in Kearney, having gained in former years the measure of success which now provides him with all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.
Mr. Miller was born at Tarentum, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, on the 28th of May, 1837, and is therefore nearing the eightieth milestone on life's journey. He is a son of James Miller, a grandson of Gideon Miller and a great-grandson of Gideon Miller, Sr. The progenitor of the family in America was probably of English birth and at all events it is known that the family has been represented on this side of the Atlantic from a period antedating the Revolutionary war. They became residents of western Pennsylvania at an early day, when the Indians were numerous in that section of the country. Gideon Miller, Jr., married Miss Rachel Coe, a daughter of Benjamin Coe, who was an officer of the Revolutionary war and in recognition of his services was given a grant of four hundred acres of land on Bull creek in Allegheny county. James Miller in 1826 aided in laying out the town of Tarentum, where he conducted a store, operated a grist and saw mill and also served as postmaster. There the youngest of his children, James E. Miller, was born, and it is said that his was the first birth in Tarentum. Having arrived at years of maturity, James Miller wedded Nellie McConnell and they had a family of five children, of whom but one is now living.
With his parents James E. Miller removed to Scott county, Iowa, in 1844, when that state was still under territorial rule, and there he grew to manhood. The year after the arrival of the family in that locality both his father and mother died. They were pioneer settlers of the locality, being among the first to establish a home in Scott county.
James E. Miller had but little opportunity to secure an education and there were few pleasures in his youth, for he was left an orphan when but eight years of age and instead of being sheltered by parental care and love during his youthful days he was forced to spend his time among people who cared more for what he could do for them than for what they could do for him. Necessity forced him to work for others until he reached the age of eighteen years, when he started out to earn his livelihood unhampered by the restrictions of those whom he served. For two years he worked for himself and during that period practiced the closest economy as well as industry, thereby earning enough to enable him to pay his tuition at Knox College Academy in Galesburg, Illinois. When he had reached the age of twenty he had saved enough money to buy four yoke of oxen, with which he broke the prairie for two years.
In 1860 Mr. Miller became a victim of the gold fever and with a company from eastern Iowa crossed the Missouri river at Nebraska City, where the company divided. A part of the number took the Platte valley route, passing through Nebraska before Lincoln was founded. They proceeded by way of Fort Kearney and saw thousands of buffaloes. In fact such great herds crossed their path that at times they were detained on their journey, having to wait until the animals went on. At length they reached their destination, near Pikes Peak, but in that fall Mr. Miller returned to civilization in time to vote for Abraham Lincoln. It was his intention to go again to the gold fields in the following spring but the unsettled condition of the times prior to the Civil war decided him to the contrary.
On the 25th of November, 1861, his patriotic spirit aroused, Mr. Miller enlisted in Company B, Second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with which, he served
HISTORY OF BUFFALO COUNTY
for three years and eight months and was then honorably discharged at Louisville, Kentucky, on the 12th of July, 1865. He participated in every battle and campaign of his regiment, including Fort Donelson, Shiloh, the siege of Corinth, Iuka, the second battle of Corinth and thence proceeded to Chattanooga after the battles of Lockout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. It was at this time that he with his companions reenlisted and they joined Sherman's army in time to participate in the Atlanta campaign, taking part in the battles of Altoona Pass, Peachtree Creek, Kenesaw Mountain, Jonesboro, and in fact all of the principle engagements up to and including the capture of Atlanta. Mr. Miller was with Sherman on the famous march to the sea, participating in the siege and capture of Savannah. He thence proceeded northward through the Carolinas, taking part in the battle of Bentonville and finally concluding his military career by participating in the grand review at Washington, where thousands of victorious soldiers marched through the streets of the capital amid cheering thousands who welcomed their return.
After the war Mr. Miller returned to Iowa and engaged in farming in that state until 1873, when he came to Buffalo county, Nebraska, and homesteaded a quarter section in Cedar township. He first built a sod house and in the early days experienced all of the hardships of pioneer times. For thirty-one years he lived upon that place and witnessed the transformation of the county from a great expanse of unbroken prairie to a thickly settled, prosperous district showing all of the improved conditions of modern times. Year by year he carefully tilled the soil and converted his land into productive fields, becoming the owner of one of the fine farm properties of the county. In 1904 he sold his homestead place and removed to Monmouth, Illinois, to be near his daughter, who was attending college there. In 1911, however, he returned to Buffalo county and settled in Kearney, where he has since lived, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves.
