and are proud of their home county. Otto W. Englehorn, another son of Mr. and Mrs. Englehorn, was drowned at the age of about twenty five years in the shipwreck of the Valencia, near Vancouver Island, January 23, 1906. The remains were brought back to Box Butte county, where they were interred. A large number of people were present and paid their last respects to the deceased.
A picture of Mr. John Englehorn's
residence will be found on another page of this volume.
GEORGE H. SEAGER.
George H. Seager has resided in Cherry county for the past twenty-two years, and nearly all of that time occupied a homestead, situated in section 18, township 31, range 35, where he had a pleasant home and valuable estate. This he sold in the fall of 1907 and moved to Cody where lie has a goodly amount of income property.
Mr. Seager was born in Orange county, New York, May 16, 1836, of American parents, his father, John Seager, having taken part in the War of 1812, the grandfather Jacob in the Revolutionary war and the great-grandfather in the French and Indian war, while the great-great-grandfather participated in the war under the last king of Poland. George H. is the youngest in a family of nine children, and at the age of thirteen years started out for himself. He ran away from home at that age and since that time has seen his parents but twice. He was obliged to take whatever he could get to do in order to make a living, and during the first three weeks after he left home worked for sixty cents a week. He followed farming for several years, and at the age of sixteen learned the cigarmaker's trade, and later the carpenter's trade. He devoted most of his time to the former work, however, and continued at it for nearly thirty-two years. In 1862 he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Thirty-seventh New York Regiment, serving as color bearer, until the end of the war. He comes of fighting stock. After the war he returned to New York, where he took charge of the John Kirch Company's cigar business, at Elmira, and was manager of this concern for three years, then engaged in the cigar trade and livery business. He next moved to Tioga county and there took a farm of fifty acres, on which he lived for nine years. When he took this place he was in debt three thousand five hundred dollars. and. after nine years' hard work sold this farm to pay off his debt. He came to Nebraska in 1885, landing here with seventy dollars in his pocket and a family of four children. After getting settled he bought horse feed, groceries and provisions and had absolutely nothing left. He first located on Boiling Springs flats, and remained there for three years, then settled on his above mentioned homestead. Here he worked very hard and went through many hard times, living in a sod house without floors for five years before he was able to put up a better dwelling.
July 4, 1861, Mr. Seager was married to Miss Elvira Walker, a native of Tioga county, New York, born in 1837, her death occurring in Nebraska in 1902. Four children were born to this marriage, namely: Clara, now Mrs. George Hawver; Hattie, wife of Chris Holts; Adison, (deceased), and John.
Mr. Seager has seen this locality grow from its early development, and has had an active part in its success. He does not want any more frontier or homesteaders' experiences, and is glad that those times are past. He has always been a Republican, but has never sought public preferment, devoting his entire attention to his home and family.
JOHN A. STRANDBERG.
John A. Strandberg, who has passed through pioneer experiences in Cheyenne county, Nebraska, is the owner of a fine farm in Trognitz precinct. He has a wide circle of acquaintances and is held in the highest respect and esteem throughout the community in which he resides.
Mr. Strandberg was born in Sweden, January 5, 1870, and was reared in his native province. He came to America when but fifteen years of age, the family joining the father in Kansas, whither he had preceded them, and in 1888 they all moved to Cheyenne county, with the exception of John, who joined them in 1891 having spent two years of the intervening time in Colorado. The father filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in section 18, township 16, range 52, also took up a Kincaid claim of one hundred and sixty acres. The balance of the section named is now in the possession of John A. Strandberg, the subject of this sketch. The country was entirely unimproved land, and they had hard work during the first few years to get it into condition to raise crops, but worked hard and faithfully to develop a farm, and have succeeded in a marked degree. There are now over seventy five acres under cultivation, and they run quite a large herd of cattle and other stock, including a number of horses, with which all their work is, accomplished.
Mr. Strandberg's parents are now dead, the
father's death occurring in 1900, and the mother following him a year later. There were the following children left besides our subject: Charles E., living on a homestead adjoining his brother's farm. Ida C., married to J. J. Johnson, now residing in Kimball county, Nebraska. Annie, married to John Johnson, living in Sheridan, Wyoming, and Rena, who lives with Charles. John A. is the eldest of the family, and he was married at Sidney, on October 13, 1893, to Klara Ternstrand, whose parents are deceased. Our subject and his estimable wife are the parents of the following children: Clarence V., Charles E., Martin T. and Alfred E. and Esther.
