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Family connections many in history of Lamar, Neb. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

The Woodmancy, Hall and Wallin family names hold a lot of history and were some of the predominant families living in Lamar, Neb. in its early years.

And, often, the families also have ties to important structures and buildings in the community at that time.

One such building was “The Hall House,” the only hotel in Lamar, which was owned and operated by George Hall in the early 1900s. He was a great-uncle of Merv Wallin, who still resides in the community.

According to writings from George Hall’s daughter, Mrs. Ed (Arnetta) Klein, the hotel was built in 1908. It had eight rooms upstairs “and they were always busy.” At that time, tourists were coming from the East on vacations, and people were also looking at land.

Here is a little more on the hotel and the interconnection of families.


The Woodmancy, Hall, Wallin connection

Carolyn Wallin and her husband, Merv, live about four miles east of Lamar, on the farm where Merv was born.

Carolyn’s mother was Signa Woodmancy Ward. Signa was born and raised on the John Woodmancy farm, located north of Lamar, three miles west of the old George Smith farm and one-fourth mile east of the Clyde Cranwell farm.

Carolyn remembers her grandmother, Edith Woodmancy, telling about how, when she and John and four of their children came to Chase County, Neb. from a farm near Holdrege, Neb., they stayed at the Hall Hotel in Lamar until their home was ready for them to move into.

More children were born to the Woodmancys. The Woodmancy children Lee Roy, June, Jack, Laverne and Signa all attended school with the Smith family and others.

Emma Mae Jones (Colson) was their teacher there when Signa was in second grade. Signa’s classmate was Dorothy (Smith) Weiss. Some of the older children attended high school in Imperial, Neb., including Irene Woodmancy, who was a classmate of Emma Mae’s.

Irene married Joe Elder, who had attended school in Lamar with the other Elder children.

Carolyn remembers that her grandfather, John Woodmancy, was a Spanish American War veteran along with Ollie Hall, a brother to George Hall and the rest of the Hall family. John and Ollie remained good friends throughout their lives.

The Wallin connection: Merv’s grandmother, Mae Hall Wallin, was a sister to George and Ollie Hall. It seems like a full circle has been completed, now with Carolyn, who is married to Merv Wallin, and they both have deep family roots in Chase County and the Lamar area after all these years.

The Hall Hotel was later moved to Holyoke, just one block west of where Signa Ward moved to when the Ward family moved to Holyoke. The hotel was used for an apartment building, and Carolyn remembers the building. Virginia Jerome had a beauty shop in one of the rooms in the back. Eventually, the building was torn down in Holyoke, at least 20 years ago.

Carolyn worked to put together the Wallin and Miller histories and, last year, created the Woodmancy history. New information is still being found about the Wallin and Woodmancy histories.

For instance, it was recently discovered that Lars Petter (Louis Peter) Wallin came over from Sweden and was listed as a passenger on the ship along with Carl Fristrom with their destination both being Wahoo, Neb. Then both came to homestead in Chase County.

Just this Memorial Day, while decorating the Wallin graves in Chase Cemetery, Carolyn and Merv discovered that Carl Fristrom and their relatives are buried just a few feet from Lars Petter’s graves. The Fristroms’ family graves are actually between the Wallin and Miller graves.

One more connection between Merv and Carolyn’s families ... Carolyn’s grandmother, Edith Woodmancy, was born in Wahoo, and even though Edith Woodmancy’s parents came from Norway, not Sweden, the Nebraska connections are so close it is amazing.

Both the Wallin family and the Woodmancy family homesteaded near the same area at the same time in history.

Editor’s Note: This story features some of the community history of Lamar, Neb. in anticipation of its 125th birthday celebration July 15.

Holyoke Enterprise June 5, 2012