ject, with his father, left their native home and came to America; they set sail from Bremen, Germany, and were on the sea eighteen days, then landing in New York. After arriving in the new world, they came to Kankakee county, Illinois, where they remained two years, the father working at whatever his hands found to do to support his family.
In 1870 the family, including our subject, came to Madison county, Nebraska, where they took up a homestead, the one our subject now resides on, he being one of the few to still hold to the old, original homestead farm. On this homestead the father built a sod house, in which the family lived; for sixteen years, and later a frame house twelve by sixteen feet was put up. Mr. Fischer has improved this place until he has a beautiful home and well improved farm of three hundred and twenty acres-of choice land.
Mr. Fischer and his parents came to Nebraska when it was an almost unbroken prairie and scarcely knew the step or voice of a white man; in those days of frontier life, many hardships and privations were endured through plagues, fires, and drouths. The grasshoppers took all the crops the first few years of their residence in the new country, which was a very discouraging start; many times the family fought prairie fires to save their lives and property, at one time losing considerable grain in the flames; and as late as 1894, our subject lost his entire crops by the hot winds that prevailed during the drouth of that season. In the early days, they burned corn stalks, weeds, and anything that could be gotten hold of to use as fuel, as that commodity was scarce and high in price.
Mr. Fischer was united in marriage in 1873 to Miss Louise Jacobs, a native of Holstein, and Mr. and Mrs. Fischer are the parents of three children, whose names are as follows: John, Anna and Hattie. They are a fine family, and enjoy the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends.
CHARLES ELMER CANNON.
Charles Elmer Cannon belongs to one of the old and prominent families of the older families of Nebraska, of which state he is a native. He is a prosperous and successful farmer and well regarded as a progressive and public-spirited citizen. He has passed through the most important period of Nebraska's history and has passed his entire life within the limits of the state. He was born in Lincoln, February 4, 1875, son of Samuel L. and Lottie (Young) Cannon, given extensive mention eleswhare [sic] in this work. The parents now reside in Broken Bow. Mr. Cannon is second of a family of five children and came with his parents to Custer county in 1884, receiving his education there and growing to manhood on his father's farm. When he was old enough he engaged in farming on his own account, and on February 4, 1902, was married, at the home of the bride's parents in Custer county to Floyd Leech, a native of Nemaha county, Nebraska, who was a teacher in the public schools before her marriage. She is a daughter of Corydon T. and Anna (Risley) Leech, of whom a more extended account is to be found elsewhere in this work. Four children have been born of this union: Helen Fay, Phylis Irene, Leonard C. and Winnefred Lottie, all of whom survive.
In 1902 Mr. Cannon purchased an improved stock farm of three hunderd [sic] and twenty acres of land on section thirty-two, township seventeen, range eighteen, and there has a comfortable and well built farm residence. He and his wife are well known and popular in social circles in the community and have a large circle of friends. The Cannon family is one of the oldest in central Nebraska and many of its members have won prominence in various lines. Mr. Cannon is a republican in politics, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Modern Woodmen of America.
Mr. Cannon was too young to recall the three days' blizzard of October, 1880, which inauguated [sic] "the winter of the deep snow," but remembers well the short and severe blizzard of January 12, 1888. With his brothers he was at school at the time of the storm broke. The children were on the way home when the father met them and took them safely home.
CALVIN H. YOUNG.
Calvin H. Young, accounted one of the most substantial farmers of Howard county, Nebraska, resides on his well-kept and valuable estate in Cotesfield precinct, where he has surrounded himself and family with all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.
Mr. Young is a native of Sandusky county, Ohio, and was born on January 10, 1842, being the second member in a family of three children born to Jacob and Christina Young, the former a native of the Buckeye state, while the latter was born and reared in Pennsylvania. Calvin grew up on his father's farm, remaining in Ohio until 1855, when he went with his parents into Marshall county, Iowa, settling there in the fall of 1855, where the father located on a farm.
Mr. Young enlisted in Company H, Thirteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, on October 14, 1861, and served up to the close of the war. He took part in the battles of Shiloh, the Vicksburg Siege, Corinth, was with Sherman on his march to Atlanta, receiving a severe wound at the latter place on July 22, 1864, and was mustered out on July 25, 1865. After being wounded, he was held at the state headquarters in Davenport, Iowa, and with his regiment received honorable discharge from the service.
After the war Mr. Young returned to his home in Illinois, his parents having settled in the latter state the year previous.
He was married on October 22, 1867, in Fulton county, to Miss Philena Buck, who was a native of Illinois. The young couple spent two years in that vicinity, and in the spring of 1869, emigrated to Kanasas [sic], locating in Jefferson county, Mr. Young engaging in farming. They made that their home for five years, then returned to Illinois, following farming in McDonough county up to the fall of 1881, at that time coming into Howard county, Nebraska. Here Mr. Young purchased a piece of land from the Baltimore and Missouri railway company, situated on section twenty-nine, township sixteen, range eleven which has remained his home up to the present. They went through pioneer experiences here, as in several previous cases, and through this our subject has become a man of wide and varied experience.
Mr. Young and his family have worked hard to accumulate a competence, and have been well rewarded for their efforts in the possession of a well improved farm, fully equipped with every convenience in the way of good buildings, etc.
Mr. and Mrs. Young have had four children, a daughter, Belle, who married Sidney Tucker, residing on a farm a short distance from our subject, while the son, Charlie C., is a widower with one son, they living with the old folks on the homestead. Two sons, Stanley and Frank, died in infancy.
During nearly the entire time of his residence in Howard county, Mr. Young has been connected with the educational interests of his locality, it the present time being a member of the board in school district number forty-eight.
WILLIAM H. MINTER.
William H. Minter, who, as a land owner of Merrick county, Nebraska, has done his share toward the development of the agricultural resources of that region, is a widely known and universally respected citizen. Mr. Minter was born in Jefferson county, Iowa, August 29, 1845 and was third of eight children in the family of David and Sarah (Large) Minter, who had four sons and four daughters. He was born on the farm, and lived in his home county until the time when he joined the army during the civil war. He enlisted August 8, 1863, in Company D, Ninth Iowa Cavalry, and was in many engagements and skirmishes. He was with General A. J. Smith in Arkansas, and was mustered out at Little Rock, that state, in August, 1866. Mr. Minter was in the service of the government for some months after the close of the war. Upon being mustered out Mr. Minter returned to Jefferosn [sic] county, Iowa, going back to work on the farm in April, 1868, Mr. Minter came to Nebraska, crossing the river at Sioux City, Iowa, on a flat boat, and located in Dakota county, where he took up a homestead, on which old homestead farm Mr. Minter resided until the fall of 1888. Mr. Minter and family came to Merrick county in the fall of 1888 and settled on the farm that had been purchased in the spring of that year, situated about two and a half miles northwest of Central City.
In 1874 Mr. Minter was married in Iowa, and lost his wife in 1889. Mr. Minter was again married February 4, 1892, at Central City, Nebraska,, to Miss Mary Frances Hedges, who was a native of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Minter have two children: Ethel Naomi and Robert Boyd.
In March, 1903, Mr. Minter and family moved to their new farm of two hundred and forty acres three miles southwest of Central City, which was the old James Hutson home, and is now a fine, well improved farm.
Mr. Minter and family are among the best known Nebraska families of pioneer days, Mr. Minter having come to Nebraska in the early years, and passed through the experiences of the frontier days In the fall of 1869 Mr. Minter's brother, James, and the latter's brother-in-law came into Dakota county, Nebraska, where they took up homesteads. The brother and brother-in-law were also veterans in the civil war. James Minter purchased the homestead righ [sic] from an old civil war comrade for one old rooster, this land now being worth $150.00 an acre.
