year he was only able to raise a little garden stuff. All of his time was employed in building up his farm and making improvements, and in 1900 he died from the effects of a gunshot wound received in the Civil war, and was sincerely mourned as a kind husband and indulgent father. Mr. and Mrs. Grant were the parents of five children, two of whom died in infancy, and of the remaining three but two are now living: Bertha F. born April 25, 1878, now married, and Hugh E., born in January, 1882, on the Niobrara river, in what is now Rock county. Their first child, Gertie E., born in New York, in 1871, died in young womanhood.
During the war Mr. Grant served in Company I, One Hundred and Seventeenth New York Volunteers, and saw service in the Army of the Potomac. He received the wound which eventually caused his death at Fair Oaks, Virginia.
Mrs. Grant now owns and operates the farm of three hundred and twenty acres located on Pine creek, in both Brown and Rock counties, ,and the comfortable farm buildings, fine orchards containing all kinds of fruit, and the general air of thrift which prevails over all, bears evidence of her good management. For convenience Mrs. Grant has had the clear spring water piped through the house which runs from the hills near by.
WILLIAM R. WOOD.
William R. Wood, treasurer of Cheyenne county, was born in Adams county, Illinois, May 31, 1861, being the youngest of five children. His father and mother were natives of Ireland, but came to America in an early day and settled in Illinois. His father died in 1863, and his mother in 1870, in the county where the subject of this sketch was born. Mr. Wood has one sister still living in Adams county.
In 1882 he turned his steps westward and settled for a time in Cass county, Nebraska, but in the spring of 1896 he became a permanent resident of Cheyenne county. He located his homestead in the fall of 1885, choosing the southeast quarter of section 4, township 16, range 41, and added a tree claim several years later. He now owns six hundred and forty acres of desirable land with very good improvements. Mr. Wood has been careful and thorough in the management of his farm and has made good in every way. He has one hundred acres under cultivation, pastures seventy-five head of cattle and a small bunch of horses. The subject of this sketch is admittedly one of the prominent citizens of Cheyenne county. Although a Democrat in politics he has been honored by election to several important positions, and this is evidence of his popularity when it is known that the county is strongly Republican.
Mr. Wood has been active in all matters pertaining to the welfare of his state and county and his intelligent interest in local affairs has been thoroughly appreciated by his friends and neighbors. He held the office of county commissioner from 1896 to 1902 and the finances of Cheyenne county were materially advanced under his administration. He has also held the office of precinct assessor for several terms. In the fall of 1907 Mr. Wood was elected treasurer of Cheyenne county and commenced his duties January 1, 1908. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America.
Matthias Thein, one of the foremost public-spirited and worthy citizens of Dawes county, is a native of Germany, where he was born at Luxemburg in 1839, a son of John Thein. a wealthy farmer and distiller. Our subject's father came to America at the age of twenty-one years, and was a member of the second party who crossed the plains to California in the gold rush of 1849. Here he made a fortune, returning later to Germany, where he invested in a large farm and distillery. Our subject's mother was also a native of Germany.
Until the age of twenty years, Matthias lived with his father, assisting him in farming while attending the common schools. In 1879 he came to America, landed in New York city, and went west into Iowa, where he followed the occupation of farming. After spending, six years there, Mr. Thein visited his home in Germany, and upon his return to America again went to Iowa. For many years he followed railroading, handling groups of men on construction work for twelve years. He has been associated with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, assisting with the construction of this line north of Alliance.
Mr. Thein is the owner of a fine ranch of six hundred acres, which is fenced, and which is located in section 14, township 30, range 51. There are one hundred and thirty acres of cultivated land. He has erected some of the finest buildings to be found on any farm in Nebraska. His residence, a building which cost him fifteen hundred dollars, is a modern up-to-date dwelling, water-piped throughout, containing a bath room, and many of the conveniences of the
modern city residence. He has a water reservoir with a capacity of one hundred and eighty barrels.
In 1891 the subject of this sketch was married to Jacobina Van Treeck, of Wisconsin. Her parents were farmers, natives of Germany. To this union was born one child, William, who first saw the light of day in 1892.
Mr. Thein has traveled extensively throughout the southern and middle states, the Black Hills of Wyoming, and through the British possessions. In political matters he has always been affiliated with the Republican party. His upright and honorable career has brought him the success which is due his honest efforts, and should be an encouragement to the voting men of the present generation, as in it they can see what thrift and industry, honesty and integrity can always accomplish. A progressive and wide-awake German citizen, Mr. Thein can well be proud of the reputation he has made in the surrounding community.
