History of the State of Nebraska
Chicago: The Western Historical Company
A. T. Andreas, Proprietor
dent at Oberlin College for one year. In 1863 he entered the army, enlisting in Company F, of the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and after serving seventeen months was discharged on account of ill-health contracted in the war. He then returned to Ohio, and as soon as his health would permit, commenced farming on the old homestead. Mr. K. married September 27, 1865, Miss Abbie Frisbee of Ohio, and two years subsequent to this, came to Iowa, but remained only a short time. Then returned to Ohio and in the spring of 1872 emigrated to Nebraska and took up a homestead. He now has a well improved farm of 160 acres of which 124 is under plow and the balance fenced for pasture. He has served as Justice of the Peace of Henderson Precinct for four years, and has always worked for the public welfare of the town and county.
SAMUEL S. LINT, farmer, Section 18, Town 9, Range 3 west, P.O. Grafton, Fillmore County. Is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Fayette County March 27, 1840. Lived on a farm with his parents till twenty-two years of age, when he started to travel through the north and northwestern States to examine the country. This he continued for three years, following various occupations, and then returned to Pennsylvania. He only stayed there a short time however. Then removed to Preston County, W. Va. In 1869 came to Marshall County, Ill., and pursued farming. In the fall of 1874, came west to this State locating on the place where he now lives and owns 200 acres of land. He has 120 of it under plow, and has excellent improvements. He has served two terms as constable of his precinct. Mr. Lint was married December 30, 1862, in Pennsylvania, to Miss Volinda Show. They have four children living, John W., Benjamin C., Isaac B. and Julia A.
EDWIN MERRILL, farmer, Section 12, Town 9, Range 4 west, P.O. York. Was originally from Maine. Was born in Somerset County July 4, 1816. Followed farming in his native State until 1846, then moved west to La Porte, Ind., where he continued his former occupation, and in the spring of 1871 emigrated to Nebraska, homesteaded some land, and now in company with his son owns 240 acres, of which 210 are under cultivation. Mr. M. was married in Maine in 1840 to Miss Sarah Simons, also born in that State, who died in 1860, leaving one son, Osson V.
JESSE O. PAYNE, farmer and stockraiser, Section 20, Town 9, Range 3 west, P.O. York. Came to Nebraska in the fall of 1872 and homesteaded 160 acres of the place where he now lives. This consists of 240 acres of which 200 is under cultivation and the rest pasture for his stock. Of this he keeps nine horses, forty head of cattle and fifty swine. Jesse O. was born September 12, 1835, in Pickaway County, Ohio. In 1855 he came to Iowa, his occupation that of a farmer. He became a soldier in the late war, in 1862, volunteering in the Thirty-sixth Iowa Infantry, Company G, and served till the close of the rebellion in all the engagements of his regiment. Then returned to Iowa, where he was married in 1866 to Miss Elizabeth Evans. Mr. Payne is a member of Robert Anderson Post, No. 32, of the G.A.R.
GEORGE C. PURSEL, farmer, Section 24, Town 9, Range 4 west, P.O. Grafton, Fillmore County. Located on the above land in April, 1871, which he homesteaded. He now has 120 acres under cultivation, but owns 160, the original homestead containing eighty. He has served two terms as Justice of the Peace of his precinct, and is president of the Farmers' Alliance in the same. Is also one of the board of school directors of District No. 80. He was born in Hunterdon County, N. J., January 11, 1840. Son of Jacob and Mary Pursel, nee Cole, who removed to Marshall County, Ill., in 1857. George C. received a common school education and worked on a farm with his father till nineteen years of age. He then commenced working out by the month, and in two years' time saved enough from his earnings to purchase a team. Then began farming for himself, and also followed the carpenter's trade. He was married to Sarah Brumsey in Marshall County, Ill., in 1867.
GEORGE H. ROBY, farmer, Section 24, Town 9, Range 4 west, P. O. Grafton, Fillmore County. Was born in Herkimer County, N. Y., February 17, 1845. His parents were Jacob W. and Esther C. Roby. The former of Welsh and the latter of German descent, who settled in Dodge County, Wis., in 1853. After receiving a common school education, he entered the State University at Madison, in 1863, where he was a student for two terms. In September, 1864, he enlisted in the rebellion with the First Wisconsin Cavalry, Company E, and served until the close of the same. Then returned home and commenced farming, and on the 29th of January, 1867, was married in Dodge County, Wis., to Miss Mary A. Underwood, formerly from New York State. They have five children, Carrie A., Cecile A., Iva L., Edwin D. and Jacob W.
