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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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county. Ogallala was his nearest railroad town. He took a pre-emption, proved up on that, and also had a timber claim which he filed on in 1884 but did not prove up on it until 1891. When he came into the country he drove through the vast country, where the settlers were few and far between. He at once built a sod house and went through the usual experiences of the pioneers in the far west. He had no water for domestic use, and was obliged to haul all his water and supplies from Ogallala, a distance of twenty-five miles.

   Mr. Guildner had a hard time getting started, breaking up his land for crops, and in 1893-'94 had heavy losses due to drouths, etc. As the times grew better he was able to improve his place considerably, and in 1898 took his present homestead in section 23, township 10, range 38, and now has one of the finest ranches in the section. He farms about two hundred acres and has the rest in pasture and hayland for quite a large bunch of stock which he runs each year. He has good buildings of all kinds, having a fine story and a half house, fourteen by twenty-two and twelve by fourteen feet, which he moved from Grant, seven miles, This was one of the buildings sold in Grant during the hard times. Altogether he now has one of the pleasantest rural homes to be seen in the locality. Along with his farming Mr. Guildner has continued the well drilling business from the time he began in 1881 up to the spring of 1908. He has put down wells all over this and adjacent counties and also in Colorado and has done his share as an old settler in building up the country.

   In 1892 Mr. Guildner was married to Miss Sarah Purintun, who is a daughter of Charles Purintun, one of the well known pioneers of Perkins county. Our subject has a family of seven children, namely: Harry, Lewis, Virgil, Percy, Marian. Charles and Gretchen, who form a most charming and interesting group. Mr. Guildner is a Populist in political views. He was elected township assessor in 1908, and has always taken an active interest in local affairs.

   On another page we present portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Guildner from a photograph taken at about the time of their marriage.

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   Charles H. Evans, whose home is located in section 11, township 28, range 51, Box Butte county, Nebraska, is still in his early manhood, and his industry economical habits and upright life are a credit to his race and blood. He was born on a farm in Michigan in 1876. His father,Willard Evans, a prominent old settler of Box Butte county, and a sketch of whose life appears on another page of this volume, is a native of the state of New York.

   When our subject was four years old, the family moved to Missouri, where they settled on a farm and remained in that state for seven years. In 1886 the family came to Box Butte county, Nebraska, and it was in this county, which Mr. Evans has made his home, that he grew into manhood. He received his education attending the county schools, and for two years was a student at the Chadron Academy. He assisted his fatther (sic) in making a comfortable home for the family in Box Butte county, and in 1900 he secured some land of his own. From time to time he secured adjoining tracts of land, until he now has four quarter sections of deeded land. His ranch is located near the Niobrara river, and is well fenced and cross fenced. He has a homestead of three quarters in sections 10 and 11, that he took in 1907. He has erected substantial buildings, has a barn thirty by sixty feet, and a fine dwelling. He has from two hundred and sixty to three hundred acres of land under cultivation, making the raising of small grain and potatoes a specialty. He also raises hogs, cattle and horses on a large scale.

   Mr. Evans gives the closest atttention (sic) to his work, and is becoming widely known as one of the progressive and up-to-date tillers of the soil in this county. His ranch is well handled, and he is proving himself a thoroughly alert and vigorous farmer, and a business man of much sagacity as well. The many warm friends that he has made wish him well, and predict for him a bright future.

   Mr. Evans was married June 15, 1908, to Miss Carrie Grant, daughter of William and Mary Grant, of Whitewood, South Dakota. Her parents are natives of Kentucky.



   Matthew G. Walls is one of the enterprising business men of Springview.

