NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center-
On Line Library

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 355

spent two years in Texas. He "trailed" a large bunch of cattle from Texas into this country, it taking about three months with two Texas cow ponies; then returning to Missouri and going into the Black Hills. This was in 1876, and he traveled through the wild country by wagon, going through Kearney. One summer was spent in the hills, and it was about this time that the country was stirred by the incidents surrounding the killing of "Wild Bill." He next went to Red Cloud Agency, remaining there during the winter of 1877, this at that time being a part of Cheyenne county before its division. About 1885 he took a preemption and timber claim, and a short time later homesteaded on sections 5 and 6, township 19, range 49, proving up on all three. During the early years he passed through all kinds of hardships and privation in getting started, and no one is better acquainted with the early history of the state than himself. He is a genuine old-timer, who has through all time had the greatest faith in western Nebraska, evidenced by his continued residence here through the years of drouth and all hard times, and has come out successful and prosperous. He has a finely equipped ranch and farm, owning in all over six hundred acres of River ranch, which is under ditch, besides other land in the vicinity. One hundred acres are in alfalfa, and he cultivates one hundred and seventy-five acres in crops. also a fine large hay ranch. He has a large tract of leased school land which he uses for pasture for a large bunch of cattle and horses. He is owner of the old Brown Creek Ranch, which is famous for having had the first house built on it north of the river. There is every kind of improvement on the ranch, and he has a fine grove of trees, making it altogether one of the finest and most valuable in the region.

   On February 8, 1885, Mr. King was married to Grace Raynes, at Humansville, Missouri. She was born in Washington, D. C., and when she first settled in Nebraska on the Platte River Ranch she was the only woman within a radius of forty miles, which was a rather unique experience for one reared in a city. The father of both Mr. and Mrs. King is dead, while their mothers still live. Six children, all of whom are living at home, were born to our subject and his estimable wife, and are named as follows: Harry R., Fred A., Grace C., Hazel, Frank H., Jr., and Kathryn, a baby. They occupy a fine ranch house, and usually spend the summers there while the winters are spent in Sidney, where they have a handsome residence, and where the children have received their education.

   From 1898 to 1902 Mr. King held the office of sheriff of Cheyenne county. He has always taken an active part in county and state affairs, voting the straight Republican ticket. King precinct in Cheyenne county was named after him.



   Among the successful and prosperous citizens of Gordon, Nebraska, Fred Duerfeldt is counted as worthy a prominent place. He is engaged in the lumber business here, and has built up in extensive trade through his strict integrity and honest dealings.

   Mr. Duerfeldt was born in Richardson county, Nebraska, in 1868, on his father's farm. He is a son of Fred Duerfeldt, Sr., a native of Germany, and his mother was also born in Germany, coming to this country when young people, both having died when our subject was a young lad. There was a family of nine children and he was the fifth in order of birth. He was reared in his native county and since he was eight years old has been compelled to hustle for himself and also assist in supporting his younger brothers and sisters. In 1886 he first came to Sheridan county, remaining here for two years, then went to Wyoming where he followed the life of a cowboy on different ranches. being employed by the Swan Land & Cattle Company for three years. He afterwards returned to Gordon and worked on a ranch thirty miles from town, employed by W. A. Margrave as foreman for eight years, putting in altogether ten years in his employ.

   In 1901 Mr. Duerfeldt came to Gordon and established a lumber yard, buying out one of his competitors. This yard is now owned by Margrave & Duerfeldt, and in addition to handling lumber, they deal in tank manufacturing, and it has come to be one of the largest business enterprises of Gordon.

   Mr. Duerfeldt was married in 1894 to Miss Mary E. Margrave, her father, T. E. Margrave being one of the old settlers in Sheridan county, and a pioneer ranchman. He is the senior member of the firm of Margrave & Duerfeldt. Mr. and Mrs. Duerfeldt have had a family of five children. one of whom, Frederick T., is dead, the others named as follows: George M., Catherine, Clifford and Leonard.

