three, Mr. Pont had only attended school about fifteen months, and still was able to take the teachers' course in the Fremont Normal School. He then started teaching, and for four years continued in that work, closing his last school on June 14, 1894. On the next day, he purchased the Howell Journal, and since that time has given all of his time to his editorial labors.
In February, 1897, he leased his own paper and took charge of the Stanton Register, which he purchased the next year. He issues a clean, wholesome weekly paper, and, under his management, the circulation has much increased, and the paper has become one of the powers to be reckoned with in political circles.
Mr. Pont has always been faithful to democratic principles, but has independence enough to refuse to support unworthy candidates whom political trickery has forced upon the party.
On October 20, 1895, Mr. Pont was married to Miss Kittie J. Mitchell, a native of Cass county, Iowa. Her parents, however, were both English, her father having come to America in 1851, a boy of twelve. Her mother did not come to the new world until 1870. Three children have come to Mr. and Mrs. Pont, two of whom, Franklin Dewey and Edith Myrtle, are still living.
Mr. Pont is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is also prominent in Independent Order of Odd Fellows circles.
Among the pioneer settlers in the eastern part of Nebraska, who has always done his share towards the upbuilding of that region, no one has a better claim to that distinction than the gentleman whose name heads this personal history. Mr. Rundquist resides in section thirteen, township twenty-seven, range seven, Antelope county, and is known as an upright and progressive citizen.
Mr. Rundquist is a native of Sweden, being born in that country in 1852, and is the son of John and Mary Johnson. In 1884, our subject left his mother country to come to America, sailing over the White Star line from Guttenburg to Liverpool, then to New York. After landing in the United States, Mr. Rundquist came to the west, settling in Antelope county, Nebraska, where he bought a homestead right from Mr. Gus Swanson in northwest quarter section thirteen, township twenty-seven, range seven, which is his present location, and he now owns three hundred and twenty acres of land. After buying this land, our subject built good buildings, and made many other improvements, and also putting out sixteen acres of trees. Mr. Rundquist has experienced many discouragements and drawbacks since settling here, but they have been met and passed over, and are incidents that remain only as a memory of the early days. In 1895, our subject was hailed out, and during some portion of the time in those pioneer days, hay and cornstalks were burned for fuel.
Mr. Rundquist was married in 1882 to Miss Minnie Holm, also a native of Sweden, and old sweetheart of Mr. Rundquist's, whom he had left in the old country until he could make a home for her in this country. Mr. and Mrs. Rundquist have had nine children born to them, whose names are as follows: Albert, Archie, Axel, Clifford, Anna Alberta Whilmena, Gustave, Delbert, Rubin and Clarence.
Mr. and Mrs. Rundquist and family are enjoying the high esteem and respect of all who know them, and their friends are many.
Constant industry, careful management and unswerving honesty are the secrets of the noblest success possible on American soil. He who can work hard, plan and manage well, and "stand four-square to all the winds that blow," may be rich or poor, but he will be honored and respected by all who know him. Such a man is Christian Mohr, who has borne his full share in the making of eastern Nebraska, and well merits a place among its pioneer settlers.
Mr. Mohr was born in the village of Wackendorf, district of Rendsburg, then a province of Denmark, August 3, 1854. He is the son of Fred and Margarita (Barnholt) Mohr, and was the second in a family of four children born to them. Our subject received his education in the parish schools of the old country, receiving his confirmation at the age of fifteen.
In 1871, the family came to America, setting sail from Hamburg, and landing in New York, after a voyage of fourteen days. They settled in Scott county, Iowa, renting near Davenport for five years, and then moved to Sac county, where the father bought a farm. He died in Cherokee county at a good old age.
