ri, Texas and Oklahoma. On his present farm he has a forty-acre piece which yielded a crop of thirty-eight bushels of wheat to the acre in 1902, and in 1906 his yield was thirty bushels to the acre, and corn up to sixty-five bushels. He has a fine herd of red polled cattle, pure and graded.
Mr. Grantham's father was Elias Grantham, who settled in Bates county, Missouri, in 1840. In 1850 he went to California and on the return trip was taken ill and died before reaching home. His grandfather, Dr. Moses Grantham, served in the Mexican war as a surgeon to the Missouri troops under General Harney. His mother was Miss Emily Bryant, a native of Kentucky. He had five uncles on his father's side, and two on his mother's side, all the members of both families except himself, his brother's and sisters now residing in California. In 1882 he was married to Miss Martha E. Lloyd, of Livingston county, Illinois. They have five children. One son, Joseph Elias, owns and operates a threshing machine in Phelps county: Ruth Adaline is married and lives in Iowa: Emily C. And Lucy A. are at home.
Our subject is a strong Prohibitionist. He was the only one of this party in his neighborhood for some years and was the only voter for the ticket, but now there are several voters for prohibition and the cause is gaining.
William Strotheide, known throughout the community in which he makes his home as an enterprising and prosperous farmer, resides in section 25, township 31, range 45, Sheridan county, Nebraska. He has been engaged for many years past in bringing his farm to a high state of cultivation, and now is proprietor of a valuable estate. He is also vice-president of the Union Bank of Rushville, Nebraska.
Mr. Strotheide was born in Germany in 1853. His father, Rudolph Strotheide, was farmer, born in 1824, and raised in Germany, and at this writing is living in Illinois with his wife, who is eighty-four years old.
They are a venerable couple, highly respected in the locality in which they reside. They are the parents of five children, of whom our subject is the second member, and in 1860 they left Germany and came to America, locating near where they now live in Illinois, where their family was raised. Our subject lived at home assisting his father until he was twenty-two years of age, then went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he obtained employment in a wholesale house, remaining there for seven years. From there he went to Seward county, Nebraska, and bought a farm. He built a house and began farming and lived there for seven years, and in 1890 sold out his holdings and came to Sheridan county, where he bought a relinquishment on the section he now lives on. He was very fortunate I having been able to raise one good crop before the dry years cam and destroyed everything, and after this for about seven years he went through some hard times, and had it not been for the fact that he had brought fifteen hundred dollars and some cattle with him from Seward county in starting on this place, so he was not compelled to go in debt for the farm, he would have been pretty badly off after these losses. As it was he managed to pull through the bad years, and after a time succeeded in raising good crops and improving his farm, buying more land gradually until he now owns one thousand seven hundred and sixty acres.
Of this he farms about three hundred acres and the rest is used for hay land and grazing for two hundred head of stock. When he first took this place there was nothing but a shed barn and a small house on it, and since then he has expended twenty-five hundred dollars for buildings and improvements, and fencing all his land which is in one piece. He ahs planted trees on the farm, and also has several acres of alfalfa started. He is well satisfied with what he has done here, and takes pride in the fact that he has overcome all difficulties, and is now surrounded by all the comforts and improvements of model rural home.
Mr. Strotheide was married in 1882 to Miss Louisa Aha, born in Germany in 1856, who came to this country with her parents when a young girl, the family locating in Nebraska, where her father died within a few years after landing here. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Strotheide, named as follows: Ralph, Mary and Sadie. Mr. Strotheide has a brother living in Illinois, who has been very successful, but he says he would not exchange places with him, as he thinks Nebraska is as good a state as can be found anywhere. Politically Mr. Strotheide is a Republican.
MARTIN P. SOLBERG.
The gentleman whose name heads this personal review is a leading citizen of Dawes county, Nebraska. There he is respected alike for his industrious habits, ability and native force of character, and is a worthy representative of that great army of honest men and hard working farmers that Norway has contributed
to the making of the great state of Nebraska. Still in the prime of life, he enjoys an ample competence and commands the respect of all who know him.
