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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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and to his efforts are due much of the progress and development of the agricultural sections in western Nebraska, as he has been the means of bringing many settlers to these parts. As a young man Mr. Scott followed the profession of civil engineer, and has assisted in railroad building in a number of the western states. To him also is due the building of the Belmont and Brown Creek ditch through Morrill county, an enterprise that was instrumental in bringing him into this region which to his foreseeing eye was promising enough to induce his permanent residence.

      Mr. Scott was born in Mahoning county, Ohio, December 15, 1863, where the first twenty-two years of his life were spent. Here he attended the common schools and at the college at Newton Falls learned surveying. Coming west he found employment for his talent in Colorado in 1885, and for five years traveled through all the western states, surveying in Colorado, Utah and Montana. He finally landed in Cheyenne county in 1890, to take charge of the irrigation survey and while here filed on a homestead in section 5, township 19, range 50, proving up on his claim and has since added greatly to his ranch. He has erected elegant buildings, and put many improvements upon his ranch, which is known as one of the most valuable in the region, four hundred acres of which are irrigable. He has three hundred and twenty acres under cultivation, using a large part as pasture and hay land for a bunch of cattle and horses.

      Mr. Scott was the fourth child in a family of eight born to his parents, Alexander and Harriet (McKinsey) Scott, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively, and he has two sisters, and four brothers now living. One brother, Elbert, came into Morrill (formerly Cheyenne) county in 1895, becoming a member of the firm of Bearline & Scott, dealers in hardware and harness. In 1897 our subject married Miss Jessie E. Poole, who is a native of Henry county, Illinois, and to them have been born the following children: Mabel, Ester, Alexander, Florence and John. Mrs. Scott is a daughter of Sidney and Dora (Cassell) Poole, well known as early settlers in Cheyenne county.

      Personally Mr. Scott is a most clever and interesting gentleman, one who has read much and spent considerable time in study and travel, and is actively interested in everything pertaining to the good of the people in his locality. He is prominent in Masonic circles, having entered that order when but twenty-one years of age in Ohio: his membership was transferred to the lodge at Glenwood Springs, Colorado, in 1887. In politics he is Democratic.


      The subject of this brief biography is of old Pennsylvania-Dutch stock, better than which it is hard to find. His father, Alex Trindel, was one of the early pioneers of Indiana and settled in the timbered country thirty-four miles from the Ohio river. The maiden name of the mother of John Trindel was Margarette Caster, and she was native of Bear county, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Americans of Dutch descent.

      John Trindel was born in Ripley county, Indiana, October 28, 1840, and was reared on the farm engaged in agricultural pursuits. The terrible war of the rebellion drew him to the front in the interests of his country and its flag. He enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-third Indiana Volunteers, Company H. Those years were memorable ones and he saw much service. He was with his regiment when the army started on the Atlanta campaign, thence back to Nashville where he participated in the battle of Nashville, next he was in the battle of Franklin and other minor engagements. Thence to Cincinnati and on to Washington, from whence he went to Morehead City, North Carolina, and then marched to Goldsborough, where his regiment joined Sherman's army. Mr. Trindel was present at the surrender of Generals Johnston and Hood. At the close of the war Mr. Trindel returned to his home in Indiana and followed farming for years until coming west in March, 1884.

      John Trindel was married in January 1884, to Miss Mary E. Carlisle, who was native of Maryland, born in 1862. She was the daughter of John Wesley Carlisle, formerly a slave holder of the South, and Lucetta (Black) Carlisle, who died when Mrs. Trindel was eleven years old.

      Mr. and Mrs. Trindel have seven children: Samantha, born February 1, 1885, Ella, born December 29, 1887: Benjamin, born, December 22, 1888, died January 22, 1889: George, born November 12, 1889: Reuben, born August 1, 1894: Nancy, born February 5, 1892: and Della, born July 25, 1899.

