and remained on it four years. In the latter part of 1883 he
came to Cherry county, locating sixteen miles southeast of Gordon
on a homestead, holding this tract of land for several years. In
making his start here he was compelled to sell one horse to buy
the relinquishment on pre-emption land and later sold the other
one, and with this money he bought six heifers, and this was his
start in the cattle business. Since then he has done exceedingly
well, in 1896 purchasing his present home of nine hundred and
sixty acres, four hundred and eighty acres being a Kincaid
homestead, besides operating a tract of leased land. He always has
about five hundred cattle and twenty-five horses on the range.
When he came to this country he was obliged to walk to Valentine
and back again, there being no railroad through here at that time.
There were no settlers on the Niobrara river and he had no
neighbors, this part of the county then being almost a wilderness.
Soon after this the dry years struck the locality and he lost all
his crops, and in addition to this one of his horses was stolen
which he later recovered east of Valentine. After these years he
met with success in his work, his crops brought good returns, and
he now has a well improved ranch, all fenced, and he has erected a
fine two-story house costing three thousand dollars, and is proud
of the fact that he has the finest hay meadow in this locality,
extending two and a half miles along Bear creek. His place is
fitted with all the machinery necessary for his ranch operations,
and he is a thorough and systematic ranchmen, owning a very
valuable estate. A fine view of the residence will be found
elsewhere in this book.
In political faith Mr. Fairhead is a Republican, and although he takes no active part in county affairs, he is wide-awake and keeps abreast of the times in all matters of public interest. The family are members of the Methodist church.
Joseph Fickel, one of the prosperous farmers of Sheridan county, Nebraska, has resided on his well improved estate in section 23, township 34, range 41, for the past twenty-two years. and is well and favorably known all over this section of the country.
Mr. Fickel was born in Putnam county, Ohio, in 1859. He is a son of Eli Fickel, also a native of Ohio, and a farmer by occupation, who, with his wife and family of ten children, moved to Iowa, where our subject was raised on a farm, working with his father until he was twenty-six years of age, and then struck out for himself. In 1885 he left home and came to Sheridan county with three other young men, and located on the place where he now lives, he being the only one to settle permanently in this locality. When he first came here he drove through from Valentine to his homestead, and at that time there were very few settlers around here, the nearest neighbors living four miles away. He "batched it" for nearly fifteen years, and was so busy in building up and improving his place that he never felt lonesome or homesick. He had brought three horses with him and a supply of feed, and started to farming at once. He had good crops for several years, and was just getting nicely started when the dry years struck him. He could not raise anything, so quit farming and started in the stock business, and had such good success that he has continued in it since then. He has accumulated a nice property, constantly adding to his farm until he now owns one thousand seven hundred and sixty acres of land. He and his brother together own nineteen quarter sections, part farming and part pasture land, but do not cultivate very much of it, preferring to devote the time and attention to stock raising. Our subject has acquired all of his property through hard and persistent labor, and by buying when the land was cheap. It is now worth a good round sum, but he would not care to sell, as he is perfectly contented in this locality. He has seen his share of hard times since coming here, and would not care to go through a pioneer existence again, but feels that he did right in coming here, as he could not have gotten together as much property in Iowa as he has here, and when he lived in Iowa he was made aware of the fact that it was the land owner who made the money, so he decided to go into a country where he could get free land and grow up with the country.
Mr. Fickel was married in 1899 to Miss Esther Nelson, a native of Denmark, who came to America with her parents when but five years old. Her father, Hans Nelson, located in Sheridan county on a homestead in 1885, and is still living in Sheridan county. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Fickel, namely Martha and Dorothy, both born and raised in this locality.
Mr. Fickel is an independent voter, but leans toward the Democratic party.
Victor C. Carlson, who occupies a prominent place among the younger members of the farming community of Phelps county, Nebraska, is proprietor of a valuable estate in Sheridan township. He has spent his entire career as a farmer in this state, and is a citizen of worth who commands the esteem of all with whom he has to do.
