educated in Missouri, attending the common schools. At the age of twenty-one he went to Mills county, Iowa, where he worked out on farms for two years, and on May 15, 1884, came to Nebraska and settled on his farm in what is now section 8, township 31, range 51, Dawes county. His first house here was a rude dugout so familiar to pioneers of those days, in which he "batched it" for several years. The country was then in a wild state, wild beasts roaming through the regions, and often he heard the coyotes howl through the lonely nights when he lived alone in his dugout. He had all the experiences of the pioneer, handling ox teams and freighting, while proving up on his farm and striving hard to win a home. He was in the ranching and farming business from the first, and made money, adding constantly to his acreage, and in 1907 when he sold out his farm, he was owner of eight hundred and eighty acres, of which over two hundred were cultivated and raising good crops. He had built a good house, barns and other farm buildings, corrals, planted trees, built fences, and had one of the best improved places in his locality. When he came here he teamed from Sidney to Valentine, camping out nights on the journey, and for a time after locating lived in a tent on his farm, and also used a covered wagon as a dwelling place.
On account of his ill health Mr. Akes was obliged to sell his ranch and moved to Crawford in March, 1907. Several years ago he was struck by lightning while working with a two-horse team hitched to a mower and the horses were instantly killed, while the shock injured his health for the remainder of his life.
In 1890 Mr. Akes was united in marriage to Miss Iva J. Barnes. She is a daughter of William G. Barnes, a well known sawmill and lumberman.
He is a Democrat.
WILLIAM L. HOYT
William Hoyt, one of the extensive ranchers of Sioux county, Nebraska, resides in section 17, township 31, range 57, and has been associated with the agricultural interests of the locality for the past twenty-one years. He is a gentlemen of untiring energy and perseverance, and his character and reputation are beyond question.
Mr. Hoyt was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1863. His father, Jacob N. Hoyt, was of American stock, and carried on a paper manufacturing business in the city of Cleveland for many years. The father married Mary Lattimer, who was born and reared in Delaware, Ohio, and also of American blood, and she died when our subject was three years old. Jacob N. Hoyt was born December 15, 1831, and his family was of English descent, and were early pioneers of the New England states, settling in Concord, New Hampshire. Jacob N. Hoyt was one of the early residents of Cleveland, going there in 1853, and was employed in the Cleveland postoffice as clerk for ten years. He was prominent in politics in that state, and was a prominent member of the Knights Templar and of the Masonic lodge. In the year 1865 he went into the paper manufacturing business and continued in that business until 1869, when he moved to Illinois. He located on a farm in Macon county, remaining there for fifteen years, then went west to Kane county, Illinois, where he was engaged in dairying and farming until his death, which occurred in May, 1907, Ed and Walter, our subject's younger brothers, falling heirs to the home property, where they still live.
In 1884 our subject struck out for himself, emigrating west, and located near Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he worked as cowboy on a large ranch, and there led a typical frontiersman's career, spending a large portion of his time on the plains, camping out wherever he happened to stop and was all over the country on horseback, often encountering many dangers such as are common to one following that mode of life. For a long time he was employed by R. S. Van Tassel, starting to work for that gentleman shortly after coming west, and it was while in his employ that he chose his location for himself.
In 1888 Mr. Hoyt filed on a pre-emption claim in this territory, still continuing his work on the range, dividing his time between the two, spending his summers on the ranch and the winters on his claim. He proved up on the land and managed to get along pretty well, in 1891-'92 starting in the livery business in Harrison, where he remained for about two years. Previous to this he had taken a tree claim and opened up a ranch of his own, got together a nice bunch of cattle, and constantly increased his herd, and in 1896 purchased additional land, which forms a part of his present ranch. He now owns twenty-one hundred and sixty acres, all deeded land, and controls in all eleven hundred and twenty acres of leased land. His ranch is beautifully situated on Running creek, close to Coffee Siding, and all of it is fenced and has good buildings, including comfortable house, large barns, sheds, corrals, etc. Mr. Hoyt is engaged exclusively in cattle and horse raising and has met with splendid success. He raises considerable hay and
has one hundred and seventy acres of finely irrigated hay land.