C. J. JOHNSON.
C. J. Johnson, of Newark township, Kearney county, Nebraska, has gathered about him an extensive estate by his diligence and good management, supplemented by honest dealings. He is a man of untiring energy, intelligence and good judgment, and well merits his high standing as an agriculturist and citizen.
Mr. Johnson is a native of this state, born in 1877. His father, B. A. Johnson, came to Nebraska in 1877, settling in this county, taking up a homestead in section 20, township 8, range 14, engaging in farming, and from the first was very successful, gradually adding more land to his first farm of one hundred and sixty acres until he was proprietor of about seven hundred acres. He died in 1899, aged sixty-three years, and his sons still own the farm to which they have added adjoining lands, their place in all containing twenty-two hundred acres which is owned by the six children - three brothers and three sisters. They attend strictly to the working of their ranch, and have a very valuable estate. Their father and mother came to America from Sweden in 1877, and with the customary industry of that nationality they labored hard and faithfully to build up their home and gain a competency, proving most worthy citizens and gaining the respect and esteem of all by their honesty and good citizenship. The brothers and sisters are extremely careful and industrious about all their affairs, and our subject, who is administrator of the estate of his father, is slow to act and thoughtful, weighing all matters of importance well before deciding a point, but after investigation he acts with decision and promptness. The father and mother of Mr. Johnson began on this farm in a very small way, and by great industry and frugality amassed a large fortune in this Platte river valley land, leaving a comfortable estate to each of their children, all of whom are highly esteemed. Whatever they aim to do each day on the ranch or elsewhere, they accomplish ere night falls, letting no objection or allurement turn them from the work or course marked out, and it is such young men and women as these who will contribute their share to making Nebraska a great and rich state. Mr. Johnson has six hundred acres of fine pasture, and farms eight hundred acres, all operated by himself and brothers, Frank J. and Oscar J., the three working together in perfect harmony. They handle from two to three hundred cattle and two hundred hogs each year. Each year they raise about twenty-five thousand bushels of grain. They rent out a part of their land also. The three sisters, Alma, Ada and Huldah, live on the ranch, and all of the children were born on their present homestead. They are members of the Lutheran church.
WILLIAM J. ALLEN.
One of the leading old settlers of Cherry county, Nebraska, who has aided materially in the development and growth of this section, is the gentleman whose name heads this review. He has experienced all the hard times that fell to the lot of the pioneers in Nebraska and later through the dry years suffered much loss and deprivation, and is glad that the time has come when these things are changed and the people of this section can live in peace and plenty and enjoy the fruits of their hard labors.
Mr. Allen was born in Green county, Kentucky, in 1842. He was reared and educated on his grandfather's farm there and in 1859 moved with his parents to Illinois. His father, Alexander Allen, and his mother, who was Mary Barrett before her marriage, were both natives of Kentucky, living on the farm belonging to the former's father until their family of eight children were reared. Our subject was the eldest, and at the age of twenty he enlisted in the One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Regiment. Second Division, West Brigade, and served his country in the great struggle for ...
freedom for three years. At the close of the war the family came west, locating in Johnson county Nebraska, where our subject followed farming and freighting for a time, later being employed in railroad service. During the first years they were here his father was unable to raise anything, so our subject did not think the country was worth homesteading. He quite farming and followed freighting for four years, and then moved to Nebraska City and remained there up to 1886, when he settled in Springview, but only lived there about a year and then came to Cherry county, taking a homestead in section 24, township 34, range 26, and at once began improving the place, putting up a dwelling and outbuildings, fences, etc., and began to break the land. He still owns this place, and he has added adjoining land until he is now proprietor of four hundred acres of grazing and hay land, with about forty acres of bottom land, which is given to the plow. He keeps about a dozen horses, one hundred and thirty head of cattle, and half as many hogs, doing well in all these branches of stock raising.
Mr. Allen was married in 1871 to Miss Jane Swoggar, a native of Ohio, of English stock. They have a family of five children, named as follows: William A., Gertrude, Maude, Richard and Edwin, all born in Nebraska, and now living in the vicinity of their parents' home.
Mr. Allen is an Independent in politics, but cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, when he was a candidate for president for a second term.
