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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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   Mr. Culbertson was married in 1894 to Miss Eva Way, daughter of J. S. Way, of Hastings, Nebraska, a pioneer settler of Adams county, Nebraska, locating there in 1872, where he engaged in farming and stock raising. He was very successful in both undertakings, and became one of the leading men in his community, serving his county as supervisor on the county board for some years. He came west from Pennsylvania with his wife, also a native of that state, and they now reside at San Dimas. Mr. and Mrs. Culbertson have four children, namely: Harvey, Henry and Harold and Eva. The family is highly respected, and have a host of friends and acquaintances, and a pleasant and comfortable home. They are members of the M. E. church, and well liked in religious and social circles in their community. Mr. Culbertson is a member of the Maccabees in McCook, and takes a commendable interest in all educational and political matters.


   Vaclav Vacik, a successful and well known farmer and ranchman of Colter precinct, lives on section 24, township 13, range 48, where he has a fine farm of over one thousand two hundred acres. He was an early settler in Cheyenne county, and has done his full share in the development of the agricultural interests of the community where he chose his home.

   Mr. Vacik was born in the village of Strejckovice, Bohemia, February 28, 1851, and grew to the age of seventeen in his native land, coining to America at that time. He sailed from Bremen Haven and after a voyage of two weeks, landed in New York, January 16, 1868. He first settled in Chicago, remaining there ten years where he was employed by the Burlington railroad; he then went to Champaign county, Illinois, spending about two years on the John Alexander farm. From Champaign county he went to the southern part of the state and later he took a trip to Memphis, remaining there but ten days, and returning to Chicago, he again entered the employ of the Burlington, and remained one year.

   He made a trip to Nebraska in 1875, and was very much impressed with the conditions existing, but did not permanently take up his residence here until 1877, first locating in Saline county, and ten years later came to Cheyenne county, arriving in April of that year. He filed on a homestead in section 24, township 13, range 48, and has made that his home ever since, constantly improving his farm and adding to his acreage, so that he is now proprietor of over one thousand two hundred acres of good farm and range land. He has three hundred and twenty acres under cultivation, and runs a large herd of cattle and horses. He has done exceedingly well since coming here, and is considered one of the well-to-do and progressive citizens of his section. His ranch is well supplied with good buildings of every description, and all necessary improvements. Mr. Vacik was married in Chicago, October 11, 1874, to Mary Cervenka, who was born in Bohemia on the 4th day of July, 1854, and came to America with her parents in 1868; her father, Paul Cervenka; married Annie Skopeckova, and is now living in Saline county, Nebraska. To Mr. and Mrs. Vacik were born the following children: James, born in Nebraska. Julia and Theresa are twins and were born in Chicago. Julia is the wife of Jerome Banta; Theresa married Michael McNiff; Joe, now deceased: Mary, who married Dan Dickinson, Annie, Paul, Jerry, Lloyd and Benjamin. The last six were all born in Nebraska. All of our subject's sons-in-law are railroad men connected with the Union Pacific railway. Two children died, one buried in Saline county, and the other in this county.

   Politically Mr. Vacik is a Democrat, and he stands firmly for his convictions. The family worship in the Catholic church. Mrs. Vacik is a member of the Woodmen circle.


   The above named gentleman has for the past quarter of a century been closely identified with the farming and commercial interests of the western part of the state of Nebraska, and has watched the development and growth of this section from the early days. He resides in Bassett precinct, Rock county, where he has built up a pleasant, comfortable home through his energetic efforts and strict integrity.

