Saunders County NEGenWeb Project
Past and Present of Saunders County Nebraska, 1915, Volume II


building twelve by sixteen feet, was burned not long after his removal to the farm, and he then built what was at that time considered a very large frame house at a cost of one thousand dollars. Through careful management and hard work he was just getting a good start when in 1874 his entire crop was destroyed by grasshoppers and he had to begin over again. He was not discouraged, however, and persevered in his efforts to win success and in time retrieved all that he had lost and gained much more. He is now one of the extensive landowners of the county, owning seven hundred and fifty-one acres of as fine land as there is in this section of the state, all of which is highly improved. His residence, which he erected twenty years ago, is still the finest, if not the largest, country home in the county, containing seventeen rooms. He spared neither thought nor expense in making it both beautiful and convenient, and the interior is decorated with fine frescoes in oil. The barns and outbuildings are also built of excellent material, are well designed and commodious, and he has a large cedar grove that will supply the farm with posts indefinitely. He set out the grove himself and the care which he takes in everything that he does is indicated by the fact that the alignment of the trees is perfect. He also has an orchard of over seven hundred apple and plum trees and the most beautiful cedar hedge in the county, there being fifteen hundred cedar trees, twenty years old, upon the place, which is probably the largest cedar grove in the state. He carried on general farming, finding that more profitable. than specializing in the raising of either grain or stock. He was at once practical and progressive in his methods, used the latest machinery and in the conduct of the business of farming displayed unusual astuteness and soundness of judgment. In addition to his valuable farm holding's he has other extensive interests, including the ownership of the Cedar Bluffs Opera House, of which he also serves as manager. He also owns lots in that and other towns and has over two thousand acres of land in various parts of the United States.

   In 1874 Mr. Olsen was married to Miss Anna Nelson, a native of Sweden, by whom he has had six children, five still living: Albert; Jennie, the wife of Charles Williams; Emil; Charles; and Teckla.

   Mr. Olsen is very much interested in everything relating to the general welfare but has never been an office seeker. He has always been willing to give of his time and thought as well as of his means to the carrying out of projects for the public advancement and has done a great deal for the upbuilding of his community. He is a consistent member of the German Lutheran church and his integrity is above question. He is known and respected throughout the entire county.


   Hon. A. Z. Donato, county judge of Saunders county and one of the most prominent of the younger representatives of the Nebraska bar, was born at New Prague, Minnesota, November 20, 1879. His parents, A. Z. and Matilda (Skalicky) Donato, are both natives of Bohemia. In 1886 they settled in Col-


fax county and they are now living with their son in Wahoo. The father has reached the age of seventy-five years, his birth having occurred in 1840. He has a military record of which he is justly proud, having served under the great Italian general Garibaldi, remaining with the army until he was incapacitated by losing a leg at Magenta in 1859. He graduated from the Austrian Military School and was thus excellently trained for military service.

   Hon. A. Z. Donato has been actively identified with the bar since 1912, when he was graduated from the University of Nebraska. After attending the high school at Schuyler he had taught school for ten years, eight years of which had been spent in Saunders county as principal of the school at Prague. Following his graduation from the State University he came the next day to Wahoo and entered upon the active practice of law, in which he continued with success until his elevation to the bench. He was elected county judge in November, 1914, and is now filling that position of responsibility, his decisions being strong and masterful, representing an intimate and comprehensive knowledge of the law with ability to correctly apply its principles.

   On the 20th of August, 1905, in Crete, Nebraska, Mr. Donato was united in marriage to Miss Milada Mares and they have become the parents of a son, Anthony Z., who was born March 8, 1909. In his political views Judge Donato has always been a democrat but never an office seeker and the only political position he has occupied is the one that he is now filling. He is prominently known in fraternal circles, being a Master Mason and a member of the Eastern Star. He also holds membership with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Woodmen of the World and the Z. C. B. J. (Western Bohemian Fraternal Association). He attends the Presbyterian church and in its teachings finds the motive power that guides him in all of the relations of public and private life.


   Frank M. Stocking, who is devoting his energies to the operation of his excellent farm in Stocking township, is a native of Saunders county, his birth having occurred in Wahoo on the 26th of March, 1876. He is a son of G. H. Stocking, of Hepler, Kansas, and a grandson of Moses Stocking, one of the pioneers of Nebraska, having settled in this state in 1856. For a number of years he resided on Seven Mile creek in Cass county, but in 1865 he took up land on what is now section 10, Stocking township, Saunders county, his farm being situated near the present site of Wahoo. He owned four thousand sheep, which he and his son William herded on the open prairies in the vicinity of his home, and was one of the most prominent early residents of the county.

   Frank M. Stocking attended school in Wahoo until he completed the work of the ninth grade and subsequently took a year's business course in a commercial college at Lincoln. After finishing his education he went to his father's cattle ranch in Cheyenne county, this state, where he spent some time, after which he located on his present farm on section 14, Stocking township, where he has since resided. The place comprises two hundred and seventy-nine acres


of fertile land, all of which is in a high state of cultivation, and he seldom fails to harvest large crops. He also raises stock to some extent and derives a good income from both branches of his business. He uses the latest machinery and up-to-date methods in his work and also watches the market carefully, thus being able to sell at an. advantage.

   In October, 1896, Mr. Stocking was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Eberhardt, by whom he has three daughters: Delia and Annette, both of whom will graduate from the high school at Wahoo in 1916; and Inez, who will complete the course in the country schools in that year.

   Mr. Stocking is independent politically, voting for the best man irrespective of his political allegiance. He has been called to public office, having served as assessor and having been a member of the school board for twelve years. He has depended solely upon his own efforts for success, and the prosperity which is now his is proof of his enterprise and good judgment. Practically his entire life has been passed in this county and he has thoroughly identified his interests with those of his community, being at all times ready to aid in promoting the general welfare.


   Glenn Howard is the owner of a thoroughly modern printing plant at Ashland, where he is engaged in the publication of the Ashland Gazette as well as in the conduct of a large and growing job printing business. A native of Minnesota, he was born at Pine Island, February 8, 1870, a son of Harry G. and Mary A. (Potter) Howard; The father was born at Columbus, Pennsylvania, April 11, 1831, and the mother at Mauston, Wisconsin. In the year 1853 the father removed to Sauk county, Wisconsin, where he engaged in farming until January 15, 1864, when in response to the country's continued need for soldiers at the front be enlisted as a member of Company A, Nineteenth Wisconsin Infantry, and served until, 1865. From that year until 1872 he operated a farm in Goodhue county, Minnesota, his place being situated in Pine Island township. In October, 1872, he removed to Fairview, near Marshall, Lvon county, Minnesota, and there secured a homestead, after which he sold his Goodhue county farm in the spring of 1873 and removed to the homestead property in Lyon county. His attention and efforts were then concentrated upon the development, cultivation and improvement of his land, which he continued to operate throughout his remaining days. He passed away January 28, 1890, having for a long period survived his wife, who was called by death in December, 1873.

   Glenn Howard was reared and educated at Marshall, Minnesota, and remained with his father until the latter's death. He then went to Canby, Minnesota, where he learned the printer's trade under the direction of his brother, working there for about three years. In 1892 he purchased a newspaper plant at Alden, which he operated for seventeen years, when he sold out and removed to Hooper, Nebraska. There he purchased a newspaper which he published for four years or until November, 1913, when he went


upon the road for the Western Newspaper Union, which he represented until June, 1914. At that date he came to Ashland and purchased the Ashland Gazette and office. He has since greatly improved the plant, installing a new linotype machine, and he has a thoroughly modern printing office equipped with everything necessary for the conduct of a business of this character. The paper now has a circulation of seventeen hundred and fifty and in addition to its publication Mr. Howard conducts a large and profitable general job printing business.

   On the 5th of October, 1892, Mr. Howard was united in marriage to Miss Minnie S. Hulbert, her parents being George D. and Lestina (Briggs) Hulbert, the former born in Pennsylvania, August 12, 1839, and the latter in Ohio, May 22, 1852. George D. Hulbert is a railroad man who has spent the greater part of his life at Wells, Minnesota, but is at present living retired on his farm near Meadow, South Dakota. His wife also survives. Mr. and Mrs. Howard are the parents of four children, as follows: Harold A., who was born December 9, 1894, and is now a student in the Lincoln Dental College of the University of Nebraska; Genevieve L., who was born February 3, 1897, and attends the University of Nebraska and the University School of Music at Lincoln; Sylvia M., who was born April 25, 1905, and is a public-school student; and Dorothy, whose birth occurred March 13, 1908, and who is also attending school.

   Mr. Howard has always taken a deep and helpful interest in public affairs in the various communities in which he has lived. At Alden, Minnesota, he served for five years as president of the council and was also a member of the school board. He was secretary of the Dodge County Fair Association at Hooper, Nebraska, and for one year acted as president of the Commercial Club. He is a member of the Masonic order, the Knights of Pythias lodge, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Eastern Star and is loyal to the teachings of these different societies. Politically he is independent, voting according to the dictates of his judgment without regard to party ties. In religious faith he is a Congregationalist and has served as superintendent of the Sunday school. He manifests a deep and abiding interest in the work of the church and does everything in his power to further its welfare. Those who know him, and he has a wide acquaintance, entertain for him warm regard because he is ever a courteous, genial gentleman, an enterprising and reliable business man and a progressive citizen whose defense and support of public affairs of importance on many occasions take most tangible shape.


