THOSE AUDACIOUS MEEHANS
Dennis Meehan became DeWitty's second postmaster in 1916 and promptly renamed the town Audacious, saying that “the people were audacious for having settled there.” (Perkey’s Names of Nebraska Locations).
The DeWitty name has withstood the test of time, but the Meehan’s will forever hail from Audacious.
Those Audacious Meehans is the story of my paternal family.
Our matriarch, Hester, was of African descent and orphaned by age eight. Our patriarch, Charles, was of Jewish/German descent but passed as Irish. He was abandoned as an infant. Hester and Charles met as children in the Elgin Settlement, near Chatham, Ontario, AKA the Black Man's Paris.
. Our earliest known family story originates from a burning ship in Charleston Harbor in 1821. By 1843 we were pioneers in Ontario's Queen's Bush. In 1859 an Anderson cousin and abolitionist joined John Brown at Harpers Ferry. When 1885 dawned we were Nebraska Homesteaders and part of a core group whose small town became known as the "longest lasting and most successful African American settlement in rural Nebraska."
We represent many families and communities that are irrevocably bound. Those Audacious Meehans seeks to highlight and credit each family/community as the Meehan story unfolds.
All photographs and documents are from the collection of Catherine Meehan Blount
unless otherwise noted.
Charles and Hester Freeman Meehan, 1898. Both were 42 years old.
Livas (Joseph) Anderson (abt. 1785 to before 1881). Livas, Hester's maternal grandfather, jumped from a ship in Charleston Harbor, SC in 1821.
This copy of the picture of Black Nebraska Homesteaders is from the collection of William Meehan and colorized (attempted) using MyHeritage.
Record of the marriage of Hester Freeman Meehan's parents, Robert & Catherine Anderson Freeman. They married in 1850 when living in the Queen's Bush. "Lyvis" Anderson was the witness.
Please see Associated Families for additional family trees.
Catherine Meehan Blount
Dedicated to the life and legacy of my grandparents,
Charles Henry Meehan
Hester Catherine Freeman Meehan
Those Audacious Meehans Blog
(most recent post on top)
Anderson and Freeman Families
This is DeWitty as I saw it in 2016. The peace and beauty of the Sandhills enthralled me. Learn more about and visit the Nebraska Sandhills. https://www.midwestliving.com/travel/nebraska/the-definitive-guide-to-visiting-the-nebraska-sandhills/
Dad laughed and said they renamed the town Audacious because of him. Learn more bout this unique piece of Nebraska's history at Nebraska Stories.
** Do you have a Meehan family story? Share it here.
** Our family history for children.
Want to share your thoughts? Send me a message. I would love to hear from you. I invite comments, suggestions, and corrections.
Let me know if and how you are connected to Charles and Hester. Family is important, and everyone's individual voice should be, too!
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Those Audacious Meehans is dedicated to my paternal family.
This delineation of family surnames includes immediate
and associated families.
I welcome comments or questions about both paternal and maternal family history.
The story of my maternal family is told in my book, Remnants of Forgotten Folk: The Sammons-Handsor Cemetery which can be found on Amazon.
Those Audacious Meehans
All pictures used on this site are the property of Catherine Meehan Blount unless otherwise noted. Other images are used with permission.
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