Mr. Carlson was born in Henry county, Illinois, in 1867. He is a son of C. J. Carlson, who, at the age of sixty-seven years, is still residing on his five hundred and eighty-acre farm three miles north of the town of Holdrege, which adjoins his son's farm. The father came to America from Smoland, Sweden, in 1864, and settled in Henry county, Illinois, where he farmed successfully up to the time he came to Phelps county, in 1880, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres. He afterwards sold this place and bought one hundred and sixty acres where he now lives, which he has improved with good buildings - house, barns, etc., and has added to his original holdings until he has a farm of five hundred and sixty acres, all Al land, which he, together with the help of his sons, still operate. He is a member and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal church of Holdrege, and is held in the highest esteem by all who know him. When our subject reached his majority he went to Colorado and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres, remaining there until 1894, when he sold this place and returned to Phelps county, purchasing the farm where he now lives consisting then of eighty acres. He erected a good house and barn, and has steadily improved the place, adding to the acreage until he now owns four hundred acres of good farming land. His only brother, Fred B. Carlson, assists his father in the operation of the latter's farm. Our subject and brother also own seven hundred and twenty acres jointly in Cottonwood township, which is used for pasture land, and this they intend to convert into an alfalfa ranch at an early date. He also owns six hundred and forty acres of land across the road from this seven hundred and twenty acres. Our subject engages largely in stock raising, and has from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and forty Shorthorn cattle, and one hundred and ten pure bred Poland China bogs. He keeps a sufficient number of horses for farming purposes and also breeds horses and mules for the market. His brother, Fred, farms on a large scale with his father, and in 1905 harvested a crop of two hundred and twenty- five acres of corn, seventy-five of wheat, and thirty of oats. For the year 1906 our subject put in three hundred and forty-five acres of wheat, and reaped a banner crop, and also had one hundred and fifty-five acres of corn in that same year. He has unlimited faith in the future of Nebraska farming and stock raising, and thinks this is the best country on earth for this purpose.
In 1893 Mr. Carlson was married at Akron, Colorado, to Miss Laura A. Anderson, daughter of Andrew M. Anderson. Five children have been born to them, who are named as follows: Lawrence, Warren, Wesley, Vernon and Vincent.
Mr. Carlson takes a commendable interest in local affairs, and was school director of district No. 20. In politics he is an independent voter.
Henry Warneke, a very successful and forehanded ranchman of Bowen precinct, has been a resident of Sioux county since its organization, having voted at the time the county was formed and has helped considerably to bring about the present prosperity of the region.
Mr. Warneke is a native of Germany, born in Hanover in 1837. His father, August, was a farmer and came to this country with his family in 1872, and is now living in Iowa, near Kingsley, Plymouth county. After landing in America Mr. Warneke came directly west, locating in Wisconsin, where he remained for eight years, then came to Sachs, Iowa. He started for himself in Iowa, at first engaging in the meat business at Odebolt, Iowa, following that line for some time, then bought cattle and grain at Odebolt, remaining in that part of the country up to 1886. In the fall of 1886 he came to Harrison, Nebraska, and opened a general mercantile store, his wife being the third white woman to settle in that place. He run that business for two years and did very well, then took up land and established the "Warneke Ranch," which is situated on Running Water creek at the head of the Niobrara river, southwest of Harrison, and close to the Wyoming line. At the time he went on this ranch it was entirely unimproved land, and he was obliged to start at the beginning, putting up buildings, fencing it, etc., and spent considerable money on it in getting it fitted up right. The ranch now contains three thousand acres, which extends for four miles along the river bank and is splendidly located for ranching purposes. He has put in two irrigation ditches, and has about four hundred acres of hay land under irrigation, also some cultivated.
The place is all fenced, and has a handsome residence which he built at an expense of three thousand dollars. This dwelling is fitted with all modern improvements and is one of the most imposing buildings in the county.
Mr. Warneke keeps about six hundred head of cattle, all of the Hereford breed. He has a large number of trees on the place, many of which he planted himself, and the ranch shows every indication of the best management and attention to details, presenting to the chance traveler through this section a most pleasing picture of rural comfort and elegance.
