Mr. Walker was born in Saratoga county, New York, on January 25, 1861, living there until he was four years old, when the family, consisting of himself, father, mother, one full brother and three half-brothers, moved to Champaign county, Illinois, where he grew to manhood. While living in Illinois, the mother was taken away from her little family, her death occurring November 14, 1871. When our subject was twenty-four years of age he and his father came to Nebraska. He settled on a homestead on section 34, township 16, range 53, in Kimball county, roved up on the place, then sold out. His father also homesteaded, proved up and sold out, and the latter made Kimball county his home up to 1895, afterwards going to Colorado, dying at Julesburg, that state, on January 19, 1898.
Mr. Walker purchased a ranch on section 31, township 15, range 56, situated six miles west of the town of Kimball, in December 1896. He had moved to Kimball in 1892, where he secured a position as a clerk in a store and filled the position very acceptably for one year.
He next went into the Bank of Kimball as a bookkeeper, and remained with the institution for four years in that capacity, then returned to his ranch, which comprises one whole section of land. Three years were spent on the farm, which is devoted to hay and stock raising, being admirably situated on Lodgepole creek, and he has added many improvements of all kinds on the ranch. In 1901 Mr. Walker again moved into the village, purchasing the Kimball Hotel, and still owns this property. In the spring of 1904 he engaged in the real estate business in partnership with C. A. Forsling, under the firm name of Forsling & Walker, which is the pioneer real estate establishment of Kimball county. The Kimball fraternal hall was built in 1904, Mr. Walker being secretary and manager of same, and he is also a prominent member of the Industrial Club of Kimball, acting as its secretary.
He has always been in the front rank of any movement for the advancement of his town and county, and can justly be termed one of its leading public-spirited citizens.
On April 6, 1887, Mr. Walker was married in Kimball, to Miss Hattie E. Ainsworth. Mrs. Walker was born in Illinois and grew up there, coming to Nebraska with her parents, who were pioneers in Kimball county, in 1886. Her father is now dead, while her mother resides in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Walker have two children, Ethel Ethelyn and Ruth E., both at home.
Politically, Mr. Walker is a Republican.
Mr. Wickard, a son of John T. and Mary (Bigelow) Wickard, was born in Hancock county, Indiana, October 27, 1865, there growing to the age of fourteen years, then the family moved to Lawrence county, Tennessee, where they lived for about seven years. Several years were spent by our subject in different states, and he finally came to Nebraska, settling in Cheyenne county. He took up a homestead in 1888, filing on a claim on section 24, township 16, range 49. He went to work to build up a good home, proved up on the land, then sold out his holdings. He next went to Weld county, Colorado, and farmed there for six years, returning to this county in 1893, at which time he purchased the north half of section 4, township 16, range 48, and still occupies this as a homestead. The farm contains three hundred and twenty acres, all improved in good shape, having fine buildings, etc. There is one hundred acres under cultivation, and runs about sixty head of stock, and is classed amount the prosperous and up-to-date agriculturists in his locality. He is a skillful mechanic, using all kinds of tools, and is extensively employed to make the branding irons used in this vicinity.
Mr. Wickard was united in marriage September 6, 1886, in Kentucky, to Miss Edna Johnson, who is a native of Kansas and a daughter of Benjamin and Phoebe (Howe) Johnson: her mother resides in Oregon at the present time, but both parents of our subject are deceased. Eleven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wickard, named as follows: Bertha, married to William H. Ferichs*, owner of a farm in Cheyenne, county; Minnie, wife of Albert Ferichs*, also living in this county; Walter, Effie, Marian, Ernest, Lillian, Bessie, Jennie, Luther and Leola, all at home. The wife died July 16, 1908.
The family have a very pleasant home, a new six-room residence having been built in 1907. They are highly esteemed as worthy citizens and agreeable neighbors by all who know them. Mr.
* Married surname of two daughters is mis-spelled, should be FRERICHS. See "History of Cheyenne Co., NE", 1986 and the cemetery extracts published by the local genealogical society.
