Saunders County NEGenWeb Project
Past and Present of Saunders County Nebraska, 1915, Volume II
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He died in the year 1848, after which his widow married again and went to Illinois.
It was in the latter state that George Hoffman was reared and pursued a public-school education. He remained with his mother until after the inauguration of hostilities in the Civil war when, feeling that he could no longer remain at home while the Union was in danger, he enlisted on the 13th of August, 1862, becoming a member of Company C, One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Infantry, from which command he was honorably discharged June 21, 1865, at Salisbury, North Carolina. He took part in the battle of Knoxville, Tennessee, under General Burnside, and in the battles of Buzzards Roost, Resaca and Atlanta, where the enemy was defeated. He then left the forces of General Sherman and with the command of General Thomas participated in the engagements at Franklin, Nashville and Spring Hill, General Thomas defeating the Confederate troops under General Hood. From Nashville he went to Washington, D. C., and thence to Fort Monroe and at that point swung out to sea. Eleven days were spent at sea, after which the troops were landed at Morehead City, North Carolina, and thence proceeded to Goldsboro, where they again met the forces of General Sherman. Mr. Hoffman was mustered out at Springfield, Illinois, after the war and returned to his home with a most creditable military record, for he had borne himself with signal valor and loyalty on many a hotly contested battlefield.
Returning to Piatt county, Illinois, he there engaged in farming until 1873, which year witnessed his arrival in Saunders county, Nebraska. Still later he went to Kansas, where he secured a homestead which he operated for eighteen months, but he could not raise good crops there so sold or traded the place of one hundred and sixty acres for a horse, buggy and harness and two hundred dollars in money. He then drove across the country to Saunders county and for thirteen years operated a dray line in Ashland. During that period he carefully saved his earnings and at length was able to purchase forty acres of land a mile and a half from the town. He afterward bought an additional tract of one hundred and ninety-one acres, making the boundary of his farm within a half mile of Ashland, and to that tract he added eighty acres, so that he now owns altogether three hundred acres of rich and productive land. Year by year he carefully tilled the soil and cared for his crops and thus was busily engaged in farming until 1904, when he retired and removed to Ashland, where he purchased a pleasant home that he now occupies. He also owns two other residences in the town which he rents and he rents his farm for two-fifths of the crop, thus securing a good income from his property.
On the 19th of August, 1862, Mr. Hoffman was married to Miss Josephine Abbott, a daughter of Richard Abbott, a native of Indiana. He was a cooper by trade and in early life went to Illinois, making the journey with an ox team. He settled in Champaign county, that state, and there worked at his trade for a number of years. In 1871 he came to Ashland, where he followed his trade for several years, after which he returned to Indiana and made his home with his son until his death, which occurred in 1900. His wife has also passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman have become the parents of nine children, namely: Oscar, a merchant of Ashland; John, who is operating a farm in Cass county three miles from Ashland; Olivia, at home; Harry, who is engaged
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in merchandising in California; Edward, an express agent at Ashland; Zeila, the wife of Jesse Miller, who is farming in Saunders county; Clara, the wife of P. W. Folsom, a jeweler of Ashland; and two who died in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman are consistent members of the Christian church and he belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic. In politics he is a republican and for two years served as marshal of Ashland and for two terms as a member of the city council. He was one of the first in this part of the state to raise thoroughbred hogs, making a specialty of thoroughbred Poland China hogs. He is now reaping the benefits of his labors and is regarded as one of the substantial, highly respected and valued citizens of Ashland.
CHARLES F. DAVIS.
Charles F. Davis was for many years engaged in agricultural pursuits on section ?2, Pohocco precinct, and is still living there but has retired from active farming and now merely superintends the management of his large farm of two hundred and forty acres. He has at all times taken a keen interest in the public welfare and has done much to promote the advancement of his community along various lines of activity. He is a native son of Saunders county, his birth having occurred upon the farm which he now owns.
Mr. Davis was born on the 1st of January, 1871, his parents being Charles and Minerva J. (Keeler) Davis, who were born respectively in Franklin county, Ohio, and in Indiana. The father grew to manhood in his native state and at the time of the Civil war enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry for service in the Union army. He was at the front during almost the entire conflict and was with Sherman on his memorable march to the sea. After the close of hostilities he came west and for about a year lived in Dodge county, Nebraska, but in 1867 he took up a homestead in Pohocco precinct, Saunders county. The first house which he built was a dugout and his barn was of sod — facts which indicate to what an extent the conditions of life in this county were those of a pioneer district. The nearest market was Ashland and prices were so low that at one time he received only enough money from a load of potatoes to buy a straw hat and a pound of coffee. It took two days to make the round trip and this remoteness from a settlement was one of the unpleasant features of pioneer life. He improved his land from year to year and brought it to a high state of cultivation, continuing to engage in farming until his death, which occurred in November, 1891. He was a democrat and held some local offices. His religious faith was that of the Methodist church. His wife died in 1912 and both are buried in the Marietta cemetery in Marietta precinct. They were the parents of six children: Joseph G., who is a real-estate dealer of Holly, Colorado; Charles F.; Francis A., who is farming near Ames, Nebraska; Minerva, the wife of Benjamin G. Nelson, of Memphis, this state; Hannah, now Mrs. J. B. Keeler, living near Mead; and Ruby, deceased.
Charles F. Davis received his education in the local schools and remained under the parental roof until he attained his majority. He then began culti-
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vating a tract of land just across the road from the home place but after operating that farm for four years bought eighty acres from his brother and took up his residence thereon. He concentrated his energies upon the cultivation of his land until 1912, when he removed to Omaha, but after six months he returned to this county and purchased the old Davis homestead, in Pohocco precinct, on which he is now living as a retired farmer. The place comprises two hundred and forty acres and is excellently improved, there being two sets of substantial and commodious buildings. Everything is kept in excellent repair and he derives a gratifying financial return from his land.
On December 4, 1896, Mr. Davis was united in marriage to Miss Carrie B. Davis, who was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and is not a relative. They have an adopted daughter. Ruby, now eight years of age, who is the daughter of Mr. Davis' sister Ruby.
Mr. Davis supports the democratic candidates at national elections as he believes in the policies of that party, but when only local issues are at stake votes for the best man irrespective of his political allegiance. He has served as a member of the school board for two years and during that time has been instrumental in securing the erection of a fine, up-to-date, two room schoolhouse in his district. The main part of the building is thirty-two by forty feet, the hall is twenty by ten feet and there is a basement under the entire structure. The schoolhouse is thoroughly modern in all its appointments and is one of the best in this part of Nebraska. Not only was Mr. Davis mainly responsible for the erection of this building but he has also been a leader in other movements for the general good. He was the prime mover in the organization of the Farmers Union two years ago and has since served as president of the organization, which has proved of great value. Moreover, he and others are building a farmers' creamery at Fremont, of which company he is secretary, and he is recognized as one of the most prominent citizens of the county. Fraternally he is connected with the Woodmen of the World at Colon.
IRA K. BEAMAN.
Ira K. Beaman was for a number of years actively identified with agricultural interests but is now living retired in Ceresco. A native of Iowa, he was born in Davis county on the 25th of April, 1858, a son of Alonzo and Elizabeth (Kelly) Beaman. His parents, who were natives respectively of Ohio and Kentucky, removed to Iowa in 1845 and the father took up government land on a grant received in recognition of his services in the Mexican war. There were four sons and three daughters in the family, namely: J. W., a resident of Oklahoma, who is married and has two children; Ira K.; J. O., a resident of Rock Creek precinct, this county, who is married and has two children; Mrs. Martha H. Hodge, of Stella, Nebraska, who is married and has five children; Frances, deceased; William M., who is a resident of Oklahoma and who is married and has two children; and D. L., of Bartley, Nebraska.
Ira K. Beaman attended the common schools in Iowa until he was ten years of age, when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Otoe county,
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Nebraska. He continued his education there until he was eighteen years of age, when he put aside his textbooks and began to work as a farm hand. He was so employed for four years, during which time he carefully saved his money and at the age of twenty-two years he purchased railroad land in Saunders county. He devoted his time and attention to farming his place from 1880 until 1909, when he removed to Ceresco and retired from active life. He has sold part of his land but still owns one hundred and sixty acres in Rock Creek precinct and he also holds title to residence property in Ceresco.
On New Year's Day of 1880 Mr. Beaman was united in marriage to Mrs. Mary E. Smith, a daughter of Samuel R. Buxton. To Mr. and Mrs. Beaman were born six children: Charlotta, Mabel, who married H. R. Gibbs, by whom she has three children, Harold, Ina and Charles; Jesse A., who is farming in Rock Creek precinct and who married Estella Bennett and has two children, Irma and Ileta; Sydney C., who resides on a farm in Rock Creek precinct and who married Hilner Swanson; Lola, the wife of Frank Hughes, a farmer of Richland precinct, by whom she has a daughter, Eloise; Roy, a resident of Ceresco, who married Pansy Anderson and has one child, Berea; and Pearl, the wife of George Siecrist, The wife and mother died on the 11th of April, 1909, and is buried in Rock Creek precinct.
Mr. Beaman is a democrat where national issues are at stake but at local elections votes for the man rather than the party. He is now serving on the school board at Ceresco. Fraternally he is identified with the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Ceresco, of which he has been recording secretary for four years, and his religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. Although he was without capital when he began his independent career he has accumulated more than a competence and is now enjoying a well earned period of leisure.
John Holden, late of Mead, was very successful as a farmer and at the time of his death owned three hundred and twenty acres of excellent land in Marble precinct. He was widely known and his agreeable personality and his sterling integrity won him not only the respect, but also the sincere friendship, of those who were associated with him. A native of Ireland, he was born on the 24th of August, 1839, a son of Patrick and Mary Holden. He attended the common schools of Ireland in the acquirement of an education and remained in that country until he reached manhood. About the close of the Civil war he crossed the Atlantic to the United States. After living in Illinois for a few years he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and homesteaded land. For several years he lived in a sod house but at length was able to erect a beautiful residence. He bought more land and continued to engage in general farming until 1912, when he rented his farm and removed to Mead, where he lived retired until his death, which occurred November 2, 1913. He worked hard and displayed sound judgment in the management of the business phase of farming, and as the years passed his capital increased.
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In 1891 occurred the marriage of Mr. Holden and Miss Jennie McCaulley, a native of Illinois and a daughter of Dennis McCaulley. To this union was born a daughter, Elesha, an accomplished young lady, who is living at home with her mother.
Mr. Holden gave his political allegiance to the democratic party and manifested the interest of a good citizen in all public affairs, although he was never an office seeker. He was a prominent member of the Mead Roman Catholic church, which he helped to build, and he did much to promote the growth and extend the influence of that organization. Fraternally he was identified with the Woodmen of the World at Mead. He was recognized not only as an enterprising and capable farmer but also as a public-spirited citizen and as a man of known integrity. Personally he was very popular throughout the county. His wife survives and is still living in Mead, where she has many warm friends.
Herman Erickson, a farmer residing on section 7, Richland precinct, was born in this county on the 8th of April, 1876. His father, John Erickson, was a native of Sweden and attended the common schools there until he was fifteen or sixteen years of age, but in 1865 he left his native land and crossed the Atlantic to America, having heard much concerning the excellent opportunities awaiting the young man of energy and determination here. He made his way to Saunders county, Nebraska, and homesteaded eighty acres of land, to which he subsequently added by purchase eighty acres of railroad land. His first home was a dugout and he experienced all of the hardships incident to life upon the frontier, but as the years passed and conditions improved he erected good buildings and became in time financially independent. He was married in Sweden and had two children by that union, Anton and Anna. In 1870 he was again married. Miss Ellen Diedrich becoming his wife. She was born in Sweden but came to the United States with her father. Five children were born to the second union of Mr. Erickson, those besides the subject of this review being: Augustine; Theolina, the wife of Alfred Loued, a missionary stationed in China, by whom she has two children; Agatha, who is living with her brother; and Joseph, deceased.
Herman Erickson received his education in the public schools, which he attended until he was about fifteen years of age, when he concentrated his energies upon assisting his father with the farm work. By the time that he reached manhood's estate he was an efficient agriculturist and he has continued to devote his time and energies to farming, in which he has gained a gratifying measure of success. His place is well improved and everything is kept in excellent condition and the work of the fields is facilitated by the use of up-to-date machinery. He raises some stock in addition to growing the usual crops and receives a good income from his land. On the 16th of September, 1912, occurred the marriage of Mr. Erickson
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and Miss Ethel Magnuson, a daughter of Frank Magnuson, and to this union has been born a son, John Wallace, whose natal day was May 28, 1911.
