On October 10, 1875, Mr. King was again married, this time to Mrs. Mary E. Keeney, of Wisconsin.
In 1898, Mr. King retired from the farm, and moved to Newman Grove, where he built a good home. Here he lived until March 1, 1911, when he moved to Madison, where he still resides.
While living in Stanton county, Mr. King served two years, 1870 and 1871, as sheriff, of his county, which office he filled faithfully and well. He has also been director and treasurer of school district number seventy-four, and has served on the board many years.
Mr. and Mrs. King have had four children born to them, whose names are: Ruth A., married to George Webb, has six children, and lives in Madison county; Naomi, married Henry Shaffer, has one child, and lives in Lee, Nebraska, John W., who is married, has three children, and lives in Madison county; and one infant, deceased.
Mrs. King's maiden name was Mary E. Hall, and she had two children by her former marriage: Alice, now Mrs. Osburn, has four children, and lives in Madison county; and Mary E., who married Mr. Horricks, is deceased, leaving one child.
Mr. King is one of the well-known men of Madison county. He has been prosperous and successful, and respected and highly esteemed by all.
Robert Ledwich a well-known and representative citizen of Custer county, Nebraska is one of the early settlers of his region and has passed through the various periods of its history. He is a native of Vermont, born October 14, 1843, seventh of the eleven children born to Robert and Bridget (Douth) Ledwich. Some of the children are deceased; James is mayor of the city of Broken Bow; Joseph lives at North Yakima, Washington; two daughters, Mary and Julia, live at Des Moines, Iowa; Catherine, another, daughter lives at Dubuque, Iowa. The father of these children was born in Ireland, came to America in 1832, locating first in lower Canada, and later moved to Vermont. His death occurred at Des Moines, in 1870. The mother, also a native of Ireland, died at the same place as her husband, her death, occurring in 1884.
In early childhood Mr. Ledwich accompanied his parents to Essex county, New York, and there grew to maturity. He received his education in the public schools and soon after leaving school enlisted for service in the civil war In April, 1861, he became private in Company I, Twenty-second New York Infantry but as he had enlisted without his parent's consent and they strongly disapproved of his action, he was dismissed from the service, being then in his eighteenth year. In September, 1864, he again enlisted, this time in Company A, Second New York Cavalry, served until the close of the war and received his discharge at Mobile, Alabama, in August, 1865. He had taken part in many important engagements, had participated in the Red River campaign with General Banks, and fought at Fort Blakesly.
At the close of the war Mr. Ledwich returned home and remained in New York until 1868, when he purchased land in Iowa and there engaged in farming. In 1871 he went to Minnesota and he remained in that state until 1876, when he and his brother William went prospecting in the Black Hills, spending six years there in the interests of the Home Stake Company. In 1881 he located in Des Moines and three years later came to Nebraska and pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land. After living on this land several years he secured a homestead in Broken Bow township, also a timber claim of the same size and adjoining. He was married at Broken Bow, November 24, 1886, to Miss Emma King, a native of Lewis county, Now York, who came to Custer county with her parents in 1884. The young couple began housekeeping on the homestead and for about seventeen years lived in the little sod house. Mr. Ledwich made various improvements and developed his farm in various ways, being an enterprising and successful farmer and stock raiser.
Since 1904 Mr. Ledwich has lived in Broken Bow, having retired from farm life in that year. He purchased nine acres of land there, on which he has erected a pleasant and comfortable house, where he and his wife enjoy a peaceful and quiet life. Both have always been much interested in public movements helping along the prosperity and progress of their community and are highly respected by all who know them. Mr. Ledwich helped along various local measures and served a number of years as treasurer of school district number one hundred and twenty-one.
RICHARD H. TRENHAILE.
