JAMES A. LINDSAY.
The advent of James A. Lindsay in Knox county, Nebraska, dates from April, 1881, the Spring of the great flood, he reaching Yankton previous to the time the waters had begun to rise. From there he came to Running Water, and crossed to Niobrara, which has since been his permanent home.
Mr. Lindsay was born in Peoria, Illinois, on February 20, 1844. His father, John T. Lindsay, was a native of Pennsylvania, late in life came to Niobrara and died here in 1907. His mother, James A. Lindsay's grandmother, settled in Illinois, on a farm which she purchased in the early part of the nineteenth century, and this land is now a part of the city of Peoria. John T. Lindsay came to Peoria when about nineteen years of age. He read law there and was admitted to the bar, later becoming a partner of the celebrated Robert G. Ingersoll. He became interested in railroad construction work and was made President of the Peoria, Atlantic & Decatur railroad, but on account of the loss of his hearing was compelled to give up the work, and after expending thousands of dollars in an effort to regain his hearing, was unsuccessful, therefore, was forced to dispose of his various holdings, and finally settled in Knox county, where he owned a ranch, and which he lived on for a number of years, but his death occurred at the home of his son, James A. Lindsay, in Niobrara.
At the outbreak of the Civil war, James A. Lindsay enlisted in Company C, Seventy-seventh Illinois Infantry, under the command of Colonel Grier, and served until the close of the war, being mustered out in July, 1865. During this time he was in thirteen engagements, including the famous battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, the siege of Vicksburg, and the several skirmishes along the White river. His regiment was sent on the Red River expedition under Banks, thence to New Orleans, and participated in the siege of Mobile, Mr. Lindsay's regiment being at Spanish Fort when the news of Lee's surrender reached them. From the foul water supply around Vicksburg he was taken sick and sent to the hospital, from which he promptly escaped and rejoined his regiment, thus avoiding the danger of contracting the more loathsome diseases of smallpox, measles, etc., which were prevalent in the camp hospital.
After his discharge from the army at Springfield, Illinois, Mr. Lindsay went. south, and for a time clerked in a commission house in New Orleans. He returned to Peoria in 1870, and for several years was there employed in a clerical capacity with a coal company, later settling on a farm near that city, where he remained up to the time of coming to Nebraska. After landing here, himself and brothers, William and John, settled on land belonging to their father. James A. and William also took claims in Raymond precinct, on which they resided up to 1900, then sold out and removed to Niobrara, which has been their permanent residence during the intervening years.
James A. Lindsay was married in Peoria, to Miss Helen M. Jewell, a native of that city. To them were born two children, Robert Jewell Lindsay, who has been in the employ of Cluett, Peabody & Co., at Detroit, Michigan, for the past twelve years, and Ella, now Mrs. Wm. Hamilton of Denver, Colorado. Mrs. Lindsay died at Peoria in 1880.
In politics Mr. Lindsay is a staunch democrat. He is a member of the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias, in which he has served as Chancellor Commander and Deputy Grand Chancellor of the lodge. He is a Comrade in the Grand Army of the Republic, Lander Post, number one hundred and twenty-five of Niobrara, having the distinction or being one of the youngest members of that organization, and is the present Commander, filling that office for a number of years past.
Among the leading old settlers and public-spirited citizens of Knox county, Nebraska, the gentleman above mentioned deserves a foremost place. He has been a resident of Knox county for the past thirty-nine years locating on his present land when he firt [sic] settled here. His home is situated in section nineteen, township thirty-two, range two.
Mr. Peterson is a native of Sweden, his birth occurring in the years of 1839, and he is a son of Peter and Anna (-----) Peterson, both natives of Sweden. Mr. Peterson grew to manhood in his native country, receiving his education in the native schools; he also served the customary two years in Sweden's army, as every able-bodied young man was compelled to do upon reaching his majority. He was married while living in Sweden.
In 1871, Mr. Peterson, with his family, left his native land for America, sailing on a steamship from Guttenberg to Hull, England, and from there to New York. Upon landing in the United States, Mr. Peterson at once started for the west, going to Sioux City, Iowa, from where he came overland by stage to Yankton, South Dakota, where he bought a team of oxen and started for his homestead claim in Knox county, Nebraska, which is the present residing place of Mr. Peterson. He also took a tree claim, which is situated one mile and a half south of where he now lives. He first built a log house which served as the family residence for sixteen years, but which has been supplanted by a good frame house.
Mr. Peterson has had many hardships and discouragements during his many years of residence in this locality. It seems that the grasshoppers had been awaiting the early settler's advent to this counry [sic], as for the first three years of Mr. Peterson's residence here, the pests destroyed every
vestige of vegetation, which nearly caused a famine in the western country; and in 1893 and 1894 he suffered severe losses through drouth, and in 1896 the hail storm of that year destroyed his crops. But through all the many drawbacks and discouragements, Mr. Peterson has held faith in the natural resources of his home state, and has been well rewarded for his patience and industry.
In 1859 Mr. Peterson was married to Miss Christina Anderson, and they are the parents of eight children, four of whom are living: Oscar, Hattie, wife of Mr. Elmer Harding; William, and Joe. Mrs. Peterson died November 26, 1905.
JOHN P. DETHLEFS.
John P. Dethlefs, a sturdy son of Germany, was born May 1, 1834, and was the third child in Claus and Wibke Dethlefs family of thirteen - a baker's dozen. He is the only member of this large family now living. The father was owner of a small piece of land, and also operated a flour mill in their native country. Claus Dethlefs was also a first-class surveyor, and followed that business during his lifetime.
John received his education in his home vicinity, remaining at home until he was thirty-six years of age, then came to America to seek his fortune, his first location being in Wisconsin, where he spent a short time, possibly four or five months, and from there came directly to Nebraska, arriving at Omaha along in the fall of the year. He lived there for about six months, then came on to Howard county and homesteaded on section six, township fourteen, range twelve, also took a pre-emption on section five, consisting of three hundred and twenty acres. He was the first white man to take up homestead rights in this neighborhood, and passed through the regulation pioneer experiences. He improved his farm as rapidly as he was able, during the first few years meeting with discouragements and hardships, but on the whole was very successful, and he is now one of the extensive and most prosperous farmers in his locality. He still lives on the original homestead, having a large acreage under cultivation, and engages in mixed farming and stock raising. The place is liberally supplied with good buildings off all kind, and bears evidence of good management and thrift.
Mr. Dehtlefs was married on July 21, 1876, to Miss Annie Marie Lhotka, who came to America from Bohemia in the previous year. They have had a family of nine children, all living but one, Peter, who died in infancy. The others are named is follows: John P., junior, Annie, William P., Theodore C., Minnie, Matilda, Emma and Edward. All are well-known and highly esteemed as industrious and thrifty citizens, and are popular in their community. During his residence in Howard county, Mr. Dethlefs has held various local offices and has in every case discharged the duties of same in a capable and satisfactory manner.
ALEXANDER L. GRAVES.
Alexander L. Graves, a prosperous and much respected citizen of Madison county, Nebraska, greatly deserves the abundance of success that has come to him as a reward of industry, economy, and thrift. Mr. Graves resides on section twenty-four, township twenty-two, range two, where he has made good improvements in many ways, and has erected good buildings.
Mr. Graves is a native of Fulton county, Illinois, he having been born there in April 24, 1848; he is a son of Erastus and Julia (Johnson) Graves the father being a native of Vermont state, and the mother, of New York. In 1851 Mr. Graves, with his parents, came to Johnson county, Iowa, where he received his schooling and grew to manhood, remaining there until 1882.
In 1882 Mr. Graves came to Madison county, Nebraska, driving the entire distance from Iowa. After reaching Madison county he bought the homestead of Dr. J. Q. Harvey, and built on and improved same.
In the first years of his settlement in this region of the western frontier, Mr. Graves endured the many hardships incidental to those times, and as late as the year 1894, he experienced severe losses through failure of crops due to the hot winds that prevailed during the drouth of that season.
