knowledge of photography, which proves an interesting topic of conversation between himself and friend, and many a pleasant hour is spent in viewing his artistic collection and discoursing on the incidents of obtaining them. He has secured negatives of some of nature's wonderful phenomia in the west that from a scientific viewpoint are invaluable.
Gordon E. Van Every was born at Youngstown, New York, near the mouth of the Niagara river, on March 12, 1861, and is a son of Peter M. and Almira C. (Haskel) Van Every, the former a native of Canada, and the latter of New York state. Our subject made his home in his native state until he reached the age of about nineteen years, then came to Lincoln, Nebraska, following farming for a time. He was joined by his father in the fall of 1880, who remained for a year with his son, and they secured the contracts, under John Fitzgerald, in the Kenneson cut-off between Holdrege, and Oxford, which occupied his time during the summer of 1882. G. E. Van Every secured a position with the Nebraska Bell Telephone Company at Lincoln, and after three months in their office, was sent to Plattsmouth to take charge of the office of the company, remaining at that point for about three years. He was then offered a position with the Western Union Telegraph Company as lineman, and worked for them six months. He the went with the Baltimore & Maryland Railway Company, under B. F. Pimms, in the detective service, filling the same for one year. His next move was to Omaha, where he found, work on the traction lines owned by Dr. Mercer, and worked as conductor on the street cars running the first electric car to Hanson Park when that line was converted from mule power to electricity. He was afterwards employed by the Omaha Street Railway Company for four years and a half, finally resigning to accept a position as conductor, running between Omaha and Portland, making three round trips per month. He remained in this position for two years, then became motor inspector for the Tbompson-Houston Electric Company at Pueblo, Colorado, where a street railway was being installed. In the spring of 1894 he returned to Nebraska for residence, filing on a homestead in Custer county, which he farmed, in addition to some leased land adjoining his original tract. After sixteen months of uphill work, fighting against drouths, etc., he became discouraged. He kept at it for some little time longer in the hope that conditions would change, but in 1897 quit farming and returned to his former occupation as an electrician.
Mr. Van Every was the pioneer in installing country telephone, lines in that section, purchasing from the Chicago Telephone Company necessary instruments and began putting up lines through the locality. Up to this time phones were not for sale and could only be secured by lease, making farm telephones impracticable, but he organized several lines in Custer county, using barbed wire to carry the current, and becoming so successful in the venture that he soon widened his field of operations by organizing other companies in the northern part of the state.
In 1892 he established the Basset and Springview line, the Newport, Hammond and Northern, the following year, and in 1904, the Farm & Home Telephone Company, the latter in partnership with C. M. Thompson, of Newport. His next venture was the Keyapaha county, Butte and Anoka, of which he was president until 1909. In the construction of the various lines, Mr. Van Every did most of the work himself, including erecting the poles, stringing the wires, and installing the exchanges. He also established the Rosebud line in South Dakota, which was absorbed by the Bell Company in 1906.
In 1907 Mr. Van Every opened the Home Bakery and Restaurant in Butte, in the office adjoining the central exchange of the Independent Telephone Company. In the management of these various interests he has become prosperous, and is now looked upon as one of the leading business men of his section, taking a deep interest in its progress and lending his aid in promoting every worthy movement. He is a republican in politics. For many years he has been a member of the Masonic lodge, serving as Junior Warden in 1910. He also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Knights of Pythias, and Modern Woodmen of America, and with his wife is a member of the Order of Eastern Star, of which he is Worthy Patron, and the Rebekah Degree of the Odd Fellows.
Mr. Van Every was married at Broken Bow, July 31, 1895, to Miss Hattie C. Milburn, whose. parents were among the early settlers on the Midde Loup, the postoffice of Milburn being named after them.
Among the prosperous and successful farmers of eastern Nebraska, the gentleman above named occupies a leading place. He came to Howard county during the earliest years of its settlement and has remained to see the wild prairie region changed into a thriving agricultural and commercial center, having the pleasure of knowing that a goodly part of this success has been due to his own efforts and good management.
