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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

Florence L. Eckhout, husband Oscar Arden Mills,    Mildred

In 1900 Buffalo County, Nebraska, Felix "Echout" born Dec 1849 in Belgium, farming, married 23 years to Flavia July 1854  Belgium, have Rosa L. August 1881, Raymond Oct 1883, Charles Oct 1885, August Jun 1888, Florence January 1889, Matilda Jan 1892, and Gertrude Jun 1894.

Kearney Nebraska 1907  "Miss Florence Eckhout is working for Mrs. Henry Hartman."  " Charles and Matilda Eckhout attended the dance at William Krugon's Saturday night"

Loup City Freighters Hotel

Another Buffalo County homesteader, Felix Eckhout and his wife, Flavia, purchased the Freighters Hotel property in 1898, and it has remained in the Eckhout family.
The house was offered to the Buffalo County Historical Society by the Eckhout family, if it was moved. That was done in January 1983 after the ground had frozen.
There was no front porch when it was moved to the Trails and Rails Museum on West 11th Street in Kearney. Glen Wisch used old photos to reproduce the porch and also made replacement spindles for the staircase railing to the second floor.

1900 Kearney "Mrs. Flavia Eckhout filed a petition with the clerk of the district court Saturday asking for a divorce from her husband, Felix Eckhout She asks for the custody of four of her children. "

In 1910 Buffalo County, Nebraska, Felix Eckhout, 60, born in Belgium (Flemish), immigrating in 1856, is married but no spouse.  With him are Charles 24, Florence 20, Matilda 18, Gertrude 16, and Annie, 9, all kids born in Nebraska.

Next household is George Eckhout, 32 - Michigan - and Lula A. 29 Nebraska, with Bessie 7 and Bernard 5.

In 1913 Kearney, Felix is living at 2 Scott-Bolte Bldg.  Florence is boarding there, Gertrude is a student at the State Normal School, and Matilda is an operator at the Kearney Tel Co, living at the Hamer Bldg.

  1913 Wray

  1916 Wray


Florence proved up two quarters in 18 and 19, 3S 45W in 1917, witnesses James L. Hensley, Walter Moore, and Archie Kindred.

In 1920 Buffalo County, Charley Echout, 34, is head of the household.  Felix is with him, widowed, immigrating in 1864, naturalized 1884.  August 31 is married to Minnie, and has three kids.  Florence MILLS, 30 married but no spouse, has Aimee 6 and Audrey 4, both born in Nebraska.

  In 1930 Detroit, Florance is working at an auto plant, widowed, with Annie 16 born in Colorado (this is Aimee, almost certainly named after Florence's sister), and Audrey 14 "NewBrasky"

In 1940 Detroit, at 2625 Gladwin, Florence is widowed, no occupation.  Aimee, 26, born in Colorado, is an assembler at an auto plant.  Andrie Gastimer, 24, born in Nebraska, unknown marital status, has Marlene, 1, born in Michigan.

In 1955 Florence Mills, 2625 Gladwin, Detroit, age 66, born in Nebraska, arrived in New York on the Queen Elizabeth.

Felix 1849-1932 is buried in Kearney cemetery # 59931314, Flavia 1854-1914 in Armada Cemetery, Buffalo County.    His second wife- per findagrave, was Ida Libbrecht, daughter of John F. and Sophie (VanGeeze) Libbrecht, was born in Belgium. Mrs. Ida Libbrecht Vandevoorde came to America abroad the S.S.LaLorraine from Havre, France. Ida and her children, Zulma and Odiel, left on September 13, 1919 and arrived in New York on September 22, 1919 from their home in Anseghen, Belgium. They had friends at Overton, Nebraska where Ida's son, Phil, was living.
Ida married Felix Eckhout in Kearney on January 19, 1924. After his death, she married Weert Lammers on January 18, 1933.


Oscar Arden Mills was born August 23, 1883 in Eden Township, Decatur County to Wm Henr Mills and Lovisa E. Blake.

