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Welcome to McPherson County, NE

©Copyright 2000 - 2007 by Peggy Struwe


                              McPherson County
                             Forrest S. Snyder

McPherson County, named for General McPherson of Civil War fame, was laid out by an act of the Nebraska legislature in 1887. Located on the southern edge of the great sandhill area, its soil is of sandy loam nature. Between the Birdwood and Dismal rivers and at the head of the South Loup river the country is choppy with occasional broad valleys, in many of which are marshes and fresh water lakes. There is an abundance of underground water. In many valleys artesian wells gush forth, and in every part of the county, sand and gravel wells of pure soft water are drilled from a few feet to a little more than a hundred feet in depth. The hills afford grazing for livestock, while in the valleys is land for crops or hay. Ranching is the principal industry, but in the eastern half of the county farming of corn and rye is carried on extensively. Raising hogs and poultry, and selling cream from moderately sized dairy herds adds much to the income of farmers and ranchers.

Before settlement by the white men this part of the sandhills was the great hunting ground of the Sioux Indians. Long after other parts of the state were settled, wide game in abundance was found in these valleys. Antelope, deer, buffalo and wild horses roamed the country, even after the first settlers had pushed the frontier to this part of the state.

The Sioux tribe fought to hold this part of their hunting ground against the ever advancing wave of settlers. Early hunting parties from the Platte valley, coming to hunt buffalo, often narrowly escaping massacre in encounters with Indian scouting parties. Men coming into the hill country for buffalo meat often traveled only by night, when they could locate the camps by signal fires, and choose their course. By day they camped in deep pockets, posting sentries to warn of the approach of any indians.

After the buffalo hunters came the wild horse hunters tracking down bands of horses. They destroyed many of the older animals and took only those suitable for breaking or for market. Among the most noted of the wild horse hunters operating here wer Cap and Dan Haskell, two brothers from Custer County, who in the late seventies and early eighties caught hundreds of horses. The animals were shipped to eastern markets. The Haskell brothers later established a cattle ranch, a forrunner of the present Milldale Land & Cattle Company.

The first stockmen to come into the territory arrived in 1874, when the Circle outfit, John Bratt & Company of Lincoln County, ranged cattle on the Birdwood creek and established what is known as Tim Camp on East creek. In the years that followed hay was cut in many of the valleys and ranches and camps were set up. William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Col. Frank and Capt. Luther North established their ranch in Cody Lake valley in 1877 and ranged cattle east and south to the headwaters of the South Loup river. These ranches spread until the entire country was being grazed before the coming of the homesteaders in the eighties.

The survey for the Kearney-Blackhills railway was completed from Kearney, Buffalo County, through the territory in the early eighties and about the same time the Burlington made a survey. Settlers pushing westward from Custer County followed these surveys and often located next to them, expecting the roads to be built. The Blackhills road was completed to Callaway in the fall of 1890, but the Burlington survey was abandoned and the road was built up the Middle Loup valley, thirty-five miles north. Settlers followed these surveys and the old trails made by early cattlemen and wild horse hunters, locating their homesteads in the broader valleys and on the more fertile soil.

Among the first permanent settlers in McPherson County were Mr. and Mrs. John Quinn who located on the Cody and North ranch in 1884. Cap Haskell, who hunted wild horses in the county established the ranch which was the forerunner of the Whitewater outfit. Nate Trego, John Schick and Jake Rupp, cowboys for the Circle ranch, became permanent settlers. Other early settlers in the wes part of the county were Malam, Ed, Ell, Nate and John Bassett, Milt Hogue, Frank Allen and Bill Terrell. Locating in the central part of the county in an early day were John Booze, Jon L. Neal and sons Lew, Elmer and Billy; Hugh Bedell, Mike Connel, Jay Smith, Ernest and Owen Wisner, Phil and Joe Suiter, Manley Calhoun, Bill Foster, Link sells, the Miller family, Johnny Clouse, Frank and Charley Dolph and Bob Shimmin. The earliest settler in the east part of the county was George Brooks. Other settlers in the Community were Jake Leak, Silas Clothier and Gilson James.

Many problems confronted the earliest settlers. Building materials had to be hauled from the Platte valley, a distance of forty miles or more. Therefore the first homes were constructed of sod, with very little lumber. Other buildings were also made of sod, for the most part with earth walls and a few poles laid across to support a roof of brush and sod. In some localities good sod was hard to get and some of the earliest buildings didn't last long. The first homes were very crude, but not unlike those constructed in other parts of Nebraska in the homestead era. In the east half of the county obaining water supply was a foremost problem. A few settlers resorted to using water from lagoons for months before a well could be dug. After the first wells were made, neighboring settlers drove thier stock for miles to water at these wells and hauled water in barrels for household use. In the west part of the county, water was not such a problem as a good underground supply was reached after a few feet of digging. The earliest settlers lived in constant fear of prairie fires and plowed wide furrows around their buildings and stacks of feed. When a fire was set by a careless settler or by lighning, it often took days to bring the fire unde control. At times fires burned from the Platte river to the Dismal, or from the wet lake valleys on the west to the Loup valley on the east. At such times the loss of property and stock was heavy. To be guilty of starting a fire was second only to being a horse or cattle thief in the range country at that time.

