Oct. 19, 2017



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Cross moved closer to martyrs' graves

Scammers now using local, familiar names

Jim Marr inducted into sheriffs' hall of fame

This year's harvest headed to market


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The Superior Express & Jewell County News 19 October 2017


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Cross moved closer to martyrs' graves

In spite of rain which undoubtedly kept many away and made reaching the grave site located in the middle of a pasture difficult, a dedication ceremony was held Sunday afternoon, Oct. 13,1957, for the new monument marking the graves of the White Rock Valley pioneers killed by Indians on April 9, 1867.
Their graves on a hillside overlooking the new Lovewell Reservoir had been unmarked prior to the time the Bureau of Reclamation took over the area. The bureau had a fence built around the site and placed a concrete monument, upon which a bronze plaque was attached. The plaque carrying the names of the pioneers who lost their lives in this early day tragedy has since been stolen.
L. M. Weltmer, an attorney from Mankato, officiated at the ceremonies and the Rev. J.W. Frint of the Webber United Methodist Church offered a prayer. Congressman Wint Smith spoke briefly on the early history of Jewell County and the Indians. Mrs. Chester Poole read the history of the massacre, as handed down to her by the pioneers, including her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Lovewell, the earliest of the permanent settlers in White Rock valley.
Since that Sunday afternoon there have been several attempts to keep alive the memory of those pioneers and their contribution to the settlement of the White Rock Valley.
First a crude cross was affixed to the fence surrounding the grave site but as trees and brush grew on the rugged hills, it became difficult to see the cross. Others errected a much larger cross on a point overlooking the lake. That cross made of utility poles could be seen from far away and often caused visitors to the lake and state park to inquire about why it was there. By this spring it was obvious the cross was endanger. Wave action had erodeded away the point, and it looked like the cross could fall any day.
There was a public outcry to preserve the cross, But that was easier said than done. The cross was located on federal land managed by the Bureau of Reclamation and before it could be relocated permission had to be granted by the land managers.
In the 60 years that had passed since the Bureau had the gravesite fenced and the original monument placed, the records had been lost and the people associated with the event of 60 years earlier had died. There were clues pointing to the government agency's involvement but how to prove it? Fortunately articles published in this and other newspapers offered that confirmation.
Permission was given to Rob Unruh, area wildlife manager employed by the state of Kansas to relocate the cross, but then the question was how to do it. Unruh is responsible for managing wildlife and his department did not have funds available for the project.
Rolling Hills Electric responded to the call for assistance and a crew was dispatched from the cooperative's Beloit office.
An access trail had to be cleared so the electric company's heavy equipment could reach the site. The old cross was plucked from the prepice and moved to a higher place, a place thought to be out of the reach of the pounding waves of Lovewell Lake.
And so today the memory of those pioneers who lost their lives claiming the White Rock Valley has been preserved.
The plaque, secured through the assistance of Congressman Smith was inscribed as follows:
APRIL 9, 1867
A picture of Congressman Wint Smith, Mrs. Chester Poole and the Rev. J.W. Frint was published with this article in The Superior Express dated Oct. 17, 1957, along with a picture for the plaque that was dedicated at that time.
According to newspaper accounts of 60 years ago, the following history was read on dedication day:
The History
As far as history is concerned, this beautiful and fertile valley of the White Rock, with its wild game and clear running streams abundant with fish and fur-bearing animals, was an Indian paradise, where white men dared to settle. A great price was paid in anxiety and bloodshed inflicted by the red man before peace came to the valley.
According to early history, Tom Lovewell and his family located at the mouth of White Rock in Republic County in the spring of 1865 and were the first to move the frontier across the Republican River. Others had tried settlement here but were driven away by the Indians. Lovewell was an old government Indian scout and hunter.
In the spring of 1866, a number of families made settlement farther up the creek. These included William Belknap, John Rice, wife and two children, Nicholas Ward, his wife and an adopted sun, Al Dart, Erastus Bartlett, Mrs.. Sultzer and son, and John Marling, wife and child.
On April 9, 1867, the Cheyennes made a raid on the settlement and when they came to Mrs. Sultzer's cabin they demanded something to eat. While she was preparing the meal she sent her little son across the creek to warn the Wards of the danger. Mr. Barlett who made his home with the Sultzer's was out in the timber splitting rails and when he came home for supper was waylaid by the Indians when he came around the corner of the house and was tomahawked. He was found lying on his back, his head split open and his iron wedge near his hand. It is thought that when Barlett was killed, Mrs. Sultzer started to run as she was found dead about 30 yards from the house with her skull crushed. The Indians had guns but apparently had refrained from shooting for fear of spreading the alarm to the other settlers.
After completing their bloody work at the Sultzer place they crossed the creek to the Ward cabin. Again they demanded something to eat. While Mrs. Ward was preparing the meal they talked with Mr. Ward and looked at his gun. One asked if he thought it would kill a buffalo. As he raised the gun and looked down the barrel, Mr. Ward replied that the thought it would. Without further warning the Indian pulled the trigger and killed Ward instantly.
As the Ward and Sultzer boys ran from the house, the Indians fired at them and both fell. The Sultzer boy was killed and the Ward boy was left for dead, but sometime during the night regained consciousness and groped his way back to the cabin, where he found the body of his father, but could not find his mother. The Indians had taken her prisoner. The boy was found next morning by a party of claim hunters.
The Ward boy had been shot in the back of the neck, but the wound was not deep and after staying at the Lovewell home for some time, was taken east with a party of scouts who took him back east to see if they could help him find some of his folks. The Lovewell family never heard of him again.
About two months after Mrs. Ward's capture a news story in the Junction City Union, told of a white woman seen by some soldiers on the Saline river. At their approach she ran apparently in great terror into the timber. The soldiers were afraid on an Indian trick and did not follow.
The description they gave seemed to fit description of Mrs. Ward. She was a tall, beautiful woman about 22 years of age. It is theorized that she had lost her mind.
Mr. Lovewell and several other men went out and buried the victims as soon as they heard of the story. They buried them on the hill to be a "Lookout for Indians."
The plaque, secured through the assistance of Congressman Smith was inscribed as follows:
APRIL 9, 1867
A picture of Congressman Wint Smith, Mrs. Chester Poole and the Rev. J.W. Frint was published with this article in The Superior Express dated Oct. 17, 1957, along with a picture for the plaque that was dedicated at that time.

