SOREN M. SONDERUP.
Soren M. Sonderup was born in Denmark December 16, 1852, and came to America the latter part of May, 1872. He first located at DeWitt, Illinois, and lived there and at various other places in Illinois and adjoining states until 1876. January 31, 1876, he was married to Mary Jensen, who was born in Denmark and came to America in infancy with her parents. After his marriage, Mr. Sonderup started farming, and continued until he concluded to come west.
In the spring of 1885, together with his wife and four sons, Mr. Sonderup came into Howard county and purchased the southeast quarter of section two, township fifteen, range ten. This one hundred and sixty acres was the first original homestead taken up north of the river, and was purchased by Mr. Sonderup for two thousand dollars, a high price at that time. He engaged in farming and extensive stock raising, and has made a marked success, now owning over seven hundred acres of fine land. His three sons own over a section of adjoining land, and are all engaged in farming and stock raising. This entire firm is known as the Oak Grove Stock and Grain farm.
Two brothers and one sister of Mr. Sonderup joined him in Howard county, where one brother still resides; the other brother and sister are deceased. The parents of both Mr. and Mrs. Sonderup are deceased.
Mr. and Mrs. Sonderup have had four sons: Fred J., married and has two children, lives on a farm adjoining his father's land on the north; Walter P., at home; Hans L., married and has two children, lives on the farm to the south of his father's; and Carl O., who was accidently killed by a fall from a horse in 1903.
Mr. Sonderup was county commissioner of Howard county in 1903, 1904 and 1905, and has been a member of the school board in district number forty-two for twenty years. He and his family are widely known and are acknowledged leaders in the community.
JOSEPH KILPARTICK [sic].
Joseph Kilpatrick was born in County Armadh, Ireland, December 25, 1843, and was the third child in the family of Mathew and Sarah Kilpatrick, who had ten children. Of this family, Joseph Kilpatrick, the subject of this sketch, resides in Madison, Madison county, Nebraska. David lives in Iowa, William in Colorado, and Martha, married to William Antrem, lives in Iowa, they being the surviving members of the family.
Robert and Joseph Kilpatrick emigrated to Canada in June, 1864, and Joseph came to the United States in March, 1865, locating in Illinois and going to work for an uncle on his stock farms in Christian and adjoining counties. In the spring of 1868 he moved from Illinois to Iowa, going on a farm.
In February, 1879, Mr. Kilpatrick was united in marriage to Miss Addie Bixley, in Mills county, Iowa.
Mr. Kilpatrick first came to Madison county, Nebraska, in December, 1881, and purchased a farm, returning to Iowa the latter part of December. In February, 1882, he returned, bringing his wife to Madison county for permanent residence, and this county has been his home since that time.
Some years ago, he took up his residence in Madison, Nebraska. He started out in life with but a few dollars, and now has over one thousand acres of choice land in Madison county, and also land in adjoining counties. He is a forceful man, always assisting to uphold the law, and standing for advancement along educational, moral and religious lines, and is one of the solid men of Madison county.
Mr. and Mrs. Kilpatrick have one child, a daughter now attending college at Bellevue, Nebraska, a Presbyterian institution.
James McHenry, proprietor of the Plainview Roller Mills, has been familiar with Nebraska and the west for a period of upwards of fifty years. Few living today can go so far back into the past, when the west was an unbroken wilderness. Coming to Sioux City in the spring of 1857, when it was but a collection of a few small log huts, he entered the employ of Frost, Stoddard & Company, fur traders to the Dakotas, at a time when the country was closed to all not having a government permit to enter the region. While in their employ he traveled by river and overland as far as Fort Benton, buying furs from the Indians, taking supplies to their depot at Fort Randall, and bringing back furs purchased from the Indians, principally the Yankton, Sioux. The treaty with the Indians permitting whites in the county was signed April 13, 1858, by the Yankton Sioux. The southwest corner of the state was surveyed preparatory to settlement in 1859, Dakota and Dixons counties, Nebraska, having been surveyed by Dr. John K. Cook two years before.