On the 16th of March, 1866, Mr. Miller was united in marriage to Miss Ann J. Duncan, a daughter of James and Jane (Wilson) Duncan, who were at that time farming people of Scott county, Iowa. Mrs. Miller was born in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, March 16, 1845, and in April, 1855, went with her parents to Scott county, Iowa, where she remained until after her marriage. Together Mr. and Mrs. Miller have lived in happiness for the golden period of fifty years. Nine children have been born to them: John A.; James C.; Lorena Jane, the wife of John J. Foster; William Van, who died in infancy; Frank G.; Fred D.; Louis D., who died in infancy; George C.; and Grace E.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Miller are members of the United Presbyterian church. In politics he was an ardent republican and is now a progressive democrat. In 1898 and again in 1900 he was elected to the state senate by a fusion of the democrat and populist parties and while serving in the upper house of the state legislature he became connected with many important measures which have had to do with the betterment of the state. His efforts therein were of permanent good, for he carefully considered each question which came up for settlement and supported only such measures as his judgment told him were of worth to the commonwealth. He introduced and secured the enactment of a statute providing that in all public schools in the state there should be taught "the elementary principles of agriculture, including a fair knowledge of the habits and structure
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of common plants, insects, birds and quadrupeds." Nebraska was the first state to provide for the teaching of agriculture in the public schools. His political integrity, like his rectitude in other relations of life, remained unquestioned. He has ever held to the highest standards of manhood, has never used intoxicants, has never been known to take advantage of his fellowmen in any business transaction nor sought to lessen the opportunities of a fellow traveler on life's journey. On the contrary he had held to the highest principles and in every possible way has endeavored to assist others.
William Schlattmann, who carries on general farming on section 23, Center township, manifests a progressive spirit in all that he undertakes and by well defined effort and capable management he has won a place among the substantial farmers of the county, now giving his attention to the operation of five hundred and sixty acres of land. He was born in Germany on the 20th of March, 1871, a son of Henry Schlattmann, who died in Germany. In 1882, when a little lad of eleven years, his son William came to the United States with a neighbor's family and after arriving in the new world took up his abode with an uncle, William Frede, who lived in Yates county, Nebraska. He remained with his uncle for about four years, after which he secured employment as a farm hand in the neighborhood, being thus engaged until 1892. In that year Mr. Schlattmann was united in marriage to Miss Emma Wienke, a native of Yates county, Nebraska. Her father, Henry Wienke, came to this state from Germany in 1871. The year following his marriage Mr. Schlattmann engaged in the cultivation of a rented farm and in 1893 removed to Nuckolls county, Nebraska, where he subsequently purchased land, making his home in that locality for nine years. In 1902 he removed to Thayer county and in 1904 came to Buffalo county, where he purchased his present home place of three hundred and twenty acres situated on section 25, Center township. Later he bought another tract of one hundred and ten acres in Platte township, which he also owns. He is one of the progressive and extensive farmers of Center township, for he rents a tract of two hundred and forty acres near his home place, so that he is now operating altogether five hundred and sixty acres of land, while his son Henry rents and cultivates one hundred and sixty acres, and his daughter Minnie, in cooperation with a lady friend, had one hundred and thirty acres of wheat planted in 1915.
To Mr. and and Mrs. Schlattmann have been born twelve children, eleven of whom are still living, as follows: Minnie, Henry W., Fred E., William H., Albert J., Edward, Annie, John, Lulu, Raymond and Arvid, all at home. Mrs. Schlattmann is one of the typical home mothers who lives for her family and their welfare and finds her greatest happiness in promoting the pleasure and comfort of her children. Mr. Schlattmann has given his undivided attention to his farming and stock raising interests and his energy and determination have brought him to his present enviable position in business circles. Effort intelligently directed never fails to win its legitimate reward, and Mr. Schlattmann's
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life record proves what may be accomplished when there is the will to dare and to do. Politically he is independent, supporting men and measures rather than party. Fraternally he is identified with the Eagles, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Lutheran church, to which his wife and children also belong.
That the district surrounding Kearney is a rich agricultural section is evidenced in the fact that the city now contains many retired farmers--men who have carefully cultivated their fields and gained good returns therefrom. Moreover, the careful husbanding of their resources has led to the attainment of success and they are now numbered among the substantial agriculturists of the community. Such a one is Herman Kahle, who in 1880 arrived in Nebraska and purchased a relinquishment, after which he followed farming until the fall of 1904, when he retired from active life and took up his abode in Kearney.
