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


has followed general farming rather than specializing in the raising of grain or stock and has employed up-to-date methods in his farm work. He also owns an excellent residence in Colon, and his success is the more noteworthy in that he is a self-made man.

   In 1871 Mr. Anderson was married to Miss Albertina Wahl, who was born in Sweden. They have become the parents of six children: William, who is residing near Colon; John Oscar, who lives two and a half miles south of Wahoo; Anna, the wife of Emil Milton, who resides on our subject's homestead; Ada, the wife of Albert Manson, who lives four miles north and one mile east of Colon; Hilma, who married Harry Shepherd, who is cultivating land belonging to our subject; and Josephine, the wife of Harry Dannahy, station agent at Cornlea, this state.

   Mr. Anderson has supported the republican party since becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States and has served acceptably on the town board of Colon. Both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church, and he was one of the organizers of the local church, of which he is an elder. In all relations of life his conduct has measured up to high standards of manhood, and he is sincerely respected, by all who know him.


   Frank Koutny, who owns six hundred and forty acres of good land in Center precinct, was born in Moravia, Bohemia, October 24, 1859, a son of Frank J. and Patronelia (Koutny) Koutny, also natives of that country, where they were reared and married. They continued to reside in Bohemia until our subject was sixteen years of age, when they emigrated with their family to the United States and came to Saunders county, Nebraska, purchasing railroad land in Center precinct, which the father cultivated until his death in 1899. He is buried at Wahoo. His wife survives and now makes her home with a daughter in Center precinct. There were four children in the family: Frances, now the widow of Wenceslaus Virgl and a resident of Center precinct; Frank; John, who is living in Wahoo; and Mary, deceased.

   Frank Koutny received his education in the public schools of Bohemia and when sixteen years old accompanied his parents to Saunders county, Nebraska. He remained at home for ten years, assisting his father with the work of the farm, but at the end of that time began farming independently, cultivating land on section 15, Center precinct. Subsequently he removed to another farm on the same section, where he has since resided. He has gradually added to his holdings and now owns six hundred and forty acres of excellent land which yields him a good financial return. He raises both grain and stock and finds that the two occupations coordinate well.

   Mr. Koutny was married in 1885 to Miss Josephine Cech, likewise a native of Moravia, by whom he has five children: Amelia, the wife of Frank Simodynes, a farmer residing near Wahoo; Lloyd, at home; Mary, the wife of Vincent Simodynes, who is living near Wahoo; and Agnes and Frank, both at home.

   Mr. Koutny was formerly a democrat but now votes independently, believing


Frank Koutny and Family


by so doing he is best furthering the cause of civic advancement. He and his family belong to the Catholic church at Wahoo and do all in their power to extend its influence. When he began his independent career he was without capital but possessed the more valuable assets of energy, determination and soundness of judgment, and his resources have gradually increased until he is now a man of independent means.


   D. F. Dwyer, the owner of an excellent general store in Colon, was born in Union precinct, this county, upon his father's homestead, on the 4th of February, 1888, and is a son of John Dwyer, now living in Cedar precinct. Our subject received his education in the district schools of Union precinct and in the Fremont Normal School. He remained at home until 1912 and then engaged in the mercantile business. In October, 1914, he bought the Colon Mercantile Company and is now conducting a general store under his own name. He has a high grade stock of goods, selected with the aim of meeting the demands of his customers, and his prices are reasonable. He has a good patronage and is recognized as one of the leading businessmen of the town.

   On the 14th of February, 1912, Mr. Dwyer was married to Miss Elizabeth Stockinger, a native of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, by whom he has a daughter, Nathalia Bernice, who was born August 13, 1914.

   Mr. Dwyer is independent in politics, voting for the man rather than the party. Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Columbus and, as this indicates, he is a communicant of the Catholic church, to which his wife also belongs. Both have won many friends in Colon and the surrounding country. He has gained a gratifying measure of success for one of his years, and his aggressiveness and business ability insure continued prosperity.


   J. H. Holtorf is now engaged in stock-raising and dealing in Douglas township, where he owns two hundred and forty acres of land, but he was for some time connected with mercantile interests in Malmo. He was born in Schleswig-Holstein, now a part of Germany, September 10, 1861, and is a son of J. H. and Wiebke (Wieck) Holtorf, both likewise natives of that country. The mother is deceased but the father is still living there at the advanced age of ninety years. During his active life he engaged in farming and stock-raising. They became the parents of three sons and three daughters, namely: J. H.; John, a farmer residing near Wakefield, Nebraska; Hans, who is still living in Germany and is a dealer in horses and cattle; Christina, the wife of Iven Johnson, a farmer of Germany; Heinke, deceased; and Wiebke, the wife of Thomas Hansen, of Germany.

   J. H. Holtorf received the greater part of his education in Germany, as


he remained in that country until 1880, when, as a young man of eighteen years, he emigrated to America. He settled in Clinton county, Iowa, but only remained there for a year, after which he took up his residence in. the vicinity of Council Bluffs, where he lived for two years. In 1883 he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and the following year began farming here, having purchased land in Chester precinct. He built a house upon his place and carried on agricultural pursuits there for five years. At the end of that time he bought his present farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 27, Douglas township, which he operated until February, 1900. In that year he removed to Malmo and bought the elevator formerly owned by the Malmo Grain & Stock Company. In 1903 he built a new elevator and continued in the grain business until 1915, when he sold out, but still continues to reside, in Malmo. He was very successful in business and his labors yielded him a good return. In 1899 be erected a fine residence in Malmo, where he has six lots.

   In 1886 occurred the marriage of Mr. Holtorf and Miss Wiebke Knuth, a native of Germany, who, when a child of nine years, accompanied her parents on their removal to the United States, the family home being established in Mariposa precinct, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Holtorf have become the parents of nine children: J. H., Jr., who is living three miles from Cedar Bluffs, this state; Matilda, at home; H. J., who is farming one mile east of Malmo; Thomas and E. P., who are living on the home farm; Clara, who is teaching school at Malmo and resides at home; and Josephine, Francis and Pauline, all at home.

   Mr. Holtorf is a democrat and has taken quite a prominent part in local politics, at one time being a candidate for the state legislature. For the past fifteen years he has served acceptably as school director and for nine years he was a member of the town board. He and his family belong to the German Lutheran church, which he has served as deacon for many years, and they do all in their power to further its growth and advancement.


   Among the up-to-date and well-to-do farmers of Center township is Dirk Schmidt, who was born in Aurich, Germany, on the 19th of May, 1851, a son of Jergen and Sika (Dirk) Schmidt, who were also natives of the fatherland. The father, who devoted his time to farming, passed away in Germany in 1880, but the mother came to the United States with her family and located in Sterling, Illinois, where she died about 1910. To their union were born eight children, of whom the two oldest died in Germany, the others being: Hans, a resident of Stocking township, this county; Dirk; Charles, who is living in Kansas; John, a resident of Gates county, Nebraska;) Anna, who is living in Illinois; and Aaron, of Saunders county.

   Dirk Schmidt devoted much of his time during his boyhood to attending the common schools and after putting aside his textbooks worked on a farm in Germany until 1872, in which year he emigrated to the United States and located at Sterling, Illinois, where he worked as a farm hand for eight years.


   At the end of that time he had saved sufficient money to enable him to buy eighty acres of land, which he operated until 1887, when he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and located three and a half miles southwest of Wahoo. For some time he operated rented land but later bought a part of his present home place on section 36, Center township, which he has brought to a high state of development, erecting excellent buildings and planting a grove and orchard. The farm now comprises five hundred and sixty acres and there are two sets of improvements upon it. He also holds title to one hundred and sixty acres in George county, Nebraska; two hundred and twenty acres in Buffalo county, Nebraska; one hundred and sixty acres in Spink county, South Dakota; and ten acres of excellent hay land near Memphis, this county. His success is due entirely to his own efforts, and the prosperity which he has gained is evidence of his enterprise and the wise management of his affairs. He devotes his time to general farming, finding that more profitable than specializing in the raising of either grain or stock.

