Deuel County Families Receive 2023 Aksarben Farm Family Awards – Chappell Register

Deuel County 2023 Pioneer Farm Families - Honoring 100 Years:

Mauser Family Farm - In 1881 Gottlob Christian Mauser left Unterbruden, Warttemberg, Germany for America. He settled briefly in Waco, NE before taking up a homestead in Deuel County Nebraska in 1898.

After arriving in Nebraska, Gottlob worked as a blacksmith, a trade he learned from his father. He also engaged in agriculture which included primarily cattle, hogs, and horses and expanded to crop farming. Over time, Gottlob transferred some of his land to his three sons Otto, Charlie, and Benjamin. The land was then transferred to Harold Mauser and Murl Mauser, sons of Benjamin.

Currently the fourth generation of the family, Kent Mauser, son of Muri Mauser, and Darrell Zorn, son-in-law of Harold Mauser own the land with Darrell still living on the original homestead.

Freeman /Paulsen Family Farm - In 1905, George and Marie Freeman moved to Deuel County from Huntley, NE. They settled 4 miles south of Chappell where they built a house, barn, and a granary. They farmed the land and harvested many bushels of wheat.

Longing for a place to run cattle, George and Marie sold this land in 1915 and purchased a ranch 7 miles southeast of Chappell. This land is still in the family today. There were no improvements on the place, so the family started over again to build up the site. A small building was erected for the family to live in while the house was being built. George built another large barn with a hay loft. George broke the land for crops and later irrigation was added. Cattle soon became an important part of the operation. In 1921, George was in poor health, so they rented out the farm and had a sale. The family moved to Oregon, but returned the following year and once again took over the ranch operation.

At this time, they decided to add turkeys to the operation. The Freeman Turkey Ranch was in operation for over 30 years. Around 15 buildings and 40 acres of pasture land were required to house the 6000 turkeys each year. When the birds were ready for market in the fall, they were hauled out by trucks to the dressing plants.

On May 29, 1947, George was killed by a freight train on a crossing on the southeast edge of Chappell during a late spring blizzard. Marie continued to operate the turkey ranch for 10 years by herself.

Marie moved to Chappell in 1961, and the ranch was acquired by their son Don, and his wife Ramona. In 1968, Don and Ramona sold the ranch to Robert and Wanda Paulsen. Robert and Wanda did not live on the ranch until 1977 when they built a home there. This was their home until December 2020 when Robert passed away. Robert was a great steward of the land and raised corn and a variety of feed crops. This land also consists of many acres of pasture ground. Wanda continues to own the land, but she moved to Chappell in March of this year. This is now the home of Logan and Megan Criswell.

Helping Wanda tend to the land and cattle are her daughter, Karla; her son in law, Doug; her grandchildren Logan and Jaden; as well as Logan’s wife, Megan. Logan and Jaden are the great great grandchildren of George and Marie, making them the fifth generation of this family to care for this land.