Wickard is a man of broad ideas and has always staunchly
supported the principles of good government regardless of party
bias or political excitement, although he is a loyal Republican.
At the present time he is serving his school district as director.
He is a member of Dalton Camp, Modern Woodmen of America. A view
of the ranch buildings is to be found elsewhere in this work.
Josh. Sewell was born in Clinton county, Iowa, in 1856. He was raised on a farm and grew up in his native state, learning to do all sorts of hard farm work. Our subject came to Nebraska in 1883, landing here in January of that year, homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres and took a timber claim of one hundred and sixty acres more, making three hundred and twenty acres of table land located nine miles northeast of Burwell. He bought and sold grain during the early years here, also raised both on his ranch. During the year 1894 he experienced the hardest times he ever saw anywhere, and at that time many families who had settled here became discouraged, and gave up trying to make a living, finally being forced to abandon their farms, but our subject stuck to his place, determined to "win out". He struggled on through that dry spring, and later the hot winds swept the section and destroyed crops, and he often became disheartened, seeing his corn crop, which looked so promising early in the season, literally burned out. July 26, 1894, he thinks was the hottest day ever known in this country.
However, through all his failures and discouragements he came out with a strong heart and determined will, and when times grew better was able to improve his place and lay by a little money. His best year was in 1902, when he raised banner crops of corn, wheat, oats, barley and rye. That year he also fed several carloads of hogs for the market which netted him a tidy sum. Mr. Sewell claims that considering labor, etc., it cost less to produce the same crops in Nebraska than it does in the eastern states. His ranch is improved with a complete set of good farm buildings and every improvement in the way of farming machinery to facilitate his operations, also owning his own threshing rig.
Mr. Sewell has an excellent supply of water on his place, all coming from deep drilled walls, which furnish plenty of water pumped by windmills into supply tanks, which are placed at different points on his farm and this water is of the finest quality and clear as a crystal. He also has a fine grove of orchard, and his place as a whole presents comfort and good management.
In 1890 Mr. Sewell was united in marriage to Miss Matilda Mohr, a native of Germany. They are the parents of four children, namely: Julius, Eva, Clara and Ernest. Mr. Sewell takest an active interest in local politics, and has served as county commissioner for several terms, also as justice of the peace. He has been a member of the school board for many years. He is a Republican in political views.
A picture of Mr. Sewell's
residence will be found on another page of this volume.
Mr. Heath is a native of Cuyahoga county, Ohio, born about twelve miles from Cleveland, March 16, 1853, and at the age to two months his parents came to Iowa, settling in Delaware county, where he was reared and educated.
His father, Uri Heath, was a blacksmith by trade, who retired from active life in 1898, and came to Nebraska, making his home with his son the remainder of his life. Our subject is the fifth member in a family of ten children, and at the age of fifteen years he began learning the printer's trade in Webster City, Iowa. After thoroughly mastering this work he went to Essex, Page county, Iowa, and started a paper called the Essex Index. He first came to Nebraska in 1880,
locating at David City, where he bought the David City Republican and edited this from 1880 and 1885, then bought the Rushville Standard, which he published up to 1900. In December of that year he started the Cody Cowboy, of which he is now the able editor, serving at the same time as the United States commissioner, by which he is authorized to transact government land business here in the matter of homestead filings, taking first proofs, etc.
He is doing exceedingly well in all his ventures, and building up a wide reputation as a successful business man. When he first reached Sheridan county he was practically "broke", and went to work building log houses in order to get enough money to have his household goods shipped to Rushville. He took a pre-emption in section 31, township 32, range 43, on which he built a log house, and afterward sold it when he moved to Cody. He disposed of six hundred and forty acres of land, receiving in all one thousand six hundred dollars. He is still owner of a six hundred and forty-acre homestead located three miles from the town of Cody.
