Frederick William Riley was born in Delaware county, Iowa, on June 11, 1861. He was the third child in the family of Judge John W. and Jane E. Riley, who were the parents of ten. The entire family left Iowa and came to Nebraska in the spring of 1872, our subject driving an ox team across the plains to Boone county, and as he afterwards expressed it, "thought they would never get to their destination, being some six weeks on the journey.
He remained on his father's farm for a number of years, attending the local schools, and finishing his education in St. Edward, under Professor Rush, in a graded school. With a brother, he practically had the management of the home farm from the time he was fifteen years of age, his father being engaged in the hardware and implement business in Albion. When Frederick was twenty-one, he started for himself in partnership with his brother, Samuel S., in the farm and stock business, still remaining on the homestead. They engaged extensively in the latter work, getting together a thoroughbred Shorthorn herd, and succeeded in building up one of the finest and largest herds of registered stock of this breed in the United States. The Riley Brothers' Stock Farm, as it is known throughout the west, is one of the richest and most progressive in the country, and the brothers are authorities on the work of breeding and raising fine stock. Their home place is situated on section thirty-five, township twenty, range six, and contains one hundred and sixty acres. They also own large stock interests in Holt county, Nebraska, having twenty-five hundred acres in that vicinity.
Mr. Riley was married to Miss Fannie Speigel, at the home of her parents near Albion, in February, 1904. Mrs. Riley's parents were early settlers in Boone county, and widely and favorably known. Our subject has one daughter, Ruth, a very charming little miss. Recently Mr. Riley made a trip to Columbus, Nebraska, in an automobile, over the same country he drove an ox team in the early days, and this proved both a very pleasant and instructive journey, enabling him to note the great changes which had occurred in a comparatively few years. The automobile trip consumed two hours' time, while in former days it required a day to cover the same ground.
T. M. WOODS.
T. M. Woods is one of the early settlers of Wayne county, Nebraska, and is a representative citizen, honest and industrious and interested in the general welfare and progress of his community.
Mr. Woods was born in Perry county, Pennsylvania, January 14, 1861, and is a son of James and Louise Woods, both natives of Pennsylvania. He received his education in that state, attending the common school. He was one of nine children.
Mr. Woods lived in Pennsylvania until after he had attained his majority and then, induced by the prospect of securing good land at a small figure, came to Nebraska and purchased his present home of one hundred and sixty acres, where for several years he lived as a bachelor and kept house for himself. He acquired his place in 1885, at which time it contained no improvements, and since then he has been occupied in developing the land and adding to the productiveness and value of his estate. He owns a very nice home and is one of the progressive and enterprising farmers of his part of the state, having to a large degree adapted modern scientific method's of operating his farm. He is engaged in a general line of farming and pays considerable attention to raising stock. Mr. Woods has added eighty acres to his first purchase and now owns two hundred and forty acres.
In 1891, Mr. Woods was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Hill, daughter of James Hill, and born in Illinois. Six children have been born of this union, namely: Ethel, James Clarence, Gladys May, Hazel, Thelma and Elmer. He and his wife are interested in the cause of education and other matters affecting the interests of the public in general.
For more than a quarter of a century, the gentleman above named has been identified with the history of the development of Stanton county, Nebraska, and his valuable property in section eleven, township twenty-four, evidences his earnest labors during these many years. He has succeeded in building up a good home and is one of the highly respected citizens of his township.
Mr. Schellpeper is not a native of this country, as he was born in Brandenburg, Germany, in 1845. His parents were Fredland and Freda Schellpeper. Our subject received his education in Germany, and remained at home helping his parents until 1870, when he decided to come to the United States, where he might perhaps be able to take advantage of the opportunities offered in the west.
Like many of his countrymen, he came to America by way of Bremen, arriving at Baltimore, instead of going first to New York City. From Baltimore, he came direct to Stanton county where he took up a homestead, which has been in his possession ever since.
