Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thank you to Homestead Congress Blog 2010 Contributors

The Friends of Homestead National Monument thank the readers of the Homestead Congress blog for their continued support. As of this writing there have been over 30,000 hits to our educational postings on the purpose of the Homestead Act and its many fascinating stories. Readers range from Beatrice, Nebraska, hometown of the Monument, to both the east and west coasts of the United States, as well as, every continent in the world.

Without the talents, efforts, and contributions of our many volunteers and supporters the Homestead Congress blog would not be possible. Happy holidays and thank you to:

  • Merrith Baughman, Homestead National Monument
  • Blake Bell, Homestead National Monument
  • Susan Cook, Homestead National Monument
  • Sally Crandall, Artist-in-Residence 2010
  • Jerry Davison, Homestead Congress Volunteer
  • Denise Elmer, Homestead Congress Volunteer
  • Gene Finke, Friends of Homestead Volunteer
  • Alycia Fritzen, Southeast Community College
  • Trent Gloystein, Southeast Community College
  • Barbara Guenther, Friends of Homestead Volunteer
  • Tasha Jackson, Southeast Community College
  • Betty Johnson, Southeast Community College
  • Jason Jurgena, Homestead National Monument
  • Allison La Duke, Homestead National Monument
  • Mel Mann, Artist-in-Residence 2010
  • Doris Martin, Homestead National Monument
  • Tina Miller, Homestead National Monument
  • Michaela Papp, Southeast Community College
  • Luke Phillips, Southeast Community College
  • SuAnn Saathoff, Southeast Community College
  • Amber Thieman, Southeast Community College
  • Judy Thompson, Artist-in Residence 2010
  • Christi Moock Willoughby, Southeast Community College
Homestead Congress is a communication program for the Friends of Homestead National Monument of America. It is a 501(c)(3) educational, charitable organization recognized by the IRS to receive tax deductible gifts directed to the use of Homestead National Monument. The Homestead National Monument of America is the source of accurate information on the Homestead Act. Our authors contributions can be found at: http://homesteadcongress.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Friends Board 2011

Diane Vicars: President Friends Board
Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center

Laureen Riedesel: Vice-President Friends Board
Beatrice Public Library

Renee Bauer
Rural Comprehensive Care Network

Ross Bauman
Retired CEO of BAS

Dennis Carmichael

Vicky Cowan: Secretary Friends Board

Denise Elmer: Editor Homestead Congress blog and Board web site
Southeast Community College

Don Ferneding

Bernadette Korslund

Bill Noll

Jim Stanosheck

Tamara Weers: Treasurer Friends Board
First National Bank Omaha

John Zarybnicky
Homestead Land Company, Inc.

Superintendent Mark Engler: Park liaison to Friends Board
Homestead National Monument of America

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Volunteer Appreciation

The Friends of Homestead National Monument were shown how much their volunteer efforts are appreciated at the 2010 Volunteer Recognition Reception. 

On September 19 volunteers and their families gathered at the Education Center to applaud the contributions of 647 volunteers.

From October 1, 2009 to September 3, 2010 volunteers donated over 15,000 hours. The national independent sector values volunteer work at $20.85/hour, placing the value of volunteer time to Homestead at over $312,750.

Debbie Hermance was recognized for her efforts in coordinating the design and implementation of the community garden located at the new Heritage Center near the recently moved Palmer-Epard Cabin.

Debbie Hermance Homestead's 2010 Volunteer of the Year.

The community garden was, and will be again next summer, a place for people to reconnect with the frugal homesteader by growing their own food and getting their hands dirty. The Monument provided a free 10 foot x 15 foot plot and water. Pesticides were not allowed. The plots were available from dawn to dusk daily.

T. Marni Vos from Lincoln, NE was the guest speaker at the 2010 Volunteer Appreciation Reception.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

160 Acres-160 Dollars Homestead Congress Seeks Leaders

Leadership is about taking responsibility for community and driving it forward. Members of the community who have the ability to lead are especially appreciated today; please consider supporting the Homestead Innovation Congress with your contribution. Your gift of $160 will support activities that will continue to tell the homesteading story.

Your gift to the 160 Acres-160 Dollars campaign will provide a sustaining source of funds for ongoing projects and enhancements. There are no fees to be a supporter of the Friends of Homestead National Monument; however as a sponsor of the Homestead Innovation Congress you will help The Friends to build partnerships that will continue to grow in ways which we can tell the homesteading story.

