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he has had twenty-one out of twenty-two competitors go out of business after a more or less stormy career; only one paper in town, besides his own, has survived the struggle for existence in this cold and unappreciative world.

     Mr. Barker is a Republican, and takes an active interest in politics, supporting heartily the party nominees, but would never accept an office for himself, preferring to be free from political obligations and at liberty to express himself as he sees fit, unhampered by the fetters which usually keep the office-holder in their grasp. He has, however, served as mayor in the town board at Valentine since 1906.

     Mr. Barker was married June 25, 1889, to Miss Jennie L. Keister, a native of Pennsylvania, and daughter of William A. Keister, of that state. One daughter, Bernadine A., has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Barker. They are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Barker affiliates with the Knights of Pythias, the Ancient Order of Workmen, and the Modern Woodmen of America of Valentine.


     Among the leading business men of Alma the above mentioned gentleman, subject of this history, occupies a prominent place. He is one of the foremost attorneys of Harlan county, Nebraska, and is also engaged in the real estate and collection business.

     Mr. Hardin was born in Champaign county, Illinois, in 1855. He was raised there, and attended the State Agricultural College at Ames, Iowa, graduating with the class of '80. In 1880, after leaving college, he came to Nebraska and located in Beatrice, was admitted to the bar in 1883, and since that time has practiced the profession he chose, and been very successful and gained an enviable reputation in this part of the state. In the year of 1893 he moved to Alma, and since then has been engaged in the practice of law there, also doing a large business in real estate and collections. He is the owner of a large amount of land in this and adjoining counties, all of which he rents out. His places are stocked with grade cattle and hogs, also horses, and he devotes a portion of the farms to mixed farming, and thinks this is the best place he has ever seen for farming and stock raising. A steer can be raised here for about one-fourth of what it costs in Iowa, and the price obtained is just as high. Hogs are raised cheaper and better here than in that state, or other parts of the country, and therefore a man can make much more money in this section in these lines of business. He has widely advertised these features of the state, and done much towards getting new settlers in this locality each year, the population having increased more than double in the past four years.

     Mr. Hardin was married in 1883 to Miss Lucia Marks, of Eldorado, Iowa. They have two sons, Harry and Charles, now attending the State University, at Lincoln, Nebraska, and three younger children at home. Mr. Hardin is a member of the Masonic lodge at Alma. In political faith he is a Republican.


     Among the representative farmers and ranchmen of Sioux county, who have aided materially in the development of that region striving to advance the best interests of his community whenever possible, a prominent place is accorded William L. Miller, who resides on his well-improved estate in section 22, of township 33, range 55. He is a gentleman of energetic character, and well merits his high standing.

     William L. Miller was born in New Brunswick, Canada, in 1852, in the town of St. Andrews, near the state line of Maine. His father, William, was a shoemaker by trade, and he married Annie Austin, a native of Canada. Our subject grew up in Washington county, Maine, attending the common schools as a boy, and at the age of fifteen began working for his own living, ever since that time having taken care of himself. He was in the lumber woods in Maine, also worked in saw mills, etc., for many years, and followed farming off and on during his young manhood. From Maine he went west, locating in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1884, and spent two years in that city.

     Mr. Miller came to Nebraska in 1886, landing in Sioux county by team, driving all the way from Cheyenne. At that time Harrison was merely a tent town, and settlers had just. begun to straggle into the locality. He picked out a homestead on section 22, township 33, range 55, started to build up a home, and also filed on a pre-emption, which he proved up on as well as his homestead. His first house was built of logs, and his first team a pair of mules, with which he broke up land for crops and did all his work. His first crops were a failure on account of the unfavorable conditions and dry weather, and he was obliged to obtain work in the Black Hills to earn money and make a living for his family. As the times grew better he gradually improved his place, later bought more land, and is now proprietor of a ranch consisting of eight hundred acres, fitted with good buildings, and has

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quite a large part under irrigation, raising grain and stock. The place is all fenced, and he has considerable timber on it.

