home farm, receiving a common school education. He came to America in 1869, his parents having died when he was a boy of seven years old, and from that time he made his own way in the world.
Mrs. Wiberg's maiden name was Elizabeth Johnson. She is a native of Norway, born in 1843. Her first husband was Oleff Johnson. One child, Ed Olson, blessed this union. He now lives in Nance county, Nebraska, where he owns a nice farm. Mrs. Wiberg lost her first husband in her native land, he having passed away in 1870. That same year, when she was twenty-six years of age, she left her native land, coming to America with a party of emigrants. Her father and mother never saw them again, as she was unable to visit them. They are now both dead.
Our subject was married to Mr. Wiberg January 1, 1875, near Clinton, Iowa, and they came to Nebraska from that state in -1883, setling in Wheeler county before it was divided. They first took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres and started to build up a home and farm, but during the first few years had a hard time to get along and suffered many hardships and privations on the frontier, as they started without any capital to speak of and had only their strong hearts and willing hands to carve out a fortune for themselves. However, they were industrious and determined to win a home for themselves and family, and were not afraid to work hard for it. They were both accustomed to hard labor, as are all the sturdy children of the foreign countries who came here to build up a competence for themselves, and hard though the work here is, it is nothing compared with what they have to contend with there, at much less reward for their labor. They became well-to-do, having a tidy sum laid away for a rainy day, but were not classed among the wealthy residents of the county, though none were held in higher esteem than were Jonas Wiberg and his family.
Mr. Wiberg died October 26,
1902, leaving a family of fifteen children. He had seven children
by his first marriage, namely: Gustaf, Christena, Eva, Frederick,
Ida, Charles and Emma. The children of the second marriage are as
follows: Mary, John, Sam, Anna, Belenda, William, Swen and Clara.
Three children died in infancy. Mr. Wiberg was a prominent
old-timer of Garfield county, regarded by everyone who knew him as
a staunch friend, always willing to lend a helping hand to those
in need. He was a strong Democrat, and while he took a commendable
interest in local politics, never sought public preferment except
to serve on the school board at different times. His family are
all members of the German Lutheran church of Burwell. A picture of
Mrs. Wiberg's ranch will be found on another page.
Mr. Kay is a native of Linton, Yorkshire, England, born in 1858, on a farm. His father, Robert Kay, was a farmer all his life, dying in England in 1890, his mother in 1882; and our subject was raised and educated there, learning the woodturner's trade during his boyhood years, and followed that work during his life in England and later after coming to the United States. In 1883 he came to New Brunswick, landing at Halifax, and remained in that country for six months, then came to Lawrence, Massachusetts, and spent three months there in the weaving mill. In the spring of 1884 he came west to Minneapolis, and there worked at his trade for about six months. He next went to North Dakota and spent a short time in the harvest fields and in the fall of that year came to Iowa and followed farm work in Blackhawk county for about a year and a half.
In 1886 Mr. Kay came to Sioux county, and during the first summer Chadron was the nearest trading point. He settled on a pre-emption northwest of Harrison, and his first building on the place was a dugout. He started to work his farm, and later proved up on his claim. He worked out much of the time as a cowboy on cattle ranches in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, and was with the War Bonnet Live Stock Company as a cowpuncher for about eight years. In 1900 he located on his present farm, and here he has built up a fine ranch, called "Linton ranch," named after the town of his birth in England. The ranch consists of six hundred and forty acres of deeded land, and the same amount of leased land, extending along the Niobrara river for some distance, furnishing splendid running water the year round for his stock. He has good improvements on the ranch, corrals, fences and
good buildings, and everything in first-class shape. He runs a
large herd of Hereford cattle, making a specialty of this kind of
stock, and has made a success of his undertaking from the start. A
picture of the residence will be found on another page.
Mr. Kay has served his district as assessor for two years, and takes an active and leading part in local affairs. In politics he is a Republican.
