Huber company, was able, to meet the different payments on or before the day they fell due. He has done remarkably well, and is credited with having handled some of the largest contracts ever let in the state.
Mr. Mallory has been married twice, his first wife being Lida Smith, of Iowa, she dying at Ashland, Nebraska, in 1887, survived by her husband and three children. George Mallory, the eldest child; Laura, wife of Frank Bird, and Nellie, wife of William Cornell, all live in Denver.
Mr. Mallory's second wife was Mrs. Nellie Gould Ernst, widow of Joe Ernst, of Omaha, she having one son by her former husband. Of three sons and three daughters born of this second union, five survive, Ernst, Harry, Raymond, Cecelia and May, the first two being associated with their father in his latest enterprise.
The Mallory home in Pierce is a very comfortable and homelike place, much of it being fashioned by Mr. Mallory himself, and here he finds rest and a sense of security during his leisure hours, enjoying to the full this comfort after so many years of toil and ceaseless care. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and Ben Hur lodges at Creighton. Politically he is a republican.
Hans Obermiller, an old and highly esteemed resident of Kelso precinct, Howard county, enjoys a comfortable home and many friends by virtue of an upright life and honorable career. He has endured many hardships during his pioneer life in Nebraska, in spite of all securing his fine property and success through varied experiences on the frontier of Nebraska.
Mr. Obermiller was born in Germany on January 28, 1837, and lived in his home vicinity until he was twenty-five years of age, then came to the United States, where he hoped to carve a name and fortune for himself, which he has done far beyond his early hopes. His first location was in Kankakee county, Illinois, where be spent two years, and then for six months was in the Illinois Central railroad depot in Chicago, after which he settled in Omaha, coming to that city in May, 1865, and remaining for two years, part of the time in a dairy and the balance in a brewery.
He next moved to Grand Island, Hall county, making that his home for fifteen years, coming to Howard county in 1882. Here he purchased a tract of land on section twenty-three, township eleven, range twelve, started farming and succeeded in building up a good home, remaining on the place for a number of years. He carried on mixed farming and stock raising in a successful manner, becoming one of the well known men of the locality and accumulating a nice property during the time of his residence here. He retired from active farm work in 1902, at which time he settled in a comfortable residence in Farwell, where he now resides with his family. He was married in Grand Island, September 10, 1866, to Margaret Larson, and they became the parents of thirteen children, the four youngest born, in Howard county. Eight are living and all filling honorable positions in life. They are named as follows: Minnie, John, Fred, Dora, Carrie, Albert, Harry and Freida. All the children are married except the last two, who live at home. The family is prominent in their locality, and enjoy a large circle of friends.
Albert A. Obermiller, the sixth son of the living children of Hans Obermiller, subject of this sketch, was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, on December 5, 1881, and when but a few months old came with his parents to Howard county, where he has received his entire education in the precinct schools. He assisted his father in carrying on the home farm up to his twenty-second year, at which time he started for himself, purchasing some land on section twelve, township fourteen, range twelve. This he has improved in fine shape, developing a fine farm, and is engaged quite extensively in the stock business. Mr. Obermiller is a young man. of energetic habits, industrious and capable, making a. success of whatever he undertakes to do.
In January, 1903, Mr. Obermiller was married to Isabelle Irvine, who is a daughter of John Irvine, a prominent pioneer of this section. Mr. and Mrs. Obermiller have four children: Leonard, George, Mildred and Harold, and the family occupy a pleasant and comfortable home.
JAMES W. THOMPSON.
One of the earlier settlers of Custer county, Nebraska, was James W. Thompson, who has for several years been retired from more active life. He owns a comfortable home in Arcadia, where he resides, but still owns his farm in Custer county. Mr. Thompson was born in Wilmington, Will county, Illinois, August 8, 1850, the second of the six children of David and Helen (Wright) Thompson, the father, a native of Scotland, came to America in 1848; the mother was born in England. Both died in Wilmington, Illinois, the mother in 1855, and the father in 1902. Of their children, one son was buried at sea, one daughter lives in Lockport, Illinois, one daughter in Michigan, one in Montana and one in South Dakota.