     Mr. Miller was united in marriage in 1874. at Calais, Maine, to Miss Maria Coburn, born at Calais, and daughter of James Coburn. a sailor, who married Elizabeth Lane, the relatives of both Mrs. Miller's parents following the sea as an occupation. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Miller, namely: Evelyn S., Robert J., and Annie E., born in Maine; William A., born in Cheyenne, and Arthur F. and Minnie V., born in Sioux county. The family have a pleasant home, and a host of friends in their community.

     In political sentiments Mr. Miller is a Democrat, but has never sought office, devoting all his time to his home and ranch.


     Howard G. Furman, who has won an enviable reputation as one of the most successful and extensive raisers of cattle in western Nebraska. was born in Bradford county, Pennsylvania. in 1848. His parents, Alfred and Elizabeth (Gustin) Furman, were both natives of the same state. At the age of nineteen years he left his home and came west into Nebraska, where he spent some time railroading, carrying mail and hunting. He then went into Wyoming. and carried the first mail from Laramie City to Fort Sanders. He spent three years in the west, traveling up into Montana, where he built a boat and came down the Missouri river to Sioux City, returning to his home in Pennsylvania; After two years he came west again and went at freighting into the Black Hills from Sidney, Nebraska, and Ft. Pierre, South Dakota, Deadwood, Sidney. Pine Ridge and other places. He experienced many troubles with the Indians in this locality, and during an engagement while on one of these trips he received a shot in the shoulder, while his mules were ruined for hard work. In 1881 he went into Idaho, assisted in the construction of a railroad in Oregon, and traveled through parts of Utah.

      Mr. Furman came to Dawes county, Nebraska, in 1884, locating on a ranch on the Niobrara river in section 29, township 29, range 50. A log cabin was his first home in this county, where he engaged in the stock business. From time to time he purchased adjacent lands, until at the present time he has a ranch comprising sixty-three deeded quarters, besides some leased land. He has left no stone unturned in an effort to make his ranch a model one, and his untiring efforts have been amply rewarded, for a more modernly equipped or profitable ranch could not be found in any section of this western country. He has irrigated over three hundred acres of hay land, and has running water on two parts of his land, which is fenced and cross-fenced. He has built up a stock business well worthy of note, and has the distinction of having the largest amount of cattle on any ranch in Dawes county. He has one of the finest timber groves in the county on his ranch-many thousand posts could be cut out of it now.

     Mr. Furman and Miss Nellie B. Walker were united in marriage in 1880. Mrs. Furman was born in Tennessee, of American ancestry. She was a daughter of John B. Walker, a carpenter. Her mother's maiden name was Hattie Scott. Eleven children, who are a credit to their parentage, blessed this union. They are Burt, John A., Hazel, Howard G., Hattie, Thomas P., Nellie, Anson L., Willis, Rachael and Ruth, twins. The children are all living except John, who is deceased. A portrait of Mr. Furman is presented on another page.

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     In looking over the useful and honorable career of Mr. Furman it can he truly said that he well deserved the grand success which his untiring efforts have brought him, an example of what hard work and unquestionable business principles can accomplish. He has always done his share towards the improvement of Dawes county, and his useful career should be an encouragement to the rising generation of young men.


     Edwin C. McDowell, one of the most prominent old settlers in Dawes county. Nebraska, is classed among the pioneer business men of Crawford. He is a gentleman of excellent qualities and enjoys an enviable reputation as a business man and worthy citizen.