In 1871, Mr. Graves was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Hill, and Mr. and Mrs. Graves are the parents of six children, whose names are as follows: Carrie, May, Myrtle, John, Samuel, and Katie.
Mr. Graves and family occupy a pleasant and comfortable home, and are highly esteemed by all who know them. Mr. Graves takes a commendable interest in local affairs, and gives all his time to his home and farming, and the best interests of his home state and county.
Peter Olson, residing on section seven, township thirty-one, range two, Knox county, Nebraska, is regarded as one of the leading citizens of his locality, where he has lived for many years.
Mr. Olson is a native of Norway, his birth occurring in the year of 1855, and is a son of Ole and Mary (Nelson) Anderson, our subject taking his father's baptismal name for his surname as is the custom in the Scandinavian country. Mr. Olson grew to manhood in his native land, serving his country as a soldier for two years. When he reached the age of twenty-two years, in 1877, he bade goodbye to his country and friends to come to America, the land of peace and plenty, where a young man had a better chance to get a start in life, and also where land was cheap. His father had died when our subject was but nine years of age, so he learned to rely on his own resources, more or less, and this fact helped him in fighting his own way in the world.
On coming to the United States, Mr. Olson came direct to Washington county, Nebraska, where he worked at whatever he found to do, remaining here three years. In 1880, he came to Knox county, renting land the first few years. Then he bought the eighty acres of land on which he lives at the present time. At first he built a dugout in which he lived for two years, finding it a very comfortable dwelling both in summer and in winter; this has been replaced by a fine residence of more modern material and design, in which Mr. Olson and family reside, and where our subject and wife enjoy the fruits of their many years of labor.
A few years after coming to his present place Mr. Olson bought eighty acres more, and now owns a quarter section in one body.
In 1880, Mr. Olson was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Olson, and Mr. and Mrs. Olson are the parents of seven children, whose names are as follows: Christine, Mary, Anna, Ollie, Lillie, Minnie, and Carrie. They are a fine family and have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
Mr. and Mrs. Olson and family belong to the Swedish Lutheran church.
So far as can be ascertained, the log cabin built on the homestead of Frank Ohme was the first one in Custer county. He also plowed the first furrow and put down the first stock well, which was dug over fifty feet deep. He is well known among the early settlers and has always given his support to the cause of progress. He was born in the village of Angersdorf, near Halle, on the Saale, Saxony, February 13, 1844, third of the five sons of Carl and Mary (Menike) Ohme. He was reared on the farm where he was born, and when fourteen years of age left home and went to work in the city of Halle, where he remained over six years, half of the time, working in a confectioner's shop, and the last three years in a restaurant. He then entered the German army, serving three years, and taking part in the Austrian war in 1866. He came to America in 1869, sailing from Hamburg to New York in the "Almania," landing after a voyage of seventeen days.
Locating first in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, he worked for farmers there for a year, and then, on April 3, 1870, came to Douglas county, Nebraska where he worked three years on a farm. March 15, 1873, he was married in Douglas county to Miss Caroline Walter, a native of Holstein, born in the village of Lemberg, near Ekenfoerde; her father died when she was but three weeks old and her grandfather Walter took the baby into his home and reared her as one of his own. Mrs. Ohme came to America in 1870, sailing from Hamburg to New York in the "Cymbria," the voyage extending to fourteen days. After marriage they rented a farm on the line between Douglas and Sarpy counties and lived on it one year. In March, 1874, they shipped a car of household goods and a team of horses and five head of cattle to Grand Island, and proceeded from there to their homestead on section one, township seventeen, range seventeen, Mr. Ohme having made a trip to Custer county in January of that year for the purpose of looking the country over In company with a Mr. Lidke they had come to friends of the latter on Wood river and while looking over the country the two young men camped with an old hunter and trapper on an island in Middle Loup river, one mile from his present home. They selected their homesteads, and while on their way back to Sarpy county filed an entry on them before the Clerk of Sherman county. They had made the trip to Custer county during extremely cold weather, and if they had not been actuated by ambition and energy they would not have had courage to select a location during that period. Mr. Ohme was the first man who actually filed an entry on a homestead in the county, although others had settled there with a view to making it a permanent. home. At the time he and his wife came with a team and wagon to their new home they supposed they were the first settlers in the neighborhood, but one day in April while he was walking over some land near his home; he saw a man approaching, who proved to be L. R. Douse, who had settled there in the preceding fall but did not file on a homestead until some days after Mr. Ohme had made his entry.
