NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center
On-Line Library  

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 815

Tennessee, and disbanded at Davenport, Iowa, January 25, 1866. He resided in Jackson county for a long period, and for ten years served as clerk of the district court and deputy county clerk of his county. For two years he held the position of cashier of the bank at Miles, Iowa, and was one of the best known men in Jackson county, active in public affairs and one of the prominent leaders in every movement to develop the region in which he resided.

    Mr. Ray was united in marriage to Miss Allen, daughter of M. S. Allen, sheriff of Jackson county, who was in the steamboat business, owning an interest in a boat running on the Mississippi river. He originally came from New York state, and also was a pioneer in Michigan, and was in the same company with Captain Wood, who was an owner in the White Line steamer Wood, on the river service for many years. Mr. Wood was well known throughout the western and southern states, and died at Savannah, Georgia. Mr. and Mrs. Ray have three children, John A. Ray, Jessie, who is manager of a large department store at Denver, Colorado, and Lois, wife of D. R. Croft, whose sketch will be found on another page of this volume. Mr. Ray has been a resident of Franklin county since 1879, and is one of its leading old-timers. He is a thirty-second degree Mason, and prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic post.

     Mr. Ray has two brothers, E. B. and E. M. Ray, in business at Bozeman, Montana, also a sister, Mrs. Nettie Taylor, at the same place, and has one sister living in Lake City, Iowa, and another at Naperville, near Chicago, Illinois.


     Robert A. Day, a well and favorably known resident of Deuel county, Nebraska, has been one of the prominent citizens of that section for many years past. Mr. Day was born in Brown county, Ohio, March 5, 1865. His father, mother, himself, one brother and three sisters came to Butler county, Nebraska, in 1885. He made that his residence for about a year, then came on to Deuel county, the locality then being known as Cheyenne county. He took up a homestead on section 27, township 17, range 44, proved up on the place, and still owns it, also is owner of four hundred and eighty acres near his original homestead.

     Mr. Day succeeded in developing a good farm, adding good improvements in the way of buildings, fencing the entire place, and has considerable stock, following the ranching business up to 1893, at which time he moved into Oshkosh, still retaining active management of his farm. Here he entered the general merchandise establishment of Geo. T. Kendall & Company, remaining with that firm for about a year. He then spent some time in the survey of Big Ditch, an irrigation project which was built in this part of the country. In 1899 he was appointed deputy county clerk, and continued in that position for two years, being elected county clerk in 1901 for a two-year term, and re-elected at the end of that time, serving up to 1905. He then returned to Oshkosh and connected himself with the Deuel County Bank as cashier and active manager of that institution, and still holds that position.

     Mr. Day is a Democrat, and was elected over his opponent in a strong Republican county, showing his popularity and the esteem in which he is held throughout the vicinity. He takes an active and leading part in all local affairs, also county and state politics, and has had much to do with the prosperous condition of commercial interests in the locality. He is treasurer of the school board of Oshkosh.

     On April 19, 1895, Mr. Day was married to Miss Viola Empson, in Deuel county. Mrs. Day is a native of Indiana, and they have two children, Marguerite, aged eleven years, and a baby, three months. Mr. Day's father died in Butler county about a year ago, while the balance of the family still occupy the homestead there. Mrs. Day's father is living, while the mother is dead.


     Carl M. Lux, one of the foremost residents of Sioux county, Nebraska, is a well-to-do ranchman and progressive agriculturist of section 6, township 32, range 53, where he has a pleasant home and is surrounded by all the comforts of rural life and many luxuries. Mr. Lux is one of the old-timers of this region and has taken an active part in the agricultural and commercial development here, and his name deserves prominent mention in the history of the growth of western Nebraska.

     Mr. Lux was born in Rhine province, Germany, in 1852, and grew up there. His father, Conrad, was a farmer, and lived and died in that country, also did his wife, whose maiden name was Gertrude Kaymer. After reaching young manhood Carl served for two years in the German army and at the end of that time

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 816

returned to his home and entered the employ of a brewing company, remaining at that work for several years. In 1883 he came to the United States, and after landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, immediately struck out for the west, settling in Kansas, where he spent one year, then came to Sioux county. When he arrived here this region was simply a wild prairie with very few settlers, who were scattered at wide intervals throughout the county. The Chicago & Northwestern railway was built after he came here, and he helped in its construction. He filed on the land he now occupies as a homestead, and also took up a pre-emption adjoining. Mr. Lux's ranch is located on Cottonwood creek, and during the early years his nearest railroad point was Chadron, from which he was obliged to haul all supplies. He freighted over the rough country from Chadron to the Black Hills and into Wyoming, following the life of the typical frontiersman during the first few years, and many nights he camped out on the ground under his wagon while on these trips. He lived all alone in his log shanty, which he erected on his homestead, "batching it" for the first two years, working hard to get his farm in good shape and saving every dollar he was able to earn by working for others in the vicinity and constantly adding improvements to his home. He met with severe losses in the way of failure of crops and saw hard times, often becoming sadly discouraged, but determined not to leave the place, and finally was able to save a little money as the years grew better and is now very glad he stuck to it, as he has been well repaid for his labors and perseverance. His ranch contains eight hundred acres of good land, fitted with good substantial buildings, fences, etc., and he has about one hundred and twenty acres devoted to diversified farming. There is plenty of clear running water for all purposes, timber for fuel, also many shade and fruit trees which he planted himself and are growing beautifully, making a very pretty place.

     In 1887 Mr. Lux was married to Rena Feller. Mrs. Lux is the daughter of Frank Feller, who is one of the old settlers of Sioux county and is well and favorably known throughout this section of the state. Nine children have been born to our subject and Mrs. Lux, eight of whom are living, named as follows: Robert, Annie, Martha, Christina, Celia, Carl, Theresa and Sophia. The family form a most interesting group, and all are well liked by their associates.

     Mr. Lux has always taken an active part in local affairs, and has served as county treasurer for two terms, also as justice of the peace. He is a Democrat and has the courage of his convictions.

23 Mar 2002: LUX biography provided by Mrs. Nevada Boslet <>, who is interested in contact with any persons researching either the LUX or the FELLER families mentioned above. She provides family photos (NOT available in the book):

Picture button          Picture button
Carl LUX (about 1888)            Regina LUX (about 1888)

     George W. Tinsley, residing on section 10, township 18, range 52, Morrill county, is one of the prominent old settlers of that region, having located here in 1885, and remained to see the wonderful changes that have taken place in the country, watching its growth from practically a barren wilderness to its present state of fertility, and has the proud satisfaction of knowing that this success has been due in a measure to his own efforts. He is a man of active public spirit, and held in the highest esteem by all who know him.