Mr. Warneke was married in Iowa in 1881, to Hannah Kellmer, whose parents settled in Iowa as pioneers, both having been born in Schleswig, Holstein, Germany. To them have been born the following children, namely: Mildred, employed as a stenographer in the county clerk's office at Harrison; Edna, married and living in Chicago, and Mabel, occupying a position as clerk in Omaha. Mr. Warneke is a Republican, and stands firmly for his convictions.
Mr. Crane, was born in Sandusky county, Ohio, on a farm, in 1866. His parents were of American stock, and his father's father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, being a musician and was killed in battle. The mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Hawk, raised her family of four children, and after her husband's death, left the east and moved to Iowa, settling in the western part of Audubon county, in 1871, locating near Council Bluffs. As a boy, Leslie worked hard, doing a man's work on a farm when little more than a child, also attending the district schools during the winter seasons. In 1886 he left Iowa and emigrated further west, locating finally in Wyoming for one year, then he went to Leadville, Colorado, where he spent a while.
Mr. Crane first came to Nebraska in 1887, and landed in Sioux county in the spring of that year, locating in the Hat Creek basin, filing on a pre-emption. He made that place his home for about ten years, during that time improving the farm and working out by the day and month to make a living and keep up his expenses on his pre-emption. Part of this time he worked as a ranchman, cowboy, and anything he could get to do, and many nights were spent out of doors, sleeping on the ground exposed to the inclement weather with no sort of a covering to protect him from the elements. For weeks at a time he did not know what it was to sleep in a bed or under a sheltering roof. He was obliged to travel over the region on horseback, making trips through Wyoming and into the Big Horn basin. One year was spent at Harrison, where he worked at general work, and went back and forth to his home to see after his cattle. In 1898 Mr. Crane located on his present ranch, and at the same time he took up an additional Kincaid homestead in sections 27, 33, and 34, in township 33, range 57. He has added to his possessions, improved the whole place, at the present time owning in all six hundred and forty acres of good farm and ranch land. Mr. Crane has quite a herd of cattle and horses and makes a snug sum each year by marketing several carloads of his stock, mostly horses. During the summer of 1906 our subject was hailed out, losing all his crops, which was a severe loss to him, although it was the only time he had a complete failure from any cause whatever, since coming to this region.
In 1891 Mr. Crane was united in marriage to Emma Sherrell. They have one child, Ellen, born the 24th of July, 1893.
Mr. Crane is active in local and county affairs, and votes the Independent ticket, always trying to elect the best man on the ticket.
Mr. Bush was born in the village of Reichebach, province of Darmstadt, Germany, April 18, 1856, where his parents, Henry and Gretchen (Goetz) Bush, were engaged in farming. He was bred to that career himself, but early in life learned the shoemaker's trade, which he followed for a number of years, working at that industry in Switzerland, France, Holland and England. In the last named country he was employed in the city of London, and became quite familiar
with the great metropolis of the world. On the twenty-first day of May, 1881, he sailed from London in the steamship Canada, and after a voyage of fourteen days landed in the city of New York, where for the first time his feet pressed American soil. It seemed to him that he would do well to see what he could of this new world before settling down to make any portion of it his abiding place, so accordingly he traveled much, and followed several kinds of labor before we find him in Cherry county. He was a gardener on the Hudson river, and a farm laborer in the state sixty miles northwest of the city. He worked at Pittsburg, Chicago, St. Louis and New Orleans, largely following his trade, and for some three years in Peoria, part of the time at 512 North Adams street. He followed shoemaking in Kansas, at Anthony, for a time, and on the 5th of May, 1888, came into Cherry county, bringing his wife, Mary (Baker) Bush, to whom he had been married in March of the previous year. Her father, Henry Baker, was of German blood. She was born at Cologne in the Rhine province. They sailed from Hamburg on the steamer Neckar, landing in New York where they lived some years. The mother died in Germany.
