LINCOLN, FEBRUARY, 1887.
JOURNAL COMPANY, STATE PRINTERS.
In presenting these personal sketches I have no apologies to offer. They are my enterprise and I have put them together my way. A few of the members were indifferent about furnishing me the proper data, and if they complain of not having justice done them they are considered responsible. There are many of the members who are entitled to far more time and space than I have devoted to them in the following pages, but it is designed to give only an epitomized sketch of the individual. Each one of a score or more whose names appear in this work could furnish the material for a very interesting volume. Some of them have had thrilling frontier experiences, when all this trans-Missouri river country was a vast wilderness, and the Indians, and the buffalo held undisputed sway. Others could tell of the territorial days, when the last Legislature assembled in Omaha, and the bitter factional fight that took place over the re-apportionment, and the bowie knives and the six-shooters that gleamed in the eyes of the members, before reason returned and order was restored. Then came the fight for locating the capital out here on the prairie, and long and hot it was; but it left the Big Muddy never to return, and here it is; and there are men here who saw the first stone drop into the foundation wall two decades ago, and they have watched the growth of the capitol during the intervening years, and have contemplated the wonderful city of 30,000 people that has grown up around it.
About one-half of the one hundred and seventy-five whose sketches are in this book are ex-soldiers. They went down to the front when the country needed their services, and they are here to tell the story. It is said republics are ungrateful; but it is hoped this republic will remember with gratitude those who survive, and be mindful of the families of those who have perished. Many of the survivors are helpless and dependent, and this rich and powerful government in whose service they shed their blood and suffered so much should liberally respond to their necessities. I have endeavored in these sketches to avoid as much possible the fulsome follies so common in works of this character, and in so doing I may have been too conservative in many instances. Forty days is a very limited period in which to interview one hundred and seventy-five persons, obtain the necessary data, write up the sketches, arrange and classify the matter, and put the work through the press, and into the hands of the subscribers before adjournment. The work, it will be seen, has been prepared from a non-partisan standpoint, and neither creed, corporation, nor municipality has influenced a line in its pages.
C. L. HALL.
Lincoln, Neb., Feb., 1887.