Saunders County NEGenWeb Project
Past and Present of Saunders County Nebraska, 1915, Volume II
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measures of the democracy, believing firmly in its principles. With his family he attended the services of the Swedish Lutheran church. His demise, which occurred October 12, 1898, when he had reached the age of fifty-three years, brought a sense of deep bereavement to the many who had learned to know and love him. His widow has now resided in Saunders county for more than four decades and has made a host of friends within its borders.
JOHN N. MILLER.
John N. Miller is an honored veteran of the Civil war and has ever been a public-spirited citizen. He now occupies a commodious and attractive home in the northwestern part of Ashland, where he has lived since 1893, in which year he retired from active farm life after devoting an extended period to general agricultural pursuits. He was born in Kosciusko county, Indiana, in April, 1841, a son of James and Mary (Baker) Miller, who were natives of Ohio. The father was a farmer by occupation and went to Indiana at an early day, after which he engaged in farming for several years in that state. Later he removed to Minnesota, purchased land and continued its cultivation until 1871, when he came to Nebraska, settling in Saunders county. Here he again invested in farm land and devoted his remaining days to its cultivation but was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, for his death occurred in 1874. Ten years passed and his widow was called to her final rest in 1884.
John N. Miller was reared in Indiana and Minnesota and is indebted to its public-school system for the educational privileges which he enjoyed and which prepared him for life's practical and responsible duties. He gave his father the benefit of his assistance on the home farm until he reached the age of twenty-seven years but in the meantime he had manifested his loyalty to his country by active aid to the Union army on southern battlefields. He enlisted in 1864 as a member of Company B, Seventh Minnesota Infantry, and with that command remained until the close of the war. He then returned to Minnesota and carried on farming there for eight or ten years, at the end of which time he came to Saunders county and bought land in Green precinct. Throughout a period of twenty years he gave his attention to the work of improving and developing his fields and the results of his labors were very substantial as he annually gathered large crops that brought to him a gratifying income. In 1898 he retired and removed to Ashland and erected a fine home in the northwestern part of the town and there he is enjoying in most pleasant surroundings a well earned rest. When upon the farm he made a specialty of raising thoroughbred horses, handling the Clydesdale stock.
In November, 1871, Mr. Miller was united in marriage to Miss Mary La Bare, a daughter of John and Miranda (Dunham) La Bare, the former a native of Canada and the latter of Vermont. Her father also followed the occupation of farming in Ohio and at an early period in the development of Minnesota removed to that state, where his remaining days were passed, his death occurring in 1895. For fifteen years he had survived his wife, who died in 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have become the parents of two children:
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Jesse, who is cultivating his father's farm in Green precinct; and Ira, who is also engaged in farming in the same precinct.
In politics Mr. Miller is an earnest republican, giving stalwart support to the men and measures of the party, and he has served on the town council, in which connection he has exercised his official prerogatives in support of various measures for the general good. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and through his membership in the Grand Army post renews his comradeship with his old associates of military days. His religious faith is that of the Christian church and his life has ever been guided by high and honorable principles, which have given him a place among the substantial citizens of Saunders county, men whose enterprise, public spirit and moral worth have gained for them the highest regard.
FRANK J. VYBIRAL.
Frank J. Vybiral, a prominent real-estate dealer of Wahoo, whose business career is characterized by indefatigable energy and perseverance, was born in Treble, Moravia, June 12, 1874, a son of Frank and Frances (Jirovsky) Vybiral, both of whom were natives of the same locality. In the year 1882 they came with their family to the United States, arriving in May, and from the east they proceeded at once to Nebraska, settling in Saunders county, the father purchasing eighty acres of land near Colon. He at once began the task of tilling the soil and caring for the crops and thereon he successfully engaged in general farming for many years, adding to his land from time to time until he was the owner of three hundred and twenty acres. He then retired and removed to Colon, where he passed away at the age of sixty-eight years. At the time he made his purchase of land he had to incur an indebtedness of four hundred dollars but his indefatigable industry and perseverance enabled him not only to discharge his indebtedness but also to become owner of a valuable property which he gave to his sons, including not only his farm but considerable money. In his political faith he was a democrat, while his religious belief was that of the Catholic church, to which his wife also adhered. She survived him for two years and passed away at the age of sixty-eight years. They were the parents of five children, those besides our subject being: Catherine, the wife of William Fanning, of Colon, Nebraska; Joseph, who met death by accidental shooting when seventeen years of age; John, who follows farming in Center precinct, Saunders county; and Mary, the wife of Matej Cernik, a farmer of Marietta precinct, Saunders county.
Frank J. Vybiral spent the first eight years of his life in his native country and then accompanied his parents on the voyage to the new world. He remained under the parental roof until he reached the age of twenty-five years and for a considerable period attended the public schools, spending his vacation periods in farm work and afterward continuing to assist in the further development and improvement of the home farm up to the time of his marriage. He then rented one hundred and sixty acres of the old homestead and at the time of his parents' death inherited that property. Year after year he carefully,
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persistently and systematically tilled the fields, his labors being attended with good results. He was numbered among the representative farmers of the community and as the years went by he so directed his efforts that he won a creditable measure of success. In 1908, however, he put aside the work of the fields and removed to Wahoo, where he opened a real-estate, loan and insurance office, in which business he has since successfully engaged, being accorded a liberal clientage.
On the 28 of January, 1899, Mr. Vybiral was married to Miss Brabec, a native of Saunders county, and a daughter of Mat Brabec, who was born in Moravia and became a prominent farmer of Center precinct, Saunders county. To them have been born nine children, Mary, Frances, Anton, Anastasia, Agnes, Christine, Frank, Caroline and Joseph, all of whom are at home.
Mr. Vybiral and his family are all communicants of the Catholic church. In politics he is a democrat and for four years has served as a member of the city council of Wahoo, exercising his official prerogatives in support of many plans and measures for the general good. While living on the farm he served as school director. He stands at all times for progress and improvement and cooperates heartily in many movements that have had direct bearing upon the welfare and upbuilding of the section in which he lives.
Henry Hanson, who is well informed on all conditions affecting the grain business, is now serving as manager of the elevator at Mead owned by the Farmers Cooperative Company. A native of Sweden, his birth occurred on the 10th of February, 1867, and he is a son of Helge and Chasti Hanson, who were lifelong residents of that country. He attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education but when thirteen years of age went to work. He engaged in farming and carpentering until he was twenty years old, when he again entered school, spending a year in high school. Subsequently in 1889 he came to the United States, sailing on a ship of the Beaver line, which had a pleasant passage. He made his way to Chicago but only remained in that city three days, continuing his journey to Morris, Illinois, where he stayed for three weeks. He then went to Omaha, but after working there for a month came to Wahoo. He followed the carpenter's trade here for two years and then began farming three miles south of Mead. He cultivated rented land for three years, at the end of which time he went to Colorado, where he bought land which he farmed for three years. He then sold out and made the seven hundred mile journey back to Nebraska in a covered wagon in December. For a year he rented land north of Mead and then farmed near Swedeburg for three years. He then for one year lived on a rented farm two and one-half miles northwest of Mead, after which he bought a home in Mead and removed there. For three years he did carpentering and dealt in live stock, but later he rented a good farm a mile and a half south of Mead and for seven years devoted his time to its operation. During the second year that he resided on
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that place he took charge of the elevator in Mead, and later he bought his father-in-law's homestead, which consists of eighty acres and is located two and a half miles south of Mead. At present he is devoting his time and energy to managing the elevator at Mead owned by the Farmers Cooperative Company. He gives close, attention to all details of the business and under his management the elevator is proving a profitable enterprise.
In 1889 Mr. Hanson was married to Miss Carolina Matson, a daughter of John Matson, and to them have been born eleven children: Lilly, who married Alfred Olson and lives in Wahoo; Ruth, who died in 1914; Harry, David and Nina, at home; Florence, who died in 1902; and Hilda, Reuben, Harold, Isabelle and Earl, all of whom are at home.
Mr. Hanson usually votes the republican ticket but if he deems he can best serve the public welfare by so doing he casts an independent ballot. His religious allegiance is given to the Swedish Mission church and he can be depended upon to support all worthy movements. He has won success by good management and close application to the matter at hand, and he is esteemed as a man of enterprise and ability.
ADAM C. HARRIS.
Among the highly respected residents of Ashland is Adam C. Harris, a retired farmer, who has now reached the venerable age of eighty-two years. He was born in Hardy county, West Virginia, August 2, 1833, of the marriage of Joseph and Mary (Shell) Harris, both of whom were natives of Virginia. The father was a farmer by occupation and removed to Illinois and purchased land in Adams county, that state, in an early day in its history. He continued to farm there during the remainder of his life, save for three months which he spent at the front during the Civil war, enlisting in the Union army in the summer of 1865 and passing away in the fall of that year.
Adam C. Harris was reared and educated in the Prairie state and remained with his parents upon the home farm until he became of age. He then began cultivating land on his own account and continued to follow agricultural pursuits in Adams county for about two decades, but in 1872 removed to Cass county, Nebraska, where he bought land which he farmed for twenty years. He understood the best methods of agriculture and as time passed his resources increased and in 1893 he retired from active life, having accumulated sufficient capital to enable him to enjoy a period of leisure. He then removed to Ashland, where he has since resided.
Mr. Harris was married in 1852 to Miss Mary Lewis, a daughter of Giles and Sophronia (Daniels) Lewis, the former of whom was born in Virginia and the latter in Kentucky. The father, who devoted his life to farming, removed to Adams county, Illinois, where he took up a homestead in the early '30s, and there he farmed until 1880, in which year he came to Ashland, Nebraska, and purchasing a good residence, retired from active life. He passed away in 1897 and was survived by his wife until 1905.
To Mr. and Mrs. Harris have been born ten children, namely: Hazeltine,
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the wife of John Roberts, of Omaha; Ada and Ella, twins, the former at home and the latter the wife of Asa Crane, of Lincoln; Varo, who is farming in Cass county; Slater, who died in September, 1915; Rosie, who is teaching in Omaha; Marcia, the wife of Frank Horsch, a resident of Idaho; Orville, who lives in Ashland; Daisy, the wife of Edwin Cochrane; and Gibsonia, who is living in Omaha.
Mr. Harris is a stanch adherent of the republican party, whose policies he believes best adapted to secure the permanent prosperity of the country. His religious faith is that of the Baptist church and his integrity and consideration of the rights of others have gained him the warm regard of all who have been associated with him. His has been a long and useful life and the respect in which he is universally held is richly deserved.
