Saunders County NEGenWeb Project
Past and Present of Saunders County Nebraska, 1915, Volume II
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in Salt creek valley. At that time this region was almost a wilderness and his was the hard task of developing a farm from the wild prairie. He devoted his time to improving and cultivating his land here during the remainder of his life, passing away on the 26th of January, 1889, at the age of eighty-four years. He was a man of determination and energy and it was these qualities that enabled him to win success upon the frontier. In addition to the usual hardships of the pioneers, due to their isolation on the frontier, he had to contend with the hostility of the Indians and at one time they were so threatening that he was compelled to leave his farm. He returned, however, and lived to see this region develop into a prosperous farming district. Following his demise his widow removed to Ashland, where she lived until called by death in 1895.
Nelson Sheffer was but ten years of age when brought by his parents to this state and the greater part of his youth, therefore, was passed amid pioneer surroundings. He was reared at home and received his education in the early schools of Cass county. He continued to reside with his parents until he became of age, when he began freighting with oxen, hauling goods to the government military posts, and during the seven years that he engaged in that business he had many interesting experiences typical of western frontier life. He next turned his attention to contracting and helped to grade the Union Pacific and Burlington Railroads that were then being built westward. After a number of years he removed to Ashland and engaged in merchandising, forming a partnership with L. K. Bell. This connection was maintained with mutual pleasure and profit until 1902, when Mr. Sheffer retired from active life. They carried a large and well chosen stock of merchandise and their constant efforts to render greater service to their customers enabled them to retain trade once gained. Mr. Sheffer was recognized as one of the most able business men of Ashland and not only gained a gratifying measure of personal prosperity but also aided in promoting the business expansion of his community. He still owns good business property in Ashland, has a fine residence in the town and one hundred and sixty acres of excellent land in Saunders county. He is one of the substantial men of his community and takes justifiable pride in the fact that his success has been due solely to his own enterprise and good judgment.
In 1902 Mr. Sheffer was married to Mrs. Ella D. Beebe, a daughter of Alvin and Catherine (Bennett) Dorris, the former a native of New York and the latter of Adrian, Michigan. The father grew to manhood in New York and accompanied his parents on their removal west. On reaching mature years he determined to devote his life to farming and cultivated land in Branch county, Michigan, until his demise in 1875, when he was fifty-six years old. His wife survived until January 25, 1903, having reached the advanced age of seventy-three years. Their daughter, Ella D., became the wife of W. H. Beebe, now deceased. By that marriage she became the mother of three children: one who died in infancy; Myrtle, who was born September 25, 1882, and is now the wife of Winfred Cameron, of Metropolis, Illinois; and Neal, who was born July 18, 1884, and was accidentally drowned at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on the 7th of June, 1906.
Mr. Sheffer is a stanch adherent of the republican party but has never
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been an aspirant for office. He holds membership in the Christian church, to the support of which he contributes generously, and fraternally he is identified with the Masons at Ashland and with the Knights of Pythias lodge, which he aided in organizing. Practically his entire life has been spent in the west and he has manifested in a large degree characteristics which we think of as distinctively western-determination, aggressiveness, self-reliance and faith in the future. He has gained financial independence and has also won that sincere respect and warm regard which are only given to genuine worth.
W. R. ACKER
W. R. Acker, a member of the firm of Acker & Keeker, of Cedar Bluffs, dealers in agricultural implements, vehicles and gas engines, has been connected with the implement trade during his entire business career and this wide experience has been a factor in his present success. He was born in Whiteside county, Illinois, on the 19th of September, 1875, a son of S. E. and Mary (Long) Acker. The paternal great-grandfather of our subject removed to this country from Germany, and the father was born in the state of New York. On coming to the west the latter first settled in Illinois but in 1875 removed to Shelby county, Iowa, whence in 1886 he came to Nebraska, locating at Madison. In 1888 he removed to Lindsay, where he remained for four years, after which he went to Oklahoma, and as the Cherokee reservation was being thrown open to settlement, he proved up on a claim there but in 1895 sold that place and returned to this state, becoming a resident of Burwell, where he remained until 1896. In that year he removed to Greeley Center, which remained his home until 1899, and then came to Wahoo. After living there for some time he again went to Greeley Center and later to Cedar Bluffs, where he remained for one year. He next returned to Iowa, where he has since lived. He has devoted the greater part of his attention to farming but while living at Lindsay engaged in the livery business. His wife died about eight years ago. To them were born five children: W. S., who lives near Dayton, Iowa; W. R.; H. L., of Holdrege, Nebraska; Frank, of Red Oak, Iowa; and Iva N., the wife of Thomas Goonan, of Greeley Center.
W. R. Acker received excellent educational advantages, attending school at Madison and Lindsay and subsequently becoming a student in the State University. After leaving school he entered the employ of an uncle and for a year managed an implement business owned by him. In 1901, however, he went on the road for the Milwaukee Harvester Company, his territory covering Nebraska and Minnesota, and he remained with that firm for two years, after which he became connected with the International Harvester Company as salesman and machinery expert. Later he entered the employ of the J. I. Case Company but after a short time returned to the International Harvester Company, with which he remained until March, 1908, when he assumed charge of the implement department of the Cash Hardware Company in Cedar Bluffs. In 1911, in association with William Keeker, he purchased the business, which has since been conducted under, the firm style of Acker &
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Keeker. They handle the best lines of agricultural implements of all kinds, also deal in vehicles and gas engines and in seeds and stock foods and have built up an enviable reputation for business honor and for excellent goods and reasonable prices. They own their building, which is a substantial and well designed structure, and their business is a profitable one.
On Christmas day, 1901, in Nebraska City, occurred the marriage of Mr. Acker and Miss Maybell Chase and they have become the parents of six children, Myrtle Viola, Lloyd Raymond, Kenneth J., Theodore Robert, Dorothy and Edith.
Mr. Acker is independent politically, believing that by voting for the best candidate he can serve the common welfare better than by following the dictates of party leaders. He is chairman of the board of village trustees and is quite active in local affairs generally. He is a Mason and was a charter member of the Tribe of Ben Hur at Greeley, Nebraska, but has now transferred his membership to Wahoo. He is affiliated with the Commercial Club and cooperates heartily in carrying out the plans of that body for the business expansion and the civic advancement of the community.
Alexander Boulier, who is now serving as assistant postmaster of Cedar Bluffs, was born near Chillicothe in Woodford county, Illinois, on the 20th of September, 1845. His parents, Henry and Mary Josephine (Sauvage) Boulier, were both natives of France but in the early '30s became residents of Woodford county, Illinois, where they continued to live until called by death. The father passed away in 1871 but the mother survived until 1900. He devoted his life to farming. They were the parents of eight children: Alexander; Mary, the wife of Andrew Beckler, of. Marshall county, Illinois;
Joseph, who died in 1905; Isabel, the wife of Jacob Faggot, of Lexington, Nebraska; Adelaide, who is living, in Peoria county, Illinois; Josephine and Victoria, twins; and Anna, also of Peoria county, Illinois.
Alexander Boulier was educated in the country schools of Illinois and remained upon the home farm until he was twenty-three years of age. He then began cultivating land on his own account and continued to farm in Illinois until 1884, when he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and rented land a mile and a half south of the present site of Cedar Bluffs. He operated that place until 1902, when he purchased twelve and a half acres within the limits of Cedar Bluffs and built a nice residence thereon. He has since sold that place and bought another home in the town; For a number of years he worked at the carpenter's trade but in October, 1915, he became assistant postmaster, which position he is now efficiently filling.
In 1869 Mr. Boulier was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Bailey, and they became the parents of eight children: William H., living near Plainview, Texas; Carrie, the wife of Samuel Hoshor, of Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska; Mary Josephine, the wife of L. J. Schere, of Cedar Bluffs; Luella, the wife of M. J. Rochford, who is farming near Colon; Clifford J., an agriculturist of Cedar
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precinct; Rawlston H., also of Cedar precinct; George A., of Cedar Bluffs; and Irvin S., who lives in Fremont, Nebraska. The wife and mother died in 1914 and was buried at Cedar Bluffs. She was a sincere Christian and took a very active part in church work, in fact, was one of the organizers of the Presbyterian church of Cedar Bluffs.
