This is a look at the Johnson / Heffley Family history. I hope that this web page can become a collection of information and a resource for family and friends. I plan to update, and/or, correct this page as new information is discovered. Thanks for your help.

Web site manager:Eugene (Gene) D. Johnson, son of Ellsworth and Rowena Heffly Johnson, grandson of Adam LeRoy (Roy) and Wilhelmien (Minnie) Blum Heffley, g.grandson of Rudolph and Margaretha Intzen Blum, and g.g.grandson of John C. and Sophia Blumer Blum.
This page was last updated March 23, 2005

John C. Blum and Sophia Blumer were Grandmother Minnie Heffley's grandparents. "They had 15 children. Their son, Rudolph, married Margaretha (Maggie) Intzen (Grandmother Heffley's parents). Their children were Grandmother Heffley and Aunt Delia.

The following obituary for John C. Blum appeared in the Millard Courier Friday, August 11, 1916:


John C. Blum, Sr. Passed away August 1, 1916, after an illness of some length. The funeral was held Friday and burial was at Prospect Hill cemetery.

John C. Blum, Sr. was born in Brandenburg, Germany, November 30th, 1838, and was nearly 78 years old at the time of his death. He came to America in 1862, settling first in Illinois and from there going to Davenport, Iowa, where he was married to Sophia Blumer in 1865. They moved to a farm three miles west of Millard, Nebraska, in 1870 where he lived until 1901 when they moved to Millard.

Mr. And Mrs. Blum celebrated their golden wedding June 23, 1915. There union was blessed with fifteen children who are as follows:

Mrs. August Lachanska, Springfield
Mrs. Herman Bush, Washington
Mrs. William (Delia) Poppenhagen, Oakdale
Mrs. 0. Burrows, Central City
Mrs. J.R. Campbell, Minnesota
Mrs. P. Hartman
Mrs. Otto Schroeder, Millard
Rudolph, Chalco
Emil, Rushville
Albert, Millard
John, Jr., Millard
Chris, Springfield
Eighty eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren also survive Mr. Blum.

The following obituary for Sophia Blum appeared in the Waterloo Gazette September 16, 1921:


Mrs. Sophia Blum died at her Millard home Wednesday, September 7, 1921, after a short illness. She was 72 years, 4 months, and 25 days old at the time of her death.

Mrs. Blum was born in Germany and came to this country when a girl. She first arrived at Davenport, Iowa, where she married John C. Blum. They moved to Nebraska 52 years ago and have since resided at Millard. Mr. Blum died five years ago. Mrs. Blum was the mother of 15 children, twelve of whom survive. Also surviving her are forty-three grandchildren and 19 great- grandchildren... Interment was at the Allen cemetery.

The surviving children are:

Mrs. August Laschansky, Millard;
Mrs. Herman Bush, Washington;
Mrs. Will Poppenhagen, Central City;
Mrs. Oren Burroughs, Central City;
Mrs. John Roach, Minnesota;
Mrs. Pete Hartman, Millard;
Mrs. Otto Schroeder, Millard.

Grandmother Minnie Heffley was born Wilhelmien Blum, (1894 - 1984, at Chaico, Nebraska). Her Father was Rudolph Blum (1867 - 1945, born in Davenport, Iowa), the son of John C. Blum, (1865 - 1916, born in Brandensburg, Germany), and Sophia Blumer (1848 - 1921, born in Holstein, Germany). Her mother was Margaretha Intzen (1867 - 1921, born in Rendsburg, Germany).

The picture below is of the John C. and Sophia Blummer Blum family:

In regard to the pictue below:

John C. Blum is in this picture so it was taken before he died in 1916. Grandma Heffley would have been younger than 22 years old in that case. John and Sophie (the old couple) are sitting in the center of the picture. Directly behind John and Sophia stands Maggie Blum and directly behind her are her two daughters Delia and Minnie. Minnie is to her right. Rudolph Blum, Grandmother's father, is over on the right of the picture, he is the first male standing on the right side.

This picture is of John C. Blum holding great grandson Delbert Heffley:

The following are the death certificates for John C. and Sophia Blum:

I received the following letter from Lyle Popenhagen, son of Dela Blum Popenhagen, in January, 1985:

John and Sophia Blum were born and married in Germany dates and locations un-known. They came to America and located in Davenport, Iowa.

Among other children, Rudolph was born November 3, year un-known in Davenport. Margaretha Intzen was born in Rendsburg, Germany, December 18, year un-known and came to America at age 18.

Rudolph and Margaretha were married April 8, 1890. Their children were Minnie, Della who lived and Frieda who died at age 4. Then the family later moved to a farm near Millard, Nebraska.

The picture below left is of Rudolph and Magie Intzen Blum:
The picture below right is of Magie Intzen Blum, Minnie Blum Heffley, Rowena Heffley Johnson, and Patricia Johnson, four generations.

Rudolph Blum had a general store in Chalco along with a machine shop. The store was the location for the post office between 1894 and 1932. Reference the following letter from the Office of the Postmaster General:


Washington, DC 20260-0011

July 16, 1984

Dear Mr. Johnson:

Thank you for your letter of July 1, requesting information on the Chaico, Nebraska, Post Office, which was located in Rudolph Blum's store.

