Lavina E. Fye, a native of Wisconsin, whose father came of Pennsylvania Dutch stock, and her mother of German descent. They are the parents of seven children, who are named as follows: John, Emma, George, Edward, David, William and Warren. The two eldest were born in Wisconsin, and the younger five in Nebraska.
Mr. Fernau deserves much praise for the substantial success which has attended his labors. Beginning with the most modest capital, he has worked his way up to the competence he now enjoys, and is an exemplary member of the community in which he chose his home. In politics he is Democratic, and with the family, a member of the Congregational Church of Ainsworth.
WILLIAM E. ROUDEBUSH.
William E. Roudebush, who for the past many years has resided in Deuel county, Nebraska, is the possessor of a fine estate and one of the highly esteemed citizens of Chappell, where he now makes his home.
Mr. Roudebush was born in Henry county, Iowa, in 1871, and was raised on a farm. His father, Jacob h> Roudebush, was a native of Pennsylvania, of old American stock, and later was one of the early settlers in Deuel county, Nebraska. He married Anna H. Brown, born in Indiana, of American blood. When our subject was a lad of fifteen years he came to Deuel county with his parents and has lived on the frontier since that time, being familiar with every phase of ranch life, helping his father build up his extensive ranching interests, and is a thorough judge and master of the business from start to finish. When a very young man he began in the cattle business on his own account, taking a homestead on section 9, township 20, range 44, built a shanty and roughed it for several years. The town of Alliance, thirty miles away, was his nearest railroad station, and from there he had to haul all his supplies. He lived on this ranch until 1900, building up a valuable estate, then sold out and moved to near Oshkosh, still running his ranch himself. He owns in all one thousand six hundred acres, which is devoted to stock raising.
In 1905 Mr. Roudebush was elected treasurer of Deuel county, served his term and was re-elected in 1907, still occupying the office. He moved to Chappell several years ago and has a pleasant home here.
Our subject was married in 1896, at Alliance, Nebraska, to Miss Mary Applegarth, daughter of Henry Applegarth, an old settler of this county. He located here in 1888 and is well and favorably known throughout the vicinity. Mr. and Mrs. Roudebush have a family of three children, named as follows: Claude, aged ten; Elma, aged five, and Myron, a baby of three years, and they form an interesting and charming group.
Among the old settlers and prominent residents of Chadron, Nebraska, the name of William Wilson deserves a foremost place. Wilson is well known all over the western part of Nebraska as a successful ranchman and farmer, owning valuable property in Dawes county, and he is one of the public-spirited citizens of his community, at present making his home in the town of Chadron.
Mr. Wilson was born in Morgan county, Indiana, in 1833. His father was Alexander Wilson, of American stock, owner of a fine farm in the timbered region, and was owner of a large sawmill plant; was killed there in August, 1862. His mother was Mary Maxwell, also of American blood. William grew up on his father's farm on the frontier, and was married in that neighborhood in 1856, to Miss Mary A. Hollis, whose parents were American born. Our subject entered the service of his country in 1862, enlisting in Company H, Seventy-ninth Indiana Infantry, and served in Kentucky and Tennessee. He was at the battle of Stone River, Tennessee, and Perryville, Kentucky, seeing actual service for many months. The following year, 1863, at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, he received his discharge and returned to his native county where he remained for several years, then came to Missouri and settled on a farm in Harrison county, on which he lived for twenty years. There he opened up as fine a farm as was to be found in that part of the country, within two miles of Ridgway, Missouri; that town being established years after he settled there. When he first came the country was all open prairie. Mr. Wilson's whole life has been. spent on the frontier in Indiana, Missouri and Nebraska.
Mr. Wilson first came to Dawes county in 1889, settling on a ranch six miles east of Chadron, and he built up that place and operated it for eighteen years. He had three hundred and twenty acres of good range land, part of which was cultivated, and made a suc-
cess of the work from the beginning. Mr. Wilson was township treasurer in Missouri for years, in which capacity he collected the money and hired and paid the school teachers of the township; and he has been treasurer of the first agricultural association of Dawes county, Nebraska. He moved to the city of Chadron in 1903, and has since made that city his home, and where he has a fine residence. He is police judge of Chadron having held that office for four terms. He is well known and esteemed as a leading citizen and politician, a man of high character and progressive ideas.
