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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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makes a specialty of fine cattle, and has some splendid specimens of the Hereford breed.

     On December 28, 1895, Mr. Olson was married to Miss Tillie Berg, in Laramie City, Wyoming. Of this union four children have been born, named as follows: Oscar Albin, Carl Lubbig, Gustaf Clarence and Annie Elizabeth. Mr. Olson's parents never left their native country, the father dying there in 1899, while the mother is still living. His wife's parents are both deceased. Mr. Olson is a Republican in politics; he was reared in the Lutheran church and affiliates with the Masonic order in Sidney.



     The gentleman above named is one of the progressive agriculturists of western Nebraska, a hard worker and makes a close study of the soils in this region, although his financial means have not permitted him to carry on the experiments which he feels would eventually prove beneficial to the entire western part of the state. Mr. Martens is held in the highest esteem by all who know him, and enjoys an enviable reputation as a man of superior intellect and ability.

     Wilhelm Martens was born in the town of Angern, Germany, in 1852. His father was a woodworker by trade, and lived and died in his native land. Our subject was reared and educated in the old country, receiving a better education than generally fell to the lot of the young German lads in those days, but he was a natural student and eager to absorb knowledge, and his parents were able to allow him to follow his natural inclinations. During his boyhood days he also learned the machinist's trade, and worked in machine shops in different large cities there. He remained in Germany up to 1881, constantly following his trade and keeping up his studies at the same time, and was married there in 1877 to Miss Anna Fehler, daughter of Wilhelm Fehler, a locksmith and manufacturer of weights and scales, also was employed by the German government as scale inspector or tester.

     In April of the year 1881, Mr. Martens left his native land and came to America with his family, locating in South Bend, Indiana, and there followed his trade for three months, then went to Chicago and lived there for two years. He next went to Denison, Iowa, and bought an unimproved farm, all wild prairie land, and began farming, continuing on this place for four years, then traded the farm for a wagon shop and blacksmith shop in Denison, removing into the town, and there worked as a woodworker, making wagons and all kinds of woodwork, also farm machinery. In 1888 he came to Dawes county, Nebraska, arriving here with very little money and nothing much to start with. He settled on a homestead in section 14, township 34, range 48, a tract of wild prairie land with no improvements. He, together with his wife and five small children, lived in a tent during the first year, then built a sod house and started to build up a home. He did well at fist but the dry years soon struck them and they were unable to raise any crops, and his wife sickened and died, leaving him almost discouraged. They went through many hardships and much privation, but still stuck to the place, and soon things changed for the better and he was able to get together quite a little property and improve his farm with good buildings, etc.

     Mr. Martens now owns a fine ranch of twenty-five hundred acres, with one hundred acres under cultivation and forty acres of fine alfalfa, the balance being in grass and pasture land. He has built about sixteen miles of fence, and has a good substantial house, built in 1897. This house is built of mud and stone for the walls, with sides and roof of tin cans which our subject picked up in the vicinity of his home, which are used almost as shingles would be on a roof, the whole house costing only about one hundred and fifty dollars to build. It is of commodious size, fourteen by twenty-six and fourteen by eighteen, and is a very comfortable dwelling. A picture of the family and residence will be found on another page.

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     Mr. Martens and his children, Minnie, Wilhelm, Annie, Louisa, Amanda, Ernest and Paul, are all well liked by their neighbors and associates, and enjoy a pleasant home. When Mrs. Martens died her last words to her husband were, "Take care of the children," and well has he fulfilled this charge, being both father and mother to his little ones, and as they grew up kept them all near him through times of trouble and suffering. Mr. Martens was married again in 1907 to Mrs. Elizabeth Strigl, of German stock, born in Nauenburg, Germany, and coming to America in 1883.

     In political views Mr. Martens is a Socialist, and takes a deep interest in all local and national politics. It was on account of his honesty to his political principles which caused him to leave Denison, Iowa, and come to Nebraska, as at that place his outspoken opinion regarding socialism and his loyalty to the cause of labor cost him his business and trade, and he was compelled to come to Dawes county a poor man, although he has never changed his mind about these matters.


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     In the person of the above mentioned gentleman we find one of the oldest settlers of Franklin county, recognized by all as a representative citizen of that locality who has seen the growth and progress of the region from its early settlement. Mr. Greenwood came to the county in 1871, and has been one of the foremost in aiding its development, commercially, educationally and socially. Mr. Greenwood is a native of Yorkshire, England, and came to America with his parents when but two years old, the family locating in the southwestern part of Wisconsin, where two sons still occupy the old homestead. Our subject grew up there and received a good education

     In 1869 he came to Nebraska, locating in Plattsmouth, where two companies were formed to locate town sites, Captain Murphy taking one company and starting Araphoe, in Furnas county. (See sketch of this gentleman on another page.) The other company came with Mr. Greenwood, nine in all, and located at Franklin. The party consisted of our subject: George Fairfield, surveyor; Bill Well, V. V. Leonard, A. M. Chase, Samuel Waugh, now of Lincoln; R. Baxter Wyndam, now an attorney of Plattsmouth; George Poisel, a teamster, and A. M. Weaver. The only homesteaders were V. V. Leonard and Mr. Greenwood, and the town was laid out on eighty acres. E. A. Kirkpatrick was one of the company, and he filed on the eighty, but the only one of this number who now resides in Franklin is our subject. He looked after the company's interests for a year, and in 1872 returned to Plattsmouth, coming back here later and engaging in the general merchandise business in partnership with George Buck. In 1872 George O' Bannon, a cowboy from Texas, started a grocery here, and our subject ran his store for four years, and after getting the county seat here the town boomed for a time. Then Bloomington got the county seat and Franklin property went down for a while. Mr. Greenwood and his partner moved their store to Bloomington, and in 1881 returned and reopened the business. The Congregational Academy had then been started here by Rev. E. S. Harrison, who now resides at York. This academy has been a great boon to Franklin, with its three large buildings, fine campus and large attendance of western Nebraska students. Through the influence of our subject, Mr. Buck and their associates, saloons have always been barred, and these gentleman have given largely of their time and property to the upbuilding on a temperance and educational basis of the town of Franklin. Mr. Buck now resides at Lincoln.

     Franklin has prospered ever since the academy has been located here, attracting a good class of residents who have built up substantial homes and business places and have taken a pride in beautifying the park, streets and their private grounds, so that they now have a pretty and growing town. In 1873 George O'Bannon, the cowboy, jumped the town site of eighty acres and held it, so Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Buck took up an adjoining eighty for the town and laid it out, giving land for park, schools and churches, and also gave lots free to actual settlers. Mr. Greenwood was married in 1874 to Miss Emma E. Buck, now deceased. His second wife was Ruth Kenyon. Mr. Greenwood has the following children: Jennie; Grace; Joseph K., taking a course in the law department of Grinnell College, Iowa, and J. A., now a student at the Franklin Academy, and an athlete of no mean reputation; Lucille and David R. Mr. Greenwood was elected county commissioner and served for several terms, and has also been village trustee.



     Martin J. Manion, a popular and highly esteemed citizen of Box Butte county, Nebraska, was born in Dublin, Parish Kilfinch, Ireland, in 1850. He is a son of William Manion, a native of Ireland, who came to America in 1840, landing in New York on August 15th of that year, and he married Mary Foley, also born and reared in Ireland. After reaching this land they settled in Illinois, where the father followed farming for many years. Our subject was reared in Ireland and lived there until he was thirty-eight years of age. In 1890 he started for America from his native shore and landed at New Orleans, and then came north to Omaha, where he remained for a time. He then came to Box Butte county, buying a relinquishment on section 1, township 27, range 48 and after filing on this property was in debt to quite an extent, but he began to open a farm, purchasing two plug teams on first landing here, and during the first six months lived in a tent until he could put up some sort of a dwelling place, then built a sod house and occupied that for a number of years. He witnessed the drouth (sic) periods, losing several crops, and for five years the only thing he raised was good crops of Russian thistles, also some good

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crops of potatoes. He was obliged to work out by the day and month a large portion of the time in order to make a living, hauling timber from Pine Ridge, camping out at night under his wagon, as did most of the travellers (sic) in those times, and often slept on the hard frozen ground wrapped in blankets, the snow many times covering the ground all around him. He made, in all, two hundred trips from the vicinity of his home and Pine Ridge. He did all kinds of hard work, breaking up land, etc., in order to make a little money, and all he received for a day's work was fifty cents, and was glad to get that. However, the better years soon came on and he was able to improve his farm, buying more land, and now owns a ranch of twelve hundred and eighty acres, running seventy horses and over two hundred cattle. He also devotes about two hundred acres to farming, and has his ranch all fenced, good buildings on it, etc.

     Mr. Manion was married in 1870 to Jennie O'Mara, daughter of Patrick and Ellen (Bowen) O'Mara, both born and reared in Ireland. Mr. and Mrs. Manion are the parents of six children, named as follows: Mayme, married, the wife of John Mahoney, of Nance county, Nebraska; William, Josephine, John, Thomas and Francis, who died in infancy. The family occupy a pleasant and comfortable home, and are highly esteemed by their neighbors and fellow citizens.

     Mr. Manion is a Democrat and stands firmly for his convictions. He takes a commendable interest in local affairs, and has held school offices for several years past, and is now road overseer.



     Among the younger members of the farming community of Phelps county, Nebraska, none are better known or command a higher place as a progressive farmer and worthy citizen than the gentleman above named. Mr. Youngquist has been identified with the agricultural interests for the past ten years, and deserves special mention for the success he has attained in building up his farm and home, which is located in Industry township

     Mr. Youngquist is a native of Sweden and came to America with his parents when an infant. He came to Phelps county with his father in 1880. The latter, John S. Youngquist, who took a homestead in Laird township, subsequently added to his holdings there until he was proprietor of four hundred and eighty acres in that locality. He was very successful at everything he undertook from the start, and is now living in Holdrege, retired from all active business. Prior to coming to Nebraska the family lived at Goodhue, Minnesota, but our subject states, that he would not at any price exchange his property here for land in that state. He has always had the greatest faith in the opportunities of this country, and has proved this to be well founded by his own success.

     Mr. Youngquist began on his present farm in 1898, and has been constantly adding to his acreage until he is now owner of a fine four-hundred-acre farm. Of this he has three hundred and fifty acres well tilled, and on this he raises fine crops each year. His corn crop in 1904 amounted to about seven thousand bushels, most of which is fed out on his farm, as he keeps about eighty to one hundred grade hogs and about the same number of cattle, with horses sufficient for his farm use. He has recently put up one of the finest farm residences to be found in this locality, and his farm is supplied with a complete set of substantial buildings and modern machinery with which to successfully operate it. He has accomplished all this in the past eighteen years through his own individual efforts and perseverance, which shows that Nebraska is the place for the industrious, wide-awake young farmer.

     Mr. Youngquist was married in 1893 to Miss Emily Johnson, of Holdrege. They have a family of four children: William, Edna, Harold and Ellen.

     Mr. Youngquist takes a commendable interest in all public affairs in his community. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church in his township, and a trustee of the same. He also is a member of the school board. In political faith hi is a Republican. Our subject has bought a residence and property in Loomis, where he intends to settle and make his home. He will still oversee the operating of his farm.