For four years, Mr. Schellpeper "kept batch" on his claim, but it was dreary, lonesome work, so that in 1874, he married Miss Ida Manthy, and took his bride home to the little frame house which he had just built. Their first years in Nebraska were somewhat disheartening, as the grasshoppers took most of their crops for several years, and they were a number of times in imminent danger from the frequent prairie fires.
In the winter time, blizzards were a source of danger too. In the great blizzard of 1888, Mr. Schellpeper was lost all of one night and wandered around over the fields, being rescued the next morning, nearly frozen.
However, they continued their residence on the old homestead and gradually built up a valuable estate, with all improvements and conveniences. Mr. Schellpeper is a man of sterling character, and has gained the confidence of all with whom he has come in contact. He has all extensive acquaintance and is universally esteemed.
Mr. and Mrs. Schellpeper are the parents of eight children, upon whom they have bestowed the following names: Edward, William, Rynholt, Ella, Paul, Arthur, Lawrence, and Augusta. The family occupy a prominent place in the social and educational life of the community. They are members of the Lutheran church.
Prominent among the leading old settlers of Antelope county, Nebraska, the gentleman whose name heads this personal history is entitled to a foremost place. He is a man of active public spirit, always lending his aid and influence for the betterment of conditions in his community. Mr. Beckley resides in section ten, township twenty-eight, range six, where he has a pleasant home and valuable estate.
Mr. Beckley was born September 1, 1846, and is a native of the state of Indiana; and is a son of Thomas and Phoebe (Garrett) Beckley, the former a native of the state of Ohio, where he was a farmer by occupation, and the latter a native of Virginia, who died when our subject was a small boy.
Mr. Beckley knows every phase of a farmer's life from childhood up to manhood, being reared and educated in the country schools, when he was not assisting in the farm work on the home place.
On May 20, 1877, Mr. Beckley was married to Miss Mary Losure, and they are the parents of five children, named as follows: Edgar, Hattie, who is a trained nurse; Edith, who married William Brooks; and Thomas and Walter. Mr. Beckley's wife passed to her reward in 1906, Mrs. Beckley's father served in the army during the civil war in 1861, enlisting in the Twenty-seventh Iowa Regiment.
Mr. Beckley came to the western country in 1878, settling in Antelope county, Nebraska, where he took up a claim on the present location of his home, making his residence in this one spot for over thirty-three years, which must have grown very dear to him in all this time, although some of his earlier experiences in this home may not have been the pleasantest. He had many hardships and inconveniences in those days. Niobrara was the nearest market place; and the scarcity of fuel and the distance it had to be hauled, caused great hardships, especially during the winter or 1880 and 1888, when they had to burn hay and corn stalks for fuel, to keep from freezing to death. In those days it took two days to haul a small load of wood from the Niobrara river.
Mr. Beckley has taken up timber claims in, addition to his homestead and now owns eight hundred acres of good land, and has seventeen acres of trees that are the finest in the country round. He is now enjoying the fruits of his early energy and endurance, and hopes to attain a ripe old age to realize the comforts he was foresighted enough to prepare for himself.
Mr. Beckley has several head of thoroughbred Durham cattle. He is the only farmer in Antelope county who raises Lancastershire hogs, of which he now has about seventy-five head of thoroughbreds.
JAMES M. ASKEY.
James M. Askey, who enjoys a pleasant home and owns a valuable farm in section twenty-one, township twenty-six, range four, Pierce county, is one of the well known old residents of this part of the state of Nebraska. He has gained an enviable reputation as a progressive farmer and worthy citizen, and is highly esteemed for his strict integrity and honest dealings by those with whom he has to do.
Mr. Askey was born in the village of Snowshoe, Center county, Pennsylvania, February 29, 1848, and is the son of John and Harriet (McMaster) Askey, the former born in 1817, and the latter in 1827, both being natives of Pennsylvania of Scotch-Irish descent. At the close of the war the family moved to Fayette county, Iowa.
