© MJH for Buffalo County NEGenWeb Project, 2001
Buffalo County and Its People, Volume II




    With the commercial development of Shelton Max A. Hostetler has been closely associated for many years and he has also become widely known through the state as the representative of the fifty-ninth district in the general assembly, where he has done important committee work and has been identified with much constructive legislation. He was born February 7, 1857, in Broadhead, Wisconsin, and after attending the rural schools made his initial step in the business world at farm work in Kearney county, Nebraska. He afterward formed a partnership with a brother for the conduct of a general mercantile business at Lowell and since 1878 has been the owner of a dry goods store in Shelton. Thirty-seven years have since come and gone, during which he has been continuously connected with the commercial activity of the city, and his progress has been based upon thorough study of the trade and the employment of modern commercial methods, leading to the attainment of honorable success. He has figured prominently in business circles not only of Shelton but of the state. He was the first president of the State Federation of Retail Merchants, to which position he was elected in 1906, serving for three years. He has since been its treasurer and is also treasurer of the Federated Merchants Mutual Insurance Company. Aside from the conduct of the Daylight Store, by which name his Shelton establishment is known, he is interested in other business enterprises, all of which profit by his sound judgment and the spirit of advancement which he infuses therein.
    On the 21st of September, 1880, at Gibbon, Nebraska, Mr. Hostetler was married to Miss Ella M. Doggett, adaughter of Cary Armsted and Mary (Huffman) Doggett, both of whom were representatives of old Virginia families, the former of Scotch-Irish descent, while the latter came of German and French lineage. The ancestral line of the Doggett family in America can be traced back to 1670, when representatives of the name lived in Lancaster, Virginia, and their history is found in the Congressional library in Washington. The great-grand-father served in the Revolutionary war and the grandfather served in the War of 1812 under two enlistments, while Cary Doggett became an officer in the American army in the Mexican war and held the rank of first lieutenant in the First Ohio Cavalry during the Civil war. Mrs. Hostetler has been very prominent in club and lodge circles in the state for thirty years and is now president of the Mothers' Day Association and of the Legislative Ladies' League. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hostetler hold membership in the Presbyterian church and fraternally he is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of which


he was financier for many years, and with the Modern Brotherhood of America. His political allegiance is given to the republican party. He was the president of the first commercial club in Shelton and served in that capacity for many years. He was elected president of the State Commercial Club Association at its organization and served in that capacity for one year, declining reelection. His interest in all matters pertaining to the public welfare is deep and sincere and has been manifest in many tangible ways whereby the substantial growth and development of the city has been augmented. He was a member of the town council of Shelton for twelve years and is now serving for the second term as a member of the Nebraska legislature, taking his seat in 1913 and serving again through the session of 1915. He is a member of the committees on claims and deficiencies, judiciary, school lands and funds, and during his connection with the legislature has given careful consideration to all vital questions coming up for settlement. He regards a public office as a public trust and is ever true to any trust reposed in him. He has therefore made an excellent official and his legislative work reflects credit and honor upon the constituency that has honored him with election to office.


    John Henning is an honored pioneer settler of Buffalo county and a retired farmer now living in Kearney. He was born in Logan county, Ohio, November 10, 1838, was reared in Union county, that state, and pursued his education in the public schools near his father's home. Through the periods of vacation he assisted in the work of the farm, early becoming familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. He continued upon the farm until, feeling that his duty to his country was paramount to all else, he enlisted for service on the 17th of August, 1861, as a member of Company F, Thirty-first Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for two years, seven months and nine days, when he was honorably discharged on account of disability. He participated in the hard fought battles of Perryville, Stone River and Chickamauga and a number of hotly contested skirmishes and was twice hit with spent balls but was not wounded. However, he suffered injuries owing to the rigors and hardships of war, for he has never fully recovered, his health and his army service has caused deafness in the left ear. For a time he was in the hospital at Chattanooga and also at Nashville, and at the latter place was honorably discharged.
    After returning home Mr. Henning worked for a time and then rented a farm in Ohio, upon which he resided until March, 1872, when he came to Nebraska and homesteaded in Buffalo county in town 9, range 16, his place being located on section 14. This he at once began to develop and improve and thereon he continued to follow general farming until he retired in 1910 and came to Kearney, since which time he has sold the farm property. He brought his fields to a high state of cultivation and was regarded as one of the representative agriculturists of the community. His well directed labors brought him


