a small stock of hardware and tinware. His start in accordance with his means was modest. His chief income came from his labor at the bench. But as the town and county settled up, the demand for goods and wares in his line increased and his business prospered from year to year until now he owns the best equipped establishment of the kind in the town of Gibbon, and one which would be a credit to a town having twice the population that Gibbon has. Mr. Babcock has worked steadily at his trade during all these years and yet continues to do so. He has a business in the general line of hardware, which would reasonably occupy his entire time and attention, provided he chose to devote his time and attention to it. But he does not. This he carries on by means of a clerk while he, himself, works at the bench. Perhaps the explanation of this is to be found in the fact that competent clerks are plentiful while competent journeyman tinners are not. Certainly the fact illustrates one of the chief sources of his success. Besides his mercantile business, Mr. Babcock has an interest in the First National bank of Gibbon, being a stock-holder therein and a member of the boards of directors. He was one of the organizing members of this institution. Recurring to Mr. Babcock's earlier personal and ancestoral history, it will be in keeping with the character and purpose of this article to record that he was born in Walworth county, Wis., October 2, 1854. He was reared there and lived there till coming to Nebraska in 1875. He received an ordinary common-school education and was early apprenticed to the tinner's trade, a trade he mastered and the business he has since followed. He is a son of James and Lovie (Roberts) Babcock, his parents both being natives of the town of Plattsburg on Lake Champlain, Vt. They were married there and moved West soon after and settled in Walworth county, Wis. There the mother died in 1856, in middle life, leaving a family of five children, of whom the subject, of this sketch is next to the youngest, the others being three sons and a daughter - Charles, Justina, Wesley and Marion. Mr. Babcock's father, after a second marriage, lived some years in Wisconsin, dying in his adopted county, Walworth, in 1862, somewhat advanced in years. He was throughout life a farmer being a plain substantial representative of his calling.


a serious problem to be solved in a practical way. His methods, therefore, are the methods of the man of business. He is plain in manner, pointed in speech, practical in means, and punctilious in all things. He is devoted exclusively to business. He is engrossed with his own personal concerns. He makes no pretension in the matter of religion or politics. As a citizen he takes an interest in matters of general concern, at least as far as all good citizens are expected to. He gives to worthy purposes in proportion to his means. He is a zealous member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and his benevolent impulses take the practical shape inculcated by that fraternity.

JOHN M. BAYLEY. Any list of the old settlers of Buffalo county, however long, would be incomplete without mention of the name of John M. Bayley, of the town of Gibbon. Any record of the early experience of the first settlers of the county would be lacking in interest as well as historical accuracy that did not include the personal reminiscence of this gentleman. Mr. Bayley is an old settler in the strongest and most significant sense of the phrase. He was in Nebraska years before Buffalo county was ever thought of - when all the country now comprised within this county was part of the great domain of the northwest, and marked on the map as practically uninhabitable. Mr. Bayley came to Nebraska in April, 1857, three years after the territory was organized, and when it had a population of only a few thousand settled in widely scattered communities, and not a village of over one hundred souls. He therefore saw the country almost in its primitive state, and gazed with his own eyes on the enchanting picture presented by the poet when he directed the eyes of the beholder in these lines:

"Behold the prairie, broad and grand and free;
'Tis God's own garden, unprofaned by man."

Mr. Bayley was one of a colony of Pennsylvanians, twenty-seven in number, who made their way with ox teams and pack horses to the state, or rather territory, years before the railroads had belted the country with their glistening bands of steel or even the cumbersome stagecoaches had penetrated far into the interior, off the main line of overland travel to the gold fields of the Pacific coast. A minute description of the mode of travel and the manner of living at that early date, would hardly be appropriate in a sketch like this, those things belonging more properly to the history of the state - but it may be here recorded with truth and historical accuracy, that Mr. Bayley was a pioneer in those days and lived the life of a pioneer with all that the term implies. The colony of which he was a member settled near Table Rock in Pawnee county, which was then considerably beyond the outposts of civilization. Most of the members took up land in that vicinity and many of them made permanent improvements. Some, however, returned to the old state as is usual in such cases; others moved on west and still others scattered off, settling in different localities. Mr. Bayley remained in Nebraska till the fall of 1857, when, being a young man and unmarried, he desired to see more of the world and accordingly,


