HENRY C. NEWMAN.
Among the prominent and successful farmers and stockmen of Custer county may be named Henry C. Newman, who has been closely identified with the growth and development of his community along various lines. He is a native of Brown county, Wisconsin, born May 15, 1852, elder of the two children of Darius and Sybil (Childs) Newman, the other being a daughter, who died at the age of nine years. The father left his Wisconsin home in 1856 for Minnesota, and it is supposed his death occurred on this journey. The mother died in Wisconsin, February 25, 1901, in her seventy-sixth year, and Henry C. Newman is the only surviving member of the family. A half-brother, William Gear, came to Custer county in 1880, took up a pre-emption, but left the state five years later. A cousin of Mr. Newman, John W. Childs, came with him to Custer county, where he secured a homestead and lived on it until 1892, when he removed to Oregon.
Mr. Newman's parents moved to Winnebago county, Wisconsin, when he was but two years of age, and there he received his education, living on a farm in that county until leaving for Custer county, April 12, 1879. On April 22 of that year he filed an entry on a homestead on the southwest quarter of section twenty-three, township eighteen, range thirteen. He and his cousin hired horses at Kearney and rode into Custer county, being located on Elk creek by Captain Aker.
On March 17, 1887, Mr. Newman married Barlara Illingworth, a native of England, born in Southport, two miles from Liverpool whose place of residence was then Chicago, their union taking place in Kearney. Mrs. Newman is a daughter of Rhodes and Ann (Minnikin) Illingworth, who sailed from Liverpool for New York on the "Old Virginia" in the spring of 1871, landing after a voyage of fourteen days. They went direct to Chicago, and lost all their belongings in the great fire in October of that year. Mr. and Mrs. Newman have had five children, of whom the following four now survive: Rhodes Ollie, Darius, John, Hugh Charles and Ada Ann, all at home with their parents, and all educated in local schools. Ada, after studying two years at the Grand Island Baptist college, entered the Weslyan University at Lincoln in the class of 1913.
Mr. and Mrs. Newman lived on the homestead until 1899, when they moved to their new farm home on section twenty-six, township fourteen, range eighteen. There are three hundred and twenty acres in this farm, all well improved and developed, forty acres in section twenty-three, forty acres in section twenty-four, one hundred and twenty acres in section twenty-five, and one hundred and twenty acres in section twenty-six. It is well stocked and equipped, and shows evidence of the thrift and progressive spirit of the owner. The sons have eighty acres additional in section thirty-five. Mr. and Mrs. Newman and family are among the best known and oldest pioneers of their part of the state, where they are well known and highly esteemed. Mr. Newman well remembers the early ranch days of the central part of the state, and passed through the various years of drouths, hard times and the plagues of grasshoppers. He suffered from the drouths of 1890 and 1894. In the spring of 1891, the wife of a neighbor, a long time friends, offered Mr. Newman a bushel of seed potatoes if he would let her shave off his mustache, and was called to make good. As seed potatoes that year were worth five dollars per bushel, it was decidedly the cheapest shave Mr. Newman can recall.
Mr. Newman came to the state thinking it would remain a cattle country, and still handles considerable stock, although devoting much atention [sic] also to raising grain. He served as a member of the county board in 1886 and 1887, was supervisor two years and for nineteen years director of the school board. He is much interested in the cause of education and progress, and is an enterprising citizen. He has a fine herd of Durham cows, and also keeps thoroughbred Duroc hogs.
Though but lately joining the editorial arm that is waging war on corruption in our civic and political life, Mr. Mell Lawrence, editor and publisher of the "Crofton Progress," is making his influence felt. His father, the venerable Roswell Lawrence, living retired on his farm near Hartington, was born about 1834, a native of the state of New York; he came to Nebraska in 1870, settling in the open country a mile northwest of where Hartington is now located, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of good land. His mother, Parmelia Countryman in maidenhood, died in 1898 at the age of fifty-seven years.
