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History of the State of Nebraska
Chicago: The Western Historical Company
A. T. Andreas, Proprietor

Page 1501

Mary E.

GEORGE W. S. COON, farmer and stockraiser, Section 20, Township 10, Range 3, west, P.O. York, was originally from Illinois, born in Carroll County, August 25, 1840, son of Sheldon I. and Mary J. Coon, nee Hocker, who were farmers. George W. received a common-school education, and worked on a farm with his father. In 1866, he enlisted in the Rebellion, with Company A, of the Fifteenth United States Regular Infantry, as a private, but was soon commissioned Corporal, and promoted farther, till he finally became Orderly Sergeant. He remained in his country's service till November 12, 1869, their quarters being mostly in Texas and Alabama; then returned to Illinois, but soon went to Monroe, Wis. where he was engaged at farming; was married there to Miss Mary E. Heath, formerly from Illinois. In the spring of 1871, Mr. Coon came to Nebraska, and took up a soldier's claim of 160 acres. This and another 80, that he has since bought, forms his fine, improved farm of to-day. 174 acres are under plow, 50 fenced for pasture, and the balance meadow. He has a beautiful grove of his own planting, and over a mile of willow hedge around his farm. When Mr. Coon first came to this State, he began as most Nebraska settlers have, in a sod house; but this gave place, in 1876, to a good frame structure.

JOSEPH C. DIETRICK, farmer, Section 5, Town 10, Range 3, West, P.O. York, was formerly from Iowa. He came to Nebraska in the fall of 1871, and took up a homestead on Section 4, Town 10, Range 3, West, York Precinct, which he proved up in six months. He then went back to Iowa, and was employed at the Iowa State Insane Asylum, Mount Pleasant, as attendant, which position he had held previous to going to Nebraska. In August, 1874, he left this institution, and after farming one year in that State, he returned in the fall of 1875 to his claim in this State, and the same fall purchased the place upon which he now lives. This contains 160 acres of good farm land, ninety being under plow. He erected the first frame house west of York, in the county, on Beaver Creek, for which he hauled the lumber from Nebraska City and Columbus. Mr. Dietrick married February 26, 1874, at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Laura, daughter of William and Nancy M. Simpson, the former a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Their family is composed of four children—Ethel, Paul, Attie and Walter.

HON. SERVETUS MOORE, M. D., farmer and stock raiser, Section 14, Town 11, Range 4, West, P.O. Bradshaw, came to Nebraska in the fall of 1869, and pre-empted the land described above. His farm originally consisted of but 160 acres, but he has since added enough to make 400, of which 260 is under cultivation, and a number of acres of native timber. After coming to this State, he practiced his profession, in addition to running his farm, being a graduate physician of the eclectic school, and successfully practiced till January, 1880. At the organization of York County, in1870, Dr. Moore was elected one of the commissioners for a term of three years. Was also the first Representative from York County, to the Legislature in 1876, and in 1880, was re-elected to that office, and during the first term, was on the Committee of Education. He was born in Stark County, Ohio, in 1836, and was married at Camp Point, Ill., August 14, 1857, to Miss Laura A. Morris, of that State. They are original members of the Congregational Church, Bradshaw, and are the parents of three children—Orville M., Robert S. and Alice M. Dr. Moore is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

ORIN S. MUNGER, farmer and stock raiser, Section 18, Town 10, Range 3, West, P.O. York, was born in Union County, Ohio, April 19, 1840. When eight years of age, his parents came to Jefferson County, Iowa, where he received a common school education, and helped his father on the farm till eighteen years of age. He then started out for himself, working at various occupations till the breaking out of the Rebellion. Then enlisted in the Fiftieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company G, and after serving one year, was detailed as blacksmith of his regiment, and served afterward both as wagon master and Commissary Sergeant of the Second Division of the Sixteenth Army Corps. He served till 1874, then returned to Illinois, and made blacksmithing his business in that State, and after coming to Nebraska, ran a shop on his homestead, the first one in Baker Precinct. He was married in Illinois, in 1865, to Miss Sarah Brown, a native of Muskingum County, Ohio. Their family consists of six children—Albert, Luella, Hiram F., Hartwell, Orin J. and Levi F.

