​‌ Buffalo County and Its People, Vol. II, Pages 393-412
© MJH for Buffalo County NEGenWeb Project, 2001
buffalo
Buffalo County and Its People, Volume II
BIOGRAPHICAL

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township, on which their son Samuel now resides. Both the father and mother spent their remaining days upon that place. In their family were five children: Mary Jane, the wife of M. B. Whitcher; William; Jeannette, the wife of F. A. Snedeker; Alexander; and Samuel.
    The last named was reared and educated in this county, attending the common schools. He was early trained to the work of the farm and after his education was completed he settled down upon the old homestead and is today the owner of one hundred and sixty acres on section 25, Divide township, where he carries on general agricultural pursuits, meeting with good success in his undertakings. In addition to cultivating the cereals best adapted to soil and climate he makes a specialty of raising stock, of which he keeps good grades.
    In 1908 Mr. Campbell was united in marriage to Miss Maidie Parks, a native of Platte county, Nebraska, who was born February 3, 1800. Her parents, J. F. and Ella (Patterson) Parks, are now living in Thornton township. To Mr. and Mrs. Campbell have been born four children, namely: Boyce G., Muriel M., J. R. and Melvin S.
    The wife and mother passed away in February, 1914, and was laid to rest in the Kearney cemetery. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, which Mr. Campbell and the family attend. He is one of the enterprising and leading farmers and stock raisers of his township, progressive in all that he does, his labors bringing to him well merited and well earned success.


WILLIAM STARK.

    Agricultural interests in Buffalo county find a worthy representative in William Stark, who is engaged in general farming on section 2, Garfield township. He has resided upon this place since 1880 and for many years has been prominently, actively and extensively engaged in the raising of cattle and hogs. In a word, he is regarded as one of the foremost business men in this part of the state and has won notable success in the able conduct of his business affairs. He was born in Germany on the 3d of June, 1858, a son of John C. and Anna (Nelson) Stark, who came to the United States in 1862 and settled in Davenport, Iowa. Six years afterward they removed to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where they remained for a year, and then become residents of Grand Island, Nebraska, where they passed the remainder of their lives. The father was a brick mason and in following that pursuit provided for his family.
    William Stark spent his youthful days at home and pursued his education in the common schools. In his early years he became a cowboy and thus was employed for eight years on the Platte river bottoms. It was his ambition, however, to engage in business on his own account as a farmer and stock raiser and in 1880 he took up his abode upon a tract of land on section 2, Garfield township, securing a homestead and also purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land. With characteristic energy he began the development of a farm and transformed the wild prairie into fertile fields. He extended the scope of his activities to include the cattle business, with which he has since been prominently identified. He breeds and raises high grade Polled Durham


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cattle and Poland China hogs and is one of the leading stock dealers of this part of the state. As his financial resources have increased he has extended the boundaries of his farm from time to time and is now the owner of seven hundred and twenty acres of valuable land, while in Garfield township he is regarded as one of its foremost citizens.
    In 1882 occurred the marriage of Mr. Stark and Miss Fredericka Krehmke, a native of Germany, who came to the United States with her parents about 1875. To this marriage have been born nine children, of whom eight are yet living: Lucy, now the wife of Arthur Kenyon, of Castana, Iowa; Minnie, who married Frank Huryta, of Ravenna, Nebraska; Anna, the wife of Leo Colter, a farmer of Sherman county; Lilly, Edna and John, all at home; Leo, who resides in Ravenna; and Christie, at home. Nellie, who married Albert Polenz, of Ravenna, died November 20, 1913. There are also six grandchildren. The wife and mother passed away March 21, 1902, her death being a matter of deep regret to many friends as well as to her immediate family.
    In his political belief Mr. Stark is a socialist and his study of the questions and issues of the day has led him to give intelligent support to the principles which he indorses. Fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America, but his efforts and interests have been most largely concentrated upon his business affairs and diligence and determination have constituted the foundation upon which he has builded his notable and desirable success. His business affairs have been most carefully managed and energy and industry have brought him to the fore in this connection, so that he stands today as one of the most prominent and prosperous farmers and stock raisers of Buffalo county.


