclosure in the 1930s.  It was sold and the buyers lost it to a devastating fire.  The 1920 census shows the Doctor and his wife Sylvia living at Quality Hill.  Dr. von Mansfelde died June 17, 1928.  The funeral was held at Quality Hill.  It was an Episcopalian service and is listed in the records at St. Stephen’s Church.  The obituary said the service was held in the study at the home and the casket was surrounded by prominent physicians from around the state.  It was a 5 p.m. service and 24 doctors from around the state were listed.  There was an IOOF service at the cemetery.  The building was foreclosed upon in 1931 and by sheriff’s sale in 1947.  Irene and James Ferrier moved to Ashland from Louisville in 1931 and lived in the residence.  They sold popcorn from a wagon on the streets of Ashland. * *

They also loved animals and allowed them to procreate.  The home deteriorated and was in a state of disrepair when foreclosed upon by sheriff’s sale in 1947.  The Ferriers continued to live in the building.  He died in 1951, having been in failing health for several years.  C.D. Lutton was City Attorney at that time and neighbors of the property would call him in the wee hours of the morning to complain about the dogs barking which would keep them awake.  * * The AHS is hopeful that someone will provide us with a picture of the famous popcorn wagon ? ?

Cliff Goff bought the property in 1954 and there was $7000 in unpaid taxes and  paving assessments on the property which he paid.  When he purchased the block from Irene Ferrier, she was given a piece of land he owned on Highway 63 as part of the deal because the property had “old age liens” against it with the county.  The County Board of Supervisors would not release the liens until it was assured that Mrs. Ferrier was given a place to live.  A brick filling station was moved (from the SE corner of 14th & Adams) to the property on Highway 63 and she lived there with her animals though it never had running water or heat.  The block was replatted as “Goff’s Replat” and eight new homes were built there.  The old courthouse was razed at that time.  The block was filled with a wilderness of trees which had to be cut.  Goff tried to save some of the trees but most were old or in bad shape and only two of the original remained.  The house on the Southwest corner (20th & Silver) was built first and bought by Clyde and Ruth Jones.  Forrest L. and Glendora (nee Folsom) Raikes had the home East of it built for them and Cliff and Katherine Goff built a home East of that.  The home on the Southeast corner was purchased by Charles and Charlene Box.  Jack and Marge Reece bought the home on the Northwest corner.


C.D. & Margaret (Dee & Peg) Lutton
1925 Adams Street


In 1955 I was pregnant with my third child.  We lived in a two bedroom house at 1641 Clay Street and we needed more room.  My husband Dee and I would drive around Omaha looking for houses we liked.  We wanted a Cape Cod house – my aunties lived in Connecticut and I liked that style.  I was ready to have my baby!!

We went in to Omaha and drove around looking at houses.  I was having false labor pains and hated to go home.  We found THE house.

We didn’t go home with a baby that trip but did find a house we liked and an architect.  David was born about a week later and when he was a month old, we went to Omaha to visit John Hyde, Architect, who designed Cape Cod houses.  He drew up plans and Cliff Goff built our home in the middle of the block at 1925 Adams Street.  The woodwork is parenta pine from South America.  The kitchen cabinets were built by Don Buck, a local craftsman, and are of birch.  The Lusienskis, who bought our home in 1993, have those plans and used them in re-designing the kitchen.  We were going to paint the house yellow but the Raikes’ house behind us was yellow so we had a blue house.  We moved in the summer of 1956.  The children each had a bedroom.  But they didn’t want to be upstairs alone, so all ended up in a bedroom next to ours on the main floor.  Two years later at age 8, Susan moved upstairs and the boys several years later.  About 5 years after we moved there, we added a screened porch to the south of the building.  The corner lot East of us was built upon by Floyd and Gladys Bundy and soon after the Moomeys bought the home Goff built on the east side of the block, completing Goff’s Plat.  We lived in the home until 1993 when it was sold to Jerry and Stephanie Lusienski who live in it at this writing.

