FAMOUS PEOPLE OF THAYER COUNTY
Born July 8, 1956 in Deshler Nebraska
Extensive art awards including: 2000 Grand Prize "Realism Today" American Artist Competition, John Pence Gallery, San Francisco Ca. 2005 Elected Professional Sculptor Member of the National Sculpture Society (NSS). Solo Exhibitions in: Jane Sauer Gallery - New Mexico, John Pence Gallery - California, Turner Carroll Gallery - New Mexico, DC Moore Gallery - New York, Midtown Payson Gallery - New York, Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Horwitch Newman Gallery - Scottsdale AZ, Santa Fe East Gallery - New Mexico, Caixa De Barcelona - Spain
Born March 5, 1959 Davenport Nebraska
Lives in Lincoln Nebraska
Comedian and Magician. Gayle began performing as a child in 1967 with his dad, Leroy. Gayle has performed at thousands of conventions and banquets nationally and internationally. Those Gayle has shared the stage with include: Carrot Top, Sawyer Brown, Bill Engvall, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, and Phyllis Diller. Gayle has done performances for both HBO and Showtime. Gayle and his wife Cindy operate Becwar and Associates, entertainment agency in Lincoln.
Born 1888 Hebron Nebraska
Died 1941 ( age 53 ) New York
Prominent U.S. lawyer who served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Son of a Nebraska Preacher. One of the architects of modern Wall Street's legal culture. Fought coruption in the New York Police Department. He is credited with coining the term "associate" for junior members of a law firm. His chief assisstant at his law firm ( John Marshall Harlan II ) later served on the Supreme Court. His philosophy was:
"He who wields the instruments of justice wields the most powerful instruments of government. In order to assure their just and compassionate use, a prosecutor must have an almost priest-like attitude toward his duties. Buckner practiced this attitude without deviation."
Born May 13, 1909 in Hebron Nebraska
Died Jan. 24, 1992 ( age 82 ) last residing at Sherman Oaks, California.
American composer, vocal arranger, lyricist, and conductor. His film scores were recognized with 3 Academy Awards and 1 Grammy Award. Ken provided vocals for the Munchkinland Mayor in the Wizzard of Oz. He was a composer and producion supervisor for Walt Disney Studios , and was choral and vocal director on the 1946 Disney film classic, Song of the South. He was Marilyn Monroe's vocal coach for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and There's No Business Like Show Business (1954). He was also the principal composer of the 1956 Elvis Presley hit "Love Me Tender" for the movie of the same name, but signed the rights over to his wife, Vera Matson, whose name appears as co-lyricist and co-composer with Elvis Presley.
Harriet Cruise Davidson
Born March 14, 1903 at Hubbell Nebraska
Died July 17, 1984 in Ventura California
Singer and Performer. She was the singing voice of Gloria Franklin, who played Nina, in the 1939 movie “Lady of the Tropics”. Harriet sang, “Each Time You Say Goodbye (I die a little)”.
In the 1920's she attended UNL in Lincoln, and was part of the Riverside Band.
Harriet Cruise did 13 programs a week in 1932 on stations WBBM and WGN-CBS. She was a contender in the IT contest of singing stars. In 1958 the Lincoln Journal Star called her Lincoln’s Dinah Shore.
Her father Pete Cruise was manager of the lumberyard and elevator in Hubbell. She graduated from Hubbell High School in 1923 and attended Nebraska University in Lincoln. When she died in 1984 she was living with her sister, Catherine, in California and had a cousin, Mrs. Ralph Dewald in Alexandria.
Dr. Roy Wesley Eaton
Born June 11, 1878 in Lafayette, Indianna
Died June 27, 1947 in Omaha Nebraska. (buried at Westlawn/Hillcrest Memorial Park)
Roy Wesley Eaton has been a continuous resident of Nebraska since 1879. He is the son of Charles Wesley and Frances Adaline (Moore) Eaton, the former an educator, farmer and soldier of German and English descent. Charles Wesley Eaton was born at Willet, New York, and died at Davenport, Nebraska. His wife, Frances Moore, was born at McDonough, New York, and died at Chapman, Nebraska. During the Civil War she served as a nurse. Thereafter she was a teacher in the public schools.
