Another Loss

This January my second cousin died. He was a historian by profession (one of many) and the keeper of so much about the Tyrrells. In December I went to visit him and we had our last conversation about genealogy and family. We talked about his funeral and what we thought heaven would be like. He believed that he would be able to see family and ask them the questions he always wanted the answers to, and be with his dogs. I never did ask him what the questions were. I wish I had.

Below is the obituary:

I have always wondered how a preacher could say “a person was ready to die”.  It is my decision when I am at that place and it will happen.  George Verne Tyrrell Jr. made his decision on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 4:20 am in Truman, Minnesota at Heartland Senior Living Center with his family.

George was born to Mildred (Gilbert) and George LaVerne Tyrrell Sr. on February 23, 1936 in Brainerd MN.  They lived the up north life moving to various cities, Riverton, Aitken, Minneapolis and finally New Ulm, Minnesota. In New Ulm he participated in the Turner Hall, Boy Scouts, basketball and helped out at his parents shop The New Ulm Hobby and Gift Shop. He graduated from New Ulm High School in 1954. He went on to gain his BS Degree in Education at Mankato State University with a History Major and a Geography Minor. During college he worked as a surveyor, loved bartender at the Kaiserhoff and softball coach.   He was united in marriage to one of his softball students, [redacted] in Truman MN on June 16, 1962. From 1962-1964 he taught Jr. High Social Studies and Science in Browns Valley MN. He also taught Jr. High Social Studies in Red Wing MN for 1 year in 1964. In 1967 he completed a Masters of Arts Degree in Museum Studies through Oneonta State University in Cooperstown, New York. He authored the book “Potters and Pottery of New Ulm, Minnesota” using his college thesis in 1978.  George accepted a position with the Northern Indiana Historical Society in South Bend, Indiana as the Director. He was there until 1969 when he returned to his MN roots by becoming the director of the Olmsted County Historical Society Center/Museum, Mayowood and The Stoppel Farms in Rochester, Minnesota.  During his time in Rochester from  1969-1985 he collaborated to design and move the OCHS to its current location southwest of downtown Rochester and started the Annual Threshing Bee on the site grounds. In 1986 he became the site manager for the Minnesota Agricultural Interpretive Center in Waseca, Minnesota.  In his tenure with Museum work he was the traveling museum and program consultant for the AASLH in Nashville, Tennessee, an Independent consultant to various historical societies throughout Minnesota, a board member of the Minnesota Historical Societies Folk Life Center, a member of the Minnesota State Arts Council on Folk artist selection and a board member, legislative liaison and lobbyist for the 1st District Historical Assembly of Minnesota. He was also a founding member of the Rochester Rotary Club.  George always wanted to run his own bar and that dream became a reality when he opened John Hardy’s BBQ in Mankato MN in 1985. He had a place where storytelling was welcome and he could serve people his favorite food, from one of his favorite people during his days in Rochester, Minnesota; John Hardy.

He moved back to “The Ranch” in Truman, Minnesota in 1992 and was a self- employed historian and restoration consultant along with farming his own garden and helping with the farmland where Janet and George lived. He retired in 1996 from all work except family historian and storyteller. Genealogy was a passion of his and he loved collecting pictures and information on his ancestors.

He loved nothing more than telling a good joke, a funny riddle, song or story to all who would listen. He was a “world” class fisherman on Farm Island Lake where his beloved red cabin stood and Mille Lacs Lakes. He hunted his fair share of pheasant, duck and grouse while teaching his nephews, nieces, daughters and grandchildren a thing or two about guns and their history. He was a bird lover who knew just the right feeders and feed to attract birds from all around including a few squirrels. He was a farmer at heart and had his feet and hands in the earth in every place he lived. He enjoyed nothing more in February then planning his garden full of beautiful bounty.

He remains in the hearts of those who knew him [information about living family redacted]

Meeting him in heaven are his parents Verne and Millie Tyrrell; sister and brother-in-law, Ginger and Robert Hammel ;parents in-law, Henry and Lenora Schultz; brother-in-law , Casper Rullman; nephew, Darren Golnitz and many cherished relatives and friends he has yearned to see again. There are also a few dogs ready to run with him, Zan, Ginger, Zan the 2nd, Snipper, Poika, Sur and Dahlia.

Our family thanks you for all your support and love to our George the last 22 years since his life took a path he wasn’t expecting. Hug each other and spread love. In words George requested, “Now fish, pheasants and ducks can rest more peacefully.”

Memorial donations to a historical society in your area to further promote his legacy or the Truman Public Library.