Mell Lawrence was sixth in a family of twelve children born to his parents; his advent to this world dates from December 10, 1868, at West Branch, near Rome, New York state. He was reared near Hartington, and graduated from the city schools in 1886. He entered the teachers' profession, and for twenty-two years was one of the progressive educators of Cedar, Knox, and Wayne counties.
In 1892, when a stock company was organized at Creighton to establish the "Peoples News," an organ of the populist party, Mr. Lawrence, who has all his life been an advocate of the principles of that party, was selected as editor and manager and for two years was at the helm, until the paper was sold to Mr. Hugh McCoy in 1894. After four years as principal of the Crof-
ton schools, Mr. Lawrence decided to enter journalism again, established the "Crofton Progress," and issued the first number April 15, 1909. Since that time the journal has had a phenominal success, the advertising increasing to such an extent that, without enlargement, the reading matter will be severely crowded. Mr. Lawrence, still a believer in the reform principles of the populist party, advocates the cause of the candidates who seem most nearly to coincide with those views. In connection with journalism, he has engaged successfully in the land business since establishing his paper in 1909.
Mr. Lawrence was married in Niobrara, May 4, 1892, to Miss Clara Weigand, a member of one of the oldest families of the county, her father, Leonard Weigand, having settled in the north part of Knox county in 1858; a more extended account will be found in the sketch of his son, Frank Weigand, of Bloomfield. One daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence, Myrtle, a graduate of the Crofton schools, class of 1908, and now a successful teacher of Knox county.
Mr. Lawrence is noble grand of the local Odd Fellows Lodge, secretary of the Woodmen of the World, venerable counsel of the Modern Woodmen of America, great sachem of the I. O. R. M., a member of the Royal Arcanum of America, and of the Bankers' Union of the World. With Mrs. Lawrence, he has been initiated into the mysteries of the Rebekah degree.
Mr. Lawrence was teaching at the time of the disasterous blizzard of January 12, 1888, with twenty-seven children under his charge; these he kept at schol [sic], district number thirty-eight, Cedar county, and thereby saved their lives. Their supply of coal lasted until nine o'clock next day, when all dispersed and safely made their way home. After two days school was resumed, when the supply of fuel was replemished [sic]. To this day the appearance of a severe storm causes his nerves to annoy him, and should any of his family be out, he cannot rest until he knows them to be in shetler [sic]. Seven years before, in the blizzard of October, 1880, the father drove fifteen miles through the blizzard and made his way home.
At the time Mr. Lawrence's parents settled in Nebraska, the country was all open, and deer and antelope grazed over the hills, and even an occasional timber wolf was to be seen. The wonderful development of the country from a wilderness to a highly developed farms has occurred within the short space of one life, and Mr, Lawrence has been a witness of it all.
JUDGE JOHN W. RILEY.
John W. Riley, now retired, was for over thirty-five years a leading agriculturist and stockman of Boone county, Nebraska, and is probably one of the best known pioneers in that part of Nebraska. He was also a pioneer hardware and implement merchant of Albion, carrying on a successful business in that line for a number of years. With his family he now enjoys a fine residence, where he is surrounded by all the comforts and many of the luxuries of modern life.
Mr. Riley was born in Farnley near Leeds, Yorkshire, England, on February 16, 1830, and is a son of Samuel and Jane Riley. He came to America when but sixteen years of age, his first location being in Norwich, Connecticut, where he was engaged in the woolen mills for about two years, then went to Rockville, and there followed there followed [sic] the same work. He was married there in 1853, to Miss Jane Wardel, who was also a native of England and came to the United States in 1841 with her parents. One son was born to them in the east, and the family then came to Iowa, where Mr. Riley engaged in farming, remaining there up to 1872, when the entire family drove overland with ox teams and wagons to Boone county, Nebraska, being five weeks on the road. The father homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres on section thirty-five, township twenty, range six, situated two and a half miles southeast of Albion, and he still owns this place, although he retired from active management of it in 1905, the farm now being operated by his sons. During the late seventies and early eighties Mr. Riley served as County Judge of Boone county. His father died in 1872, and the mother in 1884. He still has two brothers and three sisters in England.