   In political faith Mr. Duerfeldt is a Republican, and takes an active part in all local and county affairs of his party. He is now serving as a member of the town board, and for eight

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 356

years held the office of assessor in the Spring Lake precinct. He is also president and manger of the Gordon Telephone company, and occupies a high station as a citizen and man of affairs here.



   The gentleman whose name heads this personal history is one of the old-timers, and well-to-do farmers of his precinct, and his career has been interesting since he settled in the western country. He has not come to his present comfort and ease without passing through many trials and much privation in the early days. He is at present residing on section 1, and has taken an active part in the growth and development of this western country for twenty-five years past.

   Charles T. Brady was born in Hills county, Texas. in the town of Hillsborough, in 1866. His father, Alexander, was a farmer and ranchman in that county, and he married Elizabeth Todd, whose parents were plantation owners and had always resided in the south, being thoroughly familiar with the old slave days in that country. The family moved to Missouri when our subject was a baby, and he grew up there to the age of six, then they came to Nebraska, settling in the southern part of the state, homesteading in Nuckolls county where they spent about seven years. Our subject next located on the Loup River, in Custer county, where Charles started to work for himself, remaining in that vicinity for a year, then came up on the Platte River to Lincoln county, where he worked as a horse breaker and cowboy for a time. His next move was to what is now known as McPherson county, locating there about 1882, where he engaged in ranching and led a typical cowboy existence, part of the time camping out on the plains, both in winter and summer, and seeing all sorts of rough life. He took a ranch of his own in McPherson county and made that his home up to 1892, running his own place, also doing considerable work for John Bratt & Co. He sold his ranch and moved to Grant county in 1894, locating twelve miles south of Whitman, where he run a herd of cattle, and remained there for about twelve years and built up a good place, but finally left and moved to Pullman, Nebraska, where he worked as a mail carrier, for about a year and a half. He came to his present location in 1904, at first being employed by the Standard Cattle Company, then established his own ranch, which is situated in section 1 township 26, range 34. Here he has all good buildings, the ranch all fenced and in good condition. He farms a small part of the place, but nearly his whole section is devoted to ranching purposes, running quite a large number of stock.

   Some interesting pictures will be found on another page of scenes on the ranch property of Mr. Brady.

Picture button          Picture button

   In 1896 Mr. Brady married Miss Lottie Whitton, daughter of J. F. Whitton, a pioneer in Nebraska and Kansas. and whose sketch appears in this volume. They have a family of five children, named as follows: Esther, Florence, Victor and Ruth, and Elizabeth, and form an interesting and charming group. The family is held in high esteem by all who know them, and they have a happy and pleasant home.



   The gentleman above named is one of the oldest settlers of Sioux county, and one who has always taken an active part in its development since its earliest days. He has been prominent in the political affairs of his community, and is well-known all over this section of the state.

   Mr. Bigelow was born in LeClair, Scott county, Iowa, in 1854. He is a son of Benjamin F. Bigelow, a farmer and stonemason, who spent many years of his career in Iowa. One brother, Payson B., has given a review of his life for this volume also, which will be found on another page. Eugene was raised in his native state, and grew up there to the age of eleven years. then with his parents moved to Jasper county, and later to Adair county, remaining in Iowa up to 1888, following farming all of that time, most of the time working rented land. He came to Sioux county in the latter year (1888), starting at the bottom of the ladder, with very small capital, taking up a pre-emption and later a homestead, and proved up on both; and in 1904 filed on the additional land as a Kincaid homestead, the latter located in section 18, township 32, range 56. His first building here was a rough shanty, in which he "batched it" until his family (whom he had left in Iowa) could join him, then he erected a log house which they occupied for a number of years. During the first several years the two brothers were in partnership, their start being five head of cattle and sixty dollars in money on landing in the county. The first fall they were here Eugene

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 357

had the misfortune to break a leg, and he was laid up by this accident all of that winter. He gradually improved his place and succeeded in building up a good home and is now proprietor of a ranch of one thousand one hundred and twenty acres, all deeded land, besides four hundred and eighty acres of Kincaid land, altogether controlling about one thousand nine hundred acress (sic), all well fenced and improved with good buildings, etc. He uses one hundred and sixty acres for farming purposes and runs a large number of cattle, having plenty of good pasture and hayland.