Conrad Evers was born in St. Libory, Illinois, March 25, 1847. where he resided until coming to Howard county, Nebraska, in the spring of 1877. He purchased land and first located on northeast quarter section twenty-one, township thirteen, range nine, living in a sod shanty at the first. Mr. Evers still lives on this farm and owns over five hundred acres of choice land in this vicinity. His land adjoins the little village of St. Libory, Nebraska, which was named for his old residence place in Illinois.
His wife and two children joined Mr. Evers during the summer season of 1877, as he had come out some few months in advance of his family.
Mr. Evers was married to Miss Elizabeth Buhrman in St. Libory, Illinois, in April, 1869, and they lived in that place for eight years, three of their children being born there, one of whom died before they moved into Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Evers have nine living children and ten grandchildren, their children being named as follows: Conrad L., who is married and resides in St. Libory precinct; Theodore, also married and living near Conrad L., Rosa, wife of Joe Turk, lives in St. Libory village; John, married and lives near by; Henry, married; Mary, wife of Frank Boehle, both live in St. Libory precinct; Anton, Alphonse, and Elizabeth, remaining at home.
Mr. Evers has been quite prominent in his county and is widely known, enjoying the confidence and esteem of many friends. He served his county in the capacity of commissioner about the year 1895, and has filled the office of school treasurer of the St. Libory precinct for a number of years.
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Buhrman lived with their son-in-law, Mr. Evers, for a number of years, and Mr. Buhrman died June 9, 1897. Mrs. Burman died January 30, 1911, being in her eighty-ninth year.
Prominent among Antelope county citizens who has made this region his home for many years and has done his share in the development of the agricultural resources of this county, may be mentioned. the name of John Jasper. Mr. Jasper lived in section seventeen, township twenty-three, range six, where he located on first coming to Antelope county.
Mr. Jasper is a native of Germany, born in Muenster province, March 17, 1861. His father, B. H. Jasper, was also a native of Germany. In 1867 Mr. Jasper, the subject of our sketch, came to America by the way of Hamburg, landing in New York, and from there went to the state of Iowa, remaining there twenty-seven years. In 1896 he came to Antelope county, settling there, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land. He began at once to improve this land, building a good house, and fencing and cross fencing the farm. He now owns four hundred acres, and devotes a good deal of attention to stock raising.
Mr. Jasper was united in marriage in 1889 to Miss Agnes Wilbereing and to this union seven children were born, whose names are as follows: Henry, Mary, Anna, Joe, Agnes, Katie, and Francis. In 1899 Mrs. Jasper died deeply mourned by her husband and family. Mr. Jasper was again married in 1905, his bride being Anna Williams, and Mr. and Mrs. Jasper are the parents of four children, named as follows: Gertrude, Christian, John, and Laurence. They are a fine family, and Mr. and Mrs. Jasper enjoy the respect and high regard of all who know them.
ISAAC NEWTON SIMMS.
Isaac Newton Simms, who has a well located and handsome residence on section ten, township nineteen, range twenty-one, Custer county, has a well equipped and improved stock and grain farm and is highly respected as an able business man and as a public spirited citizen. He has succeeded through perseverance and thrift and in promoting his own interests, and has assisted in the development and upbuilding of the community. He was born sixteen miles north of Galesburg, Knox county, Illinois, September 19, 1847. and was the eighth born child of George and Hester (Jones) Simms, parents of seven sons and six daughters. The father was a native of North Carolina and the mother of Kentucky. Both the Simms and Jones families had been living in the southern states, for many generations before the birth of the individuals mentioned. The grandfather Simms was an early settler near Springfield, Illinois, and the father early located in Knox county, where he was living at the time of the Black Hawk war. He worked several years for Peter Cartwright, the honored pioneer preacher of Illinois. He erected the first log house in Mercer county, was married in Illinois and passed through the experiences of frontier life, being honored by the personal friendship of Abraham Lincoln, of whom he was an ardent admirer, and for whom he gave his services during his first campaign the office of president George Simms died in Illinois in 1865.