There is a goodly percentage of the citizens of Saunders county who from their respective states in which they were living at the time of the Civil war entered the service and fought to defend the Union. Such men, other things being equal, are always numbered among the most valued citizens of a community. They learned what it means to defend their country and they are just as faithful in times of peace as in days of military strife. Such has been the record of Amos Ewing, to whom experience brought a knowledge of military operations in the south. When the war was over he concentrated his energies upon farming and for a long period was actively engaged in general agricultural pursuits but since 1908 has made his home in Ashland, where he is now living retired. He came to the middle west from Pennsylvania, his birth having occurred in Beaver county, that state, March 1, 1844. His parents, Samuel and Christina (Mason) Ewing, were also natives of that state and there the father followed the occupation of farming. In 1850 he went to Ohio, where he continued the work of the fields throughout his remaining days, his labors being terminated in death in 1888. His wife had died in 1868, so that he had survived her for two decades.
The youthful days of Amos Ewing were spent upon the old home place in Ohio and his time was divided between the work of the fields, the pleasures of the playground and the duties of the schoolroom. He continued with his parents until he reached the age of twenty years, when in 1864 he responded to the country's call for further aid to crush the rebellion in the south and joined Company F, of the Ninth Ohio Cavalry, with which he remained until he was taken prisoner at Macon, North Carolina. For thirty-three days he was incarcerated at Salisbury, North Carolina, and was also held for a time at Danville, Virginia, and in Libby prison. This brought him to the close of the war and after his release he returned to his home in Ohio, where he carried on general farming for twelve years. On the expiration of that period he removed to Missouri, where he followed farming for five years. Still later he went to Kansas, where he took up a homestead and operated his farm there until 1908, when he sold out and came to Ashland, since which time he has made
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his home in the town. He led a busy and useful life while upon the farm, carefully and systematically developing his fields and adding year by year to the improvements upon the place. His efforts were made most productive through crop rotation and other modern methods and his work was persistently and energetically carried forward, bringing to him increasing success as the years passed by.
In June, 1870, Mr. Ewing was married to Miss Mary E. Mattson, a daughter of Job and Hannah (Messenger) Mattson. The father was a pioneer of Ohio, removing to that state at an early period in its development and there spending his remaining days. He passed away in 1905 and his wife's death occurred in 1868. Mr. and Mrs. Ewing have become the parents of nine children, Delmer, L. D., M. L., S. M., Osta, Arthur, Blanche, Bertha and Susan.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Congregational church and in his political belief Mr. Ewing is a republican. He is also identified with the Grand Army post and in these associations are indicated the rules which govern his life and have guided him in his activities. He has always endeavored to live at peace with his fellowmen, to be honorable and upright in all of his dealings, and his course has commended him to the confidence and goodwill of friends, neighbors and business associates.
PETER W. OLSON.
Peter W. Olson is now the owner of three hundred and fifty-eight acres of excellent land but when he came to this country from Sweden in his young manhood he had no capital other than his energy, his willingness to work and his good judgment. He is well known throughout Saunders county and all who come in contact with him esteem him highly. He was born in Sweden on the 11th of March, 1855, a son of Ola and Martha (Person) Olson, but was only three years of age when his father died. At the usual age he entered school but when eleven years old was for a time unable to continue his study on account of ill health. Later he again attended school but when sixteen years of age put aside his textbooks and was in the employ of others for three years. Subsequently he worked by the job and during the last three summers that he resided in Sweden he followed the carpenter's trade.
In 1879, when twenty-four years of age, Mr. Olson crossed the Atlantic to the United States and, continuing his journey to the middle west, he came to Saunders county, Nebraska. For one year he worked for his uncle, Martin Oakeson, receiving ten dollars a month for the last four months. He was next employed as a railroad section hand at a dollar and ten cents a day, but after devoting two months to that work he entered the employ of Hans Hockelson, who paid him fifteen dollars a month for his services. He saved his wages carefully and was at length able to purchase eighty acres of land. In 1881 he hired a man to break ten acres of his place at one dollar an acre, but he did not take up his residence upon the farm. In 1883 he worked as a hired hand, receiving twenty dollars a month for his labor. The following year he
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rented his land and turned his attention to carpentering for two months, devoting the remainder of the year to agricultural pursuits. In 1884 he purchased a team and began the cultivation of his own land, which he has since brought to a high state of development. From time to time he has added to his holdings, which now comprise three hundred and fifty-eight acres in the vicinity of Swedeburg. His land is well improved and returns him a good annual income. In 1908 he built the commodious residence which is still the family home.
Mr. Olson was married on the 21st of August, 1885, to Miss Elsa Hockelson, a daughter of Peter and Hannah (Nelson) Hockelson and to them have been born the following children: Otto, deceased; Ednum and Evelyn, both at home; Evald, who will graduate from St. Peter College at St. Peter, Minnesota, in 1916; Percy and Dureay, twins, who are at home; and Asaph, deceased.
Mr. Olson leans toward the republican party but considers the qualifications of a candidate of more importance than his political affiliation. His religious faith is that of the Swedish Lutheran church and his life is guided by high standards of morality.
GEORGE H. DRAPER.
George H. Draper owns and operates three hundred and twenty acres of good land and is giving much attention to the raising of high grade shorthorn cattle. He was born in Rome, Oneida county, New York, on the 10th of February, 1870, of the marriage of Samuel H. and Susan (Carpenter) Draper, who removed with their family to Cass county, Nebraska, in 1871. After living there for fourteen years they removed to Ashland, Saunders county, where the father passed away in 1895. The mother survives and makes her home in Wann. They became the parents of the following children: Carrie, who is the wife of George Washburn, of Marble precinct; George H.; Birdie, deceased; William, who is operating the home place; Grover, who resides with his mother; and Daisy, the wife of Eugene Hurst, a sketch of whose life appears elsewhere in this work.
George H. Draper was educated in the public schools and remained at home until he reached man's estate. He then rented land for a time but as soon as he had accumulated sufficient capital purchased a farm, which he began operating on his own account. He has continued to follow farming and has found it not only congenial but also profitable. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres of excellent land, and receives a good income from his labors. He raises excellent crops of grain and he also breeds shorthorn cattle and has built up a good herd.
On the 26th of January, 1901, occurred the marriage of Mr. Draper and Miss Mary Wolfe, by whom he has four children, Dora, Merle, Fred and Amy. Mr. Draper votes the democratic ticket and keeps well informed as to the issues of the day. Both he and his wife belong to the Christian church and fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America at Yutan, with which he has been identified for twenty years. He has many friends throughout the county and his genuine worth is indicated by the fact that those
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who have been most intimately associated with him hold him in the highest esteem. In the attainment of success he has been dependent solely upon his own resources and the gratifying measure of prosperity which he has gained is proof of his enterprise and sound judgment.
W. E. LILLIBRIDGE.
W. E. Lillibridge is successfully engaged in farming on section 19, Chapman township, and specializes in breeding registered shorthorn cattle. He was born on the farm which he now operates April 4, 1884, a son of Christopher E. and Clysta (Harrison) Lillibridge, further mention of whom occurs in the sketch of Harry W. Lillibridge, a brother of our subject.
W. E. Lillibridge received his education in the public schools and in a commercial school and on beginning his business career he became associated with his father in a hardware store in Weston. On selling his interests therein he entered the employ of the Canton Bridge Company as foreman and was with that concern for about four years, erecting bridges during that time in Saunders and other counties. The year following his father's demise he took charge of the home place, which he still operates, and as he is energetic and progressive his labors yield him a good return. He raises registered shorthorn cattle and is known as one of the successful stock breeders of the county. Some years he also buys and feeds cattle, and as he watches the market carefully he is able to sell his stock at a good price.
In 1907 Mr. Lillibridge was married to Miss Catherine Kavan, a daughter of John Kavan, of Wahoo, and they have three children, Glenn, June and Laverne. Mr. Lillibridge is a democrat where national issues are at stake but at other times votes independently. He and his wife attend the Methodist Episcopal church. Fraternally he belongs to the Masonic lodge at Wahoo and in his life exemplifies the beneficent spirit of the order. He has already gained a gratifying measure of success and his ability and enterprise insure his continued prosperity.
PARMENIO A. GOULD.
During the later years of his life Parmenio A. Gould lived retired in Ashland but for a long period before was actively identified with agricultural interests, owning and operating a farm in Saunders county. His many good traits of character established him firmly in the public regard and everyone spoke of him in terms of goodwill and esteem. He was born in Wyoming, New York, November 20, 1828, a son of Joseph and Polly (Fisher) Gould. The father, born in Vermont, removed to Wyoming, New York, in early life and throughout his remaining days was engaged in farming in that part of the state.
Parmenio A. Gould was reared and educated in the Empire state. After
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his father's death he and his brother farmed the old home place, upon which he lived until he reached the age of twenty-eight years, when he took up his abode upon his father-in-law's farm, in the same locality. There he carried on general agricultural pursuits for eight years and at the end of that period purchased land in the same county, which he operated for a year. He then disposed of that place preparatory to removing to the west and in the spring of 1868 he arrived in Saunders county, Nebraska, where he bought out a homestead right to a tract of land three and three-fourths miles west of Ashland. He then set about improving that place and continued its cultivation for six years. He then traded the place for another farm a mile from Ashland and immediately began its further development, his labors resulting in bringing about a marked improvement in the place. Year by year he carefully tilled the soil and gathered his crops and was thus busily employed until 1900, when he removed to Ashland, putting aside further active farm work. He then lived retired until his death, which occurred in May, 1908, after a residence in Saunders county of forty years.
In September, 1855, Mr. Gould was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Ann Cory, a daughter of Abner and Mary E. (Gray) Cory, natives of Rhode Island, the former born in 1787 and the latter in 1797. Removing to New York, Mr. Cory settled on a farm near Wyoming about the year 1814 and thereafter gave his time and energies to the improvement of his place. He was a blacksmith by trade and worked along that line in addition to farming. His wife passed away in August, 1868, and his death occurred in July, 1873. Mr. and Mrs. Gould had but one child, Mary G., who was born in Wyoming, New York, March 23, 1863, and is now the wife of J. H. Granger, mentioned on another page of this work.
Since her husband's death Mrs. Gould has made her home in Ashland and now owns a nice residence in the north end of the town. In politics Mr. Gould was independent. He did not care to be bound by party ties but voted according to the dictates of his judgment. He belonged to the Methodist church and in that faith passed away after having guided his entire life by its teachings. He was a man of strong character and honorable purposes and his upright life won for him the confidence and high regard of friends and neighbors.
GEORGE H. ATWOOD.
George H. Atwood is the proprietor of the only plumbing and heating establishment at Ashland and since opening his store in 1897 has been accorded a liberal and growing patronage which makes his business a successful undertaking. He was born in Wisconsin, November 8, 1857, a son of John and Sarah (Woods) Atwood, who are mentioned in connection with the sketch of C. A. Huyek on another page of this work.
George H. Atwood spent his early youth in his native state and there began his education in the public schools, later continuing his course in the public schools of Saunders county, to which place he drove across the country with his parents in a wagon train of twenty-two teams. They arrived in Ashland
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in May, 1874, and George H. Atwood afterward completed his schooling here. He resided under the parental roof until he reached adult age and then began farming on his own account, devoting two years to that work. He afterward, went to Colorado, where he took up a claim which he operated for two years. He then returned to Assailant, after which he was connected with well and mill work. For a time he was engaged in the implement business in the employ of others and subsequently he learned the plumbing trade. In 1897 he opened a plumbing and heating shop, which he has since conducted, and there has been a growing demand for his labor in that connection. His business is conducted under the firm style of Atwood & Company. He is a thoroughly competent workman, ready to meet any demands made upon him for work in his line, and he now owns the building in which he has his shop.
On the 23d of January, 1878, Mr. Atwood was married to Miss Stella Cole, a daughter of Mathew B. and Cecelia Cole, who were natives of Erie county, Pennsylvania, in which state the father spent his entire life, there devoting his attention to farming. Following his demise his widow with her family came west to Ashland, Nebraska, where she resided for many years, but eventually she returned to Pennsylvania, again taking up her abode there a few years prior to her death. Mr. and Mrs. Atwood have become the parents of four children: Mabel, who was born in August, 1879, and who married William Blair, an undertaker residing in Ashland; Leona and Clare F., twins, the former of whom is conducting a millinery shop at Louisville, this state, while the latter is employed in his father's plumbing establishment; and Georgia, who is attending the State University at Lincoln.
Mr. Atwood owns the pleasant home which he and his family occupy and they are well known socially in the community, the hospitality of the best homes of Ashland being freely accorded them. Politically Mr. Atwood is independent, voting for men and measures rather than for party. He belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and his religious faith is that of the Christian church, in the work of which he is much interested, giving to the extent of his ability to its support and doing all in his power to further its influence.
Samuel Lippincott is living retired in his comfortable residence in Memphis but for many years he led a very active life. He fought in the Union army during the Civil war and has always taken the keenest interest in the work of the Grand Army of the Republic and is now serving as aid-de-camp to the department commander 'of the state of Nebraska. In his early manhood he was engaged in construction work in various places but subsequently took up his residence upon a farm in Clear Creek precinct, Saunders county, which he operated until he put aside business cares and removed to Memphis.
His birth occurred in Alexander township, Hunterdon county. New Jersey, on the 28th of January, 1840, and he is a son of Tunis and Ann (Smith) Lippincott, natives respectively of that county and of Ireland. In 1840 the family removed to Bridgeton township. Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where
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the father purchased land. His farm belonged to the famous Doan band of outlaws during the Revolutionary war and one of them is buried there. The noted Ringing Rocks are situated on that place and one rock can be heard ringing for ten miles after struck with a stone or hammer. The rocks average from one to eight tons in weight and are a very interesting natural curiosity. Mr. Lippincott devoted the remainder of his life to farming pursuits and was successful in his work. He passed away in 1878 and the demise of his wife occurred in 1867.
Samuel Lippincott was but three months of age when the removal to Pennsylvania was made and there he grew to manhood and received his education. When eighteen years old he left home and obtained a position on a boat plying on the Delaware river. He subsequently worked on other rivers but when twenty years of age learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed until the 12th of September, 1861, when he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, for service in the Civil war. He was at the front for three years and nineteen days in all and during that time took part in a number of hotly contested engagements and was often in the thick of the battle. He was wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia, on the first of May, 1862, and for six months was incapacitated because of a broken leg. His regiment led the forward movement in that battle and was the first to cross the Chickahominy river. As soon as he had sufficiently recovered he rejoined his regiment at Gloucester Point, Virginia, and thence went to Fort Fisher, North Carolina. In the spring of 1868 his regiment went to South Carolina and effected a landing on Folly island. Not long afterward, however, they left that place and engaged in battle on James island and subsequently Mr. Lippincott participated in the charges on Fort Wagner, the third of which captured the works. He was also one of four volunteers in his company who joined parties of four from the other companies of the regiment in making a reconnaissance on Fort Sumter by night in small boats. They were discovered by the enemy before they had advanced far and as they were subject to the fire from the guns of Forts Johnson, Pinckney, Beauregard and Moultrie and from Battery B and several other batteries they were forced to retreat. Later Mr. Lippincott took part in the campaign in Florida, aided in the capture of Baldwin and was in the battle on Johns island. He then went with his command to Washington, D. C., and participated in the battle of Cedar Creek under General Sheridan. Not long afterward he was mustered out and returned to the pursuits of civil life.
Mr. Lippincott then worked at the carpenter's trade for some time, being so engaged in Pennsylvania, in New York city and in Somerville, New Jersey, but at length he entered the employ of a railroad contractor, with whom he remained until 1877. He then went to Omaha, Nebraska, and from there came to Wahoo, Saunders county. For some time he helped in building bridges on the Union Pacific lines and later was foreman for the railroad at Omaha, after which he held the office of superintendent of construction of the Omaha White Lead Works. After severing his connection with that company he followed his trade independently in Omaha until 1884, when he came to Saunders county and purchased one hundred and sixty-five acres of good land in Clear Creek precinct. He operated that farm successfully until 1890, when he sold out
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and bought eighty acres in Green precinct. His time and attention were taken up by the work of improving and cultivating that tract of land until 1911, when he sold out and purchased a half block of ground and a nice residence in Memphis, where he has since lived retired. He also owns good store buildings and residence property, which he rents and from which he derives a comfortable income. In addition to this he receives a pension of one dollar a day from the Federal government. While living on the farm he specialized in the raising of pure blooded Single Comb Rhode Island Red chickens and took many premiums at poultry shows throughout this section of the country.
In June, 1867, Mr. Lippincott was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Ross, a daughter of William and Ann Ross, natives of Bucks county, Pennsylvania. The father was employed during his active life on the Delaware canal. He passed away in 1853 but was survived by his wife for more than half a century, her demise occurring in 1906. To Mr. and Mrs. Lippincott have been born eleven children, six of whom are deceased. Those who survive are as follows: Elizabeth, the wife of J. F. Clouse, a farmer of Saunders county; Evelyn, who married O. M. Howell, a resident of South Dakota; Anna, the wife of H. H. Ehlers, cashier of the Bank of Memphis; Sadie, who married J. M. Brodie, of Lancaster county; and Walter C., at home.
Mr. Lippincott supports the republican party at the polls and in 1878 was elected justice of the peace at Omaha, an office which he held until his removal to this county. The year following his arrival here he was elected to the same office, which he has held since, his continued reelection proving beyond a doubt his efficiency and the confidence in which he is held. At one time he served as chairman of the county central committee of his party and has at all times worked loyally for its success at the polls. He holds membership in Post No. 31 of the Grand Army of the Republic at Ashland and is now aid-de-camp for the department commander of the state of Nebraska. He is a consistent member of the Christian church, of which he formerly served as elder, and his life has been guided by high moral principles. Although he has reached the age of seventy-five years he is still active and vigorous and looks forward rather than backward to the years that are past.
ZENAS B. SMITH.
Zenas B. Smith was a successful farmer of Marietta precinct and his demise, which occurred on the 12th of October, 1908, was deeply regretted by many throughout Saunders county. He was born in Wyoming county, Pennsylvania, on the 26th of January, 1825, a son of Joseph and Lucy (Sturdevant) Smith, also natives of the Keystone state.
After completing his education, which he acquired in the common schools, Zenas B. Smith began farming in Pennsylvania and so continued until 1871. In that year he decided to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the middle west and came to Saunders county, Nebraska. He bought out a homestead right on section 10, Marietta precinct, and continued to operate his farm until his death, which occurred on the 12th of October, 1908. He raised both
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grain and stock and as he managed his affairs well, received a good income from his land.
Mr. Smith was married in 1852 to Miss Phoebe E. Phinney, a daughter of Ebenezer and Nancy Phinney. They were the parents of four children, namely: Josephine, deceased; Marion, the deceased wife of James Crinklaw, of Antelope county, by whom she had four children; Estella, the wife of Walter F. Crinklaw, further mention of whom appears elsewhere in this work; and Grace, who married D. L. Depue, of Keith county, by whom she has six children.
Mr. Smith was a democrat where national issues were at stake but at local elections voted for the best man. He served as a member of the school board and was always much interested in educational advancement. He was an influential member of the Baptist church and took a prominent part in various lines of church work. At the time of the Civil war he gave proof of his patriotism by enlisting, in 1864, in the Two Hundred and Seventh Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, with which he went to the front. He was mustered out of the service September 9, 1865. He made an excellent record as a soldier and while in action in the battle of Petersburg received a wound, from the effects of which he never recovered. He was always willing to subordinate personal interests to the general welfare and was recognized as a public-spirited citizen as well as a successful farmer.
ELIAS S. WOLLEN.
Saunders county is primarily an agricultural county and its natural resources are such that those who systematically devote their time to farming seldom fail to acquire a competence. Elias H. Wollen, who owns valuable land on sections 2 and 11, Ashland township, has won financial independence through his well directed activities as a stock-raiser and farmer. He was born in Indiana on the 26th of November, 1848, a son of Mathias and Catherine J. (Harris) Wollen, who were natives respectively of Indiana and of Kentucky. The father farmed in the Hoosier state until 1869, when with his family he drove with an ox team to Saunders county, Nebraska. He bought land here which he improved and cultivated for many years. At length he retired from agricultural pursuits and removed to Fremont, where he engaged in the hotel business until his demise, which occurred in March, 1889. He was long survived by his wife, who died in February, 1912.
Elias S. Wollen was reared and educated in Indiana and in this county. After finishing his schooling he continued to reside with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-eight years, when he rented land, which he operated for three years. At the end of that time he was able to buy one hundred and sixty acres near Memphis and for over twenty years farmed that tract, which he improved, but in 1900 he disposed of that farm and, removing to Ashland township, bought two hundred and sixty acres on sections 2 and 11. He has since sold part of the farm but still owns one hundred and ninety acres. He has carefully conserved the fertility of the soil and has made a number' of improvements upon the place since it came into his possession. The buildings,
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which are in good condition, are located on section 2. He has found stock-raising particularly profitable and specializes in breeding Duroc-Jersey hogs and high grade cattle. He has accumulated much more than a competence and expects to retire from active life in the near future.