Mr. Heath was married in 1886 to Ella C. Bailey, born at Mt. Carroll, Illinois, in 1858. Seven children were born to Mr. And Mrs. Heath, namely: Ada B., John M. (deceased). F. Kemp, Eva B., Austin W., Eliza (deceased), and Esther, all of whom were born and raised in this state.
Mr. Heath has always been active in political circles since young manhood, and was state representative from his district for the legislative session of 1891. Since that time he has never sought public preferment, and devotes his entire time to the different enterprises of which he is the head. Politically he is a Republican. During the existence of the Order of the Good Templars Mr. Heath was a prominent member. He now affiliates with the Masonic fraternity, the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Woodmen and the Highlanders.
Mr. Hahler first came to western Nebraska in 1878, settling in Lincoln county on a ranch which he operated for several years. He has been engaged to a great extent in buying and selling farms and city property, and he has been very successful in these investments. He has just recently sold his home property in North Platte for the round sum of ten thousand dollars, also three frontages to the Burlington & Missouri Railway Company, and it is stated that the new depot on this line will be located on south Dewey street. He had been engaged in business in North Platte during the years 1883 and 1884, and afterward operated a large ranch in South Dakota, but returned to Nebraska, where he has resided continuously since. He established the leading meat market in this city in 1900, and was very successful in this venture, having an extensive trade and furnishing the people of the city with the finest meats to be had, running a strictly first-class market, and he was regarded as a business man of the highest ability, honest and fair in all his dealings. This business was sold in May, 1908, and Mr. Hahler devotes his time to stock shipping. He still buys and sells a great deal of stock. All of his meats while in the meat market were from cattle slaughtered right at home, and this insure the best and most delicious cuts to be found anywhere, as he is most particular in inspecting all the stock which is killed for his shop.
Mr. Yearns was born in Marion county, Iowa, in 1861. His father, James B. Yearns, was of American blood, a farmer in later years, and in his younger days was a teacher, also practiced law for several years in Iowa. He married Miss Nancy Porter, a native of Indiana, born of American parents. Our subject was reared and educated in Iowa, attending the country schools while assisting his
father in the work of carrying on the home farm, the latter dying in 1882, and after his death Isaac was the main support of his mother, up to the time of her death which occurred in Nebraska May 8, 1907. Our subject and his mother came to eastern Nebraska in the spring of 1879, settling in Burt county, where they were among the pioneer settlers, remaining there for three years. In 1884 they moved to Dawes county, Valentine, one hundred and thirty-five miles distant from their farm, being the nearest railroad point.
Mr. Yearns took up a timer claim the previous year, and located on it in the spring of 1885, traveling by team from Valentine, the trip taking ten days. He also took up a pre-emption and lived on this for fifteen years, having with him his brother John, who died in Montana in the fall of 1891, and the mother lived with our subject up to her death. In 1900 our subject settled on his present farm in section 7, township 31, range 50, which was then partly improved property. He has kept adding to the place and has built it up in good shape, owning altogether seven hundred and eighty acres, well supplied with timber and with four living springs which furnish plenty of water for his stock. He has good buildings and the ranch is all fenced, and he is engaged principally in stock raising. He has gone through the drouth periods and other discouraging times, but has stuck to his farm through everything and made a success of his venture.
In political views he leans toward the Republican party, but votes the Independent ticket.
Mr. Berger was born in the village of Neufunnuxsil, Ostfriesland, Germany, April 29, 1864. His father, Wilhelm Berger, is still living in the fatherland, engaged in the insurance business. Our subject was reared there and received a good education, coming to this country in 1882, sailing from Bremen Haven on the streamer Werra and landing in New York in February of that year. He spent the following year at Brooklyn and New York, employed as a grocery clerk, and then came west, where he located in Stewart, Nebraska, working in a store for a year. He next took up a homestead near Hay Springs, and remained on it until he had proved up, going through the usual pioneer experiences, then moved to Carns, Nebraska, entering a grocery store for six or seven months, where he was employed by Tom Glover. In the spring of 1887 this stock was closed out and Mr. Berger left Carns and went to Bassett, clerking for Glover & Berger, the latter being a brother of our subject, who was associated with the farm for several years. In May, 1887, this store was closed out, and he went to Gordon, working for the same firm up to July 4th of that year. In September he and his brother returned to the fatherland, visiting the home folks for three months.