Mr. Ohme and family were closely identified with the early progress of the community and made their home on the original homestead until 1902, when they took a trip to their native land, visiting friends and relatives for five months. Upon their return to Custer county they built a little home on section twelve, adjoining the old homestead to the south. Mr. Ohme is a man of forceful character and quiet manner, always ready to give his time and influence towards the upbuilding of the neighborhood. He held the office of school director or district number twenty-two for some time and was one of the original supporters of the Arcadia creamery. He has been successful as a farmer and stock raiser and is now enjoying the fruits of his many years of hard work, being the owner of eleven hundred and fifty, acres of choice Custer county land. He has a vivid recollection of the early years of drouth and the times when the family ground their grain for bread in their coffee mill. He and his family have the respect and esteem of their many friends and acquaintances and stand well in the community. He was the only one of his father's family to leave Germany, and but one other member of it now survives, his eldest brother, who lives in Ammendorf, Germany. He was fortunate in having a home prepared for him before he reached the homestead with his wife, as when he was in Custer county in the winter he made arrangements with his friend the hunter, Joe Murphy, of Wood river, to erect a cabin of oak logs on the place, which was duly accomplished.
Six children were born to Mr. Ohme and wife, of whom four now survive: Emil, married and living on the northeast quarter of section one, township seventeen, range seventeen, has seven children; Emma, wife of Frank Thomas, a homesteader of Sioux county, has four children; Otto, of Sioux county, is married and has two children; Oscar, of section twelve, township seventeen, range seventeen, is married and has one child. All were born on the old homestead except the oldest, who was born in Sarpy county. The family worship in the Lutheran church. Mr. Ohme has been supporting the democratic candidates of late years.
The family endured losses by grasshoppers during the years 1874, 1875 and 1876, raising nothing except a little small grain. In 1894, the dry year, they raised practically nothing, and other years hail destroyed part of their crops. Mr. Ohme was never a hunter, giving his entire time to his farm, but deer and other big game were plentiful when he first came. Deer have run through his dooryard and at times he has seen as many as fifty elk in a herd, near his house.
Their first buildings were covered with thatched roofs such as are in vogue in the old country, and were much more protection than the usual hay and dirt roof of the settler. Later when a more permanent roof was desired, he had to haul the shingles from Kearney, seventy-five miles distant. He usually made two trips a year to Kearney to do his trading, and brought back a load of flour, which he sold to other settlers. The trip usually took the greater part of a week, and most of the time it was necessary to camp in the open, taking food enough along to last for the round trip.
A view of Mr. Ohme's neat cottage residence, with its surrounding grove, is to be found elsewhere in this work.
"Ash Grove Farm," Residence of Frank Ohme.
PARISH MOSES FREEMAN.
