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


pendently if he thinks the candidate of another party is the one best qualified for the office. He deserves credit for what he has accomplished as the years have gone by, for his labors have brought him substantial and well merited success, and in all of his dealings he has been found thoroughly reliable as well as progressive.


   Christian Scow lives upon a forty-acre tract of land adjoining Wahoo, on which he erected in 1912 a beautiful modern residence that stands on a natural building site. For a long period he was actively identified with farming interests but is now living retired and of him one may say:

"How blest is he
Who crowns in shades like these A youth of labor
And an age of ease."

   While he is now accounted one of the wealthy men of the community, he is also known as one of its self-made citizens, having been both the architect and builder of his own fortunes.

   Mr. Scow was born near Dramon, about forty miles from Christiania, Norway, July 21, 1848, a son of Oliver and Bertha (Thirgenson) Scow, who were also natives of that locality. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, came to the United States with his wife and four children in 1870, landing at New York in the month of August. He made his way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he spent two weeks in visiting a daughter and then continued his journey to Fremont, Nebraska, and thence came to Saunders county, settling near the present site of Prague. He bought a yoke of oxen at Fremont and the family all drove across the country, hauling lumber for the house in the wagon. Their first home was a dugout. The father and two of his sons, one of whom was Christian, all secured homesteads on section 30, Douglas precinct. They broke seventy-five acres the first year, twenty-five acres on each claim, and they raised corn and buckwheat. Gradually they improved their farms and in time the father, adding to his original possessions, became the owner of two hundred acres of good land. He died upon his homestead when seventy years of age, while his wife had reached the age of about seventy-five years at the time of her demise. They were both members of the Lutheran church and were recognized as people of the highest respectability.

   Mr. Scow was reared in Norway and during the later period of his youth worked at farm labor, being thus employed until he attained his majority. He then went to sea, engaging in seal hunting near Iceland, where he shot a great many seals, displaying such expert skill that he was regarded as the best shot in the crew. He was a young man of twenty-two years when he came to this county and homesteaded. He also took a preemption claim, so that he became the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land, and he had a small blacksmith


Christian Scow and Family


shop, doing work for the neighbors. Later he added to his property until he had nine hundred acres in the county at one time. He is still the owner of five hundred and twenty acres in the old home place and also owns one hundred and twenty acres adjoining Wahoo. He owned four farms in Polk county, three in Saunders county and one in Dakota that he has sold, his landed possessions aggregating at one time twenty-five hundred acres. His has been a notably successful career, but an analyzation of his life record will show that he places his dependence only upon the substantial qualities of industry and determination, which anyone may cultivate and develop. He raises many hogs and cattle, his sale of hogs amounting to as high as four thousand dollars in a single year. In 1912 he rented the old home place and came to the place on which he now resides. He built his present residence at a cost of fifty-six hundred dollars and he also has a good barn and other modern equipment. The land which he has in this tract comprises one hundred and twenty acres, much of which he rents, retaining, however, about forty acres for himself.

   On the 27th of June, 1877, Mr. Scow was married to Miss Annie Lees, who was born in Cedar county, Iowa, March 23, 1858, a daughter of Abram and Caroline (Smith) Lees, both of whom were natives of England, where they were reared. The father was twenty-one years of age when he came to the United States and the mother fourteen. They were married in Iowa, up to which time Mr. Lees worked in factories. He afterward bought land in Cedar county, Iowa, but in 1870 sold his farm there and came to Saunders county, securing a homestead near the present site of the town of Prague. He had driven through to this county with a covered wagon and had brought with him a cow and two calves. He built a one-room house of boards with sod on the outside and then began improving his place. He made the beds and other furniture himself and he broke his ground and continued to develop it until he could raise a crop. Later he purchased an adjoining eighty-acre tract and thereon engaged in farming until 1881, when he sold that property and invested in eighty acres of land adjoining the town of Wahoo. He afterward bought forty acres more and then sold the eighty-acre tract. He built a nice residence on a five-acre tract in Wahoo and was there living at the time of his death, which occurred May 12, 1915, when he had reached the very venerable age of eighty-seven years. He was a school director and was much interested in the cause of education. He traveled quite extensively and thus greatly broadened his knowledge. His business success and advancement were due entirely to his own efforts and he won the proud American title of a self-made man. His widow is still living at the age of eighty and is very active for one of her years.

   Mrs. Scow, who was the eldest in their family of twelve children, was twelve years of age when brought to this county. She attended the common schools here until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Scow have become the parents of nine children: Margaret, the wife of Rhinehardt H. Wessel, of Frederick, Oklahoma; Oliver Christian, who is a farmer residing near Shelby, Nebraska; Ivy Josephine, the wife of Anson Wolf, residing near Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska; Andrew, who died when about two years old; Frederick, who is farming near Shelby, Nebraska; Hattie, who married Charles Wolf and resides near Cedar Bluffs; Edward, a farmer residing near Shelby; and Ellen B. and Louis I., at home.


   That Mr. Scow's life has been one of value and usefulness to the community is indicated in the fact that he has developed and improved ten farms in Nebraska, six of which had no buildings upon them when he took possession, while the other four had only small buildings. The second year of his residence here he secured a hive of bees and eight years later he had one hundred hives. For many years he had a large apiary and engaged extensively in the cultivation of bees and the production of honey. Whatever he undertook seemed to prosper, but it was not through luck or any fortunate combination of circumstances, but owing to his close application, his unfaltering industry and his keen discernment as to the value of a business situation.


   Andrew Jackson Abbott, who is devoting his life to the business of painting and paper hanging, now makes his home in Ashland, where he is accorded a liberal patronage. He was born in Henry county, Indiana, October 26, 1844, his parents being William and Mary (Prough) Abbott, who were natives of the Keystone state. The father was a farmer by occupation and at an early day went to Indiana, where he purchased land, devoting his remaining days to the development and improvement of that property. He was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife in 1865 and two years later he also passed away.

