It was sixty years ago that Tom and Eva Galey pulled up stakes from their farm near the Colacino Supper Club east of Chadron, Nebraska, and made their way about 15 miles to the west near Whitney. Little could anyone have known that the Galey family, which originally rented their new farm a mile or so east of Whitney, would eventually buy the place and transform it into a successful operation.
And that transformation came alive last weekend (8/3/14) as Bob Galey and his wife, Naomi, were inducted into the Dawes County Agriculture Hall of Fame. Bob is the sole remaining son of Tom and Eva Galey. The event took place in the grandstand at the Dawes County Fairground on opening day of the Dawes County Fair, and long-time newspaperman Con Marshall crafted the following story about Bob and Naomi’s selection to the Hall of Fame.
Nothing has come easy for Bob and Naomi Galey, but they have worked hard and persisted while farming and ranching a mile east of Whitney. Both agree they have had a good life.
Both are lifelong
residents. Bob was born in Chadron and grew up on a
dairy farm about two miles east of Chadron that his parents, James (Tom) and
Eva Galey, rented. Naomi was born and
raised in Crawford. Her parents were
Lloiyd and Ila Belle Sibert. Her father
was a well-known welder. Dawes
After graduating from
in 1953, Bob went to work at Prey Chevrolet in Chadron as a mechanic. In 1954, the Galey family that included six
children moved to what was known as the Norland farm along Chadron High School White
River, where Bob and Naomi now live. It initially had beenrented by Eva Galey’s
parents, Rayburn and Margaret Cunningham, and later by their son, also named
Rayburn, and his wife Bess. When the
younger Cunninhams moved to Washington
state, the Tom Galey family took over the operation.
Tom Galey died of a heart attack in 1958. Bob soon quit his job at the garage and joined his mother inoperating the farm. In 1962, Bob and Naomi were married and took over the place while Eva returned to teaching, which she had done before she was married.
In 1972, Bob and Naomi purchased the farm from the Norland family. By then, Bob also was working as a machinist at the Chicago and North Western Railroad roundhouse in Chadron. He had worked there more than 20 years when it closed in 1990. After their daughters graduated from
High School, Naomi began working at
the in 1983. She took a new job in the Treasurer’s Office
at the Dawes County Courhouse in 1991 and worked there until retiring in 2000. Chadron Hospital
Besides operating their farm, Bob has managed two neighboring places for more than 20 years. One is owned by Mike Cartwright and his two sisters, and the other by the Schmecel family.
Cartwright said he and the Galeys have no written contract, just a verbale agreement that has remained unchanged. “I don’t count the bales, I don’t need to see the weight tickets, and I never know how many cows Bob is running in my pastures. I trust him completely and he knows how to make it work. Besides cattle, we raise a lot of whitetail deer.”
The Galeys and two
County ranches who form the Soldier
Creek Grazing Association also run cattle on the Wood Reserve north of . Their cows survived the 1989 fire there, and
the Galeys also bounced back after their house was flood by Fort Robinson White
River in 1991. They are
active in the ;
he’s served on the Whitney School Board and the Whitney Pipeline Board
“forever” (in his words). The couple
bowled together for years, and nowadays he plays golf and she plays bridge. Whitney
Bob and Naomi have two daughters. Linda and her husband, John Turnbull, live in Whitney and work at the Crow Butte Resources uranium mine. Brenda moved to
about 20 years ago, has a job in technology, and says she plans to remain
there, although she retains her U.S.
citizenship. Bob and Naomi have visited
Brenda in Australia
(Thanks to Con Marshall for providing the above story about Bob and Naomi!)