The large ranches provided employment for many of the early homesteaders. Often the men of the family left home early in spring and worked all summer for one or the other of the several big outfits. Some early McPherson settlers "went back east," meaning eastern Logan or Custer Counties, to find work during the busy farming and harvesting season. The few dollars earned in wages provided the family with necessities while the first crops were being grown and livestock herds built up. Some of these early settlers took contracts for putting up the hay crop on the large ranches, and with their neighbors employed in the crew, spent the entire summer in the western part of the county in the hay camps. Without shelter other than a makeshift tent or wagon cover this was life in the rough. A few of the first settlers cut wood on the Dismal river and hauled it either to North Platte or to the table country of Custer County, where it was sold. They cut posts for sale to farmers in the more permanently settled areas. Bones were gathered from the prairie and hauled to some railroad point where there was usually a fair market. Killing prairie chickens for market was a popular diversion and source of revenue even up to Kinkaid days. The hunting usually started in the fall of the year as soon as the weather became cool enough to preserve the dead birds, since the hunters had no method of refrigeration.

McPherson County was organized in 1890 with the special board of commissioners appointed by the Logan County board, meeting at the McPherson postoffice and home of D.P. Wilcox, special appointed county clerk.

The minutes of this first meeting read: McPherson, McPherson County, Nebraska, Jan 28, 1890. Board of special county commissiioners for McPherson county met this day of January 1890 being present special county commissioners H.J. Anderson and H. Newberry and special county clerk D.P. Wilcox. On motion and vote it was decided to divide the county into two precincts, the dividing line being the range line between Ranges 32 and 33, the east precinct to be known as East McPherson and the west precinct as West McPherson. The place of voting in the West McPherson precinct was on motion and vote decided to be located at the house of Mr. Brown at Cottonwood Ranch. The place of voting in East McPherson Precinct was on motion and vote decided to be located at the house of John Booze. On motion and vote it was decided to call an election of county and precinct officers. The following officers to be elected for the county. One county clerk, one treasurer, one sheriff, one superintendent of public instruction, one judge, one surveyor, one attorney, one coroner, three county commissioners and the following precinct officers: two justices of the peace, two constables, one assessor, three judges of election, two clerks of election, said elections to be held on the 27th day of february, 1890, the polls to be opened at nine o'clock in the morning and continue open until six o'clock in the afternoon. Voters to designate on their ballots their choice of location for the permanent county seat. Signed D.P. Wilcox, H. Newberry, H.J.Anderson.

At this first election B.F. Wilson was chosen county clerk; Jay Smith, treasurer; Albert Mayer, sheriff; C.W. Shaul, judge; Lewis E. Dolph, superintendent; G.M. Brooks, coroner; R.E.Haskell, H.Newberry and H.J.Anderson, commissioners. At a meeting of the county board, however, the office of R.E.Haskell was declared vacant and Henry Brown was appointed commissioner. A full set of precinct officers was either elected or appointed by the county board. Presumably at this election it was decided to locate the county seat where Tryon now stands, but on May 17, 1890, the commissioners decided to name the permanent county seat McPherson, even though McPherson postoffice was located four miles away.

In 1890, at the time of the organization of McPherson county, the population of McPherson and Arthur counties combined (Arthur County was unorganized territory) was reported in the census as 401. The greater majority of this population was in the east half of McPherson County which accounts for the fact that the county seat was located but twelve miles from the east county line. Later attempts to change this location failed although the proposition was repeatedly submitted to the voters even after Arthur County was officially made a part of McPherson. Building a courthouse was one of the first acts of the new county officers. The building was constructed of sod, with high frame roof. Adequate provision for safe keeping of records was made and a brick vault with modern vault door was built in one corner of the building. A steel safe was purchased, record books obtained and by the close of the year the county government was in full operation.

On March 17, 1891, a petition was filed with the county commissioners asking for the annexation of Arthur County to McPherson. At this meeting the board, by resolution, decided to place the issue on the general ballots for decision of the voters at an election Nov 3, 1891. The voters approved the annexation and on Jan 16, 1892, Arthur and McPherson Counties were combined by a resolution. During the time Arthur was a part of McPherson County the entire county constituted one precinct, known as Arthur.

In the fall of 1892 the name of the county seat was changed from McPherson to Tryon and a postoffice established within the limits of the town. The name supposedly came from a prominent man by that name.

