NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center-
On Line Library

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 451

   Mr. Haase is a native of Galena, Illinois, born in 1863. He is a son of Edward Haase, now associated with his son in business here. He was reared at Galena until he reached the age of eighteen. He came to Nebraska in 1881, located at Kearney in 1883 and clerked for four years, then established a general grocery and queensware store, and has built up a large business in that time, his trade extending all through Buffalo and the adjoining counties. He carries a large and complete stock of the finest goods, and has gained his patrons through his honest dealings and strict attention to business. He served on the city council for one term, and has for a term of three years served on the school board. In 1903 he was elected city treasurer, and is now county treasurer having run a large number of votes ahead of his ticket. In politics he is a Democrat, and at the last city election was the only man on his ticket that was elected to office. He has been a member of the Masonic lodge since 1896. He has been master of blue lodge three years, high priest of chapter and eminent commander of Knights Templar.

   Mr. Haase was married to Miss Mary L. Carson, May 21, 1888, who was a native of Iowa. He has six children--four boys and two girls: Gilbert, Jr., Hazel, Raymond, Donald, Howard and Marie. The family are active members of Baptist church.


   John E. Walker, father of Walker Brothers & Company, owners of extensive ranching property in Cherry county, Nebraska, resides on section 33, township 35, range 35. Mr. Walker is a native of Ontario, Canada, born April 1, 1849. His father, Peter Walker, was a farmer, who came to the United States in 1854 with his wife, who was Martha Snell, a native of New York, and their family of children, when our subject was a child five years old. They settled in Clayton, Iowa, and there John E. was reared on a farm, receiving a common school education, and early learning the work of carrying on a farm in assisting his father.

   In 1874 Mr. Walker came to Butler county, Nebraska, and purchased a tract of railroad land, where he went through grasshopper experiences, hail storms and drouths. He spent eight years in that locality, then becoming discouraged, left the place in the spring of 1885 and moved to Sheridan county, driving over the country from Butler county by team and covered wagon. This was a familiar mode of travel to him, as he had driven from Iowa to Nebraska when locating in Butler county. He had been over this section of the country the year previous, and had selected a homestead six miles northeast of Gordon, in section 4, township 33, range 41, where he put up a sod house and began the work of establishing a home and farm. Here he had hard times at first, as the dry years followed and he met with heavy losses in the failure of crops, but he proved up on his homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, and improved the place with good buildings. He came to his present ranch in 1900, having sold his holdings in Sheridan county, and here established a stock ranch, raising cattle and horses. This ranch contains eighteen quarter sections, all of which he and his family control, and he has one of the best equipped and most valuable ranches in this country.

   Mr. Walker has always been active in promoting the best interests of the community in which he lives, and has done his share in the building up of its resources. He is a man of wide experience, and a first-class business man and successful stockman. He takes an active interest in politics, voting the Republican ticket, and is recognized as one of the leading citizens of the county. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and chief patriarch of the encampment at Gordon; with his wife, he is also a member of the Rebekah degree.

   While living in Iowa our subject was married to Miss Elizabeth Miller, daughter of Casper Miller; a native of Germany. The mother dying when she was an infant, she was reared in the village of Frankville, Iowa, where the father was a blacksmith. Mr. and Mrs. Walker have four children, named as follows: Charles L., Wayne W., Ese L. and Evva M, the last named being a teacher of Cherry county.


   Energetic efforts and intelligence go hand in hand in the building up of one's fortune, regardless of the vocation to which they are applied. One of the well-developed and highly improved estates of Dawes county is that owned and operated by William Darrow, who resides in section 33, township 32 and range 51, and is the possessor of one thousand two hundred and eighty acres of land. The comfortable circumstances of this gentleman have been brought about by the exercise of judicious labor and painstaking care, and every appoinment (sic) of his place bespeaks thrift and good management.

   Mr. Darrow is a native of Livingston county, New York, born in 1847. He is a son of William and Nancy (Weller) Darrow, and was reared

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 452

and educated on his parents' farm, attending the common schools while assisting his father in performing the usual hard work required on a farm and he grew up used to plenty of labor. His father and mother both died in New York state.

