Alva Curtis Rash

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Alva Curtis Rash

Birthplace: Union, Hardin County, Iowa, United States
Death: July 21, 1921 (63)
Gordon, Sheridan County, Nebraska, United States
Place of Burial: Gordon, Sheridan County, Nebraska
Immediate Family:

Son of Lewis Ellis Rash and Rachel J. Rash
Husband of Clara M. Rash
Father of Pearl Mildred Rash; Grace Lenora Rash Havener Marshall; Minta Mary Rash; Roy H Rash; Infant Baby Rash and 7 others
Brother of Nancy Emma Shultz; Flora Ann Thompson; Benjamin Jesse Rash; Emma Rosalie Hiller; Solon Lincoln 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

Alva 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 continuously 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, and 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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Children of ALVA RASH and CLARA DAVIS are:

  1. PEARL MILDRED RASH, b. Oct. 23, 1884 South Dakota, d. June 13, 1971.
  2. GRACE LENORA RASH, b. Feb. 1886 Nebraska, d. Oct. 14, 1975, Placer.
  3. MINTA MAY RASH, 1887-1889, Gordon Cemetery, Gordon, Neb.
  4. ROY H. RASH, b. Oct. 27, 1888 Nebraska, d. March 1965.
  5. GUY R. RASH, b. Sept. 1890 Nebraska, d. 1946, m. Tella Marie Johnson.
  6. ROSS DAVIS RASH, b. Sept. 10, 1892 Neb., d. May 1966, m. Vera Cooper, several children.
  7. BESSIE BARD RASH, b. Sept. 1894, d. 1966, m. WILLIAM REDFERN, b. 1890, Nebraska, children Dorothy & Doris.
  8. ELSIE EFFIE RASH, b. April 21,1896, Gordon, Neb., d. Feb. 17, 1978, Los Angeles, Calif, m. (1) Roy Lee Catron, 1894-1948; m. (2) Wayne Walker, 1901-1982.
  9. Infant Rash, 1898-1898, Gordon Cemetery, Gordon, Neb.
  10. VAUGHN RASH, b. 1900 Neb., d. 1969, m. Eula Drinnon.
  11. VIOLA ESTHER RASH, b. 1902 Neb., d. 1988, m. Leo J. Sharp.
  12. WILMA FRANCES RASH, b. 1910 Neb., d. 1992, m. Alfred McCallister, son James B. Residence: Gordon, Neb.

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1910 United States Census:
Name, Role, Gender, Age, Birthplace
Alva C Rash Head M 52 Iowa
Clara D Rash Wife F 43 Iowa
Pearl M Rash Daughter F 25 South Dakota
Grace T Rash Daughter F 24 Nebraska
Roy Rash Son M 21 Nebraska
Guy Rash Son M 19 Nebraska
Besse D Rash Daughter F 18 Nebraska
Ross D Rash Son M 17 Nebraska
Elsie E Rash Daughter F 15 Nebraska
Vaugh H Rash Son M 10 Nebraska
Viola Rash Daughter F 8 Nebraska
Wilma Rash Daughter F 0 Nebraska
Otto Klamn Hired man M 28 Kansas
Bessie Thomson Boarder F 28 Iowa
Event Place Township 32, Sheridan, Nebraska, United States
Sheet Letter B
Sheet Number 2
District ED 211
Sheet Number and Letter 2B
Household ID 34
Affiliate Name The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Affiliate Publication Number T624
Affiliate Film Number 855
GS Film Number 1374868
Digital Folder Number 004972825
Image Number 01097
Citing this Record: "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 November 2015), Guy Rash in household of Alva C Rash, Township 32, Sheridan, Nebraska, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 211, sheet 2B, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,374,868.
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Alva Curtis Rash in Nancy Miller Thompson Smith's 2015 book The Genealogy of the Rash and Hammer Families:

Born: 3 December 1857
Where: Jasper County, Iowa
Father: Lewis Ellis Rash (6)
Mother: Rachel Hammer (7)
Married: 22 June 1884
Where: Hardin County, Iowa
Wife: Clara Davis born ca. 1862
Father: M. Davis
Mother: Susan Cook
Died: 21 July 1921
Where: Gordon, Nebraska
Buried: Gordon Cemetery

Children (continued below)
For more information about Alva and his family refer to the beginning commentary about his father, Lewis Ellis Rash.

The Rushville Nebraska Recorder
September 8, 1921
“Alva Curtis Rash was born at Union, Hardin Co., Iowa, Dec. 3, 1857, and died at Gordon, Nebraska, July 21, 1921. He was married, June 22, 1884, to Miss Clara Davis, and came to Nebraska in April 1885. Twelve children were born in the home, four sons and eight daughters, ten of whom are living, two having died in infancy. The living children are: Mrs. Pearl Thompson of Winterset, Iowa, Mrs. Grace Havener of Gordon and Guy R., Roy H., Ross D., Bessie B., Mrs. Elsie Catron, Viola, Vaughn, and Wilma all of Gordon. Besides these, he leaves a wife, four brothers, and three sisters. The remains are interred at the Gordon Cemetery.”

