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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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proved his ranch, putting up a fine large three-story house, besides substantial farm buildings, including granary; corn cribs, sheds, barn, etc. His place is located on the Niobrara river, and he has over two hundred acres of timber. About sixty-five acres of his farm is cultivated, with two hundred acres of bottom hay land.

   Mr. Dyer was married in Keya Paha county July 28, 1885, to Miss Belle Charlton, daughter of John H. and Hettie (Baird) Charlton, who were old settlers in Keya Paha county. Mr. and Mrs. Dyer have a family of six children, who are as follows: Beulah, John Burnie, Ward M., Hattie Hazel, Audrey E. and Marvel H. Their eldest daughter is one of the successful teachers of the county since the fall of 1906. They are a happy family, and all enjoy the most robust health, never having had occasion to call a physician in their home. Mr. Dyer is a man pre-eminently fitted to enjoy a home and family, and they are well known as a devoted family, well liked by everyone who knows them, and are esteemed citizens. In politics Mr. Dyer is a Populist. In the Ancient Order of United. Workmen lodge at Carnes he served as the first master workman on the institution of that organization there. Mr. Dyer takes a commendable interest in all politics, both local and state in his party. He has been an attendant at the state and county conventions for many years past.


   Among the men who have played an important part in the development of Deuel county, none are held in higher esteem than the man whose name heads this article. The life of Mr. Beach has been a busy one, and he has served his fellowmen as soldier, teacher, preacher, farmer and as a government official. We present a portrait of him on another page.

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   R. V. Beach was born in Delaware county, Ohio, October 29, 1842. In 1847 his father and mother, with the family of six children, removed to Illinois. Here our subject grew to manhood, and it was while living in Illinois that the great Civil war broke out. Mr. Beach, who was but twenty years of age, like thousands of other patriotic young Americans, quickly answered the nation's call and enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Volunter Infantry, in 1862. Mr. Beach saw much active service and participated in the siege of Vicksburg, then later he participated in the campaign in Western Tennessee and then in Mississippi. It was in Gun Town, Mississippi, June 11, 1864, that he was captured by Forest's and Lee's forces, and was immediately hurried to Andersonville prison. In Andersonville he experienced all the horrors of that awful place; later he was transferred to Savannah prison. then to Millen prison and still later he was transferred to the military prison at Florence, South Carolina, having been confined a total of nine months. The experience of Mr. Beach while in the several southern prisons would fill a volume in itself. The darkest page in the career of the short lived southern confederacy is that wherein is recorded the treatment accorded the unfortunate soldiers who were taken prisoners of war. Mr. Beach was mustered out as a paroled prisoner, at Springfield, Illinois, July 1, 1865. Two brothers of Mr. Beach were in the Civil war and both came out without injury other than that which comes from exposure and hardship undergone in the service.

   After the war our subject returned to Illinois, where he entered Grand Prairie Seminary, remaining in school for one year. After leaving school. he went to Linn county, Iowa. He remained in Iowa one year, teaching one term of school. then in the spring of 1867, he went to Delaware county, Ohio. In Delaware county he taught school one term, then returned to Illinois. He remained in Illinois until the fall of 1870. Mr. Beach was ordained a minister of the gospel at Oswego, Illinois, where he remained and served as minister in the Methodist church for a little over one year, then, in the fall of 1870, came to Nebraska, settling in Butler county, where he homesteaded and proved up on a claim. He lived in Butler county until coming to Deuel county in 1887, where he located on a farm; there he followed preaching, teaching and farming. Mr. Beach has taught fifteen terms of school and has served as county superintendent of schools of Butler county. He owns a fine farm in section 10, township 12, range 42, consisting of eighty acres.

   In the spring of 1906, Mr. Beach was appointed postmaster of Big Springs, and at once removed to that place and has since resided there.