   He was born on a farm in Putnam county, Missouri, June 10, 1856. His father, Robert C. Walls, was born in Indiana, of parents who emigrated from Ireland, locating in Missouri, where our subject was reared. At the age of twenty-two he struck out farther west, going as far as Morton county, Kansas, and remained in this part of the country three years, being there during the time of the Indian massacre in western Kansas, experiencing some very exciting times. He then went to Lancaster county, Ne-

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braska and settled down to farming, remaining there until 1884, when he moved to Oklahoma about the time the "boomers" were moving off, and was among the men who saw Oklahoma before that territory had begun its development. He afterwards visited the Ozark mountains in Missouri, remaining there one summer before returning to Kansas, while for a year he engaged in mining at Pittsburg. In 1886 Mr. Walls first saw Keya Paha county, taking a homestead in section 10, township 32, range 21, where he built his first log cabin.

   On June 20, 1878, he was married to Miss Effie Stalcup, whose father was an old settler in Kansas, of Swedish descent. They have one child, Inez, who is now Mrs. Lloyd Harris, of Ripple, Colorado.

   After settling in Keya Paha county Mr. Walls spent his first years hauling posts, freighting, etc and then went to farming, which he followed for the next fifteen years. During this time he experienced many hardships and privations, witnessing the drouth periods, through losing two entire crops successively and others by hail, wind and storms. In 1902 our subject sold his farm and moved to Springview, reopening a restaurant and confectionery store, and is still engaged in this business, handling groceries, confections, ice cream. etc., and has a flourishing trade in this line.

   Mr. Walls is counted one of the solid business men of Springview, takes an active interest in all affairs pertaining to town matters, and has always done his full share towards the development of the financial interests of the community where he has chosen his home. In political sentiment he is a Republican.



   J. W. Nunn, known throughout his community as an energetic and progressive farmer, as been a resident of Cheyenne county for the past twenty-five years.

   Mr. Nunn was born in Lewis county, Missouri January 1, 1864, and at the age of five years went with his parents to Saline county, that state. There were fourteen children in his father's family, and he was the ninth in order of birth, and has three brothers and two sisters still living. The father's death occurred on the home ranch September 21, 1907, and the mother died February 14, 1906. Both were highly respected old settlers of Cheyenne county, having passed through all the early Nebraska times, coming here in 1884, accompanied by our subject, they homesteading a piece of land which was afterwards sold.

   Mr. Nunn now has his home ranch on section 28, township 19, range 51, owning a ranch of one thousand six hundred acres situated on Pumpkin Creek. He has a small part of it cultivated, but is engaged principally in the stock business, having at the present time one hundred and forty cattle. His place is well improved in every way, and he is a prosperous and successful citizen of his township.

   Mr. Nunn was united in marriage on March 10, 1897, at Middle Creek, Cheyenne county, to Miss Grace Dugger, daughter of Wm. C. Dugger, a well-known and highly esteemed resident of that locality. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Nunn, named as follows: Alvin, Herbert (deceased), Esther, Henry and Francis, all bright and interesting youngsters, and the family have a pleasant and comfortable home.

   Mr. Nunn is treasurer of the telephone line of Bridgeport. He takes an active interest in local and school affairs. and is serving as moderator of District No. 106.



   Among the residents of Cherry county, Nebraska, none is more highly respected and esteemed than the subject of this review, Robert H. Koontz.

   Mr. Koontz was born in Washington, Pennsylvania. November 18. 1861, and came to Council Bluffs when but two years of age. His father, also Robert H. Koontz, was by profession a lawyer, of German descent, and died suddenly just as the family were all ready to move to Iowa. His mother, who was Miss Mary A. Hunter, of Scotch-Irish descent, died in 1901; an only brother had passed away prior to this. Robert H. Koontz started out to make his own way at eighteen years of age, obtaining employment in hotels, and at anything he could find to do, and in March, 1885, came to Cherry county, locating six miles west of Merriman, remaining there until 1899, when he sold out. He had been very successful and made some money in farming and stock raising, but was obliged to give up all hard work on account of failing health. Our subject and Mr. A. Madder were the first white men to settle in this locality; together they passed through all the pioneer experiences with its very hard times, but overcame all difficulties and are now in comfortable circumstances and enjoy pleasant homes with hosts of friends and neighbors.