On his return he started in business, buying a drove of horses from the Indians in Pine Ridge Agency, which he sold at Carns, trading a few of them for a clothing stock at Bassett, he moved the goods to Long Pine, to which he added a stock of stationery and pianos, for which he had traded his farm, and was thus enabled to form a partnership with his brother, J. A. Berger. This was Mr. Berger's start in business in Long Pine, under the firm of J. A. Berger & Company, the partnership lasting until the spring of 1889. A grocery stock was moved to Hay Springs and closed out, Mr. Berger remaining there for a year, and in the fall of 1890 finally dissolved partnership. He then put in a general line of goods at Long Pine, and here he has been most successful in building up an extensive trade throughout the country. His store is located on the principal corner of the town, and he has floor space of seventy-five by one hundred feet, eighteen by thirty-six of this cut out to accommodate the Commercial Bank, of which he has served as president and vice-president. This bank was opened in December, 1905, and is one of the best equipped banks in Brown county. Mr. Berger devotes all his time to his business interests, and shows remarkable judgment in the management of his large enterprises. He has a branch store at Ainsworth, established n 1894, and another at Johnstown, established in 1900.
In the fall of 1888 Mr. Berger was married to Miss Marion Guy, daughter of William Guy, who was an early settler in Keya Paha county. They are the parents of one child, Edna, a graduate of the Lone Pine high school. Mr. Berger is familiar with almost the entire northwest part of the state, having at different times owned stores or worked in ten different towns in this vicinity. There are only two towns between Bassett
and Hay Springs in which he has not at some time been located, Wood Lake and Crookston. Mr. Berger and his family paid a ten weeks' visit to his native land in the spring of 1908, traveling through the Rhine provinces, Holland, Belgium and England, giving the family a knowledge of life in the countries of the old world.
In politics Mr. Berger is an independent. He is serving as worshipful master of the Masonic lodge and with his family is enrolled in the membership of the Order of the Eastern Star. He is also an active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and also of the Methodist church.
Mr. Croughwell was born in April, 1857, in Wilmington, Will county, Illinois. His father, Thomas Croughwell, was one of the early pioneers of Loup county, Nebraska, was a stonemason by trade, and was engaged in work of contracting and building. The maiden name of the mother of the subject of our sketch was Margarette Slowey. The family moved to Connecticut when Bernard was quite small and he was reared in Jewett City, in that state.
Until he was past twenty-one years of age he worked a great deal in a cotton factory and learned the spinner's trade. In 1880 he came to the far west, to Loup county, Nebraska. The country was new and there was work to be done in many different lines, and Mr. Croughwell was ready for work at anything. For a time he worked on the railroad which was being built from Grand Island, Nebraska, to St. Paul, later finding employment carrying mail from Ord to Burwell and continuing in this for nearly four years. Mr. Croughwell then engaged in the agricultural implement business at Arcadia and later, in 1887, opened up at Taylor in the same line. In 1899 he purchased a partly improved farm of three hundred and twenty acres three miles west of Taylor and began farming. He has worked hard and planned intelligently to make his property a marked success, and he has reason to be proud of what he has accomplished. He has a fine home and the buildings for the stock are in fine shape: there is a good orchard, growing a number of different kinds of fruits, such as apples, cherries and plums, etc., and there is also a fine grove of forest trees on the ranch.
In 1889 Mr. Croughwell was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Miss Annie Ellathorpe, a daughter of Levi and Hannah (Stubbs) Ellathorpe. Mrs. Croughwell was a native of Pennsylvania, where her father lived and died. Mr. And Mrs. Croughwell have one child, a daughter, Alvira Margarette.
