Eliza Ann [Taber] and Seth B. Rockwell

Eliza [1818-1881] and Seth [1808] both born in New York along with their children
In 1860 this Rockwell clan was together in Toulon, Stark County Illinois. Then 1870 at North Bend, Dodge County Nebraska, where Seth was a hotel keeper and the boys were brick makers. Moved again in 1877 to Cass County Nebraska.

Obit from Weeping Water newspaper: Abraham M. ROCKWELL born Dec. 5, 1850, Saratoga Co., N.Y. Settled on a farm [2.5] miles northwest of Weeping Water in 1877. Moved with his wife and family to Mary, Chase Co., NE. in 1910. Of a family of five brothers. One survived him: Daniel (Manley, NE) Twelve children, three deceased: William O., Abraham C., and Mrs. Orren Pierce [Pearl] (formerly of Imperial, Chase Co., NE). Surviving children
Walter C. ROCKWELL, Syracuse, NE
Mrs. J. S. SIPPLE, (Adda F.) Ord, N E [1890] [Mr Sipple was railroad engineer, family in Grand Island for 1920 and 1930 census]
Steven ROCKWELL, Elmwood, NE
Mrs. Frank BOKELMAN [Laura] Pueblo, CO
Jesse [Dean] ROCKWELL, Denver, CO [born 1896 wife Emma H. children Eileen C. and Doris J. died 1973 California]
Gifford ROCKWELL, Teinstein, CHINA
Benjamin ROCKWELL, Gering, NE [1902]
Louis [Edger] ROCKWELL, Loveland, CO [1904] [Mary and sons Jesse, Benjamin and Louis were in Grand Island NE for 1920 census]
The Rockwell homestead about 1903 north of Weeping Water
Pictured from left, Walter [or William], Steve, Sue, Jess, Mary Ann & Abraham [seated], Laura, Gifford.
In wagon, Ben, Adda and Pearl. [picture from Jodi Govig]

Maria Louise [Whiffen] and Calvin B. Rockwell

Maria [1846-1910] parents were Jane Victoria [McBeth] and David Whiffen. Married to Calvin [1846-1881] in 1866 in Illinois, and later joined up with Seth at North Bend Nebraska with 2 children in 1870 census, both born in Iowa.
Jesse David [1868-1923]
Maude Ada [1869 - 1960]
In 1880 they show as C.B. and Maria L. Rockwell, still at Dodge County NE. Birdie [1877-1970] born in Nebraska. Calvin served in Civil War, enlisting in 1864 for A Battery, 2nd Regiment Illinois Light Artillary, at age 19 in Peoria Illinois. In the 1890 veterans schedule his widow is listed as Maria L Cannon living in Lincoln NE. The 1885, Nebraska mid-term census found the 3 children Jesse, Maude and Birdie Rockwell are in Weeping Water NE with mother Maria Cannon. Calvin had died walking home in a severe blizzard in February 1881. Maria then married Alexander S. Cannon [1845] in 1884 at Dodge County NE, and had another son, Harry G. Cannon [1885-1949] in Weeping Water. They moved to Lincoln soon afterwards.
Birdie was still at home in 1900 census, she married in 1903 to John M. Snowden [1873] a grocery store manager in Lincoln NE. One son, John Kenneth [1910-1980]. Birdie was active in the Eastern Star and Daughters of Civil War Veterans. Birdie also served on the first jury in Lancaster County to include women, December 4, 1944. Maude married Beard and moved to Los Angeles, California where she was a dress maker to the motion picture industry.

Hannah Sophia [Peterson] and Jesse David Rockwell

Hannah [1872] was from Sweden, Jesse [1868-1923] was born in Iowa with mother and father from New York. Married 1894 they had 5 children-
Birth locations above extracted from the 1920 Census taken at Valparaiso NE.
The 1900 Census has Jesse married 5 years but boarding by himself at the house of William R. Slocum in Kansas City MO, apparently at temporary work as a watchman. Hannah, Warren and Irene were at Pierce, Missouri for the census. The family was together again for the 1910 census, at Lincoln NE where Jesse owned a grocery store. After David was born, they went to Willow Springs Missouri, where he was christened. Jesse's fortunes did not do well there, so he moved to Valparaiso NE where he operated a restaurant to service the UPRR traffic.
Valparaiso was a major hub for the Union Pacific Railroad in the period of 1910 to 1925. Passenger trains would leave Omaha at 2 pm arrive Valparaiso 4 pm then get to Grand Island at 6:30 pm. The return left Grand Island at 6 am, arrive Valpairaiso at 9 am and then get to Omaha at 11:30 am. Freight trains ran the circuit from Central City to Grand Island, and Council Bluffs to Beatrice. In addition to being on the transcontinental route, Valparaiso was on the Omaha to Kansas City freight line that often carried 100 cars a day.
Valparaiso Station
Jesse died and Hannah, Halloween (known to the family as "Bobbie") and David moved to Lincoln NE. Hannah was super at an appartment building and David ushered at the theater.
Bobbie became student nurse at the Dr Benjamin Family Sanitorium. a rather large facility in 1930. It started as a medical school, and in 1900 was purchased by Dr Benjamin Bailey who made one dormatory into a general hospital and the other into a mental health sanitorium. In 1924 he died and partner Dr May Flannigan continued to run the facility until 1958. She was 93 years old and donated it to the Beneditine Catholic Order and it is now know as the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. Its long time director Sister Phyllis Hunhoff was honored in December 2005 by University of Nebraska-Lincoln with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree and she gave the fall commencement address.
Macoy was a Burlington Railroad [CB&Q] family. George's parents were Leslie and Lottie. Leslie was a conductor, George himself was a brakeman and his older brother Leslie Earl eventually advanced to Chief Timekeeper when he died in 1958. George also had two sisters, Nina Pritchard and Louise Hugelman. Leslie Earl was married to Helen F. Bertwell with daughter born 1922, Joan Prochaska.
Hally Irene [Macoy] Sullivan
There is an Irene B. Rockwell, living as lodger in Los Angeles in the 1930 census, occupation artist. Age [24] and parent data [Nebraska] does not match precisely but close enough to be considered. "Also, my aunt Irene died near/in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she lived her last few years as an artist in a dome shaped house she designed herself. I never saw it but my brother Jerry was there several times and helped her move to New Mexico where she had some artist friends." - Joan [Rockwell] Brannigan

