failed to reach their destination; they did finally run into a house and warmed their almost frozen charges. Making a fresh start, they reached the doctor's residence, where they found he and his wife almost frantic.
Deer and antelope were to be seen on the prairies of Cedar county when Mr. Stephenson first came, and the best of land sold for four to five dollars per acre. A tract Mr. Stephenson bought at two dollars and fifty cents he sold at six dollars and twenty-five cents per acre; this purchaser held until it brought him fifty dollars, and it is worth from eighty dollars to one hundred dollars an acre now after the short lapse of twenty-five years.
Mr. Stephenson comes of a long-lived race. His mother died in 1908 at the age of eighty-three; her father, a pensioner of the American army, attained the great age of eighty-eight; she was descended on her mother's side from Reverend John Robinson, who became enamored of Abagial Olmstead, a fellow passenger on the Mayflower and married her soon after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. Others of his ancestors attained great age, being of the hardy race that springs from northern Ireland and the Scottish counties around Glasgow.
On another page we are pleased to present portraits of Mr. Stephenson and his son Willlam.
W. H. Stephenson and his son William.
FRANK J. PIERCE.
Frank J. Pierce, retired farmer and son of Samuel and Cemantha Pierce, was born in Juno county, Wisconsin, September 23, 1855. He was the second child in a family of six children, of whom one sister is deceased, three brothers reside in Louisiana, and one brother in Albion. The mother died in 1908, and the father is living, at the ripe age of eighty-eight years, in Boone county.
In 1862 the family moved to Minnesota, where they engaged principally in farming, and in 1878 they came to Boone county, Nebraska, where our subject homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land three miles southwest of Albion.
On December 26, 1882, Mr. Pierce was joined in matrimony to Miss Eva T. Mansfield, and they continued to live on the homestead until 1883, when Mr. Pierce purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on the northeast quarter of section seventeen, township twenty, range six, which is located two miles northwest of Albion, and which remained the home for twenty-six years.
Mrs. Pierce's father, Augustus G. Mansfield, died December 2, 1906, and her mother, Mary Mansfield, on December 19, 1893. Mrs. Pierce was the eldest of ten children; five brothers and one sister of whom reside in Nebraska, one brother in Illinois, one sister is deceased, and another sister lives in Texas.
In 1907 Mr. Pierce retired from active farm life and with Mrs. Pierce went to California, where they enjoyed a year and a half tour, returning to Albion, where he is building a fine home.
Mr. Pierce formerly owned a good fruit farm of twenty-four acres of trees, three hundred cherry trees, two hundred plum, and two thousand apple trees, all of which he set out in 1895 and sold in 1910. This is the largest orchard in Boone county.
Mr. Pierce has done his full share as an old settler, and is recognized as one of the leading residents of the county in which he makes his home. He has the confidence and esteem of his fellow men, and his name will figure prominently in the history of Nebraska.
MENKE VON SEGGERN.
For over forty-three years Nebraska has claimed the allegiance of Mr. Menke Von Seggern. With a colony of thirty of his fellow countrymen, he crossed the Missouri river at Omaha in the spring of 1868, at which time the town was not as large as Wayne. He came on to Dodge county, and filed on an eighty acre homestead six miles north of Hooper, and later purchased three hundred and twenty acres of railroad land and eighty acres out of a school section. He cultivated and improved this large farm until 1884, when he sold and moved to Wayne county, seven miles north of Wisner, and purchased three hundred and twenty acres in the southeast corner at eight dollars per acre, and four hundred aud eighty acres across the line in Cuming county at eleven dollars, making a fine estate of eight hundred acres.
Mr. Von Seggern resided on this farm until 1899, when he rented it and resided in Omaha for three years for the benefit of Mrs. Von Seggern's health, and to give the children the advantages of the city schools. In March, 1903, they moved back to Wayne county, to eighty acres a short distance north of Wayne, which he had owned for some time, and in 1907 purchased his present place of twenty acres adjoining the northeast corner of town. Here on a well graded terrace, encircled by an ornamental hedge, he erected a nine-room, two-story dwelling which commands a grand view of the town, the valley and the hills to the south. The house is equipped with all improvements - furnace, lights, bath and water connections - making it a comfortable and complete modern home.
