Where Did African Americans Live?
The Shores and Speese Families
Click on the magnifying glass or the image for more details. The Shores family near Westerville, Custer County, Nebraska, 1887. Pictured (l - r): Minerva (with the infant), Rev. Marks, Rachel and her husband Jerry and their son, Jim Shores. The younger members of the family were noted musicians.
Photo by Solomon Butcher.
The Jerry Shores family and their relatives the Speeses, lived near Westerville in Custer County. Jerry was a former slave. He took a claim adjacent to that of his brothers, Moses Speese and Henry Webb (each had taken the name of his former owner).
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Click on the magnifying glass or the image for more details. Moses Speese near Westerville, Custer County, Nebraska, 1888. Photo by Solomon Butcher.
Ava Speese Day, a relative of the Shores family, remembered hearing the story of her grandfather leading his family in search of land in Nebraska. He led the first black “emigrant train” to Cherry County. “He drove one of his three wagons,” Ava recounted years later. “His son Den drove another, and my mother Rosetta drove the third. She took care of her own team, greased the wagon wheels, and she was just turned 16.”
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