spoke both French and German, and reared their children with more than the usual care and intelligence. His was in maidenhood Elizabeth Marschall, a descendant of an old French family, and late in life came to this country, where she died in1880
LEWIS F. FAIRCHILD
One of the successful of the younger ranchmen of Keith county and one who has done his share toward the up building and material development of the territory, is Lewis F. Fairchild, who resides on section 9, township 15, range 40. Our subject was born on a farm in Illinois in 1864, his father being Lewis M. Fairchild, a prominent farmer in those days. Lewis F. Fairchild was reared and received his early training in his native state, not leaving there until he had almost attained his majority
In 1884 he came west to Colorado, locating near the city of Denver. He was a pioneer of the country about Julesburg, where he built up a good farm and home. He came to his present location and has been engaged almost wholly in cattle raising, of which he has made a fine success. He has built up a good home and business and has attracted many warm friends by his many excellent traits of character and his progressive methods
In September, 1889, was celebrated the wedding of Lewis F. Fairchild and Miss Almira O'Neil, daughter of Michael O'Neil, who was one of the pioneers of Colorado. Mr. And Mrs. Fairchild have had six children - Fred, Florence, Francis, Freeman, Oliver and Elizabeth
Mr. Ferguson is a native of Scotland, born in 1847 on a farm. His parents, William and Jannette (Fleming) Ferguson, were farmers and taught their son the habits of thrift and industry which have made him such a success in life.
Mr. Ferguson was married June 10, 1868, to Miss Jane Robertson, also a native of Scotland. Her father, Robert Robertson, was a contractor. Mr and Mrs. Ferguson have ten children - Bessie W., now dead: Nettie F., Robert W., John R., George A., Hugh R., Effie, Stella, Allen and Lyle S.
The subject of our sketch was reared in bonnie Scotland, where he received his early education and training. Coming to America when he was a young fellow, he landed in New York city, leaving June 28, 1868, and removing to northern Ohio, where he worked near the city of Cleveland for two months. In September of that year he came west to Omaha and worked in the Union Pacific railway shops of that city. He had learned the carpenter's trade and followed that line for some time. In the spring of 1869 he went to Dodge country, Nebraska, and settled on a homestead and built up a fine little farm home on a tract on one hundred and twenty acres, where he lived for twenty-two years. He came to Blaine county in 1891, leased considerable land, bought a relinquishment for his oldest daughter and established a great ranch of forty-five hundred acres east of Brewster about ten miles on the Loup river. The ranch is finely improved with house, barns, fences, etc., and bears evidence of many successive years of hard and intelligent labor
Mr. Ferguson has weathered all the storms of adversity of pioneer times, the years of drouth and hard times and the financial crises of painful memory. And he has steadily increased his fortune until today he occupies a commanding position among his fellows. He is widely known as a keen observer of matters of a public nature and his advice is sought on all questions of importance to the community. He is a Democrat in politics and now a member of the board of county commissioners, serving his third term. He has held several minor offices
28, township 24, range 49. The fine appearance and apparent thrift of his farm bespeaks the wisdom of his choice in locating there in the early days and remaining to become one of the substantial men of his country
Mr. Brower was born in Wayne country, Iowa, in 1858, was raised on a farm
His father, Carrington Brower, was of America blood, and the family lived in Iowa during the pioneer days of that state, our subject receiving his education at the country schools and working at home until he was about nineteen years of age, then started on a farm laboring for himself. He purchased a farm in Iowa in 1881 and farmed it for four years, and he sold out and came west. In 1885 Mr. Bower came to Nebraska, locating in Box Butte county, at the Point of Rocks, driving through from Iowa together with a party of three other emigrants looking for a location in this region. They were on the road, camping out nights on the ground, arriving in this locality May 1, 1885. After staking out a claim and filing on his land, Mr. Brower built a sod house, stable and other necessary buildings, and farmed there for about three years, also freighted through the country from Valentine to other points, which helped considerably in making a living. In 1888 he left that place and came to his present location, which is situated on Snake creek, nine miles from Alliance. When he took the place the land was barren prairie, and he went to work at once to improve it, putting up good buildings, fencing it well, and has quite a large part of it under cultivation at this time. In the spring of 1895 a prairie fire swept the section, and he lost his barns, a large quantity of hay, wagons, mowers, plows, harness, etc., and suffered damage to the extent of many hundred of dollars. Mr. Brower now owns a splendid ranch of nine quarter sections, all in one piece, and he engages principally in the stock business, raising cattle and horses. He had a very small start on coming here, and considering this has made a splendid success in building up a good home and ranch, and has also gained an enviable reputation as a leading settler and one who has aided materially in the success and prosperity of his locality
He is a modest, substantial ranchman who is his quiet way has made himself a part of the community in which he resides by giving generously of his money and influence to every movement for the public good.
In 1892 Mr. Bower was married to Rebecca Baggs, of Appanoose county, Iowa.
To Mr. And Mrs. Brower ten children have been born, named as follows: Susie, Betsy, Charlie, Edith, Willie, Harley, Elmer, Hazel, Roy and Alice, an infant deceased. All were born in Nebraska excepting Susie and Roy, who were born in Iowa, and all were reared and educated in this country
Frank H. Barber was born near Detroit, Michigan, December 16, 1863. His parents, Gabriel and Meribah (Crandle) Barber, were natives of Canada, the paternal grandfather being French. The subject of our sketch was reared on a farm in Dunn county, Wisconsin, to which locality the family moved about 1870, and where Frank received a common school education. He came west to Deuel county, Nebraska, in 1885, taking a homestead in section 32, township 16, range 41, on which he put up a sod shanty about eight feet square and six feet high. He had hauled sufficient lumber for a comfortable house, but the cowboys used it for fuel.
He had only ten dollars in money, no horses, harness, nor saddles, he broke bronchos for use as a team, borrowed harness and wagon from the cattle company and put in a crop. He worked for the Ogallala Cattle Company, as cowpuncher on the open ranges between the North Platte and the Big Horn mountains, and trailed cattle from Keystone to Little Thunder. Wyoming, sleeping in the open all the time. He steadily improved his farm and stuck to it with a determination to make it a good home, but he witnessed very hard times indeed. During his trips to the west Mrs. Barber taught school and built a comfortable sod house to replace the small one in which they had been living. After he had been "dried out" by drouth for several years, Mr. Barber installed irrigation and then for three years in succession saw his crops destroyed by hail. But with the passing of pioneer days times became better, crops have yielded larger returns and the later years have brought material advancement to the financial affairs of our subject. He now has eight hundred acres on the bottoms of the North
Platte river, his land being all naturally sub-irrigated and not nearly so liable to be injured by drouth as other lands on the higher levels. It is also all under ditch, so it can be irrigated from the top as well. He cultivates all but about one hundred and sixty acres, with two hundred of it in alfalfa. He has a fine stone house, large barn, with sheds, together with numerous other outbuildings, and has a fine grove of trees. Mr. Barber formerly raised cattle, but now he pays more attention to hog raising and has a small bunch of horses. Everything about his fine ranch bears witness to the success and prosperity attending its owner
Mr. Barber married February 21, 1886, to Miss Carrie Clack, a native of Wisconsin, and a daughter of Henry and Ann (Blain) Clack, a native of Michigan. The father was a native of London, England, and immigrated to Canada, later settling near Detroit while the Indians were still plentiful there. His farm is now within the city limits of Detroit and divided into city lots. Mr. and Mrs. Barber have four children: Burt, a graduate of the North Platte high school, class of 1908, is attending the State University: Hazel is a student in the Lincoln city schools; Cecil and Edna
Mr. Barber is strong Republican and staunchly supports the principles of his party. He was county commissioner of Deuel county for two terms, and has been school treasurer for eighteen years, and has always assisted in furthering every project that promised for the advancement of the local affairs of the locality in which he lives
Indians were still in the country when Mr. Barber settled here, as many as three hundred having camped on Blue creek. In the fall of 1886 they killed cattle and made the settlers somewhat uneasy, they congregating at one time at a stone house for defense. There were many dangers in the early day that are easily escaped now. At one time while fording the river with his wife and her parents, Mr. Barber and the family had to sit on the backs of the seats while the water surged over the seats on their vehicle, so deep was the water. Mrs. Barber taught the first school of the district as mentioned above.