    Mr. Bigelow was married at Newton, Iowa, in 1883, to Miss Elizabeth C. Cope, a native of Illinois. Her father, Levi, was a wagonmaker by trade, who emigrated to Jasper county, Iowa, and lived in that vicinity for many years then went to South Dakota where be died in 1903. Five children have been born as a result of this union, who are named as follows: Mabel L., Lee Franklin, Delmar, Cleo, and Ray. Mr. Bigelow and his family spend the summers on their fine ranch. and in the winter occupy a handsome residence in Harrison, where their children have better advantages for attending the city schools. Mr. Bigelow has for a number of years been an auctioneer, "crying" sales all over the county, and is well-known by every man in this section. In 1901 he was elected county commissioner, served his time and was then re-elected, still acting in that capacity. He is a Republican.



   F. W. Harris, whose name is familiar to nearly all the residents of Franklin county, is a worthy representative of the progressive farmer of western Nebraska. He was one of the earliest settlers in this county, coming here in 1884, and has lived here continuously since that time. Mr. Harris resides in Bloomington, where he has a nice home and is highly respected and esteemed by his fellowmen. Mr. Harris is a native of Brattleboro, Vermont, born in 1848, and is a son of Olive Milton Harris, born at Marlborough, Massachusetts, and his mother, who was Miss Minerva A. Fasterbrook, born at Brattleboro; the latter descended from the Wells family, which settled on Long Island in 1644. The family removed to Pamfret township. Chautauqua county, New York, where they lived for sixteen years, then came to Bureau county, Illinois, where they lived for nineteen years. Here our subject farmed during his young manhood, and from his experience in the east and here, considers Nebraska far superior to any place he has been, as the climate here is better and the soil easier to work. The Republican Valley is one of the best feeding countries known, and in the future the farmers here will have to farm less land and till it more carefully, raising the grade of stock, as the land here is getting too high priced to keep poor stock and for careless farming.

   In 1899 Mr. Harris bought the quarter section he lives on, adjoining the town of Bloomington on the north, for which he paid two thousand dollars, and could now easily obtain ten thousand dollars for it, but does not wish to sell. He keeps a drove of from seventy-five to one hundred pure bred Poland China hogs, which he disposes of at private sale to the farmers in this county and vicinity. In 1906 his sales of hogs amounted to $800. He does not exhibit his stock, but fixes fair prices and any statement he makes in regard to his animals can be absolutely relied upon. His hogs are of the old substantial Tecumseh strain, crossed by Expansion, which is one of the best. He also has some of the Perfection E. L. and also keeps quite a herd of cattle, milking from twelve to fifteen cows all the time, selling to the Bloomington trade.

   Mr. Harris has always done his part in local public affairs, serving as road overseer in his precinct for some years, also as township assessor several terms. In 1897 he was elected county clerk, serving for four years. He was nominated for the office on the Fusion ticket and elected by a large majority.

   Mr. Harris was united in marriage in 1876 in Bureau county, Illinois, to Miss Maggie Gingrich, daughter of Otto and Anna Gingrich, both natives of Germany, born near Hesseldornstadt, who came to America in 1850, locating in Illinois, where they built up a fine farm and home. Mrs. Harris has a brother living in Washington township, engaged in farming, E. J. Gingrich, by name, also one brother, Otto Gingrich, living just over the line in Kansas, directly south of Riverton, Neb., also a farmer, who has lately built a fine new house and barn. Mr. Harris and his wife are the parents of the following children: Cora, wife of L. G. Bevis, of the firm of Bevis Bros., loan brokers of Mt. Ayr, Iowa: Lucy, at home, and Otto, of Bloomington, operating the home farm.

   The family is highly esteemed by all who know them, and Mr. and Mrs. Harris are enjoying the declining years of their life surrounded by all the comforts of modern times,

Horizontal Bar

Prior pageSpacerContentsSpacerName indexSpacerNext page

© 2001 NEGenWeb Project Resource Center, Marilyn J. Estrada, T&C Miller