farmer. He is a gentleman of energetic character and well merits his success and high standing.
Mr. Strelow was born in the village of Braunsberg, province of Pommerania, Germany, June 26, 1867, and is the son of Frederick and Wilhelmina (Timm) Strelow, who were married in 1860. The father was born in 1835, and was a laborer in the old country; the mother, who was born in 1836, died in November, 1910. In April, 1882, the elder Strelow sailed with his family from the Haven of Bremen, Germany, on the steamer "Strausberg," and upon reaching the New World after a voyage of fourteen days, set his face westward. Reaching Pierce county, Nebraska, he first settled near Hadar, where he rented a farm five years, and then bought the land where he now lives with his son Frank, of this sketch.
In 1892 Frank Strelow was married to Miss Louise Koehn, a daughter of August and Maria (Rodek) Koehn, who was born in Pierce county. She passed away in 1898, leaving four children, Elsa, Hattie, Arthur, and Julius.
Mr. Strelow was married to Miss Amanda Fisher, November 1, 1904. She is a native of Pierce county, and a daughter of John and Augusta (Rohloff) Fisher. Three children were born of this marriage, named as follows: Alma, Edna. and Amanda.
Mr. Strelow is a democrat and always votes a straight ticket, and is a member of the German Lutheran church. He is one of the substantial men of his locality, and is highly respected. His father is known as one of the prominent old-timers of his locality. Mr. Strelow served his county as assessor for a term, filling the office with honor and credit.
Mr. Strelow's farm is notable in illustrating the contrast of the old world with the new. Nearby his fine ten-room house, a modern dwelling of most pleasing architecture, is one of the primitive barns of the place which is covered by a thatched roof, the work of the elder Strelow, such as covers many of the farm buildings of the old world, this served well to exclude the snow and rain until within recent years it has been allowed to fall into a state of dilapidation. A view of this fine farmstead with all its buildings is shown elsewhere in this work.
Residence of Frank Strelow.
Among the Swedish-American citizens who have attained prominence in Nebraska and have become successful business men, August Benson, of Valley county, deserves special mention. He is well known as one of the earlier settlers of the county and is interested in everything pertaining to the welfare of his state and county, being one of the most highly respected men in his community. Mr. Benson is one of the stockholders in the Farmers' Live Stock Association, with headquarters in Arcadia, and is also a stockholder in the Arcadia Creamery Company, besides being a extensive landowner. He was born near Conkasa, Horod parish, Sweden, February 24, 1855, the eldest of the three children born to his parents, who spent their entire lives in Sweden. He reached young manhood in his native country and in 1873 came to America, crossing the North Sea from Guttenburg to Hull, and embarked at Liverpool in a White Star liner for New York, landing after a voyage of nine days. He came west to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where for a time he worked on the railroads and in lumber mills.
Mr. Benson's marriage occurred at Stephen's Point, Wisconsin, December 5, 1879, when he was united with Miss Mary Peterson, who was born in Wisconsin, and in the spring of 1891 he brought his wife and two children to Valley county, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of land on section thirty-two, township eighteen, range seventeen, which had been taken as a homestead by his uncle, John Benson, and this place on which he erected all the improvements, has remained the Benson home through many years to the present time. At the time of his coming here there was not a fence between his place and Ord all was open country over which deer, antelope, and elk in countless numbers ranged. He is a prosperous and successful man of affairs and now owns a well improved and fully equipped stock farm of seven hundred and twenty acres of land. A view of the fine country home with its accompanying barns and outbuildings is to be found on one of our illustrated pages. He has served twelve years as treasurer of school district number fifty-nine, and in other ways has proved his public spirit and helpfulness in local interests.
Of the twelve children born to Mr. Benson and wife, but six now survive, namely: John, living in Sargent, Nebraska, has one child; Gustaf, Palmer, Alfred, Martin and Oscar, all at home.
Mr. Benson is independent of party lines in the political world, and fraternally is a member of the Ancient Order United Workmen.
During the first eight years on his farm, the family occupied a sod house in true pioneer style. Many were the discouragements of those days. Drouth burned their crops during 1890 and 1894; hail destroyed all small grain for three seasons and one year chinch bugs took all before them. But with all their early misfortunes they have persevered and prospered to an extent that few in the old country ever do.
Residence of August Benson.
In the person of Jacob Weyhrich, mentioned above, we have another of the sturdy sons of Germany who left their native land in their young manhood and came to America to carve out for themselves a name and fortune in the land of liberty and freedom. Mr. Weyhrich resides on sec-
tion eight, township twenty-seven, range one, Pierce county, Nebraska, coming here in 1893, and has always done his full share in the betterment of conditions throughout the community in which be lives.
Mr. Weyhrich was born in the village of Wessau, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, in 1832, and is the son of Philip and Lizzie (Stair) Weyhrich. His father was born in 1793, in Germany, and died in 1867; and the mother was born in 1806 in southern England, and died in 1853. There were three brothers and one sister in his father's family, and our subject received his education in his native land, in early life working on a farm as a laborer in the vicinity of his home. In his young manhood, he served in the German army from 1852 to 1856, inclusive.
When Mr. Weyhrich was twenty-five years of age, in 1857, he left the fatherland and came to America with his father. After landing in New York City, they came west to Pekin, Illinois, where they rented a farm and remained there until 1893, when our subject came to Pierce county, Nebraska, where he bought land and has made a beautiful home. In 1901, Mr. Weyhrich lost all his crops by hail.
Mr. Weyhrich was united in marriage in 1857 to Miss Mary Keblar, and they are the parents of nine children: Phillip, who was married to Miss Ida Eidman in March, 1895, and has three children, Dick, George, and Albert; Louis, deceased; George, married to Miss Lizzie Shaffer, has seven children, Harry, Etta, Anton, George, Emma, Sadie, and Dora; and Lizzie, John, Peter, Katie, Eva, and Jacob.
Mr. and Mrs. Weyhrich and family have the respect and esteem of all who know them. In religious faith, they worship at the German Lutheran church. Mr. Weyhrich is a democrat.
Charles Roberts, successful farmer and business man of St. Libory, Howard county, is one of the highly respected pioneers of that region. He has gone through all the early experiences of frontier life, and during his residence in Nebraska has aided materially in the development of the country. He has an interesting family, and all are popular members of the social life of their community, having many warm friends who declare their home is one of the pleasant spots in the neighgorhood.
Mr. Roberts is a native of Hollenstein, Germany, born October 9, 1837. He was the third child in a family of seven, and is the only member of his family ever to leave their home country. Father, mother, and three sisters are dead, the remainder of the family still living in Germany. At the age of twenty Charles left home and came to America alone, his first location after landing here being at Moline, Illinois, where he secured employment in a saw mill. There he worked for six months, then began as a farm hand, on the Wesley Kane farm, and remained for three years. In September, 1861, he enlisted in Company M, Fourth Illinois Cavalry, and followed a soldier's fortune for four years and nine months. He saw hard service, taking part in a number of hard fought actions, the most prominent being the battles of Fort Donaldson, Pittsburg Landing and Fort Henry.
He was also in numerous skirmishes, most of the time under General Grant's command, and, with the exception of about two months which he spent in the hospital, saw active service during his entire enlistment. He was mustered out at Houston, Texas, in June, 1866.
After returning from the war Mr. Roberts went to work in the John Deere Plow shops at Moline, Illinois, remaining there for several years, and in 1871 came to Howard county, Nebraska, took up a homestead on section thirty-two, township thirteen, range nine, and proved up on one hundred and sixty acres. He has prospered since that time, meeting at times with discouragement and misfortune, but never giving up hope, and by energy and thrift has become owner of twelve hundred acres of choice land lying in Hall and Howard counties. He is regarded as one of the wealthiest men of the region. His home is on his original farm, on which he has built a handsome dwelling, with all improvements and substantial farm buildings of every kind.
Mr. Roberts was married at Moline, Illinois, December 4, 1867, to Katie Wiese, she being a native of that place, and her father one of the first settlers in Rock Island county. To them have been born six children, namely: Edward, single; Lillie, wife of Robert Kutcher, living in Hall county; Rose, Harvey, Maggie and Alvin, all at home, and they comprise a very interesting and charming family circle.
Our subject is active in local affairs, and is a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic Post in Grand Island.
JAMES H. EYERLY.
James H. Eyerly born in Marion county, Iowa, November 11, 1862, was the youngest of ten children in the family of Samuel and Polly Shearer Eyerly. The family moved to Jasper county, Iowa, the year following the birth of James, and six years later, when little James was only seven years old, the father died. The mother and family then moved to Madison county, Iowa, at which place the mother died in the summer of 1902.
The children scattered as they went out in life for themselves and only two of them reside in Nebraska, namely: James H. (the subject of this Sketch) and D. H. Eyerly. The latter resides near Hershey, Lincoln county, being one of the solid men of that community.
James H. Eyerly practically started life for himself when he was only fifteen years old, working three years at wage work, then beginning to farm for himself. In August, 1884, he married Miss Laura May Ford, a native of Iowa, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. I. S. Ford, of Madison county, Iowa.
In March, 1886, Mr. and Mrs. Eyerly and their infant daughter, Edna Lenore, came to Sherman county, Nebraska, where Mr. Eyerly leased a section of land, making this county his home until the Spring of 1890. He was eminently successful as a farmer and stockman and at that time moved to his farm in Valley county which he had purchased prior to that date.
In common with many others, Mr. Eyerly passed through the hard years of 1890 and 1894, and although he had done well in his first Nebraska years, his accumulations were needed to carry himself and family through these trying years. As a final result of the panic of 1894, he was forced to start all over again. It was slow work, but so well did he succeed that by 1905, he was known as one of the most prosperous farmers in Valley county. At that date, Mr. Eyerly and family moved to North Loup to take active management of the New Arlington hotel, with livery and sale barn connected, which property Mr. Eyerly had purchased some little time before. He still runs the hotel and is also largely interested in the real estate business. Another line to which he gives considerable time and attention, is that of buying and selling horses.
Mr. Eyerly is in every respect a hustler, wide-awake and energetic, whose absolute integrity has won for him a host of friends. He is a democrat in politics, a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Mr. and Mrs. Eyerly have six children: Edna, Ada Lenore, Elwin F., Edith Fern, James Bryan and Opal Vivian.
IRA G. WESTERVELT.
Among the men who helped in the development and success of the northeastern part of Nebraska the gentlemen above named occupied a prominent place. He became a prominent citizen of Norfolk, Madison county, Nebraska, where he was universally respected and esteemed by his fellowmen.
Ira G. Westervelt was born in Franklin county, Ohio, December 28, 1832, and was the tenth of thirteen children. he received his education in the home state, and later engaged in farming.
On February 8, 1860, Mr. Westervelt was joined in holy matrimony to Miss Amelia A. Grinnell, also of Ohio, and they became the parents of eleven children, whose names we give as follows: William H., deceased, survived by his wife and five children who live in the state of Washington; Edith, married H. T. McLane, who have one child, and live in Spencer, Iowa; Kate, married to H. H. Sachtjen, have two children, and live near Hoskins, Nebraska; Lavina, married to Reverend E. T. George, have two children, and live in Neligh, Nebraska; John, married, has four children and lives in Meadow Grove, Nebraska; Alma, married to L. C. Hepperley, have six children and reside in Norfolk; Lucinda, married to William Martin, four children and live in Portland, Oregon; Robert, died in infancy, in 1874; Jessie H., married to Swython R. Reynolds, have three children, and live in Denver, Colorado; Jeffery, married, has six children, and lives in Tilden, Nebraska; and Irene A., who died in infancy, in 1880.
In 1868, Mr. Westervelt went to Illinois, again engaged in farming and remained there until the spring of 1883, when he came to Norfolk, Nebraska, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, one mile east of Norfolk, where he farmed and raised stock, and lived here for fifteen years, during which time he purchased one hundred and twenty acres adjoining the original one hundred and sixty.
About 1899, Mr. Westervelt retired from the farm and moved in to Norfolk, where he lived at the time of his death. Mr. Westervelt served as police judge for four years in Norfolk, and also served fifteen years on the city school board. He died January 24, 1909, at his home on Madison avenue, survived by his widow and eight children. Mrs. Westervelt still lives in Norfolk, and in 1909 built a fine home, where she now lives surrounded by a large circle of friends.
CHARLES L. KARNES.
Charles L. Karnes, an old and respected citizen of Custer county, is honored as a veteran of the civil war, in which he won an honorable record. He was born in Alleghany county, Virginia, seven miles from Covington, the county seat, August 1, 1834, seventh child of the four sons and five daughters born to Jacob and Sarah (Keyser) Karnes, both natives of Virginia, the former of Allegheny county, the latter of Bath county; both died in their native state. He was born and reared on a farm, and has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits, living on the farm where he was born until coming to Custer county in September, 1884. He was married in his native state March 25, 1855, to Nancy Andrews, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Oliver) Andrews, and they remained in Virginia until bringing their ten children with them to Nebraska. During this time, Mr. Karnes spent two and one-half years in active service during the Civil war, in "Stonewall" Jackson's brigade of Virginia artillery.
In the spring of 1884 Mr. Karnes took a homestead in the southwest quarter of section eighteen,
township nineteen, range twenty-one, the house standing on the northwest corner of the tract, where they have since lived. Mr. Karnes also filed on a timber claim, to which he has since added by purchase, until now he owns four hundred and twenty-five acres of fine hill land.
Twelve children were born to Mr. Karnes and wife, of, whom eight now survive. as follows: Mollie, now Mrs. Hazel Williams, in Broken Bow, Custer county, has thirteen children; Lewis, married and living in California, has two children; Harry, married and living in Idaho, has two children; Belle, wife of Scott Cooper, lives in Oklahoma and has five children; John, married and living in Iowa, has five children; Charles, married and living in Nebraska; Michael born in Virginia, January 19, 1874, was married in Custer county, November 7, 1899, to Mary, daughter of Alonzo and Adelia Ward, lives on the home farm and has four children: Dorothy, Walter, Roy and Harry; Georgiana, wife of Albert Lindley, of Custer county, has eight children. Mr. Karnes has thirty-nine grandchildren and twenty-five great grandchildren. Mrs. Karnes died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mollie Williams, August 29, 1905, in her seventy-first year, deeply mourned by her family and many friends. Mr. Karnes is well-known and prominent in many circles and has always been an active man. He has helped materially in furthering the development and upbuilding of his county and state, and is regarded as a public-spirited, useful citizen. He and his wife reared a fine family to honorable maturity and have a large number of descendants to revere them and their noble lives.
Notwithstanding the drouth of 1894, Mr. Karnes raised a fair crop of corn on his upland farm. After reserving enough corn for his own use he sold five hundred bushels to his neighbors in the valley. The sandy loam which constitutes the soil of his farm retains moisture longer than the heavy soil of the lower ground.
Mr. Karnes lived in a "soddy" from the time of settling on the place until 1906, when his, present frame dwelling was erected. While building the "soddy" antelope were to be seen in the valleys most every day, so primitive was the country at that time that the poles of an Indian wigwam were still standing in a canyon on an adjoining tract of land.
Mr. Karnes was originally a democrat, but of late years votes for whom he considers the best man, regardless of party affiliations. He is a member of the Methodist church, and has been since his sixteenth year.
HON. JOHN H. BUHRMAN.
John H. Buhrman, a leading and progressive farmer and worthy citizen of Howard county, Nebraska, enjoys a wide reputation as a prominent man in the business and official life of his state.