He was born in Hanover, Germany, December 23, 1848, and when about eighteen years of age came to the United States, landing in New York in November, 1867. He at once made his way to Will county, Illinois, where he had a brother living, and there he worked upon a farm at husking corn for his brother for a time. He afterward worked upon a farm in the employ of a cousin for a year and continued to spend his time as a farm hand until he went to Chicago. He secured employment in the suburb of Oak Park and was there at the time of the great fire of 1871. He was employed in various ways, spending some time in the service of an ice company, and while thus engaged was injured. He continued to work for others until 1874, when he was married and rented a farm at Green Garden, Will county, Illinois, where he continued for six years.
In 1880 he came to Nebraska and purchased a relinquishment claim six miles south of Kearney, upon which a squatter had previously settled. Mr. Kahle at once began the further development and improvement of the place and thereon continued to engage in farming until the fall of 1914, when he retired from active business life. He had added an adjoining tract of one hundred and eight acres to his farm and still later purchased one hundred and sixteen acres. He next bought the Dugan farm of one hundred and sixty acres and still later another tract of two hundred acres, so that he now owns altogether about eight hundred acres in Buffalo and Kearney counties. His possessions thus became extensive and include some very valuable farming land, which he has converted into rich and productive fields, making the place one of the valuable farm properties of the county.
On the 29th of January, 1874, Mr. Kahle was married to Miss Louisa Buchmeir, who was born in Will county, Illinois, April 21, 1853, and was there reared, coming to Nebraska with her husband in 1880. Seven children have been born to them: Emma, the wife of August Busch, a resident farmer of Buffalo county; Anna, the wife of Ed Nuss, a farmer of Kearney county; John and Frederick, who carry on general agricultural pursuits in Kearney county;
HISTORY OF BUFFALO COUNTY
Edith, who died at the age of fifteen years; and William and Louis, who follow farming in Kearney county.
Mr. and Mrs. Kahle are members of the Lutheran church, to the teachings of which they are consistently loyal. In politics Mr. Kahle is a liberal democrat but has never been an office seekeer. His entire life up to the time of his retirement was given to farming and stock raising. He worked earnestly, made judicious investments, directed his energies along well defined lines of labor, avoided useless expenditure and, in a word, through the careful control of his business interests gained substantial success.
W. B. LUKENBILL.
W. B. Lukenbill, a prosperous stock raiser and farmer of Gibbon township, was born in Warren county, Iowa, on the 31st of March, 1864. His parents, Henry and Elizabeth (Davis) Lukenbill, were natives respectively of Indiana and Ohio but were married in Iowa, where both lived until called by death. To them were born ten children, of whom nine are still living.
W. B. Lukenbill grew to manhood in his native state and received his education in the public schools. Following his marriage he came to Buffalo county, Nebraska, and bought his present home farm, which comprises one hundred and sixty acres on section 34, Gibbon township. He also owns fifty-seven acres on section 27, that township, and has brought all of his land to a high state of cultivation. Although he raises some grain he gives the greater part of his attention to raising polled Durham cattle and Duroc Jersey hogs, for which he seldom fails to receive a high price as he studies the markets carefully.
Mr. Lukenbill was married in Iowa to Miss Lydia A. Heiny, a daughter of G. W . and Mary Ann (Davis) Heiny, both of whom died in the Hawkeye state. She is one of a family of seven children, of whom six are living, and by her marriage has become the mother of two sons arid a daughter, namely: George, Birdie and Benjamin.
Mr. Lukenbill supports the candidates of the republican party at the polls and has served his district acceptably as a member of the school board. He is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America and has many friends both within and without that organization. He and his wife are in comfortable circumstances and have made all that they have by hard work and good management and are among the most highly esteemed residents of their township.
ALBERT C. KILLIAN.
Public interests of Kearney find a worthy representative in Albert C. Killian, one of the representative merchants of the city and now president of the Kearney Commercial Club. He took up his abode here in November, 1911, and has since been identified with its progress and prosperity. He is a native of Pittsburgh
HISTORY OF BUFFALO COUNTY
Pennsylvania, born August 8, 1867, and when but a year old he was brought to Nebraska by his parents, Thomas and Katharine (Maresh) Killian, who secured a homestead claim in the northwestern part of Saunders county. There he continued to reside until called to his final rest in 1882 and his widow passed away in Wahoo in 1889.