The early nineties were dry years in Nebraska and though the drouth was not so severe in Mcpherson County as in some parts of the state, crops were poor, times were hard and settlement was slow. During the ten years from 1890 to 1900 the population increased only from 401 to 517 according to the census. It was a constant struggle to maintain the county government and finance the necessary schools. There was but a small anount of deeded land in the county and personal property valuations were low. The levies were high and the larger ranches stood the brunt of the taxes. Unlike most other Nebraska counties, McPherson had no railroad perperty to supply revenue. The county seat grew slowly and in 1895 there were but two buildings in town, the courthouse and the home of the county treasurer, which also housed the county's only newspaper, the McPherson County News. The county clerk lived in the courthouse. The district school house was located a short distance outsied the town limits. The courthouse was the social center of the community, and all meetings were held there. It became a church when a traveling minister happened to pass that way. On many occassions the homesteaders and cowboys gathered to dance to fiddle music of the western songs and dance tunes popular in those days of the nineties. These dances seldom ended until daybreak and were most often held on Friday nights, so the dancers might transact legal business the following day before going home.

The Kinkaid act enacted by congress in 1904 was directly responsible for the rapid settlement of the sandhill area of the state. The law, sponsored by Moses P. Kinkaid, congressman for the sixth Nebraska district, made it possible for every settler to file on a full section of land and obtain a patent after five years residence. Earlier settlers who had originally homesteaded a quarter section, could now file on an additonal three quarters adjoining their first claim. The promise of a full section of land brought a wave of land seekers into this territory.

In some parts of the state the Kinkaid act was bitterly opposed by large ranch interests, but this feeling did not cause serious trouble in McPherson County. Stories are told of established ranchers helping Kinkaiders by supplying employment and even giving them feed for thier livestock. Many Kinkaiders who settled on the range of the Triangle or Whitewater ranches later sold thier land to these interests at satisfactory prices.

The population of the country jumped from 517 in 1900 to 2,470 in 1910. The county seat became a bustling frontier city. New business buildings were rapidly thrown up and false fronted two-story frame buildings gave the village a metropolitan appearance. A church was established with a resident minister. Public buildings were modernized and a neat frame schoolhouse built on the courthouse square.

Good crops were a boon to the Kinkaiders. The new fields produced good yields of corn, rye, potatoes, vine crops and garden truck as well as an abundance of feed. Some of the more firmly established settlers built new frame improvements; every citizen in the new land was fired with enthusiasm and all hardships were met with a determined pioneer spirit. Larger school buildings were necessary to take care of the increasing population and the superintendent of public instruction found it a difficult task to supply qualified teachers for these schools.

Before many of the Kinkaid families had lived the required five years on thier land, they had become deeply indebted for necessities they had been forced to by from merchants and lumber companies, which had extended liberal credit. Money was needed to buy livestock and machinery. The settlers were quick to take advantage of the opportunity to secure a loan on thier land as soon as they received a patent from the government.

Two lending agencies operated widely in McPherson County. Bills and Cline, a Hastings corporation, made the first loans in the county. Most of the early loans were at $2 per acre or more, depending on the fertility of the land and improvements. The Cornelius company, also of Hastings, made many early land loans. Afther the Birdwood National Farm Loan Association was organized in 1918 many loans were refinanced in this association.

Land loans were a boon to many of the settlers, but to a few they were a means of selling out. Often no effort was made to repay the lending agency. These latter settlers lived on the land until they were forced off or left before foreclosure proceedings were started. Those who used the money to pay up indebtedness, or to stock and improve their farms and ranches benefited and are numbered among the prosperous families in the county today. Many private loans were made on farm and ranch land and in some instances the land fell into the hands of non-resident operators, thus increasing the extent of thier holdings.

The secession of Arthur precinct and the forming of Arthur County is an important chapter in the history of McPherson County. Many events let to this split which prompted the forming of the state's ninety-third county. Chief among these events was the constant agitation for re-location of the county seat. Residents of Arthur precinct felt they were too far from the county seat and repeatedly petitioned for its removal to Flats, twent miles directly west of Tryon. The issue was placed on the ballots at different times, but always was defeated; the east part of the county cast the heaviest vote. Building a new courthouse, proposed by eastern county residents, was opposed by the "west end" and Arthur precinct citizens, who felt a new courthouse would end forever all possiblility of moving the county seat.

The purchase on July 12, 1912, of a set of tool proof jail cells from the Pauly Jail company of St. Louis, at a cost of $1,300, was bitterly opposed by Arthur precinct citizens. These expensive cells were placed in a small frame bulding which was erected for $180. The charge of graft was repeatedly made, and agitation for secession grew to feverish pitch in the precinct.

In the month of June, 1913, Arthur precinct residents took steps to secede from McPherson county. On Aug. 25, 1913, Charles E. Foster of Flats appeared before the McPherson County board with a petition asking that steps be taken against completion of the organization of Arthur County. Two days later W.V. Hoagland appeared before the board in behalf of a number of taxpayers in the interest of the organization of Arthur County. The minutes of these meetings fail to state whether any action was taken by the McPherson County board members.

Residents of Arthur precinct formed the new county knowing of the proposed opening for settlement of the Forest Reserve, an area reserved for grazing under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forestry service. This tract was opened to Kinkaid homesteaders on Oct. 20, 1913, with the land seekers filing thier names at the land office at North Platte. Lots were drawn to determine who should make homestead entry. The reserve was settled rapidly and people of the new county felt that they had made a wise decision.

