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Columbus on April 15, 1858, locating on a homestead in the Shell Creek Valley ten miles northeast of the city. There George Henggeler grew to young manhood, sharing with other members of the family experiences of pioneering days of Indians and log cabins. He had two brothers, Joseph and Fred, of Bellwood; and two sisters: Rosa, Mrs. George Berney; and Emma, Mrs. J. H. Kersenbrock.

In 1873, Mr. Henggeler homesteaded a piece of land close to the family home. He lived there until 1925.

On January 13, 1874, he was married in Columbus to Miss Magdalena Wagner, who was born October 31, 185!, in Alsace-Lorraine. They had six sons and one daughter: Peter, of Lincoln; William, of Columbus;. Anton, of Wolbach; and George, John, Alois, and Julia, Mrs. Noah Marlar, all deceased.

The log house from the old family home place was taken down and rebuilt on George Henggeler's homestead. In 1880, Mr. Henggeler constructed his own brick kiln, and helped build the brick home on the Franz Henggeler farm ten miles north of Columbus.

During the sixty-eight years that Mr. Henggeler lived in Nebraska, he witnessed the passing of the Indian and the buffalo from the plains of the middlewest, the building of the first great transcontinental railway system through Columbus, the growth of Omaha from a hamlet of a few frontier homes to a metropolitan city, and the development of Nebraska into one of the greatest agricultural commonwealths in all the world.

George Henggeler was a member of St. Bonaventure's Catholic. Church from its beginning.

Mrs. George Henggeler died March 19, 1938.


William Henry Henggeler was born July 19, 1887, in Bismark Township. His parents were George and Magdalena Wagner Henggeler. He had five brothers and one sister: Anton, married to Rosa Berney; Alois, married to Margaret Disehner (sic), died October 19, 1918; John N., died March 30, 1925; George, died March 23, 1935; Julia, Mrs. Noah Marlar, died January 19, 1937; and Peter, who is married to Mary Dischner, lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

William Henggeler received his education at the school in District 2 and at St. Francis Academy. He also attended the Columbus Commercial College for one term. He farmed at Lindsay from 1910 to 1918.

On January 14, 1914, he was married to Rose E. Jostes, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clemens Jostes, at the Lindsay Holy Family Church. In the spring of 1919, the William Henggelers moved to a farm nine miles northeast of Columbus which adjoined his father's farm on the west. They farmed there for seven years, and then moved to Columbus.

Mr. and Mrs. Henggeler had two children: Clemens W.; and Rita Magdalena, who died in infancy in 1925.

Clemens W. was married to Dolores Frey. They had two children, David and Cathlene, and reside on a farm near Lindsay.

Mr. and Mrs. William Henggeler have traveled considerably. Mr. Henggler's hobby is playing the violin. He is a member of the Eagles Lodge, St. Bonaventure's Catholic Church, and politically is a Republican.


James Patrick Hennessy, was born in Lost Creek Township February 25, 1878. He is the son of John and Mary Ann Francis Hennessy. John Hennessy was born in County Kerry, Ireland, October 14, 1839, and died June 26, 1921, at Platte Center, Nebraska. Mary Hennessy was born May 17, 1848, also in County Kerry, Ireland, and died May 15, 1914, at Platte Center.

James Hennessy had thirteen brothers and sisters. Mary Jane Hennessy, who was Mrs. Henry Burke, died in Platte Center in 1935. Margaret is married to T. H. Gleason. William P. Hennessy is married to Margaret MacEvoy. Robert died at the age of three months. Nora is married to Patrick H. Roberts. John died in infancy. Katheryn, who was Mrs. John R. Cooney, died July 6, 1937. Edward died at the age of three. Josephine is married to James G. Lee. Rose Ann died at the age of six, Thomas at the age of five. Gertrude Hennessy died in Columbus, September 6, 1938. Leo Francis Hennessy is married to Katheryn Considine.