I am enclosing a list of the postmasters and their appointment dates for this office.

These are the only records we have on file, but site/location reports are available by writing to the National Archives and Records Service, ATTN: Postal History, General Services Administration, Washington, D.C. 20408. There is a fee of $6.00 for up to five copies of these reports.

I hope this is helpful.


Rita L. Moroney Research Administrator


The two documents below are reports filled out by Rudolph Blum in 1913 and submitted to the U.S. Post Office. The second one is a map that shows the location of the Post Office in his Gerneral Store.

The picture below shows the store and workshop where the Chalco post office was. The picture is a post card that was sent to Rowena Heffley, May 15, 1920, from her mother Minnie Heffley. The Card is addressed to Miss. Rowena Heffley, Stanton, Nebraska, post marked from Chalco. The writing on the back is as follows:
Dear Rowena,

I found this card after I wrote Delbert's so I will send it to you. This is Grandpa's store and machine shed. Do you remember it? It's taken a long time ago. That's little Eva Harder but she's as big as Delbert now. Be a good girl Dearie.

Love from,


Minnie was visiting her parents in Chalco from her home in Stanton. They lived on the second floor of the store. The entrance to their home was at the back of the store.

Here is a picture postcard that shows another view of Rudolph Blum's store in Chalco. This one was never sent.

Below is a picture post card from Maggie Blum to her gandson, Delbert Heffley. The card is post marked Gretna, Nebraska, August 14, 19?? (about 1916 before they moved to Stanton, Nebraska), and addressed to Master Delbert Heffley, Randolph, Nebraska, care of Roy Heffley. The writing on the back of the card reads as follows:
Dear Delbert, I am sending you a picture of grandpa (Rudolph Blum) standing on the wheel, Charlie Thaissen holding Dick and Jack, Arthur Weeth standing on the pipe. They are still hauling Pipe. How is sister? (Rowena) Why don't your Papa and Mama write? I am waiting for a letter. How is Ann? Love to all, answer soon, Grandma.

Below is a picture post card from Gertrude (I beleive this must be Gertrude Heffley a sister-in-law) to Mrs.Roy Heffley. The card is post marked Gretna, Nebraska, May 3, 1915, and addressed to Mrs.Roy Heffley (Minnie Blum Heffley), Randolph, Nebraska. The writing on the back of the card reads as follows:
Dearest Sis.

I never hear from you any more. How are the kiddies? Give them my love. I have a little suitcase for Delbert. Let me know what Rowena needs most and I'll send it in the suitcase. This is for her birthday. Will write a letter soon.

Your Sis, Gertrude

Below is a picture post card from Della Blum to her sister Mrs.Roy Heffley (Minnie Blum). The card is post marked Chalco, Nebraska, Aug. 14, 1917, and addressed to Mrs.Roy Heffley, Randolph, Nebraska. The writing on the back of the card reads as follows:
Dearest Babe and all.,

We received your letter this a.m. I am home now. Dearie, mama and papa are planning to leave here Thursday p.m. on #7. Or Friday sure, but I think Thursday if nothing serious prevents.

Please meet them.

The above may have been written just after Phyllis was born and the grandparents were going to Randolph to see the new babe.

The following obituary for Rudolph appeared in the Omaha World Herald May 23, 1945:

Blum, Rudolph, age 77 yers, 2819 Manderson Street, Survived by daughters, Mrs. Charles Popenhagen, Lincoln; Mrs. Roy Heffley, Stanton, Nebraska; brothers, Albert, Millard; Chris, Springfield; sisters: Mrs. Lucy Popenhagen, Ashley, Nebraska; Mrs. Dora Roach, Campbell, Minnesota; Mrs. Amanda Hartman, Campbell, Minnesota; Mrs. Minnie Burroughs, Central City; Mrs. Anna Schroder, Millard: 5 grand children; 3 great-grandchildren. Interment, Voss-Mohr Cemetery, Millard.

The following obituary for Maggie Intzen Blum appeared in the Douglas County Gazette, Waterloo, Nebraska, October 30, 1942:

Mrs. Maggie Blum, wife of Rudolph Blum of Omaha, Died at an Omaha hospital Tuesday, October 20, 1942, after an illness of seven weeks. She was born in Germany on December 18, 1867, was 74 years of age. She came to America when 18 years of age and for 48 years they lived at Chalco, before moving to Omaha in 1938. Mr. and Mrs. Blum celebrated their golden wedding in 1941. While residing at Chalco, she was a member of St. Paul Lutheran church and Aid society at Millard. Besides her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Chas. Poppenhagen of Lincoln and Mrs. Roy Heffley of Stanton. She is also survived by five grand children and three great grandchildren, and by two sisters, Mrs. Minnie Bowles of Omaha and Mrs. Dora Bokman of Germany. Funeral services were held Friday afternoon at the Crosby-Meyer mortuary inh Omaha, and interment was in the Voss-Mohr cemetery, near Millard. Among those from a distance attending the service were Mr. and Mrs. Orren Burroughs of Central City and Mr. and Mrs. Herman Poppenhagen of Stanton

The following are the death certificates for Rudolph and Maggie Blum:

Here are some additional picture postcards of the rail road work being done at the Chalco terminal: