that county. Eleven children have been born to our subject, ten of whom are living, namely: Flora, who is the wife of Lauritz Feddersen, and living in Howard county; Arthur B., Charlie N., who is married; Elvira, Valdemar A., Albert F., George W., Evelyn, Eiler and Halvor, all living at home, except the two married ones. Marie died in infancy. The family is esteemed by all who know them, and are popular in the affairs of their neighborhood. Their home is one of the pleasantest in the vicinity, located on Oak Creek, and with the beautiful view and fine trees which dot the landscape, makes it a truly lovely place.
Politically Mr. Nielsen is a populist, active in all affairs of his township and county, and does all in his power to advance the best interests of his community.
CHARLES J. NELSON.
Charles J. Nelson, surveyor, son of Lars and Karna (Anderson) Nelson, was born in Sweden, January 28, 1850, and was the eldest in a family of nine children; he has one brother living in Billings, Montana; one sister in Arcadia, Nebraska, one in Ord, one in Wisconsin state, and, one brother in the state of Michigan, the other children being deceased. Mr. Nelson's parents are both deceased, the father's death occurring in January, 1884, and the mother's in 1898, both in Valley county, Nebraska.
At the age of eleven years, Mr. Nelson was bound out for five years to learn the tailor's trade, but was released after one year's service to come with his parents to America in 1862. The family located in Omaha, where Charles worked as an apprentice in a tailoring establishment for nearly four years; he was also a news carrier for the "Omaha Herald" for a couple of years; later he worked in the press room of that publication. In the spring of 1875 he came to Valley county, Nebraska, and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land in section four, township eighteen, range fifteen, and also timber-claimed one hundred and sixty acres, cornering with the homestead; in the years of 1889 and 1890 he followed railroading through the Black Hills country, being an employee in driving the tunnel through north of Hill City.
On May 22, 1895, Mr. Nelson was married to Miss Flora A. Ward, of Nebraska birth, and four children have been born to this union: Zelma P., is president of the local chapter of the Loyal Temperance Legion, Jonathan died in infancy, in 1897, and Vera Victoria and John L.
Mr. Nelson served as justice of peace during the seventies, was treasurer of the Manderson school district for several years; United States mail carrier on the star route four years, carrying mail over the east end of the route between Ord and Sargent. For three summers, when Mr. Nelson was busy with his farm work, Mrs. Nelson served in his stead, making the long trip each day without delay or failure. She served as assistant postmaster many years at Miracreek during her father's incumbency as postmaster there. He has served as Valley county surveyor at different times, in all nearly thirty years, and is still filling this office.
In 1904, Mr. Nelson retired from his farm and moved to Ord, where they built a good home, where they now live. Mr. Nelson is one of the earliest settlers, is prosperous and successful, and for thirty years has been closely identified with the interests of Valley county, and enjoys the respect of all who know him.
Mrs. Nelson's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Asahel Ward, live in Ord, and are one of the oldest families in the county. Mrs. Nelson is prominent in lodge circles. She is state treasurer of the Woman's Relief Corps secretary of the Women's Christian Temperance Union; and a member of the Tribe of Ben Hur and the Royal Neighbors of America. All members of the family are communicants of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Mr. Nelson was a city fireman for five years in Omaha, and also a member of the Valley county militia. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Tribe of Ben Hur. Mr. Nelson's father was a homesteader in Valley county, and built the first frame house in Mira Valley.
MONS. O. M. JOHNSON.
The gentleman above mentioned is counted among the oldest settlers in Madison county, Nebraska, and since locating here in 1875, has taken a foremost part in the development of the region, during which time he has also built up a good home and productive farm in section ten, township twenty-one, range four.
Mons O. M. Johnson was born June 28,1861, in Norway, one of a family of eight children resulting from the union of Mons and Martha Johnson. (Sketches of several other members of this family appear in this volume).
