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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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dred and eighty acres of land, engaging in ranching and stock raising. Together with his brother he owns upwards of two thousand acres of valuable farm and ranch lands.

   Mr. Garner was married in 1896 to Miss Rosa Maybee, daughter of William and Rachel Maybee, pioneer homesteaders in Cherry county. Mr. and Mrs. Garner are the parents of three children, namely: Lee, Roxy and Rose. The family is highly esteemed in their home community, and are popular and well liked by all who know them.

   Mr. Garner is a Republican, active in local political circles, and lends his influence for the principles of that party. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.


   Oron B. Bower is a well known resident of Chappell, where he has spent many years of his career, and has helped in a marked degree in the upbuilding of that region. He was born in Greenville, Pennsylvania, in 1867, his parents settling in Transfer, that state, where he lived until he was thirteen years of age. His father was a cooper by trade, farming also part of the time, and in 1880 came with his family to Nebraska, locating seven miles from Grand Island, where they lived for five years, then they came west to Big Springs, homesteading in Perkins county. Here they went through all the experiences of the early pioneers in the region, having sod house and dugout experience, and made that their home for a number of years. They were obliged to haul the water supply for domestic purposes a distance of seventeen miles, and were the first family to dig a well in the neighborhood.

   Our subject lived at home until he was thirty years of age, when he took a homestead in the vicinity and proved up on it, later proved up on a tree claim and pre-emption, as did his father also, each using all three rights. In 1897 Oren moved to Big Springs, but as the times were very hard owing to unfavorable crop conditions he was compelled to go to work on the section, and followed that for three years, again going back to farming in 1900, taking a farm near Big Springs, on which he lived for two years. In 1902 he went to Julesburg, following farm work there for about four years, locating in 1906 at Chappell, where he purchased a livery barn and began to build up a business. He has improved the property and increased his patronage greatly since taking the place, having a good barn with a cement floor, the only one so constructed in western Nebraska fitted with modern appliances. In equipment and service this barn is not surpassed anywhere. He also owns the Chappell dray line and has licenses for two teams, doing a profitable business. In 1909 he put in automobile service, which makes this barn up-to-date in every particular.

   Mr. Bower was married in 1897 to Miss Madge S. Beach, daughter of Riley Beach, a prominent old settler in Deuel county, a sketch of whom appears on another page, locating there in 1886. He is now postmaster at Big Springs. He is a veteran of the Civil war and well known in political circles in the, county and vicinity. Our subject has a family of four children, namely: Lloyd, Russell, Margaret and Randall. They have a pleasant home and are popular members of their community. A portrait of Mr. Bower will be found elsewhere in this volume.

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   Henry Ehmke for many years past has been one of the most successful agriculturists of Cheyenne county, Nebraska. He opened up a farm from wild prairie land and has been intimately associated with the development of that region, and by his untiring perseverance and integrity has gained a valuable property and enviable reputation as a citizen and farmer.

   Mr. Ehmke was born in the village of Doerverden, Hanover, Germany, September 2, 1845. He grew to manhood in his native country, following farming during his younger days, and when about forty years of age came to America. Sailing from Bremer Haven on the "Emms" August 27, 1884, after a voyage of fourteen days he landed in New York and came direct to Nebraska. After a fortnight in Omaha and three months in Columbus and an equal time in Grand Island, he came to Cheyenne county in the spring of 1885. He at once took up a homestead in section 4, township 15, range 50, and has made that his home ever since, owning at the present time over three hundred and twenty acres in the vicinity, which is devoted to farming and stock raising. He has about one hundred and thirty acres under cultivation, and runs quite a large herd-of stock. He has put up good buildings and improvements and has his ranch in the best possible shape. Mr. Ehmke has always been an active supporter of every movement for the benefit of his county and state, and has aided in every matter of local importance

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in true public spirit, and is one of the substantial and helpful men of his locality.