   Frank Ficenec, an up-to-date and prosperous farmer residing on section 25, Elk precinct, was born in Bohemia on the 24th of December, 1865, a son of George and Barbara Ficenec, who in the spring of 1867 brought their family to the United States. They first settled in Iowa, where the father worked as a farm hand for about five years, after which the family drove from that state to Saunders county, Nebraska. The father homesteaded eighty acres on what


is now section 26, Elk precinct, and subsequently purchased an additional one hundred and sixty acres, for which he paid four dollars an acre. He devoted his time to general farming until 1895, when he retired, having accumulated a competence, and took up his residence in Weston, where he lived until his demise on Christmas Day, 1901. His wife, who is still living, makes her home with a daughter.

   Frank Ficenec was educated in Elk precinct and during his boyhood and youth gained valuable training in farm work through assisting his father. Later he began farming on his own account and in 1897 he went to Oklahoma, where he leased school land which he farmed for about six years. At the end of that time he returned to this county and took up his residence on his present place on section 25, Elk township. He is industrious and efficient and derives a good income from his land. In addition to growing the usual grain he raises a good grade of hogs, cattle and horses, finding this branch of his business particularly profitable.

   On the 30th of January, 1887, Mr. Ficenec was married to Miss Mary Kaspar, a daughter of Joseph and Mary Kaspar. They have no children of their own but are raising two of his brother's daughters, Emma and Agnes Ficenec.

   Mr. Ficenec is a democrat but has never taken an active part in politics, although not remiss in any of the duties of a good citizen. His fraternal affiliation is with the Modern Woodmen and his religious faith is that of the Catholic church. He has thoroughly identified his interests with those of his community, and his public spirit and his unquestioned integrity have gained him the respect of his fellow citizens.


   John Killian, who is recognized as a leader in the commercial growth and expansion of Cedar Bluffs, has resided in Saunders county the greater part of his life, although he was born in Bohemia, Austria, his birth occurring on the 20th of June, 1857. He is a son of Thomas and Katharine (Mares) Killian, likewise natives of that country, where they lived until 1866, when they came to the United States and made their way to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Two years later they came to Saunders county, Nebraska, where the father homesteaded eighty acres of land. He passed away in this county in 1886 but was survived for three years by his wife. Of their children Thomas is a very successful merchant living in Wahoo. Albert, Edward and Amiel are all successfully engaged in business on their own account.

   John Killian attended the common schools of Bohemia and of the United States but as his early opportunities for schooling were somewhat limited he is largely a self-educated as well as self-made man. He remained under the parental roof until twenty-one years of age but on the 16th of August, 1878, began clerking at Schuyler, Nebraska, continuing in that capacity for two years, thus gaining a valuable knowledge of the methods and principles of merchandising. At the end of that time he went to North Bend, Nebraska,


where he held a similar position for two years, after which he purchased a half interest in the store in which he had been employed, which was conducted under the name of A. Peller & Company. After Mr. Killian was taken into partnership the firm style was changed to Peller & Killian and for two years the business was conducted under that name. At the end of that time Mr. Killian sold his interest in the store and became a partner of his brother Thomas, who was engaged in merchandising in Wahoo. For twenty-six years that connection was maintained and in 1886 the firm of Killian Brothers established a general store at Cedar Bluffs. At length our subject sold his interest in the business at Wahoo and became the sole owner of the store at Cedar Bluffs. He erected a fine building, which is well appointed throughout, and in the conduct of his business he was thoroughly up-to-date, keeping goods of the latest design as well as of high quality and seeking always to improve the service rendered his customers. He is also interested in a store at Kearney and as his affairs are well managed gains a good profit annually and has become one of the substantial men of his town. His residence, is not only the largest but also the most beautiful home in Cedar Bluffs and it is equipped with all modern conveniences.

   Mr. Killian was married in 1878 to Miss Mary Hajek, who passed away in 1887 and was buried at Wahoo. She was the mother of four children: Victoria, who is employed in the mail order department of the Killian Brothers store at Cedar Rapids, Iowa; James, who is treasurer of the Cedar Rapids store and is also interested in a store at Norfolk, Nebraska, owned by A. L. Killian & Company; Anna, the wife of George Lamonthe, residing near Cedar Bluffs; and Louis, who now owns the store in Cedar Bluffs. In November, 1888, our subject was again married. Miss Oilie Brokaw becoming his wife. She passed away eighteen years later and was buried at Cedar Bluffs, In November, 1908, Mr. Killian was united in marriage to Miss Clara Block.

   Mr. Killian casts his ballot in support of the candidates and measures of the republican party but has never taken an active part in politics, his private affairs requiring his undivided time and attention. He was reared in the Catholic faith but is now identified with the Presbyterian church, to which his family also belong. He has won respect and esteem not only because he has gained an unusual measure of success in business but also because in all of his transactions he has conformed to high standards of morality, never taking advantage of the weakness of another. His success is due entirely to his good judgment, foresight and determination and to that straightforward policy which has gained him the entire confidence of the community.


   At the time of his death in 1902 Nels H. Nelson had gained a place among the well-to-do and progressive agriculturists of Rock Creek precinct and had brought his homestead, Orchard Hill Farm, on section 11, to a high state of development. He was a public-spirited citizen and a man of many admirable qualities, and his demise was recognized as a loss to his community as well as


Nels H. Nelson and Family


The Nelson Residence


to his family and personal friends. He was born in Sweden on the 12th of August, 1847, and remained in that country until he reached the age of seventeen, when he accompanied his parents, Nels and Hannah (Hanson) Pierson, on their emigration to the United States. The family, which included five other children, three sons and two daughters, first located at Moline, Illinois, whence they removed to Princeton, that state, where both parents died.

   Mr. Nelson was employed in a fanning-mill shop at Moline, Illinois, and after removing to Princeton engaged in the livery business and also conducted a bus line in partnership with Claus Anderson. The business proved very profitable but at length, desiring to remove farther west, Mr. Nelson sold his interest to his partner. In February, 1881, he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and located on one hundred and sixty acres on section 11, Rock Creek precinct. He had saved about eleven hundred dollars and used the greater part of this capital in paying for his land, which cost six dollars per acre. He at once began the improvement of his farm, which he named Orchard Hill Farm, and as the years passed he brought it to a higher and higher state of development. He devoted the greater part of his time to agricultural pursuits and his labors returned to him a good income. He bought additional land from time to time and owned four hundred and eighty acres in Rock Creek precinct at the time of his death.

   Mr. Nelson was married in Princeton, Illinois, on the 22d of October, 1878, to Miss Matilda Swedenborg, who was born in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, on the 15th of November, 1856. Her parents, Magnus and Margaret (John-son) Swedenborg, were natives of Sweden but were married in Indiana. To Mr. and Mrs. Nelson were born nine children. Hattie M., whose birth occurred on the 30th of April, 1880, was married on the 14th of March, 1906, to J. T. Madigan, who resides near Weston. They have a daughter, Lois. Henry B., born July 27, 1881, is a traveling salesman for a hardware house. Hannah C., whose birth occurred on the 22d of June, 1884, was married on the 25th of March, 1908, to Matthew Carlisle, of Wahoo, by whom she has three children, Gertrude, Dorothy and Janet. Walter M., born August 5, 1886, died on the 7th of June, 1895. Irven P., born on the 23d of September, 1888, is operating the home farm in connection with his mother. Edna M., born July 6, 1891, was married on the 14th of April, 1915, to Ferd Tornblom and they reside in Wahoo. Nels Oliver was born March 10, 1894. Anna R., whose natal day was February 16, 1895, passed away on the 2d of September of that year. Darling, the youngest of the family, was born on the 13th of July, 1896, and died on the 11th of the following month.

   Mr. Nelson supported the candidates and measures of the democratic party at the polls but never cared to take an active part in politics. He was one of the best known men in Saunders county and was held in the highest esteem by all who came in contact with him in any relation of life. He gained success by hard work and good management and was recognized as one of the leading farmers of his township. He not only won a gratifying measure of prosperity but also left to his children the heritage of an honored name.

   Mrs. Nelson has continued to reside upon Orchard Hill Farm, which she has still further improved, erecting a horse barn, a cow barn, a milk house and a garage. She has also remodeled the house, making it as modern as any


city residence, for she has installed an acetylene lighting plant, a furnace and a bath, and in addition to making all of these improvements she has paid off all of the indebtedness against the estate. With the assistance of her three sons, Henry, Irven and Oliver, she operates not only Orchard Hill Farm but also the other farms belonging to the estate and has manifested a high order of business ability and a thorough knowledge of farming. For a third of a century the Nelson home has been noted for its hospitality and strangers passing through the country have always found there a welcome and lodging. For twenty years neighborhood school teachers boarded there, and there is no family which is held in higher esteem than the Nelsons.


