When Alfred E. Weddel was about five years of age his parents moved from Illinois to Iowa, and about one year later located in Missouri. He was reared on a farm there and attended a district school, remaining on the home farm until his marriage and in close touch with the father until the time of the latter's death. The farm in Missouri and also the one in Nebraska were owned jointly by the two men.
Alfred Weddel was married in Hopkins, Missouri, March 12, 1881, to Miss Hattie Wallace, who died in Nodaway county, September 11, 1887. Three children were born of this union, namely: Lora, wife of Persy Doe, of Omaha; Bessie, deceased; Charles, at home. Mr. Weddel brought his three children to Nebraska at the time his parents came and lived in Jefferson county until February 19, 1908, when he took possession of his grain and stock farm of one hundred and sixty aces, comprising the southeast quarter of section fifteen, township seventeen, range sixteen, Valley county. He has greatly increased the value and productiveness of his farm since coming here and is recognized as a man of ability and energy. Until his father's death he remained on the home place and assisted in managing it, shouldering much of the responsibility of carrying on the work. From his early youth he had grown up to habits of self-reliance and was of great help and comfort to his father in attaining success as a farmer.
On January 1, 1893, Mr. Weddel was married at Steele City, Nebraska, to Miss Carrie Wittekind, daughter of Nicholas and Temperance (Kuhns) Wittekind being the sixth of their eight children, and the fifth now surviving. Her father, a native of Germany, died October 11, 1893, and her mother, who was born in Adams county, Illinois, died in 1891. Mrs. Weddel and her sister, Mrs. John Swett, of Jefferson county, are the only ones of the family which came to the state in 1885, now in Nebraska. Two children have been born to Mr. Weddel and wife, Harold D. and Cecil A., both at home. The family worship with the Baptists; in political views Mr. Weddel is independent of party lines and fraternizes with the Modern Woodmen of America.
In Missouri the Weddel family occupied a log house and at that time a few deer were to be seen in the state.
O. S. CHRISTIAN.
O. S. Christian who lives on section thirty-three, township twenty-two, range one, west, Madison county, Nebraska, is among the men who came to the state in the early seventies, and has lived for the past thirty-six years in Madison county, where he is known as a substantial citizen and a progressive agriculturist. He has passed through all the early Nebraska times, and has done much in the way of helping in the advancement of his region, incidentally building up for himself a comfortable home and good farm.
Mr. Christian is a native of the state of in Indiana, born in Owen county, and was reared and eduated [sic] there; he is a son of Daniel and Mary (Criss) Christian the parents dying when subject was a young lad, his father in 1860 when the lad was but ten years of age, and the mother in 1858 when he was eight years old. Mr. Christian was born on a farm, and his associations from the first being with agricultural interests, it is natural, therefore, that he should be a farmer, and that he should find success in life's endeavors in the tilling of the soil.
In 1874 Mr. Christian came west to farm for himself, settling in Nebraska, and in 1892 came to Madison county, where he bought the John Payne homestead and improved same. In those early days he suffered many losses and hardships, as did so many of the hardy sons of the western frontier, and as late as 1894 lost all his crops for that year through the hot winds, which were caused by the long drouth.
Mr. Christian was united in marriage in 1875 to Miss Mary Scott, and Mr. and Mrs. Christian have had seven children born to them, named as follows: Lula, wife of Mr. William McVitty, has two children; Ernest, Ethel, Daisy, Everett, Alvin, and Morris. They, are a fine family and enjoy the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends.
Andrew Sherbeck, now living retired from farm life at Ansley, Nebraska, has been successful in his operations through energy and industry, and has always taken an active interest in public affairs in his adopted country. He is a native of Sweden, born February 23, 1847, fifth in the family of eight children born to his parents. His father died about 1875 and his mother about 1890, both in Sweden, and of their children who survive, those besides Andrew are: one son in Illinois, two daughters in Kansas, and one daughter in North Dakota.