Mr. Boulier gives his political allegiance to the democratic party, which he has supported since becoming of age, and he has been an important factor in local political circles. For three years he served on the school board and for six or seven years was justice of the peace. In 1899 and again in 1901 he was elected to represent his district in the state legislature. He has always regarded a public office as a public trust and has at all times proved worthy of the confidence placed in him by his fellow citizens. He, too, is an active and influential member of the Presbyterian church, in which he held the office of elder for four years. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, in both of which organizations he has passed through the chairs. He has led a busy and useful life and the high esteem in which he is generally held is well deserved.
GUSTAV F. WAGNER.
Gustav F. Wagner is a representative business man of Saunders county who has been successfully engaged in merchandising at Ithaca for the past twenty-seven years. His birth occurred in the province of Pommern, Germany, on the 14th of December, 1863, his parents being William H. and Wilhelmina Wagner, who emigrated to the United States when our subject was thirteen years of age and in the spring of 1877 took up their abode in Merrick county, Nebraska.
Gustav F. Wagner began his education in the common schools of the fatherland and after coming to the new world spent several more years as a public-school student. After putting aside his textbooks he worked on farms and in several stores, being thus employed until the spring of 1888, when he came to Ithaca, Saunders county, and embarked in the mercantile business on his present site. He has remained proprietor of an establishment of this character during the intervening twenty-seven years and has been accorded a liberal and gratifying patronage, for he carries a large and well selected stock of goods at reasonable prices and has won a merited reputation as a progressive, enterprising and thoroughly reliable merchant.
Mr. Wagner was united in marriage to Miss Augusta Schiefelbein, a native of Germany and a daughter of Frederick and Paulina Schiefelbein. She was brought to the United States in childhood and by her marriage has become the mother of six children, as follows: Ona, who is a school teacher; Earl, who works in his father's store; Fred, who also follows the profession of teaching; and Glenn, Lloyd and Ralph, at home.
Politically Mr. Wagner is a stalwart democrat, exercising his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of that party. His religious faith is that of the German Evangelical church, while fraternally he is identi-
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fied with the Modern Woodmen of America. In every relation he has been found true and loyal to the trusts reposed in him and his life has been in conformity with a high standard of conduct.
OLOF M. ANDERSON.
Among the natives of Sweden who have found in Saunders county the opportunities which they desired and who through taking advantage of those opportunities have gained financial independence is Olof M. Anderson, one of the leading farmers of Richland precinct. He has thoroughly identified his interests with those of his county and is held in high esteem by his fellow citizens. He was born on the 25th of October, 1866, in Sweden, and is a son of Andrew and Mary Martinson, the former of whom is still living in that country, while the latter died there in 1913.
Mr. Anderson passed the period of his minority under the parental roof and until about sixteen years of age devoted much of his time to attending the public schools. After putting aside his textbooks he assisted his father with the labor of the farm for two years and then worked out until he was twenty-one years old. In March, 1888, he came to the United States and, making his way to the middle west, settled in Saunders county, Nebraska, where for a year he was employed on a railroad. He then rented one hundred and sixty acres of land, which he cultivated for a year, after which he operated Hans Hockinson's farm for a similar length of time. He next took up his residence on one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 14, Richland precinct, which is still his home. In addition to that quarter section he owns forty acres west of Swedeburg and he receives a gratifying annual return from his land, which is in a high state of cultivation. He has erected all of the buildings upon his place and the improvements thereon are valued at seven thousand dollars. His residence is thoroughly modern, being supplied with those conveniences which are often associated only with city houses. He keeps everything about the farm in excellent condition and carefully conserves the fertility of the soil. He is alert and progressive, being at all times ready to adopt new methods which seem an improvement over the old. He facilitates his work by the use of up-to-date machinery and finds his Overland car a good business investment as well as a source of a great deal of pleasure.
Mr. Anderson was married on the 25th of May, 1889, to Miss Cecelia Gibson, a daughter of Martin Gibson, and they have become the parents of three sons: Edward B., who married Miss Gertrude Johnson, by whom he has a daughter, Bernice; Oscar W.; and Ludwig.
Mr. Anderson is independent in politics, voting for the best man irrespective of his party affiliations. He is greatly interested in local public affairs and for one year served efficiently as road supervisor. The principles which govern his conduct in all relations of life are found in the teachings of the Swedish Mission church and he is an active member of the congregation at Swedeburg, to the support of which he contributes generously. As the years have passed his resources have increased and he is now one of the well-
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to-do men of the county. In 1909 he took a trip to Sweden and greatly enjoyed visiting the scenes of his childhood. However, he has never regretted his emigration to this country and he can be counted upon to aid in movements that seek the advancement of his community along either material or moral lines. He is well known and his personal friends are many.
AUSTIN M. SUTTON.
Austin M. Sutton, one of the leading residents of Cedar precinct, owns four hundred acres of excellent land on section 30 and is extensively engaged in sheep raising. He has one of the best improved farms in the entire county and in all that he does is enterprising and progressive. He was born in Watertown, Rock Island county, Illinois, on the 17th of November, 1867, a son of James and Ellen (Ely) Sutton, both of whom were born in Ireland, where they grew to maturity. On emigrating to the United States the father located at Haverstraw, New York, where he remained for a number of years, after which he removed to the vicinity of Moline, Illinois, in 1865. In the fall of 1870 he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and homesteaded land in Center precinct. Subsequently he purchased a farm of four hundred acres in Cedar precinct and took up his residence thereon, residing there until his demise in 1891. He owned in all six hundred acres of fine land and specialized in the raising of cattle and hogs, although he also gave some attention to raising grain. He was a member of the Episcopal church. His wife came to the United States in her girlhood and they were married in the Empire state. She survived her husband for about twelve years and passed away in 1903 in the faith of the Episcopal church. They were numbered among the pioneers of this county and were well known and highly esteemed by its residents. To them were born seven children: Alexander, of Atkinson, Nebraska, who is engaged in ranching on an extensive scale; George, who is a farmer in Locker, Texas; Mary Ann, the deceased wife of Thomas Lee; Susan, who married William Henderson, of Glendale, California; William R., a prominent farmer of Center precinct, this county; James, who is farming near Fremont, Nebraska; and Austin M.
The last named received his education in the schools of Center precinct, as he was but three years of age when the family home was established in this county. He early became familiar with agricultural work and remained with his parents until their death. Following the demise of his father he assumed charge of the operation of the home place and has since engaged m farming independently. He owns four hundred acres of excellent land on section ?0, Cedar precinct, and has spared neither thought nor expense in the development of his place. He has two immense silos, several large barns, and his residence is one of the most commodious country homes in the county. He has also erected a number of houses which are the homes of his tenants. He formerly engaged in feeding cattle, but now specializes in the raising of sheep, and finds that occupation unusually profitable. He is a man of sound judgment and unusual business ability and has so man-aged his affairs that he has gained financial independence.
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In 1893 Mr. Sutton was married to Miss Clara Manville, by whom he has had three children: Howard Richard, who died in infancy; Clara Helen; and Randall Eugene. Mr. Sutton casts his ballot in support of the republican party but has never taken an active part in politics, his agricultural and stock-raising interests demanding his entire time and attention. He holds membership in the Presbyterian church, as does his wife, and they take a commendable interest in the furtherance of its work. He is widely known and highly respected not only because of his unquestioned ability but also because of His integrity and his consideration for the rights of others.