     In March, 1884, soon after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Trindel came west, locating in Custer county, Nebraska, on a pre-emption claim. After living there for one and a half


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years they proved up on their claim. During this time Mr. Trindel labored hard to get along as he had nothing to start with, and a great deal of time he worked out by the day. After proving up on his pre-emption claim he looked around for more land, and October 16, 1887, located on his present homestead five miles west to Taylor, on section 25, township 21, range 19.

     Here he had a team and something to do with, and he met with good success for several years up till 1890. Then the drouth years set in and several crop failures made times very hard. Nothing but the best of grit kept Mr. Trindel on the farm, but he hung to it and at last things got better. He has succeeded in building up a good home and farm and is favorably known as one of the leading old settlers.


      Phillip F. Nelson, among the well-known settlers in western Nebraska, lives on section 25, township 35, range 35, Cherry county, where he has built up a fine ranch and home, and is recognized as one of the prosperous and successful citizens of this region.

     Mr. Nelson was born in Denmark March 12, 1865. His parents were farmers, and he was reared there until he was ten years of age, when the family, of whom he was the fourth child, came to America, settling in Clinton county, Iowa, living most of the time in the city of Clinton: later they went to South Dakota, where they were among the pioneers of that section of the country, residing in Douglas county for two years and for six years in Turner county. There they went through ox team experience, and lived in a sod shanty for several years, and also occupied dugouts there during the early days. Mr. Nelson filed on a claim in Charles Mix county, where they had a hard time at first, and met with many discouragements in the loss of crops, hard winters, etc., but gradually built up a home and farm.

     Our subject came to Cherry county in the spring of 1888, settling on his present homestead on June 16th of that year, comprising three hundred and sixty acres of deeded land and four hundred and eighty acres homestead under the Kincaid law. When he arrived here all he had left after filing on his claim was dollar and a half in money. He built a sod shanty and went to work at once in breaking up his land and raising some crops. For a number of years he had a hard time to get along, but as the times grew better he began to raise good crops and improved his place with good buildings, fences, wells and windmills, and now has a good ranch, containing in all eight hundred acres. He engages in stock raising almost exclusively, and has done exceedingly well in this line of work. About 1902 he began the business of drilling wells, in which he has become very successful, contracts coming to him from a wide circuit of country.

     Mr. Nelson has taken an active part in local affairs since locating here, and has held office of assessor at different times and has served as justice of the peace ten or twelve years. He is thoroughly familiar with conditions throughout this part of the state, and has aided in the development of the resources of the region in a marked degree. He is a man of energetic habits, sterling character, and richly deserves the prosperity which has come to him. Politically he is a Republican. A view of the residence of Mr. Nelson will be found elsewhere in this work.

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     Mr. Nelson was married October 10, 1897, to Miss Fredericka Svarfvar, a native of Sweden. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson have a family of three children, named a s follows: Arthur, Oscar and Anna.

     Thomas Nelson, a brother, closely associated with Phillip, was born in Denmark April 15, 1852, and came to America with the mother, Philip and a sister, the father having preceded them the summer before. He has eight hundred acres of land in the sections west of Phillip's land, and is developing a valuable estate.


      The subject of this review is well known throughout the locality in which he resides as an energetic and industrious business man and worthy citizen. He is an old settler in Nebraska, and has done his full share in the advancement of the commercial and agricultural interests of his community.

     Mr. Bishop is a native of Lawrence county, Indiana, born at Bedford, June 17, 1829, where he was reared and educated. His father, Samuel D. Bishop, was a carpenter of American stock, born in Connecticut, and his mother was Miss Huldah Daniel, also an American. There were seven children in his parent's family, of whom he was the fourth member, and at the age of fourteen years he left home and started out for himself. He served as a soldier in the Mexican war, participating in the battle of Buena Vista. After the close of the war he

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came to Monroe county, Iowa, filing on a quarter section of land in 1849.

