Hamilton County NEGenWeb Project

1890 History of Hamilton County

"Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Adams, Clay, Hall and Hamilton Counties"
A Brief Descriptive History of Hamilton County, and numerous
Biographical Sketches of the Citizens

The Goodspeed Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill.

(Note: Only Hamilton County is available here)
(See the Hall County section on the Hall County NEGenWeb Project site.)

Hamilton County

Hamilton County Biographies

Anderson, B. F.
    B. F. Anderson, farmer and stock-raiser, Aurora, Neb. Mr. Anderson is a man who has arisen to considerable prominence in the affairs of Hamilton County, not less in agricultural matters than in other circles of active business life. At this time he is the possessor of 200 acres of land one and one-half mile east of Aurora, and in connection with farming is engaged in raising a good grade of stock. He has made a great many improvements on his place, and take him all in all is about as comfortably situated as any man in the county. He was born in Greene County, Pa., in 1837 and was the third of six children, all deceased but a brother who now lives in La Salle County, Ill., born to the union of Samuel and Eleanor (Mahannah) Anderson, natives of Maryland and Pennsylvania, respectively. The father was born about 1800, was a cooper by trade, and early in life emigrated to Western Pennsylvania. He was a large man, over six feet tall, and was hardy and strong. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was a Jackson Democrat. The mother died in Illinois. Grandfather Anderson and also Grandfather Mahannah were natives of the Emerald Isle. B. F. Anderson grew to manhood in La Salle and Fulton Counties, Ill., and received his education in the subscription schools. He then farmed in that State, and in 1866 was married to Miss Kate Yost, a native of the Keystone State, of English-Dutch and Scotch descent. Mr. Anderson then removed to Page County, Iowa, where he remained until 1880, and then emigrated to his present farm in Hamilton County. He has a fine place and is one of the representative citizens. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and in politics is a Republican. His family consists of four children, three girls and one son: Frank, Laura, Leona, and Ella (who died at the age of thirteen years.)

Brock, John N.
    John N. Brock, farmer, Bromfield, Neb. The name that heads this sketch is that of one of the pioneer settlers of this county, and whose life here has been such as to win him the respect and esteem of all who are favored with his acquaintance. He owes his nativity to Allegany County, N. Y., where his birth occurred in 1838, and is the son of David and Eliza (Pittsley) Brock, natives of New York. The maternal grandfather, G. F. Pittsley, was a native of the Green Mountain State and was the son of John and Polly (Evans) Pittsley. The mother of our subject is still living and makes her home in Brown County, Neb. John N. Brock enlisted in the United States service in 1862, in Company B, Thirty-third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and went directly to Memphis, Tenn., where he engaged in the battle of Holly Springs. He was then in the battles of Island No. 10, Stone River, Nashville and Chattanooga. In the spring of 1863 he returned to Tallahoma, Tenn., remained there three months, and then took part in the siege of Vicksburg. He was sick most of the time after this battle until August, 1865, when he was mustered out of service. Mr. Brock moved from New York to Erie, Pa., when five years of age, remained there until the fall of 1849 and then came to Velvidere, Ill., where he remained until 1850, and then moved to Wisconsin. From there he came to Nebraska in 1873, settling in Hamilton County, where he bought a claim and began improving it. In 1875 he brought his family here. He was married in 1861 to Miss Adelaide Bailey, a native of Pennsylvania, and they had eight children: Sarah, Anna (deceased), Charles, Frank, Alva, Bell (deceased), Myrtie and Velma. Aside from his agricultural pursuits Mr. Brock is engaged in the real-estate business and has been quite successful at this. He is a Republican, was justice of the peace eight years, has been supervisor and a member of the school-board. Mrs. Brock is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Cassell, Hon. John Nelson
    Hon. John Nelson Cassell. In giving an authentic history of the business interests of Aurora, Neb., and her capabilities for supplying the demands made upon her by the surrounding country, mention must not be omitted of the coal and ice interests as conducted by Mr. Cassell. He was born in Frederick, Md., on May 21, 1835, being a son of George and Sarah (Nelson) Cassell, the former a farmer and native of that State, and a son of George Cassell, the latter's father being a native of Hess-Cassel, Germany, who made a settlement in America prior to the Revolutionary War. The principal occupation to which this family seems to have given their attention is that of agriculture, although we find members of the family successful professional men, merchants and artisans. Mrs. Sarah (Nelson) Cassell was born in Maryland, and was a daughter of Rev. Burgess Nelson, of the Methodist Episcopal faith, who was born in England, this family, like the Cassells, being of excellent constitution and long lived. John Nelson Cassell, about 1840, removed with his parents near Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, and there he grew to manhood on a farm, acquiring a good education in the common schools, with a collegiate training at Madison College, Uniontown, Pa., form which institution he was graduated in 1859. He afterward became principal of the high schools of Mount Vernon, Ohio, but resigned this positon to devote his services to his country, and after assisting in raising Company G., Twentieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, he was chosen its captain, and served faithfully for two years. Owing to impaired health he then resigned and returned home, having taken an active part in the engagements at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Vicksburg, Shiloh, and in all the engagements of the Atlantic campaign. After recovering his health he recruited Company A, One Hundred and Ninety-Fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and went with it to the front, but was again compelled to return home owing to failing health. In order to recruit his declining energies he came west in 1868, and sought a home in Nebraska, and for about ten years was actively indentified with the business interests of Lincoln. While a resident of this city he was elected a delegate from Lancaster County, to serve in the State Constitutional Convention of 1871, and filled this responsible position in a very creditable manner. Since 1878 his home has been Aurora, and in 1879 he served as sergeant at arms of the State Senate. He is the owner of a fine farm in this county, on which is a large artificial pond which furnishes him with an abundance of ice, and this and the coal business keep him busily employed the greater part of the year. He built a fine busines block in the town in 1884, and is also the owner of some fine residence property. He, in serving his second term as a member of the town council of Aurora, has just been elected mayor of the city, by a very flattering majority, and is president of the Big Horn Petroleum & Land Company, the headquarters of which are at Aurora. He is a Mason, belonging to the Blue Lodge and Chapter of Aurora and the Mount Maria Commandery (Knights Templars) of Lincoln. He has advanced to the Encampment in the I. O. O. F., and is prince of the Grant Orient Order and Sons of Malta. He belongs to Chandler Post No. 44, of the G. A. R., in which he has filled all the chairs, and ever since the organization of the Hamilton County Agricultural Society he has been one of its heaviest stockholders, and served as its secretary two terms. He was married near Mount Vernon, Ohio, to Miss Jennie Stigers, whose death he mourned in 1889, she having been in full communion with the Congregational Church at the time of her death. She now reposes in the cemetery Fredericktown, Ohio. Mr. Cassell formed a second marriage union with Mrs. Emma Winters, nee Ross, a native of Missouri. They have a daughter named Aurora. Mr. and Mrs. Cassell worship in the First Congregational Church.

Evans, C. H.
    C. H. Evans, veterinary surgeon and farmer, Stockham, Neb. Mr. Evans is another of those of foreign birth who have come into this county and made for themselves a comfortable home, becoming respected citizens of the community. He was born in Ireland, on March 14, 1830, and was the son of Matthew and Nancy (Wier) Evans, both natives of the Emerald Isle. In October, 1830, the family emigrated to the United States and settled in Pennsylvania. the father died in Iowas on April 21, 1888, but the mother is still living, resides in Hamilton County, Neb., and is eighty-four years of age. The father worked for ten years in the iron works of Pennsylvania. They were the parents of eight children, C. H. being the second in order of birth. The latter was reared to farm labor, and in September, 1864, enlisted in Company E, Second Iowa Infantry, and served until the close of the war. He was with Sherman to the sea and was a faithful soldier. After residing in Iowa for seventeen years he came to Hamilton County, Neb., in 1877, and settled on his present property, which consists of 560 acres of land. He was married in 1853 to Miss Mary A. Brown, a native of the Keystone State, born on July 23, 1833, and to them have been born ten children: Rosila A. (born in 1853), Eleanor (born in 1855), Charles S. (born in 1857), Lincoln A. (born in 1860), Violeta V. (born in 1862), Elmerson (born in 1864), Amanda L. (born in 1866), Lyman K. G. (born in 1869), Abigail (born in 1874) and Mura (born in 1876). In politics Mr. Evans is a Republican, and socially he is a member of the G. A. R. and I. O. O. F. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has been very successful in agricultural pursuits, and for twenty-five years has been veterinary surgeon. His commodious two-story residence, barns, granaries, etc., beside a fourteen-foot wind-mill of the Halliday make, give evidence of his industry and thrift.

Foster, Jonathan
    Jonathan Foster, farmer of Scovill township, Hamilton County, Neb., residing on the northeast corner of Section 12, Township 9, Range 8, was born in Jennings County, Ind., in 1825, and is now one of the prominent and influential citizens of this community. He was the son of Jared and Mary (Branhan), the latter being a native of Kentucky, and the father was born in Genesee County, N. Y., in 1805. Jared followed the cabinet-maker's trade in his younger days, and later worked at building and contracting. He was a millwright. He was married in 1822 or 1823 to Miss Branhan, who died about 1835, leaving six children. The father was married four times and became the father of twenty-four children. He is still living and resides in Jefferson County, Ill. The maternal grandfather of our subject, John Branhan, was native of the Blue Grass State. Jonathan Foster spent his school-boy dats in Indiana, whither his father had moved from New York State, and in 1845 started out to make his own wasy in life. He was married the same year. He followed the carpernter trade for some years in Indiana, moving to Jefferson County, Ill., in 1861, where in connection with his trade he carried on farming. The same year he enlisted in Company K, Forty-ninth Illinois Infantry, first as a private, and in 1864 was promoted to the rank second lieutenant, then first lieutenant, and served in that capacity until the close of the war. Some of the battles in which he participated were as follows: Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Nashville and Corinth. He was in a number of skirmishes and was a brave and capable officer. After being discharged in December, 1865, he came to Illinois and there followed his trade successfully for many years. He then imigrated to Nebraska in 1873, settling in Hamilton County on his present farm consisting of 160 acres, improved this, and now has one of the finest places to be found far or near. He has a flourishing young orchard and has set out a nice grove. Socially he is a member of the A. F. & A. M., the I. O. O. F., and is a member of the G. A. R. Post at Bromfield. He is a Republican and a man interested in political matters of his county and State. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To their union have been born seven children, two sons and five daughters: Radie (now Mrs. Bain, residing in Indiana), Mary (now Mrs. Smith, wife of Rev. C. L. Smith, a Methodist Episcopal minister), William J. (married Miss Sarah E. Brock), Mattie M. (now Mrs. Jones, residing in Jefferson County, Ill.), John A. (married a Miss Anna Powell, now of Bromfield; he is a grain dealer at Bromfield), Lucy B. (now Mrs. Soward, residing in Wyoming Territory) and Gladys (a school-teacher in Hamilton County.

