NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center-
On Line Library

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 480

farmer, and spent his entire life in Germany, but his wife, who was Margaret Bartholome, came to America, where she lived with her sons, our subject and his brother Peter, who is associated with him in the ranching business, the mother's death occurring in Sioux county in 1889. Dominic and Peter were raised in their native land, and when reaching manhood struck out for the new world, bringing with them their mother, landing in New York city in 1889, and came directly west to Nebraska, locating in Sioux county, taking as a homestead what is now his home ranch, situated in section 7, township 33, range 54. Their first team was a pair of oxen, with which they broke up land and put in sod crops. The first dwelling was a log cabin, and they worked hard to improve their place, and had a hard time in getting started, losing several crops, but soon gave up trying to farm and worked into the stock business, both he and his brother working out in the vicinity of their home at railroad construction and on the range in order to lay by a little money. At the same time he put up good buildings as he became better able fenced his land, and little by little improved his place, although they suffered many hardships and privations during the early years. They now have seventeen hundred and twenty acres, situated on Hat creek, cultivating about forty acres, and well stocked with cattle and other live stock. His brother Peter is now in the east taking medical treatment and hopes to return soon.

   Mr. Haas was married in 1904 to Miss Kate Birnbaumer, whose father, Joseph, was a prominent farmer and old settler in Iowa. Her mother was Eva Weber, of Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Haas are the parents of two children, Nick, aged two years, and John, aged one year.

   Mr. Haas has always been active in local affairs, and helped in establishing the schools of his locality, doing his full share in aiding the progress and promoting the general welfare of his community.


   The gentleman above named, now residing in Arizona, was for many years a prominent resident of North Platte, Nebraska. He was well known as a leading attorney and practiced his profession in this section up to 1903.

   Mr. Neville was born near Nashville, Illinois, in 1843, and moved from there to Chester, Illinois, in 1851. He was educated at McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois, and afterwards taught school for a time. When about nineteen years old he enlisted in an Illinois regiment and served a year in the Civil war.

   He was elected to the Illinois legislature from Randolph, Perry and Monroe counties in the fall of 1872 and moved to Omaha at the close of the second session in 1874. He was elected to the Nebraska legislature from Omaha as a Democrat in 1876. He moved to North Platte at the close of the session in 1877.

   He was register of the United States land office at North Platte, Nebraska, from 1885 to 1890, and judge of the thirteenth judicial district from 1891 to 1895. In 1896 he was elected supreme judge for Nebraska on the fusion ticket, the office being contingent upon an amendment to the constitution which was declared not carried. In 1898 he was president of the Nebraska state board at the Omaha and Transmississippi Exposition. In 1899 he was elected to congress on the fusion ticket to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the Hon. W. L. Greene, and represented the sixth Nebraska district in the fifty-sixth and fifty-seventh congresses. He was mayor of North Platte for one term.

   He moved to Douglas, Arizona, on account of his health in 1903, just after the close of the fifty-seventh congress, and in 1904 was elected to the Arizona legislature.

   In 1882 Mr. Neville married Miss Mollie Ann Keith, daughter of M. C. Keith, a pioneer stockman and ranch owner of northwestern Nebraska. Mrs. Mollie Keith Neville died at North Platte in 1884, just after the birth of their only child, M. Keith Neville, who now resides in North Platte, Nebraska. M. C. Keith died in 1899, and left M. Keith Neville a large fortune.

   In 1886 judge William Neville married his second wife, Irene Morrison Rector, who died in January, 1906, leaving a daughter, Irene Thecla Neville, who is now attending school in Washington, D. C.

   Mr. Neville is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, of the Improved Order of Red Men and of Cochise Aerie of Eagles.


   Edward L. Schmidt, one of the most energetic and successful farmers of Sioux county, Nebraska, resides on his fine farm in section 21, township 32, range 54, He is a young man of good business judgment and has won an

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 481

enviable reputation in his community as a prosperous farmer and worthy citizen.