Homestead Innovation Congress is a group within the Friends of Homestead organization that is dedicated to increasing communication and awareness of Homestead National Monument of America. As hosts of the 160 Acres-160 Dollars, Homestead Congress invites contributors and their guest to an appreciation dinner October 9, 2010 at the renown destination restaurant The Black Crow, 504 Court Street, Beatrice, Nebraska. The social event begins at 4:30 pm followed by a 5:00 pm special program and a 6:00 pm dinner, RSVP to the Homestead National Monument at 402 223-3514. Please make checks payable to Friends of Homestead 8523 W. State Highway 4, Beatrice, Nebraska 68310.

The program Maria Rodaway: Prairie Pioneer, by Karen Wyatt Drevo, is highly recommended by the Nebraska Humanities Council. Their web site offers these insights: “Maria (portrayed by her great-great granddaughter in period attire) looks back at her life as a prairie pioneer in Otoe County, Neb., where she homesteaded in 1867. Maria crossed the Atlantic Ocean with seven children to reunite her family after a 7½ year separation. She endured grasshoppers, hail, drought, tornadoes, blizzards, and the loss of her husband and six of her 13 children as she worked to become a citizen and a land owner in a new country. Resilient and resourceful, she lived a life of usefulness to her family and large circle of friends with her loving deeds and kind acts, delivering babies and nursing the sick.”

Dr. Don Weldon, president of the Friends of Homestead, reminds us that leaders are the driving component of any community; they are the key component that keeps community moving forward. Your joining of the Homestead Congress community and supporting of the homesteading story is appreciated.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Your Help is Needed! Homestead Needs Your Vote!

Visitors, fans, and supporters of Homestead National Monument of America can help the park by voting online for “America’s Favorite Park.” Vote at http://www.livepositively.com/ before August 31. There is no limit on the number of times you can vote.

Why should we vote? A vote for Homestead will show your pride and support of Homestead National Monument of America. Furthermore, it just might help Homestead in its search for grant funds.

Lets get out the vote and share this with your family, friends and other park enthusiasts.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Charter Participants Gifts Recognition

The Friends of Homestead National Monument appreciated the generous gifts of the 2009 Charter Participants of the “160 Acres-160 Dollars program.” Each gift of $160 or more was used to support activities that told the homesteading story.

The Charter Participants gifts were commemorated on the Levels of Giving Recognition Board at the entrance of the Homestead National Monument Heritage Center. These recognition plaques can be viewed at 8523 West State Highway 4, Beatrice, NE.

A recognition dinner was held Saturday, October 10, 2009. Dan Freeman Jaffe and Kansas City jazz musicians Mike Ning, keyboard, and Victor Perelmuter, drums, entertained the new Charter Participants of the Homestead Innovation Congress. Jaffe’s poetry and the jazz combo honored homesteaders past and present with a five part blues movement that embodied the journey of homesteaders from the late eighteen-eighties to today. The dinner, hosted at Beatrice Valentino’s restaurant, was the Friends of Homestead way of saying thank-you for supporting the new Homestead Innovation “160 Acres-160 Dollars” program. [http://friendsofhomestead.blogspot.com/2009/10/embodiment-of-homestead-journey-friends.html]

2009 Homestead Innovation Congress Donors

Bernadette Korslund
Calvin Prebyl
Charles and Janet Whitehead
Charles and Laureen Riedesel
Darrell and Sue Bruns
Denise Elmer and Dennis Witthoft
Dennis Boesiger
Dennis Wells
Donald C. Weldon
Donald Harmon
Doug Dalke
Dr. C. T. Frerichs
Dr. Harold Thaut
Dr. Richard Mazour
Dr. Sandra Parks
Dr. Wayne Price
Duane Smith in Memory of Darrell W. Smith and in Honor of Merna S. Smith
Ernest Paquette
Eva Meyn
Janice Buhr
Jerry and Joan Davison
John Bauer
John Zarybnicky
Judy Halvorson
Julian Canady
Karen and Gary Higgins
Leigh Coffin
Maj. William Noll
Marion Frantz
Mark Engler
Martha Feit
Norm Wallman
Robert and Rhonda Eddy
Ron and Diane Courtney
Ron Wallman
Ross Bauman
Sandman Foundation
Steve and Renee Bauer
Terry Doyle
Thomas Shirk
Toro Company
William Cook, Jr.