On the 26th of December, 1876, Mr. Wollen was united in marriage to Miss Margaret L. Bobbins, a daughter of Charles and Nancy (Pollard) Bobbins, both of whom were born in Indiana. About 1860 they came to Saunders county and took up a homestead a mile from Ashland, which the father farmed until his demise on the 16th of December, 1899. His wife died on the 22d of May, 1904. They were among the earliest settlers in the county and possessed the sturdy virtues of the pioneers — self-reliance, determination and endurance. To Mr. and Mrs. Wollen have been born eleven children, as follows: Earl M., whose birth occurred on the 25th of July, 1882, is farming but makes his home in Ashland. He married Miss May Barnes. George H., born March 18, 1884, is working for an express-company in Omaha. He wedded Miss Myra Carlton. Jessie M. and Lessie M., twins, were born May 24, 1885, and both are married, the former being the wife of C. S. Pilford, of Ashland, and the latter being now Mrs. William Weaver, also of Ashland. Claude C. was born October 28, 1887, and is now farming in this county. He married Miss Vivian Charlings. S. Pearl, whose birth occurred on the 27th of November, 1889, married Montie B. James, of Ashland. Leafy Grace, who was born January 14, 1892, is the wife of Fred E. Wilson, an electrician of Stuart, Nebraska. Rexford S. and Milton L., who were born respectively on the 27th of December, 1895, and the 18th of January, 1899, are both at home. Bertie E., whose birth occurred on the 7th of February, 1878, died on the 4th of March, 1879. Charles B. was born February 10, 1880, and died February 26, 1882. Mr. and Mrs. Wollen also have fourteen grandchildren.
Mr. Wollen is a stalwart democrat in his political belief and his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. Although he has given the greater part of his time and energy to the operation of his farm he has never been too busy to discharge his duties as a citizen or to aid in movements seeking the advancement of his community. He attributes his gratifying success to his industry, his willingness to adopt new methods when their value has been proven and to the cooperation and aid of his wife, who has been a true helpmate.
CHRISTIAN J. CHRISTENSEN.
Christian J. Christensen, who is making an excellent record as manager of the Farmers Elevator at Woodcliff, Saunders county, Nebraska, was born in Denmark, March 9, 1866. His parents, Rasmus and Christina (Thompson) Christensen, were born and married in that country but in 1869 came to the United States. The father, who engaged in fishing and farming while living in his native land, took up a homestead on section 22, Pohocco precinct, on his arrival in Saunders county, Nebraska. He is still living and is highly esteemed in his community. His wife passed away about 1902. To them
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were born five children, namely: Christian J.; Christina, the wife of Martin Peterson, of Fremont; Sophie, who married Christ Nelson, of Saunders county; Arthur H., who is living on land belonging to his brother, C. J. Christensen, in Pohocco precinct; and Charles J., who is operating the homestead.
When seven years of age Christian J. Christensen became a pupil in the first district school which was organized in the vicinity of the family home. He attended school until he had received a fair education and then devoted his time to assisting with the work on the homestead. When twenty-five years of age he removed to one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 3?, Pohocco precinct, which had previously come into his possession and which he still owns. He erected good buildings upon this place and otherwise improved it but in 1909 rented the farm to his brother, Arthur, and went to Emporia, Kansas. He was engaged in the hardware business there until 1913 and then took charge of the Farmers Elevator at Woodcliff, Saunders county. He manages the business well and has made it a gratifying source of profit to its owners, who are farmers residing in Pohocco precinct.
In 1890 Mr. Christensen was united in marriage to Miss Anna Barnett, by whom he has four children: Ethel, the wife of Forrest Boothe, of Fremont; Elnora, who married Owen Pease, of Fremont; and Goldie and Floyd, at home.
Mr. Christensen is a democrat in his political belief and can be counted upon to support that party at the polls. Both he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church and he is also identified with the Woodmen of the World at Fremont. He is widely known throughout Saunders county and has many sincere friends as he is not only a man of excellent business ability and undoubted integrity but is also loyal in friendship.
MRS. MARIA (BERGERSON) JOHNSON-DIXON.
Mrs. Maria (Bergerson) Johnson-Dixon is a widely known and esteemed pioneer woman of Saunders county and for the past ten years has lived in St. Paul, Nebraska. She was born on the 23d of October, 1843, in the vicinity of Christiania, Norway, and is a daughter of Berger and Bertha (Sieversdater) Mathieson. The family consisted of four sons and four daughters, three of whom are now deceased. The Bergersons are characterized by strong constitutions and much endurance, and many members of the family have reached a venerable age.
Mrs. Dixon was reared at home and attended the local schools in the acquirement of her education. In her young womanhood she devoted her attention to the profession of nursing and gained an enviable reputation for efficiency and for a helpful spirit that added to the value of her services. On the 2d of August, 1866, she was married at Christiania, Norway, to Andrew Johnson, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. To them were born three children, of whom two are now living: Anton J., who married Miss Elizabeth Schmidt, of Wahoo; and William G., who married Miss Pearl Stiver, of Valparaiso. Mr. Johnson passed away in 1874 and his widow and her children continued to live upon the homestead, which was about a mile
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from the present site of Wahoo. The residence was a dug-out and the conditions of life in general were those of a frontier district. On the 10th of May, 1875, she was again married, becoming the wife of Chris Dixon, the ceremony being performed at Lincoln. By this union she has three living children: C. M., a resident of Findlay, Ohio; Mrs. Charles Riss, Jr., of St. Paul, Nebraska; and Mrs. Robert Wulf, of Elba, this state. She also has eleven grandchildren.
Mrs. Dixon has resided in St. Paul, Nebraska, for the last ten years and belongs to Success Rebekah Lodge, No. 215, at that place. She holds membership in the Norwegian Lutheran church at Wahoo and takes a commendable interest in its work. She has many friends in Saunders county, where she lived for so many years, and she has also gained the regard and the respect of the community in which she now lives. She has not only witnessed the transformation of the state from an unsettled region to a populous and prosperous farming district but also has done her part in bringing about the great change, and she is still interested in everything that affects the public welfare.
ELMER E. JESPERSEN.
Elmer E. Jespersen, who is living in his beautiful and modern home upon his farm on section 3, Ashland township, was born in Cedar county, Iowa, on the 6th of April, 1863, a son of Peter L. and Jane B. (Montgomery) Jespersen, natives of Denmark and of Ohio respectively. When seventeen years of age the father emigrated to the United States and settled in Cedar county, Iowa, where he farmed until 1869, in which year he drove across the country to Saunders county, Nebraska. He was joined by his family in June, 1870. He took up a homestead twelve miles west of Ashland and devoted his time to its improvement and operation until 1883, when he retired and took up his residence in Ashland. After living there for several years he sold his home and went to Yutan, where he lived with a daughter until his demise. He made three visits to Denmark and greatly enjoyed seeing his old friends. At the time of the Civil war he enlisted in Cedar county, Iowa, in Company G, Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, and remained at the front for two years. While in action he was wounded by a shot through the leg. He passed away in September, 1906, and was survived by his wife until the 26th of October, 1911.
Elmer E. Jespersen was reared and educated in this county as he was but seven years of age at the time the family home was established here. He remained with his parents until he reached the age of nineteen years and after completing his schooling devoted his time solely to assisting with the farm work. On leaving home he worked by the month as a farm hand until 1889, when he rented land, which he cultivated for two years. During all of this time he had carefully saved his money and was at length in a position to buy one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 8, Ashland township. He took up his residence there and at once began improving the place, to which he subsequently added eighty acres across the road. He erected a thoroughly modern brick residence on the eighty acres, which is one of the
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finest homes in the county, and all of the other buildings upon the place are also substantial and well designed. He has engaged in general farming and as the years have passed his resources have increased, for he displayed excellent judgment in the management of his business affairs and has been very efficient in his farm work.
On the 29th of December, 1887, Mr. Jespersen was united in marriage to Miss Emma Wolfe, a daughter of Lewis B. and Georgiana (Johnson) Wolfe, who were born respectively in Ohio and New York. About 1864 they removed to Henderson county, Illinois, where the father purchased land, to the operation of which he devoted his remaining years. He died on the 16th of January, 1914, and his wife passed away on the 20th of March, 1893. Mr. and Mrs. Jespersen have a son, Lewis L., whose birth occurred December 17, 1888, and who is operating his father's farm. He married Miss Lillian W. Bryan of Ashland and they have one child, De Loris J., who was born on the 26th of September, 1915.
Mr. Jespersen is a stanch democrat and supports the candidates and measures of that party loyally. His religious faith is in accordance with the teachings of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which he belongs, and his integrity is above question. He has gained many friends during the forty-six years of his residence in this county, and all who have been associated with him respect him highly.
BERTIN E. HENDRICKS.
Bertin E. Hendricks, who since 1899 has engaged in law practice at Wahoo, where he is now accounted one of the most prominent attorneys, was born in Butler, De Kalb county, Indiana, November 23, 1868. His father, Salathiel P. Hendricks, was a native of Ohio, born in 1845, and was a distant relative of the late Hon. Thomas A. Hendricks, at one time vice president of the United States. He served as a soldier of the Civil war, going to the front with an Ohio regiment of volunteer infantry, with which he remained on active duty for three years, participating in a number of hotly contested battles. He was married in Indiana to Miss Elizabeth Jane Baker, a native of that state, and about 1870 they removed to Missouri. In 1911 they became residents of Nebraska, and now make their home in Ashland, this state.
Bertin E. Hendricks was but two years of age when the family went to Missouri and in the public schools of Fillmore he mastered the common branches of learning. He was afterward graduated from the Western Normal College at Shenandoah, Iowa, on the completion of a scientific course in 1891, winning the degree of B. S. He then turned his attention to teaching, which profession he followed for seven years in Nebraska. He was principal of the school of Herman for two years and then decided to take up the study of law. While attending the law school in Lincoln he taught mathematics, English and civil government, in the Lincoln Business College there. In 1896 he was graduated from the law department of the Nebraska State University but afterward resumed teaching and was superintendent of the schools at Ulysses for three
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years. In 1899 he opened a law office in Wahoo, and while advancement in the profession is proverbially slow, he has continuously progressed and is now occupying a creditable and enviable position among the able lawyers who practice in the courts of Saunders county. In 1904 he was elected county attorney and filled that position for one term, but otherwise has continued in private practice and the recognition of his ability has brought him into active connection with much important litigation.
On the 18th of March, 1898, in Tekamah, Nebraska, Mr. Hendricks was united in marriage to Miss Deana Christine Fischer, a daughter of Daniel Fischer, who was of American birth and served as a soldier in the Civil war, in which he was wounded, lying for three days on the field of battle at Gettysburg before receiving medical attention. Mr. and Mrs. Hendricks have become the parents of three daughters, Lorene A., Madalene Deana and Lucile Margaret.
