William Jennings Bryan 1860 – 1925

Born in March, Statesman from Nebraska

Born in Salem, Illinois in 1860, William Jennings Bryan was renowned as a gifted debater. He was elected to the U.S. Congress to represent Nebraska in 1890 but was defeated for the U.S. Senate in 1894. The next two years, he served as editor of the Omaha World-Herald.

Bryan ran for president in 1896, traveling more than 18,000 miles through 27 states, but he lost to William McKinley. He lost to McKinley again in 1900 and to William Howard Taft in 1908. In 1912, President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Secretary of State.

With his deep, commanding voice and wide travels, he was perhaps the best-known orator and lecturer of the era. Because of his faith in the wisdom of the common people, he was called “The Great Commoner.” He supported Prohibition and attacked Darwinism and evolution, most famously at the Scopes Trial in 1925 in Tennessee. On July 26, 1925, five days after the Scopes case ended, Bryan died in his sleep in Dayton, Tennessee. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.




February 2017 Chase County Calendar

For school activities, see chasecountyschools.org or waunetapalisadeschools.org.

Get Print Versions and Past Calendars Here

February 3: Chase County Hospital Foundation Gala, 6 pm social, 6:30 dinner. Expo Building. Proceeds will fund new mammography machine. Unable to attend the gala? Donate online at chasecountyhospital.com/foundation/donate.html.

February 3: National Wear Red Day. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. Know your risks. See GoRedForWomen.org to find out more.

*February 3-5. MOVIE: Hidden Figures. Rated PG. Biographical drama. Team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions. Stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Moráe. Imperial Theatre, Friday-Saturday, 7:30. Sunday, 7 pm. Phone 882-4368 to volunteer.

February 4. Soup & Pie Supper, 5-7 pm, Champion Community Center, hosted by Champion Jr. Women’s Club. Free-will donation. Live music. Funds will support community projects.

February 5. Valentine Dessert Bar, 2 pm, Crossroads Wesleyan Church, 220 E. 17th, Imperial. Freewill fundraiser to help with medical expenses for Jim Sims, CCHS student. 9th Street Singers and Jazz Band will entertain. Phone 308-882-5010 for more information.

February 9. A Chocolate Affair, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, St. Patrick Friendship Hall, 724 Broadway, Imperial. Homemade chocolate dessert samples, silent auction for desserts. Door prizes. Tickets $10. Funds benefit local youth projects. Phone Cheryl at 883-0265 for more information or tickets.

*February 10-12. MOVIE: A Dog’s Purpose. Rated PG. A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners. Stars Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton. Imperial Theatre, Friday-Saturday, 7:30. Sunday, 7 pm. Phone 882-4368 to volunteer.

*February 10-12. MOVIE: Hidden Figures, Rated PG. Wauneta Chateau Theatre, 7 pm, Friday-Sunday. Phone 394-5445. See February 3-5, Imperial, for summary.

February 11. Crazy Quilt Guild meeting, 1:30 p.m., Imperial Community Center. Phone Vivian at 883-5873 or Linda at 883-1770 for details. (Every second Saturday.)

February 11. Imperial Bible Church Ladies Retreat, 8 am to 3:30 pm, 800 W. 11th. Featured Speaker: Karre Ann Wakefield, “Finding the Hidden Treasure.” Send name, address, and $15 fee to Amanda Clay, PO Box 516, by Friday, February 3. Lunch and dessert provided.

February 12. Sunday Buffet, Imperial Community Center, 11 am to 1 pm. Adults $10; children 10 years and younger $5. Phone 882-5343.

February 13. Diabetes Support Group, Chase County Hospital, Basement Conference Room, 6 to 7:30 pm, with Julie Levy, Registered Dietitian/Diabetes Educator. See chasecountyhospital.com – Upcoming Events or phone Julie at 882-7386. (Every second Monday of the month.)

February 13, 18. Mercy Meals of Southwest Nebraska, 112 South Tecumseh Avenue, Wauneta. Regular packaging events Monday, February 13, 6-8 pm, and Saturday, February 18, 9-11 a.m. Phone Mary at 883-6761 or see mercymealsofsouthwestnebraska.org.

February 14. Broadway Book Bunch. Imperial Library, 7 pm. Discussion of The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride. Ask at the library for a copy or phone 882-4754.

February 15. Imperial Chamber Meeting, Community Center, Noon. Phone Center at 882-5343 before 9 a.m. to reserve lunch, $8.

*February 17-19. MOVIE: Split – M. Night Shyamalan Movie. Rated: PG13. Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th. Stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Haley Lu Richardson. Imperial Theatre, Friday-Saturday, 7:30. Sunday, 7 pm. Phone 882-4368 to volunteer.

