It was on one of these trips that Mr. Lerum had a hair-raising experience with the Indians. They had been reported as hostile, and a large party of them were camping on Dry creek. Mr. Lerum, on the way to Niobrara with the mail, took a south road along the bluffs to avoid passing so large a camp of the redskins. Imagine his feelings when he saw eight or ten of them mount their ponies, and come dashing across the bottom lands, surround him - and ask him for tobacco. Another uncomfortable experience was when a large mountain lion followed him for a distance, some twelve miles south of Niobrara. Although he was well armed, he was not looking for trouble, and was well content to let the creature alone if it did not come near enough to make an attack.
Mr. Lerum was married in Pierce county, Nebraska, to Miss Margaret Alexander, daughter of William and Anna (McWilliams) Alexander, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Soon after marriage, Mr. Lerum filed on a homestead, and, later on, a timber claim, south of Plainview, on which he resided until 1906, when he retired from active farm work, and moved to town, where he owns a comfortable home.
To Mr. and Mrs. Lerum eight children were born, five of whom are living, named as follows: Ellen, wife of Doctor Nye, of Plainview; William, farming in South Dakota; Christian, junior; Lillian, and Edward.
Mr. Lerum was reared in the Lutheran faith, and is a republican. He served as assessor in 1874, and one time, while returning from performing that duty near where Osmond now stands, he had a narrow escape from prairie fire. Seeing a badger on the prairie, he killed it, and had taken off the hide, when, on looking up, he discovered a prairie fire little over a furlong away. Mounting his horse, he ran him at top speed some six miles before he could get around the end of the blaze and escape to safety. The worst blizzard Mr. Lerum ever witnessed was that of April 14, 15 and 16, 1873, during which he remained in Pierce, abandoning his trip with the mail for that length of time. But frequently during his service as mail carrier and in later years, he was out in many violent winter storms. A snow during the winter of 1873 drifted so deeply over Bozzell creek that it formed a snow bridge firm enough for Mr. Lerum to cross while the water was running deep and swift below. Horses sometimes tramped down the snow that sifted into the hay-covered stables until it raised them up enough to get out through the roof. Cattle drifting with storms were sometimes found in the spring, twenty miles away, where they perished. Mr. Lerum has a large fund of incidents of the hardships of early settlers, and, on the other hand, can tell of their many pleasures when the country was new. Every one was helpful, and lent a helping hand. Their simple pleasures when life was young surpassed the more pretentious entertainments of a later day.
George Paulman, one of the best known pioneers of Howard county, Nebraska, was among the early settlers in that now thriving region.
Mr. Paulman was a native of Germany, born in the province of Hanover, Amt Einbeck, on April 3, 1843. There he spent his boyhood, following farming as soon as he was old enough to work, and at the age of twenty-three years he took passage on a ship for America. After landing in New York, he found that his entire capital was a few clothes and one dollar and eighty-five cents in money. He managed to secure employment, and earn enough to pay his way to Wisconsin, where he got a job as a farm hand, remaining in that state for seven years. On March 7, 1868, he was married there to Dora Madge, also a native of Germany, who came to America with her parents when a young girl. Husband and wife worked together in Wisconsin up to 1874, and there three children were born to them. At that time they decided to try their luck in Nebraska, so gathered together their possessions, and started out by team to drive through the country to their new home. While on this journey, a sad misfortune overtook them in the death of one of their children, Clara, a little daughter, and on arriving in Omaha, laid their little one to rest.
On reaching their destination, Mr. Paulman filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in section four, township thirteen, range twelve, erected a rude dwelling, and started to develop a farm. They made this their home for thirty-one years, going through hardship and privation in building up their property, but by dint of industry and constant labor he has become one of the most successful men of his locality. He has from time to time added to his original homestead until he now owns eight hundred acres of fine farm land. This he has fitted with good buildings, and all kinds of modern farm machinery, etc., and a large herd of different kind of stock.
In addition to his farm interests, Mr. Paulman owns an entire block of town property and two substantial store buildings and one lot in Boelus. In 1904, he retired from active farm work, settling in Boelus, where he enjoyed a comfortable home, and was regarded by all as one of its most dependable and substantial citizens. On September 15, 1909, he went to San Jose, California, where he bought a nice residence, worth four thousand dollars, and now makes this his home.
Mr. Paulman's family consists of himself, wife and twelve children, two having died a number of years back. Those living are named as follows: Albert, Anna, Charles, Lydia, Bertha,
Mary, Emma, William, Henry and Arthur, all of whom are married, and settled in comfortable homes, excepting the last three mentioned, who reside with our subject.
Since locating in this region, Mr. Paulman has taken all active interest in all affairs of his township and county, serving as road overseer in the early days, and for eight years was moderator of district number twenty-five, holding the same position on the Boelus school board during 1896 and 1897. He is a gentleman of superior intelligence, well informed on every topic of the day, having read widely and kept in close touch with current events. In 1881, he became an ordained Methodist Episcopal minister, and worked as a circuit rider, preaching throughout six counties. For a long time he delivered three sermons every Sunday, always preaching in the German language. Mr. Paulman is, and always has been, an earnest worker for the cause of religion, aiding in spreading the gospel wherever his services were needed, and also for twenty years was superintendent of the Sabbath school.
PAUL HERMAN FIEBIG.
One of the oldest settlers in Sherman county is Paul Herman Fiebig, who came here in 1874, at a time when he was the fourth settler to make his home on Upper Oak creek, where he had taken up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres. He has labored long and faithfully, and has endured hardships and privations unnumbered, and has sustained many unexpected and severe losses. However, instead of making him wish to give up the seemingly hopeless struggle, it has only served to increase his determination to succeed, and to make him redouble his efforts.
Mr. Fiebig was born on the twenty-second of February, 1841, in the village of Poischwitz, the Prussian province of Silesia. He received his early education in his native land, and took up the trade of cigar-making when but fifteen years of age. He came to America in 1859, sailing from the Haven of Bremen for New Orleans on the "Bremen," the voyage lasting seven weeks. With some friends, he came up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to Evansville, Indiana, where he followed his trade at first, later taking up farming.
In the fall of 1861, Mr. Fiebig enlisted in Company K, of the Thirty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served the full three years, receiving his discharge in Indianapolis in the fall of 1864. During his term of enlistment, he was in many minor engagements, besides taking part in the following important battles: Murfreesboro, Nashville, Liberty Gap, Resaca, Perryville, Chickamauga, Shilo, Atlanta, Stone River, Mission Ridge, Corinth and Altoona Hill. In his case, one unusual thing is the fact that during the time he was in the army, he was on duty every day, and was never sick, wounded or taken prisoner.
After the war was over, Mr. Fiebig returned to Indiana, and on February 23, the following year, he married Miss Paulina Kuehns, a native of the same village in Germany, in which Mr. Fiebig was born. While yet a little girl, she came to this country in 1859 with her parents, on the same ship that brought Mr. Fiebig.
In March of 1874, Mr. Fiebig, with his wife and four children, came to Sherman county, Nebraska, where he took up a quarter section on section twenty, township fourteen, range sixteen, which was the home of the family until 1904, when he sold out, and removed to Loup City. He has purchased a comfortable home here in the city, and is now enjoying his well-arned [sic] ease. He has always taken a deep interest in the schools of the community, and for sixteen years was moderator of school district number thirty-one.
During the early years on the farm, the family met with many and serious misfortunes. The first two seasons, the crops were all taken by grasshoppers. During the latter part of the eighties, they lost all crops, barn and outbuildings in a terrible prairie fire. The only thing they did save this time was the sod house in which they were living. For two winters they were forced to make their main article of diet common field corn and a little wheat, which was ground in the coffee mill. A little wild meat was the only addition to their scanty fare.
Another terrible misfortune which befell the family was in 1881, when five of the children died within ten days from diphtheria. Out of the fourteen children born to them, only six children are now living: Agnes, married George Deninger, of Howard county; Albert; Gustaf; Bertha; Berthold, in Oregon, and Emma, wife of John George.
The family are well known in the community, and enjoy the respect of all with whom they have come in contact.
Mr. Fiebig was reared in the Evangelical church. He is a republican in politics, a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
Nicholas Kent, a prominent old-timer of eastern Nebraska, resides on section six, township twenty-three, range one, Madison county, where he has built up a good home and farm, and is well known throughout the locality as a leading citizen and successful farmer. Mr. Kent has done his full share toward the betterment of conditions, and has always, taken an active part along all lines pertaining to the growth and prosperity of his home state and county.
Mr. Kent is a native of Ireland, his birth occurring there in the year 1851. He is a son of
Peter and Catherine Kent, also natives of Ireland. Our subject received his education in his native land, where he grew to young manhood.
In 1871, Mr. Kent left his mother country for America, embarking at Queenstown on a steamship for New York. After reaching the United States, he located in New Jersey, where he remained two years, then went to Massachusetts, residing there one year. He then moved to the state of Wisconsin, residing there for a period of six years, then coming to Sioux City, where he made his home for some ten years.
In 1882, Mr. Kent came to Madison county, Nebraska, where he took up a homestead claim in section six, township twenty-three, range one, which still remains the homestead. On this land he built a good frame house, and immediately began to make improvements on the place.
Like so many of the old settlers in the western country, Mr. Kent braved severe hardships and discouragements in those early days, when the prairie was about all unbroken soil, and there were but a few settlers to be found for miles around. Deer and antelope were seen in large herds, grazing on the open prairie. As late as 1894, Mr. Kent suffered losses through the hot winds that scorched all vegetation during the terrible drouth of that year. But those times have passed to history, and today prosperity and contentment reign supreme where once privation and suffering held sway.
In 1882, Mr. Kent was united in marriage to Miss Mary Kent, and they are the parents of eight children.
Albert Rohde, who has been a resident of Custer county, Nebraska, for nearly a quarter of a century, has won his success in life through the exercise of perseverance and patience, as he is self-educated and has made his own way in the world from an early age. He found it difficult to make a start in life, but once he had begun to prosper, redoubled his efforts, and now is considered one of the successful young German pioneers of the county. He was born in the village of Guentershagen, Pommerania, Germany, January 19, 1866, the fifth child born to Christlieb and Harrietta (Reckow) Rohde, who had five sons and two daughters. Two of the sons, Fred and Herman, came to America in 1881, settling in Grand Island, sending for their parents the following year. They were soon afterward joined by the rest of the family, and the boys began working for neighboring farmers by the day. The father secured a homestead, in April, 1884, comprising the southeast quarter of section thirty-four, township thirteen, range eighteen, and at the same time his son Fred, secured a homestead, which gave the family a home farm. The father died on his farm on February 14, 1910, being then in his eighty-third year, and the mother makes her home with her son Albert, whose name heads this article. Four sons now live in Custer county and one at Buffalo. One daughter, Amelia, now Mrs. Frederick Paske, lives in Wisconsin, and another, Lizzie, now Mrs. Cass Milige, lives in Coffeyville, Kansas.
Albert Rohde was sixteen years of age at the time the family came to America, sailing from Bremen to Baltimore on the "Strausburg," the voyage lasting sixteen days, and was well grown and rugged. He worked for farmers in Hall and Howard counties for several years, and was a hard-working, industrious young man, and was ambitious to have a home of his own. He located permanently in Custer county in January, 1887, when he purchased the southeast quarter of section three, township thirteen, range eighteen, and developed and improved a farm.
On March 7, 1888, at Grand Island, Nebraska Mr. Rohde married Minnie Schoman, and the young couple began housekeeping on his farm. Both worked at home and in the employ of others, in order to make the payment, which became due on the farm. Mr. Rohde has worked away from home for many years, beginning as a farm laborer when in his twelfth year. By his energy and thrift he has become the owner of five hundred and twenty acres of desirable land in Custer county, besides a farm of two hundred and sixteen acres in Dade county, Missouri. As he did not have an opportunity to secure a homestead, he has paid cash for all his land, his first purchase being made while still in his minority. He paid for breaking this land in labor, not having a team of his own. To add to his misfortunes, a prairie fire swept away his hay and straw roofed stable the first year he was on the place. Since 1885 he has passed through the various periods of Custer county history, being closely identified with the affairs of the neighborhood, where be is highly esteemed as an upright and honorable citizen. He passed through the hard times of the years 1893 and 1894, and is deserving of credit for the manner in which he has improved and equipped his home farm. Thirty bushels of wheat were his entire crop in 1894, and one bushel of potatoes he dug was later frozen and spoiled. Mr. Rohde lived in a "soddy" for twenty-three years erecting a large, modern house in 1910. He also has other substantial buildings, and he and his wife veritably dug success from their land. Mr. Rohde worked for nineteen long years to pay for four hundred acres of his land, and is now the owner of much land which was formerly in the possession of his early employers, when he was working by the day. He is actively engaged in the management of his farm, and in this work has the assistance of two sons. The last deer killed in the region was brought down on Mr. Rohde's place by Daniel Posten.
Mr. and Mrs. Rohde had six children, all born on the home place: Vina, Herman, Frank, Roland, Mary and Dora. Mrs. Rohde passed away, sincerely mourned by her family and large circle of friends, on March 10, 1911.
Mr. Rohde has been independent in politics since 1889. He is a member of the Evangelical church, and of the Modern Woodmen of America.
DOCTOR E. M. BARNES.
Doctor E. M. Barnes, a native of Nebraska, is linked to the earliest history of the state through his grandfather, Reverend W. D. Gage, who first became identified with the state in January, 1853, when he crossed the river from northwestern Missouri, and visited Old Fort Kearney, now Nebraska City, and held divine services there. He was a native of the state of New York, and at the age of twenty-one was converted to the Christian faith by a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church. Four years later he entered the New York Conference, and for twenty-six years filled a pulpit in the conferences of New York, Illinois, Arkansas, and Missouri.
In October, 1854, he was appointed to the Nebraska City Mission, the first appointment made by his denomination in the state. The first church was of course a primitive structure and quite small. Before the close of his mission there, Mr. Gage had raised a subscription of two thousand and four hundred dollars for a brick edifice, quite large for that day. He served as chaplain to the first legislature, and was honored by the naming of a county after him. Mr. Gage was born about 1803, and died at Weeping Water, November 20, 1885, full of years and honors. He was married January 1, 1833, to Miss Sarah Schoonmaker, who died in 1862; of their seven children three only were living at the time of the mother's death. A son who had frequently crossed the river to hunt or visit in their old haunts in Missouri disappeared the winter he was seventeen. Whether he was killed by the Indians or broke through the ice and was carried under, the family never knew.
The mother of our subject, Doctor Barnes, who was Martha Gage, was eldest of the three surviving sisters. She was born about 1843, in Illinois, during her father's pastorate there, and was married while the family was residing at Rock Bluff, a settlement now long since abandoned, in Cass county, near Nebraska City.
Our subject's father, John Wesley Barnes, was born at Bowling Green, Kentucky, March 21, 1835. He came of a long line of American ancestors, the first of whom, Stephen Barnes, born in 1604, came to Massachusetts colony in 1630. The successive sons were as follows: Kitchner, born 1642; James, born 1696; Thomas, born 1734, served in the Revolutionary war in a Virginia Company, his father having removed to the Old Dominion some years prior to that conflict; Stephen, born 1765; Nathaniel H., born 1803, married a Miss Wright and was the father of John Wesley Barnes. The latter came out to Maysville, Missouri, about 1855, and for a time taught school there and then engaged in farming.
When the Burlington railroad built across the Missouri river, Mr. Barnes was employed by them to secure the right of way, and later in their land department until 1901; he was in their employ all these years except for a short time about 1876 which he spent in Utah in the service of the Federal government in the land department. He also represented Cass and Douglas counties in the legislature five terms the ninth and thirteen sessions, inclusive. He made his home in Plattsmouth for years, removing to York about 1885. Here he became interested in banking and was president of the Citizens' State Bank, which was wrecked by the cashier speculating on the Chicago Board of Trade, sweeping away the accumulations of years. His courage was not broken, however, and he went to work with renewed energy in the service of the Burlington, from which he retired, as before stated, in 1901. His death occurred in January, two years later, and the mother's in November, 1906.
Of their children, E. M. Barnes is the seventh in a family of eight children. He was born at Plattsmouth, Nebraska, September 2, 1876, and attended the public schools there and at York. The wrecking of the bank of which his father was president cut short his education and threw him upon his own resources at the age of seventeen. Securing a position in the Burlington freight houses at Denver, he worked industriously for three years and then went to Chicago and matriculated in the Chicago Polyclinic, a night school, reading medicine the while in the office of his brother, Doctor C. D. Barnes, who was a practitioner in the city. He returned to Nebraska and took the scientific course in the State University, and then finished his medical education in the Lincoln Medical College in 1903, coming immediately to Plainview where he has built up a large and lucrative practice. During the summers in Lincoln, Doctor Barnes was employed in checking up the fee accounts of the district clerks, and in this way became acquainted with every county seat and large town in the state; few citizens have seen as much of Nebraska as he.
Doctor Barnes was married at Seward, Nebraska, May 18, 1898, to Miss Margaret Henderson, of that place, and the next day enlisted in Company H, Second Nebraska Volunteers for service in the Spanish-American war. He was transferred to the First Division, Third Corp.'s Hospital service and was first stationed at Chickmauga Park, later being transferred to Fort Mc-
Pherson Hospital at Atlanta, where he served until the close of the war, returning to Lincoln to finish his medical course. Mrs. Barnes is a daughter of Captain John S. and Josephine (Handrick) Henderson. Captain Henderson served through the Civil war in a company of Illinois cavalry, and after the close of hostilities returned to Maguam, Knox county, and invested in lands; these he sold in 1875 to a good advantage; he then invested in large tracts of land near Seward, which rising rapidly in value, soon made him independent. He for a time owned the lower mills at Seward but sold and kept his wealth invested in lands. He died in November, 1908; the mother still lives at Seward.
Doctor Barnes is a trustee of the Congregational church, of which Mrs. Barnes is a member. He fraternizes with the Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of America, A. O. O. P., the Elks, and the Royal Highlander lodges. He is also a member of the American Medical society, as well as those of the state, the Elkhorn Valley and Pierce county.
Doctor Barnes was candidate in the second election under city government and was defeated on the "dry" ticket by six votes; his friends ran him in the next electon [sic], April, 1909, and he was elected by a majority of sixty-five, showing the growth of temperance sentiment and the Doctor's popularity.
Doctor Barnes takes great pleasure in the pubIic library, for the installation of which he secured subscriptions for three hundred and fifty dollars. It has since been taken over by the city and is proving to be a very popular institution, the reading room having a goodly crowd of patrons every afternoon and evening.
JOE G. DAVIS.
Among the leading old timers in Merrick county, Nebraska, Mr. Davis is given a first place, having resided in the above named county and state for the past thirty-five years or more, on section twenty-nine, township fifteen, range eight, west, which is still his home. He is known as a man of industry and a citizen of true worth.
Joe G. Davis, farmer, son of William and Hannah (Logan) Davis, was born in Nobles county, Ohio, October 11, 1845, and was third in a family of eight children; he has one sister residing in Missouri; one brother in North Dakota; and three brothers and two sisters in Nebraska; his parents are deceased. Mr. Davis received his education in the home schools, and later engaged in farming.
In May of 1864 Mr. Davis enlisted in Company G, Sixty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, serving until the close of war, receiving his discharge at Columbus, Ohio, in August of 1865. He was all through the siege of Savannah, and many minor engagements. After the war, our subject returned to Ohio, then went to Missouri, where he followed farming for two years. April 25, 1871, Mr. Davis was married to Miss Elmina Barr of Muskingum county, Ohio, and to this union have been born four children: Maud L., deceased January 21, 1910, survived by her husband, L. F. Windbigler, and three children: Oatie, wife of H. L. Stockton, has three children, and lives in Lincoln, Nebraska; Carrie G., wife of O. R. Skinner, has three children and resides in Clarks, Nebraska; and Mary E., who is married to O. Linderman, has one child, and resides in Palmer, Nebraska.
In March, 1876, Mr. and Mrs. Davis came to Merrick county, Nebraska, purchasing eighty acres of railroad land in section twenty-nine, township fifteen, range eight, west, which is still the home place, as before stated. They enjoy the respect and esteem of all who know them. Mr. Davis has served as treasurer of his school district number thirty-six for many years, and during his many years of residence in Nebraska, has always taken an active interest in everything that pertained to the advancement of the locality in which he lived.
WILLIAM F. KLOKE.
Comparatively few of the citizens of whom we write are "to the manor born;" most of them had their nativity beyond the boundaries of the state or beyond the borders of the country. Not so with William F. Kloke, a prosperous merchant of Spencer. Though of foreign parentage, he is Nebraska born, having been ushered into this breathing world at West Point, December 23, 1872.
His father, John Kloke, was born in the province of Westphalia, Germany, November 21, 1837, and with his parents emigrated to America in 1854. The grandfather, Nicholas Kloke, settled in Manitowoc county, Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Michigan, and here John grew to maturity. He began for himself, working in the copper mines of the Lake Superior district. He was married in Ontonogon, Michigan, to Elizabeth Salm, who was born on the Rhine, province of Prussia, in June, 1845; her parents emigrated to the New World the same year the Klokes came and settled in the same county.
Mr. and Mrs. John Kloke came to Nebraska in 1869 and suffered the poverty brough [sic] on the early settlers by the grasshopper pests through the seventies. The railroad was built no further than Omaha and they drove from there to St. Charles, where settlement was made. It is notable that here is located the oldest Catholic church in this part of Nebraska, if not in the entire state. During his residence here, Mr. Kloke served as treasurer of Cuming county, being one of the first to fill that office after the organization of the county. After enduring the losses caused by the grasshoppers for two or three years, Mr. Kloke abandoned his homestead, returned to Wisconsin in 1874, and entered the mercantile business at Cleveland. From there be moved to Green Bay and owned a saloon for a few years, returning to Nebraska in 1885. At West Point, he opened
a hardware and implement store and two years later transferred his business to Howels. In 1889, he filed on a homestead in Wheeler county, thirty-five miles, south of O'Neill. This he soon after relinquished and, coming to Boyd county in 1890, filed on a homestead three miles south of Spencer. Here he lived and prospered, retiring from active labor in 1902 to take up his residence in Spencer. In 1906, however, he felt the need of activity and with a colony from Spencer filed on a homestead claim near Wall, in Pennington county, South Dakota, and has made this his residence since.
William F. Kloke began life for himself in November, 1897, on a farm five miles west of Spencer, and was engaged in that vocation until 1902, when he spent the season on the road for the Deering Harvester Company under the management of L. A. Fisher. August 1, 1903, in partnership with P. J. Handley, he opened a general store in Spencer, and a year later, on September 10, took over the entire business himself and has since increased his business to a flattering degree. One pleasing feature of business relations in Spencer is the comity that exists between the merchants of the town, exchanging courtesies like the friends they should be, instead of showing enemities.
Mr. Kloke was married in Spencer to Miss Cecelia Griffin, who was born in Shullsburg, LaFayette county, Wisconsin. Two children have been born to them, namely, Cecelia and Helen.
Mr. Kloke is a democrat, a member of the Catholic church, and of the Knights of Columbus. On the organization of the county, Mr. Kloke was elected the first clerk of the district court and served four years.
Mr. Kloke was out with his brother in the blizzard of January 12, 1888, and has been witness to the devastation of the severe hailstorms that have swept over this section of the west. Like all dwellers of the open country, he has helped fight prairie fires before the land was broken up as it is in the present day.
Mr. Kloke is a good type of the western man - upright, alert and helpful to those in distress.
David Craig, numbered among the pioneers of Boone county, Nebraska, has built up a substantial fortune by many years of faithful effort and good business acumen. He was formerly proprietor of two hundred acres of farm land situated west of Albion, and was engaged principally in the stock business for many years, making a specialty of the breeding of thoroughbred Poland China hogs, of which he had some fine specimens. His residence is in Albion.
Mr. Craig was born on March 2, 1866, and is a son of Samuel C. and Margaret J. Craig, old residents of Delaware county, New York. They had a family of seven children of whom our subject was the eldest, and the entire family settled in Boone county in 1879, one son dying here. Here the father filed on a homestead and carried on the farm with the help of his children.
In 1887 David Craig, purchased eighty acres on section nineteen, township twenty, range seven, where he resided up to 1898, at which time he purchased ten acres joining Albion on the south, to which place he moved, and there kept his stock of Poland China hogs and Shorthorn cattle which were raised on his farm previously mentioned. He became well-known as a thorough judge of Poland China hogs.
In December, 1909, Mr. Craig moved to Albion, which has since been his home.
Mr. Craig has been successful in his different ventures, and become possessed of two hundred acres of farm land which he has since sold. Besides this he owned a handsome home in Albion, which he has now disposed of.
Mr. Craig was married on September 3, 1901, to Miss Jennie I. Reed, of Iowa, and she died April 25, 1910, since which time Mr. Craig has made his home with his mother.
Samuel C. Craig, father of our subject, was a native of Ireland, born on May 17, 1836, and came to America when he was four years of age, in company with his parents, and two brothers and three sisters, the family locating in Delaware county, New York. He grew up there, and was married in December, 1864, to Margaret Mitchell. Samuel C. Craig died in Boone county, Nebraska, in 1895, survived by his wife, who still resides in Albion, and six children. Samuel Craig homesteaded in Boone county during the very early days of its settlement, taking up a claim of one hundred and sixty acres on section twenty, township twenty, range seven, and that was his home farm until his death.
He became one of the prosperous and successful agriculturists of his section, and was active in local affairs, helping establish and keep up the schools and serving for fifteen years as director of his district. He was also Justice of the Peace for many years.
Four daughters of Samuel Craig survive him, also two sons. The daughters are Mrs. D. R. Jordon, Mrs. Leslie Edwards, Mrs. Frank Cremer, and Mrs. H. M. Nichols, all living in Nebraska, and the sons are the subject of this sketch, and John, who lives at Fullerton, Nebraska.
OLIVER F. EGGLESTON.
O. F. Eggleston, a prominent farmer and stock man living on section three, township twenty-three, range six, is well-known throughout Antelope county as a progressive and successful agriculturist, highly esteemed by all with whom he has had to do. He is one of the oldest settlers in Antelope county, having located here in June, 1874.
Mr. Eggleston is a native of Lee county, Iowa, born November 14, 1849. His father, Hezika Eggleston, was born in Ohio, and lived to attain the age of seventy-seven years, his death occurring in 1897; our subject's mother, Mary (Barb) Eggleston, was also a native of Ohio, and her parents were of German descent; Mr. Eggleston's brother, Norman, served for four years in the Civil war.
