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


reared and educated. To Mr. and Mrs. Cary four children have been born, namely: Zoe, who died at the age of nineteen years; Jessie and Myrtie, at home; and Horace J., a rancher of Wyoming.
    Mr. Cary is ever ready to extend a brotherly kindness to those who are in need of assistance. He has made a most creditable record both in business and in office, for he has ever been faultless in honor, fearless in conduct and stainless in reputation. He may justly be accounted one of the most public-spirited men of his community and many tangible evidences of his devotion to the general good can be cited.


    George H. Downing has resided almost continuously in Nebraska from the age of fifteen years and throughout the entire period since 1869 has been closely associated with industrial and commercial interests. In his career he has not found all days equally bright. Indeed in his commercial experience he has seen the gathering of clouds that threatened disastrous storms, but his rich inheritance of energy and pluck has enabled him to turn defeats into victories and promised failures into brilliant successes. His strict integrity, business conservatism and judgment have always been so uniformly recognized that he has enjoyed public confidence to an enviable degree and during the last two decades has witnessed the steady increase in his business until he is now one of the prosperous citizens of Kearney.
    Mr. Downing was born in Addison county, Vermont, January 27, 1854, and there made his home until he reached the age of twelve years. His parents were Loyal and Jane M. (Annam) Downing, whose ancestors were originally from England, whence they came to America probably during colonial days. Loyal Downing engaged in the shoe business at Bristol, Vermont, where his death occurred, after which his widow, with her youngest son, George H., made her way westward to Wisconsin in 1866, influenced to this step by the fact that she had relatives living in that state. She took up her abode upon a farm in Dodge county, near Waupun, and there George H. Downing resided until about the year 1860, when with his mother and his brother, Rollin L., he came west to Nebraska, driving a team the entire distance. They made the journey in a wagon, traveling after the primitive manner of the times, and took up their abode at Nebraska City, where George H. Downing saw the first railroad engine rafted across the river at that point. Soon afterward he found employment driving a team between Lincoln and Nebraska City for the Nebraska City Transfer Company, which brought him a wage of two dollars per day. At that time there was no railroad in Lincoln and in fact pioneer conditions existed throughout the state. His work was largely hauling lumber, for which ten dollars per thousand feet was paid. He also hauled general merchandise at the rate of fifty cents per hundredweight. In 1871, with his mother, he removed to Lincoln and in the spring of that year purchased a farm five miles southeast of the city, on which they resided for a year. Later they returned to Lincoln, where Mr. Downing found employment as a tinsmith with S. Way & Company, this being the first hardware and tin


