the age of sixty-three or sixty-four years, and the mother died when about forty-five or forty-six years of age, twenty-seven days after the death of her husband. Of the three children born to this couple: the eldest died at the age of eighteen years; Joseph R., lives at Fremont, and George E., is the youngest.
After attending the public schools, George E. Collins entered the normal school at Fremont, which he was attending at the time his parents died. He was then eighteen years of age and left school to start in life for himself. He soon afterward came to Holt county, where he purchased six hundred and forty acres of land fifteen miles southwest of Atkinson, on the line between Rock and Holt counties, and one hundred and sixty acres of land five miles southeast of the city, besides one hundred acres of land adjoining the town on the northwest. He owns one of the finest business blocks on Main street, which is occupied as a general store. August 25, 1903, he bought an interest in the Atkinson State Bank, but sold out his interest in October, 1906.
Mr. Collins was married at Fremont, November 7, 1901, to Miss Lottie O. Tuller, who was born eight miles southwest of Atkinson, daughter of Nelson J. and Flora A. (Jones) Tuller, natives respectively of New York state and Columbia county, Wisconsin. Mr. Tuller and wife were interested in ranching and hotel keeping, and Mrs. Collins and her sister, who were reared on a ranch, had no brothers, and learned to ride and drive like cowboys. Should it ever become necessary for Mrs. Collins to earn her way in the world she could become very successful dealing in cattle, as she is an excellent judge of stock. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Collins, namely: Harriet May, Raymond Edward and Earl James.
In political views Mr. Collins is a republican; fraternally he is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the family are regular attendants of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Collins has had the experience of living in a sod house for short periods during the haying season on his ranch in Holt and Rock counties, and can remember some of the hardships of early settlers. Both he and his wife remember the blizzard of January 12, 1888, and at his father's house in Saunders county, the snow at that time was fifteen feet deep in many places. When a little girl, Mrs. Collins was sent to the store for needed supplies, and was there when the storm came on, her mother coming to get her. During her two years' residence in Valley county, Montana, she had many interesting experiences. Her father kept a hotel, store and postoffice a mile from the Sioux reservation, and sometimes as many as one hundred Indians at once would drink to excess and raise a disturbance, which at times could be quelled only by the threat of sending for the soldiers. There were often as many as forty or fifty cowboys in the place at one time, and in their own particular way they kept things pretty lively. She and her sister learned to speak the Sioux language as fluently as their own.
Mr. Collins is highly regarded as a progressive, useful citizen, who has done his share to advance the general welfare of his community. He and his wife are planning to erect a handsome residence on their property adjoining Atkinson, which they intend shall be fully the equal of any building now to be found in their part of the county.
Among the representative farmers of Boone county who have aided materially in its development and advancement, a prominent place is accorded Joseph Baumgartner, who resides on his well improved estate in section ten, of Oakland precinct. He is a gentleman of energetic character, and well merits his success and high standing.
Mr. Baumgartner is the eldest of two sons born to Joseph and Christina Baumgartner, and first saw the light on November 13, 1859, his birthplace being in Switzerland. Joseph is now the only living member of his family.
He grew to manhood in his native country, coming to America in May, 1880, locating at first in New York City, where he followed his trade of cabinet maker. He was married there in December of the following year, to Mary Ann Ruesch, who had also emigrated to this country from Switzerland a short time before. They remained in New York about one year, then came to Nebraska, buying homestead rights on section ten, township twenty-two, range seven, Boone county, they being one of the original homesteaders in the county, and this has been their home continuously since that time.
During the early years, they met with many discouragements, but gradually prospered and now own a splendidly improved farm of three hundred and twenty acres, having a fine residence and good set of farm buildings, etc.
Mr. Baumgartner's family consists of himself, wife, and ten children, namely: Richard J., George W., Annie, Joseph J., John, Mary Matilda, Leo P., Fritz, Mary Agnes, and Clara. They are a very happy family, all ambitious, and ever striving after the best in life along social and intellectual lines, and have many friends in their section of the county. Mr. Baumgartner has for a number of years served as a member of the school board in district number sixteen.
