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)



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    Jeremiah Parker is a representative agriculturist and stockman of Hall County, Neb., and is recognized and respected as such wherever known. He was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, June 16, 1823, and is a son of David and Elizabeth (Van Aken) Parker, who were born in Boston, Mass., and Delaware County, N. Y., respectively. The former removed to York State when a young man, was married there, and in 1816 removed to Ohio and settled in Trumbull County, where he made a farm and reared his family, his death occurring there on April 20, 1839. His wife survived him until January 30, 1863, when she, too, passed away. Of a family of twelve children born to them, two sons and three daughters are now living, but all became heads of families before their deaths. Jeremiah Parker was the youngest of his father's family, and after reaching manhood was married, in Trumbull County, Ohio, in 1843, to Miss Betsy Jane Waste, and after his marriage located on the old home place, and farmed until 1862, at which time he went to Andover, Ashtabula County. He lost his first wife in 1851, she having borne him five children: David B. (was in the twenty-ninth Ohio Infantry, and was killed at Culpeper Court-House August 12, 1862, and was buried at Alexandira, Va.), a daughter, Maria J. (married, and died after having given birth to two children), a son, Ira C. (is married, and lives in Hall County), Leander I. (died at Alda Febrary 13, 1886), Lovina E. (is the wife of William Lawrence, and lives in Hall County). Mr. Parker's second union also took place in Trumbull County, May 22, 1851, his wife being Miss Orpha Finlaw, a daughter of Ezra Finlaw. She was born in Pennsylvania, but reared in Ohio, and her union with Mr. Parker has resulted in the birth of six children: Jacob E. (a resident of Valley County), James P. (in Sherman County), Deborah S. (wife of P. A. Tobias, of Ashtabula County, Ohio), Marvin S. (is single and at home), Mary E. (wife of Alonzo Fowler, of Valley County, Neb.) and Nellie (at home). In 1862 Mr. Parker moved from Trumbull to Ashtabula County, Ohio, and there made his home until he came to Nebraska, April 15, 1879. He soon purchased his present property, which was then but slightyl improved, and now has 169 acres of fertile land in a fair state of cultivation, on which are good buildings of all kinds. Mr. Parker is an active politician, voting the Republican ticket, and is serving as a member of the school board of his district. He has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for a number of years, and socially belongs to the I. O. O. F.

    N. J. Parker is a daealer in coal, and commission agent for the Omaha Union Grain Company at Wood River, Neb. Like all native New Yorkers he is intelligent, enterprising and industrious, and although still a young man he has established for himself and wife a comfortable and pleasant home here. He was born in Monroe County, July 7, 1859, and is a son of John and Mary (Anderson) Parker, who were born in County Cavin, Ireland. At the age of twenty-two he came to the United States and first settled in New York, but in 1866 removed to the State of Illinois, and there died on August 15, 1879, having been a stone and brick mason throughout life. Both parents were married prior to their union with each other, and the mother is now living in Beloit, Wis., making her home with a daughter. N. J. Parker is one of four children, and received his education and rearing in De Kalb County, Ill., but after reaching his fourteenth year he began learning the trade of a molder, and this occupation continued to receive his attention until he came to Nebraska in 1885. His present position was proffered him by his brother-in-law, P. C. Hunebaugh, and this he is very sucessfully filling. He owns a good residence besides two building lots in the town, and is otherwise well-fixed financially. During the year 1889 he sold over 1,100 tons of coal, making a good profit thereon. He is a Democrat in his political views. He was married in Sycamor, Ill., to Miss Carrie M. Johnson, who was born in that State November 7, 1862, their marriage taking place May 22, 1883.

    James M. Parrott, farmer and stock-raiser, Doniphan, Neb. James M. Parrott was born in Wood County, Va (now W. Va.), February 18, 1850, being the son of Abraham Parrott, a native of the Keystone State. The latter was a teacher by profession, and followed this occupation in Ohio and Virginia for many years. He was married in Ohio to our subject's mother, whose maiden name was Miss Margaret Burchard, and who was a native of the last-named State. The father died in Ohio in 1853, and in 1878 the mother emigrated to Nebraska, settled on the same section as her son, James M., and there her death occurred January 2, 1889. Their family consisted of six children: Elizabeth Ann (wife of David M. Mooney), William S. (who enlisted in 1863 in the One Hundred and Sixteenth Ohio Infantry, Company I, was in the battle of Winchester and a number of other engagements, was wounded at the battle of Cedar Creek; he came home, finally settled in Kansas, and there his death occurred in 1880), John N. (came to Hall County, Neb., in the early part of 1880, located in this township, and made his home with his mother until his death January 31, 1889), Margaret J. (now Mrs. George C. Humphrey, of this township), James M. and Abraham C. [see sketch below]. James M. Parrott's younger days were spent in Ohio, where he received his education, and in 1872 he moved to Hartford City, Ind., where he learned telegraphy, taking his first office at Royal Centre, on the Pittsburg, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad. He remained in this office for five months and then returned to Hartford City, where he remained for nearly ten years in the employ of the same company. He then came to Nebraska, farmed for one year, and then took an office as agent and operator at Silver Creek, Neb., on the Union Pacific Railroad, filling that position for two and a half years. He was then transferred to Orchard, Colo., on the Julesburg branch of the Union Pacific Railroad, and remained there another two years and a half, spending in all about fifteen years in railroading. Mr. Parrott was married in Hartford City on September 6, 1876, to Miss Orrleaffa Moler, the daughter of John E. and Margaret (Stewart) Moler, natives of Virginia and Ohio, respectively. Mr. Moler was a physician of Hartford City and is living at the present time. The mother died in November, 1888. Mr. Parott has one child, Bessie May. Our subject emigrated to Hall County, Neb., in 1883, having purchased 160 acres of land in 1877, which he has been improving ever since, and which shows the care and attention that have been put upon it. He also raises a good grade of stock. Socially he is a member of the I. O. O. F., Silver Creek Lodge No. 131, and is a charter member of the same. He is a Republican, and takes a deep interest in politics, as he does in all the current topics of the day.

PARROTT, A. C. "Abraham"
    A. C. Parrott, farmer and stock raiser in Section 14, South Platte Township, homesteaded eighty acres in 1876, and located on his farm in January, 1877. He was born in Virginia in 1853, early became familiar with the details of farm life, received his education in Ohio, and when twenty-four years of age came to Hall County, Neb., where he engaged in farming on his present property. He erected a sod cabin in the spring of 1877, and lived in that until the fall of 1883, when he erected a good frame house, improved the place, set out an orchard and now has his farm in a good state of cultivation. He was married in Hall County, Neb., in 1879, to Miss Marion Gray, a native of Wisconsin, and the daugter of Robert and Rachel (Chambers) Gray, natives of Ogdensburg, N. Y. Mr. Gray moved to Walworth County, Wis., at an early day, and in 1878 emigrated to Hall County, Neb., settling in South Platte Township, where he purchased a partly-improved farm. He died in Hall County, March 20, 1889, but his wife is still living and makes her home in South Platte Township. Mrs. Parrott had three brothers in service during the late war. Dallas enlisted in the artillery, and was all through the war. His death occurred in Montana, in August, 1880. Bruce enlisted in 1863 in the cavalry, took cold, came home and died with the consumption. Leslie enlisted in 1863 in the infantry service, was in active duty for some time, and was coming home by way of the Atlantic when the vessel in which he took passage was lost with all on board. After his marriage Mr. Parrott settled where he now resides, has a well-improved place, likes the State, and is one of its prominent citizens. He is not active in politics, but votes with the Republican party. To his marriage were born five children: Robert, Luda, Georgia, Ora, and Johnny (who died in infancy). Mr. Parrott is the son of Abraham and Margaret (Burchard) Parrott, natives of Ohio. After their marriage the parents settled in Virginia and remained there some time, the father engageing in teaching school. His death occured in May, 1853. The mother died in Hall County, Neb., in January, 1889. They were the parents of six children, A. C. being the youngest. One of these children, William, was in the service. He enlisted in company I, One Hundred and Sixteeth Ohio Infantry, under Gens. Hunter and Sheridan, and was in the battles of Winchester, Cedar Creek and others. He was taken prisoner, confinded at Libby, Belle Isle and Castle Thunder, and was in the prisons of the South for several months. He received a gun-shot wound at Cedar Creek. Our subject was among the pioneer settlers of Hall County, and has always taken an active interest in all that relates to the good of the community.

    James Christian Pederson is the proprietor of an excellent livery and sale stable, and his establishment is well fitted up with a complete line of carriages and horses. He is popular with commercial men, for his charges are reasonable and excellent rigs are provided for transportation. He was born near Biborg, Denmark, July 7, 1856, and is a son of Soren M. and Annie Pederson, who came to America in 1869, and first settled at Oconomowoc, Wis., but soon after the Chicago fire Mr. Pederson went to that place, where he was engaged in contracting and building and mason's work, until the fall of 1873, when he came to Grand Island, Neb., and subsequently settled at Dannebrog, in Howard County, where he was one of the prime movers in the colonization of the settlement with Danish people. James Christian Pederson is the eldest of his seven children, and was reared to manhood in Grand Island. After attaining a proper age he embarked in the grocery business and successfully conducted an establishment from 1879 to 1886, after which he purchased his present livery business, which is one of the best of the kind in the county. He was married here to Miss Jennie Morgan, who was born in Pennsylvania but reared in Nebraska, she being a daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Chapman) Morgan. They have three daughters: Bessie, Maysie and Gracie. Mr. and Mrs. Pederson are members of the Presbyterian Church, and he belongs to the K. of P. and the A. O. U. W. Mr. Pederson is the ownder of considerable valuable property, and besides owning some town property has a good stock ranch in Custer County.

