In April, 1907 Mr. Wolcott retired from the farm to make his home in Central City where he has a pleasant home where he and his wife resided until Mrs. Wolcott's death which occurred August 31, 1911. Since that time Mr. Wolcott has made his home with his son-in-law, O. D. Burke. Mr. Wolcott is still an active man and takes a keen interest in his home town where he also has considerable valuable business property. His son, Reuben, has the home farm of nine hundred and twenty acres. Mr. Wolcott is a pioneer of three states, and in the early days of this portion of Nebraska, with their hardships and discouragements are well known to him. Mrs. Elizabeth Wolcott lived with him until her death in April, 1889, in her eighty-fifth year. She also had seen much of the early settler's life.
Mr. and Mrs. Wolcott have had seven children, five of whom are living: Walter W., born in Illinois, married and living in Central City; George J., born in Wisconsin, married, and living in Central City; Reuben, born in Wisconsin, married, and living on the old farm; Oliver, born in Wisconsin, deceased; Henry, born in Iowa, deceased; Lily, now Mrs. Benjamin Colburn, was born in Iowa, and now resides near Palmer, and Donzella, wife of O. D. Burke, born in Iowa, who lives in Central City.
The Wolcott family are well known and enjoy the confidence and esteem of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Oliver Wolcott is a descendant of the English family of Wolcott that came to America and settled in the New England states about 1621. Oliver Wolcott of this family being a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Secretary of the Treasury in Washington's cabinet. One branch of the family went into Canada in after years and the subject of this sketch was of this family.
The Wolcott descendants hold an annual reunion. The 1910 reunion is to be held in Connecticut; at the 1908 reunion held at Warren, Ohio, about three hundred descendants were present, among them being the Oliver Wolcott of our sketch.
WILLIAM P. JEWELL.
A typical pioneer of western life is represented by the above gentleman. He is an agriculturalist of prominence in Knox county, Nebraska, and one of those substantial citizens whose integrity, industry, thrift and economy have added so much to the material wealth and growth of that state.
Mr. Jewell was born in England, August 20, 1848, his birthplace being Liverpool. He grew to the age of seven years in that city, and then with his parents took passage in a sailing boat for America. The trip was made in six weeks, the small ship being buffeted by the storms which swept the sea, and by the time it reached its destination the passengers were exceedingly glad to once more behold land. The family remained in New York for about a year and then went to New Jersey, where the father spent eleven months working as a carpenter, which trade he had learned as a boy in England. The next location was in Ford county, Illinois, where the father followed his trade, and later purchased two hundred and forty acres of land, which he worked. He bought this land at $17.00 per acre and sold it for $37.00 per acre. In 1866, they left that country and started west in a wagon, arriving in Otoe county, Nebraska, after a long and tiresome journey. Mr. Jewell's father had made money on the increase in value of his Illinois land, and on reaching his destination looked around for a suitable location, purchasing two hundred acres of land in Nemaha county, and paying seven dollars per acre for the entire tract. Their first dwelling was a dugout, which they occupied during the winter. For a couple of years things went fairly well, then they were struck by the grasshopper raids, which destroyed about all their crops and put them back considerably in the work of building up the farm. During 1870, 1871 and 1872 they escaped the pests, but the following three years were visited with them continuously, and suffered a great amount of damage. The nearest trading point from the Jewell farm was Nebraska City, which was also their postoffice. They went through the usual hardships familiar to the pioneers of those days, but kept up a brave spirit, and as years went on and the country became more thickly settled, their trials grew less and they prospered in a large degree.
William P. Jewell worked on his father's place until he was twenty-two years old, and then started for himself. He had learned the carpenters' trade from his father, and worked at that around Nebraska City principally. In 1892 he bought ninety-seven and one-half acres in Nemaha county, Nebraska, and lived there until coming to Knox county. In 1900 Mr. Jewell came into Knox county for settlement, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of land from George Utley, an old settler in the locality. This was improved in good shape, and since Mr. Jewell has owned it he has added much to it in the way of buildings, groves, etc., making it one of the finest places in that part of the county. Since coming to Knox county, Mr. Jewell has purchased another quarter section, the northwest quarter of section ten, situated one and one-half miles from his home place.