When Mons was fourteen years of age, he left his native land and sailed for America. Immediately after landing, he started for the west, and after a hard trip, finally arrived in Madison county in 1875 or 1876. He at once filed on a homestead, put up a sod, shanty and began to improve his farm. The first few years the grasshoppers took all his crops, and in order to make a living he was compelled to work out by the day or month, obtaining employment in Wisner as a farm hand.
Deer and antelope abounded in the region during those years, and from this source considerable of his food was derived. He met with many discouragements, but stuck bravely to his homestead and did his best to get ahead, but the most he could do was to barely make a living. In 1894 all his crops were again destroyed by the hot winds; and the following two years he raised some crops.
Things went along pretty well up to 1904 and 1905, when hail storms beat down and ruined his grain and every growing thing on the place. After that, success came to him rapidly, and he continued to add to his buildings, so that at the present time he has a finely improved farm and every convenience for its operation in the way of machinery, etc., including a comfortable dwelling, and barns. He also has fine groves and orchards which he has planted and tended until they are in splendid condition, and make his estate one of the show places of his locality.
Mr. Johnson was married, January 15, 1885, at Newman Grove, to Miss Julia Hulberson. Ten children have been born to them, as follows: Hannah, Martha, Mary, deceased; John, Harvey, Mariana Allen, Gertrude, Harry and Lawrence, died March 3, 1911.
William Pfrehm belongs to a pioneer family of Custer county, his father and four of his brothers, as well as himself, having been among the original homesteaders there. He was born in Petersburg Illinois, June 23, 1856, next to the oldest of the twelve children of John A. and Mary Catherine (Swiegart) Pfrehm, natives of Germany. John Pfrehm served two terms in the German army and while still a young man, he came to America, where he was married. In 1879 he took up, a homestead in Custer county and died, there in 1887. His wife died in Custer county in 1898. Of their children, eight now survive, namely: William, of Sargent; Henry J., of Custer county; August W. and Lewis J., of Sargent; John G., of Arkansas; Mrs. Lewis Ohmberger, Mrs. W. G. Williams and Miss Emma Pfrehm, all of Custer county. A sketch of Lewis J. Pfrehm appears in this work.
Mr. Pfrehm grew to manhood on the Illinois farm and was educated in local schools, later engaging in farming on his own account. He was married at the home of the bride's parents in Sangamon county, Illinois, October 2, 1879, to Miss Maggie B. Pointer, a native of Kentucky. They lived on a farm in Illinois until January, 19, 1881, when they came to Custer county, whither Mr. Pfrehm's parents had preceded them, and secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land on the southeast quarter of section thirty-one, township twenty, range nineteen, which was the home place for many years. During this time Mr. Pfrehm purchased the general merchandise stock of Butcher & Wabel, taking possession in April, 1891, and conducting the business twelve years. His wife carried on a millinery business at this time and both met with success in their respective lines. Since March, 1909, they have lived in Sargent, where they purchased a good home, and they have the largest millinery stock in the town. Mr. Pfrehm served for a number of years is it member of the school board of his district, and for several years was constable of West Union. He is a prosperous and successful business man, owning large farming interests, including his original homestead. He is one of the best known men of the region and has always been interested in everything pertaining to the general welfare and progress.
Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Pfrehm, five of whom now survive: William J., married and living in Oklahoma, has three children; Henry L., married and living in Loup City, has one child; Lawrence L., married and living on the old homestead, has one child; Harry J. and Aaron V., at home; Tina O. B., died at the age of eight years. Mrs. Pfrehm is a daughter of John and Hester (Sharp) Pointer, natives of Kentucky. Her father made his home with her in Custer county for a number of years and died there July 16, 1907, at the age of ninety-three years. The mother died in Illinois about 1883. Mrs. Pfrehm has a brother Henry, living in West Union, Nebraska; a brother James W., living in Malvern, Iowa, and one brother and two sisters living in Illinois.
One of the most prominent farmers in this part of the state is Albert Erdenberger, who is also one of the earlier settlers of Cedar county, his farm, located in section fifteen, township thirty-one, is well improved and he is one of the highly respected and esteemed citizens of his community.
Mr. Erdenberger is a native of Saxony, Germany, where he was born in 1839. In 1854, with his parents, he came to America in one of the sailing vessels of that time, the voyage taking fully six weeks to accomplish. They came at once to Wisconsin and this state remained their home for a number of years.
During the civil war, our subject served for ten months in Company C, Forty-third Regiment, under Captain Campbell, in General Milroy's division.
In 1860, Mr. Erdenberger was married to Miss Thorin Johonsen. A few years after the close of the war, in 1867, he and his family started on the long overland trip to Nebraska, driving a yoke of oxen. The trip itself occupied about six weeks, with these slow plodding animals. Upon their arrival in Nebraska, Mr. Erdenberger took up the homestead which he at present occupies, and began the work of subduing the wilderness, for the region was practically a wilderness at that time.
For a long time things were very discouraging indeed, with grasshoppers devouring the crops several years in succession, and with fighting prairie fires as the common diversion of the warmer months, while trying to survive the blizzards of the winter. Prospects brightened somewhat after awhile. Unlike any of the settlers, Mr. Erdenberger was fully aware of the great value of a growth of timber on a homestead, so that he
took great care to plant many trees on his land. He has since built his large barn, also houses for his sons, the lumber of which came from the trees he planted. He has now a five acre timber tract which is one of the finest grown groves in the County.
By the exercise of great thrift and economy, Mr. Erdenberger has not only given his children good educations and provided for his family, but has laid aside sufficient to insure a peaceful old age in the beautiful home for which he has worked for so many years.
Mr. and Mrs. Erdenberger became the parents of six children, four of whom are living. They are named, as follows: Elizabeth, now Mrs. John Weiger; John, Louis and Edward.
WILBERFORCE W. RILEY.
Wilberforce W. Riley, a member of one of the earliest families of the north end of Pierce county, Nebraska, has prospered as an agriculturist and stockman, and is now owner of a well improved estate in Pierce precinct adjoining the county seat. He has become widely known as all energetic and progressive farmer and stock breeder, and his success and good name are well merited.
Our subject is almost a native Nebraskan, coming with his parents in the fall of 1870, from Iowa, where he was born January 4, 1866. His father, Barnard Riley, was born in Ireland, and came to this country with a sister at the age of fourteen years, but on landing in New York, they became separated and never again found each other, neither did he hear from any of his kinsmen in the old country. He migrated west, locating for a time in Johnson county, Iowa, and there met and married Margaret Dwellinger in August, 1855. They had a family of six children, four attaining their majority, our subject and his twin sister being second in order of birth.
Mr. Riley was married at Stanton on May 17, 1899, to Miss Jennie Whalen, who was born and reared at that point. She is a daughter of William and Ellen (Botroff) Whalen, both natives of Indiana. They came to Nebraska in 1869 and filed on a homestead in Stanton county, one mile west of the present location of the county seat, which at that time was merely a little open space in the open prairie. Mr. and Mrs. Riley are the parents of two children. Hubert and Margaret, both pupils in the Pierce public schools.
During Mr. Riley's boyhood, that part of Nebraska was open to the Rocky Mountain deer and antelope, which roamed the prairie in great numbers. There was little grass on the prairies, weeds predominating, and the herds kept the ground bare.
There was not a house in Pierce at the time Mr. Riley's parents located there, and he was the first white child to live in the town; for a number of years they occupied the hotel in Pierce, the first house built in the town. He attended school in the second building erected in the village, on the spot now occupied by the Catholic church. They went through the grasshopper raids, saving their vegetables by sweeping the pests off the plants with brooms, about the only thing that escaped being the cabbages. For years there was no cemetery in the locality, and the settlers would tell newcomers that there was no need of one as nobody died in Nebraska.
