Saunders County NEGenWeb Project
Past and Present of Saunders County Nebraska, 1915, Volume II
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Returning home he reenlisted in the Fifth Regiment of the United States Veteran Volunteers and went from Richfield, Ohio, direct to Washington, where the regiment was organized March 1, 1865. While with the battery he participated in the battle at Mill Springs, in January, 1862, and subsequently took part in the engagements at Cumberland Gap, Richmond, Kentucky, Franklin, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia. He continued his active service with the Union army until after the close of the war and for seven months was held at New York city, where he was honorably discharged, March 31, 1866.
When the country no longer needed his aid Mr. Barnell returned to his home in Boston township Summit county, Ohio, where he followed the occupation of farming. He had been married on the 5th of July, 1858, to Miss Letitia Washburn, who was born in Bath township, Summit county, December 19, 1840, a daughter of Ebenezer S. and Elizabeth P. (Baker) Washburn. Her father was a native of Connecticut and his father was from Scotland, while his mother was French. About 1836 Ebenezer Washburn migrated to Ohio and there engaged in teaching school for many years but his last days were passed in York county, Nebraska, where he died at the age of eighty-three. His wife passed away in Hastings, Nebraska, at the age of eighty-six years. They had become residents of the state in 1873 and made their home with their children. Two of the sons served as soldiers in the Union army in the Civil war, Mr. and Mrs. Barnell became the parents of eight children, of whom three died in infancy, the others being: Jennette, at home; Anna, who became the wife of John Eggert and died at the early age of twenty-seven years; Sumner, a farmer of Fillmore county, Nebraska; Sarah, the wife of Adam Loudenschlager, a resident of Wahoo; and Claude, who as a member of the Second Nebraska Regiment, served in the Spanish-American war and is now operating the home farm.
As previously stated, Mr. Barnell returned to Ohio at the close of the war but in the fall of 1866 went to Benton county, Iowa, where he purchased forty acres of land and built a log house. In 1869 he sold that property and came to Saunders county, where he took up a homestead in Stocking precinct, five miles southwest of Wahoo. Upon his claim he erected a cabin ten by sixteen feet and in the spring of 1870 his family joined him, settling upon his farm of eighty acres. He afterward homesteaded eighty acres more and later purchased forty acres of railway land, so that his possessions aggregated two hundred acres in one body. His time and energies were given to the development and improvement of his farm, upon which he lived until 1908, when he rented the place to his son and came to Wahoo, since which time he has lived retired in a pleasant home.
In his political views Mr. Barnell is a republican and for a short time he filled the office of justice of the peace, after which he resigned. He has served on the election board and was school director for twelve years. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and he assisted in building the first churches and schoolhouses in the county. The first, school held in district No. 62 met in his home and he has ever been keenly and helpfully interested in the cause of education as well as in the moral progress of the community. Fraternally he is connected with the Masonic lodge at Wahoo and he became a charter member of John A. Andrews Post, No. 90, G. A. R., of which he is now quartermaster.
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He has ever been as true and loyal to his country in the days of peace as he was when he followed the old flag upon the battlefields of the south and his interest in the public welfare has been manifest in active and hearty support of many plans and measures for the upbuilding of Saunders county, where he located in pioneer times. Wherever known he is held in high regard and most of all where he is best known.
WILLIAM B. ROBERTS.
William B. Roberts, one of the substantial residents of Ashland, was in former years a leading stock-raiser of Cass county but is now living in honorable retirement from active labor. His birth occurred in Fulton county, Illinois, on the 20th of August, 1846, and he is a son of John J. and Rachel (Burnett) Roberts, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Virginia. They removed to Fulton county, Illinois, in the early history of that section and there the father engaged in farming until 1863, when the family home was established in Cass county, Nebraska, the father homesteading in South Bend township. He carried on agricultural operations there for a number of years but in 1885 sold out and went to Sherman county, where he bought a farm which he operated until his health failed and he retired from active life. He then made his home with a son residing at Plattsmouth until his death, which occurred February 6, 1893. He had long survived his wife, who died in January, 1855, in Illinois.
William B. Roberts was reared and educated in Illinois and in Cass county, Nebraska, and remained with his father until he became of age. He then homesteaded an eighty acre tract, which he cultivated for some time, and on selling that place bought a quarter section of land which he at once began improving and developing. He gave the greater part of his attention to stock-raising, specializing in shorthorn cattle and also shipping a carload of hogs a year. His stock was of high grade and as it was in excellent condition when sold he seldom failed to receive a good price for it. He still owns his farm, which is known as the Durham Stock Farm, but now rents to others. Since 1910 he has lived retired in Ashland, where he owns a good residence and six lots in the southeastern part of the town.
On the 20th of August, 1871, Mr. Roberts was married to Miss Sarah S. Beiler, a daughter of Abraham and Sylvia Beiler, the latter a native of Vermont. They were numbered among the pioneers of Iowa, where the father carried on agricultural pursuits until his demise, which occurred before the birth of Mrs. Roberts. The mother subsequently came still further west and made her home with a son in Kansas until she passed away in June, 1885. To Mr. and Mrs. Roberts were born seven children, namely: Sylvia A., the wife of Lewis Weeks, a farmer of Arkansas; Lena V., who married J. J. Cockrell, a farmer of Sarpy county, this state; Mary B., the wife of James Welch, who is operating our subject's farm; Joseph M., a resident of Warnerville, Nebraska; John J., who is farming in Cass county; Clifton B., who died in 1888; and one who died in infancy. The wife and mother died on the 1st of
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March, 1906, after being an invalid for ten years. On the 8th of December, 1909, Mr. Roberts married Mrs. Mary E. Russell, the widow of W. H. Russell and a daughter of Ephraim and Sarah Patten. Her parents, who were born in Kentucky, removed to Indiana in pioneer times and there the father died in March, 1864. The mother, however, survived for fifty years, passing away in 1904.
Mr. Roberts is a stanch democrat in his political belief but has never aspired to public office. He is a member of the Congregational church but his wife is identified with the Baptist church, and both are much interested in anything that tends to promote the welfare of their community. They are well known and their personal friends are many.
John Snelling was widely known and highly esteemed in Stocking precinct, where he engaged in farming for a number of years. He was born in Ohio, a son of Alexander and Ann Snelling, and received his education in the common schools. He accompanied his parents on their removal to Iowa and in young manhood taught school in that state. In 1865 he came to Fremont, Nebraska, and subsequently took up a homestead in Stocking precinct, Saunders county, where he carried on general farming. He improved his land and brought his place to a high state of development and his well directed labors returned him a good income.
Mr. Snelling was married in 1864 in Ottawa, Illinois, to Miss Elizabeth Schuler, a native of that place, and they became the parents of eight children:
Mr. Snelling cast his ballot in support of the measures and candidates of the democratic party and manifested a keen interest in public affairs, displaying the same spirit of patriotism that led him to enlist in the Union army during the Civil war. His religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Methodist church, to the teachings of which he was ever loyal. He passed away in 1907 and is survived by his wife.
Tom L. Snelling, the oldest of the children born to John and Elizabeth Snelling, is a native of Zearing, Iowa, born May 17, 1865. He accompanied his parents on their removal to this county and attended the common schools here. Subsequently he herded cattle but when about eighteen years of age he rented land from his grandfather, which he cultivated until 1892, in which year he was married. For eight years thereafter he resided upon the home place, after which he purchased two hundred acres in Wahoo precinct, where he has since lived. He is a progressive and energetic farmer and raises both grain and stock, finding such a course more profitable than specializing in either one or the other.
Mr. Snelling was married on the 13th of January, 1892, to Miss Margaret Keller, a daughter of Uhlrich and Margaret (Weisindanger) Keller, natives of
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Switzerland. Both parents are deceased and are buried in Wahoo. Mrs. Snelling was born in Switzerland but accompanied her parents on their removal to the United States when she was about ten years of age, and the greater part of her education was acquired in the schools of Saunders county. Mr. and Mrs. Snelling have had four children: Charles, living near Wahoo, who married Miss Marie Koutney and has two children, Marie and Helen; Florence, who died July 7, 1915; Margaret, who is attending high school at Wahoo; and George, who is attending the country school.
Mr. Snelling votes for the republican candidates and measures at national elections but in local affairs casts his ballot independently. He and his family attend the Methodist church, and fraternally he is identified with the Woodmen at Wahoo. Although he began his independent career as a poor boy, he has now gained financial independence as a result of his industry and good judgment.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM DAVIS.
Captain William Davis, who for many years lived within a half mile of the city of Weston, was one of the pioneers of Saunders county and was intimately associated with its early development. Throughout his life he manifested a public-spirited devotion to the general good, a characteristic which led him to enlist in the Union army for service in the Civil war. He was born in Posey county, Indiana, in 1818, a son of John and Nellie Davis, both of Irish, descent.
Captain Davis grew to manhood in his native state and there acquired his education. At the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted in Company A, Fifty-eighth Indiana Regiment, for three years, and at the expiration of that time he reenlisted, remaining at the front for four years in all. His gallantry and power of leadership led to his advancement and in time he became captain of his company. While encouraging his men at the battle of Chickamauga a ball entered his neck and came out at his side and for a time it seemed as if the wound was fatal, but he recovered from its effects to a large extent, although it is probable that it was the real cause of his death in 1885. He was not only severely wounded but was also taken prisoner, being exchanged before the close of the war.
In March, 1873, Captain Davis removed with his wife and eleven children from Indiana to Saunders county, Nebraska, and settled within a half mile of the city of Weston. At that time the county was but sparsely settled and the conditions of life were mainly those of the frontier. In connection with William Hill he platted the town of Weston, and he made the first speech in favor of the issuing of railroad bonds, which indicates his clear-sightedness and realization of the great value of railroads to a community. He took a great interest in education and bore the expense of the erection of the first school-house in Weston. He also aided in the agricultural development of the county as he brought his land under cultivation and made a number of improvements thereon. On the 1st of November, 1885, he passed away at the age of sixty-
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seven years and all recognized that in his demise the community had sustained a distinct loss. He was buried at Weston.
Captain Davis was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Whiting, a native of Indiana, who died June 21, 1892, and was also buried at Weston. They were the parents of eleven children, as follows: Cora is the widow of W. S. Odell, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Sarah E. became the wife of Thomas Alexander and died October 13, 1911. Anna V. is the widow of Jacob Mauck, of Weston. Joseph is a resident of Wahoo. Susan is the widow of the Rev. A. M. Bryant, a Presbyterian minister, who died in June, 1896. He was also a teacher and taught for some time in this county. Mary V. is the widow of William Hill, who, together with Captain Davis, platted the town of Weston. John is a retired farmer living in Portland, Oregon. Charlotte, now the wife of Henry C. Stephens, is also a resident of that city. Charles is a machinist and resides in Portland. James, who was a farmer, died July 27, 1915. Pearl is the wife of Charles Folsom, a banker of Ashland, Nebraska. At one time after the children had married and left the parental roof they all resided within a radius of nine miles in this county. Captain Davis and his father were both teachers and twenty-one grandchildren have followed in their professional footsteps.
The Captain was a republican and took a very active part in local politics, being recognized as a leader in his party. He was justly proud of his splendid record in the army and retained a soldierly bearing throughout his life. Almost his last words were: "Let me rest and get ready for the battle, for I see my men" — words characteristic of his devotion to duty and his courage. Although he has passed to his reward the work which he did in the early days of the history of this county still endures, and his name is honored as that of a worthy pioneer.
Anton Vculek, who is operating his fine farm of two hundred and forty acres in Elk precinct, is one of the substantial men of Saunders county. He was born on section 32, that precinct, and has passed his entire life here, as he believes that this county offers as good opportunities to the farmer as can be found elsewhere. His parents, Joseph and Pearl (Holubar) Vculek, were born in Bohemia, where they remained until 1869, when they came to the United States and at once made their way to Saunders county, Nebraska. The father took up a homestead on section ?2, Elk precinct, and devoted the remainder of his life to the improvement of his farm, passing away in 1894. To him and his wife were born eight children: Joseph, who lives in Oklahoma; Frank, a resident of North Dakota; Charles, of Prague, this county; Frances, now Mrs. James Frohner, of Weston; Antonia, now Mrs. Anton Krecke, of Omaha, Nebraska; Josephine, the wife of Joseph Mach, of Prague; Annie, now Mrs. James Houska, of Newman precinct; and Anton.
The last named received the usual educational advantages, attending the local schools during his boyhood and youth. During the summers he assisted
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his father and after putting aside his textbooks devoted his entire time to farm work. For seven years he and his brother Charles operated the homestead in partnership, but since 1902 he has been alone in his agricultural operations. He grows the usual crops and also raises shorthorn cattle, and as he is enterprising and progressive he receives a good income from his farms. In addition to his agricultural interests he holds stock in the Prague Farmers Stock & Grain Company, a well managed and prosperous concern.
On the 24th of November, 1902, Mr. Vculek was united in marriage to Miss Mary Krecek, a daughter of John K. Krecek, of South Omaha. Three children have been born to this union, namely: James, Joseph and Helen.
The political belief of Mr. Vculek accords with the principles of the democratic party which he supports at the polls. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Plasi church and his influence is always on the side of right and justice. He has gained the respect of all who have been brought in contact with him, and his genuine worth is indicated by the fact that those who have known him intimately since boyhood are his stanchest friends.
ERNEST G. HURST.
Ernest G. Hurst, who is successfully farming in Stocking township, was born in Wayne county, Ohio, March 4, 1848, a son of John Hurst, also a native of that county. His paternal grandfather was born in England, but the grandmother came of Pennsylvania Dutch stock. John Hurst attended the common schools until he was fifteen years of age and afterwards worked upon farms in Ohio until he was twenty. He then removed to Saunders county, Nebraska, and bought a homestead relinquishment of a Mr. Grey. Two years previously he had married Miss Katherine Walters, a daughter of Louis Walters, a farmer of Wayne county, Ohio. The family experienced the hardships of frontier life, but as the years passed prosperity came to them and at the time of his death Mr. Hurst was quite well-to-do. He was a democrat in politics and his religious faith was that of the Methodist church. He died June 8, 1892, but his wife is still living and makes her home with a son in Oklahoma. To them were born six children: Eugene D., who is farming at Wann; Ernest G.; Owen V., a barber living at Lincoln, Nebraska; Louis Walter and Oliver Paul, both. farming in Woodward county, Oklahoma; and Ruth Zella, who died at the age of five years.
Ernest G. Hurst accompanied his parents on their removal to Saunders county and here grew to manhood. He received a good education, attending the high school at Wahoo until he was seventeen years of age. He assisted his father with the work of the farm and after the latter's death assumed the management of the place. He has continued to follow agricultural pursuits and has been very successful. His well improved place bears little resemblance to the tract of wild land upon which the family settled on coming to this county and much of the development of the farm is due to the subject of this review.
On the 20th of February, 1901, Mr. Hurst was united in marriage to Miss Ella Josephine Woodward and to them have been born the following children:
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Zella Mae, now thirteen years of age; Lois Ida, ten years old; Helen Frances, seven years of age; Glenn Kenneth, who died when only three days old; Verna, now three years of age; and Jean Josephine, who is two years old. The three oldest are now attending school. Mrs. Hurst, is a daughter of John and Hannah Woodward, of Wahoo. Her father was one of the early settlers of La Salle county, Illinois, and from there removed to Saunders county, Nebraska, in 1881, settling in Stocking township, where he rented a farm for ten years and then purchased a place in the same township. He is now deceased but Mrs. Woodward is still living and makes her home with her oldest daughter, Mrs. P. A. Johnson, near Wahoo. She was born in Pennsylvania and is a daughter of George W. and Catherine Lewis, natives of Fayette county, that state. To Mr. and Mrs. Woodward were born eight children, namely: Frances R., the wife of P. A. Johnson, of Stocking township; Clark L., a resident of Wahoo; Jessie V., who married Philip Russell and lived in Albion, Nebraska, but died in 1913; Catherine L., a resident of Denver, Colorado; James A., of Ames, Iowa; Ella Josephine, now Mrs. Hurst; Edna, the wife of John Lindley, of Wahoo; and Elizabeth G., the wife of J. F. Gross, of Wahoo.
Mr. Hurst is a republican but has not taken a very active part in politics. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church, to the support of which he contributes liberally. Practically his entire life has been spent in this county and he has not only witnessed its rapid development but has also contributed thereto.
JOSEPH W. PASEKA.
Joseph W. Paseka, who owns and operates a quarter section of excellent land in Elk precinct, is one of the well-to-do and energetic farmers of Saunders county. He is a native son of Nebraska, his birth having occurred in Butler county on the 21st of May, 1889. His father, John W. Paseka, was born in Bohemia and was there married to Miss Mary Pacal, also a native of that country. In 1873 they emigrated to the United States and went to Butler county, this state, where the father bought a soldier's claim of one hundred and sixty acres. Subsequently he removed to Saunders county, where he continued to farm until 1900, when he retired and removed to Prague, where he has since lived.
Joseph W. Paseka received a common school education and also gained valuable training in farm work during his boyhood and youth, as from the time that he was old enough to take his place in the fields until he was eighteen years of age he assisted his father. Subsequently he and his brother Louis operated the home place for four years, but in the spring of 1913 he removed to his present farm, where he has since carried on agricultural operations on his own account. He grows the usual crops and also raises shorthorn and Red Polled cattle, finding it more profitable to engage in both the cultivation of the fields and the raising of stock than to confine his attention to the one or the other branch of farming. He also has other interests, being a stockholder in the Bruno Grain & Livestock Company.
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Mr. Paseka was married on the 28th of September, 191?, to Miss Mary Hanis, a daughter of Anton Hanis, a farmer of Butler county, this state. One daughter, Agnes, has been born to this union. Mr. Paseka holds membership in the Plasi church and in his life strives to measure up to the highest standards of ethics. He has also taken the third degree in the David City Lodge of the Knights of Columbus and is well known in that order. The greatest wealth of Saunders county lies in her rich soil and the farmers of the county not only secure financial success for themselves by cultivating the land but also insure the prosperity of the county. Mr. Paseka is thoroughly practical in his work but is also progressive and is willing to adopt new methods which promise to be more efficient than the old.
Vaclav Tomek is successfully farming on section 5, Elk precinct, of which precinct he is a native, and was born on the 28th of April, 1877. His parents, Frank and Mary (Dufek) Tomek, were both natives of Moravia, Austria, but in the spring of 1874 came with their family to the United States. They settled in Saunders county, Nebraska, where the father took up a quarter section of land, paying therefor four dollars per acre. He devoted his time and energies to the operation of his farm and gained a place among the efficient agriculturists of the county. He died on the 19th of April, 1912, and his wife passed away in 1890. They were the parents of the following children: John, a resident of Prague; Anton, who is farming in Pierce county, this state; Joseph, also a resident of Prague; Fannie, the wife of Joseph Vyhlidal, a farmer of Pierce county; Augusta, now Mrs. John Kaspar, who is living in North Dakota; and Vaclav.
The last named had the usual experiences of the boy reared upon the farm, dividing his time between attending the public schools and assisting his father. His thorough training in farming well fitted him to begin agricultural operations on his own account, and he is meeting with gratifying success in the operation of his present home farm on section 5, Elk precinct. He has resided there since 1900 and has built a large residence and made other improvements upon the place, which comprises one hundred and sixty acres of excellent land. He formerly raised Red Polled cattle but during the past three years has raised Holsteins instead, and he also gives considerable attention to the breeding of Poland China hogs. He is progressive and practical and as the result of the wise management of his affairs his capital is steadily increasing. In addition to his farming interests he owns stock in the Prague Farmers Stock & Grain Company.
Mr. Tomek was married in August, 1900, to Miss Barbara Suchy, a daughter of Thomas Suchy, and to this marriage have been born the following children: Frank, Thomas, James, Sylvia, Edward and Emil.
Mr. Tomek supports the republican party at the polls and for four years has been school director and at the present time is serving as moderator. He is also filling the office of road supervisor and is efficient and conscientious
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in the discharge of his duties. His entire life has been passed in this county, and he has thoroughly identified his interests with those of his community, seeking to further the general welfare in every way possible.
Julius Olesen is one of the leading factors in the industrial life of Ashland as he owns an excellently equipped blacksmith shop and is also engaged in the woodworking business. He has built up an unusually large business as the result of his excellent work, fair dealing and reasonable prices. He was born in Denmark on the 19th of December, 1874, of the marriage of Nels and Racine Olesen, likewise natives of that country, where the father engaged in farming until 1898, in which year he emigrated to America. He located at Fremont, Nebraska, where he is now living in honorable retirement from active life. His wife also survives.
Julius Olesen received his education in Denmark and after putting aside his textbooks began working as a farm hand and was so employed in his native land until 1891. He then came to America and, making his way to the middle west, settled at Palmer, Nebraska, where he found work on farms for two years. In 1893 he came to Ashland, Saunders county, and learned the blacksmith's trade. After working at that occupation for two and a half years he formed a partnership with J. W. Coon, which lasted for the same length of time. When that connection was dissolved Mr. Olesen formed a partnership with H. M. Flanders, with whom he was associated for seven years. At the end of that time he purchased his partner's interest and has since been alone in business. In 1911 he erected a fine modern up-to-date blacksmith shop on the principal business street of the town and installed all of the latest and most improved machinery, including, an acetylene lighting plant. He does woodworking in connection with blacksmithing and his yearly business has now reached a large figure.
In December, 1901, Mr. Olesen was united in marriage to Miss Lilly E. Wakefield, a daughter of Harvey and Mary Wakefield, natives of Indiana. The father, who was a carpenter by trade, served during the Civil war in an Indiana regiment and following the close of hostilities came to Ashland, where he worked at carpentering until 1908. He then removed to Los Angeles, California, where he has since lived and where he is still following his trade. His wife is also living. Mr. and Mrs. Olesen have become the parents of four children: Robert O., who was born March 14, 1903; Mary B., born November ??, 1904; Richard M., May 18, 1911; and Ruth C., August 2, 1913.
Mr. Olesen is a stalwart republican and does all in his power to further the success of that party. For three years he served as chief of the fire department in Ashland, making an excellent record in that capacity. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church but his wife belongs to the Congregational church. Their influence is always on the side of right and justice and no cause seeking the advancement of their community along moral lines lacks their heartiest support. Mr. Olesen has displayed marked
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business ability as well as enterprise and has gained an enviable degree of success and at the same time has conformed to the highest ethical standards in his business dealings as well as in other relations of life.
Charles Perky, president of the First National Bank of Wahoo, is not only prominently identified with business affairs of the city but has also been active along many lines which have to do with public welfare, improvement and progress. He was born in Georgetown, Ohio, December 17, 1841, and there attended the public schools while spending his boyhood days in the home of his parents, Benjamin F. and. Ann. F (London) Perky. The father was a native of Ohio and of German ancestry, while the mother was born in England. After leaving the public schools, Charles Perky continued his education in Hiram College but with the outbreak of the Civil war put aside his textbooks and in 1861 joined the Union army, enlisting as a member of Company H, Seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for fifteen months. In the fall of 1862 he reenlisted at Massillon, Ohio, joining the boys in blue of Company A, One Hundred and Fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he served in most creditable manner until the close of the war, holding the rank of first lieutenant when mustered out.
The year 1866 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Perky in Nebraska, at which time he took up his abode at Desoto, Washington county. In 1868 he removed to Saunders county, locating about one and a half miles west of the present town of Cedar Bluffs and there he engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1877, when he was made deputy county treasurer and removed to Wahoo. He served for two terms in that position, or until the fall of 1881, when he was elected county treasurer and continued in office until 1886, when he retired from that position as he had entered it — with the confidence and goodwill of all concerned. On the llth of January, 1887, he was chosen president of the First National Bank of Wahoo and has since served in that capacity, covering a period of twenty-eight years. He has largely directed the financial policy of the institution and its business activity and his sound judgment, discrimination and enterprise have been the salient features in its continued growth and stability.
Mr. Perky has been married twice. He first wedded Miss Josephine M. Dunn, of Washington county, Nebraska, and they became parents of five children, four of whom have passed away, Roy C., Jessie M., Emma and Lucile. The only living child is Mildred E., at home. The wife and mother died in the '80s. She was very popular, having a large circle of friends in this part of the state and in the early days in Saunders county did much good for others who were in less fortunate circumstances than herself. For his second wife Mr. Perky chose Mrs. Mary Paine, of Denver, who had been a schoolmate of Mr. Perky at their old Ohio home.
In his political views Mr. Perky has always been a republican and has
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been identified with many public enterprises bearing upon the welfare, development and progress of the community in which he resides, and his fellow townsmen, appreciating his services and recognizing his public spirit, elected him to the office of mayor of Wahoo, in which position he gave a businesslike administration. He is well known in fraternal circles, being past master of Wahoo Lodge No. 59, A. F. & A. M., also a member of the Knight Templar Commandery and the Mystic Shrine. He maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades as a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and he attends the Congregational church. Those forces which work for the betterment of the individual and of the community have always received his endorsement and cooperation and his life work has been of tangible value to the city and county in which he lives.
JOHN DAVID FRAHM.
Saunders county has been signally favored in the class of men who have occupied her public offices, for on the whole they have been actuated by a desire to further the public interests and their efforts have been attended with gratifying results. To this number belongs John David Frahm, who is now filling the position of county clerk, discharging his duties in a systematic and capable manner. A native of the county, he was born at Prague, December 21, 1877, his parents being Jacob and Anna (Lasb) Frahm, both of whom were natives of Germany, where they were married in 1866. The father was born in the year 1842 and was therefore thirty years of age when in 1872 he came with his wife to the new world, establishing their home in Douglas precinct, Saunders county, Nebraska, about two miles from the present town of Prague, where for many years Mr. Frahm continued to make his home, his death there occurring in 1914. For about eighteen years he had survived his wife, who passed away in 1896.
John D. Frahm, entering the country schools at the usual age, therein mastered the elementary branches of learning and was graduated from the Omaha Commercial College in 1901. He then came to Wahoo, where he secured a clerkship in a general store, spending three and a half years in that establishment. He afterward went upon the road, traveling through the year 1906 for the International Harvester Company, and in 1907 he became connected with public office, winning appointment to the position of deputy in the office of the county clerk. He so served for three years and in 1909 was elected clerk, in which office he has been continued by reelection to the present time, so that he is now serving for a third term, his identification with the office now covering eight years, in which he has made a most creditable record. He is prompt, careful and systematic in the discharge of his duties and that the public has confidence in his ability and trustworthiness is shown in his reelections.
Mr. Frahm has always voted with the democratic party and is a firm believer in its principles. He holds membership in the German Lutheran church and is well known in fraternal circles, being both a York and a
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Scottish Rite Mason and also a member of the Mystic Shrine. He likewise belongs to the local lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, in which he is filling the position of master workman. He has likewise been elected to Masonic offices, serving as master of Wahoo Lodge, No. 53, A. F. & A. M., and as past high priest of Wahoo Chapter, No. 43, R. A. M., and as patron of the Eastern Star. He is thoroughly informed concerning the teachings and tenets of Masonry and he has found many opportunities to put into practice the Masonic instruction concerning brotherhood between man and
ELA H. CROUSE.
Ela H. Crouse, who since 1890 has made his home in Ashland, is now engaged in the paper-hanging and painting business, in which connection he has secured a good patronage. Moreover, there are few men of his years who can claim to be a veteran of the Civil war, but Mr. Crouse entered the army at the age of fifteen and defended the interests of the Union. He is a native of Illinois, his birth having occurred at Farmington, Fulton county, on the 22d of January, 1849, his parents being Federal U. and Evelyn E. (Ruble) Crouse, the former a native of Dutchess county, New York, and the latter of Indiana. The father was a farmer by occupation and about 1843 removed to Fulton county, Illinois, also securing a homestead claim in Knox county. There he carried on farming for several years but eventually sold that property and removed to Farmington, where he owned ten acres adjoining the town and also rented additional land. The remainder of his life was devoted to general agricultural pursuits and in the fall of 1877 death terminated his labors. His wife long survived him and died in Seward, Nebraska, in 1892.
Ela H. Crouse obtained his education in the schools of Farmington and resided with his parents until his father's death, which occurred when E. H. Crouse had reached the age of thirty years. He was a youth of but fifteen when he responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting as a member of Company D, One Hundred and Thirty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He served for six months with that command and then reenlisted, becoming a member of Company B, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, with which he remained for nine months, doing active duty at the front and proving his loyalty on every occasion.
After the Civil war Mr. Crouse returned home and remained with his father until the latter's death but during the summer months worked as a farm hand and in the winter seasons engaged in chopping wood. His life was one of untiring industry and upon the foundation of hard work he has builded his success. In 1881 he came to Nebraska, making his way first to Nebraska City, where he engaged in railroading. In 1890 he removed to Ashland, where he has since made his home. He continued in railroading until 1893, when he retired from that business and took up the work of painting and paper hanging, in which he still continues, having a good business along that line.
On the 28th of November 1878, Mr. Crouse was joined in wedlock to Miss
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Mary E. Henry, a daughter of Simon P. and Caroline (Davis) Henry, of whom more extended mention is made on another page of this work in connection with the sketch of Dr. H. L. Henry, brother of Mrs. Crouse. Our subject and his wife have two children, namely: Charles H., who was born September 6, 1879, was a member of Company C, Third Nebraska, and served during the Spanish war, and now resides in Burwell, Nebraska; and Bertha B., born March 5, 1882, who is the wife of W. E. Tibbens, of Ashland, Nebraska.
Mr. Crouse exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party and fraternally he is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Grand Army post, serving at the present time as quartermaster of the latter. His wife is a member of the Christian church and he attends church and is a man of good principles and high moral worth, enjoying the confidence and respect of all with whom he has been brought in contact during his residence in Ashland, which covers a quarter of a century.
WILLIAM JORDAN DOLEZAL.
On the roster of county officials of Saunders county appears the name of William Jordan Dolezal, who is now serving as register of deeds for a four years' term and is making a creditable record, according to the consensus of public opinion, in that office. He is a native son of Saunders county, his birth having occurred near Weston on the 13th of February, 1882. His father, John Dolezal, was born in Austria in 1847 and was there married in 1867 to Miss Anna Semrad. They began their domestic life in their native country, but in 1872 bade adieu to friends and relatives and sailed for the new world. Saunders county, Nebraska, was their destination but they could come by railroad no farther than Fremont, from which point they walked to Wahoo. They were accompanied to the United States by Mrs. Anna Semrad, the mother of Mrs. Dolezal, who spent her remaining days in this country, dying at the home of her daughter in 1892. On their arrival in Saunders county, the party proceeded to Weston, Nebraska, where Mr. Dolezal purchased railroad land. They remained on the farm until about 1907 when they retired and they now reside in Weston.
William J. Dolezal was reared at home and attended the country schools, while later he entered the normal school at Fremont, Nebraska, and subsequently became a student in the Lincoln (Neb.) Business College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1902. He then came to Wahoo, after which he engaged in clerking for six months in a hardware store. Later he proceeded to South Omaha, where he was in the employ of Swift & Company for three and a half years, after which he returned to the home farm and carried on general agricultural pursuits for nine years, carefully and systematically directing his farm work so that he annually gathered good harvests. In November, 1914, he was called to the office of register of deeds, being elected by the vote of the democrats of the county for a four years' term,
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so that he is now serving in that capacity. He is also secretary of the Farmers Tornado Insurance Company of Saunders county.
On the 1st of February, 1903, in Wahoo, Mr. Dolezal was married to Miss Anna Vanous, who was raised by her grandmother, Mrs. Mary Vanous, who was born in Austria in 1818 and is now living with Mr. and Mrs. Dolezal at the remarkable old age of ninety-seven years. To Mr. and Mrs. Dolezal were born the following named: William C.; Clara J.; Elsie, who was born August 12, 1906, and was drowned on the 2d of August, 1908; Benjamin F.; and Georgia and Henrietta, twins.
Fraternally Mr. Dolezal is connected with the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Royal Neighbors and is loyal to the teachings of those organizations, which recognize the brotherhood of mankind. The greater part of his life has been spent in Saunders county and he possesses much of the spirit of enterprise and advancement which has led to the rapid settlement and development of this part of the state.
In the death of Oliver Watson, Saunders county lost one of its prominent and representative citizens who had gained and retained high regard through the long period of his residence in Nebraska. He was born in Adair county, Kentucky, March 2, 1845, a son of Allen and Sarah Ann Watson, who came to Nebraska in 1853, settling in Richardson county. A year later they removed to the southeast corner of Cass county, near Rockbluff, and in that year the father died. Three years later the family home was established in the southeastern part of Butler county, near Bellwood, where Oliver Watson lived until 1863. When twelve years of age he began working on a farm for Mr. Bissell and in 1863 he began driving oxen on the plains with George Miller. They drove teams and hauled freight to and from Denver and had various narrow escapes from the Indians. In 1864 they began working for Thompson Bissell, who kept a road ranch on the California trail in Hall county. The Indian war broke out in 1865 and the Sioux terrorized the settlers on the plains, so that Bissell left his ranch and removed to Saunders county, settling on Wahoo creek in Wahoo precinct. The young men, Watson, and Miller, both came with him to his new location. In 1868 Mr. Watson homesteaded on section 8, township 14, range 7, his claim being about two miles southwest of Wahoo.
In the same year he married Juditha Ingram, whose father had settled on Rock Creek in 1863, and after his marriage he engaged in farming and successfully carried on business in the raising and selling of hogs and cattle. Through hard work, close economy and unfaltering industry he won success and as his financial resources increased he kept adding to his land until he was the owner of seven hundred and sixty acres, of as fine farm property as can be found in Saunders county. While thus accumulating his land he also reared his large family of twelve children, eight of whom reached adult age, and in 1905 he deeded eighty acres of land to each of his children. In 1910 his second youngest son, Ollie Watson, died, leaving two young children, and to each of
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them Mr. Watson deeded eighty acres of Platte valley land in trust, giving their mother a life interest in the same.
In 1905 Mr. Watson went to Overton, Nebraska, purchasing a large tract of land in Dawson county, near Overton, after which time he and his sons improved the property and at the time of his death they were the owners of nearly two thousand acres of the rich land of the Platte valley.