     Mr. McDowell is a native of Knox county, Ohio, born November 12, 1861. His father, Robert McDowell, was of Irish-Scotch descent, a farmer and early settler in Iowa. where he settled in 1873, moving to that state when our subject was twelve years of age. There he attended the common schools and secured a good average education, during his spare hours helping his parents in the work of carrying on their farm. After leaving school he spent two years in Illinois, and in 1886 came to Nebraska, driving by stage from Chadron to Red Cloud. He located on a homestead on Little Cottonwood creek, in Sioux county, and put up his

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first house, which was built as a dugout and was a common dwelling place for most of the pioneers in this section. He lived in the dugout for some time, then built a log house and "batched it.' He landed here in the spring of 1886, and the snow was on the ground about a foot deep, and he almost froze the first night he was here, and was unable to stay in his dugout, so footed it to some friends who lived on the creek.

     When he arrived here he had no money, and made a living the first month by picking buffalo bones, and in this work cleared seven dollars per day. He had worked as a barber during his youth and so soon moved to Crawford, then a small town of tents only and opened up the first barber shop in the place, setting up in business in a big tent, using it also as a dwelling place and store room for groceries When he was not busy at his trade he worked at other odd jobs. His price was twenty-five cents for a shave and fifty cents for a hair cut. On Sunday his tent was used for church services, and as so many of his customers were waiting for shaves that he kept right on at his work while the services were being conducted in the opposite side of the tent, neither interfering with the other.

     Soon after this he worked as a clerk in Eastman & Doer's store. Quitting them he went to clerk for H. F. Clough, general merchant, the man to whom he had sold the buffalo bones the first two months he was in the country. In the fall of 1886, in partnership with H. F. Clough, he opened a hardware store, also in a tent, their first stock of goods costing two hundred and eighty dollars. Their present stock invoices about nine thousand dollars. They carried this on all winter, and had a carload of stoves shipped in, which they sold out faster than they could black them and set them up. They did a rushing business, and he remained in the hardware business for twenty-two years. He has succeeded from the first, and in 1887 put up his present building, occupying the same location for the past twenty-two years. His partner did not last long in the business, losing all his property, and after that Mr. McDowell entered into partnership with one Camp Ellis, the latter buying out Clough's interest in the business, Mr. Ellis remaining with our subject up to the time of his death, which occurred September 1, 1905, and was succeeded by R. G. Smith, who is still connected with the business. Mr. McDowell, besides his business interests in Crawford, owns one thousand five hundred and twenty acres of deeded land located within two miles of Crawford, a large part of which is irrigated. He is also half owner of two thousand six hundred acres located four miles from Crawford. and on this land raises horses, sheep and cattle. Mr. McDowell was one of the first to install a system of irrigation in this vicinity and was the means of inducing others to follow his plan.

      Mr. McDowell was married in 1899, on April 11th, to Miss Effie Gorton, whose father was a pioneer in this section. Mr. and Mrs. McDowell are the parents of three children, namely: Harold, Esther and Katherine. The family are popular members of society in their community, and enjoy a pleasant home surrounded by a host of warm friends and kind neighbors.

     Our subject has been on the school board for the past nine years, and still holds office in that body. He is a Democrat in political views.


     Among the old settlers and those who have helped in the development and growth of Brown county almost since its organization, none is better known or more highly respected and esteemed than the gentleman whose name heads this review.

     Mr. Swett was born on a farm in Ohio, February 18. 1831. His father, Trustrum Swett, was a cooper by trade, born in Vermont of old American stock, and died when Alanson was six years old. His mother, Miss Pattie Smith, was a native of Connecticut, whose father was one of the patriots who fought in the battle of Bunker Hill and was severely wounded after grounding his arms. The British after receiving the surrender fell upon the unarmed prisoners with saber and pistol despatching many in their tracks. Mr. Smith defended his head with his arms until both were nearly severed after which a blow in the head felled him. Seeing an unconscious movement of his leg they shot at him with their pistols, but luckily missed him. When they were gone he dragged himself to a house by the roadside covered with blood and had his wounds dressed, eventually recovering from the effects of the terrible struggle he had gone through. Our subject is the child of his mother's second marriage, and when he reached the age of eleven his mother moved to Iowa, settling in Wapello county on a farm. He remained there until twenty years of age when he followed the rush for the gold fields of California, spending one year in those regions before returning to Iowa. In the spring of 1852 he went to