     Carson Hennings, a practical farmer and thorough ranchman of western Nebraska, owns a valuable property in section 17, township 26, range 50, Box Butte county, is an old settler in this region, who has always done his full share in local affairs tending to the bettering of conditions in his locality. Mr. Hennings' farm is a notable exception to most

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farms in that his crops nearly always show up as among the very finest in the county on account of the thorough cultivation of the ground and his strict attention to the details of his operations.

     Carson Hennings was born in Oldenburg, near Bremen, Germany, in 1859. His father, George Hennings, was a farmer, and our subject's boyhood was spent in assisting his parents in the work of carrying on the home farm, and attending the common schools where he received a thorough, old-fashioned training in the common branches of study, which stood him in good stead during his later years.

     In 1885 he left home and started for America, landing in Baltimore in that year, and he came directly west, stopping in Cincinnati, where he remained for one year working in a dairy near that city. He was not exactly satisfied with the country there, so decided to try his fortunes farther west, coming to Grand Island, Nebraska, and looking around for a place to settle. He travelled (sic) over Box Butte county in his search and finally took up a homestead on section 17, township 26, range 50, and also a tree claim in section 25, township 25, range 52. In 1888 he returned to Germany for a visit, and there was married to Miss Anna Wemken, a native of that country. They returned to America and located in Box Butte county, on section 17, township 26, range 50, and put up a sod shanty and began their home. His first team were oxen, and with these he broke land for a small crop. At the time the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was being built into Wyoming, and Mr. Hennings was employed by that company, and later when the Chicago & Northwestern people were building their road through this region he was one of those who helped put it through. For a time he was employed by the Homestake Mining Company, and in fact worked at anything he could find to do in order to get along and get started on his farm.

     During the years 1893, 1894, 1895, and 1896 the drouths (sic) worked havoc in his locality and he was unable to raise a decent crop. These failures were a severe setback to him, but as the years grew better he was able to add more land to his original farm and has built it up in fine shape, at the present time owning six hundred and forty acres, one hundred and thirty of which is devoted to diversified farming. He has good buildings and everything necessary for the proper operation of the farm, and also deals largely in stock, keeping about seventy-five head of cattle and has five horses for his farming purposes. He keeps about twenty-five cows for dairy purposes, which bring him in a snug income.

     Since locating here Mr. Hennings has been active in local and school affairs, has served on the school board for many years and is one of the leading public-spirited men of his section. He is a Republican but is not actively interested in politics, preferring to devote all of his time to his home and farm.

     Mr. and Mrs. Hennings are the parents of six children, namely: Lena, Anna, John, Henry, Carl and George. The family is held in high esteem as good citizens and kind neighbors.



     Nelson S. Rowley, one of the prominent residents of Cherry county, Nebraska, is a very well known and highly esteemed member of this part of the state. He was born December 28, 1861, on a farm near Toronto, Canada, whither the family had moved from the states. His father, John Rowley, was a farmer of Yankee descent, and his mother was Miss Emily Goldsmith, both natives of the state of New York.

     Our subject is one of a family of eleven, he being the sixth child. About 1865 his parents moved back to New York state, and some three years later went to Shiawasse and Clinton counties, Michigan, where they lived until Nelson was fifteen, at which time his father died. Then the mother and younger children came to Nebraska in 1877, locating at North Platte, where our subject began life as a cowboy, in this manner helping to support the family.

     In the fall of 1880 he saw what is now Cherry county, but at that time was a part of Sioux county. As a young man Mr. Rowley rode over all the territory in this part of the state, many times being compelled to camp out, thus becoming familiar with Cherry county from one end to the other. In 1885 he filed preemption on section 30, township 30, range 31, his present residence and has since followed the occupation of a rancher. In 1893 he filed under the homestead act on section 31, on which he lived five years and then moved back to his present home. In the summer of 1887 he grew lonesome for a touch of wild life again and started with his brother for the "old outfit." Going by rail to Rapid City, thence by stage to Spearfish, Mr. Rowley, accompanied by his brother, walked thence ninety miles through flooded streams and wet

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