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Bess L. Nelings Autograph Book

Anna Christian was 16 years old when she signed Bess’s book in 1893. In 1895, Anna was living in Banner Township in Beadle County, right over the county line from Osceola.bessnelingsauto-002

Bert Christian, Anna’s brother, also signed the book.


Birl Kirby has yet to be discovered.


Laura Koster was a neighbor of the Tyrrells and the Nelings in Foster Township, Beadle County.

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Civil War Letter March 1864

Alexandria Lousa March 23

Dear Mother

I thot I wold write you a few lines to let you know that I am still alive—I don’t know when this letter will get started. We can’t tell enything about the mail here. Well I will give you a little account of our trip. We left vixburg [Vicksburg MS] on the 10 with a fleet of 19 transports and 15 gunboats. Got to Natches morning of the 11. Started up the Red River in the afternoon. We thot it was the Red River but we found out that ware on a nother small river. I have forgoten the name of it. We left Red River to the rite [?] We run untill night and layd up [the] 12. Started again untill evning. Layd up [the] 13. We all got of[f] the Red and went out 4 milles to take a fort cald fort Morgan [?], but the Rebs left before we got thare. We then went back to the Road and got 7 days rashens and started again. It was 9 o’clock at night before we got started for fort de’bussy [?]. We marched untill 1 o’clock, layd down 2 hours and 14 got up and started again. Our Reg was in the advanse. We past threw small towns, the last town we came to they histed a white flag and clamed protection. Our Reg was put out for gards. We staid thare untill all the rest past thru town. We ware then within 3 miles of the fort. We took our gards of[f] and started. We ware then clear in the rear of the whol armey. They comensed fighting at the fort just as we left town. We went on about 2 miles and stopt. The shells came over us prity thick. We had not been thare but a few minets untill orders came for the 27th  to go to the frunt. We got up and started we had to go rite past our Battery. The shells came thick and fast. We ware ordered to lay down. We got up again and went a few steps and had to lay down again. We laid thare a few minets and got up and went a peace further. We got out of the timber, then we took of[f] all our blankets and things. We were in plain site of the fort. The bolets was falling thick as hail all around us. Orders came for the 27th to charge on he fort and we all let out a yel and started. We went into the fort and did not lose a man. Our Reg—and the 24 [?] was the first Rigments in the fort. We took 800 prisners and 10 guns. We then went back a mile and campt. The boats all went back to the mouth of the Red River and came up to the fort. The morning of the 15th we wnt down to the Boats, got on them and started for this plase. Got there the 16. Been here ever since. We expect to fo up the river to shrevport. We expect to have some fighting to do before we get that plase. We don’t know how soon we will leave here. I gess I will have to stop for this time. Derect your letter to Cairo. Tell Maid [Maude, his sister] that I got all them things that she and dan sent me. I am mutch obliged to them for sending them. Tell dave that Warren [?] Clouf [?] want to know wheather he has got all the pay for that {marker?] or not.

He wanted me to write to him about it. I have not got time to write now. When I write home I intend it to be for all hands. Well I must stop so ne more at present. From your Boy.

William H Nelings

Write soon. Give my love to all hands.

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Bancroft SD Registry List

Years ago, while visiting Bancroft SD, we found many books of city records in the Jail.

Registry List
Election To Be Held 19

[On the inside, fold-out sheet of paper]

Le Sueur July 1st, 1886
Town of Le Sueur
1886 To C.H. Duck
March 9th To Notifying Constable Stone of appointment 25
March 10 To Notifiying O.S. Purinton as overseer 25
To Notifying W.H. Pratt of Error in bill 25
March 17 Filing 12 overseers poll lists [unknown abbrev] 1.20
Notifying 2 Supervisors for March 22nd 50
March 22 Notifying [Conroy?] to appear June 28th 25
Services as clerk March 22nd 1.50
April 20 Notifying 3 Supervisors to draw Jury 75
Posting 3 notices for Jurors 75
Delivering 12 Road tax and Poll books 3.00
1 day in writing up 12 tax & Poll books 1.50
April 30 1 day as clerk in drawing Jury 1.50
Notifying John Lord of disallowed bill 25
Notifying John Baldridge of appointment 25
May 6 Notifying 3 Supervisors of Special Election (Bonds) 75
18 One day Clerk of Election Bonds (Court-house) 2.00
19 One day Returning Poll book to Co Clerk 2.00
June 19 Postage Stamps to July 1st 50
Notifying Supervisors of Meeting June 28th 75
Notifying Wm [Mr?] Currier to appear June 28th 25
Filing Official Oath of O.S. Purinton 10
June 28 Services as Clerk of Equalization board 1.50
29 Services as Clerk of Equalization board 1.50