Christian Mohr first settled on a quarter-section near Rushville, Sheridan county, Nebraska, driving from Valentine. The family lived in a dug-out two or three years, and then built a "soddy," and planted ten acres in trees on a timber claim. During the thirteen years he lived on the land, he harvested but two crops. Times were so hard he found it necessary to seek work in the mines in Wyoming, finding employment at Inez, Flintrock and Sheridan, at times being away from home an entire year at a time. He and his son walked from Inez to Sheridan, taking off their clothes to wade icy rivers on the trip, and finding shelter at night in the abandoned dug-outs of a camp of Custer's men. He was in the west at the time of the hostilities on the Pine Ridge agency, and drove a team during the maneuvers of the Ninth Cavalry. The women and children sought safety in Rushville. He and his son drove the first wagon that ever entered the Jackson Hole country.
During the blizzard of January 12, 1888, Mr. Mohr became lost returning from Gordon, with a sack of flour. He found his way to an abandoned sod house, and, finding a few matches, he built a fire, and cooked a few beans he found there in an old, rusty tin can, thus weathering the storm.
January 13, 1877, Mr. Mohr was married to Miss Katie Dibben, a native of Holstein, born near Edlock, a daughter of Hans and Dora (Stelling) Dibben. From this union eight children were born, whose names are as follows: Annis, Alvena, Edmond, Christian, Louis, Lillie, Walter and George.
In 1904, our subject bought ten acres of land in section six, township twenty-seven, range two, near Osmond, where he now lives. He and his family are members of the German Lutheran church. Mr. Mohr votes the democratic ticket, and affiliates with the Modern Woodmen of America. He has served his county in the office of road overseer, which he filled to the entire satisfaction of his people.
HON. CHARLES W. HUNTER.
Charles W. Hunter, one of the well-known residents of Howard county, Nebraska, for his extensive business interests, and the fact of having been one of the most potent factors in the development of that region, has a valuable estate in Fairdale precinct. He was elected a member of the state legislature in the fall of 1900 on the fusion ticket, and served his district in a creditable manner during two terms.
Mr. Hunter was born in Washington county, Ohio, September 3, 1851. When he was about eight months old, the family, consisting of father, mother, two sisters and himself, moved into Clark county, Missouri, where two more sons were born to his parents. The father died there in the fall of 1860, and the mother in February, 1882. Of the family are now living Charles, two sisters and one brother. Mr. Hunter remained in Clark county until he was thirty-three years of age, then came to Howard county, landing in the region on March 21, 1884, accompanied by his wife and two children. He at once purchased a tract of land on section seventeern, township sixteen, range ten, from the B. & M. R'y Co., and this has been his home constantly up to the present time. He has built up a fine farm, supplied with substantial buildings of all kinds, good orchard and considerable small fruit, including quite a number of cherry trees in good bearing condition. He owns, in all, four hundred and eighty acres, all of choice tableland, and engages in grain and stock raising.
Mr. Hunter was united in marriage, October 28, 1880, to Ellen M. Jenkins, who was a native of Jackson county, Ohio, and, lived with her parents in Clarke county, Missouri, at the time of her marriage. They have had three children: Harry H., who died September 8, 1899; Rose M., living at home, and Minta, wife of Fred Layher, mother of two children, the family living on a farm in this county.
In years gone by, Mr. Hunter has been prominently connected with educational matters in his locality, and has devoted much of his time and influence to the upbuilding of his county and state. Although he has never been an officeseeker, he finally gave in to the urging of his many friends in political life, and with the result of receiving the election to the legislature by a very large majority.
For the past ten years Mr. Hunter has been shipper for the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, a local organization which handles live stock only, and ships direct to the commission firms. This association has been a great benefit to the farmers of the county, and made them thousands of dollars.
WILLIAM H. CARSON.
One of the most active citizens of Valley county, Nebraska, in educational, business and political circles, is William H. Carson, a real estate dealer, living at Ord. Mr. Carson was born at Marion, Linn county, Iowa, January 4, 1863, the youngest of four children born to Joseph and Phoebe (Vaughn) Carson, who were parents of three sons and one daughter. The father died in Bedford, Iowa, in April, 1894, at the age of eighty-six years, and the mother now lives at Bedford with her daughter, Mrs. A. J. Sowers, being in her ninetieth year. One son, Lee I. Carson, lives at Tama, Iowa, and another, Orville S. Carson, died at Bedford in March, 1904.
