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Bevier-Gillett Lineage

The children of Sarah (Bevier) Gillett comprise the:

Sixth Generation

By Alta Cecil Koch

Jane Bevier Gillett and husband Theodore Ridgeway 36. Jane B. Gillett b. October 24, 1842 in New York. d. April 4, 1915 in Nebraska. She was married to Theodore Ridgeway in 1866, a very colorful and adventuresome man, (refer to note #8) who died November 29, 1877. During her married life, Jane lived at Pomeroy, Iowa, and after her husband's death she returned to her mother's home in LaFayette. She occupied a part of her mother's house and provided for herself and her two children by doing practical nursing. She cared for her mother in her later years, and after the mother's death, she and her two children moved to Lincoln, Nebraska in order to be close to her only sister, Sarah (Gillett) Cecil. In the several pictures among family members, she appears as an extremely beautiful person. (refer to note #9 about her children). Jane Ridgeway and Sarah Cecil According to the Gillett Bible her children were: George Ridgeway, b. April 22, 1868; Teola May Ridgeway, b. April 23, 1870, d. March 11, 1942.

37. Abraham D. Gillett b. December 21, 1845, d. November 13, 1869. There is very little record of this man. He was unmarried and died of typhoid fever. His tombstone, in Lafayette, Illinois, was too weathered to read without using every trick (rubbing, shadow, etc) but was finally deciphered: "Beloved youth we'll miss, We weep and mourn, O're the early grave, May we trust in Jesus love, To meet with him in Heaven above." I assume Abraham came to LaFayette with his mother in 1865, but there is no obituary for him among the family keepsakes. There is only one known photograph of this son. His name was probably pronounced "Abram" (two syllables, and his sister Sarah wrote it that way in the family Bible. However, his mother always wrote it "Abraham" in the family records she kept.

Sara Elizabeth Gillett Cecil - Wedding Day 38. Sarah S. J. E. Gillett b. September 18, 1850 at Ellenville, New York. Died February 7. 1926 at Lincoln, Nebraska. On December 24, 1879, she married Alexander Russell Cecil, son of William B. and Isabella (Russell) Cecil of Cornelia (close to Warrensburg) Missouri. He was born March 26, 1848 in Davidson County, North Carolina and died March 28, 1929 at Lincoln, Nebraska. They had one son, Reuben Edgar Cecil, b. March 25, 1883 and d. September 14, 1982. Sarah was called "sis" in the family, and the story goes that she was allowed to name herself when she was old enough to select a name and was simply called, "sis" until that time. Of course the habit of about eight years stuck, and she was always "Aunt Sis" to her niece and nephew. When Sarah named herself, she chose to call herself Sarah for her mother, Silas for her father, Johanna (either for a cousin or for her great grandfather Johannes), and Elizabeth for an aunt (her mother's sister). It seems indicative of a family so warm and loving that a little girl wanted to name herself after just everybody. She was in her early teens when her father died and her mother moved to Illinois. Sara Elizabeth Gillett Cecil - Aged 58 Sarah was a creative person, generous, loving and she had a temper that flared occasionally. I can remember her lifting her skirts to a schottische or jig when the "Edison" records were played. Very attractive, her auburn hair and flashing dark eyes bespoke her temperament and spirit. She was active until her last illness, when double pneumonia and heart failure proved too much for this hardy, courageous person. She and her husband are buried in Wyuka Cemetery, Lincoln, Nebraska where a stone is placed in their memory. Sarah's niece, Teola Ridgeway, is buried beside them.

The child of Sarah Gillett Cecil comprises the:

Seventh Generation

39. Reuben Edgar Cecil b. March 25, 1883 in LaFayette, Illinois at his grandmother's home and d. September 14, 1982 at his daughter Teola Wilson's home in Johnson County, Nebraska. Reuben Edgar Cecil at 12 months and 2-1/2 years His parents moved to Aurora, Nebraska in 1884 and then to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1885 where he lived for most of his life. He lived at 3021 N Street until December, 1904 when he and his parents bought a large country home at 5305 O Street. He married Edith Lutitia Derr, daughter of John H. and Alice (Gates) Derr of Tecumseh, Nebraska on June 18, 1908. Edith was born December 27, 1885 at her parent's farm home about six miles w.s.w. of Tecumseh, Nebraska. There, she grew up and there she was married. Reuben and Edith lived at 5305 O Street until 1954 when the enveloping city made maintaining such a large place in the city an intolerable burden. Reuben Edgar Cecil Reuben Cecil had lived in this home for 50 years, and there raised two daughters: Alta, born October 21, 1910; and Teola Marion, born February 17, 1919. In 1954, Reuben and Edith moved to a lovely brick home at 3801 S 40th, Lincoln, Nebraska. Reuben Cecil had a very keen and inventive mind, and though he went very little beyond grade school in formal education, he was extremely well educated in the fields of his interest. When he was 18 (1901) he built a car, the third in the city of Lincoln. He designed the motor and had it cast. He designed and constructed all the other parts, and drove this little marvel for seven years. Restored in 1958 and in running order, Reuben Cecil enjoyed driving it in parades and exhibiting it at anniversary celebrations. According to the record book Reuben kept at the time he was constructing the car, he started work on it on January 24, 1901. He still had that record book as well as the wooden patterns for the engine. Kent C. Wilson with the "1902 Cecil" car built by Reuben Cecil, his grandfather Before his retirement, Reuben was a machinist and tool and die maker. His many hobbies included antique motor vehicles (about which he was an authority), antique clocks, (of which there was quite a collection), and the study of astronomy and the physical sciences. With Edith he enjoyed collecting antiques of all sorts. In appearance, Reuben was tall, slender, blonde, and with the same outstanding appearance and poise that marked the generations before him. Edith (Derr) Cecil died April 12, 1965. Both are buried in Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Photo above: Kent C. Wilson, director of Gage County Historical Society Museum in Beatrice, NE, with the "1902 Cecil" car built by Reuben Cecil (his grandfather) when he was 17 years old. It still runs and is occasionally used in parades. Kent dresses as a conductor because the museum is in a RR depot (with additions). A fine museum!