   Reared on the family homestead in Indiana, Andrew Jackson Abbott remained with his parents until 1864, when his patriotic spirit caused him to don the nation's blue uniform and he went to the front as a member; of Company E, Ninth Indiana Cavalry, with which he served for a year and nine months, or until the close of the war. When hostilities had ceased he returned to his old home in Indiana and there engaged in farming for about six years. He afterward went to Clay county, in southern Illinois, where he carried on general farming for a year, and in 1870 he removed to Cass county, Nebraska, where he worked at the trade of painting and paper hanging. He has since followed that pursuit with the exception of one year which he spent in farming. His residence in Ashland dates from 1900, during which period he has been closely connected with the industrial interests of the town in following his chosen business. He is accorded a good patronage, for he is careful and systematic in his work and makes most earnest and persistent efforts to please those who call upon his services.

   On February 23, 1869, Mr. Abbott was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Conn, a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Crockett) Conn, who were natives of Ohio. The father was a merchant and on leaving Ohio removed to Newcastle, Indiana, where he conducted a store for many years, becoming one of the leading business men of that place. He finally became a resident of Cass county, Nebraska, where he secured a homestead claim and carried on farming for a few years. On disposing of that property he removed to Greenwood, where he purchased a drug store, conducting the business throughout his remaining days. Both he and his wife passed away in 1892. He built a chapel in Cass county near his home. To Mr. and Mrs. Abbott were born nine children,


namely: Iva, the wife of E. J. Robins, of Lincoln, Nebraska; James, a resident of York, this state; Maude, who is the widow of A. J. Devoe and resides at Ashland; Effie, who died in 1899; Pearl, the wife of E. M. Harmon, of Havelock, Nebraska; Ralph, a resident of Lincoln; Ray, of Omaha; Ethel, the wife of Arthur Gibson, of Ashland; and Ora, also residing in Ashland.

   The religious faith of the family is that of the Methodist church and their Christian belief has been the motive force in their lives. Mr. Abbott belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic and his political indorsement is given to the republican party, of which he has been an earnest supporter since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. Working earnestly and persistently year after year, he has progressed in his undertakings and a substantial measure of prosperity has come to him. His life has been a busy and useful one and he is now numbered among the representative residents of the town in which he makes his home.


   Hubert Janda, a furniture dealer and undertaker of Weston, was born in Moravia, Austria, November 2, 1871, a son of Thomas and Frances (Chyba) Janda, both likewise natives of Moravia. In 1876 the family came to the United States and, making their way across the country, settled at Plattsmouth, Nebraska, where they resided for some time, after which they lived successively in Saunders, Saline and Douglas counties, this state. The father was a cabinet maker and carpenter and in addition to following his trade carried on agricultural pursuits in Saunders county. He passed away in May, 1911, while living at Plattsmouth with a daughter, and is buried at that place. He had survived his wife for about seven years, her demise occurring June 6, 1904. She was buried at Crete but her remains were subsequently removed to Plattsmouth. To them were born six children: Hubert; Frank, who is in the undertaking business in Omaha; Agnes, the wife of Frank Slavicek, of Plattsmouth; Frances, the wife of Dr. A. E. Pecinovsky, of Valley Falls, Kansas, who is both an osteopath and a holder of the M. D. degree; John, a farmer residing at Gretna, Nebraska; and Joseph, of South Omaha. The three older children were born in Moravia and the others in this country.

   Hubert Janda received his education in the schools of Plattsmouth and remained at home until he was twenty years of age. When sixteen years old he began learning the machinist's trade, which he followed for nine years, spending six years of that time in Plattsmouth and three in Havelock. For a period of three years, the interval between working at his trade in Plattsmouth and Havelock, he farmed on his own account in Saunders county and later he followed agricultural pursuits in Cass county for two years. At the end of that time, in April, 1901, he embarked in the furniture and undertaking business in Weston and has since continued in those lines. He is also the representative of the Frank Svoboda Monument Company of Omaha, Nebraska, and has prospered in his various business undertakings. In 1909 he erected a fine brick building twenty-six by seventy-five feet in dimensions, which he


occupies. In all of his dealings he adheres to high standards of honor and his success is well deserved.

   On the 16th of February, 1892, Mr. Janda was united in marriage to Miss Marie Donat, also a native of Moravia. They adopted a daughter, Marie, who has passed away, and they have become the parents of five children: Francis, at home; Adolph, deceased; Agnes, who is teaching school and lives at home; and Tresia and Julia, also at home.

   Mr. Janda casts his ballot in support of the candidates and measures of the republican party and takes a commendable interest in affairs of public moment. Both he and his wife are devout communicants of the Catholic church and he is identified with the Catholic Turners and the Catholic Weston Union Society. He also holds membership in the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Weston.


   V. K. Kaspar, who is engaged in general farming in Elk precinct, is the owner of two hundred and forty acres of rich and productive land, of which two hundred acres is situated on his home farm and forty acres in Mariposa precinct. He is one of the native sons of Saunders county, his birth having occurred in Chester precinct on the 1st of November, 1869, his parents being Vaclav and Mary (Cizek) Kaspar, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this work in connection with the sketch of J. V. Kaspar. The family is an old and prominent one in this part of the state, having been closely connected with the development and growth of the county from pioneer times.

   V. K. Kaspar was educated in the common schools, which he attended through the winter seasons, while in the summer months he aided in the work of the home farm. After his textbooks were put aside his entire attention was concentrated upon the farm until he reached the age of twenty-five years. At that time he and his brother took charge of the old homestead which they thus operated for a year. At the end of that time V. K. Kaspar was married and continued to cultivate and develop the old home place of two hundred and eighty acres for nine years, renting that farm from his father. At the end of that time he purchased one hundred and twenty acres from his father and has since added another tract of similar amount, so that he now has a well improved property of two hundred and forty acres. Upon the farm are good buildings, including a substantial residence and good barns and outbuildings that furnish ample shelter for grain and stock. He cultivates the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and annually gathers good harvests as the result of his labor. He also makes a specialty of raising Red Polled cattle and Poland China hogs.

   On the 28th of January, 1896, Mr. Kaspar was married to Miss Lena Sedlacek, a daughter of John Sedlacek, who came from Bohemia to Saunders county in 1890. Eight children have been born of this marriage: James; Charles; Leo; Frank; Zedenka, deceased; George; Victor; and Thomas. It is Mr. Kaspar's aim and purpose to give his children the best educational oppor-


tunities possible. In politics he is a democrat but not an office seeker, and he has no church or fraternal relations. He is above all a home man, devoted to his family, and is putting forth every possible effort to promote the welfare of his wife and children.


   Edward Bures, who conducts a confectionery store at Prague, is one of the most successful young business men of that town. He was born in Oxford Junction, Iowa, on the 18th of August, 1884, of the marriage of John and Marie Bures, natives of Bohemia, who emigrated to the United States in 1893. After locating at Oxford Junction, Iowa, the father worked for the Northwestern Railroad Company for some time and later came to this state, locating at Omaha. He worked for the city for a time and was also in the employ of various packing houses. He died on the 31st of December, 1907, but is survived by his wife, who still lives in Omaha.

   Edward Bures received his education in the schools of Omaha and on beginning his business career found work in a packing house, where he remained for a considerable period, his ability winning him promotion until he became a butcher, which position he held for about six years. He was then employed in various stores until the 1st of February, 1915, when he came to Prague and purchased his present confectionery business. He has already gained recognition as a man of energy and business ability, and his trade is representative and profitable.

   On the 15th of November, 1910, occurred the marriage of Mr. Bures and Miss Anna Cisar, a daughter of John and Frances Cisar, who are still residents of Bohemia. Mr. and Mrs. Bures have become the parents of two children: Edward, who died on the 7th of April, 1912; and Helen B., whose natal day was the 31st of October, 1913.

   Mr. Bures is a stanch advocate of republican principles and loyally supports that party at the polls. Fraternally he is connected with a number of Bohemian organizations, the Z. C. B. J., the C. S. D. P. J., and Tel Jed Sokol. He is popular in those bodies and although he has resided in Prague for less than a year, he has won many warm friends in the town.


   Wallace S. Odell was for many years actively connected with agricultural interests in Chapman precinct but spent his last years in honorable retirement at Weston. A native of Venango county, Pennsylvania, he was born on the 4th of February, 1852, and was a son of Alfred and Julia (Van Geisen) Odell, natives respectively of New York and New Jersey. They were married in Pennsylvania and continued to reside there until the subject of this review was seventeen years of age, when the family removed to Saunders county, Nebraska,


the father homesteading land two and one-half miles east of Weston. At that time the county was in the main a frontier district and the town of Weston had not been founded. Mr. Odell proved up on his claim and remained thereon until his demise, which occurred in 1909, when he had reached the advanced age of eighty-six years. His wife died in 1911, when eighty-four years old. They became the parents of seven children, as follows: Thomas, deceased; Prudence, who died at the age of two years; Wallace S.; William, a resident of Broken Bow, Nebraska; Lincoln, who died when nine years of age; Nellie May, deceased; and Clyde, who is living on the home farm.

   Wallace S. Odell attended school in Pennsylvania and remained at home for some time after the removal of the family to this county. When twenty-five years of age he was married and began farming on his own account in Chapman precinct, buying railroad land which he improved. He was very successful as an agriculturist, being energetic and progressive, and as the years passed accumulated a competence which enabled him to retire from active life in 1910. In that year he sold his farm and removed to Weston, where he erected a good residence.

   On the 31st of July, 1877, Mr. Odell was united in marriage to Miss Cora Davis, a daughter of Captain William and Nancy (Whiting) Davis, further mention of whom appears elsewhere in this work. To Mr. and Mrs. Odell were born eight children, namely: Maud, now the wife of Henry White, of Wahoo; Roy, who is connected with the civil service in the Philippine islands; Zoe, the wife of Joseph Kriz, a rural mail carrier; Alta, at home; Dawn, the wife of Joseph Porter, of Wahoo; Wilma, who married George Jackson, of Wahoo; and Nannie and Alfred, at home.

   In early manhood Mr. Odell was an adherent of the republican party but later gave his allegiance to the democratic party. He attended and contributed to the support of the Methodist Episcopal church, with which his family is affiliated. His life was characterized by the faithful and efficient performance of the tasks nearest at hand, by a regard for the rights of others and by unswerving integrity, qualities which secured him the respect of all with whom he was associated. His demise, which occurred July 30, 1915, was the occasion of sincere regret, and his friends still cherish his memory.


   Leopold H. Krause, a well known and highly esteemed farmer of Saunders county, is residing on section 4, Cedar township, where he rents a half section of fine land belonging to his father. He was born in Dodge county, Nebraska, March 5, 1885, and is a son of Joseph and Anna (Erychleb) Krause. Although the father was born in Germany and the mother in Moravia, Austria, they were married in the United States and subsequently took up their residence in Wisconsin, whence they came to Saunders county, Nebraska. After homesteading land in this county the father took up a claim in Dodge county but after proving up thereon returned to Saunders county. Both he and his wife are living and make their home in Fremont. They are the parents of seven children: Rudolph,


who is farming in this county; Leopold H.; Barbara, deceased; Nora, the wife of Henry Coady, who resides near Malmo; Elsie, who married Fred Swanson, of Fremont; and Emil and Anna, at home.

   Leopold H. Krause was educated in the country schools and in those of Cedar Bluffs and passed the days of his boyhood and youth under the parental roof. He received excellent home training and in addition to gaining much valuable knowledge of agricultural methods was impressed with the value of industry, perseverance and integrity. About 1910 he began farming on his own account and now operates three hundred and twenty acres in Cedar township. The land is in a high state of cultivation and there are excellent improvements upon the place, which is one of the valuable farm properties of the township. He engages in general farming and as the years pass his resources are steadily increasing, for he is an efficient agriculturist and manages his business affairs well.

   On February 8, 1915, Mr. Krause was married to Miss Mabel Garnhart, a native of Pennsylvania. Both are communicants of the Roman Catholic church and take an active part in the furtherance of its work. Mr. Krause votes for the men and measures of the democratic party but has never sought office. He is a progressive and successful young farmer and his many admirable personal characteristics have gained him the warm regard of those who have been closely associated with him.


   Rev. Alois Gryc, pastor of Plasi church in Elk precinct, was born in Moravia, June 19, 1880, and is a son of Joseph and Mary (Vejvoda) Gryc. The father, a farmer by occupation, is still living in Moravia, but the mother passed away January 23, 1909.

   The Rev. Alois Gryc was the eldest in a family of five children and attended the public schools until he reached the age of ten years. He afterward spent a year in high school and for eight years attended the gymnasium at Brno, the capital of Moravia. He thence went to Vienna, where he took up the study of law, to which he devoted two years, and during the succeeding three years he was a student of theology at Olomouc and in the Brno Seminary for a year. He was graduated in 1905 and in the same year was ordained to the priesthood. He was then assigned to duty as assistant in Moravia, thus continuing until February 24, 1909, when he sailed for the new world and made his way direct to Sacred Heart church at Atwood, Kansas. He spent eighteen months in that connection, after which he was transferred to Holy Trinity church at Bendon, South Dakota, where he remained for thirteen months. He afterward went to St. Peter's and St. Paul's church in Pocahontas, Iowa, where he served as priest from October, 1911, until August, 1912. He was then assigned to Assumption church at Deweese, Nebraska for two years and on the 3d of September, 1914, he assumed his present priestly charge over Plasi church in Elk precinct, Saunders county. This church was organized February 5, 1876. The first house of worship


was destroyed by fire in 1901, after which the present church building was erected in the same year. The membership now includes over seventy families. The church property consists of forty acres of land, a large church building, parsonage and cemetery. In addition to Plasi church Rev. Gryc formerly had charge of the Touhy mission. He is an affable man, widely read, and is doing good work among his parishioners in this county.


   William C. Elmelund is a representative of one of the pioneer families of Saunders county and is now actively connected with the Valparaiso State Bank, of which he is the cashier. In this connection he has become an important factor in the business circles of the county. He was born in Monmouth, Illinois, January 16, 1872, and was but two years of age when taken by his parents to Nebraska, where he has since made his home. He is a son of S. N. and Ida P. Elmelund, who established their home near Wahoo, becoming pioneer residents of that district. The father secured a tract of land which he continued to cultivate until his demise, and his widow is still living on the old homestead. The family name indicates the Swedish ancestry.

   Liberal educational opportunities were afforded William C. Elmelund, who attended Luther College at Wahoo and also the business college at Fremont, Nebraska, from which he was graduated. In 1893, when a young man of twenty-one years, he removed to the vicinity of Agnew, Nebraska, where he carried on general farming for thirteen years or until 1906. He then removed to Valparaiso and for a few years was engaged in the grain trade but later turned his attention to banking, purchasing a controlling interest in the Valparaiso State Bank, of which he is the present cashier and active manager. He gives his attention to the direction of the interests of the bank and recognizes at all times that the financial institution which most carefully safeguards the interests of its depositors is the one most worthy of support. His progressiveness, therefore, is tempered by conservatism and the methods which he pursues in his banking business commend the institution to the generous support of the people of this part of the county. In addition to his bank stock he owns about five hundred acres of land in Saunders county, from which he derives a most gratifying annual income.

   On the 9th of February, 1898, in Valparaiso, Nebraska, Mr. Elmelund was united in marriage to Miss Eva Weber, a daughter of George P. and Vienna Weber. She was born near Springfield, Illinois, and is a graduate of the Valparaiso high school. By her marriage she has become the mother of six children, namely: Nelson, Everett, Wilber, Lucile, Edith and Wane.

   While Mr. Elmelund is of Lutheran faith, he attends the Methodist church at Valparaiso, as there is no organization of his denomination in town. Fraternally he is well known, belonging to the Masons, the Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. His political allegiance is given the democratic party and for three years he served as chairman of the village board, in which connection he carefully directed the interests of the town. In 1913 he


William C. Elmelund


was elected to the Nebraska legislature, and in 1915 was reelected. He was honored by being made chairman of the house banking committee. He has given careful consideration to all the questions which have come up for settlement during his identification with the general assembly and has proved an able working member of that body, his colleagues recognizing his sound judgment and his public spirit.


   Marion E. Sanderson is a capable and progressive farmer residing on section 25, Cedar township, and is also a public spirited citizen. He represents a family that was established in America in colonial days and that aided in the gaining of independence from England, and he has proved worthy of his ancestry, manifesting a commendable willingness to subordinate private interests to the general good.