Mr. Solberg was born in Godbransdalen, Norway, in 1862, of a farm. His father was a farmer before him, and he spent his entire life in his native land, as also did his mother. At the age of eighteen years our subject started for himself, working out on different farms in the vicinity of his home as a boy. In 1883 Mr. Solberg left his native country and came to America landing in Philadelphia, from which place he started for the western states, spending three and a half years in Minnesota and was also in Canada for some time, railroading in that part of the country. In 1885 he came to Nebraska, taking up a tract of land near Hemingford. Here he put up a sod shanty and started farming, during the first few months did freighting between Hay Springs and Hemingford, and eventually proved up on his pre-emption, which he afterwards sold out, coming to his present location in 1887, and filing on a homestead in section 33, township 29, range 48, where he "batched it" for a few months. He kept steadily adding improvements to his ranch, and in 1890 he started railroading, being employed as section foreman, running extra gangs of men for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railway, and later worked for the Chicago and Northwestern Railway for some time. All this time his family were keeping up the work on the home far, and they succeeded in developing a fine farm, now owning a ranch of seven hundred and seventy acres, situated on the banks of the Niobrara river. He has all good substantial buildings on the farm, every improvement, and it is considered one of the best and most productive farms in their vicinity. Mr.
Solberg is well satisfied with the result of his labors since locating here, and thinks there is no place to compare with western Nebraska as a agricultural district. He has traveled extensively and seen many different phases of life in city and country, and is prepared to enjoy the declining days of his life amid the pleasures of his family and their many warm friends and good neighbors.
In 1894 Mr. Solberg was married to Anna Gustavson, born in Illinois, and who came to eastern Nebraska when a child. Her parents came to America and settled first n Illinois, and then came to eastern Nebraska in the early day s of its settlement, where Mrs. Solberg was reared. Mr. and Mrs. Solberg are the parent of five children, namely: Paul, James, Elsie, born in Wyoming, where the family lived for a number of years, he as foreman for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company: and Clara and Hilda, born and raised in this county.
Mr. Solberg is a Republican, and has always taken a commendable interest in local affairs. He has served on the school board for several years, and is classed among the influential old-timers of Nebraska, and one of the early residents of Chadron, locating there when that town was merely staked out and the only dwellings were rough board shanties and dugouts.
LEVI D. BATES, DECEASED
The gentleman above named, now deceased, was on of the leading old settlers in Brown county, Nebraska, where he had aided materially in the developing of the resources of this region. Mr. Bates was born in Tioga county, New York, in 1836. He was the son of Stephen Bates, of mixed nationality, American born, and Catherine Kelly Bates, of American stock.
When he was seventeen years of age the family moved to Illinois, settling near the city of Rockford, and remained there up to 1866. In the later year our subject came to Nebraska, settling in Seward county, where he lived for fourteen years, then came to Brown county, driving here by team. He was one of the witnesses of the great blizzard which struck this region in October, 1880, being caught in this storm on the trip here with his family. He took up a homestead in northwest section 29, township 31, range 20, building a log cabin, and at once started in to establish a home and farm. He proved up on this place and lived on it until 1887, and then made a tri0p to Washington, looking for a place to locate. He was not successful in finding anything that suited him, so he came back, but returned there in 1888, this time taking his family with him. After spending some time traveling around they returned to this country, settling nine miles north of Bassett, in Rock county, and lived there for twelve years. While living on this place in 1898 he made a trip to Los Angeles, California, with his family for his health, stopping only seven weeks, as his health did not improve and thought it best to go back to Nebraska.
In 1900 Mr. Bates and his family settled on Pine creek on a farm, where he engaged in grain raising to a large extent, being very successful in his enterprise. At his death, which occurred December 27, 1903, he was proprietor of nine hundred and eighty acres of good farming land, and this is still owned by his family. The farm is well improved with good buildings and fences, all in first-class condition, and is one of the val-
uable estates in this vicinity. Mr. Bates was married January 1, 1857, at Rockford Illinois, to Miss Ellen Whitwood, and four children resulted from this union, named as follows: Ella S., Jennie B., Levi L., and Hiram. Mrs. Bates died August 18, 1881, while the family lived in Brown county.
