Mr. Freiberg is a native of this country, having been born in Wisconsin, November 12, 1868, to Fred and Henrietta Freiberg, who had come from Germany only a few years before, in 1866. They had lived in Wisconsin for three years following their arrival in America. They had then come to Stanton county and filed on a homestead there. The subscriber was born in the log house which they erected on their homestead, and his early years were spent there.
At this time, the country presented a very different aspect from the present time. Deer and antelope were plentiful enough in those days for the early settler to depend on them for a good share of the fresh meat for his family.
There were many drawbacks, however, owing to the distance from any market, and various misfortunes which afflicted them. The first few years in the new country saw the crops fail because of the plagues of grasshoppers which descended upon the land and literally devoured every green thing. Prairie fires, while not exactly of common occurrence, were yet possibilities which had to be taken into consideration, while in the cold weather, there was the dreaded blizzard to be feared.
In 1891, Mr Freiberg married Miss Ida Mass, of this county, and five years later, he brought his little family to the farm he had just purchased, in section twenty-four, township twenty-three, range one, east, which is still their home.
At first, like many other farmers, Mr: Freiberg gave his whole attention merely to grain-raising, but later decided to go into stock raising, and the results have justified his decision, as he has met with great success. He is well-known throughout this section of the country as a most progressive farmer, and an upright citizen. His integrity and strong character have gained him friends among all with whom he has come into contact.
Mr. and Mrs. Freiberg have three children, Walter, Ervin and Agnes. The family hold a very prominent place in the social life of the community and are highly esteemed by all.
Prominent among the leading old settlers of Antelope county, Nebraska, the gentleman whose name heads this personal history is entitled to a foremost place. Mr. Patros is a man of active public spirit, always lending his aid and influence for the bettering of conditions in his community, and has served his district in the capacity as a school director for many years. Mr. Patros resides in section fifteen, township twenty-six, range eight, where he has a pleasant home and valuable estate.
Mr. Patros is a native of the state of Illinois, born near Chebanse in 1855. His father, F. X. Patros was a French Canadian, born in Canada, in 1820, and died in the year of 1908; his mother, Louis (Cote) Patros, was also born in Canada, and died in Illinois. In the year of 1869 the Patros family with six other families, and seven teams started from Illinois and came to Nebraska by the way of Omaha, and after four weeks on the road, located in section twenty-one, township twenty-six, range eight. Joseph Patros in 1880, took a homestead in section fifteen, township twenty-six, range eight, where he began operations for himself at the age of twenty-five. When the Patros family first arrived Antelope county was almost a wilderness. Deer and antelope were plentiful. There were but a very few settlers here, and the Indians camped along the Elk Horn river, and the pioneers experienced many dangers and frights from the redskins. On two occasions horses were stolen by the Indians, the first time on March 4, 1870, the horse's being found at Fort Randall; and again on March 4, 1874, when the animals were located at Fort Thompson. The nearest post-office was at Norfolk, fifty miles distant, and. they hauled their grain by wagon to Wisner or Columbus. Another danger they had to encounter on the old frontier was that of prairie fire, which the family had to fight many times to save their lives and home. In 1878 at the time of the big prairie fire Mr. Patros was returning home from Beaver Creek, forty-five miles away where he had gone to summons a doctor and on his way home was overtaken by the fire and had to ride for his life, being fortunate to find a place that had been previously burned; he stopped, the fire jumped over him and swept on leaving Mr. Patros to continue his journey in safety.
Mr. Patros relates that in the blizzard of 1873 the snow fell so thick that it stopped the current in the Elk Horn river and that the strong wind whipped the snow that had mixed with the water in the river up onto the banks in drifts about forty feet high and left the bed of the river comparatively dry. The drifts throughout the country were packed so solidly by the wind that teams of horses could be driven over them higher than the tree tops. One old neighbor, Joseph Duncan, and his wife, were "snowed in" in their house until next day the snow having drifted until it completely covered the house. The lamp that was burning in the house went out for lack of good air, and Mr. Duncan and wife were all but suffocated when rescued by Mr. Patros and Mr. Andy Duggan who happened to think of the possible danger of the two old people. Mr. Patros and Mr. Duggan brought shovels, dug through a snow bank thirty feet deep to Mr. Dinican's door where they rescued the old people.