substantial success and he is now the possessor of a competency which supplies him with all the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.
    On the 29th of April, 1865, Mr. Henning was married to Miss Eliza Jane Ballinger, who was also born in Logan county, Ohio, July 25, 1845, and was there reared and educated. She came to Buffalo county in 1872 and is numbered among the pioneer women of this part of the state. To Mr. and Mrs. Henning were born ten children, of whom four died in infancy. Those who survive are: Lucy Belle, who first wedded John B. Mallady, and after his death became the wife of Ira Kniepdt; Eva Ellen, the wife of David Wellington, of Sac City, Iowa; Mary Alice,, the wife of John Tattum, of Lincoln, Nebraska; William E, who follows farming in Logan county, Colorado; Nathan Thomas, who is engaged in farming in Buffalo county; and Rachel Grace, the wife of John Vance, a farmer of Federal, Wyoming.
    The parents were among the first members of the Methodist church of Kearney and few of the charter members of that organization are now living. They have always contributed generously to its support and done everything possible to promote its growth and extend its influence. Mr. Henning holds membership in Sedgwick Post, No. 1, G. A. R. of Kearney and has held most of its offices save that of commander, which he declined to fill on account of his hearing. His wife is connected with the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic. Both are held in highest esteem, having a circle of friends that is coextensive with the circle of their acquaintance. They have lived to see practically the entire development and growth of this section of the state and have borne their part in bringing about those changes which have wrought for the substantial improvement of town and county. Mr. Henning is now in the seventy-eighth year of his age and is one of the most highly respected of Kearney's representative pioneer citizens.


    Among the men who are contributing to the development of Sharon township along agricultural lines is C.S. Fieldgrove, who owns and operates an excellent farm on section 35. He was born in Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, on the 31st of January, 1866, and is a son of Henry and Margaret A. (Mires) Fieldgrove, natives of Germany and Pennsylvania respectively. The father came to the United States in the '50s and settled in Pennsylvania, where he was married. At the time of the Civil war he served in the Union army and in times of peace was also willing to make personal sacrifices to promote the public good. After the close of the war he returned to Pennsylvania but in 1871 removed to Nebraska and became the owner of a good farm in Sharon township, Buffalo county, on which he lived until his demise in 1904. His wife has now reached the advanced age of eighty-four years. Five of their eight children are living. .
    C. S. Fieldgrove received a college education and also gained valuable training in agriculture through assisting his father with the farm work. He remained at home until he was twenty-seven years of age, when he bought one


hundred and sixty acres on section 35, Sharon township, where he has since lived. He also owns an interest in a fifty-six acre tract, and his farming and stockraising activities leave him little time for outside interests. He has given especial attention to the breeding of high grade stock and as the years have passed he has accumulated more than a competence. He has increased the value of his property by erecting fine modern buildings and he is financially interested in the Farmers Elevator at Shelton.
    Mr. Fieldgrove was married in 1890 to Miss Sarah Boyer, a native of Michigan, by whom he had four children: Floyd H.; Blanche, who is a graduate of the State Normal School and is now engaged, in teaching school; Grace, a high school student; and Charles M., at home. Mrs. Fieldgrove died on the 1st of November, 1902, and her demise was sincerely mourned by her many warm friends. In 1904 Mr. Fieldgrove was united in marriage to Mrs. Maggie (Johnson) Turton, who was born in Pleasant Plain, Iowa, and is a daughter of James W. Johnson. Mrs. Fieldgrove had two children by her first husband: Leona, who is now attending the State Normal School; and Bertha, who died in infancy.
    Mr. Fieldgrove casts his ballot in support of the republican party and has been called to office, having served .as township treasurer, and as a member of the school board. He is well known in local Masonic circles, belonging to the blue lodge at Shelton and being also identified with chapter and commandery at Kearney. He has also taken the thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite and is identified with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. The success which he has gained is the more enviable in that it is the result solely of his own efforts and good management.



    The farming interests of the county find a worthy representative in Freeman Merryman, who resides on section 9, Center township. Moreover, he is a veteran of the Civil war and has ever been a loyal citizen, as true to his country in days of peace as when he followed the stars and stripes on southern battlefields. Illinois claims him as a native son. He was born in Richland Grove township, Mercer county, June 15, 1845, his father being David D. Merryman, while his grandfather was Timothy D. Merryman, who was in possession of the coat of arms of the family. The first entry of lands by any of the family in Maine was made in the year 1641. The grandfather removed from Maine to Illinois in 1834 and subsequently settled in Mercer county, casting in his lot with the pioneer residents of that part of the state. He had previously served his country as a soldier in the War of 1812. His son, David D. Merryman, wedded Miss Phoebe Hibbard, who was also descended from Revolutionary ancestry, the family having been represented in the war for independence by John Hibbard and a Captain Rowe. David D. Merryman was a farmer by occupation and followed that pursuit in Illinois until 1882, when he removed to Buffalo county, Nebraska, and established his home in Kearney, where he lived retired until his death in 1891.
    Freeman Merryman, spending his youthful days under the parental roof,


attended the public schools of Mercer county to the age of seventeen years, when his patriotic spirit was aroused and he enlisted for service in the Civil war, being enrolled with the boys in blue on the 6th of August, 1862. He was assigned to duty with Company C, One Hundred and Second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was honorably discharged on the 14th of June, 1865. He had been wounded at the battle of Resaca, Georgia, on the 5th of May, 1864. He participated in the campaign through Kentucky and Tennessee under Generals Thomas and Rosecrans and subsequently served under General Sherman until the Grand Review at Washington, D. C., in which he took part. He had participated in the engagements at Resaca, Cassville, Dallas, New Hope Church, Lost Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain, crossing the Chattahooche, Peach Tree Creek and the siege of Atlanta. In 1864 he had served under Fighting Joe Hooker, and as he and his comrades were armed with the Spencer seven-shot repeating rifles, they were kept in the thick of the fray. Following the Atlanta campaign Mr. Merryman took part in the engagements at Averysboro and at Bentonville, North Carolina, and thence went to Raleigh, where his regiment was stationed at the close of the war. He marched with Sherman's army in the Grand Review in the capital city, where the victorious Union troops marched through the streets of Washington, cheered by the thousands who watched the parade and welcomed the return of the veterans.
    After receiving his discharge Mr. Merryman returned to Mercer county, Illinois, and worked upon his father's farm for a year. He then married and located in Moline, Illinois, and for seventeen years was in the employ of the John Deere Plow Company, spending five years of that time as foreman of the wood department and three years as a contractor. When he left the company he was receiving a salary of four thousand dollars annually but was obliged to resign his position on account of his health. He then came to Nebraska in June, 1883. He had visited the state in 1879 and had bought out holdings. On his removal to the state four years later he took up his abode in Kearney, for his property interests were in Buffalo county. He now owns one thousand and fifty acres of land, none of which is upon the market. For the past twelve years he has resided in his country home one mile south and three miles east of the business center of Kearney and from this point he superintends his invested interests, which are extensive and important and which return to him a most gratifying annnal income.
    In 1866 Mr. Merryman, was united in marriage to Miss Alcinda B. Van Meter, of Richland Grove, Mercer county, Illinois. To them were born four children, three of whom survive, as follows: Minnie E.,the wife of Walter R. Gamble, of Kearney, Nebraska; Arthur F., who follows farming in Center township; and Nellie E., at home. The wife and mother passed away on the 16th of May, 1892.
    For the past twenty years or more Mr. Merryman has done nothing save look after his property holdings and other interests. He has also spent considerable time in travel and on his trips has become acquainted with many of the notable public men of the day. In politics he is a republican, while fraternally he is connected with the Masons and with Sedgwick Post, No. l, G. A. R., of which he served for one year as commander. He has also been junior vice department commander of Nebraska and he served as chief of staff of the department of Nebraska and as aid-de-camp on the staff of General D. J. Palmer and others.


He is one of the well known residents of Buffalo county and is a representative of our best type of American manhood and chivalry. By perseverance, determination and honorable effort he has overthrown the obstacles which barred his path to success and has reached the goal of prosperity, while his genuine worth, broad mind and public spirit have made him a director of public thought and action. At all times he is ready to lend his aid and cooperation to any movement calculated to benefit this section of the country or advance its wonderful development.


    For the past thirty years Kersey O. Holmes has been a resident of Buffalo county, during which period he has been identified with commercial and financial interests .in a manner that has contributed not only to his individual success but to the promotion of public prosperity as well. Born in Columbiana county, Ohio, on the 21st of August, 1842, he is a son of Dr. Jesse Holmes, a native of Virginia, who in young manhood removed to Ohio, settling in Columbiana county. Determining upon the practice of medicine as a life work, he obtained his professional education in Columbus, Ohio, previous to which time, however, he had proven a successful and capable teacher. He taught for a considerable period, almost exclusively in those schools conducted by the Society of Friends, or Quakers, of which sect he was a representative. In fact he became well known as one of the prominent ministers of that society. In various places he continued his educational labors and displayed marked ability in imparting readily and concisely to others the knowledge that he had acquired. He married Rebecca Hanna, an aunt of Marcus Hanna, who afterward became United States senator from Ohio. Three children were born of this union, of whom two are yet living, the elder being Elizabeth, the wife of David Townsend, a resident of California. The wife and mother passed away in 1847 and Dr. Holmes afterward wedded Mercy Lloyd, while his third wife was Sarah M. Paxson, who bore him three children, of whom two are now living: Mrs. John N. Dryden, of Kearney, Nebraska: and Dr. Jesse H. Holmes, a member of the faculty of Swarthmore College of Pennsylvania, occupying the professorship of Biblical literature. The father, Dr. Jesse Holmes, removed to Iowa and for a time practiced his profession at Mount Pleasant and later at West Liberty. In 1879 he became a resident of Lincoln, Nebraska, where he resided until his death, about. 1885.
    Kersey O. Holmes spent his early days in Ohio and with his father removed to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, in 1857. His primary education was obtained in the public schools of his native county, followed by further study in the public schools of Mount Pleasant. By competitive examination, which was then the rule, each county being entitled to a scholarship, he earned the right of admission as a student to the State University at Iowa City, where he was in attendance for about three years. He read law at Davenport, Iowa, with the firm of Putnam & Rogers, and later with Edmunds & Ransom of Iowa City. In 1865 he was admitted to the bar and for a short time was engaged in .the practice of law in Louisa and Muscatine counties, after which he removed to Des


Moines, where he engaged in practice until his removal to Audubon, Iowa, where he practiced until ill health led to his relinquishment of professional activity.
    In 1886 Mr. Holmes came to Kearney, Nebraska, where he has since lived. For twenty-nine years he was engaged in mercantile pursuits and figured as one of the most prominent business men of the city in which he now makes his home. He also served as postmaster for four years during the administration of President Roosevelt. Since its organization he has been a stockholder of the City National Bank and called to official position is now serving as vice president. His judgment in business affairs is sound, his sagacity keen, his integrity unassailable and his enterprise unfaltering.
    On the 19th of November, 1866, Mr. Holmes was married to Miss Etta Raymond, a daughter of Kendall Raymond, of Monroe county. New York. Mrs. Holmes is a graduate of the Iowa State University, and by her marriage has become the mother of two sons, Ernest Raymond and Loring J., both deceased.
    In his political views Mr. Holmes is a republican and has never voted any other ticket. He was elected and served a part of two terms a member of the board of supervisors of Buffalo county and it was during his term that the present courthouse was erected, Mr. Holmes being made chairman of the building committee. He has never wavered in his allegiance to the religious faith of his father, being still a Quaker in belief, and he has always been an active worker for the cause of temperance. His life has at all times been upright and honorable, exemplifying the traits of sterling manhood and citizenship. The consensus of public opinion places him in the front rank among Kearney's leading men and wherever he is known he is held in highest regard.


    R. F. Cruit is a resident farmer of Center township, his home being on section 7 His residence in the county covers a period of more than three decades, during which time he has seen this district emerge from pioneer conditions and take on all the evidence of a progressive and modern civilization. He was born near Lancaster, Ohio, July 28, 1862, and is a son of George W. and Sarah (Young) Cruit, both of whom passed away in the Buckeye state. The mother died when her son R. F. was but seven years of age and the father, who was a farmer by occupation, afterward married Miss Margaret Moyer.
    R. F. Cruit was reared under the parental roof and acquired his education in the public schools and as a student in the Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio. In 1882 he came to Buffalo county, Nebraska, settling on his present home farm, which his father had previously purchased, George W. Cruit having become the owner of three quarter sections in this county at different times during the late '70s. R. F. Cruit engaged in teaching through five terms of school after locating in Buffalo county. During that time he also built a house and barn upon his land and improved his farm, thus making a start in the work of converting raw prairie into a valuable farm property. In 1891 he wedded Miss Hattie Pool, of Buffalo county, a daughter of Achish Pool, who was one of the early pioneers of this part of the state. Mr. and


Mrs. Cruit became parents of two children: Beulah Gertrude, now a teacher in the city schools of Loup, Nebraska; and Robert Leroy, who is attending the Nebraska Wesleyan University at Lincoln. The wife and mother passed away in 1896 and in 1899 Mr. Cruit wedded Miss Bertha Smith, a native daughter of Buffalo county. Her father, James M. Smith, arrived in this county from Iowa in 1873 and homesteaded a quarter section of land in Thornton township, on which he built a sod house, which was the birthplace of Mrs. Cruit and in which she spent the first seven years of her life. To the second marriage have been born four children, Clarence F., Ruth L, Helen V. and Mabel Lois.
    Mr. Cruit now owns two hundred and forty acres of land in his home farm and also another tract of two hundred acres in Grant township near Amherst. He is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company at Kearney and the Farmers Elevator at Glenwood. He likewise owns stock in the Kearney Canning Company and in the Union Valley Telephone Company and is a business man of marked enterprise. He closely and thoroughly studies every situation and guides his actions by a sound judgment that leads to success. His discernment is keen, his enterprise unfaltering, and his energy has brought him to a prominent position among the agriculturists of Buffalo county.
    In his political views Mr. Cruit is a republican and has served as a member of the school board and also as town treasurer for one term. Fraternally he is connected with the Woodmen of the World, with the Highlanders' and with Buffalo Lodge, No. 37, I. O. O. F. He and his wife are consistent Christian people, the former belonging to the Methodist Episcopal church, while the latter is of the Evangelical faith. They are widely known and highly esteemed in the community where they reside, having a large circle of warm friends who entertain for them the deepest regard.


    Wheeler Webster, an up-to-date and able farmer residing on section 10, Gibbon township, was born in Ripley county, Indiana, in March, 1852. His parents, Thomas and Nancy (Dowers) Webster, were both natives of that county, whence in 1888 or 1889 they came to Buffalo county, Nebraska, and during the remainder of their lives made their home among their children.
    Wheeler Webster attended the common schools but as he was the eldest son and had to go to work at an early age his opportunities along educational lines were limited. When twenty years of age he rented land in Indiana, which he cultivated until 1883, when he removed to Buffalo county, Nebraska. After renting for several years he purchased land and now owns two farms, one of eighty acres and the other of one hundred and twenty acres. However, he resides on the J. B. Adams farm on section 10, Gibbon township, which comprises three hundred and twenty acres and which he has operated for twenty-four years. He understands farming thoroughly and as he is energetic and willing to profit by the discoveries of investigators along agricultural lines he seldom fails to secure good crops.
    In March, 1873, Mr. Webster was married to Miss Rachel Young, also a


native of Ripley county, Indiana, and they have become the parents of five children, namely: Carl, who is operating one of his father's farms; George, who is engaged in the grocery business in Gibbon, Nebraska; Herbert, who operates his father's second farm; Chester, who assists his father in the operation of the Adams farm; and Nellie, the wife of Clyde Scott, a farmer of Gibbon township.
    Mr. Webster supports the republican party at the polls and for about eight years served as road supervisor, his services in that capacity proving very acceptable. He holds membership in Gibbon Lodge, No. 138, K. P., and is loyal to the teachings of that organization concerning human brotherhood. The gratifying measure of success which he has gained is proof of his enterprise and good judgment, for since beginning his independent career he has depended solely upon his own resources.