M. S. BIAS, M. D.
Dr. M. S. Bias, of Cedar Bluffs, is an efficient and experienced physician and has built up a large and representative practice. He is also an able business man and takes much interest in the commercial development of his community. He was born in Cabell county, West Virginia, on the 21st of January, 1855, a son of James B, and Mary (Adkins) Bias. The family has been represented in Virginia and West Virginia for a number of generations and the father, who died at the very advanced age of ninety years, passed his entire life in the same locality and, in fact, his demise occurred within twenty feet of his birthplace. He was a farmer by occupation and was widely known and highly respected. The mother died in 1910 at the age of eighty-seven years. They were the parents of fifteen children, those besides our subject being: Crosby, deceased; Dicy, the wife of A. R. Rousey, of Salt Rock, West Virginia; Levina, deceased; Roland M., who died in the army; Clarissa, deceased; Algelana, the wife of S. G. Carter, of Milton, West Virginia; M. A., a general merchant of Milton, that state; B. B., who is farming near Salt Rock, West Virginia; Letha, deceased; two who died in infancy; G. J., who is living on the family homestead; Ewell, a resident of Huntington, West Virginia; and Mary, the wife of Eli Morrison, of Salt Rock.
M. S. Bias was educated in the common schools at Salt Rock and in the high schools at Milton and Salt Rock, graduating from the high school at the latter place in 1875. About two years later he entered the University of Louisville at Louisville, Kentucky, where he completed the medical course in 1887. Even before graduation, however, he had engaged in practice to some extent and after receiving his degree he located at Hurricane, West Virginia, where he remained for two years. He then went to Lane, Kansas, and practiced there in partnership with Dr. McIntosh for one year, after which he removed to Hillsdale, Kansas, where he was located for eleven years. He gained a large and lucrative practice there but at length turned his attention to other interests, feeding cattle on a large scale. His health broke down, however, and he sold out and went to the Gulf of Mexico, spending considerable time in that region and visiting all of the watering places on the coast. Having regained his health. Dr. Bias went to Chicago, where he spent six months in further medical study, after which he went to Ohiowa, Nebraska, where he remained for five years. At the end of that time he returned to
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West Virginia in order to care for his aged father, who was ill, and he remained there until the latter's demise two years later. Not long afterward he again came west and devoted six months to post-graduate work in medicine at Kansas City. He then located in Colon, Nebraska, where he remained for about six years, gaining an enviable reputation as an able and conscientious physician. Four years ago, however, he left Colon and removed to Cedar Bluffs and he is now one of the most successful physicians here. He is careful in diagnosis and in his treatment of various diseases follows the latest and most approved methods. He keeps in touch with the advancement of medical science through constant study. He holds membership in the West Virginia State Medical Society, the Nebraska State Medical Society and the Saunders County Medical Society, of which he served as president in 1907. In the management of his private affairs Dr. Bias has displayed sound business judgment, and he has supported all movements looking to the material growth and development of the various communities in which he has resided. While living in Colon he erected a good residence there, and he is now one of the substantial men of Cedar Bluffs.
On the 25th of November, 1891, occurred the marriage of Dr. Bias and Miss Mary V. Shank, a native of St. Albans, West Virginia. The Doctor has supported the democratic party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise, and he is one of the local leaders of that party, having served for four years as chairman of the county central committee. During his residence in Kansas he was appointed pension examiner but he has never been a candidate for an elective office. He was reared in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church and fraternally he belongs to the Masonic lodge at Ohiowa and to the Knights of Pythias at Cedar Bluffs. He has always been very fond of outdoor sports and in his earlier manhood was an excellent ball player, continuing in the game until he was forty-four years old. He is a broad-minded man of varied interests and holds the respect and esteem of all who have been associated with him.
Otto Randell, of Richland township, who has won a reputation as a successful and progressive farmer, was born in Sweden on the 28th of February, 1870, a son of N. G. and Eva Peterson, who are still living in that country. He has a half-sister and two half-brothers: Marie, who is the wife of August Nelson, of Burlington, Iowa; and Carl and Eric, both living at Maxwell, Iowa.
Otto Randell attended school in Sweden until he was about fourteen years of age, after which he worked at odd jobs until he was seventeen years old, when he enlisted in the army. He did military service for three years and after his discharge from the army continued to live in Sweden for two years, but at the end of that time emigrated to the United States and made his way to Illinois. He worked as a farm hand in that state for three years, after which he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, where he was engaged at farm
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work until 1896. Since that time he has operated a farm belonging to. A. G. Quick, and his labors are rewarded by excellent crops.
On the 28th of September, 1900, Mr. Randell was married to Miss Ellen Quick, a daughter of A. G. and Louisa Quick. Her father came to the United States from Sweden in 1870 and homesteaded eighty acres of land in Saunders county, to which he subsequently added a similar tract by purchase. Both he and his wife are still living and make their home with our subject. They became the parents of the following children, those besides Mrs. Randell being:
Lina, the wife of Swan Freeman, by whom she has two children; Tilda, who married Andrew Martinson, of Swedeburg; Althea, the wife of Rev. F. O. Haultman, by whom she has four children; Emil, who married Sadie Rowel and has four children; Eddie, who married Emma Carlson, a daughter of Andrew Carlson, and who has four children; and Minnie, who married S. J. Anderson. Mr. and Mrs. Randell have five children: Ethel, Verlie and Rudolph, all of whom are attending school in Swedeburg; and Dilver and Dewane.
Mr. Randell votes an independent ticket, as he believes the fitness of the candidate for the office in question to be of more importance than his political affiliation. His religious faith is indicated in the fact that he holds membership in the Swedish Mission church at Swedeburg. Both Mr. Randell and Mr. Quick came to this country without capital, and the success which they have achieved is the direct result of their industry and wise management of their affairs.
John Stuehrk, a well known and successful general merchant of Cedar Bluffs, was born in Schleswig-Holstein, March 2, 1865, a son of Peter and Anna (Schenk) Stuehrk. The parents were born and reared in Germany and there their marriage occurred. The mother died in that country when our subject was quite a small boy but in 1882 the father came to the United States and made his way to Iowa, where he lived until his demise. There were four children in the family: John; Mrs. Emma Bailey, of Cedar Bluffs; A. E., of Marshalltown, Iowa; and Mrs. Regina Mellows, of State Center, Iowa.
John Stuehrk attended school in Germany and secured a good high school education. When about fifteen years of age he came to the United States with his sister Emma and located at State Center, Iowa, where he worked in a store owned by an uncle for six years. In 1886 he came to Wahoo, Nebraska, and entered the employ of Killian Brothers, merchants of that place. After remaining there for one summer he removed to Cedar Bluffs and became connected with the Killian Brothers' store here, remaining with that firm until 1909, his long retention in their service indicating his ability and loyalty. In 1909 he went to Elm Creek, where he engaged in merchandising for three and a half years, after which he returned to Cedar Bluffs and formed a partnership with Louis Killian. In February, 1915, however, he sold his interest in the store and bought out the business formerly conducted by Mr. Schere. He
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has since been sole owner of that business, which returns to him a good profit on his investment. He has a large, up-to-date and well selected stock of general merchandise, and his efforts to please his customers and his liberal policy of giving the greatest value possible for the money received have commended him to the patronage of the public.
In 1890 occurred the marriage of Mr. Stuehrk and Miss Delia Hayes, and they have become the parents, of two children: Anita, who is a stenographer for the Lincoln Paper Company; and Ernest L., who is with Butler Brothers of Chicago.
Mr. Stuehrk is a republican where national issues are at stake but at local elections votes independently. He has served as school treasurer of Cedar Bluffs and takes the interest of a good citizen in all public affairs. Both he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church and belong to the Order of the Eastern Star and the Degree of Honor. He is likewise affiliated with the Masonic blue lodge and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is an excellent business man, a public-spirited citizen and a loyal friend and is deservedly held in high esteem in his community.
WESLEY J. NICHOLS.
