1890 Hall County History

"Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Adams, Clay, Hall and Hamilton Counties"
Published 1890 by the Goodspeed Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill.
(Note: Includes Hall County Only)

HALL COUNTY

BIOGRAPHIES

A-C    D-F    G-H    J-L    M-O    P    Q-R    S-V    W-Z


M through O



McGUIRE, James
    James McGuire is a striking example of Irish thrift and acquisitiveness, for he came to Hall County, Neb., but with little means, and is now one of he wealthy agriculturists of this region, being the owner of all of Section 12. He was born in County Meade, Ireland, in 1837, and is a son of Hugh and Jane (Gogarty) McGuire, who were also born in the "Emerald Isle," and with their family emigrated to Canada in the spring of 1843, where they made their home until their respective deaths. In the land of their adoption they reared their family, and here James received fair educational advantages. In the year 1856 he was united in marriage to Miss Annie, a daughter of Jud and Kate Walter, of Ottawa, Canada, and this province continued to be his home until the year 1872, when he emigrated with his family to Nebraska, and first took up his abode in Hall County, where he has become well known as an enterprising, intelligent and successful agriculturist. To his union with Miss Walters a family of ten children have been born: Jud, Francis, Hughey, Jimmy, T. J., Patrick W., Michael (deceased), Matthias, Mary and Kate. Knowing the value of a good education, Mr. McGuire had given his children many advantages, and they are now grown to honorable manhood and womanhood, and are engaged in business for themselves. The entire family are members of the Catholic Church.

MADER, John F.
    John F. Mader has been closely connected with the agricultural interests of Hall County, Neb., since the fall of 1871, and is now one of its wealthy and prosperous farmers and stock raisers. He was born in Prussia, Germany, April 11, 1833, and is a son of Christopher and Margaret (Krushy) Mader, who were also born in Prussia, and removed to the United States in 1845, settling in Ohio, the father being engaged in farming in Shelby County until his death, which occurred about 1878, his wife dying two years earlier. John F. Mader attended the schools of his native land until his removal to America, and from that time until he attained his majority he remained with and assisted his father in tilling the soil. He was married in Shelby County January 29, 1857, to Miss Catherine Brehm, a daughter of John Brehm, both of whom were born in Bavaria, the former making her home there until she was about ten years of age. They resided in Shelby County a number of years after their marriage, but after residing in Warren County, Ind., from 1867 until 1871, they came to Nebraska and settled on a homestead claim in Prairie Creek Township. This property he sold in 1882, and bought and has since made his present farm, which consists of 200 acres, all excellent tillable land. His farm is improved with substantial buildings, groves and a young bearing orchard, and is situated about four miles from Grand Island. Mr. Mader is a Republican in politics, has been a member of the school board for twelve years, served as treasurer and collector, and has also held the position of township supervisor. He has been a delegate to county conventions at differnt times and is a man on whose judgment one can safely rely. He and wife have a family of seven children, the two eldest, John and William, being married and residents of the county. The rest are Louis, Elizabeth (wife of Fred Hines), Isabella (wife of John Peterson), George and Charles. The family attend the Presbyterian Church, and he is a Royal Arch Mason.

MANKIN, Richard
    Richard Mankin, of Hall County, Neb., was born in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany, in 1836, being a son of Henry and Geresha (Tetchen) Mankin, both natives of Hanover. The father was a soldier in the Franco Prussian war, and is still living, but his wife passed from life when the subject of this sketch was a small child, having borne a family of four children. Richard Mankin came with an uncle to America when twelve years of age, and during his residence in New York City he was a clerk in a grocery and liquor establishment the greater portion of the time, but afterward worked in a packing-box factory, and while thus employed had his hand badly mutilated by a planing machine, which necessitated the amputation of all the fingers on that hand. He was married in New York to Miss Elizabeth Matthew, a native of that city, and on July 6, 1871, they came west, and first located at Brody Island, and in the spring of the following year they settled on their present farm. He first began working on a railroad as a hand, but subsequently became boss on repairs, and was thus engaged about eighteen years altogether. He is now the owner of 400 acres of land, does general farm work, and is also engaged in feeding cattle. He is independent in politics, and he and family attend the Roman Catholic Church. He and wife are the parents of three children: Frank, William and John. Mr. Mankin is a man who throughly enjoys his home, and has around him all that can make life enjoyable-a faithful and intelligent wife, dutiful children, and plenty of means. Mrs. Mankin is an Irish-American lady, is an excellent manager, and as a wife and mother has few equals. Her parents, Patrck and Cahterine (Kane) Matthews, were born in Longford, Ireland, and after their marriage came directly to America, and located in brooklyn, N. Y., where the mother died in 1870, aged fifty-six years. The father afterward came west with Mrs. Mankin, and died in Nebraska, aged about sixty years. He was a Democrat, and a member of the Catholic Church.