Mr. Hull is a native of Sharon, Mercer county, Pennsylvania, and a son of Obadiah Hull, born in 1799, who came to Mahaska county, Iowa, locating on a farm there in 1858. Our subject's grandfather, Beshira Hull, served in the War of 1812, and his great-grandfather was Captain Isaac Hull, who commanded the Constitution during the war when the British ship Guerriere was captured, a famous action. This battle was fought August 19, 1812, and lasted from 5 o'clock to 7 p. m., when the Guerriere was compelled to surrender and was burned. The Constitution returned to Boston, Captain Hull resigned his commission and was succeeded by Captain Bainbridge, of the battleship Constellation. Captain Hull had three sons - Beshira, our subject's grandfather, John and Samuel. Beshira married Miss Rhoda Higbee. The mother of our subject was Miss Mary Moffatt, of Ohio. His brother, Amaziah Hull, graduated from Bethany College and was a classmate of President Garfield at Hiram College, in Hiram, Ohio. Mr. Hull himself is a graduate of the normal school at Oskaloosa, Iowa, and after leaving school was engaged in teaching for seven years. He was master of a granger lodge, and from that time on has always taken an active interest in these matters, working along the lines of the Granger Alliance and Populist movements. In the state legislature he was chairman of the committee on expenditure and accounts, and a leader of his party. He represented Harlan county in the legislature for two terms, i. e., from 1894-95 and 1896-97, taking an active part, especially in the session of 1897. He was elected by the Populists, and from the very beginning was state lecturer and organizer for the alliance for two years 1890-91 and 1892. Our subject is at present engaged in raising purebred Poland China hogs, and has a fine herd of from thirty to sixty on hand all the time. He came to Nebraska in 1876, locating in Lancaster county, where he remained for sixteen years, then moved to Harlan county, settling on a farm one and a half miles north of Alma. He now owns a farm on which he makes his home, located near the town. Since coming to this county he has assisted in the introduction of alfalfa in this section, and worked in every way for the advancement of the commercial and educational interests of Harlan county and Nebraska, and is a man of ready intelligence, forceful and of great versatility as a public speaker.
He was married in 1873 to Miss Miranda Clark, daughter of John and Sophronia (Hull) Clark, early settlers in central Iowa. Mr. Hull is a member of the Christian church of Alma, his father having identified himself with this religious organization at the beginning of the movement, together with Alexander Campbell, Barton H. Stone and other pioneers. The father of Mr. Hull was an ardent abolitionist, and one of those who took part in conducting underground railways in Ohio before the civil war.
opment of the financial interests of the locality in which he chose his home. Mr. Henderson was born in Pennsylvania, May 5, 1852. His father, William Henderson. was a farmer of old American stock, whose grandparents were of Dutch-Irish descent. Our subject came west with his parents and their family of five children, of whom he is the second member, settling in Bureau county, Illinois, during the war, and there he was raised and educated. While still a young lad he struck out for himself, coming to Merrick county, Nebraska, and locating on the Platte river, where he remained for five years, and in 1884 he moved to Brown county, settling on his present farm in section 17, which he took as a homestead. He drove the entire distance from Merrick county in a covered wagon containing their household goods, the trip consuming eight days, the family experiencing many hardships and discomforts during the journey. After locating on this farm he went to work and put up a rude house of logs and began to break the land and get it in condition for cultivation. The drouth periods came on and heavy losses were sustained through the destruction of crops, but the family was never reduced to actual suffering, as they managed to make a comfortable living and provide themselves with the necessaries of life. He has one hundred and twenty acres of good land. with about seventy acres under cultivation, besides operating three hundred acres of leased land. He has a complete set of good farm buildings. and has planted a large number of trees since coming here, and made many improvements which add greatly to the value of the estate. He has a well kept farm, and is classed among the substantial agriculturists of his township.
Mr. Henderson was married in Illinois on Thanksgiving day, 1875, to Miss Evaline Burns: an Ohioan of old American stock. Twelve children have resulted from this union. named as follows: Oliver, James, Kittie, Ed., Albert, Milton, Iva, Hazel, Raymond, Percy, Viola and Clyde. Mr. Henderson takes an active interest in all the affairs of his community and is ranked among the leading citizens of Brown county. In political faith he is a Democrat.
Mr. DeGraff was born in Dutchess county, New York, in 1838. When a few weeks old his parents moved to Prince Edward county, Ontario, Canada. The father, Nicholas, was of Dutch stock, born in Holland, while the mother, who was Miss Elizabeth Cole, of Scotch blood. Our subject was reared and educated in Canada, and at the age of seventeen came to Wisconsin with relatives, where he worked in the lumber woods for seven years. In 1864 he enlisted in the Mississippi squadron and saw service up the Red river and into Louisiana, and was mustered out August 20, 1865.