in the fall of 1857, he started south, pulling up in Arkansas a few weeks later. A large part of that state was then new and just starting up, and offered some inducements to young men in search of locations. But Mr. Bayley did not take kindly to the malaria, mosquitoes, soda biscuits and six shooters of the swamp-land state, and he remained there only a year, returning in December, 1858, to his native place in Pennsylvania. He settled down there and was variously engaged until 1862, when, the Civil war having come on, and calls were being made for soldiers to defend the Union, he entered the military service of the United States as a member of an independent company, organized for the purpose of repelling invasions of rebel forces into Pennsylvania and especially the city of Philadelphia. He remained in the service of the government in this capacity for nearly a year, when the term of his enlistment having expired, he remained in Philadelphia city, where he took a position on the city police force, which position he held for three years. He lived there, engaged in this and other capacities, till 1869, when his mind again turned towards the great "West, and in the fall of that year he moved to Michigan, having married in the meantime, settled and went into the lumber business on the Muskegon river. He lived in Michigan till 1871, coming thence to Nebraska and settling in Buffalo county. Beginning the record of his experience, therefore, as a resident of this county, even with the year 1871, he can justly be numbered as one of the old settlers, for the settlement of the county began in that year. Mr. Bayley came in the spring - April 7 - the same time the colony did, and, like most of the colonists, he was not burdened with an abundance of this world's goods, but came West purposely to better his condition. An actual inventory of his finances showed, at the date he landed in Buffalo county, that he had an even twenty dollars, his wife and babies, and a limited amount of household goods and wearing apparel. Like all the others, his first step was to secure land. He filed a homestead claim on the northeast quarter of section 22, township 9, range 13, lying about two miles east and a little south of where the town of Gibbon was located. On this he settled and began his improvements. After the first tedious stages of breaking and building were over, the invasion of the grasshoppers occurred, followed by the seasons of dry years with all their train of hardships and privations, through which Mr. Bayley passed, and of which he saw as much as anyone. He was not alone in his experience in those years. He shared the lot that fell to all. The fact is simply adverted to, here in this sketch, as one of the incidents of his first years in the county, and as showing that he furnished his part of the patient fortitude and heroic endeavor that carried the little settlement through their trials to more prosperous times. Mr. Bayley has been engaged in farming continually since coming to the county. He lived on his farm up to about a year ago, when he moved into the town of Gibbon, where he now resides. He has added, by purchases at different times, to his original homestead until he now owns five hundred and twenty acres of as good land as there is in Buffalo county, lying in Shelton township, all of which is under cultivation,


and which yields an abundance of Nebraska's sovereign products - corn and native hay. Mr. Bayley has been engaged in the stock and dairying business since he came to the state. He is one of the few men of the county who seem to have an intelligent conception of the possibilities of Nebraska soil, and who go about their work in a way to make it pay. One of his first moves the year after he located was to buy thirteen head of cows, in connection with Henry Green, a neighbor, and immediately embark in the dairying business. He now owns over one hundred head, which he has raised from scrub stock to high grades and thoroughbreds, and he has made and sold thousands and thousands of pounds of butter, having some customers to whom he has furnished this wholesome domestic article for more than fifteen years. He is a member of the State Dairymen's Association, and has been an active worker in its interest. He rarely misses a county fair with his exhibits and it is a fact worth mentioning that he has never failed but once to take the first premium on butter at any fair he has entered his products. He is also largely interested in the breeding and rearing of horses, and he now has some improved strains and thoroughbreds, which he shows with commendable pride and which are a credit to his zeal and judgment in this direction. He began in the horse business at an early day, also having had the honor of raising the first span of colts in the county. As a citizen laboring in the interest and welfare of his adopted county, Mr. Bayley has been equally as active and his efforts have met with equally as fruitful results. He helped to build the first school house in the county and helped organize the first school district. This was school district No. l, the school for which was taught about midway between the towns of Gibbon and Shelton. Later on, when the population of the district would authorize it, he, with others, secured a division of the old district, with others which were formed of it, and erected a new one, designated as No. 22, of which he became an official, holding the office of director for three years and that of treasurer for seven. He is not a politician even in the mildest sense of the phrase and therefore we have no political triumphs or disasters to record of him. He has been content to lead the life of an humble citizen, contributing by the work of his hands to the solid prosperity of his country rather than seeking the questionable honors that come of political machination and personal intrigue. Mr. Bayley comes of a family of pioneers and he gets by heredity some of the qualities that best fit him not only for a pioneer but for a useful citizen as well. He was born in Wayne county, Pa., January 28, 1836, and his earlier years were passed amid scenes and incidents of a primitive kind even for that country, and among people most of whom had been the first settlers of that part of the Keystone State. His father, William Bayley, was a native of Newburyport, Mass., having been born there in 1792. He moved to Wayne county, Pa., in 1814, and settled in Clinton township. He was one of the first settlers of the township, going into that locality at a time when he had to cut his way through the timber and make a road over which to move his household goods and farming utensils. He settled nine miles


