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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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far and wide as a skillful surgeon and an able and conscientious practitioner.

      Dr. Simon was born in Warren county, Iowa, on September 22, 1869, grew up there, and removed to Wichita, Kansas, with his parents when he was about fourteen years of age. He remained there for two years, then the family took an extended trip through the western states, visiting California and other Pacific coast states, returning to Kansas in 1885. He then left home to attend college, soon afterwards entering the medical department of the University of Michigan, enrolling as a student at that institution in 1891.

     He took a three year course, and finished his medical education in Jefferson Medical College, of Philadelphia, graduating from there in 1895. During the same year he located in Lincoln, opened an office and practiced for about six months, then went to Cripple Creek, Colorado, where he followed his profession: also at Kimball, Nebraska, and in July, 1897, made permanent location at Sidney, where he ahs been ever since. Here he has built up a large and remunerative practice. He also takes an active and leading interest in all public affairs, and is a progressive citizen in every respect, enjoying the esteem and respect of his fellowmen. In political faith he is a Republican.

      Dr. Simon was married on December 14, 1898, to Miss Tyrone E. Allen, who was born in Massillon, Ohio. They had one child, who died on February 12, 1904. Dr. Simon's father, Martin Simon, in now living at Delhi, Oklahoma, while his mother died at Fort Scott, Kansas, December 15, 1895. The parents of Mrs. Simon are both deceased.

      Dr. Simon is a member of the Knights of Pythias, Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Woodmen of America.



      John A. Adamson, who now resides on section 27, township 33, range 29, is a native-born Irishman, and comes of a mingled Scotch-Irish ancestry. His father, Walter Adamson, was a Scotchman, who came to county Sligo, Ireland, where he married Mary J. Higgins, a native of that county, and there their son, John A., was born near Balling, December 29, 1862. In a family of eight children, he was their second son, and remained with them until he was sixteen years of age, when he took upon himself the management of his own affairs. He went to Scotland to become acquainted with his father's people, and in 1880 sought a home in the United States, knowing full well that here alone was to be found ample opportunity for all his wealth of brain and muscle, strength of character and quickness of mind. Sailing from Glasgow in the steamer Ancoria, after a ten days' voyage he landed in Pennsylvania, after which he came to the west to enter the employ of the Northern Pacific railroad in Minnesota. He was engaged in that line for about a year, and then for a time drifted about through the northern states, and made a somewhat hasty visit to his old Irish home.

      In 1884 Mr. Adamson first appeared in Cherry county, and his destinies were linked in with the development of a Nebraskan home. He settled that year on his present ranch, being among the first to locate on the Niobrara river. He had a team of horses, and put up a rude frame shanty, living here all by himself for a number of years. His marriage to Miss Maggie Ormesher occurred March 6, 1891, a native of Briars Wood, Lancashire, England. Her father, Henry Ormesher, was an old settler in Cherry county, and she is widely know as a lady of many social and domestic graces and virtues. They have five children, Edyth, Minnie, Lizzie, John W. and Alice.

      Mr. Adamson now owns a ranch of fifteen hundred acres, and has about eighty acres under cultivation. This extensive tract of land is partly fenced, and is very extremely used in stock raising. Mr. Adamson put up a fine stone house in 1903 and takes a justifiable pride in his modern and well built country residence.



      Ole J. Moe, an enterprising farmer and capable citizen of Box Butte county, Nebraska, is one of the men of whom the people of the surrounding community are justifiably proud. He was born on a farm in Gudbrandsdelen, Norway, in 1856. His father, Jacob Moe, was a farmer and laborer, and died in Norway. His mother, Christena Moe, came to America and died December 29, 1907.