Mr. Carson lived in his native county until his nineteenth year, and graduated from the high school at Marion in his seventeenth year, after which he attended Coe College at Cedar Rapids, completing a three-year course in two years. Upon leaving college, he went to Tama, Iowa, and engaged in the lumber business in company with his father and brother. In 1885, the lumber business was disposed of, and William H. Carson removed to Valley county, and October 15, 1885, to North Loup, being accompanied by his mother and father. They purchased a farm ten miles south of Ord, and carried on agricultural operations there until 1893, in the spring of which year the parents returned to Iowa, and William H. Carson, with his family, came to Ord.
Mr. Carson was married, January 29, 1890, at the home of her parents in Mira Valley, to Miss Elizabeth Bell, a native of Illinois. The Bell family came to Valley county in the spring of 1885. Three children have blessed this union: Glenn, Ralph and Leigh, all born in Valley county, and all at home. Mr. Carson and the others of the family are popular in social circles.
Upon coming to Ord, Mr. Carson engaged in
the fire insurance business, although at first he also worked at his trade of carpenter and builder, and in 1894 became connected with T. L. Hall in the general real estate and insurance business, in which he held an interest until 1898. Since that time Mr. Carson has carried on business on his own account, and is now one of the oldest real estate dealers in Ord in the number of years he has been engaged in the business. He has been largely instrumental in the development and settlement of Ord and Valley county, having handled extensive property interests, for nonresidents as well as local customers. He is an active republican, and has served in various public offices. He has been constable of Ord township and Ord for seven years, served four years as city clerk, has been a member of the city council and of the school board. He is now secretary of the school board and secretary of the republican county committee, and during 1909, was secretary of the agricultural society. He is also township clerk of Ord township, and has given valuable service to his township and county in many ways, and is a progressive and enterprising citizen, promoting every good measure, and mindful of the best interests of the public. He has been often solicited to make the race for higher offices, but, on account of his extensive business interests demanding attention, has refused to do so. He is a member of the Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World, and has served both orders as secretary.
Gilbert Gutru, a respected citizen of Newman Grove, Nebraska, is a gentleman of exceptional business ability, who has successfully operated various enterprises with which he has been associated. For the past several years he has been engaged in the general hardware business, and is senior partner and general manager of the firm of Gutru & Juelson.
Gilbert Gutru was born in Numedahl, Norway, on January 15, 1865, and was the sixth child born to Gulbrand and Ingeburg Gutru, who had a family of eight. Levi Gutru, whose sketch appears in this volume, is an older brother of our subject's, and the history of his younger years are practically the same, Levi coming to America in advance of the rest of the family, who settled in Wisconsin in 1873.
Gilbert helped work the home farm in Dane county until he was twenty years of age, then followed his brother Levi to Madison county, Nebraska; later went to Box Butte county, and homesteaded, remaining there for six years, following farming and stock raising. He acquired a good farm of three hundred and twenty acres, and was one of the well-known pioneers of that section. About 1891, he came to Newman Grove, and started a flour mill, which business he carried on successfully for six years, then entered the employ of A. E. Linn & Son, hardware merchants, remaining with that concern up to 1907, at which time he engaged in business for himself, establishing a general hardware store under the firm name of Gutru & Juelson. They have a fine trade, and are fast becoming one of the leading houses in the town.
Mr. Gutru was married in Boone county, Nebraska, to Miss Mary Helena Evans, on February 11, 1897. Mrs. Gutru comes of a fine old Boone county family, and is a very charming and accomplished woman. They have four living children: Ronald Ingemar, Margaret Helena, Anna Lenora and Gilbert Ernest, all bright and interesting children, and all attending the local schools.
Mr. Gutru is a member of the town board, and, during his residence in Madison county, has always been active along all lines for the advancement of his home county and state.