Mr. Thompson was educated in his native state and there reached maturity, and after leaving school learned the trade of carriage painting. He was married at Wilmington, Illinois, May 1, 1872, to Sarah L. Johnson, a native of Mexico, New York. In the fall of 1879 Mr. Thompson, in company with his friend, Henry Matthew, of England, drove through to Nebraska and both young men located on home-
steads, Mr. Matthew in Valley county, and Mr. Thompson across the line in Custer county, each having one hundred and sixty acres of land. In the following spring (1880) Mr. Thompson's wife and their one child, a daughter, joined him on the homestead farm, which was their home for many years. Mrs. Thompson died August 22, 1907, while on a visit to her daughter in Mitchell, Nebraska, leaving her husband and two children to mourn her loss. The daughter, Marian, is the wife of George Whitman, of Mitchell, and they have three children. The son, David Clyde, the present postmaster of Arcadia, married Flora Brown.
About 1898 Mr. Thompson retired from the farm, removed to Arcadia, erected a good home there, and has since occupied it. He owns his original homestead on section twenty-four, township seventeen, range seventeen, of Custer county, which is well improved and devoted to stock raising and the cultivation of grain, and also owns some mining property in Colorado. He also has various other interests and is an enterprising business man. He was identified with the pioneer history of Custer county and became well and favorably known in that locality. He has made many friends in Arcadia, and stands well in the community where he now lives. In politics he was a democrat in early life, but of late years is a republican. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.
After coming to Custer county, Mr. Thompson first lived in a dugout, which he found on the place when purchased. This was used as a barn after building a good sod house on the hill the next fall. During one of the severe blizzards, when it was impossible to get the stock out to water, a well was dug in the corner of the barn. Game was plentiful in the early days, and Mr. Thompson killed one deer; at one time be drove past two lying down in the grass, but had no fire arms with him. With many others in the neighborhood, he was at a sale January 12, 1888; noting the coming change in the weather, he hastened home to get in a load of bay, which he had just succeeded in doing when the storm broke over them.
RYLAND F. BRUCE.
In reviewing the history of Madison county, Nebraska, the citizens who have contributed to her welfare must he given special mention, and prominent among this number is the gentleman above named.
Ryland F. Bruce, retired farmer, son of Rufus and Mary (Hovey) Bruce, was born in Lamoille county, Vermont, December 19, 1837. He was the youngest of three children, one sister, deceased, and one brother, who lives in Vermont. The parents are deceased, both having passed away in their native state of Vermont, the father in June, 1874, and the mother in July, 1879.
Mr. Bruce received his education in his home state, and engaged in farming. On April 2, 1859, he was joined in holy wedlock, to Sarah M. Lovejoy of Vermont. Four children were born of this union, whose names are as follows: Abby M., married to E. J. Rix, has three children and lives in Madison county; Mary, died in infancy; Emma A., died in 1887; Nellie M., married to W. H. Banner, has one child and lives in Norfolk Junction.
In 1869, Mr. Bruce left Vermont, going to Iowa, where he engaged in farming until 1887, when he located in Madison county, Nebraska, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in the northwest quarter, section thirteen, township twenty-four, range one, west, which remained the home place until 1903.
On March 13, 1889, Mr. Bruce was married to Mrs. Rosetta J. Smith, of New York state. Mrs. Bruce's father was a Baptist minister who died in 1892, in Des Moines, Iowa. Her mother died, in 1887, in Waterloo, Iowa. Mrs. Bruce has one brother living in Oklahoma, and has one son by a former marriage, Dwight A. Smith, who resides in the state of Washington.
Our subject, Mr. Bruce, has been an active christian since 1855, and for about seven years served as one of the trustees of the First Congregational church in Norfolk and is also a deacon. In 1903, be retired from the farm and moved to Norfolk where he built a good home, his present dwelling place. Mr. Bruce owns a number of good city properties, and has been prosperous and successful, and is widely and favorably known. He is an independent voter.