Mr. Horne was born in Rochester, New Hampshire, in 1849, and was a son of Luther P. and Abbie Downing Horne. The families of both the Hornes and Downings were among the pioneer settlers in New England. Our subject was reared and educated in Rollinsford, New Hampshire, and attended the academy at the town of South Berwick, Maine. In 1874 he came to Maxwell, Nebraska, in the service of the Union Pacific railway as operator at the station in that city. In 1876 he became agent at Brady, and remained in that position for five years, then returned to Maxwell and was appointed agent at that place, and has remained there ever since. During the time he has been here the business of the road has increased phenomenally, and the work grown much heavier, but he is a man of ability, and faithful in the performance of his duty, always looking after the interests of the company and advancing its affairs in every way possible.
Mr. Horne is interested in farming land in this locality, and is proprietor of a large ranch one and a half miles from Maxwell, the place comprising seven hundred and sixty acres, mostly of valley and hill land. For twelve years, from 1876 to 1888, he held the office of postmaster, five years at Brady and seven years at Maxwell, and was a popular and efficient official. He also held the position of treasurer for the Maxwell school for four terms. He has the distinction of being the second oldest man in the telegraph service of the Union Pacific railroad.
In 1877 Mr. Horne was married to Miss Clara Irene Smith, of Albany, New York. Two children resulted from this union, namely: Arthur W. and Erma S., both of whom are living.
The boyhood days of our subject were spent in his native land, where he assisted his father in the cultivation of their land. When he had reached the age of twenty-three years he decided to seek his fortune in the new world, and landed in New York city, in 1883, came west to Floyd county, Iowa. Here he remained until 1885. It was in the month of May of the same year that he came to Valentine, Nebraska. He had no team, but walked to Dawes county, looked over the land there, filed a claim and walked back to Valentine. During the summer months he employed his time at railroad construction work, and in the fall went back to his farm in Dawes county. Here he built a log cabin, commenced the work of improving and developing his farm, and lived the life of a bachelor for seven years. The first two years here he had no team, but later invested in a team of oxen. He experienced the many hardships so familiar to the frontiersman of this western country, but during the periods of drouths (sic)
he was fortunate in not experiencing a complete failure of crops. He worked hard, was economical and saved his money, and now has a ranch of ten hundred and thirteen acres of well appointed land, one hundred thirty acres of which are under cultivation. He has five hundred acres more which can be plowed but which is now used as hay land. Upon his farm he has erected a substantial home, good barns and a granary, two wells and windmills.
In 1892 Mr. Hulsemann was married to Miss Mary Sephas, who was born in Nebraska. Her father, Godfrey Sephas, was a farmer and a native of Germany. Her mother was Dora (Lang) Sephas. Henry, Edward, George, Dora, Minnie, Frederick and Anna are the seven children who came to bless this union.
As an old settler, Mr. Hulsemann has done his share toward the development of Dawes county. He has always been prominently identified locally, taking an active interest in the affairs of the surrounding community. He has assisted materially in the building of schools, and for many years has held various school offices. It matters not how many years this sketch of his life may be read, it will stand as an excellent example for any youth, showing as it does how a poor boy battled against adversity and finally won. Whether one meets Mr. Hulsemann in public circles, in business relations, or at his home fireside, he is the same genial, plain, intelligent, companionable man, who loves his home and appreciates its hallowed surroundings.
Mr. Johnson was born in Lake county, Indiana, June 30, 1858. When he was about nine years of age his parents moved to Chicago and there he was raised and educated, and he remembers distinctly the terrible fire which swept that city in 1871. Mr. Johnson lived in Chicago until he was twenty-four years of age, then came to Nebraska, travelling (sic) as an emigrant in a "prairie schooner," the familiar mode of conveyance in those days. He arrived in Cheyenne county on April 23, 1884, and immediately pre-empted a claim and later homesteaded, also took a tree claim, all on the North river, and proved up on the land and afterwards sold it. He then located on his present ranch, in section 30, township 16, range 46, situated about twelve miles north of Lodgepole. Here he has a splendid ranch and runs a large bunch of cattle and some horses. also farms a small portion of his land, raising grains. He has a well-improved place, with good buildings, fences, wells, etc., and is one of the leading old-timers of Cheyenne county, although since coming here he has spent about nine years traveling through the western states, including Colorado, South Dakoea (sic) Idaho, Wyoming and into New Mexico, returning for permanent settlement in 1903.
Mr. Johnson was married in Cheyenne county, in 1889, to Miss Emma P. Johnson, and to them have been born three children, Frank, May and Ray, all attending school at present. The fathers of both Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are dead, both mothers still living.