The early boyhood days of Albert C. Killian were passed at work on the farm, and when but eight years of age he was actively engaged in the work of the fields, driving a team of horses in harrowing and in similar work. After leaving the district schools he continued his education in the schools of Wahoo between 1879 and 1883 and attended the Fremont Normal and Business College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1886. For a year and a half he was at Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska, where he was connected with the mercantile establishment of Killian Brothers, and at the end of that period he was transferred to Wahoo, where he remained until November, 1911, since which time he has been a resident of Kearney. He continued at Wahoo for twenty-three years and during the latter part of that period was secretary and treasurer of the firm of Killian Brothers. He gained broad business experience in that connection and was thus well qualified to carry on mercantile pursuits after his removal to Kearney.
On the 2d of January, 1894, Mr. Killian was united in marriage to Miss Nora C. Steen, by whom he has four children, as follows: Margaret L, a teacher of domestic science and chemistry at Wayne, Nebraska; Gertrude S.; Dorothy O.; and John Steen. Mrs. Killian is past president of the Wahoo Chapter, P. E. O., of Wahoo; is present president of Kearney Chapter, P. E. O. of Kearney, and was elected state organizer of the P. E. O. society, one of the largest exclusive ladies' secret organizations in the world, at the last annual convention. She is also actively identified with the Eastern Star of the Masonic order.
Mr. Killian belongs to the Elks, the Knights of Pythias and the T. P. A. In politics he is a democrat and while living in Wahoo served two years on the city council and seven and one-half years on the school board. His identification with public interests in Kearney has been of an important character and that he is a man of marked enterprise is indicated in the fact that he has been chosen to the presidency of the Kearney Commercial Club. In this connection he is studying the problems relative to the city's upbuilding along material lines and to its municipal improvement. He utilizes practical methods while working toward high ideals and the results he accomplishes are far-reaching and beneficial.
On the 17th of November, 1902, the news spread through Shelton and Buffalo county that Patrick Walsh had passed away. He was one of the county's best known pioneer settlers and had been closely associated with the work of early development, improvement and progress, taking an active part in planting the seeds of civilization which in later years have borne ripe fruit. His death therefore was the occasion of deep and widespread regret and his history cannot fail
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to prove of interest to many of our readers. He was born in County Sligo, Ireland, and when about twenty-one years of age came to the United States, settling in Mississippi near Kosciusko. There he was married on the 26th of January, 1856, to Miss Agnes Welch, who was also a native of County Sligo and was brought to the United States by her parents when about eight years of age.
Mr. Walsh afterward joined the army and in 1864 came to Buffalo county as a member of Company D, Fifth United States Volunteer Infantry, which was stationed at Fort Kearney, where he remained until 1865, when he was mustered out. The following year he was joined by his family, who made their way by passenger train as far as Grand Island, at which point their few household effects were loaded on a flat car and thus traveled to Buda, which at that time was the terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad. They slept the first night under the shelter of a load of hay. The following day they forded the Platte river with an ox team and the family lived at the fort until the following March, when Sergeant Cody prevailed upon them to remove to his squatter's claim at Wood River Center, now Shelton. Thereon they made their temporary home until Mr. Walsh, located his homestead in 1860 on the present site of Shelton covering the northwest quarter of section 1, Shelton township.
After being discharged from the army Mr. Walsh took sub-contracts under James E. Boyd, afterward governor of Nebraska, on the grading of the Union Pacific as far west as Rawlins, Wyoming. While he had had but limited educational privileges, he always made excellent use of his opportunities and by reading and observation added continually to his fund of knowledge. He became quite a well educated man, was a fine penman, used excellent diction, and also became a master in spelling. His worth was recognized throughout the community in which he made his home. He was closely identified with every movement of a public nature that was of interest and benefit to the town of Shelton. When he first located upon his claim Buffalo county was unorganized, although the district was known by that name. In 1870 he and several of his neighbors who arrived about the same time that he did, petitioned for the organization of Buffalo county and Governor Butler issued his proclamation establishing the county and fixing the temporary county seat at Shelton, which was then known as Wood River Center. Mr. Walsh was appointed probate judge of the new county with authority to appoint county commissioners., He served in that capacity until the first regular election, when he was elected to the same position.
