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RG2997.AM:  Ethel Lenora (Martin) Comstock, 1882-1974

Papers:  1865-1965

Orleans, Harlan County, Nebraska:  

Size:  1.0 cu.ft.; 2 boxes


Ethel Lenora Martin was born near Macomb, Illinois, April 10, 1882, and moved to Orleans, Nebraska on November 14, 1893. She attended school in Wisconsin, returning to Orleans in 1904. Ethel married George Allison Comstock on February 22, 1906. George died in 1952. Ethel died at the Christian Home in Holdrege, Nebraska, October 12, 1974, and was interred in the Orleans cemetery. Part of the collection relates to James E. Simpson of Dubuque, Iowa and Norfolk, Nebraska. The relationship between Simpson and Mrs. Comstock is not known.

James Simpson was born in New York City, August 10, 1833. He lived on a farm in Herkimer County, NY until he was 21. In 1855 he settled at Decorah, Iowa. Simpson enlisted in Co. G. of the 12th Iowa Infantry during an agent for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska in 1866 and was promoted to collector in 1878 for the Northern one-half of Iowa. He came to Norfolk, Nebraska in 1887 as a special agent for Farmers Loan and Trust Company. Simpson was appointed Steward of the Nebraska Home for Invalid Soldiers in Norfolk in 1893, and later elected Mayor of Norfolk in 1898. He died in Norfolk, September 23, 1904, and was buried at Decorah, Iowa.


This collection consists of a letter book of James E. Simpson, February 16, 1881-November 1890; Orleans, Nebraska cemetery records through 1957; two scrapbooks of clippings; and Miscellaneous. The material in this collection relates primarily to the Simpson family and the history of Harlan County and Nebraska.  The second box of unprocessed papers relates to Ethel Comstock. Materials consist of correspondence, as well as typescript copies of poetry and short stories mostly from the 1960s.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1881-1890

Box 1


  1. Letterbook of James E. Simpson as U.S. Internal Revenue Agent, Dubuque and special agent for Farmers Loan and Trust Co., February 16, 1881-November 1890

Series 2 – Cemetery records, 1957

  1. Alphabetical list of persons buried in the Orleans Cemetery to October of 1957

Series 3 – Scrapbook, ca. 1945-1946

  1. Nebraska Scrapbook (compiled by Mrs. Comstock)

  2. Charles Simpson Family Scrapbook, including clippings re. James E. Simpson, Nebraska, etc.

Series 4 – Miscellany, 1865-1952

  1. Miscellaneous materials including information on Orleans, Nebraska Chautauqua, a Civil War era letter, printed church material, and World War II ration books

Box 2 (unprocessed)

Correspondence, poetry and other writings by Ethel Comstock, 1960s



Comstock, Ethel Lenora (Martin), 1882-1974

Harlan County (Neb.) — History

Orleans (Neb.) — History

Simpson, James E., 1833-1904

Simpson family


LW/js                 01-12-1965

rev. DDM/pmc   03-24-1986

rev. KFK            07-22-1996

Encoded TMM  03-11-2010

rev. TMM          04-09-2019