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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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ing a fine farm, also a good substantial bank account. He is enthusiastic in his praise of this country as an agricultural region, and what he has accomplished is a fair sample of what any poor man willing to work can do in this region.

   Mr. O'Donoghue was married in 1858 to Ellen Noonan, born and reared in the same county in Ireland with our subject. Five children were born of this union, two of whom are now living, named as follows: Ellen, wife of H. H. Johnes, a prominent farmer of this county, Kate, wife of E. Johnson, a carpenter of Omaha; Julia (deceased), who was Mrs. Jesse Ishmeid, of Oregoon, Mary (deceased), and one who died in infancy. The family are all devout members of the Catholic church of Erina. Our subject is a staunch advocate of the Independent party and has always taken an active interest in affairs of his locality. He served as justice of the peace when he first came here after the organization of Garfield county, and has always acted for the best government for the good of the community. A picture of the "Homestead Ranch" of Mr. O'Donoghue appears on another page of this volume.


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   One of the most important farmers of Cherry county is Allison S. Graeff, who is a leading old settler in this locality.

   Mr. Graeff was born near Stroudstown, in Berks county, Pennsylvania. November 12, 1855. His father, Solomon Graeff, and his mother, Lavina (Unger) were of Pennsylvania-German stock and who reared a large family of children, all trained to assist their parents with the hard work always found on the farm. At the age of twenty-one years our subject started out for himself to seek a home in the far west. He came to Richardson county, Nebraska, in November, but in March following he returned to Woodhull, Henry county, Illinois, where he remained for ten years. The first two years he worked as a farm hand, then he went farming on rented land. It was here, in 1880, that he was married to Miss Celinda Onderkirk, daughter of Richard Bond Onderkirk, a native of Germnay, and who married Frances Thurman. Five children have been born to this union, named as follows: Arthur, Oscar, Gussie, Luella and one that died unnamed. The first three named are the only ones living at present.

   In the spring of 1886 Mr. Graeff came back to Cherry county and located on section 32, township 35, range 28, building a sod house in which the family lived for several years, going through the usual drouth periods in which he lost several crops both by drouth and hail. However, in 1906, Mr. Graeff suffered a much greater misfortune than any mere property loss could ever be, in the death of his youngest child, Luella May, who was accidentally killed in a runaway on September 6, 1906. This sad affair was a heavy blow to Mr. and Mrs. Graeff, and the more so because it might have been avoided. In 1901 a fire occurred in which he lost his stable and sheds with their contents. When he came to Cherry county his capital was a team, wagon, one cultivator, a plow, but with this small equipment and in spite of all the hardships that a pioneer has to contend with he has prospered and now owns a fine farm of nine hundred and sixty acres, with good buildings well, windmill, and other improvements. His farm is all fenced and he has about two hundred acres of good land under cultivation.

   Mr. Graeff has watched the growth of Cherry county almost since its start, and his name will occupy a prominent place in the history of this community. During the Indian outbreak in 1891, he remained on his farm, being one of the very few who did not flee the country.

   Our subject is a Democrat in political views and was reared a member of the German Reform church. Mrs. Graeff and the children are members of the Methodist church. Arthur is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America at Valentine.

   A view of the family, residence and surrounding farm buildings is one of the interesting illustrations to be found on another page in this work.

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   James H. Harvey is a native of Hampshire county, West Virginia, where he was born in 1848. He was a son of Gazaway Harvey, also a native of West Virginia. Our subject's mother's name before marriage was Junkins. She was of Irish descent, her father having emigrated from Ireland when he was a boy six weeks old.

   James H. Harvey came west with his father's family in 1852 to Iowa, where they were among the earliest pioneers of the state where the son was reared to manhood. October 10, 1863, he enlisted in the Ninth Iowa Cavalry, Company K, going south with his regiment to St. Louis and on into Arkansas, continuing through the campaign in the south country with his company. He saw lots of hard and active service and was mustered out on February 3, 1866, after which he returned to Iowa where he remained for five years.

