Sunday, June 10, 2018

Bob Galey returns to the Railroad....for a day of memories!

The fellow in the red ball cap on this "Iron Horse" diesel is the son of the cowboy atop a horse at the very top of this website.

Standing on the front of the old diesel with other C&NW railroad veterans, 82-year-old Bob Galey is still farming east of Whitney on the same place his parents, Tom and Eva Galey, leased and farmed until Tom died in 1958.  That's Tom Galey, Sr. on the horse.  And while Bob's three brothers – Tom, Bud, and Gary – pursued careers elsewhere, Bob remained on the farm, eventually marrying Naomi Sibert of Crawford and buying the farm.  And that's where they raised their daughters, Brenda and Linda.  

Bob's older brother, Tom, made a career as a Navy SeaBee and retired with his family to Lubbock, Texas, where he died in 2006.  A younger brother, Bud, was a true cowboy and worked in the Nebraska Sandhills, providing for his family as a ranch foreman until his death in 1996.  Another younger brother, Gary, served a stint in the Navy before settling in Crawford, Nebraska, where he raised his family while working and then retiring from Kansas-Nebraska Natural Gas Company and operating a grocery store for several years.  Younger sister, Margaret Galey, who worked many years at Chadron State College, is retired and lives in Lansing, Michigan.  Younger sister, Karen Miller,  retired after working as a Medical School secretary in Pennsylvania and now lives in Spearfish, South Dakota.  You'll find other bits and pieces of information about the family elsewhere on this website.

Despite maintaining and expanding the farm, Bob Galey also had others jobs over the years.  Perhaps the most important one was working for the Chicago & Northwestern Railway in Chadron.  Working as a Machinist's Helper beginning in 1969, he toiled in the old roundhouse the better share of 20 years until  his retirement from C&NW in 1989.

When the Chicago & Northwestern Historical Society decided to hold their annual meeting in Rapid City, they elected to spend one day in Chadron, visiting the old roundhouse and the Dawes County Museum.  About a dozen or so "old-timers" were recruited to host the conference attendees, answering questions they might have about the place they all worked many years ago.

Other railroaders in the roundhouse photograph above (left-to-right) are:  Tom Pfister, Bing Decker, Neal Soester, Bob Galey, Vince Hill, and Jay Loghry.

While at the museum, Bob also re-visited the Galey Family tile  (shown at left) commemorating their support of the Dawes County Museum when it was under construction.  "Selling" tiles to be exhibited on the museum floor – and some on the walls – was one of many fundraising initiatives shortly after the museum moved to its present location south of Chadron.  Click on the photo to take a closer look.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Family and friends say good-bye to Kenny Kritenbrink

A Cunningham family cousin, Kenny Kritenbrink, of Chadron, Nebraska, was laid to rest today (Monday, October 31, 2016) at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, South Dakota.

Kenny passed away at the Veteran's Center at Fort Meade, South Dakota on October 16 at the age of 82.  Although he had been in failing health for some time, it was only in the last few weeks that his mobility was impaired to the point that he was unable to get out and have coffee with friends and family.  He had joined many Cunningham and Galey family relatives just last summer at Wilson Park in Chadron for a Galey family reunion.

There was a huge turnout for Kenny's service at Chamberlain Chapel in Chadron on Saturday, October 29 -- with standing room only.

Kenneth Kepple Kritenbrink was born August 4, 1934 at Whitney, Nebraska to Abram (Abe) and Geraldine (Cunningham) Kritenbrink. His maternal grandparents were Rayburn and Margaret Cunningham.  Railroading was in Kenny's blood.  His father was a railroader.  His grandfather was a railroader.  And his leaf didn't fall far from their tracks.  He was a railroader with the Chicago and North Western Railway System for some 42 years.

Read Kenny Kritenbrink's obituary.  For a few family photographs, visit our Galey Gallery.  

During the inurnment ceremony at the Fort Meade National Cemetery this morning, it seemed almost a bit of divine intervention that the haunted strains of a train whistle could be heard from the railroad tracks behind the cemetery.