*February 17-19. MOVIE: Patriots Day, Rated R. Drama-thriller about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent terrorist manhunt. Stars Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, Michelle Monaghan, J.K. Simmons. Wauneta Chateau Theatre, 7 pm, Friday-Sunday. Phone 394-5445.

February 20. President’s Day and National Cherry Pie Day! Maybe Washington didn’t chop down the cherry tree when he was a boy, but cherries were one of his favorite foods! Find out more from The Food Historian.

February 20. Cancer Support Group, Chase County Hospital, Basement Conference Room, 7 pm. Food/beverages, program, tips and advice. Meetings are confidential. For more information, phone Deb Hrcka at 882-7290 or email dhrcka@chasecountyhospital.com. (Every 3rd Monday of the month.)

*February 24-26. MOVIE: La La Land. Rated PG13. Romantic musical comedy starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a musician and an aspiring actress who meet and fall in love in Los Angeles. Imperial Theatre, Friday-Saturday, 7:30. Sunday, 7 pm. Phone 882-4368 to volunteer.

*February 24-26. MOVIE: The Space Between Us, rated PG13. First human born on Mars travels to Earth, embarks on an adventure with a street smart girl to discover how he came to be. Wauneta Chateau Theatre, 7 pm, Friday-Sunday. Phone 394-5445.

*Movie titles are subject to change.


*March 3-5. MOVIE: The Lego Batman Movie. Rated PG. 3D computer-animated action-comedy superhero film. Bruce Wayne must deal with the criminals of Gotham City and the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted. Wauneta Chateau Theatre, 7 pm, Friday-Sunday. Phone 394-5445.

March 9: 6th Annual Chili Cook-off. Chairman, Jack Schneider, 882-4363

March 11: Craft Fair hosted by Southwest Crafters and Entrepreneurs (SWNE), City Gym, 9 am to 2 pm. Lunch served by Cindy Lou.

March 31: LIVE PLAY: Murder at the Juice Joint, 7 pm, Lied Public Library in Imperial. Adlibbed roaring 20’s murder mystery. Looking for players: No lines to learn! Phone Jan Graham at 883-1198.

Weekly Events

Imperial Community Center, 882-5343: Women’s Coffee, MWF, 9 am; Men’s Coffee, M-F, 8 am; Bingo, Tues, 1 pm; Lunch, M-F, Noon, $6 under 60, $5 above age 60. Please phone by 9.

Tuesday, NoonRotary Club at M&M Jaz. Laura Gaschler, 414-1055.

Wednesday, 3 pmBingo at Parkview Heights. Phone 882-5333.

Thursday, 9 amTOPS at Imperial Community Center. Lorna, 883-5304.



Thomas William Osborne – born February 23, 1937


Tom Osborne – former Cornhuskers football coach, U.S. Representative, and UNL Athletics Administrator, and one of the most admired men in Nebraska – was born in Hastings. Considered a star athlete at Hastings High School, he excelled in basketball and football and earned the Omaha World Herald’s “Athlete of the Year” title.

Here are some other facts you may or may not know about Osborne:

  • Like his father and grandfather before him, he attended Hastings College, earning a B.A. in history in 1959.
  • Osborne achieved an M.A. in educational psychology from Nebraska (1963) and a doctorate in educational psychology (1965). He also served in the Nebraska Army National Guard from 1960 to 1966.
  • His tenure as head football coach at the University of Nebraska, from 1973 to 1997, is the longest in school history. Under his guidance, the Cornhuskers had a 255-49-3 record – the sixth-most all-time among major college football coaches with a winning percentage ranking fifth all-time.
  • Osborne was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (1999) and received the Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award (2000). ESPN honored him as the coach of the decade for the 90s (1999).
  • He and Nancy will celebrate their 55th anniversary this year. In 1991, they founded the TeamMates program to encourage school-aged youth to graduate from high school and pursue a post-secondary education.
  • In 1999, the playing surface at Memorial Stadium was renamed Tom Osborne Field, but Osborne asked that his name be removed from the field because he didn’t think it was fair to his successor, Frank Solich. His name was replaced in 2013 when the university installed its new FieldTurf.  

John Milton Thayer: 1820-1906

Born in January, Governed Nebraska

Young Lawyer: John Milton Thayer was born in Bellingham, Massachusetts, graduating with a law degree from Brown University in 1847. He was soon admitted to the bar and practiced law in Worcester, Massachusetts, for seven years.