Harry Cullinan was sent to Tryon to transcribe real estate and other records pertaining to the new county and on May 18, 1914, officers of Arthur County met with the commissioners of McPherson County. Minutes for this meeting read: "The board adjourned to take up the matter of settlement between McPherson and Arthur Counties informally." Though the record fails to show what settlement was made, an agreement was reached whereby McPherson County assumed all indebtedness against the county and held all property belonging to the county. N.E. Trego, S.W. Warren and M.A. Connell were serving on the McPherson County board at that time; Charles A. Daly held the office of county clerk.

By 1915 most of the Kinkaid settlers had proved up their land and in a few communities the population had begun to decline. Business in the county seat had slowed some from the peak of the Kinkaid era, but those business firms remaining were of the more substantial order and the town in many ways had become more solidly rooted. The school system had been enlarged and a new building constructed. Commercial centers at Ringgold and Flats had started up, and lack of transportation was the only serious handicap in development in the county. All parts of the county had been connected with the county seat by telephone lines and nearly all trace of frontier life had been wiped out.

The progressive citizens felt a need for a more modern courthouse in keeping with the the life and progress of the county and on April 18, 1916, the new proposition to vote $4,000 in bonds to finance a new structure was submitted to the voters. Even though many leading citizens of the county were in sympathy, the issue failed to carry. The old building though repaired at different times, was a poor structure and quite inadequate to meet the needs. County officers found it difficult to conduct thier duties satisfactorily under such conditions, but the voters were opposed to issuing bonds for a better dwelling.

The increasing use of the auto and motor truck and construction of the first state highway within the county in 1920 revolutionized transportation. Freight teams were replaced by trucks and long trips to railroad points for supplies were shortened from days to hours. Products from farms could be marketed and supplies brought in at a fraction of the old cost. Automobiles became a necessity and within a short time were owned by nearly every family in the county.

Public instruction in the first eight grades was offered children of the county from the time of the earliest settlements, but it was not until 1917 that the McPherson County high school was organized and instruction in the four higher grades offered. The school was organized under the county high school plan, while O.A. Johnson wa scounty superintendent. The first teacher in the school was Mrs. Clare Nichols Woods, who had previously served as county superintendent. The first class of five young people were graduated from the school in May, 1921. A building levy, run over a period of several years made it possible to finance construction in 1920 of a new school building which was later enlarged and modernized. The school from the beginning has been fully accredited by the state university.

In 1920 a five mill special building levy for a new courthouse was voted by the county board. Construction was started in 1925, and the building was occupied during the summer of 1926. Funds from the special levy were insufficient, however to complete and equip the building and on Jan. 21, 1926, a special election was held to approve a bond issue for $6,000 to finance installation of the heating system, purchase furniture and complete the building. The bonds carried at this special election, there being but little opposition. However, it was found that the election was not legal, because the notice of election was not advertised the proper length of time. A second election was held on April 12, 1926 and the issue carried with only ten dissenting votes. The new building was dedicated on Aug. 5, 1926. Judge Hogaboom of Logan County, early pioneer resident and surveyor, gave the address.

The 1930 census showed a decline in population in the county from 1,692 in 1920 to 1,358 in 1930. It is expected the 1940 census will show a further decline. Since 1925 the larger ranches in the county have been spreading gradually. Some of the smaller operators in 1925 have grown until at present they control thousands of acres of range land. The Whitewater and Triangle ranches remain among the largest, but large tracts are controlled by the Bassett Brothers, I.E. and B.C. Huffman, Will Dikeman, H.G. Lamb, N.E. Trego, T.J. Neal, Ida Musser & Sons, Fred Pierson, Joe McCleneghan, H.E. Ellery, J.L. Snyder, Wayne Kramer, A.B. Snyder, Jay Leadabrand, George VanMeter and others. The drouth of 1934 and following years was a factor in the acquiring of land by the ranchmen. farming failed repeatedly. Small farmers and some stockmen became discouraged and felt fortunate to be able to sell their holdings to the larger operators. During the same period many non-resident owners sold their land, from which they had received but little return during the dry years. Farm operators, like the ranchers, also acquired adjoining farms and increased the scope of their operations.

During the drouth years, when feed was scarce, all stockmen in the county adopted new feeding methods. In 1934 hundreds of cattle were sold to the federal government. Government feed loans were obtained to finance the purchase of commercial feeds in order to support the balance of the herds. During these years it was learned that commercial protein feeds, fed with range and a little roughage, made it possible to keep cattle through the winter with little if any good hay. Cutting down the size of herds in 1934 and 1935 increased the quality of cattle on the ranches. Herfords remain the most popular breed with a few herds of Angus. During the drouth many sections of range land, unused for years were fenced and used for summer or winter pasture.

In 1939, nearly fifty years after organization, McPherson County is the home of a happy, prosperous people - modern persons, living in a modern way. The county has more than thirty miles of federal and state highway connecting it with two railroad points. The total valuation in April, 1939, was $2,110,215. There were 17,471 head of cattle assessed at that time, showing a big increase over the previous year. Personal property increased in both number and value.

