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Full text of "History of western Nebraska and its people. General history. Cheyenne, Box Butte, Deuel, Garden, Sioux, Kimball, Morrill, Sheridan, Scotts Bluff, Banner, and Dawes counties. A group often called the panhandle of Nebraska"

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1192387 



GENEALOGY COl-UECTION 



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3 1833 01065 1443 



History of Western Nebraska 
AND ITS People 



History of 

Western Nebraska 

AND ITS People 



BANNER, BOX BUTTE, CHEYENNE, DAWES, DEUEL, GARDEN, 

KIMBALL, MORRILL, SCOTTS BLUFF, SHERIDAN, AND 

SIOUX COUNTIES. A GROUP OFTEN CALLED 

THE PANHANDLE OF NEBRASKA 



GRANT L. SHUMWAY, SCOTTSBLUFF, NEBRASKA 

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF 



V,3 



ISSUED IN THREE ROYAL OCTAVO VOLUMES 
VOLUME III. 

ILLUSTRATED 



THE WESTERN PUBLISHING & ENGRAVING COMPANY 

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA 

19 2 1 



COPYRIGHTED 1921 

BY 

WESTERN PUBLISHING a; ENGRAVING COMPANY 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



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1192387 






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BIOGRAPHIES OF SOME MEN PROMINENT IN THE 
DEVELOPMENT OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 

From first coming to this section of the 
state Mr. Bushee entered into the civic life 
of his community and the Panhandle. He 
was elected superintendent of schools of the 
county, serving three terms from 1896 to 1900 
and from 1902 to 1903, an office which he 
filled with great efficiency to his own credit 
and the benefit of the educational interests of 
this section. 

From time to time as he could buy to ad- 
vantage Mr. Bushee increased his land hold- 
ings around Kimball and is one of the large 
landed proprietors of the southwest today. 
His business hfe was but a start in a rising 
commercial career for Mr. Bushee became 
interested financially in the Citizens State 
Bank, bought a controlling interest of its stock 
and became the executive head of the insti- 
tution which is regarded as one of the safest 
and soundest banks in Nebraska. Interested in 
the welfare of his community both as a land- 
holder and banker it was but natural that Mr. 
Bushee should enter public life to take care of 
and improve such interests. He entered pol- 
itics more than twelve years ago as a member 
of the Nebraska House of Representatives, 
serving from 1908 to 1912, then was elected 
to the State Senate, has proved such an able 
statesman and materially assisted in placing so 
many excellent laws upon the statute books 
that he has been reelected and is still serving. 
During the session of the legislature in 1919- 
1920 Mr. Bushee had the honor of being elect- 
ed president of the senate, and as presiding 
officer of that body won a wide reputation as 
a legislator and leader of men. 

In politics Mr. Bushee has been a consistent 
member of the Republican party. He is a 
member of the Modern Woodmen of America, 
of the Knights of Pythias and the Masonic 
order. With his wife Mr. Bushee is a mem- 
ber of the Methodist church. 

April 4, 1894, ocurred the marriage of Ber- 
ton Bushee and Miss Ruth Cunningham, the 
event taking place at Sidney Draw. Mrs. 
Bushee was the daughter of George H. and 
Martha Cunningham, the father was a Mis- 
sourian, while the mother was a native of 



BERTON KENYON BUSHEE, banker 
and statesman, has had a career significantly 
marked by courage, self reliance, marked in- 
itiative and executive ability, which bring nor- 
mally in their train a full measure of success. 
He has begotten the popular confidence and 
esteem that are important along the line of 
enterprise in which he has engaged and led 
to his election to high office in political life 
and he thus has secured status as a representa- 
tive figure in the financial and political life 
of western Nebraska and the Panhandle. No 
further voucher for him is needed than the 
statement that he is president of the Citizens 
State Bank, of Kimball. It has been through 
the eft'ective policies inaugurated by Mr. 
Bushee that the Citizens Bank has increased 
its deposits and business within the late years 
and materially assisted in the development of 
Kimball county. 

Berton Bushee was born at Dartford, Wis- 
consin, May 3, 1871, the son of Ezra Kenyon 
and Alzina Spooner Bushee. He was reared 
in the beautiful little town surrounded by its 
encircling hills, attended the public schools 
until the family came to Nebraska in 1888. 
The father came to the Panhandle with his 
family when this section of the state was a 
veritable wilderness, settlers were few and 
great stretches of unbroken prairie stretched 
for miles. Ezra Bushee filed on a homestead 
in what is now Kimball county and at once 
began the arduous task of breaking his land 
and establishing a home for the family. Young 
Berton assumed his share of the burdens of a 
frontier farm and became sturdy and self-re- 
liant. As soon as the young man attained his 
majority he filed on a homestead of his own 
in 1892, proved up on it and engaged in ranch- 
ing and frontier farming for several years. 
At the same time he was offered and accepted 
a position to teach school in Kimball county, 
thus earling a livelihood during the lean years 
of farm life. In 1898 Mr. Bushee engaged in 
merchandising in Kimball, met with success 
in his enterprise, became recognized as one of 
the leading business men of Kimball, not dis- 
posing of his interests in this line until 1915. 



HISTORY OF WESTERX NEBRASKA 



Maine. They came to western Nebraska at 
an early day and were well known pioneers of 
the Panhandle. Two children have been born 
to this union. Helen Bernice and Elizabeth 
Ruth. 

As one of the representative business men 
and legislators, and progressive, public-spir- 
ited citizens of Kimball county. Mr. Bushee 
merits special recognition in the annals of the 
Panhandle and this section in the opening up 
and development of which he has taken such 
an energetic and active part. 

BENJAMIN F. GENTRY. —Common- 
wealths have great need of capable men of 
broad vision and conscientious purpose, who 
will take time to study various problems of 
public necessity and serve faithfully for the 
general welfare. In Benjamin F. Gentry, 
western Nebraska has such a man. He is 
prominently identified with the state's vast ir- 
rigation projects, and is proud of the fact that 
he was one of the two men who plowed the 
first furrow for irrigation purposes in his 
part of the state. He is known all over Scotts- 
blufY county through serving in public ca- 
pacities, and is active in the business life of 
Gering in the line of abstracts and real estate. 

Benjamin Franklin Gentry was born in 
Nodaway county, Missouri, Alarcn 24, 1861, 
the son of William E. and Rebecca (Wiles) 
Gentry, the former of whom was probably 
born in Kentucky and the latter in Indiana. 
The father of Mr. Gentry served in the Civil 
War for a short time, returning then to his 
home and succumbing to an attack of sickness. 
Benjamin F. was then nine months old, the 
youngest of his parents' three children. The 
others survive : Milton, who is in the teaming 
business at Weeping Water, Nebraska, and 
Rachel Catherine, the widow of J. W. Hostet- 
ter. She resides at Omaha and has property 
in Cass county, Nebraska. After the death 
of the father, the mother moved with her chil- 
dren to Mills county, Iowa, and subsequently 
to Cass county, Nebraska, where she died in 
1917. Her second marriage was to Mattis 
Akeson, and they have had two children : Thor 
W., a farmer near Weeping Water, and Em- 
ma, the wife of James Breckenbridge, a farm- 
er living near Manley, Nebraska. She was 
an admirable woman in every way and was a 
devoted member of the Christian church. 

Mr. Gentry remained at home and attended 
*he public schools in Cass county until he was 
fourteen years old, when he went to live with 
an uncle, Captain Isaac Wells on a farm one 
mile from Plattsmouth, Nebraska, where he 



later attended high school. After taking a 
commercial course in the college at Valparaiso, 
Indiana, he worked for six months as a deputy 
collector in the ofifice of the county treasurer 
of Cass county. Mr. Gentry then went to 
Hamillton county, Nebraska, where he 
handled grain for W. H. Newell and Company 
of Plattsmouth, until 1886, when he came to 
what is now Scottsblufi' county, which at that 
time was Cheyenne county, as ScottsblufY coun- 
ty was not yet organized, and homesteaded, 
continuing to live on his farm until he was 
elected county clerk, in the fall of 1888, being 
the first man elected to that office, when he 
came to Gering, where he has resided ever 
since. He served two terms as county clerk, 
and while in office became interested in the 
abstract business, which led to his purchase 
in 1909 of the O. W. Gardner Scottsbluff Ab- 
stract Company. Mi. Gentry has since given 
close attention to this important business, also 
handling a large amount of real estate in city 
and county, nevertheless he has found the 
time to accept responsibility in connection with 
the great irrigation projects that are interest- 
ing progressive men all over the state. He 
has been a director of a number of the ditch 
commissions, and is serving as such at pres- 
ent in reference to the Minatare ditch in 
Scottsbluff county. During a long directorate, 
he assisted in the building of what is known 
as the "nine-mile ditch." He is a member of 
the school board, on which, he has given 
careful, honest service for thirty years. 

On November 30, 1890, Mr. Gentry was 
united in marriage to Miss Cora E. Johnson, 
who was born in Cass county, Nebraska, near 
Weeping Water, a daughter of Daniel D. and 
Elizabeth A. (Lathrop) Johnson. Mrs. Gen- 
try's mother was born in Ohio and died near 
Weeping Water, Nebraska. The father was 
bom in Pennsylvania. After marriage he 
moved to Iowa and during the Civil War 
served three years as a member of the Twen- 
ty-ninth Iowa volunteer infantry, suft'ering 
wounds at Helena, Arkansas. After the close 
of the war he came with his family to Ne- 
braska and homesteaded on the present site 
of Wabash, Nebraska. He survives and makes 
his home at Scottsbluff", Scottsbluff' county. 
Mr. and Mrs. Gentry have four children : Har- 
old E., who was educated in the State Uni- 
versity at Lincoln, is chief chemist for the ' 
Great Western Sugar Company; Willard 
Max, a graduate of the Wesleyan University 
at Lincoln, will enter the medical profession ; 
and Elizabeth, a student in both universities 
at Lincoln. Mrs. Gentry is a member of the 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



where he remained until he was elected county 
Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Gentry be- 
longs to the Masonic fraternity and to the 
Eastern Star as does Mrs. Gentry. Politically 
he is a Republican. 

AMON R. DOWNER, who is serving in 
his second consecutive term as treasurer of 
Scottsbluff county, belongs to old pioneer 
stock, and his business interests have al- 
ways been centered here. Although young in 
years for the heavy responsibilities of his of- 
fice, he was not without official experience 
when first elected, and the efficient, careful, 
methodical performance of his public duties 
has afforded universal satisfaction. 

Anion R. Downer was born in Hitchcock 
county, Nebraska, October 8, 1891, the elder 
of two sons born to Marion R. and Jennie 
(Ball) Downer. Mr. Downer's brother, Mar- 
vin T., entered military service in September, 
1917, and was sent to Europe as an army truck 
driver, with the American Expeditionary 
Forces. The parents of Mr. Downer were born 
in Iowa and came from there to Nebraska, 
where his father homesteaded in the eighties. 
He was a Republican in politics and he be- 
longed to the Methodist Episcopal church. The 
mother of Mr. Downer, who is now the wife 
of W. R. Wolf?enden. a merchant, resides at 
Gering. Her father, James Ball, came to Ne- 
braska soon after the close of the Civil War, 
in which he had participated as a soldier and 
suffered from wounds. He homesteaded in 
this county and lived here the rest of his life, 
his death occurring in 1916, one of the old 
veterans of the Grand Army. 

Amon R. Downer was educated in the public 
schools of Gering and in the State University 
at Lincoln, where he was a student two years. 
Afterward he was employed for some months 
in the construction department of the Union 
Pacific Railroad, and then went into the office 
of the county treasurer as clerk and deputy. 
In 1917 he was elected treasurer and re-elected 
in 1918 and is still serving. 

In 1915 Mr. Downer was united in marriage 
to Miss Bertie Margaret Lackey, who was born 
at Elmwood, Nebraska. She is a daughter of 
Andrew and Eliza (Campbell) Lackey, na- 
tives of Toronto, Canada, who came to Ne- 
braska in 1879 and homesteaded. The father 
died in 1904 but the mother still lives at Ger- 
ing. They had fourteen children of whom 
eight survive. Mr. and Mrs. Downer had one 
child, Virginia Bess, who died in infancy. They 
belong to the Methodist Epicopal church. He 
is a Scottish Rite Mason and has been secre- 



tary of his lodge. Politically he is a Republi- 
can. 

VALLE B. KIRKHAM, one of the popular 
officials of Scottsbluff county, now serving in 
his second term as county clerk, was born at 
Orrick, in Ray county, Alissouri, March 14, 
1883. When he came to Nebraska, he brought 
with him no capital except an excellent educa- 
tion, even a technical one. Pie has made his 
own way in the world and in such a manner as 
to command the respect and confidence of his 
fellow-citizens, and in large measure he has 
their friendly esteem. 

The Kirkiiams, in the person of David R. 
Kirkham, grandfather of Valle B.. came many 
years ago from Virginia to Missouri and be- 
came a tobacco manufacturer there. On the 
maternal side, the Blythes, were of Tennessee, 
and from that state the grandfather, Riley 
Blythe, came to western Missouri, where he 
acquired 1500 acres of land. He became a 
man of political significance, served two terms 
in the state legislature and afterward was 
elected to the state senate. Mr. Kirkham's 
parents are C. R. and Elizabeth (Blythe) 
Kirkham, the former of whom was born sev- 
enty years ago at St. Louis, Missouri, and the 
latter near Orrick, where they yet reside. The 
mother is a member of the Christian church. 
The father is a Democrat in politics and for 
many years has been an (_)dd Fellow. Prior to 
1874, when he moved to Ray county, he was 
associated with his father in the t(il)accc:) manu- 
facturing business at St. Louis. ( )f his family 
of eight sons and daughters, the following are 
living: W. H., county surveyor and a civil 
engineer, who lives at Richmond. Missouri ; 
A. L., a farmer near Orrick : Ville P... who re- 
sides at Gering. Nebraska ; I'.iiti'-, tlif wife of 
W. P. Wolfe, living near < )rrick ; Dallas, mar- 
ried Claud Heather, who is a farmer in Ray 
county ; Ross, who is a farmer near Orrick. 
and Lillian, is a teacher at Orrick. 

After completing the high school course at 
Richmond, Missouri, Valle B. Kirkham spent 
three years in the state normal school at War- 
rensburg, six months in the state university, 
and then took a special course in pharmacy, at 
Highland Park, Des Moines, Iowa. For some 
years afterward he divided his attention be- 
tween farm labor and railroad work with a 
civil engineering outfit, but in none of these 
activities did he accumulate a perceptible for- 
tune. It was in 1908 that he came to Scotts- 
bluff county, accepting a job in the Irrigation 
Bank, an association which continued for 
seven and a half years, going from there to 
the Great Western Sugar Company's office, 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



clerk in 1916. His administration of the office 
was so satisfactory that he was reelected in 
the fall of 1918, his popularity being demon- 
strated by the fact that he was elected in a 
Republican county with a majority of two 
hundred and seventy votes in 1916, and of 
four hundred and seventy in the second cam- 
paign. 

On June 19, 1913, Mr. Kirkham was united 
in marriage to Miss Willie Gordon. She was 
born at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and is a daugh- 
ter of Richmond and Lillie Gordon, retired 
residents of that place. Mr. Gordon has been 
an educator during the greater part of his life. 
Mr. and Mrs. Kirkham had one child, Vivian 
Lucile, who died when aged six months. They 
are members of the Christian church. He be- 
longs to the Odd Fellows, both subordinate 
lodge and Encampment, and has a Grand 
Lodge degree. During the continuance of the 
World War, he served freely on the local draft 
board and contributed to its maintenance in 
many patriotic ways. 

ROBERT G. NEELEY. — In the younger 
generation of business men in Nebraska will 
be found those who, like Robert G. Neeley, 
register of deeds for Scottsbluff county, early 
take an understanding interest in public af- 
fairs, cultivating serious political convictions, 
thereby raising the standard of true citizen- 
ship, and inevitably become useful and influ- 
ential in their communities. The broadening 
effect of this wider vision may be seen in what 
this younger generation is accomplishing. 

Robert G. Neeley was born in the Mitchell 
valley, Scottsbluff county, Nebraska, Decem- 
ber 12, 1894. the son of Robert F. and Jennie 
(Yates) Neeley, natives of Missouri, who 
now reside at Gering, where Mr. Neely is 
engaged in the real estate business. He was 
the founder of the Gering National Bank and 
for some years was president of the institu- 
tion. Prior to that he was in the cattle busi- 
ness and dealt in real estate in Mitchell val- 
ley. To his first marriage, with a Miss Bur- 
gess, two sons were born : Franklin E., 
cashier of the Gering National Bank, and A. 
Raymond, a druggist at Gering. A son and a 
daughter have been born to his present mar- 
riage: Robert G., register of deeds, who lives 
at Gering, and Mildred, the wife of E. S. 
Slafter, who conducts a garage business at 
Dubois, Wyoming. 

Robert G. Neeley obtained his education in 
the public schools of Gering. For two years 
he was employed in the Gering National Bank, 
for the next two years was in the office of the 
present county judge, for one year served as 



deputy county clerk, and for more than a year 
filled office as deputy register of deeds. With 
this thorough experience in county offices, he 
was particularly well equipped when he was 
elected register of deeds in 1918. He is one 
of the most popular of the county officials, 
those doing business with his office always 
finding exact knowledge and courteous treat- 
ment. 

On April 14, 1917, Mr. Neeley was united 
in marriage to Miss Eunice M. Barton, who 
was bom near Council Bluffs, Iowa, a daugh- 
ter of Samuel and Mary Elberta (Heft) Bar- 
ton. The father was bom in England and the 
mother in Illinois. They came to Nebraska in 
1902 and Mr. Barton is carrying on extensive 
farming enterprises near Gering. Mr. and 
Mrs. Neeley are members of the Christian 
church, in which they are somewhat active, and 
they take part in the pleasant social life of the 
city. Mr. Neeley is a Republican in his polit- 
ical views but is not illiberal, hence he has 
many political as well as personal friends. 

WILLIAM H. LAMM. — Public service 
carries with it the supposition of business effi- 
ciency, as well as sterling character, and the 
progressive little city of Gering has no more 
trustworthy public official than William H. 
Lamm, who has been postmaster since 1915. 
Mr. Lamm followed agricultural pursuits dur- 
ing a large portion of his life, and school 
teaching also in early manhood, and in every 
line of endeavor in which he has been engaged, 
has commanded the respect and confidence of 
his fellow citizens. The Gering post office is a 
busy place, but under Mr. Lamm's administra- 
tion, the work is expedited, and the service 
entirely satisfactory because of his practical 
ideas and careful, methodical oversight. 

William H. Lamm was born at Thayer, in 
Union county, Iowa. April 22. 1877, the eldest 
of nine children born to William and Jane- 
(Knotts) Lamm, both born in 1854 in Iowa, 
the former near Madison and the latter near 
Burlington. Her death occurred November 4, 
1918. In addition to William H., their chil- 
dren are: Ernest F., a farmer near Giendo, 
Wyoming; Bert, a farmer near Meridian, Ida- 
ho ; Bertha, the wife of John M. Gross, farmer 
and stockman, near Giendo ; Bess, the wife of 
Joseph E. Nisley, farmer, near Gering; Car- 
mie, the wife of Harry C. Barton, assistant 
cashier of the First National Bank of Gering; 
Lauretta, the wife of Ivor C. Davies, a drug- 
gist at Gering; True R., a farmer and stock- 
raiser near Giendo; and Grace, the wife of 
Peter B. Schmidt, employed in the First Na- 
tional Bank of Scottsbluff. He entered the 




/^^/^^wiju 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



9 



National army in 1918, and was in training at 
Camp Funston when he received his honorable 
discharge. The father of Mr. Lamm is one 
of the capitalists of ScottsbluiY county, to 
which he came in 1904. He purchased a sec- 
tion of irrigated land and still owns a pan of 
it together with other valuable properties. He 
has been one of the sound disciples of Democ- 
racy in the county, but has never accepted a 
public office. He is a member of the Christian 
church. 

William H. Lamm first attended the coun- 
try schools near his father's farm in Iowa, 
then Palmer College at Marshalltown, and 
Capital City Commercial College at Des 
Moines, Iowa. He, as the eldest of the family, 
early took on responsibility, assisted his father 
in his agricultural industries, and for several 
years engaged also in teaching school in Iowa, 
during one year teaching at Thayer. In April, 
1904, he came to Scottsbluff county, and from 
that time until 1915 was mainly occupied with 
farm activities, although, during three years 
of this period he served as deputy sheriff. 
From early manhood he had interested himself 
intelligently in public alYairs, believing good 
citizenship demanded such a course. He has 
always been identified with the Democratic 
party and is fully in accord with the present 
administration at Washington. In 1915 he 
was called from his farm to become postmas- 
ter of Gering and, as indicated above, has ful- 
filled every expectation. 

On May 13, 1911, Mr. Lamm was united in 
marriage to Miss Maude L. Abbott, who was 
born in Indiana. They have two children : 
Thelma Maxine, who attends school, and Ly- 
man Abbott, who celebrates his fifth birthday 
in May, 1919. Mr. and Mrs. Lamm are mem- 
bers of the Christian church. Fraternally he 
is a Mason and belongs also to the Woodmen 
of the World. 

RODOLPHUS M. HAMPTON, president 
of the First National Bank of Alliance, is 
one of the early settlers of Box Butte coun- 
ty. No history of the county would be com- 
plete without the name of R. M. Hampton, 
for he has been a resident of this section for 
thirty-five years. He has lived to see the 
wide open prairies developed into a smiling 
green countryside dotted with prosperous 
towns that are the barometer of prosperity 
and success. In ^11 movements for opening 
up the country, the building of railroads, 
villages and cities he has taken an active and 
aggressive part and it is such men who have 
made history in the Panhandle. 

Mr. Hampton was born in New Lexington, 



Ohio, November 14, 1861. the son of Will- 
iam and Mary (Young) Hampton, the fifth 
of seven children born to his parents. The 
father owned an eighty acre farm: in the 
Buckeye state and there the boy was reared. 
He attended the country schools near his 
home and being assigned the usual tasks 
to a small boy on the farm grew up sturdy 
and self-reliant. While still a small lad of 
twelve he began to earn money for himself 
by digging coal at Moxahala, Ohio, which 
was not far from his home, but as he was paid 
by the bushel he did not make more than 
sixty-five cents a day. After completing his 
education Mr. Hampton, at the age of twenty 
followed the pedagogic profession for five 
years, in both the country and city schools. 
He was ambitious to succeed in the world, 
and after reading of the many openings for 
a young, vigorous man in the new country in 
the west came to Nebraska in 1885 to learn 
what fortune might have in store for him on 
the plains. There were scarcely more than 
fifty families in what is now Box Butte coun- 
ty when Mr. Hampton arrived, so that he set- 
tled down in a locality where habitations were 
few, comfort and conveniences scarce and the 
elements of civilization at their lowest, but 
the tide of irmnigration was setting toward 
the upper Platte valley in the middle eighties, 
and within a few months after his arrival 
the population had more than doubled. Soon 
after reaching the present Box Butte county, 
Mr. Hampton selected a pre-emption and tim- 
ber claim and broke out ten acres on each 
and putting up a "soddy" he kept "bachelor 
hall" as he expresses it. He realized that he 
was not cut out for a frontier farmer, so 
sought a professional life, forming a partner- 
ship in a law firm with James H. Danskin, 
opening an office at Hemingford. The new 
firm was kept busy with the many land cases 
arising over confused titles, where contests 
had been filed. Many land sharks tried to 
secure title to land that had been filed on by 
bone fide settlers previously and used every 
pretext to obtain possession. Because of this 
many lively legal contests ensued, but the firm 
of Hampton and Danskin did their best for 
the honest settlers and as a result had a fine 
practice. They tried cases at Hay Springs, 
R,ushville. Chadron, Hemingford and Non- 
pariel. The present territory of Box Butte 
county was at that time included in Dawes 
county with the seat of justice at Chadron, 
but in 1887, Box Butte was erected as a separ- 
ate county and the seat of justice located at 
Nonpariel, so the young lawyers moved their 



10 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



office there. They continued in business un- 
til February, 1889, when Mr. Hampton re- 
signed from the firm to devote his time and 
energies to the organization of the American 
Bank of AlHance, as he believed that there 
was a great future for banking business in 
the newly developed country. Associated 
with him in this enterprise were O. M. Carter 
of Omaha, as president; A. S. Reed of Alli- 
ance, vice-president: and Mr. Hampton as- 
sumed office as cashier. The board of direct- 
ors consisted of these same officers, J. H. 
Danskin and I. E. Tash. The new bank was 
established with a capital stock of $25,000 
and operated one year when it was merged into 
the First National Bank of Alliance, which 
had a capital stock of $50,000. It was con- 
ducted under the same board of directors and 
the same personnel as to officers. For thirty 
years Mr. Hampton has taken a leading part 
in the financial Hfe of the county and the 
Panhandle. Three years ago he assumed the 
office of president of this sound, prosperous 
and progressive house. His high integrity, 
steady purpose and business foresight have 
begotten that popular confidence which is so 
essential in the furtherance of the important 
enterprise along which he had directed his at- 
tention and energies for a quarter of a cen- 
tury, and through which he has gained secure 
status as one of the representative figures in 
the financial circles of northwestern Nebraska. 
Mr. Hampton is also interested in the Lake 
Side State Bank, of which he is a stockholder 
and director. From 1900 to 1911, in addition 
to his financial afifairs, Mr. Hampton operated 
a ten thousand acre ranch located southwest 
of Alliance which he sold to Hall and Graham. 
Today the First National Bank is the lead- 
ing financial institution of Alliance and Box 
Butte county; it has a capital stock of $50,- 
000, surplus of $50,000 and deposits of $1,- 
250,000. The personnel of the banking house 
in 1919 was as follows: R. M. Hampton, 
president; C. E. Ford, vice-president; F. 
Abegg, cashier. The board of directors con- 
sists of R. M. Hampton, M. Hampton, C. E. 
Ford, F. Abegg and J. M. Kimberling. 

In October, 1888, Mr. Hampton was mar- 
ried at Logan, Ohio, to Miss Minnie Fickell, a 
native of that place, a daughter of Joseph and 
Hannah (O'Hara) Fickell. They have but 
one child living, Dorothy who is attending 
the Alliance high school. The Hampton fam- 
ily are all members of the Methodist church 
of which they are liberal supporters. Both 
Mr. Hampton and his wife are broad gauged 
liberal minded people who keep abreast of the 



trend of events and are interested in the de- 
velopment and progress of their commuity 
and are willing to support with time and 
money every laudable enterprise that tends 
to civic and communal welfare. Mr. Hamp- 
ton is a Republican in politics and though he 
takes an active interest in political affairs has 
ever been too> busy to accept public office. 

ADA M. HALDEMAN. — The fact that a 
woman can hold important public office and 
has the capacity to direct aft'airs with executive 
energy, can no longer be denied or be con- 
sidered a subject for criticism even by those 
who once were frankly incredulous. The 
truth, however, may be acknowledged, that 
there are comparatively few women in any 
community who are qualified for such service. 
In many fields the sex has undoubtedly won 
laurels, but men have, as a rule, been a little 
backward in assisting women to positions of 
great responsibility. Naturally then it may be 
assumed that unusual person'al qualities and 
marked scholarship pertain to a woman who 
has three times been elected to the exacting of- 
fice of superintendent of schools, which testi- 
monial has been given and honor paid to Miss 
Ada M. Haldeman, in ScottsbluiT county. 

Superintendent Haldeman was born at Avo- 
ca, in Pottawattamie county, Iowa, one of a 
family of five children born to Francis Way- 
land and Martha E. (Lewis) Haldeman. The 
father of Miss Haldeman was born in 1846, at 
Marion, Ohio, and died in Iowa, in 1886. The 
mother was born at West Liberty, Iowa, and 
resides at Gering. Miss Haldman has one 
brother and one sister, namely : Henry, who 
gives attention to the homestead in Scottsblufl" 
county, formerly traveled for the Remington 
Typewriter Company, but now occupies his 
leisure in writing for magazines, and Virginia, 
who is the wife of Nyle Jones, of New Or- 
leans, Louisiana. 

Francis Wayland Haldeman accompanied 
his people to Iowa in boyhood and was reared 
and educated there. During the Civil War he 
served two years as a bugler. He came early 
to Nebraska, went through some pioneer ex- 
periences here and did some hunting while 
looking over land in different parts" of the 
state. He was a nurseryman and understood 
horticulture and as such was able to treat and 
preserve many of the early orchards from 
Grand Island westward. His death occurred 
in his old home just after he had reserved his 
homestead in Nebraska. He was a Republican 
in his political views. 

Miss Haldeman completed the high school 
course before leaving Avoca, Iowa, later se- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



11 



curing her B.A. degree in the University of 
Colorado, and was quite young when she en- 
tered the educational field, teaching in the 
schools of Iowa. Wyoming, and Nebraska. 
After coming to Nebraska she taught one year 
in the city of Lincoln and later for one year 
in the Scottsbluft high school. In 1914 she 
was elected county superintendent of Scotts- 
bluff county, and after a faithful service was 
reelected in 1916 and 1918. She is devoted in 
her work, conscientiously giving the best that 
is in her to maintain the high standards she 
has set for the county's educational progress. 
She resides with her mother at Gering, the 
latter of whom still owns the old homestead, 
on which a feature was made last year of 
growing sugar beets. The venture proved very 
satisfactory and the 100 acres in beets yielded 
a large income. Miss Haldeman owns a home- 
stead in Scottsbluff county, situated one mile 
north of Toohey. Both she and her mother 
belong to the Congregational church. 

WILLIAM HENRY HARDING.— The 
stable character of Gering's commercial life is 
shown in the many solid, well-financed indus- 
tries that are prospering here. There are 
many industrial concerns that have a wide 
market for their products and thus carry the 
name and fame of Gering to other sections, 
while, at the same time, they promote local 
prosperity by paying' high wage scales to ex- 
pert workmen. One of these to which atten- 
tion may be called is the large blacksmithing 
and wagonmaking business that was founded 
and is carried on here by William H. Harding. 

William Henry Harding was born in De- 
catur county, Kansas, August 5, 1884, the eld- 
est of a family of eight children born to 
William T. and Mary (Nehls) Harding. The 
father of Mr. Harding was born in Wiscon- 
sin, and the mother was a native of Iowa. 
They were married in Kansas, and her death 
occufred in 1900. William T. Harding went 
to Kansas in early manhood and well remem- 
bers seeing great herds of buffalo in the sec- 
tion of the state where he settled. He bought 
a relinquishment claim in Decatur county and 
lived on his farm there until 1889, when he 
came to Nebraska and bought another farm, 
near Gering, and also secured a Kinkaid claim 
that he has recently sold. He now lives re- 
tired at IMorrill, in Scottsbluff county. 

William H. Harding had public school ad- 
vantages and was graduated from the Gering 
high school in 1899. After that he went to 
work on a ranch and in 1905 took a Kinkaid 
claim, proved up on it and resided there for 
five years and then sold. In 1912 he came to 



Gering and started his present plant and has 
developed a large business. In addition to 
manufacturing, he handles farm machinery. 
As a business man he is held in high esteem, 
his methods being fair and honorable. 

In 1911 Mr. Harding was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Bessie Cole, who was born at 
Miller, Nebraska, and they have four children, 
namely : Henry, James, Daniel, and Ella. Mr. 
Harding has never been very active in politics 
but nevertheless is an intensely active citizen 
where Gering interests are at stake. He be- 
longs to the Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen, 
Woodmen of the World, and B. P. O. E. 

JAMES P. WESTERVELT, whose nu- 
merous business interests have made him well 
acquainted with different sections of the west- 
ern country, has been a resident of Gering 
since May 15, 1887, when this was Cheyenne 
county, before Scottsbluff was organized, and 
is the able manager of the Farmers Mercantile 
Company of this city. Despite the handicap 
of meager educational advantages in youth, 
Mr. Westervelt has not only been a successful 
man in several business lines, but in at least 
two counties in Nebraska has served for years 
in public offices of trust and responsibility with 
extreme efficiency. 

James P. Westervelt was born in Ionia 
county, Michigan, March 12, 1869. His par- 
ents were James H. and Lorena A. (Day) 
Westervelt, the former of whom was born in 
New Jersey in 1840 and died in 1908, and the 
latter in Vemiont in 1848, and die.I in 1^1 2. 
They married in Vermont and fi\e children 
were born to them, James P. being the second 
of the four surviving, all of whom live in this 
county. Eugene, the eldest, conducts the 
Scottsbluff Repiiblicau ; Claude, who carries 
on a blacksmith business, and Goldie, the wife 
of P. Gilbert, a commercial traveler. The par- 
ents were members of the I'.,ti>(i-l church. They 
moved from \'enii(iiit in Michigan in 1868, 
where J;inies H. ^\'e^tcr\•elt carried on work 
as a lil.iik-niith until 1879, when they left 
Ionia cniiiiiN I'di' Custer county, Nebraska 
The family iivrd on the homestead until 1887 
and then moved to Gering, where Mr. Wester- 
velt started a general store which he conducted 
until 1900, when he returned to work at his 
trade. He voted with the Republican party. 

James P. Westervelt was so circumstanced 
in boyhood that work on the farm was consid- 
ered more necessary than that he should gain 
a good education. He remained in the country 
until 1888 and then went to Banner county, 
Nebraska, and started a general store in the 
village of Freeport, where he remained until 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



1891, during which time he was postmaster. 
From there he removed to Sheridan, Wy- 
oming, where he followed ranching until 1905, 
the year he came to Gering. In the mean- 
while, for twenty-five years he had engaged in 
the practice of dentistry, not continuously, but 
as occasion seemed to demand, having a nat- 
ural skill in the use of delicate tools and a fair 
knowledge of the profession through reading 
and experience. In 1913 Mr. Westervelt as- 
sisted in the organization of the Farmers Mer- 
cantile Company at Gering, incorporated and 
capitalized at $20,000, since which time he has 
been general manager, dividing his time 
between the store and a valuable farm he owns 
in the environs of Gering. 

In 1908 Mr. Westervelt was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Edith W. Sayer, who was born 
in Iowa. Her father. Reverend E. H. Sayer. 
came to Gering in 1897 as pastor of the Pres- 
byterian church. He now lives retired. Mr. 
and Mrs. Westervelt have one son, Leon, who 
assists in his father's store. Mr. and Mrs. 
Westervelt are church members and active in 
many benevolent organizations. He is a Scot- 
tish Rite Mason, has held all the offices in the 
Blue lodge and for four years was master of 
his lodge. In politics he has always been a 
Republican and has served in public office in 
this county, for some years being on the school 
and town boards and for four vears, from 
1904 to 1909, was sheriiif of Scottsblufl:" county. 

Mr. Westervelt's brother, Claude, drove into 
ScottsbluiT county. May 15, 1887, in true pio- 
neer style with a yoke of oxen, coming across 
the prairies from Custer county, where he had 
been living. The next year the father came 
and opened a small store about the time Mr. 
Westervelt opened his first mercantile estab- 
lishment at Freeport, Banner county, so the 
family has a true pioneer history and has be- 
come well and favorably known in the upper 
Platte valley. 

MATTHEW H. McHENRY, clerk of the 
District Court and for many years a resident 
of Gering, was born in Harrison county, Iowa, 
November 4, 1869. His parents were Oliver 
O. and Mary Jane (Hall) McHenry. His 
father was born in Missouri, near the Iowa 
line, in 1844, and died in Scottsblufi' county, 
Nebraska, in 1917. His mother was born in 
1849, near London. England, and died in Ne- 
braska, December 29, 1915. 

The parents of Mr. McHenry came to 
Scottsblufif county in Februarj', 1889, home- 
steaded and spent the rest of their lives here. 
During life he was a merchant and farmer and 
also operated an elevator. During the Civil 



war he belonged to an organization of state 
guards. In politics he was a Republican. The 
mother of Mr. McHenry was a member of the 
Baptist church, but the father belonged to the 
Latter Day Saints. Of their five children 
Matthew H. was the second in order of birth, 
the others being as follows: Elizabeth Ann, 
who is the wife of John A. Burton, a retired 
citizen of Upland, California ; Lucy Jane, who 
is the wife of John Springer, a farmer in Cali- 
fornia ; Harry H., who lives on his ranch near 
Torrington, Wyoming; and Lewellyn O., who 
is a druggist at Morrill, Nebraska. 

Matthew H. McHenry was educated in the 
public schools and a business college at Wood- 
bine, Iowa, after which he worked on a ranch, 
still later operating a ranch of his own. He 
still owns a fine ranch in Sioux county. Ne- 
braska, and a valuable farm situated south of 
Morrill, Nebraska. Mr. JNIcHenry has always 
deemed an interest in politics a necessary part 
of good citizenship. In November, 1911, he 
was made clerk of the District Court, but had 
served for four years already as county clerk, 
attending to the duties ex-officio of the district 
clerk before the latter office was established. 
Mr. AIcHenrj' has been continued in office ever 
since. He is one of the comity's best informed 
and most courteous officials. 

In December, 1895. Mr. AIcHenry was 
united in marriage to Aliss ]\Iary Belle Weeks, 
who was born in Missouri and died in Ne- 
braska. January 18. 1910. She was a member 
of the Baptist church. She was the mother of 
three children: \\'inifred. Wesley O., and 
Coral, the two younger children being in 
school, ^^'inifred is the wife of Marvin Dow- 
nar, who entered military service in the United 
States on September 22, 1917, accompanied 
the American Expeditionary Force to Europe 
and at the time of this writing was with the 
Army of Occupation in Germany As a mem- 
ber of company D in ammunition train 314 he 
went to the front in September, 1918, and was 
under fire for forty-two days. Mrs. Downar 
is a deputy clerk under her father. On No- 
vember 11, 1911. Mr. McHenry was married 
to Miss Amanda Sappington, who was born in 
Keith county, Nebraska, and they have one 
son, John Roger McHenry, who was born in 
November, 1916. Mrs. McHenry is a member 
of the Episcopal church. Mr. AIcHenry is 
identified with the Elks at Alliance, and' the 
Odd Fellows at Mitchell, Nebraska. 

JOSEPH L. GRIMM, county attorney, has 
justified the confidence that his fellow citizens 
of ScottsblufY county reposed in him. when 
they elected him to this important office in 



BIOCxRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



13 



Ndvember, 1918. A native of Nebraska, all 
her interests are dear to him, and from the 
l)i-inning- of his professional career until the 
present, it has been his aim to defend her cit- 
izens and maintain their rights in the face of 
the world. 

Joseph L. Grimm was born in Saline coun- 
ty, Nebraska, December 23, 1883, one of a 
family of eight children born to Joseph H. 
and Esther E. (Hess) Grimm. The late 
Joseph H. Grimm was a man of both profes- 
sional and political distinction. He was born 
in Licking county, Ohio, in 1848, and died 
January 15, 1911. In 1875 he came to Ne- 
braska and located first at Pleasant Hill, later 
becoming prominent in public afifairs in Saline 
county and Serving two terms in the state leg- 
islature from that county. He was an able 
member of the bar and twice was elected coun- 
ty attorney on the Republican ticket. He mar- 
ried Esther E. Hess, at Mount Vernon, Iowa, 
who was born in Linn county, Iowa, in 1854, 
and died June 25, 1907. Of their six surviv- 
ing children, Joseph L. is the fourth in order 
of birth, the others being: Mabel, who is a 
teacher in the schools of Wilber, Nebraska; 
James ]., who is county judge in Saline coun- 
ty; May A., who is the wife of Ralph Woods, 
a lawyer, of Tacoma, Washington ; Clarence, 
who has been in military service since Septem- 
ber, 1917, is a first lieutenant in a regiment of 
American troops sent to keep order in Siberia, 
and Hazel, who is the wife of E. H. Shary, of 
Chester, Pennsylvania. The mother of the 
above family was a member of the Lutheran 
church. 

Joseph L. Grimm completed the public 
school course at Wilber, after which he en- 
tered the law department of the University of 
Nebraska, from which he was graduated in 
1908. In June of that year he entered into 
practice at Wilber and continued there until 
May. 1918, when he came to Gering and 
opened an office in the Gering National Bank 
building. His legal talent soon became known 
and on September 2, 1918, he was made dep- 
uty county attorney ; on October 8 following, 
was appointed county attorney and his elec- 
tion followed in November. Mr. Grimm has 
charge of the bond issue for the proposed new 
courthouse. 

On May 12. 1909. Mr. Grimm was united in 
marriage to Miss Sady E. Kimport, who was 
bom at Garrison, Iowa, and they have two 
children: Benjamin Hayes, born May 6, 1910, 
and Esther Rosalee, born June 10, 1915. Mrs. 
Grimm is a member of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. It has been some years since 
Mr. Grimm became a Mason and he has con- 



tinued in good standing ever since and has 
reached the Royal Arch degree. He is past 
master of Blue Valley lodge No. 64, F. & A. 
M., at Wilber, which he served three years and 
during that entire period missed but two meet- 
ings. Politically he has always been affiliated 
with the Republican party. 

LEWIS L. RAYMOND, whose name car- 
ries with it the high regard that comes of hon- 
orable achievement, is a leader of the bar at 
Scottsblutif. and a citizen of the county who has 
served in numerous important official capacities 
with marked efficiency and great public spirit. 
A native son of Nebraska, he is a representa- 
tive of an (.1(1 pidiieer family that settled within 
its borders aliiKot a half century ago. Mr. 
Raymond wa.s h.irn October 19. 1871, in Butler 
county, the son of Seth and Elizabeth (Love- 
lace) Raymond. 

Seth Raymond was born at Millersburg, 
Ohio, September 0, 1835, hut was a resident of 
Wisconsin when the Civil War came on. He 
enlisted April ,i, IShl, in Company G. Third 
Wisconsin volunteer infantry and served faith- 
fully as a .soldier until he was honorably dis- 
charged at Beaufort, North Carolina, in Feb- 
ruary, 1865. Until the day of his death, June 
10. 1910, he bore the marks of the wounds he 
received at the battle of ^^'inchester, \'irginia. 
On January 16, 1864. he was united in mar- 
riage, at Janesville. Wisconsin, to h'lizaheth 
Lovelace, who was horn ( »el(_iher 4, 1843, at 
Erie, Pennsylvania. She resides at Scottsblutif, 
where she is active in the Methodist Episcopal 
church, to which her husband also belonged. 
Of their faniih- of nine children, Lewis L. was 
the fifth in ot.'ler of l.irtli. In October, 1870, 
Seth Raymond and his family came to Ne- 
braska and he In miesteaded in Butler count\-, 
remaining on !iis laiKJ llicre until AuL;tist, 1884, 
when he move(l to !)a\\soii iduutw from there 
coming to ScoilsMut'f county in March. 1887. 
He took up laud ti\-e miles southwest of Gering 
and remained on that f.ann uiuil March, 1892, 
when he moved into (.iering. where he lived 
a somewhat retired life until 1905. In the 
spring of that year he came to Scottsbluff, 
where his remaining years were passed. He 
was a man of sterling character, was somewhat 
active in the Republican party and a Mason in 
good standing in his lodge. 

Lewis L. Raymond had public school ad- 
vantages in early youth and later spent four 
years in study in the normal school at Fremont. 
Like many another intellectual young man, he 
began business life in the schoolroom and more 
or less continuously taught school for the fol- 
lowing fourteen years in Scottsbluft' county, 



14 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



during a part of this time devoting himself to 
the study of law, F. A. Wright being his pre- 
ceptor. Mr. Raymond was admitted to the bar, 
November 17, 1902, and soon afterward 
started practice in this county, where since then 
he has been identified with many of the most 
important cases that have come before the 
courts. He has not, however, been able to de- 
vote his entire time to his profession for his 
fellow citizens have often called him into public 
life. He served one term as deputy county 
clerk, two terms as county superintendent, two 
terms as county attorney, and one term as 
county judge, while in 1909 he was elected to 
the state senate. Since retiring from the polit- 
ical field his law practice has absorbed his 
attention to a great extent and his high stand- 
ing at the bar is unquestioned. 

On September 1, 1897, Mr. Raymond was 
united in marriage to Miss Mable Shumway, a 
member of the prominent Shumway family of 
this section of the state, and they have three 
children, two sons and one daughter: Charles 
R., Jack L., and Evelyn. The daughter is still 
in school. Both sons entered military service as 
volunteers in 1918, neither of them being of 
military age, but loyal and patriotic American 
youths to the core. Charles R. is a sergeant in 
the Four Hundred Forty-seventh Labor bat- 
talion, at Camp Humphrey, Virginia, and Jack 
L. is a member of the United States Marines. 
Mr. Raymond and his family are members of 
the Methodist Episcopal church. In his polit- 
ical convictions he is a Republican. 

WILLIAM H. LYMAN. — The banking 
interests that go so far to substantiate the im- 
portance of Gering, are fortunately in the 
hands of able financiers and trustworthy busi- 
ness men. With sound, reliable banking in- 
stitutions in the background, a community is 
helped in many ways, this possession giving 
confidence to investing capitalists who largely 
base their opinion on the showing of the banks. 
One of these substantial banks at Gering that 
has been doing a large and safe business here 
for many years, is the State Bank of Gering, 
of which William H. Lyman is vice president 
and active in its management. 

William H. Lyman was born at Kearney, 
Nebraska, August 12, 1886, the youngest of 
a family of nine children born to William H. 
and Maria J. (Van Cleek) Lyman, the latter 
a native of Canada, who now lives at Weep- 
ing Water, in Cass county, Nebraska. Mr. 
Lyman's father was born at Spencer, Massa- 
chusetts, came to Nebraska as a pioneer and 
died here in November, 1917, having conduct- 
ed an insurance and real estate business at 



Weeping Water for a number of years. In 
politics he was a Republican, belonged fra- 
ternally to the A. O. U. W., and was a faith- 
ful member of the Congregational church. 

William Henry Lyman was educated at 
Weeping Water. After his graduation from the 
high school in 1906 his studies were continued 
in the academy. When prepared to enter bus- 
iness he chose the jewelry line and Holyoke, 
Colorado, as his business field. He remained 
at Holyoke for ten years and during that time 
became prominent in public affairs of the town, 
serving on the town board and also as mayor. 
In 1917 he came to Gering and has been iden- 
tified with the State Bank of Gering ever 
since, first as assistant cashier. In August, 
1918, Mr. Lyman, together with Mr. Denslow, 
bought the controlling interest in the bank at 
the same time becoming vice president, with 
Lloyd Denslow as president. The latest bank 
statement of 1919, gives the following: Cap- 
ital stock. $25,000; undivided profits and sur- 
plus, $23,000; deposits, $400,000. Mr. Lyman 
is interested in Scottsbluft county irrigated and 
ranch lands and is a persistent booster for 
what he says is the best county on earth. 

In 1908 Mr. Lyman was united in marriage 
to Miss Grace Mowry, who was born_on a 
farm near Marysville, Missouri. Her father, 
the late Charles M. Mowry, was in the hard- 
ware business at Holyoke, Colorado, for twen- 
ty-five years preceding his death. Mr. and 
Mrs. Lyman have one daughter, Anna Mae, an 
attractive little maiden of ten years. They are 
members of the Baptist church and willingly 
helpful in its many avenues of benevolence. 
Mr. Lyman is somewhat prominent in the or- 
der of Knights of Pythias, serving for a time 
as chancellor commander. 

Mr. Lyman has been an independent voter 
and has at all times felt free to give his polit- 
ical support to those whose measures his own 
judgment approved. 

ROBERT G. SIMMONS, an able member 
of the Scottsbluflf county bar and formerly 
county attorney, is widely and favorably 
known, not only as a young man of brilliant 
promise in his profession, but as a patriotic 
soldier when his country needed defenders. 
Mr. Simmons was in the aviation service. 

Robert G. Simmons was born at Scottsbluflf, 
in Scottsblufif county, Nebraska, December 25, 
1891, fifth in a family of seven children bom 
to Charles H. and Alice M. (Sheldon) Sim- 
mons. Both parents were born in the state of 
New York, and the mother died in Nebraska 
in 1918. The father of Mr. Simmons came to 
Scottsbluff county and homesteaded in 1886 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



15 



and his family joined him in the following 
year. He remained on his farm until 1898 
when he came to Gering where he conducted a 
grocery store for a time. He moved then to 
Scottsbluff, of which place he has been a con- 
tinuous resident and important citizen ever 
since, serving for ten years as postmaster of 
the town and subsequently accepting a place 
on the board of water commissioners, which 
he still fills. In politics he is somewhat active 
in Republican councils, and fraternally he is 
identitied with the order of Modern Wood- 
men. He is a pillar of the Presbyterian 
church. He takes satisfaction in the fact that 
not only his son Robert G. has chosen Scotts- 
blutif county as his permanent home when 
choice might be made of any other section, but 
the other members of his family have done 
likewise, as follows : William L., who is in a 
contracting business ; Otis W., who is also a 
contractor; Charles S., who is a sign painter 
by trade ; Edith, who is the wife of Lee Harri- 
son ; and Ada and Ida, who attend school. 

Robert G. Simmons was aflforded educa- 
tional advantages and was graduated from the 
high school in 1909, following which came two 
years in Hastings College, and a course in law 
in the Nebraska State University, from which 
he was graduated in 1915. He immediately 
opened a law office at Gering and in 1916 was 
elected county attorney, continuing to serve in 
that capacity' until October 29, 1917. when he 
entered the aviation department of the Na- 
tional army and was sent to Fort Omaha for 
training. Passing every test, and they are 
many and exacting, he made rapid progress 
and won the rank of second lieutenant in the 
air service, for five months having command 
of a company, with jurisdiction over four un- 
der officers. When relieved from service he 
returned home and resumed practice at Gering 
where his friends and admirers are many, al- 
though for family reasons he is considering 
the transfer of his office to Scottsbluflf. He 
possesses every requisite for professional ad- 
vancement. 

Mr. Simmons was united in arriage to Miss 
Gladys Weil, on June 23, 1917. She also is a 
native of Nebraska and was born at Harvard, 
her people being old settlers of that section. 
Mr. and Mrs. Siinmons have one son, Robert 
G. They are members of the Presbyterian 
church. Politically Mr. Simmons is a sound 
Republican and has the reputation of being 
loyal to his political friends. He is a Scottish 
Rite Mason and a Shriner. 

LLOYD DEN SLOW. — Because of his 
success in managing the affairs of the Gering 



State Bank, of which he is president, it might 
be inferred that Lloyd Denslow has been in 
the banking business all his life. This, how- 
ever, is not the case, although, undoubtedly the 
business ability which he has shown here, has 
been a leading factor in other enterprises in 
which he has been equally successful. He is 
an example of Nebraska's native born, thor- 
oughly educated, steady, ambitious and enter- 
prising young citizens who gives great promise 
for the future of this commonwealth. 

Lloyd Denslow was born at Hooper, in 
Dodge county, Nebraska, November 7, 1884, 
the youngest of four children born to Jeremiah 
and Anna (Sutton) Denslow. The father was 
born in the state of New York, in 1843, came 
to Nebraska in 1854, and died in Dodge coun- 
ty, April 22, 1907. The mother was a native 
of Illinois, born there in 1843, came to Ne- 
braska in 1857, married Jeremiah Denslow at 
Fontanelle, this state, and died October 21, 
1907. Lloyd Denslow has one brother and two 
sisters: J. H., who owns a large irrigated farm 
near Denver, Colorado; May, the wife of 
Charles H. Lyman, who is in the real estate 
business at Poison, Montana, and Nina, the 
wife of Dr. T. Wiglesworth. a practicing 
physician at Twin Falls, Idaho. Jeremiah 
Denslow was a freighter in early days. He 
became a man of wealth and prominence, at 
one time was put forward by the Prohibitionist 
party as its candidate for lieutenant-governor 
of the state. Yet, he was in very humble cir- 
cumstances when he came to Nebraska and 
has been heard to declare that his sole capital 
was represented by thirty-five cents and no ex- 
pectations. He possessed, however, capital of 
another kind, and in the honorable acquisition 
of property, and in the building up of a stable 
reputation, he proved that industry, prudence 
and personal integrity have high value. Mr. 
Denslow homesteaded in Dodge county and 
the family still have this land now grown 
very valuable. For twenty-five years before 
he retired from business he was president 
of a bank at Hooper. He was a Knight Tem- 
plar Mason and always an ardent supporter 
of the cause of temperance and a firm believ- 
er in its final triumph ahhough he was not 
permitted to see his judgment confirmed. 

Lloyd Denslow was graduated from the 
Hooper high school in 1901, and from the Fre- 
mont high school in 1903. His graduation 
from the Nebraska State University followed 
in 1908 and after that came one year of post 
graduate work at Columbia University, New 
York City. He then entered business and 
spent two years in Old Mexico, Idaho and 
Washington, being twenty-six years old when 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



he returned to Hooper, where he embarked in 
the real estate business, in which he continued 
for three years. Mr. Denslow owned a tract 
of forty acres of land and to that he added 
forty acres, and was engaged there in farm- 
ing and hog-raising, together with dealing m 
real estate up to 1916, when he came to Ger- 
ing. Here he was identified for a while with 
the Great Western Sugar Company. Later he 
sold his eighty acres of farm land, though 
retaining some holdings in Wyoming, and m 
association with William H. Lyman bought 
the controlling stock in the Gering State Bank, 
of which he was made president. This bank- 
ing institution is considered one of the most 
solvent in the state, is amply financed and 
carefully and conservatively directed. 

Mr. Denslow was united in marriage to Miss 
Alda Grav, November 8, 1913, who is a native 
daughter 'of Nebraska, her birthplace bemg 
Pleasant Dale. She is a member of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church and the devoted mother 
of their little son and daughter, Jerry and 
Dorothy, the former of whom was born in 
1914 and the latter in 1919. An independent 
voter from early manhood, Mr. Denslow has 
felt free to give his political support to men 
and measures approved by his own judgment. 
Dviring the World War in which the country 
was engaged, he never failed in any patriotic 
duty and served as chief clerk on the draft 
board for almost a year. He is a Scottish 
Rite Mason and a Shriner, and is past senior 
warden of his lodge. In religious belief the 
faith of the Unitarians attracts him. 

JOHN S. PECKHAAL at the head of a 
prosperous general automobile business oper- 
ated under the style of the Peckham Motor 
Company, at Gering, Nebraska, is a practical 
and experienced automobile man, having had 
special training in this line of mechanics. He 
has been in business for himself since 1911 
and has been located at Gering since 1917. • 

John S. Peckham was bom at Kearney, Ne- 
braska, February 8, 1888, one of a family of 
eight children born to George F. and Roselle 
(Lyons) Peckham. The father was born in 
1843 in Wisconsin, and died in Nebraska in 
1914. The mother was also born in Wiscon- 
sin, seventy years ago, and still survives. Of 
their seven surviving children, John S. was 
the seventh in order of birth, the others being: 
Mina, the widow of Charles Esley, formerly 
with Booth & Co., Denver, Colorado ; Nellie, 
the wife of H. W. Van Meter, of Lincoln, 
Nebraska; George, who resided at Kearney; 
Eva, the wife of B. P. Cutting, a traveling 
salesman in Nebraska for the Nebraska Buick 



Automobile Company ; Cornelia, the wife of 
Roy Flemming, a contracting painter at 
Scottsbluft, and Ralph, a conductor on the 
Burlington railroad. The father of the above 
family served four years in the Civil War, as 
a wagoner in the Eleventh Wisconsin in- 
fantry, escaping permanent injury although 
often in great danger. He came to Kearney, 
Nebraska, in the eighties and for a number of 
years after^vard was in the pump and wind- 
mill business. He was a member of the Bap- 
tist church. 

John S. Peckham attended the public schools 
of Kearney until the tenth grade, and had fur- 
ther advantages at Lincoln. In that city he 
went to work for the Cushman Motor Com- 
pany, in the gas engine department, and re- 
mained employed at Lincoln for the next ten 
years remaining three years with the Cushman 
people and the rest of the time was with the 
Nebraska Buick Automobile Company and the 
E. E. Mockett Auto Company. He had the best 
possible mechanical training with these repre- 
sentative concerns and by 1911 was ready to 
embark in the same business on his own ac- 
count. He located at Douglas, Nebraska, where 
he cotinued until 1917, when he came to Gering 
where he has done well. He is sales agent 
for the Buick cars, which has added to his 
business popularity because of the general con- 
fidence in these motors. 

In 1913 Mr. Peckham was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Madge Allison, who was bom 
at Sterling, Nebraska, and they have two chil- 
dren, namely: Ruth and Ray. Although not 
unduly active in politics, Mr. Peckham is in- 
telligently watchful of public events as well as 
local aft'airs, and casts a Republican vote. He 
has been a Mason for a number of years and 
is in good standing in his lodge. 

GEORlGE B. PECKHAM, well known both 
in Kearney and Gering in the automobile in- 
dustry, being an expert mechanician, belongs 
to an old pioneer family of Nebraska, his 
father coming here early in the eighties. Mr. 
Peckham was born in 1877, in Wisconsin. His 
parents, George F. and Roselle (Lyons) Peck- 
ham, were also born in Wisconsin, his father 
in 1843 and his mother in 1849. The latter 
survives. The father served four years in the 
Civil War as a wagoner in a Wisconsin regi- 
ment. He was in the well-digging business 
and after coming to Kearney, Nebraska, he 
engaged in that business and expanded it and 
for many years was the leading man in Buf- 
falo county in the pump and windmill business. 
His death occurred in 1914. George B. Peck- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



17 



ham was the fourth in a family of eight chil- 
dren, the others being: Mina, the wife of 
Charles Esley, who died at Denver, Colorado, 
in 1918; William, who died in 1912 when aged 
forty-two years; Nellie, the wife of H. W. 
Van Meter, of Lincoln. Nebraska ; Cornelia, 
the wife of Roy Flemming, of Scottsblufif ; 
Eva, the wife of B. P. Cutting, of Lincoln ; 
John S., in the automobile business at Gering, 
and Ralph, who resides at Lincoln. 

George B. Peckham accompanied his par- 
ents when a boy from Wisconsin to Kearney, 
Nebraska, where he attended school. His first 
business experience was as an employee of a 
lumber company. Later he went into the me- 
chanical department of an automobile com- 
pany and has been interested in this business 
ever since. When his brother, John S. Peck- 
ham, came to Gering in 1917 and established 
the Peckham Motor Company, he accompanied 
him and has ever since been identified with this 
business, of which he will soon become a co- 
partner. 

On December 14, 1898, George B. Peckham 
was united in marriage to Miss Mable Hodges, 
and they have one daughter. Edna, who is the 
wife of J. M. Branson, of Gering. Mrs. Peck- 
ham is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, but Mr. Peckham was reared in the 
Baptist faith. 

VICTOR ANDERSON, M. D., proprietor 
of the leading drug store at Bridgeport and a 
general medical practitioner of wide experi- 
ence, has spent the greater part of a very use- 
ful life in the United States but his birthplace 
was in another country. He was born in 
Sweden, March 21, 1867, came to this country 
when twelve years old and through his own 
efforts not only acquired a literary but a pro- 
fessional education. 

The parents of Dr. Anderson were Andrew 
and Carrie ( Alagnuson) Anderson, both of 
whom died in Sweden. Of their four chil- 
dren Dr. .\nclerson was the third in order of 
birth, the others being: Charles, Alice, who 
is a resident of St. Joseph, Missouri, and Car- 
rie, who is Mrs. Sangren, lives near Salina, 
Kansas. The parents were members of th° 
Lutheran church. The father was a well read 
man but not professional, being a farmer all 
his hfe. 

Victor Anderson attended the public schools 
in his native land. In 1880 he came to the 
United States and went to work on a farm in 
Republic county, Kansas, but soon found an 
opportunity to work in a drug store at Scandia, 
Kansas, and during his three years in that po- 
sition applied himself so diligently to the study 



of drugs and early medical reading, that he 
was able to enter the University Medical Col- 
lege of Kansas City, Missouri, from which he 
was graduated in 1887. He began practice in 
the Wabash Railway hospital service at Peru, 
Indiana, moving later to Springfield Illinois. 
When he retired from hospital service he lo- 
cated at Butler, Indiana, where he en- 
gaged in a general practice for three years, re- 
moving then to Deweese. Nebraska, where he 
remained for eight years and then established 
himself at Bridgeport. Here he has a well 
equipped drug store and his fellow citizens 
know that all prescriptions are put up under 
his own supervision. In connection with 
handling drugs. Dr. .Anderson has many of 
the other features which the public has learned 
to expect in a modern establishment of this 
kind. 

In 1894 Dr. Anderson was united in mar- 
riege to Elsie Spanogle, a sister of Mark and 
Clyde Spanogle, bankers, at Bridgeport. They 
have two children : Howard Lloyd, who is 
associated with his father in the drug store, 
and Helen M., a graduate of -the Kearney 
normal school. Dr. Anderson's family belong 
to the Episcopal church. In politics he is a 
Democrat and elected on that party ticket he 
has served as coroner of Morrill county. For 
many years he has been identified with Ma- 
sonry and has passed the Consistory degrees. 

WILLIAM F. FRENCH. — .\n interest- 
ing example of business enterprise at Gering 
is the success attending the firm of French & 
Hanks, who established their general repair 
automobile business here in 1916. being also 
selling agents for a number of the best known 
cars now manufactured. Mr. French has had 
experience in other lines of business, but seems 
particularly well qualified for the automobile 
trade, and since coming to Gering has built up 
a sound business reputation and made many 
personal friends. 

William F. French was born at Jamestown, 
Kansas, January 25, 1885. His parents are 
B. C. and Anna (Dufifey) French, the former 
of whom was born in Canada and the latter in 
Wisconsin, their marriage taking place at 
Jamestown. Kansas. He went to that state in 
1872 and followed farming there until 1893 
when he moved to Oklahoma, bought a farm 
there and continued to operate it as long as he 
remained in active life. He now lives retired 
on his property in Grant county. In his polit- 
ical views he is a Democrat. The mother of 
Mr. French is a member of the Roman Cath- 
olic Church. Of their five children, William 
F. was the first born, the others being: An- 



18 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



drew, who entered military service in the Na- 
tional army, August 15, 1918, is now in Ger- 
many, a member of a hospital corps of evacua- 
tion camp No. i7 ; Stella, the wife of R. L. 
Thompson, a farmer near Pond Creek, Okla- 
homa ; May, the wife of Glenn R. Ratchff, a 
business man of Mankota, Kansas, and 
Gladys, who resides with her parents. 

William F. French obtained his education in 
Oklahoma and was graduated from the high 
school of Pond Creek, in 1904. For several 
years afterward he assisted his father and fol- 
lowed agricultural pursuits, then embarked in 
the insurance business. Later he learned 
telegraphy and for four and a half years was 
a telegraph operator for the Union _ Pacific 
railroad. He then became interested in aiito- 
mobiling for pleasure and this led to practical 
results. In 1916 he came to Gering and in 
partnership with R. M. Hanks, established his 
motor repair works and the enterprise has 
prospered. The firm also displays and sells 
Maxwell, Haynes, Reo, and Mitchell cars, 
their territory covering Scottsblulif, Boxbutte, 
Banner, Morrill, and Sioux counties, Nebras- 
ka, and Goshen county, Wyoming. In the 
present favorable condition of the automobile 
trade, a great future may be in store for hon- 
est, intelligent young business men, who de- 
vote themselves to its best interests and iden- 
tify themselves only with sterling cars. 

In October, 1910, Mr. French was unhed in 
marriage to Miss Lottie Brown, who was born 
at Clyde, Kansas. She is a member of the 
Christian church. Mr. French is a Scottish 
Rite Mason. Politically he is identified with 
the Democratic party but has never desired 
public office, his preference being for the busi- 
ness rather than the political field. 

ROBERT M. HANKS, an automobile 
dealer at Gering in association with William 
F. French, has spent many years in Scotts- 
bluff county where he owns valuable property, 
is widely known and has been prominently 
identified with the great work of irrigation in 
this section. He divides his time between Jthe 
management of his ranch on which he cari^ies 
on extensive cattle feeding, and his automobile 
business in the city. 

Robert M. Hanks was born in Montgomery 
county, Illinois, in July, 1859, the fourth in a 
family of eight children born to James and 
Armina (Witherspoon) Hanks, the former a 
native of Mississippi and the latter of Ken- 
tucky. They moved to Illinois in the early 
forties, and both died in that state. They were 
members of the Presbyterian church, and the 
father was a Republican from the time of the 



organization of that party. He was a farmer 
all his active life. His surviving children be- 
sides Robert M. are one son and three daugh- 
ters: Ritta, the widow of Robert Hughes, of 
Hillsboro, Illinois ; James, an agent for the 
Illinois Central railroad, at Martinsville; Ad- 
die, a teacher in the public schools of Hills- 
boro, and Alma, who also resides at Hillsboro. 

Robert M. Hanks attended school at Hills- 
boro, Illinois, grew up on his father's farm 
and later engaged in farming for himself un- 
til 1886, when he came to Nebraska and home- 
steaded in Scottsbluff county. After residing 
on his land for four and a half years, Mr. 
Hanks went to Kearney, where he worked in 
a brickyard the summer of 1891, then returned 
to Scottsbluff county and became interested 
here in farming and ditch building. He built 
the Gering irrigation ditch and served three 
years on the board of directors. For twenty 
seasons Mr. Hanks operated a threshing ma- 
chine and with his outfit visited many parts of 
the county in earlier years. In 1916 in asso- 
ciation with William F. French he established 
an automobile repair business at Gering, 
which has proved a profitable undertaking, 
for the use of motor cars of some kind is al- 
most universal through this section. The de- 
mand for the best of well built modern cars 
induced Mr. Hanks and Mr. French to become 
selling agents for the Maxwell, Haynes, Reo 
and Mitchell cars, and they have a wide terri- 
tory and are doing a large amount of business. 

In 1884 Mr. Hanks was united in marriage 
to Miss Nettie Kern, who was born in Ohio 
but was reared in Illinois. They have two 
daughters : Fay, a teacher, resides at home, 
and Aha, the wife of Miller Cooper, who 
manages the Hanks ranch near Gering. Mr. 
Hanks and his family are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. He has always 
been interested in politics, not as a politician, 
but as a citizen, and casts his vote with the 
Republican party. He has been and still is, 
one of the strong men of the county, honor- 
able and upright both in business and private 
life. 

EVAN G. DAVIES, who conducts a grain, 
feed and draying business at Gering, is not 
an old-time resident of Scottsbluff county, but 
has become well-known and esteemed as a 
business man since he established himself in 
the above city. Mr. Davies had experience in 
handling wheat and other precious grain 
products of American farms, on which the 
eyes of a hungry world are centered at the 
present time, before he became a grain buyer, 
for he was a grower on the old homestead 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



19 



farm in Hitchcock county for many pears pre- 
viously. 

Evan G. Davies is proud of his sturdy 
(Welsh ancestry. He was born in Hitchcocli 
county, Nebraska, June 24, 1886. His parents 
were Samuel and Margaret (Morris) Davies, 
both of whom were born and reared in Wales. 
Shortly after their marriage in their native 
land they came to the United States and set- 
tled at first in Iowa and then came to Hitch- 
cock, Nebraska, where the father homesteaded. 
The mother died on the farm but the father 
died at Trenton, where he had lived retired 
for some time. Of their eleven children, ten 
are living, Evan G. being the tenth in order of 
birth. The parents were members of the Con- 
gregational church. 

Evan G. Davies obtained his education in 
the Trenton schools. He was reared on the 
home farm and for a number of years confined 
his attention to agricultural pursuits. In Oc- 
tober, 1915, he came to Gering and began to 
buy grain and feed. He opened a grain and 
feed store in a good business section and sub- 
sequently added draying, exercising business 
prudence in all of his ventures. He is doing 
a fine business and a safe one. and is the lead- 
ing merchant in his line in the city. 

In December, 1908, Mr. Davies was united 
in marriage to Miss Amy Houser, who was 
born in Seward county, Nebraska, and is a 
daughter of William W. and Alma (Coover) 
Houser. The father of Mrs. Davies was born 
in Hardin county, Ohio, and was taken to 
Iowa when young and grew up there. In Feb- 
ruary, 1884. he went to Hastings, Nebraska, 
where he became interested in farming but 
later moved to Seward county and still later 
to Lincoln, his present home being at Cam- 
bridge, Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Davies have 
two children: Heath and Inez. The family 
belongs to the Christian church. In politics 
he is a Republican. 

OTTO J. PROHS. — An important busi- 
ness enterprise at Gering is the Prohs Brothers 
Hardware Company, a name that covers sev- 
eral lines of merchandising, several industries 
and also undertakings. This business is a 
growing concern. It was founded in this city 
early in 1914, on a small margin of capital, 
which has been greatly increased with the rap- 
id development of five years of legitimate 
dealing, until now a stock value of $30,000 
is carried. The firm is made up of three 
brothers, William, Otto J., and Edward S. 
Prohs. 

Otto T- Prohs was bom October 14, 1887, 



at Juniata, Adams county, Nebraska. His 
parents are Louis and Emma (Doll) Prohs, 
the former of whom was born at Stuttgart, 
Germany in 1857, and the latter at St. Louis, 
Missouri, in 1861. They were married at Hol- 
lowayville, in Bureau county, Illinois, and 
eleven children were born to them, eight of 
whom are living. They are members of the 
Evangelical Lutheran church. In 1884 the 
parents of Mr. Prohs came to Nebraska and 
the father rented land in Adams county, but 
in 1888 the family returned to Illinois and the 
parents have resided at Peru ever since. 

Otto J. Prohs attended the public schools 
in Peru until he finished tenth grade work, af- 
ter which he was a student for a time in 
Brown's Business! college and also took a 
business course with the International Cor- 
respondence school. He went to work first in 
a printing office, but soon afterward found a 
position with the Big Ben Clock works, start- 
ing to work for $3 a week. That Mr. Prohs 
remained with this company for the next four- 
teen years speaks well for his industry and 
efficiency and when the further fact is men- 
tioned that when he severed his long relation 
he was receiving a large salary as assistant 
stock manager, it may be inferred that he had 
proved faithful to every responsibility he had 
assumed. On March 9, 1914 he came to Ger- 
ing and with his brothers established the pres- 
ent business. The firm handles a general line 
of hardware furniture and carpets, do tinning 
and plumbing and also are undertakers. In 
all their business transactions they have been 
fair and honorable and they enjoy the respect 
and confidence of the public. 

In 1913 Otto J. Prohs was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Flora West, who was born at 
Peru, Illionis. They have one son, Wesley 
Richard, born at Gering, Nebraska, in Septem- 
ber, 1914. Mr. Prohs, like his father, is a 
Republican in politics, and, while never par- 
ticularly active, feels a citizen's responsibility 
and keeps well informed on all public ques- 
tions. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity 
and also to the Knights of Pythias. 

WILLIAM LAMM. Sr., one of the ex- 
tensive landowners of Scottsbluff county, and 
for many years one of the heaviest cattle 
feeders, has been a resident of Gering since 
1909, where his judgment on business mat- 
ters and public affairs is considered of great 
value. Although Mr. Lamm has been a capi- 
talist for many years, he began his business 
career a penniless boy thrown upon his own 
resources, hence his advice from lessons 



20 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



learned through experience, may well be treas- 
ured. He was born April 23, 1854, in Des 
Moines county, Iowa. His father was Bene- 
dict Lanim, and both parents were born in 
Germany. They came to the United States 
in 1853 and settled in Iowa, where Benedict 
Lamm bought a farm and on that place both 
he and wife died. Of their four children, two 
besides William are living: Oscar, a stone- 
cutter by trade, lives at Burlington, Iowa ; and 
Mary, the wife of Charles Bassett, lives in 
New York. The parents of Mr. Lamm were 
members of the Roman Catholic church. 

William Lamm had comparatively few edu- 
cational advantages in boyhood. He worked 
on his father's farm as long as he remained at 
home, and continued farm work after he was 
thrown at an early age on his own responsi- 
bility. By nature industrious and through ne- 
cessity frugal and saving, he gradually ad- 
vanced himself and in the course of time be- 
came the owner of farm land in Union county, 
Iowa, where he resided for many years. When 
he came to Scottsbluff county, Nebraska, in 
1904, his business sense led to his investing 
largely in irrigated land and at the present 
time he owns many valuable acres, where his 
operations in cattle and sheep feeding have 
proved exceedingly profitable. 

In 1875 Mr. Lamm was united in marriage 
to Miss Jane Knotts, who died December 3, 
1918. They became the parents of the follow- 
ing children : William H., postmaster at Ger- 
ing; Ernest, a farmer in Wyoming; Bert, a 
farmer in Idaho; Bertha, the wife of John 
Gross, a farmer in Wyoming ; Bess, who mar- 
ried Joseph Nisley, in the monument business 
at Gering; Carrie, the wife of Harry Barton, 
a farmer near Gering; Cloreta, the wife of E. 
Davies ; True, who resides at home, having 
been honorably discharged from the military 
camp where he had been in training since Oc- 
tober, 1918; and Grace, the wife of P. E. 
Schmidt, who entered the National army in 
April, 1918, was honorably discharged in 
March, 1919 and is now connected with the 
First National Bank of Scottsblufif. Mr. 
Lamm and his family belong to the Christian 
church. Politically he is a sound Democrat. 
He has never cared for public office as his 
time and energies are occupied in the manage- 
ment of six hundred and forty acres of valu- 
able land which he owns near Gering, all under 
cultivation. Mr. Lamm is essentially the archi- 
tect of his own fortunes and is self made. He 
was one of the organizers and heavy stock- 
holders of the Gering National Bank, being a 



member of the board of directors of that in- 
stitution. 

HOWARD O. JONES, D.D.S. — The dif- 
ferent professions are well represented at Ger- 
ing, and a leading Practitioner of dentistry is 
Dr. Howard O. Jones, who established him- 
self in this city in 1916. Although not in con- 
tinuous practice since then, nevertheless he 
has succeeded in building up a large clientele 
made up of those who demand scientific treat- 
ment and appreciate thorough dental knowl- 
edge. Dr. Jones has but recently resumed his 
practice after an absence of four months in 
military training at Camp Logan, Houston, 
Texas. He entered the National army Sep- 
tember 16, 1918, was assigned to the dental 
corps, was ranked a first lieutenant, and was 
honorably discharged February 22, 1919. 

Howard O. Jones was born August 29, 1894, 
at Granger, Scotland county, Missouri. His 
parents are Henry Harrison and Ida (Sul- 
linger) Jones, the former of whom was born 
at Granger and the latter at Glasgow, Mis- 
souri. Of their three children, Howard O. is 
the second born, the others being: Lois, the 
wife of B. O. Reeves, county attorney of 
Scotland county ; and Paul, attending school. 
The parents of Dr. Jones are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. The father has 
been very active in Republican politics for 
many years and ex-county clerk of Scotland 
county. He is a lawyer by profession, and for 
twenty-five years has been in the abstract busi- 
ness at Memphis, Missouri. He is also presi- 
dent of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company, 
and he is identified with various Masonic 
bodies. 

After completing his public school course 
at Memphis, Howard O. Jones entered a den- 
tal college at Denver, Colorado, from which 
he was graduated in 1916, immediately after- 
ward coming to Gering. Dr. Jones keeps fully 
abreast of the times in relation to the remark- 
able progress being made in his profession, 
devoting much study to oral and plastic sur- 
gery, the wonders of which have more or less 
revolutionized every branch of the healing art. 
By inheritance and inclination he is a Republi- 
can and belongs to the religious body in which 
he was reared by careful home influences. He 
is unmarried. 

ROBERT G. MILLER. — The wisdom 
shown by large corporations in placing ex- 
perienced and practical men in charge of their 
industries in which they have invested im- 
mense capital is to be commended, and a case 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



ii' point is the Great Western Sugar Company, 
at Gering, of which Robert G. Miller, con- 
struction superintendent, has been made su- 
perintendent. Mr. Miller not only has had 
thorough training in construction work, having 
been identified with machinery and mechanics 
all his business life, but he is an able man in 
other directions. He possesses great execu- 
tive ability, has proved himself able to cope 
with changing conditions in the industrial 
world, and has had much to do with the pres- 
ent prosperity of the plant. 

Robert G. Miller was born at Burlington, 
Iowa, April 13, 1871. His father, Peter Mil- 
ler, was born in Switzerland, and his mother 
was born in Germany. They came to the United 
States when young and met and were mar- 
ried at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Nine chil- 
dren were born to them, Robert G. being the 
fourth, and seven still survive. The mother 
was a member of the Roman Catholic church. 
The father of Mr. Miller was a machinist by 
trade and he followed the same for a number 
of years at Burlington, Iowa, and later in Cali- 
fornia. He was an American citizen and in 
politics was afSliated with the Republican 
party. 

After securing a good, common school edu- 
cation in the city of his birth. Mr. Miller 
learned the machinist trade and familiarity 
with every line of mechanics followed. While 
living in California he embarked in construc- 
tion work and there and in other places he has 
erected two mills and like structures. In 1916 
he came to Gering and as superintendent of 
construction erected the mill fof the Great 
Western Sugar Company, and in 1917 went to 
Bayard and built a mill there. In 1918 he was 
called back to Gering to become superintend- 
ent of the mill he had erected here and has so 
continued. 

In 1897 Mr. Miller was united in marriage 
to Miss Katie Sawyer, who is a daughter of 
Jacob Sawyer, a well-known real estate dealer 
of Los Angeles, California. They have one 
daughter, Helen, who resides at home. In 
politics Mr. Miller has always voted with the 
Republican party. 

AUBURN W. ATKINS, who for many 
years has been a man of prominence in Ne- 
braska, came to Cheyenne county as a cow 
puncher in 1880. Well educated and with 
comfortable home environment in the East, 
when he reached his majority, he chose the 
freedom and adventure of the West, where he 
has achieved no small measure of distinction 
and has accumulated a fortune. Colonel At- 



kins was born in Ashtabula county, Ohio, 
April 16, 1859, and received his title when 
serving as a member of Governor Neville's 
staff. 

The Colonel's parents were Levi and Persis 
Amanda (Clarke) Atkins, natives of Ohio. 
The father was a soldier in the Civil war, a 
member of the Eighth Ohio Volunteer, and 
died from disease caused from exposure, while 
in the service. Of his four children, Auburn 
W. is the second of the three survivors, the 
others being: Angelo, a noted teacher of mu- 
sic at Bowling Green, Ohio, and Frances Gene- 
vieve, a widow, who resides at David City, Ne- 
braska. The mother was a member of the 
Baptist church. 

Auburn W. .^.tkins was young when he lost 
his father. He obtained his first schooling at 
Sullivan, Ohio, and Greenville, Mississippi, and 
later attended the high schools at Tabor and 
Hamburg, Iowa. He worked on a cattle ranch 
for a number of years after coming to Ne- 
braska, in the meanwhile homesteading and 
pre-empting land as opportunity presented, and 
at the present owns about 4,000 acres and has 
eight hundred acres under irrigation, this 
farm being under rental. For many years he 
has been a heavy raiser of cattle, his activities 
including buying and selling, and he has pros- 
pered exceedingly. Colonel Atkins has been 
closely identified with irrigation projects and 
also with railroad construction in this section 
of the state, as well as Montana, where he 
built eight miles of road at one time. He also 
constructed ten miles of the Burlington Rail- 
road south of Bridgeport. He is president of 
the Alliance Ditch Company and was one of 
its organizers. 

On July 16, 1893, Col. Atkins was united in 
marriage to Miss Lulia Barnhart, who was 
born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, a 
daughter of David A. and Malinda (Moore) 
Barnhart, who settled at Kimball, Nebraska, 
in 1878. He was a successful cattle man dur- 
ing his active years and his death occurred in 
1911 at Sidney. The mother of Mrs. Atkins 
lives at Cheyenne. Four children have beeit 
born to Colonel and Mrs. Atkins ; Clarke W., 
who enlisted in the aviation department for 
service in the World War, was in France for 
seven months and did his full duty; Allan B., 
is working on his father's ranch; Auburn H., 
a member of the Naval Reserve corps during 
the war, has reached home, and Lulia Virginia, 
is yet in school. All the members of the fam- 
ily have been confirmed in the Episcopal 
church. 

Colonel Atkins has been very prominent in 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Democratic politics for many years and was 
his party's choice for the General Assembly, 
being defeated by less than one hundred votes. 
He has served as county commissioner in 
Cheyenne county and has been a member of 
the town board and the school board of Bridge- 
port many times. In 1916-17 he served, as 
mentioned above, on Governor Neville's staff. 
He is a Scottish Rite Mason, an Odd Fellow, 
an Elk and Knight of Pythias. At present 
he devotes his time mainly to looking after 
his land and irrigation interests, and main- 
tains a beautiful and hospitable home in 
Bridgeport. 

WILLIAM G. BROWN, D.D.S., who has 
been engaged in the practice of dentistry at 
Gering for a number of years, occupies a 
prominent place in professional circles here 
and is a member of the medical advisory board 
of Scottsbluft county. Since locating at Ger- 
ing he has taken a commendable interest in 
civic affairs in general and is now serving in 
the office of city clerk. He was bom in Ralls 
county, Missouri, May 4, 1886. His parents 
are George and Virginia (Elzea) Brown, na- 
tives of Virginia, who located in Missouri 
prior to the Civil War, and now live retired at 
New London, Missouri, where the father was 
in the hardware business for a number of 
years. Of their five children William Guy 
was the third born, the others being: Ernest, 
in the employ of the United States government, 
lives at Muscogee, Oklahoma ; Clifford, a den- 
tist at Ashton, Idaho ; Elizabeth, a teacher in 
the public schools at Lincoln; and Deskin, a 
sailor on the United States ship Mayflower, 
having entered military service in 1913. 

William G. Brown completed his public 
school course at New London, Missouri, when 
he was graduated from the high school in 1903. 
He then went to work for the Portland Ce- 
ment Company at Hannibal, Missouri, where 
he remained four years, being manager of the 
empty bag department. From early youth, 
however, he had taken an interest in dentistry 
and when prepared to study the art scientific- 
ally, he entered Creighton Dental college, 
from which he was graduated three years la- 
ter, in 1910. He located immediately at Em- 
merson. Nebraska, where he remained in prac- 
tice until the fall of 1914, when he came to 
Geri^ng. where he has had much professional 
success. 

In 1910 Dr. Brown was united in marriage 
to Miss Matie Gaeth, who was born in Ne- 
braska. She is a member of the Episcopal 
church, is interested in charitable movements 



and is well-known in social life. Dr. Brov n 
was reared in the Presbyterian church. Po- 
litically he is identified with the Democratic 
party and fraternally he is an Odd fellow and 
has passed through all the chairs of the local 
lodge. Also B. P. O. E. 

TED L. IRELAND. — While the luxuries 
of life may be desirable, they can be dispensed 
with in the interests perhaps of patriotism, or 
health or economy, but there are certain basic 
commodities, represented by the general name 
of groceries, that are absolutely necessary for 
consumption in every household, in order to 
keep the balance that means nutrition or ill 
health. While they may never pose as philan- 
thropists, nevertheless the honest and wide 
awake grocer in of beneficial influence in a 
community. The reliable grocer insures his 
customers receiving full weight and standard 
goods and his business alertness protects them 
from unwholesotne products that may be put 
forward under the lure of cheaper price. A 
leading grocery house of the better class at 
Gering and one that handles dependable goods 
only, is that conducted by Ted L. Ireland, in 
association with his brother Roy M. Ireland. 

Ted L. Ireland was born at Arapahoe, in 
Furnas county, Nebraska, April 13, 1888, the 
eighth in a family of ten children born to 
George M. and Mary E. (Sexon) Ireland 
They were married in Nebraska, but the fath- 
er was born in West Virginia and the mother 
in Iowa. They came to Furnas county in the 
eighties, where the father homesteaded and 
lived on his farm for thirty years, retiring 
then to Mitchell, in Scottsbluff county, where 
he died. The mother still resides at Mitchell. 
She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, as was the father. He served in the 
Civil War from 1861 until 1865, with rank of 
first sergeant, and during that time spent six 
months as prisoner at Andersonville, Georgia. 
Ted L. Ireland has six brothers and one sister : 
Wilbur J., in the grocery business at Scots- 
bluff; William B., an instructor in the uni- 
versity at Lincoln ; Charles C, in business 
at Mitchell, Nebraska; George M., conducts 
a general merchandise store at Mitchell ; Ce- 
cil H., in business at Mitchell ; Roy M., asso- 
ciated with his younger brother in business at 
Gering; and Anna, the wife of William 
Cockle, who is in business with George M. 
Ireland at Mitchell. 

From home on the farm and the country 
schools, Ted L. Ireland went first to Kearney, 
where he attended the normal school, (1907), 
and afterward was a student in the Wesleyan 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



23 



University. (1915). He was seventeen years 
old when he went to work for the Mitchell 
Mercantile Company, with which concern he 
continued eight years. In 1916 he started a 
store at ScottsblutT in partnership with a 
brother, which was proving a profitable invest- 
ment when Mr. Ireland's plans were disar- 
ranged by the call of the government. He 
entered military service September 6, 1918, at 
Omaha, going into training for the balloon 
branch, but the signing of the armistice in 
November hastened his discharge and on 
December 23 following he was released. He 
came then to Gering and embarked in his 
present grocery enterprise, to which he de- 
votes himself with every indication of un- 
usual business success. 

On March 18, 1918, Mr. Ireland was united 
in marriage to Miss Ethel G. Long, who was 
born at Holdridge, Nebraska, and they have 
one daughter, Ruth Lienor. Mr. and Mrs. 
Ireland are members of the Methodist Episco- 
pal church. His political convictions make 
him a Republican, and in fraternal life he is 
an Odd Fellow, and a member of the Ameri- 
can Legion. 

FRANK B. YOUNG, M. D., a physician 
and surgeon of wide experience, who has been 
established at Gering since the fall of 1916, oc- 
cupies a foremost place in medical circles here 
as he has done elsewhere. Dr. Young was 
born in Sherman county, Kansas, August 11, 
1878, the son of John and Sophia (Franklin) 
Young, who were married at St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, and settled in Kansas in 1877. Dr. 
Young's father, also a physician of eminence, 
was born in Tennessee, in 1836, while his moth- 
er was a native of Canada. The father was 
a graduate of the Missouri Medical college, af- 
ter which he practised there until 1879, when 
he moved to Arkansas and continued active 
in his profession there until his death in 1914. 
He served as captain in the Third Missouri 
volunteer infantry in the Confederate army 
during the war between the states, and was 
several times wounded. After the Civil War 
Dr. John Young was a citizen of Nebraska for 
several years, being connected with the freight- 
ing work of Alajors Russell and Waddell, 
and the Wells Fargo Company. His father 
died and is buried at Weeping Water, Ne- 
Ijraska. He was a Mason and Odd Fellow, a 
Democrat in politics and with his family be- 
longed to the Methodist Episcopal church. The 
mother of Dr. Frank B. Young resides at 
Springdale, Arkansas. The two other chil- 
. dren of the family are: Daisy, the wife of 



Bruce Holcomb, a banker at Fayetteville, Ar- 
kansas ; and John, who owns a ranch in New 
Mexico. 

Following his graduation from the Univer- 
sity of Arkansas, Frank B. Young began the 
study of medicine and was graduated in 1900 
from the Kansas City Medical college. He en- 
tered into practice at Springdale, Arkansas, in 
partnership with his father until 1913 when he 
was appointed State Health Officer and spent 
one year in that position at Little Rock, then 
became superintendent of the State Insane 
Asylum there. He continued at the head of 
that institution until January 1, 1916, when he 
resumed private practice in the capital, but in 
the fall of the year came to Gering, where he 
has built up a gratifying clientele. In 1913- 
1914 he was president of the Arkansas Medi- 
cal society, was a member of the Arkansas 
State Board of Medical Examiners from 1907 
to 1913, and was president of the first Board 
of Health in Arkansas. 

In 1912 Dr. Young was united in marriage 
with Mrs. Jessie Keefer, who was born at Den- 
ver, Colorado. Mrs. Young has two children of 
her first marriage, Charlotte and Hamilton, 
and they reside with Dr. and Mrs. Young. He 
is a Scottish Rite Mason of the 14th degree ; 
is Past Grand in the Odd Fellow fraternity; 
is Past Chancellor in the Knights of Pythias, 
and belongs to the Elks, and for many years 
has been a member of the American Medical 
association. Dr. Young is held in the highest 
esteem in this city both professionally and 
personally. 

LUTHER F. HAMILTON. — To all citi- 
zens proud of the acknowledged general in- 
telligence of the United States, the published 
fact that an examining government board in re- 
cent years, found so large a proportion of the 
individuals coming before it illiterate, brought 
a feeling of astonishment, less, perhaps, to 
the country's educators than to others. Schol- 
arly men like Luther F. Hamilton, superin- 
tendent of the public schools of Gering and 
widely known in the state, who have devoted 
their lives to educational effort, possibly un- 
derstand more completely than others, the 
lamentable lack in modern days, of that con- 
suming thirst for real knowledge that will 
lead youth to scale mountains of difficulty in 
order to obtain knowledge. For many years 
it has been Superintendent Hamilton's con- 
scientious task to inspire this love of learning 
in the young by whom he has been continuous- 
ly surrounded, and his highest aim has been 
the opening of doors of opportunity for fu- 



24 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



ture usefulness through awakened and enhght- 
ened minds. He came to Gering from other 
educational fields where he had been highly ap- 
preciated, and the influence he has exerted has 
been marked by constant progress in the city 
schools. 

Luther F. Hamilton was born March 19, 
1872, in Macoupin county, Illinois. His par- 
ents are William and Mary (Stephens) Ham- 
ilton, the former of whom was born in Scot- 
land and the latter in England. They now live 
retired at Eddyville, Nebraska, having come to 
this state in 1889 from Illinois. The father 
purchased land in Otoe county and engaged in 
farming and raising cattle. In politics he is 
a Democrat, and both father and mother be- 
long to the United Brethren church. Of their 
five children Luther F. was the second born, 
the others being: C. R., who conducts a goat 
ranch in New Mexico; Ida, the wife of John 
Johnston, of Seattle, Washington ; Minnie, the 
wife of Ruford Williams, a farmer near Ar- 
cadia, Nebraska ; and Maggie, the wife of 
Victor Wall, a farmer and cattleman near Ed- 
dyville. 

Luther F. Hamilton attended school in Otoe 
county, in 1888 being graduated from the Pel- 
myra high school, immediately following 
which he began to teach school. ' In 1890 he 
entered the Nebraska State University, where 
he continued his studies for three years, in 
1906 securing his A. B. degree and his B. A. 
degree in 1912, in 1914 winning his M. A. 
degree. In the meanwhile he continued teach- 
ing, first at York college where he was science 
instructor, and at other points. In the course 
of years he was made superintendent of the 
schools of Panama, in Lancaster county, where 
he remained five years, going then to Douglas 
in the same capacity for six years, after which 
he was superintendent of schools at Cook for 
two years. From there he came to Gering in 
1916, and his services here have been of great 
value. 

In 1896 Luther F. Hamilton was united in 
marriage to Miss Estella Weston, who w s 
born in Wisconsin, and is a daughter of Perry 
Weston, who located at Panama, Nebraska, in 
1889. They have three children, two sons and 
one daughter, namely: Cecil C, who enlisted 
in the American army in December. 1917, for 
service in the aviation department, is yet in 
France; Keith, who is fourteen years old ; and 
Genevieve, who is eleven years old, both of 
whom attend school. Mr. Hamilton and his 
family are members of the Methodist Episco- 
pal church. In politics he is a Republican 



and fraternally is a Knight Templar Mason 
and past master of the blue lodge. 

FREMONT SCOTT. — The men who may 
most confidently be depended upon to build up 
the substantial structures of business in any 
community are those who have a varied ex- 
perience to fall back on. By the light of 
their experience, often painfully gained, they 
are able to plan successfully for the future. 
One of the experienced and representative 
businss men of Gering is Fremont Scoit, who 
has the real estate situation well in hand in 
the Panhandle of Nebraska. He has been a 
resident of the state since his fifteenth year 
and to the unusual opportunities offered to 
those seeking them, in both past and present 
Nebraska, he attributes much of his success 
in life, although his friends are not slow in 
calling to mind his personal efforts that made 
these opportunities fruitful. 

Fremont Scott was born January 15, 1857, 
in Shenaugo county, New York, the son of 
Ezekiel G. and Ruth (Wilcox) Scott, both of 
whom were bom and reared in the Empire 
state. They came to Wisconsin in 1857 and 
from that state Ezekiel Scott enlisted for serv- 
ice in the Union army during the Civil War. 
Shortly after becoming a soldier he was taken 
sick and was so seriously ill that he had to 
be brought home on a stretcher. After re- 
covery he resumed his former pursuits, being 
a man of education, and continued to live in 
Wisconsin until 1872, when, accompanied by 
his family with one team, he came to Nebras- 
ka, driving across country in pioneer style, and 
homesteaded in Hamilton county. While liv- 
ing there he is credited with killing the last 
buffalo that was slain in Nebraska. Later he 
moved to Phillips county, Colorado, where he 
remained eight years. In March, 1894, he re- 
turned to Nebraska and settled in Scottsbluft' 
county and here both he and his wife lived 
the rest of their lives. The latter was a mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian church. Of their 
seven children but two survive, Washington 
and Fremont, both of whom reside in Scotts- 
bluff county. 

Fremont Scott completed his public school 
course after coming to Nebraska. His boy- 
hood and early youth were spent on a farm. 
Forced by circumstances to depend upon his 
own efforts, he developed sturdy qualities 
which have been useful to him ever since, un- 
dergoing as have other self-made men a disci- 
pline not altogether to be deplored. His first 
purchase of land was a tract held at $10 an 
acre, and he earned the money to pay for it 





:^^ 




BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



by working at ditching. That was the nucleus 
of his present valuable farm of four hundred 
and twenty acres, which lies in Scottsbluff 
county. To farming and allied pursuits he 
devoted himself until 1913, in which year he 
came to Gering. Here he einbarked in the 
real estate business and his interests now cov- 
er a wide territory, particular attention being 
given to lands in Scottsbluff county and east- 
ern Wyoming. 

In 1878 Mr. Scott was united in marriage 
with Miss Adelia Florence Moore, who was 
born in Almakee, Iowa, and they have the fol- 
lowing children : Rosie, the wife of Alvee 
Leonard, residing on Mr. Scott's farm : 
Daisey, the wife of Emerson Ewing, of Carter 
Canyon, Scottsblufif county ; Ruby Lillian 
who married Bert Scott, a farmer near Mitch- 
ell, Nebraska ; Violet, the wife of Zonoua 
Yates, a farmer south of Gering; Pansy, the 
wife of Charles Gering, of Gering; Emery G., 
a farmer and stockman on a ranch in Banner 
county ; and Pearl and Harold, both of whom 
are at home. All the children have hid excel- 
lent educational advantages. Mr. and Mrs. 
Scott are members of the First Baptist church 
at Gering. Fraternally he is a member of the 
Modern Woodmen order. Like his father 
before him, Mr. Scott has always been a sound 
Republican and at different times has served 
vi'ith great public satisfaction in important 
county offices. For four years he was in charge 
of the county jail and also was deputy sheriff 
for some time. 

PATRICK MAGINNIS, pioneer, frontiers- 
man and early settler, today capitalist, land- 
owner, banker and successful business man, 
has had a career of varied and interesting ex- 
periences, from hunting buffalo on these west- 
ern plains when western Nebraska was a 
veritable wilderness with settlements few and 
far between, to the civilized existence of mod- 
ern days, and few men twenty years his jun- 
ior show so few of the scars of life. A resi- 
dent of Nebraska for nearly forty years, Mr. 
Maginnis knew this country when most of 
the houses in the central and western section 
were of sod and has watched with the eye of 
proprietor the various changes that have been 
wrought with the passage of the years and 
the sturdy progressive work of the settlers. 
He has borne a full share of the labor of de- 
velopment from the earliest years and since 
irrigation was first attempted along the 
Platte river, has been one of the most promi- 
nent figures and important factors in making 
what was known as the "Stakes Plains," of 



the middle west, blossom like the rose and 
today the rich valley lands of the Panhandle 
are the most productive in this wide country. 
It is said that the Irish-Americans always suc- 
ceed, whether on the public rostum, where 
they are possessed of golden speech ; behind 
the counter, where business acumen counts for 
capital; on the farm and ranch, where energy 
and thrift are in demand and in commercial 
life of wide range; Mr. Maginnis has proved 
this to be true and his personal success is so 
bound up with the development and success 
of the south west section and all the people 
who are living, prospering and thriving there 
that he should be given special mention in the 
annals of the Panhandle. 

Patrick Maginnis is a son of the Emerald 
Isle, born in County Down, near Belfast, Janu- 
ary 6, 1867, the son of Hugh and Alice Ma- 
ginnis, who were married in their native coun- 
try in February, 1864, and became the parents 
of seven children, four girls and three boys : 
Patrick, of this review ; Arthur, who came 
to the United States, spent his life here and 
died February 20, 1920, at Lawrence, Massa- 
chusetts ; Mary Maginnis McAlinden. who has 
nine children and lives at Airdrie, Scotland; 
Charles H., who came to .America when young 
and now lives in San Francisco, California, 
where he is in the government service as a 
member of the staff of the pure food depart- 
ment, and has one son; Elizabeth, the wife of 
John Morgan, of Airdrie, Scotland, who is 
connected with one of the large rolling mills 
of that city where they are rearing five chil- 
dren ; Allen, who married a Mr. Kelly, and 
Susan who now lives with the mother in Ire- 
land. Mrs. Maginnis is a remarkable old 
lady of seventy-five vears, who still retains 
much of the vigor of her youth and all her 
mental faculties. Hugh Maginnis died in his 
native land in 1905. 

Patrick Maginnis attended the public schools 
in his native country until he was thirteen 
years of age but being an ambitious lad he 
had paid attention to the stories told by return- 
ing Irishmen from America of the many ad- 
vantages and opportunities open for a youth 
willing to work, and August 11, 1880, broke 
all the dear home ties and sailed for the United 
States. After landing on our shores he came 
west to Illinois, locating in Brown county, re- 
mained there two years then came to Nebra- 
ka to take advantage of whatever business 
openings he might find in the frontier country. 
Mr. Maginnis had worked in a blacksmith 
shop in Illinois and after settling in his new 
home at Aurora, Hamilton county, followed 



26 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



that vocation until he moved to Sweetwater 
county, Wyoming where he was employed on 
a ranch, part of his time being devoted to the 
necessary blacksmithing of such an enterprise. 
In 1885, a true pioneer, Mr. Maginnis came to 
the Panhandle, one of the early residents of 
the present Kimball county, making his home 
in what was then known as the town of Ante- 
lope, now Kimball. He opened the first black- 
smith shop when there were but a few houses 
and has seen this little frontier settlement 
grow into one of the flourishing communities 
of the state. With a successful and growing 
business, Mr. Maginnis was not too busy to let 
his inventive genius mature and ripen and dur- 
ing the years from 1885 to 1910 was ever alive 
to the demands and necessities of the new 
country opening and developing under his 
eyes. He was one of the first men of the sec- 
tion to see that the first attempts at irrigation 
were crude and expensive ; he studied over the 
question of betterment and invented a flume 
which greatly helped in the infant reclamation 
projects along the Platte. Within a short 
period he began the manufacture of the flumes 
extensively, applied for patents which were 
granted in 1902. The state used the flume on 
all its projects in the Panhandle; it was in- 
troduced into Porto Rico and Mexico but dur- 
ing the time it has been in use the patents were 
infringed on which caused Mr. Maginnis long 
and expensive litigation and it was necessary 
for him to obtain a restraining order from 
the Federal Court which held for years until 
a decision in his favor was handed down and 
the question settled for all time by Judge 
Lewis, of Denver. Since then Mr. Maginnis has 
increased the output of the flume and in the 
last year sold more than a quarter of a million 
dollars' worth. As his many and varied inter- 
ests had grown to such proportions he was in- 
duced to sell his patent rights in the flume at 
an enormous profit and now devotes his 
time to his landed and commercial interests 
in Kimball county and the state of Oregon. 

Mr. Maginnis' sons have been running a 
fine hardware store in Kimball for years, and 
when the father decided to build a large com- 
mercial block, the store was not disturbed, the 
new building was erected around the one do- 
ing business and is now housed in the well- 
known Maginnis block which consists of store 
on the first floor with office rooms above, one 
of which Mr. Maginnis keeps for his own use. 

Believing in the future of this section, Mr. 
Maginnis began buying land in Kimball coun- 
ty, when his purchases were the raw prairie. 
He continued to increase his holdings until 



he was known as one of the largest land own- 
ers in this section of the state. From time to 
time in recent years he has sold or traded off 
the largest part but still owns three hundred 
and twenty acres under water rights and eight 
hundred and sixty acres of rich fanning and 
grazing land. Not confining ;his business to 
Nebraska alone, Mr. Maginnis has purchased 
valuable land in Oregon, near the railroad sta- 
tion of Redmond, and this land is also under 
water. 

Some time ago Mr. Maginnis purchased a 
block of stock in the American Bank, of Kim- 
ball and was elected one of the executive 
heads of that institution and is vice president. 
This is one of the progessive banking houses 
of Nebraska, having today a paid up capital 
of a hundred thousand dollars. 

In 1888 Mr. Maginnis married Miss Mar- 
garet A. Marshall, the daughter of Holmes 
H. and Isabella Marshall. Mrs. Marshall's 
first husband was a Mr. Weir, who was the 
father of the two small children left father- 
less when he was accidentally killed. Mrs. 
Weir later married Mr. Marshall and her chil- 
dren took the Marshall name. The Marshalls 
were old and respected residents of Kimball, 
locating here at an early date. Ten children 
have been born to Mr. and Airs. Maginnis; 
Arthur F., Alice Isabella. Robert J., Edward 
Dewey, Hugh Marshall, Lizzie Margaret, 
William P., Mary Ellen and a son Charles, 
who died in 1899. 

Mr. Maginnis has taken an active part in 
the life of Kimball county and the city of 
his adoption since first coming here to live 
and may be said to be its foremost citizen in 
years of residence and worldly goods. His 
standing with his fellow citizens and in the 
county is testified to by his election as sheriff 
of the county which he served for years be- 
fore being elected county treasurer in 1902 
and reelected, serving until 1905, when he re- 
fused another nomination as his growing busi- 
ness interests demanded all his time and ener- 
gy. The Maginnis family is one of the best 
known and prominent in the southern Pan- 
handle where every member has taken and is 
now taking an important part in the upbuild- 
ing of the southwest region. They are one 
of the oldest families in years of residence, the 
boys and girls are all popular and well liked, 
taking after their parents, who are among the 
most genial and best liked people of the coun- 
ty, ever ready to help their friends, open 
handed in giving to any cause to build up and 
develop Kimball and the county. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



27 



ARTHUR M. FAUGHT, M. D.. fonnerly 
. mayor of Scottsbluff, and a physician and sur- 
geon whose professional reputation extends 
over the state, for a decade has been one of 
this city's most virile and constructive citi- 
zens. Illustrative of his public spirit and civ- 
ic interest, he has been the means of establish- 
ing here a umber of worthy enterprises, in- 
cluded in which is the Mid-West Hospital, an 
institution deserving high praise as to its aim 
and accomplishments. 

Arthur AI. Faught was born July 27, 1884, 
at Plattsmouth, Cass county, Nebraska. His 
parents were John and Martha (Root) 
Faught, both of whom were born also at 
Plattsmouth. The mother of Dr. Faught died 
in 1915, but the father survives and resides 
at Lincoln, living retired after an active busi- 
ness life covering many years, eighteen of 
which he spent at Phillips, Nebraska, where 
he was interested in lumber. In his political 
views he is a Democrat. Arthur 'SI. Faught is 
the eldest of the family of children born to 
his parents, the others being: Mrs. Ralph 
Murphy, of Hastings, Nebraska; Claude J., 
in charge of the L. C. Smith Typewriter in- 
terests at Sioux City, Iowa ; Mrs. Grace Bus- 
by, of Minneapolis ; Justice L., connected with 
the Bell Telephone Company at Rochester, 
Minnesota ; and Ruth, residing with her father 
at Lincoln. The family was reared in the 
Christian church. 

Arthur M. Faught is a graduate of the Ne- 
braska State University. In 1905 he was 
graduated from the medical, department of 
Colton University, immediately afterward en- 
gaging in medical practice in Seward county, 
Nebraska, where he remained four years. In 
1909 he came to ScottsblufT and many are the 
ties that now bind him to this city, where a 
friendly greeting meets him on every side, 
and where his devotion to his professional 
work is deeply appreciated. In 1911 he es- 
tablished here the Mid-West Hospital, which 
he owns, a thoroughly modern structure with 
thirty beds. He has been exceedingly suc- 
cessful in his surgical cases, to which he de- 
votes the most of his time, many patients 
availing themselves of his skill, some from a 
long distance but many nearer home as indi- 
cated by a record that shows that he has 
preformed over 2,000 major operations. He 
has taken post-graduate courses in operative 
surgery and watched many major operations 
in the clinics of noted institutions in Chicago. 

For six years Dr. Faught was city physi- 
cian of Scottsbluff : is chairman of the examin- 
ing board of Scottsbluff county, and is ex- 



aminer for civil service positions in govern- 
ment offices. He is a member of the Ameri- 
can Medical association ; the Nebraska State 
Medical association ; the Scottsblul? county 
Medical society, and the National Electic 
Medical association. Politically he is a Re- 
publican, but largely because of his general 
popularity he was elected mayor of this city 
in 1917. His administration was an admir- 
able one but taxed his strength because of 
his professional duties, hence he declined to 
again become a candidate. 

On July 25, 1906, Dr. Faught was united 
in marriage to Miss Rosa Hartman, of Staple- 
hurst, Seward county, Nebraska, and they 
have two children : Ardon M. and Audry H. 
Dr. and Mrs. Faught are members of the 
Episcopal church. Like his father, he is a 
Thirty-second degree Mason, and belongs also 
to the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias 
and the Elks. 

NELSON H. RASMUSSEN, M. D., who 
is meeting with success in the practice of 
medicine and surgery at Scottsbluff, came to 
this city in 1917 and already has built up a 
satisfactory practice and has made many per- 
sonal friends. Although not born in America, 
almost his entire life has been spent here. 

Dr. Rasmussen was bom September 18, 
1881, in Denmark, one of seven children born 
to J. S. and Carrie (Jensen) Rasmussen, who 
were born, reared and married in Denmark. 
They came to the United States in 1882 and 
established a home at Winona, Minnesota, 
where the father secured employment in a 
big business plant. He was a steady, depend- 
able workman and not only secured the confi- 
dence of his employers, but also of his neigh- ■ 
bors. He and family belonged to the Metho- 
dist Episcopal church, in which he was an 
earnest worker, and he was equally active in 
the cause of temperance. Dr. Rasmussen is 
the oldest of their children, the three other sur- 
vivors being: John, who owns a ranch in 
North Dakota ; Mary, the wife of Paul Nel- 
son, of Oregon; and Margaret, the wife of 
Rudolph OiTerman, who operates a hardware 
store and lumber yard at Cobden, Minnesota. 

The public schools of Winona, in which he 
remained a student until he was graduated 
from the high school, gave Nelson H. Rasmus- 
sen a fair preparation for a future career, but 
at first it helped him very little in the matter 
of securing a medical education, which was 
the goal of his ambition. His father could 
give him but little assistance and the youth re- 
alized that he must depend on his own efforts. 



28 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



In no way discouraged and never giving up 
the hope of ultimate success, he went to the 
Klondyke region and worked four years in 
the gold fields there, meeting with some re- 
ward. Prior to this, however, he had worked 
on a Minnesota farm, had tried railroading, 
and had endeavored to learn the blacksmith 
trade. When finally he found himself an en- 
rolled student of medicine in the John A. 
Creighton Medical College at Omaha, he took 
upon himself various duties in order to pay 
his way. Possibly it was not always agreeable 
to act as janitor in the church edifice, as a 
waiter at table or to spend his Saturday after- 
noons selling goods in a clothing store while 
others of his age were on holiday pleasures 
bent, but, to his credit be it said, he persisted 
and in these and other ways earned sufficient 
to not only give himself a fine medical educa- 
tion, but to also enable his sister to take a 
course in nursing at Omaha. After his grad- 
uation, Dr. Rasmussen served a year as an 
interne in the Creighton and St. Joseph hos- 
pitals, and afterwards was associated with 
Dr. T. J. Butler, at Omaha, and later as assis- 
tant to Dr. J. E Conn, a prominent surgeon 
at Ida Grove, Iowa. Since coming to Scotts- 
blufi' Dr. Rasmussen has given special atten- 
tion to surgical cases, making specialties of 
obsterities and pediatrics. 

In 1917 Dr. Rasmussen was united in mar- 
riage to Aliss Theresa C. Lzingle, who was 
born at Ashton, Nebraska, and was graduated 
as a nurse from St. Catherine Hospital, Om- 
aha. They have one daughter, Betty. Mrs. 
Rasmussen is a member of the Roman Cath- 
olic church, while the Doctor belongs to the 
Christian church. He is an independent voter 
in politics, but is identified with leading or- 
ganizations, belonging to various Masonic 
bodies including the Mystic Shrine, and a 
member also of the Yoemen and the Danish 
Brotherhood. 



RALPH W. HOBART, judge of the Sev- 
enteenth Judicial District of Nebraska, is emi- 
nently qualified for the high position to which 
he has twice been called by the votes of his fel- 
low citizens, and in which he has served with 
conspicuous judicial ability since April, 1911. 
Through a long and successful career as a 
lawyer. Judge Hobert won distinction at the 
bar, and when the Seventeenth District neaded 
a broad-minded, well balanced, firm and reso- 
lute judge, it was fortunate that he was 
elected to the bench. 

Judge Hobart was born at Calais, \\'ashing- 
ton county, Maine, March 24, 1865, of Eng- 



lish extraction and old colonial stock. The first 
of the Hobart family on record in this coun- 
try bore the name of Edmund. He came from 
England in 1633 and assisted in the settlement 
of Charlestown, IMassachusetts. Judge Ho- 
bart's parents were Daniel Kilby and Amy 
Elizabeth (Whidden) Hobart. His father 
was bom April 15, 1823, in Maine, and died 
March 15, 1891. In civil life he was in the 
lumber and commission business, and for six- 
teen j-ears he held a consular office in relation 
to the Dominion of Canada. He was married 
in Maine to Amy Elizabeth Whidden, who 
was bom in New Brunswick, May 21, 1827, 
and died June 9, 1896. Her father, Reudol 
Whidden, was a native of New Hampshire. 
Of the seven children born to the parents of 
Judge Hobart, he is the second of the three 
survivors, having two brothers Charles E. and 
Harry K. 

Ralph Whidden Hobart had collegiate 
training in Kings College, Nova Scotia. Sub- 
sequently he came to the United States, en- 
tered the University of Michigan where he 
was graduated in law at Ann, Arbor, in 1888, 
and the following year located for practice in 
Dell Rapids, Minnehaha county. South Da- 
kota, where he remained eleven years. In 
1900 he removed to Columbus, Nebraska, 
where he practiced until 1906 when he came 
to Mitchell, and through appointment was 
called from the bar to the bench in April, 
1911. Twice since then he has been elected 
judge of the Seventeenth Judicial District, his 
jurisdiction extending over the counties of 
Scottsbluff, Banner, Morrill. Garden and Ar- 
thur. Both in public and in private life. Judge 
Hobart stands as an example of useful, high- 
minded, exemplary American citizenship. 

In 1898 Judge Hobart was united in mar- 
riage to ]\Iiss Anna Maldnmi, who was born 
in Ontario, Canada, and the have one son, 
Edmund Maldrum. Mrs. Hobart is a mem- 
ber of the Congregational church. Judge Ho- 
bart is a Republican. For many years he has 
been a !Mason and Odd Fellow. 

THOAIAS M. MORROW, the subject of 
this sketch and the second son of Thomas and 
Mary (McDonald) Morrow, was born in 
Lewis county. New York, on the 25th day of 
October, 1868. His parents were born in Ire- 
land and came to America when quite young. 
They were united in marriage in Lewis county, 
New York. Their children are as follows : 
John, who for the past five years has been rt- 
ceiver of public moneys in the United States 
land office at Alliance, Nebraska ; Thomas M. 




A^ 




BIOGRAPHICAI. SKETCHES 



29 



Morrow ; Lavinia, a teacher in the pubHc 
schools of Bayard, Nebraska; WilHam, law 
partner of Thomas M. Morrow : Anna, wife of 
George G. Cronkleton. cashier of The First 
National Bank of Baj'ard. Nebraska ; Frank, 
physician and surgeon at Columbus. Nebraska, 
and Mary, the wife of J. P. Golden, a real 
estate dealer of O'Neill, Nebraska, all of 
whom were born in Lewis county, New York, 
except Mary, who was born in Holt county, 
Nebraska. In 1879, Thomas and Mary Mc- 
Donald Morrow moved with their family from 
Lewis county. New York, to Holt county, Ne- 
braska, where they settled upon a homestead 
and continued to reside until 1906 when they 
sold the homestead. They then went to Den- 
ver where they remained for about one year 
and moved from there to Scottsbluft, Nebras- 
ka, where they now reside. 

Thomas M. Morrow received his early edu- 
cational training in the public schools of Holt 
county, Nebraska, and in 1892 graduated from 
the Fremont normal school. During the fol- 
lowing year he was principal of the public 
schools of Oakdale, Antelope county, Nebras- 
ka, and during the next year superintendent of 
the public schools of O'Neill, Holt county, Ne- 
braska. While engaged in educational work, 
he also pursued the study of law and was ad- 
mitted to the bar in February, 1894. In Sep- 
tember of the same year he began the practice 
of law at Gering, Nebraska, where he re- 
mained until 1899. In 1896, he was united in 
marriage to Miss Lizzie Carlon. On October 
26, 1897, William and Mary Morrow, twins, 
were born of this marriage at Gering, Ne- 
braska. 

While located at Gering, Nebraska, Mr. 
Morrow acquired a reputation a? a lawyer 
which was far above the average practitioner 
in western Nebraska. In 1899, Mr. Morrow 
desiring to enter a broader field for the prac- 
tice of his profession, moved to Omaha with 
his family with the intention of making that 
city his permanent home. Shortly after 
establishing himself in the practice of law in 
Omaha, his wife's health commenced to fail 
and he was compelled to move to Denver in 
the following year for the benefit of ' her 
health. Lloping that the climate of Denver 
would soon restore her health, he abandoned 
all idea of returning to Omaha and opened a 
law office in Denver, but her condition gradu- 
ally grew worse and she died in April, 1901. 
On June 13, 1907, he was again married to 
ilargaret L. Rank and they have two daugh- 
ters. Lettie and Catherine, aged respectively 
eleven and seven years. Owing to the reputa- 
tion acquired by him while located at Gering, 



Nebraska, he was from time to time, while 
living in Denver, called back to western Ne- 
braska for the trial of important cases. 

In 1903, his brother, William Morrow, 
graduated from the law school of the Univer- 
sity of Nebraska, and for three years there- 
after was associated with him in the practice 
of law in Denver. The two brothers realized 
the great possibilities of the North Platte 
Valley and in 1906 shortly after the construc- 
tion of irrigation ditches in the valley was be- 
gun on a large scale, it was decided that Wil- 
liam Morrow should open a law office in 
ScottsblufT and conduct the business under the 
firm name of Morrow & Morrow. Although 
it was then thoroughly understood that the 
connection of Thomas M. Morrow with the 
firm was limited to such cases as he actually 
and personally assisted in trying, yet all of his 
former friends and clients brought their bus- 
iness to William, and in a few years his bus- 
iness grew beyond the capacity of any one 
man to handle it. In 1915, Thomas M. Mor- 
row came to Scottsbluft' and entered into an 
equal partnership with his brother in the prac- 
tice of law. Tiie\- continued the firm name 
of Morrow & Morrow. This firm handles a 
large proportion of the important law bus- 
iness in Scottsblufif and surrounding counties. 
Both members of the firm are considered 
among the best lawyers of the state and have 
participated in nearly all of the important liti- 
gation of western Nebraska. They are held 
in the highest esteem by the general public, 
and their business is constantly growing. 

Thomas M. Morrow belongs to the Roman 
Catholic church, is a member of the Denver 
council of Knights of Columbus, the Modern 
Woodmen of America, and other fraternal 
organizations. He has a wide circle of friends 
here and in all other places where he resided. 

CHARLES F. COFFEE. — Few men in 
Nebraska are better known in the cattle busi- 
ness than Charles F. Coflfee, an honored resi- 
dent of Chadron, and his interests in this line 
connect him with this great industry through- 
out the entire country. Mr. Cofifee has been 
closely identified with the development of 
western Nebraska for many years and his spir- 
it of public sen'ice, marked even in boyhood, 
and his gift of business organization, have 
been vitally helpful over a long e.xtended per- 
iod. He is an important factor in political 
life and a dominant one in the state in the fi- 
nancial field. 

Charles F. Coitee was born March 22, 1847, 
at Greenfield. Dade county, Missouri, a son 
of John T. and Harriet L. '(Ware) Coft'ee, the 



30 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



latter of whom died in 1863, in Dade county. 
Of the six children born to his parents, Charles 
F. is the only one living in Dawes county at the 
present time. One brother was accidentally 
killed in Wyoming, in 1879, and another. Sam- 
uel B. Coffee, died at Harrison, in Sioux coun- 
ty, after which his family moved to Chadron. 

John T. Coft'ee, father' of C. F. Coffee, was 
born in Tennessee and educated for the law 
and in 1855, through the good offices of Hon- 
orable John S. Phelps of Missouri, was award- 
ed a commission as captain in the regular army 
and in 1856 or 1857 was elected a member of 
the Missouri Legislature and chosen speaker 
of the house. In 1861, he raised a very effi- 
cient regiment of soldiers for the confederacy, 
serving under General Price and General 
Sheby of Missouri, and was in all the battle 
of any note during the war. He distinguished 
himself on many occasions by unusual brav- 
ery and military tactics. On one occasion at 
the Battle of Lone Jack, capturing a body of 
Federal troops, almost unaided and was pro- 
moted to colonel. However, after the war be- 
tween the states was over, being tired of mili- 
tary life he resumed the practice of law and 
drifted to Georgetown, Texas, and continued 
to follow this vocation till his death in 1893, 
at the age of seventy-five yeais. 

During boyhood Charles F. Coffee had but 
indifferent educational opportunities in ref- 
erence to school training, but the practical 
lessons he learned while earning his own living 
from the age of twelve years, were doubtless, 
of far more value to him in after days than 
any knowledge he could have absorbed from 
textbooks. When the Civil War came on he 
succeeded in being accepted as a soldier in 
the Confederate anny although only thirteen 
years of age. He was mainly engaged in his 
father's regiment and after the war closed 
went to Texas and tried several lines of in- 
dustry, with very indifferent results. He farm- 
ed some, clerked in a store awhile, then owned 
a store and went broke. Mr. Coffee tried rais- 
ing cotton, but the prices went down and the 
young financier went with it, and in 1871, he 
hired as a "cowboy" to help drive a herd of 
about eighteen hundred head of longhorns 
from Texas to Cheyenne, Wyoming, for 
Snyder Brothers. Young Charles showed such 
ability for his work that in one month he was 
promoted to foreman and his pay advanced 
twenty dollars. He worked for this company 
two years trailing cattle from Texas to Wy- 
oming and remembers a circumstance which 
happened on the first drive. The first white 
man they struck in Wyoming was the station 



agent at Pine Bluff. This was tlie entire popu- 
lation at that time, and the little box depot 
the only building. .Mr. Coffee entered the door 
and the agent was facing the other way and did 
not deign to look around. In the ticket win- 
dow facing the cow puncher was a human skull 
and neatly printed on the forehead were these 
words. This man zuas talked to death bv im- 
migrants. Mr. Coff'ee after surveying this 
gruesome object for a short time mustered up 
courage to say, "Mister, I may be committing 
a rash act by disturbing you sir, but I am 
strictly in it. I am driving a large bunch of 
cattle to Cheyenne. I understand from here 
on water is scarce, can you tell me where the 
next watering place is located ?" The agent 
proved to be a very pleasant man after all, 
but knew nothing about watering places, all 
he knew was to board the train and go through 
to water. The herd was driven all that day 
and a dry camp made, with no water for the 
cattle: they drove the next day till about one 
o'clock and the cattle were beginning to get 
pretty well fagged, when they fortunately 
struck a creek with a sandy bottom but no 
water, but found a place that still showed 
dampness. Mr. Coff'ee held his herd on this 
wet sand and milled the cattle around and 
packed the sand until the water raised suffi- 
ciently to water them. The next day they 
came out in sight of a beautiful lake of water 
and could see Cheyenne in the distance — the 
sight was a glorious one and the cowboys 
shouted with delight and the cattle scenting 
the water were bellowing as they made a wild 
stampede for the water, and were soon up to 
their sides enjoying the first good drink they 
had had since leaving Pine Bluffs. Looking 
down towards the town they saw a cloud of 
dust rapidly nearing them and discovered it 
was caused by a horseman coming toward 
them. They did not have long to wait to find 
what the trouble was, as a very red faced and 
angry man reined up in front of them and 
shouted, "Get your cattle out of here, I am 
the mayor of Cheyenne." One of the boys 
said, "The H — you are, we thought you was 
the butcher and wanted to buy some beef." 
This enraged the mayor to such an extent that 
he was in danger of having apoplexy. "Don't 
you know," he shouted, "this is the reservoir 
from which CheyeniUe draws her drinking 
water?" Mr. CofJee tried to reason and con- 
ciliate him for nearly twenty-five minutes ; he 
getting madder every minute, but by this time 
the cattle had satisfied their thirst and did not 
object to be again on the move to Cheyenne. 
Mr. Snyder met them ; he had sold the cattle 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



31 



to a rancher by the name of J. H. Durban and 
Mr. Coffee drove the herd to Pole Creek about 
thirteen miles away where the nearest grass 
and water could be found, and tallied the cat- 
tle out. He was then ordered to deliver the 
cattle to Mr. Durban's ranch about twenty 
miles distance and all his instructions consist- 
ed of was to follow a line of small cedar trees 
which Mr. Durban had cut and set in a line to 
mark the way to his ranch. He was told to 
line his cattle out single file and beat a road to 
the ranch which he did and that same cattle 
trail is the present road which Mr. Coffee 
started with his cattle nearly fifty years ago. 

In 1879 Mr. Coffee homesteaded and pre- 
empted land in Sioux county, Nebraska, this 
land never since having gone out of his pos- 
session, its location being in Hat Creek Basin. 
In 1873, when he established his first ranch, 
in Goshen Hole, Wyoming, sixty-five miles 
north of Cheyenne, his nearest neighbor in 
one direction was eighteen miles distant and 
twenty-seven in the other. At that time the 
Platte river was the dividing line between the 
white settlers and the Indians, but the latter 
notably evaded every law, making the carry- 
ing and often the use of a gun an actual ne- 
cessity and Mr. Coffee for six years never 
went to the spring for water without carrying 
his trusty rifle. With other settlers Mr. Coffee 
lost heavily in stock at times, and once, in 1877, 
while he was away on a trip to the nearest 
town, Indians stole every horse on the ranch, 
all he had left being the four animals he had 
been driving. In an interesting way he tells 
how the horses were taught to recognize dan- 
ger when they heard shooting, and seemingly 
with almost human intelligence, would gallop 
to the corral for safety, led by a favorite horse 
which the Indians killed to demoralize the 
herd so they could drive them away, but the 
plan was not a success, as the horses scattered 
and he rounded them up the next day. Those 
early ranch days were hard on both man and 
beast and Mr. Coffee relates that often he 
would be out searching for his horses and cat- 
tle for three weeks without removing his cloth- 
ing. Mr. Coffee ran cattle for about thirty 
years before quitting the range. 

In partnership with his eldest son, John 
T. Coffee, Mr. Coffee owns twenty-one thou- 
sand acres of land, all being operated, the son 
being foreman. It is known as the Square 
3-Bar ranch, brand Z, and there about six hun- 
dred calves are branded yearly. Mr. Coffee 
owns also a ranch of about fifteen thousand 
acres, near Lusk, Wyoming, in partnership 



with a Mr. Tinnan, where they brand fifteen 
hundred calves annually, the brand being the 
0-10, this ranch being known as the 0-10 Bar. 
A part of this land is irrigated. Mr. Coffee in 
the beginning stock his ranches with regis- 
tered cattle, and has kept his. line of White 
Face cattle thoroughbred but has not contin- 
ued registration. He probably owns ten thou- 
sand head of White Face cattle. 

In April, 1879, Mr. Coffee was married at 
Camden, Arkansas, to Miss Jennie A. Toney, 
who died in November, 1906. Her parents 
were James R. and Jane (McClain) Toney, her 
father being a merchant and a former slave- 
holder. Mr. and Mrs. Coffee had four chil- 
dren, the three survivors being as follows : 
John T., who is associated with his father as 
above mentioned ; Blanche M., who resides 
with her father at Chadron ; and Charles F., 
who is vice-president of the First National 
Bank of Chadron. 

Mr. Coffee first became interested in banking 
in 1888, when he became president of the 
Commercial Bank of Harrison, Nebraska, 
which he converted into a National bank and 
afterward sold his interest. In 1900. he be- 
came connected as vice-president, with the 
First National Bank of Chadron, of which 
he subsequently became president. In 1900, 
he bought the bank at Gordon, Nebraska, serv- 
ing first as its president and still is a director. 
In 1912, he still further added to his financial 
interest by the purchase of the First National 
Bank of Hay Springs, in Sheridan county, be- 
coming its president, and at the same time 
bought stock in the Stockyards National Bank 
of South Omaha, of which institution he con- 
tinues to be a director. In 1911, Mr. Coffee 
and F. W. Clark bought the Nebraska Na- 
tional of Omaha, of which he is vice-president, 
and in 1915. Mr. Coft'ee bought the First Na- 
tional Bank, of Douglas, Wyoming, of which 
he is president. He owns considerable valu- 
able real estate at Chadron, both residential 
and business, and erected the Coffee-Pitman 
building, a modem garage and other struc- 
tures. 

In political life Mr. Coffee has always been 
a Democrat. In 1900, he was the fusion 
candidate for state representative from the 
53d District, was nominated on the Demo- 
cratic ticket and endorsed by the Populists 
and served in 1901. so acceptably that he re- 
ceived the party vote for United States sena- 
tor, but declined to accept. Personally he is 
esteemed and in all business relations bears 
an unimpeachable character. 



32 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



WILLIAM MORROW, who is recognized 
as one of the ablest members of the Scotts- 
bluff bar, established the business now con- 
ducted under the style of Morrow & Morrow, 
when he came to this city in May, 1906. He 
belongs to a pioneer family of the state, and 
with the exception of three years spent in Col- 
orado, has lived here since 1879. 

William Morrow was bom in Lewis county, 
New York, April 10, 1875, a son of Thomas 
and Mary (McDonald) Morrow, both of 
whom were born in Ireland. They came to 
the United States at an early age and lived in 
the state of New York until 1879, when they 
came to Nebraska. The father homesteaded 
in Holt county and continued there until 1906, 
when he sold the homestead and in the fol- 
lowing year he and wife retired to Scottsbluff, 
where they yet reside. They are well kown 
in this city and are highly esteemed and re- 
spected by all who know them. They have 
children as follows : John, receiver of public 
funds of the United States land office at Al- 
liance, Nebraska; Thomas M., a member of 
the law firm of Morrow & Morrow, at Scotts- 
bluff, of whom personal mention is found on 
other pages of this work ; Lavinia, a teacher 
in the public schools at Bayard, Nebraska ; 
William, who resides and owns property at 
Scottsblufif ; Anna, the wife of George Cron- 
kleton, cashier of the First National Bank at 
Bayard ; Frank, a prominent surgeon in active 
practice at Columbus, Nebraska, and Mary, 
the wife of J. P. Golden, who is in the real 
estate and abstract business at O'Neil. Ne- 
braska. 

William Morrow attended the public schools 
and was graduated from the high school of 
Atkinson, Holt county. In 1897 he entered 
the Nebraska State University, and in 1903 
was graduated from the law department of 
that institution. The same year he estab- 
lished himself in practice at Denver, where he 
remained until May, 1906, when he came to 
Scottsblufif. Here he engaged in the practice 
of law, continuing alone until 1916 when he 
former a partnership with his brother. Thomas 
M. Morrow, under the firm name of Morrow 
& Morrow. This firm has a wide and sound 
reputation and individually its members are 
accounted astute lawyers and honorable men. 
The business of the firm covers a wide terri- 
tory. 

On September 18, 1912, Mr. Morrow was 
united in marriage to Miss Philomena Cong- 
don, who was born at Flint, Michigan, and 
they have had three children, namely : Helen, 
who is five years old ; William, who died at 
the age of fourteen months, and John Philip, 



who is not yet a year and a half old. Mr. and 
Mrs. Morrow are members of the Roman 
Catholic church. He is active in Democratic 
politics in the county, formerly was city attor- 
ney of Scottsblufl:' and was county attorney 
from 1907 to 1911. Fraternally he is identi- 
fied with the Knights of Columbus, the Elks, 
the Royal Highlanders and the Woodmen of 
the World. 

During the World War Mr. Morrow almost 
abandoned the practice of his profession and 
devoted himself almost entirely to the vari- 
ous war activities. He was the first financial 
chairman of the Red Cross of Scottsblufif 
county, was a member of the County Council 
of Defense, a member of the Liberty Loan 
Committee, town chairman of the \\'ar Savings 
campaign, besides serving on various other 
committees of less importance. 

ARTHUR R. HONNOLD, LL.B., an able 
member of the Scottsblufif bar, is devoting his 
entire attention to private practice. He is a 
Nebraska man, bom, reared and educated in 
fhe state, and has all the local pride in the re- 
sources, development and wonderful progress 
of his native commonwealth, that marks the 
true Nebraskan. Mr. Honnold was born 
March 7, 1876, at Ord, Nebraska. 

The parents of Mr. Honnold were Richard 
and Eceneith (McMichael) Honnold, both of 
whom were born in Ohio. His father died on 
his farm in Valley county, Nebraska, April 6, 
1906, at the age of fifty-five years, and his 
mother now resides at Denver, Colorado. Of 
the three survivors of their family of four 
children, Arthur Rankin is the eldest, the two 
others being Irving T., who is secretary of an 
oil company at Louisville, Kentucky, and 
Chester W., who returned to private life, and 
his former occupation as a druggist, when 
honorably discharged from military service in 
the American Expeditionary Forces, in 
March, 1919. His sister, Nora (Honnold) 
Cromwell, died at Thomas, Oklahoma, in 1919. 

The father of the above family came to Ne- 
braska, and homesteaded near Ord, in Valley 
county, in 1874, and engaged in farming there 
until the close of his life. In politics he was a 
Republican. 

Arthur R. Honnold graduated from the high 
school at Ord, in 1898, and from the Grand 
Island business college in 1902. His first ofifi- 
cial work was as a state accountant at Lincoln, 
Nebraska, where he remained two years. He 
entered the University of Nebraska, graduat- 
ing from the law department in 1904-, whh an 
LL.B. degree. The same year, he entered into 
the practice of his profession at Ord, but three 




'X^-u.tz^Ly^ Cj 7^-e.^i::^^^zr^rJ^ 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



33 



years later moved to Denver, Colorado, for 
[! family health reasons. He continued his law 
[j practice in his new home until 1909, when he 
I' I was appointed district counsel of the United 
1 1 States Reclamation Service, which legal divi- 
i! sion includes the states of Nebraska, Wyom- 
ing, South Dakota, and Oklahoma, and the 
onerous duties of this position he performed 
for ten years. 

Desiring to resume private practice of law, 
'. Mr. Honnold resigned his federal office on 
' April 1, 1919, the government thereby losing 
j a faithful and tireless official. In connection 
with his general practice, he now gives special 
i attention to irrigation and water law. and to 
' oil and corporation practice. 

In 1904, Mr. Honnold was united in mar- 
I riage with Miss Julia Christiansen, who was 
I born at Le Seuer, Minnesota, she dying in 
I Denver, in 1909. Mr. Honnold's second mar- 
i riage took place in 1912, to Miss Marguerita 
i E. Van Horn, who was born in Belle Bourche, 
South Dakota. They have one son, Arthur 
Rankin, Jr. The family attends the Episcopal 
church at Scottsbluff. In his political attitude, 
Mr. Honnold is a Republican. Fraternally, he 
belongs to the Masons and Eastern Star organ- 
izations, and also to the Modern Brotherhood 
of America, and the Modern Woodmen. A 
man of intellectual strength and wide reading, 
historical facts have always engaged his inter- 
est, and he has been a member of the Nebraska 
State Historical Society for a number of years. 

CHAREES ELMER LOCKWOOD. — In 
noting the representative men of the Pan- 
handle who qualify as early settlers, there are 
few who came here with more determined pur- 
pose to secure a permannt home in what was 
then a veritable wilderness than the man 
whose name heads this review. Pioneer, farm- 
er, stock-raiser and real estate dealer, he has 
played an important part in the development 
of Boone and Kimball counties and it is to 
such men that the opening up and settlement 
of the Panhandle has been due, as he came 
here in the early days, had courage to hold out 
during the hard years of drought, winter bliz- 
zards and other hardships, for he had faith in 
the country and this has been justified, for 
today there are few more prosperous men in 
this section and not many of them, have 
achieved such a fortune with so small a start. 

Mr. Lockwood was born in Odessa, Iowa, 
June 9, 1866, the son of Alfred O.. and Mary 
Vesta Lockwood, the former born in Dela- 
ware, December 21, 1841. He was reared and 
educated in his native state, then came west 
as did so many young men of the period, to 



engage in farming and stock-raising in Iowa. 
During the Civil War Alfred Lockwood en- 
listed in the Union Army as a member of the 
Iowa Volunteers, serving till peace was estab- 
lished, when he returned to his farm and soon 
afterward married. His wife was the daugh- 
ter of Aaron and Mary Brown. Eight chil- 
dren were born to this union : Ella, became 
the wife of Frank Phillips, both now de- 
ceased ; Charles Elmer, of this review ; Birt 
O., who lives in Roseburg, Oregon ; Maggie 
M., the wife of Fred Kinney, of Ellenburg, 
Washington ; Emily S.. the wife of James Gar- 
ner, of Rathdrum. Idaho; Alfred J. D., a 
farmer of this county ; Carrie Pearl, the wife 
of Mr. Ring, Falls City, Oregon. 

In 1878 the Lockwood family left Iowa as 
the father was desirous to secure some of the 
good cheap land in Nebraska. Coming to this 
state he located on the prairies of Boone coun- 
ty, took up a large tract of land and so became 
one of the earliest settlers of this section. 
He worked hard to place as much land as 
possible under cultivation but passed away 
January 5, 1885 and was followed by his 
wife almost a year later, leaving the family 
of children alone. Mr. and Mrs. Lockwood 
were members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church and its staunch supporters in the new 
territory in Boone county. 

With the death of the father, the care 
of the family fell upon the shoulders of 
Charles I,ockwood, then a young man of nine- 
teen years. He had been reared on the 
ranch, early learned the practical side of 
farm industry and cattle raising and so as- 
sumed entire charge of 'the business. In 
1887, Mr. Lockwood bought the ranch when 
it was sold to settle his father's estate, he 
borrowed every dollar it cost as he had noth- 
ing of his own to start with and the old home- 
stead became the start of his extensive ranch- 
ing properties, for he continued to buy more 
land as he had the money and saw where he 
could buy advantageously, until he was the 
owner of 5,400 acres of grazing and farm 
property in a solid body. Most of this lay in 
the famous Beaver Valley and nearby. Start- 
ing with little but his determination to suc- 
ceed, and his known ability, which gave him 
excellent credit, Mr. Lockwood began to 
handle from 1,000 to 1,500 head of sheep and 
from three to six hundred head of cattle, 
about 500 head of hogs and in addition pas- 
tured many hundred head of cattle and horses. 
N. P. Dodge, a distant relative, believed in the 
young man and it was through him that credit 
was obtained in Council Bluffs, Iowa. This 



34 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Dodge was a brother of the well-known Gen. 
G. M. Dodge, of Union Pacific fame. 

In 1909 Mr. Lockwood sold his ranch in 
Boone county and came to Kimball county, lo- 
cating his home in the town of Kimball in 
1910. He at once bought several sections of 
land here and at the same time conducted a 
real estate office. During the short time he 
was engaged in this business, Mr. Lockwood 
sold a large amount of land in the county. 
From time to time he has purchased other 
ranch property and today holds some 8,000 
acres of valuable Kimball county land. He 
has invested in property in the states of Ore- 
gon and Florida, owns valuable holdings in 
the city of Kimball and has a fine home at 
Long Beach, California and today is regarded 
as one of the successful and substantial citi- 
zens of Nebraska, where he has resided for 
more than forty years. 

January 8, 1890, Mr. Lockwood married 
Mrs. Abbie Derbyshire, the daughter of Mr. 
and Mrs. Joseph St. Louis, of Boone county, 
Nebraska. They were of French Canadian an- 
cestry, though born near Oswego, New York. 
Three children were born to this union : Myr- 
tle, the wife of Roy H. Kennedy, a merchant 
of Grand Island, Nebraska, and they have two 
fine children; Joseph Alfred, associated with 
his father in business is now farming in Kim- 
ball county, this son entered the army during 
the World War and was sent to Manhattan, 
Kansas, for his training and received his hon- 
orable discharge at the close of the war; and 
Lloyd Lincoln, who married Miss Nellie Rose, 
the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Rose, 
of Kimball county. This son entered the army 
during the World War and was sent to Camp 
Funston for his training. At the signing of 
the Armistice he received his honorable dis- 
charge and returned home and has been asso- 
ciated with his father in the real estate busi- 
ness. ' Mrs. Lockwood died Dec. 21, 1899, in 
Boone county. She was a member of the 
Christian church and the Royal Neighbors. 
January 2, 1901, Mr. Lockwood was married a 
second time to Mrs. Anna R. Sams, the daugh- 
ter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Brooks, of Car- 
thage, Missouri, where they had settled at an 
early day and became well and favorably 
known in the southwestern part of the state. 
Three children have been born to this union: 
Charles Oliver Martin, now in high school in 
Kimball and a well-known athlete of the west- 
ern part of Nebraska; Nadine Onetta, also 
in the high school, and Odetta Vesta attending 
the grade schools. 

For over thirty years Mr. Lockwood has 



been a member of the Modern Woodmen of 
America, he is also a member of the Ancient 
Order of United Workmen and the Royal 
Highlanders, while the family are members of 
the Presbyterian church in which the children 
take an active part, as Charles has served as 
delegate to the Christian Endeavor Society 
conventions of the state. 

Mr. Lockwood is one of the progressive 
men of his community, stands for progress 
and advocates those measures which tend to 
the upbuilding of his county and city ; for 
years he has been a leading factor in every 
important public-spirited movement promul- 
gated and his high standing in business circles 
makes his influence a valued and valuable one. 

JOHN B. COOK, one of the younger gen- 
eration of business men at Scottsblufif, is set- 
ting an example in energy and enterprise that 
may well be imitated. Within the compara- 
tively short period that he has resided here, he 
has displayed business ability of a high order, 
and has exhibited both business and social 
qualities that reflect credit on his upbringing. 
Mr. Cook was born in his parents' beautiful 
home at Beatrice, Nebraska, March 24, 1897, 
the youngest of four children born to Daniel 
Wolford and Elizabeth (Case) Cook. 

The late Daniel Wolford Cook, was a man 
of large affairs in Gage county, Nebraska, 
where his death occurred in March, 1916. He 
was born March 27, 1860, at Hillsdale, Mich- 
igan, a son of John P. and Martha (Wolford) 
Cook, and a descendant in a direct line from 
William Bradford, who came to the shores of 
America in 1620, in the Mayflower, and who 
for thirty years was governor of Plymouth 
colony. His great-great-granddaughter, Mary 
Bradford, who married Captain David Cook, 
who distinguished himself in the Revolution- 
ary War. But Daniel Wolford Cook needed 
no long line of illustrious ancestors to estab- 
lish his place in the historj- of his country or 
the hearts of his fellow men. In his thirty 
years of active business life at Beatrice, he 
was largely, although not exclusively, interest- 
ed in the Beatrice National Bank and was 
president of its board of directors from 1905 
until his death. He devoted a part of his time 
to agricultural pursuits, and took much inter- 
est in the breeding of fine stock. In business, 
however, especially banking, Mr. Cook was 
best known. From 1891 until his demise, he 
was vice president of the Bankers Life Insur- 
ance Company of Lincoln, Nebraska, and in 
this enterprise was associated with large finan- 
ciers in the state. Always interested in the 
growth and development of Beatrice from the 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



35 



time he located there in 1884, he contributed 
generously to many public enterprises, notably 
to the establishment of the numerous beautiful 
parks of the city. His marriage to Miss Eliz- 
abeth Case was celebrated December 22, 1883, 
and the following children were born to them : 
Daniel Wolford, cashier of the Beatrice Na- 
tional Bank ; Mary E., the wife of William C. 
Ramsey, of Omaha ; William W., who was ac- 
cidentally drowned in the Big Blue river, in 
August, 1905, and John Bradford, who is now 
■ a resident of Scottsbluff. A more extended 
memoir of Mr. Cook may be found in the His- 
tory of Gage county, recently issued by the 
Western Publishing & Engraving Company. 

John Bradford Cook was graduated from 
the Beatrice high school in 1914, and from the 
State University in 1918, in March of the lat- 
ter year coming to Scottsbluff. Here he was 
bookkeeper in the First National Bank for 
four months, at the end of which period he 
entered the naval service on the United States 
Steamer Philadelphia and belongs yet to the 
reserves. On his return to Scottsbluff, he 
went into the real estate and farm loan busi- 
ness and sold $70,000 worth of real estate dur- 
ing his first month of eft'ort. He proposes to 
continue in this line and also to utilize his 1080 
acres of irrigated land in cattle feeding, going 
into this as a profitable prospect and as a patri- 
otic measure. 

At Chadron, Nebraska, Mr. Cook was 
united in marriage to Miss Edna Coffee, who 
is a daughter of Buffington Coffee. She is a 
highly accomplished lady, was educated in the 
Chadron schools and the State University, and 
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. Mr. Cook retains his interest and 
membership in his college fraternity, the Phi 
Kappa Psi. 

FRANK A. McCREARY, mayor of Scotts- 
bluff', has been an active business man of this 
city for a number of years. Because of his 
sterling character and upstanding American 
citizenship, he has been a man of influence in 
the community, and his circle of friendly ac- 
quaitance reaches all over the state. He was 
born in Ashtabula county, Ohio. March 23, 
1868, a son of James and Catherine (Craig) 
McCreary. 

Mayor McCreary's parents came to Nebras- 
ka from Illinois. The father was born in 
Lawrence county, Pennsvlvania, September 
26, 1838, and the mother 'in 1843. She is a 
much esteemed resident of Scottsbluff, but the 
father died here in March, 1919. In politics 
he was a Republican, and he belonged to the 
order of Modern Woodmen. He was one of 
the pillars of the Methodist Episcopal church. 



in which organization the mother of Mayor 
McCreary continues to be active. Of their 
family of five children three survive : Craig, 
who is associated with his brother in business ; 
Frank A., who is mayor of Scottsbluff, and 
Lula, the wife of William Bentley, who is a 
merchant at Morrill, Nebraska. After their 
marriage in Pennsylvania, James McCreary 
and wife moved to Ohio, from thereto Illinois, 
and in 1873 to Nebraska. Mr. McCreary 
homesteaded in Buffalo county and lived on 
his land there until 1890, when he moved to 
Shelton, and from there came to Scottsbluff 

m 1915: 1192387 

Frank A. McCreary spent his early life on 
a farm and attended school at Shelton, where 
he later embarked in the mercantile business 
and remained so occupied for five years. In 
1899 he came to Scottsbluff county and re- 
mained one year at Gering, in business as a 
general merchant, then came to Scottsbluff 
and formed a partership with George B. Lift. 
Within a year he bought his partner's interest 
and continued the business alone for another 
year, when his brother Craig also came to 
Scottsbluff. Since then the brothers have 
been associated under the firm style of Mc- 
Creary Bros. The business has been expanded 
to include undertaking, while in the handling 
of general hardware, furniture, rugs, quees- 
wars and musical instruments, no other house 
in the county approaches them in complete 
lines or value of stocks. 

In 1901 Mr. McCreary was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Madalaide Robb, who was born 
in Texas, daughter of Seymour Robb. fonner- 
ly sheriff" of Cheyenne. Wyoming. They have 
one child, Lorraine, who is attending school. 
Mrs. McCreary is a member of the Presby- 
terian church. Mayor McCreary is a Scottish 
Rite Mason and a Shriner and belongs also to 
the Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen. 
Since early manhood he has been zealous in 
the interests of the Republican party, and on 
numerous occasions has been selected as its 
candidate for public office. He was a member 
of the first village board of Scottsbluff', and 
served one term as coronor of this county. On 
April 1, 1919. he was elected mayor, and being 
a thorough business man as well as public- 
spirited citizen, commanding the support of 
the best element of the public. Mayor Mc- 
Creary will undoubtedly give the city an ad- 
mirable administration. With the added pres- 
sure of public responsibility to his business 
cares, he decided to part with his fine farm of 
one hundred and sixty acres of irrigated land, 
and a satisfactory sale has recently been ef- 
fected. 



36 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



FRANKLIN E. NEELEY, cashier of the 
Gering National Bank, came to the institution 
in this capacity, in May, 1910, at which time 
he had the distinction of being the youngest 
bank cashier in the state of Nebraska. Mr. 
Neeley has continued with the bank ever since, 
an obHging yet careful, conservative official 
who holds its interests paramount, although 
necessarily giving some attention to other en- 
terprises in which he is individually concerned, 
and to the duties that several public offices im- 
pose. 

Franklin E. Neely was born at Fremont, 
Nebraska, August 21, 1890, a son of Robert 
F. Neeley, one of the old and substantial resi- 
dents of Scottsblufif county. Mr. Neeley is 
indebted to Fremont, Gering, and Omaha for 
thorough educational training. Following his 
graduation from the Gering high school in 
1907, he entered Creighton College, where he 
took a business and a law course. His bank- 
ing experience began in 1909, at Sheridan, 
Wyoming, shortly afterward transferring to 
the Scottsblufi" National Bank, where he re- 
mained a year and then came to the Gering 
National Bank as an executive. His early life 
had been spent on a farm, but his talents so 
unmistakably indicated a business career that 
it was the part of good judgment to educa- 
tionally prepare for commercial life. For 
eight years Mr. Neeley has been in charge of 
the finances of Gering, being both school treas- 
urer and city treasurer. He also supervises 
the management of three farms. 

In 1916 Mr. Neeley maried Miss Ruth Car- 
roll, who was born at Butte, Montana, moved 
later to Michigan, but was educated in the 
University of Nebraska. She is a member of 
the Episcopal church. Mr. Neeley is a Scot- 
tish Rite Mason and a Shriner. In his polit- 
ical views he is a Democrat with independent 
tendencies. 

SEVERIN SORENSEN. who is one of the 
best known men in the brick industry at Ger- 
ing, Nebraska, has built up a fine business as a 
brick manufacturer and contractor since he 
came to this city in 190S. He has supplied 
brick for many off the finest structures here 
and has a solid reputation as a business man. 
Mr. Sorenson was born in Denmark and lived 
there until he was thirteen years old. 

The parents of Mr. Sorenson were Jens P. 
and Christiana (Jensen) Sorenson, natives of 
Denmark. They had ten children and Severin, 
who was born November 21, 1855, was the 
fourth in order of birth. They came to Ameri- 
ca and settled at Avoca. Iowa, June 22, 1869, 



where the father worked at brickmaking, mov- 
ing later to Harlan, in Shelby county, where 
both parents of Mr. Sorenson died. They were 
members of the Baptist church. 

Severin Sorenson attended school in Den- 
mark and after accompanying his parents to 
the United States, worked for three years on 
an Iowa farm. He knew that his father's 
trade was a good one and chose the same for 
himself, learning brickmaking at Council 
Blufifs, where he worked four years. He then 
located at Harlan. Iowa, where he began con- 
tracting and remained until 1882, when he 
transferred his business to Minden, Nebraska, 
where he made brick and engaged in brick con- 
tracting until 1889 and then moved to Denver, 
Colorado. At that time business prospects 
in his line were very promising at Denver and 
Mr. Sorenson accepted many large contracts, 
on the most of which he lost heavily when a 
business panic paralyzed all industries. Hence, 
when he came to Gering in 1908, Mr. Sorenson 
practically had to begin all over again. He has 
much more than retrieved his fortunes since 
coming here and is in comfartable circum- 
stances. 

On August 2, 1881, Mr. Sorenson was unit- 
ed in marriage to Miss Anna Markusen, who 
was born also in Denmark, and they have the 
following children, a large family, the mem- 
bers of which are respected wherever known: 
Carl, who is a carpenter and bricklayer, at 
Gering; Herman, who is in partnership with 
his father; May, who is the wife of Bernee 
Knudson, of Denver, Colorado ; Emma, who is 
the wife of Dr. Warrick, in the garage busi- 
ness at Scottsbluff; Louis, who has but re- 
cently been discharged from military service, 
entered the National army in Decemljer, 1917, 
was first assigned to duty in Texas, later in 
New York and still later in England, where 
he was in the air service ; Peter, who entered 
military service in the fall of 1917, remained in 
the training camp at Fort Funston until he 
was honorably discharged in January, 1917; 
Anna, who is the wife of R. W. Smith, now a 
farmer northwest of Morrill, but previously 
the contractor who built the Fraternity build- 
ing at Gering; and Otto, Martin, Raymond, 
Walter and Helen, all of whom live with their 
parents. Mr. Sorenson has never been an 
office seeker, but he is intelligently interested 
in public aff'airs and gives ihs political sup- 
port to the Democratic party. He is a member 
in good standing of the Gering lodge of Odd 
Fellows. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



37 



CAPTAIN ALBERT M. PETITE, one of 
Nebraska's most gallant sons who twice has 
responded to his countrj-'s call and offered the 
greatest gift a man possesses, his life, as a 
soldier of the United States, is one of the best 
known and most popular of the business men 
of Scottsbluff county and the city of Scotts- 
blufT itself where he has been in the real 
estate business for many years. The captain is 
a true American patriot in whose veins flows 
the blood of a long line of French ancestors 
who played an important part in France and 
later in the French settlements of America, and 
the representative of the present generation 
but lives up to the high standard attained by 
the forebears of his race and as Theodore 
Rossevelt so often has said "blood will tell." 

Albert May Petite was born at Fon du Lac, 
Wisconsin, June 13, 1868, just at the close of 
the Civil War and it may be that some of the 
iron resolution, indomitable courage and de- 
termination, a spirit that permeated the north 
during that memorable conflict may have en- 
tered into his mental make up for he has 
proved himself a veritable son of Mars. His 
ancestors were among the French settlers who 
came to Wisconsin at an early day when the 
thoroughfare to the West from Quebec and 
Montreal lay up the great lakes, down Green 
Bay, then known by the French name of '"Le 
Baye," up the Fox river to "the portage" now 
Portage and thence down the Wisconsin to the 
Mississippi. The descendants of these fine old 
French families are still to be found along 
this old route and a fine race they have proved 
to be. Albert Petite received his excellent 
educational advantages in the schools of Iowa, 
and it was from that state that he enlisted 
when President McKinley called for volun- 
teers at the outbreak of the war with Spain. 
After entering the service in 1898 he was as- 
signed to the Second Regiment, United States 
Engineers for service in Cuba, as first lieuten- 
ant of his company. Following the close of 
the Cuban campaign he took part in the re- 
construction work accomplished by the United 
States before turning over the island to the 
Cuban government, and for some time was in 
charge of the old fortress Moro Castle and 
also of Cabanas, which guard the entrance to 
Havana harbor. Captain Petite has many in- 
teresting stories to tell of the greusome dis- 
coveries made by him while in charge of the 
work of cleaning up and putting in a sanitary 
condition, these old fortresses which for hun- 
dreds of years under the Spanish regime had 
been landmarks of terror and dread to the 
inhabitants of the Island. During the Philip- 



pine Insurrection, Captain Petite served in the 
islands under Colonel — now General— BuUard 
as first lieutenant of the infantry, Thirty 
Ninth regiment and was twice wounded in a 
battle near Manila. When peace was finally 
established in the Philippines, the captain re- 
signed from the service to return to peaceful 
pursuits. After returning to the United States 
he returned to his home in Iowa where he en- 
gaged in handling real estate until 1910. leav- 
ing in that state his son William C. Petite of 
Des Moines, who has two children, William C, 
Jr., and Man,' Louise, and a daughter. Grace 
Celia, the wife of Donald McGiffen of Fair- 
field, and they have one son, Donald, Jr. 

Coming to the Panhandle in 1910, Captain 
Petite located in the city of Scottsbluff, opened 
a real estate office and was engaged in busi- 
ness here alone until he formed an association 
with the Payne Investment Company after 
which he handled the land and water right end 
of the business for the firm. In politics Cap- 
tain Petite has been a member of the Republi- 
can party since he cast his first vote, has taken 
a somewhat active part in local political circles 
but has never been willing to accept public 
oft'ice himself, but ever throwing his influence 
to the man be believed best fitted to serve the 
people. 

On November 23, 1910. Captain Petite mar- 
ried Miss Ruby L. Wildy, who was born at 
Lenzburg, Illinois. March 23, 1887, the daugh- 
ter of Albert and Carrie W. (Dueker) Wildy, 
early settlers of Scottsbluff where they now re- 
side. Mrs. Petite's father built the first two- 
story building in the town and thus is num- 
bered among the honored pioneers of this sec- 
tion. When he first came to the Panhandle 
Mr. Wildy took up a homestead in Bo.x Butte 
county where he operated a frontier hotel for 
the accommodation of travelers as towns were 
few and far apart and people could make the 
trip from one to the next in a day. This 
first land was homesteaded in 1887 and it was 
but recently that Mr. Wildy disposed of it at 
a most satisfactory figure. Later a postoffice 
named Melinda was established on his ranch, 
his wife being the first postmistress. He and 
his wife are charter members of the Methodist 
Epicopal church, to which both Captain and 
Mrs. Petite also belong. Mrs. Petite has one 
brother, Clinton D. Wildy, cashier of the 
American State Bank of Scottsbluff. 

Captain Petite did not entirely give up mili- 
tary life upon his discharge from the army and 
upon returning home he became captain of a 
company in Fifty-fifth Regiment, Iowa Na- 
tional Guard, thus a third time entering the 



38 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



service of his country and of the state. When 
the United States declared war against Ger- 
many he again placed himself and his services 
at the disposal of his countrj- and volunteered 
for any branch of the anny where he would 
do the most valuable work in prosecuting the 
war. While in Cuba and later in the Philip- 
pines he had much and valuable experience in 
the quartermaster's department as to make him 
valuable to the government. He passed the 
physical requirements for this branch of the 
service and was commissioned captain of the 
quartermaster's corps being detailed as assist- 
ant to the general superintendent United States 
Army Transport Service for the Port of New 
York. February 14. 1918. As one of the 
prominent and patriotic men of Nebraska and 
the Panhandle it is but just to the citizens of 
this section that they should know what an 
important part his service has played and in a 
history of the Panhandle the work of a man 
of this section should be told. For this reason 
we give a brief resume. There has been so 
much waste — wanton waste and extrava- 
gance — in many departments of the army since 
war was declared that it should be known that 
one department at least has not only been 
paying its own way, but which, up to date, has 
earned hundreds of thousands of dollars for 
the administration's coffers. The thrifty group 
of workers who have accomplished this are 
a group of governmental workers — mostly of- 
ficers — in the army machine, a department 
that has received scant credit for the tremen- 
dous work they have done because of waste- 
fulness during the war. It is the labor em- 
ployment branch of the amiy, and when the 
record of its service is written, though it may 
be garnished with silver chevrons, denoting ex- 
clusively at home service — the public will be 
proud to acclaim it. Captain Cox is in charge 
of the bureau and under him in charge of a 
special department is Captain Petite. No bet- 
ter summing up of his work can be made than 
that of a New York newspaper which we take 
the privilege of quoting. "The amount of 
money can not be figured to the dollar — but it 
is certain that it has totaled nearly $1,000,000 
in the employment department alone. — All this 
money is saved by the insurance and compensa- 
tion department, under the direction of Captain 
Petite, a veteran officer who has proved himself 
adept in his new calling as he was in the 
numerous campaigns in which he participated. 
Captain Cox supervises the establishment, 
which has three floors in the Dey Street Build- 
ing — 54 Dey Street. — One hudnred per cent 
efficient himself, he has with him a staff as 



capable." Captain Petite is still in the service 
at the office in New York, while his wife has 
remained at Scottsbluff looking after their 
property. She is much better equipped for 
this work than the ordinary woman as she was 
reared on a pioneer Nebraska homestead where 
by circumstances she was forced to grow up 
self-reliant, to be quick of thought and action. 
She attended a "soddy" school house while her 
parent lived on the ranch before coming to take 
advantage of the educational facilities of the 
town of Scottsbluff and had early learned of 
avenues in which to direct her energies as well 
as resourcefulness and thrift. Even before her 
marriage she displayed unusual business abili- 
ties for she became a successful dealer in 
horses, having learned their qualities and value 
on the home farm, and by this business made 
enough capital to build a fine ten-room house, 
which she conducted as an European hotel. 
Since Captain Petite has been in the army she 
has had charge of their joint interests and 
during the past year has managed them so 
well that she is now operating three large 
apartment houses in the same manner, always 
having a waiting list of tenants. Her entire 
family is well known in county and both she 
and the captain hold an estimable place in the 
community where they are regarded as two of 
the most patriotic, substantial and progressive 
citizens as they support most liberally all move- 
ments for the civic and communal welfare. 

PETER O'SHEA, who has the reputation 
of having developed a larger acreage of land 
than any other man in Scottsbluff county, has 
been engaged in the real estate business with 
offices at Scottsbluff", since 1907, but his many 
interests have made his name well-known 
through the valley. Mr. O'Shea was born in 
Pike county, Missouri, January 23, 1864, the 
son of Patrick and Anna (Nolan) O'Shea, 
notable names in Ireland, where the father 
was born on the shores of Lake Killarney, 
and the mother in County Tipperary. They 
came to the United States in 1847, in one of 
the old slow-moving sailing vessels, but were 
landed safely in New Orleans, Louisiana. 
From there they came up the great Mississippi 
as far as St. Louis, where the father secured 
work with a construction company building 
levees on the river, remaining in St. Louis for 
seven years. Afterward Mr. O'Shea worked 
at Clarksville, Missouri, and from there on 
down into Louisiana. In 1874 the family 
came by wagon to Madison county, Nebraska, 
where the father bought land in the hope of 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



39 



comfortably rearing his family of nine chil- 
dren. During the early years in Madison 
county the struggle was hard and the first 
crops were devoured by the grasshoppers. 
Better times came, however, and at the time 
of his death, he left an estate worth $60,000. 
Both he and wife died on the Madison coun- 
ty homestead, his life being prolonged to nine- 
ty-three years. He was a man of strong po- 
litical as well as religious convictions, being 
identified with the Democratic party, and 
faithful to every observance of the Catholic 
church. Of his surviving children, Peter is 
the fourth in order of birth, the others being: 
Thomas, in the banking business at Madison, 
Nebraska ; Edward, identified with the Home 
Savings Bank at Madison; Ella, who resides 
with her brother Edward at Madison ; and 
John J., of Newman Grove, Nebraska, re- 
tired banker and real estate man. 

Peter O'Shea was ten years old when his 
parents located in Madison county and there 
he received his schooling. In that section and 
at that time, no one took any particular pains 
to interest and amuse youths that were strong 
and sturdy, but no doubt Peter, with lads of 
his acquaintance did not work on the farm all 
the time even under the strictest discipline, 
but found occasional means of recreation. 
Work, however, was the order of the day, and 
while yet young Peter started to labor as a 
miner and continued in that line for six years. 
Afterwards, for seven years he was in a grain 
business at Humphreys, Nebraska, and from 
there, in 1907, came to Scottsblufif. Here he 
embarked in the real estate business, also in- 
vested in a ranch and went into the cattle 
business, and in all his udertakings has done 
remarkably well. He possesses what is called 
business foresight and this natural faculty has 
ruled his judgment in his large land invest- 
ments. At one time he bought 1,700 acres of 
land and has developed everv acre of it. 

In 1900 Mr. O'Shea married Miss Matilda 
Fricke, who was bom and reared in Nebraska ; 
and they have three children: Helen, John 
and Frank, the two younger being yet in 
school. Mr. O'Shea and his family are mem- 
bers of the Roman Catholic church. Inimersed 
in his business, Mr. O'Shea entertains no de- 
sire for public office, but he is too enterpris- 
ing a citizen not to recognize the value of po- 
litical convictions and heartily supports the 
Democratic party. 



THEODORE D. DEUTSCH, has been 
practically identified with all the great irriga- 
tion projects that have been of so much import- 
ance to the people of Scottsblufif and adja- 
cent counties. He began to build ditches in 
1891 for the Tri-State Company, and contin- 
ued until 1909, although, prior to coming to 
Scottsbluff county, in 1886, he had been in- 
terested in different sections of the countrs' 
along similar lines in connection with railroad- 
ing. Mr. Deutsch is widely known for his 
enterprise, his public usefulness and his exten- 
sive ownership of valuable lands. 

Theodore. D. Deutsch was born February 
28, 1861, in Richland county, Wisconsin, the 
son of Daniel and Catherine (Lewis) Deutsch, 
the former born in Manheim, Germany, Feb- 
ruary 28, 1821, and died in 1896. Both came 
to the United States with their parents who 
settled first in Ohio and then moved to Wis- 
consin, where the grandparents died. Daniel 
Deutsch was a cooper by trade. In Wisconsin 
he was employed for some years by the gov- 
ernment, to operate boats used in clearing the 
channels of Wisconsin rivers. In religious 
faith he belonged to the IMennonite sect, while 
his wife was a member of the Catholic church. 
In 1872 they moved to Iowa, where he bought 
land and both died there. Of the five children 
three are living: Theodore D., whose home is 
at Scottsbluft"; Anna, the wife of Eli Swihart. 
of West Newton, Iowa; and Albert, who 
lives on the old home place in Iowa. 

Theodore D. Deutsch obtained his education 
in Iowa and remained a farmer until he was 
about twenty years old. In 1§80 he began to 
work at railroad construction and helped build 
the grade for the old Diagonal road from \\'at- 
erloo to Des Moines. In 1884 he went to 
Washington and remained on the Pacific coast 
for two years, engaged in teaming at Walla 
Walla for several months. From there he 
went to Yakima and built grade on the North- 
ern Pacific road, and when that job was finish- 
returned to Iowa. Finding no business open- 
ing to please him in the old neighborhood, he 
remained only one month, before locating at 
Elk Point, South Dakota, where he went into 
the cattle feeding business. In the meanwhile 
he homesteaded in Banner county, Nebraska, 
having the honor of naming that county, but 
later sold his homestead there for $1 per acre. 
In March. 1886, he came to what is now 
Scottsbluft" county, Cheyenne at that time, and 
was one of the county commissioners when 
Scottsbluft' county was organized. From the 



40 



HISTORY OE WESTERN NEBRASKA 



beginning of the plans for the building of the 
great irrigation ditches to their completion, 
Mr. Deutsch was active in the work. He has 
been identified with all the ditch building in 
this section and additionally built five miles 
of the grade for the Burlington railroad. Mr. 
Deutsch has been engaged in the real estate 
business since 1909, has a large loan business 
to which he gives close attention, and not only 
owns valuable city realty but has eight hun- 
dred acres of fine irrigated land in the valley. 

In 1888 Mr. Deutsch married Miss Laura 
Ammerman, who was bom in Pennsylvania, 
and they have two daughters : Blanche, the 
wife of Joseph Kottall, who died April 21, 
1919 ; aod Edna, who resides with her parents. 
Mrs. Deutsch and Mis Emma are members 
of the Christian church. In politics Mr. 
Deutsch is a Democrat. He was one of the 
first county commissioners of Scottsblufif and 
continued in that office for thirteen years. He 
is one of the older members of the Masonic 
fraternity at Scittsblufif, and belongs also to 
the Modern Woodmen. 

Without a sense of humor, the trials and 
tribulations of the pioneers might often have 
weighed heavier than was the fact. Few of 
them in recalling events now passed fail to re- 
member amusing occurence that are worth 
the telling and none are more appreciative of 
a joke, even upon themselves. This is the 
case with Mr. Deutsch when he refers to 
early hardships, when even getting married 
entailed considerable thought and inconveni- 
ence no was to be contrasted with the easy 
>nethods of the present. After receiving the 
consent of the lady he wished to wed, he 
started of on a hundred and fifty mile horse- 
back ride to secure the license, and on the way 
home stopped at a town emporium and in- 
vested in tow white shirts, unusual posses- 
sions, from which he promised himself much 
satisfaction. He had yet another horseback 
ride to take, one of a hundred miles, to secure 
a preacher. When the latted arrived, in order 
to do the occasion honor, Mr. Deutsch lent one 
of his precious shirts to the minister for the 
ceremony, who was held in a dugout. Possibly, 
Mr. Deutsch reminisces, the latter thought the 
shirt a gift as he never saw it again. 

HARRY S. FIESBACH, president of one 
of the largest mercantile firms of ScittsbkitT, 
has been actively identified with the busi- 
ness for the past ten years. He is a man of 
marked business ability and his large enter- 
prise is conducted along the lines of personal 



and public service that in any undertaking will 
assure worth while success. Mr. Fliesbach is 
a ative of Nebraska, and was born at Seward, 
January, 28, 1884, the son of Otto and Nina 
Louise (Senter) Fliesbach, both of whom have 
passed away. The father was born in Illinois 
and died in Scottsblufif, in 1916, while Mrs. 
Fliesbach was born at Nashua, New Hamp- 
shire, and died at Scottsblufif, April 11, 1919. 
Of their five children, Harry S. is the eldest, 
the others being: Chester, the secretary and 
treasure of the above mentioned mercantile 
business ; Glenn, a merchant in Montana ; 
Amelia R., the wife of Ralph W. Smith, a 
mining engineer at Denver, but now associated 
with the firm at Scottsbluff ; and Laura G., 
the wife of G. L. Howey, residing at Dallas, 
Texas, twenty yeats Otto Fliesbach carried 
on a mercantile business at Imperial, Nebras- 
ka. In 1909 he sold out and the family moved 
to Denver, residing there until the early part 
of 1916, when Mr. Fliesbach came to Scotts- 
bluff, where he had business investments. His 
death occurred shortly afterward. He was a 
man of impeachable character, and a member 
of the Christian Science church. 

Harry S. Fliesbach's mother was widely 
known, not only as a Christian Science prac- 
titioner, but as an inspiring personality. She 
was affectionately known as "Mother" and at 
the time of her passing a local newspaper 
wrote of her as follows: "Mrs. Fliesbach was 
best known to all as 'Mother' and that is one 
of the best tributes that can ever be paid to 
her, for she represented all the pure, loving, 
unselfish and exalted thoughts that 'Mother' 
brings to mind, not nly to her family, but to 
many others whom she helped. She became 
interested in the Christian Science movement 
about thirty years ago, and for some years 
has given practically her whole attention to 
it. She was a practitioner and also First 
Reader of the Christian Science Society of 
Scottsbluff." She was a daughter of Addison 
and Roxana (Cutler) Senter, and spent her 
childhood in New Hampshire. When about 
fourteen years old she came to Omaha, Ne- 
braska, to attend school, several years later 
becoming a teacher at Osceola, Nebraska, 
where she met and was subsequently married 
to Otto Fliesbach. After his death she made 
short visits to her children, then went to Cali- 
fornia and still later visited Boston, and after 
her return to Scottsbluff in the early part of 
1919, began to make preparation for a perma- 
nent home in this city where she was so sin- 
cerely admired adn so much beloved. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



41 



Harry S. Fliesbach was educated in the pub- 
lic schools at Imperial and a business college 
at Lincoln. He obtained his early business 
training in his father's store and afterward 
was in the wholesale line for ten years at St. 
Louis, Missouri. In 1909 he stablished a de- 
partment store in Scottsbluff, in partnership 
with his brother Chester. At first they made 
dry goods the main feature, but subsequently 
added one department after another until their 
stock now covers all the commodities usually 
found in modem establishments of this kind. 
The business was incorporated for $100,000, 
the two owners being the officials and manag- 
ers. They are honorable, upright, conscienti- 
ous business men, who have the confidence 
and esteem of every one. 

In 1916, Harry S. Fliesbach was united in 
marriage to Miss Grace B. Weybright, who 
was born in Nebraska. They are members of 
the Christian Science church. In politics Mr. 
Fliesbach is a Democrat, as was his father, 
but he is inclined to be somewhat independent. 

ANDREW T. CRAWFORD, proprietor 
of the A. T. Crawford Garage, is one of the 
old established business men of Scottsblufif. 
He stands high in public esteem both as an 
upright, honest man of affairs and as an ac- 
tive, useful, dependable citizen. He is a native 
of Nebraska, born at Omaha. March 31, 1885, 
the son of Dr. Andrew and Anna (Hall) 
Crawford, the former of whom was born in 
County Donegal, Ireland, and the latter in 
Canada. Dr. Crawford is widely known in 
this state and is a graduate of the old Omaha 
Medical College. He has been one of the 
leading members of his profession at Scotts- 
bluff since he came here in 1902. He is a 
member of the Scottsbluff" Medical associa- 
tion and of the Theosophical society, and has 
been president of that able body, the Scotts- 
bluff County Medical society. A review of Dr. 
Crawford will be found on another page of 
this history. 

Andrew T. Crawford attended school at 
Omaha and then started to learn the harness- 
making trade, but not being sufficiently in- 
terested in that line, gave it up and went to 
Colorado, where he worked as a cowboy for 
seven years. Mr. Crawford returned to Ne- 
braska, and in 1911 established the Central 
Garage at Scottsbluff, an early venture here 
in this business, later he changed the name to 
the A. T. Crawford Garage. He bought a 
lot of ground favorably situated and had a 
suitable building erected, but later bought the 
commodious building in which he is now es- 



tablished, to which however, he has since 
been obliged to make two additions to accom- 
modate the expansion of his business. He 
has more than 16,000 feet of ground space. 
He handles the Hudson and Essex cars and 
sells all through the Platte Valley and in 
South Dakota and Wyommg. The business 
belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Crawford and to- 
gether they have made every dollar that is 
invested. This is the oldest firm in Scottsbluff 
to be actively engaged in their line of busi- 
ness, and with the exception of a period of 
ten months, Mr. Crawford has had no other 
partner than his wife. 

In 1907 Mr. Crawford married Miss 
Blanche Pearl Jones, who was born at Wahoo, 
Nebraska. Her parents were John J. and 
Diana (Mattison) Jones, the former born in 
Wales and the latter in Wisconsin. They 
came to Nebraska in 1885, where the father 
engaged in farming and stockraising. Mrs. 
Crawford is the only survivor of their family 
of three children. She is a member of the 
Presbyterian church. In politics Mr. Craw- 
ford is a staunch supporter of the principles 
of the Republican party. He belongs to the 
order of Modern Woodmen and to the Elks, 
being identified with lodge No. 961 at Scotts- 
bluff. 



ANDREW CRAWFORD, M. D., one 
of the leading members of the medical fra- 
ternity of Scottsbluff, where he is loved by 
the people and honored by the profession, 
came to Nebraska in 1883 and in 1902 to this 
city. During the World War. now happily 
ended, he was a member of the volunteer med- 
ical reserve board, and on other occasions he 
has freely placed his professional skill at 
the service of the public without thought of 
remuneration. 

Dr. Crawford was born in County Donegal, 
Ireland, April 19, 1851, as son of William and 
Margaret (Crawford) Crawford, both natives 
of the Emerald Isle, honest, worthy, working 
people. The mother was a member of the 
Episcopal church. The father was a thought- 
ful, reasoning man, and voted with the Con- 
servative party in Canada. In Ireland he was 
a farmer, but after emigrating to Canada in 
1852, found it more profitable to work as a 
laborer. In 1854 his family joined him in 
Canada and that remained the family home. 
Dr. Crawford has one sister, Ellen, the wife 
of William Barlow, a railroad engineer in 
the Dominion. 

Andrew Crawford attended the common 
schools in Canada. After finishing the elemen- 



42 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



tary schools he studied medicine but did not 
complete his medical course until after com- 
ing to Nebraska. Soon after locating in this 
commonwealth he matriculated at the Medical 
School of the State University at Omaha, 
then known as the Omaha Medical College, 
graduating with the class of 1888. From 1888 
to 1900 he was engaged in the practice of his 
profession in the city of Omaha, then moved 
to Harrisburg, Nebraska in August of the lat- 
ter vear and from there came to Scottsbluflf on 
January 29. 1902. 

In 1874 Dr. Crawford married at Mamilton, 
Canada, Miss Anna Hall, who was bom 
in Canada, and they have four children : Anna 
Grace, the wife of Charles Hamer, of Scotts- 
blulif; Mrs. Helen R. Eastman, who lives at 
Scottsbluff ; Mary, the wife of L. M. Kinney, 
of this city, and Andrew T., in the automobile 
business at ScottsblufY. Dr. Crawford has 
been president of the Scottsblufif County Med- 
ical society; is a member of the Scottsblufif 
Medical association, and of the Theosophical 
society, and belongs to the fraternal order of 
Modern Woodmen. 

CHESTER FLIESBACH, a promiennt 
business man of Scottsbluflf, has been identi- 
fied with merchandising ever since he left 
college. He is secretary and treasurer of the 
mercantile firm operating the largest depart- 
ment store in this city, a business that is cap- 
italized at $100,000. ' 

Chester Fliesbach was born at Imperial, Ne- 
braska, May 3, 1888. His parents were Otto 
and Nina Louise (Senter) Fliesbach, people 
widely and favorably known in this state for 
many' years. His father was born in Illinois 
and his mother in New Hampshire. Both 
died at Scottsbluff, the father in 1916 and the 
mother in 1919. They had six children and 
Chester is the second of the five survivors, the 
others being: Harry S., who is president of 
of the mercantile firm referred to above; 
Glenn, a merchant in Montana. Amelia R., 
the wife of Halph W. Smith, a mining engi- 
neer, but now associated with the firm at 
Scottsbllt; and Laura G., the wife of L. G. 
Howey, who is in the banking business near 
Dallas, Texas. For twenty years the father of 
the above family was in the mercantile busi- 
ness at Imperial, Nebraska. After disposing 
of his interests there, in 1909 he moved to Den- 
ver, and early in 1916 came from there to 
Scottsbluff. Both parents were members of 
the Christian Science church, in which the 
mother had been prominent for many years. 
She was a successful practitioner and at the 



time of her deeply lamented death, was First 
Reader in the church at Scottsbluff. 

Following his graduation in 1902 from the 
high school of Imperial, Nebraska, Chester 
Fliesbach took a course in the Gem City Busi- 
.ness College, at Quincy, Illinois. He the en- 
tered his father's store at Imperial, where he 
had invaluable business training and remained 
until 1909, then came to Scottsbluff and in 
association with his brother Harry S. Flies- 
bach, organized the department store which 
has been expanded until it is one of the larg- 
est in Scottsbluff county. 

In 1912 Chester Fliesbach married Miss 
Rhea Matheny, who was born at Carthage, Il- 
linois, and they have two children : Gordon, 
who is six years old ; and Chester, aged fifteen 
months. Mr. and Mrs. Fliesbach are members 
of the Christian Science society. Politically 
he casts an independent vote. 

JAMES C. McCREARY, on of the promi- 
nent men in numerous business enterprises at 
Scottsbluff" as well as other points, was bom 
in Ashtabula county, Ohio, and was brought 
to Nebraska by his parents in boyhood. He 
grew up on his father's farm in Buffalo coun- 
ty and obtained his education in the country 
schools and at Shelton. 

When nineteen years old, Mr. McCreary 
went to work for M. A. Hostetter, with whom 
he remained for seven years and after that 
engaged in a general mercantile business with 
F. A. McCreary and E. T. Peck. For two 
years before coming to Scottsbluff", in 1901, 
when he embarked in business with F. A. Mc- 
Creary, though he still lived on a farm, never 
having lost his interest in agricultural pur- 
suits and surroundings, but since then has 
devoted himself rather closely to the enter- 
prises in which he has made large investments. 
He is secretary of the Scottsbluff Investment 
Company, is president of the McCreary Broth- 
ers Company, is president of the Scottsbluff 
Creamery Company, and owns an interest in 
a store at Morrill, Nebraska, with unusual 
business acumen being able to direct all these 
undertakings profitablv. 

In 1896 "Mr. McCreary married :\Iiss Belle 
Bently, who was born in the state of New 
York'and died at Scottsbluff, January 19, 1915, 
having been the mother of five sons : Victor, 
who died March 10, 1918, aged twenty-one 
years and one day; Pearson, born November 
16, 1899; Harold J., born in December. 1900; 
J. Curtis, born in May. 1909; and Willis H., 
born in January. 1911. Mr. ]\lcCreary's sec- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



43 



ond marriage took place on March 9, 1916, to 
Miss Jane B. Polk, a native of Kentucky, a 
highly cultured woman who has all the graci- 
ous hospitality and charm of the daughters 
of the Blue Grass State. They are members 
of the Methodist Episcopal church. In poli- 
tics he is a Republican of no uncertain stamp, 
and fraternally is a Mason and a Shriner. 

JONAS ZOELLNER, one of the represen- 
tative business men of ScottsblulT. to which 
city he came in 1905, has built up a large and 
dependable mercantile establishment which is 
a leading business house of the upper valley. 
He was born in Germany, July 6, 1851, one of 
seven children born to Ephraim and Fred- 
ericka (Kaufman) Zoellner. Both parents 
died in Germany, where the father was a mer- 
chant ailor. Jonas is one of the two children 
to come to America, a brother, Charles Zoell- 
ner, being a merchant at Deadwood, South 
Dakota. 

Jonas Zoellner was twenty years old when 
he left his native land for the United States, 
reaching these hospitable shores in February, 
1871, a stranger. His objective point was 
Memphis, Tennessee, where he was employed 
by one of his countrymen as a clerk in a large 
store, and he remained there from 1871 until 
1877. Then he went to Deadwood, South Da- 
kota, where he was associated in a mercantile 
business with his brother for thirty-nine years. 
It has been Mr. Zoellner's policy to expand his 
business interests where he has seen opportun- 
ity, hence, in 1905 he came to Scottsbluff and 
here opened a mercantile house under the 
name of Zoellner Brothers. In 1908 he bought 
his brother's interest and admitted his only 
son, Charles, to partnership, and since then 
the firm name has been Zoellner & Son. 

In 1882 Mr. Coellner was united in marriage 
with Miss Anna Goldbloom, who was born at 
Indianapolis, Indiana, and they have one son, 
Charles. This young man was educated at 
Deadwood, South Dakota, and at Highland 
Park, Illinois, later taking a business course 
in the Bryant & Stratton Commercial college. 
Chicago. He entered upon his business career 
as a traveling representative of a wholesale 
house of St. Joseph. Missouri, continuing wit 
house at St. Joseph. Missouri, continuing with 
the same firm for seven years, since severing 
his connection with that firm he has been asso- 
ciated with his father. In addition to the 
ScottsblutT establishment, the Zoellners own 
and conduct a large, up-to-date store at Ger- 
ing, in both cities handling shoes, clothing and 



men's funiisshings. Charles Zoellner, the 
younger member of the firm, married Miss 
\Iamie O'Connor, who was born at Wisner, 
Nebraska, and they have one daughter. Doro- 
thea. 

In politics both father and son are Republi- 
cans. Both have been too actively engaged 
in business to feel able to give attention to 
public ottice to any extent, although Jonas 
Zoellner did serve for six years as treasurer 
of Spearfish, South Dakota. He is of Jewish 
extraction and faith and belongs to the He- 
brew congregation at ScottsblulT. The high 
regard in which both he and son are held in 
this city and elsewhere is indicated in their 
Masonic connections and both are Shriners, 
are member of the Modern Woodmen and of 
the Elks. They belong to many benevolent 
organizations and in all charitable movement 
are among the foremost to contribute and 
also support all worthy movements of the com- 
munitq. 

JEROME H. SMITH, on the leading real 
estate men of the younger generation, who has 
built up a gratifying business, largely handled 
in Scottsblufif county, belongs to a well known 
pioneer family of Hamilton county, Nebraska, 
the member of which have had much to do 
with the development of the state. Mr. Smith 
was born at Aurora, Nebraska, October 17, 
1888. He received his early academic train- 
ing in Arizona and graduated from the high 
school before entering the University of Ne- 
braska, where he completed his course in 1911. 
Soon after leaving college he accepted a posi- 
tion with the Lincoln Traction Company, Lin- 
Coln, Nebraska, of which concern he became 
cashier. Afterward he went to Washington 
and subsequently became advertising man for 
N. K. Fairbank, with Washington and Oregon 
as his territory. In 1918 Mr. Smith came to 
Scottsblufif and embarked independently in the 
real estate business, which he continued again 
after an interruption tliat began with his enter- 
ing military service in July, 1918, and ended 
in December of the same year. He was attach- 
ed to the signal corps and was in the special 
training camp at College Station, Texas. 

In March, 1915, Mr. Smith was united in 
marriage to Miss Lenora Frances Stadler, who 
was born at Fort Wayne, Indiana. They are 
members of the Episcopal church. While he 
is deeply interested in public affairs as all good 
citizens must be, Mr. Smith declines political 
party affiliation and when he casts his vote it 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



is according to the dictates of his own good 
judgement. 

JESSE B. LANE, postmaster of Scottsbluff 
and a leader in Democratic political circles in 
this section of Nebraska, formerly was en- 
gaged in the real estate business here and owns 
a large amount of valuable realty. He has 
been a resident .of Nebraska for a number of 
years, but his birth took place at Lancaster, 
Ohio. December 22, 1854. 

Mr. Lane's parents were Jesse D. and Ma- 
tilda (Loofborough) Lane, both natives of 
Ohio, and both of English extraction. The 
grandfathers, John Lane and William Loof- 
borough, were born in Pennsylvania, and their 
parents were born in England. Mr. and Mrs. 
Jesse Lane were reared in Ohio and married 
there but later moved to Illinois, where the 
father became a very successful farmer. Both 
died in that state and six of their children are 
yet living, Jesse B. being the only one to come 
to Nebraska. 

Jesse B. Lane attended school both in Ohio 
and Illinois, and after his education was fin- 
ished remafned on the home farm until his 
marriage when he moved to Herrick, Illinois, 
where he conducted a hardware business and 
for three years served as postmaster. Mr. 
Lane established a general mercantile busienss 
in Edgar county, Illinois, in partnership with 
his brother, L. F. Lane, an association which 
continued for a year. In 1888 he came to 
Nebraska, and after settling in Gumming coun- 
ty engaged in handling real estate for a num- 
ber of years and continued in that line after 
coming to Scottsblufif in the fall of 1905, carry- 
ing it on very successfully until 1915, when he 
assumed the duties of postmaster. His man- 
agement of the office here has been very sat- 
isfactory, notwithstanding a great increase in 
office business since he took charge. 

In 1879 Mr. Lane married Miss Martha 
Strohl, who was born in Ohio. They have had 
nine children, of whom the following are liv- 
ing: Mrs. George Elquist, who lives on a 
ranch near Torrington, Wyoming; J. Ray, in 
the real estate business at Scottsbluff'; Mable, 
a bookkeeper and cashier for a large business 
firm at Scottsbluff; Guy, associated with his 
brother in the real estate business ; and Mil- 
dred, a bookkeeper for the firm of McCreary 
Brothers. The family belongs to the Pres- 
byterian church. Mr. Lane is a member of the 
Fraternal Union and the Modern Woodmen. 



SILAS G. ALLEN, M. D., one of the able 
and experienced medical men engaged in the 
practice of their profession at Scottsbluff, for 
any years has also been interested in farm 
production and now owns over seven hundred 
acres of fine irrigated land in Scottsbluff coun- 
ty. Dr. Allen was bom in Shelby county, 
Iowa, April 6, 1874, the son of Daniel and 
Mary (Bothwell) Allen, the former was born 
in the state of New York and the latter in 
Jones county, Iowa. Their marriage took 
place in Illinois and from there they moved to 
Iowa early in the seventies. In earlier years 
the father was an engineer but later in life 
was a farmer in Iowa where he died in 1901. 
He was a Republican in politics and was an 
advanced Mason and a Shriner. Dr. Allen's 
mother resides at Harlan, Iowa, and is a mem- 
ber of the Methodist Episcopaf church. Of the 
seven children of the family Dr. Allen was 
the second born, the others being as follows : 
Cora, the wife of Herbert Wilcox, a farmer 
near Tilden, Nebraska ; George, a specialist 
in diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, 
in practice at Topeka, Kansas ; Sadie, the wife 
of Thomas J. Newby, county treasurer, re- 
siding at Harlan, Iowa ; Daisie, who lives with 
her mother at Harlan ; Mamie, who lives in 
California; and Cleo, the wife of Dr. E. F. 
Zoerb, a physician and surgeon at Genoa, Ne- 
braska. 

Silas G. Allen attended the public schools 
in Shelby county, Iowa and the Woodbine 
normal school. For some time after complet- 
ing his education he engaged in teaching 
school, in the meanwhile preparing for a medi- 
cal career, and in 1901 was graduated from 
the Nebraska State Medical college, at Omaha, 
at which time he had the honor of being 
class president. He remained at Omaha for 
one year as physician in the Methodist Episco- 
pal Hospital, then settled at Clarkson, where 
he continued in successful practice for seven- 
teen years. He owned land in that locality 
which he sold before coming to Scottsbluff 
in 1918. Since coming to the Panhandle 
the Doctor has invested heavily in irrigated 
land in this district, and now owns three 
farms. 

In 1904 Dr. Allen married Miss Louise 
Beran, a native daughter of Nebraska, and 
they have one daughter, Viola, who is in 
school. In politics Dr. Allen was reared in 
the Republican party and still adheres to its 
principles of patriotism and Americanism. 
While living at Clarkson he served on the 




Ruben Thomas Hei 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



45 



town board and as county coroner. He is a 
Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner. 

CHARLES C. McELROY. whose able man- 
agement of his several interests places him 
with the successful business and professional 
men of Scottsbluff, was bom in South Dakota, 
December 26. 1886, the only child of Charles 
and Mattie (Arbuckle) McElroy. 

The McElroy family is of Irish extraction 
but has been American for generations. The 
grandfather of Charles McElroy, John P. Mc- 
Elroy, was born in the state of New York, 
moving later to Illinois, and still later to 
South Dakota. The father of Mr. McElroy 
was a rancher and farmer in South Dakota 
and died at Rapid City in 1892. The mother 
was born and reared in Iowa, receiving her 
education in O'Brien county. She now lives 
at Lincoln. Nebraska, where she is an active 
member of the Congregational church. 

Charles C. McElroy attended school at Rap- 
id City and in 1902 completed his high school 
course at Wisner, Nebraska, after which he 
spent one year in a business college at Omaha. 
In 1908 he completed his law course in the 
LTniversity of Nebraska, and after eighteen 
months of practice at Lincoln, came to Scotts- 
blufT in March. 1910. Here he has not only 
won a definite place at the bar but has broad- 
ened his interests and does a large business in 
insurance and loans. He is also the represen- 
tative of the R. G. Dun agency in the Platte 
Valley. He has been very active in Masonry 
and has received the Thirty-second degree, be- 
longing to the consistory at Lincoln, and he 
attended the dedication of the Masonic Temple 
in that city. In politics he is affiliated with 
the Democratic party. 

WILLIAM REEVES was actively associ- 
ated with his father in railroad contract work 
in Nebraska during the period of his early 
youth, and thus gained at tirst hand a definite 
familiarity with "the conditions that prevailed 
in centrafand western Nebraska in the pioneer 
days. With his father he came to Cheyenne 
countv before Scottsbluff county was segre- 
gated'therefrom, and both took up and perfect- 
ed title to land about five miles southeast of 
where Scottsbluff is now located. The subject 
of this sketch eventi;:illy became the owner of 
both of the-^e tracts and' he improved the same 
into one of the valuable farm estates of the 
county. This property he still owns and to its 
management he continued to give his active at- 
tention until 1918. when he rented the farm 
and removed with his family to Scottsbluff'. 
where he purchased the attractive residence m 
which the familv now makes its home and 



where the children are afforded the advantages 
of the excellent public schools. Mr. Reeves 
has been closely identified with progressive 
movements that have conserved the civic and 
industrial advancement of Scottsbluff county, 
and is a citizen who has a secure place in pop- 
ular confidence and good will. His father was 
one of the builders of the Winter creek irriga- 
tion ditch and served as the first president of 
the company that constructed the same, while 
the son William was a director for thirteen 
years, as the owner of eighteen shares of the 
stock. In politics he gives his allegiance to the 
Democratic party and he and his wife hold to 
the faith of the Christian church. 

\\'illiani Rtcxes was born in Mercer county, 
Missunn, Au,-n>t 28, 1861, and is a son of 
Ruben Tlinnias Reeves, who was born in Chris- 
tian county, Kentucky, March 10, 1826. and 
who was about eighty-one years of age at the 
time of his death. His wife was born in Ohio. 
She died in Illinois. Their marriage was sol- 
emnized in Missouri. William Reeves has 
gained his education almost entirely in the 
school of practical experience and through self- 
discipline, as he early became associated with 
his father in railroad construction work in re- 
mote localities and was thus denied the cus- 
tomary school privileges. He was but ten 
years old when he thus began work with his 
father, who was engaged in 1875 in construc- 
tion work on the levee along the Mississippi 
river from Hannibal to Hamburg Bay, later 
taking a contract for the building of one mile 
of the roadbed of the Union Pacific railroad 
near Callaway, Custer county, Nebraska, 
where he utilized in this work an average of 
about twenty-five teams. Later he constructed 
under contract two miles for the Burlington & 
Missouri River railroad, near Central City, and 
in both of these enterprises his son gave valu- 
able cooperation. It was in 1886 that the 
father and son came to what is now Scottsbluff 
county and entered claim to the land which is 
now owned by the latter. In the intervening 
years William Ree\e> h;is stood exponent of 
the most progressixe citi/eiiship, the while he 
has worked for and won distinctive prosperity. 
In 1898 Mr. Reeves wediled Miss Susan V. 
Lacey, who was born in Texas, in July, 1874. 
They have two children, both of whom were 
born in the primitive sod house which still 
stands on the old home farm in Scottsbluff 
county. Shelley was born January 22, 1900, 
and Nellie July 18, 1906, both now being stu- 
dents in the public schools of Scottsbluff. 

J. RAY LANE, who has been established in 
the real setate business at Scottsbluff' since 
1908, has been the means of bringing a large 



46 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



amount of capital to the Platte Valley, own- 
ing a large acreage of valuable land and hav- 
ing control of vast properties on the commis- 
sion basis. Mr. Lane has become as favorably 
known in the business as he farmerly was in 
the educational field. He was born at Her- 
rick, in Shelby county, Illinois, June 1, 1884. 

The parents of Mr. Lane were Jesse B. 
and Martha (Strohl) Lane, both of whom 
were born in Ohio and when young accom- 
panied their parents to Illinois. For three 
years the father was postmaster of Herrick, 
Illinois, an office he has filled at Scottsblufif 
since 1915. In 1888 Mr. Lane's parents came 
to Nebraska and settled in Cuming county 
where the father engaged in the real estate 
business until 1905. when he moved to 
Scottsblufif, where he continued his former 
activities until he was appointed postmaster. 
Of his nine children J. Ray is the second of 
the five survivors. 

In 1902 Mr. Lane was graduated from the 
Wisner high school, and in 1904 from the Ne- 
braska Normal college at Wayne, with the B. 
C. degree, being president of his class. During 
the three following years he taught school, 
for one year in the country near W'ayne, for 
one year being principal of the schools of 
Wolbach, in Greeley county, and one year 
superintendent of schools at Franklin. He 
then joined his father at Scottsblufif and is now 
associated with his brother Guy in the same 
business. 

In 1915 Mr. Lane was united in marriage to 
Miss Dora J. Carter, a musician of note, who 
is a graduate of the New England Conserva- 
tory of Music, Boston, Massachusetts, and 
prior to the World War, was a student in 
Germany for two years. Mr. and Mrs. Lane 
have no children. In his political views he is 
a Democrat like his father and grandfather. 
He is active in Masoinc circles and was secre- 
tary of the first Masonic lodge installed at 
Scottsblufif He is a member of the Episcopal 
church. 

GUY LANE, whose aggressive yet well 
planned business activities have given him high 
standing in commercial circles, is identified 
with a brother in the real estate line at Scotts- 
blufif. Mr. Lane was born at Wisner, Cuming 
county, Nebraska, March 28, 1889. The fam- 
ily history appears in this work as it is an old 
and important one in the state. 

Guy Lane enjoyed educational advantages at 
Wisner, and after completing the high school 
course, went itno the telephone business, and 



during the following eight years he gained so 
broad a knowledge of electricity, that he might 
qualify for a number of positions where such 
knowledge is indispensable. In the meanwhile, 
however, the family moved to Scottsblufif and 
he joined them here, had some experience in 
the real estate line with his father, then be- 
came associated with his brother as the firm 
of Lane Brothers, and the partners carry on 
an extensive business, to the . extension of 
which Mr. Lane gives close attention. 

In 1908 Mr. Lane was united in marriage 
to Miss Ann Konkle, and they have two chil- 
dren, namely : Helen Louise and Audrey Lee. 
As an intelligent, upstanding, expectant citi- 
zen, with ambition to not only forward his 
own fortunes but to also advance the best 
interests of county and state, Mr. Lane takes 
a hearty interest in politics and proves the 
sincerity of his convictions when he gives sup- 
port to the Democratic party. 

CLYDE N. MOORE, M. D., president of 
the Scottsblufif County Medical society, is a 
leading member of his profession at Scotts- 
blufif, where he has built up a large practice 
and become thoroughly identified with the best 
interests of this section. Dr. Moore was born 
at Macomb, in McDonough county, Illinois, 
March 13, 1882, the son of H. N. and Anna 
( Cooper) Moore, the former born in Ihio and 
the latter in McDonough county, Illinois. They 
had two sons born to them : Roscoe P., who is 
manager of the Ogallala Lumber Company, at 
Ogallala, Nebraska; and Clyde N., who was 
an infant when his parents came to Nebraska. 
It was in 1882 that they left their cultivated 
land in Illinois and came to a sparsely settled 
section of Seward county, where the father 
invested in school land for which he paid $7 
an acre. He became wealthy as a farmer and 
stock feeder and remained on his homestead 
in Seward county until the close of his life, 
his death occuring in August, 1908. Dr. 
Moore's mother survives and resides at Scotts- 
blufif. She is a member of the Presbyterian 
church and is interested in numerous benevo- 
lent enterprises. 

Clyde N. Moore completed his high school 
course at Seward in 1900, but before taking 
up a scientific cause, devoted some time to 
the study of human nature by spending a 
short period on a ranch near Bufifalo, Wyom- 
ing, and conducting a hotel. In the meanwhile 
he had done enough preparatory medical read- 
ing to enable him to enter Lincoln Medical 
college, in 1907, graduating in 1911 with the 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



47 



degree of M. D., and immediately entered into 
practice at Gering, where he continued one 
and a half years before coming to Scottsbluff. 
Dr. Moore is engaged in medical and surgical 
practice, meeting with the success that not 
only is a source of gratification to every con- 
scientious medical man, but that has proved 
his worth to his fellow citizens. He is active 
in all the leading medical organizations, is 
president of the county society, is a member 
of the Nebraska State Medical association, of 
the American Medical association and belongs 
also to the Volunteer Medical Service Corps 
of the United States. Dr. Moore's personal 
standing is as high as is his professional. He 
has long been identified with the Masonic fra- 
ternity and still retains membership in his col- 
lege Greek letter society. Dr. Moore owns two 
valuable farms but his practice demands too 
much of his time and attention to permit his 
being much of a practical agriculturist. 

On October 11, 1911, Dr. Moore married 
Miss Udoris M. Wilmeth, a native of Salem, 
Iowa. She had a liberal education there and 
later took advanced courses in other schools. 
Dr. and Mrs. Moore have one son, bearing 
his father's name, who was born May 9, 1917. 
In politics Dr. Moore follows the example set 
by his venerated father and gives support 
to the principles of the Republican party and 
upholds its vinlication of true Americanism. 

HORACE E. BROWN. — It is surprising 
how many interesting stories come to light 
when real lovers of Nebraska get together and 
exchange reminiscences, and could the readers 
of the history of the Panhandle have these 
stories at first hand, few would ever afterward 
relish more romances of courage, endurance, 
persistency, of neighborhood brotherliness or 
exemplification of sincere Christianity. Ques- 
tion where you will, among the stable, repre- 
sentative people of this great state and you 
will pass on with a deeper respect for the prim- 
itive qualities that have helped build up so 
great a commonwealth. The family history 
of Horace E. Brown, the leading druggist at 
Scottsbluff, goes back to Illinois and Indiana, 
then to Iowa, and after four years of fighting 
in the Civil War, reaches Nebraska, where 
different but almost as fatal enemies were 
found, and finally were overcome. 

Horace E. Brown was born at Mount Pleas- 
ant, in Henry county, Iowa, May 19, 1867, the 
eldest of six children boni to Richard T. and 
Catherine (Allen) Brown. Richard T. Brown 
was born at Bedford, Indiana, in 1840 and in 
early life accompanied his father, John Brown, 



to Iowa. During his growing period he 
worked with a railroad company and was the 
first agent at Pacific Junction, in Mills county. 
When the Civil War was precipitated, he en- 
listed and served four years as a member of 
the Fourth Iowa cavalry. All his life he was 
a man of good standing in the community, was 
a member of the Odd Fellows and a pillar in 
the Methodist Episcopal church. After the 
war he was married in Iowa to Catherine 
Allen, who was born in 1843 and died in 1915. 
Her father, John Allen, came early to Iowa, 
where he was a merchant, his death occurring 
while on a business trip on the Mississippi 
river between New Orleans and Burlington. 
The Browns settled in Johnson county when 
they came to Nebraska. They were not pre- 
pared to endure the climatic changes, nor could 
the father of Mr. Brown prevail against the 
grasshoppers that devastated his fields, so re- 
turn was made to Iowa, but it was too late, the 
charm of the wide, open prairies, the deep blue 
skies, the freshening winds and the fruitful 
land, had made living in any other section im- 
possible, and in 1880 the Johnson county res- 
idents were once more increased by the Brown 
family, who settled at Tecumseh. The father 
died in January, 1917. 

Horace E. Brown had excellent school ad- 
vantages at Tecumseh. While attending 
school in the winters, he worked on a farm in 
the summers and learned to punch cattle on a 
ranch near Tecumseh, Beatrice and Nebraska 
City. An agricultural life, however, did not 
appeal to him, and after spending two years 
in the drug business, in Idaho, he went to 
Louisville, Nebraska, where he carried on a 
drug business for ten years. In 1905 he came 
to Scottsbluff and opened his drug store here 
which he has conducted ever since. Both 
graduates Nebraska State University and reg- 
istered druggists. 

In Idaho, in 1890, Mr. Brown was united in 
marriage to Miss Mary Lindsey, who was born 
in Boise City, and they have two children, 
Richard and Raymond. Richard is an Ameri- 
can soldier with the Army of Occupation in 
Germany, entering military service in Septem- 
ber, 1917, as a member of the Eighty-ninth 
Division. He was educated in the University 
of Nebraska. He married Beatrice Mcintosh. 
Raymond was also educated in the State Uni- 
versity. He married Zona Cline. 

In politics Mr. Brown is a sound Republican 
as was his late father. He has served at 
times, as a member of the city council and 
when his party brought him forward as a can- 
didate for mayor, he lost the election by but 
seven votes. Mr. Brown is the most advanced 



48 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Mason in the county, a member of K. C. C. H., 
and a shriner, and belongs also to the Modern 
Woodmen. Mrs. Brown is active in social 
circles to some extent, is interested in all char- 
itable enterprises and is a member of the Epis- 
copal church. 

DANIEL R. SCHENCK, justice of the 
peace and police judge, of Scottsbluiif, who has 
served continuously and with the greatest effi- 
ciency since 1911, is well and favorably known 
in different sections of the state. He was born 
in Parke county, Indiana, September 8, 1849, 
the second of eight children born to Cyrenius 
and Mildred H. (Reeder) Schenck. 

Judge Schenck's father was born in 1827, 
in Butler county, Ohio, of Holland ancestry. 
In 1846 he was married in Parke county, In- 
diana, to Mildred H. Reeder, who was born in 
Virginia, in 1827, and died in 1913, surviving 
her husband one year. They were faithful 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church. 
In 1856 removal was made to Iowa, where the 
father engaged in the practice of medicine. 
At the outbreak of the Civil War he entered 
the Union army and served on hospital duty 
for four years, being quartered at Jeiiferson 
barracks during the greater part of the time. 
In 1876 Dr. Schenck came to Webster county, 
Nebraska, where he later served in the offices 
of coroner and justice of the peace. He was a 
Republican in his political views and belonged 
to the Masonic fraternity. 

Daniel R. Schenck began life on a farm 
after obtaining a country school educa- 
tion, in Davis, Decatur and Warren counties, 
Iowa. In 1872, while in Warren county, he 
met with the serious accident that cost him 
his hand, it having been caught in a circular 
saw. When able once more to resume active 
life, he taught one term of school in Warren 
county and then went to Decatur to reenter a 
mill and completed the miller's trade. Through 
work at this trade, he came to Republican Val- 
ley, in 1876, and engaged in the milling busi- 
ness there until 1909. when he came to Scotts- 
blufT and took charge of a mill for his brother- 
in-law, O. R. Brown, which he operated for a 
year, when it was destroyed by fire. In 1907, 
in Republican Valley, he had been elected jus- 
tice of the peace and servtd with much gen- 
eral satisfaction. In 1911 he was appointed 
both justice of the peace and police judge of 
ScottsblufY. No one could perform the duties 
of these offices with more discrimination on 
the side of justice than Judge Schenck and 
there is never any danger but that the dignity 
of his courtroom will be upheld. In his polit- 
ical affiliation he has always been a Republican. 



On March 31, 1881, Judge Schenck was 
united in marriage with Miss Alice L. Brown, 
who was born in Illinois, and they have three 
children : Albert O., Lloyd C. and Emma E. 
Albert O. went to Europe with the American 
Expeditionary Force in June, 1918, entered 
military service in December, 1917, and has 
proved himself a brave and gallant soldier; 
Lloyd C, a soldier with the Army of Occupa- 
tion in Germany, was sent, after enlistment, to 
Jefiferson barracks, where his grandfather had 
been stationed during his military service, 
many years ago. At the time of entering ser- 
vice, Judge Schenck's sons had just been grad- 
uated from Kansas City Business College, 
Kansas City, Missouri. Emma E., the only 
daughter, is trying to keep up the home at- 
mosphere for her father, as Mrs. Schenck was 
called away in 1915. Judge Schenck and his 
children all belong to the Methodist Episcopal 
church. 

WINFIELD EVANS, who is serving his 
second term as water commissioner of Scotts- 
bluiif, has been identified with ScottsblufT coun- 
ty since 1886. He is widely known, for 
through his scientific agricultural efiforts much 
has been done to bring this section of the Pan- 
handle into a "place in the sun." While mod- 
est in regard to his achievements, he naturally 
takes pleasure in his success, and there are few 
representative agricultural bodies in the state 
that have not taken a deep interest in the meth- 
ods which have produced the remarkable ex- 
hibits of vegetables and fruits that for some 
years have carried ofif medals and premiums at 
various state fairs. 

Winfield Evans was born at Knoxville, Illi- 
nois, May 17, 1864, the son of Charles and 
Jane Margaret (Wilber) Evans, the former 
born in Hartford county, Connecticut, in June, 
1819, and died in 1888, and the latter in Scho- 
harie county. New York, in 1830, and died in 
April, 1886, in Illinois. Of their seven chil- 
dren the following, besides Winfield, survive: 
Ada, the wife of Frank Hardesty, a druggist 
at Rigby, Idaho : Harry, a traveling salesman, 
of Milwaukee, Wisconsin ; Ralph, a printer of 
Milwaukee, and Grace, the wife of Walter 
Reiter, of Indiana. The mother of the family 
was a member of the Episcopal church. The 
father was a carpenter and cabinetmaker by 
trade and lived in several states. He came to 
Scottsbluff county. Nebraska, and homesteaded 
in 1887 and died here. He was a Repulican in 
politics and a member of the Masonic fratern- 
ity for many years. 

In the public schools of Avoca. Iowa, Mr. 
Evans secured some educational training but 




George E. Mason 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



49 



he was only nine years old when he began 
farm work and continued interested in that 
line until 1894, at the same time acquiring a 
working knowledge of the building trades. 
He came to Scottsbluff county in 1886 and as- 
sisted in building the first houses in Scotts- 
bluff village, to which place he moved in 1900. 
He carried on building and contracting until 
1915 when he erected his own comfortable 
residence and since taking possession of it has 
applied himself entirely to intensive gardening, 
his main object being to grow exceptionally 
fine vegetables to exhibit at state fairs. Dur- 
ing the five years his products have appeared 
on exhibition he has won first premiums for 
four years, and won first premium for the best 
county display in the world at the Interna- 
tional Soil Produce Exhibition, at Kansas City 
in 1918. This is a notable distinction and re- 
flects great credit on Mr. Evans. 

On July 28, 1886, Mr. Evans married Miss 
Minnie J. Coakes, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, 
and they had two children: Charles J., who 
is employed with a sugar company at Bayard, 
Nebraska, and Ada Appoline, the wife of Ern- 
est Parmenter, of San Diego, California. The 
mother of these children died July 26, 1893, 
on her twenty-fifth birthday. On January 20, 
1901, Mr. Evans married Miss Henrietta E. 
Hughes, who was born at Eldora, Hardin 
county, Iowa, and they have four children: 
Donald, Allen, Dorothy, and Winfield James, 
who took first premium when two years old at 
the 1916 county baby show, also at the Lincoln 
State Fair, when twenty-eight months old. 
Mrs. Evans is a member of the Presbyterian 
church. In politics Mr. Evans is staunch in 
his adherence to Republican principles. He is 
a Scottish Rite Mason and has passed through 
the chairs of the local lodge. 

GEORGE E. MASOX is a sterling citizen 
who contributes no negligible (|U0ta to the bus- 
iness prestige of the village of Bayard. Morrill 
county, where he is successfidly conducting a 
well-equipped general wnnd-w. nking shop. 
Further interest attaches tn his career by rea- 
son of the fact that he is distinctively one of the 
pioneers of this favored section of the state. 

Mr. Mason was born in New York city, on 
the 6th of February. 1852, and is a scion of the 
staunchest of American ancestry of German 
origin, his parents and his paternal grandfather 
having likewise been natives of the national 
metropolis and his paternal great-grandfather 
having been born in Hessen, Germany, whence 
he was sent by his sovereign to the American 
colonies. This sturdy patriot joined the Con- 
tinental forces and served with utmost valor as 



a soldier in the war of the Revolution. Fred- 
erick E. Mason, father of the subject of this 
sketch. U])held the military prestige of the fam- 
ily name by his service in the defense of the 
Union when the Civil War was precipitated. 
He became a member of Company C, Sixty- 
ninth New York Volunteer Infantry, in which 
he rose to the rank of lieutenant. He was 
killed at the battle of Antietam in August, 
1863. He was by trade a wood-carver and 
pattern-maker. His widow, whose maiden 
name was Hattie Weinerger, eventually con- 
tracted a second marriage, when she became 
the wife of Ferdinand Dippel. In 1874 they 
removed to Indianapolis, Indiana, where the 
devoted mother is still living ( 1919) at the 
venerable age of eighty-seven years. Her par- 
ents were natives of Germany and were resi- 
dents of New York at the time i>f their death. 
George E. Mason passed tlie jiennil of his 
childhood and youth in New \'(n-k city, where 
he was afforded good educational advantages, 
including those of a leading academy of music, 
an institution in which he developed his excep- 
tional musical ability. In the national metrop- 
olis he served a f<iur-years a])|ireiiticeship to 
the trade of pattern-maker, and thereafter he 
obtained from the government a position as 
chief musician and instructor in organizing and 
instructing a government band iii the city of 
Chicago. In his official capacity he was later 
sent to various other localities, and in 1877 he 
was assigned to duty at Fort Laramie, where 
he remained six weeks. He returned to this 
frontier post in the following year and there 
served as chief musician, with the rank of lieu- 
tenant, until 1879, when he resigned his gov- 
ernmental post and engaged in the work of his 
trade, in New York city. There he continued 
his activities until 1884, when he removed to 
Indianapolis, Indiana, where he continued the 
work of his trade until the autumn of the fol- 
lowing year, when he heard and responded to 
the call of the progressive west. It was thus 
in the fall of 1885 that Mr. Mason came to 
western Nebraska, where he located a home- 
stead in what is now Scottsbluff county, his 
pioneer home being situated four miles east of 
the present village of Minatare. To the devel- 
oping and improving of his claim Mr. Mason 
continued to give his attention until 1901, when 
he sold the property and removed to Bayard, 
Morrill county, and established himself as a 
carpenter and builder. He continued to be 
thus engaged for a period of about three years, 
within which he erected some of the first of the 
more substantial and permanent buildings of 
the new town. Since that time he has success- 
fully conducted his general wood-working 



50 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



shop, gaining high reputation as a skilled arti- 
san, as well as a reliable and substantial citizen 
to whom is accorded pioneer honors. Mr. 
Mason has never abated his interest in music. 
He had the distinction of organizing the first 
band at Gering, Scottsbluff county, as well as 
the first at Bayard. While residing on his 
claim he drove a distance of fifteen miles to 
instruct the band at Gering, and as a skilled 
musician he has otherwise done much to de- 
velop general musical interests in this section 
of the state. 

As a pioneer Mr. ]\Iason bore his full share 
of responsibilities in connection with civic de- 
velopment and progress. He has never wav- 
ered in his allegiance to the Republican party. 
He served as justice of the peace in both 
Scottsblui? and Morrill counties, his services in 
this office covering a period of fully a quarter 
of a century, besides which he was a member 
of the first school board organized in what is 
now Scottsbluff county. 

October 15, 1884, recorded the marriage of 
Mr. Mason to Miss Christina Ruehl, who was 
born and reared in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, 
her parents having been natives of Germany 
and her father having served as a gallant sol- 
dier of the Union in the Civil War. In 1886 
Mrs. Mason joined her husband on the pioneer 
farm in western Nebraska, and she had the dis- 
tinction of being the third white woman to be- 
come a resident of this now favored section of 
the Platte Valley, where she bravely bore her 
share of pioneer trials and vicissitudes. Of the 
eight children of Mr. and Mrs. Mason three 
died in early childhood. George E. conducts a 
barber shop at Bayard, and is also the leader of 
the Bayard band and head of a well-trained 
orchestra in this village; Edith is the wife of 
Nelson Wysong, of Harrison, Arkansas; 
Maude Emily is the wife of Lloyd Staples, of 
Eos Angeles, California ; Lydia L. is the wife 
of Frederick Young, of Bayard; Hazel E. re- 
mains at the parental home. 

Mr. Mason is one of the well known and 
highly esteemed citizens and business men of 
Morriss county, and in connection with his 
wood- working shop, which is fifty by sixty- 
four feet in dimensions, he conducts a black- 
smith shop, so that he is prepared to handle 
diversified work with expedition and ability. 

JOHNSON H. GR.'VVES, for many years 
identified with lumber interests in different 
states of the Union, has been connected with 
Scottsbluff enterprises more or less continu- 
ously since 1908. He is vice president and 
treasurer of L. W. Cox & Co., of this city. 
Mr. Graves is a native of Nebraska, born at 



Palmyra, August 7, 1873, the son of James A. 
and Eva T. (Quick) Graves, the former bom 
in Illinois and the latter in Pennsylvania. 
James Graves came to Nebraska in 1868 and 
was married at Nebraska City. There were 
five children in the family, three of these sur- 
vive : Johnson H., of Scottsbluff; May, the 
wife of Charles Young, of Freeport, Illinois, 
and Carroll, a farmer near Fort Lupton, Colo- 
rado. The parents were members of the Bap- 
tist church. The father was identified with 
the Populist party during its political ascend- 
ancy, and he belonged to the orders of United 
Workmen and Woodmen of the World. The 
paternal grandfather, John Graves, spent His 
last years in the state of Washington and died 
there in his ninety-fourth year. 

Johnson Graves was reared on his father's 
homestead in Otoe county, attended the local 
schools and the State University for three 
years. He then accepted a position in the state 
land commisioner's office at Lincoln, which he 
filled four years, and in 1896-1897 was a clerk 
in the state legislature. For five months he 
was associated with the Barnett Lumber Com- 
pany at McCook, Nebraska, and from that 
time may be dated his interest in the lumber 
industry, in which he has since been an impor- 
tant factor. In dift'erent capacities he has been 
connected with the lumber trade in Nebraska, 
Colorado. Montana and Idaho. With the in- 
tention of locating permanently. Mr. Graves 
came to Scottsbluff in 1908 and bought out the 
Pathfinder Lumber Company, afterward he 
had interests at other points for five years, 
then returned here and bought an interest in 
the large enterprise conducted under the name 
of L. W. Cox & Co., incorporated, of which 
he is vice president, treasurer and manager. 
In business circles he stands high. 

On August 24, 1899, Mr. Graves married 
Miss Jennie Holland, who was born in Otoe 
county. Nebraska, and is a daughter of L. J. 
and Sidney E. Holland, the former was a 
prominent farmer in Red Willow county, from 
which he was elected a member of the state 
legislature in 1900. Mr. and Mrs. Graves 
have two children: Jackson, who is in school, 
and Elizabeth May, who has just passed her 
second birthday. Mr. Graves has settled con- 
victions in regard to politics and has always 
been affiliated with the Democratic party. 

HENRY W. NEFF, an enterprising busi- 
ness man of Scottsbluff, is a member of the 
firm doing business here under the name of 
the Carr-Neft" Lumber Company, which has 
the distinction of being the oldest business 
firm in this city. Mr. Neft' was born in Penn- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



51 



sylvania, came to Nebraska in 1890 and to 
Scottsbluff in 1900. 

His parents were Benjamin Landis and 
Mary (McAIurtry) Neff, the former born in 
the keystone state, a descendant of tine old 
Pennsylvania stock, while the mother was of 
Scotch-Irish stock. They were married in 
Pennsylvania and the father died in that state. 
Their eldest son came to Lincoln, Nebraska, in 
1880, later moving to Sidney and still later to 
Lexington, Nebraska, and in 1890 the other 
members of the family joined him there and 
all still reside there except Henry W. They 
are as follows: Maggie, the widow of J. E. 
Robb; Ada, the wife of J. D. Eger ; John, in 
the lumber business, and Benjamin Landis, in 
the real estate business. The family belongs 
to the Methodist Episcopal church, in which 
the father was an exhorter. 

Henry W. Nefif was graduated from the 
Lexington high school in 1897, then attended 
the university at Denver, after which he re- 
turned to Lexington and remained six months. 
Desiring a business career Mr. Neff took this 
time to look about for a promising opening, and 
in 1900 he associated himself with J. M. Carr 
at Gering, and they organized the Carr & Neff 
Lumber Company, which, now incorporated, 
is the Carr-Neff Lumber Company, capital- 
ized at $60,000. with an investment of $200,- 
000. They maintained a plant at Gering and 
at Scottsbluff until 1903, when they moved the 
main plant to the latter city. The business has 
prospered, although both partners started the 
enterprise on borrowed capital. They have 
lumber yards at Mitchell, Bridgeport and 
Northport, and they do a general lumber and 
coal business and handle paints, oils and other 
commodities. Mrs. Neff is treasurer of the 
company. 

In February, 1903, Mr. Nef¥ married Miss 
Libbie Johnston, of Lexington. Nebraska, who 
died May 13, 1910, leaving one son, Kenneth 
Landis, who was born January 7, 1905. Mr. 
Neff was married a second time in August, 
1913, to Miss Anna Burnham. and they have 
one daughter, Margaret Ann, who was born in 
July, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Neff are members 
of the Presbyterian church. In politics he is 
a Republican and formerly was very active in 
village affairs. While serving on the village 
board, of which he was chairman, he brought 
about the installation of the electric light plant 
and the city water works, these public util- 
ities doing as much as anything else to bring 
population and capital here. He has given en- 
couragement to many of the stable enterprises 
which are rapidly making this beautiful little 
city known far and wide. 



LEE E. LEWIS, one of the progressive 
business men of the younger generation who 
are making financial history in the Panhandle, 
resides at Scottsbluff and is the owner of a 
stock ranch in this county. He attributes his 
business success to the opportunities he found 
awaiting when he decided to make Nebraska 
his permanent home, as he came to the state in 
1897 and to Scottsbluff in 1911. 

Mr. Lewis was born in Rice county, Minne- 
sota, April 12, 1870, the son of Richard D. and 
Adelia (Wales) Lewis, the former born in 
the state of New York and the latter in Wis- 
consin, in which state they were married. Of 
their five children but two survive : Lee E. and 
Incy D. The father came to Wisconsin with 
his parents in childhood. He worked at the 
carpenter trade when he reached manhood. 
When the war between the North and South 
was precipitated, Richard D. Lewis enlisted 
in the Union army and served three years and 
three months as a member of the Twentieth 
Wisconsin volunteer infantry. After the war 
closed he moved to Minnesota, where he home- 
steaded. He was a Republican in his political 
views and both he and wife were members of 
the Methodist Episcopal church. 

Lee E. Lewis had school advantages at Fari- 
bault, Minnesota, after which he was a clerk 
in a store for a time, then was a farmer for 
six years in northern Minnesota. In 1897, 
with sixty cents in his pocket as capital, Mr. 
Lewis came to Nebraska and settled in Valley 
county. Gradually he became independent in 
the stock business, not through any great good 
luck, but through the old reliable method of 
hard work and a saving sense of thrift. In 
1911 Mr. Lewis came to the Panhandle, locat- 
ing in Scottsbluff, and has been a vitalizing 
force here ever since. He became associated 
in the furniture business with G. L. Wilcox 
and also was an auctioneer until 1918. In the 
meanwhile he had acquired one of the finest 
cattle ranches in this county, which lies eigh- 
teen miles north of Scottsbluff, where he feeds 
and ships right off the grass. Mr. Lewis is 
very appreciative of what Nebraska has done 
for him, but his friends call attention also to 
his capacity for hard work and the business 
integrity which has backed all his ventures. 

In 1900 Mr. Lewis married Miss Ida L. 
Sheldon, who was born in Greeley county, Ne- 
braska, and they have two children, Irma May 
and Donald D.. both attending school. Mr. 
Lewis and his family belong to the Methodist 
Episcopal church. While never unduly active 
in politics, he has firm political convictions and 
has always been affiliated with the Republican 
party. He has belonged to the order of Odd 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Fellows for many years and also is a member 
of the Modern Woodmen. 

FRANK C. MAGRUDER. civil engineer 
by profession, came to Scottsbluft' in the spring 
of 1915 and took charge of the Farmer Irriga- 
tion District that, under able management, is 
making Nebraska one of the garden spots of 
the country. Mr. Magruder was born at 
Webb City, Missouri, January 16, 1879. 

The parents of Mr. Magruder, William Ed- 
ward and Mary Alice (Randall) Magruder, 
now reside near Appleton City, ^Missouri. The 
father was born at Kirksville, Missouri, a son 
of John Henry Magruder, who was born near 
Baltimore, Maryland. The grandfather came 
to Missouri at an early day and went to Cali- 
fornia in 1849. After he returned to Mis- 
souri, he was a stock buyer and conducted a 
meat business. William Edward Magruder is 
a blacksmith by trade. For a number of years 
he was a miner, but now is a farmer near Ap- 
pleton City. In politics he is a Democrat and 
fraternally is a Mason. He married Mary 
Alice Randall, who was born at Macomb, Illi- 
nois, and of their eight children the following 
are living: Claude, a blacksmith at Lamar, 
Missouri ; Harry Edward, a blacksmith and 
miner, at Milford, Utah ; Frank Cecil, who re- 
sides at ScottsblufT ; Ralph E., who lives in 
South Dakota; Alfred and Raymond J., both 
of whom are farmers near Appleton City. The 
parents are members of the Christian church. 
Frank C. Magruder was educated at the 
Missouri State University, from which he was 
graduated as a civil engineer in 1903. He 
soon attracted attention in his profession and 
was sent to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, on gov- 
ernment work, later was transferred to South 
Dakota, and in the spring of 1915 was ap- 
pointed to his present responsible position and 
came to Scottsbluft'. He has inspired con- 
fidence and the thorough manner in which he 
attends to the small details as well as the great 
ones, gives promise of still more marvelous re- 
sults than those already brought about. 

In 1908 Mr. Magruder was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Martha Driver, of Hill City, 
South Dakota, and they have two children: 
Lida Jane and William Henry. They are 
members of the Episcopal church. He is a 
Mason and both he and wife belong to the 
Eastern Star, of which he was worthy patron 
at Bellefourche, South Dakota. He is a Re- 
publican in politics. 

GUY CARLSON. — The twentieth cen- 
tury is notable for the important commercial 
interests established and ably managed by 



men young in years but old in their business 
visions. An able representative of this class 
in the upper valley is Mr. Carlson of Scotts- 
bluff, who came to the Platte valley in 1910 , 
and to this city in 1915, where he has since 
been in business, and is now senior partner in 
the Carlson-Scott Implement Company. Mr. 
Carlson is a native son of Nebraska, bom in 
Kearney county, October 25, 1886, his parents 
being C. J. and Anna V. (Gustafson) Carlson, 
who now live comfortably retired at Axtell, 
Nebraska. They were born in Sweden. The 
father came to the United States at the age of 
nineteen years and took a homestead in Kear- 
ney county, Nebraska, in 1881. The mother 
accompanied her parents on the journey to the 
United States when she was a small girl of six. 
Besides Guy they have two other children : 
Elmer, who carries on the home farm near 
Axtell, Kearney county, and Lawrence, a 
farmer near Twin Falls, Idaho. The parents 
are members of the Presbyterian church. In 
politics the father and sons are all Repub- 
licans. 

Guy Carlson attended the public schools of 
Axtell, Nebraska, after which he spent nine 
months taking a business course in a commer- 
cial college at Hastings. After his studies 
were finished he spent some years on the 
homestead in Kearney county as a practical 
farmer. In 1910 he came to the Platte valley 
and for four years bought grain for the Cen- 
tral Granaries Company, of Minatare. In 
1915 he located in Scottsbluff and engaged in 
the implement business with a Mr. Bennett, 
whom he subsequently bought out, and in 1917 
sold a half interest in the concern to Ambrose 
E. Scott, since which time the firm carries on 
business under the name of the Carlson-Scojtt 
Implement Company. The trade territory of 
the firm is largely the Platte valley, and their 
stock is complete, including modern threshers 
and farm tractors. Both partners give per- 
sonal attention to the business which is one of 
the largest at Scottsblufif. 

In 1916 Mr. Carlson married Miss May 
Lane, who was born in Iowa. June 9, 1919, 
was born a daughter, Bonney Elane. Mr. 
Carlson is a member of the Modern Wood- 
men and the Knights of Pythias, of which or- 
der he is vice chancellor. He is interested in 
all that concerns the welfare of the city and at 
present is serving in the office of fire chief, 
much to the satisfaction of his fellow citizens. 

JAMES R. MURPHY, who occupies an 
exceedingly important position as general 
superintendent of the Intermountain Railway 
Light & Power Company, has made his head- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



53 



quarters at Scottsbluff since July, 1918, has 
identified himself with local interests and has 
made many personal friends. 

James R. Murphy was born at Elkhart, Illi- 
nois, in 1878, the ninth in a family of ten chil- 
dren bom to Patrick and Ann E. (Barron) 
Murphy. Both parents were born in Ireland 
but passed the greater part of their lives in the 
United States, to which the father of Mr. 
Murphy came at the age of seventeen years, 
and the mother when a babe of six months. 
They were married at Freeport, Illinois. The 
father died in 1909, at the age of eighty-seven 
years, and the mother in 1911, at the age of 
eighty-three. They were members of the Ro- 
man Catholic church. In earlier years Patrick 
Murphy was a superintendent of construction 
work for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, but 
spent his final years as a farmer in Illinois. 

James R. Murphy was educated in the pub- 
lic schools, including the high school at Wil- 
liamsville, after which he worked for the Cal- 
lahan-Kratz Construction Company of Oma- 
ha, on the Illinois Drainage & Mississippi 
canal. Then he spent a year in the state nor- 
mal school at Normal, Illinois, following 
which he continued his studies for three years 
in the University of Illinois. Thus well 
equipped for both professional and business 
life, he chose the latter and soon became iden- 
tified with the Commonwealth Edison Com- 
pany, Chicago, six months later, in 1907, trans- 
ferring to the Western Electric Company of 
the same city, where he continued until 1909, 
when he was called to take charge of the 
Hoisington Light & Ice Company, of Hoising- 
ton. Barton county, Kansas, where he re- 
mained until 1917. In the meanwhile, in 1912 
he had taken charge of the Great Bend Water 
& Electric Company, of Great Bend, Kansas, 
and served as vice president and general man- 
ager of both plants. Mr. Murphy then went 
to Wellington, Kansas, as city engineer and 
superintendent of public utilities, and from 
there came to Scottsbluif in July. 1918. The 
Intermountain Railway Light & Power Com- 
pany distributes power to Gering, Minatare, 
Melbeta, Bayard and Scottsbluff, furnishing 
heat to ScottsbluflF, and ice throughout the en- 
tire valley, Mr. Murphy being the alert, cap- 
able general superintendent of all the plants. 
The importance of this work largely claims his 
time, but he is not indififerent as a citizen. In 
every way possible he has shown an interest 
in ScottsblufT, contributing to local movements 
and encouraging worthy enterprises, with the 
expectation of making this city his permanent 
home. 

In 1915 Mr. Murphy was united in marriage 



to Miss Elinor Lewis, who was born at Great 
Bend. Kansas, and they have two little daugh- 
ters, namely : Margaret Ann and Genivieve. 
Mrs. Murphy was reared in the Methodist 
Episcopal faith but Mr. Murphy belongs to 
the Catholic church. He is a member of the 
Knights of Columbus and of the Elks at 
Scottsbluff, Neb. In his political views he is 
a Democrat with a tendency toward inde- 
pendence. 

JULIUS THEO THOELECKE, who was 
one of the pioneer merchants of Sidney. Chey- 
enne county. Nebraska, is now a resident of 
Pocatello, Idalio. He was born in Stade prov- 
ince of Hanover. Germany. April 12, 1854, 
and when given regular courses in education, 
he learned the jeweler's trade by working four 
}ears as an apprentice. 

In 1872. on the 26th day of June, he landed 
in New York city and went at once to Iowa 
City, where he landed on July 3d. Here he 
took up his trade, working for his brother until 
the summer of 1874, when he went overland 
to Omaha, where he again took up his trade, 
and worked for about three months, after 
which he went to Plattsmouth. At this place 
he remained for about a year, falling ill with 
typhoid fever. Then he went to Saint Joseph, 
Missouri, and remained until October 7. 1875. 
From there he returned to Germany for a 
>ear's visit, after which he returned to Omaha, 
and resumed work at his trade. October 7, 
1877, he bought a jewelry store at Tekamah, 
Nebraska, which he operated until April, 1879, 
when he .sold out. In July of the same year, 
he located at Sidney, Nebraska, then in the 
wild frontier, and opened a jewelry store, 
which he operated continuously until December 
9. 1894. He then went to Pocatello, Idaho, 
and engaged in the jewelry business success- 
fully until the present time. He is now closing 
out with the intention to retire permanently 
from business activity. 

On November 15. 1878, he was married to 
Miss Lyda E, Ringland, at Iowa City, Iowa. 
She was born, reared, and educated at Iowa 
Cit}', and died at Pocatello, Idaho, March 16, 
1918. In her younger years she was a vigor- 
ous woman of exceptional strength and cour- 
age, and none of the frontier dangers had any 
terrors for her. 

In August, 1885, Mr. Thoelecke took a 
homestead in that part of Cheyenne county, 
Nebraska, that later became Banner county. 
He made final proof in due time and still owns 
the land (1919). He is well acquainted with 
Grant L. Shumway, the historian of this work, 
and unconsciously contributed to the unknown 



54 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



or rather obscure history of this county and 
vicinity years ago. 

Upon the Thoelecke homestead was em- 
ployed Francois Jourdain, from whom the his- 
torian first learned of the story of Mallet 
brothers and their journey through this coun- 
try, and from his friend Tommy Chaunavierre 
(Shunover) came the connecting link between 
the past and the present. This stor}- is told in 
full elsewhere in this history. 

Mr. Thoelecke was an active Republican, 
and was a delegate to a Republican state con- 
vention held in Omaha. He never wanted 
office for himself, but was active for his friends 
and party, taking part in all the town, county, 
and state elections. 

At present he is an active member of the 
B. P. O. E. No. 674 at Pocatello, Idaho. He 
has been prominent in both the Knights of 
Pythias and Odd Fellows, being a charter 
member of both at Sidney, but he has since 
dropped out of them, retaining his fraternal 
allegiance only to an active interest in the Elks. 
This lodge has made him its representative to 
the Grand Lodge. 

Mr. and Mrs. Thoelecke were never blessed 
with any children of their own, but they have 
an adopted son, Stanley H. Thoelecke, who for 
some time has been associated in business with 
his foster father. 

Stanley was a twin child from a distant rela- 
tive of the Thoeleckes. At the age of six 
months, when he was taken to care for by 
them, he lacked the vitality to hold up his head. 
Dr. Stewart, then of Sidney, said that his lungs 
were gone, or never had been sound. Mrs. 
Thoelecke, fondly called "Lyde" by her 
friends, then took the child in hand, and in her 
own vigorous way she treated it. In a year the 
boy was a strong, healthy child. He has charge 
of the acetaline welding and repairing depart- 
ment in the traction company at Pocatello, and 
is a splendid entertainer, with high ambitions, 
in addition. They are now talking him for 
mayor of his cit\'. 

WILLIA^I A. McCAIN, who through 
thrift and good management has, in a com- 
paratively short time, built up a fine garage 
and automobile business, came to Scottsblufif 
in another line in 1905. He was born in Brad- 
ford county, Pennsylvania. April 22, 1882. 

The parents of Mr. McCain are William W. 
and Orpha A. (Granger) McCain, who reside 
at Stevensville, Pennsylvania, where the father 
has been a merchant for thirty years. During 
the Civil War period he was a captain in the 
Home Guards. Of his three children the two 
survivors, William A. and Mildred, both re- 



side at Scottsblufif. The latter is the wife of 
Clarence L. Morris of this city. In politics the 
father of Mr. McCain is a Republican, and 
both parents are members of the Presbyterian 
church. 

William A. McCain completed the public 
school course at Stevensville and then assisted 
his father in his store. In 1905 he came to 
Scottsblufif and was a clerk in the store of 
J. A. Smith for three years before engaging in 
business for himself. In 1908, in partnership 
with C. O. Harris, and with a capital of $600, 
they opened a garage and continued together 
for five years, when James D. Shaw became 
Mr. McCain's partner. This firm has made 
great headway and now has an investment of 
$50,000. A general automobile business is 
done and the firm handles the Overland and 
the ^^'illys-Knight cars. Through wise invest- 
ments the firm has accumulated valuable city 
property and two farms. 

In June, 1910, Mr. McCain was united in 
marriage to Miss Leda A. Ross, who was born 
in Iowa, a daughter of William Ross, who is 
a produce merchant at Maitland, Missouri. 
They have three sons, namely : William Ross, 
Jack L. and James A., their ages ranging from 
eight to three years. Mrs. McCain is a mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian church. Mr. McCain 
is a solid Republican, not a seeker for any 
office, but a man of sincere political convic- 
tions who conscientiously maintains them. 

ARTHUR L. SELZER, city engineer of 
Scottsbluff', worthily represents that admirable 
class of American modern young men, who 
leave the schoolroom with fixed ideas of use- 
fulness and seldom fail in reaching satisfac- 
tory results. In a disordered world this fact 
has saving grace. Mr. Selzer was born at 
Carroll, Iowa, April 9, 1887. 

The parents of Mr. Selzer are Michael and 
Munzen (Maier) Selzer. the former of whom 
was born in Baden, Germanv, October 26, 
1858, and the latter at Des Moines, Iowa. The 
Selzer family was founded in the United 
States by the grandparents of City Engmeer 
Selzer, George and Mary (Marz) Selzer, who 
came here from Germany in the spring of 1868 
and spent the rest of their lives on their home- 
stead in the state of Iowa. The father of Mr. 
Selzer came to Nebraska City. Nebraska, in 
1884, the year of his marriage, and resided 
there until 1913. when he came to Scottsblufif, 
where he is a substantial business man. 

Arthur L. Selzer had the best of educational 
advantages afforded him, and in 1911 was 
graduated as a civil engineer from the Ne- 
braska State University. He immediately 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



55 



went to work for the Tri-State Irrigation 
Ditch Commission, resuming his activities with 
the Tri-State after his return and continuing 
until he entered upon the duties of city en- 
gineer, to which he was elected in 1914, and 
has remained in office ever since because of 
marked efficiency. He devotes his whole time 
I to the duties of his office. 

In 1912 Mr. Selzer was united in marriage 
1 to Miss Willa J. Wallace, who is a daughter 
j of Wilbur Wallace, who is in the banking bus- 
1 iness at Henry, Nebraska, and they have one 
' child, Bettie, an engaging little daughter of 
I three years. Mr. and Mrs. Selzer are mem- 
j bers of the Presbyterian church. He is a 
Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner. 

MICHAEL SELZER, who is a leading bus- 
iness man of Scottsbluff, is identified with the 
Scottsbluff Creamery Coinpany, of which he is 
a stockholder and treasurer and also general 
manager. Mr. Selzer was born in Baden, Ger- 
many, October 26, 1858. His parents were 
George and Mary (Marz) Selzer, who came 
to the United States in April, 1868, and spent 
the rest of their lives on their homestead in 
Iowa. They had the following children : 
:; George, in the automobile business at Carroll, 
! Iowa ; Marie, a widow, lives at Denver ; 
' Michael, a valued resident of Scottsbluff; 
Kate, who lives on the old homestead in Iowa ; 
Jack, who farms the old homestead; Barbara, 
who lives with her sister and brother on the 
I homestead, and John, in the ice cream business 
I at Carroll, Iowa. The parents were members 

(of the Lutheran church. 
Michael Selzer remained on the old home- 
stead until he was twenty-three years old, then 
worked for a time in a bottling factory before 
engaging in the business for himself in 1882 at 
Carroll. In 1884 he came to Nebraska and 
bought out a bottling plant at Nebraska City, 
where he carried on the business until 1913, 
when he came to Scottsbluft and became iden- 
tified with an important concern here as above 
mentioned. Through thrift and business alert- 
ness he has accumulated much valuable prop- 
erty which is represented in farming lands in 
both Morrill and Scottsbluff counties. The 
Scottsbluft' Creamery Company has an au- 
thorized capital of $50,000. The manufacture 
of butter and ice cream is carried on and bot- 
tling of soft beverages is also a feature. 

At Des Moines, Iowa, in 1884, Mr. Selzer 
was united in marriage to Miss ^Munzen Maier, 
who was born in that city, and they have three 
children : Arthur L., city engineer of Scotts- 
tilutt ; Caroline, the wife'of D. C. Leach, who 
i- '.-ashier of a bank at Beard, Nebraska, and 



Alilton R., now at home after almost two years 
of service in the aviation corps of the United 
States, which he entered in June, 1917. Mr. 
Selzer and his family attend the Christian 
church. He belongs to the Elks at Nebraska 
City and to other organizations. In politics he 
chooses to be independent and while at Ne- 
braska City accepted no political offce except 
on the school board. 

ASA F. MIDDAUGH, who has been iden- 
tified with the business interests of Scottsblufif 
since 1913, exemplifies the progressive spirit 
that so signally marks the young American 
business man. Honest, active, enterprising, 
well educated and of courteous demeanor, the 
country's commercial interests seem to be safe 
in such hands. Mr. Middaugh is president 
and general manager of the Scottsbluft' Motor 
Company. 

Mr. Middaugh was born at Denver, Colo- 
rado, August 26, 1890, one of five children 
born to Asa F. and Amelia (Siever) Mid- 
daugh, who were married at Cimarron, Colfax 
county. New Mexico. The father of Mr. Mid- 
daugh was born at Erie, Pennsylvania, a son 
of William Middaugh, who was also born in 
Pennsylvania. In 1860 he came to Colorado 
and was elected the first sheriff of Denver 
county. The father of Mr. Middaugh accom- 
panied his father to Colorado but after his 
marriage and the birth of his children, estab- 
lished himself in the mercantile business at 
Del Norte, where he was a merchant and 
banker until he retired, when he returned to 
Denver, which remains the family home. The 
mother of Mr. Middaugh was born at St. 
Louis, Missouri. Of their three surviving 
children, A. F. is the youngest, the others be- 
ing: Nettie, the wife of A. M. Johnson, of 
Chicago, and Florence, who resides with her 
parents. 

A. F. Middaugh was graduated from the 
Denver high school in 1909, after which he 
spent two years in the Colorado State Univer- 
city. He had two years of business experience 
with his father at Del Norte, following which 
he came to Scottsbluff and in October, 1913, 
in partnership with Ray Smith, opened a gar- 
age and handled the Ford automobiles. In 
1916 he sold his Ford interest and organized 
the Scottsbluft' Motor Company, which is cap- 
italized at $15,000. The business is in a high- 
ly prosperous condition, the company han- 
dling the Dodge and Cadillac cars. 

On October 30, 1916. Mr. Middaugh was 
united in marriage to Miss Mable Maxon, who 
is a daughter of E. E. IMaxon. Airs. Mid- 
daugh is a member of the Presbyterian church. 



56 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Mr. Middaugh belongs to the Elks and retains 
his membership in his old college fraternity, 
Phi Delta Theta. 

ALEXANDER MESTON, who owns and 
operates one of the best equipped and most 
modern laundry plants in the Platte valley, has 
been established at Scottsbluff since 1912, but 
has had many years of experience in this bus- 
iness at other points. Mr. Meston was born in 
April. 1870, in Black Hawk county, Iowa. 

The parents of Mr. Meston were Alexander 
and Agnes (Hutchinson) Meston, both of 
whom were born in Scotland. They came to 
the United States in 1867 and before coming 
to Nebraska lived in Iowa and in Wisconsin, 
where the father worked as a blacksmith. For 
five years after coming to this state he was in 
the lumber business at Harvard, in Clay coun- 
ty, and then moved to Spring Ranch, where he 
was engaged in milling until his death, in 1890. 
Of his children, Alexander was the third in 
order of birth, the others being as follows: 
Sarah Ann, the wife of Dr. F. W. Dean, of 
Council Bluffs, Iowa ; Agnes, a teacher in the 
public schools of Hastings, Nebraska; John 
James, in the hardware business at Bradford, 
Illinois, and Helen, who resides with her 
mother at Hastings. Miss Meston is a highly 
educated lady and for six years was dean of 
the Women's department at Doane College. 
The family attends the Congregational church. 

Alexander Meston attended school at Spring 
Ranch and spent two years in Doane College, 
after which he assisted his father in the mill- 
ing business. In 1890 he first embarked in the 
laundry business and continued in that line at 
Hastings until 1900, removing then to North 
Platte, where he owned a laundry which he 
conducted until October, 1912, when he came 
to Scottsbluff. Up to that time laundry facil- 
ities here were indifferent, but Mr. Meston 
bought a plant that he could remodel and start- 
ed into business. By 1916 he found it neces- 
sary to enlarge his quarters and erected a suit- 
able building of brick construction in which 
he has continued ever since. He has intro- 
duced modern machinery and laundry equip- 
ments of the best class and his trade has con- 
tinued to expand until now he ships laundry 
all through the valley. While his success has 
been marked it was brought about entirely 
through his own efforts. He is a large em- 
ployer of labor, keeping thirty regular laun- 
dry workers throughout the year. 

In 1901 Mr. Meston was united in marriage 
to Miss Maude Mable Martin, who was born 
in Adams county, Nebraska. Her father, S. 
Lewis Martin, an old pioneer of Adams coun- 



ty, was one of the first sheriffs and afterward 
was chief of police at Hastings. He arrested 
the famous Olive robber gang that operated in 
Custer county. Mr. and Mrs. Meston have 
three children, namely: Alexander, Margaret 
and Dorothy, their ages ranging from three to 
eight years. Following in the political foot- 
steps of his father, Mr. Meston is a Repub- 
lican. He belongs to no fraternal organiza- 
tion except the Elks. 

NATHANIEL M. SNYDER, electrical en- 
gineer, is a member of the firm of C. D. Sny- 
der & Son, in the battery business at Scotts- 
bluff. He was born at Weeping Water, Ne- 
braska, April 4, 1880, and is a son of Cecil D. 
and Florence M. (Hizart) Snyder. 

The father of Mr. Snyder was born in the 
village of Tripps Corners, near Oshkosh, Wis- 
consin, in 1855. In 1872 he came to Weeping 
Water, Nebraska, and went into the milling 
business, removing to Alliance in 1896 and 
from there came to Scottsbluff in 1897. At 
one time he had an extensive milling business 
and his special brand of flour took the first 
prize at the state fair in Lincoln. For about 
fourteen years Mr. Snyder was a miller at 
Scottsbluff, using alfalfa for fuel during the 
time that Kimball was the nearest railroad 
shipping point. He then went into the feed 
business, and subsequently, with his son, em- 
barked in the battery business under the style 
of C. D. Snyder & Son. They have operated 
a Willard Storage Battery station for a num- 
ber of years. 

Nathaniel Marion Snyder was graduated 
from the Alliance high school in 1898, then 
entered the state university and was graduated 
from the electrical mechanical course in 1901. 
He began the battery business with the Stude- 
baker firm at South Bend, Indiana, where he 
remained eight years and had entire charge of 
the electrical automobile department. He is 
identified with several professional bodies, in- 
cluding the Institute of Electric Engineers of 
London, the Institute of Radio Engineers and 
others. 

In 1907 Mr. Snyder was united in marriage 
to Miss Mable Grace Earnest, who was born 
in Bureau county, Illinois, a daughter of Ham- 
ilton and Emma (Charlton) Earnest. Both 
parents died while she was young, her father 
in Illinois and her mother in South Dakota. She 
was adopted in her infancy by an uncle and 
aunt, John R. and Anna Elizabeth (Charlton) 
Earnest, the former of whom was born in 
Pennsylvania and the latter at Philadelphia in 
the same state. In his younger years Mr. 
Earnest was a mining operator in Missouri, 




GusTAV Adolpii Thomas 
Gottfried Thomas 



Carl Thomas 
Christian Henry Thomas 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



57 



later in the express business in Illinois, and 
now lives retired at Joplin, Missouri. Mr. and 
Mrs. Snyder attend the Methodist Episcopal 
church. He is a Knight Templar Mason and 
belongs to other organizations. 

VALENTINE THOMAS, a resident of 
Sioux county, belongs to that class of men who 
have not only been eye witnesses of the won- 
derful changes that have taken place but have 
contributed in large measure to the develop- 
ment and upbuilding of this part of Nebraska. 
No finer body of land can be found in this sec- 
tion of the country than "Dutch Flats," a name 
given to this fertile valley by the subject of this 
record, who was the first settler to locate here. 

Valentine Thomas was born in Rhine Prov- 
ince, Germany, June 5, 1856. He was reared 
and educated in his native land and was mar- 
ried there in 1885 to Miss Elizabeth Kamann. 
who was born in the same locality. In 1887 
they bade adieu to home and friends and sailed 
for America, landing in Baltimore, Maryland, 
in June. From there they made their way to 
Nebraska, where Mr. Thomas had a half- 
brother living in Saunders county. A month 
later they came to what was then Cheyenne 
county and took a preemption of one hundred 
and sixty acres in what is now Scottsbluflf 
county. Their first home was a very primitive 
one, a dug-out, and here the family lived until 
they were entitled to receive a deed to their 
land from the government. Mr. Thomas then 
took a tree claim one mile north, in what is 
now Sioux county, and established another 
home. After proving up on this he went five 
miles further north and took a homestead 
where he engaged in the sheep business for fif- 
teen years. Here they endured all the hard- 
ships and privations incident to the settling up 
of a new country, but they were filled with that 
determination characteristic of their race, meet- 
ing and overcoming all obstacles, played their 
part well and as the years have gone by they 
have prospered, and Mr. Thomas is one of the 
wealthy land owners of the Panhandle. He 
returned to the tree claim where he has erected 
modern improvements and where he now 
makes his home, being the owner of three hun- 
dred and thirty-nine acres of valuable land, due 
to the extensive irrigation system that has been 
inaugurated, of which Mr. Thomas has always 
been an enthusiastic advocate and to which he 
is a liberal contributor. Their first home, "a 
soddy," still stands, though it has been moved a 
mile from its original location. His judgment 
has been good, and seeing an opportunity to in- 
crease his fortune, he invested in three and one- 
half sections of land in Arkansas and Prairie 



counties, Arkansas, devoted to rice culture, 
which is now under the management of two of 
his sons. As proof of the value of this invest- 
ment we may mention that in the year 1919 
one hundred thousand dollars of rice was 
raised and marketed from this plantation. 

Mr. Thomas has been public-spirited to a 
high degree. Xo ninvenient for the good of his 
cdniniunity ever >(.-ek> hi> aid in vain. He was 
instnmiental in getting (ithers to come to this 
country and all are loud in their praises of hav- 
ing been induced to cast their lot in a com- 
munity that is excelled by no other portion of 
Nebraska. 

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas has been 
blessed with the birth of five children : Anna 
Katrina. who was born in Germany, died in 
childhood ; Christian Henry, the first white 
child born in Dutch Flats, who is now operat- 
ing a sheep ranch in Wyoming; Gottfried and 
Gustav Adolph, who are managing their 
father's rice plantation in Arkansas ; and Carl, 
who is a successful farmer near the home place. 

Mr. Thomas is independent in politics and 
has served his district as school director and 
road overseer. The family are members of the 
Presbyterian church. 

\\'hile he has been successful and acquired a 
large amount of this world's goods, he has not 
been remiss in any duty of citizenship and 
wherever known has a host of friends. 

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas relate many interest- 
ing experiences of the early days. The second 
year they had twenty-five acres of wheat and 
the market price was forty cents a bushel at 
Alliance, sixty-five miles away. They brought 
a supply of money with them from Germany 
and it looked odd to them to see people pick up 
bones on the prairie and haul them to Alliance 
and sell them for $6 to $10 per ton. But Mr. 
Thomas was glad to do that when his money 
had been invested and he needed cash. Mrs. 
Thomas has pillows made from feathers picked 
from wild geese more than thirty years ago. 
They ground wheat in a coffee mill and made 
bread. Once when vieing with a neighbor to 
see who could make a pound of coffee last the 
longer, Mrs. Thomas made a pound last six 
weeks, but it was not very good cotTee. 

CHARLES H. IRION. — Among the pros- 
pering citizens of Scottsbluff are many men of 
high personal standing and wide business ex- 
perience and one of these, whose life story is 
very interesting to follow, is Charles H. Irion, 
who for a number of years has been extensive- 
ly engaged in handling choice real estate here 
and all over the country. Mr. Irion was born 
in McLean countv. Illinois, May 8, 1860, the 



58 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



son of John and Susan (Osborn) Irion, who 
still survive ad live at Miles City, Montana. 
The father was bom in Germany and the 
mother in Kentucky. They were married at 
Jacksonville, Illinois, and eleven children were 
born to them, Charles H. being the eldest of 
the family. The others were: Edward, a 
stockman in Montana; William, in the horse 
business in Montana ; John, operates a ranch 
in Montana ; Lewis, in the stock business in 
the same state; Sadie, the wife of Jack Mett- 
lin, a retired farmer at Alliance, Nebraska ; 
Maggie, the wife of Mr. Kelley, a sheepman in 
Montana; Albert J., who has been a govern- 
ment horse buyer, has a ranch in Montana; 
Ray and Farber, both of whom are in the stock 
business in Montana, and one child deceased. 
The parents are members of the Christian 
church. In politics the father is a Republican. 
He is a man of education and is particularly 
well posted in history. In 1877 he moved 
from Illinois to Arkansas, where he remained 
but a short time, returning then to Illinois but 
shortly afterward he moved to Iowa and then 
to Missouri and Nebraska from there to Mon- 
tana in 1899. He has been a farmer and 
stockman all his life. 

Ahhough Charles H. Irion was an unusual- 
ly intelligent boy, he had very little encourage- 
ment in the way of education after the family 
moved to Iowa. His first work away from 
home was a season spent as a harvest hand in 
Missouri. He then found an employer in 
Minnesota, who consented that he could at- 
tend school and work for his board and 
clothes, and it was in this way that Mr. Irion 
secured a teacher's certificate and taught his 
first school at New Richland, Minnesota, in 
the meantime he put in a crop, on some rented 
land, that turned out well financially. He was 
able to take some money back home with him 
when he joined his parents at Oregon, Mis- 
souri, to which place the family had moved in 
1883. He bought an interest in his father's 
team, put in a crop with his father and after 
it matured and he had paid his debt, he vet 
had $180 in cash. On March 16, 1885, the 
entire family started westward, with three 
teams but all of the horses were old and worn 
out animals, however they managed to haul the 
wagons into Nebraska, and on April 15, 1885, 
the family camped near running water and 
Mr. Irion took a claim on land in Box Butte 
county, three of his brothers and his father 
also taking claims. They had nothing, how- 
ever with which to carry on either farm or 
domestic life. Mr. Irion tells of how he 
started for Camp Clark in order to get flour 



having about $80 by that time to buy neces- 
sities with. A blizzard set in, through which 
he drove all one day and had to pay $2 to cross 
the river on the bridge. On the home trip, 
when within a half mile of the cabin, the 
horses gave out and he turned them loose and 
walked the rest of the way, having been ab- 
sent two days. 

For a number of years Mr. Irion broke 
prairie for other settlers for a living, also did 
freighting and has seen great herds of deer, 
antelope and buffalo on the then, open 
prairies. His father made the necessary im- 
provements on the different claims while his 
son was away. On his pre-emption land he 
had to pay $1.25 an acre, then borrowed $500 
on the place and with a small capital he had, 
bought cattle and afterward started a little 
store at Lawn, Nebraska, which he conducted 
until 1895, in the meanwhile securing a post- 
office under the name of Belle, of which he 
was postmaster for four years. He then sold 
his interests there and moved to jNIarsland, 
Nebraska, where he bought a store building 
for $100 and a residence for $150 and went 
into business. He prospered there and re- 
mained until 1902 whon he sold his property, 
bought three hundred head of steers and a 
ranch in Sioux county, later purchased more 
cattle and the whole investment has proved 
very profitable. In 1903 he came to Scotts- 
bluft' and rented the Emery hotel, which he 
operated advantageously for three years. In 
1911 he embarked in the real estate business 
and today has an extensive business all over 
the country, making a specialty of ranch prop- 
erties. 

In 1893 Mr. Irion married Miss Ada M. 
Lane, who was born at Hale, Iowa, a daughter 
of L. F. Lane. Four children were born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Irion: Lettie R., the wife of J. 
Newton Hughes, of Scottsbluff; Archie R., 
born April 25, 1897; and Charles and Donald, 
both of whom are in school. The eldest son, 
Archie R. Irion, brought the dreaded yet preci- 
ous "gold star" into the family, for he met a 
soldier's death on the soil of France. He en- 
tered the service of his country in April, 1917, 
left home in June for Omaha, on June 16, 
went to Deming, New Mexico, where he com- 
pleted his military training and by July 17 had 
reached France as a member of the American 
Expeditionary Force. He belonged to Battery 
B One Hundred and nineteenth artillery, in 
which he was a sergeant. He was wounded 
September 29, 1918, and his brave spirit pass- 
ed away November 11, 1918. His name be- 
longs on Nebraska's Roll of Honor. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



59 



Mr. Irion and his family are members of 
the Presbyterian church. He has always been 
a Republican and has known many of the 
party leaders who have maintained its prin- 
ciples through stormy times, but has been un- 
willing to accept political office, believing he 
could be more effective as a loyal, law-abid- 
ing private citizen. 

JAMES D. SHAW, who is a reputable 
business man of Scottsbluff, whose experience 
has been gained in several lines of effort, has 
made his home at Scottsbluff for a number of 
years and since April. 1915. has been in the 
automobile and garage business. He has a 
wide acquaintance and a host of business as 
well as personal friends. 

James D. Shaw was born at Baresville, 
Ohio, January 18. 1882, and is a son of Rich- 
ard and Elizabeth Shaw. He has one sister 
and one brother, namely : Delilah Ann, who 
is the wife of A. F. Petersen, a farmer and 
rancher of Buffalo Gap, South Dakota ; and 
William M., who is a farmer and feeder near 
Seward, Nebraska. The father of Mr. Shaw 
served four years in an Ohio regiment in the 
Civil War, during which time he was thrice 
captured by the enemy, made two escapes and 
once was exchanged. He died in Ohio in 
1882. In 1889 the mother of Mr. Shaw re- 
moved with her children to Omaha, Nebraska, 
and still lives there. She is a member of the 
First Christian church of that city. 

In the graded schools of Omaha, James D. 
Shaw received educational training. The first 
money he earned was by working on a farm 
near Omaha. Aftenvard he entered the em- 
ploy of M. C. Peters Mill Company, for 
whom he traveled for seven years selling al- 
falfa feeds, visiting Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, 
Indiana, Idaho and Wyoming. He then lo- 
cated at Scottsbluff and went into the hay 
business, buying hay all through the Platte 
valley. In the meanwhile he became inter- 
ested in the automobile business and embarked 
in the same with Mr. McCain, in April, 1915. 
The firm handles the Overland and Willys- 
Knight cars and the Republic trucks and does 
a large business. 

On June 24. 1908, Mr. Shaw was united in 
marriage to Miss Cynthia Ellen Raymond, 
who was born at Florence, Nebraska, and is a 
daughter of H. S. Raymond, who is a fruit- 
grower near Omaha. Airs. Shaw is a member 
of the Episcopal church at Scottsbluff, while 
Mr. Shaw belongs to the First Christian 
church at Omaha. Like his father before him, 
Mr. Shaw is a Republican in politics. As a 



citizen and as a business man he stands high 
in public regard. 

CLARENCE E. BOGGS, who has led an 
active business life ever since completing his 
education, is a young man of business de- 
pendability, social standing and personal up- 
rightness. He is one of the younger circle of 
business men of Scottsbluff, and is president 
and general manager of the Scottsbluff' Mill- 
ing Company. 

Mr. Boggs is a native of Illinois, born at 
Havana, in Mason county, August 8. 1877, a 
son of James W. and Elizabeth C. (Caldwell) 
Boggs. who had three other children, namely: 
James W., who was in the first draft for serv- 
ice in the great war, was with an engineering 
corps in the American Expeditionary Force 
that went to France in Octoljer, 1917, now re- 
sides at Lincoln, Nebraska ; Charlotte Rose, 
who resides with her father at Lincoln ; and 
Allen M., who is now at home, was in a 
soldiers' training camp at Fort Worth, when 
the great war closed. The father was bom in 
Ohio and the mother in Illinois, and they were 
married at Crete, Nebraska. Her death occur- 
red at Lincoln in 1909. In politics the father 
is a Republican and for thirty-four years was 
deputy county treasurer of Lancaster county 
He came to Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1879 and 
for a number of years was in the insurance 
business. He is a member of the Unitarian 
church, and belongs to the Odd Fellows. 

After completing the high school course at 
Lincoln and being graduated in 1898, Clarence 
E. Boggs spent two years in the state uni- 
versity. Immediately afterward he went into 
the towel supply business at Lincoln, in v.fhich 
he continued for eighteen years and then en- 
gaged in the milling business. In October, 
1917, Mr. Boggs came to Scottsbluff and or- 
ganized the Scottsbluff Milling Company, 
which is an incorporated concern, capitalized 
at $25,000, and since then has given his main 
attention to the development of his business. 
The selling territory is all through the Platte 
Valley and the business is very prosperous. 

In 1902 Mr. Boggs was united in marriage 
to Miss Cora M. McGrew, who was born at 
Lincoln, and they have three children : Alice, 
Barbara and Robert. Mr. and Mrs. Boggs 
are members of the Presbyterian church. Po- 
litically he is a Republican, but in no sense 
is he a politician, just a good, reliable, earnest 
and law supporting citizen. 

GEORGE W. STOCKWELL. who has 
charge of the battery and electrical business 



60 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



for himself at Scottsbluff, has had considerable 
electrical experience and is considered an ex- 
pert in his line of work. Mr. Stockwell was 
born in Dawson countv. Nebraska, November 
22. 1889. 

The parents of Mr. Stockwell are Frank E. 
and Emily Kate (Adams) Stockwell. who now 
are esteemed residents of Wilder. Idaho. The 
father was born in Iowa and the mother in 
Missouri. They were married at Loup City, 
Nebraska, and their children are : Edna, the 
wife of Leo Rengler, a merchant at Overton, 
Nebraska; George W., resides at Scottsbluff; 
Ray, foreman of the H. Gilchrist ranch in 
Montana ; James, lives at Bayard, Nebraska, 
where he is assistant cashier of a bank ; and 
Herman, lives at Wilder, Idaho. Frank E. 
Stockwell came to Sweetwater, Nebraska, in 
1876, where he followed farming for a time, 
then homesteaded in Dawson county and re- 
mained for twenty-three years. He has always 
been a foresighted business man and that took 
him to Grand Island, where he profitably en- 
gaged in the horse business for four years and 
then returned to Dawson county, but soon af- 
terward bought a store at Paxton, in Keith 
county, which he operated for four years. Mr. 
Stockwell also conducted a store at Beard for 
a while, then moved to Wheatland, Wyoming, 
and from there to Wilder, Idaho, where he 
owns a productive fruit farm. He belongs to 
the Odd Fellows and the United Workmen. 

George W. Stockwell was educated at Over- 
ton, Nebraska, where he was graduated from 
the high school, then learned the telephone 
business and followed that for ten years, be- 
ing engaged at] different points. In 1916 he 
came to Scottsbluff to work in the battery 
department of the automobile business of Mc- 
Cain & Shaw, and now has full charge as 
mentioned above. 

In January. 1915, Mr. Stockwell was united 
in marriage to Miss Pauline Dilla, who was 
born in Missouri, and they have two children, 
Elaine and Wayne. Mrs. Stockwell is a mem- 
ber of the Catholic church, but Mr. Stock- 
well was reared in the Methodist Episcopal 
church by his mother. In party politics he 
maintains an independent attitude. 

JAMES M. CARR, who has been identified 
with the lumber industry at Scottsbluff for 
almost twenty years, is a native of Nebraska, 
born in 1875 at Lexington, in Dawson county, 
and has practically spent his entire life in the 
state. Mr. Carr bears a name that has long 
been held in high repute in business circles, 
his father having been active and successful 



in this section for many years. Mr. Carr is 
secretary and outside manager of the Carr & 
Neft' Lumber Company of Scottsbluff. 

The parents of Mr. Carr are James P. and 
Ada M. (Martin) Carr, the former of whom 
was born in Pennsylvania and the latter in 
Ohio. They were married at Lexington, Ne- 
braska, where they now reside. They have 
had two children : James M. and J. C. The 
latter is in the stock business at Lexington. 
James P. Carr came to Nebraska in 1872 and 
homesteaded in Dawson county and still owns 
the old place. Later he engaged in the mer- 
cantile business, in which he continued until 
1893, when he sold out and since then has de- 
voted himself to looking after numerous busi- 
ness interests in which he has investments, one 
of these being the Carr & Neff Lumber Com- 
pany of Scottsbluff, of which he is president. 
Since coming to Nebraska he has built up his 
entire fortune, natural business capacity com- 
bining with generous opportunity, and he now 
is one of the substantial men of this section. 

James M. Carr attended the Lexington pub- 
lic schools and was graduated from the high 
school in 1893, after which he spent one year 
in the Lincoln normal school. Mr. Carr en- 
tered business as a clerk in a general store 
and continued with his first employer for sev- 
en years. In 1900 he came to Scottsbluff and 
embarked in the lumber business with a part- 
ner under the style of Carr & Neft', which has 
since been changed to the Carr & Neff Lumber 
Company. In addition to acting as secretary 
of the company, Mr. Carr attends to the out- 
side yards and business details. 

In 1903 Mr. Carr was united in marriage to 
Miss Ada Johnston, a daughter of G. S. John- 
ston, a farmer near Lexington, and they have 
one daughter, Dorothy, attending school. Mr. 
and Mrs. Carr belong to the Presbyterian 
church. He is a good citizen but is identified 
with no particular political party. 

CHARLES M. MATHENY, who is en- 
titled to affix a number of letters to his name, 
indicating high scholarship, has practically 
spent his life in the school room and has high 
standing as an educator in Nebraska as well 
as in his native Ohio. For seven years he has 
been superintendent of the Scottsbluff schools. 

Charles M. Matheny was born at Athens, 
Ohio, January 6, 1874. His parents were 
Rev. L. G. and Hannah (Martin) Matheny, 
the former of whom was born in Ohio and 
the latter in New Jersey. The mother of 
Professor Matheny died in April, 1914. Her 
father, William Martin, was born in Ireland, 




Mr. and Mrs. Dick Pickett 



f 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



61 



came from there to the United States and set- 
tled first in New Jersey but later moved to 
Athens, Ohio, where he died. On the paternal 
side the ancestry is French. The paternal 
grandfather, Isaac Matheny, was born in Ohio. 
His parents came from France, as Huguenot 
refugees, and settled at first in Virginia but 
later moved to Ohio and established the home 
in which L. G. Matheny was born and reared. 
He entered military service in the beginning 
of the Civil War, in which he served four 
years, was lieutenant of company I in an Ohio 
regiment that took part in the memorable 
struggles at Memphis, Shiloh and Vicksburg. 
Later he became a minister in the Methodist 
Episcopal church and since retiring from ac- 
tive church work has carried on a fire insurance 
business at Nelsonville, Ohio. Of his seven 
children, Charles M. is the eldest of the sur- 
vivors, the others being: William, in the em- 
ploy of the General Electric Company at St. 
Louis, Missouri ; Harry, employed as an in- 
spector by the Hupmobile Company, at De- 
troit, Michigan; Gertrude, the wife of W. A. 
Pride, a dental practitioner at Gloscester, 
Ohio ; Luella, head saleswoman in a wholesale 
millineiy house at Detroit ; and Marie, private 
secretary for an attorney at Cleveland, Ohio. 

Following his graduation in 1889, from the 
Beverly, Ohio, high school, Charles M. Ma- 
theny began to teach school and thereby earn- 
ed his way through college, his method be- 
ing to teach during the winter season and en- 
ter school in the spring. Thus he paid his 
way through the Ohio University at Athens, 
between 1894 and his graduation in 1900, with 
the degree of B. Ped. For two years he was 
superintendent of the schools of Coolville, 
Ohio, for three years was principal of the 
public schools of Athens, for three years af- 
terward taught mathematics at Circleville, and 
in 1908 was ofifered a fellowship in Ameri- 
can history and political science, at Columbus, 
Ohio, receiving his Master's degree in 1909. 
For three years before coming to Nebraska, 
he was principal of the schools of Defiance, 
Ohio, and afterward, for two years was 
school superintendent at Emerson, in Dixon 
county, Nebraska. He came then to Scotts- 
bluff and took over the superintendence of the 
city schools. At the present time he has 
heavy responsibilities, having charge of nine 
school buildings, 51 teachers and 1,562 pupils. 
Supt. Matheny is a man of progressive ideas 
and many modem innovations have been plan- 
ned and accepted by him for the benefit of the 
school service. He has a capable trained 
nurse inspect the pupils twice each week. He 



has done much to raise the standard of schol- 
arship and gives encouragement to various 
school movements designed to arouse ambi- 
tion and emulation. 

In 1898, Professor Matheny was united in 
marriage to Miss Lolo Wiley, who was born 
at Guysville, Ohio, her father, A. P. Wiley, 
being a substantial farmer and stockman and 
a veteran of the Civil War. Mrs. Matheny is 
a highly educated lady, a teacher, and much 
interested in higher education. They have 
one son. H. Claire, who was born August 1, 
1901. At present he is attending the Univer- 
sity of Colorado. The family belong to the 
Methodist Episcopal church. In politics, like 
his honored father, Mr. Matheny is a Republi- 
can. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity 
and is a member of the Eastern Star order. 

DICK PICKETT, one of the leading and 
progressive business men of Scottsbluff, who 
has been and is playing an important part in 
the development of this western section of the 
state, is the e.xponent of what ability and deter- 
mination may do. There are numerous in- 
stances in western Nebraska where men have 
arrived in the Panhandle without acquaint- 
ances or friends and have worked their way to 
afi^luence and position, but there are few which 
equal the record of the man whose name heads 
this review. He has been the architect of his 
comfortable fortune and has the pride of 
knowing that it has been by his own unaided 
efforts that his present competency has been 
accunndated through honest business methods 
and his own hard work. His ability, given the 
opportunity finally to evince itself, has placed 
him in an enviable position, for today Mr. 
Pickett is accounted one of the leading citizens 
of Scottsbluff' and the surrounding commercial 
district. 

Dick Pickett was born in Perry county, In- 
diana, January 3. 1859, the son of James H. 
and Maryanna ( Evett ) Pickett. The father 
was a Hoosier h^• birth, was reared and edu- 
cated in his n.Lti\i- siatc, where he received his 
educational adx :mt,i,-f- in the public schools, 
and after attainuig manhood's estate, engaged 
in the business with which he had become 
familiar in his early youth, agricultural indus- 
try, and was accounted one of the best farmers 
and successful stockmen of that section and 
time. Maryanna (Evett) Pickett was born 
in Ireland, and accompanied her parents to 
America when she was a young girl of thir- 
teen years. After reaching the United States 
the family located in Indiana, where she grew 
to womanhood, was educated, and there met 
and married her future husband. She was a 



62 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



loving wife and devoted mother and lived to 
see all her children well started in life before 
she was called by the Grim Reaper to her last 
rest in her forty-fifth year. In 1893, James 
Pickett left his old home in Indiana and came 
west, locating at Ravenna, Nebraska, about 
three years, then to Springfield, Missouri, 
where he died. He lived to be eighty years old. 
He enlisted in 1861 in Company H, Twenty- 
third Indiana Regiment and served three years, 
also three of his sons, all in same regiment and 
company. 

Dick Pickett was reared on his father's farm 
in Indiana; attended the public school nearest 
his home and grew up enured to the invigorat- 
ing but strict discipline of farm life. He early 
learned all the practical methods of farming 
and such stock raising as was conducted in 
Indiana, where he engaged in business when 
old enough to conduct his own affairs. He was 
an ambitious youth, read of the many advan- 
tages aiiforded a man willing to hazard his for- 
tunes in the newer country west of the Mis- 
souri river, and while still a young man deter- 
mined to strike out from the old and more 
thickly settled districts for the west, which has 
ever had a lure for the youth of this broad 
land. In 1883, he came to Nebraska and set- 
tled in Buffalo county on a farm which he cul- 
tivated for seventeen j-ears, bringing the soil 
up to a high state of fertility, making perma- 
nent improvements in the way of buildings, 
and becoming one of the well-to-do farmers of 
that section. In 1900 ^Ir. Pickett sold his first 
farm in Nebraska and purchased a better loca- 
tion in the vicinity of Hershey, but he was 
wide-awake, kept abreast of all agricultural 
questions of the day, and with a keen, far 
vision soon realized that the great future of the 
agriculturist lay in that section where a man 
was not dependent upon the rainfall which in 
this semi-arid country made farming rat'.ier a 
gamble than an assured commercial enterprise, 
and selling his holdings he came to Scottsbluff 
county to take advantage of the irrigation 
projects, both private and government, for he 
knew that the soil was fertile enough provided 
water could be had in proper quantity and at 
just the proper growing season. Mr. Pickett 
purchased twenty acres of land just east of the 
city of Scottsbluff, but within the corporation 
limits, and an eighty-acre tract a mile north of 
town. He has raised feed and engaged ex- 
tensively in buying western cattle, feeding them 
to fatten for the market and then shipped to 
the big packing centers of Kansas and Ne- 
braska, and along this line has met with grati- 
fying success as he is a skilled buyer, a good 
manager and hard worker, a combination that 



must bring good results in business when a 
man devotes his energies and abilities to a 
desired end. In politics Mr. Pickett is a 
staunch adherent of the Democratic party, 
though he does not draw strict party lines in 
mere local elections, as he is broad-minded 
enough and has the affairs of his community so 
at heart that he desires to throw his influence 
to the best man fitted to serve the people. Fra- 
ternally he is allied with the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows and with his family is a mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Pickett 
has not been remiss in any duty of citizenship 
and is today regarded as one of the progressive 
and influential men of Scottsbluff, and his suc- 
cess is well merited. 

On November 3, 1886, Mr. Pickett married 
Miss Lizzie Herbaugh, in Buffalo county, Ne- 
braska. She was born in Indiana but came to 
Nebraska with her parents when a child and 
was reared and educated in this state, so may 
almost be regarded as a native daughter. Her 
father, John Herbaugh, was also a Hoosier by 
birth, reared and educated in that state, and 
after attaining manhood, established himself 
independently in business as a farmer. In- 
diana was well settled up at that time and land 
was high, so he decided to take advantage of 
the fine offers of land given by the homestead 
plan in the west, and in 1873 he came to Ne- 
braska, locating on a claim in Buffalo county, 
and thus he became one of the hardy, sturdy, 
brave pioneers of the middle west. The family 
passed through all the hardships and privations 
that settlers had to contend with, but they were 
not discouraged by blizzards or droughts, and 
lived here to see their faith in this great, wide, 
open country justified. ]\Ir. Herbaugh, invig- 
orated by his strenuous life, was a hearty old 
man who lived to be seventy-three years old. 
He served three years in the Rebellion. Rachel 
Ann Crawford Herbaugh was born and bred 
in Indiana, where she received her education 
and after her schooling was over, met and mar- 
ried John Herbaugh, accompanied him to the 
new home in the west, and was a loving wife 
and faithful helpmate during all the trying 
years they spent on the frontier, establishing a 
home and winning a comfortable fortune be- 
fore the sunset years of life overtook them. 
Mrs. Herbaugh passed away in her sixty-sixth 
}'ear. They had a family of ten robust children 
and lived to see them become capable, upstand- 
ing, lionorable men and women. 

Mr. and Mrs. Pickett have been blessed with 
ten children, of whom eight survive: James M., 
of Glendo, ^Vyoming, a farmer owning his 
own homestead, who during the World War 
served in the Coast Defense Artillery at San 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



63 



Francisco and also in the Fortieth Coast Artil- 
lery, receiving his honorable discharge Decem- 
ber 23, 1918: Mrs. \'erdie R. Roseman. of 
Torrington. Wyoming, ha^ twd children: Wil- 
liam O., of Glend.i, WyMniing; John C, of 
Scottsblufif, who also served in the Coast De- 
fense Artillery in San Francisco, being later 
transferred to the Forty-first Coast Artillery 
at Fortress Monroe, is now a student at the 
University of Nebraska, at Lincoln; ^^'illard, 
deceased ; Dorsey M., Theodore, Ivedell, Rich- 
ard, and Raymond, all of whom are still at 
home with their parents, who intend to give 
each child every educational advantage afford- 
ed in the city and state that they may be well 
equipped to start out in life. 

CLYDE L. HARRISON, a representative 
business man of Scottsbluff, who is doing a 
large business as contractor and builder, was 
born at Greenfield, Iowa, February 10, 1880, 
and has been a resident of Scottsbluff for sev- 
enteen years. 

The parents of Mr. Harrison are John J. 
and Clara E. (Rice) Harrison, both of whom 
survive. The father came to Iowa in young 
manhood and served three years in the Civil 
War as a member of company C Twenty-third 
Iowa infantry. He was a daring soldier and 
in one of the big battles was so seriously 
wounded that he had to be placed in a hospi- 
tal and later was honorably discharged. He 
was a carpenter and contractor before the 
war. He now resides in the Soldiers' Home 
at Leavenworth, Kansas, while the mother is 
a resident of Ainsley, Nebraska. Of their 
nine children seven survive and four of these 
live in Nebraska, three other sons besides 
Clyde L., namely : Worley M., who is a resi- 
dent of Gordon ; Orien A., who lives at Ain- 
sley; and E. Lee, who is in the contracting 
business at Scottsbluff. In politics the father 
is a Republican, and both parents are members 
of the Presbyterian church. 

Clyde L. Harrison obtained his education 
in the public schools in Nebraska. He learned 
the carpenter trade and after locating at 
Scottsbluff' in, 1902, was, for years, engaged 
in more housebuilding than any other builder 
and contractor in this city. In 1918 he opened 
his garage, where a general automobile repair 
business was carried on, and he handled the 
King and Oldsmobile cars. This business he 
sold out in the spring of 1919. 

In 1903 Mr. Harrison was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Amy B. Fink, who was born at 
Seward, Nebraska, and they have the follow- 
ing named children: Velma Gertrude, Ivan 



Ray, Clyde. Helen Ruth and Howard Sheldon, 
the older children being in school. Mr. and 
Mrs. Harrison are members of the Presby- 
terian church, in which he is an elder and 
member of the board of trustees. Men of 
Mr. Harrison sturdy character are not apt to 
be unduly active in politics with a view to se- 
curing pubhc office, but he is a faithful, ernest 
citizen and conscientiously supports the prin- 
ciples of the Republican party. 

JOHN W. MONTZ. whose business enter- 
prise and natural adaptability have placed him 
among the successful men in the automobile 
industry at Scottsbluff, is one of Nebraska's 
own sons, born at Harrisburg, August 5, 1891. 
With him in conducting the garage is his 
brother. Martin R. Montz, and an extensive 
business is done. 

The parents of Mr. Montz are Martin and 
Gertrude (Simon) Montz, the former of 
whom was born in Steuben county. New York, 
July 20. 1858, and the latter in DeKalb county, 
Missouri. They were married December 30, 
1880, at Cameron, Missouri, and six children 
have been born to them: Elizabeth Matilda, 
the wife of J. R. Naird, a farmer and stock- 
man in Sioux county, Nebraska ; Lebanna and 
Martie R., twins, the former of whom lives 
at Alberta, nine miles north of Scottsbluff, 
and the latter of whom is in the garage busi- 
ness at Scottsbluff; Gertrude Malissa, the wife 
of John Burnstock, a railroad man of Bridge- 
port. Nebraska ; John William, of Scottsbluff ; 
and Verna Ruth, an accomplished stenograph- 
er. The parents are members of the Christian 
church. Politically the father is an indepen- 
dent voter, and he belongs to the order of Unit- 
ed Workmen. He came to Nebraska in the 
spring of 1884 and in 1886 homesteaded in 
Banner county, where he engaged in farming 
for several years. Later he came to Scotts- 
bluff and for a number of years was in the 
meat market business. He now assists in the 
garage owned by his sons. He is well known 
and much respected. 

John W. Montz remained at Harrisburg, 
where he attended school until 1900, then 
worked on a" farm near Scottsbluff and as a 
stockman for a while. About 1910 he em- 
barked in an automobile livery business at 
Scottsbluff', which he conducted for four 
years, then worked as a mechanic in a garage 
until he had leamed the business in every de- 
tail, including the mechanism of every type of 
automobile. In 1918 he opened his own gar- 
age and since then has devoted himself closely 
to his business with satisfactory results. On 



64 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



December 4, 1913, he was united in marriage 
to Miss Bertha May Klingman, and they have 
one daughter, Loraine Genevieve. He is inde- 
pendent in his political views but no one 
doubts his good citizenship. 

MARTIE R. MONTZ, who is well-known 
in the garage business at Scottsbluff, in asso- 
ciation with his brother, John W. Montz, was 
born in !\Iissouri, February 7, 1884. He is one 
of a family of six children born to Martin 
and Gertrude (Simon) Montz, the former of 
whom was born in Steuben county. New York, 
and the latter in Missouri, in which latter state 
they were married. 

The parents of Mr. Montz came to Nebras- 
ka in the spring of 1884, when he was but an 
infant. His father homesteaded in Banner 
county in 1886 and his early years were spent 
on the home farm but he attended school at 
Harrisburg. Mr. Montz then went farther 
west and for fifteen years rode range in Mon- 
tana, South Dakota and Idaho as well as Ne- 
braska, meeting with many thrilling adven- 
tures during that time. In 1917 he located at 
Scottsbluff and went into business with his 
brother, and a large business connection has 
been built up. The partners are practical 
men, both have had solid experience and the 
public has confidence in them. 

Mr. Montz was married on December 25, 
1918. to Miss Sylvia Folden. While inter- 
ested and well posted on public affairs, Mr. 
Montz like his father has always preferred to 
be an independent voter. 

GEORGE F. KIMBROUGH. — There are 
few men in the automobile business at Scotts- 
bluff who have advanced to the front in this 
line more rapidly or substantially than G€orge 
F. Kimbrough, and not always do men of col- 
legiate training and professional prestige, find 
equal success in the practical field of business. 
Mr. Kimbrough is the owner of the. Scotts- 
bluff plant of the Platte Valley Motor Com- 
pany, and also owns the Bayard Motor Com- 
pany. 

George F. Kimbrough was born at Denver, 
Colorado, October 18, 1887, the second in a 
family of three children born to James W. 
and Norah (White) Kimbrough. The other 
members of the family are : James T., who is 
a railroad man, of Denver; and Corinne, who 
is the wife of Stephen M. Hall, a stockman 
of Denver county. The mother of the above 
family was born at Bellefontaine. Ohio, April 
18, 1859, and the father at Carthage, Illinois, 
December 7, 1849. He came to Denver in 



1878, was married at Denver, and for years 
has been a railroad man, at present being one 
of the older conductors on the Colorado & 
Southern line. He is a Democrat in his po- 
litical views and belongs to the Masonic fra- 
ternity. 

With his graduation from the high school 
in 1907, George F. Kimbrough completed the 
entire public school course at Denver, and in 
1912 graduated from the law department of 
the Colorado State University with his LL.B. 
degree, during his college life being a member 
of the Phi Delta Thefa and the Phi Delta Phi 
Greek letter fraternities. He was admitted to 
the bar in the same year and engaged in the 
practice of law with the firm of Macbeth & 
May, of Denver, for four years. Mr. Kim- 
brough then became interested in the auto- 
mobile business and accepted the office of 
secretary of the Sharman Automobile Com- 
pany, with which concern he remained eigh- 
teen months and then took charge of the 
Scottsbluff branch of the Platte Valley Motor 
Company, in which he bought a one-half inter- 
est in April, 1918, and the remaining interest 
in January, 1919, and also became owner of 
the Bayard Motor Company as mentioned 
above. Mr. Kimbrough handles Ford cars 
and Fordson tractors exclusively. His sale 
field is all through the Platte Valley where 
these cars and tractors are very satisfactory. 

On June 24, 1914, Mr. Kimbrough was 
united in marriage to Miss Helen Ryals, who 
was born at Macon, Georgia, and they have a 
daughter, who was born April 19, 1919. He 
belongs to Union Lodge No. 7, A. F. & A. M. ; 
Denver Chapter No. 2 R. A M.. and Colorado 
Commandery No. 1, Knights Templar and El 
Jebel Temple Shriners. He is not affiliated 
with any political party but is a watchful 
citizen nevertheless and casts a careful, well 
considered vote according to his own free 
judgment. 

FRANK B. DE CONLY. — One of the in- 
teresting men of Scottsbluff is found in Frank 
B. De Conly, vice president of the Scottsbluff 
Live-Stock Commission Company, and of oth- 
er important business enterprises, not only be- 
cause of his pleasing personality, but on ac- 
count of the fact that he has built up a sub- 
stantial fortune, entirely through his own ef- 
forts in the comparatively short time since he 
reached manhood. He was bom in Custer 
county, Nebraska, in 1888. 

The parents of Mr. De Conly, Frank and 
Mar)' E. ( Ellington ) De Conly, reside at Hast- 
ings, Nebraska. The father was bom in Penn- 




J\Irs. Elijah iMcCLKXAiiAX 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



65 



sylvania and the mother in Virginia and their 
marriage took place at Plum Creek, Nebras- 
ka. Of their five children the following are 
living: Emma, who is the wife of Charles 
Godby, of McCook, Nebraska ; Edwin, who is 
a printer, lives at Scottsbluff ; Florence, who is 
the wife of Harry Fiest, lives in Colorado ; 
and Frank B., who is so widely and favorably 
known in the Panhandle. The father, a print- 
er by trade, came to Nebraska in the seventies 
and settled first in Dawson county, where he 
worked in a mill and on a ranch before moving 
to Custer county where he homesteaded. He is 
a Democrat in politics, is a Knight of Pythias, 
and both he and wife belong to the Episcopal 
church. 

Frank B. De Conly attended the Callaway 
public schools and the Lexington high school, 
after which he went to work for the Union 
Pacific Railway at Callaway, where he remain- 
ed fourteen months. He then spent five 
months at Hastings in the paint shop of Haines 
Brothers, and seven months for the Burling- 
ton Railroad as checker. He then went into 
the incubator factory of the M. M. Johnson 
Company, later becoming an office man there 
and remaining eight years. In the meanwhile, 
from being an enthusiastic baseball player for 
recreation, he became an expert in the nation- 
al game, and for seven years played profes- 
sional baseball as third baseman in the State 
League and the Tri-State League. In this con- 
nection he is remembered admiringly all over 
the country. In 1912 Mr. De Conly came to 
Scottsblufif and embarked in the real estate 
business and in the fall of that year went into 
the stock business. He now has three large 
farms, his main activities being feeding cattle 
and sheep, his record showing that in one year 
alone he fed 10,400 head of sheep, and each 
year ranges from 3,000 to 10,000, and from 
500 to 1.000 cattle. He has demonstrated 
great business capacity, has invested wisely 
and at present is identified with a number of 
prospering business concerns. In addition to 
being vice president of the Scottsblutif Live- 
stock Company, he is vice president of the 
Fisher Grocery Company, and owns one-third 
of the company stock and one-fourth of the 
livestock, in the former organization. He 
owns three hundred and forty acres, of fine 
land. 

In 1910 Mr. De Conly was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Neva Wyman Palmer, who was 
born in Seward county, Nebraska, and is a 
daughter of David B. Palmer, a heavy stock- 
man and leading citizen of Seward county. 
Mr. and Mrs. De Conly have one son who has 



about reached the engaging age of two years 
and bears his maternal grandfather's honored 
name. Mr. De Conly is a vestryman in the 
Episcopal church at Scottsbluff. He is an in- 
dependent in his political opinions but is a 
very active and influential citizen in all matters 
pertaining to the progress of Scottsbluff. Dur- 
ing the two years of his service as a member 
of the city council, he was president of that 
body the entire time. He is a Scottish Rite 
Mason and a Shriner. He has never lost in- 
terest in manly sports and is a member of 
the Athletic Club at Omaha. 

ELIJAH McCLENAHAN. pioneer in irri- 
gation, farmer and financier, who is now num- 
bered among the substantial business men of 
Scottsbluff, has been the architect of his own 
fortune, and having based his life's structure 
on firm, substantial foundations, has builded 
soundly and well. When he entered upon his 
career he was possessed of little save inherent 
ability, great ambition and the determination to 
succeed, and these have been sufficient, through 
their development, to enable him to become a 
large landholder, progressive farmer, and man 
of finance in a well-to-do community that does 
not lack for able and successful men of enter- 
prise and progress. 

Elijah AlcClenahan was born in Keokuk 
county, Iowa, October 26, 1866, the son of 
Elijah and Elizabeth (Wilson) McClenahan, 
the former a native of the famous state of 
Kentucky, who settled in Illinois at a very 
early date at the time when the government 
was having difficulties with the Indians over 
their refusal to give up the lands they had 
ceded to the United States under a promise of 
removing west of the Mississippi river. Mr. 
McClenahan (senior ) was one of the men who 
helped build a log fort in Stark county when 
Black Hawk and" his band went on the war- 
path with the idea of driving the whites out of 
their territory, and forts were necessary in 
various localities where the whites could gather 
for protection against their Indian foes, -who 
crept stealthily upon the outlying settlements 
ancl murdered the unsuspecting women and 
children when the men were away or out in the 
fields. After remaining in Illinois for some 
years, Mr. McClenahan removed still farther 
toward the frontier and settled in Keokuk 
county, Iowa, where he engaged in agricultural 
pursuits, passing away there in his seventy- 
fifth year. Elizabeth Wilson McClenahan was 
born in Ohio, where she spent her early child- 
hood, receiving an excellent practical education 
in the public schools of that state ; when a 
young girl her parents removed to Iowa and 



66 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



she accompanied them to the new home in the 
west. In 1887, accompanied by her children, 
she became a pioneer settler of the Panhandle, 
settling on a homestead where the city of 
Scottsbkiff now stands. She was a hale, hearty 
woman, enured to the hardships and privations 
through which she passed during the hard and 
trying years of frontier life, but was thrifty, 
willing to work, and of many good deeds, that 
stood in number as the years of her life count- 
ed by days. She was a devoted mother and it 
was for the advantages that her children might 
have that she located in this section at a time 
when habitations were few, civilization in its 
dawn on the high prairies, and privations 
many, but she lived to see that her faith in this 
section was justified, as she was over eighty 
years of age before summoned to her last long 
rest. She was a member of the Christian 
church. Elijah was the second child in the 
family and one of the seven who accompanied 
his mother to western Nebraska. Andy J., 
who lives in Utah, was the oldest but Elijah 
and Mrs. John Emery are the only members of 
the family in Scottsbluff. 

Elijah McClenahan spent his youthful years 
in Iowa, where he received the educational ad- 
vantages afforded by the excellent school sys- 
tem of that state. He helped his parents on 
the farm, thus at an early age becoming well 
acquainted with the practical side of farm in- 
dustry, as he early assumed what duties he was 
capable of carrying on a pair of young shoul- 
ders and what his growing strength permitted, 
for there is always plenty for a boy to do on 
a farm, from herding cattle to feeding stock 
and driving team and plow. \Mien his mother 
came west Elijah was a young man just past 
his twenty-first birthday and he determined to 
establish himself independently and took up a 
homestead two miles west of the present site of 
Scottsblufif. He proved up on the land, broke 
the sod of the prairie for his early crops, and 
when his capital allowed, made good and per- 
manent improvements on the place in the way 
of jt house and farm buildings. He engaged 
in diversified farming and stock-raising and 
during slack periods of farm work or when he 
could get some other member of the family to 
care for his stock, rode the range as a cowboy, 
as that was the period when the great cattle 
companies had vast herds on the plains and 
required great cattle camps for their many men 
who guarded and directed the manner in which 
the cattle ranged in feeding. It was in this 
way that he materially aided his financial re- 
sources and at the same time gained an invalu- 
able knowledge of the cattle business which 
was of great use to him in his own business 



enterprises when the cattle barons and their 
monopolies were a thing of the past in the Pan- 
handle and where once was range is now a 
smiling countryside where the green crops 
wave in the breeze with many a flourishing 
village and town which are fine indications of 
the prosperity of this section once known and 
called the "Great American Desert." Mr. Mc- 
Clenahan from his first coming to this section 
had great faith in its agricultural possibilities : 
he was determined that not only himself but 
others should have the most that their lands 
could produce. He was a man who kept 
abreast of the times, the improvements in farm 
methods and any project that would give a 
great yield from the soil, so that it is not sur- 
prising that he was one of the first to believe 
in and advocate irrigation for the Platte valley. 
The soil was fertile, the sunshine unfailing in 
the high prairie country, all that was needed 
to make this a garden spot was assured water, 
and there was plent}^ of it in the river. The 
problem lay in getting a sufficient quantity onto 
the land. He was one of the projectors and 
the first superintendent of the Winter Creek 
irrigation ditch, the pioneer project in this sec- 
tion. He helped not only materially but finan- 
cially in the building of the ditch, being the 
man who removed the first shovel of earth on 
the construction work, it might be said he laid 
the foundation stone for it. For fourteen years 
he devoted a large part of his time and much 
of his energy to the great and paramount ques- 
tion of the Platte valley, will irrigation pay? 
Pie kept a careful record of the amount of 
water used in the Winter Creek district, the 
number of acres it watered and the greater 
yield per acre under ditch, and it was from his 
careful and painstaking work, a report of 
which was filed with the government that the 
Reclamation Service decided to place Scotts- 
blufif county under government reclamation, 
which has been the making of the small land- 
holder along the Platte. Later, Mr. McClen- 
ahan was instrumental in the work of building 
the r^Iitchell ditch and the Enterprise project, 
which have so materially changed conditions of 
farming and settlement in this vicinit}', and 
have developed a semi-arid region into one of 
the most beautiful and productive regions of 
the great commonwealth of Nebraska. In 
truth, "the desert now blossoms like the rose." 
Inherited from his Blue Grass father, Mr. 
McClenahan has had a fine taste for horses all 
his life and when his capital permitted he in- 
vested in some fine blooded stock, raising polo 
ponies for the eastern market and high grade 
riding horses. He also owned one of the fast- 
est quarter milers of western Nebraska, "Ten- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



67 



pins," who won many a race and was a source 
of pride to his owner. However, this was but 
a side-hne of the extensive business in which 
Mr. McClenahan engaged, for, after the rail- 
roads were built through Scottsbluff county, he 
began to be one of the heavy and extensive 
cattle feeders of this section. Buying in the 
west he shipped here, fattened his stock and 
then shipped to the big packing centers of east- 
ern Nebraska and Kansas, a business which 
proved most successful, due to his early ex- 
periences in range cattle and his keen ability as 
a buyer. Up to the time of Mrs. McClenahan's 
death, Elijah lived with her, managing her 
landed interests. He is now a partner with 
Charles Beatty in a four hundred acre ranch 
southeast of Minatare, which they are devoting 
to diversified farming. Both men are progres- 
sive in their ideas, have introduced modern 
methods and use modern machinery and are 
reaping tlie reward which justly comes to men 
who devote time, brains and efifort to the busi- 
ness in hand. Mr. Clenahan owns ten acres of 
land in the southeastern part of ScottsbluliE 
which he is arranging for an extensive cattle- 
feeding yard, a project which has long been 
needed in this section, of which Scottsblutif is 
the center. In politics Mr. McClenahan is a 
member of the Republican party, and though 
he takes no active interest in the politics of the 
state, is intensely interested in the men who 
run for local office, believing that only good, 
conscientious men should fill public positions. 
On December 26, 1912, Mr. McClenahan mar- 
ried Miss Nellie Boone, a Hoosier by birth, be- 
ing reared and educated in her native state of 
Indiana. She was the daughter of John and 
Martha (Southerlin) Boone, both of whom 
were born and reared on the Wabash river. 
Mr. and Mrs. McClenahan have five children : 
Pearl A., Merle E., Joseph A., and twins, 
Nellie and Ellen, who have a bright future, as 
their parents are determined that they all shall 
have every social and educational advantage 
afforded by the schools of the town and state 
for the equipment of life's battle, which is 
strenuous at best. Mr. and ]\Irs. McClenahan 
are estimable people, who believe, advocate 
and support every movement for the better- 
ment of civic and communal life, and are held 
in high esteem by their neighbors, fellow- 
townsmen, and a large circle of friends. 

WILLIAM P. HODNETT, M. D., who has 
been engaged in medical practice at Scotts- 
bluff for some years, is highly esteemed pro- 
fessionally and is equally valued personally. 
Dr. Hodnett was born at Danville, Virginia, 
September 2, 1883. His parents, William P. 



and Belle (Price) Hodnett, are natives of 
Virginia and still live in the old home at Dan- 
ville. The father of Dr. Hodnett is a man of 
ample fortune, now practically retired. When 
the Civil War closed he, like many other resi- 
dents of the South, found it necessary to en- 
tirely rebuild his fortunes and was entirely 
successful. He owns valuable business prop- 
erty at Danville. He is of high personal 
standing there, has served in the city council 
for many years, is a sturdy supporter of the 
Democratic party and is a constistory Mason 
and a Knight of Pythias. Both parents of 
Dr. Hodnett are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. He is the only one of their 
seven children to establish a home in Nebras- 
ka. 

Dr. Hodnett was liberally educated. After 
aJttending private schools he spent one year 
in Randolph-Macon college, Ashland, Vir- 
ginia ; two years, in the Virginia State Univer- 
sity, and in 1912 was graduated from the 
medical department of the University of Colo- 
rado. After graduation he practiced for one 
year in St. Luke's and Mercy hospitals, Den- 
ver, then in the city of Denver and the mining 
camps near Telluride, in San Miguel county, 
Colorado. In the fall of 1916 Dr. Hodnett 
came to Scottsbluff', finding a ready welcome 
for a man of his professional ability, and con- 
tinued alone until March, 1918, when he form- 
ed a partnership with Dr. F. W. Plehn, the 
firm being recognized as one of the ablest in 
the city. 

In i912 Dr. Hodnett was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Eleanor Finley. of Denver. Colo- 
rado, and they have two children ; William 
Finley and Virginia Belle. Dr. Hodnett and 
wife are members of the Presbyterian church 
and take active part in social affairs. In poli- 
tics he is a sound Democrat and for many 
years he has been identified with the Masonic 
fraternity. Dr. Hodnett belongs also to repre- 
sentative medical organizations and occasion- 
ally contributes to their literature. 

D. T- POLLOCK, who is well-known 
through the Platte Valley as a cattleman and 
judge of stock, has been a resident of Scotts- 
bluff for some years and is interested in dealing 
in stock and also real estate. Mr. Pollock was 
born in Union county, Iowa, December 29, 
1860, and is a son of James P. and Eliza 
(McVay) Pollock. 

Mr. Pollock's father was bom m Knox 
county, Ohio, a son of Samuel Pollock, a na- 
tive of Scotland, and the mother in Greene 
county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Vincent 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



McVay, who was also born in Scotland and 
came in early manhood to the United States. 
Both parents died in Iowa, the father when 
aged eighty-seven and the mother sixty-eight 
years. They had children as follows : W. V.. 
who resides at Gering. Nebraska, is a retired 
farmer; D. J., who resides at Scottsbluff; J. 
L., a resident and oflficeholder at Des Moines, 
Iowa; R. M., of Earned, Kansas, is a travel- 
ing salesman ; and one deceased. The father 
was a fanner all his life. Both parents were 
members of the Scotch Presbyterian church. 

After his school period ended, Mr. Pollock 
began to assist his father on the farm and has 
been identified more or less with farm activi- 
ties all his life. In 1916 he came to Scobts- 
bluff county and settled on land near Scotts- 
bluff that he had previously bought, and has 
made raising thoroughbred stock the main 
feature of his business since coming to the 
upper valley. He raises Duroc hogs exten- 
sively and has paid as high as $400 for a 
thoroughbred boar. 

On October 21, 1891, Mr. Pollock married 
Miss Lillie B. Stalcup, who was born in Iowa 
and died in that state February 26, 1913, the 
mother of four children : Etha. connected with 
a business house at Scottsbluff; Zaida, at 
home ; Dorothy, a student in Doane college, 
Crete, Nebraska ; and Howe, a mechanic for 
the Page Motor Company. The family be- 
longs to the Presbyterian church. In politics 
Mr. Pollock is a Democrat, and while living in 
Iowa, was the first of his political party to be 
elected to the office of assessor of his district. 
Mr. Pollock is held in high esteem as a man 
of sterling character. 

MATHEW J. HIGGINS. general merchant 
at Scottsbluff, and an active, interested, public 
spirited citizen, is a business man of long ex- 
perience. He came to this city in 1913 and 
founded the Golden Rule store, through hon- 
orable methods and business integrity making 
the name significant. He was born at Camden 
New Jersey, November 4, 1879. 

The parents of Mr. Higgins were M. J. and 
Esther (Rodgers) Higgins, the latter of whom 
was born and married in the city of Phila- 
delphia, and now resides in Iowa. The father 
of Mr. Higgins was born in Wilmington, Dela- 
ware, and from that state enlisted for serv- 
ice in the Civil War, entering company C, 
Fifty-first Delaware infantry, in which he 
served during the closing months of the war, 
during that time contracting disease which 
finally caused his death. After his marriage 
he engaged in the hotel business at Phila- 



delphia, in 1876 removing to Iowa, where he 
was a merchant. He was a Republican in 
politics and was a member of the Presbyterian 
church. Of his seven children M. J. was the 
third in order of birth, the others being: 
Frank, in the grocery business at Malvern, 
Iowa; William, in the employ of the Standard 
Oil Company, at Malvern ; John, a commercial 
traveler for a San Francisco business house ; 
Edward C, manager of the Penny store, at 
Blackwell, Oklahoma ; and Charles, in the 
grocery business at Malvern. The mother of 
the above family is a member of the Episco- 
pal church. 

Mr. Higgins attended the public schools in 
his native state and later the Chicago Univer- 
sity. He began business life as clerk in a store 
and had fine training as an employe of the 
great house of Marshall Field & Co., first in 
tlie Chicago establishment and later as one of 
the firm's highly regarded traveling salesmen. 
He then embarked in business for himself at 
Las Animas, Bent county, Colorado, where 
he confined himself to handling dry goods and 
shoes, and remained in business there for sev- 
en years. In 1913 he came to Scottsbluff, in- 
vested in property and started the Golden Rule 
store which has proved an exceedingly success- 
ful enterprise, his amount of business having 
doubled each year. He has been obliged to en- 
large his quarters to accomodate his large 
stock of dry goods, shoes and clothing. As a 
merchant here he stands in the first rank. 

In September, 1904, Mr. Higgins was united 
in marriage to Miss Eva K. Knox, who was 
born at Grand Island, Nebraska, and is a 
member of the Christian church. They have 
an interesting family of four children, name- 
ly : Frank, Harold, Chester and Paul. Mr. 
Higgins is interested in all that concerns 
Scottsbluff, its schools, its business, its social 
advantages, and as a member of the city coun- 
cil, in which he is serving his second term, he 
carefully considers such matters and lends his 
influence accordingly. In the political field. 
Republican principles and candidates have al- 
ways been his choice. He has long been identi- 
fied with the Odd Fellows. 

FRANK R. BECKER, who is well-known 
in business circles at Scottsblulf. is part owner 
and general manager of Diers Bros. & Com- 
pany store, with which important commercial 
house he has been identified for a period ap- 
proaching twenty-one years. He was born in 
Dearborn county, Indiana, in 1878. 

The parents of Mr. Becker, J. P. and Mary 
T. (McCracken) Becker are deceased. The 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



69 



father was born in one of the Rhine provinces, 
Germany, and the mother in a New England 
state. The father came to Indiana when young 
and was married in that state and followed 
the carpenter trade and was an auctioneer. He 
came with his family to Butler county, Ne- 
braska, in 1883, and during his later years en- 
gaged in market gardening. His family con- 
sisted of four sons and two daughters. He 
was a Democrat in politics, a member of the 
order of Odd Fellows and he belonged to the 
German Lutheran church. 

Frank R. Becker attended school at David 
City, Nebraska, but left when he reached the 
eighth grade, in order to become self support- 
ing. For eight years he was a clerk with the 
Diers Bros, firm at Fullerton, Nebraska. In 
the spring of 1905 he came to Scoittsbluff and 
went to work for the same people, operating 
here under the firm name of Luft & Diers 
Bros. After the death of Mr. Luft, Mr. 
Becker continued with the other partners for 
three years and then resigned and went to the 
Mitchell Mercantile Company, where he had 
charge of the clothing department for three 
years. He then homesteaded six miles from 
Mitchell, on Dutch Flats, where he now owns 
eighty acres of irrigated land. On January 
1, 1913, he came back to Scottsbluff to- become 
manager of Diers Bros. Company store, in 
which he purchased stock, which he increased 
to a one-third interest on June S, 1914. ^Ir. 
Becker has demonstrated great business ca- 
pacity, having built up a comfortable fortune 
entirely through his own efforts. 

On August 28, 1912, Mr. Becker was united 
in marriage to Miss Lacy Bryan, and they 
have one son, Frank M., who was born August 
23, 1916. Mrs. Becker is a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, to which Mr. 
Becker's mother also belonged. In politics he 
is a Democrat but no seeker for office. He is 
identified with the Knights of Pythias and the 
Scottsbluff Country Club. 

JOHN R. KELLY, who is one of Banner 
coimty's progressive agriculturist^ .mil leading 
citizens, has lived in tlii> nnini\ many years, 
homesteading in 1888 and never parting with 
his original purchase, which now comprises 
.some of the most \-aluable land in the county. 
He was born in Worth county, Missouri, De- 
cember 7, 1867. 

The parents of Mr. Kelly were John and 
Jerusha (Millican) Kelly, the former of whom 
was born in Ohio in 1838, and the latter in 
Illinois, ]\Iarch 17, 1841. Her death occurred 
in January, 1907. She was a faithful member 



of the Baptist church from girlhood. Of their 
six children, the two sons in Nebraska are John 
R. and Samuel. In boyhood the father of Mr. 
Kelley went to Illinois and lived there seven 
years as a farmer, married there, and then 
moved to Missouri, where he died in 1872. 

John R. Kelley was only five years old when 
his father died. He started to go to school in 
Missouri, later went to school for a short time 
in Page county, Iowa, and when ten years old 
went to work on a farm in Kansas. He re- 
mained one year and then went back to Mis- 
souri, where he followed farm life for six 
years and then went again to Iowa for two 
years. After another year in Missouri, on 
"March 23, 1887, he came to old Cheyenne 
county, now Banner, and in July following 
secured his homestead. At that time $100 would 
purchase 160 acres of land that now would 
bring $50 an acre. Mr. Kelly had to depend 
entirely on his own efforts, and after securing 
his claim, found it a serious undertaking to 
make enough money to make his payments. In 
those days real money was scarce in Nebraska 
and remuneration for any kind of labor was 
small, while farm produce brought but inade- 
quate returns in the market. Mr. Kelly relates 
that in 1892 he and his brother raised wheat 
and hauled it a distance of twenty-five miles to 
Kimball and sold it for twenty-four cents a 
bushel, and pork, at the present time one of the 
world's luxuries, commanded so small a price 
that it became a cjuestion whether the raising of 
hogs was worth while. The interest on money 
at that time had risen to thirtv-nine per cent. 
In the fall of 1889 Mr. Kelly went to Hall 
county and husked corn in the vicinity of 
Wood river for a cent and a half a bushel, 
working for Fremont Dodge. The latter ad- 
vised Mr. Kelly to keep his Banner county land 
at all hazards, and the taking of this advice 
proved very advantageous to Mr. Kelly, al- 
though it necessitated much hard work to fol- 
low it. During those early years he worked 
for $1 a day, then acceptable by workers and 
employers alike, and to secure this had to 
travel as far as Greely, Colorado, and Chey- 
enne, Wyoming. 

However, those times have long since passed 
away. Starting with 160 acres, Mr. Kelly ac- 
quired more land as his improving circum- 
stances permitted until at present he is the 
owner of 3,200 acres. It is mainly ranch land 
and his .stock interests are very important. He 
believes Hereford cattle and Percheron horses 
the most profitable and feeds about ten head 
of horses a year and about 200 head of cattle, 
and raises annually sixty fine cows for breed- 
ing purposes. It was on Air. Kelly's land that 



70 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



the Prairie Oil & Gas Company sunk a shaft 
that struck an extra good grade of oil but at 
that time and with the company's facilities, did 
not seem to indicate oil in paying quantity. 
Further investigation has convinced Mr. Kelly, 
however, that some day he will have a well 
here with a profitable flow of oil. 

On December 25, 1900, Mr. Kelly was 
united in marriage to Miss Anna McKinnon, 
the ceremony taking place at Harrisburg, Ne- 
braska. She is a daughter of Hugh and Eliza- 
beth (Mickle) McKinnon, natives of Scotland, 
who settled in Banner coimty in 1889. They 
died in Harrisburg, the father in 1904 and the 
mother in Scottsbluff, May 3, 1918. Three of 
their children live in Scottsbluff county, Ne- 
braska, and two others, Mrs. Kelly and Ed- 
ward McKinnon, in Banner county. ]\lr. and 
Mrs. Kelly have had two children, the one sur- 
vivor, Allison, living at home. 

Since early manhood iMr. Kelly has taken an 
active part in public matters that he has be- 
lieved come within the scope of good citizen- 
ship. Politically he is a Democrat and has 
wide influence in county politics but has never 
accepted any public office except that of sheriff, 
serving one year (1896) by appointment, and 
two years by election, his term expiring in Jan- 
uary, 1899. He is a member of the Farmers 
Union, and is financially interested in the 
Scottsbluff Creamery and the Independent 
Lumber Company of Scottsbluff. 

ERNEST H. KLINGMAN, a representa- 
tive business man of Scottsbluff, proprietor of 
a grocery house and a storage business, was 
born in Clayton county, Iowa, September 6, 
1864, the son of Lewis and Elizabeth (Lowe) 
Klingman, the former born in Germany and 
the latter in Connecticut. The father was a 
blacksmith by trade and owned his own shop 
in Iowa, in which state he married and both he 
and wife died in Iowa. Of their seven chil- 
dren Ernest H. is the only one who lives in 
Nebraska. 

Ernest Klingman had only country school 
advantages, and after his school days ended 
he remained at home and worked as a farmer 
until twenty-one years old. In 1888 he came to 
Nebraska and settled on the Middle Loup 
river in Custer county, where he remained two 
years, then lived one year in Holt county, be- 
ing a farmer in both places. Mr. Klingman 
then went to Oklahoma and from there to 
Kansas, in which latter state he remained six 
years working for farmers, then came back to 
Nebraska and accepted employment with 
Charles Richardson, who conducted a livery 
business at Broken Bow. In 1901 he came 



to Scottsbluff county and engaged in a dray- 
ing business after which he invested in proper- 
ty at Scottsbluff and opened a confectionery 
store. In 1917 he erected a fine store building 
on his home lot and put in a stock of fancy 
and staple groceries from which he has re- 
ceived gratifying remuneration for the money 
invested as well as the thought and labor 
he has expended. His storage business is 
also a profitable source of income. This is 
but the merest outline of Mr. Klingman's ca- 
reer but it gives convincing proof that per- 
sistent industry and honest effort, will bring 
reward. 

In 1889 Mr. Klingman married Miss Ma- 
tilda Predmore, who was born in Hardin 
county, Iowa, a daughter of John and Nancy 
Jane (Peters) Predmore, natives of Ohio. Airs. 
Klingman was the fourth born in her parent's 
family of fourteen children, twelve of whom 
are living. Mr. and Mrs. Klingman have four 
children : Charles, Roy, May and Lloyd. The 
one daughter is the wife of John Montz of 
Scottsbluff. All three sons of Mr. Klingman 
have been in military service and attached to 
the heavy artillery and all are safe at home 
again after overseas service. Mrs. Klingman 
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. In politics Mr. Klingman is a Re- 
publican. 

JOHN M. MARTIN, who is an enterpris- 
ing and progressive business man of Scotts- 
bluff, extensively interested in the handling 
of real estate, is a Nebraska product and is 
proud of the fact. He was born at Hastings, 
in 1888, the sixth in a family of ten children 
born to John and Mary (Rose) Martin. 

The father of Mr. Martin was born in the 
state of New York, one of a large and im- 
portant family. His father, Solomon Martin, 
a native of New York, came to Nebraska in 
1874 with his son John and family, being then 
aged ninety-five years. He had 131 grand- 
children and great-grandchildren. John Mar- 
tin drove a team and covered wagon the entire 
distance from Illinois and when he reached 
Adams county where he intended to home- 
stead, he camped and tethered his horses on 
the present site of the courthouse at Hastings. 
He was a farmer all the rest of his life, his 
death occurring in April, 1918. He was mar- 
ried in Nebraska to Mary Rose, who was bom 
in Ohio and now resides at Mullen, Nebraska. 
Her father, Peter Rose, was a veteran of the 
Civil War. She is a member of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. 

John M. Martin attended school for five 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



71 



years at Guide Rock, Nebraska, and after his- 
school period was over he became an auction- 
eer, having the gift of ready speech, and con- 
tinued in that Hne at Minatare and Mullen, 
for eight years. He was so successful that his 
services were engaged by C. H. Irion for the 
selling of real estate after he came to Scotts- 
blufif in 1916, and since the latter part of 1917 
they have been equal partners in the business. 
The operate all through the Platte Valley, do- 
ing a large business in farm property. 

On May 28, 1913, Mr. Martin was'united in 
marriage to Miss Sylvia Hendrickson, who 
was born in Harlan county, Nebraska, a 
daughter of James Hendrickson, a prominent 
farmer in Harlan county. Mrs. Martin is a 
member of the Methodist Episcopal church. 
Mr. Martin is much more interested in busi- 
ness than in politics, although he is a thought- 
ful and careful citizen, but he has not identi- 
fied himself with any particular party, voting 
according to his own judgment. He belongs 
to the Odd Fellows. His acquaintance is wide 
and his personal friends are everywhere. 

SAMUEL WILLARD RIPLEY, a well- 
known resident of Scottsbluff and an active, 
useful citizen, came to this city in 1900, from 
his homestead in what was then Cheyenne 
county, but which has since been organized as 
ScottsblufY county, Nebraska, where he had 
pre-empted and taken a tree claim in 1886. 
He has been greatly interested in the success 
of the irrigation projects, and perhaps only 
a few of his neighbors are aware that he, with 
B. F. Gentry established the first irrigation 
project in Nebraska, when they ran water by 
ditch onto a tract of millet, for D. D. Johnson. 
Later Mr. Ripley was superintendent of the 
Enterprise Ditch for one year. He was born 
in Fremont county, Iowa, August 28, 1861, 
and was a crowing, happy infant when his 
father marched away to take part in the Civil 
War. 

Mr. Ripley's parents were Samuel A. and 
Nina E. (Barger) Ripley, the former born in 
the state of New York and the latter in Iowa. 
The paternal grandfather was S. W. Ripley, 
a native of New England, who practiced medi- 
cine first in Ohio and later in Iowa and died 
in Fremont county. The family settled in 
Iowa before the Civil War and from that state 
Samuel A. Ripley enlisted for service in com- 
pany E twenty-ninth Iowa infantry, and did 
his full duty as a private soldier for over three 
years, never being either wounded or captured. 
Early in life he was a fanner but later a butch- 
er. He was a fine, honest man whom many 



mourned when he died in 1889, but, because 
of his generous instincts never was a success 
financially. He was a Republican in politics, 
a member of the Odd Fellows and throughout 
life was influenced by the Christian training 
he had received in a good home. He was mar- 
ried in Iowa to Nina E. Barger, who is also 
deceased, their burials taking place at Weeping 
Water, Nebraska. She was reared in the 
Methodist Episcopal faith. Of their eight 
children Samuel Willard is the oldest survivor, 
the others being: William Jasper, a farmer 
and carpenter living in Wyoming ; Guy Doug- 
las, in the electrical business in California; 
Feribey, the wife of Rev. James G. Clark, a 
Presbyterian minister at Beaver City, Nebras- 
ka; and Loy E., the wife of Charles C. Spenc- 
er, of Wyoming. 

Samuel W. Ripley learned the trade of a 
butcher and was a successful farmer for two 
years in Nebraska. In 1886 he located in 
Cheyenne county, now Scottsbluff county, 
four miles northeast of the city of Scottsbluff, 
and lived there until 1900, passing through 
many of the hardships that made pioneering 
in the state a dift"icult and trying process. Af- 
ter coming to Scottsbluff' he operated a hotel 
and a meat business, then was appointed 
superintendent of the Enterprise Ditch. In 
August, 1905, Mr. Ripley accepted a position 
with the Standard Oil Company as local man- 
ager, with headquarters at Scottsbluff, and 
has since continued with this corporation. He 
has taken part in civic affairs quite actively, 
has accepted the responsibilities of office when 
called on and has and still is assisting in the 
substantial development of this place. 

In 1889 Mr. Ripley married Miss Anna M. 
Johnson, of Missouri Valley, Iowa, a daughter 
of D. D. Johnson, a wounded veteran of the 
Civil War, who makes his home with Mr. 
Ripley. Mr. and Mrs. Ripley have an adopted 
daughter, Clara Lois, a schoolgirl of fourteen 
years. The family belongs to the Presbyter- 
ian church. Mr. Ripley is an Odd Fellow and 
is a Republican ini politics. During his serv- 
ice of four years on the town board, he was 
chairman a part of the time. Mr. Ripley can 
relate many interesting facts concerning early 
days here when he was engaged in freighting 
between Alliance and Gering and Kimball and 
Gering, when the actual necessities of life were 
hard to secure and had to be hauled by teams 
from those railroad towns. Scottsbluff was 
only a year old when Mr. Ripley came here 
and took charge of the hotel with, probably, 
not over one hundred inhabitants. Since that 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



early day he has been a continuous resident 
of this now flourishing and prosperous town. 

ASA E. CHILES, who represents one of 
the leading piano and music houses of the 
country at Scottsblufl:, the A. Hospe Company 
of Omaha, Nebraska, has been located in this 
city since 1917, and has assisted in developing 
a fine musical taste here. In addition to being 
an excellent business man, Mr. Chiles has 
shown a hearty interest in everything pertain- 
ing to this city and has made many personal 
friends. 

Asa E. Chiles was born at Riverside, Wash- 
ington county, Iowa, May 23, 1880. His par- 
ents are Jacob S. and Susan E. (Armagost) 
Chiles, the former of; whom waS' born in 
Marj'land and the latter in Pennsylvania. In 
1872 the father went to Iowa and was mar- 
ried in 1876. and they have three children: 
Asa E., who is of Scottsbluff ; George S., who 
is chief draftsman for the American Steel 
Foundries Company, Chicago; and Amy, who 
is the wife of Lewis E. Schmidtt, who is in 
the telephone business at Council Bluffs. In 
politics the father is a Republican and belongs 
to the order of Knights of Pythias. Both par- 
ents are members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church at Clarinda, Iowa, where they live re- 
tired. The father engaged in farming for 
many years in Iowa and owns a body of land 
in Canada, on which he spends a part of his 
time. 

Asa E. Chiles was educated 'n Page county, 
Iowa, and attended the high school at Clar- 
inda. He has been the builder of his own 
fortune, beginning with Swift & Company, 
packers, at the age of fourteen years and con- 
tinuing with that company until he was twen- 
ty-two. Musically inclined and possessing mu- 
sical gifts, he then accepted the opportunity to 
go into the piano business at Bushnell, Illinois, 
where he remained two years. During the 
next six years he was on the road in special 
sale work for different piano houses, follow- 
ing which, for four years he was with E. L. 
Benedict & Sons at Clarinda. In 1916 he 
became associated with the A. Hospe Piano 
Company of Omaha, and on May 3, 1917, 
came to Scottsbluff and took charge of their 
piano and music business here and future? 
prospects are all that could be desired. Mr. 
Chiles has six employes, five in this city and 
one at Alliance. 

In 1899, at Clarinda, Iowa, Mr. Chiles was 
united in marriage to Miss Sudie I. Leffler, 
who was born at Des Moines, Iowa, and is a 
daughter of George W. Leffler, who is in the 



book and music business at Butte, Montana. 
Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Chiles : Aileen, aged fourteen years, and War- 
ren, aged twelve years. She is a member of 
the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Chiles 
is not particularly active in politics but has 
always been identified with the Republican 
party. He belongs to the order of Knights of 
Pythias and to several musical organizations. 

LOU SCHWANER, who is in the jewelry 
and optical business at Scottsbluff, is associat- 
ed with his brother, Charles H. Schwaner, and 
they operate under the firm name of Schwaner 
Brothers. They were born in Valley county, 
Nebraska, Lou Schwaner on March 6, 1883, 
and Charles H. Schwaner on May 10, 1885. 
They have practically spent their entire lives 
in the jewelry business, the older partner be- 
ginning at the age of twenty-one and the 
younger when fourteen years old. 

The parents of the Schwaner brothers are 
H. J. and Margaret (Reese) Schwaner, the 
former of whom was born in Wisconsin and 
the latter in Indiana. They came to Iowa when 
young and were married in Polk county. In 
1882 the father homesteaded in Valley county, 
Nebraska, and his children have heard him tell 
of the hardships that faced the pioneers of that 
time when the nearest neighbors were four 
miles distant over a trackless prairie covered 
with high-growing, wild, red-topped grass. 
Fortunately easier times succeeded and it is a 
great satisfaction to their sons that the par- 
ents are now enjoying all the comforts of life 
at Ord, where they live retired. Besides the 
two sons mentioned they have two daughters, 
namely : Lydia, who is the wife of R. E. 
Mickehvait, a banker at Richfield, Idaho; and 
Minnie, who is the wife of H. Snedeker, a 
farmer near Thompson, Iowa. 

Lou Schwaner obtained his public school 
education at Ord, Nebraska. His first venture 
in the jewelry business was at Greeley Center, 
Nebraska, where he remained from 1903 to 
1904, when he returned to Ord and in part- 
nership with his brother, bought the business 
of the jeweler with whom they had learned 
the trade. They continued together until 
1909, when they sold, and both moved to 
Gooding, Idaho, where they engaged in farm- 
ing for four months and then C. H. returned 
to Ord, and Lou bought a store at Loup City. 
In 1913 Charles H. sold his store at Ord and 
during that winter engaged in the real estate 
business in sounthern Texas, after which he 
was in the jewelry business for three years at 
Burwell, Nebraska, then traveled in the same 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



71 



line out of Loup City for a while. In April, 
1917, the brothers came to Scottsbluff and 
opened their present store and they have pros- 
pered. They carry a fine line of jewelry and 
optical goods, making a feature of the latter 
and manufacturing and grinding their own 
lenses. 

In 1907, Lou Schwaner was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Mayme Auble, at Ord, Nebraska, 
and they have two children : Charles and 
Martha. He and family belong to the Presby- 
terian church. Charles H. Schwaner married 
Miss Bessie Rawles.. of Ord, Nebraska, and 
they have one daughter, Georgia. The broth- 
ers are Republicans in politics and members of 
the Knights of Pythias. They are enterprising 
citizens and honorable business men and com- 
mand respect and enjoy the confidence of 
everyone. 

HOPE BROWN, who is a prominent and 
highly respected citizen of Banner county, is 
owner and proprietor of Big Horn ranch, con- 
sisting of 5,000 acres of range and farming 
land, and that this property has been acquired 
through his own unassisted efforts, speaks well 
for his industry, good judgment and business 
foresight. He was born in the city of Glasgow, 
Scotland, October 10. 1867. and is a son of 
Robert and Agnes (Boyd) Brown. 

From Scotland the parents of Mr. Brown 
came to the United States in 1868. For several 
years they lived at Madison, Wisconsin, where 
the father followed his trade of stonecutter, 
then moved to Omaha, and one year later to 
Colfax county, Nebraska. The father home- 
steaded near Schuyler and lived on his land 
there until his death, which occurred in 1878. 
As opportunity offered he worked at his trade, 
always frugal and industrious, a man of ster- 
ling integrity. The mother of Mr. Brown still 
lives in Colfax county and owns the original 
homestead. Both parents belonged to the Pres- 
byterian church. Of their nine children, six 
survive, and of these Hope and David live in 
Banner county. 

Hope Brown went to school until twelve 
years old and then began to be self-supporting. 
After working -for farmers, both in Nebraska 
and Iowa, he ",turned to the home farm and 
was engaged thJi-e for five years, coming then 
to Banner countj': In 1889 he bought a relin- 
quishment and homesteaded, later bought addi- 
tional land in the county and finally the prop- 
erty on which he has resided for seventeen 
years. Formerly this place was known as Big 
Horn postoffice and for seven years Mrs. 
Brown was postmistress. Mr. Brown raises 
100 head of White Face cattle and several car- 



loads of hogs yearly, while 1,200 acres are de- 
voted to general farming. 

On April 5. 1893. Mr. Brown was united in 
marriage to Miss Maggie E. Maynard, who is 
a daughter of Alexander G. and Eva (Vin- 
cent) Maynard, who now live retired at Mina- 
tare. To Mr. and Mrs. Brown the following 
children have been born : William O., who mar- 
ried Pinkie, a daughter of Mervin Snyder ; 
Edith, who married Rolland Sickles and now 
lives in Maxwell county ; Agnes, who re- 
sides at home; Alice, who is the wife of Fred- 
erick Haskell, a farmer near Reddington ; and 
Lillie, Hope, Jr., Byron, Eunice, Eva, and 
Lois, all of whom reside at home, an intelligent 
and happy family prominent in the social life 
of the neighborhood. 

In national matters Mr. Brown is a Repub- 
lican, but sometimes issues come up in local 
afifairs that cause him to cast an independent 
vote. He has served in a truhtworthy manner 
in public office at times, was a county commis- 
sioner from 1902 to 1908. and was one whose 
judgment was consulted about consolidating 
three school districts with district No. 8. He is 
well known in fraternal life, belonging to the 
Masons, Knights of Pythias. Modern" Wood- 
men of America, and United Workmen. Mr. 
Brown is now a man of ample fortune. He 
went a few years ago to Cheyenne, Wyoming, 
and there worked in a brickyard, and helped in 
the removal of Camp Carlin to Fort Russell. 
Although he yet oversees the operation of his 
large property, for the past five years ill health 
has somewhat reduced his activity and he has 
shifted some of his responsibility to younger 
shoulders. 

ALBERT B. KERNS. D. D. S., who is en- 
gaged in the practice of dentistry at Scotts- 
bluff, came to this city in 1917, atid with the 
exception of a period of military training, has 
been in continuous practice here ever since. 
Dr. Kerns has thoroughly demonstrated his 
knowledge of modern dentistry and has won 
the confidence of the public in a professional 
way, and at the same time has gained respect 
and esteem as a young man of high personal 
character. 

Albert B. Kerns was born at Auburn, Ne- 
maha county, Nebraska, in 1891, and is a son 
of James W. and Alice J. (Crowley) Kerns, 
the former of whom was born in Ireland and 
the latter in the state of Illinois. Their mar- 
riage took place in Illinois, and in 1878 ihey 
came to Nebraska. The father was in the 
lumber business almost all his life prior to re- 
tirement, first embarking in the same at 
Omaha, but later removing to Phelps, Mis- 



HISTORY OF \\-ESTERN NEBRASKA 



souri. At the latter place the town was sub- 
merged when unexpected rises took place in 
the river, entailing great loss of property. He 
then moved to Auburn, Nebraska, which was 
but a little hamlet at that time, and resumed 
his operations in lumber and become one of 
the substantial men of the place and still re- 
sides there. For many years he has been a 
prominent factor in Republican politics and 
served one term in the state legislature. Both 
parents of Dr. Kerns are members of the Ro- 
man Catholic church. Of their eleven chil- 
dren Albert B. was the fourth in order of 
birth. 

Albert B. Kerns was graduated from the 
Auburn parochial school in 1907, after which 
he spent two years in Creighton University, 
Omaha, and in 1912 was graduated from 
Creighton Dental college, Omaha, and im- 
mediately entered into practice at Elgin, Ne- 
braska, where he continued until 1916, spend- 
ing the rest of the year in Fremont and then 
establishing himself at ScottsblulT. He en- 
tered military service in the National army, 
September 7, 1918, taking a medical officers 
training course at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, 
where he remained on duty until his honorable 
discharge, December 22, 1918. In February 
following the Doctor was found ready for 
professional work in his of^ce, through unusu- 
al experience better qualified than before for 
the problems continually being presenited to a 
dental surgeon. 

In 1917 Dr. Kems was united in marriage to 
Miss Helen Celia Toillion. who was bom at 
North Platte, Nebraska, a daughter of Xavier 
Toillion, who was born in France and is now 
retired and lives at Sterling, Colorado. Dr. 
and }ilrs. Kerns are members of the St. Ag- 
nes Caithohc church, and he is very active in 
the Knights of Columbus, also the local B. P. 
O. E. In his political views he is a Republi- 
can. 

THOMAS F. KENNEDY, one of the en- 
ergetic, progressive men of Scottsbluff, has 
been prominent in business circles and in civic 
affairs here ever since he chose this place for 
his home in 1905. At present he is one of 
the city officials and is also secretary and 
treasurer of the Tri-State Land Company, and 
in addition manages an extensive produce busi- 
ness. Mr. Kennedy was born at St. Joseph, 
Missouri, March 26, 1873, the son of Thomas 
H. and Mary H. (Furman) Kennedy, the 
former born at Drogheda, County Meath, Ire- 
land, September 15, 1835, and died December 
8, 1908, while the mother was a native of 



the Empire State, bom July 25, 1839, and died 
November 2, 1902, The parents were married 
at Florence, Massachusetts, and two of their 
three children survive, Thomas F. and Ruth 
D., the eldest, Philip H., died at the age of 
forty years. Mr. Kennedy's sister is the 
widow of Dante Barton, who died August 6, 
1917. For a number of years he was an edi- 
torial writer for the Kansas City Star. Mrs. 
Barton resides in Washington, where she is 
connected with the National War Labor 
Board. The life of Mr. Kennedy's father had 
many elements of romance in it, his whole ca- 
reer being well worth repeating. He was a 
runaway from home at the age of thirteen 
years, reached the United States as a stow- 
away, picked up a fair education in his adopted 
country as best he could, and was forty years 
old when he was graduated from the law 
school of the Kansas University. In 1868 he 
located at St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1875 re- 
moved to Lawrence, Kansas, and in 1880 to 
Kansas City, where his death occurred. He 
became well known in his profession and for 
some years made a specialty of pension cases. 

Thomas F. Kennedy obtained his school 
training at Kansas City. His first business 
experience was with a firm of building con- 
tractors, after which he was engaged in the 
produce business at Kansas City for a num- 
ber of years. In May, 1905 he came to Scotts- 
bluff and for a year was cashier and office 
manager for the Tri-State Land Company, with 
which organization he has continued as secre- 
tary and treasurer. To some extent he has 
engaged in the produce business, making a 
specialty of buying potatoes. 

On December 19, 1900, Mr. Kennedy mar- 
ried Miss Alice Beesley, who was born at 
Mossy Creek, Tennessee, and they have one 
daughter, Alice Alberta, a student in the 
Scottsbluff high school. Mr. Kennedy and 
family are members of the Presbyterian 
church. His parents belonged to the Con- 
gregational church. He was reared in the Re- 
publican party and has loyally supported its 
principles all his life. Since coming to Scotts- 
bluff he has been interested in the city's prog- 
ress in every way, has served as village clerk 
and almost continuously on the school board, 
of which he is the present secretary. 

FRED M. BRYAN, who is a prominent and 
reliable business man of Scottsbluff, is at the 
head of one of the largest jewehy establish- 
ments in Western Nebraska, is widely and fa- 
vorably known to the trade, and is vice presi- 
dent of the Nebraska Retail Jewelers associa- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



75 



tion. Mr. Bryan came to this city in 1913 
and has identified himself with her best in- 
terests, and his pubHc spirit and usefulness 
are being utilized in his earnest civic efforts 
as alderman of his city ward. 

Fred M. Bryan was born at Mason City, Ne- 
braska, in 1887, and is a son of Millard C. 
and Mary A. (Boden) Bryan. They were 
married in Illinois, came to Nebraska in 1879 
and settled in Seward county, then the father 
embarked in a mercantile business at Mason 
City, where he continued until 1915, when he 
disposed of his interests there and came to 
Scottsblufif. Of their five children, Fred M. 
was the third in order of birth, the others be- 
ing: Mrs. Becker, a resident of Scottsblufif; 
Mrs. R. C. Smith, who lives on a farm in 
Butler county : Paul Franklin, in business with 
his brother Fred ; and William Lloyd, who 
died November 7, 1918, was also a member of 
the firm of Bryan Bros. 

Fred M. Ryan attended the public schools 
of Ulysses, Nebraska, and afterward spent 
two years at Omaha, attending a trade school 
where he learned watchmaking. Afterward 
for four years he was in the jewelry business 
at Ulysses, then sold out and in 1913 came to 
Scottsblufif. Mr. Bryan has a beautiful store 
well stocked in his line, his goods being care- 
fully selected to suit the most critical taste and 
of great value. He has patrons all through 
the Platte Valley and is prepared to supply 
jewels or jewelry designs for all occasions. 

In 1909 Mr. Bryan was united in marriage 
to Miss Lillian Peterson, who was born at Fre- 
mont, Nebraska, and educated in the high 
school there. Her father, David Peterson, car- 
ries on a plumbing business at Fremont. She 
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. They have two children, Maude and 
Rex. Politically he is a Republican and fra- 
ternally an Odd Fellow, a Scottish Rite Ma- 
son and Shriner. 

PAUL F. BRYAN, who is a member of 
the jewelry firm of Bryan Bros., at Scottsblufif, 
is well known in this city, to which he came in 
1911 and was identified with a prominent firm 
here before his present one was organized. 
Mr. Bryan was born at" Ulysses, Nebraska, in 
1892, and is a son of Millard C. and Mary A. 
(Boden) Bryan, who now live retired at 
Scottsblufif. 

The parents of Mr. Bryan came from Illi- 
nois to Nebraska in 1879. The father located 
first in Seward county, later moved to Ulysses 
in Butler county and then embarked in the 
mercantile business at Mason Citv in Custer 



county, where he continued until 1915, when 
he retired to Scottsblufif. He is a Republican 
in his political views. 

Paul Franklin Bryan is one of a family of 
five children, two daughters and three sons. 
All three sons engaged in business together 
under the style of Bryan Bros., at Scottsblufif, 
in 1913, but only two survive, Fred and Paul 
F,. the other, William Lloyd, having died No- 
vember 7, 1918. Paul F. Bryan was educated 
at Ulysses and after completing the high 
school course, learned the jewelry trade under 
his brother. In 1911 he came to Scottsbluff 
and was connected with the firm of Diers 
Bros., until he went into partnership with his 
brother as Bryan Bros. 

Mr. Bryan is one of the returned soldiers 
from overseas service in the Great War, his 
experiences while in France for six months, 
including the terrific fighting in Argonne For- 
est. Many of his brave comrades fell there 
and he was so exhausted that he had to be 
sent to a hospital in Bordeaux. He was a 
member of Company A Three hundred fifty- 
fifth infantry, Eighty-ninth division, a serg- 
eant in rank. He suffered first from a gas 
attack, August 8, 1918, went back to the front 
lines on September 15, left the hospital De- 
cember 8 and sailed for home, and with duty 
well done, was honorably discharged January 
11, 1919. He earned a place on the record 
that Nebraska will cherish of her best and 
bravest sons. 

GUS W. LAWTON, who owns an attrac- 
tive jewelry store at Scottsblufif, is a man of 
marked executive ability, a good citizen and 
quite active in civic afifairs. He is one of the 
younger business men of the this city and 
came here in 1915, but he has shown business 
ability and a recognition of the highest stan- 
dard of commercial integrity. Mr. Lawton 
was born at Fairhope, Alabama, June 2, 1889, 
the son of John and Clara (Craiuto) Lawton, 
both born at Leeds, in Yorkshire, England. 
The father traveled for a number of years in 
different parts of the world to secure speci- 
mens for the British Museum, and he was a 
hunter of wild animals in Africa and 
Australia and shipped them to England. He 
came to the United States and was married at 
Chicago, Illinois, and in 1885 settled in Ala- 
bama. Mr. Lawton is now of venerable age, 
being in his ninetieth year, the mother being 
aged seventy-five years. They are highly re- 
spected and esteemed residents of Greeley, 
Colorado. Of their three surviving children, 
Gus W. is the eldest, the others being daugh- 



76 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



ters ; Mrs. E. J. Preston, of Kansas City, and 
Madeline, a teacher near Greeley. 

During Mr. Lawton's school period, the 
family lived in Texas, and in 1904 he was 
graduated from the Dennison high school and 
shortly afterward went to Denver, Colorado, 
where he served an apprenticeship at the jew- 
eler's trade. For one year he was in a jewelry 
house at Chamita, New Mexico, then went to 
Salt Lake, Utah, and from there to Galveston, 
Texas. Later he located in Chicago, Illinois, in 
all these cities working in the manufacturing 
departments of large business houses in his 
line, and before he came to Scottsblufif, Buf- 
falo, Kansas City and Denver had been added 
to the list of cities where he had resided and 
been associated with jewelry concerns. He has 
a well arranged store with a complete stock 
and has built up an excellent business. 

In politics Mr. Lawton is a Republican but 
aside from partisan activities, has shown much 
public spirited interest concerning the prog- 
ress of ScottsblufT. He is a member of the 
Knights of Pythias and has served through all 
the chairs except vice chancellor. He has a 
wide circle of social acquaintances and is a 
member of the Country Club and its secretary. 

CLARENCE G. STEEN, D. D. S., who is 
well known professionally all through the 
Platte Valley, enjoys the distinction of being 
the oldest dental practitioner in point of time 
at Scottsbluff. Dr. Steen is a native of Nebras- 
ka and was born at Wahoo, in Saunders coun- 
ty, November 1, 1883. 

The parents of Dr. Steen, John and Mary 
Louise (Hought) Siteen, natives of Norway, 
came to Iowa when young and were married 
at Decorah in that state. Of their four chil- 
dren Dr. Steen is the third in order of birth, 
the others being: Mrs. A. C. Killian, whose 
husband is a clothing merchant : Theron H., 
who is in the stock business in South Dakota ; 
and Mona, who looks after the domestic affairs 
of her brother at ScottsblufT. The parents still 
reside at Wahoo, where they are active in the 
Methodist Episcopal church. The father is 
a member of the Masonic fraternity, in politics 
he is a Republican and in earlier years was 
quite prominent in public life, at one time be- 
ing city treasurer of Omaha and state land 
commissioner. He is now engaged in the real 
estate line at Wahoo. 

After his public school course, C. G. Steen 
spent three student years at the University of 
Nebraska and in 1908 was graduated from 
the school of dentistry of Creighton Univer- 
sity, Omaha. He began the practice of his 



profession at Scottsblufif and continued until 
1915 when he went to Omaha and practiced 
there for two years and then returned to 
ScottsblufT and resumed practice. Dr. Steen 
has a reputation for skill in his profession that 
places him in the front rank of dental 
surgeons. 

On June 6, 1908, Dr. Steen was united in 
marriage to Miss Mable Mellinger, who was 
born at Burlin.gton, Iowa, and died December 
13, 1914, survived by three children, namely : 
Jane, John M. and Virginia Louise, their 
ages ranging from nine to six years. Dr. Steen 
has been prominent in Republican political cir- 
cles and active in public affairs here, at one 
time serving as mayor of the city, 1914-1915. 
He is a Consistory Mason and has been an 
official of the Blue Lodge. 

JAMES T. ANDERSON. — It is a fact of 
modern medicine that when mysterious dis- 
eases attack, in many cases the dentist is called 
in to diagnose and successful treatment fol- 
lows his advice. An experienced dental sur- 
geon of the modern school at Scottsblufif, is 
found in Dr. James T. Anderson, who has 
been established in this city since August, 1917. 
Dr. Anderson was born in 1875, at Red Wing, 
Minnesota. 

The parents of Dr. Anderson were John A. 
and Elizabeth (Johnson) Anderson, the form- 
er of whom was born in Sweden and the latter 
in Pennsylvania. Both came to Minnesota as 
young people and were married there. Of 
their seven children, James T. is the youngest 
of the five survivors, the others, being: Min- 
nie, the wife of John Fryer, a resident of Min- 
neapolis, Minnesota ; Charlotte L., an artist, 

lives at Minneapolis ; the wife of 

William Richards, formerly an educator but 
now in the real estate business ; and Louise, a 
teacher of physical culture and dancing. The 
parents were members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. The father was a fanner all 
his life when not engaged in serving his coun- 
try (1887) in the state legislature, and in 
1861-65 as a soldier in the Civil War. As a 
member of company D Third Minnesota in- 
fantry, he participated in many of the serious 
battles of that struggle. 

James T. Anderson was graduated in the 
agricultural course from the University of 
Minnesota in 1898. He then taught school 
for two years in North Dakota and for one 
year afterward was clerk in a store. In 1904 
he completed his course in dentistry at the In- 
diana Dental college, following which he lo- 
cated at Axtell, in Kearney county, Nebraska, 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



77 



where he continued in active practice until he 
came to Scottsbluff. Dr. Anderson has a well 
earned reputation for professional skill, and is 
in the enjoyment of a large and lucrative prac- 
tice. 

In June, 1906, Dr. Anderson was united in 
marriage to Miss Anna Halberg, born at 
Greenville, Illinois, and they have four chil- 
dren : Loretta. Hobson, Francis and Benja- 
min John. In politics Dr. Anderson is a Re- 
publican and he and wife belong to the Pres- 
Presbyterian church. 

CHRIS KRONBERG. — Over a quarter of 
a century of connection with the agricultural 
interests of Scottsblufif county has made Kris 
Kronberg one of the substantial and well- 
known men of this vicinity. A native of Ger- 
many of Danish descent, when he came to the 
United States in 1882, he brought with him 
many of the admirable traits of the people of 
both those coimtries, and the success that has 
come to him has been won by legitimate par- 
ticipation in the enterprises of this section. 
Mr. Kronberg says that next to the pride he 
takes in the fact that his sons did their full 
duty to the United States during the war with 
Germany, is that in his good farm and his rec- 
ord when he served his community and the 
coimty as assessor and deputy sheriff. He is 
progressive in his ideas and methods, takes an 
active part in all questions for the upbuilding 
of this section, as well as state and national 
affairs. 

