JAMES WILLIAM LUNDY.
James William Lundy, popularly known is "Bill," a business man of Sargent, is a native of Iowa, born at Atalissa, in Muscatine county, October 30, 1872, one of the younger men of Custer county, whose energy and business acumen makes him the prime mover in the affairs of his community.
He is the son of Ira J. and Maria G. (Ady) Lundy, both parents deceased, and is the eldest of a family of five children. Following in order after the first born is Benjamin W., married, and the father of five children, who resides on the old homestead; James, who died at the age of six years; Vinton A., resides in Atalissa, Iowa, and Ady M., the wife of George Frederick Collins, who resides at Flushing, New York.
Mr. Lundy, with his parents, who were influenced by the spirit of "Westward Ho!" moved to the then rapidly developing state of Nebraska in the fall of 1872, while he was an infant, and homesteaded a claim of one hundred and sixty acres about eleven miles northwest of the city of Sargent, during its frontier period. The son of a farmer, his boyhood days were spent in the country, and, being endowed with a rugged constitution and of an inquisitive turn of mind, he soon developed traits that, as he grew to manhood, matured with him until today his varied business interests and the success which attends his enterprises makes him the foremost man of affairs in that, part of the Middle Loup valley.
When he reached his majority in 1893, he homesteaded on a claim of one hundred and sixty acres of land in section six, township twenty, range eighteen, and remained in farming operations until the year 1904, when he moved to Sargent, and there began promoting the business of telephone construction for an exchange known as the Central Telephone Company, of which he was general manager. Disposing of this, he opened a restaurant, and made it a profitable business, which he later disposed of, and again built and successfully operated a farmers' telephone line, known as the Independent Telephone Company.
In partnership with A. B. Hartley for two years, the real estate interests of the community received an impetus that brought many homeseekers to the locality. This partnership was known as Hartley & Lundy. He then organized the Lundy Realty Company. As secretary and manager, he is the active head, and is ably assisted by Mr. C. R. Ilgenfritz. That this company is one of the things to create business, can be appreciated when it becomes known that in the first three years of its transactions twenty-two thousand six hundred and twenty acres of land have been sold, thus stimulating the circulation of six hundred and seventy-nine thousand eight hundred and thirty-one dollars and fifty cents, the price in money paid to them. In connection with this he is in the furniture and undertaking business, having bought out E. W. Davis, and holds a certificate as licensed embalmer from the secretary of state.
Notably among the recent real estate acquirements that have come to Mr. Lundy by put-chase is the beautiful Doris lake resort, a picture of which is presented on another page. Doris lake is situated on the middle Loup river, in Custer county, and the water is taken from the middle Loup river, which is made from Mineral Springs, Victory Creek, which is made from the famous New Helena Springs, and also the Dismal and other running water that is very fine and soft and noted for its mineral ingredients. The water in this lake runs a one hundred barrel flouring mill, and is constantly moving, and therefore makes a very healthy resort. With a large quantity of shade trees, with bath houses and bathing suits, a modern hotel, and with dancing pavilion, it offers special low rates to visitors, and is surrounded with summer resort novelties; a half mile circle race track, a merry-go-round run by water power and a shooting gallery, and many other attractions, such as motor boats, one of which carries twenty-five passengers. There are eight hundred and fifty acres in this tract and the valuable water power is to develop electric current, not only for the cities of Sargent and Broken Bow and the various features of the resort itself, with its flour mill, but it is to generate power for an electric road, which, as it is proposed, will soon be under construction, connecting those cities. Two thousand horse-power is available from the water fall.
Mr. Lundy was united in marriage to Miss Laura Anderson, daughter of Frank Anderson, an early settler of Nebraska. Three girls and one boy have blessed this union: Sadie, Alpha D., Lelia M. and Albro H.
The experiences of some of the early comers to the west, especially of those from foreign shores who came with little and suffered poverty and privation while making the beginning of a fortune in a new country, are almost beyond comprehension. And of such is Vaclav Cizek, now a retired business man of Osmond, Nebraska, who has accumulated enough to retire and take life easy in a comfortable, well furnished home.