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Council Bluffs, Iowa, remaining there one year, then moved to Shelby county, where he followed farming for thirty years, building up a good home and valuable property, and was among the oldest settlers in that part of the country. Here he owned two farms, putting in many years of hard work in improving them, and was very successful in his undertakings. In 1883 he sold out his property there and came to Brown county, one of his daughters having lived here for some time. He settled on a homestead and began a regular pioneer's existence, erecting good substantial buildings, and for the next five or six years worked hard in establishing his home, and it was during this time that he suffered a sad misfortune in the death of his wife. Everything seemed to go wrong; crops failed, and he became terribly discouraged, gave up farming, and moved to Ainsworth, living there for about four years. In 1899 he settled on his present homestead on Oak creek, located in section 28, township 31, range 21, where he has a well improved farm, well equipped for successful operation.

     Mr. Swett was married in Iowa in December, 1852, to Miss Jane Tinsley, a native of the state of Kentucky who was of good old southern blood, and came to Iowa with her parents when she was a small girl. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Swett, of whom six are now living, named as follows: Minnie, now Mrs. A. L. Sisson; Ervin, living in Madison county; Clara, now Mrs. Ned Jones of Keya Paha county; Elsie, married to A. W. Barton, of Shelby county, Iowa; Otis, who runs his father's farm and business; and Pearl, wife of G. M. Cole, who reside on a farm adjoining her father's. Mr. Swett is a gentleman of active public spirit and has a host of friends, all of whom accord him a high station as a business man and worthy citizen. In politics he was orginally a Democrat, later a Populist and is today an avowed Socialist in economic beliefs.


     Among the residents of western Nebraska who have made North Platte their home for the past thirty-five years, the gentleman above named is worthy of a prominent place. Mr. O'Brien is highly esteemed in his community for his honesty and integrity, and enjoys an enviable reputation as a citizen

     Mr. O'Brien was born in Troy, New York state, 1851. He was there until the age of four or five years and then went to Chicago, where he was reared. He first came to Nebraska in 1871 and entered the employ of the Union Pacific Railway Company, working as a brakeman for some time, then was a freight conductor for the company. In 1883 he was appointed to the position of passenger conductor, and now acts in that capacity on the Overland Limited No. 1 and 2. his run being from Cheyenne to North Platte, Nebraska. Mr. O'Brien has a clean record all through his career as a railroad man, and has gained the confidence of his superior officers through his faithfulness to duty and strict attention to their interests.

     In 1883 Mr. O'Brien was married to Miss Malinda F. Norton. Her father was killed in the Civil war and the mother died in 1907. Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien have had four children: Chester A., deceased; George Percy, in the Union Pacific machine shops; Doris Ruth, and Darrow Norton, the two last named attending school.


     W. T. Young, one of the best known residents of Kimball county, Nebraska, has spent many years of his life in the pursuit of farming, and has met with pronounced success in his development of a fine farm in section 34, township 15, range 57. He has resided there during the past twenty-five years, and is classed among the prominent old settlers of that region.

     Mr. Young was born in Bloomington, Monroe county, Indiana, on February 20, 1853, where he lived until he was about twelve years of age, then moved to Wapello county, Iowa, accompanying his parents, three brothers and four sisters, and there they settled as pioneers, living there up to 1874, farming all of the time. In 1874 he went to Colorado, where he worked at ranching. From there he went to Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, in 1883, remaining for several years, coming to Kimball county, in 1886, landing in this vicinity in April of that year. His first location was on a homestead on section 34, township 15, range 57, and he proved up on a quarter section of land, later taking Kincaid homestead in the same section. He now owns in all one thousand acres, all good farm and range land, and of this he has seventy-five acres devoted to grain raising, with the balance in hay and pasture, and runs about one hundred head of cattle and one hundred horses, and is a progressive and up-to-date ranchman and farmer in every respect. He has put good buildings and improvements on his place, having a commodious and hand-

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some dwelling with every kind of farm buildings, good fences, wells and windmills, etc., and altogether owns one of the valuable estates in the county. He also has about sixty acres under irrigation.

     Mr. Young was married in Iowa, February 3, 1883, to Miss Anna Plowman, who is a native of Van Buren county, Iowa. Her father is now deceased, but her mother still resides in Iowa at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Young are the parents of six children, who are named as follows: Stella, William T., a graduate of the State University, now a rising young electrical engineer at Armour, South Dakota. Grover, who died October 7, 1906; August, Gertrude and Roy, living at home. Both our subject's parents are deceased.

     Mr. Young is a leading citizen of his community and has held numerous local offices. He is a stanch Republican and strong party man, having served as road overseer and constable. He takes great interest in all public questions and especially educational matters, having taken an active part in establishing and building up schools. He has been a member of the school board for eight years. Mr. Young has passed through many interesting experiences during the pioneer days. His first house on the farm was of sod. When the splendid improvements are seen today on his place, the change that has occurred stands out in bold relief.


     D. S. Beynon, the genial and popular postmaster of Burwell, has been a resident of Garfield county since 1886. and is one of the best known old timers of the county.

     Mr. Beynon was born in Albia, Iowa, December 5. 1856. He is of Welsh descent, his parents coming from Wales to this country in 1850, settling first in Ohio, and also spent one year in Pennsylvania. Later they moved to Iowa, where they were among the early settlers, locating in Monroe county in 1852. The father was a farmer and miner. They settled on government land in Iowa, filing on one hundred and twenty acres, which they developed into a good farm, and succeeded in building up a good home. Our subject is the third member in a family of ten children, of whom three brothers and two sisters are still living. He grew up on the home farm until he was twenty-one years old, and then left home and struck out for himself, coming to Nebraska and settling at Willow Springs, Garfield county. He first worked at freighting, following that for a year, then started in the drug busines (sic) and carried on a store at that place for about a year, when he left there and came to Burwell, at the same time the railroad was being built through this section. Here he opened another drug store, all the time keeping up his studies in pharmacy, and passed the examination as a registered pharmacist in 1890. He has been very successful in his enterprise and built up a fine trade throughout this vicinity. He has a fine line of goods, and runs a thoroughly first-class, up-to-date establishment, carrying in addition to drugs a full line of paints, oils, etc. When Mr. Beynon first came here he intended to take up some government land, but after getting started in business neglected to do so, and he is now very sorry he did not take up a claim as he would have made money by so doing. At that time he could have bought land for a few dollars an acre, and it would be worth many times the amount of its original cost.

     Mr. Beynon has always taken an active interest in local matters. He was appointed postmaster in 1897, when Burwell was a fourth-class office, and he remained in the position up to the present time, now serving his first term as a third-class postmaster. He has been a member of the town board for several years, also has been on the school board for ten years. In 1889 he was appointed sheriff, and during his service captured Nicholas Foley, the criminal and desperate character who was afterwards taken from a deputy sheriff by a mob and lynched for having murdered Mrs. Ada Clark, of Antelope county, Nebraska.

     On December 3, 1883, our subject was united in marriage to Miss Christina J. Corneli, born in Iowa, of German descent, whose parents were well-to-do farmers in Iowa, where her girlhood years were spent. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Beynon, four of whom are now living, namely: Rebecca, John, Hazel, and Helyn. One daughter, Etta, died in 1890, at the age of one year and six months. The family are prominent members of the Congregational church of Burwell and highly esteemed by all. Mr. Beynon is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and is also a Mason. Politically he is a Republican.


     Dr. Oscar L. Wilson, a prominent and widely known physician of Sheridan county, Nebraska, resides in Rushville. He is highly esteemed throughout this locality as a skillful practitioner, and has gained the confidence

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of all with whom he has had to do in a professional or business way.