   Mr. Schmidt was married in Illinois in 1879 to Miss Gesha F. Speckmann, who was also born in Aurich, Germany. They have become the parents of fourteen children: Anna, the wife of Emil Thompson, of Memphis; Lena, the wife of John Schwartz, of Yutan; John, who is living near Ithaca; Mary, who married Lewis Schwartz and resides near Yutan; Katie, the wife of Will Schwartz, a resident of South Dakota; Hannah, who is the wife of Henry Ohn and resides in the vicinity of Yutan; Delilah, deceased; Harry, Ernest, Maggie, Fritz and Sana, all at home; and John and Hannah, both of whom died in infancy.

   In 1878 Mr. Schmidt made a visit to Germany and greatly enjoyed seeing old friends again. He casts his ballot in support of the men and measures of the democratic party, whose policies he believes are best adapted to securing permanent prosperity. He and his family belong to the Lutheran church at Ithaca, and he heartily cooperates in all movements seeking the moral progress of his community. He also supports the projects calculated to further the advancement of his county along material lines and is recognized as a public spirited citizen. He is not only highly respected by all who come in contact with him but is held in warm personal esteem by those who have been intimately associated with him.


   Hans Hallberg, who is successfully operating an excellent farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Richland precinct, was born in Sweden on the 4th of February, 1860, a son of Hans and Elna Nelson. He attended the public schools of Sweden until he was about sixteen years of age, when he began working as a farm hand, so continuing until he was twenty-seven years old. He then came to the United States by way of Liverpool and New York, sailing on a ship of the American line, and after reaching New York he continued his journey westward to Saunders county, Nebraska. For two years he worked for others but in 1889 rented eighty acres of land, which he cultivated for two


years. At the end of that time he rented one hundred and sixty acres and for nine years concentrated his energies upon the operation of that place. In the meantime he carefully saved his money and when he had accumulated sufficient capital bought eighty acres, which he cultivated for three years, in addition to a quarter section of rented land. At length he took up his residence upon his eighty acre tract, where he has since resided and to which he has added eighty acres adjoining on the south. He has erected fine buildings upon the place and made other improvements so that his farm is now in a high state of development. He carries on general farming and is proving very successful, gaining a good yearly income from his land.

   Mr. Hallberg was married on the 9th of March, 1889, to Miss Ellen Aspengren, a daughter of Nels Aspengren, and to this union have been born five children: Ernest and Ruth, both of whom are at home; G. Adolph, deceased; and Emma and Paul, also at home.

   Mr. Hallberg is an independent democrat, voting for the best man irrespective of party lines when national issues are not at stake. He holds membership in the Swedish Mission church, to the support of which he contributes, and he cooperates in all movements seeking the moral advancement of his community. He takes a great interest in everything relating to the agricultural development of the county and is a member of the Farmers Union. His enterprise and determination are indicated by the fact that although when he came to this county he had but ten cents he is now one of the substantial men of his precinct.


   Charles Avery Cook, residing on section 28, Stocking township, has spent his entire life in Saunders county and has long been numbered among its prosperous and representative agriculturists, owning about six hundred acres of valuable land. His birth occurred on his father's farm in this county on the 22d of August, 1876, his parents being J. D. and Rhoda Cook. He began his education in a country school and in 1894 completed the high-school course by graduation at Wahoo. He continued his studies in the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and on leaving that institution turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits, which have since claimed his time and energies. His landed possessions now embrace about six hundred acres in Stocking .township and the property is well improved, being equipped with all the conveniences and accessories of a model, up-to-date farm. In connection with the cultivation of cereals best adapted to soil and climate he devotes considerable attention to his live-stock interests, having one hundred and seventy head of white-faced cattle and twenty head of French draft and Percheron horses. He is also the president of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company and enjoys an enviable reputation as an enterprising and valued citizen of his community.

   On the 13th of September, 1898, Mr. Cook was united in marriage to Miss Emma Lindley, a native of Saunders county, by whom he has two daughters, Esther and Gladys who will graduate from the Wahoo high school in 1917.


   Mr. Cook is a republican in his political views but does not consider himself bound by party ties and supports men and measures only for their worth. In 1914 he was urged to become a candidate for the office of state senator, but this honor he declined. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Pythias, serving as sergeant at arms at Wahoo, and with the Eagles and Benevolent Protective Order of Elks at Fremont. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church. Mr. and Mrs. Cook have always lived in this county and are held in high esteem by all who know them, the hospitality of the best homes being freely accorded them.