Mr. Buhrman was born in St. Clair county, Illinois, July 30, 1864, and was the youngest member in a family of four girls and two boys. His boyhood was spent in Illinois, where he received a common school education. In 1881 his father, Theodore Buhrman, and John's sister's husband, Conrad Evers, emigrated to Nebraska, purchasing land here, and later the mother and balance of the family joined them, their homestead being located on section twenty-nine, township thirteen, range nineteen. The father and mother made their home with Mrs. Evers, where the former died in 1897, and the latter on January 30, 1911. Our subject purchased a tract of land in the same neighborhood, which he improved in good shape, gradually increasing his acreage, and has now become possessor of a large farm, fitted with good buildings, etc. He is engaged extensively in stock and grain raising, also is one of the large stock buyers and shippers of his township.
Mr. Buhrman was married to Miss Elizabeth Horak, at St. Libory, on February 26, 1889, whose parents, Vincent and Elizabeth Horak, were among the pioneer settlers of Howard county. Mr. and Mrs. Buhrman have a family of nine children, all living at home, and forming an interesting family circle. They are named as follows: Mary, Anna, Theodore, Louis, Edward, Katie, JuIia, Clements, and Gertrude.
Mr. Buhrman has been active in the affairs of his county and township, serving as County Assessor for one term, and proving a most capable and efficient official. In the fall of 1908, at the urgent solicitation of his numerous friends, be became a candidate on the Fusion ticket for state senator to represent Hall and Howard counties, and obtained the election by at large majority. He has been an able representative of his district, and has the highest esteem of all who know him. He is a man of clear and logical views in all matters, a thorough business man, and born to be a leader in anything he may undertake. In the fall of 1910, Mr. Buhrman was re-elected to the state Senate.
STURLEY T. STEVENS.
The Stevens family is one of the older ones in Custer county, and its members are well known throughout the region for their interest in public affairs and their willingness to help the cause of progress along all lines. Sturley T. Stevens was born in Alleghany, Pennsylvania, October 14, 1867, a son of William Miller and Sarah Ann (Nesbitt) Stevens. An account of the father and family is included in the sketch of William Nesbitt Stevens, which appears in this work.
Mr. Stevens accompanied his father to Saline county, Nebraska, in 1879, and on to Custer county in 1883. He received the educational advantages his parents were able to give him, and remained with his father on the homestead until November
1899, at which time he came to the new town of Comstock, being its first postmaster. His appointment bore the date of November 24, 1899, and he held the office until 1911, when his brother received the appointment. In connection with caring for the duties of his official position, Mr. Stevens engaged in selling cigars, confectionery and tobacco. In 1901 his brother came to work with him as assistant postmaster, remaining he received the appointment himself.
In the spring of 1901, Mr. Stevens became salesman for the Deering Harvester Company, and traveled in their employ until October 1, 1904. December 1, of that year, he engaged in the hardware business in Comstock and handled the McCormick binder. In 1905 he purchased his competitor's stock of hardware and conducted the only hardware business in Comstock. In 1907 he sold out this business and engaged in the real estate, insurance and loan business, having an office in the Citizens' bank building. He is one of the wide-awake, successful business men of the county and has been especially successful in his last venture, having interests in Custer and adjoining counties.
On February 23, 1898, Mr. Stevens was united in marriage with Mabel Cleavland, daughter of Elias and Alma Cleavland, of Wescott, pioneers of Custer county. Mrs. Stevens is a native of Maine and came with her parents to Custer county in 1883. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Stevens, Hazel Verna and Marian Alma. The family are well known in Comstock and prominent in social and other circles.
Mr. Stevens is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
To the men of perseverance and unflinching determination who came to Nebraska when it was yet undeveloped in agriculture and commerce, the present state of prosperity is due. Among the early settlers of Knox county who have been intimately identified with its development, and have gained an enviable reputation as citizens, may he mentioned Anton Benda, a prosperous farmer and substantial citizen of his locality. Mr. Benda resides in section five, township thirty-one, range six.
