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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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oline Gundlouh, born and reared in the same town with our subject, and daughter of Fritz Gundlouh, who was a day laborer and sheep herder; her mother's name was Sofa (Schrader) Gundlouh.

     In 1883 Mr. Heumier came to America, accompanied by his family. After landing in New York city he came directly west to Wisconsin, where he settled on a farm in Rock county and worked rented land for a number of years. Our subject first came to Sioux county in 1889, locating on "gumbo" land near Adelia. There he passed through many hard experiences, working out in the Black Hills in order to make a living as he had a hard time to get his farm in shape to raise crops, and the hard years came on when he had several failures and was at last compelled to give it up altogether. In 1894 he came to his present location, built a log house and started to improve his farm, also hauling cord wood and sold it to help keep his family. He opened up six acres of land around which he built a pole fence the first year, and his first crop on this was hailed out, but he did not give up heart and determined to win out and stick to his farm. He had a tough struggle, but has finally made a success of his undertaking by his perseverance and energy, and is proprietor of six hundred acres of land, seventy-five of which are cultivated and the balance in grass and pasture, also having a nice tract of timbered land. The place is well fitted up with good substantial buildings and all improvements, and his farm is one of the best kept and best equipped in his locality.

     Mr. Heumier is the father of fifteen children, the three eldest born in Germany; four have died, leaving the following: Elvena, Augusta, Frieda, Annie, Martha. Minnie, Louisa, Charlie, Sofa, Herman and Marie.

     The subject of this sketch is one of the old settlers of his community and has devoted much of his time and energy to building up and improving his locality, being an earnest advocate of good roads and assisting materially in every movement along these lines, and he has also aided greatly in establishing good schools in this section.



     Among the men who came to Cherry county in the early days to build up a home in a new country where the opportunities were many for gathering a comfortable fortune, the gentleman above named was one of the first to settle in this section. He has spent many years in this work and now enjoys the fruits of his industry and perseverance, highly esteemed by all who know him.

     Mr. Barnes was born in Fillmore county, Minnesota, February 19. 1864. His father, Alvah E. Barnes, was a farmer of American stock, native of Ohio. When our subject was a young lad the family, consisting of five children, moved to Butler county, Iowa, where he was reared and educated. At the age of twenty years he started in farming on rented land, continuing for two years, then came to Nebraska, locating in Cherry county. He first settled on the Snake river, building a log house without nails, but only stayed there for two years and then took up his present farm as a homestead. During these first years he saw many ups and downs of pioneer life and often was compelled to work out in the neighborhood of his home, receiving seventy-five cents a day for his labor, and glad to get this, to support his family, and tide them through hard times. He hauled posts and bones for thirty miles to Cody, selling the posts for eight cents each in trade and only half that in cash. He had three horses and forty cents in cash when he first landed here, and with this start has gradually forged ahead until he now owns a ranch of nine hundred and sixty acres, a large portion of which is hay and grazing land, on which he runs two hundred and twenty-five head of cattle, all full-blooded Aberdeen Angus. He deals exclusively in this breed, and his herd is conceded to be the best to be found in all western Nebraska. This herd has been under careful breeding for the past twenty-three years. and was first started in this county by Mr. John Shores. There are some exceptionally fine animals among them, and all are the very best of their kind. Mr. Barnes also keeps quite a number of horses. His place is well improved with fences and good buildings, his barn alone costing $850, built in 1903. A view of the residence and surroundings will he found on another page of this work.

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     Mr. Barnes was married April 2, 1885, to Miss Ida Blaufuss, a native of Wisconsin, born in 1863. Her parents were both born and reared in Germany, coming to this country when quite young. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes have a family of six children, all of whom were born and raised in this state. They are named as follows: May, Cecil, Alta, Bryan, Mildred and Clare. The main ambition of Mr. Barnes is to give his children a good education, and intends to do this even though he has no fortune to leave them. They are all bright and intelligent, eager to please their father in his wishes, and have always attended school regularly, riding seven miles to their district

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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school. One daughter is a teacher, devoting part of her time to this occupation and also attending school herself. Their home is in section 29, township 30, range 34.

     Mr. Barnes has never taken any active part in politics although he has always voted the Democratic ticket. He is a member of the Cody lodge of Modern Woodmen of America. During the early days they had to go thirty-five miles for their mail and once during the Indian uprising the brothers did not have enough cash to buy a stamp to write an assuring letter home.



     Isaac N. Mills is an active and pushing farmer and business man whose home is on Buffalo Flats, Brown county, Nebraska, and whose name is closely associated with the settlement of this part of the state where his fortunes have been cast these many years. He was born on a farm in Erie county, Pennsylvania, June 20, 1854, where his father. Alonzo Benjamin Mills, who came of German blood, was engaged in the practice of medicine. His mother, Helena Scott Mills, was born in Germany, and accompanied her parents to this country when she was twenty-one years old. The parents died on board the ship while making the voyage to this land of hope and promise, leaving the girl to proceed alone. Here she married and became the mother of a family of five boys, of whom Isaac N. was the second member. When he was five years old the family removed to Ohio, and there the husband and father died nine years later, having in the meantime spent several years in Pennsylvania, and going a second time to Ohio. After his death the bereaved widow returned again to Pennsylvania, where young Isaac was reared to farming and lumbering. While still a young man he became a husband and the head of a home by his marriage July 5, 1877, to Miss Martha Johnson, a native of New York state. Her father, Russell Johnson, was a blacksmith and served in the United States army, where he received injuries which caused his death in after years. To Mr. and Mrs. Mills have come two children, Elton, born in 1880, who married Florence Ferguson, and Alonzo, born in 1883, who married Grace Rickard.