MARSH, Martin V.
    Martin V. Marsh, farmer and stock-raiser, Doniphan, Neb. To the stock industry of the various townships of the county must be given a large share of credit for the reputation which Hall County enjoys as a wealthy progressive communtiy. And to those leading men who have contributed so materially in the building up of this reputation, should be extended the sincere thanks and good will of the persons who have been benefited by their course. Prominent in all movements relating to agricultural pursuits or stock-raising, Mr. Marsh has become so well known that nothing need be said by us as to his reliability and responsibility. He was born in Somerset County, Me., in 1837, and is the third in a family of eight, born to Edward E. and Almeda (Young) Marsh, natives also of the Pine Tree State. The father was a tiller of the soil, but in connection carried on the cooper trade. He emigrated to Wisconsin in 1852, settling in Wankesha County, but in 1854 settled in the town of Berry, Dane County, Wis., where he purchased a good farm and made many improvements on it. In October, 1877, he came to Doniphan, Neb., and here his death occurred in January, 1878, at the home of his son, Bradford A. Marsh, when in his seventieth year. The mother still survives. Of their children, William H. resides in Hall County, Lafayette Y. married and resides in Hall County, Martin V. is our subject, and Lucy is the wife of Oliver Fenner. She died in 1886. Josephus enlisted at Fort Wayne, Ind., in the Eighty-eighth Indiana Infantry, Company D, for three Years, in 1862; he was in the Army of the Cumberland and was taken prisoner September 19, at the battle of Chickamauga; he was in Libby Prison, Belle Isle and Andersonville for fourteen months; his death occurred in June, 1864, in Andersonville. Eli E. enlisted in Dane County, Wis., in company D, Twenty-third Wisconsin Infantry, in 1862, for three years, and was along the Mississippi as far as Vicksburg; he was taken sick and returned to St. Louis, Jefferson Barracks, where he died June 9, 1863. Bradord A. married and resides in Hall County, where he settled in 1874. Carroll M. married and resides in Chase County, Neb. Martin V. Marsh received his education in the schools of Maine, and early became familiar with the duties of the farm. In May, 1861, he enlisted in Oconto County, Wis., in Company H, Fourth Wisconsin Infantry, and the last two years was in the cavalry. He enlisted as a private, and was mustered into State service at Green Bay, and the United States service at Racine. He was taken directly to the front, was in the Eastern department and was under Gen. Butler at New Orleans. He was promoted from time to time, and was commissined captain in 1866. He was on the transports at the siege of Fort Jackson and St. Phillips, and thence to New Orleans. His regiment was one of the first to march in the streets of that city. From there they went to Vicksburg, taking part in the battle of Baton Rouge, La., August 5, 1862; siege of Port Hudson, La., 1863, and was wounded at Clinton, La., June 3, 1863; Fort Blakely, Ala., April, 1865. In January, 1864, he veteranized in the same comapany and regiment. He was at Shreveport, La., Marshall and San Antonio, Eagle Pass, Texas, and down the Rio Grande to Brownville. He was honorably discharged on May 28, 1866, at Brownville, Texas, and returned to Dane County, Wis. He was married in that county in March, 1868, to Miss Emma Stephens, a native of New York, but who was reared in Dane County, Wis., and the daughter of Leander and Julia (Rose) Stephens, natives of New York. Mr. Stephens was a farmer, and settled in Dane County in 1855, where he took up good land. In connection with agricultural pursuits he was also engaged in milling. He is still living and resides in Dane County, Wis. The mother died in that county in June, 1886. Mr. Marsh cultivated the soil in Wisconsin until 1877; then he emigrated to Nebraska. He bought a partly improved farm of 160 acres, has good buildings, etc., and is one of the foremost farmers in the county. He is a Republican in politics, and was town assessor in 1884. He was a member of the school board for about eight years, and is interested in all educational matters. Socially he is member of A. J. Smith Post No. 65, G. A. R., Doniphan, Neb., has been commander and is now quartermaster. To his marriage have been born the following children: Edward L., Flora A., Sarah E., Adelbert and Chancy.

MARTIN, Henry N.
    Henry N. Martin, farmer and Stock-raiser, Doniphan, Neb. Throughout the county, and especially over this portion of it, the name of Henry N. Martin is very well known, for, one of the oldest citizens of the community in point of settlement, he is at the same time recognized by all as one of its solid, substantial and thoroughly reliable residents. His birth occurred in Yorkshire, England in 1848, and he was the eldest son born to George and Anna (Hours) Martin, natives of the same place as their son. The father was a horse trainer in the racing stables, and in 1850 left his native country to try his luck in the United States. He first went to Ohio, thence to Elgin, Ill., where he followed farming, and later to Fremont County, Iowa, where he tilled the soil for one year. In 1862 he moved to Nebraska and freighted from Nebraska City to Denver until August of that year, when he settled on his claim of 160 acres on Platte River. His children consisted of three sons and three daughters, although he had a stepson, John Weavers, who was in the service from 1862 to 1865, Company A, Fourth Iowa Infantry. He came to Nebraska about 1868, but now resides in Iowa. The other children were named as follows: Eliza (died in 1885), Hepizipbah (now Mrs. Masterson, of Ellsworth, Ellsworth County, Kas.), H. N., Robert (married and resides in Ellsworth County, Kas.), William E. (married and resides in Hall) and Anna (now Mrs. Huffman, of Rice County, Kas.) At the time of Mr. Martin's settlement in Hall County Indians were plenty, and in 1863 they began their depredations. In 1864 they made an attack on the south side of Platte River. Mr. Martin and his sons, Henry N. and Robert, were hauling hay and were about three miles from home. Mr. Martin was on the first load, had a six-shooting rifle and being first attacked could do but little on account of being on the hay. He was wounded severely. The spy on the bluff then pointed out the boys, who were following on the second load of hay drawn by a yoke of oxen, with a horse in the lead behind the load. When the attack was made on the boys they unhitched and turned the oxen loose, and our subject put his brother, Robert, on the horse and then got on behind. They then started for the house, which was their only refuge, there being no other settlers near, and when about a quarter of a mile from the house the Indians closed upon them. Our subject received an arrow between the shoulder blade and back bone, which came out on the right side of the breast and penetrated his brother. He then received an arrow shot in the right arm, and his brother, Robert, was shot in the hip and thigh. They rode until our subject became dizzy, fainted and fell from the horse which also becoming tangled in the lines came to the ground. The Indians struck Robert and finding that he did not move supposed both were dead, and spoke of scalping them but changed their minds and said "Pappoose's scalp no good." Finally they left. When the arrow was drawn from Henry's arm he fainted and did not come to himself until en route with the family for York, they having immediately started for that place. He refused to go farther and after remaining there one week returned to the ranch, driving a team back. Inside of two weeks he was again at work. Robert has the arrow still stained with their blood, that penetrated his brother and himself. The father remained in the county until his death which occurred in 1884, and the mother died the same year. In 1864 Henry N. Martin was again attacked by Indians, or rather they attacked up and down the Platte River and stole two horses and a pony from our subject's father, after which they went to the latter's son-in-law's house, took a horse and cleared the ranch of everything. However no lives were lost. Again in 1865 they made a raid along the Platte River, took two girls, eighteen and nineteen years of age, and two twin boys four years of age belonging to Peter Campbell. They then shot Mrs. Owens, who was watching the course they were taking, while she was standing at the door with a baby in her arms. When found in the evening the baby was playing in her blood. This child was cared for by A. Graham and grew to manhood. In 1866 the savages made a raid along the Platte River and attacked the home of Mrs. Wall and Flemming Moloney, bright and early one Monday morning, but with poor result. They stole two horses but one escaped from them and the father of our subject re-captured it. This was the last of the Indian attacks. Henry N. Martin received his education in Hall County, Neb., and began farming for himself where he now resides. He now has 1,200 acres of land in a good state of cultivation and some in pasturage. He has two good barns and is engaged in raising Durham cattle, Poland-China hogs, and a good stock of horses. He feeds about eighty to eighty-five head of cattle yearly. He is not active in politics but votes with the Republican party. His marriage occurred in Hall County, Neb., in 1873, to Miss Lititia Donald, a native of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., who died in Hall County on January 3, 1877, leaving two children as a memento of this marriage: Arthur and Viola. Mr. Martin's second marriage occurred on January 2, 1879, in Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., to Miss Sarah M. Donald, a native of that county. Mr. and Mrs. Martin are Baptists in their belief. Mr. Marin has been a member of the school board and moderator since 1873. He is one of the first settlers of the county or State south of the Platte, and has seen the complete growth of the country. Socially he is a member of Doniphan Lodge No. 86, A. F. & A. M.       (See the "1919" Biography of Henry Nathaniel Martin.)