Houston Precinct is situated in the northern tier of precincts. It is watered by Lincoln Creek, one of the more important tributaries of the Blue. Columbus C. Smith is the pioneer settler, who arrived in the spring of 1867, and moored his "prairie schooner" on the banks of Lincoln Creek, on Section 8, Township 11, Range 3. He was a solitary settler for a short time only, for a few weeks later he was joined by Messrs. Johnson and Coon, who took up their claims on the same section. In the spring of 1869, John Farris, Thomas Eades, John Rowsdale [Romsdal] and John H. Parker settled on Section 10. The first to arrive in 1870 was Andrew Houston, from whom the precinct receives its name. He made settlement on Section 8, and shortly after was followed by Peter Andreson, who located on the same section. D. P. Allen on Section 30, Hon. William H. Keckley on Section 20, made the first claims in 1871. During this year the following settlers took up claims in the precinct: R. B. Stevens, Section 30; James Dooley and William Moore on Section 32; Peter Peterson, Fred Shondoreff and John Keckley on Section 6; S. W. Sidwell, Section 20; Thomas B. Kohn, S. L. Shiley and S. W. Sidwell, Section 24, and Henry Hartwell also on Section 24. In 1872, the general immigration that came into the county took up all the Government land that remained.
In 1872, the Rev. George H. Carroll, District Missionary of the Board of Home Missions for Western Iowa, organized a Presbyterian Church society in the precinct, which was the first organization perfected. The society has never erected a church building, and its pulpit is supplied by missionary work. The Methodist Episcopal Church organized its first class in the spring of 1874. The first service was held at the pioneer residence of Hon. William H. Keckley. The first members were Mr. and Mrs. D. P. Allen, Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Castle, Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Sidwell, Mrs. John Combs, Mrs. R. B. Stevens.
It was organized by Rev. Mr. Streeter, who was called as the first pastor, remaining five months. His successor was the Rev. D. C. Brown, who presided over the church for two years, and was in turn succeeded by Rev. J. Andrus, who was in charge of the church for one year. Rev. G. W. Confer was the next pastor appointed to this work and at the end of the conference year was succeeded by J. A. Larkin. Rev. H. Harmon was appointed in 1880, and was also in charge one year. The present pastor, Rev. Henry Chapin, of York, commenced his labors in 1881.
DERRICK P. ALLEN, farmer, Section 30, Township 12, Range 2, west, P. O. York, located in Nebraska in the fall of 1871, homesteading the land upon which he now lives, which was a soldier's claim of 160 acres. This he has nicely improved with forest trees of various kinds, and a young orchard of choice fruit trees, a row of the former nearly surrounding his farm, of which 145 acres are under cultivation. The subject of this sketch was born in Niagara County, N. Y., July 2, 1843. He is the son of Jacob and Juliett Allen, nee Porter. His father died when he was but three years of age, leaving his family in moderate circumstances, there being six children; but when his mother died he was thrown upon his own resources at the age of ten years. He went to Michigan with his eldest sister, where he was employed at farming till the breaking out of the Rebellion. In April, 1861, he enlisted with Company I, of the Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and served until the fall of 1863, then veteranized in the same regiment until June 25, 1864. On this date, while in front of Petersburgh, he received what was supposed at that time to be a mortal wound in the right lung, and from which he has not fully recovered at this writing. He was discharged January 28, 1865, and then returned to Michigan, and embarked as a merchant, following this until his removal to Nebraska. He is a member of the G. A. R., Robert Anderson Post, No. 32. He was married in Michigan, February 20, 1866, to Miss Julia F. Miller, of New York, by whom he has four children,Ada M., Homer W., George B. and Arthur D. Mrs. Allen is an original member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Houston Precinct.
JAMES C. CATHCART, farmer, Section 34, Township 12, Range 3, west, P. O. York, was a settler in Nebraska as early as 1865. Lived first in Nemaha County where he worked at various occupations, and in the spring of 1871 moved to York County and homesteaded the above place. Owns eighty acres, all under cultivation, and was the first settler on the divide lines west of Lincoln Creek. James C. is a native of Jefferson County, Pa., born November 1, 1849. He is the son of James C. and Mary Cathcart, nee Williams, who emigrated to Rock Island County, Ill., in 1853. Here he received but a limited education, his mother dying when he was but a small boy. Mr. C. married, March 4, 1870, Miss Abigail Brown, who died November 12 of the same year. In 1874 he married his present wife, Hannah J. Brown, sister of the above. They are members of the United Brethren Church, Houston Precinct, and have two children, Artemus B. and Delia Viola.
JAMES D. HOUSTON, farmer, Section 8, Township 11, Range 2, west, P. O. York, is a native of Scotland, born in Perthshire, June 20, 1841. His parents were Andrew and Emily Houston, both deceased, who emigrated to the United States in August, 1870, locating in Nebraska, where his father homesteaded the land described above, and James took a claim adjacent to this. He now owns 400 acres of good farm land, 200 under cultivation and good improvements. Mr. H. was married in England in 1867 to Miss Mary Lidington, born there. They are members of the Episcopal Church society, York, and are the parents of seven childrenJames, William B., Andrew, Kate L., Ritchie, George and John E. The first two were born in England. Mr. H. has served as Assessor of Houston Precinct a number of terms. His father, Andrew Houston, was a gentleman highly educated in the first schools of Scotland, and from him Houston Precinct derives its name. When a vacancy occurred in the first Board of County Commissioners, owing to S. V. Moore being elected Representative from York County, A. Houston was appointed to fill the said vacancy.