MRS. EVA C. BARR.

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    Mrs. Eva C. Barr, who has been phenomenally successful in the management of the West Hotel, which she has conducted for a number of years, has made it one of the most popular and best known small town hotels in the state. In her business career, she has had many difficulties to overcome but has never become discouraged, and her energy, self-reliance and sound judgment have enabled her to turn seeming defeat into success and she is now one of the influential factors in the business development of Ravenna.
    Mrs. Barr was born upon a farm near Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and during her childhood and youth resided in several different places, her parents removing to Iowa and later to Joplin, Missouri. She attended school in the latter place and subsequently accompanied her parents to Harlan county, Nebraska, where she spent several years. Later she removed to Bloomington and was there married. She and her husband lived for a time at Hastings but were later engaged in business first at Hansen and then at Prosser, this state. At length Mrs. Barr found herself thrown upon her own resources with two children to provide for and rear to maturity and she at once bravely set herself to the task. For two years she was a traveling saleswoman for the Hammond Printing Company of Fremont, selling advertising novelties and fancy stationery, and while on the road she realized the need for better hotels in small towns.


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Through her own experience she learned conditions as they were and also learned what improvements would be most appreciated by the traveling public and determined to go into the hotel business as soon as the opportunity offered.
    At length she accepted a proposition to take charge of a small hotel in Litchfield and at once began to put her plans into execution. She personally attended to the minutest details of the business and spared no time nor thought in making the hotel a model of its kind. She insisted on the utmost cleanliness throughout the establishment, prepared the meals with her own hands and made the hotel an attractive and cheerful place. The wisdom of her course was soon evident, for within a very short time the business had increased to such an extent that the hotel proved altogether too small. In providing for the comfort of her guests she did the work of two women, but her energy and endurance proved equal to the demands made upon her and she gained such confidence in her theories and in her ability to work them out satisfactorily that on the 1st of January, 1910, she leased the West Hotel in Ravenna, which she has since conducted. With a much larger house and a greater volume of business she still gives personal attention to the comfort of her guests and to the preparation of the food, doing the more particular part of the cooking herself, and also manages the financial end of the business. The reputation of the West Hotel has grown rapidly and there are many traveling men in this section of the state who make it a point to put up at the West as much as possible, as it has a standard of service usually found only in much larger hostelries. At length the patronage outgrew the capacity and Mrs. Barr then assumed the management of the adjoining hotel and is now conducting it as an annex to the West Hotel. Her business foresight, her enterprise and executive ability are recognized by all who have come in contact with her and she is considered one of the most valued residents of Ravenna.
    Mrs. Barr's two children are now grown and her daughter is the wife of O. A. Nellis, of Hastings, Nebraska. Her son, S. G. Barr, is residing in Fort Morgan, Colorado, and is connected with the sugar plant there. He married Miss May West, of Haigler, Nebraska, whose father is a prominent cattleman. Mr. and Mrs. Barr have a daughter, Lenore, three years old.


HANS HENRY LUTH.

    Hans Henry Luth, carrying on general agricultural pursuits on section 2, Schneider township, was born in Germany on the 23d of June, 1851, a son of Frederick and Dorothy Luth, who were also natives of that country. The father worked as a general laborer for many years, or until 1878, when he came to the new world, after which he made his home with his children until his death, which occurred in 1882. His wife had passed away ere he crossed the Atlantic.
    Hans Henry Luth was educated in the fatherland and at the age of seventeen years came to America, settling in Clinton county, Iowa, where he was employed as a farm hand for ten years. He next went to Crawford county, Iowa, where he worked for a year, and during this period he carefully added to his earnings until the sum was sufficient to enable him to purchase forty acres of land. He