In 1883 Mr. Bates married Miss Columbia A. Mills, daughter of Francis Mills, one of the early settlers in this county, coming here in 1880, driving through the country with ox teams. Mrs. Bates was then thirteen years old, and the family lived in a house make on a truck wagon, drawn by three yoke of oxen, the trip taking five weeks on the road. They also had two teams of horses with them, besides other stock, and all their household goods. Their log cabin was the first house in their locality, and she was raised on that place, only attending school for three months after coming to this part of the state. Mr. Bates had four children by his second wife, who are named as follows: Mark G., Manley B., Maggie and Count C., all born in this region. Mr. Bates served during the Civil war as a member of the Seventy-fourth Illinois Infantry. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and was also a member of the Masonic Lodge at Lodge Pole.
While Mr. Bates lived in Seward county he was one of the leading men in political circles, and held the office of county commissioner for some seawares, but after settling in this county he refused to accept office, preferring to devote his entire time to his home and farm. He was a man of sterling character and genial manners, esteemed and respected by his fellowmen, and the community suffered a sever loss in his demise.
In 1907 Mrs. Bates leased the home farm for a term of three years and now resides at University Place Station, Lincoln, Nebraska.
STEPHEN H. BABB.
Among those who occupy a foremost place in the community in which many years have been passed, the gentleman above named deserves special mention.
Mr. Babb is a most successful ranchman and farmer of Union Valley precinct: the owner of a fine estate all of which has been gained by dint of honest industry and strict attention to duty in the operation of his ranch. He also has been instrumental to a great extent in making the locality the prosperous and wealthy community it has become.
Stephen H. Babb was born February 16, 1861, in Monroe county, Iowa, where he has reared, attending the common schools and working as a farm hand until he was seventeen years of age, at which time he left his native state and drifted around in different western territories and states for about six years. He first worked on a cow ranch on the Loup river for a year, when he secured work for a year in the construction of what is now the Northwestern Railroad between Long Pine and Gordon. He next was similarly employed on the Oregon Short Line in Idaho and for several years roughed it in the mountains with a few friends, camping and hunting. Coming to Cheyenne county on March 18, 1887, he filed on a homestead in the northwest quarter of section 14, township 16, range 49, and proved up on one hundred and sixty acres. He went through all the pioneer's experiences in building up his farm, enduring the drouths, losing crops by hail and prairie fires, but stuck to his home through all discouragements, and finally succeeded in accumulating quite a herd of stock: he gradually added to his original homestead until the ranch now comprises one thousand four hundred and forty acres, which is devoted principally to stock raising, although Mr. Babb cultivates about one hundred and sixty acres: he is also engaged in the dairy business on quite a large scale. He has about one hundred head of cattle and seventy-five horse, and keeps a large number of hogs, breeding registered Duroc and Poland China hogs and French Percheron horses on a large scale.
Mr. Babb was the eldest of a family of seven children. The father Benjamin B. Babb, died in Iowa in 1889, but the subject's mother is at present residing in central Nebraska. On December 15, 1887, our subject married Miss Winona E. Brobst, at Sidney, Nebraska. Mrs. Babb is a daughter of James W. and Melissa (Reeves) Brobst, was born in Ohio and grew up there, coming to Nebraska in 1884. Six children have been born to this union, named as follows: Clarence J., Clarice A., Lora A. and Nora J. (twins), Charles J. and Ruby C. Nora died in 1897. Both Mr. and Mrs. Babb's parent now live in Louisville, Cass county, Nebraska.
Since locating in this region Mr. Babb has taken a leading part in Democratic national, state and county affairs. He has held different offices in his township, and served as Sheriff of Cheyenne county during 1901-1902. He is a member of the Odd Fellows at Sidney and the Woodmen of Dalton.