Roy W. Eaton attended Happy Hollow one room school south of Davenport until 1894, and was graduated from Davenport High School in 1896. In 1903, Mr. Eaton received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Fremont College, and in 1904 received the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy, and in 1905 the degree of Bachelor of Science from the same institution. He received another Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska in 1913, and in 1920, was awarded his Master's degrees from that university. During 1924, Mr. Eaton attended Harvard University.
On June 3, 1903, he was united in marriage to Daisie Serena Hansen at Wymore. Mr. Eaton is known throughout the middlewest as an educator and author of educational pamphlets and textbooks, and has attended scores of grade school contests and teachers' institutes as a lecturer and conductor. He is included in Who's Who in North American Authors. He is a member of the firm Omaha School Supply Company and editor of the Middlewest School Review.
Among his textbooks are: Eaton's Graded Speller, (1914); True Blue Contest Speller, (1914); Eaton's Contest Arithmetic, (1914); Eaton's True Blue Bible Contest, (1918); True Blue Picture Study, (1918); True Blue Geography Note Book, (1920); Silent Reading Text, (1924); Nature Study, (1929); True Blue Grammar Review, (1929); True Blue Book Review, (1929). He was also the editor of the Middlewest School Review.
Born May 3rd. 1917 in Hebron, Nebraska
Died July 27, 1990 ( age 73 ) last residing at Panorama City, Los Angeles, California.
American Actress that appeared in over 35 films from 1945 to 1972. Best known for acting in Three Stooges movies: "Goof on the Roof", "Husbands Beware", and "Muscle Up a Little Closer". Gates was also acclaimed for her singing and dancing talents.
Charles William Grugan
Born January 27, 1901 in Hebron Nebraska
Died October 4, 1974 in Dallas Texas, cremated.
Charles "Charlie" Grugan graduated from Hebron High in 1918. He bacame a Flight Engineer and Test Pilot at San Fernando California. Charlie was the oldest Experimental Test Pilot and Flight Engineer in the US when he retired from Lockheed Association after working with the SR-71.
Witness to The Lockheed UFO Case near Yucca Valley California December 16, 1953, later called the Lockheed UFO Case or Project 1947.
Roy Wesley "Rhino" Hitt
Born June 22, 1884 in Carleton, Nebraska
Died Feb. 8, 1956 ( age 71 ) last residing at Pomona, California.
Major League Baseball Pitcher. He played for the Cincinnati Reds in 1907 and also had a long career in the Pacific Coast League. Rhino was 5-10 and 200 pounds. Win-loss record 6-10, Earned run ave. 3.40, Strikeouts 63.
Lucas Jerrod Hoge
Born Jan. 18th. 19 Grew up in Hubbell Nebraska
Lives in Nashville, Tennessee
American Singer-Songwriter and Musician. Lead artist for rock bands: "Southern Cross" and "Xtreme Devotion". First CD "In My Dreams" released in 2002. Second DC "Dirt" in 2006. Appeared on TV in 2007 Toby Keith Christmas production, and a Saturday Night Football promotion with Faith Hill. Lucas Hoge hosted Animal Planet's TV show "Last Chance" and wrote the theme song. Awarded "New Artist of The Year" 2011, Christian Contemporary Singer/Songwriter of the Year 2006, and Country Album of the Year (Los Angelos Music Awards) 2006. He is married to actress/singer Laura Lynn Thorsen. A popular military song he has recorded is "Medal of Honor". Hoge has opened for Martina McBride and in 2016 he signed a recording deal with Rebel Engine Entertainment. He has since become a Brand Ambassador for Cabela's. The album Dirty South was released on July 28, 2017, and debuted at No. 12 on Billboard's Top Country Albums with 7,000 copies sold. The following week it reached No. 5 on the chart and was the best-selling country album of the week with 9,900 copies sold. Rolling Stone named Lucas Hoge TOP 10 artists You Need To Know 2017.
Herman Henry ( H.H. ) Kemper
Born July 7, 1882 and grew up in Hebron Nebraska.
Died Aug. 1964 last residing at Tompkins, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Farmer and Political Figure. Director of the Saskatchewan section of the United Farmers of Canada. Representative of the Gull Lake Farmer-Labour Group.