Ignatz Renner, who resides on section thirty-two, township thirty-one, range two, Knox county, Nebraska, is one of the leading old settlers in this section, and has always done his full share in the bettering of conditions throughout the community in which he lives. He is a highly esteemed and respected citizen and has always been upright and honest in his dealings with his fellowmen.
Mr. Renner is a native of Germany, having been born in Oinspaugh village, Baden province, in the year 1855. He is a son of Joseph and Rosa (Dober) Renner, both of whom are natives of Germany. Mr. Renner lived in the fatherland until he reached the age of sixteen years, receiving his education there up to this time. In 1871, he left his native land, sailing for American shores, embarking on the steamship "Brooklyn," and coming by way of Liverpool to New York. When he arrived in the United States, Mr. Renner proceeded to the western country, locating in Sarpy county, Nebraska, where he lived for eight years, at first employed at whatever his hands found to do. He later went to Cuming county, Nebraska, remaining there twenty years.
In 1899, Mr. Renner came to Knox county, Nebraska, and bought the land where he now lives; he first lived in a dugout and later built a fine residence in which he and his family are now living.
In 1882, Mr. Renner was united in marriage to Miss Barbara Hader, and Mr. and Mrs. Renner are the parents of a fine family of ten children, whose names are as follows: Joe, Annie, Frank, Katie, Matilda, Louisa, Henry, John, Lena and Fred.
During his first days in northeastern Nebraska, Mr. Renner experienced a great many hardships and in conveniences, as did the few first settlers in this region; and after he became a land owner and tiller of the soil he suffered greatly through the grasshopper pests that infested this western country at times. He had many other discouragements, but through it all, has kept faith in Nebraska soil and resources, and has evidenced his belief in his present prosperous condition in life. He now owns seven hundred and twenty acres of finely improved land, and, as before stated, has one of the finest residences in his locality.
Among the successful self-made men of Howard county may be truly noted Barnie Nielsen, whose name heads this personal history. He came to America from his mother country when little more than a boy, and since that time has displayed an unusually enterprising spirit and the exercise of good judgment [sic] in a manner that commends him to in as a worthy citizen of his adopted land. He now resides on section twenty-two, township fourteen, range eleven, and is one of the prosperous farmers of his locality.
Mr. Nielsen was born in Denmark on October 9, 1868. He was the fourth child in his father's family of seven, and the only one of them to settle in the United States. His parents are now deceased, having spent their entire lives in Denmark, two brothers and three sisters still living there, while one brother lives in Germany. Barnie grew to the age of fifteen year in his native land, then started out to make his own way in the world, taking passage on an emigrant ship bound for America, arriving here in the spring of 1883. He went at first to Illinois, remained but a few weeks, then came directly into Howard county, landing here on May 14th, secured employment as a farm hand and worked out for about nine years. He had saved his money and lived a very frugal life, and at that time had enough to make a payment on a tract of land which he had selected on section twenty-two, in Warsaw precinct, which is still his home farm, and which he has built up in splendid shape.
Mr. Nielsen was married to Clara Morley, June 9, 1892. Mrs. Nielsen is a daughter of Marshall Morley, one of the first Howard county settlers, and she was born and grew to womanhood on the farm where she now lives. Marshall Morley and his wife, whose maiden name was Amanda Moses, was one of the first settlers of Howard comity, to which place he came from Pennslyvania [sic], although he had spent a few years in Illinois before locating here. He homesteaded the place now owned by his son-in-law, Barnie Nielsen, and lived on it until selling to Mr. Nielsen, after which he and his wife moved to St. Paul where he died October 3, 1903, and his wife December 6, 1908. When Mr. Morley first settled in this section the country was practically a barren plain inhabited mostly by Indians, and for several years it was very hard to make much headway in the matter of improving the land. He succeeded however in accumulating a comfortable property, and also had done his best during his years of residence here to better conditions locally wherever possible.
Mr. and Mrs. Barnie Nielsen have five children: Louie Roy, Lee Marshall, Ada Marie, Theodore Holman and Bertha Clara, all living at home.