     After farming for fourteen years he next moved to Miles county, in western Iowa, and remained there for a number of years, shipping the first load of cattle from that point over the newly completed Northwestern line. In 1887 he came to Cherry county, Nebraska, taking up a homestead and living on it until he proved up adding to his acreage from time until the ranch contained four hundred and eighty acres, all of which he recently sold. He built up his farm and had many interesting experiences during his long residence on the frontier. When he came west he drove through from Indiana to Iowa, a distance of five hundred miles, in a wagon, and camped out on the road at night. During the Mexican war he served in the Second Indiana Regiment for one year, and when returning from Mexico, rode all the way from that country to Iowa on horseback. This was in 1847, and the whole country was then a wild place at best. He also spent some years flat-boating on the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi rivers in the early forties, making a number of trips to New Orleans and back.

     In 1904, in partnership with a son-in-law, Jonathan F. Young, he engaged in the lumber business in Cody, and they have built up a large and flourishing trade. Their residence is one of the handsomest and best equipped in the village of Cody.

     Mr. Bishop was married in Indiana in 1848, to Miss Mary J. Humston, a native of that state. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bishop, of whom three are living named: Sarah L., now Mrs. Weed; Cassie B., wife of E. L. Kelley, and Laura B., now Mrs. J. F. Young.

     In political sentiment Mr. Bishop is a Republican.

     I came from Tabor, Fremont county, Iowa, in company with G. A. Hunter, William Wygent. Mr. Wygent's son Day, L. B. Korns and Henry Madison. We left in the spring of 1872, and according to the best of my recollection, we arrived at the mouth of Red Willow creek on the last day of April, 1872. I think that is the date. We crossed the Missouri river at Nebraska City, and came by way of Lincoln. Lincoln was a very small place at that time. We also came through Crete and York, both of which were new towns then. Then we came on up to old Fort Kearney, on the Platte, and so on up to the old Plum creek ranch. There we struck across the divide, and struck the Republican at the mouth of Turkey creek, where Arapahoe now is. We passed very few teams on the road.

     There was log cabin or two at Arapahoe. Captain Murphy, of Plattsmouth, and George and William Colvin were there. William Colvin had a small log shack with a few goods in it in the grocery line. From there we came on to Burton's Bend on Elk creek, where we found Ben Burton. He was occupying a log shanty, I think. He came on with us a part of the way to where Cambridge now is. There was no visible wagon track we could follow after leaving Arapahoe. At Cambridge we found a fellow by the name of Mike Foley, who had a brush shanty on the east side of the creek. It was late in the afternoon when we arrived there. We had to build a bridge across the creek to get our wagons over. On the west side of the creek we met Mr. Foley coming down the Medicine with a saddle of elk on his horse. He met us very kindly, and told us of a good place to camp for the night and divided his meat with us.

     From there we came on, following up the river without any wagon tracks to guide us at all. We saw plenty of game along the stream - elk and deer - but we didn't get any. Mr. Korns went out and tried to get an elk, but did'nt make it out. We followed the river up to Dry creek, just west of the village of Bartley. We did not see anyone until we arrived there the next morning. We camped at this place over night. We found over on the east bank a stake driven into the ground, with a shingle or a piece of cracker box nailed to it, marked "Billingsville." We looked over the ground, and were very well pleased with the land and the location, and we all thought that some day there would be a town there. We learned afterward that this stake had been driven by one of a party of government surveyors. The next morning we met John S. King coming down the river on his horse with his gun. He had been to the mouth of the Willow. He was the earliest settler in Redwillow county. He had a shanty near where the Pat McKillip ranch now is. He had a shack down in the timber near the river. He tried to induce us to go back with him, promised to show us the best land there was on the river, but we had started the Redwillow