Mr. Strandberg is active in local affairs, and is a loyal supporter of the Republican party. He is of the Lutheran faith.
HENRY VON BARGEN.
Henry Von Bargen, whose honest life and unflagging industry has been crowned with a large measure of success, came of that race and blood which has been so prominently identified with the affairs of this country. He was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1866 on a farm. He is a son of Frederick Bargen, who was a farmer, and who worked in the cement factories of the old country. His mother's name was Richter Bargen. Both parents died in their native land.
Until the age of sixteen years, Mr. Von Bargen remained in his native land, where he received his education. He then decided to seek his fortunes in the new world, and coming to America, landed in New York city in June, 1882. He did not tarry long in that section of the country, but came west, settling in Sibley county, Minnesota, where he remained for seven years following the occupation of the farmer.
In 1889 the subject of this sketch came to Box Butte county and located on the farm which is his present home in section 1, township 26, range 49. Here he built a sod house, and for seven or eight years lived the life of a bachelor. The first two years he worked his farm with a team of oxen. He did not escape the periods of drouth which were so frequent in this section of the country. Finding it impossible to make a living out of his farm during this period, he employed his time at grade work in Wyoming. During the seasons of 1891 and 1892 his crops were fair, and he began to realize the success which his unremitting efforts merited. Mr. Von Bargen is now the possessor of a fine ranch of one thousand acres of land, one hundred and fifty acres of which he has under cultivation, the balance being pasture and grass land. He has erected a pleasant house and substantial farm buildings, and has a good well and wind mill.
The marriage of Mr. Von Bargen and Miss Annie Donner occurred in 1897. She was born in Pomeran, Germany, where her father lived and died. Her mother is still living and resides in America. Mr. and Mrs. Von Bargen are the parents of three children: William, Emil. and Carl.
In political matters Mr. Von Bargen is a Republican. Since taking up his residence in Box Butte county he has done a great deal toward the development and improvement of this part of the state, and has always taken a keen interest in the affairs of the locality in which he resides. His career should be an excellent example to the young men of the present generation, for in it they can see what thrift and economy, honesty and integrity can always accomplish.
A. J. WITHERS.
A. J. Withers, who is extensively engaged in farming, is one of the pioneer settlers of Deuel county. He has a wide acquaintance in the vicinity, and is universally respected and esteemed.
Mr. Withers was born in Blair county, Pennsylvania, October 29, 1846. There were eight children in his father's family, six boys and two girls, and in 1856 the family came to Ogle county, Illinois, where they settled on a farm and made that their home for many years. Our subject enlisted at Mt. Morris, Illinois, in Company I, Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry, in February, 1863. He went through the Knoxville siege, was on the Morgan raid through Ohio and Indiana, and was thrown into Andersonville prison and kept there for nine months, suffering terrible privations with others held there. He was also in the battle of Atlanta and other large engagements. In May, 1865, he was mustered out at Springfield, Illinois. His father and one brother were privates in the Thirty-fourth Illinois, another brother was in the Ninety-second Illinois, and still another in the Fourth Cavalry. His father had also been through the War of 1812, enlisting at the age of eleven years, and serving as "powder monkey." When the latter enlisted in the Civil war he was sixty years of age, and one brother of our subject was but fifteen years old.
After leaving the army Mr. Withers traveled through different parts of the country, finally coming to western Nebraska in 1885. He homesteaded on section 22, township 15, range 46, and proved up on a quarter section, adding
to his original tract afterwards, and now owns half a section of good land, using one hundred and twenty-five acres as a farm, and the balance as a stock ranch, running about eighty head of cattle and quite a number of horses. He has the place well improved, all good buildings, etc., and is classed among the prosperous and successful men of this region. He has been a resident of Deuel county during all the good, bad and indifferent times, and was one of the first homesteaders on the table land.
