The Older Businesses Of Antwerp & Sam Rivers, Indian Agent Chapter 24: The Community Building

By: Stan Jordan

I am going to write a column about some of the older businesses in Antwerp of what I remember and can find out.

The oldest is the funeral parlor, then the elevator, then the bank, then the Oasis and the Marathon station and drive thru.

Schilb & Son Funeral and Undertaking was established in 1857 by the first Andrew Schilb. After he passed away, his wife went to an embalming school and became the first licensed lady embalmer in the United States.  Later the business was taken over by the second Andrew Schilb until 1924. He was the father of the four Schilb boys that we all knew: Budd, Bob, Tom and Andy.

The first Andrew was a cabinet maker by trade down about where the Keystone building is. The whole block burned down in 1888 and I think that is when Schilb built the first building where the Dooley Funeral Home stands now. They were in business 84 years when Mr. Ehrhart wrote his book back in 1941.

Tom was the undertaker here for many years. They also sold furniture and later t.v.’s. After Tom retired Walter took over the business for a few years.

Walter wanted to teach school, so he sold the business to William Pauly. Shawn Dooley came to Antwerp in 1993 and bought the funeral home from Mr. Pauly.

Mr. Dooley has been here for 24 years but he has been very busy. He has remodeled the home a number of times. He has bought the lots on the sides of him and made a bigger parking area, plus new facilities inside. It is a very modern funeral home.

See ya!

By: Stan Jordan

The Lt. and the soldiers and natives all started on the new community building. There was about two Sgts. helping at the site and another one in charge down by the river where they were getting the logs. They leveled up and buried the logs. They were about half way in the trench for accuracy and to help keep the cold wind out.

Well, this went on as there was plenty of help to lift the logs into place. The Indians were glad to help, because the community building was useful in lots of ways.

The leaders agreed that all would work until about 4:00 p.m. and then there would be a big supper for all the workers. The Mess Sgt. and the native ladies talked about the meal and when to serve it.

The Mess Sgt. would make two large pots of vegetable soup—one with deer meat and a little bear, and the other with buffalo.

The natives would have corn in a couple of fashions. They would also bring flat bread, corn bread, corn dodgers, cookies and honey.

Nearly all have bowls & spoons now. There were two lines at the check out area and a lot of logs to sit on. They had a couple of fires and some of the army’s lanterns.

The Mess Sgt. did it again. He’s the big hero—he had brought some #10 cans of vanilla pudding. Each person got a ladle full in his bowl. The natives had never tasted anything that sweet and good. There was a lot of talk and gabbering and nodding their heads. The Mess Sgt. and his cooking is making the natives like the white man’s ways in the eating deportment. General Kearney would be glad to see the smiles on the natives faces.

Everyone sat around with their blankets and talked and watched the flames in the fire and slowly drifted off to the wikiup and the soldiers to their tents and wagons.

Well, the soldiers finished the community building and the natives went through and approved it and were very proud and appreciative of it.

They wanted to  have a big party and dedicate it as being finished. But the Lt. said, “It’s nearly the first of December and I have three days of traveling to get back to the fort.”

He explained all of this to Soaring Eagle, their chief, and to Rapid River the shaman of the Calamus Tribe.

Lt. Morgan said we will leave very early and will not stop for a lunch and we will trail until we get back to the Broken Bow agency.

When we reached the agency it was dark and quite late. The boys took care of all the animals first, then the wagons. The Mess Sgt. and Callie had soup, hot biscuits and deer meat. It was late when the soldiers when to bed. They were very tired, but in good spirits.

The camp was a little late getting started back to the fort today. Lt. Morgan said, “We will go south and cross the Loup River, and follow it till dark. Then we will get into fort a little after dark.”

All the wagons went, all the soldiers, and even Rooster on his riding horse. The Lt. wanted to move along because, as he said, this nice fall weather isn’t going to last forever.

I sent along a good complete report of what we did those few weeks, and the impression we had made on the Calamus River Tribe. I also attached a note about how good the soldier boys and the good hard working days they had. There was not a single bit of unrest or discontent. When we left that tribe’s area a lot of them could talk a little English and could make their wishes known.

It was a hard job, well done and I told them so. Well, it is just Callie and me here and it is sure quiet and a little lonesome.

More next week.

See ya!