HON. HENRY GERDES.
of the representatives from the first district, Hon. Henry
Gerdes, is a man of extensive legislative experience,
although a farmer, and is serving his third term in the
house of representatives. He was born in McHenry county,
Illinois, December 22, 1855, and located in Richardson
county, Nebraska, as early as 1862. His early education was
acquired under difficulties, as the country was then new and
school facilities very limited. Henry was married in 1880 to
Miss May Bucholz, and their family consists of a boy and a
girl. He was swept into politics by the Alliance movement of
1890, and was elected to the legislature by the democrats
that year, he being the only successful man on his ticket.
He introduced the "Farmers Mutual Insurance Bill," which
became a law. In 1892 he was re-elected, and in the session
of 1893 was an active, earnest member. He helped to elect
Hon. W. V. Allen to the United States senate. He has
repeatedly declined to run for office and has usually
accepted the nomination for public position under protest.
He is chairman of the committee on miscellaneous subjects
and a member of the committees on finance, ways and means,
cities and towns, insurance, public schools, and claims.
FELIX GIVENS, of West Point, represents the fifteenth
legislative district in the house of representatives. He was
born in Chicago December 25, 1844, and his mother died
before he had reached his second year. At an early age he
moved to Clayton county, Iowa, where he was educated in the
public schools of his district. He served as assessor and
township trustee, and in 1871 located in Montgomery county,
Kansas, remaining there but one year, from whence he came to
Nebraska and located in Cuming county, where he has
established for himself a competency. He now owns 642 acres
of valuable land, with three and one-half acres in the
village of Beemer. He was married in 1868 to Miss Ellen
Burk, and they have a large family, consisting of six boys
and seven girls. Mr. Givens is of Irish descent, his father
and mother both having been born in County Tyrone, Ireland.
Representative Givens is a tried and true democrat and was
nominated for the legislature by his party in 1896 and
elected by a good majority. He has served with credit to
himself and his constituents, and is a member of the
committees on federal relations, penitentiary, and school
lands and funds.
HON. J. S. GOSHORN.
thirty-sixth legislative district, composed of the counties
of Thayer and Jefferson, is represented in the house by Hon.
J. S. Goshorn, of Hebron. He was born in Juniata county,
Pennsylvania, May 25, 1830, of Pennsylvania Dutch and
Scotch-Irish ancestry. Both of his grandfathers were
Revolutionary soldiers, and his father served under General
Harrison in the war of 1812. When but a boy young Goshorn
served as apprentice in a nail factory, devoting all his
spare time to study. He pored over his books alone and
attended night schools until he became qualified to teach.
At twenty-two he removed to Iowa, and engaged in teaching
and farming. In 1854 he married Miss Hattie J. Stiffler, of
Blair county, Pennsylvania. He enlisted at the outbreak of
the war in the Fourth Iowa Infantry, served a year and
retired on account of ill health. He afterwards raised a
company for the Forty-seventh Iowa, and was commissioned as
captain, serving to the end of the war. For over twenty-five
years the greater part of his time has been devoted to the
adjustment of fire insurance losses, and he takes pride in
the fact that in all his long experience as an adjuster he
has never had a case of litigation over a single claim. He
became a resident of Nebraska in
1882, and lives on his farm near Hebron. He was elected as a republican, and is a member of the committees on cities and towns, university and normal schools, school lands and funds, mines and minerals, and irrigation.
HON. J. L. GRANDSTAFF
44, consisting of the county of Webster, is represented in
the house by Hon. J. L. Grandstaff. He was born in Guernsey
county, Ohio, April 30, 1847, and moved with his parents to
Guthrie county, Iowa, when six years of age, where he was
educated in the common schools. When only sixteen he
enlisted in Company I, 29th Iowa Infantry, went directly to
the front, and served in the Trans-Mississippi department,
taking part in many engagements. Went to Mobile in 1864 and
assisted in the capture of that city. He was honorably
discharged from the service September 10, 1865, and came to
Nebraska the following January, locating first in Merrick
county and afterwards in Webster on a homestead which he
still occupies. He was one of the earliest settlers of that
county, going there in 1871. He is a popular Grand Army man,
and has filled all the offices of Burnside Post No. 79.
Until 1890 Mr. Grandstaff was a member of the republican
party, when he joined the populists, and has since been one