ter of Kirkwood, this office being established about ten years previous, his predecessors being J. N. Hovey, A. G. Felton and John A. Brubaker, in the order names.
In 1882 Mr. Arter was married to Miss Sarah Johnson, of American birth, and German descent, and five children have been born to them as follows: Jason R., Laura V., Cynthia Ann, Winfield S. and Alice A.
Mr. Arter is an easy-going, genial gentleman, clear-headed and original in his ideas and thoughts, and is much above the average man as a philosopher. In political faith Mr. Arter is an Independent.
Our subject was reared in Denmark, remaining there until in 1887, when he came to America, sailing from Copenhagen to New York. He then decided to locate in New Jersey. He here acquired the English language, and after about one year, came west to Colorado, locating on a pre-emption claim in Washington county, where he was one of the early pioneers. Here he, with others of his family, experienced the years of drouth (sic) and ruin of crops for several years, having hard time to get along. With him was his brother, Hans, and a sister, Mrs. Mary Petersen, who was a widow then. She has three children, Hans A. Petersen, Simon Petersen and John Nelson, the latter being the son of a second husband. Our subject's brother, Hans Nissen, was born in southern Denmark, November 10, 1866, and came to America on the same vessel. They have been together most of the time since. The brothers and sister came to Keith county, Nebraska, in 1893, and located on homesteads in Lonergan precinct. Together they have a splendid ranch of about five thousand five hundred acres along the North Platte river, and running back into the hills, on which they run about four hundred head of cattle and fifty horses. The buildings and main improvements of the ranch are on Otter creek, which furnishes a never failing supply of clear, cold water. They have about four hundred acres of fine hay land and they engage largely in raising cattle and horses, farming just enough to provide such grain feed as is needed for their stock. Our subject and his brother have been very successful in their business and are well fixed financially.
Peter Nissen has been an important factor in the growth of his vicinity and is recognized as one of the leading old-timers. He has taken an active part in political matters and has held several local offices, among them that of assessor, which position he has occupied several times. He is Republican in politics, and was reared in the Lutheran church.
Mr. Key is a native of Adair county, Iowa, born in 1867. He was reared on a farm, receiving a common school education, attending the country schools for a few months during the winter of each year, the balance of his time being spent in doing hard farm work on his father's farm in Iowa. He came to Nebraska from Iowa, in 1887, settling on a pre-emption consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, located twenty miles northeast of Burwell, and later took a homestead nine miles from Burwell. The farm on which he now lives is situated in section 1, township 21, range 15. Here he engages in the culture of grain, raising corn, oats, wheat, etc., also runs some stock, raising alfalfa for his stock, and this yields a good crop at each cutting, the valley land being particularly adapted to its productions. It averages two tons per acres, and Mr. Key considers it the best feed possible for all stock. Mr. Key is of the opinion that only one-half of the amount of money and labor is needed here in order to accomplish good results that is required in the eastern states, and says that five hundred dollars here is equal to two or three times that sum there. He also says that any man who is possessed of five hundred dollars who is willing to work, will become almost independently rich here in a reasonable time. He is himself a prac-
tical farmer and employs modern methods in his operations.
Mr. Key was married in 1887 to Miss Jennie M. Scofield, a native of Adair county, Iowa, whose parents were well-to-do farmers there. Mr. and Mrs. Key reared five children, namely: Eldon L., James Walter, Roy Everett, Lloyd and Hazel. Mrs. Key died March 15th, 1906, and her loss was deeply felt by her devoted family and a host of sympathetic friends.
Mr. Key is an Independent politically and owes allegiance to no party, although he takes an active interest in all affairs of moment in his locality and is prominently connected with all movements for the public good and the bettering of conditions in his region.
Eugene Beal, sheriff of Keith county, Nebraska, is one of the strong political leaders of the county and has a large and increasing constituency. He is a capable official and makes friends wherever he goes.
Eugene Beal is a native son of Nebraska, born in Crab Orchard, Johnson county, July 23, 1877, and is of German-Irish stock. His father, John Beal, a native of Knox county, Ohio, was a pioneer of the state, coming to Gage county in the early sixties. Our subject's mother, Maria J. Lovitt, was also born in Knox county, Ohio, from which state the family moved to Nebraska; at that time their supplies had to be freighted from Nebraska City, the nearest river town.
Our subject was reared on a farm on the frontier of eastern Nebraska, becoming inured to hard work, receiving a good common school education and graduating from the Business College at Beatrice.
Eugene Beal enlisted in Company C, First Nebraska Regiment, for service during the Spanish-American war and the Philippine insurrection in the Philippines. He mustered in at Lincoln, May 1, 1898, and his record as a soldier is as follows:
Enrolled April 27, 1898, for the Spanish-American war and the Philippine insurrection in 1899, participating in the following engagements: Santa Mesa, February 4th and 5th; captured water works, February 6th; Marquina Road, February 17th, Dam Farm Del Monte, March 25th; Meycouyan, March 26th; Marilou, March 27th-29th; Guiguinte, March 29th and 30th; Cupin Malolos, March 31st; Quinga and Bag Bag River, April 24th; Calumpit, March 25th; Santa Thomas, May 4th. Mustered out August 25, 1899, at San Francisco and returned to his home in Nebraska. He was next employed by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company for six months and an equal time as deputy clerk in the district court and for one year deputy sheriff of Gage county.
In June, 1902, he came to Keith county, where he purchased six hundred acres of land and went into the ranching business, cultivating two hundred and seventy-five acres of the land.
Mr. Beal was married in June, 1902, to Miss Zelma L. Hodges and the union has been blessed with three children: Barney L., Hellen and Theodore.
Our subject was elected sheriff of Keith county in 1907, and is the present incumbent. He has held other offices of trust and responsibility in the community and is regarded as an efficient and conscientious public man.
Mr. Bauder was born in Montgomery county, New York, in 1850, and raised and educated there. His father, Simion Bauder, is a native of New York, and came west, locating in Kansas, where he died, and after his death his wife took her little family and went back to their old home in New York. Our subject was one of three children, and at the age of eleven he began working out by the month on farms to support himself, and for twenty-two years followed this occupation. In the fall of 1884 he left New York and came to Nebraska, locating on the place he now occupies, driving the distance from Valentine to where he lives with teams and covered wagon containing his household goods. When he arrived here the ground was covered with snow and the first night after reaching Gordon, a blizzard struck the place and ripped the cover off the stage in which they were riding. This was a disagreeable and unpleasant experience, but no serious damage resulted from the storm. He at once went to work on his homestead, the following year building a sod house, and did well at farming until the dry period came on and he lost all he had made, and became so discouraged that had he been offered two hundred dollars for his land, he would have sold it and quit. However, he was obliged to stick to it and managed to live and support his family during the hard times, which lasted from 1890 to 1900. Since then
he has gathered together eleven quarter sections of good land, and his place is well improved and all fenced. He has a drove of some two hundred head of stock, and is one of the most progressive agriculturists of the community in which he lives. He now has the blocks all made with which he intends to erect a fine cement house in the spring. He enjoys a comfortable home and pleasant surroundings, and has seen plenty of pioneer life and does not care for any more.
In 1887 Mr. Bauder was married to Miss Etta Addick, a native of New York state. Her father and mother were both natives of New York state, the former having died when she was a mere child. Mr. and Mrs. Bauder have one child, George E., born and raised in this locality.
Mr. Bauder is one of the men who have devoted both time and money to assist in the development of the locality in which he chose his home. He takes an active part in all local affairs. and has served his county as commissioner for one term. He is an Independent voter.
Mr. Snodgrass was born in West Virginia in 1857, and is a son of Isaac Snodgrass, of German-American stock, born and raised in West Virginia, a farmer by occupation. He died there in 1859, when our subject was two years of age, leaving a family of five children, his wife remaining on the home farm until they were grown up. Our subject was the third child in order of birth, and as soon as he was old enough he began assisting in the farm work, hoeing corn when he was a small lad, and helped his mother until he was twenty-one years of age. He determined to start out for himself and borrowed twenty dollars to start west on, as he thought that the best field for a young man of small capital. He got as far as Indiana, and was obliged to stop there while he earned more money, and in 1881, landed in Iowa. Here he worked out for a time, and then took a farm and ran it for four years, when he left there and came to Nebraska in 1888, locating in Sheridan county. Here he took a homestead and lived on it for two years, then purchased the relinquishment on the farm which he now occupies. He set to work improving this place and proved up on it. He first erected a sod house and lived in this for several years. He put on all the improvements himself, saving the cost of any hired help, and at the same time was raising crops up to 1891, when the dry years struck his locality and for several years was only able to raise sufficient to keep the family in provisions and save enough for the next year's seed. For the past eight years he has raised excellent crops, getting better each year, and he has gradually added to his place until he is now owner of six hundred and forty acres of good land, and also leases some near his own farm. On his farm there is a deep gulch which serves as a shed for his stock, of which he has about one hundred head of cattle and thirty horses. He finds stock raising to be most profitable and intends to engage in it on a larger scale from now on. He farms about one hundred and seventy-five acres, and uses a large portion of the produce on his farm, marketing very little of it. He is delighted with the farming possibilities in this section of the country, and after having experience in Iowa and other states, would not trade his farm here for any he ever saw.
Mr. Snodgrass was married in 1883 to Miss Lottie Worley, born in Delaware county, Iowa, in 1862. They have a family of five children, namely: Vernon L., John Earle, Richard Leroy, Dora Agnes and Dale Carleton, all born and raised in Nebraska.
Mr. Snodgrass lived on his present farm during the Indian scare of 1891, and remained there through the dangerous times, although he never experienced any serious trouble from the redskins. At this time his wife was visiting relatives in Iowa, and on two occasions Mr. Snodgrass, together with several neighbors, went to Hay Springs to spend the night for fear of being surprised and injured by the savages, but the balance of the time he stayed at home. The people were in a high state of excitement, and every church in the section was a meeting place and refuge for them.
Mr. Snodgrass is a Republican,
and although he takes a keen interest in local and county affairs
has never held office. An interesting picture of a ranch scene of
Mr. Snodgrass' property will be found elsewhere.
the above gentleman's hands in 1892, and since that time he has been manager of the concern, whose operations extend over this and the adjoining counties in Nebraska and Kansas. It is the largest company of its kind in this section of the country, and makes a specialty of loans on good farm and business property, with ample capital for all demands on A1 security. In the sale of lands it has done a large and constantly increasing business, and the promoters of the concern have advertised extensively this section throughout Iowa, northern Missouri and Illinois, and brought a large number of settlers here in the past twenty years, who have proved to be of the industrious and progressive farming class, and who have been successful here beyond all expectations, the land increasing in value from five to forty, then to sixty, and exceptionally located lands close to the town, at eighty to one hundred dollars per acre, in that time, which is the measure of success which has come to buyers who have held on to their property.
The Valley Investment Company has a paid up capital of ten thousand dollars, surplus two thousand dollars, with officers as follows: President, I. E. Montgomery; cashier, J. W. Knikbride, and O. H. Montgomery, vice-president. They also write insurance in the leading companies, and have a large business in this line. In the fall of 1902 our subject organized the Bloomington Telephone Company, incorporating it with a capital of five thousand dollar, and since its start the business has developed rapidly. In 1904 the capitalization was found to be too small for the operations of the company, and in the spring of the following year Mr. Montgomery secured control of the Franklin Telephone Company and he then incorporated the Republican Valley Telephone Company with an authorized capital of one hundred thousand dollars, this company being a consolidation of the Bloomington and the Franklin Telephone Companies. The new company has a paid up capital of seventeen thousand dollars. The company owns the exchanges in the towns of Bloomington, using two hundred 'phones, and Franklin, with the same number, operating in all over four hundred telephones of their lines of six hundred 'phones, and new telephones are being constantly installed. This company owns the toll lines east from Republic City, Nebraska, to midway between Franklin and Riverton, also the toll line from Franklin to Macon, and operate, under arrangement, over the Bell telephone toll lines in every direction to this and the adjoining states.
The Republican Valley Telephone Company rebuilt the Franklin system in the summer of 1905, installing a new two hundred capacity visual signal switchboard, as well as about twenty-five hundred feet of cable, and in the fall of 1906 they erected a fine brick central office building in Bloomington, with every up-to-date fixture and improvement to be had, installing an additional one hundred capacity switchboard and three thousand feet of cable, and the whole system is now in the best possible shape. Besides Mr. Montgomery's interest in the telephone company he is proprietor of about one thousand acres of farm lands, and buys, sells and rents from time to time. Much of his time is taken up in public affairs, and for sixteen years he was in the court house at Bloomington. From May 1884, to January, 1888, he served as deputy county treasurer, and from the latter date to August, 1891, was deputy county clerk, resigning at that time to look after the campaign as candidate for clerk of the district court. At that time the fusion party had a majority of two hundred to three hundred in the county, but our subject had been so successful as deputy treasurer and clerk that he was elected on the Republican ticket by a majority of one hundred and twenty-five, he and L. A. Siegel, county clerk, being the only Republicans to be elected. Mr. Montgomery served as clerk of the district court for four years, from January 1, 1892, up to January 1, 1896, and was re-elected in the fall of 1895, serving for four more years. He was the first clerk of the district court in this county, where the office is separate from that of county clerk. While acting as deputy county clerk he did the work of a district court clerk, from January, 1888, up to July, 1891. During the years 1901-'02 he took a course in law at the Nebraska State University, graduating in June, and was admitted to the supreme court bar and all state courts in the month, also to the United States circuit court and the district courts in November, 1902. In his practice he made a specialty of real estate and probate cases.
Mr. I. E. Montgomery is a native of Mankato, Minnesota, born in 1866. His father, R. W. Montgomery, is a veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted in 1862 in the Second Minnesota Cavalry, and served up to 1865. He is secretary of the Masonic lodge at Bloomington, and prominent in Grand Army of the Republic circles.
He married Miss Eliza Burns, born, in Ire-
land, near Dublin, who came to this country about 1856, locating in Pekin, Illinois. Our subject was educated in the Nebraska schools, and after finishing his education taught for one year in Smith county, Kansas. He has one brother, C. D. Montgomery, associated with the Mergenthaler Linotype Machine Company, of Chicago and New York. Our subject has lived in Bloomington continuously since 1881, and prior to that resided in Furnas county, near Precept, and also in Beaver City. In 1890 Mr. Montgomery was married to Miss Oma Hildreth, daughter of Wilson Hildreth, deceased, formerly of Franklin county, and of this marriage one child was born, named Elizabeth.
The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Bloomington, Mr. Montgomery acting as trustee. He is also a member of the school board, serving on that body since 1901, first as chairman and secretary, and is now treasurer.
Altna S. Gerdes, who resides in township 27, range 47, Box Butte county, was born in Hanover province, Germany, in 1858. His father was a farmer and day laborer, and our subject was reared in his native town, where he followed farm work until he was twenty-six years of age. After reaching manhood he serve for three years in the German army, and in 1884 left the old country and came to America, landing at New York. After landing here he remained for some time in New York city, then came to Illinois, where he was employed for three years on a stock farm. In 1887 he came west, locating in Box Butte county, Nebraska, landing in Hay Springs on June 1, 1887. Here he filed on a pre-emption in section 2, township 27, range 47, putting up sod buildings and digging a well, as there was trouble from lack of water in this vicinity. He remained on that place but one year, then settled on a homestead in section 13, on which he lived for ten years. His first poor year was in 1890. The following two years he was able to raise good crops, but again in 1894, 1895, and 1896 the drouths (sic) caused failures of crops and he had a hard time to get along and improve his place. During those times his nearest trading point was Alliance, and he was obliged to make many trips to Pine Ridge for wood, camping out along the road on the journey. About this time Mr. Gerdes started in the stock business. His beginning was one cow and a calf, which he bought in 1887, and he kept increasing his herd and has dealt in stock principally since that time, and all the cattle he ever bought was six head, from this number developing a fine herd, at times running as high as three hundred and twenty-five head of cattle. He has marketed many carloads, all of them being from the increase of his original six head. Mr. Gerdes now owns a ranch of two thousand acres, all in Box Butte and Sheridan counties. He has good buildings, fences, etc., with three wells and windmills. He only cultivates forty acres, keeping all the rest for pasture, grass and hay land for his stock.
In 1898 Mr. Gerdes was married to Line Taylor, a widow, daughter of C. C. Ruggles, who was one of the first settlers in this county. Mr. and Mrs. Gerdes are the parents of two sons, George, aged nine years, and John, aged seven years.
Our subject is one of the leading men and old-timers of this part of the state, who has always taken an active part in its history from the beginning. He is a Republican.
Mr. Elliott is a native of England, born in Kent in 1848, and a son of Frederick Elliott, Sr. His grandfather, Stephen Elliott, served for forty-four years in the British navy. There were ten sons in the family, and of this number nine left the mother country and came to the United States to build up homes and make a fortune for themselves. The Elliott family first came from Scotland to Ireland, and later settled in Kent, England, and it was there that our subject was raised until the age of twenty, beginning to work in the machine shop of the ship yards there, where he learned the trade which he has followed ever since. At twenty years of age he started out for the new world and landed in America in 1869. He came west and settled in Nebraska, beginning work in the railway shops at Omaha in 1870, and from that time up to 1881 he had been employed on most of the leading roads in this section of the country. During the latter year he first started to work for the Union Pacific, and has been with that com-
pany ever since that time, with headquarters at North Platte. He is now employed as foreman of the blacksmith shop in that city, and has held this position for the past five years.
While Mr. Elliott still lived in England he married Miss Bessie Peets, at Ramsgate, and together the young couple came to the United States, where they have worked hard to establish a home, and have a fine family of three children, all filling honorable positions in the world. The eldest, Professor Ed. C. Elliott, graduated from the North Platte high school in 1891 and entered the Nebraska State University, where he received the degree of Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts, afterwards entering the Columbia College, New York, where he earned the title of Doctor of Philosophy. He also studied in Germany for some time, and is now filling the chair of pedagogy at the University of Wisconsin. The second son, Fred Elliott, Jr., is also a graduate of the North Platte high school, and has a good position with the Union Pacific Railway Company shops in Omaha as a coach carpenter. Benjamin G. Elliott, the youngest son, was graduated from his home high school, and is now attending the School of Technology at Terre Haute, Indiana.
The family are prominent members of the Episcopal church at North Platte, and enjoy the esteem and friendship of a large circle of people in their community.
Mr. Connell was born in Polk county, Iowa, near Des Moines, in 1855. His father, John Connell, was a butcher by trade, born in Ohio, of Irish stock, and he married Charity Scribner, who was of German parentage. As a boy our subject lived in Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, learning the butcher's business early in life, which he followed for fifteen years. When he was twelve years of age he started out for himself and traveled over the western states quite extensively. In 1885 he came to Dawes county, and at that time the railroad only came as far as Valentine. He made his first settlement two and a half miles east of Whitney, then a small town, and his first dwelling was a log shanty sixteen by thirty-two. The following year his family joined him, and they remained on this place up to 1897, then located in section 6, township 32, range 50, where he now lives. Here he has put up good buildings and all necessary improvements and machinery for operating his farm. He has his place all fenced, and plenty of good water, the White river running through the farm. He owns one hundred and sixty acres, and has plenty of hay land and alfalfa, and engages in stock raising, doing but little farming. He buys and sells considerable stock, running principally horses and cattle, When he first came here he drove from Valentine, and in making another trip to the Missouri river was compelled to drive all the way from Hay Springs, as there was no railway through then.