1913 Leon, Iowa "Oscar Mills, of Anaheim, California, arrived last Friday on a visit to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Mills of Eden township.."

February 1913 "Oscar and Mergie Mills and their sister, Mrs. Robert McKee, went to Garden Grove Tuesday for a few days visit wtih friends in that vicinity."

When William Mills died in 1915, one tree said his son Oscar Arden Mills was a rancher in Colorado. The tree said Oscar was in King County Washington in 1910, living with his brother, a clerk.  In 1920 he's in Decatur County, Iowa, living with his brother Ralph.  Oscar is divorced.

Oscar proved up two quarters in 3S 45W in 1917, adjoining Florence's.

He was a witness for the claim of Elsworth Temple in 1916.

November 1916 Leon Iowa "Oscar Mills, who had been here visiting relatives for a few weeks, departed Friday afternoon for his home at Wray, Colorado."

1918 Eden, Iowa - Oscar Mills was elected constable.

November 1919 Decatur County Iowa "O.A. Mills vs. Florence Mills, Decree of divorce granted."  "The parties were married at McCook, Neb. Nov 8, 1917 and lived together until Nov 12, 1917.  Plaintiff asks for a decree of divorce on the grounds of desertion."

May 1920 West Eden, Iowa "Oscar Mills and Blanche Marshall gave their many friends a pleasant surprise by slipping quietly away and being married last week."

ELLEN GERALDINE MILLS, girl, June l6, 1921 to MR. and MRS. OSCAR A. MILLS, Eden Township, Decatur County, Iowa.

IOWA Blanche Nettie MARSHALL (5 Nov 1890 7 Apr 1967) Married to Oscar Mills Leon, IA
Children: Ronald, Geraldine, Gladys, Helen

Blanch Marshall, born about 1890 at Tuskeego, Iowa, married Guy E. Garner August 29, 1911 in Des Moines.  Guy was with his parents in 1910 Decatur County, but is married to someone else in 1920.

Blanche is with parents Marion and Rebecca in 1920 Des Moines, 29, a school teacher, single.

In 1940 Decatur County, Oscar, a laborer for the county,  is 56, Blanche 49, Gladys 17, Helene 15, and Ronald 13.

Blanche 1890-1967 and Oscar 1883-1968 are buried in Decatur City Cemetery.

Ronald is buried in the Leon city cemetery 1926-2008.

Probably Gladys is the Gladys (Mills) Young that findagrave # 52503232 has buried in Smith County, Texas 1923-1992.  Earl Creal Young, son of Frank Earl and Ressie [Creal], Young, was born Dec. 23, 1921, in Decatur, Iowa, and after a lengthy illness died Sept. 25, 1995, at his home in Hide-A-Way Lake Community in Lindale, Texas, at the age of 73.
Earl Graduated from the Decatur High School and then from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He served in the United States Army with the 164th TC Boat Crew as a Staff Sargeant during World War II.
He was married to Gladys Mills on Oct. 26, 1941, in Kahoka, MO. They lived in Los Angeles, Ca, for 26 years, then moved to Dallas, Texas, for 14 years. At Christmas time in 1987 they moved to Hide-A-Way Lake, Texas. His wife Gladys preceded him in death in 1992. Survivors include: brother-in-law, Ron Mills and wife Joan of Leon, Iowa; sister-in-law Geraldine Hook, Santa Anna, CA.

Geraldine is buried in the Leon cemetery, too 18335906.