In 1870 Andrew Sherbeck came to America, having received his education in his native country. He proceeded to Illinois and worked on a farm there nine years, then removed to Iowa,where he purchased his first farm, of eighty acres of land. On February 22, 1883, he was married in the town of Servence, Donovan county, Kansas, to Rosetta Marple, who was born in Sheffield, Illinois, and they began housekeeping on his Iowa farm. However, he was ambitious for larger opportunities than were offered in that state, and in the spring of 1889 brought his wife and two children to Nebraska, which has since been their home. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Custer county and lived there for many years, developing a good farm and engaging in the stock business extensively. He had keen business insight and good judgment in his management of his
estate tknd was able to add to his land until now he owns seven hundred acres of farm and stock land. He is a stockholder and director of the First National Bank, of Ansley, and interested in various other business projects. He has always been fond of travel and has gone over much of the United States, and is one of the best-known men in county. In 1906 he retired from his farm and moved to Ansley, where he owns considerable property.
Four children have been born to Mr. Sherbeck and wife, namely: Albert I., married and living on the old home farm, has three children; Bertha J., at home; Lola E., deceased, and Edith M., at home. The family are prominent socially and have many friends.
JAMES W. KIDDER.
James W. Kidder, deceased, has left a good record as a prominent old settler of Madison county, Nebraska, where he settled in April, 1870. Through all the pioneer struggles he did his part in the uplifting and upbuilding of his county, and won the respect and confidence of his community.
Mr. Kidder was born in Enosburg, Vermont, October 14, 1823, and was a graduate from the theological seminary in Bangor, Maine, in 1855, entering the ministry at Perry, Maine.
On December 4, 1855, Mr. Kidder was joined in holy matrimony to Miss Mary Stevens, of Machias Port, Maine, who for four years had been a teacher in the public schools of her home state.
In April, 1870, Mr. and Mrs. Kidder came to Norfolk, Nebraska, where they homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land in section twenty-one, township twenty-four, range six, west, and organized the first English speaking church in Norfolk, of the Congregational denomination, in 1870, holding services in private houses until such time as they could afford to build, and each member carrying his own chair to services with him.
Reverend Kidder was prosperous and successful, and later purchased eighty acres of school land. He was pastor of Norfolk church nine years, and was then transferred to missionary work in Madison and Antelope counties. In 1882 he retired from the ministry and lived on the homestead until July, 1908, when they sold the homestead and moved to Norfolk, and purchased a good home.
Reverend Kidder died October 13, 1908, and is survived by his widow and four children, the children being named as follows: Hattie, who is married to Andrew McGinnis, and who has one daughter by a former marriage; Henry M., married and lives in Scribner, Nebraska, has two children; Mary L., who was married to P. C. Stewart and has one son, is a widow, her husband having died in March, 1907; and Laura A., a teacher in the Fremont, Nebraska, city schools.
Mrs. Kidder is living in the Norfolk home surrounded by a large circle of friends. She is one of Madison county's pioneers and is widely and favorably known. She was the first school teacher in Norfolk, where she taught for three years, having mostly German pupils, who came to learn to speak English.
During the three years of the grasshopper siege, when assistance came from the east, Mrs. Kidder acted as distributor.
In closing the personal history of this worthy couple, we feel a sense of great admiration and respect for the two brave, honest-hearted people who have been so instrumental in the progression of their community.
WILLIAM H. COMSTOCK.
William H. Comstock, a prominent and well known citizen of Custer county, has been local agent of the Lincoln Land company there ever since the town of Comstock was located, and in early years placed many of the original homesteaders on their land in that part of the county. He has been actively identified with the growth and upbuilding of the region and has experienced the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. He was born in Gorham, Ontario county, New York, February 29, 1836, seventh of the nine children of Jonathan and Phoebe (Christian) Comstock, who were parents of six sons and three daughters. The parents were born in New York, as were all their children. Five of the sons served in the civil war, and one, Truman, was killed in the battle of Gettysburg, his body never being recovered. The father was a veteran of the war of 1812.
Mr. Comstock lived on the New York farm until reaching maturity, then removed to Wisconsin, where several of his brothers had located, having previously spent some time in Michigan. On October 16, 1859, in Columbia county, Wisconsin, he was united in marriage with Sarahett West, daughter of John H. and Melissa (Barrett) West, who was born in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, second of ten children. The West family located in Wisconsin in 1839, the parents being natives of New York. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Comstock began their married life on a farm in Wisconsin and lived there until the war.
In November, 1861, Mr. Comstock enlisted in Company E, Second Wisconsin Cavalry, under Col. C. C. Washburn, and was discharged in February, 1863, on account of disability. In March, 1865, he reenlisted, serving to the close of the war as a member of Company G, First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. After his first discharge he moved with his family from Wisconsin to Minnesota, and at the close of the war returned to his home in Faribault county, in the latter state. He is known far and wide by the title of "Captain" Comstock.
Mr. Comstock and wife continued to live in Minnesota until March, 1874, when he came with his family, including an adopted daughter, to Kountz county, Nebraska, driving through with a team and wagon and stopping through the winter in Iowa. The region where they settled is now a part of Custer county and Mr. Comstock took up a homestead on the northwest quarter of section nine, township eighteen, range seventeen, having very few white neighbors at that time. The little inland town of Wescott was established near them on section sixteen of the same township, in 1881. A postoffice was established at Douglas Grove in the spring of 1874 and that and New Helena were the first offices established in the county. Mr. Comstock was the first postmaster. In 1887 he moved to his present home site on the southeast corner of section nine, township eighteen, range seventeen, quite a town having sprung up by this time. He engaged in the hardware and implement business there and was also postmaster of Wescott until 1899, serving twenty-five years. The name was changed to Wescott some time after 1887. In 1899 the town of Comstock was laid out and Captain Comstock purchased the first lot. The town of Wescott then gradually went out of existence, the merchants there either going out of business or moving to Comstock, the last one making his change in December, 1900. The postoffice in the former town was discontinued and Mr. Comstock moved his store building to the town of Comstock. He is widely known in central Nebraska and in past years served as justice of the peace and assisted in the organization of school district number one, serving as director until 1911. In 1876, at the time of the Indian scare, Fort Garber was erected in the valley and volunteers were called for. Mr. Comstock assumed command and although no Indians appeared to fight, he has since retained the title by virtue of his activity and service at that time.
Mr. and Mrs. Comstock still reside on the old home on section nine, having spent fifty-two years of wedded life, and they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on this place. Mrs. Comstock is revered and esteemed as a pioneer who has shown many acts of kindness and helpfulness to her neighbors and associates. She is dearly loved by her friends and always ready to give good cheer and comfort to all who come to the Comstock home the latch-string of which is always out. She has nursed the sick, fed the hungry and helped the poor and friendless in times past and has always done her share to advance the general good.
The gentleman whose name heads this personal history is one of the formost citizens of township thirtyone, range six, where on section ten, he has developed a fine farm and enjoys a comfortable and pleasant home, surrounded by many warm friends and congenial neighbors. He has been a resident of Knox county for the past forty years; and although he has had a struggle to get along it times, has always stuck to his original plan of carving out for himself a name and fortune for his later years, and has succeeded in this determination in spite of many discouragements and failures.
Mr. Tichy was born in Bohemia, November 30, 1856, and is a son of Frank and Mary (Noveak) Tichy. In 1867, he left his native land for the new world, sailing from Bremen, Germany, to Quebec on a sailboat, being nine weeks on the sea. After landing on this side of the water, proceeded to Chicago, Illinois, which was the mecca for so many of his countrymen at that time, remaining there four years, when he came west to Nebraska, locating in Knox county. He came by way of Sioux City and was on the road two weeks, the trip costing three hundred dollars. After arriving in Knox county Mr. Tichy took up homestead where he now lives and also a tree claim, and built a log house. His father, who had come, with his son, to America, came west also when he did, and took up a homestead one mile distant from his son's, and also built a log house. Life on the western frontier in those first days of settlement was full of experiences and hardships almost beyond belief, were they not vouched for by those who had actually experienced them, the most severe hardships coming through the elements of wind and hail. In strong contrast to the latter, the prairie fires did the greatest havoc, Mr. Tichy's stock, clothes and other possessions being consumed; and saddest of all to relate is the fact that his wife lost her brother and mother in one of the raging prairie fires, they having lost their lives in the fiery flames that could not be quenched in time to stay its terrible work of destruction. The grasshoppers did their share toward discouraging the earlier settlers of that region, having consecutive years utterly destroyed every spear of vegetation and in the blizzard of 1888, Mr. Tichy lost all of his stock. In those days the nearest market places were at Norfolk, Nebraska, and Yankton, South Dakota, and the mode of travel was by means of ox teams, which made long journeys very tedious and slow; oxen were also for work teams, horses being an almost unknown possession of the farmer of pioneer days. Indians inhabited this western prairie when the first settlers made their entry into the region and did not like the intrusion of the white man into their as yet unmolested territory in a very friendly spirit, therefore, they were almost constantly a source of uneasiness and trouble from the beginning of the white man's settlement in this part of the country. Antelope and deer were plentiful during first years, but the pioneer settler did not possess means with which to buy guns and ammunition to bag game.
Mr. Tichy was married in 1879 to Miss Mary
Dvorak and they are the parents, of five children: Sophie, Eleanor, Leon, Albin, Liddie and Charles Otto. Three of their children are dead - Louis, Sophie, first, and Charles. They are a fine family, and live in their pleasant home surrounded by a host of good friends and acquaintances.
GEORGE R. PATTERSON.
George R. Patterson, one of the original homesteaders of Boone county, Nebraska, is now retired from active labor, and makes his home in Primrose surrounded by warm friends. During the many years spent in that part of the state Mr. Patterson has gained an extensive acquaintance and is held in the highest esteem on account of his kindhearteduess and active helpfulness in all matters pertaining to the good of the masses.
Mr. Patterson is a native of Ireland. He was the fourth child in a family of five boys and four girls born to George and Isabella Patterson, and the entire family with the exception of the two eldest sons, who came to America earlier, landed in the United States in April, 1872. They came directly to Nebraska, locating in Boone county, where the father and two sons, Osborne and George R., homesteaded on section four, township nineteen, range eight, and another son, Adam, later took a timber claim on the same section, thus having an entire section in the family. One son, Robert A. Patterson, homesteaded in Greeley county. Of this family, but three are now living in Boone county, our subject, Osborne, and Mrs. James Kinner. Mrs. Mary Patterson Roberts resides in Custer county, Mrs. Hannah P. Johnson in Texas, and Robert A. Patterson in Kansas.
Mr. Patterson has made Boone county his home since coming to America, with the exception of a short time in Dodge county, and still owns the original homestead, although he makes his home in Primrose, with his son, Adam Patterson. He has always been active, and has made a success of life, having spent his entire career as a farmer and stock raiser. He is connected with the Primrose State bank, and is considered one of the wealthy men of his county.
Mr. Patterson was married at Fremont, Nebraska in 1875, to Miss Eliza Jane Nibblack, and to them have been born nine children, seven of whom are living, as follows: Eliza Jane, Isabelle, Adam, Mary A., Rachel, George R. and Hannah. Mrs. Patterson died on the homestead, September 26, 1905.
Among those who came to Nebraska in the days and have built up a good home and farm through thrift and industry, is the gentleman above named. Mr. Anderson resides on section thirty, township twenty-six, range seven, Antelope county, and is one of the successful and prosperous citizens of his community. Mr. Anderson is one of the few old settlers who have retained the original homestead farm, and has lived in his present location since 1837. Mr. Anderson is a prominent farmer and stock raiser, and is well known throughout Antelope county as a progressive and successful agriculturist, highly esteemed by all with whom he has had to do.