All Aboard for Kenny's final destination:  The Pearly Gates.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Galey family gathers in Chadron, Nebraska for reunion

Although a smaller turnout than hoped for, Galey family members from California, Arizona, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska attended a family reunion at Wilson Park in Chadron, Nebraska last week (June 18-19, 2016). We definitely missed our "Texas contingent," which -- like all things Texan -- would likely have been the largest group! All the Galey "cousins" here are descended from Elisha & Eliza Galey, with a smattering of Cunningham cousins descended from Rayburn & Margaret Cunningham. To learn who all these folks are -- and enjoy a few other snapshots -- visit our Galey Reunion - 2016 photo gallery.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

They're all Galeys!
Join us for a gathering of Galey cousins this summer in Nebraska!
We're in the thick of planning for a Galey Family Reunion this summer in Chadron, Nebraska.  The dates are Saturday & Sunday, June 18-19, 2016, and we hope you'll join us for the fun, food, and festivities of a good old-fashioned family reunion!

Most importantly at this point:  Let us know you're planning to come.  Please RSVP by May 15, 2016 to Karen (Galey) Miller at 605-484-7808.

From Washington and California to Texas and Indiana and other points "back east," there are Galey family members all across the country.  For many years, of course, our Galey clan lived in Missouri, Nebraska, and Montana, so we're going "back home" -- sort of in the middle of all this geography -- and we hope you'll make plans to join us.

We'll gather in Wilson Park in Chadron for a hearty lunch, which will be catered by the Country Kitchen resaturant.  It's $13 per person, which includes lunch, dessert, and drinks.

The real fun, of course, will be catching up with Galey cousins from..... well..... everywhere!

Have photos or other Galey family momorabilia?  Bring it along and share with your Galey family!

Watch this site for more information about the Galey Family Reunion!


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Early Cunningham family photo found in California collection

Thanks to Peggy Mosher Sciarillo of Huntington Beach, California, for sharing this wonderful old photo of the Alfred V. Cunningham family, taken in about 1889 -- probably in front of their home in Trumbull or Giltner, Nebraska.  

Parents Alfred and Mary Jane Cunningham are seated.  The oldest boy (standing at left) is Rayburn.  Clarence is on his father's lap, while Lawson is on his mother's lap.  The note on the back of the picture states that Rayburn and Clarence were born in Onargo, Illinois, while Lawson was born in Trumbull, Nebraska.  

Both Giltner and Trumbull are in Hamilton County, just a few miles southeast of Hastings, Nebraska.  For a closer look at this and other Galey and Cunningham family photos, visit our Photo Gallery.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Galeys named to Dawes County Agriculture Hall of Fame

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 Dawes County 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.

After graduating from Chadron High School 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 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 Crawford High School, Naomi began working at the Chadron Hospital 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.

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 Sioux County ranches who form the Soldier Creek Grazing Association also run cattle on the Wood Reserve north of Fort Robinson.  Their cows survived the 1989 fire there, and the Galeys also bounced back after their house was flood by White River in 1991.  They are active in the Whitney Methodist Church; 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.

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 Australia 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 three times.

(Thanks to Con Marshall for providing the above story about Bob and Naomi!)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Warren Galey documented the Galey family

When we first started tracking the Galey family many years ago, one of the first "cousins" we came to know was Warren Galey of Tell City, Indiana, who was also engaged in researching Galey genealogy.

Warren Galey (1922-2014)
Our correspondence wasn't frequent, but we soon learned that Warren had a wealth of information about the Galey family out of Indiana -- whence came the Nebraska Galeys.  In fact, he had published a 126-page lineage report about the Galey family.  It was -- and remains -- a valuable resource for anyone doing research about the Galey clan.

We were sorry to get a report this week about the passing of Warren a few months ago.  We had not been in touch with him for the past couple of years.  He died in his home at Tell City at age 91.  

Our condolences to Warren's wife, Shirley, and three children.  We are incorporating his full obituary below.  We were fortunate enough to have visited with Warren and his wife Shirley back in April of 2006.  We've posted a few pictures from that event.  You'll find them  in our Galey Photo Gallery.