Bust of Thayer in the Vicksburg National Military Park

Civil War Soldier: Shortly after the Nebraska territory was created in 1854, he and his family moved to Omaha, where because of previous experience and interests, he was appointed to head the territorial militia. In Nebraska, he led two expeditions against the Pawnee. In 1861, responding to President Lincoln’s call for volunteer soldiers, Thayer recruited a thousand men and served as colonel of the First Regiment of Nebraska volunteers, which fought in the battles at Fort Donelson and Shiloh. As a Brigadier General, he served with Grant at Vicksburg, Mississippi. (Read a description of “Thayer’s Approach” at nps.gov/vick.)

First Senator: Following the Civil War, Thayer was actively involved in securing Nebraska’s admission into the union. When Nebraska became the 37th state, he became one of its first two United States Senators, serving from 1867 to 1871. In 1875, President Grant appointed him governor of the Wyoming territory, a post he held until 1878, after which he returned to Nebraska to resume his law practice.

Seventh Governor: In 1885, at the age of 65, he was elected Governor on the Republican ticket – the oldest Governor in Nebraska history – and served two full terms from 1886 to 1888 and a partial third term in 1891-92. He died in Lincoln and is buried there in Wyuka Cemetery. Thayer County in southeast Nebraska is named for him.





December, The Giving Month: Remember the Pantry

While some of us groan and complain about how much we overate on Thanksgiving, others in our community couldn’t buy enough food to last the month. That’s why the Chase County Pantry is such an important service.

The Chase County Pantry Service began decades ago through the efforts of Monsignor Jerome Murray of St. Patrick’s Church and Pastor Bob Call of the First Methodist Church in Imperial. It is now a cooperative effort of volunteers and the City of Imperial, who provides the facilities and overhead expenses.

Nancy on Duty at the Pantry

According to Nancy Terryberry, president of Chase County Pantry Services since 1996, about 20 volunteers work in pairs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. in a room behind the old gym. They receive donations, make grocery runs, stock shelves, and serve those who come in for help.

Everything in the pantry comes through food drives and monetary donations from churches, schools, local organizations, and individuals. It is usually well-stocked during the holidays, but supplies can get low in the summertime.

What kind of donations are best for the holidays? Since the pantry has three freezers, they can take small turkeys and other kinds of meat. Other suggestions: Fruit juice, canned fruit and vegetables (no more green beans, please!), dried beans, popcorn, stuffing mix, and cranberry sauce.

If you’d like to donate funds – any time of the year – mail your check to the Chase County Pantry, c/o Nancy Terryberry, PO Box 4, Imperial. To volunteer or for more information, phone Nancy at 882-5136.

Willa Cather: 1873-1947

Born in December,
Raised in Nebraska

catherYou probably recognize the name of Willa Cather, author of My Ántonia , O Pioneers!, and The Song of the Lark and consider her one of ours. You may know that many of her best known books were influenced by her childhood in Red Cloud, Nebraska (population 987); the house where she lived there is a state historic site.

Here are 7 things you may not know:

  1. She lived in Nebraska only 13 years, from 1883 to 1896. Born in Virginia as Wilella Cather on December 7, 1873, her family moved to Nebraska when she was nine.
  2. Though some of her novels are set in Nebraska, others are set in New York, San Francisco, New Mexico, Quebec, and France; her last novel, Sapphira and the Slave Girl, was set in her birthplace of Virginia.
  3. She moved to Lincoln in 1890 to study at the University of Nebraska, intending to study science and medicine. After a Lincoln newspaper published an essay her English professor submitted, her name in print had an “hypnotic effect” on her, and she decided to become a writer.
  4. She is the only American woman writer included in the Encyclopedia Britannica’s list of “Great Books of the Western World” (1990).
  5. Before she was a novelist, she was a journalist. Beginning as an editor, in Pittsburgh, she eventually became managing editor of McClure’s Magazine in New York City.
  6. Her most famous book, My Ántonia , was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize but didn’t win it. That honor came with her book set in World War I, One of Ours.
  7. Cather died in her home in New York on April 24, 1947, of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 73 years old.