Robert Johnson, one of the earlier pioneers of Valley county, Nebraska, has always supported the cause of social and educational improvement, and is considered one of the most progressive men in the county. He is very successful as a farmer and stockman, and he and his wife have reared a large family to honorable man and womanhood.
Mr. Johnson was born in Oneida county, New York, June 24, 1837, the only child of Robert and Margaret (McKicvet) Johnson, the father a native of Connecticut, and the mother of Canada. The parents were married at Utica, New York, and both died in that state, the father in 1842 and the mother in 1839.
Mr. Johnson, left an orphan in early life, was reared by his grandfather in Herkimer county, New York, remaining there until his seventeenth year, when he removed to Yates county, in the same state, and five years later went to Lee county, Iowa. He engaged in farm work there and in Jasper county, Iowa, remaining in the latter county until his removal to Nebraska.
March 3, 1861, Mr. Johnson married Mrs. Mary E. Turck, formerly Mary Elizabeth Watson, also a native of New York, and they lived on a farm in Jasper county about seventeen years, having seven children born there. During the year prior to his marriage, Mr. Johnson crossed the plains to Colorado, going through the Great American Desert, and passing the place where the capital of Nebraska is now located. Soon after his return, he engaged in farming for himself. In the spring of 1878, he moved to Grand Island, Nebraska, where he was engaged in buying and selling horses, and in the fall of the same year, he traded a team for a farm in Hall county, where he removed with his family.
Mr. Johnson has lived on his present place,
on section twenty-four, township seventeen, range fourteen, since 1882, and has since then many improvements, and brought his land a high state of cultivation. He has devoted much time and attention to the upbuilding and welfare of the county, and has won the esteem and regard of a large circle of friends. His children are married, and located in homes of their own, within the limits of the state of Nebraska and he and his wife now have a home without children, as when they began their married life he is still actively engaged in farming, and is constantly increasing the value of his farm by improvement and cultivation.
Mr. Johnson's nine chirdren are: George E., married and living in North Loup, has five children; Maggie, wife of Perry VanScoy, of Sherman county, has three children; James W., of Sherman county, is married, and has three children; Fannie, wife of George Sample, lives in Valley county, and they have six children; Walter is married, and lives in Ord; Frank, a merchant of North Loup, is married, and has one child; Charles E., is married, and has three children, and lives on land adjoining the home farm; Ernest is married, and lives across the road from his old home; Kate, wife of John Palser, of Valley county, has three children.
Although still in the prime of life, Barney Stevens is regarded as one of the old settlers of Cedar county, Nebraska, having been a continuous resident of that county since 1875, when his parents first moved there.
Mr. Stevens is a native of Hanover, Germany, where he was born in the year 1860. While he was still nothing but a baby, his parents decided to come to this country. Of course, they were compelled to take the usual long, monotonous trip in a sailing vessel, and after reaching New York City, came on at once to Iowa. They resided there only a short time, comparatively and in 1875, drove from Sioux City; Iowa, to Cedar county, Nebraska, where they bought a quarter-section of fine land, which was to be their home for the remainder of their days.
This was early in the history of the state, and the settlers were few and far between. Deer and antelope were still to be seen occasionally, as well as a few other wild animals not so harmless. They suffered the usual privations and hardships of the pioneer and had their battles with prairie fires and grasshoppers. They persevered in their efforts to make a comfortable home in the wilderness and succeeded.
Mr. Stevens was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie Wubben in 1885, and four children have been born to them, all of whom are living: Mary T., Annie M., Stephan B., and Helen E.
For a number of years Mr. Stevens has owned the old home, and the farm has been well-improved and is one of the best in the locality. Both Mr. Stevens and his parents belonged to that great class of foreign-born citizens, whose characteristics of integrity and industry, thrift and economy have added so much to the material wealth and growth of Nebraska.
Enoch Aurand, one of the leading farmers and old settlers of Merrick county Nebraska, has aided materially in the development of his region, and, well merits the high standing he has gained as a citizen and progressive agriculturist.
Enoch Aurand, son of Jonathan and Rachel (Whitemure) Aurand, was born in Crawford county, Ohio, November 9, 1842, and was twelfth in a family of seventeen children, two brothers of whom reside in Ohio, one in Laport, Indiana, and one sister in Ohio. The parents are deceased, the father died in 1875, in Ohio, and the mother some years later in the same state. Our subject received his education in the home schools and later learned carpentering. On February 26, 1864, Mr. Aurand enlisted in Company E, Thirty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which regiment was consolidated on January 30, 1865, with the thirty-sixth Ohio Infantry. He received his discharge in Wheeling, West Virginia, July 27, 1865. During his service, Mr. Aurand participated in battles at Stevenson Depot, near Winchester. He was a victim of typhoid fever and spent some time in the hospital. He was also held prisoner thirty-five days in Libby prison, being taken January 11, 1865, at Beverly, West Virginia.
After the war Mr. Aurand returned to Ohio, and on September 20, 1866, was married to Miss Ellen E. Walker, who was born in Ohio but had moved to Iowa. One child was born of this union, Charles F., who died in infancy. Mrs. Aurand died March 15, 1868.
On December 8, 1870, Mr. Aurand was married to Hannah L. Hulit of Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Aurand have had five children born to them: Lessie, who died at the age of five years; Stella, wife of Albert Schmutz, has four children and lives in Chapman; Lora, married and lives in Merrick county, has one pair of twins; Orva, who resides at home; and Effie, who also resides under the parental roof. Mrs. Aurand taught the first school in district number nine. Her father, Timothy Hulit, died in 1864, in Ohio, and the mother in 1881, in Fairbury, Nebraska. One brother resides in Oregon, a sister in Anthony, Kansas, and another in Fairbury, Nebraska.
In the spring of 1871 Mr. Aurand moved to Merrick county, Nebraska, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres in section twelve, township twelve, range eight, west, which has remained his home place since. It is a highly improved and well equipped farm. He has been
prosperous and successful and owns three hundred and sixty acres of land, most of which is under cultivation. He has served on the board of his school district number nine for many years.
Mr. and Mrs. Aurand are among the earliest settlers of the county and have passed through all the trying experiences and discouragements of the frontier life and are widely and favorably known.
CARL F. W. PAUL.
Carl F. W. Paul, a retired farmer of Creighton, has been a resident of Nebraska since 1880, on November thirteenth of that year settling on a farm in Dodge county, two miles from Fremont. He secured work with the firm of Morse & Hayman, and for nearly sixteen years was in charge of their house-moving business, a term of service that bespeaks his skill and integrity. In 1897, he bought a farm on the southeast quarter of section one, in the northeast corner of Antelope county, and moved to the tract on February 22. The farm lies adjoining Pierce county on the east, and is but half a mile south of the line of Knox county; and is about six miles from Creighton and seven from Plainview, making it a most desirable location with good market towns quite near. Here Mr. Paul improved the farm with good buildings, planted forest trees and an orchard. In farming he was so successful in his management and methods that in 1906 he was able to retire on a competency. Removing to Creighton, he purchased a comfortable cottage in the west part of town, and is now taking life easy while still in his prime.
Mr. Paul is a native of Prussia, his birth having taken place August 19, 1852, in the town of Baerwalde, province of Brandenburg. His parents, Karl and Henrietta (Schweckel) Paul, died in their native province. Mr. Paul served the German army from March, 1870, to September 24, 1874, and during this time participated in the Franco-Prussian war. He was a courier, and, of course, a target for the enemy. One of his most daring escapes was when he was chased one day by three French cavalrymen of the Chasseurs d' Afrique; their object was to capture him and in slashing with their sabres, they laid bare his skull. Putting spurs to his horse, a fine black charger, he cleared a six foot fence and floundered into a ditch on the other side, from which his comrades rescued him. The Chasseurs, thinking to easily capture him, tore off the boards of the fence and as they thrust their heads through to find him, were dispatched by the German troops on the ditch side. He was chosen by General Von Bredom for a hazardous undertaking known as "the death ride," from which he emerged in safety. He participated in the battles of Gravelotte, Orleans and Sedan. He was a member of the guard present at the surrender of Napoleon, and remembers well the very words of the Emperor of the French. For meritorious service, Mr. Paul was promoted to a Second Lieutenancy in the Sixth Regiment, Second Squadron.
Mr. Paul was married in Baerwalde, August 8, 1874, to Miss Louisa Stieleke, who was born in the village of Fuerstenfelde, a daughter of Johan Carl and Wilhelmina (Liebeke) Stieleke, both of whom died in Germany, the later in 1908 at the age of ninety-five years. Mr. and Mrs. Paul have one son, of whom a more extended sketch is to be found on another page of this work.
In immigrating to America, Mr. Paul sailed from Hamburg, in November, 1880, on the steamer "Australia," and after a voyage of twenty one days landed in New York, and immeadiately joined an old schoolmate in Fremont, as stated above. Mrs. Paul remained in the old country until spring, sailing from Hamburg on the "Polaria," May, 24, and was at sea twenty days, landed in New York June 12, and reached Fremont on the eighteenth, a day of joyful reunion.
Mr. Paul is a member of the Masonic fraternity, at Creighton, of the OddFellows, and the Woodmen of the World; with Mrs. Paul he is a member, also, of the local chapter, Order of Eastern Star and of the Rebekah Degree. They are, communicants of the Episcopal church, though in the old country were reared in the German Evangelical denomination.
CHARLES H. SMITH.
Among the successful and leading business men of Belgrade, Nebraska, we mention the name of Charles H. Smith, who, in partnership with his brother, George W. Smith, owns and operates the largest general merchandise store in Nance county. Mr. Smith is recognized as a pioneer merchant of his section, and has for many years been intimately identified with the development of the commercial interests of his county and state.
Charles H. Smith was born in Linn county, Iowa, March 5, 1867, and was the fifth child in a family of eight. He was reared in Linn county, Kansas, where the father died in 1877. Then the mother and her children moved to Boone county, Nebraska, where she took up homestead privileges. She died there in 1883. The farm was carried on by the children up to '95, when our subject in company with his brother, George W., came to Belgrade. They first engaged in the grocery business under the firm name of Smith Bros., and were successful in building up a good trade, carrying on the store until 1902, then enlarged their business and added a complete line of general goods, having erected a large modern store. They now enjoy a fine patronage and are among the leading merchants of eastern Nebraska.
Mr. Smith was married in Belgrade, July 26, 1899, to Miss Alice M. Kliese; daughter of Au-
gustus and Charlotte Kliese, who are well known in this section. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of four children, Harold V., Margaret, Hallie and Earl J. The family have a pleasant home and are held in high esteem by their associates.
Mr. Smith is a member of the school board of Belgrade and takes an active interest in local affairs.
E. H. THOMPSON.
E. H. Thompson, a retired farmer living at O'Neill, Nebraska, has been a resident of that state since July 13, 1873, when he filed a preemption claim one mile east of O'Neill, which he later converted into a timber claim. He lived there four or five years, then filed a claim on a homestead four miles southeast of O'Neill, which he improved and cultivated, erected a good house and barn, and set out a grove of trees. After living on this tract of land five years he received a patent from the governinent. He took intelligent notice of conditions and prospects at that time, and being of the opinion that the price of land would rise considerably in the next few years, invested in one hundred sixty acres of land two miles east of O'Neill, where he resided until 1890, then retired from active life, rented his land, and purchased a home in O'Neill. He has a comfortable home in the southeastern part of the city, where he and his wife enjoy the fruits of their early activity and thrift.
Mr. Thompson was born in Penfield, Monroe county, N. Y., February 21, 1834, and in 1838 accompanied his parents to a farm about fifteen miles north of Milwaukee, in Ozaukee county, Wisconsin. His parents, Elijah and Waity Ann (Smith) Thompson, reared their family on this farm and the boy became familiar with life in the forest, helping his father in clearing part of the farm for cultivation. As a young man he learned the trade of carpentry and for a number of years worked at this vocation at Sandusky, Wisconsin, prior to moving west. He owned a farm of fifty acres containing a cottage, which he sold on going to Nebraska. His sons carried on the work of the farm while he worked at his trade and in this way the family prospered well.
Mr. Thompson was married in Ozaukee county, July 9, 1855, to Miss Helen Bitney, a native of Canada, daughter of Charles and Kate Bitney, and of the six children born to them three now survive, namely: Sarah J., wife of Samuel Wolf, lives four miles east of O'Neill; Elliott is shipping clerk in a large wholesale house of Omaha, Nebraska; Samuel conducts a restaurant at O'Neill.
Mr. Thompson's first dwelling on his timber claim was a log house with a sod roof -"Nebraska shingles," as aptly described, and during very heavy rain storms the bedding was stacked in the middle of the room, where there was less danger of leakage than in the sides and corners, under the eaves. Many of the pioneers who dwelt in such a home related that after one day of rain outside there were three days of dripping ceiling inside. On Mr. Thompson's second property he erected a small frame house, and on his last farm he erected a much better one. He well remembers the incidents of his journey to Nebraska. They came with teams, leaving Sandusky May 22, and arriving at their destination July 13. Their household goods were shipped by rail as far as Sioux City, then the termanus of the railroad, and they were obliged to wait a week in that city for them to arrive.
At the close of the war Mr. Thompson served six months in the first Wisconsin cavalry, enlisting March 3, 1865. The regiment was stationed at Edgefield, Tenn., and saw little active service, as the backbone of the rebellion was broken soon after its date of enlistment. Mr. Thompson was a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic until the local post was abandoned.
In politics Mr. Thompson is a republican, and he belongs to the Independent Order Odd Fellows. He is a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church and interested in every worthy cause which comes to his notice. He is one of the oldest settlers of Holt county and well remembers his early struggles to obtain a good crop. Deer, antelope and elk were often seen after he came to the state, and soon after his arrival a lone buffalo was seen to cross his farm. He suffered much loss from grasshoppers for several years, and until about 1876 he was unable to save his corn from these pests, that devastated a field of corn in a very short time, leaving nothing but the black, naked stalks. It is hard for one to realize what a menace these pests were to the early settler, who depended upon his grain for his profits. Mr. Thompson was an intelligent and industrious farmer, and his fields soon began to produce bountiful crops, and even in the first years he was able to save his small grain. He is one of the best known men in the county and has a reputation for integrity and reliability which attests his high character and standing.
W. H. STEPHENSON.
W. H. Stephenson, abstracter and dealer in real estate, of Hartington, made his first journey into Nebraska in the summer of 1871. He found work near Fremont on the farm of the father of George W. E. Dorsey, for many years the member of congress from the third district. He returned to his native city in Canada, and did not re-visit Nebraska until he came to make it his permanent home in February of
1885. He saw the need of an expert abstracter in the settlement of a new country and opened an office in Hartington, winning an extensive clientelle from the start. He writes insurance for a number of the substantial old line insurance companies and deals extensively in real estate, in which his judgment is unerring.
Mr. Stephenson was born in the city of St. Thomas, Ontario, January 19, 1848. His father was born in Cayuga, New York, in 1795; he attended college with Thaddeus Stevens, Therlow Weed and that group of illustrious men who were a power in the nation over half a century ago. He was a prominent Mason, and was indicted, along with others, at the time of the Morgan excitement in western New York in the first half of the last century. He went to Canada, settled in St. Thomas, and at the age of fifty-four was married; he died in St. Thomas in the year 1854. In early manhood he had served in the war of 1812. The mother of Mr. Stephenson was Miss Huldah Warner, a native of Canada. After the death of the father she removed, in 1856, with her family to Michigan state, where both of her boys enlisted in the Union army; the younger, Samuel A. Stephenson was killed in an engagement at Murphysboro, at the tender age of fifteen years, a member of Company G, Twenty-ninth Michigan Volunteers.
