young dentist of Springview. Our subject also has an adopted son, Euel P.
For the past seventeen years Dr. McKnight has been local surgeon for the C. & N. W. Railway at Long Pine. He is also examining physician for fourteen different life insurance companies, six of which are old line companies. He is a Democrat, and an ardent Bryan supporter. In 1906 he was appointed county commissioner to fill out an unexpired term, and he has been a member of the pension board for the past fifteen years. He is a member of the Congregational church, the Modern Woodmen, the Fraternal Union and the Odd Fellows at Long Pine.
DR. W. H. BYERLY
W. H. Byerly, the oldest physician in point of residence in the town of Franklin, Nebraska, has an extensive practice in his profession, and is one of the deservedly popular citizens of his locality. He has passed many years of his life here and built up a wide and lucrative practice by his skillful treatment of the ills of mankind and his conscientious service for the relief of his fellows. He also is proprietor of a drug store in Franklin, and his store is one of the best equipped in the county, in which he enjoys a large and constantly increasing patronage. Dr. Byerly was born in Virginia. He is a graduate of the Richmond, Virginia, Medical college, class of 1869, and has practiced his profession since receiving his degree of M. D. In 1879 he came to Nebraska, locating in Franklin, and has practiced successfully here since that time, his practice during the pioneer days reaching from the northern limits of this county to the center of Smith county, Kansas, west to Harlan county and east to Riverton. He is known throughout all the adjoining counties and western part of Nebraska as one of the best physicians who have ever come to these regions, and enjoys the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has had to do in a professional or social way. Dr. Byerly is devoted to his profession and has given his exclusive attention all these years to this work, with the exception of his drug business. As stated at the beginning of this sketch, Dr. Byerly is the oldest practicing physician in Franklin, and since locating here has been an important factor in its development. He has stood for its growth educationally, morally and religiously, and for its advance as a business center of one of the best farming regions of western Nebraska. His only son, Joe R. Byerly, is fitting himself for official service in the Merchant Marine, on the Atlantic coast trade from Baltimore. Dr. Byerly was married in Virginia, in 1870, to Miss Anna Lee Ryan, who since her residence in Nebraska has been recognized as a lady devoted to her home, and the interests of her home community, along its best lines. Dr. Byerly is a member of the County, Republican Valley, and State Medical Associations, and a recognized authority on all subjects in his line of study. He is a member of the Episcopalian church, and also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and Masonic societies.
WILLIAM N. FORD
Among the old settlers of Nebraska who have spent many years in the work of building up and developing the commercial industries of a new country, the gentleman above named holds a prominent place. He came here in the early days and has watched the growth of this section from its early organization, and his name will occupy a foremost place in the history of Sheridan county and vicinity.
Mr. Ford is a native of England, born in Bristol in 1854. His father, was a hardware merchant, whose wife was of French descent, and our subject was the second child in their family of six boys. They all came to American when our subject was eight years of age, and settled in New York City, living there for about three years. In 1866 they came west, the father helping to build the Union Pacific road through to Ogden Utah, and our subject also worked in Utah for three years. During one trip which he made across the plains he got into a skirmish with the Indians and there was a rather exciting time for a while. He next moved to Omaha, and there worked on the bridge which was in the course of construction across the Missouri river at that place. Later he worked on the Central Pacific railroad in Utah, and afterwards fired on the Union Pacific out of Omaha for some time. He next went to Shelby county, Iowa, and farmed there for fourteen years. In 1885 he came to Sheridan county, driving out from Valentine by team with a covered wagon, and settled on a homestead five miles north of Rushville. Here he built his first house which was of sod, and remained on this farm until he had proved up. Three years later he came to Rushville and opened a blacksmith shop, and for the past sixteen years has been engaged in this work. He has built up a good trade and has also put in large stock of farming implements and hardware. His building occupies a space of twenty-five by one hundred feet, two stories high, and he is doing well.