Mr. Withers was married on September 26, 1872, at Oregon, Illinois, to Miss Hattie Coggins, who is a native of that state. They have a family of eight children, who are named as follows: Thomas W., married and a ranch owner in Deuel county; Edith Olive, wife of Oscar Meyer, living in Cheyenne county; Harvey O., also married and living in Cheyenne county; Hattie Ethel, wife of Luther Allington, they residing in South Dakota; Myrtle May, Logan A., Sarah Locada and Leola Elsie, the four last mentioned living at home. All were born and raised oil the home ranch, and form an interesting family group.
Mr. Withers is prominent in local affairs. He is a Republican and firm in his convictions.
ALBERT M. JACOX.
Albert M. Jacox, whose home is to be found at the postoffice of Thurman, Rock county, Nebraska, is a fair representative of the earnest and wide awake young men who have come into this region and have wrought the revolution of settlement, making the wilderness a cultivated land, and the wild prairie a home of a great people. He is a farmer by choice, and is an honor to his calling.
Albert M. Jacox was born on a farm in Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, December 30, 1855, and from his early youth was familiar with hard work. His parents, Edward H. and Margaret (Davis) Jacox, were of German descent; his father, in addition to farming, followed blacksmithing for a living. When Albert reached the age of fourteen years he assumed the burden of his own support, and when he was twenty we find him in Madison county, Nebraska, engaged in farm work. In 1882 he established himself on a homestead in section 19, township 29, range 18, Rock county, and there he has lived to the present writing, building up a fine estate and becoming one of the solid men of the county. At the time of his coming here, the country was so thinly settled, and points of trade so remote, that he was compelled to go to Long Pine for the lumber needed in the construction of his first modest home. This was in the month of February, and the long drives were attended with not a little discomfort. He now owns a well appointed ranch of four hundred and eighty acres, of which seventy acres are under active cultivation, and the balance devoted to stock raising and the making of hay, for which there is always a brisk demand. There is a fine grove upon it, which he planted himself, and watched the growth of the trees with a solicitous interest. The flowing wells are of inestimable value on the farm, supplying an endless supply of excellent water for stock and irrigation if so needed. The Jacoxes have passed through dry seasons, and have shared in the experiences common to a new country, but they have never lost courage, and a large success has crowned their efforts.
Mr. Jacox takes a political position in line with the doctrines of the Democratic party with which he has long been associated. In 1886 he was appointer (sic) postmaster at Thurman, a position which he still retains. In 1896 he was elected as one of the board of commissioners of Rock county, and for three years he rendered very acceptable service to the people of that county. In strictly local affairs he is prominent, having served as school director for a quarter of a century. He has also been count assessor, and is known throughout the count as an industrious citizen and a reliable man.
Mr. Jacox was married March 5, 1883, to Miss Amy Dennis, whose people had removed from Iowa to make early settlement in Madison county, Nebraska. To this union have come the following children: Edward G., Leroy C., James B., Melville Ray, Minnie E., deceased, Amy May, Clarence David and an infant, unnamed. The husband and father comes himself of a prolific family and was the youngest of a family of sixteen children born to his parents. Three of his brothers and two brothers-in-law served in the Union army during the Civil war. He is a member of the subordinate lodge of the Odd Fellows at Bassett, and of the encampment at O'Neill.
L. K. NELSON.
In the person of the gentleman whose name heads this personal history, we find one of the sturdy old-timers who has passed the frontier, going through all the different phases of pioneer life in the west and coming out victorious in the struggle for a home and competence for his declining years. Mr. Nelson's well and favorably known through-out this section of Kimball county.
Our subject was born in Denmark, August 13, 1848, and grew up in his native land, following farming there during his boyhood and remained there up to 1872, when he came to the United States, settling in Lee county, Illinois, where he was among the pioneer farmers, and made that vicinity his home for about six years. He then went to Fremont, Nebraska, spent a short time there, and his next move was to California for three years, returning to Nebraska in 1889, and locating in Kimball county. Here he filed on a homestead, proved up on the land, and has occupied it as a home ranch since that time. He has a good farm of four hundred and eighty acres, besides other property in the county. Sixty five acres are devoted to farming, on which Mr. Nelson raises good crops of grains, etc., and the balance of the farm is used for hay and pasture for quite a herd of stock.