Mr. Erickson votes independently and keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day. For one year he served as postmaster of Swedeburg but has never been an office seeker. His religious faith is indicated by the fact that he holds membership in the Swedish Lutheran church, the teachings of which he exemplifies in his daily life. He is well known throughout the county and those who have been most intimately associated with him are his stanchest friends.
JOHN D. VANDEMAN.
For a third of a century John D. Vandeman has been a resident of Saunders county, having taken up his abode here in 1883. He now makes his home in Ashland, where he is living retired, but is still the owner of eighty acres of good farm land, from which he derives a substantial income. He has now advanced far on life's journey, having passed the seventy-eighth milestone, his birth having occurred in Adams county, Ohio, November 19, 1837. His parents are William and Ellen (Doak) Vandeman, natives of Pennsylvania and Kentucky respectively. The father, who devoted his life to the occupation of farming, went to Ohio in an early day and there carried on general agricultural pursuits until 1879, when he sought the opportunities of the growing west, making his way to Saunders county, Nebraska, where he purchased land. His remaining days were devoted to the development and improvement of that farm and thereon he passed away in April, 1893. His wife survived him for less than a year, dying on the 6th of January, 1894.
John D. Vandeman was reared and educated in Ohio, the public schools affording him his opportunities for early intellectual development and progress. During the summer seasons he assisted his father in the work of the home farm and remained with his parents until after the outbreak of the Civil war, when, feeling that his first duty was to his country, he joined the army, becoming a member of Company B, Sixtieth Ohio Infantry. He served for thirteen months and held the rank of sergeant. The company was captured at Harpers Ferry and he was held in one of the southern prisons but later was paroled. He afterwards formed another company, known as Company F, Second Ohio Heavy Artillery, with which he served as first lieutenant until the close of the war. He was on active duty on various battlefields and his valor and loyalty were never called into question. He has every reason to be proud of his military record, for he contributed his full share to the success which finally crowned the Union arms.
When the war was over Mr. Vandeman returned to Ohio and there engaged in farming until 1883, which year witnessed his arrival in Saunders county, Nebraska. Here he purchased land and at once began its further development and improvement, devoting a long period to general agricultural pursuits in this county. Eventually, however, he rented his farm, building his home in
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Ashland, and has since occupied it but still retains the ownership of eighty acres of land.
On the 26th of October, 1865, Mr. Vandeman was united in marriage to Miss Sarah J. Platter, a daughter of John and Mary (Davis) Platter, who were natives of Ohio. The father was born in Ross county, that state, and became a farmer, devoting his life to agricultural pursuits in Ohio. He died in Peebles, Adams county, that state, in August, 1889, at the venerable age of eighty-seven years, while his wife passed away in the fall of 1893 at the still more remarkable age of ninety-one years. Mr. and Mrs. Vandeman have become the parents of four children: Edna, who married Willis M. Butler, a merchant of Ashland, by whom she has two children. Hazel and Dwight; Charles O., who died in January, 1869, at the age of two years and one month; Mary E., whose death occurred on the 7th of June, 1876; and Una, who died March 15, 1878.
After retiring from the farm Mr. Vandeman engaged in the real-estate business at Ashland for a few years but is not active in business at present, enjoying a rest which is made possible through the success which crowned his former toil. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party and is a stalwart believer in its principles. He belongs to the Grand Army post and his religious faith is that of the Congregational church, in the work of which he has taken an active and helpful part, serving as a deacon of the church for thirty years. He and his wife celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary on the 26th of October, 1915 — a memorable occasion to all who were present. For a half century they have shared with each other in the joys and sorrows, adversity and prosperity which checker the careers of all, and their mutual love and confidence have grown as the years went on.
CLAUS F. JENSEN.
Claus F. Jensen, of Cedar Bluffs, who is treasurer of the Farmers Elevator here and also owns valuable land on sections 16 and 21, Cedar precinct, was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, on the 4th of August, 1845, a son of Jacob F. and Catherine (Knutsen) Jensen, likewise natives of that country, where they spent their entire lives. The family is of Danish extraction. To Mr. and Mrs. Jacob F. Jensen were born three sons: Jacob F., of Homdorf, Germany, who is a linen weaver and merchant and is also filling the office of postmaster; Claus F.; and John, who died in Germany.
Claus F. Jensen attended the common schools of his native land until sixteen years of age, after which he worked for others, his father receiving his wages until he became of age. He then decided to try his fortune in the United States and his father gave him enough money from his wages to pay his passage to New York and a cousin lent him the money to pay his railroad fare to Douglas county, Illinois. He worked as a farm hand for five years in the Prairie state and then removed to Saunders county, Nebraska, locating on school land on section 16, Cedar precinct. As soon as possible he broke his land,
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which was raw prairie, and planted it to crops suited to the soil and climate and as the years passed he continued to further develop and improve his place. His first buildings were a small frame house and a sod barn, but subsequently he erected commodious and substantial structures. He planted three groves upon the farm and put up three different sets of improvements and continued to reside upon his land, to which he had added by purchase, until 1906, when he removed to Cedar Bluffs. He erected a fine residence in the town and also set out a number of trees, thus adding to the attractiveness and value of his home. He formerly carried on general farming and his well directed labors were rewarded by a gratifying financial return and he still derives a good income from his land, although he leaves its cultivation to others. He was one of the organizers of the Farmers Cooperative Elevator of Cedar Bluffs and has served ably as its treasurer for more than ten years. He was also one of the organizers of the Mutual Insurance Company, with which he is still connected.
Mr. Jensen was married in 1876 to Miss Margaret Rohn, by whom he has had seven children: Alvina, the wife of John Knutsen, of Cedar precinct; Julia, now Mrs. Henry Keeker, of Cedar precinct; George, deceased; Clara, who married William Hauschield, a farmer of this county; John Henry, who is farming his father's farm on section 21; Anna, the wife of Nels Paulson, of Cedar precinct; and Ella, the wife of Rudolph Hoffman, of Cedar precinct.
Since becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States Mr. Jensen has supported the democratic party and his fellow citizens have called him to offices of public trust. For twenty years he has served as road overseer and for thirty years has been a member of the election board, his long retention in these offices being proof of his ability and integrity. The religious faith of the family is that of the Lutheran church and they use their influence in promoting the moral welfare of the community. Mr. Jensen has never regretted his removal to this country, as here he has found opportunities, the utilization of which has brought him a gratifying measure of success.
Christian Pearson was for many years engaged in farming in Chapman precinct, but his last years were spent in Stocking precinct, where he purchased land in 1901. A native of Sweden, he was born on New Year's Eve, 1837. He attended the common schools in his native land and while still a boy worked as a coachman. He remained in Sweden until he was about thirty years of age, when he emigrated to the United States, and for two or three years he worked in the vicinity of Ashland, Nebraska, as farm hand for a big cattle feeder. He then bought land in Chapman precinct and carried on agricultural pursuits successful there for about three decades, after which he purchased land in Stocking precinct, where he resided until his death in October, 1907.
Mr. Pearson was married to Miss Johanna Olson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nils Olson, both natives of Sweden, who, however, emigrated to the United States. To Mr. and Mrs. Pearson were born eight children, two of
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whom are deceased, the others being: William, a resident of Ceresco who married Miss Clara Brodd and has four children; Oscar, who is living on the home place; Lena, the wife of Dave Peterson, of Stromsburg, Nebraska, by whom she has two children; Fritz, who is living near Ceresco and who married Miss Maggie Dobley and has one child; Ernest, who is residing near Waverly and married Nellie Clay, by whom he has a child; and Lida, who is living at Weston and is the widow of Joe A. Novak. Mr. Pearson was a republican in politics and always took a commendable interest in affairs of public concern. His demise was deeply regretted and his friends still cherish his memory.
Oscar Pearson, a son of Christian Pearson, was born in Chapman precinct, July 12, 1879, and attended the common schools until he was seventeen or eighteen years of age. He then devoted his entire time to assisting his father with the farm work, so continuing until he was twenty-five years old. At that time he began farming on his own account and after keeping bachelor's hall for a year he was married. He removed with his bride to a farm one mile east of Weston, where they resided for three years, after which he took up his residence upon his father's farm in Stocking precinct. He has since remained upon that place, which comprises one hundred and sixty acres of excellent land and is well improved. He carries on general farming and receives a good income from his labors. He married Miss Milsa Ekdahl, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. August O. Ekdahl, the former of whom is deceased, while the latter lives in Weston. To this union have been born three children: Malvin and Mildred, both attending school in Swedeburg; and Lloyd, an infant.
Mr. Pearson is independent in politics, voting for the man rather than the party. He is industrious and displays sound judgment in the management of his affairs, and the success which he has gained is well deserved.
Frank Egr, who has gained a place among the successful farmers of Elk township, is a native of Bohemia. He was born on the 3d of May, 1858, and continued to reside in his native land until 1881, when as a young man of twenty-three years, he crossed the Atlantic to the United States. He came directly to Saunders county, Nebraska, and purchased eighty acres of land in Elk township. He immediately began to improve and operate his farm and as the years passed his resources increased and he invested from time to time in additional land, so that he now owns four hundred and eighty acres on section 33, that township. He pays much attention to the raising of cattle and hogs but also grows considerable grain and finds both branches of his business profitable. He is thoroughly alert and up-to-date and is constantly seeking to
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increase his efficiency. His farm is well improved and is one of the most valuable properties of his township.
In 1883 Mr. Egr was married to Miss Annie Petrezelka, by whom he has thirteen children: Frank, James and Joseph, all of whom are farming in Elk precinct; and Charles, John, Louis, Adolph, Edward, Emma, Mary, Phoebe, Annie and Lillie, all at home.
Mr. Egr is a stalwart republican and keeps well informed as to the questions and issues of the day. He has never, however, sought public office, being content to perform his civic duties as a private citizen. He is a communicant of the Catholic church and his influence is always on the side of righteousness and justice. He has never regretted his removal to this country for here he has found opportunities, the utilization of which has enabled him to gain financial independence. In all of his business dealing's he has observed high standards of honor and his unquestioned integrity has gained him the sincere respect of all who have come into contact with him.
JOSEPH F. KASPAR, M. D.
Dr. Joseph F. Kaspar, physician and surgeon at Prague, where he owns and maintains a large hospital, is numbered among the most prominent representatives of the profession in this part of the state, and his work has been of untold value and benefit. He was born September 28, 1876, in the town in which he still makes his home, for the town has been built upon a part of the old homestead which was the property of his parents, Joseph and Mary (Rusek) Kaspar. The father died in the year 1914. He came from Bohemia to the new world, and, making his way to Saunders county, secured a homestead of eighty acres now a part of Prague. He was one of the founders of the town and for a number of years was part owner of the Prague Roller Mills. As time passed he added to his possessions until his realty interests became extensive.
Dr. Kaspar is the only son in a family of eight children. After acquiring a common-school education he attended the State University at Lincoln and completed his professional course in the New York University, which was consolidated with the Bellevue Hospital in 1899, in which year Dr. Kaspar was graduated. For five years he practiced in New York city and in 1904 returned to Prague, where he bought the practice of a physician, and in 1913 he built the large hospital which he now conducts. He has accommodations for over fifty beds and he has been most successful in his practice. Before going into the new hospital he had a record of only three deaths out of eight hundred and forty operations. He is a thorough student of anatomy and the component parts of the human body and understands every phase of modern, scientific surgical work, keeping in touch with advanced thought and methods by wide reading and investigation.
On the 22d of January, 1904, in New York city. Dr. Kaspar married Miss Lena Hlavac, of that place. Dr. Kaspar is a democrat and several times has served as chairman of the town council and has also been chairman of
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the school board. He is identified with several fraternal organizations, including the Masonic lodge at North Bend and Wahoo Chapter, R. A. M., the Modern Woodmen of America, the Woodmen of the World and the Z. C. B. J., a Bohemian organization. He is now chairman of the Saunders County Medical Society. He has a large practice of a most important character and his hospital would be a credit to a town of twenty-five thousand inhabitants. He is most progressive and, moreover, his professional work is performed with a sense of conscientious obligation that is manifest in extreme carefulness.
Anton Erickson, a farmer residing on section 30, Stocking township, has lived in Saunders county since early boyhood and has devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits throughout his entire business career. His birth occurred in Materod, Sweden, on the 22d of December, 1863, his parents being Johanes and Johanna (Jonsdotter) Erickson, who emigrated to the United States in 1869 and established their home in Saunders county, Nebraska. Anton Erickson was at that time a little lad of about six years and here he was reared to manhood, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist as he assisted his father in the work of the home farm. Throughout his entire business career he has been busily engaged in the tilling of the soil and that his efforts have been productive of good results is indicated in the splendid appearance of his home place on section 30, Stocking township. Rich crops annually reward his labors and he has long been numbered among the substantial and enterprising farmers of the community.