Richard H. Trenhaile while of American birth, is of English parentage. The father, George Trenhaile, was born in Cornwall, and there married Miss Mary Stevens, a native of the same place. He was engaged much of the time in farming, but occasionally worked at mining in the tin, copper and zinc mines of that part of the kingdom, until his emigration to the states about the year 1847. Sailing from Falmouth in the full rigged ship "Roslyn Castle," after a voyage of six or seven weeks, they landed in Quebec. Trans-shipping here the travelers proceeded by the St. Lawrence river, the Weiland canal and the Great Lakes, to Milwaukee, whence they drove across country in wagons to Iowa county, Wisconsin, and settled near Dodgeville. Here Mr. Trenhaile engaged in farming as a principal vocation, working in the mines of that region when not busy on his farm. He moved to Nebraska in the fall of 1874, where he and his good wife died within a day of each other, and were interred the same day. The records of the family having been lost there is some uncertainty as to their ages; on their headstones is carved what is
presumed to be correct; on the father's "Died January 7, 1878, age sixty-two years;" on the mother's "Died January 6, 1878, aged fifty-five years."
Mr. Trenhaile, Senior, followed the rush into California gold fields in 1864. Here he had an unusual experience; falling into a shaft sixty feet deep He lay unconscious for a time; climbed to the top by bracing his hands and feet on the sides and then waited for some one to assist him over the edge.
Richard H. Trenhaile, thirteenth in a family of seven sons and seven daughters, ten of whom attained maturity, and nine of whom married and reared families, was born near Ridgeway, Wisconsin July 24, 1857, and grew up on the farm. He was seventeen years of age when the family moved to Nebraska, and he lived on the home farm in Saunders county until a year after his parents death. He then moved to a farm eight miles from Fremont where he lived for four years, migrating thence to Hand county, South Dakota, in March 1885, and buying a relinquishment to a quarter section of fine farming land In the fall of 1891, Mr. Trenhaile sold his Dakota land and in September moved to Knox county, Nebraska. For two years he rented his brother's farm five miles north of Bloomfield, and in March of 1894 moved to a quarter section he had purchased three miles further from town, where he lived eleven years. In 1905 he retired from active farm management, purchasing a fine tract of ten acres west of the corporation line of Bloomfield and built a fine two-story, seven room dwelling on an elevated site, one of the finest appearing homes in town.
Mr. Trenhaile was married in Wahoo, Nebraska, February 24, 1880, to Miss Irene Ellen Wallace, who was born near Lone Rock, Sauk county, Wisconsin, and was fifth in a family of seven children. Her parents, Phillip and Almeda (Sherman) Wallace, were natives of Canada and New York respectively. They were married in Ohio moved to Wisconsin about 1854, and to Iowa in 1867, and the father settled in Dodge county, Nebraska, in 1875. The father was born May 1, 1825, and died in Nebraska, January 15, 1883; and the mother died in 1868, while the family was living in Marion county, Iowa. She was thirty-seven years old. To Mr. and Mrs. Trenhaile three children were born: Amos Richard, who runs the home farm, is married to Sadie M. Jaycox and has two children, Harold and Erma; Ruth is the wife of Delbert Jaycox, living on a farm fourteen miles northwest of Bloomfield, and they have three children, Alice and Ralph, and Nellie Irene is their youngest child.
Mr. Trenhaile is independent in politics with democratic leanings. All in the family belong to the Methodist Episcopal church.
Mr. Trenhaile was fortunate in the blizzard of January 12, 1888, happening to be at the house when the storm struck. He had brought home a load of coal the day before, leaving the sled load near the kitchen door where it was convenient for use during the succeeding frigid days that followed. The Dakota plains were swept by the freezing winds for several days, and a boy whom they knew in the neighborhood was among the unfortunates who perished. Hailstorms have usually passed Mr. Trenhaile's farm, only one causing him especially severe damage, forty acres of wheat and corn and five of barley being destroyed one season; the wheat was ready for the sickle, and the corn well up and growing nicely; but there was nothing left when the storm was gone.
There were deer and antelope still in Saunders county when the family moved into that state. Mrs. Trenhaile's father and brother killed one soon after settling in the west and Mrs. Trenhaile has seen them in herds of six or seven. Mr. Trenhaile saw deer in Knox county in 1884, while on his way to Hand county, South Dakota.
One of the heirlooms of the family is an ancient meat platter, decorated in rich blue figures, that has been in the family many generations, the exact age of which is unknown.
