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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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     Mr. Gillaspie was born in Clark county Arkansas, October 22, 1861. His father, William Gillaspie, was of Scotch stock, and a farmer by occupation. He died when our subject was a lad of eight years old. There were five boys in the family and he was the second in number, being brought up to all sorts of farm work and early became accustomed to the life of a farmer. When he reached the age of twenty-two he came to Cherry county, trailing a herd of stock all the way from Arkansas, and being six months on the way. He afterward worked as a cowboy here on the Metzler ranch for several years, as well as in New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming, and had the reputation of being the best stockman in the country. He served for a time as foreman on the Arkansas ranch, the brand of which he later purchased, and in 1887 he started in business for himself, taking what is called the T. O. ranch located at Chesterfield. He filed on a tree claim and homestead in Gillaspie precinct, which was named after him, and was successful in this venture from the start, building up a fine ranch of from fourteen to fifteen quarter sections of land, all well stocked.

     In 1900 Mr. Gillaspie was married to Mrs. Leila S. Gillaspie, a widow of his brother, a native of Arkansas, being born in Clark county. She was the daughter of C. R. Stone and Elizabeth (McMinnas) Stone. There were three sons and five daughters in the Stone family, but she was the only daughter who ever came west to live. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Gillaspie, named as follows: Alice Marie and Roberto Fern.

     Mrs. Gillaspie was married again September 16, 1907, to Mr. Joseph Jennette, an associate of her former husband, and they are living on the V Z ranch, which is leased for a number of years, and here each is running herds of cattle and horses which are increasing very rapidly from year to year. A view of the residence and surroundings is shown on another page of this work.

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     The gentleman named here was a prominent physician of North Platte, born at Greenborough, North Carolina, in 1844. Mr. Dick was in the southern army, enlisting at the age of fifteen years, and served all through the was, in 1863 being taken prisoner at Johnson Island. He served in a North Carolina regiment under Colonel Bingham and a brave and gallant soldier.

     Dr. Dick located in North Platte in 1868. He was a graduate of the Medical College at Baltimore, Maryland, and was the first doctor to locate in North Platte, practicing here up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1896, at the age of fifty-three years. He was appointed surgeon for the Union Pacific Railway in 1870 for the division from North Platte to Ogden, Utah, and east to Omaha. This territory was afterwards cut down, and he ran from Cheyenne to Omaha. He held this post during his lifetime, and also was county physician for two years, and coroner for several years.

     Dr. Dick's father, John McCintock Dick, was judge of the supreme court of the state of North Carolina for many years, and his brother, Robert P. Dick, also held that honorable position. One brother, James Dick, was an attorney, and two others, William and Jonathan, were physicians.

     Dr. Dick was married, May 2, 1871, to Miss Ella A. Webb, of Auburn, New York, daughter of Z. L. Webb and Polly Maria (Hoffman) Webb, both pioneer families in New York state. Mrs. Dick and Mrs. Peniston, whose husband's sketch appears in this volume, are sisters. Dr. and Mrs. Dick were the parents of five children, who are named as follows: Parthenia N., wife of Albert Shaw, a ranchman of North Platte; John L., engineer on the Union Pacific Railway, residing in North Platte; Leslie E. Dick, night express agent of the Western Pacific company here; Anna R., at home, and Robert P., still attending school. Dr. Dick's memory is held in great reverence by all who knew him. He filled an honorable position as a citizen and physician who was a thorough master of his profession. Mrs. Dick came here and went through a regular pioneer life as the young bride of her husband, and is highly esteemed by all. Dr. Dick was the owner of an extensive ranch located near this town, and also the first man to start a drug store in North Platte. He took an active interest in politics, was a strong Democrat, and elected as county commissioner in 1874, serving for two terms. He was also a member of the school board, and a devout Episcopalian.



     The gentleman whose name heads this personal history resides in Center township, Buffalo county, and is owner of the White Bridge Park Farm, located on Wood river, five miles from the town of Kearney. Besides successfully farming one hundred and sixty acres Mr.