He was also appointed deputy county clerk under Martin Slattery and after the election the county treasurer failed to qualify and the county commissioners appointed Mr. Walsh to that position. He then resigned the office of deputy clerk but continued to act as judge and treasurer. He also filled the position of superintendent of public instruction and he was afterward elected to the office of county commissioner, in which capacity he displayed the same faithfulness to duty that had marked his course in the other offices.
Mr. Walsh was largely instrumental in securing the establishment of the postoffice at Shelton and continued to act as postmaster until 1879, within which period, through his influence, the name of the town and postoffice was changed to Shelton. It was Mr. Walsh who had the town of Shelton platted and it was he who was at the head of every movement for the advancement of the interests of the town. There was no project for the benefit and upbuilding of the com-
HISTORY OF BUFFALO COUNTY
munity with which he was not associated and his aid and influence were at all times given for public benefit and progress.
To Mr. and Mrs. Walsh were born nine children: J. P., who is deceased; J. T. and W. E., both of whom are residents of Omaha; Mrs. Mary Bills, who lives in Fortuna, California; Mrs. Anna Michael, deceased; Rose, the wife of Charles Frietenbach; P. J., deceased, who resided in Laramie, Wyoming; Mrs. Maggie Barney, of Oakland, California; and Ella, the deceased wife of Fred Simpson, of Omaha.
The religious faith of Mr. Walsh was that of the Catholic church, in which he was reared and to which he always loyally adhered. His political belief was that of the democratic party and his allegiance thereto never faltered. He never had occasion to regret his determination to come to the new world, for in this country he found the opportunities which he sought and which are always open to ambitious, energetic young men. Gradually he worked his way upward, winning not only material success but also the high regard and goodwill of all with whom he came in contact, and his worth to the community in which he lived is acknowledged by all who knew him.
JOHN A. LARIMER.
Many interests and activities connect John A, Larimer with the public life of Kearney and Buffalo county. He is engaged in the real estate business, is a notary public and is serving on the board of supervisors. His life has been one of intense and well directed activity and his sterling worth has led to his selection for a number of public offices.
His birth occurred in Fayette county, Ohio, April 22, 1839, and he was nine years of age when he removed to McLean county, Illinois, with his parents, Robert and Elizabeth (Robinson) Larimer, who were natives of Union county, Pennsylvania, where they were reared. In 1832 they removed to Fayette county, Ohio, and in 1848 became residents of McLean county, Illinois, where Robert Larimer, who was a tanner by trade, turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits. For thirty-six years that county remained the home of the family, during which period they were prominently identified with farming interests. In 1885 they arrived in Nebraska and settled in Center township about two and a half miles northeast of Kearney. There Robert Larimer and his wife spent their remaining days, being in active connection with agricultural interests until called to their final rest. Mrs. Larimer passed away on the 19th of March, 1889, and Mr. Larimer survived her only until the 1st of September of the same year. They were Presbyterians in religious faith and were earnest Christian, people who enjoyed and commanded the respect of all with whom they came in contact. Their remains now repose in the old burying ground in McLean county, Illinois.
John A. Larimer was reared on his father's farm in Illinois, and his education was acquired in the old time district school, but his opportunities in that direction were extremely limited and he did not find it possible to attend school for more than three months during the year and that was during the winter season when it was not necessary to work in the fields. He walked two and a half miles
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to school and thus acquired his educational training under considerable difficulties. During the remainder of the year he was engaged in feeding cattle and in performing the various duties incident to the cultivation of crops.
When civil war threatened the destruction of the Union he enlisted on the 15th of August, 1861, as a member of Company C, Thirty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered in on the 22d of August. In chronological sequence his military career covered the battle of Fredericktown, Missouri, after which he joined General Curtis' army at Batesville, Arkansas, and then proceeded to Helena and was in the engagement at Cache Creek, or Cotton Plant. In the winter of 1862-3 he campaigned in southeastern Missouri and then fought in the battles of Port Gibson, Champion Hills and Black River Bridge and the siege of Vicksburg. From the last named place he followed up the retreating rebels to Jackson, participating in the campaign of the Bayou Teche, and he afterward proceeded to New Orleans, whence he was ordered to Brownsville, Texas, and to Aransas Pass, and participated in the capture of Fort Esperanza. The troops then moved to Idaho and to Port Lavaca, and on the 18th of April, 1864, the members of the regiment veteranized and proceeded to New Orleans and afterward to Brashear City, Louisiana. On the 18th of March, 1865, they participated in the Mobile expedition and took part in the reduction of Spanish Fort. They then went to Montgomery, Alabama, and there received the welcome news of the surrender of Generals Lee and Johnston. Mr. Larimer was mustered out at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on the 24th of November, 1865, and was ordered to Camp Butler, Illinois, where he received his final pay and was honorably discharged. He had been promoted to the rank of sergeant and then to orderly sergeant.
