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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:


Thomas R. Prey, Idalia

John D. Prey was born in Scotland 1708, married Margaret Gibson 1821, and landed at St. Johns, N.B.   They traveled to Boston, then near Syracuse, New York, and in 1843 to Winsconsin.  They came to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1856.

In 1885 Lancaster County, Nebraska, Thomas R. 49 is a farmer, born in Massachusetts, with Mattie D. 32 Ohio.   Minnie M. 3, and Thomas R. eleven months were born in Nebraska.

Thomas cash-claimed a quarter in 1, 4S 44W in 1890.

Thomas R. Prey, born Feb 1826 in Massachusetts, and Martha J. 57, married 29 years, are in Lincoln.  Harry E. 22 is with them.

Thomas R. Prey was one of the earliest settlers of Lancaster county, arriving here in 1856, and for over three decades he devoted his time and energy to stock raising, but in 1888 removed to Lincoln, where his death occurred. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the 13th of February 1826, and his parents, John V. and Margaret (Gibson) Prey, were of Scottish ancestry and emigrated from Scotland
to the United States in early life. They took up their residence in Boston but later removed to New York, where the father followed the slater's trade. In 1856, however, he decided to take advantage of the unusual opportunities offered by the west and came to Lancaster county, Nebraska, where he subsequently took up a homestead. When he first came west the land had not as yet been thrown open to settlement under the Homestead law, but he purchased a farm.

He turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, which he followed successfully throughout the remainder of his active life, passing away in September 1873. His wife was called to her final rest in 1879. Thomas R. Prey remained under the parental roof during his boyhood and youth and received his education in Boston and in the village of Eagle, New York. He accompanied the family on their removal to Wisconsin, where they farmed until 1856, when they came to Lancaster county, Nebraska. and acquired land. Subsequently Mr. Prey
homesteaded a good tract and brought all of his holdings to a high state of development. He gave the greater part of his attention to raising stock and his well directed labors returned him a good income.

In 1888, because of poor health, he and his wife took up their residence in Lincoln and he passed away here on the 5th of July 1904. Mr. Prey was married on the 23rd of March 1871 to Miss Martha L. Davis, whose birth occurred in Stockport, Ohio, on the 5th of April 1843. Her parents, Dr. Reuben and Mary A. (Geddes) Davis, were natives respectively of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
In 1853 Dr. Davis removed to Illinois, near Sterling, and there be practiced medicine for many years. He gained a high standing professionally and has possessed good business ability he also won financial independence, realizing good profits on his
investments. At his death he held title to fifteen hundred acres of improved land. He died on the 7th of November 1887, at the age of sixty-eight years, but his wife passed away on the 18th of March, 1848.

To Mr. and Mrs. Prey were born three children, namely: Mrs. Minnie P. Knotts, who is librarian for the Nebraska State Historical Society at Lincoln ; Thomas R.. a resident of Beryl, Utah; and Harry E., who lives in San Diego, California. Mr. Prey gave his political allegiance to the republican party but confined his activity in public affairs to the exercise of his right of franchise. He held membership in the Christian church but did not belong to any fraternal organizations, preferring to spend his leisure time with his family.
During the first year of his residence in this county, conditions were those of the frontier and there were many hardships to be endured that the present generation knows nothing of, but he had faith in the future of the county and lived to see his confidence in this section more than justified.

He had a part in transforming this region of wild prairie into one of highly cultivated and well improved farms, and his memory is justly held in honor. Mrs. Prey has resided in the county for forty-six years and has watched with great interest the rapid change that has taken place. Since 1888 she has lived in Lincoln and her circle of friends is almost coextensive with that of her acquaintances. She owns property in Salt Lake City, is manager of the Brown apartments in Lincoln and several other buildings, and displays unusual executive ability and business acumen. In religious faith she is a Presbyterian.

Thomas R. Prey 1826-1904 is buried in Roca Cemetery, Lancaster County Nebraska # 35792077.  That entry says Thomas married Martha Jane Davis Nov 7, 1861, and his first wife was Alviera Mariah Veber Prey 1839-1861 buried in Butler County Iowa  # 21934105.  They married in 1855, had Edwin E. 1856-1860 and Edna 1858-1944.


Martha J. Prey is widowed in 1910 Lincoln, 67, with grandson Samuel Thomas 8.

Searching for info. on Thomas R. Prey and brother Harry E. Prey. Both born in Nebraska. Harry b. 14 March 1878. Thomas b. 1874 had a sister Minnie M. b. 1871. Harry m. Emma F. and moved to California. Emma d. 1971 in California. Sister Minnie m. Isaac C. Knotts 1888 in Lincoln, Neb. She d. L.A. Calif. in 1954. I am a direct descendent of the above and am searching for date and location of death of Harry Earle Prey (my gr uncle). He and Emma had no children but, I believe his brother Thomas still has descendents living in California and/or surrounding area. Any help would be appreciated.


In 1900 Cass County Nebraska T.R. Prey born May 1874 in Nebraska, is married to Nellie December 1881 Nebraska 0- he's a photographer.

In 1909-1912 San Diego California, Thomas R. Prey is listed as a freight agent, living at the Hotel Washington.


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