Joseph Patros was united in marriage in 1883 to Miss Georgia Eastman, and Mr. and Mrs. Patros are the parents of five children, named as follows: Violet, who is now Mrs. John Bowers, she having one child; Virginia, wife of Mr. Robert Brwning [sic], and has two children; Hazel, who is the wife of Mr. Dewitt Gunter, and has one child;
Leo, who attends business college at York; and Ida, deceased in 1886. Mr. Patros is a populist politically and was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith.
August Happel, a retired farmer, resides in Plainview, Nebraska. He is a native son of Nebraska, and has spent his entire life in the "Cornhusker" state. His father, Jacob Happel, was born in the Province of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, coming to America when a young man and residing for the first few years after landing in the new world at Quincy, Illinois. He came to Nebraska in 1870, settled in Washington county, and married there. He took up land eighteen miles south of Blair, where he prospered to an extent that enabled him to retire in 1907 from active farming and live in comfort at Fremont. The mother, Miss Anna Finkhaus, was also a native of Germany, emigrating with her parents, who settled in Washington county when that part of the state was on the frontier. August is the eldest of their four children; Jacob owns a fine farm in Dodge county; Emma, the wife of Carl Bopp, lives in Wyoming; and John, the youngest, cultivates the old home farm eighteen miles south of Blair.
August Happel was born in Washington county, May 19, 1875, and remained under the parental roof until January, 1895, when he came to Knox county and for several years rented farming land.
At this time he married and moved to a farm of one hundred and sixty acres which his father bought and sold to the son, the purchase price being earned from the land in five years, two thousand two hundred dollars of which was paid in one season although prices were low. This required energy and economy when eggs brought but four cents a dozen, butter from five to eight cents a pound, and corn only eight and ten cents a bushel - a drug on the market at that. On one occasion when a few pairs of children's shoes and a few necessary groceries were needed, it took two big loads of corn to settle the account. Great courage was needed to remain on the land at that time, but the results accomplished by those who fought the battle have been a rich reward.
Mr. Happel owns the home farm of one hundred and sixty-acres near Creighton, and four hundred and eighty acres of fine grazing land in Cherry county.
Mr. Happel was married in Knox county, March 5, 1897, to Miss Minnie Hilkemeier whom he had known slightly in Washington county when they were children. She is a native of Leippe-Detwold, whence her parents, Chris and Sophia (Schauf) Hilkemeier, emigrated in 1882 by way of Bremen to New York. Here they were detained for two weeks on Ellis Island, owing to the illness of a son, and then came on to Nebraska.
Her father farmed near Arlington two years, near Fontanelle the same length of time, and a like period near Blair, before making permanent residence in Knox county, near Creighton. Here on the frontier they suffered from privations, sometimes barely escaping prairie fires. Mrs. Hilkemeier died May 21, 1911.
Mr. and Mrs. Happel are the parents of four children: Annie, who died at the age of four years and four months; John, Henry, and Emma.
They moved to Plainview in February, 1906, making that their home for a year or two, and then purchased a farm near town. During the first year of his residence in Plainview, Mr. Happel engaged in the dray business, and later operated a corn sheller in the territory tributary to Plainview.
Mr. Happel was too young to remember much of the grasshopper plague in the early years of settlement, but recalls that the pests foraged on his father's crops at one time, for ten and one-half days. During the blizzard of January 12, 1888, he went three-quarters of a mile from home to bring the children together with two neighbor girls, from school. His father was out in this storm gathering in his stock and was probably kept from being lost by the barking of a small dog who led the way home. The recital of early hardships is little understood by the young folks now growing up in comfort and ease.