Mr. and Mrs. Bush have reared seven children: Frank, Albert, Elizabeth, Julius, Mary, George and Charles.
Mr. and Mrs. Bush made their first settlement some fifty miles southwest of Valentine, where he secured a pre-emption claim on Bordman creek, making his home for a time in a sod house, and carrying on his farming operations with oxen. Mr. Bush soon built a considerable log house, which the young couple furnished suitably for the times, and prepared to enjoy their home. Their dreams, however, were shattered by the disaster of a fire which consumed the house and all its furniture, leaving them nothing but the clothes upon their backs, whereupon Mr. Bush disposed of his interests at that point, and settled on a homestead entry, where we find him at this writing. He began with one hundred and twenty acres, which his industry and hard work have since increased to a full section of choice land. Here his handsome grout house, built with his own hands, faces the Niobrara river, and the entire ranch shows the management of a successful farmer, a man not afraid of hard work and familiar with the best methods of modern tillage of the soil. He has a fine orchard, devotes part of his land to market gardening, and runs a dairy of fifteen to twenty cows.
Mr. Bush is highly respected and
trusted and for a year was mail carrier on the route between
Valentine and Chesterfield postoffice. He has at times served his
county as judge of elections. He is a member of the Valentine Camp
No. 1757, Modern Woodmen of America. On another page will be found
a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Bush, together with the residence.
and Mrs. Taylor have a family of four children, who are named as follows: George, Frank, Eliza, wife of Frank Stevenson, and Charlie. The family is well known in the community in which they reside, and is highly respected.
Mr. Taylor is a man of energetic character, and classed among the leading men in this part of the county. In political faith he is a staunch Democrat. Mrs. Taylor is a member of the Baptist church.
Mr. Fecht was born in the village of Wiesens, near Aurich, province of Hanover, Germany, on March 5, 1862, receiving a common school education, following farm work as a boy. There were five children in his father's family, and he was the fourth in order of birth. Both parents, Albert and Tatje (Huls) Fecht, spent their entire lives in Germany, and the children are now scattered in different parts of the country, our subject coming to America at the age of seventeen, sailing from Bremen Haven March 2d, on the Maine, since wrecked, and after a voyage of eleven days, landed in New York, with barely enough money to pay his way to Golden, Adams county, Illinois, where he joined a cousin, Herman Miller, who was living there. He immediately went to work to make his own way in the world, taking anything he could find to do. Later, he made his way to Hancock county, where, after two years at farm labor, he rented land, which he cultivated for about seven years. In the spring of 1888 he came to Cheyenne county and filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, in section 2, township 16, range 48, on which he made final proof and received a patent from the government. Although he has seen some hard times during the bad years, and often found it difficult to make a living, he persevered, and gradually improved his place, putting up good buildings, fenced his land, and worked into the stock raising as he became more prosperous; he now owns one thousand two hundred and eighty acres of deeded land besides controlling under lease six hundred and forty acres of school land. He has about two hundred acres under cultivation and raises good crops of corn and small grain. He also has plenty of hayland and pasture for his stock, running one hundred and fifty head of cattle and twenty horses. Mr. Fecht was married in the Lutheran church at Wyerts, Nebraska, September 26, 1889, to Miss Martha S. German, who was born in Illinois and came to Nebraska with her parents, Charles and Sophia German, who were early settlers in the region; the mother is now residing at Jacksonville, Illinois. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Fecht, all of whom are living at home, named as follows: Henriette J. M., Anna H., Albert C., Viola E .L., and Arthur H.
The family has a fine six-room, two-story residence, with excellent barns and out buildings. They enjoy all the comforts of ranch life, and are among the leaders in neighborhood affairs, well liked by all. Mr. Fecht takes an active interest in all matters relating to state and local politics, and has served in different capacities on the township board. He is moderator of school district No. 54. Politically he is a Republican. The family are members of the Lutheran church.