MATTHEWS, Thomas P.
    Thomas P. Matthews, confectioner of Grand Island, Neb., was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., August 1, 1868, being a son of John A. and Agnes (Connelly) Matthews, the former a native of Brooklyn and the latter of Ireland. She was brought by her parents to America when five years old and was here reared to womanhood. In 1870 she and her husband, Mr. Matthews, emigrated from Brooklyn to the State of Nebraska, and first located in Cummings County, but after residing on a farm there for one year they removed to Lincoln County, Neb., and here the father gave his attention the railroading for four years. In 1876 they came to Hall County, and after making their home in Schauppsville until 1880 they removed to Grand Island and here still reside. The father is now in the employ of the Union Pacific Railway. When twelve years of age the subject of this sketch entered the employ of S. N. Wolbach, of Grand Island, and clerked in his clothing establishment for a period of nine years. On May 1, 1889, he engaged in the confectionery business, to which his attention has since been given, and he is now the owner of a well-stocked establishment and is in the enjoyment of a lucrative and rapidly increasing trade. He has connected with his establishment a candy kitchen, and manufactures all his own candies. He is a young man of push and enterprise, and being agreeable and accommodating to his patrons he gives every promise of becoming a wealthy citizen. He is a member of the Catholic Church, the A. O. U. W. and the Catholic Knights of America. He is a Democrat in his political views.

MAUGHAN, John
    John Maughan was born in County Mayo, Ireland, January 25, 1856, being a son of Patrick and Ellen (Flynn) Maughan, who were also born in the "Emerald Isle" in 1833 and 1835, respectively. After their marriage they emigrated to America to seek their fortune, and after a ten-weeks' ocean voyage they landed in New York City, and, after making their home in York State for eight years they went to Pennsylvania, and are now residing on a farm. John Maughan received a good common school education in his youth, and after assisting his father on the home farm until 1881 he came to Wood River, Neb., and after tending bar for a short time opened a retail liquor establishment in 1885, and has been in that business ever since, his house being quiet and orderly. He is a member of the Building and Loan Association of Wood River, and is the owner of some good business buildings and a comfortable residence in the town. On June 12, 1888, he was united in marriage in the Wood River St. Mary's Catholic Church by Father Lynch to Miss Katie Brett, who was born in the State of Nebraska in 1865. They have one child, John P. The paternal grandfather, Edward Maughan, was born in County Mayo, Ireland, and there followed the occupation of farming.

MAYER, Henry J.
    Henry J. Mayer is a skillful marble and stone-cutter, of Grand Island, and ever since his residence here, June, 1884, he has identified himself with nearly every enterprise of note. He was born in Burlington, Iowa, where the father followed the trade of a stone-cutter until 1860, at which time he moved with his family to Nauvoo, Ill., where they made their home until 1877. Henry J. Mayer, at the age of nine years, began working for a farmer near Nauvoo, receiving $5 per month for his services. As his first wages he accepted two pigs from the farmer at $7.50, and these he carried home in his pockets. He remained with him two years, and in time had his wages increased to $8 per month. From eleven to fourteen years of age he remained at home, his time being spent in attending school, working in a vineyard and learning the stone-cutter's trade of his father. At the end of this time he began learning marble cutting with George W. Rose, of Sonora, Ill., with whom he remained five years. He then went to Waco, Tex., to which place his parents also removed shortly after and are there still residing. Being unable to secure employment at his trade in that vicinity, he began working on the Houston & Texas Central Railway and acted in the capacity of bridge carpenter for nineteen months. In 1859 he gave up this employment and went to Leadville, Colo., being lured thither by the silver excitement. He remained there for nearly four years, engaged in prospecting, and during this time he met with many interesting and exciting adventures. In August, 1882, he returned to Sonora, Ill., and for about one year worked at his trade in the shop of his old employer, Mr. Rose. In the fall of 1883 he again went to Waco, Tex., and during the winter which followed he secured employment at his calling. Sicne the month of June, 1884, he has been a resident of Grand Island, and his entire attention has been given to his trade, and here he has built up an inviable reputation as a first-class workman, and a reliable, upright man of business. In 1885 he engaged in business for himself, and is now one if the leading marble and stone-cutters in this part of the State. He is an agreeable and sociable gentleman, and has made many warm friends since locating here.