Mr. Hennessy attended St. Joseph's Parochial School and School District 24. On June 15, 1921, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Platte Center, he was married to Margaret Elena Gleeson, daughter of John and Mary Elizabeth Curran Gleeson. Mr. and Mrs. Hennessy have one son, James Francis, who was born March 12, 1927. James Francis attended St. Joseph's School and the District 24 High School. A daughter, Mary Margaret, was born August 5, 1923; and died September 19, 1923.

Mr. Hennessy, a farmer, has always been active in community circles. He is a member of the Catholic Church and was formerly a member of the Knights of Columbus. Politically, he is a Democrat.


Judge W. N. Hensley, born in Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky, December 18, 1844, the son of a college professor, was tutored at home in his youth because public schools, as they now exist, were unknown in that part of Kentucky, except to children of wealthy parents. Not until he was fifteen, did he go to school a private school in Frankfort, the big city nearby, where he learned so rapidly that in little more than a year, he was ready to enter the preparatory class at Georgetown College, and in another year, he had prepared himself for college.

While in Frankfort, it was his privilege to live in the home of Governor Robinson, the war governor of Kentucky who was appointed to the executive office by President Lincoln because he was about the only Union man available for the position after his predecessor had been removed from office because of his sympathies for the cause of the South. It was Gov-

The History of Platte County Nebraska

ernor Robinson's influence that caused young William Hensley to forsake his college career in 1862, and enlist in the Union Army, in Colonel Jacob's Cavalry Troop. He fought at Lawrenceburg, Perryville, Lookout Mountain, Franklin and Creelsburg, and in the campaign through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio that resulted in the capture of Morgan's famous rebel command, at Buffington Island, Ohio.

Mustered out in the fall of 1863, he reentered the Georgetown University, studied four years for the Baptist ministry, and then, on the eve of his ordination, decided to become a lawyer instead, because he had in the meantime read law in the home of Governor Robinson and found it more to his liking. But money was scarce, and he taught school several years, part of the time in an academy at Beaver Dam, Kentucky, before coming west.

Arriving in Council Bluffs, in 1872, he took the examination and was admitted to the bar, and then went to Omaha, the village across the river, to practice. But there wasn't any law business there, and he decided to become an editor. It was then he came to Columbus and founded the Columbus Era, in 1874. In 1881, he sold out, spent a year running the supply store for the men who built the D.& R.G. Railroad through Black Canon, in Colorado, and then came back to repurchase the Era, conducting it for several years, while practicing law at the same time. Finally, he sold the paper to devote his time fully to law.

In the years that followed, he was three times Police Judge, three times County judge, three times County Attorney, during which time he never lost a case as a prosecutor, and served a year on the school board. He was postmaster of the Columbus Post Office during President Cleveland's administration, and was commandant of the Nebraska Soldiers and Sailors Home, at Milford, for two years during Governor Neville's regime, at the time of World War I. In the year 1928, during the term of C. J. Carrig as mayor of Columbus, Judge Hensley was appointed and served as City Attorney. At the time of his death, June 30, 1929, he was one of the oldest practicing attorneys in the Sixth Judicial District.

A patriot in the truest sense of the word; a philosopher whose ready pen gave point to his homely teachings; a public speaker whose talent was in constant demand; a lover of nature and the out-of-doors, from which he drew life's best lessons; never afraid to fight for his convictions, his was a career that will long leave its impress upon the community in which he spent the best years of his life, and throughout the state in which he was so widely known and esteemed.

On October 3, 1878, at Schuyler, Nebraska, Judge Hensley married Margaret "Maggie" McAllister, daughter of James and Mary Ann Carson McAllister. Her father, born October 17, 1815, at Ayreshire, Scotland, died January 9, 1897, in Columbus. Her mother, born in Ireland, died in March, 1895, in Columbus. Margaret had eight brothers and one sister: James; Elizabeth, Mrs. Robert McPherson; Henry; John; William, a lawyer, married Mary Coalter; Stephen, a lawyer, married Minia Millet; and two boys unknown.

