vegetables failed to mature that year. Their only substitute for coffee was parched rye.
But hardships in those days fell lightly upon them. Youth and hope buoyed them up, and the ever present thought of better times coming helped the dreary days to glide swiftly by and leave no impress but in memory.
William Alexander, who resides on the county poor farm, is one of the enterprising and prosperous agriculturists of Howard county, Nebraska. He is numbered among the very earliest homesteaders of Fairdale precinct, Howard county, which was his home from 1871 until he became superintendent of the Howard county farm.
Mr. Alexander was born in Clinton county, Iowa, October 14, 1849, and received his early education in that state. He was married there December 21, 1869, to Maggie Coottey, who is a native of Kenosha county, Wisconsin, and the fifth member in a family of six. On May 8, 1871, our subject and his wife and one child, in company with Thomas Coottey wife and one child, and Nicholas Coottey, started by wagon through the country for Buffalo county, Nebraska. On reaching this state they changed their plans and stopped in Boone county, spending one week there, and not being favorably impressed with the country turned around and started back for Iowa. They journeyed as far as the Indian village Genoa, situated on the Loup river, where they met Major North, a government scout. He persuaded the party to follow up along the Loup river until coming to Howard county, which they did and reached the present location of the village of Elba. Here the three men of the party located pre-emption rights, proved up by commutation, and sold.
At the time of Mr. Alexander's coming into the county there was not an actual white settler on the north side of the Loup river. The south side was sprinkled with soldiers, and shortly afterwards five familes settled on the Loup river bottom lands. In 1874 our subject homesteded on sections twenty-seven and twenty-eight, township fifteen, range eleven, which is known at the present time as the Moffitt Creek ranch, and is a valuable tract. His first trip to Grand Island for supplies after coming here, was made under strenuous difficulties, necessitating the fording of the Loup river, and after obtaining his goods at the only store the place then afforded, started on his return trip. He had a wagon load of furniture provisions, etc., and on arriving at the river, was obliged to ask assistance of the Soldiers in crossing, but finally arrived at home safely and with his load intact.
Mr. Alexander was the only child of his parents, and never saw his father, as he had died shortly before his birth. His mother came to Howard county after he had settled here, and her death occurred in August, 1899. Both Mrs. Alexander's parents are dead.
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander have raised a large family, twelve chlidren [sic] in all, and eight are now living, namely: William C., who is ex-sheriff of Howard county; George F. who has the honor to be the first white boy born in the county, and now resides in Elba with his family; Nicholas J., Maggie, Alva H., Grover C., Warren H., and Raymond S. All are married excepting the three last mentioned, and are held in high esteem as worthy and enterprising citizens of their respective localities.
Our subject has had a wide experience in pioneer life in Nebraska as well as Iowa, and is widely known, in past years filling numerous local precinct offices. He now is active superintendent of the Howard county farm, having been appointed to that position in March, 1907. His home is on the farm which he operates.
SAMUEL R. McFARLAND.
Samuel R. McFarland who is among the old settlers in northeastern Nebraska, is a man of exceptional ability and superior intelligence, and has made for himself an enviable reputation by his honest and energetic labors, and enjoys the esteem and confidence of his fellowman.
Mr. McFarland was born in Clinton county, Indiana, October 31, 1862, and was third of eight children in the family of Alexander and Elizabeth McFarland, both natives of Indiana.
Alexander McFarland and family of wife, three sons and two daughters, came to Stanton county, Nebraska, October 11, 1868, taking up a homestead about four miles northwest of Stanton, coming overland by team and wagon; a small Indiana colony of six or seven families coming in together and becoming pioneer settlers of Stanton county. Samuel R. McFarland, subject of this sketch, received his education in the common schools of Stanton county, and in his seventeenth year practically went out for himself as a farm boy.
On March 9, 1882, Mr. McFarland was married to Miss Hannah P. Bowman at the home of her parents, Edward and Nancy Bowman, who came to Stanton county in 1880, and both now being deceased. Mr. and Mrs. McFarland have three children: Nancy Elizabeth, a teacher in the public schools of Madison, Nebraska; Clarence H., who teaches in district schools of Madison county; and Walter R., a stenographer.
Mr. Mcfarland remained on the home farm until 1882, and in the meantime taught three winter terms of school and learned the printers' trade during the summer months. In 1887 in connection with his brother James J., he went into the newspaper business, editing the "Pilger Review," selling same in about six months, and then went to work for his brother on the "Stan-
ton Democrat," and was in the newspaper field of work until 1889, when he owned and operated a dray and transfer line in Stanton; and in 1891 again returned to the newspaper work. In 1893 Mr. McFarland became connected with a fraternal insurance company as field representative. In the fall of 1894 he became a resident of Norfolk, Nebraska, and went to work for H. E. Hardy, coal dealer of Norfolk, and remained with Mr. Hardy until 1905. During the years prior to 1905 Mr. McFarland was elected city clerk of Norfolk and re-elected for five successive terms. In the spring of 1905 Mr. McFarland enraged in the real estate, insurance and loan business, and in January of 1906 became deputy county clerk of Madison county under George E. Richardson, and in the fall of 1909 was nominee of the republican party for county clerk of Madison county, and was elected by a fine majority. Mr. McFarland is still a young man and since his sixth year has been a resident of Nebraska. He has held positions of responsibilty, and has been at all times an advocate for advancement along lines for the betterment of political, educational, and social issues. The McFarland family are all interested in educational and moral questions, and live in a pleasant home in Madison, where they have the respect and warm friendship of a large circle of friends.
