RICHARD E. ALLEN.
Richard E. Allen, of Arnold, has long been an important factor in the affairs of his community, where he has a wide acquaintance. He is one of successful men of Custer county, and has large land holdings there, owning the town site of Arnold. He was born in Livingston county, New York, April 21, 1857, third of the six children of Silas E. and Amelia (Blakesley) Allen. The parents were natives of New York and were married there. They had one daughter and five sons, but the only member of the family now living in Nebraska is Richard, although two other sons and the daughter at one time lived there. The parents came to Custer county several years after Richard, early in the spring of 1886, he took a homestead in township seventeen, range twenty-five. The mother died in Arnold in February, 1895, and the father some years later removed to Kearney, where he died in May, 1905. The daughter and four sons now survive.
Mr. Allen was born on a farm near Mount Morris, but in 1858, when he was about one year old, the family removed to a farm adjoining the town of Alvira in Clinton county, Iowa. In the winter of 1863 they moved to Linn county in the same state, and Mr. Allen was married December 8, 1878, to Lovira Parks, a native of Iowa and a daughter of Morgan S. and Lydia Parks.
In April, 1880, Mr. and Mrs. Allen and one child left Linn county, Iowa, via the "prairie schooner" route, for Nebraska, accompanied by the family of Joseph Hall. They reached Custer county in June, and July 5 of the same year Mr. Allen filed an entry on a homestead on the northeast quarter of section twenty-eight, township seventeen, range twenty-five. He was the original homesteader of the locality, as at the time he came there were only cattle men living there and using the land for grazing.
In the fall of 1883, Mr. Allen laid out the town of Arnold on a part of the homestead entry. This was one of the early inland towns of the state. In the early days the little settlement had to haul merchandise and supplies from Cozad on the main line of the Union Pacific railroad, and later from Gothenburg, when the latter town came into existence. Before the advent of the homesteaders into Custer county little thought was given to the project of making the region a farming locality, as it was then used only for grazing cattle. Mr. Allen has lived on his homestead since these conditions existed and has made it his home since making the entry on the land, although he is now in the midst of the village of Arnold, which is just beginning to boom as a result of the extension or the railroad to Gaudy, Logan county, through Arnold, in the fall of 1911. After nearly thirty years of existence the town has received new impetus for progress and growth, and Mr. Allen has had much to do with this condition. He was an early merchant in Arnold, but went out of business in 1889. He served seven years in early days as postmaster in the village, following George Arnold, the first postmaster. Since giving up his mercantile interests, he has devoted his attention chiefly to his farming and stock interests, which are extensive. He served as township supervisor during the first year after this system was adopted and has held other local offices, being active in educational matters. He has a host of friends and is a popular and public-spirited citizen.
Mr. and Mrs. Allen have three daughters: Gertrude, married Andrew J. McCant, and they live in Arnold; Myrtle May, married William Chadima, lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Blanche R., married Charles F. McGuire, and they live on the old homestead. The family have a pleasant and comfortable home in Arnold, which is in sharp contrast to their first habitation, which was a pine log cabin.
One of the prominent farmers of Wayne county is the gentleman named above, who resides in section fifteen, township twenty-six, range three, on his well equipped farm, with its comfortable home. He is one of those substantial citizens whose industry and thrift have added so much to the development of the state. For many years Mr. Klopping has been identified with the agricultural interests of this section of the country, and he has done his full share in bringing about the present prosperity enjoyed by the residents of the community.
Mr. Klopping is a native of Prussia, Germany, and was born March 21, 1866, the son of Fred and Minnie Klopping, who were small farmers of their community.
In 1880, the subscriber, with his parents, left his native land for America, coming by steamship from Bremen to New York City. The family came west at once, and settled in Iowa, where Henry Klopping remained for about fourteen years. The father and mother are still on the same farm in Iowa.