Mr. Happel is a democrat, and a member of, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Ludwig Knoepfel was born in Germany in 1851. He came to America in 1881, arriving in Howard county, Nebraska, August 1, of that year, and the following month settled on a homestead on section six, township fourteen, range twelve, occupying the place ever since that time. Here he has gone through all the pioneer experiences, continuously engaged in stock and grain raising, and now owns a finely improved farm, and enjoys the esteem of his fellowmen.
Mr. Knoepfel was married in Germany in 1877, to Elizabeth Kammer, and they have a fine family of six children: Christian, William, Sophia, Albertina, Henry and Susan, all married and settled in nice homes in and about Howard county, with the exception of Henry, who is still single. Mrs. Knoepfel died on the homestead on December 26, 1904, and her loss was sincerely mourned by her devoted family and many friends.
In 1908, Mr. Knoepfel married Mrs. Catherine Nehls, who is from a prominent pioneer family of Hall county, coming to America with her parents when she was a child of eight years of age, from Russia, but being of German descent.
John Knoepfel, who for the past thirty-six years has resided in Howard county, and during this time has acquired a fine property as a result of his industry and good management, is widely known in that locality and held in the highest esteem as a farmer and citizen. He has a pleasant and comfortable home in Kelso precinct, and is one of the prominent men of affairs in his community.
Mr. Knoepfel is a native of Germany, born on September 28, 1847, and is a son of Henry and Eva Knoepfel, the eighth in a family of nine children. His boyhood was spent in that country, and he was married there in 1873, to Amelia Meyer, they coming to America the following year.
Their first location here was in Howard county, where they took a homestead on section fourteen, township fourteen, range twelve, and proved up on a quarter section of land,. which they have made their home farm up to the present time. Mr. Knoepfel has his land under cultivation and raises fine crops of grain, as well as being quite extensively engaged in the stock business. He has erected fine modern buildings on his farm, having a handsome residence, and is enjoying to the full his present prosperity.
Mr. and Mrs. Knoepfel have an interesting family of six children: Emma, Annie, Lizzie, Chris, Martha and Dora, the last mentioned three living at home, while the others are married, and with their families are settled in comfortable homes in Howard county.
WILLIAM E. BALIMAN.
William E. Baliman, operator of a farm in section thirty-two, township thirteen, range nine, situated in St. Libory precinct, known as the Voorhes homestead farm, is also one of the prominent old settlers of Howard county, Nebraska.
Mr. Baliman was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 24, 1870. When he was but one year of age, his parents, William H. and Mary (LaClair) Baliman, came into Howard county, settling on a farm, where he grew up, receiving his early education in the precinct schools, and later attending the high school at Atkinson, Nebraska, for one year. After leaving school he returned to his father's farm and assisted in carrying on the work on the homestead until he was twenty-one years of age, when he struck out for himself, following different vocations for a number of years, spending some years as a teacher in the public schools of his county. He then attended the Grand Island Business college, taking up a commercial course, and after completing this, returned to Howard county and located on a farm of his wife's which he has succeeded in building up in fine shape. For a number of years past he has been engaged in the poultry raising business, principally, making a specialty of this branch, and has met with decided success. He is constantly extending his operations, having a fine flock, and continually building it up with the best blood obtainable, and is recognized as an authority on all subjects pertaining to the poultry business.
On October 30, 1895, Mr. Baliman was married to Ada Voorhes, and to them have been born two children, Vorha May and Zdith Jane. The family have a pleasant and hospitable home, and are among the popular members of society in their community, enjoying. a wide circle of friends. Mr. Baliman is now serving as moderator of school district number forty-one.
JOHN P. McNICHOLS.
Among the prominent business men of Atkinson, Nebraska, may be mentioned John P. McNichols, who came to the state in 1883, and first settled on a homestead three miles west of O'Neill, in November of that year. Later he changed his claim to a pre-emption claim, under which he acquired title to the land. Later he moved into O'Neill and served five years as marshal, and after spending three years in the livery business went to Omaha and worked two years at the stock yards. In 1892 he located in Atkinson, and has since been a merchant of that town. He also owns a bakery and restaurant, as well as a meat market, and is successful in all these enterprises. He is interested in various other lines and conducts an extensive ice business, having three ice houses, which he fills annually from ponds west of the city.