from the town of Honesdale, now the county seat of Wayne county, and there lived and died. He was identified with the early organization of the county and his own particular township, as well as active enterprises of a general nature. He held a number of smaller offices in the county, such as county commissoner, assessor, bridge and road supervisor and the like. He was also a member of the state militia, when that was one of the institutions of the day, and he volunteered in the service of his country, raising a company of which he was elected captain to fight the British in the war of 1812-14. The war, however, was over before he got into the field with his command. For the most part he led a quiet, unassuming life, devoting himself to agriculture in which he succeeded reasonably well. He died at his old home place in Chester township in 1853, then in the fifty-ninth year of his age. He was a life-long member of the Baptist church, a deacon of that church for years, and one of the founders of the First Baptist Association, and the builder of the First Baptist church in Chester township, Wayne county, where he settled. He was twice married, his first wife bearing the maiden name of Ruth Morse, a native of Haverhill, Mass., and a cousin of the inventor of the electric telegraph, Samuel F. B. Morse. This lady died a few years after their marriage, leaving two sons, both of whom are now also dead. He married again, his second wife being a sister of his former one, and a native of the same place. This lady's Christian name is Mary A., and she is still living. The second marriage was solemnized July 4, 1830, at Haverhill, Mass., and the newly wedded pair immediately started to their home, then in the somewhat distant West. The fruit of this union was eight children, all of whom reached maturity and most of whom are now living. These are - Ruth, the wife of William Porter; Mehitable, John M., the subject of this sketch; Edgar S., who died at Hilton Head, S. C., during the late war, being a member of the One Hundred and Fourth Pennsylvania regiment, Union Army; Harriet, wife of Offin B. Marshall; Jennett, wife of Sydney Newman; Sylvester E. and Charles. John M. Bayley, himself, married in Honesdale, Wayne county, Pa., October 30,1860, his wife being Adeline A., daughter of Lester Phelps and Margaret (Cooper) Adams. Mrs. Bayley's parents moved from Washington county, N. Y., to Wayne county, Pa., in 1830. Her father was a native of Troy, N. Y., and was by turns a farmer, tanner, shoemaker and turner, a man of considerable mechanical genius and an industrious, hard-working citizen. He was killed in a turner's factory in Sterling, his home, Pa., in 1864, being then in the sixtieth year of his age. Mrs. Bayley's mother was born in Red Hook, N. Y., and is yet living, having attained the great age of eighty-three and being at present a member of her daughter's household. Mrs. Bayley is herself one of a family of eight children, the full list in the order of their ages being as follows - Maria, wife of John Edwards; Henry N., Enoch N., John A., Thadeus Z., Adeline A. (Mrs. Bayley), Lester V., Aurelius Sylvester and Margaret T., wife of Amasa Megargill. Of Mrs. Bayley's brothers all but one served in the Union Army - John A., in the One Hundred and Fourth Pennsylvania,


Henry N., Thadeus Z. and Aurelius Sylvester in the One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Pennsylvania, and Lester V. in the Third Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Bayley are the parents of five children, whose Christian names are - Hattie, now deceased, Lester W., John A., Mabel A. and Nettie E. It would be robbing this sketch of much of its value and denying a good woman her just deserts to fail to record that much that Mr. Bayley is and much that he has is due to the efficient help of his wife, who has willingly seconded and materially aided him in all his labors, bearing all and more than her full share of their common burden. She is not only a lady of great industry and intelligence, but she possesses culture and refinement, having been in her young womanhood a teacher for some years and still retaining in her later life her taste for the studies of her youth. Like all of her sex she is kind-hearted, ever ready to help the sick and the afflicted, ministering in times of need with her own hands to the wants of others. Her pleasant home is open to friend and stranger alike and she dispenses therefrom a warm and generous hospitality.

