Notes from the Dixon County Historical Society, March 1997
By Pat Nygren
Photographs by Robin Mosier
One of the many items on display at the Dixon County Museum in Allen is a Civil War flag.
In 1860, the United States was composed of 18 free states and 15 slave states. Plus 5 territories-Washington territory, Nebraska territory, Utah territory; Kansas territory and New Mexico territory.
Mr. Joe Heckens of Emerson donated the Civil War flag to the Dixon County Historical Society. This is the information Mr. Heckens related about how the flag came to this area.
Joe's mother, Emma Johnston Heckens, was a step-daughter to General Hollman. He lived in Maryland at one time, and Emma Heckens told her family that she recalled playing on the marble floor in the capital. He was also appointed (probably by Lincoln) to be Attorney General in Utah at one time.
General Hollman brought the flag when he came from Keokuk, Ia. He came to Dakota city, NE, then moved to Emerson. He built a home 1/2 block off Main St. which is over 100 years old (and was owned by Emerson librarian Marlene Winbolt at the present). He also built a small house to the north of this home for a negro brother and sister, Jack and Alice Butler, who were emancipated, but chose to come with him as his servants. He fought for the Union in the Civil War. He was Real Estate agent and was active in Dakota County politics. He and his son, Charlie, put this flag up every Fourth of July. Charlie gave the flag to Emma Heckens, and she in turn gave it to her son, Joe.