Mr. Ford was married in Iowa, in 1882, to Miss Orilla Loving, whose father, James Loving, was a contractor and builder at Dunlap, Iowa. One child resulted from this union, Isa.
Mr. Ford takes a commendable interest in all local and county affairs, and has held different local offices here. He is a stanch (sic) Republican.
CHARLES L. PHELPS
Charles L. Phelps, a leading old timer of Keya Paha county, Nebraska, was born in Cayuga county, New York, February 14, 1844. His father, Israel E. Phelps, was a farmer by occupation, a native of Connecticut, while his mother, Mary A. Leland, was born in Massachusetts, both of old American families. Their family consisted of six children, of whom our subject was the second member. He was reared and educated in his native state, and remained at home until 1863, when he enlisted in Company L, 16th New York artillery, and with his regiment saw service on the Peninsula, between the James and York rivers. He remained in the army, participating in many actions up to 1865, when he was honorably discharged. During his service in the army is parents had moved to Lenawee county, Michigan, and he went there as soon as he was released from duty, and took a farm which he operated for some time, besides being engaged in running a saw mill for several years. He had received a good education in his boyhood days, and while living in Michigan taught school a portion of the time.
In 1884 Mr. Phelps decided to strike out for the west, and came first to Boone county, Nebraska, whence he drove to Keya Paha county with a team and covered wagon; he settled on a homestead in section 26, township 35, range 22, and put up a rough sod house in which he lived until he proved up on his claim, which was in the year 1887. In June of the following year he took a pre-emption and proved up on this, remaining on the place up to 1893, when he came to Springview to assume charge of the village school and taught this for one year, and from that time up to 1897 followed teaching exclusively. In the latter year he was appointed postmaster, and is now serving his third term in that capacity. The central telephone office is located in the postoffice, and the two combined make it one of the busy places in the town. Mr. Phelps is a popular and efficient public official, well liked by his patrons, and just the man for the place. He has been identified with the history of Springview since 1893 and has been a member of the village council for five years, and school treasurer for six years.
Mr. Phelps' family consists of his wife, who was Miss Ella Earl, and the following children: John Edwin, Roy E., Ezoa and Ezada (twins), the former of whom is the wife of Luther L. Williamson, the latter of Fred W. Skinner, both of Springview. They have a pleasant home here, and enjoy the society of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Mr. Phelps is a staunch Republican in political faith, a member of the Congregational church, and affiliates with the Knights of Pythias; he is a detached member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
JOHN W. FRY
In compiling a list of the pioneers of Sioux county, Nebraska, who have aided materially in making of that region a thriving agricultural district, a prominent place must be accorded the gentleman whose name heads this personal history. For twenty years Mr. Fry has been closely identified with the history and development of this locality, and his labors to this end are well known to all who reside in that community.
Mr. Fry is a native of Harrison county, Iowa, born twenty-five miles north of Council Bluffs, on June 1, 1858. His father was John Fry, of American blood, a native of Indiana, and his mother was Nancy E. Acre, also born in Indiana. The family lived on a farm in Iowa, where our subject was raised and educated, after he had grown up, having an interest in his father's farm, later was in the employ of the C. & N. W. Railway company, working in the shops at Missouri Valley, Iowa, for several years. In 1887 he came to Nebraska, and two years later located on section 34, township 53, Sioux county. Here he lived in a tent for six or seven months. and remained on the homestead for several years, proving up and improving the place. In 1896 he purchased his present farm on section 26, located on Dead Man's Creek, and has put up a set of good buildings, house, barns and corrals for his stock, of which he has twelve horses and twenty head of cattle. He has a farm of three hundred and twenty acres, sixty acres under cultivation, and a small patch of irrigated land. The place is well supplied with natural timber, wild fruits and grasses, and everything is kept in first-class order. He has installed a complete set of water works, piped all through the house, with a fine bath room, and everything fitted up in modern shape. There is a nice spring of clear running water near the house, all concreted in fine shape for dairy and other purposes.