Mr. Stephenson enlisted July 30, 1864, at the age of sixteen, at Port Huron, Michigan, in Company A, Nineteenth United States Regulars, and was stationed first at Fort Wayne, where he was broken into army tactics under the drill master there. The regiment was sent to the front at Atlanta and engaged in the siege and several of the battles around the city, and at Acken and Jonesboro, Georgia. When Sherman cut loose from his base of supplies and swung his army through Georgia on his famous march to the sea, the Nineteenth regiment was sent back into Tennessee to intercept Hood, who was threatening an invasion of the North. There were skirmishes around Chattanooga, after which the regiment went into winter quarters on Lookout Mountain. Here in November Mr. Stephenson, though not yet seventeen, cast his first vote for president; he voted for Lincoln at that time and has voted with the republican party ever since.
After the war Mr. Stephenson returned to his native city, where he married and for ten years was engaged in the grain and produce business. This being a fine dairy country, he engaged in cheese-making, having three to four factories running at one time until 1878, when he disposed of all his interests here. Removing again to the states, he settled in Harlan, Iowa, where he engaged in the live stock and grain business until his removal to Nebraska, as stated, in 1885.
Mr. Stephenson was married near St. Thomas, September 10, 1874, to Miss Agnes Lynn, daughter of Hugh and Sarah (Milligan) Lynn, the former a native of county Antrim, Ireland, the latter of Glasgow, Scotland. The grandfather, William Lynn, came to Canada with his family in 1834, and died there at the age of eighty-three years. Mrs Stephenson's parents moved to Redlands, California, in 1890, where the father died at the age of eighty-three years; the mother still lives there at the advanced age of eighty-eight years. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson, namely: William, is in business at Glenn Ullin, North Dakota; Hugh L., resides in Sioux City, engaged in the mail service between that city and Omaha, having been promoted to the position of chief clerk; Helen Hope, after completing the high school course graduated with the degree of B. A. in the college of Tarkio, Missouri; she has taught successfully, her last engagement being as principal of the schools of Clearfield, Iowa; Blanche A., graduated in music at the conservatory at Macomb, Illinois, under Professor Jackson, with whom she began her higher musical studies at Tarkio; Samuel G., began the course in Tarkio college, but feeling the call to adventure in the big world outside enlisted in the American navy, and has sailed many seas abroad the United States Steamship Montana; and Walter I., the youngest, is a pupil in the Hartington school.
Mr. Stephenson has been commander or adjutant of the Osawatomie post number one hundred seventy-nine, Grand Army of the Republic at Hartington since removing to the town. The veterans hold their meetings in his office and their charter hangs on his office wall. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and their higher branch, the Dramatic Order of Khorassan.
When he first came to Nebraska the railroads had but recently been opened to the coast; the Northwestern had extended only to Missouri Valley, Iowa, and the Burlington and Rock Island to Council Bluffs. The only hostelery of note at Omaha, the United States hotel, was about a mile from the ferry; and the Union Pacific bridge was under construction, and for a time Mr. Stephenson was employed on the structure. He was here at the time of the Chicago fire and hastened his return home that he might see the ruins of the stricken city of which he had read so much in the daily press; so recently had the flames been subdued that the sidewalks were too hot for use when he was there, all on foot being compelled to take their chances with vehicles in the middle of the streets.
Mr. Stephenson had an uncomfortable experience in the blizzard of January 12, 1888; after taking his own children home he returned with a neighbor to accompany the two little daughters of Dr. J. W. Hitchcock; they became bewildered in the icy blast and
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