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afterward added another tract of forty acres and for nine years continued the cultivation and improvement of that farm, but eventually sold out and came to Buffalo county, where he arrived in 1889. Here he purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 2, Schneider township, and has since made notable changes and improvements upon the place, his labors converting it into a very valuable, desirable and beautiful farm. It is equipped with all modern accessories, conveniences and improvements and constitutes one of the pleasing features of the landscape. In addition to this property he also owns one hundred and sixty acres on section 31, Garfield township. In addition to tilling the soil for the cultivation of the crops best adapted to conditions here he, makes a specialty of raising thoroughbred Polled Hereford cattle.
    In January, 1876, Mr. Luth was married to Miss Margaret Ohde, a daughter of Jacob and Dorothy Ohde, who were natives of Germany and who came to the United States in 1870. They settled in Clinton county, Iowa, where Mr. Ohde purchased a farm, which he cultivated for a considerable period. He then sold that property and removed to Crawford county, Iowa, where he again invested in a farm, upon which he spent his remaining days. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Luth have been born nine children: Fred, now a resident of Colorado; Peter, who died in 1903; Henry, who makes his home in Ravenna, Nebraska; George, at home; Annie, the wife of Max Weidner, living in Ravenna; Max, at home; Rose, the wife of B. Sheik, living near Shelton; Laura, the wife of Asa McKinney, a resident of Ravenna; and August, who is also under the parental roof.
    In his political views Mr. Luth is independent, nor has he been very active along political lines. He has served, however, as road supervisor and he has also filled the office of school director. He is a member of the Highlanders Lodge and his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Lutheran church. Substantial qualities characterize him and his salient traits are those which have won him warm regard and the respect of those with whom he has been associated.


FRED A. PIERSON.

    Fred A. Pierson, devoting his time and energies to general farming on section 9, Cherry Creek township, has extensive and important agricultural interests, operating his father's farm properties embracing fourteen hundred and forty acres. To control and manage this demands excellent business ability and executive force--qualities which Fred A. Pierson displays. He was born in Bremer county, Iowa, on the 1st of November, 1876, a son of Charles A. Pierson, of whom extended mention is made elsewhere in this volume. His youthful days were spent in the usual manner of farm lads, his time being divided between the acquirement of a public school education and the work of the fields. Actual experience brought him a knowledge of the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops, and about the time he attained his majority he began farming on his own account in Bremer county, Iowa. In later years he carried on agricultural pursuits in Minnesota and in North Dakota


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and in 1910 he arrived in Buffalo county, where he has since made his home. The following year he took charge of his father's extensive land holdings, which he has since managed and developed and today he is numbered among the large farmers of the county, carefully and wisely directing the cultivation of fourteen hundred and forty acres of land. He raises large crops of the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and he also has good stock upon his place. His plans are carefully formed and promptly executed, for his business must be thoroughly systematized in order that there shall be no loss of time, labor or material. The work is conducted in accordance with the most progressive agricultural methods and excellent buildings upon the place furnish ample shelter for grain, stock and farm machinery.
    On the 19th of October, 1903, Mr. Pierson was married to Miss Gertrude Cooper, of Bremer county, Iowa, and to this union two children have been born, Flora Irene and Charles Oscar. In politics Mr. Pierson is a republican, voting for the men and measures of the party because of his endorsement of its platform. He and his wife are members of the Baptist church, to the teachings of which they are loyal, while to the support of the church they make generous contribution. They are also well known socially and their own home is justly celebrated for its warm hearted hospitality.


GEORGE W. DUNCAN.