Judge and Mrs. Riley celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary at Los Angeles, in 1903, and received the congratulations and good wishes of a host of friends and relatives. They have had ten children, seven of whom are living, named as follows: Jane, F. W. Riley, Samuel, Anna, Hattie, Elizabeth L., and Millie, all of whom are married with the exception of the last mentioned who remains at home.
O. C. WINGETT.
O. C. Wingett, a prominent farmer and stock man residing on section twenty-three, township twenty-seven, range eight, Antelope county, Nebraska, is known throughout that locality as a progressive and successful agriculturist, highly estemed [sic] by all who know him.
Mr. O. C. Wingett was born in Athens county, Ohio, May 22, 1847. In 1854 the family moved to Wisconsin and then back to Ohio and when our subject was a lad of about thirteen years he moved with his parents to Missouri. In 1872 our subject took up land in Miller county, Missouri, building a log house and lived there about two years. He then moved to Minnesota where he lived for ten years; then came to Nebraska. In 1902 he came to Antelope county. Mr. Wingetts' father, C. H. WIngett, was a native of Green,
county, Pennsylvania, born in 1817; and the mother, Phoebe (Wingett) Wingett, was born in 1818, also in Green county, Pennsylvania, and died when our subject was a young man, In 1864, Mr. Wingett enlisted in the Civil war in Company A, Missouri Infantry, under Captain Richardson and Colonel Hickcok. The father also enlisted, joining the home guard.
Mr. Wingett was united in marriage May 4, 1870 to Miss Mary Norris, her father being a native of Scotland, and coming from that country when he was twenty-three years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Wingett have had twelve children born to them, named as follows: Dora, Elbert, who is married to Miss Daisy Lamb, they having four children; Jasper, married to Miss Annie Mills, has three children; Brainard, married to Ollie Eggleston, has one child; Warren, who is married to Miss May Lyons, and has one child; Erma, wife of W. D. Knibbs, has two children; Sadie, wife of F. F. Holm, has three children; Maggie; Orpha; Minnie, who is married to Chas. Welburn and has four children; May married to H. L. Delaney has one child.
After Mr. Wingett's company disbanded from the army, he went to Kansas, where he rented a farm for one year, and from there went to Minnesota, remaining there ten years where he lived on a farm. In 1889, Mr. Wingett came to Nebraska, settling in Cedar county, and remained there fourteen years. Then in 1903, he came to Anelope county, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land of Alva Baker, which is his present residing place, and where Mr. Wingett and his family now enjoy the respect and high esteem of all who know them.
Mr. Winget is a member of the Grange. He is also a member of the United Brethern church.
REZIN R. ROBINSON.
Rezin R. Robinson and family are pioneers of Custer county, and for the past thirty-three years have taken their part in the development of central Nebraska, being esteemed and respected by a large circle of riends [sic]. Mr. Robinson has always been ready to contribute time and money in the cause of progress and is regarded as a public-spirited, desirable citizen. He was born in West Virginia, September 4, 1838, youngest of the children of John and Leah Robinson, who were parents of two sons and two daughters. Both parents were natives of West Virginia, and died in Clarksburg, that state. Three of their children now survive: Edward, of West Virginia; Mrs. Lida Hoff, of Clarksburg; Rezin R. of Nebraska.
Mr. Robinson was retired on the farm where he was born and has spent his entire life in farming and stock raising. He was married in Taylorstown, Pennsylvania, October 8, 1866, to Altha Snyder, also a native of West Virginia. Four children were born of this union, namely: Cora May, deceased; Harvey H., married and living one mile west of his father's homestead; Truman G., married and living in Colorado; Okey N., married and living one mile east of his father's homestead, has four children. The mother of these children died in West Virginia in 1877.