   George Jewett Putney was one of the honored pioneer settlers of Saunders county, arriving the year in which the county was organized, and as time passed on he aided largely in the development and upbuilding of the district, promoting its educational and moral as well as material interests. He was very prominent in the community and ranked with the leading farmers and stock-raisers, conducting business interests of large extent and importance. Mr. Putney was a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred at Conneaut, November 5, 1844, his parents being George W. and Polly (Bellows) Putney. The father was born in Canada, March 1, 1798, and the paternal grandfather, George Jewett Putney, was also probably a native of that country, but the mother was born in Pomfret, New York.

   The subject of this review spent his boyhood upon the home farm and acquired a public-school education. He was not yet seventeen years of age when on the 16th of September, 1861, he enlisted for service in the Civil war, joining Company E, Twenty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for three years. On the 18th of October, 1864, he reenlisted, becoming a private of the One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania Infantry, in which he was advanced from the ranks to the position of corporal. With that command he continued until the close of hostilities, being honorably discharged July 6, 1865. He was twice slightly wounded and for some time was ill in a hospital.

   When the country no longer needed his military aid Mr. Putney returned to his home, there remaining until his marriage in 1867. Not long afterward he came to Nebraska and took up a homestead in Green precinct, on section 4, township 18, range 8, in Saunders county. He returned to his old home in the east for the winter but in the spring of 1868 brought his wife to Nebraska and settled upon his homestead farm of eighty-five acres. With characteristic energy he devoted his time and attention to the cultivation, development and improvement of that place and success attended his efforts as the years went by. Eventually he purchased railroad land, becoming the owner of five hundred and thirty acres southeast of Wahoo. He was one of the first men to introduce thoroughbred cattle in that county and in a few years was the owner of the finest herd of shorthorns ever raised in Saunders county. By the introduction of the shorthorn blood much improvement of the cattle in this county


was brought about. His neighbors and friends improved their stock of cattle by purchasing thoroughbred sires from Mr. Putney's fine herd. He successfully managed and improved his farm until the spring of 1906, when he sold out and came to Wahoo, where he lived retired. His business affairs were ever carefully conducted and his unfaltering industry and perseverance constituted the substantial foundation on which he built his success.

   On the 27th of June, 1867, Mr. Putney was united in marriage to Miss Elvira M. Griffey, who was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of William M. and Maria (Sartwell) Griffey. Her father was also a native of Erie county, Pennsylvania, and a son of George Griffey, who was of Welsh descent, while his wife was of German extraction. The family was founded in Erie county during the pioneer epoch in its development, the journey thither being made on horseback. William M. Griffey spent his entire life in Pennsylvania and in his later years turned his farm over to the care and management of his sons. His wife died when her daughter, Mrs. Putney, was but three weeks old. Her girlhood days were spent in Pennsylvania, where she remained until her marriage, and in the year 1868 she accompanied her husband to Nebraska, becoming one of the pioneer women of Saunders county. They experienced the hardships and privations of frontier life but lived to see these supplanted by the comforts and conveniences of modern civilization. To them were born two children: Myrtie M., the widow of O. M. Tharp, of Wahoo; and William G., who is principal of the schools of Weston.

   In his political views Mr. Putney was a republican but was somewhat liberal, not feeling himself bound by party ties. He belonged to John A. Andrews Post, No. 90, G. A. R., and thus maintained pleasant relations with his old army comrades, with whom he enjoyed recalling the events and scenes of war times. He died January 5, 1914, and in his demise the county lost one of its most valued, representative and worthy citizens. While he had been actively and successfully engaged in farming and stock-raising for many years and through the careful management of his business gained prosperity, he never allowed business affairs to usurp all of his time and attention but took an active part in shaping the development and growth of the district in which he lived. He helped build the first school and the first church in his precinct and otherwise contributed to the improvement of the district. His life was ever upright and honorable and young and old, rich and poor, were his friends. His widow now occupies a beautiful home in Wahoo and, like her husband, she has the warm regard of all with whom she has been brought in contact by reason of her kindly spirit, her generous disposition and her many good deeds.


   R. M. Railsback, who is successfully engaged in the grain business in Ithaca, was born in Minier, Tazewell county, Illinois, August 26, 1865, a son of James Edward and Anna Railsback. The father's people were residents of Indiana but those of the mother lived in Pennsylvania. James E. Railsback, who was born and reared in Illinois, where he continued to live for many


years, was in the grain and lumber business in partnership with a brother-in-law for fifty years and is still engaged in buying and selling grain as a member of the firm of Quigg, Railsback & Company. The mother is also living.

   R. M. Railsback attended school until he was eighteen years of age and then entered his father's office, where he worked for three or four years. When about twenty-two years old he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and in connection with a brother engaged in the grain business here. He understands the business thoroughly and as the years have passed he has gained a gratifying measure of success. He handles a great deal of grain annually and as he keeps a close watch on the market is able to buy and sell with profit.

   On the 15th of June, 1892, Mr. Railsback was united in marriage to Miss Bertie Bell Knapp, a daughter of A. C. and Minnie (Huebotter) Knapp, who took up a homestead in this county. Her father is now living at Mexico, Missouri. To Mr. and Mrs. Railsback has been born a daughter, Marie Elizabeth, whose natal day was June 24, 1901, and who is attending school in Ithaca.

   The republican party has in Mr. Railsback a stanch supporter, and his religious faith is that of the Methodist church. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and has held the office of financier since the organization of his lodge, and he is also identified with the Wahoo lodge of the Knights of Pythias. He is not only respected as an able business man but is also esteemed as a public spirited citizen and as a man of unquestioned integrity.


   Peter Aspengren, a well known farmer of Richland precinct, was born in Sweden on the 9th of November, 1856. His father, Nils A. Aspengren, was also a native of that country and his birth occurred on the 9th of July, 1822. As a boy he attended the common schools and subsequently gave his attention to agricultural pursuits. In 1869 he emigrated to the United States and first settled in Minnesota, whence not long afterward he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, He homesteaded eighty acres of land and later bought one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land, which he placed under cultivation as fast as possible. When he first came to this county he preempted a claim twelve miles south of Fremont but as it was too far from the location of his friends he gave it up and filed on the homestead where he continued to reside until called by death. He was an energetic and efficient farmer, and the sale of his crops and stock yielded him a good financial return. He was married in Sweden in 1853 to Miss Bengta Johnson, who did not come to this country until three years after her husband had located here. They were the parents of three children: Andrew, who was born September 12, 1854, and died April 21, 1915, came to the United States with his father and at the time of his death was living on the old homestead. Peter of this review is the next in order of birth. Eina married Hans Hallberg and is now living a half mile east and a half mile south of the old homestead. The wife and mother died on the 16th of September, 1880. The death of the father occurred on the 28th of


December, 1908, and both are buried at Swedeburg. He was a republican until within a few years of his death, when he began to vote an independent ticket. For six years he was secretary of the Swedish Lutheran church and on the organization of the Swedish Mission church at Swedeburg he became identified therewith and from that time until 1902 served as its secretary. He was a man of enterprise and good judgment and although he relied solely upon his own resources he gained a gratifying measure of prosperity.

   Peter Aspengren attended school in Sweden until he was about eleven years of age and after coming to the United States with his father in 1869 he was a student in the schools of Saunders county for two winters. He then worked with his father until 1894, when he bought one hundred and twenty acres of good land from the latter and began farming on his own account. He has since sold forty acres of his farm to a neighbor but still cultivates the remaining eighty acres. He is very practical in his methods, and his well directed labor is rewarded by excellent crops. He also engages in stock-raising to some extent and finds that phase of his business also profitable.

   Mr. Aspengren was married on the 28th of February, 1899, to Miss Hannah Erickson, a daughter of John Erickson, a native of Sweden, who emigrated to the United States in 1881. To our subject and his wife were born three children, Oscar, Linus and Bertha, all of whom are attending the public schools. Mrs. Aspengren passed away on the 2d of September, 1909, and her memory is still cherished by those who knew her intimately. She is buried in the Swedeburg cemetery.

   Mr. Aspengren is a liberal democrat, supporting that party as a rule but on occasion casting an independent ballot. He is affiliated with the Swedish Mission church of Swedeburg and was for some time a Sunday school teacher. For many years the name of Aspengren has been associated with the development of Saunders county, and he has played his part as well in his day as did his father before him.


   For the past six years Charles A. Louis has been successfully engaged in business as the proprietor of a hardware and implement establishment at Swedeburg. His birth occurred in McComb, Illinois, on the 9th of May, 1872, his parents being G. O. and Anna Louisa (Schill) Louis, natives of Sweden. The father, who was born March 15, 1819, emigrated to the United States in 1865 and took up his abode in Illinois. He came to Nebraska in 1869 and was so favorably impressed with the state that he decided to settle here later. Accordingly in 1873 he brought his family to Saunders county, taking up a homestead claim on section 6, Richland township, which he operated continuously and successfully until 1905. He then removed to another farm and continued agricultural pursuits until 1910, when he put aside the active work of the fields and has since lived retired in Wahoo. The period of his residence in this county now covers more than four decades and he is widely known as a representative and valued citizen. In 1870 he went back to Sweden for his


sweetheart and they were married in Galesburg, Illinois, on the 4th of July, 1871. They have four living children, namely: Charles A., of this review; Belle, who is matron of the Orphans' Home at Stromsburg, Nebraska; Hilda, who is the wife of S. A. Peterson, a blacksmith living in Swedeburg; and Hannah, who gave her hand in marriage to Dr. Woeppel, of Wahoo, by whom she has a daughter, Louise.