Mr. McHenry remained in Nebraska until 1861, when on November 28 of that year, he was appointed chief wagon master under General John A. Logan, in the Third Division of the Thirteenth Army Corps, and later served in the Sixth division under General McArthur, of Chicago. Receiving his discharge in April, 1865, he returned to the west, and in 1868 learned milling at Vermillion, South Dakota, remaining there until 1876. In 1877 he came to Nebraska and built a sawmill near Jackson, Dakota county, which he
operated three years, and then moved to Wakefield, building a grist mill, which he ran until 1884.
Having purchased a farm near Emerson, Mr. McHenry cultivated the soil until 1900, when he sold his farm and moved to Plainview, building the mill and elevator which, with his son Thomas, he has been successfully running since that time. He has lately purchased a tract of land in South Dakota, and contemplates again adopting country life.
Mr. McHenry was born in St. Louis county, Missouri, in September, 1839, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James McHenry, Sr., who were both natives of the "Ould Sod." Our subject was reared near St. Louis, remaining there until coming into the west in 1857. He was familiar with Missouri during slavery days, and of southern Illinois when old Cahokia was a place of some importance, and all its inhabitants still clung to their quaint old customs of the early French habitat.
Mr. McHenry was married at Jackson, Nebraska, in May, 1865, to Mary Francis Jones, who was born in Cataraugus county, New York, a daughter of James and Ellen (Lynch) Jones, both natives of Ireland. To Mr. and Mrs. McHenry eight children were born, five of whom are living. They are: Ella; Kate, who married P.T. Flynn, of Anderson, Iowa; Thomas, who is his father's mainstay in the mill; Rose; and Edward, who is engaged in farming in South Dakota.
Mr. McHenry has always adhered to the principles of democracy, being a great admirer of the peerless leader of the party. He is, with all his family, a member of the Catholic church.
Few living men have seen so much of the primitive west as Mr. McHenry, his knowledge of it extending back to the days when the Indians had full possession of the plains, before the setters; wagons had pressed a track into the virgin prairie. He has passed through dangers of fire and flood, and has weathered many a wintry storm, at times being cut off from supplies and food for three days at a time. He has known the solitude of the wilderness when one might travel for weeks and months without seeing the face of a white man or hearing a word of his mother tongue. He became proficient in the language of the Sioux, and could parley with them without the aid of an interpreter. He has endured his share of hardships, and has well earned the competency he enjoys. He is seemingly as rugged as when he first braved the wilderness in his youth.
Michael Shonsey, the subject of this sketch, was born in Montreal, Canada, September 6, 1866, the second of six children. In 1869 the Shonsey family, consisting of the father and mother, two sons and one daughter, moved to Marion county, Ohio.
Mr. Shonsey lived in Marion county, Ohio, until the spring of 1880, when he went to Wyoming and located on the La Bonte, twenty- five miles south at Fort Fetterman. He was foreman for the Guthrie, Hord and Company cow outfit in Wyoming from 1880 until the spring of 1888. Mr. Shonsey first came to Nebraska in 1884 for the Guthrie, Hord and Company interests. In 1888 Mr. Shonsey left the Guthrie, Hord and Company Wyoming outfit, and went across the Platte river to the north side, and became foreman of the Lance Creek Cattle Company, going to the Carey C.Y. outfit at Caspar, Wyoming, as foreman, until the spring of 1891. He then went to Powder river, Johnston, county, Wyoming, taking charge of the E.K. outfit of the Western Union Beef Company, located at the "Hole in the Wall," (the Ex-governor Baxter outfit) and was in charge of the E.K. outfit until the spring of 1893.