Mr. McNichols was born at Syracuse, New York, June 7, 1857, a son of John and Mary McNichols, who moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, in the fall of the year in which he was born. In 1868 the family moved to Butler county, Iowa, and in 1875 to Story county in the same state, where the father lived until 1884, when he secured a homestead four miles east of O'Neill, Nebraska.
November 14, 1886, J. P. McNichols married Miss Mary Wynn, a native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of James and Bridget Wynn, who came to Nebraska in 1878 and settled near the county seat of Holt county. Seven children were born of this union: Genevieve has been a teacher in the Atkinson schools since 1907; Francis, his father's business assistant, is an active member of the Knights of Columbus and the Modern Woodmen of America; Morris is also associated with his father in business; Lucile, Lorinea, Helen and Moretta, are all in school. Mr. McNichols is a democrat in politics and is a member of the Catholic church. On another page of this volume will be found a picture of Mr. McNichols and family.
At the time of the blizzard of January 12, 1888, Mr. McNichols was at home and had hard work to grope his way through the storm to bring
his children home from school. For three years prior to coming to Holt county he was employed in the mountains around Leadville, Colorado, and while in that region often enjoyed the sport of hunting for big game, as deer, elk and antelope were plentiful within a day's ride from camp. he spent his time prospecting until his resources were exhausted, then would work for a time in the mines until he had a "grub stake" to enable him to continue with his prospecting. When he first located in Nebraska he lived in a dugout and later erected a log house, with "Nebraska shingles," sod. He was acquainted with "Doc" Middleton, "Kid" Wade, and, other noted rustlers of early days, and is able to relate many kind deeds which were performed by these men, who were at that time social outcasts, Mr. McNichols is one of the earlier settlers of the county and is well known within its limits.
J. P. McNichols and Family.
ALONZO O. JENKINS.
Alonzo O. Jenkins and wife have spent most of their lives in Valley county, where they were reared and married, and where they now have a fine dairy farm. They are surrounded by friends and successful financially, and now look back with wonder at their early years there amid pioneer surroundings. Both came there with their parents and in childhood passed through the usual adversities of life in a new country. Mr. Jenkins was born in Montcalm county, Michigan, May 23, 1869, son of William F. and Angeline (Campbell) lenicins. The father came overland to Valley county front Michigan in the winter of 1879 and was one of the early homesteaders of central Nebraska. he bought a stock of Yankee notions to sell along the way and did not know his destination when he left his old home in Michigan. Until the time of his death, April 22, 1910, he was one or the progressive and useful citizens of his portion of the state. The old home farm has an orchard of forty acres and from this fact is known as the Jenkins fruit farm, on which the mother still resides. She and her son Alonzo came to Nebraska by rail to join the husband and father in 1880, the year after he came to prepare a home. Their early days were times of hardship and privation, and Alonzo still well remembers when the old coffee mill owned by a neighbor was used to grind grain into meal for the family, and for the use of it the early settlers paid a toll of one cup in every ten of ground meal. His first shelter was two sheets fastened to a pole in the form of a tent. A neighbor whom he did not know excited his suspicion by praising his best horse. He feared the neighbor might be the notorious Doc Middleton, and he called attention to the excellence of his Winchester. The visitor proved to be the Rev. Phillip Meeker, his son's future father-in-law. He built a large sod house and in it kept a hotel, sometimes having even the entire floor covered with sleepers, and one time stored the last one on a table, there being no more room on the floor.
March 4, 1888, Mr. Jenkins was married to Helen Meeker, daughter of Rev. Phillip and Alma (Wing) Meeker, one of their six children, all of whom now survive save one, although Mrs. Jenkins is the only one of the family residing in Nebraska. Her parents were pioneers of Nebraska, and both are now deceased. The mother died on the Meeker homestead in Valley county in 1885, and the father removed in 1891 to Oregon, where his death occurred in 1901.