Our subject is a thorough business man and a representative westerner, having seen as much of the ranching business as any one in this region. He likes to recall the time when he rode the plains and still has his old saddle in which he rode for twenty years, and figures that he has traveled in that length of time over one hundred thousand miles. Mr. Hoyt is among the well-to-do men of his locality, and besides his fine farm and ranch land is owner of two residence properties in Harrison.
Mr. Hoyt was married in 1896 to Miss Rosa DeBock, daughter of Leopold M. and Nettie (Coonan) DeBock, whose sketch appears in this volume. He is one of the pioneers of this region, well and favorably known, and Mrs. Hoyt grew up in Nebraska. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt, Edith, born January 17, 1900, in Sioux county.
WILLIAM A. WILSON, DECEASED
William a. Wilson, deceased, was for many years prior to his demise, a leading agriculturist and ranchman of Cherry county, Nebraska. He became widely known as a man of large intellectual ability, and his name will be long remembered as one of the strong and capable settlers of western Nebraska.
Mr. Wilson was born in Hannibal, New York, February 2, 1863. His father, James G. Wilson, was a farmer by occupation, born of Irish-American stock, and his mother, Phoebe A. Perkins, of an old Vermont family. Our subject grew up in his native state, and at the age of twenty years came west and settled in Cherry county, Nebraska, taking up a homestead in the German precinct. There he lived in an old sod shanty, where he "batched it" for a short time. When he first came to this region he rode here from Antelope county, and this was a hard and dangerous journey in those days, as the country was very thinly settled and the Indians roamed at will all over this section. He began by building up his farm at once and spent many years on it. He had all the experiences of a pioneer life, went through the drouth (sic) periods and met severe losses and discouragements, but stuck bravely to his post and proved up on his homestead and pre-emption, principally engaged in stock raising during later years. He constantly added to his possessions until he owned a fine ranch of three hundred and twenty acres, all well improved, with one hundred and twenty acres cultivated, on which banner crops are raised. In 1898 he left the farm and moved to Georgia, purchasing a house and five lots, besides an eighty-seven-acre tract on which he built a good house and barn, still running the ranch, and engaged in stock buying up to time of death, which occurred June 28, 1903. Mrs. Wilson has filed on a five hundred and twenty-acre Kincaid homestead in sections 19 and 20, township 34, range 30.
Mr. Wilson was married in
Hannibal, New York, December 16, 1884, to Miss Nina V. Henthorn,
born in Sterling, Cayuga county, New York, a daughter of William
and Mary (Doyle) Henthorn, the former a native of Ireland, the
latter of Oswego county, New York. Five children were born to Mr.
and Mrs. Wilson, named as follows: Carrie, a teacher of Cherry
county, born November 21, 1885; Seward, a graduate of the Nebraska
Normal College at Wayne, born November 10, 1889; Vera, born
October 31, 1892; Hazel, born December 21, 1899, and Cyrenius,
born November 9, 1902. When Mr. Wilson brought his bride to
Nebraska buffalo trails and wallows were plainly to be seen, while
antelope, coyotes, swifts and prairie chickens were plentiful. A
view of the residence of Mrs. Wilson is shown on another page in
Harry Findley, residing in Alma township, Harlan county, is a well known pioneer of western Nebraska, coming to Adams county with his parents when a mere infant. He was born in Wapello county, Iowa, in 1873, his father settling on a homestead in Juniata township, Adams county, twelve miles west of Hastings, where the family lived up to 1885, when the father, Frank Findley, died at the age of fifty-two years. The mother still makes her home with our subject, who is the youngest of a family of nine children. The father owned two hundred and forty acres of good land in Adams county. He was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, and was left an orphan when a babe. Our subject's moth-
er's people are from Germany, and on his father's side from Scotland.