The subject of this sketch has taken a prominent part in the affairs of his community, and as one of the oldest settlers he has taken pride in watching the splendid improvements of the country. He was one who helped locate the county seat at Taylor, and his widely known as a progressive and earnest worker for anything in the way of advancement in county affairs.
His stanch Republicanism is a matter of common knowledge.
Many peculiar and interesting experiences are related by Mr. Croughwell, one being as follows: Kid Wade, a notorious horse thief, stole three or four horses in Mr. Croughwell's neighborhood and about that time stopped a whole day and night at the latter's house, but Mr. Croughwell was unaware of the character of his guest. Mr. Croughwell and John Grimmet tracked the thief above the Calamus riveer, where the trail was lost. Not long after Kid Wade was captured and hung at Bassett, Ne
Frederick G. Bauer, was born at Golden, Illinois, March 27, 1882. He was five years of age when the family came into Cheyenne county, Nebraska, where he was reared and educated. He has since lived in the county with the exception of about three years, which were spent in Colorado, where he took up a homestead and started a cattle ranch. In February, 1907, Mr. Bauer disposed of his ranch and moved to Weyerts, where he in now engaged in the general merchandise business, and is rapidly gaining a good patronage throughout the vicinity. He is a young man of excellent ability, energetic and progressive, and bids fair to be one of the leading citizens of his community.
Mr. Bauer's mother is still living, at pres-
ent residing on the old family ranch two miles west of Weyerts, where the father died August 9, 1898. There were twelve children in his father's family, of whom he was the ninth in order of birth. He is now married, the event occurring November 25, 1902, at Weyerts Lutheran church, when he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Folkerts. They are the parents of three children, namely: Louis, Leona and Alvin.
Mr. Bauer is at present acting as postmaster at Weyerts, and is a most popular and efficient official, highly esteemed by all.
Our subject lived in the state of his nativity until he was eight years old, when the family moved to Grand Island, Nebraska, where they settled on a homestead. In 1885 they came to Keith county, settling ten miles northwest of Ogallala on a homestead, where both parents died that same year. Our subject then started our for himself, working on several ranches, receiving at times only his board for the work he did. He settled on his present excellent farm and homesteaded in 1893, put up buildings and made a start. His farm comprises one hundred and seventy-four acres of especially choice soil on the bottoms of the North Platte river, where he has built an admirable home and business. He has a few head of stock, but gives his attention principally to farming and gardening, at which he has made a fine success, raising twelve hundred to fifteen hundred bunches of celery per acre, four to five hundred bushels on onions and thirty tons of cabbage per acre. Our subject has had some misfortunes, but his thrift and energy have placed him in good circumstances. In the spring of 1891 he was seriously injured, getting his feet caught and both badly crushed in a hay press. This accident caused our subject to be laid up for an entire year, during which time he did practically no work.
John K. Irwin was married July 1, 1901, to Miss Hattie M. Shepard, whose father, William F. Shepard, is one of the prominent farmers and old settlers of Keith county. The mother was Julia A. Joplin in maidenhood. Mr. and Mrs. Irwin have three children - May, Marie and Della.
Mr. Irwin has always been an interested participant in matters of a public nature and has held various political offices. He is a Republican in politics. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and of the American Order of Protection.
Isaac Large was born on a farm in
Woodford county, Illinois, July 24, 1860. His father was born in
England, as was also his mother. They came to Illinois as
pioneers, and our subject grew up in his native county. He left
home in 1883, working for a year on farms in Gage county,
Nebraska, and then moved to Buffalo county, locating on a tract of
prairie land, and for twenty-five years farmed on it. This place
was situated in the Elm creek valley and Mr. Large built up a good
home and ranch, doing much toward developing that part of the
country. In the spring of 1907 he came to Keith county and
purchased three hundred ad twenty acres of his present estate,
with one hundred and sixty acres under cultivation, and has raised
two good crops since locating here. In 1908 he acquired two
additional sections devoted to ranching and farming purposes. He
has all good buildings and improvements, with two wells and
windmills. His residence contains fifteen rooms in the two stories
and attic, and is one of the handsomest country houses in the
county. He has a large barn, a double corncrib, large chicken
house and numerous other outbuildings. An elevated reservoir
supplies the house with water for bath room and domestic purposes.