It was while in Iowa that he was married to Miss Mary Beck, March 7, 1889. Mrs. Klopping is a daughter of Rasmus and Jane Beck, the former born in Germany, and the latter in Missouri. Mr. Beck died when Mrs. Klopping was only six years old, and Mrs. Beck died in March, 1911. Mr. and Mrs. Klopping are the parents of seven children, all of whom are living except one. They are named as follows: Frank, Roy, Hazel, deceased, Bryan, Fred, Albert and Glenn. The family is well and favorably known in the community.
In 1892, Mr. Klopping decided to move to the less thickly settled state of Nebraska, where land was cheap. He came to Wayne county and
bought the farm, which has been in his possession ever since. Since owning it, he has, little by little. added many extensive improvements so that now it is a picture, of thrift and good mangement.
Walter Chamberlin, a banker of Clarks, Nebraska, is one of the leading men of his community as well as one of the old settlers in eastern Nebraska, and to his efforts and influence during many years have been due much of the prosperity enjoyed by the residents of that region.
Mr. Chamberlin was born in Cascade, Iowa, February 2, 1862, and was fourth in the family of Simon and Deborah (Price) Chamberlin, who had two sons and three daughters, the parents being natives of New York state. Of this family Mr. Chamberlin and three sisters are now living. Mrs. John A. Stockton resides in Falls City, Nebraska, and the other two sisters live in Missouri. Mr. Chamberlin is now engaged in the banking business in Clarks, Merrick county, Nebraska, in which state he has continued in that business since 1884. He organized the State Bank of Clarks in 1889, which institution was reorganized as a National bank in 1903, with the following officers: Walter Chamberlin, president; A. D. Sears, vice president; Marvin Chamberlin, cashier. This is a solid, progressive bank. Besides his banking business, Mr. Chamberlin is active along other financial and business lines. Mr. Chamberlin grew up to his young manhood in the state of Missouri, the family going from Iowa to that state when he was seven years of age.
On November 3, 1887, Mr. Chamberlin was married to Miss Mary E. Tracey in Pawnee City, Nebraska, a native of Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlin have two children: Walter, junior, and Edward S., both of whom reside at home.
Mr. Chamberlin has been a member of the school board of Clarks for a number of years, and is otherwise active along municipal lines.
The Chamberlin family are of English descent, and an old New England family prominent in early history.
J. A. SKALBERG.
J. A. Skalberg, one of the oldest settlers of the region where he chose his home in the early days, occupies a goodly estate in section nineteen, township twenty-nine, range two, Knox county, Nebraska. Here he has done his share in the upbuilding of his locality, and has become well and favorably known throughout that part of the state.
Mr. Skalberg is a native of Sweden. and was born February 28, 1865, growing to the age of nine years in his birthplace. Then, with his father, he left his native land and came to America, taking passage on an emigrant ship, which landed in New York City. His mother died when he was about two years old.
Their first location was in Page county, Iowa, and after about twelve years, J. A. Skalberg came to Wakefield, Nebraska, where he spent about seven years. In March, 1892, he came to Knox county, purchased one hundred and sixty acres of well located land, and began farming on his own account. He has made this farm his home since that time, and has made of the tract a finely cultivated and improved place, equipped with substantial buildings of all kinds, stocked with all kinds of farm animals, and raises good crops of grain, etc. He has some fine trees on the place, a good orchard, and altogether, his property is one of the most valuable in that part of the county, consisting in all of two hundred and forty acres.
February 11, 1888, Mr. Skalberg was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Peterson, who was born in Page county, Iowa, a daughter of O. P. and Sarah Peterson, who were born in Sweden and came to America when children. To our subject and his estimable wife have been born ten children, as follows: Harry, Roy, David, Norris, Vernie, Bertha, Hazel, Mayme, Emma, and Christal, all of whom are industrious and intelligent young people, helping their parents in carring on the farm work.
Mr. and Mrs. Skalberg are members of the Mission church at Wausa, and the entire family attend its services.