     Mr. Tinsley was born in Coles county, Illinois, December 12, 1864, where he spent his entire boyhood. His father, William Tinsley, was a native of Kentucky, while his mother, Susan (Griffin), was born in Indiana. They settled in Illinois during their younger years. Both are now dead. When our subject attained his majority he left Illinois and came west to Nebraska, locating in Cheyenne county, arriving here in 1885. He homesteaded on a quarter in section 10, proved up and improved the place, adding more land to his original homestead, and is now owner of about eight hundred acres, using a large part of it as range land for a herd of cattle, also cultivating about one hundred and twenty acres. He has all good buildings and improvements on the ranch, and has met with deserved success in his work, being rated among the wealthy and successful men in the section. He has a large acreage in alfalfa, furnishing abundant feed and "pasture" for his bees, of which he has forty colonies. He but recently took up bee culture, and has made astonishing success, raising one thousand five hundred pounds of honey in a season. The Nebraska climate is peculiarly adapted to the production of a high grade of honey.

     Mr. Tinsley was married to Julia A. Lipscum, in Coles county, Illinois, November 12, 1884. Mrs. Tinsley was born in Indiana, and her parents, John and Eliza (Hutchison) Lipscum, are still living in Coles county. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Tinsley, named as follows: Clarence, married and living near Bayard; Goldie, William, Bert, Lillian, Myrtle, Vera and Lorine. They form a most interesting and congenial family, and their home is one of the bright spots that greets the traveler through the section. We take pleasure in calling attention to a view of the fine dwelling, large barn and outbuildings pictured in the illustrated pages of our work.

Picture button

     Our subject holds the office of treasurer of school district No. 55, and takes a commendable interest in all local affairs. In political views he is a firm Democrat.

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 817


     James Mitchell, one of the well-to-do farmers of Brownson precinct is of Scottish nativity, and is a worthy representative of the best traits of his race and people. He was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on the 15th day of October 1845, and grew up in the land of his birth, receiving such educational advantages as the times and customs of the people of his station in life were accorded. Our subject left Scotland and started for the new world May 19, 1874, sailing from Glasgow in the Macedonia, since wrecked, and after a voyage of eleven days landed in New York city June 1st. He immediately departed for the west, going to California via the Union Pacific railway, spending two years traveling all over that part of the United States before coming to Cheyenne county, Nebraska, where he arrived in February, 1876. He went into the Black Hills and followed mining for about a year, then came back to Cheyenne county in December, and filed on a homestead situated in section 8, township 14, range 51, in April 1878. He has made this part of the county his home ever since that time, and has improved a good farm and built up a good home. He has erected all good stone buildings, fences, and every improvement for the operation of a model farm and ranch, and is one of the progressive and prosperous men of his locality. His land is situated on Lodgepole creek, which furnishes an abundant supply of clear, cold water for every purpose. He cultivates about sixty acres, and in addition deals quite heavily in stock, running a goodly herd of cattle. In all he controls seventeen hundred and sixty acres of land, and is one of the wealthy landowners of his vicinity.

     Mr. Mitchell was married in 1892, at Sidney, Nebraska, to Mrs. Frances Walsh, daughter of Mr. Frank Barcel. Mrs. Mitchell died in 1897, leaving a family of four children, three being the children of a former marriage, named as follows: John, Henry W. and Wm. S. Walsh, and James A. Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell is a leader in local affairs in his community, and aids his fellowmen in every effort to build up his locality. We are pleased to call attention to a view of his substantial home and picturesque surroundings on another page of our work.

Picture button
     In politics he is a strong Republican.

     The office of county clerk has been bestowed on this gentleman for six successive terms, and he is discharging the duties of the position with rare fidelity and ever increasing popularity. Mr. Van Vleck was first elected to the office of county clerk of Sheridan county, Nebraska, in 1895, and is a man of broad mind and good education, exercising good judgment and honesty in all his dealings. He resides in Rushville, where he has a pleasant home.

     Our subject was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1849. His father, Michael Van Vleck, was a native of New York state, born at Syracuse, and his mother was Miss Sarah Smith, born in Monroe county, New York. The family moved to and lived at Manitowoc, on the shores of Lake Michigan, until our subject was twelve years of age, then moved to Will county, Illinois, and at the breaking out of the war our subject enlisted in Company F., Sixty-fourth Illinois Regiment. He saw service with General Sherman, and at Atlanta received a severe wound. He also went through the Carolinas after this, but was never able to resume his duties as a soldier on account of having lost the use of his left arm at the battle mentioned above. At that time his regiment was under fire one hundred days during the Atlanta campaign, and he tells many interesting anecdotes of that time. After receiving his discharge at Quincy, Illinois, in May, 1865, Mr. Van Vleck attended the Northern Illinois College at Fulton, and later taught school in that state and also in Iowa. He came to Nebraska in 1879 and there followed teaching in Saunders county, and later in Sheridan county for two years. He finally located in this county in June, 1884. He had made six trips here from Ord, Nebraska, by team, and after he had been here for about a year his family came on to join him. He had taken up a homestead situated nine miles south of Hay Springs, and his first building on this place was a sod house in which they lived until the summer of 1886, when he built a better sod house. He broke up part of this land with an ox team which he had brought with him from Saunders county, and began improving his place, on which he proved up, remaining there up to 1889. He then moved to Rushville, and for several years, off and on, worked in the district clerk's office. In the spring of 1893 he was appointed deputy county clerk and served in this capacity for three years, when, in the fall of 1895, he was elected county clerk, which office he is at present filling.

     Mr. Van Vleck was married in 1883 to Miss Jennie Wood, whose father, Harvey Wood, was an old settler in Saunders county, of old Kentucky stock, later coming to Sheridan county, Nebraska, where he died in 1898. Mrs. Van Vleck's mother was, prior to her marriage, Rosanna Sailing, of an old Kentucky family. Mr. and Mrs. Van Vleck are the parents of nine children, named as follows: Pearl, now Mrs. Ed-

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 818


gell; Lewis E., Addie, Lee, DeForrrest, Harold, Violet E., Maurice and Harmon

     Mr. Van Vleck has taken an active part in politics for many years, and is one of the leading old settlers in this region. He has done his share in the making of history of western Nebraska, and deserves a first place in the ranks of the representative men of the west.


     John W. Sims, of Vail precinct, Keith county, Nebraska, is one of the industrious and prosperous farmers of his locality. He is a gentleman of excellent character and progressive habits, and well merits his high standing as a worthy citizen.

     Our subject was born in Worth county, Missouri, July 26, 1867, and was there reared on a farm. His father, James Sims, a native of Missouri, was an early settler in Nebraska, coming to Keith county as early as 1886. He married Serelda Spencer, whose birthplace was in Indiana. John W. Sims grew up in Missouri, coming to Nebraska with his parents in the fall of 1890, filing on a homestead in the same vicinity with his father, the latter having first located nine miles north of Madrid, on section 34, township 12, range 37. During the first year on his farm John had poor crops, and the following year was hailed out, losing almost his entire season's work, but he succeeded in proving up on his farm, which he later sold. While the hard times were on he was compelled to work out in the vicinity of his home at whatever he could find to do. He came to the Searl ranch about 1899 and worked as foreman of that ranch for six years, in this way laying by a little money with which he started farming in the western part of Keith county, having had one hundred and sixty-nine acres of irrigable land there on section 23, township 13, range 40. This he improved with a good two-story, six-room house in 1908, and the following year erected barns and outbuildings.

     Mr. Sims was married September 28, 1892, at Ogallala, to Miss Mary Breder, whose father, Henry Breder, was an old settler in this region, residing on section 34, township 12, range 37. He came to America from Prussia, in 1886, sailing on the Hohenzollern from Bremen with his family, and landing in Baltimore. His wife, who was Amelia Freitag, was also a native of Prussia. Mr. and Mrs. Sims are the parents of five children, namely: Grace, Gertrude, Fred, Sidney and Addie.

     Mr. Sims has not only watched the development of his county from the first days of its settlement, but has taken an active part in this growth, and has aided to his utmost the advancement of the resources in his locality. He is a Democrat in politics and a member of the Ogallala Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.


     Richard R. Ballieu, a popular and capable citizen of Dawes county, is one of the men of whom the people of the surrounding community can justifiably be proud. Mr. Ballieu was born in Harrison county, Missouri, in 1858, a son of Jesse and Martha (Hubbard) Ballieu. His father was of French lineage, and was a minister of the gospel of the Baptist faith. He died when our subject was but four years of age.

     The early years of Mr. Ballieu's life were spent in Missouri and Iowa, where he received a limited education. At the tender age of fourteen years he started out to earn his own livelihood, and the success with which he has met is due to the persistency and economy which he has always practiced. In 1876 he went to western Iowa. He also spent some time at Rockport, Atchison county, Missouri. In 1880 he went west into Burt county, Nebraska, and for some time worked out by the month.

     Mr. Ballieu settled in Dawes county, Nebraska, in 1884, driving in a covered wagon from Valentine, to which place he had shipped his provisions. When he arrived at this place with his wife and two children, he had but one dollar and eighty cents, a pair of ponies and a wagon with which to make his start. He located in section 32, township 31, range 49, where he built a log cabin, the first home he knew in this western country. He secured a team of oxen, and earned a livelihood by breaking and doing odd jobs. The principles of thrift and economy which he has so strongly adhered to have won for him the grand success with which his honest efforts have met. He now has a nice ranch of four hundred acres of good land, all fenced and cross-fenced, with one hundred and eighty-five acres under cultivation. He also has an orchard comprising an area of about four acres, which is considered one of the finest in Dawes county. He has erected a comfortable residence together with good barns and sheds. During a period of eight years of drouth (sic) which our subject witnessed there was only one year in which his crop was a complete failure, while one year his crop was destroyed by hail.

     In 1882 Mr. Ballieu was married to Miss Elizabeth Hanzy. Six children came to bless this union, viz.: John, Mary, Jesse, Nettie,

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 819

Richard and Bryan. In 1898 Mrs. Ballieu died. Mr. Ballieu contracted a second marriage with Mary Skeet, to which union was born one child, Gladys.

     In political matters Mr. Ballieu is an Independent voter. He has always taken an active interest in local affairs, and has done his share toward the development of Dawes county. His career is an excellent example of what can be accomplished in this western country. Coming here almost penniless, he has worked out for himself and family a comfortable home, where his genial countenance and friendly spirit have made him hosts of warm friends.


     Among the old-timers who settled in western Nebraska when the state was still in its infancy, and who has watched its development and growth, the gentleman whose name heads this review occupies a prominent place. He is well known as one of the prosperous business men of Bassett, and recognized as a leading citizen of the town.

     Mr. Kemp was born in Genesee county, New York, April 19, 1846, a son of Arthur Kemp, a farmer and pioneer homesteader in Nebraska, who was born in England and came to the United States with his parents when six years of age. Our subject's mother, who was Miss Mary Bliss, died in Kalamazoo county, Michigan, in 1862. He was reared and educated in Kalamazooo county, whither the family removed about 1849, and during the war enlisted in Company H, Seventh Michigan Cavalry. He, with his regiment, saw service in the army of the Potomac through Maryland and Virginia, and experienced all the hardships of a soldier's life. After the close of hostilities in the south the regiment was assigned to duty at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, but owing to sickness at the time of the regiment's service across the plains Mr. Kemp did not reach the far west. He was mustered out at Leavenworth and discharged at Jackson, Michigan, after eighteen months' service. After the war he came back to Michigan, and after a time went farther west, settling near Independence, Iowa, where he farmed for four years. In 1869 he came to Nebraska, locating near Schuyler, and from there went to Butler county, where he took a homestead, living in a log cabin with a sod roof. He had but one team, a yoke of oxen, with which to do the work of building up and improving his farm. Then he went to southern Kansas where he farmed for six years near Pittsbury, in Crawford county. Returning to Nebraska, he settled in what is now Rock county, then a part of Brown, in the fall of 1882. He settled on a farm on the Niobrara river, remaining there for eight or ten years, going through many hard times during the drouth (sic) periods, hauling posts to Stuart to exchange for provisions for the family, and many nights was compelled to camp out under the wagon in the snow. About the year 1893 he moved to Bassett, and engaged in the livery business. He spent but a short time there before moving back on his farm; and later he opened a hardware establishment in Bassett, running this for two years. Afterwards he went into the feed, grocery and machinery business, operating this line for thirteen years, then sold out on April 24, 1906. In November, 1907, he opened a general store on the west side of Main street and is enjoying a lucrative trade. He has a farm of three hundred and seventeen acres adjoining the town site, a fine estate which he has accumulated by hard labor and good management.

     On March 14, 1868, Mr. Kemp was married to Miss Elizabeth Baldwin, whose parents were old settlers in Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Kemp have a family of four children, namely: Lizzie, wife of J. S. Likens, of Lincoln; Mabel, in mission work in New Jersey; Josie, wife of William Mohrman, of Idaho; and Gertrude, who married George Mapes. Mr. Kemp's first wife died, and he was married again, in 1890, to Viola Brown, and two children are the result of this union, named Ida and Bertha.

     Mr. Kemp is a man who takes a commendable interest in all local affairs, and uses his influence toward securing best conditions possible in his locality, and is highly respected by his fellowmen. In politics he is a Republican, a member of the Church of God and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of Bassett.


     Among those who came to western Nebraska when that state was in its first stages of development, with scarcely any improved land, and but very few white settlers in the region, the gentleman above mentioned deserves prominent notice. He was one of the first to settle in Cheyenne county, and has passed through all the pioneer experiences of the state in building up a home, incidentally assisting in a large measure in the progress and upbuilding of the locality where he chose his home. Mr. Belden resides in Redington, where he has a well-improved and valuable estate.

     W. W. Belden was born in Pennsylvania on May 9, 1850. His boyhood was passed in that

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 820

state, the family coming to Mercer county, Illinois, about 1865. There they lived for seven years, following farming, and our subject grew to manhood. Both parents are now deceased. After leaving Illinois Mr. Belden went to Clay county, Kansas, and subsequently lived in Republic and Cloud counties, that state, remaining in that region up to 1886, when he came to Nebraska. He settled at once in Cheyenne county on section 22, township 19, range 51, purchasing a bunch of cattle and some horses, and began to develop a ranch and build up a home. During the early years he saw some hard times, meeting at times with crop failures and other discouragements, but stuck to his homestead and gradually was able to make improvements and forge ahead. He is progressive and up-to-date in his methods of farming, and highly respected as a worthy citizen and good neighbor.

     Mr. Belden was married in Clay county, Kansas, on March 31, 1872, to Miss Amanda Dugger, who was born in Scott county, Illinois. They have a family of ten children, namely: Melissa C., now the wife of H. E. Randall; Effie, wife of Solomon Willis, living in Sidney; John O., of whom a more extended mention appears on another page; Pearl, wife of Frank Lipska, living in Belmont, south of Redington; Ella, wife of Eherman Gilman, residing at Redington; Sadie, wife of Dean Randall, living in Minatare, Nebraska, and Lillie, wife of Earl Hart, also living at Minatare. Lottie, Lloyd and Charles are single and live at home.


     During the past twenty-four years the gentlemen whose name heads this review has taken an active part in the growth and development of western Nebraska, and particularly of Cheyenne county, where he has been engaged in agricultural pursuits most of that time. He has built up a fine property and has a comfortable home, acquired by dint of industry and good management, supplemented by honest dealings, and is held in high esteem as a worthy citizen and progressive farmer.

     Eric O. Lif was born in Sweden, February 22, 1854, and grew to manhood in that country, following the occupation of farmer, and also learned the trade of mason and stone cutter and worked at it a part of his time. In 1884 he came to America, landing in Quebec on June 5th, and came directly west, locating at first in Grand Island, Nebraska, where he spent several months, then went to Sidney. On June 10, 1886, Mr. Lif took a homestead on section 17, township 18, range 47, and here has spent his time since. He improved his farm constantly, occasionally having a hard time to get along, often suffering loss from crop failures, etc., but on the whole has been very successful, and is now the possessor of two hundred and eighty acres of deeded land. During the early years he turned his trade to account and built houses in the vicinity, in this way being able to lay by a little money and help himself along. He uses a portion of his land for grain raising, and has quite a herd of cattle and a small bunch of horses. Besides his home ranch he has several hundred acres of good hay bottom and pasture. He has one of the finest groves of trees in the locality which he planted.

     On June 3, 1882, Mr. Lif married Carrie Larson, in Sweden, and to Mrs. Lif is due much credit in the accumulation of their property, as she worked faithfully with her husband in acquiring the same. The parents of both are deceased. Five children have come to them, namely: Anna, Christina, Fred W., Arthur and Albert, all living at home.

     Lisco postoffice is situated on section 17, which is also the location of his home ranch, and Mr. Lif is acting in the capacity of postmaster. He has been connected with the local school for a number of years, and is road overseer for his district. In politics he is a Republican.


     The history of western Nebraska would be incomplete without mention being made of the well-known and familiar name of Henry S. Harris. He was the first sheriff of Rock county, Nebraska, and attracted wide public attention by the capture of several notorious horse thieves during his term of office. He was of fearless character and a typical frontiersman, and even before his election to office, captured Bohanan and Arnold, two daring horse thieves who had infested the territory. Mr. Harris made a most capable officer and he came to be dreaded by violators of the law.

     The subject of our sketch was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, in the year 1850, his parents being Ephraim H. and Eliza (Barber) Harris. The father was born in Vermont and was of English ancestry, and he was a lumberman. The mother died when our subject was a baby.

     In 1853 Ephraim Harris came west to Wisconsin, and the family, with the grandparents, followed in 1854, and they settled near the city of Waupaca. Our subject was reared here until he was sixteen years old and then commenced

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 821

work in the lumber woods, and for nine winters he followed lumbering. In the spring he often engaged in log-driving along the streams of Wisconsin. In 1875 he came further west and located in Greeley county, Nebraska, on a farm. On this trip he made a long drive with team and covered wagon, coming all the way from Wisconsin and stopping for three years in Iowa. When he reached his new home on government land in Greeley county, he had but twenty-seven dollars and fifty cents left to begin life with. He built a sod house, commenced breaking his land and had his first crop eaten up by grasshoppers. In 1878 he removed to Holt county and settled near Stuart village on low, level land that he used for haying purposes. Bad luck met him here and his crops were drowned out several years in succession, and he removed again to other localities, until in 1885 he went to Rock county, settling on school land. Here he put up buildings, made good improvements and later bought the farm. It was while living there that our subject was elected sheriff and had the experiences related in the opening lines of this sketch.

     Henry S. Harris was married in 1870 to Miss Lucy Harris, a native of New York state, and a daughter of Orsemus and Annie (Allen) Harris, the former being a native of Vermont. Mr. and Mrs. Harris are the parents of five children: May, married; Burt, Myrtle, Ina and Ben R.

     In 1892 Mr. Harris went to Chicago and spent six years working in that city, then returning to Nebraska, settled on the North Loup river near Taylor. In 1902 he located where he now lives, on section 24, township 24, range 17, and has built up a fine home and ranch, having six hundred and forty acres used principally for stock purposes. Mr. Harris has had varying experiences and many hard trials during his life on the frontier, but he has made his way to success and prominence as a rancher and a farmer. He has been in a number of states, was the first man to take a family to the upper Spring creek country, in Greeley county, Nebraska, and now he has settled down permanently to enjoy a life of peace and comfort. Mr. Harris has done his share of pioneering and has performed a good part and is respected as a good citizen by all who know him.