     Mr. Mills came west in the fall of 1879, and spent some time looking over the country and seeking a desirable location before concluding where to cast his lot. For some time he was in Merritt (sic) county, Nebraska, where he lost five horses. Finally he decided to locate on what was known as Buffalo Flats, in Brown county, and in the north west quarter of section 2 he planted a tree that he might know the spot on his return. This was done while he was on a freighting expedition through the country, and was received with laughter by his companions who insisted that he would never see either the tree or the land again. Events proved, however, the wisdom of the action, and in due time the spot selected became the home of himself and family.

     Mr. Mills made a temporary settlement on Long Pine creek, and there he got out the logs for his first house and barn. For three weeks he lived on the creek without bread, but secured plenty of game and had a delightful time in certain ways. In this rough and ready life he was able to take care of himself, and though he slept the first three nights under a tree, he presently put a little comfort and order around him, and made ready for the coming of his family in May, 1880. The log house was still unfurnished, and was lacking windows, but it made the beginning of a home for the family. His first motive power in the shape of teams was two bulls and a donkey, and when he attended the first Fourth of July celebration at Ainsworth he drove a bull and a cow for a team. At one time he was entirely without money, and all the food he had in the house of any kind was one batch of biscuits. He had done some work, and was promised his pay, but was disappointed in receiving it. He betook himself to the woods, where he cut cedar poles, and hauled them to Long Pine, where their sale enabled him to buy provisions for the family. Mr. Mills worked in the stock yards at Long Pine during the fall seasons that followed prolonged drouths. Then he bought an old threshing machine, and made some capital in operating it through the country. In 1880 he was engaged in freighting from Columbus to Albion, Nebraska, and while engaged in this line took the contract of moving a six thousand eight hundred pound safe to the latter point. This work he did in two days, making his first night at Genoa, and reaching Albion at the closing of the second day out, thus completing most successfully what he recalls as a terrific job. Before the safe was put in place it went through the floor into the cellar of the building in which it was first located

     It is pleasant to note that after many hard and laborious years, whose constant strain is that of privation and denial, Mr. Mills and his excellent family have now entered into the enjoyment of prosperity on a very liberal

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scale. His farm comprises some two hundred acres, and with the exception of about fifteen acres it is all under cultivation. A modern and attractive farm house has replaced the old log and sod structure, which still stands and is used for a blacksmith shop. In 1907 he purchased a three-hundred-acre farm a short distance northwest of Long Pine on which his younger son is installed as manager. As would appear from the above narrative Mr. Mills is one of the oldest settlers of this region, and is widely known as a man of unbending integrity, unwearied industry, and a kind and neighborly heart. He is Independent in politics and with the family is a member of the Methodist church.



     The place of the nativity of Jacob Dresslar is Morgan county. Indiana, where his birth occurred January 15, 1870. His father, John Dresslar, was of old American stock, but his far away ancestors came from Germany. Our subject's mother was born in Ohio and her name, in youth, was Martha McCoy.

     Until he was fifteen years of age, Jacob Dresslar spent his life in Indiana, but at that time in his history the family came vest to Nebraska, locating in Dawson county on land near Overton. This was in 1885, and they were among the earliest settlers. Here the family lived for four years, and then in 1889, moved to Keith county. Our subject remained with his father until 1896 and helped to build up the home place, where his father died in March, 1904. The father was prominent among the old settlers and was widely known and esteemed. With the aid of his sons he built up a beautiful home place, five miles south of Brule.

     Our subject took a homestead in August, 1893, and commenced operations for himself, and here he resides today in a fine large modern house with capacious barns and outbuildings surrounding. He experienced the usual hard times of the pioneer, witnessed the years of drouth when the crops were almost total losses and sometimes it was very discouraging; but he did not give up. He kept hard at it. Improving his land and made a success, finally proving up on his homestead. He has a splendidly improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, with a good house, barns and sheds; has a fine grove of forest trees, and the farm all well fenced. He has a fine orchard of cherry trees twenty-five in number, one hundred plum trees, and has raspberries, gooseberries, and other small fruits in abundance. All this had been done by our subject's own work and is due to his good management. He has certainly done his share toward the advancement of the community in which he has lived.

      Jacob Dresslar was married, December 29, 1898, to Miss Emma Dorran, born in Braidwood, Grundy county, Illinois, a daughter of John Dorran, a native of England and a pioneer of Dawson county, Nebraska, where he located in the early days of 1879. He served during the Civil war in the Twenty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Her mother, Harriet Raney, was born in Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Dresslar have had two children: Howard and Thelma.

     Jacob Dresslar is a Republican in his political affiliations and belief and has served his party in several official positions. He has been deputy assessor for several terms and has proven a capable and efficient public officer.



     Horace E. Gardner, who ranks foremost among the leading old settlers of western Nebraska, is one of the prosperous farmers and ranchers and owner of a valuable estate in section 31, township. 21, range 33, Hooker county, and highly esteemed as a worthy citizen of his community.

     Mr. Gardner was born in Kalamazoo county, Michigan, in 1857. His parents were Americans of German descent and followed farming all their lives. Our subject was reared in his native county until he was fifteen years of age, then went into the lumber woods in northern Michigan and spent three winters employed in the lumber camps. In 1875 he emigrated to Iowa and secured employment with Chas. C. Orr & Co., in Sioux City, and remained there up to 1883, when he went to southeastern Kansas and spent about one year. He then went back to Sioux City and worked for his former employers, Orr & Company. In 1884 he came to Nebraska, landing in Valentine, and freighted from there to Gordon, finally settling on a farm eight miles northwest of that town. His first house was built of sods, and he began to farm. He soon became owner of several ox teams, with which he broke up a tract of land, and in due time proved up on his claim, then returned to Sioux City and remained for two years.

     Our subject first came to Hooker county in 1901, settling on a ranch situated twenty

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