David McCracken, living retired from active life in Broken Bow, Nebraska, is one of the earlier settlers of Custer county and still owns his original homestead. He also owns some city property and is widely and favorably known in his part of the state. Mr. McCracken and his wife have both always been much interested in the progress and welfare of the county and they have passed through the various experiences of the pioneers in the region. Mr. McCracken was born in Randolph county, North Carolina, January 6, 1830, and in early childhood accompanied his parents to Indiana. He was the second of twelve children and has one brother in Indiana and a sister in Michigan, several of the children being deceased. Both parents were natives of North Carolina and the father died in Missouri in 1866, and the mother in Indiana in about 1896.
Mr. McCracken received his education in the country schools of Indiana and as a young man engaged in farming on his own account. On August 17, 1851, he was married, in Grant county, Indiana, to Esther Allen, a native of Wayne county, that state, and they began housekeeping on a farm. In 1866 he took his family to Mis-
souri and remained there a year, then returned to Indiana. About 1885-86 he brought his wife and five children to Custer county, Nebraska, and secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land on section twenty-three, township seventeen, range twenty-one, which was the home place for many years. This farm was well improved and brought to a high state of cultivation and Mr. McCracken met with success as a farmer. In 1908 he retired from the farm and erected a modern residence in Broken Bow, which has since been the family home.
Thirteen children were born to Mr. McCracken and wife namely: Asenath, deceased, is survived by her husband, Jacob Sloderback, and two children; Mary A., wife of J. J. Pickett, of Broken Bow, has four children; Eli J. and Levi, twins, the former father of three children and living in Indiana, and the latter father of two children and living in Oregon; Sarah E., wife of Henry Barber, of Howard county, Indiana, has one child; Rachel J., wife of Frank Thomasson, living near Broken Bow, has two children; John N., of Idaho, has six children; Alice, wife of Henry Surface, of Peru, Indiana, has three children; Robert and Arilda R., twins, the former living in Indiana and the father of one child, and the latter, who lives at Broken Bow, is the wife of Orley Freel and has four children; Clara, wife of Lensley Crew, of Montana, has three children; Drusilla, wife of Arthur Stone, of Indiana, has two children; Thomas E., died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. McCracken are well known and highly respected in Broken Bow and vicinity and have a wide circle of friends.
E. W. JONES.
For more than twenty years the gentleman named above has been known to the citizens of Wayne county, and he has gained a high station as a citizen and farmer. Strictly speaking, he is not one of the old settlers - yet he has, since his residence here, been closely identified with the development of the agricultural interests of the community.
Mr. Jones is a native of Wales, and was born in 1850, in Meirionith Shire, his parents, John and Mary Jones, being natives of that region. It was here that Mr. Jones spent his childhood and early manhood years, and received his education. His father was a miller by trade, and the subscriber followed the same occupation in youth and young manhood.
When our subject was thirty years old, he determined to emigrate to the new world, which undoubtedly offered greater opportunities for the young man than his native country. He came first to Vermont, then to Wisconsin, and in 1882, to Red Oak, Iowa, where he remained until 1890.
In this year he again moved, coming this time to Wayne county, Nebraska, where he bought a quarter-section of land from T. C. Humphrey, which has remained in his possession since that date. He has made many improvements to the estate, which is now among the best in the county.
November 18, 1890, Mr. Jones was united in marriage to Miss Anna Thomas of Cardigan Shire, South Wales. One child, Mattie, has blessed their union. A nephew of Mr. Jones, Robert E. Jones, came to live with his uncle when six years of age, and has since that time made his home here. He now does practically all the work on the farm, and seems almost the same to Mr. and Mrs. Jones as one of their own children.
The above named gentleman has for over thirty-two years been closely identified with the farming and commercial interests of Merrick county, Nebraska, and has watched the development and growth of this section from the early days.