Mr. Riley helped set out the trees which have grown into the magnificent grove now surrounding the old homestead, and the fertility of Nebraska soil is well evidenced by the crops grown on the farm, one field of which has been cultivated continuously for forty years and produces better crops now than at first. The present Riley home is a part of the original Lucas homestead, and here he engages extensively in breeding mules, Percheron horses and Shetland ponies, prospering in a marked degree. He began with Shetland stock in 1902 and with the breeding of mules, the following year.
Mr. Riley's comfortable residence is beautifully situated in a fine grove on the banks of Willow creek. The heavy timbers of the large barn on the place were cut from trees planted on the open prairie within the memory of its present owner. A view of the home, with pictures of some of the blooded stock of the place, is to be found on a nearby page of this work.
Mr. Riley is a staunch republican and has always taken a deep interest in county and state politics, serving in his community in different offices. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America of Pierce.
Residence of W. W. Riley.
LUTHER L. OLIVER.
Luther L. Oliver, the subject of this personal history, resides on the homestead secured by his mother, located in section four, township nineteen, range thirteen, Valley county, Nebraska. He is an early settler of this county and has watched the development and growth of this region from his first coming here, lending his aid in the upbuilding of the community, and is highly esteemed by all who know him.
Mr. Oliver was born in Dodge county, Wisconsin, October 8, 1866, and was the only child of Orville and Emma (Young) Oliver, the latter a native of Illinois. The father was an old Wisconsin settler, and is now deceased, his death occurring in South Dakota; the mother is living in North Loup.
Mr. Oliver was in his eighth year when the family left Wisconsin, going to Duell county, Dakota, remaining there about three years; in 1874 the mother and son moved to Tama county, Iowa. On March 10, 1882, Mr. Oliver came to Valley county, Nebraska, with his step-father, William Burris, and family. Mrs. Emma Burris, the mother of Mr. Oliver, made homestead entry on the southeast quarter of section four, township eight-
een, range thirteen, which is still the home of Mr. Oliver, having been the continuous home of Mr. Oliver through the years. We are pleased to call attention to a view of the residence on another page. Mr. Oliver coming into Valley county when, yet a boy, in early life went out for himself. He has been identified with the growth and development of Valley county since 1882, and is a successful farmer and stock man. In political views he sides with the republican party.
Mr. Oliver was united in marriage, May 24, 1888, to Miss Ada Blair, a native of Winnebago county, Illinois, their marriage taking place on the homestead farm. Mrs. Oliver is a daughter of Alfred and Dorothea (Holcomb) Blair, who came to Nebraska in 1887 and settled in Loup county west of Burwell. Mr. and Mrs. Oliver have been blessed with six children, namely: Nina, Mabel, Neal, Carl and Cecil, who are twins; and Dean.
Mr. and Mrs. Oliver and family are of the older Valley county families, and have the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends.
Mr. Oliver has passed through the adverse years of drouth and other hardships of Valley county, and is one of the few men who stuck by the old homestead farm until the coming of the more prosperous years. On settling on the homestead the family lived in a dugout found on the place, from March until summer, when the new house was completed, but one time there were seventeen of them, family and builders, occupying the place. The lumber for the new house had to be hauled from Grand Island, sixty miles distant. Mr. Oliver's mother and step-father were caught out in the blizzard of January 12, 1888, and with great difficulty found their way home.
"Hillside Farm," Residence of Luther L. Oliver.
FRED A. STRATMANN.
Fred A. Stratmann, an old time resident of eastern Nebraska, owns a well improved farm, and is recognized as one of the substantial farmers of that region.
Mr. Stratmann was born in Germany, July 21, 1847, and was third in a family of eight children, four sons and four daughters of Henry and Dorothy (Siling) Stratmann. He came to America in the fall of 1868, settling in Dwight, Illinois, where he worked at his occupation of carriage and wagon worker; and later coming to Grand Island, Hall county, Nebraska, in 1871, where he still followed his trade.
In September, 1873, Mr. Stratmann was married to Miss Elizabeth Seim, in Hall county, Nebraska, and they resided in Grand Island until 1884, when they moved to Merrick county, purchasing two hundred and forty acres of land on section thirty-three, township thirteen, range eight, their present home.