Peg Lutton – 2012




the 2 photos above are snapshots taken in 1948 (L) and 1949 (R)


All of Lot 6, Block 14, Flora City Addition to Ashland Austin Smith was the first owner of record of the land on which the home at 1641 Clay Street was built. There was much land speculation in the early years and W.B. Warbritton, Henry Amison, S. P. Snell and J.E. LeFountain owned the land as well as Lydia Holman, James Bowen and Jonathan Fenton.  Probably one of the latter three built the original “two up, two down” house in the 1880s that is the basis of the home there now.

W. C. Hastings was a farmer in Washington County.

In 1894 at the age of 40 he married Binna Hendricks who was 23 years old.  Their daughter Irene was born in 1899 and never married.  When her husband died in 1924, Binna moved to Ashland and bought the north half of the block between  16th and 17th on Clay Street. There were two houses on the block. She lived in the east house at 308 North 16th Street.  Her sister Lola Ulstrom and her husband Wilmer rented the house at 1641 Clay and lived there with their three daughters, Margery, Dorothy and Ila Faye.  Wilmer Ulstrom was an engraver and had a jewelry store on Silver Street.  Binna and Lola’s sister, Nellie Hendricks, also lived with them and worked as a housekeeper in a private home.

The Ulstroms moved to Lincoln in the early 1940s and Art and Ardele Leaver rented the home.

World War II was over in 1945 and the soldiers began coming back home.  Claude D. Lutton, Jr. (Dee) was discharged in 1946 and came back to Ashland to begin his career as a lawyer.  He had graduated from the University of Nebraska Law School in 1941 and began working for Travelers Insurance Company as a claims adjuster in Omaha.  After Pearl Harbor his friends began to go off to war so he went down to enlist.  He was rejected because of his extreme nearsightedness.  So, when he was drafted, he presumed he would again be sent home.

Not so ! !

They looked at his previous exam results and, without further testing, said he was in the army.  He served in various places until discharge in February of 1946.  He decided he wanted to live in Ashland where his parents lived, there were no lawyers practicing there, and he hung out his shingle, sharing an office with Paul Olson who sold insurance at 1528 Silver Street.  I had been working in Chicago and celebrated there when the war ended in August of 1945.  I moved to Ashland in March of 1947, my parents having moved there in 1946.  I met the skinny attorney and liked listening to his war stories and tales of growing up in Ashland.  We began going out together and he asked my father for my hand in marriage.  My brother was serving in Japan and would be discharged in March so we planned the wedding for March 10, 1948. But where would we live?  There were no homes to buy or rent once the soldiers began to come back from the  war.  And we knew we could not afford to build a new home.

One of Dee’s clients was Irene Hastings who lived in Blair, Nebraska, I believe.  She had inherited several properties in Ashland which she rented out.  Art and Ardelle Leaver were living in the home at 1641 Clay Street and were moving to Illinois.  She agreed to sell Dee the home at 1641 Clay Street.  There was a quarter of a block of land – enough for a big garden.  A big, old, ramshackle barn hugged the interior southeast corner and we determined it would have to go.  We sold it to someone for $50 and he hauled all the wood and contents away.  The house was in need of paint and much up-grading. What a fun challenge for newly-weds.  We were able to get a loan and purchased the property for $2,000.  The house had been built in the 1880s and consisted of two rooms down and two  rooms up.  A steep stairwell went to the second floor.  There was a basement with a dirt floor that was accessed from an outside set of steps.  A fairly large living room of about 16’x16′ had been added on to the front of the house with accompanying porches on either side.   A large kitchen and bathroom had been added to the back of the house.  The electric fixtures were pretty primitive – a light bulb hanging down in the middle of the room.  So electricity and indoor plumbing had been added to the original house.  It was heated by a big black stove in the middle of the center room.  Our first priority was to modernize the heating.  My brother was working at Montgomery Ward in Lincoln so we ordered a furnace unit from him – we would put it in the basement.