Marjorie Helen [Dean] and David Jesse Rockwell

Marge married Dave in August 1936, she was a University of Nebraska graduate with degree in education. 2 children,
Dave [1910-1989] retired from a long career as typesetter for the Nebraska Farm Journal in Lincoln and then moved to Kearney NE to operate the Shady Lane Motel for several years before settling in Phoenix AZ.
Marge, right, was a member of the Broken Bow HS Drama Club in 1927.
Left is Irene Foster, a coat-tail cousin, daughter of Leota and Lon.

Joan Dianne [Rockwell] and Lawrence Harlan Brannigan

Joan married Larry in 1965 at Lincoln NE, where she was born. Joan also went to University of Nebraska earning a BA in music education in 1965, and later graduated from the Peabody Teachers College of Nashville TN with Master of Music in vocal music. She sang several seasons with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Chorus. It was a common interest in literature that they met originally at the Delian Union. Clark Gustin was a writer and a leader in the Delian Union at the time. Clark and Thelma Gustin were friends of both Marge and my folks as well.
Larry [1939] was another NU graduate with BS in chemistry 1964, MS 1966 and later took a PHD from Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN. He was originally from Hastings NE and an accomplished research chemist and instructor, currently retired.
Joan remembers from her early days in Lincoln-
"We had all kinds of men come around to our house when I was growing
up. There are few of these men left. There never were any women.
We had a fruit and vegetable salesman who came around once a week
with his horse and cart. His name was Tony. He was a big Italian guy
who sold us fruits and vegetables. He was fun because he would
always give the kids one free piece of fruit.
We also had a milk man who came in a truck. We would set our glass
bottles out by the front door and if you put out three empty bottles,
you would get back three full bottles. The bottles were kept in a
small wooden box so they would stay cool. Before we all started
drinking skim milk, the milk would come separated with the fat going
to the top of the liquid. You had to shake it to mix it back up.
Larry remembers getting non colored margarine during WWII that was
white and had a yellow dye capsule which came with it. One had to mix
them to get yellow margarine.
When I was very little, we didn't have a refrigerator. We had a
wooden ice box. A man came every few days, walked into our back ice
room and added more ice to the ice box. Later on when we got a
refrigerator, my dad built our ice room/back porch into and eating
area in the kitchen.
Also, back in the day, when I was a small child, we had a coal
furnace. A coal man would come weekly to the house and there was a
chute on the side where later we put a basement window. He would pour
coal into the chute. It went into an area near the furnace. Then my
dad would go to the basement and throw the coal into the furnace to
keep a fire going there which warmed the house. This memory is
pretty vague but I think that is what I remember.
We also had a knife sharpener/scissors sharpener guy who came around
once every summer. He would yell out, "Knives sharpened" and all the
mothers would bring out their scissors and knives they needed
We also had some strange pets in our neighborhood. One family,
without kids, had a porcupine. They kept it tied on a rope that
could move up and down a laundry line. We could not touch it
We also had one neighbor who raised a few chickens and had a rooster.
I always loved the rooster crow in the morning.
One other neighbor raised minks in their basement. They had dozens
of pens. They sold them for the fur.
That reminds me of another neighbor who made his own rootbeer in his
basement. Sometime he would share with neighborhood kids but not
very often. Sometimes the lids would pop off and send a sound like a
gun shot from his basement.
My mom and dad made candles for a couple of years. They made them in
old milk cartons. They filled the cartons with cracked ice and then
poured in the wax and then the candles were all frilly. They were
very pretty. One year they made enough for a candlelight service at
church and they put them in each window. It was a passing fad hobby
for a couple of years."


Joan in March 2005. I was taking classes at Harris Broadcast, Quincy IL.

Susan Lynda Brannigan [1971] married in 1993 and divorced from David Aspinwall in St. Louis. She graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1994 at Boston MA.
Lisa Deanna Brannigan [1974] born in Nashville TN. BA degree in music from Cornell University 1996 and then JD from Columbus School of Law at Catholic University 2000.
Sue, Lisa, and Larry Brannigan at Nationals ballgame, 2006
Foster son, Joe Sam Hye [1977] born in St. Louis MO. He currently is a member of Peace Corps on assignment in Thailand.

Joan W. and Jerry David Rockwell

Jerry is a former golf pro at Scottsdale Country Club and runs JDR Tours in Arizona. Anyone want to take a bus ride? Daughters are Delaney and Malory
Jerry at the JDR office