Chris Kronberg was born in North Schles- 
weg. Germany, January 18, 1862, the son of 
A. Kronberg. a native of Denmark, and Lena 
(Andersen) Kronberg, who was born in Ger- 
many. The father was an innkeeper in the old 
country where he and his wife passed their 
lives. They had three children : Georgia, who 
died in Germany; Martin, located in Sidney, 
Xeberaska; and Chris. The brother is now 
dead. As a youth the boy received an excellent 
education in the public schools of Germany, 
which are supervised by the governnient. Init lie 
saw little future for a man without money in 
the old country and determined that he would 
go to America and in the new country secure a 
foothold from which to climb the ladder of for- 
tune, and he set sail for the L'nited States, ar- 
riving in 1882. He had little knowledge of lan- 
guage, conditions or methods, however, he was 
quick to familiarize himself with both the 
tongue and customs of his adopted country. 
Soon after landing on our shores he came west 
as the idea of every man from European coun- 
tries is to possess land, but as he had little 
money he began punching cows for a cattle 



outfit near Ogallala, Nebraska. Afterward he 
removed to Sidney and still with his original 
determination in mind, to Scottsbluff county in 
1888, where he preenipted one hundred and 
sixty acres of land, proved up on it, made some 
improvements, and then was able to dispose of 
it to advantage. He then came to his present 
place, section 5, township 22-55, where he 
bought a hundred and sixty acre tract, home- 
steaded twenty-seven additional acres and on 
this land developed a fine farm, and there 
established a home. 

In 1888 Mr. Kronberg married I\Iiss Betty 
Smith, a native of Illinois, and to this happy 
couple were born ten children : Mary, the wife 
of Roy Konkle, lives on a Scottsbluff farm; 
Bertha, the wife of Sam Perkins, lives on a 
farm north of Mitchell; Charles has recently 
returned home after thirteen months service in 
France, during which time he took part in some 
of the most important battles of the war and 
won promotion to the rank of sergeant, having 
been a member of the One Hundred and Six- 
teenth Machine Gun Battalion ; William is still 
in France at this writing, being a member of 
the One Hundred and Ninth Engineers ; Jesse 
was in the army, but was discharged for dis- 
ability; Sophie, Roy, Grace, Ruth, and Gladys 
are still members of the family circle. Mr. 
Kronberg is an active member of the Modern 
Woodmen, and in politics votes independently, 
believing the best man should be elected to 
office in local affairs regardless of party lines. 
Mr. Kronberg served one term as assessor and 
two years as deputy sheriff. He helped organ- 
ize the company that built the Enterprise ditch 
and has assisted in the management of same 
for more than thirty years. His service for the 
county was highly satisfactory and a host of 
friends are proud of the record he made while 
in office. J\Ir. Kronberg believes that a public 
official owes a real duty to the people who elect 
him and he did his best to demonstrate in a 
practical way the ideas he advocates to the sat- 
isfaction of his adherents and his own con- 



HARLIN I. BROWN, M. D., chiropractor, 
has been a resident of Scottsbluff' since the fall 
of 1911, and has built up a large and lucrative 
practice here, and has an established reputa- 
tion all through the valley for unusual success. 
Dr. Brown was born April 24, 1873, at Can- 
ton, Missouri. 

The parents of Dr. Brown were Abner D. 
and Matilda (Mullen) Brown, the former of 
whom was born at Indianapolis, Indiana, and 
died in Custer county, Nebraska, in 1910, 
when aged fiftv-six vears. The latter was 



78 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



born at Streator, Illinois, where their marriage 
took place, and she now lives in Custer coun- 
ty. Of the family of ten children Dr. Brown 
is the second in the list of eight sun'ivors. the 
others being: C. L., a farmer in Arkansas; 
L. A., a chiropractic at Kearney; Stella, the 
wife of William Halliday, a farmer in Mon- 
tana ; F. C, a farmer in Custer county; Earl 
W.. also a substantial farmer in Custer county ; 
Lila, who is the wife of William Phifer, who 
is in the draying business at Arnold. Nebras- 
ka ; and Oma, who lives at home. The father 
came to Custer county, Nebraska, in 1881 and 
homesteaded, later becoming active in Republi- 
can political circles and serving as a county 
commissioner. He belonged to the Christian 
church and was both a Mason and an Odd 
Fellow.. 

Harlin J. Brown attended the public schools 
in Custer county. He was graduated in his 
school of medicine at Universal college, Dav- 
enport, Iowa, in 1910, immediately afterward 
beginning practice at Calloway, Nebraska, but 
in November, 1911, estabhshed himself at 
Scottsbluff. He has some remarkable cures to 
his credit and his patients come from all ranks 
in life. 

In 1897 Dr. Brown was united in marriage 
to Miss Elizabeth Holliday, a daughter of C. 
T. Holliday, an early settler in Custer county. 
Dr. and Mrs. Brown have two children. Fay 
S. and Fonda, the latter of whom, now twelve 
years old, is yet in school. The former en- 
tered the aviation department of the National 
army. March 4. 1918, and was in training 
for thirteen months at Ebertsfield, Arkansas, 
making many flights. He was honorably dis- 
charged and reached home in April, 1919. Dr. 
Brown is one of the city's sterling citizens but 
is not active in politics, his profession making 
such heavy demands that added official serv- 
ice, if his desires were in that direction, would 
be almost impossible. For many years he has 
been an Odd Fellow, passed through all the 
chairs at Arnold, Nebraska, then entered the 
Encampment, and has served two terms as dis- 
trict deputy grand master. 

ROBERT E. GILLETTE, who operates a 
first class blacksmith and carriage shop at 
Scottsblufif, does a large business because the 
public has learned that he is a competent 
workman and reliable business man. He has 
been a resident of Scottsblufi' since the spring 
of 1911 and is numbered with the town's use- 
ful and representative citizens. 

Robert E. Gillette was bom in the southern 
part of Wisconsin, May 4, 1869, and is a son 



of Hamilton and Alargaret (Downs) Gillette, 
the latter of whom was born in Ireland and 
the former in New York. He was twenty-five 
years old when he located in Wisconsin, where 
he married, and some years afterward moved 
to Gage county, Nebraska. He was a carriage- 
maker by trade and worked at the same in 
New York, Wisconsin and Nebraska, conduct- 
ing his own shops at Beatrice and Adams in 
Gage county, his death occurring at Adams. 
Of his six children the following survive: 
Elizabeth, the wife of John Frederick, a re- 
tired farmer of Beatrice ; Emily, who resides 
at Adams ; Robert E., who lives at Scottsblufi' ; 
and Minnie, the wife of Harry Smith, a farm- 
er in Michigan. The father of Mr. Gillette 
was a Republican in politics and he belonged 
to the Masonic fraternity. 

Robert E. Gillette attended the public 
schools at Adams, Nebraska, after which he 
worked as a farmer until he was twenty-two 
years old, at which time he learned the black- 
smith trade. He conducted his own shop at 
Adams until he was burned out, in 1910, and 
in the spring of the following year came to 
Scottsbluff. Here he has a good business loca- 
tion with modern tools and equipments, and 
has no fault to find with the large volume of 
business coming his way. 

In 1899 Mr. Gillette was united in marriage 
with Miss Sadie E. Annabell, who was born 
near Adams, Gage county, Nebraska, and they 
have one daughter, Gladys. Mr. Gillette and 
his family- belong to the Mcth<^dist Episcopal 
church. In politics he is a Republican. 

JESSE C. COOMES. — There are many 
lines of business carried on in every modern 
community that are rightly deemed important 
but, considering the relation that meat prod- 
ucts bear to the sustaining of life, it would 
seem that the meat industry in all its branches, 
is among the foremost of all. A leading butch- 
er and meat dealer at Scottsbluff is found in 
Jesse C. Coomes, who, in a short time here 
has built up a fine business. 

Jesse C. Coomes was born in Illinois, Febru- 
ary 27, 1884, and is a son of John W. and 
Sarah (McDonald) Coomes, the latter of 
whom was born in Illinois and the former in 
Iowa, in which state they were married. In 
1892 they came to Nebraska and the father 
bought a farm nead Wood River, in Hall coun- 
ty. The mother died there but the father 
survives and now lives retired. Of the fam- 
ily of five children Jesse C. is the second of 
three survivors, his two sisters being as fol- 
lows : Pearl, the wife of William Mankin, a 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



79 



hardware dealer at Glisco, Nebr-.ska ; and Ed- 
na, the wife of John Mankin, a merchant at 
Oshkosh, Nebraska. The parents were mem- 
bers of the Christian church. In politics the 
father is a Democrat, and he belongs to the 
Knights of Pythias. 

In the excellent schools at Wood River, and 
later in a military school at Kearney. Jesse 
C. Coomes was prepared educationally for the 
future. After his graduation at Kearney in 
1904, he went to Green River, Wyoming, 
where he learned the butcher's trade and re- 
mained there until 1912, when he came to 
Mitchell, Nebraska, and worked in the butch- 
er shop of Harry Naylor until February 1, 
1919. when he came to ScottsblufY. Here, in 
partnership with Mr. Naylor, he bought the 
shop of Charles Deulen. The firm, although a 
comparatively new one in this city, is doing 
well. Both partners being experienced in the 
business, they are able to offer the best meat 
products, carefully selected and prepared, have 
commodious quarters and do business accord- 
ing to honorable methods. 

Mr. Coomes was married in 1905, to Miss 
Ida jMansfield, who was born at Salt Lake, 
Utah, and they have one daughter, Anna, who 
is attending school. Mr. Coomes is a Demo- 
crat in politics and an intelligent, enterprising 
man in business. 

WILBUR J. IRELAND, who is prominent 
in the grocery trade in Scottsbluff county, in- 
terested in three cities in this line and manag- 
er for the firm of Ireland Bros, at Scottsbluff, 
is widely known in this section both in business 
and public affairs. 

Wilbur J. Ireland was born at Saling's 
Grove, Nebraska, October 1, 1872. His par- 
ents were George M. and Mar>' E. (Sexson) 
Ireland, the former of whom was born in 
West Virginia, and the latter in Iowa. They 
were married near Omaha, Nebraska. In 1878 
they came to Furnas county, Nebraska, where 
the father homesteaded. In 1907 he removed 
to Mitchell, in Scottsbluff' county, and his 
death occurred there November 18, 1915. The 
mother of Mr. Ireland still resides at Mitchell. 
He grew up on the homestead and attended 
the country schools. Until 1911 he continued 
work as a farmer, then entered the employ of 
the Carr-Neff Lumber Company at ^Mitchell 
and remained so connected for five years. In 
April, 1916, with his brothers he established 
the grocery store at Scottsbluff, and also a 
store at Gering, under the same firm name, 
and a third store at Mitchell, which is operated 
under the firm style of Ireland & Cockle. 



These are all high class business houses and 
are conducted carefully and systematically. 

On May 28, 1902, Mr. Ireland was united 
in marriage to Miss Lola Whitten, who was 
born in Michigan and is a daughter of Lor- 
enzo D. and Martha Whitten, who moved to 
Saline county, Nebraska, in 1882. The moth- 
er of Mrs. Ireland died in 1884, and the fath- 
er died December 9, 1914, residing at that time 
with Mr. and Mrs. Ireland. They have two 
children: Raymond, born January 5, 1906; 
and Eunice, bom December 5, 1909. Mr. and 
Mrs. Ireland are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. He belongs to the order of 
Odd Fellows. In politics he is a Republican 
and while a resident of Mitchell served on the 
town council. Mr. Ireland has built up his 
fortune through his own efforts, in earlier 
years teaching school, farming, working as a 
section hand and with a threshing outfit, all of 
which reflects credit upon him and oft'ers an 
example that might well be profitably emu- 
lated. 

RUBY P. DORAN, who has business inter- 
ests of importance at Scottsbluff and other 
points, is a native of Nebraska, born in Se- 
ward county, February 23, 1877. Mr. Doran 
has been the builder of his own fortunes, cir- 
cumstances making such a course necessary in 
his boyhood. 

The parents of Mr. Doran were Barney W. 
and Chrissie (Dobson) Doran, the latter of 
whom was born in County Leitrim, Ireland, 
and the former at Toronto, Canada, of Irish 
ancestry and of the Catholic faith. He was a 
college bred man, educated for the priesthood, 
but never was ordained. By trade he 
was a cabinetmaker. After his marriage 
in Canada, he came, early in the seventies, to 
Nebraska and homesteaded in Butler county. 
His death was the result of an accident at 
Sheridan, Wyoming. Of his seven children 
Ruby P. was the third in order of birth, the 
others being: William John Henry, an im- 
porter and broker in the coffee trade, and a 
wholesale coffee roaster, at Denver, Colorado ; 
Ada May, an artist in china painting, resides 
at Omaha ; Claude James, a stockman at Grand 
Island; Collins, the fifth in order of birth; 
Fred, employed in a shoe factory at St. Louis, 
Missouri ; and Nellie, the wife of Lewis Davis, 
a farmer near Valley Falls, Kansas. The 
mother of the above family belonged to the 
Presbyterian church. 

Ruby P. Doran attended school at Ulysses, 
Nebraska. His business connections before 
the state of Nebraska became prohibition terri- 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



tory. were with the retail Hquor trade. In 1915, 
he came to Scottsbluff and established him- 
self in the bakerj' and confectionery business, 
erecting a substantial one-story brick building 
with dimensions of 25x100 feet. He has pros- 
pered greatly in this enterprise which has ex- 
panded to large proportions. 

In June, 1908 Mr. Doran was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Myrtle Coleman, who was born 
at Ulysses. Nebraska, a daughter of George 
and Katie Coleman, residents of Ulysses, Mr. 
Coleman being a farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Doran 
have two sons, namely : Richard Peter, who 
was born June 25, 1914; and William Elmer, 
who was born in November, 1916. Mr. and 
Mrs. Doran are members of the Episcopal 
church. In politics Mr. Doran is independent 
but not indififerent, the best interests of his 
country being very dear to him. He is identi- 
fied with the Masonic fraternity and as a 
prominent man is active in many worthy or- 
ganizations. 

ROBERT L. COSNER, who for many 
years was prominent in the dental profession, 
and was the first dental practitioner at Scotts- 
bluff, belonged to one of the old families that 
had come from Illinois to Nebraska in pio- 
neer days. Dr. Cosner was born in Illinois, 
April 12. 1869, and passed out of life at 
Scottsbluff, in the beautiful home he had just 
completed, December 30, 1917. 

Dr. Cosner's parents were William and 
Rosetta (Epperson) Cosner, the former died 
at Clayton. Nebraska, but the latter now 
resides at Scottsbluff. With the death of her 
son Robert L., Mrs. Cosner has but three liv- 
ing children : Harry, in the real estate busi- 
ness at Malta, Montana; Mrs. Edith Patter- 
son, a widow, who lives with her mother ; and 
Mrs. Harry Johnson, who also resides At 
Scottsbluff. Mrs. William Cosner is a mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian church. 

Robert L. Cosner attended school in Nebras- 
ka through boyhood and then entered the 
dental school of Northwestern University, 
Chicago, Illinois, from which he was graduat- 
ed. For a while he practiced in Chicago, then 
in Wayne and Schuyler, Nebraska, and also 
in Montana, so when he came to Scottsbluff in 
January, 1919, it was as an experienced dental 
practitioner. He homesteaded in Scottsbluff 
county and his widow still owns the property. 
Dr. Cosner was skilled in his profession and 
built up a wide reputation and a large practice, 
of such extent that he was required to hire 
an assistant during the last three years of his 
life. He was a man of high personal charac- 



ter, a member and liberal supporter of the 
Presbyterian church, a faithful Mason and 
Knight of Pythias, and an earnest, public-spir- 
ited citizen. He was liberal in his benefac- 
tions to charity and conscientious in his sup- 
port of movements for the public good. 

In June, 1914, Dr. Cosner was united in 
marriage with Miss Carrie Young, who was 
born in Scottsbluff county, a daughter of Will- 
iam and Mary (Schumacher) Young, people 
of importance and wide acquaintance in this 
section of Nebraska. Dr. and Mrs. Cosner 
had one daughter, Florence May, a most en- 
gaging child who is a great comfort to her 
bereaved mother. Mrs. Cosner is active in the 
Presbvterian church. 

William Young, father of Mrs. Cosner, was 
horn in Iowa and her mother was born m 
Wisconsin. They came to Nebraska and 
homesteaded in Scottsbluff county in 1885, 
Airs. Young being the first woman to live in 
the Gering valley. Her two nearest neigh- 
bors were miles distant and even the smoke 
from their cabins could not be seen across the 
pathless prairie covered with red topped, 
swaying grass. The Youngs went through 
many harrowing pioneer experiences but 
bravely survived them all, reared and educated 
a fine family, and sur\'ive with vigor left to 
carefully and efficiently look after their numer- 
ous interests, Mrs. Young remaining for this 
purpose in Scottsbluff county, while Mr. 
Young is engaged in attending to a profitable 
fruit farm in Florida. Of their seven chil- 
dren the following survive: George, Leonard 
F., Mrs. Cosner, Ernest S., Minnie R. and 
Florence E. The eldest son, George, is in the 
lumber business at Marsland. Nebraska. 
Leonard F. is a civil engineer and consultant 
on construction work. He has worked on 
many of the irrigation projects in Nebraska, 
and for four years was on the Tri-State Ditch. 
For the past six years he has been associated 
with one of the largest concerns in New York, 
Sanderson & Porter, builders of some of the 
most extensive plants of all kinds in the 
world. Ernest S.. who entered military train- 
ing at the Presidio, California, sailed for 
France in September, 1917. and was on the 
Tuscania when it was torpedoed by the enemy. 
Formerly he was attached to an artillery divi- 
sion, but now is in a civilian division and is 
port commander at St. Denis, France. Min- 
nie R., who has chosen the noble calling of a 
trained nurse, is in the Northwestern Hospi- 
tal, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Florence E., is 
a bookkeeper and stenographer in the First 
National Bank of Scottsbluflf. The mother of 




Mr. and Mks. Walter E. Jicnnings 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



81 



the above family is a member of the CathoHc 
church, but the father was reared a Lutheran. 
They are widely known and universally es- 
teemed. 



WALTER E. JENNINGS was an infant 
pioneer of this great commonwealth who re- 
members that his first home here was a sod 
house half in and half out, but a rather good 
warm home at that and while the family pros- 
perity was so great that he has no distinct rec- 
ollections of that warm sod house, he believes 
it must have had an excellent influence upon 
his infant character for it must have played its 
part in making him the upstanding, fearless, 
progressive citizen of today. Before his eyes 
have passed the kaleidoscopic panorama of 
change that has worked silently but unceasing- 
ly since territorial days to change the silent 
rolling prairies, the "Great American Desert," 
as it was known for so many years, into a great 
agricultural state, one of the richest in the 
Union, now covered with thriving farms, pop- 
ulous towns and cities knit together with 
threads of steel. He has watched from j-ear 
to year and even today as his eyes travel across 
the wide fields of Scottsblufif, asks himself, "Is 
it real?" For today he is a prosperous, well- 
to-do farmer on land that even the Indians held 
of little value save for the wild game they 
killed upon it. 

Walter Jennings was born in Iowa in 1873, 
the son of William A. and Mary E. (Whipple) 
Jennings, the former born in Illinois in 1848. 
while the mother was of fine old New England 
ancestry, born in Connecticut in 1841 and died 
in 1916. The father was a farmer in Ohio 
who emigrated to Nebraska soon after the ad- 
mission of this state to the Union. He located 
in \'alley county in 1873, took up a homestead 
on which he proved up and made some im- 
provements, then disposed of it to profit. He 
seems to have been a pioneer by nature and 
when settlements began to be marked, moved 
on to more virgin country. After leaving Val- 
ley county the family made a home in Boone 
county on land purchased by the father, but 
the lure of the west was in his blood and before 
long they went to Midland, Montana, but later 
returned to Scottsblutt county, where at last 
the goal of his desire was reached for he still 
resides on his farm in the vicinity of Mitchell, 
a hale, hearty old man of seventy-three years, 
who can recount many thrilling and interesting 
experiences of the early days in this state. He 
is a Republican in politics. The family were 
members of the Episcopal church. Eight chil- 
dren constituted the younger members of the 
family: Gustavus, a farmer near Mitchell; 



James W., on a farm in Montana ; Walter ; 
Mary E., the wife of Oscar Collins, a farmer 
of Valley county; John Elbert, a farmer in 
Boone county ; Edward M. is located on a farm 
near Bayard, Nebraska; Frederick, also on a 
farm near Bayard ; and Charles, who has a 
farm not far from his two brothers there. 

Though he has not advanced far beyond the 
psalmist's span of three score years and ten 
and still possesses to the full amount his phys- 
ical and mental vigor, Mr. Jennings has the dis- 
tinction of having lived in Nebraska nearly a 
half century, and it is gratifying to him to 
know that he has been able to play a part in the 
civic and industrial progress that have taken 
place since his parents first brought him here 
as an infant in arms. He spent his boyhood 
days on his father's farm in Valley county, 
acquiring his early education in the public 
schools afforded in the new country at that 
period. He made the various changes with the 
other members of the family in Nebraska, 
working during his youth for his father and 
later independently for himself. His taste was 
for rural life, and in 1906 he came to Scotts- 
blufif to establish a permanent home. He took 
up a homestead of eighty acres on which he 
proved up and at once engaged in general 
farming and stock-raising. Mr. Jennings has 
a high grade of stock on his farm and special- 
izes in Duroc Jersey hogs. He has a beautiful 
home, well built and kept farm buildings, and 
no better cultivated land is to be found in the 
Mitchell district. Times have changed, but so 
has the subject of this sketch. He is up-to-date 
in methods, buys the latest farm machinery, 
and thus today enjoys the well-earned fruits 
of a well-spent, profitable life, standing high 
in local circles for his honesty and kind-heart- 
edness. He now owns 240 acres. He is a 
Republican in politics, while with the family 
he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. 

In 1896 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Jennings and Miss Ethel D. Weare, the 
daughter of Burney and Sarah E. (Coffin) 
Weare, who live in Mitchell. Mrs. Jennings 
is a woman of high intellectual attainments, 
being a graduate of the high school at Ord, 
who for some years before her marriage taught 
school. She is a charming, gracious woman 
who has aided her husband in every way to 
attain his present success and comfortable for- 
tune. The following children belong to the 
family: Cecil May, the wife of Henry S. Sul- 
livan, who was a soldier during the World 
^^'ar. being a member of a supply company in 
the Eighty-ninth Division; Geneva L.. the wife 
of Luther Stiver, who lives on a farm north of 



82 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



INIitchell ; and William, Walter, and Evelyn, all 
at home. Air. Jennings is enjoying a well- 
earned success though he is only a man of 
middle age, for in every relation of life he has 
measured up to the full standard of manhood 
and loyal citizenship. 

WILLIAM E. KENT, who is president and 
general manager of the Scottsbluff Potato 
Growers' Association, is a well-known busi- 
ness man in several states other than Nebras- 
ka, for he long was an important factor in the 
lumber industry and was financially interested 
in all the numerous plants operated by the 
■Walrath & Sherwood Lumber Company in 
Nebraska. He has long been recognized as 
an able, dependable business man, whose na- 
tural sagacity has been invaluable in the large 
enterprises in which he has engaged. _ Mr. 
Kent however, had little assistance in building 
up reputation and fortune, early beginning to 
depend on his own efforts, and his entire ca- 
reer has been marked by persevering industry 
assisted by intelligent judginent. He was born 
in Portage county, Wisconsin, in 1860. 

The parents of Mr. Kent were Edward L. 
and Sarah L. (McGuine) Kent, the latter of 
whom was born in Scotland in 1833, and died 
in 1917. The father of Mr. Kent was born in 
England in 1830, and died in 1917. He came 
to Detroit, Alichigan. and from there went to 
Wisconsin, where he was married in Mil- 
waukee, in 1851. In Michigan he was a farm- 
er and buyer of logs and in Wisconsin was in 
the lumber business. He served three years 
and three months in the Civil War as a mem- 
ber of the Nineteenth Wisconsin volunteer 
infantry, and suffered both capture and slight 
wounding. Of his five sons and two daugh- 
ters, two sons, William E. and Frank J., and 
two daughters, Jennie and Cora, are living. 
Frank J. Kent is a wheat grower near Walla 
Walla, "Washington. Jennie is the widow of 
James Mclcroe. a large rancher and state trus- 
tee of prisons ; and Cora is the wife of Frank 
Hammil and they own and live on the old 
family homestead. The parents were mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal church. The 
father was active in the Republican party and 
prominent in the Order of Odd Fellows. 

William E. Kent had high school advan- 
tages at Almond, Wisconsin. In 1879 he be- 
gan working in the northern woods of Wis- 
consin, and for a number of years spent much 
time in the great timber country. After work- 
ing seven months for a logging firm, J. J. Ken- 
nedy & Co., of Spencer, Wisconsin, he used the 
money he earned to complete his education. 



In 1882 he came to Nebraska and homesteaded 
in Antelope county, but soon sold his claim and 
with his brother went to work with the con- 
struction gang on the Oregon Short Line Rail- 
road, from March to September, 1882. He 
came then to Platte Center. Platte county, and 
for eleven years was manager of the Chicago 
Lumber Company of Omaha, retiring when 
the business was sold to Walrath & Sherwood. 
Subsequently, however, he becarne financially 
interested with this firm when they bought his 
plant at Monroe, and was in business at North 
Bend as a member of the firm of the Wal- 
worth, Sherwood & Kent Lumber Company, 
acquiring interests in every plant operated by 
the firm. He became auditor of the company 
and handled all the business in Nebraska, 
North and South Dakota and Iowa. He found- 
ed the Platte Valley Cement & Tile Company 
of Fremont, Nebraska, and was president of 
that concern until 1916, when he sold his lum- 
ber and other interests and moved to Sioux 
county. He owns a quarter section of irri- 
gated land and lived in Sioux county on his 
farm until the spring of 1919, when he came 
to ScottsblufT to assume the duties of presi- 
dent and general manager of the ScottsblufT 
Potato Growers' Association. He has greatly 
improved the business outlook of this organi- 
zation, which is a mutual body that expects to 
have warehouses erected in a dozen towns 
throughout the valley. 

On December 16, 1886, Mr. Kent was united 
in marriage to Miss Anna Bucknell, of Wau- 
paca, Wisconsin, and they have two children : 
Pearl, who is the wife of Fred Young, a farm- 
er near Mitchell and they have two children, 
William Andrew and Andrew Kent ; and John 
Edward, who married Hester Collins, of 
Dodge county, Nebraska, has one child, Helen 
Alarie, and is with the Union Pacific Railroad. 
Mr. Kent is a member of the Federated church 
at Mitchell. He is a Republican in politics 
and is a Consistory Mason. 

WILLIAM E. CALHOUN, who is pro- 
prietor of the Star Moving Picture house at 
Scottsbluff, has been identified with this in- 
dustry- since 1913, and through excellent judg- 
ment and careful management, provides much 
ejoyable entertainment to his patrons. Mr. 
Calhoun was born in Adair county, Iowa, in 
1881. 

The parents of Mr. Calhoun, William and 
Margaret (Emmons) Calhoun, were bom in 
Pennsylvania and accompanied their parents 
early to Iowa. The father was a farmer in 
that state, near Greenfield in Adair county. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



83 



but retired from active life in 1900, when he 
moved to Nebraska. In politics he is a Demo- 
crat and both he and wife belong to the 
Methodist Episcopal church. Of their eight 
children, William E. is the youngest of the 
survivors, the others being: Jennie, widow of 
Samuel Miller, lives in Idaho ; Myrtle, the 
wife of C. T. Jackman, a real estate dealer in 
Idaho ; Hattie, the wife of James Pence, a 
railroad master mechanic, at Deadwood, South 
Dakota ; Frank, in the furniture business at 
Cambridge, Nebraska, where the parents yet 
reside. 

William E. Calhoun obtained his educa- 
tion in the public schools, had some farm ex- 
perience and then learned the carpenter trade 
and after coming to Scottsblufi' in 1910 was 
engaged as a carpenter and contractor until 
1913, when he became interested in his pres- 
ent enterprise. The Star, in size and equip- 
ment, compares favorably with like places of 
entertainment in other cities, and there is 
much evidence to show that Mr. Calhoun's ef- 
forts are appreciated. 

In 1904 Mr. Calhoun was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Maude Allen, who was born in 
Nebraska. He takes no very active part in poli- 
tics, voting independently, but is very much 
interested in the further development of 
Scottsbluiif and the welfare of its people, for 
here he has been able to lay the foundation of 
what promises to be an ample fortune. 

SANFORlD STARK, a member of Scotts- 
blufT's retired colony, and for years a promi- 
nent citizen, belongs to an old New England 
family of military distinction and of Scotch 
descent. The records of this family in Con- 
necticut date back to 1658. Mr. Stark was 
born in New London county, Connecticut, De- 
cember 3, 1849, the son of Henry S. and Mary 
E. (Rathbun) Stark, who spent their entire 
lives in Connecticut. The father was born in 
1822 and died in 1857 : the mother, born in 
1826, died in 1909. They had four children, 
Elizabeth, Charles R. and Sanford yet sur- 
viving. Elizabeth is the widow of John F. 
Randall, who left Yale college to enter the 
Union anny in the Civil War, in which he 
served as a commissioned officer and after- 
ward was prominent in the insurance field at 
St. Louis. Charles R., has been treasurer of 
the Rhode Island Horse Shoe Company for 
many years. His son, Charles R., Jr., has 
just returned home from honorable service in 
the World War. The parents of the above 
family were members of the Baptist church. 
The father followed the sea all his life, was 



captain of many vessels and was widely known 
in seafaring circles. His parents were San- 
ford and Nancy (Park) Stark, of Connecti- 
cut, where they lived and died, the former 
servmg a short time during the War of 1812, 
and his ancestors were members of the Colon- 
ial army under General George Washington, 
and thus their names occur in the history of 
Revolutionary days. EHsha Rathbun, the ma- 
ternal grandfather of Sanford Stark of Scotts- 
bluff married into the old Connecticut fam- 
ily of Parker. Both he and wife lived to 
advanced old age as did the paternal grand- 
parents. Grandmother Stark being ninety-six 
years old at the time of her death. 

Sanford Stark was educated in an academy 
at Mystic, Connecticut, the Civil War break- 
mg into his academic studies, however On 
account of his father being a seafaring man, 
ships were familiar and interesting to him in 
boyhood, and during the last year of the war 
he succeeded in being the captain's helper on 
a supply vessel running to Key West and Pen- 
sacola. He returned then to his studies and 
afterward became a clerk in a store, but the 
sea called him once more and he took pas- 
sage on a vessel from New York to San Fran- 
cisco, by way of Cape Horn, and from the 
western city sailed for Europe and by the 
time he reached New York again, thirteen 
months had elapsed. He recalls that experi- 
ence with pleasurable emotions but his life 
since then has been passed on land. Business 
affairs have mainly engaged his attention and 
prior to coming to Scottsbluff, in Aui^ust, 
1909, he was cashier for the Great Western 
Sugar factory, at Longmont, Boulder county, 
Colorado. \Vhen the company began the con- 
struction of its plant at Scottsbluff, Mr. Stark 
was transferred to this city and continued as 
cashier until he resigried in November, 1918, 
at which time he retired from business. He 
has continued an active citizen, however, and 
during the late war assisted very materially 
in the war loan drives and the Red Cross 
work. Mr. Stark is well and favorably known 
at Denver where, from 1879 to 1893,' he con- 
ducted a wholesale boot and shoe business. 

On November 4, 1872 Mr. Stark married 
Miss Lucy Latham Dansom, who was bom at 
New London, Connecticut, a daughter of Na- 
thaniel and Catherine (Latham) Ransom, life- 
long residents of that state. Mrs. Stark's 
father left a prosperous lumber business to be- 
come a soldier in the Union army during the 
Civil War, as a member of the Twenty -first 
Connecticut infantry. He suffered wounds 
that required hospital care. Mrs. Stark has 



84 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



one sister, Kittie, the wife of Edwin H. Tift, 
a lumber merchant of Boston, Massachusetts. 
Mr. and Mrs. Stark have the following chil- 
dren: Catherine, the wife of A. K. Sage, 
proprietor of a large plumbing and steamfit- 
ting plant in Brooklyn. New York ; Harry S., 
vice-president of the First National bank of 
Scottsblufif ; Frederick B., a farmer near 
Scottsblufif ; and Helen, who married J. B. 
Badgley, a bookkeeper with the sugar fac- 
tory in this city. 

Mr. Stark and his family belong to the Bap- 
tist church. In politics he is identified with 
the Republican party. He is a member of the 
Sons of the American Revolution. 

JOHN F. RAYMOND, for many years 
profitably interested in agricultural pursuits 
and still owning valuable farm properties, 
came to Scottsblufif in 1901, but has been a 
resident of Nebraska for more than forty 
years. Of New England birth and ancestry, 
he possesses many characteristics that have 
made that section notable, business foresight 
being included. 

John F. Raymond was born at Hartford, 
Connecticut, in 1852, and is a son of Josiah 
and Fannie A. (Hurlbut) Raymond. His father 
was born in Connecticut in 1815, a son of 
Joshua Raymond, who spent his life in that 
state. Josiah Raymond was a man of bril- 
liant parts, a prominent lawyer at Hartford 
and also a farmer near that city, and for 
some years served in the state legislature. He 
died in Cfmnecticut in 1862. He was mar- 
ried there to Fannie A. Hurlbut, who was born 
in the same house as was Noah Webster, the 
lexicographer, in which house her father, Sam- 
uel Hurlbut, died. She came to Otoe county, 
Nebraska, with her family, in 1879, bought 
railroad land and died in 1889. Of the family 
of seven children, the survivors are as fol- 
lows : Robert O., a farmer near Gurley ! 
John F., an esteemed resident of ScottsbluiT ; 
Fannie E., who lives at Scottsblufif; Charlotte 
H., who also resides in this city ; and Henry 
J., a farmer in Cheyenne county. Both par- 
ents were members of the Presbyterian church. 

John F. Raymond was educated in his na- 
tive city and as a young man came to Nebras- 
ka in 1878 and bought land in Otoe county, 
removing in 1885 to Cheyenne county, where 
he pre-empted land on which he continued to 
live for many years. He engaged in general 
farming and raised a large amount of stock, 
becoming a well-known shipper. Mr. Ray- 
mond was active in his farm industries until 
he came to Scottsblufif county and retains 



full ownership of his land, which is some of 
the finest in Cheyenne county, but his invest- 
ment in a tree claim on the edge of Scotts- 
bluiT he subsequently sold to the sugar com- 
pany of this city for $28,000. He owns con- 
siderable realty in the city that he has under 
favorable rental. 

In November, 1'914, Mr. Raymdiid was 
united in marriage with Mrs. Adelaide Dur- 
ing, who was born at Milton, Illinois, a daugh- 
ter of Charles and Mary (Davis) Chaplin. 
Mrs. Raymond's mother is deceased, but the 
father survives and resides at Pittsfield, Illi- 
nois. He is a veteran of the Civil War, hav- 
been wounded in the service of his country. 
Of his eight children, there are but three sur- 
vivors, Mrs. Raymond and her two sisters : 
Mrs. Charles Johnson, of Pittsfield. and Miss 
Nellie Chaplin, who resides with her father. 
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond are members of the 
Presbyterian church. He has never had any 
political ambitions, but, like his father before 
him, has always believed in the sound prin- 
ciples upon which the Republican party was 
founded and has supported this organization. 

REV. FRANK A. WOTEN, pastor of the 
Christian church at Gering, Nebraska, is prob- 
ably as well-known as any citizen of Scotts- 
blufif county. He is a young man of versa- 
tile gifts, of sound philosophy and vigorous 
personality. While in no sense a crusader, 
he carries his religion into the most practical 
things of life, through example as well as 
precept, proving the saving grace that follows 
honorable industry and strict adherence to the 
principles of law and justice. He is a native 
of Nebraska, born in Gage county, December 
5, 1883. 

The parents of Dr. Woten were William I. 
and Susan (Swaner) Woten, the former of 
whom was bom in Jay county, Indiana, De- 
cember 5, 1857, and the latter April 4, 1856. 
The mother died in January, 1917, but the 
father still resides on his Gage county home- 
stead which he secured in 1881. Of his fam- 
ily of nine children, Frank A. was the sec- 
ond in order of birth, and four others survive : 
Claude, who lives at Fresno, California, is 
a National bank examiner ; Goldie, who re- 
sides with her father; Sylvia, who also lives 
at home; and Grace, the wife of Howard 
Hall, a farmer near Wellfleet, in Lincoln 
county, Nebraska. The father has followed 
agricultural pursuits all his life. In politics 
he is affiliated with the Democratic party. The 
Christian church holds his membership. 

Frank A. Woten grew up on the family 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



homestead near Adams, in Gage county, in 
1903 being- graduated from the Adams high 
school. In 1911 he was graduated from Cot- 
ner University with the degree of A.B., later 
took special work in astronomy at the State 
University of Missouri, and completed his 
theological course at Cotner. His first minis- 
terial charge was Palmer, Nebraska, where he 
remained two years, then went to Alliance and 
during his term of two years there built up 
the congregation and erected the first stucco 
church edifice in Western Nebraska. He 
then came to Scottsbluff as pastor of the First 
Christian church, which charge he subse- 
quently resigned and went to the southern 
part of Sioux county, where he took up a 
homestead, and while proving up, supplied the 
church at Gering, and accepted the regular 
pastorate of this church in the fall of 1918. 
As a minister Reverend Woten exemplifies 
his Christian faith in every possible way, but 
he is a liberal-minded man and a strong advo- 
cate of practical Christianity. The needs of 
his congregation spiritually are well looked 
after without encroaching too much on his 
time, and he gives attention to a transporta- 
tion business and operates an omnibus line 
between Gering and Scottsbkifif, which carries 
the mail between the two points. 

In 1912 Mr. Woten was united in marriage 
to Miss Lena Colborn, who was born at Palm- 
er, Merrick county, Nebraska. They have 
three little daughters, namely: Arlene, Paul- 
ine and Frances, their ages ranging from five 
to two years. Mr. Woten is a Democrat in his 
political opinions. He belongs to the order of 
Odd Fellows, and has served as chaplain of 
the local lodge, and has also served in the 
highest office of the local organization W. O. 
W. The Woten name is of German origin, 
but the ancestors of Reverend Woten have be- 
longed to Great Britain since the Fifteenth 
century. 

FRANK L. FOREMAN, who is one of the 
.substantial and representative farmers of the 
Mitchell valley, has been a resident of this 
great commonwealth for more than three 
decades, so that his persimal experience covers 
virtually the entire period marking the develop- 
ment and progress of this now favored section 
of Nebraska. He is a man born to the soil 
who deserted it, but with the passing years 
found no satisfaction in the turmoil of cosmo- 
politan life and returned to a farm where kind 
mother earth has given him a bountiful reward 
for his labors. 

Frank Foreman was born in McDonough 
countv, Illinois, March 5, 1868, the son of 



James and Hettie ( Lamb ) Foreman. The 
father was a n,-itive of the Buckeye state, born 
in Bellmont c( unity, in 1838, who died in Ger- 
ing at the age of bixty-eight years. Hettie 
Lamb was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1848 
and passed away in Nebraska in 1916, a wo- 
man of great himor and warm heart There 
were se\en children in the l'"urcnian f;iiiiily, of 
whom Frank \va> the eldest: the ()llifr> were: 
\\'illiam, a freighter at Therniopolib, Wyom- 
ing; Elmer, a freighter at Big Trail, Wy- 
oming; Zella, the wife of Leonard Early, lives 
on the old homestead in Scottsbluff county; 
Bessie, the deceased wife of Thomas Bracken; 
one who died in infancy; and Charles, the ' 
second boy, who died in Missouri. 

James Foreman was a barber by trade but 
a farmer by vocation. He also had the honor 
of being a member of the Union army during 
the Civil War, enlisting in Illinois under Col- 
onel Bob Inger.soll in the Eleventh Illinois Cav- 
alry. He served four years and two months 
during that memorable conflict, taking part in 
many of the hardest fought battles of the war. 
Twice his mount was shot from vmder him but 
he lived to return home after the close of hos- 
tilities. 

Like so many men who had been in the army, 
Mr. Foreman was not contented with the con- 
ditions he had known before his service and 
determined to avail himself of the opportuni- 
ties afforded farther west. With his family 
he came to Cheyenne county, Nebraska, in 
1886, when that country was still unbroken 
prairie, took up a homestead, proved up on it, 
established a home, made good improvements 
on his farm and there engaged in general agri- 
culture and stock-raising for a number of 
years. Later he retired and located in Gering 
where he took an active part in communal af- 
fairs. He was a member of the Grand Army 
of the Republic, helping the other members in 
the direction of the affairs of the local post, 
while in politics he was a staunch supporter of 
the Democratic party. The family were mem- 
bers of the Christian church. 

Frank Foreman received his educational ad- 
vantages in the public schools of Illinois and 
as usual with a boy on a farm assisted with 
such work as his years and strength permitted 
during the vacations. He grew to manhood 
sturdy, resourceful, and self-reliant, all quali- 
ties which stood him in good stead when he 
accompanied the family to the new settlement 
in Cheyenne county, where he also took up a 
honu-!r,i.| Mil which he proved up, made many 
impr. i\( iPi 111 - necessary in a frontier com- 
muiiiiy. c^i.iMi-^hed a home and soon was en- 
gaged in general farming and stock-raising. 
He knew and overcame many of the hardships 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



and trials of a frontiersman, such as drought, 
insect pests and lack of adequate machinery 
for agricultural work, but none daunted him. 
After some years Mr. Foreman was able to dis- 
pose of his property to great advantage and left 
the farm to locate in Gering, where he opened 
and operated a barber shop, but the call of the 
land was in his blood and he responded by pur- 
chasing a farm in section 28-23-56, where 
he is the proprietor of forty acres of highly 
cultivated irrigated land on which he raises 
beets and conducts a general truck farm. The 
country looks very dilTerent today with its 
green cover than did the prairies when Mr. 
Foreman first located in the state, and he often 
speaks of the great happiness that comes to the 
farmer today with his insured crop no matter 
what the weather conditions may be. 

j\Ir. Moreman has ever been a man of active 
mind, he takes interest in all questions of the 
day entering actively into the civic life of the 
community and had the honor of being a dele- 
gate to the first county convention which locat- 
ed the seat of justice of Scottsbluff county at 
Gering. Independent all his life, it is but nat- 
ural fhat this man should be independent in 
politics and he draws no party line in casting 
his vote directing his influence to the best man. 
Fraternally he is connected with the Independ- 
ent Order of Odd Fellows, the Rebeccas, and 
the Woodmen of the World. There are seven 
children in the happy Foreman family: Glen, 
who has a ranch in Sioux county and a farm 
in the Scottsbluff locality ; Loren, a teamster in 
Mitchell; Ray, also living in Mitchell; Zeta, 
Gwelda, and Wayne all at home. The family 
are members of the Methodist church. 

Mr. Foreman married at Hull, Nebraska, 
Grace Beck, who was born in Indiana, but 
reared in Nebraska from the age of ten years. 

HENRY A. SCHMODE, who, as superin- 
tendent of the plant of the Great Western 
Beet Sugar Company at Scottsbluff, fills a 
position of responsibility as he should, for he 
is a highly trained man in this particular in- 
dus:try in which he has had much practical 
experience. 

Henry A. Schmode was born in Silesia, 
Germany, in 1870. His parents were Constan- 
tine and Ernestina (Bleich) Schmode, natives 
of Posen, Germany. Of their eight children 
five survive, but only two of these live in the 
United States. Henry A. and Frederick, the lat- 
ter being a machinist at Denver, Colorado. The 
father owned a woolen factory and employed 
fifty-five men in producing broadcloth. The 
parents were members of the Lutheran church. 

After being graduated from the high school 



in his home town. Henry A. Schmode served 
two years in the German army, as was the 
law. In 1893 he came to the United States 
and located at Norfolk, Nebraska, and there 
started the first Stefffn process in the United 
States, and was superintendent of construc- 
tion for one year, then went to California and 
in the following year started the second Stef- 
fin process plant in the United States, at 
Chino, in San Bernardino county. He re- 
mained there five years with the American 
Beet Sugar Company. From there he came to 
Grand Island, Nebraska, as master mechanic 
of the factory of the same firm and continued 
two years, then went toi Ames, Nebraska, 
where he was associated with the Standard 
Beet Sugar Company for one year as master 
mechanic and for six years as superintendent 
of the factory. Mr. Schmode's services were 
then secured by the Great Western Sugar 
Company and he was so connected at Fort 
Collins for six months, then was master me- 
chanic of the factory at Windsor, Colorado, 
from which plant he came to Scottsbluff and 
after superintending the construction of the 
Great Western's plant here, became superin- 
tendent and has continued his efficient service 
in that capacity ever since. 

At Norfolk, Nebraska, in 1897, Mr. 
Schmode was united in marriage to Hulda 
Mittelstadt, and they have three children, 
namely : Mart C, who is employed in the 
sugar factory; Edwin H. and Dorothy Irma, 
both of whom are attending school. 

Mr. Schmode and his family are members 
of the Presbyterian church, of which he has 
been a trustee for the past five years and 
during 1918 was president of the board. He 
is a Scottish Rite Mason and both he and 
wife belong to the Eastern Star. In addition 
to his scientific knowledge and executive effi- 
ciency, Mr. Schmode is a broad-minded, in- 
telligent man and a valuable citizen. He gives 
his political support to the Republican party. 

FRED ANSEN. — There were many resi- 
dents of Scottsbluff county as well as other 
sections in this state and in Colorado, who 
knew, respected and esteemed the late Fred 
Ansen, whose family is a valued one in the 
county. He was an honest, upright, industri- 
ous man, fulfilling every duty of life to the 
best of his ability, injuring none and helping 
many. 

Fred Ansen was born in Alsace-Lorraine, 
France. August 15, 1856. In 1881 he came to 
the United States and for a year worked in 
one of the big packing plants in Chicago, Illi- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



87 



nois, but he was not satisfied there as he had 
come to America in the hope of owning a 
farm. This hope he fulfilled in 1882 by lo- 
cating in Bufi^alo county, Nebraska, where he 
secured a tract of land on which he lived 
three years. He then had a chance to sell it 
to advantage and went to Colorado, but on 
the way through Cheyenne county, Nebras- 
ka, stopped long enough to take up a home- 
stead. He continued on his trip to Colorado 
where he was employed as a cook in mining 
camps until 1887, then returned to settle on 
his homestead and remained seven years. In 
the meanwhile he bought a farm in Mitchell 
valley, Nebraska, and moved there in 1894, 
and that farm remained the family home until 
1905, when he came to Scottsbluft'. Here Mrs. 
Ansen and the children remained while he 
once more returned to work in Colorado. His 
death occurred March 17 . 1909. He was a 
Republican in politics, and both he and wife 
were members of the Lutheran church. 

In 1885 Fred Ansen was united in marriage 
to Miss Theresa Siebke. who was born in Ger- 
many, a daughter of John and Caroline 
(Haase) Siebke, who spent their lives in Ger- 
many. Mrs. Ansen came to the United States 
in 1881 and was married in Buffalo county, 
Nebraska. All of their six children are liv- 
ing: Mable, Margaret, Charles, Maude and 
May, twins, and Gladys. Maude is the wife 
of Steward Rice, a farmer in ScottsblulT coun- 
ty. The other daughters reside with their 
mother at Scottsbluff. Charles Ansen, the 
only son, entered military service in Septem- 
ber, 1917, and crossed to Europe as a member 
of the American Expeditionary Force and is 
with the Army of Occupation yet in Germany. 
He is a young man of fine qualities, and has 
done his duty as a soldier. 

WILLIAM S. CLINE, one of the retired 
residents of Scottsblufif, has been one of the 
substantial farmers and highly esteemed cit- 
izens of Scottsbluff county for many years. 
When he came first to this section he made 
wise investments and now owns some of the 
best farm land in the upper valley. He has 
taken active and useful part in all civic and 
commercial movements for the betterment of 
the county, since making the Panhandle his 
home. 

William S. Cline was born in Hendricks 
county, Indiana, February 27, 1857. the eldest 
of a family of six children born to John F. 
and Mary Jane (Goben) Cline. Both parents 
were born in Indiana, from which state they 
moved to Clark countv, Iowa, in 1866, where 



the father bought a farm on which he and his 
wife passed the remainder of their days. They 
were members of the Christian church, most 
worthy people in every relation of life. ' Wil- 
liam S. Cline has two brothers and two sisters : 
Francis Marion, lives retired at Scottsbluff; 
Jesse Bennett, is a farmer in Iowa; Margaret, 
is the wife of Andrew Adams, a farmer in 
Iowa, and Rose, is the wife of Perl King, an 
Iowa farmer. 

William S. Cline attended the public schools 
and was reared to farm pursuits. In 1905 he 
came to Scottsbluff county and purchased one 
hundred and sixty acres of land east of the 
town and eighty acres where the sugar factory 
now stands. He owns eighty acres of fine 
irrigated land north of Scottsbluff that would 
command a high price in the market if it were 
for sale. It may not be out of place to say 
that when Mr. Cline first came to Nebraska 
he was practically without capital, but he had 
the good judgment to take advantage of the 
•opportunities offered here to a young man of 
energy and industry, with the resuh that by 
the time he had reached middle age he was 
able to retire with a competency. 

On November 11, 1883, Mr. Cline married 
Miss Margaret Bevins, who was born in Iowa, 
a daughter of Asher and Anna Bevins, the 
former born in Highland county, Ohio, and 
the latter in Delaware. They died in Iowa. 
Mr. and Mrs. Cline have the following chil- 
dren: Rose, the wife of C. C. Terhune. a rail- 
road man at Omaha; Nellie, the wife of Otis 
Simmons, a carpenter at Scottsbluff'; Millie, 
the wife of Charles Bisel, of Scottsbluff; Wal- 
ter, is a farmer but lives in Scottsbluff; 
Homer, operates a garage in Scottsbluff, and 
Lola, the wife of George Brown, who is em- 
ployed in the sugar factory here. Mr. Cline 
and his family are members of the Presby- 
terian church. He is a Democrat in politics 
and has always been a loyal party man but has 
not been willing to accept public office. Since 
1910 he has been a resident of Scottsbluff, a 
welcome addition to the town's most reputable 
citizenship. 

EDWARD C. DUNHAM, who is a prom- 
inent citizen of Scottsbluff county, and for 
many yea_rs active in the agricultural field, 
since 1917, when he retired and moved into 
Scottsbluff, has given much attention to the 
Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of 
which he is president. Mr. Dunham was born 
at St. Louis, Missouri, December 13, 1856. 

The parents of Mr. Dunham were Cor- 
nelius L. and Mary (Buswell) Dunham, the 
former of whom was born at New Haven, 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Connecticut, and the latter in the state of Ver- 
mont. He was a student at Jacksonville, Illi- 
nois, and she. a graduate of Knox College, was 
a teacher in the School for the Blind, when 
they met and they were married in that city. 
Later thev moved to St. Louis, Missouri, 
where the father of Mr. Dunham taught school 
for four years, then moved to Bureau county, 
Illinois, where he engaged in farming until 
1862. In that year he entered the Union army 
for service in the Civil War as a member of 
Company H. Ninety-third Illinois Volunteer 
Infantry. His service covered three and a 
half years, during which he was promoted to 
a sergeancy. He participated in the siege of 
Vicksburg and in the campaign around Chat- 
tanooga and Memphis. Tennessee. After the 
war closed he returned to his Illinois farm and 
lived there until 1876 when he removed to 
Grinnell, Iowa. He accumulated a compe- 
tency and later he and wife gave themselves 
the pleasure of extensive travel. They were 
members of the Congregational church. In his 
political views the father believed the prin- 
ciples of the Republican party the most ad- 
vantageous for the country and supported this 
organization until the end of his Hfe. 

Of the seven children born to Cornelius L. 
Dunham and his wife, Edward C. was the eld- 
est, the others being: Ida G., the wife of S. H. 
Blackwell, a farmer near Longmont, Colo- 
rado : Cornelius L., an orange grower in Flor- 
ida ; Ralph W., a farmer in southwestern Mis- 
souri ; E. H., a farmer near Grinnell, Iowa; 
Alice C, the wife of J. R. Hannay, a farmer 
near Grinnell, and Mary Cornelia, who still 
lives in the old home at Grinnell, Iowa. 

Edward C. Dunham was educated in Iowa 
and carefully trained by his intellectual father. 
From 1876 until 1896 he had entire charge of 
his father's farm and afterward bought a part 
of the old home place. In 1896 he moved to 
Arkansas and was interested there until 18. . 
in growing strawberries and apples, after 
which he came to Scottsblut? county and 
bought land in Pleasant Valley. In 1917 the 
family left the farm and came into the city, 
where they have a wide social circle and Mr. 
Dunham gives time, as indicated above, to 
the affairs of the Farmers Mutual Fire In- 
surance Company, that does business in five 
counties in the western part of the state. He 
is also city assessor. Mr. Dunham located in 
this county on a government unit as did his 
daughter, so the family really owns two units. 
The farm on which the family lived is now 
devoted to grain and sugar beets and Mr. Dun- 
ham also owns 173 acres, all of irrigated land, 
and an additional tract near the city limits. 



In 1881 Mr. Dunham was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Hannah M. Mann, who was 
bom in Oswego county. New York, a daugh- 
etr of John H. and Susan (WilHs) Mann, 
natives of New York, who moved to a farm in 
Iowa in 1871, later to Iowa City for three 
years and still later to Grinnell. Mrs. Dun- 
ham was the fourth born in a family of six 
children, five of whom are living. Mr. and 
Mrs. Dunham have two sons and one daugh- 
ter, namely: Dwight Mann, who homesteaded 
in South Dakota; Robert E., who homestead- 
ed in Nebraska, has been rural mail carrier 
out of Scottsblufif for seven years, and Mary 
Florence, who lives at home. Mr. Dunham 
and his family belong to the Presbyterian 
church. At one time while living in Iowa. 
Mr. Dunham was quite active in the Populist 
party but now he casts an independent vote. 
He is a broad-minded, thoughtful man and 
has always had the best interests of his coun- 
try at heart. 

WILLIAM W. EMICK. who is secretary 
and treasurer of the Farmers Mutual Fire In- 
surance Company, has been identified with this 
important business enterprise since January, 
1915, since which time he has devoted himself 
largely to its concerns, although he has many 
additional personal interests. He came to 
Nebraska in early manhood, invested in land 
in Scottsblufif county in 1909. and has been a 
resident of Scottsblufif since 1918. 

William W. Emick was born in Wayne 
county. Ohio, April 22. 1872. and is a son of 
Adam and Catherine (Sweigert) Emick, the 
former of whom was born in Germany and 
the latter in Pennsylvania. Adam Emick was 
brought to the Uited States when two years 
old, was reared in Ohio and married there. 
Of his twelve children seven are living, two of 
these being in Nebraska, William W. and 
Charles, the latter of whom is a merchant at 
Creighton. Adam Emick was a hard-working 
man, was a farmer and a carpenter, whereby 
he accumulated a competency. After his first 
wife died he married Alice Okehauf and they 
had three children, two of whom live in Ohio 
and one at Chadron. Nebraska. In politics 
Adam Emick was a Democrat, and all his life 
he was a member of the German Lutheran 
church. He lived to be ninety-four years old. 

William W. Emick obtained his education 
in the public schools in his native state and 
remained assisting his father on the farm un- 
til he was twenty years of age. He then came 
to Knox county. Nebraska, and for three 
years was a clerk in a store at Bazile Mills and 
afterward at other points, also traveled as a 



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Alva A. Smith and Family 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



89 



canvasser and commercial agent. For nine 
years he lived at Deadwood, South Dakota, 
during which time he was engaged as collector, 
clerk and general manager of stores there and 
at Lead City. For one year he was on the 
road selling groceries for the firm of Shank- 
berg, of Sioux City, through the Big Horn 
basin, when a railroad wreck in which he was 
a victim, kept him of? the road for some time. 
He then accepted his old position at Lead City, 
following which he became traveling repre- 
sentative of Raymond Bros. & Clark, through 
Western Nebraska, for five years. Mr. Emick 
then took charge of his brother's store in 
South Dakota, for some eight months. In 
1909 he came to Scottsbluff" county and bought 
an irrigated farm, on which he lived until 
1918, when he sold that property and moved 
into Scottsbluff, where he has valuable realty. 
He also owns a farm near the city. 

In 1911 Mr. Emick was united in marriage 
to Miss Myrtle Fry, who was born in Fall 
River county. South Dakota. She died in 1914 
leaving one infant daughter, Myrtle Josephine. 
In the fall of 1917 Mr. Emick was married to 
Miss Julia Coony who was bom in Custer 
county, Nebraska, and they have one daugh- 
ter, Willemetia. Mrs. Emick is a member of 
the Christian church. In politics he is a Dem- 
ocrat and fraternally belongs to the order of 
Elks. In addition to being secretary and treas- 
urer of the Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance 
Company, Mr. Emick has been general man- 
ager of the work in Scottsbluff, Banner, Mor- 
rill and Sioux counties, the company's charter 
covering eleven counties in the Panhandle. A 
man of wide and varied experience, Mr. Emick 
is particularly well qualified for the responsible 
position he fills so well in the business world. 

ALVA A. SMITH. — It has often been said 
that Smith is a name hard to distinguish, yet it 
remains that the possessor of the name at the 
head of this review has succeeded, at least in a 
modest way, in distinguishing his cognomen in 
the realm of ordinary citizenship and practical, 
profitable farming. This is an ordinary story 
that has been duplicated perhaps a thousand 
times in western Nebraska, but it ever becomes 
interesting when narrowed down to an individ- 
ual whose achievements are wdrtliy nf being 
published to the world. Mr. Smith i> uiic ni 
the homesteaders of Scuti^liliilT cnuntx wli" 
passed through many privatidiis and hanl'-hips. 
courageously persevering in the face of dis- 
couraging situations, overcoming seemingly in- 
surmountable obstacles, and eventually win- 
ning a way to well deserved success. 

This man is a Wolverine by birth, born in 



McComb county, Michigan, February 12, 1862, 
amidst the throes of. our gnat Civil War and 
it may be that some of the (ln--x-il determina- 
tion that was imbued in the citizens of the 
north to preserve the Union at all cost entered 
into his mentality, for nothing has daunted his 
spirit. He is the son of Andrew and Esther 
(Arnold) Smith; the former born in the Em- 
pire state in 1838, died in Michigan in 1899. 
while the mother, like her son, was a native of 
Michigan, born there in 1841, who lived until 
1896. The father was a successful Michigan 
farmer, who reared his family in great com- 
fort, giving them all the advantages afforded in 
their community, excellent educations, and 
such practical knowledge as could be attained 
under his careful guidance on the farm during 
the vacations and after leaving school. 

There were eight children in the family : 
Iowa, who died at eighteen years of age; Alva; 
Alma, his twin, who became the wife of Joe 
Burgess, lived on a farm in the state of Mich- 
igan, and later removed to Gering, and now 
lives in Oregon ; Eugene, a farmer in Mich- 
igan ; Florence, the wife of William Drink- 
water of Michigan; Minnie, deceased; Lila, the 
wife of Fred Drinkwater, also lives on a farm 
in Michigan; and P'rances, the wife of George 
Mc\'ittie, a government mail clerk, resides in 
Detroit. Both the parents were members and 
supporters of the Methodist Episcopal church, 
while Mr. Smith took an active and prominent 
part in the councils of the Republican party. 

Mr. Siiiitii wi irked on a Michigan farm upon 
reaching; tiianiii"Hl. but he heard of the great 
opI)c>rtiiiiitic> afforded on the prairies of the 
middle west and determined to put his fortune 
to the hazard, and breaking all the home ties 
and intimate associations, started for the Da- 
kotas. He took plenty of time to look the 
country over as he had determined that wher- 
ever he located was to be a permanent home 
and Dakdta did nut measure up to his standard 
so he canu' t^ (.'heyenne county in 1887, where 
he hciiiie'^tt-aded loO acres of land, preempted 
another tract of equal acreage, proved up on it 
and at the same time was engaged in making 
permanent and efficient improvements. His 
first home, like that of nearly all the pioneer 
settlers, was a sod house, but Mr. Smith met 
with success in his chosen vocation and before 
long the sod structure gave way to a comfort- 
able farm home. Later Mr. Smith removed 
somewhat west and north of his first claim, 
locating in section 32-23-56. Scottsbluff coun- 
ty, in what is locally known as the Mitchell 
valley, is today one of the garden spots of the 
great state of Nebraska, that under modern 
methods and intensive farming is producing 



90 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



more to the acre than ever was dreamed in the 
pioneer days when the Smith family located 
here. Mr. Smith is one of the men of the 
county who has made good use of his oppor- 
tunities, and his life record illustrates what 
may be accomplished by one who is industrious, 
far-sighted, and has an ambition to succeed. 
His harvests have been cut short by drought, 
his crops ruined by hail and insect pests, but 
he was never discouraged to the extent of giv- 
ing up, and the succeeding years brought pros- 
perity, and today he is the owner of 160 acres 
of highly improved land, all under irrigation, 
so that he never worries about the weather as 
he is insured a crop with water a-plenty and 
the never failing sunshine of this section. He 
has substantial and practical farm buildings, a 
good home and latest farm equipment, being 
engaged in general agriculture and stock- 
raising. 

In 1891 Mr. Smith married Miss Alma Tap- 
pan at Broken Bow, Nebraska, the daughter 
of Bradford Tappan, both she and her father 
being natives of Michigan. Five children have 
become members of the Smith family : Floyd, 
who died in infancy; Kem, on a farm in Wy- 
oming; Eunice, the wife of Claud Godbey, is 
at home, as are also Emmet and Craig. 

Mr. Smith is one of the progressive business 
men of Scottsblufif county, is public-spirited, 
advocating every movement for the advance- 
ment of the community, which is attested by 
the fact that he is a school director and chair- 
man of the irrigation board. A man of high 
ideals in life and commercial aflfairs, he is held 
in esteem by all his friends and associates. In 
politics he is a Democrat, but has never had 
the time or desire to hold public office, while his 
fraternal associations are with the Odd Fellows 
and Modern Woodmen. 

JOHN SCHUMACHER. — To set down a 
true history of Nebraska in all its counties, 
mention must be made of those who came into 
the state without capital, and through hard 
work and great self denial finally became of 
independent fortune because of ownership of 
valuable lands. Some of these early settlers, 
it is true, had not the courage to endure in- 
evitable hardships and gave up before their 
battles over storm, drought and loss of crops 
and stock had been won, but there were others, 
like the late John Schumacher, who held on, 
worked harder, hoped for the best, and were 
well rewarded. 

John Schumacher was bom in Roxbury, 
Dane county, Wisconsin, January 21, 1862. 
He had school advantages near his father's 
farm and worked as a farmer until he deter- 



mined to start out for himself. That he was 
a young man not easily discouraged may be 
assumed from the fact that with practically 
empty pockets, he walked the entire distance 
from his old home in Wisconsin to Cheyenne 
county, Nebraska. There he homesteaded in 
what is now Scottsbluff county, six miles 
southeast of the present town, and remained 
on his farm, developing and improving it, until 
the end of his life, his death occurring Novem- 
ber 8, 1915. At that time he owned a section 
of irrigated land. He made a specialty of 
stock-raising and under his care this industry 
proved very profitable. 

In 1893 John Schumacher was united in 
marriage with Miss Katie Gaugler, a school- 
mate, who was bom in Dane county, Wiscon- 
sin, a daughter of Joseph and Mary (Retsler) 
Gaugler, Mrs. Schumacher being the youngest 
of their family of fifteen children, nine of 
whom are living. Two daughters were born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Schumacher : Helena, the 
wife of Philo Tillson, a farmer north of Mina- 
tare, Nebraska, and Elsie, who resides with 
her mother and is attending school. Mrs. 
Schumacher is, as was her husband, a member 
of the Catholic church. On April 11, 1916, she 
moved to Scottsbluff and purchased a beauti- 
ful residence on Fourth avenue, but found it 
too great a care to keep it up, hence sold and 
now resides in great comfort at No. 1814 Fifth 
avenue. Mr. Schumacher was a Republican in 
politics and served on the school board in his 
township. He was an honest, upright man and 
was very highly regarded by all who knew him. 

FRANK B. MORGAN, who has had quite 
a great deal to do with the material develop- 
ment of Scottsbluff'. is a leading builder and 
contractor here, owner of valuable city realty 
both unimproved and built upon. Since com- 
ing here in 1914, he has shown personal and 
public-spirited interest in the city, has invested 
judiciously and has been an encourager of a 
number of worthy enterprises. 

Frank B. Morgan was born in Caldwell 
county, Missouri, June 22, 1869, a son of 
Joseph and Tabitha (Hobbs) Morgan, the lat- 
ter of whom was born in Illinois and is now 
deceased. The father of Mr. Morgan was 
born at Indianapolis, Indiana, a son of George 
Morgan, who was a native of Virginia. Joseph 
Morgan was a soldier in the Civil War, enlist- 
ing in the Fourteenth Missouri Infantry, served 
three years and was wounded at Shiloh. After 
a long period in a hospital, he reenlisted but 
was soon afterward discharged on account of 
disability. In 1883 he came to Nebraska and 
bought a section of land in Furnas county, 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



91 



afterward selling the same and buying land in 
Oklahoma. His death occurred at Beaver 
City, Nebraska. He was a Democrat in pol- 
itics. Both he and wife were members of the 
Christian church. They had seven children, 
Frank B. being the fourth of the five surviv- 
ors, who' are: George R., a farmer near Hend- 

ley, Nebraska ; Delilah, the widow of 

Whiteman, of Hendley ; Thomas, a butcher in 
business at Hendley, and Mary, the wife of 
Roy Goebel, a farmer in Furnas county. 

Frank B. Morgan obtained his education in 
the public schools and afterward followed 
farming until he was thirty years old. He had 
always been deft in the use of tools and then 
began to work at the carpenter trade, going to 
Denver in 1901, and worked as a carpenter 
there and at Fort Collins until 1905, when he 
came to Morrill county, Nebraska. He se- 
cured a homestead there, which he late sold, 
then bought land in Wyoming and subsequent- 
ly sold that. In 1914' he came to ScottsblufJ 
and has proved a valuable citizen. He invest- 
ed in vacant property here and through im- 
proving it with attractive residences, has add- 
ed greatly to the appearance of every section 
in which he owns lots. He has found ready 
sale for his houses, for the people of Scotts- 
bluf¥ are homemakers, in the main, and his en- 
terprise has been appreciated. Mr. Morgan 
has assisted in the organization of the Com- 
mercal Bank at ScottsbluiT. 

In 1890 Mr. Morgan was united in marriage 
to Miss Mary E. Martin, who was born in 
Illinois, and is a daughter of John and Matilda 
Martin. The mother of Mrs. Morgan died at 
Stamford, in Harland county. Nebraska. The 
father died at the home of a daughter in Iowa. 
Mr. and Mrs. Morgan have had children as 
follows: Mahlon C, who is a farmer in 
ScottsblufY county ; Merlin O., who was honor- 
ably discharged in February, 1919, from mili- 
tary service in the World War, entered the 
navy, was first located on the Pacific coast near 
Seattle, Washington, then spent one year in 
the Canal Zone, later was sent to New York 
and was discharged at Brooklyn, as chief car- 
penter ; Mable. who is a student in the high 
school, and John and Audry, who are doing 
well in their several grades in school. Mr. 
Morgan and his family are members of the 
Christian church. Fraternally he is a Mason 
and belongs also to the Modern Woodmen. 
He is not active politically and votes indepen- 
dently. 

CHARLES S. SIMMONS, who finds his 
time fully occupied with the work of his pro- 
fession, sign painting, can show a large amount 



of fine, artistic work from his brush at Scotts- 
bluff, in which city he painted his first sign, 
in April, 1900. 

Charles Sheldon Simmons belongs to an old 
countv family and was born near Scottsbluflf, 
Nebraska. May 20, 1887. He is a son of 
Charles H. Simmons, extended mention of 
whom will be found in this work. Mr. Sim- 
mons attended the public schools. Very early 
he displayed talent with pencil and brush and 
after learning the painting trade, decided to 
specialize on sign painting. This branch of the 
business requires not only practical knowledge 
but real skill and Mr. Simmons went to Chi- 
cago and entered a class in the Art Institute, 
where he remained a year, securing necessary 
technical training as well as artistic inspira- 
tion. His work is very much admired and his 
services are in constant demand. 

In 1897 Mr. Simmons was united in marriage 
to Miss Estella M. Snyder, who was born at 
Garrison, Iowa, a daughter of Edward H. and 
Belinda (Hilka) Snyder. They were born in 
Pennsylvania. The father of Mrs. Simmons 
is engaged in truck fanning near Sterling, Ne- 
braska. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons have two chil- 
dren, namely : Cleo, who is seven years old, 
and Charles, who is a babe of eight months. 
Mr. and Mrs. Simmons are active members of 
the Presbyterian church. In politics he is a 
■zealous Republican, and fraternally he is iden- 
tified with the Knights of Pythias, the Modern 
Woodmen, and the A. F. & A. M. 

AUGUST DORMANN, who is a well 
known business man of Scottsblufif, where his 
beautiful residence and other property are 
located, for a number of years has been identi- 
fied with commercial enterprises of large im- 
portance here and elsewhere. 

August Dormann was bom at Wisner, Ne- 
braska, in 1877. He is a son of August Dor- 
mann, who was bom in Germany, came to the 
United States, has been a merchant all his life, 
and now resides at Denver, Colorado. At 
Omaha, Nebraska, he was married to Freder- 
ick A. Kemenbley, who was born in New Jer- 
sey, February 9, 1851, and died February 28, 
1910. Of their five children August is the 
fourth in order of birth, the others being: 
Agnes, the wife of William Reisendorfor, a 
lumber merchant in California ; George W., 
foreman of the Skinner & Eddy shipbuilding 
plant at Seattle, Washington; Anna, resides 
with' her father, and Fred, a consulting en- 
gineer at Denver. The family is of the Lu- 
theran faith. In politics the father is a Re- 
publican. He was one of the first three men 
to take out policies in the New York Life In- 



92 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



surance Company, in Nebraska, and is the 
only survivor of the three. 

August Dormann obtained his educational 
training in the public schools of Wisner, after 
which he was associated with his father in the 
mercantile business until 1906 when he came 
to Scottsbluft' county. He bought a farm on 
which he resided two years, then took charge 
of the Zoellner clothing store at Scottsblulf, 
which he managed for five years. On retiring 
from that connection he went into business of 
buying and selling mercantile stocks, in which 
he continued until 1916, when he organized the 
August Dormann Company, for the purpose 
of buying farms and ranches for sale or trade. 
Early in 1919 he bought all the company's in- 
terests with the result that he owns many acres 
of fine land in Michigan, South Dakota, and 
western Nebraska. He now devotes himself 
to his large farming interests. 

In 1899 Mr. Dormann was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Katherine O'Connor, who was 
born at Wisner, Nebraska, and they have had 
the following children bom to them: Charles 
Augi:st, who was born December 23, 1900, en- 
tered military service in January, 1917. and is 
a member of a hospital corps now stationed in 
the Philippine Islands ; George Eugene, who 
was born October 4, 1902; Genevieve Ruth, 
who was born May 3, 1904 ; Jerome Wilbur, 
who was born August 11, 1908, and Katherine 
Virginia, who was born July 7, 1911, and two 
deceased; Victor Hugo, and Herald. Mrs. 
Dormann and the children belong to the Cath- 
olic church. Mr. Dormann is a Republican in 
politics and is a Mason in good standng. 

JOHN W. BROSHAR for many years was 
well known in Nebraska, and his honorable 
name is preserved by a surviving famliy of 
Scottsbluff. He was a native of Ripley coun- 
ty, Indiana, born May 7, 1845. His parents 
moved to Champaign, Illinois, in 1852, and 
Mr. Broshar was educated there and from that 
town enlisted and served during the thirteen 
closing months of the Civil War. After leav- 
ing the army he began business independent- 
ly as a farmer in Illinois and continued agri- 
cultural pursuits until 1888, when he came with 
his family to the Panhandle, took up a home- 
stead in Box Butte county, and lived on this 
farm for a number of years, then took a Kin- 
kaid claim near the line of Sioux county. His 
death occurred at Canton, Nebraska, Febru- 
ary 6, 1913. 

At Paris, Illinois, in 1875, John W. Broshar 
was united in marriage with Miss Jennie Wag- 
goner, who was born in Fayette county, Ohio, 
and is a daughter of E. D. and Elizabeth 



F. (Bush) Waggoner. Mrs. Broshar's father 
was born in Virginia and the mother in Ohio. 
They moved to Illinois in 1864 and both died 
there. Mrs. Broshar was the eldest of their 
four children. To Mr. and Mrs. Broshar 
three daughters were born ; Pearl, the wife of 
Arthur Barr, a farmer near Melbeta, in Scotts- 
bluff county; Myrtle, the widow of Henry 
Safiford, resides at Scottsbluff, and Edith, who 
resides with her mother, is connected with the 
Irrigation Bank. 

Following her husband's death, Mrs. Bro- 
shar displayed business capacity by securing a 
homestead for herself and resided on her prop- 
erty until 1915, when she came to Scottsbluff 
and is now enjoying the comforts of a beau- 
tiful home at No. 1601 Fourth avenue. The 
family belongs to the Baptist church. Mr. 
Broshar was a man of sterling character. He 
was successful as a farmer and stockraiser, 
and took considerable interest in public mat- 
ters in Republican political circles in Box 
Butte county, although he never consented to 
accept public office. 

ALBERT W. PETERSON, who is one of 
the quiet, industrious, useful business men of 
Scottsbluff, has been a resident of this city 
since the spring of 1915, but has lived in Ne- 
braska since he was five years old. He is a 
carpenter and contractor who has built up a 
large business and has the reputation here and 
elsewhere of business integrity and depend- 
ability. 

Albert W. Peterson was bom at Princeton, 
Illinois, April 14, 1880, and is the oldest of 
seven children born to Nels W. and Anna C. 
(Swanson) Peterson, both of whom were 
born in Sweden and came young to the United 
States. They were married at Princeton, Illi- 
nois, where he was foreman for the Brv-ant 
Nursery Company for nine years. In 1885 
Nels W. Peterson brought his family to Ne- 
braska and bought land near Aurora, in Ham- 
ilton county, on which he has lived ever since, 
at the present time owning 320 acres of fine 
land. He is an example of the citizenship of 
Nebraska that has prospered within her wel- 
coming borders through faithful and law- 
abiding industrj', for he came here from Illi- 
nois not only without capital but burdened 
with debt. He has worked hard but feels well 
repaid. He has never been active in politics, 
has always favored prohibition legislation, and 
in casting his vote as a citizen, gives his sup- 
port to candidates he believes will unselfishly 
do their best, irrespective of party policy, for 
the country. He and wife are members of the 
Swedish Mission church. 









21 


%4 


j> ' '~S^k 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



93 



After his school days were over in Hamilton 
county, Albert W. Peterson worked as a farm- 
er and also as a carpenter, early showing skill 
with tools, and continued to live in Hamilton 
county until March, 1915, when he came to 
this city, the rapid settlement of which and 
expansion of industries, oftered abundant op- 
portunity for his line of work. He has done 
a great deal of substantial building here and 
gives all his time to carpentering and contract- 
ing. Formerly he owned a farm in the east- 
ern part of ScottsblulY county, but this he sold 
in the spring of 1919. He has property in the 
city which includes a comfortable and ex- 
tremely attractive residence at No. 2008 Ave- 
nue A, a beautiful home. 

Mr. Peterson was married February 24, 
1906, to Miss Mina Hanson, who lived at Chi- 
cago, Illinois, and is a daughter of Hans Han- 
son and his wife, who spent ther entire lives 
in Sweden. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson are mem- 
bers of the Swedish Mission church and great- 
ly interested in its various avenues of benev- 
olence. Like his father, Mr. Peterson prefers 
to be independent in politics. 

JOHN EXGSTROAI. — This representa- 
tive agriculturist and stock-grower of Scotts- 
bluff county lias been a resident of Nebraska 
for nearly twenty-seven years and by making 
use of the advantages here offered he has made 
his way forward to the goal of independence 
and marked prosperity. Today he is the owner 
of 160 acres of the finest property in the west- 
ern part of the state. Mr. Engstrom is one 
of the sterling citizens here who has had the 
prescience and energy to make the most of 
the opportunities offered in connection with 
civic and material development and progress. 
He is a native of Sweden, th:it land which has 
furnished this great cnuiitry ^o many of its 
earnest and progressive men nf affairs. His 
natal day was May 20, 1859, being the son of 
Swan and Louise (Carlson) Engstrom, both 
of whom were Scandinavians, born in Sweden. 
Both parents were vigorous and sturdy, the 
father living to the advanced age of seventy- 
four years and the mother to seventy-six years 
of age. John's father was a farmer, but as 
land allotments are not large in Swiilcii he 
learned the shoe-maker's trade, in \\ hicli he was 
engaged a part of the time. There were six 
children in the family but only three brothers 
broke the home ties to begin a career in Amer- 
ica : Gustav, Emil, and John, whn l.indr.l in 
the United States in 1882; Gustav sub-cnieni- 
ly returned to the mother cnuntr\ , but John 
remained, determined to win a wa\' ui the great 
west. Emil died in Kansas. He has been in 



the greatest sense the architect of his own for- 
tunes and few men have played a more sturdy 
part in the development of the communities in 
which they lived. Both civic and industrial 
lines have been benefitted by the interest dis- 
played in thcni by this young Swede, who soon 
after (umiiiL; l^ llii^ i;reat land went to St. 
I'aul. M iiiiii-.i ii,i, whirc so many of his coun- 
trymen liail e^iahli^lK'(| hcjmes. He soon found 
employment in Minnesota but later went north, 
being employed by a railroad in Canada for a 
considerable period before deciding to become 
an owner of Land, the great desire of nearly all 
men who came to .\merica fmni Europe. With 
this idea in mind he came to Nebraska and soon 
had tiled on a claim in Sidney \'alley, Chey- 
enne county, lie proved up on this land, living 
there six years before removing to ScottsblufT 
county, purchasing 160 acres of land in section 
15, forty-five acres being under ditch. Mr. 
Engstrom has proved himself one of the 
world's constructive workers and in the fur- 
therance of his own prosperity has aided in the 
civic and material development and progress of 
the country and state of his adoption and as 
one of the prosperous representatives of the 
western section of this great commonwealth 
deserves recognition in this history. 

Mr. Engstrom first married Anna Carlson 
in Sweden ; to this union five children were 
born: Carl J., who lives at home; Gustav A., 
deceaseil: Aiiii.i, the wife of Otto Swanson, a 
farmer in Scoftstiluff county, and Betty Louise, 
now living in Chicago, For his second wife 
Mr. hjigstrom married .Ada Carlson, also a 
native of Sweden, and they have one daughter, 
Hilda Carlson, who is at home. The family 
are members of the Swedish l\lission church, 
Mr. Engstrom is a man of sterling character 
and ability, so he has been called upon to serve 
as a school director, an office in which he has 
made a record for liberality and progressive- 
ness as he takes great interest in the welfare of 
his community and the prosperity and happi- 
ness of the rising generation. Politically he is 
an independent, believing that the man best 
fitted to hold office should be elected. 

Mr. Engstrom sold his farm in 1919 and 
moved to Scottsbluff where he has bought 
property. He worked for fifteen years to 
make his farm one of the best improved prop- 
erties in the county and deserves much credit 
for what he has accomplished. 



ALBERT PAXTON, for several years one 
of the active and energetic men engaged in 
handling real estate at Scottsbluff, is well 
known as a handler of realty and other activ- 
ities in the middle west, and also owns some 



94 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



very valuable farm land near Henry, in 
Goshen county, Wyoming. Mr. Paxton was 
born at Rensellaer, Jasper county, Indiana, 
August 27, 1867, the son of William F. and 
Isabella (Sharpe) Paxton, the former born 
at Bedford and the latter at Johnstone, Penn- 
sylvania. They were married in that state, 
then moved to Ohio and later .settled in In- 
diana, where they lived out the allotted span 
of life. Of their family of eight children two 
reside in the West, Ralph and Albert, the for- 
mer of whom owns and operates the Paxton 
hotel at Torrington, Wyoming, and also owns 
a farm in that vicinity. The father was a 
farmer in Jasper county and was active in the 
Democratic party of that section. Both par- 
ents were members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. 

Albert Paxton was given educational op- 
portunities in his youth, his father being a 
man of education himself. The young man 
began his business life as a clerk in a store at 
Montpelier, Indiana, and later, for a number 
of years was manager of the New York Store 
Company in that city. He became prominent 
in Democratic party circles, was recognized 
as a man of civic influence, was elected to the 
city council of Montpelier and served as pres- 
ident of that body. In 1908 Mr. Paxton came 
west to Wyoming, locating at Torrington, 
where for a number of years he engaged in 
the live-stock business, being an extensive 
buyer of horses, on one occasion buying seven 
carloads in a month, at Henry, Nebraska. In 
1917 he embarked in the real estate business 
at ScottsbluiY and still owns his handsome res- 
idence here, although recently he has trans- 
ferred his real estate business to Torrington, 
Wyoming, where he is associated with G. E. 
Gannon. They are doing an extensive busi- 
ness in general real estate, farm loans and 
insurance. 

In 1894 Mr. Paxton married Miss Anna 
Bebout, who was born in Indiana, and they 
have two children : Albert E. and Melva, aged 
respectively seventeen and thirteen years. 
The family belongs to the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. He is identified with the 
Knights of Pythias. 

LIGGETT FURNITURE CO. — A recent 
business enterprise at Scottsbluff that may 
confidently be expected to be of substantial 
importance to the city, is the furniture and 
house furnishing goods store established here 
May 24, 1919, by Clarence D. and Dwight W. 
Liggett, under the firm name of Liggett Fur- 
niture Co. Both members of the firm are 



men of business experience and of the highest 
possible personal character. 

Clarence D. Liggett was born in 1884 and 
Dwight W. Liggett in 1890, both in Union 
county, Ohio. Their parents are John W. and 
Mary (Hardy) Liggett, both natives of Ohio, 
the father born in 1852 and the mother in 
1853. In addition to the two sons mentioned, 
they have two others, namely: Raymond H., 
who is connected with the Mid-west Con- 
struction Company, and James Bruce, who, 
since his military service overseas ended, has 
been associated with his father in business at 
Fort Morgan, Colorado. He was in the 
Thirty-sixth Division in France and was 
wounded in the battle before Compiegne, but 
fortunately not fatally and has been recently 
welcomed home. The paternal grandfather 
was John Liggett, who was born in Virginia, 
moved to Ohio and spent the rest of his life 
there. The maternal grandfather, W. D, Har- 
dy, was born in Scotland, came to the United 
States and died on his farm in Greene county, 
Ohio. When John W. Liggett left Ohio, he 
was ready to invest and enter into business at 
some favorable location in a western state and 
he selected Fort Morgan, Colorado, where he 
went into the furniture business and has con- 
tinued there ever since. He is a Republican 
in politics and both he and wife are members 
of the United Presbyterian church. 

Clarence D. Liggett was educated at Cedar- 
ville College, in Ohio. He began his business 
career as proprietor of a bicycle shop at Fort 
Morgan, and later became associated with his 
father at that point in the furniture business 
and still owns a half interest in the store there. 
He then entered into partnership with his 
brother at Scottsbluft', in 1919, and already the 
firm has an established place and firm standing 
in the city's commercial life. In 1912 he was 
united in marriage to Miss Blanche Coulter, a 
native of Iowa, but at that time a resident of 
Colorado, and their little daughter Helen is 
four years old, and a son, Howard Dean, born 
November 21, 1919. 

Dwight W. Liggett was educated at Cedar- 
ville College in Ohio. In 1913 he came to 
Scottsbluff, where he was interested in the 
Mid-West Concrete Construction Company, 
but sold his interest to his brother and in the 
spring of 1918 established the Liggett Furni- 
utre Co., at Antioch, Nebraska, and Mr. Lig- 
gett came back to ScottsbluiT and the present 
business was founded here May 24, 1919. In 
1915 Mr. Liggett was married to Miss Lona 
Smith, who was a school teacher at Lodgepole, 
Cheyenne county, Nebraska, but a native of 
Iowa, and they have a little daughter of eigh- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



95 



teen months whom they have named Dorothy 
Dell. Dwight W. Liggett is a member of the 
Presbyterian church at Scottsbluff, and Clar- 
ence D. Liggett belongs to the United Presby- 
terian church at Fort Morgan. The brothers 
are Republicans in their political affiliation and 
both are men of sterling worth. 

MILTON E. HARRIS. — One of the lead- 
ing business men of the Platte valley is found 
in Milton E. Harris, rancher and cattle feeder, 
and also proprietor of the most extensive meat 
business in the section west of Lincoln. Mr. 
Harris came to Scottsbluiif in the spring of 
1907 and his immense business is the result of 
his energy and good business judgment. Mr. 
tiarris is a self-made man, starting out for 
himself at the age of eleven years and has 
fought his way steadily upward with the old 
watchwords of industry and perseverance ever 
in mind. 

Milton Evan Harris was born in Hancock 
county, Illinois, August 12, 1879, and is a son 
of John G. and Jane (Latham) Harris and the 
youngest of eight children. Both parents were 
born in Ohio, later were residents of Illinois, 
and the mother died subsequently at Cedar 
Rapids, Igwa. The family was established at 
Brush, Colorado, in 1901, where the father 
served in some town offices, and died at that 
place in February, 1902. Three of his mother's 
brothers were soldiers in the Civil War. He 
was a Republican in politics and both he and 
wife belonged to the Methodist Episcopal 
church. All through life his business was 
farming but his efforts did not bring great 
financial independence. 

When eleven years old ]\Iilton E. Harris 
started to work for Dr. Martin for his board 
and attended school at La Harpe, Illinois, and 
two terms after 1893 at Ray, Colorado. At the 
latter place he worked in a butcher shop for 
two years, then went on a ranch and was em- 
ployed near Ray on a ranch for about two 
years. He then worked in a brother's meat 
shop at Brush, Colorado, for two years, fol- 
lowing which, in May, 1907, he came to Scotts- 
blufif and bought a meat shop here. Mr. Har- 
ris prospered from the first and has continued 
to prosper, as indicated by the report of busi- 
ness for the year of 1907 showing its amount 
as $9,862.15 and the acknowledgment that 
since then it has amounted to $125,000 per 
year. To provide facilities for such expan- 
sion, Mr. Harris erected a handsome building 
of brick construction, on Broadway, with di- 
mensions 26 X 140 feet with fine basement, 7 
feet high and 124 feet long in which every 
modern improvement is installed and all de- 



vices for the sanitary handling and preparation 
of meats provided. Wherever the "T. H. S." 
trademark is seen, representing the Harris 
Sanitary market, his patrons, and people at 
large, feel confident as to the quality of meat 
and produce appearing under this style. As 
manager Mr. Harris has his brother-in-law, 
George Hillerege, an old experienced meat 
man, entire efficiency marking every detail of 
the business. Mr. Harris owns a fine ranch 
near Scottsblufif and feeds from 500 to 800 
cattle and hogs. 

In politics Mr. Harris votes the Republican 
ticket but gives the greater part of his time to 
his business affairs rather than public matters. 
He is identified with the order of Odd Fellows. 

He married, April 30, 1901, Miss Helen 
Dow, a native of Jo Davies county, Illinois. 
They have three children : Beulah, Chas. L., 
and Emmett G. 

OTIS \y. SIMMONS, who is a member of 
the contracting firm of Simmons Brothers, at 
Scottsbluff'. is exceedingly well known in the 
construction line here, and is numbered with 
the city's active and representative citizens in 
many ways. Mr. Simmons was born at North 
Bend, Dodge county, Nebraska, September 16, 
1885. and is a son of Charles H. Simmons, 
extended mention of whom will be found in 
this work. 

Otis W. Simmons attended his first school 
in Scottsbluff, held in one of the primitive sod 
houses very numerous in his boyhood days all 
through the newly settled sections of the West, 
later had advantages at Gering, and in 1903 
was graduated from the high school of Scotts- 
bluff. He then learned the carpenter trade and 
about that time became greatly interested in 
amateur photography, which he still sometimes 
engages in as a recreation, owning many pic- 
tures of artistic value taken all through the 
beautiful Platte valley. In .... Mr. Simmons 

became associated with his brother. W 

L. Simmons in the contracting business and 
they have done a large amount of substantial 
residence building here, at the present time 
having ten residences in course of construction 
and giving steady employment to five skilled 
men. The firm enjoys the reputation of per- 
fect reliability and their work is constantly in- 
creasing in volume. 

In 1907 Mr. Simmons was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Nellie G. Cline, who was bom 
at Osceola. Iowa, and is a daughter of W. S. 
Cline. extended mention of whom will be 
found on another page of this work. Mr. and 
Mrs. Simmons have two children, namely: 
Helen, who was born February 25, 1909, and 



96 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Harold, who was born August 11, 1911. Mr. 
and Mrs. Simmons are members of the Pres- 
byterian church. Mr. Simmons is in active 
membership with the Knights of Pythias and 
the Modern Woodmen, has passed the chairs 
and has represented the local lodge in the 
Grand Lodge on three occasions, and has 
served almost continuously since 1905 as keep- 
er of records and seal. Mr. Simmons is an 
earnest and straightforward citizen, ever ready 
to do his part in bringing about the best of 
conditions. Politically he is a Republican. 

DANIEL D. DAVIS, who is one of Scotts- 
bluff's most esteemed retired citizens, has long 
been identified with the substantial develop- 
ment and material progress of this city and 
county. He is widely known, as he came to 
Nebraska in 1884 and homesteaded in Scotts- 
bluflf county in 1886. This section has been 
his chosen home ever since, where many marks 
of public confidence have been shown him, and 
where mutual and sincere regard has followed 
the acquaintanceships of years. Mr. Davis 
was born on Catawba Island, Ottawa county, 
Ohio, March 7, 1859, the son of Captain 
Daniel N. and Sarah (Prentiss) Davis. The 
father was born on Long Island, New York, 
and followed a seafaring life, being captain of 
a sailing vessel on Lake Erie at the time he 
was attacked by a highway robber and mur- 
dered for his money, while on a visit on land, 
in November, 1868. The Davis family was 
reared in the Baptist church by a good mother. 
Captain Davis was active in politics long ago 
and was a Democrat until the party accepted 
the candidacy of C. L. Vallandigham, who had 
favored the cause of the Confederacy during 
the war in which his own son had suffered, 
when he changed his political views entirely 
and became a Republican. 

Daniel D. Davis, on account of the early 
loss of his father, had fewer educational ad- 
vantages than otherwise, and when twelve 
years old spent one hard winter working in 
the northern woods. Following that season he 
assisted his brothers in their fishing industries, 
which they carried on at Willoughby and 
Wicklifife, Ohio, remaining with them about 
five years. In 1884 he came to Nebraska and 
went to work for a brick manufacturing com- 
pany near Lincoln, then opened a little store in 
the town, and struggled on as a youth does 
who has but little capital and is entirely de- 
pendent upon his own resources. On March 
1, 1886, Mr. Davis came to Scottsbluff county 
and immediately filed on a homestead claim, 
building his own little dugout on his land and 
making himself as comfortable as possible. In 



the meanwhile he had impressed his neighbors 
so favorably that in 1889 they had him ap- 
pointed deputy county clerk when the county 
organized and he served in that office for a 
year, and having read law, he was admitted 
to the bar. Mr. Davis then returned to his 
homestead, which he had been improving and 
developing. In later years he became an im- 
portant factor in Republican politics in the 
county, forwarding by his influence many 
movements of importance and accepting re- 
sponsibilities when he believed such a course 
would be beneficial for the community. He 
served four years as county assessor. 

In January, 1891, Mr. Davis married Miss 
Frances E. Brown, a lady of unusual intellect 
and educational prominence. Mrs. Davis was 
boni at Sidney, Iowa, a daughter of James N. 
and Lois (Clark) Brown, the former born in 
Canada and the latter in Michigan. They had 
seven children and Mrs. Davis is the youngest 
of the five survivors. She attended school at 
Sidney and Hamburg. Iowa, and after being 
graduated from the high school at Tabor, in 
1889 came to Nebraska and engaged in teach- 
ing school at Madison, returning then to Iowa. 
In 1890 she was elected the second superin- 
tendent of the schools of Scottsblufi' county 
and served ably in this responsible position for 
two years. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have two 
children, Edwin P. and Alice E. Edwin P. 
Davis was born April 22, 1897, attended school 
at Minatare, Nebraska, and was graduated at 
Ames, Iowa. He volunteered June 5, 1917, in 
Company E. Fifth Nebraska National Guards, 
was in training at Camp Cody, was transferred 
to the One Hundred Thirty-fourth Infantry, 
and accompanied the American Expeditionary 
Forces to France in October, 1918. and re- 
mained in Europe in the Army of Occupation 
for twenty-five months. During this time 
Mr. Davis served in Company K, Forty- 
seventh Infantry, Fourth Division, during the 
World War, marched into Germany with the 
American Army of Occupation, and after the 
armistice was stationed at Addrian, Reniogen 
and Coblenz, Germany until relieved and re- 
turned home, being honorably discharged at 
Camp Dodge, Augiist 4. 1919'. Alice E., the 
one daughter of the family, is a graduate of 
the Scottsblufi" high school and is attending 
college at Ames, Iowa. Mrs. Davis is a mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian church and is actively 
interested in social questions of the day and 
in various charities that appeal to her benev- 
olent impulses. Mr. and ]\Irs. Davis suffered 
a severe bereavement in the death of his sister, 
who was the wife of the late Edwin F. Moul- 
ton, a noted educator, superintendent of 





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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



schools of Cleveland, Ohio, and at time of 
death was president of the board of trustees 
of the Kent State Normal School. Mrs. Moul- 
ton was very prominent in club life and at the 
time of her death, in 1911, was chairman of 
the civics department of the Federation of 
Women's Clubs. 

From the earliest date of agitation looking 
toward the great irrigation project, Mr. Davis 
has been actively and intelligently interested 
and served as secretary of the first meeting 
called to consider ditch construction, and for 
some time was secretary of the Beard ditch, 
now the nine mile ditch. He was equally alert 
concerning other worthy enterprises, was a 
member of the North Platte Water-users As- 
sociation for seven years and was secretary of 
the first Beet Growers Association. In 1916 
Mr. Davis sold his farm and bought a com- 
fortable and attractive residence in Scotts- 
bluff. He is identified with the Odd Fellows 
and the Knights of Pythias, and serves on 
many committees looking to the public good. 
Men like Daniel D. Davis never find a retired 
life useless or lonesome. 

There is an interesting historical record of 
the first Davis in this country. He was Capt. 
Dolor Davis, who came from England in 1634. 
He had land granted him in 1659, near Con- 
cord, was prominent in matters affecting the 
Plymouth colony, and followed the useful 
trades of carpenter and surveyor. 

JOHN A. JONES, a native son of the Sun- 
flower state, while he is a comparative new- 
comer in Scottsbluff county, where he took up 
his residence in 1900, has succeeded in firmly 
establishing himself in a position of prominence 
in agricultural circles, as well as in the con- 
fidence of his many friends and associates. 
When he entered upon indejiendent commer- 
cial life he was possessed of little save inherent 
ability and the determination to succeed, and 
these have been sufficient to enable him to gain 
a comfortable fortune and fine landed prop- 
erty. 

John Jones was born in Kansas, January 15, 
1860, the son of D. B. and Margaret (Cowen) 
Jones, the former a sturdy son of New Eng- 
land, who came west at an early day to take 
advantage of the opportunity of acquiring land 
in the new territory opened for settlement dur- 
ing slave days. The children in the family 
numbered fourteen, eleven of whom are still 
living: Laura, married Herman Goft'erth and 
now lives in Emerson, Iowa; Ella, the wife of 
Roswell Crossett of Spokane, Washington; 
Anna, married Henry Hawk, of Oregon; Ar- 
thur, a resident of Burns, Oregon ; Florrie and 



William live in Scottsbluff county; Fred lives 
in Buffalo county; Alice, the wife of George 
Veal, of Buffalo county; Addie, the wife of 
Thomas Wells, lives in Stapleton, Nebraska. 
Mary, Hettie and Frank are dead. The Jones 
family removed from Kansas to Illinois, then 
to Iowa, and from there to Buffalo county, 
Nebraska, and it was there that John received 
the education afforded by the public schools, 
leading the life of a boy on a frontier farm, 
gaining experience in agricultural life from 
direct association with it, and many a good 
lesson is thus learned in the hard but sure 
school of experience, lessons never to be for- 
gotten in later life. Mr. Jones was a mature 
man of forty when he determined to take ad- 
vantage of new country and located in Scotts- 
bluff county in 1900. buying eighty acres of 
land on which he has since made his home. He 
is a sincere advocate of intensive farming with 
irrigation and his marked success in this line 
may well be followed by those of less experi- 
ence. When he arrived in the western section 
of the state the only improvement on the land 
was a sod and log house of some early settler ; 
this was entirely inadequate to his use and for 
his family and within a short time he had a 
large comfortable residence erected, to which 
he may point with pride. 

All of his land is imder irrigation which in- 
sures crops no matter what the weather con- 
ditions. Mr. Jones is engaged in general farm- 
ing and dairying but devotes special time and 
attention to his bees, making such a success and 
specialty of this side-line that one year he 
shipped three tons of honey, which at present 
prices means a comfortable income. Because 
of his apiary. Mr. Jones has become known far 
and near as "Honey" Jones, a title in which he 
takes no small pride. He is a tireless worker 
and engages in any industry that promises a 
worthy recompense, as eleven years he has 
supplied Scottsbluff with ice and another year 
in addition to his regular farm undertakings, 
milked seventeen cows. He has a keen, shrewd 
brain, is far-sighted, and these qualities added 
to hard work are safe and sure landmarks 
along the highway to fortune. On June 1, 
1887. Mr. Jones married Ida M. Tottersman, 
a native of Indiana, and to this union five chil- 
dren have been born: Mabel, married Earl 
Enes of Ba\ard. Nebraska ; Roy A., who lives 
next to the home place ; Inia. the wife of James 
Chris Lynch, living at Lingle, Wyoming; 
Hazel, the wife of J. H. Cassidy, also a resi- 
dent of Lingle, Wyoming; and B. W., who is 
at home. 

When the Jones family first came to Nebras- 
ka they made the trip in a prairie schooner to 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Bufifalo county, encountering all the dangers 
and sharing all the hardships incident to set- 
tlers in the new country, but they had been 
reared to some privations and soon were too 
busy establishing the new home to think of 
mere comforts that they knew soon would be 
theirs. \\ hen ]\Ir. Jones removed to Scotts- 
bluff cdunty he followed the same method his 
father had and drove overland in a covered 
wagon, though it was not a necessity, as at the 
time of the first trip. Since then he has seen 
all the wonderful progress and material devel- 
opments that have taken place in this great 
commonwealth in over a half century and to- 
day may sometimes be induced to recount some 
of the early experiences he and the family had 
when first arrived west of the great Muddy, 
as the ^Missouri river was known. Having a 
keen, preceptive, and retentive mind these 
stories of pioneer days are not only interesting 
but instructive. Mr. Jones is an independent 
thinker on all subjects pertaining to the civic 
and political life of his section and the nation 
and it but follows that he is an independent in 
politics ; is a public-spirited citizen and an all- 
American. 

ROBERT HAXBY, who is a highly re- 
spected resident of Scottsblufif, a retired farm- 
er of ample means and possessed of the good 
judgment and experience that make him a wise 
and prudent advisor on many questions of 
civic importance, is a native of Iowa, born in 
Dubuque county, in 1852, came to Nebraska in 
1871 and to this pleasant, healthful little city 
in 1916. 

The parents of Mr. Haxby were William 
arid Dorothy (Bradley) Haxby, both of whom 
were born in the same neighborhood in York- 
shire, England. Shortly after their marriage 
they came to the United States, settled in 
Iowa and there he followed his trade of wag- 
onmaker and wheelwright until the end of his 
life. After his death, the mother of Mr. Hax- 
by came to Nebraska and died in this state. 
Of their seven children Robert is one of the 
three survivors, the others being; John, a re- 
tired farmer living at Fremont, Nebraska, and 
Mary, the wife of Joseph Smith, who is a re- 
tired farmer living at Cedar Blufifs, Nebraska. 
The parents were most worthy people in ever}' 
relation of life, and they were faithful mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

Robert Haxby began life on a farm and con- 
tinued to be interested in agricultural pursuits 
during his entire active life. In 1871 he came 
to Saunders county, Nebraska, bought land 
that he has never parted with, and at the pres- 
ent time has 154 acres, which command $300 



an acre. Mr. Haxby has been unusually suc- 
cessful in all his undertakings and has been 
numbered with the solid men of the Platte 
valley. In 1916 he moved to Scottsblufif with 
the hope that this city's even climate might be 
beneficial to Mrs. Haxby, a hope that has been 
realized. 

In 1886 Mr. Haxby was united in marriage 
to Miss Amelia Rasch, who was born in Saun- 
ders county, Nebraska, and is a daughter of 
William and Philopena (Tillman) Rasch, both 
of whom were born in Germany. They came 
to the United States in 1858, lived for a time 
in New York, came then to Omaha, Nebraska, 
and subsequently homesteaded in Saunders 
county. The first home that Mrs. Haxby re- 
members in Saunders county, was a sod house, 
with outbuildings also of sod construction, this 
kind of house prevailing over wide areas in 
early days here when the transportation of 
lumber was difificult. To Mr. and Mrs. Haxby 
the following children were born : William C, 
who lives on his wheat ranch in Cheyenne 
county, Nebraska; Benjamin Robert, who 
manages his father's property in Saunders 
county ; Esther Fay, who is an independent 
young business woman at Scottsblufif; Myrtle 
Ruth, who is the wife of Frank Anderson, for- 
merly in the plumbing business at Scottsbluft", 
returned June, 1919, an overseas soldier in the 
American army in France ; and Everett Lyle, 
who is attending school. Mr. Haxby and his 
family are members of the Methodist Episco- 
pal church. In politics he is a Republican as 
was his father before him. 

JAMES BAXTER, who came to what is 
now Scottsbluft' county, Nebraska, in 1888, has 
lived in this county ever since and is one of its 
substantial and well thought of citizens. Mr. 
Baxter has been a good farmer, an honorable 
and useful citizen, and on his own land and 
underneath his own care has reared a worthy 
and creditable family. Since 1917 he has lived 
retired at Scottsbluft. 

James Baxter was born in Fermanaugh 
county, Ireland, September 16, 1854. His 
parents were James and Margaret (Mont- 
gomervO Baxter, both of whom died in Ire- 
land, both Scotch. Of their eight children 
four came to America, namely: Alexander, 
Mrs. ]\Iartha Kennedy, Mrs. Maria Beatty, 
and James. Alexander came to the United 
States and engaged in the draying business at 
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, from 1864 until his 
death in 1905. Maria is the wife of George 
Beatty. a farmer in Madison county, Nebras- 
ka. The parents were members of the Pres- 
bvterian church. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



99 



James Baxter attended school in his native 
land and made himself useful to his father, 
who was a farmer, until 1874, when he came to 
the United States. During one year he re- 
mained with his brother Alexander at Pitts- 
burg, then went to Delaware county, Iowa, 
where he worked for five years on different 
farms, for about $200 a year, then rented a 
farm in Iowa for four years. In 1888 he came 
to Nebraska and pre-empted his present farm 
in what was then Cheyenne but is now Scotts- 
bluft' county, and for years afterward devoted 
himself closely to its improvement. Mr. Bax- 
ter now owns 120 acres of well improved, ir- 
rigated land, as a just reward for his perse- 
verance and industry. In 1917, he decided the 
time had come when he could take a rest, 
therefore he bought a nice property on a pleas- 
ant avenue in Scottsblufif, having turned his 
farm over to the management of his eldest 
son-in-law. 

Mr. Baxter was married while living in 
Iowa, to Miss Anna Crothers, who was born 
October 15, 1853, in Ireland, and came to the 
United States with her parents in 1864, who 
settled in Delaware county. She was a daugh- 
ter of William and Margaret (Ramsey) Croth- 
ers, both natives of Ireland. He died July 4, 
1865, one year after coming to the United 
States, leaving a large family of children. 
The mother died in Iowa at the age of sixty- 
seven, they were both members of the Metho- 
dist church and of Scotch descent. They have 
had children as follows : Mary E., who is the 
wife of Howard H. Elsabach, a lumber man 
at Henry, Nebraska ; James, who operates his 
own farm near Scottsbluft' : Sarah, who is the 
wife of W. O. Powell, a railroad man in Mon- 
tana ; Mattie, who is the wife of Mike J. 
Helen, a farmer on Mr. Baxter's old home- 
stead ; Etta, who is the wife of C. G. Nicholas, 
a farmer near Mr. Baxter; John Alexander, 
who was in military service at Camp Funston, 
during the great war for seventeen months ; 
and Alma Lillian, who was a victim of influ- 
enza, in November, 1918. Mr. Baxter and 
family belong to the Methodist Episcopal 
church. In politics he is a Republican. 

MILLARD F. CLUCK. — Perhaps no Am- 
erican story writers have a wider audience than 
those who write understandingly, or otherwise, 
of western ranch life. Their unconventional 
tales are usually most interesting, for a spirit of 
freedom and adventure lies dormant in every 
one, and more emphasis is laid on this fea- 
ture than on the sordid details that are neces- 
sary in the practical conduct of a great ranch. 



in which thousands of dollars are pretty sure 
to have been invested. In many ways life 
on a ranch in Nebraska undoubtedly pleases 
and satisfies, but it must also profit or such 
experienced business men as Millard F. Cluck, 
a well-known resident of Scottsbluff, would 
not devote his valuable time to operating a 
a ranch. Mr. Cluck owns four thousand acres 
of land in Banner county. 

Millard F. Cluck was born at Newport, 
Perry county, Pennsylvania, September 25, 
1878. the son of William and Barbara (Creek) 
Cluck, both bom in Perry county. In 1879 
they moved to Iowa, where the father fol- 
lowed the blacksmith trade for ten years, 
then came to Nebraska and homesteaded in 
Banner county. The family lived on the 
ranch until 1899, then moved to Scottsbluff, in 
which place Mr. Cluck died some years later. 
He was a man of sturdy character, upright in 
every act, and a leading member of the Ev- 
angelical Lutheran church. Of his children 
the following survive in addition to Millard 
F. : Curtis M., a farmer in Morrill county, 
Nebraska ; Catherine, the wife of Allen 
Chamberlain, who is pastor of the Methodist 
Episcopal church at Ord, Nebraska; Alice, 
who married Timothy M. Granshaw, of 
Council Bluff. Iowa, she died September 10, 
1919; and Anna L., the wife of Dee England, 
a farmer near Orient, Iowa. The paternal 
grandfather of this family was Jacob Cluck, 
who spent his life in Pennsylvania. 

Millard F. Cluck was well educated in the 
public schools of Gering, and his first busi- 
ness experience was in the Irrigators Bank, an 
association which continued for seven years 
and when he retired in order to give attention 
to his own affairs, had become cashier of the 
institution. In 1907 he moved to Scottsbluff, 
purchased a desirable property and has since 
maintained his home here, and taking much 
interest in the town's progress. His large 
ranch in Banner county he uses for feeding 
cattle and is one of the big shippers of this 
section. 

November 28. 1906, Mr. Cluck was united 
in marriage with :\Iiss Tina Barrett, who was 
born in Cass county, Nebraska, not far from 
Weeping Water. She is a daughter of George 
W. and Ollie (Wolcott) Barrett, the former 
a native of New York and the latter of IIH- 
nois. After their marriage near Elizabeth, 
Illinois, the parents of Mrs. Cluck came to 
Cass county, Nebraska, where the father home- 
steaded. During their first years they lived 
in a barn, but prosperity came to them and 
Mr. Barrett is retired from business life and 



100 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



resides on his estate in Florida. Mrs. Barrett 
died in 1913. all her life a faithful member of 
the Christian church. Mrs. Cluck has three 
brothers and one sister : Lynn, a farmer and 
rancher in Canada; Tillie, the wife of John 
Todd, a rancher in Canada ; Loren, a farmer 
in Kansas ; and Ray, a farmer near Burling- 
ton, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Cluck have two 
daughters, Velma and Mildred, aged respec- 
tively, eleven and five years. Mrs. Cluck was 
educated in the high school at Elmwood and 
in 1901 was graduated from the training de- 
partment of the Peru normal school. She is 
a member of the Christian church. In his po- 
litical views Mr. Cluck is a Republican. 

WILLIAM H. GABLE, has for many years 
been identified with important business inter- 
ests, both in Nebraska and Wyoming, was 
born in the southern part of Germany, Febru- 
ary 5, 1864, the youngest son of Henry Gable. 
Both parents spent their lives in Germany, 
where the father kept a hotel. They were 
members of the Lutheran church. 

William H. Gable was left an orphan when 
yet young. He attended school and followed 
such pursuits in his native land as were open 
to him, and June 1, 1878 came to the United 
States by himself . After landing in the United 
States Mr. Gable located first in St. Louis, 
where many of his countrymen lived. As he 
was learning the English language he accepted 
any honest employment for a living during 
the first two years. In 1880 he went to Denver, 
Colorado, but a year later moved to Wyom- 
ing where he became a cowboy on a ranch, 
an occupation he followed for five years. Not 
such a very long time elapsed however, before 
his industry had brought him some capital, 
and for some years he kept working on farms, 
but later secured land of his own and went in- 
to the sheep business, in which he prospered. 
He continued to operate his Wyoming ranch 
until 1906, when he sold and came to Nebras- 
ka. He bought land within two miles of 
Scottsbluff and now has three hundred acres 
of irrigated land under rental. He has im- 
portant interests at Scottsbluft', being concern- 
ed in an independent lumber yard and also in 
the Scottsbluff creamery. 

In 1900 Mr. Gable married Miss Lina 
Danulat, who was born September 28, 1876 in 
Alsace-Lorraine, and they have three children : 
Theodore, who is on the home farm; Martin, 
employed in the Scottsbluff creamery during 
vacations ; and Lilly, who is attending school. 
Mr. Gable reared two nephews, Arnold and 
Fred Pistorius, both in military service dur- 



ing the World W'ar, the latter being a wireless 
operator. Mr. Gable and his family are mem- 
bers of the Christian Science church. In poli- 
tics he has been identified continuously with 
the Republican party. He is valued highly as 
a citizen of Scottsbluff. where he has served 
on the school board and has furthered many 
worthy enterprises of dift'erent kinds. 

JOHN W. BLY, who is a member of the 
Weller Company, at Scottsbluff, is a practical 
hardware man, having been identified with 
this line of work ever since leaving his school 
books. He has been a resident of Scottsbluff 
since 1912, and in April. 1918, was elected 
city clerk. 

John W. Bly was born at Big Bend, Kan- 
sas, December 27. 1887, and is a son of Lu- 
cian G. and Catherine (AIcDonald) Bly, the 
former of who was born in Illinois and the 
latter in Indiana. In 1893 the father located 
in Colorado, being a traveling representative 
of a wholesale hardware house, and ever since 
then the family home has been at Greeley. Of 
the family of five children, John W. was the 
second in order of birth, the others being: 
Winnie, the wife of H. J. Guise, in charge of 
the poultry department work in connection 
with the agricultural college at Davis, Cali- 
fornia ; Hazel, the wife of Allen Straight, a 
farmer near Loveland, Colorado ; Lucian, who 
conducts a tin shop at Scottsbluff'; and Helen, 
attending school. The parents of the above 
family are members of the Presbyterian 
church. In politics the father is a Republi- 
can, and for many years he has been identi- 
fied with the Masonic fraternity. 

John W. Bly enjoyed excellent educational 
advantages and in 1906 was graduated from 
the Teachers College, at Greeley. With the 
intention of thoroughly learning the hardware 
business, he started in at the bottom, begin- 
ning as a stove polisher. Mr. Bly has ad- 
vanced to his present position through indus- 
try and close attention and now owns a block 
of stock in the Weller Company in addition 
to being its credit manager. 

On June 1, 1913, Mr. Bly was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Sarah E. Lowery, who was bom 
in Iowa, and they have one son, Robert Walter, 
who has not yet reached his second birthday. 
Mr. and Mrs. Bly are members of the Presby- 
terian church. He is a Scottish Rite Mason 
and has always lived up to the moral stan- 
dards such a connection makes necessary. His 
political affiliation has always been with the 
Republican party. He has been an earnest 
and active citizen ever since coming here and 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



101 



individually and in business is held depend- 
able and trustworthy. 

EDWIN A. CURRIE, who is now num- 
bered among the substantial agriculturists of 
Scottsblufif county, has been the architect of his 
own fortune, and having based his life's struc- 
ture on substantial foundations, has builded 
soundly and well. \Mien he entered upon his 
career he was possessed of little save inherent 
ability and a determination to succeed, and 
these have proved ample, through their devel- 
opment, to enable him to become a well-to-do 
farmer, stockman, and banker in a community 
which does not lack for able men. 

Edwin A. Currie is of staunch Scotch an- 
cestry on both the paternal and maternal sides 
as the respective names fully indicate. He was 
born in northeastern Ohio, March 6, 1858, the 
son of James and Marion (Hamilton) Currie, 
both natives of the vicinity of the famous 
Scotch city of Glasgow. To them were born 
four children: Lucihe M.. who married Jason 
Beach, is deceased ; Edwin ; James R., who 
lives in Ohio, and Maggie H„ the wife of Fred 
Simpson, also lives in Ohio. 