MIETH, August
    The principal events of Mr. Mieth's life might be separated into three divisions or periods: From his birth until his marriage, from that time until his removal to the State of Nebraska, and the last, from that date to the present time, and doubtless all would be willing to concede that the last period has been by far the most enjoyable, as he himself would admit. Although he learned the blacksmith's trade in his youth, nature seems to have intended him for a farmer, and to day he is the owner of a landed estate numbering 320 acres, all well improved with a good bearing orchard and excellent buildings. He is also the owner of two other farms-one comprising 160 acres, and the other 120 acres, near his home farm, and both places are improved with buildings, etc. He first purchased 161 acres, then as his means would permit made other purchases, and is now one of the extensive real-estate holders of the county. He was born in Prussia, Germany, April 5, 1829, and is a son of Christian and Anna Mieth, who died in their native land. August received a fair education in his native language, and after serving a four-years' apprenticeship at the blacksmith's trade, he came to America and located first at Falls Village, Conn., but afterward went to Buffalo, and from there to Chicago in 1855, and in this city followed his trade for about fifteen years. He then located in Burlington, Ill., and in connection with his trade was engaged in farming until 1880, at which time he moved to Hall County. Neb., and purchased his property as above stated. He was married in Prussia, but his wife died in Chicago, and afterward married in that city in 1860, Mary Pingel, a native German, but he was called upon to mourn the death of this wife also, her demise occurring in Burlington, Ill., in 1872. Five children were born to this last union: August (married and residing on one of his father's farms), Emma (wife of John Ruhsen, of Venango, Neb.), Fred E., Bertha and Ida (the last three at home with their father).

MERCER, C. W.
    C. W. Mercer is the editor and proprietor of the Wood River Gazette, and through its columns wields a potent influence in the public affairs of Hall County. Although a man young in years he is intelligent and enterprising, and has gained the esteem and approbation of all who know him. His paper commands a good patronage, and some useful and interesting information can always be gleaned from its columns. He was born in Ohio in 1861, and is a son of V. T. and N. R. (Wagner) Mercer, natives, respectively, of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The father was a soldier in the Federal army during the Rebellion, and in 1871 removed with his family to Nebraska, and is now engaged in farming near Gibbon. He is a member of the Odd Fellows' fraternity. C. W. Mercer is the eldest of their five children, and since nine years old has resided in Nebraska. His early youth was spent in following the plow and attending school, but in March, 1882, he dropped farm work to enter the printing office of the Beacon, of Gibbon, and there served his apprenticeship as a printer. In 1884 he came to Wood River and went to work on the Wood River Gazette, and remained in the office until the death of the former proprietor, and in July, 1889, purchased the establishment, and as above stated has conducted the paper successfully. Its editorial policy has been directed by a man of sound judgment, and its reputation as a representative journal of this portion of the State is well esablished. Mr. Mercer is unmarried.

MESERAULL, I. L.
    I. L. Meseraull, grain buyer and farmer, Doniphan, Neb. In writing of Doniphan its interests would be incomplete did we not mention Mr. Meseraull, who is one of the foremost business men of the place. He first located in Hall County in 1871, on the bank of Prairie Creek, Section 22, where he homesteaded 160 acres of land, and this he sold in 1877. In 1884 he erected a good elevator at Doniphan and engaged in the grain business the following year. He owes his nativity to Oakland County, Mich., where his birth occurred in 1845, and is the son of Peter B. and Rachel (Drake) Meseraull, natives of New Jersey. At an early day the parents settled in Oakland County, Mich. (1828), and followed farming in that State until the death of the father, which occurred in 1865. The mother died in 1859. I. L. Meseraull was early taught the duties of farm life and received his education in the schools of Michigan. He was married in Lapeer County, of that State, in 1865, to Miss Frances Smith, a native of Michigan, and the daughter of Orlando and Mary E. (Fuller) Smith, natives of Connecticut. The father is deceased, but the mother is now living. Mr. Meseraull lost his wife in Nebraska in 1876. Two children were born to this union: Samuel I. (in Doniphan) and John F. (in Michigan.) At the breaking out of the war, in 1861, Mr. Meseraull enlisted in Oakland County, Mich., for three years, in Company I, Tenth Michigan Infantry, and was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, under Gen. Thomas. He was in the battles of Farmington, Corinth, Iuka, Missionary Ridge, Stone River, Buzzards' Roost, Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Chattahoochee River, Peach Tree Creek, Sandtown, Jonesboro, and on to Savannah. He established the first picket placed on the Augusta road, at the siege of Savannah, and was in the battles of Black River, Bentonville and Raleigh. He was at the grand review in Washington, D. C., and was discharged at Jackson, Mich., in June, 1865. He was married in Hall County, Neb., in 1878, to Miss Esther L. Fry, a native of Indiana, and a daughter of Charles Fry. Miss Fry was married previous to her marriage to Mr. Meseraull. To her marriage there were born two children: Ella and Edward. Her father enlisted in the Union army in Indiana, and was killed while in service. The mother and children and grandfather emigrated to Hall County, Neb., in 1862, and settled near Wood River. The grandfather, Capt. Joseph Smith, was in the Mexican War. He preceded his daughter westward some two years, and in 1861 was killed by the Sioux Indians, as were also two uncles. The mother still resided in this county, and is the wife of Mr. Daniel Baker, of Alda Township. Mr. Meseraull moved to Grand Island in 1868, and there remained until coming to Doniphan in 1887. He purchased a good farm of eighty acres, erected a good residence, substantial outbuildings, etc., and has a very nice place. He is a member of Doniphan Lodge No. 186, A. F. & A. M., and was also a member of the G. A. R. He has been a member of the school board in his district. To his marriage were born the following children: Morris, Blaine, Francis, Claude, Maria and Katie.

MILLER, Dr. Howard C.
    Among the inventions of the nineteenth century, none are of more importance than those that pertain to dentistry, and among its most able practitioners may be mentioned Dr. Miller, who by the superior class of his work, his reasonable prices and his genial manner, has won a very large patronage. He was born in Lewis County, N. Y., January 15, 1859, and is a son of Isaac S. and Sarah A. (Stone) Miller, who were born and are now living in the "Empire State." Dr. Miller attended school at Rome, N. Y., and in 1879 began the study of dentistry at Camden, N. Y., in the office of Dr. G. W. Wertz, of Omaha, Neb., having come here in 1879. He remained in the city of Omaha until his removal to Grand Island, October 1, 1881, and here has since practiced his profession with the most flattering results. He has thoroughly prepared himself for this calling, and is the oldest dentist in Hall County, in point of years of continued practice, and May 20, 1888, his ability was recognized by his being elected president of the Nebraska State Dental Society. In his political views the Doctor is a Republican, and socially belongs to the K. of P., being a charter member of Nysian Lodge No. 46, and is also a member of the A. O. U. W. He was married November 9, 1881, to Miss Ida V. Wickwire, who was born in Stephenson County, Ill., in 1860, and by her has two sons: Guy T. and Ralph I.