      The early years of Mr. Moe's life were spent in his native land, where he received his education while attending the common school, and as he grew older worked in a saw mill. At the age of twenty-four years he was married to Miss Mary Peterson, who was born in Norway in 1856. It was about the year 1880 that Mr. Moe decided to seek his fortunes in America, and landing in Philadelphia, came to

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Corn Prairie, Wisconsin, where he spent four or five years in the lumber woods and sawmills. He spent two years in Chicago, Illinois, at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

     Realizing the opportunities that awaited the ambitious man in western Nebraska, Mr. Moe came to Box Butte county, in 1885, and took a homestead in section 30, township 27, range 48, driving from Hay Springs. The following year he brought his family west to this new country. His first house was of sod, and he had no team to assist him in the work of starting his new home. Our subject successfully withstood the periods of drouth (sic) and the many hardships familiar to the early settlers in western Nebraska. From time to time he secured other tracts of land, and now has a ranch comprising an area of five quarters of deeded land, and three quarters of leased land, all of which is fenced and cross-fenced. He has erected good buildings, and has a good well and windmill. He has one barn thirty by forty feet, and another thirty by thirty-four feet, and has a good granary, chicken house and other buildings. He cultivates about two hundred acres, and engages extensively in the raising of grain and live stock, having many head of horses and cattle.

`     Mr. Moe has a family of eight children, all of whom were born in America, namely: Clara, Olga, John, Annie, Olave, Melvin, Ludwig and Emma. In matters of politics Mr. Moe is a Republican. While his broad acres and his stock demand his close attention, he has from his start in this county taken a keen interest in all public affairs. His work toward the organization and building of schools is worthy of special note. He has done a great deal toward establishing the school district, and has been a member of the school board ever since he came to this county. He has assisted materially in the construction of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad through this county, and has long been prominently identified with the work of making the county a comfortable home for a thrifty and industrious people. A picture of the family and also the homestead ranch appears on another page.

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     Honorable H. F. Goodban, residing in Reuben township, Harlan county, is a prominent farmer and stockman, carrying on a diversified system of agriculture in a most successful manner, with results that richly reward his thrift and industry.

     Mr. Goodban was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania. His father, William Goodban, was born in Margate, England, and came to this country when a young man, settling in Pennsylvania. He married Margaret Longley, also a native of Margate, England, and the family lived in Pennsylvania many years, our subject being raised and educated there. He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State Normal School of Edenboro, Pennsylvania, holding a state certificate from that institution. After leaving school he taught for awhile in that state, then went to Wisconsin and there was a teacher in the schools of Fountain City and Arcadia.

     In 1886 he came to Nebraska, locating on section 13, Harlan county, where he now lives, taking up a homestead on one hundred and sixty acres, and from time to time has added to this farm so that he is now proprietor of eight hundred acres of good land.

     For a time after settling in this vicinity, Mr. Goodban followed the work of a teacher, but of late years all his time and attention has been devoted to the carrying on of his farm, although he has given a large part of his time to public affairs, in 1888 being elected superintendent of the county schools, and re-elected to the same office the following term. He has been on the board of supervisors of his county for three terms.

     Mr. Goodban was married in 1876 at Fairview, Pennsylvania, to Miss Emma Caughey, daughter of Frank Caughey. She died in 1904, and in 1906 he was married to Mrs. Chorn, nee Hattie Sarnes, daughter of John Sarnes, of Saline county, Nebraska. They have three children, namely: Guy H., Helen and Wilma Chorn.

     Mr. Goodban is a man of marked business ability, possessing a striking personality. He is of fine physique, good address, and a well-read, up-to-date gentleman of wide experiences.

     He is a member of the Evangelical church, also superintendent of the Evangelical Sunday school. He is a Mason in the Orleans lodge, and a useful and highly esteemed citizen of his community. Politically he is a Republican.


     F. T. McLain, proprietor of a fine ranch in section 28, township 30, range 50, Dawes county, resides in Ames, Iowa, where he also owns large business interests. He invested in farming lands in this county several years ago, and has made of it a fine ranch and valuable property.

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     Mr. McLain is a native of Bedford county, Pennsylvania, born in 1841. His father, William McLain, was of Scotch descent and his mother of Pennsylvania Dutch blood. When our subject was but a boy the family settled in Illinois, and later in Iowa, where he grew to manhood, helping his parents in carrying on their farm, while attending school in the country, although he did not receive a very thorough education, as he was early obliged to work for his own living and help support the family. At the age of twenty he left home and enlisted in Company C, Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, and saw service in the western army along the Mississippi river. He participated in the battle of Shiloh, where he was captured by the enemy and spent seven months in Libby prison at Richmond, Virginia, and at Macon and Savannah, Georgia. After serving with his regiment for three and a half years he was discharged in 1864, and returned to Iowa.

     In 1868 Mr. McLain settled in Story county, Iowa, and was among the pioneer settlers in that section, where he took up a tract of land and developed it into a fine farm, making it one of the most valuable pieces of property in the county. He was also active in building up the country, as an early settler, and in 1892 sold his farm and moved to Ames, Iowa, and now owns considerable farming property in the vicinity of that place. He came to Nebraska in 1902 and bought up land, and now owns three thousand five hundred acres twenty mile southeast of Crawford city, and has this in first-class shape.

     He has the ranch stocked with a large number of cattle and horses, and is doing his full share as a settler in this part of the county, and although having his residence in Ames, much of his time is spent on his ranch here. As a farmer Mr. McLain has made a wonderful success, having started in Iowa as a pioneer, with hardly any capital, and from this small beginning has accumulated a vast estate, built up one of the finest farms in Story county, Iowa, and is now able to enjoy himself in the knowledge that he has accomplished results which prove him to be a man of superior ability and good business management.

     Mr. McLain was married in Iowa, in the year 1865, to Miss Rose Minkler, of Rochelle, Illinois, whose parents were both of American stock. Three children were born to this union, namely: Alta, deceased; Libby, now Mrs. Lang, and a resident of Dawes county; and Rosa, wife of Frank J. Coil, Jr., of Dawes county. Mr. McLain was married the second time to Mary Fleming, by whom he had two children, namely: Stella and Jennie. Losing his second wife, Mr. McLain married her cousin, Jennie Fleming, of Lisbon, Ohio, and by this marriage there was one child, William.

     Our subject takes a prominent part in local affairs, and belongs to a number of fraternal societies. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.



     The subject of this review is a retired merchant and farmer of Phelps county, now a resident of Holdrege, where he has a pleasant and comfortable home.

     Mr. Hansen is a native of Sweden, and came to this country in his youth, locating in Chicago, Illinois, where he remained for a short time prior to settling in this state. He landed here in 1878, and in the spring of the following year built a sod house and opened a store which was the first in this locality and runs the postoffice in connection with this, at Phelps Centre, in partnership with his brother, Charles Hansen, now deceased. In the fall of 1879 they built a frame store, and shortly afterwards Charles Hansen put up a second building, in which they ran an implement store. In a short time Phelps Centre became a flourishing town, had two general stores, one drug store, a hardware store, bank, and an implement store. These establishments were located where the Swedish Orphans' Home now stands, which Mr.. Hansen helped to establish and of which he has been president since 1892. In the summer of 1881, Mr. Hansen sold out his mercantile interest and purchased a timber claim in section 10 of Westmark township, and, like other pioneers, erected a sod house, and shortly after put up a frame dwelling. He was very successful in his ventures, and now owns eight hundred acres of good land, with good substantial buildings and improvements. This is operated by his son, Walter. He remained on his farm, engaged in mixed farming and gradually added to it, buying land adjoining, until 1899, when he opened a first-class general store in Holdrege, which he and his sons carried on with great success until the summer of 1906, when he sold out this business, retaining the brick store building and land, which occupies one of the best corners in the city of Holdrege. It is right in the business center, on the northeast corner of Fourth avenue and East avenue. He also owns a good residence property in the city. He has dealt considerably in real estate, buying and selling lands in the western coun-

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ties of Nebraska. While he resided on his farm he was most successful in raising hogs and cattle, showing his preference for the Poland China breed of hogs. He also was interested in the breeding of his horses to the Percheron and Norman breeds, and has owned some fine animals.

