With the release on ancestry.com of the Nebraska State Censuses, I thought I'd browse around and see what I could find.
Solomon Butcher was a 27 year old father of 2 in the 1885 Nebraska State Census. His occupation was listed as photographer. As this web site states, he captured about forty years of settlement of the Great Plains. He left a wonderful legacy for everyone who had an ancestor living in the middle of Nebraska in the 1880's to 1912, especially if they ever lived in a sod house. Just a quick look at the Library of Congress lists 19 of his more than 3,000 photos, plus over 200 articles. One photo is of the Haumont house north of Broken Bow. We used to go past it on our way to and from Broken Bow when I was a child. It was one of the landmarks I used to judge how far we had to go to either get to town or home. It has since been taken down. West Union Township, Custer County, Page 41, Enumeration District 180, Dwelling 287, family 289, Solomon, wife Lillie, children Lynn and Madelin
Mari Sandoz wasn't born until 1896, but her father and the subject of her most well-known book, Old Jules, was 24 and was living in Sheridan county with Paul Sandoz and other farmers, some from Germany, Canada, Holland and Switzerland. West 1/2, Sheridan County, Page 24 D, Enumeration District 740, dwelling 442, family 469. I did not find her mother, Mary Fehr, in the 1885 Nebraska State census.
Willa Cather was 11 years old in the 1885 Nebraska State Census. She lived in Red Cloud Precinct, Webster County, with her parents William and Virginia, younger siblings Roscoe, Douglas and Jessie, Grandmother Eliza Boak and cousin Bessie Seymore. Dwelling 58, Family 58, Page 6, Enumeration District 781, census date 4 June 1885.
Another author I think of as a Nebraska author, Bess Streeter Aldrich, was born in Iowa and moved with her husband to Elmwood, Nebraska in 1906.
Two of Grand Island's most notable citizens were Edith and Grace Abbott. In the 1885 Nebraska State census (name indexed as Abbot), they are 8 and 6 years old respectively and living with parents Othman A. and Elizabeth, brothers Othman A. Jr. and Arthur, Grandmother Emeline Griffin and servant Nellie Stewart. Our city library is named after Edith Abbott and a park in the north part of town honors Grace Abbott. 2nd Ward of Grand Island Precinct, Page 24 D, Enumeration District 352, census date 8 June 1885, 286 Division Street.