WILLIAM M. CRAVEN, the pioneer merchant of Armada, Nebr., was born in Randolph county, N. C., August 12, 1836. His father, L. D. Craven, was born in the same county and state, October 29, 1811. He emigrated to Morgan County, Indiana, in 1836, but subsequently removed to Owen county, where he resided until he came to Nebraska in April, 1871. He was a shoemaker during the early part of his life, but found farming a more congenial occupation. His wife Lovey Spoon, died in November, 1884, a member of the Methodist church, of which Mr. Craven is also a member. The grandparents on both sides were Carolinians by birth. William M. Craven served an apprenticeship at carpentering before he had reached the age of maturity, and at the age of twenty-one he was a contractor and builder, at which occupation he continued until the war began, when he enlisted in May, 1861, in the Forth Indiana infantry and was sent immediately to the scene of conflict. He participated in the battles of Rich mountain, Cheat mountain, Greenbrier and Winchester. He was in the Army of the Potomac until August, 1862, and then re-enlisted at brigade headquarters, this time in the 1st brigade, 3d division and 15th corps, and marched with Sherman from Huntsville, Alabama, to the sea, and was mustered out July 9, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky. He came out of his long and honorable service without a scar, but not without great suffering from the exposure incident to camp life. During his encampment on Cheat mountain it rained every day, except nine, for three months. After the war he returned to Indiana and resumed his former occupation of contracting. He was married August 24, 1865, to Miss Myra Starbuck. They have seven children--Elfie M., Myrtle M., Mettie F., Osa L, Charlie E., Josie M. L., and Nevie F.
    William M. Craven came to Buffalo county, Nebraska, in the Spring of 1871, and took up a homestead near Shelton, where he remained until 1876. He then spent nearly three years farming in Arkansas, but he was not pleased with the country and concluded to return to Nebraska. Shortly after his return to this county he moved to Buffalo precinct, where he purchased ten acres of land near the


present thriving little town of Armada, and erected a small sod house, in which he kept a little store, in the fall of 1881. He started on a capital of $9, but by honest dealing he has prospered until he is now doing a flourishing business in a neat little store on one of the prominent four corners of Armada. When he commenced business there was no town thought of, the postoffice then being located three miles east of there. A petition was finally circulated and the postoffice was removed to Armada town, and Mr. Craven was made postmaster. He now has twenty acres of land adjoining the town, and has also one hundred and sixty acres in the township. When Mr. Craven first came to the county it was exceedingly wild and sparsely settled. He has seen as many as two thousand Indians in one body going to and coming from their hunting expeditions. Wild game such as buffalo, antelope and deer, was plenty almost anywhere. His crop was completely destroyed three years in succession by the grasshoppers and he and his family were subjected to great inconvenience and suffering thereby. It was just at this period that he concluded to emigrate to Arkansas. He has been postmaster for five years and has filled various local offices. He belongs to the Odd Fellows and Masonic lodges, and is a member of the G. A. R.

JOHN H. WILSON, an enterprising boot and shoe merchant at Armada, Nebr., was born in Woodford county, Ill., October 27, 1857, and is the son of William S., and Mary (Tomb) Wilson. His father was born in Highland county, Ohio, March 10, 1833, but moved to Illinois when a young man. He served in the war of the rebellion, enlisting in the fall of 1864, in the Eighth Illinois infantry, and had served only about eight months, when he was killed in the battle of Fort Gaines, Ala. He had always lived an upright, consistent life, was an active member of the Christian church and was highly respected by all who knew him. His wife is still living, is also a devoted and conscientious worker in the cause of religion, and is a member in the highest standing in the Christian church. But little is known of the paternal grandfather of the subject of this brief biographical sketch except that his name was James Wilson, and that he died about 1856. The maternal grandfather is Matthew W. Tomb, who is a native of Ohio, but who emigrated to Illinois in 1855. He is a leading agriculturist and a prominent man in the community where he resides, has held various local offices and is a respected member of the Christian church. He and his faithful wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Moore, are still living. John H. Wilson is the eldest of six children, one of whom is now dead; and upon him devolved largely the care and responsibility of his mother, with whom he remained until eighteen years of age. He began life for himself at twenty-one as a farmer in Illinois. In the spring of 1885, he immigrated to Buffalo county, Nebr., and purchased railroad land near Armada, which he successfully cultivated for three years. In the meantime he purchased eighty acres more land, making in all 240 acres, a good portion of which he now has under special cultivation. His land lies within one and one-half miles of the town