   Mr. Sanderson was born on Christmas Day, 1878, in Saunders county a mile north of his present home. His father, William M. Sanderson, was a native of the Mohawk valley. New York, and his birth occurred on the 19th of April, 1842. He was a son of Lyman and Sylvia (Altenburg) Sanderson, who were descended from French and German stock respectively. They were natives, however, of the Empire state and there passed their entire lives. Their son William remained at home until he enlisted in a New York Volunteer Regiment for service in the Civil war and for three years and a few months he remained at the front, being engaged during that time in eighteen hard fought battles and a number of skirmishes. While in the army he was wounded in the side of the head and because of this injury he later received a pension from the government. On the 6th of March, 1873, he and his wife removed to Saunders county, Nebraska, and settled near what is now the town of Colon. He concentrated his energies upon the development of his farm and continued to follow agricultural pursuits until the 16th of October, 1891, when he died on the home place of heart disease. He is buried in Marietta precinct. He was very successful and at the time of his death owned seven hundred and twenty acres of excellent land. He took a very active part in politics and many times served as delegate to conventions but never held office. He attended the Presbyterian church and held to high standards of morality. He did not belong to any fraternal organizations but found his greatest pleasure in his home and in the society of his family. He and his wife were the parents of three sons and three daughters: Byron, who is living with his mother in Fremont; Nellie, who married George Staats, of Fremont; Ruby, the wife of William Jackson, who resides in South Dakota; Elmer E., who is married and is living in Walnut, Kansas; Dora, who married L. C. Staats, of Central City, Nebraska; and Marion E.

   Mrs. Sanderson was in her maidenhood Miss Philinda Chaddock and is a daughter of Luther Chaddock, a son of Thomas Chaddock, who served in the Revolutionary war. On page 173, Volume 1, Rhode Island Service, appears the following entry: "Thomas Chaddock appears with rank of private


on muster and payroll of Captain John Crawford's company; Colonel James Conner's regiment for service at Rhode Island, on an alarm. Enlisted July 23, 1777; Discharged July 26, 1777. Further information concerning the record of Thomas Chaddock is found on page 15, Volume 10, Soldiers Orders, as follows: "Thomas Chaddock appears with grade of private on a return of Captain Moses Ashley's company. Colonel Joseph Voce's regiment in service before August 16, 1777, marched to Peekskill." The following mention of Mr. Chaddock is taken from page 14, Volume 18, Various Services: "Thomas Chaddock appears with rank of private on muster and payroll of Captain John Crawford's company. Colonel James Conner's regiment. Enlisted August 20, 1777; discharged August 20, 1777. Marched on the alarm of August 20th to Bennington." Mrs Sanderson is now living in Fremont, Nebraska, with her eldest son, Byron, and their residence is one of the beautiful and commodious homes of the city. She also owns a third of the homestead.

   Marion E. Sanderson was educated in the district schools and also received valuable training at home, assisting his father in the work of the farm. When twenty-one years of age he took charge of the homestead, which he operated for two or three years, after which he rented a farm belonging to his brother for two or three years. At the end of that time he purchased a farm of eighty acres on section 36, Cedar township, and took up his residence thereon. He has erected a number of buildings upon the place and made other improvements, and it is unusually well equipped with up-to-date machinery, including a threshing machine and a corn sheller in addition to the ordinary farm implements. He operates his home farm and also another eighty acre tract just south of his place, which he likewise owns. He does general farming and as he is practical and systematic in his work his labor yields him a good return.

   In 1900 Mr. Sanderson was married to Miss Lucy Klotz, by whom he has four children: Dewey R., Harold C., Edna May and Velma D. He is independent in politics, preferring to follow the lead of his own judgment rather than to obey the dictates of a party leader. He was reared in the Presbyterian church and has always striven to conform his life to high ethical standards. He is much interested in the general welfare and can be depended upon to further movements seeking the advancement of his county.


   No history of Saunders county would be complete without extended reference to Henry C. Reasoner, who was one of the earliest settlers within its borders and served as the first county sheriff. He lived to see a wonderful transformation wrought by time and man, for ere his death the county had been converted from a wild western wilderness into a thickly populated and prosperous region. In the work of general improvement he bore his part and the value of his services is now widely acknowledged. He was born in Ohio, near Zanesville, October 3, 1833, a son of Stephen and Catherine


(Hardy) Reasoner, who were natives of Pennsylvania. They were farming people and became identified with agricultrual interests in Ohio and in Indiana before removing westward to Iowa in 1857, at which time they took up their abode in Page county, where their remaining days were passed.

   Henry C. Reasoner spent the period of his boyhood and youth in Ohio and assisted his father as far as age and strength would permit in the development and improvement of the home farm. After attaining his majority he made his way westward to Colorado and there engaged in prospecting. Subsequently he purchased a train of wagons and devoted his attention to the business of freighting across the country in Colorado and Nebraska, giving two years to that undertaking. He then ceased his efforts along that line and made his way to Ashland, Saunders county, Nebraska, where he arrived in 1864. The condition which confronted him was in marked contrast to the county at the present time, for it seemed that the work of development and improvement had scarcely been begun in this part of the state. Much of the land was still in the possession of the government and on many a now fertile farm not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made at that period. Mr. Reasoner established a blacksmith shop on the premises, which was the first smithy in the county, but after operating it for a year he secured a homestead claim two miles west of Ashland and with characteristic energy began to develop and till the fields. He was thus busily engaged throughout his remaining days and in the later years of his life, while he retired from the active work of the fields, he still gave supervision to his farm. At length, however, he took up his abode in Ashland, where he passed away January 7, 1890, the community thereby losing one of its most honored and valued citizens.

