SATURDAY, MAY 12, 1917
HERE HALF CENTURY ____ PERSONS WHO RESIDED IN COUNTY BEFORE STATE WAS ADMITTED. ____ Names and Dates of Location of Some of Our “Old Timers” -- We Want to Hear from Others. This being the semi-centennial year of the admission of Nebraska into statehood, and realizing that there are a number of “old settlers” in Johnson county, The Chieftain last week ran a few lines asking those persons who were here prior to the admission date, March 1, 1867, to make the fact known. There have been several to report: Mrs. Francis E. White, and her husband, recently deceased, located upon what is known as the Morrissey farm, west of town, May 1, 1865. Jack Craig owned the farm at that time. Julius L. Young came to Nebraska May 18, 1866, and located in Nemaha county. In 1873 he went to Elk Creek and went to buying grain. Israel Carman came here January 31, 1866. He homesteaded a place in Spring Creek precinct, and still owns the farm. Mrs. Sarah J. Baird and son, Tecumseh S. Baird, located here in the year 1866. Mrs. Baird’s husband, James O. Baird, deceased, brought his family here by team from Illinois. There were several families in the party, including those of the late Curry Bryson and others. Mrs. L. E. Douglas states that her husband homesteaded in Johnson county in 1864, and moved his family here the next year. The family lived on the old homestead for thirty years, C. V. Douglas being born there in September, 1866. Mrs. Douglas’ husband has been deceased for many years. Simon Young writes us from Bethany that he came to Nebraska, settling in Johnson county, in September, 1866. His wife located here in November, 1865. James Garris has memories of pioneer times here. His home has been in Johnson county since 1862. James H. Ross states that his father, the late James M. Ross, brought his family to Johnson county in 1861, locating on the farm west of town where the family lived for years. There were seven children in the family at the time, others being born here. Mr. Ross’ mother is still a resident of Tecumseh. Mrs. D. R. Bush is a sister of Mr. Ross. Frank A. Gue and his brother, Peter L. Gue, are two of the men who came to Johnson county in a day that telephones and automobiles were not even dreamed of. They located at Brownville in 1866, and, after spending a short time in the river town, came here. Washington Robb decided upon Johnson county as his future home October 13, 1865. He has had the satisfaction of witnessing some wonderful transformations in this country. Walker Webb and his sister, Mrs. James Henry, have lived here since April 6, 1866. Their father, the late James Webb, located his family upon a farm southeast of Tecumseh, April 6, 1866. LeRoy S. Otis deceased, brought his family to Johnson county in 1866, arriving here on November 8. His widow, Mrs. Margaret Otis, still lives here. She is a sister-in-law of General Harrison G. Otis, publisher of the Los Angeles Times. W. C. Jolly has the distinction of a full enjoyment--if that is what you can call it--of pioneer life in Nebraska. With others he was engaged in overland freighting from Nebraska City to Denver, crossing the plains with ox-drawn wagons, and he rented the house on the Cochran farm October 13, 1864, to let his oxen condition during the winter. Mr. Jolly states the freighters did not care to drive horses for the Indians wanted them and would make trouble, whereas they had cattle. However, an occasional set-to with the redskins was an ordinary matter, the freighters usually traveling in parties and combining their efforts to ward off the enemy. A. W. Buffum, a veteran of the civil war, his wife and two sons, Ben B. Buffum and Warren M. Buffum, came to Johnson county from Illinois in September, 1866. They settled on a homestead southwest of the city, now the E. G. Jury farm. Six years later the family moved to town and Mr. Buffum carried mail on a pony route each day from Tecumseh to Hooker, west of Sterling. Later Mr. Buffum engaged in the harness business here; he was in the drug business in an early day, and finally went into the banking business. A son, Charles R. Buffum, was born here. The above are the “old timers” to report to us to this time. Let us hear from others. ---------------------------- MORE OLD SETTLERS ____ PEOPLE WHO WERE IN THIS COUNTY IN TERRITORIAL DAYS. _____ Supplemental List to That Printed Last Week--Interesting Early-History is Being Developed. The Chieftain is hearing from a great many of the “old timers” in its request for all to report who were residents here before the state was admitted to the union. March 1, 1867. Following the long list printed last week here are those to report this week: B. F. Drake of Elk Creek, now at Boerne, Texas, writes that he “landed in Tecumseh” July 6, 1866, via the prairie schooner route from Ohio. He homesteaded near Elk Creek. Mr. Drake was a soldier in the civil war and is now past eighty years of age. His wife is deceased and was buried in the old Bryson cemetery, near the Fairview cemetery. Mrs. Henry Wakeman writes from Bucktail, Arthur county, this state, that her father, the late Henry Jones, came to this county in October, 1866, and located on a homestead seven and one-half miles north of Tecumseh. Mrs. Jones is still living and is making her home with Mrs. Wakeman. Mrs. Wakeman’s brother, Ed Jones, lives at Bakersfield, Cal. Mrs. Wakeman writes that their family surely experienced the hardships incidental to early life here, and closes by mention of the fact that she notes from the paper that a great many of the early-day comers of Johnson county have passed away during the past few years. Comrade J. M. Cathcart, who lives in Spring Creek precinct, closed a four years’ army service and came to Johnson county in May, 1866. He settled on the homestead where he now lives, which place has been his home continuously from the day he located upon it. Mr. Cathcart’s army service was with Company H, Thirty-Seventh Illinois volunteer infantry, with the last year as a member of Company A, Second United States veteran volunteers. He arranged for the securing of the land here, through an agent, while he was in the army. He returned to Illinois to spend the winter of 1868-69 and was married to Miss Amy Ficken, in Rock Island, county. Mrs. Cathcart came here in the spring of 1869. Both are in fairly good health. A son, Addison C. Cathcart, resides at Oberlin, Kan. The late Martin Brott brought his family here from Iowa in August, 1862. The first home of the family was on a farm eleven miles northeast of Tecumseh. After a few years there the family moved to Tecumseh, where they lived for years. In an early day Mr. Brott and his sons engaged in mining coal along the “Town Branch,” the little stream which passes through the east part of the city. The late James Hill used the coal these men secured for firing his power plant at his flour mill for more than a year. Early settlers have recollections of seeing this coal in use here. Joseph Brott and Mrs. Grant Fisher of Tecumseh and James Brott, who lives near Vesta, were born before the family came here, other children being born in this county. George Pinnell of this city came here from Bureau county, Ills., in January, 1866. His wife’s father’s family located here even earlier than did Mr. Pinnell. Both Mr. and Mrs. Pinnell are in fair health. Louis Ray informs us his father, Daniel B. Ray, recently deceased, came here in 1859. Louis Ray was born here in 1865. Thomas A. Sandusky came to Johnson county with an uncle in November, 1865. They drove through from Illinois. His father, the late Wiley Sandusky, brought his family here the next year and went onto a homestead. George Sandusky, Sterling’s postmaster, was a mere tot of a boy at that time. George W. Dorsey of Newport adds another link to this early history chain in the following letter: “In November, 1858, B. F. Dorsey and wife (deceased), settled on a farm near the old Helena townsite, with their four children, namely, Hattie, Mrs. G. W. Sabin (deceased), Lucy, Mrs. Moses Langley of Tecumseh, and Charles R. and George W. Dorsey, now of Newport, Rock county.” Mrs. Elizabeth Fithian, widow of the late Peter Fithian, writes from Long Pine to be registered among the early comers to Johnson county. The Fithians came here in 1863, taking a homestead on Silver Creek. The late Fred Goosman, his wife and son, E. T. Goosman, started from Marshall county, Ills., (on borrowed funds) for Nebraska, traveling the overland route, in 1865. They landed at Nebraska City on August 2 of that year and camped on the banks of the river for a time. A little later they came on to Johnson county and Mr. Goosman took a homestead of 160 acres, five and one-half miles west and one-half mile north of Tecumseh. Mr. Goosman died last year and Mrs. Goosman is still living on the old homestead. Horatio G. Pope informs us that his father located here in October, 1865. All the time, up to three years ago, Mr. Pope’s home was on the family homestead, southeast of the city. The Chieftain wants to hear from more of the “old timers.” Send or hand in your record, if you were here before the state was admitted. ---------------------------- CAME UP THE “MUDDY” _____ EARLY SETTLERS JOURNEYED THIS WAY ON THE OLD “STERN-WHEELERS.” _____ Charley Emmons Remembers Time “Uncle” Austin Buffum Was Star Musician in the Tecumseh Brass Band. Charles A. Emmons writes The Chieftain from Pawnee, Okla., as follows: “Put me down in your old settlers’ column. My parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. James Emmons, came up the river by steamboat and settled at Brownville in 1856. I was born there in 1864. About ten years after locating at Brownville my father moved his family to Johnson county, taking the old stage coach, over which the late Bob Frost cracked his whip on his team of four, to Tecumseh. Father took land there in 1867, the place being two miles southeast of Tecumseh and is still in my possession. As my memory goes we landed in Johnson county the very day ‘Hank’ Rosakrans and Charles Campbell finished ‘digging the Nemaha.’ The first man I remember seeing there was Uncle Austin W. Buffum, who was seated on the steps of the old Caledonia hotel jamming wind through an old brass tuba horn. He thought he was making music, but I think it wouldn’t sound much like it in these days. The first two men we bought groceries of in Tecumseh were Dick McLanahan and I. H. Claggett. When I sell enough corn to buy a ticket I am going to visit Tecumseh and see how the ‘old timers’ are behaving themselves.” Marion H. McCulloch, who recently went to Deuel county, near Chappell, from this county, is eligible to membership in the old timers’ society of Nebraska and Johnson county. His father, Alexander McCulloch, with his family, including his wife and three children, Mrs. Emily Young now of Cook, Mrs. Mattie Kirkland now of Yuma county, Colo., and Robert McCulloch, left Terre Haute, Ind., in March, 1864, and landed at Nebraska City the next month. The trip was made by rail to St. Louis, and by boat to ‘Nebraska City. Marion was born at Nebraska City June 9, 1865. In the fall of 1866 the senior Mr. McCulloch filed on a homestead in the Mt. Hope neighborhood, eleven miles north-east of Tecumseh, and in 1867 the family moved to Johnson county. Mr. McCulloch says the young folks of this day complain that their lots are hard, and he is wondering how they would like to be raised on corn bread and molasses, as the boys were in his day. John B. Sharrett, deceased, transported his family and earthly belongings from Fayette county, Ohio, in 1856, making the trip with a mule team and emigrant wagon and landing in Johnson county on August 1. Three months were required to complete the long and tedious journey. Mr. Sharrett preempted 160 acres of land six miles northeast of Tecumseh, which property has been owned by Mrs. Sharrett up to this spring. Mrs. Sharrett, now eighty-six years of age, makes her home with her son, Frank B. Sharrett, at Crab Orchard. L. A. Sharrett of Wray, Colo., another son, was three years of age when the family came here. The father of John B. Sharrett was a soldier in the war of 1812. William Powell, now living at Syracuse, has the distinction of being one of the early settlers of this county. He came with his parents in May, 1857, and the family settled on what was known as Silver creek, twelve miles northwest of Tecumseh, near the old Helena townsite. Mr. Powell enlisted in 1864 with Company A, First Nebraska cavalry, in Otoe county, in which county he had homesteaded. He was mustered out of the service at Omaha, July 1, 1866, with the rank of corporal. The Chieftain wants to hear from others who were settlers in Johnson county before the state was admitted to the union. ---------------------------- FIRST BORN IN CITY _____ GEORGE MAULDEN’S NATIVITY WAS IN TECUMSEH NEARLY 56 YEARS AGO _____ His Father, John Maulder, Deceased, Paid $300 in Gold for Land Which is Present Site of this City. George Maulden was the first white child born in Tecumseh. His advent was on October 18, 1861, and he first saw the light of day in a little log hut situated at about the present site of the plant of the Tecumseh Milling Company. If Mr. Maulden is spared until the 18th of the coming October he will have resided in Tecumseh continuously for fifty-six years. John Maulden, the father of George Maulden, was a native of Illinois and was married there in his young manhood, and lost his wife. He went to Bethany, Mo., where he was married to Sarah Hogan, and two children were born to this union, George and Lillie, now the wife of Thomas Hartman of Independence, Ore. Lillie was born in Missouri about 1858, and at about that time John Maulden moved his family to Nebraska, settling first at a road house or store between Nebraska City and Tecumseh. In the year 1860 the family came to Tecumseh. This was the year before George was born. Mr. Maulden settled on a claim just west of the present corporate limits of the city of Tecumseh, erecting his place of abode near the Nemaha, as stated. A few years after locating here Mr. Maulden bought from the government the 320 acres upon which the present city of Tecumseh is built. He paid $300 in gold for it, the government land office being at Brownville. In a very early day Mr. Maulden was engaged in business here, conducting a trading place, first in a tent and later in a shanty, at a point near the present location of the Arcade hotel. For years he operated a sawmill, making lumber of the native timber near the stream. There are people now living in the county who will remember these facts. Mr. Maulden has been deceased for some twenty-seven years. Mrs. Maulden returned to her former home at Bethany, where she was later married to a man named Stanley, and there were four children by that union. She died six years ago. Mr. Maulden’s third wife, Mrs. Margaret Maulden, to whom he was married here a great many years ago, is still living and is a resident of Tecumseh. While there seems to be no dispute as to the distinction claimed by George Maulden of being the first white child born in the city of Tecumseh, James Price, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits by Fred Halsted, south of the city, was the first white child born in Johnson county. He was born on Spring Creek, April 16, 1857. Comrade O. D. Woodruff of Winfield, Kan., who has been visiting in this section, informed this paper that his father, Buel Woodruff, located his family in Pawnee county in a very early day. Four years before the war O. D. Woodruff homesteaded a place on Turkey creek, Johnson county. He continued to be a resident of this county for thirty-one years, after which he moved to Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Buel Woodruff and Mrs. O. D. Woodruff are buried in the Tecumseh cemetery, and this is the reason that Comrade Woodruff always comes back to the “old home town” for Memorial day. S. J. Stover of near Elk Creek, better known as “Jeff” Stover, contributes a little history to this column. His father, Michael M. Stover, brought his family from Jones county, Iowa, by team, in 1865. At that time Jeff was three years of age. Michael Stover located upon a homestead seven miles east of Elk Creek, which is over the county line, to be sure, but Jeff Stover has resided in this county for years. His parents are deceased but a brother, George W. Stover, and sister, Mrs. Clara E. Morton, reside at Table Rock. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hintz came to Johnson county from Milwaukee, Wis., in July, 1866, and located upon a claim near the present town of St. Mary. Mr. Hintz has been deceased since 1884 and his wife died in 1892. Henry Hintz, the well known merchant of St. Mary, who has farming interests there, was born here September 6, 1868. W.E. Manning of this city came west with his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Homer Manning, deceased, in 1858, settling in Nemaha county in June of that year. Mr. Manning came to this county in 1886. A sister, Mrs. O. F. Hunt, resides at Crab Orchard. Mrs. Eliza Whistler writes from Vancouver, Wash. to be listed in The Chieftain’s old settlers’ column. With her husband, the late David Whistler, Mrs. Whistler came to Johnson county from Unionville, Iowa, reaching Tecumseh May 13, 1865. The family settled on a farm one mile east of Vesta, later known as the Sullivan farm. They lived there for three years, when Mr. Whistler bought a quarter section of land five and one-half miles northwest of Tecumseh, where a son, Joseph Whistler, now lives. The youngest daughter, Hester, was born on this place and the other children were born in Iowa. ---------------------------- WAS AN "EXHIBITION" ________ EARLY-DAY ENTERTAINMENTS IN CLASS OF THEIR OWN. ________ Movement for Prohibition Started in Tecum- seh Half Century Ago--Some of the Early Arrivals Here. E. C. Thompson, who lives near Elk Creek and who has resided in Nebraska since May 10,1866, writes to know if there are any readers of The Chieftain besides himself who were members of the first Good Templars lodge organized in Tecumseh, the organization being in 1868. Rev. J. H. Presson, at present employed in the office of the governor was the first worthy chief templar and C. N. Howland was secretary. Mr. Thompson writes as follows: "A musical entertainment, called an exhibition, of course, was given by members of the lodge in the old school house in November of that year. An active part was taken in the program by three young men who had but recently come to the village. They were Mr. Craig, harness maker, Mr. Marsh, merchant and postmaster and Mr. Wilson, editor of Tecumseh's first newspaper, The Tecumseh Herald, (later The Chieftain), the paper being started about that time. These young men boarded with Silas Wadsworth and, on account of their mirth making dispositions, they called themselves and were known as the 'Wadsworth fools.' Who remembers them? Rev. Mr. Presson sang and acted the old piece, 'These Temperance Folks Are Crowding Awfully.' He has lived to see John Barleycorn crowded off the Nebraska map. 'Father, Dear Father, Come Home With Me Now' was sung by Miss Carrie Woodruff, a trained singer and musician from Pennsylvania, who was here on a visit to her brother, Lem H. Woodruff, a merchant in the village. "The musical instrument used was Scott Whitney's melodeon. Of the writer's part on the program, as Kyron Tierney used to say, 'Me native modesty forbids that I should speak.' From those early efforts it has seemed 'A Long, Long Way to Tipperary,' (prohibition) and some times quite a 'Rocky Road to Dublin,' had to be traveled but we have found it true that 'No matter what is said just keep a level head and we'll get there all the same.'" Mrs. William Fuller, who lives in the Long Branch neighborhood, should certainly be listed among the early settlers of this community. Her father, the late Seymour S. Rogers, came here from Wisonsin in the fall of 1864 and bought land in this county. He moved his family here the next spring, arriving here March 28, 1865. Tecumseh was a very small settlement at that time, there being but seven buildings all told. On the site of the present court-house was a log building, 10 or 12 feet square, roofed with poles and grass. School was held in this building three or four months in the year. During the summer and the year following the first frame school building was erected, and it was a small affair. This family certainly experienced the hardships of the very early settlers. Mrs. Fuller's sisters, Mrs. B. F. Pope, and Mrs. A. N. Coffey, both living in Tecumseh at this time, are the only residents of this city who were here at that early day. Mrs. Fuller's three sons, Warren, Seymour and Noble White, were born in Tecumseh. In the year 1859 Zack T. Cody of Elk Creek, then a lad nine and one half years of age, rode a pony from Wisconsin to Nebraska. His father, M. K. Cody, deceased, brought his family here in a team caravan, and the Elk Creek man was favored with transportation by the pony route. This caravan, several teams in number, reached Tecumseh June 20, 1859, and camped here. M. K. Cody went at once to the Elk Creek vicinity and bought the Oliver Morris place. The Cody home was long on this farm. At the time of the overland trip the senior Mr. Cody's family consisted of himself, wife and five children. Father and mother and three of the children are deceased. A brother of Zack T. Cody, George W. Cody, is living at Hanford, Cal., at this time. George Cody enlisted with a Kansas company and served in the civil war. We was a prisoner in Andersonville and Libby for fourteen months. Zack Cody endeavored to enlist but was refused, owing to his youth. Mr. Cody's family includes his wife and twin daughters, Mrs. Wesley (Lennorah) Carmine of Long Branch and Miss Ellorah Cody, who lives at home. With the exception of two years spent in California, some thirty or more years ago, Mr. Cody has lived in this county since his early day arrival. William Kneeland of Sterling states that he came to Nebraska from Colchester, Conn., arriving in this county January 10, 1861. Lured by the fascinating stories that reached the east, Mr. Kneeland decided to seek his fortune upon the barren prairies of the west. When he came to this state buffaloes were counted in great numbers roaming over the plains. The first men Mr. Kneeland met here were Hon. Lewis H. Laflin of Crab Orchard and B. J. Baker of Sterling precinct--at that time called Western precinct. Mr. Kneeland remembers seeing the deceased John Maulden, who once owned the land which constitutes the present site of Tecumseh and whose picture was printed in the paper last week. Practically no business was transacted at Tecumseh when Mr. Kneeland arrived here. There was a small store here and it was kept by an old man named Evans. To Mr. Kneeland belongs the honor of being the father of the first white child born in Sterling. Mrs. Hattie K. Hitchcock, she being born in May, 1867. Mr. Kneeland is a veteran of the civil war, being a sergeant [sic] in Company E, Thirteenth Kansas volunteer infantry. He served three years, less thirty days. Mr. and Mrs. Kneeland are experiencing fairly good health, and are enjoying life with the happy associations fo their great grand children in Sterling. Henry Nelson Libby, who is living in Lincoln at this time, came to Nebraska from Indiana in 1866, reaching Tecumseh in April. His trip was completed in a ride in one of the old stern-wheelers up the Missouri river, from St. Joseph to Brownville, and a walk from Brownville to Tecumseh, a companion for the walk being a fellow named Rogers. Mr. Libby took as a homestead the place formerly known as the Jack Way farm, now the property of Gustav Beethe, in the Elk Creek neighborhood. It was four years after he located there that the old Atchison & Nebraska railraod got its line through from Atchison to Table Rock and later to Tecumseh and Lincoln. The old Butler mill, near the present town of Elk Creek, was patronized by the settlers from far and near. The mill was built in 1861 or 1862 and the power was from the Nemaha river. Mr. Libby has lived in this county the most of the time since he located here, so many years ago. Henry C. Marrs of Spring Creek precinct has resided in Johnson county just as long as it is possible for anyone to. He was born here April 2, 1864, and has always lived here. His father, Alexander Marrs, brought his family of wife and two children from Missouri to Nebraska in October, 1863, settling about a mile and one-half from the present location of Mr. Marrs' home. Alexander Marrs has long been deceased and Mrs. Marrs passed away four years ago. The senior Mr. Marrs homesteaded here as soon as the homestead law became effective, and he resided here continuously for thirty years. His wife was again married and there are two children of that union. ----------------------------
Transcribed by Judy Ryden, <email@example.com>, for the Johnson County NEGenWeb Project.
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