We changed the arrangement of the rooms of the house.  The original two rooms became a bedroom and the dining room.  The front add-on was the living room and the back add-on that they used as a kitchen became the master bedroom.  The kitchen was between the bathroom and the dining room.  The large porch on the west we enclosed and turned into a garage.  We found that the house had no insulation and we could not heat it, so we had Ralph Dean come and blow insulation into the walls.  The furnace we had bought would not adequately heat the small space – the winter of 1949 was very severe and we closed off the living room and were able to heat the dining room and kitchen.  The next summer we got a larger furnace from Montgomery Ward which, with the new insulation, kept us warm.  We had no need for the second floor rooms so we closed that stairwell off also.

Dee’s cousin, Jay Lentell of Valley, had a paint sprayer so he and Dee sprayed the exterior of the building in the spring of 1948.  We added green shutters and a new sidewalk and it looked good.  When we moved into the house, there was curbing along the street but it was a mud morass in the wet season.  We were glad to have the city put through paving ordinances though, being on a corner lot, we had to pay for two sides. Fortunately, the law business seemed to pick up when we needed it to.

In 1954 we sold the East half of the lot to Donald and Dorothy Schank who built a lovely, new home there.

In 1955 we were expecting our third child and decided we needed to move into a larger place.  Dee’s Dad, Claude Lutton, Sr. moved into the home and lived there until his death in 1966.  It was purchased by Lassie Billings and she lived there with her daughters.  It went through several more sales until it was purchased by David and Lisa Reisen who are the present owners and have lived there for  nearly 20 years.

By Peg Lutton 2013

NW corner of 19th & Boyd Streets


Photos above, with grateful acknowledgement to Saunders County & Ashland Gazette

The photo above from THE FIRST 100 YEARS – Ashland, Nebraska: 1857-1957

note: this publication is out of print
The AHS will soon have a disk available for sale of all 100 + pages
of the out-of-print publication

Lots 13-20, Block 35, Miller & Clark Addition to Ashland, Nebraska
202 North 19th Street, Ashland, Nebraska

On January 30, 1886 Elvin Clark & wife deeded lots 13-18 in Miller & Clark ‘s Addition to Ashland to Samuel Bryan for $6500 and on March 22, 1886 Samuel Bryan deeded that property to Henry Curtis for $4500.

In her 1947 History of Ashland May Wiggenhorn wrote that “H. W. Curtis built the brick home where Mrs. Ledwith lives”. Since he owned the property from March 1886 to June 1888, the house was probably built in 1887.

Henry Curtis was an implement dealer who lived with his brother so perhaps he built the home to be sold.  On June 11, 1888 Samuel and Phebe Fales paid $3000 for that property.  The brick Italianate style house that now sits on the property is listed on the Saunders County appraisal list as being built in 1896.  However, a picture of the burning of the Exchange Hotel in 1887 clearly shows the Fales house on the hill – no trees to distort the view.  Samuel Sheffield Fales was born in Bristol, Rhode Island in March, 1833, a son of Lemuel and Hannah Vaughn Fales who were natives of Rhode Island and farmed there.  He learned the shipbuilder’s trade at Warren, Rhode Island and followed that pursuit for several years.  He afterward engaged in the patternmaking business, making patterns of models for patents until he left New England for the middle west.  He settled in Clinton, Iowa and carried on the paint business for a time.  He returned to Rhode Island and in May of 1873 at Provincetown married Phebe Ann Bennett, daughter of Edward and Pamelia Coleman Bennett who were natives of Massachusetts and representatives of old New England families.  The father was a contractor and builder and continued at that business  throughout his entire life in Massachusetts where he died in May of 1883, having survived his wife about  three months as she died in February of that year.  In 1875 Samuel Fales came to Ashland, Nebraska where he opened a general store in partnership with his brother James in the S.L. Sears store before it was the Sears Opera House.  In July, 1881 a daughter, Carlyn B. Fales, was born.  In 1889 Mr. Fales retired from active business but continued to make his home in Ashland owning several farms in the Ashland Greenwood area.  He died February 5, 1912.  His funeral service was from St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church where he had been a vestryman. He was  buried in Rhode Island.  He left the house to his wife Phebe and daughter Carlyn in his will.  Mr. Fales was a Royal Arch Mason, having joined the order in Warren, Rhode Island and both he and his wife held membership in the Order of the Eastern Star.  She was the third Grand Matron of the order in the State of Nebraska, serving in that capacity during the years 1878 and 1879.  Their daughter Carlyn married Frank M. Ledwith of Lincoln, Nebraska, October 25, 1905 at St. Stephen’s Church in Ashland.  The church was decorated with potted palms and white chrysanthemums.  A two-course luncheon was served to the members of the bridal party and out of town guests at the S.S. Fales residence directly after the ceremony.  Daughter Frances E. was born November 1, 1906 and Marian F. was born June 26, 1910.  Frank Ledwith worked for the Burlington Railroad at Lincoln and then was yardmaster in Omaha.  In 1913, after the death of Samuel Fales, the Ledwith family  moved back to the family home in Ashland.