FREDRICK J. DOVER.
Fredrick J. Dover, who lives on section eleven, township twenty-two, range one, west, in Madison county, Nebraska, occupies an enviable position among the old-timers and successful agriculturists of the county. He has lived thirty-nine years in Madison county, and has been part of the growth and development of the region, building up for himself a good home.
Mr. Dover is a native of Wales, his birth occurring in the year 1858; he is a son of James and Jane (Nicholson) Dover, both natives of England; our subject's father was a Morocco leather dresser in the old country.
In 1854 Mr. Dover's father came to America on a sailboat, and later returned to Wales. In short time they came back to America, again in a sailboat, and after landing here they went to Iowa, where they settled and remained until 1872; then came to Madison county, Nebraska, where they took up a homestead and steadily improved same.
The family first settled on Shell creek, but the Indians drove them out, and they then moved to section twenty-six, township twenty-two, range one, west, where they took up the homsetad [sic] which is their present home.
In the earliest days of settlement, the Dover family endured many hardships and discouragements, which when related, seem almost incredible to all but those who have actually experienced them. Many times they fought prairie fires to save their lives and property; during the years of 1872, 1873 and 1874 the grasshopper pests destroyed every vestige of vegetation and crops; Indians were a great source of anxiety, and many times the little family were afraid for their lives, on one occasion, as related above, they being compelled to move on account of them. Deer and antelope were plentiful on the western frontier in the first days of settlement, and could frequently be seen browsing about.
Mr. Dover was united in marriage in 1891 to Miss Sylvia Groff, and Mr. and Mrs. Dover are the parents of three children, namely: Ruby, Harold, and Laura. They are a fine family, and enjoy the respect and esteem of all who know them.
OSCAR A. SMITH.
Oscar A. Smith was one of the earliest settlers of his part of Custer county, having lived in or near New Helena since 1874. He has seen the reigon [sic] from a raw, unsettled country to one of the choice grain and stock reigons [sic] of central Nebraska, and has been identified in various ways with its progress and upbuilding. Mr. Smith was born in Columbus, Warren county, Pennsylvania, January 9, 1849, the eldest of the three sons of William and Roxy (Bordwell) Smith. The father was a native of Pennsylvania and the mother of New York, and they were married in the former state. He died in March, 1861, and she in the spring of 1892, both in Pennsylvania. They were survived by two sons, Oscar A. and Walter B., the latter of whom resides in Narberth, on the outskirts of Philadelphia.
In the spring of 1874, in company with George Carr, also of Pennsylvania, Mr. Smith left home and they went as far as Wheeling, West Virginia, by water, going on a raft of sawed hemlock lumber from the headwaters of the Clarendon, on into the Allegheny and Ohio rivers to their destination. When they left home they intended going to Central America, but at Belmont, Ohio met a friend who advised them to do otherwise, so they gave up this trip and came on west to Nebraska, reaching Grand Island in May, 1874. They came on to Loup City, Sherman county, and there, with Charles R. Mathews (a sketch of whom appears in this work) and two other men who were trappers and hunters, came to Victoria Springs, now known as New Helena, Custer county.
Mr. Smith took a homestead on the northeast quarter of section twenty, township nineteen, range twenty-one, and Mr. Carr and Mr. Mathews took homesteads in adjoining sections, Mr. Mathews having previously made the trip (in April of that year). These men were of the first original homesteaders of this part of Custer county. Mr. Smith still owns his original homestead site and also has other fine land in the vicinity of New Helena. Of the five men who came at that time to the neighborhood Judge Mathews and Mr. Smith are the only two now remaining.
During his early years there Mr. Smith worked on his homestead only enough of the time to hold his title and in the intervals worked near Columbus, Platte county. He has passed through many varied experiences during his years in Nebraska, as he came to New Helena when the Indians were numerous and troublesome and the country was now to the farmer. He has assisted in many ways in the cause of progress and is accounted a public-spirited, upright citizen. For eight years he served as postmaster at New Helena and was also a merchant. New Helena was one of the early inland trading points and Mr. Smith was a farmer-merchant for years.
