up to 1883, then brought his family to Nebraska, locating at Fullerton and establishing himself in the general mercantile business. He was among the pioneer business men of the region, doing both a wholesale and retail business, and through his influence and personal aid did much in advancing the commercial and educational interests, of his county. He served as mayor of Fullerton during 1894 and 1895, and during the well-remembered drouth in the former year was one of the most liberal distributors in Nance county. For a number of years he served on the school and county boards, and gained a high reputation as a man of sterling character and integrity.
Our subject's wife died in 1886, leaving a family of five children, who are named as follows: Fred M., banker, lives at Omaha; Frank H., retired business man, residing in Lincoln, Nebraska; Edgar B., of Fullerton; Nina, who died in 1897, and Anna M., wife of Nelson Barber, also of Fullerton.
On June 22, 1892, Mr. Penney was married to Mrs. Lou Spurrier, a widow with one son, Chester E., at the home of Mrs. Spurrier's parents in Sandwich, Illinois. Mrs. Penney still occupies the homestead in Fullerton the greater part of her time, although she spends a part of each year, during the winter, in California. Mrs. Penney is one of the leading society and club women of her town, possessing a brilliant and charming personality. For many years she has been correspondent for the local press, and is a woman greatly admired by all.
ISAAC M. NEESE.
One of the oldest residents of northeastern Nebraska is found in Isaac Neese, of Butte, now retired from active farming and taking life easy in the quiet of the county seat.
Mr. Neese was born in Hamilton county, Iowa, on February 17, 1858. Before the railroad had been extended to Fort Des Moines, his father was obliged to haul his corn to that point to be ground for use. Isaac was reared in that vicinity, and was married there, following farming up to the time of his migration farther west.
In 1888, loading a few necessary goods in a wagon, and taking his young wife, he started through the country for the west. After camping out on the trip for fourteen days, he unhitched his team at the end of their last day's weary travel, at the ranch of a brother-in-law a few miles north of Stuart, arriving there on the fifth of October, 1888. They were indeed a weary party, as it was necessary for one of them to go on foot all the way to keep their three cows following close to the wagon. Besides Mr. and Mrs. Neese, there was a niece with them, who took her turn in driving the cows and giving the others a chance to ride when they became tired and footsore. During the last day of their journey, Mrs. Neese's shoes were left in a mudhole in which she had stepped, they being so worn that she could no longer keep them on her feet.
On arriving in Holt county they decided to remain for the winter, and in the spring Mr. Neese settled on a farm ten miles north of Springview, where they resided until coming to Boyd county in 1891. At that time he located on a homestead near Butte, started farming and stock raising, and remained there for the following twelve years. He then removed to the town, taking possession of a comfortable cottage, which is surrounded by a fine grove of trees, orchard and lawns, making it one of the most beautiful spots in Butte. The orchard contains many fine fruit trees and is not surpassed by any in this part of the state for its size.
Mrs. Neese's maiden name was Miss Sarah Curry, and her marriage to our subject took place in Hamilton county, Iowa, on February 27, 1878. They have one daughter, Hazel, who is a charming young woman, and is being given every advantage as to education and womanly accomplishments.
Mr. Neese was a democrat until his advent in Nebraska, at that time seeing hope in the populist doctrines, and since then following their principles. The entire family are regular attendants at the Free Methodist church.
On the arrival of the Neese family in Nebraska they erected a hay-roofed shack and. occupied the same until a substantial stone house was built. As soon as possible, Mr. Neese also built a barn, chicken house, and other farm buildings of the same material; and this gave his farm an appearance of prosperity far beyond the average settler's outfit in those early days, as the usual dwelling was of rude architecture in adobe, rough timber or logs. On coming into Boyd county their residence was a frame building much above the average in size and finish at the time. They worked hard and experienced many discomforts, Mrs. Neese doing more than a woman's share in winning their competency in the west, accompanying her husband on his trips for timber, and after the wood was cut and loaded, drove one of their two teams to their home, thus saving considerable time, and the wages of an extra man. On their removal from Keya Paha, to Boyd county she drove a four-horse team hitched to an immense load of grain, and in every way she has been a true helpmeet to her husband.
