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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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father was also a native of Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Hickox have had six children: Myrtle, wife of Joseph Moyer, living west of Brule; and Ellinor, married to Nathaniel Prebble, of Mitchell, Scott's Bluff county; Roy, Ernest, Mary and Rosie.

   In 1880, our subject moved to Nebraska, coming overland by team and covered wagon to Lancaster county, and settling on a farm where he lived for seven years. They then came to Keith county, locating on their present farm in section 18, township 13, range 38, where they located a wild prairie homestead. Our subject has a splendid little farm of one hundred and sixty acres, almost all of it under cultivation. Mr. Hickox is a thorough farmer and has made a fine success: in agricultural lines, although he has had many losses, especially in the years of drouth. Of late years, owing to advancing age, Mr. Hickox has been living a somewhat retired life, not being able to personally perform the hard work of the farm. He has a good force of helpers in his sons and attends to the management while they perform the work. He is now enjoying the golden fruits of years of toil and his later days find him in peace and possessed of a comfortable competency. Mr. Hickox is among the earliest settlers of his community and has won many friends by his public spirit and excellent traits of character. He is a Republican in politics and a member of the Ogallala post, Grand Army of the Republic. In Wisconsin the family were members of the close communion Baptist church.


   Among the younger ranchmen of Cherry and Grant counties, Nebraska, an able representative is found in the person above mentioned. He is proprietor of an extensive ranch, and one of the substantial citizens of his locality. His career has been devoted to outdoor pursuits, and he is thoroughly conversant with modern methods of operating his estate, conducting it in a thorough and painstaking manner. Since locating in this vicinity he has gained many friends, and well merits his success and good name. His home is in section 34, township 27, range 37.

   Mr. Wright is a native of Vernon county, Missouri, born in 1872. His father, George Wright, was a farmer and prominent pioneer in Missouri, later settling in Cherry county, coming here in 1888, when that region was in the early stages of its development. Both parents were born of American citizens, the mother's maiden name being Mary Charles. The family lived in Missouri until our subject was fifteen years of age, then moved to Nebraska, at first settling in Custer county remaining there until April of the following year, when they came to Cherry county. In making the journey to this state from Missouri, they came by team, with a covered wagon containing all their goods, camping out at night along the way, and they were thirty days on the road.

   After spending about two years in this vicinity, Sherman began working on his own account following ranching and hunting for a living, and in this way became thoroughly familiar with the country in his travels on the range and in making long hunting trips. When he was twenty-one he filed on a homestead situated twenty miles north of Whitman, and in 1893 he began to establish a ranch, his location being one of the very best in the region, having a fine range and large tract of fertile valley for his stock. He batched it for about ten years, living alone in a sod house, put up sod stables and sheds at once started to gather a good herd together. He was successful from the first and has now become owner of nine hundred and sixty acres of land, and he operates four acres of leased land besides his own ranch, which he uses for range and pasture.

   In 1898 Mr. Wright was married to Lila Peacock, daughter of William and Mary Dixon Peacock, her father a native of England and her mother of Michigan, but both reared in Ohio. Our subject has a family of three children, who are named as follows: Grace, Claude and Clarence. All were born and reared in Cherry county. The family occupies the ranch in Cherry county as a summer residence, but during the school months reside in Whitman, in order give the children the benefit of the city schools.


   Burton E. White, one of the prominent business men of Merriman, Nebraska, and long associated with the commercial and business interests of Cherry county, has built up an enviable reputation for integrity and ability.

   Mr. White was born in Buchanan county, Iowa, May 26, 1865: His father, John E. White was a farmer and an old settler in western Nebraska. His mother's maiden name was Mabel L. Peterson. There was a family of eight children, our subject being the eldest, and all but one are now living. They were reared in Iowa, our subject being his father's mainstay in the work of carrying on their farm. When he was about eight years old the family moved to

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Jewel county, Kansas, remaining three years, witnessing the grasshopper raids. Returning to Montgomery county, Iowa, the family remained until 1885, when they came to Dawes county, locating seven miles northwest of Hay Springs, there going through sod shanty experiences and the usual pioneer hardships. The father soon built a log cabin and begun to improve the homestead he had taken up in that vicinity. The family came into the county by team and covered wagon, driving from Iowa. They started on the journey April 22, 1886, and arrived at their destination June 2d, having had many uncomfortable experiences during the trip. In 1887 the father pre-empted a claim of one hundred and sixty acres which he later sold.