Mr. Askey came to Nebraska, March 25, 1879, renting a farm at Neligh two years, and here laid the foundation of his extensive herds. He came to Pierce county in 1881, taking a homestead in section twenty-eight, and a timber claim in section twenty-one; he now owns four hundred acres in the former section and two hundred and forty in the latter, in township twenty-six, range four. In coming to Neligh, Mr. Askey drove from Sioux City, having been ten days on the way, delayed by full streams and having often to drive to the head waters of the streams before being able to find a fording place. Mr. Askey lived on this homestead for six years, and then moved to his homestead where he resided until. April, 1911, when he moved to Norfolk. On the timber tract Mr. Askey has reared a grove of upwards of twenty-seven acres.
At the time of the blizzard of October, 1880, a herder was out with the cattle. Not being able to manage them, he came to the house to secure help, during which time the cattle scattered and were not gotten together again until after the storm. The children were at school at the time of the blizzard of January 12, 1888, and with diffi-
culty the teacher, who boarded with Mr. Askey, got the children safely home. Prairie fires were a menace in the early days, and both Mr. and Mrs. Askey were at times compelled to fight the flames for hours at a time. After the drought of 1894, feed was scarce, Mr. Askey at one time paying five dollars for a load of corn fodder. For two years after settling on their homestead, they had no fuel but twisted hay.
In 1873 Mr. Askey was married to Miss Martha Ash, a native of Richland Center, Wisconsin. To this union five children have been born, whose names are as follows: Miles, Bennie, deceased; Lydia, Ethel and Hollis. Lydia married John Porter, of Norfolk, and is the mother of two children, Vivian and Thelma. Mr. Porter is the local representative of the Ward Medicine Company.
Mr. Askey's entire time and attention has been devoted to the care of his farm and home he has never sought office, but takes a keen interest in all affairs of Ideal or state importance, voting the republican ticket. He has a well improved farm of six hundred and forty acres, and is a successful farmer and stock raiser. He enjoys the esteem of a wide acquaintance and has been an important factor in the settling and upbuilding of this section of the country.
Among the prominent residents of Posen precinct we mention the name of Thomas Wall, who is a successful farmer of that locality, and highly esteemed for his integrity and sterling character. Mr. Wall is a self-made man in the strictest sense of the term, having by his own individual efforts and industry accumulated a valuable property from a very small beginning, and is now recognized as one of the foremost men of his section.
Thomas Wall was born in Huron county, Canada, on June 20, 1859. His boyhood was spent in that country, coming to the United States with his mother, two sisters and three brothers in the spring of 1878, they joining the father and one brother who had settled in St. Paul, Nebraska, some time previously, the former purchasing a tract of land which he intended to develop into a farm. Thomas lived at home for two years, then started out for himself. He bought one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land in section thirty-one, township fifteen, range eleven, lying one mile north of Farwell. This he improved with good buildings, fences, etc., and it is now his home farm and one of the best equipped places in the locality. Besides this property Mr. Wall is owner of a good farm in Sherman county, both places, being devoted to diversified farming and stock raising.
Mr. Wall's parents are both dead, the father passing away in 1902, and the mother four years later. One sister died in 1880. The entire family are well known throughout Howard county as worthy and thrifty pioneers. Thomas was married in 1883, to Miss Margaret Kerr, of St. Paul. Mrs. Wall is a native of Canada, she coming to this county with her parents as a girl, when they were among the earliest settlers of the region, both her father and mother now being deceased, survived by four daughters, including Mrs. Wall, also two brothers, all residing in Nebraska.
Mr. and Mrs. Wall have seven children, namely: George F., and Sarah Jane, who live on their father's Sherman county farm; Mary Anna, Margaret Winnie, John Talmage, Thomas Jefferson, and Martha Commora, all living with their parents.