To Mr. and Mrs. Watson were born twelve children. Ida, living at Overton, Nebraska, is the wife of G. F. Rockafellow, by whom she has one child, Freda May. Lee, a resident of La Platte, Nebraska, married Miss May Bowery and has five children: Oliver, Willie, Lula, Allen and Lee. Laurence, who lives on a farm adjoining the original homestead, married Miss Matie Neff, by whom he had six children, namely: Ethel, who is deceased; Clarence, who attends school at Wahoo; Glenn and Floyd, who are at home and also attend school; and Clara and Blanche, also at home. Nora is the wife of H. T. Sitzman, of Overton, Nebraska, by whom she has one child Olive. Olaf wedded Miss Etta Van Landingham, by whom he has four children: Laura, Lloyd, Delvin and Juditha, all of whom are school students and still live at home. Arthur, living at Kearney, Nebraska, married Miss Nellie Christiansen, by whom he has two children: Leonard, who attends school; and Howard. Ollie passed away in October, 1910, leaving a widow, Mrs. Susie (Beaver) Watson, and two children, Nora and Jack, who attend school. Their home is at Overton, Nebraska. Ernest, who resides near Gretna, Nebraska, married Miss Helma Chillquist, by whom he has four children: Ray, Fay, Tom and one unnamed. Eddie, Willie, Oliver and Emma are deceased. The mother of this large family passed away December 7, 1905, and Oliver Watson died at Kearney on the 23d of August, 1912. He was then living at the home of his son Arthur and when he passed away he was the owner of nine eighty-acre tracts and one forty-acre tract of land. He had lived practically retired since 1905.
In his political views Mr. Watson was a republican but was never ambitious for office. He was a typical pioneer settler, denied the advantages of education, but in the school of experience he learned many valuable lessons by which he profited. He came to Nebraska when it was largely inhabited by Indians and met the privations and hardships which have ever been the lot of pioneers, who have always constituted the vanguard of civilization. His work in behalf of the county was most beneficial. He was one of its first home builders and was ever a good and loyal citizen, a kindly neighbor and a faithful friend. While he was living in Butler county the Sioux Indians killed the stock and destroyed all of the property owned by the ranchers and he frequently had many narrow escapes from the hostility of the red men. He was among the first settlers of that county to live in a sod house and one of the first to break prairie. During his days of teaming he drove from Plattsmouth to Denver with six yoke of oxen on each wagon, which carried a load of eight thousand pounds. He saw the remains of many wagon trains which had been destroyed by the Indians. On these trips he and his companions had to corral their oxen many times and go without their meals for fear the fire would attract the red men. They would drive from daybreak until ten o'clock in the morning and then from two o'clock in the afternoon until dusk, and each night there were two men chosen to herd and watch the oxen. Many a night seemed a long and weary one for the night
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herders when the Indians were near by. The wagon trains numbered from sixteen to twenty wagons and the people were constantly on the alert for fear of attack. In all of the trips which Mr. Watson made he had to walk both ways, for only the foreman had a saddle horse, while all the freight men walked. On one trip to Denver their foreman was hung for killing one of the employes who refused to go any farther and when he demanded his pay was shot by the foreman. One of Mr. Watson's strong characteristics was his great love for his children and this was constantly evidenced in one way or another. Another strongly marked trait of Mr. Watson was his inflexible honesty. He never deviated from the strict path of truth on any occasion and his epitaph may well be written as "An honest man is the noblest work of God."
JOSEPH THOMAS STASKA.
Joseph Thomas Staska, conducting a hardware, implement, coal and general mercantile business at Prague, is a most enterprising and progressive man whose well directed activities are leading to the attainment of substantial success. He is also active in community affairs and is accounted one of the representative residents of his town and county. His birth occurred in Chapman precinct on the 26th of November, 1881, his father being Joseph Staska. Upon the home farm he remained until he reached the age of seventeen years and had the usual experiences that fall to the lot of the farm boy who divides his time between the duties of the schoolroom and the work of the fields. When he had reached the age of seventeen he entered the hardware store which his father had purchased at Weston some time before and the business was conducted by Joseph T. Staska and his brother until 1905. In that year the former sold out to his brother and turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits, remaining upon the farm until 1909, when he sold the property to his brother and embarked in business in partnership with Frank Virgi of Weston. That association was maintained for two years but in 1911 Mr. Staska sold out. In the same year he removed to Prague, purchased the hardware and implement business of J. J. Polak and subsequently he bought out a dry-goods and grocery store, combining his interests in a general mercantile establishment which is now one of the foremost commercial concerns of the town. He carries a large and well selected line of goods and conducts an extensive business which is constantly growing. He has ever recognized the fact that satisfied patrons are the best advertisement and he has done everything in his power to further the interests of his customers and satisfy their wants. He also deals in coal and has built up a good trade in that connection.
On the llth of May, 1908, Mr. Staska was united in marriage to Miss Anna Novak, a daughter of Anton Novak, of Weston. Mr. and Mrs. Staska have become the parents of five children, Louis, Rosalie, Ethel, William and Joseph A.
In politics Mr. Staska is a democrat. For one year he served as a member of the council at Weston and for many years has been a precinct committeeman of the democratic party. He is now filling the office of member of the council
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at Prague and he exercises his official prerogatives in support of every plan and movement for the general good. He belongs to the Catholic Church of Prague and to the Modern Woodmen camp at Weston. He has a wide acquaintance and his many excellent traits of character have brought to him wide personal popularity.
ANDREW FREDERICK JACOBS.
Andrew Frederick Jacobs, deceased, better known as "Fred" Jacobs, was a representative farmer of Saunders county and a man highly esteemed throughout the community in which he made his home. He was born in Witzwart, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, August 18, 1842, and in early manhood learned the brick mason's trade, which he followed in his native land until 1867, when, attracted by the opportunities of the new world, and to get away from the war which was upon the empire, he came to the United States. Making his way to Texas, he there engaged in raising cattle until after the big Chicago fire of 1871, when he made his way to that city and worked at his trade for two years, finding ready employment because of the great activity in building circles. He afterward went to Grant Park, Illinois, where he later married, and there he continued to work at his trade for five years more. In 1878, with some friends, he drove across the country with team and wagon to Nebraska and purchased eighty acres of land near the present town of Yutan, known then as Clear Creek, securing a tract of rich prairie on which he erected a small house. His wife then joined him and the year following he bought eighty acres more and later one hundred and twenty acres. He continued active farming for sixteen years. He had no practical knowledge of agricultural life when he came to Nebraska but his wife had had training upon the farm and guided him in his work. He consulted her about all the duties and labors incident to the development of the fields and her assistance in management was one of the strong elements in his growing success. After devoting sixteen years to the operation of the farm he retired but continued to reside thereon for five years more or until 1900, when he removed to Wahoo, spending his remaining days in the enjoyment of well earned rest.
On the 23d of September, 1876, Mr. Jacobs was united in marriage to Miss Lena Frahm, who was born in Kankakee county, Illinois, a daughter of John and Ida (Hecht) Frahm, both of whom were natives of Germany. About 1855 they came to America, settling in Kankakee county, Illinois, where the mother's remaining days were passed, her death occurring when she was thirty-six years of age. The father married again, came to Wahoo in 1902 and reached the very venerable age of ninety years, his demise occurring in 1910. Mrs. Jacobs spent her girlhood under the parental roof and then, following her marriage, went to the home of her husband. They became the parents of five children: Ida, the wife of Charles Keller, of this county; John F., a salesman living in Chicago; Alma, who was an invalid and passed away when twenty-nine years old; Helen, who married Frank Koudele, of Weston; and Laura, the wife of Lloyd Collier, of Hastings, Nebraska.