Politically Mr. Hendricks is a republican but the honors and emoluments of office have no attraction for him, and his only political service as an office holder was in the position of county attorney. He affiliates with the Knights of Pythias, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Tribe of Ben Hur and is loyal to the basic principles of those organizations. He and his family attend the Congregational church and are highly esteemed in this city, occupying an enviable position in social circles, where intelligence and true worth are accepted as the passports to good society.
Aaron Robbins, who has reached the advanced age of eighty years, is residing on eleven and a half acres in Ashland township and is still active in spite of his years. He formerly engaged in agricultural pursuits quite extensively but upon his removal to Ashland sold his farm. A native of Indiana, his birth occurred in July, 1835, and he is a son of Benjamin and Mary Robbins, both of whom were born in New York. The father, who devoted his life to farming, became one of the pioneer settlers of Indiana, where he resided until his death, which occurred in 1855, when he had reached the age of seventy years. His wife died in 1835.
Aaron Robbins was reared and educated in Indiana and remained with his father until 1854, when as a young man of about nineteen years he went to Iowa, where he worked as a hired hand and also farmed independently to some extent until 1864. In that year he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in Ashland township. As soon as possible he placed his land under cultivation and during the fifteen years that he operated that farm he made many improvements upon it. At length he sold the place and purchased land near Ithaca, which he cultivated for four years. He then sold out and removing to Ashland, purchased eleven and a half acres of land here, on which he has since lived. He has improved and developed the tract and his home is a commodious and attractive one. The
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period of comparative leisure which he is now enjoying is well deserved, having been made possible by well planned labor in former years.
On the 20th of April, 1861, Mr. Robbins was united in marriage to Miss Frances Welch and they became the parents of three children, Nettie, Iola, and George, deceased. The wife and mother died in 1895 and in March, 1900, Mr. Robbins was again married. Miss Ruth Hollingsworth becoming his wife.
Mr. Robbins casts his ballot in support of the men and measures of the republican party but has never been ambitious to hold office. He is a member of the Christian church, whose teachings have guided his life, and his influence is a factor that makes for righteousness. His residence in Saunders county covers more than a half century, and during that time he has witnessed a wonderful change in conditions that indicates how rapid has been the development of the west.
ERNEST J. TOMES.
Success is ever the result of persistent, earnest and indefatigable effort. In the case of Ernest J. Tomes unfaltering industry has brought a very substantial measure of prosperity, and he is now numbered among the well-to-do and enterprising farmers of Touhy. Like a large percentage of the substantial citizens of Saunders county, he is a native of Bohemia, his birth having occurred in Moravia, on the 10th of November, 1867, his parents being Joseph and Barbara Tomes, who were farming people in their native land. There they resided until 1871, when they bade adieu to friends and native country and sailed for America with their six children, at which time Ernest J. Tomes was a little lad of but four years. He is the fifth in order of birth, his brothers and sisters being Joe, Mary, Frank, Andrew and Barbara. After reaching American shores the father crossed the country with his family to Saunders county, Nebraska, where much of the land was still in possession of the government and in order to make a home for the members of his household he entered a claim covering the east half of the northwest quarter of section 12, township 14, range 5. His first home was a little frame dwelling covered with a thatch of slough grass and the following year he had the misfortune to have this building destroyed by fire, necessitating the erection of another dwelling. He bent his energies to the development and improvement of his farm and soon wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of the place, which he converted from a tract of wild prairie into rich and productive fields.
It was upon the old homestead farm that Ernest J. Tomes spent the days of his boyhood and youth having the usual experience of the farm lad. He was early trained to habits of industry, thrift and economy, and he learned the best methods of developing the fields and caring for the crops. When twenty-one years of age he received the homestead as a gift from his parents and successfully continued the operation of that farm. In 1889 he added to his original holdings by the purchase of an eighty acre tract to the north, for which he paid two thousand dollars to Florin Tomes. He had farmed the above land for about six years when on July 4, 1892, Mr. Tomes with Anton B. Chapek, as a partner, opened a new store at Touhy. They dealt in general
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merchandise, hardware and implements. Mr. Tomes remained in that business for about two or three years and then sold his interest to his partner, Anton B. Chapek, and Frank J. Hakel, the firm becoming known as Chapek & Hakel.
In 1894 Mr. Tomes purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 2, township 13, range 5, Oak Creek precinct, from Frank Hruby, and in the fall of that year he erected thereon a fine residence and made other improvements on the place. In 1908 he purchased six hundred and forty acres on section 9, township 11, range 6, in Lancaster county, the farm being located one-half mile south and two miles east of Raymond, Nebraska. Upon the farm is a two story house of eleven rooms and also a house, for the workmen, of four rooms, two big barns, each one hundred and fifty feet long, three double cribs, each about sixty feet long or more, and one hog shed three hundred feet long with water improvement in it. In the year 1910 Mr. Tomes purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 36, township 14, range 5, Newman precinct. In 1914 he purchased forty acres of land near La Pine, Oregon, which he has not seen to the present day. His property possessions now include eleven hundred and sixty acres of land, on which he has made modern improvements in keeping with the most progressive methods of farming. He carefully tilled his fields and raised good grades of stock, and everything about his place indicated his careful supervision and his practical and progressive methods. He has lived retired in Oak Greek precinct, Saunders county, for the last three years.
Mr. Tomes was united in marriage to Miss Eleanor Kodek, a daughter of Thomas Kodek, and they have eight children, Joe, Frank, Mary, Louis, George, Agnes, Ernest and Henry. The only members of the family that are not married are George, Agnes, Ernest and Henry, and the others all have homes of their own. All of the sons are bankers, Frank being the cashier of the La Pine State Bank of La Pine, Oregon; Joseph, assistant cashier of the Oak Creek Valley Bank of Valparaiso, Nebraska; Louis, cashier of the Dwight State Bank of Dwight, Nebraska; George, cashier of the First Bank of Ulysses, Nebraska; Ernest, cashier of the State Bank of Touhy, Nebraska; and Henry, assistant cashier of the Dwight State Bank of Dwight, Nebraska. Mr. Tomes is interested in several banks and has fine residences in Ulysses, Weston and Touhy, Nebraska.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church. The parents are well known in the country where they make their home, Mr. Tomes having spent practically his entire life in Saunders county in Oak Creek precinct, and as a representative and progressive farmer he deserves prominent mention.
STATE BANK OF TOUHY.
Among the well managed and prosperous banks of Saunders county is the State Bank of Touhy, which is No. 930 Bank Charter and which was organized in 1906 with a capital of five thousand dollars. In that year its deposits were six thousand but in the year of 1915 they had reached a total of forty-eight
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thousand dollars and more and there was a surplus fund of six hundred dollars. The banking house and fixtures are valued at sixteen hundred and fifty dollars, and the affairs of the institution are in a most satisfactory condition. The present officers are Julius Petermichel, of Valparaiso, president; F. J. Kirchman, of Wahoo, vice president; and E. B. Tomes, cashier. The policy of the institution is progressive but is tempered with safe conservatism to amply safeguard the interests of stockholders and depositors, and the bank has the confidence of the public.
Detlef Heldt gained a substantial measure of success as a farmer in Marble precinct and since 1900 has lived retired in Yutan. His birth occurred in Schleswig-Holstein, then a part of Denmark, on the 14th of January, 1841 and he received his education in the schools of that country, pursuing his studies for two months in each year until he was sixteen years of age. He then worked out until he was twenty-two years old, when, on the 10th of May, 1863, he enlisted in the Danish army. On the 16th of December, of that year, war was declared between Denmark on one side and Germany and Austria on the other. He remained at the front until the 16th of August, 1864, when the hostilities came to a close. In the spring of 1865 he emigrated to America with his parents and the family home was established in Kankakee county, Illinois. For four years he worked on marsh drainage projects and then accompanied his parents to Saunders county, Nebraska, the journey from Omaha to this county being made with a wagon drawn by oxen. The father, George Heldt, took up a homestead of eighty acres on section 4, township 14, range 9, and our subject filed on an adjoining claim. For the first four years after removing to this county Mr. Heldt of this review lived in a dugout, which indicates the primitive conditions that prevailed, but as time passed he brought his land under cultivation and his resources increased so that at length he was able to erect a commodious frame residence. He was not only very industrious, but he also so planned his work that his labors were effective and as time passed he purchased more land. In 1900, feeling that he had gained more than a competence, he put aside the active work of the farm and removed to Yutan, where he has since lived retired.
Mr. Heldt was married on the 17th of April, 1865, in Denmark to Miss Elize Speck, and on the 29th of that month sailed for America. They have become the parents of five children. Katherine was born on the 5th of May, 1866, and married Ferdinand Gelster, who passed away in 1900. Thirteen years later she was killed in a cyclone. To them were born six children, all of whom are residing in Saunders county, save Lillian, who lives in Oakland, this state. George, the second child of our subject, was born October 14, 1868, in Illinois and is now operating the homestead and is also serving as county commissioner. He married Miss Mary Plambeck, of Douglas county, by whom he has ten children. John was born August 2, 1872, in Saunders county and is living in Yutan. He married Miss Mary Karloff, a daughter of Fred
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Karloff, of this county, and they are the parents of two children. Henry was born December 16, 1878, and is living a mile south of Yutan. He chose as his wife Miss Lena Schulz, a daughter of John Schulz, of Yutan, and three children have been born to their union. Anna, a twin of Henry, was married to John Mumm, a son of George Mumm, of Saunders county, and resides three miles southeast of Yutan. Two children have been born to them.
Mr. Heldt supports the republican party where national issues are at stake, but at local elections votes for the best man irrespective of party lines. He was at one time a member of the school board and has always taken a commendable interest in educational progress. His religious faith is that of the German Lutheran church. He has never regretted coming to this country, for here he has found opportunities the utilization of which has enabled him to attain financial independence. He has thoroughly identified his interests with those of his county and has at all times discharged to the full his duties as a citizen.
ALFRED N. THOMPSON.
Alfred N. Thompson, who has made many substantial improvements upon his quarter section in Marietta and Wahoo precincts, is energetic and progressive and is meeting with well deserved success in his work as an agriculturist. He was born in Sweden on the 2d of September, 1867, and is a son of Nicklas and Hannah (Johnson) Tufreson, both of whom died in their native country. Our subject attended school until fourteen years of age and from that time until he was twenty years old worked upon a farm in Sweden but in 1888 he crossed the Atlantic to the United States. He made his way to Wahoo, Nebraska, and for three years was employed as a farm hand, working during the first year for a Mr. Phelps. He saved his money carefully and at the end of three years rented the farm which he now owns and together with his brother cultivated the place for four years. He and the owner, N. B. Berggren, then operated the farm for three years, after which our subject bought the place, which comprises one hundred and sixty acres. The land is in a high state of cultivation, the buildings are large and well designed for their purposes, and everything about the farm is kept in the best of condition. Mr. Thompson engages in general farming and derives a good income from the sale of his grain and stock. He is one of the largest buyers and feeders of livestock in his precinct.
