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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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train pull into Thedford, and has seen every change which has taken place in the region since that time, watching it grow from practically raw prairie land into its present highly improved state, and has himself been an important factor in this success. He took a homestead about 1890 and begun a farm and ranch for himself, "batching" it for four years, also filed on a pre-emption two miles east of Thedford. In all he has proved up on a homestead, pre-emption and tree claim, and has met with splendid success in his ranching ventures. He finally came to his present location, having a ranch of nine hundred and twenty acres, all deeded land, lying along the Middle Loup river. He purchased his father's old ranch and now operates that place. He has planted a fine fruit orchard, having apples, cherries, wild plums, grapes, strawberries, gooseberries and raspberries, and altogether has seven acres of fine trees on the place, furnishing an abundant supply of fruits for his own use and which he finds a ready market for in his locality. He has fifty acres of good clover, large pastures, and engages principally in stock raising, running a large bunch of cattle and some horses. He has a valuable property and is one of the substantial citizens of his community.

   Mr. Russell was married on February 14, 1892, to Miss Nannie D. Edwards, daughter of James A. Edwards, an old settler in this section. To them have been born three children, namely: Ethel M., Charles R., and Vera Dell.

   Mr. Russell was a resident of this township when the first Sabbath school was started. He has done his share as an old settler, taking a leading part in township affairs, and has served in different capacities, acting as assessor for several years and holding other offices.


   Prominent among the progressive ranchmen of Cherry county is the gentleman whose name heads this personal history. He has been a resident of Nebraska for the past twenty years or more, and has done his share in the development of this section, building up a valuable estate in section 34, where he has a pleasant and comfortable home.

   Mr. Denaeyer is a native of Belgium, born in the village of Junet, November 14, 1865. Here he lived until coming to America with his parents in the fall of 1878. Sailing from Antwerp in a vessel of the Red Star line, the family handed in New York November 14th, after a voyage of two weeks, and shortly after settled in the mining region near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, working for about a year and a half at McDonald station and Smithton. Mr. Denaeyer started for the west, finding work in the mines at Collinsville, Illinois, Pittsburg, Kansas, Gold Hill, Missouri, and What-Cheer, Iowa, for a time working at Marhah, Colorado. On his way eastward he stopped in Cherry county and took up a claim which he later abandoned. After journeying for a time in Kansas and Missouri mining towns, he returned to What-Cheer, where he followed mining some seven or eight years. In 1899 he started anew in Cherry county, taking up a homestead in section 2, township 31, range 26, to which he has since added through the Kincaid act, and now is proprietor of eight hundred acres, mostly low hay land. He cuts about four hundred tons of hay each season, and of this he bales two hundred tons for sale and finds a ready market for his product. He has improved his farm with good buildings, fences, and planted trees, and it is one of the best tracts of land in the locality. He has had rather bad luck with his stock since settling on this place, losing $1,000 worth of horses in 1905, and two years previous had lost cattle worth the same amount. One year after paying two dollars per ton for bailing hay he could not sell the product for enough to pay the bailers.

   Mr. Denaevyer was married in Iowa, September 25, 1884, to Miss Della Bohy, a native of the same village as her husband, she having came to America with her parents, Emanuel and Dorie (Heck) Bohy, in 1881. Six children have been born to them, named as follows: Barney, deceased; Julia, wife of Henry Ormesher, living near Valentine; Annie, Della, Ida, Bernard, Jr., all except the latter born in Iowa.

   The family is highly respected in their community, and have many friends and acquaintances who often enjoy the hospitality of their pleasant home. Mr. Denaeyer devotes his whole time to his home, and has never had leisure to take any active part in political affairs, although he votes the Independent ticket. Mr. Denaeyer's parents have retired from active life, have gold their ranch and are now residing near Valentine. One of the interesting illustrations in this work is a view of the family residence, which is shown on another page.

