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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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he has opened a restaurant and confectionery store, and does the largest business in this line of any one in Gordon. He has been engaged in the stock business for a time, while living at Albany and shipped a large number of cattle and horses.

   On December 29, 1891, our subject was married to Miss Paulina Polzin, daughter of Richard Polzin, a farmer and old settler in Richardson county, Nebraska, she having settled on a homestead in this county during the early days, where she met the man who subsequently became her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Rebbeck are the parents of four children, namely: Jerene, Theresa, Amelia and Fred.

   Mr. Rebbeck is widely known throughout this section of the country as a man of active public spirit, counted among the oldest settlers who has assisted in the building up of the region from its early days. He is a hard working and industrious citizen, well liked by all who know him. He has held different local offices, and served as justice of the peace for ten years in Wounded Knee precinct. Politically, he is a Bryan Democrat.


   George W. Sisler, an old-timer of Cherry county Nebraska, lives on his valuable estate situated in section 12, township 34, range 30. He was born on a farm in West Virginia, July 24, 1853, a son of Jacob and Margaret (Teets) Sisler, and was reared and educated in his native state, learning in his boyhood to do all kinds of hard farm work. Their home was in the timber country, and he helped his father to clear and open up a farm and build up a home. At the age of seventeen his father died and he then started out to make his own way in the world, following farming on the old home place for six years. In 1860 he left West Virginia. settling in Sibley county, Minnesota. There he farmed for two years, then returned to his old home, remaining until February, 1884, when he again went to Minnesota. His next move was to Cherry county, where he landed in October, 1886, filed on a homestead northwest of his present residence on the 27th of that month. He immediately went to work on his place, putting up a sod shanty, and using a team of oxen to break up his first piece of land. In the winter of 1887, a severe storm and blizzard struck his locality, and he sheltered his seven head of cattle in his sod shanty to protect them from the severe weather, fearing that he might lose them if left out in the open. He had only two rooms, and the family lived in one and the stock was kept in the other. To such straits as this were the early settlers subjected, hardships almost incredible to be endured. He was obliged in that time to haul his wood and provisions for twenty miles, from Valentine. One of his worst hardships was to get stuck in with a load of wood in the winter time when the ice was floating, and was compelled to get out in his bare feet and float the load to shore. These were hard times to him, and he experienced much suffering and privation with his family until the country was more thickly settled and a trading post established near his home. There he went through the drouth periods an other financial losses, but stuck to the farm until he attained success.

   In 1901, he sold his first possession and moved to his present place, where he has a fine farm of four hundred acres of deeded land located on Minnechaduza creek. This is improved with the necessary buildings, and as fine a grove of trees as is to be found in the county. Wild plums grow in abundance on the place and a fine young orchard will, in a few years, be bearing in abundance. A view of the residence can be found elsewhere in this work.

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   Mr. Sisler was married in November, 1874, to Miss Rosa Glass, a daughter of Moses and Lena (Kimmel) Glass. They are the parents of ten children, seven of whom are now living, named as follows: Margaret L., wife of William Mowan: Nora V., wife of William Ayres, Sarah C., wife of Samuel Swinger, all three living in Washington; Ada B., wife of John Brown, of Mississippi; Mary V.; John M., who has a six-hundred-acre homestead south of Crookston, and Jesse L. The family have a pleasant home and a host of warm friends in their community. Mr. Sisler has held different school offices, and takes an active leading part in building up the schools in his locality. He votes the Prohibition ticket, and is an earnest advocate of the principles of that party. Together with his family, he is a member of the Dunkard church.

   William Eli Fry, the subject of this review is one of the representative farmers of Brown county and a man who has done his full part in promoting the development of the agricultural interests of the community in which he lives.