   Daniel Dailey, who is successfully engaged in farming in Center township, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the 5th of December, 1862, a son of Jerry Dailey a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. When but five years of age our subject was taken to Fremont, Nebraska, and attended the public schools there in the pursuit of an education. He remained at home until twenty years of age and then began his independent career. For four years he worked on railroads in various states but at the end of that time returned to Nebraska, and for six years engaged in farming. Later he spent two more years in working in various places, after which he operated the home farm until 1910, when he purchased his present farm on section 16, Center township, Saunders county. He owns two hundred acres of good land and carries on general farming, his well planned work returning him a good income. His place is well improved and everything is kept in excellent condition.

   On the 17th of April, 1913, Mr. Dailey was married to Miss Allie Swart. In politics he is a stalwart democrat but has confined his activity in public affairs to the exercise of his right of franchise. He is a communicant of the Catholic church at Sand Creek, which fact indicates the principles which govern his life. He has made many friends and all who have had dealings with him hold him in high esteem because of his ability and his integrity.


   J. H. Biggerstaff, who was a successful insurance agent of Ceresco, was born in Olney, Illinois, August 5, 1864, of the marriage of William and Lucinda (Gladhart) Biggerstaff, the former of Scotch-Irish descent and the latter a native of Switzerland. He attended the common schools until about nineteen years of age and then went to Leadville, Colorado, whence he removed to Montana, where he worked in the smelters. He remained in the west, where he had gone for his health, for about ten years, after which he returned to Illinois and farmed there until 1903, in which year he came to Ceresco, Nebraska, and engaged in the livery business for some time. Later he entered


the insurance field, in, which he continued until his demise. He gained a gratifying measure of success and was recognized as a capable business man.

   On the 21st of September, 1894, Mr. Biggerstaff was united in marriage to Miss Jessie Maude Richards, a daughter of William and Esther (Rowe) Richards, both of whom are still living in Illinois. To this union were born five children: Inez, who is teaching school in Ceresco; and Everett, Frederick, Dorothy and Gladys, all attending school.

   Mr. Biggerstaff was a democrat but at times voted independently, believing that the fitness of the candidate was of more importance than his political affiliation. His religious faith was that of the Methodist church, to which he belonged, and fraternally he was a Mason and a Modern Woodman. His death, which occurred on the 8th of April, 1915, was a loss to his community and was deeply regretted. He was a man of many fine qualities and gained the sincere friendship of those with whom he was intimately associated. Mrs. Biggerstaff is a member of the Methodist church and of the Ladies Aid Society and is also identified with the Eastern Star.


   Martin Thorson is a retired farmer now living in Wahoo and belongs to that class of representative citizens to whom success has come as a reward of earnest, persistent and intelligently directed effort. He is a son of Thore and Ellen (Svenson) Johnson and was born at Horby, Skane, Sweden, February 16, 1849, and was there reared upon a farm, while his educational opportunities were those afforded by the public schools. Favorable reports reached him concerning business conditions and opportunities in the new world and when nineteen years of age he bade adieu to friends and native land and sailed for the United States landing at New York on the 1st of July, 1868. He did not tarry on the Atlantic coast, however, but at once made his way westward to Omaha, accompanied by his brother Karl. His first employment was on a ferry boat, on which he worked for ten days, after which he made his way to Medicine Bow, on the Union Pacific Railroad, where he worked for three months on the section. He afterward went into the timber in Colorado and made ties for the railroad for seventeen days but did not get a cent for it, and at the end of that time work was suspended. Mr. Thorson afterward secured employment in a sawmill, where he remained until the spring of 1869. In March of that year he arrived in Saunders county, walking from Omaha, and secured a homestead in Marietta precinct of eighty acres. His brother, Karl Thorson, and Louis Johnson, obtained adjoining claims. They purchased a team in Omaha, bought a little shack and brought it out to their claims to put it up upon the land owned by Martin Thorson. He remained upon his claim, carefully developing and improving it, until he converted it from a tract of raw prairie into richly cultivated fields. In 1873 he purchased eighty acres of railway land, for which he paid ten dollars per acre, and to his holding he added from time to time until he was the owner of four hundred and forty acres in three different farms. Year after year, he carefully


and persistently carried on general agricultural pursuits and then retired in 1909, when he took up his abode in Wahoo. In the intervening period he had dealt in land, winning considerable success in that connection and at the same time he carried on general farming and stock raising, his labors bringing him substantial profits.