   In 1887 Mr. Koontz contracted a nervous trouble brought on by helping to lift a cow which had been stuck in the quicksands. After

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assisting at this work he was compelled to ride seven miles to his home in his wet garments and the next morning the disease started in his right foot and gradually affected his entire body, so that he is now almost an invalid. This affliction began twelve years ago, and although be has tried numerous doctors and all kinds of remedies has never been able to get any relief. He has the sympathy of every person in his locality in his affliction, and his neighbors and friends are always ready and willing to do everything in their power to assist him in every way possible. Since his illness he has moved to town and gone out of the stock business entirely.

   Mr. Koontz was married in 1894 to Miss Minerva Veria, who died twenty years later, leaving no children. In 1906 he was married to Mrs. Carrie (Hunter) Brown, a native of Monroe county, Iowa, born in 1882. Her father, Frank Hunter, now living in Valentine, was of American stock, by trade an electrical and stationary engineer, and her mother was Louisa Allen, of Scotch descent. One son, Robert H. Koontz, third, has been born of the second marriage. In political faith, Mr. Koontz is a Republican, as were his father and grandfather before him.



   Albert R. Kennedy, an old settler and prosperous ranchman of Sioux county, Nebraska, resides at Crawford, Dawes county, Nebraska, where he is engaged in the grocery and meat market business. He is well known throughout the county, and has the esteem of his fellowmen.

   Mr. Kennedy was born in Ontario, Canada. in 1857. His mother's people were English. When he was about three years of age the family came to the United States, locating in eastern Iowa where he was reared and educated, attending the common schools and putting in his spare time in farming. After he reached the age of twenty-one he begun farming in Cedar county and followed this up to 1884, then established himself in business at Greenfield, Iowa. In 1888 he came to Nebraska, settling on a homestead in Sioux county. He was the second settler in township 32, range 57, and went through all the hardships that fell to the lot of the pioneers of that section. He was obliged to haul water for ten miles to supply his family, they occupying a small frame shack twelve by sixteen. He steadily built up his farm and home, and added to it until he owned three hundred and twenty acres. In 1893 he moved to Crawford, and for a time was engaged in the butcher business for others here. Later he started in business for himself, opening up a store in a room twelve by twenty-four, with a stock of groceries. He soon gained a wide patronage, and increased his trade to such an extent that he now occupies one of the finest store buildings, twenty-five by one hundred, in the town of Crawford, carrying a complete line of groceries, meats, confectionery, etc. He is a thoroughly up-to-date business man and has met with marked success.

   Mr. Kennedy was married September 6 1880, at Springdale, Iowa, to Miss Sarah A. Schooley. They have a family of six children named as follows: Carroll, Nannah, Earl, Clara, Virgil and Avis.

   Mr. Kennedy still owns his homestead ranch on which he runs a large bunch of cattle, and his children also own considerable land in the vicinity of his farm. Mr. Kennedy was the man who put down the first well in the township he settled in. He has been a member of the city council for one term, and takes a commendable interest in all local affairs.



   The gentleman above named resides on section 13, northeast, Sheridan township, and is one of the prosperous farmers of that region. He is a native of Sweden, and came to this country when a boy of fifteen. He landed in New York in 1852, and went to Andover, Illinois, where he settled on a farm, and farmed in Henry county, Illinois for many years, having a farm of one hundred and sixty acres there.

   In 1861, on September 1st, he enlisted in the Forty-third Illinois Infantry, Company C, and served for three years and twenty-six days, receiving an honorable discharge on December 26th, at Little Rock, Arkansas. He saw all phases of a soldier's life, and had participated in many battles and skirmishes, being at Fort Henry, Fort Donaldson, Pittsburg Landing, at Corinth, Iuka, Jackson and Vicksburg during all of the siege: Later was under Major General Steele through Arkansas and Louisiana; at Texas, Duvall Bluff, Brownsville, following the rebels all the time, and fighting every day. At the battle of Pittsburg Landing he was shot in the neck.

