Francis Rudoph Reiter

1856 - 1940

Pioneer Carpenter

Francis Reiter and Nels Dristy Photo
On left with partner Nels Dristy
Hamilton County Nebraska
circa 1880s
"During the years some of the family had moved about in the state, and Francis R., the fourth son, who was a carpenter by trade, arrived in that part of Illinois where the Hadlock family lived and met and married Elizabeth E. Hadlock, the youngest daughter of the Willard Hadlock family.  In their westward travels the two families (Reiter and Hadlock) arrived about the same time in the vicinity of a small town now known as Phillips, Nebraska. At that time Aurora was the end of the line of the Burlington R.R. 

I do not know when the first members of either family arrived in Nebraska nor how they came to settle in the same community, but they were all there when my parents arrived in January, 1884.  I do not believe the two families had known each other before their arrival in Nebraska.  I do know that my mother had never met any of my father’s people before their marriage. 
Soon the railroad entended westward and having known in advance it would pass that place, business men began to build stores and saloons and even a bank and hotel.  My father (Francis R. Reiter), being a carpenter, soon had plenty of work.  He built the first houses and later both the churches and the school house. He built a house for himself, and we lived in it until we moved to the farm in 1891. 

During the last year of his life my father (Francis R. Reiter) often called to mind the way they lived in his childhood; how his mother spun and wove the cloth from which their clothing was made; how he and his brothers went hunting for squirrels and other game in the woods that surrounded the clearing in which they lived.  They also gathered wild fruits in season, and after the first frosts, when the nuts were falling, they gathered a big supply for winter.  Though they lived on the frontier, his was a happy childhood." 

-Excerpt from The Reiter & Hadlock Families, a typescript by Bessie Reiter Sorenson, circa 1950.
Aurora Republican Register 
Aurora, Nebraska
18 October 1940 

Frank Reiter Of
Phillips Dies

   News reached Aurora friends
Thursday morning of the death
of Frank R. Reiter, Phillips pioneer
carpenter and farmer, who retir- 
ed in 1911. Death occurred at the
home in that town the night be- 
fore.  Mr. Reiter had been in ill 
health for an extended period of 
time, and it had been known that 
his extreme age would not permit 
his recovery.  He was one of the 
early settlers, coming to Phillips 
in 1884, when the town was being
built, and in which he had a part. 
During his active years he had a 
part in many community enter- 
prises.  He was 84 years of age. 

   Mr. Reiter is survived by three
daughters: Mrs. H. A. Lacy of
Scottsbluff; Mrs. Elmer Johnson, 
of Lewellen, Nebr., and Mrs. W. 
I. Sorensen, of Phillips. There are 
also a large number of grandchil- 
dren, great grandchildren and other
relatives.  The body will rest 
at the Peterson Funeral Home in
Aurora until time for the services 
at the Methodist church in Phil- 
lips next Sunday afternoon.  The
obituary will appear in next 
week’s paper.

 [NOTE:  A search of the following week’s paper did not reveal a subsequent obituary.] 

Last Updated 5 April, 2005