   On the 3d of December, 1864, Mr. Reasoner was married to Miss Emma Barnhill, a daughter of Audley and Nancy (Walker) Barnhill, the former a native of South Carolina and the latter of Kentucky. Removing to Illinois, they settled near Rock Island, becoming early pioneer residents of that section. This was only a short time after the Indians had been driven from the state and when the work of improvement and development was yet in embryo. They resided in that locality until 1857 and then came to Saunders county, Nebraska, Mr. Barnhill securing a claim where the city of Wahoo now stands. He was finally driven off the property by Indians, so that he sold the place and took up his abode in Ashland, where he purchased property and conducted a hotel for some time. Once more, however, he turned his attention to farming by securing another claim two miles west and adjoining the farm property of Mr. Reasoner. He then concentrated his energies upon the further development and improvement of his fields, which he continued to cultivate throughout his remaining days. He died in December, 1878, at the age of seventy-eight years, while his wife died in April, 1892, at the advanced age of ninety-two years. Mrs. Reasoner was born January 26, 1845, in Wayne county, Illinois, and was brought to this state by her parents in her early girlhood, so that she was largely reared and educated in Saunders county. She taught the first school in the town of Ashland, a school that was conducted on the subscription plan, but after teaching for three months she was married. To Mr. and Mrs. Reasoner were born seven children. Lena was


born in September, 1865, and died September 21, 1882. Rulla, born May 11, 1870, is a railroad agent and hotel proprietor at Unadilla, Nebraska. Audley, was born January 29, 1872, and died in February, 1913. Grace, born April 18, 1876, is the wife of Frank Bell and they reside at Marine Mills, near St. Paul, Minnesota. Martha, born April 28, 1878, married Frank Austin, of Ansley, this state. Raymond, born October 25, 1880, is a farmer of South Dakota. Henry Jr., born August 16, 1887, is employed in the general store of his uncle, S. L. Sears, at Ashland.

   After her husband's death Mrs. Reasoner sold the farm but she now owns a homestead in South Dakota and an attractive residence in Ashland. Mr. Reasoner was a member of the Grange and his religious belief was that of the Congregational church. Politicaly he was a republican and was elected sheriff of Saunders county in 1865, being the first to occupy that position. Well known among the earliest settlers, of the county, Mr. Reasoner took an active part in promoting the public welfare and thus it was that his death was the occasion of deep and widespread regret. Those who knew him esteemed him highly and he had a wide acquaintance. He had a circle of friends coextensive with the circle of his acquaintance and in every respect his life measured up to high standards as he held to those principles of manly conduct and honor which gain for the individual the regard of his fellows.


   John W. McAuley was a successful farmer of Wahoo township and was highly esteemed as a man and citizen. He was born in Carthage, Illinois, on the 9th of August, 1847, a son of John and Mary (Vantasle) McAuley, the former a native of Syracuse, New York, and the latter of New York city. They were the parents of twelve children, of whom our subject was the youngest. He received a common school education and resided with his parents in the Empire state until the latter part of the Civil war, when he enlisted in a cavalry regiment. After receiving his honorable discharge he returned home and lived in Illinois until May, 1869, when he removed to Saunders county, Nebraska, and homesteaded the north half of section 20, township 14, range 8 east. Subsequently he purchased additional land and as the years passed his resources increased as he was a very efficient farmer and also managed his business affairs well.

   On the 25th of November, 1875, Mr. McAuley was united in marriage to Miss Mary Bissell, who was born at Valparaiso, Indiana, on the 13th of January, 1857, and came to Nebraska on the 2d of January, 1871.

   Mr. McAuley always cast his ballot and used his political influence in favor of the working classes and kept well informed as to the questions of the day. He was a loyal member of the Methodist Episcopal church and was also identified with the Odd Fellows lodge, to which he belonged for thirty years. These associations indicate the high principles which governed his conduct and which gained him the respect of all who were associated with him. He was a man of unquestioned integrity, a public spirited citizen and an


energetic and prosperous farmer, whose life was a factor in the advancement of his community along both material and moral lines. He passed away on the 24th of September, 1913, leaving his wife and one brother and many friends to mourn his loss.


   Charles H. Wood, who is now engaged in the telephone business at Valparaiso, was born near Springfield, Illinois, July 10, 1875, his parents being William L. and Susan C. Wood. He began his education as a pupil in the country schools of Sangamon county, Illinois, and continued his studies in a business college at Fremont, Nebraska, whereby he was qualified for entrance to commercial circles. In 1897 he became a factor in mercantile life in Valparaiso, being then a young man of twenty-two years, and was thus engaged until 1906, winning added experience and gaining in large measure the success which follows well directed effort. He then turned his attention to the telephone business, which now claims his time and energies, and again he has made progress in his chosen field. In fact, progress has been the keynote of his character and advancement has marked his steps at all times.

   On the 16th of October, 1903, Mr. Wood was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Oeschger, by whom he has two children, Oeschger and Evelyn. Mr. Wood is a Mason, holding membership in Square Lodge, No. 151, A. F. & A. M., of which he is senior warden. He belongs to the Christian church, in which he is serving as a trustee, and these associations indicate the rules which govern his conduct and shape his life's course. His political indorsement is given to the republican party and he is interested in all that pertains to the welfare and upbuilding of the community. He does not seek office and yet he cooperates in many movements which have direct bearing upon the welfare and upbuilding of his district.


   Frank J. Vanek, who has gained a place among the successful farmers of Saunders county, owns one hundred and forty acres of land on section 2, Elk precinct. His birth occurred in that precinct on the 9th of November, 1888, and he is a son of John and Katherine (Krodank) Vanek. The father was born in Bohemia on the 24th of June, 1866, of the marriage of Martin and Mary (Knedlik) Vanek, both of whom are still living at an advanced age and make their home with their son Joseph. John Vanek was brought by his parents to the United States in 1869 and the family home was maintained successively in Will county, Illinois, and in Elk precinct, Saunders county, Nebraska. He assisted his father on the home farm in that precinct until the spring of 1889, when he began farming for himself on an eighty


acre tract on section 2. He subsequently purchased one hundred and twenty acres more, paying therefor four dollars an acre. He made excellent improvements upon the place and for many years actively engaged in agricultural pursuits but has now turned the operation of the farm over to his sons. He is a democrat and fraternally is associated with the Catholic Workmen's lodge, which indicates his membership in the Catholic church. To him and his wife have been born twelve children, of whom our subject is the eldest.

