Mrs. Cheney, nee Lisle Wilkinson, was born February 19, 1876 in Dakota City, Nebraska. She attended grade school near Nebraska City, before the family moved to Norfolk, Nebraska.
Lisle Wilkinson attended Norfolk high school, then the University of Nebraska, and was graduated with a B. A. degree in 1898.
Miss Wilkinson, her brother E. G. Wilkinson, and R. L. Cheney proved homestead claims in what is now Haakon County. These homesteads were the beginning of the Cheney-Wilkinson ranch of 6,600 acres owned by them, and many thousands more that are rented. Miss Wilkinson and Mr. Cheney were married in 1905. They adopted two children.
The Cheney-Wilkinson ranch was, in 1936, a community itself, with three houses, and a central electric and water system.
Mrs. Cheney taught a private school for her children and the Wilkinson boys and taught each of them piano, and conducted a Sunday school.
Mrs. Cheney was known throughout the county and beyond for her active interest in a large number of worthwhile projects. She was county chairman of the PTA. The Cheneys attend the Presbyterian Church at Milesville.
The Milesville Women’s extension club was organized at her home and was affiliated with both the State Federation of Home Extension Clubs and the State Federation of Women’s Clubs.
She interested the club in raising money to establish the telephone to Philip. The club sponsored May Day programs and children’s health clinics. Mrs. Cheney was particularly interested in furthering every advantage for the young people in the county.
Numerous PTA, school and club meetings were brightened by Mrs. Cheney’s puppets, of which she made about 50 different characters.
For many years Mrs. Cheney kept as many as 30 stands of bees. They were one of her hobbies. Another was her garden, which was more productive.
Mrs. Cheney died in 1942, about a year after the death of her husband.