On May 1, 1895, Mr. Thompson was united in marriage to Miss Olive Peterson, who died in 1912, leaving three children, Florence, Violet and Roswell. The wife and mother was laid to rest in Sunrise cemetery in Wahoo. On September 16, 1915, Mr. Thompson was married to Miss Helen Peterson, a sister of his first wife and a daughter of August and Nellie (Johnson) Peterson. Her father is still living and now makes his home with Mr. and Mrs. Thompson. He was born in Sweden, June 13, 1834, but has lived in Saunders county since 1870. When he first came to the county he took a homestead on section 12, Wahoo precinct, of eighty acres. Later he bought one
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hundred and twenty acres more, making a two hundred acre farm, which he still owns. Mrs. Nellie Peterson died October 24, 1898, and her remains rest in Estina cemetery, seven miles northeast of Mead. August Peterson and wife had eight children, four sons and four daughters, all of whom are living except Mrs. Olive Thompson, first wife of Alfred N. Thompson.
Mr. Thompson is independent in politics, voting for the best man without regard to his party allegiance. He is now serving as treasurer of the school board and is proving capable in the discharge of his duties. He is a member of the Swedish Baptist church at Mead and his influence can be counted upon to support movements seeking the moral welfare of his community. He has worked diligently and has given much thought to the management of his affairs, and as a result he is now in comfortable circumstances.
SOLOMON N. REVIS.
Solomon N. Revis, who has engaged in farming during his entire active life and who for thirty-five years has also operated a threshing outfit, is now living on twelve acres of land adjoining Ashland. He was born in Missouri on the 15th of February, 1856, of the marriage of Overton and Elizabeth Revis, the former a native of France and the latter of Portugal. The father became a resident of Gadfly, Missouri, in an early day in the history of that district and there engaged in buying stock. He passed away in 1857 and his wife died two years later.
Solomon N. Revis was left an orphan when three years of age and was reared by Mr. and Mrs. Copple, who removed to Cass county, Nebraska, when he was but five years old. As soon as old enough he began working in the fields and during his youth he was employed as a farm hand for some time. Later he rented land in Cass county which he cultivated for six years, but in 1884 he came to Saunders county and rented a farm. He has continued to follow agricultural pursuits and for thirty-five years he has operated a threshing outfit, deriving a gratifying addition to his income from this enterprise. He is now living on twelve acres adjoining Ashland and has remodeled his residence, making it thoroughly modern.
On the 20th of January, 1884, Mr. Revis was united in marriage to Miss Louise Johnson, a daughter of Colonel John and Elizabeth J. (Hoblett) Johnson, both natives of Ohio. The father removed to Missouri many years ago and there followed the butcher's trade. At length he went to Iowa and in 1863 he became a resident of Cass county, Nebraska, whence a year later he came to Saunders county and he took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty-seven acres in Ashland township, of which the twelve acres on which our subject now lives is a part. He farmed that tract throughout the remainder of his life and also for a number of years conducted a butcher shop in Ashland, which was the first meat market in the town. He erected a part of the present residence of our subject, hauling the lumber from Omaha by ox team, and this house is now one of the oldest in the county but is also one of the most attractive as it has been added to and remodeled by Mr. Revis. During the Civil war
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Mr. Johnson drilled recruits and was given the title of colonel, by which he was ever afterward known. His demise occurred on the 3d of June, 1897, and he was survived by his wife until the 9th of August, 1914.
Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Revis, namely: Mary E., whose birth occurred on the 28d of December, 1884, and who is now the wife of Frank Arnold, of Idaho; Clinton M., who was born May 15, 1887, and is living in Sterling, Colorado; Nellie E., who was born August 15, 1890, and is living in Omaha; Ernest L., whose birth occurred January 8, 1893, and who is now a resident of Idaho; Cora G., who was born September 18, 1895, and is teaching at Louisville, Nebraska; and Luella, born January 6, 1898, Arvilla Louise, born May 9, 1902, Nelson E., born October 26, 1905, and Vernon E., born April 6, 1908, all of whom are at home.
Mr. Revis is an adherent of the republican party, in the wisdom of whose policies he believes firmly, but he has never taken a very active part in public affairs. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Baptist church and fraternally he is identified with the Woodmen of the World. He is a man of energy, perseverance and sound judgment and these qualities have enabled him to gain a gratifying measure of success.
FRANK G. SEELY.
Frank G. Seely, who is engaged in farming on section 35, Pohocco precinct, and has won a gratifying measure of prosperity, was born at Battle Creek, Michigan, on the 1st of March, 1869, of the marriage of Alexander P. and Hannah M. (Dodge) Seely. The father's birth occurred in Warsaw, New York, and that of the mother in Erie county, Ohio, and they were married in Michigan. The father farmed there for a time but traded ninety acres of land in that state for a half section in Saunders county, Nebraska, and in 1874 removed with his family to this county. They came by train but a half-brother drove through by wagon. As soon as possible the father erected a small frame house upon his land on section 27, Pohocco precinct, and continued to operate his place until he was called to his final rest in 1885. He was twice married, his first wife being Miss Julia Knight, by whom he had two children: Melvin, who is living on the home farm with his stepmother; and Alta, the wife of J. C. Mullette, a resident of Alien, Dixon county, Nebraska. There were also two children born to Mr. Seely's second union, namely: Frank G.; and Byron E., who is a retired farmer living in Fremont.
Frank G. Seely received his education in the public schools and remained at home until he was twenty-one years of age, when he began his independent career, taking up his residence upon land on section ?5, Pohocco precinct, where he has since lived. He has put up excellent buildings, has set out a good orchard and grove and has made other improvements upon the farm, which is an attractive and valuable property. In addition to the one hundred and twenty acres in his home place he owns eighty acres in Marietta precinct and derives a good income from the cultivation of his land. He engages in general farming
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and finds that raising both grain and stock is more profitable than specializing in the production of either.
Mr. Seely was married in 1890 to Miss Gertie B. Miller, by whom he has a son, Clarence M., who is a graduate of the Cherry Hill high school in Marietta precinct and who has practically taken over the operation of the home farm.
Mr. Seely is a republican in politics and has been called to several offices, having served for three years as assessor of his township, an office which he will also hold during 1916, and having been school director and school treasurer. His wife is a member of the Baptist church. He has given the greater part of his attention to the management of his agricultural interests and in so doing has not only gained a competence but has also contributed to the prosperity of the county, whose greatest resource is its fertile soil.
Germany is well represented in the citizenship of Saunders county and many of those who have contributed to the development and progress of this portion of the state are natives of the fatherland or trace their ancestry thereto. Fred Stamp, now living in Yutan, having retired from active farm work, was born in Germany, April 11, 1857, and at the usual age became a public-school pupil, continuing his education there until he reached the age of fifteen years. He then accompanied his parents to America, their arrival on American shores being followed by a trip to Will county, Illinois, in 1872. The family home was established upon a farm and Fred Stamp continued to assist his father in farm work there until 1875, when John Stamp removed with his family to Saunders county. He then rented a farm, while his son Fred began work as a farm hand in the neighborhood and was thus employed until 1879. He then resolved that his labors should more directly benefit himself, with which end in view he rented a farm which he cultivated for three years. During that period he carefully saved his earnings and with the capital thus acquired he purchased land and took up his abode thereon. Year by year he carefully and systematically tilled his farm and developed his fields, making his home thereon until 1910.
In 1880 Mr. Stamp was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Karloff, her father being Fred Karloff, an early settler of this county. Mr. Stamp has been married twice and has eleven children. Lizzie, who was born in 1881 and lives on a farm five and a quarter miles northwest of Yutan, gave her hand in marriage to John Miller. Anna, who was born in 1888 and resides on a farm three miles north of Yutan, is the wife of John Leonard, by whom she has a son, Fred, Jr., who was born in 1885 and lives on the homestead a mile and a half northwest of Yutan, wedded Miss Clara Martin, by whom he has two children. Edith, whose birth occurred in 1887, gave her hand in marriage to C. B. Edquist, a merchant of Omaha. Louis, who was born in 1889 and resides on a farm five miles northwest of Yutan, wedded Miss Vivian Philipps, by whom he has one child. Clara, who was born in 1890 and lives on a farm seven miles southwest of Yutan, is the wife of W. M. Miller. Emma, born in
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1892, is still at home. John, whose natal year was 1896, is employed at farm labor. Harry, born in 1898, is a high-school student. Dorothy and Hubert, born in the years 1908 and 1905 respectively, are both attending school. The first wife passed away in 1900 and in 1901 Mr. Stamp was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Hilgert.
Nine years later they left the farm and removed to Yutan, where Mr. Stamp is now living retired, enjoying the fruits of his former toil in a comfortable home where he has many of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life. He belongs to the German Lutheran church and he has served on the town board of Yutan. He votes the republican ticket where national issues are involved but casts an independent local ballot. His aid at all times can be counted upon to further the public welfare and he is numbered among those whose activity upon the farm has contributed to the agricultural development of the county.
THEODORE L. ADAMS.
Theodore L. Adams, who was one of the pioneer settlers of Marietta precinct and transformed a tract of wild prairie land into a highly cultivated and well improved farm, was born in Pennsylvania on the 9th of December, 1885, and received his education in the common schools. He remained upon the home farm in that state until he had reached young manhood, when he decided to try his fortune in the west and accordingly went to Wisconsin. He was engaged in farming there until 1866, in which year he drove by wagon to Dodge county, Nebraska. He took up a homestead there and the primitive conditions of life that existed are indicated in the fact that his home was a log house. In 1869 he settled on section 22, Marietta township, Saunders county, his farm being north of Mead. He first purchased a quarter section of land, to which he subsequently added two one hundred and sixty acre tracts, thus becoming the owner of four hundred and eighty acres. Much of the land in this county was still in the possession of the government when he came here and there were to be endured the inconveniences and hardships incident to life on the frontier. He operated his farm until 1888, when, feeling that he had accumulated sufficient capital to afford him the comforts of life during his remaining years, he retired and removed to Mead. He lived there for over twenty years, dying on the 17th of June, 1909.
