December 27, 1911 – July 5, 1983
Floyd Franklin Edelman was born in a sod house a few miles north of the Middle Loup River in Cherry County, Seneca, Nebraska on December 27, 1911. Floyd’s mother, Sylvia Cleo Miller Edelman was very young when Floyd was born. Floyd’s father was William Perl Edelman who worked on his father William Franklin Edelman’s homestead as well as on the CB&Q Railroad. He had met his wife Lucinda Barnes while she was driving a Stagecoach on the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma.
Floyd worked on several ranches before going into business for himself. These ranches included Lynn Grahm, the OLO, Sibbitts, as well as Bob and Charles Hayward.
Around 1929, he rode the train in a freight car ending up in Ashby, Nebraska, where he inquired about a job. Rosa Christman business owner and well known personality in Ashby, Nebraska named him “Seneca Red” because of his full head of wavy red hair. “Seneca Red” went to work for Ed Becker, Sr. at that time.
Floyd married Alma Ann Gottlob on April 22, 1935 in Hot Springs, SD, at the Braun Hotel. They eloped as Alma was only a senior in high school at the time. Red said he had .60 cents, a coyote hound, a horse and a saddle when they got home.
Floyd and Alma had three children, all girls. Thelma Ann Edelman who was born handicapped (deceased), Margaret Alma Edelman-Applegarth (Dean). Frances Janet Edelman-Davis (deceased) (Glenn “Bud”).
Red was an awesome horseman, not only with saddle horses but at one time he had a 32 horse hitch with which he moved haystacks, houses, barns, and other seemingly impossible projects. At one time, Red had over 200 head of horses. Red, John Sibbitt and Sid Manning used to put on the local rodeo at the Grant County Fair. They did this for years, using the hay horses and other stock for the events. Postcards were made of the 32 horse hitch moving 10 ton stacks and were sold in local stores.
During WWII, Red contracted to build ditches and back slopes for the sewer system at the Alliance Paratroop Base in Alliance, Nebraska, all done with horses, fresnos and a crew who also did several road contracts. After the war, Red took over as Arena Director for local rodeos for the American Legion when he took over management of the rodeo. He was a primary source of promoting ropings, as well as the Steer Jerkin’s which were a huge draw into Hyannis, Nebraska.
Red started the Sunday roping club in Hyannis where the area cowboys could come in and participate in roping for money. This gave the local cowboys great practice for larger rodeos in the area.
Red raised a beautiful herd of Angus cattle. He froze his face during the 1949 Blizzard bringing in the cattle to safety.
Red was active in the Episcopal Church in the local church where he served many years in the Vestry and was Warden of the church. He served on the State Diocesan Board on Lay Missions, and on other State Committees, and on the Executive Council. He was elected as a delegate to the Episcopal General Convention in Detroit, Michigan in 1961.
Red was a Mason and served as Master of Zion Lodge A.F. & A.M. #234 in 1959.
Red served a three year term as President of the Grant County Agriculture Committee also known more recently as the Fair Board.
Red was honored for his many years as a supporter of 4-H.
Of all the favorable honoring that Red received, he would have been most proud of the articles and writings of and by his friends that he received after his death. These included an editorial by Ed Burgess called “Sand in My Boots” in the October 8, 1992 issue of the Grant County News; Sharon Wheelock wrote a wonderful tribute in the Grant County News in the July 21, 1983 issue was well. His great friend and horseman Franklin Jackson also wrote a wonderful tribute.
It was a sad day on July 5, 1983 when he unexpectedly left us. There will never be another “Seneca Red” Edelman.