Mr. Robinson was married in February, 1878, to Mrs. Franklin Purpount, whose first husband lived but three months, a daughter born of this marriage named Cora Elizabeth is now Mrs. William Donlan. In maidenhood Mrs. Robinson, was Emma W. Snyder but was of no kin to his first wife. About one year later, Mr. Robinson and his wife, with the three children of his first marriage left their West Virginia home and came to Nebraska. They spent a short time in Kearney, while their first child was born, and in the spring of 1880 came to the new homestead farm on section thirty-one, township nineteen, range twenty-one, where in March Mr. Robinson had erected a sod shant [sic] and stable. He now owns over five hundred acres. The pioneer homestead farm has been the family home throughout the years since the spring of 1880, and has been developed into a productive and well improved estate. Ten children were born of the second marriage, of whom five now survive, namely: Rosa Gay, wife of George Keller, of South Dakota, has two children; Irvin, unmarried and living at home; Verna, wife of Elmer Gladson, of Merna Ressie and Lloyd at home.
GEORGE H. BENN, SR.
Among the prominent citizens and representative farmers and stockmen of Valley county, Nebraska, George H. Benn occupies a foremost place, as he spent many years of his life in this section, and has built up a good home and enviable reputation as an energetic worker and good business man. He resides in section eight, township nineteen, range fourteen, and is highly estemed [sic] by all who know him.
George H. Benn, son of George and Katherine (Stuedlje) Benn, was born in the village of Haby, Schleswig, then a Danish province, February 11, 1846, and was third in a family of eight children, all of whom, excepting our subject, are residing in Schleswig, where the parents lived and died. George received his education in the schools of his native land, and later engaged in milling. At the age of twenty-one years he was called to service in the standing army of Germany, serving four years, participating in the Franco-Prussian war, taking part in twelve battles, among them the decisive engagements of Metz, Orleans, Lehman and Gravelette. He received his discharge in June of 1871, and again engaged in milling.
In the fall of 1884, Mr. Benn came to America, sailing from Hamburg in the "Westphalia," and
landed, after a voyage of twelve days, in New York. He remained in Carroll county, Illinois, from September until April following, then came to Valley county, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres in Michigan township, where he lived for seventeen years. He then sold his property, and in 1902 purchased the southeast quarter of section eight, township nineteen, range fourteen, and has made of a a well improved stock and grain farm. The log cabin of the original homestead has been replaced by a neat frame cottage, surrounded by substantial barns and outbuildings. A view of them on another page gives a better impression of this place than call be done in mere words.
On March 18, 1885, Mr. Benn was married to Miss Katherine Sieh, a native of the village of Schacht, province of Holstein, Germany. She came to America in 1884, sailing from Hamburg to New York in the "Rhetia," landing after a stormy passage of eighteen days. Her father died in Germany in October of 1865, and her mother is still living in the fatherland at the advanced age of eighty-three years; a sister of Mrs. Benn's is also residing there. With her younger son, Mrs. Benn spent five weeks in the summer of 1910 in the fatherland, sailing each way between New York and Cux haven in the steamer "President Lincoln." Mr. and Mrs. Benn have had two children born to them, namely: Henry G., and George H., who reside at home.
Mr. Benn is a successful man of affairs, interested in all pertaining to the welfare of his home county and state; he is of the Lutheran faith and in polities is a democrat. He has served as treasurer of his school district, number fifty-four, for a number of years.
Residence of George Benn.
ROBERT J. FOX.
Another prominent citizen of this section of Nebraska is Mr. Robert J. Fox, now a resident of Myrtle precinct, but one of the early settlers. He comes of a large family, most all of the members of which have been or are residents of the state. He came early enough to experience some of the hardships of the pioneer's life and now after many years of hard and unceasing toil, is preparing to take his ease.
Mr. Fox was born in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, on September 25, 1858, and was the second of seven children born to Michael and Elizabeth (Summers) Fox.