On the 18th of June, 1903, in Swedeburg, Mr. Erickson was united in marriage to Miss Christina, daughter of Sven and Maria (Andersdotter) Jonson. In this country she took the surname Edlund. To Mr. and Mrs. Erickson have been born four children, namely: Gustaf Hjalmar, Conrad Robert Nathaniel, Richard Emanuel and Laura Amalia. In politics Mr. Erickson is a progressive republican, while his religious faith is that of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran church. He is well known in the community, for his childhood was passed here and his active career has been devoted to the promotion of its agricultural resources. His genuine worth, his high principles and his progressive ideas have commended him to the respect and esteem of his neighbors, all of whom are his stanch friends.
J. W. O'KANE.
J. W. O'Kane was for many years actively engaged in farming but was residing in Ithaca at the time of his demise in 1909. He was born in Ogle county, Illinois, and grew to manhood in that state, attending the common schools until about eighteen years of age, when he began working on his father's
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farm and was so employed for four or five years. In the meantime the Civil war had broken out and he put aside all private ambitions and interests and enlisted in Company E, Ninety-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for three years. He was wounded while carrying a dispatch and at all times he proved a brave and loyal soldier. After he was mustered out from the military service he returned to Illinois, where he farmed until he came to Saunders county, Nebraska. He homesteaded an eighty acre tract and devoted his time and energy to its cultivation and improvement until about 1900, when he retired from active life and removed to Ithaca, where he passed away on the 31st of August, 1909.
Mr. O'Kane was married in Illinois to Miss Esther Morriss, a daughter of Jesse Morriss, a native of Illinois. Her mother was born in Massachusetts. To Mr. and Mrs. O'Kane were born five children. Arthur E., passed away leaving a daughter, who is now Mrs. Hazel Walter. Frank is the next in order of birth. Agnes is the wife of Ira Atkinson, of Lincoln, and has a son Earl, who will graduate from the University of Nebraska in 1916. Edith married Bert Wills, a resident of Lankin, North Dakota, by whom she has one child, Crystal. Florence married Bert Martin, a resident of Lankin, North Dakota, and has four children, Glenn, Lloyd, Ethel and Merl. By a previous marriage Mrs. O'Kane had two children, Mrs. Robb and Clarence Dodson.
Mr. O'Kane gave his political allegiance to the democratic party and about 1890 served for one term as sheriff. Although he devoted the greater part of his time to his farm work, he could be depended upon to cooperate in movements seeking the advancement of his community and he was never remiss in any of the duties of a good citizen. He gained many warm friends and was generally respected and esteemed.
Frank O'Kane was born in Ogle county, Illinois, October 5, 1878, and was brought to this county by his parents when he was but a year and a half old. Here he grew to manhood and he acquired his education in the country schools and in the high school at Wahoo. In his early boyhood days the school was held in the second story of the O'Kane residence and the teacher was paid one dollar for each child for a three months' term. When about nineteen years of age Frank O'Kane began farming with his father and the association was continued until the latter retired. The former has continued to reside on the homestead and in its operation has won a gratifying measure of success, as he is at once practical and progressive.
Mr. O'Kane was married on the 28th of September, 1903, to Miss Allie Gray, a daughter of Samuel and Agnes Gray, of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Three children have been born to this union: Clara Gilchrist, who is attending school at Cedar Bluffs; and Harvey Marshall and Mabel Davenport, both of whom are attending school at Ithaca.
Mr. O'Kane believes in the policies of the democratic party but at local elections votes for the best man. He attends the Methodist church and his
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conduct has always measured up to high standards. Practically his entire life has been passed in this county and those who have known him intimately since boyhood are his stanchest friends, which indicates that his life has been well spent.
August Nygren was one of the early pioneers of Saunders county and did his part in transforming a fertile but wild region into a district of well cultivated farms. He was born in Sweden in 1836 and there received his education and began his independent career. He worked for some time in a mill and was later employed as a carpenter and mason until he was thirty-two years of age. In 1868 he decided to try his fortune in the new world and, emigrating to the United States, made his way to Rockford, Illinois, where he was employed at odd jobs for a year and a half. He then came to Saunders county and, home-steading land in Marietta precinct, as soon as possible broke the sod and planted crops. He first lived in a dugout and later in a sod house but at length was able to erect a comfortable frame residence and year by year made further improvements upon his place. He built the first frame shanty in Saunders county for a man named Tarping, residing near Ashland, and he was well known to all of the early settlers of the county. He had faith in the agricultural possibilities of this section but realized that success could be achieved only by hard and unremitting work and therefore gave practically his entire time to the development of his farm, which he brought to a high state of cultivation. His labor was rewarded by good crops and he became one of the substantial men of his precinct.
Mr. Nygren was married in Sweden to Miss Mathilda Anderson, by whom he had three children: Lida, the wife of N. P. Swanson, of Antelope county, and the mother of three children, Esther, Luther and Alice; John; and Otillia, who is living in Oakdale, this state.
Mr. Nygren supported the democratic party after becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States but was never an aspirant for political preferment. His religious faith was that of the Swedish Lutheran church and both he and his wife are buried in the Lutheran cemetery. His demise occurred in 1904 and that of his wife a year later. They possessed many sterling qualities and were accorded the respect and esteem of their community.
John Nygren, who was born on the homestead in Marietta precinct in 1871, attended the public schools in the acquirement of his education until he reached the age of sixteen years. From that time until he was twenty-eight years old he worked with his father and thus gained much valuable experience in practical agriculture. On beginning his independent career he purchased one hundred
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and thirty-eight acres of land in Wahoo precinct, where he has since resided and upon which he has made many excellent improvements. He has gained a gratifying measure of success because of his energy and progressive spirit.
John Nygren was married in 1904 to Miss Allie Swanson, a daughter of S. P. Johnson and a native of Sweden, whence she emigrated to this country in 1902. To this union four children have been born: Ruth, who is attending school; Carl; Raymond; and Paul. Mr. Nygren is a democrat and attends the Swedish Lutheran church. He is well known and has many warm personal friends.
JOHN J. VLASAK.
John J. Vlasak, cashier of the Bank of Prague, not only has distinction as one of the progressive and representative business men of Saunders county, but also as one of its most prominent citizens, identified with political interests and with many projects which have had direct bearing upon the welfare and progress of the community.
Mr. Vlasak was born in Zichov, Bohemia, October 12, 1868, a son of Frank and Mary Vlasak, who with their family left their native land in 1871 and settled on a homestead in Saunders county in the spring of that year. Only such educational advantages as the public schools afforded were accorded John J. Vlasak, whose youth was beset with pioneer hardships. He began working when but seven years of age, assisting to the extent of his strength in the labors of the fields through the summer months, while in the winter seasons he attended school until he reached the age of fourteen. He was early left fatherless and the care of the home farm devolved upon him, his attention being directed to the cultivation of the crops until he reached the age of eighteen, when he left home and secured a clerkship in a general mercantile concern. He was employed in that way in different places until, having from his earnings saved a sum sufficient to enable him to embark in business on his own account, he bought out the hardware, implement and coal business of Frank Secor in the fall of 1898. In the spring of that year he had taken charge of his brother's store at Prague, Nebraska, and thus gained experience as manager of the business. On the 1st of August, 1902, he formed a partnership with his brother, A. L. Vlasak, under the firm style of J. J. Vlasak & Company and continued the business successfully until January, 1906, when they sold out. In the meantime a liberal patronage had been accorded them in recognition of their honorable business principles and enterprising methods. The same year J. J. Vlasak organized the Bank of Prague, of which he became the cashier and in this position he has since continued, wisely and capably directing the affairs of the institution, which has become recognized as one of the strong moneyed concerns of this part of the state. He is also one of the bank directors.
On the 26th of November, 1894, in Prague, Mr. Vlasak was married to Miss Anna Wirka, a daughter of James and Mary Wirka, who settled in Chester precinct, Saunders county, in 1872, and there they still make their home. To Mr. and Mrs. Vlasak have been born five children: Max, who wedded Miss
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Blanche Simanek, a daughter of Ignac Simanek; and Clara, Raynold, Helen and Gertrude, all at home.
In his fraternal relations Mr. Vlasak is a Mason and is also connected with the Modern Woodmen of America. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party and his opinions carry weight in its councils. He served for six years as a trustee and for ten years as treasurer, and in the year 1903 was elected to represent his district in the state legislature, where he made an excellent record by his support of many progressive movements and policies looking to the benefit and upbuilding of the commonwealth. One of the local newspapers has given the following characterization of Mr. Vlasak: "He is a self-made man in every respect, beginning life as a farm lad on a Saunders county homestead, and has gradually worked his way upward until he now holds the position as cashier of the Bank of Prague. All that he is has been due to his own effort and he has a wealth of experience in public affairs such as few men ever reach. His rectitude of life and honorable conduct of all affairs of life are best appreciated where he is best known. The citizens of his home town of Prague and the surrounding country all know and recognize his worth as a man and citizen."
JOHN W. PASEKA, Jr.
John W. Paseka, Jr., is prominently identified with business and industrial interests at Morse Bluff, where he owns the hotel, and the cement block factory. In addition to supervising the management of these enterprises he engages in farming to some extent. A native of Butler county, Nebraska, he was born on the 9th of April, 1880, and was brought by his parents to Saunders county when a child and here received his education. He also assisted his father during his boyhood and youth, remaining on the home farm until he was twenty-one years old. For five years he rented land and at the end of that time was appointed rural mail carrier, which position he filled for eighteen months. He next purchased eighty acres of land near Prague and built a good residence and barns and outbuildings upon the place, which he cultivated for some time. Subsequently he engaged in the saloon business in Prague for sixteen months, after which he sold out and bought a quarter section of land which he subsequently traded for the hotel property at Morse Bluff. He has proved very efficient in his management of the affairs of the hotel and it is well patronized. He also owns and operates the cement block factory at Morse Bluff and its product finds a ready sale throughout this section. He likewise has farming interests and his varied activities leave him but little spare time.
Mr. Paseka was married on the 28th of April, 1900, to Miss Frances Sedlachek, a daughter of Anton and Mary Sedlachek, and to this union have been born six children, namely: John, Mary, Arnie, Leonard, Jerome and Leo. Mr. Paseka gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and is now filling the office of school director. Fraternally he is identified with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and his religious faith is that of the Catholic church. He is a young man of more than ordinary energy and foresight and the gratify-
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ing measure of success which he has already gained indicates that he may be expected to accomplish much in the future. His ability has won the respect of all who have had dealings with him and his personal characteristics are such that he has made many warm personal friends.
J. E. Palensky, a worthy native son and esteemed young citizen of Saunders county, is identified with financial interests as assistant cashier of the Farmers & Merchants Bank at Prague. His birth occurred on a farm near Rescue, this county, on the 25th of November, 1891, his parents being Joseph and Maggie Palensky. The father was engaged in agricultural pursuits for about fifteen years and subsequently devoted his attention to the general mercantile business for a decade but is now living retired in Prague, Nebraska, and is widely recognized as one of the substantial and respected citizens of the community.
J. E. Palensky began his education in the public schools of Rescue and continued his studies in the high school at Prague, while later he pursued a commercial course in Fremont Normal College, from which institution he was graduated on the 21st of August, 1910. Putting aside his textbooks, he turned his attention to general merchandise but later abandoned that field of business and accepted his present position as assistant cashier of the Farmers & Merchants Bank at Prague. In that capacity he has served continuously and acceptably to date and in the capable discharge of his duties has contributed not a little to the steady growth and increasing success of the institution.
On the 22d of August, 1915, at Weston, Nebraska, Mr. Palensky was united in marriage to Miss Agnes Novak, the ceremony being performed by Rev. M. Bor in St. John's Catholic church. Her parents are Mr. and Mrs. Anton Novak, of Weston, this state. The father followed farming for about sixteen years and then embarked in the butchering business at Weston but is now living retired in the enjoyment of well earned rest. Mr. Palensky gives his political allegiance to the republican party and in religious belief is a Catholic. He has won an extensive circle of friends and in the community where his entire life has been spent enjoys an enviable reputation as a young man of ability, integrity and promise.
THOMAS F. DAILEY.
Since 1900 Thomas F. Dailey has resided in Ashland, where he is station agent and telegraph operator for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company. That he is regarded as one of the influential and valued citizens here is indicated in the fact that in 1914 he was chosen mayor of the city, which position he is now filling. He was born in Melrose, Iowa, September 15, 1871, and is a son of Matthew and Hanna (Clifford) Dailey, who were natives, of Ireland. The father came to the new world in 1865 and established
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his home at Melrose, Monroe county, Iowa, where he purchased land. He thereafter engaged in farming for many years and converted his place into a productive and valuable property. He is now living retired, however, making his home at Melrose, and his wife also survives.