Gibbons, Israel
    Israel Gibbons, farmer, Stockham, Neb. For many years, or since his location in this county, the reputation which Mr. Gibbons has enjoyed has been not only that of a substantial and progressive farmer, but of an intelligent and thoroughly posted man in all public affairs. He was born in England October 8, 1830, and is the son of Israel and Betsey Elizabeth (Lindsey) Gibbons, natives also of England, the father born in 1806 and the mother about 1789. The latter died in Illinois in 1864. Israel Gibbons, Jr., the only child born to the above marriage, came with his parents to America in 1832, settled in Canada, and there remained until twenty-one years of age. He then went to Winebago County, Ill., made that county his home for eighteen years, and then removed to Iowa, where he resided until 1873. At that date he emigrated to Nebraska, settled in Orville Township, Hamilton County, and there resided until June 10, 1889, when he removed to Farmers' Valley Township. He is now the owner of eighty acres of land, all well improved and two and a half miles from Stockham. He was married July 6, 1863, to Mrs. Ann Brown, who was born in Ireland in 1827, and whose maiden name was Evans. To this union were born the following children: Ruth, Jessie, Bettie, Maggie and Nancy. By her former marriage Mrs. Gibbons was the mother of six children: Mary F., Helen A., Sarah E., Esther G., George S. and Arvilla. In his political view Mr. Gibbons is an independent Republican, and cast his first presidential vote for Lincoln in 1860. He is an honorable man and one of the county's best citizens.

Gray, John W.
    John W. Gray, grocer and dealer in general merchandise, Stockham, Neb. Among the important industrial enterprises which contribute to the commercial standing of the thriving town of Stockham is the establishment of John W. Gray. This gentleman is a native of the "Blue Grass State," his birth occurring on January 23, 1841, and is the son of George W. and Ellen (Tipton) Gray, natives of the Old Dominion. The former is now living, but the latter died in 1852. When our subject was but two years of age his parents removed to St. Louis, Mo., and he there spent his boyhood. He accompanied his father to Clinton County, Ill., remained there about four years, and in 1862 went to Hancock County of that State, and was there married, June 9, 1867, to Miss Athena M. Stone, a native of New York, and the daughter of Joseph D. and Frances C. (Sutherland) Stone, natives of Vermont, who are now residents of Friend, Neb. After his marriage Mr. Gray continued to reside in Hancock County, Ill., until 1869, when he emigrated to Nebraska, and resided in Saunders County engaged in farming until 1875, when he moved to Hamilton County. He located in Farmers' Valley Township, where he bought a grist mill, and ran the same until 1887. He then located in Stockham, having been appointed postmaster of that place, and in connection with the post-office conducted a book, statonery and news store. On retiring from the office, in 1889, he added to his books, stationery, etc., a first-class stock of groceries. He is now doing a succesful business, and is one of the leading merchants of the place. He and wife have two children: George Dexter (born November 30, 1864) and Azro C. (born July 24, 1868). Mr. Gray is a Democrat in politics.

Hastings, Loren W.
    Loren W. Hastings, editor and proprietor of the Aurora Republican, was born on the banks of the Connecticut River, at Turner's Falls, Franklin County, Mass., February 26, 1835. He was the first son born to Richard and Betsey Hastings; three other sons, Lewis, Edmond and Lyman, and one daughter, Eveline, were born to them. Richard Hastings, the father of Loren W., was born in what used to be known as the Black River country, in York State, and Betsey Lee, his wife, was born near the town of Gill, Mass., the former of English, and the latter of Irish extraction, dating back to the Revolutionary Wars of 1776-1782, in which wars these names were well known, and figured most prominently as among the leaders of American Independence. The early life of Loren W. Hastings was spent on a farm, though his father for a number of years was a carder in a woolen-mill at a little village called Greenfield Factory Village, now Turner's Falls, but afterward the father puchased and operated a ferry boat above the falls, where he lived till he moved his family to Milwaukee, Wis., in 1852 or 1853. While in Massachusetts on the farm, the young man worked in the summer months and went to school in the winter. Six to eight dollars a month in those days was considered to be the best wages paid. After the young man was fourteen years of age he attended two terms of a select school four miles distant from his home, during the first of which he lived at home and walked four miles morning and evening; during the last term he worked for his board near the school. At the age of sixteen he moved west with his father and mother, two brothers, Edward and Lyman, and sister Eveline, his other brother, Lewis, having died at the age of twelve years. The family settled at Milwaukee in the spring of 1852. Loren was not content with his new home in the west, and soon went upon the lakes as a sailor before the mast. He sailed first from Milwaukee, then from Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Ogdensburg and Kingston. He was gone from home three years, and on his return was grief-stricken to learn that his father, mother, borthers and sisters, there having been another sister born during his absence, had all been stricken down, and died by that terrible malady, the cholera, which had scourged the Eastern cities during the year 1854. Alone in the world, he now turned from the city on the lakes, known as the Cream City, and to this day so unpleasant has been the memory of that place where thirty-six years ago he sought in vain to find the last resting place, or even one who heard the last dying words of those most dear to him on this earth, that he has never cared to return. Loren went again upon the lakes as a sailor, and soon after drifted down on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. There as a steamboatman, by his knowledge of the ropes gained while upon the lakes, he soon rose from a common deck hand to the positon of mate of a mail packet, the "Lady Madison," plying between Cincinnati and Madison, on the Ohio River. From here he went on the Mississippi, and from there in the summer of 1856, being sick with the chills and fever, he went to live in the city of Rock Island, Ill. In Rock Island he engaged as runner of the City Hotel, one of the largest hotels in the city, and it was here he cast his first vote, which was for John C. Fremont for president, but not, however, until he had sworn in his vote, having been challenged by a Democrat, by whom he was well known, and who knew he was entitled to a vote, and who, to prevent his voting, attempted to have him arrested. Young Hastings had always inclined to be a Republican, but if this was Democracy, he swore never to be a Democrat, and to this day he has kept his word. The next season he went to St. Paul, Minn., and engaged to pilot a raft down the Mississippi River. At Port Byron he left the raft and went to Bureau County, Ill., and again worked on a farm for a living. Here at the age of twenty-three, he soon appreciated the need of a better education, and so after his day's work behind the plow, he attended a series of night school, where in the winter of 1858-59 he became acquainted with Maseroa Abigail Matthews, and July 3, 1859, they were united in marriage. Here they resided, where on August 26, 1860, a son, Lewis Edward, was born to them. In the spring of 1861 they moved to Iowa City, Ia., where they were living when the war for the Union broke out. August 6, 1861, Mr. Hastings enlisted in the Sixth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, his wife and babe returning to Bureau County, Ill., where they lived till the close of the war, and the return of the husband and father. On April 6, 1862, Mr. Hastings believing that he could render his country better service in the United States navy than in the army, went into the navy, and served on board the U. S. S. Ironclad "Cairo," on which vessel he participated in the capture of Island No. 10, the naval fight with the rebel Mississippi fleet above Fort Pillow, on the morning of May 10, 1862, the evacuation of Fort Pillow in June 4, 1862, the naval engagement with the entire rebel fleet before Memphis, June 6, in which the entire rebel fleet with the exception of one fast ram was sunk or captured, the bombbardment of Haines' Bluff in the Yazoo River, above Vicksburg, in December of the same year, in which engagement the old "Cairo" was blown up with a torpedo planted in the river by the rebels. When the "Cairo" was blown up December 20, Mr. Hastings alone, after every other gunner had left the gun-deck of the sinking vessel, elevated, pointed and fired the last gun ever fired from the old "Cairo," after which he made his way to the spar deck, just in time to escape from the doomed ship, by plunging over-board into the river, where he was received by a shower of bullets from the rebels on shore. Other gunboats were now coming up and opening fire on the rebels, and driving them back, while small boats picked up the "Cairo's" crew. About January 1, 1863, Hastings, with one or two others, was ordered for duty on board the U. S. S. "Cricket," when for meritorious conduct at the sinking of the "Cairo" he was promoted to the rank of quartermaster. In June, 1863, received his commission as master's mate, U. S. N., and ordered for duty on board the U. S. Ironclad "Carondelet," where he served till April 1, 1865, when he was promoted to an ensign U. S. N. and assigned for duty to the U. S. S. "General Price," a steamer captured from the rebels at Memphis, in June, 1862. In July, 1865, he was detached from the "General Price" and ordered to duty as second in command of the U. S. S. "Pearta," where at the close of the war, December 25, 1865, he was honorably discharged with the thanks of the Navy Department. After the war was over Mr. Hastings returned to Mineral, Bureau County, Ill., where he wife was then living, and where on September 3, 1863, Julia Iona, the little daughter, had died. No other children were ever born to them. They lived here but a short time, and then in 1868 moved to Des Moines, where they lived in Polk County till 1870, when they came to Nebraska, and settled on Section 2, Township 10, Range 6, west of the sixth principal meridian, on Lincoln Creek, about two miles east of what is now the city of Aurora, being the first white settler in Aurora Precinct. Here they lived till 1875, when death removed the wife and broke up the home. Mr. Hastings now rented the farm and went to Harvard, where he was again married to Miss Annie E. Peterson, of Lafayette, Ind., and in the spring of 1877 returned to Aurora, and took editoral charge of the Aurora Republican, having purchased a half interest in the paper in the spring of 1875, of F. M. Ellsworth, an attorney of Seward, Neb., and who at that time also owned a part in the town site of Aurora. Mr. Hastings continued to edit the paper and have the business management of it till 1878, when he came into full possession of the entire plant, since which time it has been greatly improved, and is now located in a fine large new brick building, on the south side of the square, built expressly for it, and fitted up with steam power, Hoe clinder, and Gordon presses, with one of the best job offices in the State. Mr. Hastings is a member of Zach Chandler Post No. 40, G. A. R., and also a member of Hamilton Lodge No. 60, I. O. O. F., of Aurora. He is also a pensioner for injuries received in the defense of his country and his country's flag.