Greg Allen Lee
Born March 3, 1962 in Hebron Nebraska
Actor / Comedian Host of "Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?" Voice of the principal (Robert White) in "Doug" Fireman on "Sesame Street" Teacher on "Ghostwriter" Host of "Total Panic" Pool Player on "Mad About You" Crazy Al on "The Drew Cary Show" Rob on "George Lopez" Rick in the pilot of "News Radio" Commercial for "Crunchy Graham Flipz". He is also known for NBA All-Star Stay in School Jam, and Perfect Inperfection. Greg performed live on the Token Show in Nashville. His father, Richard Smith, was killed in a plane crash in April of '63. He was a young 22 year old preacher with the Church of Christ in Davenport Nebraska. Greg was just 18 months old. At 17 years old he went back to Davenport for a short time, to work a pig farm with a guy named Vernon Coreman Jr.
Charles Sumner Lobingier
Born April 30, 1866 in Lanark Il. and graduated from Hebron Nebraska.
Died in 1956
United States Jurist, and Judge of the United States Court in China. Author of books on international and comparative law. Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska and received his PHD there. He also taught
law at University of the Philippines Law School, the University of California, the Comparative Law School of China, National University Washington and at the American University. Charles was one of the two people that graduated from Hebron High School in 1881. This was the first graduating class of what was then District Seven. He was the son of a Christian minister in the Hebron area.
Larry Gene "Beef" Lueders
Born November 13, 1940
Lives in Deshler Nebraska
Minor Legue baseball player. Bats: Right, Throws: Right ! Height: 6' 2", Weight: 195 lb.
1960 2 Teams D-C NYY 1960 Auburn
1961 Modesto NYY
1962 2 Teams C-B NYY
1962 Idaho Falls
Janice Pohlmann Moore
Born Deshler Nebraska. Graduated from Deshler High School.
Lives in Lincoln Nebraska
Janis attended UNL where she met her future husband, Roger Moore. Together they opened the first Amigos restaurant June 17, 1980. Many of the locations were co-branded with A&W until A&W was bought by Yum Brands in 2002. Amigos then acquired Kings Classic. While they had at one time expanded to other states, they later altered the path of their business, and now it is exclusively a Nebraska chain of Restaurants called Amigos/Kings Classic. The chain is in all areas of the state with 14 of the locations in Lincoln.
Born Deshler Nebraska. Graduated from Deshler High School.
Lives in Deshler Nebraska. Currently practices law.
Ben Murray spent many years as an actor. He is known for acting in Stonebrook (1999), American Dreams (2002), and The West Wing (1999).Ben is also known for his roles on several NBC shows such as Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and ER.
Chuck F. Pohlmann
Born October 10, 1930
Died August 26, 1996 (buried in St. Peter Lutheran Cemetery, Deshler, blk 88 lot 6)
Charles Frederick Pohlmann was an Automotive Designer and later, an Interior Design and Liturgical Consultant. He received a Bachelor of Industrial Design from the Pratt Institute. Prior to founding his own firm, Pohlmann Design, in 1966, Mr. Pohlmann was Design Director for Sacred Design Associates, Inc. and had ten years of experience as a Staff Designer at General Electric Company and General Motors Corporation. He was a theologically oriented, professionally trained designer who provided interior, product, and graphic design services to architects and their clients. In 1984, he received an Interior Design Award from the Minnesota Society of American Institute for Architects. At General Motors, Pohlmann designed the bodies of several Cadillacs. Later on, Chuck Pohlmann and Peter Brock designed the XP-96 roadster that became the basic body design for, V.P. of styling at G.M., Bill Mitchell's '59 private Sting Ray, race car. This is what is now know a the '63-'67 Corvette body. Chuck Pohlmann married Marjorie Ford who also worked at G.M. and became one of Harley Earl's elite group: "Damsels of Design."
Born July 28, 1905 in Gilead, Nebraska
Died Sept. 13, 2004 ( age 99 ) last residing at Ironton, Ohio.
American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He set the NFL single-season scoring record in 1933 and led the league in total offense. Glenn was the last surviving member of the Detroit Lions inaugural 1934 team and helped lead the team to it first NFL championship in 1935. He also set an NFL record of a 54 foot field goal in 1934 which was not broken for 19 years. NFL Scoring Leader in 1933, Field Goal Leader in 1933, Nebraska Hall of Fame 1973. He was the first former player to coach the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He coached one year, 1942, before leaving for the war where he served three years in the Navy. He returned as assistant coach for one year. At the end of his life he was the oldest living former NFL player.
Born Nov. 9, 1952, and grew up in Byron, Hebron and Deshler Nebraska
Lives in Hebron, Nebraska.