JOHN O. TAYLOR.
John O. Taylor, a widely known and popular citizen of Custer county, Nebraska, has for many years been identified with the various interests and upbuilding of the county and state, and is a prosperous and successful man of affairs. He is now serving acceptably as postmaster of Berwyn, and owns six hundred acres of fine farming land, most of which is under cultivation. He was born at Columbia, Wisconsin, next to the youngest of seven children born to Ole and Julia Taylor. There are two daughters living in Minnesota and others of the children are deceased. The father was a native of Norway and came to America in 1842. He removed from Wisconsin to Iowa, where the children were reared, and later he removed to Minnesota dying in the northern part of that state in January, 1894. His wife died in Minnesota in 1873.
In childhood John O. Taylor accompained the rest of the family to Minnesota, where he was educated and grew to manhood on a farm. In 1874 he went west and spent about one year traveling along the Pacific coast, then engaged in the agricultural implement business. He was married in Fillmore county, Minesota [sic], November 28, 1876, to Caroline Chilson, a native of Dane county, Wisconsin, and they made their first home in Minnesota. In the spring of 1879 they brought their little daughter with them to Custer county, and pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land in Round Valley and also secured a timber claim of one hundred and sixty acres, Mr. Taylor establishing the postoffice in the valley in January, 1880, serving as its first postmaster.
In August, 1880, Mr. Taylor secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land, comprising the northwest quarter of section seventeen, township sixteen, range nineteen, and there lived about six years. In 1886 he came to Berwyn and established a store, selling his business interests in 1893, when he purchased a large stock and grain farm on section seven, township sixteen, range nineteen, which is still the home place, although in 1907 Mr. Taylor repurchased the former business location in Berwyn and again engaged in general mercantile business. In December, 1909, he had the misfortune to lose his building and stock by fire, the loss amounting to some ten thousand dollars in all. He rebuilt the following spring and now owns the largest mercantile establishment in the town and carries a large and well selected stock of up-to-date goods. He is well established in the confidence of the community and is respected as a man of business integrity and ability. He has always taken an active interest in public affairs. In 1884 he was elected county supervisor and served one term in this office. In 1896 he served as delegate from the sixth congressional district to the national convention which convened in St. Louis, June 16th, and nominated William McKinley for president. He took the first census of the town of Broken Bow and served as the first assessor of Broken Bow township. He is one of the few who retain the ownership of the original homestead, and he now lives on his farm near Berwyn.
Nine children were born to Mr. Taylor and wife: Julia married (first) Edward Bryant, by whom she had three children, and she is now the wife of John Harley, of Custer county; Carl O., a merchant at Merna; Fred I., of Berwyn, is married and has one child; Stephen L. and Gust C., at home; Ella, wife of N. G. Morgan, lives in Montana; Herman E., Nora and Ora, at home.
For few men is there a more universal kindly feeling than for the venerable Henry Stamer, now conducting a flour and feed store in Spencer, Nebraska.
He was born in the village of Oldenberg, Holstein province, Germany, August 26, 1836, and lived the first score of years in his native village. In emigrating to America, he embarked at Hamburg in July, 1856 on the sailship "Deutchland" and although the passage was not a stormy one, head winds delayed them and it was fifty-four days before a landing was made in New York. He came directly west to Davenport, crossing from Rock Island on the ferry, the bridge not hav-
ing been constructed at that time. A farmer living ten miles west of town gave him work and here he remained for nine months. The next year and a half he did farm work in Benton county, and bought three yoke of oxen and broke prairie for the settlers two seasons, working with a threshing crew the other months of the year. In the spring of 1861 he sold his oxen, bought a team of horses and eighty acres of Benton county and to which he later added one hundred and twenty acres adjoining. He married in the meanwhile, and for eight years lived on his farm here.
In 1869 he sold and moved to Crawford county, bought eighty acres of land and farmed it thoroughly for eight or nine years before migrating to Adams county, Nebraska, in January, 1878. He worked at the carpenter's trade on first coming to Nebraska, living in the country southeast of Hastings the while. Later he leased a half section and farmed three years before coming to Boyd county in 1891. Here he filed on a homestead four and a half miles northeast of where Spencer now stands; later he added a quarter section to his holdings and farmed here until 1902, when he retired. For two years he lived with a son until the mother recovered from an attack of rheumatism, and in 1904 moved to town. Four years later he opened a flour and feed store in which he has developed a comfortably large trade.
Henry Stamer is a son of Martin and Elizabeth (Suchsdorf) Stamer, both of whom died when the boy was quiet young, the father in 1843, and the mother three years later.
Mr. Stamer was married in Iowa, August 26, 1861, to Miss Sophia Doebel, who had been a schoolmate in their childhood. Her father settled in Benton county soon after his immigration in 1857. Of their children, four survive. They are: Elizabeth, wife of Adolph Roseberg of Crawford county, Iowa; Herman, who is living on a claim in Tripp county, South Dakota; Henry, who makes his home in Clay county, Nebraska and Fredrika, widow of Claus Smith, is on a claim in Tripp county, South Dakota.
Mr. Stamer is a democrat in politics, and a member of the Lutheran church, their congregation having a house of worship a few miles north of town.
At the time of the blizzard of January 12, 1888, Mr. Stamer was attending a meeting of the board of county commissioners of Adams county, of which he was a member, and had just departed from the poor farm for home when the storm struck. The company with difficulty returned at once to the farm two miles distant and remained for the night. The fourteen-mile ride home the next day in the cold and deep snow was a trip to be long remembered for its discomfort and suffering.
Mr. Stamer lived four years in a "soddy" on first coming to Boyd county. The small amount of lumber used had to be hauled from O'Neill or Niobrara, nearly fifty miles. There was good timber on his land, so fuel was plentiful, a condition to be desired in the west. A prairie fire in November, 1892, came near proving fatal to Mr. Stamer. It swept down from the north and came so suddenly there was little chance for escape, and he ran to a small creek and lay down in the water until the flames swept over and the smoke blew away, when he crossed the smouldering, blackened waste to his home. Mr. Stamer was one of the earliest craftsmen of Boyd county, and erected for R. Roller the first house built in Spencer.
Though there were many hardships and many privations in the opening of the west, most every pioneer fervently declares that those were the happiest days of his life; though such is the disposition of Mr. Stamer that all are happy days.
Mr. Fred Uehling of Bloomfield, is truly one of the pioneers of the state of Nebraska, having been a resident of the state since the fourth of July, 1864. On that day his father, John Uehling, settled in Dodge county, four and a half miles north of where Hooper now stands. Omaha, seventy miles distant, was the nearest trading town and the trip took nearly a week in going and coming. His was one of nine families who migrated across the country from Wisconsin, their calvacade consisting of eleven teams; some owning horses, some oxen.
John Uehling was a native of Saxony, as was the mother, Elizabeth Toutfetter. The former died in the spring 1885, at the age of eighty-six, and the latter in July, 1880, at the age of sixty-eight. They came to America in 1852 in a sailship, embarking at Hamburg. After a voyage of fourteen weeks, they landed in New York and came direct to Wisconsin, settling in Dodge county in 1852. Here he farmed for twelve years, until migrating to Nebraska. He was in better circumstances than most of his neighbors, having two wagons drawn by a yoke of oxen and team of horses. He had started with four oxen, but traded for horses on the way. The father homesteaded a quarter section and bought two hundred and forty acres additional, and here he lived until his death, as above stated, in the spring of 1885. The son Fred, was running the farm at the time, the father having retired. The mother's death had occurred five years before, while visiting with her daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Wagner of Dodge county.
Fred Uehling was born in Dodge county, Wisconsin, June 29, 1853; his eleventh birthday was celebrated in Iowa on the way to the west. Mr. Uehling began his own business career farming his father's land until 1882, when he moved to Scribner, the father at the time making his
home with another son. In Scribner, Mr. Uehling engaged in the furniture, and implement business.
In 1881 he moved to Oakland, and opened a meat market in which he was engaged for nine years. Under the firm name of Holmquist and Company, he entered the grain and lumber business in 1892, selling in 1900 to come to Wausa. Here he built a mill and elevator, which in 1901 he traded for a farm in Knox county and moved to Wisner.
In the spring of 1902 he came to Bloomfield and opened a lumber yard and also a bank; he erected a business block on the main street, and for a few years engaged in the hardware business. In 1909 he traded the stock of goods for a farm, and on May 20, 1909, sold his interest in the bank, retiring to private life. He now gives personal attention to his landed estates and town property keeping them in good repair and occupied by thrifty tenants. As a business man and manager, Mr. Uehling is a pronounced success. What he has, was accumulated by his own effort, and invested in a safe and profitable way under his own judgment.
Mr. Uehling was married in Dodge county, November 3, 1877 to Miss Marie Kruger, a native of Mechlenburg, Germany, daughter of Joachin Kruger, who emigrated to America in 1868. Mr. and Mrs. Uehling have six children, namely: Ina, wife of W. H. Bosse, of Meadow Grove, Nebraska; Feodor, in business in Omaha; Emil, Fred, Henrietta, wife of George Bloodhart, a merchant of Bloomfield and Dorothy.
Mr. Uehling is a democrat in politics, and a member of the Lutheran church. He holds membership in both the Woodmen of America and the Woodmen of the World.