Mr. Henderson was born in St. Clair county, Michigan, on the third day of September, 1846, and made that his home up to 1859, when he removed to Ottawa county, Ohio. In August, 1852, he enlisted in Company G, One hundredth Volunteer Infantry, Ohio Volunteers, and was in the Georgia and Atlanta campaigns, and was with Thomas during his entire campaign at Nashville. He was also in the battles of Franklin and Nashville, and saw much active service during his career as a soldier. He was mustered out at Greensboro, North Carolina, and received his discharge at Cleveland, and returned to Ohio, remaining there for several years. In the spring of 1888 he came to Nebraska, homesteading on section 8, township 17, range 43, and proved up on the land, there going through all the hardships and privations of the early settlers in the region.
Mr. Henderson is now located on section 23, township 17, range 44, where he has a well-improved farm, having every convenience in the way of substantial buildings, fences, well and windmill. He engages in mixed farming and stock raising, and has been successful in developing a good home.
On February 22, 1872, our subject married Elva V. Lattimore, in Ottawa county, Ohio, and they had a family of five children, Mrs. Henderson dying on April 10, 1905. Their children were named as follows: Oscar T., James W., Alta, William and Blaine. Oscar T. is married, also Alta, who is the wife of John Reed, they living in Oshkosh.
In political views Mr. Henderson is a Republican, and is active in local affairs. He was the first assessor in the precinct after Deuel county was organized.
Mr. Jones was born in Sheridan, Lucas county, Iowa, in 1859. He is a son of Walter Jones and Mary (Kinney) Jones, of old American stock. His father was an engineer by profession, who came to Kansas in 1868, where he was pioneer in a colony of nine families. There they started to establish homes, and during an Indian uprising all were massacred by the redskins excepting himself and one other person, and he then came to Lincoln, Nebraska. Our subject was raised on the frontier among the Indians, where his father had a farm, and his boyhood was spent in farm work, receiving a very limited schooling through attending the country schools. In 1889 he left home and went to the vicinity of Omaha, where he lived a frontiersman's life, hunting and fishing for a living. He finally came to Blaine county about 1896 and started ranching, living about six miles from Dunning, starting without any capital practically and again fished and hunted for a living most of the time, and during the hard times periods in the vicinity he traveled all over the country in search of game to supply the market in Dunning and other small towns. He even went into South Dakota in his travels for wild game, and managed to make a fair income from this occupation. He witnessed all the pioneer times and incidentally has been an important factor in the development of this section.
He established himself in the hotel business in Dunning in 1906, first buying the Dunning Hotel, which he carried on for several years, then sold out and started the Burlington Hotel, which is a favorite hostelry for many commercial travellers (sic) through this part of Nebraska. He is a gentleman of pleasing personality, and makes a popular host, and his hotel is one of the best equipped in these parts, commending itself to all in search of first-class accommodations.
In 1882 Mr. Jones married Mary E. Golands, of English parentage, and of their union the following children resulted: Maud, Albert, May and Myrtle, a bright and interesting group, and of which their parents are justly proud.
Mr. Brady is a native of Wisconsin, and a son of John Brady, who came to Wisconsin in the pioneer days of that state from Detroit, Michigan, and he had the distinction and honor to have served in both the Mexican and Civil wars. Our subject was raised in Wisconsin and Minnesota, in the latter state having served in Fillmore county as county superintendent of schools, and devoting some years to teaching. In 1886 he came to Nebraska, and in 1890 established his present ranch and farm, located in Platte township. Here he owns seven hundred and seventy-five acres of the best valley land on the island, five miles northwest of Lowell, on the Burlington & Missouri railway, and about ten miles southwest of Gibbon, on the Union Pacific railway. Here he keeps over a hundred thoroughbred Shorthorn cattle, which are pronounced as good as any herd that can be found in the state. This herd is headed by Barons Gloster, a pure Scotch bull, and many of the herd are pure Scotch. Mr. Brady came to Kearney, Nebraska, in 1886, and for several years owned and operated the oatmeal mills there. His brother, Phil Brady, was mayor of Kearney,
and is now residing at Seattle, Washington. Mr. Brady is a man of superior education, intelligent and active, giving both brains and energy to whatever he undertakes, and his success is evidence of his good judgment and ability. His ranch is improved with good farm buildings, and he has erected a handsome residence, and one of the valuable estates in his township. Mr. Brady is a Republican in politics, served in the legislature in 1895 and is at present chairman of the Republican county central committee, and takes an active part in the political affairs of the state.