Julius Maas belongs to a family that has borne an important part in securing the present agricultural and commercial prosperity of Wayne county. He has made his home there since 1882,
during which time he has developed an excellent farm and erected a beautiful home. It is such citizens who have been the means of bringing about the change in the region, from virgin prairie to a land of fertile fields, dotted with houses and other buildings.
Mr. Maas was born in Germany, in 1863, and is a son of Gottlieb and Minnie Maas, who were parents of six children, all of whom were educated in that country and all of whom came to the United States.
In boyhood, Julius Maas attended the public school and helped his parents, and in 1882, before attaining his majority, left home and native land to come to the New World and seek his fortune. Soon after landing, he made his way to Nebraska, then offering such splendid opportunities to the young man of little capital. He rented land for three years, then purchased railroad land on section three, township twenty-five, range one, where he now lives. He has brought his land to high standard of productiveness and is engaged in general farming, with special attention to stock raising. He is well known in his community and has many warm friends.
In 1892, Mr. Maas was united in marriage with Miss Anna Frieburg, a daughter of Fred Frieburg, and a native of Nebraska. Four children have been born to this union: Clara, Ella, Alward and Walter.
The above named gentleman is a fit representative of the sturdy, energetic, resourceful pioneers of northeastern Nebraska, who have made this section what it is. He has lived many years in this locality, and has been a part of the growth and development of the region. He has been successful in his pursuit of agriculture, and has built up for himself a substantial and comfortable home, where he is now enjoying the fruit of his labors.
Mr. Draube was born April 1, 1856, in Wisconsin and is the son of August and Carlion Draube. His parents were both natives of Pommeron, Germany. Like many other fellow-countrymen, they decided that America offered greater opportunities than their own land, and so, in 1854, they set sail for this country. They had an eventful voyage, as it happened, for their sailing vessel was nearly wrecked several times, and they were driven so far out of their course that it was almost seven months before they finally reached their destination, almost starved. They came direct to Wisconsin, where they remained until 1866. By this time, Mr. Draube was a sturdy little chap of ten, who took great pleasure and interest in the long trip to Nebraska, which was taken with a yoke of oxen.
Upon coming to Stanton county, the parents took up a homestead, where the subscriber now lives. At that time, the nearest market place was Omaha, and as for the first few years oxen were employed more extensively than horses, one can imagine that it was quite an undertaking to go to market. At that time, also, deer and antelope were quite plentiful, which disposed of the problem of occasional fresh meat. The first years in the new country tested their courage and determination to the utmost, as nearly all of the crops were taken by grasshoppers. To many of the settlers now, it is a matter of wonder how they existed after one crop was destroyed until time for the next one to disappear. They had faith in the country, however, and remained to reap the reward which they surely had earned.
The original homestead has been added to and improved so that now it is one of the finest in that locality. One of the improvements which has added greatly to the value of the farm, is a fine orchard and grove, planted years ago by the subscriber's father.
In 1881, Mr. Draube was united in marriage to Miss Gusta Whipple, of Petersburg, Illinois. They are the parents of two children, Ladena, now Mrs. August Mohler, of Stanton, and Albert.
Mr. Draube is one of the most influential and prominent farmers in this locality and enjoys the esteem of all with whom he has come in contact.
Of the many prominent and leading old settlers of the state of Nebraska, none is held in higher esteem by his fellowmen than George Bohl. He has spent his entire life in the region since 1868, is a gentleman of wide experience and excellent judgment, and is deservedly popular as a good neighbor and worthy citizen.