Jones, Chauncey
    Chauncey Jones was born in Hinsdale, Cattaraugus County, N. Y., September 3, 1829, being a son of Chauncey Allen and Harriet (Terrill) Jones, the former of whom was a farmer by occupation and a native of York State, his father being also Chaunsey Allen Jones, whose progenitors were among the early settlers of that State. The Terrills were of old Connecticut stock. Chauncey Jones, the immediate subject of this sketch, was reared to a farm life, and was engaged in that and the lumbering business until 1869, when he came west and located at Nebraska City, remaining there until 1880, at which time he came to Aurora and has since kept a hotel, at which he is doing well. He was married in Crawford County, Pa., to Miss Maggie Bostwick, a native of Cattaraugus County, and a daughter of Henry and Mabel (Hayward) Bostwick, who were also born in that county, the former a farmer by occupation and a son of Truma Bostwick and Malinda (Smith) Boswick, belonging to an old and highly honored family of that State. Mabel Hayward was a daughter of Josiah Hayward, a soldier in the War of 1812. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have had a family of two sons born to them: Clifton A. (who is attending a commercial college at Lincoln, Neb.) and Chauncey Clayton.

Lewis, Alonzo
    Alonzo Lewis, farmer, Stockham, Neb. The history of every community is made up, so far as its most interesting features are concerned, of the events and transactions of the lives of its prominent representative citizens. In any worthy history of Hamilton County an outline of the life of the subject of this sketch should not fail to be given, together with a sketch of his family. His parents were Daniel T. and Candace (De Wolf) Lewis, natives of New York and Connecticut, respectively. The mother died in Michigan March 13, 1884, but the father is still living and resides in that State. Alonzo Lewis was born in Michigan January 31, 1837, and was the third of seven children, four of whom are living, born to his parents. He was reared to the arduous duties of the farm, received the rudiments of an education in the common schools, and supplemented the same by a course at Hillsdale College. In February, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, Fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and served three years, eight months and twenty days. He was wounded at Yorktown first and again in 1864. He was discharged at the city of Washington in November, 1865. He is now the owner of 160 acres of land, and on this farm the first election in Hamilton County was held. May 16, 1866, he was married to Miss Alvena Scofield, a native of Massachusetts, born in 1848, and the fruits of this union have been ten children: Minnie H., Daniel G., Ella A., Florence E., Lyman E., Alonzo D., Hattie E., Maud E., Ray V. and Le Verne G. Mr. Lewis is one of the old settlers of the county and a man eminently respected. He is a Republican in politics and a member of the G. A. R.