In the spring of 1893, Mr. Shonsey came to Central City, Nebraska, becoming connected with the T.B. Hord Cattle and Grain Company. About 1895, in connection with T.B. Hord, he purchased the Howard Crill ranch, and since 1898, Mr. Shonsey has resided on this ranch. The ranch was known as the Wells and Hord Cattle Company until October, 1906, and since that time has been known as the Hord and Shonsey Cattle Company. There are seventeen hundred acres of deeded land in this ranch, which is located near Clarks, Nebraska, and they maintain an elevator at Clarks. They engaged in the farming and grain business, and feed about two thousand head of cattle a year. Mr. Shonsey has been in various ways connected with T.B. Hord in 1876, having come to Wyoming with Mr. Hord in 1880 and engaged in the cattle business. He is a western man of wide experience in cattle, and the old range days.
Mr. Shonsey was married to Miss Olive Sisler in O'Neil, Holt county, Nebraska, January 14, 1900, and four children have been born to them; John Harold, Michael Jerrald, Thomas Benton and Mary Edna Margaret. Mrs. Shonsey died November 11, 1906. November 14, 1907, Mr. Shonsey was married to Hannah L. Harris, at Columbus, Nebraska.
J. T. GREEN.
Prominent among the leading old settlers of Madison county, Nebraska, the gentleman whose name heads this personal history is entitled to a foremost place. His home is on section twenty-three, township twenty-three, range four. Mr. Green was born in Michigan in 1875. His father, E. B. Green, was born in Ohio, and his mother, Elizabeth Green, was born in New York.
In 1879 our subject with his parents came to Madison county, Nebraska, where they bought railroad land and built a frame house. In 1894
Mr. Green lost all his crops by the hot winds which made it hard for a young man starting to farm for himself. In 1897 Mr. Green was united in marriage to Miss Emma Denson; they are the parents of three children, Charles, Alfred, and Ernest.
Charles Robinson, retired farmer, is the oldest of eight children born to Thomas and Sarah Robinson, his birth occurring in Pennsylvania December 15, 1849. Two years later his parents moved to Rock Falls, Illinois, and our subject resided there until he was twenty-one years of age, receiving his education in Illinois, and later becoming interested in farming.
In the spring of 1870 Mr. Robinson came to Fremont, Nebraska, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of land, and engaged in farming and stock raising. In the spring of 1872 he located in Boone county, Nebraska, farming and buying and selling stock. He also loaned money.
On March 4, 1872, Mr. Robinson was united in marriage with Sarah Casell, of Scotland. Six children were born of this marriage, five of whom are living: Thomas Edward, married and living in Boone county, has one son; Fanny, who married Eck Burnside and has four children lives in Canada; Mary, who married Earnest Dufoe, lives in Boone county; Alice, deceased; William, who is married and has one son, lives in Boone county; Ethel, who married George De Lancey and has one daughter lives at Fort Morgan, Colorado. Mrs. Robinson died February 18, 1895.
On March 5, 1900, Mr. Robinson was married to Mrs. Mary De Lancy, of Iowa, who had seven children by her first marriage; Charles, deceased; Frederick, who is married and has five children, lives in Boone county; Raymond, at home; Edith, who married Fred Kayes and has three children, lives in Nance county; Ethel, who married Carl Babbitt and has four children, lives in Alliance, Nebraska; James E., who is married and lives in Albion, Boone county, Nebraska; George, who is married and has one child, lives in Colorado.
Mr. Robinson has one brother living in Greeley county, Nebraska, two brothers in California, one sister in Belgrade, Nebraska, and one brother and one sister deceased. His father died in 1901 at the advanced age of one hundred years, and his mother in 1898. The father was one of the King of England's soldier, entering the army in March 1842, and receiving his honorable discharge in March, 1843. He had the distinction of bringing water from the River Jordan which was used for the baptism of Queen Victoria in her infancy.
Mr. Robinson is a republican in politics, and in early days served as assessor, and for four years as county commissioner. He was also city clerk at Cedar Rapids. He has been very prosperous and successful, and owned at one time fourteen hundred acres of land, mostly in Boone county, and the greater part of is under cultivation. He also owns splendid town property. In the spring of 1906 he retired from active business life and moved to Belgrade, where he bought a good home and where he now lives. He is widely known and highly respected and is always interested in the welfare of his state and county.