Mr. Stratmann preceded his father, three brothers, and one sister to America, his father coming to Hall county, Nebraska, in 1872, where he remained for a short period, moving into Merrick county in 1873, where he took up a homestead near Lockwood station. He passed away in 1899. His wife died in Germany. Our subject has two brothers residing in Nebraska; his brother Henry lives in Grand Island, and brother William is located on the father's old homestead.
Mr. and Mrs. Stratmann have had twelve children born to them, all of whom are living, a fine family of eight daughters and four sons: Alma, who is married to John Garbers, lives in Chapman, Nebraska; Anna, married to Henry Giese, has three children and lives in Merrick county; Alfred, is married and has two children, and lives in Merrick county; Bertha, married to Henry Harre, has one child and lives in Hamilton county; Olga, who is now Mrs. E. Breininger, lives in Hamilton county and has one child; and Marie, Louis, Louise, Henry, Dorothy, Amelia, and Frederick, all of whom are living under the parental roof.
Mr. and Mrs. Stratmann and family have a fine home, and are well and favorably known. and enjoy the esteem and respect of a large circle of friends.
Mr. Stratmann is a quiet, forceful man, always using his energies in the direction of beneficial efforts to the welfare of his family, county and state.
To the men of perseverance and strong determination who went to Nebraska when it was undeveloped as an agricultural and commercial region, the present prosperity enjoyed there is due. Among the early settlers of Knox county. who have been intimately identified with its development, and have gained enviable reputations as citizens, may be mentioned Louis Eggert, a prosperous farmer and stock raiser.
Mr. Eggert is a native of Wisconsin, his birth occurring in the year 1854, and he is the son of Joseph and Henrietta Eggert, both natives of Germany. They came to America in 1852, embarking on a sailboat and spending eight weeks on the sea before reaching the end of their voyage.
Mr. Eggert was raised on a farm, and received his education in his native state. When he reached the age of twenty-four years, in 1878, he came to Dodge county, Nebraska, where he worked out for two years. In 1880, Mr. Eggert. with his family, came to Knox county, where he took up a homestead in the northwest quarter of section eight, township thirty, range four and on this land built a sod house, in which he lived for seven years. He later took up a tree claim in section five, township thirty, range four.
Mr. Eggert has experienced all the hardships and failures incident to a farmer's life, but has which crowns the faithful, no matter what line never lost his faith in the natural resources of the state of Nebraska, and the ultimate success
they may pursue. Among the losses suffered by our subject may be mentioned the memorable blizzard of 1888. when he lost about all his stock in that destructive storm of ice and sleet; in 1894 the drouth and hot winds burned all the crops so, that they were an utter failure. These are only instances of the discouragements and hardships the western farmer has had to endure before success came his way.
Mr. Eggert was united in marriage in 1880 to Miss Lizzie Ihk, and they are the parents of five children, namely: Holdina, Paul, Minnie, Amanda and Lewis. Mr. and Mrs. Eggert and family are very highly respected and esteemed in their community, and live in their pleasant home, surrounded by a host of loving friends and acquaintances.
JAMES F. DOWNING.
James F. Downing, who for the past twenty-eight years has been successfully pursuing agriculture in Nance county, Nebraska, is a gentleman of energetic spirit and of capable mind. He has a pleasant home in section two, in Fullerton township, and there with his family, enjoys the comforts of a good home and the satisfaction that comes from a well spent career.
Mr. Downing was born November 12, 1845, near Winchester, Virginia, and is a splendid representative of that grand old state. He was the third member in a family of seven children born to James and Eliza Ann Downing, and when but one year old, moved with his parents to Guernsey county, Ohio, and there was reared and educated. The family went to Rock Island county, Illinois, in 1866, spent ten years there, then settled in Whiteside county, Illinois, remaining for seven years. James was married in Rock Island county, on April 7, 1875, to Martha A. Dean, who was born in New Jersey, September 11, 1853, a daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Dean. The young people followed farming and stock raising in Illinois for about eight years' after their marriage. Our subject came west in 1879, to Nance county, Nebraska, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres in section two, township sixteen, range six. He then returned to Illinois, where he remained until March, 1883, and then came to Nance county with his family, which has been their home since that time.
