CHRISTIAN H. AHRENDT
Christian H. Ahrendt, of Callaway, Nebraska, is a self-made man, and successful in life through energy and economy. He and his wife came to Custer County wholly without financial resources, but possessed of ambition to get ahead, and a willingness to work hard. He was born in Germany, May 22, 1849, third in the family of eight children born to Henry and Minnie (Butefur), Abrendt, natives of that country. He has two sisters in New York, two in Colorado, one brother in New York, one in San Francisco, and another in Germany. The father came to America in 1876, locating in New York, where he died in 1884. The mother died in Germany in May, 1877.
Mr. Ahrendt grew to manhood on a farm in his native country, and there received his education, fitting himself for the profession of teacher. On December 21, 1877, at Micklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, he married Wilhelmina Wallenburg, also, of German birth, who was for several years a kindergarten teacher. In December, 1883, they came with their two children to America, locating in Buffalo County, Nebraska, and in February, 1885, came to Custer County, and secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land in section ten, township fourteen, range twenty-three. Later they pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres. In 1891, they purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land in section thirteen, township fifteen, range twenty-three, which has since been the home place. They were among the earlier settlers of the County, and have passed through an important stage of its history. They met many discouragements in their early years on the farm reaching the Custer County homestead with but thirty-five cents in money. They were full of courage, however, and lived for a time in a dugout, and later in a sod house. In the fall of 1911, they retired from the farm, and came to Callaway, where Mr. Ahrendt erected a comfortable and modern residence, their present home A family group portrait will be found on another page of this volume.
Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ahrendt, of whom three now survive: Anna Mary, wife of Phil K. Hoffman, has two children; Hulda Christina, wife of George A. Huff, of Kansas, has three children; Otto P., married to Miss Nora Weaver, September 10, 1911. Mrs. Ahrendt's father died in 1904 in Brown County,Nebraska, and her mother lives in Brown County. She has one sister and three brothers in Nebraska, and one brother in Kansas.
Mrs. Ahrendt was always accustomed to the usages and ways of a large city until coming to the western states of America, and her resourcefulness was a dominant factor in the success which they have attained. Both were trained to the work of teachers in the fatherland, and it gave them, the advantage over the average emigrant of their time, in that it sharpened their wit so that they readily improvised methods of procedure to meet and overcome emergencies of all kinds. A notable instance may be mentioned of their first night's experience on their Custer County homestead. Overtaken by a blizzard as they arrived at their destination on a day in January, a few household effects and one pig constituted the entire worldly possession of the family, which at that time numbered two infants, besides themselves. Experience alone can tell what it means to successfully cope with the ferocity of such a storm. The warmth from an enfolding feather bed as it lay on the ground protected the infants, while father and mother did the work of excavating in the side of a bluff that made the temporary habitation, using such material of their furniture as would constitute shelter. The one small stove that burned cornstalks for fuel, and the protecting bodies of the parents, supplied warmth during this night of storm, which made the dugout tenable. Later in the spring, a sod house was built, the sod being turned by a neighbor, who was more fortunate in the possession of a team of horses, Mrs. Ahrendt carrying the sods and the husband doing the actual construction. Close attention is given to the influences that uplift, in the Ahrendt family, and we herewith quote the language of a document awarded to one of its members: "Diploma of Honor, awarded to Hulda Ahrendt for excellence in deportment and recitations, and for regularity of attendance in the Grammar Department School, during the term ending June seventh, 1895. Given at Callaway, State of Nebraska, this seventh day of June, 1895. Signed - Belle L. Cole, Teacher."
BENJAMIN D. ALLEN.
Benjamin D. Allen, an old settler of Custer County, is a successful merchant of Comstock, and well known in the community as a singer. He as born in Pike County, Illinois, August 26, 1847, next to the eldest child of Alfred B. and Emily (Askew) Allen, and the only one of the family to locate in Nebraska. His father was native of Kentucky, and his mother of Illinois, and both are now deceased. He has five brothers and one sister surviving. He was born and reared on a farm and followed agricultural pursuits all his life until recently. In the fall of 1872, Mr. Allen was one of a party of nineteen, men, women and children, who left Pike County with prairie schooners, and came to Grand Island, Nebraska, where they spent the winter months. The following spring Mr. Allen entered the employ of Christopher Ridell, to go with a crew of inen to St. Paul, Howard County, with a steam saw-mill outfit. Although it was a new line of work for him he soon learned its essential features and became a head sawyer on the big saw. They operated at various points along the Loup river for about two years, and in the spring of 1875 Mr. Allen left this occupation and took a pre-emption claim on the northeast quarter of section eight, township eighteen, range seventeen, Custer County, as well as a timber claim, being one of the very first settlers and an original homesteader in the locality. He was successful as a farmer and stock raiser, and although he had to fight the hardships and privations of the pioneer, he remained on the farm during the dry years and by energy and economy reached prosperity and success. He added to his land holdings and retained possession of his original land entry. He did his full share toward advancing the growth and upbuilding of the region and always had at heart its best interests. He was the man who volunteered to carry the news to Fort Hartstuff at the time an Indian uprising was feared, in 1876, riding an old gray horse belonging to Mr. Higgins, and armed with a horse pistol. Captain Munson, at the fort, sent back word to the settlers that they should inform him immediately of any trouble, and while waiting for the troops fight for themselves. In the fall of 1873 Mr. Allen returned to Illinois and married Melissa Curfman, daughter of Joseph and Eliza Curfman, and soon afterward brought her back to Nebraska with him. He gives much of the credit of his success in life to his wife, who is a woman of energy and a high order of intelligence, highly esteemed by her many friends. Mr. Allen is locally well known as "Ben Allen, the singer," and for twenty-nine years has been a chorister. March 1, 1911, he left the farm and came to Comstock to reside, engaging in general mercantile business as a member of the firm of Dvorak & Allen. They are among the leading merchants of that part of the County and have a thriving business. Mr. and Mrs. Allen have seven children: Jennie, wife of D. R. Lee, of Arcadia, has three children; Roe, married and living on the home farm, has three children, Ellittie, wife of George Ruemer, has two children.; Alma, wife of Bert Decker, of Berwyn, Nebraska, has three children; Mott, married and living on section nine, township eighteen, range seventeen, has three children; Bertha, at home; and Celia, wife of William Zablondil, of Comstock, has one child.
RICHARD E. ALLEN
Richard E. Allen, of Arnold, has long been an important factor in the affairs of his community, where he has a wide acquaintance. He is one of successful men of Custer County, and has large land holdings there, owning the town site of Arnold. He was born in Livingston County, New York, April 21, 1857, third of the six children of Silas E. and Amelia (Blakesley) Allen. The parents were natives of New York and were married there. They had one daughter and five sons, but the only member of the family now living in Nebraska is Richard, although two other sons and the daughter at one time lived there. The parents came to Custer County several years after Richard, early in the spring of 1886, he took a homestead in township seventeen, range twenty-five. The mother died in Arnold in February, 1895, and the father some years later removed to Kearney, where he died in May, 1905. The daughter and four sons now survive.
Mr. Allen was born on a farm near Mount Morris, but in 1858, when he was about one year old, the family removed to a farm adjoining the town of Alvira in Clinton County, Iowa. In the winter of 1863 they moved to Linn County in the same state, and Mr. Allen was married December 8, 1878, to Lovira Parks, a native of Iowa and a daughter of Morgan S. and Lydia Parks.
In April, 1880, Mr. and Mrs. Allen and one child left Linn County, Iowa, via the "prairie schooner" route, for Nebraska, accompanied by the family of Joseph Hall. They reached Custer County in June, and July 5 of the same year Mr. Allen filed an entry on a homestead on the northeast quarter of section twenty-eight, township seventeen, range twenty-five. He was the original homesteader of the locality, as at the time he came there were only cattle men living there and using the land for grazing.
In the fall of 1883, Mr. Allen laid out the town of Arnold on a part of the homestead entry. This was one of the early inland towns of the state. In the early days the little settlement had to haul merchandise and supplies from Cozad on the main line of the Union Pacific railroad, and later from Gothenburg, when the latter town came into existence. Before the advent of the homesteaders into Custer County little thought was given to the project of making the region a farming locality, as it was then used only for grazing cattle. Mr. Allen has lived on his homestead since these conditions existed and has made it his home since making the entry on the land, although he is now in the midst of the village of Arnold, which is just beginning to boom as a result of the extension or the railroad to Gaudy, Logan County, through Arnold, in the fall of 1911. After nearly thirty years of existence the town has received new impetus for progress and growth, and Mr. Allen has had much to do with this condition. He was an early merchant in Arnold, but went out of business in 1889. He served seven years in early days as postmaster in the village, following George Arnold, the first postmaster. Since giving up his mercantile interests, he has devoted his attention chiefly to his farming and stock interests, which are extensive. He served as township supervisor during the first year after this system was adopted and has held other local offices, being active in educational matters. He has a host of friends and is a popular and public-spirited citizen.
Mr. and Mrs. Allen have three daughters: Gertrude, married Andrew J. McCant, and they live in Arnold; Myrtle May, married William Chadima, lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Blanche R., married Charles F. McGuire, and they live on the old homestead. The family have a pleasant and comfortable home in Arnold, which is in sharp contrast to their first habitation, which was a pine log cabin.
Alfred Amos is a member of a representative family of Custer County, Nebraska, one whose members have identified themselves with various measures for advancing the public welfare and prosperity. They are prominent in social circles and held in high respect and esteem. Mr. Amos was one of the very early settlers of the County and in his first years there met and overcame various discouragements and trials incident to pioneer life. He was born in Carroll County, Ohio, the eldest of seven children of John Mordecai and Catherine (Thompson) Amos. A sketch of the father also appears in this work. Mr. Amos first saw the light of day October 1, 1851, and grew to manhood on the farm in Ohio, being educated in nearby schools. He engaged in farming as a young man and has since followed that occupation. In 1882 he came west looking for a suitable place to locate permanently, and settled in Custer County, homesteading one hundred and sixty acres of land on section twenty-one, township eighteen, range eighteen.
Mr. Amos then returned to Iowa and on March 1, 1883, was united in marriage with Miss Carrie Carnall, who was born in Iowa. She is a daughter of James and Caroline (Nicholson) Carnall, natives of England, the father born in Lincolnshire and the mother in Essex. Mr. Carnall was educated in his native country and married in London, he and his wife coming to America in 1851 and locating in Fayette County, Iowa. He died in Arlington, Iowa, February 11, 1911, at the age of eighty-six years, and his widow now lives in the old home in Arlington, being now (1911) eighty-two years of age. Mrs. Amos has two brothers and a sister in Iowa; one brother in Mansfield, Missouri; one brother in California, and one brother in Colorado Springs.