     In 1881 Mr. Hansen was married to Miss Gustie Carlson, daughter of John A. Carlson, a pioneer settler of Westmark township, Phelps county, Nebraska, and a farmer and landowner there. Mr. and Mrs. Hansen have a family of six children, namely: Walter, operating the farm; Bert, teller in the first National Bank of Holdrege; and Winnie, Carrie, Hilma and Charlie, attending school.

     Mr. Hansen, in addition to managing his large business interests, has found time to take an active interest in public affairs, and is an earnest worker in the Swedish Mission church, of which he is a member. He was township assessor for six years. While residing in Westmark township he was one of the organizers of the Holcomb church, and was a trustee of that institution while living on the farm. After taking up his residence in Holdrege he was elected trustee of the church there, and served in that capacity for six years. He was also chairman of the board of trustees in that church for two years.

     In 1907 our subject bought stock in the First National Bank at Loomis and resided there for one year, moving back to Holdrege in the fall of 1908, where he had erected a new and modern residence.

* 29 Oct 2011: Surname should be HANSON - John A was my g-grandfather.
Jerold Hanson <>


     The gentleman above mentioned is classed among the substantial and practical agriculturists of Box Butte county and is proprietor of a valuable estate and a prosperous ranching business. He has been a resident of his locality for many years, and has acquired a host of friends, himself and family enjoying the respect and esteem of all who know them.

     Mr. Moeller was born in Hessen, Nassau, Germany, in 1861. His father was a farmer who lived and died in his native land, and our subject grew up in Germany, serving in the army of his country for three years. After serving for that length of time he left the land of his birth and came to America, landing in Baltimore in 1884, and came directly west, locating in Wisner, Nebraska, where he followed farming for five years. After he had been in this country for a time and began to like it here, he wrote back home and urged his mother to join him, so she, together with one brother, came to the United States, and in 1889 the family came to Dawes county, locating thirteen miles from Hemingford, on the north side of the Niobrara river. Here they took up a homestead, built a good sod house, stable, sheds, cellar, etc., and lived on that place up to 1898. The claim was proved up on, and Mr. Moeller was successful in establishing a good home and farm; then along came the dry years and he was hard hit by failure of crops, for four or five years not being able to get any more than the seed he put in the ground.

     In the spring of 1896 he gave up his farm and went to Minnesota and remained for two years, working out on farms in that state, and from there moved to Iowa, also following farm work for two years, but did not like it well enough to settle there permanently, so decided to return to his old home in Nebraska. In 1900 he first came to Box Butte county, and located on his present farm as a homestead. This is situated in section 31, township 27, range 51, and the place was utterly without improvements of any kind, so he was obliged to begin at the very bottom and build up the place, but has been very successful in his operations, putting up good buildings, fences, etc. He has four hundred and eighty acres of deeded land, and in addition operates seven quarter sections of leased land, engaging extensively in the cattle business, also farming quite a large portion of his land.

     In July, 1898, Mr. Moeller was married to Tillie Nickont, a native of Russia, of German descent, who came to this country in 1884, and together with mother and brothers, settled in Box Butte county. Prior to her marriage Mrs. Moeller followed her trade as a dressmaker for a number of years in this vicinity, and is a most estimable lady.

     Mr. Moeller has held different school offices and takes an active part in local affairs.


     Frank E. McLain. who for the past twenty-five years has been a resident of Keya Paha county, has a wide circle of acquaintances and is classed among the substantial and prosperous citizens of his locality. He settled on his present farm, located on section 20, township 32, range 20, and here he has built up a fine house and farm. He has always taken an active part in all affairs of the county, both full share as an old settler and worthy citizen.

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     Mr. McLain was born in Atchinson county, Missouri, January 27, 1848, and raised and educated on a farm there. His father, Thomas* McLain was also a native of Missouri, of Scottish stock, and his mother, who prior to her marriage was Miss Isabella Whitley, was of French descent, grand-daughter of Colonel Whitley, of Revolutionary war fame and a friend of Daniel Boone in Missouri. When our subject was fifteen years of age, he left home and began for himself, driving freight wagons for Major Russell and Company, who were government freighters, going from Nebraska City to Salt Lake City. He continued at that work up to 1867, then for two years was employed in the grade work of the Union Pacific railroad in this state and Wyoming, at the end of that time returning to Missouri where he was engaged in farming up to 1883, in Nodaway county. He came to Keya Paha county in the latter year, locating on his present place, and here he has built up a splendid farm and home. The place is well covered with natural timber of all kinds. There are six hundred and forty acres of good land, one hundred of which is under cultivation and he keeps fifty head of cattle, a number of horses and about fifty hogs. During the early years Mr. McLain saw a good many pioneer experiences, and went through many ups and downs, often becoming greatly discouraged during the dry years, when he lost entire crops after so many months of hard labor. He lived in a log house for ten years, and had to haul all his provisions for family use from Long Pine and Ainsworth, at that time being obliged to ford the river and many times having to leave his wagon in the river over night. He often felt like leaving the place, but for several years acted as postmaster at Springview, and that kept him here when he otherwise would have left. A view of the dwelling with its encircling hills and one of the old log school houses is to be found on another page.

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   Mr. McLain was married in Nodaway county, Missouri, March 15, 1871, to Miss Nancy J. Martin, of Scotch-Irish descent, a daughter of Samuel and Louisa (Owens) Martin. They are the parents of seven children, who are named as follows: Laura B., wife of Harry McQueen; Robert S., Louisa, wife of Charles Carter; Lorena, wife of Thomas Burg; Elsie, who married Ross Williams; Princess, wife of Rosco McCulley, and Samuel, all living in Nebraska or South Dakota, not far from the old home. Four daughters were educated in the log school house in their district, and all have been teachers in the county schools here for eight or ten years.

   Mr. McLain has always been an active worker in the Democratic party, but has never held any office except that of postmaster, and in this capacity he has proven a most capable and efficient official.**

* Handwritten in right margin - "John Thomas".
** Handwritten below body of biography - "Mrs. Williams lives in Bassett and Mrs. McCulley in Ainsworth."
      Copied from "A History of Western Nebraska," copyright 1907.

Biography of F.E. McLain submitted by H. Morris <> 1 Dec 2001
2 Dec 2002: "... mention a footnote you might want for his the last paragraph it mentions that one of his daughters, Lorena was married to Thomas Burg...this is a typo from the original book...she was married to Thomas Berry, first Governor of S.D....Harv"


     Charles Arter, one of the foremost men of Rock county, has been identified with the commercial interests of this locality for many years.

     Mr. Arter was born in Salineville, Columbiana county, Ohio, July 23, 1856. His father, Jason R. Arter, was a leading physician of his native town. He served in the Thirty-first Ohio Volunteers from Shiloh to Atlanta, ranking as major. Seeing the end of the war near he resigned to give his subordinates an opportunity to rise. His death occurred soon after his return, from the effects of camp fever contracted while in the service. Our subject, the younger of two children, was reared in Oil City, Pennsylvania, and early left home to assume his own support; obtaining a position with the Pittsburg, Bradford and Buffalo road as rodman, rising to the position of instrument man and office engineer, being employed in the construction of branch lines. In 1883 Mrs. Arter came with a colony to what is now Rock county and was here joined by son in February, 1884, when mother and son located on a homestead in section 34, township 32, range 17, situated on Ash creek, later establishing a mill. Here they put up a frame building and began to operate the mill during the year 1885. The nearest milling point then was fifty miles away, and up until 1894, the mill continued in operation, proving a profitable venture, but when the crops began to fail everywhere, the mill was abandoned, and Mr. Arter started into stock raising, at which he made a success from the beginning. Since then he has been engaged in this business on a large scale, and now owns a large ranch of one thousand and eighty acres divided into three pieces, of which nine hundred and twenty acres are deeded land, and one hundred and sixty acres held under lease. On this farm he has built a fine house, large barns and many improvements in the way of fencing. He also has one of the finest groves of pines trees in the state and this has attracted the attention of the members of the board of agriculture, who are studying his method of growing pines.

     In 1894 Mr. Arter was appointed postmas-

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