MITCHELL, W. W.
    W. W. Mitchell is a prosperous general merchant of Hall County, located at Wood River, and by his excellent management and good commercial ability has built up a cemmendable business. He was born in the "Buckeye State" in 1846, and in that State made his home and receved his education until 1860, when he went to Michigan and was engaged in lumbering in the central and western portions until 1864, when he joined the Federal Navy and served on a gun-boat up and down the Mississippi River. Upon the close of he war he returned to Michigan and remained in the lumber business until 1871, when he came to Nebraska and settled on a soldier's homestead in Hall County, near Alda. In 1873 he opened a general mercantile establishment on a small scale, and also bought grain and sold farming implements. He did well and still owns a grain house there. He bought the elevator in Wood River before moving to the town, which is the only steam elevator, and he now ships from one to five car loads of grain per day. He recently completed a fine brick store building, at a cost of $4,000, and has a stock of general merchandise valued at $10,000. As a man of business his fame is co-extensive with the surrounding country, and every step of his financial and commercial career has been illustrated with acts of liberality. His success has been remarkable, and the confidence the people have in him in all respects is well deserved. He was for some time one of the county commissioners, is now vice-president of the board of the Building and Loan Association, and belongs to the town council. Socially he is a member of the A. O. U. W., the I. O. O. F., and he is a stockholder and director of the Wood River Bank. Politically he is a Republican. He was married in Michigan to Miss C. Morrison, by whom he has seven children. His parents, Adam and Elizaberh (Crumbaker) Mitchell, were born in Ohio, and were farmers by occupation. The Mitchells are of Irish descent, and were among the earliest settlers of Virginia.

MODESITT, James W.
    James W. Modesitt is the postmaster and a successful general merchant at Alda, Hall County, Neb. He was born near Indianola, Iowa, September 6, 1860, being a son of James and Nancy (Judy) Modesitt, natives, respectively, of Indiana and Illinois. The father was married twice, his first union taking place in Indiana, and his second, to Muss Judy, in Illinois. He died in Iowa in 1861, and his widow afterward moved to Illinois and located at Tazewell County, where she still resides. James W. Modesitt was reared to manhood and received a good common-school education in Illinois, and up to 1886 was engaged in farming. He came to Nebraska in 1884, and after following the plow for two years and clerking for about two years longer, he opened his present establishment, and has since been doing well. His stock of goods is well selected and fairly large, and as he sells at reasonble rates he commands a large and lucrative trade. He was appointed postmaster of Alda by President Harrison in May, 1889, and has since discharged the duties of this position in a very efficient manner. January 16, 1889, he was married to Miss Orilla Fleisher, a daughter of John Fleisher, of Hall County, in which county Mrs. Modesitt was reared to womanhood. Mr. Modesitt belongs to the A. O. U. W., and has held a number of official postions in his lodge.

MOHR, Peter
    Peter Mohr, farmer and stockman, was born in Holstein, Germany, in 1833, and is a son of Peter and Lucy (Mein) Mohr, also natives of that province, the father a farmer by occupation, who made his home in his native land until his death, which occurred in 1836. His excellent wife survived him until 1868, when she, too, passed away. Peter Mohr, the immediate subject of this sketch, was reared to a farm life in his native land, and obtained a fair education in the schools of that country. Upon reaching a proper age he enterd the German army, but only served a short time, and after purchasing his discharge set sail from Hamburg March 17, 1869, for the United States, and landed at Hoboken, N. J., and came direct to Grand Island. After working as a farm hand for one year he rented land, and in 1882 settled on his present porperty, which embraces 160 acres. He soon set out a good orchard, and in addition to his farm work he is now engaged in feeding fifty head of cattle yearly. He was one of the first settlers of Prairie Creek Township, and has always taken a deep interest in the welfare of his adopted State and county. He was married in Hall County, in 1882, to Mrs. Wilhelmina (Hasenger) Kinkle. She was born in Germany, and after coming to the United States was married to Dr. Kinkle and moved to Grand Island, Neb., where the latter died in 1880. By the Doctor she became the mother of two children: Wilhelm and Otillie. Her union with Mr. Mohr has resulted in the birth of a son, Carl P. Mr. Mohr votes with the Democratic party and was the first supervisor in his township, and has been a member of his district school board for twelve years.

MONTGOMERY, Orrin D.
    Orrin D. Montgomery is engaged in tilling one of the neatest and most fertile farms in the county, it comprising 400 acres of land. He was born in Saybrook, Ashtabula County, Ohio, in 1830, being a son of Robert and Charlotte (Gillet) Montgomery, the former of whom was born in the Black River country, New York, and died in Ashtabula County, Ohio, in 1850 aged seventy-two years. The paternal grandfather was born in Ireland, and at an early day emigrated to Scotland. The maternal grandather was born in Scotland. Mr. Montgomery is proud of his Scotch blood, and with the characteristics of his race worships Scotland's national bard, Burns. The subject of this sketch was reared in Wisconsin, and was married in Michigan, October 28, 1855, to Miss Louisa A. Larrabee, the result of this union being five children, of whom four are living: Arthur, Homer, Josephine and Ada. After having traveled around for some time Mr. Montgomery was at length attracted by the apparent possibilities of Nebraska, and considering the land fertile as well as beautiful, and believing that his industry would receive a rich reward, he settled in Hall Conty in 1865, and the result of his labors has proved his judgment to be correct. His means were very limited on locating here, but he was blessd with good health, energy and strength, and is now one of the prosperous men of the county. Mr. Montogomery was called upon to mourn the death of his wife February 15, 1887, she having been a true helpmate to him and a most devoted wife and mother.