Recd payments in Order No 31 July 1st
1886 C.H. Duck

Bill approved by
Board June 28th

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Cairo Illinois

Civil War Letter


Cairo Nov 15 1862

Dear Mother

We have got to Cairo at last, but we don’t know how long we will stay her. We got here on Friday. Thare is about 800 prisners here. They look prity harde. They say they will fite till they dy. Thare hase been 9 or 10 Regements past thru here within the last day or too. They are going to Corinth. I expect we will stay here untill we get our filout [?] and then we will start for Corinth. It is a hard looking plase here, we don’t want to stay here if we can help it. You have to pay too [press?] for every thing you by. Thare was some of our Compney left at praredushen [Prairie du Chien]. Bengemen Wilkey and C. Wilkens. They took the next trane and folwed. They did not catch us untill we got here. We herd that S. Miller was not expect to live. I want you to tell how Jim [James W. Nelings, William’s brother who had typhoid fever] and all the rest of the Boys is getting along. We mis them very mutch but don’t let Jim come untill he gets perfickly well fore it is a hard plase fore a sick man. I am all rite yet except a bad cold. I have cot more cold since I came down here. I have not got mutch to write this time fore I expect Jim will tell you all the things that happened before he went home and thare hase nothing hapend since as I know of. These 5 or 6 gun boats here and some big guns. They fire of[f] a gun at sun rise and one at sun set, it makes the hills sing. I wont write to George [could be George L. Nelings] to day. I have not had time to write to him yet. I expect he thinks I never will write to him. You will have to direct your letter to Cairo and if we leve here it will be sent on after us. Mind and tell how all the boys is and all the rest of you. Give my love to all hands and don’t forget Florence. So no more at present. WH Nelings

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Civil War Letter


Fort Snelling Novem 3 1862[1]


Dear Sister


I receved your letter yesterday and was very glad to here from you all. It has been some time since we herd from you. We got all of them letters at the same time. Well I can give you a ida of Solgering. We left here for Milllack on the 14 of Oct. and got back on the 2 of Novem. It was 135 miles. We seen prity hard times while we ware gon. We marcht from 15 to 20 mil a day, lade down at night on the wet grown. We had tents to lie in but the grown was wet. We had Meat and potatos part of the time. We got flower and had to bake oyrselves  All the way we had to bake was to mix it up with water and stick it on a stone and lay it up to the fire. We had nothing else to put in it. You cold brake a stone with it. It was all the quartermasters falt fore he col[d] of got plenty fore us to eat if he had wonted to. Capton Drips says that he never herd tell of Solgers baking thare bred on a march before. It has made about 60 of them sick. The officers had a hard time to keep there boys from killing him. Jim has been sick but he is getting better now. We campt handy to Towns coming back and I got him into the taverns whare I cold tend to him and he rode on the wagons. He got something better to eat then he wold have goten in camp. Thare was about 400 Enduns thare, they looked hard as thunder. I joind the artilery to go up there. Bengeman was Capt. He took sick and came back before we got thare. He has got well now. We ware 10 days in the timber and never saw a white woman while we was in the timber. We have got orders to go to Cairo, I expect we will start on Saterday the 8. I do not know wheather we will pass McGregor in daylight or not. I wold like to see some of the National folks down thare. I want some of you to see about our bounty. Tell mother to use it fore what ever she wants. I wold of sent some home but I have lent 15 dollars and it cost a good bit to get things for Jim. Well I will have to stop and help to get supper. It is getting late. I will write a nother letter and leve it at McGregor as we go down. The boyss is all wonting to get down South. They say that they did not inlist to fite the red skins. Part of our Regement hase gon, they went before we got back. Thare was only 6 compneys went up thare, the other fore hase gon down. I think we will fare a little better than we have done up here. Well I will try and finish this letter. Henry Benders and I have been out to get some Chickens fore the boys. He is helping to take care of them. He is as good a fellow as ever lived. We are going to have things fore they boys as long as we have eney money to get it with. I gess Jim has nothing but a bad cold. He has been sick for a week. John Brookes, L King, Webster Jones, R Tews Sike Miller and Sam Tansant [?] is sick. We have our hands fool. T Shales has been helping us but he has quit. I gess that I am to tuf for them. I have had that same cold that I had before I left. My eyes has been sore but I think I can stand it. I have not ansers Georges letter yet but I will try and anser it before we leve here. Tell dan that I will write to him as soon as I can. I think you will have a nuf of babys thare after bit if you all keep on. I wont you to tell mother that I have oaid that bill of Philip Shaless so if Cortas says eney thing about it tell him that it is paid. I will will put the bill in the letter and you can keep it. Well I will have to stop fore this time. I will write a letter when we go down the river a[ns] tell you how Jim is.