Wallen Cameron, retired farmer of Schuyler, Nebraska, is a son of Alexander and Lydia (Miller) Cameron, his birth occurring October 1, 1833, in Ohio. He was eldest in a family of six children, and has one sister, Mary E. Lafferty, residing in Findley, Ohio, the other children being deceased, as are also the parents, they both having passed away in Hancock county, Ohio. Mr. Cameron received his education in the home schools and later engaged in farming.
On April 19, 1857, Mr. Cameron was united in marriage to Miss Sarah J. Woods, of Hancock county, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Cameron have had six children born to them, four of whom are living: Melville D., who is married and lives in Omaha, Nebraska; Jennie, wife of Rev. W. W. Wells, resides in Valentine, Nebraska, and they have three children; Horace A., also married, lives in Omaha; Alexander B., is married, has four children, and lives in South Dakota; James C., died in 1878, in infancy; and Wallen died in 1893, at the age of twelve years.
On November 18, 1861, Mr. Cameron enlisted in Company H, Western Sharpshooters, afterward called the Sixty-sixth. Illinois Infantry, serving until the close of the war; be received his honorable discharge at Joliet, Illinois, in July,
1865. Decisive battles engaged in were at Fort Donaldson, Shiloh, advance on Corinth, as also in the battle of Corinth. In December of 1863, his company marched from Corinth to Pulaski, Tennessee, camping for the winter, and there re-enlisting in the same regiment. After a forced march to Lookout Mountain they engaged in the Siege of Atlanta, being under fire for about one hundred days. They recruited at Rome, Georgia, and was with General Sherman on his famous march to the sea, and also participated in the battle of Bentonville, and many minor engagements and skirmishes; and he also participated in the grand review at Washington, after the strife of war had ceased, and peace reigned in the land.
After the war, Mr. Cameron returned to Ohio, remaining until June, 1872, when he came to Colfax county, Nebraska, and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land in Shell Creek precinct. In a couple of weeks Mr. Cameron returned to Ohio, and in October of the same year, with his wife and four children, drove to the Nebraska homestead; several years later he purchased eighty acres in Schuyler precinct and moved onto the same. He afterwards accumulated a farm of more than one thousand acres in one body, it being the finest farm in Colfax county at that time, and is still known as the "Cameron farm."
In 1883, Mr. Cameron sold his farm and moved into Schuyler, running a hotel for a few years, then selling out and purchasing a farm joining the city limits of Schuyler, where they lived until March, 1910, when Mr. Cameron retired, and moved to Schuyler, where he bought a good home, which is now the residence of the Cameron family.
Mr. Cameron has been prosperous and successful, now owning three hundred and twenty acres of fine farm land, aside from good city property. Mr. and Mrs. Cameron have passed through all the discouragements and trying pioneer experiences. They are widely known, enjoying the highest respect of the community. Mr. Cameron is chaplain of the Phil Sheridan Post of Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. and Mrs. Cameron are both members of the Methodist Episcopal church and have been for over fifty years.
The gentleman above mentioned is counted among the oldest settlers of Antelope county, Nebraska, and since locating here in 1878 has taken foremost part in the development of this region. Mr. Brittell has built up a good home and farm in section twenty-one, township twenty-three, range six, where he and his family reside and enjoy the respect and warm friendship of a host of friends and acquaintances.
Mr. Brittell was born in Illinois, in 1844, and his father, Isaac Henry Brittell, is a native of France, who came to America when he was a small boy. Our subject's mother, Jane (Scott) Brittell, is a native of Ohio. Our subject grew to manhood in his native state, and during the Civil war enlisted in Company D, Seventy-fifth Illinois, Captain A. McMoore, under General Sherman. He enlisted in 1861, and received an honorable discharge in 1865. The battles Mr. Brittell participated in were at Perryville, Kentucky, Buffalo river, all through the Atlantic campaign and through various parts of the south. After the war Mr. Brittell returned to Illinois, later going to Iowa, driving the entire distance, and here he lived ten years. In 1878 he came to Antelope county, Nebraska, driving in a covered wagon, and took up a homestead in section twenty-one, township twenty-three, range six, where he now lives, and where he first built a sod house, which has been replaced by a fine residence.
In 1868, Mr. Brittell was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie A. Russell, and Mr. and Mrs. Brittell are the parents of five children, named as follows: Ella, who is the wife of Thomas E. Chappell; Roy, who is married to Julia Brittell: Lloyd, married to Grace Russell; Claud, married to Myrtle Dale; and Sidonie, who is married to Fred S. Walker.
Mr. Brittell is well thought of and is a popular man in his community, and has served his county in the capacity of county commissioner for six years. He and his family enjoy the respect and esteem of all who know them.
Thompson Baker, a retired farmer whose home is in Ansley, Nebraska, is honored as a veteran of the civil war and respected as a useful, public-spirited citizen. Mr. Baker was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, January 18, 1839, eighth of the eleven children born to Richard and Catherine (Thompson) Baker, both also natives of Pennsylvania, the father born in Beaver county and the mother in Mercer county. Both died in Beaver county, the father in 1882, and the mother in 1884. Of their children the following facts are available: James, died in 1863, a prisoner in infamous Andersonville prison; William, died in 1908, at the age of eighty years; Sophronia, and Sidney, live in Pennsylvania; John, lives in Iowa; Robert, died in 1862, while confined in Libby prison; George, lives in Pennsylvania: Richard, lives at Westerville, Custer County; Sarah, lives in Pennsylvania; Thompson, is the specific subject of this sketch. Of these children, six sons served in the civil war, all of them with distinction.
The boyhood and young manhood of Thompson Baker were spent on his father's farm and he received the usual education accorded a farmer's son in those times. December 28, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, One Hundredth Pennsylvania Roundheads, served until the close of the
war, and received his final discharge at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 24, 1865. He participated in many important engagements, the most noteworthy of which were: James Island, South Carolina; Bull Run, Virginia; South Mountain, Maryland; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Vicksburg, Mississippi; Jackson, Mississippi; Blue Springs, Tennesse; Siege of Knoxville, Tennessee; Battle of the Wilderness; Spottsylvania Court House; North Anna River, Virginia; Petersburg, Mine Explosion, Popular Grove Church, Hatcher's Run, Fort Steadman, and the final Assault on Petersburg, April 2, 1865. He was promoted to the rank of corporal May 5, 1863; to that of sergeant May 20, 1864, and to first sergeant May 17, 1865.
At the close of the war Mr. Baker returned to Pennsylvania, and there married, October 3, 1865, Sarah E. Huffman, also a native of that state. In March, 1866, this couple moved to Iowa, where they lived on a farm until the fall of 1872, then with his wife and three children, removed to York county, Nebraska, where he secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land not far from the town of York. He also secured a timber claim of a like size. In 1878 he came on farther west to Custer county, which has since been his home. He pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land on Clear creek, where he lived many years.
In the fall of 1880, Mr. Baker was elected sheriff of Custer county. In very early days he did his share in organizing school district number four, and he has always taken great interest in all questions affecting the general welfare and prosperity of the region. In 1897 he moved to Ansley, made his home there for a period of ten years, then returned to his farm, where he lived about two years, and in March, 1910, sold his farming interests and again located in Ansley, where he purchased the comfortable home where they have since resided.
Thirteen children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Baker, of whom eleven now survive: Frank, married and living on Clear creek, eight miles north of Ansley, has three children; Tina, widow of Charles R. Hare, who died September 1, 1904, has one child and lives at Ansley; Richard J., is married and lives in Berwin township, Custer county, and has three children; Walter, married and living on Clear creek, nine miles north of Ansley, has four children; Alice, married Frank Hayse, and they are the parents of three children and live on Clear creek; Hattie B., married William Gardner, and they live on Clear creek, and have eight children; Ralph, a merchant, married and living at Westerville, has three children;, Wesley N., married and living nine miles north of Ansley on Clear creek, has two children; Katehrine, wife of Austin Daniels, lives at Ansley, and they have one child; May, wife of John Davis, lives at Westerville, and they have one child; Maud, wife of Herbert Hollenbeck, lives at Westerville, and they have two children. Mrs. Baker's father, James Huffman, was born in Pennsylvania and spent his entire life there, as did the mother, and Mrs. Baker now has three brothers and a sister still residing in that state. Mr. and Mrs. Baker are well known in Ansley, and vicinity, and have many warm personal friends.
