Blickensderfer and related families - Person Sheet
Blickensderfer and related families - Person Sheet
Birth28 Jul 1861, Miami County, OH
Death5 Apr 1934, Nebraska, USA
FatherJohn Ezra BLICKENSTAFF (1827-1903)
MotherElizabeth Drusilla SNYDER (1832-1912)
Birth6 Jul 1874, Marysville, IA
Death29 Mar 1972, Holdrege, NE 68949, USA
FatherBenjamin Fredrick LIBEY (1852-1936)
MotherNancy Angeline MART (1854-1936)
Marriage2 Apr 1891, Blue Springs, NE
ChildrenLula Hazel (1893-1929)
 Bert Dewitt (1896-1979)
 Ruth Alberta (1898-1984)
 Pearl Eleanor (1901-1998)
 Fern Cora (1903-1963)
 Neva Alma (1909-2002)
Notes for Upton Grant BLICKENSTAFF
Buried in the family plot at Orleans


The body of U. Blickenstaff was taken to Orleans Wednesday afternoon for burial in the family plot, following the funeral services, with the Rev. Harry Hansen in charge.

Mr. Blickenstaff, who had lived in Holdrege since his retirement from the farm, passed away at his home here Sunday morning, aged 72 years, 8 months and 18 days. He had been in poor health for some

Upton Blickenstaff, son of Elizabeth and Ezra Blickenstaff, was born in Indiana, July 21, 1861, and at the age of eighteen, moved with his parents to Blue Springs, NE.

In 1891 he married Betty Leiby and in a short time they moved to Stamford, NE. Nine years ago he retired from farming and moved to Holdrege.

Early in life he became a member of the Brothern church and later united with the Presbyterian church.
He leaves to mourn his departure, his wife and eight children; Chester and Mrs. Albert Swanson of Orleans, Bert and John of Stamford, Mrs. Roy Housden of Huntley, Mrs. Ralph Detrick of Upland, and Beth and Neva , at home.

A daughter, Mrs. Lulu Dahlstrand preceded him in death. He also leaves eleven grandchildren and six brothers; Elias and Jake of Quinter, Kansas, Oscar of LaVerne, Calif., Charles and Gus of Oberlin, Kansas , and Asa of Norton, Kansas; and one sister; Mrs. Dan Snyder of Evans, Colo.; beside a host of relatives and friends.


Submitted by Arlene Swanson


Upton Blickenstaff was born July 21,1861 in Taylorville, IL., one of eight boys and girls. In 1879 his family moved to Blue Springs, NE.

He married Elizabeth Leiby, April 2, 1891. Six children were born to this union on a farm about 6 miles northeast of Blue Springs; Lula in 1892, Chester in 1894, Bert in 1896, Ruth in 1898, Pearl in 1901, and Fern in 1903.

In 1907 they moved to a farm one mile east of Stamford,NE. Their household goods, cattle and horses were shipped by emigrant freight cars. The horses kicked the door open and got out 1/4 mile east of Stamford. They were rounded up into the stock yards. Three children were born here; Beth in 1907, Neva in 1909 and John in 1911.

Upton farmed and raised cattle, horses and hogs. He lost hogs by the dozens from the cholera epidemic in about 1915. His horses consisted of some purebred racing horses of which he was very proud. He road one of his purebreds when he took part in the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893 in Okla.

Upton's brother Elias lived on a farm 1/2 mile north of Stamford. Upton sold his farm east of town and moved to that farm with his brother. Later on he bought a farm southeast of Stamford. Upton also owned the land on which the Stamford school is now located.

Upton was a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church where he was an elder. Upton felt the call to be a minister but because of his lack of education, he instead became a prayer warrior. He gave the first $1,000 to rebuild the church in about 1918. He also owned a large building in town. It was converted into a place for revival meetings. A great minister by the name of Goodale and a marvelous singer came and held meetings. All churches went together. There were many converts.

Upton retired and moved to Holdrege, NE in 1925. Upton passed away on April 8, 1934 at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke.
Submitted by Neil Detrick

During one of my visits with "Grandma" Betty Blickenstaff (collabrated by Dean Blickenstaff) she related to me that Upton and Asa along with two other brothers took part in the OK land rush of 1893. They were successful in staking a claim but were driven off by some men at gun point before the officials arrived to record it.

Following is an excerpt from

The Race

They came to the land that would be Oklahoma by train, horseback, wagon and on foot, from every state and territory in the nation and abroad. Texas and Kansas had the most settlers represented. Most had few material possessions but all came with a dream: to stake a claim and make a home on the vast, virgin prairie known as the Cherokee Strip.

President Cleveland and Secretary of Interior H. R. Smith hoped they learned something from earlier "stampedes" for land. They hoped that with better planning they could avoid the troubles and confusion that accompanied the 1889 land rush. Prior to opening the land they established county seats and opened four land offices at Enid, Perry, Alva and Woodward. Homesteaders were to go to these offices and pay a filing fee ranging from $1.00 to $2.50. Filing fees were based upon the quality of land. However, the Strip was to be settled by the horse-race method. To eliminate "sooners," they set up makeshift offices just inside the Cherokee Strip border. Homesteaders were to register and produce filing fee affidavits to be eligible for the run.

On the day of the run, it was hot and dry. Dust, whipped by wind and thousands of feet, made it unbearable. To add to the misery, soldiers were doing their best to keep order, and see that no one "jumped the gun." The run was to begin only when troopers shot their pistols at high noon. There were several reports of persons shooting a gun in the crowd. Many homesteaders excitedly took off on hearing any gun shot. Such excitement could only lead to trouble for some. One fellow heard the wild shot at four minutes before noon, and took off. Troopers reportedly chased him for a quarter mile before shooting him dead.

Finally, at noon September 16, 1893, a shot rang out and more than 100,000 determined settlers raced for 42,000 claims. By sunset, there would be tent cities, endless lines at federal land offices and more losers than winners. The Cherokee Strip Land Run was a tumultuous finale to what many have called the last American frontier.

Making the race and staking a claim must have seemed simple when compared to establishing a home in the sometimes formidable Cherokee Strip. Many settlers carved sod homes and dugouts from the prairie while others lived in their covered wagons. The first winters were harsh as the land tested the endurance and character of its new inhabitants. Many of the settlers could not endure the harsh conditions, and after weeks, or months, gave up their dream.

The hard times gave way to better days as crops flourished and communities, schools and churches rose from the windswept plains. Over 100 years later, agriculture remains the strenth of the economy and way of life. The stories of these brave homesteaders still echo through the Cherokee Strip. Walk through the only remaining sod house, explore the many Cherokee Strip Museums, or visit with people whose ancestors, through grit and determination, settled this untamed frontier.

Last Modified 9 Apr 2012Created 17 Aug 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh
This collection of files last generated on 17 Aug 2021.
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