The stories handed down from generation to generation are truly the fiber which shapes the family. Below are bits and pieces I've gotten from members of the Stephen and Rebecca Valentine family. Many have been handed from one cousin, to the next, to the next, so I am not certain WHERE they initially came from. I'm sorry I cannot give proper credit for each glimpse we are given here. ~ Ann ~
Samuel and Marion and William
Per Edmunds family history (author unknown):
In 1862-64, during the Civil War, Samuel Preston Valentine served as a private in the 91st Co. B., Illinois Volunteers. He left with his brothers-in-law, William Marsden and Marion Gudgel. They left with much fanfare on the ferry the local farmers had contracted to move their grain and supplies across the Mississippi River. Their first assignment as Union Infantry turned into a disaster. They were told to guard a train, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.They fought General John H. Morgan, being scattered they were easy prey to the experienced troops. Captured and paroled to Benton Barracks, Marion Gudgel and Samuel fell ill during their six month imprisonment. Marion was medically discharged and they told Marion that he might do better to stay and die there and save his family the expense of a burial. He became very angry at that and walked all the way home to Illinois, begging food along the way. He lived for 24 years after that.
The country had a severe drought and grasshopper attack in the years previous. In 1872, Samuel, with other relatives, went to settle in Nebraska. The Union Pacific Railroad was advertising free land and the Homestead Act had been signed and went into effect in 1863. In the Spring of 1871/2, the group of travelers came to Gresham, Nebraska and filed for homestead rights. The hardships of trying to eke a living from the land, fighting weather and crop failures, the lack of wood, for no trees grew on the grassy plain, all made for hard living.
The invention of the cold steel plow helped farmers cut through the thick sod and allowed them to construct homes made of sod. The railroad came to Gresham and it was a busy shipping center. The town grew and people prospered from 1880 until 1925. Another drought and then the depression caused many young people to leave and seek employment elsewhere. The town of Gresham is little more than a village today.
After Samuel's death, Hannah Edmunds Valentine received a Civil War Pension until her death.
Both Samuel and Hannah Edmunds Valentine were big people. On his Civil War enlistment papers, he is listed as 5'11" tall, with blue eyes and red curly hair. Hannah's pictures show her as almost as wide as she is tall. I believe this account MAY have been written by a lady named Florence Petta. I am not certain, but if she or anyone who knows the source will write me, I would like to be able to add the author's name to this. ~Ann ~
OBITUARY ... Marion Fuller, 96, who had lived in Nebraska since he was 15 years of age, passed away early Monday morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Alfred Robson, near Thayer. He had been bed-fast since last April 18.
Mr. Fuller was born May 15, 1857 at Galesburg, Illinois. After coming to Nebraska with his parents, he resided on farms in Polk County. His farm, until his retirement in 1951, to Gresham, was north and west of that village.
He was a member of the Masonic Order for 75 years and was within eight days of being the oldest living Mason in Nebraska. He also held membership in the Odd Fellows, Rebekahs, and Woodmen of the World.
Surviving are two sons, Thomas A., Harrison, Ark., and Floyd C., Alberta, Canada; two daughters, Mrs. Vinus Robson and Mrs. Lucy A. Barton, San Jose, California. Four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren. Mrs. Fuller died three years ago.
Funeral services were held Wednesday at 2:00 at the Gresham Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Wayne Porter officiating. There was a Masonic service. Burial was in Blue Ridge Cemetery at Gresham.
From the Gresham Gazette newspaper (Gresham, Nebraska)
OBITUARY ... 12/14/1934 Gresham Gazette. Arthur P. Valentine was born at Terre Haute, Illinois, September 26, 1869. His parents moved to Nebraska in the Spring of 1871 and settled on a homestead one mile north of Gresham, and here Mr. Valentine grew to manhood. On January 15, 1900, he was united in marriasge with Mrs. Estella Gudgel of Gresham, and to this union were born four children.
About 20 years ago Mr. and Mrs. Valentine, together with their young family, united in fellowship with the United Brethren Church in Gresham. Since their removal in 1926 to the farm northwest of McCool (Junction, Nebraska), and the disbanding of the congregation at Gresham, they have not transferred their church relationship, though still keeping the faith of our Lord. A loving and faithful husband and father, with the same thought and concern for both children and step-children alike, as well as fair and considerate in his dealings with all, he will be greatly missed by his own loved ones and by his neighbors. Mr. Valentine had been in failing health for some time, and the end came somewhat suddenly at his home near McCool on Wednesday, December 5, 1934, at the age of 65 years, 2 months, and 10 days.
He leaves to mourn his passing his wife, three sons, Arthur Jr. and Harlan, both at home; Lester, of Canton, Ohio, and a daughter, Mrs. Hazel Wingerter, also of Canton; two step-sons, Clarence Gudgel of Ravenna (Nebraksa) and Owen Gudgel of Long Valley, South Dakota. Also survivng are a brother, H.E. Valentine of Gresham, and five grandchildren, besides other relatives. Two brothers and one sister preceded him in death.
Funeral services were held at the family home on Sunday afternoon, followed by services in the Methodist Church in Gresham. Rev. J. H. Stitt of Fairmont and Rev. A. C. Monkman of Gresham officiating. Internment was made in teh cemetery at Gresham.
OBITUARY ... Gresham Gazette, 10/3/1941: Henry Ellsworth Valentine was born near Terre Haute, in Henderson County, Illinois, July 5, 1861, and passed away September 24, 1941 at the age of 80 years, 2 months, and 10 days.
In the Spring of 1871, at the age of 10 years, he came with his parents to Nebraska and settled on a homestead one mile north of the present site of Gresham. Here he went through many hardwhips as well as the many joys of early pioneer days.
On April 12, 1883 he was married to Addie Evelyn Roe, and to this union there were born two children, Bessie May who passed away at the age of 21 months, and George Prescott who now resides in Lincoln. Their mother died May 5, 1889.
On September 29, 1890 he marrried Rhoda Anna Garner, and to this union were born three children, Lawrence of McCool (Junction, Nebraska); Mrs. Inez Adkisson of York (Nebraska); Mrs. Edith Marvel of Gresham (Nebraska). Their mother passed away on November 13, 1938.
He was an active member of the Gresham United Brethren Church for many years, until it was disbanded. On Easter Sunday, 1939, he placed his membership in the United Brethren Church in York. He leaves to mourn his passing the four children, George, Lawrence, Inez, and Edity, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren, besides other relatives and many friends. He was the last survivor of his own family.
For over 50 years he was a member of the W.O.W. (Woodmen of the World) and was a charter member of Camp No. 2.
Funeral services were held at the United Brethren Church in York, Rev. G.T. Savery in charge, Saturday, September, 27th, and the body was interred in Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Gresham.
A quartette, Mrs. R. L.  Thompson, Mrs. Calmer Stephenson, Messers Arthur and William Walford with Mrs. Melvin Dey at the piano, furnished appropriate music and six grandsons served as pallbearers.
Additional Note: Per an Edmunds family genealogy, Henry was the official brick mason for the town of Gresham, Nebraska, and many of the remaining sidewalks in the village have his name on them.
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