   Frank J. Vanek was reared at home and in the acquirement of an education, attended the district schools. As soon as old enough he began helping his father with the farm work and as the years passed became familiar with practical methods of agriculture. In March, 1912, he began his independent career, taking up his residence on an excellent farm of one hundred and forty acres on section 2, Elk precinct. He has since operated that place, and has been very successful indeed. He is up-to-date in all of his methods, believes firmly in crop rotation, in the scientific study of the land and experimentation to determine what kind of grain or what strain of any particular grain grows best on certain parts of his farm. He keeps in touch with the findings of scientists engaged in investigating agricultural problems and this progressive spirit has been an important factor in making him unusually efficient as a farmer. In 1914 he raised fourteen hundred and thirty-one bushels of corn from forty-one acres of land and in addition he fed sixteen hogs and five horses for about five months.

   On the 31st of January, 1911, Mr. Vanek was united in marriage to Miss Anna Mach, a daughter of Joseph A. Mach, Sr., of Prague. The father was born in Bohemia but in 1875 removed with his family to the United States and settled on eighty acres of land in Saunders county, Nebraska, which he homesteaded. Later he purchased an additional eighty acres and for a number of years engaged in the operation of his farm but since 1911 has lived retired. Mr. and Mrs. Vanek have a son, Stanley.

   Mr. Vanek is a democrat but has never desired to hold public office. He does not belong to any lodges, preferring to spend his leisure time at home. He has spared neither thought nor energy in the improvement and development of his farm and although a young man has gained a measure of prosperity that many of his seniors might envy. He is also insured in the Bankers Life of Des Moines for four thousand dollars.


   Jacob C. Kiefer, who was a well known farmer of Center township, was a member of the regular army for a number of years in his early manhood, and as such saw a great deal of active service in Indian warfare. He was born in Botenheim, Germany, on the 14th of July, 1850, and his parents were Tobias and Catherine (Keller) Kiefer, who spent their entire lives in that country. Our subject passed his boyhood and youth in the fatherland and attended first the public schools in the pursuit of an education and later a college, from which


Mr. and Mrs. Jacob C. Kiefer


he graduated. When nineteen years of age he came to the United States and for two years resided in New York city. .

   Mr. Kiefer then enlisted in the United States army, in which he served for ten years, during the last four years of which he was a member of Company 4, Fourth Infantry, under General Crook. He took part in a great deal of Indian fighting and was with a party of surveyors in Yellowstone Park, gaining through this experience much knowledge of the west when it was a wild and unsettled region. For eight years he served as sergeant and as he was well educated he held a clerkship in the army for some time. In 1879, however, he turned from military to civil life, locating upon an excellent farm on section 9, Center township, Saunders county, Nebraska. His first purchase consisted of eighty acres but subsequently he bought an additional one hundred and twenty acres and until his death he concentrated his energies upon agricultural pursuits. He bred high-grade Shorthorn cattle in addition to raising the usual crops and found both branches of his business profitable. His widow still owns the home farm, where she has erected a good residence.

   On the 18th of August, 1879, Mr. Kiefer was united in marriage to Miss Fredrika Johnson, who was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, on the 21st of August, 1851, a daughter of Andrew and Anna (Anderson) Johnson, who in 1865 emigrated to the United States and settled in Shelby county, Illinois, whence, in 1878, they came to this county. They located in Center precinct and there the father passed away in 1893, while the mother died the following year. Mrs. Kiefer received part of her education in Sweden and part in the common schools of this country and remained under the parental roof until her marriage. She became the mother of four children: Carl and John, who are operating the home farm; Ethel, the wife of Alvin Still, professor of mining in a college in Arkansas; and Violet, at home.

   Mr. Kiefer was a stanch supporter of the democratic party and did all within his power to assure its success at the polls. He was a member of the Lutheran church, with which his wife is also identified, and the genuineness of his religious faith was attested by the integrity of his daily life.


   John Vanek, who is busily engaged in general farming in Elk precinct, his home being on section 2, where he owns and cultivates two hundred acres of productive land, was born in Bohemia June 24, 1866, a son of Martin and Mary (Knedlik) Vanek, who are still living at the ages of eighty-nine and eighty-eight years respectively, making their home with their son Joseph on section 14, Elk precinct. They were the parents of five children: Anna, the widow of Frank Kubek and now a resident of Prague; Joseph, who married Anna Fujan and follows farming in Elk precinct; Josie, the wife of Joseph J. Fujan, also a farmer of Elk precinct; Mary, the wife of Joseph Kremlacek, of Elk precinct; and John, who is a twin brother of Mary. The father followed both farming and blacksmithing while in Bohemia. In the year 1869 he left that country and with his family came to the new world, settling in


Will county, Illinois, becoming a blacksmith at the coal mines at Braidwood. After two years, or in 1871, the family came to Saunders county and the father secured a homestead claim of forty acres on section 14, Elk precinct, which land is now owned by his son Joseph. To his original holdings he added by purchase from time to time and when he retired from active farming in 1885 he was the owner of over four hundred acres of rich and productive land.

   John Vanek was reared to farm work, early becoming familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. He assisted his father on the old home until the spring of 1889, when he began farming for himself on section 2, Elk precinct, where he had eighty acres. To this he afterward added a tract of one hundred and twenty acres, for which he paid four dollars per acre. Today he has a large, and well improved farm of two hundred acres, constituting one of the valuable properties of the district. There are good buildings upon it and many modern improvements. He has now turned over the active operation of the farm to his sons but still gives to it his personal supervision. His has been a busy and useful life fraught with good results, success attending his efforts in large measure. He is also a stockholder in the Prague Farmers Stock & Grain Company.

   On the 7th of February, 1888, Mr. Vanek was married to Miss Katherine Krodank, a daughter of John Krodank, now deceased, and they have become parents of twelve children: Frank, who married Anna Mach and is farming in Elk township; Mary, the wife of Rudolph Fujan, who is farming in the same precinct; John, who married Rose Stiembach and is a farmer of Mariposa precinct; and Bessie, Joseph, Adolph, Katie, William, Helen, Emily and Emma, twins, and Ethel, all at home.