WILLIAM H. KECKLEY, farmer, Section 20, Town 12, Range 2 west, P. O. York, was born in Frederick County, Virginia, Nov. 8, 1818. His parents were Jonathan and Mary Keckley, nee Dyoson, the former of German and French, and the latter of Irish descent. They changed their place of abode to Muskingum County, Ohio, when William H. was 13 years old, and here his father died in 1830, leaving a widow and eight children in limited circumstances. William H. had received some education but on the death of his father, he, being the eldest in the family, was obliged to go to work and help maintain the rest. In 1842 he was married to Miss Margaret E. Hodges, a native of Maryland. In 1848 his mother died, and two years subsequently he left Ohio and came westward to Wapello Co., Iowa. In 1862 he enlisted in the Twenty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company E, but was taken sick, which prevented him from being sworn in. After recovering, he enlisted in the same year with Company E, Thirty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, known during the war as the Gray Beard regiment. He served to the close of the war, and then returned to Iowa and resumed farming. In 1869 he moved to Polk County, Mo., and in the fall of the year following came to Nebraska, and took up a homestead where he now lives. He owns 240 acres, of which 160 are under a high state of cultivation. His residence is surrounded with a beautiful grove of trees of various kinds, and this, in connection with other improvements, makes it one of the model farms of York County. In 1879, Mr. K. represented York County in the legislature. For six years he has been chairman of the York County Central Committee. He has served as Judge of Election in Houston Precinct seven years. He is a charter member of York Lodge, No. 35, I. O. O. F. He belongs to the G. A. R., Robert Anderson Post, No. 32. His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and his father in the war of 1812.
JOSEPH W. McCOUGHEY, farmer and stock raiser, Section 26, Town 12, Range 3 west, P. O. York, came to Nebraska in the fall of 1872, and took up a homestead of 160 acres. He now has it all under cultivation, with 14 acres of lawn grass. He also has a grove containing eight acres of his own planting, and a fine young orchard. He was born in Fulton County, Ill., December 6, 1842, the son of Wilson and Margarett McCoughey, who were formerly from Ohio, and among the early settlers in Illinois. Joseph's boyhood was spent on a farm, part of the time being devoted to schooling, and in the fall of 1861, he became a soldier of the rebellion, enlisting with Company F of the Fifty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He served three years and two months, being in all the principal engagements of his regiment, and was wounded at the battle of Shiloh through the right thigh. He also received a slight wound in the head, which disabled him for active service for four months. Mr. McCoughey was married December 6, 1868, in Illinois, to Miss Minnesota Talbot formerly from Ohio, who died May 8, 1879, leaving three children: Wilson, Maud, and Wilbur. He was a charter member of York Lodge, No. 56, F. & A. M.
JOHN ROMSDAL, farmer and stock raiser, Section 10, Town 11, Range 3 west, P. O. York, was born in Norway, near Hamerfest, June 13, 1845, son of Ole and Joron Romsdal, nee Joakem, who died in her native country in 1860. John R. was married in 1863 to Miss Mary Donalson, and three years later started for the United States, accompanied by his father, wife and son, Jacob. While on the ocean his father died from disease contracted on shipboard, and was cast into a watery grave. His wife also gave birth to a daughter, and owing to the circumstances of being born aboard the ship, they named her Olena Atlantic. Arriving here he located in Houghton County, Mich., and worked in the copper mines, which occupation he had followed in Norway. In 1868 he moved his family to Chicago, and then took a trip to Montana, where he worked in the mines till the spring of 1870. Then returned to Chicago and brought his family to Nebraska, and homesteaded where he now lives. Owns 240 acres, 110 under cultivation, and was among the first settlers in Houston Precinct. Mr. R. and wife are members of the United Brethren Church society, Houston Precinct. In addition to the two children already mentioned, they have six others: Rosa A., Philip M., Eliza M., Frederick, Charles O. and Mary E.
Stewart Precinct lies in the extreme northeast corner of the county. The principal water course of this precinct is Lincoln Creek, which is of sufficient importance to be valuable for water power, which is utilized in turning the wheels of the Thayer Flouring Mill, situated on Section 31, Township 12. It is a large three-story frame structure erected by Messrs. Coggle & Harris, and furnished with two run of stone. The precinct derives its name from James H. Stewart, who in company with David Doan, Newton Hyett and John A. Mercer, made the first settlements in it in the spring of 1868. Doan and Hyett settled on Section 26, Stewart on Section 22, and Mercer on Section 20, Township 12, Range 1. They located on Lincoln Creek, in the northeast part of the precinct. No further settlement was made until the spring of 1870, at
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