of Armada and is also in what is known as the Wood River valley.
    In September, 1888, Mr. Wilson moved to Armada and engaged in the boot and shoe business. He began with a limited amount of capital, and by industry and fair dealing he has succeeded in building up a substantial business, with a rapidly increasing trade. He enjoys the entire confidence of all his patrons and has built up a reputation for selling goods that are "all wool and a yard wide." He was married January 3, 1883, to Miss De Laura T. Foster, and this union has been blessed with two children -- Stanley A. and John F. Mrs. Wilson was born in Marshall county, W. Va., December 4, 1857, and is the daughter of James and Etheline (Wellman) Foster, both natives of that state. Her father died in 1878, but her mother is still living. Her paternal grandfather, James Foster, was born in Ireland, emigrated to America in an early day, and first settled in Pennsylvania, but later in West Virginia. He died in 1865, at the age of eighty-four. His wife was a native of Pennsylvania and died in 1881. The maternal grandparents of Mrs. Wilson were Virginians by birth.
    Mr. Wilson has held various town offices of responsibility and has several times been re-elected assessor for his township. He and his estimable wife are both members of the Christian church and earnest advocates of temperance.

RICHARD DARBYSHIRE, a young and enterprising man of Armada, Nebr., was born in Burlington, Iowa, September 16, 1859. His father, Thomas Darbyshire, was born in England and came to America when nine years of age. He lived in Iowa, principally at Burlington. He followed farming mostly, and died in 1884. Richard's mother, who bore the maiden name of Naomi Adams, was a native of Kentucky as were also her parents. Richard Darbyshire remained with his parents until he was twenty-one and then began farming for himself. After he had farmed a couple of years he began dealing in horses, in which business he had marked success. He came to Nebraska in 1884 and resided near Armada for two years, then bought and sold farms and made considerable money in his various real estate transactions. In 1886, he began driving the stage on the Kearney and Broken Bow line and continued for about eight months, during which he had an interesting experience. He frequently drove sixty miles a day when the thermometer registered from thirty-three to thirty-four degrees below zero, and was often compelled to shovel his way through snow banks and make schedule time in all kinds of weather. He drove for days at a time when he would be the only team on the roads. The rules of the mail service imposed a heavy fine on mail carriers for being behind time without a most satisfactory excuse, but he was never fined the entire winter, which was one of the severest in the history of the country. The Union Pacific Railway Company was fined frequently for being late with the mails that winter, but the disagreeable weather was no barrier to young Darbyshire in preventing him from delivering the mails on time. He is now in the livery business at Miller, Nebraska and has one of the best barns in the county.