Mr. and Mrs. Amos established their first home on the Custer County homestead, soon after marriage, remaining there twenty years. He and his wife each served several years as director of the school board of district number ten, she filling the office ten years. In 1903 they purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land on section twenty-one, township eighteen, range eighteen, which is still the home place. They have a well improved and equipped stock and grain farm and are successful and prosperous to a gratifying degree. They have eight children: Wayne L., of Custer County, married Esther Wooters, and they have one child; James Leland, also of Custer County, married Ida L. Bruner, who died March 30, 1911; Anna S., wife of Milton Copsey, lives near Westerville and has three children; Glenn A., Bert S., Catherine, Caroline and Edith Mildred, all at home. Catherine and Caroline are twins.
JOHN MORDECAI AMOS.
The late John Mordecai Amos was one of the best known and highly respected citizens of Custer County. He was a public-spirited citizen interested in all pertaining to the general welfare and ready to do his share to promote the same. He was born in Pennsylvania, of English extraction, in March, 1831, third of the five children of John and Metsy Amos. He has two brothers living in Ohio, the only survivors of the family. When but a child Mr. Amos went with his brother, William, to Carroll County, Ohio, living on a farm and attending the district schools. He was there married, March 25, 1849, at the home of her parents, to Miss Catherine Thompson, daughter of Zechariah and Priscilla (Albaugh) Thompson, and a native of Ohio. Mr. Thompson was born in Maryland and was an early settler of Iowa, where he died. His wife was born in Ohio and died in Illinois. Mrs. Amos has three brothers in Iowa.
In the late seventies Mr. and Mrs. Amos went to Fayette County, Iowa, where they carried on farming until the spring of 1883, when they came to Custer County and took a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres on section twenty-one, township eighteen, range eighteen, and a tree claim of like size adjoining. This was the home place for a number of years, but in 1905, Mr. Amos retired from active life and purchased ten acres in Wescott, where he lived until the time of his death, July 13, 1907. He is survived by his wife and seven children: Alfred, of Custer County; Lycurgus, Zachariah and William, all married and living in Custer County; Mrs. N. E. Armstrong, of Broken Bow; Mrs. Emma McCuen, of Custer County; Mrs. Laura Westerville, of Scotts Bluff, Nebraska.
Mr. Amos was always interested in the upbuilding of his locality and his wife likewise has identified herself with various measures for the public good. She is active and vigorous and still has the old home, although she spends considerable time visiting among her children. She enjoys the regard of a wide circle of friends and is well known in the community.
Zachariah D. Amos, third son of John M. and Catherine (Thompson) Amos, was born in Ohio, and when sixteen years of age accompanied his parents to Iowa. He came to Custer County in the spring of 1883 and took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres on section twenty-eight, township eighteen, range eighteen. He was married in Valley County, June 7, 1891, to Miss Arabella Love, who was born in Wisconsin, and for some time before her marriage had been a teacher in Nebraska schools. She had also homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land on section twenty-two, township eighteen, range eighteen, where she and her husband now reside. He has served for a number of years as moderator of the school board of district number two hundred and forty-two. Mr. and Mrs. Amos have three children living: Ailsa Bell, Maud L. and Frieda B., all at home. They also have in their household circle, Alice Emerson, whom they have reared since her infancy.
The Amos family have long been known in Custer County as representatives of the best interests of the region and have taken their part in promoting the general welfare and prosperity. Lycurgus Amos, the second son of John M. and Catherine (Thompson) Amos, was born in Carrol County, Ohio, February 13, 1853. A sketch of his father, to be found in this work, gives a full account of the family. Lycurgus (generally Kirk) Amos grew to manhood on the Ohio Farm, was educated in local schools, and as a young man engaged in farming. He was married in Carrol County, December 14, 1871, Isabelle Myers, also of Ohio birth, and daughter of Joseph and Luella (Hardin) Myers, the father of German descent and a native of Ohio, and the mother probably born in Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Myers died in Ohio, where three of their daughters and three of their sons now live.
In the fall of 1880 Mr. and Mrs. Amos came with their three children west as far as Fayette County, Iowa, carrying on farming there until the spring of 1883, when they came to Custer County. They secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land in section twenty-one, township eighteen, range eighteen, which is still the home place, and which has been improved and developed to a fine grain and stock farm.
Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Amos: Merton S., of Custer County, is married and has six children; Cora I., died in 1877, at the age of two years; Otto O., is at home; John M., of Custer County, is married and has one child; Joseph Raymond, of Custer County, is married and has three children; Noel L. and Ted, at home.
Mr. Amos is one of the very early settlers of Custer County, and one of the very few to retain possession of the original homestead for so long a period. He is prosperous and successful and is widely known as a man of high character and integrity, a substantial and useful citizen. He has the confidence and esteem of a large number of friends.
JOHN A. AMSBERRY
John A. Amsberry, a prosperous farmer and stockman of Custer County, is well known for his personal integrity and worth. He was born in West Virginia, September 11, 1850, second in the family of twelve children born to Francis E. and Lucy (Beard) Amsberry. The five sons: William, John, James, Frank and Floyd, all live in Nebraska, the first three in Custer County, Frank in Lincoln and Floyd in Bankleman. The seven daughters live in Custer County. The father, also a native of West Virginia, of English parentage, located in Custer County, Nebraska, in 1884, securing a homestead near Mason City, where his death occurred in 1899. The mother, born in Bedford County, West Virginia, was of Scotch-Irish extraction, and still lives on the home farm, being now (1912) eighty-five years of age. Mr. Amsberry grew to manhood on the Virginia farm, receiving his education in local schools.
In 1871, Mr. Amsberry started out in life on his own account, going to Marion County, Iowa.where he was employed at farm work. However, he was enthused with the liberal opportunities offered in the west, and in the spring of 1874 pushed his way on to Valley County, Nebraska, where he preempted one hundred and sixty acres of land near the town of Ord. After having his crops entirely devoured by grasshoppers in 1874, he returned to Iowa, but the lure of the west called him again and he located in Custer County in the spring of 1878, taking a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land on section thirty-one, township fifteen, range seventeen, where he has remained throughout the years that have since elapsed. He secured a timber claim adjoining, bringing both places to a high state of development and productiveness. He has been active in promoting various public measures, and was one of the organizers of school district number nine, serving several years on the board.
At Knoxville, Iowa, on September 24, 1879, Mr. Amsberry was united in marriage with Miss Mary Buckley, a native of West Virginia, and daughter of Frank and Martha (Blaine) Buckley. Her father, a native of West Virginia, was killed in Iowa, February 15, 1869, while felling timber. Her mother was born in Virginia, and is living in Garden County, Nebraska. One son, Ambrose Buckley, lives in Cheyenne County, Nebraska, and two daughters, besides Mrs. Amsberry, Mrs. M. F. Ashworth, of Ansley, and Mrs. James Smith, living near Mason City, are residents of Custer County. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Amsberry: Zadee, wife of Ray H. Duke, of Mason City, has one son; Frank G. and Nellie, live at home.
Mr. Amsberry is one of the early Nebraskans, and has passed through the many trying experiences and discouragements incident to pioneer existence. He was the fourth homesteader on Muddy creek, and is one of the best known men in his County. Throughout the years of his residence there, he has been identified with the best interests of the County and state. He is the friend of progress along all lines, and a successful man of affairs, being the owner of eleven hun-hundred [sic] and sixty acres of choice land, well improved and equipped for raising stock and grain. He specializes in thoroughbred Angus cattle, having a herd of over one hundred head of registered stock, and is one of the leaders in this line in the region. In 1889, he erected a commodious residence, one of the first frame houses in his neighborhood, and he has various substantial buildings on his farm, suitable for housing stock and various other uses. The first residence on this farm was a dugout, twelve by sixteen, and the cold winter of 1880 and 1881, two boarders were accommodated. On one trip to Grand Island that winter, Mr. Amsberry was delayed by the deep snow, and did not return for eleven days, causing much uneasiness in the household. After the dugout, a "soddy" was the family residence until 1889 when the neat cottage the family now occupies was erected. Several large barns complete the equipment of the place, and a modern system of water supply and sewerage was installed. A full-page view of this picturesque place is to be found elsewhere in this work. Mr. Amsberry was in the County early enough to secure his share of deer and antelope, and remembers when they crowded the hills in great herds. In 1894, the dry year, they raised a garden crop by irrigation, tomatoes and cabbage being especially prolific.
In polities Mr. Amsberry is a republican, and he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. The family are all members of the Baptist church.
Arthur J. Anderson
Among the younger members of the farming community, the above gentlemen is well and favorably known. Although still a young man, he is also regarded as one of the original settlers having come to Custer County at an early period, when he was very young. He is the owner of a fine stock farm of about two hundred acres or so, and is one of the most progressive and successful farmers of the locality.
Mr. Anderson, the son of David and Katherine (Wolf) Anderson, was born in Red Oak, Iowa, on the 18th of December, 1875. He was the eldest of three children, all of whom are still living. His father was of English birth, but had spent practically all of his life in America. He was for years in the ministry of the Evangelical church, and was esteemed by all as a man of high integrity and sterling character. He died on April 21, 1903, on his Custer County farm. The mother, who was of German descent, died in Hamilton County, Nebraska, in 1883.
In early childhood, in fact when he was only about four years old, Mr. Anderson came with his parents to Hamilton County, where he grew to manhood, receiving his education in the local schools. As he grow older, he engaged in farming. In 1892, he came to Custer County, and seven years later, in 1899, on March 22, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Kimball, a native of Stockbridge, Wisconsin, who came to this state in the summer of 1883.
For some years, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson lived on rented farms, but in 1904, he purchased a two hundred acre stock farm in section nineteen, township sixteen, range seventeen. Since his purchase be has made many improvements to the place, so that now it is one of the finest equipped stock farms in the region. A beautiful modern house was built in 1909, which the subscriber and his family now occupy. We are pleased to call attention to a view of the home with its pleasing surroundings, adorning another page of this work.
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, all of whom are living, and at home. They are named as follows: Leo W., David A., Harold W., and Bernard R.
Mr. Anderson, at present serving as director of his school, district number one hundred and nine, is independent in politics, and fraternally is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is still a young man, has been successful in all of his undertakings so far, and it would not be all idle prophecy to predict a very bright future before him. Mr. Anderson's recollection of his early years in Nebraska includes his uncomfortable experiences in the blizzard of January 12, 1888. He was at school, and his father coming for him, they started home. In some way a gust of wind carried his hat away in the storm beyond recovery. In his exposed condition his ears, checks, and nose were severely frozen, giving him a painful reminder of the storm for many weeks after it had passed.
Their first residence on coming to Nebraska was a dug-out, which was later replaced by a frame dwelling; during the earliest years sunflower stalks at times were their only fuel.
HARVEY B. ANDREWS.
Harvey B. Andrews, a notable example of a self-made man, is known as one of the most successful ranchmen and farmers of central Nebraska, and has accumulated some seven or eight thousand acres of land, to which he is steadily adding. He has been a freighter as well as farmer and stockman, and both he and his wife are well known as pioneers, having passed through the days when Custer County was on the frontier.
