kins affiliates with the Masons, the Odd fellows, the Knights
of Pythias, the Elks and the Modern Woodmen. A view of the ranch
buildings and the beautiful Platte Valley landscape is to be found
elsewhere in this work.
Mr. Ormesher has been a great traveler, taking many trips to different parts of the country, looking at land in order to see if he could better himself, but never found any place that suited him better than here. He had gone through many discouragements and had his ups and downs, but after a time things changed for the better and of late years he has been very successful and is now proprietor of six hundred and forty acres, nearly all of which is good hay land. His farm is located on Swan Lake, in section 35, township 32, range 27, and is a well improved piece of property. He engages in stock raising to some extent, keeping about eighty head of cattle and thirty horses. Mr. Ormesher is a great potato raiser, and follows that line of farming principally. Some years he planted forty acres which yielded one hundred bushels per acre, selling for one dollar per bushel, which is a very profitable enterprise. He has had the contract for furnishing Rosebud and Fort Niobrara with potatoes, and for a number of years prior to its abandonment furnished the fort with hay. He is without a doubt, one of the most progressive and successful farmers in this locality. He is adding to a fine orchard of fruit trees, having already about six hundred in fine growing order.
Mr. Ormesher has never married, preferring to "batch it' for the present at least. His entire time and attention is devoted to improving his place and building up a model farm, and he is well satisfied with the results of his labors in Cherry county. He is active in all local and school affairs, and lends his influence in the upbuilding of the community in which he chose his home.
Politically Mr. Ormesher is a Populist, but always votes for the candidate he believes to be the best man.
Milton Smith was born in Monroe county, Indiana, in 1869. Both his father and mother were natives of that state, and made it their home up to 1882, when they came to Nebraska, locating near Beatrice on a farm, where they spent a few years and later lived on different farms in Gage and Jefferson counties. In 1887 our subject came to what is now Perkins county, accompanied by his father, and the latter took a homestead and tree claim on section 26, township 12, range 35, and began to build up a home and farm. There they went through all the early pioneer experiences, hauling supplies from Paxton, which was their nearest trading post and mail station. There were eight children in the family, Milton being the eldest, Elizabeth, Olivia Bell, Valinda K., Laura, Mattie, Walter and Seth.
Our subject remained with his parents up to 1891, helped his father build up a good farm of three hundred and twenty acres and put everything in first class shape, then struck out for himself, filing on a homestead on section 4, township 11, range 35, proved up on the place, "batching it" there for several years. He did all of his first work on the homestead with a team of oxen, breaking up ground for sod crops the first year, and lived in a sod shanty. He started in a very humble fashion, having but fifteen dollars in cash to buy tools, etc., with, and was obliged to work out at whatever he could get to do in the vicinity of his farm in order to make a living. He saw hard times for a number of years but managed to improve the place a little and remained
there up to 1907, when he located on his present ranch. This is a finely improved place, having a complete set of good buildings, including a commodious residence twenty-eight by thirty-six feet, barn forty-eight by fifty-two feet, well, windmills, fences, etc. There are in all one thousand six hundred acres in the place, and of this one hundred and twenty-five acres are cultivated and the balance in hay and pasture.
Mr. Smith is an active member of his community in advancing its best interest, and a stanch Republican. He is at present secretary and treasurer of the Paxton and Elsie Telephone Company.
Mr. Saxton was born in Hillsdale county, Michigan, in 1863. His father, George W. Saxton, was a carpenter by trade and followed that occupation nearly all his life. Both parents were of American stock.
Our subject grew up in his native county until he was ten years of age, when the family removed to Tama county, Iowa, where they lived for ten years located in Toledo, and where his father worked at the carpenter trade until he died in the spring of 1883. After the father's death, the mother and the rest of the family moved to Dawes county, Nebraska, where they stayed one year, and then came to Sioux county, taking up claims and remaining here ever since.
In 1883 Mr. Saxton left Iowa and came to Nebraska, settling on a tract of land near what is now the town of Whitney, in Dawes county, and remained there for about a year, then came to Sioux county and located on a homestead, situated on the north side of Pine Ridge, fourteen miles northwest of Crawford. He "batched" it there for three years, starting his farm along, using ox teams to break up land, and for hauling purposes, and did all his work with oxen for five years. He put up a log shanty and lived in it for a number of years, but steadily improved the place in elegant shape. In 1906 Mr. Saxton took an additional Kincaid homestead in sections 4 and 5, township 32, range 53, and he is now owner of seven hundred and eighty acres, using the greater part as a ranch for a number of cattle which he runs annually.