The parents were some of the fine Scotch 
settlers who came to the United States during 
the nineteenth century, as they emigrated from 
their native land about 1849 and soon after 
reaching America located in Ohio where the 
father followed farming as a life work, being 
eminently successful in this chosen vocation. 
The family were members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church in Ohio, where the father 
died in 1898, being survived by his wife who 
lived to a hearty old age, passing away in 1903. 

Edwin Currie attended the district schools in 
Ohio, receiving an excellent rudimentary edu- 
cation supplemented by the instruction of his 
parents and the reading they induced him to do 
by himself. He began working by the month 
for a short time, then bought a team and began 
running a huxter wagon and dealing in stock. 
The Ohio valley was thickly settled at this 
period and the young man determined to take 
advantage of the opportunities of securing gov- 
ernment land in the newer state west of the 
Mississippi, and the Great Muddy, as the Mis- 
souri was known, for here on the rolling prai- 
ries was land, and room enough for all who 
desired to come and take it. On April 6, 1886, 
the start for the new home in the west was 
made. Mr. Currie was a bachelor, so it was 
not necessary to take as much household goods 
as though more members were to make the 
trip. In Missouri he and his uncle, John H. 
Currie, purchased a team and wagon for the 
long journey overland. Leaving there May 



18th it was the 1st of July before Mr. Currie 
reached Scottsblufif county where he took a 
tree claim, preempted 160 acres and home- 
steaded another 160 acre tract in 1887. He 
at once began to make improvements upon 
his land, engaged in gei.eral farming and 
stock-raising. The early struggles taxed the 
young man's strength to the full but he pos- 
sessed determination and persistence and in 
the end they triumphed over all obstacles. Mr. 
Currie had the utmost confidence in the com- 
munity where he had selected to make his 
home, and during the drought years of 1890 
and 1894, when other settlers were discour- 
aged and were leaving for their former homes 
in the east, he bought more land, and has lived 
to reap the reward of this confidence. He still 
owns the original homestead and claim but has 
added to them until today he has a rural estate 
of 6,000 acres dry grazing land, about 600 
acres of which are under irrigation. From 
1886 to the present Mr. Currie has been active- 
ly engaged in agricultural pursuits ; his talents 
seem naturally adapted to these lines and today 
he is the owner of a splendid enterprise which 
is but a just reward for a man of industry and 
energy, enterprise and spirit, which was so 
well demonstrated during the trying years 
when crops failed. He is noted for his int'»g- 
rity and tlie manner in which he lives up to his 
business obligations. 

Mr. Currie was married in 1906 to Miss 
Jennie G. Richards of New England extrac- 
tion, as she was born in Vermont and came to 
western Nebraska while her father at the time 
of settlement in this section. Mr. Currie is a 
staunch Republican in politics ; he and his wife 
are members of the Federated Congregational 
church, while he is fraternally a Scottish Rite 
Mason. He now rents his irrigated land and 
keeps his pasture land. He was one of the 
organizers and the first president of the Amer- 
ican Bank of Mitchell. 

ADELBERT A. MILLER, widely known 
in Western Nebraska as special agent for the 
Occidental Building & Loan Association of 
Gering, for a number of years was prominent 
in the educational field and has also been con- 
nected with business enterprises of some mag- 
nitude. Mr. Miller was born at Tekonsha, 
Calhoun county, Michigan, July 14, 1873, and 
has been a resident of Gering, Nebraska, and 
a leader in many of its affairs of moment, for 
the past eighteen years. 

Rlr. Miller's parents were Daniel S. and 
Elizabeth Ann (Harsh) Miller, both born near 
Canton, Ohio. The grandparents were Peter 
Miller and Adam Harsh, both natives of 



102 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Pennsylvania who moved to Ohio, where the 
latter died but the father passed away in Mich- 
igan. Daniel S. Miller served in the Civil 
War as a member of the Ninety-eighth Ohio 
infantry and accompanied his regiment with 
Genera! Sherman on the memorable march to 
the sea. In 1866 he moved to Michigan, 
bought land in Calhoun county and there both 
he and wife died. They had the following 
chikiren : Maggie the wife of William Cre- 
ore, of Battle Creek, Michigan; Adelbert A., 
who resides at Gering ; Lawrence L., a retired 
merchant at Gering; and two who are de- 
ceased. The father was reared in the Luther- 
an faith and never changed his church rela- 
tionship, while the mother was a; faithful 
member of the ^Methodist Episcopal church. 
Mr. Miller's father continued his interest in 
the Grand Army of the Republic up to the 
time of his death, belonging to the post at 
Tekonsha, Michigan. 

Adelbert A. Miller attended the country' 
schools near his father's farm and afterward 
the normal school at Ypsilanti with the inten- 
tion of making teaching a part of his life 
work and for a number of years he was very 
prominent in the educational field, first in 
Michigan, later in North Dakota, where he 
was superintendent of schools of Milnor, in 
Sargent county, for four years, and afterward 
at Gering, where he filled the same ofifice. Mr. 
IMiller then embarked in the lumber business, 
which he followed for nine years, retiring 
from that line to enter the mercantile busi- 
ness with his brother. Six years later he sold 
his store interest to accept the position of 
special agent for the Occidental Building & 
Loan Company, a business concern of large 
importance, and Mr. IMiller now has charge of 
all the loans in Western Nebraska. He de- 
votes all his time to furthering the interests 
of this corporation, but during the progress of 
the World War, he put aside most of his per- 
sonal interests in order to work for the pub- 
lic weal, serving early and late as a member of 
the Council of Defense and as food adminis- 
trator. 

In 1898 Mr. Miller was united in marriage 
with Miss Elsie Johnson, who was born in 
Southern Michigan, a daughter of Homer 
Johnson, who was a substantial farmer. To 
Mr. and Mrs. Miller the following children 
have been born : Margaret, educated at Ger- 
ing, occupied a position of chemist in the sugar 
factory here for one year, and is now ticket 
and express agent for the Union Pacific Rail- 
road at this point ; and Murray, Dorothy, Stan- 
ley, Esther, Adelia, Jack, Elizabeth and Cath- 



erine. Mr. Miller and family belong to the 
Methodist Episcopal church. Politically he is 
a staunch Republican and frequently he has 
served in public offices at Gering. He was the 
first city treasurer and has served on the school 
board for twelve years. He is prominent in 
the order of Odd Fellows and is a member of 
the grand lodge, having passed through all the 
chairs. Mr. Miller is recognized as one of 
Gering's representative citizens. 

HENRY EBERHARDT, who is engaged 
in the mercantile business at Scottsblufif, has, 
in a few years, built up a large business en- 
terprise here, on a foundation of business hon- 
esty and courtesy to ever>-one. Mr. Eber- 
hardt came to the United States from a far 
distant countr}-, but soon adapted himself to 
American ways and is able to count his ac- 
quaintances as friends. 

Henry Eberhardt was born in Russia, April 
12, 1891, the youngest of a family of six chil- 
dren bom to Jacob and Mary (Milburger) 
Eberhardt. The other members of the family 
are: George and Jacob, who are farmers in 
Russia; Mary, w-ho lives with her mother in 
Russia ; Fred, who came to the United States 
and is in the creamery business in Kansas ; 
and Lizzie, who lives in Russia. The father 
died on his farm in Russia when Henry was 
but six months old. He attended school in his 
native land and thus was well informed when 
he came to the United States and settled in 
Kansas in 1910. There he worked in a store 
and also learned the language of the country 
with the quick intelligence for which his coun- 
trymen are noted. In 1914 he came to Scotts- 
blufif and started a small store, stocking it 
with reliable and seasonable goods, and from 
that modest beginning has built up a large 
trade and now has a commodius general store. 
Having sold this out he and Dr. C. N. Aloore 
bought the Harris market on Broadway and 
have one of the most modern and up-to-date 
markets in Western Nebraska. 

In 1913 IMr. Eberhardt was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Mary Kuxhousen, and they have 
two children, namely: Leo and Ruth. They 
are members of the Lutheran church. 

WTLLIAM L. SIMMONS, who is one of 
the leading contractors at Scottsbluff, is a 
member of a very important old family that 
settled first in Dodge and later became known 
in other couties of the state of Nebraska. He 
was born at North Bend, Dodge county, June 
7, 1882, and is a son of Charles H. Simmons, 
extended mention of whom will be found in 
this work. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



103 



William L. Simmons did not have the edu- 
cational advantages that he is able to afford 
his own children, but he remembers when 
school was held in a sod house within walking 
distance over the prairie from his father's 
homestead. He helped on the farm but his in- 
clination was toward mechanics and when 
eighteen years old he learned the carpenter 
trade and has spent the greater part of his 
time at Scottsbluff ever since as a carpenter 
and contractor. He is now associated with 
his brother, O. W. Simmons, and they do a 
large volume of business, running two crews 
of men all the time. The business reputation 
of the firm is above par. 

In 1904 ]\Ir. Simmons was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Alpha , McCartney, who was 
born at Sibley, Iowa, a daughter of James S. 
and Alice (Darling) IMcCartney, natives of 
Illinois who were married in Iowa, to which 
state they were taken when young. The fath- 
er of Mrs. Simmons was a farmer. He died 
January 15, 1913. The mother resides at 
Scottsbluff'. Mrs. Simmons has two sisters: 
Mary, the wife of W. G. Munser, a farmer 
in Wyoming; and Alice, the wife of Arthur 
Marley, a farmer near Lingle, Wyoming. Mr. 
and Rlrs. Simmons have a son and daughter, 
Harry and Harriett, now fourteen years old 
and attending school, who have the distinction 
of being the first twins born in the city ; and 
Fred, who is ten years old and also in school. 
Mrs. Simmons is a member of the Presby- 
terian church. Mr. Simmons is a Republican 
in politics but he has never desired any po- 
litical office. He is somewhat prominent in 
the order of Odd Fellows, belonging to the 
grand lodge and the Encampment. 

DAVID W. HILL, who is a highly re- 
spected citizen of Scottsbluff', has been one of 
the county's extensive cattle feeders for many 
years, and since moving into this city in 1914 
still devotes his Scottsbluff' irrigated land to 
this industry. Mr. Hill has been a resident of 
Nebraska for thirty-three years. 

David W. Hill was bom at Lockport, New 
York, December 15, 1864, one of a family of 
fourteen children born to Minard and Almira 
(June) Hill, the former of whom was born 
in England, and the latter in New York, in 
which state they were married. In 1865 re- 
moval was made to Michigan, where the fath- 
er bought land and both parents died there. 
They were quiet. Christian people, and both 
belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church. 

Of the seven surviving members of his par- 
ents' family, David W. Hill is the only one 



living in Nebraska. He was afforded a thor- 
ough public school education, being graduated 
from the high school, in Van Buren county, 
Michigan, after which he intelligently took 
up work on the home farm, paying consider- 
able attention to stockraismg. In January, 
1886 he moved to Buffalo county, Nebraska 
and shortly afterward took a pre-emption in 
Banner county, and for a number of years 
following lived in that section. For fifteen 
j-ears he was in partnership with T. C. Eg- 
gleston in the cattle business, their opera- 
tions being extensive in raising and handling 
high grade and registered White Face cattle. 
Mr. Hill then came to Scottsbluff' county 
and bought irrigated land and went into the 
cattle feeding and shipping business, in 
which he continued actively engaged until 
1914, when he came to Scottsbluff' and 
took possession of his comfortable residence 
on Avenue A and identified himself with the 
best interests of the place. 

In the spring of 1894 Mr. Hill was united 
in marriage to Miss Gertrude Grafiuse, who 
was born in Pennsylvania and is a daughter of 
Thomas and Jennie (De Remer) Grafiuse. 
The parents of Mrs. Hill moved to Buffalo 
county, Nebraska, in 1878, homesteaded and 
resided on their land until the father's death 
in 1910. Mrs. Hill has one brother, Charles, 
who is a hardware merchant at Kearney, Ne- 
braska. Mr. and 3ilrs. Hill have the follow- 
ing children: Bernice, who is a student in 
the state university : Jennie, who is also a uni- 
versity student ; and Ivis, Charles and Doro- 
thea, all of whom are in school with higher 
educational advantages in prospect. Mrs. Hill 
is a member of the Baptist church. Mr. Hill 
was quite active in Republican politics while 
living in Banner county and for six years 
served as a member of the board of county 
commissioners. He belongs to the Odd Fel- 
lows and the Knights of Pythias and is past 
chancellor in the latter organization. 

FRANK E. COWEN, who is a representa- 
tive business man of Scottsbluff, has been en- 
gaged here for a number of years as a cement 
contractor and has built up an unquestioned 
reputation for reliability. Mr. Cowen was 
boni in Marshall county, Iowa, July 2, 1873, 
and is a son of Elisha M. and Elvira (Trip- 
lett) Cowen, extended mention of whom will 
be found in this work. 

Frank E. Cowen attended the public schools 
in Chicago, Illinois, in boyhood, then came to 
Cheyenne county. Nebraska, w^orked at farm- 
ing for some years and also at times on the 



104 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



"round ups" in Wyoming. In 1904 Mr. Cowen 
came to Scottsbluff and has been interested in 
the cement business and identified with the 
Cowen Construction Company, ever since, with 
the exception of three years which he spent 
as a farmer in Arkansas. 

On December 31, 1894, at Harrisburg, Ban- 
ner county, Nebraska. Mr. Cowen was united 
in marriage to Miss Maude Dennison, who is 
a daughter of Edward and Mary (Urban) 
Dennison, the former of whom was born in 
Illinois, and the latter in Bohemia. The par- 
ents of Mrs. Cowen live at Scottsblufif and 
her father is interested in the cement industry. 
Mr. and Mrs. Cowen have had children as 
follows : Grace, who died when aged eighteen 
years ; Luretta. who is employed by the local 
telephone company; Vera, who is also a tele- 
phone operator; and Lovella, Nellie and Ed- 
ward Mason, who are yet in school. Mr. 
Cowen has taken much interest in civic mat- 
ters ever since coming to Scottsbluff and his 
attitude on many public questions has won 
him the confidence of his fellow citizens, which 
they have evidenced by electing him a member 
of the city council for the third time. He be- 
longs to the Masonic fraternity and to the 
Modern Woodmen. 



ELISHA M. COWEN, who is at the head 
of the Cowen Construction Company, Scotts- 
bluff', for the past fourteen years has been 
identified with building interests here, and to 
him the city is largely indebted for the sub- 
stantial character of the larger number of its 
residences and business houses. The Cowen 
stamp on a building marks material and work- 
manship the best that can be secured. 

Elisha M. Cowen was born at Cummington, 
Berkshire county, Massachusetts, March 28, 
1848. His parents were James M. and Julia 
M (Mason) Cowen, the former of whom was 
born at Glasgow, Scotland, and the latter in 
Massachusetts. In early youth James M. 
Cowen was bound out to an uncle, in whose 
cotton-spinning mill at Preston, England, he 
learned the trade of spinner and before leav- 
ing the mill had become a foreman. In 1840 
he crossed the Atlantic ocean to the United 
States in a sailing vessel and found work in 
one of the great mill districts of Massachu- 
setts. Of his two children Elisha M. is the 
only survivor. 

Elisha M. Cowen was educated at Albany, 
New York, passing through the high school 
and the normal college, and in 1863 was gradu- 
ated from the Bryant & Stratton Commercial 
college of that city. While attending school 



in Albany, he was occupied during a part of 
the time with the duties of a page in the 
House of Representatives there. Although 
opportunities were afforded him for a pro- 
fessional or possibly a political career, for he 
made many influential friends at the capital, 
his inclinations were in an entirely dift'erent di- 
rection. He learned the bricklaying trade 
and worked at the same in Albany until 1866, 
when he went to Chicago, Illinois, worked 
there at his trade, then to Iowa for three years, 
and then to Banner county, Nebraska. Mr. 
Cowen then homesteaded and remained on his 
land for seventeen years, removing then to 
Colorado Springs, and from there, in 1905 
came to Scottsbluff. Mr. Cowen has been 
very successful in his business undertakings 
and is ranked with the leading men in his 
line in this part of Nebraska. 

On January 25, 1870, Mr. Cowen was unit- 
ed in marriage to Miss Elvira Triplett, who 
was bom at Princeton, Illinois and is a daugh- 
ter of Edward and Lucinda Triplett, natives 
of Ohio. They moved on a farm in Illinois 
and both died there. Mr. and Mrs. Cowen 
had two children born to them, namely: Nel- 
lie and Frank E. The latter is prominent in 
public affairs at Scottsbluff' and is serving in 
his third term as a member of the city coun- 
cil. He is a cement contractor and is con- 
nected with the Cowen Construction company. 

The only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cowen, 
Nellie, was the widow of W. M. J. Brozee, 
and had two children: Stanley and Etola, the 
latter of who is the wife of Frank H. Burbank, 
who is a railroad man. Stanley Brozee was 
an employe of the Mid-Continent Oil Com- 
pany at Bartlesville, Oklahoma, prior to en- 
tering military service in the World War, in 
May, 1918. He was trained in ambulance 
service at Tarrytown, New York. His mother 
died in 1900 at the early age of twenty-two 
years. Mrs. Cowen is a member of the Bap- 
tist church. Since 1870 Mr. Cowen has be- 
longed to the order of Odd Fellows and for 
many years has been a Mason and twice has 
been master of his lodge. 

PHILO J. McSWEEN, chief of Police De- 
partment at Scottsbluff, occupies a position 
that requires personal courage, together with 
a large measure of discriminative judgment 
and understanding of human nature. Since 
entering upon the duties of this office. Chief 
McSween has enforced the law intelligently 
and without fear or favor and to the fullest 
extent enjoys the confidence of the law-abiding 
public. 




Andrew J. Faulk, M. D. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



105 



Philo J- McSween was born in Burnet coun- 
ty, Texas, September 11, 1872, and is a son of 
Dr. John and Elizabeth (Wright) McSween. 
The father was born in Tennessee and the 
mother in Mississippi, in which latter state 
they were married and the father obtained 
his medical degree from a Mississippi college. 
After some years of practice there he moved 
to Texas, in which state he also practiced his 
profession for some years and then went into 
the cattle business in which he continued un- 
til he retired from active life. His death oc- 
curred in Texas and that of the mother of 
Chief McSween in Colorado. Of their nine 
children Philo J. was the youngest and is the 
only one of the five survivors living in Nebras- 
ka. Before the war between the states, Dr. 
McSween was a man of large fortune, but 
like many others he lost heavily through cir- 
cumstances over which he had no control. As 
long as he lived he was a conscientious sup- 
porter of the priciples of the Democratic 
party. He was a faithful Mason and strict in 
his adherence to the tenets of the Presby- 
terian church. 

Philo J- McSween obtained his education 
in the schools of Burnet, Texas. When eigh- 
teen years old he went to Colorado and for 
sixteen years he was concerned with farm in- 
dustries there, having had experience in his 
native state. From Colorado he came to Ne- 
braska and in 1907 embarked in the meat 
business at Scottsbluiif in partnership with M. 
E. Harris, but two years later bought a farm 
in the county, which he conducted until March, 
1919, when he sold it and moved back into 
town, accepting the appointment of chief of 
police. 

At Brush, Colorado, January 10. 1899, Philo 
J. McSween was united in marriage to Miss 
Lureada Lee, who was bom in Iowa and is a 
daughter of Joseph and Rosaline Lee, natives 
of Kentucky, who moved to Iowa and became 
farming people there. Chief and Mrs Mc- 
Sween have had five children, namely: Myrtle, 
who was graduated from the high school at 
Scottsbluiif in the class of 1919; Raymond L., 
who fell a victim of influenza in the epidemic 
of 1918, a promising and talented youth of 
sixteen years ; and Merle, Mildred and Fred, 
aged respectively thirteen, seven and three 
years. A staunch Democrat in politics, a loyal 
member of the Knights of Pythias, a public- 
spirited citizen and an efficient and reliable 
official, all these may be truthfully cited of 
Chief McSween. 



ANDREW J. FAULK, M.D., is one of the 
favored mortals whom nature launches into 
the world with the heritage of sturdy ancestry, 
a splendid ])hysique, a masterful mind and en- 
ergy enough for many men. Added to these 
attributes are exceptional intellectual and pro- 
fessional attainments and useful lessons of a 
wide and varied experience stored away. He 
is a type of the true gentleman and representa- 
tive of the best in communal life, dignified, 
yet possessed of an affability and abiding hu- 
man sympathy that have won him warm 
friends among all classes and conditions of 
men. Of sturdy pre-Revolutionary stock, he 
was born strong of decision, with judgment 
and pronounced independence. If a man comes 
of a good family he ought to be proud of it 
and he performs an immeasurable duty when 
he employs the best means to preserve the fam- 
ily record in enduring form, that future gen- 
erations may receive instructicTn through the 
principles and influences, the personality and 
career of the forbears. The subject of this 
biography can trace his lineage to colonial days, 
as two of his great-grandfathers came to this 
country and located in the Keystone state be- 
fore the Revolutionary war and aided in re- 
claiming Pennsylvania from the virgin forest 
and possession of the Indians. 

Andrew J. Faulk was born in Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania, June 13, 1858, the .son of 
Thomas B. and Sarah (Reed) Faulk, both 
natives of that great commonwealth. Thomas 
Faulk received an excellent education and 
served on the editorial staff of one of the Pitts- 
burgh daily papers for several years. He was 
an ardent supporter of the Republican party 
and as a young man eagerly entered into polit- 
ical life, taking a leading part in party policy 
and administration, holding one office for twen- 
ty-seven years, being reelected term after term. 
Andrew's grandfather removed to Dakota Ter- 
ritory in 1862, locating in Yankton, where he 
entered prominently into the communal life of 
the city and surrounding country, and was ter- 
ritorial governor. He was a member of the 
Republican national convention that nomin- 
ated John C. Fremont. The grandfather died 
in 1898, passing away a man of honor in his 
eighty-fourth year. Thomas B. Faulk died at 
the age of fiftv-nine vears at Kittanning, Penn- 
sylvania, in 1898. 

Reared in such a family with its many tra- 
ditions and high ideals it was but natural that 
the boy should receive an excellent elementary 
education afforded by the public schools of 
Yankton, followed by broader and more com- 
prehensive courses that developed his fine men- 



106 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



tality and prepared him for the career to which 
he intended to devote his Hfe's labors. At the 
close of his academic career the young man 
entered upon the study of law, being admitted 
to practice in South Dakota in 1881, passing a 
brilliant examination before the bar. For some 
years he followed the profession of law and his 
name became well known in the territory and 
state, but the career of a lawyer did not en- 
tirely satisfy him for he wished his life to be 
sii^nilicantly une of service, for he is a man of 
unwa\erin;4- uptimism and abiding human sym- 
liathy and to satisfy these qualities he entered 
the Siiiux Citv College of Sledicine, receiving 
his degree of M.D. in 1901. For a short period 
the doctor was engaged in the practice of his 
profession in westeren Iowa, but in 1903, he 
removed to western Nebraska, and on the 25th 
day of September opened an office in iVIitchell. 
On coming here his ability soon gained him 
recognition, with the result that great success 
has attended his earnest efforts in his chosen 
calling. In the work of his humane mission 
Dr. Faulk spares himself neither mental nor 
])hv>ical eft'iirt. and carries relief and solace to 
those in .-ifflictinn and distress. His practice 
has grown to immense proportions for he has 
gained a reputation throughout the entire Pan- 
handle as physician and surgeon. The doctor 
is a namesake of his illustrious grandfather; 
while his ancestor, General Daniel Brodhead, 
was an officer in the Revolutionary W'ar, and 
while the doctor has never sought military hon- 
ors he is a worthy representative of his family, 
as he volunteered among the first on the decla- 
.ration of war in 1917. He is a leading figure 
in all patriotic movements and takes an active 
]iart in all civic and national affairs that tend 
toward the betterment of living conditions in 
state and county. His aunts have been at vari- 
ous times delegates of the Daughters of the 
American Revolution and one also served as 
president of this organization in both South 
Dakota and Nebraska. Dr. Faulk does not 
neglect his duties as a citizen of the city in 
which he makes his home but enters actively 
in the political life of Scottsbluff county as a 
staunch Republican, having served several 
terms as chairman of the Republican Central 
Committee and as Congressional committee- 
man. He is a member of the Masonic frater- 
nity and a Shriner, having taken his thirty-sec- 
ond degree ; is also a member of the B. P. O. E. 
and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
and a generous supporter of the Episcopal 
church, of which the family are members. He 
has served as surgeon general of the Patriarchs 
Militant for Nebraska; was the organizer and 
first president of the Scottsbluff County Med- 



ical Society ; is a member of the American 
Medical Society and state representative to the 
Nebraska State Medical Society, and was three 
times elected delegate thereto. At the present 
time he is serving in important local offices, be- 
ing president of the school board, and city 
physician, a position he is well qualified to fill 
as he is not only a highly educated man but is 
one of broad outlook who keeps abreast of the 
times and well up on all questions of the day, 
and at all times advocates the latest equipment 
and most advanced methods in the schools for 
the benefit of the rising generation. 

Dr. Faulk was first married in 1881 to Mina 
L. Fletcher, a native of the Empire state, who 
became the mother of two children: Carl F., 
who chose law for his career and is now prac- 
ticing in Alaska ; and JNIina Lucille, who is de- 
ceased. Mrs. Faulk was a highly educated 
woman of wide attainments, who for some time 
previous to her marriage taught "Methods" in 
New York State Normal. She died in April, 
1902. Two years later the doctor married Miss 
Maude E. Baldwin of [Minnesota, who is a 
woman of splendid talents and utmost sincer- 
ity, taking a very active part in all benevolent, 
charitable, and war work, and with her hus- 
band enjoys great popularity. 

E. FRANK KELLEY, a man of ripened 
school experience and high scholarship, effi- 
ciently fills the oft'ice of county superinten- 
dent of schools in Morrill county. His name 
carries weight in representative educational 
circles all over the state. Mr. Kelley was 
born in Illinois, October 16, 1876, but received 
most of his educational training in Nebraska. 

He is the son of James Dallas and Eugenia 
(Smith) Kelley, the former of whom was 
born in Pennsylvania and the latter in Iowa, 
the marriage taking place at Fort Madison, 
that state. The mother of Superintendent Kel- 
ley died in 1914, but his father still resides at 
Portland, Oregon, where he was a mechanic 
in the railway shops for ten years, following 
similar trade employment in Illinois, Iowa and 
Nebraska. He has always been considered a 
man of good judgment, has ever been faith- 
ful to his trade contracts, is a staunch advo- 
cate of the principles of the Democratic party 
and a member of the Presbyterian church. He 
belongs to the order of Modern Woodmen. 
Of his five children E. Frank is the only one 
living in Nebraska. 

E. Frank Kelley attended the Osceola high 
school, following his graduation he matricu- 
lated at Fremont college, graduating after four 
year with his Bachelor's degree in 1909 and 
immediately began teaching school in Polk 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



107 



county, Nebraska. Finding work in this pro- 
fession congenial, he continued his pedigogical 
work in Polk county for five years, then served 
as principal of the Lodgepole schools for one 
year, and subsequently for three years was 
principal of the schools of Bayard. In the 
naeanwhile he became connected with the First 
National Bank of Bayard, an association 
which lasted two years before he became an 
official of the Bank of Bayard, an institution 
with which he was connected five years, until 
the fall of 1916 when he was elected county 
superintendent of Morrill county and assumed 
office in 1917, being re-elected in the fall of 
1918. Mr. Kelley has been pleasantly asso- 
ciated with the county teachers, who have 
found in him not only a competent educational 
leader, but also a wise and helpful friend, this 
condition working beneficially for the schools 
all over the county. 

On June 24, 1903. Mr. Kelley was united 
in marriage to Miss Clara Goldsmith, who was 
born at Ashland, Nebraska, in 1881, a daugh- 
ter of David G. and Helen Goldsmith, both of 
whom survive, the father being a retired farm- 
er, with a home at North Platte. Nebraska. 
Superintendent and Mrs. Kellev have two chil- 
dren : Helen, born May 14, 1905 : and Dallas, 
born January 15, 1916. The family belong to 
the Episcopal church. In politics a Demo- 
crat like his father, Mr. Kelley also belongs 
to the order of Modern Woodmen. 



ville high school, John Henry Steuteville en- 
tered upon the study of law and in 1899 was 
graduated from the University of Nebraska 
College of Law. For some years he was ac- 
tive in the educational field, at first teaching 
country schools in Nemaha county, Nebras- 
ka, and afterward served as principal of the 
city schools of Howe, Johnson and Brown- 
ville, Nebraska, and of Belle Fourche in South 
Dakota. He then engaged in the practice of 
his profession, first at Gering and later at 
Bridgeport. When the county was divided, at 
the first county election, he was elected coun- 
ty judge, in which office he has continued ever 
since, being re-elected five times. Not only 
on the bench has Judge Steuteville been a 
prominent and representative citizen of state 
and county, but in other relations and move- 
ments contributive to the general welfare, he 
has been a valuable co-operating force. He is 
a 32d degree Scottish Rite Mason, and has 
filled all the chairs in the Blue Lodge at 
Bridgeport. During the World War he served 
as secretary of the Council of Defense, was 
county Food Administrator, a member of the 
Home Guards, of the Four Minute Men. and 
was active on committees in the Y. M. C. A. 
movements and in other war preparations. 
Judge Steuteville owns several farms in Mor- 
rill county, and today is accounted one of the 
substantial and representative professional 
men of the Panhandle. 



JOHN H. STEUTEVILLE, who has most 
ably exercised judicial powers in Morrill 
county as County Judge for the last decade, 
stands in foremost rank with the substantial 
and loyal citizens of Bridgeport. Judge 
Steuteville was born in Grayson county, Ken- 
tucky, December 1, 1875, the son of Richard 
Foggatt and Narcissa E. (Haynes) Steute- 
ville, who moved from Grayson Springs, Ken- 
tucky, to Brownville, Nebraska, in 1880, and 
still reside there. Both parents were born in 
Kentucky, the father a son of Richard and 
Mary (Phillips) Steuteville. natives of Louisi- 
ana and Kentucky respectively, and the mother 
a daughter of Henry and Jane (Stith) 
Haynes, natives of Virginia and Kentucky. 
These old names are yet familiar and honored 
in different sections of the South. Judge 
Steuteville has two brothers and two sisters: 
Earl, the postmaster at Bridgeport, Nebraska ; 
William V., an attorney at Sioux City, Iowa ; 
Jessie E. Berlin, who resides at Brownville, 
Nebraska ; and Mary, a teacher of mathe- 
matics in the high school at Sioux City, Iowa. 

Following his graduation from the Brown- 



MABEL J. JOHNSON, the county treas- 
urer of Morrill county, Nebraska, has earned 
the reputation of being one of the most cap- 
able, energetic, efficient and likable officials 
that have been elected and re-elected to re- 
sponsible office here for many years. The 
spirit of progress that marks Nebraska in so 
many ways, is no more notably manifested 
than in opening doors of equal opportunity 
to both sexes and the calling of women as 
well as men who have the confidence of the 
public to positions of trust. Miss Johnson, 
after one term of difficult duty meritoriously 
performed, was re-elected county treasurer in 
1918 and is still serving. 

Mabel Johnson was born at Omaha, Nebras- 
ka. Her parents were Charles and Josephine 
(Palmquist) Johnson, both of whom were 
natives of Sweden. They came to the United 
States in 1879 and resided at first at Minne- 
apolis, Minnesota. In 1899 they located at 
Omaha but subsequently the father home- 
steaded in Morrill county where he was en- 
gaged in farm industry until the time of his 
death, in 1909. He was a member of the 



108 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Lutheran church, was a RepubHcan in poli- 
tics and belonged to the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows. The mother of Miss Johnson 
survived her husband and now lives at Bridge- 
port. Of the family of ten children eight sur- 
vive and two of the sons were in military 
service during the World War, August W. 
and David G. The former saw seven months 
of hard service in France and participated in 
the memorable battle of the Argonne Forest, 
where he was severely wounded. This young 
hero has not yet recovered from his injuries 
and, although once more on American soil, is 
yet a sufferer in a military hospital at Des 
Moines, Iowa. David was yet in a training 
camp at the time the annistice was signed 
with Germany. The other brother and sisters 
of Miss Johnson are as follows : A. C, who 
is a Broadwater ranchman and farmer ; Anna 
v., who is the wife of L. C. Curtis, engaged 
in the sand business at Fremont; Mary, who 
is deputy treasurer of Morrill county; and 
Helen and Alice, who are yet in school. 

Miss Johnson was educated in the Omaha 
public schools. Her first public position was 
as an employe of the post office for four years, 
after which she served as deputy county treas- 
urer for six years and was first elected treas- 
urer in 1916 and re-elected in 1918. She 
votes the Republican ticket. Miss Johnson is 
a member of the Presbyterian church at 
Bridgeport. 

Z. HAROLD JONES, district and county 
clerk of Morrill county, has been identified 
with county offices since 1914, entering public 
life from the educational field, in which he 
had been favorably known for some years. 
Mr. Jones was born at Gretna, Sarpy county, 
Nebraska, March 28, 1891, and his interests 
have always been centered in this state. 

Mr. Jones' parents were Ziba and Mary I. 
( Stansberry ) Jones, who were born, reared 
and married in Iowa. In 1879 they came to 
Nebraska and settled in Sarpy county but 
later moved to Dawson county where the 
father bought land. This farm he subsequent- 
ly sold. It was before the settlers had com- 
menced to benefit by the irrigation project 
that later has brought such plenteousness into 
even the most arid territories. Mr. Jones and 
his family returned to Sarpy county and lo- 
cated on a farm twenty-five miles southwest 
of Omaha, on which the family lived for 
twenty years. The father retired from active 
work at that time and moved to Gretna, 
where his death occurred in 1900. when fifty- 



two years old. He had been a man of con- 
siderable importance in Sarp county, was ac- 
tive in the Republican party and was a mem- 
ber of the Congregational church. For a num- 
ber of years he had been a member of the 
order of Modern Woodmen of America, un- 
der the auspices of which he was buried, and 
in which organization he carried insurance to 
the amount of $3,000. Of his eight children 
three besides Z. Harold survive: Ella J., the 
widow of John Hickey, lives at Marsland, Ne- 
braska and owns two large ranches in Sioux 
county, Nebraska ; George P., a miller at Hem- 
ingford, in Boxbutte county; and Augusta 
who is the wife of Arthur E. Simonds, of 
Bellevue, Nebraska, agent for the Burlington 
Railroad. The mother of the family lives 
with her son at Bridgeport and belongs to 
the Presbyterian church of this city. 

Following his graduation from the Gretna 
high school in 1907, Mr. Jones for six years 
alternated teaching and attending school to 
carry on higher and extended studies and thus 
qualify for better positions. He taught one 
year in the Bridgeport high school, being re- 
elected at the close of his contract. The oft'er 
he did not accept, however, and in 1914 en- 
tered the county clerk's office as deputy, which 
position he served until January 1, 1917, when 
he was elected clerk for the two-year term, 
and in November, 1918, was re-elected. His 
duties include those of both district and county 
clerk and complete efficiency marks their ad- 
ministration. 

On January 1, 1919, Mr. Jones was united 
in marriage to Miss Nell Jeffords, who was 
born at St. Paul, Nebraska, a daughter of John 
F. and Rose (Cordell) Jeft'ords, who were 
born, reared and married in Illinois. Some 
thirty years ago they came to Nebraska, lo- 
cating first at Loup City but moving later to 
St. Paul and afterward coming to Bridgeport, 
where the father engaged in the jewelry^ busi- 
ness, a vocation in which he built up an excel- 
lent clientele and which he conducted until his 
death here. Mrs. Jeffords survives her hus- 
band and yet resides here. 

Mr. Jones is affiliated with the Detnocratic 
party, takes an active part in civic affairs in 
Bridgeport in many ways, and is secretary of 
the school board and treasurer of the Home 
Guards. He is present chancellor commander 
of the Knights of Pythias, and belongs to the 
Bridgeport Progressive Club. Mr. and Mrs. 
Jones are members of the Presbyterian church, 
and are prominent in all social activities of the 
city. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



109 



BEXAJAH A. ROSEBROUGH, a pros- 
perous business man and thoroughly respected 
citizen of Mitchell, Nebraska, who is connected 
in a business way with the Mitchell Mercantile 
company, lays no claim to being a pioneer of 
this section, though he has undergone many of 
the pioneer conditions. He is one of tliose 
who, having spent a period on a farm, deserted 
the soil to enter commercial pursuits and has 
found success and prosperity therein, for today 
he enjoys great popularity due to courteous 
treatment, absolute fidelity to engagements, 
reasonable prices and expeditious service. All 
these qualities have served to attract to the 
store trade that extends over a wide stretch of 
the surrounding countryside. His standing in 
business circles is excellent, and rests upon 
more than a decade of honorable and straight- 
forward dealing. 

^Ir. Rosebrough is a native of Illinois, born 
at Havana, August 20, 1868, the son of Ben A. 
and Matilda (Tomlin) Rosebrough, the former 
a native of Ohio and the latter of New Jersey. 
To them were born five children : Elizabeth, 
the wife of Joseph P. Fisher of Mitchell, de- 
ceased ; Cora, married George Drake Coon, 
Pecos, Texas, and is deceased; Benajah A.; 
Frank, who lives in Rockport, New York ; and 
Bertha, the wife of Gilbert Carey, a resident of 
Dewitt, Nebraska, deceased. For many years 
the father of the family was a carpenter and 
contractor in Illinois but later became a farm- 
er, a vncation he followed until his death which 
occurred April 8, 1907, his wife having passed 
away in 1876. 

Benajah received an excellent education in 
the public schools of Illinois and upon graduat- 
ing from the high school entered I.inctiln L'ni- 
versity, Lincoln, Illinois, where he tiiiislK<l a 
course of study before graduation. Sdou after 
the close of his college career the young man 
was engaged in Y. M. C. A. work for about a 
year, but this impaired his health to such an 
extent that he was forced to seek less confining 
occupations and accepted a position with the 
Hoosier Furniture Company, of Lincoln, Illi- 
nois. Thirteen months later he returned to 
New Holland for a vacation but left to accept 
the position of manager of the Ryan furniture 
store, of New Holland, Illinois. Mr. Rose- 
brough heard the call of the west, however, and 
after looking up various localities decided to 
come to Nebraska, wdiich he did in 1*^04; the 
country looked good to him a-, he ^ays today 
and he determined to make this great common- 
wealth his future home. For a year he lived 
much as did some of the pioneers of the earlier 
days, but in 1905 he came to Mitchell to accept 
a position with the Mitchell Mercantile Com- 



pany, as head of the undertaking, furniture, 
and hardware departments. He at once began 
the study of embalming and received a license 
to practice in February, 1908; die following 
June he passed second in the class at Omaha, 
receiving his Nebraska license in 1910. Not 
satisfied with his preparation for this important 
profession, Mr. Rosebrough took a post gradu- 
ate course in embalming under Professor 
Howard Eckles, being one of eleven men in a 
class of thirty-eight members to pass the exam- 
ination in dermo surgery. He has recently 
embalmed the largest known man in this sec- 
tion of the world as he was six feet and two 
inches tall, and weighed seven hundred and 
twenty pounds. 

On April 26, 1899, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Benajah Rosebrough and Nellie Derr, 
who was born and reared in Illinois, and to 
them have been born five children: Mary, at 
home ; La Verne, in ScottsblufT ; Paul, at home ; 
Immogene and Dorothy. The family are mem- 
bers of the Presbyterian church 'while Mr. 
Rosebrough's fraternal al'tiliations are with the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the 
Knights of Pythias, while he exercises his priv- 
ilege of the ball.it as an independent, voting for 
the best man to till office. 

CHARLES D. CASPER, editor and pro- 
prietor of the Bridgeport Herald, has been 
known and appreciated in journalism in Ne- 
braska for many years, and through the me- 
dium of his own facile pen might disclose 
much that is interesting in relation to news- 
paper work and political movements during 
that time. For Mr. Casper is equally well- 
known in public affairs and as a member of 
both houses of the state legislature, has been 
influential in placing some very important laws 
on the statute book. He is a self made man 
and struggled up from a boyhood environment 
of orphanage and limited opportunity. 

Charles D. Casper was born at Red Lion, 
near New Castle, Delaware, being one of two 
children born to Richard and Margaret 
(Reed) Casper. His sister, Emma, is the 
widow of Richard Dilmore and resides in the 
city of Philadelphia. Both parents spent their 
lives in Delaware, the mother of Mr. Casper 
dying in his childhood. The father married 
Mary Reed, sister of his first wife and they 
had two children, both of whom are now de- 
ceased. The father never accumulated prop- 
erty. Mr. Casper's birth took place December 
10, 1845, and his school privileges were limit- 
ed, as he practically looked after himself un- 
til he enlisted for service as a soldier in a 
cavalry regiment in the Civil War, with which 



no 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



he served two years and one month. In 1866 
he came west and for three years ivas a mem- 
ber of the regular army of the United States, 
receiving his honorable discharge in Dakota. 

Mr. Casper then went to Iowa, where there 
was need of harvest hands and after the sea- 
son was over accepted work as a section hand 
on the railroad. It was in 1872, at Victor, 
Iowa, that he started in a printing office to 
learn the trade and continued there and even 
owned a newspaper in that town for a short 
time before locating at David City, Nebraska, 
where he established his first permanent resi- 
dence. Mr. Casper became a prominent fac- 
tor in Democratic politics, was elected the 
first countv clerk of Morrill county and serv- 
ed three years. In 1885 he was elected to the 
lower house of the state legislature ; in 1886 
was sent to the upper house from Polk and 
Butler counties, and in 1893 was returned to 
the house and served two temis. He returned 
to David Citv and resided there until 1905, 
when he cam'e to Morrill county and home- 
steaded and in 1906 came to Bridgeport. In 
the meanwhile, Mr. Casper had conducted the 
Bridgeport Blade for one year, and the Bayard 
Transcript for eighteen months. On March 1, 
1911, Mr. Casper founded the Bridgeport 
Herald, a weekly journal, which has built up 
a wide' circulation and fills a long felt want. 
It is ably edited and its columns give both the 
news of the outside world and of local happen- 
ings that! interest subscribers. In connection 
with his newspaper, Mr. Casper owns and 
operates a fine job printing office. 

Mr. Casper was married December 21, 1880, 
to Nancy M. Brownsett, who was bom in the 
Province of Quebec, Canada, and they have 
three daughters: Emma M., the widow of 
Earl M. Duncan, is her father's able assistant 
in the newspaper office ; Grace A., the wife of 
E. J. Hansen, a railroad agent at Shelton, Ne- 
braska; and Ruby L. B., the wife of A. T. 
Bjoraas, a brick contractor at Torrmgton, 
Wyoming. Mr. Casper is a member of the 
Presbyterian church. For many years he has 
been a Mason and at the present time is serv- 
ing as master of his lodge at Bridgeport. 

CLYDE SPANOGLE, who is one of the 
three owners of the Bridgeport Bank, the pio- 
neer banking institution here, is prominent in 
other fields than banking, public affairs having 
engaged his attention for^some years, although 
at present he gives the most of his attention to 
the rapidly growing business of the bank. 
Mr. Spanogle enjoys the distinction of having 
been elected the first mayor of Bridgeport. 



Clyde Spanogle was born in Hamilton coun- 
ty, Nebraska, May 10, 1880. His parents were 
Andrew J. and Catherine (Stover) Spanogle, 
who were born and married in Pennsylvania. 
They came from there in 1879 to Nebraska, 
and the father bought two sections of land in 
Hamilton county, in association with his broth- 
er, and latter established the first bank at Phil- 
lips, which he conducted for a number of 
years, then sold, retiring from business, and 
his death occurred in 1892. The mother of 
Mr. Spanogle died in 1902. In youth the 
father and mother belonged to the Dunkard 
church but lated united with the Baptist 
church. The father was a man of sterling 
character and in 1883 was honored in Hamil- 
ton county by election to the state legislature, 
in which body he served with steadfast adher- 
ence to what he believed to be right. 

Clyde Spanogle attended the public schools 
and completed his education in the William- 
son School of Mechanical Trades at Philadel- 
phia, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1900. Since 
1903 he has been connected with the Bridge- 
port Bank, in the ownership of which he is 
associated with his brother Mark Spanogle, 
and Fred R. Lindberg. Fred R. Lindberg is 
president of the bank ; Mark Spanogle is cash- 
ier and Clyde Spanogle is assistant cashier. 

In 1909 Clyde Spanogle was united in mar- 
riage to Miss iMartha Sheffel, who was born at 
St. Louis, Missouri, and they have one son, 
Andrew John, born in 1915. 

Mr. Spanogle stands deservedly high in pub- 
lic esteem at Bridgeport, where for years he 
has been an earnest citizen and a worker for 
civic betterment. For five years he was chair- 
man of the village board, elected on the Re- 
publican ticket, at different times has been 
city clerk, and in 1918 was elected mayor of 
Bridgeport. He has given encouragement to 
many worthy business enterprises here as an 
aid to commercial development and has been 
liberal in his support of patriotic and charit- 
able movements aftecting the whole commun- 
ity. He attends the Episcopal church. 

FR.A.NK H. PUTNAM, who has been in- 
terested in the lumber business at Bridgeport 
since 1905, has been active in the public affairs 
of city and county and is well and favorably 
known in Western Nebraska. Mr. Putnam is 
a native of Iowa, born in Davis county, Sep- 
tember 13, 1855. a son of Green M. and Mary 
M. (Kelsey) Putnam, the former of whom 
was bom in Illinois and the latter in Indiana. 
The paternal grandfather, Elijah Putnam, was 
born in Virginia, moved from there to Illinois 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



and later to Iowa, where he engaged in farm- 
ing during the rest of his Hfe. The maternal 
grandfather, George Kelsey, died in Missouri 
but removed from Indiana to Iowa when the 
mother of Mr. Putnam w-as a child. Both par- 
ents were reared in Iowa, were married there 
and both died in that state. Of their ten chil- 
dren six are living, Frank H., the only one in 
Nebraska, being the first born. The parents 
were members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. 

After his period of school attendance was 
over Mr, Putnam assisted his father on the 
home farm until he was twenty-one years of 
age and for one year afterward engaged in 
agricultural pursuits on his own account. In 
1878 he came to western Nebraska and for 
several years worked for a cow outfit, but in 
1884 homesteaded in Morril county. Later 
he traded his homestead for Sand Hill ranch, 
and there was engaged in the cattle business 
until 1905, when he came to Bridgeport and 
bought the Bridgeport Lumber yard. The 
business at that time was incorporated for 
$25,000, but under his able management was 
increased to $75,000. He serv^ed as presi- 
dent of this concern until 1917, when he sold 
his interest but still fills the office of man- 
ager. 

Mr. Putnam was married in 1890, to Miss 
Emma C. Hutchinson, who was born in Wis- 
consin, and they have tw^o children: Glenn G., 
formerly a farmer in Morrill county ; and 
Hazel M., the wife of Chester Carter, who has 
returned to Bridgeport after two years of 
overseas service with the American Expedi- 
tionary Force in France. Mrs. Putnam is a 
member of the Episcopal church. A zealous 
Republican, Mr. Putnam has been honored by 
party choice for responsible public positions 
and has served on the city council and also as 
county commissioner. He is somewhat promi- 
nent in the order of Odd Fellows and has 
passed all the chairs in the local lodge. 

THOMAS F. NEIGHBORS, one of the 
younger members of the bar at Bridgeport 
where his friends and well wishers are many, 
has been in practice here since 1915. not con- 
tinuously, however, as he spent almost two 
years as a soldier in training during the World 
War. Mr. Neighbors is a native of Nebras- 
ka, born at McGrew. in Scottsblufl; county, in 
1891. 

Mr. Neighbors comes of military ancestry, 
as his paternal grandfather, Joseph Xeighl)ors, 
was a soldier in the Civil War and fell at the 
battle of Nashville. His maternal grandfath- 
er, Dr. Thomas Franklin, served with the 



rank of captain in the Civil War, under the 
command of General Grant. Afterward he 
became a physician at Gering, Nebraska and 
continued in practice there until his death. 

The parents of Mr. Neighbors are Joseph 
G. and Carrie A. (Franklin^ Neighbors, who 
were born, reared and married in the state 
of Missouri. They came to Nebraska 'in 
1885, settling first in Custer county, but in 
1887 the father homesteaded in Scottsbluff 
county and the family home has been near 
McGrew ever since. The father has always 
been affiliated with the Democratic party but 
has never accepted public office. He is a 
member of the Baptist church and was one 
of the founders of the lodge of Odd Fellows 
at Bayard. The mother was reared in the 
Methodist Episcopal faith. Of their five chil- 
dren three survive : Grace, the wife of Sam- 
uel Shove, a merchant at Glenrock, Wyoming; 
Thomas F., of Bridgeport; and Melvin, who 
resides on a farm near McGrew. 

Thomas F. Neighbors attended the country 
schools in early boyhood, in 1908 was gradu- 
ated from the high school at Bayard, from 
the Wesleyan Academy at Lincoln, in 1912, 
and in 1915 completed his course in law at 
the University of Nebraska. He immediately 
entered into practice with F. E. Williams, the 
partnership being dissolved when both answer- 
ed the call to anns, Mr. Neighbors entering 
service May 12, 1917. For three months af- 
terward he was in the training camp at Fort 
Snelling, Minnesota and afterward until his 
discharge in February, 1919, was at Camp 
Dodge. LTpon his return to private life Mr. 
Neighbors immediately picked up the broken 
threads of his personal business and re-estab- 
lished his law practice at Bridgeport where he 
has found his professional efforts appreciated. 
He has served as city attorney both at Bayard 
and Bridgeport. 

On Spetember 4, 1918, Mr. Neighbors was 
united in marriage to Miss Irene Welsher, who 
was bon^ at Knoxville, Iowa, a daughter of 
B. R. Welsher. Mrs. Neighbors grew up in 
the Methodist Episcopal church, but Mr. 
Neighbors is an Episcopalian. In politics he 
is active in his support of Republican doc- 
trine, and fraternally is identified with the 
Knights of Pythias. He is a young man of 
stable, well poised character, able in his pro- 
fession and earnest and public spirited as a 
citizen. 

ROBERT E. BARRETT. — The purchaser 
of land who is careless about securing a clear 
title to the same, often finds himself involved 
in serious legal difficulties as to real owner- 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



ship. Hence the careful, patient abstractor is 
best called in, his accurate and attested docu- 
ments making investments sound and safe. In 
Robert E. Barrett, city clerk of Bridgeport, 
Morrill county has one who has had long ex- 
perience in the abstract business. Mr. Bar- 
ret is a native of Nebraska, bom at North 
Platte, October 23, 1872. 

His parents were Harry and Jane (Bar- 
chard) Barrett, the former born in Ireland 
and the latter in England. Both came to the 
United States as young people and were mar- 
ried in the state of Missouri. Of their twelve 
children Robert E. was the seventh born and 
six still survive. The father was connected 
with railroad construction work all his life, 
a vigorous, hardy, dependable man. While 
yet young, in Missouri, he was foreman of 
section gangs and after coming to Nebraska in 
1867, was continued in the same position and 
for years was employed in construction work 
in the vicinity of Lodgepole, where both he. 
and wife died. They were faithful members 
of the Roman Catholic church. In his earlier 
years the father was a Democrat but the issues 
brought forward in the. campaign of 1884 
when Hon. James G. Blaine was a candidate, 
caused him to change his party allegiance and 
ever afterward was a Republican. 

Robert E. Barrett attended school at Lodge- 
pole and Chappell, Nebraska, and the first 
work he ever did was as a laborer on the 
railroad. In the course of years he was in- 
terested along other lines, and in 1904 he 
was elected county clerk in old Cheyenne coun- 
ty, serving four years. It was while acting in 
this public capacity that he did his first ab- 
stract work and was the only abstractor in the 
county. Later he moved to Julesburg. Colo- 
roda, where he engaged in the lumber business 
for seven years before coming to Bridgeport 
to open an abstract office, and has developed 
this business into one of great importance. In 
politics he is a Republican, is city clerk of 
Bridgeport, was census enumerator in 1900, 
and is secretary' of the Northport Irrigation 
District. In 1897 Mr. Barrett was united in 
marriage to Miss Grace Durkee. who was 
born in the state of New York, a daughter of 
David Cook Durkee, a homesteader in Ne- 
braska. Later he and wife removed to Jules- 
burg, Colorado, and still live there. Mr. and 
Mrs. Barrett have three children i Maude, 
Barchard and Leander. The family belongs 
to the Presbyterian church. It is not always 
that men immersed in business cares find leis- 
ure for literary expression even if they have 
talent, and it must be conceded that ^Ir. Bar- 



rett has had a fairly busy life. Nevertheless, 
he has found time to add to the world's con- 
tribution of enjoyable literature, has published 
one book, "Treading the Narrow Way," and 
has written poetry of high literary quality. 

WILLIAM E. GUTHRIE, whose exten- 
sive business activities and public efforts have 
made him prominent for years in Wyoming 
and Nebraska, has been a resident of Bridge- 
port since 1904, and he is now secretary of 
the board of irrigation in this district. Mr. 
Guthrie was born at Rue, in Marion county, 
Ohio, July 26, 1849, the son of Isaac F. and 
Rachel (Fredrick) Guthrie. The father was 
born in Ohio, a son of Joseph Guthrie, and a 
grandson of Colonel John Guthrie, an officer 
in the Revolutionary' War, who was born in 
Pennsylvania and settled at an early day in 
Pike county, Ohio. The mother was born in 
Virginia, a daughter of John Fredrick, an 
early settler of Ohio. Mr. Guthrie's parents 
were married in Ohio and he was the second 
born of their twelve children, the other sur- 
vivors being as follows : S. A., in the sheep 
business in Wyoming; a sister, who is the 
wife of County Clerk Clelland, of Converse 
county, Wyoming; P. E., in the cattle busi- 
ness, lives at Broken Bow, Nebraska ; and 
another sister, the wife of J. B. Russell, a 
capitalist of Savannah, Missouri. The father 
of this family was very prominent in Marion 
county, Ohio, for many years. He was a 
successful farmer there and owned his Ohio 
farm until the time of his death, although, in 
1885 he came to Merrick County, Nebraska, 
bought land near Clarks, and died on that 
place. In politics he was a Democrat. For 
twelve years he was county commissioner of 
Marion county and for fifteen years was a 
justice of the peace. He belonged to the Ma- 
sonic fraternity and lived up to every rule 
of the order. The mother of Mr. Guthrie was 
a member of the IMethodist Episcopal church 
and the father was a liberal contributor. They 
were people of solid worth and their descend- 
ants recall them with emotions of pride and 
veneration. 

William E. Guthrie enjoyed educational ad- 
vantages in the district schools in boyhood and 
later in the Wesleyan University at Delaware, 
Ohio. From college he returned home to give 
his father assistance and remained until 1878, 
when he came to Wyoming and there, for 
twenty-five years prospered in the cattle busi- 
ness. In 1895 he located in Omaha and short- 
ly afterward bought a fann and feedyard at 
Clarks, in Merrick county, where he contin- 
ued to handle cattle for the next twenty years. 




Elmer Z. Tenkixs and Wife 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



113 



In the meanwhile he had become active in the 
poHtical field and in 1890 was elected to the 
Wyoming state legislature on the Republican 
ticket and took part in bringing about some 
very important legislation. In 1904, when 
Mr. Guthrie came first to Morrill county, he 
became deeply interested in the irrigation pro- 
jects and bought land along the Belmont Ir- 
rigation Canal, has continued his active in- 
terest and, as mentioned above is secretary of 
the board that is expending $75,000 in putting 
in drains and headgate in the Morrill county 
irrigation district. Mr. Guthrie owns four 
irrigated farms and gives much of his time to 
their development. 

In 1885 Mr. Guthrie was united in marriage 
to Miss Margaret Hewitt, who was born at 
Zanesville, Ohio, but was reared in Des 
Moines, Iowa. They have one daughter, 
Margaret, the wife of I. P. Hewitt, who is 
connected with the Puget Sound Navy Yard, 
at Everett, Washington. They have two chil- 
dren : William Guthrie Hewitt and Helen 
Hewitt. Mr. Guthrie is a York Rite Mason 
and a Shriner and belongs also to the Knights 
of Pythias and the Elks. 

ELMER Z. JENKINS. — In section 1, 
township 23-56, near the thriving town of 
Mitchell, in the north central part of Scotts- 
blufif county, will be found the attractive and 
admirably improved farm home of him whose 
name initiates this paragraph, who is success- 
fully engaged in general farming and stock- 
growing and who is known and valued as one 
of the influential and representative citizens of 
the community. 

Mr. Jenkins is a contribution made to Ne- 
braska by the fine old Buckeye state, but there 
is no faltering in his appreciation of and loyalty 
to the great state in which he has achieved 
prosperity through his own well ordered en- 
deavors. He was born in Jackson county, 
Ohio, September 30, 1872, and is a son of An- 
drew J. and Charlotte (Moore) Jenkins, he a 
native of Ohio, and she of Missouri, the father 
being eighty years of age and the mother above 
seventy years at the time of this writing, in the 
winter of 1919. Andrew J. Jenkins was a 
farmer in Ohio but he went as a pioneer into 
Kansas, where he took up and perfected title 
to a tree claim, a property upon which he made 
good improvements and upon which he contin- 
ued to reside several years. He was a member 
of a gallant Ohio regiment that did valiant ser- 
vice in defense of the Union during the Civil 
War, and in his venerable years he finds deep 
satisfaction in his affiliation with the Grand 
Army of the Republic. He is a stalwart Re- 



])ublican in politics, and his wife is a devoted 
member of the Methodist Episcopal church. 
Of their seven children, Elmer Z., of this re- 
view, is one of the two eldest, his twin sister, 
Bertina, now a resident of Lincoln, Nebraska, 
being the widow of Lafayette Sherrow; Mary 
is married and resides at Shenandoah, Iowa; 
William is a painter and decorator by vocation 
and resides at Kansks City, Alissouri ; Albert is 
a street-car conductor in the city of Lincoln, 
Nebraska ; Roy resides in Kansas City ; and 
Lottie is deceased. 

Elmer Z. Jenkins gained his youthful edu- 
cation in the public schools of Ohio and Kan- 
sas, and he has been a resident of Scottsbluflf 
county since 1908. when he entered claim to 
the homestead upon which he has since main- 
tained his residence, the same comprising 
eighty acres, and the entire tract having excel- 
lent irrigation facilities. He has erected good 
buildings and made other modern improve- 
ments on the place, and is making definite suc- 
cess in connection with his vigorous enterprise 
as an agriculturist and stock-raiser. He has 
added eighty acres to his holdings by purchase. 
He is influential in community affairs, has 
served nine years as a member of the board of 
directors of the consolidated schools of which 
his district is a part, and he is treasurer of the 
Farmers Union at Alitchell. In politics he 
maintains an independent attitude and votes in 
consonance with the dictates of his judgment. 
He and his wife are zealous members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church at Mitchell and he 
is a valued and popular teacher in its Sunday 
school, as well as liberal in the support of all 
departments of its work. 

In 1898 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Jenkins to Miss Gertrude E. Hoy, daughter of 
Daniel Hoy, who came from Virginia to Ne- 
braska and who is now a prosperous farmer 
near Saltillo. Lancaster county, this state. To 
Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins have been born four 
children: Arthur married Helen Lukens and 
will reside in this neighborhood; Carl and 
Clarence are at the parental home, and Inez 
died at the age of nine years. In a fraternal 
way Mr. Jenkins is actively identified with the 
Mitchell Camp of the ]\Iodern Woodmen of 
America. 

ALBERT E. FISHER, who owns the con- 
trolling interest in the Nebraska State Bank 
at Bridgeport, of which he is cashier, is not 
only widely known in financial circles but for 
many years was one of the foremost educa- 
tors in the state. Mr. Fisher was bom at Wy- 
anet, in Bureau county, Illinois, November 5, 
1871 and was brought by his parents to Ne- 



114 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



braska in infancy. He has spent his Hfe in 
this state and some years ago homesteaded in 
Dawes county, south of Chadron. 

The parents of Mr. Fisher, Eugene K. 
and Hulda S. (Smith) Fisher, were bom, 
reared and married in Illinois. Of their six 
children. Albert E. is one of the four sur- 
vivors, the others being: Henry L., a retired 
ranchman who lives at Chadron ; Nellie M., 
the wife of Morgan H. Nichols, a merchant 
at Chadron ; and Ralph W., a traveling sales- 
man out of San Francisco, lives at Oakland, 
California. In 1872 the parents came to Fill- 
more county, Nebraska. The father has been 
a farmer all his life and owns a section of land 
in Dawes county, but now lives retired at 
Chadron, where the mother died. She was a 
faithful member of the. Presbyterian church 
and a woman of beautiful Christian charac- 
ter. The father was reared in the Baptist 
faith. He has always given his political sup- 
port to the Republican party and for many 
vears has been identified with the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows. 

Albert E. Fisher entered Chadron Academy, 
from which he was graduated in 1898. He had 
taught school in the meantime, for six years, 
then entered the university at Omaha, from 
which he was graduated in 1905. He found 
teaching a congenial vocation and continued in 
the educational field until 1917, during this 
time serving as superintendent of schools at 
Beemer, Nebraska, from 1905 to 1908; at 
Neligh, from 1908 to 1910, and was superin- 
tendent of the Aurora schools from 1910 to 
1917, when he retired from educational work. 
He then embarked in the banking business at 
Bayard where he remained one year as presi- 
dent of the Farmers State Bank of Bayard, 
then came to Bridgeport, taking over the con- 
trolling interest in the Nebraska State Bank 
of this city. This institution is a sound, re- 
liable, prosperous bank, with a capital of 
$25,000; surplus and profits $5,000; and av- 
erage deposits $70,000. In 1918 J\lr. Fisher 
was elected president of the Bankers Asso- 
ciation of Nebraska. He has been honored 
many times by the Nebraska State Teachers 
Association, and has served in all the higher 
offices of that body and for five years was a 
member of the state examining board. 

On December 26, 1905. I\Ir. Fisher was 
united in marriage to Miss Katherine C. 
Clark, who was born at Craig, Nebraska, and 
they have three children : Katherine, John A. 
and Helen C, all attending school. Mr. Fisher 
and family belong to the Presbyterian church. 
He is active in the Masonic lodge at Bridge- 



port, is past master at Aurora and Bayard, 
belongs to the Royal Arch at Aurora, and is 
a charter member and master under dispensa- 
tion at Bayard and now a member of Camp 
Clark lodge at Bridgeport. He belongs also 
to the order of Highlanders. In his political 
views he is a Republican. 

CHARLES E. STEUTEVILLE, post- 
master at Bridgeport, from the nature of his 
office is one of the city's best known citizens, 
and because of his efificient administration of 
the same, is one of the most popular. He be- 
longs to an old and most worthy Nebraska 
family and was born in Nemaha county in 
1885, being a son of Richard F. and a broth- 
er of Judge J. H. Steuteville. 

Charles E. Steuteville completed the high 
school course at Brownville and then spent 
one year in the normal school at Peru, Ne- 
braska. He embarked in business as manager 
of a hardware store and lumber yard and for 
a number of years was identified with the 
lumber industry. For eight years he was an 
employe of the Edwards-Bradford Lumber 
Company of Sioux City, Iowa, and for three 
years filled an important position with the C. 
N. Dietz Lumber Company of Omaha. In 
1908 he came to IMorrill county and home- 
steaded, later worked for the Bridgeport Mer- 
cantile Company, and for two years acted as 
assistant postmaster. On May 15, 1918, he 
was appointed postmaster and took charge of 
the office, with the duties of which he was al- 
ready familiar. This post office is continual- 
ly growing in importance and Mr. Steuteville 
has taken advantage of every opportunity af- 
forded him to improve the local service. 

In 1911 Mr. Steuteville was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Eva L. Todd, who was born in 
Missouri. They have one son, John Richard, 
born July 3, 1913. Mrs. Steuteville is a mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian church. Postmaster 
Steuteville's political affiliation has always 
been with the Democratic party and he is a 
member of high standing in the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows at Bridgeport. 

MARTIN HANNAWALD. — When that 
great artery of transportation, the Union Pa- 
cific Railroad, had been completed across Ne- 
braska and the territory had become a state of 
the Union, many substantial and far-seeing 
men of the states farther eastward, began to 
take an interest in the prairie lands of the 
new state, and one of these was Martin Han- 
nawald, then a farmer in Michigan and now 
a retired resident of Bridgeport. For forty- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



115 



five years this family has belonged to Ne- 
braska, and for almost thirty years Mr. Han- 
nawald was a representative farmer and stock- 
man in Hamilton county. 

IMartin Hannawald was born in the state of 
New York, November 11, 1848, and obtained 
his schooling there. He was yet a young 
man when he came as far west as Chicago, 
Illinois, where he lived for three years, dur- 
ing that time driving an express wagon for 
a livelihood, and then went to Van Buren 
county, Michigan, as a fann worker. It was 
while so engaged that he met and was sub- 
sequently married to Miss Elizabeth Mather, 
who was bom in Van Buren county and is one 
of the two survivors of three children born to 
Reuben and Celia (Caveney) Mather. They 
were natives of New York, where Mr. Mather 
was a well-to-do farmer. They drove from 
New York in a covered wagon to Michigan, 
where the father of Mrs. Hannawald became 
a prominent man. He was a Republican in 
politics and served as township treasurer for 
seventeen years. Both parents of Mrs. Han- 
nawald were members of the Baptist church. 
Her one brother, Wright Mather, is a pro- 
duce merchant at Saginaw, Michigan. 

In 1874 Mr. and Mrs. Hannawald come to 
Nebraska and bought land in Hamilton coun- 
ty and for many years lived on that property 
and then sold and came to Morrill county. 
Here Mr. Hannawald purchased a large ranch 
and was in the stock business during the rest 
of his active life, in 1911 retiring to Bridge- 
port. Of the family of eight children born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Hannawald the following sur- 
vive: Hattie, the wife of C. D. James, a farm- 
er near Ericson, Nebraska ; Celia, who mar- 
ried M. J. Cass, a retired farmer near Long 
Beach, California; Thomas J., who lives at 
Aurora, Nebraska; N. L., who homesteaded 
as also did his wife and live near Bridgeport;' 
and Blondena, the wife of M. Beerline, a 
hardware merchant at Bridgeport. Mr. Han- 
nawald has always voted the Republican 
ticket but has never been willing to serve in 
public office though often urged, as a man of 
high standing and sound judgment, to accept 
such responsibility. He belongs to the Ma- 
sonic fraternity and both he and wife are 
members of the Eastern Star, in which Mrs. 
Hannawald has been active and prominent. 
She served as the first Worthy Matron of 
Bridgeport Chapter No. 260. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hannawald can recall many interesting events 
of pioneer life in Nebraska, and they cherish 
many kind thoughts of those who, like them- 
selves, had the courage and endurance to 



bear the inevitable hardships and helped to 
bring about better conditions. 

RALPH O. CAN AD AY, one of the younger 
members of the Bridgeport bar, came to this 
city to establish himself in his profession in 
March, 1919, after his return from militar\' 
service during the World War. Lieutenant 
Canaday was born at Minden, Nebraska, April 

4. 1891, the elder of two sons born to Joseph 

5. and Mary Jane (Winters) Canaday. His 
brother, Walter A. Canaday, is in the real 
estate business at Bridgeport: and his sister, 
Mary Golda, is a senior in the State Univer- 
sity. 

Senator Canaday, father of Ralph O. Cana- 
day, was born in Sullivan county, Indiana, a 
son of John Canaday, who was born in Ken- 
tucky, lived subsequently in Indiana, Illinois 
and Nebraska and died in the last named state 
in 1900. The Canadays probably settled in Ken- 
tucky contemporary with Daniel Boone and 
the grandfather of Senator Canaday was the 
the only member of his family that escaped 
during an Indian attack on the unprotected 
settlements. Joseph S. Canaday was married 
in Illinois to Mary Jane Winters, who was 
born in Crawford county, that state, and in 
1887 they came to Nebraska. He bought land 
in Kearney county and still lives at Minden. 
He has been very prominent in Democratic 
politics in the county, served in the state sen- 
ate, was county superintendent of schools and 
also county treasurer and has frequently been 
suggested for other public positions of respon- 
sibility. He was the organizer of the Co-op- 
erative Elevator Association found all over 
the state and is president of the same. With 
his family he belongs to the Christian Science 
church. 

Ralph O. Canaday was graduated from the 
Minden high school in 1909 and spent six 
years in the State University, in 1915 being 
graduated with the degree of A. B. and in 1918 
received his LL.B. degree. He was admitted 
to the bar in 1917 and practiced at Minden 
until May 17, 1918, when he entered the Na- 
tional army, going to the officers' training 
school at Camp Dodge, and was commissioned 
second lieutenant of Company D Eighty- 
eighth infantr>' on August 26, 1918. The end 
of hostilities came before his regiment left 
Camp Dodge, and he received his discharge 
January 31, 1919. In March following he 
came to Bridgeport, formed a partnership 
with William Ritchie, Jr., and has been en- 
gaged in the practice of law here ever since 
with encouraging success. He has charge of 
the Central States Investments Company's 



116 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



business in Morrill county. In politics Mr. 
Canaday is a Democrat and fraternally a Ma- 
son, belonging to Lodge No. 19 A. F. & A. M. 
at Lincoln. He belongs to the Christian Sci- 
ence church. 

WALTER A. CANADAY, second son of 
Hon, Joseph S. Canaday and Mary Jane 
(Winters) Canadav, was born at Minden, Ne- 
braska, March 22,' 1893. He was graduated 
from the high School of Minden in 1913. after 
which he took a commercial course in Boyle's 
Business college at Omaha. He then went on 
his father's farm in Kearney county ana re- 
mained interested there until in August, 1917, 
when he joined a medical corps for service 
in the World War, accompanied the Ameri- 
can Expeditionary Force to France, where he 
served from August, 1918, until May, 1919, 
when he was discharged. He returned home 
and visited one week, then came to Bridge- 
port and embarked in the real estate business 
in partnership with R. C. Neumann. Mr. 
Canaday's business future looks bright. Like 
his brother he belongs to the Christian Science 
church. Both are held in the highest possible 
esteem. 

RAYMOND C. NEUMANN, a leader in 
the real estate business at Bridgeport in part- 
nership with Walter A. Canaday, is widely 
and favorably known. For many years he was 
identified with agricultural interests in the 
state and later with business enterprises in this 
city. Mr. Neumann is a native of Nebraska 
and was bom at Sidney, July 19, 1875, a son 
of Henry and Fidelia (McMurray) Neumann, 
the former of whom was born in Hanover, 
Germany, and the latter in Iowa. They were 
married at Sidney, Nebraska, and three of 
their four children survive. Hank R., Ray- 
mond C. and Rosebud. The father came to 
the United States when fourteen years of age 
and shortly afterward enlisted at New York in 
the United States army, came to the western 
country as a soldier, took part in Indian war- 
fare and assisted in guarding the railroad 
workers when the LTnion Pacific Railroad was 
being built into Sidney. Later he became a 
stockman in Cheyenne county, Nebraska, and 
his death occurred at Denver, in 1910, where 
the widow yet survives. Mr. Neumann was a 
prominent factor in Republican politics in 
Cheyenne county and served as county com- 
missioner. 

Raymond C. Neumann obtained his educa- 
tion in the public schools and later taught 
school for two years, during 1896-97. He be- 



gan life on a farm and early became inter- 
ested in stock and particularly cattle, and 
there is a story told in the family that he was 
but six years old when he attended a round up 
and surprised the other cow punchers with 
his skill as a rope thrower. In later years 
he substantiated this reputation. Sometime 
later he rented his father's ranch for five 
years and went into the stock business, rais- 
ing many horses and some cattle and making 
a success of his enterprise. Afterward he en- 
gaged in the oil business at Denver for a 
time. In 1905 he came to Bridgeport and was 
one of the first business men to go into the 
restaurant business here and two years later 
widened his business by opening a hotel, which 
he conducted until August, 1917, when he sold 
out and retired from that line, although he still 
owns the building. Since then Mr. Neumann 
has been interested in the real estate and in- 
surance lines of business in which he has 
demonstrated his usual enterprise and good . 
judgment. 

On November 20, 1897, Mr. Neumann was 
united in marriage to Miss Callie Capron, 
who was born in Ohio, and they have three 
daughters, namely: Violet, who fills an im- 
portant position in the Bridgeport Bank ; and 
Opal and Callie, both of whom are attending 
school. Wliile never unduly active , Mr. Neu- 
mann has always been faithful to the princi- 
ples of the Republican party, believing them 
safest for a real foundation upon which true 
Americanism can build. For many years he 
has been identified with the Masonic fratern- 
ity. He is numbered with the useful and rep- 
resentative citizens of Bridgeport. 

FRANK N. HUNT, whose successful oper- 
ations in real estate in Morrill county have 
resulted in a change of ownership of large and 
valuable tracts of land, and thus brought con- 
siderable outside capital to this section, has 
won a place among the leading business men of 
even much riper experience. Mr. Hunt be- 
longs to Nebraska, having been born at Oma- 
ha, October 19, 1887, the son of George J. and 
Margaret (Bouldin) Hunt, both descended 
from ancestors who settled in Maryland at an 
early day. His father was born in the city of 
Baltimore, in 1856, where the Hunt family for 
generations has been prominent in financial 
and political aff^airs. Immediately after his 
graduation from the University of Maryland, 
in 1876, he came to Nebraska and the impres- 
sion he received during a year spent at Omaha, 
was so favorable that after his admission to 
the bar two years later, he came back to that 
city and became prominent as a member of the 




William D. LixdEn 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



117 



law firm of Condon, Clarkston & Hunt. In 
the spring of 1893 he came to Morrill county 
and prior to locating at Bridgeport in 1904 
gave his professional attention to the atifairs 
of the Belmont Ditch, in which he was heavily 
interested. He stands at the head of the 
Bridgeport bar. His marriage took place in 
1883 to Miss Margaret Bouldin. of Belair, 
Maryland, and Frank N. is the youngest of 
their three children, of whom personal men- 
tion and a steel portrait appears on other pages 
of this work. 

After his preliminary educational training 
in the public schools, Frank N. Hunt entered 
a military school in Missouri, afterward at- 
tending an academy at Macon, Missouri, for 
two years, then became a student at Lehigh 
University, South Bethlehem. Pennsylvania, 
from which he was graduated with the class of 
1910. The same year he came to Bridgeport 
and spent one season on his father's ranch in 
Morrill county, and the following two years 
found him at work in the Bridgeport Bank. 
He then took up Kinkaid land, of which he 
yet owns six hundred and forty acres, lived 
on his property for three years and then came 
to Bridgeport to enter the real estate business, 
opening his ofifice in 1916. The firm does a 
general land and abstract business, has valu- 
able clients all through the valley and takes 
pride in its reputation for business integrity. 

In 1912 Mr. Hunt was united in marriage to 
Miss Sybil Ball, who was born in the city of 
London, England. They have two children : 
Lesa Mary and Frank. Mr. and Mrs. Hunt 
belong to the Episcopal church. Mr. Hunt is 
a Democrat in politics and a loyal party work- 
er, but personally is more interested in busi- 
ness than in politics. He is devoted to the 
welfare of Bridgeport and is ever ready to co- 
operate with other good citizens for the city's 
benefit, and has had influence in bringing about 
improvements in many directions. For some 
years he has been an Odd Fellow and at pres- 
ent is serving as secretary of the lodge at 
Bridgeport. 

WILLIAM D. LINDEN.— The Panhandle 
district of Nebraska is indebted to the neigh- 
boring state of Iowa for many of its repre- 
sentative citizens, and among the prominent 
figures in the industrial life of Scottsbluff 
county who is thus to be designated as a native 
of the Hawkeye commonwealth is ilr. Linden. 
He is one of the most loyal, progressive and 
valued citizens of Mitchell, where lie has de- 
velojied an important and successful enterprise 
in the conducting of a mill for the grinding of 
alfalfa and the manufacturing of a valuable 



product, and where also he has been specially 
vigorous and enthusiastic in furthering the ad- 
vancement of the town and the county, it hav- 
ing been his privilege to serve as the first mayor 
of Mitchell. 

Mr. Linden was born at Mount Pleasant, 
Iowa, on the 14th of September, 1872, the son 
of Andrew G. and Elizabeth ( Hakanson ) Lin- 
den, both natives of Sweden, where they were 
reared and educated. Andrew G. Linden em- 
igrated from his native land to the United 
States in 1864 and first established his residence 
at Galesburg, Illinois, where he became a team- 
ster. Eventually be became a pioneer settler 
near Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he became the 
owner of 160 acres of land, which he reclaimed 
and developed into a productive farm. In 1873 
he disposed of this property and came to Clay 
county, Nebraska, where he took up and per- 
fected title to a homestead of 160 acres and 
where he became one of the representative 
agriculturists and stock-growers nf the county. 
He made excellent iiii|ini\ cmk-iUs (in his home- 
stead and there contimieil ti> rtside until he was 
well advanced in years anil was justified in 
retiring. He and his wife now reside at Her- 
shey, Lincoln county, and are enjoying the 
gracious rewards of former years of earnest 
and honest endeavor, the former being seventy- 
four and the latter sixty- four \-ears of age at 
the time of this writing, in the winter of 1919. 
They are earnest communicants of the Lu- 
theran church and politically the Republican 
party enlists the loyal support of Mr. Linden. 
Of the fine family of children the subject of 
this sketch is the el(le--t ; .Martin is a prosperous 
farmer near Funk, I'helps county : Reka is the 
wife of Alvin Johnson, who likewise is a pros- 
perous Nebra.ska farmer; Anna is the wife of 
Morey Johnsnii, a farmer near Hershey, Lin- 
coln coniUy ; Lillian is a popular teacher in the 
public scli(inl> (if tile state of Montana; Gus- 
tavus is a prominent ranchman and merchant 
in Tripp county. South Dakota, where he is 
serving as postmaster at Linden, an office 
named in his honor ; Esther died at the age of 
seven years. 

William D. Linden was an infant at the time 
of the family removal to Nebraska and is the 
only one of the children born in Iowa. He was 
reared on the old home farm in Clay county, 
there received the advantages of the public 
schools, and there he continued his active alli- 
ance with farm industry until he had attained 
to the age of twenty-seven years. In the mean- 
while he had the distinction of doing the first 
plowing by steam power in that county. In 
1900 he removed to Phelps county, where for 
three years he was engaged in farming and the 



118 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



raising of pure-blood Duroc-Jersey hogs and 
Red Polled cattle. He then removed to Lin- 
coln county, where he developed and irrigated 
a farm for his father, near Hershey. in which 
village he likewise established and put into suc- 
cessful operation an alfalfa mill. In 1909 he 
removed to Mitchell, Scottsbluiif county, and 
assumed control and active management of a 
well-equipped alfalfa mill which had been 
established by others, but which had proved a 
failing venture. His energy, executive ability 
and technical knowledge proved potent in the 
redemption of the enterprise and placing the 
same on a most substantial working basis, so 
that it now proves a definite adjunct to the in- 
dustrial activities of the village and the county. 

Mr. Linden has been a leader in movements 
and enterprises tending to advance the interests 
of Mitchell, and he was chosen the first mayor 
of the town, in which position he gave a most 
able and progressive administration, while he 
also rendered equally effective service during 
the five years that he was a member of the city 
council. He is now president of the Mitchell 
Alfalfa Milling Company and the Mitchell 
Electric Light Company, and is one of the 
foremost boosters of the fine little city, in 
which he has established his home. His polit- 
ical support is given to the Democratic party, 
he is affiliated with the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows, and he is a member of the Con- 
gregational church, his wife holding member- 
ship in the Christian church. 

The year 1902 made record of the marriage 
of IMr.'Linden to Miss Elizabeth S. Sullivan, 
who was born in Illinois and who is a daughter 
of John Sullivan. Mr. and Mrs. Linden have 
a pleasant home in Mitchell and the same is 
notable for its generous hospitality and good 
cheer, the while it is brightened by the presence 
of their five children — Raymond, Devona, 
Kenneth. Dorothy, and Doris. 

MIKE BEERLINE. — The senior member 
of the firm of Beerline & Scott, hardware 
merchants of Bridgeport, Mike Beerline, be- 
longs to that class of men who have fought 
their own way to position and independence 
through the exercise of qualities which have 
been developed under the stiinulating influ- 
ence of their own necessities. When he en- 
tered upon his career he had little save his 
ambition and his yet undeveloped native abil- 
ity to assist him, but so ably has he directed 
his activities that he has elevated himself to 
a place of commercial prestige and has as- 
sisted in making the enterprise with which 
he is connected one of Bridgeport's necessary 
business adjuncts. 



Mr. Beerline was born October 16, 1857, in 
Auglaize county, Ohio, a son of Henry and 
Christina (Elsass) Beerline, the former a 
native of Kentucky and the latter of Ohio. 
They were married in the Buckeye state, and 
in 1865 moved to Nebraska, where the father 
was engaged in agricultural pursuits until 
1867, when the family removed to Missouri, 
where Mr. Beerline met with a measure of suc- 
cess and remained until his death. In 1871, 
the widow and children returned to Nebraska, 
locating in Sarpy county. The father was a 
Democrat in politics, and his religious faith 
was that of the Lutheran church. To this 
denomination belongs Mrs. Beerline, who sur- 
vives him as a resident of Papilion, Nebraska. 
They were the parents of five children : Mike, 
Mrs. Eaton, the wife of an automobile garage 
proprietor at Papilion ; George, who is carry- 
ing on agricultural operations in Morrill coun- 
ty, this state ; Henry, successfully engaged in 
the implement business at Papilion, and Wil- 
liam, a farmer in the vicinity of Broadwater, 
Nebraska. 

Mike Beerline was but sixteen years of age 
when he accompanied his widowed mother to 
Papilion, Nebraska, where he attended the 
public school, residing there until 1887, in 
which year he located in Morrill county and 
took up a tree claim. On this property he re- 
sided for some eighteen years, continuing to 
till the soil and make improvements until 1905, 
the year of his advent in Bridgeport. He had 
carefully saved his earnings, and upon his ar- 
rival in this enterprising and promising com- 
munity invested his capital in a hardware busi- 
ness, in partnership with Elbert Scott, under 
the style of Beerline & Scott. As a result of 
the splendid work and honorable methods of 
the partners the business has grown to large 
proportions, and now commands an excellent 
trade in Bridgeport and throughout the sur- 
rounding country. Not only is Mr. Beerline 
one of the thoroughly capable business men of 
Bridgeport, whose standing in the confidence 
of his associates is of the highest order, but he 
has also taken an active and constructive part 
in civic affairs. He has supported ably and 
generously all movements tending to make for 
higher education, cleaner morals and better 
citizenship, and as a member of the town coun- 
cil for ten years was able to apply his inherent 
gifts to the securing of needed legislation and 
the obtaining of improvements for the place of 
his adoption. He is a Democrat in his political 
allegiance and is accounted an influential fac- 
tor in the ranks of his party in this community. 
His onlv fraternal afffliation is with the local 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCITES 



119 



lodge of the Knights of Pythias, in which he 
has numerous friends. 

Mr. Beerline was married in 1906 to Miss 
Blondina Hanewald, daughter of Martin 
Hanewald. They have no children. 

ELBERT SCOTT. — With the coming of 
Elbert Scott to Bridgeport, in 1894, there was 
added to this community the services of a 
young man who had both the ambition and the 
ability to become a factor of great general use- 
fulness. Since that time he has steadily ad- 
vanced in position and prosperity, and at the 
present day, as a member of the hardware firm 
of Beerline & Scott, is accounted one of his 
community's substantial business men, occupy- 
ing a position which presents him with oppor- 
tunities for the commercial and civic advance- 
ment of the locality. 

Mr. Scott, like numerous other residents of 
Morrill county, is a native of the Buckeye 
state. He was bom at Palmyra, Ohio, ]\Iarch 
1, 1869, his parents being Alexander and Har- 
riet (McKensie) Scott. His father, born in 
Pennsylvania, was a young man when he mi- 
grated to Ohio, and there married a native of 
that state and entered upon his career as the 
operator of a farm. In later life, when his 
agricultural ventures had proven successful, 
he branched out into other pursuits and for 
some years carried on a successful contracting 
business. Both he and his wife were faithful 
members of the Latter Day Saints, in the faith 
of which denomination they passed away. Mr. 
Scott was a Democrat in politics, was elected 
to township offices on several occasions, and 
was a man of considerable influence in his 
community, where he was universally respect- 
ed. There were eight children in the family, 
of whom seven are living, but only two reside 
in Nebraska: Rosel P., who is engaged in 
farming near Bridgeport, and Elbert. 

Elbert Scott enjoyed the benefits to be ac- 
quired through attendance at the public schools 
of Ohio, and remained in his native state as an 
associate of his father in farming until June, 
1894, when he came to Nebraska and located 
at Bridgeport. Here he secured employment 
with the Belmont Canal Company, and later 
conducted a ranch for several years. He re- 
ceived his introduction to the hardware busi- 
ness with the concern of Elter & Company, an 
association which continued from 1904 until 
1906, the latter year Mr. Scott embarked in an 
enterprise on his own account, in partnership 
with Mike Beerline, under the firm style of 
Beerline & Scott. From a modest beginning, 
the partners have built up an excellent business, 
anrl their affairs are in a flourishing condition, 



while their standing in business circles is of 
the best. Mr. Scott is a man of sound and 
practical ideas, possessed of clear judgment and 
good business sense, and has made a thorough 
study of the hardware trade, as well as of the 
needs of the community at large and his pat- 
rons in particular. His reputation for integ- 
rity has been honestly won through years of 
honorable dealing, while his good citizenship 
has been evidenced by his cooperation in move- 
ments of a progressive and beneficial char- 
acter. 

Mr. Scott was married in 1910 to Miss 
Mabel Pool, who was born in Illinois. They 
have no cJiildren of their own, but have an 
adopted daughter, Sylvia, who was born in 
April, 1918. Fraternally, Mr. Scott is afifili- 
ated with the local lodge of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has passed 
through the chairs, and both he and Mrs. Scott 
are members of the Rebekahs. His political 
tendencies cause him to support the candidates 
and principles of the Democratic party. 

LLOYD WIGGINS. — Beginning as a 
clerk in a country store, Lloyd Wiggins, 
cashier of the First National Bank of Bridge- 
port, Nebraska, probably learned lessons in 
patience, accuracy and courtesy that have re- 
mained with him through many years of bus- 
iness life and have been helpful from the be- 
ginning to the present. A bank cashier very 
often has need of all these qualities in his deal- 
ings with his fellow men and responding to the 
many and varied demands of the public. Mr. 
Wiggins has been identified with the First Na- 
tional since 1915 and is one of its most popular 
officials. He was born May 8, 1881, in Cosh- 
octon county, Ohio, the son of Warren and 
Ruth (Pigman) Wiggins, both of whom were 
born in Coshocton county, where the father 
still lives. The mother died there in January, 
1914. Of their six children, Lloyd is the 
youngest of the three survivors, the others be- 
ing: Mrs. Etta Russell, of Martinsburg, 
Knox county, Ohio, and D. M., a blacksmith 
at Bladensburg, Ohio. The family was reared 
in the Christian church. The father is a re- 
tired carpenter. His father, Kinsey Wiggins, 
was born in Ohio and died there and he also 
was a carpenter. The maternal grandparents 
of Mr. Wiggins were James and Mary (Hook- 
er) Pigman. both of whom came to Ohio from 
Maryland, in 1910. He was a preacher in the 
Methodist Episcopal church, a circuit-rider, 
and continued to travel back and forth per- 
forming his religious duties as long as he lived. 

Lloyd Wiggins attended the public schools 
and then accepted a position as clerk in a coun- 



120 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



try store, but this did not offer advantages for 
the future and Mr. Wiggins soon made his 
way to Zanesville. There, for three years, he 
saw hfe from the platform of a street car. 
The next change was to the West and for one 
year he sensed as a clerk in a grocery store at 
Victory. Colorado, but this also was but a 
stepping-stone, for Mr. Wiggins had the ambi- 
tion and knew he had the ability, to satisfac- 
torily fill a much more important position. In 
December. 1906, he came to Mitchell, Nebras- 
ka, to enter the employ of Carr & Neff, lum- 
ber dealers, and subsequently bought an in- 
terest in the business, an association which 
lasted for eight years, as he attended to the 
company's interests at Mitchell, Scottsbluff 
and Bridgeport, in this way becoming well 
known to solid men of business who were not 
slow in recognizing his business capacity and 
strict integrity. In 1915 he came to the First 
National Bank as assistant cashier and in the 
following year became cashier. This flourish- 
ing institution is capitalized at $25,000, has a 
surplus of $5,000, and average deposits of 
$180,000. 

On June 8, 1910, Mr. Wiggins was united in 
marriage to Miss Augusta M. Mack, who was 
born in Germany. She is a member of the Pres- 
byterian church. Mr. Wiggins has never been 
unduly interested in politics but is a sound Re- 
publican and freely expresses his reasons for 
being of that political faith, but has never been 
willing to accept any public office. He is de- 
voted to his business, his home and friends, 
and finds many of the latter among the Masons 
and Odd Fellows, to which fraternities he has 
belonged many years, at present being senior 
warden of the Blue Lodge, F. & A. M., and 
past grand in the latter organization. 

ALBERT T. SEYBOLT, whose name 
stands for business integrity at Bridgeport, 
established himself here in the real estate line, 
in a small way, in September, 1910. The bus- 
iness has expanded into a large enterprise, in 
which Mr. Seybolt requires the help of three 
assistants. Good business judgment, careful 
attention to clients, strict honesty and prompt 
fulfilling of obligations have brought this pro- 
gress alx)ut, and perhaps no dealer in real es- 
tate, insurance and abstracts in this section en- 
joys, in greater degree, the confidence of the 
public. Mr. Seybolt is a native of Nebraska, 
born at Plattsmouth, February 26, 1875, the 
son of George A. and Mary J. (Thome) Sey- 
bolt, both born in 1843, in Orange county. New 
York. They were reared, educated and mar- 
ried in the Empire state, and came from there 



to Nebraska late in 1874, but unfavorable con- 
ditions in the new country caused them to re- 
turn to New York in 1877. Ten years later, in 
1887, they again came to Nebraska and Mr. 
Seybolt preempted land in Custer county and 
took a tree claim. In later years he resided at 
Lincoln, engaging there in the real estate bus- 
iness, and to some extent, was interested in 
Democratic politics. The mother died in 1904 
and the father now lives at San Diego, Cal- 
ifornia. Of their five children, Albert T. was 
the third born, the others being as follows : 
Anna, who resides at Ashland, Nebraska ; 
Floyd, who now lives retired at Lincoln, was 
formerly a Federal bank examiner; Andrew 
D.. whose home is at Ashland, Nebraska, and 
Sarah, the wife of James A. Kurk, who is in 
the real estate business at Broken Bow, Ne- 
braska. 

After Albert T. Seybolt had completed his 
course in the public schools at Lincoln, he went 
to work on his father's farm in Custer county 
where he remained nine years, then removed 
to Douglas county and continued agricultural 
pursuits, for a time enjoying the same, and 
still takes an interest in looking after his fine 
irrigated farms. After some experience on 
the road for a well known insurance company, 
Mr. Seybolt came to Bridgeport and embarked 
in the insurance business himself, in connec- 
tion with handling real estate, and has greatly 
prospered as noted above. His is a conspicu- 
ous example of close attention to business, 
bringing commensurate results. 

On December 31, 1901, Mr. Seybolt was 
united in marriage to Miss Bessie L. Milmine, 
who was bom at Kenney, Dewitt county, Illi- 
nois, the only daughter of Murray M. and 
Delia (Kent) Milmine. The father was born 
at Hamilton, Canada, September 23, 1843, and 
now resides at Lincoln, Nebraska. The 
mother was born at Lansingville, New York, 
September 14, 1845, and died October 11, 
1896. They were married at Maroa, Illinois, 
December 31, 1867, lived for a time in Illinois 
but later came to Nebraska. Mrs. Seybolt has 
one brother, Edward K.. who takes care of the 
abstract department of Mr. Seybolt's office. 
Mr. and Mrs. Seybolt have one daughter, 
Marian, now attending school. The family 
belongs to the Presbyterian church and Mr. 
Seybolt has served on its board of trustees at 
Bridgeport. Ever since locating here he has 
been active in all movements promising sub- 
stantial benefit to city or county. From prin- 
ciple, he votes with the Republican party, but 
political office has no attraction for him equal 
to that of business. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



121 



ZADOCK GOODWIN, a resident of 
Mitchell, Scottsbluff county, who takes pride in 
claiming the fine old Hoosier state as the place 
of his nativity, was a young man of twenty- 
three when he came with his father to Ne- 
braska and established his residence in Box 
Butte county, and thus to whom may be justly 
accorded pioneer honors in the famous Pan- 
handle of the state, to which this history is ded- 
icated. He has been a prominent and influ- 
ential force in connection with the development 
of farm industry in this section of the state 
and he and his wife are now the owners of a 
large and well-improved landed estate in 
Scottsblufif county, where their attractive home 
is situated about twenty-five miles distant from 
the thriving little city of Mitchell, which is 
their postoffice address. 

Mr. Goodwin was born in the vicinity of 
Greencastle, Putman county, Indiana, on the 
9th day of January, 1867, a son of Zadock 
Goodwin, who was born in Ohio and who was 
one of the most venerable citizens of Box Butte 
county, Nebraska, at the time of his death, in 
1912, when he was ninety years of age. The 
maiden name of the mother of the subject of 
this sketch was Nancy Sigler, and she likewise 
was born near Greencastle, Indiana, her death 
having occurred when she was about forty 
years of age. Zadock Goodwin, Sr., was a 
farmer in Indiana and from that state he final- 
ly removed to Iowa, where he became a pioneer 
in the realm of agricultural and live-stock en- 
terprise and where he remained until 1886, 
when he came to Nebraska and took up a 
homestead and a tree claim in Box Butte coun- 
ty. To this tract of 320 acres he later made 
very appreciable additions, and he became 
largely and prominently identified with the 
raising of cattle in this section of the state. 
where he became well known as a man of 
sterling character and marked business ability. 

He whose name initiates this article was a 
boy at the time of the family removal to Potta- 
watamie county, Iowa, where he received the 
advantages of the public schools and where also 
he gained his initial experience in connection 
with agricultural enterprise and the stock busi- 
ness. In 1886 he accompanied his father to 
Box Butte county, Nebraska, where he took a 
preemption claim, to which he perfected his 
title and which he finally sold. In 1895 he be- 
came a pioneer farmer in Scottsblufif county. 
He has wisely made investment in land in this 
county and now has a valuable estate of 2000 
acres, of which 160 acres are supplied with 
irrigation and given over to the raising of 
diversified crops. On his extensive ranch Mr. 
Goodwin likewise gives special attention to the 



raising of cattle and other livestock of excel- 
lent types and he has erected good buildings 
and made other modern improvements on the 
place. Though he still gives a general super- 
vision to this fine estate, which he now rents, he 
is living virtually retired, in the enjoyment of 
the ample rewards for former years of intense 
and well-ordered activity as one of the world's 
productive workers. He is a staunch advocate 
of the principles for which the Democratic 
party stands sponsor in a basic sense and is a 
liberal and loyal citizen. His wife and daugh- 
ters hold membership in the Presbyterian 
church. 

In 1894 was recorded the marriage of Mr. 
Goodwin to Miss Lennie Shull. who was born 
in Monroe county, Iowa. Her father, Isaac 
Shull, was born in Indiana, as a representative 
of one of the very early pioneer families of the 
state. Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin have two chil- 
dren : Hildred, who remains at the parental 
home, was graduated in the University of Ne- 
braska with the degree of Bachelor of Arts; 
and Mary, who likewise remains at the 
parental home, was graduated in the Mitchell 
high school, as a member of the class of 1919. 

CHARLES F. CLAWGES, who has been 
identified with Bridgeport interests since the 
town's earliest days, serving as its first post- 
master and in other important capacities, is a 
native of Missouri, born at Trenton, February 
23, 1865. He has lived in at least four states 
in the Union but has long claimed Nebraska 
as his home. He came to Cheyenne county in 
1900. 

The parents of Mr. Clawges were Dr. J. W. 
F. and Charlotte (Galander) Clawges, the for- 
mer of whom was born in Kentucky and died 
in Missouri in 1869. The mother of Mr. 
Clawges was bom at Gottenberg, Sweden, 
eighty-five years ago. She vividly recalls the 
long voyage from Sweden to the United States 
made in her youth in a sailing vessel that was 
on the water for three months before landing 
its passengers at New Orleans. In her long 
life she has witnessed many wonderful things 
come to pass, but the marvels of rapid trans- 
portation perhaps interest her most. She was 
united in marriage to Dr. J. W. F. Clawges at 
Annawan, Henr>- county, Illinois. During the 
Civil War he was regimental surgeon of the 
Seventh ^Missouri Cavalry, and afterward en- 
gaged in the practice of his profession in Mis- 
souri until his death. He belonged to the Ma- 
sonic fraternity. There were six children bom 
to Dr. and Mrs. Clawges as follows: Una, 
who is the wife of J. W. Cartwright, a car- 
penter and contractor at Bridgeport; Lottie, 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



who is the wife of William Forrest, an attor- 
ney at Peoria, Illinois ; Laura, who is the wife 
of W. A. Shellheimer, a farmer near Chilli- 
cothe, Missouri ; Charles F. and Jack, who are 
twins, both of whom live at Bridgeport, and 
Daniel F., who is assistant postmaster at Kan- 
sas City, Missouri. The mother, who resides 
with her son Charles F., is a member of the 
Seventh Day Adventist church. 

Charles F. Clawges completed his high 
school course at Annawan, Illinois, after which 
he spent some time in the Northwest Normal 
School at Geneseo, Illinois. For two years 
afterward he taught school in Illinois, then 
went to Kansas, where for three years he was 
employed in a railroad office, when he was 
transferred to St. Louis, Missouri, and re- 
mained in the same capacity there for three 
years, following which he spent one vear at 
Spokane Falls, Washington. In 1900 Mr. 
Clawges came to Cheyenne county and went 
on a ranch with his brother Jack, the latter at 
the present time being superintendent of the 
boiler room in the Burlington shops at Bridge- 
port. 

In 1895 Mr. Clawges was united in marriage 
to Miss Mary Leaf, who was born in Boone 
county, Iowa. She was the first wife and 
mother in the Bridgeport settlement and the 
first child born here was the son of l\lr. and 
Mrs. Clawges, Dan, whose bright young life 
went out during the influenza epidemic, No- 
vember 24, 1918, at the age of seventeen years. 
Mr. and Mrs. Clawges have a daughter, Una, 
who is attending school. Mrs. Clawges is a 
member of the Adventist church. 

In 1901 Mr. Clawges was appointed post- 
master of the new town of Bridgeport and 
continued in office for four years, and in many 
ways, as a^j intelligent and reputable citizen, 
was useful in bringing about stable conditions. 
For some years he conducted a barber shop 
and was influential in bringing other business 
concerns to the place. He invested in land as 
his good judgment recognized the opportunity, 
and now owns a valuable farm of 200 acres all 
irrigated. Since retiring from active business 
life at Bridgeport he has been a very success- 
ful salesman of automobiles for the Mitchell 
Car Company. In politics he is a Republican, 
and he has long been identified with the order 
of Knights of Pythias. 

EDGAR C. PORTER. — Among Bridge- 
port's retired fanners are found some of the 
most substantial citizens of Morrill county. 
They are more than that, for they usually are 
men of such good business judgment and 
stable personal character, as to be a valuable 



controlling element in the regulation of civic 
aiifairs and a check on unwise expenditures. 
They have had experience. Not many of them 
had wealth when they came to Nebraska, and 
the ample fortunes they now enjoy, have only 
been secured through hard work, self denial, 
and close economy. They are examples of the 
value of the above qualities that, in times of 
national extravagance and distress, may well 
be listed as virtues. A prominent retired 
farmer of Bridgeport is found in Edgar C. 
Porter, who came to Nebraska in 1894. He 
was bom in Madison countv, Iowa, February 
8, 1859. 

The parents of Mr. Porter were John and 
Nancy Ellen (Crager) Porter, the former of 
whom was born in West Virginia and the lat- 
ter in Ohio, in which state they were married. 
They were pioneers in Madison county, Iowa, 
where the father secured government land at 
$1.25 an acre, to the development and improve- 
ment of which he devoted the rest of his active 
life. Ten children were born to them and 
eight still live, Edgar C. being the fifth born. 
He has one brother, Samuel, living in Dakota, 
but the other brothers and sisters have re- 
mained in Iowa. The father supported with 
vigor the principles of the Republican party, 
and both parents were faithful members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, with which the 
mother united when fourteen years old. Ed- 
gar C. Porter attended the country schools 
near his father's farm in ]\Iadison county, and 
early learned to be useful. He remained at 
home until about twenty-six years old and then 
started out for himself, pioneering after the 
manner of his father by coming westward, 
reaching Denver. Colorado, in 1885. He 
homesteaded in that vicinity and lived on his 
place for five years and then disposed of it. 
After eight years in Colorado, he came to Ne- 
braska and in 1894 settled on North river in 
Cheyenne county, renting land for several 
years. In 1903 he purchased a tract of school 
land, to which he has added from time to time, 
until he now owns an entire section, 100 acres 
of which are irrigated and the rest is operated 
under a dry farming system. It may be re- 
marked that the only property Mr. Porter 
owned when he came to Nebraska was a team 
and wagon, cow and calf. Now, in addition 
to his land above mentioned, Mr. Porter owns 
valuable town property as does Mrs. Porter, 
who also owns a section in Morrill county. 
They have a beautiful residence at Bridgeport 
into which they moved in 1913. 

In 1894 Mr. Porter was married to Miss 
Hattie Mount, who is a daughter of William 
and Sarah (Stumpfif) Mount, the former of 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



123 



whom was born in Shelby county, Illinois, 
May 2, 1849, and the latter in Fairfield county, 
Ohio. In 1884 William Mount came to Buf- 
falo county, Nebraska, subsequently lived in 
Logan, Weld and Sedgwick counties, and in 
1894 came to western Nebraska. He bought 
land along the Belmont Ditch and followed 
farming there for six years, then bought farms 
in Morrill county. Later he sold his home- 
stead, retired to Bridgeport in 1910, and looks 
after several acres of land adjacent to other 
town property. In 1871 Mr. Mount was mar- 
ried to Sarah StumpfT, and Mrs. Porter is the 
eldest of their nine children. Mr. Mount is a 
Republican and has long taken an active part 
in political affairs, believing good citizenship 
demands it. 

Mr. and Mrs. Porter have three children: 
Claudia, a popular teacher and well known in 
social circles at Bridgeport ; Florence, who re- 
sides at home, and j\Iarjorie, who is yet in 
school. Mr. Porter and his family are mem- 
bers of the Presbyterian church. He has al- 
ways been affiliated with the Republican party 
but has never consented to hold office. He oc- 
cupies his leisure time pleasantly with looking 
over his farm and stock within a short distance 
of Bridgeport. 

CHARLES O. MORRISON. — Foremost 
among the citizens of Morrill county, whose 
business success and high personal character 
entitle them to prominence, is Charles O. Mor- 
rison, vice president of the First National 
Bank of Bayard, and the owner also of a large 
acreage of valuable land. Although a native 
of another state, Mr. Morrison has passed the 
greater portion of his life in Nebraska, lived 
on a farm until he was twenty-three years old 
and started out for himself on a limited cap- 
ital. He was born at Dixon, Illinois, August 
10, 1862. 

The parents of Mr. Morrison, William F. 
and Virginia (Lichtenberger) Morrison, were 
born, reared and married in Pennsylvania. Of 
their ten children eight are living, two of them 
being in Morrill county, namely: Charles O. 
and E. W., the latter a retired resident of Bay- 
ard, Nebraska. The parents located at Dixon, 
Illinois, in 1861 and the father engaged in 
farming in Lee county until 1870, when he de- 
cided to seek better opportunities in the West. 
He brought his family to York county, Ne- 
braska, the journey being made in a covered 
wagon after the fashion of the old Conestoga, 
dear to the pioneers, and shortly after reaching 
here he homesteaded and both parents of Mr. 
Morrison spent the rest of their lives in York 
county, passing away at Bradshaw. The father 



became a man of consequence, serving in the 
early organization of the county, later as coun- 
ty commisioner and in other offices of re- 
sponsibility. He was one of the early Masons 
in York county and assisted in establishing the 
Christian church. 

Charles O. Morrison attended the country 
schools in York county and remained on the 
home farm until 1884 when he embarked in 
the mercantile business. For twenty-six years 
he was a merchant, first at Bradshaw, later at 
Phillips and then at Bayard, being in this line 
at Bayard for seventeen years. He disposed 
of his mercantile interests in December, 1916. 
Mr. Morrison assisted in the organization of 
the First National Bank at Bayard, in 1910, 
and has served ever since in the office of vice 
president. The latest bank statement gives the 
following facts concerning this reliable finan- 
cial institution: Capital, $50,000; profits and 
surplus, $20,000; average deposits, $450,000. 
The accommodations rendered by this bank 
and the courtesy accorded patrons have been 
greatly appreciated. 

On September 1, 1896. Mr. Morrison was 
united in marriage to Miss Catherine Miller, 
who was born at Toledo, Ohio. Her father, 
James C. Miller, came to Phillips, Nebraska, 
in 1889 and subsequently died there. Mr. 
Morrison is a member of the Episcopal church. 
He is a Knight Templar Mason and belongs 
also to the Royal Highlanders and the Modern 
Woodmen. His political affiliation has always 
been with the Republican party and at times he 
has' served very usefully in town offices and 
for thirteen years has been a member of the 
town board. Mr. Morrison has invested ex- 
tensively in land in Morrill county, presum- 
ably with the foresight of a keen and experi- 
enced business man, and now owns 1040 acres, 
400 of which is irrigated. 

WILLIAM T. McKELVEY, who is one of 
Bayard's respected retired citizens, can look 
back over thirty-three busy years in Nebraska, 
during which he built up an ample fortune, 
from a very small beginning. Mr. McKelvey 
was born in Clark county, Illinois, in 1857. 

The parents of Mr. McKelvey were Patrick 
and Mary (Campbell) McKelvey. the former 
of whom was born in County Donegal, Ire- 
land, and the latter in Kentucky. They both 
came to Clark county, Illinois, in early life and 
were married there. The father of Mr. Mc- 
Kelvey served in the Mexican War and after- 
ward was a farmer and merchant in Clark 
county. He held a number of township offices 
in the gift of the Democratic party. He died 
in Clark county, but the mother of Mr. Mc- 



124 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Kelvey died in Nebraska, in 1918, having lived 
with her son Wilham T. for over twenty years. 

Of their eight children the following are 
living, in addition to William T. : Lavona, who 
is the widow of Lafayette Beard, of Topeka, 
Kansas ; Lydia May, who is the wife of James 
Beacham, a retired farmer of O'Neill, Nebras- 
ka; and Horatio A., who is a farmer in Minne- 
sota. The parents were members of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church. 

William T. McKelvey obtained his educa- 
tion in the district schools in Clark county and 
worked on his father's farm. He was not 
robust as a boy and remained at home until he 
was twenty-seven years old, then came west, 
and in the active outdoor life and strenuosity 
of existence on the range, found health as did 
one of America's greatest statesman, the late 
Theodore Roosevelt. Mr. McKelvey located 
in Cheyenne, now Morrill county, in 1886, 
where he homesteaded and for a number of 
years rode range as a cowboy. He owns a 
large acreage in the county yet, for years being 
interested extensively as a stockman, and has 
property at Bayard, where, for one year before 
he retired, he was engaged in a real estate bus- 
iness. Mr. McKelvey passed through the 
hardships that attended the pioneers in the 
early eighties in this section of Nebraska, but 
he never became discouraged and now enjoys 
the fruits of his endurance and toil. He has 
been active in the Republican party both be- 
fore and since locating at Bayard, has served 
in public office and was an exceedingly useful 
member of the first county board of commis- 
sioners. In every way, for years, he has done 
much to further the interests of Morrill 
county. 

In 1892 Mr. McKelvey was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Jennie W^ebb, who was born in 
Clark county, Illinois. During the great war, 
Mr. McKelvey was foremost in patriotic work 
and was particularly active and interested in 
the Y. M. C. A. activities and was chairman 
of the local board. 

HENRY E. RANDALL. — To the pleas- 
ant town of Bayard have come many men of 
ample fortune after many years of toil and 
financial struggle, finding liere well earned ease 
with agreeable surroundings and pleasant com- 
panionship. These retired farmers and stock- 
men are desirable citizens in every respect and 
form a solid, dependable body that adds to the 
community's resources and gives assistance in 
the maintenance of law and order. One of the 
highly respected retired residents of Bayard is 
Henry E. Randall, who is well known all over 
Morrill county. Mr. Randall was born in 



Trempealeau county, Wisconsin, April 25, 
1869. 

The parents of Mr. Randall were James M. 
and Lucy (Hasson) Randall, the former of 
whom was bom in Michigan, and the latter in 
New York. They were married in Wisconsin, 
this being the father's second union. Three 
children of his first marriage survive, namely: 
Charles, who is a miner in Nevada ; Otis, who 
lives near Bridgeport, and Mrs. Elmer Hath- 
away, who is a resident of Morrill. Three 
children were bom to the father's second mar- 
riage : Henry E., Dean and Arthur. Dean is 
a farmer near Melbeta in Scottsbluff county, 
Nebraska, and Arthur has been a mail 
carrier at Gering for a number of years. The 
father survives and resides at Gering. He is 
a member of the G. A. R. post there, having 
served in the Civil War as a member of Com- 
pany I, Thirty-sixth Wisconsin Infantry. The 
family came to Nebraska in 1886 and the 
mother died here. 

Henry E. Randall obtained his education in 
the public schools of Minnesota, where his 
parents lived for a time before coming to Ne- 
braska. In the spring of 1886 the family 
reached what now is Morrill county, Cheyenne 
at that time, and in 1886 he homesteaded and 
kept the property until quite recently when he 
sold to advantage. As opportunity offered he 
bought other land and at one time owned 800 
acres, his farms, four in number, being sit- 
uated at different points. On one of these 
farms Mr. Randall lived for twenty-five years 
and during that time was an extensive raiser 
of cattle and stock. He retired to Bayard in 
March, 1916, and is a stockholder and one of 
the directors of the Farmers State Bank. 

In 1891 Mr. Randall was united in marriage 
to Miss Melissa Belden, who was born in Kan- 
sas, and they have three children: Gerald, 
Gladys and Mack, the youngest son being yet 
in school. The one daughter is the wife of 
Merl Garwood, of Morrill county. The eldest 
son of Mr. Randall has an honorable military 
record. He was bom July 24, 1895. was edu- 
cated in Morrill county, and entered military 
service for action in the World War, 1917. 
He was attached to six different training 
camps, namely: Waco, Kelly. Field, and 
others, and at the time the armistice was 
signed with the enemy, was at Fort Sill and at 
Lee Hall. Virginia, just ready to sail for 
France. Since his discharge and return home, 
he has gladly resumed peaceful pursuits and 
has a place with the working force in the sugar 
factory. 

Mr. Randall was quite active in Republican 
politics for many years and as a member of 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



125 



the board of county commisioners, on which 
he served six years, when he resigned on ac- 
count of ill health, he was able to greatly fur- 
ther the best interests of the county in many 
ways. He belongs to the Odd Fellows and 
also to the Modem Woodmen. 

DENVER NEWTON PLUMMER is an- 
other of the progressive citizens who has shown 
the skill and enterprise that make for success 
in connection with industrial enterprise in the 
favored section of Nebraska to which this his- 
tory is dedicated. In section 7, township 23-56, 
about four and one-half miles distant from 
]\Iorrill, Scottsbluf¥ county, is to be found the 
well improved and ably managed farm of Air. 
Plummer. He came to the county in 1910 and 
here purchased land in the north central part of 
this progressive county. To his original do- 
main he has since added until he now has a 
valuable landed property of 240 acres, all under 
effective irrigation and having the intrinsic 
richness of soil that makes irrigation farming 
so remarkably profitable in this locality. He 
has made excellent improvements on his land, 
including the erection of good buildings, and is 
one of the resourceful and representative agri- 
culturists and stock-growers of his county, with 
a high personal standing that indicates fully the 
estimate placed upon him by his fellow men. 
Loyal to all civic duties and responsibilities, 
Mr. Plummer has given his support to meas- 
ures and enterprises that have been projected 
for the benefit of his community and county, 
and in local politics he is independent, though 
in a basic way he advocates and upholds the 
principles for which the Republican party 
stands sponsor. Both he and his wife hold 
membership in the Methodist Episc(i[)al church 
in Dutch Flats. 