   In the spring of 1880 our subject came west and located in Cedar county, Nebraska, and was among the pioneers in that section, where he remained for four years, then moved to Dawes county. He drove through the country with 4 team and wagon from Valentine, camping out at night under his wagon, and was two weeks on the road. He immediately located on a homestead in section 33, township 32, range 51, and now has the distinction of being the only homesteader still living on his original homestead, who settled here as early as 1884. He put up a log cabin the first summer and lived in that for a few years, constantly building up his place and adding improvements, buying adjoining lands when they were for sale cheap, and is now proprietor of a farm of one thousand two hundred and eighty acres. He is extensively engaged in stock raising, doing but little farming.

   Mr. Darrow was married in 1871 to Miss Helen Porter, daughter of George and Nancy (Buckley) Porter, farmers near Stafford, Genesee county, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Darrow are the parents of three children, who are named as follows: George, Lewis and Minnie.

   Mr. Darrow is a man who has always been active in public affairs in his locality, and takes a prominent part in all matters which tend to the betterment of conditions for the people. He was elected county commissioner on the Republican ticket in 1903, and re-elected in 1906, now serving his second term. He has held various local offices, and is one of the leading old timers of the region, highly esteemed by his fellowmen.


   Isaac Robbins, whose residence is located in section 34, township 31, range 49, Dawes county, Nebraska, where he owns a fine and well appointed ranch which he has reclaimed from the wild prairie, and where he is known as an earnest and hard working cultivator of the soil, and withal a most upright and honorable citizen, was born on a farm in Brown county, Ohio, in 1849. His father, Hiram Robbins, who was a farmer, was a native of the state of New York. His mother, Barbara (Stotlar) Robbins, who came of Dutch stock, was born in Pennsylvania.

   Our subject was one of the pioneers of Illinois, the family having moved to that state in 1853. They settled on a farm in Mercer county. Here he was reared and educated, assisting his father in the work of building up and improving their farm. In 1872 he left his home to seek his own fortunes, and for two years worked in Illinois.

   In 1874, Mr. Robbins and Miss Mary Deborde were united in marriage. She was a daughter of George and Martha (Brush) Deborde. Her father was a farmer, of French descent, born in Kentucky. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Robbins was blessed with eleven children, nine of whom are living: Nellie, Hattie, Albert, Ora, Alvie, Oliver, Edyth, Edna and Lloyd. Soon after his marriage. Mr. Robbins moved to Hardin county, Iowa, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. Here he remained for seven years, devoting his time and attention to his farm. It was in 1888 that he came to Dawes county, Nebraska, where he took a homestead in section 34, township 31, range 49. The first season here our subject lived in a log cabin. He put up a building of a story and a half, sixteen by twenty feet. During the drouth periods, which were so common in this section of our country, he made a living by working out. One season his crops were destroyed by hail, but his faith in western Nebraska remained unbroken, and the success which he has met goes to show that his judgment was not in error. He now has a ranch of three hundred and twenty acres of good land and has over two hundred and forty acres under cultivation. Altogether the family own one thousand two hundred and forty acres of land. He has erected a comfortable house, substantial barn and sheds, and has a good well and wind mill. The ranch is well fenced and cross fenced.

   From the time Mr. Robbins first came to this locality he has watched with interest the growth and development of Dawes county, and has taken a lively interest in all local affairs. In politics he is an independent voter. Every responsibility resting upon him as a man and a citizen has been faithfully met, and he has a host of friends who wish him well. A family group portrait is presented on another page of this volume.

Picture button



   In compiling a list of the successful and prosperous business men of Hay Springs, Nebraska, a foremost place is accorded the name of Israel R. Bray, who resides in a pleasant home in the above town, surrounded by many warm personal friends.

   Mr. Bray was born in Green county, Wisconsin, in 1851. His father, Eliphalet Bray, was a farmer of American stock, with a family of ten

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 453

children, our subject being the eighth in order of birth. He grew up in his native state, and at the age of nineteen came to Nebraska, locating in Hamilton county, where he took up a pre-emption. He built a sod house, or rather shanty, and lived in this vicinity for the following fourteen years, going through all the rough pioneer experiences, suffering from the drouth periods, grasshopper raids, etc. His first teams were oxen, and he used them for a number of years in breaking up his farm and doing all his work.