Lyon, Jason
    Jason Lyon, farmer and stock-raiser, Trumbull, Neb. A life-time of hard, earnest endeavor in pursuing the occupation to which he now gives his attention, coupled with strict integrity, honesty of purpose and liberality in all directions, have had a result to place Mr. Lyon among the truly respected and honored agriculturists in the county. He owes his nativity to the State of New York, his birth occurring in Chenango County, in 1833, and is the fourth of nine children, the result of the union of Daniel and Harriet (Carpenter) Lyon, natives of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, respectively. Daniel Lyon was born in 1807, and was the son of Cyrus Lyon. He was a farmer, and was married in Chenango County, N. Y., where he tilled the soil for a number of years. To his marriage were born the following children: Polly, Sarah (deceased), Cyrus Ralph, Jason, Myron D., Sarah Henrietta, William, Ezra and Ira. The father died in 1866, and the mother in 1870. Both were members of the Baptist Church. Mrs. Lyons was the daughter of Joseph Carpenter. Jason Lyon received his education in the State of New York, and started out to fight life's battles for himself in 1853. He first went to Sangamon County, Ill., near Springfield, and was there engaged in farming for some time. In 1856 he was married to Rasella Gould, a native of Greene County, Ill., born in 1839, and one of ten children born to William and Hannah (Austin) Gould. Mr. Gould died in 1877, but his wife is still living, and resides in Hamilton County, Neb. He was a broom-maker by trade, and was also a school-teacher. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which his widow holds membership at the present time. In 1863 Mr. Lyon enlisted in Company I, Seventy-third Infantry, and participated in some of the principal engagements: Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Dan Ridge, Rocky Face Ridge, Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Altoona, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Franklin, Nashville, and many other engagements of note. He enlisted as a private and was discharged as second sergeant in 1865. He was ruptured on the battle ground of Chickamauga. After the war Mr. Lyon followed agricultural pursuits until the fall of 1872, when he came to Lancaster County, Neb., and there cultivated the soil for one year. In the spring of 1873 he came to Hamilton County, Neb., settled on land given him by the government for services during the war, improved the same, and now has a fine place of 160 acres. He is also engaged in raising a fine grade of stock, Polled-Angus cattle and Poland-China hogs; also Clydesdale and Norman horses. In connection with agricultural pursuits Mr. Lyon has been engaged in the wind-mill business for the past twelve years, and has also been successful in this. He takes a decided interest in all laudable interprises, has helped to organize School District No. 35, and has been a member of the school board. He has always voted with the Republican party, and is a member of the G. A. R. at Trumbull. He was elected justice of the peace in 1875, and has held that position for about ten years. To his marriage were born nine children: Alice D. (died in 1885), Frank M. (in Missouri), Alfred S., William D., Harriet L., Charles J., Maggie I., Sarah E., and Lawrence L. Mrs. Lyon is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Schoonover, Isaac Wells
    Isaac Wells Schoonover is the proprietor of a well-known livery, feed and sale stable, located at Aurora, Neb., and although born in Pike County, Ohio, January 20, 1847, he has identified himself with the interests of Hamilton County, Neb., since locating here, and is considered by all to be one of the its most valuable residents. He is a son of James and Laura (Wells) Schoonover, who were also born in the "Buckeye State," the former a carpernter by occupation and a soldier in the late Civil War. His father, Hiram Schoonover, was a native of Old Virginia, and removed to the State of Ohio during a very early period of its history. Mrs. Laura (Wells) Schoonover was a daughter of Richard Wells, whose birth occurred in the State of New York. Isaac Wells Schoonover was reared to manhood in his native State, and was initiated into the mysteries of farm life during his youth, but in 1872 determined to seek his fortune in the West, and accordingly came to Nebraska in that year, and located in Beaver Township on a farm, which he continued to till until 1884, when he engaged in the livery business. His stable is well arranged and admirably adapted for the successful conduct of his affairs, and being energetic, straightforward and polite, he commands a constantly increasing patronage. He was married in Pike County, Ohio, to Miss Mary A. Hyatt, a native of Scioto County, Ohio, but in 1888 buried his wife at Aurora, Neb., she having born him four sons and one daughter: James E. (in the merchatile business), William J. (a blacksmith by trade), Effie May, and Lee and Clyde (at school). Mr. Schoonover has since married Mrs. Julia E. Crofoot, nee Burton, who was the mother of one son and two daughters by her first husband: Thomas, Clara and Nellie Crofoot. Mr. Schoonover has served in a number of local offices.