   During the first two years after starting in here Mr. White, the subject of this sketch farmed for his father and taught school during the winters. He taught the first school that was established in that region, located at the head of Bordeaux creek, which opened in the fall of 1887. He also clerked in a general store at Hay Springs, and since then has been in the mercantile business constantly. In 1896 he came to Merriman and on June 1st took charge of the branch store of Mills Brothers, of Gordon, remaining in that position for six years. He then entered into partnership with Edward Collins (whose sketch appears in this work), and remained with him for three years, then on June 22, 1905, started in the general merchandise business for himself. He has a good location, large floor space, and carries a fine stock of goods, enjoying a large patronage throughout the surrounding country.

   Mr. White was first married June 12, 1889, to Miss Ann Hahn, to whom seven children were born. The living are: Mabel, John, Alberta, Stella and Graydon. On March 4, 1902, Mr. Mite married Miss Faith Hail, who is the mother of a daughter, Fern. They have a pleasant home and are well liked by all who know them. Mr. White has always been a great lover of sport, and hunted all kinds of game in the early days through Nebraska. Wyoming, the Dakotas and Colorado. During his younger days he was a member of Company F, Second Regiment Nebraska National Guards, acting as captain of that body; was serving as lieutenant at the time they took part in the Indian war of 1890-'91, doing patrol duty along the state line. He was a member of the southwestern Iowa baseball league and took a leading part in many games played in Nebraska and Iowa. He still loves to twirl a ball with the boys.

   Mr. White has always taken an active and leading part in all local public affairs, and been one of the foremost citizens in building up his community. On August 18, 1896, he was appointed postmaster, in which office he is still incumbent. He, with his family, is a member of the Methodist church, and fraternizes with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America and its auxiliary degree.


   Charles Roberts, a prominent resident of Cherry county, Nebraska, is an old settler in this state, and through his efforts in his locality has added materially in bringing that region into one of thrift and prosperity. He is proprietor of a well improved estate, and is one of the well-to-do men of his community.

   Mr. Roberts was born in Denmark, January 3, 1848, and reared on a farm until he was twenty years of age. His father and mother never left Denmark. He is the second member in a family of three children. In 1868 he left his parents' home, sailing from Hamburg to Hull, crossed England and sailed from Liverpool to New York, landing May 11, after a voyage of seventeen days. Coming to Wisconsin, he remained for six months, and in the fall of that year he came to Omaha, where he remained until the spring of 1871. He worked that summer in Iowa and started for the south, passing through Chicago at the time of the great fire. He worked in Mississippi and Arkansas for a time, and in 1874 he settled in Howard county, opening a general merchandise store there, and was engaged in this business for eight years at the time the grasshopper raids were so frequent in that part of the state, and on account of the crops being ruined his trade fell off so that he lost everything and was obliged to close out his store. From here he went to Brown county and farmed there for three years, and in 1884 he sold his property there and took a homestead, his present home, in section 20, township 33, range 40, in Cherry county, and the following year moved on this farm, driving the entire distance with a team, his family coming on later by train. Here he went through the drouth periods, and for three years was unable to raise a crop, and the family had a hard time to make a living, but he stuck to it, and when conditions changed and the better years came he raised good crops and succeeded in building up his farm, improving it all the time, gradually adding to his property, buying when land was cheap, until he now owns and operates eleven quarter sections. He farms about five hundred acres of this, and keeps a large drove of cattle. He has built a fine two-

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story, eight-room house and commodious barns, granaries, etc., and has all the machinery necessary for properly operating the farm to best advantage, and his success only demonstrates what may be done by strict attention to business and honest hard labor. A view of the family residence will be found on another page in this work.