In 1903 Mr. Findley bought the farm on which he now lives and erected a good residence and farm buildings. He has built up this farm and home, putting many improvements on the place, and has since been engaged in mixed farming. He raises thoroughbred red hogs, keeping about one hundred and fifty on hand all the time, and sells these at private sale in this and other counties. He has had excellent success in this line of work, his herd being headed by strains of Improver Juniors and Second, also Gold Dust, which are the best animals to be found anywhere. He keeps about fifty graded cattle, and is constantly improving his herd, but gives most of his time and attention to the proper care of his herd of Duroc Jersey hogs, which are his especial pride. His sales are attended by breeders and farmers from all over this section of the state, and he obtains A1 prices for his stock.
Mr. Findley was married in 1899 to Miss Estella Robinson, daughter of George W. Robinson, of Tekemah, Nebraska, who is an old settler in that locality. Mrs. Findley's mother died when she was a babe. Our subject has no children. A brother of Mr. Findley, Robert, lives in Omaha, and is engaged in the restaurant business. One sister, Mrs. Clare Robinson, also resides there, and another, Mrs. Lizzie Willis, wife of Lee Willis, lives in Alma township, this county. The third sister, Mrs. Lina Bowers, lives in Adams county. Mr. Findley has always been a Republican.
One of the best known of the old-timers of Cherry county is Jacob Martin, familiarly known as "Jake," who settled in this locality when it was practically a wilderness. He now resides on the southeast quarter of section 23, township 34, range 28.
Mr. Martin was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, July 22, 1859, where his father, Jacob Martin, Sr., was a farmer of Dutch extraction, whose parents were born in Holland, coming to this country early in life. Our subject, whose mother was Mary Butterbaugh Martin, is the fourth in a family of nine children, all reared in Pennsylvania, where he grew up accustomed to all kinds of hard farm work. At the age of twenty-one he left his parents' home and came west to Lanark, Carroll county, Illinois, working for two years on farms in that locality. He then came on to Valentine, Nebraska, which was then a wild and lawless western town, arriving there at daybreak, May 7, 1883, just in time to see a band of cowboys shooting up the signs on the streets, which spectacle was something entirely new to eastern eyes. Had he not spent nearly all his money in coming he would have boarded the next train for the east. He filed on a claim May 8, on the place he now occupies, putting up a rude shanty, seven by twelve, of second-hand boards, roughly made and without any floor or windows, lighted, through, by the cracks between the boards. Soon after he built a better house of pine poles, which served as a residence for a number of years. Having no money, he exchanged labor for the use of a team to haul the poles and help to erect them. For some time he worked as a butcher, and was also employed by the government, freighting with ox teams, going through a regular pioneer existence, but withal succeeding very well at it. He at one time owned ten yoke of oxen and a carload of cattle, but the Texas fever broke out in his herd, killing all but one steer and two calves, and he was obliged to start afresh. Hiring out as a cook, he served at a government camp on Big White river in the Rosebud reservation. Here he saved his money and bought more cattle, again losing twenty-four head in a severe snowstorm, which left him only about ten head. In all he has lost one hundred and seventy-three head of cattle since coming to this state. However, he had plenty of grit and never gave up courage, but moved to Cherry county and started in the merry-go-round business, this venture also proving disastrous, his loss here footing up about thirteen hundred dollars. During 1890 and 1891 he worked in the Rocky mountains, then returned to Pennsylvania, where he worked in the mills for seven years. In the fall of 1899* he went to Yakima county, Washington, for two months and then found work in Seattle working on the street car line and at a sawmill planing the lumber for building the bridge streets of that place. From there he went to Vancouver by boat and at Calgary, Alberta, invested in railroad land, which he sold two years afterward, doubling his money. In 1890* he returned to this county, but being unable to sell out his homestead decided to remain and went to work improving and increasing his property. His farm now comprises twelve hundred acres, with two hundred acres under cultivation, all fenced, with good substantial farm buildings covering two acres of ground, four of these buildings being built entirely of cement and stone and all of his own construction. He has spent over a thousand dollars for water supply, drilling
* Dates with the asterisks are typed as they are in the original book. Interpretations is left to descendants.
wells to the depth of two hundred and twenty-five feet.
Mr. Martin tells many interesting experiences connected with the development of this county, one of which was when he returned to his cabin to find it in possession of two families, who could find no place else for shelter and took possession of his house. He had been away for ten days buying cattle at Norfolk and finding the house occupied shared it with his new neighbors until they could erect cabins for themselves.
Mr. Martin was married to Miss
Eva Chaufty, October 23d, 1894. Her father, Henry Chaufty, an old
settler of Cherry county, came from New York state, where he was
born. He is now a resident of Oklahoma. The mother was Miss Effie
Huntington. Mr. and Mrs. Martin are the parents of one daughter,
Effie. Mr. Martin is a public spirited citizen, takes a keen
interest in all the affairs of the county and state, having held
local office at different times. He is an Independent voter. Moth
Mr. and Mrs. Martin are members of the Dunkard church. The
hardships through which Mr. Martin has passed seem almost
inconceivable. On one of his freighting trips in the Black Hills
he endured three days without food, at one time slept for a week
in water several inches deep. In 1899 his feet were crushed by a
heavily laden wagon passing over them, from the effect of which he
is suffering a partial paralysis, though now slowly recovering.
Mr. and Mrs. Martin have travelled (sic) extensively, going in
their travels as far as California and Oklahoma. On another page
in this work will be found a view of the residence, with portraits
of Mr. and Mrs. Martin.
Samuel Piersall, whose name will be readily recalled by all familiar with the farming population around Ainsworth, is one of the prominent and successful agriculturists of Brown county, Nebraska.
Mr. Piersall was born on a farm near Pontiac, Michigan, May 22d, 1853. His father Thomas Piersall, was a mechanic of English and Dutch descent, born in New York state. Our subject was reared and educated in the state of Michigan, supporting himself from the time he was nine years old, by working at anything he could find to do. He spent several years in the lumber woods in that state, rafted on the rivers there, and followed a lumberman's life for eighteen years, from the cutting of the trees until the logs were sawed into lumber.
In 1886 he came to Brown county, and took a homestead in southeast quarter section 9, township 30, range 22, proved up on this claim and lived here for two and a half years. His first building was a shanty made of logs. After leaving this place he moved five miles northeast of Johnstown, remaining there for six years. In the spring of 1894 he settled on a farm in section 19, township 31, range 21. There he went through many hard times during the dry years. He stayed on this place for twelve years, and raised only six crops off the land during all that time. July 4th, 1897, when everything gave promise of a bountiful harvest, the worst hail storm ever known here, beat everything into the ground. Again, in 1898, when prospects for a good crop were the finest, a similar storm struck the vicinity and laid everything low. However, he persevered and stuck to his farm until March, 1906, when he moved to his present location. This place comprises one hundred and seventy-nine acres all in one piece, and two hundred and forty acres of leased land located east of the line, besides one hundred and sixty acres of fine hay land, also held under lease. Although he suffered heavy losses at different times during the bad years, the whole family worked industriously, and by their united efforts were able to make a good living, never wanting for the necessary comforts of life as other families did. Mr. Piersall tells of an experience in which he saved the life of John Anderson, living five miles northeast of Johnstown. The latter was engaged in sinking a well and was on a platform down in the earth some sixty feet from the surface, and over a hundred from the bottom of the well when the curbing gave way and the ground caved in on him. Mr. Piersall was at work near by, and he saw the trouble and hastened to his assistance. Others came to help in the work of rescue, and after several days of constant effort to extricate Mr. Anderson from his precarious condition, they received answers to their signals made by pounding, which showed them that he was still alive. The digging was continued with renewed vigor, and in about nine days he was rescued, not much worse for his incarceration, except weak from lack of food and sufficient air. The only thing that saved him was the fact that the curbing and staging in the well had supported the dirt so that he was not crushed and smothered by its falling on him, However, it was a terrible experience, and during all this time Mr. Piersall was unable to sleep nights, and had it not been for him Mr. Anderson would never have been taken out alive.