Mr. Benda is a native of Illinois, his birth occurring in Chicago in the year 1866. He is a son of John and Elizabeth Neskoda Benda, both natives of Bohemia. They left their native land in 1865, embarking on a sail boat from Bremen, Germany, to Baltimore, Maryland. After reaching America they started westward, locating in Chicago, Illinois, where they lived for some seven years; in 1872 migrating still farther west, coming by way of Sioux City, Iowa, and settling in Knox county, Nebraska. They came up the river on a steamboat to Niobrara; from there they proceeded to Bazile Mills, where they remained for a few days. From there the family went to the place where they now live and bought this farm from Mr. John Barta. There was a dugout on the place when they bought it, in which the family resided a short time, then building a log house.
Thirty-eight years is a long span of years to look backward to, and so many changes and such steady advancements have taken place, that the experiences of those first pioneer days seem almost incredible to all but those sturdy sons of Nebraska soil who went through the hardships, dangers, and discouragements on the western frontier in the first days of its settlement. When our subject and parents first settled in this section, the nearest market places were at Yankton, South Dakota, and Norfolk, Nebraska, both places being several miles distant, and the only means of travel to these markets being by ox team. During the first three years of location here, the grasshoppers destroyed the entire crops, which was a very discouraging outlook to the family.
In 1885, Mr. Benda was united in marriage to Miss Mary Tichy, and they are the parents of nine children, namely: Mary, Joseph, Louis, John, Emma, Anna, Helen, Rosa, and Minnie.
In compiling a list of the representative farmers of Stanton county, Nebraska, a prominent place is accorded the name of Louis Armbruster, who is a native of the state, and a resident of this county for many years, where he has been engaged in agricultural pursuits. He has done his full share toward the development of the better interests of his community, and enjoys the respect and esteem of all who know him. He has a comfortable home and is the owner of a good farm pleasantly located in section twenty-four.
Mr. Armbruster, the son of Sigund and Kate Armbruster, was born in Cuming county, Nebraska, in 1873. The father was a native of Baden, and the mother of Luxembourg, Germany. The father, who is about sixty-six years old, came to America when he was just of age. He worked in different parts of Iowa for some years, then came to Omaha, Nebraska, and engaged in farming. It was here that the father and mother were married. They then came to Cuming county, Nebraska, and took up a claim, building a frame house for their dwelling.
It was here that the subscriber was born and he grew up in the pioneer surroundings of that time, which are very different from the country as it is now. Deer and antelope were frequently seen in those days. Prairie fires, also, were of frequent occurrence in the summer, and formed a great menace to the early settlers. Many times they were forced to fight fire for hours in order to save their homes. Their nearest market was Fremont, many miles away.
In 1897, the subscriber was united in marriage
Miss Julia Schulte. They are the parents of seven children, named as follows: William, Kate, Anna, Sigman, Ange, Albert, and Clarence.
Mr Armbruster has served for six years as a director of schools in the district of his home, and has in other ways promoted the welfare of his community.
Aaron Hollenbeck, proprietor of one of the most valuable estates in Antelope county, Nebraska, has been a resident of that locality for the past forty years. He is prominently known throughout the western part of the state as one of the foremost farmers and stockmen in Nebraska and after many years of hard labor in building up his business is now prepared to enjoy his life in peace and comfort surrounded by a host of good friends and acquaintances.
Mr. Hollenbeck was born in Knox, Albany county, New York, October 30, 1834; his father, Aaron Hollenbeck, Sr., was also a native of New York and was born in 1800 and died about 1863. Mr. Hollenbeck is of Dutch descent his ancestors coming from Holland in colonial days. His maternal grandfather was a soldier and served his adopted country in the Revolutionary war, and his paternal grandfather in the war of 1812. The mother of our subject, Mary (Schermerhorn) Hollenbeck, was a native of New Hampshire, born in 1805. Mr. Hollenbeck's father, with his family went to Dane county, Wisconsin, in 1849, and two years later, moved to Sauk county, Wisconsin, where they lived on farm for three years, going then to Minnesota, where they remained three years. In 1857 they moved to Poweshiek county, Iowa, then in 1857 or two years later, to Story county, Iowa, where they remained four years, going to Crawford county, Iowa, in 1861, thence to Nebraska in 1870.
On October 7, 1860, Mr. Hollenbeck was married to Miss Anna Bales. Four children were born to them, as follows: John, who when last heard from was living in Washington; James, who makes his home in Oklahoma and the southwest; Alma who lives on a farm in Cushing county, Oklahoma, and Jess, who now lives in Topeka, Kansas. In 1895 Mrs. Hollenbeck departed this life survived by her husband and children. Later, Mr. Hollenbeck was married to Mrs. Linton Anderson, who had three children. In maidenhood she was Ada Belle, daughter of Elias and Sallie Stevens. She was born in Mahaska county, Iowa, and came to Nebraska with Mr. Anderson in 1871.
In June, 1869, Mr. Hollenbeck came to Nebraska from Denison, Iowa, and took up the homestead he now lives on. He then returned to Iowa, but came back in the fall and built a log house, which still stands on his farm. At this time he returned again to Iowa and in May, 1870, came to Nebraska, bringing his family, locating on the homestead in Antelope county. The trip was made overland driving oxen; traveling by wagon was a tedious and slow process in those days; bridges were lacking and roads were not graded and improved as they are today. Mr. Hollenbeck was compelled to ferry across some of the streams; in crossing Logan creek, which was done in a ferry made of a wagon box considerable trouble was experienced. Life of the early settlers was full of danger and hardships from many sources. Their first loss was from the grasshoppers, when for three years, 1874-5 and 6, their crops were completely destroyed by these pests, and many times Mr. Hollenbeck and family fought prairie fires in order to save home and property. One prairie fire of unusual severity will never be forgotten by the old timers, and it is now known as the "Big fire of 1878," with hail in the summer, together with the grasshoppers and prairie fires and the blizzards in the winter, the life of the pioneer was indeed strenuous. Mr. Hollenbeck weathered the terrible blizzard of November, 1873, in a cabin on Yellowbanks, twelve miles from Norfolk, where he had gone to mill. It required two days to cover the distance. The first day, only three miles were traveled between daylight and seven o'clock in the evening, and the last nine miles were not completed on the second day until eight o'clock in the evening. Before Mr. Hollenbeck came there were Indian scares, too, to add to the troubles of the settlers; as a rule the Indians caused more trouble by begging and stealing than from any other cause.
Hard work and industry have changed the conditions of pioneer days. Mr. Hollenbeck now, owns in addition to the farm, one hundred and sixty acres, seventy-five acres of which is in fine, timber along the Elkhorn river.
LEWIS R. DOUSE.
Lewis R. Douse is one of the best known men in Custer county, where he and his wife were among the pioneers. He was born in Sherborn, Massachusetts, October 20, 1845, elder child of William and Caroline (War) Douse, who had one son and one. daughter. The father was born in Sherborn, September 3, 1815, he being a descendant of Laurence Douse, who emigrated from Broughton county, Hauts, England, to America prior to 1642, and settled in Charlestown about 1649, and the mother was born September 3, 1820.
Mr. Douse was reared in a small village and lived at home on his father's farm until his twenty-tbird year, when he came west to seek his fortune. July 16, 1864, he enlisted in Company F, Sixtieth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Robert H. Chamberlain. He was mustered out in November, 1864, returned to his home in Massachusetts, and worked on a farm and in a shoe factory for about three years. In March, 1868, he removed to Grinnell, Iowa, and engaged in farming near there.