Levi Cover, son of Aaron and Mary (Derilbiss) Cover, was born in Frederick county, Maryland, March 24, 1837, and was sixth of ten children. He has two brothers and one sister residing in Iowa; one sister in Kansas; one brother in California; the parents are deceased. When seven years of age our subject went with his parents to Ohio, where he received his education in the home schools, and later learned the carpenters' trade.
On March 2, 1862, Mr. Cover was married to Miss Melissa Miller, who was born in Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Cover made their first home in Iowa county, Iowa, following his trade until 1879, when they came to Merrick county, Nebraska, homesteading one hundred and sixty acres of land in section twenty-four, township fourteen, range six, which remained the home place about ten years; and afterwards moved to Central City where they purchased a good home where they now reside. Mr. Cover was prosperous and successful, and owned at one time over three hundred acres besides good city property. He has served as director of his school district number twenty-seven for some years. Mr. and Mrs. Cover have had seven children, five of whom are living: Elmer E., deceased in 1874; Harry, married, has three children and resides in Aurora, Nebraska; Amanda May, wife of E. Yager, has one child and lives in Colorado; Aggie B., wife of John Roth, lives in Kansas City, Missouri; Walter, married, has three children and lives in Scotts Bluffs, Nebraska; Zora E., wife of Frank Hannum, has one child and resides in Gothenburg, Nebraska; and Harley, who died in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Cover were among the early settlers of Merrick county, have passed through all the trying experiences and hardships incidental to pioneer life, and are widely and favorably known.
Frank Etter, one of Niobrara's successful farmers, has been a resident of the state since 1885. He had come to the state in 1882, remaining four or five months, but returned to Iowa, thinking at that time that prospects were better there. In 1885, he returned to Knox county and filed on a pre-emption claim east of Niobrara, to which he perfected title, and sold. He next lived for a season on school land southwest of town, and in 1887 became a resident of Niobrara, where he has resided since. For three years he conducted a barber shop, and later was employed at various kinds of labor. Of late years, he has secured farming lands east of town, and has been a most successful farmer.
Mr. Etter was born in Cass county, Indiana, January 9, 1859, and there grew to manhood. His parents, Jacob and Susanna (Richards) Etter, lived and died in their Indiana home. Mr. Etter first came west in November of 1881, and remained in Iowa until the fall of 1882, when he migrated to Knox county, Nebraska. He stayed until the spring of 1883, and then returned to O'Brien county, Iowa, and worked on a ranch during the summer. In the fall, he went to Benton county, Iowa, where he met the lady who later became his wife. He was married in the summer of 1884 in Benton county, Iowa, and in April of the next year moved to Dell Rapids, South Dakota, remaining until September of that year, when he settled in Knox county, as before stated, and he has had no cause to regret his coming to this locality.
Mr. Etter was married in Benton county, July 4, 1884, to Miss Minnie Breneman, who was born in Dubuque, a daughter of John and Mary (Blodgett) Breneman. The mother died when Mrs. Etter was three years of age, leaving only a faint recollection in the mind of the child. Of the six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Etter, five are living, and their attainments in school have been a source of worthy pride to their parents: Bessie, the eldest, graduated first from the Niobrara high schools and later with honors from the state normal school at Wayne, where she shared the oratorical prize with a classmate from South Dakota; she taught one year in Knox county and three in Staunton county before graduating at Wayne, and was immediately after appointed to the department of higher branches in the schools of Center, her home county seat. Orange F., the eldest son, graduated from the high school of Niobrara in 1907, and has since taken a course in the business college at York; Glen A., graduated from the Niobrara high school in 1909; while Marjory at the same time finished the eighth grade; and Jacqueline is well along in her classes in the grammar department.
During the blizzard of January 12, 1888, Mr. Etter was active, with other citizens, in getting the children at school safely to their homes. Mr. Etter never lived in a sod house in the west, but he has, with his wife, attended many a frolic in one, and danced with as much pleasure as if the sod were changed to marble walls.