The subscriber was born on a farm, and remained on the farm in Pennsylvania, receiving his education in the little district school, and working on a farm during his spare time. When he was nineteen years old, just a year or two after the death of his father, he came to Nebraska. His aunt, Mrs. George Walker, an early settler of Fillmore county, Nebraska, came back to Pennsylvania on a visit, and when she returned, our subscriber came west with her. He arrived at the Fillmore county farm in February, 1877, and worked there for three years. He was married here also to Miss Alice Burnett, daughter of John and Lucinda (Watkins) Burnett, two of the early settlers of the county. Mr. Fox was born in Cedar county, Iowa. Her parents were natives of Ohio.
After his marriage, Mr. Fox remained for five years in this county, and in 1886, with his family, consisting of his wife and little son, Clyde, came to Custer county to take up their residence here. Mr. Fox himself had been here in the fall of 1882, and taken up a tree claim, and he now took out pre-emption papers on the timber claim in section twenty, township sixteen, range seventeen, making the place his home for several years. In 1901, Mr. Fox exercised his homestead privileges, and, after purchasing the relinquishment, filed on a homestead on the northeast quarter of section nineteen, township sixteen, range seventeen, on which he proved up, and he has lived here ever since. Since his occupancy, he has added many improvements, so that now the farm, numbering about four hundred and eighty acres, is one of the best-equipped stock and grain farms in this section of the country. In the management of both of these branches of agriculture, Mr. Fox is equally proficient. The place is known as Pleasant View Stock Farm, and is illustrated on another page of our work, making one of the finest hill views in the volume.
As has been said before, most of Mr. Fox's people have become residents of the state. His sister, Maggie, now Mrs. Frank Phillips, came to Custer county in 1885, and is now living near Alliance. His mother took up a homestead in 1890 in Cheyenne county, Nebraska, and her death occurred eight years later, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Phillips. A brother, Thomas Fox, was an early settler, and is now living near Ansley.
Mr. and Mrs. Fox have been blessed with eight children, six of whom are living. The two eldest, born in Fillmore county, died in infancy. The children are named as follows: Clyde C., Mable, Charles E., Robert G., Gladys, Ralph, Lawrence and Myrtle. The family is well known in social and educational circles, and have the respect and esteem of all who know them.
Mr. Fox is independent in polities in local elections, supporting the democratic candidates in national affairs. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.
During the dry year, Mr. Fox, more fortunate than his neighbors, raised a few potatoes and seventy-five bushels of wheat, and thus did not need aid from the public. His first residence the timber claim was a "soddy," in which he lived a number of years. The lumber for this was hauled from Kearney, sixty miles distant.
On the return trip with his lumber, Mr. Fox brought a number of boxes of crackers as freight. It was a rainy season, and six times he was compelled to pile the crackers under his wagon, and protect them by unloading part of the lumber to shield them from the storm. The day of the blizzard of January 12, 1888, he started to a sale, leaving his wife at a near neighbor's. The storm overtook him, and through it he made his way home to care for the stock, but Mrs. Fox remained at the neighbor's until the next day.
"Pleasant View Stock Farm," Residence of Robert J. Fox.
W. W. AHRENS.
Although not a resident of Nebraska in the early days, Mr. Ahrens has experienced the same conditions in a neighboring state, and is thoroughly familiar with the life of the pioneer.
He is a son of Christian and Amelia (Schroeder) Ahrens, both natives of Germany, and was born near Belle Plaine, Iowa, on October 12, 1857. His father served in the German army in its conflict with Denmark, coming to America about 1850. He settled in Illinois, where he was married, and soon afterwards, with his bride, settled in Benton county, Iowa, working as a carpenter through that country, and being in great demand in putting the finishing touches to the rude log houses and other buildings being erected by the settlers there. His own log house was the first to he built in the town of Belle Plaine, and in it was held the first prayer meeting of that region, different religions gathering together for worship, himself and wife being members of the Evangelical faith. His first farm was a tract of forty acres, through which the Northwestern railway later built their road, and from this source he made considerable money, by the sale of the land, and by furnishing the gang of employees with food, etc. Their nearest supply station at that time was Muscatine, and later Iowa City, when the railroad had extended its line to the latter point. Our subject had his first sight of a locomotive when the first train was run through that section, and considered it a most wonderful thing, as formerly the only mode of transportation was by ox team.