     Dr. Wilson is a native of Ladoga, Montgomery county, Indiana, born in 1857. His father, O. B. Wilson. was a Kentuckian, minister by occupation, and his mother was also born in Kentucky. In a family of six children our subject was the fourth member, and he was raised in his native state, attending the common schools, and later the Ladoga academy, beginning his study of medicine in 1876. In 1880 he set up an office in Rosedale, Indiana, and practiced for a year, then went to Charleston, Illinois, where he followed his profession for thirteen years, and in July of 1895 came to Nebraska, locating in Rushville. This was in the midst of the hard times which prevailed throughout this section of the country, but he opened his office at once and began working up a clientage. His reason for settling here was on account of his wife's health, as he had left a good practice in Charleston, Illinois, to try this climate. For several years times were hard, but in 1897 things changed for the better, and since then he has steadily worked upward and now enjoys an extensive practice all through the central part of this county.

     Dr. Wilson was for a time interested in the stock business here, but now devotes all his attention to his profession. When he first landed in Nebraska he had not intended settling permanently in Rushville, but liked it on account of the healthy climate, and as his wife's health gradually improved and his practice began to grow, they decided to make this their home.

     In 1884 Dr. Wilson was married to Miss Mary Balch in Janesville, Illinois. Four children came to bless this union, named as follows: James L., Mary M., Beatrice S., and George B.

     Dr. Wilson is a man of active public spirit, lending his influence and aid in all matters that tend to the improvement of conditions in his community. He is at present serving on the town board, and takes an active part in local affairs. He is a Republican.


     The gentleman above mentioned was one of the first settlers in Box Butte county, Nebraska. When he first struck this region in 1886, settlers were very few and he had the choice of location, picking out a homestead which he considered as nicely situated as any in the county, and he still occupies this place, which is located in section 13, township 26, range 50. Here he has a fine home and well developed farm, and has always assisted to the best of his ability in building up this part of the county and aided materially- in its growth and progress.

     Mr. Abley was born in Switzerland, in 1840. His father was Fredolin Abley, a butcher by trade, who left the old country with his family when our subject was a boy of four years of age, the father dying on board ship during their voyage to America. The mother with her three children, settled first in Milwaukee and lived there until her death, which occurred in 1851. After his mother's death our subject started out for himself, going to Michigan and locating in Berrien county, where he secured employment in the saw mills. In August, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, 6th Michigan Infantry, and with his regiment was ordered south. He was in active service through Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. He was at the battle of Fort Gaines and Fort Jackson, also at New Orleans, Baton Rouge. Port Hudson, Mobile Bay and the Spanish Fort. Our subject was promoted to corporal during his first enlistment for three years and was mustered out in February, 1864. The same year he re-enlisted in his old regiment to serve during the war, and in August, 1865, he received his discharge at Jackson, Michigan. He received a serious wound while at Fort Morgan, Alabama, while putting guns on the fort, and has never fully recovered from the effects of this injury.

     After the close of the war Mr. Abley returned to Michigan and there engaged in farming up to the spring of 1886, owning a farm of fifty-six acres and made a success of it, building up a good home and farm. He decided to go west, so he sold his farm there and came to Nebraska, settling in Box Butte county in 1886, "batching it" the first year, - his family not coming out until 1887. His first dwelling was a dug-out, and in this he lived for one year. All his supplies had to be hauled from Hay Springs, seventy or eighty mites distant, and he also did considerable freighting throughout the section. He broke up land and started his farm in good shape and was very successful in his farming work for some years, then as the drouths struck the region in 1890, the following three years were hard ones as the crops failed and he had a hard time to get along, but he never gave up the struggle and by perseverance and industry built up a good farm. He owns four hundred and eighty acres, fifty of this being highly cultivated, all of it fenced and well improved with good buildings, etc. He is engaged quite extensively in the stock business, keeping a large number of cattle and horses.