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creek, and didn't like to turn back. So he concluded to go on with us. He turned around and returned with us to Redwillow creek, where we arrived that same night. We crossed Coon creek near where the bridge now is, south of Indianola. We got stalled in the creek, and pulled through only after several hours of hard work. We went on to the mouth of the Willow and camped. Mr. King was with us all this time. The next morning when we woke up we saw a little smoke just up the creek from our camp, and concluded we had struck a camp of Indians. We sent out scouts to investigate, and they came back and reported that Charley Moran, a government scout and wagon master from Fort McPherson, was in camp there. They had come over from the fort to hold a pow-wow with Whistler, chief, I think, of the Sioux Indians, who had agreed to meet them at this point to have a talk. We camped there about three days with these men, and the next day we crossed the river - waded across - and Moran shot a very fine deer, which we brought to camp and divided among all hands.

     From there we went up the river five of six miles to look at the country, and then came back to the Willow and resumed our old camp. We looked around for a while, and finally concluded to make settlement on claims. We were in the Lowell land district, but the office was not open until the 12th of August, following this.

     I stayed here with a fellow by the name of Charles Sanders. We camped on the present town site of Indianola. We were really the only inhabitants of this county that summer. Mr. Hunter and Mr. Korns returned in a short time to Fremont county, Iowa. I was waiting, before going home to file on my claim at Lowell, Nebraska, which I did on the 12th day of August, 1872, and from there I went back to Iowa and returned in September with my wife and child. We had a very hard winter, and had a hard time to get along that winter. We went through a great many privations to hold the country.

     Before going back to Lowell I met D. N. Smith on the ground where Indianola now stands. He was B. & M. land agent in this country, locating land for the Lincoln Land Company, and being an old acquaintance of mine, wanted to know what I was here for. I told him I came out to have a good time, and liked the country so well I thought I would take a claim, and had concluded to wait until I could file on the land. He made arrangements with me to come back and talk matters over. He said he wanted to locate a point here that would be as nearly centrally located in Redwillow county as possible, and in his conversation said that he had a good show here to get the county seat when the county was organized.

     The next summer - the summer of 1873 - Washington Hinman, Leslie Lawton and myself were appointed by Governor Furnas as commissioners to call an election for the purpose of locating the county seat. The election was held on the 23d day of May, 1873, in an old log house, near the mouth of the Willow. At that election I. J. Starbuck was elected county clerk, George A. Hunter sheriff, myself county judge, B. B. Duckworth treasurer, --------- Lyons county superintendent, and William Berger, William S. Fetch and B. F. Bradberry county commissioners. The first meeting of the county commissioners was held in a tent which I occupied on the town site of Indianola. After this election I went to North Platte to prove up on my homestead. I located on section 7, township 3, range 27 west, part of the town site of Indianola. The town site also included a art of section 18, located by Mr. Hunter.

     The same fall the Lincoln Land Company built a frame building for a hotel. It stood where A. Lord's hardware store now is. They also built another frame building sixteen by twenty-four feet directly south of where Lord's building now stands, which the company loaned the us of to the county for a court house, until other arrangements could be made. They also built another building of the same size on the northeast corner of block 39, for a store building, which was rented to parties by the name of Allison & Woods, of Kearney, and occupied as the first store in Redwillow county.

      The first term of court in this county was held in this court house by me. I think the first case was case arising out of a dispute over a load of buffalo meat, or something of that sort. Another early case was one that arose over an assault and battery.

     A fight took place in the fall of 1873, between the Sioux and the Pawnees, near where Trenton now is, in Hitchcock county. The Pawnees were defeated by the Sioux, and those who were able to get away came down the river and passed through Indianola in charge of a government agent from the Pawnee reservation. Later the government sent teams hired in the valley to pick up the plunder and bury the bodies of the dead Indians. I think about ninety of the Pawnees were killed. While they were passing through here I had quite a little scuffle with three Indians. I was sitting in the door of my place. I had

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pulled one of my boots on, and had the other in my hand, when the Indians came up to me. I fought them with my boot until the government agent saw the fracas and came up and drove the Indians off, and told me what the trouble was.