On June 18, 1876, Mr. Piersall was married to Miss Emalora Westover, born in Canada, a daughter of James E. and Emaline (Barnes) Westover. They have a family of twelve children, named as follows: William S., George F., Edith L., Myrtle B., Amos Dale, Emiline P., Earl, Ray, Charles E., Hazel L., Walter D. and Vera Alberta.
Mr. Piersall is now situated so that he can enjoy the fruits of his hard labor, and is well and favorably known all over the community in which he resides. He is an adherent of the People's party, a member of the Methodist church and affiliates with the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Ainsworth.
Ole Olson, residing in township 21, range 15, Garfield county, is proprietor of a well developed and valuable farm in section 12, which he has operated successfully for the past twenty years. He is one of the well-to-do residents of his locality, and is held in the highest esteem by all who know of him.
Mr. Olson is a native of Sweden, born in 1847. He was raised and educated in his native land. He remained with his parents until he reached the age of eighteen or twenty years, then left home and struck out for himself, coming to America in 1867. In 1889 he came to Nebraska and took up a pre-emption of one hundred and sixty acres on which he proved up, later homesteading one hundred and sixty acres more in the same locality. He worked faithfully, and though often meeting with discouragements, sometimes having partial failure of crops, did not give up hope and kept on building up his farm and adding improvements as he was able, and also succeeded in putting some money away for a rainy day. He has a large portion of his farm under cultivation, growing oats, corn and other small grains, also raises some stock and marketing several carloads of hogs each year, which net him a nice sum. He is engaged to quite an extent in dairying, keeping a large herd of cows for that purpose, and also raises milch (sic) cows for market. His place is well supplied with water for his stock and household use, all of which is obtained from a deep bored well, pumped by wind mills into large supply tanks placed at different points on his farm.
Mr. Olson was married in 1871 to Miss Frances Russell. Mrs. Olson was born and raised in Illinois, and came to Nebraska in 1889, where she met and married Mr. Olson. One child has been born of this marriage, Lillie, now aged twenty-six years.
Our subject is a Republican, but has never aspired to office, although he takes an active interest in local affairs which tend to improve conditions in his locality, and is always ready and willing to do his full share in aiding any movement to that end.
C. E. MAGNUSON
Among the enterprising and prominent business men of Phelps county, Nebraska, none is better known or more universally esteemed and respected than the subject of this review. He is located at Loomis, and is one of the leading citizens of that place.
Mr. Magnuson is a native of Sweden, born in 1863. Mr. Magnuson's father, Carl J., was born in Kalmare Lan, Smoland, Sweden, in 1829, and came to American shores in 1865, locating on a farm in the above county, where he officiated as a minister of the Swedish Mission church. A large number of that congregation having settled in Phelps county, they sent for him to come to them, which he did, preaching for several years. From his boyhood our subject worked on his father's farm up until 1892. He was the only child of his parents, and the family came to Nebraska in 1879, his father homesteading one hundred and sixty acres in Laird township. He accumulated a large property, and at the present time is owner of five hundred and sixty acres of land in Phelps county. He resides in Loomis, retired from all active business interests.
Mr. Magnuson started in business in Loomis district in 1892. He, in partnership with C. L. Grandlund, opened a general merchandise establishment in a large brick store built by the former's father, Rev. C. J. Magnuson. Loomis district is one of the best and richest farming communities in western Nebraska. In 1898 Mr. Grandlund retired from the business on being elected treasurer of Phelps county. (A sketch of Mr. Grandlund appears in this book on another page.) Since then Mr. Magnuson has carried on the business alone, which has grown and developed from the beginning until it is now one of the leading general stores in Phelps county.
In 1892 Mr. Magnuson was married to Miss Emma Julia Burgland, of Kirkwood, Illinois. They have three children, named as follows: Verne, now attending the leading school in the city of Holdrege; DeEtte and Gladys, at school here at home. Mrs. Magnuson is of great assistance to her husband in his rapidly increasing business, taking full charge of the books of the establishment, besides attending to her home duties. She taught school six
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