Phebe Fales died in May, 1928. She had continued to live in the home with the Ledwith family.  There was a fire in the home in 1928 and the May 9, 1929  Ashland Gazette, in telling of new homes being built, mentioned this:  “Following the fire at the F.E. Ledwith home last year, the house was completely remodeled. On the first floor, partitions were removed, making two smaller rooms into one spacious living room. The dining room underwent minor changes, new china closets being constructed which lent charm and balance to the room.  On the second floor, the arrangement of the rooms was not changed, although new linen closets and several spacious clothes closets were added.”  Frank died suddenly on October 20, 1939.  He had not felt well but drove to Omaha to work and was  found dead of a heart attack in his car at the railyards. He was 59 years old.  His daughters had married and Frances Stein was living in Palo Alto, California and Marian Mossman in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The interment was delayed because Marian was flying by Clipper ship and United Air Lines and bad weather delayed those flights.  Carrie Ledwith moved to the San Francisco area to live with her daughter Frances E. and husband, Dr. Thomas M. Mossman.

Carrie was in failing health and died October 23, 1951 in Burlingame, California.  Her funeral was held at 3 p.m. Sunday, October 28 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ashland.  Rev. David Gracey of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Lincoln conducted the service as local rector Paul Moss was ill.  The house was rented out and among those who lived there were Art and Vaunice Hotz, Catherine and Harry Marcy, Dorothy and Don Schank and Lois and Jerry Minnick.  The Ledwith family had some lovely things and kept a small upstairs bedroom locked for storage.  (I remember their telling that a cut-glass punch bowl was cracked because the room was unheated. Peg Lutton)  Jami Hubbard, granddaughter of Lucille Mayfield writes that, “The upstairs smaller bedroom referred to in the article . . . was always referred to as the Maid’s Room. I believe that was the room’s original purpose when the home was built. It was adjacent to the back staircase that led directly to the kitchen.”

The Ledwith girls would visit occasionally.  In August of 1959 Marian Mossman and Dr. Thomas Mossman sold the home to Thomas and Ruth Haughey.  In July of 1964 the Haugheys moved to Omaha and the home was sold to Floyd and Lucille  Mayfield.  They lived in the home for nearly 40 years.  The home was sold in December 2003 to Christy Fritzler.  She sold it to the Otto Brothers in April of  2004 and they sold it in April of 2010 to Kate Novak who is restoring it to its original charm.

by Peg Lutton, February 2013

courtesy of Glimpses of The Past – Lillian Bailey


The Dean home was destroyed by fire & was replaced by the 2 buildings that are now the Ashland Heights Apartments, just east of the American Lutheran Church

The entire collection of Glimpses of the Past is now the property of The Ashland  Historical Society, courtesy of the Ashland Gazette & the OWH.  We are truly  grateful for this very valuable collection.

We will be producing a CD/DVD of this collection very soon, to be available for sale.  We will announce when it is ready in a later posting.

Our E-mail addresses is: