cottage was built, of which we give a view in our illustrated pages, together with barns and other buildings comprising the plate.
Six children were born to Mr. Fraser and wife, of whom three now survive: Hudson J., born in New York, lives two miles west of the home farm of his father; Clara, also born in New York, lives with her brother Hudson; Nellie, born in Grand Island, married Reuben P. Moore, and they live on their farm on section twenty-nine, township seventeen, range seventeen, Custer county, and have four children. Those deceased are: Lewis M. and Jennie, born in New York, and Ida, who was born in Custer county.
Mr. Fraser is a member of the M. E. church and in politics is a democrat.
Mr. Fraser had a notable experience on January 12, 1888, returning from a sale with a neighbor through the fearful blizzard of that date. It was the worst he ever saw and in it many human beings perished and thousands of head of stock.
"Valley Cove Farm," Residence of Charles D. Fraser.
WILLIS R. WAITE.
Willis R. Waite, owner and operator of all excellent grain and stock farm near Arcadia Nebraska, has spent most of his life in that state. He was born July 22, 1870, at Palmyra, Warren county, Iowa, he and his twin brother, Wilbur S., being the youngest of the five sons of John D. and Juliette (Roseberry) Waite. The father, of English and Dutch descent, and a native of Pittstown, New York, served during the civil war as a member of Company F, Thirty-first New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, and died in Valley county, Nebraska, October 20, 1891. Mrs. Juliette Waite, a native of New Jersey, now lives at Loup City, Nebraska. She has a son, Wm. H., in southern Mexico, interested in rubber and cattle, near Vera Cruz; a son, Elmer E., at Vancouver, Washington; Wilbur S., is at Loup City, representing the district in the legislature; Willis R., of Valley county, and one son is deceased.
At the age of ten years, Willis R. Waite accompanied his parents to Valley county, where he reached manhood on his father's farm. John D. Waite had purchased, in 1880, the homestead right taken by his oldest son, C. E. Waite, who had settled in Valley county in April, 1879. After completing the course in the local schools. Willis R. Waite entered the Capital City Commercial College at Des Moines, Iowa, where he graduated, and he also holds a diploma from Columbian Business College, of Chicago. After leaving school he engaged in teaching school, and later was employed as bookkeeper for the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company, at New Castle, Wyoming, where he remained a year and a half. He taught school in Loup City and in Sherman county for a time, and in 1899 returned to Valley county, Nebraska.
Mr. Waite was Married October 25, 1899, to Miss Abbie Grow, who was born at Loup City, Nebraska, and they are the parents of two children, Charles Edmund and Lucy Grow. Mrs. Waite is the daughter of Darwin C. Grow, postmaster of Loup City, whose wife was before marriage Harriet Reniff, born near Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Grow was born at Batavia, Illinois, and came to Nebraska in 1876, becoming one of Sherman county's pioneers.
In 1907 Mr. Waite purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land in section sixteen, township seventeen, range fifteen, and this is still the home place. He has substantial and convenient buildings on his farm, of which we show a view elsewhere in this work. An especial item of interest on the place is his fine orchard of over a hundred and fifty trees, protected by a grove of fast growing Norway poplars, of which he has several groves on the place.
Mr. Waite is an energetic man of affairs, and is interested in everything relating to the welfare of the state or county. He is well and favorably known in Valley county and has many friends. He served for a time as director of district number twenty-seven. In politics he is a republican.
Mr. Waite's introduction to Nebraska was anything but pleasant; the family was snowbound at Seward by the three-day blizzard in the middle of October, 1880. They spent the winter in a half-finished house with nothing but shiplap between them and the cold world outside; for a whole week they stayed in bed most of the time, having only cornstalks for fuel. To keep their cow from freezing, she was brought into the house and kept in one room. When the floods came in the spring they were waterbound for three weeks, and even when it subsided travel was difficult, as all bridges were washed away. When the blizzard of January 12, 1888, came, our subscriber and his brother were hauling hay half a mile from home, and experienced great difficulty in reaching home. Deer, elk and antelope were plentiful, the former sometimes being seen in herds of five or six. Mr. Waite and his brother killed a fine buck on one of their hunting expeditions. They followed trapping to add to their income, and with good success; they trapped not only animals, but game birds, securing over one hundred prairie chickens one winter.
Residence of Willis R. Waite.
ARTHUR H. BACKHAUS.
Arthur H. Backhaus, editor and proprietor of The Leader, published at Pierce, Nebraska, is one of the leading newspaper men of Pierce county. He has followed the work for many years, having been identified with different organs in that part of Nebraska, and since acquiring management of the above paper, has doubled the plant and circulation of the same.
Mr. Backhaus is a native of Iowa, born in Allamakee county on August 18, 1880. He left that state with his parents when a small boy,
coming to Holt county, Nebraska, in the fall of 1887, locating sixteen miles southwest of Atkinson. Here he received his education, attending the sandhill schools with his brother and sister, walking six miles to and from school, and these trips were attended by considerable risk in those days, the children from several families being obliged to cross a river by boat in order to reach the school, and often they had exciting experiences along the way.
Mr. Backhaus remained, working on his father's farm until he was eighteen years of age, then entered the office of the Holt County Independent at O'Neill, and served his apprenticeship to the printer's trade.
After an exteneded [sic] trip through the state, he entered the office of the Stuart Ledger at Stuart, soon afterwards entering into partnership with the editor of that paper, and they also started the Naper News in Boyd county, their equipment being a small hand press and some old type given them by Mr. Evans, of the O'Neill Independent, this same press being the one with which he started in business. However, a beginning was made in the small village, which gave no great promise of its later increase, the young men alternating between Naper and Stuart, a division finally being made, by which our subject was to handle the Stuart paper and the partner the Naper News. The latter was transferred to a successor about a year later, when Mr. Backhaus secured a position on the Post at Lindsay, Platte county, remaining for one year in the position, and then purchased the paper, which he edited for two years and sold. In February, 1903, he came to Pierce, and bought the Leader, which he has run ever since, this being the chief official organ of the democratic party in Pierce county.
Our subject was married in Lindsay, June 15, 1903, to Miss Elizabeth Thomazin, daughter of Thomas and Mary Thomazin, natives of England, the latter now living with Mr. and Mrs. Backhaus.
Two children have been born to our subject and his charming wife, Ramona and Edgar, both bright and interesting young people.
Mr. Backhaus has always been affiliated with the democratic party, and, through his paper, gives his earliest support to the candidates and principles of his party. He is popular in business and educational circles in his vicinity, and a man highly esteemed by the people. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America lodge of Pierce.
NIELS P. JENSEN.
A fine two hundred and fifty acre farm is owned and operated by the gentleman above named. He resides on section twenty-four, and is one of the influential citizens of Howard county, having been identified with public affairs of his locality for the past thirty-six years or more.
Niels P. Jensen is a representative son of Denmark, having been born there on August 29, 1868, and at the age of four years came to America with his father, mother, three sisters and one brother, he being the fourth in order of birth. The ship on which they came over stopped at New Brunswick, and from there the Jensens went to Quebec, remaining a short time, then came on to the United States, settling at first in Iowa. The father took a farm in Blackhawk county, and after three years residence there the entire family came to Howard county, locating on a homestead on section thirty-two, township fifteen, range eleven, proved up and occupied it as the home place for some years after the death of the father, Lars Jensen, in the spring of 1893. The mother survived him for two years, her death occurring in 1895, and two years later the farm was divided among the children. Our subject started out for himself when about twelve years of age, working by the month on farms in that vicinity, and in 1898 purchased his home place which he still carries on, and which he has developed into a fine farm, devoting his entire time to grain and stock raising so that he has become one of the well known prosperous men of his locality.
Mr. Jensen was married to Annie Andersen, on March 5, 1890. Mrs. Jensen is a native of Denmark, coming to America with her parents in the spring of 1888. Ten children were born of their union, all of whom are living, as follows: Carrie, wife of George Wall, they living on a good farm in this county; John, Mary, Ida, Hans, Chris, James, Olea, Walter and Peter, all at home.
Mrs. Jensen died on the homestead May 22, 1908, and her demise was a sad misfortune to her family, who together with a host of friends sincerely mourn her. She was a woman of lovely character, a devoted wife and mother, and was sorely needed in her home and community.
In the earlier years Mr. Jensen was a member of the school board in district number two, which was the first school established in Howard county outside of the St. Paul schools. He has also been prominent in local public affairs.
On January 26, 1909, Mr. Jensen married Mrs. Minnie Hansen, also a native of Denmark, whose parents still reside in that country. By the last marriage there has been one child, Christina.
DIRK O. FRANZEN.
The Franzen family were among the very earliest settlers of Nebraska and passed through the experiences and trials of pioneer life. They have had much to do with the development and advancement, of the best interests of Valley county and are numbered among the most prosperous and successful of the early comers. Dirk O. Franzen is a native of the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, born in the village of Luelesberg, province of East Friesland, May 15, 1850, youngest
of the eight children of Onka and Jantje (Franders) Franzen. The parents were born, reared and marired [sic] in Germany, where all. their children were also born and reared. Two brothers and one sister of Dirk O. Franzen came to the United States before he did and in the fall of 1873 his father and another sister came, and all settled in Cass county, Nebraska, except one sister, who settled first in Pennsylvania, but in later life came to Jefferson county, Nebraska. The father died in Cass county in 1881 in his eighty-eighth year; the mother had died in Germany in 1866. Mr. Franzen had a brother, Claus, in Germany, who died December 25, 1910, a brother, Frank, in Valley county, and a sister, Christina, (Mrs. Harm Lottman), in Cass county.
As a young man Dirk O. Franzen served three years in the German army, and during that time served in the Franco-German war. He participated in thirteen battles, the siege of Metz and the campaign against the army of the Loire. He came to the United States in the fall of 1872, sailing from Hamburg in the "Ohio," landing in Baltimore after a voyage of eighteen days. He reached Nebraska December 1, of that year. He was the only one of the family who came to the United States at that time and located first in Cass county, where he was employed by the month at farm work. January 2, 1879, he married Miss Sophia Peters, in Cass county. She was a daughter of Peter and Lena (Shoemaker) Peters. The father came to the United States in 1855, and Miss Shoemaker came shortly afterward and they were married in Cook county, Illinois, in 1857, having known each other in Germany. In 1860, Mr. and Mrs. Peters brought their children, Sophia and William, to Cass county, Nebraska. being of the hardy pioneer band to pave the way for the present prosperity and development of the region. Six children were born to Mr. Peters and wife in Nebraska. The mother died in Cass county, October 23, 1897, and the father February 28, 1904, both in their seventy-second year. Of their children six now survive and all live in Nebraska except Louis, of Kansas. Two sons and two daughters live in Cass county; Mrs. Ludwig Lenz and Mrs. Dirk Franzen live in Valley county.
After his marriage Mr. Franzen and his wife began farming for themselves and rented a farm in Cass county until February, 1884, then moved to Valley county and there secured a homestead. They now have a well equipped grain and stock farm of four hundred and eighty acres of land on section four, township seventeen, range sixteen, which has been developed and improved by the efforts of Mr. Franzen and his. family. They won their present success and prosperity by years of hard work and the practice of economy and thrift., Eight children were born to Mr. Franzen and wife, namely: Emma, wife of Theodore Shultz, of Valley county, has two sons; Henry, married and living in Cass county; Frank, married and living on section three, township seventeen, range sixteen, has one child; Anna and Alvina, at home; Mary, wife of Neaman Bouma, of Valley county; and Christina and Claus, at home. The family has a good standing in the community and has many friends.
Mr. Franzen is independent in politics and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Mr. Franzen first lived in a sod house like most of the pioneers. He built a fine concrete block house in 1906, and nearly all the other buildings on the place have been erected since Mr. Franzen came into possession of it. The dry year, 1894, nothing was raised on the farm, and on several occasions severe hail storms destroyed his crops. At the time of the memorable blizzard of January 12, 1888, Mr. Franzen was in Arcadia, and made his way home traversing the three miles bent almost to the ground in order to withstand the severe wind and to better see the ruts of the road leading home.
