Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska
dren were born and reared in Brown county. Mr. Halstead has telephone connection in his house and everything which goes to make up a pleasant and comfortable home. Much of his time is spent in literary work, and he is a writer of no mean ability. He is a Democrat politically, a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and with his wife has taken the degree of honor of that order.
The highly cultivated fields of Nebraska and well equipped ranch properties bear little semblance to the land as it was in the time of the pioneer settler, when he found it a vast wilderness or barren prairie, perhaps covered in parts with brush or submerged. None of it was in shape for cultivation, and yet many of those who went to that country under these unpromising conditions have remained to become the owners of some of the finest farms in the state. Deuel county was one of the most unseemly farming regions of the state, and it is now one of the most prosperous. Among those who have bought about this most pleasing condition is the gentleman above named Constant Guenin, who has a pleasant and comfortable home in Sughrue precinct. Mr. Guenin has opened up and developed a fine estate, and is one of the well known and highly esteemed citizens of his locality.
Our subject is a native of Switzerland, born April 6, 1867, and grew to the age of twenty-five years there, following the life of an agriculturist during his boyhood and as a young man. He landed in America in 1892, settling at first in Scott county, Kansas, where he spent one year, then came to Deuel county, and in September, 1893, filed on homestead rights, built a dwelling and proved up on his claim. He went through many hardships in getting his home started, meeting with discouragements and partial failure of crops during the first few years, but stuck bravely to his work and gradually improved the land, erecting good buildings, etc. His home ranch is now on section 20, township 15, range 43, and he is the owner of sixteen hundred acres, which he uses mostly as a stock ranch. He has about sixty acres under cultivation, and has a large bunch of stock, at present running two hundred cattle and a number of horses. His house is a comfortable one and he has started fine shade and fruit trees and has many improvements which make it an ideal rural home.
He has also a complete set of farm buildings and all necessary machinery and equipment for conducting a modern farm.
Mr. Guenin was married while still living in Switzerland to Miss Anna Guenin, the event occurring on January 10, 1891, and the young pair struck out for America to seek their fortune the following year. Mr. Guenin's father is dead, but his mother still lives in her native land, while both parents of Mrs. Guenin are dead. To our subject and his wife have been born the following children: Mark, born in April, 1892; George, born in March, 1896; Morris, born in February, 1899; Walter, born in November, 1900, and Helen, born in May, 1904, all living at home. Mr. Guenin is a wide-awake citizen of his community and politically is identified with the Republican party.
Ralph Lewis, residing on section 29, township 35, range 19, is one of the old settlers and worthy citizens of Keya Paha county. Mr. Lewis was born in Farmersville, New York, April 3, 1842, and was raised and educated on his father's farm. The latter, Caleb Lewis, was born in Rhode Island, and his family were all killed at the Wyoming massacre except his father and grandmother. He died in 1856 at the age of sixty-six years.
Our subject's mother, who was prior to her marriage Miss Johanna Wade, was a descendant of the Wade family of Ohio, whose ancestors came to America and landed near Newark New Jersey, in the seventeenth century.
In a family of eleven children our subject was the tenth member and at the age of nineteen years he started out for himself, enlisting in Company D, Sixty-fourth New York Regiment, in the Army of the Potomac, and served for three years and three months, later enlisting in Hancock's corps, known as United States Veteran Volunteers, serving for one year. He took part in fourteen battles and many skirmishes.
After the war he began farming in New York, and continued at that up to 1878. He was employed in team contracting in McKean county, Pennsylvania, until the spring of 1882 and for the following year was employed in Warren county. Migrating west, he arrived in Keya Paha county in April, 1883. Here he took tip a homestead and pre-emption on the north one-half of section 29, township 35, range 19, and also took a tree claim, and still lives in that section. He went through the usual
pioneer experiences, and lost considerable stock during the
raids by the cattle rustlers, as he lived right on the line over
which they drove their stolen stock. Mr. Lewis was one of the
vigilantes during those times, and was one of the foremost in
trying to suppress these thieves. He built up his place steadily
and early planted trees, now having about one hundred and sixty
acres of fine forest trees, including the natural timber on the
river. His ranch, known as Clover Leaf Ranch, consists of sixteen
hundred and forty acres of good land, and of this he cultivates
two hundred acres, keeping the balance for hay and pasture. He
runs over three hundred head of Hereford cattle and forty horses
and uses a great deal of the grain raised on his farm at home. His
place is well fenced and crossfenced, and he has a complete set of
good farm buildings, altogether owning one of the most valuable
estates in the county. We present a page view of his extensive
buildings, fine two-story dwelling with its tasteful surroundings,
which gives some idea of the beautiful scenery of the region as
Mr. Lewis was married April 3. 1866, to Miss Emma Otto, born in Allegheny county, New York, July 25, 1844. To them have come the following children: Stilman 0., Frank A., Harry O., Mary L. (wife of Frank J. Rhoades), Guy W. and Ernestine, wife of James Runyan, all now settled within eight miles of the old homestead. Seventeen grandchildren may be gathered into a family reunion, a record creditable beyond the usual family.
Mr. Lewis is a Populist, or "Old Abe Lincoln Republican." He has never taken a very active part in politics, except to act as delegate to county and national conventions, although he lends his influence and aid in the interest of good government. He was elected the first treasurer of Keya Paha county after its organization, but has not held office since that time, preferring to spend his time in the building up and improving of his home and farm.
MISS MARY SHADIE.
The estimable lady who bears the above name is well known and greatly esteemed by all who know her. Miss Shadie has been a resident of Crawford, Dawes county, Nebraska, from the time the town was first started, and has since that time been one of the prominent citizens and an important factor in the development of its business interests.