   On the 7th of August, 1874, Mr. Thorson was married to Miss Augusta F. I. Johnson, who is a daughter of John and Ava Johnson and was born in Alsheda, Sweden, on the 20th of April, 1855. Her mother died when she was young and in May, 1870, with her father and a sister she came to the United States, making her way to Omaha, where she made her home until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Thorson have become the parents of six children: Albert H., who married Miss Esther Henning and lives on one of his father's farms; Freda, who died in infancy; William J., who married Miss Naomi Lundahl, now deceased, and who is practicing dentistry in Chicago; Hildur E., the wife of Arthur L. Anderson, of Wahoo; and Arthur O. and Anton E., twins, both of whom are farming in Saunders county and the latter of whom married Miss Anna Erickson.

   In his political views Mr. Thorson is an independent democrat. He served as school director for several years and has been offered various offices but has always refused to accept. He was, however, the first director in his school district and the cause of education has found in him a warm friend. He belongs to the Lutheran church, of which he is serving as trustee, and he was a member of the committee that built the first Lutheran church in Mead. He has never regretted his determination to come to America, for although he met the various hardships and difficulties during the early days, he has steadily progressed and is now one, of the substantial residents of Saunders county, having become the possessor of a handsome competence which enables him to live retired, his record proving what may be accomplished through industry and determination.


   P. B. Fitch, who is the owner of an excellent drug store in Malmo, was born in Hamilton county, Nebraska, eight miles southeast of Central City, on the 3d of November, 1877, a son of O. D. and Delia Ruth Fitch, who were born and reared in the state of New York. The family is of Dutch and English descent on the father's side and of English origin on the mother's side. Mr. and Mrs. O. D. Fitch were married in New York and about 1869 removed westward, taking up their residence in Jones county, Iowa, whence two years later they came to Nebraska, homesteading land in Hamilton county. The father developed a tract of raw land into an excellent farm and followed agricultural pursuits for seven or eight years. He then went into the hardware business in Fullerton and after disposing of his store was on the road for a time. He is now farming in Alberta, Canada, and his wife is also living. At the time of the Civil war he was too young to enlist but worked in the commissary at Alexandria, Virginia. To him and his wife have been born


seven sons and one daughter namely: Alice, who is deceased; Henry, a resident of Belgrade, Nebraska; Earl B., of Alberta, Canada; P. B.; Guy, deceased; Clarence, who resides in Burlington, North Dakota; Orson, deceased; and Lewis of Alberta, Canada.

   P. B. Fitch attended the public schools in the acquirement of an education and later took a course in a business college at Fullerton. After devoting two or three years to farming he went to Highland Park College at Des Moines, where he took a special course. Subsequently he was employed in a drug store at Genoa, Nebraska, for about a year. At the end of that time he went to Alma, Nebraska, where he remained for three months, after which he removed to Guide Rock this state. He was there for about a year and then went to Hemingford, Nebraska, where he was engaged in business for about three years. His next removal was to Alberta, Canada, where he purchased railroad land and also filed on a homestead, on which he subsequently proved up. He engaged in general farming and stock-raising there for about five years and at the end of that time returned to Nebraska, and engaged in the drug business at Beaver Crossing. After a year spent there he went to Funk, this state, but in less than a year returned to Alberta and devoted five more years to farming there. He still owns one hundred and sixty acres in Alberta, upon which he has made many improvements. On leaving the Dominion he came to Malmo and purchased a drug store, which he has since successfully conducted. He understands pharmacy thoroughly and also has the business ability necessary to the successful management of such an undertaking. He has gained a good patronage and has an enviable reputation for fair dealing. He owns the building in which his business is located and also two lots.

   Mr. Fitch was married on the 29th of April, 1904, to Miss Geneva Patrick, of Calgary, Alberta, and they have four children, Cecil C., Ruth, Alice and Mabel, all at home.

