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RG3521.AM:  Edwin R. Capron, 1838-1874

Papers:  1853-1872, 1884

Nebraska City, Otoe County, Nebraska:  Soldier, surveyor

Size:  0.25 cu.ft.; 1 box


Edwin R. Capron left his home in Vermont around 1853 and worked his way westward.  During the year he was employed at various times as a clerk, a traveling salesman and a school teacher.  On March 1, 1856, he wrote to his parents from Keokuk, Iowa, and told them that he was unemployed.  The following June he wrote that he was in Nebraska working with a surveying party.  He like the country and by October he had selected a claim of 320 acres bordering on the Missouri River and about eight miles from Tekemah.  He put up a cabin of hewn logs, and he and a friend, who was squatting on an adjoining claim, planned to spend the winter together.  He expected to cut wood and sell to steamboats going up the river and then sell his claim.

Capron spent the winter of 1856-1857 in a cabin with his neighbor, Mr. Sampson, and two wood cutters.  In the spring he decided that he did not want to settle in Nebraska if that had been a typical Nebraska winter.  He wrote that he was thinking of selling his claim.  There was no further mention of the claim, nor did he send any other letters from Burt County, so it is likely that he did sell the claim that year.  Edwin Capron, better known as Ned Capron, was a resident of Nebraska City when he enlisted in Company D, First Nebraska Regiment.  He was mustered in on June 13th with the rank of corporal.  He was promoted to quartermaster sergeant, February 1, 1862, and to sergeant major on September 23, 1863.  He was discharged from service on July 10, 1865, and returned to Nebraska City.  Capron ran as the Republican candidate for Otoe County Surveyor in the fall of 1865.  He left Nebraska City sometime before September of 1867.  In 1870 he was living in Fort Dodge, Kansas.  Capron reenlisted on September 13th, 1874, and served with the 5th U.S. Infantry.  Edwin R. Capron died of pulmonary apoplexy on December 25, 1874.  He is buried in Custer National Cemetery, Crow Agency, Montana.


The collection consists of three folders of materials relating to Edwin R. Capron.  The bulk of the collection consists of letters written by Capron to his family.  One folder of letters with typed transcriptions mostly relate to his work surveying in Nebraska.  The second folder relates to more general matters.  Several letters written by Daniel Goodman, another member of the 1st Nebraska Regiment, are also included.  The letters from 1872 are from Capron’s father, John, to his sister, Melia.  The last folder contains a few fragmentary notes and a blank stock certificate for the Big Springs Land and Cattle Company, incorporated in 1884.


Box 1


  1. Correspondence, surveying, 1856-1858

  2. Correspondence, general, 1853-1872

  3. Miscellaneous


Subject headings:

Capron, Edwin R., 1838-1874

Capron, John Putnam, 1805-1875

Goodman, Daniel

Soldiers — Nebraska

Surveying — Nebraska

United States — History — Civil War, 1861-1865 — Personal narratives


DDS/kj                   02-12-1970

TMM                     10-11-2018