   During our subject's boyhood in his native land he enlisted in the Hanoverian army in 1866 and served for about five years, taking part in the action of Hanover against Prussia in that year and again during a two years' service in the German army in the war against France in 1870-71. During his career as a soldier he participated in twenty-one battles.

   Mr. Ehmke was married at Columbus, Nebraska, in 1884, to Miss Carrie Ensminger, a native of Germany, who came to the United States in 1878. Seven children were born of their union, named as follows: Mary, married to Emmet Sanders, now living in Cheyenne county; William, Wilhelmina, Henry, Margaret, Carrie and Herman, the last six all living at home, and are of great help to their parents in carrying on the extensive farm.

   Politically our subject is a Democrat and lends his influence for the best interests of his party. He was reared in the Lutheran church.


   Among the prominent citizens and representative farmers and ranchmen of Dawes county, Thue P. Jensen occupies a foremost place, as he has spent many years of his life in this section and has built up a good home and an enviable reputation as an energetic worker and good business man. He resides in section 11, township 34, range 48, and is highly estemed (sic) by all who know him.

   Mr. Jensen was born in Denmark in 1862. He grew up on a farm, and when eleven years of age was left an orphan and from that time on made his own way in the world, working on farms in the vicinity of his native town up to the time he was twenty years of age. In the spring of 1882 he came to America, and after landing in New York city went to Wheeling, West Virginia, where he spent one year. He next settled in Clinton, Iowa, there doing any kind of work that came to hand, but only remained for six months, then went back to Wheeling, where he obtained employment in a nail mill in that city. In the spring of 1884 he went to Cleveland, Ohio, and there worked in a stone quarry for three years. In 1887 he came west again, locating in Dawes county, and here took up eighty acres as a preemption, and proved up on the land, living in a dugout which he built, for some time. This was a small hut, 14xl4, but he was reasonably comfortable in it, and after being here a while he took up a homestead and proved up on that. His first team after coming here was a pair of small ponies, and with these he broke up his land and used them for all purposes on his farm. He next settled on a rented ranch in section 12, and remained for two years, and after that kept moving around constantly, although always living in this part of the county. In 1898 he settled on his present homestead, situated in section 11, township 34, range 48, which was then only partly improved property, to which he has since added a comfortable house, barns and other farm buildings. His ranch now consists of three thousand acres, all deeded land, and besides he operates some leased land. The ranch is all fenced, and is on the White River, which supplies all the good water he needs for his stock and every purpose. He farms about one hundred acres, raising small grains, and also a large piece of alfalfa.

   Mr. Jensen was married while living in Cleveland, in 1886, to Miss Signa Johnson, and they are the parents of six children, namely: Annie, Willie, Burt, Mark, George and Nellie.

   Mr. Jensen is a good neighbor and worthy citizen, and has aided in building up his community, giving liberally of his time and money in advancing its best interests at all times. He is now holding school office, and has acted as treasurer of his school for several years. In his political views he is an Independent.


   The Beers Brothers are among the well-known old settlers in Dawes county, Nebraska. The father of the family, Abel Beers, was born in Easton, Fairfield county, Connecticut. He was of English stock, his ancestors coming from Sheffield, England, in 1636, settling in Connecticut, where Abel was reared and educated, and was married July 4, 1851, to Miss Sarah H. Bearsley, who was born in Easton, of American stock. Ten children were born to the couple, and they were named as follows: Isaac, Gladden, Ida and Alfred (who died in infancy), Leslie, Eva, Nellie, Lillyetta, who died at the age of twenty-eight, May 9, 1891; Noah and Charles, all of whom were born and reared in New England. The father was a farmer by occupation, and was a general handy man--mechanic, shoemaker, etc., as well as a good writer and composer, and he had written and published two books which were widely read.