Mr. Brady was married the second time, in 1908, to Miss H. E. Jones. She was a teacher in the Kearney public schools for twenty-six years and was very successful in her profession. From a former marriage Mr. Brady has one son, John H., who is now a resident of Seattle, Washington.
Joseph W. Pike, the father of Albert, was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, lived many years in Whitley county, Indiana, and moved to Page county, Iowa, in 1856. Residing in western Iowa until 1883, he came to Valentine early in that year and secured land from the government on homestead, pre-emption and tree claims, having his family follow in 1885. His wife, Lacy North, came of German lineage, and was the mother of a family of seven children, of whom Albert, the subject of this writing, was the youngest.
Albert Pike is a native of Page county, Iowa, where he was born September 20, 1872, and resided in Plymouth county from 1876 until the family moved to Nebraska, where they settled in the town of Sloan, in Cherry county. Here he attended the local schools of that community and so received a fairly good start in an educational way. In 1890 he returned to Plymouth county, settling about twelve miles from Sioux City, and in the fall of 1895, he, in company with his brother, Edward, bought a store in that city, which they operated until the spring of 1897.
In 1898 Mr. Pike started in life for himself, and then bought the farm on which he makes his home at the present time. To carry out his contract and meet his payments called for industry and economy in a high degree, but careful management and hard work brought him great success.
He was married in 1906 to Miss A.
Gaskill, whose father, Jesse B. Gaskill, was an old settler in
Sheridan county, not far from Hay Springs. Her mother was Maggie
Hurley, and both father and mother belong to old German families.
Mr. and Mrs. Pike have one child, a daughter, Alberta Idel, born
July 1, 1907. Mr. Pike is a member of the Crookston Lodge of the
Modern Woodmen of America. A picture of Mr. Pike's residence will
be found on another page of this volume.
Our subject was born in the village of Wilestofte, Denmark, January 5, 1846, and grew up there, living with his parents, Hans and Johanna (Polsen) Anderson, until he was a youth of twenty years, when he went to the town of Odense, and was employed as coachman most of the time until emigrating to America, February 26, 1872. He sailed from Copenhagen to a town in Scotland, proceeding thence by rail to Glasgow, where he was transferred by a small vessel to the ocean steamer at Londonderry, Ireland, sailing thence to Portland, Maine, where he landed in the latter part of March. He went direct to Grand Island, Nebraska, where he found work during the ensuing six months, and for the year following was employed on the Union Pacific railroad at North Platte. In the fall of 1873 he removed to Brownson, Cheyenne county, where for twenty years he was foreman on that section of the railroad. He went through pioneer experience and helped to develop that region, and has since that
time taken part in the making of history of this state.
Mr. Anderson filed on his present
homestead in section 9, township 14, range 51, while employed by
the railroad. He added to his property, and now owns in all six
hundred and forty acres. His residence is directly on the banks of
the Lodgepole creek, where he has erected fine farm buildings. A
dam at the home site supplies water for irrigating, and power to
run a water mill which grinds all the feed used on the ranch and
farm. He has two hundred acres irrigated, and some two hundred
head of well-bred Hereford cattle and seventy horses on the place.
The stone barn with high stone corrals furnish unusually warm and
safe shelter for the stock. We present on another page a view of
the home site with its picturesque surroundings.
Mr. Anderson was married June 19, 1872, at Grand Island, Nebraska, to Miss Mary Johansen, born and reared in Denmark, a daughter of Sonick and Anna K. (Hansen) Johansen. Seven children were born of this union, namely: Hannah Marie (now deceased), Charles, living near the old home, and of whom a sketch appears on another page: Susanna (also deceased), William P., Hilma M., now Mrs. L. Sherman, of Colorado; Grant and Edward, the latter still under the parental roof. Mr. Anderson's son Grant, resides on a homestead in section 28, township 14, range 51, situated two miles southwest of his father's farm.
Our subject is actively awake to the interests of his community and aids materially in its advancement along social and political lines. He votes independently, not being bound by party ties. He was reared in the Lutheran church. Fraternally he is a member of the Masonic order at Sidney.
