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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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ing community around Carnes Mr. Genung is recognized as a rising agriculturist, who through his progressive methods will become one of the prominent and influential citizens of this locality. In politics he is a Democrat.


   John D. Sharp, one of the old-timers of Keya Paha county, Nebraska, resides on his pleasant farm in section 21, township 35, range 24, which he has made his home since 1903. Mr. Sharp has been a resident of this county since 1884, formerly living on section 33, in the same township and range, where he made substantial improvements.

   Mr. Sharp was born in Richland county, Wisconsin, April 17, 1856. His father, William C. Sharp, was a farmer, and an old settler in Nebraska, coming here with his family in 1865, settling in Cuming county, where our subject grew up familiar with all the hardships and the rough life of a frontiersman's existence. His mother was Miss Margaret Ingram before her marriage; she presented her husband with a family of seven children, John D., being the second member. He started out to make his own way in the world when about twenty years of age, farming on rented land in Cummings (sic) county. He worked this for a few years, and in 1884 came to Keya Paha county, having previously been all through the region as far west as the Black Hills country and being favorably impressed with the conditions which he found. He was familiar with the country before it was made a state, and from its earliest beginning has taken part in the history of its upbuilding and rapid growth, giving his aid in every way possible where he saw a chance to improve the agricultural and educational opportunities. After locating in Keya Paha county he took up a homestead in section 33, and proved up, building a house, planting trees, etc., and during the first years often had a hard time to get along and make a living, as the dry years came on and he lost several crops which put him back considerably. He moved to his present ranch in 1903, where he has five hundred and sixty acres, all fenced, with good buildings and other improvements, and here he is engaged in stock raising and mixed farming, and has done well here. He has five acres of forest trees nicely growing and half an acre of orchard of apples, plums, cherries and crabs. On another page will be found a picture of the place.

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   Mr. Sharp was married in Cuming county, November 4, 1879, to Miss Nellie Smith, daughter of Ezra Smith, a farmer and old settler in Keya Paha county, formerly of Cuming county and originally from Michigan. Prior to her marriage Mrs. Sharp was a school teacher in Cuming county, where she met the man who afterwards became her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Sharp have a family of four children, named as follows: Ray L., Blanche, Alta and Rex W.

   Mr. Sharp has always taken a commendable interest in local public affairs in his community, and has added strength to every worthy movement in the interest of his locality. Politically he is a Populist.


   Charles P. Bresee, residing in Rushville, Nebraska, was born at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1861. His father, David Bresee, was a gunsmith, and an old soldier, his death occurring in 1876, in eastern Nebraska. He was of Holland Dutch stock, and his wife, who was Mary Ann Lavrick, was of English descent, born in Canada. When our subject was sixteen years of age he came to western Nebraska with a party of prospectors and miners, going to the Black Hills. He was with the first outfit, traveling with wagons which went over the Black Hills trail, and he saw all of this country, including Sheridan county, long before any white man now living had made a permanent settlement here. On this trip they traveled along the old trail which runs through Gordon, Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota. He remained in the Black Hills for two months, and in 1879 again came here, prospecting, mining, etc., also going through Idaho, Wyoming and the Dakotas freighting. For six years he followed a frontiersman's life and tells many interesting occurrences in connection with his early experiences here. In 1884 Mr. Bresee settled on a homestead near Gordon, remaining until he had proved up, then went on a ranch in Cherry county for two years. He first came to Rushville in 1889, where he began in the grain business, and he built the first elevator in this country, which is now owned by Nye, Schnider, Fowler & Co.

   For one year, Mr. Bresee was engaged in the milling business in Gordon, and then opened up a real estate office here. During 1892-'93 he witnessed hard times, as did all the settlers here. He has been in this line of work since that time, and also handled loans up to 1903, when he helped organize the

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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Maverick Loan & Trust Company, of which concern he is secretary and treasurer. This firm has offices at Gordon, Hay Springs and Rushville, and have an extensive patronage all through this section of the country.

   In 1885, Mr. Bresee was married in Butler county, Nebraska, to Miss Anna N. Edgar, whose parents were early settlers in Wisconsin. Five children complete the family circle, named as follows: Almeda, Frank, Gertie, Alvin and Marjorie.

   Mr. Bresee served his county for two terms, from 1895 to 1899, and in 1905 was elected a member of the state senate on the Republican ticket.


   The gentleman named in this personal history is well known in Rock county as a successful business man and worthy citizen. He has made Nebraska his home for many years, and at present resides in Long Pine precinct, where he is numbered among the leading men of the locality.

   Mr. Hopkins was born near Elgin, Kane county, Illinois, January 8, 1861. His father, Richard Hopkins, was a farmer, a native of England, now living in Guthrie county, Iowa. Our subject is the second child in a family of three, and was reared and educated in Iowa where his parents moved when he was a small boy. He assisted his father in the farm work, and early became accustomed to all kinds of hard labor, attending school during the winter months. He started in for himself at the age of twenty-two years, coming to Nebraska in 1884, locating in Bassett. He filed on a homestead in section 14, township 31, range 19, and began improving his farm, on which he later proved up and secured title. For two years he clerked in the post office at Bassett, and then settled on his farm permanently in 1887. The place was entirely unimproved, but he persevered, finally attaining success in all his undertakings; gradually adding to his land, he is now the owner of five hundred and eighty acres of well improved land, with good buildings, a fine orchard, and beautiful grove of trees surrounding his house. He has endured hard times, particularly during the dry years, when his crops were utter failures, and he was almost on the point of giving up the struggle, but persevered and eventually won success. We present a view of the home and surroundings elsewhere in this work.

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   Mr. Hopkins was married June 3, 1885, to Miss Mary Castle, daughter of Zera and Susauna (Stevens) Castle; her father was a carpenter by occupation, and came of an old American family. Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins have four children, who are named as follows: Stella, Fred, Ruth and Blanche, all of whom were born on the farm where they now reside.

   Mr. Hopkins has always taken an active part in all local affairs, assisting materially in the betterment of conditions in his locality, and done his full share toward the development and growth of the community where he has chosen his home. He is an Independent voter, and has held the office of assessor and census taker in his locality. When he first settled in Bassett, it was a town of about a dozen buildings, and it is now a thriving business center. He holds membership in the Bassett lodge of Workmen.


   Cyrus N. Royse, who, as a land-owner of Rock county, Nebraska, has done his share toward the development of the agricultural resources of that region, is a widely known and universally respected citizen. He is a man of wide experience, and his good judgment in matters of business and integrity have placed him among the prosperous men of his township.

   Mr. Royse was born in Washington county, Indiana, in 1855. His father was a farmer and both his parents were of American stock. The family included six children, four boys and two girls, and our subject was the youngest member. He was reared and educated in Indiana, the home of his birth, and during his boyhood years he was taught all the hard work to be found in carrying on a farm, and from the time he reached the age of thirteen he has done a man's work. His father died when he was fifteen years old, and he had to get out and hustle in order to assist in the support of the family, and pay off the mortgage on their farm. He left home at the age of twenty-four years to work for himself, and followed farming, hiring out by the month in the vicinity of his home. In 1883 he came west, and settled in Pawnee county, Nebraska, where he remained for one year, then came on to Rock county, and settled on a homestead in northwest section 20, township 31, range 19, where he went to work building up a home and farm. He first put up a small frame house and began breaking the land to raise crops. In the fall

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