1964 Des Moines:  The Hooks were married May  5, 1947, in West Des Moines.  Thursday in a divorce petition filed in Polk County District Court by Ellen Geraldine Hook. have four minor children. Mrs. Hook, charging cruel and inhuman treatment, seeks custody of the children, title to their house alimony, child support and a fair division of belongings

Ellen Geraldine (Jerrie) Hook

On February 24, 2005 our precious Mother, sister, Nana, Grandma, and friend
was lifted to heaven to spend her eternal life with her Lord and Savior,
Christ Jesus. Our Mother was born in Leon, Iowa on June 16, 1921 to Oscar and
Blanch Mills, who along with her sisters, Helen and Gladys, have been joyously
awaiting her arrival in heaven. Ellen's husband, Bill Hook, passed away in

She is survived by her brother Ronald Mills and wife Joan of Osceola; sons,
Arden Hook and wife Cindy, Arnold Hook and Wife Marjorie, Todd Hook and
daughters Tedi and Husband Tony DeLafuente, Shelly Walling, and Jackie Chew and
husband Bill. She also lovingly leaves 9 grandchildren and 8 great

Joan is probably the daughter of Ira and Dorothy Bennett of Leon.  She was living in Leon in 2012 (sister-in-law Patricia Bennett's obituary)

William H. Mills an honored veteran of the Civil war and a retired farmer of Eden township, was born in Fulton county, Illinois, July 23, 1843, a son of J.D. and Matilda (Johnson) Mills, both natives of the state of New York, where their marriage occurred. In 1843 they removed to Illinois and there the father followed the blacksmith's trade until 1852, when he removed with his family to Decatur county, Iowa, settling at Pleasanton. In that same year, while crossing Lake Erie, he witnessed a remarkable meteor shower, the meteors falling all around the ship. The first winter after arriving in this county the family resided on land belonging to a Mr. Scott near the old Horse mill, but the following spring the father established a blacksmith shop at Pleasanton, which he conducted until 1863. He then removed to Leon, where he passed his remaining years.

William H. Mills received his education in the public schools of Pleasanton, but in 1861, when eighteen years of age, enlisted in Company H, Fifth Kansas Volmiteer cavalry for service in the Civil war, remaining at the front for three years, one month and eleven days. He took part in the battles of Helena, Arkansas; Tupelo, Mississippi; Pine Bluff and Blount Elba, Arkansas; Drywood, Missouri; and also fought in many skirmishes in Arkansas and Missouri, for a considerable period, being under fire almost every day He was discharged at Leavenworth, Kansas, and then returned to Decatur county, devoting his attention to farming on section 9, Eden township. He purchased eighty acres on that section in 1865 and resided upon that place until his death. Later when his resources had increased he purchased an adjoining eighty acre tract, which he brought to a high state of cultivation. For many years he was actively engaged in general farming and stock-raising, but in 1914 turned the operation of the farm over to his son, feeling that he had accumulated more than a competence and that he had earned a period of rest from business cares.

In I860 Mr. Mills married Miss Lovisa Blake, a daughter of Joseph and Margaret Blake, natives of England, who located in Coshocton county, Ohio, on their emigration to America. In 1854 they removed to Decatur county, Iowa, where the father followed agricultural pursuits and where both he and his wife resided until called by death. Mr. and Mrs. Mills became the parents of twelve children, as follows: Edith Llewellyn, who died in early womanhood; Henrietta, who remained at home; Zelia, now the wife of Albert Davis, who is farming in the state of Washington; Charles E., an agriculturist of Bloomington township, this county, who married Miss Effie Lindsay, of Davis City; Matilda, who gave her hand in marriage to Robert McKee, a rancher and orange grower of California; Frank, a rancher of the state of Washington, who married Miss Minnie McCune; Rolla O., who is a land agent of Tacoma, Washington; Oscar A., a rancher of Colorado; Clifton P., a farmer residing six miles east of Leon, who married Miss Nellie Gammill; Ralph E., who has taken the greater part of the responsibility for the operation of the home farm; Margie, at home; and Fred Leon, who died in infancy. The wife and mother died on the 31st of December, 1913, and her passing was sincerely mourned not only by her immediate family but by many loyal friends. She was a member of the Church of Christ of Eden township and her religious faith was exemplified in her daily life.

