The Family Of Herman Edwin Kilday

Herman Dewin Kilday was born on February 12, 1886 in Greene County, Tennessee.  On November 1908 he married Nina May Boggs.  He died on August  19, 1954 in Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska.  The following is a history of this family by Gary R Kilday, his grandson: 

When Herman was four years old when his mother, Molly Weesner Kilday, died.  She was sick and they sent Herman to the medicine cabinet for medicine.  He returned with medicine she took.  She then died because it was supposedly rat poison.  That accounted for the fact that at age 4 he was then sent to live with his uncles.  He went to school through about the fourth grade.  In 1906 he went to Kansas with two of his cousins to look for work.  His cousins worked there for one year and returned to Tennessee.


Herman stayed and worked for a Mr. Burt Vandong.  He married Nina May Boggs on November 11, 1908.  Nina's father was a blacksmith in Cawker City, Kansas.  Nina was born in 1890 in St Francis, Kansas in the extreme northwestern part of the state where her parents had homesteaded in the late 1880s.  It was a very dry part of the state where it was not possible to make a living on a homestead.  She remembered her parents sod house and gathering "Cow chips". i.e. dried manure, to burn during the winter.  She too went through school till about the fourth grade.


To them was first born a daughter, Opal, on June 10, 1909.  She died in 1931 with complications from appendicitis while she was pregnant with child.


Nina next bore twin sons who were still born.  I do not know the exact date, but believe it was the summer of 1910.  Later in 1910 they put all of their belongings in a wagon and headed north to Canada.  They then took a train west to Alberta where they homesteaded on wheat land.  In the winter of 1911, Thomas Jefferson Kilday, Herman's father, became ill, sent word to his eldest son that he was forgiven for his Mother's death, and asked him to return to Baileyton to take over his farm.  When Herman, Nina pregnant with my father, and Opal arrived several weeks later; Tom was better and told Herman he was neither forgiven or needed.


They remained in Baileyton with relatives until my father was born and old enough to travel. They returned to Kansas to live with Nina's parents and start again.  My grandfather helped with farming, broke horses, and drove busses in Fairbury and Lincoln, Nebraska before he moved to Esbon, Kansas to share crop on a small farm. During this time, two more sons were born, Buryle and Earl Leroy. Opal and Donald graduated from high school.  Herman then moved to a farm near Palmer, Nebraska owned by a Mr.Horace Weems who's ancestors were also from Greene County Tennessee.


Herman was preceded to the Palmer area by my father Donald, who had gone in 1932 to work for $5 per week on Mr. Weems ranch.  Herman share cropped and broke horses in the Palmer, Nebraska area until 1942 when he moved to Craig, Nebraska to share crop.  In 1945 his health became worse, he quit farming, and moved to Omaha where he did janitorial work while Nina became a cook in United Airlines commissary. In 1947 they moved to small towns west of Lincoln so Nina could continue working for United at the Lincoln airport while Herman ran small gas stations in Pleasanton and Milford.  His health continue to deteriorate, and they moved to a small home in Lincoln in 1952 where he lived until his death in 1954.  Nina continued to work, carrying trays for "older people" in a cafeteria until she was 80.  She lived to be 99 and only spent the last two months of her life in a rest home.