Scovill, Hon. Daniel A.
    Hon. Daniel A. Scovill. the magnitude of the real-estate interests in this city and the incessant activity in the market have enlisted the services of many of its most responsible men, and among the number is Mr. Scovill, who besides being engaged in this business is interested in collection and insurance, and is now holding the office of justice of the peace and that of police judge of Aurora. He was born in Stephenson County, Ill., near Freeport, June 6, 1841, and is a son of Herman R. and Julia A. (Rogers) Scovill, who were born near Catskill, N. Y., the father a worthy tiller of the soil. He was a son of Amas Scovill, who was a soldier in the War of 1812 from York State, the latter's father being a native of France, but came to America with Marquis de Lafayette, and served under that worthy general in the war for American Independence. He afterward settled on a farm near Catskill, N. Y., where he spent the rest of his days. The name was originally De Scoville, and the family were noted for their longevity, and were people of medium stature. Julia A. Rogers was a native of York State, a daughter of Daniel Rogers, who was born in the "Granite State," and whose ancestors in all probability came to this country prior to the Revolutionary War. About the year 1839 Herman R. Scovill with his wife and daughter removed to what was then "the West," and settled on a farm near Freeport, Ill., and here his family was reared. His son, Daniel A., became familiar with the details of farming when very young, but upon the breaking out of the late Civil War he left the plow to offer his services to his country, and in September, 1861, became a member of Company A, Forty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and did honorable and active service until March 28, 1866, when he retuned to his Illinois home with an honorable discharge as a veteran of the above-named company. He was twice wounded while in the service, once by a gun-shot in the left leg at Shiloh, and had an ankle broken by a fragment of shell at Champion's Hill. During the entire war he was only out of service for three months, this time being spent in the field hospital before Vicksburg. He started in as a private and did duty as first duty sergeant at the time of his discharge. He was at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, second battle of Iuka, second battle of Corinth, Champion's Hill, the siege and capture of Vicksburg, Chickmauga, Chattanooga, Nashville, Fort Spanish, Fort Blakely and Mobile. After the war Mr. Scovill returned home, and in 1868 went to Mount Morris Seminary, where he spent two collegiate years, and the following year came to Hamilton County, Neb., and settled in the precinct that now bears his name, where he engaged in farming. In 1876 he was elected to the position of county sheriff, moved to Aurora, and ably filled this position for two years, after which he was elected to the State Senate from Hamilton and York Counties, in which capacity he also served two years, retiring to engage in his present calling. In 1889 he was elected to represent this county in the Twenty-first General Assembly, the duties of which he is now discharging very efficiently. He is a member of the G. A. R., having held nearly all the offices in Chandler Post No. 44, and he also belongs to the Old Setters' Association of this county. As a man of business his ability is unexcelled, and being of unquestioned integrity, those who intrust their interests to him may rest assured they will receive the most prompt and careful attention. He has been identified with the county's interests for many years, is a recognized authority as to present and prospective values, and counts among his customers many of the principal investors and property holders. He is also engaged in managing the old homestead in Scovill Precinct. He was married at Freeport, Ill., to Miss Lizzie Wheeler, a native of York State, by whom he has one son and four daughters: Edith E., Effie A., Olive M., Clarence R. and Grace E. He is a steward and trustee of the Zion Methodist Episcopal Church, of which his wife is also a member.

Short, Christopher
    Christopher Short, farmer and stock-raiser, Phillips, Neb. The entire life of Mr. Short has been one unmarked by any unusual occurrence outside of the chosen channel to which he has so diligently and attentively given his time and attention. He was born in Germany in 1826, emigrated to the United States in 1853, settled in New Jersey, and in 1856 moved to Illinois. In 1859 he was united in marriage to Miss Georgia (Cranis) Short, a native of Tennessee, born in 1828, and the fruits of this union were two children, Henry and Frank, both of whom reside in Monroe Township, and are engaged in tilling the soil. Mr. Short enlisted in the army in 1861, One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Infantry, and was mustered in at Chicago in 1865. He was with the Eastern army all through the war and served his adopted country faithfully and well. In 1872 he came to Nebraska and homesteaded 160 acres of the northeast quarter of Section 32. Since then he has bought eighty acres of railroad land, and is one of the most successful farmers of the county, as a glance over his well-kept farm will show. He has made a complete success of farming in Nebraska, and is one of the largest fruit-growers in the county. He takes quite an active interest in politics, is a Republican, and is a member of the G. A. R. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He had the misfortune to lose his wife in 1884.

Smith, Judge Jerome H.
    Judge Jerome H. Smith, of the Sixth Judicial District of Nebraska, was born at Waterford, Westmoreland County, Pa., March 2, 1853, being a son of Thomas and Permelia (Hill) Smith, the former a mechanic by occupation and a native of Westmoreland County. His grandfather, Samuel Smith, was an artisan (which was the chief occupation of the family), and a man of large stature and of a fine constitution, characteristic of his race. The maternal grandfather, Thomas Hill, was a farmer. In 1855 Thomas and Permelia (Hill) Smith removed from their Pennsylvania home to Arlington, Ill., and later to Princeton, Ill., from which place the father enlisted for the Civil War, in Company A, Sixty-ninth Illinois Infantry. In 1868 he removed with his family to Osceola, Iowa, where Jerome H. Smith worked at his trade for five years, reading law in the meantime. He afterward entered the office of Chaney & Temple, and on June 2, 1875, was admitted to the bar. He immediately began practicing his profession, continuing there until March, 1879, when he came to Aurora with his wife and one child. The first position of trust he held here was county prosecutor, for which he qualified in January, 1889. He has also served as a member of the city council. He is a social gentleman, has a firm hold on public esteem, and is considered by his friends peculiarly qualified for the office which he is now filling. He was married in Osceola, Iowa, to Miss Roseltha F. Likes, a daughter of Philip Likes, a sketch of whom appears in this work, [transcriber's note: Mr. Likes sketch appears in the Clay County section of this book], and by her he has five sons: Herbert, Harry, Roscoe, Fred and Jerome H.

Stalnaker, Samuel
    Samuel Stalnaker is the proprietor of a well-equipped and well-conducted livery stable at Marquette, and is now doing a profitable business. He was born near Philippi, W. Va., November 10, 1830, and is a son of William and Nancy (Digman) Stalnaker, who were also born in Virginia. The settlement of the Stalnakers in America antedates the Revolutionary War, in which members of the family did active service, as well as in the War of 1812. The Digmans also trace their family back to a very early settlement in this country. Samuel Stalnaker grew to manhood in Virginia, and in 1854 left that State and went to Iowa, and was engaged in tilling the soil in Mahaska County until 1874 or 1875, when he came to the fertile prairies of Nebraska, and farmed in Cass County until 1881. At that date he removed to Hamilton County and made a home in South Platte Precinct, being engaged in farming here also, but since 1889 he has been engaged in the livery business in Marquette, and is accounted one of the leading business men of the place. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Ryan, a daughter of Felix Ryan, of Edgar, Neb., and by her he is the father of five sons: Absalom (who is engaged in farming in Otis Precinct), Dean (who is in the livery business in Osceola, Neb.), Charley (who is associated in business with his father), Ryan (a farmer of Otis Precinct). Mr. Stalnaker has served faithfully in many local offices, and as a man and citizen commands the respect and esteem of all who know him.