Isaac N. Simms was reared in his native state and lived there until his twenty-sixth year, receiving the usual educational advantages of farmers, sons and early helping with the work on the home farm. He was married at Knoxville, Illinois, September 19, 1872, to Miss Clarinda Chilson, daughter of William and Harriet (Potter) Chilson, her father a native of New Jersey and her mother of Ohio. Her grandfather Potter erected the first saw and grist mill in Warren county, Illinois, and his daughter (Mrs. Chilson) was in Chicago when there were but three log houses in the town. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Simms spent one year in Illinois, and then moved to Kansas, where he lived five years, in Shawnee county, and a like period in Wabaunsee county. In the fall of 1883, he came by prairie schooner, over the "overland trail" to Custer county, with his wife and their two sons, Theodore N. and George. They reached their destination in November and purchased the Temp Merchant homestead on section ten, township nineteen, range twenty-one, which was one of the original homesteads on Victoria creek. Isaac Merchant had come there with his family in the early
seventies and during the Indian uprising of 1876 a fort of hewed logs was erected on the homestead, these logs were afterward used in erecting the Simms home. Six or seven acres of trees had been set out by Temp Merchant and Mr. Simms and family also set out trees, so that there is a splendid grove surrounding the house, and water from the springs of Victoria creek is piped over the farm here and there by a good system of water works, so that the home is located in a picturesque spot. The fine, flowing springs add to the beauty and charm of the place; some of the trees are more than three feet in diameter, through which are interspersed many fine cedars. There is a fine orchard on the estate, some of the apple trees having limbs over thirty feet in length.
Mr. and Mrs. Simms have but two children, George is married and living just west of the home farm, and he and his wife have one child; Theodore, married and living in Colorado, has two children. The reader is referred to the sketch of George W. Simms in this work.
The mother of Mr. Simms came to Custer county in 1881 with her married daughter, Hettie, now Mrs. Edward Bishop, and took up a homestead on which she proved up her claim. Her death occurred in Broken Bow, the interment being in Gates cemetery, when she was in her eighty-seventh year, a woman who had lived in a frontier home most of her life, greatly loved by all who knew her. She left one son, David B., who lives at Arnold, Custer county, and her daughter, Mrs. Martha G. Herbert, lives in Broken Bow, these being the only ones in the county besides Isaac N. of the thirteen children in the family six sons and one daughter now survive.
Mr. Simms is one of the most enterprising of citizens and he and his family have made many friends in the comunity [sic].
WILBUR F. BRYANT.
Wilbur F. Bryant, a portrait of whom appears on another page, is a man who has seen all phases of life on land and sea, in the oldest centers of civilization and the outer borders of the western frontier. He was born in Coos county, New Hampshire March 21, 1851, son of George and Nancy M. (Parker) Bryant, also natives of New England, the former of Irish, the latter of English descent. An uncle, Henry Bryant, was one who fell at the assassination in South Hampton, Virginia, in 1831. When a boy of fourteen he ran away to sea and shipped in a whaler, in which he served three years, becoming an able seaman. He made two other voyages before attaining his majority, visiting Malaga and Libson on the Iberian peninsula; the Azore Islands, St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Tasmania, India, China, and the Spanish Main.
On the last voyage, Mr. Bryant, although not yet of age, was made mate by the supercargo, who reduced that official to the ranks. On his return he was a guide in the White Mountains; and at one time while showing the German ambassador and wife over Mt. Lafayette, he gave geological information he had frequently heard, the ambassador surprised to learn he had had little schooling encouraged him to go to college, which advice he followed. He attended Kimball academy and fitted himself for college in two years, and later attended Dartmouth college at Hanover, New Hampshire.
He went to Holly Springs, Mississippi, where he was principal of the Academy there for one year. He came to Nebraska in 1876, reaching Green Island, Cedar county, September 1, of that year. Here he taught for a year and then spent a year on the open range with the cowboy's outfit in the Elkhorn valley. Returning to St. Helena, he, was appointed postmaster of the town by President Hayes, holding the office for three years. He had read law and been admitted to the bar in the meanwhile, and was elected district attorney, serving during 1882 and 1883. Moving to Cuming county, he was elected county judge, serving one term at West Point; he was then appointed supreme court reporter, holding the office four years under the democratic administration, and one year and three months under republican; he has also been state insurance commissioner for part of a term.