EDMUND P. WEATHERBY.
The gentleman above named is one of the foremost citizens of Norfolk, Nebraska, and is a very well known and esteemed member of the northeastern part of Nebraska.
Edmund P. Weatherby was born in Morrow county, Ohio, March 2, 1846, and was third of six children in the family of Thomas and Sophia Weatherby, who had three sons and three daughters, Edmund being the eldest son. The parents were natives of New York state.
The Weatherby family went to Dubuque county, Iowa, in the spring of 1859, locating in Epworth, where the children attended the seminary at that place. Our subject's father purchased a farm in Delaware county, Iowa, in 1860, and removed his family to the farm.
Edmund Weatherby was a student in Lennox College at Hopkinton, Iowa, in the spring of 1864. The president of that college enlisted in the war as Captain in Company C, Forty-fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and with him in this company he enrolled about sixty of his students, the subject of this sketch being one of the number, and saw such service as fell to the lot of the regiment. This company was in the one-hundred-day service, and in September was mustered out at Davenport, Iowa.
Mr. Weatherby then returned to his home in Delaware county, Iowa, and the following year attended Cornell College at Mount Vernon, Iowa, where he remained until his senior year; then going into a law office in Manchester, Iowa, as a law student. In 1869, Mr. Weatherby began the practice of law in Manchester, and later on practiced in Dubuque, Iowa. In the spring of 1875 he came to Pierce county, Nebraska, opening up a law office in Pierce; and in the fall of 1886, moved to Creighton, Knox county, Nebraska,
where he again began the practice of his profession in a new field.
In 1888, Mr. Weatherby was the nominee on the democratic ticket in the third Nebraska congressional district, making a fine run in a strong republican district, and although he suffered defeat he had the honor of six hundred majority over his opponent, in his opponent's home county. Mr. Weatherby continued the practice of law in Creighton until the fall of 1889, when he came to Norfolk for residence, opening up his law office in Norfolk and still continues his law practice at this place, where be now enjoys a large clientele. He has been a prominent attorney of Nebraska many years and in 1898 received the appointment of United States referee in bankruptcy for the district of Nebraska. Mr. Weatherby is prominent along all lines, political, social and educational, and has creditably filled different offices, among which he served in the capacity of city attorney of Norfolk several terms.
Mr. Weatherby was married at Creighton, Nebraska, September 3, 1890, to Miss Gertrude Warrick, a native of Iowa, coming to Nebraska with her parents about 1885. Mr. and Mrs. Weatherby occupy one of the pleasant homes of Norfolk, and enjoy the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends.
Mr. Weatherby is a past commander of Norfolk Post Grand Army of the Republic, and is affiliated with the Knight of Pythias lodge, being chancellor commander in that fraternity. He is national and state aid de camp in the Grand Army of the Republic.
JAMES W. HALLIWILL.
James W. Halliwill, a prosperous and successful farmer owning sixteen hundred acres of land, most of it within the borders of Custer county, is highly esteemed as a public-spirited and progressive citizen, who is interested in the upbuilding of the central portion of Nebraska. He passed through the experiences and hardships of the early days in his region and is well and favorably known. He was born in Jasper county, Iowa, October 26, 1862, next to the oldest of six children born to Austin and Rebecca (Sims) Halliwill. He has one sister in Long Beach, California, and two brothers in Iowa, and two of the children are deceased. The father was born in Medias, Guilford, Ohio, August 16, 1833, and the mother in Indiana, April 13, 1844, and they now reside in Mitchellville, Iowa.
Mr. Halliwill grew to manhood on an Iowa farm, received his education in the public schools, and its a young man engaged in farming on his own account. In the fall of 1884 he decided to seek the larger opportunities offered for advancement in the west and pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land and took up a tree claim of like size about twenty miles west of Broken Bow, Custer county. After proving up his claims to these properties he took another one hundred find sixty acres of land as a homestead and another tree claim adjoining. On June 1, 1898, Mr. Halliwill married Miss Julia M. Klump, of Custer county, a native of Jo Daviess county, Illinois, and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Klump, who were among the early settlers on West Table, Custer county, and became prominent in local affairs. Two children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Halliwill: Everett Lee, and Rebecca Jane.
In 1903 Mr. Halliwill purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section fifteen, township seventeen, range twenty-three, to which the family moved. He has in this place a well improved and equipped farm, well adapted for raising grain and stock, and very productive. He has been identified with the best interests of his county and state and is always ready to advance any movement for the general welfare and progress. For some years past he has served on the board of school district number one hundred fifty-one. He and his wife are well known in various circles and have many friends.
JOHN C. HOFFMAN.
That success comes to the man who earnestly seeks it, is well illustrated in the career of John C. Hoffman, landed proprietor and business man of Plainview, Nebraska. He began with nothing except his energy and integrity, and was able in the prime of life to retire on a competency, though life and energy were too strong for him to remain in retirement long.
Mr. Hoffman was born in Girard, Trumbull county, Ohio, December 15, 1863, where the first four years of his life were spent there. The family then moved to Richland county, Wisconsin, where he attended school and assisted in working the home farm until he was eighteen years of age. In 1882 he sojourned in Dakota a short time, then to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he spent one year, coming to Chase county, Nebraska, in 1884, while that vicinity was still unorganized as a county. He was among those who helped form this county, and afterwards started on a prospecting trip to the Colorado mountains, being in the employ of a Chicago mining company. He remained with this firm for two years, then sought work in the mines at Park City, Utah, where he remained for a short time, finally returning to his parent's home in Wisconsin in 1889. He spent that winter with the old folks, and in the spring of 1890 came to Chamberlain, South Dakota, looking for a place to settle, but finding no opening alluring enough to hold him, decided to seek other fields. He adopted a novel mode of travel, in that he secured a skiff and floated down the Missouri River to Niobrara, stopping to inspect different points along the way. On arriving at Niobrara he proceeded across country to Lynch, where he met John
Lynch, for whom the town was named, who shared his dugout with the young stranger. Mr. Hoffman filed on a homestead west of the town site, and in May opened a small store in Lynch, which he ran for a year and a half; this was the first mercantile establishment and gives Mr. Hoffman undisputed title to pioneer merchant [of] Boyd county. He then went into partnership with Frank Muller, to whom he sold out his interest at the end of the first year. Mr. Boonsteel, who had the faculty of seeking out honest, industrious young men with whom he started new enterprises, made Mr. Hoffman an offer, which would have joined them in a profitable business venture, but the illness and subsequent death of the elder man played havoc with their plans. C. S. Anderson became an available partner in his next enterprise, and for three years they worked together and prospered to a flattering degree; then dissolved partnership, Mr. Hoffman retiring to reside on his homestead near town, where he farmed for a time.
After fully proving up on his claim, mercantile life again drew his attention to such an extent that he returned to town, establishing a new store which grew rapidly, compelling him to add to his floor space frequently, until at the time of his retirement in 1908, he had the largest store in the county. On retiring from active business life Mr. Hoffman engaged in the real estate business in connection with the management of his own large estate. He owns twelve hundred and eighty acres of fine Boyd county land, besides a half section in Minnesota, which he took in exchange for his stock of merchandise on quitting the store. But inactivity did not agree with a man in the prime of life with all his faculties still unimpaired and one of steady habits. On the failure of one of the old mercantile establishments in Plainview in the fall of 1910, Mr. Hoffman leased the building from the new owners and filled it with a complete new stock of general merchandise, which his years of experience enabled him to select with a view to the best for local needs.
Mr. Hoffman was married in Lynch, on November 25, 1895, to Miss Kate Johnson, daughter of Marcellus Johnson, who for many years was post blacksmith at the Rosebud and Yankton Agencies, also at Fort Randall prior to his removal to Lynch in 1893. Four children have come to gladden the Hoffman home, namely: Lloyd, Kenneth, Marvin and Duane.