Mr. Jenkins has looked out for himself since he reached the age of eighteen years. In 1894 he attended college in Lincoln, and in 1895 became manager of College View Lumber yard. He worked for a year as wholesale agent for the M. L. Trestor Coal yard at Lincoln, after which for flve years he was engaged in the same business on his own account in Lincoln. He and his wife then returned to their former home and located on a farm on section twenty-eight, township seventeen, range sixteen, two miles southwest of Arcadia, where he is engaged in farming, stock-raising and dairying. They have three children: Mildred, wife of Albert Dyrea, of Arcadia, has one child; Angeline and Ruth at home.
Mr. Jenkins has a vivid recollection of the blizzard of January 12, 1888; seeing it coming he ran from school home, reaching it in safety. The rest of the scholars, remained with the teacher at a near neighbor's through the night. He remembers the three days' storm in October, 1888, that began the winter of the deep snow, and the flood of the following spring, when the heavy snow blanket began to melt.
In politics Mr. Jenkins is a republican.
MELVIN C. GARRETT.
Perseverance and diligence are the stepping stones to success, and these characteristics, supplemented by honesty and good citizenship, are the leading attributes possessed by the gentleman herein named. Mr. Garrett has been a resident of Madison county, Nebraska, some twenty-three years, and his name is closely identified with the upbuilding of his locality, where he is a well-known hanker and business man, and is highly respected.
Melvin C. Garrett was born in Morgan county, Tennessee, June 15, 1859, and was fourth of five sons in the family of Squire and Melinda Garrett, both of whom are deceased. Mr. Garrett resided in Morgan county, until ten years of age, when he went to Nodaway, Missouri, to live; his parents both being deceased at that time. He lived in Missouri until twenty years of age, and then went to Montana on a surveying expedition for the Northern Pacific railroad for three years. He then went to Burlington, Iowa, taking a two-year
commercial course in college; and then spent one and a half years in South Dakota, coming to Madison, Madison county, Nebraska, in October of 1887, and since his residence here has become one of the most prominent and active business men of his locality. He has served his county well in the office of deputy county clerk, which he held one and it half years, 1888-1889 and January, 1890, after which he held the position of bookkeeper in the First National bank of Madison one year, and then became cashier of the same bank, occupying this position until January 1, 1909, on which date he became president of the above named bank.
Mr. Garrett was married to Miss Lizzie C. Miller, at West Point, Nebraska, September 18, 1890, who is the daughter of Samuel and Catherine Miller, an old Nebraska family of thirty years back. Mr. and Mrs. Garrett have five children: Ralph W., Melvin M., Emma, Martha, and Catherine, all of whom reside at home, the eldest son, Ralph W., attending the state university.
Mr. Garrett is practically a self-made man who has made a success of life along financial and other lines, and is widely known. He is identified with the best interests of his town and county along educational and social lines. The First National bank which came into existence in August 1887, taking over the Madison County Savings bank, is one of the solid financial institutions of Nebraska, with the following officials: Melvin C. Garrett, president; James L. Grant, vice president; Ed Fricke, cashier.
ISAAC W. SANDBERG.
Isaac W. Sandberg, a leading merchant and enterprising citizen of Ashton, Nebraska, is an example of the success that has been attained by many self-made men of his county and state within the past half century. He was one of the earlier settlers of Sherman county, being brought there by his parents at the age of fifteen years. He was born in Sweden, April 8, 1866, a son of Samuel and Amin C. (Anderson) Sandberg, whose eight children were all born in that country. The father was born in 1824, and was married in 1852, bringing his wife and six children to America in 1881. They landed in New York, August, 20th, and six days later arrived at Grand Island, Nebraska. In September of the same year they secured a homestead on the northeast quarter of section eight, township fifteen, range thirteen, and the father's death occurred on this homestead August 6, 1891. Mrs. Sandberg now lives in Ashton with her son Isaac W. Two of their children joined them in Sherman county in 1889.