Our subject is a democrat. He is an active worker in all worthy projects for the betterment of his county and state, and has held different local offices, serving as road overseer for a number of years, also was moderator of school district number sixty-seven during 1892.
WILLIAM J. STEWART.
William J. Stewart is a native of the Empire state, from where so many early settlers in Nebraska state migrated, and who have proved such a power for the good of the locality in which they have dwelt so many years. Mr. Stewart's birth occurred in Oswego county, New York, August 27, 1854, he being the second of ten children in the family of Chauncey and Mary Ann (Southworth) Stewart, both natives of the state of New York, coming to Howard county, Nebraska, in the pioneer days of the western frontier, being of the first settlers of that county. Upon coming to this locality, our subject's father purchased land in section thirty-one, township fourteen, range ten, which remained the home place all through the years until death claimed this worthy couple, the mother having died on November 24, 1908, at the ripe old age of seventy-five years, and the father passing away in the fall of 1909, within a week of his ninety-first birthday.
In March of 1879, William J. Stewart, subject of our sketch, came from Wisconsin to Howard county, and later on into Valley county; the Stewart family had moved from New York state to Walworth county, Wisconsin, in 1856. William Stewart came to Valley county, Nebraska, in the spring of 1879 and was a pioneer homesteader of that county; he now resides on the southeast quarter of section four, township nineteen, range fourteen. When first coming to Valley county, Mr. Stewart lived in the central part of the. county for several years, moving to his present farm home three miles north of Ord in June of 1908. He has one hundred and twenty acres of fine land, which is a well equipped farm, on which is a fine residence. Mr. Stewart engages in farm-
ing and stock raising, which has been his occupation for many years, as also that of his father before him, and he has made a success of life. He deals in a well bred grade of stock only, and on his farm has a goodly herd.
Mr. Stewart was married to Margaret Hull in Valley county, November 21, 1886. The Hull family came from Bartholomew county, Indiana, in 1879, settling in Howard county, the family consisting of Byron and Mary (Robinson) Hull and six children. Mr. Hull is now living near Omaha, but his wife died March 23, 1890. All but one of the children survive and live in Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart have eleven children, whose names are as follows: Cora Belle and Ora Ellen, twins, are teachers in the public schools of Valley county; Alta May, Estella, Enos, Ray, Hazel, Alice, Fay, Donald, and Aloa, all of whom reside at home. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart certainly have a charming family, all born on the old home farm and reared in Valley county, except the youngest child, Aloa. One unusual feature of Mr. Stewart's career is that he never lived on a rented farm and nearly everything he owns has been acquired by his own unaided effort.
Mr. Stewart has done much toward the building up of Valley county, and always takes his part in the bettering of conditions and advancement along progressive lines. He is a republican in politics and a member of the Ancient Order United Workmen.
When Mr. Stewart first came to Howard county herds of deer roamed the open prairies, and again in Valley county the same conditions prevailed.
Mr. Stewart was out for a time in the blizzard of October, 1880, having gone to the school house to bring his younger brothers and sisters home. He braved the storm of January 12, 1888, to go part way home with a man, and safely returned to his own domicile. So severe were the winter storms of those days that he remembers on one occasion a buggy left out exposed was buried so deep in a drift that the top of the buggy was covered.
G. W. STEWART.
Another one of the highly esteemed and worthy public-spirited citizens and prominent old timers of Nebraska is found in the person of G. W. Stewart, with whose name we head this biographical sketch.
Mr. Stewart is a native of New Jersey, and was born November 6, 1846, the oldest child in the family of six resulting from the union of William Stewart and Sarah Wooheaver, who were born in Pennsylvania. Our subject grew up in his native state, attending the public schools, and when little more than fifteen years of age, entered the service of his country, enlisting in Company 13, Second Regiment of New York Cavalry, under Captain Cook.