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Scammers now using local, familiar names

Scammers are apparently getting more creative all the time. Larry Simpkins, Superior received a telephone call from Larry Brittenham, Superior Utilities manager. Or so he thought. The caller reportedly said he was Brittenham and if Simpkins didn't pay his bill, his utilities would be shut off. The caller then asked for Simpkins' bank information. Simpkins said he received another call later from someone who identified herself as Clara Price. The caller was not Price.
Scammers are doing more than using 879 numbers. They are now using individuals' names that are well-known in the towns being targeted. The caller said their student loan was not paid, then asked for their banking information.
Debra Walker said she also received a call from someone claiming to be Larry Brittenham. Brittenham never called her.
"We never ask for your banking information," Brittenham said. "If you call to pay your bill by credit card, then we will ask for your credit card information. But that is only if you initiate the call. We will never ask for your banking information."
Simpkins also received a call from someone who said he hasn't paid his student loans. Simpkins is a senior citizen and there were no student loans in those days.
Remember, never give your banking information to a stranger on the telephone or the internet. And always verify that people are who they say they are.

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Jim Marr inducted into sheriffs' hall of fame
Jim Marr, retired long time Nuckolls County Sheriff, was inducted into the Nebraska Sheriff's Association Hall of Fame on Oct. 3, during the association's annual conference in Kearney.
Marr's nephew, Matt Schultz, a Superior native and chief deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, read the following speech at the induction ceremony:
"As a young child, I only knew my Uncle, James R. Marr, as one thing. He was a cop. When I was very young, he was a deputy and later became the sheriff. Christmas day for me was always a tense time as we could not open presents until he got off work at 3 p.m., and there was the chance he wouldn't be at my grandmother's house even then. Everyone in town knew my uncle. Throughout school when kids talked about doing illegal things, I would be left out of the conversation because the others thought I would tell my uncle about it. This was never a worry for me because I would not have been present there, because I was afraid to get caught by the man doing anything illegal. I knew he would tell my parents about it no matter what I did. I did always enjoy the looks I got when he would find me walking on a cold morning and give me a ride to school, and I would arrive in a cop car and have to answer 20 questions as to why the cops were taking me to school. When I became a deputy sheriff in August 2000, it was in large part from what I had learned from this man, and the life he lived for so long.
"When Sheriff Jim Marr retired, he had served 10 years as a deputy under Sheriff Donald Squires, and almost another 30 as county sheriff. He joined the Nuckolls County Sheriff's Department in 1974 after returning from Vietnam where he served as a Navy Corpsman.
"In the early years of his career, the Nuckolls County Sheriff's Department consisted of the sheriff and one deputy. The office was located in the southwest corner of the courthouse and the jail was a revolving cage type door. The only dispatcher in the office was the sheriff's wife, who could operate the radio if she was home at the time. If Annie was not around, the calls were answered by the Good Samaritan Center in Nelson. At the beginning of his career, the radio was not very reliable and there were dead spots all over the county. Often times messages had to be relayed through other departments.
"When Sheriff Squires became ill and following his death, Deputy Marr was appointed sheriff and for a time was the only member of law enforcement in the sheriff's department. In today's world, it would be almost impossible for one person to run that office. In 1983, he was elected by the people of Nuckolls County as sheriff.
"During Marr's tenure as sheriff, he was elected seven times by the citizens of Nuckolls County. Marr was responsible for the beginning of the 911 system in Nuckolls County with the first 911 phone being a telephone hanging on the south wall of the sheriff's office. Since then, the sheriff's office has obtained 24 hour 911 service, full time dispatchers and repeater systems to cover the dead spots in the county. Marr also moved the department out of the courthouse into a building adjacent to the courthouse, and was responsible for its enlargement twice.
"Marr was responsible for expanding the department by hiring three additional deputies to better serve the public. This was further supplemented with the addition of a K-9 unit.
"Marr was proactive in drug enforcement and property crimes in his county, as well as being liked and respected by his constituents and co-workers. I can remember only twice that his office was contested by another individual, and he won the election in a landslide both times. The first of these times, the individual contesting his office only received around 30 votes.
"Marr always shunned the spotlight in his career. He was not very active in law enforcement organizations, always keeping his priorities on his office, enforcing the law in Nuckolls County and having time with his family in the few hours he had to himself. Despite this fact, he was respected by his peers, and I have heard countless stories, too numerous to mention about Marr throughout the years from other officers who worked with him on cases where he gained their utmost respect and he was always willing to help out other counties and agencies .
"Marr retired as the Nuckolls County Sheriff on Jan. 8, 2015, after 40 years in law enforcement. I hereby recommend retired Sheriff James R. Marr for the Nebraska Sheriff's Association Hall of Fame."