Mr. Andrews is connected with various banks and other financial institutions of the County and is a man of business acumen and keen judgment. He was born in Alleghany County, Virginia, January 22, 1849, sixth child of the six sons and four daughters of William and Elizabeth (Oliver) Andrews. The parents were natives of Virginia, where they were married and reared their children, and both died in that state. Four sons and one daughter still reside in Virginia. Mr. Andrews lived on the farm where he was born until leaving his native state in March, 1874. Then, in company with a party of about nine youths of that state, he came west into Nebraska, via the Union Pacific railroad to Kearney, where they hired a team and wagon, and with a driver came on to Loup City, Sherman County, and on into the territory of Custer, along the north side Middle Loup river, until reaching a point opposite the mouth of Victoria creek. They forded a river, no small undertaking at that time, and the wagon had to be taken to pieces and floated across, and the stronger men carried across on their shoulders those less able to make their own way over. In this way Mr. Andrews carried over Charles Matthews, who afterward became judge of Custer County and is one of the best known men in central Nebraska. After fording the creek they followed it along the east side until reaching Victoria springs. Of these nine who came on a tour of inspection, Mr. Andrews and Charles Matthews were the only ones who made a permanent settlement at Victoria springs, where they made their camp. Mr. Matthews took a pre-emption where the springs gushed out of the creek and Mr. Andrews took one a little farther up the creek, which later became the Bowley farm. In the fall of 1877 Mr. Andrews made a homestead entry in Cedar canyon, covering the principal part of the little cedar forest there, which was very valuable on account of the timber. Some of the cabins erected from logs taken from this canyon still stand on Victoria creek. Mr. Andrews and Mr. Matthews were the original settlers of their neighborhood, and well remember the time when big game were plentiful along the creek, and the Indians were sometimes troublesome when on their hunting trips there. Jacob Ross and family came to Victoria creek in June, 1874, and gradually others followed, the settlement growing from year to year. Mr. Andrews made his homestead in Cedar Canyon his dwelling place for many years, and there began the successful career he has since carried on. For many years he made his home at his ranch near Anselmo, known as Cedar Lawn, a view of which will be found on another page of this work.
On September 29, 1878, Mr. Andrews married, in Loup City, Jennie daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Morrow) Loughran, who came to Victoria creek in 1876. Mr. Loughran had made a trip to the place in 1874, and at that time took up a homestead, bringing his family for a permanent residence there in 1876. He recently died in his eighty-sixth year, his wife having passed away some years before. Mrs. Andrews' parents were both natives of Ireland, and each had been previously married. The father came to Canada when but fifteen years of age, and married there, where his first wife died. The mother came when twenty-seven years of age, losing her husband and child soon after landing, they dying of "ship fever," supposed by many to be the deadly, contagious disease known as typhus fever. Her father sent her money to return home, but, being proud, she would not use it, and was working at fifty cents a week, saving her wages to take herself home, and, while thus employed, met and married Mr. Loughran, the couple later coming to the west. Mr. and Mrs. Andrews have had eight children, seven of whom now survive: William S., died in infancy; Mary, at home, filed on a homestead five miles north of Anselmo in 1903, and the year following secured four hundred and eighty acres under the Kincaid law, on both of which she made final proof; Charles H., has a Kincaid homestead eight miles north of Anselmo: Jennie. wife of John A. Mack, of Custer County, has three children; Lilly B., Alice, Fannie and Stella Minerva, all at home. These children were all born in Custer County.
Mr. Andrews served some time on the County board as supervisor from the Victoria district, and has been actively interested in public matters. In 1874, he worked at freighting from Grand Island to Fort Hartseff, the military post above Ord, and he has always made the most of his opportunities for advancement along all lines, achieving a high degree of success from an humble beginning, and working hard for his start in the new country. In 1877, Mr. Andrews drove stage in the Black Hills from April 1 to September. During this time, the Indians, who were then hostile, often followed him. The driver of the stage the day before his run, was killed by the redskins, and another day his stage came to the mutilated bodies of two men and a woman, whom they had massacred. These incidents gave him no kindly feeling toward the Indians for many years. The first residence of Mr. and Mrs. Andrews was a log house, and later, on another place, their dwelling was a "soddy." Mr. Andrews has killed buffalo, deer and antelope by the hundreds. For ten years they had no other meat. At the time of the blizzard of January 12, 1888, Mr. Andrews had been to Broken Bow, and got off the train at Anselmo, where he tried to get a liveryman to take him home, offering five dollars for the six mile trip to New Helena, but no one would venture out in such a storm. Purchasing a lantern, he started out along a wire fence, and by the time he reached the end of it, he knew he could make his way on home, which he reached about ten o'clock, thoroughly frightening Mrs. Andrews by coming in at that hour on such a night. At the time of the blizzard of October 15 to 17, 1880, Mr. Andrews had just returned from the Dismal river, where he had a large lot of cattle. He felt the coming of the storm, and hurried home.
Mr. Andrews was originally a democrat in politics, but is now independent of party lines. He is foremost in Masonic circles, being a member of the Broken Bow Blue lodge, chapter and commandery, and of Tangier Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Omaha with Mrs. Andrews and daughter, Lilly, he is also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. In the fall of 1911, Mr. Andrews and family left their ranch at Anselmo, and retired to a farm adjoining the eastern suburbs of Broken Bow.
JUDGE JOSIAH A. ARMOUR.
Judge Josiah A. Armour was the first lawyer to establish a practice within the limits of Custer County, Nebraska, and is one of the best known men of that region. He is a native of Macoupin County, Illinois, fourth of the nine children of Josiah and Eliza (Rhoads) Armour, natives of Kentucky. He was born July 14, 1854. The father was of German and Scotch descent, and the mother of German and English, and he died at Medora, Illinois, while she survives him, and lives at Medora, being eighty-two years of age. Several of their children are deceased, and those now surviving are: Josiah A.; Mrs. Melissa Chandler, of Ansley; Charles B., of Ansley; Mrs. Julia Huffman, of Gering; Mrs. Delia M. Duty, of Medora, Illinois.
Mr. Armour received his elementary education in the country schools of Illinois, and grew to young manhood on a farm. Later he attended Shurtleff College for six years, and graduated therefrom in 1878. The following year he read law with General I. A. Rinaker, and afterwards attended Washington University, where he took a law course. In June, 1880, he located in Edgar, Clay County, Nebraska, and entered upon the practice of his profession. In September, 1881, he removed to Westerville, Custer County, where he remained until the spring of 1887, and then moved to Ansley. He was married in Westerville, March 19, 1882, to Miss Etta Varney, a native of New York state, and a daughter of Edgar and Amelia (Tiffany) Varney, both also natives of that state. The father was born near Saratoga Springs, and served in a New York regiment during the Civil war. He brought his family to Custer County in an early day, and his death occurred in September, 1908, in Ansley, where his widow still resides. Their children are: T. T., S. P. and J. H., living in Ansley; Mrs. Clara Gaines, of Ansley; C. E., of Callaway; Mrs. Millie Brega, of Callaway; Mrs. Lavina Wilkison, of Grand Island, and Mrs. Armour.
In 1884, Mr. Armour secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land in the southeast quarter of section fourteen, township eighteen, range eighteen, and also secured a timber claim of the same size. In the fall of 1897, he was elected County judge, and, through successive re-elections, served eight consecutive years, during which time he lived in Broken Bow. He is one of the oldest settlers of his part of the state, and has had an extensive law practice since coming west. He is a prosperous and successful business man and has secured some nice properties in the County. He is actively identified with the best interests of his County and state, and is held in high regard and respect by all who know him, having a high standing in his profession. For four successive years he served as worshipful master of the Masonic lodge in Ansley, and is well known in Masonic circles in his part of the state. Four children have been born to Judge and Mrs. Armour, namely: Ray, of Great Falls, Montana, married Miss Gertrude Hall, of Broken Bow, and they have one child; Effie I., died March 2, 1888; Roscoe A., is a student in the Chicago Dental School; Avis A., is now attending school.
For many years prior to the death of Mr. Ashworth, he was a leading citizen and successful farmer of Custer County, Nebraska. He came to this County in 1880, and by dint of persistent industry and good management, became the owner of a fine estate. He was a man of excellent character and enjoyed the confidence of the people of this Community to a marked degree.
Mr. Ashworth was born in Iowa, on the fourteenth day of August, 1852, and was the eldest of ten children born to Jasper and Sophia (Miller) Ashworth. His father was a veteran of the Civil war and died in Iowa in February, 1890. The mother is still living. Mr. Ashworth grew to manhood on the Iowa homestead and received his elementary education in the local school. Later he attended a college in Chicago for a couple of years.
On December 25, 1888, in Marion County, Iowa, he was married to Miss Matilda Buckley, a native of West Virginia. They lived for two years in Iowa, and then in December of 1880, came to Custer County, Nebraska, where he took up a homestead of a quarter-section, with an adjoining quarter-section of timber land, about four miles east of Ansley. He lived on this homestead for twenty years.
Mr. Ashworth was closely identified with the development of this section and always lent his influence to every measure which had for its aim the ultimate progress of the community along all lines. He was instrumental in organizing his school district and served as director for many years. He passed away on the first of October, 1902, on the farm which had been his home for so many years, and was survived by his wife and five children. Of the children, Ralph, Grant, Eva May and Carl, are still at home; Ora is now married to Willard Moody and lives in Custer County. The eldest son, Walter, died in the Philippine Islands during the Spanish-American war. He was a member of the Twenty-sixth Oregon Infantry.
After her husband's death, Mrs. Ashworth moved on a farm nearby, which he had purchased some little time before, and lived here until 1909, when she left the farm, and moved to the town of Ansley, where she built the comfortable home which the family now occupy. She still lives there, surrounded by loving children and a host of friends, and enjoys the respect and admiration of the entire community. Her own mother, Martha Blaine Buckley, is still living in Duel [sic] County, Nebraska.
Thompson Baker, a retired farmer whose home is in Ansley, Nebraska, is honored as a veteran of the civil war and respected as a useful, public-spirited citizen. Mr. Baker was born in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, January 18, 1839, eighth of the eleven children born to Richard and Catherine (Thompson) Baker, both also natives of Pennsylvania, the father born in Beaver County and the mother in Mercer County. Both died in Beaver County, the father in 1882, and the mother in 1884. Of their children the following facts are available: James, died in 1863, a prisoner in infamous Andersonville prison; William, died in 1908, at the age of eighty years; Sophronia, and Sidney, live in Pennsylvania; John, lives in Iowa; Robert, died in 1862, while confined in Libby prison; George, lives in Pennsylvania: Richard, lives at Westerville, Custer County; Sarah, lives in Pennsylvania; Thompson, is the specific subject of this sketch. Of these children, six sons served in the civil war, all of them with distinction.
The boyhood and young manhood of Thompson Baker were spent on his father's farm and he received the usual education accorded a farmer's son in those times. December 28, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, One Hundredth Pennsylvania Roundheads, served until the close of the war, and received his final discharge at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 24, 1865. He participated in many important engagements, the most noteworthy of which were: James Island, South Carolina; Bull Run, Virginia; South Mountain, Maryland; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Vicksburg, Mississippi; Jackson, Mississippi; Blue Springs, Tennesse; Siege of Knoxville, Tennessee; Battle of the Wilderness; Spottsylvania Court House; North Anna River, Virginia; Petersburg, Mine Explosion, Popular Grove Church, Hatcher's Run, Fort Steadman, and the final Assault on Petersburg, April 2, 1865. He was promoted to the rank of corporal May 5, 1863; to that of sergeant May 20, 1864, and to first sergeant May 17, 1865.
At the close of the war Mr. Baker returned to Pennsylvania, and there married, October 3, 1865, Sarah E. Huffman, also a native of that state. In March, 1866, this couple moved to Iowa, where they lived on a farm until the fall of 1872, then with his wife and three children, removed to York County, Nebraska, where he secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land not far from the town of York. He also secured a timber claim of a like size. In 1878 he came on farther west to Custer County, which has since been his home. He pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land on Clear creek, where he lived many years.
In the fall of 1880, Mr. Baker was elected sheriff of Custer County. In very early days he did his share in organizing school district number four, and he has always taken great interest in all questions affecting the general welfare and prosperity of the region. In 1897 he moved to Ansley, made his home there for a period of ten years, then returned to his farm, where he lived about two years, and in March, 1910, sold his farming interests and again located in Ansley, where he purchased the comfortable home where they have since resided.
Thirteen children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Baker, of whom eleven now survive: Frank, married and living on Clear creek, eight miles north of Ansley, has three children; Tina, widow of Charles R. Hare, who died September 1, 1904, has one child and lives at Ansley; Richard J., is married and lives in Berwin township, Custer County, and has three children; Walter, married and living on Clear creek, nine miles north of Ansley, has four children; Alice, married Frank Hayse, and they are the parents of three children and live on Clear creek; Hattie B., married William Gardner, and they live on Clear creek, and have eight children; Ralph, a merchant, married and living at Westerville, has three children;, Wesley N., married and living nine miles north of Ansley on Clear creek, has two children; Katehrine, wife of Austin Daniels, lives at Ansley, and they have one child; May, wife of John Davis, lives at Westerville, and they have one child; Maud, wife of Herbert Hollenbeck, lives at Westerville, and they have two children. Mrs. Baker's father, James Huffman, was born in Pennsylvania and spent his entire life there, as did the mother, and Mrs. Baker now has three brothers and a sister still residing in that state. Mr. and Mrs. Baker are well known in Ansley, and vicinity, and have many warm personal friends.
Mr. Baker assisted in the organization of Steadman Post number one hundred and eighty, Grand Army of the Republic, at Westerville, Nebraska, and for a long period of years was active as a member. He is also a member of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Ansley lodge number one hundred and fifty-six.
WARD W. BARNES
Ward W. Barnes, who for the past many years has been identified with the farming and business interests of Howard County, has also taken an active part in the political and official life of that region. While pursuing his career he has done his full share in helping to build up the vicinity and has become prosperous and successful, now being among the popular men of his County.
Mr. Barnes was born in Allegany County, New York, June 30, 1854. At the age of three years he accompanied his parents west, they locating in northern Illinois, where they lived for about six years. They also lived in Warren County, Illinois, for a number of years, and in 1873 removed to Iowa, settling on a farm in Ringgold County. During the third year of their residence in that state our subject started in life for himself, beginning farming on his own account, also worked out by the month. He was married on the twentieth day of March, 1881, to Miss Mattie Shaffer, of Ringgold County, Iowa, and the following year they came on to Valley County, Nebraska, remaining one year. In the spring of 1883, they moved to Greeley County, settled on a rented farm, spent a short time there, and then took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in Custer County, the family taking possession of their new home in the following spring. They remained there but one year then relinquished on the claim and returned to Greeley County, living there for one year. Their next move was into Howard County, where Mr. Barnes worked rented land for about ten years, then purchased one hundred and sixty acres situated in sections twenty and twenty-nine, township sixteen, range twelve, which tract was mostly under cultivation, and for which he paid three thousand two hundred dollars. He remained on the farm up to 1906, then sold out for eight thousand dollars, showing the phenomenal rise in land values during that time, although, of course, he had added various improvements to the place. In the spring of 1906 he purchased a ten-acre tract just at the edge of Cotesfield, and built thereon a comfortable residence, which he still makes his home.
Mr. Barnes is an active public-spirited citizen, a populist in politics, and has served officially in Elba precinct from 1898 to 1905, inclusive, as assessor during most of that time. In the fall of 1906 he was elected County commissioner and re-elected in 1909, which office he is still filling. During his residence in Greeley County he held the office of treasurer of the County, also was a Member of the Union district school board.
Mr. Barnes' first wife died on May 10, 1894, and two years later he was married to Miss Mary Cook, of Howard County. There were seven children born of the first union, named as follows: Etta, Earl and Goldie, all married and settled in comfortable homes in Howard County; Mary and Mabel, are employed as long distance telephone operators in the St. Paul offices of the telephone company, while Claude and Reuben are both farming near Cotesfield. The four children resulting from Mr. Barnes' second marriage are: Lester, Edmond, Emil and Armel May, all living at home.
Daniel Barrett, of Broken Bow, is an early settler of Custer County and has always been closely identified with the progress and upbuilding of his part of the state. He is an energetic and successful man of affairs and owns a fine stock and grain farm of nearly five hundred acres, which he has improved, developed and equipped by his own efforts. He also owns some desirable city property and in 1904 purchased the pleasant home in Broken Bow where the family have since resided. Mr. Barrett was born in Warren, Illinois, March 17, 1854, a son of Hercules and Susan (Hawkeye) Barrett, natives of England. The parents came to America in 1848, locating in Wisconsin, but later removed to Cass County, Iowa, where both died, he in 1887 and she in 1885. Their children who now survive are: Henry lives seven miles west of Merna in Custer County; a daughter lives in Jackson County, Iowa, one in Omaha, and one in Cass County, Iowa; one daughter lives in Spokane, Washington.
In early childhood Mr. Barrett went with his parents to Cass County, Iowa, where he received his education and grew to manhood, later engaging in farming there. He was married in Montgomery County, Iowa, to Esther Electa Booth, a native of New York state, a daughter of C. W. and Nancy (McNinch) Booth, also natives of that state and now living seven miles east of Broken Bow, having come to Custer County in an early day. Mr. Booth served in the civil war. Mrs. Barrett has three sisters and five brothers living in Custer County, namely: Mrs. Cora Hethley, Mrs. Grace Coulter, Mrs. Lizzie Shoup, Ed, Joseph, Ernest, William and George. Mr. and Mrs. Barrett made their first home in Iowa and in March, 1887, brought their one child, a son, with them to Custer County and secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land in section three, township sixteen, range twenty-two, which was their home for a number of years. For several years Mr. Barrett served as a member of the school board of district number one hundred and forty-eight, and he has always been ready to forward any worthy cause in the community. Mr. Barrett and wife have had four children, as follows: Charles, is married and lives in Dunning, Nebraska; Orlonzo died June 28, 1888; Bertha E. lives at home, and Eugene died March 11, 1901. The family are well regarded and have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
FRANK L. BEALS
Frank L. Beals is one of the younger men of Custer County who are prominent in financial and business circles, and he is recognized as a man of sterling qualities and business ability and integrity. He is now manager of the Farmers' Bank of Merna, one of the leading institutions of Custer County, with a paid up capital of fifteen thousand dollars, and whose charter was granted January 19, 1909. The president of the company is B. F. Cox, the vice president E. H. Daley and the cashier Frank L. Beals, who is also the active manager. The bank was organized by pioneer settlers of the County and its officers have lived in the County for many years. The company, owns a modern bank building and has it well equipped room for the transactions which are carried on there. This is considered one of the solid financial institutions of central Nebraska and has already won a wide reputation for modern methods and sound business principles.
Mr. Beals was born in Wayne County, Iowa, March 4, 1873, and came to Custer County with his parents in 1887. He was the third born of the five children in the family of Isaac and Mary (Kellenberger) Beals, the father a native of Vermillion County, Illinois, and the mother of Kentucky. The parents, with their four children, came to Nebraska in the spring of 1887 and Isaac Beals was one of the early settlers of Custer County, securing a title to the southwest quarter of section twelve, township eighteen, range twenty-three, which was his home until the time of his death in December. 1894. He was survived by his widow and the following children: Frank L., of this sketch; Anna,Mrs. A. D. Hunt, of Custer County, and Nellie, Mrs. Edwin Hewett, of Spokane, Washington.
Frank L. Beals lived on the farm in Custer County until 1906, when he located in Anselmo, and in January, 1909, he came to Merna and assumed his present business connection. He was married in Anselmo December 20 1908, to Jessie Parkison, and one child has been born of this union, Ruth Helen. Mr. Beals and his wife are prominent in social circles and he is a member of the Masonic order. Both are highly regarded by their many friends and are always ready to do their share to promote the general welfare and prosperity of their County and state.
Benard Beechler, who has recently erected a splendid modern residence in Callaway, Nebraska, and retired from farm life, is well known in central Nebraska as a prosperous and successful farmer and ranchman. He is the owner of thirty-three hundred acres of fine stock and grain land, and has long been closely identified with the progress and development of his County and state. He is a native of Luxemburg, Germany, born January 17, 1851, third of the eight children of John and Angeline (Fisher) Beechler, both of German birth. The parents died in their native country, the father in 1899 and the mother in 1866. Mr. Beechler has one brother, John, living in Custer County, and the other surviving members of the family live in Germany.
Mr. Beechler reached maturity in his native city, and there received his education, later spending two years in France, where he worked on a farm. In 1870, at the age of nineteen years, he came to America, and on to Iowa County, Wisconsin. He went on to St. Louis soon after, and there spent two years working in a large wholesale house. Returning to Iowa County, he was for eight years connected with a grain elevator business.
Mr. Beechler was married at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, July 28, 1875, to Miss Kate Bloom, a native of Nassau, Germany, who came to America in infancy, and located near Mineral Point. The father, George Bloom, died in Germany, and the mother, whose maiden name was Katherine Horn, who made her home with Mrs. Beechler, died November 14, 1911. Mrs. Beechler has a brother, who resided in Longmont, Colorado, who met his death in a runaway accident, November 2, 1911, and a sister in Fillmore County, Nebraska
. In June, 1983, Mr. Beechler decided to seek the larger opportunities offered in the west, and made a trip to Nebraska, looking for a location. He filed on a homestead and timber claim, aggregating three hundred and twenty acres of land, in section three, township sixteen, range twenty-three, which has since been the home place, and later he pre-empted one hundred and eighty-two and one-half acres. He was instrumental in the organization of school district number one hundred and two, and for some years served as treasurer of the board. He also helped establish the road, district in his neighborhood, and has filled various town offices. He developed his farm into a splendidly improved-and equipped stock and grain farm, and for the last twelve years has specialized in raising Shorthorn cattle. He has seventy-five acres of natural timber in his ranch, which is well located in the midst of a rich farming region. He retired from active life in the fall of 1911. Mr. and Mrs. Beechler have three children: Lena, wife of H. M. Davenport, of Custer County, has three children; Katherine and Benard J., live at home.
GEORGE O. BENGER
One of the sound financial institutions of Custer County is Callaway State Bank, which was organized and is owned by local business men. The head of this concern is George O. Benger, a selfmade man, who has made his success in the County. He is also associated with his son in breeding Hereford cattle and English black hogs, having the only herd of the latter west of the Missouri river. Mr. Benger was born in England, October 23, 1856, youngest of the eleven children of William and Jane Benger. He left his native land in the fall of 1875, and upon reaching the United States settled in York County, Nebraska, where he engaged in farming and stock raising.
In February, 1880, Mr. Benger came to Custer County and took a homestead on section fifteen, township seventeen, range twenty-three. Later in the year he came to Callaway, which has just come into existence, and engaged in the livery business. In 1890 he sold his business and purchased Arthur Bird's hardware stock. He continued in this enterprise until selling out to Higbee & Keyes, some years later. He spent four or five years on the ranch and then returned to Callaway, where he was one of the organizers of the Callaway State Bank, in which he is still a stockholder. This bank was organized March 1, 1902, its first officers being: Frank H. Young, president; John Moran, vice president; J. H. Decker, cashier; with a capital stock of ten thousand dollars. On September 1, 1911, the following officers were elected: George O. Benger, president; W. T. Keyes, vice president; F. M. McGrew, cashier. It has a capital of fifteen thousand dollars, with surplus of three thousand dollars, and occupies a handsome and well equipped building. The deposits are one hundred thousand dollars, and its stockholders and directors are among the substantial business men and farmers of the locality.
Mr. Benger has always retained land interests in Custer County and is widely known for his activity in the ranch and stock business. He is prominent in financial, social and educational circles, and is closely identified with various business ventures in central Nebraska.
On June 1, 1884, Mr. Benger war, married at Callaway to Miss Clara McCleary, daughter of John and Nancy McCleary, and a native of Indiana, but reared in Iowa. Five children have been born of this union, but two of whom now survive: Curtis B., married and living on the Benger stock ranch west of Callaway, has one child, and Gladys E., wife of H. H. Lamb, bookkeeper in the Callaway State Bank.
JUDGE JOHN S. BENJAMIN
Judge John S. Benjamin is one of the oldest settlers of Custer County and one of the best known citizens in his part of Nebraska, where his name stands for progress. He is honored and respected as a veteran of the civil war, and has a wide circle of personal friends. He was born in Ithaca, New York, March 15, 1839, being fourth in a family of six children and a son of Selah T. and Mary (Townley) Benjamin, natives of New York, where both died, he in 1876 and she in 1853. Several of their children are deceased and besides Judge Benjamin, the only other one now surviving is Harrison H., of Ithaca.
Judge Benjamin grew to manhood in his native state and there received his education, later learning the trade of cigar-maker. On September 10, 1861, he enlisted from Ithaca in Company E, Sixty-fourth New York volunteer infantry, serving until the close of the war. He was discharged at Elmira in May, 1865, having participated in the following important engagements: Gettysburg, Antietam, Spottsylvania Court House, Fredericksburg, Wilderness, Fair Oaks, Peach Orchard, Malvern Hill, White Oak Swamp, Chancellorsville, second Bull Run and Petersburg, Virginia. He was wounded at Fredericksburg, and at Petersburg was taken prisoner and held in Andersonville prison ten months. He held the rank of second lieutenant, and later that of first lieutenant, and finally that of captain of his company. He won a good record for faithful service and after the close of the war returned to New York, and there engaged in the cigar business on his own account, which he continued until 1868 In that year he removed to Marshall, Michigan, and there on March 12, 1874, he was united in marriage with Delia Murphy, a native of Michigan, and daughter of Michael and Ann (Calhoun) Murphy, her father born in Cork, Ireland, and her mother in St. John's, New Brunswick. Both parents died in Marshall, Michigan, the father in 1869, and the mother in 1862. One daughter lives in Battle Creek, Michigan, and a son in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In December, 1881, Mr. Benjamin brought his wife and two children to Grand Island, Nebraska, and in the following March they came to a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land on section twenty-nine, township seventeen, range twenty, adjoining the city limits of Broken Bow. This has since then been the home place, and for many years the family occupied a sod house that was characteristic of the time and locality. In 1883 he was appointed County judge and served about a year and a half, after which he was elected to the office and held it a number of years. He was for some time Commander of Washburn Post, G. A. R., of Broken Bow. He and his wife have witnessed the steady growth of Broken Bow from the time it consisted of one house and the postoffice and have done their share towards forwarding its development and welfare.
Judge and Mrs. Benjamin have two children, Eva, wife of Harry Townley, of Ravenna, Nebraska, and John S., Jr., who is now in the theatrical profession. The latter enlisted in 1898 as musician in Company M, First Nebraska volunteer infantry, for service in the Spanish-American war, and soon afterward entered active service, participating in the capture of Manila. He received his discharge at San Francisco. [J]udge Benjamin is a member of the Knights of Pythias.
THOMAS C. BERRY
Thomas C. Berry, proprietor of Pleasant Valley Farm, is one of the original homesteaders of Custer County, who still owns his first home, and he is a pioneer stock farmer of the region, passing through the year of disheartening drouth and other crucial periods. He is one of the most successful agriculturists in his part of the state and in the spring of 1911 erected a fine farm residence on his place which is modern in every respect, having water, furnace and gas, for the comfort and convenience of the family. A view of this especially improved home, with its large barns and other buildings adorns one of our illustrative pages.
Mr. Berry was born in Clinton, Oneida County, New York, September 23, 1858, the fifth of the nine children born to Thomas and Ellen (Rohen) Berry, and one of four sons. The father was a native of Ireland and was married in London, England, coming to America with his wife in 1850. They spent several years in New York and in 1869 located in Janesville, Wisconsin, removing two years later to Dallas County, Iowa. The father was a shoemaker by trade and lived several years in Dallas Center. The sons located on a farm near Dallas Center and in 1876 the father and family moved to Greene County, Iowa, the mother and father being now deceased. Four sons and two daughters still survive, but Thomas C. is the only one in Nebraska.
Mr. Berry grew to young manhood on a farm, and was educated in the public schools, but also learned the trade of carpenter. He was married at Jefferson, the County seat of Greene County, Iowa, February 19, 1882, to Elizabeth Soy, a daughter of William and Mary (Fennesy) Soy, all natives of Illinois. With their two little sons, Mr. and Mrs. Berry came to Custer County, arriving there October 5, 1887, and taking a homestead comprising the northeast quarter of section twenty-five, township seventeen, range eighteen, and this has since been the family home, where for twenty-two years they occupied a sod house prior to building their present commodious dwelling. Mr. Berry now owns a four hundred acre farm, the north half of section twenty-five, and eighty acres in section twenty-four, which is well improved and developed, being equipped for its successful operation and containing suitable and substantial buildings.
Mr. Berry and wife have nine children living, all except the first two born in Custer County, vis.: Charles and Thomas W., born in Iowa, the former unmarried, and the latter, who lives at Alliance, is married and has one child; Mabel, wife of Curtis Tucker, living in Nebraska, has one child; Ella, Maggie, Lawrence, George, Frank and Philbert, all at home. Mr. Berry and family are widely known, and have a large circle of friends. In national politics he is a republican, but in local elections votes for the best man.
Among the hardships of the early days, in 1893 a thousand-dollar crop was destroyed in the brief space of five minutes, and the meadow looked like a plowed field. During this terrible storm the family sought shelter in a cave. In 1894 the drouth left them nothing in their fields, but prosperity has smiled on them since. During the blizzard of January 12. 1888, Mrs. Berry was alone on the place, Mr. Berry being absent working at the Algurnal mills to support the family during those hard times.
WATSON W. BISHOP
Although not one of the first settlers of Custer County, Nebraska, Watson W. Bishop is classed among the earlier ones, and he has always been identified with the cause of progress along educational and various other lines in his County and central Nebraska. He was born in Piper City, Illinois, April 18, 1860, third of six children in the family of Lucas and Hannah (Watson) Bishop, natives of New York state, and now deceased. A son and a daughter now reside in Illinois, and the other daughter, Mrs. David Hannah, lives in Central City, Nebraska, being the only member of the family residing in that state, besides Watson W., the subject of this sketch.
Mr. Bishop, who was one of four sons, was reared on an Illinois farm, and received the usual education given a farmer's son. He remained at home until his twenty-first year, and in the spring of 1881 went to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and engaged in carpenter work, spending four years there. On June 25, 1880, he was married at Piper City to Miss Emma Thompson, daughter of James
M. and Margaret Thompson. In the spring of 1885, he and his wife, with their only child, left Grand Rapids for Lincoln, Nebraska, where they lived one year, then spent one year in Austin, Texas, and in the spring of 1887, with their daughter, Zoe, they came to Broken Bow, Nebraska. Mr. Bishop engaged in business as contractor and builder, and did a great deal of work in erecting buildings in the then new town of Broken Bow. His father later acquired land on section ten, township seventeen, range twenty, in Custer County, and this farm became the home of the Bishop family in 1902, prior to which they had continued to reside in Broken Bow since first locating there. Mr. Bishop now owns a well equipped grain and stock farm of four hundred and eighty acres of land, which has suitable and substantial buildings. The land was unimproved when he came to live on it, and not only has he developed the farm for agricultural purposes, but he has also set out a very creditable orchard for the length of time he has spent in setting out and cultivating trees.
Mr. and Mrs. Bishop have two daughters, Zoe and Madge, both at home. The former, wife of Ollie Heaps, has one child, Margaret. Until 1905, Mrs. Bishop was for many years a teacher in the public schools of Custer County, also teaching for a time in Colfax and Logan counties, being a woman of high attainment and ability as an educator, and in this connection has left an impress upon the young men and women who have come under her influence and teaching. Her father served in the civil war, and his death occurred from exposure in January, 1863, while he was in service. Her mother is also deceased, and she has one brother, Ira Thompson, who lives in New Mexico.
FRANCIS S. BIVENS
Francis S. Bivens was one of the very early settlers of Nebraska, and now owns a fine grain and stock farm on section thirty-one, township seventeen, range seventeen, Custer County. He is a native of Fulton County, Pennsylvania, born January 13, 1845, fifth of nine children born to John and Mary (Leafti) Bivens, who had five sons and four daughters. The father died in Pennsylvania in March, 1865, and the mother, with four of her children, removed to Illinois, where they lived on the line of Knox and Fulton counties for eleven months. Late in October, 1867, they moved to Seward County, Nebraska, and became true pioneers of that section of the state. She and her son, Francis, each took a homestead there, and later two of the other sons, on coming of age, did the same.
Francis S. Bivens was born and reared on a farm, and in early life spent a short time at mining in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. He was married, March 9, 1865, to Miss Lizzette Fegley, and in the fall of 1867, removed to Illinois. The following year he came with an ox team from Illinois to Seward County, the six weeks trip being one of hardship and even danger; in some places even water was refused them, either for personal use or for stock. His mother and some of her children came with him, and his wife, in speaking of the trip, tells of walking many miles of it. There was at that time but one cabin at Seward, and but two at Lincoln.
On first coming to Seward County, Nebraska, the family lived in a log house, which was later replaced with a large soddy, and this in time by a good frame dwelling. At that time buffalo still ranged the prairies west of Kearney, and the Indians at times were hostile, committing occasional depredations. Mr. Bivens well remembers the three-day blizzard of March, 1869, one of the worst since civilization spread to the west of the Missouri. On the fourth day, when the storm abated, he took a load of charcoal to Lincoln, to market. Those were strenuous days of great hardship, but easily borne, because of the early settlers' great hardihood.
Mr. Bivens and wife have nine children: Thomas, married and living in Sherman County, has five children; George, married and living in Rossville, New Mexico, has one child; Minnie, wife of Henry Oschlo, of Custer County, has six children; Daniel C., married and living in Hitchcock County, Nebraska, has two children; Harry, married and living six miles north of Sargent, has five children; Mary, wife of William Oschlo, of Greeley County, has four children; Daisy wife of Otto Conway, living in the state of Washington, has two children; Frank, at home, and Pearl, wife of John Tucker, of Custer County has one child. In political views, Mr. Bivens is democrat on national questions, but votes for the man in local elections. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
After being identified for many years with the upbuilding and progress of the earlier settled portion of Nebraska, Mr. Bivens sold out there in 1890, and moved to the state of Washington but returned to Nebraska the following year, and purchased the northeast quarter of section thirty-one, township seventeen, range seventeen, Custer County, where he has a fine farm and a comfortable home. He and his wife are well known the community, and are considered desirable additions to the social life of the neighborhood where they live. They are both busy and active in all public matters calculated to advance the general welfare, and have a wide circle of friends.
CHARLES W. BOOTH
Charles W. Booth, a progressive citizen of Custer County, Nebraska, is one of the early settlers of his region, and is much interested in everything pertaining to the welfare of his County and state. He was born at Centerville, N. Y., June 25, 1833, being fifth of the ten children born to Alfred J. and Cynthia (Smith) Booth. He has two brothers now living in Michigan and his other brothers and sisters are deceased. Mr. Booth was reared and educated in his native state and there engaged in agricultural operations when he reached a suitable age. He was married December 25, 1860, to Miss Nancy McNinch, a native of Livingston County, New York, and reared in that state.
In August, 1862, Mr. Booth heard the call of his country and enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Thirty sixth New York Infantry, serving until the close of the war. He received his final discharge at Rochester, New York, in June, 1865, having earned an honorable record. The more important battles in which he participated were: Lookout Mountain, Missoinary [sic] Ridge, Knoxville, Peach Tree Creek and Atlanta. He also took part in numerous minor engagements and accompanied Sherman on his famous march to the sea. At the close of the war he returned home and in 1868 removed to Michigan, where he lived several years.
In the early seventies Mr. Booth came to Otoe County, Nebraska, shortly afterward moving to Iowa, and in 1888 he returned to Nebraska and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land in Custer County, and a tree claim of the same size near Broken Bow. He sold his farm, which he had developed and improved, in 1900, spent one year at Broken Bow, then purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land on sections thirty-three and thirty-four of township seventeen, range nineteen, which has since been the home place. It is a well-improved and equipped stock and grain farm and is in a pleasant location in the County. Mr. Booth has the esteem and friendship of his neighbors and associates and stands well in his community.
Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Booth, as follows: Mrs. Electa Barrett, of Broken Bow, has two children; Edwin, married and living, in Custer County, has five children; Joseph, also married and living in the County, has three children; Mrs. Cora Heffele, of Custer County, has eight children; William, also of the County, is married and has one child; Ernest, of Custer County, has four children; Mrs. Grace Coulter, of the County, has two children; Mrs. Lizzie Shoup, also of Custer County, has two children; George has two children. The members of the family are well-known in Custer County for their uprightness and stability of character and their interest in every movement for the general good. There are twenty-eight grandchildren in the family.
JABEZ I. BOWMAN
The Bowman family were among the very early settlers of Nebraska, where they located in 1862, when Jabez I. Bowman was about four years of age. He was born in Keokuk County, Iowa, November 20, 1858, seventh born of the ten children of Albert and Mary (Covault), Bowman, and one of four sons. The parents moved from Iowa to Denver, Colorado, in the spring of 1862 and in the fall of that year moved to Plattsmonth, Cass County, Nebraska, where the father engaged in the trade of harness maker. He was, an enterprising business man and had also learned the trades of carpenter and tinner. Later he secured a homestead three and one-quarter miles northeast of Greenwood, Cass County, and the family lived for some time on this farm. The parents afterward moved to Broken Bow, Custer County, where they died. One daughter, Mrs. E. V. Phillips, and one son, G. W. Bowman, live in Broken Bow; Mrs. Rhoda Carnes lives in Greenwood, Nebraska, and Mrs. Elizabeth E. Russell lives in Broken Bow.
Jabez I. Bowman lived on his father's homestead until his marriage, January 2, 1881, to Sarah, daughter of Columbus and Phoebe Jenkins, which took place in Louisville, Cass County. Mrs, Bowman was born in Iowa and came to Nebraska with her parents about 1868. They were among the pioneer families of Cass County and Mr. Jenkins was a veteran of the civil war. After his marriage Mr. Bowman moved to a rented farm in Cass County and in the fall of 1883 came to Custer County, securing a homestead where, in the following spring the family located. They occupied this place several years, and he had improved and developed it to a considerable degree, then they sold out and since then Mr. Bowman has operated various farms in the vicinity. At the present time he is carrying on the old Caywood farm, which is the property of his sister, Mrs. Eliza V. Phillips, before mentioned. He is an energetic and industrious farmer and an excellent business manager and he and his family stand well in the community, where they enjoy the regard of a large number of friends. Six children were born to him and his wife, namely: Elmer Dexter; Albert Columbus, deceased; Claude Lester and Clyde Leroy, twins, the latter deceased; Jabie Leeson and Willis Talbot. All were born in Nebraska except Jabie, who was born in Harrison County, Iowa. Both Mr. Bowman and his wife have passed through the years of hardship and privation incident to pioneer life, and both have always held themselves in readiness to do anything they could to advance the interests and welfare of the County and state. Mrs. Bowman's parents are both dceased [sic], and the only one of the Jenkins family living in Nebraska is her brother Benjamine of Havelock, the others being residents, of Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Bowman are both members of the fraternal order, the Yoemen of America. A family group picture of the Bowman family is presented on another page.
JOSEPH E. BRADBURN
Joseph E. Bradburn and wife belong to two of the oldest families of Custer County, and enjoy the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends. Mr. Bradburn is a native of Schuyler County, Missouri, born July 20, 1859, the eldest child of Mart and Ruth (Montgomery) Bradburn, who were parents of five sons and one daughter. The mother died in Missouri and the father brought two children to Custer County in 1884, being one of the original homesteaders there. He died January 21, 1898, and of his children who survive, Joseph E. and Mrs. George Myers, of Broken Bow, are the only ones living in Custer County. Three sons live in Washington.
Mr. Bradburn lived in Missouri until attaining his eighteenth year, then moved to York County, Nebraska, and a year later went to Fort Lupton, Colorado, where he remained three years, and then removed to the state of Washington, and worked in the lumber woods there for a time. June 23, 1884, he secured a homestead in north half of the northeast quarter of section twenty-eight and the south half of the southwest quarter of section thirty-three, township eighteen, range nineteen, where he engaged in farming and stockraising. After living there ten years he purchased a farm near Merna, and in the spring of 1897 he and his family moved to their present farm on the northwest quarter of section seven, township seventeen, range nineteen, where he has a fine grain and stock farm of three hundred and twenty acres of land. He came to the County first in the early cattle days, but has in the last few years devoted much of his attention to grain and hog raising. He is a successful farmer and has a well-equipped and improved farm. In the earlier days of his residence he served as supervisor for two terms.
On April 28, 1884, Mr. Bradburn married Mary J. Lawton, daughter of Jacob and Mary Lawton, the ceremony taking place in Bloomfield, Iowa. Her parents were original homesteaders of Custer County, where they located in 1887. Both died at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bradburn, the father passing away in February, 1898, and the mother in August, 1907. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bradburn, of whom. six survive: Grace, Jessie, Wilbur, Ernest, Twila, and Marion, all members of the home circle, and Clyde, deceased. The oldest daughter, Grace, is a graduate of the Baptist college at Grand Island and in 1911 accepted a position as instructor of science in the Shelton (Nebraska) high school. All the children were born in Custer County. The Bradburns are one of the best known families of their locality and have the respect and regard of a large number of friends.
JOHN N. BRANDENBURG
John N. Brandenburg, of Broken Bow, is one of the earlier settlers of Custer County, and is well regarded as an enterprising and public-spirited citizen, who is actively interested in every measure for the betterment and development of his community. Mr. Brandenburg is a native of Darke County, Ohio, born July 18, 1834, a son of Jacob and Jane (Freel) Brandenburg. He was one of a large family, but he and his brother, William, of Indiana, are now the only survivors. The father was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, of German parentage, and the mother, a native of Greene County, Ohio, was of Scotch-Irish extraction. He died in Ohio about 1854, and the mother died in Indiana in 1861.
Mr. Brandenburg grew to manhood on a farm in his native state, received his education principally in subscription schools, and when about twenty years of age, went to Indiana and worked at farming. Later he purchased land for himself, and engaged in farming on his own account. On August 26, 1858, he was united in marriage, in Grant County, Indiana, with Miss Frances Allen, a native of that state, and after living more than thirty years of their wedded life in Indiana, they came, in January, 1893, to Custer County. He secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land near Merna, and also purchased eighty acres of land adjoining. This was the home place until September, 1909, when Mr. Brandenburg sold his farming interests, and came to Broken Bow, where he erected his present modern residence. While living on the farm, he served some time as moderator of the school board of district number seventy-seven, and was actively interested in education and other measures for the improvement of the community.