   After the war he returned to Illinois and farmed up to 1884, then came to Nebraska locating in this county, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land from the railway company, paying three dollars and a half per acre. He built up his farm and improved his

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property in 1883 putting up a fine story and a half frame house and large barn later. His farm is in first class shape and he raises good crops, running quite a good deal of stock all the time.

   Mr. Larson was married to Miss Lena Peterson, born in Sweden. She came to America in 1868. To Mr. and Mrs. Larson have been born the following children: Albert, living at Holdrege, engaged in the automobile business; William, a farmer, living at home; Gilbert, who operates a corn shelling and threshing machine; one daughter, Mrs. Phoebe Nye, of Rawhide, Nevada, and Amos at home.

   Mr. Larson is a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic post at Holdrege, and on of the popular citizens of his community. Politically he is a Republican.




   Alexander Burr, known throughout Cherry county as a man of good citizenship and untiring energy, is a resident of section 26, township 25, range 36; where he owns and operates an extensive ranch. He has been identified with the upbuilding of that locality for many years, and while acquiring his valuable estate has also gained for himself an enviable reputation.

   Mr. Burr is a native of Canada, born in Ontario, in 1846. He is of Scotch descent, both parents having been born and reared in Scotland, his mother's name being Isabella Gerry, and his father, also named Alexander, a farmer by occupation. Our subject grew up in Canada where he saw plenty of hard farm work, remaining at home until he was twenty-one years of age, then started out for himself, following farm work.

   He came to the United States in 1870, locating in Detroit, Michigan, and from there he went to Kansas, where he was among the earliest settlers. Much of his time was spent in working on the railroad in that part of the country, and he remained there up to 1888, during that time making two visits back to his boyhood home in Canada. He farmed in Kansas part of the time, going through many crop failures caused by dry weather and suffering from the "grasshopper periods" which were frequent in the west in the early years.

   In 1887 Mr. Burr came to Western Nebraska, driving from Kansas with a team, camping out along the way. The trip took eighteen days, and he and his family experienced many difficulties and suffered from exposure during the journey, but the people of those days knew how to brave hardships without murmuring. and they finally reached their destination, locating in Box Butte county, about eighteen miles west of where Alliance now stands, and their nearest railroad station was Hay Springs, Sheridan county. Their first buildings were of sod, and our subject went to work to raise crops, improving the place in Box Butte county and lived on it for seven years. He was elected county commissioner of that county and served for one term, and also held the office of assessor for three years, doing his full share in the affairs of his community and was one of the leading pioneers of that locality. He farmed a little, but was engaged principally in stock raising, and did fairly well.

   Mr. Burr first came to Cherry county in 1894, locating on section 25, township 28, range 36, twenty-eight miles north of the town of Whitman, Grant county, remained there for several years, building up a good ranch, then moved to his present location in section 26, settling here in 1901. He is now owner of a good ranch, has it fitted up with good buildings and improvements, and has a splendid system of overflowing wells, which makes the place one of the most valuable in the locality. He has plenty of hay land and range for his stock, and has planted many trees, having a fine grove, and also many fruit trees, small fruits, and good garden. He has all of his children well provided for on good ranches, and has stocked them up with one hundred head of cattle each giving them a good start as they commence life for themselves.

   Mr. Burr was married in Kansas in 1872 to Miss Adelia Armsbury, whose parents were pioneers there, coming from the New England states. Mrs. Burr died the 20th of August, 1907.

   Mr. and Mrs. Burr were the parents of the following children: Alex C., Elmer L., James N., Frank G., Lewis, John H., and Isabella.

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     Pullman postoffice was established about 1887, and for the past four years the postoffice has been located on Mr. Burr's ranch, and he is postmaster also.

   In local affairs our subject has always taken an active part, and has held many public offices, being elected county commissioner of Cherry county serving for one term, also was assessor for three years. He is a stanch Bryan Democrat, and stands firmly for his convictions. A picture of a ranch scene on Mr. Burr's property will be found on another page.