Here is a kiss for Florence, tell her to write a longer letter the next time. Give my love to all hands.

Your affectionate brother WH Nelings

[1] On October 11, 1862 the regiments was ordered to St Paul and Ft Snelling to superintend the payment of annuities to Indians. “Historical Sketch of 27th Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry”

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Civil War Letter Oct 24 1862

This letter was sent from the James and William Nelings’ parents and siblings to the boys somewhere in Minnesota. Both James and William, and their cousin Daniel A. Neelings served in the 27th Iowa Infantry, Company E. The 27th was sent to Minnesota to help during the Sioux Uprising and to help with the disbursement of food to the tribes at Mille Lacs.

National Oct 24 [1862]

Dear Boys

Jimmys welcome letter was received yesterday. We were anxious to here from you. Sorry to hear you were not quartered in the fort.

I hope you are comfortable. As for your going South, perhaps it is best we cannot tell. All the family except myself are in bed. I must get a pen, we are all well, no news to-night.

Well I went up stairs and got pen and ink and am writing again. You didn’t say whether you were going to a fort or not. Dan Nelings [this is likely Daniel Austin Neelings] wrote to our Dan [Daniel Thompson Nelings] saying you were going to guard a place where they were going to hang 400 Indians, so I believe he wrote so to his Father [this refers to the hanging of 38 Dakota as an aftermath to the Sioux Uprising. See this article. 400 were convicted, Abraham Lincoln commuted the sentences of all but 38.]. In his to Dan he said Will T. Wallace had joined the flying artillary [this is likely William T. Wallace, a Private with Company L Cavalry]. Jim did not say anything about it.

We miss you both very much, in every way. Did you take your comforts—I mean your quilts with you. How much will you have to carry. I am glad you have one religious man in your tent. I don’t think anything of importance has transpired here lately. Mother and I got home last night from a visit up at Turner’s [this is probably Tashus Turner, who lived in Wagner Iowa, west of the Nelings] Dan was up plastering Turner’s house. Dealia Owen is living with Dan’s folks now, perhaps some of your squad knows her and thinks of her often [I’m not sure who this is].

Dore [could be Dove] is in good health, I believe. I have not seen Ella Linton since the fair [could be Eliza Linton, daughter of William Linton of Farmersburg IA]. Perhaps there is two of your squad would like to hear from her.

There is a party at Anson’s to-night. I guess it is rather slim. Mr. J. Havens [?] came down since dark after girls. He wanted Delia  NI[?] to go, but I thought it was fiddlers. Manning and a fiddler who gave it.  The Record you sent us came. We are much obliged to you for it. I hope in the space for remarks opposite to your names we will not have to write anything bad but something good and honorable about any of you, particularly WH Jr Nelings. It snowed here this morning. It is freezing all day. I hope it is not much colder where you are. 50 letters came to this office yesterday from the 27 Reg.

Lizzie Jack’s sister Becky Ann Haze [?] is at Jim’s. She knows your girl, Jim. She came up, we let her see your daguerrotype. She thinks it is the greatest joke she ever heard of. She is very lively. Henry Clark [?] has joined the Cavalry at McGregor, Jim [?] Jack was telling me to-night. He was Orderly Sarjeant. Don’t you think he will make a good one, I don’t believe it, I told him so.

Saturday morning, Sis is  [?] this morning. I thought I would try and finish this before mail time. I guess sis has told you almost everything except that Miney [?] has another daughter. It is about two weeks old it has the most black hair you ever saw and baby Florence is quite well now, she can say a great many words very plain. Dan is away, has been two weeks and will be four more I expect. I must hurry and finish this and take it to the office this morning. When you write tell us all the particualrs, how you fare and everything. Philip wrote to Josh that the bread was very hard. I hope you don’t have to lay out these cold night. You must both write as often as you can. We all join in sending love to you both.

From your affectionate sisters

??? Maude??

Mother sends much love to you both and says to be good boys and be kind to one another. We cannot send this today, so I will say a few words more, if I have nothing to tell. Mother is sick with this head ache today. She is not up yet. I don’t know whether she will be able to write any in this or not. Gale [?] is building a house on the south side of us. George Hudson on the north.  Don’t you think we have good company. Well I want to tell you of a word or two. You do not spell right, now you must not be mad for I am telling you that you may spell right when writing to strangers. You in spelling write spell it right with the pen the other is right not wrong. If you do not like this let me know. Your  [obliterated]

Mother want you to write to George.


Whilst I was writing Florence got a pencil and wrote these scribbling.

Posted in 1860s, Civil War, Jack, Nelings/Neilings/Neelings, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment