John Palmer, who is one of the prominent farmers of Namaha [sic] county, Nebraska, with his productive and beautiful farmstead situated three quarters of a mile west of Peru, has been a resident of this section of Southeastern Nebraska for thirty-five years, ever since 1869. He was born in Lincolnshire, England, January 9, 1839.
His father, John Palmer, was born in the same place, and was one of the sturdy yeomanry of England, and was an industrious farmer there, but was in poor circumstances when he decided to come to American in 1857. He and his family embarked on the ship George Washington, and were twenty-four days en route to Boston, whence he went to St. Louis, where his family joined him. He worked for some time as a farm hand, and was also a tenant farmer for about four years. He then went to the mountains of Idaho, but in 1869 came to Nemaha county, Nebraska, and was located for a time on Dr. Neal's farm. He later bought eighty acres for fourteen hundred dollars, and this place is still owned by son Phillip whose history will be found below and in which connection will be noted other facts of the family history. The wife of John Palmer, Sr., was Eleanor Dove, and their nine children were all born before they left England.
John Palmer remained in the parental home till he was married and was also with the family in their various migrations about the country, living in Idaho from 1863 to 1869. In the latter year he took up his home in Nebraska and later bought land. He settled on his present place about seventeen years ago, buying eighty acres with but slight improvements, and he erected his good and comfortable house six years ago. In the season of 1902 he had twenty-one hundred and fifty bushels of corn, and in all his agricultural operations is meeting with well deserved success.
Mr. Palmer was married in April, 1861, to Miss Mary Moore, who was born in England, being five years her husband's senior, and her death occurred May 21, 1902, at the age of sixty-nine, after a useful and worthy life of devotion to her husband and children and in which she gained the affection and regard of all which whom she came in contact. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer were the parents of seven children: Henry, who is a farmer on Dr. Neal's farm and has a wife and two daughters; Sarah, who is the wife of Lute Hanaford and has two daughters and one son; Emma, the wife of Thomas Carlisle and has one daughter and two sons; Minnie, who is the wife of Archer Cook and has two sons and a daughter; Miss Mary, who has been her father's housekeeper since her mother's death; and John, at home. All the children had good educational advantages in the common schools and in the normal.
Phillip Palmer, a brother of John Palmer and a retired farmer living in Peru, was born in Lincolnshire, England, November 17, 1846, a son of John and Eleanor (Dove) Palmer, the former of whom was born in England in 1806 and died in Peru, October 14, 1889, and the latter was born February 2, 1812, and they were married February 14, 1834. Their nine children reared to maturity were all born in England, and they lost their eldest child, Sarah, born in 1837. They came to America and made their way to St. Louis, having to borrow money to reach their destination, and they began their career in this country in humble circumstances, but gradually advanced by honorable and industrious efforts to a fair degree of material prosperity before their lives were ended in death, both passing away within the same week.
Phillip Palmer began working by the month near St. Louis, receiving only five dollars a month at first, and this wage was afterward increased to six dollars. In 1863 he, with the rest of the family, went by boat up the river to Omaha, where they were compelled to wait twelve weeks on account of illness, and from that point went across the plains with ox teams in a train of twenty-six wagons to Salt Lake City. They all located one hundred miles north of there, in Idaho, where one of the sons-in-law had settled previously, and there for six years the men of the family were engaged in farming, freighting and stock-raising. But to remain there in peace and harmony they should have been compelled to turn Mormons, and not favoring that idea they returned to Omaha and in the same fall came to Nemaha county. Phillip Palmer still owns the eighty acres which his father located, and he made it his home until the fall of 1903. He lost his right leg in January, 1900, and was compelled to give up active farming, so he moved into town and now has a pretty cottage home surrounded by five acres of land, mostly in orchard and beautiful evergreen groves. He is a Republican voter, and his wife is a member of the Christian church.
April 12, 1886, Mr. Palmer, after with filial devotion having remained with his parents for many years, as he also continued to do until their death, was married to Mrs. Minerva Spicer, the widow of William Spicer, who died in 1885, leaving his widow and three daughters. Mrs. Palmer was born in Jasper county, Iowa, a daughter of C. C. and Nancy (Wolf) Tharp, the former of whom was born near Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1818, and died March 19, 1902, at the advanced age of eighty-four years and the latter at the age of sixty-eight. Mr. and Mrs. Tharp had five children: One that died in infancy; Minerva, now Mrs. Palmer; Martha, the wife of Wilson Canning, in Colorado, and the mother of nine children; Armada, the wife of Rev. Chapman, a minister of the Christian church, and has eight children; and John Tharp, in Olkahoma [sic] and has five children. William Spicer was a native of Delaware, was a carpenter by trade, and came to Nebraska before 1872; he was a non-commissioned officer in the Union army during the Civil war, and was twice wounded, in the head and in the arm. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have three daughters, all of whom were educated in the normal and have taught, as follows: Edith is the wife of Henry Palmer, a cousin, and has two daughters; Mary is the wife of Lee Parrish, on the farm three miles south of Peru, and has an infant son; and Bessie is a student in the training class of the normal.
© 1999, Lori L. Laird, NEGenWeb Project