Sources: PublishersWeekly.com; University of Nebraska at Lincoln

What You Might Not Know about Popcorn

  1. popcornNebraska produces more popcorn than any other state in the country – around 250 million pounds per year – about a quarter of all the popcorn produced in the United States.
  2. Americans consume about 14 billion quarts of popcorn per year – 43 quarts per person.
  3. Why does it pop? Each kernel contains a small drop of water, inside a circle of soft starch, inside the kernel’s thick hull. When the kernel gets hot, pressure from the heated water builds, and it bursts open.
  4. Most popcorn comes in two basic shapes: snowflake, used in movie theaters because it looks and pops bigger, and mushroom, used for candy confections because it doesn’t crumble.
  5. How old is it? In 1948, popped kernels around 5,000 years old were discovered in caves in New Mexico.
  6. It is believed the Wampanoag Native American tribe brought popcorn to the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  7. On average, a kernel will pop when it reaches a temperature of 347 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. North Loup, Nebraska is one of the five contenders for the title “Popcorn Capital of the World.”
  9. Popping popcorn is one of the number one uses for microwave ovens.

Find out more at http://www.popcorn.org/.

Johnny Carson, Aspiring Magician – 1925-2005

Born in October, Raised in Nebraska

Carson was bojohnny-carsonrn in Corning, Iowa, on October 23, 1925, moving with family to Norfolk, Nebraska at age eight. At age twelve he found a book of magic, ordered a magic kit, and began practicing with the goal to be a magician. His first paid performance was at the Norfolk Rotary Club when he was fourteen years old.

Carson, a high school senior when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, enlisted in the Navy after graduation. He served by entertaining troops with his ventriloquist dummy, Eddie. Later he returned to Norfolk, graduating from UNL in 1949 with a major in speech and a minor in radio. His final college thesis was on “How to Write Comedy Jokes.”


Actress Swoosie Kurtz: Named for a Bomber

Born in September, Born in Nebraska

Swoosie Kurtz

Swoosie Kurtz received her unusual first name – which rhymes with “Lucy” – from her father, Air Force Colonel Frank Allen Kurtz, Jr., who was an American bomber pilot. During WWII, he had flown the last surviving Boeing B-17D Flying Fortress bomber named “*The Swoose” – half swan, half goose.

Born in Omaha on September 4, 1944, she was an only child and has never been married.

Kurtz majored in drama at the University of Southern California, also studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Her first television appearance at age 17 was on The Donna Reed Show in 1962. At age 18, she appeared on To Tell the Truth, where she identified her father from two impostors.

Kurtz’s theatrical career began on Broadway, where in 1978 she received Broadway’s “triple crown” – the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards. She won a second Tony in 1986.

Also in 1978, Kurtz appeared in Mary Tyler Moore’s short-lived variety show Mary, which also included David Letterman and Michael Keaton. She has received eight Emmy Award nominations, with one win for Carol and Company in 1990. She was in the NBC drama Sisters, Huff, Pushing Daisies and in the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly (2010-16). Her films include Wildcats, Dangerous Liaisons, Stanley and Iris, Citizen Ruth and Liar Liar.

Early B-17D at Wright Field. The “D” model was the last B-17 series to have a small “shark-fin” tail and underside “bathtub” gun position. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Early B-17D at Wright Field. The “D” model was the last B-17 series to have a small “shark-fin” tail and underside “bathtub” gun position. (U.S. Air Force photo)
DAYTON, Ohio - Artwork depicting "The Swoose" on the B-17D aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)
DAYTON, Ohio – Artwork depicting “The Swoose” on the B-17D aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)
One of crews from "The Swooze"
One of crews from “The Swoose” (pictured after the war). From left to right are Charles Reeves, Harold Varner, Col. Frank Kurtz, Harry Schreiber and Roland Boone. The aircraft also set two point-to-point speed records and carried several famous passengers, including Lt. Commander Lyndon B. Johnson (future president of the United States). (U.S. Air Force photo)



Pete Ricketts, 40th Governor of Nebraska

Born in August, Born in Nebraska

Ricketts,_Pete_2013-11-04aThe 40th Governor of Nebraska was born in Nebraska City as Peter John Ricketts on August 19, 1964. He is the oldest child of Marlene, a public school teacher, and J. Joseph Ricketts. In 1975, J. Joseph 1975 founded a brokerage company, which later became Ameritrade.

Pete’s younger siblings are Tom, Laura, and Todd – all of whom live in the Chicago area. The Ricketts family has owned the Chicago Cubs since 2009.

The Ricketts family was far from wealthy in its early years. Pete recalls a time when their mother made curtains for the boys’ bedroom out of plastic picnic-table covers. Todd says one reason he owns a bike shop is that he never had a bike as a kid.

Pete Ricketts graduated from Westside High School in Omaha before attending the University of Chicago, earning a bachelor’s in biology and an MBA in marketing and finance. He began working at Ameritrade as a customer services representative, eventually becoming its Chief Operating Operator. He and Susanne were married in 1997. They have three children – 15-year-old twins Roscoe and Margot, and 13-year-old Eleanor.