The Fay Family: Genealogies: Uriah and Elnora Fay Bromwich

Uriah and Elnora Fay Bromwich
Biographies, Census Evidence, Miscellaneous
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Uriah Bromwich was born in Chicago, Illinois, November 29, 1853, of English parents. Elnora Fay was born in Fox Lake, Wisconsin of French-Canadian parents. They were raised in Minnesota and were married at Carlston, Minnesota on April 9, 1876 where they lived until 1878, when they came through by ox team and covered wagon to the Kent Community in Nebraska. Locating first in what was later Loup County on a preemption claim (80 acres located on the Southeast of Kent Corner) on which he proved up and then took a homsetead of 160 acres one mile south in Custer County, where they lived until moving to Taylor in 1909. Uriah had learned the blacksmith trade and followed this occuation for the first three years, along with farming. Their first home was a sod shanty, later a small log house. They lived in this until they moved onto the Custer County homestead, where a frame two story home was built. Crops were very good on the sod, except for a few years of drought and grasshopers in the early 1890's.
Census Place: Unorganized Territory, Unorganized Territory, Nebraska
Source: FHL Film 1254757 National Archives Film T9-0757 Page 577B
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
W. BROMWICH Self M M W 26 IL Occ: Farmer Fa: ENG Mo: ENG
Elnora BROMICH Wife F M W 23 WI Occ: Keeping House Fa: CAN Mo: CAN
Arthur BROMWICH Son M S W 2 MN Fa: IL Mo: WI
Mr. and Mrs. Bromwich had seven children, Arthur Eugene who was born in Minnesota and was about four months old upon their arrival in Loup County, Walter Delbert and Luva Jane born at Kent in Loup County; and Nathan Ellice, William Uriah, Retta Elnora and Joy Stephen born at Kent on the Custer County homestead. They raised on adopted daughter Eva Boddy. Eva came in about 1888 to live in their home and where she resided as one of the family until her marriage in December of 1899.
In December of 1887 they lost three of the children, Delbert, Luva and Ellice with Typhoid fever within two weeks of each other. They are buried in the Kent Cemetery.
In 1900, they are shown with William U. (6/1887), Retta E. (2/1891) and Steven J. (6/1899). Arthur Eugene is married to Ethlynn and is living in the area.
Uriah Bromwich was delegated to oversee the getting of the ground and having it laid out and fenced for the Kent Cemetery. This was finally completed November 16, 1892. A position he held until failing health forced him to move from the farm and he turned this position over to his son Will. In early days all graves were dug by neighbors regardless of weather and ground conditions and they might even help lower the casket into the grave by means of two long leather straps, which were each 20 to 25 feet long. Sometimes they would even take the lines from the harnesses and use for this purpose. Something the pioneers were glad to do to help in times of bereavement.
There is a list of burials in Kent Cemetery. There are 8 Fay listings, and 10 Bromwich, including Elnora and Uriah. There are also several other related family groups. The photograph above appears on that site. Index prepared by Karolee Ingraham Plock to work done by Colleen Iris Goehring Switzer.
The Kent School Number 1 and 107 was located one and a quarter miles north, within the townsite of Kent and all of the children received their schooling here. Uriah was a School Board member for many years, with many a humorous and also sad storry to tell i this capacity. This was a one room, one teacher school with very large enrollment. Thirty to forty-five were not an uncommon number enrolled.
The Kent School house was the meeting place of the Community, here besides school, were held church services by a traveling minister or a layman willing to preside, funerals if they were not in the home, box socials, literaries, Community Christmas programs, with the tree touching the ceiling and lighted with candles, OH, so beautiful (and dangerous).
For years there were few fences and livestock had to be herded by some member of the family every day.
After fences were constructed the telephone sysem utilized the fence wire and posts and the Bromwich family had one of the first telephones in the valley with a connection to Burwell.
Prairie fires were not uncommon coming over the clay hills from the south, so that fire guards were plowed and kept up yearly and the old furrows can still be seen across the hills.
All farming was done with walking machinery. It has been told of repeated instances when a noise having been heard in the grass at the edge of the field, that Uriah would stop his plowing, take a tug from the harness and search the area carefully for a rattle snake. Once in a whle none could be found but more often a snake would be there. The children were never allowed to do this only the adults.
Uriah and Elnora moved to Taylor from the farm in 1909 and built a new home. He did draying and also worked in The Cash Store. He died October 28, 1916, after a lingering illness.
Elnora and Joy lived together until his marriage, then she was with Joy and his wife on the farm the winter of 1925-26. After Joy's death she returned to her home in Taylor where she resided until her death from pneumonia on December 18, 1928, during a flu epidemic.
Biography by Floy (Bromwich) Fletcher for the "Kent Book, 1874-1978"