    George W. Duncan has been identified with business interests of Poole for many years and is now confining his attention to general merchandising, although he was formerly also engaged in the lumber business and at one time dealt in grain. His birth occurred on the 10th of August, 1855, in Le Claire, Iowa, to which place his parents, James and Jane (Wilson) Duncan, had removed on the 5th of April, 1855. They were both natives of Pennsylvania. The father became the owner of a valuable tract of land in Scott county and engaged in its cultivation and improvement until he was called by death in October, 1877. His wife survived him for more than nine years, dying in January, 1887.
    George W. Duncan grew to manhood in his native county and entered the public schools a the usual age, there securing a good education. In 1878 he was appointed administrator for his father's estate and performed the duties devolving upon him in a very efficient manner. About that time he came to Buffalo county, Nebraska, to see a sister who was living here and, although he had no intention of locating in the county when he came, found it so much to his liking that he took up a homestead in Cedar township. For eight years he operated that place, after which he took up his residence upon other land which he had acquired. From time to time he invested in real estate and at length became the owner of eight hundred acres in this county. In December, 1891, he came to Poole and began dealing in grain, but the following spring he turned his attention to general mercantile interests, erecting a store building and stocking it with a well selected line of merchandise. He has been very successful and has conducted the store with the exception of four years, which he spent upon his farm. For some time he was also engaged in the lumber business, but has now disposed


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of his interest in that connection. In addition to his valuable land holdings in this county he owns three good farms in Oregon and as his investments have all been wisely made he derives a good income therefrom.
    Mr. Duncan was married on the 19th of August, 1885, to Miss Susie Pool, whose parents, A. H. and Gertrude (Tilson) Pool, were natives respectively of New York and Michigan, but took up their residence in Buffalo county in 1876. The father was for some time engaged in business as a partner of our subject but passed away in 1893. The mother is still living in Ravenna. Mr. and Mrs. Duncan have become the parents of four children: Edgar E, who is in the lumber business at Farnham, Nebraska; Walter R., at home; Frank K., who is attending school in Ravenna; and Lelia H., who is also attending school there.
    Mr. Duncan is an adherent of the democratic party and has served for two years as county commissioner and has also held the offices of assessor and township clerk. His fraternal affiliation is with the Loyal Mystic Legion and he gives his religious allegiance to the United Presbyterian church. In the conduct of his various business enterprises he has shown himself farsighted, energetic and alert and the gratifying success which has rewarded his labors is richly deserved.


CHARLES F. HIGHLAND.

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    Charles F. Highland is still living upon his farm in Beaver township but is not active in its operation. He is, however, connected with business interests as a member of the firm of Highland & Son, well known grain dealers. He was born in Walworth, Wisconsin, in December, 1854, of the marriage of Thomas and Elizabeth (Walton) Highland, both natives of England. They were brought to the United States as children by their respective parents and here grew to maturity. The father engaged in farming in Wisconsin until 1864, when he went to Delaware county, Iowa, where he purchased land which he operated for nine years. At the end of that time he removed to Buena Vista county and there he resided until he passed from this life in 1879. He was survived for many years by his wife, whose, demise occurred in July, 1912.
    Charles F. Highland is indebted for his education to the public schools and remained at home with his parents until he was twenty-five years old, when he bought a tract of land in Beuna Vista county, Iowa, which he operated for five years, or until 1885. On selling that place he bought a farm in Sac county, the same state, which he disposed of in 1888, the year in which he came to Buffalo county, Nebraska. He rented a farm four and a half miles southeast of Ravenna for a year and operated leased land in Cherry Creek township for a similar period of time. He then lived in Sherman county for two years, operating land belonging to others, but at the end of that time he had accumulated sufficient capital to purchase land and bought one hundred and sixty-five acres on section 4, Beaver township, on which the town of Sweetwater is now located. Subsequently he sold sixteen acres to the town but continued to operate the remainder of his farm until 1910, when he rented the land to his son. He raised both grain and stock, Specializing in high grade Poland China hogs and Red Polled cattle, and his