Mr. Cizek was born in the village of Lelzohe, Bohemia, July 26, 1862. His father died when he was about a year old, and the lad came with his grandfather, George Cizek, to America in 1868. Sailing from Hamburg, Germany, in an old sailing vessel, the voyagers spent six weeks on the water before sighting land. A few cases of smallpox had broken out on the vessel and all the immigrants were held in quarantine for six weeks and before landing were lined up on deck between two lines of rope and vaccinated. After the usual period on Ellis Island, they were re-
leased and allowed to proceed to their various destinations.
Grandfather Cizek and his company reached Omaha the seventeenth of July. Here he leased for a small sum a lot on Thirteenth street, then entirely vacant, and fashioned a dugout in which the family lived for seven weeks while he sought work to earn enough to release part of his goods held for a balance of their passage money. As soon as their possessions arrived a bargain was made with a man to move them with an ox team to Saline county, where they had relatives who had preceded them to the new world. At the crossing of the Platte river, the ferry landing was so primitive and the boat so small that the wagon had to be taken apart and swung aboard in sections, and the oxen taken in tow. Passing through Lincoln when there were but a few houses in the new capital, they visited a few days with an uncle, Joseph Kopilski, a watchmaker who ran a restaurant to help along. From Lincoln to Saline county, they journeyed again by ox team, and in fording the Big Blue river, near where Crete now stands, the oxen went down in the stream, and Mr. Cizek had to carry all his family ashore through water in places up to his breast.
On reaching Saline county, the grandfather homesteaded a quarter section and built a sod dugout in the side of a hill, which for two years had no door, so hard were the times that they could not afford to buy sufficient lumber for that purpose; and when circumstances permitted this improvement the grandfather carried the pieces of flooring from which to construct the door from Pleasant Hill, some seven miles or more, on his shoulder, this requiring several trips. After settling on the place, Mr. Cizek left his wife and grandson to take care of the place while he sought work as far away as Omaha, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles, to earn a little cash for necessary provisions until the farm could be made to produce profitable crops. He secured the contract for digging the mill race at Pleasant Hill in 1871, and did the work so thoroughly that he was employed around the mill as long as there was any work to be done. During high water one season while living here, when shocks of wheat were drifting down Turkey creek, their potato patch was flooded and to get their daily supply they had to be grubbed up from beneath two feet of water. The boy, Vaclav, was sent at times to herd cattle along the stream and found snakes plentiful, killing at times fifty to sixty in a day, some of them venomous varieties. Coffee was too expensive for them in the first years, so they used as a substitute parched wheat and rye. The grandfather first filed on an eighty acre homestead, and later on bought one hundred and sixty acres additional, making a fine piece of property after land values increased - as they rapidly did as the country became settled. The grandfather died in 1881 at the age of seventy-six years, and the grandmother died in the spring of 1888, at the age of eighty-eight years.
In 1876, the mother, who had remained in the old country, joined her son, and later marrying John Kisok, they moved to Fillmore county, Nebraska, where Vaclav cultivated his mother's farm for a year or two after the death of his stepfather some two years after the marriage.
In 1882, Mr. Cizek was married and began life for himself. He farmed in Fillmore county until 1889, when he moved to Pierce county, having purchased three hundred and twenty acres four miles northwest of where Osmond now stands, the year before. November 22, 1889, they took possession of their now home, residing there until 1893, when Mr. Cizek moved to Osmond and became one of the business men of the town. He disposed of his business in March, 1909, and retired to live on the rentals of his farms in Pierce and Saline counties, and his business blocks in town, one of which is occupied by the Farmers' State Bank.
Mr. Cizek was married in Fillmore county, Nebraska, July 10, 1882, to Miss Annie Kopp, a native of Bohemia who came to America in 1881. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cizek, all of whom are living: Joseph, who was assistant cashier in the Farmers' State Bank until December 15, 1910, when he became cashier of the Security State Bank, which he helped organize and of which he owns a goodly block of stocks; Tina, an experienced clerk in Osmond stores; Emma, studies music in a Chicago conservatory; James, local representative for the Hanford creamery of Sioux City; Annie; Eddie, clerking in a drug store and studying pharmacy; and Melton.
Mr. Cizek has been a witness of all the devastation wrought by grasshoppers during the seventies. One year his grandfather had his wheat in the shock at three o'clock p. m. and the pests settled down hardly an hour after, but wrought little damage to the harvested crop or even the growing corn which it stripped to some extent of leaves.
The spring of 1877 or 1878 was known as the dry year. Fields plowed for crops turned to dust, the loose dirt was blown away forming in deep drifts in the weeds and high grasses along the roadsides. Settlers at once planted trees around their fields which today they are chopping out, there being no need for them, owing to no repetition of the drouths. For three weeks there was so much dust suspended in the air that the sun turned red and at times was darkened.
Mr. Cizek barely escaped being in the blizzard of 1888. He had been teaching a relative his method of catching fish through the ice and had caught seventy-five or one hundred pounds during the forenoon. While at dinner the storm broke and so thick was the whirling cloud of ice dust that one could not see the hand at arm's length.
Antelope were in the country when Mr. Cizek settled in Saline county and frequently grazed with the cattle, but scampered away on the approach of human beings. He has seen two or three deer at a time in the same region, but on the settlement of the country they disappeared.
After the early years of hardship conditions grew more favorable, and Mr. Cizek can now live at ease and comfort without a care to worry him or his family.
WILLIAM J. HILL.
William J. Hill, proprietor of an extensive and well equipped farm in St. Paul precinct, richly deserves the abundant success which has come to him as a reward of industry, economy and thrift. He now has a fine place consisting of five hundred and twenty acres, located on section seventeen, three and one-half miles southwest of St. Paul, which he purchased in January, 1909, and here he is extensively engaged in the cattle feeding business. He is prominent in all affairs of his county and state, and is held in the highest esteem by his fellowmen.
Mr. Hill was born in Waterloo, province of Quebec, Canada, on July 29, 1869, and was the third member in a family of four children. He made that country his home until he was twelve years of age, at which time, in company with his father, mother, one sister and a brother, he came to Howard county, landing here in October, 1881. The father purchased a farm and all helped in developing the land into a productive tract, William remaining with his parents up to his twenty-first year then went out for himself, purchasing two hundred and forty acres on section thirty-six, township fifteen, range eleven. He was very successful in improving the land and rapidly became one of the progressive and successful agriculturalists in his locality, carrying on the place up to January, 1909, when he sold out, having previously purchased his present home. Here he is devoting considerable of his time and attention to the stock business, feeding a large number of cattle, also hogs, and is the owner of a number of fine horses.
Mr. Hill was married on September 23, 1901, at St. Paul, to Mary Emma Welsh, who was born in Huron county, Ontario, and came to Howard county with her mother four sisters and two brothers, they arriving here in the same month Mr. Hill did. The father, Joseph Welsh died in Canada, several months prior to the family's migration into the states. Our subject has four children, named as follows: Alice, born August 1, 1892; Robert R., born October 9, 1893; Maggie Pearl, born April 19, 1898; and Paul E., born August 2, 1903, all at home and making a very interesting family group. They have a fine country home and many friends who enjoy its hospitality at all times. Mr. Hill's father died at St. Paul in May, 1909, and his mother now resides in St. Paul, while his wife's mother lives in Warsaw precinct, Howard county.
Mr. Hill has at different times been connected with school district number twenty-seven, serving as director.
Frank Watts, son of John and Sally (Collins) Watts, was born in Trumble county, Ohio, November 7, 1835; he was ninth in a family of eleven children, and has a sister residing in Pennsylvania, the other children being deceased. The parents were of English descent, but natives of New York state, and both passed away in Ohio.
Mr. Watts, our subject, received his education in the schools of his home state and spent some years traveling through various parts of the United States. In 1858 he went to Onarga, Illinois, where he engaged in the shoe and harness business. On November 7, 1858, Mr. Watts was united in marriage to Miss Mary Louise Maxson, who was born in New York. Miss Maxson was a graduate of Alfred University in Allegany county, New York, and was for some years a teacher in New York schools.
In the winter of 1873 Mr. Watts came to Valley county, Nebraska, homesteading one hundred and sixty acres of land one mile west of North Loup, which was the home place for about twenty-two years. He then sold and purchased one hundred and sixty acres three miles northwest of North Loup, and after residing there moved, in 1902, to Wisconsin, farming for a few years near Bruce. He then returned to Valley county, Nebraska, making his home in North Loup, where he purchased a good home and where he now resides.
Mrs. Watts died April 22, 1908, at her home in North Loup, survived by her husband and three children: Henry A., who is married, has four children, and resides in North Loup; Earl A., also married and residing in North Loup; and Lester, married, has one child, and lives in Greeley county, nine miles southeast of Scotia. Mr. and Mrs. Watts for many years were active members of the Seventh Day Baptist church.
During his Nebraska years Mr. Watts has served in the various offices of the school board of North Loup, and district number forty-six for over twenty-two years. He is one of the earliest settlers of Valley county, and has passed through much of its history, and all the trying experiences and hardships incidental to frontier life. He has been prominent in the county, standing for the upbuilding of his home state and county, and is widely and favorably known. In politics he is a republican and fraternally is a member of the Masonic order, having been raised to his Master Mason's degree at Onarga.
It would be impossible to give a complete history of northeastern Nebraska without including a sketch of the life of Herman Wohlfeil, who is one of the most prominent of the old settlers of Madison county, where he resides on section twenty, township twenty-three, range four. He has done much toward the developing of the best interests of his home county and state, and is widely known in his community as a successful and prominent citizen.
Mr. Wohlfeil is a native of Germany, he having been born in Prussia, October 22, 1855; he is a son of Frederick and Dora (Conrad) Wohlfeil, both of whom were natives of Germany, where they followed the occupation of farming. Our subject grew to be a lad of about thirteen years of age in his native land, receiving the usual schooling, and helping his parents on the farm.
In 1873, Mr. Wohfeil [sic] left the fatherland for the new world, embarking on a steamship at Hamburg Germany, and coming by way of Liverpool, England, to New York. After landing in the United States, he proceeded westward, locating in Columbus, Wisconsin, remaining there about five years.
In 1879, Mr. Wohlfeil came overland by team and covered wagon to Madison county, Nebraska, where he took up a homestead of forty acres, built a dugout and "batched it" for two years. In those first years of settlement of this region, Mr. Wohlfeil experienced many hardships and discouragements through storms, drouths, etc. January 12, 1888, he lost considerable stock in the memorable blizzard that raged during that year and in which so many lives, both human and brute, paid toll. As late as 1894, Mr. Wohlfeil lost all that season's crops in the severe drouth that caused the hot winds which burned out the ground and killed all manner of vegetation for miles in extent. But those trying times have passed to history, and our subject now lives in peace and comfort and is a comparatively prosperous man, owning two hundred and forty acres of land, on which he has ten acres of orchard and forest trees. Mr. Wohlfeil is a substantial, prosperous citizen, and well deserves the reward he now enjoys after his years of hard labor and hardships.
July 12, 1904, Mr. Wohlfeil lost all his crops, fruits and poultry by hail, which were as large as hen eggs.
He is a member of the German Lutheran church and is an independent democrat.
Mr. Wohlfeil was united in marriage April 13, 1881, to Miss Gusta Rikofski, and they are the parents of four children, namely: Fred, William, Bertha and Otto. They are a fine family and enjoy a wide acquaintance and have many good friends.
THOMAS E. TWOMBLY.
Thomas E. Twombly has lived in Nebraska since 1880 and in Custer county, where he is a successful farmer and stockman, since 1884. He was born in Brown county, Illinois, October 31, 1869, the youngest of the six children in the family of Calvin and Susan (Wiley) Twombly, who had four sons and two daughters. The father was a native of Vermont and died in August, 1869. In 1880 the mother brought her children from Illinois to Saunders county, Nebraska, purchased a farm there, where the family remained until 1884. The mother then came to Custer county and took up a homestead on section fourteen, and section fifteen, township eighteen, range eighteen, on which she proved her title. With her she brought her three sons, William, Samuel aud Thomas E., and one daughter, Mary. In the fail of 1890 she went to live with C. W. Bedford, an only son by a former marriage, where she died in 1906. He had come with the family to Saunders county, but came to Custer county to live one year prior to the others. C. W. Bedford and Thomas and Samuel Twombly were all original homesteaders of Custer county. Thomas and his sister, Mary, Mrs. Gallagher, still live in Custer county; William lives in South Dakota, and Samuel in Missouri.
Mr. Twombly was born and reared on a farm and farming and stock raising has always been his occupation. In 1890 he secured a homestead on the northwest quarter of section twenty-five, township eighteen, range eighteen, and now has two hundred and forty acres of well improved land in his home farm. It is well equipped with suitable buildings and modern machinery and appliances, and he is one of the enterprising and successful men of his community. He has a large number of friends and is well regarded as a substantial and public-spirited citizen.
On February 14, 1900, Mr. Twombly was married at Broken Bow, to Miss Georgia Shannon, a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of George and Sarah Shannon. Three children have blessed this union: Ray, deceased; and Jessie and Andy at home.
[sic] of Wayne county, may be mentioned John Sahs.
Among the public-spirited and useful citizens an early settler of his part of the county, who now has a beautiful home on section twenty-one, township twenty-seven, range three, where he is surrounded by every possible modern convenience and comfort. He has brought his land to a high state of cultivation, has improved his estate by the erection of suitable buildings for his stock and grain, and keeps everything in good condition and repair. Mr. Sahs has further beautified his place by planting a fine grove of ten acres, which includes shade and fruit trees, both a source of much pleasure to the family.
Mr. Sahs was born in 1859 in Cook county, Illinois. He was reared on a farm and received a common school education. He is a son of John and Sophia Sahs, the father a native of Holstein, and the mother of Prussia, Germany. John Sahs, senior, came to America as a young man, spending seven weeks on the ocean voyage, and his wife also came in youth, spending six weeks on the water. They were married in the United States and settled on a farm in Cook county, Illinois, where they reared their family. They were the parents of eight children.
John Sahs was the fifth child of his parents, and in 1888 started out in life for himself. He came to Nebraska in that year and purchased a farm on section twenty-one, township twenty-seven, range three, Wayne county, which has since been his home. He is one of the best known men in the county and has a wide circle of friends. He has at valuable estate, and has been actively interested in the progress and welfare of his locality, doing his share to bring about the present prosperity.
Mr. Sahs was married May 28, 1883, to Miss Minnie Grewe, who was born in Germany, and is a daughter of Fred and Mary Grewe, natives of Germany, who came to America in 1865, and located in what is now Chicago, on a farm, where they lived until their death. Eight children have, been born to Mr. and Mrs. Sahs, namely: Albert, Clara, Alvena, William and Otto, who are living; and Carl, Lillie and an infant, are deceased.
This honorable name of a man who has passed on to his final reward, but left behind him the record of good and useful years, should not be omitted from the list of Nebraska history makers. Mr. Wherrett spent an honorable land energetic live, and lived to a good ripe age.
Charles Wherrett was born in Glocestershire, England, February 6, 1839, and came to America with his father and family in 1853, locating near Cleveland, Ohio, where Mr. Wherrett grew to manhood, receiving his education in the local schools. In 1861, Mr. Wherrett enlisted in Company D, First Ohio Volunteers as orderly sergeant for the three months' call and after serving for that period returned to Cleveland, Ohio, where he re-enlisted in August of 1861 in Company D, First Ohio Volunteers, serving until March, 1862, wheat he was discharged owing to injuries received by the explosion of gun powder. He participated in the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, and others. After the war, he returned to Cleveland and a few months later went to Illinois, engaging in farming.
In April, 1865, Mr. Wherrett was united in wedlock to Mrs. Harriet Parrotte, of Illinois, and in 1874 came with his wife and four children to Merrick county, Nebraska, and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land in section eight, township fourteen, range eight, west, which remained the home place until 1900, when Mr. Wherrett retired from the farm and moved to Palmer, where he built a good home. Several years later he became interested in the banking business, and was made president of the Loup Valley Bank at Palmer. He had served as county supervisor for some years and was also a member of the school board in his district for many years. He was prosperous and successful, owning three hundred and sixty acres of land all in Merrick county, aside from good city properties. Mr. Wherrett died February 12, 1909, survived by his wife and three children, viz: Grace, who resides at home; George M., living in Lincoln, Nebraska; Cornelia H., wife of H. N. Baird, has two children, and resides in Callaway, Nebraska. Mr. Wherrett had one brother in the state of Washington, one sister in Iowa; the father died in 1869, near Cleveland, Ohio, and the mother died in England, in 1844.
Mrs. Wherrett lives on the old Palmer home place, surrounded by a large circle of friends. Her parents are deceased, and she has one son, Fred D. Parrotte, by a former marriage; he resides in Palmer, and has four children.
GUSTAV A. LEBLANC.
Canada has given its quota of sturdy sons to the worthy population of the United States, and of these, the LeBlanc family is one of the worthy.
Oliver LeBlanc, whose greatgrandsire, originally from Normandy, was one of the Acadians driven out from Nova Scotia by harsh conditions, was born about thirty-six miles north of Montreal in a log house. His father had been a ship owner and sea captain who, on losing his vessel by wreck, moved to land, which he had previously purchased near Joliette, Lower Canada, and became a farmer. Oliver LeBlanc married Octavia Duhue, and became the father of eleven children, the youngest born after the family reached Nebraska. Coming by way of Detroit and Chicago, they crossed the Mississippi river at Burlington and the Missouri at Plattsmouth. He rented one year and then purchased a farm from a fellow countryman twenty miles south of Fremont, in Saunders county, paying twelve dollars an acre when he might have bought equally good land at four dollars. Speaking little English and having faith in his French compatriot, he did not think it necessary to make inquiry as to the prevailing price. He brought some two thousand dollars and six big chests of clothing, bedding, etc., with him, much more than the average settler brought into the country. He lived in a dugout for a time, but it was a neat, clea [sic] out with the inside boarded up, hiding the dirt bank. Later a log house was their dwelling.
Gustav LeBlanc, one of the younger children of his father's family, was born March 15, 1863,
near the village of Joliette, Lower Canada, in a stone house which his father built on the site of the log house in which he himself was born. He remembers something of their trip to the west when he was a lad of six years; he recalls seeing in Omaha - then a small town - log houses with port-holes for defense against the Indians. While living in Saunders county, he had his first pair of boots, red-topped, copper-toed footwear, of which, boy like, he was very proud.
He started out for himself at the age of twenty years as a journeyman watchmaker. He had begun to repair guns at the early age of fifteen and later took up watchmaking, at which he became an expert. He spent six or seven years in Denver with an old Switzer, August Courviser, who could make watches from the rough material. After leaving Denver, he worked for a short time in Omaha, and then packing his tools in a grip, bought a horse and cart, and became in truth a journeyman watchmaker, traveling as far south as central Kansas during the winter months and as far as Pierre, South Dakota, in the summer season. In this work he kept to the road until 1897, when fate found for him a helpmeet [sic] in the person of a woman of his own race whom he met in his wanderings at Verdel.
After marriage, he quit his wandering life, and for several years worked at his trade in Niobrara. Learning of a forty-acre tract of unoccupied government land about half way between Niobrara and Bloomfield, he filed on it under the homestead law and there erected a small building and opened a store to trade with the Indians. He had become familiar with the Sioux tongue and soon became a great friend of the Indians, who never fail to visit his store when in Bloomfield. He established a postoffice at his store, to which he gave his own name, which will be perpetuated on the map of the state.
In 1904, he traded his store and stock for a building in Bloomfield, in which he installed a stock of general merchandise, enlarging the building to seventy feet in length. Selling his store, he opened a jewelry establishment opposite the postoffice, in which he prospered. In the fall of 1909, he erected his present large brick store on Main street, in which he carries a large stock of watches, clocks and jewelry, in addition to a well selected stock of fine china and porcelain, together with a line of Indian curios.
Mr. LeBlanc was married in Omaha, September 25, 1897, to Mrs. William Tucker, who was in maidenhood Armandine Verdel, giving her maiden name to the new town established when the Ponca reservation was opened to settlement. She was born in Cote de Nord, a village in France, and is a daughter of Leon Verdel, who, after living for a time in England and Wales, came to America in 1885. Armandine was married in Cardiff, Wales, to William Tucker, who died soon after settling in Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. LeBlanc have an adopted daughter, Elsa Josephine, a child of unusual brightness of mind, born March 25, 1904.
Mr. LeBlanc is an independent republican in political views, and a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.
Mr. LeBlanc has always been a great hunter and has a fine collection of fire arms; two Belgian quail guns of number forty-four and number twenty-eight bore; three fine English fowling pieces, two of them number ten bore; a French combination rifle and shot-gun, besides an old time Henry rifle, used in the early days to kill buffalo; he also has two fine specimens of small arms, a Remington and a Smith & Wesson revolver. When a boy he kept the family in game, and when in his teens he formed a member of a party freighting to the Black Hills, his only duty was to keep them in deer or buffalo meat and stand his turn as guard at night.
He has been quite a rover, having wandered as far west as eastern Oregon and Washington, into Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and as far south as Texas and Old Mexico. He spent one winter in a logging camp near Duluth. He was a great favorite in camp, because of his music, playing the violin for the amusement of the lumber men in their camps at night. Years after, he revisited the place with his wife and daughter, finding many familiar buildings and scenes.
At the time of the great blizzard of January 12, 1888, Mr. LeBlanc was at the house of a neighbor, Louis Bourk, whom he helped do his chores about the time the storm broke. They made their way to the house and remained there for a week. The storm destroyed many game birds that had been plentiful before. Mr. LeBlanc had killed about twenty prairie chickens the previous evening. After the storm hundreds of grouse and quail were to be found along underbrush and trees. The crows that survived had a feast for months on the dead birds, which by instinct they could locate under the snow.
The city of Wahoo, when Mr. LeBlanc first knew it, consisted of a mill, nothing more.
In the early days venison and buffalo meat were on sale in the markets of the small western towns. Grasshoppers devoured their crops three years, though their potato patch and pea vines were saved. For long periods their only food was corn bread and pork, with a little sorghum molasses. Prairie fires were destructive when the country was open, and on one occasion when Mr. Leblanc was out hunting and a fire came raging across the prairie, he was saved by getting into a lake and lying down in the water. He has seen flames fifty feet high when the wind was brisk and the grass tall and dry. As a boy he understood the art of snaring, and many a fine meal of snow birds kept the family from hunger. Rattlesnakes were numerous, some of them attaining a length of five or six feet.
Mr. LeBlanc is a collector of Indian relics, having a fine line of specimens of their ancient
and modern handiwork; his hunting suit of buckskin, made for him by a squaw, is a fine specimen of aboriginal skill. Mr. LeBlanc is an energetic business man who has won his success honest dealing; he has the full confidence of red brothers, its well its his neighbors of the paler skin.
JOSEPH ST. LOUIS.
For over twenty years this gentleman was closely identified with the development of Boone county, Nebraska. He is a pioneer farmer, and his career as such is well worthy of a conspicuous place on these pages devoted to the men whose courage and ability have made the great west possible, and a fact.