Mr. Trenhaile is now reaping the fruits of a well-spent, industrious life; he enjoys his comfortable home where a cordial hospitality is extended to his friends, and here has all that a reasonable man could wish.
LOUIS L. BUHRMAN.
For the past thirty years the gentleman above named has been prominently identified with the farming interests of Howard county, Nebraska. He resides on northwest quarter secton [sic] twenty-nine, township thirteen, range nine, where he has lived sevral [sic] years, and is highly esteemed by all who know him.
Louis L. Buhrman was born in St. Libory, St. Clair county, Illinois, April 26, 1857, and was third in a family of six children. He lived in Illinois until first coming to Howard county, Nebraska, October 20,1880, going back to Illinois in March, 1881, when the entire Buhrman family, father, mother, and brother John Henry, came to this region. Three married and one single sister had already come into Nebraska.
On September 4, 1883, in St. Libory, Mr. Buhrman was married to Theresa Eller, who was a native of Illinois and came from all old pioneer family of Howard county. Mr. and Mrs. Burham have eight children lving [sic]: Joseph C., Mary Margaret, Annie, Elizabeth Mary, Henry J., John E., Conrad and Bernard B.
Mr. Buhrman is prominent in the affairs of his county, and has always been interested in the betterment of all conditions.. He was a member of the school board in district number forty-one in past years.
GEORGE G. KOSTER.
Among the prominent citizens of Niobrara, Knox county, Nebraska, we mention the gentleman above noted. Mr. Koster is a son of Colonel Herko Koster, who prior to his death was a leading spirit in promoting the growth and welfare of this part or Nebraska. (A complete review of his life's work is to be found elsewhere in this volume.)
George G. Koster was born in the city of Niobrara on September 23, 1881, and he was the first white child born in the place. His education was obtained in the schools of his birthplace, and since he was a small boy he has assisted his father in carrying on the different enterprises in which he was engaged, although the greater part of his time has been spent in the hotel business. In 1903 Colonel Koster admitted his son to a partnership in the hotel and shortly afterwards George purchased the establishement and took in with him his brother-in-law, Evan L. Gillham. Together they are doing a very large business, catering to the wants of the public in at very satisfying manner and each year adding new features in the way of improvements and modern equipment for the comfort of their patrons.
Mr. Koster was united in marriage to Florence Reid, on January 15, 1903, the event occurring at Omaha, where the parents of the bride resided. Four children have been born to our subject and his wife, namely: Florence Grace, Herko Amenzo, Gertrude and George Evan.
Mr. Koster is a member of the Masonic lodge of Niobrara. He belongs to the Blue Lodge, Knights of Pythias, Elks, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and Woodmen of the World, and is a popular member of the social and business life of the city. Politically he is a staunch democrat, as was his father before him.
Louis Guggenmos, deceased, was an early settler in Howard county, Nebraska. He was born in the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, on March 28, 1835, and was reared on his father's farm there. He came to America in 1866, locating in Iowa City, Iowa, where he remained for three years, then came on to Nebraska stopping at Omaha for a short time. He wished to thoroughly look over the country before deciding upon a permanent location, and with this end in view conceived the idea of traveling through the states on foot, his destination being Pike's Peak, Colorado. In company with another adventurous young man he set out to accomplish his purpose, they going first to Grand Island, where his companion grew faint-hearted and abandoned the trip, our subject continuing alone. He went on to North Platte by train, and at this point remained for a year working at different things, and also cutting timber for his outfit. He finally came to the conclusion that Nebraska was a desirable place to settle, finding it to be ideal for raising cattle, so invested his small capital in stock, and located in Howard county in 1871.
When Mr. Guggenmos landed here he owned thirty-five head of cattle and was the first man to engage in, this business in the county. He chose as his location for a ranch a tract of land lying on the west bank of Loup river, homesteading a claim on section thirty-two, township fourteen, range ten, on which was one of the finest natural groves on the river. He worked hard and gradually increased his holdings as he became more prosperous, until he owned eight hundred acres of good land.