Since 1899 Wesley J. Nichols has lived retired at Wahoo. Previous to that time he was actively engaged in farming and his labors were so wisely and capably directed that success in considerable measure attended his efforts, bringing to him the handsome competence that now enables him to enjoy all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life. Mr. Nichols is a native of New York, his birth having occurred in Mexico township, Oswego county, on the 16th of August, 1885, his parents being Jared and Matilda (Bay) Nichols, who were also natives of the Empire state. About 1835 they removed to Portage, Ohio, where the mother died when thirty-five years of age. The father became a resident of Branch county, Michigan, in 1848 and there he took up the occupation of farming, which he followed until his death at the age of fifty years.
Wesley J. Nichols spent his boyhood upon the home farm in Michigan to the age of thirteen years, when he went to live with an uncle, with whom he remained until he attained his majority. He then started out, working by the month as a farm hand, his time being thus passed until January, 1861. In the opening year of the Civil war he responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting as a member of Company F, First Michigan Light Artillery, with which he served for two years. He then reenlisted in the same company and continued with that command for two years longer, or until July, 1865, when he was mustered out at Jackson, Michigan. He participated in the battle at Richmond, Kentucky, and was afterward sent to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he became ill with typhoid fever. He then reenlisted and participated in the Atlanta campaign. He was shot through the fleshy part of the left arm at Richmond, Kentucky, the first battle in which he participated-but he never faltered in the performance of duty and after the expiration of his first term veteranized. His was indeed the record of unfaltering loyalty and throughout
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his entire life he has been as true and faithful to his country as when he followed the old flag upon southern battlefields.
Following the war Mr. Nichols engaged in farming in Michigan until 1868, when he made his way to Jesup, Buchanan county, Iowa, where he soon afterward purchased a farm, residing thereon until 1871, when he sold that property and came to Saunders county, securing a homestead in Stocking precinct. He filed on one hundred and sixty acres prior to the passing of the law permitting soldiers of the Civil war to take up that amount of land. After the law was passed he homesteaded this, the property being three miles southwest of Wahoo. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon the property when he took possession, but he at once began to break the sod and till the fields and in course of time gathered good harvests. As the years went on he continued to improve the property, which he owned until 1904, when he sold out, but in 1899 he had retired and removed to Wahoo, where he has since made his home, enjoying here a well earned rest. He has now passed the eightieth milestone on life's journey.
On the 13th of February, 1868, Mr. Nichols was united in marriage to Miss Harriet Kenyon, who was born in Mexico township, Oswego county. New York, March 15, 1838, and when six years of age was taken by her parents to Coldwater, Branch county, Michigan, where she was educated and married. She became one of the pioneer women of Saunders county and has long been an interested witness of the growth, progress and development of this part of the state. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Nichols were born two children: Fred K., who is engaged in merchandising at Spokane, Washington, and also has a store in Seattle, married Miss Jennie Booth, a daughter of John Booth, of Saunders county; Myrtle L. is the wife of M. A. Phelps, mentioned elsewhere in this volume.
Mr. and Mrs. Nichols hold membership in the First Baptist church of Wahoo and he belongs also to John A. Andrews Post, No. 90, G. A. R, of which he is now chaplain, a position which he has filled for ten years. His life has ever been actuated by high and honorable principles and sterling character worth has gained for him the enviable position which he occupies in the regard and goodwill of his fellowmen. His example may well serve as a source of emulation to others, for his are "the blessed accompaniments of age, honor, riches, troops of friends."
WILLIAM E. MAYS.
William E. Mays, of Green township, has, devoted his life to agricultural pursuits and has never had occasion to regret his choice of an occupation. He was born in Illinois, June 13, 1859, a son of Andrew and Barbara Ann Mays, both natives of Ohio. After residing for a considerable period in Mercer county, Illinois, they came to Saunders county, Nebraska, with their family in the spring of 1876 and here the father bought eighty acres of land. He passed away in 1882 and the mother died in 1903.
William E. Mays received his education in Mercer county, Illinois, attend-
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ing school there until he was seventeen years of age, when he came with his parents to this county. He continued to work with his father until he readied the age of twenty years and then hired out to others as a farm hand. At the end of a year he purchased eighty acres, to which he subsequently added a tract of similar size and now owns eighty acres on section 10, Green township. His land is improved and as he is systematic and energetic in carrying on the work of the farm he receives a good income from his place. He also owns one hundred and sixty acres in Perkins county, Nebraska.
On the 27th of October, 1886, occurred the marriage of Mr. Mays and Miss Kittie Verrell, a daughter of Henry Verrell, of this county, who removed here in 1878, when it was still a pioneer region. Mr. and Mrs. Mays have one daughter, Hattie, who is the wife of Fred Schlotz, by whom she has a son, Robert, now attending country school.
Mr. Mays believes that the policies of the republican party are based upon sound principles of government but at local elections he usually votes for the best man irrespective of his political affiliations. He has served as director and treasurer in his school district and has always manifested a keen interest in the public schools. Fraternally he is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Ithaca. Although he began his independent career without capital he has gained more than a competence and is one of the well-to-do men of his township. He has a wide acquaintance throughout the county and is highly esteemed and respected.
Ferdinand Pacal, cashier of the Farmers & Merchants Bank and a prominent figure in business circles of Weston, his connections extending to various important business enterprises, was born in Moravia, Austria, July 20, 1878, a son of John and Josephine (Horkey) Pacal, who were also natives of the same country. They left Europe and came to the United States, however, when their son Ferdinand was about five years of age and for a few months the family home was maintained on a farm near Wahoo. Subsequently they removed to Weston, where the father and mother still reside. The former was a tradesman in Austria, spending his time largely as a weaver, and after coming to America he was employed at railroad work for a time, while later he engaged in painting and paperhanging. His well directed industry, thrift and determination won him a substantial measure of success, so that he is now living retired. In his family were three children: Lewis, who was engaged in business in Omaha, where he died two years ago; Ferdinand; and John S., who is a partner of his brother Ferdinand in a drug store in Weston.
Following the removal of the family to Weston, Ferdinand Pacal pursued his education in the public schools of the town, supplemented by study in the Omaha Commercial College and the Fremont Normal College. He then took up the profession of teaching in District No. 76, Chapman township, where he remained for three years, and later he spent nine consecutive years in the schools of Weston, being regarded as one of the able educators of the county.
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He imparts readily and clearly to others the knowledge that he has acquired, his exposition of any subject being concise and to the point. Eventually, however, he turned his attention to the banking business and has figured in financial circles of Saunders county since the 13th of April, 1910, when he accepted the position of cashier in the Farmers & Merchants Bank, succeeding M. J. Petermichel, of Valparaiso. This bank was organized August 13, 1906, with W. C. Kirchman, of Wahoo, as the president and F. J. Kirchman, of Wahoo, as vice president. Mr. Pacal is the active manager of the business and is proving a popular official. He is always obliging and courteous and favors the patrons of the bank to the fullest extent commensurate with the safety of the institution. He is also the half owner of a drug store in Weston, in which he is a partner of his brother, and of the bank he is now one of the stockholders.
On the 27th of October, 1912, Mr. Pacal was united in marriage to Miss Nellie Madigan, a daughter of Michael Madigan, of Weston, and they are now occupying a beautiful and attractive new home which Mr. Pacal recently erected. Mrs. Pacal is a consistent and active member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Mr. Pacal belongs to the Masonic fraternity, being affiliated with Wahoo Lodge, No. 99. He is also identified with the Knights of Pythias at Weston and with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Royal Neighbors of Weston. In politics he has ever been an earnest republican and on the occasion when he was a candidate for the office of county clerk he was defeated by only thirty-eight votes. For thirteen consecutive years he has served as town clerk of Weston and while he was serving as city clerk the town voted the city water bonds. He is also secretary of the board of education, which is now building a new schoolhouse in Weston at a cost of twenty thousand dollars. A musician of marked ability and talent, he organized the band at Weston and has also been the organizer of bands elsewhere. There are few phases of the public life of his community with which Mr. Pacal has not been identified and his interests and activities are always upon the side of progress and improvement. His position is never an equivocal one. He takes an active stand for what he believes to be for the best interests of the community and his labors have been far-reaching and beneficial.