In the blizzard of 1888 Mr. Neese was able to reach his barn to feed the stock, by means of a long string of binder twine which he attached to the house, and on reaching the barn, made it fast, thus having a guide to return by. The plains were fairly well supplied with game, including deer and antelope, during the first few years, and Mr. Neese brought down one of the former occasionally, but they soon moved farther west when settlers came in more rapidly, leaving only the smaller game for the hunter.
During their residence in Keya Paha county, the "rustlers" carried on their raids, stealing horses and cattle in considerable numbers. There was little protection to be had from the courts, as Deadwood was the nearest point where cases could be adjudicated, so the settlers were forced to resort to the vigilance committees to aid them in ridding the country of these lawless characters and protect their property.
At the time of the Indian scare after the battle of Wounded Knee, Mr. Neese happened to be at Long Pine with a load of grist, and on hearing an account of the trouble, made haste to reach his home in order to protect his family from any attack.
To one seeing the peace, quiet and plenty of Nebraska in these prosperous days, he can hardly realize that but a score of years back, the country was a wilderness filled with wild beasts, and (in some cases) still wilder men; that there were no obstructing fences from the Missouri river to the mountains, and where fields of golden grain and meadows wave as far as the eye can see, that then there was nothing but barren plain, or wild grass, with hardly a tree to break the monotony of the dead level.
SYLVESTER Z. WILLIAMSON.
Among the old settlers of eastern Nebraska whose names will figure prominently in the history of this section of the country, the above named gentleman holds a foremost place.
Sylvester Z. Williamson, farmer, son of Thomas and Selina Parthena (Sawyer) Williamson, was born in Delaware county, Iowa, November 20, 1850, and was first in a family of seven children. He has one sister and a brother residing in Albion - a sketch of the brother appears on another page of this volume; one sister resides in Kansas, and the rest of the children are deceased. The mother is still living in Albion at eighty-two years of age, while the father died February 11, 1910, aged eighty-four years and twenty-five days.
On October 12, 1869 our subject was married to Miss Hattie Browder, a native of Iowa, and one son was born of this union, William A., who lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa, who is married and has had two sons, and one daughter - one of the sons being deceased.
Mr. Williamson has for the last twenty-five years been prominently connected with Boone county agricultural association, and was also one of the organizers, and chairman of the board of management, of the old settlers association of Boone county, being president in 1911. He was one of the originators, and the first president of the Albion Elevator and Lumber Company of Albion - a farmer's organization.
On March 12, 1884, Mr. Williamson was married to Miss Mary L. Mansfield of McHenry county, Illinois, of which union two children have been born, Edna L., and Roy M., both of whom reside under the parental roof.
During the years of 1902, 1903, 1904 and 1905 Mr. Williamson filled the office of road overseer, which he did very creditably and honestly. He is one of the earliest pioneers, having located before the county was fully organized, and has passed through all its history.
Mr. Williamson is widely and favorably known. He came to Boone county in May, 1871, and homesteaded the farm on which he has lived ever since. The homestead consisted of one hundred and sixty acres, and that is the amount of land he owns at the present time, although only eighty acres of his farm is of the original tract. He drove through from Delaware county, Iowa, when he first came, being four weeks on the trip. He made the round trip by wagon from Albion to Delaware county, the same year of his arrival here. He is now handling pure-bred English Shire horses - owns an imported stallion and filly, and does general farming. He also owns high-grade Shorthorn cattle.
D. R. THOMAS.
Among the more successful farmers and stockmen of Wayne county, Nebraska, may be mentioned D. R. Thomas, who, though not one of the early pioneers of the region, is well and favorably known throughout a wide territory. His pleasant home is well situated on section thirty, township twenty-seven, range two, and he has been very actively identified with the best interests of the county and state since locating there.