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well directed labors yielded him a substantial return. He still resides upon the place but now devotes his energy to the grain business which is conducted under the firm name of Highland & Son. He has dealt in grain more or less since 1891, but the present firm has been in existence for only about two y6ars. In 1908 the firm of Highland Brothers engaged in the general mercantile business in Sweetwater, but three and a half years later sold their stock of goods and turned their attention to dealing in grain, continuing under the same firm style for two years longer. At the end of that time one brother sold his interest to his father, Charles F. Highland, and the name was changed to Highland & Son. The firm operates two elevators and does a large and growing business.
    Mr. Highland of this review was married on the 25th of December, 1879, to Miss Melvina Hollandsworth, a daughter of John and Sarah A. (Bird) Hollandsworth, both of whom were born in Kentucky. Her father became connected with mercantile interests in Prairie City, Illinois, where he engaged in business, during the greater part of his active life. He passed away in 1885, but his wife is still living and resides with her daughter, Mrs. Highland. The latter is the mother of seven children: Lester, who is manager of an elevator at Ravenna, Nebraska; Loren, who is operating his father's farm; Jay M., who is in partnership with his father in the grain business; Ethel, the wife of Harry Swartz, of Ravenna; Floy, who is postmistress at Sweetwater; Roy, at home; and Dean, who is attending college at Grand Island.
    Mr. Highland is independent in politics, voting for the man irrespectivie of party. He served as postmaster of Sweetwater for nine years and was also justice of the peace of Beaver township for a considerable period. He is affiliated with the Modern Brotherhood of America, and also with the Grange and the Farmers Alliance and is a Presbyterian in religious faith. He has measured up to all of the obligations of life and is justly esteemed as a successful business man and a good citizen.


JOSEPH C. MAHONEY.

    Joseph C. Mahoney, the agent at Poole for the Union Pacific Railroad, was born in Onondaga county, New York, in June, 1869, of the marriage of Thomas J. and Laura B. (Longstreet) Mahoney, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of New York, The father was brought by his parents to the United States when seven years of age and was reared in New York, where he engaged in farming and truck gardening after reaching man's estate. In 1873 he removed with his family to Buffalo county, Nebraska, and entered a homestead four and a half miles west of Gibbon. He made many improvements upon that place and operated it for twelve years, but at the end of that time he sold the property and removed to Gibbon, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died in April, 1894, and his wife passed away in April, 1888. He was a veteran of the Civil war, enlisting with Company E, One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, with which lie went to the front. After nine months' active service he was wounded, losing his left arm, and it was some time before he


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recovered. However, his patriotic spirit was not lessened and as soon as he was well enough he joined the navy and remained in that service for two years.
    Joseph C. Mahoney was but four years of age at the time of the removal of the family to this county and here he grew to manhood. He is indebted for his education to the public schools and he remained with his parents until his mother's demise. He then went to work for himself and after being employed as a cowboy for six years he turned his attention to railroading, securing a positron with the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. After spending two and a half years in that connection he learned telegraphy and was for a short time in the employ of the Burlington Railroad. In 1897, however, he entered the service of the Union Pacific Railroad, with which he has since been connected. For eight years he has been that company's agent at Poole and has discharged his duties to the entire satisfaction of his superiors. He is systematic and accurate in the conduct of the business and advances the interests of the road in every way possible.
    Mr. Mahoney was married in November, 1800, to Miss Eudora Gramley, who is a daughter of Henry W. and Maria C. (Musser) Gramley, natives of Pennsylvania. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Mahoney: Katherine, whose birth occurred on the 20th of August, 1900; Myrle, who was born on the 4th of December, 1901; and J. Carroll, Jr, who was born April 1, 1912.
    Mr. Mahoney is a stanch supporter of the republican party and has taken an active part in the affairs of local government, having served as township clerk of Beaver township for two terms and as village clerk since the organization of the village of Poole. He holds membership in the Masonic order and also in the Methodist church, associations which indicate the principles which guide his life. He not only has the satisfaction of knowing that his work is well done and that he is a factor in the civic life of his community, but he has also gained many warm friends and has won a fair measure of financial success.