Mr. Adams was married March 4, 1860, to Miss Susan Biesecker, by whom he had seven children, namely: Libby, who married George Hoagland and who at her death left four children; Deborah, the wife of J. S. Cheney, of Wahoo, by whom she has one child; Mattie, who gave her hand in marriage to Will Otto and has six living children: Jay Fletcher; Hattie, who gave her hand in marriage to Ed Robinson, of Antelope county, and has two children; Orlando, who married Miss Lena Wilson and has two children; and Garfield, who married Miss May Coats, by whom he has two children.
Mr. Adams was a stalwart republican and did all in his power to further the success of that party at the polls. The high esteem in which he was held
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and the satisfactory manner in which he discharged his official duties were indicated by the fact that for thirty years he served as school director. His religious faith was that of the Methodist church and his integrity was above question. His wife passed away on the 1st of December, 1907, and a year and a half later, in June, 1909, he too was called to his final rest. They were widely known throughout the county and were held in high esteem by all who knew them.
JAY FLETCHER ADAMS.
Jay Fletcher Adams, the fourth child and oldest son of Theodore L. Adams, was born in Dodge county, Nebraska, on the 5th of June, 1869, but has passed nearly his entire life in this county, as the family home was established here in that year. He divided his time between attending the common schools and assisting his father until he was sixteen years of age, when he concentrated his energies upon farm work. He has always remained upon the home place, which he now owns, and through hard work and good management has gained a gratifying measure of prosperity. He raises both grain and stock and is at once practical and progressive in his methods.
Mr. Adams was married on the 25th of July, 1888, to Miss Iva Otto, a daughter of George B. and Sarah Otto, the former of whom died on the 24th of December, 1910, and the latter of whom is residing with Mr. and Mrs. Adams, at the age of seventy-four years. Four children have been born to this union, namely: Lottie, who is at home; Etta, the wife of William West, of Marietta precinct; and Ernest and Orpha, both of whom are at home. Mr. Adams is a republican and has proven very efficient as a member of the school board. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen and to the Woodmen of the World at Mead. He is ably carrying on the work of still further improving the farm which his father developed and he is adding to the esteem in which the family name is held.
EMIL E. WOLF.
Emil E. Wolf, who is acceptably filling the responsible position of cashier of the Bank of Morse Bluff, is a native of Nebraska, his birth having occurred in Clarkson, Colfax county. His natal day was the 20th of April, 1888, and he is a son of Frank and Mary Wolf. His mother died in 1911 and his father is living retired in Colfax county.
Emil E. Wolf attended the common schools and also had the advantage of a two years' course in the Fremont Normal School. He worked with his father on the home farm during his boyhood and youth, but on beginning his independent career turned his attention to banking. For a short period he was connected with the Farmers State Bank of Clarkson and for some time was with a bank in Nickerson, Nebraska, but in 1907 he purchased an interest in
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the Beemer State Bank of Beemer, Nebraska, and accepted a position there as bookkeeper. The ability which he displayed led to his promotion to assistant cashier, which office he held until 1910, when he sold his interest in that bank and bought stock in the Bank of Morse Bluff, of which he was made cashier. He follows a progressive policy but is careful to safeguard the funds of the depositors and the interests of the stockholders and the affairs of the bank are in very satisfactory condition. He ranks among the able bankers of the county and is a factor of no small importance in the financial life of his community, his success in his chosen field of work being the more notable in that he is still a young man. He is not only financially interested in the Bank of Morse Bluff but also owns stock in the Commonwealth Life Insurance Company of Omaha and in the Baker White Pine Lumber Company of Oregon.
On the 12th of October, 1909, occurred the marriage of Mr. Wolf and Miss Stella Teply, by whom he has one child, Arden. Mr. Wolf gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is active in local governmental affairs. He was chairman of the city council for one term, is now serving for the fifth year as trustee and is also secretary of the fire department. Fraternally he is well known, as he belongs to North Bend Lodge, No. 119, A. F. & A. M., at North Bend; Emeth Lodge of Perfection, No. 5, A. & A. S. R. of F. M., at Fremont; and to the Woodmen of the World, of which he is assistant consul; the Modern Woodmen of America, of which he is clerk; the Ancient Order of United Workmen; and the Z. C. B. J., of which he is trustee, all of Morse Bluff. He is a man of great energy and many sided interests and aside from the activities already mentioned is leader of the local band. The greater part of his time and attention, however, is given to the management of the affairs of the bank and his efficiency is indicated by the fact that during the five years that he has been cashier the deposits of the Bank of Morse Bluff have increased from two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars to two hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. He is justly respected for his ability and is also popular personally.
William Titus, a successful farmer residing on section 3, Ashland township, has recently established himself in the dairy business and has a good route in Ashland. His birth occurred on the 26th of May, 1860, in Pennsylvania, and he is a son of David and Maria (Langdon) Titus, both natives of New York. The father, who was a farmer, went to Pennsylvania in 1844 and bought land there which he operated until called by death in June, 1890. He was survived for nine years by his wife, who died in February, 1899.
William Titus was reared at home and received his education in the public schools of Pennsylvania. He continued to reside with his parents until he reached the age of twenty-four years, when he was married and began his independent career, renting his father's farm. He operated that place until 1897, when he migrated westward and settled in Saunders county, Nebraska. After renting land for nine years he removed to an eighty-eight acre farm on
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section ?, Ashland township, belonging to his wife. He at once began the further improvement of the place, which he has since operated. He raises high grade stock and is now giving much attention to the dairy business, selling milk in Ashland. He is prompt and energetic and his business integrity is above question.
In March, 1884, Mr. Titus was married to Miss Alta Butler, a daughter of Richard E. and Charlotte (Rockwood) Butler, further mention of whom is made elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Titus have one daughter, Helen E., who was born in August, 1892, and is at home.
Mr. Titus votes the republican ticket but is not otherwise active in political affairs. He attends the Methodist Episcopal church and in all relations of life, strives to measure up to high standards. His fraternal affiliations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and both in and out of those organizations he has many warm friends.
JOSEPH B. BARTEK.
With the pioneer history of Saunders county, Joseph B. Bartek is thoroughly familiar, for his residence here dates from July, 1870. He is also as thoroughly acquainted with the record of later progress and development, for he has borne his full share in the work that has led to the substantial improvement and upbuilding of the county. For a long period he has been actively, extensively and successfully engaged in general farming and has been identified as well with commercial and journalistic interests. In fact, there is no phase of public life with which he has not been associated and always for the betterment of the community in which he lives.
Mr. Bartek is a native of Moravia. He was born in 1857, in the north-eastern part of Upper Becva, Wallashko, Beskidy mountains, his parents being John and Veronika (Plutcnar) Bartek. The father was the owner of two farms consisting of thirty mirs each, one known as Lucinsky and the other as Jancikovice. He desired to dispose of his property in 1867 with the avowed purpose of coming to America but it was not until the summer of 1870 that he found a purchaser for his property, the sale of which brought him twenty-eight hundred zlatek. Already a number of his friends had left Bohemia to become residents of the United States, some settling in Iowa and others in Texas. He made his way to Bremen, expecting to sail from that port for Galveston, Texas, but found that the vessel which made bi-monthly sailings had departed the preceding day. Accordingly he embarked on a ship bound for Baltimore, Maryland, reaching his destination after a voyage of nine weeks. Meeting some emigrants who were coming to Saunders county, Nebraska, and learning that government land could be secured there, he determined to make his way to this state and crossed the country direct to Saunders county. In those days an old ferry was operated across the Platte river at North Bend and this conveyed Mr. Bartek and his family to the other side of the stream. They were the first emigrants from Wallashko, Moravia, to settle
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in this part of the state, Mr. Bartek homesteading one half of the northwest quarter of section 12, township 14, range 5, in Saunders county, in July, 1870.
In 1878 he gained a neighbor, when Mr. Flint, who at that time was teacher of a school in the old sod house of Mr. Venc, on the east half of the southwest quarter of section 12, homesteaded the east half of the northeast quarter of section 12. The family met all of the experiences, hardships and privations of pioneer life. Their first home was largely a dugout. The father, however, had practical knowledge of the carpenter's trade and on section 4 cut timber, which he used in constructing the frame portions of his residence. Ash Doles were used as rafters and the roof was covered with rails, over which was placed a thatch of slough grass. Ashes mixed with red clay served as a whitewash. It was thus that the pioneer settlers had to make necessity the mother of invention, utilizing whatever means they could secure to meet their needs. By working for neighboring farmers Mr. Bartek earned money sufficient to enable him to buy windows and boards for the door of the house and necessary household supplies. He cut his grain with a cradle scythe and after the harvest was gathered walked to Omaha, where he secured work in building the foundation of the Union Pacific Railroad bridge over the Missouri river. The proceeds of his labor were invested in two cows, which not only furnished milk for the family but also served as his first team. In 1876 he built a log house and as opportunity offered added to his land, filing on the south half of the northwest quarter of section 12, but that property was later homesteaded by Mr. Tomes, who had been his near neighbor at his old home in Moravia. The two older sons, John and Joseph B. Bartek, entered the employ of a Mr. Watson and their year's work brought to their father a yoke of steers. The family struggled on, making steady progress, and in 1880 the father was enabled to establish a grocery and dry-goods store in Weston, where he continued business with good success for two years, after which he sold out. He returned to his farm and thereon resided until his death, which occurred December 29, 1891. To him and his wife were born eight children. The eldest, John, who was born in 1855 and was named for his father, is still living on the old homestead. He married Mary Spransky. Joseph is the second in order of birth. Mary has passed away. Frank married Barbara Simanek and resides in Chapman precinct. Lucas wedded Victoria Bartek and is engaged in farming in this county. Phebe is the wife of James Kabourek, of Dwight, Nebraska. Agnes is the wife of Frank Cech, a farmer of Wahoo, and Veronika is the wife of Andrew Tomes, a retired farmer of Weston.