S. R. TRAUT, of the town of Gibbon, Buffalo county, is a Pennsylvanian by birth and comes of Pennsylvanian parentage. His father, Samuel Traut, and his mother, Sarah Royer, both having been born and reared in Berks county, that state. His parents belonged to pioneer families, which moved into northwestern Pennsylvania, where they met and were married, and where they passed the most of their lives, the mother dying in 1866 and the father in 1881, both in Erie county, and both well advanced in years. They were the parents of eight children, besides the subject of this sketch, these being four boys and four girls, by name and in the order of their ages as follows - Lydia, Reuben, William, Henry, Jesse, Eliza, Ann and Margaret; our subject, Samuel R., being the youngest and making the ninth. He was born in Erie county and lived there until moving West in 1871, being brought up on his father's farm, receiving a good common- school education and being reared to the habits of industry and usefulness common to farm life. He married in August, 1862, the lady whom he selected for a companion being Miss Sarah R. Shugert, daughter of Caleb and Ruth Shugert, of his native county, and began the race of life in the place and at the calling to which he was reared. He resided there till 1871, when having determined to move West, where land was more plentiful and opportunities for getting on in the world were better, he came in October of that year to Nebraska and located a claim in Buffalo county, four and a half miles northeast of the newly-settled town of Gibbon. Going back to Pennsylvania, he returned with his family in the spring of 1872 and settled on his place, where he continued to reside for a number of years, engaged in farming. He saw much of the hard times, having passed through the grasshopper seasons, the dry years, the hail and all the trying times incident thereto, as did all the old settlers who remained steadfastly by their choice and, as they say, "toughed it out." After the first few years Mr. Traut made some progress and in more


recent times he has reaped in a large measure the result of his first year's labor, privations and hardships. He quit the farm in 1879 and moved into Gibbon for the purpose of educating his children and has since resided there, but retains his old homestead and his farming interest. Mr. Traut had the misfortune to lose his wife in 1880, she dying that year. A year later he married Mrs. William Brady, of Gibbon, an old settler and a lady of many excellent qualities of head and heart. Mr. Traut is an intelligent, progressive, public-spirited citizen and one who is highly esteemed, as is also his excellent wife, who is now pointed out by her neighbors and friends as the most heroic woman of the original Gibbon colony. Mrs. Traut certainly did have a hard time of it in the earlier days and she deserves all the praise bestowed on her for the courage and fortitude she has displayed. She and her first husband came to Buffalo county with the Soldiers' Free Homestead Colony, coming from New York State. William Brady was a native of Ireland. He came to America when a lad, grew up in New York, enlisted in the Union army from that state, served during the war, married in Washington county, New York, in 1865, and lived there till 1871, when he came West, settling at Gibbon. He was killed by an accident in the summer of 1873 while making brick for the court house then being erected, his being the first death in the township. By his death Mrs. Brady with four little children was left to make her way as she could. She had only her homestead and, as it may be guessed, her lot was by no means an easy one. But by industry and good management she held on to her homestead, kept her children together and reared them, giving to each the benefit of a good education. Mrs. Brady is herself a native also of the "Emerald Isle," coming to America when a girl and stopping in New York, where she met and was married to William Brady. By this union she has four children as noted above, all of whom are now grown, these being three daughters and a son - Ida M., Mary E., James A. and Gracie. Mr. Traut also has six children by his former marriage - Sarah E., Ida M., Lilla Belle, Sydney D., Seth L. and Katie I. Mr. and Mrs. Traut live on the old homestead where Mrs. Traut first settled, it being the first homestead taken in Gibbon township.