    Hon. Peter Wink, for thirty-one years a resident of Buffalo county, and at present engaged in the real estate business in Kearney, was born in Wright county, Minnesota, on the 25th of September, 1859. The parents, Valentine and Catherine (Peters) Wink, were farming people and in pioneer times the father took up a homestead claim in Wright county, Minnesota, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits until his removal to Juneau county, Wisconsin, where his remaining days were passed, his death occurring in 1904.
    Peter Wink is the second in order of birth in a family of four children, all of whom are yet living. In his early boyhood he attended the neighboring district schools and when old enough he began to earn his own living, being variously employed. For a considerable time he rafted lumber from the pineries south on the Mississippi river and he was also engaged in digging two tunnels for the Northwestern Railroad Company. During harvest seasons he would hire out to farmers, receiving as high as five dollars per day for his services. This period of his life was filled with an abundance of hard work and was passed among real people who were struggling to get ahead in the world. This was the period perhaps which most largely developed and determined his character. While untiring labor was the order of the day this was also a period of enjoyment, for youth, virile and compelling, made little of obstacles. Mr. Wink saved considerable part of his earnings, the inherent thrift of his German forbears undoubtedly teaching him the importance of saving for the proverbial rainy day. He became foreman on a farm in Clinton county, Iowa, and occupied that position for two years.
    It was in the year 1879 that Mr. Wink was united in marriage to Miss Mary Farrell, and in 1884 he removed to Buffalo county, Nebraska, and purchased two hundred and forty acres of railroad land in Thornton township at four dollars per acre. For twenty-seven years he there resided, devoting his life to general farming and stockraising, during which period he brought his fields to a high state of cultivation and added many modern improvements to the farm, which he still owns. In 1911, however, he left the farm and removed to


Kearney, where he opened a real estate office and has since beep engaged in that line of business. He is thoroughly conversant concerning property values and he has negotiated many important realty transfers, being accorded a liberal clientage in his line.
    As the years went on Mr. and Mrs. Wink became the parents of four children: Frank, John, Clara and Alice, but the last named is deceased. The mother passed away in May, 1909, and for his second wife Mr. Wink chose Miss Bertha Vermeulen. In religious faith Mr. Wink is a Roman Catholic. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party and in 1913 he was elected state senator from the twenty-second senatorial district comprising the counties of Kearney, Buffalo and Sherman. He was reelected in 1915 and is now serving for the second term. During both sessions he has been a member the ways and means committee and. during the session of 1915 he was chairman of the committee on irrigation and water power. He took an active part in constructive legislation and was the author of several bills that were passed and are now found on the statute books of the state. He has labored persistently for the benefit of the community and of the commonwealth and efforts have been far-reaching and resultant.


    John N. Dryden was born on a farm in Dane county, Wisconsin, June 1, 1856. His father, Nathaniel H. Dryden, and his mother; Emily Balch Dryden, were of southern stock, the former from Tennessee and the latter from Alabama. At an early date they removed to Illinois where they were married September 10, 1840. They subsequently became pioneers, successively, in Wisconsin, in Iowa, and lastly in Nebraska, where they settled in Custer county in 1875. There were nine children, five of whom are now living. Nathaniel H. Dryden held local offices, such as school director, county supervisor, etc. He was a Christian citizen and exercised a strong constructive influence in building the foundations of the new social order in the localities where he lived. In 1884, the family moved to Kearney where they continued to reside until Mr. Dryden's death, which occurred April 13, 1907, at the ripe age of eighty-eight years, the wife having passed away at the age of eighty-three years, September 26, 1901.
    John N. Dryden was educated in the common schools of the neighborhood, attended the Gibbon Academy for three years, from 1876 to 1879 and the following three years, the Nebraska State University. He was admitted to the bar at Kearney, in 1886, since which time he has been engaged in the active practice of his profession at the same place. He has sought no official preferment, having occupied no political office except that of member of the board of education and of the public library, in his home city. He is a member of the American Bar Association, and at present, president of the Nebraska State Bar Association. Mr. Dryden is a republican in politics-a progressive republican and an active, lifelong opponent of the open saloon. For more than thirty-five years he has been an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, twice has been elected


delegate to the general conference of that organization and for twenty years has been a trustee of the Nebraska Wesleyan University.
    Mr. Dryden is familiar with many aspects of pioneer life in Nebraska. During his boyhood days while a resident of Custer county, he drove the Star Mail Route from Kearney to Loup City, and thence to New Helena, a distance of one hundred ten miles, making weekly trips at a time when the houses in some instances, were thirty miles apart, and many of the streams unbridged. On such trips he has seen as many as seventy-five elk in a single drove, and is acquainted with and had a practical experience in almost every phase of pioneer life in central Nebraska. He has been an interested witness of the changes which have occurred mid has helped to bring about the present conditions of civilization and development, happiness and prosperity to our people.
    He was married to Helen M. Holmes, a daughter of Dr. Jesse and Sara M. P. Holmes, at Lincoln, Nebraska, January 31, 1884. Two children were born to these parents, Ruth Holmes Dryden, now Mrs. Herbert W. Kendall, of Fremont, Nebraska; and Kenneth H. Dryden, of Kearney, Nebraska.