Denver Plummer was born near the city of 
Des Aloines, Iowa, on the 29th of January, 
1871, a son of James and Sarah Lavena (Gar- 
rett) Plummer. The parents were born and 
reared in the old Buckeye state and the father 
was one of the early settlers of Iowa, where he 
accompanied his parents at an early age, and 
where he reclaimed a pioneer farm. The fam- 
ily later removed to Colorado and Ezra Plum- 
mer and his wife passed the closing years of 
their lives in the state of Colorado, both having 
been earnest members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church and his political faith having been 
that of the Republican party. Concerning their 
children adequate mention is made on other 
pages, in the sketch of the career of John W. 
Plummer, an elder brother of the subject of 
this review. 

Denver Plummer was about eleven years of 
age at the time of the family removal from 



Iowa to Colorado, in which latter state he was 
reared to maturity and received the advantages 
of the public schools. Prior to coming to Ne- 
braska he had given his attention principally to 
farming and was owner of land in Larimer 
county, and the maximum success that has 
marked his career has been that gained since 
he established his home in Scottsbluff county 
and assumed the labors and responsibilities in- 
cidental to the development of a productive 
farm. He has not waited for success but has 
won it through his own efforts, though he gives 
full credit to Scottsbluf? county for the splen- 
did opportunities it has afforded him. 

In 1905 Mr. Plummer was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Cora Drummond, who was born 
in the state of Missouri, and their marriage has 
been blessed by three children — Veda Vir- 
ginia, Ezra Allen, and Mvian Margaret — who 
lend brightness and cheer to the pleasant fam- 
ily home. 

WALTER J. ERICSON, who is one of 
Bayard's representative citizens and substan- 
tial business men, is president of the Farmers 
State Bank and is also the head of the Ericson 
Hardware Company. In many ways he has 
been active in the development of Bayard and 
stands deservedly high in public esteem. He 
was born at Bertrand, in Phelps county, Ne- 
braska, in 1885. 

The parents of Mr. Ericson, John and Mary 
(Peterson) Ericson, were born in Sweden. 
They came to the United States in the early 
eighties, acquired land in Phelps county, Ne- 
braska, that is still in the possession of the 
family, and the father died on the homestead 
in the spring of 1919. The family lived at first 
in a sod house, as did many of their pioneer 
neighbors, and the father cultivated his land 
with oxen. Of his family of nine children, 
Walter J. was the fourth in order of birth. 
The other survivors are : Charles, in the drug 
business at Loomis, Nebraska; Frank, a gen- 
eral merchant at Hillrose, Morgan county, Col- 
orado; Axel, a druggist at Bayard; Harry, 
also in the drug business at Bayard; Esther, 
the wife of Victor J. Johnson, operating the 
old Ericson homestead, and Emil, associated 
with his brother, Walter J., in the hardware 
business. He was born at Bertrand in 1890 
and came to Bayard in August, 1915. On No- 
vember 21, 1917, Emil Ericson was married to 
Miss Alta Durnal, who is a daughter of R. F. 
Durnal. 

Walter J. Ericson was reared on his father's 
farm near Bertrand, where he attended school, 
and remained in Phelps county until 1911, 
when he came to Bayard, where his brother 



126 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Frank was conducting a hardware business. 
He purchased his brother's hardware store and 
reorganized the business and it is now widely 
known as the Ericson Hardware Company, his 
brother Emil, as mentioned above, being asso- 
ciated with him. As president of the Farmers 
State Bank, he is additionally well known in 
commercial circles. While business claims 
much of his time, Mr. Ericson. as an earnest 
citizen, has concerned himself with civic de- 
velopment and bettennent, and is an active, 
fearless and useful member of the city council, 
in which body he is serving his second term. 
In politics Mr. Ericson is a Republican, as was 
his father. He belongs to the Masons and the 
Odd Fellows. 

GEORGE G. CRONKLETON, who is 
cashier of the First National Bank of Bayard, 
has been identified with the banking business 
during many years of his life and has been 
connected with the above institution since the 
spring of 1911. Mr. Cronkleton is held in high 
esteem at Bayard, where he has, on numerous 
occasions, been called to public office, in which 
he has served faithfully and conscientiously, 
and he has furthered many desirable public 
enterprises by the influence of his active in- 
terest. He is a native of Iowa, and was born 
March 14, 1876, at Dunlap, in Harrison 
county. 

The parents of Mr. Cronkleton were Ezra 
J. and Julia (O'Hare) Cronkleton, the former 
of whom was born in Ohio, and the latter in 
Ireland. The father went to Iowa when a 
young man and served in the Civil War as a 
member of Company C, Second Iowa Cavalry, 
until captured by the enemy. He was a pris- 
oner of war for ten months in Alabama. After 
returning from his exhausting experiences in 
the war, he traveled about for a time and then 
was married at Boone, Iowa, located soon 
afterward at Dunlap, and for many years was 
engaged in business there as a contractor and 
builder. His death occurred at Dunlap on Au- 
gust 17, 1913. In his earlier years he belonged 
to the Christian church but later became a 
Catholic, of which church his wife was a de- 
voted member. Of their five children. George 
G. is the third of the survivors, the others be- 
ing: Charles ]., who is a resident of Council 
Blufifs, Iowa; Mary J., and Eugenia, both of 
whom live at Council Blufifs. 

After completing the high school course at 
Dunlap. Mr. Cronkleton became deputy post- 
master and subsequently deputy county auditor 
of Harrison county, his financial talents being 
thus early recognized and called into play. 
After retiring from office he accepted the posi- 



tion of assistant cashier in the First National 
Bank of Dunlap and remained with that insti- 
tution for six years. He then made a visit to 
the Pacific coast and during his sojourn there 
served as cashier of the First National Bank 
of Ritzville, Washington. In the meanwhile 
his brother had engaged in the grocery trade at 
Council Bluff's, and when Mr. Cronkleton re- 
turned to Iowa he entered his brother's store 
and remained there three years. He then vis- 
ited Wyoming and once more became identified 
with a large financial institution, serving for 
one year as assistant cashier of the bank of 
Noble, Lane & Noble, at Lander, Wyoming. 
He then accepted the office of cashier of the 
bank at Henry, Nebraska, and continued as 
such for eighteen months. In 1909 he came 
to Bayard and in May, 1911, became cashier of 
the First National Bank, an institution of 
which city and county are proud. It operates 
with a capital of $50,000; surplus, $10,000; 
average deposits, $450,000. 

In November, 1913, Air. Cronkleton was 
united in marriage to Miss Anna Morrow, a 
daughter of Thomas Morrow, extended men- 
tion of whom will be found in this work. Mr. 
and Mrs. Cronkleton are members of the Cath- 
olic church and he belongs to the Knights of 
Columbus. In his political affiliation he has 
always been a Republican. He has served as 
a United States commissioner, and since com- 
ing to Bayard has been town clerk and also a 
member of the school board. 

THOMAS F. WATKINS, who, probably 
is as well known in Morrill county as any other 
individual, unless Mrs. Watkins, his admirable 
wife be excepted, came to Bayard in 1910. 
Since then Mr. and Mrs. Watkins have owned 
the Commercial hotel and have had much 
to do with the development of what was then 
a village into the close semblance of a city. 
Mr. Watkins was born at Swansea, Wales, 
May 27, 1848. 

The parents of Mr. Watkins were Thomas 
and Mary (Davis) Watkins. the former of 
whom was bom in Wales. December 11, 1814, 
and the latter February 27, 1822. They came 
to the United States and located on 160 acres 
of land in Monroe county, Iowa, when 
Thomas F. was an infant. There were two 
older children in the family, nine more were 
born in America, and besides Thomas F., the 
following are living: W. D., who resides at 
Long Beach, California; D. M., who owns the 
old family homestead in Monroe county, 
Iowa; Mary M., who is the wife of Thomas 
Lewis, of Long Beach, California, and Mittie, 
who is the wife of Martin Haller, a farmer 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



127 



near Springfield, ^Missouri. The parents were 
members of the Baptist church. 

In his boyhood Thomas F. Watkins had but 
meager educational advantages. He early 
learned to perform farm work and labor in the 
coal mines. In 1890 he came to Alliance, Ne- 
braska, where he carried on a meat business 
for four years, after which he worked on a 
ranch in' Box Butte county for four years. In 
1898 he came to Morrill county and after mar- 
riage took charge of his wife's homestead and 
put the property in fine shape. Later he 
bought a tract of land near the homestead and 
subsequently his wife secured a second home- 
stead. In 1910 they moved into Bayard, as 
mentioned above, and went into the hotel bus- 
iness. The Commercial hotel is known all 
through this section and patronage never fails. 

At Hemmingford, Nebraska, Mr. Watkins 
was married to Mary Nebraska (Joice) Dual, 
who is aftectionately known by man in Ne- 
braska, as she bears the distinction of having 
been the first white child born in Nebraska 
City, Neb. In this connection, by her kind 
permission, part of a private letter is here 
quoted, that will prove interesting to every 
reader ; 

"My father, Jacob H. Joice, of Dayton, In- 
diana, emigrated to eastern Nebraska in the 
year 1854 and settled in what is now the thriv- 
ing city of Nebraska City, building the fifth 
house which was built in this city, obtaining 
the material from the natural forest surround- 
ing the little place. The population of the sur- 
rounding country consisted chiefly of Indians 
from the Otoe tribe which, as a general rule, 
were very friendly to the white settlers. J. H. 
Joice was of Irish descent while his wife, for- 
merly Angeline Blacklidge, was of Scotch de- 
scent. I was born on the 17th day of Decem- 
ber, 1854, and by the request of a prominent 
man of the community at that time, I was 
named Mary Nebraska, he promising if the 
child was so named he would deed her a quar- 
ter section of land when she reached her ma- 
jority, but this promise was never fulfilled. At 
the age of three years I moved with my par- 
ents to Iowa, locating where at one time East- 
port stood. From Eastport we moved to 
Hamburg, Iowa, where I grew to young wo- 
manhood and was married. It was only a few 
years until I was left a widow, during which 
time I lived in Savannah. Missouri. After the 
death of my parents the call of my native state 
appealed to me so strongly, that I emigrated to 
Bayard, Nebraska, where I met and married 
Thomas F. Watkins. The first year of our 
married life was spent in the city of Alliance, 
Nebraska, after which we located on a home- 



stead three miles due east of Bayard, Nebras- 
ka, where we underwent the hardships and 
privations of the early pioneers of that day. 
We lived the life of the pioneer ranchman for 
about sixteen years, when we moved to Bay- 
ard in the year 1910, purchasing and operat- 
ing the Commercial hotel of that place. Bay- 
ard at that time consisted of a population of 
about 200 men, women and children. At this 
time the settlers coming from eastern Nebras- 
ka and adjoining states, began locating on the 
lands adjacent to Bayard, where they organ- 
ized a successful irrigating project which 
transformed a former desert into a veritable 
Garden of Eden." Mrs. Watkins concludes 
with expressions of pleasant anticipation con- 
cerning the annual homecoming celebration of 
the early pioneers of Nebraska City to which 
she had been invited and in which she has 
found herself a highly honored guest when- 
ever she has been able to attend. 

Mr. and Mrs. Watkins have had no children 
of their own but they raised two children, 
Stella Slausen and Richard Dual, the former 
of whom is deceased, the latter being a resi- 
dent of Bayard. They also raised a nephew of 
Mrs. Watkins, Frank Joice, deceased. For 
forty-nine years Mr. Watkins has belonged to 
the order of Odd Fellows and both he and 
Mrs. Watkins are old members of the auxili- 
ary order of Rebekah, and both have repre- 
sented their local body in the Grand Lodge. 
Air. Watkins has never been a politician and 
at present he maintains an independent atti- 
tude on public questions and votes according 
to his own judgment that has been ripened by 
many years of thought and mingling with his 
fellowmen. Mrs. Watkins has one brother 
and one sister, H. A. Joice and Mrs. Hattie 
White, both of whom reside at Bigelow, Holt 
county, Missouri. 

JOHN L. LOEWENSTEIN, who is the 
able manager of the L. W. Cox & Company 
lumber business at Bayard, is not only an alert 
and enterprising business man, but is also an 
earnest and useful citizen in a public capacity. 
During the seven years of his residence at 
Bayard, he has so firmly established himself in 
the confidence of his fellow citizens that in 
April, 1918, he was elected a member of the 
city council and has faithfully performed 
every duty pertaining to this ofifice. 

John L. Loewenstein was born at Keokuk, 
Iowa, in 1882, the only son of Christopher and 
Caroline (Schultz) Loewenstein, both of 
whom were born at Keokuk, of German par- 
entage. The mother died there in 1916, but 
the father survives and carries on his business 



128 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



of hardware merchant in that city. In politics 
the father is a Republican, fraternally is an 
Odd Fellow, and all his mature life has been 
a member of the German Evangelical church. 
Mr. Loewenstein has one sister, Mildred, who 
is the wife of Frank Wiseman, who is a sales- 
man in the electrical line, at Oakland, Cali- 
fornia. 

After his public school course at Keokuk, 
John L. Loewenstein attended a commercial 
school. The first business opening he found 
was in a shoe factory and for several years he 
remained there and learned the trade. From 
there he went into railroad work as an em- 
ploye in the main office of the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy. One year later he accepted 
a position with the Iowa State Insurance Com- 
pany, with which concern he continued for two 
years and then embarked in the drug business 
on his own account, at Cantril. Iowa, and re- 
mained so connected for four years. In the 
meanwhile Mr. Lowenstein kept alert as to 
other business opportunities, and when he . 
found a congenial opening in the lumber trade, 
with E. G. Caine, at Indianola, Nebraska, took 
advantage of it and continued there until 1912, 
when he came to Bayard and accepted his pres- 
ent position. He has substantial knowledge 
along several lines of activity and a ver\' wide 
acquaintance, has a genial manner that wins 
friendly attention and an upright character 
that in the business world means trustworthi- 
ness. 

In 1904 Mr. Loewenstein was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Edna Frances Caine, who was 
bom at Keokuk, Iowa. They have three chil- 
dren : Madeline, Lillian, and Josephine. Mr. 
and Mrs. Loewenstein are members of the 
Presbyterian church. He is a Republican in 
his political affiliation, and he belongs frater- 
nally to both the Masons and Odd Fellows. 
Bayard has made wonderful progress within 
the last few years and credit is due those men 
of business foresight and true public spirit who 
have in every possible way furthered her in- 
terests and it is but just to say that Mr. 
Loewenstein is one of these. 

CHARLES H. HARPOLE. — There are 
few lines of reputable business that do not 
have adequate representation at Bayard, in 
fact the little city can claim same progressive 
concerns that would be creditable anywhere. 
Reference may be made to the Burke & Har- 
pole Company, dealers in general hardware 
and furniture and undertakers, the founder of 
the business being Charles H. Harpole who 
came to Bayard in 1900. He was born in 
Warrick county, Indiana, December 15, 1863. 



The parents of Mr. Harpole were W. S. and 
Elizabeth (Griffith) Harpole, the former of 
whom was born in Virginia and the latter in 
the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Their 
people settled in Indiana when they were 
young and they were married there and re- 
mained until 1881, when they moved to south- 
western Missouri. The father bought land 
there and both died on the home farm. Of 
their ten children seven are living, Charles H. 
being the only one residing in Nebraska. His 
educational opportunities were somewhat 
meager, confined to a little country school near 
his father's farm in southern Indiana. He 
grew up on the home farm, accompanied his 
parents to Missouri and afterward followed an 
agricultural life there until 1900, when he 
came to Bayard, Nebraska. Here he saw a 
business opening in the hardware line and 
started in a small way, in partnership with 
D. J. Burke. Immediate success followed as 
the village grew into a town and then a city, 
and Mr. Harpole and Mr. Burke proved equal 
to the occasion. At first they increased their 
stock but later found themselves needing more 
room and purchased the large brick building 
they now occupy. The business is now incor- 
porated as the Burke-Harpole Company, 
which is capitalized at $30,000. There 'is 
hardly an instance in the city where a business 
enterprise has developed more rapidly or sub- 
stantially. In addition, Mr. Harpole is inter- 
ested to some extent in farming, owning valu- 
able land in Morrill county. 

In August, 1893, Mr. Harpole was united 
in marriage to Miss Elneta Mingus, who was 
born in Ohio. She died without issue, in 
June. 1914. Mr. Harpole was married sec- 
ond in 1916 to Miss Emma De Vault, who 
was born at St. Louis, Missouri. They are 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church 
and Mrs. Harpole is active in the various 
avenues of beneficence carried on by the 
church. Mr. Harpole belongs to no fraternal 
body except the Modern Woodmen. He is a 
staunch Republican in politics and has served 
with great efficiency on the school board and 
in other town offices. He is held in high 
esteem at Bayard and is numbered with the 
representative business men of the place, one 
ever ready to encourage worthy enterprises 
and generous in his support of charitable 
movements. 

WILLIAM WEBER. — The year 1887 
marked the arrival of Mr. Weber in that part 
of old Cheyenne county that is now comprised 
in Scottsblufif county, and he became a pioneer 
homesteader in the vicinity of the present 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



129 



county seat, Gering. Of this original home- 
stead of 160 acres he later disposed, after 
having made good improvements on the place, 
and he then invested in other land, his valu- 
able holdings now comprising 240 acres, de- 
voted to diversified agriculture and the rais- 
ing of excellent types of live stock, and the 
greater part of the tract having been supplied 
with good irrigation facilities. This admirable 
ranch property , accumulated through the 
earnest and honorable endeavors of the own- 
er, is situated in section 1, township 15, and 
is eligibly situated about one-half mile east of 
Gering. 

Mr. Weber was born in Germany, on the 
10th of March, 1863, a son of Anton and 
Gertrude (Petz) Weber, both of whom were 
born in Cologne, Germany, and both of whom 
passed their entire lives in the fatherland of 
their nativity. 

William Weber acquired his youthful edu- 
cation in the excellent schools of his native 
land, and he was an ambitious young man of 
eighteen years when he severed the home 
ties and immigrated to America, in 1881. He 
arrived in April of that year and soon made 
his way to Illinois, where he continued to be 
employed — principally at farm work — until 
1887, when he came to Nebraska and num- 
bered himself among the pioneers of what is 
now Scottsbluff county. Here he has kept 
pace with the splendid march of development 
and progress, and at all times he has stood 
exemplar of the most loyal and public-spirited 
citizenship, so that he has a secure place in 
popular esteem. He has assisted in the fur- 
therance of those movements that have con- 
served the best interests of the community and 
was for some time president of the Central 
Ditch Company, controlling one of the import- 
ant irrigation projects of the county. His po- 
litical allegiance is given to the Republican 
party, he and his family are communicants of 
the Catholic church and he is afWiated with 
the Modern Woodmen of America. 

In 1889 Mr. Weber wedded Miss Minnie 
Brown, of Utica, New York, and her death 
occurred at the home in Scottsbluff county. 
Of this union were born four children: Will- 
iam H., is a prosperous farmer in this coun- 
ty ; Bert R., likewise is identified with farm 
enterprise in the same county and he is in- 
dividually mentioned on other pages ; Anna 
is the wife of John Fohland. a farmer south 
of Melbeta, this county ; and Harry died at the 
age of five years. In 1904 Mr. Weber was 
united in marriage to Miss Winnie Newby, a 



native of Missouri, and she likewise is de- 
ceased, the two children of this union having 
died in infancy. Mr. Weber contracted a 
third marriage, when Miss Ida Davis became 
his wife, she having been born and reared in 
Nebraska. 



GOTTFRIED KA:\IANN is one of the 
sturdy, hardy pioneers of Nebraska, who has 
known the lianKliips rind prixatiuiis nf early 
settlers in the wrst ami wIki ha^ contributed 
his share to tlir upbuililin;; of the county. It 
is to this citizen that recognition is here ac- 
corded. 

Gottfried Kaniann was born in Rhine prov- 
ince of the German Empire in 1862, being the 
son of Heinrich and Gertrude (Bovenschen) 
Kamann, both natives of Germany, where they 
were reared and educated. The father was a 
blacksmith in the old country who was engaged 
in the practice of his vocation for many years, 
thus earning a comfortable living for his f;im- 
ily. At the age of eighty-one years he bravely 
broke all the old ties that bound him to the 
land of his birth and sailed for America to 
join his children who had established them- 
selves in the great "Land of Promise." After 
seven years passed with the members of his 
family he passed away here at the age of 
eighty-eight years and four months. 

Gottfried Kamann was reared and educated 
in his native province in Germany, received 
excellent educational advantages in the pub- 
lic schools of Germany which were at that 
time condnctnl 1j\- tlie .^tate. and thus laid 
the foundation for an excellent practical 
education which has proved of great value to 
him since coming to the United States and en- 
gaging in business independently. He was a 
far-sighted youth, saw that with the land in his 
native country largely owned ami controlled by 
the Junker class, there was little chance or op- 
portunity for him to acquire land of his own 
and he did not care to spend his life in the 
laboring class. For many years Mr. Kamann 
had heard of the many advantages to be had 
in the I'niteil States and after attaining his 
majiirity and his period of military service 
over, he decided that his future would be 
brighter in America, and on March 6, 1885, set 
sail for this country. For two years he was 
engaged in varied occupations while learning 
the customs of the country and the English 
language and thus had an excellent opportunity 
to hear of the dififerent sections of the country 
and decide which section would be the most 
desirable for his home. Mr. Kamann chose 
Nebraska, locating on a homestead on the 
Dutch Flats in 1887. He at once began im- 



130 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



provements on the place, such as farm build- 
ings, a house, and as water was the paramount 
need of every settler, drilled the first well in 
this locality, from which all the neighbors 
hauled their water for a long time. The coun- 
try was sparsely settled at this period, farm 
houses being far apart with great stretches of 
prairie separating the primitive homes of these 
sturdy pioneers of civilization and Mr. 
Kaniann says that he saw antelope, deer and 
other wild game running across his land and 
could go hunting from his dooryard for sup- 
plies of meat. What changes this man has 
seen in the brief span which has elapsed since 
he first drove into the country, for today the 
wide prairies which smiled with wild flowers 
in the sun have become a prosperous country- 
side of fine farms, dotted with thrifty and 
thriving communities that are as barometers of 
the country itself. Upon first establishing him- 
self here Mr. Kamann had to drive to Sidney 
for his supplies but was glad that he had the 
money to get them as many of the first men to 
locate here had a very hard time, became dis- 
couraged and returned to their old homes far- 
ther east, but this German was determined that 
he would not be daunted by a few hard years. 
and his faith in the section has been justified, 
and today he is himself the possessor of a com- 
fortable fortune won on these prairies of the 
west. There were two children in his family, 
himself and his sister Elizabeth, who is the 
wife of Valentine Thomas, who resides in 
Sioux county. 

Money was a very scarce commodity in the 
west during the early eighties and as Air. 
Kamann was a strong, healthy man. he found 
employment with the construction men when 
the railroad was built from Broken Bow to 
Alliance, and with this money was enabled to 
place many improvements on his land that 
other settlers had to do without or wait to 
establish at a later date, after they had man- 
aged to sell some of their farm produce at 
some distant market. From first locating in 
the valley, Mr. Kamann took active part and 
interest in all movements for the development 
of this section, being one of the first men to 
have the vision of what this land would become 
with water and as a consequence was one of 
the pioneers in irrigation, working on the con- 
struction of the first ditch which was to bring 
water to the thirsty earth and prosperity to the 
Morrill section. This was known as the 
"Farmers Canal," which has been such an im- 
portant factor in the development of what is 
now one of the richest farming sections of the 
whole country as well as the most prosperous, 
for the river valley soil, with plenty of water 



and the never-failing sunshine of the high 
prairies, has caused the valley lands of the 
Panhandle to become a veritaljle garden spot 
where the greatest returns are obtained from 
the labor placed upon the land. 

In 1891, Mr. Kamann married Miss \\'i\- 
hemina Bremer, and to this union five chil- 
dren have been born. Those living are : Henry, 
a farmer of Scottsbluff county, who responded 
to his country's call when the United States 
declared war against Germany and served with 
the rank of sergeant in the army, but has been 
discharged and is again at home: Arthur \\'., 
also a farmer in Scottsbluff' Cdunty; Clara A., 
a school teacher in her home district : and Kath- 
arine, who is at home. Mr. Kamann is affili- 
ated with the Masonic fraternity and has at- 
tained the thirty-second degree. The pioneers 
of the eighties and nineties know Mr. 
Kamann's early activities and hold him and his 
family in high esteem and today he is regarded 
as a prominent and leading spirit in the com- 
munity. 

JOSEPH C. WILLIAMS. — These Hues 
concern one of the j'ounger generation of btisi- 
ness men — one just a decade beyond his major- 
ity ; one who comes of sturdy, fine, old colon- 
ial stock, of a family that located on the Atlan- 
tic seaboard states during the period of settle- 
ment in the tide water region and their indom- 
itable courage and characteristics that insure 
a high degree of success have been handed 
down to the man whose name heads this re- 
view. Mr. Williams is the owner and man- 
ager of the largest drug house in Henry, 
which he established himself and today it is 
one of the leading business houses in the val- 
ley of Scottsbluff' county. 

Mr. Williams is a southerner, as he was 
born in Allendale. Barnwell county, south 
Carolina, December 12, 1888, being the son 
of Joseph J. and Virginia (Wooten) Williams, 
the former also a native of South Carolina, 
while the mother was born, reared and re- 
ceived her early education in Florida. Three 
children grew up in the Williams family: Ed- 
gar L.. lives at Greeley, Colorado ; Joseph, and 
Lelia, who married James T. Pomeroy of Chi- 
cago. Joseph J. Williams was a physician 
who came west and located in Colorado when 
Joseph was a small boy. For many years Dr. 
Williams was engaged in the practice of his 
profession in Hotchkiss. Colorado, where he 
built up a lucratice practice which he enjoyed 
until he retired from active life, dying No- 
vember 19, 1919, at Hotchkiss, Colorado. 
Mrs. Williams died in 1915. Dr. Williams 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



131 



was a member of the Baptist church, was for 
many years a Democrat in his political faith 
and fraternally was allied with the Masonic 
order. 

Joseph Williams received his early educa- 
tional training in the excellent public schools of 
Hotchkiss, Colorado. After finishing the ele- 
mentary grades he entered the high school, 
graduating after a four year course. Follow- 
ing this he entered the pharmacy de- 
partment of the Colorado State Agriculture 
college, where he remained a student until he 
received his degree of Ph. G. He was at once 
registered as a graduate in pharmacy under 
the state pharmacy board and admitted to prac- 
tice his profession. Within a short time Mr. 
Williams came to Scottsblufif, where he work- 
ed for the Great Western Sugar Company 
until 1915, when he believed he saw an ex- 
cellent opening in Henry and located here. He 
opened a modern up-to-date store on the 
main street, equipped with every convenience 
to handle his trade and now enjoys a fine busi- 
ness. A good drug house is one of the neces- 
sities of a community and a pharmacist must 
use care to give safe and satisfactory results, 
as his business is regulated by strict laws of 
the state and nation and he is no less responsi- 
ble for the health and life of his patrons than 
the physician whose prescriptions he is called 
on to till. Henry has been fortunate in having 
Mr. Williams in whom full reliance can be 
placed. He carries a fully equipped stock of 
the various medicines, patent medicines and 
all lines allied to the drug business which the 
public has learned to expect and demand. His 
store is very attractive and is one of the 
most prosperous representative business cen- 
ters of the town. 

On June 25, 1912, Mr. Williams married 
Miss Florence Wallace, a native daughter of 
Scottsblufif county, who was reared here on 
the high prairies, received her educational 
advantages in the public schools and here also 
met her future husband. Two children have 
been born to Mr. and ]\Irs. Williams, Joseph 
Wallace and Virginia Lee. attractive young 
sters for whom a bright future is in store. 
Mr. Williams is an independent in politics, and 
though he takes no active part in political af- 
fairs is a worthy and representative citizen 
who lives up to his own high standards of 
Americanism as the worthy scion of an old 
southern family should. Fraternally his af- 
filiations are with the Masonic order as he 
has taken his 32d degree in that order. 



HERMAN G. STEWART, who is one of 
the capable and progressive representatives of 
the farming and stock-raising industries of 
the Mitchell valley and Scottsbluff county, is 
not one of the earliest settlers in this section 
as he located in Sioux county when he first 
came to Nebraska, but since coming into the 
valley of the Platte has kept pace with the 
steady advancement that has marked this fa- 
vored section of the state. Mr. Stewart was 
liorn in Fond du Lac county, W'isconsin, Sep- 
tember 29, 1854, beng a child of Henry and 
Ruth (Grant) Stewart, the former a native 
of New York and the latter of Ohio. Henrj- 
Stewart was descended from a long line of 
colonial ancestors who had played an import- 
ant part in shaping the growth and develop- 
ment of our great country when it was in its 
infancy and he himself as soon as he attained 
manhood's estatejook an active and interested 
part in the councils of the Republican party, 
as he was one of the fifty men who organized 
it, when the new party began to take shape. 
He had a good, practical education in his 
youth and upon this excellent foundation he 
continued to build by wide reading along both 
political and business lines, until he was re- 
garded as one of the best informed men of 
his day. Mr. Stewart was one of the men who 
believed that a great future lay in store for 
the great Mississippi valley and early deter- 
mined that he should have his part in the 
opening up and development of the country. 
As railroads were few and the price of trans- 
portation high he came west by way of the 
great lakes, making the trip from New York 
by boat. After arriving in Wisconsin he locat- 
ed on a farm in Fond du Lac county, where he 
immediately engaged in general farming, and 
stock-raising when that state had hardly been 
reclaimed from the wilderness, for Wisconsin 
was heavily timbered, especially along the 
water course, and Fond du Lac county is in 
the lake country. There were seven children 
in the Stewart family: Martha, the wife of 
W. A. Thornton, died at Crawford, Nebras- 
ka; Martela, the wife of John Stewart, a dis- 
tant relative, is deceased; Celia L.. married 
Thomas JeiTerson Cummings, and now lives 
at Riverside, California; Henry, lives near 
Crawford on a farm; Heman G., A. E., a 
farmer in Scottsblufif county, and John F., 
a farmer near Crawford. 

Mr. Stewart was reared on his father's farm 
in Wisconsin and there received his education- 
al advantages in the public schools. While 



132 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



still young he left home to start independent- 
ly in life and removed to Iowa with his par- 
ents in 1867. They located on land in the 
western part of the state and later moved 
again to Mills county, where the father died. 
Mr. Stewart thought he saw an opportunity to 
get some good land in Kansas and took up a 
homestead in that state on which he proved 
up and after making improvements on the 
farm was able to dispose of it at what he con- 
sidered a good price for those days. He then 
came to Nebraska and bought land in the 
Loup river valley, in Nance county, but learn- 
ing that Indian land could be bought for eight 
dollars an acre in Siou.x county, disposed of 
his holding near the river to locate in the ex- 
treme northwestern part of the state on the 
high prairies. He filed on a homestead, on 
the pre-emption plan and later homesteaded, 
so that he had considerable landed estate. Af- 
ter living on this new land for some time Mr. 
Stewart made fine improvements of a per- 
manent character, had raised the land to an 
excellent state of fertility and was well and 
favorably known as a farmer who believed in 
modern methods in conducting his farm enter- 
prise and was one of the first to place his land 
under irrigation, for his study of agricultural 
subjects had led him to know that on this 
western land any profitable crop could be 
raised provided there was assured rainfall or 
water and today he has five hundred and forty 
acres under ditch which is equal to more than 
three times that number of acres as far as 
making money is concerned if he was not able 
to get water, the right amount, and at just the 
right time necessary for the growing grains. 
Mr. Stewart, like his father has taken an 
active part in politics and the esteem in which 
he is held by his friends and acquaintances 
is shown by the fact that he has twice repre- 
sented his district in the state legislature. In- 
dependent in his manner of life, early led to 
think and do for himself. Mr. Stewart is an 
independent in politics, and draws no close 
party lines when the question of the best man 
for office comes up. In 1876. Mr. Stewart mar- 
ried Miss Marie Clites, a native of Illinois and 
to this union five children have been born: 
Thadius a cattle rancher in Sioux county ; 
George F., who lives at Wind Spring on' a 
ranch which he owns; Herman C, a farmer 
of Sioux county; Mary R., the wife of 
Clyde Cross who owns a farm near Mitchell ; 
and Mabel E., who married Fred Newell a 
Sioux county rancher. The Stewart family 
are Christian Scientists. 



WILLIAM E. ALVIS. The proprietor 
and editor of a newspaper is a man of great 
potential power for good or evil in a com- 
munity as he occupies a vantage ground from 
which he may make or mar a reputation, or 
build or tear down a cause worthy of public 
support. Not only the city of Morrill but 
Scottsbluff county and the western panhandle 
has reason for congratulation that the Morrill 
Mail is in such capable sagacious hands that 
are so thoroughly clean as those of the pres- 
ent owner. It is considered one of the best 
general news sheets published in the county, 
as well as an outspoken, fair play exponent 
of the best element of political elements in 
this district ; in fact, it is in all respects well 
worthy of the thought and sound judgments 
displayed in its news items and editorial col- 
umns and reflects credit on its joint editor 
and publisher, William Alvis, one of the 
younger men of the newspaper fraternity, who 
are playing an important and able part in 
shaping the policies and destinies of Western 
Nebraska. 

Mr. Alvis is descended from a long line of 
colonial ancestors on his father's side as the 
family located in the Old Dominion during 
the early days of its settlements and various 
members of the family have taken a prominent 
and active part in the life and politics of their 
community from that early date to the pres- 
ent time and it is but seeming that a de- 
scendent of such an illustrous family should 
now be carrying on the torch of progress, as 
civilization is westward making its way. Will- 
iam Alvis was born in Clark county, Iowa, 
April 26, 1891, the son of John W. and Ida M. 
( Thompson ) Alvis, the former born in Vir- 
ginia, where he was reared and received his 
early educational advantages and after attain- 
ing his manhood being a youth of ambition 
and action he came west, locating in Iowa, 
where he engaged in business as a farmer. 
The mother was born and reared in the west, 
and spent the greater part of her life in 
her native state of Iowa, where her three 
children William, John W., and Hazel were 
born. In 1906. the family removed to 
Scottsblufif county, where John Alvis took 
up a homestead. As he was already 
a practical and successful farmer he soon had 
the wild land under cultivation, had erected 
the necessary buildings on the farm and a 
comfortable home for his wife and children. 
Later he was able to dispose of the place at 
a handsome profit and returned to Iowa, where 
he again engaged in farming, an occupation 




PliTER \'0NBURG 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



133 



in which he is still engaged, being one of the 
well known, prosperous and substantial men 
of his community, standing high in the es- 
teem of his friends, acquaintances and busi- 
ness associates by reason of his integrity, high 
moral level and the fact that his word is as 
good as his bond. Mr. Alvis is an adherent 
of the principles of the Democratic party 
while his fraternal associations are with the 
Modern Woodmen of America, an organiza- 
tion in which he takes a prominent part. 

William Alvis received excellent education- 
al advantages in the public schools near his 
father's farm in Iowa, thus laying the founda- 
tion for the higher studies which he has since 
pursued both in educational institutions and 
by himself as he is a wide reader of the best 
English literature, and the many periodicals 
of the country as well as the special lines con- 
nected with his editorial work. Reared in an 
agricultural environment the boy early learned 
the practical side of farm life and was a 
youthful but expert farmer while still in 
school, as he early assumed many of the duties 
on the home place that his strength and age 
permitted. William was only fifteen years 
old when the family came to Scottsbluf? coun- 
ty, here he continued to reside at home and 
ably assisted in establishing a new farm on 
the land his father had taken from the govern- 
ment, but as he studied and considered the fu- 
ture, the boy did not see himself as a farmer; 
his tastes were literary not agricultural, and 
wisely following that profession toward which 
his mentality led, he entered the realm of 
journalism and after thoroughly acquainting 
himself with both the editorial and business 
departments of a newspaper, Mr. Alvis pur- 
chased the Morrill Mail from George Mark. 
At the time of the transfer the paper had a 
subscription list of only about two hundred 
subscribers, but the young manager at once 
set out to remedy this defect. He introduced 
modern methods, replacing the old Washing- 
ton press with a new power driven one, at 
once changed the style of the publication, in- 
augurating the latest manner of make up and 
soon the number of subscribers began to climb 
until today he has a circulation extending 
throughout Scottsblufif county and is produc- 
ing a well printed, well edited sheet, with 
clean, live, authentic news, timely editorials 
and interesting locals. His efforts to give the 
people a good, readable newspaper have evi- 
dently been appreciated, and he is well sup- 
ported in an advertising way by the merchants 
and professional men of Morrill. In connec- 



tion with his newspaper, Mr. Alvis has a well 
equipped job department, and turns out all 
manner of high class job printing. 

Mr. Alvis was married to Miss Goldie 
Shofstall of Jefferson, Nebraska, July 31, 
1912, and to them three children have been 
born: Melba L., Elden R., and Kathleen, all 
of whom have a bright future in store for 
them as their parents are determined to give 
them every advantage in a social and educa- 
tional way that the state of Nebraska has to 
oiifer. 

Independent in his life work and business 
it is but natural that Mr. Alvis should think 
independently along political lines and is an 
avowed Independent. 

PETER VONBURG, the subject of this 
record, has the distinction of being the third 
man to file on a homestead in the Morrill dis- 
trict for he came to Cheyenne county in 1887 
and on the 3rd of April recorded his land entry 
for a claim on land where the town of Morrill 
now stands. Mr. Vonburg is descended from 
a long line of sturdy, thrifty Scandinavian an- 
cestors, as his father was a Swede. It was 
these hardy Norsemen of the sea countries who 
first discovered America and it is to these coun- 
tries that the United States is indebted for such 
a large element of her best immigrant popula- 
tion, as they have been pioneer settlers in many 
of the best agricultural sections of the countr\ 
and it is through their industry, hard work and 
foresight that so many broad acres of this land 
have been made to yield a bountiful crop where 
once were the rolling unproductive prairies, the 
"American Desert and Stake Plains" of the 
historian of an earlier day. Peter Vonburg is 
a native of Illinois, born in Knox county. June 
19, 1865, being the son of John and Sarah 
Vonburg, both natives of Sweden, where they 
were reared, educated and married. The father 
was a stone mason, a trade he learned in his 
native land and followed there for some years 
before emigrating to America. He had heard 
of the many opportunities to be obtained in the 
United States from some of his returned coun- 
trymen and when he perceived that there was 
little ahead of him in his native land but hard 
work for a bare living, he left the land of his 
birth to sail for the new world to there carve 
out a career and fortune for himself and his 
family. After landing on our shores he came 
to Chicago, Illinois, where he at once obtained 
employnient at his trade, subsequently remov- 
ing to Knoxville, Illinois, to follow the same 
vocation. There were eight children in the 
family, five of whom are living: Eber. who re- 
sides in Illinois ; John, also lives in that state ; 



134 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Eli, whose home is in Knoxville : Tilda, the 
wife of Charles Bjlgren, who died at W'ilmer, 
Minnesota ; and Peter. The father and mother 
were both members of the Lutheran church, 
while John Vonburg was affiliated with the 
Republican party. 

The children of the family were sent to the 
excellent- public schools which this generous 
land aflfords and in Knoxville, Peter received 
the academic training and laid the foundation 
for the good practical education that has been 
of great value to him in his business life. He 
remained in Illinois for one year after attain- 
ing his majority, but like all the youth of the 
land, in the early eighties heard of the many 
advantages to be had, as well as adventures, in 
the lands lying west of the Missouri, and as the 
country was well settled up in Illinois, and land 
high in price for that time, he came west in 
1887, locating in Nebraska on the townsite of 
the present thrifty town of Morrill and little 
did he realize that his homestead was to be- 
come the location of so progressive a com- 
munity within a few decades. Mr. Vonburg 
proved up on his claim, put upon it good and 
permanent improvements, and engaged in gen- 
eral farming and stock-raising. He passed 
through the hard and discouraging years of 
drought, insect pests and the winter blizzards 
that killed his stock, but "stuck it out" and has 
had his reward for today he is one of the larg- 
est landed proprietors in this section so well 
known for its progressive and prosperous agri- 
culturists, who have so nobly responded within 
the recent years to the demand for increased 
productirti. Mr. Vonburg has made a deep 
study of farming and its allied industries and 
was one of the first men of the valley to advo- 
cate irrigation and put into practice intensive 
farming methods that have brought him such 
gratifying returns for his labor and the study 
which he has devoted to his chosen vocation. 
Today he owns 680 acres of land and leases 
600 more, nearly all of which is under ditch, 
and as he believes that high-grade stock brings 
the greatest returns, has nothing else on his 
farm. He has fine substantial buildings for 
the various necessities of his business and a 
good convenient modern home. While Mr. 
Vonburg has never had the time or inclination 
to take an active part in politics, he gives his 
support to the Republican party, cooperates 
with his fellow citizens in the furtherance of 
measures advanced for the general welfare of 
the community, and is loyal to all civic duties 
and responsibilities. His fraternal affiliations 
are with the Masonic order, as he is a thirty- 
second degree Mason. Mr. \"onburg stands 
head and shoulders above the average farmer 



of the west, for he is the representative of 
progress and thus is an example for the com- 
munity in which he lives for by his very man- 
ner of life and the conduct of his business 
he has had great influence in introducing mod- 
ern methods and equipment into the most 
favored agricultural section of Nebraska. 



ALFRED J. STEWART. M. D., a man of 
distinguished intellectual and professional at- 
tainments, high ability and ideals, came to 
Nebraska nearly a quarter of a centur)' ago 
and it has been given him to wield large 
and benignant influence, not only as one of the 
early surgeons and physicansof this state but 
also as a man of aft'airs and a citizen whose 
civic loyalty and exceptional talents have made 
him a most influential factor in public afifairs 
since locating in the Panhandle and especially 
in Mitchell and the county adjacent. Dr. 
Stewart was born at ^laquoketa, Iowa, ^larch 
22. 1868, 

While he was still a small boy the family 
moved to a farm near Marion, that state, 
so that Alfred was reared in a fine healthy 
environment, early learning the value of thrift 
and when his strength and age permitted be- 
gan to assume many of the duties about the 
home place. He was sent to the public school 
nearest his home for his elementary education 
but as he early decided upon a professional 
career entered Cornell college, at Mount Ver- 
non. Iowa, to complete the required studies 
for entrance at the medical college. The fall 
after finishing his college course at Cornell, 
Dr. Stewart matriculated at the Hahnemann 
Medical college, Chicago. Illinois, took a three 
year course in that institution, receiving his de- 
gree in 1896. Within a sort time he had chos- 
en a location at David City, Nebraska, where 
he opened an office and began the active prac- 
tice of his profession. Dr. Stewart had some 
of the early hard years that every physician 
does, but soon won the confidence of the peo- 
ple, had a sympathetic and courteous manner 
that won him patients and friends so that his 
practice grew rapidly and he was soon regard- 
ed as one of the leaders of the medical fratern- 
ity in David City and the surrounding territory. 
Desiring to keep up with the progress made 
each year in the medical profession, which 
could not be done by reading alone. Dr. Stew- 
art entered the graduate department of the 
medical school of the University of Illinois 
in 1905. where he took a year's course in the 
special branches in which he desired to fur- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



135 



ther perfect himself, being graduated from 
that medical department of the university in 
the early summer of 1906. Almost immediate- 
ly after returning to Nebraska, he came to 
Mitchell, opened an office and has been in con- 
tinuous practice here since that time. Within 
a short time he had built up an extensive prac- 
tice ranging over a large radius of the sur- 
rounding country. He devoted himself earn- 
estly and unselfishly to the alleviation of suf- 
fering under conditions that in the early day 
involved arduous work. He gained the af- 
fectionate regard of the citizens of Mitchell 
and the community which he served and today 
has one of the largest practices in the county. 

In 1895 Dr. Stewart married Miss Katie 
Woodward, who died in 1901, leaving one 
daughter, Carol, who now is the wife of Paul 
Pattorf, of South Dakota. In 1906 the Doc- 
tor was married again to Miss Harriet Platte, 
a charming and gracious woman who is the 
chatelaine of the hospitable home maintained 
by the doctor, where the latch string ever 
hangs out for their many warm friends. 

Since coming to Mitchell, the doctor has 
taken an active and interested part in all pub- 
lic affairs though he has never aspired or had 
time to hold public office, as all his time and 
energy is demanded by the duties of his pro- 
fession, but he is one of the fine citizens who 
is ever ready to help in promoting any move- 
ment for the development or benefit of the 
county and the city of Mitchell, giving freely 
of time and money in all good and laudable 
movements. In political belief he is a liberal 
Republican, believing that the best man should 
be elected to local office, the one best fitted to 
serve the people well. Prominent in ^Masonic 
circles. Dr. Stewart has taken all the degrees 
up to the Shrine and is one of the prominent 
Shriners of the northwestern part of Nebras- 
ka. He is a member of the Scottsbluff County 
Medical Association, the Nebraska State Med- 
ical Association and the American Medical 
Association. 

GEORGE E. MARK, one of the self made 
men of the Panhandle who today is the owner 
of one of the journals of the northwestern 
section of Nebraska, which has had a large 
part in the moulding of public opinion in this 
section is the owner and editor of the Mitchell 
Index, one of the cleanest, most fearless and 
progressive newspapers of the state. 

^Ir. Mark was born in Chautauqua county. 
New York, March 14, 1866, the son of David 
and Delilah H. (Durfee) Mark, both natives of 



the Empire state, so that Mr. Mark is descend- 
ed from a long line of colonial ancestors who 
took an important part in the development of 
the New England states. His ancestors on 
both his father's and his mother's sides were 
colonial residents and the male members of the 
families were all soldiers of the Revolution. 
With his parents he came to Nebraska in 1872, 
his father taking up a homestead in Thayer 
county, on which he proved up. developed it, 
and which he sold a short time before moving 
to Gering, in Scottsbluiif county, in 1899. 
David Mark spent a useful and constructive 
life which closed in November. 1900. He is 
survived by his widow who now makes her 
home with her son. George was reared on 
his father's farm, early beginning to help 
around the home place in the summer vacations 
while during the winter terms he attended the 
district school nearest his home. Subsequent- 
ly he entered the Hebron high school, from 
which he graduated. While still a youth of 
only eighteen years he began his independent 
financial career as a teacher in the country 
schools. He saved some money from his sal- 
ary and as he had already learned that the 
best equipment a man can have for his life 
work is a good education determined to take 
a higher course, and with this in view matricu- 
lated at Fairfield college, where he took special 
courses along the lines which most interested 
him. In the fall of 1893. still following his 
chosen profession of teaching, he moved to 
Gering in Scottsbluff county, having accepted 
the position of principaf of the city schools. 
At the same time he determined to take ad- 
vantage of the fine opportunity to secure a 
good farm, so filed a homestead near Gering, 
on which he proved up. In 1896, Mr. Mark 
purchased the A\'braska Homestead, which 
had been published for some time at Gering, 
as he had a natural aptitude for journalism 
and the work was congenial to him, more so 
than the teaching profession, and at the same 
time it gave him opportunity to bring to the 
attention of the people many things to their 
advantage. Mr. ^lark acted as publisher and 
editor, which under his able management de- 
veloped into one of the strong and influential 
journals. In April, 1901, Mr. Mark moved 
his printing plant to Mitchell and started the 
Index, as he saw there was a good opening 
here for a live, up-to-date paper and his wis- 
dom in this move has been justified, for he 
now has a large subscription list which ex- 
tends all over Scottsbluiif county. In addition 
he has built up a large and profitable job print- 



136 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



ing business. He conducts one of the clean- 
est, most independent and out-spoken sheets 
in the Panhandle, with well written editorials 
upon timely and interesting subjects, many 
good locals and the latest telegraph news. Dur- 
ing the war he was able to give the subscribers 
exceptionally good service with reference to 
the movements in Europe which they appre- 
ciated, especially after the United States en- 
tered the conflict. 

On Spetember 1, 1902, Mr. Mark was mar- 
ried at Bayard, Nebraska, to Miss Maggie L. 
Wells, a native of Missouri, where she was 
reared and educated. Three children have 
been born to them: Eldridge D., Margaret 
and George E., Jr. In politics Mr. Mark is 
an adherent of the Democratic principles, but 
is not bound in local affairs by strict party 
lines, as he advocates the best man for office 
when it comes to serving the people. He is a 
member of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellov/s and with his wife is a member of the 
Christian church. 

WILLIAM MARLIN, who may be termed 
one of the pioneers of ScottsblufT, as he built 
one of the first houses in the place, has been a 
farmer almost all his life, and a resident of 
Nebraska for forty-three years. He has wit- 
nessed great changes in that time and has done 
his part in agricultural development. 

William Marlin was born in Franklin coun- 
ty, Indiana, February 19, 1852. His parents 
were Charles and Mar>' (Ralf) Marlin, the 
former of whom was born in New Jersey and 
the latter in New York. The father was a 
farmer in Indiana and died there at the age 
of seventy-two years. The mother came to 
Nebraska and died in Frontier county at the 
age of seventy years. Their family consisted 
of three daughters and five sons, William be- 
ing the second born. 

In the country schools near his father's 
farm in Indiana, William Marlin obtained his 
schooling. He grew up on the home farm 
and remained in Indiana until he was twenty- 
four years of age, then came to Nebraska, set- 
tling first near Red Cloud, in Webster county. 
Two years later, however, he moved to a safer 
section, in Frontier county and homesteaded 
there. For twenty-two years Mr. Marlin re- 
sided on his homestead, developing and im- 
proving it, and then moved to Scottsbluff, in- 
duced to some extent to come into town in order 
to give his children better educational advan- 
tages. As one of the early settlers here, he 
has been concerned in many ways with the 



town's progress. He owns his own comfort- 
able residence here and also has one hundred 
and sixty acres of irrigated land. 

Mr. Marlin was married December 24, 1875, 
to Miss Amanda Ray, who was born in De- 
catur county, Indiana, and the following chil- 
dren have been born to them : John, a farmer 
living near Scottsbluff ; Dore R., lives on a 
farm near Scottsbluff; Jesse H., also a farmer 
near Scottsbluff"; Clifford, lives at Scottsbluff'; 
Otis, who has seen six years service in the 
United States Marine corps, is a captain in 
rank and is now :tationed in the Danish West 
Indies; Benjamin H.. lives in Scottsbluff coun- 
ty; Cora, resides at home; Mrs. Lenora Ash- 
bough, lives in the county; William, a farmer; 
and Viola, lives with her parents. Mrs. Mar- 
lin is a member of the Presbyterian church. 
In politics Mr. Marlin is a Republican but has 
never sought public office. 

I. W^ NEWSUM is a native of North Caro- 
lina, born January 31, 1852. the son of Gillin 
and Amanda (Spease) Newsum. Both his par- 
ents were natives of North Carolina, and to 
them thirteen children were born, eight of 
whom are now living. 

After finishing his schooling in his native 
state, Mr. Newsum engaged in farming. Com- 
ing to western Nebraska in 1886, he took a 
homestead south of the present town of Mc- 
Grew and lived through the experiences that 
were common to all the early settlers of those 
days. He farmed and raised stock, and after 
a successful term of years in that enterprise he 
has taken advantage of a well earned rest and 
disposed of his ranch, now owning only ten 
acres of land on which is located a comfort- 
able home. 

October 6, 1889, he was married to Mrs. 
Mary Minces, whose maiden name was Mary 
Lee, and who had formerly been married to 
Isaac L. Minces and had two children, Leon- 
ard, who now resides at Bayard ; and Harry, 
who was killed by lightning in 1906. 

Mr. Newsum is a Republican in politics and 
a member of the United Brethren church. He 
recalls many experiences of the pioneer days 
before the Black Hills line of the Burlington 
Railroad was built, when he had to haul his 
grain to Sidney or Alliance. In those times 
people were few and money was scarce, but 
he. like the others who stayed with it, has 
lived to see the time when population and 
wealth have multiplied many times over and 
the community that was once a sparsely set- 
tled range country is now one of the richest 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



agricultural sections of the United States 
with prosperous and growing cities and towns 
every few miles. 

Mr Newsum stands high in his circle of 
aquaintances as a man who has been upright 
and enterprising. He has made a success of his 
life and has retired to enjoy the fruits of his 
labors, enjoying the friendship and respect of 
all who know him. 

JAMES R. RUSSELL, a pioneer of Scotts- 
bkiff county and one of the energetic and pro- 
gressive citizens of the Mitchell valley, is a rep- 
resentative (if the spirit that in recent years has 
proved such an inip.irtant factor in the ad- 
vancement of the Tanhandle. He is the owner 
of a valuable and productive farm located in 
section 35, township 23-57, and he has also 
been identified with the business interests of the 
valley from first locating here and his career 
has been marked by a versatility that has done 
much to make him one of the substantial and 
influential men of this locality, well known for 
its able agriculturists and progressive, success- 
ful business men. 

James R. Russell is a native of the Badger 
state, born in X'ernon county, \\'isconsin, in 
1868, the son of Calvin Russell, who was born 
and reared in Ohio. Mr. Russell grew to man- 
hood on the farm owned by his parents in Wis- 
consin and acquired his education in the public 
schools. In 1888, a mere boy in years, he broke 
all the home ties and with high heart and the 
determination to success started for the west to 
seek and make his fortune. Coming to Ne- 
braska in 1888 he soon looked the different 
localities over, became an embryonic farmer 
and pioneer of the Panhandle. He took a 
homestead of 160 acres. Twelve years later the 
young man married and from then on for sev- 
eral years he and his devoted wife encountered 
many hardships and weathered many storms, 
but they did not falter in courage, made the 
best of the circumstances and privations, with- 
out complaints, and manifested the faith that 
has been graciously rewarded in the later years. 
Industrious by nature, Mr. Russell in the early 
days obtained work wherever he could get it to 
tide over the hard years when crops were de- 
stroyed by grasshoppers or burned up by the 
droughts, and by means of such employment 
provided his family with the necessities of life 
and was able to retain his land and gradually 
carry forward the added improvements which 
he deemed necessary to become a successful 
farmer. He went 200 miles away to find work 
and assisted in building the railroad west of 
Alliance. This land, located in township 23-57, 
section 35, has been his home continuously dur- 
ing the long intervening period. He has added 



to the original tract and is the owner of 400 
acres, all now in a high state of cultivation, is 
well equipped for intensive farming and ex- 
tensive stock-raising, with substantial buildings 
that have taken the place of the first placed 
there. Mr. Russell has been a deep student of 
agricultural methods and naturally was one of 
the first men of the valle>- to realize and advo- 
cate the value of irrigation. He has one hun- 
dred and twenty acres of his land under water 
and it is mostly a question of time before many 
more acres will be under ditch. Mr. Russell 
rai.ses a good grade of stock on his farm and 
finds that branch of farming very profitable. 
He tells of the makeshifts the early settlers 
were forced to employ when they could not 
obtain necessary farm machinery and family 
supplies and laughs as he describes how the 
first postoffice of Mitchell, a frame structure 
eight by twelve feet square, was put up over 
.night in the stress of necessity and that he be- 
came the first postmaster, cancelling thirt\' dol- 
lars worth of stamps the first month. Branch- 
ing out into a pioneer merchant, Mr. Russell 
became owner of the second store in Mitchell 
where he handled everything needed by the 
farmers of the valley. 

While Mr. Russell is an advocate of the 
principles of the Republican party, he is bound 
by no strict party lines when it comes to casting 
his vote in local elections and gives his influence 
to the man he deems best qualified to serve the 
community or county. He is a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Fra- 
ternal Union, and the M. W. A., while the 
family are members of the Congregational 
church. In 1900 was celebrated the marriage 
of Mr. Russell and Miss Lena Ewing, a native 
of Pennsylvania, who accompanied her parents 
to Nebraska when her father settled in this 
state in 1887. Thomas Ewing is now deceased, 
after having been a potent factor in the devel- 
opment of the region, being a representative 
pioneer settler who shouldered his part in open- 
ing up the middle west for settlement and de- 
velopment. There are seven cliilclrcn in the 
Russell f.nnilv: Eva, Lester, TIkmu.-i^. J.inu's, 
John. Clem, and Amy, all of whom are at hdme 
and to whom their father and mother have 
given all the educational advantages that their 
children cared to avail themselves of. 

From first settling in the Panhandle, Mr. 
Russell has been progressive in spirit and is the 
advocate for all movements that tend to the 
betterment of the county and community in 
which he lives. Both he and his wife take an 
active part in their church affairs and they are 
numbered among the sterling and honored pio- 
neer citizens of Scottsbluff countv. 



138 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



PEARL M. STONE, educator and agri- 
culturist, furnishes in his career another ex- 
emplification of self-made manhood. He is 
one of the most prominent and prosperous 
exponents of farm enterprise in the Mitchell 
section of Scottsblutf county, is a Hberal and 
progressive citizen who well merits recogni- 
tion in this publication. 'Mr. Stone clanns the 
great Sunflower state, to the south, as the 
place of his nativity and is a scion of one 
of the sterling pioneer families of that great 
commonwealth. He was bom in Smith coun- 
ty, September 28, 1876, the son of W. E. and 
Madord (Dufhe) Stone, the former a native 
of Illinois and the latter a descendant of a 
long line of New England ancestors, having 
been boni in Vermont. The father was one 
of the successful farmers who settled in Kan- 
sas during territorial days when that was le- 
garded as a "Land of Promise," and such it 
proved to be for him. There were three chil- 
dren in the family, two of whom are living: 
Pearl and Edna, the wife of Thomas May- 
cock, who resides in Gilette, Wyoming. 

His father being a man of comfortable 
means Pearl was given all the educational 
advantages that this section of the country 
afforded as his parents removed from Kansas 
to Scottsbluff county in 1890; the father be- 
ing instrumental in the great enterprise of 
securing the irrigation ditch which has made 
this county "bloom like the rose." The boy 
attended the public schools at Gering and Lin- 
coln, graduating from the Western Normal 
school in the latter city. The following 
seven years Mr. Stone devoted to his profes- 
sion as teacher and the success he gained in 
this field may be understood when we learn 
that he was then elected county superintendent, 
an office most creditably filled by him for two 
years. A highly educated man, he kept abreast 
of all the questions of the day and being 
of far vision saw that the free, independent 
man of today is the one who owns land ; this 
man being his own master. The wide world 
must be fed and the farmers of this great 
country are carrying on the greatest agricul- 
tural business ever witnessed in history. Mr. 
Stone had opportunity to observe the more 
than satisfactory results achieved by the 
farmers on irrigated land and having been 
reared on a farm in childhood was well quali- 
fied to take up this pursuit for life. During 
his scholastic years he had accumulated con- 
siderable capital and with this was able to 
purchase a large tract of irrigated land, con- 
sisting of three hundred and twenty acres in 



^Mitchell township. Air. Stone has been re- 
markably successful in his farming which is 
diversified, though he carries on a large stock- 
raising and feeding business. Mr. Stone 
keeps cognizant of all questions of the day 
and improved methods of farming and thus 
has come to be recognized as one of the lead- 
ing exponents of this .industry in his section 
of the country. He has demonstrated that 
a cultivated mind and fine instincts reach their 
highest development often-times amid rural 
surrounding, diffusing around them that re- 
finement and peace which are the hall marks 
of the cultured. Mr. Stone has for years 
been a supporter of the Republican party ; is 
an advocate of every movement for the im- 
provement of his community; he and his wife 
are members of the Christian church while 
his fraternal affiliations are with the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows. In 1910 he 
married Miss Minnie Whittaker, native of 
Kansas, who became the mother of five chil- 
dren: Ellen, Maxine, Perl Hazen, Dorothy 
and Bernice, all of whom are at home attend- 
ing school and all assured an excellent educa- 
tion because of their father's superior men- 
tal attainments. 

LAWRENCE A. FRICKE. — The success- 
ful men in Western Nebraska today, are by 
no means all of the older generation. Start- 
ing out to carve a career for himself, a young 
man undoubtedly is helped if his educational 
training has been thorough, but not education 
alone explains personal popularity, political 
prominence and keen business foresight. Pos- 
sessing these qualities, Lawrence A. Fricke 
has become a leading representative citizen of 
Bayard while still almost at the beginning of 
his career as a dealer in real estate. 

Lawrence A. Fricke was born at Madison, 
Nebraska, January 8, 1889, and is a son of 
Herman and Johanna (Ruegge) Fricke, both 
of whom were born in Germany. They came 
to the United States as young people and were 
married in Illinois. In 1865 they came to 
Richardson, Nebraska, where he bought land 
and traded a horse for additional land. He 
followed farming in that section for some 
time, then moved to Omaha and went into the 
agricultural improved implement business and 
still resides in that city, being now retired. 
Ten of his eleven children survive, Lawrence 
A. being the youngest of the family. In poli- 
tics the father is a Republican and both he 
and the mother are members of the German 
Lutheran church. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



139 



After completing the high school course at 
Omaha, Lawrence A. Fricke spent one year 
in the Nebraska State University and then 
entered on railroad work in the engineering 
department of the Burlington system. In 
1914 he embarked in the real estate business 
at Bayard, in partnership with his brother-in- 
law, Peter O'Shea, of Scottsbluft. The firm 
handles both farm and city property and 
through choice locations and honest business 
representations, has built up a prosperous 
business. 

Mr. Fricke was married in February, 1917, 
to Miss Eleanor Parks, who was born at 
Greeley, Nebraska, and they have two chil- 
dren, namely: Robert L., who was born in 
January, 1918; and; Johanna Ruth, who was 
born January 16, 1919. Mr. Fricke was bap- 
tized in the German Lutheran church. He is 
a leading Republican of Morrill county, has 
served Bayard in the office of mayor with the 
greatest efficiency and is a city councilman at 
the present time. He is a Consistory Mason 
of advanced degree. Personally, with genial 
manner that shows sincerity, Mr. Fricke im- 
presses one favorably and he has a wide cir- 
cle of friends. 

IRA BIGELOW, who has been a resident 
of Nebraska almost his entire life, owns and 
operates a fine farm in ]\Iorrill county, upon 
which he has placed substantial improvements. 
Mr. Bigelow has been prominent in the Tri- 
State Ditch project, and served three years 
as treasurer of this enterprise. He was born 
in Wisconsin, May 27, 1868, and is a son of 
Reuben and Saphronia Bigelow. 

When Ira Bigelow was three years old, his 
parents left Wisconsin, moved to Iowa, set- 
tled there on a farm and remained until 1879. 
Another change was made and i\Ir. Bigelow 
remembers the journey from Iowa to the 
new home in Holt county, Nebraska, where 
his father homesteaded. He attended school 
there and later went to Omaha and came to 
Morrill county in 1910. Here he purchased 
eighty acres of wild land and immediately 
set about its development and improvement. 
He now has a valuable farm and is in a posi- 
tion to feel well satisfied with conditions of 
all kinds as they are in Nebraska. 

In 1895, near Kearney, Nebraska, Mr. Bige- 
low was married to Miss Esta Ford, who was 
liorn and reared in Iowa. Her parents, Samuel 
W. and Angelina Ford, came from Iowa in 
1887 to Kearney, Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. 
Bigelow have had children as follows: Mrs. 



Zana Warren, lives at Redington, Nebraska; 
Mrs. Pearl H,arms, lives near Bayard; Vera, 
lives at home; Ray died at the age of three 
years ; and Hazel, lives with her parents. Mr. 
Bigelow is not identified with any particular 
political party but is a wide awake citizen and 
casts an {dependent vote for the candidates of 
whom his own good judgment approves. He 
takes a deep interest in the public schools and 
has served in the school board for fifteen 
years. 

HENRY MILLER, whose valuable irri- 
gated farm in Morrill county, Nebraska, lies 
on section fifteen, town of Bayard, has been 
a resident of Nebraska for thirty-eight years 
and during that long period has witnessed 
many wonderful changes. He has been a 
farmer all his life and has developed a fine 
property on which he lives. 

Henry Miller was born in Alsace Lorraine, 
then a province of Germany, March 10, 

1860. His parents were farming people named 
Peter and Elizabeth (Schmidt) Miller, who 
emigrated from Germany to Canada, in 1866. 
The change of climate and manner of living 
did not agree with them and both died short- 
ly after reaching their new home. Henry was 
young at the time. He remained in Canada, 
where he obtained a fair amount of schooling 
and learned to be a farmer, until 1881, when 
he came to Nebraska and settled in the east- 
ern part of the state. He followed faxming 
there until 1909 and then came to Morrill 
county and bought two hundred and forty 
acres of wild land. With accustomed industry 
he began the development of his land and 
soon had a crop started but a drouth ruined 
it. and in the season of the following j'ear, a 
liailstorm caused great damage to his growing 
crop. Since that time, however, Mr. Miller 
has been continuously successful, and with 
his large farm all irrigated may well be con- 
sidered one of the county's substantial agri- 
culturists. He has excellent improvements, 
keeps standard stock, owns modern machinery 
and his entire place gives the pleasing impres- 
sion of a profitable, well regulated farm. 

Mr. Miller was married to Miss Alvina Go- 
ing, who was born in Germany, March 23, 

1861. Her parents came to the United States 
from Germany in 1867 and settled in the 
eastern part of Nebraska, where the father 
carried on farming until his death. The moth- 
er of Mrs. Miller still lives on the old home 
farm and is now in her eightieth year. Mr. 
and Mrs. Miller have had eight children: 



140 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Henry and Willie, twins, both of whom live 
in eastern Nebraska; Louis, lives in Wyom- 
ing; Martha, the wife of L. J. Tilden, of Mor- 
rill county; Alvena, the wife of E. J. Tilden, 
of Wyoming; and Walter, Esther and Paul, 
all of whom are at home. The family is of 
the Lutheran faith. Mr. Miller is independent 
in his political views. His neighbors know 
him to be an honest, dependable man. 

MARTIN J. KING. — In these days, to 
the ordinary individual, the ownership of vast 
tracts of land and thousands of cattle repre- 
sents wealth almost inconceivable, yet there 
are men in Morrill county who go quietly 
about the ordinary affairs of life without os- 
tentation, who can claim such possessions. A 
sale of 2,300 acres of land recently recorded 
by Martin J. King, one of the county's well 
known cattlemen, brings this to miind, al- 
though it is but an incident that may be re- 
peated, for Western Nebraska men are apt 
to think and act in large figures. Mr. King 
has spent almost all his life in Nebraska but 
his birth took place September 12, 1878, at 
Cresion, Iowa. 

The parents of Mr. King were Valentine 
and Barbara (Hutchinson) King, natives of 
Ireland and truly worthy people there and 
later in the United States. They located first 
in Maryland but after the ways of the new 
country had become familiar, removed 
to Iowa and lived there as farmers until 1887, 
when they came to Cheyenne county, Nebras- 
ka. The father homesteaded and turned his 
attention to growing cattle, in the course of 
years becoming one of the big cattlemen of 
this section, at one time having 6,000 head. 
He was a good business man, attended closely 
to his own atifairs, voted the Democratic 
ticket and brought up a large family in the 
Roman Catholic church. He died at Alliance, 
Nebraska, the mother of Mr. King passing 
away in the city of Omaha. Of their children 
Martin J. was the fifth in order of birth, the 
others being: William, lives at Alliance, is in 
the stock business ; Patrick, a farmer near 
Blackfoot, Iowa; John, a farmer in Morrill 
county ; Annie, resides at Alliance ; Maggie, 
the wife of L. Jacobs, a farmer near Angora; 
Nellie, the wife of James Murphy, a ranchman 
near Alliance ; and Thomas, lives on the old 
King homestead, and with one of his brothers 
owns no less that 14,000 acres of land in Mor- 
rill county and runs about 1.000 head of cattle. 
John King keeps 300 head of cattle, included 
in these being 150 pure-bred Herefords. 



Martin J. King was nine years old when 
t'ne family located near Alliance, Nebraska, 
and he remembers going to school in a little 
tent, for schooling was one of the first privi- 
leges the most of the early settlers endeavored 
to secure for their children, second only to 
religious instruction. Later he had public 
school advantages. After his school days and 
until 1915 when he moved into Alliance, Mr. 
King engaged in ranching and became one of 
the county's well known cattlemen. He has a 
fine farm of 320 acres but has retired entirely 
from active farm and ranch life. For several 
years he carried on an automobile business at 
Alliance and then came to Bayard and bought 
the Bayard Hotel, and now occupies his time 
in managing this place of business. 

In 1907 Mr. King was united in marriage 
to Miss Elizabeth L. Shetler, who was born 
near Kearney, Nebraska, and is a daughter 
of Lesley L. Shelter, who came to Cheyenne 
county in 1887 and now lives retired at Den- 
ver. Mr. and Mrs. King have three children : 
Lavern L., Catherine Barbara and Martin 
Carroll, the youngest being at the engaging 
age of three years while the older children 
are doing well at school. Mr. King and his 
family belong to the Catholic church. Mr. 
King follows his father's example in political 
membership but has never been willing to ac- 
cept a public office. He belongs to the lodge 
of Elks at Alliance. 

CHRISTIAN NUSZ, who owns a welt im- 
proved farm situated on section 12 town of 
Bayard, Morril county. Nebraska, has not liv- 
ed in the United States so verj' many years 
and still fewer in Nebraska, but he has dem- 
onstrated what a man of energy and enter- 
prise can accomplish when given free oppor- 
tunity. Mr. Nusz was born in Russia, in 
1869, a son of Christian and Mary (Hass) 
Nusz. Both parents were of Russian birth. 
The father died on his farm in Russia and 
the son hopes that his beloved mother still 
lives there. The unsettled condition of his 
native land has made it impossible for Mr. 
Nusz to communicate with the old neighbors 
and eight years have passed since he had re- 
liable news. 

In 1908 Mr. Nusz came to the United States 
and made his way to Kansas. There he work- 
ed as a laborer until 1914, when he came to 
Morrill county and invested his savings in 
one hundred and sixty acres of land. He 
has not spared himself in developing this land 
and has improved it very well. Almost all' of 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



141 



his farm is now irrigated and his crops are 
abundant. Knowing the hard conditions of 
life for men with little chance to get ahead 
as they were when he left Russia, he feels 
that he has been fortunate in coming to Ne- 
braska. He has found friends here, has ac- 
quired a beautiful home and assured comfort 
for old age and has been able to give his chil- 
dren the educational opportunities he has de- 
sired. 

Mr. Nusz was married to Miss Latie Deins, 
who was born in Russia. Her parents were 
Jacob and Ella (Fogal) Deins. who never 
came to the United States. Mr. and Mrs. 
Nusz have had children as follows : Christian, 
a farmer in Colorado; Alexander, works on 
a farm in Colorado ; and Jacob, David, Lydia, 
Victor, Mary and Carl, all of whom are at 
home. The family belongs to the Russian 
church. Mr. Nusz in an .American citizen 
Init has never identified himself with any par- 
ticular political party. In his neighborhood 
he is known to be a man of his word and is 
highly respected. 

ARTHUR J. BAILEY was one of the pio- 
neer cattlemen of western Nebraska who 
played an important part in the early develop- 
ment of this section during that period when 
the great cattle barons ranged their cattle from 
the Pecos on the south to the Yellowstone on 
the north, and was well and most favorably 
known throughout the Panhandle. 

Arthur Bailey was born in Iowa, July 3, 
1869, the son of J. P. and Julia (Birdsall) 
Bailey, who were farming people and who 
came to Colorado where he became the owner 
of land upon which the city of Fort Collins 
has since been built. The son grew up on his 
father's farm in Iowa and attended the public 
schools near his home. During the heigh-day 
of the cattle business on the high plains it had 
a lure for the young man of the period and 
many of them joined the great cow outfits that 
drifted from Texas to Wyoming with the 
changing seasons; as the pasture became used 
and burned up in the south the herds slowly 
drifted northward and were finally sold on the 
northern market at the close of the season. 
Mr. Bailey joined such a camp and by prac- 
tical experience learned the live-stock industry 
as conducted at the time. After serving his 
apprenticeship as a cowboy his ability soon 
became recognized and he was offered the posi- 
tion of foreman of the Standard Cattle Com- 
pany at Ames, Nebraska, where he soon dem- 
onstrated his ability. He proved so efficient 
that subseciuently he was given charge of the 
vast business of the concern at North Platte 



and later at Scottsbluff and thus learned at 
first hand the country of the western Pan- 
handle and its future possibilities. His reputa- 
tion as a manager became well known through- 
out the cattle country and the Paxton people 
of the Hershey Ranch made him such an ad- 
vantageous ofifer that he accepted a position 
with them. Mr. Bailey kept abreast of the 
movement of the times, studied the markets and 
watched the increased settlement of the west- 
ern part of the states bordering the great 
"cattle trail," and was one of the first to recog- 
nize the signs that pointed to the fact that the 
day of the open range was over and the future 
of the meat inrlustry was to change from the 
great companies td tlie farmer who would raise 
and feed a hit^h breil beef stock. As he had 
been raised on a farm he decided to avail him- 
self of the fmc -iiveninieiit 1,-nid still to be ob- 
tai.K-.l m \hv rich 1 Matte valley and in 1906 
jHirchased 240 acre^ m township J3-57, section 
35. Scottsbluff county, where he at once estab- 
lished himself as a farmer raising diversified 
crops and engaged in stock-raising. Water had 
been the paramount question of the cattlemen 
for \car> ;uid having given considerable study 
to obtaining it while on the range, when he 

the river and liecanie one of tlie first a<l\ocates 
of irrigtition. Three hundred acres of his 
estate were under water rights and much of 
the rest was rich pasture, a combination that 
worked out well for the various lines of busi- 
ness which he carried on. Mr. Bailey was a 
strong man and from first settling in the 
Mitchell district, by reason of his force of char- 
acter, was enabled to inaugurate many im- 
proveiuents and thus becoine a potent factor in 
the afl^airs of the locality and the lives of its 
citizens. He stood for progress and reform, 
served for many years as a school director, and 
stood behind all movements for the benefit and 
development of his district. In politics Mr. 
Bailey was a supporter of the principles of the 
Republican party and he and his wife were 
members of the Presbyterian church, of which 
they were liberal supporters. Fr.iternally his 
associations were with the Masonic order, the 
Elks, and the Modern Woodmen of America. 
His death occurred at the farm home, May 12, 
1916. 

On April 18, 1898, Mr. Bailey married Miss 
Elizabeth Harvey at Webster, Nebraska. She 
was the daughter of Andrew and Margaret 
(Richie) Harvey, both natives of Scotland, 
who came to America many years ago and are 
now well known residents of Dodge county, 
where Mr. Harvey has been a .successful farm- 
er. Eight children became members of the 



142 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Bailey family: Idell, the wife of Lemuel Smith, 
who resides on the old home place : Lillian, who 
holds a business position in Fremont, Nebraska, 
being associated with the Hammond Printing 
Co. ; Ruth and Julia, who are seniors in high 
school ; Edna, Arthur J.. Beryl, and Grace, who 
also are all taking courses in the public school. 
Mrs. Bailey resided on the farm till 1919 when 
she moved to Mitchell to give her children 
better school advantages. 

GILBERT ROSS, who has been a resident 
of Nebraska since 1909 and who is the owner 
of an excellent ranch property in Morrill coun- 
ty, is essentially to be noted as one of the 
world's productive workers, for his advance- 
ment has been gained entirely through his 
own ability and well ordered efforts. In the 
thriving village of Bayard, ^lorrill county, he 
conducts a substantial teaming business, the 
while his family resides on the homestead 
which is eleven miles northwest of the town. 
Mr. Ross was born in Westmoreland coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania, on the 26th of April, 1864, 
and is a son of Thomas and Elizabeth ( Knox) 
Ross, both of whom passed their entire lives 
in the old Keystone state, the former having 
been a school teacher within the period of his 
early manhood. Gilbert Ross was still a child 
at the time of his father's death and there- 
after he lived in the home of his paternal 
grandfather until the death of the latter. At 
this juncture in his career Mr. Ross, who was 
at the time a lad of but eight years, was taken 
into the care of strangers and he continued 
to work for his board and clothes until he had 
attained the age of fourteen years. He then 
received eight dollars a month for his serv- 
ices in hauling lumber with a four-horse 
team, and he continued to be identified with 
work of this order until he was twenty-five 
years old. He then obtained employment as 
locomotive fireman on the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road, and within the four years of his service 
in this capacity he served as fireman on both 
freight and passenger trains. It can well be 
understood that his early educational training 
was limited to a somewhat irregular attend- 
ance in the public schools of his native state, 
but he made good use of the advantages 
afforded in the stern school of practical labor 
and experience. 

After retiring from railroad work Mr. Ross 
was engaged in teaming in Pennsylvania un- 
til 1909, when he came with his family to Ne- 
braska and located on a homestead eleven 
miles northwest of Bayard, to the general im- 
provement and supervision of which he has 



since given his attention, though he devotes 
the major part of his time to his prosperous 
teaming business at Bayard. His ranch com- 
prises six hundred acres and is utilized prin- 
cipally for the raising of cattle and horses, 
the land being excellent for grazing and his 
average herd of cattle comprising about one 
hundred head. Mr. Ross is vigorous and am- 
bitious and is the type of citizen that is most 
fully valued in this progressive section of Ne- 
braska. He is a Republican in politics, is af- 
filiated with the Fraternal Order of Eagles 
and he and his wife hold membership in the 
Brethren church. 

Mrs. Blanche (ShafTer) Rose, wife of him 
whose name initiates this review, is likewise 
a native of Pennsylvania, as were her parents, 
Frank and Mary'(Carus) Shaffer. Air. and 
Airs. Ross have three children : \\'illiam E. 
and A. C., both of whom are engaged in farm- 
ing in Morrill county ; and Blanche lone, who 
remains at the parental home. 

REV. THOMAS C. OSBORNE has been 
a resident of Western Nebraska since his boy- 
hood days, is a representative of one of the 
honored pioneer families of this section of the 
state and individually he has done well his 
part in the furtherance of civic and material 
progress. He has given most eft'ective service 
in the ministry of the Presbyterian church and 
is known as a man of distinctive culture and 
broad and well fortified convictions. Since 
his retirement from active ministerial labors 
he has given his attenton principally to the su- 
pervision of his valuable landed interests in 
Morrill county, (where he is also proprietor of 
the Fanners Exchange, a progressive weekly 
paper, of which he is editor and publisher, at 
Bayard.) 

Mr. Osborne was born in McLean county, 
Illinois, on the 9th of September, 1876, and 
is a son of Samuel H. and Emily (Benson) 
Osborne. Samuel Osborne was born in Steu- 
ben county, Ohio, and was a child at 
the time of the family removal to In- 
diana, where he was reared on the home 
farm and received his education in the 
common schools of the period. When 
the dark cloud of the Civil War cast its pall 
over the national horizon he loyally went 
forth in defense of the Union. He enlisted 
as a private in the Eighty-eighth Regiment of 
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which was as- 
signed to the Army of the Cumberland and 
with which he served until the close of the 
war. He lived up to the full tension of the 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



143 



^'reat conflict and his military record is vir- 
tually coincident with that of the gallant regi- 
ment of which he was a member and with 
which he participated in many important en- 
gagements, including the battles of Chica- 
mauga and Stone's River. After the war this 
valiant young veteran passed some time in 
Iowa and at Kearney, Nebraska, and about 
1870 he returned to Illinois and engaged in 
farm enterprise. Later he conducted a gen- 
eral merchandise store at Colfax, that state, 
where also he served as postmaster. In 1887 
Samuel Osborne came with his family to what 
is now Morrill county. Nebraska, where he 
entered claim to a pioneer homestead two and 
one-half miles northeast of B.ayard. He duly 
perfected his title to this claim and then, in 
1890. entered a pre-emption claim three miles 
southeast of Bayard. He developed and im- 
proved this property, upon which he continued 
to maintain his home until his death, his name 
being held in gracious memory as that of one 
of the sterling pioneers of the county. He 
was a man of much prevision and progressive- 
ness, was a loyal and liberal citizen and did 
much to forward the advancement of this part 
of Nebraska. In earlier years he was a Re- 
publican in politics, but he was actively aligned 
with the populist party during the period of 
its maximum influence in national and state 
aft'airs. He served for a long period in the 
ofUce of justice of the peace and was other- 
wise accorded marks of popular confidence 
and esteem. Both he and his wife, whose 
death occurred in 1917, were members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. Mrs. Osborne 
was born in McLean county, Illinois, and was 
one of the revered pioneer women in Morrill 
county, Nebraska. Of the four children, 
Thomas C, of this review, was the second in 
order of birth. Dale B.. the eldest, now re- 
sides upon the old home place of his parents ; 
Eva June died at the age of twenty-seven 
years; and Dean H.. who was for eighteen 
months in the government aviation service in 
connection with the world war. has been re- 
siding at Bayard since his discharge, after the 
close of the war. 

Thomas C. Osborne acquired his prelimin- 
ary education in the public schools of his na- 
tive state and was a lad of eleven years at the 
time of the family removal to Nebraska. Af- 
ted completing the curriculum of the high 
school at Crawford. Dawes county, he entered 
the Nebraska Presbyterian college, at Hast- 
ing?, in which institution he was graduated 
in 1901. with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. 



Thereafter he completed a three years' course 
in the Presbyterian Theological Seminary at 
Omaha, from which he was graduated on the 
1st of May, 1904. During the autumn of that 
year he had charge of the church at Wayne, 
judicial center of the county of the same name, 
and there his ordination occurred. He retain- 
ed this pastoral charge until the spring of 
1910, and from March 1st of that year until 
March 1. 1918, he was pastor of the Presby- 
terian church in the city of Scottbluff. 
Through his able and earnest labors the church 
was greatly advanced in spiritual and material 
well being and he gained recognition as one 
of the leading clergymen of his denomination 
in this part of the state. His retirement was 
forced through a throat disorder and general- 
ly impaired health, and under these conditions 
he established his residence on the homestead 
which he had obtained in 1902. the same being 
situated four miles northeast of Bayard. He 
has made excellent improvements on this place, 
which comprises one hundred and sixty acres, 
irrigated from the farmers' ditch and two 
miles east of Bayard he has a tract of eighty 
acres, with similar irrigation facilities. His 
land is effectively given over to the propagation 
of grain, alfalfa and sugar beets, and his 
health has been recuperated through his out- 
door life in the supervision of his farms. Mr. 
Osborne takes lively interest in all things per- 
taining to the moral, social and industrial ad- 
vancement of his home community and state. 
He was a member of the Nebraska Constitu- 
tional convention of 1919-20. He and the 
members of the family are zealous workers in 
the Presbyterian church, the while he main- 
tains an independent attitude in politics. 
, In the year. 1903, was solemnized the mar- 
rage of Mr. Osborne to Miss Julia M. Jones, 
a college classmate of his at Hastings, and of 
this union have been born five children : Emily 
L., Charles C, Clifford W. and Howard B. 
remain at the parental home, and Roger C. 
died in infancy. 

LEON A iMOOMAW, Cotner Uni. A.B. 
A.M. — Although entitled to place after his 
name letters indicating hard won college de- 
grees, it may be possible that Professor Leon 
A. Moomaw, of Morrill county, takes equal 
pride in the success that has attended his ag- 
ricultural undertakings. Born and reared on 
a farm, the memorj' of Nature's ever recur- 
ring miracle of seasons and plenteousness re- 
warding honest toil, may have accompanied 
him through university life and subsequent 



144 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



intellectual effort in the educational field, for 
the time came when college honors were laid 
aside and the learned teacher became an en- 
thusiastic farmer. Remembering that agri- 
cultural production is the basis of all produc- 
tion, the transfer of scientific knowledge from 
the professions to the fields must, with such 
earnest men as Mr. Moomaw result beneficial- 

Leon A. Moomaw is a native of Nebraska, 
born in Scottsbluff county, December 27, 
1887, and is a son of Austin and Agnes 
(Spriggs) Moomaw. The father was born 
in Illinois, fifty-seven years ago, and the moth- 
er was born in Missouri. In 1886 they came 
to Nebraska and homesteaded in Scottsbluff 
county, where the father has ever since been 
a general farmer. Later he secured a tree 
claim in Morrill county. Until he was twen- 
ty-two years old, Leon A. Moomaw resided 
on his father's farm, but in the meanwhile 
his education was attended to and from the 
local schools he entered Cotner at Lincoln, 
from which he was graduated with the degree 
of A. B. Later he entered the State University 
at Lincoln, from which he bore off the degree 
of A. M. He then entered the educational 
field, in no subordinate position, however, but 
as a member of the faculty of Cotner Univer- 
sity, in which institution he was professor of 
history for three years. 

In 1914 he was united in marriage to Miss 
Minnie E. Young, who was born in South Da- 
kota, July 25, 1886. Her parents, Hiram and 
Sarah (Adams) Young, lived in Iowa. 
Since 1909 they have lived retired at Lincoln, 
Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Moomaw have two 
children: Evelyn and Robert. In 1912 both 
Mr. and Mrs. Moomaw homesteaded in Ban- 
ner county and they are still holding their 
1,180 acres of dry land there, the subsequent 
development of which may be stupendous. In 
1913 they came to Morrill county and he 
took charge of his father's old tree claim, has 
200 acres, and has devoted his best efforts to 
the development of this land ever since. All 
the land is now irrigated and under Mr. Moo- 
maw's intelligent management is a wonder- 
fully productive property. He has placed 
fine improvements here and has one of the 
spaciouse modern homes of this section. Both 
he and wife are members of the Christian 
church, and they have a wide social circle. 
Although not active politically, Mr. Moomaw 
is not an indifferent citizen, but on the other 
hand, every movement that promises to be of 
substantial and permanent benefit to the coun- 
tv, finds in him an earnest advocate. 



JAMES A. CADWELL, who will long be 
remembered as one of the fine men of Mor- 
rill county, passed away at his home on the 
beautiful farm he had worked hard to de- 
velop and improve, on January 8, 1918. His 
birth took place in Saunders county, Nebras- 
ka, March 27, 1878. He was a son of John 
T. and Sarah E. (Gilbert) Cadwell, both of 
whom were born in Ohio. They were early 
settlers in eastern Nebraska and homesteaders, 
and they passed away on their farm in Saun- 
ders county. 

James A. Cadwell grew to manhood in his 
native county and was educated in the public 
schools. With self-respecting independence 
and wise provision, as soon as his schooldays 
were over, he learned the trade of a carpenter 
and followed the same to some extent even 
after he became interested in farming. He 
was a man of high principles, and when his 
country became embroiled in war with Spain, 
he enlisted as a soldier and served all through 
the Spanish-American war. 

In 1901 James Asa Cadwell was united in 
marriage to Miss Lulu Parks, who was born in 
Lancaster county, Nebraska, a daughter of 
Theodore and Florence (Spencer) Parks, the 
former of whom was born at Plattesmouth, 
Nebraska, and the latter of Massachusetts. 
They still reside in Nebraska and Mr. Parks 
continues his agricultural industries. The fol- 
lowing children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Cadwell : Everett, Jessie, Clarence, Glenn, 
Dorothy, Florence, Vera, Eliza and Maxine. 
Mr. Cadwell was ever anxious concerning his 
children's welfare and gave them every ad- 
vantage in his power. 

In 1905 Mr. Cadwell come to Morrill coun- 
ty and homesteaded and his family joined him 
in the following year. He left them a well 
improved farm of one hundred and ten acres, 
eighty-seven acres of which are irrigated. He 
was never an active politician in the sense of 
desiring to hold public office, and was always a 
Republican, although he entertained a high 
personal opinion of William Jennings Bryan, 
who had been the colonel of his regiment in 
the Spanish-American war. With his family 
he belonged to the Baptist church at Ashland, 
Nebraska. 

JOHN ROBERTSON. — Coming to the 
United States from his native Scotland, where 
he was born September 27, 1862, when but 
seventeen years of age, Mr. Robertson has 
spent -almost forty years in Nebraska and a 
goodly portion of them in Morrill county, 
where he is widely known and much respected. 
He accompanied his parents to Quebec, Can- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



145 



ada, but they never came into this country. 
Mr. Robertsan spent three years at Schuyler, 
in Colfax county, Nebraska, and then made his 
way to Scottsbluff county, finding the present 
busy, prosperous, little city of Gering, a set- 
tlement of two log houses and one sod house. 
Later he homesteaded in Morrill county and 
pre-empted an entire section of land, all of 
which he has sold. 

Mr. Robertson was married at Columbus, 
Nebraska, to Miss Myrtle May Folnsbee, who 
was born in Missouri, and they have had 
children as follows: Mrs. Mary Hays, lives at 
Mitchell, Nebraska ; Harry, lives at Whealand, 
Wyoming; Mrs. Alta Detrick, lives in Mis- 
souri; Robert, a farmer; John, safely returned 
home from military service in France ; Clif- 
ford who went to France with the American 
Expeditionary Force as did his older brother, 
spent fifteen months in France, and saw hard 
service, later being attached to the army of 
occupation in Germany; and Myrtle, who re- 
sides at home. Mr. Robertson is an inde- 
pendent voter. 

LLVN O. .McHENRY, one of the leading 
merchants of Morrill, is distinctly a Nebraska 
product as he is a native son of Scottsbluff 
county. Here he was born, here he was reared 
and educated, here he married, and here he has 
practically lived his life to the present time. 
He belongs to a family which is well and favor- 
ably known in the county and also the Pan- 
handle and which is highly respected for its 
contribution to the civic and material welfare 
and progress of this section of the state. 

Llyn McHenry was born in ScottsblufT coun- 
ty. May 26, 1891, being the son of Oliver O. 
and Mary J. (Hall) McHenry. of whom com- 
plete mention and portraits appear on other 
pages of this volume, to whom were born five 
children: Elizabeth, who married John A. Bur- 
ton and now lives in Califdrnia; Matthew H., 
a resident of Gering; Lucy, wim married John 
M. Springer and now lives in California; 
Harrv H., who resides at Springer. Wvo. : and 
Llyn'O. 

Llyn grew up here in his native county, at- 
tended the excellent public schools, and thus 
laid the foundation for his subse(|uent business 
career. After his school days were over he 
accepted a position in the county court house 
as deputy clerk of the district court, a position 
which he so ably filled that he remained in 
office for seven years. The young man. how- 
ever, had decided that he would enter business 
independently and with an idea of learning the 
intricacies of finance first hand, entered the 
Gering National Bank of Gering, where he was 



able to gain practical and theoretical knowl- 
edge of banking. Two years later, while hold- 
ing a lucrative and responsible position with 
this institution Mr. McHenry responded to his 
country's call for men to enter the army and 
aid the United States and the Allies to make 
the world safe for democracy and rid it of the 
horror of the Hun. After entering the army 
he was stationed at Fort Logan for a year and 
a half and after receiving liis honorable dis- 
charge at the close n\ hostilities returned to 
Scottsbluff county. Sui.ii after returning Mr. 
McHenry formed a partncr.shi]) with R. B. E. 
Quick and the two men established the Quick 
Drug Ciimpan}- at Morrill, Neb. They have 
a fine store binlding, excellent and attractive 
ecjuipment and are able to handle a constantly 
growing trade. Mr. ]\IcHenry's varied busi- 
ness experiences as well as those in the army 
supplement the natural ability and qualifica'- 
tions which mark him as an able executive in 
any line of business, thus he and his partner 
are conducting successfully an establishment 
that has varied demands and requires far sight 
as well as work to keep abreast of the con- 
stantly changing demands and wider field. 
That they are fully able to do this is demon- 
strated by their gratifying returns financially 
as well as the ever-increasing clientele which 
they enjoy. 

Rlr. McHenry is a Republican in politics and 
though he is the supporter and advocate of 
every movement for the improvement of Jilor- 
rill and the surrounding district and in every 
way lives up to his own high standard of 
American citizenship he is now far too busy 
to take an active part in politics, but throws his 
influence to the man best qualified to serve the 
county and city. He is a wide reader of the 
best literature of the day as well as a student 
of subjects allied with his business and thus 
keeps abreast (if the times and for the firm we 
predict a prosperous and successful future. 

On May 29, 1912, Mr. McHenry married 
Aliss Delight Byers, who is also a native of our 
great commonwealth, born in Washington 
county, where she was reared and was given 
the benefit of an excellent education. Mrs. 
McHenry is a gracious woman of charming 
personality, who has made many friends in the 
city of Morrill, where the McHenry home is 
regarded as one of the most hospitable. ]\Ir. 
and Mrs. McHenry have one child, Ina Cor- 
rine, who is at home. The entire McHenry 
family are splendid people and well merit the 
high esteem of their friends and their business 
associates. Scottsbluff county is the richer by 
the mere fact that it has such citizens who will 
hand down to posterity their traditions and 
high ideals of what true Americans should be. 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



146 

\NDREW J. DUNHAM, who is one of 
Morrill county's substantial farmers and stock- 
men is also one who has built up his fortune 
throucjh individual effort. Left an orphan 
when five vears old. his memories of childhood 
and earlv Vouth have no home setting, arid the 
opportunities that came to better his condition, 
were those he found for himself. _ 

\ndrew J Dunham was born in Manstield, 
Connecticut. November 5, 1860, a son of Eph- 
raim and Marv (Little) Dunham. His young 
mother died when he was born, and his father 
when the bov was five years old. He was 
cared for in the citv of Windsor. \ irginia but 
lived in Newhampshire for the next four 
years and before starting out on his ovyn ac- 
count had some educational training, and lived 
in Massachusetts and Connecticutt until at 
the age of twenty-one years he began 
working in ^linnesota remaining there un- 
til 1888 when he came to Box Butte county 
Nebraska, and homesteaded near Hemingford 
and proved up on his one hundred and sixty 
acres He lived there for about twenty years 
and then moved to Morrill county. Here, in 
1907 he bought a relinquishment claim of 
one hundred and sixty acres and subsequently 
an entire half section of land. He now has 
four hundred and eighty acres of fine graz- 
ing land and feeds fifty head of cattle and one 
hunred head of hogs annually, and carries on 
general farming on his eighty irrigated acres. 
Mr Dunham is quite modest over all he has 
accomplished, but undoubtedly it shows strong 
character and high principles and Mr. Dun- 
ham deserves great credit. 

Mr. Dunham married Miss Lena Ander- 
son, who was born in Norway, where her 
parents spent their entire lives. Eight children 
have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Dunham, 
namelv: Mrs. Eva Fleheaty, of Bayard, Ne- 
braska ; Mrs. Myrtle Ross, of Bayard ; Melvin, 
a farmer in Morrill county ; and Verne, Opal, 
Hattie. Hazel and Anna, all at home. The 
children have attended school regulariy and 
have been taught to prize an education. Mr. 
Dunham has been a member of the town 
school board for ten years. He is independent 
in politics. 

EMMONS C. VIVLAN. who is a repre- 
sentative of one of the old and substantial 
pioneer families of Morrill county, Nebraska, 
has spent the greater part of his life here, be- 
ing a youth of sixteen years when he accom- 
panied his parents to this section. He was 
born in Cass countv, Nebraska, August 24, 
1872. 



The father of Mr. Vivian, Richard Vivian, 
was born in England, in 1830. In 1844 ac- 
companied by a brother, he took passage in 
a sailing vessel, which was on the sea for three 
months before reaching the harbor of New 
York. During the voyage the brother of Mr. 
Vivian disappeared and supposedly was ac- 
cidentally drowned. Richard Vivian was a 
fine man and it would be interesting to know 
how the young English boy spent his time 
before he came to Nebraska, which was prior 
to 1872. In the meanwhile he was married to 
Miss Ehzabeth Frazier, who was a native of 
New York. She died in Nebraska, March 10. 
1896. They had four children, of whom Em- 
mons Clarkson was the last born. In 1888 
Richard Vivian removed from Cass to old 
Cheyenne, now ^Morrill county, and took a 
homestead of one hundred and sixty acres and 
a tree claim of the same extent. The entire 
purchase at that time was nothing but wild 
prairie, but Mr. Vivian lived to see great 
changes wrought through his industry. At the 
present time all that land is irrigated and 
wonderfully productive. Mr. Vivian died m 
1911. having been very successful as a farmer 
and ranchman. 

Emmons Clarkson Vivian remained with his 
father and grew to manhood well acquainted 
with farm and ranch life. In 1897 he home- 
steaded one hundred and sixty acres for him- 
self, under better conditions perhaps, than 
had attended his father, but under no such fa- 
vorable opportunities as at present are present- 
ed, when the homeseeker, if he has sufficient 
capital, may possibly secure an irrigated farm 
that will produce more abundantly than in 
any other state in the Union. Mr. Vivian's 
homestead is such a farm, all irrigated and 
finely improved. Adjoining his farm is the 
forty-nine acre farm of his wife, also improved 
and'irrigated, and it is upon this tract that the 
comfortable farm-house stands. 

In Morrill county, in 1900, Mr. Vivian was 
united in marriage to Miss Blanche Snider, 
who was born April 4, 1879, at Kirksville, 
:Missouri. She is a daughter of Albertus and 
Armilda (Legan) Snider, the former of whom 
was born in Ohio and the latter in Indiana. 
They came to Nebraska some thirty years 
ago and homesteaded near Camp Clark. They 
now live retired in Idaho. Mr. and Mrs. 
Vivian have one child, Carol. Mrs. Vivian | 
is a lady of intellectual requirements and 
has interested herself greatly in the mat- 
ter of public education. Her work in this 
direction has been recognized by election to 
the school board, on which she has served 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



faithfully and efficiently for six years. Mr. 
and Mrs. Vivian are widely known and uni- 
versally esteemed. 

ZIBA V.ALETTE CLEVELAND, who is 
a very highly esteemed resident of Bayard, 
came early to Nebraska and for many years 
was a substantial farmer. He was born in the 
state of New York, April 24, 1844. His par- 
ents were S. A. and Ruth (Ferris) Cleveland, 
who spent their lives in New York. Mr. 
Cleveland's oldest brother died in the Civil 
War. One brother, I. A. Cleveland, is a re- 
tired druggist living in Chicago, and a sister, 
Mrs. Ida J. Weed, lives in New York. 

From his native state Mr. Cleveland went 
to Iowa and bought land on which he followed 
farming for twenty years. In 1886 he mov- 
ed to Banner county, Nebraska, homesteaded, 
pre-empted and secured a tree claim and sub- 
sequently proved up on all, when there were 
but three houses between his homestead and 
Kimball. He sold out there and in Banner 
county and moved to near McCTrew and 
from there retired to Bayard. He built the 
first frame house in Hull precinct and the 
first school in the precinct was held in his 
kitchen for three months. Later Mrs. Cleve- 
land taught three terms of school in a sod 
house. 

In Iowa, in 1875, Mr. Cleveland was mar- 
ried to Miss Mary Warrington, a daughter of 
David and Sarah Jane Warrington, the 
former of whom was born in Indiana and the 
latter in Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Cleve- 
land had four sons bom to them, namely: 
Bert, who is a farmer in Scottsbluff county; 
Ralph, who lives at Spokane, Washington ; 
Lee R., who lives at Bayard ; and Roy, who 
died when aged twenty-five years. Air. and 
Mrs. Cleveland have a very comfortable home 
at Bayard. He has always been interested in 
the public schools and has served on school 
boards for thirty years. He has also been a 
justice of the peace. In politics he has always 
been a Republican and has voted for fifty 
years. He is independent as regards religious 
beliefs. 

VERT B. CARGILL, the owner and man- 
aging editor of the IV est cm Nebraska Ob- 
scrfcr, published at Kimball, is one of the 
most prominent members of the newspaper 
fraternity of the Panhandle, where he has 
been located nearly a decade. A journalist 
in this twentieth century occupies a vantage 
ground from which great influence extends; 
he may build up a cause worthy of public 
support ; may lead men to action in state and 



civic affairs and plays an important part in 
the development of the section of the country 
where his paper circulates. Not only the city 
of Kimball, but Kimball county as a whole 
has large reason for congratulation that the 
Observer is in such skillea, safe, sagacious 
and thoroughly clean hands. It is one of the 
best general newspapers published in the Pan- 
handle, as well as an outspoken, fair play ex- 
ponent of the best elements of the Republican 
party ; it is in all respects well worth the care 
and sound judgment displayed in its col- 
umns and reflects credit on the owner-editor, 
Vert B. Cargill. 

Mr. Cargill was born in Iowa, July 14, 
1884, the son of Ezra C. and Stella E. Car- 
gill, was reared in his native state and re- 
ceived his education in the public schools of 
Shannon City. Soon after graduating from 
the high school, the young man entered the 
employ of the Shamion City Sun, to learn the 
practical end of the newspaper business. He 
worked in the printing department from 1900 
until the following year, leaving to become 
associated with the Gravity (Iowa) Inde- 
pendent, where he finished his apprenticeship 
as printer. Having mastered the trade, I^r. 
Cargill rose rapidly in the printing business 
for so young a man and became the foreman 
of the Corning (Iowa) Free Press in July, 
1905. This business connection continued for 
nearly five years during which time he learned 
all the varied intricacies of the publishing and 
newspaper business, became well and favor- 
ably known among the publishers of Iowa 
and in June, 1910, was offered and accepted 
the position of managing editor of the Afton 
(Iowa) Star-Enterprise. In July he took 
charge of that sheet, soon becoming a joint 
owner of it in partnership with Senator 
Charles Thomas, of Kent, Iowa. Three years 
later Mr. Cargill sold his interest in the Star- 
Enterprise to Mr. O. T. Meyers. After look- 
ing over the Nebraska territory, he came to 
the belief that there was a great future for 
men of the Panhandle and cast in his lot with 
this section when he bought the IVestcrn Ne- 
braska Obscri-er published at Kimball. Tak- 
ing over the management of the paper in 
August of that year, Mr. Cargill has enlarged 
the original plant, has a good and lucrative 
job printing Ijusiness which is run in connec- 
tion with the paper which today is one of the 
live, up-to-date, progressive publications of 
the western half of the state, yielding a strong 
and wide spread influence in Kimball and ad- 
joining counties, where it plays an important 
part in the moulding of public opinion. 



148 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Mr. Carg-ill is one of the progressive men 
of the middle west who advocates personally 
as well as editorially all movements that tend 
to the development of the city and county. He 
is alert to present to the people the latest and 
best discoveries in agriculure, irrigation and 
education thus being a great force for progress. 

He is a staunch supporter of the tenets of 
the Republican party and served as county 
chairman of the Republican County Committee 
and at all times takes an active part in local 
politics and affairs. 

Mr. Cargill is a charter member of the 
Masonic Lodge No. 294 of Kimball and was 
Master of the organization from 1917 to 1919. 

July 31, 1911 Mr. Cargill was united in 
marriage with Miss Belle M. McElroy, the 
daughter of Samuel and Mary McElroy, at 
Corning, Iowa. The McElroy family are of 
Irish extraction and Mrs. Cargill's parents 
were born in the Emerald Isle, coming to 
America many years ago. Two children have 
been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cargill : Mary El- 
zene and Wayne McElroy, seven and five 
years of age respectively. Since coming to 
the southwestern part of Nebraska, the Car- 
gill family have made many warm friends in 
Kimball, where they are progressive and lead- 
ing residents of a growing and populous city. 



OSCAR E. FORSLING, sheriff of Kim- 
ball county, Nebraska, most efficiently fills an 
office of danger and importance. As long as 
unruly elements insist on breaking the law in 
a community, public officials must be elected to 
curb them in order to protect the innocent. 
These officials, in the nature of things, must 
be men of great personal courage as well as 
of close discernment and sound judgment. 
Such an official is the sheriff of Kimball coun- 
ty- 
Oscar E. Forsling was born July 19, 1873, 
in Sweden. His parents were John and Inga 
Forsling. Their nine children all reached ma- 
turity, the following members beside Oscar 
E. being well known in this locality : Anna, 
who married B. A. Norberg, and their son. En- 
sign Thor Norberg, was an officer at Great 
Lakes training station, Chicago, during the 
great war; Alfred, who occupies his ranch 
situated eight miles west of Kimball ; Clarence 
A., who is a large landowner in Kamball coun- 
ty, served two terms as county sheriff; Au- 
gusta, who married Rev. A. M. Breener, 
chaplain at Camp Taylor during the World 
War, they being the parents of three sons in 
the service, one of whom, Paul, died at Des 



Moines, a victim of influenza; Frank, who 
lives at Kimball; and Emma, who is the wife 
of E. A. Hagstroni, a prominent farmer liv- 
ing six miles from Kimball. In 1883 the par- 
ents of Sheriff Forsling came to the United 
States and for one year afterward the father 
worked in the Pullman shops at Pullman, Illi- 
nois, then came to Nebraska and in 1889 filed 
on a homestead in Kimball county. 

Oscar E. Forsling was twelve years old 
when he accompanied his parents to Kimball 
county, and grew up on his father's prairie 
farm. Some fifteen years of his life were 
spent riding range as a cowboy in Colorado, 
W'yoming and southern Montana, and thus his 
thorough knowledge of this western country 
can scarcely be overestimated, not only hav- 
ing knowledge of the configuration of the 
country, but of the people, among whom he 
has hosts of friends. 

On November 25, 1900. Oscar E. Forsling 
was united in marriage to Miss Ethel Whit- 
man, who is a daughter of Fred M. and Mary 
(Francis) Whitman. Sheriff and Mrs. Fors- 
ling are members of the Presbyterian church. 
In politics he has always believed in the prin- 
ciples of the Republican party and has taken 
a somewhat active part in its councils in Kim- 
ball county. After serving six years as depu- 
ty county sheriff, he was elected sheriff in the 
fall of 1907 and is still serving. For a num- 
ber of years he has been prominent in the 
fraternal order of Knights of Pythias, in 
which he has passed all the local chairs and 
after serving one term as deputy grand chan- 
cellor, in 1918 was again elected, and on sever- 
al occasion has attended the meetings of the 
Grand Lodge in an official capacity. He be- 
longs also to the order of Modern Woodmen 
of America. 



WILLIAM D. ATKINS, one of the promi- 
nent and representative men of Kimball coun- 
ty, has spent many useful years in this sec- 
tion, to which he came with his father, March 
22, 1889. He was born in Davis county, Iowa, 
September 2, 1869, son of Peter L. and Delilah 
Atkins. He has one brother, Dallas K., who 
lives in Kimball county. 

William D. Atkins grew up on his father's 
farm in Davis county and obtained his school- 
ing there. When his father decided to move 
to Nebraska and secure a homestead, William 
D. determined on the same course and both 
father and son proved up on their land in 
Kimball county. They at first went into the 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



149 



sheep business and later raised cattle also. 
The father died December 12, 1908, but the 
mother survives and lives on the old home- 
stead adjoining that of William D. His early 
years in Kimball county were mainly spent in 
herding cattle and working on the farm. In 
later years Mr. Atkins has extended his in- 
terests and is now one of the county's sub- 
stantial farmers. 

In 1890, Mr. Atkins was united in marriage 
to Miss Elizabeth Pywell, daughter of John 
and Mary Ann Pywell, both of whom are de- 
ceased. Their family consisted of three sons 
and three daughters, the survivors all living 
in Nebraska. To Mr. and Mrs. Atkins three 
daughters and two sons were born : Mabel, 
the wife of George Ketch, of Kimball ; Arthur 
E., who served overseas in the great war, in 
the One hundred and ninth Engineers, was 
promoted to top sergeant, returned to America 
safely and was honorably discharged at Fort 
Dodge, July 1, 1919; Grace, the wife of Har- 
ley Neely ; Ira, who assists his father ; Mary, 
deceased ; and Heloise, at home. 

For many years Mr. Atkins has been ac- 
tive in the councils of the Democratic party. 
Fully twenty-five years ago he was elected 
chairman of the town board and one many 
occasions since has filled important ofTices, in 
1914, being elected a county commissioner, 
the only one of his party candidates elected, 
and in 1919 was re-elected for a second term 
of four years. He has also served as highway 
commissioner. He signed the franchise for 
the first telephone company in the county, lie 
is prominent in the order of Knights of 
Pythias, being past chancellor, and also in the 
Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Atkins 
and his family belong to the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. 

YORICK NICHOLS was born in Tioga 
county, Pennsylvania, in 1863, the son of Wil- 
liam A. and Nancy (Mitchell) Nichols, both 
natives of Pennsylvania. The father was an 
attornev who practiced law at Wellsboro, 
Pennsylvania, until 1869, at which time he re- 
moved til i\ans;is, where he continued his law 
practice and at the same time took a homestead 
and proved up on it. He did the first hard- 
wood building in that county, having floated 
lumber across the Neosho river with an ox 
team. He also dug the first cellar in Neosho 
county, started the town of Tioga, Kansas, and 
practiced his profession there until he died in 
1873, a successful man and one of the pioneers 
who helped to start the development of the 
great West following the Civil War. 



Ynrick Nichols was the oldest boy of five 
children in the family. The others were : May, 
the wife rif Henry Block, now deceased; Car- 
roll, who died in Morrill a few years ago. and 
who together with his brother Yorick built the 
first substantial building in that town ; Willis, 
who lives at Sweetgrass, Montana, and is the 
owner of the townsite at that place ; and 
Blanche, now Mrs. Henry Russell, at Mitchell, 
Nebraska. 

Air. XichdL still keeps as one of his most 
prized relics his father's commission as a cap- 
tain in Hancock's corps of the L'nion army, 
signed bv rreM<k'nt Alir;iliani Linciln. 

In 1882 ^•nnck Xichul^ came t.) Wyoming 
and worked as a cowboy. He took a preemp- 
tion claim and timber claim in that part of old 
Cheyenne countv, Nebraska, which is now 
Scottsbluft' county, and also a homestead of 320 
acres in \\'\(iniin.:^, with 100 .aero under irriga- 
tion. He 'has followed sK^kraisiii.t; for his 
main occupation all his life, feeding in the win- 
ter time, and raising a good grade of stock. 
He ran cattle on 5,000 acres adjoining the pres- 
ent town of Henry, Nebraska, which town was 
founded by him. His place is now known as 
"Little Moon Ranch." 

He was married first to Alice D. Dyer, a 
native of England and a woman of literary 
talent who did quite a little writing. She is 
now deceased. They had an adopted son, 
Henry B. Dyer, who met an accidental death 
by drowning a few years ago. It was in his 
honor the town of Henry was named. 

Mr. Nichols' present wife was Maude Law- 
rence, a native of Nebraska. She is a member 
of the Christian church. 

Mr. Nichols is an independent voter. He is 
one of the best known of the old-timers of 
westeren Nebraska and eastern Wyoming, and 
claims the distinction of being the first bona 
fide settler in this part of the North Platte 
valley. 

CALVIN NEELY, one of Kimball coun- 
ty's highly esteemed citizens, for many years 
was engaged in the stock business but now 
lives practically retired in his comfortable 
home at Kimball. Mr. Neely was born in 
Grant county, Wisconsin, December 27, 1861. 
His parents were Samuel and Anna Neely, 
who had eleven children and eight of these 
reached maturity. Samuel Neely enlisted m 
the Forty-second Volunteer Infantry in the 
Civil War at Lancaster, Wisconsin, and was 
honorably discharged at Cairo, Illinois. 

Calvin Neely grew up in Wisconsin and ob- 
tained his schooling there. As one of a large 
family he early had to assist in his own sup- 



150 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



port by working on farms and herding cattle 
and remember how far he felt from home and 
how big the world looked to him, when his 
father sent the eleven-year old boy to look 
after the herding a dozen miles away. He 
accompanied his parents to Nebraska in 1886, 
when his father homesteaded in Cheyenne 
county. The family lived there about eight 
years, then moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, 
where the father died, the mother returning 
then to Nebraska, where she lived with a 
daughter until her own death. 

In 1887 Calvin Neely was united in marriage 
to Miss Ella M. Bliss, daughter of Ambrose 
K. BHss. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss came to Ne- 
braska in 1886 and located in Cheyenne coun- 
ty, where he homesteaded one hundred and 
sixty acres and proved up on the claim. In 
1898 they moved to Eaton, Colorado. The 
mother died in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1901, 
and the father died in Denver, Colorado in 
1908. Mr. Bliss was a corporal in Company 
C of the Twentieth Wisconsin Infantry, and 
served for three years, being mustered out at 
Galveston, Texas, July 14. 1865. Mrs. Neely 
was one of a family of eleven children, like 
her husband, and all reached maturity ex- 
cept one who died when fourteen months old. 
The Bliss family lived in Wisconsin, but Mr. 
and Mrs. Neely were married in Cheyenne 
county, Nebraska. They became the parents 
of three sons and one daughter, namely: 
Charles Vere, Chester C, Harlan L. and Doris 
G. All three sons were soldiers in the great 
war that has left its black trail of sorrow in 
so many homes. The eldest son of Mr. and 
Mrs. Neely, Charles Vere Neely, was well 
and affectionately known all through Kimball 
county, for he had qualities that won him 
friends wherever he went. For about twelve 
years before entering the National army, he 
had lived at Golden, Fruitdale and Maple 
Grove, Colorado. He was sent from Golden 
in the draft contingent leaving April 27, 1918, 
to Camp Funston, where he was assigned to 
the Three hundred and fifty- fourth infantry 
and was sent overseas with the Eighty-ninth 
division. Although, through bravery exposed 
on hundreds of occasions to a soldier's haz- 
ard, he escaped injury until the practical end- 
ing of the war, receiving his death wound 
just fifty minutes before the signing of the 
armistice that ended the fighting. In a beauti- 
ful, touching letter received subsequently by 
the bereaved family, his closest comrade during 
their sojourn in France, says : "a better buddy 
in every way, a more fearless soldier, a quick- 
er or more dependable rtmner, and a^ surer 



guide, never lived." Neely Post No. 22, at 
Kimball was named in his honor. 