In April, 1872, he had the misfortune to be struck by a prairie fire which destroyed his hay, leaving him with seventy-five head of cattle and nothing to carry them on but corn. He came through in fair shape however, without losing a single animal, and this was only one instance of many in which he met with discouragements and loss, but gradually prospered and became numbered among the wealthy men of his section, his success due entirely to his energy and thrift. In March, 1906. Mr. Guggenmos retired from active farm life and removed to St. Paul, where he owned a nice home and ten acres of ground, making it one of the beautiful residences in the city. After just three months in this new home Mr. Guggenmos was injured by a vicious horse, causing concussion of the brain, and his death followed almost instantly. His loss was a severe one to the community, as he was widely known and esteemed by all who knew him.
Mr. Guggenmos was a republican politically, although he was never active in his party, preferring to live a quiet home life.
Mr. Guggenmos was married on April 15, 1879, to Barbara Keller, the ceremony taking place in Grand Island. They had a family of seven children, as follows: Charles, Rose Cecelia (deceased,) Fred, Della, Lena, Paul and Benjamin, the two latter living with the mother in St. Paul. Charles and Fred are married and with their families reside in Nebraska, while Rose is a student at the Nebraska State University in Lincoln and Della a popular teacher in the St. Paul public schools.
Mrs. Guggenmos was born in Switzerland, and came to America when seven years of age. The entire family emigrated here (excepting the father, who died in his native country,) their first location being in Long Island, New York, where they remained for two years, then they spent three years in New Jersey, coming to Nebraska at the end of that time, or in 1873. In the spring of 1873 the mother purchased eighty acres of land, where, Mrs. Guggenmos grew to womanhood the former making her home with her daughter until her death February 7, 1910. After the death of our subject his widow was appointed administratrix of his estate, and has taken full charge of affairs since that time, still owning their farm, lands and, other properties. She with her children are occupying the handsome town residence, and have a large circle of warm friends in the locality.
Charles Gugenmos, who is a well known resident of St. Paul, Nebraska, and son of Louis Guggenmos, one of the early pioneers of Howard county, was born in St. Paul township, on May 16, 1880, and his entire life has been spent here. He received his education in the public schools, and as a boy worked on his father's farm. He now is owner of a finely cultivated tract of eighty acres situated on section eight, township fourteen, range ten, and has one of the model farms in his locality His home is now St. Paul, where he is engaged in the hardware business, and is classed among the progressive and up-to-date young merchants of Howard county.
Mr. Guggenmos was married on September 19, 1906, to Miss Kate Duffin, of St. Paul. Mrs. Gugenmos was for seven years prior to her marriage a teacher in the public schools of Howard county, and the young couple have many friends in and about St. Paul. They have one child, a daughter Mildred, and enjoy a pleasant home and beautiful surroundings.
J. T. FUNK.
To the men of perseverance and strong determination who came to Nebraska when it was yet undeveloped as an agricultural and commercial region, the present prosperity enjoyed there is due. Among the early settlers of Madison county who have been instrumental in bringing about the growth and prosperity now enjoyed in this region, may be mentioned J. T. Funk, a prosperous and successful farmer of Battle Creek township, who, has gained an enviable reputation as a citizen. He resides on section thirty-five, township twenty-three, range two, and is surrounded by a host of good friends and many neighbors and acquaintances.
Mr. Funk is a native of the Keystone state, his birth occurring May 20, 1839; he is a son of Joseph and Eliza (Mullen) Funk, both also natives of Pennsylvania, the father being of German descent. and the mother of Scotch parentage. Our subject lived in his native state until he grew to manhood, receiving the usual school advantages.
In 1861, Mr. Funk enlisted in the civil war, joining Company A, First Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Captain J. K. Robinson, and General Gregg commanding. He received his honorable discharge in September of 1864. Mr. Funk engaged in the following battles: Gettysburg, Spottsylvania, battle of the Wilderness, second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Bristoe Station, Hands Slope, and St Mary's Church, and while engaged in the latter battle in 1864, was wounded. He has a creditable war record, and can relate many interesting and true incidents of that period of his life.