He saw hard service during his entire career as a soldier, going all through Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia with his company. On September 22, 1863, he was taken prisoner by the rebels, and sent to Belle Isle, where he remained for about eight months. He participated in the battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and a number of famous encounters.
After returning to his home at the close of the war, Mr. Stewart followed farming up to 1871, then went west to Lawrence, Kansas, remaining at that place for four years. From there he went to Mills county, Iowa, followed farming there for about twelve years, and from there came to Madison county, purchased land, and, from that time until the present, this tract has been his home. He has made a success of his undertaking, having one of the well improved farms in the region, and is classed among the well-to-do farmers and progressive men of the county.
Mr. Stewart was married at Clark, Iowa, August 1, 1877, taking as his wife Miss Rebecca Moore, who was born in Davenport, Iowa, September 17, 1853. To Mr. and Mrs. Stewart have been born eight children, bearing the following names, and all of whom are a credit to their parents; L. E., Sydney, Roy, Grace, Otis, Frank, Ora, Ray, and Billy.
THOMAS M. CLARK.
None in northeastern Nebraska. stands higher in the estimation of his fellowmen than the venerable Thomas M. Clark, now retired and living in Bloomfield. Mr. Clark has been a resident of the state since the fall of 1880, moving from Montgomery county, Iowa.
Mr. Clark was born in Center county, Pennsylvania, March 31, 1839. His parents, J. W. and Sarah (Barnhart) Clark, were also natives of the Keystone state. J. W. Clark was of Scotch-Irish descent, and his wife's father was born in Germany. They migrated to eastern Iowa in 1854, settling in Scott county. Our subject lived for a time in Washington county, then returned to Scott county, where he resided some twenty years prior to moving to Montgomery county, Iowa, in the west end of the state.
Thomas M. Clark remained under the parental roof until his marriage at the age of twenty-five, when he began farming on rented land in Scott county. After coming to western Iowa, he resided two and one-half years in Dickinson county, Kansas, during the grasshopper pests. Mrs. Clark found the climate uncongenial - she was ill most of the time - so they came back to their old home in Iowa.
Returning to Montgomery, he resided there until moving to Knox county, Nebraska, in the latter part of October, 1880. He had come out to
the state in June and selected his land, moving to it some time after the three days' blizzard in the middle of the month: He selected a tract eight miles west of Bloomfield, on Brazil creek, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres and filing on his homestead rights on an additional quarter section. This was all open prairie and unimproved. Mr. Clark fenced and broke the land, erected a dwelling, farm and other buildings, and planted liberally of trees. Here he resided and prospered, continuing in active labor until 1902, when he retired, and purchased a place in Bloomfield, which he keeps up in considerable style.
Mr. Clark was married near Davenport, Iowa, March 14, 1863, to Miss Ellen Leamer, who was born in Cambria county, Pennsylvania. Her parents, David and Eliza (Campbell) Leamer, came to Iowa in 1847 and settled in Scott county. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Clark, five are living: Blanch, wife of Frank White who has a small fruit and poultry ranch on Fidelgo Island, Washington; Willard Kingsley Clark is a prosperous physician in Niobrara; Philip B. is clerk of Knox county, residing at Center; Jessie B., who married Charles Wort, died at the age of twenty-six years;. Milton is deputy in his brother's office, and Hope is married to Frank McGill, who is proprietor of a livery barn in Center.
Mr. Clark's great-grandfather, James Clark, was killed and scalped by the Indians in Pennsylvania. He had gone out across a stream - near his home - for his horses, when he was attacked and slain. This was at the time when the English were paying the Indians a bounty on scalps.
The Clark family has been represented in most of the wars in which the United States has participated. Mr. Clark's grandfather, Philip Barnhart, was born in Germany and emigrated to the United States. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. He had had military training in his native country and raised a company of Pennsylvania Dutch for the last war with England.
Mr. Clark's brother, Philip, enlisted in the Twentieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry for the civil war. He was taken sick in Missouri, from there returning to his home where be died shortly after.