After starting there Mr. Clarkson went through many hard times, "batching it" for some time, and besides attending to his own interests was obliged to look after his parents. He hauled wood twenty miles to Fort Niobrara to get money for their living expenses, driving a team of two horses and two oxen. The trip took several days, and the nights were spent camped out under his wagon. He then went through the drouth (sic) seasons, losing his entire crop by hail, but stuck to his homestead through everything until he had proved up on it. He came to Valentine in 1898 and clerked in a grocery store, his family moving to the town in the fall of the following year. He also did contract work at Fort Niobrara for a time, and came to his present place in 1901, establishing himself in the ice business, and now controls the entire industry in Valentine. During the years 1887 to 1894 he ran a threshing machine all over this part of Cherry county, but during the dry years there was nothing to thresh, so was compelled to abandon the work.
March 28, 1888, our subject married Miss Georgia Presho, a native of New York, * of Nebraska in 1880, and he was one of the men who helped build Fort Niobrara.* Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Clarkson, named as follows: Charles, Vivian, Flora, Grace and Irene.
*Portion between the two asterisks in the above bio appears exactly as it is in the original book. Interpretation is left to descendants.
Mr. Ekwawl came to America in 1874, landing in August of that year, and located at Galesburg, Illinois, remaining for several years, then came to Kearney county, Nebraska. After spending a short time there he returned to Ill-
nois, and made that state his home up to 1885, coming to Deuel county and taking a homestead on section 28, township 14, range 45, in October of that year. He started to improve the place and proved up on it in due time, passing through all the pioneer experiences, gradually being able to add to his original tract until he is now owner of four hundred and eighty acres. He has about one hundred acres cultivated, and has a fine bunch of cattle and horses. His ranch is improved with good buildings, fences, etc., and is one of the valuable estates in the region.
Mr. Ekwawl was married March 26, 1890, to Miss Anna Chingren, who is a native of Henry county, Illinois. They have no children. Mrs. Ekwawl's mother makes her home with her daughter on the ranch.
Our subject is moderator of school district No. 15, which was organized in the spring of 1886, and was one of the first in the region. In political sentiment Mr. Ekwawl is a Democrat, and takes a commendable interest in local and county affairs.
Mr. Nortnass was born on a farm in Dane county, Wisconsin, sixteen miles southeast of Madison, February 14, 1858. His father, Nels P. Nortnass, was a native of Norway, as was his mother, whose maiden name was Annie Peterson. During his boyhood the family moved to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and remained in that vicinity for several years, and when Charles was eleven years old his parents made a trip back to Norway, returning to this country in 1869. They then settled in Hamilton county, Iowa, where they remained up to 1896, and our subject was married there on May 29, 1884, to Nellie Nelson, she having been born in Norway and came to America when she was a young girl of twenty-three, locating in Hamilton county, Iowa. The young couple went to housekeeping on a farm in that locality, and lived there up to 1896, when they came to Sioux county, where Mr. Nortnass filed on a homestead, and after he had become settled in his new home had just seventeen dollars left to carry on the place with. His first dwelling was a sod house, and they lived in it for many years. During the first few seasons his crops were very small and he was unable to make a living off the farm, so was obliged to cut wood for his neighbors in order to keep his family from want.
Mr. Nortnass soon grew able to improve his farm in good shape, and add to his original homestead, now owning four hundred acres which is beautifully situated on Pine Ridge, covered with many trees furnishing fuel and timber, and he farms a large portion of the place and raises good crops of small grains, besides using part of it as a stock ranch. He has improved it fully all of which has been accomplished by his own individual effort, at various times meeting with bitter disappointments in the loss of crops, etc. He had just gotten nicely started in 1901, when he had the ill luck to have his barn and contents destroyed by fire, this disaster occurring on Christmas eve, the loss including fifteen tons of hay, fifty bushels of corn and other property, harness and many small articles so necessary to the equipment of an up-to-date farm and ranch.
To our subject and his good wife have been born twelve children, named as follows: Sena, Alexander, Henry, Adolph, Nels, Bennie, Nellie, Annie, Carrie, Allie and Carl, the latter being named after his deceased brother Carl. Four of the children were born in Sioux county, Nebraska, and eight were born in Iowa.
Mr. Barker was born in New York state in 1851, and is a son of Nathaniel C. Barker, of English stock, following the trade of a mechanic. When our subject was twenty-one years old he started out for himself, teaching school for several years, then went to farming. The family had moved to Ford county, Illinois, in 1865, and after remaining there up to 1884, James came to Rock county and settled on a homestead on section 8, township 31, range 20. He afterwards commuted this, and moved to Long Pine, where he engaged in the stock business and lived there for eight years, and for