headed, conservative business man, and is very popular with the people of his district. He is a conscientious, hard working member, and serves on committees on public lands and buildings, insurance, public printing, claims, and immigration.
HON. OLIVER P. BILLINGS.
fifty-second district,comprising the counties of Keya Paha
and Cherry, is represented in the house by Hon. Oliver P.
Billings, a gentleman whose life experience has made him a
staunch friend of the toiling masses. He was born in Iowa in
1853, and is a farmer and stockman by occupation. He was
thrown upon his own resources at a very early age, and by
pluck, industry, and perseverance has built for himself an
enviable reputation among his political and business
associates. By his own efforts be gained a good common
school education, which has been rounded out by a practical
knowledge gleaned from his personal and business attritions.
In 1874 he was happily married to Miss Jane Smalley, who
died in 1878, and in 1880 he married Miss Lizzie Smalley. In
1884 he settled on a homestead in Keya Paha county, where he
still resides. He edited the Norden Borealis, and
made the paper a
financial success, but a sedentary life was unsatisfactory to him, and he retired from the tripod and engaged in farming and stock ranching. He owns over a section of fine land in the beautiful Lost Creek Valley, and has been successful in his agricultural pursuits. Five years ago Mr. Billings left the republican party and espoused the populist doctrine. He has never held a public office above that of a precinct servant until elected to the legislature. He received a magnificent endorsement by the votes of the people, and serves them in the house as chairman of the committee on school lands and funds, and as a member of the committees on revenue and taxation, cities and towns, and engrossed and enrolled bills.
HON. PALMER BLAKE.
fourth district it represented in the house by Hon. Palmer
Blake, of Johnson county. He is a native of Vermont and was
born at East Brookfield June 1, 1835. He was a farmer's boy
and attended the district schools of his community, to which
he added two terms in higher institutions of learning. At
the age of nineteen he came as far West as Rock Island,
Illinois, and was employed as a clerk in one of the
mercantile establishments. He removed to Iowa and engaged
farming, and in 1856 was married to Miss F. Angie Smith. They have reared several children. In 1857 Mr. Blake settled in Johnson county, Nebraska, on the homestead which he still occupies. He has been a versatile reader all his life, and strives to keep step with the current questions of his day. He has pronounced ideas on all political and moral problems seeking solution at the hands of the present generation. He is a gentleman who enjoys to the fullest extent the respect and confidence of his constituents. His legislative committees are militia, library, and apportionment.
SAMUEL BOWER, of St. Paul, Nebraska, represents the
forty-eighth district in the lower house, He was born on a
farm in Green county, Pennsylvania, April 26, 1838. He
attended the public schools and afterwards Waynesburg
College for one year. He taught school for a time, and later
removed to the far west in Montana, where he engaged in
mining and freighting for four years. For something like two
years he conducted a sutler business on the Union Pacific
railroad during its construction. He returned to Iowa in
1867 and was one of the active and
energetic organizers of the grange movement in that state. In 1869 Mr. Bower married Miss Mary Arnold and in 1880 moved his family to Howard county, Nebraska, and has ever since been engaged in farming. He owns 600 acres of fine improved land, on which he has never had a crop failure. In 1896 he was nominated for the legislature by the silver and democratic forces, and was elected by a large majority. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the principles of the populist party. His house committees are engrossed and enrolled bills, apportionment, and library.
youngest member from Lancaster county in the present house
is Hon. E. J. Burkett, who sprang from a thrifty line of
German ancestry. He was born on a farm in Mills county,
Iowa, in 1867, and is the oldest of nine children. His
father and mother were ambitious that their children should
be well educated, and it is with an overflowing heart of
gratitude that he remembers the tireless efforts and
self-denial of his parents in their determination to afford
him opportunities. Completing the country and village school
curriculums at seventeen, it was decided that