Mr. Nelson was united in marriage to Miss Annie Gybgall, in February, 1875, in Illinois. Mrs. Nelson was born and reared in Germany, coming to this country as a young girl. The parents of both Mr. Nelson and his wife are deceased. They have a family of seven children, who are named as follows: J. M., Jr., and Vernon, both married and living in this locality. Katie, wife of Delbert Keith, residing in Denver, Colorado. Edward, single, Agnes, wife of Harry Luckhart; and Elmer and Gladys, also unmarried.
Mr. Nelson has always been one of the prominent public-spirited citizens of his community, and has done his full share in its upbuilding since coming to the region. In politics he is a stanch Republican.
CARL E. A. ESTLER.
Carl E. A.Estler, one of the best known citizens of Sioux county, Nebraska, is proprietor of a fine farm in section 10, township 31, range 55, where he has spent the past fourteen years of his career. He is numbered among the old settlers, and is foremost among those who have aided materially in the development of this region, and has always been closely identified with the growth of its agricultural and commercial interests.
Our subject is a native of Germany, born in 1871 in the city of Dresden. His father, Edmond, was a piano maker there, and the family were in very comfortable circumstances. When Carl was a lad of seven years his parents came to America with their little family, and after landing in New York city, struck out immediately for the west, locating in Geary county, Kansas, at a point about one hundred and thirty-eight miles west of Kansas City, where they lived for seven years. In 1885 Carl and the whole family went to Baltimore, Maryland, remained there for just one month, then to New York city, where part of the family still lives. Carl remained in New York up to the year 1894. He had served an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker while a boy, and followed that employment while in New York city and for several years worked in a piano factory in that city. He returned to Kansas in 1894, spent two years there, and then came to Sioux county, Nebraska, where he took up a location near the head of Soldier creek, filing on a homestead. Here he went through hard times during the first years, and after a time went to Harrison and followed the carpenter's trade for several years. In 1904 he filed on a Kincaid homestead in section 10, township 31, range 55, which is his present location. He has put up good buildings and improvements, erecting substantial buildings, including a handsome and comfortable modern house, commodious barns, etc. The ranch consists of four hundred and forty acres, and he is engaged in mixed farming and stock raising, and is making a success of his work.
During Mr. Estler's residence in this part of the state he has done a great deal of carpentering, having built quite a number of houses, and is a skillful and conscientious worker, strictly honest in all his dealings, thereby gaining the respect and confidence of all with whom he has had to do. He has also taken a commendable interest in local affairs, has served as road overseer, also as constable, and in performing the duties of office has become familiar with the people and all the surrounding country, in the northern part of Sioux county. He is a loyal Republican.
WILLIAM C. COUCH.
William C. Couch a prominent resident of Cheyenne county, Nebraska, also a veteran of the United States army, is one of the leading men of his community. He occupies a pleasant home in Brownson precinct, where he owns a well improved farm and enjoys the respect and confidence of everyone in his locality. Mr. Couch was born in Lincoln county, middle Tennessee, on July 17, 1840. He is a son of Benjamin F. and Rebecca (Casey) Couch, who died in 1854, aged sixty-three respectively, in Madison county, Missouri, whither they emigrated in 1850. Mr. Couch carried the mail between Frederickstown and Iron Mountain from the fall of 1863 until the spring of 1864, when he secured employment in the quartermaster's department of the Union army at Iron Moun-
tain. In September he was captured in one of Price's raids, and
carried as prisoner through De Soto, Potosi, Lexington, and on
down into the country of the Cherokee and Choctaw nations.
Escaping about November 24th he made his way back to Pilot Knob,
December 4th, and resumed his duties. He enlisted at Alton,
Illinois, in the Fifth United States Volunteer Infantry, and
served all over the west, being at times at Fort Leavenworth, Fort
Riley, Fort Kearney, Fort Collins, Fort Halleck, Fort Reno, Fort
C. F. Smith, Fort Laramie, Fort Phil Kearney, Fort Saunders, Fort
Morgan, Fort Sedgwick, Fort McPherson and other parts. Much of the
time he was wagon master of the regimental train. He also made a
trip of inspection in the service of the government, in company
with General Grant and General Sherman and other famous army
officers, and had intimate acquaintance with many of the noted men
of those days. On October 11, 1866, he received honorable
discharge from the army at Fort Kearney, Nebraska, and remained at
that fort up to June of the following year. He next went to Fort
Fetterman, remained a short time, then came to Cheyenne county
with the wagon train and there turned over the train to Colonel E.