Jennifer , at age 14, won the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. on June 8, 1967 by correctly spelling the word (breed of dog) Chihuahua. One official of the contest stated, "Jennifer Reinke is most deserving person to win this contest because while she could have asked for the words use in a sentence, country of origin, or other pronounciations, she never asked even one question."
She was honored June 11, 1967 on the Ed Sullivan Show. Sharon Gerdes, also from Peace Lutheran School in Deshler, made it to national just 3 years earlier. In 2016 a new library in Deshler was named in Jennifer's honor.
Richard F. Reinke
Born June 16, 1922 near Byron Nebraska
Died June 27, 2003 at Deshler Nebraska
Manufacturing executive, inventor, self-taught engineer, known for pioneering several innovations of modern- day mechanized irrigation, personally acquiring 30 patent claims, including the first reversible, electric-gear- drive center pivot irrigation system with an undertruss support called the Electrogator in 1966, and an alignment system that kept the systems straight on rough ground; self-employed since 1954. Founder of Reinke Manufacturing Company, which had by the turn of the 21st century acquired over 50 patent claims on irrigation systems and other products and maintained more than 170 dealerships in North America and 60 distributors in 30 countries, he also developed other products, notably his 1976 invention of aluminum corrugated shingles which have been installed on buildings nationwide and in five foreign countries, and fertilizer trailers, one in which the tank is the frame, allowing farmers to more easily pull them; his honors included recognition by the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement in 1982, the National Award for Agricultural Excellence in technology from the National Agri-Marketing Association in 1985, and the Irrigation Association Industry Achievement Award in 1992. Consult Lincoln Sunday Journal and Star, June 15, 1969, pp. B-1, B-6 and July 3, 1977, p. B-2 and Deshler, Nebraska, The First 100 Years 1887-1987 (Deshler Centennial Committee, 1987) 175-176 and Deshler Rustler, June 5, 2002, p. 1 and Lincoln Journal Star obituary, March 4, 2003, p. A- 6 and Omaha World Herald, June 19, 2004, pp. D1, D-2. See also Who’s Who In The Midwest, 13th ed (Marquis, 1972-73) 608 and Men of Achievement, Vol 3 (Melrose Press Ltd, 1976) 588 and agri marketing, May 1985, p. 121 and Badger Common’tater, Vol 44, No 12 (December 1992) 17-18.
Elmo Burns Roper, Jr.
Born July 31, 1900 in Hebron Nebraska
As of April 30, 1971, lives in Redding, Connecticut
Was a pollster known for his pioneering work in market research and opinion polling. In 1934, he cofounded Cherington, Wood, and Roper, a marketing research firm. When that partnership fell apart, he founded his own research company, Elmo Roper, Inc. He was hired by Henry Luce in 1935 to run surveys for Fortune, continuing these surveys for 15 years. His prediction of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's electoral victory over Alf Landon in 1936 was correct to within 0.9%; his 1940 prediction of Roosevelt's victory was correct to within 0.5%, further solidifying the reputation of Roper's techniques. In 1940, Roosevelt hired Roper to assess public opinion of Lend-Lease prior to its implementation. In 1942 he was hired by William Joseph Donovan to be the deputy director of the Office of Strategic Services; Roper subsequently worked with the Office of War Information. After leaving the OWI he founded the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut in 1947. Roper Opinion Research Company (the "Roper Poll") was later renamed Roper Starch Worldwide Company and eventually acquired by NOP World and then GfK in 2005.
John Galen Saylor
Born Dec. 12, 1902 at Carleton Nebraska Graduated from Carleton High School.
Died April 27, 1998
A teacher, administrator, and professor of secondary education. John was an authority on curriculum, supported a program of national assessment but opposed national testing. He was an author or co-author of more than a dozen books on curriculum, and contributed to several encyclopedias and education journals. John was a delegate to a White House Conference in 1960, to a conference on programmed instruction in Berlin, Germany in 1963, and to the World Confederation of Organizations of the Teaching Profession in Seoul, Korea in 1966. John Saylor is the recipient of honorary doctorate from McPherson College in 1962 and Distinguished Contributions to Curriculum Award from the American Educational Research Association in 1983.
Born 1877 in Illinois
Died Sept. 22, 1898, Age 21, of Typhoid Fever. Buried in Nuckolls County.
George Soule grew up in Davenport Nebraska. He is a six time great grandson of George Soule who came over on the Mayflower in 1620.