J. F. LUBKER.
J. F. Lubker, who concentrates his energies upon the operation of his farm on sections 14 and 11, Cedar township, is a native of this county, his birth having occurred in Mariposa township on the 8th of August, 1877. His parents, Claus H. and Frauke (Odefy) Lubker, were born and reared in Schleswig-Holstein and there their marriage occurred. In 1869 they crossed the Atlantic to the United States and, continuing their journey westward, settled in Kankakee county, Illinois, whence in 1872 they came to Saunders county, Nebraska, The father purchased land in Mariposa township but did not confine his attention entirely to farming as he engaged in business in both
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Wahoo and Cedar Bluffs. While living in Germany he was a sailor. He is now residing with our subject and in the last four years has made three trips to Germany. He is a republican and for six years served efficiently as county commissioner. His wife passed away in 1910. To them were born eight children: Maggie, who is the wife of Marion Holcomb, of Excelsior Springs, Missouri; Katherine, who died in infancy; Katie, the wife of Hans Jurgens, who lives a mile north of our subject; Henry, deceased; Minnie, who married Detlef Bahde, a resident of South Dakota; J. F.; Anna, the wife of Peter Bahde, of Cedar Bluffs, this county; and Carl, principal of the school at Herrick, South Dakota.
J. F. Lubker received his education in the country schools of this county and the town schools of Cedar Bluffs and Wahoo. He remained at home with his parents until he was twenty-four years of age and then began farming on his own account. He was well qualified to begin his independent career as an agriculturist as for many years he had assisted in the work of the home farm. He has gained gratifying success in his chosen occupation and now owns one hundred and sixty acres of land on sections 14 and 11, Cedar township, and also owns an eighty-acre tract in Faulk county South Dakota. He is building up a herd of high grade shorthorn cattle and ranks among the leading stock breeders of the county.
In 1902 occurred the marriage of Mr. Lubker and Miss Alvina Daufelt and they have four children, Henry, John, Filda and Arthur. The republican party has in Mr. Lubker a stanch adherent and he takes a praiseworthy interest in all that affects the general welfare. For fourteen years he served as a member of the school board and made an excellent record in that capacity. He is a director of the Farmers Cooperative Association of Cedar Bluffs and president of the Farmers German Insurance Company. He attends and supports the German Lutheran church and in all relations of life conforms to high standards of conduct.
Herman Wolff, well known as a successful and popular restaurant proprietor of Ithaca, was born in Strasburg, Germany, on the 11th of June, 1874, a son of Herman and Caroline (Dickman) Wolff. He attended the public schools of the fatherland until thirteen years of age and in 1887 accompanied his parents on their emigration to the new world, the family coming direct to Nebraska and locating in Arlington, Washington county. Later in the same year they removed to Fort Calhoun and there Herman Wolff remained until 1909, when he came to Ithaca and here embarked in business as a barber. Subsequently he became the proprietor of the restaurant which he is now conducting a well patronized establishment which is noted for its excellent cuisine and service.
On the 18th of March, 1903, Mr. Wolff was united in marriage to Miss Hattie Nichols, a daughter of Fred and Mary (Fexter) Nichols, both of whom were born in Germany. The latter now makes her home at Fort Calhoun,
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Nebraska, while the mother of our subject is living in Omaha. To Mr. and Mrs. Wolff have been born three children, namely: Helen C., who is deceased; Herman, attending school in Ithaca; and Herbert, a little lad of four years.
Politically Mr. Wolff is a stalwart democrat, while his religious faith is that of the German Lutheran church. Fraternal relations have also widened his circle of friends and he is now past chancellor commander of the Knights of Pythias and holds a clerkship in the local organization of the Woodmen of the World. His life has been well spent, in harmony with his professions, and in every relation he has been honorable and upright, winning the warm regard of his fellow citizens.
FRANK C. NORRIS.
Frank C. Norris, of Richland precinct, who is meeting with gratifying success as a farmer, is a native of New York and was born on the 26th of February, 1854. His parents, George W. and Sarah (Glasier) Norris, were also natives of that state and at length removed to Montgomery county, Iowa, where the father's death occurred. The mother subsequently came to Nebraska, where her last days were spent, passing away in 1908, after surviving her husband for fourteen years. Both were buried in the cemetery at Red Oak, Iowa,
Frank C. Norris attended school in New York until he was twenty years of age, thus receiving a good education. He subsequently worked for his father for one year but when twenty-three years of age removed to Iowa, where he farmed rented land for three years. In 1881 he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and bought eighty acres of land, to which he has since added a similar tract, his present farm comprising a quarter section of excellent land on section 22, Richland precinct. He likewise holds title to one hundred and sixty acres in Antelope county, Nebraska, from which he derives a good addition to his income. He has made many improvements upon his home place and keeps everything in excellent condition.
Mr. Norris is a republican and has held all of the offices in his school district. He is at present serving as a member of the school board and in that capacity is constantly seeking to advance the interests of the school system. He is widely known and his many excellent traits have gained him the confidence and warm regard of those with whom he has been closely associated. The principles which guide his life are the teachings of the Pleasant Hill Methodist church, to which he belongs.
Mr. Norris was married on the 17th of February, 1882, to Miss Emma Ide, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Ide, who were then residents of this county. The father is now deceased and is buried in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but the mother is living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mr. and Mrs. Norris have become the parents of nine children: Charles, who married Rachel Boydston, by whom he has three children, Ralph, Paul and Frank; Walter, who married. Bessie Schultz and is engaged in farming, in Antelope county;
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Harold, who married Rose Schultz and is also farming in Antelope county; Mabel, the wife of Anton Nordstrom and the mother of two sons, Alvin and Wilmer; Robert, who married Lena Maynard and resides in Antelope county; and Elmer, Lilly, Edna and Florence, all at home.
A. J. OLSON.
A. J. Olson, who has lived in Saunders county for more than three decades, was formerly actively and successfully identified with agricultural pursuits here but since 1911 has conducted an up-to-date and well equipped garage at Ithaca in association with his brother. He was born in Skane, Sweden, on the 2d of July, 1863, and when a little lad of six years was brought to the United States by his parents, who established their home in Bureau county, Illinois. There he attended school and spent the period of his minority but in 188? came to Saunders county, Nebraska, here purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land two miles southwest of Ithaca. The operation of this property claimed his time and energies continuously until 1907 and his efforts were rewarded in bounteous crops annually, for he carried on his farming interests according to the most modern and practical methods of agriculture. After leaving the farm he took up his abode in Ithaca and in 1911 he and his brother built the garage which they have since conducted so successfully, being accorded a most gratifying patronage.
On the 30th of December, 1886, Mr. Olson was united in marriage to Miss Augusta Danielson, whose parents were natives of Sweden and emigrated to this country in the year 1868. Mr. Olson exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party, while in religious faith he is a Methodist. He is indeed worthy of the proud American title of a self-made man, starting out in business life empty handed and by dint of energy, industry and perseverance working his way steadily upward to a position among the substantial and representative citizens of his adopted county.
Matej Brabec, numbered among the substantial citizens of Saunders county, is a large landowner and a progressive farmer, residing on section 16, Center township. He was born in Moravia, Bohemia, on the 24th of February, 1856, a son of John and Francisca (Imbros) Brabec, both of whom were reared in that country, where they continued to live until 1880, when they became residents of the United States. They made their way westward to Saunders county, Nebraska, and located a mile and a half south of Weston, where the father purchased railroad land. This he improved and cultivated until his demise, which occurred in the fall of 1897. The mother died in 1904 and is buried in a cemetery three miles south of Weston. To them were born five children: John,
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who died on the home farm; Joseph and Josephine, both of whom are living in Moravia, Bohemia; Jennie, the wife of Frank Sibera, of Weston; and Matej.