   Mr. Cross is a native of England, born on the north coast of Yorkshire in the fall of 1857. He is the sixth member of his father's family of twelve children, and was reared on his father's farm, where he was obliged to do all kinds of hard farm work. On reaching the age of twenty-three he left home and started out for himself; embarking at Liverpool on the Simasia for the new world, and after a voyage of nine days, landed in Quebec, whence he came across the border and west to Bureau county, Illinois; here he remained for one and a half years, working out on farms, after which he went to Cass county, Iowa, and farmed there for three years. He was not satisfied with conditions there, and

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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moving to Nebraska, locating in Rock county in 1884, where he settled on a pre-emption in section 35, township 30, range 19. Here he built a shanty and batched it for a short time, then married. Soon after starting on this farm he was burned out, losing his barn, filled with bay, a corn crib, some hogs and about one hundred and twenty chickens. This was a serious drawback to him, and it was some time before he recovered from this loss. Then he took a homestead in section 34, his present location, and since he has been here he has been successful in all undertakings. He now has a farm of four hundred acres, eighty of which are cultivated and the rest in grass and pasture. He engages principally in stock raising and dairying, and at present milks thirty cows, finding a ready market for his cream in Bassett. He has good buildings, and his place all fenced; on a portion of it he has planted a fine grove of trees which are growing splendidly.

   Mr. Cross married Miss Effie Cormancy, whose father was an old settler in Rock county; they have been blessed with seven children, who are named as follows: Pearl, Merle, Bert, Alta, Charlie, Frank and Lizzie. The family is well regarded in the community and they enjoy a pleasant and happy rural home. In politics Mr. Cross is Democratic.


   William R. Bowman, a prominent business man of Hay Springs, Nebraska, is a man of great energy and untiring industry, owing his present success to these characteristics and his sound business judgment. He is the proprietor of the leading drug store of the above town, and is well known as a worthy citizen of his community.

   Mr. Bowman was born in Boone county Indiana, in 1865. His father, William Bowman, was a leading physician and old settler in Stanton county, Nebraska, coming here in 1869, where his family of ten children, of whom our subject is the fifth member, was raised and educated, attending the Stanton common schools. At the age of twenty-one he started out for himself, learning the pharmacist's profession, and became a registered member of that body of workers in 1890.

   In the spring of 1889 Mr. Bowman came west to Sheridan county, and there clerked for W. H. Smith at Hay Springs, remaining in the employ of this firm for several years, up to the spring of 1898. He then took up a homestead twenty-five miles southeast of Hay Springs and proved up on this, building a sod shanty in which he lived for some time. In 1898 Mr. Bowman bought his present drug store, and since taking this place has increased the stock and built up a good trade, running a thoroughly up-to-date store. He has installed a telephone exchange, putting this in during the year 1903, extending all through the town of Hay Springs Mr. Bowman was married in 1892 to Miss Bertha Curtis, daughter of Volney Curtis, an old settler in Box Butte county, Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Bowman have one child, Gladys, born in this county. Mr. Bowman is actively interested in local public affairs, and in 1898 was elected county coroner and re-elected for two successive terms. He has also served as Justice of the Peace for some years. In politics he is a Republican.


   Oscar Karlstrum, residing on section 6, township 14, range 58, Kimball county, Nebraska, is one of the enterprising and prosperous agriculturists of that region. He has met with marked success since locating here, has a pleasant home and valuable estate, and enjoys the esteem and respect of his associates.

   Mr. Karlstrum was born in Sweden, February 3, 1864, and reared in that country. His father and mother spent their entire lives in their native land, the former following farming for many years, and still lives on the homestead there.

   Our subject is the third child in a family of six, having three brothers and two sisters. He came to America in 1885, settling in Phelps county, Nebraska, on arriving in the United States, and spent one year in that vicinity, then came to Kimball county (which at that tire was part of Cheyenne county), homesteading a quarter section on southwest section 6, township 14, range 38, and which is now his home ranch. He proved up on the land and built it up in good shape, later buying other land in the vicinity and now is proprietor of nine hundred and sixty acres. He has put on this ranch good improvements, with substantial buildings of all kinds, and has nearly one hundred acres under cultivation. A large part of the place is used as hayland and pasture for a herd of sixty cattle which he is running at the present time and will send to market later. Every appointment of the ranch is first class, and bespeaks his careful management and thrift in its operation. On September 7, 1887, Mr. Karlstrum was married in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Miss Mary Johnson,