In compiling a list of the representative farmers of Madison county, Nebraska, a prominent place is accorded the name of Martin Brubaker. For many years past he has been engaged in agricultural pursuits in Norfolk precinct, and has done his full share as an old settler toward the development of the better interests of his community, enjoying the respect and esteem of all who know him.
Mr. Brubaker is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in 1849, a son of Daniel and Amy (Myers) Brubaker. His great-grandfather came from Germany, and his grandfather lived in Pennsylvania. They came west from Pennsylvania to Illinois, living there four years, then drove to Fayette county, Iowa, where they lived two years. In 1870 Mr. Brubaker came to Madison county, Nebraska, with an ox team, and took up a homestead in Valley township. They first lived in a dugout with one side of logs; two years later they put shingles on the roof, and later built a good frame house. Mr. Brubaker also took up a timber claim. Fremont, Columbus, and Sioux City were the market places at that time. In 1872 and 1873, grasshoppers took all the crops, and they were obliged many times to fight prairie fires. Deer and antelope were plentiful in those early days.
In 1870 Mr. Brubaker was united in marriage to Miss Anna Duel, and they are the parents of four children: Charles, Lee, Ora and Arthur.
Mr. Kumm, the subject of this sketch, lives on section three, township twenty-eight, range three, Pierce county, Nebraska. He was born in 1853 in Germany, where he was engaged in farming. He came to Westpoint, Nebraska, in 1900, where he bought a section of land, and lost his crops in the same year by hail. He has received a common school education.
Mr. Kumm was married in 1872 to Miss A. Gronouf; they are the parents of the following named children: Willie, Frank, Otto, Paul, Gustave, Amel, August, Anna, Emma and Ida. He is a member of the German Lutheran church and votes the democratic ticket.
HERMAN W. WINTER.
Herman W. Winter was born in Wisconsin on December 9, 1860, and was the fifth of eleven children in the family of William and Wilhelmia Winter, who has seven sons and four daughters. William Winter, with his wife and three children left Germany about 1852, coming to America. One son, Carl, died on the vessel coming over. Mr. Winter and family and his father, Gottfried Winter, and wife, settled in Wisconsin, following lumbering and farming. William Winter served his adopted country during the civil war, and after the close of the war returned to Wisconsin.
In July, 1866, with his wife and five children and his father and mother, Mr. Winter came to Madison county with a German colony. In this colony there were forty families, and they were the original pioneer settlers of Madison county. They came overland by ox train, there being but two horse teams in the train. Mr. Winter engaged in farming and was a resident of this county until his death, December 22, 1900. His widow is still living, with her sons, Herman, Carl, and Frank, in Madison county. On son and one daughter live in Hayward, Wisconsin. The Winter family is widely and favorably known, and enjoys the esteem of many friends.
Herman W. Winter, the principal subject of this sketch, was reared in Madison county from his fifth year, and lived on the farm until his twenty-first year, receiving the usual local schooling. In his twenty-first year he went into the harness shop of H. P. Freeland to learn the trade, and in November, 1881, he became a partner in the business. He is still engaged in the same business, and now has two complete and well equipped harness and saddlery stores in Norfolk, enjoying a large trade.
Mr. Winter was married to Miss Matilda Zuelow, March 17, 1855. The Zuelow family came to Madison county in 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Winter have had nine children, seven of whom are living; Edmund, a teacher, is married and lives in Michigan; Linda is a teacher in the public schools in Hoskins, Nebraska; Martha, Alma, Ruth, Max, and Hertha, all at home and attending school. Mr. and Mrs. Winter and family have enjoyed good educational advantages, and are prominent socially in their community.