In 1865 Mr. DeGraff, with his family, stopped at Ashland, Nebraska. He was then working on the Union Pacific Railway, and was one of those who helped construct that railroad from Fremont to North Platte, he doing contracting, furnishing wood, ties, poles, etc., and during those days many times waded across the Platte river. He was employed by the railway company for two years, and during this time had many encounters with the Indians, who roamed the region in large numbers. Skirmishes often occurred between the savages and the settlers and railroad men, and our subject took part in several of these encounters, relating many interesting incidents connected with the early days in this section. In 1867 he went to Iowa to escort his family to his new home, but the Indians were so hostile during that time that he was forced to remain there for quite a time, and finally decided to settle there, and did so, farming in different localities for about fifteen years, and from there moved to Missouri, where he bought a farm, later going to Kansas.
In 1884 he came to Dawes county, teaming here from Kansas with a covered wagon containing his goods. He located on his present farm July 6, 1884, in section 20, township 31, range 51. and went to work building up a home, his first dwelling being a dugout, so familiar to the settlers here. This had a roof made of poles and slab door, and the family occupied this up to 1890, when they erected a comfortable house. He also built good barns, and had his place well stocked with machinery, and in the year 1890, through some accident, the barn was burned down, destroying machinery, grain, six horses, harness, wagons, etc., caus-
ing a loss of some three thousand dollars. He had done considerable contracting in furnishing supplies for Fort Robinson and had made money, so that, although this was a serious misfortune to him, it did not cripple his finances to any great extent. He has been the means of getting many settlers in this region, and has done his share in the developing of its natural resources. Mr. DeGraff owns a farm of eight hundred acres, and has one hundred acres and more under cultivation, and the balance in pasture and hay land. He is engaged quite extensively in stock raising, running one hundred cattle and other stock. He is now one of the foremost citizens of his county, and has plenty to keep him in comfort and ease for the balance of his life, but he well remembers the time when he lived on nothing but buffalo meat all one winter. This was in 1866, and on one of his trips from Fort Laramie during this time he loaded his wagon with red cedar, which he sold at Alkali Springs, west of North Platte, for fifty dollars a load. Mr. DeGraff was at Fort Laramie in 1866 at the time General Taylor's treaty was made with the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. He shook hands with old Red Cloud and Spotted Tail, and made a trade with Spotted Tail in a few minutes after shaking hands, trading him a blanket with red stripes on it for a fine robe worth six blankets.
Mr. DeGraff was married in 1860 at New London, Wisconsin, to Miss Sarah Carey, of American stock, born in New York state. Mr. and Mrs. DeGraff have a family of three children, namely: Dora A., George H. and Edward S.
Our subject is an Independent in politics, and although he takes a commendable interest in local and county affairs, has never sought public preferment.
After locating supplies there, our subject bought two yoke of cattle on Running Water creek, eighty miles east of the Black Hills stage crossing, from S. Neuman, and started into the sand hills to get the horses, etc., which he went in search of. These were left by the government employes about fourteen miles south of Running Snake creek, and upon undertaking the journey only took with him a few days' supplies. Just before he arrived at the creek he met an old messmate. He chatted with him a few moments, as he was very much surprised to meet any one but Indians and government scouts, as the soldiers had all left the locality. After a little time the man asked him which direction he was going, and Mr. Trognitz told him what he intended doing, etc. He said he happened to be going the same way, on his trip to the old Bosler ranch on Blue creek, and calculated to camp about six miles the other side of Snake river in the open prairie, so as to avoid a surprise by Indians. He then suggested carrying part of the provisions on his horse, and Mr. Trognitz agreeing, the flour and bacon was soon transferred to a place behind his saddle. No sooner was this done than he pointed to the southeast, calling our subject's attention to something in the distance, and when the latter turned to look the other set off with all speed and left him abandoned on the plains, with scarcely enough food to last him a day. This incident occurred in October, 1878, and is an experience he will never forget. He then took a trip for Mr. Neuman with a load of grain for Wounded Knee, and was caught in a heavy blizzard, was snowed under and had to dig out his wagon, and at different times his team gave out and he had to transfer his load to the top of the hills, and finally had to abandon the load and ride the mules to his destination, and found that he was supposed to have perished in the storm and men had been sent out to look for him.