In 1871 Mr. Funk left his native state and came to Madison county, Nebraska, making the journey by rail as far as Sioux City, Iowa, which was the end of the railroad in the direction our subject wished to go. He then drove overland to his present homestead, which as before stated, is located in section thirty-five, township twenty-three, range two. He built a frame house on this land, hauling the lumber from Columbus, which at that time was the nearest market place and fifty miles distant.
In those pioneer days on the western frontier, many hardships and discouragements were endured by the sturdy sons who came to subdue and settle this raw, unbroken country. The grasshoppers were about the greatest source of anxiety and hardship to be endured, they, for the first eight years of our subject's residence here, destroying every spear of crops planted and raised so carefully to a promising harvest; after the pests had taken their flight there would be nothing but bare ground where before their alighting were splendid growing crops. This was very discouraging to the early settlers in a new country, and it caused much privation and worry. Prairie fires were often fought by the family, many times barely escaping loss of life in the seething wall of flames. For fuel in the winter, hay and corn were burned, as wood was a scarce article in those days, and when it could be gotten the price was above the reach of the average settler of that region.
Mr Funk now owns three hundred and twenty acres of good land on which are ten acres of trees, making a fine orchard and grove.
Mr. Funk was united in marriage February 15, 1866, to Miss Jane Cunningham, and they are the parents of seven children: Laura, Joseph, deceased; Lloyd, deceased, Bessie, Edward, Victor, and Jessie, deceased. They are a fine family, and enjoy the respect and esteem of all who know them.
Mr. Funk is a republican.
Jacob Cool is one of the honored pioneers of Custer county and is generally respected as a citizen of integrity and public spirit. He is a native of Iowa born July 21, 1858, the sixth child in the order of birth of Alfred and Clementine (Grammar) Cool who had four sons and five daughters. It is thought his parents were natives of Indiana but they were early settlers of Iowa, where they both died, when the son Jacob was a small child, the mother when he was six years old and the father two years later. The boy lived in Iowa until the spring of 1883, received a common school education and going out in the world to earn his living at an-early age. In the early spring of the year just mentioned he saddled a horse, and leading two other horses, started to ride to Nebraska, reaching Custer county in June and taking a pre-emption and tree claim.
In 1885 Mr. Cool secured a homestead on section six, township sixteen, range twenty-two, being one of the first settlers in the neighborhood. He and several other young men
had made a trip into Nebraska with a team and wagon in 1879, but he had returned to Iowa during the winter. He was attracted to the state as a healthful place to live at the time he decided to make it his permanent home, with this object in view securing some land. He was one of the early bachelors of the county and lived alone several years before his marriage. He now resides on section thirty-two, township seventeen, range twenty-two, but retains ownership of his original homestead and preemption claim. He owns six hundred and forty-nine acres of choice land in the county and is one of the more successful farmers and stockmen of his locality, having improved and developed his land to a high state of productiveness. He had to pass through the various years of severe trial, such as years of drouth and panic, which tested men's-souls and endurance, and well earned his present prosperity.
September 13, 1890, Mr. Cool married Annie May Worth, of Custer county, daughter of David and Mary Worth, who came there in 1883. Mrs. Cool was a native of Iowa and died on the home farm March 16, 1904, survived by her husband and four children and deeply mourned, not only by her sorrowing family, but by a wide circle of friends. She was an early comer to the county and was well known and esteemed for her many fine qualities of mind and heart. Mr. Cool and his sons continue to reside on the home farm. The sons, who were all born on the home farm, are namerd [sic]: Ira, Truman, Hiram Glenn, Clyde Ray and Golden Porter. The eldest of these, Ira T., a worthy young man, of good character and high ability as a farmer, being now in his twentieth year, assists in the management of the farm. and his efforts and good judgment are a great help to his father in many ways.
GEORGE A. COPSEY.
One of the pioneer citizens of Nebraska, who have passed through the hardships of frontier live and attained a large measure of success through untiring energy and industry, is George A. Copsey, a native of the Empire state and a veteran or the civil war. We present a portrait of him on another page of this volume.