Mr. Wilson suffered a sad bereavement in June, 1906, in the death of his wife, who left the following children: William A.; Lovica, wife of Peter Tanner, residing in Missouri on a very fine farm; Grace, now Mrs. J. P. Owen; Jennie, now Mrs. E. R. Whetstine; John T.; Dolly, now Mrs. R. A. Bowes, Fred K.; Henrietta, wife of C. B. Owen, all settled in this vicinity except Lovica. as stated above.
J. A. GIBSON.
J. A. Gibson, one of the leading citizens of Alma, Harlan county, was born in Marion county, Illinois, in 1848. He is a son of James and Margaret (French) Gison, the former born in Monongahela county, West Virginia, the latter of Champaign county, Ohio. The family moved to Marion county, Iowa, in 1854, where the father became one of the active pioneer settlers in that part of Iowa. Our subject's grandfather, Hugh Gibson, came from Kennykajig, in the north of Ireland, early in the seventeenth century, and settled at the mouth of the Cheat river, West Virginia, then Virginia. He married Miss Peggy Foreman, of Jamestown, Virginia.
In 1864 our subject enlisted in the Forty-seventh Iowa Infantry. at the age of sixteen years, and served until the close of the war. He was with his regiment all through Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas, taking part in the battle of Big Creek, Arkansas, and in other engagements of that division. He had two brothers in the war, serving in the Ninth Iowa Cavalry.
Mr. Gibson came to Nebraska and located Harlan county in 1878. He drove here in a covered wagon, accompanied by his wife and three children. They took up a homestead situated north of Alma, and resided on this until 1892, when they removed to the town of Alma, where Mr. Gibson engaged in the grocery and produce business. He operated this store up to 1894, and since that time has conducted a feed and poultry business here. He has built a fine residence and is one of the prosperous business men of this section. Mr. Gibson has held different local offices, having served as Justice of the peace and township supervisor. He was a candidate for sheriff on the Republican ticket. Later he was appointed sheriff and filled an unexpired term. He is a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic post at Alma, and past master of the Masonic lodge here.
In 1871 Mr. Gibson married Miss Margaret Wilson, a resident of Sheridan, Iowa, at the time. They have a family of six children living, who are named as follows: Mary, wife of J. R. Punshon, of Morton, Kansas; Clara, now Mrs. Kirkpatrick, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Nellie, now Mrs. Moore, also of Colorado Springs; Mrs. A. L. Burkey, of Alma: John L. Gibson, of Alma, and Bessie Gibson, living at home. They also have two adopted children, taken from the New York Orphans' Home. Bennie and Ida Jones.
GEORGE D. BERRY.
Among the prosperous and wide-awake business men of Bassett, Nebraska, who has been in this section since the pioneer times, we mention the name of George D. Berry. He has been intimately identified with the upbuilding of that locality and is widely and favorably known throughout Rock county.
Mr. Berry is a native of Juneau county, Wisconsin, born September 5, 1854. His father, also George Perry, was born in England and emigrated to this country when a young man, settling in Wisconsin, where he farmed for many years, prior to establishing himself in Iowa, where he died. When our subject was five or six years of age his parents settled in Corydon, Wayne county, Iowa, where he attended the common schools, receiving a fair education. At the age of thirteen years he began working for himself, being employed as farm boy for a time. In 1884 he came to Nebraska and located in Rock county, where he secured a place in a grocery store as a clerk, and continued at this work for several years. He came to Bassett in 1884 and settled on a homestead south of the town, clerking in Long Pine for some time. After settling here he opened a grocery store in Bassett on his own account, and in 1899 traded his homestead for a lot and building in the town. He
made a success of the business from the start, and built up a profitable trade among the residents of Bassett and all over the surrounding country by his strict integrity and honest and fair treatment. He has accumulated a comfortable property and is regarded as a successful business man and worthy citizen.
Mr. Berry was married in Iowa September 5, 1886, to Miss Sadie C. Stewart, a native of Iowa, born at Henry. Her father, Charles Stewart, was a farmer by occupation, born of Irish stock, while her mother, Susan Ireland, was of Yankee and Dutch blood. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Berry, namely: George Milo and Harvey Park.
Mr. Berry is a Republican in politics, and a member of the Odd Fellows and Workmen at Bassett.
WILLIAM C. DUGGER.
Another of the well-to-do residents and old-timers of western Nebraska is found in the person of the gentleman above mentioned, who is owner of a valuable estate in Cheyenne county.