They started to build up a good home on the frontier, where by dint of industry and economy, supplemented by perseverance and strict attention to duty, they have been richly rewarded, in the possession of a competence. They are known as leading pioneers in their section, and enjoy the friendship of all with whom they have come in contact.
Mr. and Mrs. Downing have had five children, but three now living, Howard N., married, father of three children, and living in Fullerton, where he is engaged in the coal and implement business; William F., who remains on the home farm, as also does James E., the youngest son; George W., died in lllinois when about five months old, and Lloyd L., died in Nance county, when seventeen years old. The parents of both our subject and his wife are deceased. Mr. Downing's mother died in Whiteside county, Illinois, about 1881, and his father died at his son James F.'s home in Nance county, Nebraska, about 1890. Mrs. Downing's parents both died in Nance county, Nebraska.
JOHN A. ERSKINE.
Many years before the United States gave up so many of her citizens in the exodus to Canada, the Old Dominion gave to the United States many of her sturdy sons, who now fill honorably many walks in life in our cities, towns and country. Of these, none is more worthy of mention than. Mr. John A. Erskine, now retired from active farming and occupying a comfortable home in Lynch.
Mr. Erskine was born on March 27, 1843, in the province of Ontario, near Montreal. His birthplace was not far distant from the point where all engagement took place at the time of a misguided invasion of the Dominion by irresponsible Americans, in 1838. His father, Robert Erskine, a native of Ireland, was reared at Glasgow, by an uncle after the death of his parents, which occurred when he was a very small lad. He was early apprenticed to a rope-maker, thoroughly learning the trade, which he followed during his residence in the old country. He attained the good old age of eighty-three years, passing away in Ontario, as did his good wife, who lived to be sixty-five years of age.
Our subject farmed in Canada until his migration to the States in 1868, at which time he went to California, remaining there two and one-half years. In 1871, he came to Nebraska. Here he pre-empted a claim near Neligh, Antelope county, remaining through several years of the grasshopper raids, etc. He returned to Canada in 1876, for a short stay; then came back to Nebraska, and went to work as a teamster in Omaha, hauling logs from the river up a chute to a saw mill. The following several years were spent in different sections of the country, finally making his way back to Nebraska in 1885, at which time he bought an eighty-acre tract of railroad land in Madison county, near the town of Tilden, later adding one hundred and sixty acres to his original farm. There he lived for nine years, seeing hard times, as there were some seasons when the oat crop realized but ten cents per bushel, and corn thirteen cents. Having an opportunity to dispose of his land he did not hesitate to do so, and moved to Boyd county, purchasing the relinquishment to the first claim filed in the county, six miles south of Lynch. He later added one hundred and fifty acres to the same, which made it one of the finest ranches in this part of the
Niobrara valley. After the death of his son, who just reached his majority, the burden of such a large farm was too great for Mr. Erskine, so he rented the land and moved to town. The tenant not proving satisfactory, he sold the place in the spring of 1910 and invested the proceeds in other holdings.
Mr. Erskine was married in 1874 to Susan Gallinger, and she died July 8, 1876, at Omaha, leaving a child, John Wesley, one day old, which died at nine months of age. In 1877 Mr. Erskine married Kate Cameron, a cousin of his first wife, and she died in April, 1881, leaving one son, Allen Cameron, and he died in 1889, aged ten years.