Parish Moses Freeman was born in Monroe county, New York, November 23, 1832, son of Amos and Dorcas (Parish) Freeman, who had six sons and six daughters, the father being a native of Connecticut and the mother of New York. Parish M. was the ninth child and the only one of the family now surviving. He was born and reared on a farm and when about seventeen years old left home to learn the trade of stone mason, at which he worked about six years. He was married November 14, 1850, to Miss Mary A. Davis, and in the spring of 1855 they removed to Kalamazoo county, Michigan, where he worked a farm on shares. He and his wife had one son when they came to Michigan. He enlisted in the fourteenth regiment Michigan Volunteer light artillery, October 21, 1862, serving with his company in the army of the Potomac under McClellan and Grant until their discharge, July 1, 1865; participating in the principal engagements in which his regiment took part including the thirteen days in the wilderness and the siege of Petersburg. He was present at Appomattox at the time of the surrender, and in Washington at the time of Lincoln's assassination. He participated in the first day's parade of the grand review and received his discharge at Jackson, Michigan. After his discharge he returned to his farm in Kalamazoo county. In the spring of 1878 Mr. Freeman brought his entire family, with the exception of his sons Charles and Harlow, to Lancaster county, Nebraska, the trip being made in a prairie schooner, along the overland route in eighteen days. They arrived in Lancaster county about June 10th. Charlie and Harlow had come by train April 14th and had prepared for the family by the time they arrived. In August of the same year Mr. Freeman and his two sons mentioned above went on to Valley and Custer counties and took up homesteads, the father filing on the northwest quarter of section nineteen, township seventeen, range sixteen, Valley county; Charlie on the northeast quarter of section twenty-four, township seventeen, range seventeen, Custer county, and Harlow taking a homestead just south of his father in Valley county. The family moved to Valley and Custer counties the following year, reaching the homestead March 3rd. The family were original homesteaders and passed through many years of trials and adversities. Their nearest market at first was Grand Island and often they used a coffee mill to grind meal for bread. In those times a dollar looked to them the size of a cartwheel.
Mr. Freeman has continuously lived on his homestead farm since first coming there and is now in his seventy-ninth year. The large trees that now surround the house were set out by himself and wife, some of them nearly three feet in diameter. He and his wife were parents of eight children, all of them born in Michigan except the oldest son. To such families as the Freemans ventral Nebraska owes its present agricultural and mercantile prosperty and the work of the pioneers in developing and improving farm has paved the way for a broader civilization in the state. They suffered from drouth and other adverse conditions and some years had hardly any crops. The mother died on the old homestead November 22, 1909, in her seventy-sixth year. She was a noble pioneer mother, who had many endearing qualities and was always ready to do her full duty as wife, mother and friend. Both she and her husband were well known in central Nebraska and won many warm friends in their neighborhood.
The oldest child of this family, Charlie Freeman, was born in New York state January 6, 1852, and was married in Kalamazoo county, Michigan, November 18, 1874, to Miss Julia A. Hall, daughter of William and Almira Hall, who came to the county with her parents in 1855. As mentioned above, Mr. Freeman took his family to Lancaster county in the spring of 1878, and in August of the same year came to Custer
county. He still resides on his original homestead on the northeast quarter of section twenty-four, township seventeen, range seventeen, and is a representative, public-spirited citizen. He has a well equipped farm and a pleasant home. He and his wife have two children: Hattie E. and Clifford C., both at home.
Another son, Harlow Freeman, is menntioned [sic] elsewhere in this work. Frankie A., a daughter of Parish M. Freeman, was born in Kalamazoo county, April 2, 1862, married Harry Thompson of Box, Butte county, Nebraska, and they have four children. Edward E. Freeman, born in Kalamazoo county, March 8, 1866, came to Valley county with his parents in 1878, and December 25, 1887, married Hattie Brody, daughter of Jesse and Annie Brody. They live on a farm one mile west of Arcadia and have six children: Willis R. Freeman, born in Kalamazoo county, September 14, 1869, was married at Ord, Nebraska, November 24, 1898, to Mary J. Shanks, and they live on his father's farm and have three children. Emma E., Freddy A. and Alice M. Freeman, all born in Michigan, died in infancy.
After supporting the republican party many years Mr. Freeman has of late given his support to the democrats; in local elections, he is independent of party lines.
He lives in a cemented sod house which has the appearence of a stone or concrete dwelling and nestled among the big trees it presents a pretty picture. We give an illustration of it on another page. Besides killing many deer Mr. Freeman had at one time a pet fawn which grew to be a nuisance. When pursued by dogs it at times would plunge through a window into the house. It was necessary, finally to make way with it. In 1894 practically nothing was raised and, feed being scare, stock was low in price. Mr. Freeman drove eighty hogs to market and got only one cent a pound.
During the blizzard of January, 1888, Mr. and Mrs. Freeman visited a sick neighbor one and a half miles away and returned through the storm.
Residence of Parish M. Freeman.
ROBERT W. BUCKNER.