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This year's harvest headed to market
By Marty Pohlman
Area farmers are now harvesting the dry land corn and beans. Yields for dry land beans range from 40 to 80 bushels per acre while dry land corn yields are averaging 120 bushels. Farmers starting to harvest irrigated corn report yields as high as 240 bushels per acre.
Harvest represents the culmination of a season's toil and high concern for area farmers is their bottom line. Late September and early October rains slowed the harvest pace, but this week growers are out in the fields whenever the opportunity presents itself. The combines, tractors, grain carts and semi-trucks have been traveling area roads as they move from field to field to reap the bounty of the land.
The story begins in the spring when the seed, whether corn, soybeans or milo, are planted in the fertile soil of South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas. The farmer's tend the crops as the season progresses. Some farmers grow on irrigated land while others are at the mercy of a fickle Mother Nature when they grow on dry land. If all goes well, the crops are ready for harvest in early fall. Long work days and nights are the norm as nature does not punch a time clock.
Grain loaded from the grain carts into the long grain trailers, is about to embark on a complicated trip as a kernel of corn grown in Nuckolls County may travel half a world away before its meets its fate as feed or be processed into other forms.
Farmers have several options available as they bring in the harvest. Some may elect to store their crop in grain bins on their property. This approach allows the farmer to sell his crop when prices rise, to sell when he requires a cash infusion or to be used as collateral. Another option is to sell to a processor, such as an ethanol plant or a bean or corn oil processor. Area feed lots also purchase local grain.
A farmer may also elect to take his crop to an elevator. Depending on the facility, a farmer may sell his grain for cash, apply the crop to his account or store it at the facility. Most elevators offer a no-charge grace period for storage, typically 15 to 30 days. If the farmer does not sell his crop within that time, he may be assessed storage fees.
When the grain arrives at the elevator a carefully choreographed process takes place. At Superior East, a shuttle loading facility opened in 2014, the first step is the testing process. A fully loaded grain trailer pulls up to a designated point. Each client has a card with the crop owner's information embedded on it. The driver swipes the card through a card reader and the unloading process is set in motion. A ticket is printed out which contains the pertinent information.
A long, flexible arm, remotely controlled from inside the office building, is inserted into the grain. Using air, it extracts two small samples. The sample enters the office where it is removed from a container. A portion is placed on a metal dish with a screen insert. The sample is sifted for foreign matter. The debris filters through the screen to the bottom of the dish. It is then removed and weighed allowing the tester to determine the amount of foreign matter in the load.
A machine samples the grain for moisture levels. Ideal moisture levels are 15 per cent for corn, 14 per cent for milo and 13 per cent for soy beans. Any product exceeding these levels is classified as wet and is stored in a separate area. The machine also assigns a preliminary test weight to the load.
Shawnee Schoenrock, with more than four years of Aurora Co-op experience, and Deb Woerner, with more than seven years of Aurora experience, man the testing stations.
Once the testing is complete, the driver pulls up on an industrial strength scale. The loaded weight of the vehicle is recorded. A squawk box located on a pole allows elevator workers to direct the driver to appropriate unloading point. The driver may be directed to the dump pit, located on the south side of the elevator. The trailer is then dumped, either through the bottom or the rear gate, into the pit. Below the pit, a wide belt then takes the grain to either the silos or the center pit. Corn and milo may be stored outside. Soy beans and wheat are stored in the silos.