Mr. Ahrens grew to manhood in this locality, remaining under the parental roof until his marriage, which took place in 1881, then moved to a farm near Sac City, and for seven years followed farming there. At the end of this time, he settled in Everly, and opened an insurance and real estate office, continuing the business for eight years, then went to Curlew, and, established himself in the mercantile trade, conducting a store up to 1904. In March of that year, he located in Osmond, Nebraska, engaging in the real estate and insurance business.
He remained but a short time, then, observing that Plainview offered greater advantages in that line of work, settled in the latter place and he, has since been one of the town's hustling business men. His office's are located in the building of the Citizen's State Bank of Plainview, and his patronage extends over a large section of that part of Nebraska.
Mr. Ahrens was married at Buckeye, Iowa, now almost a deserted village, located a few miles west of Belle Plaine, the event occurring on April 27, 1881. His wife's maiden name was Anna Peterson, who is a native of Germany, and a daughter of William and Margueretta Peterson. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ahrens, namely: William G. and Edward C., both of whom have been engaged in the meat business for several years; Wallace E., has a Kinkaid homestead in Blaine county, and Margaret, a popular teacher in the Plainview schools. The family occupies a comfortable home here, and are among the highly esteemed residents of their city.
Mr. Ahrens had been a democrat always until the silver question was made the paramount issue of the party, and since then he has been affiliated with the republicans. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he is an active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Modern Woodmen of America lodges of Plainview. He is a most congenial and companionable gentleman, possessing the usual western cordiality in an unusual degree, has been successful in business, and is now prepared to enjoy the balance of his life in peace and plenty.
Among the enterprising and prosperous business men of Howard county, Nebraska, none is better known or more universally esteemed and respected than the subject of this review. Mr. Clausen has devoted many years of his life to the pursuit of agriculture, in this region, being an old settler of the locality, and he has also interested himself in the financial enterprises of the section, making a pronounced success in each business venture he has engaged in. He has been a potent factor in producing the present prosperity enjoyed in hill locality. His home is in Loup Fork precinct.
Peter Clausen was born in Germany on January 7, 1849. He is a son of Claus and Christina Clausen, and was the second in order of birth, of their four children. He grew up in his native country, coming to America in 1869, landing here in March, and going directly to Clinton county, Iowa. He was a mason by trade, and followed that work in Iowa for two years, then came to Nebraska, going first to Grand Island, where be worked at his trade for a short time. In May, 1872, Mr. Clausen came into Howard county, and homesteaded in section eight, township thirteen, range twelve, making this his home farm ever since. He now owns three hundred and twenty
acres, all choice land and under thorough cultivation, engaging extensively in stock raising. The place is supplied with all good buildings, etc.
In developing this farm, Mr. Clausen has passed through all the early times of Nebraska, and has aided materially in producing the present prosperity of the section. He has his farm equipped with every improvement in the way of buildings, machinery, etc., and has planted a fine orchard, besides many shade trees.
The balance of the Clausen family came to America from Germany, arriving here in 1870, spending one year in Iowa, then coming directly to Nebraska, settling in Hall county, where most of them reside, the father and mother now being dead.
Mr. Clausen was married at Grand Island, Nebraska, on the nineteenth of October, 1878, to Christian Rieft, she coming to America on the same ship which brought her future husband over. To them have been born five children, four of whom are now living, as follows: Emma Christina, wife of Joseph Nitsch, they living in Sherman county; Mary Margaret, wife of Mads Hansen, living in Howard county, parents of three children; Henry C., married, and living in Sherman county; and George F., at home.
FABIUS D. MILLS.
