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Biographies on this page:

Fuerhing, Anton
Nichols, James A.
Simpson, Elmer Ellsworth
Stafford, Morgan
Steel, Clinton
Stouch, Maj. George


Among the prominent citizens of Union City is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. A dealer in general hardware, owner of considerable real estate in and about Union City, and one of the most progressive and public spirited men of the community, by his honesty and integrity he has established a worthy and excellent reputation.

Our subject is a native of Prussia, Germany, and a son of Conrad Fuehring. At the age of fourteen his father came to this country, and settled in Columbia county, Wis., where he died in 1879. Anton Fuehring spent his early manhood days in Wisconsin, and at the age of twenty-one enlisted in Company E, Twenty-ninth Wisconsin Infantry, and for three years served under General Grant, until Vicksburg was taken. Afterward he served in the Thirteenth Army Corps, and was wounded at Port Gibson and Champion Hill. He then retured to Wisconsin, and in 1868 went to Humboldt county, Iowa, which was then a new county. There he bought a farm and lived until 1881, when he sold out. His next move was to California, but, not finding a suitable location, he returned to Humboldt county, and, buying another farm, began general farming and the raising of cattle, horses and hogs. His farm consisted of three hundred and twenty acres. In 1892 he sold out and moved to Canadian county, Okla., where he bought a farm near Union City, and during the same year bought several lots in the town. On one of these lots he built a store and residence, 24x40 feet, and in the fall of 1892 opened a full line of general hardware and farming implements. At the present time Mr. Fuehring owns some two hundred and forty acres of land, several lots in Union City, and has built several houses.

Mr. Fuehring was married in Wisconsin to Margaret Sackman, and they have reared five children, namely: John, William, Annie, Louis and Margaret. The oldest son is on the home farm and the younger is in the United States navy. The family attend the Catholic church. Mr. Fuehring is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the school board in Union City.


residing on his farm in section 33. township 13, range 7, is one of the leading agriculturists of Canadian county, and by reason of his interest in public affairs is well known in that county.

Mr. Nichols was born in Columbus. Ga. February 1, 1844, and is a son of William and Sarah (Fields) Nichols. His mother died when he was less than a year old, and the earliest thing he can remember is the city of Atlanta, whither his father had moved, he next remembers when his father drove back to his native county, Johnson county, N. C., then moved to Greensboro, and later to Salisbury. N. C. where he died when our subject was fourteen years of age. There the latter soon took up the trade of a tinner, and after completing his apprenticeship worked as a journeyman at Darlington. S. C. After the Civil war broke out he enlisted in Green's State Battery, Light Artillery, and went to Morris Isle, where he remained until the fall of Fort Sumter. He was mustered out, and after a long interval of time enlisted in Palmetto Sharpshooters, in Longstreet's Brigade. He saw service in Virginia and Tennessee, and was taken a prisoner at the battle of Knoxville, near Bean Station. Then sent to Louisville and held for about two months, he was paroled and his army life ended.

Going to Madison, Ind., on November 1O. 1864, he was married there to Mary E. Snodgrass, a native of Jefferson county, Ind. and a daughter of George K. and Marion (Scott) Snodgrass. She had received a fair education and was an instructor in a school. Soon after his marriage he moved to Livingston county, Ill., and rented land for one year. He did well but gave up that line of work and accepted employment in a tinshop in Fairbury. Ill. One year later he moved to Forrest and lived there for a few years, working at his trade. At length, buying the shop, which was destroyed by fire a few months later, he was unfortunate in losing all that he had. He went to Polk county. Mo., in 1872, and rented land and raised two crops. Then moving to Bolivar, Mo., he hired out at his trade, and after one year started a shop of his own. He continued there until 1877 and made considerable money, but lost most of it by going security for others. In 1887 he went to Sumner county, Kans. and opened a galvanized iron cornice shop at Caldwell. He did well for the first year, and then his trade grew dull and he gave it up. During the following year he was out of employment with the exception of a little work he did in Nevada, Mo. April 22, 1889 he made the run from the northern line, and was in the neighborhood of Kingfisher, but got no claim. Then returning home he and his wife went on a pleasure trip through the Cherokee strip. When he got hack to Caldwell he heard of the laying out of a town site at Reno City. He came here and 1ocated the place where he now lives, consisting of one hundred and three acres. He carries on general farming, and has his farm well stocked, raising thoroughbred Hereford cattle, thoroughbred chickens and a high grade of hogs. He has made all of the improvements on the place and is very successful.