Mr. Bryant was married October 1, 1881, to Miss Kate Saunders, who was born at the old settlement of Wacapana, a daughter of Stephen P. and Elizabeth Aten Saunders, pioneers in Cedar county who came to the settlement in 1860. They had been teachers in the south prior to the civil war; and seeing the conflict coming, and holding anti-slavery sentiments, they migrated in 1860 - thus escaping the outbreak of hostilities. Mr. and Mrs. Bryant have been blessed with five children, namely: lta, a teacher in Hartington city schools; Ethel, teaching in Crofton; Eugene, a grain buyer in Pendar; Donovan K., who with George W., the youngest, is in school.
Mr. Bryant has been a life-long democrat of broad and liberal views. He takes a rational view of the negro question in the south, and believes in educating them to a highter level; realizing that as a race they can never equal the Caucasian, though many of their race have attained to high education and have brilliant minds. Mr. Bryant has been an omnivorous reader; history philosophy, mythology, religious controversy, the languages, all flow readily from his tongue or pen. He has written much in prose and some in verse, all bearing the stamp of high mentality. Mr. Bryant became a member of the Knights of Columbus some years ago, and at Dartmouth was a member of the K. K. K. fraternity.
The fierce storms that have swept the plains have had their place in the life of Mr. Bryant. He, struggled for an hour or more before reaching shelter the first day of the blizzard of October, 1880. He had difficulty, in reaching home January 12,
1888, while on the bench at West Point; in floundering through the snow that drifted around one of the buildings, he became exhausted and was almost ready to give up, but thoughts of his family roused him to greater efforts, and he made his way safely home, nearly frozen in his battle with the elements. He made a superhuman effort to rescue at Norwegian family on the roof of their house in the memorable flood of March and April, 1881; seeing their peril he made his way over the waste of ice in wild confusion to their house, to find them unwilling to abandon their home. He, with a companion who had followed him and became helpless, spent the night in a cabin on somewhat higher ground, but which was threatened with destruction should the gorge of ice above them give away. To amuse them he played the fiddle through the night, keeping their minds off the danger. By morning the loose ice was frozen more solid, and he made his way safely back to St. Helena, his home.
He has seen deer grazing where Hartington now stands; has seen the open country stretching away to the mountains, a waving, grassy plain. From the wilderness to a blooming garden, the granary of the country he has seen Nebraska develop her giant strides. It seems almost incredible that such changes could take place within the lifetime or one man.
W. F. Bryant.
Henry Loney a native of Indiana, came to Nebraska in 1866 when there were few settlers beyond the bluffs of the Missouri river.
He was born in Tippaconoe county, December 26, 1837, a son of Edward and Nancy (Wilson) Loney. His father was born in North Carolina, and when our subject was but five years of age, the father moved to Ohio, and lived there until his marriage, when he removed to Tippacanoe county. He lived to the extreme old age of one hundred and one years, and one month, dying at Wilsonville, Oregon, the twenty-seventh of November, 1905. The mother was a native of Ohio and died about 1844.
Mr. Loney farmed in his native state until his migration to Nebraska in 1866. He rented land the first year one mile south of Wisner, plowing forty acres after his arrival on October 15. The following year he filed on a homestead eight miles north of West Point, the first on the east side of Plum creek. Here for eighteen years he toiled and prospered, and in 1885 he sold his holdings and purchasing the relinquishment of a homestead and timber claim he pre-empted the former and fulfilling the requirements of the timber statutes received a patent to both tracts. He continued in operation of his farming here until 1901, when he moved to the town of Plainview. In 1910 he removed to Oregon City, Oregon, arriving at that place on November 16 and there he still resides.