Mr. Fry was married in 1884 to Miss Mary E. Frazier. Mrs. Fry's father is Thomas J.
Frazier, a farmer and mechanic by occupation, and her mother's maiden name was Emily E. Frazier. Mr. and Mrs. Fry are the parents of seven children, who are named as follows: Clarence, Leona, Harry, Lynn, Wilber, Lillie and Stella, The family are well known and highly esteemed by all.
Mr. Fry did his full share in building up his region, and takes an active part in educational affairs of his community. He is a Democrat, but not party bound.
HON. A. C. CHRISTENSEN
The gentleman whose name heads this personal history is one of the solid and influential citizens of Minden, Nebraska. Mr. Christensen is a prominent business man here, dealing in real estate, handling lands all over the western part of the state.
Mr. Christensen was born in Funen, Denmark, in 1850, and grew up there, coming to the United States in 1868. In 1874 he came west and located at Fredricksburg, Kearney county, then took up a homestead in Lincoln township, also tree claim, and lived there for twelve years. He broke up a large part of the land and built up the place, raising fair crops and making a success of it. He still owns this land, being proprietor of three hundred and twenty acres altogether in this county. He has the distinction of having been the first Justice of the Peace in Lincoln township, and latter held the office of assessor and other local offices. He came to Minden in 1887 and was a member of the city council for one term. After locating here he went into the implement business, and continued at that for fifteen years, making a success of this venture, as in all other enterprises which he has undertaken.
Mr. Christensen is an active Republican, and in 1900 was a presidential elector from the fifth congressional district, casting his vote for Wm. McKinley, and is the proud possessor of a picture of the seven state electors which was taken at Washington on the capitol steps. He was often a delegate to state conventions, and on the county and congressional committees, and was elected to the legislature in 1905, from Kearney county.
Mr. Christensen was married in 1879 to Miss Celia Claussen, a native of Sweden. They have one son, Harry, and two daughters, Mabel and Annetta. The family occupy a pleasant home in Minden, and are highly esteemed by all who know them.
On the occasion of Mr. Christensen's trip to Washington in 1900, his friends and admirers in Kearney county presented him with a beautiful gold-headed cane as a token of their esteem, and this is highly prized by him.
CHARLES N. CARTER
Among the progressive and energetic pioneers of Perkins county, who have contributed largely to the prosperity enjoyed in that vicinity, a high station is accorded the gentleman above name. For many year past he has been engaged in farming and stock raising in Perkins county, and he has acquired a valuable estate and enviable reputation as a worthy citizen.
Mr. Carter was born in Stark county, Illinois, in 1847. He comes of German stock, his great grandfather having been born and raised in Germany, the family settling in the United States many years ago, and our subject's father was a pioneer in Illinois. His mother was of Scotch blood, and the family lived on a farm during Charles' boyhood. When he was thirteen years of age they moved to Galva, Illinois, and there he attended the city schools and at the age of sixteen started out for himself, making his own living from that time on. He went to Missouri and remained for a year, then spent one year in Minnesota, coming to Keith county, Nebraska, in 1884, where he took up a homestead on section 10, township 11, range 40, and proved up on it, making a good home of it, and still owns the property. His first buildings were of sod, and he spent about nineteen years on the place, going through all the experiences common to the early settlers in that region, witnessing drouth (sic) seasons, and suffering losses of crops, etc., but finally succeeded in building up a good farm. He has about one thousand two hundred acres in the vicinity, engaging in cattle raising principally. He has some land under cultivation, the place is fitted with good buildings of all kinds, commodious residence, and he has all necessary machinery for operating his place successfully. He has good water on his farm and all the conveniences and comforts of a model rural home. He is progressive and energetic, and has met with deserved success.