During the same winter Mr.
Trognitz had a contract to haul logs for the government at Pine
Ridge agency, and in the spring sold his outfit and later bought
some mules and out-
fit and began freighting to the Black Hills. He continued at this work up to the spring of 1881.
In June, 1880, he started in the restaurant business in Sidney, then took up a homestead at Lawrence Forks, Cheyenne county, and had several sections under control from that time on up to 1883, when he sold out to Lange Bros. and started in the livery business in Sidney, carrying that on for about four years.
He next engaged in the implement business, which he ran for about two years, then as he was elected sheriff of Cheyenne county, gave up his establishment. He had the distinction of having been the first man to erect a two-story building in Sidney.
Mr. Trognitz was elected sheriff of his county in the fall of 1889, and served up to 1894, then began ranching, and has been engaged in that line of work ever since. He now has a ranch of five hundred and forty acres, and runs about one hundred head of stock cattle and some horses. He has built up a valuable estate. During his career as sheriff Mr. Trognitz passed through the usual experiences in the wild western country, and was one of the most efficient officials the county ever had, and he recounts many interesting tales of those times. He was known as the "cowboy sheriff," and on the second day after entering upon the duties of his office captured a noted criminal, for whom there was a reward of $1,000. In 1890 Mr. Trognitz was married to Florence McWilliams, at Chicago, Illinois. Mrs. Trognitz was born in Newcastle, Pennsylvania. One child resulted from their union, Carl James, living at home and attending school.
Mr. Trognitz is at the present time lessee and manager of the Union Pacific Railroad Company's stock yards. He is active in all affairs of state and county, and is a stanch member of the Republican party.
Mr. Johnson was married in 1907 to Miss Tensia Benson, also a native of Sweden, who came to this country but a short time prior to her marriage to our subject. They have a pleasant home and are held in the highest esteem by all who know them. Mr. Johnson is a Republican in political views. He takes a commendable interest in matters pertaining to the good of his community and has done his full share in developing the neighborhood in which he lives.
Mr. Congdon was born in 1858 at Middle-
town, Connecticut and is a son of Joseph and Emma (Miller) Congdon, of New England stock. Our subject's uncle, I. H. Congdon, was general master mechanic of the Union Pacific Railway when only forty miles of the road were built, and remained for twenty years in this position, with headquarters at Omaha. A brother of our subject, M. M. Congdon, was general foreman of the Union Pacific at North Platte up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1881 at this place. Another uncle, Albert Congdon, was master mechanic and later purchasing agent of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway for several years, then was appointed one of the directors of the Canada Southern Railway. R. S. Congdon, another uncle, was a conductor on the Illinois' Central Railway almost from the beginning of that road's existence, and is now on the retired list of the company, residing at Council Bluffs, Iowa. One uncle was also a conductor in New Hampshire and still another one, L. O. Gassett, was master mechanic of the Lake Shore road at Cleveland, Ohio, prior to 1875. William Congdon, an uncle, was a pioneer engineer on the Lake Shore Railway. Nearly all the members of our subjects family have been connected with railroad work for many years past, and the name Congdon is familiar to every railroad man in most of the states in the Union. Mr. Congdon himself has a splendid record and successful career. He has never had a serious accident since he has taken charge of a train, and is a thorough master of his profession. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and highly esteemed by his fellow-men.
Mr. Congdon was married in 1882 in North Platte to Miss Dora Hughes, daughter of Thomas Hughes, a pioneer railroad man, beginning his career as an engineer in the days when coal was an unknown quantity in furnishing fuel for engines. He began at Norwich, Connecticut, and railroaded west to the state of Montana, for many years being conductor on a passenger train. He is now retired at the age of seventy-six years, and resides at Hastings. Mr. and Mrs. Congdon have one son, Guy J., with the Western Pacific at Salt Lake City, Utah. The family are members of the Episcopal church and universally, esteemed in the community.
Mr. Errickson, a native of
Illinois, emigrated with his parents to Hamilton county, Iowa, in
early childhood, remaining under the parental roof until 1876,
when he came to Columbus, Nebraska, and drove stage to York on the
Burlington and Missouri Railroad one year. In 1878 he came to
western Nebraska and worked on different ranches in this region
until filing on a homestead in 1884, situated on what is now
familiarly known to people in these parts as the "Bachelor ranch."