Mr. Saxton was married in 1888, to Sibbie Grau, daughter of John M. and Ella (Burnside) Grau, her father being a well-known veteran of the late war. Her father enlisted at the breaking out of the war, and served during the entire war period. He was in many battles and once was shot, through the lungs, and is still living in Toledo, Iowa.
Mr. and Mrs. Saxton have a family of nine children, named as follows: Elva, John, Arthur, Lewis, Mary, Milford and Clifford (twins), Frank and Willard. The family occupy a foremost place among the prominent old settlers of their locality, and have a pleasant home and enjoy the friendship and acquaintance of a host of people.
Mr. Saxton was elected county commissioner in 1907, and is now serving in that capacity.
the best houses in the locality. He also put up a commodious barn and cattle shed, together with wells, windmills, etc. His farm on the banks of Enders Lake is well supplied with good water, the lake, covering three hundred acres of land, is stock with bass; altogether, this is one of the most valuable properties in the county. The ranch consists of one thousand two hundred and eighty acres of deeded land, with leases on eight hundred acres additional. Mr. Enders' place is a great hunting and fishing resort, which he has fitted up for the convenience of his patrons, who come from all parts of the state.
Mr. Enders was married June 25, 1891, to Miss Emma Day, daughter of L. F. Day, an old settler in Brown county. Mr. and Mrs. Enders have a family of four children, who are named as follows: Harry L., Fred L., Frank Graham and Helen R. Mr. Enders is active in local public affairs, and has held minor offices at different times. He is now serving as assessor in his district, and always takes an interest in whatever is for the advancement of conditions in his community. Politically he is a Democrat. Fraternally he holds membership in the Masonic and Pythian lodges in Ainsworth.
Mr. Sudman was born in Germany October 6, 1865. There were five children in his father's family, he being the youngest of three sons, all of whom are now residing in western Nebraska, one a ranchman of Keith county, and the other living near our subject in Deuel county. The father and mother lived and died in their native county, and one sister still makes her home there.
When our subject was a young man of seventeen years he came alone to America, and located in western Nebraska, securing employment on what is now known as the Persinger Cattle Ranch, near Lodgepole, and situated on Lodgepole creek, remaining with the outfit about two years. He filed on a homestead on section 10, township 13, range 44, proved up on the place, then sold out, leaving the farm in 1893. In that year he returned to Germany for a visit, remaining six months. During the early years of his residence here Mr. Sudman trailed sheep from Utah to western Nebraska, roughing it all over the country, and has seen every kind of frontier life. He also worked in his brother's store at Chappell for a time, but most of his time was spent in ranching.
Upon his return from Germany in 1894, Mr. Sudman settled in the village of Oshkosh, establishing a general store, this being the first store there, and was under the firm name of A. Sudman & Co. Our subject was active manager of the business, and still retains that position, the company having built up an extensive trade throughout the section, and are constantly increasing their patronage. A brother, Fred Sudman, is engaged in the same business at Chappell, Nebraska, and is also prosperous and successful, both being men of exceptional ability, thrifty and shrewd.
Mr. Sudman was married in Oshkosh, on June 6, 1897, to Miss Pearl Plummer, who is a native of Missouri, and whose father was a prominent old settler of Deuel county, locating here in 1888. Our subject's was the first wedding in the village of Oshkosh, and was attended by a host of friends of both bride and groom.
Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Sudman, namely: Clyde, Donald and Glenn, all attending the public schools. The family have a pleasant and comfortable home and are numbered among the popular members of the community, having a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
Besides his town interests Mr. Sudman is interested in the ranching and stock business.
of the Ericson Hotel which had a large patronage, but was burnt down in October, 1907.