The last named attended school in his native land and resided there for a number of years after attaining his majority. In 1880 he came with his parents to this country and at once began farming independently, cultivating land south of Weston, Nebraska, where he remained until 1904. He then removed to his present farm, which is located on section 16, Center township, and comprises one hundred and twenty acres of excellent land. He has erected nearly all of the buildings upon the place and keeps everything in good repair. He increases his efficiency as an agriculturist by using improved machinery and by following up-to-date methods and he manages well the business phase of farming. He has bought more land from time to time as his capital has increased and now owns in addition to his home farm eighty acres on section 21, and three one hundred and twenty acre tracts, all in Saunders county, which are farmed by three of his sons.
Mr. Brabec was married in David City, Nebraska, in June, 1880, to Miss Mari Divis, a native of Moravia, by whom he has eleven children: Mary, Anton, Joseph, Mike, Lewis, Theodore, Francisca, Karolina, Augusta, Stazie and Barbara.
Mr. Brabec casts his ballot in support of the candidates and measures of the republican party but has never sought official preferment. He and his family are communicants of the Roman Catholic church and in their daily lives are loyal to its teachings. During the thirty-five years that he has resided in this county Mr. Brabec has become well known, and his sterling worth is attested by the fact that his circle of friends is almost coextensive with that of his acquaintance.
Peter Wolfs, a retired farmer residing in Cedar Bluffs, has valuable land-holdings and is also vice president and the second largest stockholder in the Bank of Cedar Bluffs, which he aided in organizing. He was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, January 17, 1887, a son of Carl and Elsie (Baer) Wolfs, both of whom passed their entire lives in that country, where the father engaged in farming. They were the parents of six children, five daughters and one son, of whom only one daughter survives. All of the daughters remained in Germany.
Peter Wolfs attended school in Germany and after finishing his education engaged in cultivating a tract of land which he owned. He continued to live in that country until 1869, when he came to the United States and, making his way westward, preempted land on section 6, Cedar township, Saunders county, Nebraska. He erected a small shanty and was preparing to move into his new home when a severe wind and rain storm blew it to pieces, scattering its parts over the prairie. As soon as possible he rebuilt and continued to live in the shanty until he was able to erect a story and a half house eighteen by thirty-one feet in dimensions, which was at that time the largest building in
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the county. After taking up his residence upon his claim it was not long before he had the land broken, and as the years passed he further developed and improved the place. He now owns two hundred and seven and one-half acres of as fine land as there is in the county, all of which is under cultivation, and the buildings are all new. In addition to this valuable farm he owns fifty acres in Greene county, Missouri, and has an interest in a white pine lumber company in Oregon. He aided in organizing the Bank of Cedar Bluffs, of which he is the vice president and second largest stockholder, and thus he is connected in an important capacity with the financial development of the town. In 1887 he built the first house in what is now Cedar Bluffs and has since resided there, witnessing the entire growth and development of the town.
In 1860, in Germany, Mr. Wolfs was married to Miss Christine Anderson, also a native of that country. She passed away in 1904, leaving two children; Maggie, the widow of Karsten Lorenzen, of Cedar Bluffs; and Mary, the widow of S. W. Auten, also of Cedar Bluffs.
Mr. Wolfs is a stanch republican and does all in his power to secure the victory of that party at the polls. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church, of which he is a member and with which his wife was also affiliated. His has been a long and useful life, and he is justly esteemed and respected by all who have, been brought in contact with him.
Thomas Rochford, who owns an excellent farm in Cedar township, where he resides, and also a valuable tract of land in Mariposa township, is one of the substantial men of Saunders county. He was born in County Clare, Ireland, in 1842, of the marriage of John and Honora (Cloon) Rochford, who passed their entire lives in that county. They were the parents of six children:
Patrick, who is deceased; John, who is still living in Ireland; Thomas; Michael, also living in Ireland; Margaret, deceased; and Mary, a resident of New York.
Thomas Rochford grew to manhood in his native land and received his education in the public schools. When about nineteen years of age he emigrated to the United States and for some time lived in Washington, D. C., where he worked as a teamster. In 1867 he removed westward to Omaha, Nebraska, and not long afterward began working on the track of the Union Pacific Railroad. Subsequently he returned to Omaha and was employed in the Union Pacific shops, having charge of a number of men. In 1871 he came to Saunders county and took up a homestead on section 28, Mariposa township, which he at once began to improve and develop. He planted groves there and erected two sets of buildings, making that farm, which comprises four hundred acres, one of the most valuable places of the county. In the early '90s he left that farm and removed to section 31, Cedar township, owning at one time the entire section, although he has now given some of the land to his sons. He has made all of the improvements upon the place and has spared neither time nor expense
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in developing it. He carries on general farming and derives a handsome income from the sale of his grain and stock.
On July 22, 1866, Mr. Rochford was united in marriage to Miss Nora O'Donnell, by whom he has eight children: John, who is living in Buffalo county; Nora, at home; Michael, who is farming in this county; Ellen, the wife of Ed Ranslem, of Boone county, this state; Mary, the wife of A. J. Shannon, of Cedar Bluffs; Thomas, who is on his father's farm; Josephine, now Mrs. J. J. Mare, of Cedar township; and David, who is farming in this county.
Mr. Rochford is a stalwart democrat in politics and has served acceptably as a member of the school board. Both he and his wife are communicants of the Sand Creek Roman Catholic church and can always be counted upon to cast their influence on the side of righteousness and justice. They have resided in this county for over four decades and during that time have done their share in bringing about its development along both material and moral lines.
Among the highly esteemed residents of Cedar Bluffs is Charles Ranslem, a retired farmer, who was born near Berlin, Germany, January 20, 1839, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Ranslem, who in 1855 emigrated with their family to the United States. They at once made their way to the middle west and took up their residence in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where they lived until called by death.
Charles Ranslem, who is one of a family of eight children, attended school in Germany until about fifteen years of age, when he began working for others. He accompanied his parents on their removal to the United States and in 1870 left Wisconsin and came to Saunders county, Nebraska, homesteading land on section 26, Center township. His claim was virgin prairie, but as soon as possible he broke the sod and began to plant crops. He erected a small frame residence but all of the other buildings were of sod, the usual building material in those early pioneer days. As the years passed he brought his land to a high state of development and in time erected excellent buildings. He raised good crops and as he watched the market carefully seldom failed to secure a high price for his grain, thus gaining a good income. He added to his original holdings by purchase but has now given some of his land to his sons and sold eighty acres last year. He still owns, however, one hundred and sixty acres. For fifteen years he has lived retired in Cedar Bluffs and is enjoying a period of leisure earned by his former toil. During the early days of his residence in the county there were many inconveniences and hardships to be endured, and at one time he lost all of his crops through the ravages of grasshoppers. He broke his land with oxen and it was two years before he was able to buy horses. However, he persevered and in time overcame all obstacles and gained financial independence.
In 1862 Mr. Ranslem was married to Miss Augusta Martin, by whom he has had twelve children, namely: Charles F., a retired farmer living in Cedar
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Bluffs; Ferdinand, a hardware dealer of Scribner, Nebraska; Emil, who is farming in Cedar precinct; Frank, deceased; John, a resident of Dodge county, Nebraska; Albert, who is living in Albion, this state; Edward, also a resident of Albion; William, deceased; Emma, the wife of Louis Schriver, of Columbus, this state; Leonard, who is farming in this county; and two' who died in infancy.
Mr. Ranslem is independent in politics and is now serving ably as road supervisor. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he takes a commendable interest in the moral advancement of his community. Although he is now seventy-six years of age, he is still physically active and mentally alert, keeping in touch with the happenings of the day, and he enjoys the respect and the warm regard of those who have been associated with him.