William C. Dugger was born in Scott county, Illinois, on December 10, 1857. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, and his mother born in England, the latter dying in 1864, and the former is also deceased. They lived in Illinois until William was seven years of age, then, after the mother's death, the father went to Kansas with his children, settling in Clay county, where he lived for about thirteen years. From there he moved to Linn county, that state, and came to Cheyenne county in 1886, landing in the region April 22d. He first took a pre-emption and homestead, the latter on section 11, township 18, range 51, which now forms the home ranch. There are four hundred acres lying along Pumpkin creek and three hundred and twenty acres on Middle creek, all good range and farm land. He has one hundred acres cultivated, raising small grains, and he runs about one hundred and twenty head of cattle and twenty horses. There are good buildings and improvements on the place and Mr. Dugger is one of the leading men of his locality.
On June 2, 1877, our subject was united in marriage in Linn county, Kansas to Miss Avilla J. Millsap, who was born in Iowa, and reared there. They raised a family of six children, named as follows: Grace A.. married to J. W. Nunn, living near her father's ranch, mother of four children; Amanda married W. J. Cochran, and they have one child; Marion A., Thomas, Florence and Naomi, the last mentioned four living at home. The mother died September 22, 1907, leaving many sorrowing friends to mourn her loss, as she was a most estimable lady, greatly beloved by all who knew her.
Mr. Dugger is president of the Court House Rock Telephone Company, and active in all local matters of public benefit. He is serving as moderator of school district 143 at the present time. In political views he is a stanch Republican, and was elected commissioner in 1905, and re-elected for the following term, which will expire in 1910.
JAMES P. SWEENEY.
James P. Sweeney, a prosperous agriculturist and one of the leading citizens of township 28, range 37, Cherry county is called one of the old settlers of western Nebraska, although he is one of the younger men in his locality.
Mr. Sweeney was born in Oil City, Pennsylvania in 18??. His father, Michael Sweeney, was a farmer and teamster of that state for many years, later a pioneer in western Nebraska, where he settled with his family in 1883/5 ? locating at first in Holt county, and from there moved to Sheridan county, where he lived for a number of years. He was one of the well known men of the region, and died on May 2d, 1907, in Cherry county, Nebraska, leaving his widow, whose maiden name was Miss Mary R. Zink, and five children, namely: Kate, married; Joe B.; James P. (our subject); Ed. and Rose M. In 1895 James came to Cherry county with the family, landing here in the spring of that year, his father taking up a homestead on section 28, township 28, range 37. The place has been improved in good shape, is all fenced and our subject is engaged in stock raising principally, and is making a splendid success of the work with his two brothers, Joe and Ed., they being equally interested in the ranching business. The mother and his sister, Rose M. both live with our subject. The ranch contains nine quarter sections of deeded land and is one of the most valuable estates in the county. All the children have Kincaid homesteads adjoining their mother. They have three flowing wells, five windmills, and six or seven lakes abounding with fish, ducks, geese, etc. They put up annually about two thousand tons of hay. They run large herds of cattle and horses each year for the markets.
Mr. Sweeney is an honest, industrious young man, who gives his entire time and attention to the operation of his extensive interests, being associated with his two brothers as before stated, and is on the high road, to success. All three are strong Bryan Democrats.
THOMAS V. JAQUES.
Thomas V. Jaques, one of the leading old settlers of Keya Paha county, resides on a well-improved farm in Custer precinct, and is thoroughly conversant with agricultural pursuits and is a successful and progressive member of the farming community of this section of the country.
Mr. Jaques was born in Burlington Plain, near Hamilton, Canada, March 18, 1849. His father, Thomas Jaques, was a native of England, of French ancestry, who came to Canada when a young man, and in 1871 came to the states and settled in Greene county, Iowa with his family, consisting of his wife, who was Margaret Bird, of English stock and their eight children, of whom our subject was the fourth member. At the age of twenty-one years he started out for himself, following farm work, as his boyhood years had all been spent on a farm and he had had plenty of hard work to do in assisting his parents on their home farm in Iowa, where they located. In 1884 he came to Keya Paha county, settling on a homestead one mile from Springview, and lived on the place for ten years. He then bought his present home, located on section 1, township 33, range 21, which was partly improved at that time. He is considered one of the leading old settlers of this county, having built up two farms here, also planting many trees and groves on his own and others places, having on his own farm ten acres of the finest grove to be found in the county. He has nine hundred and sixty acres of land, mostly in pasture, keeping one hundred and eighty head of cattle and some horses and hogs. At no time during the distressing drought periods were the crops of his farm a total failure.