William and Margaret Hensley had four children: Mettie married William R. Neumarker; William N., born October 18, 1881, married Matie Maynard, and died March 21, 1929; Laura Ruby married G. R. Paulus; James Willard, born November 10, 1891, married Ruth Jens, and when she died, married Eleanor Bender. The children attended the Columbus schools and the boys attended the West Point Military Academy.

Judge and Mrs. Hensley celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in October of 1928.

Judge Hensley's hobbies were fishing and reading. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, the G.A.R., the Izaak Walton League, and politically he was affiliated with the Democratic Party. The Hensleys were members of the Congregational Church in Columbus.


Colonel William N. Hensley, Jr., one of the outstanding figures in the development of the United States Army Air Force after World War 1. was born in Columbus, Nebraska, October 18, 1881. He died March 20, 1929.

He was the son of Judge William N. and Margaret McAllister Hensley.

William N. Hensley, Jr. graduated from Columbus High School in the class of 1899, and received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1901. In 1905, he was graduated with the rank of a second lieutenant.

He was first assigned to the Thirteenth Cavalry and was stationed successively at Fort Meyer, Virginia; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and other posts in the United States and the Philippines.

It was while Colonel Hensley was stationed at Fort Leavenworth that he married Miss Matie Maynard, of a prominent Kansas City family. Their wedding took place in Kansas City, Missouri, July 10, 1908. There were two children: William N. Hensley, III, and Gertrude Barbara Hensley.

During the Mexican border trouble, when the United States sent expeditionary forces after Villa, Colonel Hensley, then a captain, was Intelligence Officer on General Pershing's staff.

In 1917, Colonel Hensley, then a major, was sent abroad on special detail duty to organize the Philippine National Guard. He returned just as the United States was entering World War 1. and was transferred from the Cavalry to the Air Force.

Recognized as an officer of unusual ability, he was sent to organize the balloon school for Army Officers training at Fort Omaha, Nebraska. He was later given a similar assignment in organizing a balloon school on the famous Lucky Baldwin Ranch in California. At the same time he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel.

At Mather Field in California, he qualified as an


airship and airplane pilot. He had previously qualified as a free balloon and kite pilot, and was a distinguished marksman.

In July, 1919, Colonel Hensley was delegated as the official United States observer on the return trip to England of the British dirigible R-34, first to make a non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The return flight, with Colonel Hensley aboard, was made in three days, and he became the first American to make a non-stop flight across the Atlantic.

He later spent a year in Europe on special detail to study post-War I army aviation methods and developments. While in Germany, he made a study of the great Zeppelin Airship Works, supplying the War Department with the first detailed authentic information it received on the L72, giant dirigible which the German government had under construction at Friedrichshafen. It was close to completion when World War I ended and was built purportedly for the purpose of bombing New York City.

After his return to this country, Colonel Hensley's first assignment was the Command of Langley Field, Virginia. He next spent a year in the Field Officers School at Fort Riley, and in July, 1923, was made Commander of Mitchel Field, Long Island.

While in command of Mitchel Field, Colonel Hensley accompanied by Lieutenant M. L. Elliott, made a 1350 mile dawn-to-dusk flight from New York to Columbus, Nebraska, in a stock type DH-4 observation plane. This flight attracted nationwide attention and was recorded as the longest daylight flight for that type plane then on record.

After two years at Mitchel Field, he spent a year in Washington in preparation for the general staff.

In October, 1926, Colonel Hensley was placed in command of the air service in the Eighth Corps area with headquarters at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. This area included the three all-year flying fields in Texas, as well as all other army aviation activities in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arizona and Louisiana.

On March 20, 1929, Colonel William N. Hensley died on a train enroute to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was buried with high honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

In August, 1930, Hensley Field near Dallas, Texas, was dedicated in memory of his services. The bronze plaque reads, in part:

"Hensley Field-In honor of Colonel William N. Hensley, Jr., Air Corps, United States Army, whose untiring efforts and devotion to duty has been an inspiration to his many friends and fellow officers . . . 1881-1929."


John Herold was born in Merotein, Austria, September 25, 1886, and died October 29, 1943. He had one sister, Anna Herold, who married George Riedmann. Mr. Herold attended school in his native Austria, and when a young man immigrated to the United States.