Steenburg, Dr. Edward Arthur
    Dr. Edward Arthur Steenburg, physician, Aurora, Neb. Among the many rising men of Hamilton County, prominent as enterprising and public-spirited citizens, is the subject of this sketch, whose pushing and active mind has placed him in the front ranks of professional men at this place. He is a native of Canada, but his progenitors belong to the old Knickerbocker stock of the State of New York, the original name being Van Steenberg, and their early history in this country being cotemporaneous with and similar to those thrifty Amsterdam merchants, whose early settlement at New York City and along the Hudson have made for them a reputable name in the commercial and professional life of this fair Union of States. Their settlement in America antedated the Revolution, in which they bore an important part, and branches of the family are to be found in almost every State in the Union. A family of them settled in Canada, prior to the War of the Rebellion in that country, from whom comes our subject. His parents were Benjamin Steenburg and wife, nee Bennett, worthy people, who gave to their family as good educational advantages as their circumstances would permit. Dr. Edward A. Steenburg grew to early manhood at Trenton, his natal place being the township of Murray, Northumberland County, and he received a good education in the common schools. His early predilections turned to the study of medicine, and as he grew to manhood he foresaw that he must adapt himself to some business to procure means whereby he could go through a regular course of training at some good school. His early training at his father's home and under the principles of monarchical government was of such a character that it early and indelibly impressed itself upon his mind that he must become a thoroughly educated man whatever profession he would choose. He has about $600 to apply. The amount was too small for regular course in the medical schools there, but it would tide him through veterinary study, and to this he bent his energies and completed a thorough course in that study, being regularly graduated for the Toronto school of veterinary study. He followed successfully the practice of this profession. His veterinary practice had brought him to this Western country and to Aurora, which place he left to complete his medical studies, being a graduate from Rush Medical College, Chicago. After graduating in medicine he located here and by his pleasing address and most agreeable manners has built up a good practice.

Swearingen, Jacob W.
    Jacob W. Swearingen, proprietor of feed-mill, Stockham, Neb. Mr. Swearingen is one of the pioneer settlers of Hamilton County, and is a man who has won the respect and esteem of all by his honesty and perseverance. He was originally fro De Witt County, Ill., his birth occurring February 21, 1847, and is the son of Abram and Amy (Crumb) Swearingen, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter from Indiana. Both are now deceased, the father dying November 5, 1887, aged ninety-one, and his wife September 28, 1886, aged seventy-nine years. Jacob W. Swearingen was early initiated into the duties of farm life in his native county, and on January 5, 1864, he enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Volunteers, serving in this company until the close of the war. He then returned to De Witt County, Ill., and in 1866 began learning the blacksmith trade, after which he spent some time in the study of dentistry. This he practiced in Champaign County, Ill., until 1868, when he resumed farming and blacksmithing in De Witt County. He selected for his companion in life Miss Martha Ellen Elzey, a native of Ohio, born October 10, 1849, and the marriage ceremony was celebrated in De Witt County, August 20, 1867. Her parents were Jacob and Mary Elzey. In 1871 Mr. Swearingen removed to Hamilton County, Neb., located in Orville Township, and since then he has followed farming and blacksmithing. In connection for several years he has also conducted a feed-mill, and owns a splendid one near Stockham, having purchased the Stockham Creamery Building and converted it into a feed-mill in the early part of 1890. On January 15 of that year he removed from his farm to Stockham, where he will also establish a tank factory and carry on blacksmithing. He still owns his farm in Orville Township, and it now consists of 320 acres, 160 acres of which he proved up as a homestead. To his marriage have been born seven children: Luella M., Noah W., Roxy Ann Eliza, William F., Mary A., Charlotte I. (deceased) and Isaac S. Mr. Swearingen and wife are members of the Christian Church, and the former is a member of the I. O. O. F., the Farmers' Alliance and the G. A. R. In politics he is a Republican.

Thomas, Alexander Napier
    Alexander Napier Thomas, mayor of Aurora, Neb., was born in the city of "Brotherly Love" July 5, 1839, his parents being Fred J. and Ann (Napier) Thomas, the former of whom was a minister of the Christian Church. Alexander Napier Thomas resided in Philadelphia until he was fourteen years of age, after which he moved west with his parents, and finally located in South Bend, Ind., where he grew to manhood, and was attending college when the war broke out. In August, 1862, he put aside his books to take part in the struggle that was then going on, and enlisted in Company C, Seventy-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and did active service until July, 1865, taking an active part in many important engagements. On May 3, 1863, he was taken prisoner, and remained in rebel prisons until November 30, 1864, when he made his escape near Columbia, S. C. After the war he returned to South Bend, Ind., and for eight years was a member of the city council and two years as mayor. Having become thoroughly familiar with legal lore, he was here admitted to the bar, and practiced his profession, coming west in 1882, locating in Aurora the following year. He is now serving his first term as mayor, but is proving a trusty and efficient official, and has been president of the city school board. He has been a member of the Masonic order since 1865, and is a member of Chandler Post No. 44, G. A. R., and has served as commander for two years. He was married December 5, 1865, to Miss Addie V. Hodgkinson, who was born at Niles, Mich., a daughter of James and Margaret (Fussel) Hodgkinson. Three sons and a daughter have blessed their union: Horace N. (a printer by occupation, and a resident of Chicago, the father of one son, Floris A.), Addie Margaret, Freddie A. and James O.