Mr. Douse was married at Lynnville, a village near Grinnell, to Sarah M., daughter of Samuel and Caroline Wagner, of Ohio. In June, 1873, Mr. and Mrs. Douse, with their son, William, and their daughter, Eliza Caroline, left their Iowa home, in company with the father of Mrs. Douse, Samuel Wagner, with his wife and five children, for Nebraska. The trip was made with a prairie schooner and they reached Custer county in July. They stopped for a time at Harvard, and went on to Loup City, making no land entry until Feburary 1874. Mr. Douse was the first permanent settler in Custer county, but although he settled on his land before 1874, he was the second to make land entry, being preceded by Frank Ohme, who filed on his homestead in January, 1874. Mr. Douse secured lot three, section Twenty-six, township eighteen, range seventeen, situated in the middle Loup valley and on the Loup river. He erected a house on the bluff overlooking the river and commanding a fine view of the valley and river. This homestead shanty was built from slabs that were hauled from Loup City, twenty-five miles distant, but this residence is now replaced with a modern home, with pleasant surroundings, and the family have one of the prettiest farm homes in their part of the county. Mr. Douse is one of the substantial and highly respected citizens of his community and the family are held in high respect and esteem by their many friends. Mr. and Mrs. Douse are especially well known by the older settlers and others who passed through Custer county in early days.
Eight children were born to Mr. Douse and wife, of whom seven now survive: William, born in Iowa, married and living northwest of the home farm, has three children: Eliza; Alice, the first white child born in Custer county, born February 22, 1875, is the wife of Charles Sims, of Oklahoma, and they have three children: Lewis is married and lives on the home farm; Lawrence, married and living west of the home place, has two children; Elmer and Ethel at home; Nellie, deceased. All except the two eldest children were born on the home farm. Mr. Douse and wife believe in the advantages of education and have given their children the best opportunities they were able in this direction. All of them have taught school more or less and the family is one of refinement and culture. Their home is a pleasant one to visit and they have a wide circle of friends and acquaintences They have one adopted daughter, now ten years of age.
Mr. Douse and his three half-brothers are the only survivors of his fathers family. The Wagner family were also original homesteaders of Custer county, but Mrs. Douse is the only member of her family now living in Custer county. Her parents, are deceased; her brother Samuel lives in Sherman county; her brother William, in Cherry county; one brother lives in Iowa, another in North Dakota, and one sister in Kansas.
Christian Anderson, an enterprising and prosperous farmer of Howard county, owns a valuable estate in Posen precinct. He located on this land during the very early settlement of the region, and himself and wife well remember the gradual coming of other families to their section, and giving aid and encouragement to all newcomers. From that time on, they have been prominent in developing and helping build up that part of Nebraska.
Mr. Anderson was born in Denmark on September 23, 1835, and made that country his home until he was thirty years old, when he emigrated to America. His first location was Omaha, Nebraska, where he remained for several months, and from there went to Iowa. He returned to Omaha in the spring of 1866, when in company with a young man with whom he was acquainted, he walked to Grand Island. Upon arriving at the latter place, Mr. Anderson secured a job hauling wood and ties for the Union Pacific Railway Company, following the work for a short time. He next went to Julesburg, Colorado, and for about four months worked for the government building a fort. He bought a farm in Merrick county, in 1867, which he carried on up to 1872, then sold out and went into the western states for about one year. At this time, he came back to Howard county, arriving in the vicinity in May, 1873. The following month he was married in St. Paul, to Mrs. Gurie Johnson. This was about the first marriage in Howard county, the ceremony being performed by Judge Nick Paul. Mrs. Johnson was a widow with two children, Ola Grothan, now a doctor residing in St.Paul, Nebraska, and Annie, married and living in Julesburg, Colorado.
Mr. Anderson immediately started farming on a homestead owned by his wife and remained on the place for six years, then purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land from the Burlington & Missouri Railway, situated on section one, township fourteen, range twelve, joining Farwell. Here they have resided ever since, engaged in mixed farming and stock raising, succeeding in building up a nice property, and being considered among the leading citizens of their community. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have passed through every phase of pioneer life, and now at their advanced age, he being seventy-five and Mrs. Anderson eighty, they are happy and contented, taking a lively interest in all neighborhood affairs, and enjoy a host of friends, esteemed by all who know them. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson will be found on another page of this volume.
Mr. and Mrs. Christian Anderson.
CHRISTIN H. JOHNSON.
The life of Christin H. Johnson is an excellent example of what energy, industry and honesty may accomplish out of the most adverse circumstances. From a poor, unassisted emigrant boy, to
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