MOORE, Patrick
    Patrick Moore, a prominent pioneer of Hall County, Neb., was the first settler on Wood River. He was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1835, and until the year 1847 was an attendant of the national schools, but at that date was brought to American shores by his parents, and in time became a settler of the State of Illinois. He was soon placed in the Academy at Joliet, where his advantages were improved to the utmost, and upon leaving that institution he became one of the popular and successful local educators of Will County. After a residence of about one year in the State of Iowa he came to Omaha, Neb., and in the spring of 1859 settled in Hall County, having previously pre-empted a claim, and during his early residence passed through the various experiences of the pioneer settler. The county was very sparsely settled until after the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1868, and the families of the settlers very often had narrow escapes from death from marauding bands of Sioux Indians. In February, 1862, a man by the name of Smith, his two sons, a neighbor's son, all neighbors and friends of Mr. Moore, were slain during one of the attacks. This caused great alarm to the remaining settlers, and for many nights afterward they would assemble at some one house and keep guard throughout the night. By 1864 many of the settlers had retuned to their former homes, but Mr. Moore, with the perseverance and determination which have ever characterized his efforts, determined to "hold the fort," and is now enjoying the fruits of his early years of anxiety and toil. He is the owner of a fine tract of land comprising 320 acres, well improved and every acre of which is tillable. His career is well worth the emulation of the rising generation, for to the pluck and intrepidity of just such men the present admirable state of civilization is due. He is a man of more than ordinary intelligence, and his business capabilities are of a high order. He is a Republican in his political views, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, and is now vice president of and a heavy stockholer in the First National Bank of Wood River. His parents were Patrick and Anastasia (Collins) Moore, and the former died on the voyage to America. His wife and daughter died of typhoid fever soon after landing.

MOORE, Charles A.
    Charles A. Moore was born in North Bend, Mahoning County, Ohio, in 1839, a son of James and Margaret (Finley) Moore, the former of whom was also born in that county, a farmer by occupation and a soldier in the Mexican War. His father, James Moore, was a native of Ireland, a farmer and gardener, and upon coming to the United States settled first in New York State and then in Mahoning County, Ohio. The wife of James Moore was a daughter of John Finley, also a native of Ireland. James Moore removed to Portage County, Ohio, with his family, at an early day, and here Charles A. moore grew up. When fifteen years of age he and a brother, James A., left their parents' roof and went to Chicago, in which city they had their home for abut two years, being engaged in shipping horses. They next went to Pike's Peak, where they were engaged in the stage business for a few years, but in 1863-64 they resided on a ranch on the Overland Stage Line, the place being known as Moore's Ranche. They were actively engaged in the stock business until 1868, when they abandoned their rnach and Charles A. Moore settle in Sidney, Neb., with the interests of which place he was identified for some years, coming to Grand Island in 1890. He was married in Freeport, Ill., in 1871, to Miss Mary A. Tarbox, she bing born in that place, a daughter of Horace and Mary (Van Pelt) Tarbox, natives of York State. Mr. Moore and his family worship in the Presbyterian Church, and he and wife have an interesting family of two sons and one daughter: Horace G., Washington C. and Gracie. While a resident of Cheyenne County, Neb., Mr. Moore served for one term as county commissioner, the duties of which position he discharged in a very efficient manner.

MOORE, John
    John Moore is a successful farmer of Hall County, Neb., and since the year 1880 has been engaged in tilling the soil on his own responsibility, and is the owner of 160 acres of excellent farming land in Hall County, his original purchase being eighty acres. The year 1889 he tilled 130 acres of corn, and as his farm is conducted in a very thorough manner he is compelled to employ assistance throughout the year. He is a son of Anthony and Mary (Collins) Moore, and was born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1857, but with his parnets was among the early settlers of Hall County, Neb. In this county he received a thorough common-school education, and he is now considered a young man of far more than average intelligence, and has proved to be a valuable citizen in the community in which he resides, especially in connection with the farming interests. He has always supported the Democratic party and has served two terms as a member of the board of county commissioners. His worthy wife, before her marriage, which took place in January, 1880, was a Miss Mary A. Ryan, a native of Wisconsin, born in 1858, her parents being among those who early sought a home in Hall County, Neb., coming here in 1871. This young couple have had a family of four children born to them: Annie, Johnie, Mamie and Willie. Mamie died when about eleven months old. Mr. Moore resided with his parents until his marriage. He and wife are consistent members of the Roman Catholic Church.

MORITZ, Charles
    Charles Moritz is a German by birth, and this fact alone is enough to assure one that he is upright in all his dealings, thrifty, industrious, and consequently successful. He has been a resident of Nebraska since 1878, and his farm, which comprises 280 acres of fine land, nicely improved, is admirably adapted to the raising of all the cereals, as well as to the propagation of fine stock, to which Mr. Moritz gives a great deal of his time and attention. Since locating here he has proved a valuable citizen in the community, especially in the direction of fine stock interests, and on his farm is an exceptionally fine lot of Holstein-Friesian cattle and Poland China swine. At the early age of thirteen years he bade adieu to home and friends and for six years follwed the sea, after which he came to America and engaged in tilling the soil, an occupation to which he has since successfully given his attention. He has always taken an active interest in the political affairs of his adopted county, more especially of Nebraska and Hall County, and has supported the men and measures of the Republican party, serving in a number of local positions. He was married, in 1885, to Miss Lena Jost, whose place of birth was Germany, where she was born in 1863, and their union has been blessed in the birth of two bright little children: Martha and Otto F. Mrs. Moritz is a daughter of Valentine and Sophia (Hartenbach) Jost, who were born in Germany in 1830 and 1835, respectively. Mr. Moritz's parents, Carl and Mary (Stahlhut) Moritz, were born in 1827 and 1830, respectively, and in 1885 they emigrated to the United States, settling in the State of Nebraska, and are at present living near their son, Charles.