Mr. Jaques was married, November 4, 1874, to Miss Lavina Clopton, whose parents were among the early settlers in Iowa, where they still reside. To Mr. and Mrs. Jaques have been born the following children: Marshall B., Joseph F., William A., Ralph B., Guy D., Nettie Pearl, Bessie O., and Ethel I., all grown up.
In political faith Mr. Jaques is a Republican, although he does not take any active part in politics. He is a member of the Methodist church and the Royal Highlanders of Springview.
A picture of Mr. Jaques' place
will be found on another page of this volume.
WILLIAM C. SOLLENBERGER.
William C. Sollenberger, one of the well known and highly esteemed farmers of township 24, range 50, is one of the substantial citizens of his community, and owner of a large tract of valuable land in Box Butte county, all of which he has acquired since taking up his residence in this region, and is the result of his earnest labors and good management.
Mr. Sollenberger was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1862. His parents were of Pennsylvania Dutch blood and followed farming all their lives. Our subject was reared in Ohio, until he was a young man of nineteen years, during his boyhood doing all kinds of hard farm work, receiving but a limited education through attending the country schools. He went to southeastern Kansas, and remained for one summer, then to Indian territory and remained one winter. He next moved to Missouri, then to Iowa, remaining there up to the spring of 1885, then came to Nebraska, locating in Box Butte county and taking up a homestead in four miles southwest of where Hemingford now stands. During the first summer he hauled timber which was used for the first buildings put up in Nonpareil and Hemingford. He had a team of mules, harness and wagon, breaking plow, and went to work breaking land in the vicinity of his claim, working for his neighbors who had no teams, and also built a number of shanties for others. He lived there until the spring of 1888, then moved to the southwestern part of Box Butte county, and settled on his present ranch. This is situated eighteen miles from Alliance, on section 29. He improved the place in fine shape, built a fine house of concrete, together with good barns and other buildings. He has planted plenty of trees, both fruit and shade varieties, and everything is kept up in the finest possible condition, and is one of the show places of the county. Mr. Sollenberger is an up-to-date agriculturist and progressive stockman, energetic and industrious. He has done considerable experimenting in growing different kinds of crops, striving to get the best possible results from the soil and conditions in the section.
Our subject was united
in marriage in 1886, to Emma Scofield, whose parents were old
settlers in Iowa, where she was born and reared. Children have
been born to this union, named as follows: Marion, Ward, Agnes,
Emma, Freda and Kenneth. They form a most interesting and charming
family, and their home is one of the most hospitable in the
locality. A picture of Mr. Sollenberger's residence and family is
presented on another page.
When Mr. Sollenberger first came to this region he drove out from Valentine through the Sand Hills, camping out along the way. He was one of the organizers of the first schools established in this locality, and took an active part in every movement started for the building up and developing of the country. In politics Mr. Sollenberger is a Republican, and he has always been active in local affairs, serving as assessor, also as justice of the peace for a number of years. In school affairs he takes a part, acting as treasurer and director for his district.
HON. J. S. CANADAY.
Hon. J. S. Canaday, ex-state senator for Kearney, Phelps and Harlan counties for two terms, resides in Hays township, Kearney county, and is well known all over the western part of the state of Nebraska as a man of active public spirit. and one of the foremost citizens of this region. He was county superintendent of education for Kearney county from 1892 to 1896, and has been a member of the Farmers' Alliance since 1890. He is now serving as president of the Farmers Local Co-operative Association. and is secretary and treasurer of the Farmers' Co-operative Grain and Live Stock State Association, having held the latter office for three years. He was the first president of this organization elected in 1903, and re-elected to the office in 1906. Mr. Canaday is a state lecturer in this organization, the object of the society being to keep the local elevators of farmers alive and active. These local elevators have been of immense benefit to the farmers here, and our subject is one of the active members of the society and on the legislative committee, looking after the laws and every interest of the farmers in this region.
Mr. Canaday is a native of Indiana, born in 1861. His great-grandfather was the only one of his family who escaped being massacred by the Indians in Kentucky during the time of Daniel Boone.
Mr. Canaday came to Nebraska in 1883, locating in Seward county, from Clark county, Illinois. His family originally came from Terre Haute, Indiana. In 1884 he came with his parents to Kearney county, settling southeast of the town of Minden. He had received a good education during his young manhood, attending the country schools in Illinois, and after locating in Nebraska taught school in this county for several years. He is the owner of a fine farm of one hundred acres in section 13, Hays township, and the family occupy a beautiful home here.