Mr. Baker assisted in the organization of Steadman Post number one hundred and eighty, Grand Army of the Republic, at Westerville, Nebraska, and for a long period of years was active as a member. He is also a member of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Ansley lodge number one hundred and fifty-six.
EDWIN A. MARSH.
Edwin A. Marsh, a prominent citizen of Custer county, belongs to an old English family and is one of the pioneers of the region where he now resides. He is one of the best and most favorably known men in his county, and has always represented the best interests of his county and state. He has passed through the trials and adversities of pioneer days, and is now classed as one of the most successful farmers and stock men of central Nebraska. He has a well equipped stock, and grain farm and a comfortable home, surrounded by modern comforts and conveniences.
Mr. Marsh was born in Glastonbury, Sommersetshire, England, September 19, 1864, eldest child of Francis and Charlotte (Creeby) Marsh, who were the parents of five daughters and two sons. Edwin and his father came to the United States in January, 1880, sailing from Bristol to New York on a freight ship, the voyage lasting nineteen days. They first located in Fillmore county, Nebraska, where the son, Edwin, went to work as a farm hand, and the father found employment in the nursery at Crete. Edwin Marsh worked on a farm three years, beginning at a salary of eight dollars per month, and at the time be left was receiving twenty-six dollars per month. The father returned to Fillmore county after a few years at Crete, and in September, 1881, Edwin Marsh came to Custer county and erected a house on the farm his father had secured as a homestead during the summer of that year. He then returned to Fillmore county, and in April, 1882, the father and mother, with four daughters and two sons, came to live in Custer county. The mother and younger children had come from England in August of 1881 to join the father and son in Fillmore county.
Edwin Marsh lived with his parents until the time of his marriage, June 10, 1888, to Hannah Hyatt, their union taking place in the old sod building, known as Liberty church, in township sixteen, range seventeen. She is a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Abraham W. and Lorain (Severns) Hyatt, the former of German and the latter of French descent. The Hyatt family came to Nebraska in 1878, residing in Saunders
county five years before making permanent settlement in Custer county.
After his marriage, Mr. Marsh moved to his farm on the north half of section four, township sixteen, range seventeen, where he had secured a timber claim in 1885, and this has since been their home. He has four hundred and eighty acres of land in this farm, and one hundred and sixty acres on section thirty-five, township seventeen, range seventeen. He has in various ways helped in the development and welfare of Custer county, and has been a township official at different times. He is a self-made man, and one of the younger pioneers of his part of the state, and has steadily progressed since he began to work at eight dollars per month in 1879. He is an extensive dealer in cattle and hogs, buying, feeding and shipping stock. He also has a number of horses and jacks.
Mr. Marsh's first residence, before marriage, was a dugout with a sod front, which was replaced with a small frame house when he brought home a bride. In 1908 he built his present commodious, modern dwelling, which, from its eminence, commands a fine view of the valley, one of the best located residences in Custer county. A view of this fine property is presented for your inspection on another page.
Among the hardships of the early days, Mr. Marsh recalls hauling hogs in a covered wagon to Grand Island, a distance of seventy-five miles, and receiving only three dollars per hundred for his load. He well remembers an incident of getting grist to the mill through the deep snows. The first week he got only three miles, being compelled to leave his three sacks of wheat at a neighbor's. He tried again the next week, but had to leave after going only four miles. The third week he made a final attempt, and got it to the mill on Muddy creek, only twelve miles from his home.
Three children have been born to Mr. Marsh and wife, namely: Francis W., married Orpha Eastman on Thanksgiving day, 1908, and living in Cherry county, north of Mullen, has one child; Flossie Fern, married Guy Gates, December 23, 1910, and they live in Custer county; and Guy, at home.. The children were all born and reared on the home farm. Mr. Marsh and wife have many friends and acquaintances and are well known in social circles. They are members of the. Christian church. Mr. Marsh is a populist, a member of the Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen.
The father and one brother of Mr. Marsh live at Ansley, and he has four sisters married and living in Custer county.
Residence of E. A. Marsh.
FRANK FREDERICK BRUEGMAN.
Frank Frederick Bruegman, a retired farmer of Osmond, Nebraska, is a native of the province of Holstein, Germany, born in the village of Probsteihagen on April 29, 1864. His parents were Claus and Catherine (Kohlmorgen) Bruegman. The father emigrated with his family to America, sailing from Bremen, February 4, 1878, and landing in New York ten days later. They came directly to Davenport, Iowa, where a son, older than our subject, had settled some time previously. Claus Bruegman found employment in a glucose factory, and remained in that city for three years.
Frank F. Bruegman located in Nebraska with his parents in 1881, and here engaged in farming, having followed that work during his youth. On attaining his majority, he filed on a pre-emption claim four miles east of Osmond, and started for himself. One year later he bought a quarter section nearer the town, and made the latter place his home until 1903. He experienced every form of pioneer life in this vicinity, going through drouths, and endured great hardship during the memorable blizzard of 1888, braving that storm for three hours. He had ridden out to try and drive some of his stock to shelter, and the storm was so severe and blinding that he became bewildered and lost his way, wandering about for two or three hours before his stock was found. His horse refused to go in the storm, and he was obliged to get off and lead him back to his house, arriving safely at last, but not until his family had endured great anxiety because of his absence.
Mr. Bruegman sold his farm about 1904, and bought successively two tracts near Bloomfield, on which he resided for two years, then sold the one last purchased and removed to Denver. He remained there and in Berkeley, a suburb of Denver, for about a year, at which time he returned to Osmond, and has since made this his residence. He owns a good home here, besides two hundred and forty acres of fine farming land four miles east of the town, on which he has a tenant, to care for the place, raising considerable grain and running quite a herd of stock.
Mr. Bruegman was married at Niobrara on January 7, 1902, to Melitta Eggert, a native of Holstein, Germany. In company with her parents, she came to America in 1892, sailing from Hamburg in the Normania, landing in New York after a voyage of about nine days. They settled in Niobrara, Nebraska, where Mr. Eggert was employed for a time in a packing house. He later obtained the contract to supply beef to the Ponca Indians, and during his subsequent long intercourse with them, learned to speak their language fluently - better, in fact, than English. In 1904 he retired from active life, and is taking life easy in a comfortable home in Osmond, moving there in the summer of 1910.
.Mr. and Mrs. Bruegman are the parents of two children, Marie and Frank, junior, both bright and interesting.
Mr. Bruegman is a republican, and an active
party man. He is a member of the Royal Highlanders. and takes a lively interest in all local affairs. With his wife, he attends the Lutheran church, and is among the active workers in that congregation.
JONAS J. BLOMGREN.
Jonas J. Blomgren, senior, accounted one of the most substantial farmers of Howard county, Nebraska, resides on his elegant estate in Danneborg precinct.
Mr. Blomgren was horn in Sweden on April 22, 1837, and grew to manhood in that country. At the age of seventeen, he left. home, and started for himself, following farming the greater part of his time. In 1866 he was married, and continued to live in Sweden with his family for six years, then emigrated to America.