Mr. Bohl is a native of Iowa, having been born in Muscatine county, October 23, 1859. His parents, Nicholas and Margaret Bohl, were natives of Germany, where the father followed the occupation of farming until emigrating to the United States in 1840, meeting the lady who afterwards became his wife, in Marietta, Ohio. There they spent some little time, and in the spring of 1868 pulled up stakes and pushed on farther west, driving through the country in a covered wagon to Lancaster county, Nebraska. They located thirteen miles from Lincoln and fifty-five from Nebraska City, the latter being their nearest market place. During the first days of their travel in the region, the season being a wet one, making bad roads and delaying them in their journey, they suffered considerable discomfort in camping along the way, and they were indeed glad to complete their trip.
The first year was full of hardships, Mr. Bohl recounting his experience of having fought prairie fires for hours at a time in order to save their property from utter destruction. Also, in 1873, they suffered greatly through the grass-
hopper raids, in which they lost all of their corn from the pests depredations, although saving their small grains, in which they were more fortunate than many of their neighbors. The blizzards of April, 1873, and October, 1880, caused severe hardship to all, especially so to those who had cattle exposed to the extreme weather as well as those whose supply of fuel was scant.
In 1903 Mr. Bohl came into Antelope county and purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land, which is located in section four, township twenty-seven, range five, where he now resides, giving his attention principally to the raising of stock and small grains. He has a good dwelling and outbuildings, barns and sheds, surrounded by an abundance of fine shade trees, with an orchard in bearing supplying a large quantity of good fruit. Mr. Bohl is an experienced stockman, raising from thirty to forty head of cattle each year, also buys and feeds Jersey Duroc hogs.
Mr. Bohl was joined in matrimony March 31, 1892, to Miss Augusta Wegman, daughter of Henry and Sophia Wegman, and they are the parents of eight children, named as follows: Maggie, Sophy, Edward, Clara, Elmer, Lydia, Allie and William.
Mr. Bohl is a republican in national and independent in county politics, and with his family worships at the Methodist Episcopal church. He has made a fine record as a successful, farmer, and by industry, good management and perseverance has placed himself and family in very comfortable circumstances, is widely known and universally respected as an honorable citizen.
JOHN H. HOES.
As a citizen of integrity and worth and a man of industrious character, this gentleman is well known to the people of Howard county. He has studied the needs of the people in his community for a number of years and has always been found standing on the side of right, doing his part toward meeting and providing for the public welfare. Mr. Hoes is a resident of St. Libory precinct, where he has a beautiful home and pleasant surroundings, his estate being one of the most perfectly equipped in the county.
John H. Hoes was born in Washington county, Maryland, on June 13, 1841, and was the third child in a family of nine, two of whom are now deceased. At the age of sixteen years, he went with his parents to Freeport, Illinois, remaining for only about eight months, then moved to Ogle county, Illinois. He spent some time as a student in the high school at Freeport, and in the spring of 1857 the entire family settled in Montgomery county, Illinois, where they purchased a farm and resided for several years. John assisted in carrying on the farm, and finally took the place on his own account, leasing it for seven years. During this time he was also engaged in the merchant tailoring business in Butler, a short distance from his home, and built up a good patronage.
In the spring of 1879 Mr. Hoes went with his family to Lassen county, California, and after three years in that vicinity, came into Howard county, Nebraska. In the spring of 1883 he purchased four hundred and twenty acres of section thirty-four, township thirteen, range nine, and here he has built up a fine farm, supplied with every modern convenience in the way of buildings, machinery, etc., for the operating of a model stock and grain farm. During the early times here the family saw many hardships, but met every situation with bravery and cheerfulness, and unlike many, have had very few failures of crops, etc.
Mr. Hoes was married on November 19, 1867, in Butler, Illinois, to Miss Melvina Masters, of that city. Mrs. Hoes was a native of Kentucky, and possessed all the charm and graciousness of the women of that state. She died on the home place April 22, 1898. Twelve children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hoes, named as follows: Irene E., now Mrs. A. A. Dudy, they residing in Grand Island; Catherine, deceased; Anna L., living at home, an infant son and daughter and Archie and Arthur, (twins), are all deceased; Winnie F., Bessie M. and George, at home, James W. who is married and works the home place, and Bertha, wife of Theodore Cordes, living in St. Libory. All highly esteemed by their fellow citizens in their respective neighborhood.