Mr. Barber is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Masonic order at Ogallala and with his wife has taken the degrees of the Order of the Eastern Star
We present for inspection a view
of Mr. Barber's premises, with its unusually fine grove, elsewhere
in this work. It is one of the best improved farms in the
Mr. Smith was born in Union county, Pennsylvania, April 24, 1829, and was raised there. He was of English descent, his father and six brothers having crossed the ocean together in 1798 and settled in Pennsylvania, where they were among the earliest settlers in that state
Our subject was the oldest member in his father's family of ten children, all born and raised in Pennsylvania. He remained with his parents on their farm until he was thirty years of age, and in 1867 left his native state and came west, locating near Tipton, Iowa, where he farmed for about eight years. He then moved to Ames, Iowa, and farmed there for eleven years, and in 1888 came to Nebraska and settled on the farm mentioned above, located in Sheridan county, and remained on this place up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1902. When he first came to this place there was not a stick of timber on it, and he broke up some of his land, but during the first years he was unable to put in very large crops, and about three years later he located there the dry years came on and for several succeeding years he lost every crop. One season he put out eighty acres of millet, and could not even cut it to get the seed, and went through all kinds of hard times.
He experienced all the hardships and privations which the settlers of those times went through with hailstorms, grasshopper raids, etc., and it was a number of years before he was able to get ahead at all. He gradually improved his farm and added more land to it when the good years began, and at his death owned eight hundred acres of good land, and his sons and daughters also have taken up quite a good deal of homestead land adjoining his estate. They do not farm very heavily now: and had about eighty acres of small grain in 1906 and raised a crop of two thousand five hundred and thirty bushels in all, and whatever farming they do is very profitable
They are engaged to quite an extent in stock raising, and keep about three hundred and twenty-five head of stock on the place and use all the farm produces for keeping this stock and do not market anything which they raise except wheat and potatoes.
Mr. Smith was married in 1862 to Miss Eliza M. Bingaman, a native of Gleniron, Union county, Pennsylvania, born in 1838. Her father was Jacob Bingaman, of German descent, and he fought in the Revolutionary war, and also in the War of 1812, having come to this country when a young man. There were nine children born to Mr. and Mrs Smith, who are named as follows: Charles, James and Mary, born in Pennsylvania; William, Carson, Luella, Sadie, Frank and Susie, born in Iowa
Grayson post office is located on this farm and Miss Susie is postmistress and has been for six years. Five of the children have homesteads adjoining the father's estate, a section apiece under the Kincaid act.
Since locating in Nebraska the family have all enjoyed the best of health, and are well satisfied with what they have accomplished here. Mrs. Smith has revisited the old home in Pennsylvania, but has no desire to return there to live. They suffered a sad loss in the husband and father's death and had the sympathy of the entire community in their bereavement, as he was highly esteemed by all who knew him and worthy citizen
James T. Ryan was reared on a farm in his native state, receiving the education afforded by the district schools. He learned telegraphy when a boy and worked for several years for the Cleveland, Pittsburg & Wheeling Railway Company. In 1876 he came west to Bureau, Illinois, and engaged with success in agricultural pursuits for about five years, removing thence to Audubon county, Iowa. After three years in the latter state he came to Keith county, Nebraska, and in the spring of 1884 took a pre-emption claim west of Ogallala on the South Platte river, and very soon thereafter he took a homestead on which he proved up, since selling both tracts. He made this his home, living in a sod house and undergoing all the hardships and hard times of pioneer life. He experienced losses of crops from drouth and also by a serious fire that destroyed about four hundred dollars' worth of improvements: but he maintained his home on the farm and worked his way to success and a comfortable competency. He came to his present farm in section 20 and 29, township 30, range 40, in the spring of 1895, purchasing at first one hundred and sixty acres, and later adding a half section more
He now has a splendid ranch of four hundred and eighty aces in the South Plate river valley, all well improved. His trees are especially fine and he has seventy-five acres of alfalfa that is the pride of the farm. So far as he knows this was the first grown along the south river within the limits of the county. The entire tract is irrigable, and one hundred and sixty acres are already under ditch.