CHARLES PATTERSON was born at Mt. Sterling, Brown County, Ill., March 17, 1837, and was the son of Kentucky parents, named John D. and Mary Ann (Smith) Patterson. Charles F. Patterson went to Arkansas when seventeen years old and engaged in the manufacture of staves, which he found a ready market for in New Orleans. After a few years' experience in the great forests of Arkansas, he went to Bonaparte, Iowa, where he was engaged by Isaiah Meek, a leading stockman of Van Buren county, as foreman of his large stock farm. In 1861 he went to California in search of gold, and was there about eighteen months, during which time he was employed in a quartz mill. He then returned to Iowa and accepted his former position as foreman of the Meek stock farm. In l878 he came to Nebraska and took a homestead in Dawson county, just over the line from Buffalo county and there built a sod house and prepared to make such improvements as were necessary to render his farm profitable under cultivation. He brought with him from Iowa about 400 head of cattle which he kept on shares for a few years. The settlement then was sparse, there being no houses between his home and Elm creek, about fifteen miles south.
    In 1885 he began selling cattle for O. W. Mead, of Boston, who was a large owner of live stock ranches in the West. The cattle were shipped to Mr. Patterson, who disposed of them to feeders in Nebraska, he acting as Mead's agent for eighteen months, during which time he sold many thousand dollar's worth of cattle. He was the agent also, of Philip Dater & Co., of Cheyenne, for two years, and was also engaged with Tabor & Skinner, the former being ex-Gov. Tabor of Colorado. He traveled all over the West, visiting their ranches and gathering up cattle, which he sold to Nebraska feeders.
    Charles F. Patterson died of heart difficulty, November 12, 1888, after a brief illness of only a few weeks. He was an Odd Fellow, and a gentleman who enjoyed the respect and confidence of his neighbors and fellow citizens in general. He was married November 1, 1860, to Miss Lydia C., daughter of Peter and Mary Ann (Lichty) Miller, and born in Westmoreland county, Pa., September 29, 1836. Her parents were born in Sommerset, Pa, her father being the first white male child born in that town. They emigrated to Van Buren county, Iowa, in 1854, with a family of twelve children, and there most of them now reside, but Peter Miller died in 1875, having been a lifelong member of the German Baptist church. The children of Charles F. and Lydia Patterson are named as follows: John Wesley, Mary Ann, Maggie J., William Richard and Charles M. They have all had splendid opportunities for securing an education, and some are now engaged in teaching. The Patterson homestead consists of 320 acres, well improved, and on which has recently been erected a handsome and substantial brick residence.

BENJAMIN F PEASE is a well-to-do farmer in Armada township, Buffalo county, Nebr., was born in Ontario county, N.Y. and is the son of Granger and Anna (Fish) Pease,


former of whom was born in Connecticut and the latter in New York. His parents moved to Michigan in 1839, where his father died in 1858; his mother was a Quakeress and passed to the eternal land in 1842.
    B. F. Pease began to learn the cooper trade when he was eighteen, and followed it for five years. He was married October 24, 1859, to Martha Judd, by whom he had one child--Herbert. She was born in 1838, and was the daughter of Henry and Elvira Judd; the former was a native of Connecticut and the latter of Massachusetts. Mrs. Pease died in 1868, and Mr. Pease was next married, May 30, 1872, to Charlotte Odell, by whom he had three children -- Charles, Salina and Floyd. Mr. Pease enlisted, August 12, 1861, in the Eighth Michigan infantry and served four years. He participated in the battles of Coosaw, S.C.; Pulaski, Wilmington, Ga.; and James Island, S. C., where he was taken prisoner, but was exchanged four months afterwards; and was also in the battles of Blue Springs, Ky.; Jackson, Miss., and Knoxville, Tenn. His brigade was under Gen. W. T. Sherman after the siege of Knoxville, but reorganized and joined the Army of the Potomac. He served with his regiment in every engagement, from the Wilderness to the evacuation of Petersburg, April, 1865; re-enlisted January 1, 1864, and was mustered out July 30, 1865, having entered the army as a private and rising to the rank of first lieutenant. He came to Nebraska in May, 1884, and settled in Armada township, Buffalo county. He took a soldier's homestead, which he now has well improved, and has increased his acreage until his farm now contains 320 acres under a good state of cultivation. He and his estimable wife are members of the Methodist church, and he is a member of the G. A. R., and a highly respected citizen in the community.

JOHN MERCER is one of the substantial farmers and stockmen of Armada township, Buffalo county. He was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland, August 31, 1845, and is the son of George and Isabel (Locky) Mercer, both of whom are natives of Scotland. His father came to America in 1852, and settled in Canada, his wife and family following in 186l. He was a shoemaker by trade, and a member of the old established Church of Scotland, and died in 1862. Young Mercer identified himself with the Union cause by enlisting in the navy August 18, 1864,and belonged to a crew on board the Miami which was ordered up the James river and lay at Dutch Gap canal during the winter of 1864-5. He received his discharge at Philadelphia in June, 1865. After the war he went to Watertown, N. Y. where his mother and two brothers had moved, and engaged with Smith & Lamb, woolen manufacturers; he also worked in the large steam woolen mills at Utica, and at Bridgetown, Me. He afterwards came west and worked in woolen factories in Ohio and Michigan, and as he was thoroughly familiar with almost every department connected with the manufacture of woolen goods, found no trouble in procuring employment at any first-class factory. In the fall of 1873 he concluded to "go west and grow up with the country," and accordingly he turned up in Buffalo county, Nebr., and within a reasonably short time