Thomas F. Dailey pursued his education in the public schools of his native town and remained with his parents upon the home farm until he reached his majority. He then entered the railroad service, learning telegraphy at Melrose with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company. He has since been in the employ of that corporation, which he has represented as agent at various places. In 1900 he came to Ashland as agent for the railroad and has since remained here, capably, faithfully and efficiently discharging his duties in that connection. The patrons of the road at this point find him a courteous and obliging official and one who is willing to render every service possible.
On April 22, 1903, Mr. Dailey was married to Miss Mamie Gillespie, a daughter of M. J. and Elizabeth (Connors) Gillespie, who were natives of Nebraska. The father formerly devoted his attention to general farming but is now engaged in the insurance business at Gretna, Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Dailey have a daughter, May, born May 1, 1906.
Mr. Dailey is a Catholic in religious belief and his political allegiance is given to the democratic party. On the citizens ticket he was elected to the city council and in 1914 he was made that party's nominee for the office of mayor, to which position he was elected, so that he is the present chief executive of Ashland. His interest in the town is deep and sincere and his efforts in behalf of the public welfare have been productive of good results.
JOSEPH J. WONDRA.
Joseph J. Wondra, who has a finely improved farm of three hundred and twenty acres on sections 21, 22 and 27, Rock Creek precinct, is a native of Bohemia. He was born on the 16th of June, 1866, and in 1872 was brought by his parents, John and Margaret Wondra, to the United States. The family came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and the father took up a homestead on section 18, Chapman precinct, where he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives, both reaching an advanced age. Four of their children are living, as follows: Mrs. Mary Ohnoutka, of Weston, this county; Joseph J.; Frank, of Lancaster county, this state; and John, who resides in Ellsworth, Kansas.
Joseph J. Wondra grew to manhood in this county and is indebted for his education to the public schools. On beginning his independent career he decided to follow the occupation to which he was reared and since 1892 has resided upon his present farm although at first the place comprised but one hundred and sixty acres. He has since added an additional quarter section and has made all of the improvements upon the farm. There are eight substantial buildings, which are well adapted to their purposes, and everything is kept in excellent condition. He has given his farm the name of Rock Creek ranch and takes justifiable pride in it, for it is one of the most valuable and most productive farm properties of his precinct. He raises annually several thousand
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bushels of grain and also engages in stock raising on an extensive scale and receives a handsome income from his labors.
On the 1st of October, 1890, Mr. Wondra was united in marriage to Miss Mary Katharine Tesina, who was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on the 9th of June, 1871. Her parents who were natives of Bohemia, emigrated to this country in 1870 and in 1873 came with their family to Saunders county, Nebraska, and took up a homestead in Newman precinct. Both Mr. and Mrs. Tesina have departed this life. Mr. and Mrs. Wondra have nine children, namely: William Edward, who was born June 9, 1891; Fred Charles, born January 26, 1893; Emma Maud, born October S, 1895; Elmer John, February 18, 1897; Helen Ella, October 28, 1899; Clara Nora, April 25, 1904; Gilbert Thomas, March 11, 1907; Goldie Florence, November 14, 1908; and Leona Alice, March 6,1912.
Mr. Wondra gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has been a member of the school board ever since locating in Rock Creek precinct. For one term he also held the office of assessor of that precinct and he has always discharged his official duties with ability and conscientiousness. He holds membership in the Farmers Union and believes thoroughly in the value of cooperation in securing advancement along agricultural lines. His success has been due to his enterprise, his progressive spirit and his business ability and in achieving material success he has also gained the respect and esteem of those who have come in contact with him, for he has conformed his life to high moral standards.
CLAES LEVIN WALIN.
Claes Levin Walin has devoted his life to farming and has met with gratifying success in his chosen occupation. He now owns one hundred and sixty acres on section 19, Richland precinct, Saunders county, and derives a good income from his agricultural pursuits. He is the younger of the two living sons of Andrew Walin, a native of Sweden, and his birth also occurred in that country. His natal day was the 9th of November, 1862, and he was about six years of age when, in 1868, his parents emigrated with their children to the United States and settled near Moline, Illinois. Two years later they removed to Saunders county, Nebraska, and took up a homestead on section 18, Richland precinct. The father is still residing upon that place, which comprises eighty acres, and, although he has reached the age of eighty-one years, he is active and interested in happenings of local and general concern.
Although Claes Levin Walin was not yet six years of age when the family crossed the ocean, he remembers vividly some incidents of the trip and he also has many interesting reminiscences of pioneer days in this county, for in 1870, when the family located here, there was still much land in the possession of the government and the work of development seemed scarcely begun. He was reared upon the home farm and early became familiar with practical methods of agriculture. On reaching mature years he began farming on his own account and for seven years cultivated a tract of land in Richland precinct. He now
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owns one hundred and sixty acres which is the northwest quarter of section 19, that precinct, and with the aid of his sons operates that place and also the family homestead on section 18. He resides with his father on the homestead and has lived there since 1870, with the exception of seven years. He is progressive in the methods which he follows and still further increases his efficiency by the use of up-to-date machinery. He raises both grain and stock and finds both branches of his business profitable.
On the 18th of February, 1887, Mr. Walin was united in marriage to Miss Anna Brodd, who was born in Sweden on the 26th of December, 1869, but in 1874 came to the United States with her parents, Andrew G. and Gustava (Johnson) Brodd, who first settled in Wyoming but in 1881 took up their residence in Richland precinct, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Walin have had eleven children. Edna was born on the 21st of January, 1888, and was married on the 18th of February, 1913, to Theodore Anderson, who is operating a farm on section 18, Richland precinct. They have one son, Milton, whose birth occurred on the 20th of December, 1914. Edwin, who was born February 27, 1889, died on the 25th of January, 1891. Carl was born on the 25th of September, 1890, and on the 1st of January, 1913, was married to Miss Judith Torell and they reside on a farm four miles west of Lincoln, this state. Alma, whose birth occurred on the 18th of November, 1892, died on the 13th of November, 1894. Alvin was born on the 28th of September, 1894; Esther on the 20th of August, 1896; Arthur on the 10th of February, 1898; Norma, on the 13th of March, 1901 ; Pauline, on the 31st of March, 1903; Althea, on the 13th of April, 1905; and Edward, on the 8th of September, 1907.
Mr. Walin is an adherent of the republican party and discharges to the full all of his duties as a citizen. He and his family belong to the Swedish Lutheran church and he is also identified with the Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union and with the Farmers Institute Association of Ceresco. He forwards in every way possible all movements seeking to make the work of the farmer more efficient and the conditions of farm life more attractive and he is recognized as one of the leading residents of his precinct.
William Martin is now living retired in Ashland but for an extended period was connected with general agricultural pursuits and became recognized as one of the leading farmers of his community. Through his close application to the work of tilling the soil and caring for his crops he won the success that now enables him to rest from further labor. He was born in Indiana, in December, 1844, a son of Tapley and Mary (Moran) Martin, who were natives of Virginia. The father was a farmer by occupation and on removing westward to Indiana, which was then a frontier state, he took up a homestead and began the development of a farm, which be continued to cultivate throughout his remaining days. He died in the year 1848, while his wife passed away in 1878. After his death and in 1858 she removed to Wisconsin.
It was in the latter state that William Martin was largely reared and
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educated, being a lad of about eight years at the time of the removal from Indiana, He attended the public schools and remained with his mother until he reached the age of seventeen years, when in 1862, aroused by a spirit of patriotism, he offered his services to the government, enlisting in Company B, Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry, with which he served for three years. Following the war he returned to Wisconsin and operated a farm there until 1870, when he came to Saunders county and secured a homestead. His labors were then concentrated upon the work of breaking the sod and preparing the land for cultivation. After a short time he sold that property and took some school land. His attention was then given to the development and improvement of that place until 1908, when he retired and removed to Ashland, where he has since made his home. In the intervening period he had acquired a comfortable competence, and his income is sufficient, to enable him to enjoy a period of leisure.
On the 1st of July, 1875, Mr. Martin was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Alien, a daughter of Samuel and Julia A. (Enos) Alien, both of whom were natives of Illinois. The father, an agriculturist by occupation, came to Saunders county, Nebraska, from Iowa in 1873 and here took up a homestead claim which he operated for about a quarter of a century. On the expiration of that period he disposed of the property and removed to Jewell county, Kansas, where he purchased land and cultivated the same during the remainder of his life. His demise occurred in 1909, while his wife was called to her final rest in the year 1872. Mr. and Mrs. Martin have become the parents of five children, as follows: Cora E., who is the wife of Charles Green, a farmer of Saunders county, Nebraska; Louie Ethel, who gave her hand in marriage to Henry McReynolds, of Ashland, Nebraska; Zola L., at home; and Minnie V. and Charlotte E., twins, who died in August, 1876, at the age of three and one-half months.
In religious faith Mr. Martin is a Free Methodist and loyally adheres to the teachings of his church, endeavoring at all times to live an earnest Christian life. His political allegiance has ever been given to the republican party and he belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, thereby maintaining close comradeship with those who wore the nation's blue uniform and followed the starry banner upon the battlefields of the south.
Charles Maixner, the popular and efficient cashier of the State Bank of Ceresco, was born in Bruno, Nebraska, on the 15th of December, 1891, and is a son of Stephen and Annie Maixner, both natives of Austria, the former of whom is still living. Our subject attended school in Bruno until he was eleven or twelve years of age and then began working on a farm, so continuing until he was seventeen years old. Desiring to prepare himself for the business world, he then entered a commercial college at Omaha, from which he was graduated in 1909. He was connected with a bank at Bee, Nebraska, for a year, after which he came to Ceresco and assumed the duties of cashier of the State Bank.
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He still holds that important office and has proved an excellent cashier, so directing the affairs of the bank that its business has shown a steady growth.
Mr. Maixner was married on the 14th of October, 1914, to Miss May Theede, of Wahoo. He believes in the policies of the republican party but when national issues are not at stake casts his ballot for the best man, irrespective of his party affiliation. He is not a member of any church but attends services at various churches and is always willing to cooperate in movements seeking the advancement of his community along moral lines. Although still a young man, he exercises considerable influence in business and commercial circles in Ceresco, and his friends predict for him continued success.
CARL O. THORSTENSON.
Carl O. Thorstenson, a representative and successful agriculturist of Saunders county, has been actively identified with farming interests during the thirty-seven years of his residence here and since 1887 has lived on his present place of one hundred and sixty acres in Stocking precinct. His birth occurred in Christianstad Lan, Sweden, on the 23d of August, 1851, his parents being Ola and Hannah Thorstenson. He attended the common schools until fifteen years of age and then went to work with his brother on a farm. He learned the shoemaker's trade and worked at that occupation for a period of twelve years or until 1878, when he emigrated to the United States, coming west to Wahoo, Nebraska, via Galesburg, Illinois. Mr. Thorstenson was first employed by Nels Eliason from the spring until fall and then rented a tract of eighty acres near what is now Swedeburg, cultivating the same for one year. On the expiration of that period he bought eighty acres of prairie land for five dollars an acre, operating the place for two years, when he sold out and removed to a farm of one hundred and twenty acres two miles east which he purchased. Three or four years later, however, he disposed of that property and in 1887 took up his abode on his present farm on section 20, Stocking precinct, whereon he has remained continuously since. He also owns an eighty-acre tract three-fourths of a mile northeast and his place is well improved in every particular, having excellent buildings for the shelter of grain and stock and an attractive residence. The prosperity which he enjoys is all the more creditable by reason of the fact that it is attributable entirely to his own efforts, for he came to the new world empty handed and has since worked his way upward to a place among the substantial and esteemed citizens of his community.
In January, 1876, Mr. Thorstenson was united m marriage to Miss Petronella Johnson, a native of Sweden and a daughter of John Johnson. They have become the parents of five children. Hilma died in January, 1879, at the age of two years. Ludwig attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education and was graduated from the Wahoo high school with the class of 1899. Subsequently he completed a college course by graduation in 1907 and since that time has ably assisted his father in the operation of the home farm. Esther, living at home, obtained her education in the common schools. Ada
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began her education in the common schools, was graduated from the Wahoo high school in 1904 and then took up the profession of teaching. Subsequently she continued her studies in the Nebraska State Normal School at Peru, from which she was graduated in the summer of 1915. Harry also received a common-school education and since finishing the tenth grade in the Wahoo schools has worked on the home farm.
Mr. Thorstenson is a republican in his political views but reserves the right to vote independently at local elections. With his family he attends the services of the Swedish Lutheran church. Both he and his wife have a host of warm friends throughout the community and justly merit the regard and esteem which is uniformly accorded them.