Fabius D. Mills and his good wife have reared a large family to honorable man and womanhood, and have the respect and esteem of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances in the vicinity of their home in Custer county. They are among the oldest settlers of the region, and have always given their earnest efforts toward the support of every measure calculated to advance the welfare and interests of the public. Mr. Mills was born in Trumbull county, Ohio, December 10, 1845, seventh in a family of ten children, born to John and Betty (Urmson) Mills. Besides him, the other children who survive are as follows: Mrs. Panthea Taylor, of Crawford county, Wisconsin; Fergus, of Wauzeka, Wisconsin; Mrs. Rosie Smethurst, of Madison. Both parents were born in Lancashire, England, and died in Crawford county, Wisconsin, the father on January 18, 1873, at the age of sixty-seven years, and the mother in 1900, at the age of ninety years. They were married in England in 1831, and ten years later, came to America, settling in New Brighton, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Mills received his primary education in the public schools, and later attended Sharon Academy in Pennsylvania. In April, 1858, the family moved to a farm in Crawford county, Wisconsin, and Fabius D. eventually engaged in farming on his own account. He taught school for a number of years, and served two years as superintendent of the schools of Crawford county.
He was there married on March 31, 1869, to Miss Louise Copsey, a native of Primrose, Wisconsin, who had taught for a time in the schools of that state. She is a daughter of John and Susan (Green) Copsey, the former a native of Yorkshire, England, and the latter of Herkimer county, New York. He died in Wisconsin about 1903, and she now lives in Mt. Sterling, that state. Besides Mrs. Mills, there are three daughters and three sons living in Wisconsin, one daughter in Wyoming, one daughter in Colorado, and one son, Alonzo Copsey, living in Lincoln, Nebraska.
In October, 1878, Mr. Mills brought his wife and their four children to Custer county, Nebraska, and secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land on section twenty-seven, township seventeen, range eighteen, which is still the home place, and also a tree claim of the same size. The farm is called White Lodge Farm, and is one of great fertility. Some idea of its productiveness may be gained from an eight-acre tract that in 1911 produced twenty-four hundred bushels of potatoes, thirteen of which filled a half-bushel measure. He has served in various public offices, was county supervisor during 1884 and 1885, justice of the peace for sixteen years, and notary public for twelve years. He is a true friend of progress, and since coming to the state has been closely identified with the upbuilding of his region. He is recognized as a public-spirited and uses his influence for the betterment of all. He is now devoting, his time and efforts toward collecting funds for a railway, which is projected from Loup City, Sherman county, to Tryon, McPherson county, and it is expected the road will be constructed in the very near future. This will be of great benefit to shippers, and will greatly advance land values. Mr. Mills has a well-improved and equipped farm, and devotes considerable attention to raising alfalfa.
Seventeen children have been born in this; family, as follows: John C., living two miles northwest of Westerville, has three children; Douglas E., living near Huxley, has eight children; Ella H., wife of John H. Robins, living near Rushville, Nebraska, has five children; Blanche and Arthur W., died in infancy, she in 1873 an he in 1875; Aristides, died in 1889; Bessie, wife of Dennis Leman, of Beaver, Wyoming, has five children; Edna L., wife of Andrew Allen, Custer county, has one child; Milton, died 1887; Mabel, wife of Dr. A. J. McArthur, of Weissert, has one child; Charles C., is married, and lives near Huxley, Nebraska; Roscoe C., lives in Custer county; Alice, wife of Myron Goddard, of Custer county, has one child; Franklin D., Bayard, Sylvia and Edward R., at home.
Mr. Mills lived in a "soddy" until 1888, he replaced the first frame house with the present dwelling, known as White Lodge. January
12, 1888, the day of the last great blizzard, Mr. Mills had come from Broken Bow to Ansley, and started to drive out home, but the storm was so severe that after facing it four miles, he and some friends were compelled to return to town, and remain until morning. In the early nineties, they experienced the most discouragaing [sic] period of their life in the west; 1890 and 1894 were years of drouth, while 1891 and 1893 were years of severe hailstorms, 1892 vouchsafing them the only good crop year in the five.
Mr. Mills is a democrat in politics, and, with his wife, is a member of the Westerville Methodist church. However, he is a believer in the Catholic church, though not a member. Fraternally he is an Odd Fellow.