    George C. Lunger has devoted his life to farming and has gained a gratifying measure of success, now owning two hundred and forty acres of fine land in Valley township. A native of Pennsylvania, he was born in Columbia county on the 23d of March, 1855, of the marriage of Jacob and Sarah (Hodge) Lunger, who were also born in that state. The father followed the carpenter's trade for fifty-five years and was widely known as an expert workman. Both he and his wife died in the Keystone state.
    George C. Lunger is one of a family of twelve children, nine of whom are living. He was educated in the public schools and remained at home until he reached mature years. He then began learning the mason's and plasterer's trades, which he followed for about four years, but in 1878 he came to Buffalo county, Nebraska, and took up a claim. After living thereon for two years he traded that place for a farm of two hundred acres on section 17, Valley township, which he still owns. He has made many improvements upon the place and has brought his land to a high state of cultivation. A small town known as Butler has grown up opposite his farm and for eight years he served as postmaster, discharging his duties to the satisfaction of all concerned. He has interests aside from his farm, as he is a stockholder and director of the Commercial State Bank at Gibbon and a stockholder and vice president of the Grange Elevator Company at Gibbon.
    Mr. Lunger was married in 1882 to Miss Ida M. Wilson, who was born in Pennsylvania and is a daughter of Augustus and Katherine (Esler) Wilson, the former of whom was born in Maine and the latter in Germany. Both are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Lunger have become the parents of six children, namely: Waldron J., who is a graduate of the Grand Island Business College and is now bookkeeper for the George Sickle Lumber Company at Kearney; Roscoe, assistant cashier of the Commercial Bank at Gibbon; Weaver, who is


operating the homestead; Beulah, attending the State Normal School at Kearney, Almira, who died when two years old; and Josephine, who died at the age of three years.
    Mr. Lunger is a stalwart democrat and has served for a number of years as a member of the township committee of his party. For twenty years he has been on the school board and for two terms he held the office of county supervisor. He is identified with the Grange and has been quite active in its varied work, believing in the value of organization and cooperation among farmers. Both he and his wife are members of the United Brethren church, which indicates the principles which govern their lives. When he came to this county he had but eighty-five dollars, but he was not discouraged and resolutely set about to gain prosperity. His efforts have been richly rewarded and he is now one of the substantial men of his community.


    Roscoe Lunger, the second son of George C. Lunger, was born in Buffalo county on the 28th of March, 1887, and was here reared. . He completed the course offered in the common schools and subsequently attended the State Normal at Kearney, thus further preparing himself for the responsibilities of life. On leaving school he entered the City National Bank at Kearney as bookkeeper, but five years later, in 1912, came to Gibbon and with a partner purchased the Commercial Bank, of which he is now serving as assistant cashier. He has been a factor of no little importance in building up the business of the institution and is recognized as a banker of experience and ability. He also owns the garage building at Gibbon and derives a good financial return from that property.
    Mr. Lunger was married on the 6th of November, 1912, to Miss Grace Carlson, a native of Buffalo county, and a daughter of Alford and Clara (Rizer) Carlson, who are still living on their farm in this county. Mr. Lunger is a democrat and is now serving as township trustee. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge and of the Highlanders, and both he and his wife belong to the Methodist. Episcopal church. He is one of the popular and highly respected young men of Gibbon, and his enterprise and capability insure his continued success.


    Every community has within its borders those who are recognized as promoters of public progress through the channels of business activity. In this connection mention should be made of George W. Smith, the cashier of Meisner's Bank of Shelton, who is a courteous and obliging bank official, carefully safeguarding the interests of the institution which he represents and at the same time extending every possible aid to its patrons.


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