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Mr. Jacobs gave his political allegiance to the democratic party from the time that he became a naturalized American citizen. He was a member of the Lutheran church, to which Mrs. Jacobs also belongs, and he shaped his life according to its teachings, becoming recognized as a most honorable man, possessed of many sterling traits of character. Since her husband's death, which occurred July 29, 1901, Mrs. Jacobs has continued to reside in Wahoo, where she occupies a pleasant home. She also spends much time in visiting her children, with whom she is ever a most welcome guest. She has resided in this county for thirty-seven years, so that she has a wide acquaintance and has witnessed much of the development and progress which have brought the county to its present condition of prosperity.
WILLIAM CRAWFORD SCOTT.
William Crawford Scott, who in September, 1914, took charge of the Nebraska Elevator at Valparaiso, in which connection he is actively associated with the grain trade in his part of the county, was born upon a farm in Davis county, Iowa, December 18, 1863. His father, John Scott, was born near Salem, Indiana, and was a son of Samuel and Maria Scott, who were of Scotch-Irish descent. In the year 1869, after living for a considerable period in Iowa, John Scott brought his family to Saunders county and secured a homestead claim of eighty acres in Rock Creek township. With one yoke of oxen he broke the prairie, and in those pioneer times he lived in a dugout. This district was then upon the western frontier and the most farsighted could not have dreamed of the development which would be brought about and the changes which were soon to occur here. Mr. Scott hunted deer, antelope and buffaloes and it was necessary to secure his supplies at Fremont or Nebraska City, but though the pioneer conditions forced him to face many hardships and privations, these were done away with as time passed on and his labors, were eventually crowned with success as he carried on his farm work. Later he retired and removed to Valparaiso, where his death occurred. He was a consistent and exemplary member of Square Lodge, No. 151, F. & A. M. He voted with the republican party and for two terms held the office of county commissioner. He likewise served in township offices and was justice of the peace, in which connection he rendered decisions that were strictly fair and impartial. He married Harriet Eveland, a native of Fulton county, Illinois, and they became the parents of ten children.
William C. Scott acquired a country-school education in Saunders county, to which he came with his parents when a little lad of six years. Through vacation periods and after his textbooks were put aside he worked upon the home farm until he attained his majority and when he had reached adult age he went to Colorado, homesteading one hundred and sixty acres of land in Yuma county. There he lived for three years, at the end of which time he sold out. He then returned to his father's farm and was busily engaged
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in its cultivation for two years, after which he cultivated rented land for five years. He next purchased eighty acres in Rock Creek township and spent a year in the further development and improvement of that place. He then came to Valparaiso, where he opened a restaurant which he conducted for six years. Later he engaged in the real-estate and insurance business for two years, after which he sold out in that line and in September, 1914, he took charge of the Nebraska Elevator, which he is now operating.
On the 19th of January, 1892, Mr. Scott was united in marriage to Miss Rosa Pecinovsky, whose birth occurred in Saunders county, Nebraska, April 27, 1869. To them have been born six children, five of whom survive, as follows: John, who follows farming in Oak Creek township; and Arthur, Ferris, Willis and Evelyn, all of whom are still under the parental roof.
The family adhere to the Catholic faith. Mr. Scott belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party. Much of his life has been spent in Saunders county and he is numbered with the pioneer settlers who for forty-six years have been interested witnesses of the growth and development of this part of the state.
Alois Prochaska, who is meeting with gratifying success in his agricultural operations, owns an excellent farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 9, Elk precinct. He was born on that farm on the llth of November, 1881, and is a son of Michel and Anna Prochaska, both of whom were born in Bohemia. In 1875 they came to the United States and the father purchased a quarter section of land in Elk precinct, Saunders county, Nebraska, paying therefor four dollars per acre. For many years he was actively engaged in farming, raising both grain and stock, but he at length retired because of his advanced age and is now living with his son on the home place.
Alois Prochaska is indebted for his education to the public schools of Elk precinct and to his father for training in farm work. As soon as old enough he began assisting his father and as the years passed aided more and more in the operation of the homestead. When his father retired he purchased the farm, which he has since operated on his own account. His crops are nearly always excellent, and he derives a good income from the sale of his cattle and hogs. He manages his work well, is industrious and progressive and is recognized as one of the efficient young farmers of his locality.
On the 15th of August, 1905, occurred the marriage of Mr. Prochaska and Miss Agnes Kavan, who is a daughter of John and Anna Kavan, and to this union have been born two sons, George and Charles.Mr. Prochaska supports the candidates and measures of the democratic party at the polls and takes the interest of a good citizen in public affairs, although he has never been an office seeker. He devotes his entire time and attention to agricultural pursuits, and the prosperity which he has gained is well deserved. In all of his dealings with his fellowmen he has lived
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up to high moral standards, and he is accorded the respect which genuine worth alone commands. His entire life has been passed in this county, and he is a representative of one of its honored pioneer families. He is continuing the work of development and improvement which his father began and has great faith in the future of this section of the state.
Henry Pickett, well known in Wahoo and highly esteemed wherever known, is one of the native sons of Nebraska, his birth having occurred in Ashland, October 26, 1880. He is a son of Thomas Johnson and Kate C. Pickett, the former the well known editor of the Wahoo Wasp. His early education was acquired in the public schools of Ashland, but during his youthful days his parents removed with their family to Wahoo, so that he continued his studies in this city. Entering business life, he turned his attention to telegraphy and after mastering the science became a telegraph operator, but was called from private life to public service on his appointment to the position of clerk of the district court on the 24th of December, 1910. After filling that position for a year he was elected for a four years' term, so that he is the present incumbent in the office.
At Council Bluffs, Iowa, on the 21st of July, 1914, Mr. Pickett was united in marriage to Miss Rhea Lamoreaux, daughter of E. W. Lamoreaux, of Omaha, Nebraska. They have one child, Annie, born June 23, 1915. Mr. Pickett is a progressive republican, deeply interested in the political situation and keeping well informed concerning the vital issues and questions of the day. He is a valued and prominent member of the Masonic lodge of Wahoo and also of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and for three consecutive years has been secretary of the Saunders County Agricultural Association. In a word, he stands at all times for public progress and improvement, aiding in all measures that he deems of benefit to the community and which promise to promote those interests which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride.
Anton Kaspar is connected in various ways with the business and public interests of Prague. He is conducting a job printing office, is engaged in the real-estate business, is an apiarist of more than local note and is filling the office of city clerk. A native of Moravia, he was born January 8, 1858, and is a son of Michael and Frances (Matejka) Kaspar, the former of whom died in the year 1910.