Nels Nelson, who was successfully engaged in farming on section 8, Rock Creek township, was recognized as a good citizen and an efficient farmer and his demise was the occasion of much sincere regret. His birth occurred in Sweden but he came to the United States in early manhood and settled in Bureau county, Illinois, in the vicinity of Princeton, where he lived for many years. At the time of the Civil war he went to the defense of the Union and served for four years with an Illinois regiment, making a military record of which he had just cause to be proud. In 1881 he removed to Saunders county, Nebraska, and in the following year located on a one hundred and sixty acre tract on section 8, Rock Creek precinct, where he lived until called by death on the 12th of February, 1905. He made many improvements upon the place, conserved the fertility of the soil and used up-to-date machinery in his work and it was but natural that he should receive a good income from his land. He possessed sound business judgment and so managed his affairs that he became one of the substantial men of his precinct.
Mr. Nelson was married in Princeton, Illinois, on the 18th of January, 1866, to Miss Ellen Nelson, a sister of the late N. H. Nelson, further mention of whom occurs elsewhere in this work. She was born in Sweden on the 27th of March, 1842, and remained in that country until she was twenty-two years of age, when she accompanied her parents to the United States. Mr. and Mrs. Nels Nelson became the parents of seven children, of whom three are living, namely: Mrs. Tillie Ipsen, who was born in Bureau county, Illinois, December 17, 1866, and is now living in Oakland, California; Harris S., who was born in Bureau county on the 2d of July, 1872, and is now operating the home farm; and Effie H., who was born in that county on the l3th of March, 1878, and is living with her mother and brother.
Mr. Nelson took the interest of a good citizen in public affairs although he never aspired to hold office. He aided in the agricultural development of his locality and his personal characteristics were such that he gained the respect and warm regard of those who were associated with him in any relation of life.
Mrs. Nelson resides on the homestead with her two children and in addi-
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tion to the home farm of one hundred and sixty acres the estate includes the northwest quarter of section 16, Rock Creek precinct. The family are in good circumstances and have surrounded themselves with everything that tends to make country life enjoyable. Among other things they own a fine automobile which has proved a good business investment and has also been the source of much pleasure.
A. D. BOHABOY, D. V. M.
Dr. A. D. Bohaboy, a successful veterinarian who is located at Prague, is one of the excellent citizens whom Bohemia has given to Nebraska. He was born in that country on the 7th of October, 1889, of the marriage of Frank and Anna Bohaboy, who continued to reside in their native country until 1900, when, with their family, they crossed the Atlantic to the new world. After landing in the United States they made their way to the middle west and settled near Clarkson, Nebraska, where the father carried on agricultural pursuits for two years. At the end of that time a removal was made to the vicinity of Stanton, this state, but after farming there for four years the family home was established at Wallhill, Thurston county, where the father passed away August 8, 1913. He was survived by his widow, who made her home with our subject until her demise on the 21st of October, 1915.
A. D. Bohaboy attended school at Stanton and took his professional training at the veterinary college at Kansas City, completing a three years' course. Following his graduation he came to Prague, Nebraska, where he has since remained and where he has been very successful, his practice growing steadily as the years have passed. He is progressive and alert and seeks to keep abreast of the advancement made in veterinary science.
Dr. Bohaboy was married on the 23d of August, 1915, to Miss Mollie Pop, a daughter of Frank and Tonie Pop, who were among the early settlers of Prague but who are now residing at Weston, this state. Dr. Bohaboy casts his ballot in support of the men and measures of the democratic party and his religious faith is that of the Catholic church. Although a young man, he has gained a measure of success that many of his seniors might well envy and his friends predict for him continued prosperity.
Charles Meyer, who came to this county with his parents when a youth of ten years, was actively identified with agricultural pursuits throughout his entire business career and still owns four hundred and eighty acres of valuable land in Saunders county as well as six hundred acres in Lincoln county. In September, 1914, he put aside the active work of the fields and has since lived
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retired in Wahoo. His birth occurred in Dixon, Illinois, on the 18th of May, 1859, his parents being William and Amelia Meyer, who emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1854. In 1869 the father brought his family to Saunders county, Nebraska, arriving at Ashland on the 5th day of November. He took a homestead claim in Marble township.
Charles Meyer began his education in the common schools of his native town and when ten years of age came with his parents to this county. He assisted his father in the work of the home farm until thirty years of age, when he was married and started out as an agriculturist on his own account, cultivating land which he rented from his father for five years. On the expiration of that period he purchased a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Green township, which he operated for eight years and then sold. He next bought three hundred and twenty acres of land in Wahoo township, a quarter section of which he later sold. He returned to Green township, where he bought a tract of two hundred acres, which he cultivated for two years. At the end of that time he disposed of the property and purchased the Putney farm of four hundred and eighty acres, which he successfully operated for nine years and which is still in his possession. He likewise owns six hundred acres of valuable land in Lincoln county and is widely recognized as a prosperous, representative and esteemed citizen. Since September, 1914, he has lived retired in Wahoo, enjoying the fruits of his former toil in well earned ease.
In 1889 Mr. Meyer was united in marriage to Miss Laura B. Meese, a daughter of C. O. and Leah (Millhaus) Meese, who came to Nebraska in 1868. Mr. and Mrs. Meyer are the parents of three children, as follows: Leah lives on the home farm and is the wife of Dorsey Davis, by whom she has a daughter, Cecil. Henry, who is twenty years of age, graduated from Luther College in 1915 and is now employed in Killian's department store in Wahoo; Raymond, a youth of fourteen, is a student in the West ward school at Wahoo.
Mr. Meyer is a democrat in his political views but at local elections votes independently, considering the capability of a candidate rather than his party affiliation. His religious faith is that of the Methodist church. He is interested in every public measure seeking the improvement of conditions and the circumstances of the people and is in every way a most useful and desirable citizen of the community in which the greater part of his life has been spent.
JOHN L. WINTER.
John L. Winter has a dual connection with business interests in Saunders county, conducting important interests both as a banker and as a merchant. He is recognized as a man of marked enterprise who forms his plans readily and carries them forward to successful completion, guided at all times by sound judgment and keen discrimination. He has been a lifelong resident of Nebraska, his birth having occurred in Fremont, December 17, 1871. He is a grandson of Joseph Winter, who was born in Germany and came to the United
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States in 1857 with his son, John Winter, the father of John L. Winter. He established his home in Michigan and there continued his residence until his death, which occurred in 1864. His son, John Winter, was born in Westphalia, Germany, in 1843, and was therefore a youth of fourteen years when he came to the new world with his father in 1857. He lived for a time in Michigan but in 1868 was married in Fremont, Nebraska, to Miss Josephine Ortscheid, who was born in Wisconsin, of French parentage. Mr. Winter had removed to Fremont in 1866 and there resided for a number of years but in 1875 became proprietor of a hotel in Wahoo. Success attended him in that venture and led to the expansion of his business interests. In 1885 he established a mercantile store in Wahoo and built up a good trade which he conducted until 1895, when he retired from active business. He was one of the first merchants of the town and his progressive spirit and well directed efforts contributed in large measure to the commercial development of the city. For seventeen years he enjoyed a period of well earned rest, the fruits of his former toil supplying him with all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life, and then passed to his final home in December, 1912. His widow is now a resident of Yutan, this county.
John L. Winter was a little lad of four summers when his parents removed from Fremont to Wahoo, where at the usual age he became a public-school pupil, advancing grade by grade until he was graduated from the high school with the class of 1885. He had displayed special aptitude in his studies and completed the course in a much shorter period than many. He afterward became a student in the Burlington (la.) College and was there graduated in 1891. The same year he was appointed to the position of deputy county treasurer of Saunders county and served most acceptably in that capacity for four years. He next became bookkeeper for Thomas Killian, proprietor of a department store in Wahoo, with whom he remained for eight and one-half years, his long continuance there being unmistakable proof of his ability and trustworthiness. He enjoyed to the fullest extent the confidence of his employers and only severed his relation with the house to carry out a purpose that he had long entertained, of engaging in business for himself. His earnings had been carefully saved until his capital was sufficient to enable him to establish a store of his own. He joined his brother Henry, under the firm style of Winter Brothers, and they opened the general mercantile establishment of which they have since been proprietors. They have a large and well appointed store, carrying an attractive line of goods, and their business has constantly increased from the beginning. Their success is further indicated in the fact that they have since established stores at Valparaiso, Yutan and Ceresco, all in Saunders county, and are now conducting the four establishments, each of which is accorded a good trade, so that their business is one of the foremost commercial undertakings of the county.In September, 1911, Mr. Winter further extended his efforts in other connections by organizing the Farmers and Merchants Bank at Ceresco, of which he was made the president, while his brother Henry is vice president, and John L. Winter is likewise the vice president of the Wahoo Building & Loan Association.
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On the 5th of June, 1895, in Wahoo, Nebraska, Mr. Winter was united in marriage to Miss Mae Merling, by whom he has a daughter, Eulah Frances. His political allegiance is given the democratic party and his fraternal relations are with the Woodmen of the World and the Modern Woodmen of America. He largely concentrates his efforts, however, upon his business interests and is a man of notable enterprise whose progressive spirit has led him constantly forward, while each onward step in his career has brought him a broader outlook and wider opportunities. He is fortunate in possessing ability and character that inspire confidence in others and the simple weight of his character and ability has carried him into important business relations.
JACOB H. HARDING.
Jacob H. Harding, who owns and operates an excellent farm of three hundred and sixty acres on section 20, Pohocco precinct, is a native of Germany, his birth having occurred in the vicinity of Hamburg on the 23d of July, 1864. His parents, Thomas and Anna (Stucht) Harding, were also born in that locality and were there married. The father engaged in farming and also followed the tailor's trade in his native land. On coming to the United States in 1873 he first located in Clinton, Iowa, but a year later came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and purchased railroad land in Cedar precinct, near Cedar Bluffs. He brought his farm to a high state of cultivation and resided thereon until his death, which occurred when our subject was fifteen years of age. Mrs. Harding lived upon the homestead for a time and was then remarried, becoming the wife of Hans Mevis. She is still living at the age of seventy-six years and resides in Cedar Bluffs. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Harding were the parents of six children: Anna, deceased; John, who is living in Cedar Bluffs; Jacob H.; Emil, who lives upon the home place; Dora, the wife of Clans Osterman, of Cedar Bluffs; and Alvina, the wife of Clans Hansen, who is farming in Cedar precinct.
Jacob H. Harding received the greater part of his education in Germany but attended school for a time after the removal of the family to this country, thus perfecting himself in the English language. He remained at home until he was eighteen years of age and then began working as a farm hand. After spending three years in that way he rented land for about fifteen years, during which time he carefully saved his money. As soon as he had accumulated sufficient capital he purchased eighty acres in Cedar precinct, which he at length sold. He then bought another eighty acre tract in that precinct, which he also sold later, and next purchased his present three hundred and sixty acre farm on section 20, Pohocco precinct. The buildings are modern and commodious, and his equipment includes all necessary farm implements of the latest design. He raises grain and also stock and finds a ready sale for both.
In 1884, when twenty years of age, Mr. Harding was united in marriage. to Miss Amelia Glasier, and they have become the parents of thirteen children,
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all of whom are living, as follows: Anna, at home; Emil, who was married, December 23, 1908, to Miss Nellie Irene Gorman and is operating a portion of his father's farm; Rudolph, at home; Selma, also residing with her parents; Ella, the wife of Frank Arnold, a resident of Chase county; and Henry, Amelia, Jacob, Martha, Alvina, Lydia, Gertrude and Clarence, all of whom are at home. Mr. and Mrs. Harding have two grandchildren, Leonard and Twilla Arnold. Mrs. Harding was also born in Germany, December 29, 1866, and came to the United States with her father and mother when she was fourteen years old. Her parents, Ferdinand and Amelia Glasier, now live in Cedar Bluffs, Saunders county.
Mr. Harding believes in the national policies of the democratic party but at local elections votes for the man whom he deems best fitted for the office in question without regard to his political allegiance. Both he and his wife belong to the German Lutheran church in Cedar precinct, which the father of our subject assisted in organizing. They are also members of the Farmers Union and can be counted upon to support any movement seeking the advancement of their community. They are well known and all who have been closely associated with them hold them in warm regard.
BURTON ROYDEN BAYS.