Joseph B. Bartek shared with the family in all of the hardships of pioneer life and bore his part in the work of developing the home farm and providing for the support of the family. He early started out to earn his own living but continued to make his home with his parents until 1880, when he came into possession of one hundred and sixty acres of land. With characteristic energy he began the development of the farm, which he carefully and systematically cultivated until 1891, when he was elected sheriff of Saunders county. In 1888 he purchased the first eighty acres of his present home, comprising the west half of the southwest quarter of section 24, township 14, range 5, the purchase price being one thousand dollars. The sum of three thousand dollars made him possessor of the John Jamison ranch and five years later he
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added an adjoining eighty acres, and he is today the owner of three hundred and twenty-six acres of rich and valuable land. In 1894 he erected a fine modern residence, two stories in height, thirty-six by thirty-two feet. Upon his place he has an arched wind cave and brick and stone wall cellar. There are also good barns and outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock. His farm is well watered, as it lies along the south branch of Wahoo creek, the banks of which bear a heavy growth of oak, elm, walnut, ash, willow, cotton-wood and box elder trees, some of which are more than four feet in diameter and more than one hundred years old. A large windmill pumps water from a fine well and his orchard is in excellent bearing. In fact his property is one of the best improved in the precinct and bears evidence of the care, supervision and capable management of the owner, who is successfully engaged in general farming and stock-raising. He has made a specialty of raising broom corn and sorghum and is engaged in the manufacture of molasses for local use. This does not compass the extent of his activities, however, for he is a director of the Weston Grain & Stock Company, and in 1890 became one of the organizers of the first independent Bohemian paper in the United States, called Pritel Lidu, which means the people's friend. He has been a liberal and valued contributor to that paper, writing many articles of great interest to his fellow countrymen.
In May, 1880, Mr. Bartek was united in marriage to Miss Mary Kovarik, a daughter of John Kovarik, who came from Kameny Mosty Caslav, Bohemia, in 1879, and established his home in Saunders county. To Mr. and Mrs. Bartek have been born the following children. Jaroslav, who was born April 2, 1881, completed his education in the Fremont Normal School in 1899, and later engaged in teaching. He wedded Miss Hevdika Confal and now lives in Newman township. Joseph, who was born August 13, 1882, was also educated in the Fremont Normal School. He wedded Miss Blanch Kavan and is engaged in business in Lomo, Nebraska. Charles, who was born January 7, 1884, is also married. Josie, who was born March 16, 1885, is the wife of Frank Bouc, of Lancaster county. Fannie married Francis Novak. Emma, whose birth occurred in September, 1886, is the wife of John Kobza. Frank, who was born January 20, 1888, married Anna Fidler. Mary, born in April, 1889, married Frank Cofal. Ralph, born March 21, 1890, is with his brother at Loma, Nebraska. Henry, born in February, 1892, Phebe, March 31, 1895, Millie, August 25, 1897, and Willie, whose birth occurred May 13, 1899, are all still under the parental roof. Mr. Bartek has given his children excellent educational advantages.
In his political views Mr. Bartek was formerly a democrat, supporting the party until 1889, after which he joined the populist party. It was upon that ticket that he was elected to the office of county sheriff, in which position he made an excellent record, discharging his duties without fear or favor. For several years he served as assessor of Newman precinct and has been school director for a number of years. He was also secretary of the Weston Catholic cemetery and has been treasurer of the Weston Catholic church. He is familiar with every phase of the development of Saunders county, having for forty-five years been an interested witness of the changes which have occurred. He arrived here when a youth of thirteen and entered upon a career of activity and
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usefulness which has been far-reaching and beneficial to the community. He has contributed not alone to its agricultural progress but to its upbuilding in many ways and is accounted one of the valued citizens of this part of the state.
HON. W. H. DECH.
For a half century Hon. W. H. Dech has been identified with agricultural interests in Saunders county, becoming the first permanent settler residing as far up the valley as Ithaca. It is his political activity, however, which has brought him the widest acquaintance and he has ever been known as a fearless advocate of a cause or principle in which he has believed. The birthplace of W. H. Dech was an old mill three miles from Easton, Pennsylvania, and his natal day November 27, 1840. His parents were William and Katheryn (Rice) Dech, also natives of the Keystone state. The father engaged in the distilling business but conscientious scruples in later life caused him to abandon that occupation. The great-grandfathers of W. H. Dech in both the paternal and the maternal lines came to the United States from Germany, while the great-grandmothers came from France. His grandparents, however, were born in the United States.
William Dech was six years of age when his parents removed to Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he attended school until he reached the age of twelve years. His textbooks were then put aside, after which he drove a dray and sprinkler in Allentown until he reached the age of fifteen, when he entered upon an apprenticeship in a carriage shop, serving for three years. He then embarked in business on his own account at Railway, New Jersey, where he continued until the outbreak of the Civil war, when in April, 1861, he enlisted as a member of Company I, First Pennsylvania Regiment, in response to the call for three months' troops. At the end of his first term he reenlisted, becoming a member of Company K, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, his command being attached to the Department of Western Virginia throughout the period of hostilities. He was shot in the right breast at Sneakers Gap on the 19th of July, 1864, and was mustered out in November of that year at Kernstown, Virginia. He then returned to Allentown, where he accepted a position as hospital steward of the Lehigh county poorhouse hospital and his leisure hours during the two years which he spent in that position were devoted to the study of medicine. In the spring of 1866 he came to Nebraska and became the first settler of Ithaca and was also the first permanent settler that remained as far up the valley as Ithaca. He homesteaded the southeast half of the southeast quarter of section 20, range 14, meridian 8, and later purchased land where his residence now stands. He built a frame house and afterward erected a more commodious and modern residence near the site of his present home. At length he tore down that building and erected the residence which he and his wife now occupy. In 1884 he sold his original homestead and later bought an adjoining tract of land on the west. His life has been devoted to farming and his labors have been attended with excellent results.
On the 28th of February, 1869, Mr. Dech was joined in wedlock to Miss
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Mary Dorraty, a daughter of Nathaniel and Sarah (Cox) Dorraty. To them have been born seven children, five of whom still survive. Claude Helpich, a resident of Whitehorse, British Columbia, Canada, wedded Miss Rose Russell, of Portland, Oregon, by whom he has two children, Russell and Bethel. Claude H. Dech is engaged in the newspaper business. Edward passed away when sixteen years of age. Harry is living at home. Robert, who resides near Ingomar, Montana, is married and has two daughters, namely: Nina, the wife of J. Baldwin, of Sheridan, Wyoming; and Lila. Lloyd G. is deceased. Holmes is engaged in the real-estate business in Seattle, Washington. Cleon, an employe of the Omaha Street Railway Company, married Miss Edna Robb and has three daughters, namely: Norma, Neta and Neoma.
In politics Mr. Dech is a socialist — a term which must not be confused with anarchist when we consider his political opinions. He believes in the republicanism of Abraham Lincoln and the democracy of Thomas Jefferson. In a word, he believes in more equitable adjustment of things and the inherent right of every individual to express his honest opinions and to further his own interests wherever in so doing he does not infringe upon the rights of his fellows. His political activity began about 1868, when Governor David Butler appointed him assessor and census enumerator of one-third of Saunders county. In 1873 he was elected to the lower house of representatives and succeeded in having a change in the statute, so that it was possible to remove the county seat from Ashland to a more central part of the county. He was also a leader in fighting the penitentiary ring of which Bill Stout was the figurehead and thus helped to save for the state one hundred thousand dollars. In this he gained the enmity of the gamblers in politics in his county and in the state, but in 1876 he was elected a delegate to the state convention held at Fremont. Illness, however, prevented his attendance and he appointed Joe Davis as his proxy. The issue was hard or soft money. He was a republican who believed with Abraham Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens, Oliver P. Morton, Benjamin Wade, Charles Sumner and other patriots in a full legal tender paper money, and the champion of the west at that time was the Chicago Inter Ocean. The political grafters were successful in nullifying the work of the fathers of the republican party and indorsed hard money. Mr. Dech, believing that on a just financial system depended the life of the republic, left the republican party and joined the newly organized greenback party to become an agitator, attending county, state and national conventions, where he was always recognized as a successful promulgator of the principles of the party. During these years he assisted in organizing the first Knights of Labor of the state and in 1890 became the state master workman.
In the year 1883 Mr. Dech was elected to the state senate on the greenback ticket and there, with the assistance of the anti-monopolists and a few anti-Sterling Morton democrats, wrested the senate organization from the republicans and would have elected an anti-republican United States senator had it not been for the attitude of a Morton democrat in that session. Mr. Dech was on the regular railroad committee and also on the special railroad committee that had power to call before it the railroad magnates of the state. Much of the workings of these organizations was made public in a printed report and also in a supplemental report written by Mr. Dech, in which he
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said that the solution of the railroad problem was found in government ownership and control. He felt that the nomination of Benjamin Butler for the presidency on the greenback ticket wrecked the party and a new organization was founded under the name of the union labor party, which was later merged into the people's independent party, in which the Knights of Labor, the Grange and the Farmers Alliance figured. Mr. Dech was active in all of the work of the party, being a national committeeman and one of the foremost factors in bringing the national convention to Omaha in 1892. In 1890 he was unanimously nominated for lieutenant governor, receiving a thousand more votes than the head of the ticket, which without doubt was elected, but the men were not allowed to take their seats because of the corruption among leaders of both the old parties. In 1898 Mr. Dech was nominated for congress from the fourth district but was defeated by the two old parties, the democrats putting a man in the field and thus promoting the election of a republican candidate. Mr. Dech was instrumental in bringing about the election of W. V. Allen to the United States senate, conceiving the plan which R. L. Metcalf, then of the World-Herald, worked out in his inimitable way. In 1896 he was a delegate to the state convention at Grand Island, where the democratic hosts, under the guise of populists a hundred strong, invaded the convention and controlled the chairmen, secretaries and committees and declared for fusion with the democratic party in the oncoming presidential election. Mr. Dech with the stalwarts fought for the principles which he saw were involved, but the chairman paid no heed to him and his coworkers. Only the motion of a real democrat was considered and fusion was the result, and thus was finis written after the people's independent party. Fourteen years later Mr. Dech had the opportunity to strike a terrific blow at a most successful political diplomat at the convention, and he has lived to see many of the principles for which he has so earnestly contended picked up and advocated by those who had formerly defamed them. In a word, Mr. Dech in his agitation of political questions and problems was many years ahead of his time and it took a long period for political leaders and the masses to be educated up to his way of thinking. In the precinct in which he has resided for over forty-nine years the people on all occasions have given him a majority vote and he has been a candidate for school director, assessor, representative to the state legislature, state senator, lieutenant governor and candidate for congress. His whole political work has been, as it were, rowing against the current of capitalism, fraud and deception. He has taken no very active part in politics since 1911. He has throughout his life been a close student of the great problems and issues which have confronted the country and he is willing to meet anyone on the discussion of such measures. In July, 1915, the governor appointed a committee to select the most useful man in the state of Nebraska to receive honors at the Panama Exposition. Mr. Dech stood sponsor for Mr. Brunner for the position and the latter received the honor.
Mr. Dech is a member of the Masonic lodge, being one of the oldest Masons in Wahoo, and he has served as junior warden. He has membership with the Grand Army of the Republic and served as adjutant of his local post. He was master workman in the state of Nebraska of the Knights of Labor, is a member of the Grange and has been state lecturer of the Farmers Alliance. He is the