He was born at Coal Valley, Rock Island county, Illinois, February 20, 1866, and is a son of Morgan and Catherine Thomas, the father a native of Pennsylvania and the mother a native of Wales. They were parents of five children.
D. R. Thomas spent his boyhood in his native state and there received a good common school education. As a young man, he spent eleven years in Iowa, where he worked at farming from 1882 until 1893, and at this time gained the agricultural experience that has been of so much value to him since. In 1891, he purchased his present farm, to which he moved two years later, and set about improving it and bringing it to a higher state of productiveness and value. He is an energetic and practical farmer, carries on his work in an intelligent manner that insures the best results, and has been highly successful. He has won a good standing among his neighbors and is much respected in his community. He takes deep interest in all public matters and lends his support to every measure he considers will be of benefit to the majority of the people in the county and state. He is considered a substantial and reliable citizen, and
has a good reputation for honorable dealings in all matters of business, having many warm friends. His first purchase of land in Wayne county, was one hundred and sixty acres, and he has since added eighty acres more.
In 1896, Mr. Thomas was united in marriage to Miss Ida Edwards, a daughter of Richard and Ann Edwards, and a native of Iowa. Seven children have blessed this union, their names being: Dewey, Hayden, Wendell, Cecil, Laverne, Dale and Viola.
JOSEPH F. WOODS.
Joseph F. Woods, who before his demise was a prominent and substantial citizen of Colfax county, Nebraska, was a son of Horace P. and Jane (Mumford) Woods; he was a native of Ohio, his birth occurring in Stark county, July 1, 1842. He was third in a family of seven children, and has one sister, Mrs. Wallen Cameron, and one brother, Dr. J. D. Woods, residing in Schuyler, Nebraska, which was also the home of our subject at time of death; he has one sister living in Washington, D. C., and two sisters and one brother in Ohio; the parents are deceased, the father's death taking place on March 4, 1892, and the mother having passed away on September 2, 1854, both deaths occurring in the state of Ohio.
Mr. Woods grew to manhood in his native state, having received a liberal education, and in 1862 enlisted in company G, Eighty-seven Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and while serving in this company was captured at Harper's Ferry and taken prisoner, but was soon parolled. In June of 1863, he re-enlisted, serving until close of war. He was mustered out in Nashville, Tennessee, August 23, 1865, the time having been spent in garrison duty and scouting.
In the spring of 1869 Mr. Woods came to Colfax county, Nebraska, homesteading one hundred and sixty acres of land seven miles northwest of Schuyler. Owing to ill health, Mr. Woods left the farm in the fall of 1873 and moved to Schuyler where he built a fine home which still remains the home place. Mr. Woods served on the city school board; also as postmaster of Schuyler for twelve years, and for many years engaged in the real estate business. At the time of his death he was a member of Phil Sheridan Post, Grand Army of Republic.
On January 4, 1872, Mr. Woods was united in marriage to Mrs. Maria Curry Matheson, who was born in Nova Scotia, and came to Nebraska in 1870 with her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Woods have had four children: Anna, wife of Frank Tobin, resides in Canada, they having four children; Etta V., is the wife of John C. Sprecher, they having three children, and live in Schuyler; Alma, whose husband, E. Folda, is a banker in Omaha, has one child; Horace C., is a resident of Los Angeles, California.
Mr. Woods died January 18, 1888, at his Schuyler home, deeply mourned by hosts of friends and relatives. Mr. Woods was a self-made man, prosperous and successful, interested in all pertaining to the upbuilding of his home state and county. He was one of the earliest settlers in this part of Nebraska, and was widely and favorably known.
Mrs. Woods' parents, Mr. and Mrs. Curry were of Scotch-English stock, and came from Nova Scotia to Nebraska in 1870. Mr. Curry was a sea captain and a man of large means; he died in 1883, in Schuyler, where his wife also died in 1879. Mrs. Woods still lives in the old home place, surrounded by a large circle of friends.
HON. GEORGE H. McGEE.