The Homestead Innovation Congress is a group within the Friends of Homestead organization that is dedicated to increasing communications and awareness of Homestead National Monument of America. All gifts of $160 or more will be known as Homestead Innovation Congress Participants. A 2010 recognition dinner is being planned for those participating. The sponsor gift for the Homestead Innovation Congress is $160 per single (couple). Please make checks payable to the "Homestead Congress" and mail to: Friends of Homestead 8523 West State Highway 4, Beatrice, NE.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friends Support Homestead Changes

The Friends of Homestead National Monument support the following bills introduced by Representative Jeff Fortenberry:

  • H.R.112  Introduced 1/6/2009                                        . -                                            
Title: Homestead National Monument of America Boundary Expansion Act - Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to acquire by donation or by purchase with donated or appropriated funds, from willing sellers only, the approximately 140 acres located south of the Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska and owned by the Friends of Homestead and the approximately 160 acres known as the "Graff Parcel." Instructs the Secretary to revise the boundary of Homestead National Monument to reflect the acquisition upon its completion. Requires any lands acquired under this Act to be administered by the Secretary as part of Homestead National Monument.

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2009 - Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.

  • H.R.5463 Introduced 5/28/2010         

Title: To rename the Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Nebraska, as the Homestead National Historical Park.
Latest Major Action: 6/7/2010 - Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.

Contact Rep Fortenberry to express your support:
Washington, DC Office
Jeff Fortenberry 1535 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4806
Fax: (202) 225-5686 Lincoln Office

Lincoln Office
Jeff Fortenberry 301 South 13th Street, Suite 100
Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 438-1598 1-866-725-5255
Fax: (402) 438-1604 Norfolk Office

Norfolk Office
Jeff Fortenberry 125 S. 4th Street, Suite 101
Norfolk, NE 68701
Phone: (402) 379-2064
Media Calls: (402) 379-1984
Fax: (402) 379-2101

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Power of the Future: Friends of Homestead Recognize Supportors

Donations, memorials, gifts and bequests allow the Homestead Monument to grow and develop in ways that will promote the long term care of the Monument while sharing the legacy of America’s Homesteading History. In addition to planned giving, there is now a program to recognize various levels of continued giving.

The first level of recognition is when the continuing gift total reaches $100. As the contributions continue, higher levels are reached and recognized. This is where the Power of the Future and Hand Power recognitions fit it. These continuous giving amount levels will be recognized by name, at Homestead National Monument of America, on a donor plaque. The recognition levels are:

Homestead National Monument of America Supportors

Charter members contributed to the creation of the Homestead Heritage Center

Power of the Future $100,000 +
Anonymous Gift - Charter
Educational Service Unit No. 5 - Charter - Distance Learning Technology
Gage County Roads Department - Charter - Roads
Peter Kiewit Foundation Charter - Heritage Center PavingNebraska Environmental Trust - Charter - Land
Opal Shum Estate  - Land
Southeast NE Distance Learning - Distance Learning Technology

Electric $50,000 - $99,999
Anonymous Gift - Charter - Heritage Center - Paving
Ford Motor Company Foundation - Homestead Heritage Parkway Planning
Sutherland Foundation - Charter - Heritage Center Paving

Gas/Diesel $5,000 - $49,999
Anonymous Gift - Charter - Heritage Center Paving
Beatrice Area Arts Council - Public Programs
Leigh F., Jane M. and Leigh M. Coffin Foundation - Charter - Heritage Center, Fiddle Festival
Exmark, a Division of The Toro Company Lawnmower - Public Programs
First National Bank of Beatrice - Charter - Film, Public Programs
Gage County Tourism - Charter - Heritage Center Paving
Harriet Fort - Charter - Prairie Trail Signs
Hevelone Foundation - Heritage Center Dedication
National Park Foundation - Jr. Ranger Booklet, Volunteer Programs
Nebraska Arts Council - Public Programs
Nebraska Humanities Council - Public Programs
Norris Public Power District - Charter - Bury Electrical Lines, Public Programs
Pinnacle Bank - Charter - Film, Public Programs
Store Kraft Manufacturing - Charter - Heritage Center Information Desk
Tier One Foundation - Homestead Records Project, Public Programs
University of Nebraska Foundation - Homestead Records Project