Mr. and Mrs. Nichols have four children: George W., a tinner by trade, who is married and lives in Kansas City: Leo A., a tinner at Yukon, Okla.; Marion L., an electrician in New York City; and Charles A., who is a farmer and has a claim in Washita county.

In 1864 Mr. Nichols cast his first vote for Lincoln and has always voted the Republican ticket. In Polk county, Mo., he was the Republican nominee for county treasurer, but was deleated by the fusion ticket. In 1896 he was the nominee for the territorial council from the Fourteenth senatorial district and was again beaten by the fusionists, although he cut the previous majority of six hundred and seventy-five down to four hundred votes. He was the first trustee of his township. Starting in life with but little education, but possessing the desire to learn, he has taken advantage of all his opportunities, and now has a good library, well read, which would be a credit to any home of culture. He has been closely interested in the growth of this community, and has made speeches through the district, especially during the campaign of 1896. At Forrest, Ill., in 1868, he became a member of the Odd Fellows order and has filled all of the chairs. He became a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Bolivar, Mo., filled all of the chairs, and was a representative to the grand lodge.


Among the pioneer settlers of Canadian county the subject of this sketch is prominent. Within the past few years he has acquired a competence and has won an honored place in the hearts of our sterling citizens. His comfortable home is located on the southeastern quarter of section 27, township 14, range 6, his postoffice address being Mathewson, Canadian county.

As his Christian names indicate, Elmer Ellsworth Simpson sprang from loyal northern ancestry. His birth occurred at the time when sectional strife was at its climax in the Union April 6, 1861. His birthplace was in Christian county, Ill., where his father, Wesley Simpson, now seventy years of age, is still living and highly esteemed in the community. He has long owned the fine homestead where he dwells, and among his possessions in that fertile region are farms comprising over a section of land. The mother of our subject, who was Miss Sarah J. Cheney prior to her marriage, departed this life in 1873.

Elmer E. Simpson is the third in order of birth of the eight children born to Wesley and Sarah J. Simpson. He was given a practical education in the common schools, and long before he attained his majority he had become thoroughly familiar with farming in all its de- tails. When he arrived at maturity he accompanied a brother to McPherson county, Kans., where they took charge of a large farm owned by their father. This place, which was six hundred and forty acres in extent, was especially adapted for the raising of cattle, and the young men industriously embarked in that business. At the end of about five years, or in 1886, our subject went to Gove county, Kans., and there pre-empted some land, which he proved up and then disposed of, owing to the fact that the district was too arid. Returning to his native county he then rented a farm for two years, and when he learned that the beautiful territory of Oklahoma was soon to be opened to the white race he made arrangements and was ready to claim a share at the proper time.

On that well-known 22d of April, 1889, when a new chapter in the history of the United States, unlike any preceding one, was entered upon, Mr. Simpson started into the "promised land" from Buffalo Springs, and was surprised, when he traversed Turkey Creek district, where he desired some land, to find that men not only were already in possession, but many of them had made improvements, driven wells and had trees growing. Somewhat discouraged at this state of things, he finally went to Guthrie, where he found such a demand for workmen that he bought a hatchet and soon played the part of a skilled carpenter and contractor. Everything being extravagantly expensive, he did not manage to save much of his earnings, however, and when the harvesting time in Sumner county, Kans., came on he went there and found employment. One very hot day he had a slight sunstroke, and therefore returned to this territory, as he was temporarily incapacitated for hard labor. On the 20th of July of the same year he filed his claim to his present farm, built a sod-house at once, and then, as he had no means or team, he made another trip to Kansas and earned enough money to buy a yoke of oxen and other things absolutely required. Thus beginning at the bottom rounds of the ladder leading to success, he gradually worked his way upward, and, as he could afford to do so, he continued making improvements upon his homestead, which now is one of the best in the township. In 1896 he purchased the northwestern quarter of section 26, same township, and now he raises large crops every year and finds a ready sale for the products of his farms. He raised two thoroughbred Percherons, of which he has reason to be proud, and the fine animals are not surpassed in this locality.

The first presidential ballot of Mr. Simpson was cast in 1884 for James G. Blaine, and his influence is always given to the Republican party. In his domestic relations he is especially blessed. His marriage to Miss Mittie M. True, of Sedan, Kans., took place in El Reno October 26, 1897. She is a native of Cooper county, Mo., and when she was six years of age she accompanied her parents, Sylvanus and Mary J. (Ross) True, to Kansas, where she was reared. She gained an excellent education, and it was while she was making a visit in Oklahoma that she formed the acquaintance of our subject. Mr. and Mrs. Simpson have one daughter, Grace, born August 20, 1900.



a public-spirited citizen of Reno township. Canadian county. Okla. who takes a deep interest in all that pertains to the general welfare of the county. is engaged in agricultural pursuits and stock raising on his farm in that township.