Mr. Copsey was born April 11, 1838, fourteenth in a family of seventeen children born to John and Mary (Talbert) Copsey, then residing in Herkimer county, New York. Besides George A. the other children now living are, a daughter in New York state: a daughter in Chicago; a son, Edward Copsey, in York county, Nebraska, and a son, William, of Grand Island, same state. Both parents were natives of Egland [sic] and they came to America about 1820. The father died in Wisconsin in 1870 and the mother died in Chicago in 1878.
In 1854, when sixteen years of age, George A. Copsey removed to Englewood, Illinois, where he spent one year, then went to Wisconsin, then a pioneer state, and engaged in farming there. He was married in Wisconsin, November 18, 1858, to Katherine Munn, a native of St. Lawrence county, New York. In December, 1863, Mr. Copsey enlisted in Company C, Sixth Wisconsin Infantry, serving until the close of the war and receiving his discharge at Washington, in June, 1865. The decisive engagements in which he participated were: Coal Harbor, Spottsylvania, Stony Creek Station, Wilderness, Five Forks, and Petersburg. He also took part in many minor engagements and skirmishes.
At the close of the war Mr. Copsey returned to his home in Wisconsin and in the fall of 1878 brought his wife and five children to Custer county, homesteading on one hundred and sixty acres of land on section twenty-seven, township seventeen, range eighteen, where he resided until 1896, at which time he retired from active life and moved to Ansley, where he bought a good home, which they now occupy. In 1899 he sold his homestead and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of well improved land which had been equipped as a stock and grain farm, but he has continued to make his home in Ansley. He was instrumental in organizing school district number one, the first in Custer county, and served many years as treasurer of the board.
Six children were horn to Mr. Copsey and wife: Artemus, who died in 1909, left six children and his widow, living at Westerville; Ella married Douglas Polkenhorn, of Iowa, and they have five children; Harley, of Gretna, Nebraska, is married and has seven children; Rose, wife of George Fletcher, of Colorado, has six children; Effie, wife of David Gardner, of Westerville, has nine children and Raymond, at home.
Mr. Copsey is well and favorably known in his part of the county and has always taken an active interest in local affairs. In his early days in the state, Grand Island, eighty miles distant, was his nearest trading point, and he drove oxen in operating his farm.
George A. Copsey.
Ferdinand Koehler resides in section thirteen, township twenty-six, range two, Pierce county, Nebraska, and is one of the leading old-timers in this section of the state. He came here in 1870, and has always done his full share in the betterment of conditions throughout the community in which he lives.
Mr. Koehler was born in the village of Koerlitz, province of Pomerania, Germany, February 20, 1850, and is the son of Christian and Henrietta (Buske) Koehler. The father was born in 1810 and died in 1861, and the mother was born in 1820 and died in August, 1901. In 1854 the family embarked at Hamburg, Germany, on a sailboat, and nine weeks later landed in New York, whence they went to Wisconsin and rented a farm near Watertown, living there sixteen years.
The two Koehler boys, Fred and Ferdinand, came to Norfolk, Nebraska, in 1870, and immediately drove to Pierce county, where they pre-empted land, Ferdinand on section thirteen, township twenty-six, range two, and a year later changed to a homestead entry. On this he built a sod house, living in this two years, and then built a good frame house. Here our subject suffered about all the hardships ever experienced by any of the pioneer settlers. In the grasshopper raids of 1873 and 1874, he lost all his crops, and he also suffered from hailstorms. In the blizzard of 1873 the two brothers were visiting at a friend's, and were compelled to remain three days. In that of January 12, 1888, in, getting the children home from school, he had to lead them, watching the ground to keep the road.
Mr. Koehler was married September 10, 1872, to Miss Willmena Manske, daughter of John and Wilhelmina (Lempke) Manske, natives of Pomerania. Of this union twelve children have been born, ten of whom are living: Fred, married Martha Schultz, and has one child, Isabel; Mary, married George Koehler; Henry; Emma, wife of Albert Kipke, has three children, Lydia, Elmer and Rueben; Herman, married Cicel Flemming, and has three children, Harry, Alfred and Luella; Martha married Henry Sporleder, and has one child, Erwin; John, Frank, Samuel, Esther; and George and Louis, who are dead.