In compiling a history of the representative farmers and ranchmen of Antelope county, Nebraska, a prominent place accorded the name of George H. McGee. For many years past he has been engaged in agricultural pursuits in Antelope county, and has done his full share as an old settler towards the development of the better interests of his community, and enjoys the respect and esteem of all who know him. He has a comfortable home on section thirteen, township twenty-five, range eight, where he and his family reside surrounded by a host of good and true friends, and many acquaintances.
Mr. McGee came to Antelope county, May 29, 1871, from Dubuque, Iowa, which was his birth place, that event having taken place September 30, 1848. He is the son of James and Martha McGee; his father was a native of county Armagh, Ireland, born May 21, 1808, and grew to his young manhood days in the land of his nativity; in June, 1831, he came to America, embarking on the sail boat "Adelaide," and after a voyage of eight weeks from Liverpool landed in the new world. The mother's parents, were John and Elizabeth Haggard.
George H. McGee lived in his native state until attaining his young manhood, when after deciding to start out in life for himself, he left the parental roof May 15, 1871, going to Sioux City, and from thence driving to Clearwater Creek, Antelope county, where he engaged in the lumber business, running a saw mill, and did surveying. At the time he came here the nearest postoffice was Norfolk. Mr. McGee creditably filled the office of county surveyor for Antelope county for many years, serving from 1872 to 1882. From 1886 to 1900 he operated in connection with farming a flouring and grist mill upon his farm.
In 1882 Mr. McGee took up a homestead claim in section thirteen, township twenty-five, range eight, and also took a tree claim in section
thirty-five, Blaine township. He now has twelve hundred and forty acres of good land in addition to which he has forty acres of school land, forty acres of land in Dubuque county, Iowa, and has thirty acres of trees on his home property, which is known as the "McGee Ranch." Stockraising is Mr. McGee's principal business, in which he takes a commendable pride, having about one hundred and fifty head of fine Polled Durham cattle, seventy head of horses and eleven mules.
Mr. McGee, like others of those sturdy pioneers who were the advance guard of civilization in the far west, experienced all the hardships and discouragements incident to those days. In the years of 1873 and 1874, the crops were entirely destroyed by the grasshopper raids; in the memorable blizzard of 1888, Mr. McGee lost a few head of sheep and in various other ways suffered losses which at the time were severely felt.
Mr. McGee was married in 1881 to Miss Adelaide Van Ostram, a native of Wayne county, New York, born June 16, 1861; her parents were early settlers in Nebraska, locating there in 1874, in Clearwater township, Antelope county. Mr. and Mrs. McGee are the parents of nine children, namely: Emma L., Stella E., wife of Ernest Miller, now living in Blaine township, they having one child, named Mary Adelaide; Georgie Anna; Edward C., Susie M., Minnie M., James E., David N., and Frank.
Mr. McGee is a popular man in his community and state. He was the first county assessor elected in Antelope county. First election for that office being held in 1903. He has held the office of county supervisor six years and was re-elected to office 1910; was chairman of board of supervisors for three years; served as representative of his district in the Nebraska legislature for one term. He taught school in Iowa in the early days. He was one of the organizers of his school district, number six, in 1872, which history goes to show the high esteem and popularity in which Mr. McGee is and has always been held by his fellowmen.
A long and useful life closed the day James Lanman, late of Plainview, Nebraska, breathed his last. He entered this world on the 4th day of October, 1830, near the town of Rome, Indiana.
His parents, James and Elizabeth Lanman, were of old southern stock that originated in the Carolinas, and lived successively in Tennessee and Kentucky, in their migration to Ohio and Indiana. They lived in the region at so early a date that they were frequently harrassed [sic] by the Indians in their attacks on the frontier settlements along the Ohio river. Mr. Lanman was the fourth in the line of descendants to be named James, his great-grandfather bearing that name also.