   Mr. Fry was born in Harrison county, Iowa April 8, 1869. His father and mother were farmers, both of American stock. Of eight children, William Eli is the fourth member. He

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was reared in Iowa, receiving a common school education, assisting his father in the hard work always to be found on a farm, out of school hours, becoming from early life inured to hard labor. In 1889 he came to Brown county, Nebraska and settled on a tract of land on the Calamus river in the southern part of the county. Here he put up a rough sod house and "batched" it for several years. Going extensively into the cattle business, he remained on this range for nine years, when he received a good offer and sold out his herd. He spent the following summer in the mining camps and fruit districts of Colorado, looking for a place to locate, but decided that the opportunities offered there were not nearly so good as in Nebraska. Returning to Brown county in the fall of 1889, he purchased his present home, located in section 10, township 29, range 22, which was partly improved with a house and a nice grove of young trees. Here he made a success from the start, and is now proprietor of a farm of seven hundred and twenty acres, with three hundred and twenty acres of this under cultivation on which he raises fine crops. The balance of his farm is in meadow and grazing land. He has his place all improved with good barns, sheds, windmills, fences. etc. One hundred and sixty acres of the land lies northeast of Ainsworth, and on this he has also erected a good set of buildings and improvements. Everything is in the most perfect order, evidencing thrift, industry and good business judgment in its operation.

   On March 29, 1895, Mr. Fry was married to Miss Lillian Lewis, whose father is an old settler in Brown county. Here she followed teaching for some years prior to her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Fry have two children, namely: Leo, born in 1897, and Murle, born in 1902. They are a happy little family and enjoy a pleasant and comfortable home.

   Mr. Fry is a Democat (sic) in political faith, and Mrs. Fry is a member of the Methodist church of Ainsworth.


   George H. Worth has made a good record as prominent settler of Loup county, Nebraska, where he settled April 29, 1884. Through all the pioneer struggles he has done his part in the upbuilding of the general interests of the county and has won the respect and confidence of his neighbors.

   George H. Worth was born in Henry county, Illinois, in 1857. His father, John Worth, was a native of England and came to America before the Civil war, settling first in Illinois and later in Iowa, where he was one of the early pioneers. Our subject's mother's maiden name was Ann Dugdil before marriage and she was also a native of England.

   Our subject was reared on an Iowa farm, living in three different counties. He worked at home untill (sic) he was twenty-three years old, helping his father build up a good home and farm, and in 1880 took the management of the homeplace.

   Mr. Worth was married December 23, 1880, to Miss Lucinda Swift, the marriage being performed in Creston, Iowa. The bride's parents were Charles F. and Unice (Hurlbert) Swift. Mr. and Mrs. Worth have a family of seven children living and six dead: Grace A., Elizabeth, Nellie, Ralph, born in a tent, Walter, Edwin and George Dewey, all living. Calista A., John A., Freddie, Robert O., Lester H. and Harriet are deceased. Several of the children are accomplished musicians, playing the violin and organ, and taking a leading part in all local musical entertainments.

   In 1884, our subject and family drove through from Crawford county Iowa, in covered wagons to his present farm in Loup county, Nebraska, coming in company with several other families. His parents came also and lived and died in the county. Our subject took a homestead and settled down to pioneer farming, living in a tent the first summer, where the son Ralph was born. He owned a team of horses and a yoke of cattle, but otherwise had only limited means to start with. Mr. Worth and Ashley B. Coolley, one of the oldest settlers, built the first bridge across the Loup river in this vicinity. He built the usual sod shanty and put in all the sod crop he possibly could, and this was mostly sod corn, but he raised a fine garden and had a good supply of vegetables. North Loup was the trading point for all the surrounding country and his place was the stopping place for the settlers coming up and down the river. The years passed with varying experiences and the returns from the farm were not large and during the drouth years our subject had to employ his time at different things in order to make a living. He hunted and trapped, bagging many prairie chickens in his long tramps over the country. He marketed a part of his game at Ainsworth, fifty miles away, and he obtained good prices for everything he could bring in. He proved up on his homestead in 1903 and now has an additional homestead in Kinkaid, where he makes his home. His farm embraces all told, about two thousand two hundred and eighty acres, belonging to the family, and it is one of the best farms in this part of the country. The North Loup

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river runs for a mile along the boundary of the farm. There is a fine spring on the place and groves of forest trees with some fruit. Mr. Worth is extensively engaged in the live stock business, carrying large herds of cattle, horses and hogs and ships to the different markets in the east.