In 1890 Mr. Canaday married Miss Jane Winters, of West York, Illinois. They have two sons and a daughter, named as follows: Ralph, Walter and Mary Goldie. Mr. Canaday has two sisters living in this county and he is their only brother. They are members of the Christian Science church, giving generously of his time and money to this belief.
Mr. Canaday is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and was active in the society of the Knights of Labor. He was district master workman for the fifth congressional district in about 1894 and 1895. In politics he is an Independent. Mr. Canaday was a candidate for state auditor of Nebraska in 1904 and again in 1906, on the Fusion ticket.
JOHN H. BARTELL.
John H. Bartell, one of the prominent residents of section 5, township 31, range 55, Sioux county, Nebraska, has spent many years in this part of the country and is well known as a man of energetic habits and sterling qualities.
Mr. Bartell is a native of Jackson county, Iowa, born in 1854, on a farm, and grew up there, following farm work during his boyhood. His father, John, of American stock, was a farmer all his life. In 1875 our subject went into western Iowa and settled in Adair county, where he followed farming for several years. He did very well there, but decided to try Nebraska, so came to Sioux county in 1888 (?) and located on a homestead near Harrison, and there engaged in mixed farming and stock raising and proved up on his land and has made a success here, building up a good home and farm. He had seen hard times, going through the growth periods when he was unable to raise a crop for several years, and just managed to get along and keep his farm going.
In 1897 Mr. Bartell moved to Harrison and established a mercantile business, starting here in February of that year in a little store with a small stock of general goods. He succeeded exceedingly well and his trade grew so that he was compelled to seek larger quarters, so in 1902, bought his present store, situated on one of the best corners in Harrison, having a fifty foot frontage, and here he has a fine store and does an excellent business. This is now one of the best equipped stores in Harrison, and he conducts it along the latest business methods and carries a complete, up-to-date line of merchandise.
In the fall of 1904 Mr. Bartell filed on four hundred and eighty acres under the Kincaid law, located four miles east of Harrison, and he makes this his home. He is improving this place in splendid shape, putting up fine buildings, and intends to devote it to ranching purposes.
Mr. Bartell was married while living in western Iowa, in November, 1879, to Lorenia Bricker, whose father, David Bricker, was a farmer and stock raiser of that section. Her mother was Henrietta Cherrington, of Galesburg, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Bartell have a family of ten children, namely: Dotha, George, John and Maud, born in Iowa, and Fred, Bertha, Edith, Lula, Harry and Floyd, born in Nebraska. George, Bertha and Floyd are deceased.
In the fall of 1901 Mr. Bartell was elected county judge of Sioux county, following an appointment of one year in that capacity. He has held the office of justice of the peace for a number of years past, and also served his community in numerous capacities. Politically he is a Republican.
WELBY B. ALLISON.
Welby B. Allison, who lives on section 1, township 9 range 35, is a well and favorably known citizen of Perkins county, where he has spent a large part of his career as an agriculturist. He has passed through all the early Nebraska times and has done much in the way of helping in the advancement of his region, incidentally building up for himself comfortable home and good farm.
Mr. Allison was born in Floyd county, Iowa, in 1863. His father, Perry Allison, was born the east and married Levina Dawley, who is of Pennsylvania Dutch descent, and they lived on a farm in Iowa for a number of years, where our subject was reared and educated, remaining at home until he was twenty-two years of age, then went west in company with a party of men who were seeking new homes. He had his own team and covered wagon, and traveled through the country, camping out on the plains, finally landing in Lincoln county, Nebraska, where he took a homestead on section 31, township 10, range 34. During his first summer in that locality he freighted from North Platte to different parts of the country and made long trips, roughing it and suffering many hardships and privations while on these journeys, but continued at it for several months, in the fall of the year building a sod shanty on his claim and started to develop his farm. His shanty was a small rough affair, about twelve by fifteen feet, with a brush roof, and there he got his own meals and batched it for about a year, working hard to get a start and meeting with many discouragements. He proved up on his land and lived on it up to 1897, then moved to Perkins county, coming to his present location in 1906. During his residence in Lincoln county he went through hard times, witnessing drouths and other setbacks, several seasons losing his crops, and at different times was obliged to work out in order to get along. Since coming to Perkins county he has met with better success, and has a quarter section of deeded land besides controlling considerable leased land. He has improved his farm with good buildings, fences, etc., and has a very good home.