When an infant, Mr. Lanman's parents moved to Illinois, living for a season or two in the vicinity of Springfield, and in 1834, as soon as the Indians had been pacified, after the Black Hawk war, moved across the Mississippi river and settled near Fairfield, Iowa.
When of age, Mr. Lanman moved to Wapello county, Iowa, where he resided until his marriage, when, with his bride, he migrated to what was then the frontier, the line between Monroe and Appanoose counties, living from time to time in each county. He was living here when the call to arms prompted him to enlist for service in the war of the rebellion.
Leaving his wife and little ones at Moravia, he enlisted in Company C, Thirty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, January 4, 1864. His regiment was assigned to service in Texas, and here, after a battle in which the confederates outnumbered them, the regiment with two others was captured and marched on scant rations some seventy-five miles to Shreveport, Louisiana, and held prisoners there. After ten months in the prison pens, they were exchanged at New Orleans, and shortly after the war closed, when the weary Soldiers were sent home, received their discharge. at Davenport, Iowa, June 8, 1865.
Rejoining his family, Mr. Lanman engaged in farming in Appanoose county, Iowa, and in connection therewith, ran a small grist and saw mill until he moved to Nebraska in 1868.
Loading their possessions in a wagon the young pioneer and his family journeyed overland, camping by the wayside and, after days in the open, settled in Douglas county. Four years later, he proceeded further into the state and became a resident of Pierce county, Nebraska, where the autumn before he had filed on a homestead five miles northeast from Plainview and at the same time had pre-empted eighty acres, under a soldier's warrant, to the east of Plainview, a tract now adjoining the town. Through trickery, his homestead was lost after three years, but his pre-emption was retained, and he resided on this tract until about 1878, when he moved into the village and made this his home until his death, February 19, 1904.
The winter of their migration to Pierce county was memorable for the deep snow, and although the white blanket lay thick on the ground, they were comfortable as they journeyed along in their two wagons, in which beds were fitted, and in one a kitchen arranged. They had many hardships in their new home, but escaped most of the grasshopper raids. To save part of their cabbage, Mrs. Lanman once tied some of the heads up in cloth to keep the pests from devouring them.
Mr. Lanman was married in Appanoose county, Iowa, November 12, 1853, to Miss Sarah Sumler, who was born in Spencer county, Indiana,
November 25, 1835. Her parents, Seward and Elizabeth (Cummins) Sumler, were natives of Kentucky and Indiana, respectively. The family had lived in the Ohio valley for a generation or two and participated in the Indian wars that accompanied the settlement of the great northwest. The great Grandfather Sumler was killed by Indians in one of their raids, but not before he had made a valiant fight, and had taken five lives for his one. A year or so before, his wife had been scalped by them and left for dead, but she attained a century of life, and was full of stories of the terrors of the wilderness that beset the early settlers. When Mrs. Lanman's father who was one of the earliest settlers in Appanoose county, migrated to the west about 1850, he brought his family in covered wagons. He died there, and later the mother died at her daughter's home in Nebraska.
To Mr. and Mrs. Lanman four children were born, two of whom are living: Reuben, who was first married to Miss Amy Brower, who died, leaving four children, Olsey B., Frank, Roy, and Amy; and who was then married to Miss Mary Tepner in Nebraska, they are living at Norfolk with three children, Merril, Lester and Hester, the latter being twins; Isabel is the wife of Dominicus H. Neal, living twelve miles south of Plainview.
After coming to Plainview, Mr. Lanman engaged in the ice business and for ten years was in the local mail service. Later he was interested in the livery business with his son, Reuben, and others.
The Lanman family were living in town during the blizzard of 1888, at which time the son-in-law, D. H. Neal, proved himself to be a hero. He made his way through the suffocating storm to the school house for the younger ones and brought several of the neighbors' children with him, and although only about a hundred yards were traversed one of them lost hold of the next ones hand and came near being lost. Mrs. Neal kept calling to him through the blast or he might have drifted past the house with his charges. The hardships of those early days are almost past believing by the younger generation.