Mr. Smith was married in Custer county, January 17, 1892, to Margaret Elizabeth Baird, daughter of John F. and Mary (Conn) Baird, who came to Illinois in 1877. Mr. Baird died at Camp Point, Illinois, October 1, 1877, and in the winter of 1888 and 1889, Mrs. Mary C. Baird, with her three children, Mrs. Georgia McGaughey, and William and Margaret Baird, came to Custer county. Mrs. Baird, a woman of beautiful character and familiarly known in the community as "grandma Baird," died at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Smith in New Helena, April 3, 1905. Mrs. Smith is a native of Kentucky and her parents came from that state to Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have four children, all of them born on the home farm: Walter W., born December 30, 1892; Oscar T., born October 17, 1894; Victor B., born June 9, 1897, and Laura Conn, born September 23, 1899.
Mr. Smith was formerly a democrat, but of late years, like most men of the west, has broken away from party lines and votes for the candidate he considers best suited to fill the office. Mr. Smith is a Mason and was a charter member of the lodge at Broken Bow, as well as that of Anselmo when organized, of which he is now a member.
CORYDON T. LEECH.
Among the men who have long been identified with the progress and development of central Nebraska, Corydon T. Leech deserves prominent mention. He has a pleasant farm home and during the past year or two has been identified with the official life of the country, holding various local offices. He was born in Mercer county, Illinois, March 30, 1848, the fourth born of the eight children of John and Elinor (Robinson) Leech, who had four sons and four daughters. The father was a native of Virginia and the mother of Maryland, both now deceased; two of the daughters and three of the sons still survive. Mr. Leech of this sketch is the only one of the family living in Custer county and the other children who live in Nebraska, are: Leonidas, of Richardson county; Adolphus, of Nemaha county; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Samuel Seits, also lives in Richardson county. The father died in Illinois in 1883 and the mother brought her daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, to Nemaha county in 1886. She died on the farm in that county in June, 1898.
Mr. Leech was reared on a farm in Illinois and lived with his parents there until his twenty-
sixth year. He was married in Mercer county, September 3, 1874, to Anna, daughter of Thomas and Jane (Hollowell) Risley In March of that year he had made a trip to Nemaha county, Nebraska, and purchased a farm. He then returned to Illinois and immediately after his marriage he and his wife came and located on this farm. They remained in that county until 1883, and then came to Custer county, where the previous year he had secured a homestead on section twenty-two, township seventeen, range eighteen, and he now resides on the northwest quarter of section thirty-three in the same township, where he has a fine grain and stock farm. His place is well improved and equipped with modern machinery and implements for successfully operating same. With the exception of three years spent in Tulare county, California, Custer county, has been his home since 1883. He and his wife have eight children, viz: Cora, wife of Charles I. Lowder, of Custer county, has five children; Floyd, wife of Charles Elmer Cannon, of Custer county, has three children; Nellie, wife of Harry Avery, of Richardson county, has three children; Nina, Don R. is principal of the schools at Rosalie, Thurston county; Ralph R., Elsie and Ivan L., who with Ralph, is a student in the Wesleyan University at University place, Nebraska. Mr. Leech and wife have passed through the pioneer years of their region and now have earned a comfortable farm home and a valuable tract of land by their own efforts. They are prominent in social and educational circles and interested in all that pertains to the general welfare and progress.
The family lived in a "soddy" for ten years prior to 1892. Their large frame house, commanding from its hill top elevation a fine view north and south across peaceful valleys, has one of the finest situations in the county. We show an engraving of the home and surrounding buildings on one of our illustrative pages. Nothing was raised the dry year, 1894, and hail had destroyed the crop the year before, making it a period of great distress and hardship, but those who had the courage to endure have reaped a rich harvest from Nebraska soil.