Burton Royden Bays, who is now filling the responsible office of assistant secretary of state and is residing at Lincoln, has been prominently connected with politics and public affairs in Nebraska for many years. He is a native of the state, his birth having occurred in West Oak precinct, Lancaster county, on the 1st of August, 1878, and he is a son of William and Sarah J. (Branch) Bays. The father was born upon a farm in Greene county, Indiana, on the 13th of July, 1843, of the marriage of David and Rose Bays and during his boyhood and youth had the usual experiences of frontier life as that part of Indiana was then largely unsettled and undeveloped. He enlisted in the Union army when nineteen years of age and remained at the front until the 22d of May, 1865, making a highly creditable record. He then engaged in farming independently in Tuscola, Illinois, where he remained until 1867, when he removed to Lancaster county, Nebraska, where he became the owner of a good farm. In 1880 he took up his residence in Valparaiso, Saunders county, where he has since been engaged in business. He has held a number of offices and is now serving as city clerk and township assessor. The mother of our subject, who bore the maiden name of Sarah J. Branch, was born in Cayuga county. New York, on the 10th of May, 1839, and died on the 2d of May, 1907, in Valparaiso, Nebraska. A more detailed account of the life of William Bays occurs elsewhere in this work.
Burton R. Bays received the greater part of his education in Valparaiso and in 1895 was graduated from the high school, after which he studied for a term in the normal school at Fremont. He then began clerking in a local store and after two years had gained sufficient business experience to take charge of another store in Valparaiso, which he managed for one year. After severing that
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connection he went on the road for Granger Brothers, of Lincoln, Nebraska, with whom he remained until he became manager of the Nebraska elevator in Valparaiso. He held that position until 1912, in which year he was chosen cashier of the bank at Adams, Nebraska. Two years later he was appointed assistant secretary of state, in which capacity he is still serving. He is prompt and systematic in the discharge of his duties and his work has gained the commendation of all who have had dealings with the office.
Mr. Bays was married on the 3d of July, 1900, to Miss Nannie Anderson, who was born in 1879, in Valparaiso, and is a daughter of Paul and Anna Anderson, pioneers of Saunders county. One daughter has been born to this union, Bernice, whose natal day was the 25th of December, 1903, and who is now in the eighth grade in the Lincoln school.
Mr. Bays has supported the candidates and measures of the democratic party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise and has been very active in local and state politics. He keeps well informed as to conditions, has been largely instrumental in securing the victory of his party at the polls in his district and his advice is often sought by other democratic leaders. He is well known fraternally, belonging to Square Lodge, No. 151, A. F. & A. M., the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America. His entire life has been passed in southeastern Nebraska and he has thoroughly identified his interests with those of the state and can be counted upon to further all projects calculated to promote the general welfare.
MARSILLIOT BELLVILLE GIFFIN.
Marsilliot Bellville Giffin, who is living in honorable retirement in University Place, Nebraska, gained a competence in former years which now enables him to enjoy a period of well earned leisure. For a considerable period he was a farm and stock auctioneer and he also engaged in the real-estate and insurance business for some time, and in all of his activities met with gratifying success. He has been a lifelong republican and is still active in party work, although he has reached the advanced age of seventy-seven years. His birth occurred on the 5th of February, 1838, in Belmont county, Ohio, and his parents were George and Sarah A. (Bellville) Giffin, both natives of that county. They lived in various parts of the Buckeye state until 1855, when, with their family, they removed to Sangamon county, Illinois. Thirteen years later, or in 1868, they came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and after living here for some time homesteaded land in Butler county. In 1885 they returned to Saunders county and from that time until called by death resided in Valparaiso. Both now rest in the Valparaiso cemetery. To them were born thirteen children.
Marsilliot B. Giffin received his education in the common schools of his native state and after removing to Illinois took up the profession of teaching, which he followed until April, 1861. On the 14th of that month he enlisted in Company G, Seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for service in the Civil war and remained with that command for three months and eighteen days, after which he was honorably discharged with the rank of corporal. In 1867 he arrived in
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Saunders county and took up a homestead in Newman precinct, where he lived until 1885, when he removed to Valparaiso. In 1880, however, while still living upon his farm, he had taken up the business of a farm and stock auctioneer and continued active in that line until 1904. He cried many important sales throughout the county and was known as one of the best auctioneers in this section. After removing to Valparaiso he was also identified with the real-estate and insurance business and was likewise successful in those fields.
On the 1st of October, 1861, in Christian county, Illinois, Mr. Giffin was united in marriage to Miss Mary J. Easley, who was a daughter of George W. and Nancy Easley and who passed away on the 27th of September, 1890. To this union were born the following children: Alice W., who gave her hand in marriage to William P. Allen; Charles A., deceased; Ida May, who became the wife of N. H. Andrews; William Walter, who married Gertrude Cunningham; Cary A., who first married William Duncan and after his death she married George Himber; Ira A., who died while in the army in the Philippines and a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work; Amy G., who married W. J. Evans; Fred Blaine; and Robert Logan, who married Vera Best. On the 30th of January, 1894, Mr. Giffin was married in this county to Miss Mary E. Daugherty, daughter of George and Mary Daugherty, of Ottumwa, Iowa. One daughter has been born to this union, Mary Emilie, who is now a young lady and is a teacher in the public schools.
Mr. Giffin worked for the election of Fremont in 1856 and has done all in his power to secure the success of the republican party ever since. He is recognized as a local leader in that party and his advice is often sought in political matters. He has been called to office a number of times and has always discharged his duties to the satisfaction of his constituents. While living in Valparaiso he served as town clerk, as street commissioner, as water commissioner, as a member of the city council and as postmaster, and he has also been justice of the peace, assessor and township enumerator, which office he held for three terms. He is widely known and is accorded the respect and honor which genuine worth never fails to command. Fraternally he is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the Good Templars lodge, and his religious faith is that of the Methodist church.
IRA ALLEN GIFFIN.
The memory of Ira Allen Giffin is honored by all who knew him, for he gave his life in the service of his country, thus making the supreme sacrifice of patriotism. At the time of the Spanish-American war he enlisted in the First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry and went with that command to the Philippines, where, after taking part in considerable hard fighting, he contracted typhoid fever, of which he died. He was born in Saunders county on the 1st of October, 1873, a son of Marsilliot B. and Mary J. (Easley) Giffin, further mention of whom appears elsewhere in this work. He was reared at home and in the acquirement of his education attended the common schools of this county. After completing his schooling he devoted his entire time to assisting his father until
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1898, when he answered the call for troops and enlisted in Company E, First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry. His regiment reached the Philippine islands in the summer of that year, and he participated in the siege which resulted in the capture of the city of Manila. While at the front he was stricken with typhoid fever and on the 20th of October, 1898, his death occurred. He was buried at Manila but subsequently the government sent his body home and funeral services were held in the opera house in Valparaiso on the 7th of February, 1899. The house was crowded with relatives and friends who thus sought to express the honor in which they held him. The pallbearers were members of his company and there were also present members of the Third Nebraska Volunteer Infantry and the members of W. A. Easley Post, G. A. R. His death saddened the entire town, where he was known and esteemed as a young man of fine character and of high promise.
ERNEST OWEN WEBER, M. D.
Dr. Ernest Owen Weber, a well known and distinguished representative of the medical profession in Saunders county, living at Wahoo, also figures prominently in connection with the military organization of the state, nor have his efforts been a negligible quantity in political circles, for he is now the chairman of the democratic county central committee of Saunders county. He was born in Pawnee, Sangamon county, Illinois, March 11, 1876, a son of Benjamin R. B. and Sarah M. (McCormick) Weber, who were also natives of Sangamon county and in 1877 came to Nebraska.
Dr. Weber, then only a year old, became a pupil in the public schools in due time and ultimately continued his education in the high school of Valparaiso, Nebraska, from which he was graduated with the class of 1893. Still his appetite for education was unsatiated and he entered the State University at Lincoln, where he won the Bachelor of Science degree upon graduation with the class of 1898. In the same year he enlisted for service in the Spanish-American war, becoming a private of Company G, First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, in June, 1898. Promotion rapidly followed. He was advanced to the position of second lieutenant of Company K, in which capacity he acted for a year or less, when he was again advanced and was made first lieutenant of the same company. He was later brevetted by President McKinley captain and major of the First Nebraska Regiment, from which he was honorably discharged at San Francisco in 1899. His brevet as captain came to him for gallantry in service at Bag-Bag. Owing to the absence of the captain. Lieutenant Weber was in command and he led his company across the Bag-Bag neck deep — the first company in the brigade to cross. He was brevetted major for gallant service at the battle of Marilao, in the Philippines, when as acting adjutant of his regiment he carried dispatches to the company commanders on the firing line all day, having his horse shot from under him, after which he made the trips on foot. During his service as first lieutenant he was detailed as regimental adjutant and so served for six months. When discharged he was offered and refused a commission as second lieutenant in the United States army. It
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was in July, 1898, that he went to the Philippines, there remaining until July, 1899.
Following his return to the United States Dr. Weber entered Rush Medical College at Chicago, from which he was graduated with the class of 1902. He also did hospital work in Chicago for six months in the Presbyterian and Cook County Hospitals, thus gaining broad, practical and valuable experience. At the end of that time he located for general practice at Valparaiso, Nebraska, where he remained for about seven years, after which he accepted the position of assistant superintendent in the Nebraska State Hospital for the Insane at Lincoln, where he continued for two years. In 1910 he removed to Wahoo, where he has since remained, here following his profession with good success.
On the 21st of June, 1900, in Grand Island, Nebraska, Dr. Weber was united in marriage to Miss Fredericka Willard, daughter of William and Margaret (Vance) Willard of that city. Dr. and Mrs. Weber have become the parents of three children, Ben R. B., Margaret and Carl Willard. They attend the Presbyterian church and the Doctor has membership with the Masonic fraternity and with the Commercial Club. His prominence in the latter connection is indicated in the fact that he was vice president of the State Association of Commercial Clubs for two years, covering 1913 and 1914. His political allegiance has always been given the democratic party, but he has held no office save that of presidential elector for Bryan in 1904 from the fourth congressional district. He is, however, a recognized leader in democratic circles as chairman of the county central committee and his opinions carry weight in party councils in the state. The greater part of his attention, however, is given to his professional interests and duties and that he keeps in touch with the advanced thought and work of the profession is indicated in the fact that he is a member of the Saunders County Medical Society, of which he has served as president, and which he has four times represented as a delegate to state conventions. He belongs to the Nebraska State Medical Association and for years served on the committee on legislation, and he is also a member of the American Medical Association.
CHARLES H. SLAMA.
For sixteen years Charles H. Slama has continued in the practice of law at Wahoo and during this period has made steady advancement as the years have brought him experience and as continued study has broadened his knowledge of the principles of jurisprudence. Nature endowed him with an analytical trend of mind and he readily recognizes the relation of cause and effect — which is always one of the important factors of success at the bar. Born in Bohemia on the 16th of October, 1870, he is a son of John and Frances (Kominek) Slama. The father died in Bohemia in 1871 and in 1876 the mother with her two sons and three daughters came to America, settling in Kewaunee, Wisconsin. In 1908 she removed to Wahoo, where she now makes her home with her son Charles. Of her children who accompanied her to the United States Mr. Slama is the only son living, the other son, Leopold, having died in Chicago
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in 1905. A daughter, Carrie, has also passed away, while the living daughters are Mary and Anna, the former the wife of John Janachek, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Brought to the new world at the age of six years, Charles H. Slama acquired his education in the public schools of Kewaunee, Wisconsin, and there learned the printer's trade, thus making his initial step in business circles. After working in that capacity for a time he determined to enter upon a professional career and was graduated from the law department of the University of Wisconsin with the class of 1894, winning the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He deserves much credit in that he earned his own way through college, prompted thereto by laudable ambition. He opened a law office in his home town, practicing in Kewaunee until 1898. The following year he came to Wahoo, hoping by a change of climate to benefit his wife's health. Immediately afterward he opened his law office here and his professional career in Saunders county has been one of steady advancement. In 1901 he was elected county judge for a term of two years, was reelected in 1903 and was once more called to the bench in 1909. He served during that term for a year and upon an election contest was counted out. Resuming the private practice of law, he is now accorded an extensive clientage and he bears the reputation of being one of the keenest attorneys in the state.
On the 27th of October, 1894, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mr. Slama was married to Miss Emma L. Zerrenner, a daughter of Fred Zerrenner, a native of Germany. She died July 28, 1913, leaving three children, Florence E., Verona B. and Roland E.
Judge Slama is a republican, thoroughly conversant with the questions and issues of the day. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias fraternity and he is ever eagerly welcomed in social gatherings, but he concentrates his time and efforts upon his profession, thoroughly acquainting himself with the multitudinous duties relative thereto, and his preparation of cases is thorough and exhaustive, so that when he presents his cause in court he is well qualified to meet every point, of attack of the opposing counsel.
JOHN SANFRID WALIN.