Our subject, Mr. James Lanman, was a democrat in politics and a member of the Grand Army of Republic.
Christian Sorensen was born in Denmark on February 6, 1838, and came to America at the age of twenty-two years. His first location was in Wisconsin, where he followed farm work for about two years, and was there married to Anna Margaret Hansen, on August 24, 1862. Only a few days after their marriage the young man enlisted in company B, twenty-eighth Wisconsin Infantry, and remained with his company which experienced hard service up to the close of the war, receiving his honorable discharge in the fall of 1865. Mr. Sorensen had a splendid record as a soldier, and while he did not participate in any great battles, he spent considerable of his time doing duty as a hospital nurse, and in this way was able to help many poor fellow-sufferers to regain their health which had been shattered in following their country's fortunes of war. He did, however, take an active part in a number of minor engagements, while serving under General Sherman's command.
After leaving the army Mr. Sorensen returned to Wisconsin and establish a hop raising business, which he continued in for about six years then with his wife and three sons, came to Howard county, Nebraska, arriving here in the spring of 1872. He took up a homestead on section eight, township thirteen, range eleven, erected a rough building for a dwelling, and started to develop a farm and home, occupying this shanty for a good many years and during that period passed through the usual pioneer experiences of the region in those days. He proved up on the land, and later purchased two hundred and forty acres of railroad land on section five, which he also built up in good shape, following farming continuously up to 1896, then retired and with his family moved to Dannebrog where he owned a very fine home. He engaged in truck gardening, which work he carried on successfully up to the time of his death, which occurred on April 27, 1907. He was survived by his widow and five children, whom he left well provided for in worldly goods.
During Mr. Sorensen's residence on his farm he took an active part in neighborhood affairs, serving as moderator of school district number seventeen, for a number of years, also held the office of road supervisor for some time.
Anna Margaret Sorensen, widow of our subject, is also a native of Denmark, coming to America with her parents in 1857. They settled in Wisconsin, where they went through the usual pioneer experiences, but succeeded in building up a good home and valuable property. Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen were the parents of seven children, five of whom are now living, all filling honorable careers in life. One daughter, Rosa, remains at home with her mother, while the rest are married and settled in homes of their own. Their names are as follows: Charles Augustus, Hans Edward, Louis Henry and William Frederick. The first and last mentioned are in Bellingham, Washington, Hans Edward in Phelps county, Nebraska, and Louis Henry lives on an eighty acre tract belonging to the old farm. Jens Laurets and Rasmine Christina are deceased - the former at thirteen years of age and the latter at twelve.
J. S. WISDOM.
Among the leading old settlers of Cedar county, the gentleman above mentioned and his wife deserve a foremost place. Mr. and Mrs. Wisdom have passed nearly all of their wedded life on the farm here, as they came to this locality just two years after their marriage. Mr. Wisdom has aided in no slight degree in the development of the commercial and agricultural resources of the region and has done his full share in the betterment of the community.
Mr. Wisdom is a native of the state of Iowa, having been born there in 1856. His father, M. B. Wisdom, at a very early date came to Iowa, being one of the the earliest settlers there.
In 1880, Mr. Wisdom was united in marriage to Miss Laura Shearer, and two years later, as has already been related, the couple came to Cedar county to make their permanent home. Mr. Wisdom purchased a fine piece of land, which is still his home. Since his occupation of the place, the farm and its buildings have been much improved, and the estate is now a very valuable one.
During the long period Mr. Wisdom has been farming here, he has met with many and varied experiences, in common with other pioneers. In comparison with many, his losses have been more severe than those which usually fell to the lot of the settlers. Like them, he lost heavily by grasshoppers, blizzards, and prairie fires, and in addition, on the fourteenth of June, 1890, he had the misfortune to have his house and almost all of the farm buildings wrecked by a cyclone which passed through that locality. His farm suffered most, as it lay directly in the path of the terrible storm.