A short time after coming to Nebraska the entire locality in which the Clark family resided was thoroughly aroused by a charivari party, who were taken for Indians, word being sent out that the latter were on the warpath. Most of the neighbors went to nearby towns for protection, one woman who was ill being taken to Plainview, but Mr. Clark and his family remained on their farm, not being alarmed by the report.
During the early years when times were especially hard, Mr. Clark taught school in Nebraska. He had taught successfully in Iowa, so the vocation was not new to him. Several of his children have followed in his footsteps. Blanch and Philip were in school at the time of the destructive blizzard of January 12, 1888, and both were compelled to remain in the building all night. Mr. Clark was out in much of the storm getting his cattle safety housed. There being timber along the creeks, Mr. Clark usually had an abundance of fuel, but at times burned a little corn.
Mr. Clark was living at Davenport, Iowa, at the time of the New Ulm massacre and saw the Santee prisoners when brought to Davenport and kept in a prison camp through the winter, during which time some of the ringleaders were executed. Years later he settled on the edge of the reservation of this same tribe, but they have been transformed into peaceable citizens.
Mr. Clark is a democrat in politics, and with his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He has served as supervisor of Central township for seven years. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Clark appear on another page.
Thomas M. Clark. -- Mrs. Thomas M. Clark.
BENJAMIN T. SNYDER.
One of the leading business men of Loup City, as well as one of the best known among the old settlers in the state, is Benjamin T. Snyder. For many years he has been closely connected with the commercial and agricultural life of this region and much of its present state of advancement is due to his influence.
Mr. Snyder was born on January 12, 1834, in Trumbull county, Ohio, and was the fourth of eight children born to Thomas and Rebecca (Tilus) Snyder. Out of this large family,. there is now left only Mr. Snyder and his sister, Serepta, living in Kearney, Nebraska. The father, who was of German descent, was born in West Virginia, and died in Ohio in 1860. The mother, who was of English extraction, was born in Pennsylvania, and died in Ohio in 1884.
When only seventeen years of age, Mr. Snyder started out in life for himself, working in Waukegan, later in Mercer county, and Rock Island. Five years later, on March 17, 1856, in Davenport, lowa, he married Miss Maria Frazier, a native of Ohio, who had been for some years a teacher in the public schools of Illinois.
In 1858, they went to Johnson county, Kansas, where Mr. Snyder purchased two hundred and forty acres of land near Olathe, and engaged in farming for about four years.
On July 28, 1861, Mr. Snyder enlisted as second lieutenant of Cavalry in Company A, of the First Kansas Regiment. Three months later, owing to illness which incapacitated him for further service, he received an honorable discharge. The family then returned to Mercer county, Illinois, farming until July of 1879, when with his wife and three children, Mr. Snyder came to Sherman county, Nebraska. He at once took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, four miles south of Loup City, with an adjoining timber claim of an equal amount.
Since that time, Mr. Snyder has bought and sold many different farms in Sherman county, living on them for various periods of time. In 1899, in company with his youngest daughter, he purchased two hundred acres of land in section thirty-two township fourteen, range fifteen, which has been converted into a very valuable grain and stock farm. In 1911 he purchased his daughter's interest, which he immediately sold, but still retains his interest in the remaining one hundred acres. The year before that purchase, Mr. Snyder left the farm, bought a good comfortable home in Loup City, and moved to that place. He also bought a livery barn about the same time, which he is still conducting.
Mr. Snyder has always taken a commendable interest in all public affairs, especially those pertaining to education, and for some years was director in his school district number four. He comes of a patriotic family, his brother, Phineas Snyder, having given his life for his country during the war. Another brother, Joshua Snyder, also served through the war and was captain in the Eighty-third Illinois Infantry.