IRVIN W. RUSSELL.
The venerable gentleman whose name appears at the head of this personal history is one
of the very oldest settlers in Thomas county, and spent many years in ranching in the region. He has always led an active life, built up several homes and farms, and followed his chosen calling up to 1907, when he sold his ranching interests and removed to the town of Thedford, where he is prepared to spend his remaining years on earth, secure from hardship and care, surrounded by all the comforts of the times. He has always been prominent in the affairs of the county, being one of the committee that organized Thomas county, and been one of its most earnest supporters in every movement for its advancement. He organized the first school district in the county, was justice of the peace for several years, and also served as county judge for two terms, being probably the best known resident, and held in the highest esteem by all.
Irvin W. Russell was born at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1828. His father, Barney Russell, was a farmer and an early settler in that state, who later came west and fought the Indians, leading a frontiersman's existence, being widely known for his work along that line. When Irvin was a boy the family moved to Indiana, and there he was reared, receiving a limited schooling, and at the age of twenty-nine years he started for himself. He was married in 1849 to Miss Lydia J. Dodd, daughter of Reed Dodd and Irena Montgomery Dodd, pioneers in Indiana.
Our subject settled in Appanoose county, Iowa, and made that his home up to 1886, following farming and stock raising as an occupation during that time. In the fall of that year he brought his family to Nebraska, coming directly to Thomas county, driving from Custer county with a team and wagon, following the line of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad through the county. He picked out a claim and located two miles east of Thedford on the Loup river, built a sod house and started a farm. He later built a good house, although of the same material, and they occupied it for a number of years. When he landed here all the money he had in the world was five dollars, and his other property were a few household goods, twenty pounds of bacon, some four and his team of horses. He began ranching, farming and chicken raising, and continued at it for the following twenty-five years, succeeded in building up a good home and ranch, and has accumulated enough of this world's goods to enable himself and family to live in comfort. He has a good orchard on the ranch, and had the distinction of raising the first apples grown in Thomas county. He also was the man who changed the course of the Loup river, building a fine fish pond on his farm and constructing the dams so that they prevent the river from eating up the surrounding land. He has done much to promote the success of his county, and he deserves great credit for the part he has taken in the general welfare of the region.
Mr. Russell has a family of eight children, named as follows: Mary Jane, Daniel W., George M., Irena C., Charles R., Eva E., Annie D. and Minnie M., who form a very interesting group.
DELA H. ROCKEFELLER.
Dela H. Rockefeller, residing in Lowell township, Kearney county, Nebraska, located in this township in 1880, coming here with his father, John L., who homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres in section 14, remaining there up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1904. He was seventy-six years of age, and a man esteemed by all who knew him for his many good qualities. He was born near Albany, New York , in 1828, and came west when a young man, and took up a timber claim besides his homestead, owning in all three hundred and twenty acres. In 1893 our subject began farming for himself, and has lived on his present farm since that time.
Mr. Rockefeller was born in Jackson county, Michigan, and lived there until he was nine years old, coming direct to Nebraska from that state. His mother was Miss Laura Irish, a native of New York state and she died here in 1893 at the age of fifty-three years. Our subject has built up a good farm and home, engaging in mixed farming and grain raising. For fourteen years he ran a threshing machine throughout Kearney county and is well known to every farmer in this section of the country, and enjoys the reputation of being one of the best hustling, business-like young men of his county. He has gained his property through his own unaided efforts and labors, his farm of three hundred and twenty acres being of the finest valley land, highly cultivated and improved in the very best manner. In 1904 he erected on his estate a fine large farm residence, and everything evidences his good judgment and ability, shown in the well-kept and highly improved condition of his entire farm - horses, cattle, hogs, fences and buildings. He has gone into the breeding of pure Duroc Jersey hogs, and his remarkable energy and success is also shown in this industry. His leading strains are from "Shamrock," "Improver 2nd," "Billy K," "Model," etc. In 1907 he sold ten pure bred pigs, weighing at five months one hundred and eighty-three
pounds each, He also raises thoroughbred Hereford cattle, keeps a good strain of bull calves for sale. He is constantly improving and developing his herd of hogs and is in the market to sell to other breeders and farmers who desire to get the best. Mr. Rockefeller also owns a fine thoroughbred Perscheron horse, know as Keota Goliath.