Mr. Erskine was united in marriage in Canada, July 24, 1882, to Miss Mary Jane Stitt, a native of Spencerville, Edwardsburg township, and the united counties of Leeds and Granville, whose father was an old resident of that vicinity and was in the government service for many years. He fought at the battle of the Windmill during the raid of 1838, which was mentioned above. Mr. and Mrs. Erskine had three children: William Stitt, who died in Madison county, Nebraska, June 28, 1889; John William, born May 17, 1887, and died November 22, 1907. The daughter, Pansy Blanche, married A. W. Wiley, they now living on a Kinkaid homestead sixteen miles south of Ainsworth, in Brown county.
Mr. Erskine has had his share of hardships on the frontier, going through the blizzards of 1873, 1880, and 1888, and suffering much from those storms.
There is a chapter in a little booklet of the early history of Iowa, entitled "A Sixty-mile Race for a Farm." Mr. Erskine can relate a personal experience which exceeds this incident by twenty miles. During his residence in Antelope county, he engaged in well digging for a livelihood, and on one occasion when eighty miles away from home, having been off his claim longer than the regulation time, word came to him through the land office at West Point that someone intended to jump his claim and contest it. The officials of the land office asked him if he could be on the land by nine o'clock the next morning with a man at work - which procedure would save his rights. He replied that he could, and taking a young man with him, drove a young team sixteen miles to where an old team was at work. These he took, and drove all night, arriving at his destination by seven o'clock, and in this manner preserved his title to the land.
Mr. and Mrs. Erskine are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Erskine was the first superintendent of a Sunday school held in Antelope county. Both Mr. and Mrs. Erskine have always been actively engaged in church work.
Mr. Erskine was formerly a republican, but since Harrison's administration has voted the populist ticket principally.
R. CLAUDE MARICLE.
R. Claude Maricle, a well-to-do farmer and stockman of Boone county, Nebraska, has for the past many years been closely identified with the upbuilding of that locality, and is widely known for his many good qualities as a worthy, public-spirited citizen.
Mr. Miracle was born in Grayville, White county, Illinois, on February 4, 1860, and was the second child in the family of Harvey and Sarah Maricle, who were the parents of four children. In his eleventh year, our subject came west in company with his parents and two brothers, making settlement in Boone county, Nebraska. The father pre-empted on the southwest quarter of section seven, township nineteen, range five, and our subject now has a fine residence on the north part of this pre-emption. This dwelling was built recently, and is one of the handsomest modern structures in the locality. He is engaged in mixed farming and stock raising quite extensively, and has every facility in the way of modern machinery, buildings, etc., for the proper carrying on of both lines.
Mr. Maricle was married on December 12, 1889, to Mona B. Dyar, who is a native of Iowa, but came to Boone county with her parents when a small child. The marriage occurred at the home of the bride's parents in Boone precinct, and the young couple started out with the heartiest good wishes of a large number of friends for their success and happiness. To them have been born three children, Marshall Earl, Clifford Clyde, and Olive Merel, all living at home and forming a most happy family circle.
The Maricle family are the third original family coming to Boone county, and Mr. R. C. Maricle has naturally been closely identified with the different phases of pioneer life in Nebraska. He is known throughout the region as a foremost public-spirited citizen and has always taken a deep interest in the welfare of his county and state, although he has never held official position.
J. P. LARSEN.
The Danes have always proved to be a thrifty, prosperous, law-abiding class of immigrants in the United States, and Mr. J. P. Larsen is one who has kept up the good reputation of his race.
He was born in the village of Karsar, Denmark, on August 22, 1844. His parents, Nels and Dorothea (Jensen) Larsen, spent their whole life in their native land, the father dying at the age of eighty-four, while the mother was nearly ninety when she died.
When only thirteen, being the eldest of eight sons, Mr. Larsen began to earn his own living, and contribute towards the support of the younger children. His first work was on a farm, and he next assisted the owner of a boarding house, caring for and driving his horses and helping generally around the house for three years. He then secured a place with a merchant, where he worked so faithfully and well that his tips were often greater than his salary. As he approached his majority, his three years of army service rose up like a specter before him. The pay was so small that one was compelled to give up all savings in order to keep up appearances in the army, and he decided to emigrate in order to escape military service.