Mr. Ryan has taken a lively interest in all affairs of local importance and has done his share in adding to the material growth of his community. He has held various local offices and is known everywhere as a conscientious citizen and a thorough and progressive business man. In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of the Congregational church and of the Masonic and Pythian fraternities at Ogallala
Mr. Berg was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, October 2, 1878, and is a son of John Berg, a stonecutter by trade and native of Sweden, who came to the United States when a young man. David lost both parents when quite young, about four or five years old. Both died in Iowa. When our subject was five years old the family came to Dawes county with the grandparents, Charles and Grace Berg, who took up government land, driving overland from Valentine with a team and wagon, which contained their household goods. The grandfather, Charles Berg, filed on a homestead four miles north of our subject's present location, and their first dwelling was a sod shanty. They began to open a farm, planting trees and breaking up land for crops with a team of oxen which they purchased on landing here and with which most of their work was done for a number of years. Our subject's grandfather died here in the year 1897. The grandmother, Grace Berg, lives in Chadron and is quite active at the ripe old age of seventy-eight years
In 1891 Mr. Berg took up a homestead in section 30, township 31, range 47, and proved
up on it, constantly adding improvements and buying more land as he became better able, and is now owner of a splendid ranch consisting of sixteen quarter sections fitted with a complete set of good buildings, putting down wells and windmills, which supply an abundance of good water the year round. He engages principally in cattle raising, also farms about one hundred acres, on which he raises good crops of small grains, etc. Mr. Berg has done exceedingly well since locating here, is a thoroughly practical farmer and employs modern methods in all his operations
In political sentiment Mr. Berg follows the Republican party and takes an active and commendable interest in all county and national affairs, keeping abreast of the times by constant and intelligent reading
John Siefer is a native of the village of Imbsheim, district Buchsweiler, province of Alsace, Germany, and was born October 8, 1863. He grew up in the mother country, where his parents spent their entire lives. The mother, who was Katharine Ernst, is still living, but his father, Jacob Siefer, died in 1907. John came to America when a young man, sailing from Havre in the Labrador and after a stormy voyage of twenty-one days landed in New York December 7, 1881. Locating at first near Corydon, Harrison county, Indiana, he spent about eight months there, and then went to Iowa, remaining for five years engaged in farm labor in Boone county and on the railroad at Boone.
He next came to Nebraska, settling in Cheyenne county, where he was among the early settlers. In the spring of 1887 he filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres on section 30, township 17, range 47, on which he made final proof and secured a patent to the land. He has succeeded in accumulating a fine tract of land, now being proprietor of eleven hundred and twenty acres. He about one hundred and fifty acres under cultivation, raising good crops, and has fine hay land and pasture for one hundred head of cattle and twenty-five horses. His residence is now situated on section 32, and he has the entire place fitted with good buildings and all necessary improvements.
