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


   In 1866 Mr. Schertzberg went to Decatur, Illinois, where he worked at his trade for seven months and later spent four months at St. Louis. He then took a trip back to Germany to bring over an uncle and his family, and in February, 1868, he became a resident of Nebraska, settling at Omaha, where he followed his trade for two months. Later he secured work as a farm hand in Sarpy county, Nebraska, where he continued for a year, and then after again working at his trade in Lincoln, Nebraska, for a brief period he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres two miles south of Valparaiso. He next went to Georgetown, Colorado, where he engaged in prospecting and mining, spending two years in that state. He afterward followed farming for several years and subsequently traded his land for town property. He now makes his home in Valparaiso, where he is living retired.

   In September, 1877, Mr. Schertzberg was united in marriage to Miss Carrie E. Mulholland, by whom he has a son, Benner, now a resident of Lincoln, Nebraska. In politics he is independent, voting according to the dictates of his judgment and not according to party ties. He belongs to Major Harlan Baird Post, No. 64, G. A. R., and thus maintains a pleasant relation with his old army comrades. He is also a member of the Baptist church and his life has been guided by its teachings. He is now in the eightieth year of his age but is still well preserved. His life has been an active and useful one and many of his salient characteristics are those which in every land and clime awaken confidence, respect and regard.


   Henning Larson, a representative of the art of photography, having a well equipped studio at Ashland, was born in Sweden, July 14, 1874, a son of John and Augusta (Peterson) Larson, who were also natives of that country, where the father followed the occupation of farming, devoting his entire life to that pursuit. He died in August, 1914, at the age of eighty-five years, while his widow still lives in Sweden at the age of eighty-four.

   Henning Larson spent the days of his boyhood and youth in. his native country and is indebted to its public-school system for the educational advantages he enjoyed. He remained with his parents until he reached the age of fifteen years, when he left home and studied to be a florist, devoting two years to that work. In 1892 he sailed for the new world, making his way to Mead, Saunders county, Nebraska, where he lived for a short time. He then removed to Wahoo and entered the employ of N. J. Anderson, a photographer, under whom he acquainted himself with the art. After three months he came to Ashland and entered the employ of C. J. Edoff, a photographer, with whom he continued until 1899, when he returned to Sweden. After a year spent in his native country he again came to Ashland and purchased the business of Mr. Edoff, since which time he has conducted his studio, which is splendidly equipped with all of the processes and accessories of the photographic art. He is now accorded a liberal patronage and his business has reached profitable proportions.


   In March, 1902, Mr. Larson was united in marriage to Miss Matilda Nelson, a daughter of John and Anna (Visell) Nelson, who were natives of Sweden and who came to the new world in early life, settling in Sarpy county, Nebraska. There the father purchased land and engaged in farming for many years but is now living retired. Mr. and Mrs. Larson have become the parents of two children: Delia Augusta, born June 30, 1903; and Blanche Hildur, who was born September 2, 1908. The religious faith of the parents is that of the Lutheran church and Mr. Larson gives his political allegiance to the republican party.


   Elzy J. Evans had almost reached the eightieth milestone on life's journey when he was called to his final rest. There were no spectacular phases in his career but his life was a useful and honorable one in which industry brought him success, so that he was able to leave his widow in very comfortable circumstances. Moreover, he was one of the veterans of the Civil war and as such deserves an honored place on the pages of the history of Saunders county. His birth occurred in Greencastle, Indiana, April 15, 1830, at which time that section was a pioneer district. His parents, Jacob and Sarah (Craver) Evans, were natives of South Carolina and in the year 1851 they removed to Madison county, Iowa, where the father engaged in farming throughout his remaining days. He was making his home in Winterset when he passed away in June, 1870, his remains being there interred. His wife died in October, 1875.

   Elzy J. Evans was reared and educated in Indiana and was twenty years of age when he accompanied his parents to Iowa. On attaining his majority he began farming on his own account and cultivated land in Iowa until 1871. In the meantime he had enlisted in 1864 as a member of Company K, Second Iowa Infantry, remaining with that regiment until the close of the war. He marched with Sherman to the sea and took part in other important military movements. He then returned to his farm in Iowa, where he remained until 1871, when he removed to Cass county, Nebraska, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits for two years. In 1873 he arrived in Saunders county, where he followed farming for a year, and in March, 1874, removed to Ashland and devoted the remainder of his active business life to teaming. At length when his industry had brought to him a good competence he retired from business and spent his remaining days in the enjoyment of a rest which he had truly earned and well deserved.

   On the 17th of February, 1869, Mr. Evans was married to Mrs. Eliza (Tannehill) Wilson, who was born in Springfield, Illinois, July 9, 1844, a daughter of Dennison S. and Louise (O'Neal) Tannehill, who were natives of Tennessee and Kentucky respectively. The father was a Baptist minister and went to Iowa in 1852, establishing his home two and a half miles north of Winterset, in Madison county, but while residing on his farm he devoted his life to the ministry and did important work for the church. He died


September 29, 1861, while his wife passed away December 25, 1908, having survived him for forty-seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Evans became the parents of a daughter, Minnie, who was born February 28, 1870, and is the wife of J. E. Todd, a resident of Omaha. By a former marriage Mrs. Evans had two children: George Nelson, who was born January 5, 1862; and John E., who was born March 23, 1865, and passed away April 13, 1866. By his first marriage Mr. Evans had five children, who were carefully and tenderly reared by his second wife, namely: Curtis F., who was born December 10, 1856, and resides in Red Cloud, Nebraska; Lafayette M. who was born April 10, 1858, and makes his home in Ashland; Nedra, who was born March 4, 1861, and is residing in Memphis, Nebraska; Etta, who was born October 22, 1862, and is now the wife of Fred Rickerson, of Idaho Springs, Colorado; and Ella, born September 18, 1866, who became the wife of Mark Moon and died on the 26th of April, 1911.

   The death of Mr. Evans occurred February 27, 1910, when he was almost eighty years of age. He had been a member of the Baptist church since 1874 and was loyal and faithful to its teachings, guiding his life by its principles. In politics he was a republican and he greatly enjoyed association with his old army comrades through his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. He had a wide acquaintance in Ashland and that part of the county and all who knew him were glad to call him friend.


   Joseph F. Prai, owning a barber shop and a confectionery store, is a man whose energy and sound judgment have made him a factor in the business life of the town. He was born in Omaha on the 26th of November, 1870, but his parents, Albert and Anna Prai, were natives of Bohemia. In 1869 they came to the United States and took up their residence in Omaha, where the father worked at various occupations for two years. At the end of that time the family removed to Linwood, Butler county, Nebraska, where Albert Prai took up a homestead of eighty acres, on which he carried on general farming for about seventeen years. Having accumulated a competence, he then retired and removed to Linwood, where he is still residing. His wife died on the 4th of March, 1904.

   Joseph F. Prai received his education in Linwood, Nebraska, and in Fremont, where he attended business college for six months, thus preparing to take his place in the commercial world. Before this, however, he had become a wage earner, as for two years he had herded cattle. His first connection with the mercantile business was that of a clerk in a store at Linwood, where he remained for five years, after which he went to North Bend, Dodge county, where he spent about a year. At the end of that time he and F. B. Datel bought a stock of merchandise at Morse Bluffs, this state, and conducted a store there for about three years. At the end of that time our subject sold out and came to Prague, where he established a restaurant, which he conducted until it burned down July 23, 1898. At that time he lost everything


but with commendable resolution began again, starting a barber shop and confectionery store which he still operates. He gives the closest attention to his business and seeks at all times to please his patrons with the result that he has built up a good trade, from which he derives a gratifying profit.

   Mr. Prai was married on the 28th of March, 1893, to Miss Helen Tvrz, of Wither, Nebraska, a daughter of Anton and Jennie Tvrz, and they have become the parents of six children: Lydia, who is teaching at Brainard, Nebraska; Joseph E., who is teaching district school No. 51 in this county; Irene, attending the high school at Lincoln; and Julius, Clara and Karl, all of whom are at home.

   Mr. Prai gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and has served as central committeeman and as a member of the school board, of which he was secretary for eighteen years. During that time he did much to secure the advancement of the public schools, and he has never ceased to take a deep interest in their welfare. He is an enthusiastic member of the Z. C, B. J., a Bohemian society, of which he served as secretary for fifteen years. He is recognized as an excellent business man and a good citizen and has gained the warm personal friendship of many.


   Among the able and enterprising farmers of Saunders county who are contributing in no small measure to the general prosperity is E. E. Martin, of Green township. He was born in Lee county, Illinois, on the 12th of June, 1856, of the marriage of C. A. and Hannah Martin, both natives of New Hampshire. They continued to live in the Prairie state until 1890, when they came to Nebraska. Both are buried, however, in Lee county, Illinois. They were members of the Congregational church and in their lives exemplified the teachings of Christianity.

   E. E. Martin grew to manhood in his native state and there attended the common schools, thus gaining a good education. When he had attained his majority he began working as a farm hand and was so employed for four years, but in 1881 he came to Saunders county and took up a homestead claim and also bought railroad land, becoming the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of excellent land. He at once began the improvement of his place, on which he has since resided and which is now in a high state of development. In addition to erecting good buildings he planted a grove, which adds much both to the beauty and the value of the farm. He carries on general farming and his well directed labors return to him a good income.

   Mr. Martin takes a commendable interest in everything relating to the public welfare and studies carefully the questions and issues of the day. He votes for the best candidate irrespective of his party affiliation, believing that by so doing he can better promote the general good than by following the dictates of a political leader. He has been a director in his school district and has also held the office of road supervisor, proving very efficient in both capacities. He attends a number of churches and can be counted upon to support


all worthy causes. When he began his career he was a poor young man out lack of capital did not discourage him and as the years have passed he has gained a substantial measure of success through his own efforts. He has not been afraid of hard work, has been willing to adopt new methods when their value has been proven and has given careful thought to the management of his affairs with the result that he is now well-to-do.


   Nature seems to have intended that man should enjoy a period of rest in his declining years. In youth he is possessed of vigor, energy, hope and ambition and in mature years these are guided by developed judgment so that if powers are rightly employed there may be obtained a competence for the evening of life's day. Such has been the record of William Ellison, who was a pioneer farmer of Saunders county and is now living retired in Wahoo, having passed the eighty-sixth milestone on life's journey. He was born in County Down, Ireland, May 6, 1829, and there remained until he attained his majority. In 1850, however, he bade adieu to friends and native country and sailed for the United States, making his way to Rochester, New York, where he worked as a farm hand. He was afterward employed in similar manner in Indiana and Iowa until 1869, when he cast in his lot with the pioneer settlers of Saunders county, homesteading seven miles northeast of Wahoo. He secured one hundred and sixty acres entirely undeveloped and unimproved, but he resolutely set himself to the task of breaking the sod and cultivating the fields, which he made most productive. He also added to his land, extending its boundaries until the farm comprised three hundred and twenty acres. Year by year he carefully carried on the farm work and generous crops rewarded his efforts. In 1907, however, he rented his land to his sons and came to Wahoo, where he has since made his home, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly merits.

   On the 29th of September, 1865, Mr. Ellison was united in marriage to Miss Anna J. Martin, who was born in County Down, Ireland, March 9, 1839. When fifteen years of age she came to the United States with a friend and settled in Dubuque Iowa, where her family had preceded her. At the time of her marriage she accompanied her husband to the home which he had prepared in Iowa and there they lived until they came as pioneer settlers to Saunders county. To them have been born ten children: Jennie, the wife of James McCord, who follows farming in this county; Minnie, the wife of Frank Miller, also a farmer of this county; Anna, the wife of W. R. Sutton, who devotes his attention to agricultural pursuits; Emma, the wife of William McCord; George, a resident farmer of this county; Myrtle, the wife of Herbert Mowers, who also carries on general farming; William J., who is interested in farming; Nellie M., the wife of Harry Woodworth; Edna, the wife of Julius Monteen, of this county; and Verna A., the wife of Clarence Bahde, a banker of Frankfort, South Dakota.

   Mr. and Mrs. Ellison are members of the Presbyterian church and are a


most highly esteemed couple of the community. Both have attained ripe old age and for many years they have traveled life's journey together, sharing with each other in the joys and sorrows, the adversities and prosperity which checker the careers of all. On the 29th of September, 1915, they celebrated their golden wedding. They have always endeavored to do right by their fellowmen and their good qualities have borne fruit in the respect and goodwill entertained for them.


   Rev. Wenceslaus Pokorny, rector of St. John's Catholic church at Prague, was born in Bohemia, May 4, 1869, his parents being Frank and Johanna (Sobotka) Pokorny. The father, who was a farmer in Bohemia, died in the year 1903, having for a long period survived his wife, who passed away in 1885.

   Rev. Wenceslaus Pokorny acquired his education in the public schools of his native country until he reached the age of thirteen years, after which he spent four years as a student in Caslav and four years in further study at the state gymnasium at Nem. Brod. He afterward served in the army for six months and when he had completed his preparation for the priesthood he was ordained to holy orders in 1895 at Bishop Theological Seminary at Hradec Kralove and for about four years acted as assistant in different churches in his native country.

   The year 1898 witnessed the arrival of Father Pokorny in the new world. He made his way to St. Louis, Missouri, where he served as assistant priest at St. John's Bohemian church for a year. In June, 1899, he was transferred to Nebraska and acted as priest at Crete for some time. Later he was for a time at Dwight and at Plattsmouth and spent seven and a half years at Abie and Lenwood, and in August, 1908, was assigned to St. John's church at Prague. During the intervening period he has repaired the church and it is now in an excellent condition. The church societies are well organized and his parishioners cooperate with their priest in all of his efforts to advance the work of Catholicism in this district. Father Pokorny has served for two years as state chaplain of the Catholic Workmen's Society, of which he is a member, and he belongs also to the Western Union Workmen's Society. He is a very kind-hearted man, an interesting talker, is good-natured and jovial and is well liked wherever he is known.


   Anton E. Stuchlik, who owns and operates one hundred and sixty acres of land on sections 5 and 6, Elk precinct, is a native of Saunders county, born in 1882. He is a son of Anton and Mary Stuchlik, natives of Bohemia, who in 1875 emigrated to the United States and took up their residence on what


is now section 5, Elk precinct, this county. The father homesteaded eighty acres and subsequently purchased a similar tract. He engaged in general farming until he retired from active life, and both he and his wife are now residing with our subject.

   Anton E. Stuchlik received his education in the district schools of Elk precinct and is indebted to his father for that early and thorough training in agricultural work which fitted him for farming on his own account. After his textbooks were put aside he devoted his entire time and energy to assisting in the operation of the home farm and after his father retired from active life he purchased the place. He grows considerable grain and also raises stock, finding diversified farming more profitable. He keeps everything about the place in excellent condition and his progressiveness is shown by the fact that he is always ready to adopt new methods which promise to be more efficient than the old.

   On the 6th of November, 1907, Mr. Stuchlik was united in marriage to Miss Katherine Pasak, a daughter of John and Mary Pasak, who were early settlers of Saunders county. Two sons and two daughters have been born to this union, namely: Leander and Joseph, at home; and Katherine and Anna, both of whom died in infancy.

   Mr. Stuchlik supports the democratic party at the polls, believing in the wisdom of its policies. Although he takes the interest of a good citizen in public affairs he has never sought to hold office as his agricultural interests make heavy demands upon his time. His religious faith is that of the Roman Catholic church, and he can be counted upon to support movements seeking the advancement of his community along moral lines. His entire life has been passed in this county and he has gained many warm friends, who respect him for his excellent qualities of character. Although he is yet a young man he has gained a gratifying measure of financial success, his energy and good judgment insuring his continued prosperity.


   R. E. Novak, of Weston, the efficient manager of the Chicago Lumber Company, was born on a farm in Elk precinct, Saunders county, February 4, 1882, a son of J. V. and Josephine (Kovanda) Novak, natives respectively of Kralovy-Hradec and Zbirov, Bohemia. In the early '60s they emigrated to the United States and made their way to Washington county, Iowa, where they lived for a time, after which they went to Omaha, Nebraska. They continued to live there until their removal to Saunders county in the late '60s. They took up a claim near Linwood but later removed to Elk precinct, where the father proved up on a claim. About 1895 they became residents of Weston but two years later returned to the farm, where the father died in 1899. He was buried at Prague. In early life he was a stone mason but for many years devoted his attention to farming, in which he gained a gratifying measure of success. His widow survives and is now living with a daughter in Montana, although for a number of years she made her home with our subject. Four


children were born to Mr. and Mrs. J. V. Novak. Emil, who was born in 1880 and died when thirteen years of age, is buried at Prague. R. E. is the next in order of birth. Gusta is the wife of Joseph R. Koza, of Montana. Josephine is also deceased and is buried at Weston.

   R. E. Novak received his education in the country schools and in the public schools at Weston and in the Lincoln Business College, in which he took a commercial course in 1901 or 1902. Previous to that time he became identified with the business world, having clerked for Frank Hakel for seven years. After completing his commercial course he was in the employ of H. F. Blunk for a time, thus gaining much knowledge of the lumber business. In 1904 he became manager of the business of the Chicago Lumber Company in Weston, which office he has since held. He discharges the duties devolving upon him with efficiency and safeguards the interests intrusted to him. In 1909 he erected the fine residence which he occupies.

   Mr. Novak was married on the 2d of June, 1909, to Miss Minnie C. Blunk, a daughter of H. F. Blunk, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Two children have been born to this union: Bernard Frederick, who was born on Thanksgiving Day of 1912; and Celice Marie, whose birth occurred on Columbus Day of 1914.

   Mr. Novak is independent in politics and takes an intelligent interest in all public questions. For three years he has served on the town board, of which he is now chairman, and during his term of office he has worked earnestly to secure the construction of the sewer. He is also a member of the board of education and has had much to do with the erection of the new schoolhouse. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and the Z. C. B. J., both of Weston. Formerly he gave a great deal of attention to music and was recognized as an accomplished musician, but of late he has not given any time to the art. He has the esteem and respect of those who have come into contact with him, and his many friends predict for him yet greater success in the years to come.


   Bengt Nelson was well known and highly esteemed in Saunders county and his demise was the occasion of widespread regret. He devoted his life to farming and gained a gratifying measure of success, becoming the owner of one of the best improved places in the county. His birth occurred in Sweden on the 11th of April, 1846. His father came to the United States and is buried in Swedeburg, Nebraska. Our subject attended the common schools in Sweden until he was sixteen years of age, after which he worked on a farm until he was twenty years old. He then went to. Denmark, but about five years later emigrated to America, making his way across the country to Nebraska. He rented a farm near South Bend for two years and then came to Saunders county, homesteading eighty acres of land north of Ceresco. Subsequently he bought an adjoining eighty acres of railroad land and his quarter section became one of the valuable farms of the locality, as he made many improvements thereon


Mrs. Bengt Nelson


Bengt Nelson


and brought the land to a high state of cultivation. He erected good buildings and planted a fine grove which now adds much to the attractiveness of the farm. The first residence of the family was a dugout and there were many privations to be endured in the early days, but he had great faith in the future of the county, a faith which the years have justified. He took a great deal of pride in his farm and everything about it was always well kept.

   Mr. Nelson was first married to Mrs. Edna Olson, the widow of Nels Olson, but she passed away in 1898. For his second wife he chose Miss Hannah Gustafson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Johnson, both of whom passed their entire lives in Sweden. Mrs. Nelson came to the United States in 1894 and seven years later her marriage occurred. To this union was born a son, Milton, who is now attending school.

   Mr. Nelson was a democrat in politics, and he attended the Swedish Lutheran church. His life measured up to high standards of manhood and those who knew him best were his stanchest friends. He passed away on the 17th of November, 1913.


   E. W. Westman is one of the successful business men of Weston, where he is engaged in the automobile and garage business. His birth occurred in the province of Nordland, Sweden, on the 25th of September, 1875, and he is a son of Peter O. and Matilda (Stavn) Westman, also natives of that country. They emigrated with their family to the United States when the subject of this review was six years of age and made their way to Yutan, Saunders county, Nebraska, arriving here in March, 1881. While living in Sweden the father was employed as a carpenter and lumberman but after taking up his residence in Saunders county he turned his attention to farming, which he followed until his demise. He is buried in the Baptist cemetery, as is his wife, who passed away in 1907. They were the parents of eight children: Lillie and William, both of whom died when the family was still living in Sweden and are buried there; John, a resident of Boise City, Idaho; E. W.; Larina, deceased, who is buried at Mount Vernon, Washington; Joel, a carpenter of Lincoln, Nebraska; William L., deceased, who is buried northeast of Wahoo; and Hilda, also deceased, who is buried in Weston.

   E. W. Westman is largely self-educated as during his youth his opportunities for attending school were very limited. His father was afflicted with rheumatism and it was necessary for him to assist as much as possible with the farm work. At the early age of nine years he followed the plow and he remained upon the home farm with his parents until both had passed away. He then began farming for himself on Pat Daugherty's farm in Ross Creek precinct. He cultivated rented land until 1911 but in that year abandoned agricultural pursuits and came to Weston, where he started an automobile and garage business. He took into partnership James Nemec, who is still his business associate, and they erected a fine cement building and garage forty-four by sixty feet in dimensions. They do general repair work and are also


agents for the following cars, the Oakland, the Buick, the Ford and the Saxon. Their exact and comprehensive knowledge of automobiles, their reasonable prices and the excellent service rendered are factors in their growing success. Mr. Westman is independent in politics, voting for the man rather than for the party, and for one year served acceptably as road overseer. He attends the Baptist church and is guided by high standards of morality. He has many loyal friends and those who are most intimately associated with him hold him in the highest esteem, which is proof of his genuine worth.


   After devoting thirty years to farming E. A. Bright is making his home in Ashland, occupying a pleasant residence that stands in the midst of three acres of ground. To this little tract he gives his attention but otherwise is living retired and his rest is well merited, for he was ever industrious and diligent when upon the farm and now in the evening of his days he should enjoy a period of leisure. He was born September 1, 1838, in Franklin county, Indiana; a son of Ezekiel and Jerusha (Parrott) Bright, natives of Maryland. The father followed the occupation of farming and upon his removal westward to Indiana settled in Franklin county, where he purchased land from the government at a dollar and a quarter per acre. He at once undertook the task of developing and improving that property, which he converted into productive fields, there spending his, remaining days. His wife died in 1862, while he survived until 1880.

   The youthful days of E. A. Bright were spent in his native county and after his textbooks were put aside he concentrated his attention upon the work of the fields, giving his father the benefit of his services until he reached the age of twenty-four years. He then felt the higher call of duty to his country and in 1862 joined the Union army as a member of Company G, Sixty-eighth Indiana Infantry, with which he served for three years, or until the close of the war. He also had four brothers who were Union soldiers out of a family of nine sons and seven daughters. Of this family two sons and two daughters are yet living. Mr. Bright participated in a number of important engagements and proved a loyal soldier whether on the firing line or stationed on the lonely picket line. When the war was over he returned to Indiana and there remained until 1866, when he removed to Ottumwa, Iowa, where he engaged in teaming for a year. He afterward followed the occupation of farming there for two years and in 1869 came to Nebraska, establishing his home in Saunders county, where he secured a tract of land a mile and a half north of Memphis. Later he added to his original tract until he owned at one time two hundred and eighty acres. He continued to cultivate and improve his land for thirty years, adding to the place all the accessories and conveniences of the model farm of the twentieth century. He utilized the latest improved machinery to facilitate the work of the fields and as time passed his labors were attended with a substantial measure of success that enabled him to put by a goodly sum for the evening of life. At length he retired and pur-


Milton Nelson


chased three acres of land in the northwestern edge of Ashland. Thereon he has a nice residence and is now pleasantly situated, enjoying the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.

   On the 8th of October, 1867, Mr. Bright was joined in marriage to Miss Susan Carr, a daughter of Jacob and Sarah A. (Hilliard) Carr, the former a native of Pennsylvania. He was a farmer, following that pursuit in both Ohio and Iowa. He settled in the latter state prior to the Civil war and there spent his remaining days, his death occurring in 1873. He had long survived his wife, who passed away in 1851. Mr. and Mrs. Bright became the parents of four children: Minnie, who was born April 17, 1870, and who married Martin Mays; Scott, who was born February 23, 1872, and who is engaged in farming in this county; Jennie, who was born August 5, 1875, and who is now the wife of Guy Irwin, of Hastings, Nebraska; and Delia, who was born in March, 1878, and who wedded Reuben Beckheimer, a farmer in this county.

   Mr. Bright and his family are Methodists in religious faith and his political belief is that of the republican party. Fraternally he is connected with the Grand Army of the Republic and he has many sterling traits of character, not the least of which has been his public-spirited devotion to the general good in days of peace as well as in times of war. He has never sought to figure prominently in any connection, always preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business, and the careful and capable management of his farming interests was the basis of the substantial success which is now his.


   When death called Orris M. Tharp the community lost one of its valued citizens. He had been an active and progressive business man of Wahoo, where he dealt in implements, and his fellow citizens had come to regard him not only as a progressive but also as a most reliable business man and one who in the varied relations of life merited the confidence and goodwill of all. He was born in Davis county, Iowa, March 37, 1869, a son of Nathan D. Tharp, mentioned elsewhere in this work. He was only three months old when the family removed from Iowa to Saunders county, becoming pioneers of this district. His youthful days were spent upon the home farm to the age of fourteen years, when the family removed to Wahoo, and there he continued his education in the public and high schools, making rapid progress in his studies. He afterward took up the profession of teaching, which he followed for several years, and later he turned his attention to the telephone business. Subsequently he was connected with the implement business, opening a store which he conducted with growing success to the time of his death. He carried a large and well selected line of farm implements of excellent make and his business methods measured up to the highest standards of commercial ethics.

   On the 27th of March, 1889, Mr. Tharp was married to Miss Myrtie Putney, a daughter of George J. and Elvira M. Putney, who are represented elsewhere in this volume. Mrs. Tharp was born in Ashtabula county, Ohio, but during her infancy was brought by her parents to Saunders county, where


she pursued her education in the district schools and in the schools of Wahoo. To Mr. and Mrs. Tharp were born four children: Floyd A., George A. and Glenn P., all at home; and Nathan D., who died at the age of eighteen months. The family circle was again broken by the hand of death when on the 6th of October, 1913, Mr. Tharp passed away, his death resulting from an accident caused when the motorcycle which he was riding collided with an automobile. His demise was a matter of keen and widespread regret, for he had spent practically his entire life in the county and had won a warm place in the affection and high regard of all with whom he had come in contact. He was a progressive and public-spirited citizen, a loyal friend, a kind neighbor and a devoted husband and father.

   Mr. Tharp voted with the republican party but was not an office seeker, his interest in the public welfare being manifest in other ways. He served as secretary of the County Fair Association and he was a devoted member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. His life, upright and honorable, may well serve as an example to his sons. Mrs. Tharp is a member of the Baptist church. She and her family still reside in Wahoo, where she too has lived from early childhood and where she has a large circle of warm friends.


   Joseph A. Mach, Jr., is a native son of Saunders county and has always resided here, believing that the county offers as good opportunities to the agriculturist as any other region. His birth occurred on section 13, Elk township, on the 28th of February, 1882, and he is a son of Joseph A. Mach, a native of Bohemia, who emigrated to the United States in 1875. The father at once made his way to Nebraska and homesteaded eighty acres in Elk precinct, Saunders county. He immediately began the development of his farm and as the years passed his resources increased and he at length purchased an additional eighty acres. Throughout his active life he engaged in general farming but in 1911 he retired and removed to Prague, where he is now living.

   Joseph A. Mach, Jr., divided his time during his boyhood and youth between attending the public schools and helping his father with the work of the farm. He thus early became familiar with practical methods of agriculture and also gained valuable training in habits of industry and perseverance. In 1909 his father gave him the home place, which he has since operated independently and from which he derives a good income. He does general farming, raising both grain and stock. He is systematic and progressive and has never had occasion to regret his choice of an occupation as he has found farming both congenial and profitable.

   On the 18th of November, 1909, Mr. Mach was united in marriage to Miss Jessie Mach, a daughter of Joseph and Katherine Mach. A son and daughter have been born to this marriage, namely, Augusta and Ernest.

   Mr. Mach casts his ballot in support of the men and measures of the demo-


cratic party but has never sought office as a reward for his fealty. Fraternally he is connected with the Prague lodge of the Z. C. B. J., a Bohemian society. He is one of the well known and highly esteemed young farmers of the county and has already gained a gratifying measure of prosperity. He has thoroughly identified his interests with those of his native county and is always ready to cooperate in movements seeking the public welfare.


   Frank A. Stuchlik, who owns and operates a well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 6, Elk township, is a native son of that township, his birth occurring on the 4th of August, 1880. His parents are Anton and Mary Stuchlik, who are mentioned more fully in the sketch of Anton E. Stuchlik on another page of this work. He received his education in the public schools of Elk township and as soon as old enough began helping his father with the farm work, thus early becoming familiar with practical methods of agriculture. He worked with his father until he was about twenty-three years of age, when he bought a quarter section of land in Elk precinct, paying therefor twenty-eight dollars per acre. He still lives upon that place and carries on general farming, paying considerable attention to the raising of high grade cattle and hogs. He also raises a large number of Brahma chickens and as all of his interests are well managed, he receives a good income from his property. He has made excellent improvements upon his farm and 'his home is one of the best residences of the township.

   On the 8th of May, 1906, Mr. Stuchlik was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Vyhlidal, by whom he has six children, Louis, Frank, William, Emma, Martha and Cyril.

   Mr. Stuchlik is a stanch adherent of the democratic party, in the principles of which he firmly believes, and he takes the interest of a public spirited citizen in the general welfare, although he has never sought office. He is identified with the Catholic Workmen, which indicates his membership in the Catholic church. He has continued to reside in his native county and has found the opportunities which have enabled him to gain a gratifying measure of prosperity, and his energy, his progressiveness and good judgment leave no room for doubt as to his continued success.


   Julius Petermichel is a well known representative of banking interests in Saunders county, being now at the head of the Oak Creek Valley Bank of Valparaiso, which he aided in organizing in 1899. A young man, he possesses keen sagacity and enterprising spirit and he is carrying forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes. His birth occurred in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in January, 1874, his parents being Joseph and Barbara. Petermichel.


The former, a native of Austria, was born near Klattau and died in December, 1913, but the mother survives and now makes her home in Chicago.

   Julius Petermichel largely acquired his education in parochial schools of his native city and also spent one term in study in Chicago. He arrived in Wahoo in 1889 and since that time has been a resident of Saunders county, covering a period of twenty-six years. He entered the Saunders County National Bank in a humble capacity and gradually worked his way upward through intermediate positions until he became head bookkeeper and during that period gained comprehensive knowledge of the business in its various phases. In 1899 he assisted in organizing the Oak Creek Valley Bank of Valparaiso, of which he is now the cashier. He has since bent his energies to the management of the institution, which was founded upon a safe, substantial basis and has been conducted according to the highest ethical standards of business. He is also president of the State Bank of Touhy, Nebraska, which he helped to organize, and of the Farmers & Merchants Bank at Garrison, Nebraska, and is a director of the Farmers & Merchants Bank of Weston.

   In February, 1902, Mr. Petermichel was united in marriage to Miss Pearl M. Mosgrove, of Columbus, Nebraska, whose birth occurred in Valparaiso, this state, in December, 1877. In his fraternal relations Mr. Petermichel is a Mason, holding membership in Square Lodge, No. 151, A. F. & A. M., and the Royal Arch chapter at Wahoo. He votes with the republican party and keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day, so that he is able to cast an intelligent ballot and support his position by an intelligent argument, but he does not seek nor desire office, as he prefers to give his undivided attention to his business affairs, and along the line of persistent, earnest effort he is nearing the goal of success.


   John J. Masek, a well known resident of section 18, Elk township, is meeting with gratifying success as a stock-raiser and farmer. His birth occurred in Bohemia in June, 1875, but when only two years of age he was brought by his parents, George and Katherine Masek, to the United States. The family home was established on eighty acres of land in Saunders county, Nebraska, to which the father subsequently added by purchase. He carried on agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred on the 9th of May, 1913. His wife died on the 11th of September, 1915.

   John J. Masek grew to manhood in this county and is indebted for his education to the public schools, which he attended during his boyhood and youth, He also assisted his father with the farm work from an early age and by so doing gained valuable training in agriculture which stood him in good stead when, at the age of twenty-five years, he began farming on his own account, buying one hundred and forty acres of land on section 18, Elk township. He has since added a seventy acre tract to that place, making his total holdings two hundred and ten acres. He concentrates his attention largely upon the


raising of high grade cattle and hogs, and as his stock is always in good condition and as he watches the market carefully, he seldom fails to sell to good advantage.

   On the 19th of February, 1900, Mr. Masek was married to Miss Emma Kubik, a daughter of James Kubik, and they have become the parents of nine children, namely: William, Lillie, Fred, Emma, Ella, Erwin, Max, Roy and Tillie, all of whom are at home.

   Mr. Masek is a stanch adherent of the democratic party, whose policies, he believes, are based upon sound principles of government. His religious allegiance is given to the Catholic church, whose influence he seeks to extend in every way possible. He has won a gratifying measure of material prosperity and has gained an enviable reputation as a man of enterprise and sound judgment. His integrity has never been questioned, and his personal qualities are such that he has won the warm friendship of many.


   Claus J. Frahm is one of the self-made men of Saunders county, who, starting out in life empty handed, is now the possessor of a good farm property comprising two hundred acres not far from Ithaca. He was born in Kankakee county, Illinois, March 21, 1873, and is a son of Claus and Margaret (Koll) Frahm, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father came to the United States in 1852 and the mother arrived in 1857. They became residents of Illinois and after living there for a number of years removed to Nebraska in 1877, at which time Mr. Frahm purchased a farm northwest of Malmo. Here he resided for three and a half years, after which he was superintendent of the county farm and remained thereon until his death, which occurred in 1888. His widow survives and is now living with her son Claus.

   Spending his early boyhood in his native county, Claus J. Frahm there began his education, which he continued in the schools of Nebraska following the removal of the family to this state. At the age of sixteen years, however, he put aside his textbooks and concentrated his energies upon farm work, devoting his attention to the cultivation of his mother's place. He lived upon that farm for fifteen years, during which period he carefully saved his earnings, and since 1905 he has resided upon his present place in township 13. He has carefully and systematically tilled his fields, which now produce good crops and he has added all modern equipments to the place, including the latest improved machinery to facilitate the work of the fields.

   In 1900 Mr. Frahm was united in marriage to Miss Anna Eichmeier, a daughter of August Eichmeier, and their children are: Edward, Laura, Harvey and Dorothy, aged respectively fourteen, twelve, ten and eight years, all now in school; Elmer, five years of age; Lawrence, aged four; and Le Roy, who is a year old. The religious faith of the family is that of the German Lutheran church, to which the parents belong. Mr. Frahm usually gives his political support to the democratic party, yet does not hesitate to vote inde-

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