Mr. Jewell was united in marriage to Miss Anna Huptman in November, 1885, and to them have been born six children: Lyde, Arly, Nettie, Bessie, Maggie and Lawrence.
DELANE A. WILLARD.
DeLane A. Willard, a substantial business man of Genoa, Nebraska, is also one of the prominent pioneers of that section, having settled here about
1866, and has made it his permanent home since that time. He is now engaged in the real estate business, enjoying a large patronage, and building up a nice fortune. He is also owner of large tracts of land in different locations in Nance and adjoining counties. Mr. Willard has the distinction of being the oldest settler in his locality, and is known throughout the country as "the father of Nance county."
Mr. Willard was born in Winchester, New Hampshire, on August 10, 1840, and is a son of Paul and Nancy Willard, the former dying in 1850, and the later in 1895. Our subject has one brother in Oklahoma, and three sisters living in the east, the family consisting in all of eight children. He grew to manhood in his native state, and when about nineteen went to Twin Rivers, Wisconsin, where he became overseer in a wood and wire factory, spending one year in that work. His next move was to Michigan, there also taking charge of a wood and wire business for his brothers, George and William Willard, remaining for about eighteen months, and going to Detroit, where he was a factory overseer for three years. In 1861, he returned to his old home in the east, and spent two years, employed in the government gun factory at Middletown, then went back to Michigan, afterwards to the south, visiting Vicksburg and various other places of note, finally landing in Chicago. There he attended business college, and after completing a course of study went to Omaha, where, with two others, they started a queensware establishment in 1866. Mr. Willard later sold his interest, and, in partnership with Wm. B. Dale, opened a general merchandise store at Columbus, Nebraska, carrying a fifty thousand dollars stock of goods.
In 1867, he established a trading post just east of the Pawnee Indian reservation, in Nance county, continuing the same for two years, at which time the reservation was put on the market, and he purchased three sections of this land, on part of which he laid out the town of Genoa. He had previously owned twelve hundred acres in Platte county, and had considerable in real estate during all of the time he had been here. During the settlement of Genoa, Mr. Willard was the prime mover in all matters relating to its formation. He has held various offices in his township, and different positions of trust, at one time serving as president of the Genoa National Bank, and still carries stock in the same, and being one of the board of directors. For two years he acted as supervisor in Nance county, and was chairman of the town board for a number of years. In educational matters he has taken an active interest, being a member of, also director of the school board for several years.
Mr. Willard was married in Genoa, December 25th, Christmas Day, 1880, to Miss Lottie Anderson, who is a native of Sweden and came to America with her parents when a young girl. They have had eight children, seven of whom are still living, named as follows: Grace, Blanche, Hazel, Earl, Paul, Karl and Ellen, all living at home with the exception of Grace and Blanche who are married. The family have a beautiful home and are popular members of the social life of their city.
C. A. YOULL.
C. Arthur Youll, of Butte, has been a resident of Nebraska since early in the year 1889, when he sojourned for some nine months at Coleridge, in Cedar county, prior to making permanent settlement in Boyd county, awaiting the opening of the reservation to settlement.
Mr. Youll is a native of Illinois, born in DeKalb county on October 10, 1861, and is a son of James and Sarah Youll. The former was one of the first men employed in the original factory of the Marsh Harvester Company, when the first of those machines were made. In 1865, the family migrated to Delaware county, Iowa, settling along the Maquoketa river. After they had been there five years, the mother's death occurred, and our subject was sent to Steuben county, New York, to make his home with his grandfather, remaining for four years. He started out for himself when but twelve years of age, coming alone to Indiana and securing work in Steuben county, remaining in the vicinity four years. He then pushed on to Iowa, and was employed by the Sioux City and Pacific Railway Company, working between Missouri Valley and Sioux City, and later in the yards at Blair, Nebraska. He spent some time in Ida county working around a livery barn at Battle Creek, and about January of 1889, came into Nebraska. From the date of his filing on a homestead some four miles east of Butte, Mr. Youll resided on his farm for nineteen years, adding a half section to the onginal tract of 160 acres which he developed into a well tilled stock and grain farm. This he sold on 1908, and the following summer he spent in Wyoming visiting a brother-in-law, returning to Butte in the fall, and since that time has been running a feed barn located near the center of the business district. In June, 1910, he purchased the livery stable and hack business of a competing establishment, securing at the same time the mail carrying contract between Butte and its railway connection at Anoka. Mr. Youll is a man of untiring energy, industrious and diligent, and by fair and honest methods in conducting his business, secures his full share of the trade for his house.
At the time of coming west, Mr. Youll drove through from Iowa to Cedar county in a covered wagon, containing his goods, camping along the road way. He followed this same mode of transportation coming to Boyd county, and while on the way the party was overtaken by a severe rainstorm which caused them considerable inconvenience and several days delay.
Mr. Youll was married in Battle Creek, Iowa,
on January 1, 1886, to Miss Anna Belle, and to them have been born six children, four of whom survive, as follows: Bernice, Isa, Thelma and Albert. They have a very pleasant home, and have a large circle of warm friends and acquaintances.
In politics Mr. Youll is a republican, and has always taken an active interest in local affairs, although he has never sought office.
CHARLES H. NICHOLS.
Charles H. Nichols, retired farmer, son of Nathan and Martha (Hall) Nichols, was born in Lewis county, New York, May 17, 1846, the sixth in a family, of eight children, four of whom are still living. He has a brother and a sister in the state of Wisconsin, and a sister residing in New York state. The parents are deceased, the father dying about 1888, and the mother in 1892.
About 1854, Mr. Nichols, with his parents, went to Dane county, Wisconsin, where they followed farming, and lived until 1876, when our subject came to Boone county, Nebraska, and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land in section twenty-four, township twenty, range six, which remained the home farm until 1906, when Mr. Nichols retired from active farming, and moved to Albion, where he built one of the finest homes in the place.
On April 25, 1863, Mr. Nichols was married to Miss Elizabeth Melum, a native of Norway, who came to America in 1862, and she is a daughter of Alec and Elizabeth Melum, both of whom are deceased. Mrs. Nichols has one brother residing in the state of Wisconsin, one sister in Madison, Wisconsin, and another sister in the state of Minnesota.
Mr. Nichols, in the early days, served on the school board of district number twenty-three for several years. He has been prosperous and successful, and owns a section of land in Boone county, which is mostly under cultivation.
Mr. and Mrs. Nichols have had two children: Morgan H., who is married, and has two sons, and lives in Chadron, Nebraska; and Charles A., who is married, and has six children, and lives on the original homestead.
Mr. and Mrs. Nichols have passed through much of Nebraska history, and have been factors in the forwarding of all interests, in the direction of progression, and hold the esteem and friendship of all who know them.
February 1, 1865, Mr. Nichols enlisted in Company E, Fiftieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and went from Madison, Wisconsin, to St. Louis, Missouri. Later he did patrol duty in Missouri, and was then sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where they did guard duty. In September, 1865, Company E was sent by steamboat to Fort Sully, Dakota, for the purpose of guarding Indians, which duty they performed until March, 1866, when they began a march of six hundred and eighty miles to Boone, Iowa, by way of Sioux City, from Boone, Iowa, going by rail to Madison, Wisconsin, where the company was mustered out and discharged, April 20, 1866, the balance of the regiment being discharged some time later.
The prosperity enjoyed within the borders of Wayne county is due in large measure to the enterprise and thrift of the farmers in that region. Their well-improved and well-tilled farms are evidence of good management and painstaking care, and speak eloquently of the industry and thrift of their owners. Among the most sucessful of this region was the gentleman above named. He was a substantial farmer, who acquired a good home by persistent industry and honest dealings, and was highly esteemed as a citizen.
Mr. Granquist was a native of Sweden, where he was born December 7, 1857. He remained at home, going to school, and helping his parents, Nels and Martha (Anderson) Granquist, who were farmers, until 1881. The parents were born, lived and died in Sweden.
In 1881, Mr. Granquist determined to come to the land of opportunity, as America was regarded. He accordingly sailed from Christiana to New York City by steamship, and at once started for the west. He first came to Sioux City, Iowa, but remained here only a short time, going next to Omaha, where he spent the winter. In the spring of the following year, he went on to Washington county, Nebraska, where he worked for the railroad. From there he proceeded to Bancroft, where he remained for about three years. Finally, in 1890 he came to Wayne county, and bought the farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which was his home until his death. He made many improvements on the place, and it is now among the best in the county. He added eighty acres to the first purchase, and at the time of his death owned two hundred and forty acres.
In 1888, Mr. Granquist was united in marriage to Miss Enger Paulson, of Wayne county. They were the parents of ten children, named as follows: Carl, Anton, Nelse, Julia, Anna (deceased), Anna (two Annas), Edward, Edith, Minnie (deceased), and Harry.
Mr. Granquist died December 15, 1910, after an illness of only six days. He was a member of the English Lutheran church, and a republican.
THE LYNCH FAMILY.
Thomas Lynch, senior, was born in Kerry county, Ireland, in 1828, and grew up to young manhood in his native land, and in about 1846, came to America to seek his fortune, first locating in Dayton, Ohio, and some few years later, or about 1851, was married to Johanah Foley.
In about 1856, Mr. Lynch, with his wife and young son, came to Omaha, Nebraska, and to Platte county, Nebraska, in 1858, where they
squatted on land near what is now Platte Center, and as soon as surveys were made, Mr. Lynch took up his homestead, and this original homestead farm is still in the Lynch family, and is located four miles southeast of Platte Center.
Mr. Lynch was a pioneer frontier settler, coming to Platte county in the Indian days, when it took courage and endurance to make a home, and secure the needed supplies for the home and farm. He was a quiet, industrious man, always working for the betterment of conditions for his family, and ready at all times to give assistance to his fellow men.
Mr. Lynch made a success of life, and at the time of his death had a fine farm of five hundred and twenty acres of choice land. He was a man of known integrity, having the esteem and confidence of his neighbors and many friends in Platte county. Mr. Lynch died on the homestead farm October 14, 1901, and on May 24, 1907, Mrs. Lynch passed away.
Mrs. Thomas Lynch also was born in Kerry county, Ireland, her birth occurring in the year of 1832, coming to America when about fifteen years of age. She was a woman greatly beloved, and was prominent in church and social life, and a christian woman known for her many good and charitable deeds. She came of a pioneer family of Platte county.
Mr. and Mrs. Lynch are survived by three sons and four daughters, named as follows: James Lynch, who is married, and lives in the state of Idaho; Katherine, who is now Mrs. Michael Morris; Daniel, married; and living in the state of Wyoming; Nellie, who was Mrs. Clarence Gerrard, of Columbus, Nebraska, died February 27, 1911; and Margaret, Thomas and Mary.
James and Daniel Lynch are successful men, that have made other states their homes.
Thomas Lynch and sisters, Margaret and Mary, live in their fine, modern, new home, one-half mile northwest of Platte Center. The children were all born on the old farm, Thomas and his sisters, Margaret and Mary, being the last to leave the old home, in March, 1909.
The Lynch family is one of the old families that experienced all the hardships of the first settlers' life, from the sod-shanty-log-cabin days to the days of a finely-equipped farm, elegant new home, and easy financial standing. The children are worthy representatives of Platte county, enjoying the friendship of the many, and giving of their hospitality along social and church lines. In the new home place, joining the corporation limits of Platte Center, Thomas Lynch engages in the breeding of registered stock, making a specialty of Duroc Jersey hogs and fine cattle, having forty acres of land in the tract.
A history of the norteastern part of Nebraska would not be complete without including a sketch of the life of Anthony Shrader, who is one of the most prominent old settlers of this region. He has been a resident of this section of Nebraska for the past twenty-eight years, and at present is residing in section twenty-nine, township twenty-seven, range eight, where he has developed a good farm, and enjoys a comfortable home, and the confidence and esteem of all.
Mr. Shrader was born Angust 29, 1823, in Amherst county, Virginia, and his father, John Shrader, was also born in Virginia, but of German descent, and our subject's mother, Phoebe (Walton) Shrader, was also born in Virginia. From Virginia our subject moved to Livingston county, Illinois, where he resided for thirty years, and while living there, in December, 1863, enlisted in the civil war in Company I, Second Illinois Artillery, under Captain Barnett, and also was under General Sherman through the south from 1863 to 1865. He participated in some of the most memorable battles of the war, including the battles of Jonesboro, Chicamauga and Kenesaw Mountain. After an active and creditable war service, he was mustered out in June, 1865.
Mr. Shrader came to Nebraska in 1883, and homesteaded land in section twenty-two, township twenty-seven, range eight, Antelope county, and on this land built a good frame house. Later Mr. Shrader bought one hundred and sixty acres more land, with ten acres of fine grove, in section twenty-nine, and this is the home place at the present time.
On June 13, 1878, Mr. Shrader was married to Miss Mary Lake, and Mr. and Mrs. Shrader have had the following named children born to them: William, who is at home; George, deceased; Albert, who is married to Miss Mary Cushman, they having three children; and Charles, who is married to Miss Susan Harvey, who have two children.
Mr. Shrader, during his residence on his home place, improved the property with a good set of farm buildings, fences, etc. He often had hard times in the early days, and, among other drawbacks, he lost his entire crops during the drouth and hot winds of 1894. Mr. Shrader has now sold all his land to his son William, having retired; and now lives with his son.
The above named gentleman was one of the most prominent and successful farmers of Wayne county, Nebraska, until his removal to Randolph, Cedar county. He is an old soldier, having been a private in Company K, Thirty-eighth New Jersey. He enlisted in 1864, and served for ten months. He is a man of patriotic spirit, untiring energy and active mind, and has done his full share towards developing the matchless resources of this section, where he has made his home for so many years. He has a wide acquaintance and. an enviable reputation. A portrait of Mr. Weber will be found on another page.
Mr. Weber is a native of New Jersey, born in 1847. He spent his early life in that state, and, after attaining his manhood years, enlisted in the army. After he was mustered out of service, he returned to New Jersey, where he remained until 1877.
At this time he decided to go west, where the country was newer and land cheaper, and where greater opportunities awaited the young man. He came first to Mills county, Nebraska*, and lived in this locality for seven years. He then came to Wayne county, and took up a homestead.
Conditions of living were then entirely different from now in the same locality. Deer and antelope were plentiful at that time, with an occasional elk during the first few years of his residence. Prairie fires, however, were a constant peril to the settler, and the subscriber had several times been compelled to fight fires in order to save his own farm buildings. But, although he has met with the reverses common to the life of the pioneer, yet he has every reason to be proud of the results which are the outcome of his labors. He has an exceptionally fine farm, and comfortable home, with a thrifty orchard comprising six acres, as well as a valuable grove all of his own planting.
In 1867, Mr. Weber was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Taylor, and nine children have been born to them: Della, now Mrs. Burlington Cunningham, of Bloomfield; Tilton, formerly a farmer and business man of Randolph, met with an automobile accident, April 26, 1910 which caused his death; John; Mary, now Mrs. J. H. Young, also of Bloomfield; Lillie, married to J. D. Lumdson, of Peters, Nebraska; Elizabeth, the wife of Walter H. Weber, she dying in 1907; Anna, now Mrs. Harry Hunt; Euphenia, now Mrs. H. L. Sherwood, of South Dakota; Caroline, now Mrs. H. F. Taylor, of Randolph.
* "Mills county, Nebraska" is exactly what appears in the book.
The man whose name heads this personal history is one of tlie pioneers of this region, and is classed among the leading old settlers of his locality. He has watched the growth and progress of Pierce county, Nebraska, from its early settlement. Mr. Gast resides in the northwest quarter of section twenty-seven, township twenty-seven, range four.
Mr. Gast is a native of the village of Briesen, West Prussia, his birth occurring August 14, 1850. He grew to manhood there, and followed the occupation of farming, his father owning a farm of four hundred aud eighty acres, an unsual holding in that country. He spent three years of his life in the German army, 1871 to 1874, inclusive, being called into service after the Franco-Prussian war. John Gast, the father, was born in 1813, and died in 1874. The mother, Caroline (Formazien) Gast, was born in 1822, and attained the age of eighty-five years and six months.
When Mr. Gast left Germany for America, he sailed from Hamburg, March 13, 1884, and spent sixteen days on the sea, going through the terrible storm of March 22, 1884, landing in New York. Mr. Gast lived in Cass county, Nebraska, two months, coming thence to Pierce county, when he bought the farm on which he now resides. He lost crops twice by hail, and in 1894 lost everything by drought.
Our subject has been twice married, the first time in 1885 to Miss Hannah Fisher, the result of this union being five children, who are named as follows: Ernest, Richard, Elsie, Gustave and Lena. The two older sons are married, and operate farms of their own. His second marriage occurred in 1895 to Miss A. Guse, one son, Walter, being born to them.
Mr. Gast is a member of the German Lutheran church, and is independent in politics, casting his vote for the best man.
WALTER F. HILL.
The gentleman above mentioned is one of the popular pioneers of Howard county, bears an excellent reputation as a patriotic citizen and successful business man, and is one of the leaders in local affairs in that city. Although at present retired from active labor, and residing in one of the handsome homes in St. Paul, he was for many years intimately identified with the agricultural interests of the county, and has been a potent factor in its development.
Walter F. Hill was born in Medina county, Ohio, on January 8, 1843, and at about the age of fourteen, engaged in the saw-mill business with his father and two brothers, continuing in the work for a number of years. At the beginning of the civil war, he enlisted for six months, but on account of an accident, was unable to serve until 1864, when he entered the army in August, serving in Company D, One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Ohio Regiment of Infantry, and took part in some of tbe principal engagements toward the close of the war, among them being the battle of Stone River, Tennessee, besides different skirmishes. He received an honorable discharge on May 18, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee, having several months previous received injuries which resulted in his confinement in a hospital for three months.
After leaving the army, Mr. Hill returned to his home in Ohio, and worked at railroading for about one year and a half, then began farming, and was successful in the work, continuing at it all the time he remained in Ohio, which was up to 1873.
On March 20, 1870, he was married to Weltha A. Boham, a native of Portage county, Ohio, who was a teacher in the public schools in that vicin-
ity for a number of years. They came to Nebraska in the spring of 1873, locating in Howard county, where Mr. Hill hornesteaded one hundred and sixty acres on section twenty-two, township fourteen, range ten, and proved up on the land. He later purchased another quarter in the same section, and succeeded in developing a fine stock and grain farm. He afterwards added to his acreage until he owned in all about four hundred acres, all of which he has now disposed of.
A short time ago, Mr. Hill retired from active farming, and bought a fine residence in St. Paul, where himself and wife are popular members of their social circle. Mr. Hill was one of the principal organizers of school district number eleven, and for about twenty years served as its dircetor aud treasurer. Mr. and Mrs. Hill were among the earliest families to settle in this part of Howard county, and have passed through all the various stages of its developnient, becoming widely known through their aid in furthering in every way possible the best interests of their locality. Mr. Hill has a brother living in St. Paul, also one brother who lives in Ohio, and Mrs. Hill has a brother living in Kansas, another in Iowa, and a sister, who still makes Ohio her permanent home.
FRANK S. KULL.
Frank S. Kull, who takes a leading part as an agriculturist and stock raiser in the affairs of Valley county, Nebraska, where he possesses many broad acres of land, resides on section thirteen, township nineteen, range fourteen.