concern in Lincoln. While thus employed Mr. Downing, with five others, laid the tin roof for the State Insane Asylum, it requiring six weeks to complete the work.
    After about two years, or in 1873, he removed to Orleans, Nebraska, where he and his brother, Rollin L., established a hardware and tin business which they conducted with success for a period of nine years. It was there that he witnessed and experienced the great grasshopper plague and drought which has become an epochal point in Nebraska history. In 1882 he sold his interest in the store and removed to Kearney, where his brother had previously located, there turning his attention to the lumber business, in which he was associated with his brother for about a year. Believing that there was great opportunity for successful operation in the real estate field and banking business in South Dakota, he formed a partnership with George W. Lumley, who had been cashier in Senator Burton's bank at Orleans, Nebraska. They went to Vermilion, South Dakota, and founded the Clay County Bank, which they established upon a substantial basis and were successfully conducting when the country became involved in a widespread financial panic. They were carrying large loans on real estate and their entire capital, together with about ten thousand dollars of borrowed money, was lost. Mr. Downing then returned to Kearney in 1887 just as he had started out in business life--without a dollar. Borrowing money, he bought out the Bartlett & Downing coal business and for twenty-three years continued active in that line, building up a large trade, and during that period he succeeded in paying back every dollar of his indebtedness with twelve per cent interest thereon. He built up a coal trade amounting to five hundred car loads of coal annually and during the latter part of the period in which he engaged in that business he also added lumber to his operations and secured a good patronage along that line. In 1907 he founded the Kearney Floral Company and built the finest plant of the kind in Nebraska. It was during this twenty-three years that Mr. Downing passed through the hardest working period of his life. It was discouraging beyond comprehension to have thousands of dollars indebtedness bearing twelve per cent interest to pay and at the same time support his family, but with marked determination and resolution he set himself to the task and his persistency of purpose triumphed over obstacles and difficulties and his unremitting labor has at length relieved him of all debt and in addition has yielded him a deserved competency. In 1910 he disposed of his coal and lumber business and for the past two decades has been interested in the dry cleaning and laundry business, in which he is still financially interested but of late years has taken no active part in the business.
    On the 12th of April, 1875, Mr. Downing was united in marriage to Miss Lavinia Skinner, by whom he has three children, as follows: Edna E.,who is the wife of Dr. W. E. Kellogg, of Sterling, Colorado; Irvin L.; and Lorin G. Mrs. Downing is a member of the Congregational church. Fraternally Mr. Downing is identified with the Masonic organization, in which he has attained the orders of Christian knighthood and also belongs to the Mystic Shrine. He is likewise a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Royal Highlanders. In politics he is a republican but has never aspired to political office. He was once elected treasurer of the city of Orleans, but as he believed no business man should neglect his business for public office, he would not qualify for


the position. He came unscathed through conditions that would have utterly disheartened and discouraged a man of less resolute spirit and the integrity of his methods has never been questioned. He has indeed won that honored name which is rather to be chosen than great riches and his entire course constitutes an example that others might well follow. Though conditions seemed to be against him for many years, he has at length wrested success from the hands of fate and the course which he has ever pursued has made him one of the valued residents of his city.


    Carl E. Linn, one of the leading young business men of Ravenna, is a member of the firm of Hermon & Linn, which owns the only store devoted exclusively to clothing in the town. The management of the establishment has devolved largely upon Mr. Linn, as his partner is a non-resident, and the large and representative patronage which is accorded it is proof of his ability and enterprise.
    He was born in Clyde, Kansas, on the 28th of January, 1883, and is a son of Charles and Sophia (Nelson) Linn, natives of Sweden. The father became an early settler of Iowa and engaged in farming there until 1872, when he removed to Kansas and took up a homestead, on which he has since lived. At the time of the Civil war he proved his loyalty to his adopted country and served in the Union army for four years as a member of an Iowa regiment. Both he and his wife are still living.
    Carl E. Linn was reared in Kansas and is indebted for his education to the public schools. When eighteen years of age he found employment in a clothing store in Clyde owned by J. K. Hermon. He soon gained the complete confidence of his employer and when a branch store was established in Ravenna seven years later Mr. Linn was placed in charge of the business and became a member of the firm. Subsequently he purchased the interest of Mr. Kern in the business, thus becoming half owner of the store, and the firm name became Hermon & Linn. An unusually large and well selected stock is carried and everything about the store is thoroughly up-to-date. It is located in the handsome new Smaha building and its equipment would do credit to a town much larger than Ravenna, The annual volume of business has shown a steady growth, and the enterprise is recognized as an important factor in the business expansion of Ravenna.
    Mr. Linn was married in February, 1905, at Clyde, Kansas, to Miss. Bessie French. Her parents, Charles and Anna (Bagley) French, were both born in New York and were among the early settlers of Clyde, Kansas, where they still live. The father has devoted his life to railroading. Mr. and Mrs. Linn have three children: Gwendolyn M., who was born in November, 1906; Charles E., whose birth occurred on the 24th of April, 1913; and Lurline L., whose birth occurred on the 24th of November, 1915.
    Mr. Linn has taken an active interest in public affairs since attaining his majority and is a loyal supporter of the republican party. For one year he served as mayor of Ravenna and is at present a member of the town council. He is


very efficient in the discharge of his official duties, giving the same careful thought to the management of municipal affairs that he has always given to the conduct of his business interests. Fraternally he belongs to the Knights of Pythias and Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and his religious faith is that of the Lutheran church, while his wife belongs to the Methodist church. He not only has the energy and progressive spirit which we associate with the young man, but he also has much of that soundness of judgment which often comes only with long experience. His many friends predict for him still greater success in the future.