Mr. Allison was married in 1888 to Miss Laura F. Jack, who was born and raised in Iowa, her father being well known at Phebe, Nebraska, where the family spent a good many years. J. F. Jack carried the mail from North Platte to Phebe Postoffice, which was established in 1885. Mrs. Jack acted as postmistress and Laura Jack as assistant. In connection with the postoffice Mr. Jack carried a stock of groceries and provisions, which he freighted from North Platte. Mr. and Mrs. Allison have five children, named as follows: Royal, Mabel, Esther, Wilma and Clarence. Our subject is a strong Republican and active in local affairs. He has served as justice of the peace in Perkins county.
One of the highest tributes to be paid to a citizen is to say that he is a leading old settlers, and the gentleman named here is certainly entitled to this honor, richly deserving ....
a foremost place in the list. Mr. Murray came to Nebraska in 1869, a member of the Fifth Cavalry, United States army, at Fort McPherson. He had enlisted with his regiment in 1858, at New York city, and served for ten years, all through the civil war. He was with the Army of the Potomac throughout the whole war, and his regiment was in the advance at the first battle of Bull Run. Afterwards he took part in the battle of Antietam and many smaller battles and skirmishes, his regiment earning a great reputation as a fighting squad, and each commander always wanted them when detailed on a hard emergency call. Mr. Murray called General J. B. Stuart the night he left Fort Washington at midnight to join the rebels, and at the battle of the Wilderness Stuart was killed. Our subject's regiment was practically fighting all through the war, and at Malvern Hill took part in the charge against the Jackson brigade, which took place at sundown. After the fighting was over he found thirteen spent balls imbedded in the rubber coat which was rolled up on the saddle in front of him. In 1868 he re-enlisted in Company G, Fifth Cavalry, and was made sergeant of it. He comes of good, old fighting stock, being a native of county Westmeath, Ireland, which has furnished thousands of brave soldier for the Union army. He has fought in Indian battles here, when for two weeks the Fifth were in the saddle night and day, fighting the bands of Indians who would appear in war paint near North Platte, three to four hundred strong, breaking into fifties and leading the soldiers a merry chase round and round, all the time being close to the Indian village and did not know it. At last, by a night march the Fifth caught them in the village and succeeded in breaking up the gang as far as depredations were concerned in this part of Nebraska. While pursuing them the soldiers did not dare build fires at night, and were often without food or water, thus suffering much privation. General Carr was in command of this Indian expedition. Mr. Murray afterwards served for fourteen months in Arizona, and in 1872 left the army and settled on a ranch near Fort McPherson, in Lincoln county, and remained on this ranch until his removal to North Platte in 1906, where he is retired from all active business and enjoys a life of peace and quiet, after so much adventure and hard work.
The Murray family are members of St. Paul's Roman Catholic church of this place, and highly esteemed as worthy citizens and good neighbors by all.
Mr. Murray is a man of wide intelligence and varied experience, and can tell many interesting incidents connected with his life on the frontier. He is now strong, erect and hearty, and a splendid specimen of physical manhood.
ENOCH PROCTOREnoch Proctor, residing on section 29, township 22, range 15, Garfield county, Nebraska, was born in Ontario, Canada, in 1832, and was reared in that country. In 1877 he came to Michigan and remained there until 1884, when he moved to Iowa, spending one year in that state, then left there and struck out for Nebraska, landing here in 1885. He settled on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in section 7, and lived there up to 1893, following farm work. He became dissatisfied with conditions here at that time and sold out, going to Oklahoma with a view of settling in that country, but after looking around did like it very well, so returned to Nebraska and purchased a timber claim, which he has developed into his present home. He has tried different states and has come to the conclusion that the chances for a poor man are much better here than in the east, or almost any other state, and is glad he located here. Mr. Proctor has a good farm, and the one great trouble in the earlier days was the insufficient water supply, * but he has of purpose on his farm and in his home.*
One thing Mr. Proctor says is a drawback here, and that is that this is not a very good country for fruit, as apple, peach, cherry and pear trees do not thrive well, but there are plenty of smaller fruits, such as wild blackberries, etc. Also, the fuel is rather a scarce article, as coal is hard to get, especially from the railroads, and in many localities corncobs are used extensively for fuel, as the corn is all shelled. When our subject first came to Nebraska there were quite a number of deer in the vicinity where he settled, and lots of prairie chickens, quail, snipe and wild ducks, although now the latter are not so plentiful during the springtime of the year.