Mr. Koehler now owns eight hundred acres of choice land, and is highly respected in his community as is also his family. He worships at the Evangelical church.
JENS M. PETERSEN.
Jens M. Petersen was born in Dollerup, Jylland, Denmark, March 18, 1829; and died March 14, 1908.
September 1, 1858, Mr. Petersen was married to Miss Dorothea M. Petersen, and six children were born of this union, three boys and three girls. Two of the girls died in Denmark.
In the year of 1872 the family emigrated to America, arriving in Chicago, Illinois, about the middle of July, where a month later Mrs. Petersen, and their youngest child died, the latter a boy about one year of age, leaving Mr. Petersen with three children, the eldest of whom was, but eleven years of age. September 13, 1872, Mr. Petersen and his children left Chicago for the west, arriving in Howard county, Nebraska, September 16, and on the nineteenth day of that month., Mr. Petersen took out his first papers on the place which remained his home until the time of his death.
In the fall of 1874 he was married to Karen M. Petersen, a sister of his first wife. Six years later this wife died. There were five children born of this marriage, the youngest being but a few days old when his mother died. In the spring of 1883 Mr. Petersen made a trip to Denmark, and there married his third wife, Kjerstine Nielsen. She died in the fall of 1894. After her death Mr. Petersen made his home with his son, P. O. Petersen, on the old farm.
Mr. Petersen endured the hardships of the early days, experiencing crop failures and such other troubles natural to that time. In the spring of 1875 his house and barn with their contents were destroyed by fire, leaving the family with only the clothes on their backs, several head of stock, a few bushels of wheat, and a sod shanty for a home. In 1883 his entire crop was destroyed by a hail storm.
Mr. Petersen was a firm believer in the Christian faith and was a man who seldom complained. He was a kind man to his family, a good neighbor, honest in all his dealings, and was favorably known in his community.
For a number of years. Mr. Petersen was the only musician for miles around, and furnished music for all the weddings, entertainments, etc. Seven children and thirty-two grandchildren survive his death.
CHRISTIAN P. PETERSEN.
Christian P. Petersen was born in Denmark, June 18, 1862, and in September, 1872, came into Howard county, Nebraska, with his father, Jens Petersen, and family. At the age of about twelve years Mr. Petersen went out for himself and tended cattle three years for Mr. Fred Shullsen in Hall county. When sixteen years of age he worked on a farm, then was employed on the Union Pacific railroad in different locations for one season, at which time he returned to Hall county and followed farming about three years. He next went into Hamilton county and worked is a mason and brick-layer for several years, then returned to farming.
On November 1, 1891, Mr. Petersen was married to Miss Karen Irine Anderson at the home of her parents, and to this union have been born five children whose names are as follows: Carl F., Edmond W., Jens Elmer, Augusta Lenora, and Alfred Lorenzo. At the time of his marriage Mr. Petersen rented a farm in Hamilton county and lived there four years. From there he moved to Merrick county and farmed another four years, there serving as treasurer of his school district. He came into St. Libory precinct in the spring of 1900, and is now located on the Herman Petersen farm, which is better known as the old Dingworth farm. Mr. Petersen came from a representative family, and has passed through all the pioneer days of Howard county.
Thomas Wilson, who has a pleasant farm home in Custer county, and is well-known as a progressive and energetic farmer, is one of the early settlers of his part of the state and is favorably regarded as a public-spirited, useful citizen. He
is a native of Yorkshire, England, born October 4, 1863, youngest of the three children born to George and Margaret (Carr) Wilson. He has a brother and a sister living in England. The parents spent their entire lives in England, where Thos. Wilson was reared and educated. He came to America in 1881, soon afterward locating in Custer county, where for several years he worked at ranching. About 1890 he went to Box Butte county, and secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, which he lived on two years.
