into a house, whose he did not know. Knocking, he was admitted, warmed, and was directed to the end of a grove of trees at the other end of which his home was situated; making his way from tree to tree he reached home without further mishap.
He next came to Verdigris, bought a lot, and with lumber brought from Creighton built a bakery, which, owing to a large foreign population proved to be unprofitable. Mr. Huffman then rented his ovens and bakery, and, with his wife, secured work in a bakery at Pierce for a few months to get funds for a new start. In July, 1889, he formed a partnership with C. M. Hall, the leading merchant of Plainview, and built and opened the first bakery there. After the first baking of bread was out of the ovens, Mr. Huffman had only fifteen cents, but prosperity came to him at once, the first month's profit being one hundred and fifty dollars.
For two years the business was carried on in partnership, when Mr. Huffman bought his partner's interest and for seven years conducted the business alone. He then sold his bakery and opened a store of general merchandise, but owing to hard times prevailing then, he was forced to sell, having in eighteen months sunk three thousand dollars. He next opened a shoe department in another store, in which he was fairly successful.
Selling the business a year later, together with his dwelling, he purchased a farm six miles south of Plainview, in 1899. Here he worked to such good advantage that in January, 1910, he rented his farm and moved to Plainview, where he and his helpmate may take some ease in life after so long a period of struggle and toil. This farm he sold at seventy-two dollars and fifty cents per acre, cash, investing part of the proceeds in a half-section near Rushville, Sheridan county. His meat market he traded for one hundred and sixty acres near Flagler, Colorado.
Mr. Huffman was married in Clarion, Iowa, October 13, 1885, to Miss Ida M. McIntire, a native of Vermont, Michigan, born August 30, 1865; she is a daughter of William and Ruena (Striker) McIntire, both natives of New York. They moved to Wright county, Iowa, in 1876, where they died in February, 1891, within a week of each other.
Mr. and Mrs. Huffman have adopted two children: Elmer, born January 22, 1905; and Lela Margaret, born June 2, 1908.
Mr. Huffman is a republican, and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
When he first came to the state there were still a few antelope, and he has seen a bear on the prairies around Verdigris, in the early days. He witnessed the last of the grasshopper raids while in York county, and, as before stated, passed through the blizzard of January 12, 1888. His experience in a prairie fire came near resulting seriously. While driving into the country, in the spring of 1883, a prairie fire came over a hill on to them suddenly, when they lived near Foster, Nebraska; starting a counter fire they followed it as rapidly as possible, but not before their wagon cover was scorched and the horses' tails and manes set afire. For a minute or two it seemed as if the end had come, but as soon as the fire reached their back-fire it was over as quickly as it came.
When Mr. Huffman first came to York, he might have bought a section of railroad land adjoining the town at five dollars per acre and had ten years in which to pay. The land is now worth hundreds of dollars per acre; but no one dreamed at that time that land in Nebraska would bring such a price. However, these are vain regrets, as we are all at fortune's beck and call. Although Mr. Huffman did not buy this valuable property when at a low figure, he is able to enjoy life more than in his earlier days; and contentment, peace and happiness are greater than all riches.
Among the prominent young business men of Dannebrog, who is widely and favorably known for his capability and progressiveness, we mention the name of William Sorensen. He is active in local affairs and enjoys the confidence and esteem of his fellow men.
Mr. Sorensen was born of Danish parents in Howard county, Nebraska, on July 7, 1873, and received his early education in the district schools of his vicinity. Later he attended the Danish academy situated at Nysted, also the Western Normal college at Lincoln, remaining at the latter school for one year, returning to his home locality where he purchased eighty acres of land and begun farming and stock raising. This land was situated about one and a half miles northwest of the town Dannebrog, and he succeeded in building up a good farm and comfortable home, occupying the place up to 1904. At that time he moved to Dannebrog and engaged in the creamery business, which he has since carried on with great success.
On March 21, 1897, Mr. Sorensen was married to Anna M. Frank, of Hamilton county, Nebraska, the ceremony being performed in the Lutheran church at Nysted. Mrs. Sorensen was a young woman of many accomplishments, and has a large circle of friends throughout the locality, as for eight years prior to her marriage she was a teacher in the Howard county schools. To our subject and his charming wife five children have been born, named as follows: Ansgar L., Hortense S., Alma A., Ernest V., and Ralph, all at home, and forming a most interesting family group. Mr. Sorensen's mother lives on the original homestead at Nysted at the present time.