During the first two years of their life in Nebraska, the Uehling family occupied a dugout, building material being scarce as were also money, and provisions. They had a cow, so enjoyed milk and butter. A mill on Logan creek ground their scant supply of wheat. The many blizzards that swept the plains are well remembered. Mr. Uehling was living at Oakland at the time of the blizzard of January 12, 1888. Mrs. Uehling, in attempting to get the children at school was herself lost for a time on her way home.
Deer and antelope were plentiful when the family setled [sic] in Dodge county, and wild turkeys were still to be found, Mr. Uehling having bagged many of them in his hunting days. They have seen hailstorms of the worst kind, one of them having come since the family has been living in their present house; in the country they have seen hail blown into hollows two feet deep.
Mr. Uehling is one of the substantial men of Nebraska, self-made, self-reliant and self-sustaining. Of such is the best blood of the community and the bulwark of the state.
Judson Kay is one of the oldest settlers of Custer county, Nebraska, and helped erect the first house in the city of Broken Bow. He is well known in various circles, and is one of the popular citizens of the region. He is a native of Owen county, Indiana, born October 1, 1854, next to the youngest of six children in the family of William and Elizabeth (Barnes) Kay. He has a brother, Carey W., in Oklahoma, a sister, Mrs. Ann Cosner, living in Indiana, and three of the children are deceased. The father and mother were natives of Pennsylvania, the latter born in Beaver county, that state, and both died in Indiana, he in 1880 and she in 1878. The father was of German descent.
Mr. Kay reached manhood on his father's farm in Indiana and after receiving an excellent common school education, attended DePauw University, at Greencastle, for two years, after which he took a course in Green university, in Hendricks county, Indiana, in 1873, after which he spent six months studying medicine with Dr. J. A. Osborn, at New Winchester, Indiana. However, finding the profession unsuited to his tastes, he withdrew from its study and engaged in farming, in which line he has been very successful. On November 1, 1874, at Stilesville, Indiana, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary E. Ludlow, a native of the state, and they spent several years in Indiana.
In September, 1880, Mr. Kay came west in search of a suitable location and joined his brother, Carey W., at what is now Broken Bow, Nebraska, the latter having come to the state in 1879. They came to Custer county and each took up a homestead, Carey W. filing on one hundred and sixty acres of land in the geographical center of the county, and Judson secured the southwest quarter of section eighteen, township sixteen, range nineteen. During the first two weeks the two brothers spent in the county they slept with a Cherokee Indian in a little dog tent, which was pitched on the spot where the Burlington railroad company has located its well in Broken Bow. Mrs. Kay and two daughters followed the husband and father and secured a timber claim, of one hundred and sixty acres on section twelve, township sixteen, range twenty, and Mr. Kay has set eleven acres of land in various kinds of trees, which have flourished well, and there are now many large trees of splendid growth, some of them three feet in diameter. In 1886 they moved to the timber claim and Mr. Kay erected the first frame house in Muddy Valley. In 1881 he had helped organize what is now known its school district number twenty-four, being first teacher there, and he served eleven years as director.
In 1894 Mr. Kay and family came to Broken Bow, in order to secure better educational ad-
vantages for their children, and purchased the comfortable home where they still live. Mr. Kay is engaged in the stock business and has also built up a good patronage as an auctioneer. He still owns his original homestead, being one of the few who have done so. Three children were born to him and his wife: Clara died in infancy; Zoe married William Bruce, of Broken flow, and they have one child; Madge is professor of mathematics in the state agricultural college at Manhattan, Kansas. Mr. Kay has been closely identified with the progress and growth of his county and has always had great faith in the state's future. He has had many interesting and unique experiences and is now a successful man of business. He owns four hundred and eighty acres of well improved and well equipped grain and stock farm land and also has city property. He helped erect the first house in Broken Bow, as before mentioned, this being put up on the spot now occupied by the Realty block. He was a member of the first grand jury of Custer county, under Judge Savage, and has been a member of every agricultural society ever organized in the county. For the past twenty years he has been affiliated with the Blue Lodge of the A. F. and A. M. of Broken Bow, and he is also a member of the M. B. A.
When a post-office was established in what is now the city, several suggestions had been sent to the government as to what name should be given it, but all had been rejected. Mr. Kay and his family stopped at Wilson Hewett's shop, where the latter was making a plow for Mr. Kay. They espied some wild geese on a creek near by, and Mr., Hewett took his gun and shot at them, killing one. While stopping to pick up the goose, Mr. Hewett found a broken Indian bow, which he carried back to the four men in his shop, suggesting to them that the name of the new postoffice be "Broken Bow." They all felt sure this name would be accepted, and so it was. The four men, to whom Mr. Hewett brought the bow, were as follows: C. D. Pelham and Jesse Garringer, both now deceased; C. W. and Judson Kay. The historic bow was preserved many years by the Hewett family, but one rainy morning, when no dry kindling could be found with which to start the fire, Miss Hastings (at that time a member of the Hewett household) broke it up, and used it to start the fire.
Anton Bushelman, a prominent farmer and old settler of Knox county, Nebraska, resides on his fine farm in section fifteen, township thirty-one, range two. He is the owner of four hundred and forty acres of land, which he has accumulated through dint of his honest industry and persistent labor, supplemented by good management and strict integrity. Mr. Bushelman is a man of successful endeavor, and is one of the substantial citizens and favorably known residents of his locality.