Mr. Steel was horn in Ohio, and is a son of Alexander and Sarah (Shafer) Steel. His grandfather, George Steel, was a native of Ireland, and his maternal grandfather, Adam Shafer, was of Pennsylvania birth. Alexander Steel was born in Ohio and became a very extensive land owner in that state, holding nine hundred acres of land; also an extensive shipper of stock. He continued in that line of business until his death.

Clinton Steel grew up on his father's farm, and upon reaching his majority went to work on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad as a brakeman. He continued at this for about fourteen months and then went back to his own farm, which had been given him by his father. He farmed there until September, 1889, when he came to Oklahoma territory and filed a claim to the farm he now owns. He engages in general farming and raises considerable grain and stock, being known as one of the heaviest wheat growers in Shell Creek Valley. Two hundred and thirty acres are usually sowed to wheat and corn by this energetic agriculturist, and his farm is well stocked with hogs, cattle and good horses.

In 1892 Mr. Steel was united in marriage with Julia Neshor, who was born in Iowa and is of German ancestry. They are the parents of three children: Bertha M., Alexander and Harry. He is a Republican in politics. In religious belief he is a Lutheran and is very liberal in his support of charities.


whose home is in the southeastern quarter of section 17, township 13, range 6, Canadian county, with postoffice at El Reno, was born in Greene county, Ind., April 4, 1837, and is a son of Jesse and Pamelia (Harrison) Stafford. The father was born near Louisville, Ky., and the mother, a first cousin of General Harrison, was born in Ohio. Her parents moved to Kentucky when she was a girl, and the town of Cynthiana, Ky., was named after two of her sisters, Cynthia and Anna. Mr. and Mrs. Stafford were married in Kentucky, and soon afterward moved to Indiana, where our subject was born. By a former marriage he had two children, and fourteen by his second marriage, eleven of whom grew up. As far as known, there are four living: Joseph V., who is in the Klondike; Mrs. Sarah E. Houston, who lives in California: Zephaniah, who lives in Canadian county, Okla., and Morgan R.

Jesse Stafford died in Greene county, Ind., in 1844, and his widow and ten children moved to Scott county, Iowa, in 1846, where she rented and carried on a farm. She did fairly well and was enabled to buy land there. In 1855 our subject was with General Harney in Kansas during the Sioux war, and in 1856, with his mother, he went to Woodbury county, Iowa, and settled on Floyd river, where they improved a farm and lived until 1861. In the meantime our subject spent a few months near Pike's Peak, landing there April 10, 1859. When the Civil war broke out, nine of the family owned adjoining farms, but those unsettled times, when the Indians became very troublesome, caused them to scatter and they have never been together since.

Morgan R. Stafford was married in Plymouth county, Iowa, February 12, 1860, to Catherine Schmidt, and in 1861 moved to Boone county, where he bought eighty acres of land and lived until the spring of 1864. He sold out and went to Montana to mine for gold, leaving his wife with her parents. He was absent for three and one-half years, and upon his return bought land in Boone county, and lived there until the fall of 1870, when he went to Missouri for the winter. He then located in Sedgwick county, Kans., and took a pre-emption. After improving his place, he sold out and went to Clark county, Kans., where he lost everything. He then came to Oklahoma, April 22, 1889, and made the run with a yoke of cattle, but they gave out on the way and he gave his wagon to a man for drawing the load to Kingfisher. He took lots in that city, and as he had only one cow and seventy-five cents in money, which was small capital to provide for a family of eight, he went to work as a common laborer, and his wife took in washing until they had enough money to start a restaurant in Kingfisher, which they conducted until the next fall. He had located the claim on which he now lives in the preceding May, and on this he moved with his family. He built his present home, set out an orchard of five acres, made many other improvements, and has since prospered.