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Klein is developing a fine park and summer resort to be used by campers and "picnickers." The river affords, with the six-foot dam which he has built, a constant flow of water for boating for a distance of half a mile above the dam, and there are plenty of boats for hire and extensive fishing grounds, tennis, croquet plats, etc., which will furnish amusement for all ages and tastes. Mr. Klein has graded the banks and put in a fine driveway to extend all through the grounds to the river, on one side a quarter of a mile long, then crossing the river and back on the other side.

     This drive leads through a beautiful piece of timber land, the road being above the high-water line. There are eight acres of woods, ash, elm, box elder, etc., affording plenty of shade, and will make an ideal amusement park. The waterfall is six feet high, and this with its music adds greatly to the charms of the resort. Mr. Klein has a state right to take water for irrigation purposes for four acres, and he has built a fish pond twenty-two feet higher than the river, and to this he raises the water by a breast wheel. Pipes lead from this pond, keeping all in a beautiful green state. The grounds are planted with flowers, fruit trees and shade trees in abundance, which makes it a pleasing spot to the eye. During 1906, up to August 1, the resort had twelve hundred visitors, while the previous year but four hundred were entertained, which shows the grateful appreciation the public bestows on Mr. Klein's efforts. Everything is planned for the comfort and pleasure of his patrons, and it is bound to become one of the most popular amusement resorts in this section of the country on account of its location and the natural beauties of the spot. Also, a first-class resort of this kind is uncommon in this region, and affords a constant source of pleasure to the people of the locality. In the fall of 1908 a railroad was surveyed near the place, crossing Wood river at Mr. Klein's place, and he expects to have a station at the summer resort.

     Mrs. Klein is greatly interested in this work with her husband, and upon her shoulders falls most of the business management.

     A few years since Mr. Klein obtained from the Ladies' Home Journal a twenty-five-dollar prize for a photograph of the bridge in this park, as it then appeared, with a faded coat of red paint, disfigured by all sorts and conditions of advertising signs. He secured permission to remove these unsightly things and painted the bridge white and afterwards sent another photograph of "The White Bridge," from which the park derives its name.



     Prominent among the younger members of the business circle in Grant is the gentleman whose name heads this review. Mr. Carothers is a young man of exceptional educational and business ability, and is making a success in his chosen field of work. He has a drug store on the principal business street of Grant, and is enjoying a good patronage and rapidly becoming one of the substantial citizens of his community, taking into consideration the length of time which he has been in business, which is but a few years.

     Mr. Carrothers is a native of the state of Illinois, born in the town of Norwood, Mercer county, in 1874. Both parents were born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, settling in Illinois in the early days, where they followed farming for many years. When our subject was eleven years of age the family came to Nebraska. A sister of our subject, Miss Virginia Carrothers, was county superintendent for six years, and is well known through the entire locality. She was one of the early homesteaders in Perkins county, as well also three brothers of our subject, namely: Vance, William and Robert. The parents of Mr. Carrothers settled near Madrid, and there they began their pioneer life in a sod shanty, during the first summer living in wagons in which they had made much of the journey west. There were obliged to haul all water for domestic use for a distance of fifteen miles, and their nearest postoffice and trading station was Ogallala, thirty-two miles from their homestead. In 1893 Rollow went into Missouri, and after a short stay there returned to Madrid and entered school, after a time going to Gothenburg, Nebraska, and securing a position in a drug store, remaining there up to 1903, when he went to Crighton College, Omaha, and took his first year; then to Des Moines and entered the Highland Park College, remaining for one year, and in August, 1907, became a registered pharmacist and purchased his present establishment. Mr. Carrothers is regarded as one of the rising young men of Perkins county, and none are more highly esteemed or enjoy the confidence of its citizens to a more marked degree than himself.