    John A. Hogg is now living retired in Shelton, although in former years he was actively identified with farming interests. He was born in Butler county, Pennsylvania, on the 29th of March, 1844, being a son of Robert and a grandson of Robert Hogg, Sr., who was one of the prominent figures in the War of 1812. In 1865 John A. Hogg became a resident of Iowa, establishing his home in Poweshiek county. He had previously taken up the carpenter's trade in Pennsylvania and continued to work at that occupation in Iowa. He was married in 1865 to Miss Margaret Hall, the daughter of a carpenter, William Hall, and for four years he and his father-in-law worked together but in 1872 Mr. Hogg turned his attention to commercial pursuits, establishing a grocery business in Mitchellville. In seven years, however, he lost all that he had made in the years of his connection with carpentering and building.
    In 1879 Mr. Hogg arrived in Nebraska and after paying freight on his goods and meeting other necessary expenses he found that his cash capital amounted to but three dollars. He secured employment on the Shelton mills at a dollar per day and a week later, demanding more salary, was given a dollar and a quarter per day. After the millwright took charge he was paid a dollar and a half per day, for his ability in the line of his trade was recognized. In 1879 he traded a gold watch for a relinquishment on a homestead, on which he subsequently built a sod house. He lived in that primitive structure for a year without having a floor in it. He occupied the homestead until 1906, when he took a trip to Oregon with the twofold purpose of recuperating his health and of visiting his son, Robert W., who had removed to the Willamette valley in 1904, settling near Salem, where in connection with his farming operations he engaged extensively in the breeding of thoroughbred hogs, winning a wide and well deserved reputation in that connection. For two years he was chosen superintendent of the stock exhibit at the state fair at Salem and he also made exhibits of his hogs at the San Francisco exposition in 1915, winning sixteen hundred and seventy-five dollars in prizes, which included the reserve champion prize for sows. He also sold twelve hundred and twenty-five dollars' worth of stock, selling nine animals for nine hundred dollars, which fact shows the high grade of hogs he has raised. In 1908 John A. Hogg returned to Shelton, Nebraska, where he purchased


town property and has since made his home, but he is still the owner of the old homestead, from which he derives a substantial and gratifying income.
    As previously stated, Mr. Hogg was married in 1865 to Miss Margaret Hall, who was born in Butler county, Pennsylvania, on the 9th of April, 1844, and is a daughter of William and Minerva (Thompson) Hall. In 1915 they celebrated their golden wedding and the accompanying picture is a group of their ascendants. To them have been born twelve children, nine of whom still survive, as follows: Robert W, who is a resident of Salem, Oregon; Mary M, the wife of L. B. Van Dyke, of Custer county, Nebraska; Lola M., who gave her hand in marriage to A. P. Johnson, a practicing attorney of Broken Bow, Nebraska; Sarah, who is the wife of I. E. Lux, of Crookston, Nebraska; John A., Jr., the proprietor of a book and stationery store at Vancouver, Washington; Floyd Cleveland, an agriculturist of Buffalo county, Nebraska; Elizabeth, who is the wife of M. D. Nutter, a farmer of Buffalo county, this state; Rose F, the wife of Professor Earl Glendon, who is superintendent of the high school at Stapleton, Nebraska; and Irwin, who operates the home farm.
    In politics Mr. Hogg is independent, considering the capability of a candidate rather than his party affiliation. In 1889 he was one of the organizers of the Farmers Alliance in Buffalo county and was one of five delegates chosen by that body to find out whether the Alliance wanted to go into political action. He was one of the five representatives from Buffalo county to the St. Louis convention of the people's party, being an anti-monopolist. In 1893 he was elected to the board of supervisors of this county. Fraternally he is connected with Shelton Lodge, No. 99, A. F. & A. M., while both he and his wife are active and prominent members in the Presbyterian, church of Shelton, in which he has served as an elder for seven years, doing all in his power to promote the growth and extend the influence of the church and bring about that moral development for which the church stands. His life has ever been an honorable and upright one, fraught with integrity in every relation, and those who know him have ever felt that he is worthy of trust.


