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RG1352.AM:  Pilcher Family (Walthill, Nebraska)

Papers:  1852-1958; mostly 1952-1958

Walthill, Thurston County, Nebraska:  Pioneers

Size:  1 box; 0.5 cu.ft.


Harriett Arlington was born in Philadelphia on August 28, 1841. At the age of fourteen, she made the journey with her parents to Omaha, Nebraska, arriving on December 1, 1855. Her father, Mr. Arlington, later had a village named after him. Soon the family moved to Decatur where in 1860 Harriett married John Pilcher.

John Pilcher was the son of Joshua Pilcher who was the leading Indian trader in the Nebraska region. His trading posts along the Missouri River were famous resorts of Indians and white men. In 1823 Joshua Pilcher was appointed superintendent of Indian affairs for the region. He married an Omaha Indian and his son, John, was born by this marriage. Joshua Pilcher died in 1843. Ten children were born to Harriett and John. At the time of Harriett’s death on December 14, 1922, in Walthill, there were eighty-seven grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her husband preceded her in death.


This collection consists of one box of manuscript material arranged in five series: (1) Correspondence, 1952-1957; (2) Manuscripts; (3) Printed Matter, 1852-1958; (4) Roy Phillips; and (5) Miscellany. The bulk of this collection relates to the activities of the Pilcher family and their work with the Omaha Indians. Also included are the war mementos of Roy Phillips, a nephew of Harriett Pilcher. Correspondents include Arthur E. Summerfield and Homer H. Gruenther.

Note:  See the photo component [RG1352.PH] for photographs. The Michael Shine collection [RG3626] contains information about Joshua Pilcher. Check the Nebraska History Index for related information.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1952-1957

Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1952-1957

Series 2 – Manuscripts

  1. My Pioneer Life in Nebraska

  2. Pilcher Family reunion, minutes of meetings, August 10, 1958

  3. Remarks

Series 3 – Printed Matter, 1852-1958

  1. Clipping, “Old White Horse and his Band, Guests of Honor”

    Translations into the Omaha Language, with portions of scripture

    By-Laws of Montgomery Lodge, #19 of Ancient York Masons, City of Philadelphia 1852

    Souvenir of the Walthill Indian Carnival, 1903

    One Day at a Time, broadside

Series 4 – Roy Phillips

  1. War Mementos

Series 5 – Miscellany

  1. Certificate as Master Mason, 1914

    Masonic receipts, Pender, Nebr., 1903-1909


Subject headings:

Gruenther, Homer H., 1900-1977 — Correspondence

Indians of North America — Culture

Omaha Indians

Phillips, Roy

Pilcher family

Pilcher, Harriett Arlington, 1841-1922

Pilcher, John, 1833-1898

Pilcher, Joshua, 1790-1843

Summerfield, Arthur E., 1899-? — Correspondence

Thurston County (Nebraska) — History

Walthill (Nebraska) — History


Revised TMM         05-04-2009