he was a proprietor of a No. 1 homestead, located in the rich and fertile valley of the Wood river, of which he was one of the first actual settlers. The country was naturally wild and exceedingly dreary to one coming from the far East, and it made no other impression on the mind of young Mercer. He was forty miles from any town, in a country where elk, antelope and deer roamed at will, and along the small streams of which were plenty of beaver and wildcats. He was fond of hunting, and followed it almost exclusively for three or four winters. It afforded him considerable amusement and besides it was quite profitable. In fact, there was no other way of making money, and even a bachelor like Mr. Mercer could not live in a wild prairie country without money. He lived in a dug-out, which, in those days, was the only house that guaranteed its occupant absolute shelter from the frequent atmospherical disturbances. But even his dugout did not protect him from the ravages of the grass-hoppers in 1874-5-6. He has seen them three inches thick, and they didn't seem to smother each other either. A good many settlers got discouraged and left, but he concluded to stick by his claim as long as he could live. He would go to the hill, shoot a deer and trade it for flour and such articles of food as he stood in need of, and in that way he managed to get along. In the fall of 1880 a prairie fire swept everything he had, including his hay and grain in the stack, --everything, in fact, except a patch of sod corn.
    John Mercer was married October 11, 1885 to Pauline, daughter of James and Rachael (Spriggs) Stewart. She was born in Marshall county, Ill., February 15, 1854, and has borne him two children--John C., born December 24, 1887, and Edward James, born March 26, 1890. Mr. Mercer belongs to the G. A. R., and is a republican in whom there is no guile. He has two hundred and forty acres of fertile land and takes great pride in breeding good horses, of which he is a splendid judge.

ARTHUR F BURT was born in Delaware county, Ind., January 1833, and is the son of Dickerson and Margaret (Killough) Burt, the former of whom was reared in Massachusetts and the latter in Ohio. Dickerson Burt first taught school after he came to Ohio, and subsequently graduated from a Cincinnati medical college. He practiced his profession in Muncie, Ind., and also had the honor of being appointed the first postmaster of that town. He was married to Margaret Killough, March 3, 1827, by whom he had four children, and whom he lost by death February 9, 1835. Arthur Burt lived with Cornelius Vaursdell, an old Christian preacher, until he was thirteen, and then started out for himself, and followed railroading for several years. In 1852 he made quite an extensive tour of the country, after which he followed farming in Ross county, Ohio, for several years. He was married January 13, 1859, to Elizabeth Campbell. They have seven children -- Christena A, Juda V., John A., Dora L., Rosa E., Lizzie L., and Mary B.
    Mr. Burt served in the late war, enlisting August 15, 1862 in the One Hundred and Third Illinois infantry. He participated in the struggle at Holly Springs,


but being injured on the march to Vicksburg, he was afterwards transferred from field service to the veteran reserve corps, and put on detached service, being sent to Rock Island, Ill., where he ran the machinery connected with the government prison until mustered out in July, 1865. He followed farming in Illinois for several years after he returned from the war, and went to Missouri in 1872, where he spent four years. He came to Armada, Nebr., in May, 1879, and took up a homestead. He was among the first to settle in the country south of Armada, and had no neighbors on the south of him nearer than twelve miles. He is independent in politics and is an esteemed and worthy citizen. Mr. Burt has recently been appointed inspector for the K. B. & H. R. R., (sic) in which position he is giving full satisfaction.

