|My great-grandfather, William Marcy HELM, was shot to death from ambush near Lisco (at that time Deuel County), NE, December 19, 1895. He would have been 36 if he had lived just one more day.
Will was born December 20, 1859, Albany, OR. His family lived in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA until about 1871, when they moved to Denton County, TX. He married Helen Almira PIERCE (dau of George A. and Ann Eliza [ALDRICH] PIERCE) in Box Butte County, NE, January 01, 1889.
-William LeRoy (known as "Roy")
-Edith Winifred (known as "Winifred" or "Winnie")
One author of Western Nebraska history called my great-grandfather "Texas Bill" HELM but, to my family, he has always been "Will." It is also possible that, when young, he went by his middle name, Marcy. That name appears first on the backs of the photos I have of him.
He is said to have been a crack shot and had a shoot-first-ask-questions-later kind of temperament that did not make him popular with his neighbors. He'd been tried and acquitted for shooting a man in Nebraska, and one contemporary newspaper report says he was rumored to have killed a man in Texas and may have used the name HUDSON for a time. I don't know whether this report had any factual basis or was just editorial speculation of the kind so popular in the 1890s press.
My father knew Will's younger brother, Lawrence Stern HELM, Jr., slightly. My grandmother always called him "Uncle Stern," so it is likely that he went by the name "Stern," rather than "Lawrence."
Will's widow, Helen, later married John ("Johnnie" or "Johnny") MARTIN, Jr., who ranched nearby, most likely after 1900. Their children (all of whom were known by their middle names) were:
•Vera Helen MARTIN
•John Arno MARTIN
•Charles Cecil MARTIN
•Thelma Rosemary MARTIN
My father always thought of Johnnie MARTIN as his grandfather, and called him "Grandpa Johnnie."
>>~~~~> I'm particularly interested in learning where Will HELM was and what he did between the time his family moved to Denton County, TX (Abt. 1871) and the time he married Helen PIERCE in Nebraska (1889). <~~~~<<
I'm always willing to share what I know about the HELMs. If you have reliable information about any individuals mentioned here, please e-mail me!
|William Marcy Helm
Updated September 19, 2008
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