From 1890 to 1894, Mr. Winter was a member of the city council of Norfolk, from the first ward. On July 18, 1894, he was appointment county commissioner to fill a vacancy, and in the fall of the same year was elected for three years, and reelected for two succeeding terms, serving, in all, nine years. In 1894 he was also the chief of the Norfolk fire department. In 1908 he was elected to the city council for a two-year term, and served as president of the council, and in 1910 was state treasurer of the Volunteer Fireman's Association. He is president of the German church choir, and has been a member of this choir for twenty-six years.
Mr. Winter began life in a business way practically on his own resources, and had builded up a successful business, being one of Norfolk's most prominent business men.
Among the leading old settlers of Pierce county, Nebraska, the gentleman whose name heads this personal history is entitled to a foremost place. Mr. Splittgerber is a man of active public spirit, always lending his aid and influence for the bettering of conditions in his community. He was born in 1857, and is a native of Pomerania province, Bridenfeldte village, Germany. His father spent three years in the German army in 1848, in the war with Russia. In 1866, when Mr. Splittgerber was but nine years old, he suffered the loss of his father, mother, three sisters, and one brother within five days, with the cholera. He has two sisters still in Germany, but has not seen them for years.
Our subject remained in his native country until 1881, when he came to America. After landing in New York he came across the county, locating in Pierce county, where he now lives. He worked on a section for several years after coming to Nebraska, earning enough money to help buy a farm. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres of good land in section twenty-nine, township twenty- seven, range one, on which are five acres of good trees. He suffered a loss from hail in 1905, but has prospered, nevertheless, and has a well improved place.
In 1879 Mr. Splittgerber was united in marriage to Miss E. Strelow, and fourteen children were born to them, nine of whom are still living; Herman, married Miss Winter, and has two children, Victor and Elda; Frank, married Miss Soghom and has one child; Paul, married Miss Kesting; Julius, Ether (sic), Martha, Emma, Martin and Harvey.
Mr. Splitgerber [sic] is a member of the German Lutheran church.
Few of the pioneers of the west have filled so wide a space in the development of the region as has the late Frederick Bruns. In public life, as well as in the hearts of his fellow men, Fred Bruns, as he was familiarly known, has left an impress that will not soon be forgotten, although he has been gathered to his fathers. His span of life extended from the fifteenth day of August, 1826, when he was born in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany, to the sixteenth of November, 1908, when he passed away at his home in Niobrara.
Mr. Bruns spent the first thirty years of his life in his native land, then, in 1856, came to America, the voyage in an old sailship lasting seventy-five days. For two years he was interested in a store in Chicago, with his kinsman, Mr. Woesterman, until the latter, in 1858, came to the west, and establishing a trading post at Niobrara, Mr Bruns joining a brother in St. Louis, with whom he was engaged in business until 1861, at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war. Mr. Woesterman, holding out such glowing accounts of the opportunities of the northwest, Mr. Bruns sold out his interests, and came to Niobrara, where the two developed an extensive business in trade with the Indians, having a trading post at Niobrara and a branch at Deadman's Bottoms, above Fort Randall. This partnership lasted ten years, when they divided their holdings of earl estate and good, each conducting the business for himself. Mr. Bruns early fitted himself for business success in the west, acquiring a fluent knowledge of the Sioux and Ponca languages, besides speaking English, German, and some French.
After the flood of 1881, and the town was all moved to the new location to the west, Mr. Bruns discontinued his store, being the only man remaining in the old townsite. His customers had all removed, leaving none from whom to draw patronage. Having built a substantial brick store, with a dwelling above, the building could not be moved by primitive methods and equipment attainable in the country, so he remained, the last left in the deserted village. After disposing of his mercantile establishment, Mr. Bruns gave his entire attention to his cattle interests; which he had established some years before, and in this he continued in active work until within a few years of his death. He was a man of wonderful vitality, and retained his physical and mental powers to an advanced age, suffering bodily ailments only during the last three years of his life.