Joseph St. Louis was born in Plattsburg, New Jersey, on September 10, 1832, and grew to manhood in Clinton county. In his twenty-second year he moved to Oswego county, New York, and remained there for four years, then went to Iowa. In the spring of 1880, he came into Nebraska, settling in Lancaster county, and after spending about two years in that vicinity, came into Boone County. He filed on a homestead on section twenty, township twenty-two, range seven, and later added one hundred and sixty acres which he purchased outright. There he went through all the early experiences of the pioneer in Nebraska, and by constant industry and faithful labor, succeeded in building up a comfortable home and productive farm.
Mr. St. Louis died on the homestead, December 3, 1905, survived by his wife and four children. He was married November 5, 1857, in Oswego county, New York, to Miss Aurelia Marshall, and to them six children were born, four of whom are now living, named as follows: Emma Jane, wife of David White, they living in New York state, and parents of three children; Ann Eliza, wife of William Ebright, parents of three children, residing in Omaha; Henry H., who is a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal church at Bloomfield, Nebraska, father of six children; and Joseph M., who with his wife and two children are living on the old Van Camp farm. Mrs. St. Louis resides with the latter, and the entire family are held in high esteem by all in the community.
E. W. WEBB.
Among the prosperous citizens of Antelope county, Nebraska, who have spent many years in this locality is E. W. Webb. In fact, it is some twenty-six years since Mr. Webb cast his lot in this part of the state.
Mr. Webb is a native of Canada, being born in what is known its Stanstead Plains, Canada, April 5,1846, and here he lived until six months of age, when his parents moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father, John G. Webb, was an officer in the English army, and held the rank of lieutenant. He descended from a family of soldiers, his people having served in the British army as far back as our subject has knowledge of. Our subject's mother was a native of Scotland. Mr. Webb's family moved from Wisconsin in 1851 to Illinois. On August 1, 1862, he enlisted in the civil war, and after receiving his discharge on July 13, 1865, he went back to Ogle county, Illinois, and from there to Minnesota, and then to Nebraska and then to Iowa, where he remained nine years. During the war Mr. Webb enlisted in Company B, Ninety-second Illinois Regular Mounted Infantry, and was down through the south with General Sherman, in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and North and South Carolina. He marched to the sea in General Atkinson's brigade under General Sherman.
April 1, 1884, Mr. Webb came to Nebraska, taking up a pre-emption claim in section ten, township twenty-three, range eight, and on this land built a sod house, as was the usual style of dwelling in those days. He sold this place and bought land in section fourteen, township twenty-three, range eight, which he has highly improved, and now owns six hundred and forty acres of fine land, stock-raising being his principal occupation. He has a fine orchard and grove of twenty-five acres, and the farm is known as Pleasant Home Ranch. He is interested in several head of very fine Duroc Jersey hogs; also in a very fine herd of high grade Pole Angus cattle.
In 1874, Mr. Webb was united in marriage to Miss Alice Cooling, and five children were born to this union, named as follows: Maggie, wife of E. E. Hall; John, who is also married; Effie, who is the wife of Gus Hall, has two boys, they live in Colorado; Albert, married Maud Jeffries; and Matie, who is the wife of Doctor Bartlett, of Spaulding, Greeley county, Nebraska, has one boy. In 1887, Mrs. Webb died, deeply mourned by her husband, family, relatives and many kind friends. In 1907 Mr. Webb again married, the bride being Mrs. Marie Murretts, who came to Nebraska in 1870, and is one of the oldest settlers in this section of Antelope county.
David Collier is a successful farmer of Custer county and member of a family that has been prominent in central Nebraska for nearly thirty years. He is the fourth of the six living children of John and Janet (Todd) Collier and was born in Scotland August 1, 1869. The parents are given extensive mention in connection with the sketch of John Collier, junior, which may be found in this work, David Collier was about ten years of age when his parents came to America, sailing from Glasgow to New York in
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