   Charles A. Louis acquired his early education in the common schools of Swedeburg and also attended Luther College at Wahoo, from the business department of which he graduated in 1891. He then spent three years as a public-school teacher and from 1894 until 1899 devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits. The next six years were spent in the employ of the Updike Grain Company of Omaha, with elevators at Bee, Dwight and Swedeburg, Nebraska. In 1905 he again turned his attention to farming and was engaged in the work of the fields for four years, on the expiration of which period he embarked in the hardware and implement business at Swedeburg, where he has since conducted an establishment of that character. A liberal and gratifying patronage is accorded him, for he has won and maintained an unassailable reputation as a thoroughly reliable merchant and conducts his business in a most progressive and up-to-date manner.

   On the 12th of April, 1905, Mr. Louis was united in marriage to Miss Hilma Hedlund, a daughter of Christian and Matilda Hedlund. To them have been born six children, namely: Helmer, Esther and Lucile, all of whom attend school in Swedeburg; Sylvia; Florentine; and Laurette. Mr. Louis is a republican in his political views but does not consider himself bound by party ties at local elections and casts his ballot for the candidate whom he believes best qualified. His religious faith is that of the Swedish Lutheran church. He is enterprising and progressive in matters of citizenship as well as in business affairs and is accorded the esteem and regard of a large circle of acquaintances, many of whom are comrades of his boyhood days.


   The memory of Clement A. Huyck, whose life was devoted to doing good and to raising the moral standard of the communities in which he lived, remains as a blessed benediction to all who knew him. Through the greater part of his life he engaged in preaching the gospel and his influence was of no restricted order, for he was not denied the full harvest nor the aftermath of his labors. He lived for a long period in Ashland and his work wrought for great good in the community. He was born in Michigan, June 28, 1848, a son of William and Mary (Letts) Huyck, both of whom were natives of New York. In an early day the parents went to Michigan, and settling upon a farm the, father continued the cultivation and development of his property there for several years. He afterward removed to Wisconsin, establishing his home near Janesville, where he devoted his remaining days to general agricultural pursuits. He died in 1900, having long survived his wife, who passed away in 1852.

   Clement A. Huyck spent the days of his boyhood and youth under the



parental roof, accompanying his parents to Wisconsin and remaining at home until he had attained his majority. For a time in early manhood he engaged in selling sewing machines but later took up the work of the ministry and for a few years engaged in preaching in Wisconsin. In 1875 he came to Ashland, where he made his home throughout his remaining days. Here he engaged in preaching for many years and also conducted a music store, thus becoming identified with the commercial interests of the city. He acted as city missionary in Ashland and his words of wisdom and truth proved an influencing factor for good in the lives of many.

   Oh the 5th of March, 1874, Mr. Huyck was united in marriage to Miss Martha Atwood, a daughter of John and Sarah (Woods) Atwood, both of whom were natives of Skowbegan, Maine. The father, a carpenter and farmer by occupation, removed to Wisconsin in an early day and carried on agricultural pursuits in that state until 1874, when he came to Nebraska and settled in Lancaster county, just across the line from Saunders county, where he followed farming until his demise in March, 1902. His widow survives at the age of ninety-two years and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Huyck. To our subject and his wife were born six children, as follows: Charles, who is a resident of Lincoln; Grace, the wife of Frank Walla, of Sioux City, Iowa; Harold, living in Lincoln; and Sarah, Florence and Maudie, all of whom died in infancy.

   The family circle was again broken by the hand of death when on the 6th of January, 1914, the husband and father passed away, respected and honored by all who knew him. At the time of the Civil war he had attempted to enlist for service with the Union army but was rejected. Mr. Huyck was always loyal to the best interests of his country and of citizenship and served for a time as justice of the peace in Lancaster county, Nebraska. He ever held to high standards and his position upon the temperance question was indicated by his support of the prohibition party. He belonged to the Christian church and it was according to its teachings that he instructed his fellowmen in the ways of righteousness, his influence being a strong and potent force for good. He had many lovable qualities, prominent among which were his deep sympathy and his readiness to aid and encourage others.


   Carl Carlson, who is now serving as postmaster of Valparaiso, is discharging his duties in that connection with efficiency and is also gaining commendation for his uniform courtesy. He was born on the 7th of December, 1881, in Sweden, a son of Lars J. and Emma Matilda (Johnson) Carlson, both natives of that country, the former born on the 12th of August, 1845, and the latter on the 28th of February, 1854. In 1882 they emigrated with their family to the United States and took up their residence at Malmo, Nebraska. The father worked on various farms and on the railroad and subsequently invested in real estate, becoming the owner of several town lots. He passed


away on the 16th of June, 1913, but is survived by his wife, who still lives at Valparaiso.

   Carl Carlson attended the country schools for one year and was then a student in the schools at Raymond, Nebraska, for eight years, after which he entered the high school at Valparaiso. He was graduated therefrom in 1900 and then matriculated in Bethany, Nebraska, where he took a year's business course. Subsequently he spent a year in study at Luther Academy in Wahoo. From 1904 to 1908 he worked for the Golden Rod Telephone Company and held other positions and was then in the employ of the Valparaiso State Bank in the capacity of clerk and bookkeeper until the 15th of March, 1915, when he was appointed postmaster of Valparaiso. He is prompt and systematic in his work and is managing the affairs of the office well.

   Mr. Carlson is a stalwart democrat and takes the interest of a good citizen in everything relating to the public welfare. Practically his entire life has been spent in this county and the fact that those who have known him from his earliest boyhood hold him in the highest esteem is evidence that he possesses the characteristics that combine to form a high type of manhood.


   John Mach, who is concentrating his energies upon the operation and development of his farm on section 35, Chester township, was born in Bohemia, February 16, 1868. His parents, John and Rosa Mach, emigrated with their family to the United States in 1870 and, coming to Saunders county, Nebraska, became identified with agricultural interests, as the father homesteaded land in what is now Chester township. Their first home in this county was a dugout, which was succeeded by a sod house, which in turn gave place, after a few years, to a log house. The father was industrious and won success as an agriculturist. He raised both grain and stock, from the sale of which he received a good return. His demise occurred in 1875 but he was survived by his wife until 1913.

   John Mach, Jr., attended the common schools in Chester township and at a very early age began working on the home farm. His father having passed away when he was but seven years of age, he took upon himself the responsibilities of a man when but a boy in years, taking full charge of the management of the homestead when but fourteen years old. He continued to operate the farm for his mother until her demise in 1913 and is still farming the place, which he now owns. From time to time he has made improvements upon the farm, which comprises eighty acres and which is now one of the well developed farms of the township, and all of the buildings are substantial and well adapted to their respective purposes. He raises considerable stock in addition to growing the usual crops and finds both branches of his business profitable. He has never regretted his choice of occupation and the fact that he has devoted his entire life to farming, thus gaining, efficiency in his work, is one of the factors in his success.

   Mr. Mach was married on the 27th of August, 1895, to Miss Anna Pospisil,


a daughter of John and Barbara Pospisil, and nine children have been born to this union, namely: Christina, who is living in South Dakota; Edward J.; Emma; Tillie; Libbie; Agnes; Rosa; Rudolph; and Adolph.

   Mr. Mach supports the republican party at the polls, as he believes that its policies are based upon sound principles of government. However, he has never desired to hold public office, as his farm work requires his undivided attention. Practically his entire life has been spent in this county and during the forty-seven years that' he has resided here he has seen a sparsely settled district converted into a populous and highly developed farming region.


   Vaclav Chmelka, who owns and operates an excellent farm of two hundred and forty acres in Elk precinct, is a native of Bohemia, born October 28, 1857, and remained in his native land until 1870, when, as a lad of about thirteen years, he emigrated to the United States, making his way to Saunders county, Nebraska, where he still lives. For about seven years he worked as a hired hand and then invested the capital which he had saved in eighty acres of land, to which he subsequently added until he now owns two hundred and forty acres on section, 27, Elk precinct. He raises high grade cattle and hogs but does not confine himself to that industry, as he is also engaged in general farming. He is industrious and prompt in his work, and the success which he has gained is the natural result of his well directed labor.

   Mr. Chmelka was married on the 4th of July, 1885, to Miss Antonia Svoboda, by whom he has four children: Frank; James and Joseph, both of whom are living in Thurston; and Mary, a resident of Omaha.

   Mr. Chmelka served in the army while living in Bohemia, thus complying with the laws of the land. Since becoming a naturalized American citizen he has supported the republican party and takes a commendable interest in everything relating to the public welfare. He has resided in the county for forty-five years and during that time has not only witnessed the remarkable transformation which has converted a sparsely settled district into a populous and prosperous farming section but has done his share in bringing about the change.


   John Henry Parker, now living retired in Valparaiso, derives his income from investments in property there and from other holdings that represent a life of activity and well directed thrift. He was born upon a farm in Green county, Kentucky, January 24, 1847, a son of William M. and Margaret Ann (Thomas) Parker. The father's birth occurred in Green county, Kentucky, in 1821, and when on a trading trip to the south in 1850 he died of cholera near New Orleans. His wife who bore the maiden name of Margaret Ann


Thomas, was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, November 13, 1822, and passed away in Martin county, Minnesota, February 1, 1914. They were married in 1842 and had a family of four children.