Nine children were born to Mr. Brandenburg and wife, namely: Henry A., is married, and lives eight miles northwest of Broken Bow; William C., of Custer County, whose wife died in 1895, has one child; Thomas E., of Indiana, has six children, Elizabeth, wife of O. J. Life, of Bridgeport, has three children; Charles M., living near Merna, has five children; Franklin W., lives east of Merna, and he and his wife have two children: Emma M., wife of Jesse Small, of Oklahoma, has one child; Lucy E., wife of Merritt Gordon, living near Merna, has two children; Clayton P., of Iowa, has two children. Mr. Brandenburg is well and favorably known, in the County, and, besides good city property, owns some farming land in Oklahoma.
Mrs. Brandenburg's father, John Allen, was a native of Tennessee, and died in Iowa, and her mother, whose maiden name was Rachel Newby, was a native of Jackson County, Indiana, and died in Iowa. Mrs. Brandenburg has a sister in Iowa, one in Indiana, and one, Mrs. Esther McCracken, in Broken Bow.
RICHARD E. BREGA
Richard E. Brega has for long been a prominent factor in the farm, ranch, business and financial life of Custer County. He is one of the County's earliest settlers and belongs to a family that has been active in many circles. He was born in Brampton Canada, October 1, 1861, next to the eldest of the six children of Frank B. and Charlotte E. (Birdsall) Brega, the father a native of Jamestown, Virginia, and the mother of Canada, where they were married. The father of Frank B. Brega, was one of two hundred and seventy exiles who were sent out of Spain for political offenses, and was a member of the nobility. The parents moved to Detroit when Richard E. Brega was about twelve years of age and he there completed his education. About 1876 the family moved to Fairbury, Illinois, and a year or two later to Custer County. There were the father and mother and six children, and they took claims of homesteads, pre-emptions and timber claims to the number of sixteen, all in Custer County. The father became prominent in business circles and was active in the political life of Custer County and Nebraska, being one of the best known men in the region. He was a speaker of rare ability and power and often made speeches and addresses in other states. His death occurred while making a political speech at a banquet in New Mexico, whither he had gone for his health, in 1883. His widow died in Callaway, Nebraska, in 1901.
Mr. Brega took up the study of law in Omaha in 1888, being admitted to practice two years later, and has held a continuous residence in Callaway since, that place having been his home the past twenty-two years. He was engaged in the banking business there for a time in past years and is now engaged in the practice of his profession and conducts a real estate and loan business. He is himself a large land owner, owning some five thousand acres in the County. He raises a large amount of alfalfa with good profit. In politics he is a democrat and active in party work although not an office seeker. He has for several years past been a strong advocate of the dividing of Custer County and making Callaway the new County seat. He is well known for his ability along professional business and political lines and he and his family are prominent in social and educational circles. They have a beautiful home in Callaway where they have a large number of friends. He is well known throughout central Nebraska where so large a part of his life has been spent and is one of the most successful men of the region.
On December 7, 1884, Mr. Brega was united in marriage with Milly Varney, a member of one of Custer County's early families and five children have blessed their union: Emily, married Ray B. Bennett, cashier of the Bladen (Nebraska.) State Bank, a son of Doctor Bennett, of Kearney, and they have two children; Everett B., Irene, Valiar and Richard E., junior, at home. Mr. Brega had brothers and sisters as follows: Frank died in Omaha in 1886; Charles, died in Kansas City in 1910; Charlotte, Mrs. F. S. Dolph, of McLouth, Kansas; Fannie, an actress of New York, a member of the John Drew company, has the stage name of Hope Latham, and William Penn, of Kingsville, Missouri.
CLARENCE R. BRISTOL
Clarence R. Bristol is one of the few original homesteaders of Custer County to hold continuous residence on their farms, and was one of the first half dozen early settlers in the neighborhood of his present home. He and his family still use part of the old sod shanty that was put up on the homestead. They passed through the pioneer days, and experienced many hardships through reason of the years of drouth and hard times. Mr. Bristol was born in Port Jervis, New York, August 25, 1855, the youngest of the three children of Horace and Anna (French) Bristol, who had one son and two daughters. He and his sister Anna, now Mrs. Charles Davis, of Elgin, Washington, are the only two now surviving. The father served three years in the Civil war as Captain of Company B, First New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry. His first wife died when Clarence R. Bristol, the youngest child, was but three years of age, and he married a second time. He removed with his family to Iowa in 1869, at that time taking his second wife, three children by his former marriage, and three by his second marriage. The father died in Iowa about 1873.
Clarence R. Bristol was reared and educated in the east, and accompnaied [sic] his father and stepmother to Iowa in 1869. He was there united in marriage, November 1, 1877, with Miss Nancy A. Patrick, whose parents, George and Emily (Herndon) Patrick, came to Custer County to live in 1890, and both died there, the father, who was a native of Kentucky, in April, 1911, and the mother, a native of Indiana, in June, 1909. Mrs. Bristol has a brother, Levi Patrick, Iiving in Mason City, Nebraska; one brother, William, lives in Kingman, Kansas, and her sister, Mrs. Dora Rhodes, wife of John Rhodes, in Ansley. In 1884, Mr. Bristol brought his wife and four children, with a team and wagon, to Custer County, starting from Minona in October, camping along the way; averaging over forty miles a day, they made the trip in about eight days. He took up a homestead on the south half of the southwest quarter of section thirty-one, township fifteen, range eighteen, and the east half of the northwest quarter of section six, township fourteen, range eighteen, and has since resided on the former section. To this tract he has added two hundred acres of adjoining land. He has been closely identified with the progress and welfare of his community, and served several years as a member of the school board. He and his wife are among the highly-respected pioneers, and, have a large number of friends. They have three hundred and sixty acres of land in the home farm, and have substantial and suitable buildings thereon. They have clung to the comfort of the sod house, in which Mrs. Bristol's fine collection of flowers flourish luxuriantly throughout the winter. We give an illustration of the home and surroundings on another page.
Of the eleven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bristol, ten now survive: Bertha, wife of George F. Dewey (a sketch of whom appears in this work), was born in Iowa, and she and her husband have two children; Flora Belle, a native of Iowa, is the wife of Earl Hiser, of Custer County, and they have three children; Clara, wife of Anton Dobesh, lives on a farm in Custer County, and they have two children; Clarence, born in Iowa, is married, lives in Custer County, and has one child; Ernest, born in Custer County, is married and living there, and has three children; Emily, is deceased; Myrtle, is married to Grover Holman, and lives in Ansley; George, Clyde, Cleo and Lawrence were born on the homestead. Clyde and Cleo are twins. Four of the children were born in Iowa; the remaining ones are natives of Nebraska. All the family are members of the Baptist church. In politics Mr. Bristol is independent; he is a great admirer of Roosevelt and Bryan.
During his early years in Nebraska, Mr. Bristol and family endured great privations. Drouth killed their crops in 1890 and again in 1894, while hail, in 1893 and 1895, were equally destructive. Hail the former year was so deep that in favored places remnants of it were to be found two weeks after it fell, and enough to make ice cream was secured seven days after.
GEORGE W. BROWN
George W. Brown, retired from active life and occupying his present home in Sargent, Nebraska, is an early settler of Custer County, and well remembers the trying conditions to be met in his first years there. He is now a prosperous and successful man and the owner of twelve hundred acres of fine farm and stock land, which is well improved and equipped. He has been an extensive stock dealer and made a specialty of Hereford cattle. He was born in Clark County, Illinois, August 8, 1842, third of the eight children born to Samuel and Mary (Howell) Brown. Of the other children in the family, two sons, F. Marion and R. G., live in Clay County, Nebraska, one son in California, one daughter in Denver and one daughter in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The father, a native of Virginia and of Scotch descent, died in Illinois about 1855, and the mother, a native of Kentucky, died in South Dakota, May 14, 1897.
Mr. Brown grew to manhood on the Illinois farm, and received his education in local schools. In the spring of 1871 he sought the larger opportunities offered in the west, and took up a homestead of eighty acres near Sutton, remaining there nine years. He came to Custer County in 1880 and secured a timber claim of one hundred and sixty acres of land and pre-empted a like amount of land adjoining. He was married at Broken Bow, October 20, 1884, to Miss Amy Lovejoy, a native of Orford, New Hampshire, who had been a teacher in the schools of her native state and of Nebraska, a daughter of John H. and Mary (Lamprey) Lovejoy. Her parents were also natives of New Hampshire, and they took up a homestead in Custer County, in 1870. The father survives and lives in Sargent, but Mrs. Lovejoy died in Custer County in 1886. Mrs. Brown has a sister, Mrs. Hattie Wittemeyer, living in Sargent; a brother, Frank Lovejoy, in Custer County, a sister in New Hampshire and another in Kansas.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown made their first home on the claim in Custer County, where they continued to reside until the fall of 1910. He then retired from the farm and purchased their present nice residence in Sargent. In early days Mr. Brown helped organize the school district in his neighborhood (number seventy), and for many years served as treasurer of the board. Five children were born to him and his wife: Mary E. and Inez H., teachers in Nebraska schools; Nellie B., Edith M. and Robert G., at home. Mr. and Mrs. Brown have given their children excellent educational advantages and some of them have attended college. The family are prominent in religious, social and educational circles and have a large number of friends.
ULYSSES GRANT BROWN
Among the younger pioneers of Custer County, Nebraska, may be mentioned Ulysses Grant Brown, a native of Switzerland County, Indiana, born May 31, 1871. He is a son of John G. and Martha Ann (Tucker) Brown, the former a native of Ohio County, Indiana, born August 10, 1840. They were married at Bear Branch, Ohio County, August 24, 1862, and of this union four sons and seven daughters were born. In the fall of 1872 John G. Brown removed with his family to Danville, Illinois, and in the fall of 1883 to Polk County, Nebraska, coming to Custer County two years later. In the latter part of 1885 he secured a homestead on section fourteen, township fourteen, range nineteen, Loup township, Custer County, where he resided until his death, which occurred August 20, 1904. He was survived by his widow and little children, all of whom are now living. With the exception of two daughters, one in the state of Washington and one in Council Bluffs, Iowa, all the children reside in Nebraska. Mrs. Brown makes her home in Garden County, Nebraska, where two of her sons reside.
In 1872 Ulysses G. Brown accompanied his parents to Vermillion County, Illinois, in the fall of 1883 to Polk County, and two years later to Custer County. In 1893 he secured a homestead on the south half of the south half of section fourteen, township fourteen, range nineteen, thus becoming one of the original homesteaders of Custer County. Since early manhood he has been identified with the farming and stock-growing interests of his part of the state and is considered a progressive man along all lines. He was but fourteen years of age when he came to the County and has spent most of his life within the state. He is actively interested in local affairs and gives his support to various public project for the advancement of the general Prosperity. His father was an influential citizen and served two terms (1898 to 1902) as County coroner.
