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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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Ainsworth, and at once went to work in establishing a home, building a sod house and gradually improving his farm. He now has a grove of ten thousand trees planted on his homestead with three hundred fruit trees, all nicely growing. He has since taken up a Kincaid homestead of four hundred and eighty acres with forty acres of deeded land, improved with good buildings, in section 14, township 24, range 21, near Long Pine.

   In January, 1867, Mr. Hughes was married at West Union, Iowa, to Miss Emily F. Nestlerode, who was born at Beach Creek, Pennsylvania, of German stock, and died September 20, 1902. Ten children were born to them, of whom seven are now living: Anna, wife of Charles Briggs, Nebraska City; Nancy, who married John Tscharner, of Chadron; Josephine, wife of Frank Weid of Chicago: Mitchel; George; Blanche, who married William Wiltse, who is in business at San Francisco, and James.

   Mr. Hughes is a Republican in political faith. He has always taken a deep interest in all public affairs and is an upright citizen, enjoying an enviable reputation as one of the foremost men of his community. Fraternally he is a member of the Masonic order at Long Pine, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and Grand Army of the Republic, at Ainsworth. In Iowa he was formerly a member of the Odd Fellows.


   John Pike, whose pleasant home in Loss Creek precinct bespeaks painstaking care in its management, is a pioneer settler of Deuel county and a well known agriculturist, stockman and business man of that region. He has met with pronounced success in his different lines of work, has accumulated a fine property, and enjoys the well merited prosperity and the respect and esteem of his fellowmen.

   Mr. Pike is a native of Bourbon county, Kansas, born February 4, 1858, and is a typical western man. He was raised and educated in that state, the family living there up to 1879, when father, mother and five sons (of whom our subject was the second in order of birth), moved to McLean county, Illinois. The father died in Kearney, Nebraska, in 1898, while the mother is still living at that place. Mr. Pike came into Perkins county, Nebraska, in 1891, remained in that vicinity for about two years, then came to Deuel county and homesteaded on section 35, township 18, range 43, proved up on the claim and then sold out. He afterwards took a Kincaid claim on section 11, township 17, range 43, acquiring four hundred and eighty acres, and this is now the home ranch. He has improved it in good shape, has fifty acres cultivated, and runs some stock. One brother, Albert Pike, owns a ranch which adjoins his land on the south, and he has also met with decided success as a farmer and ranchman.

   Mr. Pike is one of the prominent and well-to-do bachelors of Deuel county. He is quite heavily interested in the real estate business in Oshkosh, owns a fine building located on one of the best business lots in the town, and has met with considerable success in this line. In his township he is one of the leading public-spirited citizens, taking an active part in school affairs, and has held the office of moderator of district No. 23. Politically, he is a Democrat, and although he has never sought public preferment, has held numerous local offices. He is vice-president of the Antelope Valley Telephone Company, which he helped organize. He was also instrumental in the organization of the Antelope Valley Horse Company, and has been its treasurer for two years.


   Prominent among the successful business men of Gordon, Nebraska, is the gentleman above named. Mr. Cilek is engaged in the retail meat trade, and has one of the finest and best equipped markets in Gordon. He has built up a good trade through his strict honesty, and his market is one of the best patronized here, catering to the best class of people.

   Mr. Cilek was born in Harvard* (sic) county, Nebraska, in 1882, and is a son of Frank Cilek, who came to Sheridan county in 1889, now a farmer in Dawes county. He had a family of four children, and our subject is the second member. He grew up in Dawes county, assisting his father in the hard work always to be found in carrying on a farm, and there received a good training for his later years. In 1901 he returned to his old home in Harvard county, and there worked at teaming, and in the butcher business at St. Paul, Nebraska, for some time. He then went west and spent a year traveling through California and Oregon, and in 1903 came to Gordon, where he worked in a meat market here. In 1906 Mr. Cilek bought a half interest in this business, and since that time has taken over the entire management of the place, and is well liked by everyone with whom he comes in contact in a business or social way.