CHARLES M. HOUSTON, editor and proprietor of the Miller Union, was born at Sidney, Iowa, June 8, 1869, and is a son of Harry A. and Jane E. (Irwin) Houston. His father is a native of Pennsylvania and his mother of Ohio. His father has been actively engaged in the newspaper business for more than twenty years, during which time he has published papers in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin. He is a clear and forcible writer, and at one time was a member of the editorial staff of the Kansas State Journal.
    Charles M. Houston, the subject of this sketch, learned the printing business in the home office at Sidney, Iowa, and is thoroughly familiar with every department of a well-regulated country newspaper office. He went to Armada, Buffalo county, Nebr., in April, 1889, and immediately purchased the office of The Armada Watchman, which paper he published until July, 1890, when he removed said paper to the new town of Miller, and changed the name to Miller Union. The paper was started in May, 1888, by W. A. Hale, who conducted it until December, 1888, when it passed into the hands of The Watchman Publishing Company, with R. A. Reed as editor. After the paper became the property of Mr. Houston, it was materially improved in tone and general make-up. It was republican in politics, and enjoyed a fair advertising patronage. Young Houston, at the age of nineteen only at that time, made a success in the newspaper field where two publishers had failed before him. He is a chip off the old block, and will make a reputation in the newspaper world equal to that of his father.
    Early in the spring of 1890, the Union Pacific Railroad Company decided on constructing the Kearney and Black Hills branch, and in speaking of this decision the Miller Union, of August 28, states that "The Hancock Land & Improvement Company owned a section of land to the south and west of old Armada, about a mile through which the railroad was graded. Early in the month of June, the said Hancock Company had their land re-surveyed and platted into a town-site and made the people of Armada the following proposition: To all those engaged in business in Armada and owning either business or dwelling-houses, the Hancock Company would give them lots in the 'new town' (which they had named Miller), and would move their buildings from


Armada to Miller free of cost to the owners. And to those business men who were not owners of buildings in the village of Armada who wished to build houses they would give them warrantee deeds to lots when buildings were erected. * * * * * The people of Armada, seeing the determination of the Hancock people to build up Miller, and knowing of the vast advantages they would have over Armada, came to the conclusion that it was about time that they were taking steps whereby they might become citizens of Miller. Accordingly, most of the citizens of Armada accepted the proposition of the Miller people; and about July 1st the first building was begun in Miller, which was a residence built by L. A. Hazzard on corner of Stephenson avenue and Fifth street. July 17th, the Miller Union made its first appearance and was issued from a barn, which had been hurriedly erected for a shelter from the weather until better quarters could be secured."
    At present, besides churches, there are over thirty business firms in the place including banks, and twenty-one dwelling houses, and others under contract to be built.

MASON A. YOUNG, one of the prominent farmers of Cedar Township, Buffalo County, was born in Zanesville, Ohio, May 15, 1842. His parents, Mason and Luticie (Leggit) Young, were Pennsylvanians by birth. About 1838 they moved to Muskingum County, Ohio, and engaged in farming. The senior Young died in 1872, and his estimable wife followed him to the land of rest March 24, 1881. Three children were born to them, one of whom, Washington, is dead, leaving Mason A. and James, the only living representatives of the family. When Mason A. Young was 17 years of age he enlisted, August 2, 1862, in Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-second Ohio volunteers, and served three years. He participated in the engagements at Brandy Station and Locust Grove, and followed Gen. Grant through the terrible battles of the Wilderness. He also fought with might and main at Winchester, Adar Creek and Fisher's Hill, and was mustered out in June, 1865. Soon after the war he met Miss Jennie Butler, whom he married December 3, 1869. She was born in Maryland, February 26, 1846, and is the daughter of John Wesley and Saran Ann (Fisher) Butler. Her parents emigrated to Ohio, where her father died in 1853. This union has resulted in the birth of six children, namely - John Wilson, born May 19, 1871; Annie, born July 13, 1873; Zettie E., born December 30, 1875; Amy, born March 24, 1877; Charles E., born March 29, 1885; and Frank, born April 26, 1887. Their daughter Zettie was the first white child born in Cedar Township. Soon after marriage Mr. Young moved to Cedar County, Iowa, where he engaged in farming for a few years. In April of 1873 he moved to Buffalo County, Nebr., and settled in Cedar Township, taking up a homestead on which he has since continued to reside. The country hereabouts was new and exceedingly wild at that time, there being only two or three families in the entire township. He dug the first well and erected the first frame house that far west in the region known as the