   The family hold membership in the Catholic church at Prague and Mr. Vanek is also a member of the Catholic Workmen's Lodge. In politics he is a democrat and for a year and a half filled the office of road supervisor. He is a well read man, keeping in touch with the interests and questions of the day. No topic of general interest can be broached with which he is not more or less familiar and his discussion thereof is always interesting. In manner he is pleasant and cordial and his good qualities have gained for him many friends.


   H. P. Knapp, long and successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits in Saunders county, died at his home in Ithaca on the 16th of February, 1914, when in the sixty-fifth year of his age. His birth occurred in Illinois on the 25th of September, 1849, his parents being William and Deborah Knapp. He attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education and remained in the state of his nativity until twenty-one or twenty-two years of age, when he went to Wisconsin and during the following four years worked in the pinery for his uncle, John Knapp. He then made his way to Saunders county, Nebraska, and homesteaded a place to which his young bride came in 1877. The claim comprised eighty acres in Wahoo township and Mr. Knapp


continuously devoted his attention to its cultivation for sixteen years, on the expiration of which period he removed to Ithaca, where he owned the property on which his widow now resides. His undertakings as an agriculturist were attended with a most gratifying measure of success and at present the Knapp farm embraces two hundred and four acres of valuable and well improved land.

   On the 15th of December, 1876, in Fort Madison, Lee county, Iowa, Mr. Knapp was united in marriage to Miss Nettie Dobson, a daughter of Joseph and Martha Dobson, the former of whom was a native of Kentucky and went to school with Abraham Lincoln, while the latter was born in Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Knapp became the parents of four children, namely: Valley, at home; Grace, the wife of Charles Milands, by whom she has one child, Knapp; Edith, who married John Ort and has two children, Horace and Harry; and Edna, who became the wife of Ransom Lichty, by whom she has a son, Reginald.

   In the exercise of his right of franchise Mr. Knapp supported the democracy when national issues were involved but at local elections cast an independent ballot. Fraternally he was identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Wahoo, while his religious faith was that of the Methodist church, to which his widow also belongs, being a member of its Ladies Aid Society. He won the respect and esteem of all with whom he was associated in the various relations of life and his demise was deeply regretted as that of a valued citizen of the community. Mrs. Knapp, who still survives him, has. lived in this county for the past forty years and is widely and favorably known.


   Harry W. Lillibridge, who is ably serving as postmaster of Weston, was born at Yutan, August 4, 1881, of the marriage of Christopher E. and Clysta (Harrison) Lillibridge. The father, who was born in Waterford, Erie county, Pennsylvania, received his education there but in early manhood came to Weston, where he homesteaded land near Yutan. He placed his land under cultivation and made many improvements thereon but after successfully farming there for a number of years he removed to Weston and purchased land two and a half miles southwest of that city, where he subsequently took up his residence and where he lived for several years. At the end of that time he located permanently in Weston and there he passed away in 1908 at the age of sixty-two years. He was buried in the Weston cemetery. At various times he was engaged in different lines of activity and was successful in all of his undertakings. While farming he also bought and sold cattle and likewise worked at the carpenter's trade to some extent. After removing to Weston he engaged in the hardware business in partnership with C. J. Ficenec, now of Wahoo, but five years before his death he disposed of his interest in that business. In addition to his other activities he was a bridge contractor. His political belief was that of the democratic party and while living at Yutan he served as sheriff, proving a capable and courageous official. Fraternally he was connected with the Masonic order, the Knights of Pythias and the Work-


men. His widow survives and is a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church. To them were born four children: Harry W.; W. E., a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work; Gladys E., the wife of Dr. W. E. Von Nordheim, of Weston; and Chauncey C., who is a member of the class of 1916 in the dental department of the State University of Minnesota.

   Harry W. Lillibridge received his education in the public schools of Weston and gained his business experience in the hardware store belonging to his father. He later worked for J. J. Staska, of Weston, and remained in his employ until 1914, when he was appointed postmaster of Weston. He has proved an efficient and obliging official and the work of the office is done with accuracy and dispatch.

   Mr. Lillibridge is a democrat in his political views, believing firmly in the wisdom of the policies of that party. His religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in all the relations of life his conduct conforms to high standards of morality. A lifelong resident of this county, he is widely known, and those who have been most intimately associated with him are his stanchest friends, which indicates his genuine worth.


   At the age of seventy-eight, Jerome Barnell seems a man of much younger years, being still hale and hearty, and retains unimpaired the precious prize of keen mentality as well as physical power. He is one of the pioneer residents of Saunders county and a most valued and respected citizen. For many years he was actively connected with farming interests but is now living retired, with leisure to spend his time as inclination dictates, and many a pleasant hour is spent in his automobile, which he drives himself.

   Mr. Barnell is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He was born December 22, 1837, his parents being Philip and Sarah P. (Pierce) Barnell. The father was also born in the Buckeye state, while his parents were residents of Virginia, becoming pioneers of Ohio. The grandfather, William Barnell, represented one of the old Virginia families of English extraction. Philip Barnell spent his entire life in Ohio and in early manhood devoted his attention to farming but afterward became connected with bridge building at Columbus, where he died at the age of fifty-two years. His wife was a native of Vermont and her parents were born in New England, her mother representing one of the old families of that part of the country, while her father was of Welsh descent. Mrs. Barnell survived her husband for some time, passing away at the age of sixty-five years.

   Jerome Barnell is the only survivor in their family of four children. His boyhood days were spent under the parental roof and he remained at home until he was eighteen years of age, when he started out for himself. He followed farming and other occupations until the 1st of October, 1861, when he enlisted for active service in the Civil war as a member of the Ninth Ohio Volunteer Battery. He served for three years and was mustered out October 24, 1864, at Nashville, Tennessee. For two years be had served as sergeant.

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