In 1893 our subject was united in marriage to Miss May Pennington, daughter of Charles Pennington, of Liberty township, who in 1891 came to this county from Chicago, Illinois, locating in Liberty township, where he is engaged in farming. Mr. and Mrs. Rockefeller are the parents of five children, named as follows: Amy, John, Grace, Edna and Wallace.
The subject of this sketch, Henry Meyer, is one of the prominent old settlers and has taken an active part in the formative period of that part of western Nebraska, in which he has made him home, namely, Keith county. On every hand he is named as a successful farmer and public spirited citizen, and his farm on section 10, township 13, range 40, is noted as a model of equipment.
Henry Meyer is a native of the village of Bockhop, District of Nienburg, Province of Hanover, Germany, where he was born February 25, 1849. His father was Ernst Meyer, a farmer who lived and died in the fatherland. His mother was Anna Marie Lohman.
Our subject was reared in his native country, following the business of farming and at times working as a laborer. In 1881 the lure of the land of the free called him and he came to America, sailing from Bremen Haven, June 23, landing in Baltimore on the 18th of July. Locating in Brule, Nebraska, after a visit with friends from the old country at Grand Island and North Platte he found work on the section in the employ of the Union Pacific Railway Company and at the time of resignation was foreman of the section.
In 1883 he filed on a tree claim, set out trees and later proved up: he filed on his present homesteaded in July, 1891, having resided prior to 1886 in the section house and from that date until 1891 on the tree claim. After a time he gave up railroad work and devoted his attention to farming and had many hard experiences, losing several crops and making only a bare living.
But the hard years passed into
history and better times dawned and the work of the farm showed
better results. He engages to some extent in dairying, shipping
the cream of twelve or fifteen cows. Now he has fine large farm
thoroughly improved, and much that insures comfort and a good
income. Until 1908 he lived in the typical sod house of the
frontier, moving in December of that year into his fine new
concrete block dwelling, of which, with its surroundings, we
present an illustration on another page of our work.
Mr. Meyer enjoys the distinction of being the oldest settler in the region between Ogallala and Big Springs, and he has had a fine opportunity to personally witness the remarkable material growth of his locality. When he first came, Ogallala was a very small struggling village, containing a telegraph station, a saloon, and one store, a school house and a small jail.
Mr. Meyer has been active in school and local affairs and has held various offices, such as road overseer and school officer, serving in the latter capacity for years. He has been progressive and public spirited and is widely respected as an old settler and successful farmer.
He is a Republican in politics and with his family is a member of the Lutheran church.
JACOB W. GROVES.
Among the early settlers in Cherry county, the above named gentleman holds a prominent place, having settled on a homestead in October, 1884, located in section 7, township 30, range 26, where he built up a comfortable home and farm. He has done his full share in the development of his locality, and is well and favorably known throughout this section.
Mr. Groves was born in Van Buren county, Iowa, March 30, 1859, and he was reared on a farm and received a common school education. Our subject, the eldest of nine children, born to Thomas and Rachel (Smith) Groves, started in the world for himself at the age of twenty-one, following farm work for three years in Johnston county, Nebraska. After a short visit with home folks he came to Cherry county in 1884, driving six hundred miles from southeastern Iowa with a team of mules, his only live stock in the beginning, and settled on a homestead in section 7. Here he put up sod buildings which served as shelter for himself and stock until better could be provided. During the early days he experienced hard times, which he hopes may never return. In 1904 he took up an additional claim, under the Kincaid law, on section 8, where his residence and other farm buildings are now located. By purchase he has added
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