   Mr. Fitch has been independent in politics and at the last election cast his vote for the democratic candidates. His wife is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church. While living at Hemingford Mr. Fitch was identified with the Royal Highlanders. He is recognized as one of the capable business men of Malmo and since taking up his residence here has gained the respect and goodwill of his fellow citizens.


   William Nelson Becker was for a number of years the owner and editor of the Ashland Gazette, which he made one of the leading weeklies of this part of the state, but for several years before his death he retired from active life. He was a man of high ideals and possessed the strong personality that enabled him to make those ideals count for good in the lire of his community. He was born in Sharon Springs, New York, on the 16th of April, 1852, a son of William M. and Cynthia A. (Parks) Becker, also -natives of that state. His paternal great-grandfather took part in the Revolutionary war and the family has always been characterized by patriotism and public spirit. The father


William N. Becker and granddaughter, Margaret Narber


engaged in merchandising in the Empire state until 1873, when he removed to West Side, Crawford county, Iowa, where he owned a store for a number of years, or until 1889. His wife died on the 22d of January of that year and subsequently he removed to Mead, Nebraska, where he made his home with our subject until his death, which occurred in the fall of 1890.

   William N. Becker was reared in his native state and received his education in the public schools. He continued to live with his parents for a number of years after reaching maturity and was associated with his father in merchandising until 1879. In that year he removed to Mead, Nebraska, where he conducted the second general store in the town, remaining there for three years. He then returned to West Side, Iowa, and entered the newspaper field, publishing the West Side Dispatch until 1885. He then sold out and again settled at Mead, Nebraska, where he conducted a general store and also published the Mead Advocate. In his newspaper business he was associated with Peter Anderson, the firm name being Becker & Anderson. After their plant was destroyed by fire Mr. Becker severed his connection with the newspaper and concentrated his energies upon his mercantile interests, but for two years before leaving Mead in October, 1892, he lived retired. He then removed to Ashland, and purchased the Ashland Gazette, the oldest newspaper in the county, which he published until August, 1911, when he sold out to F. L. Carroll and retired. He understood the business of newspaper publication thoroughly and was very successful in the conduct of the Gazette. He built up a large circulation and also gained a good advertising patronage and the paper became known as a progressive and reliable weekly. He made it not only a medium of disseminating local and general news but also a force in the advancement of the community, as he at all times stanchly supported movements seeking the material, civic or moral advancement of Ashland and Saunders county.

   In January, 1872, Mr. Becker was united in marriage to Miss Amanda Patterson, a daughter of Chester Mr. and Amanda (Dake) Patterson, both natives of New York. Her father was a minister of the Universalist church in his early manhood but subsequently affiliated with the Methodist church. During his later years he engaged in farming in New York and passed away in that state in 1896. He had survived his wife for many years, as her demise occurred in 1854. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Becker. Emma E., whose birth occurred in August, 1873, is now the wife of Charles L. Narber, a barber of Ashland, and they have a daughter, Margaret Amanda, born October 17, 1911. William E. C., who was born in January, 1876, is deputy postmaster at Ashland. He married Miss Naomi Dark, by whom he has a son, Robert Dark, whose birth occurred May 14, 1915. Mrs. Becker is still living and owns eighty acres in Ashland precinct in addition to a fine residence in the northern part of the city, which her husband erected in 1901.

   Mr. Becker was a republican in politics and took a keen interest in public affairs but never sought office. Fraternally he was identified with the Woodmen of the World and the Fraternal Union. His religious faith, which was the motive force of his life, was that of the Universalist church, and he believed strongly in the teachings of that organization, but after removing to Ashland became affiliated with the Methodist church, as there is no Universalist church here. He entered heartily into the work of the Methodist church and did