Mr. Bruns prospered in the main after coming to Nebraska, acquiring some three hundred acres of richest river bottom land, bordering on the Missouri river, and he owned about fifty of the lots in the old town of Niobrara. He came to Niobrara when there were but five or six families there, the Benners, Paxtons, Strutdens, Hollings and La Monts. He lived in Niobrara to see most of them pass away.
Mr. Bruns was a democrat in politics, and was honored by his fellow citizens with a term as county commissioner, and a term as treasurer of the county. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
December 26, 1869, Mr. Bruns was married at Frankfort, Nebraska, to Miss Anna Kunz. She is a native of the village of Waldorf, near Breslau, in Prussia, and was born March 4, 1850. Her parents, Anton and Helena (Henry) Kunz, lived their entire lives in their native land. Anna Kunz came to America alone, to join a brother who had preceded her, sailing from Hamburg on the steamer "Tritonia" in June, landing in New York in time for the fair immigrant to join her brother in Chicago on the fourth of July. They came on to Nebraska in the fall, settling at Frankfort, and here Mr. Bruns, coming in the course of his trading, first saw and loved the girl who in the last ten days of the year became his wife.
Of their five children, four survive: Minnie, who married William Saunders, a prosperous hardware merchant of Winnetoon, Anna is the wife of Sidney Calkins, foreman in the Indian school at Bismarck, North Dakota; Adelia is a bookkeeper, holding a responsible position in an establishment at Vermont, South Dakota; and Helen, with her husband, Carl Henninger, lives at Wegner, South Dakota. The daughters are members of the Episcopal church, while the mother was reared, and still is, in the Catholic faith.
Mr. Bruns was a witness of the memorable flood of March, 1881, when all of the village of Niobrara was under water. The rising waters covered but about six inches of their lower floor, their house being on the highest ground in town, and by elevating their piano on blocks, they saved it from the destruction that overtook instruments in other homes. Mr. Bruns remained on his place, but sent his wife and children to the hills for a period of eight days.
Indian scares were of frequent occurrence. At one time five hundred hostile Sioux, who had escaped from the reservation, were in camp but a few miles across the hills from Niobrara. These the friendly Poncas soon dispersed. A warrior of the latter tribe once paraded through the streets of Niobrara with a Sioux scalp dangling on a pole, but the grewsome (sic) sight did not attract the women as it did the men. One of Mrs. Bruns' most terrifying experiences happened to her when returning from a visit to the Fohrman ranch, some miles down the river. When about half way home, she found herself suddenly surrounded by mounted Indians, four of whom pressed their horses close up to her from all four sides, making escape impossible, and holding her almost immovable. A wagon from the mission school, coming along about this time, frightened them off, but so terrifying were the few minutes in which she knew not whether it was life or death, that she was ill for several weeks following.
Blizzards played no little part in the lives of this worthy couple. A daughter was born during the last of a three days' blizzard in April, 1873. In the blizzard of April, 1880, Mr. Bruns lost forty head of fine cattle, a serious loss at the time. Hailstorms were occasional visitors, spreading disaster in their narrow path. Cyclones have occasionally visited the region, and on one occasion a storm of this kind unroofed the barn on Mr. Bruns' place, and demolished the iron tower, from
which the telegraph wire spans the Great Muddy river.
But when all has been said, the disasters and privations recounted, all the early settlers agree that these were the happiest days of their lives. Social inequalities had not crept in, all were cordial and courteous, while hospitality was unbounded, and all seemed to be members of one great family.