Anton Kaspar was the eldest in a family of five children and acquired his education in the public schools of his native land. He came from Austria to the new world with an uncle, who. located in Saunders county in 1874,
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and for two years thereafter he remained in his uncle's employ. At the end of that time he went to Douglas county, where he worked on a ranch for four years, herding sheep, horses and other stock. He afterwards spent five months in Omaha, after which he returned to Austria, remaining in his native country for two years. He then again came to Saunders county, this time accompanied by his parents, and settled on a farm in Chester township, where he remained for several years. Since starting out in life on his own account he has steadily worked his way upward. In 1887 he embarked in the hardware business at Prague in connection with Frank Secor and after conducting that undertaking with success for ten years dissolved the partnership. While in the hardware business he served for one term as postmaster of Prague under appointment of President Cleveland and later he turned his attention to the real-estate and insurance business, which he has since followed, securing a good clientage in that connection. He thoroughly understands property values, knows what real estate is on the market and carefully conducts his business operations, having negotiated many important realty transfers. He has also purchased a printing establishment and is now conducting a job printing business. Another interesting and important feature of his business activity is the cultivation of bees. He has studied the question thoroughly and has written largely on the subject of bee culture for the Hospodar, a Bohemian agricultural paper, published at Omaha. He has been engaged in raising bees for over twenty years and now has about sixty-four colonies, producing high grade honey for which he finds a ready sale.
In October, 1883, Mr. Kaspar was married to Miss Frances Zelnieck, a daughter of George Zelnieck, and their children are: Adolph, now at home and Mary, who is attending a normal school. For five years she was a successful teacher in the schools of Prague.
In his political views Mr. Kaspar is a democrat, giving stalwart support to the party. He served as assessor of Chester township for twenty years and at the end of that long period resigned in 1914. Since May, 1903, he has been clerk of Prague, has served as school director, has been clerk, and chairman of the school board and is now its treasurer. Fraternally he is connected with the Bohemian Lodge Z. C. B. J., No. 137, and he is a very prominent member of the Modern Woodmen camp at Prague, of which he served as clerk for seven years, while for the past five years he has been consul.
DANIEL FREDERICK WAGNER.
Daniel Frederick Wagner is a wide-awake, alert and enterprising, business man of Valparaiso, actively identified with its industrial interests, for he there owns and operates a cement block plant and is conducting a growing and substantial business. He was born February 5, 1877, upon a farm in Jackson county, Iowa, his parents being Daniel and Margaret, (Alexander) Wagner. His father's birth occurred in Hamilton, Pennsylvania, on the 26th of November, 1829, and his life record covered the intervening years to the 26th of May,
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1911, when death called him. He removed to Jackson county, Iowa, in 1845, before the admission of that state into the Union, and took an active part in shaping the pioneer development of the district in which he lived. On the 27th of March, 1856, he wedded Margaret Alexander, who was born November 8, 1888, and is still living at the age of seventy-seven years, making her home with her children. Mr. Wagner held a number of township and school offices and was a prominent and influential resident of the community in which he made his home.
In his youthful days Daniel F. Wagner attended the country schools of Jackson township, dividing his time between the acquirement of his education and farm work. He early became familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist and continued farming until he reached the age of thirty-two years, when he removed to Valparaiso and purchased the cement block plant which he now owns and operates. He has since engaged in the manufacture of cement blocks and is meeting with good success in this undertaking, for his product is finding favor with the public and his growing trade necessitates an increased output. He now furnishes employment to four men and the business is one of the important industries of the town.
On the 5th of April, 1911, Mr. Wagner was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Thompson, whose birth occurred in Omaha, Nebraska, July 5, 1883. He gives his political allegiance to the democracy and is now ably serving as a member of the city council. Fraternally he is identified with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. The family residence is an attractive two-story stone dwelling thirty by thirty feet. It is noted for its warm-hearted hospitality, which is freely extended to all their many friends, and the good cheer of the home is greatly enjoyed by everyone who knows them.
GEORGE W. MEREDITH, M. D.
Dr. George W. Meredith is actively engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Ashland, where he located in December, 1882. Through the intervening years he has remained here and during the entire period has occupied a most creditable position as a representative of his chosen profession. He has ever been deeply interested in those things which tend to bring to man the key to the complex mystery which we call life and his reading has ever kept him in touch with the onward march of the profession.
A native of Fulton county, Indiana, Dr. Meredith was born July 11, 1851, his parents being Peter and Elizabeth (Haze) Meredith. The father was a native of Ohio and was of Welsh descent, while the mother was born in France and during her infancy was taken to Ohio by her parents. Peter Meredith followed the occupation of farming and in 1833 went to Indiana, where he entered land from the government and developed a new farm, continuing its cultivation until 1861, when he turned his attention to general merchandising, which he followed for several years. He then retired from active business and resided in Rochester for thirteen years, or until 1874, after which he made his home with his children throughout his remaining days. He reached the ripe
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old age of eighty-four years, passing away December 25, 1894, having long survived his wife, who died July 17, 1855.
George W. Meredith was reared and educated in Rochester and after mastering the branches of learning taught in the public schools completed a course in the State Normal School. He afterward taught school for three years and at the end of that time matriculated in the State University of Indiana, in which he pursued his medical course, being graduated with the class of 1873. Immediately afterward he entered upon the practice of medicine at Union Mills, Indiana, where he remained until October 17, 1882, when he went to Lincoln, Nebraska, there residing for a short time. On the 6th of December, following, however, he removed to Ashland, where he has since remained, and throughout the intervening period, covering a third of a century, he has enjoyed a large and growing practice, his pronounced ability establishing him in a foremost place in the ranks of the medical fraternity in Saunders county.
On the 30th of December, 1874, Dr. Meredith was united in marriage to Miss Clara L. Vaill, a daughter of John Beck and the adopted daughter of H. B. and Margaret (Hadley) Vaill, who were natives of New York and became pioneer settlers of Illinois. Mr. Vaill followed farming in Knox county, that state, for many years, settling there in the '40s, his attention being given to general agricultural pursuits until 1880, when he turned his attention to the milling business. Four years later he disposed of his mill and removed to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he continued to reside until called to the home beyond in the fall of 1903. His wife survived him for about five years, passing away in November, 1908. Dr. and Mrs. Meredith became the parents of four children. George B., who was born May 29, 1877, and is now engaged in the telephone business in San Francisco, California, wedded Mary Pope and has three children, Boyd B., Ruth and George. Elizabeth, born December 15, 1879, died August 19, 1880. Clara E., who was born April 24, 1882, was married October 31, 1915, to Thomas H. Bruce, of Omaha, a traveling representative of Selz Brothers Shoe Company, with whom he has been connected for twenty-five years. Dr. Ernest L., born November 24, 1884, wedded Mattie M. Noyes, and they have two children, Alice, born April 19, 1911, and Elizabeth, born August 25, 1913. The second son was graduated May 14, 1909, from the Barnes Medical College at St. Louis, Missouri, and has since practiced in connection with his father, a most liberal patronage being accorded them. The first wife of Dr. Meredith passed away June 4, 1892, after an illness of seven weeks. He was married a second time January 17, 1894, when he wedded Ellen E. Curtis, who died June 17, 1909, after an illness of seventeen days.
Dr. Meredith has served as mayor of Ashland for two terms, giving to the city a businesslike and progressive administration, and he has also been a member of the city council, exercising his official prerogatives in support of various plans and measures for the municipal welfare. He also has served as a member of the state senate, in which he represented Saunders and Sarpy counties, from 1901 until 1904 inclusive. In 1914 he was elected to represent Saunders county in the general assembly, of which he is now an honored member. His political support has always been given to the democratic party. Fraternally he is connected with both York and Scottish Rite Masonry and is a member of the Mystic Shrine. In 1913 he served as representative to the