Miss Shadie is a native of Knox county, Maine, and was reared and educated in the state of her birth. In 1884 she came west to Chicago and from there went to Pine Ridge Agency, where she taught the Indian school for two years, then came to Nebraska. At that time all traveling was done by team, and she was obliged to drive through the country from Valentine, camping out for two nights on the trip. Miss Shadie moved to Crawford in 1886, and taught school for a year, and in August of the following year opened one of the first millinery stores in the place, buying out a Mrs. Russell, who had run a small store for a short time. She put in a first-class stock of goods and built up a good trade, running the business alone for a number of years. In 1903 she purchased an interest in the Crawford Mercantile Company, of Crawford, and three years later increased her interest in the business, so that she is now one of the principal stockholders in the company. and the firm is doing a splendid business. This store carries a large stock of dry goods, shoes, millinery, etc., and is a thoroughly up-to-date and first-class establishment, their trade extending throughout Dawes and the adjoining counties.
Miss Shadie is an alert and active business woman of marked force of character and a lady of tact and good business judgment, which is fully evidenced by her success in the work to which she has given her entire time and energy for so many years, and is one of the highly esteemed and worthy citizens of her community.
JOHN A. NUGENT.
John A. Nugent, who for four years was the popular postmaster at Carns, Nebraska, is well known all over the county as a prominent citizen and capable business man.
Mr. Nugent is a Canadian by birth, and he is a son of Edward Nugent, a mechanic by trade, and an old settler in Gentry, Missouri. Our subject was born April 1, 1863, in Hamilton, and came across the border with his parents when a child, settling in Gentry county, Missouri, on a farm, where he was raised and educated, assisting his father in the farm work. The latter died when John was six years of age, and two years later he was obliged to get out and hustle for himself. He has made his own way ever since, remaining in Missouri up to 1881, then came to Nebraska and settled in Clay county. Three years later he moved to Rock county, following farm work, being employed by the month
until he was twenty years old. then learned the printing business, and afterwards was editor of the Bassett Herald for one year. He was appointed deputy county clerk of Rock county, and he transcribed the Brown county records of Rock county when the latter was organized. In 1889 he went to Washington, where he remained for a year, then came back to Rock county and acted as principal of the Newport schools for two years. In 1891 he was elected county superintendent of schools, and re-elected in 1893, serving for four years in this capacity. After this he opened up a farm and lived on it for three years. and also spent one year in White Cloud, Michigan. In April 1903. he took charge, as manager, of E. L. Myers Mercantile Company at Carns, and in that year, on May 25th, was appointed postmaster. He combined the two businesses and handled a large amount of merchandise each year. He resides on his homestead, which he took in section 23, township 32, range 19, in Rock county, and the farm comprises two hundred and sixty acres, situated on the Niobrara river. He is a hustler of the first water, and it is through his industry and good management that he has acquired the comfortable competence which he enjoys, and he well merits much praise for his success.
On May 2. 1902, Mr. Nugent was married to Miss Ruth Kershner. They have one child, named Jennie.
Mr. Nugent is a strong Republican and deeply interested in all party affairs. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen lodge at Carns.
WARREN L. JEWELL.
Warren L. Jewell, who takes a leading part as an agriculturist in the affairs of Box Butte county, Nebraska, where his ranch of many broad acres shows him to be both industrious and persistent, was born in Stratford, near Bridgeport, Connecticut, June 19, 1858. His father, George Jewell, was a butcher by trade and came of Holland, Dutch stock. His mother, who was Elizabeth (Lewis) Jewell, was of English descent. The start of the Jewell family in America is dated from the settlement of three brothers, who located on the Hudson river back in colonial days.
The boyhood days of Mr. Jewell were spent in Connecticut, where he received his education attending the common schools. Here he remained until 1876, when he left his home, and coming west into Iowa, entered the drug business in Des Moines as a clerk. After gaining the necessary experience in this line he started in business for himself, opening a store in the same city. Here he remained for about ten years, during which time he engaged in different business enterprises. He also spent some time in Hamilton and Green counties, Iowa, where he was engaged in the mercantile business.
The subject of this narrative came to Box Butte county in 1887, and the following year took a preemption claim on which he proved up. He had a dugout for two years, and lived the life of a bachelor for the first five years here. In 1892 Mr. Jewell and Miss Hattie Bass were united in marriage. Her father, Moses Bass, was a pioneer of Box Butte county. Her mother, Elvira (Moberly) Bass, was a native of Missouri. One boy, George O., was born to this union.
In 1895 Mr. Jewell returned to Iowa, where he spent four years in farming. He returned to Box Butte county in 1899. In 1902 he settled on the place which is his present home in section 2, township 27, range 52. He has added many acres of adjoining land to his original entry, and now has a ranch of eleven hundred and twenty acres, upon which he has constructed five miles of fence. He cultivates one hundred acres, and engages extensively in the raising of horses, sheep, hogs, cattle, small grain and potatoes. He did not escape the periods of drought and the many hardships which confronted the early settlers in this western country, but met the years of adversity with a determination which has resulted in grand success.
Mr. Jewell votes the Republican ticket. He is prominently identified with the history of Box Butte county and has always taken a keen interest in local affairs. He devotes his time very closely to his ranch, and his many warm friends consider that he has done wonderfully well, and that his career in Box Butte county is to be regarded as a marked success.
FRANK H. KING.
In Frank H. King, of King precinct, Cheyenne county, we have one of the oldest settlers in that region, and a leading citizen of the locality in which he lives.
Mr. King was born in Wisconsin, September 2, 1855, and when a small boy his parents moved to Iowa, where they lived for two years, then to Missouri, where he remained until of age. He left home at that time and
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