Of the eight children born to Samuel Sandberg, all are now living, namely: Alexander, of Howard county; Mary, Mrs. August A.. Johnson, lives in Burt county, Nebraska ; Alma, lives with her mother and brother in Ashton; John S., lives in Minnesota; Amelia, Mrs. Fred Hanson, and Andretta, Mrs. Fred Anderson, live at Dietz, Wyoming; Hannah, Mrs. John Johnson, lives at Bellingham, Washington.
Isaac W. Sandberg lived on the homestead until 1905, being engaged in farming and stock raising until August of that year, when he came to Ashton and engaged in the lumber and hardware business, the firm name now being the Ashtoll Lumber Company, one of the most extensive establishments of the kind in central Nebraska, and its members being well known as business men of unquestioned integrity and reliability. Mr. Sandberg is one of the hustling, wide-awake merchants of Ashton and is closely identified with the progress and upbuilding of his community. He still owns the old homestead, being one of the few men of the present generation who own the original land secured by them or their families from the government. He has added two hundred acres of land to this tract by purchase and thus has a large and well equipped grain and stock farm. He also owns eighty acres of land within the village limits of Ashton. He has taken an active interest in local affairs and is now serving as treasurer of the township and village of Ashton and is a member of the town board.
Mr. Sandberg was married, September 22, 1904, to Miss Emelen Bostrom, in Laramie, Wyoming, and they have one child living, Darr Gordon.
Among Cedar county's most honored and substantial citizens we must not forget to mention the venerable Franz Hirschman, now deceased. For years he was recognized as one of the highest types of sturdy pioneers who gave up the comforts and conveniences of the more thickly setfled communities of the east to help populate and develop the virgin prairies of the boundless west.
Mr. Hirschman was born Reichenberg, Austria, February 25, 1818; he grew to manhood in his native state, receiving the usual education, and in 1838 was united in marriage to Miss Thekla Dawat, whose birth occurred May 19, 1829. In 1853, Mr. and Mrs. Hirschman emigrated to America, embarking at Bremen in a sailing vessel. After six weeks on the water they landed at Castle Garden, New York, where their older son, three years of age, died from the effects of sea sickness; it had been the mother's prayer that the little one might be spared until they reached the shore, that its little body might not be consigned to the sea, as others had been done. The younger son died from the same cause soon after reaching Milwaukee, their destination, leaving them childless.
For nine years they lived in Milwaukee, where the father was employed at his trade, a carpenter, and then in 1862, moved to Juneau county, Wis-
consin. Here Mr. Hirschman became a farmer and lived on his land near Mauston, until 1872, when he followed the exodus of thrifty German citizens who left that state and populated the eastern end of Nebraska. They drove across the prairies of Iowa, some with oxen, some with horse teams, camping in the open country for five weeks before reaching Cedar county, their destination, October 22, 1872.
Mr. Hirschman had been in the county in 1871 and filed on a homestead and later a timber claim in the valley of the East Dow creek; this he proceeded to subdue and put into cultivation; later he added by purchase, owning in all some four hundred acres of land. Discouragements followed him, and for several years the myriad swarms of grasshoppers devoured his crops, leaving him little or nothing on which to support his family. Provisions were scarce and hard to procure. St. James, St. Helena, and Yankton were their nearest market towns where little was paid for the small amount of produce they had to sell, and high prices charged for what they, of necessity, must buy.
In 1893 Mr. Hirschman relinquished active farm management and retired to Hartington, where the remainder of his life was spent, he died December 11, 1896, at the age of seventy-eight years; the wife survived until January 6, 1900, attaining the age of seventy years. Mr. Hirschman was a life-long democrat, and with his wife and family, was a worthy member of the Catholic church. Eleven sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hirschman, of whom three died in infancy others are: Henry, farming in East Bow valley; August J., who died in 1896 at the age of thirty-eight; Julius, also a farmer in the valley of the East Bow; the remaining sons reside in Hartington, and are employed as follows: John, engaged in the sand and gravel business; Anthony, a leading merchant; Edward B., county treasurer; Albert, retired farmer; and Hugo H., retired merchant.