Mr. Kull was born in Walworth county, Wisconsin, February 3, 1868, and was ninth of ten children in the family of John and Margaret (Runkle) Kull, who had five sons aud five daughters. The parents are both deceased. Four brothers and three sisters are still living, but our subject is the only one residing in Nebraska.
Frank grew up in Wisconsin on the farm, and in his tweny-first year, the fall of 1889, he came to Valley county to look over the land, and in February of 1890, closed the purchase of the northwest quarter of section thirteen, township nineteen, range fourteen, and moved to his new home in the same month. He now has a fine grain and stock farm, which is well improved with good buildings, etc., and has a five-acre orchard set out, which is in a promising condition.
Mr. Kull has had some state troop experience, having enlisted in the Nebraska National Guards, which was called into active service during the Sioux Indian uprising; and he was also a member of the state militia for six years.
On March 4, 1891, Mr. Kull was married to Miss Alice Lewis at the parents' home, Miss Lewis being born near Kankakee, Illinois. The Lewis family came to Valley county from Illinois in 1888, and were of the older Valley county families. The father, Henry F. Lewis, was in Ohio, and died on his way home from Calfornia in 1905, and Mrs. Henry Lewis now resides in Ord.
Mr. and Mrs. Kull have one child, Edwin, who was born in 1893. They are widely known, have the respect and esteem of many friends. Mr. and Mrs. Kull have enjoyed several seasons of extensive travel down the coast and through the south.
Mr. Kull is a wide-awake youiig man, and passed through the hard Nebraska years 1893 and 1894, but stuck to it, and added to land holdings until now he owns thirteen hundred and seventy-five acres of Valley county land.
He has made a success of farming and stock raising, and is considered one of the prominent young men of Valley county. He has had much to do toward the upbuilding of the country's prosperity for the past twenty years.
The discouragements of the early days were many. Hail ruined his crop in 1893, the following season drought burned everything, and 1895 was little better, he having raised no corn, and the small crop of oats he harvested could be sold for only nine cents when hauled to market.
In politics, Mr. Kull is independent.
O. H. TEXLEY.
O. H. Texley, one of the old settlers of the region where he chose his home in the early days, occupies a good home and valuable property in section twenty-eight, township twenty-one, range four, of Madison county, Nebraska. He has done his full share in the upbuilding of the locality, and is well and favorably known throughout that part of the state.
Mr. Texley is a native of Norway, born January 10, 1833. He is a son of Hellick and Emma Texley, who were farmers in that country, and his boyhood was spent on the home place.
In 1868, Mr. Texley left his mother country and emigrated to America, embarking at Christiana on a steamship, which landed at Quebec in July of that year, and he went directly to Dane county, Wisconsin. He remained in that place for two years, then came to Omaha, where he bargained for a team to bring him to Wisner, paying thirty dollars for the trip. From there he pushed on to Madison county, where he filed on a quarter-section in Shell Creek township, built a sod shanty, and begun as a pioneer.
For the first four years, everything he raised was destroyed by grasshoppers before the time for gathering, and this, together with other unfavorable conditions, made times very hard for the early settlers. Columbus was their market place in those days, and it was a distance of many miles from their home, often a dangerous trip on account of the severe storms, dangers from the Indians - who were sometimes hostile - and wild beasts, which were plentiful all over the plains
at that time. Another menace was from the prairie fires, which swept the region from time to time, and on many occasions he, together with his family and neighbors, was obliged to fight fires for days in order to save his possessions from destruction.
Mr. Texley was married in June, 1863, in Norway, to Miss Mary Thompson, a native of Norway, who was born March 1, 1883. Mr. and Mrs. Texley have a family of seven children, namely: Hellick, Ole, Gilbert, Georgina, Emma, Anna and Mary.