G. W. SHORT.
Continuity of purpose - "stick-to-itiveness," as it is expressed in more homely language - has led many a man with humble beginning on to success. Such has been the career of G. W. Short, now a wealthy land-owner of Butte, whose landed possessions are extended to two republics, and his interests varied from stock in the northern country to tropical fruits in the sister republic to the south. G. W. Short is a son of J. E. and Annie M. (Scott) Short, and was born in Knox, Indiana, and here learned the tinners' trade. Becoming dissatisfied, he ran away from home, and by the "blind-baggage" route reached Pullman, Illinois, in 1881, and the first day secured work as a chainman with the engineers who were laying out the town. This work he followed nearly a year, when he went to Bloomington, Wisconsin, and for a year worked at his trade. Seeing in a trade journal the need of a tinner at Stewart, Holt county, Nebraska, he came west, and secured the position about the first of September, 1883, and worked there until 1891. In 1891, Mr. Short came to Boyd county, and homesteaded a quarter section adjoining the town on the west, but abandoned it to a friend, that he might return to Stewart, where his old father was quite ill. He later paid two thousand dollars for the same quarter section, and the vendor, with the proceeds, went to Alaska, and secured mining claims valued at nearly half a million. On coming to Butte in 1892, Mr. Short secured work as a tinner in a hardware and implement store, which later failed. The bankers of Butte, having confidence in the business ability of Mr. Short, loaned him the money to buy in the stock at the sale, and thus start him in a successful business career. So excellent was his management that when he retired, in 1905, and invested the proceeds in land, he was able to secure title to two ranches on the Niobrara river, of fourteen hundred, and ten hundred and forty acres, respectively, besides his original quarter section adjoining the town of Butte, all well stocked with cattle and horses in thriving condition. In January, Mr. Short took a trip to Old Mexico, and, while there, was so favorably impressed with the country that he purchased one hundred and fifty-five acres of fine meadow land, only a mile and a half from the trolley line of Tampico. Ten acres of this he planted to improved orange trees in June, and is intending to increase the acreage until all is a blooming orchard. Mr. Short is a democrat in politics, and a member of the Masonic fraternity at Butte. Mr. Short was in Stewart at the time of the memorable blizzard of January 12, 1888, but was fortunate in not having to be out in the storm. The worst hailstorm he ever encountered was while at a picnic, west of town, on July 4, 1905, when the falling ice balls stampeded every horse in the crowd, and left the revellers to get home as best they could. One of Mr. Short's early experiences might have proved to be his death warrant. When work was slack in the shop the first year, he secured work with a hay-baling outfit, and the owner, seeing his good marksmanship, took him along on a trip for cattle, north of the Niobrara. They secured four hundred head, drove them to the railroad, where Mr. Short was sent back to the hay outfit, and did not know until later that he had taken a hand in cattle stealing, for which two of the party were strung up, a fate that would have been meted out to him had his participation been known. The leader of the expedition drove the cattle to the Platte country, sold them, and departed for Alaska. Mr. Short was promised his wages during the time he was gone, but received none until the hands confiscated the hay press and outfit, which were sold to pay the wages due them. The well-developed country gives no idea of the wilderness of those early days. Mr. Short was at Butte at the time of the Indian scare following the battle of Wounded Knee, but lost no sleep over it. He was a personal friend of Yellow Horse, who was feared by some, and was told by the old chief that should any trouble be brewing, he would warn his paleface friend. Mr. Short has visited Yellow Horse in his tepee when on fishing trips op the Ponca river, at the old chief's invitation, and on such occasions, has been shown where the largest, finest fish were to be caught. On one occasion, when Butte desired to have a novel Independence Day celebration, Mr. Short asked Qellow (sic) Horse to bring a band of three hundred braves to town, and illustrate their ceremonial dances, promising them four beeves and all the crackers needed to accompany that amount of meat. Yellow Horse did better than he promised; he brought twelve hundred hungry Indians to be fed. Here was a problem - there was not enough provision in the town to supply them, it was thought. However, a purse was made up, more cattle provided, and the Indians went home filled to satiety, but they left their ponies, blankets and much of their paraphernalia, lost in gamely backing their horses against the white brothers' studs, which were provided for the occasion.
However, the red man made no complaint. He is a cheerful loser, and, although there were barely enough ponies to get their wagons back to the reservation, they felt that they had had a good time.
OTTO R. EPPLER.