Loup country. Fire swept the surrounding prairie that year and consequently there was no grass left to cut for hay. Corn had to be hauled from Grand Island, and the high price of everything in the shape of provisions compelled the few scattered settlers to be as economical as possible. The drought and grasshoppers got away with the small acreage of crop the first few years, and for a time there was little to encourage the ambitious settlers. There were plenty of antelope and deer, and some buffalo were yet to be seen along the Loup. There were Indians in the country in those days, and, while they were generally peaceable, Mr. Young made up his mind to always be prepared for any emergency that might arise, and to that end he purchased a sixteen shooter Winchester with five hundred rounds of ammunition. Mr. Young has one of the best improved farms, and, in fact, is one of the most substantial farmers in Cedar township. He is industrious and systematic in everything he does and stands high socially and morally in the community. He has been supervisor of his township, and has held various other local offices. He is a member of the G. A. R. and in politics is a staunch republican.

ELEAZER W. CARPENTER was born in New Hampshire, June 23, 1827. His parents, Willard and Betsey (Wason) Carpenter, were natives of New Hampshire, the former having been born in 1789. They were married in 1812 and had two children--Miranda, born in 1820, and Eleazer W., born in 1827; the former died in 1863. The father died in New York in 1841, and the mother died in Wisconsin in 1864. Eleazer W. Carpenter was married November 13, 1854, to Miss Emily M., daughter of John and Hulda (George) Plumer. She was born in New Hampshire, June 25, 1830. Her father was born in 1808, and was the son of Nathaniel Plumer, who was born May 29, 1764. The family of E. W. Carpenter consists of seven children, namely--John W., born May 15, 1856; Stephen, born November 16, 1858; Hulda, born March 7, 1861; Cyril, born September 4, 1863; Marion, born March 31, 1866; Miranda, born October 14, 1868, and Lydia, born May 31, 1871. Mr. Carpenter went with his parents from their native state, in 1840, to New York, where, at the age of sixteen, he hired out by the month to work on a farm. His next move was to Wisconsin in 1854, where he was married and settled down to farming. He enlisted in September, 1864, in the First Regiment, Minnesota heavy artillery. His regiment was stationed at Chattanooga, Tenn., and performed garrison duty during most of the service. He was mustered out June 17, 1865. In the fall of 1872 he started West to prospect for his future home. He arrived at Gibbon, Buffalo county, Nebr., after a long and wearisome journey made with an ox team. He remained here until the following spring; in the meantime, however, he busied himself looking for a location. He was especially pleased with the land in the Cedar Creek valley, and he finally took up a homestead there. He built a frame house, sod being the material mostly employed at this early date. There was scarcely any settlement in this section at that time, and wild game was


plenty, especially deer and antelope. There were hundreds of wild-cats and beaver along the creek, and hunting and trapping constituted the chief occupation of several of the early settlers. Mr. Carpenter had barely succeeded in getting his family comfortably housed, when one of the severest storms in the history of the country began raging. It was a blizzard of the most pronounced type and lasted for three days, during which snow fell and drifted to a great depth. Hundreds of cattle and other stock, without shelter, perished. In a sod house near Mr. Carpenter's dwelling, lived a lady by the name of Mrs. Davis. During the awful storm a part of the roof of the house fell in, and the poor woman, whose husband was away at the time, became alarmed and started out in the blinding storm in the hope, it is supposed, of reaching the home of Mr. Carpenter. Soon after the storm ceased it was ascertained that Mrs. Davis was missing; a diligent search was at once instituted, which soon resulted in the recovery of her remains, frozen stiff on the prairie. Incidents of this kind are not uncommon among the frontiersmen. Mr. Carpenter was also among the early pioneers who suffered from the grasshopper raid. He describes them as appearing in the horizon like numerous black clouds, and as striking against his house like descending hail.
   The first school district in the township was organized in 1874, and the first term of school was taught by Mrs. Carpenter in one of the rooms of her own house. Mr. Carpenter has served as justice of the peace of his township for eleven years and has been elected supervisor, the most important office in the town. He has also been postmaster of Major's postoffice since February, 1879. He is republican in politics and is one of the recognized party representatives in Buffalo county.