George Leibert, a progressive and successful young farmer and stockman of Custer county, has lived in the county since 1887, and has been identified with the best interests of his region. He was born in Jo Daviess county, Illinois, August 30, 1875 youngest of the nine children of Andrew and Lena (Hoop) Leibert. The father was born in Germany in 1820, and came to the United States in 1848, settling in Guilford township, Jo Daviess county. He was married in Illinois about 1855, to Lena Hoop, who came from Germany to the United States about 1851. In 1886, they moved from Illinois to Missouri, and the following year went to Custer county, Nebraska. They lived on a rented farm until 1892, when he purchased the southwest quarter of section thirty-four, township twenty, range eighteen, and both he and his wife died on that farm, he September 22, 1903 and she October 15, 1901. Of their nine children, six now survive: Henry, Fred and George of Custer county; Charles, of Clinton, Iowa; Mrs. John Hess and Mrs. Henry Hess, of Jo Daviess county, Illinois. The father of these children was a veteran of the civil war, and was highly honored as an upright and substantial citizen.
George Leibert accompanied his parents to Custer county in 1887, and remained with his father on the home farm until the latter's death. He was married in Adams county, Iowa, December 25, 1901 to Elizabeth Cora Roach, daughter of John and Sarah Roach, who was born on a farm near Corning, Iowa. Her father died in Iowa in 1908, and her mother still resides in Corning. Her brothers, Clyde and James, reside in Custer county, Nebraska; John, another brother, lives in Grand Island; Homer and Fred live in Corning, Iowa, and her sister Belle, is the wife of Fred Leibert, brother of George. John Roach was a veteran of the civil war.
Mr. Leibert lives on and owns the original Custer county home farm of two hundred acres, a well equipped and stocked farm, one mile north of Sargent. It contains a comfortable residence, with pleasant surroundings, and has been occupied by the family continuously since 1892. Mr. Leibert is one of the well-known young farmers of Custer county, and he and his wife are well known in social circles, having many friends. They have three children Ralph G., Ernest E. and Howard H., all at home. They also have in their home Lena A. Leibert, daughter of Mr. Leibert's brother, Nicholas, who is an orphan.
It is a noticeable fact that among the western states, a remarkably large percentage of the prosperous farmers in almost every community are foreign born, but the greater part of these are men who came out here when the country was new, and by means of whose struggles and efforts the country has been built up and advanced to its present state. One of the leading farmers of Cedar county is Frank Keiter, who was born in West Farland, Germany, in 1847, the son of Frank and Louise Keiter.
Mr. Keiter remained in his native country until 1888, when he embarked on the steamship "Ider" at Bremen, bound for New York City. He had a well-defined plan in mind, and at once boarded a train for the west, where he had heard that land was cheap and plentiful. With the savings of a life-time, he purchased a quarter-section in section nineteen, township thirty-one, range one, Cedar county, Nebraska.
Many times Mr. Keiter and his wife have met with grievous discouragements in their western home. In 1894, the crops were an entire failure, owing to the hot winds, which fairly burned up everything in the ground, and in 1900, another heavy blow came, when a severe hailstorm destroyed all crops. However, they remained, and after each failure, began again the process of repairing the loss. They still reside on the old home farm, which has been improved in every way, so that it is one of the valuable farms in the county, now comprising four hundred acres.
In 1881, a few years before leaving Germany, Mr. Keiter was united in marriage to Miss Mary Kieser, and of this union ten children have been born: Frank; Joseph; Mary, now Mrs. Frank Oberiter, of Dauber, Iowa; Henry, Katie, Charles, Clara, Annie, Emma and Vera.
Mr. and Mrs. Keiter and family are prominent factors in the social life of the community, and possess the respect of all who know them.
Mr. Keiter served the emperor of Germany four years as a soldier in the Franco-Prussian war, a member of the Sixteenth Regiment of Infantry, and saw active service in several hard-fought battles. The division in which he served, in one hour's time, was reduced from three thousand men to seven hundred, who were able to respond to roll call.
RUSSELL S. POWELL.
Among the prominent and successful farmers and ranchmen of Merrick county, Nebraska, and now citizen of Central City, we wish to mention the name of Russell S. Powell, who is well known
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by T&C Miller, P Ebel, P Shipley, L Cook