    John Thiessen established a blacksmith shop in Ravenna a short time after the town was founded and has ever since been connected with business interests there. He still owns the blacksmith shop, which, however, is now operated by his son, and he gives his personal attention to the management of a garage and automobile repair shop which he established a few years ago. He was born in Germany in January, 1860, of the marriage of Claus and Margaret (Kroeger) Thiessen, likewise natives of that country. The father followed the miller's trade in his native land until 1870 and then emigrated with his family to America. After locating at Grand Island, Nebraska, he worked at his trade for many years, or until his demise in 1907. His wife is still living at Grand Island.
    John Thiessen was about ten years of age when brought by his parents to the United States and grew to manhood in Grand Island. He attended the public schools therein the acquirement of an education and after putting aside his text-


books- learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed in Grand Island for eight years. He then removed to Hampton, Hamilton county, Nebraska, which had just been founded. He was the first blacksmith in the town and was for many years actively engaged in the conduct of his shop but is now leaving its management to his son. In 1911 he turned his attention to the automobile business and erected a well designed and substantial garage fifty by ninety feet in dimension. He handles the Buick and Studebaker cars and also conducts a first class repair and machine shop. All of his business interests are well managed and return to him a good profit.
    In 1882 Mr. Thiessen was married to Miss Anna Schrader, a daughter of Henry and Celia Schrader, natives of Denmark, who emigrated to the United States about 1872. After living in New York for a short time they came to Hamilton county, Nebraska, where the father purchased railroad land. He operated his farm for many years but is now living retired in Marquette, this state. His wife also survives. Mr. and Mrs. Thiessen have become the parents of nine children, namely, Henry, William, Maude, Lillian, Marjorie, Nellie, Babe, Edward and Charles, but Maude is deceased, her death occuring [sic] in 1915. Mr. Thiessen supports the republican party at the polls and for a considerable period has served on the town council and also held the office of mayor for two terms. He is well known in local fraternal circles, belonging to the Knights of Pythias, the Modem Woodmen of America and the Royal Highlanders, and in religious faith is a Congregationalist. He has always taken the keenest interest in the public welfare and during the many years of his residence in Ravenna has done much to promote its advancement along business, civic and moral lines.


    E. E. Bliss, who is ably filling the responsible position of cashier of the City Bank of Elm Creek, is a native of Buffalo county, his birth having occurred on the family homestead in Gardner township. His father, N. T. Bliss, was born in Pennsylvania but in early manhood removed to Buffalo county, Nebraska, and took up a claim in Gardner township. He devoted his life to agricultural pursuits and to stock dealing and gained a gratifying measure of success. He has passed away but his wife, who was in her maidenhood Miss Edith M. Rogers, survives.
    E. E. Bliss was reared on the home farm and in the acquirement of his education attended the district schools and the schools of Shelton. He has been connected with banking interests for a number of years and has proven his ability as cashier of the City Bank of Elm Creek, of which his brother, C. G. Bliss, is president. The institution was organized in 1007 and during the nine years of its existence has gained a creditable place among the banks of Buffalo county. It has been so managed that the interests of depositors and stockholders have been safeguarded, while the legitimate business expansion of the community has also been furthered.
    Mr. Bliss was married in 1910 to Miss Lucile Nash, a native of Kearney and a daughter of William Nash, now a resident of Portland, Oregon. Two


children have been born to this union, namely: William; and Geneva, who died November 27, 1915.
    Mr. Bliss supports the republican party at the polls but has never taken a very active interest in politics, as his business activities have demanded his undivided attention. He takes a commendable interest in the public welfare and is recognized as a factor in both the financial and civic development of his community.