James Hurst, who was for many years identified with agricultural interests in Cedar township, was a native of Ireland and his birth occurred about 1838. He continued to reside in his native land until he grew to maturity but in early manhood emigrated to the United States and made his way to the middle west. After working for some time on a steamboat out of St. Louis he went to Omaha, Nebraska, and there entered the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad. At length he was given charge of a section of track just west of Fremont and for about ten years held the position of section boss. During that time he preempted land on section 2, Cedar township, Saunders county, which he improved, erecting fine buildings and planting groves, and he always kept everything in excellent condition. After severing his connection with the railroad he devoted his entire time to agricultural pursuits and bought additional land, owning at the time of his death a half section. He was efficient in his work and managed his affairs well and it was but natural that he should accumulate a competence.
In 1868 occurred the marriage of Mr. Hurst and Miss Rebecca Fulton, who was born in Philadelphia but accompanied her parents on their removal to Illinois and later to Muscatine, Iowa. Following the demise of her father and mother in Muscatine she came to Nebraska with a family in a covered wagon. To Mr. and Mrs. Hurst were born eight children, namely: Edward, who is homesteading in North Dakota; James, who has taken up a homestead in Montana; Maria, the wife of Bert Sheets, who is living on a homestead in Andrews, Nebraska; Thomas, who operates part of the home place; Ellen, the widow of Gilbert Anton, of Cedar Bluffs; Henry, at home; Rebecca, who married Phineas Shollenkirk, of Peoria, Illinois; and William, at home.
Mr. Hurst cast his ballot in support of the candidates and measures of the democratic party but was never an office seeker. He was a communicant of the Catholic church and in his religious faith was found the motive force of his life. Although he passed away fifteen years ago, his demise occurring on the 19th of November, 1900, his memory is still cherished by those who knew
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him well as his salient characteristics were such as won the highest regard for him and truest friendship.
Mrs. Hurst still owns one hundred and twenty acres of the old homestead, which she rents to her son Thomas. She was reared in the Presbyterian church and is still a member of that organization. She can be counted upon to do all in her power to further the moral advancement of her community and is highly respected by all with whom she has been brought in contact.
GEORGE A. WILL.
George A. Will was formerly actively engaged in farming on section 10, Green township, but is now living retired, enjoying a well earned period of leisure. He is entitled to honor as a veteran of the Civil war, having served in that conflict for three years. His birth occurred in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, on the 9th of December, 1842, and his parents were Hiram and Keziah (Meese) Will, who spent their last years in Dixon, Illinois, and are buried there. The father was a farmer by occupation.
George A. Will attended the common schools of Pennsylvania until he was sixteen years of age and then began working with his father in a sawmill conducted by the latter. Three years later, when nineteen years of age, he enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty-second Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and he saw a great deal of active service, remaining at the front until June, 1865, when he was mustered out at Washington, D. C. During the battle of Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania, he was wounded in the ankle and was confined in a hospital for about six months. Following the close of hostilities he went to Illinois, where he engaged in farming until the spring of 1871, at which time he came to Saunders county, Nebraska. He homesteaded eighty acres, to which he subsequently added a similar tract by buying railroad land and for forty-six years he concentrated his energies upon the operation of his farm, being assisted by his sons when they became old enough. As the years passed his capital increased and in 1907, feeling that he had accumulated a competence, he retired from active, life.
On the 1st of July, 1869, at El Paso, Illinois, occurred the marriage of Mr. Will and Miss Frances Kurr, a daughter of William Kurr, of Dixon. To their union were born four children, three of whom are living, namely: Charles Herbert, who married Edith O'Kane, by whom he has a daughter, Crystal; Hiram Hillray, a resident of North Dakota, who wedded Dora Phalen; and Lola May, at home. Ada, the third in order of birth, is deceased and is buried at Cedar Hill cemetery in Lancaster county, Nebraska. The wife and mother passed away on the 11th of October, 1912, and is also buried there.
Mr. Will is independent in politics, believing that the qualifications of a candidate for the office in question are of greater importance than his political affiliation. For a number of years he served as moderator in his school district and seeks to advance the interests of the public schools. He is identified with the Evangelical church, and through his membership in the Bob McCook Post, G. A. R., at Ashland he keeps in touch with his comrades of the Civil war.
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When he came to this county he found much of the land still in its virgin state and before he could plant crops on his farm it was necessary to break the prairie. The extent to which pioneer conditions prevailed is also indicated by the fact that for three years he resided in a sod house, after which he erected a frame residence. The prosperity which he has gained is the result solely of his own hard work and good management and none grudges him the leisure which he is now enjoying.
W. G. PUTNEY.
For ten years W. G. Putney has been superintendent of the schools of Weston, which under his direction, have made a rapid and substantial advance. His life history sets at naught the old adage that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, for Mr. Putney is a native son of Saunders county, where he has won distinction as an able educator. His birth occurred June 14, 1870, upon a farm near Ithaca, which was the homestead property of his parents, George J. and Elvira (Griffey) Putney, mention of whom is made elsewhere in this work.
His youthful days were spent upon his father's farm and he began his education in one of the primitive pioneer schools. The little building was not plastered and the pupils had to sit on rough board seats. He started to school when but four years of age and his mother, who taught for one term, was his teacher. He afterward went to school for three months in the summer time until nine years of age and later had the privilege of attending school in the winter seasons for three years. He was then old enough to work and left school in the spring term, studying only through the cold winter months until he entered the high school of Wahoo in 1885, from which he was graduated four years later. Immediately afterward he took up the profession of teaching, which he followed for two years and at the end of that period entered Elliott's Business College of Burlington, Iowa, When he had completed his course there he taught in the college for over a year and since that time he has at different periods attended Fremont College, continually broadening his education in that way and also by private reading and study, eventually securing a life certificate upon passing the required examination. For a number of years he continued in both teaching and farming, his father owning the tract of land of which he had charge, being the only son. He gave up farm work, however, when in 1906 he came to Weston to accept the position as superintendent of the schools at this place. He has since occupied that position of responsibility and under his guidance the schools have made rapid progress. The school system of Weston had no standing at the time he took charge of the high school and is today on the credit list of the university. He bent every energy toward improving conditions in the schools and uplifting the standard of instruction and his efforts have been most effective and beneficial.
On the 8th of March, 1893, Mr. Putney was married to Miss Myrtella Bellows, the wedding being celebrated in Perkins county, Nebraska. Mrs. Putney, however, is a native of Wyoming county. New York, and by her mar-
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riage has become the mother of a daughter, Vera, who was born in this county December 27, 1895, and is a graduate of the Weston high school with the class of 1918. She is now taking special vocal training at Wahoo. Mrs. Putney is a graduate of the Kansas Conservatory of Music at Leavenworth and is a successful teacher of music. She holds membership in the Presbyterian church but both Professor and Mrs. Putney attend the Methodist Episcopal church of Weston.
He has membership relations with the Wahoo lodge, A. F. & A. M.; also the Royal Arch chapter at Wahoo; Mount Tabor Commandery, K. T., at Fremont, Nebraska; and Sesostris Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Lincoln. He is likewise a member of Wahoo Lodge, No. 99, K. P., in which he has passed through all of the chairs, and Ithaca Lodge, No. 317, A. 0. U. W., in which he has filled all of the offices, and both he and his wife are connected with the Eastern Star chapter at Wahoo. They are most highly esteemed and occupy leading positions in those circles where true worth and intelligence are received as the passports into good society. Professor Putney's labors have been a most effective force in raising educational standards and at all times in his teaching he has held with Kant that "the object of instruction is to train each individual to reach the highest perfection possible for him."
Thomas Lorenzen owns six hundred and eighty-five acres of fertile land and formerly engaged in farming on an extensive scale but is now living retired in Cedar precinct. He was born in Schleswig-Holstein, on the 5th of February, 1843, and is a son of Andrea and Christina (Karstensen) Lorenzen, both of whom were born in 1820 of Danish ancestry. They resided in Schleswig-Holstein until 1865, when they emigrated to the United States, settling in Davenport, Iowa, whence they removed to Omaha three years later. Not long afterward the father homesteaded land on section 6, Cedar township, Saunders county. From that time until his demise in 1895 he devoted his energies to the operation of his farm. His wife survived until 1914 and reached the venerable age of ninety-six years. They were the parents of two sons, of whom our subject is the older. His brother Carsten passed away in 1898.