Mr. Mills gave his political allegiance to the republican party but never aspired to take a prominent part in public affairs. He, however, served as school director in his home district for a number of times and was greatly interested in everything relating to the progress of the schools of the county. He held membership in the Church of Christ of Eden township and the work of that organization profited by his cooperation and material support. Through his identification with the lodge of the Grand Army of the Republic at Leon he kept in touch with his comrades of the '60s and derived much satisfaction from the knowledge that in the time of his country's greatest need he did not fail her. While actively engaged in farming he was energetic and progressive and not only gained individual success but also contributed to the development of his county along agricultural lines. He died June 14, 1915, in the seventy-second year of his age.

Marion I Marshall married Louisa A. Jones in Decatur County Iowa in 1884.

Rebecca Jane Payton, daughter of George and Annis Payton was born May 8,
1863 Near Lamoni, Iowa. She passed away at the home of her son, Loy, 1320
E.41st St., July 7, 1945 at the age of 82 years, 2 months, 29 days. She was
married to Marion I. Marshall in 1889 who passed away January 2, 1944. To
this union were born six children, two girls, Mrs. Blanche Mills, of Leon, Iowa
and Mrs. Inez Friel, of Los Angeles, California; four boys Loy and Vern of Des
Moines, clair, of Los Angeles, California, and Arthur of Long Beach, California. She is also survived by eighteen grandchildren four of which are in the armed forces, nine great-grandchildren and one sister, Nettie Woin, Mitchell, South Dakota and one brother, William Payton, Kimball, South Dakota, besides other relatives and a host of friends. She accepted Christ at an early age and has been a member of Galilee Baptist church for 16 years.

Funeral services were held at the Galilee Baptist church East 22nd and Mes Moines St. Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday, July 10, conducted by Rev. V. L.Currier. Six grandsons acted as pall-bearers. Interment was made at Decatur.

Brother of Florence: NAMPA Services for August Felix Eckhout, 86, of 524 Twentieth Avenue South, who died Wednesday, in a Nampa hospital, will be conducted at Flahiff Funeral Chapel at 2 p.m. Monday by the Rev. Leo W. Reed of the First Baptist Church. Entombment will be at Hillcrest.

Mr. Eckhout was born Jan. 8, 1888, in Prairie City, Neb., and was reared at Litchfield, Neb. He married Minnie Etta O'Nele at Grand Island, Neb., Jan. 9, 1912. The couple lived at Miller, Neb., until moving to Valentine, Neb. in 1932. They came to Nampa In 1935. He was a farmer and stock raiser in Nebraska, and was a carpenter, in Nampa until he retired in 1952. Mrs. Eckhout died in 1970.

Surviving are four sons, Warren Eckhout, Boise, Donald and Clair Eckhout, both of Nampa, and Glenn Eckhout, Salt Lake City; a sister, Mrs. Amy C. Carmen, Santa Monica, Calif.; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren, and three step-great-great-grandchildren.

The Idaho Statesman, February 2, 1974 Page 16

Sister :   Aimee (Eckhout) Carman, daughter of Felix and Flavia Vianne/Viaene Eckhout, was born near Sartoria, Buffalo County, Nebraska on June 18, 1900. She married William F. "Bill" Carman, December 1, 1917 and they were the parents of Kenneth, Lyle, Doris, Dwayne, and Dean Carman.
Aimee died at Fremont, Nebraska on March 19, 1990.
Bill died July 7, 1975 and is buried at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Buffalo County, Nebraska, where their son Kenneth is buried.


In 1910 Mary M. Swayze, age 21, born in Nebraska, is a servant for the William J. and Dora Krauter family in Washington County Colorado.

Frederick F. Eckert claimed land in 2S 45W - and it's possible that he's related.  Fred Eckert married Mary Swayze May 31, 1910, recorded in Yuma County.

"Fred J. Eckart of Alliance, Nebraska and Mary Swayze of Akron, Colorado were united in marriage at the court house by County Judge Jennings, on Tuesday, May 31."

Lorene Eckert, daughter of Fred Eckert and Mary Swayze, married Lowell M. Buck January 25, 1941 in Scott County, Iowa.

Frederick Frank Eckert was probated in 1938 Denver.

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