Mr. Von Seggern was born in the village of Sandhatten, province of Aldenburg, Germany, December 5, 1840. He lived in his native country until 1868, following farming for a livlihood, although he had learned the blacksmith
trade. Sailing from Bremen, one of a party of thirty, he landed in New York after a voyage of fourteen days. Thence they proceeded to Nebraska, since which time Mr. Von Seggern has become a prominent citizen of the state; and well has he done his part, leading an honest, upright life, and winning the respect of his fellow men. Mr. Von Seggern is a son of Menke Von Seggern, senior, who married Mary Sanders. The parents joined their son in 1872 and passed their declining years in Nebraska.
The marriage of Mr. Von Seggern was celebrated in Dodge county, June 16, 1870. His bride, Mary Monnich, a daughter of Gerhart and Anna (Osterloh) Monnich, was also a native of Oldenburg, born in the village of Holle. The Monnich family emigrated to America in 1854, sailing in the "Hansa," a fast passenger steamer for those times which made the passage in fourteen days. They came to Iowa and lived two years in Iowa county, renting land and engaging in farming. They moved to Nebraska in the fall of 1856 with ox teams, camping in their covered wagons along the way; crossed the Missouri river at Omaha, and found that town's business buildings to consist of one store. In ascending a steep hill on the way up from the river, they found part of it too slippery from recent rains, so essayed to make a way of their own up a steeper bank on the grass. Hitching both yokes of oxen to the uncle's wagon, the steep ascent was attempted. Near the top the chain of the front team broke, the pole team could not hold the load, and wagon, oxen and all made a hasty back trip to the bottom, upsetting and spilling everything in the wagon; half a day was required to set things right again and make a second start. They settled in Dodge county where their remaining years were spent.
Mr. and Mrs. Von Seggern have eight of their ten children living. They are: George who lives on part of the old home farm in the south part of the county; Bernhard, who occupies the other part of the land; Fred has an elevator and lumber yard in Gregory, South Dakota; Anna, is the wife of Herman Mullenhoff of Gresham, Oregon; Carl is in Gregory with Fred; Emil is with Bernhard on the old farm; William is in the grain and lumber business in Wayne; and Dorothy graduated in the high schools, class of 1911.
When the Monnich family settled in Nebraska in 1856 it was all open prairie. Deer and antelope were numerous; an uncle of Mrs. Von Seggern killed two deer one winter in the Elk Horn valley. Their first dwelling was a log house. When times were the hardest and store provisions hard to procure, parched wheat and barley served them as a substitute for coffee. Omaha was their market place - fifty miles away, it required three or four days to make the round trip. Their nearest mill was at Fort Calhoun. At the time of the Indian troubles, the family left the farm for a week and sought refuge in Fontenelle.
At the time Mr. Von Seggern came, deer and antelope had disappeared, but wild turkeys were plentiful and he kept his family board supplied with that fine game in season. Grasshoppers wrought havoc in their corn several seasons, but their small grain was usually harvested, and there was no year in which their crops totally failed; the worst season was in 1872. The nearest market at the time Mr. Von Seggern first came to the state was twenty-one miles from his home, and it usually required a day to make the trip. They lived through the severe blizzards of 1869, 1870, 1873, and 1880, but the worst experience Mr. Von Seggern had was in that of January 12, 1888. His children were at school and he went for them, facing the blinding, smothering storm for three-quarters of a mile, and brought them safely home.
Those times were hard in those days, and trials and privations were many, they were happy days - life was before them, they had youth and strength and resolute hearts. They endured, they toiled, they preserved, and now in the evening of life they enjoy all the good things the Lord has provided for those who serve Him.
Mr. Von Seggern is a democrat, and he and his wife are members of the Lutheran church.
H. Whittenburg, one of the oldest residents of Stanton county, is one of the first white children born within its limits. His entire life has been spent there, and he is closely identified with the best interests of his community.
Mr. Whittenburg was born in 1870, a son of Julius and Ernslena Whittenburg, both natives of Germany, who left there for the United States in 1868, landing at New York. The father believed the west offered larger opportunities for the man with small capital, and located in Nebraska, securing a homestead on section eighteen, township twenty-four, range one, of Stanton county, which has since been in the possession of the family. He began at once to make improvements, and at first they occupied a primitive dwelling, which was replaced with a better one when it was possible. He and his wife had eight children, six of whom are still living.
For some years after coming to their new home, the Whittenburg family were greatly troubled by grasshoppers that destroyed a large part of their crops, but they were triumphant over all difficulties and developed a fine grain and stock farm, and now have a comfortable dwelling. Upon their arrival deer and antelope were fairly plentiful and helped a great deal in furnishing their food. Many times they were obliged to fight prairie fires to save their home. During the early years of their residence in the state, the father planted fourteen acres of land with shade and fruit trees, and in many other ways added to the beauty and value of his estate. The family
stand well with their neighbors and have many warm friends. They are among the comparatively few who have retained in the family the land originally secured from the government, and are well known in their part of the county.
E. L. HEMENWAY.
E. L. Hemenway, owner of a fine estate in section fifteen, township twenty-seven, range eight, Antelope county, Nebraska, has resided in his present location for the past twenty-seven years and during that time has become one of the successful agriculturists and citizens of that region. Mr. Hemenway owns a good home and valuable property, and has always done his share in the upbuilding of his locality, and is well and favorably known throughout this part of the state.
Mr. Hemenway is a native of Du Page county, Illinois, born on a farm January 3, 1860. His father Charles was born in North Hampden, Massachusetts, in 1815, and our subject's mother, Lucy (Fay) Hemenway, is a native of Boston, Massachusetts, but of English descent, her parents having come from England, and being early settlers in the state of Massachusetts. Our subject was raised in his birthplace, receiving his education in the country schools, and helping his father work the home farm.
In 1883 our subject came to Nebraska settling in Antelope county. Mr. Hemenway had a pretty good practical training in a business way, and a fair education, and taught school; laying by enough money to get a start in life. In 1886 he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land from Mr. Dell Zell, this land originally being a preemption claim. After buying this land he began at once to make improvements, putting out five acres of trees, and making other changes and went into general farming and stock-raising. Mr. Hemenway now owns six hundred acres of good land with all improvements. He carries on general farming and stock-raising, has several head of high grade cattle and feeds about a carload a year for market.
On December 3, 1891, Mr. Hemenway was married to Miss Lucina Chase, and to this union three children were born, whose names are as follows: Clara, Walter, and Lucile. Mrs. Hemenway died in the year 1902 deeply mourned by her husband and family and many kind neighbors and friends.
Mr. Hemenway again married, March 29, 1905, his bride being Eva George, and Mr. and Mrs. Hemenway are the parents of two children, named Dalas and Irma. Mr. and Mrs. Hemenway and family enjoy the respect and well-wishes of all who know them, and their friends are many.
Mr. Hemenway is a member of several fraternal societies, having been financial secretary of the A. O. U. W. for sixteen years, from 1893 to 1909; also is a member of the Degree of Honor. He is a member of the United Presbytenan church, and a republican in politics. He takes an interest in educational matters and served as school director of his district from 1896 to 1906.
On the 12th of January, 1888, the day of the great blizzard, Mr. Hemenway was at the school where he was teaching, but on account of the shortage of fuel only two children were in attendance and these were sent home before the blizzard began, a fortunate thing as many school children in other districts were caught in it, or confined at the school houses during the continuance of the storm. Mr. Hemenway suffered severe losses by the great drought in 1894 but managed to save about three hundred bushels of small grain so he was able to supply his brothers with seed for the next year. In 1895 his losses were greater as he lost his entire crop by hail storms.
Few living at the present time can relate, as can the above gentleman, incidents of the overland trail, early ranching in the open country when the outposts of civilization were hundreds of miles apart and of navigation on the Missouri river at a time when it was not the "Great Deserted Stream."
Mr. Packard was born near Burlington, on August 11, 1846, and is a son of Solomon and Susan (Hunt) Packard. The maternal grandfather of our subject was a soldier in the British army stationed in Canada, near the Vermont line. He met and married his wife in England and later came to Canada, moved with her across the line into the states. After arriving in the United States, he located in Columbia county, Wisconsin, where Sanford grew to manhood, and from there he went to Montana, traveling in a covered wagon, camping out along the road, and crossing the Missouri river at Omaha. He followed the California trail along the Platte river. Fremont at that time was but a shanty town. All went well until North Platte was reached, where warnings of the Indians were given by the soldiers stationed there, who directed them to take the south side of the river instead of the opposite bank, as was usual. One man, by the name of Barnett, from Missouri, failed to heed this warning, went his own obstinate way, and was never heard from afterwards.
Mr. Packard carried all his goods across the railroad bridge, afterwards fording the river with the empty wagon, reloading on the other side, and proceeded safely on his way to Gallatin, Montana, where he was employed for a year in looking after horses and cattle on a large ranch.
In the summer of 1869 he started home by boat down the Missouri river, passing through Helena and Fort Benton, and after a trip lasting seven days, landed in Sioux City, from there going to Chicago, thence back to Columbia county,
Wisconsin. He worked in a drug store there and in Poynette for several months, and in the fall of 1870 went into a lumber camp in the pine woods of northern Wisconsin, where he was soon made cook for the outfit. The illness and death of his father in the following spring called him home to take charge of the farm, which he later sold, and removed with his mother and family to Manasha, Wisconsin. Here he worked in a feed store, his earnings affording a scant living for them all, so he accompanied a friend to Iowa and spent the summer in the harvest fields at good wages, and during the fall worked with a threshing outfit near Iowa Falls.
In 1874, he joined his brother near Schuyler, Nebraska, where he rented a small warehouse and bought and shipped grain. He succeeded well in this venture until the grasshopper pests ruined the crops and left no grain to buy, so he returned to Iowa Falls, there purchasing grain for a dealer for two years.
He went back to Schuyler in 1876, later being joined by his mother and sisters, he having secured employment with the firm of which his brother was the leading member, and for two years had charge of their business at Creighton. He then assumed the management of the Packard Lumber & Grain company's business at Plainview, carrying on the same until the business was sold out. Since that time he has been a clerk in the Leader Store in Plainview, where he has a large personal following and the friendship aud esteem of all who know him.
Mr. Packard was married here in Plainview in 1890, to Ada Chamberlain, a native of North Newbury, Maine. Her parents, Isaac and Mary (Colson) Chamberlain, were also natives of that state, coming to Nebraska in 1871, and an extended account of the life history of Mr. Chamberlain and his family will be found in this volume.
Seven children have been born to our subject and his esteemed wife, five of whom are now living, as follows: Leon S., in the employ of the Burlington railroad, stationed at Sioux City; Bertha, Luella, Nancy and Margaret. Mr. Packard is a prohibitionist. Both himself and wife are members of the Friend's church, and take a prominent part in the social life of Plainview.
John Irvine, a capable and prosperous farmer of Posen precinct is a worthy representative of a family which has been prominent in the agricultural affairs of Howard county the past forty years.
Mr. Irvine is a native of Roxburyshire, Scotland, born August 15, 1853. He grew up there to the age of twenty years, then came to America with his father and mother and brother Archie, landing in this country in June, 1873, and coming directly west to Howard county, Nebraska, where two brothers, James and George, (whose sketches appear in another part of this volume) were already located. Henry, another brother of our subject, was also in Howard county, and still another brother and sister - William and Christine, respectively - came here in June, 1874, so that the entire family were finally all living near together. John Irvine homesteaded on section eighteen, township fourteen, range eleven, proved up and sold his claim. He then located on section seven, and still occupies this tract, having a fine home and well equipped farm. During the early years he passed through every sort of frontier life, and while having a hard time at first to get along, gradually became prosperous, constantly adding to his original farm until he is classed among the well-to-do citizens, successful agriculturists and prominent old-timers of his section.
Mr. Irvine was married on July 9, 1883, to Miss Isabelle Gordon, who is a native of the north of Ireland, who emigrated to Canada in 1878, and locating in Howard county in 1882, with a sister. They were married on the Irvine homestead, the ceremony being performed by Mr. James Baxter, justice of the peace in Kelso precinct, he being a brother-in-law of our subject. Mrs. Irvine still has one sister living in Ireland, and one brother in California, all the other members of her family now being dead.
Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Irvine, two of whom are living: Isabelle, who is married to Albert Obermiller, they being the parents of four fine children, and living on a farm adjoining Mr. Obermiller's father's place; Mary Alice, the other daughter of our subject, is the wife of Peter Larson. They reside on their farm near Farwell, which is situated on the southwest quarter of section six. Three children died in infancy; Alice, when but four months old, Janet at the age of four years, and John, a babe of six weeks.
Mr. Irvine and his brothers are widely known through the entire country in which they reside as being about the first actual settlers in that section of the state, and it can truly be said that they have helped in a large measure to build up Howard county in every way - commercially, educationally and socially.
Robert Nay, one of the earliest settlers in Valley county, Nebraska, resides on his fine farm which is located in section twenty-one, township twenty, range thirteen, and is classed among the prominent citizens of his region.
Mr. Nay was born in Dundee, Scotland, June 16, 1858, and was third of five children in the family of Robert and Jane (Belle) Nay, who had three sons and two daughters. The Nay family moved from Scotland to Ontario, Canada, in June
of 1871, and Robert and William Nay came from Canada to Valley county, Nebraska, in March of 1879, where Robert took up a timber claim in the northwest quarter of section eighteen, township twenty, range thirteen and William took up a homestead, on which he remained. Robert, however, went to the western part of Nebraska where he was employed on the Union Pacific Railroad for two years; then returned to Valley county, but soon went to Canada.
Mr. Nay was united in marriage on December 23, 1882, to Miss Maggie Fraser in Ontario, Canada. Miss Fraser was a native of Canada, but her people were of Scotch descent. Mr. and Mrs. Nay have five children, namely: Minnie, wife of Clayton Timmerman, who has three children and resides near Ord; Emma Bell, who is married to Arthur Mensing, they having two children, and residing in Valley county; and George A., Wilbert R., and Lee E., who reside at home.
In March, 1883, Mr. and Mrs. Nay came to their farm home in Valley county, this farm being the original timber claim; but now live in section twenty-one, township twenty, range thirteen; this is a farm of six hundred and forty acres which Mr. Nay operates as a fine stock and grain farm, improved with good buildings, etc., and where he also has a comfortable home. They settled on this farm in 1902.
Mr. Nay has done his part toward building up Valley county, and has been connected with the different township offices, serving as township clerk and in other capacities for a number of years. He is a prominent and successful man of affairs, self-made, coming up from the sod-shanty days to the present days of prosperity.
Mr. and Mrs. Nay and family have the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends. Mr. Nay's parents, Robert, senior, and Jane Nay, came from Canada several years later than Robert and William, and with them also came another son, James. Mr. and Mrs. Nay, senior, are both deceased, and he buried in Ord cemetery. Mr. Nay, subject of this sketch, has one brother in Ord, another in Columbus; a sister in Stockton, California, and another in northwestern Canada.
Mr. Nay is independent in politics; was reared a Presbyterian; attends the M. E. church. He is a member of the Odd Fellows and Order of Ben Hur. Deer and antelope in country when he came. Lived in sod house until 1893. Was out in blizzard of January 12, 1888, and got back to the house by turning his back to the storm which was suffocating to one facing it.
JACKSON W. MCKIBBON.
Jackson W. McKibbon, who is known throughout Madison county, Nebraska, as a prosperous agriculturist and substantial citizen, resides on section twenty-two, township twenty-four, range two. He is a man of untiring energy, honest principle and good business management, and commands the respect of a large circle of acquaintances.
Mr. McKibbon is a native of Harrison county, Missouri, in which state he was born March 21, 1873; is a son of Robert and Mary (Fitch) McKibbon, who were natives of Ohio, but of Irish descent. Our subject's father served in the Civil war, enlisting in Company K, Ninety-first Ohio Infantry, in 1861, and served all through the war, receiving his honorable discharge in 1865.
In 1883 Mr. McKibbon, our subject, came with his parents to Madison county, Nebraska, where the father bought the Albert Biglow homestead, also purchasing a shanty, which was used for a dwelling. During their residence here in the early years, the family endured many hardships and discouragements due to crop failures, prairie fires, the elements of the weather, etc.; and as late as 1894 suffered entire loss of crops through the hot winds of that season, which burned every form of vegetation to a crisp; the ground during that year was but a blackened stretch of earth for miles in all directions, and the drought made great havoc. Despite the many drawbacks and discouraging conditions in the early days, our subject and family persevered and stuck to the farm, which is now proving its worth and is repaying double every failure of former years. Robert McKibbon died January 15, 1909. Mr. McKibbon now has the place well improved, and engages in mixed farming, in which he is very successful.
Mr. McKibbon is one of the younger old settlers of his locality, but since his maturity has proven himself a progressive, substantial citizen, as was his father before him. As before stated, he has the respect and high esteem of all who know him, and his friends are many. He is an independent voter.
ORLANDO S. PULLIAM.
Orlando S. Pulliam, one of the very early setlers of Custer county, Nebraska, has passed through much of Nebraska's history and has been successful as a farmer and stockman, specializing in fine horses. He is one of the well-known men of the region and has always been identified with the best interests of the county and state. In 1900 he retired from the farm and moved to Sargent, where he erected his present comfortable home. For several years he has dealt in real estate more or less, being well informed on land values in central Nebraska. Mr. Pulliam was born in Lee county, Iowa, March 17, 1852, third in order of birth of the seven children of James and Charity (Hinch) Pulliam, natives of Illinois. He was the only member of the family to settle in Nebraska. His father, who was of German descent, died in Appanoose county, Iowa, and his mother died in the same state.
Mr. Pulliam grew to manhood on an Iowa
farm and there received a common school education, engaging in farming on his own account in early manhood. He was married in Iowa in 1870 to Miss Tirza McFadden, a native of the state, and three children were born of the union: Ed L., married and living in Custer county, has four children; Arthur L., of Garfield county; is married and has six children; Ora, wife of Joseph Kiker, of Cushing, Nebraska, has one child. In the spring of 1879 Mr. Pulliam came west looking for a location and took up a homestead on one hundred sixty acres on section thirty-four, township twenty, range nineteen, Custer county, which was the family home for many years.
On October 17, 1880, at Moulton, Iowa, Mr. Pulliam was united in marriage with Miss Alice Ransom, a native of Iowa, their marriage taking place at the home of her parents, Elisha and Mary (Hayes) Ransom, who were born in Indiana. Mr. Ransom died in Appanoose county, Iowa, in 1907, and his widow now resides in the old home there where she has lived the past fifty-six years. The Ransoms were among the early settlers in their part of Iowa, where they took a prominent part in local affairs and became well known. Mr. and Mrs. Pulliam began housekeeping on the Custer county homestead and he improved and developed the land from its wild state. He served for many years as moderator of school district number four and was active in promoting the best interests of the community. He is now vice president of the First National bank of Sargent, and until recently was vice president of the State Bank of that town. He and his wife had three children: George and Claude, deceased, and Olive, wife of Guy Brown, of Sargent.
ZUINGLEY M. BAIRD.
Among the self-made men of the west, those who have, unaided, made a place and a name for themselves in the world of business, may be mentioned Zuingley M. Baird, the veteran auctioneer of Hartington. Left an orphan by the death of his mother at the age of eighteen months, and reared in the home of strangers, he has made his own way in the world since the age of fourteen, and done so in a measure that would be a credit to one who had enjoyed a parent's loving help and care.
Z. M. Baird was born in Lisbon, Iowa, November 23, 1860, and was taken into the home of a woman in Fairview township, Jones county, where he was reared until the age of fourteen; at that age he went to Lena, Illinois, and became apprentice in the office of the "Lena Star," a weekly paper. After four years in a print shop, the boy felt the need of a higher education than he had enjoyed, and returned to Iowa to attend the Blairstown academy, which he attended three years. After his school days he secured a clerkship in a store in Nevada, Iowa; where he remained for a year. He married while here and soon after came west to enter the profession of journalism.
Mr. Baird came to Nebraska in 1884, reaching Dakota City on August 11, where he visited his father one day and then came on to Hartington, which place he reached on the twelfth. He secured a place in the composing room of the "Herald," which he bought the last day of the year, and began the year 1885 as proprietor of the paper. This he successfully published for five years, sold, and, moving to South Sioux City, started the "South Sioux City Times." This he sold after a period of years, and moving to Emerson established the "Emerson Times," and while publishing this paper formed a partnership with E. Bordwell, his brother-in-law, to start a new paper in Hartington known as the "Cedar County Leader."
After getting the paper well on its way to success, he sold his Emerson paper and later disposed of his interest in the "Leader" to his brother-in-law. His love for journalism was not abated, so about 1895 he established the "Cedar County News," which he ably edited some five or six years until the demand on his time as an auctioneer necessitated his disposing of his paper.
Mr. Baird has been popular as an auctioneer ever since his advent to Nebraska. His powerful yet pleasing voice is well adapted to incessant speaking in the open air, and his merry jokes and quips keep his auditors in the proper mood when the vendue is long drawn out and they might otherwise grow weary and depart. He gets results, which is the main thing in business of any kind, but especially in public sales.
Mr. Baird is a son of Cephus and Elizabeth (Hall) Baird, both natives of Ohio. As stated, the mother died in Iowa early in 1862; the father remarried and moved to Dakota county, Nebraska, he afterward going to San Francisco, where he died.
Mr. Baird was married at Nevada, Iowa, March 28, 1883, to Miss Alwilda Murphey, daughter of Henry F. and Margaret (Palmer) Murphey, natives of Indiana, who came to the frontier in Iowa in an early day. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Baird, namely: Claude M., a successful merchant of Hartington ; Margaret, teaching in the schools in Nevada; Donald V., deceased; and Bruce Z.
Mr. Baird is a democrat in politics, and made his papers powers in the cause of his party candidates and principles. He is a prominent Mason and has advanced far in the mysteries of the ancient order. He belongs to the blue lodge and chapter in Hartington, the commandery at Bloomfield, the consistory and shrine at Omaha. He has filled all the chairs in the local lodge and of the grand lodge, as well having served as grand master of the state in 1906.
Mr. Baird was in Iowa at the time of the fearful blizzard of October, 1880, and of the flood of
the following spring. He was in Hartington, however, January 12, 1888, when so many lost their lives in the tempest. He had difficulty in making his way home, and was thoroughly exhausted on reaching his door. As with others, it is an experience he can never forget.
Mr. Baird is a man who makes his force felt in the community where he dwells; big of body and of brain, big of heart and spirit, he is a good citizen, a good neighbor, and a good friend.