Mr. Bushelman is a native of Germany, where his birth occurred in Oldenburg province in 1848. He is a son of Fredlian and Catherine (Cherlreng) Bushelman, who are both natives of Germany. Our subject grew to his young manhood in his native country receiving a good education, and later learning the carpenter's trade. He also was a sailor, and cruised along the coasts of both the East and West Indies, and along the coast of China.
In 1866, Mr. Bushelman left the fatherland to come to the new world, of which he had heard such flattering accounts. He embarked on the steamship "Idaho," sailing by way of Hull and Liverpool to New York. After landing in the United States, Mr. Bushelman set his face westward, landing in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he worked at his trade of carpentry for six years. He then, in 1872, started for the far west, as Nebraska and surrounding territory was called in those days, going to Yankton, South Dakota, where he bought an ox team, and drove to his homestead in Cedar county, Nebraska. On this land he built a sod house, but did not prove up on his claim, and, after abandoning it, Mr. Bushelman proceeded to Knox county, Nebraska, in 1884, and bought the land where he now lives Here, in the first days of settlement, our subject went through the many vicissitudes and hardships incident to the pioneer days of the western frontier. The grasshoppers were the greatest source of discouragement to the new settler in that region, and the first two years of Mr. Bushelman's residence on his farm were years of failure, as the grasshoppers destroyed every spear of vegetation to be seen anywhere around, and these pests were only one of the many sources of discomfort to contend with in those days. At that period, coffee and sugar were luxuries. But those days have passed to history, and Mr. Bushelman now owns four hundred and forty acres of fine land, well improved, ten acres of which is given to trees, and he and his family enjoy all the comforts of modern farm life.
Mr. Bushelman was married in 1891 to Miss Gusta Olson, and they are the parents of six children, namely: Anna, Lizzie, Elmer, Margaret, Elsie and Alfred. They are a fine family, and enjoy the good will and esteem of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Mr. Bushelman is a democrat in politics, and a member of the Catholic church, while his family hold membership in the Lutheran church.
May 3, 1911, Mr. Bushelman had the misfortune to have his sleeve catch in the corn sheller, with the result that his left hand and arm were; drawn into the machine, necessitating amputation four inches below the elbow.
J. P. HAMMERBACK.
J. P. Hammerback, one of the old settlers of the region where he chose his home in the early days, occupies a good home and valuable property in section nineteen, township thirty-two, range two, Knox county, Nebraska. He has done his full share in the upbuilding of his locality, and is well and favorably known throughout this part of the state.
Mr. Hammerback is, a native of Sweden, where he was born in the year 1842, a son of P. E. and Stena Hammerback, both of whom are natives of Sweden. Our subject grew to manhood years in his native land, and in 1870 came to America. Upon his arrival in the new world, he remained in New York City, where he first landed, living there some time, then coming on to Moline, Illinois, where he was employed in the plow factory.
In 1887, Mr. Hammerback came to Knox county, Nebraska, and bought the land where he now lives, which, as before stated, is located in section nineteen, township thirty-two, range two, and which, and through Mr. Hammerback's efforts and industry, has reached a high state of improvement and cultivation.
Mr. Hammerback was united in marriage in 1868 to Miss Johanna Larson, and Mr. and Mrs. Hammerback have been the parents of live children three of whom are living: Gust, John and Matilda.
Mr. and Mrs. Hammerback are highly respected and esteemed by all who know them, and are surrounded in their pleasant home by a host of warm and admiring friends and acquaintances.
Joseph Schlipf, one of the early settlers and prosperous farmers of Boone county, Nebraska, is now retired from active labor, and makes his home in Petersburg, where he enjoys a comfortable home and pleasant surroundings.
Mr. Schlipf was born in Germany on January 14, 1842. He grew up in that country, and came to America in 1866, locating first in Columbus, Ohio. He remained there for about two years, then moved to near Circleville, Ohio, and later went to Illinois, where he followed farming for several years.
In 1882, he came to Nebraska, purchased a quarter section of land from the railroad, situated two miles northwest of where Petersburg now stands, and began to develop a farm. During the first years here, he saw hard times, but gradually became prosperous, and is now proprietor of a fine-improved half section of farm land, also some good town property In 1900, he retired from active farm life, and settled in Petersburg.
Mr. Schlipf was united in marriage on February 16, 1873, to Miss Katherine Diemer, who is also a native of Germany. The ceremony took place in El Paso, Illinois, where they lived for several years prior to coming to Nebraska. To them have been born the following children: George, Mary, Katherine, Josephine and John, all well known in their home vicinity.
JOHN G. FICHTER.
John G. Fichter, who died January 19, 1911, deeply mourned by friends and family, was one of the leading agriculturists of Madison county, Nebraska, a resident of section twenty-nine, township twenty-two, range three, where he had improved a large farm, and enjoyed the comforts of rural life. He was a man of industrious habits, and was held in the highest esteem by his associates. He was widely known in his locality as a worthy citizen and progressive farmer, and occupied a pleasant home in School Craft precinct.