McPherson County operates on a cash basis. It has no bonded debt other than that of the Baker rural high school district of Logan County which includes a small area in McPherson County. The entire indebtedness of rural schools of the county is $1,505. The cash balance in the rural school fund on June 30, 1939, was $9,221. Taxes are low in the county, and valuations are reasonable. Conservative business methods practiced with a "pay as you go" policy followed through its history has kept the county comparatively free of debt.

Hundreds of good, capable, honest men and women have served the county as officers in one capacity or another. Present citizens of McPherson County owe much to these officials and the hardy men and women who faced loneliness and hardship to found and settle a county in the sandhills of Nebraska. Their valor and courage to further this development, maintain a high standard of culture, and keep pace with progress in this great state of Nebraska.

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Bender, Paul K: Merchant; b McPherson Co, Neb Feb 26, 1909; s of Monroe Bender-Anna E Farrow; ed dist sch; m Loretta Reynolds Mar 26, 1937 Stapleton; 1925-28 assisted bros in gen store, Ringgold; 1929-30 opr auto agcy, Tryon & Stapleton; 1930 pur gen store, Tryon, owner & operator since; 1935- owner & opr of gen store, Ringgold; Indep Cream Buyers Assn; hobbies, fishing, hunting; res Tryon.

Childerston, James Patrick: County Judge; b Clay Co, Neb Mar 27, 1877; s of John Wilson Childerston-Mary Ellen Clark; ed Deweese; m Anna J Anderson Dec 6 1899 Clay Center; s Harry Bern, Howard James, Harold Anderson; d Erma Lucille, Lillian Lydia; 1896-97 farmed near Woodward Ia; 1897-98 farmed near Rockwell City Ia; 1898-1905 engaged in farming & livery bus in & near Deweese; 1905 homesteaded under Kinkaid law near Tryon; 1905- owner & opr of ranch which includes original homestead; 1937- co judge; 1923-27 co commr; past mbr bd of regents of co HS; 1907- mbr dist sch bd; Chris Ch; Rep; hobby, breeding horses; res Tryon.

Clifford, Stephen J: County Treasurer; b Athens, O Oct 12, 1886; s of James Clifford-Margaret Stewart; ed Athens; m Nynon Pearson Dec 22, 1907 Galesburg Ill; s Thomas P; d Dorothy Mae (Mrs. Court Cash), Billie (Mrs. Roger Gibson), Florence L (Mrs. Marvin Tucker), Maxine, Alice Jo; 1907 homesteaded in McPherson Co; 1907-27 rancher in McPherson Co; 1915-27 mbr dist sch bd; 1927- mbr HS bd; 1927- McPherson Co treas; IOF 379 past grand; BPOE 985; hobbies, giving education advantages to sons & daughters, Boy & Girl Scout activities; off Courthouse; res Tryon.

David, Mike: Merchant; b Anearb, Syria Apr 23, 1893; s of David Joseph David-Sarah Goozen; ed Syria m Sadie Aboud Apr 1908 Anearb; s David M, Eli M; d Rabel, Eva (Mrs. T.W. Haddy), Mary (Mrs. Arthur Ellis), Helen; 1896 settled in Bloomington Ill; 1896-1903 drygoods salesman in Ill, Ia & Neb; 1903 began bus in small sod store with Mike Haddy, later indep in Mike David Gen Mdse Store, Tryon; 1907-09 in Syria; 1909- owner & opr Mike David Gen Mdse Store, Tryon; IOOF; AF&AM 32; res Tryon.

Haddy, Taft Willliam: Merchant; b Anearb, Syria Sept 25, 1905; s of Mike Haddy-Andora Ferris; ed Seneca Ia HS 1922; m Eva H David Sept 3, 1933 Tryon; 1911 settled with mother, Hay Springs 1922-26 with father in gen mdse store, Seneca; 1927-34 with Montgomery Ward & Co, Mason City; 1935- owner & opr The Flats Store; 1935- P M; AF&AM 649; Natl Assn of P Ms; hobby, travel; res Flats.

Hogue, Mrs. Harriett Elizabeth: County superintendent of Schools; b Burlington, Ia Dec 25, 1902; d of Otto William Nelson-Matilda Johnson; ed Holdrege HS; U of N, 1923-26; Kappa Phi; m D Emerson Hogue Dec 26, 1929 Holdrege; s Douglas Emerson; d Marilyn Jean; 1926-29 jr HS tchr, Lincoln; 1929- homemaker, aids husband on 3,000 A farm; 1936- co supt of schs; former music tchr; 1936- secy McPherson Co HS bd; NSTA; Helping Hand Club, past pres 4-H fair bd; mbr of Amer Women; OES; Meth Ch; hobbies, music & reading; off Courthouse; res RFD, Tryon.

Holloway, Marion Edward: Farmer; b Quenemo, Kas Feb 12, 1880; s of James Holloway-Nancy E Wells; ed Garnett Kas; m Anna Huss Dec 24, 1904 Garnett Kas; s Frederick Vernon, Harold Dwight; d Mary Grace, Hazel dorothy, Violet Irene; 1902-08 farmed in Marlo Co Kas; 1908- homesteader near Tryon, still owns & operates same farm; since 1913 int in development of oil lands in McPherson & Lincoln Cos; dir in real estate; invents farm machinery; past mbr of dist & HS bd; MWA; Meth Ch; Dem; hobby, breeding saddle horses; res Ringgold.