Thomas Lorenzen received the greater part of his education in the public schools of his native land but after accompanying his parents to the United States he attended school in Davenport, Iowa, for a time. In 1876 he began his independent career and for a number of years followed the carpenter's trade, which he had learned in Germany. After residing in Iowa for some years he removed to Saunders county, Nebraska, and homesteaded land, which he placed under cultivation and on which he erected a good frame house. Subsequently he sold that place for ten dollars per acre. He bought his present home farm for eight dollars per acre and from time to time has added to his holdings until he now owns six hundred and eighty-five acres of fine land. He has carefully conserved the fertility of the soil, has used progressive methods and up-to-date machinery in carrying on the work of the farm and has man-
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aged well the business phase of agriculture and it is but natural that he should have gained a gratifying success. The buildings upon the farm are commodious and substantial and everything is kept in excellent condition. In addition to growing grain he has given considerable attention to the raising of stock and still owns some full blooded shorthorn cattle. About 1910 he retired from active life and is living in Cedar precinct. He has served as treasurer of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company for twenty-five years and has been president of the Farmers Elevator Company for a similar period.
In 1876 occurred the marriage of Mr. Lorenzen and Miss Christina Kiesby, who was also born in Schleswig-Holstein and came to the United States in 1871. They have become the parents of four children: Andrew, who resides on the farm belonging to our subject on section 17, Cedar precinct; Mary, the wife of W. F. Thomsen, who is farming on section 8, Cedar precinct; Arthur, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits on section 17, Pohocco precinct; and Dora, at home.
Mr. Lorenzen has cast his ballot in support of the republican party since becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States and has taken a commendable interest in public affairs. He has served as school treasurer and for fifteen years was on the election board, his long service in that capacity proving his capability. When he came to this country he had a very small capital which he had saved from his wages as a carpenter, and for a number of years it was necessary for him to practice the strictest economy. Not only was he without ready money, but prices for farm produce were very low, hogs bringing but a dollar and a half per hundred pounds at Fremont, and there was considerable expense connected with the development of a tract of raw prairie into a farm. As the years passed, however, his industry and good management were rewarded and he is now independent financially.
SAMUEL SHEFFIELD FALES.
Death has called Samuel Sheffield Fales but memory keeps him near to the hearts of those with whom he was closely associated — his family and the many friends whom he left behind. He was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, in March, 1833, a son of Lemuel and Hannah (Vaughn) Fales, who were natives of Rhode Island, in which state the father devoted his entire life to general agricultural pursuits. Both he and his wife have since passed away.
Samuel Sheffield Fales was reared and educated in his native state, continuing with his parents until he attained his majority, while his education was acquired in the public schools. He learned the shipbuilder's trade at Warren, Rhode Island, and followed that pursuit for several years. He afterward engaged in the patternmaking business, making patterns of models for patents, that occupation claiming his attention until he left New England for the middle west. Iowa was still in the period of its early development when he took up his abode in that state, settling in Clinton, where he carried on the paint business for a time. He then returned to Rhode Island, where he remained until 1875, when he came to Nebraska, establishing his home in
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Ashland, where he opened a general store in partnership with his brother. That connection was continued until 1889, during which period they enjoyed a good trade. In the year mentioned, however, Mr. Fales retired from active business but continued to make his home in Ashland until he was called to his final rest on the 5th of February, 1912, when he had reached the age of seventy-eight years and eleven months.
Mr. Fales left a widow and daughter to mourn his loss. In April, 1874, he had wedded Miss Phoebe Bennett, a daughter of Edward and Pamelia (Coleman) Bennett, who were natives of Massachusetts and representatives of old New England families. The father was a contractor and builder and continued at that business throughout his entire life in Massachusetts. There he passed away in May, 1883, having survived his wife about three months, as she died in February of the same year. Mrs. Fales' maternal grandmother, Deborah Coleman, spent her entire life on the island of Nantucket and died at the age of eighty-four years. Mr. and Mrs. Fales had one daughter, Carrie B., now the wife of F. E. Ledwith, who is farming on one of the Fales farms. Mrs. Ledwith was born in July, 1881, and has become the mother of two children: Frances E., born in November, 1906; and Marion F., born in June, 1910."
Mr. Fales was a Royal Arch Mason, having joined the order in Warren, Rhode Island, and both he and his wife held membership in the Order of the Eastern Star. She was the third grand matron of the order in the state of Nebraska, serving in that capacity during the years 1878 and 1879. Mr. Fales' political views were in accord with the principles of democracy and his religious faith was that of the Episcopal church, of which he was a loyal adherent. His was a well spent life, fraught with many good deeds and characterized by honorable purpose, and those who knew him recognized in him a man of sterling worth. He was kind and strong, generous in spirit and in act, true in word and in deed, and thus it is that his memory is tenderly cherished by all who knew him, while his life history serves as an example that may well be followed.
JOHN STEPHEN PACAL.
John Stephen Pacal, a worthy native son and representative business man of Weston, has here successfully conducted a drug store for the past five years, being associated with his brother, Ferdinand Pacal, in this connection. His birth occurred on the 26th of December, 1888, his parents being John and Josephine (Horkey) Pacal, of whom more extended mention is made on another page of this work in connection-with the sketch of Ferdinand Pacal, brother of our subject.
John Stephen Pacal acquired his education in the public schools of his native town, completing the high-school course by graduation with the class of 1902. He then followed the profession of teaching for three terms in District No. 76, Chapman precinct, and subsequently entered railway employ as timekeeper, in which capacity he continued for two and one-half years. In
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the fall of 1908 he entered the Creighton College of Pharmacy at Omaha and following his graduation therefrom in 1909 worked for Frank A. Johnson, of Valparaiso, Nebraska, until 1910. On the 7th of February of that year, in association with his brother Ferdinand, he purchased the drug establishment of Dr. J. W. Gorder and has conducted the same continuously and successfully since, owning a half interest therein. The brothers carry a complete line of drugs and druggists' sundries and are accorded an extensive and gratifying patronage in recognition of their reliable, enterprising and progressive business methods.
Mr. Pacal was formerly a progressive republican in politics but now casts an independent ballot, supporting men and measures rather than party. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Pythias, belonging to St. George Lodge No. 95 at Weston. He is widely and favorably known throughout his home community and enjoys an enviable reputation as a substantial business man and esteemed citizen.
Erik Olsen, one of the leading citizens of Cedar township, came to this country from Denmark as a poor young man, but he possessed assets more valuable than capital, having a strong determination to succeed, business ability and untiring industry. He readily recognized the opportunities that presented themselves and was prompt in their utilization, with the result that as the years passed he gained a place among the substantial men of Saunders county. He is now living retired in his beautiful home in Cedar township, which is conceded to be the best farm residence in the county, and he is enjoying a period of richly deserved leisure. He has not only gained marked individual success but his life has also been a factor in the development of his community as he has always displayed remarkable public spirit.
Mr. Olsen was born on the Island Ferno, Denmark, November 11, 1816, a son of Mat Olsen, who was a farmer and also a contractor for the government, supplying nearly all of the horses used in the army. Our subject attended school every second day, the alternate days being devoted to work on his father's farm and to learning the cabinetmaker's trade. After serving his apprenticeship and becoming a master workman he decided to emigrate to America and when nineteen years of age he came to this country, settling in New York city, where he worked at cabinet making for two years. In 1868 he made his way westward to Omaha, Nebraska, where he was similarly employed for two years. While there he was foreman on the construction of the Paxton building and discharged his responsible duties with credit to himself and satisfaction to his employers.
During this time, in the spring of 1869, he walked from North Bend to Lincoln and on the trip saw only two houses — one a log house on Wahoo creek and one about eight miles from Lincoln. He took up a homestead of eighty acres in Cedar township, Saunders county, and at length he located thereon, turning his attention to agricultural pursuits. His first home, which was a