much to extend its influence. As teacher of a men's Bible class he was a factor of no small importance in the moral life of the community and after his death, which occurred July 4?, 1915, the class paid him the following sincere tribute: "We, the members of the Men's Bible Class of the Methodist Episcopal church, desire to express our heartfelt sorrow and deep sense of loss in the death of our beloved friend and teacher Brother W. N. Becker. For three years he ably and faithfully taught the class, bringing to the work a large knowledge of the Bible and a keen sense of the need of its application, to daily life. His comprehensive views of Biblical truth, wide study of history, sound judgment, retentive memory, ready expression and deep sympathy made him an interesting, instructive and beloved teacher. Our lives have been helped Godward by his life and work. In the death of Brother Becker the world has lost a citizen, for his sympathies were as broad as the earth; the nation has lost a patriot, for he was unselfishly devoted to his country; the community has lost a generous supporter of every good work, for few were more public spirited than he, and the Bible Class mourns its loss for he was a teacher who taught. World-citizen, patriot, philanthropist, teacher — 'His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, this was a man.' We extend our sympathy and consolation to the bereaved in this hour of their sorrow. In behalf of the Men's Bible Class of the Methodist Episcopal church. T. T. Young."

   Mr. Becker was highly esteemed by all who came in contact with him in the various relations of life, and the Ashland Gazette wrote of him as follows: "William Becker was a Christian man in the highest sense of the word. For a number of years he was a lay preacher of the Universalist church, the church of his choice, to which he clung with the utmost faithfulness. He was a man well read in questions of theology and in it kept abreast of his times. To those who were fortunate enough to come in close touch with him in matters of practical religion he was a help and a blessing always. His faith in his God and his church was firm and broad enough so that with truth he could say

'I love Thy church, O God,
Her walls before Thee stand,
Dear as the apple of Thine eye
And graven in Thy hand.'

and to speak slightingly of the church was a heartpang to him. In matters of religion he knew whereof he spoke. He was a close student of and dearly loved his Bible, whose truths he always taught when opportunity offered. He always harbored the noblest thoughts and was very loath to think slightingly of anyone. The highest ideals were his and those who knew him best knew that he strove to meet those ideals even though he himself suffered thereby. His positive, firm nature asserted itself in his religion so that what he believed must be expressed in deeds. He showed toleration to all, but to himself he was intolerant, demanding that his faith be a part of his everyday life. It would be impossible to enumerate his many benefactions, restricted neither to persons nor places; and in that day many will rise and bless him for what he did for them. The number of those to whom he ministered is legion. Into his


business transactions Mr. Becker always tried to carry his religion of stanch integrity; in his everyday dealing he loathed the underhanded business transaction. For many years he was the editor of the newspaper, the Ashland Gazette, and the files of that paper, will show the high character and ideals of his editorials. His paper was progressive, clean, helpful and one that anyone might be proud to have on his table or in his home. He was a man of no mean literary ability and used this ability to drive home forceful truths."


   Rev. P. Frederick Mostrom organized the Swedish Mission congregation at Ceresco and served as its pastor continuously until his death on the 6th of April, 1912. He was born in Sweden on the 7th of April, 1848, a son of P. Frederick Mostrom, Sr. He remained in his native land until about thirty years of age, when he emigrated to the United States. He first found employment in a smelter but late in 1878 went to Chicago, where he was employed in the McCormick shops until 1883. In that year he removed to northern Minnesota and there engaged in farming and preaching, continuing there until 1898, in which year he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and took charge of the Swedeburg Mission church. He held that pastorate until 1907, when he removed to Ceresco and organized the Swedish Mission congregation here and erected a house of Worship. He continued to serve the church as pastor until his death on the 6th of April, 1912, and his labors resulted in much good not only in the upbuilding of the church but also in the promotion of righteousness in the community.

   Rev. Mostrom was married in Sweden, in 1872, to Miss Mathilda Forsberg, also a native of Sweden and a daughter of Rev. Eric and Christine Forsberg. To this union seven children were born, of whom four grew to maturity: Fred; Ida, who married Herman Nyquist, of Ceresco, and has two children; Emma, who was born in 1883 and died in 1914; and Amy, who was born in 1885 and died in 1907.

   Rev. Mostrom was a prohibitionist in his political belief but placed the public welfare above party allegiance. He labored zealously for the cause of Christianity and. was especially watchful of the interests of the church to which he ministered as pastor. He not only won the loyalty of his own people but also gained the sincere respect and the high esteem of all who came in contact with him.


   Fred Mostrom was born in Sweden on the 30th of September, 1874, and accompanied his parents to the United States in 1878. He attended primary school in Chicago and after the family home had been established in Minnesota was a student in the district schools of that state. He supplemented the

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