     In 1903 our subject was united in marriage to Miss Ethel Burson, born in Fairmount, Nebraska. Her parents were old settlers in Frontier county. Mr. and Mrs. Carothers have one daughter, Marian G., born January 7, 1908. Politically Mr. Carothers is a Democrat.

     Miss Virginia Carothers, a sister of our

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subject, above mentioned, was the first school teacher in the district where the family settled on coming to Nebraska. She is now engaged in missionary work, having spent some time in Portland, Oregon, about two years in Spokane, Washington, and for the past five years has been located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.



     H. L. Hummel, residing on section 11, Sheridan township, Phelps county, is one of the representative farmers of his locality. He was for eight years supervisor of his township, first elected in 1898 and re-elected for two succeeded terns, and also in 1904, 1905 and 1906. He is a member of the county board and a strong Republican, and one of the leading citizens of the county.

     Mr. Hummel was born in Ogle county, Illinois, and grew up on his father's farm in Kane county, near Batavia. He is a son of Rev. H. Hummel, a minister in the evangelical church, who purchased a farm for each of his four sons in Richardson county, Nebraska, all but our subject still residing in the county, two farming and the third a banker at Humbolt, Nebraska. Their father was born and educated in Germany and came to this country about 1833. In 1892 our subject came to Phelps county and bought three hundred and twenty acres located in south one-half section 11, building a good house and barns on the land. This year (1906) he has had erected one of the finest farm residences to be found in western Nebraska, and, in fact, in outward appearance, finish, decoration and convenience is surpassed by no city home. This forms a wonderful contrast to the sod shanties and later the modest frame houses which fist served the pioneers of this section only a few years back, and illustrates the degree of progress and success to which the American farmer has attained, also the skill of our artisans in adapting water systems, sewers and the heating and lighting to the limitations of the farm, removed as it is from the systems developed in cities. For months prior to building their home, Mr. and Mrs. Hummel read and consulted along these lines, with the perfect result which has been obtained. There is a large cistern of rain water which supplies the bath, also hot water reservoirs and basins, together with an air pressure boiler in the cellar capable of two hundred pounds' pressure with air and water pump, supplies the water and force at the same time, thus doing away with the roof tank and the laborious hand pump to feed it. The plumbing is open and fixtures of the latest design. The house is cellar to pantry, thus saving the women of the household many steps, and even the labor of carrying in the corncobs for the kitchen stove is avoided, for an immense bin is filled through an outside window, opening into a chute in the kitchen opposite the stove. The commodious back porch is screened in with wire so that flies will be an unknown quantity, while the kitchen doors and windows can be left wide open. The work in such a home will be a positive pleasure, and shows a marked contrast to the drudgery of the ordinary farm house devoid of any such conveniences. We describe this model farm and home in full in order to incite other farmers in western Nebraska to go and do likewise in imitating the taste and desire for home comforts, and enjoyment exhibited here. With such homes as this, the desire of the boys and girls of western Nebraska to get into the city will disappear, and they will be perfectly contented to remain on the farms.

     After varied experience in farming, both in Illinois and eastern Nebraska, Mr. Hummel prefers Phelps county to any other place. He bought his land here in 1889 at eighteen dollars per acre, and now it is worth seventy-five. In Kane county, Illinois, land is worth from one hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars while here the soil is as good, and much easier worked. Except for the year 1894, Mr. Hummel has had the best of success with wheat, oats and corn. He advocates the fall sowing of alfalfa, and has put this in practice on his own farm with good success. He has raised a quantity of registered Poland-China hogs, for which he finds a profitable home market. One year he exhibited this stock at the county fair and took away all the prizes with the classes shown. He is now going into the cattle business with registered Shorthorns, considering this breed the best. He has also raised good Percheron horses, and is well posted on this subject as well as all matters pertaining to progressive farming. Mr. Hummel finds it profitable to feed from two to three cars of cattle every winter, and considers no place better fitted for feeding cattle for the spring market, starting them in October and giving them a five or six months' feed.