Mr. and Mrs. Snyder have had five children, three of whom are living. Birdie and John died in infancy; Gertrude, now Mrs. George Bentley, lives in Colorado; Daisy, now Mrs. John Cowper, lives in Deadwood, South Dakota; Mattie, now Mrs. Morgan Hall, is a resident of Grand Junction, Colorado. The entire family is well and favorably known.
John Papenhausen, who carries on extensive farming operations in Cedar county, Nebraska, has been closely connected with the development of the agricultural resources of the county for many years. He has built up a good home for himself in section thirty-five, township twenty-nine, and has gained the highest respect of all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance. He is a gentleman of intelligence and strict integrity and his success is the result of his persistent efforts and honest dealings.
Mr. Papenhausen is a native of Hanover, Germany, where he first saw the light of day in 1867. With his parents, Herman and Mary Papenhausen, he came to America at a very tender age, the family coming by way of Bremen and Baltimore.
In 1886, Mr. Papenhausen came to Cedar county, Nebraska, where he bought the farm which has been his home ever since. He has made many improvements since buying the place, which have greatly enhanced its value. He now has an estate of four hundred acres in Nebraska, and three hundred and twenty acres in the state of Texas.
Of late years, the subscriber has paid considerable attention to stock raising, and has met with a great measure of success in that line.
Mr. Papenhausen was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Uken. Five children have been born to them, named respectively: Tena, now Mrs. A.. C. Bruce; William, Anna, Cora, who died at the age of eight years, and May.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Papenhausen are well known throughout the community and are respected by all with whom they have come in contact.
JAMES W. LAUB.
One of the leading old settlers of Merrick. county, Nebraska, is the gentleman whose name heads this review. His labors in this section have aided materially the development of the region and his name will occupy a prominent place in local history as one of those intimately identified with its growth and progress.
James W. Laub, son of John Philip and Anna Maria (Groff) Laub, was born in Peoria county, Illinois, June 18, 1854, and was eleventh in a family of thirteen children, of whom two borthers [sic] reside in Nebraska; one sister in Omaha; another sister in Kansas; the others are deceased. The father died in 1880 in Illinois, and the. mother in 1882 in Nebraska. Mr. Laub, our subject, was educated in his home schools and later engaged in farming. On August 9, 1879, Mr. Laub was married to Miss Clara H. Hunt of Illinois.
In September of 1879, our subject came to Merrick county, Nebraska, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres in section twelve, township thirteen, range seven, west, where he resided two years and then moved to Chapman, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land near town and continued farming. In 1906 he came to Clarks, Nebraska, engaging in general mercantile business. Mr. Laub is a successful man of affairs, and besides his Nebraska interests owns two hundred and forty acres of land in Idaho.
Mr. and Mrs. Laub have had four children: Claud L., who died in infancy; Percy W., married, has one child and lives in Clarks; Jessie H., resides at home; and Mildred E., who also lives under the parental roof.
Mr. and Mrs. Laub are among the earlier settlers of the county, and have passed through much of Merrick county's history, and are widely and favorably known. Mr. Laub has just recently sold his mercantile interests, and contemplates going to Montana.
A. J. KELLEY.
Mr. A. J. Kelley of Creighton is one of the thrifty sons of New England, who have come into the open west and won for himself a competency. He first set foot in Nebraska in August, 1877, settling two and a half miles north of Creighton. where he homesteaded a quarter section of land
and secured eighty acres through a timber claim. He came to Nebraska by way of Yankton, South Dakota, then the nearest railroad terminus. Here he bought a horse and rode to Creighton, passing but a few houses on the way, and those were of sod, there being no frame ones at that time.
The mill at Bazile Mills, was just completed, but the machinery was not yet installed. Mr. Kelley secured his claims and returned to Connecticut for his family, with whom he again reached Nebraska in October. They lived in a dugout that was on the homestead for two or three months until a frame house could be completed, the lumber having to be brought from Yankton, South Dakota, fifty miles away. Hay and corn were frequently used for fuel, coal being too far distant, and most of the timber along the creeks having been felled and hauled away. Mr. Kelley had worked at the butcher's trade in Connecticut and found work at that vocation in Nebraska when not busy on the ranch.