    Samuel Urwiller is now living retired at Ravenna but for thirty years was actively identified with farming interests in this county, ranking with the enterprising agriculturists of Cherry Creek township. He was born in Switzerland, July 28, 1844, a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Lerch) Urwiller, who were also natives of the land of the Alps. The father, who was a weaver by trade, came to America with his family in 1854, settling in Rochester, New York, where he was employed until 1857. He then removed to Marshall, Michigan, where he purchased land and developed a farm, continuing its operation until 1883, when he sold out and came to Nebraska, establishing his home in Buffalo county, to which district his children had preceded him. He and his wife afterward made their home with their children, Mrs. Urwiller passing away in 1886, while Mr. Urwiller survived until December 23, 1891.
    Samuel Urwiller was a young lad of ten years at the time of the emigration to the new world. His youth was largely passed in Michigan, where he attended school to some extent, but he is in considerable measure a self-educated as well as a self-made man. His parents were in straitened financial circumstances and the children found it necessary to go to work early in order to provide for their own support. When but eleven years of age Samuel Urwiller secured employment at farm labor and was thus engaged until after he attained his majority. At the age of twenty-three years he began to learn the carpenter's trade, which he followed in Michigan for fifteen years. His entire life has been one of untiring industry and thrift. In 1878 he removed to Buffalo county and secured a homestead on section 4, Gardner township, but he relinquished this and removed to Cherry Creek township, purchasing a preemption of one hundred and sixty acres on section 32. He improved that farm and continued its cultivation for thirty years, transforming it into a valuable property. He resided thereon until 1908, when he rented the place and removed to Ravenna, purchasing a nice home in the western part of the town. Here he has since resided and is now enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. While upon the farm he made a specialty of raising white Hereford cattle and Poland China and Duroc-Jersey hogs. In addition to his home place in Cherry Creek township he purchased eighty acres in Gardner township and through the careful direction of his farm work won notable success.
    On the 1st of April, 1868, Mr. Urwiller was .united in marriage to Miss Libbie Haselton, by whom he had five children, as follows: Lewis J., who was born March 10, 1869, and resides in Florida; Frederick T., whose birth occurred


October 23, 1871, and who follows farming in Gardner township; Charles S., who was born April 21, 1874, and makes his home in Florida; Lizzie M., who was born February 2, 1877, and is the wife of Jacob Richardson, of Peru, Nebraska; and Jessie L., who was born in December, 1879, and now lives in California with her husband, A. O. George. The wife and mother passed away on the 5th of November, 1883, and on the 4th of July of the following year Mr. Urwiller was again married, his second union being with Miss Emma Vouth, a daughter of Henry and Susanna (Frost) Vouth, who were natives of London, England. The father, a fisherman in England, emigrated to Canada in 1836 and spent the remainder of his life in that country, his demise occurring in 1848. The mother, who survived him for six decades, was called to her final rest in 1908. By his second wife Mr. Urwiller had four children, namely: Dora, who was born June 11, 1885, and died on the 30th of August, 1891: Willie, who was born March 3, 1887, and cultivates his father's farm; Adeline A., who was born December 20, 1889, and is the wife of Walter Puchard, an agriculturist of Garfield township; and one who died in infancy.
    In his political views Mr. Urwiller has always been an earnest democrat, giving stalwart allegiance to the party and its principles. He served as township clerk of Cherry Creek township, also as constable and for many years was a member of the school board. His religious faith is that of the Methodist church and he guides his life according to its teachings. His has been an active and well spent life and his career demonstrated what may be accomplished when energy and determination lead the way. Working his way steadily upward, he has achieved financial independence and his life record indicates that success and an honored name may be won simultaneously.