MULLIN, Joseph
    Joseph H. Mullin, book-seller and paper dealer, Grand Island, was born in Des Moines County, Iowa, February 24, 1851. His father, Bernard Mullin, is a native of Adams County, Ohio, and his paternal grandfather, Thomas Mullin, was born in Pennsylvania, and is of Irish-American stock. His mother, Mary (Brennan) Mullin, is a native of West Meath, Ireland, whence she came to America with her parents, Thomas and Bridget Brennan, when sixteen years of age. Joseph H. Mullin is one of a family of four sons and two daughters. He grew to manhood in Iowa, where he received the advantages of an academical education. He took a course in the law school of the State University of Iowa, from which institution he graduated in 1876, and was admitted to practice in the courts of the State. In the same year he opened a law office at Iowa City, but was not long in discovering that, while he enjoyed the study, the practice of law was not to his taste. Early in the sping of 1879 he came to Nebraska and established the business which he conducts at the present time. He was married here, October 15, 1884, to Miss Alice E. Hooper, a native of the State, and a daughter of Hon. Edward Hooper [see sketch]. They have two sons: Bernard Edward (born September 26, 1885) and Wilfrid Cecil (born August 18, 1887). Mr. Mullin and family are members of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, of which he is one of the trustees. He is a stockholder in the Grand Island Improvement Company, and is well and favorably known in Hall County. In the spring of 1889 he was elected police judge of the city, which office he holds at present.

MURPHY, Hon. Michael
    Hon. Michael Murphy is the efficient postmaster of Grand Island, Neb., and is a member of the board of supervisors of Hall County. He was born in Mayglass, County Wexford, Ireland, March 15, 1835, and is a son of James and Ellen (Howland) Murphy, the former of whom was a carpenter and builder by trade. He and wife reared a family of four sons, all of whom found homes in America. Michael Murphy came to America with his uncle, William Howland, and settled with him near Galena, Ill., where he remained until fifteen years of age, having by that time completed his schooling and worked for some time at the printer's trade. He first started out in life for himself as a printer in Lafayette, Ind., but afterward went to La Porte, Ind., where he learned photography. This occupation he followed in Maquoketa, Iowa, whither he went in 1855, but after spending about a year in St. Louis during war times, he returned to Maquoketa, and engaged in merchandising there five or six years. In 1870 he removed to Nebraska, and first took up his abode in Dixon County, but after a year or two of farming he gave up this occupation, returned to his camera, and in 1875 moved to Plattsmouth, where he opened a photograph gallery, and remained until 1877. He had in the meantime paid Grand Island a visit on two different occasions, and liking the city, he chose it as his future home, and accordingly moved here in 1877, and again opened a gallery, which he has since successfully managed. While a resident of Maquoketa, Iowa, he was married to Miss Eliza Humphrey, who was born near Buffalo, Erie County, N. Y., a daughter of Arthur King Humphrey, by his marriage to a Miss Orcutt. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy have a son and daughter: Eva (a teacher in the public schools of Grand Island, an intelligent and estimable young lady) and Earl (a lad of eleven years). Mr. and Mrs. Murphy are members of the Episcopal Church. He is a Scottish Rite Mason, a K. of H., and belongs to the Grand Island Improvement Company. He has served as mayor of the town on two differnt occassions, and has been a member of the school board four years.

MURPHY, A. C.
    A. C. Murphy, hardware merchant, Wood River, Neb. Prominent among the successful business men of Wood River stands the name of the above mentioned gentleman, who owes his nativity to Hampstead, Va., where his birth occurred October 13, 1850. In April, 1857, he came with his parents, Pendleton and Eva (Cline) Murphy, to Coles County, Ill., and thence to Douglas County, of the same State, where he grew to manhood and received the rudiments of an education. He was thrown on his own reponsibility at an early age, and farmed in Illinois until 1884. He owned about 300 acres of land, and was engaged in raising stock, grain, etc. In 1885 he sold his farm, and emigrated to Nebraska, where, in September, 1887, he located in Wood River, and has since been engaged in the hardware business, with a stock valued at $5,000, and with annual sales that equal about $20,000. He is a stockholder in the First National Bank, and is one of the substantial men of the county. He is a member of Lodge No. 22, I. O. O. F., of Grand Island. His parents were both natives of Virginia, and the father died in Illinois at the age of sixty-five years. They were the parents of eight children, six of whom are now living. A.C. Murphy is a fine specimen of physical manhood, standing six feet in his stockings, and proportioned accordingly. He is a typical Virginian, and is the truest of friends, but an enemy to be dreaded.

MYERS, John
    John Myers, farmer and stock-raiser, Wood River, Neb. Among the residents of this township who are accorded a worthy place in the respect of its citizens is John Myers, originally from Butler County, Pa., where his birth occurred in 1828, he being the son of John and M. (Sticale) Myers, natives also of the Keystone Stae. There he was left motherless at the age of two years, and two years later his father married Miss Hannah Morrison, also a native of Pennsylvania. John Myers, Jr., began fighting life's battles for himself when but fifteen years of age, and in 1846 came to Hancock County, Ill., where he remained two years. After that he removed to Calhoun County, where in 1853 he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Frances Turner, of Calhoun County, Ill., and the fruits of this union were seven children, two of whom died in infancy, and one, Nancy A., when over two years old; four are still living: William W., Sarilda, Edward N. and Bertie O. Mr. Myers came west in 1869, settled in Washington County, Neb., and there remained until the spring of 1874, when he came to Hall County, Neb. He was three times eaten out by grasshoppers, but was not discouraged, and is to-day one of the substantial farmers of the county. Aside from this his house with all its contents was destroyed by fire in 1886, but he has since rebuilt, has good outbuildings, etc., and a No. 1 farm of 320 acres, every acre of which is tillable. He has good stock, fine groves, and has only to dig about eighteen feet to get abundance of water. He has twenty-five acres of timothy and clover which is doing finely. He is a member of the Farmers' Alliance, and in his political views affiliates with the Democratic party.