Howard, Rufus Melvin: Stockman & State Senator; b Grant City, Mo May 23, 1888; s of Lewis J Howard-Anna M Harrison; ed Grant City, Mo HS; U of Mo 1908-09; U of N 1909-10; m Florence M Wingerd Oct 30, 1915 Hemet Cal; s Robert Melvin; d Helen Charlotte; 1910 homesteaded Flats, rancher & stock raiser since, also opr 5,8000 A land; 1910- helping promote highway development in western Neb; 1912- mbr dist 45 sch bd; 1929-35 McPherson Co commr; 1935037 representative from 91st dist, Neb legislature; 1937- mbr Neb unicameral legislature 39th dist; Neb Stockgrowers Assn; Meth Ch, trustee; Rep; hobbies, study of history & governmental policies, reading; res Star Route, Flats.

Huffman, Bird Clay: Rancher & Stockman; b Kasson, Ia Apr 26, 1885; s of Edmond Huffman-Emma K Bachtell; ed Sutherland; m Ruby Valentine White Dec 22, 1914 Lincoln; s Clayton Edgar; d Opal Lucille (Mrs J A Streiff), Odeth Iola; 1887 came ot Neb, opr 12,00 A in McPherson & Arthur Cos near original homestead of parents; mbr past 20 years of dist sch bd; dir Fed Land Bank; pres Kinkaid Tele Co; IOOF No 312; Neb Stockgrowers Assn; bd mbr Episc Ch; hobby, trees; res Tryon.

Huffman, Mrs Ruby Valentine: Homemaker & Clubwoman; b Otoe Co, Neb Feb 14, 1896; d of Edgar E White-Jennie F Kuns; ed Palmyra; m Bird Clay Huffman Dec 22, 1914 Lincoln; s Clayton Edgar; d Opal Lucille (Mrs John A Steiff), Odeth Iola; 1914- homemaker, aiding husband on ranch; 1935 VP inter-co Federation Womens Clubs, 1936037 chmn of 6th dist rural clubs & rural life; 1935- leader of 4-H clubs; 1937-38 chmn McPherson Co 4-H clubs; Federated Womens Club; 1938-39 co chmn National Army of Field Women on Cancer Control; ch mbr of Helping Hand Club, also first pres; Eclipse Guild vice-pres; pres Amer Leg Aux post 189; Flats Ladies Aid; Mullen womens Club; Episc Ch; hobby, collecting antique dishes, needlwork; res Tryon.

Johnson, Lincoln Ellsworth: Retired; b Mt Pleasant, Ia June 14, 1864; s of W A Johnson-Elizabeth Morrison; ed Aurora HS; m Alice Allen Apr 6, 1889 Oronoque Kas; s Orville Allen, Tesla Alonzo, Laverne Everett; d Bessie May, Beulah Elizabeth; 1882-89 with father on ranch in furnas Co; 1889-90 lived in College View; 1890-92 lived in SC; 1892-94 ent ministry, Seventh-day Adventist Ch, College View; 1894-96 minister, Hastings; 1896-1900 minister, Lead, SD; 1901-1907 minister, Broken Bow; 1907- on homestead near Tryon; co judge 10 years; past dir dist sch bd; Rep hobby, stock breeding; res Ringgold.

McGraw, Mrs Harriet G K: Physician & Surgeon; b Iceland, Europe May 7, 1881; d of Finnbogi Gudmunsonur-Margaret Benidigtsdottir; ed HS in Ill; Bennett Med Coll, MD 1907; Loyola U Md 1908; m Joseph A McGraw Sept 15, 1909 York; 1886 came to Amer, spent 1 year in Canada; 1896 came to Lincoln; 1901 head nurse, Lincoln Hosp; 1907-18 phys & surg Lincoln; 1918- phys & surg in McPherson Co, hdqrs Tryon; co phys & health ofcr, also register of births & deaths; 1937 estab off & prac North Platte; mbr Lincoln Co Med Soc; Neb St & AMA; widely known as country doctor; guest of Mrs FD Roosevelt at the White House Jan 11, 1939; listed in "Unsung Heroes" by Elma Holloway as one of 5 women doing unusual work; Altrusa Club; Womans Club; non denominational; hobby, travel; res Tryon.

McGraw, Joseph Adams: Attorney; b Darien, Conn Oct 5, 1872; s of Joseph McGraw-___________; ed Lincoln HS; U of N; m Harriet G Kurtz Sept 15, 1909 York; 1998-1918 prac law in Lincoln; 1918-19 prac law in Los Angeles; 1919- prac law in Tryon; 1922- McPherson Co Atty; mbr Neb st & Amer Bar Assns; IOOF, past noble grand; Presby Ch; Rep: hobbies, hunting, fishing; res Tryon.