During the early days Bazile Mills was an outfitting place for freighting to the Black Hills. There was a pork packing establishment here of which Mr. Kelley was superintendent. Later when the railroad came through and this establishment was abandoned, he was offered the superintendency of a similar industry at Ulrich, South Dakota, but did not think best to be away from his ranch so much of the time.
Mr. Kelley was born at Willimantie, Connecticut, April 8, 1835, the son of Henry and Caroline (Sly) Kelley, natives of Connecticut, where the father died at the age of seventy. The mother came to the west and spent her declining years at the home of her son.
Mr. Kelley was married in Connecticut, March 28, 1861, to Miss Elizabeth H. Williams, also a native of Connecticut, who died in Nebraska, January 1, 1887. Four children were born to them, of whom Carrie W., survives.
Mr. Kelley became a member of the Masonic order, in 1872, in St. James lodge, number twenty-three, of Connecticut, but he now affiliates with Creighton lodge, number one hundred. With his daughter he is also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. He is an Odd Fellow, a Knight of Pythias, and a comrade of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Mr. Kelley joined the argonauts who were bound for California in February, 1852, and did not return to Connecticut until March, 1859, having met with a fair measure of success. On the outbreak of the civil war our subject enlisted in Company A, Eighteenth Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, August, 2, 1862, and served nearly three years, being stationed most of the time in the Shenandoah valley. He participated, among other engagements, in the battles of Fisher's Hill and Perryville and was honorably discharged July 7, 1865. During his service he was captured, and endured the horrors of Libby prison and also those of Belle Island in the James river. Here the rations of a few ounces of black beans and mouthfuls of bread a day reduced the boys to skeletons, many of them dying from starvation.
Mr. Kelley also suffered his share of hardships in the early days of Nebraska history. He was out in the blizzard of January 12, 1888, when he, with his son, a lad at school, made his way home in the thickest of it by keeping his eyes close to the ground, following a deeply worn road. After the winter of deep snow, the thaw caused high water in the spring of 1881. One of his sons went out to drive cattle home and so sudden was the thaw that a stream overflowed between him and the house. In attempting to cross, his horse unseated him and he had to swim ashore. The extremely high waters of the Missouri river flooded Niobrara, and Mr. Kelley with other neighbors drove to the river and helped rescue the unfortunate ones whose houses were partly submerged. These were brought back to the hills and housed as comfortably as possible until their own homes were habitable again. Such were the many experiences of pioneer life.
After living twenty-one years on the farm, Mr. Kelley, in December, 1897, removed to Creighton, where he has a comfortable cottage home, and is one of the honored citizens of the town.
SETH H. PENNEY.
Seth H. Penney, now deceased, was during his lifetime one of the most influential and wealthy men of Nance county, Nebraska. His fortune was accumulated by his individual energy and thrift, and his high station as a worthy citizen and representative agriculturalist was well deserved. Mr. Penney held numerous public offices, and was one of the oldest as well as most prominent pioneers of the county. His death occurred at Long Beach, California, on January 11, 1908, and his loss was a severe blow to the entire community of Fullerton, where for twenty-five years he had resided with his family.
Mr. Penney was born in Jefferson county, New York, September 27, 1833. He grew up there, receiving his early education in the common schools, and later attended the Adams seminary for three years. His time out of school was employed in helping his parents on the home farm, and at the age of twenty-three years he was married there to Elizabeth C. Wilcox, who was reared and educated in Jefferson county.
In 1859, Mr. Penney settled with his family in LaSalle county, Illinois, there engaging in farming, carrying on this work up to 1864, at which time he removed to Livingston county and opened a general mercantile business. Later he established the Odell Exchange Bank, and successfully carried on a thriving business for a number of years. He made that vicinity his home
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