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   Mr. Roberts was married in Howard county, November 27, 1875, to Miss Elsie Petersen, born in Denmark, who came to this country when a young girl to join a brother and sister who had preceded her. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts have a family of eight children, named as follows: Otto (deceased), Fannie, Alvania, wife of Ralph Culp; Louisa, Otto, Walter, Hattie and William. The family is highly respected and classed among the enterprising and industrious citizens of the community. In politics they are Democrats.

   Ed. F. Carpenter, an extensive and wealthy farmer of section 30, township 34, range 47, is a well-known citizen of Dawes county. He has built for himself a valuable estate and an enviable reputation, and well merits his high standing and success.

   Mr. Carpenter was born in Washington county, Iowa, in 1867. His father, Elhanan W. Carpenter, is an old settler in Nebraska, coming here in 1886, and his mother was Miss Charlotte Laten, prior to her marriage.

   Our subject was reared in Iowa, and was taught to do all kinds of hard farm work as a boy, attending school in the country and receiving a limited early education. He remained with his parents until some little time after they settled in this state, then started out for himself. The father settled on a ranch in section 28, township 34, range 47, and erected a rude dugout for his family, and later a log cabin in which they lived for about eight years. They had the troubles of the majority of pioneers in this section, visited by drouths, etc., and had a hard time in getting started in their farming operations. In 1897 our subject located on land of his own and opened up a ranch. He remained on that place for some time, then moved to his present homestead, in section 30. Here he has built a good home, barns and other buildings, and has made great success of his undertaking. He has seventeen quarter sections of deeded land, besides operating eight quarter sections of leased land. He is extensively engaged in the cattle business, also raises a large number of horses each year. His ranch is all fenced, and has plenty of good living water for his stock, natural timber, etc. His ranch joins that of his father E. W. Carpenter.

   Mr. Carpenter was married in June, 1898 to Miss Lilly M. Augustine, whose father John Augustine, is a prominent farmer of Marshal county, Iowa, where Mrs. Carpenter was reared. Our subject has one child, Bernice.

   Mr. Carpenter is actively awake to the interests of his community, and aids materially in its advancement. He votes the Republican ticket, and is a strong party man.


   For over twenty years the gentleman whose name heads this personal history has been associated with the agricultural interests of county, and as an old settler and one of her worthy citizens he was prominently known. Mr. Shearer was proprietor of one of the fine farms of that locality and accumulated his property and gained his good name by his persistent and honest labors. He resided in section 34 up to the time of his death, which occurred in May 1903 and he was sincerely mourned by a host of warm friends and relatives.

   Mr. Shearer was born in Grant county, Indiana, in 1849. His father, John Shearer was a farmer of Irish stock, and his mother was of German stock, both born in Guernsey county, Ohio, and from there moved to Grant county, Indiana, where the whole family of fourteen children were born. They moved to Mercer county, Illinois, and then to Fort Madison, Iowa where the parents died. Our subject grew up in the east, but during his younger days traveled considerably all through the western states, and finally located in Dawes county about 1885, filing on the homestead which he occupied for so many years. This was located in section 34, township 34, range 48, and was entirely unimproved property, but he went to work to build it up, but it was up-hill work, as the drouths overtook him during the first years there, and several crops were total losses. He had a few cows and chickens, and the products from these formed the principal food for his family. Since the demise of Mr. Shearer times have changed for the better. His family have been able to raise crops, and they have gone into the stock raising business on quite a large scale, have steadily forged ahead and his widow is entirely free from debt on their farm. They have a good home and farm and have put up a complete set of good buildings and added many improvements. There are one hundred and sixty acres in the farm.

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which is located on Big Bordeaux creek, and the place is supplied with plenty of natural timber, wild fruits, etc. Mrs. Shearer has a fine orchard started, and the good order prevailing in every part of the farm bespeaks good management and thoroughness of purpose.