Mr. Awrants is a native of Defiance county, Ohio, born in 1848. His parents were of Dutch and Irish descent and originally came from Pennsylvania, settling in Ohio in the days of its pioneerage. Our subject grew up in that state until a young man, then started for the western states, locating in Iowa where he was engaged in general farm work. In 1881 he emigrated to Nebraska, taking up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in Merrick county, on which he lived for six years, then sold out at a profit. After that he operated a ranch near Central City for two years, then removed to Palmer, Nebraska, and entered the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway as section foreman, and was connected with that road for fifteen years.
Mr. Awrants embarked in the hotel business in 1907 and burnt out the same year. Regardless of this misfortune he has been very successful in his ventures. He is a thorough business man and well liked by all, one of the enterprising citizens of whatever community he is a member of, and enjoys the respect and esteem of all.
Mr. Awrants was married in 1870 to Miss Mary Hadix, a native of Indiana, and after many years of happy married life Mrs. Awrants passed away February 7, 1901. They had eight children, namely: Stephen H., Clidy, Sarah, Mina, Hattie, Frona, Zora and Harvey H. Three of the children are deceased - Sarah, Mina and Clidy. The remaining children are all worthy citizens, and are making their own way in the world. Mr. Awrants remained a widower for three years, then was married to Mrs. Sarah Lockwood, widow of C. W. Lockwood. Our subject and his good wife are devoted members of the Christian church of Ericson. Politically he is a Prohibitionist.
The gentleman above named was born in Fulton county, Illinois, in 1854. His father, James F., was a blacksmith, of American blood, and he married Elizabeth Sommers, also a native of this country, she born in Indiana. The family lived on a farm in Illinois, and there our subject was reared. In 1886 he came west to Nebraska, locating four miles south of the town of Crawford, taking up a pre-emption and later a homestead, and lived in that locality for fifteen years. He built up a good home and developed a fine farm, and in 1890 sold the place and for a time worked as a contractor.
When he first struck this section of the country he freighted all through this part, and witnessed all the pioneer experiences, leading a typical frontiersman's existence for many years.
Mr. Cramblet bought his present place in 1903. This ranch consists of four hundred and eighty acres, all lying along the White river. It is well supplied with timber, rock, etc., for building, and there is a beautiful little lake in its grounds, supplied from natural springs, making it one of the most sightly locations in the county. He has put up corrals and all necessary ranch buildings, as he runs a large number of cattle annually.
In 1904 Mr. Cramblet filed on a Kincaid homestead of four hundred and eighty acres, on which he moved in section 31, township 6, range 3. He has put on many improvements and good buildings, and has a fine home here. His ranch home is called "Lake Ranch," and he uses that exclusively as a stock ranch, farming a part of his Kincaid farm.
Our subject is called one of the substantial citizens of his community, who has always done all in his power to help build up the region, assisting in establishing schools, and taking an active part in all local affairs of importance. Politically he is an Independent voter.
Mr. Cramblet was united in marriage December 16, 1880, to Rachel Hoxworth, of Knox county, Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. Cramblet have been born the following children: Adella, now Mrs. James Nester, and Clara, married to W. C. Thurman.
JEREMIAH C. PERCY
Jeremiah C. Percy, the genial postmaster of Paxton, Nebraska, although a recent comer to this section, is a typical westerner, and has passed many years on the frontier
Mr. Percy was born in Franklin county, Ohio, December 15, 1839, where he was reared. His father, Joseph Percy, a farmer, was a native of New Jersey, and died in Mercer county, Illinois. His mother, whose maiden name was Abigail Crane, was of old Puritan stock, and died in Ohio. The family moved to Franklin county, Ohio, in 1834, and in 1855 to Illinois. At the breaking out of the Civil war, Mr. Percy crossed the Mississippi and enlisted in Company E, Seventh Iowa Infantry. With his regiment he saw service for many months, taking part in a number of engagements; he was at Ft. Donelson, in the battle of Shiloh, battle of Corinth, on the Atlantic campaign, and many minor encounters. On May 15, 1864, he received a severe wound from which he recovered and rejoined his regiment in the Carolinas and participated in the grand review. In July, 1865, he received his discharge, returning to Illinois. From 1866 to 1882 Mr. Percy was engaged in farming in Peoria county, Illinois, then went into Missouri, locating in Nodaway county, and there established a farm, which he operated for a number of years. He was very successful in that part of the country, and accumulated considerable property. In 1907 Mr. Percy came to Keith county, settling in Paxton, where he was appointed postmaster in December. He is also engaged in farming, having a tract of one thousand six hundred acres a short distance from the town, part of which is wild land and the balance improved; part of this he has distributed in his family.