   In 1877, the father and one son, Leslie,

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came to Parker, South Dakota, landing there in January of that year, and settled on a homestead on which they lived for seven years, proved upon the land, also owned considerable property in the town of Parker. While in that section of the country they went through many pioneer, experiences, handling ox teams, freighting, etc., and "batched it" in a sod shanty, which they put up on the place. In 1884 both came to Dawes county, Nebraska, teaming out from Valentine, and located on section 26, township 3-1, range 51, and at once built a small frame house on the homestead. The following year all of the family came west to join them except three sisters and two brothers, and as a family all worked together in building up the farm and home. They got along well and had a good start and things running smoothly until 1898, when in some way their stable caught fire and burned up, together with fifty tons of hay, and this was a serious setback to them, although they did not give up courage, but went right on, as in those days the settlers were not easily discouraged. They lived on this place for thirteen years, and during this time each one of the boys took up homesteads and proved up on them, in this way adding to their original holdings, and they next bought and moved to section 24, township 31, range 51, on West Ash creek. Here they have built up a splendid farm, have plenty of pine, ash and cottonwood timber, and good water the year round. They have put up a twenty-five horse power saw mill, and are also building a feed mill on their farm now. They have a ranch of over a thousand acres, and it is one ** ties in the county.

   The father died December 21, 1901, and the * of the best improved and most valuable proper- * (sic) mother died May 16, 1908, while on a visit east, and left his three sons partners in the ranching interests, namely: Charles, Noah and Leslie.

   In 1903, on March 15th, Charles Beers was united in marriage to Miss Dorothy M. Patterson, whose father is an old settler in Sioux county. Besides farming, Charles followed the brickmaking business for twelve years at Chadron, Nebraska; Casper, Wyoming; Cripple Creek, Colorado; and Edgemont, South Dakota. He has three children, Charles Lester, Dorothy S. and Alice W.

   Noah Beers was married January 7, 1906, to Miss Sadie C. Benson. All of his time has been given to the farm.

   Leslie has traveled all through the Black Hills, and for a time was night foreman in the storage battery plant at Lead City, South Dakota. He has lately resigned that position and is at home on the farm. It may be truly said that the Beers Brothers are "hustlers" and are destined to make splendid success of their business.

*Segments so marked seem to have been printed out of order. We leave it to descendents to rearrange the words.


   The gentleman above named is one of the prosperous farmers of Keya Paha county, residing on section 18, township 32, range 18, in Keya Paha county, Nebraska, where he has built up a comfortable and pleasant home and enjoys the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends.

   Mr. Genung was born near Hastings, Mills county, Iowa, September 10, 1875. His father, Lewis T. Genung, is a prominent attorney in Hastings, of American stock, and a man of wide repute as a politician, well known in Democratic circles for the past twenty years. He now resides at Glenwood, Iowa. He has held county offices at various times, and was a nominee for congress in 1896. Our subject was reared and educated in the town of his birth and resided there until he was twenty-six years old, when he came to Keya Paha county in 1901. Here he took charge of the "L T" ranch, lcated (sic) in section 18, township 32, range 19, which is a tract of land comprising seven thousand acres, all fenced, thirty-five hundred of this being deeded land and the remainder leased. This is located on the Niobrara river, and extends back for six miles. When Mr. Genung came here the place was utterly without improvements, and he went to work in building up the farm, put up a number of buildings, including two houses, and a good, substantial set of farm buildings. One hundred and sixty acres of this is cultivated, but he engages principally in stock raising, and through his good management and hard labor he has made this property one of the most valuable estates in the section. The ranch was at one time headquarters of "Doc" Middleton's gang; here he lived for some time, and several caves have been found in the vicinity which were used by him and his companions as hiding places for themselves and stolen stock.

   On September, 20, 1899, Mr. Genung was married to Miss Minnie Fisher, who prior to her marriage was a school teacher in Iowa. Her father, George Fisher, was a farmer and old settler in that state; her mother was in maidenhood Viola Carey. Mr. and Mrs. Genung have two children: Mabel J. and Louise Ruth.

   Among the younger members of the farm-

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