Mr. Anderson is a native of County of Tyrone, Ireland, where he was born in 1853. He grew to the age of eighteen years in his native land, then in 1871 he left his home and friends and struck out for the new world, sailing from Londonderry, Ireland and landing in New York after a voyage of eleven days. On his arrival in America, Mr. Anderson came to La Salle county, Illinois, where he remained for six years, first working out as a farm hand, later renting ground and farmed for himself. He then emigrated to Nebraska in 1877, because there was cheaper land the the chances for a poor man to gain a competence were better. Locating in Antelope county, Nebraska, on a timber claim of one hundred and sixty acres he succeeded in developing a good farm, engaged in mixed farming and stock raising; he now owns about three hundred and twenty acres of land on which is growing a fine grove of fifteen acres. Since locating here, Mr. Anderson has had fair success every year, with the exception of 1894 when this crops were all burned out by the hot winds of that year and in 1895 lost all his crops by hail.
Mr. Anderson was married in La Salle county, Illinois, March 17, 1874 to Miss Mary J. McKay and to this union two children have been born, William and Hugh.
Interesting and varied are the incidents of pioneer life that Mr. Anderson can relate. In the early days deer and antelope roamed the country over and could be found within a few rods from the door, herding with cattle in many cases. Occasionally big grey wolves were to be seen along the streams. Many were the hardships the early settlers were compelled to undergo. At that time prairie fires were a source of constant danger, and this continued until the country was settled up and a large part of the area under plow.
Mr. and Mrs. Anderson enjoy the respect and esteem of all who know them. Mr. Anderson is one of the substantial citizens of Nebraska; he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, in politics he is independent.
HONORABLE JAMES D. REAM.
Honorable James D. Ream was the first settler in the locality in which he now lives, four and one-half miles northwest of Broken Bow, Nebraska, and he has lived in the state from the days of the sod shanty until the present time, when he has a comfortable, modern home and a large and well equipped grain and stock farm. He is identified with the socialist party in local politics and has held
many offices of honor and trust. Mr. Ream was born near New Castle, Pennsylvania, October 18, 1852, next to the youngest of the four children of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Simpson) Ream, who had two sons and two daughters. The mother died when James D. was but three years of age and the father afterward married again. The grandfather John Ream, with his four sons and sons-in-law and their families, and an unmarried daughter, removed from Pennsylvania to Mahaska county, Iowa, in the spring of 1855, and in the fall of that year the son Benjamin and his four children followed the other members of the family to Iowa.
Benjamin Ream married as his second wife, Charlotte Strang, in Mahaska county, Iowa, their union taking place about 1857, and of this union two children were born. In the fall of 1861 he enlisted in Company C, Seventh Iowa Infantry, and became second lieutenant of his company. He was mortally wounded in the battle at Belmont, Missouri, (Gen. Grant's first battle), and died at Cairo, Illinois, seven days later. One son, John T., and a daughter, Mrs. A. E. Foster, own brother and sister of James D., and a half brother and a half-sister, Samuel and Louisa, reside in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
James D. Ream resided at his father's home in Mabaska county until the spring of 1873, receiving a common school education and being reared to farm work. Their farm was located near a little town named Rochester. In 1873 he spent several months traveling through the western states, and, in 1878, he came from Iowa to Nebraska, making the trip with a team and wagon and settling first at Stromsburg, Polk county, and in January, 1880, he removed thence to Custer county, making this trip on horseback. He made a homestead location on the southeast quarter of section twelve, township seventeen, range twenty-one, and up to the present time this homestead has been his continuous residence. At the time of his coming he was accompanied by Charles H. Jeffords, now living in Broken Row, who also became a homesteader and a pioneer settler, and in the spring of 1880 they erected the first brick kiln in the region and burned the first brick made in Custer county.
During the early part of 1883 Mr. Ream made a trip back to Iowa and was there married, in February of that year, to Miss Anna E. Seevers, daughter of Benjamin F. and Elizabeth (Forney) Seevers, their union taking place at the Seevers home in Mahaska county. She was the third born of six children, and was a native of Iowa. The young couple began housekeeping in Custer county and for nearly thirty years have been associated with the progress and development of their community, along social, educational and other beneficial lines. Their house is surrounded by beautiful shade and ornamental trees and a fine lawn, being one of the best kept homes in the county, and they have an orchard that would be a credit to any eastern state. Mr. Ream and wife have two sons, Fred H. and Glen C., and one daughter, Loy G. The sons, who are married and engaged in mercantile business in Broken Bow, are regarded as among the most enterprising and progressive business men of their county, where they were born and reared.
Having always engaged in agricultural pursuits, Mr. Ream has always been much interested in the study of the newest theories and methods regarding this branch of industry, and has favored popular education along these lines in the public schools. He belongs to several societies for the advancement of agricultural and horticultureal interests, was an organizer of the Custer county Agricultural Society, of which he served one year as vice-president and eight years as president, and for several years was a member of the state of agriculture. In 1889 he helped organize the first farmers institute held in Broken Bow, which was the first meeting of its kind held in central Nebraska, and for the past twenty years has been president of the local institute organization. A successful institute has been held at Broken Bow each year since 1889. Although never active in partisan politics, Mr. Ream was elected in 1900, by the populist party, a member of the lower house of the Nebraska legislature, representing Custer and Logan counties in that body, and this session was instrumental in promoting the interests of the school of agriculture at the state farm. In his early days in the county Mr. Ream served as justice of the peace and also as a member of the county board. He is one of the best known and most popular men in his county and has a multitude of friends. Mr. Ream is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He was an earnest worker in the reorganization of the Grange in Nebraska and in 1911 was elected Master of the state organization.
JOHN G. BECHER.
John G. Becher, deceased, was the son of Francis G. and Mary (Rickley) Becher, and was born in Columbus, Nebraska, February 5, 1863. He was the, eldest of four chldren [sic], one brother and two sisters, who reside in Omaha. The parents are deceased.
John G. Becher received his education in the Columbus schools, and later became interested in mercantile business. In the fall of 1899, our subject was elected county treasurer and served in that office until January 1905 and prior to this he had served four years as deputy under H. S. Elliott. In 1903, Mr. Becher was elected mayor of Columbus, Nebraska. In 1906, Mr. Becher became the junior member of the real estate firm of Elliott, Speice & Company, and at the organization of the Equitable Loan, Building and Savings Association, was made treasurer of that concern. Mr. Becher was prominently identified with sev-
eral local societies. He was a charter member of the Orpheum society, an honorary member of the Bissel Hose company, of the city fire department, and was also affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen, Woodmen of the World, Sons of Herman, Ancent [sic] Order of United Workmen, Modern Brotherhood of America, and the Royal Highlanders lodges. His father was the first Union Pacific telegraph operator in Columbus. Mr. Becher was prominent in business and political circles of his community, and was widely and favorably known as a man alive to all pertaining to the welfare of his county and state. A protrait of him will be found on another page.
On November 5, 1888, Mr. Becher was married to Miss Susan Wake, who also was born in Columbus. Mr. and Mrs. Becher have had ten children, eight of whom are living, and whose names are as follows: Frank, who is married and has one child, and who lives in Primrose, Nebraska; Charles, who lives at home; Marguerite; Estella, Henry, Lester, Katherine and Lottie who is married to Orville H. Washburn, they reside in Columbus; Paul and Geraldine died in infancy.
Mr. Becher died on November 19, 1909, in Columbus, Nebraska, his home town, where he was well known and most highly respected.
Mrs. Becher, widow of John G. Becher, comes from a prominent pioneer family of Platte county, Nebraska, and is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wake, who are Iving [sic] at the advanced ages of eighty-four and seventy-four years, respectively, in Columbus, and have lived in Platte county for over forty years, Mr. Wake serving as sheriff and constable of his county in the early days. Mrs. Becher has one sister, Mrs. C. A. Allenberger, who is a resident of Columbus; one brother, Frank who is postmaster at Genoa, Nance county, Nebraska; one brother Charles in St. Edward, Nebraska, and another brother Thomas in Seward, Nebraska.