   In 1884 Mr. Bray first came to Sheridan county, settling on a homestead twelve miles south of Hay Springs. There he built a dugout and started with absolutely no capital, remaining until he had proved up on his claim. Here he went through another series of hardships and discouragements in the loss of several crops, and saw many hard times, but he persevered and eventually built up a good home and farm. He has six hundred and forty acres, with one hundred and ten of this under cultivation, and a good set of farm buildings, fences, etc. He moved to Hay Springs in 1902, and for a year and a half was in the hotel business, then established a hardware store, handling implements and also grain. He has an elevator with a capacity of fifteen thousand bushels. He has built up a good trade in his hardware store, occupying a large building and sheds, and has associated with him in this enterprise R. E. Montgomery.

   In 1877 Mr. Bray was married to Miss Catherine Moore, daughter of Jacob Moore, an old settler in Nebraska, who came here from Iowa, in 1875. Two children were born to them, named Jessie and Nellie. In 1879 Mrs. Bray died. Mr. Bray married the second time in 1890, taking in wedlock Miss Elizabeth Parrish, and one child resulted from this union, namely: Blanche, aged sixteen years.

   Mr. Bray is a Republican and an active party man. He was twice elected county commissioner, the first time in 1898, and the second time in 1901.


   Gus. Norberg, prominent as an old settler in Phelps county, Nebraska, is one of the enterprising business and professional men of his locality. He is well known throughout this section of the country as an attorney of note, and has done his full share in the upbuilding and development of the commercial and educational resources of this region.

   Mr. Norberg was born in Henry county, Illinois, in 1853. He is a son of E. U. and Mrs. (Brita) Norberg, the former having been a native of Sweden who came to America and settled in Michigan in 1842, then to Henry county, Illinois, two years later, in company with the Bishop Hill colony of Swedes, who joined interests on the community plan and were obliged to disband in 1862, their success being impeded by bad management.

   E. U. Norberg was a man of good education, a college graduate in Sweden, and he was appointed secretary of the colony and had charge of the grain department strongly opposing the management which resulted in disaster to the members of the colony.

   In 1883 our subject came to Nebraska and settled in Holdrege, where he opened a law office and began his practice in this locality. He has built up an enviable reputation as a shrewd and capable attorney and has the confidence and esteem of his fellowmen. From 1887 to 1891 he held the office of county attorney, elected on the Republican ticket, and has always been an active public-spirited citizen of his community. Mr. Norberg was educated at Urbana University of Ohio. He was admitted to the bar at Chicago in 1883, and has practiced ever since.

   Mr. Norberg is an active member of the Knights of Pythias, and was grand chancellor for that order in Nebraska during 1897.


   John M. Delatour, one of the younger members of the business community of Deuel county, Nebraska, was born in Helena, Arkansas, on August 27, 1874. Mr. Delatour's father and mother, with their three children, came to Furnas county, Nebraska, in 1882, the former trailing cattle into Box Butte county in 1894, taking with him our subject, then a boy of ten, and both worked on round ups in western Nebraska, coming to Deuel county and afterwards settling on Blue Creek, in Cheyenne canyon, where the father and son, with some helpers, pre-empted a school section. In 1887 the whole family cattle to Deuel county, where they were among the first comers. The section was very sparsely settled, the country utterly wild and unimproved land, and all mail, provisions, etc., had to be hauled from North Platte, these being extremely long and tedious trips. Also, they afterwards were compelled to get their supplies from the Old Wolf Ferry, in Keith county, previously hauled there from Ogallala. Father and four sons remained in Deuel county and carried on the ranch, gradually getting in the stock business, and succeeded in building up a fine prop-

Horizontal Bar

Prior pageSpacerContentsSpacerName indexSpacerNext page

© 2001 NEGenWeb Project Resource Center, Marilyn J. Estrada, T&C Miller