WILLIAM D. POST, dealer in general merchandise, grain and lumber, came to Bradshaw in the fall of 1879, and immediately began preparations for the erection of a store building. Into this when completed, he moved a stock of general merchandise, from York, where he had previously been in business a short time. This was the first store in Baker Precinct, with the exception of a small unpretentious affair, kept by Owen Bros., one-half mile north of the present site of Bradshaw. In December, 1879, Mr. Post succeeded in getting a postoffice established there, which was removed from Plainfield, same precinct, and of which he was appointed Postmaster. The name-Bradshaw—was given, after the wife of Jesse M. Richards, who was formerly a Bradshaw. Mr. Post was very successful in his business venture, and in 1881, added the grain business, and during the summer of the same year purchased the lumberyard, formerly operated by E. N. Evans. Mr. Post is a native of Richland County, Ohio, born June 24, 1846, the son of Johiel and Elizabeth, nee Moorhouse. His mother died when he was five, and his father when he was ten years of age, and William was thrown upon his own resources. In 1868, he came to Nebraska, where he was employed as operator at various stations on the U. P. R. R. He did not remain long in their employ, however, but soon went to Eldora, Iowa, and worked for the Central Railroad Company, and after coming to Bradshaw, was operator and station agent, in connection with his store. He was married in Ohio, in 1868, to Miss Marrilla M. Story of same State. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is an A., F. & A. M.

PRICE RAYMOND, of the firm of Miller & Raymond, dealers in hardware and farm machinery, came to Nebraska in the fall of 1871 and took up a homestead on Section 8, Township 10, Range 4 west, Baker Precinct. Here he lived improving his land till February, 1882, when he sold his farm and moved to Bradshaw. He formed a co-partnership with Wm. Miller, and together they went into the hardware business, buying the store of Mr. Asa Trusdell, who had succeeded Dilts & LeCount. The latter established the business in 1881, the first hardware store in Baker Precinct. Mr. R. was born in Cortland, N.Y., May 16, 1849. He is the son of J. D. and Catherine Raymond, nee Price. They emigrated to Jones County, Iowa, in 1855, and here Mr. R. worked on a farm with his father until 1870, when he was married to Miss Emma Misener, and came to the State as above. He has been school treasurer in his district and Justice of the Peace a number of terms. Mr. R. and wife are original members of the Baptist Church, Baker precinct.

JONAS P. SANDALL, farmer and stock raiser, Section 32, Town 11, Range 3, west, P.O. York, was born in Bredgord Edshult Soken Smaland, Sweden, September 2, 1835, the eldest son of John and Carrie Sandall, who emigrated to the United States in 1858, his mother's maiden name, Peterson. They located at Rome, Henry County, Iowa, but Jonas went to Jefferson County, same State. Followed farming there till 1864, when he took a trip across the plains to Virginia City, Montana, and while going through Nebraska, thought what a favorable country it would be for his future home. Returning to Iowa he purchased a farm in Henry County, which he operated till the spring of 1873, and at that time removed to this State, where he bought 160 acres of land from the Burlington & Missouri Railroad Co. He now owns 320 acres, 240 being under plow, and the remainder for pasture. Mr. Sandall married his first wife, Miss Christiana Samuelson, in Illinois, in 1860, who was born in Sweden. They were original members of Bethesda Swedish Church. She died May 17, 1880, a firm believer in the cause of Christianity, and was the second person interred in the cemetery of the above church, leaving five children, all of whom are living, Emma M., Henry M., Carl J., Olena M. and Isaac L. His second wife was Miss Anna Peterson, to whom he was married June 3, 1881, and by whom he has one daughter, Manda A.

OSCAR A. STUBBS, senior member of the firm of Stubbs & White, dealers in general merchandise, is a native of Maine, born March 2, 1844. His early life was spent in that State, and during the Rebellion he enlisted with Company I, of the Ninth Maine Volunteer Infantry, serving his country three years. In 1868 he came to Nebraska and located at Milford, where he homesteaded on Section 32, Town 10, Range 3, east, Ohio Precinct. Here he lived six years, improving his land, and then moved to Seward and engaged in the dairy business till 1877. At this time he went to York, and continued his former occupation until April, 1881, this being the date of his location at Bradshaw, and his embarkation in his present business. Mr. Stubbs was married in Seward, Neb., in 1871, to Annie M. Clark.

SWAN SWANSON, farmer and stock raiser, P.O. York, is a native of Sweden, born October 4, 1831. Was employed as a farmer there, and in 1852 came to the United States, locating in Knox County, Ill., where he worked around among the farmers for four years. His parents then emigrated to America, and he came with them to Jefferson County, Iowa, and helped them improve their farm till 1861. At that time he became a soldier in the Rebellion, enlisting with Company K, of the Engineer Regiment of the West, in which he served until November, 1864, taking an active part in all the engagements of his regiment. He returned to Iowa and in the spring of 1872 came to Nebraska, taking up a homestead of 160 acres. During the winter of 1872 he went back to Iowa, where he was married to Hannah Johnson, who was of the same nationality as himself. Then came back to his homestead, and at Easter of the following year was snowed in with his wife and brother, their sod house being completely covered up, and here they were forced to remain for three days and nights, until the neighbors came and dug them out. Mr. S. and wife were original members of the Bethesda Swedish Church, and were the donors of the grounds upon which said church was erected, and of the cemetery plot, making in all four acres. Upon the organization of the church Mr. S. was appointed clerk, which position he held three years. He is identified with the G. A. R., Robert Anderson Post, No. 32.

