George Marvin Pendleton (1851 – )

”MARVIN, GEORGE PENDLETON, pioneer of Nebraska, editor of the Gage County Democrat, and Beatrice Daily Sun, was born at Shullsburg, Wis., Mar. 24, 1851. He is a son of J. J. and Elizabeth (Ware) Marvin, the former a native of New York and a lawyer by profession, the latter born in the fort at Galena, Ill., during the Black Hawk war.  Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Marvin removed from Wisconsin to Nebraska territory in Oct., 1859, settling first at Salem, Richardson county, and later moving to Falls City, where both died and are buried. George P. Marvin acquired his education in the public schools and in the printing office. He accompanied his parents to Nebraska in 1859, and from Falls City removed to Rulo, and later to Brownville, where he entered the office of the Nebraska Advertiser, living with the family of Editor Furnas during the war. Thomas R. Fisher was editor of the Advertiser while Furnas served in the army.

Mr. Marvin is a practical printer, and has been engaged as such in one capacity or another for nearly forty years. From 1865 to 1869 inclusive he was engaged in freighting upon the plains, as ‘bull whacker’ and ‘mule skinner.’ In 1879 he founded the Gage County Democrat, of which he has since been editor and publisher. He is at present printing the Democrat weekly, and the Beatrice Daily Sun every morning. Politically Mr. Marvin is an old line democrat, or, as he says, a ‘Morton democrat, who bolted when the pops took charge of the party.’ He was a delegate to the national convention that nominated Grover Cleveland for the first time, and was appointed postmaster at Beatrice during Cleveland’s second administration. He was a member of the Beatrice city council in 1892, was president of the council, and acting mayor for part of his term. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and of the Knights of Pythias. Mr. Marvin has had rather an active and adventuresome career, even for a pioneer. He has witnessed the changes of nearly half a century, which have been far more marked than is usual even in new communities.

He was a resident of Richardson county when the county seat was removed from Salem to Falls City in i860, and had personal knowledge of the killing of Dr. Davis by Thomas J. Meeks, who was in turn killed by Dr. Dunn. Dunn was a resident of Salem, and the Falls City people surrounded the hotel and were going to mob him, but he made his escape. Holbrook of Rulo was there as a friend of Davis, and while trying to make his escape was captured by the mob. Tesson, a French trader, with a Sac wife, at the head of a number of Sac and Fox Indians, threatened that if Holbrook was harmed they would bring over the Indians from Sactown, or Sauktown, two miles distant, and burn the town. These exciting events all occurred the same day. It was while he was employed upon the Advertiser at Brownville, during the war, that the raid was made upon ‘Johnnycake Ridge’ resulting in the capture of sixteen horse thieves at a singing school, by Lieutenant Murphy, of the 7th la., who confined his prisoners at Brownville. Mr. Marvin was on the ground a few minutes after the murder of Tobe Hanley in Todd’s field, west of Brownville, which event created no little excitement, even for a frontier town. In addition to crossing the plains several times as a teamster, Mr. Marvin worked upon the construction of the U. P. R. R., from Julesburg west, either in the grading camps or as a freighter of supplies, and was present at the exercises attending the driving of the last spike at Ogden. He carried the tickets from the Missouri river to Beatrice for the election of 1866, when Morton ran against Butler for governor. And altogether he has participated in the stirring events of the past forty years to as large a degree perhaps as any man now living.

Mr. Marvin was married at Falls City to Ann R. May, daughter of Rev. D. H. May, a pioneer Methodist Episcopal preacher in Nebraska, and the man who preached the first sermon in Beatrice, in 1856. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Marvin, three of whom are living: Francis, born Jan. 6. 1877; Earl Morton, born Jan. 17, 1884; and Paul Dwight, born July 9, 1885.”

Source:  Illustrated History of Nebraska, Vol. 1, by Julius Sterling Morton, Jacob North & Co., Lincoln, 1905, pages 701-2


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