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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who was born and reared in Sweden, coming to the United States a short time previous to her marriage. To them have been born the following children: George, Annie, Gust, Renhard, and Ethel, all living at home and forming a most charming family group. Mrs. Karlstrum's father is living in Sweden but her mother died there some years ago. Mr. Karlstrum has always given his best influence for the betterment of conditions in his locality, and takes a leading part in all affairs of neighborhood importance. He was elected assessor several years ago and he served as county commissioner for one term, vacating the office in 1908. At present he is acting as treasurer of school district number seven, and is also serving as road overseer in district number seven. In political views he is a Republican.


   John Castek, one of the prominent and successful farmers of Dawes county, Nebraska, comes of Bohemian stock, and is a worthy representative of the best traits of his race and blood. He was born on a farm in Moravia in 1863. His father was a carpenter who lived and died in his native land. Our subject grew up there until he was sixteen years of age, then came to America, landing in New York city in June, 1880, and came west at once to Colfax county, Nebraska, following farm work in the eastern part of the state for several years. In the spring of 1886 he moved to Dawes county, locating on his present farm, in section 31, township 31, range 48, and there built a dugout and hatched for awhile. His first team were oxen, and he owned a half interest in a plow and wagon, with which the farm was broken up and crops put in. Soon after coming here the drouths struck the section, and as he was unable to raise anything on his land he tried to sell out, offering his place for two hundred dollars, but even at that price could get no buyer so was compelled to stay. He kept on trying to improve his farm, and in '89 had the finest prospects for a good crop and was getting ready to harvest, when a hail storm struck the region and completely ruined his crop. The next year he took out hail insurance and mortgaged his team to pay the assessment, and was again hailed out, but when he tried to collect damage, he was unable to get a cent, but he kept on carrying insurance for several years, but for some reason dropped it one year, and that very year he was again completely hailed out, having this experience for four years altogether. During late years he has raised good crops, and he has plenty of hay and pasture for his cattle of which he keeps a large number, most of the time having two hundred head, besides running them for other farmers. He has about nine horses and his range is admirably adapted to stock raising of all kinds.

   In 1889 Mr. Castek was married to Miss Anny Potmesil, and she died June 16, 1896, leaving a family of two children, Francis, born August 14, 1892; and John, born September 6, 1894. In 1898 Mr. Castek was married again, to Miss Jennie Kratochvil, born in Bohemia, daughter of Joseph Kratochvil. Mrs. Castek came to America in 1893 together with a sister, they coming to Chadron, Dawes county, Nebraska.

   Mr. Castek spends all his time on his ranch building up his home, and is one of the well-to-do and progressive agriculturists in the county. He is a Republican, and keeps well up with the time in politics locally. He is a genial, whole-souled gentleman and is full of social qualities that bring him many friends. On another page of this volume will be found a picture of their residence and also portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Castek.

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   The above mentioned gentleman is one of the early settlers of Box Butte county, Nebraska, who foresaw the prosperity which attended !hat region and remained to enjoy the results of his many years of hard labor, and is now one of the most highly respected citizens of the community. He is the owner of a valuable estate, and farms on an extensive scale, residing on section 10, township 28, range 49, where he has erected a fine frame house, making him a comfortable and pleasant home.

   George A. Fendrich was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1871. He grew up in that country and came to America in 1881. After landing in New York city he went west to Carroll county, Iowa, settling on a farm and lived there for five years. From there he moved to Box Butte county with his parents, driving from Hay Springs overland, the father filing on a homestead in section 10, where they built a sod house, planted a grove of trees, and began to farm. The first few years were very successful, but just as they got nicely started the dry years struck them and several crops were lost completely, and they had a hard time to make a living. Our subject left home several different times, first going to the Pacific coast; and worked in Spokane a couple of years; then into the Klondike region, where he

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