Samuel Higgins, the first actual settler in the township of Cedar, Buffalo County, was born on the banks of the Penobscot river, in Maine, March 30, 1811. His paternal grandfather made his home on the banks of this beautiful stream prior to the revolutionary war, and his father, William Higgins, was the second white male child born along its wooded banks. William Higgins was an active participant in the war of 1812. He accidentally crossed the picket lines and was captured by the English, but afterwards escaped. He died in 1838. Samuel Higgins, the subject of this sketch, left his parental home in Maine in 1837, and determined to see some of the country in which he lived. He visited several of the principal states in the Union, remaining for a short time in each. After a few years profitably spent in traveling, he settled on a farm in Grant country, Wis., where he remained for thirteen years. He was one to the pioneer residents of that territory, and voted for it to become a state.
   It was on November 10, 1872, when Mr. Higgins came to Buffalo Country, Nebr. He built a small shanty in the town of Gibbon, then the county seat, where he left his family while he prospected for a claim. He finally settled on a homestead in Cedar township and also took a timber claim adjoining. His first house consisted


of a "dug-out," in which he spent the winter of 1873-4, which was very mild and dry. His visitors consisted almost exclusively of Indians, who often called and asked for food or feed for their ponies. He fried pan-cakes once, but the Indians were not satisfied unless he provided coffee to drink. An Indian is a hard customer to please. Occasionally one would call in an exceedingly bad humor and would refuse to extend the hand of friendship. They were always armed to the teeth, and strenuously objected to the whites killing any wild game. On one dark night Indians tried to break in the door of his "dug-out" but were frightened away. Mr. Higgins was always careful not to incur the ill-will of the red men, for he was the only white settler in all that region at that time, and he knew it meant sure death to him if he offended an Indian. In the spring of 1873, settlers began to come in and it was not long before quite a settlement was effected. One of the notable incidents of the early settlement was the terrible snowstorm or blizzard in April of 1873. At that time Mr. Higgin's live chattels consisted of two horses, a cow and a calf. The cow was completely snowed under and smothered, while the calf was dug out of the snow four days afterwards alive, but pretty hungry. It was the worst storm in the history of the country, and there has been no blizzard since anywhere equal to it. Mr. Higgins always possessed unbounded faith from the first in the future development of this country, and although many tried to discourage him, yet he went straight ahead setting out trees and preparing to do his share towards improving the country, notwithstanding the fact that he had had thirty acres of corn destroyed for three consecutive years by grasshoppers. His grove is timber is now one of the very finest in the country and consists of cottonwood, ash, maple and boxelder.
    Mr. Higgins was married twice. His first wife bore him nine children, and his second, two--one of whom is dead. His farm consists of one hundred and sixty acres, and is one of the best improved in the county. He has frequently held various offices of responsibility, but has as often refused to accept office, and was at one time treasurer of the Boonesborough Manufacturing Company, of Boonesborough, Iowa, a position of great trust and responsibility. When the war broke out he offered his services to his country, but was rejected on account of his extreme age. He has been an earnest and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church for sixty years, and has always taken great interest in religious affairs, and especially in the Sunday school. Mr. Higgins has written some very fine essays, but the object and scope of this work are such as to preclude the insertion here of one of his productions.

JOSEPH CLAYTON was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, in 1844. His father, Henry Clayton, was also a native of Ohio, and was born in 1808. He moved to Indiana in 1852, and engaged in farming, but when the war broke out was one of the first to enlist. He served three years and lost a foot at the Battle of Peach Tree Creek. He also bore an honorable record as a soldier in


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