Born 1963 in Thayer County Nebraska
Lives in Los Angeles, California
Treva grew up in Davenport Nebraska and graduated from Davenport High School in 1981. She began professional acting at age 18, and later, graduated from the University of Nebraska with a BFA in Dance. After college she moved to Chicago and worked with Frank Galati, Robert Falls, and director Gary Griffin. One of her teachers was Steve Carell. Treva is an actress that has been in over 40 Theatre productions, over a dozen films as co-star and lead, and at least 10 popular television shows, such as: Switched At Birth, Grey's Anatomy, 90210, The Tonight Show, iCarly, The Shadow Men, Passions, X Files, Vital Signs, Roseanne, and Auld Lang Syne.
FAMOUS PEOPLE Near Thayer County:
Hans Aksel Andersen
Born March 19, 1912 in Ruskin Nebraska
Died Nov. 18, 1977 ( age 65 ) last residing at Vedbaek Denmark
Hans moved to Denmark as a boy and already played the organ, violin and piano. He was a pupil in Varde under Svend-Ove Moller and at age 12 replaced him as organist. Thorvald Aagaard was his teacher later on and became an Exam organist at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 1931. Hans helped create the Logumkloster Church Music, developed the ground in the 1960s and helped in other departments.
Born June 3, 1915 at Diller Nebraska
Died Aug. 30, 2011 ( age 96 ) last residing at Bradenton, Florida
American Rodeo Performer and Rodeo Star. Invented three rodeo maneuvers. Performed along side of Gene Autry. Faye and her husband ( Vic Blackstone ) were both inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1982.
Charles Marion Fuller Jr.
Born February 13, 1874 at Forest City Illinois
Died November 4th, 1940 at Lodi California
Inventor and manufacturer. Started the Angus Automobile Company by Angus Nebraska and manufactured 147 "Fuller" cars from 1907 to 1909.
In the 1930's he invented and built a gold mining, dry seperation machine.
Lewis R. Hunter
Born July 18, 1935 at Guide Rock Nebraska
Lives in Superior. (as of 2006)
Educator, television producer, film director, and screenwriter. He worked as program executive/producer for ABC-TV shows Batman and Bewitched and NBC-TV shows Little House on the Prairie and others. Lewis was involved as producer and writer of more than 20 major length productions, including the 1981 television movie Fallen Angel for which he received an Emmy nomination and won a Writer’s Guild Award. Author of "Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting" while UCLA professor of screenwriting. He is recognized as one of the best screenwriting teachers in the United States. Steven Spielberg has called Hunter "the best screenwriting teacher going". His bestselling book on screenwriting is entitled Screenwriting 434. Hunter has a bachelor's degree and honorary doctorate from Nebraska Wesleyan University and has masters degrees from Northwestern University and UCLA.
Hunter helped to found the American Screenwriters Association and has been inducted into its Hall of Fame.
Howard Sanford Searle
Born October 24, 1891 in Edgar Nebraska
Died September 8, 1972
World War II as a lieutenant colonel. Brigadier general in the Kansas National Guard in October 1946. Re- established the Kansas National Guard. In 1951, he handled the recovery of the Great Flood in Kansas City. In 1955, he oversaw recovery efforts in Udall, Kansas after a tornado. General Searle's military decorations include: Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, the French Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre with Palm. In 1951, Washburn honored Searle with its Distinguished Service Award. In 1962, Searle was named the Topeka Phi Delta Theta Alumni Association’s “Phi of the Year.” In 1981, the Kansas Army National Guard posthumously inducted him into its Hall of Fame.
Born June 22, 1934 in Oak Nebraska
Lives in Nelson Nebraska
Starting outfielder for the 1966 World Series Champion Baltimore Orioles. Russ Snyder played in the major leagues from 1959-1970. Inducted to the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame. Snyder had played an uninterrupted 18 consecutive years of professional baseball, a feat in itself. Bats Left, Throws RightHeight 6' 1", Weight 190 lb. Debut April 18, 1959
Final Game September 30, 1970
Sources: Wikopedia, The McDaniels Collection, thayercentral.org/pages, 900 famous Nebraskans. Baseball-reference.com. One Hundred Years of Automotive Design. Lincoln Journal Register. Nebraska State Historical Society. Scripps Howard Spelling. Belleville Telesope.
Compiled by Bob Reinke 1/18/2014 revised 2/12/2018