Following the close of the war Mr. Larimer engaged in farming in Illinois for a short time and later became the first merchant at Arrowsmith, that state, where he also filled the office of postmaster from March, 1872, until July, 1885. In the latter year he became a resident of Buffalo county, Nebraska, where he has since made his home. His attention was concentrated upon agricultural interests until 1902, when he left his farm and has since resided in Kearney, where at the present time he is engaged in the real estate business. He is thoroughly well informed concerning property values, knows the property that is upon the market and in the course of years has negotiated various important realty transactions.
While living in Illinois, Mr. Larimer was married at Springfield, Ohio, on the 13th of February, 1868, to Miss Elizabeth J. Cowan, who was born and reared in that place. They have become the parents of six children: Edward C. and Robert P., who reside in Kearney; William O., who met death in a railway accident at Grand Island, in October, 1901; Anna and Cora, both of whom died in early childhood in Illinois; and John Harvey, who makes his home in Pocatello, Idaho.
Mr. and Mrs. Larimer are members of the Presbyterian church and are loyal to its teachings and principles. Fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has been secretary of the lodge at Kearney for the past twelve years. He maintains pleasant relationship with the "boys in blue" as a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and when in companionship his military comrades delight in recounting scenes and occurrences that marked the progress of the war. In politics he has always been a stalwart republican and
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while in Illinois he served for two terms as a member of the board of supervisors of McLean county. In 1889 he was elected a member of the board of supervisors of Buffalo county and is now serving his fifth term by reelection, a fact indicative of his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him. He has made a most excellent record endeavoring at all times to further the public welfare and care for public interests in a businesslike, progressive manner.
VIRGIL C. CHASE.
Virgil C. Chase came to Kearney in August, 1885, and on the 1st of September of that year established a retail clothing business. He has since pursued the even tenor of his way, and as one who knows him well expressed it, "he can always be relied upon to do the right thing in the right place and at the right time." In other words, he has the qualities of the reliable, substantial, thorough-going and enterprising business man and his work is therefore of value to the community in which he lives. He was born in Franklin county, Kentucky, on the 6th of December, 1858, and is one of a family of ten children, four of whom are now living, who were born of the marriage of James A. and Jane (Johnson) Chase, who were also natives of Kentucky. The father was a Cumberland Presbyterian minister and the great-grandfather was a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition and made surveys through the Platte valley before the advent of the white settlers. Rev. James A. Chase early became an abolitionist, and owing to the fact that his father was an extensive slave owner, they became estranged. During the Civil war he piloted the Union recruits through the enemy's lines until they reached the Federal forces. All through his life he gave his attention to ministerial work and was not denied the full harvest nor the aftermath of his labors. He passed away in Lincoln, Illinois, in 1884, after a residence there covering twenty years.
Virgil C. Chase was the eighth of nine sons and was the eighth in order of birth among his father's ten children. When his parents removed to Illinois he was but a small lad and there he was reared to manhood, spending his boyhood days upon the home farm and attending the district schools. He later added to his knowledge by study in the Lincoln University at Lincoln, Illinois, which he entered in 1875 and from which he was graduated in 1880 with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. For two years he engaged in teaching school, after which he turned his attention to mercantile pursuits, filling a clerkship for three years. At the end of that period he removed to Kearney and on the 1st of September, 1885, opened a store for the sale of men's clothing and furnishings. He has since continued the business with more than an average degree of success, his prosperity being attributable to his close attention to business and his square dealing with the public at all times. He has ever recognized the fact that satisfied customers are the best advertisement and he also attributes not a little of his success to the wise counsel and assistance of his wife.
On the 27th of December, 1882, Mr. Chase was united in marriage to Miss Lillian Zimrmerman, of Ashmore, Illinois. To them have been born four children, namely: Ruby, James Roy, Norma L. and Virgil R. In his political views
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Mr.Chase is a republican but has never in any sense been an aspirant for public office. His fellow townsmen, appreciative of his worth and ability, however, have three times elected him a member of the city council and as a member of the board of aldermen he has exercised his official prerogatives in support of many progressive measures for the benefit of the community. He also served for two terms as a member of the school board. While on the council he advocated all important measures for the municipal welfare and labored effectively and earnestly to decrease the bonded indebtedness of Kearney. He belongs to the Commercial Club and cooperates also with its movements and projected plans for municipal and material welfare in Kearney. Fraternally he is identified with the Modern Woodmen and the Ancient Order of United Workmen and both he and his wife are consistent and faithful members of the Presbyterian church, in the work of which they are actively and helpfully interested. In a word, their influence is always on the side of progress and improvement and their labors have been far-reaching and resultant.