Wagner, Gustave L.
    Gustave L. Wagner, dealer in hardware, tinware, harness, etc., at Hampton, and one of the first-class business men of the city, is a native of Prussia, born on February 15, 1863. He came with his parents to the United States in 1866, first settling in Milwaukee, Wis., but later moved to Henry County, Ill., and in 1872 to Hamilton County, Neb., where he tilled the soil on his father's farm until twenty-two years of age. He purchased an interest in Lowman's general merchandise store and continued at this for two years, when he engaged in the business of stock-buying, after selling his interest in the store to O. B. Erlmborn. March 15, 1888, he purchased the hardware store of E. D. Foster, has added to the stock until he now carries about $3,500 worth of stoves, general hardware and tinware, also harness and saddlery. He has a well-equipped work-room, making it possible for him to do any and all kinds of job work. He handles the Union Sewing Machine in which he makes a special run, giving his patrons the advantage of cash purchase money. In 1888 he was united in marriage to Miss Ada H. Logan, daughter of Robert D. and Harriet (Rhoods) Logan, natives of Indiana. Mrs. Wagner was born on August 5, 1868, in Illinois. To this union has been born one child, Gustave Ernest. Mr. Wagner is a Democrat in politics, is a member of the German Lutheran Church, and is one of the charitable and public-spirited citizens of the county. Mrs. Wagner is a member of the United Brethren Church. Mr. Wagner was the second of three children born to Christian and Caroline (Klawon) Wagner, both natives of Prussia. The parents are now residing in Hamilton County, Neb., and the father is engaged in tilling the soil.

Whitmore, John A.
    John A. Whitmore, the present prosecuting attorney of Hamilton County, Neb., is one of the brilliant lawyers of the same and does credit to the bar of this State. He was born in Northville, La Salle County, Ill., July 20, 1850, and is a son of Joseph and Betsey Ann (McNett) Whitmore, the former of whom was a farmer and stock-raiser by occupation, and is supposed to have lost his life in Arizona about 1871. He was a son of John Whitmore, a contractor and builder by occupation of Western New York, and a grandson of John Whitmore, who was one of Gen. Wolf's soldiers at the battle of Quebec, and afterward settled in New York State. Betsey Ann (McNett) Whitmore was a daughter of Alexander McNett, whose family were of the name McNair, and many of her ancestors served in the Revolutionary War, seven sons out of one family leaving their New York State home to espouse the American cause. Both the Whitmore and McNetts were very hardy people and long lived. John Whitmore, the paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was at Hull's ignominious surrender. He afterward settled in Ohio and his son, Joseph, in La Salle County, Ill., in 1836. Here John A. Whitmore grew to manhood, and from his earliest recollections he has been familiar with the details of agricultural life. After reaching a suitable age he emerged in teaching school, after which he took a thorugh course in law, and was admitted to the Indiana and Illinois bars. After practicing at Ottawa, Ill., until 1886, he came to Nebraska and located at Hampton, where he made his home until July, 1889, at which time he was appointed to his present incumbency. He has already proven that he has few equals in the management of the cases that come under his jurisdiction, and has gained the just distinction as a strong, clear and forcible speaker, a well-read lawyer and a man of more than ordinary intelligence. During business hours he is ever to be found at his post, and a bright future is before him. He was married in Illinois to Miss Maud L. Jenks, a daughter of Franklin Jenks, who was born in York State. She was born in Missouri, and in 1886 passed from this life and lies buried in the cemetery at Hampton, Neb., leaving besides her devoted husband a family of three daughters, Laura E., Maud E. and Norma E., to mourn her loss. In his social relations Mr. Whitmore is a member of the K. of P.

Woodard, Dr. Daniel S.
    Dr. Daniel S. Woodard, physician and surgeon, Hampton, Neb. Not only as a physician, but as a leading exponent of general surgery in its many various branches, Dr. Daniel S. Woodard is worthy of mention in a review of our foremost professional men. He was born in Pappahannock County, Va., November 26, 1848, and is the second in a family of three children born to James M. and Frances (Driver) Woodard, natives fo the Old Dominion, the father born in Rappahannock County in 1814, and the mother in Rockingham County in 1823. The former followed farming and was also engaged in school-teaching for many years. Dr. Woodard had very limited educational advantages while growing up, his mother being left a widow when he was but five years old, but by hard labor and perseverance he was able to fit himself for his profession. He worked upon the farm until he commenced the study of medicine (1874) and read for several years. February 23, 1882, after taking the usual course, he graduated in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, now known as the St. Joseph Medical College, in St. Joseph, Mo., and then came direct to Hampton, where he opened his office and has built up quite a large practice. In 1867 he married Miss Sarah A. Casteel, daughter of William P. and Margaret (Owen) Casteel, natives of Pennsylvania, and by this union became the father of seven children: Cora (now the wife of George E. Lane), Samuel F., John A., William A., James M., Maud and D. S., Jr. Dr. Woodard is a Democrat in his political views. He was elected a member of the town council in 1883, of which body he is still a member and chairman of the same. In 1886 he ran as Representative to the Legislature on the Democratic ticket, but was defeated by a small majority. This county being strongly Republican, it was quite an honor even in defeat. The doctor is a member of Star Lodge No. 112, I. O. O. F., of Hampton, and he is secretary of the same. He is also a member of Hampton Lodge No. 167, A. O. U. W., in which he is financier, and he is a member of the State Medical Society and Hamilton County Association. He has met with unusual success during his residence here, and his time has been almost entirely devoted to the relief of suffering humanity. He is of pleasing address and most agreeable manners, possessed of a mind clear, penetrating and comprehensive, thoroughly posted in his profession, and a practitioner of decided merit. He owns a comfortable residence and two fine lots on which he resides. His office is supplied with a very large library filled with the choicest medical works. He was one of the foremost settlers in this city, and by his push and enterprise has won for himself and family a place among the foremost citizens in the county.

back Contents

Home Queries Records Communities Links

The HTML coding, compilations, and layout copyrighted © Connie Snyder 2004.