John G. Becher (Deceased)
WINFIELD S. WANSER.
Winfield S. Wanser third son of William and Mary Antha (Seeley) Wanser, was born in Peoria, Illinois, June 24, 1861. His early years were spent in Peoria and Livingston counties, Illinois, and in the latter he attended school a few years before coming to the west.
Reaching West Point, Nebraska, in October, 1871, his parents were residents of that county until 1875, when they removed to Pierce county which has been the family residence ever since. Settling on a farm two miles northwest of town, Mr. Wanser grew to manhood in the open prairies. In 1905, he took up a homestead claim near Lyman, South Dakota, and resided there for three years when he returned to Plainview and has since engaged in the real estate business there. In March, 1911, he bought a farm near Guyman, Oklahoma and divides his time between there and the old home. In politics Mr. Wanser is republican.
Mr. Wanser was married in Plainview, January 10, 1884, to Miss Loretta Homan, a daughter of Lemuel and Mary (Burdette) Hoffman. Two children were born to them: William, now in the drug business at Guyman, Oklahoma; and Edna, wife of Albert Finson, engaged in the grain business at Omaha.
Our subject's venerable mother makes her home with his family and at her advanced age has a mind as bright and clear as others of half her age. It is a pleasure for her to know that fifteen grandchildren pay her homage in her declining years.
Our subject's father, William Wanser, now deceased, was one of the earliest and most highly respected pioneers of Pierce county, Nebraska, and was a native of Amityville, Long Island, born March 6, 1826. His parents, William and Ann (Powell) Wanser, passed their entire lives on Long Island. Our subject's father, William Wanser, was married July 3, 1844, in New York City, to Miss Mary Antha Seeley, who was born in that metropolis June 30, 1827. Her parents, Ezra and Phoebe (Pierson) Seeley, were natives of Connecticut and New York City, respectively. In 1846, Mr. Wanser and his wife's parents moved to Peoria, Illinois where the two men were employed at their trade, that of carpentry; and later the elder man was located in Pekin while Mr. Wanser was away in the army. He first enlisted at Peoria, August 3, 1861, in Company C, Forty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry and, serving his term of enlistment, became a veteran in Company K, One Hundred and Eighth Regiment, serving until January, 1866. During this period he served under Grant in the army of the west participating in the engagements around Forts Donelson and Henry, Shiloh, Corinth, and Iuka, Spanish Fort, Selma, and the siege of Vicksburg.
After his discharge at Springfield he returned to Peoria and rented a farm in that county for three years, and later in 1868 removed to a farm some twelve miles west of Fairbury in Livingston county, where he remained until coming to Nebraska in the spring of 1871. With his eldest son he drove across the country bringing their stock, while the rest of the famly [sic] came by rail. Selecting land two miles north and west of Plainview, he followed farming until 1888, when he removed to town, and with his son, Frederick, engaged in the drug business six years and later engaged in the poultry business until the time of his death.
Of seven children born to our subject's father and mother, six attained majority, their names being as follows: Pamelia, married Nathan Peterson of Orchard, Nebraska; William, died at the age of twenty-seven years; Adelia, married Edwin Hogue; Albert Edson, is farming on a homestead three miles northwest of Plainview; Nellie, wife of Edward Taylor of Draper, South Dakota; Winfield S., in real estate business in Plainview and Oklahoma.
Our subject's father, William Wanser, was a
staunch republican since that party was first organized, and prior to that had been a Whig. He was a man of sterling worth and one who left his impress on the business and social world of his chosen habitation.
L. A. PARKER.
Lemuel A. Parker a progressive and intelligent young farmer of Howard county is owner of a fine estate in Cotesfield precinct which he has built up in the finest possible shape, having one of the most beautiful and fully equipped modern dwelling in his part of the county.