Among the early settlers of Nebraska is David Kay, who has lived in the state since April, 1872, and since 1881 has for most of the time occupied his homestead on section ten, township sixteen, range fifteen, of Sherman county. He was born in Girvan, Ayrshire, Scotland, July 3, 1848, youngest of six children in the family of Cathcart and Elizabeth (McWilliams) Kay, the former of whom died in 1848, three weeks before David's birth, and the mother died when he was but thirteen months old. He spent his early years with his maternal grandfather, and in youth received a practical college education and spent some time in studying along the lines of medicine and theology. The father was a school teacher in the town of Girvan and was also ordained a minister of the Presbyterian church, though his principal work was in educational lines, in which he was a prominent worker.
When in his twenty-first year Mr. Kay left his native country and came to Canada, sailing from Glasgow, to Quebec in the "St. Patrick," an old sailing vessel converted into a steamer. They were carried out of their course and first saw land on the bleak coast of Labrador. In the last days of October, 1869, he came to Cass county, Illinois, where he joined relatives; a year later he made a trip into northeastern Nebraska to take a look at the country, but returned to Illinois and soon afterwards made a visit to his home in Scotland. In June, 1871, he returned to Illinois and remained there until April, 1872, when he came to Nemaha county, Nebraska, and purchased a quarter section of land. He carried on farming there until 1881, when he came to Sherman county and secured the homestead which has since been his residence most of the time. He has developed and improved it and during all the years has been a farmer and stockman. He has substantial buildings and farming implements and is recognized as an aggressive and successful farmer, as well as a citizen of reliability and integrity. He taught several times in the district schools of Sherman county.
In politics Mr. Kay is independent of party lines; in the fall of 1895 he was elected county judge of Sherman county, being re-elected in the fall of 1897. He served two terms and went out of office January 1, 1900. In October, 1889, Mr. Kay published the Sherman County Citizen, in Loup City, which was democratic in politics, and in the spring of 1890 the paper was merged into an organ of the Farmers Alliance, which remained in the field until the election of that fall. After the time of the Richardson-Willard killing Mr. Kay was connected with the Northwestern, a weekly journal at Loup City. He has been prominent in the educational and political life and development of Sherman county and has been actively identified with the interests of his community. He is widely known and has many friends, as well as the respect and esteem of all who have had dealings with him - in a social, business or other character. He is a member of the American Peace society and belongs to several educational societies that are national in their scope; is an honorary member of the National Conservation Association.
Mr. Kay's marriage occurred in Nemaha county, December 16, 1877, when he was united with Mary Caroline Williams. The family is an old one in Nebraska, and Mrs. Kay has a brother and sister in Valley county, besides a brother in Omaha. Mr. and Mrs. Kay have seven children living, namely: Grace, wife of Sherman L. Wilson, of Sherman county, has three children; Kenneth; Elizabeth, wife of Eugene Tracy, of Sherman county, has one child; and William, James, Albert and Carrie, at home. Mrs. Kay is well known in the neighborhood and is a native of Cedar county, Missouri, daughter of Davis and Elizabeth (Ainsworth) Williams.
Mr. Kay has always identified himself with every progressive movement, being a prominent worker in the Grange, Patrons of Husbandry and the Farmers' Alliance.
And. Wallin, who resides on a well improved estate situated on section eighteen, township twenty-two, range four, is one of the leading oldtimers of Madison county, Nebraska. He is considered one of the worthy citizens in this region who has done his allotted share in the betterment of conditions throughout the community in which he chose his home, and for this and his many sterling qualities of heart and mind, he is held in the highest respect and esteem by his fellow men.
Like so many of his neighbors, Mr. Wallin is a sturdy son of Sweden, born near Sodermanland, March 1, 1852, and is a son of Lars and Carrie Erickson.
He left his native land in 1886 with the determination of seeking his fortune in the new world, going directly to Gottenburg, where he took passage in the steerage for New York, sailing on the steamship "City of Chester." He was twelve days on the sea.
Mr. Wallin made his entrance into Madison county in the month of June, 1893. He bought the Wells homestead located in Emmerick township, put up a frame shanty, and begun life here as a pioneer, which was not entirely new to him, as he had gone through the early settler stage of experience in Antelope county, Nebraska, having resided there for some time previous to locating here.