Mr. Leech is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Westerville. In politics he is a republican.
"North View Farm," Residence of C. T. Leech.
BYRON H. JOHNSON.
Byron H. Johnson, who resides in section twenty-three, township eighteen, range thirteen, is a substantial citizen and old settler of Valley county, Nebraska, where he has resided for the past forty years, thirty-four of which have been spent on his present home place. He was born in Natic, Rhode Island, July 12, 1847, and was sixth of nine children in the family of Thomas and Anna (Tanner) Johnson, who had seven daughters and two sons. The parents were natives of Rhode Island, also, and the Johnson family originally date back to England, and are one of the very old New England families.
The Johnson family, of which our subject is a member, moved from Rhode Island to Greenlake county, Wisconsin making the entire trip by water, sailing Long Island Sound, the Hudson river, the Erie canal to Buffalo; and thence by the great lakes to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, whence they drove by ox team to Berlin in Greenlake county, in 1848, the voyage lasting nearly three months. Mr. Johnson, senior, was one of the first settlers of Greenlake county, Wisconsin. In Rhode Island he was a cotton factory operator and inventor; but in Wisconsin went on a farm. The family moved from Wisconsin to Olmstead county, Minnesota, in 1866.
Byron Johnson came to Nebraska from Olmstead county in June, 1871, coming as far as Omaha; he was accompained [sic] by his brother Gilbert, and they both went into Kansas looking over the land. Gilbert remained in Kansas and Byron went back to the home farm in Minnesota, which he farmed for a season. They made the western trip with a horse team, and covered many miles over the country in this way.
Gilbert Johnson, in April of 1872, came into the Loup River Valley country from Nortonville, Kansas, by ox team, and made camp with old "Happy Jack" on Davis creek. "Happy Jack" was an old hunter and trapper and scout.. He then started to go to Grand Island with a load of furs and while on this trip met the advance overland emigrant teams of the Waushara county, Wisconsin, contingent. Gilbert Johnson was of the very first original homesteaders of the North Loup valley, and was a resident of Nebraska about ten years.
Byron Johnson left the farm home in Minnesota in October of 1872, by team, making the entire trip alone, arriving in the Loup Valley November 2, 1872, joining his brother Gilbert. This trip was made through a sparsely settled country, and his first abiding place was a little dugout shack. In February, 1873, Mr. Johnson took up a homestead on section twenty-six, township nineteen, range thirteen, and lived on this homestead claim as a bachelor.
On the nineteenth day of May, 1880, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Mary Maud Stewart at the home of her parents in Valley county. Her birth occurred in Warren county, New York, near Lake George. She is a daughter of William H. and Melvina (Mudge) Stewart, natives, respectively of New York and Vermont. The Stewart family came from Iowa to Nebraska in 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have had six children, all born on the home farm: William G., who is married, has two children, and lives on the farm adjoining to his parents' home; Alice Gertrude, James A., Herbert L., Dora Maud, and Eva May. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson and family are widely and favorably known.
Mr. Johnson now lives on the north half or the southeast quarter of section twenty-three, township eighteen, range thirteen, which has been his home place since 1878. He now has two hundred and forty acres in this home farm, which is well equipped, and gives his entire attention to farming and stock raising. The place is known as Locust Grove farm, and the residence is the subject of one of our illustrations on another page of the work.
Mr. Johnson has been closely identified with the political and educational life of Valley county, and has been active along all lines for the advancement of his home county and state. He served his constituents of county commissioner of Valley county in 1879 and 1880; and as township supervisor in 1881 and 1882.
Mr. Johnson has seen much of the early frontier life of Nebraska, having passed through all the years of vicissitudes, and is now a prominent and successful man.