In 1874 Mr. Eggleston emigrated from Iowa to Nebraska, he having heard such glowing accounts of this great western country, and particularly of Nebraska; and the cheap lands there, and what better chances there were in this new country for a young man to get a start in life, so came westward and settled in Antelope county on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in section thirty, township twenty-three, range six, and here he has succeeded in developing a good farm. He is now engaged in mixed farming and stock raising, and owns three hundred and twenty acres of good land. Mr. Eggleston is of the opinion that the average man here is much better off financially than in Iowa, as the land here costs less and crops grow just as well with less labor, one man taking care of one hundred acres as easily as he could fifty in Iowa. Since locating in Antelope county, Mr. Eggleston has had fair success every year, with the exception of 1894, when his crops were destroyed by drouth, and that year every one experienced more or less failure; but after the advent of the better years he was more fortunate, and has accumulated a nice property. He devotes a good deal of attention to fine stock and now has about seventy-eight head of full-blooded Hereford cattle, and twenty-four head of high grade Percheron horses.
On December 28, 1880, Mr. Eggleston was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Horn, whose family were among the oldest settlers of Antelope county, coming here in 1871. She was a native of Norfolk, England. When Miss Horn's parents first came to this county, the Indians were quite hostile, on one occasion stealing all their goods, and did a great deal of damage in other ways. Mr. and Mrs. Eggleston are parents of eight children, named as follows: Bradford, deceased in infancy; Herbert, Olive, Edith, Freeman, Clifford, Fern, and Aleda.
WILLIAM H. PENSE.
William H. Pense, a highly respected farmer of Custer county, was one of the pioneers of central Nebraska and has done his full share in assisting in the development of the region. He has been a resident of Custer county since 1879 and retains possession of the homestead he secured in that year, and on which he makes his home. He was born in Henderson county, Illinois, September 9, 1855, a son of. Hiram J. and Nancy (Moffitt) Pense. He was the second of three children, born and reared on farm in his native state. In November, 1872, he accompanied the rest of the family to Nebraska and they located in Clay county, and there the father died in 1893, the mother having died when William was a small boy. His brother George lives at Sheridan, Wyoming, and his sister, Mary, wife of Dan Mealey, lives in McLean county, Illinois.
In 1879 Mr. Pense secured a homestead on the southwest quarter of section twelve, township sixteen, range eighteen, and with the exception of some time during the dry years in Nebraska (when he worked at the carpenter's trade in Iowa), and a few years spent in Box Butte county, Nebraska, he has since resided on this place.
Mr. Pense was married in Custer county, July 3, 1881, to Miss Ezettie Sloan, a native of Illinois, who came with her mother to Nebraska, in 1880. She is the only child of John and Nancy (Gammon) Sloan, the latter from a Virginia family. Nine children have been born to Mr. Pense and wife, eight of whom survive: Gertrude, deceased, was born in the homestead; Edna, born in Custer county, is the wife of John McGowan, of Wyoming, and they have four children; Nancy, born in Custer county, is the wife of George McGowan, and they live in Ansley; Twila, born in Box Butte county, is the wife of John Barrett, of Lincoln, and they have two children; Clara, born in Custer county, and Ernest, born in Clay county, are at home; Lyla and Ruth, born in Iowa, and Glenn, born in Custer county, are also at home. Mr. Pense takes an active interest in public affairs, and is now serving as director on the school board of district number sixteen. He and his wife are well-known in the county, and have a wide circle of friends. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Pense is a worker in the prohibition party.
One of their earliest hardships was during the blizzard of April, 1873, when they all lay in bed the three days to keep from freezing. To save their horses all were brought into the house, where one died. When the storm abated, Mr. Pense and his brother crawled through a window to get hay for fuel. They had had no fire for three days because the horses had to be tied near the stove. During the dry year, 1894, they raised no corn on seventy-five acres planted; twenty acres seeded to wheat produced ten bushels, and nine bushels of potatoes, were the total crop raised in a large field.
Among the. representative farmers and stockmen of Pierce county, Nebraska, who have aided materially in its advancement and development, a prominent place is accorded Frank Strelow, who resides on his farm in the southwest quarter of section twenty-nine, and the southeast quarter of section thirty, township twenty-seven, range two, one of the best improved places in that part of the county, where he is a stock raiser and
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