During the summer of 1894, Mr. Wallin had the misfortune to lose his crops by the hot winds which swept the territory, and on account of the
hard times in the region, found it a problem to make a living. However, he begun over again, and through strict perseverance and thrift got a new start, and from that time, although he occasionally had setbacks, was able to improve his farm and accumulate a little money for a rainy day.
Mr. Wallin's first wife was Matilda Lundquist. They were married in Sweden in 1878. Two children were born to them, namely: Lottie and Andrew. Mrs. Wallin died January 11, 1880.
Mr. Wallin was married in Sweden to Miss Laura Ascelund, the event occurring August 17, 1883, and of their union two children have been born: Selma and Annie.
Andrew Sommer, one of the earliest settlers of his part of Custer county, has through the years of his residence there been identified with the progress and upbuilding of his, county and state and is well known as a successful stockman and farmer, owning over nine hundred acres of land within the limits of Custer county, and having other land interests in the state. He is a native of France, born November 25, 1844, next to the youngest of the five children of John and Barbara (Gerrig) Sommer. He has a, brother and a sister in Illinois. His parents, natives of France, both died in Illinois.
Mr. Sommer was but four years of age when he was brought to America by his parents. They located in Illinois and there he grew to manhood, being educated in local schools and later engaged in farming and coal mining. In the spring of 1880 he came to Custer county and secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land on the northwest quarter of section thirty-two, township eighteen, range twenty-one, where he has made his home throughout the years since. He also took a timber claim of the same size and brought both to all improved state. He was instrumental in organizing school district number fifteen in 1882 and for ten years served as treasurer of same. He also served several years as justice of the peace and is now township clerk. He filled these various offices most acceptably and stands well with his fellow citizens.
Mr. Sommer was married in Custer county, July 3, 1885, to Melissa Keedy, a native of Illinois, daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth (Bickel) Keedy, the former a native of Illinois and the latter of Indiana. The father died in Colorado and the mother in Arkansas. One daughter, Mrs. Bell Stevens, lives in Merna, and another lives in California; one son lives in Illinois; Mrs. Sommer is the only other survivor of the family. Mrs. Sommer had been married before to a Mr. Tygart and has one son by that marriage, Perry W. Tygart, living with his mother. Five children have been born to Mr. Sommer and wife: Almore, at home; Eva, wife of Alvin Cole, of Dunning, Nebraska, has one child; Benjamin and Lizzie at home; one daughter deceased. Besides his nine hundred and forty acres of land in Custer county, Mr. Sommer owns some land in Blaine county, Nebraska. He has made a specialty of the stock business and has found this line very profitable. He is honored as a veteran of the civil war, having enlisted from Peoria, Illinois, in September, 1864, when not quite twenty years of age, in Company E, One Hundred and Eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in which he served to the end of the war. He participated in the Siege of Spanish Fort and many minor engagements and skirmishes. He received his discharge at Chicago, in August, 1865, having won a good record for faithfulness and devotion to duty. At the time of his muster out he had not yet reached his majority by a few months. Mr. Sommer is a man of high character and probity, having a large circle of sincere friends.
Among the progressive, energetic farmers and stockmen who have contributed to the wealth of Wayne county, by their successful agricultural occupations, a high station is accorded the gentleman named above. He has been a resident of this community for more than twenty years and has acquired a valuable property and all enviable reputation.
Mr. Rees was born in Glanmorgan Shire, Wales, in 1866, and was the son of David and Mary Rees. The subscriber lived in Wales until he was twenty years old, and secured a part of his education in the schools of that state.
In 1886, Mr. Rees left his native home and started from Liverpool on the steamship "Nevada," bound for New York. Arrived at that point, he started at once for the west and came to Montgomery county, Iowa, where he remained until 1889. During the winter months he attended school a part of the time.
He then came to Wayne county, Nebraska, and bought the farm which is still his home. He has added many improvements to the place since it came into his possession and now has a fine, comfortable, modern home, surrounded by all conveniences, and even many of the luxuries of life. He has gained many friends during the course of his residence here, and well merits his good name.
In 1904, Mr. Rees was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Griffith, and they are the parents of two children: Mary and Bladwen. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rees are prominent factors in the social and educational life of the community.
The name of George Dinsdale is a familiar one among the residents of eastern Nebraska. Prior to his demise he was recognized as one of representative farmers and stockmen and an old settler of this section where he had resided for about twenty-seven years.