    The prosperity which the First Bank of Miller is enjoying is in large measure due to the business acumen and sound judgment of Frank D. Brown, who has been its cashier since its organization. He was born in the state of New York on the 9th of September, 1862, a son of A. C. and Sarah (Rogers) Brown, both likewise natives of the Empire state and both now deceased. He received his education in the public schools of his native state but when twenty-one years of age determined to try his fortune in the middle west and removed to St. Paul, Nebraska. He engaged in the stock business there until 1887, when in company with J. E. Dickerman, he organized The First Bank of Armada, which later became the First Bank of Miller and of which he has since been cashier. He is thoroughly familiar with the routine of banking practice and also understands the basic financial principles which underlie the banking business. He also keeps in close touch with local conditions and with the general trend of business throughout the country and is thus able to so direct the affairs of the bank that the interests of depositors are carefully safeguarded and at the same time dividends are returned to the stockholders.
    Mr. Brown was married in January, 1888, at St. Paul, Nebraska, to Miss Nela A. Norton, likewise a native of New York, and they have two sons:


F. Ross, who is assistant cashier of the bank; and Claire Norton, who is at home.
    Mr. Brown gives his political allegiance to the republican party as he believes that its policies are based upon sound principles of government. His fraternal affiliations connect him with the Masonic blue lodge and chapter, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Knights of Pythias, and in his life he exemplifies the spirit of brotherhood which is at the foundation of those orders. He has been engaged in banking in Miller for twenty-eight years and is well informed in regard to the history of the town. He furnished the data in regard to Miller for this history of Buffalo county. He has been an important factor in the business and financial life of Miller and has also done his part in promoting the civic advancement of the town.


    Dentistry is unique among the professions in that it demands efficiency and capability of a threefold nature. The successful dentist must of necessity have marked mechanical ingenuity, must add thereto broad scientific knowledge and, moreover, must have the usual business ability without which the financial interests of the profession would come to disaster. Well equipped in all of these particulars, Dr. Meservey has gained a place among the leading dentists of Buffalo county. He was born upon a farm near Fontanelle, Nebraska, April 1, 1870, and represents old families of Maine, his parents being Henry E. and Ruth (Philbrick) Meservey, who were natives of the Pine Tree state. The father was there reared and following his marriage he removed westward with his family about the time of the close of the Civil war. Nebraska was his destination and he took up his abode upon a tract of land near Fontanelle which he entered from the government. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon that place but he at once began its development and lived there for some time after securing title to the land. Later, however, he removed to Blair, where he opened a drug store. It was subsequent to that time that his first wife died and later he married again and continued his residence in Blair until he, too, was called to the home beyond.
    Dr. E. A. Meservey completed his literary training in the Blair high school, succeeding which he was for four years employed as a clerk in a grocery store. He then took up the study of dentistry at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in connection with Dr. H. S. West, with whom he continued as an apprentice for a year and a half. In 1895 he became one of the first students in the Omaha Dental College and after studying there for two years matriculated in the dental department of the Northwestern University at Chicago, from which he was graduated with the class of 1898. Immediately afterward he came to Kearney and embarked upon the practice of his profession, in which he has since continued. In 1908 he did post-graduate work in the Northwestern University and at all times he has kept in touch with the onward march of the profession. He utilizes the most advanced methods known to dentistry and his office is splendidly equipped, with modern dental appliances. He is a member of the Nebraska State Dental Society


and his prominence in the profession is indicated in the fact that in 1909 he was elected to the presidency of the state organization. He is also a member of the District Dental Society, of which he has served both as vice president and secretary. In 1913 he received the appointment of member of the state dental board, in which capacity he is now serving.
    On the 17th of October, 1901, Dr. Meservey was married to Miss Ida Patience Waite, of Greenfield, Massachusetts, and they have become the parents of three children, Douglas Wyman, Doris Agnes and Bruce Waite. Dr. Meservey is a republican in his political views, fraternally he is connected with the Masons and the Elks and in religious faith is an Episcopalian. His life has ever been guided by high purposes and in his chosen calling he manifests a close conformity to the most advanced ethical standards of the profession.