   Mr. Beach was married at Aurora, Illinois, October 10, 1870, to Miss Melinda M. Edwards, born in Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Beach are the parents of four children, as follows: Blanche E., married to B. C. Kemp and living in Big Spring; Ethel R., deceased; Madge S., the wife of O. B. Bower and living at Chappell; Warren B., who is serving as assistant postmaster at Big Spring.

   Mr. Beach is well and favorably known in

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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Deuel county as a man of sterling character, and during his life as preacher, teacher, soldier, farmer and lecturer, has accumulated a vast amount of experience that has rounded out his education and he is today one of the best posted men in western Nebraska.


   F. H. Porter, editor and proprietor of The Holdrege Citizen, the leading Republican paper of Phelps county, is well known and highly esteemed by all throughout this region. He was born in Oswego county, New York, in 1860, and reared there and made it his home until 1870.

   In 1872 Mr. Porter came to Nebraska. He graduated from Doan College at Crete, Nebraska, 1886, and went into the newspaper business in 1887, buying The Western Wave. The Holdrege Citizen was started in 1894 as a Republican organ, and in 1896 this was absorbed by the Citizens Publishing Company, a stock company, with Eric Johnson as editor. In March, 1891, our subject acquired the paper and job office, and in March of 1897 absorbed the Political Forum. The Holdrege Citizen is a weekly paper, a strong advocate of the Republican party policy, and a general local family paper. It has a large circulation, and is one of the most reliable newspapers in the county. The job office in connection with the paper is an up-to-date plant, fitted with all modern appliances and equipment for neat and prompt service, and Mr. Porter gives his special attention to this branch of the work. He has always been one of the foremost citizens of his region, and a useful and worthy member of the community in which he lives, standing for the advancement and betterment of his home county at all times.

   Mr. Porter sold his interest in The Holdrege Citizen October 1, 1908, and at the present time is unemployed. He was married April 24, 1890, to Miss Luella C. Alsworth, who was born in western Iowa. Her father, Samuel C. Alsworth, was a pioneer of Nebraska.


   Uriah Bromwich was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1853, and at that time the present great city was but a mere village. The father, Uriah, was a merchant in that small metropolis and died there in August, 1854. He was a native of England. Our subject's mother, Jane (Bullis) Bromwich, was born in London, England.

   Uriah Bromwich was taken to Wisconsin and when he was five years old the family moved to Freeborn county, Minnesota, where he was reared and educated on a farm, remaining till he was twenty-five years of age. Our subject was on the frontier for years and was within thirty miles of New Ulm at the time the terrible Indian massacre took place at that town. There were but few white families in the country in those days and our subject had many dangerous and trying experiences.

   April 9, 1876, in Minnesota. Uriah Bromwich and Miss Ellenora Fay were united in the holy bonds of wedlock. The bride was a daughter of Nathan Fay, one of Loup county's pioneer settlers, whose biography appears in this volume, Mr. and Mrs. Bromwich have four children living - Arthur, Willie, Retta and Joy. They have lost three children - Walter D., Elva J. and Nathan E. They reared one adopted child, Eva Body.

   Mr. Bromwich drove through to Nebraska from Minnesota in a covered wagon in 1879, locating in Loup county on a pre-emption claim, on which he proved up and took a homestead in Custer county, where he now lives. The country was new and the nearest railroad town was Grand Island, one hundred miles distant. Our subject had learned the blacksmith's trade, and he followed this occupation for the first three years. His first building was a sod shanty and he lived in this until he became able to construct a comfortable log house. Farming operations were pushed as rapidly as possible and the family reaped good crops on the sod. Mr. Bromwich remembers that excellent watermelons were grown on new breaking. But the good years were followed by bad ones and it was discouraging indeed to experience the total loss of crops on one hundred and fifty acres in 1890 and almost total loss in other years, with again complete failure in 1893. One of the most disastrous visitations was July 9, 1904, when a tornado swept over the country. It destroyed his large barn and seriously damaged his house. The storm seemed bent on destroying everything on his farm, the windmill was torn down and machinery was scattered over acres of his land. His binder was lifted bodily and hung up in a tree eight feet from the ground, but strange to say the machine has been in use ever since and has done good work. One horse was injured. Many articles were actually twisted out of all resemblance to their former shape, and lumber and trees were shat-

