Cora Viola [Foster] and George Leo Dean

Cora [1884- 1949] was born at Doniphan NE moving with parents, Adelaide and O. B. Foster, to Ansley NE. Summer of 1894 she travelled to the Trans Mississippi Exposition in Omaha and brought back a glass mommento that she treasured. She attended Nebraska Wesleyen University in Lincoln NE majoring in Elocution graduating in June 1907. She was a school teacher, actress and producer of highschool and community theater programs. Married Leo Dean [1882-1965] in October 1907 in Broken Bow NE. She was active in social affairs and was secretary of the Broken Bow Womens Club in 1943 according to an article in the Nebraska State Journal newspaper, and honored as a past president in 1934 per The Lincoln Star.
Cora at Wesleyen, c 1905
Leo was born in Memphis MO, but moved to Broken Bow the next year. Lare Dean died when Leo was only 11, and the family was in some financial hardship. His older brother Frank while only 18 was already married. Leo became a barber and his sisters Lottie and Myrtle worked as dressmakers to keep the household going. Later he delivered rural mail [as shown on his 1918 draft card] and milked jersey cows selling the cream on his route. Doing this he was able to put his three children through college and provide for his retirement.
Leo was always in the shadaow of father-in-law, O. B. Foster who was a Civil War veteran and active in the GAR. Leo could never be in the GAR, but he did serve as an officer in the Nebraska Guard. The new training center was Camp Funston, built in 1917 in the vicinity of Ft Riley KS as part of the build up for the Great War. Leo spent some time there but was not activated for overseas duty. I received my commission in the US Army at Camp Funston in July of 1970, and the barracks were every bit of 50 years old. My grandsons Christopher and Johnathon lived only a couple miles away from Camp Funston at the even older community of Ogden KS. Here is picture of mail delivery at Camp Funston in 1918, by Army mule and wagon. The Wyoming Guard trained with mule and wagon until 1939!
Speaking of mail, below is a one-cent postcard Leo sent home from the Nebraska Guard summer camp at Ashland NE. Sent to his wife in care of his father-in-law O.B Foster at Ansley NE. Mailed August 11, 1908, he wrote "This shows the boys out shooting. Have not been in the river yet. I expect I will be home Sunday next, write me. Lieutenent Leo Dean, Company M, 1st Regiment" The picture on the flip side was of the rifle firing range. The reference to the Platte River sounds more like hazing than recreation.
His social endeavors included participation in the KKK (Klu Klux Klan). The Klan had no "colored folks" to deal with in Nebraska so they changed the focus in Broken Bow to be anti-Catholic. We know of Leo's participation in the secret Klan because one day they put on their robe regalia and harassed children coming from school. My aunt Marge was in High School then, and besides being frightened by the white spectres, she saw her dad's distinctive kangaroo leather shoes. Yes they were that unique (O.J. Simpson take note). The Klan did the ritual cross burnings on the lawns of Catholic families. It might be noted that Leo's older brother Frank Lee was Catholic and was buried at the St Joseph Catholic Cemetery along with his wife Susie. On a more positive note, his character was probably refined by his membership in the Mason Lodge.
Leo and Cora Dean
3 Children Ozro Foster Dean [1909-1992], Marjorie Helen [Dean] Rockwell [1913-1990] and Mary Catherine [Dean] Mayo [1916 - 1995].
The Dean family picnic c 1956. From front, then clockwise around table-
Joan Rockwell, Medy Mayo, Marge Rockwell, Mary Mayo, Dave Rockwell, Ozro Dean, Marvin Mayo, Jerry Rockwell, Donald Dean, Mabel Dean, Coralee Mayo and last me (Larry Dean).
The cars from front, Nash Rambler (Mayo), Studebaker Champion (Rockwell), Ford Station Wagon (Dean)
Leo later remarried to Lillian [Snyder] Waxham who previously was the wife of Herbert H. Waxham, and a cousin of Cora. Leo was ever the sporting man, puffing on a cigar and drinking. I can remember there was always a stack of poker chips at the ready sitting in his basement, (every house in Nebraska has a basement and that is always where visiting children sleep when they aren't searching for buried treasures). He would bring the grandchildren silver dollar cartwheels from his trips to Sparks Nevada as a sample of his winnings. His rural mail delivery route yielded a fine collection of indian head pennies, of which I was given a set. The Nugget in Sparks was first opened in 1955 and its key to success was to offer free parking and after 50 years later it still does.
"With family it was canasta. He was fierce at cards. Always played to win. One night when he and Lillian were playing cards he got mad at the way she played her hand and blew up at her in front of company. Lillian was furious and that was when she left and went back to Oregon. It took him a few years to have the guts to apologize, but eventually he did and he went back to Oregon and brought her back. It was a good thing he did because she had to take care of him for the rest of his life as he was bedridden." - Joan Brannigan
Leo and Lillian Dean