J. W. BERRY, farmer of Gibbon township, Buffalo county, Nebr., was born in Noble county, Ohio, and there reared. He enlisted in the Federal army, One Hundred and Twenty-second Ohio volunteer infantry, November 6, 1862, which command was attached to the Army of the Potomac and served with that army during the entire war. He was in all the principal engagements fought by the Army of the Potomac. Being a mere lad he was detailed as a musician, but carried a gun most of the time. His command participated in some of the heaviest battles fought by the Army of the Potomac, and sustained heavy losses in several engagements, notably at Mine Run and the Wilderness, Virginia. The total loss of his regiment in killed and those who died of wounds, disease, acci-


dent and in rebel prisons during the war, as shown by the official records at Washington, were: officers, nine, and enlisted men, two hundred and twenty-three. Mr. Berry has especial reasons to remember the battle of Cedar Creek as he there barely got off with his life. He had just been relieved of guard duty when Early made the charge on the Federal lines before sun-up and, there being a heavy fog, there was considerable confusion during which most of the Federal pickets took shelter in an old house. Mr. Berry was not fortunate enough to get in, it being crowded to over-flowing before he got to it. Being hard pressed by the enemy and seeing that something must be done, and done at once, he determined to make good his escape if possible, and keeping the house between himself and the advancing pickets the best he could, he battered down a large paling fence with his gun, made his way through, escaped and assisted in bearing off the field his general, who was wounded in the engagement. In this venture Mr. Berry lost all his accoutrements, had his cap shot off, seven bullet holes shot in his clothes and he was cut through the skin on both hips, but otherwise uninjured. He served as a private and was in from the date of his enlistment till the surrender, being present at Appomattox and saw Lee, as he says, "give up under the famous apple tree." He was discharged July 5, 1865. Returning to Ohio, he moved shortly afterwards to Fulton county, Ill., where he lived, engaged in farming till March, 1872, when he came to Nebraska as a member of the Old Soldier's Homestead Colony and settled in Gibbon township, Buffalo county. He homesteaded the south west quarter of section 6, township 9, range 14, which he subsequently sold and moved on to the northeast quarter of section 7, adjoining where he now lives. He has a good farm, small, but well improved and pleasantly located, and everything on his place is in a thrifty, prosperous condition. He has been devoted strictly to agriculture and is now one of the oldest settlers in Gibbon township. He has served as assessor of his township three terms and has been active in school matters. He has a family - wife and two children. He married, November, 1862, Anna E. Mercer, of Noble county, Ohio; his children, Frank M. and Lula, now being grown. Mr. Berry cast his lot with the republican party on the war issues and has never seen cause to waver in his allegiance to that party since. In personal appearance he is pleasant and affable. He has an honest, open countenance and greets friend and stranger alike with a hearty grasp of the hand. He is generous in disposition and as kind and hospitable about his home as any living man.

GEORGE H. BAKER was born in Clinton county, N. Y., March 20, 1848. His father, Zebulon Baker, was a native of New York State, and for many years was known in the mercantile world as an extensive dealer in iron and lumber at Plattsburg. He won distinction as a messenger boy in the War of 1812, although he was quite young. He died in 1860. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Albee, is a native of Vermont, and after her husband's death


emigrated to Fort Dodge, Iowa, but returned as far east as Cleveland, Ohio, in 1862. Two years later she removed with her family of children to Linn county, Iowa. About four years later she came to Lincoln, Nebraska. George H. Baker, the subject of this brief biographical sketch, came to Buffalo county in the spring of 1872, and located on Beaver creek, in Loup township, where he pre-empted a fine quarter section of land. There was no settlement in that section at that time and plenty of wild game abounded everywhere. Mr. Baker built a comfortable sod house and at once set about to bring order out of chaos. Being a man of remarkable courage he was prepared to undergo all the trials and vicissitudes incident to the first settlement of a county. He was visited by the festive grasshoppers, when they sampled the green products of the Nebraska farmers in 1874 and '76, and saw as fine a crop of corn, as any one would wish to see, disappear almost like a snow flake in the bosom of the ocean. Indeed Mr. Baker is as familiar with the ups and downs of pioneer life as any other man of his day. In the course of a year or so he located in the south part of the country, where he remained three years on a farm which he cultivated to good advantage. In 1877 he moved to Gibbon and engaged in the real estate business. During his several years' residence there he has prospered by his own enterprise and business sagacity. In 1888 he engaged in the dry goods business and is at this present time one of the leading merchants of that thriving town. George H. Baker was married September 24, 1873, the lady of his choice being Miss Susie Lewis, a native of Indiana, and a daughter of Horatio Lewis, also a native of the Hoosier State. He was a farmer by occupation and came to Nebraska with his family in 1872, where he resided until his death in 1887. Mr. and Mrs. Baker have an interesting family of four children, namely - Ray, Arthur, Bert and Georgie. Mr. Baker is an honored member of the Masonic order and also of the A. 0. U. W. He is a republican, and, while he has never aspired to any public office, he has always taken an interest in politics. He has one hundred and sixty acres improved land near Gibbon, besides other landed interests in the western part of the state.