   John Henry Parker is a self-made man who deserves commendation for what he has accomplished. He had the opportunity to attend school for only three months, for the father at his death left the family in straitened financial circumstances and he was early thrown upon his own resources, working out for the meager sum of four or six dollars per month. In 1861, when a youth of fourteen years, he went to Illinois and there remained until 1868, when he made his way to Martin county, Minnesota. He was ambitious to engage in business on his own account and in that locality rented land and carried on farming for five years. During the succeeding three years he purchased cattle for Illinois parties and then went to Jasper county, Iowa, where he spent the winter season working by the month. In the spring he rented a farm, which he operated for two and one-half years and in the fall of 1878 he removed from Iowa to Saunders county, where he carried on general farming for eighteen months. He then drove across the country to Martin county, Minnesota, where he engaged in the cultivation of rented land for seven and one-half years but in 1888 he again came to Saunders county, where he once more rented a farm for about three years. During this period he carefully saved his earnings and in 1890 felt justified in making a purchase of eighty acres on section 35, Newman township, where the town of Touhy now stands.

   The tract was then raw prairie, entirely destitute of improvements, and his cash capital amounted only to thirty-five dollars, but undeterred by these conditions, he began to break the sod and as soon as possible put in his crop. He also erected a dwelling and induced the Union Pacific Railroad to make a spur to his land. He also persuaded a Wahoo firm to erect an elevator and sold to that firm four acres of land for forty dollars per acre. Continuing the work and recognizing the possibilities, he was instrumental in securing the platting of the town plot. In 1893 he sold the remainder of his eighty acre tract and purchased an eighty acre farm on section 17, Oak Creek township, north-west of Valparaiso. With characteristic energy he improved that property, erecting thereon an eight-room residence with good barns, sheds and outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock. He also planted an orchard and a grove of two acres and thus enhanced the pleasing appearance of his place, which he sold in 1895. His next purchase made him owner of eighty acres on section 5 of the same township and again in similar manner he carried on the work of general improvement and development, including the planting of an orchard and grove. After two years he disposed of that property, selling in 1897, after which he purchased the southwest quarter of section 18, Oak Creek township, on which was a shack. He erected a good residence and other buildings, set out a grove and orchard and lived there for three years, when in 1900 he again sold. At that date he purchased the old home place on section 17, Oak Creek township, and a forty-acre tract adjoining, thus making his farm one of one hundred and twenty acres. This, he cultivated for more than a decade or until 1912, when he disposed of that property and retired. Each change has indicated a profitable transaction and year by year he has won added success, becoming in time one of the prosperous and substantial residents


of the community. He now has a good block of residences in Valparaiso, together with his own home, which is an attractive place.

   On the 16th of September, 1877, Mr. Parker was united in marriage to Miss Minda Gesford, of Galesburg, Jasper county, Iowa. They are the parents of three children, namely: Fred, an agriculturist residing in Valparaiso; Alminda, who is the wife of F. C. Johnson, of Oak Creek township; and Harry, at home.

   Fraternally Mr. Parker is identified with the Masons, belonging to Square Lodge, No. 151, A. F. & A. M., being the oldest member in jurisdiction and a past worshipful master. He is also connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, in which he was the first candidate initiated and is a past master workman. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party and while in Minnesota he served as a township trustee. At the present time he is a member of the town council and is serving on several important committees. He belongs to the Christian church and his life has been guided by its teachings. All who know him speak of him in terms of warm regard. They admire him for his enterprise and determination, respect him for his integrity and reliability and know him as a citizen of value and worth.


   Perry E. Palmer, who is engaged in cultivating the family homestead on section 28, Cedar township, was born upon that farm on the 30th of December, 1883, a son of Eli and Emma (Wallace) Palmer. The father, whose birth occurred in Ohio, went from that state to Wisconsin and thence to Keithsburg, Illinois, where he remained until he came to Nebraska. While living in the Prairie state he joined the Union army and served for three years, after which he was honorably discharged. About 1866 or 1867 he homesteaded land on section 23, Cedar township, Saunders county, Nebraska, to the cultivation of which he devoted his energies until 1905, when he removed to Cedar Bluffs. There he died in 1914 and in his passing the county lost one of her honored pioneers. When he settled here much of the land was still a part of the public domain and before he could plant crops it was necessary for him to break the prairie sod. In many ways life was much different from what it is at the present time. His first home was a sod house, which was later replaced by a log house, which in turn was succeeded by a frame residence. His wife was born in Illinois, where their marriage occurred, and she was called to her reward about 1890. Both are buried at Cedar Bluffs. To them were born ten children, namely: Albert, a resident of Wheeler county, this state; Bertha, now Mrs. Fred Putnam, of Redlands, California; Myrtle, the wife of Guy Wallroth, of Albion, Nebraska; Almeda, who married Bert Walker, of Lincoln, Nebraska; Carrie, now Mrs. Frank Paul, of Cedar Bluffs; Irene, who married John Butterick, of Cedar Bluffs; Maud, the wife of Carl Brown, of Omaha; Gertrude, the wife of Frank Rogers, who is farming near Cedar Bluffs; Perry E.; and Zora, the wife of William Hoxby, residing near Cedar Bluffs.

   Perry E. Palmer was reared at home and received his education in the schools of Cedar Bluffs. When seventeen years of age he began operating the


home farm and is still so engaged. The place has been brought to a high state of development and its improvements compare favorably with those of other farms in the township. He raises both grain and stock and his well directed labors return to him a good income. He owns two hundred and thirty acres and has accumulated more than a competence.

   On February 28, 1906, occurred the marriage of Mr. Palmer and Miss Fanny May Clapham. He supports the democratic party at the polls and is interested in the local government but has never been an office seeker. His wife holds membership in the Presbyterian church, which he attends, and fraternally he is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Cedar Bluffs. He has passed his entire life in this county and has never had occasion to regret his continued residence here, for he has found opportunities which he believes to be the equal of those offered elsewhere and has gained an enviable measure of


   Andrew A. Nelson, who is farming successfully on section 1, Richland precinct, is a native of Sweden, born May 22, 1870, of the marriage of Nels and Anna Anderson, the latter of whom came to this country in 1892 and made her home with our subject until her demise in 1912. She is buried in the Swedeburg cemetery.

   Mr. Nelson was reared under the parental roof and until fourteen years of age devoted the greater part of his time to attending the common schools. He then concentrated his energies upon the work of the home farm and was so employed until 1889. Having determined to try his fortune in the United States, where he had heard that favorable opportunities awaited the energetic young man, he accordingly came to this country and located in Saunders county, Nebraska. For three years he worked for Nels Swanberg, G. J. Putney and Peter Hockinson, during which time he carefully saved his money with the end in view of purchasing land. His first farm comprised eighty acres, which he cultivated for one year, and then he rented land for five years. He next purchased one hundred and twenty acres, but after operating that place for four years he sold it and again rented land for a year. At the expiration of that period he purchased a quarter section of land, to which he added eighty acres six years later. Mr. Nelson is now farming two hundred and forty acres of excellent land and is a very efficient agriculturist, using up-to-date machinery and following modern methods in his work. He seldom fails to secure good crops and as he watches the market carefully he receives high prices. He planted all of the trees upon his place and has a good apple orchard, which adds to the value of the farm. He has erected all of the buildings upon the place, which are commodious and substantial, and has just completed a new residence, thoroughly up-to-date, being supplied with electric light and a central heating plant. When he came to this country he had practically nothing but is now financially independent, which attests his energy and business ability, as he has at all times relied solely upon his own resources.


   Mr. Nelson was married in 1893 to Miss Bessie Pearson, a daughter of Peter and Anna Nelson, the former of whom is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Andrew A. Nelson have four children, all of whom are at home, namely: Vernon; and Helen, Herbert and Laurine, who are attending the country school.

   Mr. Nelson takes a keen interest in public affairs and is well informed on questions and issues of the day. He votes independently, believing that by so doing he can best further the general welfare. He holds membership in the Swedish Mission church, and his influence is always cast on the side of right and justice. He has not only gained individual prosperity but has also contributed to the agricultural development of the county and is recognized as one of the leading citizens of his township.


   E. L. Clouse, proprietor of the hotel and eating house at the Burlington depot in Ashland, was born in Pennsylvania, August 25, 1850, a son of Alexander and Amy (Van Sickle) Clouse, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of New Jersey. The father was a stonemason by trade and worked along that line for many years. He served for three months with the Illinois Infantry in the Civil war after removing to this state in the '50s. After the war he returned to Illinois, where he remained for a considerable period and then went to Iowa, where he lived until he came to Nebraska to make his home with his children. His wife passed away in 1894 and after surviving for about nine years he died February 14, 1913.