The trip from Dell Rapids to Niobrara was made overland, camping on the way, the journey occupying six or seven days. Part of the territory traversed was settled by Russians who could speak little English and were very inhospitable, few being willing to sell even a few eggs and provisions to travelers through their region; but other settlers along the way were helpful and courteous.
Mr. Etter has prospered in the west, he has provided well for his children, given them good educations, and started them out on successful careers, and will see them well established in homes of their own. He is a democrat in politics, and was formerly a member of the Modern Woodmen. The two elder children are members of the Presbyterian church.
REVEREND FATHER JAMES J. CROWLEY.
The Reverend Father James J. Crowley, one of Boone county's most exemplary citizens, has devoted his entire time since attaining his majority to the ministry. He is virtually a newcomer in this locality, having assumed charge of his church here in 1905, but during this short time has by his kindly deeds and helpfulness become greatly beloved by all with whom he has come in contact.
Reverend Father J. J. Crowley was born in Cork, Ireland, and received his education at, St. Fin Barre Seminary, Cork, and finished at All Hollows College, Dublin. He made that country his home up to 1892, then came to America, serving in various churches in different states for nearly fifteen years, coming to Albion in 1905. Since taking charge of his present pastorate, through his efforts the new St. Michael's Catholic church has been erected at a cost of seventy-five thousand dollars. This building was begun in 1906, and completed and dedicated on October 29, 1908, being one of the finest places of worship in that part of Nebraska. The members of St. Michael church are now preparing to build a new parsonage on the lot adjoining the church grounds.
St. Michael's church has a membership of seven hundred souls, and its pastor is a wise and loving leader of his flock.
Mr. Joseph Kent is counted among the oldest settlers in Antelope county, Nebraska, and since locating here in 1881, has taken a foremost part in the development of this region. He has built up a good home and farm in section twenty-two, township twenty-four, range seven, where he and his family reside and enjoy the friendship and esteem of many.
Mr. Kent was born in St. Lawrence county, New York. His father, Thomas Kent, was a native of Ireland, being born in the village of Derry, county Entrem, and came to America in 1814; our subject's mother, Eleanor (Knox) Kent, was also born in Derry village, Ireland, and died when our subject was but a small boy.
In 1881 Mr. Kent came to Antelope county, Nebraska, and here he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land for eight hundred dollars, this land now being worth one hundred dollars per acre, which fact goes to prove that the knowing ones who came and remained in the western pioneer country, suffering and enduring many hardships and privations have reaped a rich reward. Mr. Kent first built a frame house on his land, and during the dry year of 1894 this house was burned. This was a year of disasters for Mr. Kent, for, besides losing his house, his crops were a total failure, the latter being burned out by the hot winds that prevailed during that year. Mr. Kent later erected a substantial house, and now has a good farm, and also a fine orchard and grove.
December 14, 1879, Mr. Kent was united in marriage to Miss Mary Kelley. Mr. and Mrs. Kent are the parents of nine children, whose names are: Nellie; Lizzie, who is married to Mr. Arthur Kemp, and is the mother of one boy; Alice, wife of Mr. William Murphy, the parents of two children; Martha, wife of Mr. George Probes, has one child; and Thomas, Katie, Leo, Jay, and Milton. The Kent family enjoy the friendship and esteem of a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
J. ABNER MYERS.
J. Abner Myers, of an old and prominent Custer county family, is one of the younger men among the early settlers there who have won success by their own efforts and are known as self-made men. He was born in Jersey county, Illinois, February 24, 1874, second born of the eight children of Henry H. and Mary (Hartley) Myers.
Mr. Myers was about eight years of age when he accompanied his parents to Boone county, Nebraska, where they spent two years before coming to Custer county. In the fall of 1884 the parents located on a homestead on West Table, then containing but few settlers. Abner Myers there grew to manhood and received his education in local schools. Later he engaged in farming on his own account, and on February 24, 1897, married Barbara Thostesen, at the home of her parents in Custer county. The Thostesen family came there in 1883 and engaged in farming. Mrs. Myers was born in Illinois and was bought to Nebraska in early childhood. Five children were born of this marriage: Rata, Tira, Edith, Sylvia and Willard H.