Robert W. Buckner of Broken Bow, is one of the earlier settlers of Custer county and is one of the few of this class who still own their original homesteads. He has been a resident of Broken Bow for the past dozen years, during which time he has been identified with county survey work. Mr. Buckner was born in Hart county, Kentucky, second of the nine children of Philip and Fanny (Ragland) Buckner, both natives of Kentucky and the father of German descent. The mother was born in Larue county, was of Scotch descent, and died in her native state in 1905, and the father died there in the eighties.
Mr. Buckner grew to manhood on the Kentucky farm which was owned by his father and received most of his education in subscription schools. On July 1, 1861, he enlisted from Louisville in Company K, Fifth Kentucky Infantry, serving until September 14, 1864, and being discharged at Louisville. He participated in many important engagements, including those at Shiloh, Stone River, Liberty Gap, Chickamauga, Browns Perry, Missionary Ridge, Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Peach Tree Creek, Cassville, Kenesaw Mountain and the siege of Atlanta. He also took part in numerous minor engagements and skirmishes.
At the close of the war Mr. Buckner returned to Kentucky, and on April 6, 1865, was married to Miss Rebecca Bolton, also a native of Kentucky. In 1869 they removed to Missouri, lived there four years and then went to Moultrie county, Illinois, where they lived on a farm until 1887. In that year Mr. Buckner came with his wife and six children to Custer couty [sic], Nebraska, purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section twenty-four, township seventeen, range nineteen, and improved and developed a fine farm there. This was the home place for many years and Mr. Buckner took an active interest in public affairs in the community, serving five years as director of the school board of district number fifty-one. In the fall of 1900 he left his farm and came to his present home in Broken Bow, where he has many friends and is regarded as a desirable, public-spirited citizen. He is a prosperous and successful man of affairs and besides his farm land owns some fine city property.
Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Buckner, as follows: Thomas L. is married and lives in Broken Bow; Roberta is the wife of Albert Shaffer, of Ansley, and they have three children; Lawrence, living in Illinois, has four children; Flora married Herman Alberts of Ansley, and they have four children; Etta, wife of Fergus Emerson, of Westerville, has five children; Frank, living on the home farm, has three children; Stella lives at home and two children died in infancy. Mrs. Buckner's father, Robert Bolton, was born in England, served in the war of 1812, and died in Kentucky in 1862. Her mother, whose maiden name was Hannah Lange, was born in New York City of English parents and died in Hart county, Kentucky, April 7, 1880. Mrs. Buckner has two sisters living in Illinois, Mrs. Helen Hodges and Mrs, Sally Burks.
JOSEPH E. WITTEN.
Joseph E. Witten, formerly editor of the Pierce County Call, a leading newspaper published at Pierce, Nebraska, is a gentleman of excellent business ability. He was recognized as a prominent citizen of his county, during his residence in that locality. His home is now at Wall, South Dakota.
Our subject is a son of James A. Witten, a
prominent pioneer of Pierce county, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this book, and was born in Smyth county, Virginia, on October 7, 1888, being but a few months old when his parents emigrated to Nebraska from the far east. He grew to manhood in Pierce county, attending the local schools, afterwards clerking in different stores, and finally secured a position in the office of "The Leader," which was published at Pierce, also worked in the office at Havelock. In 1905 he entered the employ of Mr. Brande, editor and manager of the "Pierce County Call," continued the work up to February, 1909, at which time he bought a half interest in the paper, entering into partnership with Mr. Carl Brande, who had previously owned a one-third interest. Their office was equipped with a type setting machine, a power press and folder, job presses, motor, and all necessary adjuncts for a complete job office, and received their full share of the town patronage. "The Call" is the oldest paper published in the county, and has a circulation extending throughout the entire northeastern part of Nebraska and southeastern part of South Dakota. It is well edited, and during the stir of political campaigns is full of snap and ginger, and altogether it is one of the best country papers in the state of Nebraska. On August 1, 1910, Mr. Witten sold his interest in "The Call" and on October 1, 1910 removed to Wall, South Dakota, where he purchased the "Wall Record" of E. S. Johnston. The Record is the only paper published at Wall and the shop is well equipped and enjoys a good patronage.