Otto R. Eppler is a resident of Pierce county, Nebraska. His father was born in Germany in 1840, and died in 1905, and his mother was born in Waterloo, Wisconsin, about sixty-five years ago. The elder Eppler came to Pierce county some forty years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, driving from Columbus to the claim with oxen. He homesteaded in section twenty-six, township twenty-five, range one, where our subject now resides. The family lived for ten years in the log house which they built immediately upon their arrival, then built a frame house. Grasshoppers took their crops for two years, and in 1873, they lost some cattle in a blizzard. They have also suffered some loss from hail.
Otto R. Eppler was united in marriage in 1907 to Miss Dora Raasch, whose parents were early settlers in Nebraska, coming to America from Germany. Mr. Eppler is a member of the German Lutheran church, and votes the democratic ticket.
Edward Smith is highly regarded as an upright and conscientious citizen of Custer county, and one who is representative of the best interests of the county and state. He has the confidence and esteem of his fellows, and has a fine family, well known in various circles. He was born in Hazelgreen, Grant county, Wisconsin, June 10, 1857, next to the oldest child of David and Elizabeth (Wynn) Smith. His parents were natives of England, where they were married, soon afterward coming to the United States. They first located in Pennsylvania, but came to Wisconsin prior to 1855. In the latter state, five children were born to them: Eliza Jane, Edward, Martha, Henry and Mary. The father enlisted in Company H, Fiftieth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, in the latter part of 1852, and was mustered out at the close of the war. He was sent west with his company to Fort Kearney at the time of the Indian uprising, so did not receive his final discharge until those troops were recalled from frontier service. While he was in service, his wife died, and one child, Eliza Jane, also died during the Civil war. After the war, Mr. Smith returned to Wisconsin, and resumed his trade of stone mason, also worked for a time at mining. He died in that state in the spring of 1908. He married a second time, and of that union, four daughters and one son were born to them. The only survivors of his first wife's children are Edward, and his sister, Martha, Mrs. Philip Trevine, of Chili, Wisconsin.
Mr. Smith spent his boyhood and early youth on a Wisconsin farm, being educated in local schools, and receiving the usual advantages given farmers' sons of the day and region. On December 26, 1882, he was married in Illinois to Virginia Thompson, daughter of Johnston and Isabella Thompson. In November, 1884, he and his wife came with their one child, via Kearney, to Custer county, taking a homestead comprising the northwest quarter of section twenty-seven, township eighteen, range nineteen, still the home place, where they own at the present time five hundred and sixty acres of valuable land. Mr. Smith has improved and developed his farm in every possible way, and has one of the pleasant homes in his part of the county. He is a man of quiet manner and kindly disposition, devoted to home, family, and friends.
Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Thomas Sylvester, of Dry Valley, Custer counter, is married, and has one child; Sarah Ellen, wife of Harry Govier, living on the home farm, has three children; Margaret Isabelle is the wife of Charles Secor, and they reside in Custer county.
Carl Uecker, an agriculturist of prominence in Madison county, resides in Norfolk precinct, and 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.
Mr. Uecker is a native of Germany, being born in Prussia in 1830, a son of William and Adrieka Uecker. He received his education in Germany, and at the age of twenty-two years, left his native land for America, thinking the newer county would be a better place for a poor man to get a start, as he could get land cheaper. He made the voyage in a sailboat, and was on the water seven weeks. After landing in New York, he went to Wisconsin, where he remained until 1866. With two wagons and two yoke of oxen, he started for Madison county, Nebraska, arriving at West Point on the evening of July 4, 1866, and going from there to Madison county, where he took up the homestead in section four, township twenty-four, range one, which is still his home. The first residence of a log house, in which the family lived four years, at which time a good frame house was built, the lumber being hauled from West Point and Omaha. Mr. Uecker now owns two hundred and forty acres of well-improved land, twelve acres of which are in treed.
In the early days of our subject's residence in Nebraska, Columbus, Omaha and West Point were the nearest market places. Grasshoppers
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