George Dinsdale was born in Gayle, Yorkshire, England, April 10, 1850, and was eldest of seven children. After his school years he engaged in contracting on public works. In 1881, Mr. Dinsdale was united in marriage to Miss Annie P. Greenwood, also a native of Yorkshire, England.
In August of 1882, Mr. Dinsdale came with his wife and one son to America, locating in Elkhorn, Douglas county, Nebraska, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of land where his lived for over four years; then going to Nance county, Nebraska, where he purchased eleven hundred and twenty acres of land which was a stock and feeding farm, living on this farm for twenty years. Mr. Dinsdale was prosperous and successful and at the time of his death owned seven thousand five hundred acres, all in Nebraska, feeding on the average over one thousand head of cattle. In 1908 Mr. Dinsdale sold his stock re he built a fine home and engaged in grain elevator business.
Mr. Dinsdale was largely interested in the development of Nebraska, always lending his aid personally and financially to enterprising projects. On August 28, 1909, while engaged in stacking hay, Mr. Dinsdale was thrown and instantly killed. The community mourned his loss as a man they could not afford to lose.
Mr. and Mrs. Dinsdale had six children, four of whom are living: Robert, a rancher in Loup City, Nebraska; Thomas G., who resides at home; Elizabeth J., also at home; George, a student at St. Paul business college; and Matthew and Willie, both of whom died in infancy. Mrs. Dinsdale lives in their beautiful home in Palmer, and with the aid of her son, T. G. Dinsdale, is carrying on the extensive stock interests left by her husband. Mrs. Dinsdale's parents are deceased, and she has two brothers residing in England.
Mr. Dinsdale was a man of unusually large interests and was called the "cattle king." He possessed a fine character, and was held in high esteem by all who knew him.
DOCTOR C. F. ZIMMERMAN.
The old colonial Pennsylvania families have contributed a smaller proportion to the development of the west than other states nearer the field of activities, but it is none the less worthy when found.
Doctor C. F. Zimmerman, practitioner, and proprietor of a first-class village drug store at Naper, comes of such sturdy stock. His father, Jacob Zimmerman, was born in Cumberland county, of the old Keystone state, in 1833. Two years later his parents moved to Illeria, Lorain county, Ohio, pressing onward to the west in 1849, when they became residents of Laporte, Indiana. Here Mr. Zimmerman enlisted, in August of 1862, in Company B, Seventy-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served three years, during which time he participated in thirteen battles, the worst of which was at Stone river and vicinity, when there were six days of continuous fighting. The mother of Doctor Zimmerman was Sarah Adaline Bowen, who was born at Laporte, Indiana, November 12, 1846.
Doctor Zimmerman was born at Laporte, Indiana, August 24, 1864, and was in his third year when his parents moved, in the spring of 1867, to Oakfield, Audobon county, Iowa. Here they resided until coming to Nebraska in the fall of 1883. The father filed on a homestead between the Niobrara and Keya Paha rivers south of where Naper is now located, but which at that time was an unmarked spot of the prairie in the Indian reservation. He was one of the first settlers within the present boundaries of Boyd county, and he resided on his homestead until 1902, when he retired from active farming and now makes his home with his children, principally in Naper.
Doctor Zimmerman attained his majority while on the ranch in Boyd county and continued to reside there some years, leading a quiet country life. He began the study of medicine about 1893, reading the recognized text books at home for a time. He attended first the Omaha Medical College at Omaha, a part of the State University, for one year, and took a one year's course in Sioux City Medical College. With a friend he completed his medical education at the Chattanooga Medical College at Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is connected with the United States Grant University, graduating and receiving his diploma, March 22, 1898.
He at once began practice in Naper, and such is his skill in the healing art, that from the first he has enjoyed an extended and lucrative practice over the extent of several counties in two states. In 1900, he opened a drug store with the usual line of fancy and toilet articles, and has been favored with a liberal patronage by his fellow-townsmen and dwellers of the surrounding country. Notwithstanding his diploma as a physician, Doctor Zimmerman passed the examination required by the state pharmacy board and in consequence holds the necessary certificate to practice two of the learned professions. For eight years he has been physician to the Indians under a contract with the federal government. In the fall of 1910, Doctor Zimmerman attended
a post graduate course at the Post Graduate Medical school of Chicago.
Doctor Zimmerman was married in Wheeler, South Dakota, September 23, 1897, to Miss Mollie R. Sprenkle, who was born in Fremont county, Iowa. Her parents were Kanan and Susannah (Shipfley) Sprenkle, natives of Pennsylvania.
