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Birth: 17 Feb 1932, Benton County, IN: Bk H20A/2
Death: 17 Jun 2017, Crete, Saline Co, NE
Burial: Pleasant Hill Cemetery
Home: rural Crete, Saline Co, NE
Education: Gilboa HS, Benton Co, IN, class of 1950
Father: Perry Elmer Garriott
[DG photo of Joanna 18]
[DG photo of three sisters, about 1985: Lulu, Betty, and Joanna]
Marriage: 14 Jun 1958, Elizabethtown, Hardin Co, Kentucky
2nd Spouse: Warren Harding CERNY
Birth: 5 Nov 1920, Saline County, NE
Death: 11 Nov 2010, Saline Co, NE- age 90
Occupation: Farmer, Swine breeder
Military: US Army, WW2: Private, stationed Hawaii/Mariana Islands, 1942-45
Father: Henry E Cerny (1880-1972)
Mother: Frances Andelt (1897-1997)
CHILDREN: Joanna and Warren had four children:
09----MARC WARREN CERNY;
09----JON STEVEN CERNY;
09----LISA ANN CERNY; and
09----KENT PATRICK "PAT" CERNY.
Joanna graduated from high school only a couple
months before her father died and she stayed home
with her mother for a year after his death. Joanna
worked for eight years at the Yorkshire Club in
1ST MARRIAGE: Joanna first married Ralph Wyatt
WILLIAMS [b. 2 Jan 1929, Benton Co, IN], son of
Walter S Williams and Gayle Anderson. They married
on 13 Jul 1952, when Ralph was in the US Army, at
Bethany Chapel, Benton Co, IN-- license issued
Tippecanoe Co, IN: Bk 68/194. They lived briefly at
Ft Hood, Bell Co, TX before he was sent to Germany.
They divorced in 1957, no issue.
2ND MARRIAGE: Warren was a Nebraska farmer
who had a reputation for raising purebred Yorkshire
swine breeding stock. They purchased a farm in Nebraska where they lived. [Joanna Garriott Cerny]
1930 Pleasant Hill Precinct, Saline Co, NE census: has (all but Henry b. NE) Henry Cerny 37, b. OK, Farmer-Gen Farm; Francis Cerny 33; Irene Cerny 14; Harold Cerny 12; Helen Cerny 11; Warren Cerny 9; Louise Cerny 6; Ruth Cerny 3-11/12; Francis Cerny 1-11/12; and John Henry Cerny 8/12.
1940 Pleasant Hill Precinct, Saline Co, NE census: has (all b. NE) Henry E Cerny 47, Farmer; Frances Cerny 43; Harold E Cerny 22, Farm Laborer-Farming; Warren W Cerny 19, Farm Laborer-Farming; Louise E Cerny 15; Ruth M Cerny 13; Frances F Cerny 11; John H Cerny; and James F Cerny 6.
1898 LAND PATENT: [Homestead Certificate #2802, Application 3189, Oklahoma Territory, dated 19 Jan 1898 by William McKinley, President, recorded Vol. 28/288] John Cerny was granted a land patent, [Northeast Quarter of Section Thirty-one in Township 12 North of Range five West of Indian Meridian in Oklahoma Territory], Containing one hundred and sixty acres.
1917 OBITUARY: Joan Cerny, 85, of Crete, passed away June 17, 2017. She was born February 17, 1932, in Benton County Indiana to Perry and Iva (Blankenship) Garriott. Survivors include her children, Marc Cerny of Crete, Jon (Carol) Cerny of Bancroft, Lisa (Lee) Krasser of Crete, Pat (Cindy) Cerny of Lincoln; 10 grandchildren and five siblings. She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Warren Cerny; grandson Kyle Cerny and six siblings.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 am on Thursday, June 22, at Kuncl Funeral Home in Crete. Visitation will be from 5-8 on Wednesday at the funeral home. Interment will be at Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Memorials to the Dorchester United Methodist Church or the Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department. [Crete News & Cindy Cerny]
BIOGRAPHY: [The following article was provided by Kent Patrick and Cindy Cerny about his great-grandfather, John Cerny, published in the Crete (NE) News 1958]
Old Gun Helps Refresh Memories of Cherokee Strip: John Cerny seeing his 10 gauge shotgun for the first time in years, smiled and looked over the gun carefully. It was his best friend on the Cherokee strip run when a greeting was "Get off this land or I'll shoot you."
At 91, Cerny relives his adventures over and over again in his memory but hadn't seen his gun in years. He fingered the barrel affectionately, then aimed it. the gun was tucked away in the attic until his daughter-in-law got it out for him to see. "It seems heavier now."