     A drive through the ranching community of Keith county convinces one of the thrift enjoyed in that locality, and a visitor at the home of Frank McFadden is impressed with the fact that careful management and honest industry are prominent characteristics of the owner, whose well improved tract compares favorably with that of any farm in the county. Mr. McFadden resides at present in Paxton precinct, where he has made all improvements necessary to a Kincaid homestead.

     Mr. McFadden was born in the village of Roshin, County Donegal, Ireland, August 20, 1860. His father, Michael McFadden, was a farmer and stock raiser and with the mother, Grace (McGarvey) was a native of Donegal. Frank was reared on the home farm, remaining there until he was seventeen years of age, then left his native land and emigrated to Scotland, where he worked for two years as a gardener. On Saturday, February 14, 1881, he came to America, sailing from Greenoch, Scotland, landing after a stormy passage of seventeen days in New York. He spent three and a half years in New York city working as a helper in a store, and was employed for a time in the shipping department of a big wholesale establishment in that city. He next came west to Illinois, located in Sangamon county and remained there for three years, spending the first year as a farm hand and working rented land two years of the time. On March 16, 1888, he came to Keith county, Nebraska, settling on section 6, township 14, range 35, and built a shanty, sodding the outside, a dugout being used as a barn and cow shed. He began to farm, and tried to improve the place, but was unable to get water on the farm, so abandoned it after a five years' residence, and filed on a homestead in section 10, township 14, range 35. He at once erected substantial buildings and began stock raising on a small scale at first, but he has gradually increased his herd and improved the place, accumulating a good property. He runs about seven hundred head of cattle and from thirty-five to seventy horses. The ranch lies in the valley of the North Platte river, and is well located for cattle raising, having plenty of good grazing land on Willow creek, which furnished an endless supply of good water, while he farms about sixty acres, raising good crops of small grain. He later filed on four hundred and eighty acres in section 24, township 15, range 36, which is his present residence. Since coming to this ranch Mr. McFadden had a serious fire go through the place in the spring of 1908, causing the loss of over one thousand dollars, the ranch being burned off and a large quantity of hay, also ten miles of fence destroyed. This has been rebuilt and two miles of wire fence added. He has had some hard times, but has prospered in the main, and since filing on his Kincaid homestead, Mr. McFadden has purchased half

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 822

of section 14, township 14, range 35, and Mrs. McFadden secured one hundred and ten acres in Lincoln county, and Mr. McFadden is now numbered among the well-to-do men of his section. We show a view of the residence on section 24 and ranch property in section 10 elsewhere in this work.

Picture button
     Mr. McFadden was married in Illiopolis, Illinois, February 25, 1886, to Miss Maggie Brogan, a daughter of Simon and Hannah (McGinley) Brogan, who were born, lived and died in Ireland. Mrs. McFadden came to America when a young girl, sailing from Belfast, May 15, 1880, on the Allen, landing in New York June 1st, and after three and a half years' residence in Philadelphia she departed for Sangamon county, December 3, 1883. Mr. and Mrs. McFadden are the parents of two children, Michael and Margaret, who attended the schools of Paxton for three years, finishing a course in North Platte. Michael filed on section 6, township 15, range 36, his father's first holding, and is perfecting his title under the Kincaid law. The family are all member of the Catholic church and Democratic in politics.

     The gentleman above mentioned is one of the leading citizens of Gordon, widely known as a successful business man and worthy resident of that place. Mr. Thompson is a prominent druggist of Gordon, and conducts a first-class, up-to-date establishment.

     Mr. Thompson was born near Buffalo, New York, in 1880. He is a son of Wellington Thompson, who is an old settler in Sheridan county, where he was raised and educated, attending the State University at Lincoln for one year and also the Highland Park School of Pharmacy at Des Moines, Iowa, from which institution he was graduated in 1902. After leaving school he went to Sioux City, Iowa, where he clerked for over a year in the drug store of L. P. Knos. He afterward went to Lead, South Dakota, and spent two years, during this time making a trip to the Pacific coast, being employed by the Owl Drug Company for some time. In 1905 he came back to Gordon and in December of that year purchased the drug business of Mrs. M. E. Hoffman. This was an old established business and Mr. Thompson went to work and put in a larger stock of goods and has made it one of the best equipped stores of its kind in the county and enjoys a large trade throughout this section. Mr. Thompson belongs to several orders of the town - Masonic order, Arcana Lodge, No. 195, also the Modern Woodmen, all of Gordon, Nebraska.


     Honorable Thomas Howe Marshall, a leading farmer of Williamsburg township, Nebraska, whose public life is well known throughout the locality in which he resides has gained an enviable reputation as a citizen and enjoys the confidence and esteem of his associates.

     Mr. Marshall is a native of Carlton county, Ontario, Canada, of English and Scotch descent. His father, J. Marshall, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, where he grew up and entered the shipbuilding business, and later operated a ship yard. Our subject's grandfather, under the direction of Robert Fulton, made the iron for the first steamboat ever built. Our subject's grandfather was sent from England by the government before the revolution to take charge of a government shipyard at Hartford. He was a native of Scotland. Mr. Marshall has seven brothers: John, living at Regina, in northwestern Canada; William, who settled in Phelps county, Nebraska, and died there, leaving a family; James, located at Holdrege; Gustus, who died in Phelps county in 1905, leaving a widow and three children, one of whom, Rev. Marshall, is a Presbyterian missionary in India, and a graduate of Princeton University. George died in Canada, where he always resided; Benjamin, an old settler of Phelps county, is now in northwestern Canada; Alexander died in Canada.

     Mr. Marshall is proprietor of three hundred and twenty acres of the finest land on the second bottom of the Platte river. He settled here in 1880, coming direct from Carlton county, Canada, where he was brought up on his father's farm, and during his young manhood was manager of some of the large lumber firms in that section. Since locating here he has been very successful in his farming ventures, and has built up a fine estate. He engages in mixed farming, and has kept about one hundred hogs and fifty cattle on his land. His crops show a splendid yield, wheat running over thirty bushels to the acre, corn forty-five and oats twenty-five, which is a very fair average.

     Mr. Marshall represented the Republican party in the state legislature in 1886. He was a member of the Phelps county board for six years at the time the county was divided into districts and the number of supervisors reduced to seven. He has been an active member of the school board, and an earnest worker in church affairs. He is a steward and trustee of the Williamsburg Methodist Episcopal church.

     In 1872 Mr. Marshall was married to Miss Marcie Kedey, a native of Carlton county, Ontario, who died in 1904. They were the parents of nine children, namely: John K., of Holdrege;

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 823


Jessie, now Mrs. Richard Morrison, and who before her marriage taught in this county for several years; Lizxie, Addie, wife of John Dahlstead, an implement dealer of Holdrege, who also taught school in this county for several years; Lillie, Thomas S. (deceased), Ralph, Moses and Grace. The family is highly respected in the community, and enjoy a host of friends and acquaintances.


     John Severson, one of the sturdy sons of Norway who came to this country as a young man and who braved the storms of adversity and from a very small start has become the possessor of a fine property through perseverance and industry, lives on his well-kept estate in section 22, township 24, range 52, Box Butte county, Nebraska. Mr. Severson is among the oldest settlers in the western part of the county, and has taken an active part in the upbuilding of that region from its earliest stages of development. Incidentally he has acquired one of the finest ranches there during the past thirty years, and every dollar of his property has been gained by his own good management and faithful labors.

     Mr. Severson was born in Norway, near Christiana, in 1840, on a farm, and his parents lived and died in that vicinity, following farming all their lives. John remained at home until he was thirty years of age, working as a farmer and day laborer, and was married there in 1863, to Mary Erickson, also born and reared in that locality. The young couple came to the United States in 1871, settling in Michigan, where our subject worked in the iron mines for about eight years. While mining he had the misfortune to have his ankle broken and was laid up with this injury for nearly a year, and has never recovered from this accident and still is lame form its effect. In 1879 he came west and located in Kearney county, Nebraska, which section was then entirely unimproved land. He bought a tract of railroad land and made it his home for several years, but was finally obliged to leave, as he was unable to make anything on the place. For one year he worked on the railroad, then settled in Pawnee county, renting a farm, and remained there for seven years and did fairly well. In 1889 he came to Box Butte county, locating on section 22, and started to develop a farm and build up a home. When he arrived in that locality he owned two teams, and soon afterward bought some cows and began mixed farming and stock raising. He constantly improved his farm and besides that did a great deal of work, for others in the vicinity, and freighted through the country a good deal. His first mistake was made in trying to farm, as the conditions were not suited to that branch of work at that time, the seasons being dry, storms sweeping the section, etc. He did, however, raise one first-class crop, and that was in 1889, when he received one thousand bushels of wheat from eighty acres of land, and the three years following was unable to raise barely enough for seed. He was scarcely able to make a living off his land, and had to sell two cows to get money enough to pay for a binder which he had purchased. From that time on he gradually got into the stock business, and has done well along that line. He keeps about one hundred and twenty cattle and thirteen horses. He has improved his ranch in every way, owning in all five quarter sections, and one son, George, is also owner of six hundred and forty acres right near his father's ranch. Our subject leases one section which is used for hay land and pasture for his stock. His whole ranch is fenced, and he has good wells, windmills, etc. He has erected a handsome residence, and altogether has one of the prettiest and best improved estates in his locality.

     Mr. Severson's family consists of himself, wife and two children, namely: George, aged twenty-three, and Minnie aged twenty-five years. One daughter, Cora, died in 1895, when she was twenty-four years old.

     Mr. Severson is a Republican. He has helped in establishing the schools in his community, and well remembers the time when the settlers were obliged to travel a distance of sixty miles for lumber to build the first schoolhouse. He has held the office of road overseer in his district for the past ten years.


     Homer H. Webb, for the past few years a resident of Keya Paha county, Nebraska, resides on section 24, township 33, range 24, in McGuire precinct, and is well known throughout this locality as a progressive citizen and capable business man.

     Mr. Webb was born in Story county, Iowa, October 29, 1870. His father, Granville D. Webb, was a farmer, of American stock, and came to this county with his family in the early stages of its development, and went through pioneer experiences here, now residing in Oregon. The mother, who was Mary Allen in maidenhood, bore ten children, of whom our subject is the seventh member. He was reared on the farm, and when eighteen years old came to Keya

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 824

Paha county and started farming on rented land, following that up to 1895, when he went to Colorado and remained for five years, there engaged in different kinds of work. He then returned to Keya Paha county and took up a homestead, the same on which he now resides, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, and later added to it, owning at the present time two hundred and forty acres, mostly all pasture land. He is engaged in stock raising, keeping about forty head of cattle and ten horses. He also has a large number of hogs. He is fast improving his place, and devotes all his time to building it up and having it in every way a model farm.

     Mr. Webb was married in Springview, in 1893, to Miss Anna Lively, whose father was an early settler in Nebraska, and is now living in McGuire precinct. To Mr. and Mrs. Webb the following children have been born: Viola M., Carl S. and Blanche B.

     For many years past Mr. Webb has been a follower of the Socialist party. He is active in local and school affairs, and lends his aid for good government and the building up of the best interests of his community.


     Earl W. Bostrom, one of the younger members of the farming community of Keith county, is a worthy representative of the family of that name, who were among the earliest settlers in the county and have made the region their home ever since.

     Our subject was born in Galva, Illinois, August 23, 1878. Both his parents were natives of Sweden, coming to America when young people, the father about 1869. He was a native of the village of Geble, born May 26, 1842; his mother, who was Betsy Heddslrohm, was born in the county of Sunne, district of Wermland, and came to America when sixteen years of age, by the way of Gottenberg, Hull and Liverpool to New York. The family lived in Illinois until 1885, excepting two years in Polk county, Nebraska, near Stromsberg. There were eight children in his father's family: Otto J., Josie, Earl W., Arthur Edwin (deceased), Theresa, wife of Walter S. Prunty, a grocer of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Oscar A., Minnie E. and Evaline W. Oscar is married and lives on the old home ranch. On reaching Keith county in 1885, the father, Andrew Bostrom, filed on a homestead in section 32, township 13, range 41, and built a sod house, barn and chicken house, broke land for crops and started to develop a farm and home. Their only team was a yoke of oxen. Success was very slow, as they encountered many difficulties on account of the unsettled condition of the country and the fact that their supplies had to be hauled a long distance over rough and unbroken roads. In 1890 they had the terrible misfortune to lose the husband and father, and after his death the family saw hard times, going through the drouth (sic) seasons when crops failed and it was hard work to keep the family together and live comfortably. Otto secured work on the railroad, working as a section hand, but was soon made foreman and is now roadmaster of the division between Laramie and Rawlins. Earl also followed railroad work for seven years, the last two years of his service being as section foreman. The two own in partnership the quarter section of land on which the family now reside.

     Since the death of the father, Earl has been the head of the family, bearing the burden cheerfully. The old home ranch of six hundred and forty acres lies on the state line, partly in Colorado, which is devoted to cattle raising. The tract of one hundred and sixty acres on which the family lives is irrigated and under cultivation. The whole farm is improved with a good house and outbuildings, with necessary fences.