Mr. Parker was born in Ringgold county, Iowa, on December 29, 1868, and the first four years of his life was spent there, then came with his father, mother and balance of the children, to Howard county. Here the family settled on a tract of land and they went through all the early Nebraska times in establishing a home, Lemuel remaining at home with his parents durng [sic] their lifetime, the father dying in December, 1895, and the mother in November, 1904.
Mr. Parker has kept the homestead as his home farm, although he has accumulated other properties adjoining and his holdings comprise in all two hundred and sixty-three acres of the choicest Loup Valley land. It is improved with good buildings of all kinds, and is one of the model stock and grain farms in that section of the state.
Mr. Parker was married June 21, 1899, in St. Paul, to Miss Inez Hill, a daughter of one of Howard county's pioneer families. They have had two sons, Glenn Earl, who died November 7, 1910, aged nine years, and Harold Hill. The family have a beautiful home and enjoy the society of a large circle of friends. Mr. Parker is a man of friendly and sociable disposition, and although he had the misfortune to lose his hearing some years ago, he can still enjoy conversing with his family and friends by the aid of an ear trumpet, which is such a source of blessing to so many afflicted in a like manner.
JOHN H. LUKE.
John H. Luke who resides in Ord, Valley county, Nebraska, is one of the oldest and best known old settlers of that region. He was born in New Britian, Connecticut, March 18, 1851, and was the eldest of four children in the family of Hugh M. and Mabel (Hildebrand) Luke, who had four sons. So far as Mr. Luke knows, he is the only member of the family now living. The Luke family moved to New York City in 1852, and John Luke lived there until his seventeenth year.
In September, 1868, Mr. Luke enlisted in the United States army as drummer, serving at Governor's Island, New York, until August, 1869, when he went to Fort Vancouver, Washington, being assigned to his company there; but joined Company A, Twenty-third, United States infantry at Camp Three Forks, Idaho, on the 0wyhee river. Mr. Luke went from there to Fort Boise, Idaho, receiving his discharge here in July of 1871. He reenlisted in October 26, 1871, in the same company and regiment. In July, 1872, his regiment was ordered to Arizona, and to Fort Omaha, Nebraska, in September, 1874; in April, 1875, the company was ordered to Fort Hartstuff in Valley county, Nebraska, which fort was abandoned about 1883; Mr. Luke is the only one in Valley county that served at Fort Hartstuff. In all he served eight years in the regular army under the Command of Captain John J. Coppinger, afterward General John J. Coppinger, who was quite promenent in army circles in after years. Mr. Luke received his final discharge on October 26, 1876, after which he remained in Valley county, Nebraska, which has since been his home.
On November 9, 1876, Mr. Luke was married to Miss Mattie Stewart at her mother's farm south-west of North Loup, Elder Oscar Babcock officiating. Miss Stewart was a native of Milton Junction, Wisconsin, and daughter of William and Elizabeth (Barker) Stewart, natives of the state of New York.
Mr. Luke was an original homesteader in Valley county, in 1877. He farmed some and then took up railroad work, and for some months he had charge of construction work. Mr. Luke had considerable experience in frontier work on our new western roads until 1883, returning at that time to Valley county, which has since been his home. Mr. Luke for two years was in the lumber yard at North Loup, And for twenty years was connected with the lumber yards of Ord through changes in ownership, etc., all through the years; as Mr. Luke tells it, when the lumber yard changed hands he was sold with the yard, being one of its permanent employees; and the lumber business of Ord was in a great measure handled by Mr. Luke. He has been closely identified with the growth and development of Valley county and the North Loup valley.
Mr. Luke now has charge of the Valley Court house, being constable of Ord and Ord township, and is filling this office creditably to himself and satisfactory to his constituents.
In the early days Fort Hartsuff of which we wrote in the first part of this sketch was built by the government; in 1874 during the days of the grasshopper raids when all the crops were distroyed by these pests, the farmers of Valley county were given work on the fort at one dollar a day, and rations, excepting skilled mechanics, who recived [sic] more.
In the person of this gentleman, who is a widely known and highly esteemed member of the farming community of Madison county, Nebraska, we find
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