The Hoes farm is one of the finest stock and grain tracts in the region. Mr. Hoes is a great lover of flowers, having a commodious, green house where he grows plants and shrubs in great variety. He also has a large fount in which are many gold fish, and it is his chief pleasure to care for his pets. In the summer season the extensive grounds about his residence present the appearance of a beautiful city park, laid out in floral designs, arbors, summerhouses, etc. This he keeps in a fine green state by having a complete water system so that he can spray when necessary.
In addition to the beautiful grounds surrounding his home, Mr. Hoes has a large fruit orchard containing bearing trees of all kinds, and often raises over one hundred bushels of cherries, many apples and small fruits, for which he finds ready sale in the nearby markets.
The Hoes family are among the foremost in their county in social affairs. For a number of years Mr. Hoes has been treasurer of school district number forty-nine. Potraits [sic] of Mr. and Mrs. Hoes will be found on another page.
Mr. and Mrs. John H. Hoes.
ISAAC C. BARNES.
Isaac C. Barnes, a public spirited citizen and well known resident of Pierce county, has a nice farm under first-class improvement, in section
twenty-one, township twenty-six, and range four, making for him a most creditable and desirable home. He is considered one of the old-timers in this region, and has taken an active part in the development of the community in which he chose his home some twenty-eight years ago.
Mr. Barnes was born March 4, 1842, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is a son of Lucius A. Barnes who was born in 1809, and Kizziah (Dexter) Barnes, born in 1818, both natives of New York state.
Mr. Barnes is a representative man, having served his country in the civil war from 1863 to 1865, just two years, two months, and nineteen days. He enlisted in company E, Tenth Michigan cavalry, being on detached duty in Tennessee most of the time. He has also served his present home county, having held the office of precinct assessor for eighteen years, beginning soon after settling in Pierce county.
Our subject was married in Middleville, Barry county, Michigan, to Miss Mary Hutchins, September 7, 1867. Eight children were born to them, named as follows: Fred, who died in 1884, Lucy, married William H. Smith of Niobrara; Edwin, who died in 1879; Melzar; Sarah, married I. B. Lintt, living near Stanton; Kissiah, married John Calhune and lives in Colorado; Joe, and Mary, who married Lewis Walton and lives in Pierce county.
In the fall of 1882, Mr. Barnes drove through from Michigan to Nebraska, and filed on a tree claim of eighty acres in section twenty-nine, township twenty-six, range four, and also a pre-emption claim of equal amount in section twenty-nine, to which he added forty acres by purchase. His first house was built of sod and cotton-wood slabs, and seven years later he built a frame house. Mr. Barnes has experienced all the hardships of the early settlers' lot, having lost his crops in 1873, 1874 and 1875 through the memorable grasshopper raids of that period, and suffered from the blizzards of 1870 and 1871, the latter occurring near the middle of April and lasting three days. He says the winter of 1871-1872 was the worst winter of his recollection. Cornstalks were used for fuel for several winters after coming to Nebraska.
Our subject votes the republican ticket, and as before stated, held the office of precinct assessor for eighteen years, between 1881 and 1901. During his early administration of the office, his precinct comprised two and one-half congressional townships, but later was reduced by one township.
George Wall was well known to nearly all the pioneers of eastern Nebraska as a leading citizen, and for many years prior to his death was a resident of section one, township fourteen, range eleven, in Howard county, Nebraska.
Mr. Wall was born in Devonshire, England, in July, 1827. He removed to Canada at the age of twenty-two years, and was married there December 27, 1854, to Miss Ann Manning, daughter of Lawrence and Charity (Lee) Manning, who survived him until October 31, 1906. Mrs. Wall was born September 1, 1832, in Exeter, Cornwall, England.
