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Submitted by Duard Dempster
Philo grove was born to James M. Grove and Mary Alice Galyean Grove on March 13, 1876 at Bluffton, Indiana, Wells County and died October 20, 1944. He was born in a log cabin.
In 1886, he came with his parents to Nebraska and lived a year northeast of Ewing in Antelope County then moving to the homestead of his parents northeast of where Orchard now is. He attended school at Pleasant Valley.
The family returned to Indiana in 1894 where he worked on the railroad and in the oil fields returning to the Nebraska homestead in 1896, which is still owned by members of the family. On June 4, 1899 he married Bertha Ellen Geers, she was born September 19, 1879 and died October 11, 1976. She was the daughter of William and Melvina Geers and attended Pleasant Valley School.
They often recalled the 1887 diphtheria that struck the Raeser family which took seven of their children in ten days. They are buried in Pleasant Valley cemetery.
They remembered well the blizzard of 1888. Philo was home alone when the storm struck. He thought of starting to his Uncle’s a mile away but decided to stay and carry in wood. His folks arrived home from the Uncles by the horses finding the way.
They farmed and lived on the homestead. They took an active part in Pleasant Valley District #76 School. Philo was Director many years. Teachers were always anxious to stay in their home. Bertha’s cooking, hospitality and good nature made their home a chosen place.
They were active members of the First Church in Pleasant Valley. The first year Mr. Grove was in Nebraska the family harvested thirty five acres of oats with the grain cradle. The uncle did the cradling, Philo did the ricking, his father bound it and the women shocked it. The preparing of the ground, the planting and harvesting of crops with horse drawn machinery required many hours of hard labor. They lived to see many new modern methods of farming.
Laundry was done by heating water in a boiler on a cook stove then putting it in a tub. Clothes were rubbed clean on a wash board with homemade soap
They took their wheat to Herings Mill north of Royal to be ground for flour. They saw the development of towns, the building of railroads, the first telephones, the radio, television, electric appliances, improved farm machinery and more use of cars.
In 1918 due to the health of Mr. Grove the family moved to Orchard where they were active in Church and Community. Mr. Grove was Superintendent of Sunday School for many years and Church Trustee. Mrs. Grove took an active part in Church and Aid. She was often called upon to bake rolls and buns. She pieced and quilted beautiful quilts. She sewed for four generations.
Mr. Grove worked for the Farmers Union of which he became manager in 1922. Later they owned and operated a grocery store, later an Insurance Agency and kept busy with their farms. He was active in Boy Scouts, a member of I.O.O.F. and Masonic Lodges and both were members of Rebekah and Eastern Star Lodges.
Both had time to assist friends and be a friend at all times. The winter of 1937 heavy snow blocked roads and they provided food and shelter for eleven teenagers for three weeks.
The State purchased land from the Grove family to develop a Lake. The family suggested they name it Grove Lake. In July 1951, the Game Forestration and Parks Commission selected the name of “Grove Lake” the most appropriate name in honor of Philo Grove a Nebraska Pioneer and a lifelong conservationist.
Three daughters were born to Philo and Bertha, Vera Deahn (1900), Carrie Alice (1902), and Esther Mae (1906).
Miss Vera Deahn Grove was born January 1900 in Antelope County near Orchard on the homestead. She graduated from High school, earned a Teachers Certificate and taught two years in Antelope County. She worked one year in the Union Store in Orchard, moving to Wayne, Nebraska in 1922 where she was associated with the Student Supply Store just off the College Campus. She retired in 1970 to her home in Wayne, Nebraska and has kept in contact with the many friends she made while at the store. She is a member of the United Methodist Church in Orchard having taught Sunday school Class in Orchard before moving to Wayne.