Alva Curtis Rash

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Alva Curtis Rash

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Hardin, Iowa, United States
Death: Died in Gordon, Nebraska, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Lewis Ellis Rash and Rachel Hammer
Husband of Clara M. Davis
Father of Pearl Mildred Rash; Grace Lenora Rash; Minta Mary Rash; Roy H Rash; Guy R Rash and 7 others
Brother of Emanuel Daniel Rash; Columbus Elliott Rash; Nancy Emma Rash; Flora Ann Rash; Benjamin Jesse Rash and 7 others

Occupation: Horse Trader/ Well Digger
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Alva Curtis Rash

Birth: December 3, 1857 - Hardin, Iowa, United States - Death: July 21, 1921 (63) - Gordon, Nebraska, United States

Son of Lewis Ellis Rash and Rachel Hammer - Husband of Clara Davis - Father of Pearl Rash; Menta Rash; Roy H Rash; Ross D Rash; Bessie Bard Rash, Elsie Effie Rash; Vaugn Rash; Grace Rash; Wilma Francis Rash; ? Rash and Guy Rash

Alvin Curtis Rash was born at Union, Hardin County, Iowa, Dec. 3, 1857 and died at Gordon, NE, July 21, 1921.

He was married June 22, 1884 to Miss Clara Davis and came to Nebraska in April 1885. He was located upon the present home farm in 1885 by Rev. J.A.Scammahorn, where the family has resided continously until a few years ago, when Mr. Rash purchased a residence in Gordon, where he resided at the time of his death.

Twelve children were born in the home, four sons and eight daughters, ten of whom are living. The living are: Mrs. Pearl Thompson of Winterset, Iowa, Ross D. of Glenrock, Wyo., Mrs. Grace Havener, Guy R., Roy H., Bessie B., Mrs. Elside Catron, Vaughn, Viola and Wilma, all of Gordon.

Besides these he leaves a wife, four brothers and four sisters to mourn his sudden departure. Mr. Rash was a member of the M.E. Church, the I.O.O.F. and M.W.A fraternal orders. He has resided in this community for more than 36 years, where he has reared a large family, built a home, endured the pioneer life, accumulated considerable property and leaves his family comfortably provided for.

He was a man held in high esteem by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. His sudden death has cast a gloom over the entire community and the friends who have known him so intimately and well and conversed with and enjoyed his congenial smile and fellowship only a few hours before his sudden summons, are amazed at the mysteries of Providence and again haven been made to reflect seriously over the frailties and uncertainties of life.

Mr. Rash was a man of most congenial and friendly disposition and numbered his friends by his long list of acquaintanceships. Not only is there sorrow and sadness in the home bereft of a father's care and love and a husband's tenderness and devotion, the community has lost an honorable and upright citizen and a kind friend and good neighbor, whose friendly smile and kindly acts will be missed.


Story of Alva Rash written by a grandson Ross D. Rash

Moving to Nebraska:

Grandfather Rash moved from West Branch Iowa to Nebraska in the late 1880's. He loaded all the family possessions on a wagon and then loaded the team and wagon on the C&NW (cold and no whiskey) Rail Road for the trip to Valentine Nebr. which was the end of the line at the time. From there it was 90 miles over trails along the Niobrara River to the Gordon Area where he planned to homestead. (Read "Old Jules" by Mari Sandoz for a description of what the country and life in it was like in those days.)

About 20 miles west of Valentine is what's left of the town of Crookstown NE. (named after Col. Crook, I believe). Ar that time it consisted of a saloon and post office/general store and was the place of residence for several "crooks" who would sell protection to the homesteaders traveling through. (If you give me your money I will make sure nobody else robs you). As Grandfather Rash approached the town a lone horseman rode out from the saloon and stood in the middle of the road (on his horse). When Grandpa was about 200 yards from the man he made a big show of pulling out his double barrel shotgun and loading it, placing it across his knee so that the barrel pointed down the road over the head of the team. When he was about 20 yards from the man he picked up the shotgun and asked the man "What can I do for you this morning?" To which the man replied "Nothing today" and rode back to the saloon to wait for the next wagon.

Money for 2 cent stamp:

After he was located on his homestead which is 8 miles southeast of Gordon, he had the family join him in the "old Soddy" sod house which was the usual type of construction in a country that at that time had no trees other than a few evergreens along the river. It was a "cashless" society in those days. You raised food and either ate it or traded it for something else you needed badly, but you rarely sold anything. The story is that they lived there for two years before they had enough spare cash to buy a two cent stamp to send a letter back to Iowa to let the folks there know how they were getting along.

Sod Houses were made by plowing up the grass into strips about 2 foot wide and 10 inches or so thick. A hole about 2 to 3 foot deep was dug into the ground on the side of a hill and the strips of sod were used to build up the walls until a room was provided. Some wood beams would be purchased for the roof frame and more sod would be used for the roofing. Depending upon your financial resources the windows would consist of a hole, waxed paper, or glass. Doors would be a buffalo hide or wood. I don't know anything specific about the sod house except Father said that it wasn't unusual to wake up on a cold morning with frost on the blankets, his bed was in the attic.

Well Drilling Side Business:

As the family grew to 10 living children, the farm did not provide much ash for purchased items, so for that and other reasons Grandpa branched out into the "horse trading" and "well drilling" businesses. As a result he and some of the older boys would be gone from Spring to Fall leaving the farm for my Grandmother and the younger boys to run.

One of the stories that left a lasting impression on my young and tender mind is as follows: On one tour of their regular customers whose wells would periodically need repair, they stayed for several weeks. The crew consisted of Grandfather and three or four of the boys. One of the usual and customary forms of entertainment was to joke about the hired cooks handy work. The first night some of the boys made a joke about one of the dishes and the new cook became exceedingly upset and distraught and threatened to quit if there were any more unfavorable comments on her cooking. The owner took Grandpa aside and gave him to understand that she wasn't joking and that he had had a lot more trouble finding a good cook than finding a good well repair service, so Grandpa read the riot act to the boys. The next morning she served a mountain of pancakes to the boys and informed them that they were expected to eat all of them. What she didn't tell them was that she had reinforced the pancakes with some cotton batting so that they could not be cut or chewed into smaller pieces. The boys chewed and chewed and swallowed their way through the mountain of pancakes with complements and smiles. After the last pancake had gone down the hatch, the cook and the owner burst out laughing and continued to do so until the tears ran down their faces. The boys had been outdone at their own game.

Depression and Drought of 1907, farm lost for taxes:

Cash was so scarce that there was no money to pay the taxes of a few dollars (2 or 3 of them) so the farm was foreclosed for the taxes but they stayed there and continued to farm it. My suspicion is that no self respecting man would buy anybody's farm for the taxes in those days,a nd anyone lacking in self respect was probably smart enough to not try. Several years later good crops allowed him to buy the farm back for past due taxes. He ultimately enlarged the farm to 1,800 acres.



      
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Alva Curtis Rash's Timeline

1857
December 3, 1857
Hardin, Iowa, United States
1882
February 23, 1882
Age 24
Iowa, United States
1884
June 23, 1884
Age 26
Hubbard, Hardin County, Iowa, United States
October 23, 1884
Age 26
Wessington Springs, Jerauld, , SD, USA
1887
July 27, 1887
Age 29
1888
October 27, 1888
Age 30
Missouri, United States
1891
1891
Age 33
Iowa City, IA, USA
1892
September 10, 1892
Age 34
NE, USA
1894
September 1894
Age 36
1896
April 21, 1896
Age 38
Gordon, Sheridan Co., Nebraska, United States