The doctor has in his practice been called upon to brave the worst blizzards and rain storms that from time to time sweep over the west; hail, too, has come within his experiences, and the quantity and size of the ice that has fallen within his view would seem incredible to one newly from the east, but entirely within the truth to one who knows what the west can produce in such storms when conditions are right. The doctor is fond of hunting, and has enjoyed the sport of bringing in deer when on the chase; he has seen as many as nine deer at one time.
Dr. Zimmerman is a republican in politics, and a member of the Butte lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons.
ZINA A. WILLIAMSON.
Zina A. Williamson, son of Thomas and Selina (Sawyer) Williamson, was born in Delaware county, Iowa, February 22, 1854, and was third in a family of seven children.
On November 25, 1875, Mr. Williamson was married to Miss Louise Bailey, a native of Iowa, to whom one son was born, Bertrand B., who is married and has two daughters and one son, and lives in Boone county.
Mr. Williamson came to Boone county, Nebraska, in the spring of 1880, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land in the northeast quarter, section eleven, township twenty-two, range seven, which remained the home place until the spring of 1886. Mrs. Williamson died October 7, 1885. In 1886, our subject came to Albion, Nebraska, where he worked for S. V. Parrott three years, when he engaged in buying and selling horses with L. H. Kilbourn.
On September 13, 1888, Mr. Williamson was joined in matrimony to Miss Nettie Kilbourn of Wisconsin, who for ten years had been a teacher in the public schools of that state. Mrs. Williamson's father died in 1880 in Wisconsin, in which state the mother is still living. Mrs. Williamson has one brother residing in Kansas and one sister in Wisconsin.
In 1890, Mr. Williamson purchased his father's homestead, on which he lived four years, then he sold and purchased twenty-two acres adjoining Albion on the south, on which he built a house where he lived about six years. In 1900 he came to Albion and built the house which he now occupies. In the year 1908, he made quite a big land deal, purchasing one thousand three hundred and nineteen acres in Boone county, selling all but one hundred and sixty acres. Mr. Williamson is prosperous and successful, a man of wide experience, and for a period of about twelve years, had large cattle interests. In the nineties, Mr. Williamson was elected county commissioner, in which office he served two terms of three years. He also acted on the Albion school board for six years, and a like period of time on the city board.
Since 1894, he has been a live stock and general auctioneer, and his sales have extended over Boone and adjoining counties.
One of the most successful of the hardy pioneers who endured the hardships of the forefront of civilization in eastern Nebraska, is Joseph Carroll, now retired from active life and residing in a fine new home in the south part of Creighton.
Mr. Carroll was born in Carbon county, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1849, and is a son of William and Elizabeth (Fagan) Carroll, natives of County Meath, who came to America in 1848. They had just been married a year before and their first child came to them during the four months' voyage on the Atlantic. The father died in 1898 at the age of eighty-two, while the mother, three years his junior, joined him in eternity in 1900. The grandfather, William Carroll, senior, lived to be ninety-two, and the maternal grandfather, Joseph Fagan, lived upwards of ninety-six years.
At the age of eight years Mr. Carroll's parents moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Joseph grew to manhood, learning the shoemaking and pipe-laying trades, at which he worked in the east until April, 1877, when he came west to seek his fortune and succeeded in finding it. He settled on a homestead and timber claim seven miles west of Creighton, and for three years "batched" it alone on the prairies. He then married and began a most successful career one hundred dollars in debt. He had a fine team of mules with every prospect of doing well, but to wipe out his indebtedness he left his young wife alone on the. ranch and sought work in the construction of the railroad, three hundred and thirty-five miles west from home. He had been employed here but a few days when his team, along with two others, was stolen, and although they followed the trail far into Wyoming none of the teams were ever recovered. A fellow workman sold him a pony on a year's time and later a horse for which he borrowed the purchase money securing in this way a team with which to get to work again. His father and grandfather had been stock men in the old country, and he had been engaged in buying cattle, sheep, and poultry in the east, so it was but natural he should find a congenial occupation in raising stock. His management in this line was so successful that he has out of the proceeds accumulated a large
acreage of fine land. He owns eleven hundred acres in Knox county; a quarter section in Boyd county; a like amount in Oklahoma; besides eighty acres adjoining Sioux City, where he owns a good dwelling house. Besides his elegant new residence in Creighton, he owns a house and several lots. After living thirty-two years on his ranch in Knox county, Mr. Carroll moved to town in 1909, and is taking life easy, although he still keeps an interest in the stock on the ranch which his sons occupy and manage.