The father, after reaching New York City, started for the west, and upon arriving in Nebraska decided to settle here, picking out a location in Howard county, where he filed on homestead rights in section twenty-two, township thirteen, range eleven, put up a rude shanty, and sent for his wife and three children. After Mrs. Blomgren reached New York City, two of her children, who were taken sick crossing the ocean, were sent to the. hospital, where both died. Following this, Mrs. Blomgren and her son Jonas J., joined Mr. Blomgren in Howard County in 1873. Here they worked faithfully to build up a home, and remained on the place through the pioneer days, suffering many hardships, but in the main being successful in accumulating considerable property. In 1881, Mrs. Blomgren died, leaving two children, to whom our subject has given devoted care, but after the death of his helpmate, often found it hard to keep up the struggle of being both mother and father to his children, and in 1883 he was married the second time. Of this union, eight children have been born, and his family have been a great help to him in developing his farm, as all have worked together with the one end in view of gathering together a competence, and making their homestead one of the most productive in the vicinity, which has been accomplished in a marked degree.
Jonas J. Blomgren, junior. was born in Sweden in 1867, and at the age of six years came to America with his mother. He was reared in Howard county, receiving his education in the country schools, living at home until he was seventeen years of age, then started out to make his fortune. He spent several years in Colorado and Wyoming, following various occupations, and saw a great deal of the different states, going to New Mexico, where he remained for a short time, finally returning to Howard county in December, 1900. He had purchased an eighty-acre tract in 1895, on sections sixteen and twenty-one, and in 1897 forty acres in section twenty-four, and began farming for himself, after his return to Howard county in 1900. He has erected a fine residence, and has the place well set out with trees, fine lawns, etc., and in 1909 bought forty acres more in section sixteen. There are plenty of good farm buildings, and every improvement in the way of machinery and equipment for conducting a model farm, everything on the place showing evidence of good management and thrift.
Jonas J. Blomgren, junior, was married in Howard county in 1894 to Johanna M. Blomquist. They had four children, and in 1902 the wife and mother died, all of the children also being deceased.
On April 4, 1903, Mr. Blomgren was married again, taking as wife Ida A. Ostling, whose parents are among the well-known pioneers of this County. Of this union, two children were born: Adler Joseph O. and Mildred Elizabeth S., both charming and intelligent youngsters. The family have a very pleasant home, and are held in high esteem by their associates.
WILLIAM H. HUNT.
As an old settler of Valley county, Nebraska, and an agriculturist of untiring energy and perseverance. and a worthy citizen, the gentleman here named needs no introduction to the people of his locality. He has spent over twenty-seven years of his life in their midst, has gained a host of staunch friends, and incidentally acquired a good home, and placed himself in position to enjoy his declining years in peace and comfort.
William H. Hunt, son of William M. and Anna (Harmon) Hunt, was born in Lewis county, New York, April 27, 1848. He was the eldest of three children, and has one sister residing in Laramie, Wyoming, and a brother deceased, as are also the parents, the father passing away in 1892 in Illinois. and the mother in 1893, one year later, in Valley county, Nebraska. In early childhood, Mr. Hunt, with his parents, went to Illinois, locating in Marseilles, LaSalle county, where he received his education in local and private schools, and later learned the tinsmith's trade. He also lived in Peoria and Bureau counties, in Illinois.
On October 15, 1873, Mr. Hunt was united in marriage to Miss Zerissa Golden, a daughter of Philemon Golden, born near Trenton, New Jersey. Two children were born of this union, whose names are as follows: Raymond, who resides at home, and Charles, who lives in Ord. Mrs. Hunt died May 20, 1888, in Valley county, Nebraska, survived by her husband and two children.
In 1879, Mr. Hunt went to Leadville, Colorado, working at his trade and prospecting until 1885, when he moved his family to Valley county, Nebraska, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of land in the northeast quarter of section nine, township eighteen, range fifteen, which is still his home place. Mr. Hunt has served as
township clerk, and director of his school district, number fifty-two, for six years.
Mr. Hunt was married on December 14, 1895, to Miss Helen Cole, who was born in Howard county, Iowa, a daughter of Ezra Cole. Mr. and Mrs. Hunt have had two children, namely: Eugene E., deceased in infancy, and Lloyd C., who resides at home. Mrs. Hunt's father lives in Cresco, Iowa, in which state the mother died in October of 1893. She has a sister in Ord, a sister and a brother in South Dakota, and another sister in Iowa.
Mr. Hunt has passed through much of Valley county history, is a prosperous man of affairs, and is widely and favorably known. During the blizzard of January 12, 1888, he brought the school children home with him, and kept them safely through the awful night.
In politics he is a populist, and is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
Among the prosperous citizens of Madison county, Nebraska, who have spent many years in this locality, is the subject of this personal history, Jacob Deckert, owner of a valuable estate in Emmerick township.
Mr. Deckert is a native of eastern Canada, born January 28, 1852. He is a son of Cornelius and Lena Deckert, the father born in Germany and the mother in Canada. The father came to that country across the sea in a sailboat, being seven weeks on the water. Cornelius Deckert was a mason by trade, and followed that work in Canada, the family living there up to 1879, when they came to Nebraska, the elder Deckert taking a homestead, which was their home for a number of years, and is now occupied by our subject. They went through the usual hardships experienced by the early settlers in that locality, but, with grim determination, overcame every obstacle, and succeeded in building up a good home and becoming among the progressive and successful agriculturists and stockmen in their county. The father was hurt in an accident a short time after settling there, and he never recovered from his injuries, passing away, August 16, 1881.
After his father's death, the entire burden of the farm work fell upon Jacob, as he was the eldest son, and he took his task up willingly, although sometmes [sic], when crops failed and there seemed to be so many discouragements in his path, he was tempted to try new fields, but has since been very glad that he stuck to the old homestead, is he has been well repaid for all his efforts, in the comfortable home he now possesses. The place contains one hundred and sixty acres of good land, and this he has put in the best possible shape, improving it with good buildings, and has a well stocked with cattle, horses, hogs, etc. Mr. Deckert has retired, and now lives at Newman Grove.
Mr. Deckert was married, March 25, 1878, and has a family of seven children. His wife's maiden name was Anna Smith, and she is a native of Germany. John, the eldest son, lives in Boone county; Henry, married, lives in Pierce county; George, married, lives in Madison county; Louis, lives at home; Anna, Emma and Mary.
IRA P. MILLS.
Ira P. Mills is one of the early homesteaders of Custer county, where he has resided since the days the cattlemen began leaving the country. He was born in Madison county, Iowa, December 29, 1859, eldest child of William and Lucinda (Stark) Mills, who had three sons and one daughter. The father was born in Illinois, and the mother in Iowa, and they were married in Madison county, in the latter state, in February, 1859. The father was a farmer by occupation, and at the time of the Civil war, enlisted in Company I, Twenty-third Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving until he received his honorable discharge in 1863. He then returned to his Iowa home, and in the spring of 1865 moved, with his wife and their four children, to Lancaster county, Nebraska, via the "prairie schooner" overland route, and reaching their homestead farm there, April 6. They remained in Lancaster county until May, 1883, then came to Custer county, again making the move with a team and covered wagon. The father took a pre-emption and timber claim five miles northwest of Arnold, in the little valley which became known by the name of Mills Valley, where he remained until his death, January 20, 1898. He was survived by his widow and four children: Ira P., William G., Emma and E. Grant. Mrs. Mills lives in Arnold, as do her two elder sons; Emma, Mrs. Nathan English, lives in Lexington, Nebraska; E. Grant Mills lives in Oregon.
The Mills family were pioneers in two counties of Nebraska, coming to Lancaster county before Nebraska was admitted as a state, and into Custer county in its early pioneer days. Ira P. Mills reached maturity in Lancaster county, receiving the usual school advantages, and made farming his occupation. He was there married on July 6, 1881, to Miss Clarinda Perrin, a native of West Virginia, and daughter of Joshua and Lucinda (Deems) Perrin. The mother died in West Virginia in 1861, and the remainder of the family came from Ohio to Lancaster county, March 23, 1875. Mrs. Mills was the older of two children. The father still resides in Lancaster county.
At the time the move was made to Custer county, Ira P. Mills came with his wife and one child, and he also became an original homesteader of Custer county. He is one of the younger men among the early homesteaders who came to that locality, and has been active in various move-
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