    Hon. William H. Platt, an influential member of the Grand Island bar, and the present mayor of the city, was born in Rochester, N. Y., October 16, 1835, a son of William A. and Mary E. (Pierce) Platt, both of whom were born in New York City, the former September 23, 1807, and the latter October 17, 1807. Their marriage was consumated September 23, 1829, in their native city, and there and in Michigan they made their home until 1872, when they located in Grand Island, Neb., and here the father passed from life in January, 1875. His widow survives him and is making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Maggie E. Conely, at Brighton, Mich. The paternal grandparents, Allison and Margaret Platt, were born in Germany and New York City, respectively, and the former was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The maternal grandfather, John Pierce, was a native of Dublin, Ireland, and was a sailor by occupation. While serving as skipper of the bark "Mary," of which he was the principal owner, he was lost at sea while on a trip from Liverpool to New York City. William H. Platt, the immediate subject of this sketch, was the third in a family of nine children, eight being sons, and he and a brother and sister are the only ones now living. William H., Nathan and John P. served in the Union army during the late war, and the last named was a member of the Sixth Michigan Cavalry, and was taken prisoner at the battle of Falling Water, and died in prison on Belle Isle. William H. Platt was taken by his parents to New York City before he was a year old, and there all his early education was obtained. He graduated from an educational institution that is now known as New York College, at the age of sixteen years, and immediately after, or in the year 1851, he went to Brighton, Mich., near which place he spent three years and helped his father clear up a farm. Returning to New York City, for a few years following he was in the employ of his cousin, James A. Van Brunt, a prominent shipping merchant of that city, and upon the breaking out of the late Civil War he became a member of the Thirteenth New York Regiment of Brooklyn. On April 19, 1861, the same day Fort Sumter was fired upon, his regiment was ordered to Annapolis, Md., thence to Baltimore, where he remained nearly four months, at which time his term of enlistment had expired. He was mustered out at Brooklyn, August 1, 1861, after which he went on a visit to his parents at Brighton, Mich., and while there, October 16, 1862, he was married to Miss Fannie E. Bidwell, who was born near that town, a daughter of Seth Bidwell, a pioneer of Michigan. For about two years after his marriage Mr. Platt remained in the vicinity of Brighton, being engaged in teaching school. In the spring of 1864 he removed to the State of Nebraska, in which he has made his home ever since, his residence during the first two years being chiefly in Omaha, he being a civil engineer in the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad, which was then in course of construction. In the fall of 1866 he removed from Omaha to Grand Island, of which place he has since been a prominent resident. From the spring of 1867 to the year 1868 he owned and conducted a drug store, and continued to be identified with that calling until 1872, but in the meantime had entered upon the practice of his profession. His ability soon became known and recognized, and in 1871 he was elected to the office of county judge, was re-elected in 1873, and served in all four years. In 1872 he was a delegate to the National Democratic Cinvention held at Baltimore. In the year 1877 he formed a law partnership with George H. Thummel, and the firm of Thummel & Platt has existed ever since, being at the present time one of the ablest legal firms in the county, if not in the State. They are both well versed in legal lore, have a large clientage, are conscientious and safe in their work, and have conducted many cases to a sucessful issue. In the spring of 1877 Mr. Platt was elected mayor of Grand Island, and at that time served one term of two years, was elected a delegate to the National Democratic Convention to be held at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1880, and in the spring of 1887 was again elected to the office of mayor of Grand Island, and was re-elected in the spring of 1889, being actively engaged in the discharge of his duties at the present tiem. He has always taken an active part in educational matters, and there is no one to whom more credit is due for the present excellent condition of the city schools than he. In 1867 he, with four other gentlemen, contributed money with which the first school house in the city was built, and he has since served as a member of the city school board for fifteen years, being for several years president of the board. By his own industry he has accumulated a comfortable forune, which he dispenses to the advantage of himself and his fellow-men, and being one of the earliest pioneers of the city and well known throughout Hall and surrounding counties, he commands the respect and esteem of all who know him. He is a member of the Masonic lodge, in which he attained the degree of Knight Templar. He and wife are the parents of the following family of children: Ralph, Hugh, Pierce, Blanche and Ruth. Ralph is now a student at law in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

    Caswell T. Poe, M. D., one of the oldest and best known physicians in the State of Nebraska, was born in Richmond, Va., March 27, 1830, being a son of William and Margaret Ann (Tippet) Poe, the former born September 2, 1786, in Richmond, and died in Illinois in February, 1867. In his youth he was a classmate of William Henry Harrison, in Hampden Sidney College, in Virginia, and after commencing for himself he followed the occupation of wholesale merchandising, and in his political views was a stanch Henry Clay Whig. His father, who was Thomas Poe, was born near Spottsylvania Court house, Va., in 1749, and was a son of Anson Poe, who was born in England and came to the United States in 1707, settling in Virginia on the Po River, where he lived and died. The father of Anson Poe was born in Italy on the Po River, date not known. The mother of Dr. Caswell T. Poe was born in Richmond, Va., May 21, 1807, and died in Illinois in 1872, having removed with her husband and family to Sangamon County of that State in 1845. Dr. Poe is one of four surviving members of a family of nine children, and when a young man was an attendant of Woodward College, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Knox College, Galesburg, Ill. In 1850 he began studying medicine under Dr. David Prince, of Jacksonvile, one of the eminent surgeons of the West, who died at the age of seventy-four years, and afterward entered the cincinnati Medical College, from which he was graduated March 10, 1853, and for two years remained in Cincinnati in the office of Dr. F. A. Waldo, oculist. In 1856 he attended a course of lectures in the Ohio Medical College, then went to Morgan County, Ill., and became associated in the practice of his profession with Dr. John Simpson. In the fall of 1859 he entered the State University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and from the spring of that year until January, 1862, he was pharmacist and second assistant physician in what was then the only hospital for the insane, at Jacksonville, Ill. He remained in this State until April, 1872, when he came to Grand Island, Neb., which place has since been his home. For nine years he was county physician of Hall County, and discharged his duties in a very efficient manner. In 1882 he received the honorary degree of M. D. from St. Joseph Medical College. He was married March 10, 1862, to Mrs. Stella Beard Ferguson, who was born in Ohio in 1834, and by her has had three children: Frederick William, Margaret Berniece and Anna Louise. His step daughter, Belle Ferguson, taught the first school in South Platte Valley Precinct, Hall County, Neb., in 1873. The Doctor is a Democrat of the old school.