Mr. Hoffman is a democrat in political faith. He was one of the members of the first board of county commissioners of Boyd county, and served two terms. He served as a member of the village council of Lynch, also on the board of education for a number of years. He is a member of the Masonic lodge at Butte, also of the Royal Highlanders, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen of Lynch.
Mr. Hoffman's success is not an accident; he has won his wealth by the exercise of good judgement and honest dealings which make for success in any field of human endeavor.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN PHELPS.
Abraham Lincoln Phelps, an old settler of Merrick county, Nebraska, has done his full share toward the development and improvement of its fertile lands. He is a prosperous and successful citizen who has the respect and esteem of all who know him.
Mr. Phelps was born in the state of Wisconsin, December 10, 1861, and was ninth of ten children in the family of Elnathan and Lucy (Wilson) Phelps, who had three sons and seven daughters. The Phelps family moved to Merrick county, Nebraska, in 1867, coming overland by wagon. The father homesteaded land one mile east of Central City. In the memorable cyclone on July 5, 1871, Mr. Phelps, senior, was killed on the homestead. The Phelps house was destroyed, and of the family two daughters, Rose and Carrie, and boy Abraham, and the father were in the house at this time. Mr. Phelps, senior, had his neck broken, Abraham, our subject, had his collar bone broken and was knocked senseless, and Rose had her head injured.
Abraham Phelps from his sixth year grew up in Merrick county, and Merrick county has been his home until this time. In past years he trailed cattle throughout the west, shipping them. He is now located on the old John Allen homestead, four miles north of Clarks.
Mr. Phelps was united in marriage to Miss Cora Richfield in Central City, Nebraska, about the spring of 1880, and four children have been born to them: Gertrude, wife of Paul Cunningham*, has three children and resides in the state of Washington, on Whitby Island, eight miles from Seattle; Alnathan, married and lives in Merrick county; and William and Archie, who reside at home.
Mr. Phelps is a pioneer in its truest sense, having grown up from boyhood in Merrick county, and has seen that section of Nebraska come up to its present condition of prosperity and plenty. He has had a wide western experience, and is a man of high character and known integrity. He has a brother living on Prairie Island, east of Central City.
Of the cyclone in which Mr. Phelps, senior, lost his life, we herewith give a full account: "July 5, 1871, about six o'clock in the evening a tornado or waterspout crossed the country going in an easterly direction from Central City, and about one mile east of town destroyed the house of Elnathan Phelps, where he and three of his children were eating supper. They were carried some feet in the air and cast upon the ground some yards from where the building stood. The dead body of Mr. Phelps was found
Gertrude Phelps married Lemuel Seaman Cunningham of Polk County, NE (son of Paul & Mary Eliza Seaman Cunningham).
Would appreciate a note in the book. Rosamond Cunningham, granddaughter <firstname.lastname@example.org> 1 Apr 2003
in the debris of a cottonwood tree. The children escaped without suffering serious injury."
E. S. BAGLEY.
E. S. Bagley, a native of the Green Mountain state, is one in whose veins flows the energetic blood of Yankee land. He was born in the village of Londonderry, Vermont, June 3, 1859, a son of George A. and Mary (Perkins) Bagley, both natives of Windsor, that state. The father was a tinner by trade. He moved to Walworth county, Wisconsin, near the town of Palmyra, where he farmed and worked at his trade, and where his remaining life was spent.
E. S. Bagley learned his father's trade, and when a young man moved to Whitmore, Iowa, where he ran a tin shop for several years. He next went into the hardware business at West Bend, in connection with his tin work, remaining until the fall of 1884. For six months he was at work at his trade in Dows, when he removed to Nebraska in April, 1885. He opened a hardware store in Geneva, which he sold two years later to engage in the lumber business at Milligan. In the spring of 1889, he removed to Creighton, dealing in lumber and coal until 1897, when he came to Bloomfield, then a new town. Here he opened a stock of general merchandise, which he sold in 1899 to engage in extensive lumber business in partnership with Mr. Edward Rennard, with whom he owns a chain of lumber and hardware establishments along the line of the Bloomfield branch of the Northwestern line.
