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SATURDAY, MAY 12, 1917
Number 19


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

Simon Young writes us from Bethany that he came to Nebraska, settling in
Johnson county, in September, 1866. His wife located here in November,

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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, <>, for the Johnson County NEGenWeb Project.

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