A. R. OSBORN.
Among the representative citizens, whose integrity and industry have had a lrage [sic] share in the development and advancement of Madison county, Nebraska, may be mentioned A. R. Osborn, a prominent farmer of Schoolcraft precinct. Mr. Osborn is highly esteemed in his community, where he has a large number of friends. He is a native of Virginia, born October 28, 1852, to Enoch and Rena Osborn, natives of Virginia. His father was a Confederate soldier in the Civil war.
Mr. Osborn was reared and educated in his native state, and came to to Madison county in 1877, and secured the homestead where he now lives. At that time the nearest market was Columbus, and he was many times obliged to fight prairie fires to save his home and farm buildings. Deer were plentiful in the early days, and helped provide the settler with meat. They burned hay for fuel during the first few years, as coal was scarce and high in price. In the year 1894, Mr. Osborn lost his crops through the hot winds, but he persevered in spite of hardships and vicissitudes, and developed and improved his place, adding to his land as he was able to do so, until he now owns four hundred and forty acres of fine farm land. He devotes it to mixed farming, and raises considerable stock.
In 1885, Mr. Osborn was united in marriage with Miss Sadie Duffee, who died on May 20, 1890, leaving two children, Richard and Ivy.
In 1895, he married Miss Ellen Cox, and they became the parents of six children: Troy, Vergie, Ruth, Zenna, Allen and Dean.
Mr. Osborn's home is located on section fifteen, township twenty-two, range three, and he is recognized as an intelligent, energetic farmer, who well deserves the large measure of success he has attained.
WILSON W. POTTS.
Wilson W. Potts and his wife have been residents of Custer county since 1879, but had lived in the state of Nebraska several years prior to that time. They have passed through, the most important period of the history of their region, and have always been identified with its best interests. Mr. Potts owns five hundred and sixty-seven acres of fine farm land, besides other desirable properties, and is a successful business man. He was born in Knox county, Illinois, May 25, 1850, next to the youngest of the eight children born to Jonathan and and Mary (Wilson) Potts, natives of Ohio. The father died in Knox county, Illinois, in the fifties, and the mother in Butler county, Nebraka [sic], during the eighties. Several of the children are deceased, and, besides Wilson W., those surviving are: two daughters in Illinois, and one daughter, Mrs. Lethan Jones, living in Ulysses, Nebraska; one son, Noah, served in the Union army during the Civil war, and was held for some time in Libby and Andersonville prisons.
Mr. Potts reached young manhood on his father's farm in Illinois, receiving his education in the local schools, and when he was about seventeen years of age, he went to Kansas. He worked there for several years at farming, and then spent a short time in Butler county, Nebraska. Returning to Illinois in 1872, he spent about a year there, and in the fall of 1873, come back to Butler county, and secured a homestead of eighty acres near David City, where he remained for five years. He was married in David City in August, 1878, to Nancy A. Dinwiddie, a native of Wisconsin, and a daughter of Robert and Susanna (Bradley) Dinwiddie, natives, respectively, of Virginia and Maryland. Mr. Dinwiddie was born in 1801, and died in 1884, and his wife, born in 1808, died in 1874, both passing away in Wisconsin. They have a daughter living in Wisconsin, and one in South Dakota, and six sons are deceased, four of whom served in the Civil war. Before her marriage, Mrs. Potts was a teacher in the public schools of Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska.
In 1879, Mr. and Mrs. Potts came to Custer county, and secured a tree claim of one hundred and sixty acres of land, and pre-empted a like amount of land, which he improved and developed into a fine stock and grain farm, and in the fall of 1899, he was able to retire from the farm, and erected a modern residence in Broken Bow, where he and his family have since resided, although he retains possession of his farm land. While living in Butler county, he was instrumental in organizing a school district in his community, and served for some time on the board of same. He has always been interested in the welfare and progress of his county and state, and is one of the best known men in his part of Nebraska. On April 29, 1898, he enlisted from Lincoln in Company N, First Nebraska Infantry, and served in the Spanish-American war, participating in the capture of Manila and other engage-
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