     Mr. Hummel was married in 1889 to Miss Annah Clark, of Humboldt, Nebraska, daughter of George W. Clark. Mr. and Mrs. Hummel have one son, H. L. Hummel, Jr., and a daughter, Mabelle Anna.

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     Jacob H. Jacobson, for the past twenty years a prominent representative of the ranching community of Box Butte and Cherry counties, Nebraska, has a pleasant home in section 20, township 29, range 37. He is one of the worthy citizens of that region, and his success and good name are well merited.

     Mr. Jacobson was born in Moedom, Norway, in 1855, where he grew to the age of five years, then with his parents came to America, the family settling in Houston county, Minnesota, on a farm, and were among the pioneers of that part of the state, the father's death occurring there in the fall of 1871 and the mother died in that state March 25, 1907. Our subject grew to manhood in Minnesota, following farming all the time, after the death of his father assuming entire charge of the home farm, carrying it on for two years, when he left the state, taking with him a yoke of oxen, covered wagon and personal effects, and drove through to Madison county, Nebraska, where he settled on a farm. There he went through many discouragements, witnessing grasshopper raids and suffered severely from crop losses, but stuck to the place for eighteen years, and succeeded in building up a good farm and home. From there Mr. Jacobson went to Box Butte county, where he picked out a location southeast of Hemingford, landing there in 1886, having driven through from Newman's Grove, a distance of two hundred and fifty miles.

      After working hard to put in crops the first season on his new farm, our subject was dried out, losing even the seed he had planted, and being convinced that he was unable to make a living on that farm he decided to try another location, so came to Cherry county in the fall of 1890, picking out a location on Gordon creek, where he started in the cattle business, beginning on a small scale and gradually increasing his herd, and has a fine ranch with plenty of pasture and range land for his stock, the place consisting of eighteen quarter sections deeded, besides a good deal of leased land. He sold out his Box Butte ranch about six or seven years ago, after being here in Cherry county some time. He claims he sold out a little too soon, as land advanced rapidly since his selling out in Box Butte county.

     Mr. Jacobson was married in 1883 to Miss Kristiane Stensrud, who was born in Norway and came to America in 1880. Mr. Jacobson's brother Charles married a sister of our subject's wife, Josephine Stensrud, and the two families are closely associated in the ranching business. The brothers have been in partnership ever since locating in Box Butte county, and together they have built up a splendid property, being counted among the leading ranchmen of the county, who rake an active part in the affairs of their community and are highly esteemed by all who know them. In politics they are Republicans.



     August Helmbold, a leading old settler in Nebraska, resides in a pleasant and comfortable home in Rushville, and is well known and highly esteemed in the community in which he lives.

     Mr. Helmbold is a native of Germany, born in 1853 on a farm in Saxony. His father, Henry Helmbold, died in his native land about 1878. Our subject grew up in his native country, starting to learn the butcher's trade at the age of fourteen years, and continued at this work up to the time he left Germany, which was in 1881. He crossed the sea and landed in New York with his wife, whom he had married in the fatherland in 1879. The had one child, a boy, Edward, and in 1902 Mr. Helmbold had the sad misfortune in the death of his wife, who had been a true helpmeet in his labors in the new world, assisting him in building up a home and sharing all his failures and successes here. After landing in this country Mr. Helmbold came to Ida Grove, Iowa, residing at that place up to 1885, working at the butcher's trade, then came on to Rushville in July of that year, where he opened the first meat market in that place. Here he took up a homestead and proved up on it, operating this farm in connection with his other business and being very successful from the start.

     Mr. Helmbold has conducted his meat market here for over twenty-two years, and has with him his son Edward, who is interested in the business also. He had practically no capital when he started here in 1885, and has gained all he has through his own efforts, devoting his untiring energy to the building up of his trade and always running a first-class market. He also owns a farm of three hundred and twenty acres, on which he runs on hundred and twenty-five head of cattle and fifteen horses. He owns his house and lot in town, besides the building in which he has his meat market.