   Mr. Schmidt was born in Kearney county, Nebraska, in 1877, on a farm. His father, Edward Schmidt, was a well known farmer and old settler in that county, coming here from Germany in 1869 and locating in that region, filing on a homestead in section 21, township 7, range 14, in Kearney county. Our subject's mother was Pauline Brown, a native of Russia, born of German parents. Edward grew up on his father's farm and assisted his parents in the work of carrying on the home place, living there until he was twenty-one years of age. He left home in 1898 and started for himself, coming to Sioux county, where he homesteaded his present farm in sections 20 and 21, township 32, range 54. Here he started farming in a small way, building a little shack in which he lived for a couple of years. During the first year he lost what few crops he put in through the dry weather, but after that was very successful in raising fair crops of small grains, potatoes, etc., and has done very well in his farming operations since then, His farm consists of four hundred acres, sixty acres of which is under cultivation, and he has forty acres of good timber land, which is each year growing more valuable. He has built up a good home, has good barns and improvements on the place, and from a start of almost nothing has accumulated a nice property and is now able to enjoy the fruits of his labors.

   In January, 1906, the Unit postoffice was established on Mr. Schmidt's farm, and he is now serving as postmaster, also conducting a general merchandise store, handling a line of groceries, etc.

   Mr. Schmidt was married in January, 1900, to Miss Lissie Klahn, born in Germany, daughter of Carl Klahn, one of the early settlers of Kearney county, Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt have a family of five children, namely: Emma, William, Carl, Tillie and Mary.


   Among the progressive and energetic younger members of the ranching community of Grant county who have contributed to the wealth and prosperity of that region, a foremost place is accorded the gentleman above named. For many years past he has been engaged in the building up of an extensive ranch, and while doing this has also gained an enviable reputation as a worthy citizen and active public-spirited gentleman. Mr. Monahan resides in Hyannis, where he is well known politically, having held the office of county treasurer for one term, receiving his election in 1897, He has also served as county commissioner, elected in 1903 and re-elected in 1906, still serving his county in that capacity, and proving a most efficient and popular public official.

   James H. Monahan was born in Fremont county, Iowa, in 1872. He was reared on his father's farm, the latter being a native of Ireland, who came to this country while a young man, settling in Iowa as a pioneer. When our subject was a boy of fifteen the family came to Nebraska, settling eleven miles northwest of Whitman, James securing employment on a ranch as a cowboy, following that work for several years and gaining a wide knowledge of frontier life, becoming thoroughly familiar with the country all through western Nebraska. In 1897 he made a permanent settlement on section 4, township 24, range 37, Grant county, and began to establish a ranch of his own. He worked hard and faithfully, and succeeded splendidly, now being proprietor of a fine ranch containing thirty-one hundred acres, all deeded land, and besides this he operates two quarter sections of school land which he uses as a range. He has erected good buildings on the place, including a commodious dwelling, barns, sheds, etc., and every cent he is now worth has been accumulated through his own untiring efforts and good management, as he had absolutely nothing to start with. For a time Mr. Monahan ran a store in Hyannis, during 1895 and 1896, and is well known in that town as a good business man and substantial citizen.

   On November 3, 1907, Mr. Monahan was married to Cora McCawley. Her father, John McCawley, a prominent citizen of Grant county, is a leading politician, now occupying the position of county judge. He married Edna Hagan. Mr. Monahan has one child, Earl, aged eight years, and reared in this county. The family occupy a foremost place in the social and school affairs of their township, and are popular members of the community. He is a Republican in political views.


   Chester H. Britton, whose upright and honorable career should be an encouragement to the young men of the present generation, as in it they can see what thrift and industry, hon-

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 482

esty and integrity can always accomplish, was born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1861. His father, Major L. Britton, who was a native of New Hampshire, was a printer for several years, but gave this up to follow the occupation of farmer. His mother, Martha (Brasher) Britton, was born in America of German parentage.