Mr. Bagley was married at Whittemore, Iowa, July 17, 1881, to Miss Martha Vigren. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bagley, none of whom survive.
Mr. Bagley is independent in politics, reserving the privilege of voting for the man he considers best fitted for the office, regardless of the party trade mark or stamp. He is a member of the Masonic order in Bloomfield, and of the local camp Modern Woodmen of America.
Mr. Bagley has traveled extensively, having journeyed from coast to coast. He visited the Jamestown exposition in 1907, and attended the National Lumbermen's convention at San Francisco in 1904.
As a business man, Mr. Bagley has, demonstrated his ability in several lines of enterprise, and is now one of the moving spirits of an extensive chain of establishments in northeastern Nebraska. He is universally acknowledged to be a, good neighbor and genial friend.
MICHAEL C. CASSIN.
Michael C. Cassin, the subject of this personal history, is one of the best known and highly successful business men of Columbus, Platte county, Nebraska, and holds the respect and esteem of all who know and have dealings with him.
Patrick Cassin, our subject's father, was born in Pennsylvania about 1823, where he lived until 1878. In 1862 he was married to Miss Ellen Milan in Pennsylvania, and six children were born of this union in Pennsylvania: John, James, Michael, Thomas, Mary and Elizabeth. Mr. Cassin by occupation was a farmer; and in June, 1878, he and his family moved to Columbus, Nebraska, arriving about the seventh of that month, where Mr. Cassin became an employee of the Union Pacific railroad. He made Columbus his home until the time of his death, in September, 1896; and Mrs. Cassin died October 13, 1909. Two children, Joseph and Margaret, were born to Mr. and Mrs. Cassin in Columbus, and at the time of Mrs. Cassin's death seven children survived, four sons and three daughters. All of the children are residents of Nebraska, except John, the eldest, who resides in Colorado; and five of them reside in Platte county.
Michael C. Cassin, subject of this sketch, was born April 22, 1868, in Pennsylvania, so was in his tenth year when the family came to Columbus in 1878, and he grew up to manhood in Platte county. September 22, 1891, Mr. Cassin was married to Miss Sarah Kohler, daughter of Charles and Catherine Kohler. The Kohler family moved from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, about 1857, and was one of the pioneer homesteaders of Platte county, and the old homestead farm was the home of Mr. Kohler until the time of his death in April, 1888, he being survived by his widow and eight children, five sons and three daughters, all of whom live in Nebraska except a daughter who is married and resides in Idaho. Mr. and Mrs. Kohler and family was one of the representative families of Colfax county. They were pioneers in every sense of the word, passing through the Indian days, hard times, etc., becoming one of the successful families of this county. Mrs. Kohler continues to be an active factor in Colfax county and still resides on the farm. The family of sons and daughters grew up to manhood and womanhood in Colfax county, where they are widely known and have the respect and esteem of many friends.
Mr. Cassin is one of the energetic and successful business men of Columbus where he is engaged in the meat market business, having one of the best equipped and finest markets in central Nebraska; and is also an extensive buyer and shipper of live stock.
Mr. and Mrs. Cassin have a fine modern home in Columbus, and also own a farm adjoining the city. They have one child, a son, Lloyd.
MICHAEL H. RAFFERTY.
Among the progressive and energetic pioneers of eastern Nebraska, who have contributed largely to the prosperity enjoyed in that region, a high station is accorded the gentleman above named.
Mr. Rafferty first set foot on Nebraska soil in 1869, when he made a trip to Lincoln before a railroad had reached that point. He did not again come to the state until February, 1881, at which time he settled in Saunders county, eight miles west of Ashland. In December, 1882, he filed on a homestead in Antelope county, three miles north of Brunswick, and later secured a timber claim; here he lived eleven years, moving to Creighton in 1893. He is a mason and builder and has found work at his trade here ever since. He has a large, commodious home in the southern part of town and at present is taking life easy, enjoying a well earned rest.