Mr. Fichter was a native of New Jersey, in which state he was born on August 21, 1845, a son of Gabriel and Elizabeth (Ward) Fichter, who also claimed New Jersey for their native state. Our subject's grandfather on the father's side came from Germany in 1700, making the voyage by sailboat, and, after landing on American shores, settled in New Jersey. He was an iron worker by occupation when he lived in Germany, and after coming to the United States, followed blacksmithing.
In 1890, Mr. Fichter, our subject, came to Madison county, Nebraska, where he bought the Jud Fichter homestead, and steadily improved same until he had a good farm and fine home, where, at the time of his death, he and his family were surrounded by a host of good friends and acquaintances.
Mr. Fichter experienced many discouragements and suffered severe losses during his residence on the western frontier, and, among other disappoinments [sic], suffered the loss of the entire season's crops in 1894 by the hot winds that destroyed every spear of vegetation of all kinds. This was due to the terrible drouth that came upon this part of the country during that year.
On December 19, 1866, Mr. Fichter was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Gordon, a native of New Jersey, and daughter of Charles and Emma (Case) Gordon, who are natives of New Jersey. To Mr. and Mrs. Fichter were born six fine children: Irene, Joseph, James, John H., Fred and Charles G. The family is well and favorably known, and enjoys the respect and esteem of all who know them, and their friends are many.
GEORGE W. SIMMS.
George W. Simms is one of the most prominent farmers in Custer county among the younger generation. He is a patriotic son of Nebraska, who has, since early youth, been interested in the welfare and prosperity of the state. He has lived in Custer county for more than a quarter of a century, and as an educator won a very creditable reputation. He belongs to one of the oldest families of his region, and is a representative of all old southern family that has had a high standing in North Carolina for many generations back. He is one of, the two children born to Isaac Newton and Clarinda (Chilson) Simms, the father a native of Knox county, Illinois, and the mother of Warren county, Iowa. The family came to Custer county in 1883, and have since resided there. Their ancestors are given mention in connection with the sketch of the father, which appears in this work. They are well known throughout their part of the county as being representative of the best interests of their community. Their son, George W., was born in Shawnee county, Kansas, January 5, 1875, and at the time his parents came to Custer county, he was nine years of age. He received his primary education in Custer county, and attended the agricultural college of Kansas five terms, also took a course in the Grand Island Business Collage, graduating therefrom in 1893, and starting out in life on his own account when he reached his majority. He taught school in 1894 and 1895, and carried on farming a few years. During the year 1897 and 1898, he taught the Dunning school in Blaine county, then until 1902 gave his attention to farming and stock raising. In 1902, he took a position as principal of the Anselmo schools, but at the end of the year, returned to the farm.
Mr. Simms was married, December 20, 1905, to Edith B. Ross, daughter of Robert D. and Ida Belle (Merchant) Ross, a native of Custer county. Mr. Ross, who was born in Iowa, came to Custer county with his parents in 1874. Mrs. Ross is a native of Ohio, a daughter of Isaac and Nancy (Kaylor) Merchant, who came to Custer county in 1874.
George W. Simms is one of Custer county's most enterprising and progressive young men, and has, since his majority, been closely identified with the development and improvement of his county and state. In his ninth year he herded stock on the plains of Custer county, and early, demonstrated his ability as a business man and farmer. He has always been much interested in educational affairs, and has been the friend of progress in all forms. He now resides on the northeast quarter of section nine, township nineteen, range twenty-one, where he has a well-improved stock and grain farm, and he owns five hundred acres of choice land in Custer county, besides having other land interests.
He and his wife have one child, Paul Delmar.
C. T. ANSON.
In compiling a list of the representative farmers and ranchmen of Antelope county, Nebraska, a prominent place is accorded the name of C. T. Anson. For many years he has been engaged in agricultural pursuits in Sherman precinct, and has done his full share as an old settler towards the development of the better interests of the community, and enjoys the respect and esteem of all who know him. Mr. Anson has a comfortable home on section one, township twenty-eight, range eight, and is the owner of eleven hundred and eighty acres of good land in sections three and four, and also rents twenty-one hundred acres of Mr. B. C. Buxton.
Mr. Anson was born in Union county, Oregon, February 8, 1864. His father, William George Anson, was born in England, coming to America when he was twelve years of age. Our subject's mother, Harriett (Blair) Anson, was born in Ohio, and her father was a native of New Foundland. Mr. Anson came to Antelope county, March 4, 1883, from Buchanan, Iowa. When he landed in this region he had but a few dollars, and as soon as possible, Mr. Anson taught school for twenty dollars per month, saving enough from his salary to purchase land, this land being a pre-emption claim, which had been taken up by Mr. Ben Wade, from whom Mr. Anson purchased his land.