SCHUYLER M. BLAIR.

    Schuyier M. Blair, an efficient young farmer residing on section 9, Platte township, was born upon the farm where he still lives on the 11th of October, 1888. His parents, J. W. and Nancy E. (Hollenbeck) Blair, were natives respectively of New York and Pennsylvania. The father served throughout the Civil war and although he was in many hard fought engagements came out without a scratch. About 1880 he removed to Buffalo county, Nebraska, and took up his residence upon a good farm in Platte township. He operated that place until 1905, when he removed to Colorado, where his demise occurred. His wife survives and still resides in that state. They were the parents of ten children, of whom nine are living.
    Schuyler M. Blair is indebted for his education to the public schools and for his thorough training in agricultural work to his father. After beginning his independent career he farmed in Colorado for a time but in 1908, returned to Buffalo county, Nebraska, and in association with his brother George began farming the old homestead of three hundred and twenty acres on Section 9, Platte township. His land is naturally productive and is in a high state of


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cultivation, and as the brothers are practical and energetic farmers they receive a handsome income from their labors. They raise both grain and stock, finding such a course more profitable than specializing in either.
    Mr. Blair of this review was married in 1907 to Miss Bertha Keeler, who was born in Iowa and is a daughter of Samuel and Alma (Alois) Keeler. The father has passed away but the mother is still living and makes her home in Colorado. Mr. and Mrs. Blair are the parents of three children: Lilly A.; Martina R.; and Leroy, deceased.
    Mr. Blair votes the republican ticket and both he and his wife attend the Methodist Episcopal church. Although a young man he has already won a highly creditable measure of success and his many friends predict for him continued prosperity. The greater part of his life has been passed in this county and he is greatly interested in its advancement and progress and co-operates heartily in movements calculated to further its development.


PHILLIP F. KNERL.

    Phillip F. Knerl, busily occupied day after day with the labors of the farm and faithfully performing each day the labors that it brings, is meeting with success in his undertakings and is regarded as one of the enterprising agriculturists of Garfield township, his home being on section 35, where he has two hundred and forty acres of rich and productive land. He is a native son of New Jersey, his birth having occurred in Rahway, on the 19th of November, 1852, his parents being John and Margaret Knerl, who were natives of Neourenburg, Germany. They were married on the ocean when crossing the briny deep to the new world, and Phillip F. Knerl is their oldest child. The father died in Benton Harbor, Michigan, April 11, 1902, at the age of seventy-five years, while the mother survived until February 14, 1914; and passed away at the age of eighty-two years.
    Phillip F. Knerl was a lad of nine years when his parents left the east and became residents of Marshall, Michigan, where they remained for seven years and then established their home at Decatur, that state. At the usual age he became a public school pupil and had good educational advantages until he reached the age of fifteen, when the family removed to a farm near Keeler, Michigan, spending fifteen years there. Later the family home was removed to Benton Harbor, Michigan, where it has since been maintained.
    It was in the year 1884 that Phillip F. Knerl left the parental roof and removed to Buffalo county, at which time he purchased railroad land in Garfield township. Two years later the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was built through the township and the town of Ravenna was founded about six and a half miles from the Knerl farm. In those pioneer times the family met all the hardships and privations which feature as factors in frontier life, but resolute purpose and unfaltering courage enabled them to meet all difficulties and pass on to the days when advantages and opportunities are easily obtainable. Mr. Knerl brought his land to a high state of cultivation, carefully and wisely directing the labors of the fields, and as his financial resources increased he