Mr. Loney was first married in Dayton, Indiana, to Nancy Catherine Stoops, to whom three children were born: Charles, living in Republic, Washington; George, farming three miles south of Plainview; Herman, farming near Niobrara.
Mr. Loney was married a second time to Mary Brown at West Point and, five children have been born to them: Edward, lives in Orchard, Nebraska; Julia, wife of Edward Baxter, resides at Toledo, Washington; Lily, married Frank Bishop of Plainview; Oliver, at present living in Washington; Ada, now living near Oregon City, Oregon.
Mr. Loney was married a third time November 29, 1906, in Creighton to Mrs. Rosalia (Oliver) Gernhardt, a native of Rossie, Saint Lawrence county, New York. She is a daughter of Luther and Thankful (Potter) Oliver, natives of Essex county, New York. Of her first marriage four children were born: Cora Belle, who married Mr. Campbell of Sioux City, Iowa; Jennie, is the wife or Nathan Reynolds of Creighton; Carrie, married William Goos of Lyons, Kansas; Oliver, employed at Oelrichs, South Dakota.
Mrs. Loney first came to Nebraska in 1886, having lived in Sioux City twenty-four years prior to that time. When she first knew that thriving city there was but one sidewalk in town, that leading down to the river front.
While living in Nebraska, Mr. Loney witnessed the worst raids of the grasshopper pest, having lost all his crops five successive years. Each year he was compelled, to place a large mortgage on his land to provide sustenance for his family, and each year saw his crops destroyed in a few hours; when the pests did cease, however, the first year's harvest made his way easy and his indebtedness was soon liquidated.
One year the family attempted to save the corn crop and garden by burning sulphur around the fields, and had the pests remained but seven days instead of nine all would have been well. The garden was saved, however, but the corn crop was devoured before a wind sprung up which carried the marauders to fresher fields. One year the pests came out of the north in three or four columns like so many lines of smoke. A new neighbor not familiar with them could not be convinced that it was anything but smoke until twenty minutes after, when the voracious insects began to alight, and devour every green thing to be seen. Deer and antelope were to be seen when Mr. Loney first settled in Nebraska, and wild turkeys frequently wandered out from the Missouri bottoms, sometimes running through his dooryard.
Mr, Loney and wife were out in one of the early blizzards of Nebraska and had a fortunate escape; They had been sitting up all night with a sick neighbor and Mrs. Loney was uneasy about the older children left at home, having an infant in arms with her. After waiting for hours in hopes the storm would subside they started for home. Mr. Loney keeping his eyes on the ground where the
whirling snow was less dense, managed to keep the trail to their own door step after suffering for some time in the storm with his wife clinging, to his sleeve. In all his trips over the wild prairies he was never lost, not even at night. He had his baptism of paririe [sic] fires the first year of his life in Nebraska, when the farm he had rented was nearly overwhelmed. By strenuous work, with the aid of the owner of the place, who was stopping with a neighbor, everything was saved. An escaped fire from a twenty-five acre field Mr. Loney had plowed around and then burned, came near proving his undoing getting beyond control it swept onward towards a neighboring ranch, which by hard labor was saved.
Indians of the Omaha tribe were frequent visitors, camping on Plum creek near Mr. Loney's place every year in migrating to their summer hunting grounds. Our subject and children visited the Indians many times in their tepees. Their odd trail leading to the Platte country passed through his place and is, to this day, visible for miles even where the land has been for years under cultivation. He has seen their peculiar mode of burial on poles high in the air, a custom discontinued long after the settlement of the county In those pioneer days, Omaha was the nearest market place first at which to sell produce and purchase supplies, four days being consumed in the journey from the region of West Point. However, Mr. Loney seldom made the trip, sending by passing neighbors for such things as he needed. The land office was there at the time and the journey had to be made there to file on homestead rights.
Mr. Loney richly deserves the competency he has secured by his years of arduous toil in the pioneer days, the hardships he has endured, and bids fair to attain his father's venerable age of a century and more.