Mr. Percy married Miss Jennie C. Lowe, a native of New Hampshire, in Mercer county, Illinois, in 1867. They have three children, Elmer, who operates the farm near Paxton, Gertie, wife of Fred L. Bent, an employe (sic) of the Union Pacific Railroad at Paxton, and Silvia, who married Howard H. Holden, a cattle ranchman of Fontenelle, Wyoming. The daughters were brides of a double wedding solemnized November 19, 1908.
In politics views Mr. Percy is a
Republican. He is an adherent to Christian Science, and is a
member of the Grand Army of the Republic. We are pleased to call
attention to a portrait of Mr. Percy and his good wife appearing
on another page of this work.
He is a native of Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, where he was born on a farm January 1, 1861, his ancestors being of mixed nationality, Irish, German and Scotch. His parents, William and Eliza (Lynn) Taylor, were reputable farmers in the Keystone state, where the mother still resides; the father died there in 1892.
The subject of our sketch came west in 1886, taking a homestead on section 6, township 12, range 40, southwest of Brule, Keith county, Nebraska, where he lived first in a sod shanty. He proved up on his claim and returned to Pennsylvania where, from 1892 to 1898, he was on the road as a traveling salesman. In 1898 he returned to Keith county and resumed farming, which he continued until 1899, when he established a general store at Brule, opening for business in September. There had been a store in the village from 1884, a small struggling affair, but it did not meet the demands of the country. Our subject had very little on which to start, but he believed the opening for a store was very promising and that it would only require close attention and careful buying to become established permanently. His capital consisted of only forty-five dollars and five dollars of that he paid for an old stove, which is still in use. For a long time Mrs. Taylor ran the store and our subject worked on the section for the Union Pacific Railway Company, teaching through the winters, having been in the latter employment twenty-three years. In this thrifty way they kept branching out and adding to their lines until they had a fine large stock in a building 25x80 feet in size. In 1899 Mr. Taylor was appointed postmaster, a position he has continued to hold ever since.
William J. Taylor was married, near Latta Grove, Pennsylvania, September 29, 1885, to Miss Emma Walker, daughter of David and Leah (Dell) Walker, farmers of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have four children: Zelda, Fred, Ethel and Theodore; all except Fred, who was born in Pennsylvania, are natives of Nebraska.
Mr. Taylor was county surveyor of Keith county for nine years, and he has always been active in matters of local importance. He has built up a good business from but a very small start and can truly be classed among the self-made men of the county.
He is a Democrat in politics and a member of Ogallala Lodge, No. 274, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
We publish portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Tay-
lor in this work from photographs taken about the time of their
coming to Nebraska.
Mr. Bowden was born in Winnebago City, Minnesota, April 17, 1865; he being the fourth in a family of eleven children. The father was of English descent and the mother, Elizabeth (McGowan) Bowden, was an American by birth. The father, Richard Bowden, served in a Minnesota regiment during the late Civil war. He was a farmer by occupation, and reared his family of eleven children in the country. In 1880 he came to Nebraska, and for two years he was manager of the Deer Park Hotel. Then for a time he had charge of the government saw mill and later he bought a farm near O'Neil. He died at Norfolk in 1907. At the age of ten years our subject began working out at whatever he could get to do in order to earn his own living and take the burden of his support from his parents, and while a mere lad often took a man's work on farms in the vicinity of his home. In 1881 he came to Cherry county, landing at Fort Niobrara on November 10. Here he carried mail to Boiling Springs for twelve weeks, making one trip each week, over a rough road beset by many dangers. He then joined a surveying party, traveling three hundred and twenty miles west of Fort Niobrara, and in the early winter of 1882 returned to Cherry county, where he remained through the summer of the following year. He then entered the employ of James M. Thatcher, who was running the post trader's store at Fort Niobrara, and remained at the post until 1889. About 1892 he bought his present homestead of three hundred and twenty acres, of which there were ninety acres broken, the balance being in hay and pasture land. On this he has built a fine residence and a complete set of substantial farm buildings, with fences enclosing his entire farm. He has planted a large number of trees, has a fine orchard growing and keeps some stock. He has been very successful in his farming and stockraising enterprises, notwithstanding the hard times he has experienced since coming to Cherry county. However, by perseverance, he has succeeded to a marked degree and is now owner of a fine estate, a good home and farm. He was one of the first men to settle in this county, and knows only two men who were here ahead of him. He has always done all he could to build up his home and aid in developing the locality, and thus has helped in the growth of his county.