In 1893 Mr. Carter moved to Grant during the hard times on the farms, and his wife took in sewing to help things along, and in payment for her work she received calves in place of money. These our subject would raise, and in this way gradually got into the stock business, which was the nucleus of his present valuable property. In 1903 Mr. Carter was elected county assessor, and again moved to Grant and
opened a real estate office. Mr. Carter is now acting as chairman of the county Republican committee, and is one of the leading men in politics in the county. He has served as census enumerator, and was also precinct assessor previous to being elected county assessor.
Mr. Carter was married in 1871 to Miss Hattie Burner, of Galesburg, Illinois. To them have been born the following children; Rollie E., Claude D. and Myrtle M. They have a pleasant home and a host of friends and acquaintances throughout the vicinity.
HOLLY O. BAKER
Holly O. Baker was born on a farm in Indiana, in 1870. His father, Theodore, was a native of Ohio and was of American born parents. The father was a farmer and carpenter by trade and was one of the earliest pioneer settlers of Blaine county, Nebraska. The mother was Flora Sparks before marriage.
In 1877 the family went to Kansas, remaining in that state for four years, when they returned to Indiana. About two years later, in 1884, the family again started for the west, coming to Nebraska, which state has since been their home. The family located in Blaine county on the North Loup river and commenced opening up the lovely farm on which our subject now lives. They did a great deal of freighting in the early days, hauling material and supplies from North Loup, eighty-five miles away, and our subject had many hard experiences camping out on these trips, and sleeping under the wagon in all kinds of weather. Their first home was in a board shanty with a canvas roof, next was a sod house, which, although used only a few seasons, stood for twenty years as a monument of pioneer days. In 1896 the father move to the city of Ord, Nebraska, and our subject took charge of the large ranch, retaining its management ever since. Our subject took a homestead of his own and also built up a splendid home and farm. He now operates a large ranch of one thousand one hundred acres and its fine condition reflects great credit on its successful manager and occupant. There is a good house, large commodious barns and outbuildings, four beautiful groves of trees and the farm is nearly all fenced. Cattle and horse raising are the principal pursuits of our subject and he is doing a profitable and prosperous business.
Holly O. Baker was united in marriage in 1896 to Miss Mabel Copp, daughter of Henry Copp, one of the pioneers of Blaine county. Mr. and Mrs. Baker have had three children: Floyd, Boyd and Marion.
Mr. Baker occupies an enviable position among the younger ranchmen of Blaine county. His operations have successfully established him on the road to wealth and a prosperous home. He has taken a prominent place among the pioneer settlers of the county and is esteemed by his friends as a public-spirited citizen of strong and progressive character.
G. W. COOK
The above named gentleman, as well as his father, Charles Cook, is well and favorably known throughout western Nebraska.
Charles Cook was born in England in 1852, coming to America at the age of eighteen years. He settled in Cheyenne county, Nebraska, in 1889, and spent many years on the frontier, experiencing every phase of pioneer life in the west, and to his influence and effort was due much of the success in the agricultural districts where he has made his home at different periods. In 1899 he came to Kimball county, took up a homestead and proved up on it, and there built up a good home and property. He also bought land in section 8, township 14, range 58, gradually added to his original claim until he was owner of four thousand four hundred and eighty acres. He kept large herds of stock, and now has about four hundred cattle, six hundred sheep, fifty head of these sheep are imported Rambouillets, noted for the heavy fleece they produce, shearing from fifteen to thirty pounds. Mr. Cook took the first grand prize at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition at Omaha, on his sheep. He also has about thirty horses and is one of the most successful ranchmen of his section. He also farms a small portion of his land, and has met with success in that line.
Mr. Charles is the father of our subject. Had a family of seven and one daughter. He is now making his home in California, although he is the manager and gives his entire time to the operation of his extensive interest here.
Albert and Sam Cook, and one sister, Eliza Cook, are now living on the home ranch, all of whom are single. They are a most highly esteemed family, and all are popular in the neighborhood affairs.