Mr. Tucker was born in Thomas county in 1885. His parents were of American blood, his father, Clancy Tucker, a well-known ranchman and farmer who came to Hooker county with his family in 1881, traveling by team from North Platte, and after arriving here took up a location on Dismal river. During his first years in that locality the father was obliged to haul posts to North Platte, a distance of seventy-five miles, camping out nights under his wagon, in many instances, in order to make a living for his family. As soon as he got a little start he began in the stock business, settling on his present homestead in 1886, and there built up a permanent ranch and good home. He was elected county commissioner and held the office for several terms, also served as county surveyor, assessor, and took an important part in county affairs up to the time of his death, which occurred November 3, 1904, and the mother also
died September 2d, in the same year, they leaving a family of eight children, who are named as follows: Martha L., who was appointed postmistress at the Eclipse station in 1905, the postal station having been established in that year on the home farm; Placer (the subject of this sketch), Waldron, Ora, Francis, Susie, Lester and Ezra.
Since his father's death Placer, with his brothers and sisters, has operated the home ranch, consisting of eight hundred acres of deeded land and one thousand two hundred and eighty of homestead, and besides this extensive place they lease one section of school land. The place is well supplied with clear running water the year around, and splendidly improved with good buildings and every convenience for its successful operation. Nearly all of the ranch is devoted to stock raising, but about eight to one hundred acres is using for farming purposes. Placer Tucker was elected county surveyor of Hooker county in 1907, and now holds the position. He is a very satisfactory official and merits the high opinion in which he is held by the people.
Mr. Whips was born in Perry county, Ohio, in 1847, of American stock. His father, Simon P. Whips, was born in Maryland, married Mary Ann France, a native of Ohio, they settling in Indiana on a farm, where our subject was reared. When he was a lad of fifteen years he enlisted in Company I, Thirty-fourth Indiana Volunteers, and went south with his regiment, saw active service in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri and Texas. He was among the detachment that helped clean out the rebels all along the Mississippi river clear into Texas. During his service his regiment took part in the following engagements and sieges: Riddles Point and Island No. 10, Missouri; Fort Pillow, Tennessee; Grand Prairie and Duvalls Bluff, Arkansas; Yazoo Pass, Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Raymond, Big Black River, Champion Hill, Mississippi; Pleasant Hill, Spanish Lake, Louisiana, also Vermillion Bayou and Carrion Crow, Louisiana, and Palmetto Ranch, Texas. Besides these was at the siege of New Madrid, Missouri, Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi.
After being discharged from the army Mr. Whips returned to Indiana and entered school, afterwards spending five years in teaching in the public schools near his home. He came to Nebraska, locating in Butler county in 1872, and was one of the party who located the county seat of that county, lived as a pioneer and made it his home up to 1889, building up a good property and becoming one of the leading residents of his locality. During his residence in that part of the state he taught school at different times. He finally sold his farm and engaged in the hardware business at Octavia, ran it for five years, then disposed of it and came to Perkins county, purchasing his present homestead. Here he has one thousand one hundred and twenty acres, including some leased land. His place is fitted with good buildings of all kinds, fences and every convenience in the way of farm machinery, wells, wind mills, etc., and engages principally in stock raising, although he cultivates a portion of the land, raising small grains mostly.
In 1870, on September 4th, Mr. Whips was married to Miss Mary E. Goodwin, daughter of Rev. Smith Goodwin. Five children were born to them, who are named as follows: Mary E., Jennie B., Ruth, Sarah and Frank M., all of whom are grown up and married, and settled in homes of their own.
Mr. Whips is a Republican and takes an active part in politics in his county. While living in Butler county he held the office of county supervisor, and has held other important offices. He has been instrumental in a large measure in building up different localities where he has resided, and helped establish two schools and three different churches at different times.