B. Carter, who was stationed at the mouth of Lodgepole creek
during the month of July of that year. Mr. Couch was in the employ
of the government up to September, 1868, then worked at overland
freighting during the time there were so many encounters with the
Indians in western Nebraska, and he had several serious
experiences and a number of narrow escapes from them. He was
wounded a number of times during skirmishes with the redskins, and
was extremely fortunate in getting out of the affrays without
severe injury. For several years he followed freighting, traveling
all over the western part of Nebraska, between Sidney and the
Black Hills, and saw every phase of a frontiersman's life. After
giving up this work in about the year 1883, he filed on a
homestead in section 4, township 13, range 49, on Lodgepole creek,
on which he settled permanently. He purchased additional land in
the vicinity which he still owns. His present home is on section
20, township 14, range 50, also situated on the creek, and here he
has a good home and well improved farm and ranch, owning six
hundred and forty acres, all good land. Until retiring in the fall
of 1908 he engaged in farming and stock raising. He keeps about
one hundred head of cattle and from twenty five to fifty horses
the year around. A view of the residence and the large stone barn
for which the place is distinguished is to be found on another
page in our work.
In political faith Mr. Couch is a Democrat.
Frank Rihn, a highly respected citizen and old settler of western Nebraska, is among the prominent farmers of Union Valley precinct, Cheyenne county, where he owns a valuable estate. He resides on a fine farm and ranch of six hundred and forty acres, a large part of which is under good cultivation; he merits the success which has come to him from his labors and the high station which he holds as an agriculturist and worthy citizen.
Mr. Rihn was born in the village of Westhouser, Alsace, Germany, then a part of France, November 15, 1853, and lived to the age of fourteen years in his native province. Then with two older brothers he came to America, sailing from Havre, France, in September, 1868, landing in New York after a voyage of nineteen days. Our subject was the eighth in a family of nine children, six boys and three girls, born to their parents who lived and died in Alsace. The three boys settled first near St. Jacobs, in Madison county, Illinois, where our subject lived with and worked for an uncle for one year; then he was employed for two years by William Faires, a well known farmer of that region. Later he spent one year in St. Louis driving a delivery wagon for a brother who was engaged in the bakery business. He then returned to Illinois, entering employ of his uncle again. He remained in the employ of his uncle for some years, during which time he sowed ten acres of wheat on his own account. having in the meantime bought a horse. For the following five years he worked for Nicholas Michaels, in whose employ he remained until he came west in 1884. In the fall of 1884, he came to Nebraska and filed on a homestead and tree claim, near Sidney. He remained in Nebraska but a short time, however, returning to Illinois. In the spring of 1885 he settled with his family permanently in Cheyenne county. He was the first settler on the North Divide, passing through all the experiences of the early period of Nebraska settlement. He saw settlers come into the region, strive hard to build up homes, fail and abandon their homesteads, while others were
more successful and remained through the early years and
secured a competency. He was one of the latter class, and although
he had a hard time to get along during some years when crops were
failures, and there seemed to be no way to make a living, yet he
stuck bravely to his farm and is now one of the well to do men of
his locality. He has a good farm, with a complete set of
substantial buildings, located in section 30, township 16, range
49, and farms about one hundred and sixty acres, running about
seventy head of cattle and fifteen horses. An especially
substantial stone dwelling has replaced the old sod house in which
the family at first resided. A large and convenient barn was built
in 1907. A view of the place will be found on another page in this
Our subject has always been active in local and county affairs, having been the first assessor of his precinct, and also served as justice of the peace for a number of years. and was county commissioner during the years 1903-1904 and 1905, proving a faithful and efficient public official. For many years past he has been a member of the school board in district No. 138. Politically he is a Democrat. In religious matters he was reared in the Catholic church
WILLIAM COLMAN, DECEASED.
Prior to his demise the gentleman whose name heads this personal history resided on his valuable estate on section 33, township 31, range 46, Sheridan county, Nebraska, and was well known throughout !his locality as a successful and prosperous agriculturist and stockman. Mr. Coleman was born in county Antrim, Ireland, in 1837, and raised on a farm there. He remained at home up to 1859, when he was married to Miss Rachel Gaston, a native of Antrim county also, born in 1840, daughter of John Gaston, of French descent.