Mr. and Mrs. Wisdom are the parents of eight children, named as follows: Orville C., Daisy, Nellie, now Mrs. George Morton; Ona, Mable, Murrell, Ivan and Dean. Orville C. is an attorney-at-law located at Emerson, and Daisy, the eldest daughter, has entered the professions as a trained nurse. On another page will be found pictures showing the residence and family.
Residence and Family Group of J. S. Wisdom.
ORLANDO K. PHILBRICK.
As an old settler of Valley county, Nebraska, and an agriculturist of untiring energy and perseverance and a worthy citizen, the gentleman here named needs no introduction to the people of his locality. He has spent some thirty years in their midst, has gained a host of staunch friends, and incidentally acquired numerous acres of good land and placed himself in a position to enjoy the latter part of his life in peace and comfort. He resides on section twenty-three, township twenty, range fourteen, where he and his family are surrounded by a host of good friends.
Orlando K. Philbrick, son of Harrison and Jane (Closson) Philbrick, was born in Delaware county, Ohio, April 2, 1845; he was fifth in the family of eight children, and has three sisters living in Ohio, one in Iowa, one in Illinois, and another in Colorado; another child is deceased, as are also the parents, the father having passed away in 1872, and the mother in 1852, their deaths occurring in Delaware county, Ohio.
Mr. Philbrick received his education in the home schools, and at the age of seventeen years, on August 22, 1862, enlisted in Company H, One Hundred and Twenty-first Ohio Infantry, serving one year. He participated in the battle at Perryville, and a few months later was taken prisoner, paroled to Camp Chase, Ohio, and owing to illness he was discharged. On February 1, 1865, he enlisted in Company G, Fourth Ohio Cavalry, serving until the close of war. He received his discharge about July 25, 1865, in Nashville, Tennessee, and after the war returned to Ohio, where he engaged in farming.
On October 4, 1867, Mr. Philbrick was united in marriage to Miss Mary M. Stanton, in Delaware City, Ohio, near which place she was born, a daughter of Frances and Margaret (Wooden) Stanton, natives of the states of New York and Virginia, respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Philbrick have had ten children, namely: Claud O., who is married, has three children, and resides on the home farm; Mary J., living at home; Frank D., who is married, has four children, and lives in Garfield county, Nebraska; Ray A., resides at home; Lulu M., wife of John Dever, they having three children, and reside in Grand Island; Maud A., at home; Scott M., at home; and Dudley A., Florence, and Ben H., who also reside under the parental roof.
Mrs. Philbrick's father died in 1852 in Indiana; and her mother passed away in 1889, in Ohio; she has a brother residing in the state of Michigan, two sisters in Ohio, and another brother in Garfield, Nebraska.
In 1869 Mr. Philbrick migrated from Ohio to Washington county, Illinois, remaining one year, then moved to Randolph county, Missouri, where he followed the occupation of farming near Moberly five years, before going to Shelby county, Iowa. In the spring of 1882 he came to Valley county, Nebraska, where he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land seven miles southwest of Ord, residing there a couple of years; he then purchased six hundred and forty acres in section twenty-three, township twenty, range fourteen, which is still the home place, and which is now a fine stock and grain farm, well improved. On this farm Mr. Philbrick built a fine ten room residence in 1907, lighted by gas and having hot and cold water on every floor.
With his sons he owns one thousand and twenty acres of ranch land in Garfield county, on which he runs a fine bunch of cattle.
The Philbricks are a prosperous and successful family, owing seventeen hundred acres of fine land. They are an old pioneer family, and
have passed through all the trying experiences and hardships incidental to frontier life, and are widely and favorably known. Mr. Philbrick has had the usual "soddy" experience of the west, having lived on his present farm in a large one fifty-two feet in length, one of the largest in the country.
Mr. Philbrick, as before stated, is a prominent farmer and ranchman of this part of Nebraska, and has served as director of school district number forty-five for years. He is a republican in politics and a member of the Grand Army of Republic.