   Our subject was reared on his father's farm in Warren county, Iowa, where he attended the common schools, at the same time assisting his father in tilling the soil. At the age of twenty-one years he left home, and with the money his father gave him he rented a farm and made a start for himself. He spent three years in farming his place but this first venture proved a failure, and he lost all he had. Not discouraged by these reverses he came west in March, 1886, and took up a claim in section 7, township 30, range 50, Dawes county, Nebraska, on which he later proved up. His first building in this new western country was a log cabin. Soon after this he took a homestead in section 12, township 30, range 51, where he erected substantial building and greatly improved the claim. From time to time he secured adjoining land, and now has one of the best ranches in Dawes county, comprising an area of seventeen hundred and sixty acres, which he fenced and cross fenced, which is situated on the high tableland. He cultivated two hundred acres, and has several acres of good timber land. His present residence is very substantial and commodious, and he has fine barns and sheds in which to house his stock, two wells and wind mills, and a cistern. In 1891 he built a saw mill. His mill was destroyed by fire, but not discouraged by this disaster he rebuilt, and now has a very good mill.

   Mr. Britton engages extensively in stock raising, making a specialty of cattle, horses and sheep. For the past fourteen years he has been engaged in the threshing business, having a steam power machine for which he paid $3,000 and threshes from seventy to one hundred thousand bushels of grain each year. Our subject has witnessed the periods of drouths which are so well known to the early settlers in this western country, but he has had the good fortune of never having what could be called a complete failure of crops.

   Mr. Britton and Miss Nannie McIntosh were united in marriage in 1882. Her father, Daniel McIntosh, was a farmer and a native of Scotland. Her mother was Nancy (Dowd) McIntosh. Three children blessed this union, Howard, Charles and Nannie, deceased. Mrs. Britton died in 1890. Several years after Mr. Britton contracted a second marriage with Miss Minnie Hayden. She was reared in Dawes county, her father, Belemis Hayden, having settled here in 1887. Burt and Clarence were the two children born to this union.

   As a man who figures prominently in matters of local interest Mr. Britton stands well, for he has always taken an active interest in the improvement and development of Dawes county. He was one of the men who were instrumental in the organization of the Farmers Independent Telephone Company, in which he is a stockholder, and of which company he holds the office of president. Considering the little capital he had to work with and his small start, his friends consider that he has done wonderfully well, and that his career in Dawes county is to be regarded as a marked success. He is a Republican in politics.

   Engravings in connection with this sketch are part of the interesting illustrations in this work.

Picture button



   Among the younger "old settlers" of western Nebraska we mention the name of Jesse W. Garner, who resides on his valuable estate situated in section 3, township 33, range 35, of, Cherry county.

   Mr. Garner was born in Wilkes county, North Carolina, October 11, 1870. His father, Isaac Garner, was a farmer and homesteader in Cherry county, coming here in 1892 from North Carolina, where he was reared and served in the southern army under impressment, his sympathies being with the north. Our subject's mother was Miss Adelaide Caudle, of old southern blood, arid he was the second member in her family of four children. When he was seven years of age the family came to Dodge county as pioneers, and there he was reared and educated, attending the country schools. When twenty years old he moved to Cherry county, and was here throughout the Indian troubles of 1890-91, witnessing many exciting incidents of that time. He located on a homestead west of Cody, and also took up a tree claim near there, batching it for six years and leading a regular pioneer existence. His first buildings were all of sod, and he started in to build up his farm, on which he proved up, then left the place and moved to his present farm in 1902, located on the Niobrara river. Here he has established a fine estate, and has improved the place with good buildings, fences and up-to-date machinery. He has one hundred and twenty acres cultivated, and altogether operates eight hun-

Horizontal Bar

Prior pageSpacerContentsSpacerName indexSpacerNext page

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