Historical Details

Lewis, Charles Edward Family

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 12/15/2020


by Mrs. Lester Lewis

Charles Edward Lewis was born July 15, 1885 in Ravenwood, Mo. to Mr. and Mrs. George Lewis. He had two brothers and six sisters. He came to the Crawford Nebr. area as a young man. There he met Laura Elsie Seegrist, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ike Seegrist, of German parentage. There were 11 children in the family.  (Mrs. Lewis (Laura S.) had a twin brother.) Charles E. Lewis and Laura Seegrist were married in 1908. They lived in the Crawford area until they homesteaded about six miles south of Van Tassell in 1910. The homestead is a half mile south of the Niobrara County line but the real estate borders it on the north and the Nebraska State line on the east.

They became the parents of five children - Ruby Lorraine (Hebner), born at Crawford March 20, 1909; Lester LeRoy, July 12, 1913; Archie Earl, Nov. 22, 1914; Lawrence Kenneth, Nov. 13, 1918; and Gladys Lucinda, (Moyer) Oct.13,1920.   There are 10 grand­ children, four boys and six girls.

The Lewises came to the homestead with a team and wagon to make a living for the family on a farm.  Mr. Lewis did blacksmith work for himself and others to help supple­ment the income from the farm. Farming was an inbred characteristic, since it was the source of income for those living in Mis­ souri, his boyhood home. Corn, potatoes and grains were raised over the years. During the late 1920's and in the 1930's, certified seed potatoes were raised to be shipped to growers in the south. The entire family assisted in the project - planting, weeding, harvesting (picking), sorting and sacking. During digging and picking time, extra help was sometimes hired.

In later years more of the farm ground was converted to raising hay and the opera­tion slowly changed to more cattle raising and some sheep and some pigs. Horses were used mainly in the farming operation until about the 1940's, when tractors were used for part of the farm power.

Mrs. Lewis raised chickens and a large garden for fresh summer vegetables and can­ned for the winter supply.        Corn was dried also for use. Like all the early homestead­ers, cream and eggs were sold and sometimes vegetables. Mrs. Lewis was an excellent cook, as well as an adept sewer, keeping the family well clothed with her sewing ability.

The Lewises had a croquet game set in the back yard area which was enjoyed by family and friends. Early entertainment consisted of school programs, dances, some box socials, picnicking, playing cards, ladies clubs and visiting. There was much socializing of neighbors.

In 1915, the Ed Lewises had a Model T car at a cost of about $600 or less. It was their first car and they used it over 15 years.

Almost every summer, electric storms with washing rains could be expected.  The dry draws would flow as rivers. In winter, horse-drawn sleds were often used for going anywhere or for feeding livestock.   There was generally quite a bit of snow during the winter months.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Lewis, Charles (07/15/1885 - 04/20/1962) View Record