In the year 1894 he had a total failure of crops, due to the hot winds which swept his section of the country, but ever since that time has had good success. His principal crops are corn, oats, wheat and rye. He keeps quite a good deal of stock for domestic purposes, but does not aim to raise any great amount for market.
Mr. Proctor, although seventy-five years of
age, is hale and hearty, and although he has never been much of an athlete, has never in his life been sick enough to call a doctor. He is of a cheerful disposition, and is still capable of doing considerable work. He has an excellent memory, is well read and keeps fully posted on all the current topics of the times, as he is an inveterate reader. He has always taken an active interest in county affairs and willing at all times to do all he can for the betterment of conditions locally. He is well known throughout Garfield county, and everyone who knows him is his friend.
In 1865 Mr. Proctor was married to Miss Dora Garbutt, a native of Canada, and they are the parents of three children, one son and two daughters, the latter having died during young womanhood, aged seventeen. The son, Ira, is a well-to-do farmer of Garfield county. The family have always been members of the Congregational church of Burwell, and are highly esteemed in the community. Our subject is a Republican and a strong party man. He was elected county judge in 1892 and resigned his office when he left Nebraska to go to Oklahoma.
*Portion between the two asterisks in the above bio appears exactly as it is in the original book. Interpretation is left to descendants.
JAMES H. BURNSAmong the prominent railroad men connected with the B. & M. Railway in western Nebraska, James H. Burns occupies a foremost place. He resides at McCook, where he is well known and highly respected as a citizen and business man.
Mr. Burns is a native of Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, and was raised and educated there. He came west in 1882, previously having been connected with the Pennsylvania Railroad on the Pittsburg division for one year. He is the oldest employe (sic) in point of service with the B. & M. and has been a conductor on that line since 1884. For a year he was trainmaster at Sterling, Colorado, and all the rest of the time has been at McCook continuously. He had charge of the special train which carried President Harrison from Hastings to Denver while on a trip through the west, and remembers this incident with great pleasure. He ran the first automatic brake train over the line from Hastings to Denver, this being the Westinghouse test train. All the old-time officials were on this train watching the test, and it was one of the great events in railroad history. He also had charge of the world record train on the main line, which for fourteen and a half miles between Akron and McCook made 96.66 miles per hour actual time. From Denver to Ray it made up forty minutes on one run. In 1882 while on a run when near the Colorado line he saw the last herd of buffalo which roamed through this country grazing in the distance, watching them while the train was speeding along. Mr. Burns was treasurer of Division 95, B. & M. Order of Railway Conductors, for three years, and is one of the best informed men in the railroad service. He has a brother, W. J. Burns, who was connected with the mechanical department of the Pennsylvania Railway for many years. He is a prominent member of the Masonic lodge at McCook and takes an active part in all local affairs.
SQUIER JONESProminent among the successful farmers and ranchmen of Brown county, the gentleman here named occupies a foremost place. Mr. Jones resides in Ainsworth precinct, where he has a large and valuable estate, well improved and his entire attention is devoted to its care and management.
Mr. Jones is a native of Harrison county, Iowa, born March 3, 1869. His father, John M. Jones, was a farmer and stock raiser of Welsh descent, American born, and his mother, whose maiden name was Sophia Swift, was also of American stock. His parents were old settlers in Bon Homme county, South Dakota, where they moved in 1872, and it was there that our subject was reared, attending the country schools of the neighborhood. He was a strong, sturdy youth, and assisted his father in carrying on the farm work, plowing corn at the age of eight years. When he was fourteen his father died, and he then started out to make his own living, going to the Black Hills, where he remained for six years, working on different cattle ranges in that vicinity. He came to Nebraska in 1890, having made a trip through Holt, Rock, Brown, Cherry, Sheridan and Dawes counties before deciding upon locating here. He looked the ground over thoroughly, camping out at night and roughing it for some time, becoming used to this nomadic life through his experience on the cattle ranges, where he had spent the entire summer outdoors; in fact, had at times slept in the open the greater part of the year. On coming to Brown county he filed on a homestead in section 24, township 29, range 22, and built a sod house, in which he lived for three years. All his farm buildings were of the same construction. He at once began
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