Of the prominent and leading old settlers of Howard county, Nebraska, none are held in higher esteem by their fellow citizens than William Hilmer, brother of Fred Hilmer also an influential resident of that section, whose personal history is recorded in this book. He has spent his entire career in the pursuit of farming, and has met with pronounced success in the development of a fine farm situated in Keslo precinct.
William Hilmer was born in the province of Hanover, Germany, on January 14, 1850. He is the third child in the family of Henry and Doritha Hilmer, and was the first of the family to leave his native land and try his fortune in America, coming here in 1868, his first location being in Wisconsin. He was joined there by his brother, Henry, and after a few years there, when they had saved enough money to send for the balance of the family, mother, father, and three children arrived in Wisconsin and begun farming. Our subject came to Howard county in May, 1873, the others joining him in the fall of that year, William taking a homestead upon landing here and the father and two other sons filing on claims later. Henry Hilmer became ill, and died in the hospital at Lincoln Nebraska, in 1902. The father died on the home place in 1887.
Mr. Hilmer has been successful in his farming and stock raising enterprises since coming to Howard county, and now owns a finely improved three hundred and twenty acre farm, thoroughly equipped with good buildings, etc. He has a handsome dwelling, surrounded by beautiful lawns and a fine grove of trees, and also has a large orchard in good growing condition. The family lives in comfort, and even luxury, and appreciate keenly the change from the earlier years when they were obliged to endure discomfort and hardship. Mr. Hilmer well remembering the time when even the necessaries of life, such as flour and bacon, were considered a luxury.
Mr. Hilmer was married in Howard county, April 6, 1878, to Adelheit Weiss, her family being among the early settlers here. Mr. and Mrs. Hilmer have had eight children, all of whom are dead but Albert H., and Harry C., both of whom live on their father's farm. Albert H. is married to Elsie Croch.
Mr. Hilmer is a member of the school board in district number forty-seven, and has been for the past twenty-five years. He has also held the office or road supervisor for two years, and is active in all affairs that stand for the best interests of his community. Mr. Hilmer is a member of the German Lutheran church, and was instrumental in establishing the church of that denomination, which is located on his farm. He has been secretary of the church for sixteen years.
ROBERT H. ENGLISH.
Robert H. English is one of the well known and successful stock and grain farmers of Custer county who made their start by taking up homestead land. He was born in Collingwood, Canada, February 16, 1858, eldest of the six children of Samuel and Mary (Hickey) English, natives of Ireland. Of the other children, one son, James lives in Mason City and two sons in Wyoming, while others are deceased. The fattier came to Canada is a young man and passed his last days in Mason City, Nebraska, where he died in 1908, and his widow still lives there.
In 1877 Robert H. English came to Sarpy county, Nebraska, where he carried on farming six years, and he was married at Gretna September 17, 1882, to Lillian Miles, a native of Pennsylvania, whose parents, Adam and Elizabeth (Booze) Miles, were early settlers of Sarpy county. Ten children were born of this union, nine of whom survive: Samuel P., of South Dakota; Angeline, wife of Wallace Pringle, of Portland, Oregon, has
one child; Hattie, wife of Levi Patrick of Mason City, has three children; William H., James R., Hazel V., Timothy, Charles W. and Albert J., at home.
In the spring of 1884 Mr. English brought his wife and one son to Custer county where he took up a homestead on the southwest quarter of section three, township fourteen, range seventeen, which is still the home place. He has improved and developed his farm, which is well equipped for stock and grain raising. He is one of the earliest settlers of the state kind has spent nearly thirty years in Custer county, where he is widely known and has a large number of friends. He has prospered through energy and enterprise to a gratifying degree and is accounted one of the substantial, public-spirited citizens of the county. In politics he is independent of party ties and fraternally is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America
Christ Schmitt an agriculturist of prominence in Madison county, Nebraska, is one of those substantial citizens whose integrity and industry, thrift and economy have added so much to the material wealth and growth of Nebraska. Agriculture forms the basis of wealth in that part of the country, as indeed in most sections of the United States. It is therefore of great importance that the class of people. who inhabit the great farming regions of the country should represent those elements of sterling worth so prominently displayed by the majority of the early settlers and their descendants.