ALBERT FELLOWS is a prosperous farmer in Grant township, and one of the first settlers of Buffalo county. He was born April 6, 1840, at Cambria, Niagara county, N. Y. His father, William L. Fellows, a wheelwright, was a native of Conneticut. His mother, Polly (Higby) Fellows, was a native of New York State, and was born in the year 1826. There were five children, four boys and one girl, in the paternal family, of which Albert is the third. Albert resided at home the greater part of his time until twenty-one and was engaged in farming and attending the neighboring school. In 1861 he emigrated West and located at Pontiac, Livingston county, Ill., where soon after he responded to his country's call and enlisted August 28, 1861, in Company C, Thirty-ninth Illinois regiment. The first battle in which he participated was in the Shenandoah valley, with Gen.


Shields in command on the Union side and Gen. Jackson on the rebel side. The rebel forces were not only treated to a severe whipping but were routed and driven in hot haste down the valley. The next battle in which he took an active part was fought at Port Royal, after which his regiment was ordered to Harrison's landing and finally to South Carolina. He was through the siege of Ft. Wagner and participated next in the battle at Chapin's farm and a little later in the battle of Bermuda Hundred, at which he was captured May 16, 1864, and taken to Petersburgh, where he was confined for two weeks and then transferred to Andersonville prison, where he remained from June 1st to September 19th, and was then taken to Charleston, kept two weeks and finally taken one hundred miles north to what was known as the Florence stockade, where he remained until December 10th, and was paroled. Out of eleven men captured from his company at the same time and confined in Andersonville, only five lived to get out. There were thirty-five thousand prisoners confined in Andersonville at the time he was there, and the story of his experience and what he there witnessed is heart-rending in the extreme. After being paroled, he went to Annapolis, Md., received a thirty-day furlough, came home and returned again, shortly after which, February 19,1865, he was mustered out. Although in his three and one-half years of experience in the war, he was never wounded, he had his gun shot from his hands at one time and two bullet holes put through his clothes at another. After being discharged he returned to Pontiac, Ill., and followed farming for four years, after which he moved to Tazewell county, Ill., where he farmed for two years, and in April, 1872, emigrated West and located in Buffalo county, Nebr. He took up a homestead six miles west of Kearney in Odessa township. There were but few settlers in this section of the state at that time, and wild game, deer, antelope, elk, etc., were quite plentiful, and buffalo were not infrequently killed. There were many Indians along the Platte river and for the first two years proved very troublesome. One afternoon, when Mr. Fellows was away from home, and a neighbor woman was staying with Mrs. Fellows, a band of eighteen Indians stopped at the house and made threatening demands, whereupon the two women fired several loads from the barrels of a couple shot guns at them, and the Indians fled at full speed, hallooing, "brave squaws." In the grasshopper times, 1874-76, Mr. Fellows lost all his crops and was compelled to haul corn from Red Cloud, Kans., a distance of ninety miles. He finally sold his claim for $350 and later bought the claim on which he now resides in the Wood River valley. He was burned out at one time and had nothing left but his team, wagon and some household goods. He was married, September 14, 1865, to Margaret Haines, who was born June 17, 1845, and is a native of Illinois. Their union has resulted in the birth of eleven children, as follows - Harriet E., August 10, 1867; William L., June 11, 1869; Emma J., May 9, 1871; John F., September 8, 1872; Alberta, July 7,1874; Francis M., July 22, 1876; Albert, June 24, 1878; Guy, August 24, 1880; Lee, January 28, 1883; Grace, April 17, 1885; Jessie, March 5, 1888. In political matters Mr. Fellows is a democrat.


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