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RG0944.AM:  Elmer N. Demaray, 1887-1969

Blaine County, Nebraska

Papers: 1862-1961

Size: One folder


Born at Canton, Minnesota, on February 11, 1887, Elmer N. Demaray moved to Nebraska and was farming in Blaine County by 1910.  He married Ethel Norris in 1911.  She passed away in 1915.  Demaray then moved to Hamilton County, Ohio, for a time, where he married Renna Smithson on June 20, 1917.  He was working as a railroad switchman at Elmwood Place, Ohio, in 1920.  By 1930, the Demaray’s had moved back to Blaine County, Nebraska.  By 1940, the couple lived in Brewster, Nebraska, and Elmer was working as the county clerk.  The couple had two children, Maxine and Dorothy Ann.  Elmer Demaray died on October 17, 1969.  Renna Demaray died on April 4, 1970.  Both are buried in Brewster Cemetery at Brewster, Nebraska.

Ella Margaret (Treaster) Smithson, the daughter of James and Elizabeth Jane Treaster was born June 28, 1867, at Salona, Pennsylvania. In the spring of 1871 she moved with her parents to Nebraska, living near Exeter. Here she attended school and was a member of the first class to graduate from the Exeter school in 1886. She also attended Business College at Lincoln, Nebraska. Later, she taught two terms of school at Shickley. On February 14, 1890, she was united in marriage to William J. Smithson, then of Shickley. To this union were born eleven children, two of whom preceded her in death. Baby Ralph at the age of two weeks and Roy Glenn at the age of 19 years died near Herington, Kansas.

The family lived near Shickley until March, 1911, when they moved to a farm near Delavan, Kansas. Here they resided until in 1943, when she and her husband went to spend the winter with their daughter, Renna (Smithson) Demaray, at Brewster, Nebraska. Here the husband and father passed away on January 16, 1944. In July, 1944, she went to Washington to spend some time with her children. Ella Margaret (Treaster) Smithson passed away in Cashmere, Washington, on January 31, 1946.  She is buried in the Delavan Cemetery at Delavan, Kansas.


The collection consists primarily of a photocopy of a handwritten booklet entitled, “In Days of Old,” by Ella M. (Treaster) Smithson, December 1938. She relates the James Treaster family history and pioneer life in Nebraska, particularly in Fillmore and Saline Counties through the 1870s-1880s. The basis for much of the booklet are the letters written by her mother, Elizabeth Treaster, with elaboration made by Ella – much of which she experienced as a child. Topics include homesteading, farming practices, schools/classroom activities, toys, social activities, and health concerns. Of particular note is the grasshopper infestation of 1874. Toward the end of the booklet she writes of the family life of William Smithson, Sr. The account ends with letters written by Ella in the 1930s, one of which is a memoriam to her sister, Verna Norris.

Also included in the collection are a military pass for Elmer N. Demaray (1918); an issue of “The Hatchet,” January 18, 1919, published on the U.S. Ship George Washington; and a listing of veterans buried in Brewster, Nebraska, Cemetery up to the Korean War.


Folder including:

    1. Booklet, “In Days of Old,” by Ella M. (Treaster) Smithson, December 1938 (photocopy only)

    1. Military pass for Elmer N. Demaray, 1918

    1. Newsletter, “The Hatchet,” January 18, 1919

    1. Listing of veterans buried in Brewster Cemetery at Brewster, Nebraska


Subject headings:

Brewster (Nebraska)

Cemeteries — Nebraska — Brewster

Crete (Nebraska)

Davis family

Demaray, Elmer N., 1887-1969

Domestic life

Exeter (Nebraska)

Fillmore County (Nebraska)

Frontier and pioneer life — Nebraska — Fillmore County

Frontier and pioneer life — Nebraska — Saline County

Garvin, Ida Kate (Treaster), 1874-1925


Norris, Verna Mary (Treaster), 1872-1912

Saline County (Nebraska)

Shickley (Nebraska)

Smithson family

Smithson, Ella Margaret (Treaster), 1867-1946

Treaster family

Treaster, Elizabeth Jane (Poorman), 1842-1877

Treaster, James, 1841-1925


Revised TMM      10-14-2016