MYERS, Lafayette
    Layfayette Myers, Grand Island, Neb. Sinee locating in Grand Island in 1876 Mr. Myers has identified himself with every interest of the place, and is now considered one of its leading business men. He was born in Hughsonville, Dutchess County, N. Y., June 26, 1844, and is a son of Abraham and Lucretia (Brinkerhoff) Myers, who were also natives of the "Empire State." The father was a passenger on the first vessel leaving New York City in 1849 for the California gold fields, but died while crossing the Isthmus of Panama the same year, at the age of thirty-eight years. He had been a merchant in good standing in the above-named city. His wife was born in 1815 and died in 1873. Lafayette Myers is the fourth of their six children, and was educated in the ward schools of New York City. He then was indentured, served his time and received from the Governor of New York by consent of the Senate his full branch papers as pilot of the port of New York by the way of Hell Gate. In the spring of 1876 he came to Grand Island, Neb., and was here actively engaged in the coal and ice business, but on March 31, 1887, being a Democrat, he was appointed to the position of postmaster of Grand Island and entered on his duties May 1, receiving his apppointment from President Cleveland. As an official he was efficient and popular, but conscientiously believing that "to the victor belong the spoils," on December 1, 1889, cheerfully resigned the position in favor of his successor. He was married in Washington, D. C., in August, 1874, to Miss Fannie A. Campbell, who was born in New York City in 1849, and by her has a family of four children: Lafayette, Elsie, Bessie and Emma. Mr. Myers was made a Mason when about twenty-one years of age.

OAKES, Thomas A.
    Thomas A. Oakes is alderman from the Fourth Ward of Grand Island, Neb., and his name is identified with the material and social happiness of Hall County. He was born in Baltimore, Md., March 20, 1849, and is a son of James and Mary (Nugent) Oakes, worthy people who were born in Derry, Ireland, and emigrated to the United States in early life. The father was a coppersmith by trade and for many years worked in the car shops of the Baltimore & Ohio Railway Company at Baltimore. He died in 1865 at the age of forty-seven years, and his worthy wife followed him to the grave some two years later. The youth and early manhood of Thomas A. Oakes were spent in his native city, and there he learned the painter's trade, and after reaching his twenty-first year he left home and worked at his trade in different parts of the United States for several years, being principally engaged throughout the West. In 1881 he settled at St. Paul, in Howard County, Neb., with the interests of which place he was identified until 1885, when he came to Grand Island and began working in the Union Pacific car shops, which has been his principal occupation ever since. He is a steady, painstaking workman, and as a citizen commands the respect of all who know him. He is a member of the K. of L., and is now serving his first term as alderman for his ward. He was married in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Miss Annie A. Cosgrove, by whom he has a son and daughter: Walter C. and May H. Mr. Oakes and his wife are regular communicants of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church.

O'KANE, D.
    The mercantile interests of Hall County, Neb., have been ably represented since March, 1880, by Mr. O'Kane, who has also been successfully engaged in grain-dealing. Upon first locating in the county, in January, 1880, he was the ticket agent at Alda for the Union Pacific Railroad, and held this position until he established his present business. He was born in Ogle County, Ill., in 1855, and was the fourth of nine children born to Joseph and Mary (Davy) O'Kane, natives, respectively, of Philadelphia, Pa., and Ireland, their union taking place in the State of Indiana. Soon after this event they settled in Illinois, and here the father was engaged in farming until 1874, when he moved to Nebraska, where he resided until his death in January, 1887, his wife dying in December, 1889. D. O'Kane received the advantages of the common schools of Ogle County in his boyhood, but in 1874 left his parents' home and settled in Dawson County, Neb., where he carried on stock-raising for some time. He then took up the study of telegraphy at Willow Island, and about 1876 became an operator and entered the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad, and during a service of thirteen years he only lost about five weeks. He has been engaged in general merchandising for a number of years, and as he carries a large and varied assortment of goods which he sells at very reasonable rates, he has obtained a large share of public patronage. He was married in Alda in January, 1882, to Miss Anna Mitchell, a native of Michigan and a daughter of Thomas Mitchell, who came to Nebraska in 1870. He is now a widower and makes his home with Mr. O'Kane. To the union above mentioned two interesting children have been born: Mabel and Josie. Mr. O'Kane casts his vote with the Democratic party, and has served as justice of the peace of Alda Township, and has been a delegate to differnt county conventions. He is a member of the A. O. U. W., Alda Lodge No. 165, and is a wide-awake and enterprising citizen, interested in all good works.

OWENS, AMAJIAH D.
    Among the people of Hall as well as surrounding counties the name that heads this sketch is by no means an unfamiliar one, for ever since locating here he has been closely connected with the progress and development of the community. His birth occured in Wirt County, W. Va., February 27, 1847, and he was the fifth of elevern children, nine of whom are living, born to Luther and Mardulia (Lott) Owens, who were born within the limits of Old Virginia. A. D. Owens, the immediate subject of this memoir, was reared on a farm in his native county, and in 1871 accompanied the family of Joseph H. Trout from West Virginia to the city of Indianapolis, Ind., and in the fall of 1872 he came with the same family to Hall County, Neb., and made his home with them for six months. The following years he spent in Wyoming Territory and Colorado, then returned to Nebraska, and engaged in farming in Centre Township of Hall County. On November 4, 1880, he was united in marriage to Miss Annie S. B., the daughter of Joseph H. and Amelia E. Trout, which family was the one Mr. Owens accompanied from West Virginia. Mrs. Owens was born in Frederick County, Md., January 30, 1856, and immediately after their marriage she and Mr. Owens settled in Grand Island, where they have since made their home. During the first few years of his residence here Mr. Owens was employed in different ways, and after working in an elevator for two years he spent two more years as clerk in a grocery store, and the following year was an employe of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company. In December, 1885, he bought a dray line in Grand Island, and has very successfully owned and operated it ever since. His line now consists of four teams, and he is doing a prosperous business. He is a member of the A. O. U. W., the K. of L., and in his political views is a Republican. He and wife are the parents of the following children: Myrtie A., Clyde L., Byrel M. and an infant daughter unnamed. Clyde and Byrel are deceased.


This is a USGenNet Certified Safe-Site™. USGenNet is an IRS-approved nonprofit public benefit corporation, solely supported by voluntary contributions. All copyrights are the property of individual submitters, and this site is in full compliance with with USGenNet's Conditions of Use.

Return to Hall County

2003 © Kaylynn, for the AHGP