     Although a very young man, our subject has made his influence felt in his community, as he takes an active part in local affairs and gives his best aid to every movement for the advancement of the region. He is a Democrat in politics.


     James C. Hartford is a native of Nebraska, born in Jefferson county in 1872. His father was Jesse Hartford, a pioneer of Loup county of the days of 1885. The father came first on a prospecting trip in 1884, filed on his land in section 32, township 23, range 17, and the next year returned and build (sic) a sod shanty, and then the family came to their new home a year later, in 1886. Our subject's mother was Laura White before marriage.

     Here, in Loup county, on a farm our subject grew up, participating in the hardness of pioneer life to which the family was subjected. Early in his life he learned to do all the work of the farm and made all the long trips hauling the supplies from the far away town of North Loup. He drove an ox team when they came to the county in 1885, and for some time this was the only kind of team they had. Our subject remained with his father helping on the tree claim until 1893, and then he commenced working out for himself.

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 825

     In 1900 James C. Hartford was married to Miss May Hesselgesser, daughter of Robert H. Hesselgesser, one of the early pioneers of Loup county. Mr. and Mrs. Hartford have one child, a daughter, named Lela.

     Our subject settled on his homestead in section 29, township 23, range 17, north of Calamus river, in 1905, and now operates a fine farm of nine hundred and sixty acres. He has built up a good home and farm and established himself on the road to a comfortable competency. He has always taken an active part in local affairs and has held various offices of trust and responsibility. He has performed his part in the development of the material prosperity of the community and is respected for his broad-gauged principles.


     James P. Hardin, known in Harlan county for the past quarter of a century, is one of the influential citizens of Turkey Creek township. He is engaged in conducting an extensive farm and has met with a marked degree of success, due to his energetic efforts and industrious habits, and is a gentleman who enjoys the esteem and respect of all who know him.

     Mr. Hardin is a native of Putnam county, Indiana, and raised there. He is a son of John H. Hardin, and the family came to Davis county, Missouri, where they lived for a number of years before coming to Nebraska. In 1884 John H. Hardin, our subject's father, came to Turkey River Township and bought a farm, living on it up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1899, at the age of eighty-five years. He was a native of Kentucky, born in Washington county, and his father was also John Hardin, of Virginia, and fought in the Revolutionary war. The Hardin family has been prominent and active in public affairs in Kentucky for many years past, and among the first families of that state. Our subject's mother was Miss Elizabeth Grantham, of Putnam county, Indiana. Mr. Hardin owns a well appointed farm of one hundred and sixty acres of good land along the Turkey creek, which is well improved. He is an old settler and has made a remarkable success as a farmer.

     Mr. Hardin was united in marriage in 1897 to Mrs. Ida Walker, daughter of James Silvers, of Andrew county, Nebraska, who came from Lee county, Virginia, and who served in the Sixteenth Iowa Regiment during the Civil war. His wife was Miss Elizabeth Shepler, daughter of John Shepler, of Logan county. Mrs. Hardin's father died March 21, 1906. Mr. Hardin has four children, who are named as follows: Sarah, Minnie Ethol, John H. Hardin, who is now assistant cashier of the State Bank of Huntley, Nebraska, and Edward, living at home with his parents, and assisting his father in carrying on the far. Mrs. Hardin has one child, May, from a former marriage. The family occupy a fine residence and enjoy many friends and acquaintances who partake of their generous hospitality in their pleasant home.


     Robert S. McConnell, who owns and operates a large estate on section 20, township 18, range 49, is one of the substantial men of his community who has made Nebraska his home for many years, having passed through the pioneer days of the state when he had a hard time to get along, but in spite of all has remained to reap the benefit of his years of toil and is now richly rewarded by the success which has come to him. He has devoted his entire career to farming and stock raising, his ranch consisting of twelve hundred and eighty acres, with a handsome residence which is situated in Court House Rock precinct, Cheyenne county.

     Mr. McConnell was born in Metal township, Franklin county, Pennsylvania, March 12, 1853, where he grew to manhood. He was the only child of his parents, Robert and Nancy (Dunlap) McConnell, his father dying while he was a babe; the mother passed away in 1878 in the old Pennsylvania home. In the spring of 1875 Mr. McConnell left his native state and located on the border line of McDonough and Hancock counties, Illinois, where he had relatives living. For two years he worked at farm labor, then renting land, farmed for himself until 1883. He then moved to Hampton, Iowa, where he farmed until coming to Nebraska in 1888. Settling in Cheyenne county on a pre-emption and tree claim on section 20, he later filed on a homestead in the same section, on which he proved up in due time and constantly added improvements as he became able, now having a complete set of good ranch buildings, with a splendid supply of water the year round.

     Mr. McConnell is engaged in stock raising on a large scale, and at the present time has a herd of three hundred cattle and one hundred horses. He has about one hundred acres under cultivation, raising principally corn with some small grain.

     Our subject was married in Franklin county, Iowa, August 18, 1886, to Miss Louise LaMore, a daughter of Robert and Lucy (Archalarius) LaMore. Mrs. McConnell was born and reared in Iowa. Her mother is at present living tem-

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 826

porarily in California, the father having passed away some years ago. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. McConnell, as follows: Elsie May, a teacher of Morrill county; Robert Earl, who will graduate from the Sidney high school in 1909, and Cyril D., who is assisting his father on the home ranch.

     Mr. McConnell is a man of broad experience and splendid business ability. He is well read and intelligent, taking a deep interest in all affairs of the nation and state. He is a firm Republican and a member of the county committee, and has served as treasurer of district No. 90. He is, with the family, a member of the Presbyterian church, and affiliates with the Modern Woodmen at Sidney. Mrs. McConnell is a member of the Royal Neighbors.

Picture button

     Peder Thorsen, a man of good judgment and marked business ability, is one of the most prominent and successful residents of Sheridan county. He was born in Denmark in 1861, and raised on his father's farm, remaining with his parents until twenty-one years old, being the elder of two children, and receiving the solid and thorough training which falls to the lot of the people of that thrifty country. In 1882 he came to America locating in Colorado, and spent one year there, and was one year in Omaha, after which time he came to Sheridan county and settled there. In 1884 he pre-empted on the ranch where he now lives, his first habitation being a sod house in which he made his home for a number of years. He at once began farming and has continued at it ever since, buying all the land he owns at from two hundred and fifty dollars per quarter up, excepting four hundred and eighty acres, and now is the owner of an eighteen-hundred acre ranch, all fenced and stocked with eight hundred head of cattle, one hundred horses and about one hundred and fifty hogs. In 1893 he erected a fine house on his farm, adding a large barn in the course of two years, and now has one of the best improved places in this locality. During the dry years, from 1895 to 1900, Mr. Thorsen met with much disappointment and loss. Nearly all his crops were ruined and he was only able to raise enough grain for seed, confining his efforts entirely to the cultivation of corn and potatoes.