Chester C. Neely, the second son, is an 
overseas soldier who is now at home, having 
been honorably discharged from military serv- 
ice. May 17, 1919, at Camp Lee, Virginia. He 
had twelve months of training at Camp Fun- 
ston and Camp Cody, New Mexico, then went 
to France attached to company A, One hun- 
dred and ninth engineers, Thirty-fourth divi- 
sion, and served there eight months. Harlan 
L., the third son, was in training for some 
months at Lincoln, Nebraska, and Camp Sher- 
man, Ohio, and was honorably discharged. 
The one daughter of the family, Doris G., a 
high school graduate, is employed in a Kim- 
ball business house as a bookkeeper and re- 
sides with her parents. Mr. Neely and his 
family are members of the Presbyterian 
church. 

SAMUEL B. HANNA, who has the dis- 
tinction of being the second oldest real estate 
dealer, in point of time, in Kimball county, 
came here in 1906 and has built up an ex- 
tensive business connection in land and insur- 
ance. Mr. Hanna was born in Fayette coun- 
ty, Ohio, April 7, 1870. His parents were 
James and Tabitha Hanna. His mother died 
May 28, 1870, leaving a daughter, since de- 
ceased, and Samuel B., an infant. In 1904 
his father came to Nebraska and bought land 
in the Wood River valley, on which he lived 
until 1907, when he moved to Oklahoma and 
his death occurred in 1915. at Hennessey, in 
Kingfisher county. Both parents were mem- 
bers of the Presbyterian church, solid, re- 
spectable people of good old Scotch-Irish 
stock. 

Samuel B. Hanna had adequate school op- 
portunities in his youth but no special ad- 
vantages. In 1906 he came to Kimball coun- 
ty and on June 1, of that year, embarked in 
the real estate and insurance business, having 
secured an agency from W. F. Shelton, of 
Omaha, in the sale of Union Pacific Railroad 
lands. In fulfilling this contract Mr. Hanna 
has handled many thousand acres of land, dis- 
posing of the last tracts in this section in 1911. 
Perhaps no one in the business is better quali- 
fied concerning land of every description and 
value all through Nebraska, and many east- 
ern firms consult him concerning investments. 
He also represents old line insurance com- 
panies. In every phase of his business Mr. 
Hanna has been found reliable and upright. 

In 1892 Mr. Hanna was united in marriage 
to Miss Effie M. Briggs, who was born at 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



151 



Greenfield, Ohio, a daughter of Jesse and 
Delilah Briggs, farming people. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Briggs nine children have been born : 
Charles Wesley, a minister in the Methodist 
Episcopal church, in Ohio ; Elijah, deceased, 
was a farmer; Jesse, died in 1918; Ef¥ie and 
Elmer, twins, the latter of whom died in in- 
fancy; Clara, the wife of Edward Preston; 
Martha, resides at Greenfield, Ohio ; Rebecca, 
the wife of William Roseboom, a retired 
farmer of Summitville, Indiana ; and Emma, 
who was the wife of William Fisher. The 
family home is a handsome modern residence 
on the corner of Fourth and Chesnut streets, 
Kimball. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hanna are 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church. 
He is prominent in the order of Kinghts of 
Pythias, being a past chancellor and deputy 
grand chancellor and master of finance in the 
local body, and belongs also to the Modern 
Woodmen. 

WILLIAM J. CRONN, who has been a 
prominent citizen of Kimball for many years, 
active in business and foremost in civic affairs, 
was born at Millbrook, Ulster county, New Jer- 
sey, July 7, 1860. He was reared and edu- 
cated in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, had 
public School advantages, and was twenty 
years old when he went to Wisconsin, his 
parents following about eight months later. 

The family lived in the above named state 
for five years and then the father moved to 
Nebraska, in 1885, locating in Colfax county. 
In 1890 he took up a homestead in Banner 
county but at a later date sold it and moved 
to California, where they are still living near 
Los Angeles, being aged about eighty-six 
years. Of their thirteen children nine are 
living. They are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. 

William J. Cronn was thirty-eight years old 
when he came to Kimball county and started 
into business in the village as a painter and 
paper-hanger. Business prospects at that time 
were not very bright for the village and Mr. 
Cronn remembers seeing three of the rather 
limited number of houses moved by their 
owners out on their ranches. He found 
plenty to do however, as he was the only man 
in his line in the neighborhood and the most 
of the painting and paper-hanging jobs be- 
tween Sidney and Cheyenne came to him. He 
now has a paint and paper store at Kimball 
and is a contractor in this line of work. He 
owns considerable propertly at Kimball in- 
cluded in which is his fine modern residence. 
In 188S Mr. Cronn was united in marriage 



to Miss Hattie Longworth, a daughter of 
William Longworth and wife, who reside 
in Schuyler, Colfax county, Nebraska. The 
latter have three daughters and one son : Ethel, 
the wife of Mr. McGregor, has five children; 
Alice, who married Mr. Wilson and resides 
at Kimball ; Chester, a painter by trade ; and 
Irene, her father's assistant in the store. 
From the first Mr. Cronn has been enterpris- 
ing and progressive as a citizen. He has been 
mayor of the city and is now serving in his 
third term as city alderman. In speaking of 
him his fellow citizens say, "he is a fine man." 
Mr. Cronn and his family belong to the Metho- 
dist Episcopal church. 

GEORGE W. HARVEY, who is a highly 
respected retired resident of Kimball, came 
to Nebraska many years ago, and in one way 
or another, has been identified with the sub- 
stantial development of several sections of the 
state. He belongs to that sturdy group of 
pioneers who blazed the way for those who 
later more comfortably followed the trail. 

George W. Harvey was born in Hardin 
county, Ohio, March 19, 1849. His parents 
were Brice and Caroline Harvey, who were 
married on February 18, 1847. They had two 
children, George W. and Mary D., the latter 
of whom died in infancy. The father died 
oni the old homestead in Ohio, June 8, 1856. 
The mother remained a widow six years, then 
married John Merritt, a fine man, a farmer 
and stockman of Jones county, Iowa. To the 
second marriage of Mr. Harvey's mother sev- 
en children were born, and the mother died 
February 16, 1904, on the homestead situated 
three miles west of Olin, Iowa. 

After his father died and until his mother 
married again, George W. Harvey lived with 
his grandparents and an uncle, then went to 
Iowa with his mother and step-father, the latter 
treating his stepson very kindly and he re- 
mained at home until he was twenty-one years 
old. In August, 1871, Mr. Harvey was united 
in marriage to Aliss Cora A. Williams, a 
daughter of Harris and Louise (Young) Will- 
iams. Mrs. Harvey had one brother, who 
died in infancy. Her mother died in Illinois, 
while her father was a farmer and stock- 
raiser, near Joliet, but he later moved to Iowa 
and died in Jones county. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Harvey the following children were born : 
Celesta, born August 8, 1872, died in infancy 
in Iowa ; Lillian, born October 8, 1873, is the 
wife of John McKinnon, who owns a fruit 
farm in California; Charles, born May 27, 
1875, is a rancher in Montana; Ella, born 



152 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



March 8, 1877, is the wife of Frank O. Ba- 
ker, who is a banker; Arthur, born June 18, 
1878, is in business at JoHet, Wyoming, is 
married and has three Hving children; Earl, 
born March 18, 1881, conducts a stock ranch 
and farm in Banner county, is married and 
has seven children; and Nina E., bom April 
30, 1882, is the wife of William Deakin, of 
Omaha. 

■ In 1882 Mr. and Mrs. Harvey came to Ne- 
braska and located in Burt county, the near- 
est market town being Decatur. They remain- 
ed in Burt county for some years, Mr. Harvey 
buying three hundred and twenty acres, which 
he sold in 1888 and then they came to what is 
now Banner county, just prior to the contest 
over the county seat, details of which are 
found in the county annals. After taking up 
a pre-emption in Banner county he proved up. 
remained twelve years and from time to time 
bought land until he now owns seventeen hun- 
dred and sixty acres of fine land there. Mr. 
and Mrs. Harvey's first home was in a tent 
that served them for six months, when Mrs. 
Harvey's uncle, Ebenezer Williams, built them 
a stone house, Mrs. Harvey assisted in mixing 
the mortar, and a warm, comfortable resi- 
dence was the result. When Mr. Harvey had 
his house ready to move into, he had just sev- 
enty-five cents in his pocket, and when his 
household goods arrived at Kimball he could 
not find any place to store them, so hauled 
them out to his homestead, covered them with 
boards and left them undisturbed until he had 
managed to put in a crop on forty acres. 

Mr. Harvey at that time had to drive sixty 
miles to Cheyenne to find a market for his 
crop, and received thirty-five cents a bushel 
for wheat that took the first prize at the state 
fair and also the sweepstake prize for the 
best wheat grown in Nebraska. Like other 
settlers he faced hard times on many occa- 
sions, often worked for seventy-five cents a 
day at anything that offered, and during one 
winter Mrs. Harvey went to Cheyenne and 
did nursing in order to add to the family ex- 
chequer, and at other times she remained to 
look after the crops while Mr. Harvey and 
son Charles worked for John Gordon on 
Horse Creek. It was not all work and no 
play in early times, however, and Mr. Harvey 
had an enjoyable occasion, when settlers from 
all over the county met in Bull Canyon and 
got acquainted with each other, that being the 
first "get together" meeting they ever had, but 
not the last. At one time Mr. Harvey had an 
open range in Banner county of fifty-five sec- 
tions and it took him three days to ride 



around it. The first school house was built 
by the settlers, a log structure 16x24 feet in 
dimensions, which was used for some years 
as the taxes in the district did not prove suffi- 
cient to build a new one. In 1909 Mr. Harvey 
came to Kimball and bought fifty acres and a 
comfortable residence. He and wife are mem- 
bers of the Presbvterian church. 



FRANCIS O. BAKER, who is a man of 
business prominence in Kimball county, where 
he has large land interests as well as in Ban- 
ner county, is president of the Bushnell State 
Bank at Bushnell. Mr. Baker was born in 
1863 in De Kalb county. Illinois. His parents, 
William and Mary (Newport) Baker, were 
born near Dover, England, and after coming 
to the United States lived for two years near 
Syracuse, New York, then moved to De Kalb 
county, Illinois. In 1877 they went to Ne- 
braska, settling in Saline county, where the 
father yet lives, but the mother died in June, 
1917. They had children as follows: an in- 
fant that died at birth ; Mattie, who married 
Emmett Buckingham of Beaver Crossing. Ne- 
braska, and they have five children ; Charles, 
who is a retired farmer and stockman, lives 
at Lincoln; Francis O, who was fourteen 
years old when he came to Nebraska ; and Ad- 
die, who is deceased. 

Francis O. Baker had public school ad- 
vantages in Illinois, accompanied his parents 
to Saline county, Nebraska in 1877, and re- 
mained at home assisting his father until he 
was twenty-four years old. At that time he 
went to Banner county, where he homesteaded 
one hundred and sixty acres, on which he 
proved up and to which he subsequently added. 
Mr. Baker now owns four sections of land in 
Banner county and one section in Kimball 
county, having lesser interests in other coun- 
ties. In May, 1910, Mr. Baker came to Bush- 
nell and embarked in the mercantile business, 
shortly afterward organizing the Bushnell 
State Bank, He served this institution at first 
as cashier, but in 1917 was elected president 
and has ably directed its affairs ever since, 
making it one of the sound, stable banks of 
the county, Mr. Baker having the full confi- 
dence of the public in his business sagacity 
and personal integrity. 

Mr. Baker was married in 1893, to Miss 
Ella Harvey, a daughter of George W. Har- 
vey, a prominent retired citizen of Kimball. 
Mr. and Mrs. Baker have three children: 
Charles, born in 1898, has finished his high 
school course and is assisting his father; 
Robert born March 8, 1904; and Alice, born 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



153 



September 1, 1906. Mr. Baker and family 
attend the Presbyterian church. He is identi- 
fied with the fraternal order of Modern Wood- 
men of America. 

PERRY BRAZIEL is one of the real pio- 
neers of the \\'est, the son of one of the pio- 
neers of the middle states. He was born in 
Madison, Wisconsin, in 1854, the son of Robert 
Braziel, who was born in Tennessee and died in 
the 70's. His mother's maiden name was 
Steele.. She was a native of North Canilina, 
and died at the age of fifty years. The father 
moved to Illinois in 1812, when that country 
was young. He was a farmer and an Indian 
fighter in the Black Hawk wars, a Democrat in 
politics, and a Methodist. There were five chil- 
dren in the family, the subject of this sketch 
being the only one now living. 

Mr. Braziel came to Kansas with his father 
in 1857 and settled in the Osage Xation, where 
they farmed and ran cattle. In 1868 he went 
to Texas and worked on the trail and the Texas 
range as a cowboy. In 1880 he came to west- 
ern Nebraska — what is now a half-dozen 
counties being then all Cheyenne county — and 
in 1884 he took a homestead east of where the 
town of Haig now stands. He proved up on 
his homestead and bought several different 
tracts of land until twenty-two years ago when 
he came to his present farn: where he now 
owns 420 acres of irrigated land, well im- 
proved. He has followed farming and stock- 
raising and has been very successful. 

In 1888 he was married to Ida Rayburn, a 
native of Illinois, daughter of Thomas Ray- 
burn who homesteaded in 1886 in what is now 
Castle Rock precinct of ScottsblufT county. 
They have three children, namely: 

Robert, now in South Omaha, iiaving lately 
returned from service with the American army 
in France, being with the Ninth \'eterinary 
Corps overseas for eleven and one-half months. 

Thomas A., who is now at home after a ser- 
vice of twenty-two months with the colors. He 
served on the front line in France fourteen 
months with the 148th Field Artillery and 
116th Ammunition Train. 

George, the youngest son, is at home. 

^Ir. Braziel has been a leader in the life of 
the county since it was organized. He has held 
the otTice of county commissioner, and is a 
member of the board of directors of the irriga- 
tion district in which his land is situated. He 
is an independent voter and belongs to the Ma- 
sonic order. Mrs. Braziel is a member of the 
Methodist church. 

No man in the North Platte valley stands 
higher than Perry Braziel as an independent 



and progressive citizen and a man of integrity 
and honor. He has prospered in this world's 
goods and in the opinion of his fellow man. 
He has raised a family that is a credit to him 
and has a right to be well satisfied with the 
record tliat he has made. 

HORACE C. AMOS, who is one of Kim- 
ball's representative business men and for a 
number of years identified with the Citizens 
State Bank, is not a native of Nebraska, but 
has spent the greater part of his life in this 
state. He was born in 1877, at Racine, Wis- 
consin. His parents were Arthur and Julia 
(McCumber) Amos, both of whom died at 
Kimball, his father having been a banker and 
stockman. 

Horace C. Amos was nine years old when 
his parents moved to Kearney. Nebraska, 
where they remained two years and then came 
to Kimball. Here Mr. Amos attended the 
public schools and completed the tenth grade 
studies, then entered the Kearney Military 
academy and remained one year. He then 
became interested in the stock business on 
his own account and continued in that line 
for twenty-one years, when he was elected 
county clerk. After serving in that office with 
the utmost efficiency for three years, Mr. 
Amos resigned in order to give his attention 
to the affairs of the Citizens State Bank of 
Kimball. In the meanwhile he proved up on 
a homestead in Kimball county which he sold 
at a later date. 

In 1905 Mr. Amos was united in marriage 
to Miss Ema Tracy, who was born at Pine 
Bluff, Laramie county, Wyoming, and they 
have two daughters: Marjorie and Marian, 
aged respectively twelve and seven years, both 
of whom are attending school at Kimball. Mr. 
Amos and family belong to the Episcopal 
church. He belongs to the fraternal order 
of Knights of Pythias, and in that connection 
as in every other, is held in the highest esteem. 

ORLEY D. PICKETT, who is an enter- 
prising business man of Bushnell, Nebraska, 
where, in partnership with his brother Roy, 
he conducts a cream and produce station, was 
born February 25, 1886, in Nemaha county, 
Nebraska. His parents are Frederick and Ef- 
fie (Dickerson) Pickett, who came to Kim- 
Ijall county, March 3, 1907, and now reside 
on a farm north of Kimball. Of their six chil- 
dren Orley D. is the eldest, the others being 
as follows: Bertha, who is the wife of Henry 
Wright, a farmer and ranchman living north- 
west of Kimball ; Clinton, who resides on his 



154 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



ranch north of Kimball ; Ernest, in Bushnell ; 
and Francis, who is a farmer south of Bush- 
nell ; and Roy, who is associated with his eld- 
est brother at Bushnell. 

Orley D. Pickett spent his boyhood days 
on the home farm and attended the public 
schools until the opportunity came to engage 
in fanning for himself. In the fall of 1913 
he came to Bushnell and accepted a position 
as clerk with Mr. Baker, a leading business 
man, and remained with this employer until 
September 4, 1915. when he purchased the 
business, and his prospects seemed so bright 
that he put in a stock representing the invest- 
ment of $16,000. War clouds quickly gather- 
ed as time went on, America became involved 
in the great struggle and when the govern- 
ment found it necessary to issue calls for sol- 
diers, Mr. Pickett and his brother Roy found 
themselves among those selected. With only 
four days' notice, Mr. Pickett sold out his 
business and prepared to answer the call, his 
brother Roy having made arrangements to 
leave Kimball for camp at El Paso, Texas, 
on the day the armistice was signed. 

In 1911 Mr. Pickett was married to Miss 
Bertha Bower, who is a daughter of Franklin 
and Helen (Gross) Bower. Mrs. Pickett has 
one sister. Iva Maud, who is the wife of F. 
E. Miller, a stockman and farmer near Dela- 
ware, Ohio. The father of Mrs. Pickett still 
lives in Ohio, but her mother passed away 
August 24, 1883. Mr. and Mrs. Pickett at- 
tend the Presbyterian church. He is promi- 
nent in public afi'airs at Bushnell and has been 
a member of the city council since incorpora- 
tion. 

PHILIP NELSON, who is a well known 
and respected resident of Kimball county, 
where he has successfully carried on several 
business enterprises, was born on Chellon Is- 
land, between Denmark and Norway, and in 
1886 accompanied his parents to the United 
States. Their names were Julius and Sophia 
Nelson, honest, hard-working people, who 
were very highly thought of in the neighbor- 
hood of Dix, where they first located. They 
homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres and 
also took a tree claim, proved up on their land, 
and the father died there in 1913. The mother 
then went to Blair and died in the home of 
a daughter, in 1917. They had nine children, 
five sons and four daughters as follows : Jo- 
hanna, who died in 1903 : Peter, who liveson 
his fruit farm in California; Christina, who 
was the wife of Melvin Tracy of Butte, Mon- 
tana, died April, 1920; Hans, who lives in 



California ; Bina, who is the wife of John 
Hanson, of Council Bluffs, Iowa ; Jack, who 
lives on a ranch near Dix, Nebraska ; Philip, 
who is the youngest son ; and Margaret, who is 
the wife of Ole Anderson, of Blair, Nebraska. 
Philip Nelson's boyhood days were spent 
in going to school, and herding cattle for his 
father and other ranchmen. He had ambition, 
however, to be a business man in another line, 
and with this end in view went to Potter and 
engaged as a clerk in a general store. In 1910, 
in partnership with his brother Peter, he 
bought the lumber yard at Potter and operated 
it for two years, when he purchased the gen- 
eral store of C. E. Birt, thereby acquiring a 
stock of merchandise valued at $2,100. He 
continued in the mercantile business until 
1919, selling his store at that time after a very 
satisfactory business season, his stock being 
valued at $15,000. In the meanwhile he had 
bought a half section of land in Kimball county 
which he rents out. the products of his farm 
and ranch being mainly grain and horses. Mr, 
Nelson is looking out for another investment, 
as he is too active to think yet of retiring from 
the business field. In 1915 he married Chris- 
tina Peterson and they have two children, 
Louis and Ruth. Mr. Nelson is a fine example 
of what determination will do, for through it 
he has overcome many difficulties, has made 
an honorable business name for himself and 
has personal friends everywhere. He belongs 
to the Lutheran church. 



ERNEST EUGENE CODING. — Al- 
though aspiring to no position of leadership in 
advancing the welfare of development of the 
growing little city of Dix, the successful activ- 
ities of E. E. Coding have brought him to 
public attention. Since locating here he has 
been active, interested and useful in many 
ways. 

E. E. Coding was born in Pawnee county, 
Nebraska, April 14, 1879. His parents were 
Rufus H. and Jessie F. Coding, who came to 
Nebraska in 1877, the year of their marriage, 
andRufus H. Coding bought a quarter sec- 
tion of land near Pawnee, on which the family 
lived for five years, Mr. Coding engaging in 
farming and raising stock. He then removed 
with his family to Lincoln county. South Da- 
kota, remaining there until 1907 and then mov- 
ing to Morrill county, Nebraska. In 1917 the 
parents of Ernest E. Coding sold their Mor- 
rill county interests and went to California 
and now ' reside retired at Harper in that 
state. Of their family of six children, Ernest 
E. was the first born, the others being as fol- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



155 



lows : \\'illiam M., who is a prominent citi- 
zen of Cheyenne county, where he is a mem- 
ber of the board of county commissioners ; 
Bertha E., who is the wife of Mark Myers; 
Edith, who died at the age of five years ; 
Clara R., who is the wife of Dr. Dayton Tur- 
ney, of Los Angeles, California ; and Flora, 
who is the wife of James Davison, who did 
own an extensive cattle ranch near Dalton, 
Nebraska, but now resides in Colorado. The 
parents are members of the Baptist church. 

E. E. Coding attended school in Lincoln 
and Turner counties. South Dakota, then en- 
tered the South Dakota State University, 
where he spent four years, then entered the 
United States army, serving through a first 
enlistment in Company A, First South Dakota 
volunteer infantry. He re-enlisted in Com- 
pany I, Thirty-seventh United States volunteer 
infantry and with this unit went to the Philip- 
pine Islands, where he served almost three 
years, being promoted first sergeant of Com- 
pany I. He was honorably discharged at San 
Francisco, in 1901. Mr. Coding has a fine 
record as a soldier in the Spanish-American 
War. With his contingent he reached the 
Philippines on August 24, 1898, just eleven 
days after the battle of Manila. After his 
safe return to the United States and his dis- 
charge from the service he had honored, he 
took up a homestead in Charles Mix county, 
South Dakota, on which he proved up. Af- 
ter selling his homestead at a profit, he taught 
school in Charles Mix county for the next 
seven years, also being interested in ranching. 
In 1909 he came to Kimball county, Nebraska, 
taking up four hundred and eighty acres of 
land under the Kinkaid act, located northwest 
of Dix. He resided on that land until March, 
1919, when he came to Dix and embarked in 
the real estate business, made practical in- 
vestments in the way of substantial business 
enterprises here, and through newspaper con- 
nection has been a valuable exploiter of the 
interests of this place. He is interested in 
the Dix Mercantile Company, in the erection 
of a number of substantial business structures 
and in the laying of fine cement pavements. 
Mr. Coding still owns two sections of land 
in Kimball county but has them under rental. 

In 1909 Mr. Coding was united in marriage 
to Miss Eva Parker, a daughter of Charles 
and Ella Parker. The father of Mrs. Cod- 
ing died in Kimball county in 1918. but the 
mother survives and lives two miles we5t 
of Dix. The Parkers came to Kimball coun- 
ty from South Dakota. Mrs. Coding is one 
of a family of fourteen children, seven boys 



and seven girls. Mr. and Mrs. Coding have 
two daughters ; Mijdredy V. and Olive J., 
aged respectively eight and three years. Mr. 
Coding and his family attend the Presbyte- 
rian church. He belongs to the order of Odd 
Fellows, having united with this organiza- 
tion at Lake Andes, in Charles Mix county, 
South Dakota. 

L. FRANK PRICE, who has been so promi- 
nently concerned in the development of the 
incorporated town of Dix, Nebraska, that it 
is difficult to mention any of its important 
enterprises without reference to him, was a 
man of business prominence in other sections 
before coming to Kimball county. 

L. Frank Price was born in Shelby county, 
Illinois, October 20, 1877, and was. young 
when the family moved to Decatur, where his 
boyhood and youth were spent, his public 
school advantages extending through the high 
school course. He also completed a course 
in Brown's Business college at Decatur, fol- 
lowing which he went into railroad work and 
continued in train service for five years. He 
then became identified with the insurance busi- 
ness, in the Peoria Life Insurance Company, 
with which concern he remained for some years 
as superintendent of the Decatur district. A 
change of climate being deemed best for some 
members of his family, Mr. Price moved to 
Ogden Utah, and for two years was in the 
employ of the Short Line Railroad in the Og- 
den yards. Removing then to Denver, he 
shortly afterward homesteaded in Weld coun- 
ty, Colorado, and proved up before moving to 
Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he re-entered rail- 
road seri'ice, for two years afterward being 
with the Northern Pacific system. 

Mr. Price, however, had not entirely retired 
from the insurance line, and finding prospects 
encouraging in Wyoming became connected 
with the state agency of the Central State 
Life Insurance Company for the state of Wy- 
oming, and continued as state agent until the 
spring of 1917. when he took over Western 
Nebraska for the same company, establishing 
his headquarters at Kimball. His business 
experience had given him excellent traming 
along many lines and before he had lived long 
in Kimball county his interest was aroused in 
the little village of Dix, at that time an in- 
significant country hamlet, with a population 
of not over 26 individuals all told. Mr. Price, 
however, was an experienced railroad man 
and many times had he witnessed a section of 
country developed almost over night by the 
coming of the railroad. Hence he was liber- 
al in his investments in land at Dix, although, 



156 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



at that time, he found little encouragement 
among the old settlers here, even such well 
informed men as the Gundersons, Phillip Nel- 
son and E. J. Horrum. Mr. Price was not dis- 
couraged however and soon, through his vi- 
talizing energj- had wonderful development 
take place, culminating in the incorporation of 
the town of Dix on September 4, 1918. He has 
continued active in every business and public- 
spirited enterprise, in many of these being 
associated with Mr. Goding, the firm of God- 
ing & Price, carrying on a large real estate 
business, being founders of the Dix Tribune, 
which issued the first newspaper here on May 
12, 1919, foremost in other matters of busi- 
ness. During the time Mr. Price was chair- 
man of the town board about twelve thou- 
sand feet of cement walks were laid. He is 
secretary of the school board of Dix and it is 
no secret that largely through his efforts the 
township high school was accorded Dix in- 
stead of Kimball. The laying of the corner 
stone of that handsome modern structure was. 
a memorable event in the town, the exercises 
being under the auspices of the Masonic fra- 
ternity, the Grand Master of the state laying 
the stone. 

Mr. Price was united in marriage to Miss 
Alice J. Grififin, who was born in De Witt 
county, Illinois, a daughter of B. C. and Judy 
(O'Brien) Griffin, natives of Ireland, who 
came when young to the United States with 
their parents. Mrs. Price has four brothers 
and two sisters. Her father died in 1916, but 
her mother survives and lives in Illinois. Mr. 
Price's mother, Mrs. Lodema Price, makes her 
home with her son, they two being the only re- 
maining members of that family. Mr. and 
Mrs. Price have one daughter. 

_ HANS GUNDERSON, who has the dis- 
tinction of having been the original purchaser 
of the town site of Dix, has always been a 
man of discretion and foresight, and the pres- 
ent flourishing town owes much to his energy 
and practical enterprise. He is one of a group 
of earnest, public-spirited men, whose united 
eiiforts have brought about a wonderful de- 
gree of progress in a comparatively short 
space of time. 

Hans Gunderson was born in Norway, Au- 
gust 12. 1866, came to the United States in 
1873 with his parents and three brothers. The 
family lived in Omaha for fifteen years, dur- 
ing which time two more sons were added to 
the family. Of them all, Hans was the sec- 
ond born. He was twenty-two years old when 
he came to Kimball county and took a home- 
stead, later selling it and taking a Kinkaid 



claim. Aside from his large holdings at Dix, 
Mr. Gunderson owns two hundred acres 
forty acres under water, of land situated three 
miles north, one and three-quarter section four 
miles south of Dix, and rented to good ten- 
ants. He has a $30,000 investment at Dix. 
When Mr. Gunderson came here first he as- 
sociated himself with other enterprising men 
and his interest has been continuous. The first 
building he erected was a blacksmith shop, 
then a town hall, a restaurant building, two 
small houses, a carpenter shop and his own 
comfortable residence. His activities at pres- 
ent include the erection of two brick build- 
ings on Maple street, in which the post office 
wil be located, also the Central telephone and 
city offices. 

Mr. Gunderson was married to Miss Belle 
Snyder, November 16, 1891, at Harrisburg, 
Banner county, Nebraska, who was born in 
Iowa. They have four children : Aye, Effie, 
Mervin and Claria. 

Mr. Gunderson has always been progressive 
in his ideas. He owned the first threshing ma- 
chine in Kimball county and for years did all 
the threshing in Kimball and Banner counties, 
even as far as Bridgeport. This machine was 
a J. I. Case horse-power rig, 12 horses being 
used for power. He belongs to the Knights 
of Pythias lodge at Kimball, and assisted in 
the organization of the camp of Modem 
Woodmen at Dix, which now has a member- 
ship of seventy-five individuals. Few men 
in this and adjoining counties are better known 
than Hans Gunderson. 

FRANK E. CAMPBELL, who is one of 
the enterprising business men of Dix, Ne- 
braska, is a native of Illinois but has been a 
resident of Nebraska during the greater part 
of his life. He was born March 2, 1872. and is 
a son of most worthy parents. John and Cath- 
erine Campbell. 

The parents of Mr. Campbell were born 
in Ireland and both came to the United States 
when young, and were married in the city 
of New York. They located afterward in Illi- 
nois and Frank E. was born while his father 
was a farmer there, one of a family of five 
daughters and four sons, all of whom lived to 
maturity. In 1884 the Campbell family came 
to Nebraska, first settling four miles east of 
Fairfield, but later moving' to that part of 
Cheyenne county that is now included in Kim- 
ball. The father homesteaded in the north- 
east corner of Kimball county, in 1886, secur- 
ing one hundred and sixty acres and later a 
timber claim and proved up on his land. He 
died there December 5, 1893, after which the 





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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



157 



mother moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where 
her death occurred in 1908. 

Frank E. Campbell had country school ad- 
vantages in Kimball county, but much of his 
time in boyhood was given to herding cattle. 
Later he homesteaded in Lawrence Forks Val- 
ley, in Banner county, lived on his land for 
five years and proved up, residing for about 
eight years in that county. In 1894 he sold his 
ranch to his brother-in-law, J. E. Bevington. 
After leaving the ranch Mr. Campbell went 
to Potter, where he started a billiard room and 
soft drink establishment, conducting this busi- 
ness there until March, 1918. when he came 
to Dix. Here he went into the business on a 
larger scale and now has well equipped billiard 
parlors, which are well patronized by lovers 
of this form of pleasant exercise, and he also 
conducts a confectionery and soft drink busi- 
ness. 

Mr. Campbell was reared in the Roman 
Catholic faith and has always been sincere in 
his church relations. He has never married. 
Not particularly active in a political way, 
nevertheless Mr. Campbell is a good citizen 
and as a "booster" has done much of Dix, 
being ever ready to co-operate with other en- 
terprising citizens in movements for the gen- 
eral welfare. Mr. Campbell is a member of 
the order of Modern Woodmen at Dix. 

WILLIAM L. WALLACE, one of the 
early settlers of the North Platte valley, was 
born in Marshall countv, Indiana. April 8, 
1867, the son of M. F. and Nellie ( A. la ) Wal- 
lace. There were eleven children in the family, 
of whom six are livinng, namely : Frank, of 
Scottsbluff, Nebraska ; Etta, of Hastings ; Ed- 
ward, living in California ; John, of Alliance, 
Nebraska ; Julius, of Hastings, Nebraska : and 
the subject of this sketch. The family moved 
to Hastings, Nebraska, in the spring of 1873, 
and there the father took a homestead and fol- 
lowed general farming. Both the father and 
mother are still living on the old home place 
near Hastings. 

Mr. Wallace received his education in Hast- 
ings, and after completing his schooling he 
farmed for a year at that place, then came 
west in 1886 and homesteaded on Snake creek 
in 1888. He followed the stock business for a 
number of years, moving his family to Scotts- 
bluff after it was started. In the cattle busi- 
ness he met with excellent success, and a few 
years ago he bought the Henry State Bank, at 
Henry, Nebraska, and now devotes his atten- 
tion to the banking business. With a capital of 
$10,000.00, this institution has deposits of 
$125,000.00 and a surplus of $2,000.00, and 



Mr. Wallace is on the fair road in the banking 
business to repeat his success in the stock busi- 
ness. 

He was married in October, 1889, to Nellie 
Gaddis. a native of Indiana, and their union 
has been blessed with eight children, namely: 
Florence, now Mrs. J. C. Williams, of Henry, 
Nebraska., where Mr. Williams is in the drug 
business ; Willo, now Mrs. Arthur Selzer, of 
Scottsblulif ; Bessie, who is employed in her 
father's bank ; Dorothy, Wilbur, Shirley, Neal, 
and Helen, all at home. 

Mr. and Mrs. Wallace are attendants of the 
M. E. church. Mr. Wallace is an independent 
Democrat in politics and a member of the 
A. O. U. W. He has always lieen recognized 
as an enterprising; and JKinorable man, taking 
an active p;irt in public affairs and wielding the 
influence that goes with prominence and high 
standing in the community. 

CHARLES L. BOGLE, who owns and con- 
ducts the leading general mercantile business 
at Bushnell, was born in Gosper county, Ne- 
braska, May 4, 1889, a son of J. W. Bogle, for 
many years one of Kimball county's most re- 
spected citizens. 

Charles L. Bogle attended the country 
schools near his father's ranch in boyhood, 
later taking a business course in a commercial 
college at Grand Island. In 1908 he came to 
Bushnell and went into the mercantile business 
with his father, that association lasting until 
1913, when, in partnership with his brother- 
in-law, he bought the elder Bogle interest. In 
1914 he bought his partner's interest and since 
then has been sole proprietor. Mr. Bogle car- 
ries a stock worth $20,000, consisting of gen- 
eral merchandise, additional features being a 
meat market and confectionery store. Being 
energetic and a good business man. Mr. Bogle 
has continued the expansion of his enterprise 
and is doing a large and profitable business. 

In 1912 Mr. Bogle was united in marriage to 
Miss Flora Snyder, and they have three chil- 
dren: Charles L.," Dora Mildred and John V. 

Mrs. Bogle is a daughter of James M. and 
Elizabeth (Shanks) Snyder, who now live 
comfortably retired in Furnas county, Ne- 
braska. The father of Mr. Bogle was bom 
near Columbus, Ohio, in 1842 and served as 
a soldier in the Civil War as a member of the 
Forty-fourth Indiana volunteer infantry. His 
venerable mother still survives, residing at 
Columbia, Indiana, in her ninety-ninth year. 
The mother of Mrs. Bogle was born in 1850 
in Whitley county, Indiana, and her mother 
was a second cousin of Abraham Lincoln, 
through the Shanks connection. Mr. and Mrs. 



158 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Snyder had a family of four daughters and 
two sons, namely : Rosa, who is the wife of 
Frank Bogle, of Bushnell, Nebraska; Inez, 
who is the wife of Archie Deen, of Bushnell; 
Dora, who is the wife of Walter Rogers, a 
homesteader in Wyoming; Flora, who is Mrs. 
Charles L. Bogle, of Bushnell ; Roy, who is a 
farmer ; and Clarence, a returned overseas sol- 
dier of the great war. He received his military 
training at Camp Cody before sailing for 
France, where he served bravely for sixty-two 
days on the front line. Mr. and Mrs. Snyder 
are members of the Christian church at Edi- 
son, Nebraska. Mr. Bogle has never found 
time to be very active in politics but he is a 
good citizen and highly esteemed. 

EMORY C. HOWE, who is a prosperous 
business man of Bushnell, owes his success in 
life to natural ability and also to his faculty 
of making and keeping friends. He was 
born August 2, 1883, in Nemaha county, Ne- 
braska, a son of Seymour and Ellen Howe. 
The Howe family has been so highly regarded 
in that section, that one of the "flourishing 
towns of Nemaha county bears the name of 
Howe. 

The father of Emory C. Howe was born in 
the state of New York and the mother in Illi- 
nois. Both came to Nebraska when young 
and were married in Nemaha county. The 
following children were born to them : Adelia, 
who is the wife of C. R. Russell, a farmer 
and ranchman in Nemaha county ; Charles, 
who follows the carpenter trade in that coun- 
ty ; Eugene, who is in the real estate business 
at Weatherf ord, Oklahoma ; Ambrose, who is 
a traveling salesman with home at Council 
BluiTs, Iowa ; and Emory C, who was edu- 
cated and lived in Nemaha county until De- 
cember, 1914, at which time he came to Bush- 
nell. Here Mr. Howe went into the automo- 
bile business handling Buick cars, which has 
become a growing concern. He is now erect- 
ing a first class modern garage of brick con- 
struction, two stories high, with many square 
feet of floor space and fine display room for 
the Buick cars, of which he is sole agent. In 
addition to his other responsibilities, Mr. 
Howe is deputy sherifif. 

On March 12, 1907, Mr. Howe was united 
in marriage to Miss Geneva West, a daughter 
of Jacob and Alice West, who came from 
Missouri to Nebraska in 1900 and now re- 
side at Salem. 

WOODFORD G. JONES, who now lives 
in comfortable retirement at Bushnell, came 
to Nebraska thirty-five years ago. During 



early years in the state, Mr. and Mrs. Jones 
saw much hardship and they had some losses 
which necessitated hard work and economy, 
but early conditions passed away and they 
have lived to enjoy the fruits of their industr>\ 
Woodford G. Jones was born at Centerville, 
Iowa, April 28, 1857, a son of Woodford and 
Louisa Jones. Attending school near the home 
farm in boyhood, Woodford G. Jones took 
charge when his father died and operated the 
farm for his mother and sister as long as he 
remained in Iowa. In 1884 he came to Ne- 
braska and homesteaded eight miles south of 
Dix, in Kimball county. There was but a poor 
shelter on the place and when a blizzard that 
lasted three days set in following their arrival, 
they had to take advantage of every expedient 
to keep warm, all remaining in bed until the 
snow was so deep there that Mr. Jones had 
to shovel it off. Happily they had enough 
beans and corn dodgers to keep them from be- 
ing hungry and in that way were more for- 
tunate than many of their pioneer neighbors. 
Mr. Jones had previously had a serious ex- 
perience in one of the sudden blizzards that 
sometimes unexpectedly swept over the coun- 
try, during which he stumbled and was lost 
in the snow through a whole night between 
Dix and Kimball, finally being rescued and 
cared for by Henry Warner. During that 
winter Mr. Jones could not find work and in 
the emergency he remained at home and took 
care of the children while Mrs. Jones went to 
Kimball, fifteen miles distant, where she 
worked in the hotel for $4 a week, high wages 
for that day, and walked the distance home 
when she made a visit. Water had to be haul- 
ed eight miles and when one of the team of 
horses died, Air. Jones carried half of the neck 
yoke and as much as possible eased the work 
of the remaining horse. 

At length Mr. Jones accepted an offer and 
sold the homestead for $500, a property that 
would bring $8,000 today. He moved then to 
Custer county and bought lahd for $10 an 
acre but through the lapse of a mortgage, they 
lost that farm but later bought another in 
Custer county, on which they lived for twenty- 
five years. Mr. Jones then sold that prop- 
erty and they came back to Kimball county 
near Bushnell, but one year later Mr. Jones 
sold that farm to his son-in-law, Ralph Ta^'- 
lor, and came to Bushnell, where they are 
people held in high esteem. 

In 1875 Mr. Jones was united in marriage 
to Miss Henrietta Rucker, who was born in 
Iowa, and they became the parents of the 
folowing children: Eva, who is the wife of 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



159 



Ralph Taylor, a rancher in Kimball county ; 
Woodford Robert, who married Charity Ham- 
mond of Custer and now lives nine miles north 
of Bushnell and has one and one-half sections 
of land ; Maud, Mrs. Hammond, who is in 
charge of the Central telephone office at Bush- 
nell ; and May, Fay and Ray, triplets, the last 
named being deceased. Both May and Fay 
are married, the former being Mrs. Coons, and 
the latter, Mrs. Stuckert. Mr. and Mrs. Jones 
are members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. 

JACOB PEDRETT, who is one of Kim- 
ball's most highly esteemed citizens, is widely 
known in the state and is one of Kimball coun- 
ty's heavy land owners. The story of his life 
since coming to America is exceedingly inter- 
esting. 

Jacob Pedrett was born in Kanton Graeu- 
bunden, Switzerland, November 7, 1856, a son 
of Ulrich and Fieda Pedrett. The father was 
a farmer, cattle grower and dairyman, his milk 
business being important and profitable. He 
had a contract with a local hotel for eighty 
gallons of milk a day and sometimes sold one 
hundred and twenty gallons, probably when 
the tourist trade was at its height. The father 
died in 1887, having been an invalid for some 
eighteen years previously. The mother of 
Mr. Pedrett communicated the fact to her son 
in America but before the latter received the 
letter, she also had passed away, having sur- 
vived the father only fourteen days. Their 
family consisted of but one son, Jacob, and the 
following daughters : Elizabeth, who died at 
the age of twenty-two years ; Fieda who is 
married, lives in the old home in Switzer- 
land and has five children : Cristena, on 
the old homestead ; Magdelenia. is the only one 
who came to America, with four children, in 
June, 1920, and is living on the Pedrett farm ; 
and, Marie, who lived to the age of eighteen 
years. All the children are well educated and 
before Jacob Pedrett came to America, he 
was proficient in the Italian and German lan- 
guages. 

In his own land Mr. Pedrett gave military 
service according to the law. between the age 
of twenty and thirty years, and he had reached 
the latter age when he came to the United 
States, on the ship Normandie, which landed 
him safely in the harbor of New York. He 
came across the country to Hastings, Nebras- 
ka, where he found work as a cheesemaker, 
having brought his diploma as to his efficiency 
in this industry. For one summer he worked 
in Webster county for his board, in the mean- 
while using every effort to learn the English 



language, but in the fall he returned to Hast- 
ings. There he rented a dairy farm and went 
into the business of making cheese. He op- 
erated with thirty-six cows and his bargain 
included one-half of the proceeds from his 
factory, together with the stock increases. Mr. 
Pedrett remained on that farm from 1887 to 
1890, coming then to Kimball county, bringing 
along ten cows and two horses. He home- 
steaded in the same district in which he serv- 
ed as a school director later on for twenty- 
nine continuous years. 

Here Mr. Pedrett resumed the making of 
cheese, in 1891 he and his wife milking forty- 
one cows, some of them being rented, the rent- 
al being paid in cheese. He found this ar- 
rangement profitable. He has always grown 
some wheat but has given the most attention 
to thoroughbred Hereford cattle, at times hav- 
ing owned two hundred and seventy-five head 
of registered stock and also has fed unregis- 
tered, doing business under the firm name of 
Pedrett & Clarke. At the present time he 
owns two full sections of land and other 
tracts, aggregating about sixteen thousand 
acres, general farming being carried on an ex- 
tensive scale. 

On March 31, 1887, Mr. Pedrett was united 
in marriage to Miss Marie Louisa Grothaus, 
a daughter of William and Katherine Gro- 
thaus, who came to the United States and to 
Hastings, Nebraska, in 1885, from Westphalia, 
Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Pedrett the fol- 
lowing children were bom : Ulrich, who was 
born December 28, 1887, who was in military 
training at Camp Funston, during the great 
war, was honorably discharged, as quarter- 
master sergeant ; Fieda, who is the wife of 
Clyde Taylor, is a graduate of the Kimball 
county high school, lives on the farm in Kim- 
ball county and has three children, Harry, 
Ruth and James ; Louisa, who is a student 
in the Nebraska State University, has been 
graduated in the department of typewriting 
and shorthand and taught in the high school at 
Superior, Nebraska ; Willis, who died at the 
age if si-x years ; and Harry who is a graduate, 
like his eldest brother, of the high school and 
the Agricultural college at Lincoln. Mr. Ped- 
rett and his family are members of the Pres- 
byterian church. He has always been active 
in public affairs and has served in many public 
capacities, holding such offices as road over- 
seer and county commissioner. He has assisted 
in the building of three school structures, the 
latest erected in his school district being a 
modern two-room building, two teachers be- 
ing employed and sixty-five children attending. 



160 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Mr. Pedrett is president of the State Potato 
Growers Improvement Association, and a di- 
rector of Nebraska State Farm Bureau asso- 
ciation, and is treasurer of the local farm bur- 
eau, and also president of the Beet Growers 
association of Kimball county. 

EMORY HORRUM, whose interests cover 
farming, stock-raising, banking and other lines 
of business, is one of Kimball county's most 
prominent young men of aflfairs. He is a na- 
tive of Nebraska, born June 25, 1886, at Dun- 
bar, where his parents now live retired. He is 
a son of Lyman T. and Claudia Horrum, and 
he has one sister, Delia May, who is the wife 
of Montgomery Lowery, a substantial farmer 
near Dunbar. 

After completing the high school course at 
Dunbar, Mr. Hornmi went to Lincoln and 
completed a commercial course in a business 
college there. It was in Februar>', 1915, that 
he came to Kimball county, where he has 
made heavy investments in land, aggregating 
over eleven thousand acres. This land is culti- 
vated in a modern way, farm tractors being 
made use of together with improved machin- 
ery of all kinds. Mr. Horrum is much inter- 
ested in raising thoroughbred Hereford cat- 
tle. He has been largely concerned in the de- 
velopment and improvement of Dix. owning 
one hundred acres in town lots, the Horrum 
addition to Dix, and has built and sold some 
handsome residences in this part of the rapidly 
growing town. 

Mr. Horrum was one of the organizers of 
the Fanners State Bank of Dix, of which he 
is vice president. He is associated in this finan- 
cial enterprise with Gus Linn, George Vogler 
and Philip Nelson. The original capital was 
$10,000, which has been increased to $25,000. 
Mr. Horrum, was president of the Dix Mer- 
cantile Company, which occupies a handsome 
brick building of modern construction, and 
plans are under way for the carrying of one 
of the largest stocks of general merchandise in 
this section of the state. 

On October 8, 1910, Mr. Horrum was unit- 
ed in marriage to Miss Esther Tell, who is 
a daughter of Francis and Catherine Tell, 
well known retired residents of Omaha. Mr. 
and Mrs. Horrum have had two children, 
both of whom passed away in their infancy. 
The Presbyterian church holds their member- 
ship. Mr. Horrum is a Thirty-second degree 
Mason. 

JULIUS J. JOHNSON, who is one of the 
large farmers and stockraisers of Kimball 
county and one of the representative, solid 



citizens, was born in the province of Halland, 
Sweden, a son of Jons Larson and Johanna 
Johnson, who died on their farm in Sweden, 
the former in 1902 and the latter in 1912. 

Julius J. Johnson was born May 21, 1859, 
grew up on the home farm in Sweden, in the 
meantime attending school as opportunity of- 
fered. A thoughtful, sensible young man, by 
the time he was twenty-two years old, he had 
made up his mind to emigrate to America, in 
which country, as he learned from others, there 
were many chances for a young man with- 
out any capital but his industry, to acquire 
financial independence. When he landed in 
the United States he had $12 in his pocket, 
which paid his way from New York City to 
southern Illinois, where he found work with 
a railroad company, going from there to Sheri- 
dan, Michigan, fifteen miles south of Big 
Rapids. Afterward for three years he worked 
in the railroad shops in Chicago, at the end 
of that time coming to Nebraska. He home- 
steaded in Kimball county on a part of the 
same ranch that he now owns, proved up, kept 
on adding one tract of land after another until 
he now owns over seventeen hundred acres. 
He runs about one hundred head of cattle, all 
good grade Herefords, and has two hundred 
acres under the plow. Mr. Johnson has every 
reason to feel satisfied with his determination 
made so many years ago, to become a resident 
and citizen of the United States. 

In 1889 Mr. Johnson was married to Miss 
Ida C. Strandberg, a daughter of Jonas and 
Christina Strandberg, who came from Sweden 
to the United States in 1885 and homesteaded 
in Nebraska. The father of Mrs. Johnson 
died in 1900 and the mother in 1901. Five 
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. John- 
son, namely; Alma E., who is a student in the 
high school at Dix; Hilda M., who is also a 
high school student; Carl A., who has reached 
the high school also ; and Leonard J. and Ver- 
ner O., who are in the grade schools. Mr. 
Johnson and family are members of the First 
Lutheran church at Potter. He has many 
times been honored by election to public office 
by his fellow citizens. At one time, while 
vvorking at Dix, he served as postmaster. For 
two terms he served as township assessor, for 
several terms was road overseer, and at pres- 
ent is treasurer of the school board. In every 
office he has proved efficient and trustworthy. 

WHITCOMB BROTHERS. — There are 
not many people in Kimball county who have 
not heard of the Whitcomb Brothers, exten- 
sive wheat farmers, who operate so success- 
fully their extensive property entirely by 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



161 



means of tractors and other modern machin- 
ery. The firm is composed of two brothers, 
Edwin and James Whitcomb, born in lUi- 
nois and sons of Edwin and Mary (Champlin) 
Whitcomb. 

The father of the Whicomb brothers was 
born in Virginia and the mother at Chatham, 
New^ York.. After their marriage they Hved in 
Illinois but later moved to Rochester, Minne- 
sota, which town he assisted in building, as 
he made all the brick used in general construc- 
tion. During his last illness he was attended 
by Dr. Mayo, the father of the celebrated sur- 
geons at Rochester. After Mr. W'hitcomb's 
death, his widow returned to Illinois, with her 
three sons, James, Herbert and Edwin, hav- 
ing lost a little daughter at the age of three 
years. The mother looked carefully after the 
rearing and educating of her sons, continu- 
ing her residence in Illinois until 1909, in 
which year her death occurred. 

In 1910 James and Edwin Whitcomb came 
to Nebraska, locating at Columbus, after a 
stay there entering into a business agreement 
whereby they traded their Illinois property for 
a section of land in Kimball county, assuming 
a mortgage of $4,000. Nothing much was 
done until in 1914, when Edwin Whitcomb 
came to the acquired property, an unbroken 
tract of miles of prairie as far as the 
eye could reach. Mr. Whitcomb soon 
proved how practical he was in business 
aiifairs. At Denver he had bought a tent 
house and in that he and his brother 
lived until, later on, they had a bungalow 
erected, equipped with electric lights and a hot 
water system, the first residence of its kind 
in the county. Near the bungalow soon ap- 
peared other structures, including a garage 
and a work shop. 

In the first year the Whitcombs put out two 
hundred acres in wheat, reaping 7,200 bushels, 
and every succeeding year they have increased 
their wheat acreage, and, carrying crop in- 
surance, hail storms and early crop damages 
have not materially affected them. In the 
htird year of their experiment, they put four 
hundred acres in wheat, and sold their 10,000 
resulting bushels for from $1.90 to $1.95 a 
bushel, in the market at Dix. It is their cus- 
tom to summer fallow all their wheat land for 
a time, merely dragging it to keep it clear of 
weeds. On the whole estate they have no 
mules or work horses, all the work being done 
by tractors and Duplex trucks, the latter carry- 
ing the wheat to market. When Edwin Whit- 
comb came here he formulated plans that have 
been carefully carried out and successfully 



expanded. He invested $3,000 in modern ma- 
chinery and equipments, these including the 
tractors and trucks, drills, disc drags and 
three steel grain houses, each one having a 
1,000-bushel capacity. Since coming here the 
brothers have sold several tracts of land but 
none of the original purchase. They have clear- 
ly demonstrated what can be expected from 
Nebraska soil in Kimball county when in- 
telligently cultivated. 

JOHN E. FRENCH. — Practical industry, 
wisely and vigorously applied, seldom fails of 
attaining success, and the career of John 
French, now one of the leading farmers of the 
Henry district, is but another proof of this 
statement as he is a worthy representative of 
the younger generation of agriculturists who 
have played such a constructive part in the de- 
velopment of the valley and demonstrated past 
all discussion that irrigation of the rich allu- 
vium of the valley brings golden returns to the 
men who are devoting their energies and time 
to intensive farm industries. 

Air. French was born in Clay county, Illi- 
nois, in 1876, being the son of \\'illiam and 
Hettie (Etchison) French, both born in In- 
diana. William French was a farmer, residing 
in Illinois until 1881, when he came to Ne- 
braska to take advantage of the public lands 
which were to be had for the taking in the west- 
ern section of the state. He first located in 
Dodge county, but five years later took up a 
homestead in Cheyenne county early in the fall 
of 1886. He proved up on the 160 acre tract 
and after he had broken the land, erected suit- 
able and pennanent farm buildings, as well as 
a good house, became one of the substantial 
and dependable men of the Panhandle; later he 
disposed of his farm at an attractive figure. 
Mr. French was a Republican in politics, and 
though he never accepted public office, was one 
of the most progressive men of the section and 
took an active part in every movement for the 
development of the county and the uplift of his 
community. He was one of the first men to 
realize what inestimable benefit water would be 
to the valley and helped in building the first 
irrigation ditch in his locality, now known as 
theMitchell ditch. He lifted the first spade of 
dirt on its construction work. Later he pro- 
moted and built over a quarter of the well- 
known Steamboat ditch that opened up a rich 
district for intensive farming. The French 
family were members of the Baptist church in 
which the}- were active workers. He is now 
dead. The mother lives at Minatare. 

John French accompanied his parents from 
Illinois when they came west and received his 



162 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



educational advantages in the public schools of 
this state, early learning to rely upon himself 
as all boys who were reared in the Panhandle 
during the pioneer days did. With his family 
he suffered the hardships and privations inci- 
dent upon settlement of a new region, and early 
learned the practical side of farm industry as 
carried on in this section and while a boy in 
years, was able to conduct much of his father's 
business, as he was the oldest of the family, the 
other children being : Lorenzo, a ranchman of 
Big Trail, Wyoming; Jessie, the wife of 
Charles F. White, deceased, and she now lives 
in Minatare; Edna, the wife of R. M. Woode, 
a farmer of Wyoming, and two children who 
died. 

As soon as he was old enough John French 
took up a claim in ^^'yoming, consisting of a 
quarter section of land, where he engaged in 
general farming and stock-raising, made per- 
manent improvements on his land, and by his 
industry, executive ability and hard work was 
soon enjoying a good income. With increased 
capital he decided to branch out as a landed 
proprietor and invested his money in more land 
from time to time until he now owns nearly a 
thousand acres of fine, arable, valley property, 
most of which is under ditch. ^Ir. French has 
not devoted all his energies to one line but has 
carried on varied farm industries along with 
stock-raising, having good grades of animals. 
He thoroughly believes, as did his father, in in- 
tensified farming on irrigated land, as the best 
proposition in farming and has ably demon- 
strated his theories on section 16 in township 
23-58. Early in his life he became associated 
with his father in bu^i1l(•^^. first on the farm 
and then in the contractu!;^ 1iu-.iih--s. when Wil- 
liam French began constructmn work on some 
of the most important irrigation projects in the 
upper valley. Mr. French found that he could 
easily carry on both branches of his business, 
and while he has become one of the largest 
landholders near Henry and a representative 
farmer of the section, he stands high among the 
business men and is rated one of the solid, 
reputable men of the financial circles of Scotts- 
bluff county. Mr. French still owns the first 
land he homesteaded here over twenty years 
ago, to which he has so materially added with 
the passing years. He recalls vividly the trials 
and early struggles which his parents and the 
other pioneers here encountered in contending 
for victory over the untried forces of a new 
land, and, notwithstanding the anxiety and 
arduous toil imposed, he looks back to those 
days as the happiest of his life. 

In 1898 Mr. French married ]^Iiss Lowa 
Dickenson, the daughter of S. S. Dickenson, of 



whom a record appears elsewhere in this his- 
tory. Six children have been born to Mr. and 
Mrs. French, three of whom survive: Doris, 
\\'arren, and Dorothy, ail of whom are still at 
home. 

Mr. French is independent in his political 
views, voting for the man he believes best qual- 
ified for office ; his fraternal associations are 
with the Modern Woodmen and the ^^''oodmen 
of the World. 

GEORGE H. TURNBULL, a representa- 
tive citizen of Kimball county, where his well 
improved stock and grain farm is located, was 
born in Page county, Iowa, January 9, 1880. 
He is one of a family of eight sons 
and eight daughters born to Robert A. 
and Rebecca Turnbull, the latter of whom 
died in 1907. They were natives of Illi- 
nois, coming to Iowa, following their mar- 
riage, which took place after the father's 
honorable discharge from the Federal army. 
He served through the Civil War for 
three and a half years, in the Nineteenth 
IlUnois volunteer mfantry. participating in 
such important battles as Cickamaugua, Look- 
out Mountain and Stone Ridge. When he 
and wife went to Iowa they lived at first near 
Coin, in Page county, Clarinda is the county 
seat, much of the county being little settled. 
The father engaged in farming in Page coun- 
ty during his active years and is now de- 
ceased, dying February 8, 1920. 

George H. Turnbull was reared on his fath- 
er's farm and attended the public schools in 
Page county. In 1908 he came to Kimball 
county, Nebraska, and homesteaded where he 
now lives, adding to his original purchase un- 
til he had one and a quarter sections, later 
selling three-quarters of a section to great 
advantage. He has placed excellent improve- 
ments on his land, pays close attention to 
his business, thrift and good management be- 
ing in evidence on ever}' hand. 

At Pawnee City, Nebraska, Mr. Turnbull 
was married to Miss Frances Lillian Correll, 
whose parents were Ohio people. Mr. and 
Mrs. Turnbull have an adopted son, W^illiam 
Gale, and a daughter, Erthel. He is a stock- 
holder in the Farmers Elevator at Dix and 
the Farmers Union store at the same place. 
He has never been particularly active in poli- 
.ics, has never desired public office, but he i( 
one of the reliable, upstanding men of his 
community, whose good citizenship has never 
been questioned. He belongs to the order of 
Odd Fellows at Sidney and both he and wife 
attend the Presbyterian church. The mother 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



163 



of Mrs. Turnbull was born in York state and 
the father in New Jersey. They were the par- 
ents of eleven children, six boys and five girls. 

JOHN W. ROBINSON, who for a number 
of years was a resident of Kimball county, 
was considered an able business man and 
good farmer and was highly esteemed for his 
sterling personal character. Mr. Robinson 
was born at Granville, in Putnam county, Illi- 
nois, in 1862, and died on his large estate in 
Kimball county, July 26, 1919. 

Mr. Robinson had educational advantages 
in Illinois. From there, in early manhood, he 
went to Iowa, spent one year there as a farmer, 
then went to Gates county, Nebraska, where 
he rented land, moving from there to Chappel, 
in Deuel county, where he lived four and a 
half years. In 1913 he bought a quarter sec- 
tion of land there, for $38 an acre, which he 
sold for $62 an acre and then came to Kimball 
county, where he purchased two sections, which 
land is still in the possession of his family. 
At the time of his death Mr. Robinson had 
one hundred and fifty acres under the plow 
and sixty-five head of standard cattle. His 
death was occasioned by an apoplectic stroke. 

In 1901 at Blue Springs, Gates county, Ne- 
braska, Mr. Robinson was united in marriage 
to Nannie Murgatroyd, a daughter of John 
and Elizabeth Murgatroyd, natives of Eng- 
land. The father of Mrs. Robinson came to 
the United Stjftes at the age of fourteen years, 
and the mother was two years old when her 
parents brought her across the Atlantic ocean. 
Both families settled in Racine county, Wis- 
consin. In the spring of 1867 the parents of 
Mrs. Robinson drove in a covered wagon from 
Wisconsin to Gates county, Nebraska, with 
their one son and five daughters, and one son 
and three daughters born to the father's first 
marriage. The father died in Gates countv, 
April 19, 1891, and the mother, June 9. 1903. 
They were members of the Christian Science 
church. Two sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Robinson, namely : Robartus S., who was 
born June 15, 1902 ; and Edward Lee, who was 
born February 13, 1904. They are fine young 
men and are very successfully carrying on the 
farm industries their father started so well. 

JOHN R. MANNING. — To Nebraska's 
invigorating climate, one of Kimball county's 
enterprising and successful young farmers is 
indebted for restoration to health. He is Ar- 
thur Manning, owner of a half section of 
excellent land, a son of the late John R. Man- 
ning, who for many years was connected with 



large business houses in St. Louis and Chi- 
cago. 

John R. Manning was born and educated in 
New Jersey. He came as far west as St. 
Louis, Missouri, and in that city was united 
in marriage to Miss Mary Ebling, in 1890, in 
which city she was born, reared and educated. 
Two sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Man- 
ning, namely : Arthur, born June 20, 1892 ; 
and John R., born July 18, 1897. For a num- 
ber of years John R. Manning was manager of 
the Famous Clothing Company, St. Louis af- 
terward becoming a salesman for the Spicer 
National Shirt Company of Chicago, and sub- 
sequently was agent* for this large business 
house in both Chicago and St. Louis. He was 
widely know to the trade and was held in high 
esteem, was a member of the order of Knights 
of Pythias and belonged also to the Royal Ar- 
canum. Mr. Manning's death occurred in 
1906. 

In 1904 Mr. Manning had consented on ac- 
count of his son Arthur's delicate health, 
that the youth should accompany R. R. Barnes 
to Nebraska to prove what the climate might 
do foi; him. His improvement was so marked 
that in 1909 his mother and brother joined 
him and the family has lived in Kimball coun- 
ty ever since. After Arthur Manning had 
bought the half section that is the homestead, 
the former owner supplied lumber and Ar- 
thur and John erected the farm buildings. 
They have made improvements since then and 
now have everything comfortable around 
them. General farming and stockraising are 
the industries carried on and the young men 
have proved equal to all the responsibilities 
thev have undertaken. 

Arthur Manning was united in marriage to 
Miss Lulu Leverne Straub, daughter of Dan- 
iel and Phoebe Jane Straub, who came early 
to Nebraska, settling first near Fairfield but 
later moving to Kimball county. The father 
of Mrs. Manning is living but her mother died 



some twenty years ago. 



Mr. and Mrs. Man- 



ning have two sons : Glen Winfield Manning, 
who was born April 27, 1918; and Wayne 
Daniel, born October 25, 1919. Mr. Manning 
belongs to the Modern Woodmen and the 
Farmers Union. 

JOHN F. BOGLE, who is a prosperous 
farmer and stockman of Kimball county, is 
also a keen and successful business man and 
is closely identified with many of the important 
interests at Bushnell. Mr. Bogle was bom 
March 3, 1878, in Worth county, Missouri, a 
son of James W. Bogle, extended mention of 
whom will be found in this work. 



164 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASIL\ 



John F. Bogle was reared on his father's 
farm and in boyhood alternated herding cattle 
with attending school. He was well trained 
in every agricultural industry and encouraged 
in every manly endeavor. In 1907 he came to 
Kimball county .-nd homesteaded under the 
Kinkaid law six hundred and forty acres. sLx 
miles north of Bushnell, proved up and then 
sold advantageously. Mr. Bogle further dis- 
played business judgment in buying a quar- 
ter section north of Bushnell, a half section 
one mile east of Lodgepole creek, and ten 
acres adjoining' the town of Bushnell. which, 
in the course of time will no doubt become a 
part of this thriving town. Mr. Bogle is en- 
gaged in general farming but gives a large 
part of his attention to his fine Holstein cat- 
tle and thoroughbred Poland China hogs, and 
additionally is doing a profitable land busi- 
ness. 

In 1905 Mr. Bogle was married to Miss Rosa 
May Snider, a member of one of the promi- 
nent old pioneer families of the state, and they 
have three children, namely ; James F.. who 
is employed in the Farmers Union store at 
Bushnell ; Merlyn Alva, a student in the Bush- 
nell schools, who is preparing to enter a com- 
mercial college at Grand Island ; and Ada May, 
who resides at home. Mr. Bogle is a man of 
high standing in his community and while 
not unduly active in politics, has opinions on 
public matters that he is not backward in mak- 
ing known when occasion calls for such ac- 
tion. 

GEORGE A. ERNST, owner and proprie- 
tor of a fine estate in Kimball county known as 
the Pleasant View farm, has been a resident 
of Nebraska for thirty-five years. He was 
born near Hamilton, in Butler county, Ohio, 
December 10, 1862, a son of Jacob and Eliza- 
beth Ernst. They were both born in Bavaria, 
Germany and from there came to the United 
States in 1848, and after their marriage in 
Butler county remained there for many years. 
They were members of the Lutheran church. 

George A. Ernst remained in Ohio until he 
was twenty years old, attending school in 
Miami county, south of Dayton, then went 
to Illinois, and from there, five years later, 
came to Nebraska in company with his broth- 
er John, on January 30. 1886, settling near 
Aurora in Hamilton county. In the spring of 
1910 Mr. Ernst accepted a contract to break 
one thousand acres of land in Kimball county, 
for H. A. Clark of Columbus, and came with 
his tractor to accomplish what was a rather 
big undertaking. He was a pioneer in the sod- 



breaking business here and continued in that 
line for about three years. In the meanwhile 
he had bought his present estate, a railroad 
section, and to its cultivation and improvement 
he has devoted much time and profitable ef- 
fort. He has about three hundred and sixty 
acres under cultivation, keeps some stock and 
takes pride and pleasure in his fine orchard. 
He set out seven hudred and fifty tree, some 
of which he lost during a severe hail storm, 
but his plum and cherry trees weathered it 
well. In addition to having an abundance of 
fruit for home use. he has had cherries to 
sell. His experiment has proved that fruit 
will do well in Kimball county if proper pre- 
cautions are taken. Mr. Ernst has erected a 
fine modern residence and his barns, out-build- 
ings and fences are all substantial, the result 
being that Pleasant View farm justifies its 
name. 

On December 22, 1887 Mr. Ernst was mar- 
ried to Miss Anna M. Donner, a daughter of 
Jacob and Veronica Doner, who came from 
Illinois to Hamilton county, Nebraska, in the 
spring of 1883. Mr. and Mrs. Ernst have had 
four children, namely : Ezra J., who was born 
April 25, 1893, is assisting his father and is 
a very reliable young man ; Esther V., Mary 
E. and Ruth E., all of whom have been afford- 
ed educational advantages, Ezra J. being a 
graduate of the Aurora high school in the 
class of 1911 and the others from the Kim- 
ball high school. 

Mr. Ernst and his family belong to the 
Christian Science church. He has never been 
particularly active in politics, but in the inter- 
est of law and order is careful when he casts 
his vote, believing that the privilege of citi- 
zenship carries with it a large amount of re- 
sponsibility. Mr. Ernst has been quite promi- 
nent in movements for advancing the welfare 
of the farming community, is a member of the 
Farmers Union, and is president of the Farm- 
ers Co-operative Company at Kimball. At a 
meeting of the board of directors Mr. Ernst 
was put in as manager on February 12, 1920, 
with the assistance of his daughter, Mary E., 
who had taken a course in state university 
commercial work and they soon restored the 
business in thq confidence of the public, and 
from the time Mr. Ernst has taken charge, 
the affairs of the company have been much 
improved. 

WOODFORD R. JONES, who is a large 
land owner and prosperous grain farmer in 
Kimball county, is a worthy representative 
of an old American family of many genera- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



165 



tions back, and he is justly proud to bear a 
Christian name that has been honored by fath- 
er, grandfather and great-grandfather. 

Woodford R. Jones was born in Iowa, Janu- 
ary 10, 1882, a son of Woodford and Etta 
Jones, natives of Iowa, who came to Cheyenne 
county in 1885, homesteaded, then sold and 
bought a place near Dix, again selling seven 
years later. They now live retired. Extend- 
ed mention of the family will be found in this 
work. 

After a happy boyhood on the home farm 
and a suiificient amount of school attendance 
for practical purposes, Mr. Jones invested in 
a section of land in Kimball county and is 
paying much attention to developing a grain 
farm, he has one and one-half sections. With 
three hundred and fifty acres in wheat and 
corn and with oats yielding ninety bushels to 
the acre, it probably is only a matter of time 
before he is one of the leading producers of 
"the golden food of the world," the bread 
that not only our own, but other lands are in 
such dire need of. He is a careful, intelligent, 
well infomied farmer and good business man. 

In 1903, Mr. Jones was united in marriage 
to Miss Charity Hammond, at Mason City, 
in Custer county, Nebraska. The parents of 
Mrs. Jones came from Harrison county, Indi- 
ana, to Custer county, Nebraska, thirty-five 
years ago. Mrs. Jones is one of a family of 
twelve children. Four children have been 
born to Mr. and Mrs. Jones, namely: May, 
Fredy, Grace and Woodford, the son being 
the fifth in direct line of descent to bear the 
family name. Mr. Jones has no political 
aspirations but he is influential in business cir- 
cles as a member of the Farmers Union. He 
owns an interest in the Farmers Union store 
at Bushnell and also in the Farmers Elevator 
Company of the same place. The family at- 
tend church services and have pleasant social 
connections at Bushnell. 

ROBERT M. DE LA MATTER. — Nearly 
forty years have passed since Robert De La 
Matter drove into Scottsblufl: county in true 
pioneer style and settled on a homestead in 
township 22-57, section 36. This section of 
Nebraska at that time was mostly open prairie 
covered with the curly buffalo grass and prairie 
wild flowers ; habitations were few and far be- 
tween and civilization was still in its primitive 
form, so that today he belongs to that rapidly 
thinning coterie of men who blazed the way for 
the present great development of this favored 
section, and a worthy pioneer he has proved 
to be. 

Mr. De La Matter was born in Illinois, July 



29, 1852, being the son of Cyrus and Mary 
Ann (Rowe) De La Matter, a history of whose 
lives will be found in the biography of Judge 
De La Matter, of Gering. 

Robert was reared in his native state by at- 
tending the common schools, living the life 
common to most farmers' sons, as he assumed 
many tasks around the home place, and thus 
became a practical farmer. When his school 
days were over he entered farming as an occu- 
pation compatible with his tastes and a voca- 
tion with which he already had an excellent 
working knowledge. His business life pro- 
gressed, but land in Illinois was high and as he 
was foot free, he decided to come west and on 
the high prairies take up enough land to make 
agriculture a paying business. After consider- 
ing various states west of the Mississippi where 
homesteads were yet to be had from the gov- 
ernment, Mr. De La Matter came to the Pan- 
handle and he must have been endowed with a 
far vision of what the future held for when he 
located in Scottsbluff county in 1888, he filed on 
a claim which has since come within the irrigat- 
ed district of the valley. Soon the prairie sod 
was broken, crops planted, a primitive bachelor 
establishment in running order and buildings 
erected for the stock and horses. Mr. De La 
Matter was a good manager, he was young, not 
afraid of hard work, and in the early days was 
willing to turn his hand to any honest occupa- 
tion that brought in a dollar and thus he was 
able to weather the hard years of the early 
nineties, when drought burned up his crops, 
blizzards killed some of his stock, and the 
grasshoppers took what was left, but he was 
not discouraged as were so many of the pio- 
neers and did not, like them return east, but 
stuck it out, and his faith in the Panhandle has 
been fully justified as is evidenced by the com- 
fortable fortune which the family today enjoy. 
With increased free capital from the sale of 
farm products Mr. De La ]\Iatter invested in 
other tracts of land adjacent to the homestead 
and today is the proprietor of a landed estate 
of 400 acres, all well improved with a part 
under ditch, which makes a fine combination 
for the general farm industries and stock-rais- 
ing which he conducts. From first locating in 
the county he has devoted much time to a good 
grade of cattle and horses and specializes to a 
considerable extent in breeding them. With 
the passing years new and better farm build- 
ings have been built on the place and a fine, 
convenient, modern home erected which is one 
of the most hospitable in the Morrill valley, 
where the De La Matter family is regarded 
with great esteem by the most recent settlers, 
who look to this old-timer as an example of 



166 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



what industry, plus pluck and the modern 
methods he advocates and practices can accom- 
plish in this favored farming community. The 
home farm is one of the old school sections and 
is one of the well known places for miles 
around. It need not be stated that Mr. De La 
;\Iatter has been a successful man and now that 
life's shadows are beginning to lengthen from 
the crimson west he can look back across the 
years and feel his to have been a life of 
achievement and it is this type of man to whom 
posterity owes a great debt as he helped in 
opening up what is today the very garden spot 
of the country. 

On ]\Iarch 1, 1890. occurred the marriage of 
Mr. De La Matter to Miss Sophie Adair of 
Illinois ; she died March 22, 1899. and he mar- 
ried a second time in 1899. Mrs. Marv E. 
Blackburn. Mr. De La I\Iatter is a Republican 
in politics, advocates all movements for civic 
and communal advancement, and is a citizen 
who stands high in the Morrill vallev. 

Mr. and Mrs. De La -Matter are members of 
the M. E. church. 

By former marriage he had two children: 
Jesse, on a claim in Wyoming ; William, has a 
claim in A\'yoming. He has just returned from 
France where he saw service in the United 
States army during the World War. He en- 
listed September 22, 1917, and served until 
June 21, 1919. 

THOMAS L. BOGLE, who owns and op- 
erates one of the big grain and stock farms of 
Kmiball county, has developed this property 
from its original state, and in the process pass- 
ed through many hardships in earlier days. 
These are not forgotten but they have been 
overcome, and Mr. Bogle is now one of the 
county's substantial men. 

Thomas L. Bogle was born in Gosper coun- 
ty, Nebraska, October 21, 1883, a son of 
James Bogle, extended mention of whom will 
be found in this work. Mr. Bogle obtained 
his education in the country schools, and made 
his first money by herding cattle. He was 
thoroughly trained in farm work and has 
never desired to enter into any other line of 
business. In 1907 he came to his present 
homestead, under the Kinkaid law being able 
to take up all of section thirty-two, the great- 
est hardship of living on the land at that time 
being the necessity of hauling all water used a 
distance of six miles. To this original home- 
stead he kept adding land until he owned 
twelve hundred acres, of which he later con- 
sented to sell two hundred and forty acres, 
when the transaction was very advantageous. 
At at the present time he has five hundred 



acres in wheat, oats and corn, his 1918 harvest 
aggregating about two thousand bushels, the 
1919 crop being considerably heavier. Mr. 
Bogle has over three thousand bushels of 
wheat this year and one hundred and seventy- 
five acres of fine oats, that are the best in 
this part of the county. He keeps quite a few 
good cows for cream and home use. While 
Mr. Bogle has not entirely eliminated horses 
for farm work, a large part is now done with 
farm tractors. 

On February' 15, 1905, Mr. Bogle was united 
in marriage to Miss Edith Hanes, who taught 
school for five years before her marriage, and 
is a daughter of Harvey and Sarah Hanes. 
Mrs. Bogle has one brother, Ellsworth. Her 
father was a wagonmaker by trade but the 
family lived on a farm and the father died 
near Des Moines, Iowa, in December, 1885. 
The mother of Mrs. Bogle, who was bom in 
1858, still survives. She has followed the 
profession of teaching since girlhood and is 
yet easily and satisfactorily going on with her 
educational duties, and resides near Stockville. 
She is a woman of culture, education and re- 
finement. Mr. and Mrs. Bogle have had the 
following children : Howard, Harold and Avis, 
and three who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. 
Bogle attend the Methodist Episcopal church. 
He is a member of the order of Modem 
W'oodmen of Bushnell, and belongs to the 
Farmers Union at Bushnell, in which organ- 
ization he is interested as a stockholder. No 
family is more highly esteemed in this part 
of the county. 

JOSEPH H. PHILLIPS, who is a promi- 
nent and representative citizen of Kimball 
county, has spent the greater part of a busy 
and useful life in Nebraska. He was nine 
years old when his people came to this state 
and there is much unwritten history that Mr. 
Phillips knows through experience. 

Joseph H. Phillips was born in Wabash 
county, Indiana, March 18, 1878. His parents 
were Henry and Eliza Phillips, farming peo- 
ple who came from Indiana to Kimball coun- 
ty, Nebraska, in 1887, removing then to Kim- 
ball, in Cheyenne county. Of their eight chil- 
dren, there are four living, Joseph H. Phillips 
having one brother. O. C. who is a sheep man 
in Kimball county ; and two sisters, Orpha, 
who is the wife of Louis Wayhouse; and 
Ruth, who is the wife of George Fast. 

Mr. Phillips grew to manhood on the home 
farm and obtained a country school education, 
more practical than decorative, just what was 
needed for a young man starting out to find 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



167 



fortune as a farmer and stockraiser. Under 
the Kinkaid act he homesteaded and after- 
ward added two hundred and forty acres, this 
g^iving him eight hundred acres of fine land. 
He immediately began raising stock and has 
done remarkably well with cattle and horses, 
and at the same time has three hundred acres 
under fine cultivation, devoting it to general 
crop raising. Mr. Phillips is credited with be- 
ing an excellent farmer and a good judge of 
stock, but public affairs claim a part of his 
time. For six years he has been a county 
commissioner of Kimball county and has made 
a record of which he may be proud. 

In ,1900 Mr. Phillips was married to Miss 
Jennie Green, a daughter of Abel and Martha 
Green, who came to Nebraska from England, 
settling in the neighborhood of York. Mr. 
Green is deceased, but Mrs. Green survives 
and makes her home with her children. Mr. 
and Mrs. Phillips have had four children, 
namely : Mable, who is teaching school near 
her father's ranch ; Bessie, who died Octo- 
ber 18, 1918, at the age of fifteen years, a 
victim of influenza ; Raymond, who is attend- 
ing school ; and Pearl, who is the youngest. Mr. 
Phillips and his family are members of the 
Presbyterian church, which they attend at 
Bushnell, where they have a wide acquaint- 
ance. At one time i\Ir. Phillips was active in 
the order of Modern ^^'oodmen. 

DAVID H. SONDAY, who is numbered 
with the substantial and representative men 
of Kimball county, an extensive land owner 
and for some years a business man of Bush- 
nell, is a native of Nebraska, born in Seward 
county, March 20, 1881, on his father's pio- 
neer homestead. 

David H. Sonday was one of a family of 
seven children, four sons and three daughters, 
born to Edward and Elizabeth Sonday, who 
were born, reared and married in the state of 
Illinois. From there thev came as early home- 
steaders to Seward county, Nebraska, where 
the family lived about thirteen years. The 
father died at Oberlin, Kansas. After his 
death the family moved to Brewster, Kansas, 
and the aged mother still resides there. Mr. 
Sonday has the following brothers and sisters : 
Nettie, who is the wife of Samuel Ayers, a 
retired citizen of Chappell ; Amiel, who fol- 
lows the blacksmith trade at Brewster, Kan- 
sas ; Joseph, who is a farmer at Brewster ; 
Kate, who is the wife of Ernest Calkins, who 
is a farmer; Louis, who is a farmer in Kan- 
sas ; and Lucy, who is the wife of Walter 
Stair, a merchant at Brewster. 



Until he was twelve years old David H. 
Sonday lived in Seward county, but afterward 
until 1900, at Brewster, Kansas, where he at- 
tended school. He had his own way to make 
in the world and after coming to Lodgepole, 
in the above year, was variously employed un- 
til 1903, when he went to Cheyenne and en- 
tered the railroad shops, working there as a 
machinist. In 1907 he was sent to Philadel- 
phia in the capacity of engine inspector for 
the Harriman system, and upon his return 
to Cheyenne, became shop foreman and con- 
tinued there until August, 1908. He came 
then to Kimball county and homesteaded un- 
der the Kinkaid law, and now owns two sec- 
tions of land. During 1916 and 1917, he en- 
gaged in the hardware trade at Bushnell, then 
returned to his ranch and since then has given 
close attention to his farm and stock. He 
has two hundred and fifty acres under cultiva- 
tion, a large acreage being in grain, and raises 
some of the finest stock that reaches the great 
markets from Kimball county. His improve- 
ments on the ranch include a comfortable 
ranch home, and he also has an attractive resi- 
dence at Bushnell. He has some important 
business interests here also, and is a stock- 
holder in the Bushnell State Bank. 

In 1902 Mr. Sonday was united in marriage 
at Chappell, Nebraska, to Miss Etta Peters, 
who is a daughter of George J. and Catherine 
Peters, who were early settlers in Cheyenne 
county. Mr. and Mrs. Sonday have one 
daughter, Lucy, who is attending school at 
Bushnell. Mr. Sonday belongs to the order 
of Modern Woodmen and Mrs. Sonday to the 
auxilliary organization. He takes a somewhat 
active interest in politics and has served as a 
member of the board of county commissioners 
of Kimball county. 

FRED MORBY, who is one of the enter- 
prising and prosperous young wheat farmers 
of Kimball county, was born at Axtell, Ne- 
braska, June 1, 1898. He is a son of Andrew 
and Caroline Morby, who had other children 
as follows: Axel, Christina, George, Sadie, 
Lydia, David, Lena, Robert, Lillian, Leiand, 
Harry, Inez and Goldie. All are living except 
.Axeland Lillian, who died in infancy. 

The parents of Fred IMorby were born in 
Sweden and they were reared there and were 
married in that country. After they came to 
the United States the father settled in Phelps 
county, Nebraska, later moving to Kearney 
county, and followed the blacksmith trade un- 
til 1910, when he came to Kimball county and 
took up a section of land under the Kinkaid 



168 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



act, and at the time of death, in May, 1919, 
he owned seven hundred and twenty acres of 
land. He was an honest, sturdy, hard work- 
ing man all his life and was greatly respected 
wherever known. The mother of Mr. Morby 
survives and has recently moved to Ogden, 
Utah, in order to give her youngest daughter 
high school advantages in that city. 

As early as 1912 Fred Morby started out 
to take care of himself as an independent 
farmer and stockraiser, renting land and now 
farming eight hundred and fifty acres, and 
preparing to put seven hundred acres in wheat 
as his three hundred and seventy-five acres 
in wheat in 1918 gave a yield that was en- 
couragingly profitable. He keeps about fif- 
teen cows but is not much interested in stock 
at the present time. He carries on his farm- 
ing according to modern methods, using both 
horses and tractor. 

On January 1, 1913, Mr. ]\Iorby was united 
in marriage to Miss Grace Leeper, who is a 
daughter of Rev. David A. and Ella Leeper. 
The father of Mrs. Morby is a minister of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, now stationed at 
Hoisington, Barton count)% Kansas. His 
other children are as follows: Adrian, Mable, 
Zoe, Paul, Murlin and John. Mr. and Mrs. 
Morby have two fine, sturdy little sons named 
Charles F. and John L. Morby. Mrs. Morby 
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. Mr. Morby is not active in politics 
but he takes much interest in organizations 
intended to protect farmers and belongs to 
the Farmers Union and has stock in the 
Farmers Elevator Company. 

ANDREW F. AHLSTROM. who is one 
of Kimball county's most highly respected 
residents, came to the county thirty-one years 
ago and has been identified with its material 
development in no small degree. He was born 
in Sweden in 1848, a son of Gustavus Ahl- 
strom, who was the father of seven children, 
five of whom were sons, two only coming to 
America, Andrew F. and Otto. 

Early in 1888 Andrew F. Ahlstrom and his 
brother set out from Sweden for the United 
States, the first stopping place on the way to 
Nebraska, being Newton county, Iowa, and 
also a short time in Minnesota and Indiana. 
In the same year Mr. Ahlstrom came on to 
Kimball county and homesteaded a quarter sec- 
tion as a beginning, later homesteaded a three- 
quarter section and now owns five quarter sec- 
tions, all of which is very desirable property. 
He carries on general farming and is a large 
raiser of fine stock, Mr, Ahlstrom has been 



honest and industrious all his life and has met 
with a large degree of success. 

In 1886 Mr. Ahlstrom was married to Miss 
Josephine Swanson, a daughter of Pearson 
and Frelott Swanson. Her father died in 
Sweden and her mother came then to the 
United States and lived in Lucas county, Iowa, 
until her death. Of her nine children, six 
sons and three daughters there are but two 
living: [Mrs. Ahlstrom and Mrs. Matilda 
Hall, the latter of whom lives near Little 
Falls, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Ahlstrom 
have had three children: David, a fine young 
man, who died in 1913, aged twenty-six years : 
Joseph, who is his father's right hand on the 
farm; and an infant that died unnamed. Mr. 
Ahlstrom and his family enjoy a comfortable 
residence on their ranch. He has numerous 
business interests at Bushnell, Kimball county, 
these including membership in the Farmers 
Union, stock in the Farmers Elevator Com- 
pany and stock in the Bushnell State Bank. 

ERNEST JURBERG. — When such thor- 
ough-going farmers as Ernest Jurberg, who is 
well and favorably known over Kimball coun- 
ty, apply themselves to agricultural pursuits, a 
high standard of excellence is set and main- 
tained. He has had almost a lifetime of ex- 
perience and today is numbered with the lead- 
ing, well informed farmers and stockraisers 
of Kimball county. 

Ernest Jurberg was born in Sweden, Octo- 
ber 7, 1872, a son of Theodore and Anna Jur- 
berg. They came to the United States when 
their son was young. When the latter was 
eighteen years old he began working on a cat- 
tle ranch in Kimball county and continued 
about eight years. When the Kinkaid act 
became a law he took advantage of its pro- 
visions and homesteaded and proved up. Af- 
ter holding the land for nearly fifteen years 
he was ottered $30 an acre for it, which he 
accepted, afterward receiving the old home 
section from his grandmother. Here he car- 
ries on general farming and stockraising, do- 
ing very well in both industries, usually keep- 
ing one hundred and twenty-five head of stock, 
of which long experience has made him an 
excellent judge. 

In 1912 ]\lr. Jurberg was married to Miss 
Anna M. Elmquist, a daughter of Carl J. and 
Augusta W. Elmquist. The parents of Mrs. 
Jurberg still own their fami situated four 
miles west of Axtell, Nebraska, but they now 
live retired in that town. Mrs. Jurberg had 
two brothers, namely : Frank, who is farming 
for his father; and Albert, who died October 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



169 



21, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Elmquist are mem- 
bers of the Swedish Lutheran church at Ax- 
tell. Mr. and Mrs. Jurberg have an attrac- 
tive little four year old daughter named Eve- 
lyn. Mr. Jurberg is a good citizen but not 
very active in political matters except in re- 
lation to the guarding the interests of the 
farmers. He is a member of the Farmers 
Union at Bushnell, has stock in the Farmers 
Elevator Company, and also is a stockholder 
in the Farmers State Bank at Bushnell. 

EDWARD P. CROMER. — Nearly thirty- 
five years have passed since Edward P. Cromer 
drove up the valley in true pioneer style and 
settled on a homestead in what was then old 
Cheyenne county, and is now Scottsbluff, 
where habitations were few and far apart and 
civilization existed in a most primitive form. 
Since that time he has lived and labored in 
varied vocations in this section, slowly and 
arduously improving his land in the early days 
and at the same time taking an important part 
in civic and scholastic developments of this sec- 
tion of the country. 

Mr. Cromer was born in Indiana, January 
18, 1860, being the son of the Reverend John 
B. and Mary ( Hedrick) Cromer, the former a 
native of the Keystone state, while the mother 
was a daughter of the Old Dominion, having 
all the gracious hospitality and charm which 
Virginia gives her children as an inheritance. 
Both are now deceased. The father was a 
preacher of the English Lutheran church, hold- 
ing charges in various places in the middle 
west, where he labored as a shepherd of God's 
Kingdom all his days. There were ten chil- 
dren in the Cromer family, six of whom are 
living; Jas. M., a Lutheran preacher, who for 
several years had charge of Grace church, of 
Kansas City, before being called to Casper, 
Wyoming; John B., who for twenty years be- 
fore his death was a train dispatcher at Ossa- 
watomie, Kansas ; Richard W., a farmer in 
Iowa ; now residing in Des Moines, retired ; 
Emma J., the wife of Judge Scott M. Ladd, a 
member of the Supreme Court of Iowa for 
twenty-eight years, now residing in Des 
Moines; Rosa H., married Samuel \Viley, de- 
ceased, and she now lives in Irving. Illinois ; 
Mary, deceased ; Clara J., deceased : George C, 
has charge of a Lutheran or|)lianage at Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, and Efiie. tlie wife of a Mr. 
Nelson, editor of the Prohibitionist, nf Turtle. 
Lake, North Dakota. Mr. Cnmier rect/ived his 
elementary training in the jiulilic -chmils of 
Illinois and after these courses were completed 
entered Carthage College, Carthage, Illinois, 
where he pursued higher studies. He at once 



engaged in the teaching profession and became 
one of the well known and successful men of 
the pedagogic fraternity, but he was ambitious 
to become independent and knew that a man 
who owned land and was not dependent upon a 
salary was so. He studied farming in his spare 
time and in 1886 came west. As the railroad 
was not built up the valley at that time he 
drove overland from Sidney, landing in what 
is now Scottsblufl^ county the 22nd of Febru- 
ary, 1886. Mr. Cromer at once filed on a 
homestead and tree claim of 320 acres in sec- 
tion 30, township 21, range 54. As he had been 
a teacher before coming to the Panhandle and 
as men of his profession were scarce in this 
section in the early eighties, Mr. Cromer, after 
he had made some improvements on his land, 
was induced to teach here and opened school in 
a "soddy" south of the present site of Gering, 
the first school in the valley. Summers he de- 
voted to working his land, putting up the neces- 
sary farm buildings and in time erected a home 
for his family, where they would be comfort- 
able. As these were hard and trying years on 
the settlers the money ^Ir. Cromer made by 
professional work tided the family over a time 
when many of the residents of the Panhandle 
grew discouraged and returned east, but he and 
his wife had faith in the country and happily 
both have lived to see it justified. Air. Cromer 
taught in Gering four years, in Minatare two 
years, and then in Harrisburg two years. 
From there he went to Kimball two years, then 
to Mitchell to assume charge of the schools 
four years, and returned to Gering for a period 
of .two years. The first class graduated from 
Gering consisted of L. L. Raymond and Marv 
Sayer, now Mrs. E. S. Wood, while the las't 
class to graduate under Mr. Cromer consisted 
of seven boys: Earl Neeley, Harry Barton, 
Earnest Moore, Lesley Moore, Amon Downar, 
Roy Leavitt, and Robert McFarland. Since he 
resigned his post as teacher, Mr. Cromer has 
devoted his entire time and energies to farming. 
He paid twenty dollars an acre for his present 
land and home of 120 acres, December 1, ad- 
joining the city of Gering. Today he has a 
well-improved farm, is engaged in raising 
beets, general crops, forage and feeds cattle to 
a large extent. He has been a breeder of pure- 
bred Percheron horses for some years and in 
this line has won an enviable reputation in the 
valley, as he took eleven prizes out of twelve 
entries at the county fair in 1918. Mr. Cromer 
now owns horses that won prizes at the Inter- 
national fair at Chicago in 1919, as well as at 
the state fairs. The head of his herd is an In- 
ternational winner. He has seen great changes 
come to the valley which today is one of the 



170 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



richest farming districts in tiie world, and he 
has shared in the great wealth that has come 
with irrigation as 120 acres of his land is under 
ditch, a fertile and productive tract. He has 
seen this land advance from $50 a quarter 
section to $500 an acre. Sometimes ^Ir. 
Cromer can be induced to recount experiences 
of the early days, and they are not all hard- 
ships as he tells them. He remembers when 
their oldest child. Rowena, was but six months 
old, he and Mrs. Cromer drove to Sidney with 
a team and wagon, to liave a picture of the 
baby taken, a trip that required two days ; then 
he recalls the time when Robert Osborn came 
tramping up the valley and by the time he 
reached the Cromer home he had been so long 
on the open prairie that he had eaten nothing 
for two days, having run out of supplies on 
the way. 

\\'ithin recent years Air. Cromer has become 
convinced that the upper valley is adapted to 
fruit and now h;is a fiiu- yi >ung orchard of four 
acres which is now hcariii- bi)untifully. He is 
one of the pioneer^ in thi^ line. 

In politics Mr. Cromer is an independent 
voter, wliile he and his wife were charter mem- 
bers of the first Methodist church in the valley. 

In 1883 l\Ir. Cromer married Miss Ida J. 
Kerr, of Hillsboro, Illinois. Four children 
have been born to them: Rowena C, wife of 
Reverend E. M. Kendall, of Bayard; she is an 
accomplished musician, having taught in Wes- 
leyan University after completing her musical 
education in Boston ; George C of whom per- 
sonal mention is found on other pages of this 
volume, a farmer, who graduated from the 
agricultural course at the State University ; Ida 
Gladine, the wife of George C. Coughran, who 
was a teacher in the Gering schools; and 
Miriam, who graduated from the normal 
course at Wesleyan University, is now em- 
ployed in the Gering schools. 

FRED D. RUTLEDGE, whose large ranch 
interest and success in the stock industry, 
mark him as one of the important men of 
Kimball county, was bom January 14, 1886, 
in Wyoming, a member of a well known fam- 
ily, the representatives of which are responsi- 
ble men and women leading useful lives in 
their communities. The parents of Mr. Rut- 
ledge were Thomas and Minerva Rutledge. the 
former of whom was born in Canada and the 
latter in Missouri. 

The parents of Air. Rutledge were early 
-eitlers in Laramie county, Wyoming, where 
the father was an extensive ranchman for 
many years. His death occurred in 1915, 
since which time the mother has alternated 



residing with her children. Of these Fred 
D. was the first born, the others being as fol- 
lows : Frank, who is a farmer and ranchman 
near Pine Dale. Wyoming ; Thomas and Rich- 
ard, both of whom live at Pine BlufT, Wyom- 
ing; Harry, who is in business at Denver; 
Mary Elizabeth, who is the wife of Edward 
W. Peterson, living on the old Rutledge ranch 
west of Pine Bluff. 

Fred D. Rutledge passed his boyhood on 
his father's ranch and attended the public 
schools, later entering the Wyoming State 
University at Laramie, where he continued 
his studies for two years. After his return 
he assumed the larger part of his father's la- 
bors on the ranch and in this way his train- 
ing for his own important industries was 
thorough and practical. He came to his Ne- 
braska home on June 12, 1917, purchasing his 
ranch of eleven hundred and twenty acres, a 
small part of which he is devoting to general 
farming, giving his main attention to ranch- 
ing. He is an example of the sound sense and 
and good judgment that belong to an encour- 
aging number of the well educated young men 
of the state, for in no field of endeavor could 
he have found a more useful or needed exer- 
cise of intelligent or generally remunerative 
effort. 

In 1911, Mr. Rutledge was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Eliza E. Cook, a daughter of 
Charles and Anna Cook, who reside on their 
sheep ranch near Hayward, California. Mr. 
and Mrs. Rutledge have two children, James 
and Agnes, aged respectively eight and five 
years. The family home is at Pine Bluff', Wy- 



THOMAS E. BOWERS, a widely known 
and highly respected citizen of Kimball coun- 
ty, now in the LTnited States mail service, was 
born in Missouri, December 25, 1873. His 
parents were Charles and Matilda (Harris) 
Bowers. The mother was reared in Missouri, 
to which state the father came from Virginia, 
soon after the close of the Civil War, having 
been a soldier in the Confederate army. On 
the maternal side, two uncles of Mr. Bowers 
entered the Union army but both met a sol- 
dier's death before they were far from home. 

Thomas E. Bowers lived in Missouri until 
he was fourteen years of age, when he accom- 
panied his parents to Nebraska. They stopped 
first in the eastern part of the state but later 
came to Kimball county and settled four miles 
southeast of Dix, this then being included in 
Cheyenne county. The father died there in 
1899, after which the mother lived with her 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



171 



children until her death in September. 1912. 
Mr. Bowers has two sisters, both of whom 
live at Loveland, Colorado. 

During early manhood Mr. Bowers worked 
for the Union Pacific Railroad, after which he 
homesteaded eighty acres, later acquiring four 
hundred and eighty acres under the Kinkaid 
law, recently selling the entire five hundred 
and si.xty acres for $36 an acre and has made 
plans for the investment of his capital. In 
the meanwhile he is taking care of a United 
States mail route. 

On July 26, 1894, Mr. Bowers was united 
in marriage to Miss OHve Robinson, a daugh- 
ter of William and Mary Robinson, natives 
of Indiana and early settlers in Adams county. 
The father of Mrs. Bowers is deceased but 
the mother survives. ]\Irs. Bowers has three 
sisters and one brother. To Mr. and Mrs. Bow- 
ers the following children were born: Alice 
Fay, who is teaching school in Wyoming ; Eva, 
who is also a teacher in Wyoming ; Estelle, 
who resides in Kimball ; Leta, who died aged 
eight months ; Eathan, who is attending the 
high school at Kimball ; and Charles William, 
who is at home. Mr. Bowers and family be- 
belong to the Methodist Episco])al church. He 
belongs to the order of Modern Woodmen, and 
politically has always been affiliated with the 
Democratic party, although never blindly fol- 
lowing any leader, being a thoughtful man 
capable of entertaining independent views. 

EDWARD E. LESTER. — The passage of 
the Kinkaid law brought to Kimball county 
many men of ambition and enterprise who now 
are some of the county's most substantial citi- 
zens. One of this class is Edward E. Lester, 
who is a limited farmer here but an extensive 
stockraiser. 

Edward E. Lester was born June 10, 1868, 
in the great state of Illinois, his father's farm 
lying in Henn,' county. His parents were 
James B. and Barbara Sarah (Kemerling) 
Lester, the latter of whom was born in October, 
1832. and died October 28, 1878. They had 
the following children: Lucretia, who died 
in 1852; Cyrus Jerome, who was born July 
10, 1853, lives at Lamont, Iowa; Frank De- 
los, who was born November 6, 1857. is a 
farmer in Nebraska ; George W., who was 
born in Januarj-, 1859, lives at Omaha ; Grant, 
who was born June 8, 1864; Edward Elbert, 
who is of Kimball county; Minnie, who was 
born July 29, 1871, is the wife of Alexander 
Carbaugh, of Iowa; Emma B., who was born 
in June 1873 ; and Jeft'erson. Ella and James, 
all of whom died in infancy. 



During Mr. Lester's boyhood the family 
lived in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. He had 
fair educational opportunities and remained at 
home assisting his father until he was twenty- 
four years old and afterward was variously 
employed until January, 1899, when he came 
to Nebraska, which state has been his chosen 
home ever since. He remained at Omaha until 
1904, when he homesteaded in Kimball coun- 
ty and still lives on his original homestead to 
which he has added other tracts. In associa- 
tion with his wife he now owns four entire 
sections in Kimball county, and they also own 
a quarter section in South Dakota. Mr. Les- 
ter has two hundred acres under the plow but 
is not doing a great deal of farming, bend- 
ing his efforts more to the raising of fine 
stock, aiming to turn ofif a good number of 
head annually. 

On July 17, 1911, Mr. Lester was united in 
marriage to Miss Joannah B. Hulsebus, a 
daughter of Bernard Hulsebus, a substantial 
farmer of Shelby county, Iowa. Mrs. Lester's 
father is still living in Defiance, Iowa, but the 
wife and mother died October 1, 1918. Of 
their children Mrs. Lester is the first born, 
the others being: Julia, who was the wife of 
Frank McGuire, died in Defiance, Iowa, Feb- 
ruary 10, 1912; Albert, died June 2, 1907; 
Gerhard, living at Eddieville, is a minister in 
the Evangelical church ; Tillie, who is the wfe 
of Benjamin Ahrenholtz, a farmer near De- 
fiance, Iowa ; Marie, who is the wife of W. 
W. Jenkins, a merchant in Defiance; Bennie, 
who died March 6, 1896. Mrs. Lester is a 
member of the Methodist Episcopal church at 
Kimball. Mr. Lester belongs to the Farmers 
L'uion. In his political views he is independ- 
ent, casting his vote for the candidate that 
meets the approval of his own excellent but 
unprejudiced judgment. 

JOHN CLAUSEN, Jr., who is successfully 
operating his large farm and ranch in Kimball 
county, is well and favorably known in his 
neighborhood, for he was born on the site of 
the present thriving town of Dix, August 2, 
1890. He was reared and educated here and 
his main interests have always been centered 
in this part of Kimball county. 

The parents of Mr. Clausen, John and 
Catherine Clausen now live retired at Te- 
cumseh. They came to Kimball county in 
1883, the father being section foreman on the 
railroad. He homesteaded a quarter section 
just south of Dix, which he later sold for 
$200, the same land being now held around 
$70 an acre. He then bought five sections 



172 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



for $1.25 an acre, which he later sold for $20 
an acre, then purchased seven sections as 
pasture land. Mr. Clausen not only proved to 
be an able and enterprising business man dur- 
ing his most active years, but became influen- 
tial in Democratic political circles and for 
several years was a county commissioner in 
Kimball county. He belongs to the order 
of United Workmen and Woodmen of the 
World, and both he and wife are members of 
the Presbyterian church. They have had the 
following children: Minnie, who is a school 
teacher at Fairmount. Nebraska ; Mary, who 
is the wife of Gustav Wendt, of Kimball coun- 
ty; Emma, who is the wife of Clarence Ander- 
son, of Tecumseh, Nebraska; Annie, who is 
the wife of Glenn L. Byers, of St. Joseph, 
Missouri ; John, who is of Kimball county ; 
Hilda, who is the wife of Richard Rowe, of 
Tecumseh ; Otto R.. who is a railroad man at 
Buford, Wyoming; and Herman, who attends 
school and lives with his parents at Tecumseh, 
and is taking a course in agriculture in Lin- 
coln. 

Before Mr. Clausen started out as a busi- 
ness man for himself, he had the opportunity 
of acquiring practical agricultural knowledge, 
which he has put to good account, as is evi- 
denced by the success attending his present 
undertakings. He owns a half section and 
has the other half section under lease, has 
one hundred and sixty acres under the plow 
and keeps about one hundred head of stock. 
His place is highly improved with a really fine 
residence, a barn with dimensions of 42x90 
feet, an abundance of well kept out-buildings, 
and a well two hundred and eleven feet in 
depth. Progressive, intelligent and scientific, 
Mr. Clausen as an agriculturist, is removed 
as far as possible from the old-time farmer 
who expected from his land more than he put 
into it. ffl 

Mr. Clausen was married June 1, 1916, to 
Miss Lillian M. Birt, a daughter of Clarence 
E. and Catherine (^McRory) Birt, whose 
sketch appears in this volume. Mr. and Mrs. 
Clausen have one son, Bruce John, who made 
his welcome appearance April 28, 1917. Mr. 
and Mrs. Clausen are members of the Presby- 
terian church, attending St. John chapel. He 
belongs to the order of the W'oodmen of the 
World at Potter, Nebraska. Mr. Clausen 
lives up to the requirements of a good and 
useful citizen, but is identified with no po- 
litical party, and has never been a seeker for 
public office. 

CLARENCE E. BIRT, who is one of Kim- 
ball county's representative men, is widely 
known and is identified with many important 



interests here. Dependable and reliable, true 
to every trust reposed in him in boyhood, Mr. 
Birt grew from youth to manhood with the 
sound, steady character that has ever since 
gained him recognition among those who 
cherish high ideals of the true value of life. 

Clarence E. Birt was bom in County Kent, 
England, January 12, 1868, a son of Alfred 
Nelson Birt, who came to America in 1888. 
The mother of Mr. Birt never left England, 
her death occurring in the city of London. Of 
the family of five sons and three daughters, 
Clarence E. was the third in order of birth, 
the others being as follows : Alfred, who 
died in infancy ; Henry, who resides in the 
city of London ; Claude, who is a resident of 
Fargo, North Dakota ; Herbert, who served as 
a soldier in a Canadian regiment during the 
great war ; Maude, who is the wife of John 
B. Kenyon, of Carlton, Oregon ; and Agnes 
and Florence, both of whom died when in- 
fants. The father died in Humoldt county, 
Iowa, in 1903. 

When fourteen years old Clarence E. Birt 
went to work as a clerk in the office of James 
Carr & Sons' Flouring Mill, at Waltham, Eng- 
land, and Mr. Birt prizes highly a testimonial 
as to his character and efficiency that is signed 
by this great English firm, and, in fact, has 
similar testimonials from every business house 
with which he was connected while remain- 
ing in his native land. For three and a half 
years he was employed by the great firm of J. 
Jackson, clothiers, London, and still later trav- 
eled as a jewelry salesman, and in this capacity 
while in Ireland, during industrial troubles 
there witnessed the eviction of tenant farmers. 
He also had mercantile experience in a Capi- 
tal and Labor store, in London, where goods 
were sold for cash on a five per cent basis, the 
daily sales sometimes amounting to $4,000. 

In 1893, soon after his marriage, Mr. Birt 
and wife left England, crossed the Atlantic 
ocean in the steamship City of Paris, landed 
in the harbor of New York and immediately 
joined his father in Humboldt county, Iowa. 
Prior to this Mr. Birt had not had agricultural 
experience, but, with his father's encourage- 
ment and substantial backing, he embarked in 
the business of farming, and finding the ven- 
ture both congenial and profitable, continued 
to rent farms and operate them in Iowa for the 
next fifteen years. In 1907 he came to Kim- 
ball county, Nebraska, and bought a relinquish- 
ment claim of four hundred and eighty acres, 
under the Kinkaid act, and proved up, in the 
meanwhile engaging in other business enter- 
prises, especially merchandising, the details of 
which were familiar to him. Railroad building 



I 




George Ehrman 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



173 



was causing an increase in the value of prop- 
erty and a little settlement at Dix was ex- 
panding into a village. Mr. Birt took advan- 
tage of this opportunity and started a store, 
and his appointment as postmaster was 
brought about. He remained at Dix for four 
years and in addition to his general store, con- 
ducted a lumber yard, sold coal and handled 
grain. When he sold his interests there his 
yearly sales amounted to more than $12,000. 
He traded his store to Philip Nelson for a sec- 
tion of land that adjoined his homestead. He 
now owns sixteen hundred acres of land, 
carries on general farming and keeps about 
one hundred head of high grade White Face 
cattle. 

In 1893 Mr. Birt was united in marriage to 
Miss Catherine McRory, a daughter of Rich- 
ard and Elizabeth McRory. They were resi- 
dents of London. England, where the father 
followed the trade of harnessmaking. Mrs. 
Birt is one of a family of fourteen children, 
as follows: Charles Jones, who died in 1906; 
Richard Jones, who has been chief decorator 
of Windsor Castle for almost fifty years; El- 
len, who is the wife of Charles Lonergan ; 
Henry G., who follows his father's trade in 
London ; Edward G., who is conducting a mar- 
ket business in London ; Mary, who was the 
wife of Bert Chenney, a city policeman in 
London; Francis M., who lives in the Malay 
Straits settlements, the home of the Royal 
family ; and Arthur, who is manager of a rub- 
ber estate in that part of the world ; Catherine, 
who is Mrs. Birt; and five who died in in- 
fancy. Mrs. Birt has reason to be proud of 
the record made by her family in the great 
war. She had seventeen nephews who served 
on the battle fields of France, all of whom 
lived to return after being honorably dis- 
charged, although one was badly gassed by the 
inhuman enemy and another had an arm shat- 
tered, and still another returned with the D. 
C. M. shining on his breast. 

Mr. and Mrs. Birt have children as follows : 
Lillian Maud, who is the wife of John Clausen, 
Jr. ; Arthur, who, at the time the United 
States entered the great war, oiTered his serv- 
ices to the sherifl:' of Kimball county, who sent 
him to a training camp at Lincoln from which 
he subsequently was honorably discharged 
and is now operating his father's ranch ; Al- 
fred G., who is also on the home ranch ; Hazel 
D., who is attending the high school at Kim- 
l)all ; and Audrey E." and Joyce O., who are at 
home. Mr. Birt and family are members of 
the St. John Presbyterian church. 

Although Mr. BiVt has by no means retired 



from active life, he has shifted his ranch re- 
sponsibilities to the capable shoulders of his 
eldest son, his time being ' largely occupied 
with other business aflfairs. He is a director of 
the Farmers Elevator Company at Dix, and 
is secretary- and treasurer of the Farmers 
Union Co-operative store at that place. He is 
prominent in the councils of the Republican 
party, is precinct assessor and chairman of 
the Republican Central committee. He was 
chairman also of the board of regents of the 
Kimball county high school. For more than 
twenty years Mr. Birt has belonged to the 
order of Modern Woodmen, and is an Odd 
Fellow, his local conection being with the lodge 
at Sidney. 

GEORGE EHRMAN.— One of the young- 
er generation of agriculturists carrying on 
operations in Scottsblufif county, whose pro- 
gressiveness and industry are rapidly bringing 
him into a favorable position, is the man whose 
name heads this review. 

Mr. Ehrman was born in Germany, June 9, 
1884, the son of George and Katherine Ehr- 
man, an account of whose lives will be found 
elsewhere in this volume under the name of 
Frederick Ehrman. George accompanied his 
parents to America when they emigrated from 
their native land and received his educational 
advantages in the public schools of Colorado 
where the family located after reaching the 
LInited States. While living at Brush, in the 
mountain state, he devoted himself to his 
studies and thus laid the foundation for a good 
practical education. After his school-days 
were over Mr. Ehrman began to farm with his 
father so that while still a youth he had a good 
working knowledge of agricultural business 
and farm methods. He remained in Colorado 
until 1910 when he decided to establish himself 
independently in business operations and that 
year in partnership with his brother Frederick 
came to ScnttsblutT county and bought 160 
acres. At that time no one believed tlie land 
was worth much and could not see where the 
brothers were to become successful but irriga- 
tion solved that problem and today most of the 
property is under ditch and that which is not 
makes fine grazing pasture. Eighty acres more 
land was added to the original holdings in 1913, 
at a hundred dollars an acre, the final payments 
being completed in 1917. This joins the town 
of Gering and is worth $500 per acre. This 
now belongs to George personally and is one of 
the show places of the county, a rather fine 
thing for two young farmers to do when you 
consider that all the equipment they had ten 
years ago was their ability to work and a de- 



174 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



termination to succeed. From the first the 
Ehrman brothers placed good and permanent 
improvements on their farm, these have been 
added to with the passing years and a fine com- 
fortable home erected where the mother now 
lives. The soil has been raised to a high state of 
fertility, they are engaged in general farm en- 
terprises and specialize in thoroughbred stock, 
having pure-blooded Percheron horses, Short 
Horn cattle and Duroc Jersey hogs, shipping a 
large quantity to the eastern markets each year. 
]\Ir. Ehrman believes in modern methods on the 
farm and has inaugurated many that he be- 
lieves are efficient in his business. He is a 
shrewd buyer and good seller, due to his study 
of market conditions and today is one of the 
best and most representative members of the 
younger generation of the farming element of 
the valley who are making history for the Pan- 
handle as one of the most productive sections 
of a rich state. Mr. Ehrman is an independent 
in politics and a member of the Lutheran 
church. He advocates and supports all move- 
ments for the development of the county and 
his community and lives up to a high standard 
of citizenship. In 1919 he erected a beautiful 
modern home and a large barn in 1917. On his 
place is one of the finest homes in the county. 
His place adjoins the town of Gering. 

HANS C. L. LARSON. — When the good 
people of Kimball county refer to their best 
and most useful citizens, they are considering 
such men as Hans Christian Lund Larson, a 
successful and enterprising farmer and stock- 
raiser, who lives up to every requirement of 
law and order, sets an example of thrift and 
industry, and co-operates officially and other- 
wise with his township neighbors in work for 
the general welfare. 

Mr. Larson was born in Polk county, Wis- 
consin; June 20, 1880, one of a family of two 
sons and six daughters born to Peter and 
Sophia Larson, the other members of the 
family being as follows: Mary, who is the 
wife of Peter Nelson, a prominent resident of 
Kimball county; Annie, who was accidentally 
killed on the railroad in 1906, was the wife 
of Peter Nelson ; Emma, who died at the age 
of eight years; Rose, who is the wife of 
Guy M. Fleming, of Kimball county ; Emma, 
who is the wife of Jesse Rockwell ; and Lil- 
lian and Clarence V., both of whom reside at 
Kimball. The father of the above family was 
born in Denmark, ]\Iay 11, 1852, and died in 
Nebraska, September 21, 1910. He came to 
the United States when about twenty-one years 
old, shortly afterward locating at Taylor Falls, 
Wisconsin, where he lived as lumberman and 



farmer for eighteen years. His marriage to 
Sophia Hanson took place in Wisconsin, and 
they lived on his farm in Polk county until 
they came to Nebraska, living at Potter at 
first, then homesteading a quarter section and 
securing also a quarter section tree claim in 
Kimball county, situated ten miles south and 
one mile east of Dix. The father proved up 
and spent the rest of his life on this land, the 
mother, after his death, retiring to Kimball. 

