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The History of Harvey B. Andrews - Genealogy

Harvey B. Andrews
The History of Harvey B. Andrews
and his "Evergreen Ranch," Property

Evergreen RanchMany genealogists or family historians will tell you that genealogy is important and you may have dabbled a little with tracing your family tree.  Have you thought about what the benefits of genealogy might be to you and to future generations?

Genealogy, as we know is the study of your family's ancestors.  As people become more and more involved with researching their family tree there is often a point at which they suddenly realize that it is much more than just filling out the blanks in a tree!

Genealogy plays an important role in how we view ourselves, our history, and the connections we have around the world.  Both children and adults can benefit from knowing where they come from and from studying their genealogy.

The following is a small piece of my Genealogy, my History, and most importantly a piece of me. The story I want to share with you is of Harvey B. Andrews and his place in the world we live in today. Hopefully you will learn something new not just about me, but about how your own connections to history is important.

Harvey Andrews in Cedar Canyon on Victoria Creek, where he made a small fortune selling cedar fence posts and pine logs to settlers.Harvey B. Andrews, was a notable example of a self-made man. He was known as one of the most successful ranchmen and farmers of central Nebraska. Harvey was not just an inspirational pioneer but my great great grandfather.

Harvey had a full and rich life having accumulated large amounts of land, working as a freighter as well as farmer and a stockman, and marrying well producing many successful children. Harvey was a true pioneer and an important part of history.

Harvey was connected with various banks and other financial institutions of the county and was a man of business acumen and keen judgment. He was born in Alleghany county, Virginia on January 22, 1849. Harvey was the sixth child of the six sons and four daughters of William and Elizabeth (Oliver) Andrews. Harvey's parents were natives of Virginia. They died in that state.

Harvey Andrews and family herding their livestock in Cedar Canyon on Victoria Creek, near New Helena, Nebraska.Harvey lived on the farm in Virginia where he was born until leaving his native state in March of 1874. Harvey and nine young men went west into Nebraska. They traveled via the Union Pacific railroad to Kearney, where they hired a team and a wagon. They needed a driver for the wagon and so they hired a man to drive them to Loup City, Sherman county, and on into the territory of Custer, along the north side Middle Loup river, until reaching a point opposite the mouth of Victoria creek.

It was here that the men found themselves having to cross the river. This was no small undertaking at that time, and the wagon had to be broken down into pieces and floated across. The stronger men carried across the weaker ones on their shoulders. Harvey carried over Charles Matthews, who afterward became judge of Custer county and one of the best known men in central Nebraska.

After fording the creek they followed it along the east side until reaching Victoria springs. Out of all the young men who traveled together only Harvey and Charles made a permanent settlement at Victoria springs, where they made their camp.

Charles took the land where the springs gushed out of the creek and Harvey took a piece a little farther up the creek, which later became the Bowley farm. In the fall of 1877 Harvey made a homestead entry in Cedar canyon, covering the principal part of the little cedar forest there, which was very valuable on account of the timber. Some of the cabins erected from logs taken from this canyon still stand on Victoria creek in some condition today.

Harvey and Charles were the original settlers of their neighborhood. They lived in a time when big game were plentiful along the creek, and the Indians still inhabited most the land. Harvey and Charles did not always get along well with the Indians and often had to run them off their claimed land.

The Harvey Andrews family on their homestead two and one-half miles northwest of New Helena, Nebraska.On September 29, 1878, Harvey married, in Loup City, to Jennie Lougran. She was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Morrow) Loughran. They had come to Victoria creek in 1876. Mr. Loughran had made a trip to the place in 1874 when he took up a homestead, bringing his family for a permanent residence there in 1876. He then died in his eighty-sixth year, his wife having passed away some years before.

Jennie's parents were both natives of Ireland, and each had been previously married. Jennie's father came to Canada when he was fifteen years old and married there, where his first wife died. Jennie's mother came when she was twenty-seven years old. She lost her husband and child soon after landing. They died of "ship fever," the most deadly, contagious disease of the time. We know it today as typhus fever. Jennie's mother Elizabeth had a father who sent her money to return home to Ireland, but she was to proud to take her father's money. She was not looking for a hand out. Elizabeth worked at fifty cents a week, saving her wages to take herself home on her own dime. Elizabeth would never return to Ireland because while working she would meet Jennie's father Thomas and would marry. Shortly after that Jennie's parents would head west.  

The Harvey Andrews family posed at the grave of son Willie Andrews.Harvey and his wife Jennie had eight children, seven of whom survived. William S. Andrews, died in infancy.

Harvey served some time on the county board as supervisor from the Victoria district, and actively participated in public matters. In 1874, Harvey worked at freighting from Grand Island to Fort Hartseff, the military post above Ord. Harvey always made the most of his opportunities for advancement along all lines, achieving a high degree of success from a humble beginning, and working hard for his start in the new country.

In 1877, Harvey drove a stage in the Black Hills from April 1 to September. During this time, the Indians, who were then hostile, often followed him. The day before Harvey did his run one day the Indians killed the driver on duty. On yet anther day Harvey's stage came to the mutilated bodies of two men and a woman. They had been massacred. These incidents gave Harvey no kindly feeling toward the Indians for many years. I wonder how he would feel knowing his descendants are both Cheerokee and Blackfoot?

The first place Harvey and Jennie lived was a log house, but later they moved to a soddy. Harvey killed buffalo, deer and antelope by the hundreds there. For ten years they had no other meat. They lived entirely off their own land.

At the time of the blizzard of January 12, 1888, Harvey had been to Broken Bow, and got off the train at Anselmo. Harvey was week from work and cold from the winds so he tried to pay a liveryman to take him home. He offered him five dollars for the six mile trip to New Helena, but the liveryman nor no one else would venture out in such a storm. Harvey was not going to give up, he was going to get home.

Harvey Andrews and family herding their livestock in Cedar Canyon on Victoria Creek, near New Helena, Nebraska.Purchasing a lantern, Harvey started out along a wire fence. Through the blistering cold Harvey powered through and by the time he reached the end of the fence he knew he could make it the rest of the way by foot if he tried. Harvey made it home by ten o'clock that night and although thoroughly frightened Jennie greeted him warmly. It taught Harvey a valuable lesson and come the time of the blizzard of October 15 to 17, 1880, Harvey had just returned from the Dismal river, where he had a large lot of cattle. He felt the coming of the storm, and hurried home.

Harvey was originally a democrat in politics, but became an independent as time passed by. Without knowing it I have followed in Harvey's footsteps in politics.

I was surprised to learn that Harvey was foremost in Masonic circles. He was a distinguished member of the Broken Bow Blue lodge, chapter and commandery. He was also a high ranking member of the Tangier Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Omaha. Harvey and Jennie were both members of the Order of the Eastern Star.

In the fall of 1911, Harvey and his family left their ranch at Anselmo, and retired to a farm adjoining the eastern suburbs of Broken Bow.

I am still learning about Harvey and his family, my family. I never knew I had ties like this to history. I hope this little piece of history has inspired you to find out more about your own past. Feel free to share your stories as we are all connected in some way.

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