Portrait of S. C. Bassett    Portrait of Mrs. Samuel Bassett

    1. John Bassett with his wife Margery came from England and located in New Haven, Connecticut, in the year 1642-3. He was sometimes called "Old Bassett" in the records. He with his son, Robert, was a committee to repair the fence and gate towards the farms, August 18, 1645. "Old Bassett" and Henry Peck were appointed by the town to set the great guns. John Bassett and his son, Robert, were appointed a committee to repair the meeting house. John died in New Haven, Connecticut, February 15, 1652. Margery died in Stamford, Connecticut, 1654.
    2. Robert, son of John and Margery Bassett, born in England, married Mary ----, probably in England. He was known as "Robert the Drummer."
    3. Robert, son of Robert and Mary Bassett, was born in 1640. In 1687 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Ensign Samuel and Sarah (Baldwin) Riggs. He located at Stratford, Connecticut, where he built a house in 1683.
    4. Samuel, son of Robert and Elizabeth (Riggs) Bassett, was born November 28, 1692. In 1719 he married Deborah, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Clark) Bennett. Samuel was commissioned ensign in 1722, lieutenant in 1732 and captain in 1735. He was justice of the peace from 1739 to 1791. He represented the town of Derby in the general court from 1733 to 1764. He built a house in Derby, Connecticut, which was standing in the year 1902.
    5. Joseph, son of Captain Samuel, and Deborah (Bennett) Bassett, was born August 31, 1722. He married Sarah Hawkins, November 16, 1748.
    6. Samuel, son of Joseph and Sarah (Hawkins) Bassett, was born June 25, 1751, and married Sally Atwell in 1791. Samuel located in Dutchess county, New York, about the year 1791. He leased a Van Rensselaer grant of land, the life of the lease expiring on the death of the last of the three persons named in the lease. This land he cleared of timber and improved until about the year 1820, when, the lease expiring, Samuel was overbid and the land was leased to a higher bidder. Samuel, disheartened and discouraged, moved with his wife and the younger children of the family to Delaware county, New York, and in


the town of Walton he took timbered land and started again to make a home for his family. He lived but a few years, leaving his children to clear and improve the farm.
    7. Clark, son of Samuel and Sally (Atwell) Bassett, was born in Dutchess county, New York, February 9, 1810. He came with his parents to Delaware county, New York, in 1820, and when fourteen years of age, his father having died, he was "bound out" for a tern of seven years to learn, the wagon maker's trade at Derby, Connecticut. When of age, with a suit of clothes and one hundred dollars in money, he returned to the family home and for thirteen years labored on the home farm, caring for his mother and younger and unmarried sisters. Clark, in the year 1843, married Mary M. Hanford, daughter of Stephen and Mary Hanford, and moved, in a covered wagon, to Virginia, where, in the town of Bedford, and later in the village, of Big Lick, in Roanoke county, he engaged in the mercantile business and, there being no public schools, his wife, Mary, taught a private school. Being in political belief an anti-slavery whig and a reader of the New York Tribune, he realized that the slave holding state of Virginia was not a desirable place to raise a family and in the year 1851 moved to Steuben county, New York, where he purchased an improved farm on which he resided during the remainder of his life, the farm still, in the year 1913, being in possession of the youngest son of his family. Clark Bassett died in 1883; his wife Mary in 1897. In their family were seven children, Samuel C., Benjamin C., James W., Mary C., Matilda E., George S. and Emma N., all of whom lived to maturity and of whom five were still living in the year 1915.
    Samuel Clay Bassett, the subject of this sketch, was born in a log cabin, in the town of Walton, Delaware county, New York, July 14, 1844. He attended a rural school and in 1861 graduated from Corning Academy at Corning, New York. In the year 1864 he enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Forty-second New York Infantry, serving until the close of the war and being honorably discharged. In the year 1867 he married Lucia M. Baker, only daughter of Enos S. and Elizabeth P. Baker, who was born in Grant county, Wisconsin, September 17, 1845. In the year 1871, with his wife and two children, he came to Nebraska, taking a soldier's homestead claim, one hundred and sixty acres, in Buffalo county, on which the family have since continuously resided, the name given this home being Echo Farm.
    He was a member of the soldiers' free homestead colony, which made settlement in Buffalo county, Nebraska, April 7, 1871. He taught five terms of school, the first being the first term of winter school taught in the county, and served twenty years as a member of the school board in district No. 8. He was secretary of the first Buffalo County Agricultural Society, 1875, was a charter member and the first president of the Nebraska Dairymen's Association, 1885, of which he served for twenty-five years as secretary, was a member of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture for fourteen years and served for two terms as president of the board, 1899-1900, and was a charter member of the Nebraska Farmers' Congress, l910, and of the Nebraska Pure Grain and Seed Growers' Association, 1912. He was secretary of the first Buffalo bounty republican convention in 1871, and served as a member of the state legislature in 1885 and again in 1911. He was a charter member of G. K. Warren Post, No. 113, G. A. R., 1882, of Gibbon Lodge, No. 35, A. O. U. W., 1884, of Gibbon Camp, No. 708,