Mr. Rafferty was born near Easton, Pennsylvania, June 8, 1844, and was living there at the outbreak of the civil war. He enlisted in Company K, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, August 1, 1862, and served until May 20, 1863, under Burnsides, Hooker, and Meade. He participated in the battles of Centerville, Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and a number of minor engagements. After the war Mr. Rafferty's parents moved to Ohio, and here he worked at his trade in and near Fremont, until coming west. His parents, Michael and Margaret (Clemens) Rafferty, were natives of Ireland and Pennsylvania, respectively, and both died in Ohio.
Mr. Rafferty was married near Fremont, August 29, 1865, to Miss Mary Keiser, a native of Fremont. Her parents, William and Catherine (Baer) Keiser, came to Nebraska in 1869, securing a homestead near Ashland. A son, brother to Mrs. Rafferty, had been in the state since 1869, teaching, and was instrumental in organizing the district and public schools of that region.
Mr. and Mrs. Rafferty are the parents of nine living children: Cora, is the wife of Mr. John Carpenter, of Wingate, Indiana; Samuel, lives at Oakfield, Wisconsin; William, has been in Chicago since 1893; Walter, makes his home in Lynch, Nebraska; Harry, resides at Casper, Wyoming; Charles, resides near his brother, Walter; Florence, married John Hengstler, and lives on their farm two miles south of town, while Grace and Catherine, are still under the parental roof.
During his early years in Nebraska, Mr. Rafferty sought work in the west, and while on the Oregon Short Line in Utah and Idaho, helped a number of times to shovel trains out of the snow drifts; at one place there were three engines and a snow plow piled up on the two sides of the tracks. In 1890 he spent some six months in Idaho, and since that time has confined his energies to northeastern Nebraska.
In politics Mr. Rafferty is a democrat, and is a comrade of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic. Mrs. Rafferty and daughters are members of the Congregational church.
Young folks of the present day can scarcely comprehend the wonderful change and progress in the west since Mr. Rafferty first set foot in Nebraska, or even since his coming more than a. decade later. Open country is now a thing of the past; in those days one might ride to the Pacific coast unimpeded by a fence, while now fine groves break the horizon where only waving grass appeared. Such are the wonders that have been wrought by the hardy pioneers within the lifetime of their children who were born here, and who are still in their minority.
John Davis, now living retired from active life at Ansley, Nebraska, is one of the early settlers of Custer county and has been identified with the history and development of the same for more than a quarter of a century. He is the son of Joseph and Mary A. (Arnold) Davis, who were pioneers of central Nebraska, and was born July 29, 1863, in Macon county, Illinois, being the fourth of eight children. He has a brother in Wisconsin; one sister, Mrs. Esther Lannum, living in Ansley; another sister, Mrs. Charles Arnold, also living in Custer county; a brother, William Davis, in Broken Bow, and others of the family are deceased. The father, who was of German and English descent, was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, and died in Ansley in January, 1901, and the mother of English descent, was born in Virginia and died in Custer county in 1898.
At the age of seventeen years Mr. Davis came with his parents to Custer county and there the father secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land on Clear creek.
John Davis remained with his parents until his marriage July 4, 1889, at Grand Island, Nebraska, to Kate Caves, who was born in Waushara county, Wisconsin. She had been a teacher in the public schools of Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska, and is one of eleven children, all of whom still survive. She has a sister, Mrs. Bert Lanphear, in Rock county, Nebraska; four brothers and two sisters in Wisconsin; a sister in Arkansas; one in Montana, and another in Iowa. Her parents, Joel and Eliza (Stratton) Caves, were natives of England, and both died in Wisconsin, he in 1886 and she in 1880.
After his marriage Mr. Davis located in Ansley and engaged in the meat business and dealing in stock. He pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land on Clear creek, in 1885, and became a large landholder and an extensive stock feeder. In 1910 he erected the fine home where they now live. He and his wife had one child, C. Joda, who died October 10, 1910, at the age of eighteen years, sadly mourned by her parents and many friends.
Both Mr. Davis and his wife have spent a large part of their lives in Nebraska and they are well and favorably known. They are inter-
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by T&C Miller, P Ebel, P Shipley, L Cook