He came to Platte County in 1901, where for several years he worked as a carpenter.

In the late 1920's, Mr. Herold moved to a farm in Shell Creek Township, and engaged in farming there for fifteen years.

On April 10, 1918, he was married to Miss Frieda Kopp, in Columbus. Six children were born to this union. Gus John was born March 18, 1919. Bernadine Marie, Mrs. Albert Belgum, was born February 18, 1921. Elizabeth Ann was born August 26, 1923, and died November 15, 1926. Pauline Caroline was born August 25, 1925. Betty Ann was born January 8, 1931, and Maria Clara was born March 16, 1933. All were born in Columbus, except Betty Ann and Maria Clara who were born in Platte Center.

John Herold was a volunteer fireman in Columbus, and a Democrat. The Herold family are members of St. Bonaventure's Church in Columbus.


Carl F. Herrguth, the son of Charles F. and Mary Louise Schroeder Herrguth, was born at Platte Center, Nebraska, on July 17, 1897. His father, a carpenter and wagon maker, was born in 1859, and spent his early years in Hillsboro, Illinois. His mother was born March 7, 1870, in Iowa. He had one brother, Alvin, of Platte Center, Nebraska.

Carl F. attended the Platte Center Grade School and was graduated from the Platte Center High School. He then studied at the Kearney State Normal College for two years.

On February 25, 1922, he was married to Vera E. Viergutz, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gustavus W. Viergutz, of Columbus. Vera Viergutz Herrguth had three brothers and one sister: H. A. Viergutz, of Omaha; Gustavus, Jr., of Columbus; Alva, the wife of Mark T. McMahon. A brother, Walter Viergutz, died October 10, 1918.

G. W. Viergutz was the founder and owner of the Viergutz Lumber Companies in Columbus, Creston and at Platte Center, Nebraska.

Carl F. Herrguth is the manager of the Viergutz Lumber Company in Columbus. He came to Columbus in April, 1920, and at that time became associated with G. W. Viergutz in the lumber business.

During World War II, Mrs. Herrguth was a nurses aid, and gave many hours of her time to the care of the sick both at St. Mary's and the Lutheran Hospitals.

Carl Herrguth is a member of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, the Lions Club. and the Wayside Country Club. Politically, he is affiliated with the Republican Party. Mr. and Mrs. Carl F. Herrguth are members of the Immanuel Lutheran Church, of Columbus.

The History of Platte County Nebraska


Carl John Herrod, son of Joseph W. and Katherine Rebhausen Herrod, was born December 28, 1903. His father, a railroad man, was born in Dayton, Ohio, on August 10, 1863. His mother was born in Omaha, March 1, 1866.

Carl is the youngest of a family of five. His brothers and sisters are: Gertrude, Mrs. John M. Speicher, of Columbus; Lawrence, who was married to Effie Drawbaugh is deceased. Leonard who was married to Frances Hart, of Sydney, died in 1948; Joseph, Jr., lives in Pasadena, California, and is married to Hazel Johnson.

Joseph Herrod, Sr., went to North Platte in 1884, where he was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad until he came to Columbus in 1903.

Carl attended grade school at St. Francis Academy and was graduated from the Columbus High School. He has been associated with the Union Pacific Railroad as a mechanic in the shops since 1922.

On June 20, 1940, in Columbus, Carl J. Herrod was married to Mildred Kavnaugh, daughter of Daniel and Harriet Baker Kavnaugh. Daniel Kavnaugh was born at Inniscarty, County Wexford, Ireland, in 1859, and came to the United States at the age of sixteen. In 1875, his family settled south of Columbus. Mr. Kavnaugh was interested in politics and served several terms as representative from Fairbury. He died in Columbus in 1940. Mrs. Kavnaugh was born in Boonville, Missouri, in 1877, of English parentage, and died in Columbus in 1945.