* "Harvard" should probably be "Howard" county. See later reference in same paragraph to St. Paul.

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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   Mr. Cilek is a young man of sterling character, industrious and energetic, and well deserves the success he has met with since beginning in business. His market is a model of its kind and he enjoys a good patronage.



   William H. Sellers, residing on section 6, township 31, range 35, is one of the old settlers of that region, and by his efforts he has aided materially in the development of the agricultural resources of Cherry county. He is a gentleman of good character, worthy citizen and kind neighbor, and has a wide circle of friends.

   Mr. Sellers was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania. November 18, 1846, and reared and educated on his father's farm, moving to Vermillion county. Illinois, with his parents in 1861 where they remained for twenty years. His father was Cyrus Sellers, a native of Pennsylvania, born of American stock, for many years a forgeman and later a farmer. Our subject is the third member in a family of five children, and at the age of eighteen years began working for himself and also assisted in the support of his parents until he was twenty-nine years old.

   In 1880 he moved to Harlan county, Nebraska, where droughts ruined his crops so that he was unable to make even a living and, leaving there, he went to Otoe county, where he farmed for three years, followed by two years' residence in Holt county. In 1886, he first came to Cherry county, where he took a homestead on the Niobrara river above the month of Bear creek, on which he lived for eight years, making some improvements, his one and a half-story log house being at that time the largest in this region and the favorite resort for dances and frolics. He soon afterwards sold this and then took up a tree claim which he improved with buildings. After proving up on this and securing title, he sold at a good figure and in 1904 took his present homestead of four hundred and eighty acres, of which he is making a fine place, putting up good buildings, enclosing all with substantial fences and having a goodly portion under cultivation. He has trees, brome grass and alfalfa growing thrifty, and keeps considerable stock.

   When he first came to Cherry county he had a hard time getting started, losing several successive crops through severe storms and drouth, but has done well since the good years came on and likes the region immensely now. His first house was a dugout, and the family lived in this for a time, before a good log house could be erected.

   In 1875 Mr. Sellers was married to Miss Hanna Alice Crane, born in Fountain county, Indiana, in 1858. Five children were born to them, namely: Nora H., wife of George W. Seiler; Guy W., Charles P., Erastus Lee, and Artie Leela, the three elder born in Illinois and the younger two in Nebraska. Mrs. Sellers died February 12, 1891, and in her loss the family suffered a sad bereavement and she was sincerely mourned as a good mother and wife by them.

   Mr. Sellers is one of the foremost citizens of his locality in all matters of public interest, and does all he possibly can to advance the best interests of his community. He is generally a Democrat, but votes for the best man in local elections. When General Grant was a candidate for president the first time, our subject cast a vote for him, showing a liberal spirit, such as all Americans should cultivate, and which makes for better citizenship.

   On another page of this work will be found a view of the residence of Mr. Sellers.

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   The gentleman whose life history is here presented is widely known as one of the oldest settlers and most influential citizens of Keya Paha county. Mr. Beeman was born in Whiteside county, Illinois, July 16. 1853, and reared and educated on a farm where he endured a great amount of hard farm work as a boy. When seven years of age he moved with his parents to Crawford county, Iowa, remaining there until 1867; then the family came to Nebraska, settling in Antelope county. The father, Aaron N. Beeman, was of American stock, and devoted his entire time to farming; our subject's mother was, prior to her marriage. Miss Nancy Powers. born in Indiana; she had a family of seven children, of whom our subject was the fifth member. He began life for himself when seventeen years of age, harvesting in Dakota for a season, then followed threshing below Sioux Falls. In the spring he secured a position on a steamer running between St. Louis and Fort Benton. In 1873, the boat attempted to make a third trip which, owing to low water, was not finished until the next season, the boat being frozen in sixty miles above Fort Burford. After three years on the river he secured a place as cook for General Custer, but after a month, secured a place as a scout and followed that vocation for over eighteen months, quitting the service about a year before the battle of Wounded Knee. Had it not been for his brother-in-law's influencing him to come to Keya Paha, Mr. Beeman would have been in that fa-

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