   E. L. Clouse was reared and educated in Illinois, remaining with his parents until he reached adult age, after which he started out to earn his living independently and for eleven years was employed at farm labor. He then began farming on his own account, cultivating rented land, and for about a year he lived upon a tract of eleven acres which he owned. He afterward went to Missouri and still later to Iowa, taking up his abode in Fremont county. He resided for some time in Farragut and operated rented land, remaining in that county for a number of years. In 1893 he came to Nebraska and for two years resided in Otoe county, after which he removed to Saunders county and cultivated a farm just across the line in Lancaster county for three years. At the end of that period he turned his attention to the real-estate business in Omaha, where he remained for a year. He was for a similar period engaged in the furniture business and since that period he has conducted the hotel and eating house at the Burlington depot in Ashland.

   On the 14th of August, 1872, Mr. Clouse was united in marriage to Miss Jane Zimmerman, a daughter of Harvey and Margaret (Johnson) Zimmerman, who were natives of Pennsylvania. Her father, who was a farmer by occupation, went to Illinois at an early period in the development of that state, settling in Stark county, where he purchased land and carried on farming throughout his remaining days, his death occurring in 1861. His widow long survived and passed away in 1905. Mr. and Mrs. Clouse became the parents of seven children, namely: Emma, the wife of James Pierson, of


Moorefield, Nebraska; Walter, of South Bend, this state; Cora, the wife of George Willis, a farmer of Cass county, Nebraska; Grace, who married W. D. Riggs, a carpenter residing in Ashland; Nellie, the wife of Albert Campbell, of Ashland; Ethel, who married Daniel Hendricks, of Ashland; and Clarence, who died in 1893.

   During the period of his residence in Ashland Mr. Clouse has wisely invested in property and is now the owner of six dwellings, which he rents and which return to him a good income. Politically he is a republican and is now filling the office of justice of the peace, in which position he has served for nine years, his decisions being strictly fair and impartial, for they are based upon the law and the equity of the case. He belongs to the Methodist church, and has always endeavored to live peaceably with his fellowmen, following the golden rule by doing unto others as he would have them do unto him.


   Thomas Simanek, actively engaged in business at Prague as a grain and lumber merchant, enjoys the friendly regard of all with whom he comes in contact and is familiarly known throughout his town as Tom. He was born in Bohemia, January 14, 1854, the eldest in a family of eight children whose parents were Joseph and Elizabeth (Kadlec) Simanek, both of whom have now passed away. In the year 1868 the family came to the new world and the father secured a homestead claim of eighty acres on section 14, Elk precinct, Saunders county, there carrying on farming until his death, which occurred in 1872.

   Thomas Simanek spent the period of his later youth and early manhood upon that farm, being a lad of fourteen years at the time of the emigration to the new world. At his father's death the management and cultivation of the farm devolved upon him and he concentrated his energies upon its further development and improvement, being thus busily engaged until 1893. In the meantime the boundaries of the farm had been extended until it comprised two hundred acres. Mr. Simanek disposed of that property, in 1893 and concentrated his attention upon other interests. When Prague was first established and he was still running the farm he started an elevator and lumber business there in partnership with H. A. Fisher. This relationship was maintained until 1900, when Mr. Fisher sold out his interest to Mr. Simanek, who later admitted his son Thomas to a partnership in the elevator business, which is conducted under the style of Simanek & Son. However, he remains alone in the lumber trade. Both of his interests have assumed large proportions and his business is now gratifying and extensive. His plans are carefully formed and promptly executed and he is regarded as a man of excellent business judgment as well as enterprise.

   On the 17th of January, 1875, Mr. Simanek was married to Miss Filomena Frohner, who died February 27, 1900. He afterward wedded Frances Malach, and they had one child, Clara. The children of the first marriage are: Charles, who is engaged in farming in Kansas; Thomas, who is in the elevator business


with his father at Prague; Ignatius, assisting his father in the lumber business; Mary, .the wife of Frank Paclik, of Weston, Nebraska; Rose, the wife of Joseph F. Kucera; Stanley; Blanche; Emma; Edith; and Julia.

   In politics Mr. Simanek is a democrat and has taken an active part in promoting the growth and insuring the success of the party. For ten or twelve years he served as a member of the town board, making a most excellent record in that position. In 1887 he was elected to the state legislature and served for one term. For a long period he has been connected with the school board as chairman and as treasurer, and the cause of education finds in him a stalwart champion. At the present time he is not very active in politics but keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day. In fact, he is a well read man along many lines and, moreover, he possesses good business ability and sound judgment. He is still very active personally, buying all lumber for his yards, and whatever he undertakes he carries forward to successful completion. His labors have been a most potent element in the upbuilding and development of Prague, the town being largely a monument to his industry and public spirit.


   John Knutzen, Sr., who has met with gratifying success as a farmer, owns two hundred and forty acres of good land on section 22, Cedar township. A native of Iowa, his birth occurred in Clinton county on the 4th of March, 1873, and he is a son of Hans and Anna (Tietjens) Knutzen, both of whom were born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The father came to the United States when a young man of twenty-eight years and the mother came in her girlhood. They were married in Iowa, where they lived for some time, but in 1883 came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and settled in Cedar township, where the father purchased land, paying therefor ten dollars per acre. After devoting a number of years to the development and operation of his place he removed to another farm which he owned seven miles east of his first place. He resided there for several years and then purchased the farm on which our subject now lives, on section 22, Cedar township, and there he resided until called by death in 1911. The mother passed away many years ago, dying when fifty-two years old. They were the parents of four children but three died in infancy.

   John Knutzen, Sr., gained his education in the common schools and also received valuable training in agricultural work during his boyhood and youth as he began assisting his father as soon as large enough. With the passing of the years he assumed more and more of the responsibility of the operation of the home farm and after his father's demise it came into his possession. He follows general farming and is prompt and energetic in his work, planting his crops in good season and cultivating them thoroughly. He also manages the business phase of farming well and is now one of the substantial men of his community. He owns two hundred and forty acres of excellent land, on which are two sets of good buildings.

   In August, 1895, Mr. Knutzen was united in marriage to Miss Alvina


Jensen, by whom he has six children. Henry, Albert, Rhoda, Reinhold, Harry and Lillie.

   Mr. Knutzen is independent in the exercise of his right of franchise and keeps well informed as to the questions and issues of the day which come up for settlement. He served as road supervisor for five years and made an excellent record in that office. Both he and his wife are communicants of the Lutheran church, in which he has served as a member of important committees. He has resided in this county for almost three decades and the fact that those who have known him intimately since boyhood are his stanchest friends is evidence of his genuine worth.


   Nils Eliason became a homesteader of Saunders county in 1870 and during the remainder of his life was actively identified with agricultural interests here, passing away on his farm in Stocking township on the 16th of June, 1905. His birth occurred in Sweden on the 20th of June, 1836, his parents being Elias and Ingrid Eliason. He attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education and after putting aside his textbooks devoted his attention to farming until 1869, when as a young man of thirty-three years he crossed the Atlantic to the United States. He first spent a year in Iowa and then came to Nebraska, taking up a homestead claim of eighty acres in Saunders county and also purchasing a similar tract of railroad land. The work of the fields claimed his time and energies throughout the remainder of his life and his efforts were rewarded with splendid results, so that he became widely recognized as one of the prosperous and representative agriculturists of the community. His widow now owns a quarter section of land within a mile of Swedeburg, a tract of similar size five miles from the home place, two hundred acres around the homestead and one hundred and sixty acres west of the original homestead, her holdings totaling six hundred and eighty acres.

   On May 9, 1881, Mr. Eliason was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Nelson, who was born in Sweden on the 6th of April, 1857, and acquired her education in that country. Her father was Nels Johnson. To Mr. and Mrs. Eliason were born seven children, as follows: Hilma, who is the wife of Sam Hedlund and resides southwest of Swedeburg; Anna, who also lives southwest of Swedeburg and is the wife of Victor Hedlund, by whom she has one child; Emin, who wedded Miss Esther Swanson, by whom he had one child, who is deceased; and Bernard and Reuben, both at home. All of the above-named have attended Luther College. Two children are deceased: Ida Wilhelmina, who died at the age of eighteen years in 1900; and Enoch Theodore, who died when two years old.

   Politically Mr. Eliason was a stanch republican, while his religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Swedish Lutheran church at Swedeburg, in the faith of which he passed away June 16, 1905, when sixty-nine years of age. Coming to this country empty-handed, he eagerly availed himself of the opportunities here afforded and. at the time of his demise was the owner of


Nils Eliason and Family


valuable and well improved farming property. Mrs. Eliason still resides on the home farm on section 32, Stocking township, and is well known and highly esteemed throughout the community, the circle of her friends being almost coextensive with the circle of her acquaintance.


   Dr. Alexander S. von Mansfelde, a distinguished medical practitioner and educator now following his profession in Ashland, was born in the province of Brandenburg, Prussia, Germany, December 21, 1845, a son of Herman and Augusta (Tapp) von Mansfelde, who were also natives of the same country. The father was an extensive landowner in Germany, where he remained until 1862, when he came to the United States. He landed in America on the 12th of October and went to Chicago, where he located. A year later he removed to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he had charge of a large estate, spending his remaining days there. His death occurred in September, 1865, while his wife survived until April, 1889, when she, too, was called to her final rest.