Twelve children were born of this union, seven sons and five daughters. In company with his son, John, Mr. Wall removed to Howard county, Nebraska, in the fall of 1877, his family joining him five months later. Six sons and one daughter remain of the family: William H., who lives in California; Thomas, residing in Howard county; Charity, who is now Mrs. S. J. Peterson and resides in Valley county; John, George R., Charles W., and Lawrence A., all of whom reside in Howard county, Nebraska.
Mr. and Mrs. Wall were pioneers of Howard county, having resided here since 1877. They were widely known, highly respected, and helped make Howard, one of the best of Nebraska counties. At their death they were mourned by a large number of friends all over the county, and their loss will ever be felt for their good qualities and fine character. They were ever faithful and true to the best interests of their family, county and state.
FRANK L. GREENE.
Frank L. Greene who resides in section ten, township seventeen, range thirteen, Valley county, Nebraska, was born near Peoria, Illinois, November 30, 1868, a son of Joseph A. and Louisa (Louis) Greene. He has one brother, Wardner, residing in Valley county; a sister, Mrs. Sylvia Branan, also living in Valley county; and a twin brother living in New York. The father lives in North Loup and the mother died about 1895, in Bennington, Vermont.
During his early childhood, Mr. Greene lived from time to time in Illinois, near Emporia, Kansas, and near Berlin in Reussalier (sic) county, New York, coming to Nebraska in the spring of 1875 with his parents; here he received his education in the local schools and later engaged in farming.
On March 18, 1891, Mr. Greene was married to Miss Lela Potter, who was born near Farina, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Greene have been blessed with six children, namely: Leslie J., Matilda H., Melvin P., Hettie E., Glen, and an infant deceased.
In the late nineties Mr. Greene purchased forty acres of land in section two, township seventeen, range thirteen, where he lived eleven years; he then sold and purchased three hundred and twenty acres, the west half of section ten, township seventeen, range thirteen, a fine stock and grain farm, which is still the home place, where
he makes a specialty of black Galloway cattle and Percheron horses.
Mr. Greene is one of the younger men among the pioneers; he is a successful man of affairs, interested in all pertaining to the upbuilding of his home state and county, and is well and favorably known.
Mrs. Greene's mother who was Antonette Maxon, lives in Boulder, Colorado; the father, Luther G. Potter, died in 1888, having been killed in a run-a-way in Valley county, Nebraska.
Mr. and Mrs. Greene and family are highly esteemed in their community, and have added much in many ways to the standing and upbuilding of the county in which they live. In political views Mr. Greene is a democrat. He has endured all the hardships of pioneer life among other misfortunes suffered one year's devastation by grasshoppers, and one year a loss by hail. For many years they lived in a dugout or sod house at a time when deer and antelope were plentiful. Prairie fires were frequent and one season Mr. Greene saw a threshing outfit destroyed by a fire that swept over the hills too swiftly for the machine to be moved to a place of safety. He well remembers the three days blizzard of October, 1880, but fortunately escaped being out in it.
A history of northeastern Nebraska would be incomplete without including a sketch of the life of Fred Klug, who is one of the most prominent of the early settlers of this part of the state.
Mr. Klug is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his birth occurred January 29, 1859, and he is a son of William and Mene (Uecker) Klug, both of whom were natives of Germany. In 1856, Mr. Klug, our subject's father, with his family, left his native land and came to the new world, embarking at Hamburg, Germany, on a sailboat, the voyage consuming twelve weeks. After landing on American soil, the family immediately started from New York for the west, coming to Wisconsin, where they remained ten years.
In 1866, Mr. Klug's father and his family started for Madison county, Nebraska, to take up a homestead, the journey being accomplished by ox team, which was the proper mode of traveling in those times. After coming here the father took up a homestead claim in section twenty-three, township twenty-four, range one, which remains the homestead farm to the present time, and where our subject now lives; this homestead is now a part of the town site of Norfolk.