    William Powell has been a resident of Hall County, Neb., since 1869, and has proved to be a valuable acquisition to the community in which he resides, especially in the direction of fine stock interests. He was born in New Orleans County, N. Y., in 1824, being the eldest of seven children born to Reuben and Olive (Paine) Powell, who were also natives of the "Empire State." The father was a farmer and stockman, and in 1837 removed to Trumbull County, Ohio, where he purchased land and improved, but died in Geauga County about 1873. His wife survived him until 1885, when she, too, passed away. William Powell has always been familiar with farm duties, and has made it his occupation through life. His opportunities for obtaining a good education in the common schools of his native State were limited, and subsequently he determined to see something of life, and crossed the plains to California in 1850, taking the overland route, and for four years was engaged in mining near Nevada City, after which he returned by water to New York City, and from there overland to his native State. In 1859 he returned to California and remained four years longer engaged in mining, then again returned to Ohio and turned his attention to farming and stock-raising, giving particular attention to the propagation of sheep. He was married in Geauga County, Ohio, in 1857, to Miss Mercy A. Hosmer, a native of that county, and a daughter of Alozo and Asenath (Biddlecome) Hosmer, who were born in the State of New York and were early emigrants to Ohio, being engaged in farming in both States, and both are now deceased. In 1869 Mr. Powell removed to Hall County, Neb., purchased 1,000 acres of partially improved land which he fenced and turned into a stock farm, for which purpose it is admirably adapted, as it is well watered by the Wood River, along the banks of which is quite heavy timber. He is now feeding 170 head of cattle and averages from 150 to 100 head per year. He also raises an excellent grade of horses, and is the owner of a fine Hambletonian horse. He has always voted with the Republican party, and has held a number of local offices. Mr. Powell lost his excellent wife in January, 1885, she having borne him four children: Frank (who is married and resides at Gibbon, Buffalo County, Neb.), Alonzo, Reuben (who works in the First National Bank of Grand Island), and George (who is a graduate of the high school at Grand Island, and is now attending Rush Medical College, of Chicago).

    James D. Purdy, a well known contractor and builder of Grand Island, Neb., was born at Harmony, in Chautauqua County, N. Y., June 14, 1840, and is a son of John and Maria (Bradner) Purdy, the former a cooper by trade, but also engaged in farming. The paternal grandfather was Silas Purdy. James D. Purdy was the third child and eldest son in a family of three sons and four daughters, and was reared to manhod in his native State, receiving there the advantages of the common schools. While he was busily employed in learning the carpenter's trade the war broke out, and he dropped his tools to take up arms in defense of the "stars and stripes," becoming a member of Company G, Forty-ninth New York Volunteer Infantry, and was on active duty for three years, participating in a number of battles. After the war was over he spent some time at home, but in 1866 went to Michigan and for six years was a resident at Alma, where he carried on carpentering. In 1872 he located in Grand Island, Neb., and here has since been prominently identified with its building interests, and is an able and skillful mechanic. The following are some of the buildings which he has erected: Independence Building, Jamieson Block, Michelson Block, City Hall, first brick school-house, O. A. Abbott's residence, besides many other business blocks, churches and schools. He was married in Harmony, N. Y., in 1866, to Miss Rosa Carr, a daughter of Jonas Carr, and by her has had a family of three sons and three daughters: Maud, Othello, William, May, Minnie and James D., Jr. The family worship in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Purdy is a member of the G. A. R.

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