The week following their marriage the young couple set out for America, landing in New York in May, 1859, and their first home was at Bristol, Rhode Island, where Mr. Colman worked in the sugar refinery for one year. The following year they came to Lenawee county, Michigan, where he bought a twenty-acre farm and had a very nice little home, remaining there for four years. In 1864 they lived near Valparaiso on a farm, where he did lumbering and teaming. In April, 1879, they moved to Knox county, Nebraska, and took a homestead, and there our subject did well for seven years. However he was anxious to get where his children could take up homesteads, so in 1885 the family came to Sheridan county and took pre-emption on their present place and also took up a timber claim located a short distance south of it. The family lived in a tent on first coming to the locality until they were able to put up a log house, being compelled to haul the logs from Pine Ridge. On coming here they drove through the country from Knox county with a team and wagon, and came across the country from Indiana to Knox county in the same way, the trip taking four weeks on the road. Mr. Colman was in poor health, and they traveled this way in the hopes of benefiting him. After settling here they steadily improved the farm and lived on it up to the time of his death which occurred November 18, 1903, from Bright's disease. He had taken a trip to the coast in 1903 in hopes of finding relief, but it was of no avail, and in his death the community suffered the loss of one of its most influential and public-spirited citizens. He was always first in the offer of aid when there was a question of improving the conditions of his locality and was generally beloved by all who knew him. The family still live on the home farm, and continue in stock raising in the same manner of the father, not depending entirely upon crops, so did not experience such heavy losses as many of the settlers in this locality did during the dry years. In 1891 the crops were destroyed by hail storms and he became somewhat discouraged, and did not buy any more land from that time on. The farm contains six hundred and forty acres, of which two hundred acres are under cultivation, but his family only farms a small piece now, running a bunch of stock on the balance of the farm. His widow and son William live on the homestead and are contented to remain, not caring to go back east to live. Mrs. Colman returned to Indiana for a visit in 1884, but found a great change and everything seemed unfamiliar, so was glad to return to this part of the country where they had built up a pleasant home and found new friends. They have gone through their share of pioneer experiences, and helped build up two counties in this state, and the name of Mr. Colman will always be a familiar one to the early settlers in this section of the
country. When he first settled in Knox county he had to freight for about sixty miles, and during the winter of 1883-'84 freighted to Fort Pierre, South Dakota. On one trip he got caught in Chamberlain and was compelled to stay all winter, as the river was neither frozen or open and there was no way in which to cross.
Mr. Colman's family consists of the following children: Margaret, Elizabeth, Anna, Jennie, Hannah, Nancy, John, Myrtle, William, Katie, May, Eva and Emma, two of whom died in infancy. Mr. John Colman is now serving a three year term as county commissioner. He was elected in the fall of 1908.
Among the highly esteemed citizens of Dawes county, a man of sterling character and strictest integrity, we mention the name of Mr. Charles Stewart, who resides on section 24, township 33, range 15, where he has spent many years in building up a good home and farm, and incidentally gained an enviable reputation as a leading old settler.
Mr. Stewart was born in Lee county, Iowa, in 1861, on a farm. His father, Erastus Stewart was of old American blood, from Indiana, and followed farming all his life, he having married Miss Elizabeth Woods of Iowa. Our subject was raised in Iowa, where he received a good education, attending the common schools, and later the Commercial College at Ft. Madison, Iowa. After leaving college he taught school in his native state for three years, also in Nebraska, after he came to this state, following the work for twelve years here in the neighborhood of Whitney and in that town. In 1885 he left home and came to Dawes county, locating on a pre-emption in section 23, township 33, range 51, and remained there until he had proved up. His first building was a dugout, and he later put up a log cabin, and lived there for several years. In 1887 he moved to section 24, where he took up a homestead and proved up, building up the place in good shape, and also has taken a Kincaid homestead additional. The log cabin in which our subject lived while proving up on his pre-emption is now being occupied by another party who is homesteading a claim. Mr. Stewart lived in a dugout for about ten years, and while there went through drouths, and many discouragements, losing his crops several seasons, and that was the hardest times in his career, and he would not care to go through the same experience again. He now owns a ranch of thirty-two hundred acres, located along the White river, Big Cottonwood creek and Dry creek. Here he has running water the year around for his stock, and he has all of his ranch fenced. There are comfortable and substantial buildings on the ranch, and he has two windmills. He is engaged quite extensively in' stock raising, running a large number of cattle and horses for market.