M. W. A., 1885, was vice president of the Nebraska State Historical Society, 1909-15, a charter member and president of the Gibbon Library Association, 1910-12, and a charter member and first president of the Nebraska Hall ofAgricultural Achievement, 1916.
    Lucia (Baker) Bassett was a granddaughter of Rev. Alfred Bronson, a pioneer Methodist missionary minister who made settlement at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in 1836. She was graduated from Cooperstown Seminary, Cooperstown, New York, with the class of 1865. A descendant of pioneers for many generations, she was imbued with the true pioneer spirit, enduring without complaint the toil and privations incident to pioneer life, taking pride and pleasure in helping to develop the resources of Buffalo county and the state of Nebraska, in preparing the way for the homes of generations of happy, prosperous people. She took an active part and interest in the social and educational life of the community. She was a charter member and served as chief of honor of Mary Tate Lodge, D. of H, 1893, was a charter member and served as president of G. K. Warren Woman's Relief Corps, No. 189, 1889, was a charter member and served as president of the Woman's Study League of Gibbon, 1904, and was a charter member of Wild Rose Camp, Royal Neighbors, M. W. A, 1893. Her death occurred February 9, 1907. She rests from her labors after a life of usefulness, filled with kind deeds to others, in Riverside cemetery, Gibbon, Nebraska. To Samuel C. and Lucia M. Bassett were born seven children, all of whom in the year 1915 were living, namely: Mary E., who married Edward M. Prouty; Clark S.; Samuel B.; Alfred B.; Martha L., who married George L. Prouty; June; and Laura Lee.


    Charles L. Zimpfer has the distinction of being the youngest merchant in Ravenna and although he is now only twenty-two years of age has been engaged in business on his own account for five years. He was born in Ravenna on the 5th of January, 1894, of the marriage of Louis and Louisa (Krautler) Zimpfer, both natives of Germany. They came to America in early life and first located in Fort Worth, Texas, where the father followed the baker's trade, which he had learned in Germany. After living in the Lone Star state for about twelve years they removed to Ravenna, Nebraska, and he conducted a bakery here until his death on the 22d of July, 1904. The mother continued the business for a year and then sold out. She is still living and makes her home at Ravenna, having an interest in the grocery store which is managed by our subject. There are three children in the family, namely: Helen, who was born on the 28th of October, 1892, and is associated with her brother in the conduct of the grocery business; Charles L.; and Dorothy, whose birth occurred on the 12th of March, 1899.
    Charles L. Zimpfer attended school in Ravenna and completed the junior year in the high school. As he was the only son he felt it incumbent upon him to engage in business as soon as possible and thus provide for the support of the family. He then opened a grocery store with the assistance of his sister Helen.

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