Mr. Overman was born in Boone county, Iowa, December 23, 1863. His father, Levi H. Overman, is a well known farmer and old settler in Cherry county, locating here about the year 1886. He is of American stock, born near Terre Haute, Indiana, and the mother, whose maiden name was Susanna Eckles, is a native of Ohio. Our subject was reared in Iowa, and at the age of nineteen years came west to Nebraska, settling in Cherry county, where he opened up a homestead in section 29, township 35, range 30. When he landed here he had one horse, four cows, and his household goods. He put up a rude sod shanty and broke up his first
piece of land with a team of cows, driving these animals like oxen. He had a hard time getting started and keeping his family in provisions, and spent many days working through the harvest for fifty cents per day. To get a start in poultry he planted ten acres of trees for a dozen chickens. Things looked dark to him for a long time, but he stuck to his farm and proved up on it, and after that bought a farm of four hundred and eighty acres on Minnechaduza creek, nine miles northwest of Crookston, remaining there for thirteen years; and while on this place was extensively engaged in stock raising and at times freighting through western Nebraska and South Dakota, many times camping out on bitterly cold winter nights under his wagon. In 1902, while on a trip through the country, he spent four days traveling through a severe storm, in all that time never being inside of a house, getting what comfort he could around a camp fire; this was on Cutmeat creek, South Dakota, and the second day he ran out of food and finally struck an Indian camp, where he secured some "jerked meat" and coffee and remained recuperating for one day.
Mr. Overman came to Crookston in 1904 and ran a saloon for two years, and in the fall of 1906 he opened a grocery store. He has a fine line of goods and a large floor space, carrying a complete stock of groceries and provisions and has a good trade throughout the surrounding county. He is a good business man, attending strictly to his business and does not seek public preferment in any way, never having held any office except local. Politically he is a Republican and is a charter member of Crookston lodge, Modern Woodmen of America.
In 1882 Mr. Overman was married to Miss Rosetta Lamb, daughter of Andrew J. and Edith (Griggsby) Lamb, of American stock. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Overman, of whom seven are living, named as follows: Herman, Laura, Guy, John, Olive, Susie and Della.
Mr. Novak was born near Prague, Bohemia, under the Austrian government, February 24, 1844, a son of Joseph and Leby (Doorak) Novak. He grew to manhood there and came to America with his parents in 1862. Landing in New York city the emigrants at once struck out for the west, settling near Eastport, Tama county, Iowa, on a farm where their young family grew up. He remained at home until he reached the age of twenty-eight years, then started out for himself, purchasing eighty acres of land. Not meeting with sufficient success he disposed of his land and for fourteen years was engaged in railroad work in the round house, repairing engines and as extra fireman. In 1884 he came to Cherry county and took up his present farm as a homestead and tree claim. He went through hard times in getting started, and at first was unable to build a home for himself, for two months occupying the log cabin of Jacob Martin, jointly with John Rychon and his family, so that there were sixteen persons in all under one roof, only twelve by fourteen in extent. The stable built for two horses was occupied by four horses and two cows. Mr. Novak at once began building his first house, which was a sod structure and his family lived in this for ten years. He had but very little capital to begin life here--a team of horses, a cow and a yoke of steers, all of which soon after his arrival died, part of them of Texas fever, a disease prevalent at that time. At one time his only live stock consisted of one calf, which had been given him during the time this disease was raging among the stock in this section of the country. This one calf was Mr. Novak's start in the cattle business, to which he has added largely since those hard times. Being devoid of implements his first breaking was done with plows borrowed, when the neighbors were not using them. Nowadays, he has a full equipment of the latest farm implements all his own. He had many severe losses through failures of crops on account of the drouths (sic) and hail, etc., but he persevered and through his industry has accumulated a fine property, with a substantial house, a large barn, twenty-eight by thirty-two, and numerous outbuildings, all in good condition. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres of land, well improved, and has a fine grove of forest trees, an orchard including apple, pear, peach and plum trees and smaller fruits, such as grapes and berries. Mr. Novak begin in Cherry county with seventy-five cents and at one time was reduced to two quarts of meal with two feet of snow on the ground. A chance service to a couple of soldiers replenished his empty pocketbook, and soon after a favor to a "squawman" supplied the family with a hundred pounds of flour. Since then times have never been hard again.
Mr. Novak was married in Tama county, Iowa, February 24, 1869, to Miss Kate Hencal,