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   Jesse P. Griffith, a prosperous and much respected farmer of Perkins county, deserves the abundant success that has come to him as the reward of industry, economy and thrift. He was born April 14, 1939, in Clay county, Illi-

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nois, on a farm. The family were Kentuckians, both parents born and reared in Newcastle, settling in Illinois as pioneers, where Jesse grew to manhood. In 1861 he enlisted in the Twelfth Illinois Infantry, and later served in the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, and served in the army. In 1867 he went to Missouri, and there was married to Isadore (Stearns) Carder, daughter of Williams and Margaret Larimore Stearns, both of the state of Virginia. Our subject and his wife settled on a farm in Missouri, lived there for several years, then went to South Dakota. After some years there Mr. Griffith came to Nebraska, settling in Thayer county in 1886, and lived for one year, then moved to what is now Perkins county. He secured employment on the construction of the Chicago. Burlington and Quincy Railway, then being put through the section, and took up a homestead. settling on section 27, township 10, range 39, on May 10, 1887. The first summer the family lived in a tent, then put up a sod house in which they spent several years. Then came on the drouth years and while he met with some losses, did fairly well. and was able to get along comfortably. He was always able to raise a good corn crop, and gradually succeeded in building up his place, putting up better buildings, and getting considerable land under cultivation. He now has a good farm of four hundred and eighty acres. and has eighty of this devoted to diversified farming. also runs considerable stock.

   There are nine children in our subject's family, named as follows: John, Eliza, Justin, Samuel, Whistler, Lovie and Katherine, and two sons of Mrs. Griffith by a former marriage: James Carder and Joseph Carder.



   Isaiah Fowler, an honored veteran of the civil war, and a highly esteemed citizen of Ainsworth, Brown county Nebraska. was born on a farm in Harrison county, Ohio, in 1834, and during the course of a long and active life has demonstrated the possession in a marked degree of those high qualities and upright motives that make the good American. He is familiar with the experiences of life on the frontier, and knows the privations that go along with pioneering; and he has also enjoyed helping in the development of both Iowa and Nebraska into prosperous and orderly communities. Now as his years advance he has the confidence and respect of all who know him; his years, character and patriotic service demand no less.

   Garret Fowler, the father of Isaiah, was a native American, and followed farming all his life in Ohio. His wife was also of American lineage, so that in the veins of our Ainsworth Fowler flow currents of patriotic power that have spoken on many a field of struggle for the higher and better life of the land.

   Isaiah Fowler was the sixth in a family of ten or eleven children that blessed the marriage bond of his parents, and was reared on the Ohio farm to a life of hard work, and early taught to help and bear his full share of the common burden. He attended union schools, though the family means were limited, and he had to do with but little school training. He was married in his native state in 1859 to Miss Marian McClintoc, her father being a native of Ireland, and her mother of Germany. She became the mother of five children, three of whom are living: George and Walter. who are now pursuing the occupation of farming, and Adaline, who is living at home, comforting the declining years of her aged parents.

   When our subject became of age, he left home to engage in life for himself, and in 1862 enlisted in the Federal army, becoming a member of Company F, Ninety-eight Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a command that saw much active and hard service in Kentucky, Tennessee, and in contiguous territory for three long years.

   After being mustered out in 1865, Mr. Fowler spent a little time in his old home community, but in the fall of the same year journeyed west to Jasper county, Iowa, where he secured a farm, and for eighteen years was actively engaged in its cultivation. In 1883 he moved still farther to the westward. and became a resident of Brown county, Nebraska. where he took a homestead and built up a very fine farm, winning for himself a most creditable standing as a citizen, a farmer and a man. In 1899 he sold out his real estate and buying in Ainsworth, has established a home there where he is enjoying that well earned ease and comfort that should property attend the closing of a most honorable and industrious career. He is a member of the Congregational church and in political faith a Republican.



   Abraham Pense, long and prominently known to the residents of Keya Paha county, Nebraska, as one of the worthy citizens and leading public spirited men of this region, resides on his well-improved farm in section 24, township 34, range 22. Mr. Pense was born in Page

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