   Dr. von Mansfelde was reared and partially educated in Germany and when seventeen years of age came to the new world with his parents, after which he entered the employ of H. B. Reed & Company, a drug company, at Fort Wayne, Indiana, with which he remained for several years. This awakened his deep interest in the science of medicine and in order to prepare for active practice he entered Rush Medical College of Chicago, from which he was graduated in January, 1872. He had begun the practice of medicine, however, on the 21st of February, 1867, urged by his teachers in the college, for at that time there was no law controlling practice. Following his graduation he opened an office in Chicago, where he remained until 1875 and then came to Nebraska, making his way to Princeton, Lancaster county, in order to operate on a nephew. He intended to return to Chicago, but the public recognized the marked skill of the operation which he had performed and begged him to remain, so that at length he decided to do so.

   In 1875 Dr. von Mansfelde removed to Lincoln, where he entered into partnership with Dr. George W. French, there practicing until April, 1878, when he became a resident of Ashland, Saunders county, and has since followed his profession in this city. He has an extensive practice here and throughout his professional career hrs efforts have been attended with notable success that has marked his steady progression in his chosen calling. He was secretary of The Omaha Medical College, now the medical department of The University of Nebraska, in which he was professor of general pathology and histology for several years. He was one of the founders and became the president of the Nebraska Railway Surgeons Association. He is a member of the Nebraska State Medical Association, of which he was the honored secretary for eleven years and is now the treasurer and president, in which office he has served for nine years. He is also the chairman of the committee on Medico-Legal Defense and throughout the state he is recognized as one of the foremost representatives of the medical profession. He also belongs to the Medical Society


of the Missouri Valley and was president of that organization and also of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences. He is an honorary member of the Lincoln Medical Society and is a member of the American Medical Association.

   On the 22d of October, 1868, Dr. von Mansfelde was united in marriage to Miss Julia Labhart, a daughter of John Martin and Sophia (Kluge) Labhart, the former a native of Switzerland and the latter of Saxony. They emigrated to the United States in an early day. John M. Labhart was a potter by trade and conducted a pottery in Chicago until his demise, which occurred in 1866. His widow, who survived him for more than a third of a century, was called to her final rest in 1901. Dr. and Mrs. von Mansfelde became the parents of eight children, as follows: Duty (Julia), who was born July 31, 1871, has been and is on the educational staff of the Ashland high school for many years; Johanna, whose birth occurred January 19, 1874, and is a high-school teacher of Omaha, where she has been engaged in the profession of teaching for sixteen years; Belle, born March 19, 1876, who has been a high-school teacher of Omaha for ten years; Alice, who was born May 10, 1883, and is at home; Johanna, whose natal day was August 31, 1869, and who passed away in 1873; one who died in infancy; George, who was born November 19, 1877, and died in 1878; and Charles H., who was born July 18, 1879, and was a practicing attorney of Omaha at the time of his death in August, 1905.

   Dr. von Mansfelde's present residence is a part of the old courthouse. He is very prominent politically and has been largely instrumental in securing the passage of a number of medical bills, both state and federal, which have been of great and widespread value. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. All these interests, however, are made subservient to the demands of his practice, which is now most extensive and of an important character. He continues his reading along professional lines and is in touch with the latest scientific theories and facts. He readily discriminates between the essential and the nonessential and his work is crowned with splendid results, making his professional activity one of remarkable value to those whom he serves.


   Joseph F. Hanis, who is farming two hundred acres of excellent land on section 36, Elk precinct, was born in Bohemia on the 15th of July, 1866. He is a son of Joseph and Barbara Hanis, who came with their family to the United States in 1875 and settled in Saunders county, Nebraska, where the father bought school land at seven dollars an acre. He died in 1895.

   Joseph F. Hanis was about nine years of age when the family home was established in this county and the greater part of his education was acquired in the public schools of Elk precinct. During the summer months he aided his father in the operation of the homestead and on reaching mature years decided to follow the occupation to which he had been reared. As soon as he had accumulated sufficient capital he purchased eighty acres of land, which he at once began cultivating, and in time he bought additional land so that he now has


two hundred acres. He raises a large number of hogs and cattle and also grows the usual crops and derives a good income from both branches of his business. His farm is well improved and his residence is one of the attractive farm homes of the locality.

   On the 11th of February, 1896, Mr. Hanis was married to Miss Agnes Jambor, a daughter of Joseph and Frances Jambor, and to this union have been born four children, all of whom are at home, Mary, Lumila, Gertrude and Joseph.

   Mr. Hanis casts his ballot in support of the men and measures of the democratic party, whose policies he believes to be based upon a thorough understanding of the needs of the country. The rules which guide his life are found in the teachings of the Roman Catholic church, of which he is a communicant, and his personal qualities are such that he has won both the respect and the warm regard of those who have been associated with him.


   William Phelan, now living retired in Wahoo, is numbered among the pioneer settlers of Saunders county, where he has long witnessed the changes that have occurred, his memory forming a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive present. A native of Queens county, Ireland, he was born June 10, 1840, and when sixteen years of age sailed for the United States. The vessel on which he took passage dropped anchor in the harbor of New York on the 26th of June, 1856, and he left the metropolis for the middle west, establishing his home in Fulton county, Illinois, where he joined his father, William Phelan, who was also a native of Queens county, Ireland, and who had come to the new world in 1854. The mother died in Ireland and William Phelan, Jr., was accompanied to this country by a brother and a sister. The father was at that time engaged in farming in Fulton county, where he continued to make his home until his death, which occurred when he was about eighty years of age.

   After arriving in the new world William Phelan secured employment as a farm hand and remained for about eleven years in Illinois. In the fall of 1867 he came to Saunders county on a prospecting trip and filed on a claim but did not prove up the property. He then returned to Illinois and in the spring of 1868 he drove across the country with Saunders county again his destination. He then homesteaded near where the town of Mead stands, securing eighty acres, on which he put up a sod house. He was among the first settlers of that part of the county and the work of development and improvement seemed scarcely begun. His claim was a tract of raw prairie on which could be found no indication of settlement or of improvement. With characteristic energy he began to break the sod and till the soil and in time his labors wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of the place. Year after year he persistently, energetically and successfully carried on general farming until 1894, when he turned the property over to his sons and came to Wahoo. As the years have passed he has added to his original tract of land until he is the owner of three


hundred and twenty acres, and his careful cultivation of his fields brought to him rich crops.

   On the 13th of October, 1868, Mr. Phelan was married to Miss Harriet Council, who is a daughter of Alfred F. Council, and was born in Jefferson county, Arkansas, October 2, 1846, and with her family drove from that place to Illinois by wagon. To Mr. and Mrs. Phelan have been born ten children: Fenton, who died in infancy; Mary, who was born September 19, 1865, and is now clerking in Norfolk; Thomas W., who was born February 27, 1868, and is now traveling for an implement house of Grand Island, Nebraska; James, who was born February 24, 1870, and makes his home at Mead; Dora Belle, who was born March 25, 1873, and is the wife of Hillery Will, of North Dakota; Sarah Cecelia, who was born April 8, 1875, and is the wife of Ed Klotz, a druggist of Wahoo; William Claude, who was born September 19, 1877, and is engaged in farming in Custer county, Nebraska; Ida Alma, who was born April 25, 1880, and is engaged in the millinery business in Chicago; Jesse Lewis, who was born October 26, 1882, and is managing the home farm; and Paul Blase, who was born February 3, 1890, and is engaged in the auto livery business in Wahoo.

   Mr. Phelan and his family are communicants of the Catholic church and he gives his political allegiance to the democratic party. Although he has never sought nor held political offices he has served as school director, and the first school in his district was held in a sod building on his farm. His entire life has been one of unremitting activity. He early realized the eternal truth that industry wins and industry became the beacon light of his life. As the years have gone on he has so directed his labors that the obstacles and difficulties of his early life have utterly vanished and success has come in the place of privation. He is now a well-to-do citizen and, moreover, he is numbered among those who have contributed to the agricultural development of this section of the state.


   Adolph Rerucha, a well known agriculturist of Elk precinct, was born upon the farm which he is now operating on the 11th of May, 1878. His parents, Mathias and Carolina Rerucha, are natives of Bohemia, where they remained until 1873, when they emigrated to the United States, wishing to try their fortunes in this country. They made their way to the middle west and settled in Saunders county, Nebraska, which was then little more than a frontier region. The father became the owner of land on what is now section 2, Elk precinct, and there built a sod house which served as the family home until a more pretentious structure could be erected. He has since concentrated his energies upon farming and is still living on section 2.

   Adolph Rerucha, who was born in a sod house upon his father's farm, was reared at home and attended the schools of Prague in the acquirement of an education. He began assisting his father as soon as old enough and after leaving school continued to engage in farm work. He helped his father for


some time but for two years was in the employ of others. During that time he saved his earnings carefully and as soon as he was financially able to do so he rented land which he farmed for two years. At the end of that time he removed to the homestead on section 2, Elk precinct, and has since operated that place, together with forty acres on section 10. He has built a beautiful residence and a barn and made other improvements upon the place. He owns the most up-to-date machinery, the use of which greatly facilitates his work, and in all things he is progressive and up-to-date.

   Mr. Rerucha was married on the 5th of February, 1901, to Miss Emilie Pad, a daughter of James and Barbara Pad, early settlers of this county. Mr. and Mrs. Rerucha have become the parents of the following children:

   Helen and Mollie, at home; Ludmellia, who died in infancy; Ludmellia, at home; Clara, who died in infancy; and Hermia, at home.