Neal, Mrs Pearl Irene: Homemaker; b Wheelersgrove, Ia Oct 27, 1879; d of Heber Newberry-Massie Almira Winegar; ed Holt & Sherman Cos; m Thomas J Neal Jan 10, 1900 North Platte; s Loren Thomas, Charles Beverly, Archie Edwin; D Olive E (dec), Irene May (Mrs Ray Kemp); Mar 1888 came to McPherson Co with parents, father filed on tree claim near Tryon; 1894-1900 tchr in McPherson Co; 1900- homemaker, aiding husband on ranch in McPherson Co; 1907- treas dist 9 sch bd; 1922- co correspondent, Tryon Graphic; Willing Workers Club, past club reporter; 1938 McPherson Co Dem Central committeewoman; hobby, fancy poultry; res RFD, Tryon.

Neal, Thomas Jefferson: Stockman & Rancher; b warren Co, Ia Dec 13, 1878; s of Cornelius Neal-Marjorie Robinson; ed Warren Co; m Pearl Irene Newberry Jan 10, 1900 North Platte; s Loren Thomas, Charles Beverly, Archie Edwin; D Olive E (dec), Irene May (Mrs Ray Kemp); 1893 came to Neb, workied on farms; 1894-97 farmed & worked in Ia coal mines; 1897-1900 worked on farms in McPherson Co; 1900 homesteaded 160 A & in 1911 acquired balance of section under Kinkaid Law; 1900- owner & opr stock ranch, now ranching 13 sections of land N of Tryon; Willing Workers Club; Neb Stockgrowers Assn; hobby, breeding purebred stock; res RFD Tryon.

Pinkerton, Mrs Edna Estelle: Homemaker; b Grinnell, Ia Aug 23, 1866; d of William E Windherst-Mary Utley; ed near Grinnell; Franklin Acad; m Harry Beaty Pinkerton May 18, 1895 Minden; s Riley Bradley; d Inice Ileah (Mrs JWShoup); 1873-85 came to Neb with father & homesteaded near Indianola; 1885-93 retd to Ginnell; 1893-95 taught dist sch McPherson Co; 1895-1907 with husband on Whitewater ranch where he was foreman for 32 years; 1907- homesteader under Kinkaid Law, McPherson Co; taught in dist 5 in sod schoolhouse; taught first SS in western part of McPherson Co; Helping Hand Club; Rep; Episc Ch; hobby, needlework; res Tryon.

Snyder, Albert Benton: Stockman; b Nemaha Co, Neb feb 2, 1872; s of Jeremiah Snyder-Frances Miles; ed Maxwell HS; m Grace Bell McCance Oct 25, 1903 Maxwell; s Miles W; d Nellie Irene (Mrs H Yost), Beulah Lee (Mrs E L Ware), Flora Alberta (Mrs G Elfeldt); 1887 cow puncher for Ogallala Land & Cattle Co, helped move 36,000 cattle from Neb to Wyo; 1888-90 rode for cattle outfit, Wyo; 1890-92 emp on ranches, Lincoln Co; 1892 broke horses for "Buffalo Bill" Cody which later took to London for wild west show; qualified as bronco buster to cgo with Cody's show; 1893-95 rider for Standard Cattle Co, old 101, on the BelleFourche river, Wyo; 1896-98 ranched & broke horses near Maxwell; 1898 rode for Dan Fowles on Cody Lake; 1899 rode for Art Plumber & self in McPherson Co; homesteaded 160 A; 1899- rancher & stock raiser McPherson Co, has increased land holdings to 6,000 A; 1916-27 mbr dist sch bd; Neb Stockgrowers Assn; Northern Black Hills Pioneer Assn; hobbies, fine horses, telling old time cowboy stories; res Star Route, Tryon.

Snyder, Mrs Grace Bell: Homemaker & Clubwoman; b Cass Co, Mo Apr 23, 1882; d of Charles Henry McCance-Margaret Blaine; ed Dawson Co; North Platte Jr Normal; m Albert Benton Snyder Oct 25, 1903 Maxwell; s Miles W; d Nellie Irene (Mrs H Yost), Beulah Lee (Mrs E.L.Ware), Flora Alberta (Mrs G Elfeldt; 1885 came to Custer Co to homestead with parents; 1893 herded cows for father & uncle, Dawson Co; 1901-03 sch tchr Lincoln Co; 1903 came to McPherson Co, aiding husband on ranch since; has taken 1st prize on homemade quilts at co fairs; Helping Hand Club, past pres; hobby, quilting; res Star Route Tryon.