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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   In 1880 the subject of our sketch came west, locating in Loup county, Nebraska. His brother Benj. J. Harvey, was in Loup county at the time, and was one of the first settlers on the Loup river; he still lives here with his family.

   James H. Harvey located on a homestead, built a sod house and lived in it for three years and then built a better home. He has worked hard at the development of his farm and now has four hundred and eighty-one acres of first-class bottom land, improved in nice shape, with good buildings, fences, etc. He is especially proud of his fine orchard of numerous kinds of fruit trees, apples, plums, cherries and a variety of small fruits.

   On another page will be found a picture of Mr. Harvey's ranch.

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   James H. Harvey and Miss Kittie E. Taylor were married August 15, 1883, and have a family of six children: James C., John L., Nellie, Harry, Ruth and Wm. McKinley. Mrs. Harvey's father, Edward Taylor, was one of the pioneer settlers of the county, and the city of Taylor, the county seat, takes its name from her father.

   Our subject has been public spirited and has taken an influential position among his fellows, and is universally respected by all who know him. He held the office of county commissioner for one term and also other offices in his district. Mr. Harvey is very genial and hospitable and always extends the kindliest and most courteous treatment to all comers.


   Samuel H. Nesbit, a well-known citizen of Brown county, Nebraska, is a prosperous and well-to-do farmer of his community. His home is in section 22, township 29, range 22, where he is extensively engaged in stock and grain raising. Mr. Nesbit was born in Lewis county. Missouri, September 1, 1870, a son of Adam and Martha (Ramsey) Nesbit, natives of Virginia and Kentucky respectively. The father, a farmer, settled in Lewis county, Missouri, with his family in the early days, and here our subject, the sixth of nine children, was reared, receiving his education in the common schools of his native county. He lived with his parents until he was twenty-one years of age, and in the spring of 1892 came to Brown county and entered a mercantile establishment in Ainsworth, clerking for this concern the following five years. He then went to Colorado and spent a year and a half in that state, three months of this time on the geodetic survey, five employed in a flouring mill and the balance of the time in the dry goods establishment of Moore and Beckens at Grand junction. He returned to Nebraska, going to Oakdale, Antelope county, working in a mercantile establishment for a short time, before returning to Missouri, where he again followed clerking, in which he had become proficient. In 1900 he returned to Brown county and, in company with two others, purchased the farm on which he is at present residing. The place consisting of four hundred and eighty acres of deeded land and three hundred and twenty acres homestead property, was but slightly improved and he began erecting substantial buildings, house, barn, granaries, fences, etc. In 1907 he built a large, commodious barn and the year following erected a comfortable two-story addition to the dwelling. He is very successful in his farming enterprises and successful in his breeding and care of cattle of which he has a fine herd. In this ranch he had associated with him two partners, A. O. Smith, of Bassett, Nebraska, and O. B. Ripley, at Dayton, Oregon, the property being under the personal supervision and management of Mr. Nesbit, who has lately purchased the interest of Mr. Smith. The land is devoted to stock and grain raising, two hundred acres being under cultivation.

   On June 6, 1900 Mr. Nesbit was married to Miss Elsie B. Dillon, who was born near Oakdale, Nebraska, where she was reared and educated. Miss Dillon's father, A. B. Dillon, comes of American stock; he is a farmer and as time permits plies his trade of mason. He is prominent in fraternal circles and has served as deputy grand master of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of which order he is a prominent member for the past few years. Mr. and Mrs. Nesbit are the parents of two children, namely: Burniece D. and Marvin.

   Mr. Nesbit always does his share towards the advancement of the commercial and educational affairs in his locality, and is highly respected by all who know him. In politics he is Democratic and fraternally a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen; together with his wife he has attained the Degree of Honor of that organization.


   Nels Thorstonson, who for the past twenty-five years and more has resided in Cheyenne county, Nebraska, has during this time acquired a fine property as the result of his industry and good management. He is widely known in his locality as a worthy citizen and progressive farmer, and occupies a pleasant home in Potter precinct and is in the front ranks of the leading

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