In 1900 Mr. Myers took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres on section twenty-two, township seventeen, range twenty-three, which is now the home place. He has added to his holdings until he has four hundred acres of land in this farm, which is well improved and stocked. He has erected a nice farm residence and is much interested in all that pertains to the welfare and development of his county and state. He is now serving as treasurer of school district number one hundred and fifty-one. He and his wife are prominent in social circles and have many friends, both being among the older residents of Custer county.
Hans Olson, who came to Pierce county, Nebraska, in the early days of its settlement, and who has striven through many failures and hardships to establish a home and accumulate a competence for himself in the new western country, is now the owner of a fine farm which is located in the northwest quarter of section twelve, township twenty-eight, range three.
Mr. Olson is a native of Norway, born June 19, 1858, a son of George Olson, who was born in 1827, and died in 1902 at the home of his son. The mother was born in 1835 and died in 1897. The elder Olson with his family sailed from Telarmarken, Norway, in May of 1866, on the sailboat "Roska," and after a fair voyage of six weeks, landed at Quebec. The railroad extended only to Norway Station, Iowa, where an uncle, Knud Nelson, met them with a wagon and conveyed them to Omaha, reaching their destination after two or three days' camping, on the evening of the third of July. So small was the town at that time that the houses could easily be counted. The father remained in Omaha for a time and then filed on a homestead in Seward county, from which he retired in time and returned to Omaha.
Hans Olson was married in Columbus, Nebraska, to Miss Julia Jacobson, a native of Denmark, born September 1, 1858, a daughter of Ferdinand and Caroline (Lund) Jacobson, who sailed from Copenhagen for America in 1871. Mr. and Mrs. Olson are the parents of eight children, whose names are as follows: Carrie, wife of Frank Prominski; Henry, married Elsa Beals; Julia, wife of Charles Borchert, of Java, South Dakota; Anna, Lottie, wife of Charles Rosburg; Morris, Walter and Evangeline. Mr. Olson is affiliated with the Masonic order, also the Modern Woodmen; in politics, he votes the republican ticket.
When Mr. and Mrs. Olson settled on their present farm in Pierce county in 1884, it was open prairie; here they built a sod house, partly extending into the hill, which was their home for a number of years. They immediately planted trees, which have grown into a fine grove, sheltering their frame dwelling, large barn and numerous outbuildings from the wintry winds. A view of their fine dwelling and surroundings, with the
grove of big trees, is to be found on another page of this work, showing how rapidly Nebraska prairies may be developed into a comfortable country home. For several years after settling here, hay was their only fuel, and the prices of their products were very low; they have seen fresh eggs sell for a cent a dozen, and butter, corn and grain at a proportionately low price. When first they settled in Seward county, the elder Olson built a dugout, which was the family residence for a number of years. Deer and antelope were plentiful in those days, and were at times to he seen in droves on the hillsides.
Residence of Hans Olson.
Another one of the prominent old-timers of northeastern Nebraska, and a well known stockman who has passed through all the experiences of the pioneer of that region, is found in the person of the gentleman above named. He now resides on section twenty-nine, township twenty-seven, range three, Pierce county, where he owns a valuable estate of seventeen hundred acres of land, and is held in the highest esteem and respect by his fellowmen.
Albert Gregersen was born in the village of Enge, province of Schleswig, Denmark, July 16, 1850. He is the son of Peter C. and Cecelia (Carstensen) Gregersen, both natives of Schleswig. Our subject grew to manhood in his home country, during which time his native province was transferred to the Prussian Kingdom.