Mr. Bowden was married December 22, 1889, to Miss Ida Archer, daughter of Lewis and Agnes (McCall) Archer, of American stock, and old settlers in Cherry county, coming to this region in 1884, where he built up a good home and farm, and raised his family. Mr. and Mrs. Bowden have a family of four children, namely: Virginia Belle, Freeman Jasper, Lillie and Charles Clarence.
Mr. Bowden is active in all school affairs in his district, and lends his influence toward the forwarding of everything that tends to the advancement of educational and commercial conditions in his community. He has never held any office, takes a keen interest in local and national affairs, and is an intelligent and well-read man who keeps abreast of the times. Politically he is a Republican.
Mr. Norris was born in 1860. He came to Saunders county, Nebraska, with his parents when a lad of ten years, locating in Williamsburg township in 1885. He is now the proprietor of four hundred acres of river bottom land in sections 13 and 7 on the Platte river, which he devotes to grain raising. His crops show a yield of twenty-two bushels of wheat to the acre, corn fifty, oats fifty to sixty bushels, which is considered a very good average. He runs from one hundred and fifty to three hundred hogs on his place. Several years ago he was engaged in raising full-blooded Poland China hogs, but now has mixed breeds, but is breeding back to Poland Chinas, as he considers they develop quicker, and it takes less feed to keep them fat. His drove of hogs now are a fine lot, and in splendid condition. He also has a large bunch of polled Durham cattle, marketing a carload last spring. He keeps fifty cows, and makes a specialty of fresh milch cows, which he sells on the spring market, also feeding about eighty head of steers each year. All the feed which he raises on his farm is fed out at home, and he finds mixed farming and stock raising a great suc-
cess here in Nebraska, which he thinks is the best state he ever struck for this business, and he has had plenty of experience. He has fine buildings on his farm, and every improvement necessary for conducting a model farm. He has a fine orchard, and successfully grows the most delicious fruits such as apples, peaches, plums and grapes, the latter being of the finest quality to be found on the market.
Mr. Norris' fine property and entire possessions have been acquired by hard labor and good management, supplemented by strict honesty of word and deed.
He was married in 1880 to Miss Rene Tower, and to them have been born three daughters, as follows: Clara, Adaline and Zelda.
When Mr. McGannon was seventeen years of age he left his home in Minnesota, and returning to West Virginia, attending school at St. Vincent's College. Some time later he conducted a butcher shop at Lanesborough, and after a time opened a shop of his own at Fountain, Minnesota, where he bought and shipped stock. He also conducted a butcher shop at Canton, Minnesota, for about seven years.
In 1891 Mr. McGannon came to Dawes county, Nebraska, took a homestead and bought some land, and engaged in the raising of cattle and sheep. In 1898 he came to his present ranch in the Pine Ridge, where he has erected a substantial and comfortable house in section 19, township 31, range 49. He secured adjoining land, and now has six thousand five hundred acres of deeded land, all of which is fenced and cross fenced. He has six miles along the Trunk Butte creek and two miles on the Indian creek. There is a small stream three quarters of a mile in length which rises on his ranch. Mr. McGannon has one thousand acres of land under cultivation, and has five hundred acres of the finest timber to be found in Dawes county. He has erected substantial and commodious buildings, and engages extensively in the raising of horses and hogs. Since acquiring this land, he has greatly improved it, and has purchased modern agricultural implements to assist him in making his place one of the most modern and productive in western Nebraska. He has a gasoline engine on his farm and also a steam engine and plow.
Mr. McGannon and Miss Jane Davis were married at Fountain, Minnesota, January 19, 1880. She is a daughter of Patrick and Bridget Davis, native of Ireland. Two children came to bless this union, George Arthur and David Edward.