Mr. Witten was married in November, 1907, to Catherine Zahn, daughter of Henry and Anna (Nuhr) Zahn, the former born in Germany, and coming to America in 1886. He was an early settler in Iowa, and is now deceased, his wife making her home in Pierce, Nebraska.
GEORGE F. ALEXANDER.
George F. Alexander, who has spent his entire career in eastern Nebraska, having been born in Howard county, where he still resides, is one of the leading citizens of that section of the country.
George F. Alexander was born in Howard county, Nebraska, June 5, 1872, on the original pre-emption claim of his father on southwest quarter of section seven, township fifteen, range, eleven, and was the, first male child born in Howard county. Here he received his early education and lived with his father until twenty-seven years of age. Upon reaching young manhood he engaged in farming and stock raising going into the pump and windmill business at Elba, Nebraska, in the spring of 1902 In the spring of 1903 he sold out his business and went to Canada, but returned to Howard county in the summer of 1903, and for a short time was engaged in different occupations, when in the early part of 1904 he moved out on a small place near Elba In the spring of 1905 he began work in the implement business as assistant for Peter Todsen, and remained in his employ for one and a half years. Mr. Todsen then sold to P. G. Shanstrom, at which time Mr. Alexander took charge of the business as manager. Six months later, Mr. Shanstrom sold to the Lininger implement Company of Omaha, and from then to the present time Mr. Alexander has been in the employ of the latter firm as manager of the branch at Elba, which is known as the Elba Implement Company.
On the sixth day of March, 1899, Mr. Alexander was married to Miss Aura B. Whitney at the home of his father, where a double wedding took place, our subject's sister Mary being married to Albert C. Jefferies on the same date. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander have five children: Hazel Maggie, William Marion, Mary Emma, Theodore Howard, and Louis Aura. They are an interesting family and have many friends.
Mr. Alexander is an energetic young man, up-to-date and doing his very best all the time.
One of the oldest residents of Knox county, Nebraska, is the venerable John Buhrow, now living retired in Bloomfield. About the time of his advent to the county, in March of 1865, this division of the state took its name from the river which flows into the muddy Missouri within its borders, and was known as L' Eau Qui Court county. He settled near the village of Herrick, then known as Frankfort, and built a log house a mile and a half from the river. Here he lived with his family for ten years, and then built a substantial two-story stone house, the first of its kind in the county.
Coming through Sioux City he bought seed potatoes at two dollars per bushel, and as soon as he could get a small tract of ground broken he planted these and a small amount of corn. All of this was devoured a little later in the season by a horde of grasshoppers, the forerunners of the myriads of the pests that swept the west bare eight to ten years later. Scarcity of crops made living high, with little to buy it. A fifty-pound sack of flour cost six dollars in the village of Ponca and a dollar was added by the mail carrier who brought it out. There was but one store in Yankton at that time, where a box of matches sold for twenty-five cents, and calico the same amount per yard, with muslin double that price. All merchandise came by boat from St. Louis, and river traffic was thriving at that time.
Mr. Buhrow first filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres and later paid fifty dollars per acre for one hundred and sixty acres more; to these he added until he was the owner of one thousand acres of fine Knox county land,
from which he has recently sold two hundred acres. Mr. Buhrow lived on his land for thirty-eight years, moving to Bloomfield and purchasing a comfortable cottage home in 1902.
Mr. Buhrow is a native of Pommerania, a province of Prussia, and was born in the village of Pensen, near the city of Demmen, February 11, 1829. He was a farmer in the old country until his emigration in 1852. Leaving home on October 8, he crossed the North Sea from Hamburg to Hull and proceeding thence to Liverpool, emharked in a sailing vessel for New York, landing December 17. It was a stormy passage and sickness broke out on the vessel to such an extent that but three hundred of the five hundred embarking reached land, two-fifths of their numbers being buried at sea.