The Superior East facility has a large center pile for corn which may be filled from the dump pit. The elevator operators are able to transfer the center pile grain into the elevator for loading. The site also contains two ground bunker areas, each capable of storing more than a million bushels of grain. There is also a ground area for the storage of milo.
The corn unloaded at the two ground piles is transferred into the piles by two high-capacity augers which can move up to 25,000 bushels per hour. When grain from these locations is needed, the process is reversed and the trucks take the grain to the dump pit.
When the grain is unloaded, the truck driver exits the facility by stopping on another large scale which records the empty weight of the vehicle. The difference between the loaded and unloaded weight provides the Co-op and the farmer with the amount of grain delivered.
There are two grain merchandisers, Lynn Culbertson and Ross Utecht, located at the Superior East site. Their charge is to connect the co-op with buyers for the grain. They interact with agents and brokers who purchase the grain for different buyers. The buyers may be domestic or foreign based. The facility ships its grain to the continental United States, Mexico and the Far East as well as other Pacific Coast ports for overseas export...
Once a contract has been secured, the central office in Aurora will order a train from BNSF. Train crews from BNSF bring the 114 car unit trains to Superior. They access the site from the Superior Industrial Lead, the remnants of the former Wymore subdivision. When the facility was constructed a loop track was installed. The track is capable of handling trains with up to 140 cars. Once the train is on co-op tracks, a trained co-op crew member takes the controls. It is their responsibility to move the train cars through the loading area.
As the unloaded cars approach the loading area, a worker, attached by a safety harness hung from an overhead track, opens the hatch covers on top of each car. The car then inches its way under the loading chute where the grain is deposited into the car. As the car exits the east side, another crew member closes the hatches, attaches metal seals, three on top and three on the bottom hopper openings, and the process continues until all 114 cars are loaded to within 200 pounds of their weight capacity.
As the grain enters the cars, another sampling process is underway. The loading operator takes samples from each car load. The samples are then bagged and driven to Hastings, approximately 30 cars at a time, for testing at Hastings Grain, a federally licensed grain inspection facility. The inspector determines the test weight, foreign matter, damage, any odor issues and insects. A virus test is administered to determine if the crop is affected by disease such as alpha toxin. The test results are e-mailed to Superior East.
The bulk of the grain stored at Superior east leaves the facility on unit trains. These are dedicated trains supplied by the BNSF railroad. Once the train is loaded, the Superior East office notifies the main office in Aurora that the test results are satisfactory and the shipment is ready to depart. The main office contacts the buyer for payment. The main office notifies the railroad to pick up the train and send it to its destination.
Should test results detect an issue with a load of grain, that car is unloaded. New acceptable product is reloaded.
Spencer Ross, the site manager, reports the elevator receives and ships grain year round with more than half of the yearly total being received during harvest time.. The busiest days are during harvest, when up to 450 trucks utilize the elevator in a single day. Superior East dispatches more than 50 unit trains per year.
In addition to train shipments, the co-op also sells grain to area processors which is shipped by truck. Aurora Co-op also facilitates the sale of white corn for food grade use. The white corn is stored in bins on the growing farmers property until it is sold.
The Superior East facility is not the only site in the area operating at a frantic pace. Agrex, Inc., Superior is buying, storing and shipping grain. The Aurora Co-op elevator in Sedan is in the midst of their harvest season. Both Agrex and Sedan are unit train facilities.
Although no longer served by a railroad, elevators in Nelson, Ruskin and Hardy are also accepting grain from farmers. Onetime commercial elevators located at Cadams, Abdal and Oak are privately owned and used to store their owner's grain.

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