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added to his property until he now has an excellent farm of two hundred and forty acres equipped with all modern accessories and conveniences. His residence is one of the fine farm homes of the county, supplied with an acetylene gas lighting plant and a well equipped lavatory, hot and cold water being piped throughout the house. In fact the home has all of the conveniences of the modern city residence and it has been Mr. Knerl's delight to supply his family with all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.
    It was in 1884 that Mr. Knerl was married to Miss Lucinda Endrick, formerly a resident of Bainbridge, Michigan. Almost immediately after their marriage they removed to Nebraska and here they have reared their family of nine children: Oscar, a machinist by trade, who is employed in the Union Pacific shops at Grand Island; Orrin, cashier of the Dixon County Bank, at Ponca, Nebraska; John, also a machinist in the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad Company at Grand Island; Calvin, who is actively engaged in the cultivation of the home farm; Mrs. E. N. Thomas, residing in Ravenna; Floyd, who is attending Buckley's Business College, at York, Nebraska; and Charles, Eddie and Alice, all at home. A contemporary writer has said: "The Knerl home is a hospitable social center, and is in many ways an ideal country home, where there is fine family unit and spirit, and from which there have gone into the world a number of bright and capable young men and women who are 'making good' in their various callings and walks of life, while Mr. and Mrs. Knerl, still in the prime of life, have reached a condition where they can take life a little easier and render thanks that they cast their lot in Nebraska and had the grit and determination to stay by it until they won success."
    Mr. and Mrs. Knerl hold membership in the Evangelical church and fraternally he is identified with Ravenna Lodge, No. 347, I. O. O. F., and with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. In politics he is an earnest republican, giving stalwart support to the principles of the party, and for eight years he served as justice of the peace, his decisions in that connection being strictly fair and impartial. He has also been school director for many years and the cause of education has found in him a warm champion. He ranks today as one of the foremost citizens of his county, wide awake, alert and enterprising, ready for any emergency that may come in business or in public affairs. His life has never been self-centered, for he has reached out in helpfulness to public interests and given active aid to many plans and measures for the general good.


CASPER H. SHRADER.

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    Casper H. Shrader is now living retired in Ravenna, having rented his farm, upon which he lived for many years and from which he derived almost gratifying annual income. He was born in Prussia, May 20, 1843, a son of Charles and Kate Shrader, who were natives of Prussia. The father was a farmer and continued to carry on agricultural pursuits in his native country until 1850, when he came to America and settled in Des Moines county, Iowa, where he rented land for four years. He then purchased eighty acres which he operated for many years but ultimately retired and made his home with his daughter at


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Burlington, Iowa, throughout his remaining days, death calling him in 1895. For a long period he had survived his wife, who passed away in 1878.
    Casper H. Shrader was but seven years of age when the family home was established in Des Moines county, where he was reared and educated. His school privileges were somewhat limited, for he put aside his textbooks in order to earn his living, being employed as a farm hand until eighteen years of age. He then responded to the country's call for troops to crush out the rebellion in the south, enlisting at Burlington, Iowa, in 1862 as a member of Company D, Twenty-fifth Iowa Infantry, with which he served until June, 1865, when he received an honorable discharge. He had participated in a number of hotly contested engagements and with a most creditable military record he returned to his home, having proven his loyalty and valor upon various southern battlefields.
    For three years Mr. Shrader remained at home and was then married, after which he began farming on his own account, renting land in Des Moines county which he operated for two years. He afterward removed to Wayne county, Iowa, and bought one hundred and twenty acres, which he continued to cultivate for six years, when he sold that property and removed to Kansas. He traded a team, wagon and harness for one hundred and sixty acres of land and continued its cultivation for eight years, after which he sold out and purchased a restaurant, which he conducted for four months. He afterward engaged in railroading for two years and later went to Pratt county, Kansas, where he operated a rented farm for two years. In 1890 he arrived in Buffalo county, Nebraska, and became identified with its agricultural interests through renting one hundred and sixty acres upon which he lived for two years. He next went to Sherman county, Nebraska, where he followed farming for eight years, and on the expiration of that period he returned to Buffalo county, where he made investment in one hundred and sixty acres on section 24, Garfield township. At once he began the further development and improvement of that tract and to it added one hundred and sixty acres by a later purchase. Year by year he tilled the soil and cultivated his crops and added to the improvements upon the place until 1909, when he retired and rented the farm. He next removed to Ravenna and purchased a nice home. In fact he bought two houses in the town and has since resided here, making his home at the present time with a daughter.
    On the 7th of July, 1868, Mr. Shrader was united in marriage to Miss Anna Gereke, by whom he had nine children, as follows: William, who follows farming in Garfield township, Buffalo county; Gust, also an agriculturist of this county; Clara, the wife of John Grover, who is engaged in farming in Cherry Creek township; Fred, who is engaged in farming near Litchfield, Nebraska; Delia, who passed away in 1895; Frank, who operates one of his father's farms; Felix, who also cultivates land belonging to his father; Wesley, whose demise occurred in 1887; and Rachel, who is the wife of Henry Unzicker and resides at Ravenna. The wife and mother passed away in July, 1891, and on the 7th of January, 1892, Mr. Shrader was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Kate Seckora, who had four children who were reared by Mr. Shrader. The second wife died on the 14th of December, 1911.
    Mr. Shrader cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln and has since supported the candidates of the republican party, believing firmly in the