Children of Alva Curtis and Clara Davis Rash (all born in Gordon, Nebraska):
1. Pearl Rash was born ca. 1885. She married William Robert Thompson.

Their children were:
a. Donald Glenn Thompson who married Edith Black.
They were the parents of one known child:
(1). David Hugh Thompson
b. Kenneth Earl Thompson married Charlotte Zaraff.
Their known children in were:
(1). Mary Thompson
(2). Ruth Thompson
(3). Janet Thompson
c. Dorothy Ester Thompson who married Alvin Walter.
Their children were:
(1). Baby, died in infancy
(2). Clark Walter
(3). Earl Ann Walter
d. Marjorie Clair Thompson married Donald R. Wilson.
Their children were:
(1). Sharon Lee Wilson
(2). Dennis Ray Wilson.

(Hammer, Jesse D., “Biography of Jesse Hammer”, Booklet, 1957)
2. Grace Rash was born ca. 1887. She married first Harry Havener. They were the parents of two children. Grace’s second husband was J. F. Marshall. In this marriage there was one child.

a. Velma Havener married Delmar Foster.
They were the parents of three children:
(1). Elmer Glenn Foster was born in 1953.
(2). Velma Foster was born in 1955.
(3). Larry Foster was born in ca. 1957.
b. Virgil LeRoy Havener married Mary Divine.
They were the parents of four children:
(1). Virgil LeRoy Havener, Jr., who married Nadine Gardner.
(2). Jerry Lee Havener was born in 1948.
(3). Patricia Lee Havener was born in 1950.
(4). Virginia Lenore Havener was born in 1954.
(5). Jennine Louise Havener was born in 1956. (ibid.)

3. Minta Rash was born ca. 1888 and died in infancy.
4. Guy R. Rash was born ca. 1890. He married Zella Marie Johnson. They were the parents of five children:

a. Elmer Ross Rash
b. Fern Lelora Rash
c. Hazel Wanda Rash, married Roy E. Miller. They were the parents of four children:
(1). Judith Ann Miller
(2). Jerry Earl Miller
(3). Stephen Allen Miller
(4). Jackie Lynn Miller.
d. Dona Mae Rash, who married Ernest Luther.
They were the parents of four children:
(1). Lynda Jean Luther
(2). James Lee Luther
(3). Patricia Ann Luther
(4). Mary Ellen Luther
e. Lyle Rash who married Rose Ellen Garner. They were the parents of three children:
(1). Janet Lea Rash
(2). Carol Ann Rash
(3). Susan Marie Rash.

5. Roy H. Rash was born ca. 1892. He married Edith, whose maiden name is not known. They were the parents of two known children.

a. Grant Curtis Rash married Dorothy _____.
They were the parents of one known child:
(1). Michael Rash
b. Margaret Ruth Rash married Robert Mylfer.
Their children as of 1957 were:
(1). Theresa Mylfer
(2). Roy Benjamin Mylfer (ibid.)

6. Ross D. Rash was born ca. 1893. He married Vera Cooper. They were the parents of four children:

a. Son, died in infancy.
b. Louise Carol Rash, married Kenneth Hull.
They were the parents of two children as of 1957:
(1). Cadence Dean Hull
(2). Patricia Hull.
c. Ross Duane Rash, married Glendora Lembke.
d. Janet Rash, married Richard J. McKee. (ibid.)

7. Bessie Bard Rash was born ca. 1895. She married William Redfern.
8. Elsie Effie Rash, she married ____ Catron.
9. Baby, die187d in infancy.
10. Vaughn Rash was born ca. 1899.
11. Viola Rash was born ca. 1901.
12. Wilma Frances Rash was born ca. 1903. (ibid.)
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Alva Curtis Rash 1857–1921 KNQ9-4MK
Marriage: 23 June 1884 Hubbard, Hardin, Iowa
Clara Davis 1858–Deceased

Pearl Mildred Rash 1884–1971 L2HF-P4J
Grace Lenora Rash 1886–1957 KDBQ-YSC
LeRoy H Rash 1888–1965 LBVK-X3L
Guy R. Rash 1890–1946 9X7S-TVQ
Ross Davis Rash 1892–1966 9FM9-KCK
Bessie Bard Rash 1894–1966 9X7S-TJ1
Elise Effie Rash 1896–1978 9X7S-TJB
Vaughn Howard Rash 1900–1969 9X7S-TDG
Viola Esther Rash 1902–1988 9X7S-TVS
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view all 19

Alva Curtis Rash's Timeline

December 3, 1857
Union, Hardin County, Iowa, United States
October 23, 1884
Wessington Springs, Jerauld County, SD
February 28, 1886
July 27, 1887
October 27, 1888
Gordon, Nebraska
September 15, 1891
Gordon, Sheridan County, Nebraska, United States
September 10, 1892
Gordon, Sheridan County, Nebraska, United States
September 21, 1894
Nebraska, United States
April 21, 1896
Gordon, Sheridan Co., Nebraska, United States