     Mr. Abley was married on December 5,

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1867, to Mary Stratton, whose father was a farmer and a veteran of the war of 1812. He married Mary Burns, of New Hampshire, whose great-grandfather, Samuel Stratton, was in the famous battle of Bunker Hill, and met his death in that action. Her maternal grandfather also was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and was killed during the service in the early part of the war. To Mr. and Mrs. Abley three children were born, two of whom, Emery and Amos, are now living. Cliff H. died December 6, 1897, aged twenty-seven years, and was an earnest worker in the Salvation Army at Deadwood, South Dakota.

     Mr. Abley has held different school offices in his district, and has served as United States census taker. He is a Republican and a strong party man.


     John R. Ayres, an old settler in the western part of Nebraska, has done his full share in the upbuilding of this region, and his name will go down in history as one of those who spent the best years of his life in assisting to develop the commercial and agricultural resources of the section in which he resides. He has now retired from all active business and enjoys his comfortable home and the society of a host of friends in Valentine, Cherry county.

     Mr. Ayres was born in Louisa county, Iowa, in 1846, before Iowa was admitted to the statehood. His father, Michael Ayres, was a pioneer farmer in that state, where he raised his family of three children, of whom our subject is the youngest, his mother dying when he was but eighteen months old. While he was a young lad his father moved to Carroll county, Illinois, settling on a farm, where he grew up accustomed to hard work and at the age of twenty started out for himself, farming on shares for several years.

     In May, 1864, he enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and Forty-second Volunteer Infantry, and served in the war for about seven months, then left the army and returned to Illinois. In 1867 he went to Iowa and settled in Buchanan county, remaining there for nineteen years, having during that time purchased a large farm there. He first came to Nebraska in 1887, taking up a pre-emption and tree claim in Cherry county, located northwest of Crookston. Here he went through sod shanty experiences, breaking up his prairie and opening his farm with a team of cows and oxen combined. He had a hard time in getting started being overtaken by the dry years, and one year losing two hundred and fifty acres of crops in three days on account of the fierce hot winds which swept the section. In 1897 he moved to section 25, township 35, range 30, and after living there for a time moved to Valentine, leaving his son to run his farm. He has a fine estate, well improved ranch of six hundred and eighty acres and since his retirement his sons have succeeded in carrying on the business successfully, although they have met with some heavy losses and discouragements at different times. One experience was when a herd of thirty-one horses and mules were stolen from their farm. A part of the animals were recovered and the thief is now doing time in the penitentiary, but the loss of time and money was very large.

     Mr. Ayres was married in 1868, in Illinois, to Miss Fannie Soules. Ten children resulted from this union, who are named as follows: James, Ira, Elmer, William, Harry, Sarah, Clara, Albert and George and Henry, of whom the eldest and youngest are deceased

     Mr. Ayres has always been an active public-spirited citizen and takes a leading part in all affairs of local interest. He is a Populist in political belief and was one of the organizers of that party in this section. He is a member of Colonel Wood post, No. 208, Grand Army of the Republic, of Valentine.


     Among the younger members of the farming community of Dawes county, Nebraska, who have succeeded in building up a good home and farm, and who enjoys the esteem of his fellowmen, is the gentleman above named.

     Mr. Davenport was born in Dekalb county, Missouri, in 1881, and is a son of John R. Davenport, deceased, a native of the state of New Jersey, and grew up there, learning the harnessmaker's trade as a young man and followed that work for a good many years. When the war broke out he enlisted in the army and served for three years in the Civil war, and served with the regulars for five years after that time. After the war he returned to New Jersey, was married in 1877 to Miss Clarinda Goff, a native of Texas, and they were the parents of the following children: Alice, George (our subject), Agnes, Claude, Lucy, and Esther, the last mentioned now deceased. The family settled in Missouri in 1877 and remained there up to 1888, then moved to Dawes county, Nebraska, where the father took up government land and remained until proving up. The first building he put up was a log house in which the family lived for several years. They went through many hardships