Excepting the summer of 1885, when he trailed cattle to Montana,
he has remained on that place up to 1899, when he moved to his
present ranch, which is located in the vicinity of Kennedy
postoffice. Here he has worked faithfully and built up a model
place, the ranch containing thirty-three hundred and eighty acres.
He is extensively engaged in stock raising, running from six
hundred and fifty to seven hundred head of cattle and one hundred
and fifty horses. He is a man of great business ability, and
recognized as one of the leading ranchmen in this part of the
country. He has erected fine buildings on his property, including
a splendid concrete house fifty-two by twenty-eight feet,
commodious and fitted with modern conveniences, including bath
room, running water and a heating plant. The outside is finished
with front and rear porches, the main part being full two stories
and garret in height. It is a handsome building, the lower story
of concrete and the upper frame. One of his barns is an immense
building, sixty by sixty feet, with a hay mow thirty-five by
forty-eight feet in size. Mr. Errickson has expended much time,
thought and money in the improvement of his ranch, and his efforts
are certainly a credit to his taste, as there is no better
appointed estate to be seen throughout this section. It extends
from Gordon creek seven miles north to Boardman creek with a fine
lake covering a hundred acres situated between. Seven wells, with
as many windmills, furnish water to the portions of the ranch
remote from lake and creeks. A view of the ranch residence and
surroundings is shown on another page in this work.
brothers, all of whom won distinction at the bar, in the medical profession or in government service. The mother, Mary Perkins, was a daughter of Dr. Joseph Perkins, president of a medical college at Castleton, Vermont.
Mr. and Mrs. Errickson are the parents of seven children - Roy, George, Gilbert, Hazel, Francis, Gordon and John, all born and reared on the home ranch. Johnnie died in March. 1908, the first break in the family.
Mrs. Errickson coming of a distinguished family, inherits their mental ability. She is a woman of wide culture and a worker in church and school interests in her neighborhood. She taught the first school in the district, receiving less in payment than her expenses in securing the situation. She is the organizer and mainstay of the Sunday school in the sod chapel at Kennedy. Her grandmother was Margaret Ingersoll, sister of Rev. John Ingersoll, father of Robert G. Ingersoll.
Mr. Larson had a very small start when he first came to Nebraska and began in the stock business on a very small scale. He got his first bunch in 1892, purchasing them on time, and for some years had a hard time in getting along. He gradually improved his farm, putting up good buildings, and in 1896 erected a comfortable, commodious barn, trading hay for the material to build it. In 1903 he put up a fine residence, and has his place well fenced and corraled. He has spent about four thousand dollars in buildings, and has as good a set of farm buildings as there is in this locality. He aims to keep about four hundred head of cattle, with about thirty-five horses for farm purposes and the market, which is about all that the place can support comfortably. Mr. Larson owns seventeen hundred and sixty acres of deeded land, and besides this leases a large tract, in all controlling about seven sections. He uses a large portion of his land for the production of hay, and cuts about four hundred tons on the valley land on his home place each year. He has tried farming at different times, but found that it did not pay, and for the last few years has given up the cultivation of all except about ten acres, which is used for home consumption.
Mr. Larson's farm is located one and a half miles from the school, and his boy of seven years rides to school. The nearest railroad station is at Reno, and Antioch is the nearest postoffice.
In addition to his stock raising Mr. Larson has quite a large part of his land planted to tame grasses, and he also has a number of acres in alfalfa, which does very well. He has some sweet clover and brome, a grass planted which yields a fair crop. During the raids by the cattle rustlers he was instrumental in securing the arrest of a number of the thieves, and assisted in their conviction. He is of active public spirit, and has held different local offices on the Republican ticket, having served as constable in the early days.
Mr. Larson was married in 1898 to Miss Maude I. Jesse, a native of Iowa, born in 1875. She is a daughter of Samuel Jesse, born in England, who came to America in early pioneer days and settled in Iowa, being among the pioneers in that locality. Mr. and Mrs. Larson are the parents of three children, all born and raised on his present homestead. They are named as follows: Stanley Lawrence, born June 8, 1899; Stelma Flora, born December 14, 1901, and Theodore Gustave, born February 28, 1905.
Mr. Larson has been very successful in his line of work, and feels well satisfied with what he has accomplished. He has built up a good home and farm, and is contented to make this his home for some time to come.