March 7, 1886, Mr. Anson was united in marriage to Miss Henrietta Whitmore, and two children were born of this union: William S., who married Gladys Carson, and Octavia. Mrs. Anson died in the year of 1895, deeply mourned by her husband and family, and many kind neighbors and friends In 1896, Mr. Anson was again married, his bride being Miss Ervie Strope. This union has been blessed with four children, named as follows: Charles, deceased; Hilda, Adeline, and George.
In the year of 1888, during the memorable blizzard, Mr. Anson's present wife's grandfather, Mr. Gearey, was lost and frozen to death in the storm.
Mr. Anson has always taken an active interest in public affairs, and was elected by his constituents to the office of postmaster at Glenalpin, which he held and satisfactorily filled for eight years. Mr. Anson has a beautiful home, and the farm is known as Glenalpin Ranch. This is one of the finest ranches in Nebraska. It is fully equipped with all modern improvements, several new concrete barns having just been completed, all the material for the work having been taken from his own place, with the exception of the cement. He has at present about six hundred head of cattle, sixty horses and colts, and about three hundred head of Duroc Jersey hogs. A picture of the ranch buildings will be found on another page.
Mr. Anson is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Politically he is an independent republican.
Ranch Buildings of C. T. Anson.
JOHN N. BRANDENBURG.
John N. Brandenburg, of Broken Bow, is one of the earlier settlers of Custer county, and is well regarded as an enterprising and public-spirited citizen, who is actively interested in every measure for the betterment and development of his community. Mr. Brandenburg is a native of Darke county, Ohio, born July 18, 1834, a son of Jacob and Jane (Freel) Brandenburg. He was one of a large family, but he and his brother, William, of Indiana, are now the only survivors. The father was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, of German parentage, and the mother, a native of Greene county, Ohio, was of Scotch-Irish extraction. He died in Ohio about 1854, and the mother died in Indiana in 1861.
Mr. Brandenburg grew to manhood on a farm in his native state, received his education principally in subscription schools, and when about twenty years of age, went to Indiana and worked at farming. Later he purchased land for himself, and engaged in farming on his own account. On August 26, 1858, he was united in marriage, in Grant county, Indiana, with Miss Frances Allen, a native of that state, and after living more than thirty years of their wedded life in Indiana, they came, in January, 1893, to Custer county. He secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land near Merna, and also purchased eighty acres of land adjoining. This was the home place until September, 1909, when Mr. Brandenburg sold his farming interests, and came to Broken Bow, where he erected his present modern residence. While living on the farm, he served some time as moderator of the school board of district number seventy-seven, and was actively interested in education and other measures for the improvement of the community.
Nine children were born to Mr. Brandenburg and wife, namely: Henry A., is married, and lives eight miles northwest of Broken Bow; William C., of Custer county, whose wife died in 1895, has one child; Thomas E., of Indiana, has six children, Elizabeth, wife of O. J. Life, of Bridgeport, has three children; Charles M., living near Merna, has five children; Franklin W., lives east of Merna, and he and his wife have two children: Emma M., wife of Jesse Small, of Oklahoma, has one child; Lucy E., wife of Merritt Gordon, living near Merna, has two children; Clayton P., of Iowa, has two children. Mr. Brandenburg is well and favorably known, in the county, and, besides good city property, owns some farming land in Oklahoma.
Mrs. Brandenburg's father, John Allen, was a native of Tennessee, and died in Iowa, and her mother, whose maiden name was Rachel Newby, was a native of Jackson county, Indiana, and died in Iowa. Mrs. Brandenburg has a sister in Iowa, one in Indiana, and one, Mrs. Esther McCracken, in Broken Bow.
FRANK L. SIREK.
It is often said that the romance of real life exceeds that of fiction, and this saying is fitly illustrated in the life of the gentleman above mentioned, who makes his home in Plainview, Nebraska.
Frank L. Sirek is a native of Ceska Trebova, province of Bohemia, born April 1, 1857. His father was the owner of a number of large bakeries and tenement buildings in the heart of that city. He gave his son every advantage wealth could furnish, educating him in music, science and the liberal arts. He was graduated from the University of Prague, took a long theological. course, and was ordained a priest in the Catholic church at Prague, filling a pulpit for two years in the old country.
In 1875, Mr. Sirek came to America, remaining for a time in Chicago and Milwaukee, and was assigned by Bishop Hennesy to the church in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. After fulfilling his pastoral duties for a time, he felt the call of the world too strongly, so gave up his charge, abandoned the ministry, and entered secular life. Returning to the old country, he felt it his mission to preach against the established government and church, for which he had to flee the country.
He came to Omaha in 1885, became editor of a Bohemian paper in partnership with two other men, who attempted to control the policies of the paper, while Mr. Sirek was expected to bear all the responsibilities for its success, so he resigned, and went to Schuyler. After a short stay in the latter place, he came to Pierce, was married there, and removed with his young wife to Wilber, Saline county, clerking in a drug store there for four years. Friends persuaded him to return to Pierce and accept the office of deputy under County Treasurer Carl Kurth, and in three months he had lost all his savings and his salary in the defalcation of his principal. He left the town, and came to Plainview, securing employment with the Chicago Lumber Company, and from 1888 to 1908, continued in the work, losing scarcely a day from duty. In the latter year he retired from active work, and has gathered together sufficient of this world's goods to enable him to pass his remaining years in comfort.