After two days in the big city, Mr. Buhrow took his few belongings under his arm, crossed the river and walked the railroad track into New Jersey where he found work, cutting wood at thirty-five cents a cord for a charcoal burner. In order to keep him when done, the man held back eight dollars of the young imigrant's money, and it has not been collected to this day. At Bloomingdale he found work, in a rolling mill, for one year. He worked then for a summer on the Eric Canal and then returned to the rolling mill at Bloomingdale for another year. Going to Albany, he found work at the same trade in a suburb of the city, where he remained until 1859, when he and his wife went to St. Louis, Missouri. Here he worked for a time in the mills he understood so well, and then bought a wagon and sold fruit until the outbreak of the war.
Mr. Buhrow enlisted in Company H, Fifth Missouri Infantry, and fought under Sigel and Lyon in the Ozark region of Missouri, participating in the engagements of Arcadia, Springfield, and Wilson creek, and later at Fort Pillow. At the expiration of his four months service he re-enlisted and was on garrison duty around St. Louis until the spring of 1864, when he received his discharge. For a time he again engaged in the rolling mill business, but his health would not permit him to remain there, and in the spring of 1865 he took passage in a river steamer for Frankfort, now Herrick, Nebraska, and has since been a citizen of Knox county, as recountered above.
Mr. Buhrow is a son of Fritz Buhrow who died when the boy was but seven, and the mother passed away nine years later.
Mr. Buhrow was married in Albany, New York, October. 25, 1857, to Miss Lena Lueders, a native of the village of Forben, near the city of Loetz, in Pommrania [sic], the date of her birth being January 6, 1837. She emigrated to America in the fall of 1857, sailing from Hamburg to New York, the voyage extending into the seventh week. She secured work in Troy, and here she met Mr. Buhrow. and was married in the capital of the state. Of their eight children, four survive: Bertha, wife of William Zuercher, and Mina, wife of William Muelbrand, both families of whom live on farms near Herrick; Lena, who is married to Sam Thompson of Leadville, Colorado; and Anna, the wife of Charles Ruden, postmaster of Crofton.
Mr. Buhrow is a republican in politics, and a member of the German Lutheran church. He was a comrade of the local post of the Grand Army of Republic until depleted numbers caused its abandoment.
Mr. Buhrow and his family suffered during the early days by fire and flood, as well as through hunger, cold and exposure. One of their little ones was caught in a prairie fire October 25, 1881, and breathed in the flaming gases in sight of her father, whose hands and wrists to this day bear scars of the burns received in extinguishing the flames from her clothes and hair. Anna, now Mrs. Charles Ruden of Crofton, was at the house of a neighbor, Mr. Mishke, at the time of the great flood, and was rescued on a raft after crossing part of the waters on floating ice. At the time of the three days' blizzard of April, 1873, a son and the hired man were in Yankton, where they remained until the storm abated, but the home folks were none the less uneasy until word of their safety was received; they did not know that the wayfarers were not frozen and buried in a snow-drift. At the time of the blizzard of October 15 to 18, 1880. they suffered little inconvenience; the residence was situated in a creek bottom back a short distance from the bluffs, and being thus protected was not so easily affected by the cold winds. The blizzard of January 12, 1888, in which so many lives were lost in the great northwest, found them in their stone house, built in the summer of 1881; and thus housed and protected, with plenty of fuel at hand, howling winds could not affright them.
Grasshoppers devastated this region six or seven years, and Mr. Buhrow suffered with the rest, but only two or three years did they lose everything by the devouring pests. So bad were they some seasons, that trees were denuded of hark, as well as leaves and killed. Deer and antelope were frequently seen in the early days, and two elk passed within sight of Mr. Buhrow one spring; antelope were frequently seen grazing with the cattle.
For several years wheat bread was seldom seen. Mrs. Buhrow being ill, a supply was secured from Ponca, as above recounted. Although the usual diet of cornbread was distasteful to her, when the children cried for the wheaten loaves she divided it with them when the father was away from the house; he always punished them for asking when he was at home. For one whole year they lived on cornbread, having little else on the table but that and milk; even the garden
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by T&C Miller, P Ebel, P Shipley, L Cook