Mr. Carroll was married on February 11, 1881, to Anna, daughter of James and Anna (Martin) Kain, a native of Crawford county, Wisconsin. Her parents came to America from Ireland in 1849, settled in Wisconsin for a time and then migrated to Knox county, Nebraska, in 1873. At that time there was but one house in Creighton. Here they endured all the privations of the frontier, to which were added the successive years of loss by the grasshopper pests that swarmed the west so many years. For two years Mr. Carroll lost every leaf of growing crops.
To Mr. and Mrs. Carroll thirteen children were born, ten of whom are living: Charles, a graduate of Wayne, Colorado, married Mabel Nies, and they have three children. He has a ranch of three hundred and twenty acres near Java, South Dakota; Bessie, a graduate of Nebraska State Normal, is a successful teacher of Sheridan, Wyoming; Jennie, married William Nies, who is proprietor of a hotel at Wayne, Nebraska, their only child is a son, William; Rosa and William graduated from the college at Wayne and together with Joseph and George occupy the home ranch; and Vincent, Gerald and Edward, the youngest, are still under the parental roof.
Two brothers settled in Nebraska near Mr. Carroll - Francis came the same year, and Peter in 1882. Oxen were their only work animals for a number of years. At one time Mr. Carroll had to wade into an icy stream to release a yoke of young oxen that were being drowned by an older yoke that were drawing their heads under the water. Once in a flood in Bazile creek he got out into the water, released his horses and swam ashore; the wagon was washed down stream and the two hind wheels were found in a tree two miles below. During the first two years when no crops were raised - living was a hard problem, but game was plentiful, such as ducks, geese, and even an occasional swan on the creek, and these with crackers and "flap-jacks" constituted the principal food.
Mr. Carroll was out in the blizzard of October, 1880, while at Bazile Mills, and in that of January 12, 1888, lost nineteen head of cattle, leaving him but one cow. Deer and antelope were plentiful, and at one time Mr. Carroll saw as many as fifty of the big timber wolves in a pack. This was unusual, of course, but prairie wolves were always plentiful. At times wheat had to be hauled upwards of thirty miles to market, bringing but twenty-six cents per bushel. When on railroad work at O'Neill, in the latter seventies, Mr. Carroll saw the famous "rustler," Doc Middleton, stumbling over him as he lay sleeping in a hay mound as a fugitive from justice; not knowing at the time who he was, Mr. Carroll went about his business and Doc Middleton turned over and continued to sleep
Mr. Carroll is independent in politics, a member of the Catholic church, and is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus. He richly deserves the success that has come to him; he endured and suffered enough during the early days to merit all he has won. To such men the west owes the wonderful development it enjoys and has attained in a few short years.
HENRY H. MYERS.
Henry H. Myers and wife were among the very earliest settlers on West Table, Custer county, where he still owns a farm, although retired from active life and living in Broken Bow. Throughout the years of their residence there they have been identified with the best interests of their county and state and have been prominent in social, educational and religious circles. They reared a large family to honorable man and womanhood and Mr. Myers has been active in local affairs, serving in various offices of public honor or trust. He was born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, August 23, 1847, the eldest of the eight children of John G. and Charlotta (Hellery) Myers. He has two brothers living in St. Louis, Missouri, one brother in Arkansas, and others of the children are deceased. His father was born in Pennsylvania, of German parentage, and his mother in Wurtemburg, Germany. She came to America with her parents when nine years of age and died in Custer county, November 26, 1900. The father died in Custer county November 15, 1907.
About 1857 or 1858 the Myers family moved to Elsah, Illinois, where Henry grew to manhood and completed his education. In February, 1864, he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry and served to the close of the war, receiving his discharge at Camp Butler, Illinois, in September, 1865. After the war he resumed his residence in Illinois and for the next two years assisted as pilot on boats on the Mississippi river. On December 13, 1868, at Elsah, Illinois, he was united in marriage with Mary L. Hartley, born near Cincinnati, Ohio. They made their first home on a farm in Illinois and in the fall of 1882 (October) came with his wife and four children to Boone county, Nebraska, coming on to Custer county in the spring of 1884. In the latter county he took a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land on sectin [sic] fifteen, township seventeen, range twenty-three, which was his home throughout the
intervening years until March, 1910, when he retired from farm life and moved to Broken Bow, purchasing a fine home, which the family now occupy.