Hans C. L. Larson was ten years old when 
his parents moved to Kimball county. He 
worked on the home farm and had school ad- 
vantages in both country and town. When the 
Kinkaid law went into eft'ect, he determined 
to take advantage of its provisions, with ex- 
cellent business judgment securing his present 
farm, filing on section 2-12-54, proved up and 
built a comfortable farm cottage and a com- 
modious barn, the dimensions of the latter be- 
ing 48x48 feet. He has made numerous other 
improvements that greatly enhance the value 
of his property which is kept in the best pos- 
sible condition. He has 300 acres of his land 
under cultivation and keeps one hundred and 
fifty head of cattle and horses. Mr. Larson 
has a section of school land under lease as 
pasturage. 

On March 30, 1909, Mr. Larson was mar- 
ried to Miss Minnie T. Benson, who is a 
daughter of Gunder and Louise Benson, whose 
other children were as follows : Helen, John, 
Ida, deceased in Canada; Elizabeth, Emma, 
Clara, deceased on the homestead, Alice and a 
son who died in infancy. The father of Mr. 
Larson was born in Norway and was only six 
years old when he accompanied his parents to 
the United States. They settled in Iowa and 
Mr. Benson grew up there and remained until 
1907, when he came to Kimball county and 
located four miles south and east of Dix, 
where he died four months later. The mother 
of Mrs. Larson has a fine home in Dix. To 
Mr. and Mrs. Larson three children have been 
born, namely : Glennie, who was born De- 
cember 18, 1909 ; Mable, who was born Octo- 
ber 8, 1911; and JNIarguerite, who was born 
April 3, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Larson moved 
to Dix and built a fine residence in order to 
give their children advantages of schooling 
there, Mr. Larson being a firm believer of 
education. He has served six years as a faith- 
ful member of his township's school board and 
for three years has been school treasurer. 

HANS P. NELSON. — In times of great 
trouble and industrial unrest in a country, it is 
a relief to turn attention to such sturdy, self- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



175 



reliant men as Hans Peter Nelson, who is one 
of the substantial and representative men of 
Kimball county. It probably would be a diffi- 
cult matter to convince such a man that there 
is anything ignoble in the work of hand and 
brain, hard, continuous, honest work, through 
which he has been able to build up an ample 
fortune in one of the finest states in the Ameri- 
can Union. 

Hans Peter Nelson was born in Denmark, 
March 28, 1853, and is the younger of two sons 
born to Nels and Bertie Nelson. His older 
brother bore the name of Rasmus. Through 
a second marriage the father had two daugh- 
ters, namely: Sina and Bertie. The father had 
a small farm of four acres and spent his life in 
Denmark. 

When Hans P. Nelson was a boy he helped 
his father till the little home farm, and later 
worked for neighbors who had somewhat larg- 
er tracts of land, during this time possibly 
hoping for a future that would enable hmi to 
cross the great ocean to a coimtry where fer- 
tile land was easy to acquire. It is not prob- 
able, however, that in those days he ever 
dreamed of his present possession of hundreds 
of acres of richly productive land, of the fine 
stock in his pastures and investments in re- 
putable business concerns. It was not until he 
had been married six years that the oppor- 
tunity came for Mr. Nelson to come to the 
United States. After landing in the harbor 
of New York, he and wife soon were on their 
way to Linn county, Missouri, where he rent- 
ed farm land and remained for ten years. It 
was on October, 18, 1882 that he and wife 
reached America, and it was in the spring of 
1893 that they came to Nebraska. Mr. Nelson 
homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres in 
Kimball county, and after the Kinkaid law be- 
came a fact, took an additional three-quarter 
section, to this large body of land adding 
gradually until he now owns two entire sec- 
tions of some of the finest land in Kimball 
county, all of which he acquired through his 
own industry. Mr. Nelson carries on exten- 
sive general farming and stock-raising and has 
four hundred and eighty acres under cultiva- 
tion. He is yet active in looking after his 
farm industries and is ably assisted by his 
adopted son. John W. H. Nelson, who is a 
very enterprising and capable young man. The 
latter married Miss Edith Whittaker, a daugh- 
ter of H. A. Whittaker, and they nave two 
little adopted daughters: Ruth, who was 
born in 1917 : and Mary, who was born in 
June, 1919. 

Mr. Nelson's marriage took place in Den- 



mark, in 1876, to Kirsten Hanson, who ac- 
companied him to America and bore her part 
in his struggles to make headway after reach- 
ing this country. Mrs. Nelson came with him 
to the homestead in Kimball county, Nebraska, 
but remained with him only two years longer, 
her death occurring May '3, 1895. She had 
taken much pride and interest in the new 
home, and when she passed away Mr. Nelson 
laid her to rest within fifty feet of the front 
door. It was not until 1919 that her remains 
were removed to the beautiful city cemetery 
of Kimball. Mr. Nelson is not only inter- 
ested in his land but has other investments, in- 
cluding stock in the Farmers Elevator Com- 
pany at Dix. 

JOHN N. RASMUSSEN. — Not nearly 
all the interesting stories have yet been told of 
the pioneering days and people of Nebraska. 
There may be a similarity in many of these but 
nevertheless there is always a personal touch 
that arouses interest. To Howard county in 
its early days, came many strong and sturdy 
people who brought with them the habits of 
thrift and industry in which they had been 
reared in the native Denmark, and of these 
was the Rasmussen family which has contin- 
ued true to type. 

John Nels Rasmussen, who is one of Kim- 
ball county's upright men and substantial farm- 
ers and stockraisers, was born in Howard 
county, Nebraska, September 7, 1878, one of 
the two children born to Hans and Maria 
(Nelson) Rasmussen. Mr. Rassmussen had 
one sister, Julia, who married James Miller, 
who lived near Greeley, Colorado, at that time, 
moved later to Idaho, where she died on her 
husband's pioneer ranch. Both parents of Mr. 
Rasmussen were born in Denmark. The fa- 
ther came to the United States when a young 
man, in 1863. and located near Green Bay, 
Wisconsin. The mother come in 1865 and for 
a time was in New York and a short time in 
Chicago, finally Green Bay, and there, in 1867 
Hans Rasmussen and Alaria Nelson were mar- 
ried. Until 1871 they remained in Wisconsin, 
but in that year decided to move to Nebraska 
in order to secure government land. They 
traveled by railroad to Omaha, in which city 
they secured a prairie schooner and a team of 
horses, with which they started across the 
prairie to Howard county, Nebraska, where 
the father homesteaded eighty acres. The 
wagon served as a home imtil other arrange- 
ments could be made, and the family lived on 
the homestead for twenty-one years, during 
that time often facing hardships of all kinds. 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



The venerable mother of Mr. Rassmussen, 
with her unimpaired memory, can tell of those 
days, of their trials and pleasures, in a very 
interesting wav. In the spring of 1892 they 
left Howard county and came to Kmiball coun- 
ty, settling on section 10-13-53, and resided 
there until the father's death. 

John N. Rasmussen remained at home and 
assisted his father both before and after com- 
ing to Kimball countv. In 1913 he was mar- 
ried to Miss Helen Benson, a daughter of 
Gunder and Louise Benson. The father of 
Mrs. Rasmussen died in 1907 but the mother 
survives and has many friends and acquamt- 
ances in Kimball county. The entire connec- 
tion belongs to the Lutheran church. 

Mr. Rasmussen was one of the first to be 
prepared to file on land under the Kinkaid act 
when the opportunity came. In 1904 he home- 
steaded under this law, on section 22-13-53, 
and now has three hundred and twenty-five 
acres of his extensive tract under careful cul- 
tivation, and gives much attention to stock, 
keeping one hundred and fifty head of cattle 
and horses. He devotes the most of his time 
to looking after his farm industries, but has 
some other investments, included in these be- 
ing stock in the Farmers Union Elevator at 
Potter. Mr. Rasmussen has always been deem- 
ed a good citizen, is widely known and belongs 
to that class of men of whom it is often said, 
"his simple word is as good as his bond." Mr. 
and Mrs. Rasmussen have one child, Elmer J., 
born December 9, 1919. 

ANDREW ANDERSON. — There are few 
men better known or more highly respected in 
the neighborhood of Potter, Nebraska, than 
Andrew Anderson, who, for many years has 
been a large landowner here, an extensive 
farmer and stockman, and financially inter- 
ested in a number of successful business en- 
terprises at Potter and Dix. 

Andrew Anderson was born in Denmark, 
September 24, 1862. His parents were Peter 
and Maria Anderson, natives of Denmark, 
where the father died in 1911, at the age of 
eighty years and the mother in 1915, at the age 
eg eighty-two years. Andrew Anderson had 
one sister and four brothers, as follows : Elsie, 
who died at Piano, Illinois, was the wife of 
Michael Johnson; an infant that died at birth; 
one who died aged three years ; Jens, who is a 
farmer in Denmark ; and Edward who lives at 
Brush, Colorado. 

In 1873, accompanied by his only sister, An- 
drew Anderson came to the United States. 
After landing in the harbor of New York, they 



made their way to Piano, Illinois, where the 
sister remained the rest of her life, Mr. An- 
derson, however, working in that vicinity for 
three years only. He then came to Potter, 
Cheyenne county, finding employment in the 
village for a year, after which he began to 
accumulate land which now aggregates many 
hundred acres. He took up a half section, 
homesteading one hundred and sixty acres, 
with tree claim of one hundred and sixty 
acres and has remained here ever since, and at 
the present time has eight hundred acres of 
deeded land, and a twenty-five-year lease on a 
half section of school land. Of this he has 
two hundred and fifty acres devoted to gen- 
eral farming and is a heavy raiser of cattle 
and horses, formerly turning out as many as 
two hundred head a year. Mr. Anderson's 
improvements have kept pace with his finan- 
cial progress. He has an abundance of water 
which he utilizes according to modern meth- 
ods, has erected one of the handsome farm 
residences of this section and barns and other 
farm structures equal to the best in the coun- 
ty- 

In 1892 Mr. Anderson was married to Miss 
Elsie Johnson, a daughter of Jens Johnson. 
Mrs. Anderson was born in Denmark and 
grew up in the same neighborhood as ^Ir. 
Anderson. When he had a home prepared he 
sent for her and she came alone to America 
and joined him. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have 
had but one child, a daughter, who is now the 
wife of Jacob Nelson ,and they live in Kim- 
ball county. A son of Mr. Anderson's broth- 
er. Christian Anderson, now a young man of 
twenty years, has lived with Mr. and jNIrs. 
Anderson since he was left motherless at the 
age of two years. He is now Mr. Anderson's 
right hand man. 

Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are members of 
the Danish Lutheran church. Mr. Anderson 
has never been very active in local politics, 
but he has been an important factor in found- 
ing and carrying on business concerns of con- 
siderable magnitude in this section and has 
investments in the Dix ^Mercantile Company, 
at Dix, the Farmers Elevator at Potter, he 
also has stock in the Western Mortgage Com- 
pany of Denver. He owns a residence at 
Potter. 

JACOB M. NELSON, who is a prominent 
citizen of Potter. Nebraska, and interested in 
business enterprises here, was bom in Den- 
mark a son of Julius and Sophia Nelson, who 
came to the United States in 1886. 

It was considerable of an undertaking for 




AND AIrs. John W. Morris 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



177 



the parents of Mr. Nelson to move from Den- 
mark to America, for they had a family of 
nine children, the youngest being six months 
old. They accomplished it however and 
safely reached Racine, Wisconsin, where a 
relative was comfortably established, and re- 
mained there about four months. The father, 
in the meanwhile, started out to look up a 
home, finally homesteading in Nebraska. His 
death occurred at Racine, Wisconsin, and the 
mother died at Blair, Nebraska. Their chil- 
dren were as follows : Peter, who is a fruit- 
grower in California; Christine, who was the 
wife of Melbourne Tracy, of Montana, and 
died March, 1920; John, who died at the age 
of thirty years ; Hans, who lives in California ; 
Bina, who is the wife of John Hanson, of 
Council Bluffs, Iowa ; Jacob M., our subject, 
who belongs to Potter, Nebraska ; Margaret, 
who died at the age of two years ; Phillip, 
who is in business at Dix ; Margaret, who is 
the wife of Ove Anderson, county clerk for 
twelve years and now in the real estate busi- 
ness at Blair, Nebraska. The parents were 
members of the Lutheran church. 

On November 22, 1915, Mr. Nelson was 
united in marriage to Miss Matilda Ander- 
son, a member of a prominent family of this 
name in the county, and they have one son, 
Leonard, who was named in honor of Gen. 
Leonard Wood, who, at present is an out- 
standing figure in political as he has been in 
military circles for many years. 

Mr. Nelson owns two thousand acres of 
fine land, in addition to having an interest in 
the old homestead. He has seventy-five acres 
under a fine state of cultivation and raises a 
few horses, but devotes his main attention to 
cattle, running annually about two hundred 
and fifty head. He is interested in the Farm- 
ers Elevator Company at Potter. He and 
wife are members of the Lutheran church at 
Potter. 

JOHN W. MORRIS, pioneer, frontiersman, 
and early settler, is probably one of the oldest 
men now living within the confines of Scotts- 
bluff county, having passed his seventy-sixth 
year. He has the honor of having filed on the 
first claim in the Gering valley, then called 
Cedar valley. His career has been one in 
which he has had varied and interesting experi- 
ences, from hunting bufifalo on the western 
prairies of Nebraska to the civilized existence 
of these modern days, and few men, twenty 
years younger, bear so few of the scars of life. 
Mr. Morris and his faithful wife ran the full 
gamut of pioneer experiences and their remin- 
iscences of the early days are most graphic and 



interesting. They made the overland journey 
to and through Nebraska with a team of oxen 
and a wagon and girded themselves with the 
indomitable valor and undauntable purpose 
that are ever the prerequisites of success under 
the conditions that must obtain in the opening 
of a new country to civilization and progress. 
Mr. Morris has been in the most significant 
sense the architect of his own fortunes and few 
men have played a larger or more important 
part in connection with the development and 
upbuilding of Scottsblufif county along both 
civic and industrial lines. Of this no further 
assurance is needed than the statement that he 
has amassed a comfortable fortune, and has so 
ordered his manner of life as to merit and 
receive at all stages the unqualified respect and 
confidence of his fellowmen. It is most grat- 
ifying to be able to present in this publication 
a tribute to Mr. Morris, as a pioneer of pio- 
neers and to enter brief review of a career that 
has been marked by earnest endeavor, and no 
history of this county would be complete with- 
out the name of the first white settler in the 
Gering valley. Mr. Morris now lives in gra- 
cious retirement in the city of Gering, and 
though venerable in age, the years rest lightly 
upon him, while he finds a full measure of sat- 
isfaction in reverting to the attractive social 
and material conditions and environment which 
he has aided in creating in Scottsblufif county. 
John W. Morris is one of the gallant sons of 
the nation who went forth in defense of the 
LTnion when the Civil War was precipitated on 
the country. In response to President Lin- 
coln's call for volunteers he enlisted in the 
First Delaware Cavalry and when his regiment 
was dissolved entered the infantry and with 
this gallant command served out the entire 
course of the war in the Army of the East, in 
the Petersburg campaign. In later years Mr. 
Morris has found pleasure in vitalizing the 
associations of his military career by affiliation 
with the Grand Army of the Republic, Gering 
Po.st No. 169. 

John W. Morris was born in Caroline coun- 
ty, Maryland, June 4, 1843, the son of Vincent 
and Elizabeth Morris, the father being born 
and reared in this state along the bay, and the 
mother in Delaware. Mr. Morris received his 
educational advantages in the public schools 
and while still a boy assumed many of the 
duties and much of the work on his father's 
farm. After his schooling was over he estab- 
lished himself independently in farm industry, 
as that was the business with which he was 
most familiar and of which he had an excellent 
working knowledge, but he was an ambitious 
man, and this old settled countv offered few 



178 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



opportunities to a man ot 



Tor who deter- 



...ined to branch out, "put fortune to the haz- 
ard " and seek out what the "Golden West 
might have in store. Mr. Morris had read 
widely along lines connected with his busmess 
and knew of the offers mads by the govern- 
ment of fertile lands on the high praines ot 
the middle west and in 1885 he and his wife 
severed all the old home associations and ties 
that bound them to the east and started for 
Nebraska, then considered a part of the "Great 
American Desert." Mr. and Mrs. Morris 
drove into the state in true pioneer style ; they 
had a team of oxen, the best animals for break- 
ing the sod, hitched to their wagon in \vliich 
were carried their household goods. They 
drove their hogs and cattle along with them as 
settlements were few and far between in that 
early day. It was a long, tedious journey up 
the river" route across the great commonwealth 
that today is one of the richest in the Union, 
but thev were high-hearted and their faith m 
this new countrv" kept up their courage. At 
last they reached Scottsbluff county and took 
up the "first claim in the Cedar valley, later 
changed to Gering valley. At that time all this 
great" plains country was the range of the great 
cattle barons, who owned vast herds that 
ranged from Texas in the winter to Wyoming 
in the summer and Mr. :\Iorris tells that it was 
impossible for men or women to go out on foot 
for fear of cattle running them down, so were 
forced to go everywhere on horseback. He 
remembers verv we"ll the first day in the valley, 
when he was riinning out the line of his claim, 
that a man came along driving several horses 
through ; thev talked and it proved that he was 
H. M. Springer, who was one of the early resi- 
dents of Mitchell, a friendship that has con- 
tinued through the years. Mr. :\Iorris says 
that he had to drive to Sidney for his supplies, 
a trip that took four days, and when he decided 
to replace his first sod house with a frame 
building he had to drive to Laramie Peak, 
Wyoming, and freight the lumber into the 
Gering valley. After getting settled and erect- 
ing a log ho'use for shelter of the family and 
such primitive farm structures that were abso- 
lutely necessary, i\Ir. :Morris began the labori- 
ous work of breaking the prairie sod with his 
team of oxen. Soon after arriving in the Pan- 
handle, Mr. :Morris put his previous farming 
experience to good use by buying cattle to stock 
his land and soon developed a paying business 
of it. He planted diversified grain crops, but 
the early years were hard ones in w^estern Ne- 
braska, "due to drought, blizzards, crop failures, 
and the insect pests that destroyed the growing 
grain. However, the Morrises were not dis- 



couraged and they have lived to see their faith 
in this section proved true, where w-ere only 
unbroken rolling prairies when they first came 
is now a smiling countryside, green with the 
growing crops in the summer, dotted with pros- 
perous, flourishing towns and villages, and with 
irrigation Scottsbluff' county has become the 
garden spot of Nebraska. IMr. Morris im- 
proved his homestead, and when his capital per- 
mitted bought other land adjoining the original 
claim, until he was one of the heavy and sub- 
stantial landed men of the section and for 
many years was actively engaged in the various 
branches of farm enterprise from which he 
reaped a well deserved return and today has 
given up active life, disposed of all his holdings 
but five acres where his beautiful home is locat- 
ed. Now in the sunset years of life he can 
look back and feel that life has been worth 
while for he can visualize the changes that have 
taken place in the thirty-five years since he 
drove up the valley. In politics Mr. Morris is 
an adherent of the Republican party but draws 
no tight party lines when it comes to local elec- 
tions, believing that the man best fitted to serve 
the people should be elected. 

October 17, 1872. Mr. Alorris married Miss 
Elizabeth Haskell, born in Scott county, Illi- 
nois, February 7, 1847, and they became the 
parents of three children ; Bertram, who lives 
in Tacoma, Washington ; Bertha, who married 
Sam Lawyer, who died, and she now lives in 
Gering; and Benjamin, who is the deputy 
sheriff of Scottsbluff county. 

The foregoing record, implying much to him 
who can read between the lines as well as ap- 
preciate the data of the context itself, will be 
read with great pleasure by the many friends 
of Mr. and Mrs. Morris in Scottsbluff' county 
and will prove a definite and worthy contribu- 
tion to the generic history of this favored 
section of Nebraska, as their names merit an 
enduring place of honor and distinction on the 
pages of the history of Scottsliluft' county. 

JOHN G. BAUR, who is a highly prosper- 
ous farmer and stockman in Kimball county, 
has lived here for eighteen years, and dur- 
ing that time has been a witness not only of 
great agricultural development in this sec- 
tion, but of ;he actual building of such busy 
and important towns as Bushnell and Dix. He 
has done his part in forwarding many of the 
enterprises that have contributed to this rapid 
expansion. 

John G. Baur was born in Germany, No- 
vember 4, 1862, one of a family of fourteen 
children. Six of the sons and five daughters 
came to America. The parents died in Ger- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



179 



many, the mother in 1886 and the father in 
1890. They were honest, virtuous people re- 
spected by all in their community and mem- 
bers of the Lutheran church. 

When John G. Baur landed in the port of 
New York he was twenty-seven years old. In 
his native land he had learned the shoernaking 
trade, but his aim in coming to America was 
to become the owner of a western homestead 
with material comforts for himself and fam- 
ily. In 1901 yir. Baur came to Kimball coun- 
ty and settled near what is Bushnell at the 
present time, but then was represented by a 
little shed on the site of the flourishing town. 
He lived there one year during which he was 
in partnership with his brother-in-law, Charles 
Snyder, in the cattle business. He then moved 
to what is the present site of Dix and started 
into the cattle business for himself, in which 
he continued for three years and then home- 
steaded a three-quarter section on the main 
road three miles from Dix. Thus Mr. Baur 
succeeded in his desire that had brought him 
to America, in a. comparatively short time. 
He has placed substantial improvements here, 
has an attractive and comfortable farm house, 
commodious barns and other buildings and an 
air of thrift is everywhere to be observed. Of 
his homestead he now has three hundred and 
fifty acres under the plow. Since his first 
purchase, he has added] the other quarter 
section and additionally has bought a three- 
quarter section east of the homestead. 

In 1892 Mr. Baur was married to Miss 
Catherine Funk, who was born in Germany 
and accompanied her people to the United 
States. They were very early settlers in 
Madison county. Nebraska, and her father 
built the first blacksmith shop. In the early 
days there the Funk family endured many 
hardships. They lived a distance of fifty 
miles from a market and on many occasions 
the father or brothers of Mrs. Baur would 
carry a dressed hog to town and exchange it 
for a bag of flour. The crops were eaten up 
by the grasshoppers, the only fortunate son of 
the family being the blacksmith, for the in- 
sects could not eat the anvil. Eight children 
were born to Mr. and Mrs. Baur and all sur- 
vive except the eldest son, who died at the 
age of two and a half years. The others are 
as follows : Walter, who is engaged in farm- 
ing, was honorably discharged from military 
service in the great war after training in 
camp at Fremont, in New Jersey, and at Fort 
Lee, Virginia ; Gertrude, who lives with her 
parents ; Henry, who is manager of a cattle 
ranch in Wyoming; Otto, who is associated 



with his father; Frank, who is also a farmer; 
and John and Eugene, both of whom are at- 
tending school. Mr. Baur and family are 
members of the Lutheran church. Aside from 
his land and stock, Mr. Baur has other invest- 
ments, one being in the Elevator Company at 
Dix. Mr. Baur is an honorable, upright citi- 
zen, a competent farmer and business man and 
a friendly, helpful neighbor. 

CHARLES G. NELSON, who is promi-' 
nent in business circles at Kimball and well 
and favorably known in other sections, was 
born at Stanton, in Montgomery county, Iowa, 
February' 22, 1872. His parents were Lars 
Peter and Loiuse Nelson, both of whom were 
born in Sweden. Their marriage took place 
in Henry county, Illinois, in 1866. 

Charles Gustav Nelson remained on the 
farm with his father until he was twenty-five 
years old. His father died at Stanton. Iowa, 
Februan- 14, 1901. and his mother at Boone, 
Iowa, March 21, 1919. In 1897 Mr. Nelson 
embarked in the real estate business at Stan- 
ton, three years later accepting a railway mail 
route and two years afterward was appointed 
assistant postmaster at Stanton. On July 17, 
1906, he came to Genoa, Nebraska and became 
identified with the insurance department of 
the Modern Woodmen of America and con- 
tinued in that work for eighteen months. He 
was then called to Omaha as state manager 
for the Monarch Land & Loan Company of 
Kansas City, Missouri. He remained in that 
position for one year, then returned to Genoa 
and became associated with C. W. Kaley of 
Omaha, and became state manager for all of 
South Dakota and the northern half of Ne- 
braska for two years for the Woodman Acci- 
dent Association, after which he was with the 
Woodmen of the World for two years. Mr. 
Nelson then went into business of handling 
flour, feed and produce, which enterprise he 
turned over to his son in July, 1916, and then 
established the Monarch Land Company of 
Genoa with William E. Martin. On March 
1, 1919, a third interest in the business was 
bought by Carl O. Heart. On April 1, 1919, 
Mr. Nelson came to Kimball and established 
the real estate business in partnership with his 
son Wayne I., which is operated as the Mon- 
arch Land Company. A large land business is 
now being done in the western part of the 
county by this firm. 

On June 14, 1895, Mr. Nelson was united in 
marriage to ]Miss Julia J. Peterson, a daugh- 
ter of Gustav and Louise Peterson, who had 
children as follows: George, who died in in- 



180 



HISTORY OF WESTERX NEBRASKA 



fancy ; Amanda, who died in infancy ; Lydia, 
who is the widow of Herman Anderson; 
Emily, who Hves at Genoa, Nebraska : George, 
who is deceased: Julia J., who is Mrs. Nel- 
son ; Annie, a twin sister, who died aged two 
and a half years. Gerhard, who is in the 
greenhouse business at Denver ; Albert, who is 
a farmer near Genoa; Helga, who lives in 
Sweden; John, who is a merchant at Hult, 
Sweden ; and Edith, who died when nine years 
old. The parents of Mrs. Nelson died at 
Hult, Sweden. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Nelson were born three 
sons and two daughters, namely : Frances, who 
is the wife of Reuben Dawson, a farmer north 
of Bushnell, and they have a little daughter, 
Dorothy; Hazel, who died when fifteen years 
old ; Wayne I., who is associated in business 
with his father; Morris, who is a fanner 
north of Bushnell ; and Leland, who is at- 
tending school. Mr. Nelson and his family 
belong to the Lutheran church. He belongs to 
the Odd Fellows, the Woodmen of the World, 
the Woodmen of America and the Royal. 
Neighbors. Mr. Nelson is one of the coun- 
ty's far-sighted, trustworthy business men. 

EDWARD L. ROLPH, M. D., physician 
and surgeon at Kimball, a man of wide pro- 
fessional experience, was born at Chautauqua 
Lake, New York, in 1859, a son of Lyman D. 
and Willoughby (Crandall) Rolph, the latter 
of whom is deceased, but the father of Dr. 
Rolph survives and resides at Pender, in Thur- 
ston county, Nebraska. 

Edward L. Rolph comes of old American 
stock, the family name, properly Rolfe, belong- 
ing to early Virginia histors' tracing back to 
the marriage of the young Englishman Rolfe 
to Pocahontas. Like many names, the change 
of spelling came about for reasons now lost 
to the family, and for generations back the 
name has been Rolph. Dr. Rolph enjoyed su- 
perior educational advantages in his native 
state and secured his medical training at Louis- 
ville, Kentucky. He engaged first in practice 
in South Dakota, in 1894 locating at Pender, 
in Thurston county, Nebraska, and it was dur- 
ing his years of professional work in eastern 
Nebraska that he so endeared himself to the 
Winnebago Indians, that they conferred on 
him the greatest mark of confidence and es- 
teem, making him a member of their tribe. 
In 1909 Dr. Rolph went to Old Mexico, and 
in 1916 came to Kimball. 

In 1894 Dr. Rolph was married to Miss 
Edith E. Stebbins, of Pender, Nebraska. Al- 
though Dr. and Mrs. Rolph have had no chil- 



dren of their own, that has not prevented their 
having young life about them, for out of the 
goodness of their hearts they have given shelter 
and parental affection to several orphan chil- 
dren. An adopted daughter is no longer 
living, but an adopted son has grown to fine 
young manhood and during the great war was 
in military training at Camp Dodge. Dr. and 
Mrs. Rolph are members of the Methodist 
church. He belongs to the Masonic fratern- 
ity and Mrs. Rolph is a member of the order 
of the Eastern Star. 

CHARLES E. JACOBY, proprietor of the 
only photographic studio at Kimball, has been 
in this line of business ever since he left school. 
Mr. Jacoby was born at Wilton Junction, Iowa, 
in 1870, where he was reared. His parents 
died in Iowa. 

Charles E. Jacoby was educated in Musca- 
tine county and is a graduate of the public 
schools. From boyhood he manifested certain 
artistic tastes, and when nineteen years old, 
left to his own choice of profession, he de- 
cided to learn photography. He established 
his first studio at Sioux Rapids, Iowa, where 
he continued twelve years in the business. In 
1910 he came to Kimball county, Nebraska, 
homesteaded and lived on his land until 1914, 
when he came to Kimball, erected a building 
suitable for studio purposes and occupies a 
large part of it for photographic development. 
He has kept fully abreast of the time in the 
photographic field, and his rooms are equipped 
with all necessary instruments and high priced 
lenses, together with draperies and settings that 
may be found in establishments of this kind in 
metropolitan cities. 

In 1894 Mr. Jacoby was united in marriage 
to Miss Pearl Noll, of Wilton Junction, Iowa,, 
where she was born in 1872. The father of 
Mrs. Jacoby is deceased but her mother sur- 
vives and lives at Walnut Grove, Minnesota. 
Mr. and Mrs. Jacoby have had four children, 
namely : Esther, Maurine, Phyllis and Charles 
E. Mr. and Mrs. Jacoby are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. While living in 
Iowa Mr. Jacoby was active in the Odd Fel- 
low and Rebekah lodges. He owns property 
at Kimball which includes his studio build- 
ings and a handsome modern residence. 

CHARLES J. OLDAKER, who is a widely 
known representative and worthy citizen of 
Kimball county, has been a resident of Nebras- 
ka for many years, and owns a large body of 
richly cultivated land in Kimball county. He 
was born August 10, 1860, in Tohnson coun- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



181 



ty, Iowa, where his parents were farming peo- 
ple. His father died in September, 1896, and 
his mother in September, 1916. 

Charles J. Oldaker obtained his education in 
the country schools and remained in Iowa un- 
til he was twenty-one years old, when he went 
to Bozeman, Montana, with the Northern Pa- 
cific Railroad. He tried farming in the vicin- 
ity of Bozeman for a year, then gave it up and 
went back to Iowa. Later on he again left 
Iowa and came on a visit to Frontier county, 
Nebraska, went then into Colorado and took up 
a pre-emption claim and proved up. In 1887 
he came to Kimball county and, pleased with 
the aspect of the country and the fine people 
he met among the earlier settlers, decided to 
remain, and in the following season homestead- 
ed a half section located nine miles north of 
Kimball. To his first purchase he added and 
now owns an entire section. Mr. C)ldaker re- 
mained on his farm until 1917, when he came 
to Kimball to live, having a comfortable resi- 
dence here and an unlimited number of friends. 

Mr. Oldaker was married at Bicknell, Ne- 
braska, to Miss Clara C. Kennedy, and they 
have the following children : Rov C, born 
April 19. 1889 : Elmo, born April 18J891 : Tohn 
G., bom May 31, 1892 ; Fay, born July 2, 1894 ; 
Lola, born July 30, 1896: Clara, born lune 15, 
1898; Earl, born June 14, 1902; and Lvnn, 
born July 15. 1907. John Gilbert Oldaker of 
the above family, is one of the returned heroes 
of the great war. He enlisted in the United 
States navy on December 11, 1917, was 
sent to France and served seven months on 
the Flanders front, and was honorably dis- 
charged July 10, 1919. Both Mr. and Mrs. 
Oldaker belong to the order of Royal High- 
landers and Mrs. Oldaker is also chief matron 
in the Degree of Honor lodge, and both set 
a good example of thrift and foresight by car- 
rying life insurance. Mrs. Oldaker was reared 
in the Christian church but she attends serv- 
ices in the Presbyterian church with her hus- 
band, of which religious body he is a member. 
He belongs also to the Knights of Pythias. 

ALBERT HUBBARD was born in Ran- 
dolph, Indiana, December 5, 1862, the son of 
Francis and Elizabeth (Meriwether) Hubbard. 
His father was a native of Indiana, and his 
mother of Delaware. The subject of the sketch 
was the second of five children born in this 
family, the eldest being a daughter, Lavina E., 
now jiving in Indiana, the wife of Riley Hin- 
shaw. Of the others, Ira is a resident of 
Scottsblufl' county, Nebraska, and Elza and 
Riley live in Indiana. The father was a farm- 
er and was killed crossing a railroad track 



.A.ugust 19, 1913, at eighty years of age; the 
mother died May 25, 1890, at about fifty years 
of age. 

Albert was educated in the public schools of 
Indiana. After completing his schooling he 
took up farming in his native state, but heard 
the call of the great undeveloped West and 
came to Nebraska in 1886. In October of this 
year he took up a preemption claim and proved 
up on same. He then took up a homestead of 
160 acres in ScottsblufT county, developed and 
improved it through the years of pioneering, 
clerking in a store in Gering several years, and 
now (jwiis 160 ,-icrt> of well improved, irrigated 
land, <.{ thr kind that is fast coming to be 
known as the most valuable because the most 
productive land in the entire United States. 

On February 15, 1894, Mr. Hubbard was 
united in marriage with Gertrude England, and 
to their married life has come the blessing of 
four children, all of whom are living at home. 
They are : Emery O., Edna V., Ralph, Waldo, 
and Laura E. 

Mr. Hubbard is a member of the Christian 
church, and is a Republican in politics. He 
stands high in the estimation of his fellow cit- 
izens, and is bound by the close ties of sym- 
pathy and common experience with the early 
settlers of this community who experienced 
along with him the struggles and trials of liv- 
ing in a new country during the period of 
drouth and hard times before the magical 
power of irrigation was invoked to turn the 
desert into a garden. 

JAMES W. BOGLE, for many years one 
of Kimball county's enterprising" and progres- 
sive business men, now lives comfortably re- 
tired at Bushnell, in which city he owns a 
large amount of valuable realty. He is a na- 
tive of Indiana, born, and reared, in Washing- 
ton county, July 13, 1849. Both parents have 
long since passed out of life. 

James W. Bogle attended the country 
schools in boyhood and grew up on a farm. 
In 1871 he left Indiana and went to Jasper 
county. Illinois, working there as a farmer 
for two years and then found better oppor- 
tunities in Clay county, where he remained six 
years. Having a natural desire to see more 
of the great country in which it had been his 
good fortune to be born, he kept making his 
way westward, going from Clay county, Illi- 
nois, to Ringgold county, Iowa, and six 
months afterward reached Missouri. Mr. 
Bogle engaged in farming in Missouri for a 
year and a half, but in 1879 came to Nebras- 
ka, located in Gosper county, took a home- 
stead and tree claim of a quarter section of 



182 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



land, settled down to its development and im- 
provement, during the first two years living 
in a sod house, which afforded a great contrast 
to his modern residence in Bushnell. When he 
left his farm and came to Bushnell he went 
into the mercantile business, being a pioneer 
here in this line and continued for some years 
and then sold his stock but still owns his fine 
brick building, in which are located a number 
of other business firms. Mr. Bogle has shown 
great business foresight in his investments in 
land since he came to Nebraska and owns ex- 
tensive tracts, including four hundred acres 
in Gosper county and tracts in Kimball county 
aggregating fourteen hundred and eighty 
acres. 

In 1874 Mr. Bogle was united in marriage 
to Miss Mary C. Barnett, who was born in 
Washington county, Indiana, a daughter of 
Martin ]\I. and Martha Elizabeth Barnett. 
The mother of ]\Irs. Bogle died in Indiana in 
1860 but the father survived until April, 1891, 
moving to Missouri in 1889 and engaging in 
farmmg there. To IMr. and Mrs. Bogle the fol- 
lowing children were born : George D., who re- 
sides with his parents : John F., who is a farm- 
er near Bushnell ; Lauretta, who lives near 
Nampa, Idaho ; Airs. Eva May Meyerhoeffer, 
who lives in Gosper county ; Thomas Leander, 
who is. a rancher near Bushnell : Freddy, who 
was born September 12. 1886, died February 
17, 1887 : Laura Alice, who resides at Bushnell ; 
and Charles L.. who conducts a general store 
at Bushnell. While Mr. Bogle has never been 
unduly active in politics, he has always been 
an upright, forward-going citizen and has not 
neglected any of the responsibilities of good 
citizenship. Both he and wife are members 
of the Christian church, and benevolent move- 
ments of every kind find them interested and 
helpful when possible. 

DAVID R. READ. — One of the substan- 
tial and prominent men of Bushnell, whose 
life story is filled with interest, because it 
tells of worthy effort bountifully rewarded, is 
David R. Read, now living retired in this 
beautiful little city. He may well be classed a 
first citizen, as he was one of the pioneer set- 
tlers of the hamlet of Orkney, which was the 
original site of Bushnell. 

Mr. Read was born in Henrj' county, Mis- 
souri, in 1860. His parents were Joseph T. 
and Mary Anna (Gilbert) Read, the former 
of whom was born in Tennessee and the latter 
in Pennsylvania. The mother died in 1893 
and the father came to Scottsbluft' county, Ne- 
braska, and died there in 1917. Mr. Read ob- 



tained his schooling in Henry county, Missouri. 
The Civil War undoubtedly had its changing 
eft'ect on the fortunes of the family and he 
was not very old when he made his way to 
Kansas. He remained in that state for five 
years, and afterward lived in Nebraska and 
Missouri until 1906. He had met with finan- 
cial misfortune before this and when he reach- 
ed Kimball county in that year, his capital 
amounted to $22.65. which he had obtained 
by selling a cow. He took a homestead of 
four hundred and eighty acres in the north- 
eastern part of what is now the Bushnell set- 
tlement, then borrowed money and sent for 
his family. Times were hard during the next 
two years but through the helpful assistance 
of a most estimable wife he made headway. 
While he worked in the town, Mrs. Read took 
care of the children and the affairs on the 
homestead, thus holding down the claim. 
From their present position of affluence, it may 
seem almost impossible to believe the diffi- 
cult things they accomplished in those early 
days, when they had to carry all water used 
a distance of two miles, and when coal gave 
out, gathered buft'alo chips on the prairie to 
use as fuel. After Mr. Read had proved up 
on his homestead he sold it to advantage and 
invested it in town property, and now owns 
one of the finest cement block buildings in the 
city, the first floor of which is used as a 
bank. 

Mr. Read married Miss Willie Felts, and 
they had two sons : Ernest, who lives in 
Nevada ; and Wm. T., who lives at Stanberry. 
Missouri. Twenty-three years ago he married 
Zora Van Gundy, daughter of George and 
Ruth (Minnick) Van Gundy, who were na- 
tives of Indiana, but Mrs. Read was born in 
Iowa. They have one son, Arthur T., who 
lives at Bushnell. Mr. Read has never been 
inclined toward great activity in politics, but 
he has always been a good citizen, and one 
proof of this may be cited in the fact that 
he not only invested in property but when the 
government called on loyal citizens to help, he 
bought $600 worth of Liberty bonds. Both 
he and wife are members of the Christian 
church. While living at Cameron, Missouri, 
he was an active member of Star Hope Lodge 
No. 182, Odd Fellows, and belonged also to 
the order of Patriarchs at the same place. 

FRANK G. TANNER, who is a representa- 
tive citizen of Scottsbluft' county and a success- 
ful general farmer, has been a resident of Ne- 
braska for thirty-two years. He is a native 
of Illinois and was bom in Kankakee countv. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



183 



July 24, 1864. His parents- were E. M. and 
Helen (Haskell) Tanner. The father was 
born in the state of New York, while the moth- 
er's people were of New England and she was 
born in Connecticut. Of the three sons and 
one daughter in the family, two sons are liv- 
ing, F. G. and H. C, the latter Ijeing a resi- 
dent of Wyoming. 

Mr. Tanner obtained his education in the 
public schools of Guthrie county, Iowa, and 
remained at home until 1887. when he came 
to Nebraska and homesteaded in what is now 
Scottsbluff county, his eighty acres, on which 
he still resides, being located three miles east 
of Scottsbluff. Mr. Tonner has done well 
since he came to Nebraska and now owns two 
hundred and forty acres of irrigated land. His 
home place is well improved, his stock is 
high grade and all his farm industries are 
carried on according to modern methods. 

In 1899 Mr. Tanner was united in marriage 
to Miss Marj' Ferguson, who is a daughter of 
James Ferguson, one of the early settlers. 
Mr. and Mrs. Tanner have the following chil- 
drne : Cassius. Lawrence, Grace, Myron and 
Willow. Mr. and Mrs. Tanner belong to the 
Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he 
is a Republican. 

CORIE J. HAIN. — The young man to 
whom an easy life appeals should not locate in 
an arid section of country as was a part 
of Scottsbluff county when C. J. Hain came 
here, but neither should such a young man 
adopt farming as a vocation. The men who 
have been successful in Nebraska have been 
workers with a large natural endowment of 
common sense. In coming here such men have 
expected pioneer hardship and have taken 
pride in overcoming the most discouraging con- 
ditions. Mr. Hain came to Scottsbluff coun- 
ty with limited capital but is now the owner of 
one of the finest farms in this section. 

C. J. Hain was born at Lake City, in Cal- 
houn county, Iowa, June 11, 1868, and is a 
son of Elias and Laura E. Hain, the former 
of whom settled in early life in Iowa and died 
there at the age of seventy years. The latter 
died when aged thirty-five years. Mr. Hain 
has seven brothers and one sister. He obtained 
a good public school education and has been 
engaged in agricultural pursuits all his life. 
When he came to Scottsbluff county in 1906 he 
homesteaded and his farm of one hundred and 
forty acres lies on section 24 town 23-54, thir- 
teen miles distant from the city of Scottsbluff. 
One of the greatest drawbacks to comfortable 
living when Mr. Hain settled here, was a lack 



of water, and for the first six months he was 
obliged to haul all the water used a distance of 
a half mile. By that time he had a well dug 
and with irrigation project well under way, 
there is little danger of this beautiful and na- 
turally fertile section of country ever again 
suffering seriously from drouth. Mr. Hain 
has added to his possessions and he now has 
full three hundred acres, on which he carries 
on general farming. His improvements are 
adequate and substantial and all his surround- 
ings indicate thrift and plenty. 

In Pottawatomie county. Kansas, Mr. Hain 
was married to Miss Flora Ettlinger. who was 
liorn in Kansas. They have had the following 
children : Raymond, whose homestead farm 
is located near that of his father in Scotts- 
bluff' county ; Cecil, who lives on his homestead 
in Wyoming; Mary, who has taken a home- 
stead in Wyoming; Alvin, who lives at home; 
and Bessie, Edna, Orrie and Archie, all of 
whom are in school ; and Effie Leona, who died 
when aged eighteen months. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hain are members of the Baptist church. Mr. 
Hain has never desired public office and is an 
independent voter. 

G. F. HAAS. — The financial interests of 
Minatare, Nebraska, are well taken care of by 
stable and honorable business men here, the 
Minatare Bank being a trustworthy institu- 
tion conducted along conservative lines by men 
of known probity and high commercial stand- 
ing. 

Mr. Haas was born in Shelby county, Iowa, 
February 5, 1876, a son of Frank and Eliza- 
beth Haas. The father was born in Switzer- 
land and was brought by his parents to the 
United States when three years old. He grew 
up in Wisconsin and was married there, and 
in 1872 started with his wife for Western Ne- 
braska but never reached their proposed loca- 
tion. When some distance on the way their 
party was overtaken by a band of savage In- 
dians who were so threatening that the trav- 
elers turned back and Mr. and Mrs. Haas set- 
tled in Iowa and the father still resides on his 
farm in vShelby county. G. F. Haas was reared 
there, attended the public schools and after 
graduating from the Shelby high school, went 
to Omaha and completed a business course in a 
commercial college. In March, 1909 he came 
to Minatare, Nebraska, and in association with 
S. K. Warrick purchased the bank in which 
they have been interested ever since. Their 
success has been phenomenal. They have in- 
creased the original capital of $5,000 to 
$25,000, and the $40,000 to $350,000 deposits. 



184 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



Mr. Haas is also a stockholder in the First 
National Bank of Scottsbluff. 

On June 25, 1906, Mr. Haas was united in 
marriage to Miss Evelyn E. Witter, who was 
born at Woodbine, Iowa, April 15, 1878, who 
is a daughter of Parry and Hattie Witter, who 
are natives of Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Haas have 
one daughter, Frances E., an attractive little 
maiden of nine years. The family belongs to 
the Methodist E'piscopal church. Mr. Haas is 
an independent voter in national affairs, but 
not from lack of interest but because he often 
feels that he can rely on his own trained pre- 
ceptions in regard to men and their probable 
reactions in times of national emergency. 
There are few men who make a closer study 
of human nature than bankers. Mr. Haas has 
been identified with both the Masons and Odd 
Fellows for many years. 

ADAM WALKER, who has proved a good 
citizen and has done exceptionally well in 
business since coming to the United States in 
1906, still naturally takes a great deal of in- 
terest in his old home in Russia, but his in- 
terests are now mainly centered in Nebraska. 
He was bom in Central Russia, August 17, 
1879. His parents were Adam and Catrina 
Walker, both of whom died in Russia, the 
father when seventy-three years old and the 
mother when aged fifty-five years. 

When Adam Walker was twenty-seven years 
old he came to the United States with the in- 
tention of becoming a farmer. His father had 
been a small shopkeeper but Adam desired 
greater opportunity and believing he could find 
it in America, left Russia and the other mem- 
bers of his family behind. After landing on 
the soil of the great United States, he came di- 
rectly to Nebraska and for seven years worked 
at Lincoln. In 1913 he came to Scotfsbluff 
county, by 1917 was able to buy one hundred 
and sixty acres of good land, and to the de- 
velopment and improvement of this property 
he has ever since devoted himself. He has a 
fine place here now, being not far from Scotts- 
bluff where he has market facilities, and few 
farms show more careful tillage. He carries 
on general farming and raises some stock. 

Mr. Walker was married to Christina Hurst, 
who was bom in Russia and was brought 
by her father, Peter Hurst, to the United 
States when two years old. He people at 
present are in Russia, having twice visited 
the United States but make their home in the 
old country. Mr. and Mrs. Walker have six 
children, namely : Marie, Carl, Reinhold, Flor- 



ence, Esther and Rudolph, all of whom will 
receive the best of educational advantages. 
Mr. and Mrs. Walker belong to the Lutheran 
church. 

MAX SCHROEDER, who owns some of 
the most valuable farm property in Scotts- 
bluff county, has been a farmer and stock- 
man ever since he reached man's estate, 
and has made such practical application of his 
knowledge that he is one of the county's most 
substantial agriculturists, although not yet in 
middle life. Mr. Schroeder was born in 
Saunders county, Nebraska, ]\Iarch 1, 1883. 

The parents of Mr. Schroeder, Henry and 
Tillie Schroeder, were born in Germany. The 
mother died at the age of fifty-five years but 
the father survives and notwithstanding a 
life of hard work bears well his seventy-seven 
years. He came to the United States in 1865 
and prior to coming to Nebraska spent some 
time in New York. Pennsylvania and Illinois. 
After reaching this state he homesteaded in 
Saunders county. 

Max Schroeder grew up in Saunders coun- 
ty and attended the public schools. He assisted 
his father on the pioneer homestead when 
many hardships beset the early settlers, and 
afterward became a farmer on his own ac- 
count. In 1916 he came to Scottsbluff county 
and bought a quarter section of land, in 1917 
bought a second quarter section, and in 1918 
bought his last tract of eighty acres. He car- 
ries on general farming and makes feeding 
cattle a feature. His land is situated on sec- 
tion 26 town 22-53, and there are few farms 
in the county that have been better improved. 
Mr. Schroeder has common sense ideas in his 
work, providing the latest improved machin- 
ery and appliances for carrying on the same, 
and in consequence is able to take from his 
land much more than the less progressive 
farmer can. 

In Saunders county, on June 9, 1904, Mr. 
Schroeder was united in marriage to Miss 
Mintie Clouse, whose father, Calvin Clouse, 
was born in Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. 
Schroeder have three children, namely: Ce- 
cil, Evelyn and Harris. The family belongs 
to the Aiethodist Episcopal church. In poli- 
tics Mr. Schroeder is a staunch Republican. 
He takes interest in the county's development, 
lends his influence to the betterment of the 
public schools and favors measures looking to 
improvements in regard to public roads, but 
has never consented to hold office. He be- 
longs to the order of Modern Woodmen of 
America. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



185 



ALONZO THURAIAN. — Practical indus- 
try, wisely and vigorously applied, seldom 
fails of attaining success, and the career of 
Alonzo Thurman, now one of the leading 
farmers of Scottsbluff county, is but another 
proof of this statement. When he started out 
in life he had but few advantages but a prac- 
tical education to assist him along the road to 
success, but his diligence and judicious man- 
agement have brought him ample success as a 
reward for his labors. 

Alonzo Thurman was born in Knox county, 
Illinois, May 29. 1864, the son of Wesley and 
Martha (Denison) Thurman; they both were 
natives of the Buckeye state. They had a fam- 
ily of seven children : Sylvester, deceased ; Ari- 
zona, who married Joseph Casper, lives in 
Kansas; Alonzo, the subject of this review; 
Sheridan, a farmer living seven miles north of 
Scottsbluff; Dorothy, deceased; Lill>'. the wife 
of George W'ason, resides in llHnois. and Ar- ■ 
thur who lives in Idaho. Wesley Thurman 
carried on a general farming business in Illi- 
nois where his family were reared. Alonzo 
grew up in his large family used to the give 
and take that exists where boys are growing up 
together and thus early became self-reliant and 
able to hold his own in the youthful affairs of 
life. He attended the school near his home and 
thus gained a good practical foundation in an 
educational way, which became of great value 
to him in his business relations in later life. 
After his school days were over, the j^oung man 
decided upon agricultural pursuits as a life's 
vocation, as it was a business he had learned 
practically on the farm, with his father's super- 
vision, until Wesley Thurman died when the 
boy was seventeen years old, then he began to 
work out the daily problems for himself, and 
that he was able to do so remarkably well is 
attested by the fact that by his own unaided 
efforts he has accumulated a comfortable com- 
petency. Mr. Thurman remained in Illinois 
until he was twenty-four years of age, but that 
state was well settled up, land was high in 
value, and so he determined to avail himself of 
the homestead plan of acquiring land and with 
this end in view came to Nebraska in 1888, 
locating on a claim in Cheyenne county, which 
at that time embraced the territory now known 
as Banner county, as the latter was carved 
from Cheyenne and erected into one of the 
divisions of the state later. He proved up on 
his homestead and at once began excellent and 
permanent improvements that greatly enhanced 
the value of the land, erected a comfortable 
home and good farm buildings as soon as his 
capital permitted and was soon established as 
one of the progressive and prosperous agricul- 



turists of the district. In 1903 he sold his 
homestead and went to northern Iowa for five 
years, in 1908 returning and buying his present 
place. Mr. Thurman made a good choice in 
picking out the location of his claim as all his 
land today is under irrigation and on his 160 
acres under ditch he is able to raise many times 
the amount of crops that he could on unirri- 
gated soil. In 1914 he bought eighty acres 
adjoining. His land is now worth $400 an 
acre. From first locating in this section he has 
advocated improved methods and used the lat- 
est and most modern agricultural implements 
in his farm work, making it much easier to 
conduct operations than it was years ago. To- 
day he recalls vividly the trials and struggles 
which the early settlers of this county encoun- 
tered in contending for victory over the untried 
forces of a new land, and notwithstanding the 
anxiety and toil imposed, looks back to those 
days as among the happiest of his life — a view 
that is fully shared by the other members of 
the family. He makes comparison between the 
high prices paid farm labor today, with what 
he as a young man first earned when he went 
to work just after leaving school and in the 
realm of retrospection, Mr. Thurman is duly 
impressed with the fact that "the world moves," 
and waits upon no man. 

In 1896, Mr. Thurman married Miss Eva 
Palmer, a native of Iowa, who came to Ne- 
braska when very young with her parents. Six 
children have come to brighten the Thurman 
home: Wesley, Stella, lona, Lola and Viola, all 
at home, and \'era, who died at the age of six- 
teen. The Thurman home is one of the most 
delightful in the Gering valley and they keep 
open house to their host of warm friends. Mr. 
Thurman is a Republican in his political views 
while his fraternal relations are with the Mod- 
ern ^^'oodmen of America. 

ROY SCHAFFER, who is one of Scotts- 
bluft"'s enterprising young men and successful 
farmers, was born October 12, 1892, near 
Johnson, in Nemaha county, Nebraska. His 
father, Henry Schaft'er, was born in Illinois 
and as a young man came to Nemaha county 
Nebraska, and at Johnson was married to 
Miss Flora Able. The family home continued 
at Johnson, where Mr. Schaffer engaged in 
farming until 1909, when he came to Scotts- 
bluff' county and bought eighty acres on which 
he yet resides. 

Roy Schaff'er obtained a public school edu- 
cation in Nemaha county. He accompanied 
his father to Scottsbluff' county in 1909 and is 
engaged in farming. He carries on general 
farming, making beet growing his main crop. 



HISTORY OF \\ESTERN NEBRASKA 



and rents eighty acres, being situated within 
four and three-quarters miles of Scottsbluff. 
The home farm is well improved, the father of 
Mr. Schaffer attending to that as soon as 
the place came into his possession. 

At Scottsbluff on December 10, 1915, Roy 
Schafifer was united in marriage to Miss Tessa 
Harrison, who was born at Fort Collins, Colo- 
rado, who is a daughter of Bert and Minnie 
(Yocum) Harrison, who were born in Mis- 
souri. Mr. and Mrs. Schafifer have one daugh- 
ter, Jean, who has passed her second birth- 
day. The family belongs to the Presbyterian 
church. Mr. Schaffer is not active in politics 
but takes an intelligent interest in local mat- 
ters, particularly those pertaining to agricul- 
tural affairs, and voices approval of the high 
officials of the state who are seeking protec- 
tive legislation along this line. 

MANUEL G. WILSON, who is a success- 
ful general farmer and respected citizen of 
Scottbsluff county, Nebraska, was born in In- 
diana, February 13, 1871. His parents were 
Henry and Julia Wilson, natives of northern 
Indiana. The father was a farmer all his life, 
first in Indiana and later in Nebraska. There 
were four children in his family. 

M. G. \^'ilson was reared in Indiana and 
attended the public schools there. His entire 
life has been devoted to agricultural pursuits 
and since 1914 he has been a farmer in Scotts- 
bluff county, Nebraska. He owns eighty 
acres of irrigated land on section 25 town 
22-54, which is well improved. Mr. Wilson 
has no particular specialty, the natural soil, 
with irrigation, producing abundant crops of 
all kinds. 

In 1900 Mr. Wilson was united in marriage 
to Miss Fay Gal ford, who was born in Iowa, 
February' 28, 1880. Her parents now reside 
at Burwell, Nebraska, where they are highly 
respected. Mr. and Mrs. \\'ilson have one 
son, Norman, who lives with his parents. Mr. 
Wilson has never desired political office and 
takes only a moderate interest in public af- 
fairs except as they aiTect the farmers. He 
votes independently. 

THEODORE CARLSON, who is one of 
the representative citizens and successful 
farmers of Scottsbluff county, has spent the 
greater part of his life in the United States 
and many years of it in Nebraska. He was 
born in Sweden, November 9, 1866. 

The parents of Mr. Carlson were Carl E. 
and Christina Louisa Carlson. The father was 
born in Sweden in 1830 and was a farmer all 



his life. The mother was born in Sweden in 
1843 and still lives there. 

After his schooldays were over and when 
seventeen years of age, Theodore Carlson left 
his native land for America. It required some 
courage to thus start out for himself to make 
his way in a strange land, but he soon found 
good friends in Iowa, where he lived from 
1883 until 1888, when he came to Nebraska. 
He located first in Banner county, homestead- 
ed there and kept his quarter section of land 
until o good business opportunity came to sell 
at a profit. Realizing that only irrigation was 
needed to make land in Scottsbluff county won- 
derfully productive, he had the good judgment 
to invest here, securing one hundred and sev- 
enty-two acres, the entire body now being irri- 
gated and worth many times the price he paid 
for it. In early days he faced the hardships 
that met all settlers here, but Mr. Carlson is 
• not the type of man to be easily discouraged 
and his persistency has been well rewarded. 
He has everything very comfortable about him 
in the way of substantial buildings, and if he 
so desired, might take more ease that he 
does, but he has always been a hard worker 
and so continues. 

Mr. Carlson married Miss Mary Peterson, 
who was born in Sweden in 1872. Her parents 
were also natives of Sweden. Her father came 
to the United States in 1886, was a farmer in 
Nebraska and he died here. Mr. and Mrs. 
Carlson have had five children, four of whom 
died in infancy, the one survivor, Carl, living 
at home and assisting his father. The family 
belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church. 
Mr. Carlson is a Republican in politics and 
takes considerable interest in public affairs as 
an intelligent citizen must, but has never been 
wiling to accept any public office. He is widely 
known and the entire family is held in high 
esteem. 

GUY C. McPROUD, who is a general farm- 
er in Scottsbluff" county, owning one hundred 
■and forty acres of irrigated land, came here 
in 1906 and homesteaded one hundred and 
sixty acres. He was born at Farmland, in 
Randolph county, Indiana, December 7, 1858. 
His parents, Joseph and Sarah (Taylor) Mc- 
Proud, moved to Kansas in 1856 when he 
was young, and they spent the rest of their 
lives on a farm there. 

Mr. McProud attended school through boy- 
hood but after his schooldays were over, went 
to work on a farm and has followed agri- 
cultural pursuits ever since and has been very 
successful. In early days he went through 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



187 



the usual pioneer hardships and remembers 
well when all these productive fields suffered 
every season from lack of water. He carries 
on general farming and pays some attention to 
stock. 

On December 27, 1883, in Kansas Mr. AIc- 
Proud was married to Miss Eva Baker, who 
was born in Kansas, August 12, 1864 and is a 
daughter of Ephraim and Ellen (Sweeney) 
Baker, who were farming people and now de- 
ceased. Mr. and Mrs. McProud have had chil- 
dren as follows : Nellie, who lives in Mis- 
souri ; Ross, who operates the homestead ; Gar- 
nett, who lives in Kansas ; Hazel, who lives at 
home; Alta, who lives in the state of Wash- 
ington; and two who are deceased. Mr. Mc- 
Proud has given his children every advantage 
within his power and they are all well educat- 
ed and the most of them are married. He 
and wife belong to the Presbyterian church. 
He is an independent voter and has never 
accepted any public office except membership 
on the school board. Mr. McProud is known 
among his neighbors as an honest, upright man, 
one whose word is as good as his bond. He 
organized the first school district in this neigh- 
borhood and school was held in his house. He 
had to go as far as the Platte River to get 
children in sufficient numbers to organize the 
district. 

OSCAR A. CARLSON, whose well im- 
proved, irrigated farm is situated on Section 
18 town 12, Scottsbluft' county, has been a 
resident of the United States for thirty-five 
years and has prospered through industry 
and good management. He was born Novem- 
ber 31, 1860, in Sweden. His parents were 
Carl and Johanna (Anderson) Carlson, both 
of whom are deceased. Of their three chil- 
dren Oscar A. was the youngest. 

Mr. Carlson remained in his native land 
until he was twenty-five years old. There he 
attended school and assisted his father who 
was a general farmer. In 1884 he came to 
the United States, and in 1892 his parents came 
also. For eight years Mr. Carlson worked on 
farms in Kansas, helping through many bounti- 
ful harvests in that productive state. He 
watched his opportunity, however, to secure a 
farm of his own and after coming to Scotts- 
bluft' county, Nebraska, in 1897 homesteaded 
forty-six acres. He has remained here, con- 
tinually improving his place and now has a 
valuable property and a comfortable and at- 
tractive home. 

Mr. Carlson was married to Miss Ellen An- 
derson, who was born in Sweden, June 24, 



1867, the ceremom' taking place in Nebraska, 
in 1896. The parents of Mrs. Carlson never 
came to the United States and still live on 
their farm in Sweden. Mr. and Mrs. Carlson 
have two children, namely : Edwin and Anton, 
both of whom reside at home. The family 
belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church. 
They have a wide acquaintance and are very 
highly esteemed in their neighbi^rhoj '. 

ENOCH BOWMAN, who is one of the 
representative men of Scottsbluff" county and 
a prominent farmer, came to the eastern part 
of Nebraska and homesteaded as early as 1883. 
He was born in Boone county, Iowa, March 4, 
1855. His parents were Jeremiah and Eliza- 
beth (Brown) Bowman, the former of whom 
was born in Pennsylvania, August IS, 1829, 
and the latter in Kentucky. 

Enoch Bowman attended the district schools 
in early years and afterward assisted on the 
home farm. A natural desire to own land of 
his own, led him to come early to Nebraska, 
and in spite of many hardships that faced all 
the pioneers, he has never wished to leave the 
state. In 1906 he came to Scottsbluft' county 
and has a fine, irrigated farm of one hundred 
and sixty acres, on which he has placed sub- 
stantial improvements. He carries en general 
farming and deals in live stock. 

In Nebraska, in 1889, Mr. Bowman was 
united in marriage to Miss Ida Harter, who 
was born in Indiana. Her parents were David 
and Mary (Weeks) Harter, the former of 
whom was born in Pennsylvania and the latter 
in Connecticut. For many years Mr. Harter 
was a general farmer in Indiana and both he 
and wife died there. To Mr. and Mrs. Bow- 
man ten children have been bom, namely: 
Ethel, who is the wife of L. L. Hewitt, lives 
at Scottsbluft; William E., who is his father's 
right hand man on the farm ; and Edward, 
Kittie, Mary, Bertha, Ella, Herbert, Bernice 
and Gordon, all of whom are at home. Mr. 
Bowman and his family belong to the Metho- 
dist Episcopal church. In politics he is a Re- 
publican. He has never cared for public of- 
fice but takes a close interest in both outside 
and local aft'airs and is particularly concerned 
in the matter of public schools. For many 
years he has belonged to the Odd Fellows and 
is a member also of the Order of Modern 
Woodmen. 

DANIEL BOWMAN, whose large, well 
improved farm is situated on section 17 town 
12 Scottsbluft county, is considered one of the 
successful agricuhurists of this section, and 



188 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



he is also one of the town's representative 
men. He has served on the school board for 
a number of years and his opinion is very often 
consulted in regard to public matters. 

Daniel Bowman was born in Boone county, 
Iowa, July 16, 1870. His parents were Jere- 
miah and Elizabeth (Brown) Bowman, the 
former of whom was born in Pennsylvania, 
August 18, 1829, and the latter in Kentucky. 
Mr. Bowman received his education in Iowa. 
In 1907 he came to Scottsbluff county, Nebras- 
ka, homesteaded. and now has an irrigated 
farm of one hundred and five acres that would 
command a high price should he place it on 
the market. Air. Bowman has improved his 
land with substantial buildings of every kind 
and his surroundings show thrift and good 
management. He carries on general farming 
and raises stock for his own use. 

In Nebraska, in 1894, Mr. Bowman was 
united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Linton, 
who was born in Otoe county, Nebraska, Feb- 
ruary 19, 1876. Her parents were James and 
Elizabeth (McNiel) Linton, now deceased, 
who were farming people in Otoe county. Mr. 
and Mrs. Bowman have had the following 
named children: Cec"' who is a farmer in 
Scottsbluff county; Maurita, who is married 
and lives in Colorado ; Harold, who assists 
his father on the farm; and Merle, Allen 
Stanley and Delbert, all of whom are at home. 
Mr. Bowman belongs to the order of Modem 
Woodmen. 

MONROE J. REED. — When a man 
chooses any vocation in life it is satisfactory 
indeed to find that his judgment has not been 
at fault but that success has rewarded his 
earnest efforts. While there is no business 
so important as farming, not every young man 
can make it profitable when he leaves the home 
farm where everything is familiar, and starts 
out for himself. When Monroe J. Reed, how- 
ever, came to Scottsbluff' county, from his 
father's farm in Sarpy county, he found he had 
been well trained and the eff'ects of this train- 
ing are seen in the excellent condition of his 
homestead, which is situated on section 17 
town 22-53, no great distance from a fine 
market at Scottsbluff. 

Monroe J. Reed was born in Clearfield 
county, Pennsylvania, October 21, 1873. He 
is a son of James Mitchell and Mary E. 
(Read) Reed, both of whom were born in 
Pennsylvania. In the spring of 1880 they 
moved to Sarpy county, Nebraska and engaged 
in farming for the rest of their lives. Mon- 
roe J. Reed obtained his education in the pub- 



lic schools. He was reared on his father's 
farm and from there came to Scottsbluff coun- 
ty in 1910 and homesteaded. Almost all the 
substantial improvements which mark the 
place as the property of a careful owner, were 
put here by Mr. Reed. His land is all irri- 
gated and abundant crops result from his 
efficient methods of farming. 

In 1919 Mr. Reed was married to Mrs. 
Minnie (Van Meter) Meyers, who was born 
in Illinois. December 4, 1885. and was care- 
fully educated in Nebraska. She is a daugh- 
ter of Henry and Man- (Hulbut) Van Meter, 
her father being a substantial farmer in Hitch- 
cock county, Nebraska, where both parents 
have spent their lives. Mr. and Mrs. Reed 
are members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. In politics he has always been identi- 
fied with the Republican party. 

WTLLIAAI BOSTON MEEK, who is one 
of Scottsbluff' county's successful self-made 
men, finds himself quite ready to believe stories 
often told the traveler through this section, 
of tlie pioneer hardships of seventeen years 
ago. Like many other young men, he came 
here with more courage and ambition than 
capital but all these were necessary during the 
early years. He came before the great irri- 
gation projects were under way, and deserves 
credit as do others, because of the determina- 
tion and persistency with which he earned the 
right to his land. His fine irrigated farm is 
enough reward. 

W'illiam Boston Meek was bom in Wayne 
county, Indiana, June 30, 1888, and is a son 
of John William 'and Wilda (Porter) Meek, 
the former of whom was born in Indiana, 
February 2, 1851, and the latter in the same 
state, November 6, 1853. They now live on 
their large ranch in Boxbutte county, Ne- 
braska. When young Mr. Meek's parents 
moved to Morrill' county and he was reared 
there and worked on his father's farm until 
1892 when he came to Scottsbluff county and 
homestead on one hundred and sixty acres. 
He then had this large tract of wild, unimprov- 
ed land and set about developing it as rapidly 
as possible, in the meanwhile reducing his 
living expenses to the lowest ebb. It was a long 
season of hard work before he had completed 
his contract with the government and at times 
found it necessary to leave his own farm and 
work for others in order to get money to hold 
his claim. At first the land was not properly 
productive, his crops being iniured on many 
occasions by protracted drouths, but since it 
is irrigated' an entirely different story may 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



be told. He devotes himself to general farm- 
ing and his neighbors call him verv success- 
ful. Mr. Meek is not married but he is widely 
known and his fellow citizens are all friends. 
He belongs to the order of Odd Fellows. 

GOTLEIB GRASSMICK, who is an enter- 
prising young farmer of Scottsbluft county, 
was born April 28, 1887, in Russia, where 
he went to school for several years before ac- 
companying his parents to the United States. 
His father, Carl Grassmick, was born in Rus- 
sia and lived there until 1899, when he brought 
his wife and children to America. The moth- 
er, Mary (Helzer) Grassmick was born in 
Russia and now lives in Colorado, aged forty- 
five years. The parents landed safely in the 
United States and went west to North Da- 
kota, where the father homesteaded. Later 
he moved to Colorado and died there when 
aged sixty-four years. 

Gotlieb Grassmick worked on his father's 
farm in North Dakota until 1914, when he 
came to Scottsblufif county, Nebraska. Here 
he is operating a farm of forty acres that be- 
longs to his father-in-law, and is doing ex- 
ceptionally well. In 1915 he was married to 
Katie Hohnstein, who was born in Russia, 
November 11, 1894. She is a daughter of 
John and Katie (Tellman) Hohnstein, all born 
in Russia. Mr. and Mrs. Grassmick have two 
children : Esther and Helen. 

WILL N. RANDALL is one of the pioneer 
settlers who has assisted in demonstrating the 
splendid advantages of Scottsblufif county in 
the development of the agricultural and live- 
stock industry, and his well improved farm 
property is situated in section 28, township 23- 
55, about seven miles from the city of Scotts- 
blufif. Mr. Randall was born at Des Moines, 
Iowa, on the 18th of October, 1863, and was 
reared and educated in the Hawkeye state, 
where he duly availed himself of the advan- 
tages of the public schools of the period. He is 
a son of Milo M. and Adelia (Roberts) Ran- 
dall, the former a native of New York state 
and the latter of Vermont. The father, who 
was a wagonmaker and cabinetmaker by trade, 
became one of the early settlers of Iowa, where 
he developed a fine farm property in Polk 
county, the same being still in the possession of 
the family and the place of abode of the ven- 
erable widow, who celebrated in 1919 the 
eighty-fourth anniversary of her birth, Mr. 
Randall having died at the patriarchal age of 
ninety-one years. Milo M. Randall was a pio- 
neer in the work of his trades in Iowa, but 
there he gained his major success through asso- 
ciation with farm enterprise. He purchased 



the old home farm from a man named Randall, 
but no relation, who had obtained the land 
from the government, and thus it has changed 
ownership only once. In politics he was first 
a Whig and later a Republican, and he held 
membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, 
as diie^ aJMi ills widow. He was long affiliated 
with the Alaxmic fraternity and was a man of 
sterling character and strong mentality. Of 
the six children the eldest, Emma, is deceased; 
Will N., of this review, was the next in order 
of birth ; Sophrona M. is the wife of Martin 
Troup, a prosperous real estate dealer at Max- 
well, Iowa ; Charles is a prosperous farmer 
near Lander, Wyoming ; Rose is deceased ; and 
Cora resides at Ala.xwell, Iowa. 

Will X. Randall early gained practical ex- 
perience in connection with the work of the 
home farm and he continued to be identified 
with agricultural enterprise in Iowa until 1886, 
when he came to Scottsbluff county, Nebraska, 
which was then a part of Cheyenne county. 
Here he filed on a homestead of 160 acres and 
also on a tree claim, both of which properties 
he still owns. He also owns land on the North 
Platte river, in the same section of the county, 
and the aggregate land holdings of the family 
comprise 640 acres, one-half of which is sup- 
plied with excellent irrigation facilities. Diver- 
sified agriculture and stock-raising have con- 
tinuously engaged the attention of Mr. Ran- 
dall, and through these basic mediums he has 
achieved substantial success, with incidental 
status as one of the popular and representative 
citizens of his community. He has made good 
improvements on his land and the family home 
is one of attractive order. 

In politics Mr. Randall holds aside from par- 
tisan lines and gives his support to men and 
measures meeting the approval of his judg- 
ment. He is affiliated with the Masonic fra- 
ternity, including the Order of the Eastern 
Star, in which his wife likewise holds member- 
ship, as does she also in the Church of the 
Brethren. 

The year 1891 recorded the marriage of Mr. 
Randall to Miss Margaret Pfoutz, who was 
born in Pennsylvania, and they have four chil- 
dren: Milo M., who married Christina Hass, 
and is one of the progressive exponents of 
farm industry in ScottsblufT county, as is also 
Ora P., who married Catherine Bear; Ira N., 
who entered the military service in connection 
with the late World War and who was sta- 
tioned at Camp Funston, Kansas, is now con- 
ducting a well equipped farming and cattle 
ranch near Du Bois, Wyoming, having married 
Mabel Wilson; and Charles Glenmore, who is 
farming with his brother at Du Bois, Wyom- 



190 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



JOHN HOHNSTEIN, who is one of the 
highly respected residents and substantial 
farmers of Scottsbhitt county, has been a resi- 
dent of the United States since 1904 and of 
Scottsblutif county since 1910. He was born in 
Russia, January 16, 1873. His parents were 
Henry and Lizzie (Schreere) Hohnstein, na- 
tives of Russia and good people. The father 
was a farmer all his life and died in his na- 
tive land when seventy-two years old. and 
the mother at the age of sixty-five years. 

John Hohnstein grew up on his father's 
farm in Russia and had some school train- 
ing. From early manhood he had determined 
at some time to come to the United States, 
but the chance did not present itself until he 
was thirty-one years old. He landed in this 
great country in 1904 and found plenty of 
work and comfortable living on a Kansas 
farm, where he remained until 1910, when he 
came to Scottsblufl: county. He went to work 
again as a farmer and four years later had a 
farm of his own, buying eighty acres of land 
situated on section 20 town 22-53. This land 
is now irrigated and richly productive. He 
now owns one hundred and eighty acres. Mr. 
Hohnstein has put many substantial improve- 
ments on his place and has comfort, plenty, 
and is well content. 

In Russia, in 1894, Mr. Hohnstein wos mar- 
ried to Miss Katie Tellman, who was born in 
Russia March 15, 1875. Her aprents were 
John and Katie (Loos) Tellman, natives of 
Russia. Both parents died on their farm. 
The following children have been born to Mr. 
Mrs. Hohnstein : Katie, who is the wife of 
Gotlieb Grassmick, who is a farmer in Scotts- 
bluiif county ; Henry, who assists his father on 
the home place ; Maggie, who is the wife of 
George Snell, who is a farmer in Scottsbluff 
county; Anna, who assists her mother at 
home; John, who works for a neighboring 
farmer; and George, Christina and Asrey. 
Mr. Hohnstein is giving his children every 
advantage in his power, and all are doing well. 
The family belongs to the Russian church and 
Mr. Hohnstein helped to build the first church 
of that faith in the county. 



53, within easy communication with Scotts- 
bluff for market, church or social purposes. 

William M. Lackey was born March 17, 
1873, in Ontario, Canada. His parents were 
Andrew and Eliza (Campbell) Lackey, the 
latter of whom survives and lives at Gering, 
Nebraska. The father of Mr. Lackey was 
born in Ireland and was brought to the Do- 
minion of Canada when two years old. tie 
grew up on a fami and followed agricultural 
pursuits all his life. He was married in Can- 
ada and some years aftenvard moved to the 
L'nited States and settled in eastern Nebraska 
where he bought three hundred and twenty 
acres of land. He was a man of sterling char- 
acter and was respected wherever known. 

William M. Lackey was reared in Ontario 
province, Canada, and had the advantage of 
good schooling. He chose farming as his vo- 
cation and has followed it in a thorough, prac- 
tical way that has brought profitable resulis. 
He came to Nebraska with his parents when 
seven years old and in the spring of 1892 
came to Scottsbluff county and homesteaded 
one hundred and sixty acres. At the present 
time he has his irrigated farm in Scottsbluff 
county and in addition owns four hundred 
acres in Banner county, range land. Mr. 
Lackey devotes himself pretty closely to the 
management of his large holdings, has all his 
industries well in hand, and undoubtedly is 
one of the county's level-headed, competent 
farmers. 

In 1889 Mr. Lackey was united in marriage 
to 'Miss Bertie Jones, a daughter of W. S. 
and Mary (Smith) Jones, natives of Illinois. 
The mother of Mrs. Lackey is deceased, but 
the father is living at Scottsbluff'. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Lackey the following children were 
born: Ethel, who is the wife of Evan Jones, 
lives in Colorado ; Leo, who is deceased ; Win- 
nifred, who lives with her parents ; Floyd, who 
is in the employ of the government ; and 
Charles, Eva, Artist, Fred, Eugene and Lil- 
lian. The family belongs to the Methodist 
Episcopal church. He is a member of the 
district school board but is not unduly active 
in politics. 



WILLIAM M. LACKEY. — The well im- 
proved farms for which Scottsbluff" county is 
justly noted, indicate the type of people who 
live here, a solid, self-respecting class who 
desire comfortable and attractive surroundings 
as a part of the enjoyment of life. Such a 
farm is the beautiful eighty acres of irrigated 
land that is the homestead of William Mitch- 
ell Lackey, and it lies on section 21 town 22- 



JAMES A. BAXTER, who owns two hun- 
dred acres of fine land in Scottsbluff county, 
was reared on a farm but for a number of 
years was a railroad man before coming here 
in 1916. Mr. Baxter was born in Delaware 
county, Iowa, October 15, 1882. Extended 
mention of the Baxter family will be found 
elsewhere in this work. 

James A. Baxter remained on his father's 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



191 



farm in Iowa until he was twenty-one years 
old. He then secured work in Nebraska and 
Colorado where the government had inaugu- 
rated a great irrigation project. He worked 
at ditching in three state, and worked on the 
railroad all through Idaho, railroading anu 
ditching from Miles City to Spokane and from 
Spokane back to Idaho. In 1916 he located 
permanently in Scottsblufif county, where he 
bought two hundred acres of land, eighty 
acres being irrigated. He breeds White Face 
cattle and raises eighty head of livestock year- 
ly. He has had an oil lease on his home place 
for five years and with a one-eighth royalty, 
may realize a fortune. 

Mr. Baxter was married to Miss Dora Bosh, 
a daughter of Henry and Tena Bosh, resi- 
dents of Utah. Mr. and Mrs. Baxter have 
three children, namely : Donald M., Murray 
C, and Marjorie, the eldest being a sturdy 
lad of six years, and the youngest yet an in- 
fant. Mr. Baxter is a stockholder in the 
Globe Life Insurance Company. 

WILLIAM T. TENNIS. — It is an inter- 
esting story indeed that can be told of early 
Nebraska by William T. Tennis, who is one 
of Scottsblufif county's worthy and subitan- 
tial citizens, for his experience covers the de- 
velopment of at least four counties of the 
state, and he was an active participant in 
many events of historical interest. Mr. Tennis 
has been a resident of Nebraska for almost 
forty years. 

Wilham T. Tennis was born in Marion 
county, Iowa, May 4. 1855, a son of John 
and Mary (Dawson) Tennis, who were born 
in the city of Richmond, Virginia. They 
moved to Iowa in 1844 and both died there, 
the father when aged forty-seven and the 
mother when aged fifty-six years. Mr. Tennis 
has three brothers and three sisters, but he is 
the only member of the family living in west- 
ern Nebraska. 

Mr. Tennis had country school opportunities 
in Ijoyhood and remained on his parent's farm 
until manhood, and in the state of Iowa until 
twenty-five years of age. In 1880' he came to 
Nebraska and located near Newman Grove, in 
Madison county. There were but few settlers 
in that locality and the Indian menace was not 
yet over, so that within six months he sought 
a more satisfactorj' location near Oakdale, in 
Antelope county. He lived there four years 
and then moved into Sheridan county where 
he engaged in farming and cattle raising for 
fourteen years and then returned for a iike 
interval to Oakdale. Each county possessed 



advantages over the other along some lines and 
Mr. Tennis made many friends in every sec- 
tion in which he settled. In 1914 he came to 
Scottsblutt county, where irrigation had in- 
creased both the value and price of land. He 
bought eighty acres of ditched land and has a 
valuable farm property that he devotes to gen- 
eral farming and the feeding of cattle and 
hogs. 

Mr. Tennis was married to Miss Lora Mul- 
len, who was born in Iowa, and they have had 
the following children : Dalbert, who assists 
his father on the home place ; Arthur, who 
lives in Oregon; Eliza, whose home is in the 
state of Washington ; Maude, who lives in 
California ; Percy, who lives near Minatare, 
Nebraska ; and Araminta, who died at the 
age of twenty-three years. Mr. Tennis and his 
family belong to the United Brethren church. 
He is an independent voter. 

CHARLES BRACKMAN, who is one of 
the successful farmers and respected citizens 
of Scottsblufif county, was born in Germany 
and obtained a practical education in the 
schools of his district. He came to the United 
States in 1883, and to Scottsbluff county, Ne- 
braska, in 1887. He homesteaded one hun- 
dred and sixty acres, which he still owns, and 
through other purchases has increased his 
holdings until he now has two hundred and 
forty acres of valuable land. He carries on 
a general farming line and is an extensive 
raiser of alfalfa. 

Mr. Brackman married Alice Holthusen, 
who was born in Colorado, and they have chil- 
dren as follows : Mrs. Clara Gilbert, who lives 
in Scottsblufif county; Edward, who assists 
his father on the homestead ; Anna, who is a 
school teacher at Morrill ; and Martha, George, 
Karl and Alice, all of whom live at home. Mr. 
Brackman has never desired political office 
but has been interested in maintaining good 
schools in district No. 2, and for nine years 
has served as a school director. 

JAMES CHRISTIAN HANSON, whose 
well improved property lies in Scottsbluff 
county, Nebraska, where he is widely knowm 
and highly respected, was born in Denmark, 
October 8, 1856. His parents were Lars and 
Ann Hanson, the latter of whom lives in 
Idaho, in her eighty-third years. The par- 
ents came to the United States and the fath- 
er homesteaded in South Dakota. His death 
occurred at the age of forty-six years. 

I. C. Hanson came to Scottsblufif county 
in" 1887 and homesteaded one hundred 



192 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



and sixty acres. He has always been en- 
gaged in general farming. In early days he 
often found it difficult to provide for his fam- 
ily as he desired to do, as was a fact with al- 
most every other settler in this section at 
that time. To "make both ends meet" in 
those days required hard work and good busi- 
ness management. Mr. Hanson remembers 
when, after taking two days to cut, two days 
to split and consuming three days to and from 
Alliance with his load of sixty-five posts, he 
had to accept seven cents apiece for the posts. 
Notwithstanding the many hardships of those 
early days, Mr. Hanson says that social en- 
joyment was not absent and recalls the many 
occasions on which the settlers would drive 
miles in their lumber wagons to attend some 
dance or other gathering, when everyone was 
on an equality and a genuine feeling of friend- 
ship and good fellowship prevailed. Mr. Han- 
son now owns two hundred and twenty acres, 
practically all of it being ditched and is num- 
bered with the prosperous citizens of the coun- 
ts- 
Mr. Hanson married Ada L. Roberts, who 
was born in Iowa, the ceremony taking place 
in Cheyenne county, Nebraska. They have 
four children, namely : Mrs. Ethel Fosberg, 
who lives in Morrill county ; and Guy J., Clar- 
ice and Iv}', all of whom reside at home. Mr. 
Hanson has always been a great friend of the 
public schools and has served as a school di- 
rector. He has never united with any par- 
ticular political party but is a good, fair-mind- 
ed, intelligent citizen and votes according to 
his own judgment. 

ROBERT I. FRANKLIN, who is a success- 
ful general farmer in ScottsblufT county, has 
spent the greater part of his life here and is 
well and favorably known over the county. 
Mr. Franklin was born in Putnam county, 
Missouri, September 30, 1882. Extended 
mention of the Franklin family will be found 
in this work. 

Robert I. Franklin accompanied his parents 
to Nebraska in March 1887, and grew up on 
his father's homestead in Scottsbluff county, 
obtaining his education in the public schools. 
At Sidney, Nebraska, in 1907, he was united 
in marriage to Miss Beulah Rashaw, who was 
bom in Nebraska, and they have four children, 
namely : Paul, Cal, Roberta and Betty. Mrs. 
Franklin is a member of the Roman Catholic 
church. 

Mr. Franklin has been a farmer all his life 
and is considered a very competent one by 
his neighbors. He owns one hundred and 



eighty-one acres, all under ditch, and the im- 
provements he has placed here are obvious 
and substantial. Mr. Franklin entertains very 
decided opinions on many public questions 
and votes according to his own judgment. 

HERBERT L. CLEVELAND, who exten- 
sive operations in farming and stockraising, 
make him an important factor in the agri- 
cultural life of Scottsbluff county, is well ex- 
perienced in this line, having devoted his en- 
tire life to such pursuits. He has proved him- 
self a good business man and his neighbors 
hold him a worthy citizen in every respect. 

Herbert L. Cleveland was bom in Story 
county, Iowa. July 24, 1877, a son of Z. V 
Cleveland, a sketch of whom appears in this 
work. 

Mr. Cleveland came to ScottsbluiT county in 
1909 and homesteaded. He now owns eievei. 
hundred and eighty acres of farm and lanch 
land, two hundred and twenty acres u;:'g 
ditched and exceedingly productive. He aver- 
ages one hundred head of cattle yearly. 

At La Grange. Wyoming, Mr. Cleveland 
was married to I\Iiss Edna Miskimmins, who 
was' born in Iowa and brought to Nebraska in 
1887. Their five children are as follows : 
Robert. Gladys. Harold, Nina and Grace. 
Mrs. Cleveland is a member of the Presbyter- 
ian church and is active in its various benevo- 
lent missions. Mr. Cleveland is intelligently 
interested in the country's public affairs as 
well as matters near home, but has never identi- 
fied himself with a particular political group 
and has never accepted public office. He be- 
longs to the order of Modern Woodmen of 
America. 

JOHN F. MARSHALL, who is an ex- 
perienced and successful famier of Scottsbluff 
county, came to this section of Nebraska 
thirty-one years ago and has lived here ever 
since. With other early settlers he experi- 
enced some hardships, but in the main has been 
well satisfied with all the investments he has 
ever made here. Mr. Marshall was born in 
Fulton county, Illinois, August 29, 1860. His 
parents were Samuel S. and Eliza Clannon 
Marshall, both of whom were born in Fulton 
county, Illinois. The mother died in Iowa 
when thirty-five years old, but the father sur- 
vived to the age of eighty-one years. He had 
been a general farmer in Illinois and in Iowa, 
later retired and removed to the state of 
Washington and his death occurred there. 

John F, Marshall obtained his education in 
the public schools and remained on his father's 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



193 



farm in Iowa until he reach his majority. He 
came then to Nebraska and on April 11. 1889, 
took a tree claim in Scottsbluff county, remain- 
ing so well satisfied with his surroundings and 
his neighbors, that in 1908 he homesteaded one 
hundred and sixty acres in the same county. 
Without attempting to accjuire an extensive 
acreage. Mr. Marshall has most sensibly de- 
voted his efiforts to the development and im- 
provement of his homestead and has found 
both pleasure and profit in so doing. 

Mr. Marshall married Mary Orin, and six 
children were born to them: Edward, Charles, 
John, Bessie and Charlotte ; and Earl, who is 
deceased. Mr. Marshall has never been ac- 
tive in a political sense but is not an indif- 
ferent citizen where the welfare of the coun- 
ty is concerned and casts his vote according to 
his own well considered ideas on public mat- 
ters. 

ELMER SCHOOLEY was born in Banner 
county, October 25, 1888, son of William H. 
and Mary Jane (Wildman) Schooley, a record 
of whose lives will be found elsewhere in this 
publication. He was reared in Nebraska and 
educated in the public schools of the state. He 
joined, on July 25, 1918, the Thirtieth Balloon 
Company for service in the World ^^'ar. He 
was at Camp Dodge, Iowa, and went later to 
Ft. Omaha and then to Newport News. On 
the evening of sailing for France he became ill 
and died at Camp Morrison, October 12, 1918. 
He was a young man of fine character, and a 
patriot. 

WILLIAIM H. SCHOOLEY, who has 
spent thirty-three years of his life in Nebraska, 
is well known both in Banner and Scottsbluflf 
counties. Coming to the state in 1886, he ex- 
perienced many pioneer hardships, and his 
reminiscences of those early days are very in- 
teresting. 

William H. Schooley was born July 2, 1851, 
in Martin county, Indiana, a son of Obed 
and Rachel (Morley) Schooley. His father 
was born in Ohio and his mother in Indiana. 
They never came to Nebraska. The father 
died in Missouri, the mother in Indiana. Wil- 
liam H. Schooley attended the district schools 
in Indiana and grew to manhood on his father's 
farm. In 1881 they moved to Kansas, living 
there four years. In 1886 he came to what 
was then old Cheyenne county, Nebraska, now 
Banner county, homesteaded 160 acres, proved 
up and remained on that place until 1895, when 
he sold it and came to Scottsbluff county. He 
engaged in general farming and raised cattle. 

On March 29, 1877, William H. Schooley 



was united in marriage, in Indiana, to Miss 
Mary Jane ^\'ildman, and they have had five 
children : Nettie, who lives at home : Harvey, 
who is a farmer on the old homestead : James, 
who resides in Sioux count\- : h'.lmcr, whu died 
of pneumonia at Camp ilorrisDn. \'irginia, 
while in military service during the \Vorld 
\\'ar ; and Levi, who went to France with the 
American Expeditionarv Forces and returned 
in July, 1919. In 1900 Miss Nettie Schooley 
homesteaded in Scottsbluff county and her 
farm of 160 acres, situated on section 23, town- 
ship 23-54, is a very valuable property. Mr. 
Schooley has looked after his daughter's farm- 
ing interests for some time but is now prac- 
tically retired. The family is very highly re- 
spected in this section. ;\Ir. and Mrs. Schooley 
are members of the Christian church. In pol- 
iti;s he is independent in local affairs, but in 
national elections is a Democrat. 

JOHN J. BROWN, who is well known in 
Scottsbluff' county as an enterprising farmer 
and worthy citizen was born at Westbury, 
England, May 26, 1878, and was reared and 
educated there. He is a son of Henry W. and 
Mary (Jackson) Brown, both of whom still 
live at Westbury. where the father is a cloth 
manufacturer. 

John J. Brown remained in his native land 
until twenty-eight years old and then came 
to the United States. In 1906 he reached 
Scottsbluff' county, Nebraska, and homestead- 
ed one hundred and sixty acres. He has 
placed substantial improvements here and as 
soon as the ditching project that is under way 
is completed, will have an exceedingly valuable 
estate. He carries on general farming and has 
met with more than a moderate degree of suc- 
cess. 

Since becoming a citizen of the United 
States. Mr. Brown has made one visit to Eng- 
land, where, <in January 18, 1917, he was mar- 
ried tu Miss I'.tlul Crist, who is a daughter of 
Edward and Hmnia ( \\'heeler) Grist, who re- 
side at Westbury, England, where Mr. Grist 
is a cloth maker. Mrs. Brown is a member of 
the Baptist church. Mr. Brown has never 
served in any public office although well quali- 
fied as to character and sound judgment. Po- 
litically he is affiliated with the Democratic 
party. 

S. S. y'OLIMSBEE, is a pioneer not only of 
western Nebraska, but of the entire west. He 
was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, May 30, 
1833. He missed being born on Decoration 
Day by some forty years, but, of course, when 
he chose May 30 for his birthday he had no 



194 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



way of knowing that Congress would pick the 
same dav, many years later, for ^lemorial 
Day. 

The father of INIr. Folmsbee was Isaac 
Folmsbee, a native of Pennsylvania, who served 
his country as a major in the War of 1812. 
His mother, Debora (Swift) Folmsbee, was 
a native of Maine. 

The subject of this sketch freighted through 
Nebraska over the old Oregon Trail to Cali- 
fornia in 1852. and encountered the hardships 
and adventures that were common to that 
dangerous journey, meeting many Indians, and 
stopping long enough to carve his name on the 
famous chimney Rock. Arriving safe in Cali- 
fornia, he spent five years in mining in the 
newly discovered gold field, but failed to make 
a big strike and ended his adventure by enlist- 
ing in the United States navy and cruising in 
Pacific waters for three years. In 1860 he re- 
turned to his home, and in 1862 was married in 
Indiana to Mary Quick, who was born June 27, 
1843, in Franklin county, Indiana, the daugh- 
ter of George and Susan (Lyons) Quick, both 
natives of that state. They lived together fifty- 
seven years. 

Mr. Folmsbee moved to Nebraska in 1886 
and located five miles south of where Melbeta 
village now stands. Here he made his home 
until about fifteen years before his death. 
Eight years ago he moved to ^^lelbeta where 
his death occured March 20, 1919, at the age 
of eighty-six years. To him and his wife 
were born eleven children, namely : Leona, 
Jennie, Myrtle, Cora, Eminet, Harry, Clifford. 
Stella, Maude, Ethel and George ; eight of 
whom are living. 

He was a successful man and enjoyed the 
respect and esteem of those who knew him. 
His homestead in Scottsbluit county was im- 
proved by his own labor and remains as a 
monument to his industry and progressiveness. 

JOHN E. CLURE, who is an enterprising 
and progressive young farmer of Scottsbluff 
county, owns a valuable irrigated farm and 
operates it carefully, intelligently and success- 
fully. Mr. Clure was born in t)awes county, 
Nebraska, November 10, 1888. 

John Clure, the father, now resides on a 
farm near Bayard, in IMorrill count)'. He was 
born at Aurora, Illinois, July 2, 1849, son of 
Joseph and Mary (Burlaugh) Clure, natives 
of Canada. When he was ten years of age 
the family removed to Benton county, Iowa, 
later going to Iowa county. John Clure en- 
gaged in farming. He lived in Cass county, 
Iowa, until removal in 1881 to Dawes county, 



Nebraska. Later he lived in Scottsblufif coun- 
ty, and then moved to Morrill county, where 
he has lived since. He married while in Iowa 
Sarah M. Parker, who was born in Lee coun- 
ty, Illinois, the daughter of Humphrey and 
Nancy J. (Cole) Parker, natives of Indiana. 
Mr. and Mrs. Clure endured in Nebraska, all 
the hardships and privations of pioneer life. 
They were the parents of eleven children, ten 
of whom grew to maturity. 

John E. Clure lived in Dawes county until 
he was about eight years old, when he accom- 
panied his parents to Morrill county, where he 
attended school and assisted his father on 
the home farm until 1908. In that year he 
began farming for himself and has demon- 
strated his competency. He now owns eighty 
acres of finely improved, irrigated land in 
Scottsblufif county and devotes it to general 
crop raising. 

Mr. Clure was married to Miss Elsie W"ood, 
who was born in Scottsbluff countv, January 
19, 1895, a daughter of J. P. Wood, a sketch 
of whom will be found in this work. 

GEORGE B. DENTON, who is one of the 
substantial farmers and livestock men of 
Scottsbluff county, has been engaged in farm 
pursuits all his life, and for the past fifteen 
years has been operating for himself. 

George B. Denton was born February 1, 
1876, in Pennsylvania, and is a son of J. B. 
and Eliza (Bateman) Denton, both of whom 
were born in England. J. B. Denton was 
brought to the United States when eleven 
years old and his wife came here when nine- 
teen years old. They were married in Penn- 
sylvania and in 1886 came to Nebraska and 
settled in Box Butte county. The father is 
a retired farmer audi both parents live at 
Alliance. George B. Denton accompanied his 
parents to Box Butte county and assisted his 
father until 1904, when he began farming 
on his own responsibility. In 1918 he came 
to Scottsbluft' county and purchased two hun- 
dred and forty acres of well improved, irri- 
gated land. Additionally he owns three sec- 
tions of cattle land in Sioux county. 

Mr. Denton married Miss Anna Lore, who 
was born in Kansas, November 10, 1880, a 
daughter of J. A. and Luella (Dunlap) Lore. 
The mother of Mrs. Denton is deceased but 
the father is yet an active farmer in Box Butte 
county. Mr. and Mrs. Denton have three 
children, namely: Arthur, Richard and Ever- 
ett, aged respectively sixteen, thirteen and 
seven years. Mrs. Denton is a member of 
the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Denton 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



195 



is somewhat interested in politics and votes 
the Repubhcan ticket. He is widely known in 
this section and very well thought of. 

AUSTIN MOOMAW, has been a resident 
of the great state of Nebraska for over a half 
century. Ha was born in Pike county, Illi- 
nois, July 29, 1860. His parents were Joel 
and Susan (Pence) Moomaw. The father was 
born in Ross county, Ohio, engaged in farming 
all his life and died in Missouri when aged 
seventy-three years. The mother was born in 
Pennsylvania and lived to be eighty-four years 
old. In 1871 the family went to Missouri, 
but it was not until the spring of 1887 that 
Austin Moomaw filed on a claim and moved 
on the homestead in Scottsblufi" county, on 
which he has lived ever since. The early 
days here were full of trial and discourage- 
ment to the hardworking settlers and almost 
all of them lost crops and cattle because of 
unseasonable storms and unusual dry weather. 
At that time there was not a house in sight 
and he lived for fifteen years in a sod house. 
Farseeing men may have visioned a time when 
the arid land might be transformed into pro- 
ductive farms, but if so, their ideas came to 
naught for many years. In the meanwhile 
sturdy, hopeful men like Austin Moomaw held 
on to their land and the time has arrived when 
the wildest fancies of those who believed in 
the countrv''s great future have been more than 
realized. Mr. Moomaw owns three hundred 
and twenty acres of well improved, irrigated 
land and is successfully engaged in general 
farming and crop raising. 

Mr. Moomaw was married to Miss Agnes 
Spriggs, who was born in northern Missouri, 
March 15. 1860, a daughter of Thomas R. and 
Luvenia (Carlin) Spriggs, natives of West- 
moreland county. Virginia, the former of 
whom died on his farm when aged sixty-six 
years, and the latter when seventy-three years 
old. Mrs. Moomaw served two terms, four 
years, as county superintendent of schools in 
the early days. Mr. and Mrs. Moomaw have 
two children, namely : Leon and Vera, the 
latter of whom is the wife of Roy Walford, 
who is an attorney at Lincoln Nebraska ; the 
son is married and lives in Morrill county. 
Both the children were given college educa- 
tions. The family belongs to the Christian 
church. Mr. Moomaw has always voted the 
Democratic ticket but has never been willing 
to serve in public ofTice. 

MELVILLE NEIGHBORS, who is an en- 
terprising and successful young farmer of 
Scottsbluff county, operating on section 10, 



was born April 7, 1894, in Missouri. His par- 
ents are Joseph G. and Carrie A. (Franklin) 
Neighljors. who are mentioned elsewhere in 
this work. 

Melville Neighbors obtained his education 
in Nebraska. He remained at home assisting 
his father until 1915, when he started out for 
himself and now operates eighty acres of ir- 
rigated land very profitably, devoting it to 
general farming. He follows modern methods 
in carrying on his; farm industries and uses 
improved inachinery. 

Mr. Neighbors was married to Miss Marie 
Peterson in 1915, who was born in Morrill 
county, November 3, 1898. Her parents are 
Arthur and Elizabeth (Phillips) Peterson, 
both of whom were born in Canada. The fath- 
er is still engaged in farming in Morrill coun- 
ty. Mr. and Mrs. Neighbors are members of 
the Methodist Episcopal church. 

MISS MYRTLE HILL. — There are fine, 
productive farms in Scottsbluff county and the 
histories of these read much alike because they 
all have been developed out of a wilderness 
through the industry of men and women who 
went through hardship and deprivation to 
make them what they are. The owners of 
these farms are not the only pioneers who 
came here and made attempts at settlement, 
but they are, in almost every case where injus- 
tice was not done, those who were on the field 
early and labored hard to acquire what they 
have. One of these fine properties is owned 
by Myrtle Hill, a well known resident of this 
county. 

Miss Hill was born in Sullivan county. New 
York, December 21. 1856. Her parents were 
Albert and Sarah L. (Palmer Hill, both na- 
tives of Sullivan county, the father bom 
August 12. 1825. and the mother, Februar}' 
2, 1828. The father of Miss Hill was a 
farmer and also operated a sawmill. In 1885 
Myrtle Hill came to Scottsbluff county and 
took a homestead and a tree claim but as this 
claim was contested, she lost that property. 
She still has the homestead, to which she 
subsequently added and now owns three hun- 
dred and sixty acres of the finest land in the 
county, all irrigated and well improved. Miss 
Hill values her land at $300 an acre. She has 
seen hard times in this section but never lost 
faith in the real fertility of the soil and has 
lived to see her ideas on irrigation carried out 
She carries on general farming and also raises 
some stock. Rliss Hill is one of the county's 
substantial women. 



196 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



ARTHUR A. JEFFORDS, who is one of 
McGrew's most highly respected retired citi- 
zens, came to Scottsbluff county at an early 
date and has been prominently identified with 
its developing enterprises. Mr. Jeffords has 
been particularly interested in the great ir- 
rigation projects that have changed this once 
arid country- into a section of agricultural pro- 
fusion and has made it one of the richest 
counties in the state of Nebraska. 

Arthur A. Jeffords was born in Muskingum 
county, Ohio, June 25, 1850. His parents were 
John and Nancy Jeffords, both of whom were 
born in Ohio. The father was a farmer there 
until 1886. when he moved to Nebraska, set- 
tling near Broken Bow in Custer county. The 
mother died there when aged sixty-six years, 
but the father survived until in his seventy- 
ninth year. 

Mr. Jeffords in 1886 drove from Iowa to 
Custer county, Nebraska, with a team of 
horses. He traded the horses for oxen and 
after one of the oxen died, worked his 
land with a cow and the other ox. He landed 
in what was then called Cheyenne county with 
not much more in worldly wealth than a sack 
of beans and $70 in cash. He homesteaded 
one and a half miles south of McGrew, but at 
that time there was nothing to be seen but bare 
prairie which was the range for the Bay State 
cattle company. He homesteaded one hun- 
dred and sixty acres and also secured a timber 
claim of one hundred and sixty acres, and for 
a number of years carried on agricultural 
operations, then sold and retired to McGrew, 
where he has since resided. He was a di- 
rector of the first school established in school 
district eighteen and continued to be inter- 
ested in the schools as long as he lived in that 
district. He served for four years as asses- 
sor. Mr. Jeffords was one of the enterprising 
men instrumental in getting the Castle Rock 
ditch project started, in 1889, and has been a 
member of the managing board ever since. 

Mr. Jeffords was married to Miss Mary E. 
Kating, who was born at Lexington, Ken- 
tucky, a daughter of Edward and Katherine 
Kating, the former of whom was born in Ire- 
land. The mother of Mrs. Jeffords survives, 
but the father has never been heard from since 
he started for Pike's Peak in search of gold. 
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffords have three children: 
Ira, a carpenter at Ogallala ; Airs. Abbie Van- 
devere, of Ogallala ; and Glenn, a ranchman in 
Wyoming. Mr. Jeffords has always been 
identified with the Democratic party. 



HENRY C. BLOOD, who owns a valuable 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Scotts- 
bluff county, at one time was quite active in 
its management, but is now practically re- 
tired from agricultural pursuits. He is well 
and favorably known over the county, especial- 
ly at Minatare, where he was in the hay, grain 
and coal business for ten years. 

Mr. Blood was born in Portage county, Ohio, 
April 17, 1868, a son of Adorno and Hannah 
F. Blood,the former of whom died in his for- 
ty-fourth year and the latter when aged seven- 
ty-five years. They came to Nebraska in 1887 
and the father homesteaded in Sioux county. 
Mr. Blood had two sisters, Mrs. Ettie Yoey 
and Mrs. Mary Hood, the former of whom is 
deceased and the latter resides at Melbeta, Ne- 
braska. 

In 1887 Mr. Blood homesteaded in Sioux 
county, Nebraska, and spent ten years on his 
homestead of one hundred and sixty acres 
there, then came to Scottsbluff county in 1897 
and worked for others and rented land for 
several years. In 1901 he bought property at 
Minatare. He has put excellent improvements 
on his farm of one hundred and sixty acres 
and has seventy-five acres ditched. He raises 
hay and grain exclusively. He has always 
voted the Democratic ticket. 

JOHN BRADY, who is a representative 
citizen of Scottsbluff county , an extensive 
farmer, large landowner and successful cattle 
raiser, was born in Columbia county, Wiscon- 
sin, January 14, 1851. His parents were John 
and Rose Brady, both of whom were born in 
Ireland. They came to the United States in 
1842 and settled in Wisconsin. The father 
served in the Mexican war. He and wife 
died on his Wisconsin farm at advanced age. 

John Brady was reared on a farm but had 
excellent educational advantages and for nine 
years before coming to Nebraska was super- 
intendent of schools of Fillmore county, Min- 
nesota. He came to Scottsbluff county in 
1912 and homesteaded one hundred and two 
acres, and at the same time his two sisters 
and his mother-in-law also homesteaded. He 
now owns three hundred and twenty acres of 
land irrigated by the Highland government 
ditch. When the family came first to this 
valley there were few neighbors and no or- 
ganized road system. Mr. Brady has very sub- 
stantially improved his property, has a com- 
fortable and attractive rural home place and 
all buildings needed for the carr>'ing on of 
farm industries in a modern way. He en- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



197 



gages in general farming and raises registered 
Shorthorn cattle. 

Mr. Brady was united in marriage to Har- 
riet Elizabeth Janes. Her father was born 
in Illinois and her mother in Canada. They 
came early to Kearney, Nebraska, and Mrs. 
Brady enjoyed excellent educational training 
and for a number of years prior to her mar- 
riage, was an instructor in the Kearney high 
school. Mr. and Mrs. Brady have one son, 
John H.. who is in business at Seattle, Wash- 
ington. Mr. Brady has always given his po- 
litical support to the Republican party. With 
his family he belongs to ithe Presbyterian 
church. For many years he has been active 
in Masonic circles and assisted in establishing 
the first Masonic lodge at Minatare. 

WILLIAM H. BECK, who was one of 
Banner county's most respected citizens for 
many years, was born in W'ayne county, Ohio, 
in 1847 and died in Gering, December 1. 1904. 
He was an example of the honest, industrious, 
intelligent and conscientious pioneer settler, to 
which class Banner and other counties of this 
great state owe so much in the way of sub- 
stantial development. 

The parents of Mr. Beck were William and 
Marv Ann (Hartman) Beck, who were mar- 
ried February 29, 1844. At the age of thirty- 
five years William Beck became a minister in 
the I\Iethodist Episcopal church. He was born 
at Middletown, Dauphin countv, Pennsylvania, 
June 23, 1817. 

William H. Beck grew to manhood in Ohio 
and when the Civil War came on proved his 
loyalty to the Union by enlisting as a soldier 
in Company F, 186th Ohio Infantry, in which 
he served faithfully and took ])art in many 
battles. It was after the war was over that 
he went to Indiana, where on June 3, 1869, he 
was united in marriage to Miss Harriet Brown, 
who was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, De- 
cember 22, 1842. Her parents were Tivis H. 
and Matilda (Banister) Brown, who were 
natives of Pennsylvania, and Mrs. Beck was 
the fourth born of their seven children, six of 
whom were daughters. For four years after 
their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Becek lived in 
Indiana. In 1884 they came to Nebraska and 
settled in what was then Cheyenne county, later 
changed to Banner county, where Mr. Beck 
preempted land and also secured a timber 
claim. He was a general farmer and at the 
time of retirement, about 1900, came to Gering 
and owned 320 acres of well developed land. 

The following children were born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Beck : Mrs. Nora McCoy, whose husband 
is a merchant in Oregon ; Worthy, who died in 



infancy; Mrs. Grace Nelly Forman, who lives 
near Mitchell : Mrs. Sadie Bell McCampsey, 
who lives in Oregon ; Mrs. Mary E. Adcock, 
who is deceased ; and Walter T., who resides 
near Gering, Nebraska. Mr. Beck was a Re- 
publican in politics. He was a faithful member 
of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which 
religious body Mrs. Beck also belongs, in which 
she is quite active at Gering. She has a small 
residence in this city and has a wide acquaint- 
ance and many friends. 

FRED L. BURNS, who has passed almost 
his entire life in the state of Nebraska, is a 
representative and prominent citizen of Scotts- 
bluff county and is the owner of a fine farm 
but resides at Gering. He was born in Illinois, 
October 27, 1869 and accompanied his parents 
to Nebraska in 1871. Both parents, A. S. 
and Elizabeth Burns, were born in Canada. 
The father homesteaded in Fillmore county, 
but now resides with his son at Gering. The 
mother died when aged fifty-five years. 

Fred Burns obtained his education in the 
public schools. In 1901 he came to Scottsbluflf 
county and in 1906 homesteaded one hundred 
and sixty acres, eighty-eight of which are 
under irrigation. He married Miss Nan Ful- 
ton, who was born in Missouri. Her parents 
were J. R. and Mary Fulton, who were born 
in Ohio, came to Fillmore county, Nebraska, 
and homesteaded and died in that county aged 
respectively seventy-six and eighty-four years. 
Mr. and ]\Irs. Burns have an adopted son, Ed- 
ward Burns, who is a bright and obedient 
youth now attending school at Gering. For 
some years before her marriage, Mrs. Burns 
taught school in Fillmore county and also in 
Wyoming and both she and Mr. Burns have 
been greatly interested in school development 
in school district number thirty-three. The 
first sessions were held in a dugout, in 1905, 
but in 1908 a schoolhouse, 18x24 feet in di- 
mensions was provided and in 1910 an addi- 
tion was built to the structure. Largely 
through Mr. Burns's influence a commodious, 
modern school structure took its place in 1915. 
The first teacher was a Miss Elquist, who had 
six pupils, while now there are forty or more 
and when all are present two teachers are re- 
quired. In politics Mr. Burns is an old-line 
Republican. He has served in different local 
ofifices and was deputy county treasurer from 
1907 until 1912, and county treasurer from 
1912 to 1916, and Mrs. Burns was deputy 
under him. Mrs. Bums owns one hundred 
and sixty acres of fine land southwest of Ger- 
ing. 



198 



HISTORY OF WESTERN NEBRASKA 



HARVEY HARWARD, who is a well 
known, enterprising and highly respected citi- 
zen of Scottsbluff county, a successful farmer 
and public official for a number of years, was 
born in Iowa, January 9, 1864. His parents 
were Charles and Nancy Harward, natives of 
Ohio. The father was a farmer all his life 
and died in Missouri at the age of sixty-five. 

Harvey Harward lost his mother when he 
\<ras eight years old. He has one older broth- 
er. He came to Nebraska and on April 13, 
1886, homesteaded one hundred and forty-four 
and a half acres and secured a timber claim, 
and since that time has improved four farms 
and has in prospect another. He now has 
eighty acres ditched and is making extensive 
improvements. 

In Scottsbluff county Mr. Harward was 
united in marriage to Miss Ina Williams. Her 
parents were T. J. and Lovina (Michel) Will- 
iams, the latter of whom died at the age of 
fifty years. The father of Mrs. Harward was 
born in Henry county Iowa, February 9, 1849. 
His parents were Henry and Leah (Stan- 
brough) Williams, natives of Ohio. Mr. Will- 
iams spent twenty-nine years in Iowa, then 
moved to Dakota and in 1885 to Cheyenne 
county and homesteaded near Bayard, one hun- 
dred and sixty acres of dry land all of which is 
now ditched. He no longer is active on the 
farm but Mr. Harward, with whom he lives, 
looks after his interests. Mr. Williams was 
county assessor from 1892 until 1896, held 
school offices many years and was a leading 
citizen in many ways. His children were as 
follows : Mrs. Rose Williamson of Iowa ; Mrs. 
Harvev Harward, of Scottsbluff county; Mrs. 
Gatch, Mrs. Davis and A. O. Williams, all of 
Scottsbkift' county ; R. C, of Melbeta ; and 
Guy, deceased. The last named left two chil- 
dren, Lovina and Thomas James, and Mr. 
Harward is rearing them as his own. 

In politics, Mr. Harward has always been 
more or less an independent voter. For a 
number of years he has held school offices and 
oft'ices in connection with irrigation projects 
and has also been assessor. He has been very 
active in forwarding educational and church 
movements and on January 22, 1889, helped 
to organize the First Baptist church in High- 
land precinct, a charter member with J. M. 
Adams and L. A. Christian. Both he and wife 
belong to the Methodist Episcopal church and 
he is superitnendent of the Sunday school. 

FRANKLIN A REDFIELD was born in 
Livingston county, New York, November 25, 
1834, and died August 26, 1904, in Johnson 



county, Nebraska. His wife, Alary E. Aldrich, 
is a native of Ray county, Missouri, where she 
was born February 4. 1839. She came to 
Scottsbluff county in 1916 from Johnson coun- 
ty, where she had resided from the time of 
her husband's death, and now at the age of 
80 years she fives by herself in the town of 
MellDeta and successfully looks after all her 
affairs. 

Mr. Redfield, after his marriage on Febru- 
ary 4, 1858, lived in Illinois as a farmer until 
the outbreak of the Civil War. When the call 
of the country came for volunteers he enlisted 
and served three years in the war. He came 
to Nebraska April 1, 1870 and settled in John- 
son county. He was first a farmer and then 
a merchant there for ten years, was. a very 
successful man, and widely known. Mr. Red- 
field was a member of the Grand Army of 
the Republic of Crabb Orchard Post G. A. R. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Redfield were born two 
children. The elder of these, Lucien H. Red- 
field, was born in Illinois June 10, 1859 ; came 
to Scottsbluff county in 1911 and purchased 
land which he has improved and upon which 
he has been successful in general farming. To 
him and his wife, Alice (Worley) Redfield, a 
native of Iowa, eight children have been bom, 
six of whom are living, namely : Clark, now 
employed in Melbeta, was across the ocean 
nine times, being in the U. S. navy during the 
late war on tlie transport Wilemina ; Clara, a 
nurse in the Midwest hospital in Scottsbluff; 
Lucy, the wife of Edgar Decker, a merchant 
in Melbeta ; and Mary, John, and Arthur, at 
home. 

The other son of the subject of this sketch 
is William C. Redfield, a banker at Haig, in 
Scottsbluff county. He was bom in Illinois 
on December 30, 1860. He was married to 
Mary E. Barrett, a native of New York, and 
two children have been born to them, namely : 
Franklin, who has recently been discharged 
from the Unit