     Mr. Thorsen was married in 1884 to Miss Carrie Nelson, who is a native of Denmark, coming to America with her parents in 1882 and settling on a farm a short distance west of where our subject resided. They have no children. Mr. Thorsen always keeps abreast of the times and lends his influence to the upbuilding of the better interests of the community. He is satisfied that Sheridan county is far ahead of any place he has ever struck, and is contented to spend the balance of his days here. In political sentiment he is a Republican.


     John W. Wehn, probably one of the best known residents of western Nebraska, and one who has been a leader in the political and other affairs of the region for many years past, is a resident of Bridgeport. He is also one of the wealthiest men of his county, having extensive ranching interests, etc.

     Mr. Wehn was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, August 24, 1849. He received his early education in that city and made it his home up to the time of the war, when he enlisted as a private in Company G, One Hundred and Ninety-second United States Army Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was but little more than fifteen years of age when he entered the army, serving from February 4, 1865, to the close of the war, and was mustered out at Harpers Ferry. He returned to his home, remaining there up to 1857, and in November of that year crossed the Missouri river, landing in Nebraska on Thanksgiving day. He first made settlement in Beatrice, and spent several years in the vicinity, going to DeWitt, Saline county, in 1874, where he established The Opposition, which was the first Democratic newspaper printed in Nebraska south of the Platte river. He was editor and publisher of that organ for one year there, then transferred his headquarters to Wilber and edited it up to 1889.

     During all this time Mr. Wehn was interested more or less in politics, and in 1894 he received the appointment of register of the United States land office at Alliance, Nebraska, continuing in that office for four years. Since then he has been connected with nearly every matter of public importance in the locality.

     Mr. Wehn is also heavily interested in different banking concerns, including the Bank of Oshkosh, Lewellyn, Bridgeport and Minatare. He is a gentleman of superior business ability and sound principles, and his standing as a citizen and public man in unquestioned. Politically he is a Democrat.

     Mr. Wehn is of German descent, his parents coming from that country in the early years, and both are now deceased. He was married in Gage county, Nebraska, January 1, 1870, to Miss

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 827

Mary Elizabeth Kinzie, a native of Wisconsin, whose father and mother now reside at DeWitt. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Wehn, three of whom are living, namely: Lillian May, married to B. V. Reeves, living at Torrington, Wyoming; John Herbert and James Garland.


     Box Butte county boasts of no more prominent man or highly respected citizen than the gentleman whose name heads this review. For many years he has been closely identified with he history of this region, has been one of the organizers of the schools in his locality, also one of the foremost promoters of its welfare. He resides on his extensive ranch in section 24, township 24, range 50, where he occupies a handsome home, and has all the comforts of rural life.

     Mr. Reddish was born in Warren county, Iowa, in 1862, and was reared on a farm. His father, James, was a farmer and stockman, and he grew up in his native county, receiving a common school education. At the age of nineteen our subject left home and went to Wyoming, where he worked on different ranches, rounding up cattle, and followed the life of a cowboy for about eight years. He was all over the western country, through the Platte valley and in the vicinity of Sidney, Nebraska. In 1890 he returned to Iowa and spent two years in the vicinity of his old home, following farming there, then gave up his place and started in the livery business at Des Moines, Iowa. He remained at that place for five years, and was very successful in his work, but finally disposed of his holdings and again returned to Warren county, Iowa, and went to farming, operating the place for five years. In 1900 he sold his farm and came to Nebraska, purchasing a ranch of nineteen hundred and sixty acres, situated eleven miles southwest of Alliance, in Cheyenne county. He built up and improved the place in good shape, engaging exclusively in the stock raising business, and at the same time, ran a feed store in Alliance. He made a good deal of money in that business, and continued it up to 1906. In 1906 he bought his present ranch, moving on it in the summer of 1907, having disposed of his former ranch and feed store. His residence and other buildings are a credit to the community, his ranch consisting of twelve hundred acres, nearly all of it devoted to stock raising, although he crops a small part of the land. He is starting a large number of trees on the place and will soon have a fine grove and orchard, including apple, plum, pear trees and small fruits of every description. His residence is a handsome dwelling, surrounded by beautiful lawn, and is one of the pleasantest spots to be found in the locality, every detail of the place presenting a well-kept and neat appearance.

     In 1889 Mr. Reddish was married to Viola M. Vernon, a daughter of Lafayette Vernon, who came west from Pennsylvania, settling in Kansas, where he went through pioneer experiences, and built up a good home. Mr. and Mrs. Reddish have two children, namely: Ray, aged fourteen years, and Beulah, aged ten years. Mr. Ray Reddish, although but fourteen years of age, is one of the gifted artists of the west; quite an artist and is learning to play nicely on the piano.

     Our subject is a Democrat. He has never given much of his time to politics, having been too busy taking care of his home and ranch, although he stands for good government, and uses his influence in electing the best man nominated.


     Mrs. M. W. Grant, one of the well-known resident of Brown county, is an old settler in Nebraska and a very estimable lady, respected by all who know her.

     Mrs. Grant was born in New York State, December 25, 1844. Her father, Silas W. Erwin, was a farmer of American stock, and her mother, Sarah Brinkerhoff, was also of American descent. Our subject is the eldest of two children, was raised in New York state and married to C. G. Grant in 1867, also a native of New York, whose father was Nelson Grant, one of the prominent farmers and business men of the county in which he lived. Nelson Grant's wife was in maidenhood Philara Mein, of American birth.

     In 1876 Charles G. Grant came to Iowa, settling in Webster county, and farmed it there for thirteen years, also being engaged in mining, at different times following his trade as stationary engineer. In 1897 they moved to Missouri, where they remained for one year, and in September, 1881, came to western Nebraska, traveling from Missouri with an ox team and covered wagon, driving a small bunch of cattle, arriving in Atkinson the day on which the first railroad ran into that town, at that time Atkinson being the postoffice and trading point of this locality. Mr. Grant first located on Niobrara river, later on Bone creek, and then on his present farm at Winfield, Brown county, here buying a pre-emption right. His first house was a log cabin with sod roof, and the first

Horizontal Bar

Prior page
Name index
Next page

A portion provided by Mrs. Nevada Boslet
© 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project Resource Center by Marilyn Estrada, T&C Miller