   Mr. Rerucha votes the democratic ticket at the polls but has never taken any other part in politics. Fraternally he is connected with Z. C. B. J. at Prague, and his religious affiliations connect him with the Catholic church.


   Joseph B. La Chapelle, who is filling the office of city clerk, was called to this position in 1911 and has since been the incumbent, making a most creditable record by the prompt and faithful discharge of his duties. He was born in St. Albans, Vermont, December 30, 1860, his parents being E. and Sophia (Blanchard) La Chapelle, the former a native of France, while the latter was born in Canada and is of French descent. The father was a cabinetmaker and carpenter by trade and on crossing the Atlantic in 1836 made his way to Canada, where he resided and worked at his trade for twenty-one years, or until 1857. He then removed to Vermont and afterward lived successively in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The year 1877 witnessed his arrival in Holt county, Nebraska, where he secured a homestead which he continued to develop and improve until 1885. He then disposed of his land and returned to Worcester, Massachusetts, where his remaining days were passed, his death occurring in 1886. For eleven years he had survived his wife, who died in the year 1875.

   Joseph B. La Chapelle pursued his education in the schools of Bristol, Rhode Island, and when he had attained his majority he left home and gave his attention to newspaper work. Making his way to the west, he was employed on the Omaha Bee and also on the World-Herald, remaining in that connection for five years. On the expiration of that period he went to Glen-wood, Iowa, and purchased a newspaper, which he continued to publish for a number of years. He afterward published several other papers and in December, 1896, came to Ashland, removing his plant to this place from Glen-wood, Iowa. Here he continued to conduct a printing office for ten years, but in February, 1907, his plant was destroyed by fire and he did not again engage in that business. Before removing to Ashland he was the publisher of a paper at Tabor and also at Randolph and at Sidney, Iowa. Following the fire he


turned his attention to the real-estate business, in which he has since been engaged. He is thoroughly acquainted with property values and his enterprising methods have brought to him growing success.

   On the 2d of July, 1885, Mr. La Chapelle was united in marriage to Miss Rose Lyon, a daughter of H. R. and Sarah Jane (Carnes) Lyon, who were natives of Vermont and Pennsylvania respectively. Her father was a Civil war veteran, having served with the Forty-second Illinois Infantry for three years, after which he was transferred to a Kansas regiment. When the war was over he removed to Glenwood, Iowa, where he has since conducted a windmill and pump business. Mr. and Mrs. La Chapelle have become the parents of two sons. Robert Lyon, born November 16, 1886, is instructor in printing and athletics at the Industrial School at Eldora, Iowa. He married Madge Powers, a daughter of Harry Powers, superintendent of construction at the Anamosa (Iowa) penitentiary. Harold C., born November 11, 1887, is equipment man for the American Telephone & Telegraph Company at Denver, Colorado, and installed a part of the long distance line from New York to San Francisco and talked over that wire. He married Nell Brinkman, of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, and they now have an interesting little son, Harold C., Jr.

   Mr. La Chapelle belongs to the various branches of the Odd Fellows society, of which he has been a member for thirty years. He has filled all of the chairs in the local lodge and is at present noble grand and chief patriarch of the encampment. He has but recently returned from the Grand Encampment, to which he was sent as a representative. He also belongs to the Knights of Pythias lodge at Ashland, has filled all of its offices and has served as keeper of the record and seals for the past ten years. He is likewise financier and recorder in the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He attends the Episcopal church and in politics is independent. On one occasion he was nominated on the people's ticket for the state legislature but was defeated. He was more fortunate, however, in 1911, when he was nominated for the office of city clerk, to which position he has been reelected and thus continues in office. He is prompt and faithful in the discharge of his duties, his capability being attested by all who know aught of his work in this connection.


   Henry Schroeder is a retired farmer residing in Ithaca who was actively and successfully identified with agricultural pursuits in this part of the state for a third of a century. His birth occurred in Germany on the 25th of February, 1842, his parents being Fred and Charlotte Schroeder. In the acquirement of an education he attended the common schools until fourteen years of age and subsequently worked out until he joined the army as a young man of twenty, remaining therein for three years. He was afterward employed as a shepherd until the time of his emigration to the United States in 1860 and in this country he made his way successively to Pennsylvania, Illinois and Nebraska, here taking up his abode in Saunders county. He worked first on


the railroads but subsequently removed to Cass county and in 1869 took up a homestead claim which he operated continuously and successfully until the death of his wife in 1902. His undertakings as an agriculturist were attended with a gratifying and well merited measure of success, so that he is enabled to spend the evening of life in honorable retirement. He makes his home with his son-in-law in Ithaca.

   In 1872 Mr. Schroeder was united in marriage to Miss Matilda Hanke, by whom he had eight children who are still living, namely: Paul Bernice, Rosa, Mary, Julia, Max, Frank, Elsie and Esther. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and in religious faith is a Methodist but also attends churches of other denominations. He has never had cause to regret his determination to establish his home in the new world, for here he found the opportunities which he sought and has won material prosperity and the regard and esteem of a host of friends.


   Joseph S. Jambor, a native of Saunders county, owns three hundred and twenty acres of fine land on section 8, Elk precinct, and the improvements upon his place are probably the finest in that precinct. In addition to raising grain he feeds a great deal of stock annually and his yearly income is large. He was born in the precinct in which he still lives on the 3d of August, 1876, of the marriage of Joseph and Frances Jambor. The father came to the United States from Moravia, Austria, in 1871 and settled in Saunders county, Nebraska, where he was joined by his wife two years later. He homesteaded eighty acres of land in Elk precinct, on which he engaged in farming until his demise in November, 1902. His widow now makes her home at Prague.

   Joseph S. Jambor attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education and also gained much valuable knowledge of farm work during his boyhood, as he began to assist his father as soon as old enough. After leaving school he worked with his father until he was twenty-three years of age, when he purchased one hundred and sixty acres which he began operating. He met with gratifying success, as he was practical in his methods and as he watched the markets carefully, thus being able to sell to an advantage, and at length he was able to buy additional land. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres — one of the richest and most highly developed farms of the county. He has a beautiful residence, a large and well planned barn and the other necessary buildings, all of which are substantial and well adapted for their purposes. He engages in general farming but gives particular attention to the raising of high grade hogs and Red Polled cattle, which he seldom fails to sell at a high price.

   Mr. Jambor was married on the 19th of February, 1900, to Miss Emilie Ostry, a daughter, of Frank and Mary Ostry. To this union have been born six children, all of whom are at home, namely: Ivan, Raymond, Lydia, Agnes, Alice and Albert.

   Mr. Jambor is an adherent of the democratic party and is now serving


efficiently as treasurer of the school board. He is loyal to the teachings of the Catholic church, to which he belongs, and his daily life measures up to high standards. He is acknowledged to be one of the leading farmers in the county and among the qualities to which his success is due are aggressiveness, business acumen and a willingness to adopt new methods when they promise to be more efficient than the old.


   Among the retired farmers living in Valparaiso is numbered Augustus Schertzberg, who, though born across the water, came to America when seventeen years of age and has ever been thoroughly loyal in thought, purpose and action to his adopted county. He was born in Mehrstedt, Thuringen, Germany, August 19, 1836, a son of Frederick and Louisa Schertzberg, who in the year 1858 left their native country and crossed the Atlantic to Canada, where the father worked as a day laborer. He afterward purchased land near Brantford and carried on general farming, both he and his wife spending their remaining days in that country.

   Augustus Schertzberg attended school in Germany until he reached the age of fourteen years and in 1853 he accompanied his parents to the new world, after which he began earning his living by working as a farm hand. He was employed in that manner for seven years in Canada, after which he crossed the border into the United States, settling in Seneca county, Ohio, where he learned the trade of a baker and candy maker. With the outbreak of the Civil war, however, he put aside business and personal considerations, enlisting on the 17th of April, 1861, almost as soon as Fort Sumter had been fired upon, as a member of Company A, Eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was in training at Camp Denison for about two months and there the entire regiment which had responded to the call for three months' troops reenlisted for three years. He participated in many hotly contested engagements, including the battles of Rodney, Winchester, Shenandoah Valley, Stanton, Virginia, Fredericksburg, Maryland, Harrison's Landing on the James river in Virginia and Yorktown, Virginia. Becoming ill, he spent seven months in various hospitals and was then discharged on account of continued disability in 1864. Five months later he had sufficiently recovered to enlist in the state militia and he served two months in that organization. At the end of that time he was again able for active duty and enlisted in the navy at Cincinnati, Ohio, and was sent to Cairo, Illinois, where he was assigned to duty on the Clara Dalson. Later he was transferred to the Monitor Chickasaw in the Mississippi River squadron and still later was sent to Mobile Bay, where he participated in the engagements at Fort Morgan, Fort Gaines and Fort Ball. With his command he assisted in the capture of the Confederate ram Tennessee and other small boats, which were put in action against the southern troops. He had served for fourteen months and was honorably discharged on the expiration of his term. He immediately returned to Tiffin, Ohio, and secured employment at his trade.


Augustus Schertzberg

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