J. A. KOST.
J. A. Kost, a prominent farmer and stock man living on section thirty-one, township twenty-four, range one, is well known throughout Madison county, Nebraska, as a progressive and successful agriculturist, highly esteemed by all with whom he has had to do.
Mr. Kost is a native of Illinois state, his birth occurring there in the year 1862; he is a son of Adam and Mary Kost, both of whom were born in Germany; the mother died in Norfolk, Nebraska, September 28, 1903, and our subject's father died June, 15, 1911, at Sturgis, South Dakota, at the ripe old age of eighty-one years. Our subject's father came to America in 1852, sailing from Hamburg for New York on a sail boat, and was on the sea seven weeks. He came to America on hearing such glowing accounts of the new world where a poor man had a better chance to get along in the world, and where land could be had for almost nothing by proving up on it. After landing in the United States, he was married to Anna Marie Voltz at Galena, Illinois, in 1856. They resided for twelve years at Galena, Illinois, and from there moved to Clinton, Iowa, Where they lived four years.
In 1872 the family including six children came to Madison county, Nebraska, locating four miles west of Battle Creek where they took a homestead. While living here in the early days, the family experienced many hardships and discouragements, and suffered many losses through the many different causes of grasshopper pests, drouths, prairie fires, etc. The first few years the entire crops of those seasons were completely desroyed [sic] by the ravages made by the grasshoppers that came in great clouds and ate everything in their path. This made it very hard for the family, and the father being a plasterer by trade went to Des Moines, Iowa, where he secured employment to get money for his family in Nebraska. But those days have passed into history, and although they never can be forgotten, they have been deeply buried in memory and other and more recent incidents have dimmed their vividness.
In 1887, Mr. Kost, our subject, moved onto his father's farm which was bought from Mr. Douglas Priest, it being located, as before stated, in section thirty-one township twenty-four, range one, where he "batched" it two years; on this land he planted a few trees which now have developed into a fine grove.
In 1890 Mr. Kost was married to Miss Matilda Kent, and Mr. and Mrs. Kost had four children born to them, whose names are as follows: Mary, Rose, Florence and Irene. In 1899 Mrs. Kost passed away to the great beyond, survived by her husband and children, and deeply mourned by many friends and relatives.
In 1908 Mr. Kost bought the farm known as the Patty Macken homestead, which he now owns. Mr. Kost and family live in a pleasant home, where they are surrounded by a host of good friends and neighbors, and Mr. Kost is highly esteemed and respected by all who know him.
FRED H. WITTEMYER.
Fred H. Wittemyer is a large landowner of Custer county and well-known as a successful stockman and farmer. Although a comparatively young man, he has passed through, many important stages of Nebraska's history and in his youth met the discouragements and trials of pioneer life. He was born in Elkhart county, Indiana, January 8, 1876 the younger of the two children of John and Margaret (Smith) Wittemyer. The other child, a daughter, lives in Arkansas. The father, a native of Germany, came to America in 1850, and the mother was born in Michigan. He enlisted in Company E, Seventy-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, serving three and one-half years. He settled in Custer county in 1884 and died in Sargent, August 31, 1906. His widow now lives in Sargent.
Mr. Wittemyer went with the family to Iowa when he was an infant and four years later, in 1884, on to Custer county. He was reared on a farm there and educated in local schools. In the fall of 1893 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on sections seven and twelve of township eighteen, range eighteen, and on August 25, 1895, at Broken Bow, Nebraska, he was united in marriage with Mrs. Hattie (Lovejoy) Wittemyer, widow of Charles E. Wittemyer, who was born in Orford, New Hampshire, and came with her parents to Custer county in early life, She is a daughter of John H. Lovejoy and by her first marriage had a daughter, Gyneth Elizabeth Wittemyer. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Wittemyer: Florence H., John, Jessie, Leonard, George and Beulah.
Mr. Wittemyer and wife established their first home on the farm he had purchased, and he has prospered in his operations so that he has been able to retire from farm work and since 1908 has lived in Sargent. He is one of the younger men among the early settlers and is widely and favor-
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