March 16, 2015

Ulysses Sydney Grant Meek- son of Hiram and Mary Meek

Known as Grant Meek, this son of Hiram and Mary Batchelor Meek was born on August 9, 1871.  His father, a Civil War veteran, honored his Union leader, U. S. Grant, by naming this son after him.  Grant attended Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois, where his brother, Seth, was a professor at the time.

On December 2, 1896, Grant married Alda M. Fish, the daughter of Gabriel and Martha Fish, in Defiance, Ohio.  In the 1900 census, they were enumerated in Hicksville, Ohio with their son, Carl W. Meek, age 2, born July 1897. (Carl's actual name was Ulysses Carl.)  Around 1901, the family started their move west.  
The Hicksville Tribune reported on August 1, 1907:
"Mrs. M. G. Fish left for Harrisburg, Neb. Monday to visit her daughter and family, Mr. and Mrs. Grant Meek. She will remain about four weeks and then return with Mr. Fish, who is there now."

In the 1910 census of Long Springs, Banner County, Nebraska, Grant Meek, 38, a farmer, and Alda Meek, 32, and their child, Carl V. Meek,12, were listed. Living with them were a niece, Nellie Kincade, 6, and a hired man, Elmer R. Fletcher, 18.  The Hicksville newspaper again recorded this on September 8, 1910:
" Mrs. Martha Fish returned Wed. of last week from a three months visit with her daughter, Mrs. Grant Meek and husband in Nebrask.  She brought her little granddaughter, Nellie Kincade,home with her, she having been out there since early spring."

Alda Meek, however, was not well. In 1914, she came back to Ohio, according to the Hicksville paper, to "take treatments."  "She is in very poor health, but her relatives and friends are hopeful for a speedy recovery.  She stayed from January until March.

By 1920, Grant was elected a Commissioner for Banner County, Nebraska, and he was a successful farmer.  The Lincoln Star noted on October 23, 1927:
"Grant Meek, a heavy grower of Banner County, will realize $1800 from his bean crop. Two other heavy growers of he valley have received checks for $1700 each.  Mr. Meek had beans and grain side by side in the path of hail last summer.  He lost nearly all his grain by hail, while the beans remained intact."

Through the 1920 and 1930 censuses, Carl remained at home, single, and working with his father on the farm.  On August 24, 1918, he registered for the World War I draft as Ulysses Carl Meek, 21, born in Hicksville, Ohio, employed by Grant Meek.  His physical description included light blue eyes and dark hair.  In 1930, he was 32.

In 1932, a terrible tragedy happened when a murder - suicide occured.  The Kearney Daily Hub of June 6, 1932:
"Kimball, Neb. June 6.  
Grant Meek, Banner county pioneer, died in a hospital here early yesterday from gunshot wounds inflicted by his wife who afterwards killed herself.  Meek was shot at the family homestead near Harrisburg Saturday night. His wife fired as he entered the living room of the home, then reloaded the heavy gauge shotgun and turned the gun on herself.  Meek was conscious up until a few minutes before he died."

No one will ever know the motive, although some blamed it on a brain tumor for Alda.  Perhaps it was mental illness?  The bodies were discovered by son, Carl.

Carl eventually married Emma E. ? and moved to Oregon.  They had two daughters, Alda and Anna and Emma brought five children into the marriage.  The 1940 census of Wallowa, Oregon showed Carl Meek, 42, Emma Meek, 41, Alda A., 4 and Anna, 2, along with step-children, James H. Palmer 19, Frank C. Palmer, 18, Ronald R. Palmer, 17, Blanche H. Palmer, 14,and Ellen M. Palmer, 13.
Carl died at about 84 and is buried in Oregon. 

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