Few sires have had the satisfaction of rearing so many worthy and substantial sons. All are it credit to him, to the state and the nation.
JOHN M. COLBORN.
In presenting to the public a history of Nebraska, the list would not be complete without having mentioned the name of this gentleman. Mr. Colborn is one of the leading old settlers and prominent ranchmen of Merrick county, Nebraska, having spent the past; thirty-seven years and more on his present homestead.
John M. Colborn was born in Canada October 28, 1853 and was third of eleven children in the family of Abram and Mary (Comfort) Colborn. In 1854, the Colborn family of father, mother, and sons, George and John, moved to Sauk county, Wisconsin. John grew up on the farm in Sauk county, and in the spring of 1874 came to Merrick county, Nebraska, taking up a homestead on section eighteen, township fourteen, range eight, and this has remained his home farm until this date, which makes Mr. Colborn one of the few original pioneer homesteaders that still reside on the old homestead. Mr. Colborn is one of three brothers that live in this immediate neighborhood. He has a fine farm of two hundred acres, and is a successful farmer and stockman.
Mr. Colborn was married February 19, 1880, to Miss Belle Jolla, on the Jolla farm in Merrick county. The Jolla family is one of the pioneer families of this section of Nebraska, having come to Merrick county in August, 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Colborn have six children: Jessie, wife of William Green, lives in Nance county, Nebraska; Lena, a teacher in public schools; Edith, wife of H. E. Trout, lives in McPherson county; Lee Jolla, Mark S., and Susie. They are a family who are prominent in social and educational circles.
Mr. Colborn takes a deep interest in local affairs, and was a member of the county board in 1908 and 1909.
J. H. MENKENS.
Mr. J. H. Menkins, a prominent farmer and stockman, living on section five, township twenty-eight, range eight, is well known throughout Knox county. He has made this vicinity his home for the past eleven years, and during that time has done much to aid in the development of the region.
Mr. Menkens is a native of Oldenburg Village, province of Oldenburg, Germany, and was born in 1857. He grew up in his native land, procuring a limited education, and worked at farming until leaving home in 1875, bound for the new world. He embarked at Bremen on the steamship "Ohio," and landed in Baltimore after a rather tedious voyage, coming directly across the states to Nebraska, and locating in Cumings county, where he remained up to 1892. He farmed during that time, and passed through the usual discouragements that came to the early settlers in the section, but made it his home for about fifteen years. He then removed to Madison county and was engaged in running for eight years.
In March, 1900, he came to Knox county, and purchased the place which he now occupies, known as the John Hamm claim. This he has put in the finest possible shape, and it is proving one of the best producing farms in the county. Mr. Menkens is devoting his entire time to its management, and is raising considerable livestock, as well its grain, ete. He had been here in 1882, and filed on a tree claim, but later gave it up.
Mr. Menkens was married in Cumings eounty to Miss Dora Wenck, July 8, 1891. Mrs. Menkens is a native of Germany. They have one child, Anna, now living at home.
CHARLES E. CLEAVLAND.
The gentleman above mentioned, who was an old-time resident of Nance county, Nebraska, owned and occupied a comfortable home in Belgrade, and was a substantial and worthy citizen of his Community.
Charles E. Cleavland is a native of Michigan, born in Branch county, September 16, 1845, and was the youngest of three children born to Solomon and Mary Cleavland, the former dying when Charles was a babe two weeks old. The mother moved to Ionia county with her little family, and then to Cass county, Michigan, in 1851, where our subject grew up and was educated. He was married in Jackson county, on April 11, 1866, to Victoria J. Smith, and the young couple followed farming in Michigan for a number of years. Three children were born of the marriage: Anna Jane, now the widow of Frank Hodges; Milton, of Liverpool. Texas, and Ellen M., who died in California when seven months old.