He well remembers the three-day blizzard of April, 1873, and a similar storm of October, 1880. On January 12, 1888, the day being warm, he layed on a straw pile reading a book while herding cattle, when, within a minute's time, the cloud of whirling ice dust blotted out the landscape and left every creature shivering in its wake. A log dugout was the family residence for five years, when a better dwelling was erected. Mr. Johnson has seen the prairies when elk and deer were plentiful, having killed two or three of the former and twenty of the latter. At one time he had six deer hanging at his place. Prairie chickens were on the prairies in uncounted numbers, and often stole the settlers grain in the stack. Prairie fires were often a menace while the "big fire" of 1878 was the worst his recollection.
"Locus Grove Farm." Residence of B. H. Johnson
No citizen that New England has given to the west possessed sterling qualities, energy and integrity, in a greater degree than he whose name heads this review. Mr. Stone was born at West Brookfield, Massasschusetts, on September 30, 1849, and he made that locality his home until 1886. His education was obtained at the Petersham public schools, and a famous academy located there at that time. His parents were Francis and Harriet (Blake) Stone, both descendants of old colonial families. His great-grandfather, Francis Stone was killed in the French and Indian war, while a paternal aunt, Lucy Stone, was one of the early advocates of woman's rights, and celebrated among America's famous women.
As a young man, our subject was associated with his father on the latter's farm, until it became necessary for some person there to come to Plainview, Nebraska, and take charge of the interests of Elisha Webb, in the bank of Plainview, Nebraska, and the integrity of Mr. Stone at once recommended him for the place. His business ability enabling him to weather the storms in the panic of 1893 without once refusing to honor each check as it was presented, proves that the confidence of the eastern financiers was not misplaced. He continued his connection with this bank as cashier or president, until 1896, when he became cashier of the Farmers' State bank, which has since been converted into the First National bank of Plainview, remaining in this position until his death, which occurred on October 21, 1898.
While located at Plainview, Mr. Stone erected on a four-acre tract, (measured out of a cornfield), in the northeast part of the town, what was then probably the largest and most elaborate private residence in the county. It had the first baywindow built in this part of the state.
The population of Plainview at this time was less than three hundred, and Mrs. Stone has a vidid [sic] recollection of the early days here, remembering distinctly the blizzard of 1888, and the terrific hailstorm of 1890. Coyotes were plentiful on the prairies, and she raised one as a pet. The animal escaped once or twice, but always returned to its adopted home. Wild nature was too strong for it, however, and its depredations on sheep herds finally caused it to be killed.
Mrs. Stone filed on a homestead claim in South Dakota during her early residence in the west, commuting on it after eight months at a good profit, as she found life on the homestead too lonely.
Mr. Stone was married at Bellows Falls, Vermont, September 29, 1880, to Miss Kate M. Rodgers, a native of Rutland, Mass. Her parents Albert and Ameline (Blodgett) Rodgers, were also of old colonial families, the former being a descendant of John Rodgers, one of the several brothers who came over in the Mayflower. Mr. and Mrs. Stone were the parents of six children, five of whom survive, as follows: Bertha, was teacher in Pierce and Knox counties, and later accepted a position as stenographer and bookkeper [sic] in Scribuer [sic]; Clara B., wife of Alfred Axford, a jeweler of Plainview; Lucy, wife of Jesse Broyles, they residing near Stanford, South Dakota; Francis and Luther Bowman, both of Plainview.
Mr. Stone was a lifelong republican, and a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, both himself and wife being for many years active members of the Baptist church of Plainview.
REV. WILLIAM H. UNDERWOOD.
The gentleman above named is one of the esteemed and beloved men of Howard county, where he has spent the past five years engaged in the ministry, and none deserves more praise for good
citizenship than he. He has helped in a large measure in promoting the general prosperity of the region, and his influence is felt far and wide for the good he has done. He is now pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal church of St. Paul.
William H. Underwood was born in Hamilton, Illinois, June 30, 1860, and is a son of Rev. William and Eliza (Hewitt) Underwood, who were well known early settlers of Illinois. He received his early education in the public schools of Illinois, and in 1877 and 1878 attended the Wesleyan University at Bloomington, Illinois, for two years. During 1879 and 1880 he taught school in his native state, and then started railroading following the work for about one year. He returned to school at Bloomington and after at year spent in study began teaching and continued about two years.