Steam Power $1,000 - $4,999
Ross and Anita Bauman - Friends of Homestead Newsletter
Dennis and Glenda Boesiger
William Jr. and Betty Cook - Charter
Dan Ferguson Memorial - Charter - Education Center Exhibit Panel, Guest Register
In Honor of Jerry and Joan Davison - Interior - Benches
EEnergy - Visitor Services
Vince Halvorson Memorial - Superintendent - Heritage Center Paving
Keep Beatrice Beautiful - Trash Cans and Cigerette Urns
Kiwanis-Homestead Early Risers - Difibulator
Charles and Frances Maguire
Nancy Rohn - Fiddles
Rotary Club of Beatrice - Difibulator, Public Programs
Sandman Family Foundation - Charter - Microfilm Reader
Southeast Community College - Education Partner
Dr. Donald and Diane Weldon - Charter - Heritage Center Paving
Woodmen of the World - Flags and Poles

Horse Power $500 - $999
A G Edwards and Sons Inc.
Grace Boomer Memorial - Freeman School Flagpole
Carriage Motors - Van Rentals
Samuel and Vicky Cowan, III - Heritage Center
Rhonda Eddy - Homestead Quilt
Dr. C.T. and Julia Frerichs - Interior Benches
William Noll
Floyd and Verna Opfer Memorial - Trail Benches
Charles and Laureen Riedesel - Charter
Margaret and Martha Thomas Foundation - Heritage Center Patio Furniture
Twin Rivers Chrysler Jeep Dodge: Dave Eskra and Steve Swarthout - Van Rentals
Wal-Mart - Public Programs

Hand Power $100 - $499
John and Fran Bauer
Steve and Renee Bauer, Tim and Lexie
Darrell and Sue Bruns
Janice Lee Buhr
Julian and Kathleen Canaday
Cooksley's Clear Creek Farms, Inc. Custer County, Nebraska Frischkorn and Pirnie Homesteads
Ron and Diane Courtney
Doug and Karen Dalke
Jerry and Joan Davisonn
James and Joan Downey
Terry and Melinda Doyle
Robert and Rhonda Eddy
Mark and Barbara Engler
Marti and Gene Feit
John and Delores Fiala
Five Star Contracting
Marion and Joyce Frantz
C.T. and Julia Frerichs
Husqvarna Turf Care Company - Public Programs
LeRoy and Doreen Janzen
Judy Halvorson
Donald and Connie Harmon
Gary and Karen Higgins
Lois Kammelohr
Paul and Bernadette Korslund
Anita Lincoln
Dr. Rick Mazour D.D.S.
Kenneth Messersmith
Eva Mathias Meyn
Dr. and Mrs. Ernest Paquette
Dan and Dr. Sandra Parks
Janice and Wayne Price
Mr. and Mrs. Calvin D. Prebyl Jr.
Tom and Eileen Shirk - Charter
Duane and Debra Smith
Dr. Hal and Bette Anne Thaut
Mike and Susan Trump
Valentino's - Programs
Norman and Pat Wallman
Dr. Ron and Annette Wallman
Dennis and Kathi Wells
Charles and Jan Whitehead
Dennis Witthoft and Denise Elmer
Harold Witulski - Dog Treadmill
In Honor of Harold Witulski Farmer-Craftsman-Musician From Marcie, Mary, Leon and Larry
Richard and Kathy Woodward
John and Patricia Zarybnicky

The Friends of Homestead National Monument of America recognizes private philanthropy as both a noble tradition of the national parks and as an essential element of the Monuments’ accomplishments. Donations of funds and in-kind contributions enhance the ability of both the Friends and the Monument to carry out its programs and activities. Support from individuals, organizations, foundations, corporations, and businesses are deeply appreciated. Donations and gifts can be used for capital, operations, programming, and special event sponsors.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Homestead Friends Sponsor Photo Exhibit

Grain elevators have documented man's contribution to the prairie landscape since the mid 19th Century and symbolize how many homesteaders overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to feed their families and the country. Friends of Homestead National Monument of America are pleased to be a sponsor of Landmarks in a Sea of Grass on display at Homestead National Monument of America's Education Center from March 14 to September 19, 2010.

Landmarks in a Sea of Grass, black and white pictures of the grain elevators found across the rolling plains of the American landscape, represents the life work and dedication of Montana based photographer Bruce Selyem.

The Friends thank the other supporters of the this exhibit Southeast Nebraska Cooperative and Farmers Cooperative.

Ithaca, Nebraska

Updated May 12, 2010

Are you a descendant of Homesteaders?

If you are a descendant of Homesteaders, send you name and address along with any family histories to the Friends of Homestead. The Friends of Homestead are collecting the names and addresses of all descendants. This information should be sent to:

Friends of Homestead
8523 West State Highway 4
Beatrice, NE 68310

or email friendsofhomestead@gmail.com

Homestead National Monument to be Featured on US Quarter in 2015