Trego, Nathan Evan: Stockman; b Chester Co, Penn July 31, 1867; s of Evan Trego-Elizabeth Reltew; ed Chester Co Penn; m May Sarah Wilson June 1896 on W.F. Cody ranch near North Platte; s John William, Morris Evan, Gordon Wilson (dec); d Harriet Rebecca (Mrs O Stelzer, dec), Helen Elizabeth (Mrs M D Mathers); 1885 came to Neb: 1885-87 emp on Cody Ranch; 1887-88 emp with Gene Dill's horse outfit; 1888-89 rode for W C Ritner cattle outfit; 1889-95 rode for Circle outfit in western Neb, also opr own outfit; 1895-1912 with John Schick on Cottonwood ranch; 1897-1920, 1924-1928, 1935-39, McPherson Co commr; 1912- opr stock ranch indep; 1912-29 mbr dist sch bd; 1912-15 state range inspector in western Neb; 1918 mbr McPherson Co Draft bd; Neb Stockgrowers Assn, committeeman; AF&AM; hobbies, fine horses, purebred Herfords; res Star Route, Flats.

Trego, Mrs Sarah May: Homemaker; b Buffalo, Hart, Ill Aug 31, 1878; d of Alexander Wilson-Elizabeth Greer; ed Keith Co; m Nathan Evan Trago near North Platte; s John William, Morris Evan, Gordon Wilson (dec); d Harriet Rebecca (Mrs O Stelzer, dec), Helen Elizabeth (Mrs M D Mathers); 1888-96 lived in Lincoln Co; 1896- aiding husband in development of ranch in McPherson Co; ch mbr of Rebekahs 252; Helping Hand Club; Kensington 13, Flats; Presby Ch; hobby, needlework; res Star Route, Flats.

Van Meter, George Brown: Rancher; b Platt Co, Ill Apr 17, 1875; s of David Gamble Van Meter-Margaret Palmer; ed Curtis; m Eva Irene Wagoner May 22, 1911 Minden; d Helen Delight Pettit; 1897-98 tchr in Frontier Co sch; 1899-1907 farmer in Frontier Co; 1907 on homestead in McPherson Co; 1908 owner & opr ranch which includes original homestead; 1909 organizer of dist sch; 1909-23 mbr dist sch bd; 1917-25 co commr, refused nomination 1925; Neb Stockgrowers Assn; Natl Geographic Soc; MWA; Dem; Meth Ch; estab first SS in vcinity; hobbies, bees, cabinet making; res Tryon.

Waits, Alva Green: Rancher & Stockman; b Rush Co, Ind Feb 20, 1869; s of William Edward Waits- Margaret Jane Richeson; ed Linn Co Mo; m Estelle Wisner Jan 1 1900 Omega (dec); s William Ola (dec), Edward Alton, Harry Wisner (dec), Willis Emmett (dec); d Alice (dec), Anna (dec); m Grace Wisner Stautz May 22, 1914 Fort Collins Colo; d Dona; 1893 came to McPherson Co & homesteaded; 1893-1900 with father on ranch near Tryon; 1893- farmer & stock raiser in McPherson Co, opr six sections; mbr dist sch bd 10 years; mbr McPherson Co bd of regents; 1900 wife homesteaded 160 A, complied with Kinkaid law 1904 & acquired balance of section; 1911 homesteaded one section adjoining wife's property; 1922-30 McPherson Co commr; mbr of bd of regents when co HS dist was organized; 1930- dir Great Plains Highway Assn; 1918-1919 apptd chmn of Coun of Defense for McPherson Co by Gov Neville; Neb Stockgrowers Assn; AF&AM 32; past grand, IOOF 379; past trustee Meth Ch; hobby, horseback riding; res Star Route, Tryon. (Omega was formerly 6 miles north of Tryon, discontinued several years ago.)

Warren, Simon Walter: Real Estate & Insurance Agent; b Dalton city, Ill July 23, 1876; s of Jesse A Warren-Martha French; ed near Edgar; Fairfield Coll 1898-99; m Bessie McFarland Sept 2, 1899 Nelson; s Robert Jesse (dec), Aubre Walter, Orloe Jennings, Edgar Waldo; d Doris Bessie Calaway; 1899-1906 farmer in Nuckolls Co; 1906 homesteaded in McPherson Co under Kinkaid law; 1906- owner & opr ranch including original homestead; 1817- real estate & insurance agt in Tryon; 1919-38 secy-treas of Birdwood Natl Farm Loan Assn; 1910 helped organize Tryon State Bank, pres 1920; helped organize Tryon HS; past pres bd of regents of HS; mbr dist sch bd; helped org Production Credit Assn, mbr executive com & dir, North Platte; County Federal Food Administrator; mbr IOOF 379; Rep; Chis Ch; hobbies, gardening & landscaping; res Tryon.

Wright, Clay: County Clerk; b Culbertson, Neb oct 19, 1892; s of Alexander M Wright-Myrtle Jacobs; ed Culbertson; York Bus Coll; m Marie Stone Aug 1, 1919 North Platte; 1910-13 opr gen store, St Ann; 1914-17 farmer in Hays Co near Culbertson; 1919-27 opr ranch near Sutherland; 1924-26 pct assessor in McPherson Co; past pct assessor Hayes Co; 1927- co clk; 1917 enl in 341st aerial squadron; O/S 1918-19 with 1,111 aerial replacement squadron; clk AS hdqrs; AEF at Paris, rank of sgt; Amer Leg; Rep; Meth Ch; hobby, travel; res Tryon.


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