John Sanfrid Walin, who has resided in Saunders county for forty-five years, has gained enviable success as a farmer and his place in Rock Creek precinct is one of the best in the locality. He was born in the parish of Asaka, Skanaborg Lan, Sweden, on the 25th of June, 1858. His father, Andrew Walin, was born February 13, 1834, in that region, of which his mother, Charlotta (Adams) Walin, was also a native, her birth occurring on the 27th of October, 1828. In 1868 they emigrated with their family to the United States and for two years lived in Moline, Illinois. In February, 1870, however, they removed to Omaha, Nebraska, and in April came to Saunders county. The father homesteaded his present farm in Richland precinct, which comprises the west half of the southwest quarter of section 18. He has now reached the advanced age of eighty-two years but is still vigorous physically and mentally
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and is highly honored by all who know him. He belongs to the Nebraska Territorial Pioneers Association, being one of those who aided in the early development of the state. On the 24th of June, 1903, he and his wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, on which occasion there were present thirty-one of their descendants — children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A photograph was taken, showing Mr. and Mrs. Walin in the center surrounded by the family. Mrs. Walin was called to her reward in 1905 and her demise was deeply regretted. To them were born five children, all natives of Sweden. Johanna Matilda, who is now Mrs. Nils Trued, resides in Ceresco, this state. John Sanfrid is the next in order of birth. Robert died in Sweden. Claes Levin is living on the home farm with his father. Carl Victor died in Denver, Colorado, on the 20th of December, 1872.
John S. Walin received his education in the public schools of Sweden and in this country and remained at home until he began farming independently. After carrying on agricultural pursuits in Richland precinct for a number of years he removed to his present farm in Rock Creek precinct in 1885. He has always raised both grain and stock and has been very successful, gaining a good financial return from both branches of his business. His place comprises the southeast quarter of section 13 and its improvements compare favorably with those of other farms in the precinct. He has not only concentrated his energies upon his work as an agriculturist but has also given it much thought, and the careful planning and the wise management of his business affairs have been as important factors in his success as his industry.
Mr. Walin was married on the 10th of July, 1885, to Miss Augusta Nelson, who was born in the parish of Mattered, county of Christianstad, Skane, Sweden, on the 12th of October, 1863. In 1888 she came to the United States and joined a sister in Wahoo. She has five sisters and two brothers living in the United States but her father and mother both passed away in Sweden and her stepfather is still living in that country.
Mr. and Mrs. Walin had eleven children, namely: Agnes Charlotta, born March 6, 1886; Jeannette Selmina, born October 18, 1887, who is now the wife of Henry L. Vaas, a young farmer of Rock Creek precinct; Walter William, born October 22, 1889; Selma Dorothea, born March 12, 1891; Andrew Herman, May 21, 1893; Aaron Sanfrid, April 10, 1895; Claes Victor, August 17; 1898; Clara Augusta, April 13, 1900; Carl Theodore, March 28, 12; Hannah Pauline, July 23, 1905; and Johan Oliver, July 9, 1907. Agnes Charlotta married Ludwig Rosengren and returned with him to Sweden, where she passed away. Walter William died in infancy and Aaron Sanfrid died when nine years old.
Mr. Walin takes an active interest in political affairs and has been called to public office a number of times. In 1900 and 1910 he was census enumerator in Rock Creek precinct and during one term filled the position of precinct assessor. For twelve years or more he has served as judge of elections and for five years was school director. For ten years, or ever since its organization, he has been president of the Ceresco Farmers Institute Association, which is conducted under the auspices of the State University of Nebraska and which has done much to promote an interest in scientific agriculture throughout this section. Through his membership in the Nebraska Territorial Pioneers Associa-
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tion he keeps in touch with others who resided in this state in early days, and he has always taken a keen interest in the development of his section and the promotion of the general welfare. There are few men more widely known in the county and all who have come in contact with him respect him highly.
FRANK C. BALDWIN.
Frank C. Baldwin, deceased, was a valued and respected resident of Wahoo, where he made his home, although his attention was given to farming interests. He was born in Essex county, New Jersey, June 27, 1857, but when only three months old was taken by his parents to Malvern, Iowa, where he was reared and educated, supplementing his public-school studies by a commercial course. In 1880 he went with his parents to Greenwood, Nebraska, and there followed farming until 1882, when he purchased land near Ashland, Saunders county, which he cultivated until about 1890. He then disposed of that property and bought one hundred and thirty acres three miles southeast of Wahoo. This he at once began to develop and continued its cultivation until his death, but made his home in Wahoo.
On Christmas Day of 1883, Mr. Baldwin was united in marriage to Miss Addie Wilburn, who was born in Piatt county, Illinois, June 21, 1861, and in her girlhood days came to Nebraska with her parents, who settled near Greenwood in Cass county. There she was reared and educated, completing her studies in the Ashland high school. To Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin has been born a daughter, Cecile Frank, who is now a student in the State University at Lincoln. Mrs. Baldwin and her daughter are members of the Congregational church, to which faith Mr. Baldwin also adhered. In his political views he was a republican and fraternally he was a Royal Arch Mason, while his wife and daughter are members of the Eastern Star. Mr. Baldwin was a self-made man, persistent, energetic and, determined, and in all of his business dealings he was thoroughly reliable and upright. He gained the warm regard of all with whom he came in contact so that his death was a matter of deep and widespread regret. His memory is yet cherished by many who knew him and most of all by the members of his own household, for he was a loving and devoted husband and father.
CHARLES A. SWANSON.
Commercial enterprise in Wahoo finds a prominent representative in Charles A. Swanson, who is prominent among the enterprising, progressive and successful merchants of the city, where he is engaged in the conduct of a furniture and undertaking establishment. He was born at Mead, Saunders county, Nebraska, September 19, 1887. His father, Andrew Swanson, a native of Sweden, born in 1889, came to the United States in early manhood and was
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married in Chicago to Miss Marie Johnson, also a native of Sweden. In 1870 they removed westward to Nebraska, taking up their abode at Mead, Saunders county, where they still reside. For a long period the father was actively engaged in farming but is now living retired, enjoying in well earned rest the fruits of his former toil. The family numbered six sons and two daughters: Josephine, the wife of A. G. Carlson; Ella C.; Albert R.; Fred J.; George W.; Charles A.; Harry J.; and Ernest T.
Reared under the parental roof, Charles A. Swanson pursued his education in the public schools of Mead until graduated from the high school with the class of 1908. He afterward entered Boyce's College in Omaha, where he completed his course in 1906. Later he worked for a year for the Standard Oil Company, after which he returned home and devoted his attention for two years to agricultural pursuits upon his father's farm. In 1910 he was chosen for the position of deputy clerk of Saunders county and thus served for two years, at the end of which time he and his brother George W. purchased a furniture and undertaking business in Wahoo, which they conducted under the firm style of Swanson Brothers until July, 1914, when Charles A. Swanson purchased his brother's interests, becoming sole proprietor of the business which he is now conducting under his own name. The store is well appointed and well equipped and presents an attractive display of a large line of furniture suited to all tastes. He is courteous and obliging, thoroughly reliable in his business methods and at all times has recognized the fact that satisfied patrons are the best advertisement.
Mr. Swanson was again called to public office when, in November, 1914, he was elected coroner for a two years' term. His political allegiance has ever been given to the democratic party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He is also well known in fraternal circles, being a Knight Templar Mason and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His good qualities are widely recognized and both as a business man and citizen he enjoys the high regard of those among whom he has cast his lot.
EARL R. WORLEY, D. V. S.
Dr. Earl R. Worley, who is engaged in the practice of veterinary surgery at Ashland, is an active and enterprising young business man and is now meeting with good success in his chosen field of labor. He was born at Fairbury, Nebraska, August 21, 1886, a son of Thomas H. and Alsa (Cole) Worley. The father was a native of Illinois and the mother's birth occurred in Cass county, Nebraska. The grandfather came to Saunders county, Nebraska, before the admission of the state into the Union and secured a homestead near Wahoo, which he improved, devoting his attention to its further cultivation and development throughout his remaining days. His son, Thomas H. Worley, when about twenty years of age, went to Lincoln, where he assisted in building the State University. He afterward resumed his interrupted education, pursuing a normal course, and still later he studied for the ministry. His first pastorate was at Valparaiso, Saunders county, and thence he went to China as a mission-
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ary, remaining in that country for four years. Returning to the United States, he made his way to Fairbury, where he engaged in preaching for four years. In accordance with the itinerant custom of the Methodist ministry he has moved from place to place but now has a charge at Hampton, Nebraska, where he and his wife are pleasantly located and where his work in behalf of moral progress is meeting with good success.
Earl R. Worley was reared in this state and completed his public-school education by graduation from the high school at Crete with the class of 1906. He afterward spent two and a half years in the State University and then went to Kansas City, where he entered the Kansas City Veterinary College, in which he spent two years as a student. He afterward continued his course in the Chicago Veterinary College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1914. In 1909 he was employed by a veterinary practitioner in Ashland and, in fact, has practiced since that time. He passed the required state board examination in 1911 and has since followed his profession in Ashland, being now accorded a liberal patronage.
On the 14th of September, 1911, Dr. Worley was married to Miss Gertrude Parley, of Crete, Nebraska, a daughter of William and Catherine (Gilbert) Parley, who were natives of Keota, Iowa. The former is a mason by trade and at an early day went to Crete, Nebraska, where he has since lived.
Dr. and Mrs. Worley hold membership in the Congregational church and he gives his political allegiance to the republican party, while along strictly professional lines his membership is with the Nebraska State, Missouri Valley and American Veterinary Associations. He and his wife have a wide acquaintance in Ashland and enjoy the hospitality of many of its best homes, their circle of friends being almost coextensive with the circle of their acquaintance.
S. M. ROWELL.
S. M. Rowell, who is residing on his farm on section 14, Green township, has reached the advanced age of eighty years and is living in honorable retirement from active life. He was formerly engaged in farming and as the result of his well directed labor gained a competence although he began his business career as a poor boy. His birth occurred in Connecticut on the 17th of May, 1835, and he is a son of Abraham and Sarah Rowell, both of whom have passed away and are buried in that state.
S. M. Rowell was reared in Connecticut and there attended the common schools until he was about fifteen years of age, when he began learning black-smithing. He followed that trade for many years and for twenty-two years was in the employ of one man, which fact indicates his reliability and skill. At the end of that time he removed westward, settling first at La Crosse, Wisconsin, whence he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, in 1879. He purchased a homestead in Richland precinct and for twenty years farmed that place but subsequently sold and purchased eighty acres on section 14, Green precinct, where he has since resided. He was energetic and efficient and at length accumulated sufficient capital to enable him to retire.
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On the 11th of March, 1860, Mr. Rowell was united in marriage to Miss Liza Hunt, by whom he has three living children. Charles P., who is living in Valparaiso, married Miss Cora Kearnes and they have three children, Stratton, Isabel and Arthur. Graham, who is residing in Lincoln, married Alice Rowell and they also have three children, Lilly, Carrie and Hazel. Sadie is the wife of Emil Quick, by whom she has four children, Leonard Earl, Roy, Eloise and Cecil.
Mr. Rowell casts an independent ballot, voting for the man whom he deems best fitted for the office irrespective of his political allegiance. He is a Congregationalist in religious faith and throughout his life has striven to conform his conduct to the teachings of Christianity. During the many years that he has resided in this county he has gained a wide acquaintance, and the warm regard in which he is universally held is indicated by the fact that he is familiarly known throughout the county as "Pop" Rowell. His has been not only a long but also a useful life, and he well deserves the respect and esteem which are accorded him.
Nicholas Miller, who is engaged in farming in Marble precinct, Saunders county, gives especial attention to the raising of dairy and shorthorn cattle. He was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, on the 31st of March, 1843, and is a son of Henry and Catherine (Stahl) Miller, who passed their entire lives in that country. The father was a miller by occupation. They were the parents of six children, namely: Henry, of Yutan, Nebraska; Catherine, deceased; Dora, also deceased; Helen, who lives in Germany; Nicholas; and Heine, of Holyoke, Colorado.
Nicholas Miller received an excellent education in his native land, completing a course in the realschule, or non-classical secondary school. In 1868, when twenty-five years of age, he came to the United States and after living for a year in Kankakee, Illinois, went to Douglas county, Nebraska, whence about 1871 he returned to Illinois. He remained there until 1878, when he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and rented land, which he cultivated for two years, after which he purchased a farm. He has been very successful as an agriculturist and since coming to this county has improved two farms, while at the present time he owns with his son a half section on section 15 and a quarter section on section 14, Marble precinct. Although he raises considerable grain he specializes in breeding dairy and shorthorn cattle. In 1896 he established a creamery, which he conducted until about 1905, when he discontinued the business. In addition to the land already mentioned he owns a two hundred and forty acre tract of swamp land which he has reclaimed, and he was largely instrumental in securing the construction of the drainage canal, which has been of such great benefit to the county.
