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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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has done his share in the building up of both sections, helping to establish schools and has always taken an active interest in local public affairs. In political view he favors the Republican party, and is a strong party man.



     Firth Booth, one of the prominent farmers of Lodgepole precinct, Cheyenne county, who resides on his fine estate in section 29, township 14, range 47, is one of the earliest pioneers of that locality, and has during his residence there passed through all the changes that have taken place in the county, watching its growth and development from the time of its early settlement. During his residence here he has manifested true public spirit and gained the esteem and respect of his associates by his industry and persistent labors.

     Mr. Booth is a native of England, born in 1852. He grew up in his native country, and spent the first nineteen years of his life in the village of his birth. The parents resided there until death. Our subject quit England in 1872 and started for the new world, taking passage on a steamer bound for the United States. His first employment was a machinist in the locomotive works at Paterson, New Jersey, where he remained for about one year. In 1874 he came west and settled in Wisconsin and remained for a number of years, engaged in farming in Waukesha county. He then came to Nebraska, arriving in Cheyenne county in January, 1880, and shortly after took up a homestead in section 20, township 14, range 47, where he spent a number of years, and developed a good farm. He next moved to section 29 in the same township, where he has built a large, commodious home. He is now proprietor of a ranch consisting of over three thousand acres, all lying along or near Lodgepole creek, nearly all of it being in one body, admirably situated for farm and ranching purposes. He has three hundred and twenty acres under irrigation and raises splendid crops of potatoes and grain. There is also a fine lot of hay land and pasture, and he handles at times one hundred and fifty head of cattle each year and from twenty-five to fifty horses. He owns in all about three sections of grazing land, and has one of the finest places in the county. He has a complete set of good ranch buildings, fences, etc., and is considered one of the wealthiest men of this section. He is probably the earliest settler in the valley between Sidney and Lodgepole who has remained on his land.

     In 1888 Mr. Booth was married to Miss Essie L. Loomis, a native of Metamora, Woodford county, Illinois. Our subject and his estimable wife have a family of eight children, all living at home at the present time. They are named as follows: James Eli, George M., Esther Ann, Louis, Leah Elizabeth, Firth, Jr., Paul and Eunice Lockwood. They are a happy and congenial family and have a pleasant and comfortable home, surrounded by a large circle of warm friends and acquaintances.

     Mr. Booth is prominent in affairs of his township and county, and is among the leading public-spirited citizens who have always been found ready and willing to lend their best efforts for the improvement of conditions in their immediate community. In political sentiment he is a Republican.



     Prominent among the leading citizens of Cherry county is the gentleman whose name heads this personal history. Mr. Hunt is well known all over this part of the country as an old-timer and one who has done everything in his power to aid in the upbuilding of this region, giving liberally of his time and influence in every instance when he could be of assistance to his fellow-men.

     Mr. Hunt was born in Harrison county, Missouri, September 10, 1851. His father, Joseph Hunt, was a farmer and nurseryman, and his mother was Flora Ensley, both of American stock. There was a family of ten children, of whom he was the seventh in order of birth. He was reared in his native state, and his early years were spent in assisting his parents in the work of their farm, attending the country schools during the winter months. He started for himself at the age of fourteen years, at which time his father and mother both died, and he had to aid in taking care of the younger children. Mr. Hunt first came to Cherry county in 1890, landing here November 13, and his object in coming was to establish a home and farm of his own. He settled on Missouri Flats, thirteen miles south of Merriman, and his first dwelling place was a dugout, so familiar to the pioneers of this state. He soon afterwards built a sod house 36x20 feet in size, which was of large proportions compared with the usual settler's home. During the first years he handled ox

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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teams and did freighting, working out on ranches in the vicinity, at the same time building up his farm, and succeeded in proving up on his claim. He then invested in land twelve miles west of Cody and lived there for four years, later taking up a Kinkaid homestead, which he now lives on, in section 9, township 34, range 35. This was unimproved property, and their first home was a tent. He soon had a good house erected, and all other farm buildings, putting down a good well and fencing his land, etc. He farms twenty acres, raising good crops.

     Mr. Hunt is of a strongly religious nature and early became interested in religious work. He was licensed as a local preacher in Missouri and in 1896 was ordained by the Methodist Episcopal conference at Chadron as a circuit preacher in this section. He has since preached at Conley Flats in addition to serving his denomination at Merriman, Cody, and La Vaca at different times. He is beloved by all in every community in which he has worked. A view of the family residence will be found on another page in this work.

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     Mr. Hunt was married February 12, 1871, to Miss Melinda V. Koger, of Worth county, Missouri, and they have a family of ten children, named as follows: Mary, Ulysses, Barbara, Jessie R., James L., Amy, Ransom, Delsina, Alcy and Lulu.

     Mr. Hunt is a member of the Modern Woodmen and of the Odd Fellows lodges.




     To the men of perseverance and stalwart determination who went to Nebraska when that region was in the early stages of development as an agricultural and commercial section, the present prosperity enjoyed there is due. Among the early settlers of Cherry county, who has been intimately identified with its development and has gained an enviable reputation as a citizen, may be mentioned Ludwig P. Walter, a successful and leading farmer and ranchman of his precinct.

     Mr. Walter was born in Germany, in Wurtemburg, in 1857. He was reared there and served in the German army the time required by every loyal subject. When he was fifteen years of age he came to America, but returned to Germany and remained until he was twenty-five years old, then made his second trip to this country.

     Our subject was married in 1884 at Taylor, Loup county, Nebraska, to Miss Paulina Lotzen, a native of West Prussia, Germany, and she was raised there. After their marriage they located on their present homestead, coming into the region with a team and covered wagon, as did most of the pioneer settlers here. At that time Long Pine and Ainsworth were the nearest trading points, and many trips had to be made to those towns for supplies, the journey taking considerable time, the nights being spent in camping out along the way under their wagon, and many times Mrs. Walter and her children were forced to spend the night in a storm which overtook them. During the first years they were able to raise fairly good crops, but as soon as the dry seasons struck the country they met with severe losses, one year losing their entire crops. In one particular instance they had forty acres of corn standing in the finest shape and in one day the hot winds totally destroyed the crop. They experienced many hardships and privations in order to keep their homestead, and were obliged to dispose of a big drove of hogs, selling the best shoats for fifty cents each in order to get a little money, and because he had nothing to feed them on. They lived for many years in a sod house which they had built when first coming here, and subsequently built others of the same material. Of late they have erected a fine frame dwelling. Mr. Walter worked out at anything he could find to do, railroading, etc., during the years 1894-95, the family living at Halsey while he was employed as a section hand. He kept on trying to farm, gradually got into the stock business, and constantly improved his ranch as he was able. In the early days he has made trips taking seven or eight days in search of poles for a barn roof, and when the hard times were being experienced in his vicinity he burned chips for fuel. He also had different severe fires, losing fence posts, hay, grass, trees, etc. His ranch now contains eleven hundred and twenty acres, situated on the Loup river. He has sixty acres cultivated and raises good crops, having a nice bunch of stock. There is a fine grove of trees which he himself planted, and many fruit trees are growing near their residence. There are several running springs and the water is pumped by windmills for all purposes.

     Mr. and Mrs. Walter have five children, named as follows: Elma A., now a teacher in the schools in Thomas county; Kate, married to C. Florey, and Frank, Mabel and Raymond at home with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Walter are strong believers in the education of their children.

     When our subject settled in this vicinity


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