In politics Mr. McGannon is a Democrat. A more enthusiastic or public spirited citizen of Dawes county could not be found, for from his start in this locality Mr. McGannon has taken an active part in all matters of local interest, and is a firm believer in the future of Dawes county. His efforts to get a railroad to the table-land of the county have been untiring. From the crops raised on his cultivated land he has demonstrated that there are places in Dawes county where the land is as fertile and valuable, and can be made to produce as much as irrigated land.
As an entertainer and enthusiastic storyteller, Mr. McGannon has few equals. Upright and honorable in all his dealings, he has manifested on all occasions a high integrity and a strict adherence to principle. Mr. McGannon has recently become proprietor of the Pleasant View Sanitarium, an important hot springs health resort, at Thermopolis, Wyoming, whence he has removed, leaving his sons to operate his ranching interests in Dawes county, Nebraska.
years on farms in Woodford, Mason and Menard counties before coming to Nebraska. He landed here in February, 1885, and took a homestead in section 6, township 34, range 22, and still occupies that place. He at once built a sod house, the total cost of which was one dollar and sixty cents, and he and his family lived in it for thirteen years, then he erected a fine frame dwelling. He has added to his farm until he now owns two thousand four hundred and eighty acres of deeded land, and cultivates three hundred acres, running about one hundred and fifty head of cattle and twenty horses. When he came here he had but one team and a wagon and five dollars in money, so he feels well repaid for his labors in this part of the country. During the dry years he often became discouraged and wanted to leave, but could get no bid on his place and was obliged to stay. He lost four crops by drouth (sic). and has been hailed out eight times in the time he has lived here, seven of the icy downpours occurring within fourteen years. The second year he lived here was the hardest he ever saw. He tried working on the railroad on the Loup river to get enough money to support his family. In 1905 he sold seven loads of hogs and eight hundred dollars' worth of cattle, which shows that he finds stock raising a very profitable enterprise.
In 1871 our subject married Miss Amke Rademaker, born in Germany, who came to America in 1868. They have five children, namely: John, Richard, Frank, Edward and Bessie, all living at home at present.
Mr. Heerten has been school director of his district for the past eighteen years. In political faith he is usually Democratic. While reared in the Lutheran church, there being no congregation near, the family now worship with the Methodists.
Mr. Brott was born six miles from Victoria, Knox county, Illinois, on October 14, 1861, and remained in that vicinity up to 1885. His father was a farmer there and our subject was raised and educated in the country, the whole family later coming to Nebraska, where both father and mother died in 1906. Here they had acquired three hundred and twenty acres in section 14, township 16, range 52. They were well known throughout the region, and held in the highest esteem by all who knew them. There were seven children in the family of whom four survive, Lewis being the fourth child in order of birth; two brothers reside in Denver and the fourth is in California. When Lewis was twenty-four years of age he migrated to Dawson county, Nebraska, and spent a year there, then came on to Cheyenne county, locating in Potter in the spring of the following year, where he engaged in the mercantile business in partnership with his brother Andrew; they enjoyed a good trade throughout the surrounding country, and carried on the establishment for five years. In 1890 our subject went to Denver, where for a time he followed contracting and building in partnership with his brothers and then went into the mountains hunting and prospecting. Although they located mineral it was not in sufficient quantities and their mining operations were discontinued.
In the spring of 1895 Mr. Brott returned to Cheyenne county, purchased a quarter section of land in section 14, adjoining his father's homestead with the proceeds of a timber claim which he owned. He has an interest in the parents' homestead, where he has built a two-story, seven-room dwelling, together with stables and sheds sufficient for sheltering the necessary stock. He has one hundred and fifty acres under cultivation, with over a hundred acres of fine alfalfa, raising this principally for the seed from which he realized a handsome profit, having obtained as high as thirty-five dollars per acres for the seed alone, besides having the hay for use on his ranch. He is progressive and up-to-date in his methods of operating his ranch, and has experimented with different grains, striving to get the most out of the soil, being very successful in his experiments.
Mr. Brott has always taken an active part in local affairs, and is a gentleman of true citizenship and progressives. In 1908 he was appointed deputy assessor, and is still serving in that capacity. He is a staunch Democrat and lends his influence for good government, local and national.