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RG1079.AM:  Weddel Family

Papers:  1978-2004

Arcadia, Valley County, Nebraska:  Educators, Nurse, Musicians

Size:  Five items


C.A. Weddel, the son of Alfred E. and Carrie M. (Whitikund) Weddel, was born on March 24, 1903, in Steele City, Nebraska. In 1908 his father purchased a farm near Arcadia and the family settled there. A 1929 graduate of Hastings College, Weddel’s teaching career spanned six decades. He taught in several rural schools in Nebraska, as well as at Seward, Plattsmouth, and Broken Bow High Schools. He was director of education at the Boys’ Training School at Kearney for six years, and also served as superintendent at Inavale, Belden, Falls City, and the School for the Blind in Nebraska City. C.A. Weddel and Luella Miles were married in Arcadia, Nebraska, on December 25, 1930. He died in September 1982.

Luella Mae Miles was born on July 14, 1907, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Oliver and Stella (Blue) Miles. After her mother’s death around 1911, Luella and her six brothers were placed in the Child Savings Institute of Omaha. Later, the Daniel Mather family of Arcadia took her into their home as a foster child, where she remained through high school. Luella attended the University of California Medical School in San Francisco for one year and the returned to Nebraska, finishing her R.N. degree at Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings. Her nursing career of twenty-five years included service at the Boys’ Training School in Kearney, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Hospital in Falls City. Later in life Mrs. Weddel attended Peru State Teachers College, earning a B.A. in education. She taught for ten years, including stints in Frederick County, Maryland, and Falls City, Nebraska, schools. A talented musician, she was the organist for the First Presbyterian Church for twenty-five years and for fourteen years at the Immanuel Methodist Church, both in Falls City. She also composed many published musical and literary works. She died in Falls City on March 7, 2004.

Bonnie (Weddel) Caplan is the only child of C.A. and Luella Weddel. A professional harpist, she lives in Sarasota, Florida.


This collection consists of five items in two series: 1) Reminiscences, 1978, 1989, and 1997; and 2) Biographical Materials, 2004. The materials document the memories and lives of Weddel family members.

The Reminiscences of Series 1 were written by C.A. Weddel, Luella Weddel, and Bonnie (Weddel) Caplan. C.A. Weddel’s “A Few Vignettes of the Past” was written for his daughter in 1978. Weddel writes about his family history, his schooling, and what growing up in Arcadia, Nebraska, was like during the 1910s and early 1920s. He recalls Chautauqua appearances, the celebration of Armistice Day in 1918, the Spanish Influenza, the appearance of “Mother” Bloor in Loup City during the Depression and his early teaching career, including experiences at the Boys’ Training School in Kearney. Luella Waddel’s “Free Spirit of the Sandhills” records her childhood memories as a foster child raised in Arcadia. Written in 1997, she describes her family situation, school experiences, wildflowers in the Sandhills, farming activities, and celebration of the 4th of July. Bonnie (Weddel) Caplan’s “Early 4th of July Recollections,” written in 1989, describes the food and activities of the Weddel family’s annual holiday picnic during the 1930s.

The Biographical Materials of Series 2 consist of Luella Weddel’s obituary and funeral program, 2004. The funeral program includes biographical information and examples of her writings.


Series 1 – Reminiscences, 1978, 1989, and 1997


  1. “A Few Vignettes of the Past” by C.A. Weddel, 1978

  2. “Free Spirit of the Sandhills” by Luella Mae Weddel, 1997

  3. “Early 4th of July Recollections” by Bonnie Weddel Caplan, 1989

Series 2 – Biographical materials, 2004

  1. Luella Mae Weddel’s obituary

  2. Luella Mae Weddel’s funeral program, 2004


Subject headings:

Arcadia (Nebraska)

Armistice Day — Nebraska

Bloor, Ella Reeve, 1862-1951

Caplan, Bonnie (Weddel), 1931-

Foster children — Nebraska

Fourth of July celebrations — Nebraska

Holidays — Nebraska

Loup City (Nebraska)

Memorial Day

Rural schools — Nebraska

Sherman County (Nebraska)

Teachers — Nebraska

Valley County (Nebraska)

Weddel, Cecil A., 1903-1982

Weddel, Luella Mae, 1907-2004


Acc# 1990.467 and 2004.0345

AIF        08-06-2004