Mr. Klug was united in marriage April 20, 1882, to Miss Mary Heckman, a native of Wisconsin, and Mr. and Mrs. Klug became the parents of eight children, whose names are as follows: Robert, Minnie, Otto, and Eltie, living; and Louie, Cordelia, Ralph, and an infant, deceased.
Mrs. Klug died April 12, 1896, survived and deeply mourned by her husband and family, and many friends and relatives.
During the early days of the western frontier times, our subject's father and family, like others of those pioneer days, suffered many hardships and disappointments, and their mode of living at that time was very primitive compared with that of today. The first house erected on the homestead farm was constructed of logs, as lumber was an almost unknown article in this part of the country. The grasshoppers were about the greatest source of anxiety and hardship,. as they came in hordes and destroyed everything in vegetation and crops to be seen, and kept this up for several succeeding years, until our little family became almost disheartened; but they, like so many of the strong-hearted people of that day, persevered until fortune began smiling upon them, and they began to reap the rich reward they deserved so well.
April 25, 1897, Mr. Klug was again united in marriage, Miss Amelia Klivetter being the bride. Mr. and Mrs. Klug are the parents of four fine children, whose names are as follows: Herman, Herbert, Fred, and Gordie.
Mr. Klug now owns one hundred and seventy acres of good land, and on this has fifteen acres of the finest orchards in the country. He is one of the substantial citizens of his community, and has always worked for the best interests of his home county and state. He is a democrat, and a member of the Lutheran church.
DAVID M. SHAW.
David M. Shaw is well known throughout central Nebraska, having for years been a contractor and builder in that region. In this connection he has had much to do with its progress and development. He is a pioneer homesteader, farmer and business man and has made his own way in life from an early age. He is a native of Cape May county, New Jersey, born January 21, 1851, second of the three children of Aaron and Esther (Moore) Shaw, who had three sons. The parents were natives of New Jersey and were married about 1846. The mother died in Camden, New Jersey, in the winter of 1878-9 and the father came to Nebraska in 1903, making his home with his son David until his death in April, 1910, in his ninety-first year. His son Jonas lives in Camden.
Mr. Shaw lived in his native state until he was eleven years old, when the family removed to Phoenixville, Pennslyvania [sic] (sic), and four years later they located in Cumberland county, New Jersey. He has practically taken care of himself since he was fifteen years of age, at that time beginning to learn the trade of mason, which he followed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and later in Ohio, Illinois and Nebraska, coming to the latter state
in August, 1878. He became a first-class mechanic and was thorough in his work. Upon coming to Nebraska, he located two miles east of what is now Sargent, taking a homestead in August, 1879. He has since held continuous residence in the county and to a greater or less extent has always followed his trade, although he has large farming and stock interests. He now lives on his farm on section five, township nineteen, range seventeen, and has a cement plant at Sargent. He is one of the most prominent men in his trade in central Nebraska and has a reputation for turning out only high-class work in every particular.
On December 28, 1879, at Loup City, Nebraska, Mr. Shaw was united in marriage with Miss Maria L. Courtney, daughter of William and Amy Courtney. Of this union four children were born, all on the home place, three of whom now survive: Earl, married and living in Seattle, Washington, has three children; Arthur, at home; Jessie, deceased; Ethel, wife of Lee Coolidge, of Central City, has one child. The family are prominent in social and educational circles and have many friends. Mr. Shaw has assisted in building many residences, business blocks and public buildings in central Nebraska and has always been actively interested in the upbuilding of his part of the state.
DANIEL E. NELLOR.
If ups and downs of a checkered career can make life interesting, Daniel E. Nellor has not suffered from monotony since he began life for himself as a publisher.