Cerny looks like any retired farmer to boys who see him on the street. But he could tell them true stories that would raise their hair. Cerny lived in the days of rough, tough Oklahoma which boys, nowadays, see on TV. At 21, several gunmen had said, "I'll shoot you," and meant it. And he has several scars to show that he did.
Bullet clips his tongue: A bullet went through his chin and clipped his tongue in one incident. "I haven't talked as plain since. It may be hard to understand me," he apologized. Cerny both homesteaded and ran the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma back in the 1880's. With his future brother-in-law, Joe Caha, he went by covered wagon from Schuyler, (Colfax Co) NE. "We just looked around after Nebraska harvest was done in 1888.
Coming back through Kansas on election day they found democrats, a bunch of boys whooping and yelling for Cleveland. It's one of his favorite stories. He weathered the December 1888 blizzard in Schuyler but January 1889 found him back in Oklahoma trying to homestead. The state was overrun with "sooners" (those on the land without owner's rights). Cerny homesteaded in 1889 but lost it. "Too many people fighting for it." One incident: "I had taken my girl (his future wife) buggy riding, returned home and was reading. I was sitting in my cabin when some men came.
"Get out or we'll hang you!" They had a rope. I didn't move. There were three men. The last one in the door said, "Shoot that SOB!" I jumped up, knocked over the table to grab his gun. I shot one man through the stomach and arm, another ran away. They were shooting too. One of the shots knocked off my first ringer, another bullet ripped up my right arm. The third man had gotten outside to wait for me to come out. My right arm was useless, I was shooting with my left hand. One of the men had a "Captain Bull." I had a Colt 45. The man outside was nervous and didn't shoot right away."
"I kicked the door open and started shooting. My gun jammed and that's when he got me with a Winchester rifle, right through the chin. The bullet tickled my tongue on both sides and took part of it off as it passed through. The man I shot in the stomach was the only one I was ever scared of."
Right after the opening of the Cherokee Strip (free Indian land in Eastern Oklahoma) at noon, 1893, he and his brothers staked their claim. "We set our tent at the corner where all four sections met They left me to guard while they went to stake their claims" The next morning he saw some cowboys coming. "I heard them shouting and came out with my shotgun."
"We'll hang you or skin you." An invitation to give up the claim. Cerny brandished his double barrel shotgun. "Get out or you're a dead dog! I told them. They turned and left. Later I got scared." The old homesteader could tell his adventures all afternoon. Like this one.
"One day after we made our garden the neighbor boys were practicing shooting steers. I ordered them to get their steers off our garden." A man who was a gambler told me, " Watch a man's eyes, they give him away." This man had eyes like lightning. He meant to kill. He called me a name and said he'd kill me. A long time later he was the man I shot in the stomach and he shot me. A neighbor widower had two boys who were mean. " We were breaking prairie. The boys came over and pointed to another neighbor planting corn. "See them guys," he said, "I'm going over and call them----- and if they do anything I'll kill them."
"We had just finished a corn row. I didn't bother with a holster, but started to warn them. The boys lifted a Winchester, "You lift that gun and you're dead." My brother-in-law grabbed his hand. "I said let that gun loose," and hit him on the head. We both fell. The guy couldn't fight much and I gave him a good lesson. We threw him over the fence and came with a spring wagon and took him to the Dr. Later he came back to claim the Winchester and revolver.
Cerny married Ann Dolesal, August 10 1891. Her father bought land for her brothers and sent her with them to Oklahoma to cook for them. "That's where I met her." The family came from Pleasant Hill.
After he lost his homestead (another man had a better claim), he bought a farm 1-1/3 miles south of Yukon for $1200. Later he sold it for $3600 and now it's worth $35,000. "I was married when I gave up the homestead-- my wife didn't want a lawsuit and was scared for my life." He paid for the farm and got his citizenship papers the same year-- he was 23.
In 1898 they came home, shotgun carefully tucked under his arm as they slept on the train. He bought a farm south of Dorchester, farmed there until he retired to Wilbur, Feb 1928, and since the death of his wife, two years ago, has lived with his son John jr in Crete and his daughters, Mrs Ed Fritz in Wilber, another and another daughter, Mrs Gilbert Slepieka and son, Henry, live in Dorchester.
A native Czech, he came to Schuyler with his mother when he was 14. Now at 91-1/2 he depends on his memories and television for entertainment. His favorite programs, Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, Sgt Preston, Annie Oakley, are mild in comparison to the real thing. "I can just sit and think of my adventures, and I relive them over again." But he's abandoned his $18 shotgun, once his friend. "I wouldn't shoot it out now. Too much kick."