In 1870, he came to America to seek his fortune in the land of promise, sailing from Hamburg on the steamship "Silesia," landing in New York after a voyage of eleven days. For ten years he lived in Alliance, Iowa, the first three years working as a laborer. He then operated a cigar box factory for five years, and the last two years ran a saloon. In 1880 he transferred his business to Ida Grove, Iowa, and four years later came to Pierce county, Nebraska, to take possession of land he had purchased there ten years before in section twenty-nine, township twenty-seven, range two. For the first quarter-section, he paid two hundred and eighty-five dollars, and was the third owner of the tract. There was no railroad to Pierce at that time, so he came by rail to Oakdale and drove across country from there to the county seat, and thence to the land which formed the nucleus of his present holdings. Mr. Gregersen resided on this farm twenty-two years, adding to his possessions from time to time, until he owns nearly two thousand acres of farm and ranch land, the home farm comprising six hundred and forty acres. In 1906 he moved to his present ranch of five hundred and sixty acres, six miles west of his earlier home, and there built one of the finest country homes in this part of the west. The dwelling, a fine imposing structure, makes a fine showing from all sides, but, especially to travelers passing through the country by rail. It is heated by furnace, has hot and cold water all over the house, and the deep, dry basement opening on the level of the ground to the east, makes it virtually a three story house. A windmill and large supply tank on the hill to the north gives an inexhaustible supply of clear, cold water to the dwelling, and also to all the barns upon the place which are numerous, as will be seen in the engraving we present on another page. A third ranch of four hundred and eighty acres in Antelope county furnishes summer pasture for his large herds of cattle and supplies many tons of hay.
Mr. Gregersen, unlike other pioneer settlers of this portion of Nebraska, escaped most of the hardships and disappointments in the early days, having come to the country with sufficient means to keep his family from want. The only season they burned hay was the first after their coming and was not because of poverty but because coal was not to be had at any price within hauling distance of his home. Unlike many of the pioneers, too, Mr. Gregersen never lived in a sod house, but built a comfortable frame dwelling the first year of his occupancy of the new land.
The blizzard of January 12, 1888, wrought no injury to Mr. Gregersen, but gave him no little anxiety, for the children, who were at school, did not return that night. A neighbor, William Hoowaldt, took all the children to his house, tying them together with a rope, that none should stray in the short distance between the school house and his home.
Illustrating the rapid increase in the value of Nebraska land, mention may be made of a tract of one hundred acres Mr. Gregersen purchased some years ago at forty-five dollars per acre and in two months sold at an advance of five hundred dollars. In 1911 the same land sold for over three hundred per cent of the price he paid for it, but a few years before.
In 1874, Mr. Gregerson was united in holy wedlock to Miss Sofia Heeman, who was born in the Kingdom of Hanover in 1869, a daughter of Kort and Dorothea (Meierman) Heeman. Of this union have been born twelve children, a fine family: Rosa, Louis, Andrew, Ida, Albert, Nettie, Sofia, August, Siegfred, Clara, Edward, deceased, and Gahart. Rosa, Andrew and Nettie are married: Rosa to Herman Miller, of Pierce; Andrew to Miss Margaret Fanger, who lives on the old home place; and Nettie to Rev. John Matthiessen of Pierce.
Mr. Gregersen in religious faith is a member of the German Lutheran church, and in politics votes the democratic ticket. He is one of the best known and most highly respected men in the locality in which he resides.
"Glendower," Residence of Albert Gregersen.
A sketch of the history of northeastern Nebraska would be incomplete without mention of Frank Lidmila, one of the most prosperous early settlers of this region. Frank Lidmila was born in Poloceka, Austria, January 6, 1864. He is the son of Frank Lidmila, who was born in 1837, and Josephine (Tamela) Lidmila, who was born in 1841 and died in 1907. Our subject came from a sturdy, industrious stock, his parents being thrifty farmers, and also owning a large store in the old country. The family came to America about 1875. They lived in Iowa a short time and then came to Cuming county, Nebraska, and filed on a claim there. The father died a year later. The mother married Fred Kuester, who had a claim on Rock creek in that county.