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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tered into splinters. The storm performed many curious freaks that cannot be accounted for--some barrels almost empty and directly in the path of the tornado were not moved at all, and splinters of lumber and trees were driven into the sides of the house where they can still be seen. This was perhaps the most terrifying experience in our subject's life. But Mr. Bromwich has accomplished grand success in spite of the many distressing hardships of his farm life and early pioneer days. He has a lovely farm of three hundred and sixty acres, well improved with good frame house, barns. sheds, well and windmill and fences. He cultivates about one hundred and forty acres. Mr. Bromwich stands well in the community and is favorably known as a man of push and enterprise.


   Among the representative pioneers of western Nebraska, the gentleman above named occupies a prominent place, and he has spent many years of his life in this section and has succeeded in building up an enviable reputation and competence through his strict integrity and good business judgment, and is recognized as one of the wealthy and influential residents of Garfield county, well known and highly respected by all. Mr. Summers lives in section 19, township 22, range 15, where he has a nice home and is surrounded by many good friends and kindly neighbors.

   Mr. Summers was born in Michigan, January 15, 1862. He is the son of David and Caroline (Aldrich) Summers, of German descent. Our subject spent a number of years at Detroit, Michigan, where he was a student in the commercial college. In 1882 he first came to Nebraska, took up a claim of four hundred and eighty acres of government land consisting of a pre-emption of one hundred and sixty acres, the same amount of homestead land and a timber claim of one hundred and sixty acres. He immediately set to work to develop his farm, and on the whole met with great success in all his ventures. He has since added another one hundred and sixty acres to his farm, now owning in all six hundred and forty acres of good land. He farms along modern lines, and is an up-to-date, progressive agriculturist, engaging, to quite an extent in stock raising. He has a large part of his land devoted to the culture of small grains, raising corn, wheat, oats and barley. He has occasionally met with failures during the dry years, losing several crops, but altogether considers himself very fortunate in his farming operations. His place is well improved with good buildings and well supplied with good water, having deep water wells with three hundred feet of supply tanks and a number of windmills to pump the water to different arts of his farm and for household use. Every corner of the place shows good management and industry, bearing evidence to his energy and thrift. He is of the opinion that this state is far ahead of the state of Michigan, taking the expense of living and labor into consideration, and that it is away ahead of any state in the Union for the average farmer who is obliged to begin on a small capital.

   Mr. Summers was married in June, 1899, to Miss Ida M. Erington, a native of Ohio, who settled in Nebraska with her parents in 1892. Her father now owns a fine farm in Garfield county, located fifteen miles northeast of Burwell. Mr. and Mrs. Summers are the parents of five children, namely: Gladys, David, Eldon, Ethel and one who died in infancy. The family are members of the Christian church and highly esteemed members of society in their section.

   Politically Mr. Summers is a Democrat, although he has never devoted any time to taking an active part in politics. On another page an interesting picture is presented showing the family group and scenes on Mr. Summers's property.

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   John A. Bairn is a native of the province of Elesburg, Sweden, born near Gottenberg, January 16, 1859. His father was a farmer by occupation and lived and died in Sweden.

   John A. Bairn was reared in his native land, remaining there until 1881 when he came to America, by the usual route from Gottenberg to Hull, England, and thence to Liverpool, where he embarked, landing in the city of Quebec after a voyage of eleven days. Coming westward he located in Rice county, Minnesota, where he remained engaged in farming until 1885, when he removed to Deuel county, Nebraska. When he came, the country was new and there were very few settlers, and these were widely scattered. Our subject settled on land three miles north of the North Platte river, near the Keith county line. His first house was built of sod and for several years he lived alone in this primitive dwelling. After five years he proved up on his home-

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