We are pleased to call attention to a view of the fine
establishment displayed on another page of this work.
One brother of Mr. Large owns a whole section of land seven miles south of the town of Paxton, and is also a large farmer and stockman.
On January 6, 1890, Mr. Large was mar-
ried to Esther McMinn, a native of Noble county, Ohio, and a daughter of Robert McMinn, an old soldier and early settler near Overton, Dawson county, Nebraska. The mother was Miss Elizabeth Brown, a native of Ohio, now residing in Overton. The father was born in Pennsylvania and died n Nebraska in 1893. When he first settled in Dawson county there were but four farmers in the east end of the county and Overton was only a box car for the operators managing the trains. Indians were still plentiful in that region and many times Mrs. Large has visited their camps. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Large, namely: Adella, Edna, Elizabeth and Wayne, all at home.
Mr. Large is a Republican is politics and a member of the Evangelical church. He affiliates with the Workmen and the Odd Fellows, and with Mrs. Large has attained the Rebekah degree. All his lodge affiliations had been in Overton until the institution of an Odd Fellows lodge at Paxton in December, 1908.
Mr. Walgreen was a native of Sweden, born in 1841, and raised on his father's farm until he was eighteen years old. He then came to America in 1869, having previously worked on farms for some time, and spending ten years in brick yards in Sweden. After landing here he located in Michigan and worked in a salt factory at Salsburg, Bay county, Michigan, and afterwards farmed for some years in the same state. In 1884 Mr. Walgreen came to Sheridan county and filed on his claim as a pre-emption, then went back to Michigan, and in May, 1885, he returned with his family. It took ten days to drive up from Valentine, and was a rough trip over unbroken roads through a perfect wilderness. Their first house was built of sod, and in this they lived for three years. The same spring he took up a tree claim, located in section 25, and began breaking up his farm, cultivating thirty acres, which he put into crops the following summer. He worked hard and succeeded in raising several good crops before the beginning of the dry years, and as he had raised some stock they helped to support the family. He built up his home and added to his farm gradually, purchasing before the prices raised in this section, and at the time of his death owned twelve hundred and eighty acres of good farming land. On this he cultivated about one hundred acres, and used most of his produce on the farm. He kept over a hundred head of stock, and from this source made enough to pay for all the land he bought. He had his land all fenced, and built twelve miles of fencing.
Mr. Walgreen was married in 1874 to Miss Annie Helma, born in Canada in 1854 and raised in Michigan, of French-English descent. Twelve children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Walgreen, who are named as follows: Mary Ellen, Katie, Lawrence Philip, William H., Julia, Annie, Clara, Fred, Edward, Grace, Clyde and Leland, all grown except three, and nearly all settled near their parents' home. Mr. Walgreen was assisted in his farm work by his boys, and together they did all the work on his large estate.
To his family is due much credit in helping him in every way to build up his home. When they came he only had four horses, one cow and sixty dollars in money, and a large family to support. They had a hard time to get along some times, losing his first two crops through hailstorms, and first winter he worked as a freighter from Chadron to Deadwood, and also to Fort Robinson in order to support his family. The place is now well improved, and he considered that he had made as much if not more than he could have made in Michigan. His health was better here and they never had occasion to call a doctor for any member of the family until 1906. He was contented here and satisfied to spend the rest of his days in this locality.
Mr. Walgreen died April 13, 1907. Eight of the children are still living with their mother and assisting her on this valuable estate. The others are married or live elsewhere.
In 1868 Mr. Robinson left his native state and came to Nebraska, locating at first in Columbus and later in Platte county, also spent five or six years at St. Pual, finally
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