G. W. Cook, whose name heads this review, is the eldest son of Charles Cook, and he was born in Oregon, November 16, 1880. At the age of nine years he came to Cheyenne county with his parents, and later to Kimball county, where he grew to manhood. In 1903 he purchased the Elfblade ranch, located on section
12, township 13, range 59, and now owns nine hundred and sixty acres, all good farm and hay land. He has about fifty acres devoted to diversified farming, but is engaged principally in the stock business, running one hundred cattle, principally Short Horns, and about one thousand five hundred sheep, all thoroughbred Rambouillets, besides quite a bunch of horses. He has a fine property, is progressive in his methods, and one of the substantial and successful men of his section.
Mr. Cook has never married. Politically he
is a Republican, and is now serving his second term as justice of
the peace. His portrait will be found on another page.
MESSRS. PORTER & GRIFFIN
The above firm are among the prominent and successful business men of Alma, Nebraska, engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business. This business was established in 1888, Mr. Griffin having come to Alma in 1886 and Mr. Porter the following year. The former held the position as cashier of the First National Bank at Alma for two years, and the latter was engaged in the practice of law for the same length of time. The firm was at first known as Griffin & Taylor, in 1888, and later as Porter & Taylor, from 1890 to 1892, when the present firm was established. Their trade extends all over this and adjoining counties, even in the state of Kansas, and they deal principally in improved farming land, handling loans, and have put through many immense deals, always being ready and willing to make loans on good farms, extending liberal terms. During the past three years land values in Harlan county have increased from five to ten dollars per acre to fifty and sixty per acre, and this has been due in great measure to the wonderful possibilities to be found in this section, owning to the fine farming land, and excellent opportunities for stock raising, feeding, etc.
Mr. Porter is a native of Monmouth, Illinois, and was raised and educated there, attending Monmouth College. He studied law and was admitted to the bar at Springfield, Illinois, in 1887.
Mr. Griffin was born in Canton, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, in 1844. He enlisted in the Seventh Pennsylvania cavalry in 1864, saw service in many famous battles and was with the army of the Cumberland. After the war closed he returned to his native town and remained there up to 1886, when he settled in Nebraska.
Mr. Porter is the proprietor of a fine farm of one thousand two hundred to one thousand three hundred acres in Harlan county, all of which he rents out, deriving a comfortable income from this source. Both Messrs. Porter and Griffin are prominent Republicans, active in public affairs, and one or the other of them are always on the county committee. Both are also members of the Mason's blue lodge, and Mr. Porter is an Odd Fellow.
William Gibson is one of the well-known citizens of Cherry county, and a prosperous and well-to-do farmer. His residence is on section 34, township 26, range 33, and he is the owner of four hundred and eighty acres of land, all of which is well improved. He is a gentleman of integrity and good judgment and well merits the success which has come to him and the enviable reputation which he enjoys as an old settler and worthy resident of his locality.
Mr. Gibson was born in Rock Island county, Illinois, in 1867. His father, Alex. Gibson, was born in Ireland, as was also his mother. The former followed farming all his life, and the family settled in Iowa when William was a child one year old, and after that lived on several different farms in that state, remaining there for sixteen years in all. He attended the common schools, and worked at farming through his boyhood, coming to Nebraska with his parents about 1883, and when he was twenty-three left home and started for himself, taking a farm in Fillmore county, Nebraska, which he operated for several years. In 1893 he went with his family to McPherson county, settling on barren prairie land, filing on a homestead and proved up on it. There he put up sod buildings and built up a good ranch. That place was located thirty-five miles from a town, and they lived on it for about nine years, then moved to Mullen and made that their home for two years, coming to his present ranch from there. He now has a good ranch and home, having put up good buildings, fences and every improvement. He lately erected a fine barn fifty-six by thirty-two feet, and has plenty of sheds, with wells, windmills, etc.
Mr. Gibson was married in 1891, to Miss Sadie Brown, daughter of John Brown, a farmer and native of Scotland, who settled in this locality many years ago, her mother's maiden name was Agnes Brown. To Mr. Gibson and his good wife have been born the following children: John, Frank, Irene and Pearl, who form a most charming family group.
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