Mr. Miller was united in marriage to Miss Mary Hanson, a native of Germany, by whom he has five children: Henry, who lives in Marble precinct; Catherine, who married Herman Hurst; Mamie, now Mrs. Robert
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Batton, whose home is near Memphis, Nebraska; William, of Yutan, this county; and Fred, who is farming in Marble precinct. The wife and mother passed away in 1875.
Mr. Miller supports the democratic party at the polls and takes the interest of a good citizen in public affairs. He is a charter member of the Lutheran church at Yutan, as was his wife. He possesses the sturdy qualities characteristic of his race, and his industry and good judgment have made him a valued resident of his precinct. As the years have passed his capital has steadily increased and he has accumulated a competence which insures him the comforts of life.
WILLIAM J. LEHR.
William J. Lehr is now living retired from business in Wahoo but is filling the office of mayor of the city and his record as a public official is one which reflects credit and honor upon his constituents. He was born in Ottawa, Illinois, on the 19th of January, 1856, his parents being Valentine and Mary Lehr, both of whom were natives of Germany but in early life came to the new world, becoming acquainted in Illinois, where they were married. There the father took up the occupation of farming and both he and his wife spent their remaining days in that state.
William J. Lehr pursued his education in the common schools of his native city and remained at home until he reached the age of twenty-two years, when he began farming on his own account. Two years later, or in 1880, he came to Saunders county, settling in Marble precinct, and soon afterward purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land. The next spring he returned to Illinois and was there married, after which he brought his bride to his new home and became permanently identified with the county. He concentrated his energies upon the development of the fields and followed general farming. He added to his holdings from time to time until now he and his wife own about five hundred and forty acres of land, which is divided into four farms upon which are four sets of good improvements, and the four sons of the family are renting these. Mr. Lehr carefully and systematically cultivated his lands for many years with good results, for his possessions are a monument to his industry and business capability. In 1912 he retired to Wahoo, where he has since enjoyed well earned rest from business, his income from his properties being sufficient to supply him with all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.
On the 1st of March, 1881, near Ottawa, Illinois, Mr. Lehr was joined in wedlock to Miss Maria Billmann, a native of La Salle county, Illinois, and a daughter of Jacob and Magdalena (Stoehr) Billmann, both of whom were born in Germany. They became acquainted in that country but were not married until after they had emigrated to the United States, the ceremony taking place in Rochester, New York. They became pioneer settlers of Illinois and spent the remainder of their lives in that state. Mr. and Mrs. Lehr have five children, as follows: Mary S., who is the wife of Arthur Dean, of Estherville, Iowa;
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Edward J., who wedded Rosa Butler; Ira C. J., who married Miss Myrtle Linebaugh; Harvey L., who married Carolina Kirchman; and John F., who married Elsie F. Rodgers.
In politics Mr. Lehr is a republican and was formerly very prominent and active as a worker in party ranks. He served as chairman of the county central committee and his opinions carried weight in local party councils. He served as a school director in his home district for thirty-two years and labored effectively and earnestly to promote the interests of education, realizing how necessary is training of that character in preparation for life's responsible duties. He filled the office of county commissioner for six years, from 1888 until 1894, and in 1895 he was elected to represent the district comprising Saunders and Sarpy counties in the state senate. There he gave careful consideration to each question which came up for settlement and was identified with much constructive legislation resulting beneficially to the commonwealth. He is now serving as justice of the peace in Wahoo and in 1915 he was elected mayor of the city, being now the efficient chief executive, seeking to give to the city a businesslike and public-spirited administration in which there shall be neither useless retrenchment nor useless expenditure but a steady progress that works for present and future good. Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Royal Neighbors. He has many qualities which are attractive to those with whom he comes in contact and which win for him the friendship and high regard of all. He is free from ostentation or display and is imbued with the spirit of strong and honorable purpose to serve his city well and to further the interests of good government.
THOMAS T. CRAIG.
Thomas T. Craig, who was formerly actively engaged in agricultural pursuits in Cass county, has retired from farming and is now a resident of Ashland, where he is engaged in business as a real estate and insurance agent, as he feels that a life of idleness would be intolerable. He was born in Wisconsin on the 16th of October, 1854, a son of John and Elizabeth (Elsepet) Craig, natives of Scotland. On removing to America they located in Wisconsin, where the father was employed as a wagonmaker, working in the Bain wagon factory at Kenosha for some time. Subsequently he removed to Minnesota and purchased land, which he improved and cultivated until 1869, when he removed to Mills county, Iowa. He became the owner of land there and gave his attention to farming until his demise in August, 1893. His wife survived until May, 1911.
Thomas T. Craig was reared and educated in Minnesota and Iowa and remained with his parents until he became of age. He then rented land from his father in Mills county, Iowa, until 1879, when he came still farther west, driving from Iowa to Cass county, Nebraska. There he bought eighty acres of land seven miles southeast of Ashland, to which he added from time to time until he now owns two hundred and fourteen acres of well improved land. He
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concentrated his energies upon the operation of his farm until November, 1903, when he removed to Ashland, where he now lives. He erected a good residence three blocks north of the Methodist Episcopal church. His energetic nature would not permit him to be idle long and he entered the real estate and insurance business, in which field he has also gained success. He has negotiated many important realty transfers and as a representative of a number of reliable insurance companies writes many policies annually.
In January, 1879, occurred the marriage of Mr. Craig and Miss Mary Babbitt, who is a daughter of Silas and Elizabeth (White) Babbitt, natives of Ohio. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, was one of the early settlers of Illinois, becoming the owner of land near Canton. He followed agricultural pursuits there until 1873, when he removed to Mills county, Iowa, where he farmed until his demise in 1886. The mother passed away in 1898. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Craig: Charles B., who married Alice Young, and is farming his father's land; Harry, who married Elizabeth Jenks, and is engaged in the insurance and real estate business in Ashland; Elmer, a farmer of Saunders county, who married Minnie Nelson; and Alta, at home.
Mr. Craig is a stanch republican and while living in Cass county served for ten years as moderator of the school district. He is connected fraternally with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. He has met with success in all that he has undertaken and is recognized as a man of enterprise and sound judgment. He also has commendable public spirit, being ready to aid in any way possible in promoting the interests of his community.
OTTO F. STEEN.
Success attended the enterprising and persistent efforts of Otto F. Steen during the long years of his connection with merchandising and other business interests and he is now enabled to live retired, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. He makes his home in Wahoo and is numbered among its representative and valued citizens. His birth occurred near Christiania, Norway, on the 21st of January, 1816, his parents being Thron and Ingeborg (Hulverson) Steen, who were also natives of that place. They arrived in the United States on the 24th of June, 1853, and made their way to Winneshiek county, Iowa, the father securing a preemption claim near Decorah. With characteristic energy he began to cultivate, develop and improve that land and thereon resided until his death, which occurred in 1865, when he was sixty-three years of age. His widow survived him until August, 1888, and passed away at the advanced age of eighty-five years. They were both consistent members of the Evangelical Lutheran church and enjoyed in large measure the high regard, confidence and goodwill of those with whom they were brought in contact. They had a family of ten children, eight sons and two daughters, and six of the sons loyally served as soldiers in the Civil war.
Otto F. Steen was only seven years of age when the family came to the
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United States and his boyhood days were spent upon the home farm in Winneshiek county, Iowa, during which period he attended the public schools to the age of fourteen years, when he began working as a farm hand. He was employed in that manner for about eighteen months, after which he turned his attention to the harness-making trade, which he learned at Decorah, spending six months in work there. However, on the 21st of January, 1862, when but sixteen years of age, he responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting in Company K, Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, a regiment formed entirely of Norwegians. He joined the army as a private and served until the close of the war, participating in the battles of Island No. 10, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Dalton, Resaca and Pickett Mills. At the last named place he was captured on the 27th of May, 1864, and was held a prisoner at Andersonville for more than six months. He was also incarcerated for a time at Milan and Florence and was paroled at Goldsboro on the 26th of February, 1865. He was at Annapolis for a time and then went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was discharged. In July, 1862, he had been promoted to corporal and in April, 1864, he was made sergeant and acted as orderly sergeant until captured.
After returning home and recuperating his health, which had been impaired during his rigorous military service, he continued the task of learning the harness-making trade, after which he clerked in Decorah for a time. Subsequently he served as assistant postmaster for two years, but his health obliged him to abandon that position. In 1872 he was appointed mail clerk and was upon the run from Omaha to Ogden for six years, after which he resigned, being at that time chief head clerk. He ran for five months without a single mistake, an almost unequaled record. In 1878 he resigned and turned his attention to the hardware business, forming a partnership with his brother John. That relation was continued until 1884, when they sold the store. In 1893 Mr. Steen formed a partnership with Charles Bebee, which association was maintained until 1901, when he sold out and went to Scotts Bluff county, Nebraska. There he secured a homestead which was under irrigation and for five years remained upon that place, during which period he proved up and then sold. He afterward went to Boise, Idaho, where he visited for eighteen months, at the end of which time he returned to Wahoo, where he is now living retired.
On the 22d of July, 1874, Mr. Steen was united in marriage to Mrs. Emma C. Young, a native of Norway, who came to the United States in her girlhood. They have become the parents of five children: Jeannette, the wife of Frank A. Castle, a ranchman of Nebraska; Amy, the wife of Clarence H. White, living in Boise, Idaho; Ina. C., the wife of O. M. Finley, of Scottsbluff, Nebraska; Elma, the wife of C. E. Beymer, of Boise, Idaho; and Rufus L., who is farming near Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and who was in the First Nebraska Regiment and served in the Philippine Islands during the Spanish-American war, thus following in the military footsteps of his father.
Mr. Steen has always been liberal in politics but quite active in support of any measure in which he believes. He has served on the school board, of which he was president for one year and secretary for two years, and he has also been a member of the city council. He proudly wears the little bronze button that proclaims him a member of John A. Andrews Post, No. 90, G. A. R.,
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which he joined on its organization, becoming the first adjutant of the post. He has served as commander of the post and is filling that position at the present time. He and his wife are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are highly esteemed in the community in which they live. They are now comfortably situated in life, owning a store building and two residences, and from their property they derive a substantial annual income. Throughout his entire life Mr. Steen has manifested the same loyalty to duty that he displayed when as a soldier upon southern battlefields he defended the old flag, continuing active in that connection until the stars and stripes floated over the capital of the southern Confederacy.
Abraham Lees, who spent his last years in honorable retirement at Wahoo, was for a long period engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was born in Yorkshire, England, July 13, 1828, acquired his early education in the common schools of that country and subsequently attended night school while working in a factory in the day time. He remained in England until he was twenty-three years of age, when he came to the United States, first locating in West Philadelphia. He met his wife there but they were married in Jones county, Iowa, where both resided for a time. Following their marriage they removed to Cedar county, that state, and for a number of years made their home there. In 1870 they came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and homesteaded land, on which they lived for eleven or twelve years. Subsequently they purchased a farm a half mile north of Wahoo, which Mr. Lees operated for about ten years, but at the end of that time he and his wife removed to Wahoo and purchased a comfortable residence here. He was practical and enterprising in carrying on his farm work and the competence which he gained was the natural reward of his industry and good judgment.
Mr. Lees married Miss Caroline Smith, who was born in England in 1835, a daughter of Edmund and Jennie Smith, also natives of that country. She came to the United States when about fourteen years of age and after remaining in the east for some time removed to Iowa, where she worked at hand weaving. Mr. and Mrs. Lees became the parents of seven children: Annie, now Mrs. Christian Scow, of Wahoo; Margaret, who is at home; John, who is living near Shelby, Nebraska, and is married and has ten children, Amy, Florence, Elmer, Esther, Laura, Harold, Frank, Robert, Donald and Addie; Walter, a resident of Wahoo, who is married and has two children, Herbert and Florence; Frank, a farmer residing near Wahoo, who is married and has six children, Alta, Ernest, Laura, John, Fred and Opal; Jennie, who married Herman Rood, a farmer residing south of Wahoo, by whom she has nine children, Mabel, Annie, Elsie, Margaret, Henry, Amy, Raymond, Clara and Paul; and Eva, now Mrs. William Haggard, who is living near Millboro, South Dakota, and has six children, Arthur, Percy, trying, Ernest, Elmer and James.
Mr. Lees was a democrat but confined his political activity to the exercise of his right of franchise. He attended the Methodist Episcopal church and in
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all relations of life his conduct measured up to high standards of manhood. His demise, which occurred on the 12th of May, 1915, was sincerely regretted and his many friends cherish his memory. He lived to an advanced age and during his lifetime witnessed many remarkable changes, especially in this county, which was a frontier region when he arrived here.