Mr. Sirek's wife was Miss Anna Synovec, a native of Gage county, Nebraska, and daughter of Frank Synovec, of Bohemia. He came to America in 1866, embarking at Hamburg in a sailing vessel, enduring a voyage filled with hardships, lasting nineteen days. His first location was in Milwaukee, where he was an expert machinist in a brewery. Later he removed to Ne-
braska, where he engaged in farming for fifteen years. He became a large land owner here, and died on his estate, near Pierce, on May 2, 1898.
Mr. and Mrs. Sirek are the parents of seven children, who are named as follows: Jennie, is the wife of Frank Tepner, who served as city marshal of Plainview for several years; Libbie, wife of Tony Dominice; Lumer, the eldest son, lived on a farm west of the town one year, and then resumed his old place in the track department of the Northwestern railroad; he was a foreman of the section while in his eighteenth year, and, so far as known, was the youngest section foreman in the United States; he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. The four younger children, Alice, who graduated from the Plainview high school in 1911; Ladimer, Gerald, and Helen, who is still a baby. Altogether they form a most interesting family.
Mr. Sirek is an independent in politics, casting his ballot for the man he believes best fitted for the place, regardless of party.
In addition to the usual learning of the university, our subject has a reading, writing and speaking command of seven languages: Russian, Bohemian, German, French, English, Latin, and Greek, with a working knowledge of several of the Cerb tongues. In music his talent has been highly cultivated, enabling him to play most any instrument, also write and compose music as readily as others use script. His place should have been at the head of some university or conservatory had not fate cast his lot on the frontier.
CHARLES T. KENYON.
Charles T. Kenyon, one of the best known farmers of Howard county, Nebraska, owns a fine stock and grain farm of one thousand and forty acres, lying on the middle Loup river bottom, also three hundred and twenty acres situated a short distance to the west of this location, and one hundred and sixty acres in Sherman county. He raises fine crops of grain, also devotes considerable time and attention to the raising of Shorthorn cattle, of which he has one of the finest herds in western Nebraska. Mr. Kenyon is progressive and up-to-date in his method of farming, and his estate is among the most valuable in Howard county.
Mr. Kenyon was born in Chenango county, New York state, June 30, 1839, and is a son of Lucy and Manson Kenyon, the eldest in their family of five boys and one girl: Charles T. and Leland Kenyon, now living in Howard county; George E., of Grand Ledge, Michigan; and Adelbert, the latter now living in Kansas.
Charles remained in his home locality, following farming, until he was about twenty-one years of age, then went into Michigan, where he spent one year. He next worked for an uncle in McDonough county, Illinois, for two years, then went back to New York state, and was in the mail service for a number of years. He spent considerable time in traveling through the eastern states, and in 1873, together with his brother, Leland, came into Howard county, landing here on September 12. Both filed on homesteads, Charles being on section twelve, township fourteen, range twelve, and succeeded in building up a comfortable home and producting farm, occupying the place for about ten years, when he removed to section thirty, township thirteen, range eleven, which has been his home farm for about twenty-five years. He has a large part of his land under cultivation, and runs an extensive dairy, from which he derives a large income. Kenyon Siding, which is on a branch line, running from St. Paul to Loup City, of the Union Pacific railway, is located on his farm, making a good means of transportation for marketing stock, etc.
In June, 1886, Mr. Kenyon was united in marriage to Carrie H. Callen, at the home of her parents in Sherman county. Mrs. Kenyon is a native of Pennsylvania, the Callen family being also pioneers in western Nebraska. To Mr. and Mrs. Kenyon have been born three children, one of whom, Pearl, is living at home; one child, Amy, having died at four years of age, and Charles T., whose death occurred July 2, 1909.
During the early years, Mr. Kenyon held various offices in his township, serving as assessor of his precinct for a number, of years, also was county commissioner for one term.
JULIUS C. STAHL.
The gentleman whose name heads this review was, until recently, one of the well-to-do and progressive agriculturists of Knox county, Nebraska, who had succeeded in building up a valuable farm and home through hard labor and persistent efforts. He is a loyal Nebraskan, enthusiastic in his praise of this part of the state, considering it to be one of the finest farming countries to be found anywhere. Mr. Stahl resided, until recently, in section nine, township thirty, range three, where he and his family enjoy the highest esteem and resepct [sic] of all in the community. This home was the original homestead farm, on which Mr. Stahl and his bride first settled when coming to Nebraska.
Mr. Stahl is a native of Ohio, his birth occurring in 1866, and is a son of Charles and Louise (Dodez) Stahl, who had a family of seven children. Our subject's father was born in Germany in 1821, and at the age of six years, in 1827, he, with his parents, left his native land, embarking on a sailboat for the new world, being three months on the ocean. They landed in Philadelphia, and there our subject's grandfather bought a horse, and took his family in a one-horse cart to what is now Winesburg, Ohio, when that part of the country was known as the far west. There
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