Jacob Schnoor, of Amherst, has been manager of the Gilcrist Lumber Company since its organization and is also the owner of farm property, on which he is engaged in live stock dealing. He was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, January 12, 1867, a son of Claus and Cecelia Schnoor, who spent their entire lives in the fatherland.
Jacob Schnoor was thrown upon his own resources when quite young and was a youth of only sixteen years when he sailed from Germany for the new world, making the voyage alone, since which time he has been dependent entirely upon his own resources. He located first in Crawford county, Iowa, and in 1890 he arrived in Buffalo county, where he found employment with the Gilcrist Lumber Company, which had just established business in Amherst following the founding of the town. Mr. Schnoor has remained manager of the business throughout this entire period, has carefully directed its interests and has developed a trade of substantial and gratifying proportions. He is an enterprising and progressive business man, ready to meet any emergency, and his substantial qualities have made him well liked. In addition to his connection with the lumber trade he is the owner of two hundred and four acres of land in Grant township and he and his sons have engaged in stock farming. Mr. Schnoor has bought and shipped stock for several years and has made that branch of his business an important source of income.
It was in 1891 that Mr. Schnoor was united in marriage to Miss Betty Kenney who was born in Austria but was reared in this county. They have become the parents of eight children: Arthur, who is married and has homesteaded in Wyoming; and Mayme, Walter, Frank, Theodore, John, Reba and Meta, all at home. In his political views Mr. Schnoor is a republican, well versed on the questions and issues of the day, but is not an office seeker. Fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America but his interest and activities center chiefly upon his business, and his concentration, close application and
HISTORY OF BUFFALO COUNTY
indefatigable energy have brought to him the substantial measure of success which is today his and which ranks him with the representative residents of Amherst and the county.
S. A. A. WALKER.
S. A. A. Walker, who is the owner of a well patronized hardware store in Gibbon, is a Canadian by birth and his natal day was the 23d of March, 1873. He is one of a family of ten children, all of whom are living and whose parents are Robert and Margaret (Baird) Walker, natives respectively of Ireland and Canada. In 1842 the father went to the Dominion with his parents and was there reared and educated. He was married in Canada and continued to reside there until 1884, when with his family he removed to Custer county, Nebraska, whence ten years later he came to Buffalo county. While living in Custer county he engaged in farming but after removing to this county conducted a hotel in Gibbon for four years and then retired.
S. A. A. Walker was reared under the parental roof and received a good education, graduating from the high school at Gibbon. He entered the business world as a clerk in the hardware store of L. J. Babcock and in 1901 purchased the business from his employer. He has since conducted the store and his comprehensive knowledge of the hardware business, combined with his natural ability, has enabled him to manage his affairs successfully. He is accorded a large and representative patronage and is ranked among the leading business men of Gibbon. He also owns eleven lots and business and residence property in Gibbon and derives a substantial addition to his income from his rents.
Mr. Walker was married in 1894 to Miss Nettie E. Bayley, a daughter of J. M. and Adaline (Adams) Bayley, who were born in Pennsylvania but in 1871 removed to this county, where they are still living. Mrs. Walker is one of a family of five children, of whom four survive. She has become the mother of a son, Leroy Allen, who was born on the 24th of October, 1909.
Mr. Walker casts his ballot in support of the democratic party and for four years was a member of the village board. He is identified with Granite Lodge, No. 189, A. F. & A. M., in which he has filled all of the chairs, and with Gibbon Lodge, No. 35, A. O. U. W, and in religious faith both he and his wife are Presbyterians. He is widely known and highly esteemed not only because of his energy and sound judgment but also because of his sterling integrity.
William Schramm is the oldest merchant now living in Kearney. He has made his home here for more than four decades and for more than three decades has been actively engaged in the drug trade. His life history if written in detail would give a most interesting account of the development of the west, for he has lived in this section of the country from the time when the Indians were far more numerous than the white settlers and when the government protected the