The name is of ancient English origin; the ancestors held office under the crown with the duty of ringing or knelling the bell in the royal palace, and the name was originally spelled Knellor. The grandfather, Charles Nellor, sailed for Australia with his family in 1854 to seek his fortune in the gold fields in which he prospered, coming to America in 1866, with a snug little fortune. He joined a daughter in Omaha, where his son-in-law held valuable property which is now in the heart of the city, but was sold about that time, he fearing the railroad would cross the river further north and leave Omaha off the line of travel. The grandfather filed on a homestead in Cuming county and resided here until his death at the age of eighty-six years.
John Nellor, the father of our editor, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1854, and crossed the seas with his parents for the Australian continent in 1854. In 1866 he came with his father to Nebraska, and on attaining his majority in 1872, filed on a homestead in Cuming county near his father's farm. Mr. Nellor lived on the farm until 1887, when he moved to Beemer and dealt in live stock for some thirteen years; in 1900 he opened a mercantile establishment there and was in business for three years, since which time he has been retired from active life.
The mother, Elizabeth Crellin, was a native of Fort Mary, Isle of Man, off the coast of England in the Irish sea, where the family had lived for upwards of four hundred years. Her parents, Daniel and Margaret (Tarbman) Crellin, emigrated to America in the spring of 1871; sailing from Liverpool in the "City of Brussels," they landed, after eight days' voyage, in New York, in April. Spending two days in Cleveland enroute, they traveled on to Nebraska, reaching their destination, West Point, the 10th of the month. Here the father took up a homestead nine miles northeast of West Point on Cuming Creek, where he lived until his death.
Daniel E. Nellor was born near West Point, March 18, 1877, and graduated from the Beemer high schools in 1894; when but twelve years of age he began learning the printer's trade in the office of the "Beemer Times," conducted by L. E. Hunter, a relative of his step-mother, at Beemer while living two years with an aunt in that city. In 1895 he taught school for one term, and then took a two years' teachers and scientific course at Fremont college. Coming to Cedar county in 1896 he taught school one year, and then started a small paper at Belden which he discontinued at the end of the first year. About this time he married, and coming to Randolph, secured a place in the office of the "Times;" in the spring of 1900 he purchased the paper, and in September of the same year he sold to H. L. Peck, the present proprietor.
He moved to Plainview that fall and with his uncle, D. L. Crellin, purchased the "Republican;" in this venture they were doing well when a fire swept away in the space of an hour, all they possessed in the world. Having had no insurance they were left stranded. Mr. Nellor returned to Randolph and finding nothing else at hand, supported his family at common labor for a time until he could get a start again. Securing a school he taught through the winter and then resumed his old place in the printing office in Randolph. In 1903 he moved to Bloomfield and took charge of the paper there; but gave it over after one month, his capital being too small to successfully operate the business. In company with H. C. Tatum, he went into the real estate business, in which he was signally successful, and paid off his indebtedness of one thousand dollars and had money in the bank.
His wife, who had been in frail health, died during that year, leaving him the care of five small children; to do this properly he found it necessary to discontinue the real estate business, which kept him too much from home. He returned to Randolph in 1904 and again worked as a day laborer until he could find his bearings again. For a year he again held a case in the office of the "Times," and then ran the "Hoskins Headlight" for fourteen months. In 1907 he
came back to Randolph, bought the "Reporter," sold it six months later, and within a fortnight established the "Randolph Enterprise," issuing the first number March 19, 1908. Success has at last attended his efforts and the "Enterprise" is proving true to its name. Mr. Nellor has had a struggle to keep his little family together, but having been of a scattered flock when young and knowing how the children of a family will grow away from each other when separated, he has strongly maintained the unity of his little household.
Mr. Nellor was married at Pierce, in September of 1898, to Miss Alice Totten, a daughter of William and Mary (Whitney) Totten, who settled in Cuming county in the spring of 1881. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Nellor: Mary, Theodore R. and William Mc K., twins, known as Teddy and Mack; Bessie, and Floyd.