On January 3, 1892, Mr. Wilson was married in Custer county, to Miss Mary Sigourney, a native of Whiteside county, Illinois, who came to Nebraska with her parents in 1880. She is a daughter of Orin M. and Abigail (Van Winkle) Sigourney, natives of New York state, and the father of French descent; both parents died in Lincoln, Nebraska. Mrs. Wilson has two sisters in Nebraska, a brother in Oregon, and two sisters in Washington state. Since their marriage Mr. and Mrs Wilson have lived in Custer county and have carried on her father's homestead, which Mr. Wilson purchased in 1902. Three children have been born to them, namely: Maggie, Vallie, and Tom. He is much interested in the development and upbuilding of his community, and he and his wife are interested in everything that is calculated to advance the general welfare. Mr. Wilson is republican in politics, fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order Odd Fellows, and the Modern Woodmen of America.
David Brewer, a typical pioneer of northeastern Nebraska, who resided in section twenty-eight, township twenty-two, range two, Madison county, but who now lives in Madison, has lived many years in this section of the country and has been a part of the growth and development of this region, building tip for himself a substantial home and fortune by his perseverance and thrift. Mr. Brewer is now retired.
David Brewer is a native of Massachusetts, where his birth ocurred [sic] May 29, 1838; he comes of an old Massachusetts family, and is a son of Jonas and Eunice (Smith) Brewer, both claiming their nativity in old Massachusetts, where their grandfathers, Oliver Smith and Jonas Brewer, senior. also were born. In 1843 our subject, with his family, left Massachusetts, and came to DuPage county, Illinois, where they remained several years.
Mr. Brewer was united in marriage in the year 1862, to Miss Evoline Gillett, and seven children blessed this union, whose names are as follows: Jonas, Joseph, James, Arthur, Clara, Elson, and Dick, who died in infancy.
After residing in DuPage county, Illinois, for several years, as stated above, Mr. Brewer moved to Iowa, remaining there four years. They then came to Madison county, Nebraska, in 1870, coming by the praririe [sic] schooner route with two other families. After arriving at their destination and securing land, Mr. Brewer first put up a dugout, living in this only a short time, however, when it was replaced by a sod house. He has built two sod houses in his day, and found them very comfortable dwellings, both in summer and winter.
Mr. Brewer went through many hardships in those early days at a time when civilization was scarcely known on the western frontier; the grasshoppers destroyed every vestige of crops and vegetation for miles around, leaving nothing but bare patches of ground where thriving green stalks had been but a abort time before; this was very discouraging for the settler in a new country where there was no work nor money to be had; fuel was a scarce article in those days, and, twisted hay and cornstalks were burned to keep them warm. In strange contrast to the scarcity of fuel, is the fact that prairie fires destroyed everything in their wake, our subject and his family having many times to fight the scorching flames to save their lives and property.
In 1890 Mr. Brewer was again united in marriage, the bride being Mrs. J. McGann, and Mr. and Mrs. Brewer have had three children, whose names are as follows: Gertrude, Grace, deceased in infancy; and David, also died when a baby.
Mr. Brewer resides in his pleasant home where he is surrounded by a host of loving friends and neighbors, and in the evening of his life is living in peace and comfort, with the assurance that what he possesses has rightfully come to him through his persistent efforts of industry and integrity.
CHARLES W. BOOTH.
Charles W. Booth, a progressive citizen of Custer county, Nebraska, is one of the early settlers of his region, and is much interested in everything pertaining to the welfare of his county and state. He was born at Centerville, N. Y., June 25, 1833, being fifth of the ten children born to Alfred J. and Cynthia (Smith) Booth. He has two brothers now living in Michigan and his other brothers and sisters are deceased. Mr. Booth was reared and educated in his native state and there engaged in agricultural operations when he reached a suitable age. He was married December 25, 1860, to Miss Nancy McNinch, a native of Livingston county, New York, and reared in that state.
In August, 1862, Mr. Booth heard the call of his country and enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Thirty sixth New York Infantry, serving until the close of the war. He received his final discharge at Rochester, New York, in June, 1865, having earned an honorable record. The more important battles in which he participated were:
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