Mrs. Herrod has two sisters: Katharine, the wife of John Tuggle, of Hanford, California; and Ruth, the wife of Robert KIug, of Riverside, Illinois. Mildred Kavnaugh Herrod was graduated from the Immaculate Conception Academy at Hastings and St. Mary's of Notre Dame College, in Indiana. She came to Columbus in 1925 where she was an instructor in the English Department of Kramer High School until 1940.

Carl and Mildred Herrod have two children: Daniel Joseph, born July 23, 1945, and Ann, born January 10, 1947.

Carl Herrod is a sportsman. His hobbies are golf, hunting and fishing. Mr. and Mrs. Herrod are members of the St. Bonaventure Church. Mrs. Herrod is a past president of the St. Anne's Society and Mr. Herrod is one of the church trustees. He is a member of the Wayside Country Club and politically, he is affiliated with the Democratic Party.


Ray H. Heynen was born November 20, 1884, at Miles, Iowa. His parents were Augustus and Sarah Ray Heynen. He attended grade school at Miles, and then entered the University of Iowa for a course in electrical engineering. Later, he transferred to. the University at Boseman, Montana. Before completing his course, he took a position with the Jackson Electrical Company of Chicago, where he remained in an engineering capacity for some years.

On August 8, 1918, at Clear Lake, Iowa, he was married to Miss Mabel Hansen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hans Hansen, of Hastings. In 1920, they established their home at Shelton, Nebraska, where Mr. Heynen bought a lumber yard.

In 1924, Ray Heynen bought the Sack Lumber Company in Columbus, later disposing of the Shelton yard. At this time the Heynens moved to Columbus.


Ray H. Heynen

Ray H. and Mabel Hansen Heynen had one daughter, Patrica, who was graduated from Kramer High School. Patrica attended Ward Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, for one year, and the University of Nebraska where she majored in speech. She received her radio degree at the midterm of 1948, and her Bachelor's Degree in Arts and Sciences in June, 1948. On December 29, 1948, she was married to Calvin Gloor, son of Mr. and Mrs. Emil Gloor of Columbus.

Ray H. Heynen managed the Columbus business until January, 1936, when he turned the active management over to a business manager. Mr. Heynen's purpose in doing this was to be free to devote the bulk of his time to general supervision over the extensive properties of the Hans Hansen estate in Nebraska.

An able and public spirited business man, Mr. Heynen was president of the Chamber of Commerce from April 1, 1928, to April 1, 1929. He was long a member of the Lions Club, of which he was president from 1934 to 1935. He was president of the Wayside Country Club in 1937.

Mr. Heynen was a member of the Masonic Order, the Shrine, and B.P.O.E. (Elks). His religious affiliations were with the Federated Church in Columbus. Though he took a general interest in all major sports, his favorite was football. He seldom missed a game played at home by the Columbus High School team, or a game played in Lincoln by the varsity team.

Ray H. Heynen died April 9, 1939.

John Schultz has been the business manager of the Heynen Lumber Company since 1940.


John G. Higgins was born in La Salle County, Illinois, on April 2, 1845. He attended the local schools and later was enrolled at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, in Chicago, where he was graduated in June, 1863. He then entered the Law School of the Chicago University and studied there for five successive semesters. Following this he spent four months in



the law office of M. D. Brown, of Chicago. He was admitted to the bar in Ottawa, Illinois, in 1867.

In 1869 he went to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he was associated with V. A. Gregg.

In April of 1870, he moved to Columbus, where he made his home until 1893, with the exception of a temporary residence in Grand Island, where he was Registrar of the Land Office, during Cleveland's second administration.

Judge John G. Higgins practiced law in Columbus for twenty-one years. He was elected County Judge of Platte County in October, 1871, and held that office for many years. He was also associated for a short time with W. N. Hensley, on The Democrat, as an editor.