On Christmas day, 1895, Mr. Brown was united in marriage with Anna, daughter of Joseph and Anna (Kline) Fortik, natives of Bohemia, original homesteaders of Custer County, where they located in the fall of 1886. The Fortik family came to the United States in 1878 and first located in Saline County, Nebraska. Mrs. Brown is the second in order of birth of nine children, and has five brothers and one sister surviving. Her parents still reside in Custer County. Mr. Brown and wife have three children, all born on the homestead: Guy Floyd, July 21, 1897, Mary Ruth, March 25, 1900; Charles William, August 22, 1907. Mr. Brown is independent in politics and a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.
He has enjoyed the privileges of pioneer life, living in a "soddy" since coming to Nebraska, until 1909, when he erected a substantial concrete block cottage on a well selected location. A few years later a well-built barn was added to the improvements of the place, which is known as Cat Creek ranch, of which we show an engraving on one of our illustrated pages.
JOHN W. BRYAN
One of the best known farmers of Custer County, Nebraska, is John W. Bryan, who has brought his homestead to a high state of improvement and productiveness. Mr. Bryan was born in Clay County, Illinois, December 6, 1849, being third in a family of seven children born to William H. and Martha C. (Brinn) Bryan, the father of English and the mother of Scotch descent. The father was born in Tennessee, and the mother in Illinois; her mother was born in South Carolina and at the age of fifteen came with her parents to Shelbyville, Illinois. The family is mentioned elsewhere in this work in connection with others of its members. The paternal grandfather, Gilson T. Bryan, was a minister of the Christian church. William H. Bryan served in the Civil war and was killed in April, 1862, at the battle of Pittsburg Landing. His wife died in Illinois in October of 1862. They have one son at Taylorville, Illinois, one daughter at Girard, Illinois, one daughter in California, and the subject of this sketch, who survive, their other children being. deceased.
Mr. Bryan grew to manhood in the family of an uncle, John W. Bryan, and received his education in his native County, later engaging in farming there. On December 23, 1874, he was married, in Clay County, to Sarah Ingraham, a native of that state, who died in July, 1876. In March, 1877, Mr. Bryan came to Custer County and homesteaded on one hundred and sixty acres of land, comprising the southeast quarter of section nine, township sixteen, range seventeen, which has since been his home. He filed on this land October 27, 1877, being the first homesteader on Clear creek in Custer County; at that time doer, elk and antelope were plentiful, three being killed in one day about this time near his home.
On April 10, 1883, Mr. Bryan married (second), in Westerville, Nebraska, Miss Anna Dunlap, a native of Ohio. The Dunlap family settled in Nebraska in the seventies. Mrs. Bryan died on the home farm April 15, 1893, survived by her husband and the following five children: Winfield S., Daniel W., Wilbert M., Francis M., at home, and John, who died at the age of six years.
Mr. Bryan is enthusiastically interested in all that pertains to the general welfare, and has been closely identified with the progress of his County, having held various township offices and performed every duty that fell to him as a citizen. He is a republican in politics, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the American Order of Protection.
Mr. Bryan has a fine stock and grain farm, and gives much attention to bees, having many stands of hives. His place contains substantial outbuildings, the neat cottage dwelling having been erected in 1910. We give an illustration of the home on its elevation, with other buildings conveniently grouped, making an excellent farm residence.
Mr. Bryan was three miles away from home at a sale when the well-known blizzard of January 12, 1.888, began. Being familiar with every foot of the surrounding country, he had no difficulty in making his way home. Among the early discouragements were hailstorms on July 4, 1880, and July 3, 1885, and the drouth of 1894, when Mr. Bryan fed an old crop of wheat to his hogs, thus saving them.
Joseph Bryan, formerly a prominent farmer of Custer County, Nebraska, was well known for the prominent part he took in advancing the educational, religious and material advancement of his part of the County. Mr. Bryan had a wide circle of friends and his loss was deplored by the entire community. He was born in Missouri, March 29, 1846, a son of William and Caroline (Brinn) Bryan, and the oldest of their six children. He has one brother, John W., in Custer County, a sister in California and one brother and one sister in Illinois. His father was of English descent, served in the civil war, and was killed at the battle of Shiloh. His mother, who was of English and Scotch descent, died in Illinois. While Joseph was still a very young boy, his father moved to Clay County, Illinois, and when but seventeen years of age, he enlisted in Company K, Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry, serving about two and one-half or three years. At the close of the war he returned to Illinois and engaged in farming.
Mr. Bryan was married on September 16, 1869, at Taylorville, Illinois, to Mary E. Baker, who was born near Olney, Richland County, Illinois, a daughter of William and Caroline (Utterback) Baker, the former of whom died in Illinois in 1861, and the latter in Custer County. in 1895. Mrs. Bryan has two sisters in California, one brother and one sister in the state of Washington; one brother in Illinois; one brother, James Baker, at Mitchell Nebraska; one brother in Missouri; one sister, Mrs. Sarah Carroll, died in Custer County, February 7, 1911.
In the fall of 1873 Mr. Bryan brought his wife and two children to Lincoln, Nebraska, where for seven years he was employed in the salt works. In the fall of 1879 he moved to Custer County, living with his brother, John Bryan, until spring, when he erected a residence on his homestead, having filed on one hundred and sixty acres of land comprising the southwest quarter of section twenty-six, township sixteen, range seventeen. In the spring of 1880, the day he moved onto the place, he planted an elm by his door as a memorial of the occasion and gave directions that it be ever preserved. It is now one of the finest of the many large trees on the place and holds a conspicuous place in the view of the home and surroundings which we are pleased to publish on another page. This remained his home until the time of his death, November 29, 1892, after fifteen years of invalidism. He was survived by his wife and the following seven children: William B., married and living in Kansas, has two children; Isabelle, wife of J. T. Wood, of Mason City, Nebraska, where he is a stockholder and cashier of the Farmers' Bank, they have four children; Jeanette, wife of Grant Stevens, of Kansas, has three children; Alice, married Luther Wilcox, of Montana, and has two children; Frank G., of Lincoln, is married and has two children; J. Harry, married and living in Custer County, has two children; Robert L., has remained at home with his mother with whom he runs the farm, having purchased the interest of the other heirs. Mr. Bryan was instrumental in organizing school district number one hundred and thirty-two and served a number of years on its board. He and his wife were largely instrumental in organizing one of the first Sunday schools in the County.
After Mr. Bryan's death his widow continued to reside on the home farm, and with the assistance of her son Frank, carried on the place and paid off the mortgage. She devoted her attention to the care and rearing of her large family of children and proved herself an excellent business manager. The place is a productive tract, Mrs. Bryan being a frequent exhibitor at the County fair. In 1911 she and Robert secured twelve first and six second premiums on the home place, which is a well improved stock and grain farm. Fruits, vegetables, jellies, honey and other products, including one sweepstake prize.
ROBERT W. BUCKNER
Robert W. Buckner of Broken Bow, is one of the earlier settlers of Custer County and is one of the few of this class who still own their original homesteads. He has been a resident of Broken Bow for the past dozen years, during which time he has been identified with County survey work. Mr. Buckner was born in Hart County, Kentucky, second of the nine children of Philip and Fanny (Ragland) Buckner, both natives of Kentucky and the father of German descent. The mother was born in Larue County, was of Scotch descent, and died in her native state in 1905, and the father died there in the eighties.
Mr. Buckner grew to manhood on the Kentucky farm which was owned by his father and received most of his education in subscription schools. On July 1, 1861, he enlisted from Louisville in Company K, Fifth Kentucky Infantry, serving until September 14, 1864, and being discharged at Louisville. He participated in many important engagements, including those at Shiloh, Stone River, Liberty Gap, Chickamauga, Browns Perry, Missionary Ridge, Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Peach Tree Creek, Cassville, Kenesaw Mountain and the siege of Atlanta. He also took part in numerous minor engagements and skirmishes.
At the close of the war Mr. Buckner returned to Kentucky, and on April 6, 1865, was married to Miss Rebecca Bolton, also a native of Kentucky. In 1869 they removed to Missouri, lived there four years and then went to Moultrie County, Illinois, where they lived on a farm until 1887. In that year Mr. Buckner came with his wife and six children to Custer couty [sic], Nebraska, purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section twenty-four, township seventeen, range nineteen, and improved and developed a fine farm there. This was the home place for many years and Mr. Buckner took an active interest in public affairs in the community, serving five years as director of the school board of district number fifty-one. In the fall of 1900 he left his farm and came to his present home in Broken Bow, where he has many friends and is regarded as a desirable, public-spirited citizen. He is a prosperous and successful man of affairs and besides his farm land owns some fine city property.
Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Buckner, as follows: Thomas L. is married and lives in Broken Bow; Roberta is the wife of Albert Shaffer, of Ansley, and they have three children; Lawrence, living in Illinois, has four children; Flora married Herman Alberts of Ansley, and they have four children; Etta, wife of Fergus Emerson, of Westerville, has five children; Frank, living on the home farm, has three children; Stella lives at home and two children died in infancy. Mrs. Buckner's father, Robert Bolton, was born in England, served in the war of 1812, and died in Kentucky in 1862. Her mother, whose maiden name was Hannah Lange, was born in New York City of English parents and died in Hart County, Kentucky, April 7, 1880. Mrs. Buckner has two sisters living in Illinois, Mrs. Helen Hodges and Mrs, Sally Burks.
JAMES T. BURDICK
James T. Burdick is a well known and highly respected citizen of Custer County, Nebraska, and had many varied experiences in different lines in several states. He was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania, April 8, 1860, the eldest of six children born to Isaac Newton and Annetta (Wood) Burdick, who had five sons and one daughter. He was reared in the usual manner of farmers' sons, receiving his education in the public schools, and he remained in his native County until young manhood. October 14, 1878, he left home and came to Shelton, Buffalo County, Nebraska, reaching there October 17. He was employed on a railroad and at farm work three months and then found employment on a cattle ranch on the South Loup river, where he remained several months. In December, 1879 he returned to Shelton and worked on a farm near there until August, 1881. Then he came to Custer County and secured a homestead on section eleven, township fifteen, range sixteen, Sherman County, which remained his home until July, 1894.
On April 21, 1889, Mr. Burdick married Miss EIlen A. Marsh, daughter of one of the old pioneer families, their union taking place in Custer County. In 1894 he and his family removed to Mitchell County, Iowa, where they remained until October, 1899, then went to Pennsylvania. Mr. Burdick learned the trade of mason as a young man, and besides farming, has also spent considerable time at his trade. In 1908 he brought his family from Pennsylvania back to Custer County, where he has since been engaged in farming and stock raising.
Mr. Burdick and wife have four children: Myrtle B., born in Sherman County, wife of Charles Milks, lives on the farm and they have two children; Mabel May, also born in Sherman County, married Milton G. Crist, and they live Custer County; James Newton, and Arthur George, born in Custer County, are both at home.