   Mr. Worth has always exhibited an active interest in all political matters. and has held various offices of honor and trust within the gift of the people. He assisted in the organization of the school district and for years was a school officer.


   Andy L. Stephenson, whose fine farm in Perkins county is a credit to his locality, is a man of untiring energy, and is classed among the wealthy and substantial agriculturists of that county. He settled here during the pioneer days, witnessed the drouth years, but never had a failure. As the hard times came on he gradually worked into the stock raising business, and has made a splendid success of his different enterprises.

   Mr. Stephenson was born in Madison county, Kentucky, in 1850, on a farm. Both his parents were natives of that state. and his great-grandfather was an early settler there, he being killed by the Indians. This was one of the historical events of those days, the house being attacked by the redskins, and on being fired at from the inside of the house they all fled except one chief. This savage attacked Mr. James and they fought for some time, the Indian being killed, but Mr. James was severely wounded and never recovered from his injuries, his death occurring during that year.

   Our subject was reared in Gentry county, where the family settled about 1855 and his entire early life was spent on the frontier. He started for himself at the age of twenty-one, buying part: of his father's farm, and worked that up to 1886, then came to Perkins county and took a homestead on section 18, township 9, range 39. He built a dugout and went through the usual pioneer experiences in getting his farm started. His nearest railroad town and trading post was Ogalalla, thirty miles away. All the water he used had to be hauled a distance of six miles. He worked hard and proved up on his claim, then moved to his present location, where he has a fine ranch of eight hundred acres of deeded land and one section leased, cultivating one hundred and seventy acres. He has good improvements, substantial buildings of all kinds. He has built ten miles of fence on his ranch. During the first years here when he was just getting started on his homestead, he owned a good team of horses, and had the misfortune to lose them by lightning. He was unable to buy another team, so his neighbors got together and bought him a team and presented them to him.

   In 1871 Mr. Stephenson married Martha Swearingen, who was born in Iowa. She was a daughter of Thomas Swearingen, an old settler in Missouri, and a colonel in the civil war. Six children were born to our subject, namely: Minnie, Lulu, John, Thomas, Dale, and Florence, now deceased.

   Mr. Stephenson is a Democrat. He has been active in local politics, serving as road overseer and district treasurer, and also helped greatly in building up the schools of the locality


   H. B. Kauffman, who owns a valuable estate on section 18, township 14, range 58, is one of the prosperous and highly esteemed citizens of Kimball county. He was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and first saw the light on November 9, 1853. His father still lives in Bedford county, but his mother has been dead for some years. There were three sons in his father's family, but one besides our subject now living.

   When Mr. Kauffman was twenty-seven years of age he left Pennsylvania and emigrated to Missouri, spending about six months there and went to South Dakota, traveling in a prairie schooner, having with him his wife and their household goods. They remained in that state for five years, thirty miles west of Yankton, and then moved to Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, where he was proprietor of the Pine Bluffs hotel, and also was connected with the Union Pacific Railway Company for six years, making Pine Bluffs his home up to 1897. In 1903 he came to Nebraska and took a Kinkaid homestead in Kimball county, locating on section 18, township 14, range 58. Here he has four hundred and eighty acres homesteaded, and besides this has one hundred and sixty acres of deeded land in the same section, making in all a whole section. He has about fifty acres cultivated, and runs quite a good bunch of stock. His place is improved in good shape, and every corner of the same shows good management and care in its operation.

   While living in his native county he was married to Annie Chrisman, who was also born

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