Mr. Stewart was married in 1885, to Miss Belle Anderson, daughter of Salvadore Anderson, a farmer of Pennsylvania. To Mr. and Mrs. Stewart the following children have been born: Grover C., Claude J. and Clem W.
Mr. Stewart devotes his whole time and attention to the building up of his home and ranch, and has met with deserved success. He is a loyal Democrat.
CAPT. H. T. SWEET.
Captain H. T. Sweet, one of the leading pioneers of Dawes county, Nebraska, resides in his pleasant home in Chadron, where he has always been highly esteemed as one of the foremost citizens and public-spirited men of his community. He is the owner of valuable property in that town, as well as in different parts Dawes county, all of which has been accumulated by dint of perseverance and good management
Mr. Sweet was born in Vermont in 1833. His birthplace was within eight miles of the famous Bennington battlefield. His father, John Sweet, was of English descent, and his mother was Lucy Exford, also of American blood, born in Vermont, both later settling in Nebraska, where they died. The father was a Methodist minister, and followed that calling all his life.
Our subject grew up in Vermont and at the breaking out of the war enlisted in the Second New York Infantry, and later was with the Twelfth New York Cavalry, and followed a soldier's fortunes for over four years, building up a brilliant record for himself in the army. He saw service in Vermont, North and South Carolina and Tennessee. Was in the Peninsula campaign, with Sherman to the sea, also at BentonvilIe. On March 8, 1865, he was severely wounded at Wise Forks in North Carolina. At the close of the war he had won the title of captain and quartermaster. At the close war he returned to Vermont and remained for some little time, then came to Illinois, where his wife had moved some time previous, while he was still in the war, and there he followed railroading, being employed on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railway as trainman, also on construction work for eighteen years, and was obliged to resign his post on account of ill health. He first came to Nebraska in 1880,
and came through the western part of the state, footing it from Valentine to White river. He spent the first few weeks camping out in the locality, and finally located at Lone Tree creek, north of Whitney, and was the first white man to settle in that part. He first built a sod shanty and lived in it for a few years, and started in the stock business. In the fall of 1886 he was joined by his family, and remained on the farm up to 1903, then moved to Chadron, selling his place, and has since made his home in town.
Mr. Sweet was married in 1853 to Betsey A. Camp, of Vermont. To Mr. and Mrs. Sweet were born seven children, namely: James Henry, John, Eva Estelle, William, Nancy, Frank and Frederick. Mrs. Sweet died in Nebraska, while the family still lived on the ranch. In 1902 our subject was married again, to Elizabeth O. Griffith, a pioneer on Ash creek, there being no children by this marriage. Mrs. Sweet is the owner of a fine ranch in that locality and built it up in good shape by her own individual efforts and is well known as an old settler in that vicinity, and pioneer in Dawes county. By her first marriage she had four children : Isaac, Sherman, John and Maud Griffith.
Mr. Sweet has always taken an active interest in local affairs, and has been a delegate to numerous conventions, also served on the central committee, representing the Republican party.
LUTHER G. PITTS.
Luther G. Pitts, one of the very few really "old-timers" of Cheyenne county, Nebraska, left in that section, resides on his valuable estate in Potter precinct. He has watched this region grow from a barren prairie to its present fertile state, and has been an important factor in that growth and development, having taken an active and leading part in every movement started to advance the public good since locating in western Nebraska.
Mr. Pitts was born in Kalamazoo county, Michigan, twelve miles from the city of Kalamazoo, on March 27, 1852. When he was a small boy he went with his mother to Branch county, Michigan, where they spent a few years, and then went to northern Michigan. At that time he was fourteen years of age, and he soon afterward began working in the lumber camps in that vicinity, on log drives etc. He later went from Michigan to Iowa where he spent two years, then came to Cedar county, Nebraska lived there for four months, and from there came to Cheyenne county, arriving here October 7, 1885. He filed on a homestead on section 34, township 13, range 52, and later took a Kincaid homestead on section 6, township 12, proving up on one and still lives on the other. He passed through all the early Nebraska times, starting with very limited means when he landed here, his sole capital being a team, wagon and a dollar and fifty cents in cash, and from this small beginning has accumulated his present valuable ranch. He has been engaged in mixed farming and stock raising, cultivating about fifty acres, and runs over two hundred head of stock. The ranch contains nine hundred and sixty acres, all fine land, with plenty of pasture and hay land, some timber, and a good water supply.