   Mr. Shearer's wife was Miss Mary Derrick, of Randolph county, Missouri, daughter of John D. Derrick, a native of Germany who was a farmer, and came to the United States when a young man and spent a great deal of time in traveling all over the country. Mrs. Shearer's mother was Sarah Ann Hurd, of Pennsylvania-Dutch blood, and the family settled in Randolph county, Missouri in 1868, where the wife of our subject was born. In 1887 she came to Dawes county with her parents, where she met Mr. Shearer and their marriage resulted. Four children were born to them, as follows: Bessie, now aged eighteen; Homer, aged sixteen; Nellie, thirteen and Sadie, ten years of age.


   Dr. J. A. DeCow, of Holdrege, Nebraska, veterinary surgeon, is well known throughout Phelps county as a man thoroughly familiar with his profession and capable in all branches of the work.

   Dr. DeCow is a native of western Ontario, born in 1876. He is a graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College, at Toronto, Canada, and after leaving school located at Holdrege in 1905, and since coming here has built up a large practice, traveling all over Phelps, Harlan and Kearney, counties. He has been most successful, and likes this part of the country, as the stock here is exceptionally good, every farmer having good grades. The horses are splendid for the road and as draughters, and the cattle are gradually improving through the importation of thoroughbreds, while the hogs are also A-1. His father, Daniel DeCow is a large breeder of Shropshire Sheep and this last year sold twenty-two ewes and rams for $740. He is an authority on these and has devoted eighteen years to the sheep business, also deals quite extensively in horses.

   Dr. DeCow practiced for two years and four months in the veterinary department of the British army, and in this way secured a vast deal of experience which has been of immeasurable value to him in following his profession. He has traveled over Canada, South Africa and Great Brittin, and thinks this country the best of all.

   Dr. DeCow is a young man of sterling qualities, thoroughly equipped for the practice of his profession, and in the short time that he has been in this locality has gained the esteem and confidence of a host of people, who all join in wishing him the greatest success in his work.

   He was married January 25, 1908, to Miss Lena Jorgensen, of Holdrege, Nebraska. Her parents are old settlers in Nebraska, coming as early as 1888, she being four years old at the time. Her parents came direct from Denmark.


   Charles M. Rebbeck, the popular and energetic proprietor of the restaurant at Gordon, Nebraska, was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1865. His father, Frederick Rebbeck, was a tailor by trade, and came to America with his family in 1871. Our subject is the oldest of six children, and on landing in the United States they struck out for the west, settling in Hillsdale, Michigan, where the mother still lives.

   In 1885 Mr. Rebbeck left his parents' home and started out for himself, spending one year in Chicago, where he was connected with a wholesale and retail grocery house, then came on to Nebraska, locating in Gordon in 1886. He worked on ranches in this vicinity for two years, then took up a homestead situated fourteen miles northwest of the town, where he at once put up a sod shanty and remained there until he had proved up on his claim. During the years 1888 to 1891 he was mail carrier, traveling from Albany, Nebraska, to Wounded Knee postoffice in South Dakota, and was at the place where Wounded Knee battle was fought in 1890, the postoffice having been abandoned shortly before this event took place. He became thoroughly familiar with the country, and was afterwards employed as a scout for the Nebraska National Guards during that uprising, and was an eye witness of the battle.

   After this Mr. Rebbeck spent one year on a farm, and in February, 1894, bought the Albany store in Sheridan county, and ran this business up to October, 1904. During this time he was also the local representative of the Kimball Bros. Marble Works, of Lincoln, and he was the man who sold the Wounded Knee monument to the relatives of the Indians who were killed in the battle at that place. This monument now stands on the old battle ground, and is a lasting tribute of respect and love from the loyal redskins of that section of the country, having been erected on May 30, 1901.

   In 1904, Mr. Rebbeck sold out his mercantile business and moved to the town of Gordon for better school advantages for his children. Here

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