The elder Lidmila first settled in Iowa in 1871, where he remained one year, going thence to West Point, Nebraska, and later took up a homestead in Dodge county, Nebraska, where he experienced the numerous hardships and discouragements of a great many of the old settlers of this section. Upon this land the father built a frame house, and his first team was oxen, which he used for his work. The nearest markets were at West Point and Fremont. Like others of the earliest settlers, Mr. Lidmila lost all his crops during the grasshopper raids at Wisner, and also suffered in the blizzards of 1873 and 1888.
Frank Lidmila, our subject, was married at West Point, July 24, 1893, to Miss Josephine Brazda, who was born in Racine, Wisconsin, March 18, 1871. Her parents came from Austria to Wisconsin. The mother died about 1879, and two years later the father moved to Nebraska and secured a fine farm.
Mr. and Mrs. Lidmila have been blessed with nine children, who are named as follows: Frank, George, Edwin, Clara, Charles, Rudolph, Mary, Cecelia and Helen.
Mr. Lidmila came to Pierce county in 1910, where he purchased seventeen hundred acres of land situated in section thirty-four, township twenty-five, range three, which makes him one of the largest land owners in this section.
Mr. Lidmila is of the Catholic faith, and is affiliated with the Royal Highlanders, and the Modern Woodmen of America. He votes the democratic ticket.
WALDO L. LITTLE.
W. L. Little, born in Meigs county, Ohio, on November 13, 1851, is a well-to-do farmer and prominent old settler of eastern Nebraska. His father, Levi Little, was a soldier in the civil war, serving in the seventh Ohio cavalry, and was killed in battle at Blue Springs, Tennessee. He was one of the thousands who in defense of his country sacrificed home and gave his life for the cause, leaving behind him his beloved wife and children.
Waldo L. Little grew up in Ohio, his mother keeping her little family together - there being a daughter and our subject as the only childern [sic]. At the age of twenty-one years, in company with N. J. and J. N. Paul, friends of the family, he came to Howard county, Nebraska. They arrived here in 1871, and were among the very first settlers in the county. Mr. Little began his pioneer life, passing through all the experiences of frontier existence, and has been one of the leading men in aiding the development of the region, doing all in his power to advance its interests commercially and socially. He came here full of youth, health and enthusiasm, capable of adapting himself to the rugged life of the pioneer settler, prepared to endure the trials and struggles incident to the carving out for himself of a name and fortune, which he has succeeded in accomplishing far beyond his expectations. He at once filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in section twelve, township fifteen, range ten, and still owns this place, making this his home. From time to time he has purchased land near by, and at present is proprietor of one whole section of well improved land, considerable of it under cultivation, and equipped with all modern machinery and buildings for conducting a model farm. He is engaged in diversified farming, also raises considerable stock.
At the time Mr. Little put up his first buildings he was obliged to haul all the lumber needed for the same from Grand Island, using an ox team for the purpose, and fording the South and North Loup rivers, there being no bridge across the North Loup branch. He has seen every phase of life on the frontier, beginning with practically no capital, and from this small start has become one of the substantial men of his county.
Mr. Little was married in 1882 to Miss Edith A. Seeley, the ceremony taking place at the home of the former's sister, Mrs. I. D. McDaniel, who then resided on a farm adjoining our subject's homestead. Mrs. McDaniel now lives in Utah. Mrs. Little is a native of New York state, and came to Howard county in 1878, with her mother, sister and one brother-in-law, her father, Samuel R. Seeley, and two brothers having settled here during the preceding year. Both parents of Mrs. Little are now deceased. Mr. Little's mother departed this life on March 3, 1896. Our subject has no children, but himself and wife have raised several, giving them the advantages of a comfortable home and good education, and besides this have always done a great deal of philanthropic work in an unostentatious way.
Mr. Little's home is located near the forks of the North and South Loup river, and here they frequently entertain many friends in a most hospitable manner,
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by T&C Miller, P Ebel, P Shipley, L Cook