Mr. Nellor's memory does not extend back to the blizzard of October, 1880, but he has a vivid recollection of that of January 12, 1888. He had remained home with his father that day, but the brothers were at school, where they remained all night. His first recollection of a dwelling was the family's first house, a dugout, in which they lived until 1883. He recalls the fireside talk in the family, of the devastations of the grasshoppers for three years in the seventies before he was born; these hardships were still fresh in memory when he was a child.
Mr. Nellor is a democrat in politics, and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, Woodmen of the World and Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
BENJAMIN F. COLBORN.
Benjamin F. Colborn, a prominent resident of Merrick county, Nebraska, is an old settler in this state, and through his efforts in his locality has added materially in bringing that region into one of thrift and prosperity.
Mr. Colborn was born in Sauk county, Wisconsin, May 3, 1859, and was sixth of eleven children in the family of Abram and Mary (Comfort) Colborn. Our subject grew up on the farm in Sauk county, and in 1880 first came to Merrick county, Nebraska, and in the fall of 1882 returned to Wisconsin; and in the fall of 1883 was married to Miss Mattie F. Farnum, returning then to his homestead farm in Howard county, Nebraska. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Colborn: Rusk L., Winfred, and Vera M. Mrs. Colborn died in August, 1899.
In 1886 Mr. Colborn went to O'Neill, Holt county, Nebraska, and engaged in the milling business and in 1889 moved from O'Neill to Crete, Nebraska, going into the milling business at that place. He returned to his Howard county farm in 1891, and in 1900 purchased a one hundred and sixty acre farm in Merrick county, on section eight, township fourteen, range eight, in the same neighborhood where his brothers, John and Hiram reside. Here he has a fine grain and stock farm, well equipped.
On March 4, 1906, Mr. Colborn was united in marriage to Mrs. Lily Wolcott Williams, who was a native of Iowa, but came to Merrick county, Nebraska, with her parents in 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Colborn have two children: Marion and Teddy.
Mr. Colborn is an active factor in the upbuilding of this portion of Nebraska, and in past years served on his township board. He was appointed postmaster at Palmer in 1903, which office he creditably filled for five and a half years. At present he is assessor of Loup precinct.
In the spring of 1910 the Merrick county Farmers' Co-operative Association was organized at Palmer for the purpose of handling farm products and goods consumed by farmers. This is a stock company with about eighty members; Mr. Colborn being one of them. He was chosen as manager. During the year 1910, they built an elevator at Palmer which was finished in August, of that year and during the first six months, from August, 1910, to February, 1911, the company handled about $100,000 worth of business. They buy all kinds of farm grains and cereals and sell coal, twine, flour and feed. Mr. Colborn's time has been taken up with the supervision of this business since the association was organized.
John Ayers, retired, of Creighton, is one of the sons of the Empire state who has given the best of his life to the west. He was born at Wheatland, New York, February 20, 1832, the son of Joseph and Abagail (Willard) Ayers. His parents removed to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1840, and a few years later to Shalersville, in Portage county. From there they moved to Racine county, Wisconsin, and about a year later to Juneau county, where Mr. Ayers, subject of this sketch, ran a large lumber mill many years. He was engaged in this business twenty-six years and prospered until 1870, when a fire swept his property away in an hour. The mill was located on an island in a cranberry marsh, and Mr. Ayers bought berries from the Indians in season, and one year had three thousand bushels to dispose of in the cities. These Indians were of the Winnebago, Potawattamie, and Menominee tribes, and they were industrious pickers.
During the first years of his life in Wisconsin, Mr. Ayers was employed at rafting on the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, making trips with lumber and shingle rafts to points on the river above St. Louis.
For some years after the loss of his mill, Mr. Ayers was variously employed in Wisconsin, but feeling that the west offered more opportunities, he emigrated to Knox county in June, 1876, and early in July secured a homestead and timber claim a few miles from where Verdegris now stands. He drove through from Wisconsin, camp-
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by T&C Miller, P Ebel, P Shipley, L Cook