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RG5068.AM:  Mary Frances (Cooper) Gerrard Goodwill, 1879-1960


Loup and Stanton Counties, Nebraska:  Homemaker, teacher

Size:  1 volume (2 copies)


Mary F. (or Mamie as she was called), daughter of Addison and Frances Cooper, was born on September 18, 1879, in Nekoma, Illinois.  On May 8, 1900 she was married to Charles A. Gerrard in Bellwood, Nebraska.  A daughter, Marcella Adeline, was born to the couple in 1902.  The family left eastern Nebraska in 1906, homesteading in northern Loup County in 1906.  In 1910 Mamie taught in southern Rock County and from 1911 to 1920 she taught in Loup County’s Dunne School #36.

After the Gerrards were divorced in 1914, Mamie married Louis M. Goodwill.  A daughter, Lillian Emma Jean, was born the following year.  In 1920, after divorcing Goodwill, Mamie and her two daughters left the sandhills and settled in Stanton, where she taught for eighteen years.  During her time in Stanton, she received a bachelor’s degree.

Mamie returned to her home in northwest Loup County about 1940, where she taught at District 36 and later at the Ovitt School District #18.  She served as principal of Wann High School in Saunders County from 1944-46 and in 1946-7 she instructed at Cordova in Seward County.  From 1947-1956, Mamie taught children in her Loup County home.  When she retired in 1956, Mamie had been a teacher for 48 years.  She died in Omaha on May 1, 1960.


This collection consists of one volume (two copies) of undated reminiscences.  Titled Yesterdays of the Hills, the reminiscence authored by Mary Gerrard Goodwill traces her experiences as a “Kinkaider” in the Nebraska sandhills from around 1900 to 1920.  Goodwill’s memoir describes her experiences settling an isolated and sparsely populated area, her teaching career, the common chores and hardships associated with homesteading, and her Calamus Valley neighbors and their shared adversity and successes.



Box 1

Yesterdays of the Hills, reminiscence, undated (2 copies)


Subject headings:

Homesteading — Nebraska

Loup County (Nebraska) — History

Rural schools — Nebraska — Loup County

Sandhills (Nebraska)

Schools — Nebraska — Loup County

Stanton County (Nebraska) — History

Teachers — Nebraska — Loup County

Teachers — Nebraska — Stanton County


AIF  04-23-1998