On October 25, 1869, in Omaha, Nebraska, Judge John G. Higgins was married to Anna O'Conner. They had two sons and four daughters: Frank, Andrew, Elizabeth, Joy, Anne, and Mary, Mrs. Elizabeth Higgins Sullivan, a former newspaper woman and author of the best sellers, Rain on the Roof and Out of the West; Joy, a distinguished teacher of dramatics who, through the University Players of Boston and New York, helped to start many prominent stage and screen stars on their way to the top, and also, was recreation director for the Higgins Industries, during World War II; Anne, Mrs. Henry Matthiesen, of New York City; Mary, a graduate lawyer of New York University, is the widow of General Hugh Matthews, who was with the United States Marine Corps; Andrew, a boat builder, one of the biggest industrialists in the country, contracted to build boats for the Navy during World War II. He established the Higgins Industries at New Orleans. And Frank Higgins, associated with his brother Andrew in the Higgins Industries.

Judge John G. Higgins died in 1893.

Mrs. Higgins returned to Omaha in 1893 where she lived for twenty-five years. She then moved to New Orleans for a few years and died there on November 2, 1924. All of the Higgins family make their home for a part of each year in New Orleans.


Frank Anthony Higgins was born at Red Oak, Iowa, June 2, 1891. He came to Columbus in June, 1939.

Throughout his lifetime. Mr. Higgins was engaged in farming and newspaper work.

His parents were Michael and Katherine Ward Higgins, both natives of Ireland.

Frank Higgins was educated in the rural schools near Red Oak and attended grade and high school in Denver, Colorado. He was married to Miss Margaret Meierotto, daughter of Henry J. and Margaret Kelly Meierotto, in Red Oak, Iowa, October 17, 1917. Five children were born to this union. They are:

Francis, born at Red Oak, December 12, 1918, married to Geraldine Moersen; Margaret, married to Ray Syslo; Eugene, born at Clinton, Missouri, August 22, 1923; Mary Cecile, born at Red Oak, January 22, 1926, died September 9, 1928; and Phyllis Ann, born at Red Oak. Francis and Eugene are veterans of World War II.

Mr. Higgins, a Democrat, was a field supervisor for newspaper work at the time of his death January 21, 1945. The Higgins family are members of St. Bonaventure's Catholic Church.


Hugh Hill, an early settler in Monroe Township, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, June 14, 1837. He died August 14, 1937.

He was the son of Samuel and Jane Hill, natives of County Antrim, Ireland, where the elder Mr. Hill was a land owner.

Hugh Hill, after his common school education, worked on his father's farm. He was twenty-five when he immigrated to Canada. He remained there only a few weeks before going on to Illinois, where he found employment on a farm in Cook County. Later, in Henry County, he worked on a farm near Kewanee.

In 1873, he was induced through advertisements to come to Nebraska, to buy cheap land.

His first farm in Platte County was an eighty-acre tree claim two and one-half miles north of the town of Monroe. He broke the sod with a yoke of oxen and a hand plow, and planted his first crops. He was there thirty years, during which time his land holdings increased to more than a section.

In 1870, in Henry County, Illinois, Hugh Hill was married to Miss Addie Leggett of Philadelphia. There were eight children: Sarah, married to Oscar Crawford of California; Edward, a Platte County farmer married to Lelia Clayburn; Thomas, married to Mary Larson of Victor, Colorado; Harry, who farmed the home farm, married to Lucy Potter; Fred, married to Eula Gates, in Iowa; Louis, a farmer in Platte County, married to Susie Durham; Maude, Mrs. Edd Kelly, of Columbus; and Ida, Mrs. Harlan Morrow. Sarah and Ida are deceased.

Mrs. Hill died in 1902. After her death, Mr. Hill lived on the farm until 1904 when he moved to Monroe, Nebraska.

Besides his farm holdings, Mr. Hill was a stockholder in the Monroe Bank, and was active in the Monroe Farmers Association.

He died in Monroe in his one hundredth year, August 14, 1937.


Thomas Hill was born in Belfast, Ireland, February 6, 1848. He died at Monroe, Nebraska, August 13, 1929.

In the 1860's, he came to Canada, and in 1868 went on to California, and from there to Australia and New Zealand. He gained a broad knowledge through his travels. In 1870 he returned to San Francisco, and in 1882 came to Platte County and purchased one hundred twenty acres of railroad land on Section 25 in Monroe

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