CASSIUS M. C. WOOLMAN, farmer, Section 20, Town 10, Range 3, west, P.O. York, came to Nebraska in the spring of 1871, and pre-empted a claim in Henderson Precinct, Section 30, Town 10, and after homesteading it moved to his present place, where he has a fine improved farm of 80 acres, with a fine orchard and a well constructed frame dwelling, 28x28. He was born in Grant County, Ind., October 16, 1849, and was married in York County, Neb., in 1874, to Josephine, daughter of W. A. Sanderson, who located there in 1871. She was the first school teacher in District No. 30, York County, the school being held in a small dug-out. C. Woolman was the second teacher in the same district, but not in the same location, as the school was moved around in those days, to accommodate the settlers. He has served as Assessor of Baker Precinct for three terms. They have three children, Albert B. C., Harold B. and Mabel E.


West Blue Precinct is situated in the southeast corner of the county, and derives its name from the West Blue River that courses through it. The general character of the surface is that of a gently rolling valley, except the uplands, or "divides," which are somewhat rolling.

John Anderson, and his son William Anderson, the first settlers of this precinct, are honored as the pioneers and first settlers of York County. They took up the first claims under the homestead act made in the county, on Section 2, Township 9, Range 1, and plowed the first furrows. Their settlement dates back to the year 1865, in the month of February.

Three months later, in the month of May, George Stubblefield made the third settlement in the county, on Section 3, adjoining the one taken up by the Andersons. The following December, three other settlers arrived, and their settlements include all that were made during this year. These came in the person of Henry Chatterton, who located on Section 8, Miss Sophonisba Fouse on Section 9, and Nerva Fouse on Section 10. Early in the month of January, 1866, they were followed by Wm. Taylor, who established his farm on Section 8; Elias Gilmore, locating on Section 7, and Jackson Gilmore, on Section 12.

When the spring of 1866 opened up, it found David Buzzard settled on Section 10, Levi Deems on Section 12, and during the summer, Christian Holach also settled on Section 12, Albert Deems on Section 10, and Nicholas Noigh on the same section. Two years later, in the fall of 1868, W. H. Armstrong and George Vance arrived and were followed in 1869 by Wm. Hathaway and Reuben Manning.

In the month of April, 1869, Rev. William Worley preached the first sermon ever listened to by the pioneers of York County, at the residence of John Anderson, and during the following month organized the first class of the M. E. Church at the Buzzard school-house. In 1870, the West Blue Mission was formed, and Rev. Mr. Oliver appointed to the charge.

In the winter of 1869-70, Elias Gilmore erected the first frame house in the precinct, hauling the lumber from Nebraska City. All of the settlements mentioned were made on the Blue among the timber groves that fringed its banks. And a further settlement of the precinct did not occur until the emigration of 1870 came pouring into the county.

In the spring of 1870, George Hannah, V. Shelley, and John Wallace took up claims on Section 12, and began tilling the soil. In the month of November, Mrs. L. Parsons, Elmer Parsons, and A. H. Chesebro, made the first settlement on Lincoln Creek, all locating on Section 26. In 1871 and 1872 the precinct settled up very rapidly and nearly all the government land was taken up. Among the first settlers in this general emigration are P. L. Rubattal, Section 34; Isaiah Smith, Section 28; Calvin Smith, Section 32; and Anthony Smith, Section 28.

In the winter of 1865-66, at the time Uncle Elias Gilmore took up his claim, nine hundred Pawnee Indians were camped on the Blue, engaged in hunting. Mr. Gilmore harvested the first wheat raised in York County, in 1867, and the total crop throughout the county for 1868, amounted to five hundred bushels.

Miss Lizzie [Lillie] May, daughter of A. J. Gilmore, has the honor of being the first white child born in the precinct, and also in York County, the date of January, 1866. The first marriage ceremony occurred at the residence of Uncle Elias Gilmore, Feb. 14, 1867. Daniel Millspaugh, a justice of the peace for Seward County, tied the knot, and the contracting parties were Mr. N. J. Dixon and Miss Lydia Gilmore. [It was later discovered, and acknowledged by the Gilmore family, that there was at least one birth that occured earlier than their daughter's.]

The first death that occurred in the county among the settlers was that of the infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. N. J. Dixon in the winter of 1867 and 1868.

The first school district organization effected in the county took place in this precinct in 1869. William Taylor was elected Moderator, A. J. Gilmore, Director, and John Meagher, Treasurer. This was District No. 1 and is known as the Buzzard District. A sod school house was erected in the fall of this year on Section 8 and the following spring school was opened with Miss Lizzie Lowry as teacher. These were the introductory steps of the present efficient school system of the county.

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