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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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and raised there, the event occurring in 1880, and Mrs. Kauffman has proven a true helpmeet to her husband in every sense of the word. They an the parents of two children, Enda, now the wife of Frank Bloom, they residing on section 34 of township 13, range 58, Kimball county. They have two children, Rayona and Harry. Our subject's son, Raymond C., is also married and living on leased land, in school section 36, township 13, range 58, and is the father of one child, Fern Elizabeth. His wife's maiden name was Florence Extrom, of Pine Bluffs.

   Mr. Kauffman is a Bryan Democrat, and strong party man. He is director of school district No. 7. He was elected county commissioner of Kimball county, Nebraska, and has held the office for three years. He takes an active interest in local affairs.


   George Dickinson, whose valuable and well kept farm home is in section 32, township 14, range 48, Lodgepole precinct, Cheyenne county, where he owns three hundred and twenty acres, is one of the young men who were reared in that region, a true Nebraskan in spirit, and one who has made for himself a good home in this fertile and productive section of the state. He is the son of Friend Dickinson, one of the prominent old-timers of Western Nebraska, who now resides in Lodgepole, of whom more extensive mention is made elsewhere in this work. Our subject was born in Sidney, Nebraska, on October 28, 1878, and has never lived outside Cheyenne county. He has seen the many changes that have taken place in that region and watched the growth and development, and since attaining to manhood has done much to aid in the upbuilding of the locality. He is proprietor of a half section of good farm land, situated in section 32, township 14, range 47, known as "Dickinson Ranch." He engages in stock raising on quite a large scale, farms about thirty-five acres, and has the place well improved with a complete set of substantial ranch buildings. The ranch is beautifully located on Lodgepole creek, and is one of the most attractive spots in the section.

   Mr. Dickinson was married on January 8, 1905 to Miss Fannie Kilgore, who was born in Arkansas in 1888, and came into Cheyenne county with her parents in 1892, they going through pioneer experiences in this region. Both of Mrs. Dickinson's parents are living, and reside a short distance east of Lodgepole.

   Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson have two children, namely, George and Nellie. Charles Dickinson, a brother of our subject, lives on the ranch. He was married to Pearl Kilgore, a sister of his brother's wife, on April 8, 1907. George Dickinson takes a commendable interest in local affairs, and is a strong Democrat in political views.


   Karl F. Gross, known throughout his precinct and the surrounding country as a prosperous farmer and ranchman, has been a resident of Deuel and Grant counties for the past eighteen years, and incidentally has aided materially in its development. He owns a valuable estate and has gained the same by dint of well directed industry supplemented by the strictest honesty and well merits his success and high standing.

   Mr. Gross was born in Baden, Germany, in 1860. His father was a farmer in that country and lived and died there, Karl living at home and also followed farming during his boyhood up to his twentieth year, then struck out for himself, taking passage on an emigrant ship for America, landing in New York City in February, 1880. He traveled west to Iowa, locating in Lynn county, and worked on farms in that vicinity for five years, then came to Nebraska, settling in Omaha, and followed different occupations, for the most part employed in street car barns and packing houses.

   He next moved to Logan county and followed ranching for about two years, then went to Deuel county and took up a pre-emption, tree claim and homestead and began to improve the ranch. At that time, in 1890, his nearest trading point was Hyannis, a distance of thirty miles, and the postoffice was twenty miles away. He put up sod buildings, beginning on a very small scale to improve his claim, at first trying to farm, but soon worked into the cattle business, and for eleven years worked faithfully to build up the ranch, succeeding well, although he met with numerous disappointments and losses at different times, in one instance losing all his hay crop and barns by fire. In spite of all hardships and discouragements he stuck to his ranch, and accumulated a nice property. In 1901 he sold his ranch in Deuel county to M. C. Hubbel for a good sum and he then took a trip to New York City and Germany, returning in 1902 to Grant county, Nebraska, and purchasing a

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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large ranch which is located two miles west of Hyannis. He purchased this property outright for a good round sum and is finely located. Here he has twelve quarter sections and he devotes the entire place to cattle raising. This is one of the most extensive cattle ranches in the county, and he has it improved in splendid shape with good buildings, handsome residence, etc. While living in Deuel county our subject had considerable experience with horse thieves. At one time they took seven head and at another forty-eight head of fine horses. But he succeeded in getting them all back and capturing the band of robbers, and one of the party was sent to the penitentiary for five years.

   Mr. Gross was married in 1885 to Josephine Parks, she being of American stock, her father, Morgan S., being one of the pioneers of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a well known and highly respected citizen of that vicinity. Mr. and Mrs. Gross have never had any children of their own, but in 1893 adopted a little girl, Erma, who is now eighteen years old. A picture of Mr. Gross's ranch will be found on another page of this work.

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   The gentleman whose name heads this personal history has been identified with the agricultural interests of western Nebraska for over a quarter of a century, and was well known as a prosperous and successful citizen.

   Mr. Zerbe was a descendant of French ancestors, and was born in 1838 in Pennsylvania, his family having been pioneer settlers in that state. His grandfather, Daniel Zerbe, came to American shores from France in 1776, to take part in the Revolutionary war, and his son Thomas is our subject's father, his mother having been Miss Elizabeth Garmen prior to her marriage.

   Our subject came to Nebraska, from Shamokin, Northumberland county. Pennsylvania, locating in Harlan county in 1879, homesteading in Prairie Dog township, afterwards purchasing adjoining lands, and now is proprietor of four hundred and forty acres, all in one block, having sold off considerable land which he formerly owned. He has been engaged principally in the stock business, handling a large number of cattle, hogs and horses. For several years he was engaged in the butcher business in Alma and resided in that town for ten years. At one time he was burned out and lost all his effects, as he had no insurance on his property. When he started here he had only fifteen dollars in money, and by his own industry and perseverance has been very successful in farming and stock raising. He feeds about one hundred cattle and hogs, and uses all his corn and hay on his place.

   Mr. Zerbe was appointed the first marshal of Alma in the early days, and served in that capacity for several years. He was a member of the city council for four terms, and president of the board all of this time. He was also mayor of the town for four terms in succession, elected three times by those in favor of saloons, and once by the local option people who recognized the fact that he had been fair and honest in his dealings as mayor. He was acting as mayor of Alma during the bad years and by his careful management of the finances made work for all the people and won their confidence by his strict integrity and fair treatment in all matters.

   In 1872 Mr. Zerbe married Miss Angelina Reed, a native of Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, daughter of Moses and Marion Kanter Reed, this family having been pioneers of Pennsylvania. Mr. Zerbe had three daughters from a former marriage, namely: Martha, widow of Andrew Kachalries, of Alma, Elizabeth, wife of N. D. Feese, a farmer living near Alma; Ida, now Mrs. Albert Bove, whose husband is a leading merchant of Lincoln, Nebraska.

   Mr. Zerbe is a member of the Evangelical church and a trustee of that church. He belongs to the Masonic order, having been a member of the blue lodge in Pennsylvania. In political faith he is a Republican. Mr. Zerbe died August 8, 1908, mourned by the family and a large number of friends and acquaintances.


   Sam. A. Carlson, an old and prominent resident of Phelps county, resides on his well improved farm in section 2, Prairie township, on which he settled in 1877. Mr. Carlson was born in Sweden, and came to America in 1870, settling in Chicago where he worked for a time, then in other places until he finally landed in this vicinity.

   After striking Nebraska Mr. Carlson at once settled on a homestead and tree claim later selling the latter. He broke up the land on his farm, built a house, and for some years had a hard time to get along on account of the dry years and bad weather generally. He kept at it, however, and gradually improved

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