Mr. Schmitt is a native of Germany his birth occurring in the province of Bavaria on the Rhine, May 17, 1844; he is a son of Valentine and Catherine (Kaiser) Schmitt who were also natives of Germany.
In 1866, Mr. Schmitt left his native land, embarking on the steamship "Ferkrutz," coming by way of Havre, France, to Liverpool, and from thence to New York. After landing in the new world he started for the west, and settled in Will county, Illinois, where he remained five years.
In 1871 Mr. Schmitt came to Madison county, Nebraska, and took up a homestead, the one on which he now resides. On this land he built a frame house sixteen by twenty-two feet, hauling the lumber for its construction by ox team from Columbus, which place was also the nearest market in those early days.
Mr. Schmitt endured many hardships and discouragements in the first days of settlement on the western frontier, and suffered many looses through grasshoppers, blizzards, and prairie fires In 1873, 1874 and 1875, the crops and nearly all vegetation were completely destroyed by the grasshopper pests that devastated that region in those years; in 1873, his losses were added to by some of his stock having perished in the blizzard of April 13, 14 and 15; and many times the family were compelled to fight prairie fires that often swept that region, consuming everything in its path. Deer and antelope were plentiful in those times, and were often seen grazing about through the country.
Mr. Schmitt was united in marriage in 1869 to Miss Phoeba Gabelman, and they are the parents, of twelve children, namely: Katie, Caroline Phoeba, Anna, Christ D., Jacob, George, William, Fred, Maggie, Lizzie, and Martha. They are a fine family, and enjoy the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
WILLIAM W. BARNES.
William W. Barnes is one of Nebraska's early settlers and has passed through the various periods of its history from 1883 to the present time - nearly thirty years. He was born in Parke county, Indiana November 27, 1863, next to the youngest of the six children of Samuel and Catherine (Clarke) Barnes. He has two brothers and a sister in Missouri and one brother in Texas, and one child is deceased. The father, also a native of Indiana was of German descent, and his death occurred in Missouri in the fall of 1889. The mother, a native of the same state, died in Missouri the spring after her husband's decease. At the age of five years William W. Barnes was taken by his parents to Missouri where he received his education and grew to manhood.
Mr. Barnes came to Nebraska in 1883 and engaged in farming, spending the first two years in Hall county. In 1885 he moved to Colfax county, remaining there until 1904. He was married while a visit to Missouri, in September, 1887, to Miss Lorena Garton a native of Missouri, and returned with his bride to his farm in Colfax county. In 1904 he brought his wife and four children to Custer county and purchased a ranch of one thousand aces of land near Broken Bow. In 1908 he sold this property and purchased two hundred and forty acres or land on section thirty-two, township eighteen, range twenty. In 1910 he disposed of two hundred acres of this, and purchased eighty acres across the road from the forty, and now occupies the new tract of land, on which are good buildings, and on which is situated the church. It is a well equipped and highly developed stock and grain farm, and is well located. Mr. Barnes served as director of the school board of district number sixty for several years, and has always taken an active interest in the welfare of his state. He is widely known and much respected.
Five children have been born to Mr. Barnes and wife, namely: Lura A., wife of Ernest Kaolin, of Ord, Nebraska, has two children; Samuel, at home; Eva, wife of Raymond Gates, of Custer county; Ethel and Mildred at home. Mrs. Barnes is a daughter of Thomas and Emily (Crayton) Garton, now residing in Missouri, where they have
spent their married life. The father is a native of that state and of German descent, and the mother, a native of Illinois, is of Irish descent. They have two sons, Frank and Tay, in Nebraska; two daughters in that state besides Mrs. Barnes; a son in New Mexico and one in Colorado, and other children in Missouri.
Located very pleasantly in section eight, township thirty-one, range four, Knox county, Nebraska, is to be found the well known and somewhat popular gentleman whose name introduces this biographical writing. He has been identified with the history of Knox county from an early date, and his contributions to the making of northeastern Nebraska have been many. Mr. Greckel is a quiet, unobtrusive man of industrious habits and possesses force of character and honesty of purpose. He is known as one of the leading influential early settlers of the state.