     During the summer of 1873 quite a number of other settlers came in and located on lands adjoining Indianola, and along the Willow. Our supplies came from Lowell, between sixty and seventy miles away. If we wanted a pound of sugar or a sack of flour, we had to go there for it. I went to Lowell quite a number of times in the winter, sleeping in my wagon. Our mail was brought up by parties coming up the valley from Arapahoe, and I don't know how much farther. The mail for Indianola would be left with me.

     Anyone going out or coming up would get the mail and bring it in. This applies to the fall of 1872 and the summer of 1873.

     We had quite an Indian scare during the fall of 1873. The Indians threatened to attack, and we called a meeting of the citizens to devise ways and means for protecting ourselves, at the Willow. I was elected captain of the company. I was instructed to write to Governor Furnas for arms and ammunition for self defense. I received a letter from him in which he said that he regretted that he would be unable to furnish arms for us, as the state had no arms at its disposal. So we didn't get them. But a little later we did get fifteen, or maybe thirty stands of arms from some source. They were sent to the sheriff for distribution among the settlers. We felt reasonably safe with the arms, but never had any occasion to use them on the Indians. Mr. Stenner was killed on the Beaver in 1873.

     In 1873 the Indians made a raid from Kansas across the Beaver into Nebraska, and on the way killed Anton Stenner. He was shot in his wagon, and his family - his wife and children - came over to Indianola, where they have resided ever since. Some of them live here yet. They killed everything they could find on the ranches, such as cattle, pigs, chickens, etc. They ripped open feather beds, and gave the feathers to the winds. They crossed the Republican at or near Culbertson.

     There was a man who came over from the Beaver and said the Indians or a party of them were headed this way. We gave the alarm here to everybody as far as we could give them notice. That was Sunday morning the news came to us. We camped that day on the Indianola town site. We formed a barricade of the wagons, etc., and put every team inside. We sent out scouts to look the matter up. Ike Starbuck was sick half a mile out of town, at James Hatton's. He was brought on a bed and left at the hotel. James Doyle had a band of horses up near Culbertson which he brought down here. He had a mare in the band that had a colt, which he left at home. When we found out this was a false alarm with regard to the Indians, we wrote a note and tied it on this mare's neck and turned her loose, and she went back home, and that gave work to the settlers up there. This was on Monday. The next day we disbanded and dispersed. I was living one mile west of town of a pre-emption at that time, and when I heard that the Indians were coming I hitched up my team and came down here with my family and neighbors.

     Washington Hinman came here in the summer of 1872, crossing the Republican river at the mouth of the Willow on the fourth day of July with a protable steam saw-mill, which I helped put in place and operated during that first summer I was here. I helped to cut the first saw log that was cut in the county.

      After the fight near Culbertson, one squaw got away form the Sioux and crawled out into the buffalo brush, and was brought down here by a hunter in his wagon, and left, as she was not able to go any farther. She had an arrow wound in her left breast, one behind her left ear. Her papoose had been killed, so she said. We could make that out. She was left at the cabin of Mr. Korns on the west side of Coon creek. They tried to get her into the house, but she wouldn't go in. So he placed his wagon cover against the side of the cabin, and they put her into it on some straw and some blankets.

     The next morning we found her dead, and we took a mowing machine box and we wrapped her in a blanker, put in the box, and buried her on the west side of Coon Creek, near where the present Indianola cemetery now is. This is the first grave we have any knowledge of in Redwillow county.

     William Berger was killed by lightning in the summer of 1873. I think it was, and just one month later Thomas Thomas was killed in the same way. He went out to feed a buffalo calf after a shower, and he set the bucket down the lightning killed him and the calf. I made twenty-five coffins here out of good boxes and slabs - cottonwood slabs and pine boxes. I presume twenty-five or thirty pieces went into this coffin of Berger's. The river was up when Berger was killed, and we had to build a boat to get over. When Thomas was killed, we had to ford the river with our teams, and the water would run

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