On May 14. 1883, Mr. Cleavland landed in Nance county, Nebraska, settled on a pre-emption claim, and started in the farming and stock raising business, being joined by his children several years later. He later engaged in the poultry business making a success of it.
Mr. Cleavland is a veteran of the civil war, enlisting in Company A, Twelfth Michigan Infantry, on January 25, 1862, and was discharged from service three years later to the exact date, at Duval's Bluff, Arkansas. During his career its a soldier he took active part in the battle of Shiloh, Pittsburg Landing, was at the Siege of Vickshurg and fall of that city, also in numerous minor battles and skirmishes.
On September 7, 1885, Mr. Cleavland was married the second time, to Miss Rachel Gibson, the ceremony taking place in Nance county. During the early years Mr. Cleavland served as justice of the peace in Nance county, and had the distinction of being the first to hold that office in Branch township. In the fall of 1909, Mr. Cleavland sold his property in Belgrade and. moved to Liverpool, Texas, where he remained until February, 1911, then going to Stephens, Arkansas, where he had previously purchased a farm, and on which he now lives.
Among the prominent old settlers who early settled in Nebraska, may be mentioned Archibald Walrath now of Atkinson, who first located in Holt county. He has been a continuous resident of Atkinson since 1885, first coming there in search of a climate that, would benefit his wife, who was an invalid. He rented a house the first year and both he and his wife spent much of their time in the open, hunting or fishing, and it was found that the climate and outdoor life was working wonders for Mrs. Walrath, who recuperated her strength rapidly, gaining twenty-five pounds in three months. He then purchased four and two-thirds acres of land in the eastern part of the town. He sold an acre and a third, and on the remainder began gardening on a large scale and planted berries and fruits. One year he and his son, who was a partner in the business, shipped sixteen thousand eight hundred and fifty quarts of strawberries from a two-acre patch. fifty pickers helping them to prepare the fruits for market. They at one time picked four bushels of cherries from it single tree, and have had black raspberries, currants, Siberian crab-apples and other good things in like proportion. Mr. Walrath erected an elaborate irrigating plant, thereby assuring himself a supply of water, while, others lost their crop or a large part of it through depending on the natural moisture of the season, which is smetimes [sic] deficient.
During the winter months Mr. Walrath was always in demand to help in the various meat markets of the town, securing larger wages than ordinarily given for this kind of service, and one prospective buyer of a market made the deal on condition that Mr. Walrath would take charge. August 1, 1906, he opened a market with his own capital, and with his son has conducted a very successful business enterprise since that time. Besides keeping a supply of all kinds of meats, they have the largest variety of excellent fruits of any store in Atkinson, together with celery and other relishes. It is regarded as one of the best stocked and equipped markets in that part, of the state.
Mr. Walrath was born at Ingham's Mills, Herkimer county, New York, December 4, 1840. His father, Archibald Walrath, senior, attained the age of ninety-two years. The house in which he was born is still in the possession of the family, being owned by one of the sons, who also owns the farm of one hundred acres of land, and has lived there upwards of eighty years. The mother, who was Lucinda Hose, born May 22, 1803, lived over a century and read without glasses. At the age of one hundred years she wrote a letter to her son at Atkinson, it truly remarkable achievement. Her death occurred February 22, 1911. Her father, Henry Hose, attained the age of seventy-five years, and her mother ninety-eight years. Mr. Watrath's paternal grandfather also reached the age of ninety-eight years and the grandmother eighty-eight years. Considering the present rugged health of Mr. Walrath he may well be expected to rival his ancestors in the age he reaches.
Upon nearing his majority Mr. Walrath learned the trade of blacksmith at Little Falls, near his home, and was at work there when war broke out. He enlisted August 23, 1860, in Company A, one Hundred and Twenty-first New York Volunteers under Colonel Upton, who later became famous as the formulator of the military tactics that bear his name. Mr. Watrath received his baptisin of fire at the second battle of Bull Run and
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