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and privations during the first years here, witnessing the drouths and some years being unable to raise any crops at all, and were obliged to get work to do on farms and ranches in the vicinity of their home, and it in every way to make a living. They kept on building up their farm and got through all right without losing their farm, although at times it seemed rather up-hill work and they became discouraged. The better years finally struck them and they were able to get ahead a little, and improve their farm and home, and succeeded in a marked degree, accumulating a nice property, consisting of a farm of three hundred and twenty acres of deeded land, besides some two hundred and forty acres of leased land, all of which is fenced and in first-class shape. There are good buildings on the place, and our subject engages in mixed farming and stock raising with his mother, they owning the place together.

     The father died in 1905, leaving the mother and our subject in control of the farm, he being the eldest son, now twenty-seven years of age. The farm in its every appointment bespeaks his good judgment and industry.


     Charles H. Britton, one of the truly self-made men of Box Butte county, has prospered as an agriculturist and is the owner of a well improved estate in township 26, range 47. He has become widely known as an energetic and successful farmer and worthy citizen, and his success and good name are well merited as a reward for his strict integrity and honest dealings with all with whom he has had to do.

     Mr. Britton was born in Putnam, Livingston county, Michigan, in 1840, on a farm. He is a son of Claudius, Jr., and Sarah (Beeman) Britton, both born and reared in the East and married there.

     Our subject was reared and educated there, also was married in 1866 to Miss Jennie Hinchey, making it his home up to 1878, learning the brickmaker's trade when eighteen years of age and following that occupation for some years, operating a brick making business of his own for a time, and later spent seven years in Crawford county, Iowa, at the same work. In 1885 he came to what is now Box Butte county, arriving here in March of that year. He took a pre-emption and tree claim and also filed on a homestead in 1886 and proved up in due time, these places being located thirteen miles from Alliance. The first year he "batched it," and in 1886 his family joined him here, all living in a tent the first summer, building a dugout in the fall, in which they lived for quite a few months. Mr. Britton worked out in the vicinity of his home, breaking land for his neighbors, also putting in some crops on his farm the first year, and received a good yield, but later suffered severely from the drouths and other causes. He has passed through all the pioneer experiences, making long trips to the nearest town for supplies and camping out at night on the frozen ground, and does not care to return to those days.

      In 1890 Mr. Britton's wife died, and although this sadly discouraged him he remained on his farm and built up a good home. Better times soon overtook him and he was able to buy more land, now owning a ranch of fourteen quarter sections of deeded land, besides controlling a section of leased school land. Most of his time is devoted to the sheep business, of which he has made a great success. He also keeps about thirty-six horses, and about fifty head of cattle.

     Mr. Britton is recognized throughout his locality as one of the leading citizens and oldest settlers in his section of the state, and filed the first pre-emption claims, also made the first tree claim filing in his township in 1885, also took a homestead in 1886.

     Mr. Britton has one child, a daughter, Zellie, aged forty-one years, and he also has five grandchildren. On another page of this volume will be found an interesting picture of Mr. Britton.

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     Albert G. Bump, a prominent resident of McCook, Nebraska, is one of the substantial citizens and successful business men of the place.

     Mr. Bump is a native of Mahaska county, Iowa, born near Oskaloosa, as was also his father, the latter's father having been one of the early settlers in Iowa, locating there in the forties. He was born in Elmira, New York, and came west, farming for a time, then went into business at New Sharon, Iowa. Our subject's mother was Miss Dorcas Gaston, daughter of Robert W. Gaston, who settled in Iowa in the early forties, having been one of the pioneer settlers in Richmond Virginia. His father, Rev. James Gaston, was a minister in the Disciples Church, and a man of fine education. In 1885 our subject was connected with the Burlington & Missouri railway, as a conductor on that road, and in 1892 he quit that and went to California in the interest of the Southern California railway, remaining until 1897. then came back to McCook and was with the Burlington & Missouri again for nine years, then resigned his posi-

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