Mr. Myers won notable success as a farmer and stockman and purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land adjoining the homestead, making of it a well improved and equipped farm. For eight years he served as county supervisor and he was most helpful in consummating the organization of school district number sixty-one, becoming the first moderator on the board. Later he helped in securing the division of the district and served several years longer on the board. He gave valuable service in the establishing of the first Methodist church in Cliff township and gave his active support to the cause afterwards.
Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Myers: Oliver L., married and living in Iowa, has three children; Abner, married and living in Custer county, has five children; Clara E., wife of Frank Barrett, of Broken Bow, has seven children; Ethel P., wife of John Jones, lives near Broken Bow and has four children; Thomas Edward, at home; Earl E., married and living on West Table; two children died in infancy.
Some of our most loyal and valued citizens have been those born under other flags than the stars and stripes. This is especially true in the case of Peter Mortensen, one of the leading business men of Ord, Valley county, Nebraska. He is president of the First National bank of that city and for years has been a prominent figure in the life of that section, along both political and educational lines. He is reckoned among the pioneers, having come to Nebraska when settlements were so few and far between that he found it necessary to take his plow shears fifty-five miles to get them sharpened. He is essentially a self-made man, his start in life in this new country being a part interest in two yokes of oxen and two breaking plows, and his present success has come only as a result of the exercise of considerable energy, good judgment, and unswerving integrity.
Peter Mortensen, the third of five children, was born in Randler, Denmark, October 8, 1844. He received his early education in his native land, coming to the United States in 1870, first settling in Warrensburg, Missouri, engaging in railroad work at that point.
He came to Valley county, Nebraska, in April, 1872, taking as a homestead the northeast quarter of sections eight, nineteen and four. With him were Niles Anderson, Christian L. Frey, Jeppe Smith, George M. and Falle Miller, the six taking adjoining homesteads. Out of the six, only Mr. Mortensen and the two first-named are now living, all residing in this county.
The first building put up in Valley county (with possibly one exception) was a dugout claim shanty put up on the Peter Mortensen homestead. He engaged in farming and stock-raising and devoted his efforts to that end until 1878. In February of that year, he was married to Miss Jennie H. Williams, near Bedford, Iowa. The young couple remained on the farm for several years, but during that year, Mr. Mortensen became a partner in the hardware and implement business with John Case and Hans Sorenson, who were conducting a thriving business in Ord. In 1881, Mr. Mortensen and family removed to this city, which has been their home ever since.
In the fall of 1874, Mr. Mortensen was elected county treasurer of Valley county, on the republican ticket, serving in this capacity for nine years, which in itself shows in what esteem he was held. This did not by any means end his political career, however, for in the fall of 1902, he was elected state treasurer of Nebraska, holding this office for two terms. In 1906, Mr. Mortensen was strongly urged to become a candidate for governor, and he would have been the nominee of his party, but for a constitutional provision which prevented an office-holder from becoming a nominee for another office, prior to the expiration of his own term. Had this not been the, case Mr. Mortensen would undoubtedly have received the nomination and would have been elected. At the expiration of his term as state treasurer, he returned to his home town of Ord, which is still his residence. He is still actively engaged in the management of his banking interests.
In January, 1884, Mr. Mortensen, together with H. A. Babcock and J. E. Hale, purchased the Ord City Bank, which in June of the following year, was merged into the First National Bank of Ord. Mr. Mortensen went into the bank as assistant cashier, but became president in 1888, and still holds that position. This bank now occupies a fine, new, well-equipped building, and is recognized as a strong financial institution, with a capital of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars and surplus.
As may be imagined, Mr. and Mrs. Mortensen have played no small part in the social and educational life of the city. Ord City boasts of the possession of one of the finest high school buildings in the whole state of Nebraska and much of the credit for the erection of this fine building must be given to Mr. Mortensen.
Mr. and Mrs. Mortensen have had four children three of whom died in infancy. The one son now living, Crawford J., was born in 1891, and is now attending college at the Nebraska state university.
"Centenniel Grove Farm," Property of Peter Mortensen.
Among the old settlers of eastern Nebraska whose names will figure prominently in the his-
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by T&C Miller, P Ebel, P Shipley, L Cook