     Mr. Helmbold was married the second time in 1903 to Mrs. Emilia Milbrandt, who was


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a widow with two children, both girls, named Mary and Bertha.

     In political faith Mr. Helmbold is a stanch Republican and takes a commendable interest in all local affairs.



     Pete Rasmussen, one of the patriotic and public-spirited citizens of Sioux county, Nebraska, is a striking and impressive representative of his section of the country. He is well known to all as an old settler and influential man, held in the highest esteem by his fellow-men.

     Mr. Rasmussen was born in Denmark in 1860 on a farm. His father, Rasmus Jensen, a weaver by trade, lived and died in his native country, and our subject was raised and educated there, learning the tailor's trade as a young man, and also assisting his father in carrying on the farm work. In 1881 he came to America, and after landing in New York City came directly west to Dakota City, Nebraska, remaining there for three years. In 1885 he came to Dawes county, driving from Dakota City with a team and wagon, spending the nights camped out along the road, the journey taking a whole month. He was accompanied by his brother Nels, and after arriving at their destination took up a homestead twelve miles from Crawford, where they built a log house and "batched it" for two years. They began breaking up the land, part of our subject's time being spend in eastern Nebraska. They lived on the homestead for two years, going through the usual pioneer experiences in handling ox teams, freighting, etc. Mr. Rasmussen also took up a pre-emption in Dawes county and lived there for about eleven years, building up a comfortable home and farm, then was overtaken by the drouths (sic) and meeting with much loss and discouragement decided to leave, and taking his fourteen head of cattle he rented a farm in the county on which he remained for one season. He had made but little money on his place, and was obliged to make a fresh start, so he took charge of the head gate of the Crawford Irrigation Canal and held that position for four years, at the same time running a small bunch of cattle. In 1900 he purchased his present farm in section 1, township 31, range 53, Sioux county, also took up a homestead adjoining this land and began in the stock raising business quite extensively, in partnership with J. E. Porter, of Crawford. Here he runs over four hundred head of cattle and carries on mixed farming on sixty acres of highly cultivated land. He has a fine patch of forty acres of alfalfa, and has added many improvements on his farm, and it is one of the valuable properties in the region. He located on a line of the Dead Man's Telephone Company, and gets connection with Crawford, Harrison and Chadron right from his house. His residence is on Dead Man's creek.

     In 1887 Mr. Rasmussen was united in marriage to Miss Anna Madsen, a native of Denmark, who came to this country when a girl, settling in Dawes county, Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Rasmussen are the parents of seven children, who are named as follows: Christina, Hans, Minnie, Clara, Anna, Martha and Grace. The family are (sic) popular in their community, and are true and worthy citizens, enjoying a peaceful and happy home surrounded by a host of warm friends and kind neighbors.


     The gentleman herein named is one of the largest ranchmen of western Nebraska, having his home in Alliance, his extensive ranch being in Deuel county. He is a leading old settler of western Nebraska, and has been in this part of the state since the early days, watching the region grow from its beginning to be the prosperous country it is today, and has been largely instrumental in its development and growth.

     Mr. Brennan was born at Stratford, Ontario, in 1869. His father, Martin Brennan, was born in Ireland, and married Mary Fitzgerald, also a native of Ireland, they coming to American when quite young with their parents, and were married in Canada. The father was a lumberman; and when our subject was five years of age the family came to Michigan and located in the lumber district, where he was raised and educated, working in the woods in winter as soon as he was old enough, being employed on the log drives in the spring. For a time he was under sheriff of Bay county, Michigan, this office being the same as deputy sheriff in Nebraska. In 1887 he came to Nebraska, driving from Hay Springs to Box Butte county by stage, then to Nonpariel, where he took up a pre-emption and proved up on it. In the spring of the following year he came to Alliance and here established a cattle ranch in the sand hills southeast of the town about thirty-five miles, in Deuel county, Nebraska. His first buildings were of sod, and he put in nearly all of his time on that

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