Mr. Larsen came to America in the spring of 1865, arriving in Chicago about the last of March. With two friends he secured work in a market garden near the city, and by his faithful attention to duty, soon was earning wages equal to the foreman. His friends, however, were dissatisfied. and finally all three went to Ludington, Michigan, and found work in a saw mill. After a short time in the mill, Mr. Larsen worked in the woods, making shingle bolts until the following spring, and then went to Pentwater, Michigan, and worked in a shingle mill, where he was soon placed in charge of one of the machines, a position which had previously been given to two men, and he was paid almost the wages of the two.
In 1870, while in Pentwater, Michigan, Mr. Larsen was married to Miss Hancena Thorina Olsen, a native of Fredericksdal, Norway, a small town near Christiana, who had come to this country in 1867. About this time, a number of his countrymen decided to come to the west, and Mr. Larsen was appointed by them to locate the land. Through this year, he visited various parts of Kansas, and the next year came to Nebraska. After a long search, he decided that he had found the Eden for which he had been looking, and bought a quarter section for himself, for his brothers, and for some of his friends. He then returned to Ludington, where he, with his two brothers, continued to labor for four years.
The first year after coming to Nebraska, Mr. Larsen lived in the house of a neighbor, and then built a dwelling on his own land. From time to time, he added various improvements, barns, groves, orchards, etc., until he had developed one of the best farms in the county. In 1904, sixteen thousand feet of lumber was cut on his place, front trees which he had planted, to build a large barn.
There were many discouragements to contend with, of course, as the grasshoppers did not neglect visiting him. At first, most of his produce had to be taken to Sioux City, the round trip taking between three and four days. The time for traveling depended much upon the roads. Sometimes, his load would get stuck in a sand slough and he would have to get help to pull out.
If no help was near, he avoided trouble by dividing his load and carrying it through the muck in two or three trips. Fuel was scarce at times, and they burned cornstalks, hay, corn, and sunflowers. It is hardly possible, in these days, to realize what such privations meant, but in the winning of the wilderness to civilization, it took men and women of courage and fortitude to endure the hardships which were necessary before the present comfortable homes could be a possibility.
Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Larsen, six of whom are still living. Their names are as follows: Nils F., deceased; Jennie, Amelia, Nora, Celia, Frank N. and Ida.
Mr. Larsen is a populist as regards political affiliations, and he and his wife and family are members of the Lutheran church and he is also a member of the Loyal Mystic Legion.
Among the men who have been prominently identified with the agricultural progress and advancement of Stanton county, is Christian Kohlhof, whose pleasant home is located on section seventeen, township twenty-three, range one.
His birth occurred in 1866, at Detmold, Germany, and he is a son of Fred and Katie Kohlhof, who spent their entire lives in Germany. He was educated in the public schools of his native country, and there reached the age of eighteen years, at which time he left home to seek his fortune in the new world. In 1884, he landed in New York, having sailed from Bremen, and, immediately set out for the west, where he had reason to believe he would find large opportunities awaiting a young man of energy and ambition, with little capital to start with. He located first in Madison county, and later, about the time of his marriage, came to Stanton county, Nebraska, where he has since lived.
Mr. Kohlhof was married (first) in 1891, to Miss Wilhelmina Low.
He was again married in 1893 to Miss Lena Breidenpela, and they are parents of four children, its follows: Paul, Annie, William, and Clara.
Mrs. Kohlbof was born in Lieme, and is it daughter of Frederick and Henrietta Breidenpela who resided and died in Germany.
Mr. Kohlhof is a representative German-American citizen, interested in the betterment of his community and supporting all public measures that he considers for the benefit of all. He is a self made man, and his present prosperity is the result of hard work and good judgment in the management of his affairs. He has the respect and esteem of all who know him, as being a man of sterling worth and upright honesty, and has a wide circle of friends. His farm is devoted largely to grain raising and he also has considerable stock of various kinds. His land is well
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by T&C Miller, P Ebel, P Shipley, L Cook