In 1874 Mr. Connell was married to Miss Eva A. Ballard, daughter of Martin Ballard, an attorney at Blair, Nebraska, where for a time after his marriage Mr. Connell was engaged in the butcher business. Mr. and Mrs. Connell have three children, who are named as follows: Lillie M., C. F. Connell and Gertie S.
Our subject was raised in his native state and remained there during his young manhood, following farm work for many years. In 1862 Mr. Carey came west, first locating in Chicago, where he remained for a short time. He came to Nebraska, locating in Sioux county in 1887, and at the time he struck this region the country was practically in its primitive state, there being no roads or bridges,
and only a few scattering settlers in the county. He picked out a location thirteen miles northwest of Crawford, the tract being situated on School and Cottonwood creeks, and lived there for about five years, proving up on the place as a homestead. He had a hard time getting started, meeting with many discouragements on account of crop failures, etc., and finally purchased and moved to the farm on section 7 in 1892, and at once began to put up improvements in the way of buildings, fences and cultivating the land for crops. The ranch contains four hundred and eighty acres, and is well supplied with timber, water, etc., and he engages in mixed farming and stock raising. He has put in all his time on the place since coming here, and his labors have been well rewarded, as is evidenced by the well tilled fields and well kept appearance of every corner of his property. Mr. Carey still owns his ranch in Sioux county, but of late has bought out the Charles Bowers foundry plant at Crawford, Dawes county, Nebraska, and is putting it in fine shape for general business, and he lives on the site, occupying several acres. Mr. Carey is a born mechanic and served his apprenticeship in New York when a young man.
Mr. Carey was married in 1863 to Martha Procunier, a daughter of Isaac Procunier, of German descent. Her mother's maiden name was Annie McClish, of Scotch descent. Our subject and his estimable wife have had a family of five children, who are named as follows: Leona, Elmina, Adelaide, Hattie, and Martha. Leona died in May, 1903.
Mr. Carey is one of the well-to-do men of his locality and enjoys a happy and peaceful home and many friends. He is held in high esteem as a worthy citizen and a good neighbor. He is a stanch Bryan Democrat. Mr. Carey was one of the first men to build a fence in his township, and also one of the first to have any surveying done. He also bought the first sawmill into the district, and owned it.
Mr. Holt is a native of Missouri City, Clay county, Missouri, born January 15, 1861. His father, John D. Holt, was a merchant and produce shipper, of old American stock, and the mother in maidenhood was Martha M. Peery. The family consisted of six children, of whom our subject is the fourth member. He was reared in Missouri City, some twenty-one miles east of Kansas City. For two years the family lived at Holt, Missouri, and subsequently spent two years in Gainsville, Texas, returning to Missouri City. Mr. Holt had learned the telegrapher's art and worked at Liberty, on the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railway, for some time. At the age of twenty-two he came to Long Pine, filing on a homestead. He then went to Blair, Nebraska, and worked as a telegraph operator for several years, and while there was married. In 1887 he came to Johnstown as station agent for the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad, first known as the Sioux City & Pacific, which position he held for six years. He was afterwards postmaster during Cleveland's second administration, serving one term. He has always taken an active part in politics, attending many national conventions, particularly since 1896, and is known as one of the public-spirited men of this section.
During the dry years throughout this region Mr. Holt was extensively engaged in the poultry and game business in Johnstown, his trade amounting to forty thousand or fifty thousand dollars each year, and through this venture he accumulated a large part of his property. He now owns a fine ranch of twelve hundred acres, on which he runs as high as two hundred head of cattle.
Mr. Holt was married near Ellendale, South Dakota, to Miss Mary Towne, daughter of DeWitt C. Towne, who married Julia B. Goodman. To Mr. and Mrs. Holt seven children have been born: Nellie C., who is cashier in the bank; Hazel M., John Albert, Louis C., Cleora Ruth, Grace and Clifford Towne.
In 1901 Mr. Holt established the Citizens' Bank in Johnstown, which he is now operating, it being considered one of the most reliable banking houses in western Nebraska. He is a stanch Democrat in politics, a member of the Modern Woodman of America and the Ancient Order United Workmen at Johnstown. He is a member of the Christian church, while the family are communicants of the Episcopalian church.
the very early settlers in Perkins county. He is a man of active public spirit and broad mind, and has an enviable reputation as a worthy citizen.
Mr. Farmer was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, in 1845, and was reared on a farm there. Both of his parents were natives of that state and spent many years as farmers.
When James was about twelve years of age he started to support himself, and since that time has drifted from one place to another and has seen much of the country in his wanderings. In 1863 he enlisted in Company H. Eleventh Ohio Cavalry, and was sent west with his regiment, going into the Dakotas, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming. All of his service in the west was in fighting the Indians. He also saw service after the raider Morgan and after the guerrilla Quantrell. After his discharge from the army, in 1866, he returned to Ohio and remained there up to the spring of 1884, following farming all of the time. He was married there in 1869 to Miss Elizabeth Chamber, born in Virginia, and to them were born three children, Denver, Edgar and Flora, all bright and intelligent young people. The family came to Kearney county, Nebraska, and lived in that vicinity for one year, then came to Perkins county, where they were among the pioneers--but few were here at that time. The country was entirely unimproved, and they went through many hardships and privations in getting a home started, all their supplies being hauled from North Platte, a distance of sixty miles from their claim. Mr. Farmer made many trips to that point, the journey taking several days through rough and unbroken roads, and the nights were spent in camping out under his wagon. He improved his farm as he was able, putting up substantial buildings, planting groves, etc., and now has a very valuable property. His home is on section 6, township 9, range 35, and he has one hundred and twenty acres of which is cultivated and the rest used for pasture and hay land for stock, of which he has quite a bunch, including cattle, horses, hogs and sheep.
When Mr. Farmer landed in this section of the country he had but little capital to start with. He went to work with a will to carve out a fortune and establish a good home for himself and family, and the result must be highly satisfactory to him, as every dollar of his property has been gained through his own efforts, and he can enjoy his declining years with the knowledge of "duty well spent." Mr. Farmer is a Republican and takes an active part in Republican politics.
Mr. Bivens was born in Pennsylvania in 1834. His father, Leonard Bivens, was of Yankee stock, a blacksmith by trade, and he married Nancy Sarver, who came of Pennsylvania Dutch stock. Leander was raised in his native state until he was nine years of age, when his parents came to Illinois, where he spent his boyhood, remaining there up to 1854. He then drifted to Utah and during the time he was in Utah he was for a time engaged in carrying the United States mail, and was through all sorts of exciting times, making his trips at times through the severest storms, and at one time barely escaped with his life when caught in a blizzard, and had fourteen mules freeze to death on one trip.
Thirty-five years of Mr. Bivens' career were spent in roving the western states, and he has passed through some of the most thrilling adventures during his life on the frontier, experiencing every form of pioneer hardship and privation. During the "gold fever, " which struck the whole country at different times, he was one of the foremost in the different expeditions formed in the west, and in pursuit of the shining metal which tempted so many from home to the gold regions, he figures that he has spent not less than fifty thousand dollars prospecting in the western gold fields of California, Greenwood Valley and British Columbia.
In 1886 Mr. Bivens first came to Thomas county, Nebraska, two years before it was organized, took a pre-emption and homestead and proved up on both claims. He had a hard time to make a living during the first few years on the place, but stuck to it, determined to succeed, going through the usual pioneer times and finally became able to add improvements to his farm, erect good buildings, etc., gradually adding to his original homestead, until he is now owner of one whole section, which he uses for stock raising, the greater portion used for grass and hay land. He has built five miles of fence, and every improvement necessary in the way of buildings, machinery, etc. He has a beautiful lake on the ranch, well stocked with fish, and has any number of fine shade and fruit trees, which he planted many years ago. Altogether his place is one of the best equipped and most pleasantly situated in this part of the coun-
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