For over twenty-nine years the gentleman whose name heads this personal history was associated with the agricultural interests of Merrick county, Nebraska, and as an old settler and one of her worthy citizens he was prominently known. Mr. Simonson was proprietor of one of the fine farms of that locality and accumulated his property and gained his good name by his persistent and honest labors. He resided in section twenty up to the time of his death, which occurred on April 29, 1902. Mr. Simonson was born in Norway, in 1848, coming to America in his eighteenth year and settling in Menard county, Illinois, close to Springfield, that state. He was married in 1870, in the state of Illinois to Miss Berte Egeland.
Mr. Simonson came to Merrick county, Nebraska, in March, 1873, taking up a homestead in section twenty, township thirteen, range eight, and was joined by his wife and son Simon, in May of the same year. As before stated this was the home farm at the time of Mr. Simonson 's death.
Mr. and Mrs. Simonson had two children born to them: Simon, who with his family lives on the old homestead; and Anna, who is married to Chris. Thorson and lives in Chicago. Mr. Simonson's wife died August 5, 1884, on the home farm.
Son of Onon and Berte (Egeland) Simonson, was born in Illinois, June 13, 1871. He came to Merrick county, Nebraska, with his parents in the spring of 1873, where the father homesteaded land in March of that year, and where the son grew up under the usual advantages to be had in those early days. He was a sturdy lad and assisted his father with the farm work, and well remembers the years of struggle and inconveniences common at that time. Mr. Simonson started out for himself in his twenty-second year, and on the twenty-sixth of September, 1895, he was married to Miss Selma Wagner in Merrick county, Nebraska, whose parents, Traugott and Pauline (Schuessler) Wagner came to Merrick county about 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Simonson have had five children born to them; Berte, Ella, Oscar, Onon, and Norman, all of whom reside under the parental roof.
Mr. Simonson is supervisor in district seven, and is a member of the school board of district forty-two. Our subject is living on the old home farm which has been added to until it now contains four hundred acres of good land, well equipped and a substantial house built thereon. He also owns another one hundred twenty-acre farm in Merrick county.
Mr. Simonson is one of the progressive young men of Merrick county, successfully taking his part in the educational and social life of his county and state. He is a man of advanced ideas and believes in keeping up-to-date along all lines.
Mike Loftus, one of the early settlers in the state of Nebraska, now resides in Knox county, where he chose his home in 1902. Here he has a valuable estate in section twenty, township twenty-nine, range five, and is known as one of the prosperous and successful agriculturalists and stockmen of his locality.
Mr. Loftus was born in Connaught Province, Knockanello village, Ireland, June 7, 1858. When but a small boy he left home and struck out for himself, taking passage for America, where he was sure a fortune awaited him only for the taking. He landed in New York City after an eventful voyage, and immediately started for the west, going first to Illinois, where he remained for two years. There he followed farming. In the fall of 1879, he came to Nebraska, locating in Platte county, but only spent a short time in that vicinity, removing to Holt county, where he took a homestead and started to improve his claim. He at once put up a sod shanty and lived alone, cooking his own meals, and working hard to build up his farm. Later on he filed on a tree claim in the vicinity, and proved up on both tracts. He now has a fine farm of two hundred acres, situated about one mile from Creighton. The place is well supplied with every convenience, in including substantial buildings, plenty of trees, planted by Mr. Loftus himself, all kinds of stock, etc. He raises fine crops of grain, and is fast becoming one of the leading men of wealth in his vicinity.
Mr. Loftus was married in O'Neill on January 22, 1889, to Miss Mary Carney, and to them have been born two children, Thomas and James, both of whom are at home.
Samuel Ewing, one of the more prominent business men and worthy citizens of Genoa, where he has spent the past thirty years, more or less, has gained the respect and esteem of his fellowmen by his sterling character, thrift and good spirit. By unremitting labor and good business ability he has accumulated a comfortable prop-
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