Mr. Siefer was united in marriage to Miss Pada Frerichs at the latter's home in Cheyenne county on May 16, 1897. They have a family of seven children, namely: Hannah, Harm, Maggie, William, John, Mabel and Ella, all living at home, the elder children now attending school. Our subject is director of school district No. 69, had has always taken an active part in school and local affairs, helping in every way in his power in the development of his locality. He is Republican and is a member of the Republican committee of Cheyenne county. He is a member of the Sidney lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
Mr. Rowan was born in the town of Newton Stewart, Scotland, in 1838, his parents residing there until their demise. They had a family of eight children, of whom three were sons, and of these our subject was the only one to grow to manhood. He remained at home until he was twenty, then went to South America, spending three years in Dutch Guiana as overseer for his uncle in large lumbering interests, and in British Guiana for three years as overseer on a large sugar estate. From there he came to the United States in the fall of 1864. He landed in New York, immediately secured work as a carpenter in the graphite mines of Ticonderoga, in the northern part of the state, for a year, then went to the iron mines at Hammondsville, where he was employed at the same work for five years. For a time he mined graphite on contract and later was employed at Rodgerville or Lynn mountain as carpenter for the Hudson and Delaware Canal Company for three years. Being offered the foremanship of a large Virginia plantation and a tract of Florida land, he refused both on investigation. The family lived eight months in Springville, Iowa, prior to coming to Nebraska. In 1884 he came west and located in Keya Paha county, Nebraska, settling near McLain Mills, on Keya Paha river. He remained there for seven years, then took up his present farm as a homestead. He had lit-
tle money, but had to buy all his stock and machinery to start farming: he made his first garden with a spade and rake, having no team at that time
During the early days he had a hard time to get along; the family lived in a rough sod house for some years, then bought a house in the neighborhood and moved on to his place. He went through all the pioneer hardships and experiences he ever cress to, but has been well repaid for his perseverance and industry in that he is now the owner of a fine farm of eight hundred and forty acres and two hundred in the home farm, and six hundred and forty acres in section 29 and 30, in township 34, range 17, all cleared mostly all in hay and pasture land. He farms about one hundred and fifty acres each year, and is engaged extensively in hog and cattle raising
Mr. Rowan was married in Brooklyn, New York, January 6, 1868, to Miss Agnes Melbourne, who had waited nine years for him to establish a home for her. She was born and reared in Dumfries, Scotland, and was the sixth daughter of John and Agnes (Bauley) Melbourne. The following children have been born to Mr. And Mrs. Rowan: Thomas, John M., Margarett, who died at the age of ten years: William S., Jr., Violet, now Mrs. Donneaud, of Keya Paha county: and Andrew F., all living near their parents' home at this writing
Mr. Rowan is recognized as one of the leading men on his county, and takes an active interest in all matters that tend to the advancement of his locality. He is a Republican in political faith, and served as county commissioner for three years. In the old country he was a member of the United Presbyterian church, while Mrs. Rowan was of the Established church.
They are now holding communion with the Free Methodists.
Henry Vick is a native of the village of Letschow, near the city of Schwan, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, born January 20, 1867. His parents, Karl and Dorothy (Schroeder) Vick, are still living in that country. He came to America in 1884, sailing from Hamburg on the Moravia, and after a voyage of fourteen days landed in New York. The first year was spent at farm labor in Wisconsin
After drifting around in
Minnesota for a time he came to Nebraska, arriving in Cheyenne
county in the fall of 1887, and filed on a homestead in section
32, township 17, range 48, and started a home and farm. He had a
hard time to get along during the first few years, meeting with
many discouragements and failures of crops, but gradually improved
his place and bought additional land, put up good buildings,
fences and windmills, and is now owner of a fine estate of twelve
hundred and eighty acres. His elegant residence, lately erected,
is situated on section 29, surrounded by every necessary building
and improvement, with a good water system and fine young groves.
We call attention to an engraving of the premises on another page
of this work.
Mr. Vick was married on April 16, 1895, at the bride's home in Cheyenne county, to Anna Busacker. They were the parents of five children, named as follows: Dora, Lillian, Paul, Louis and Ella, who form a very charming and interesting group. The wife and mother departed this life April 16, 1905, and her death was a severe loss to her devoted family and large circle of friends, as she was a lady of most estimable character and lovely disposition
Mr. Vick is active in local affairs, at present acting as director of school district No. 20. In political views he is a Republican
For some years he was engaged in the real estate and insurance business there
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