Mr. Greckel is a native of Germany, his birth occurring in Naugard village, King William province, in the year 1853. His birth place being a farm house, his associations from the very first were with agricultural interests; it is natural, therefore, that he should be a farmer, and that he should find success in life's endeavors in the tilling of the soil.
Mr. Greckel left his native land in 1881 for the new world, sailing from Bremen on the steamship "Wayser" for New York; and after landing in the United States he proceeded westward, going as far as Cuming county, Nebraska where he rented land and remained twelve years. He then moved to Knox county, in 1892, and bought the land where he now resides from Mr. Morris Detz.
When Mr. Greckel first came to Nebraska he, like so many other early settlers of this region, experienced many hardships and privations incident to those times, but has successfully weathered that trying period, and now owns a well improved farm and beautiful home and the experiences of those early days remain but a memory.
Mr. Greckel was united in marriage in 1879 to Miss Annie Lemke, and Mr. and Mrs, Greckel are the parents of seven children, whose names are as follows: Lena, Mary, Anna, Hattie, Fritz, Otto, and Herman. Mr. and Mr. Greckel and family enjoy the esteem and friendship of a host of friends and acquaintances.
JOSEPH D. SAMUELL.
Joseph D. Samuell a large ranch owner and successful stock man of Central City, Nebraska, formerly lived in township fourteen, range seven, West, Merrick county, where he was recognized as a prominent member of his community.
Joseph D. Samuell, son of Henry L. and Lydia (Blunt) Samuell, was born in Kilbourne, Illinois, August 8, 1864, and was eighth of eleven children. He has a brother, Brooking A., residing in Kitbourne; a sister, Ella Sutton, also in Kilbourne; a brother, Hickman B., in Easton, Illinois; and another sister, Kittie Geisler, in Kilbourne. Our subject's father died in 1906, at Kilbourne, where the mother is now living. On August 21, 1891, Mr. Samuell was united in marriage to Prudence M. Root, of Kilbourne, Illinois, who was a teacher, having been assistant principal in Chandlerville, Illinois, schools.
Mr. Samuell received his elementary education in the home schools and later attended the State Normal School at Normal, Illinois, during the years 1883 and 1884; and in 1891 graduated in scientific and normal courses at Northern Illinois normal school at Dixon, Illinois. In 1891 was elected superintedent [sic] of Rock Falls, Illinois, schools, serving one year. In 1892 Mr. Samuell was elected superintendent of Albion, Illinois, schools, serving four years. In 1896, he with his wife and one daughter came to Merrick county, Nebraska, where he had purchased eighty acres and since then from time to time he has added other lands, until he now owns nine hundred and sixty acres all in Merrick county. Mr. and Mrs. Samuell have had three children: Zola, M., attendant at Liberty Ladies College at Liberty, Missouri; and Charles A., and Veda, who reside at home.
Mr. Samuell is one of the well known men of his county is a prosperous man of affairs, and is interested in all pertaining to the welfare of his home county and state. He was instrumental in installing the Independent telephone in the locality of his farm and in 1902 circulated a petition for rural mail delivery, securing the same in 1904; this being the second route in the county. Mr. Samuell has bred Herford cattle exclusively for fourteen years, and has the distinction of having the only herd of registered polled Hereford cattle in Nebraska, having over one hundred and sixty head. He instituted the Archer Breeders Association in 1903, which has done much along the line its name indicates.
In October 1910, Mr. Samuell moved with his family to Central City, where they intend making their home, although Mr. Samuell will still continue to devote his attention to his extensive farm and stock interests.
Frank Novacek, who for the past twenty-two years has been one of the foremost residents of Knox county, Nebraska owns a good farm and home in section seven, township thirty, range seven. He is one of the leading old settlers in this locality, and has always given his best aid in looking to the interests of the county, and still does his full share in developing its resources and making it a success.
Mr. Novacek is a native of Bohemia, being
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