Family Stories

Fremont Normal School and Business College

Lost and Found Photos

We have a new antique mall in Harrodsburg – Ritchey and I visited for the first time Thursday.  Old photos were not plentiful, but there were a few – with a most interesting history!  Some were photos of attendants of Fremont Normal School and Business College – in Nebraska.  Ritchey’s mother was from Nebraska – it was quite the attention grabber for us!  Vivian Eleanora Ritchey was born June 28, 1924, in Geneva, Nebraska – about a two hour trip (today!) from Fremont.  On the back of each photo is the name and type of study for each year.


Frank LeRoy Smith, on the left, pursued scientific studies in 1907 and classic studies in 1908.  On the right, Ralph Emerson Graham, shared his friends classes.  Unfortunately I could find no information on these two men.  I had better luck with the following!


Ethel Long, from Norfolk, Nebraska, was enrolled in scientific classes in 1906.  Ethel is listed in the 1900 census of Norfolk, Madison County, Nebraska, with her father Thomas Long and mother Sarah K. Long.  In the 1910 census only her father is listed.  With a bit more research I found Ethel didn’t live very long after this photo was taken – she died January 8, 1911.  Her mother died March 11, 1907.  They are buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery, in Norfolk.  Ethel was born January 30, 1885 – only 25 at the time of her death.  In this photo she looks very determined to get what she wanted out of life – unfortunately she did not live long enough to do that.


Robert Denton Cresap was enrolled in the following studies:  teacher, 1906, scientific, 1907 and classic, 1908.  Such a handsome young man!  With a bit of research I found Robert was born December 15, 1887, in Kansas, the son of Edgar (Homer) Cresap and Sara Ellen Denton.  He married Maude Axtell in 1911.  Robert was a lover of genealogy, too!  He made application to the Sons of the American Revolution!  Robert died in February of 1974, in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska.


And Alma Carsten, from Albion, Nebraska, classic studies, 1907.  Alma Agnes was the daughter of German immigrants, born December 7, 1886, in Sac County, Iowa.  Her parents were Rudolph Carsten and Antje Jebens.  In the 1920 census she is 34, living with her parents in Albion, Boone County, Nebraska.  In 1940 she is living with her mother and sister, aged 53, still in Boone County.  Alma applied for a social security  number in Los Angeles, California, in 1963.  She died there, at the age of 87, on March 18, 1974.

Ritchey and I are sending these photos via email to his Uncle Merlin Ritchey, the youngest of the family, and also the last.  Perhaps he will at least know one of the families.  Wouldn’t that be exciting?

7 replies »

  1. Thank you for this interesting blog post about Robert Denton Cresap!

    Today is his birthday, and I’m remembering him, my maternal grandfather.

    Do I understand this the photo of R.D. on this page was found in an antique store in Harrodsburg, KY? I wonder how it found it’s way there – very interesting!

    I have other photos of R.D., if you’re interested.

  2. Hello Earl and Kentucky Kindred Genealogical Research! Would either of you know if Fremont Normal School had yearbooks during there time? I am the Librarian at Midland University which took over Fremont Normal and we seem to have a gap in yearbooks from when Fremont Normal was open. I’ve had several archival requests for these years, but we have no information. Would you know anyone that does?


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