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RG3622.AM:  Gitchel-Larsen Family

Papers:  1862-1962

Gibbon, Amherst, and Riverdale, Buffalo County, Neb.:  Farmer, carpenter

Size:  1 box; 0.5 cu.ft.


Benjamin Skiff Gitchel was born in Michigan in 1848. With his wife, Mary Elizabeth Bailey Gitchel, he moved his family to Nebraska in 1880, locating in Valley Township, Buffalo County. Since Mary’s parents had preceded them to Nebraska, their reports had probably influenced the Gitchel’s relocation. Besides farming and raising animals on his homestead, Ben was a carpenter. He constructed a local schoolhouse and was probably the builder of one of the oldest barns in the area. In 1899 the Gitchel’s moved to Amherst, trading their farm for one there. Benjamin S. Gitchel died on January 8, 1907. Mary died in 1925.

The Gitchel-Larsen link was formed in 1905 when Benjamin S. and Mary E. Gitchel’s daughter, Ann Ette, married Andrew L. Larsen. Larsen, born August 12, 1876, was the son of Charles L. and Karen Jensen Didriksen Larsen. A farmer all of his life, Andrew Larsen lived nearly all of his years on Section 18 near Riverdale in Buffalo County. He died in Kearney on December 7, 1960.


This collection consists of one box of manuscript material arranged in three series: 1) Correspondence, 1862-1962; 2) Genealogical Material; and 3) Miscellany. This material relates to the history and experiences of members of the Gitchel and Larsen families of Buffalo County, Nebraska.

The Correspondence, 1862-1962, of Series 1 is comprised primarily of letters written by Benjamin S. and Mary E. Gitchel. Their letters describe their homesteading experiences in Buffalo County, Nebraska. They provide information on crops and animals raised, prices for farm products, game hunted, timber in the area, weather conditions, the Nebraska Grange, Ben’s carpentry work, and hard times faced during the 1890s. Larsen family letters, between the siblings of Andrew L. Larsen, and Danish letters are also included in this series. Series 2 consists of Genealogical Material dealing with the Gitchel and Larsen families, as well as other families, such as the Didriksens, related to them. Family trees and charts and photocopies of photographs are included. The Miscellany of Series 3 includes writings, orations, and poems by members of the Gitchel Family. Writings of Mary E. Gitchel and Ann Ette Gitchel are identified. Also included are report cards and teacher certification papers of Gitchel family members. Newspaper clippings provide biographical information and material on family reunions.

Note:  See also the photo component [RG3622.PH] for photographs relating to the Gitchel-Larsen family.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1862-1962

Box 1


  1. Gitchel Family Correspondence, 1877-1888

  2. Gitchel Family Correspondence, 1889-1894

  3. Gitchel Family Correspondence, 1895-1905, 1913, 1922, 1926 and 1962

  4. Larsen Family Correspondence

  5. Danish letters, 1862-1867

Series 2 – Genealogical Material

  1. Family Trees and Charts

  2. Photocopies of photographs

Series 3 – Miscellany

  1. Writings delivered or written by members of the Gitchel family

  2. Certificates – report cards and teacher certifications

  3. Newspaper Clippings – Obituaries and Family Reunion articles

    Albert D. Wright, Elements of the English Language. New York: A.S. Barnes, 1872



Agricultural history — Nebraska — Buffalo County

Agricultural laborers — Nebraska — Buffalo County

Buffalo County (Neb.) — History

Carpentry — Nebraska

Danes in Nebraska

Farm life — Nebraska — Buffalo County

Gitchel, Benjamin Skiff, 1848-1907

Gitchel, Mary Elizabeth Bailey, 1856-1925

Gitchel family

Homesteads and homesteading — Nebraska — Buffalo County

Larsen, Andrew Lincoln, 1875-1960

Larsen, Ann Ette Gitchel, 1878-1970

Larsen family


AIF/psw   04-17-1980

Encoded TMM   04-07-2010