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principles of its platform as factors in good government. He is a member of the Grand Army post and also of the Methodist church and his life is actuated by high and honorable principles, being the expression of honest conviction and of devotion to all the duties which devolve upon him.


ALBERT V. HLAVA.

    Albert V. Hlava, a hardware dealer of Ravenna, is one of the most prominent citizens and leading business men of the town. He was born in Bohemia on the 23d of April, 1857, and is a son of Joseph and Mary Hlava, also natives of that country, where the father engaged in the wholesale fruit business. About 1866 he emigrated with his family to America and located in Wisconsin, where he followed the shoemaker's trade, which he had learned in his native land. He passed away in Saline county, Nebraska, on the 15th of January, 1888, and his wife died on Christmas Day, 1878.
    Albert V. Hlava was reared in Wisconsin and early had to begin providing for his own support. His educational advantages were limited, as he attended school for but nine months in all. As a boy he worked on a farm belonging to his sister and later learned the shoemaker's trade which he followed in several towns in Wisconsin and in Marquette, Michigan. At length he went to work in the copper mines, where he remained from the 1st of November, until the 15th of the following January. He then walked to Green Bay, Wisconsin, a distance of two hundred and eighty miles, and during much of the way found the snow four feet deep. No one but a man of much endurance and physical strength could have made the journey, but he arrived at his destination safely and for four months thereafter worked at shoemaking. On the 13th of July, 1874, he removed to Crete, Nebraska, and learned the carpenter's trade from his brother, for whom he worked for some time. He then assisted farmers with the threshing during the summer and subsequently began the operation of a farm of one hundred and sixty acres near Wilber which he and his brother owned. During this time he kept bachelor's hall and he devoted his spare hours to the study of music. In 1877 his parents joined him and in the following year he was married. He continued to farm in Saline county until 1879, in which year he removed to Wilber, and a year later he became a resident of Wymore, Nebraska. He followed the shoemaker's trade there until May, 1883, when he returned to Wilber and took charge of a hardware business there in which he had purchased an interest in 1880. For over four years he was actively engaged in the management of that enterprise, but in November, 1887, he sold out and came to Ravenna, arriving here on the l1th of the month. The town had been founded only a year previously and the hardware business which he established was the third in the town. In 1889 he sold out and in 1890 removed to Pleasanton, where he conducted a hardware store until the 14th of April, 1899. At that time he moved his stock to Ravenna, where he has since engaged in business. He owns the property in which his store is located and he carries an unusually large stock for a town of the size of Ravenna. He is also a tinner, having learned that trade in Wilber, and does considerable work along that line. He has built up


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