The children of Reuben Edgar Cecil comprise the:

Eighth Generation

Alta Koch - October 1998 in Virginia proving she hiked the Appalachian Trail40. Alta Cecil b. October 21, 1910 at her maternal grandparent's home near Tecumseh, Nebraska. She resided at her parent's home, 5305 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska until April 30, 1935, when she married George David Koch of Winside, Nebraska, the eldest son of David and Martha (Miller) Koch. He was born December 2, 1902 and died September 19, 1972. He is buried in Highland Lawn Cemetery in Terre Haute, Indiana. Alta's interests are in the arts - music, painting, and literature. An interest in American history has no doubt been the moving factor in her pursuit of genealogy, which study and research has led to the production of this booklet, among others, pertaining to her family tree. She is actively involved in many organizations pertaining to history. She is active in the First Congregational Church and was honored as one of the nation's outstanding women. She in interested in nature study and her hobbies are of the creative variety. Interested in antiques, she collects a fair amount of furniture and glassware, and her husband shared in that interest. Her husband, Dr. G. David Koch, earned his Ph.D. degree at the University of Nebraska in 1939 and taught geography and meteorology on the university level. He came to Indiana State Teacher's College at Terre Haute, Indiana on the science staff in 1939 and saw the school grow into it's present status as Indiana State University. He was chairman of the Science Department from 1954 to 1961, when he asked to be relieved of that responsibility. Hobby interests included drama (where he received honors), gardening, philately, and the above mentioned antiques, (steins in particular). He served as president of several service organizations. Alta and David had two daughters: Alice Margaret, born September 7, 1942; and Lois Alta, born June 30, 1946. These girls grew up in the house their parents built in 1942. It stands in a 3 1/2 acre tract of magnificent woodland about 7 miles west and south of the city of Terre Haute, Indiana on the Robinson Road. David, Alta and the girls took many long trips, exploring these United States of ours. Alta's and Teola's families Alta is tall, slender and blond. David was tall, of sturdy build and blond.

41. Teola Marion Cecil b. February 17, 1919 at the home of her parents at 5305 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. On March 24, 1940, she married Arthur Woodrow Wilson, son of John and Lillian (Price) Wilson. He was born August 4, 1912 at Franklin, Nebraska and lived there until he was twelve years of age when his parents moved to College View, (adjacent to Lincoln) Nebraska. Teola aimed for a university degree in nursing and had achieved three years toward it when she left school to be married. Teola's interests in the creative arts are manifest in her home, a large and lovely country home, often the center of family and community gatherings. She in an expert gardener. Devoted to her family, she is also active in church and community affairs and she and her husband have been honored by being chosen to serve on the Douglas County Extension Council in recognition for their service to their community, They are active Farm Bureau Members, Arthur Wilson completed a two year Agricultural Course at the University of Nebraska and has farmed since then. Teola and Arthur own and operate a 320 acre crop and livestock farm 8 miles north-east of Tecumseh, Nebraska on Graf Road. The busy life on a large farm and raising four sons leaves little time for hobbies, but interests include craft work, refinishing antique furniture, and collecting some antiques. Teola and Arthur have four sons: John Dennis, b. February 7, 1942; Jay Raymond, b. February 9, 1946; Kent Cecil, b. July 8, 1948; and David Lee, b. December 6, 1951. For the years between 1946 and 1962, the Wilsons owned and operated a farm between Valley and Waterloo, Nebraska. Teola is a bit above medium height, has chestnut hair and lovely smoky green eyes. Arthur is medium height, slim and dark complected.

Group photo above: Back row: Lois Bee, Kent Wilson; Middle row: Alta Koch, Teola Wilson, John Wilson; Front row: Alice Hanson, Jay Wilson (Lois and Alice are Alta's daughters; Kent, John and Jay are 3 of Teola's 4 sons)

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