Mr. and Mrs. Stafford became the parents of ten children, eight of whom grew up. They are as follows: Dorothy, who died in Sedgwick county, Kans., was the wife of George Mackey, and left one child, Arminta, who lives with our subject; Mary, who married Charles Combs, and has two children; Anna, who married Charles Sheets of Canadian county, and has three children; Martha Sophia, who married Charles Shaw, and has three children; Addie, who married Lowell Shaw, by whom she has four children; Minnie Belle, wife of William Smith, and mother of two children; George F.; and Emma, who lives at home. Mr. Stafford cast his first vote in 1860 for Abraham Lincoln. In Floyd county, he was importuned to run for probate judge, but refused. He has served as a school director for seventeen years, was identified with the Alliance, and served as president of the local lodge. He has been a member of the Methodist Church since 1876, has been a class leader and superintendent of the Sunday-school.


who is the efficient agent for the Cheyenne and Arapahoc Indians, with headquarters at the Darlington Agency, was born in Gettysburg, Pa., in 1842. He is a son of Leonard Stouch, a native of the same town, but for years a resident of Kentucky. The earlier part of the major's life was passed in Gettysburg. When fourteen years of age he accompanied the family to Kentucky, where he spent the next five years. November 30, 1861, he enlisted at Washington. D. C.. in Company B. First Battalion, Eleventh United States Infantry, and he joined his regiment on the 28th of December at Perryville, Ind. His promotion was rapid. February 26, 1862, he was appointed corporal; May 6, 1863, he was promoted to be sergeant major for gallant conduct at Chancellorsville; June 8, 1864, he was promoted to be second lieutenant in the Third United States Infantry, and on the 31st of December, 1864. promoted to be first lieutenant. He was made a major and chief commissary of subsistence, United States Volunteers. June 9, 1898 and was promoted to be a major in the Twentieth Infantry, United States army, August 30, 1898.

The history of his service is as follows: He remained in camp with his regiment at Perrysville, Maryland, from December 28, 1861, to March 8, 1862. On the loth of March, the regiment, with others, was organized into what was afterward known as General Sykes' famous brigade of regulars. The brigade crossed Long Bridge the same evening and camped near Alexandria, Va. From this nucleus the army of the Potomac was formed. Major Stouch was with Ihe regiment at the siege, of Yorktown, and about the time the enemy evacuated that stronghold he was prostrated with a severe case of malarial typhoid fever and was sent to the hospital at Annapolis, Md. He reported for duty September 3, 1862, but had a relapse, and was sent to Fairfax hospital, near Alexandria. He returned in service February 18, 1863, and joined the regiment at Camp Potomac, near Falmouth. He was with the regiment at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, where he received a severe wound in the left wrist on the evening of July 2. He was in the hospital at York, Pa., from July 9, 1863 until January 8, 1864, when he was sent to the headquarters of the regiment at Fort Independence, Boston Harbor. June 8, same year, he accepted a commission in the Third Infantry, and three days later joined his command at Fort Hamilton, New York harbor. From that time until his retirement, December 15, 1898, he served continuously with this regiment, being in the departments of Missouri. Dakota and the Gulf until January 16, 1893. During these years he performed various duties, such as those of quartermaster and commissary of the post, judge advocate and other duties that come into the life of an army officer. In 1872-1873 he was recruiting officer at Wheeling, W. Va., and Fort Columbia, N. Y. January 16, 1893, he was made Indian agent at the Sisseton Agency, South Dakota, for the Sisseton Sioux. February 28, 1894, he was transferred as acting agent for the northern Cheyennes at Tongue River Agency in Montana. November 16, 1897, he was transferred as acting agent for the Crows at the Crow Agency in Montana. June 30, 1898. he was relieved as Indian agent and appointed major and chief commissary of the United States Volunteers, and was assigned to duty as chief commissary and purchasing commissary in the department of Colorado July 21, 1898. He was retired from active service December 15, 1898 and on the last day of March, in 1899 he was relieved from duty as chief commissary. December 19, 1899, he was appointed agent for the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, which responsible position he fills with the greatest efficiency.

This is a brief outline, of a long and honorable career, which if fully described, with all its exciting scenes and incidents, would fill a volume, He has been a careful and painstaking official, accurate in every detail, and fitly supplements a record as a brave and daring soldier with that of faithful performance of the duties associated with a life of peace. He has membership in several associations at York, Pa., such as the Royal Arch Masons and the Grand Army of the Republic, and is also a member of the Loyal Legion Commandery of Colorado.

In 1869 he married Miss Augusta Wantz, at York, Pa. They have two children. The daughter, Florence, is now in the Philippines with her husband, Capt. James H. McRea, of the Third United States Infantry. The son, George L., is a veteran of the Spanish-American war and saw active service in the Philippine Islands.