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    Honorable Henry Mohrman, who enjoys the comforts of a pleasant rural home in Macon township, is one of the best known men of Franklin county. He is one of the old settlers in western Nebraska, and his labors here have

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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become a part of the state's history. His life has been one of many experiences, and he is honored as a public-spirited citizen and leading resident of his county. Mr. Mohrman was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1863. He came to America in 1868 with his mother and rest of family, the family settling in Nemaha county, and afterwards moving to Richardson county, where they bought a farm for twelve dollars per acre. Both parents are now deceased, the father's death occurring in 1868 at the age of forty-three, and the mother's in 1901, aged seventy-seven years.

   In 1886 our subject started out for himself, renting a farm in Richardson county, remaining there up to 1892, when he bought the one hundred and sixty acres where he now lives, having added to this farm until he owns at the present time four hundred and eighty acres. In 1905 he erected a fine residence on the estate, and he has one of the most valuable places in the vicinity, engaging in mixed farming and stock raising. He has thirty head of thoroughbred shorthorn cattle, nearly all raised by himself, beginning in 1898 with one high grade cow of the imported Daisy strain. These animals are all fine stock, and he has had splendid success with them, selling the calves at weaning time at from forty to sixty dollars each. He keeps about a hundred hogs, and raises quite a good deal of wheat and corn. His wheat has reached as high as forty bushels per acre, and corn up to sixty. He has some fine alfalfa fields, and farms under the most improved methods, obtaining the best results possible. Mr. Mohrman was married in 1895 to Miss Anna Kruse, daughter of John and Fulke (Minits) Kruse, of Macon township, who came to this locality in 1886 from Province Hanover, Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Mohrman have the following children: Mary, Fred, Natie, Annie, John and Martha. Our subject himself was an only son, but he has one sister, now Mrs. August Lunzman, of Nemaha county, Nebraska. The family are members of the Lutheran church. In 1894 Mr. Mohrman was elected on the Republican ticket to represent the people of his county in the state legislature of 1895.

   He has held different local offices in his township, and is one of the active men in public affairs, taking a keen interest in party politics.


   Ferdinand Wollesen, a prominent old timer of Dawes county, has done his part in the upbuilding of his section, and has through hard work and constant effort succeeded in establishing a comfortable home and well-tilled farm, which is located in section 14, township 32, range 47.

   Mr. Wollesen was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in 1843. His father, Christian Wollesen, was a teacher all his life, spending all his life in his native land. Our subject was raised and educated in Germany, living at home until he was sixteen years of age, then learned the miller's trade and followed that work there for five years. He then travelled all over Germany, engaged in different enterprises. When he reached the age of twenty-two years he entered the German army and served for two years. In 1868 he left his native land and came to the United States; after landing in New York city, came west to Davenport, Iowa, and there followed farming for about six years, then went to Tama county and farmed for a time. He next railroaded on the F. E. & M. V. railroad.

   He came to Nebraska in 1887 and worked on the section, acting as foreman at Andrews for one year, then settled in Inas, Wyoming, where he ran a boarding house for six years. He returned to Nebraska, and purchased his present farm in 1892. Since settling here he has devoted most of his attention to the stock business, and has been very successful in building up his ranch and home. He owns a thousand acres located near the head of Little Bordeaux creek, and has good buildings, fences, etc., with everything in good order about the ranch. He farms one hundred and twenty-five acres and raises good crops, and is progressive in his stock raising and farming operations.

   In 1881 Mr. Wollesen was married to Mrs. Christian Peters, of German descent, and who came to America with her parents in 1863, settling in Gladbrook, Iowa. Mr. Wollesen has one son, Carl, aged twenty-six, and three step-children, William Peters, Henry Peters, and Chris Peters.

   Although he takes no active interest in politics he votes an Independent ticket and lends his influence for the good of his locality.


   Gilbert Haase, one of the prosperous and substantial business men of Kearney, Nebraska, resides with his family in a comfortable and pleasant home in the above city. He has made Kearney his home for the past twenty-six years, and has done his full share toward the development of the financial interests of the community where he has chosen his residence. He has a wide reputation as a successful and worthy citizen.

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