He then took up three hundred acres of land in South Dakota and farmed there for three years, at the same time substituting for various pastors, and organized and helped to build up Sunday schools in that locality. In 1887 he took his first appointment at Castalia, South Dakota, having charge over eight preaching places in the county, and remained one year, then was transferred to Alpena, South Dakota.
Mr. Underwood was married at Edgerton, South Dakota, on January 15, 1888, to Hannah Marie Johnson, of Yankton, South Dakota, and after two years spent in that vicinity, the young couple located in Lincoln, Nebraska, where Mr. Underwood entered the service of the H. and M. railway company and followed that work for two years. In the fall of 1891 he took up his ministerial duties at Springfield, Nebraska, making that his home for five years, then was transferred to Papillion, Nebraska, remaining one year, then located at Arlington and filled the pulpit there for one year.
In May, 1898, at the begining of the Spanish-American war, he was the prime mover in organizing Company E, of the Third Nebraska Volunteer Regiment of Infantry, and was commissioned first lieutenant, later being made chaplain of the regiment, and went to Cuba with the company. He was mustered out of service in May, 1899. The third Nebraska, which was commanded by William Jennings Bryan, was first encamped at Panama Park, Florida, from which place it was sent to Savannah, Georgia, and then put aboard the transport Michigan, December 31, 1898, and sent to Havana, Cuba, where they remained three and one half months, then returned to Savannah, afterwards being sent to Augusta, Georgia, and there mustered out May 11, 1899.
Since 1898, Mr. Underwood has devoted his entire attention to his pastoral duties, having various Nebraska charges. In 1905 he was appointed pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal church in St. Paul, Nebraska, and has greatly increased the membership during that time. He is a man of wide acquaintance, and is loved and looked up to by all.
Mr. Underwood's father was a pioneer in the ministry, and he, also has two brothers in the service, all being men of superior mental attainments, broad-minded and charitable, and all have done the utmost in their different localities to better existing conditions and aid their fellowmen.
Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Underwood, namely: Clinton B., who was a teacher in the St. Paul schools, and is now in the junior year at the Nebraska State University; Frances, who attended college at Wesleyan University, and is now a teacher in the Central City schools; Henrietta, Lawrence and Thelma, the three latter at home.
ALEXANDER S. ADAMS.
In Alexander S. Adams, of Elyria, Nebraska, we have one of the first settlers in Valley county, and a venerable citizen who is beloved and esteemed by all who know him. Mr. Adams resides in his pleasant home in town surrounded by a host of good friends, some of whom have known him through the years.
Alexander S. Adams was born in Jefferson county, New York, September 18, 1832, and is the last of his own parent's family. He now has one half-brother and one sister-in-law residing in New York. Mr. Adams resided in New York state until he reached the age of twenty years, when he went to California, going around Cape Horn, engaging in mining for about eight years, and while he made a goodly amount, living expenses were high and he brought little back with him after the close of the war.
In August of 1862 Mr. Adams enlisted in Company A, First California Volunteer Infantry, under General Carleton, receiving his discharge at Fort Union, New Mexico, September 4, 1864; during his enlistment Mr. Adams served on guard duty and Indian service throughout Texas and the Indian territory. After the war he returned to his old home in New York, engaging in farming until his migration to the west.
On October 9, 1864, Mr. Adams was united in marriage to Miss Carthima Nay, who was born in New York, of Irish descent. In the spring of 1873, he came, with his wife and three children to Valley county, Nebraska, homesteading land on Turtle creek, in section thirty-four, township twenty, range fifteen, which remained the home place until October of 1909, when he retired from the farm, and moved to Elyria, purchasing a good home, where he now lives. He has served as county commissioner three years; school director of district number two over twenty years, which district he was instrumental in organizing, and which was the first district to boast of a frame
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