In March, 1882, Mr. Pitts was united in marriage to Miss Ruth Hysell, at Pentwater, Michigan. Mrs. Pitts died August 1, 1900, leaving a family of seven children, who are named as follows: Nettie, wife of Calvin Morfort, living at Cheyenne, Wyoming; and the balance at home; Lillie, Elga, Ray, Eunice, Roland and Oren. They are all bright and intelligent, and have been a great help to their parents in carrying on the home ranch. Mr. Pitts is a loyal Republican, deeply interested in county, state and national affairs. He is a man of superior ability, up-to-date and progressive in every way, and a great reader, keeping thoroughly abreast of the times. A man of strict integrity, who justly takes a pride in his honesty, and the fact that all he has was made honestly, he is a splendid type of the highest grade of Nebraska's citizenship. He stands high in the esteem of all who know him, and among the business men and banks of the county his word is regarded as good as a bond.
JOHN A. WILSON.
During the quarter of a century that the gentleman here named has resided in Keya Paha county, he has been an important factor in the development of the agricultural and commercial resources of the county, and he stands in a foremost place among the old settlers and substantial citizens of Garfield precinct, where he owns a pleasant home and a very valuable farm property.
Mr. Wilson was born in Tippecanoe, Boone county, Indiana, on August 16, 1850. His father, William Wilson, was a miller by trade, of Irish stock, and his mother, Martha Reed, was of German descent. Our subject was the fifth child in a family of ten, all of whom came west to settle on homes of their own. He was reared and educated in his native county, and at the age of seventeen years started out for himself, working at milling until twenty years of age,
but was compelled to quit that work because of failing eyesight, and took up farming. In 1873 he went to Iowa, and remained there until 1884, then immigrated to Keya Paha county, taking a homestead on section 17, township 32, range 21, which his son occupies while he resides on a homestead of two hundred and sixty acres in section 25, township 33, range 22, which he uses for a horse ranch. He has bought more land from time to time, and now is proprietor of three hundred and twenty acres, all good farming land, cultivating about ninety acres, and has twelve acres of fine alfalfa, eight under irrigation, and in 1908 cut forty tons from two and a half acres of the latter. He has set out an orchard of six hundred apple trees, also a great deal of small fruit, and from this source receives an annual income of six hundred dollars each year, and this will increase each year as his trees grow larger and bear larger crops.
He has an irrigation plant in operation with which he can irrigate about ten acres of his orchard, and without a doubt his is the finest orchard in this portion of the state, a fact in which he takes much pride.
Mr. Wilson keeps thirty head of horses all the time, which he raises for the market, also other stock for farm use. He has a fine residence and home, and everything that goes to make up a comfortable and pleasant rural life. When he first landed in this county he had a hard enough time to get started. He has gone through all the pioneer experiences, beginning with only seventy-five cents in money, living in a dugout for several years, then a log house, and many times not knowing how he was going to earn enough to keep his family from want. At one time he and his family lived for six weeks on nothing but potatoes, and although those times are long since past and they are now surrounded with every comfort their thoughts often go back to the time of their hardships and privations and have no desire to again go through them.
Mr. WiIson was married in Indiana in 1870 to Miss Rebecca Trout, of German descent, and they are the parents of the following children: John Henry, James, Jennie, wife of David Overstreet, of Keya Paha county; and Harry, all living near the old homestead. One son, Harvey, their first born, was drowned while the family lived in Iowa.
All of Mr. Wilson's time is devoted to caring for his farm and orchards, and he has never taken an active part in politics, although he has always been a strong Democrat. The family belong to the Freewill Baptist church of Springview, and take an active interest in its advancement and prosperity.
Bernhard Uhlken, a prominent farmer and ranchman of Dawes county, and a man whose unremitting efforts toward success have been rapidly rewarded, was born in Oldenberg, Germany, in 1856, a son of a clothing merchant of that place. The early years of our subject's life were spent in his native land, where he worked as a laborer and farmer. He was married in Germany to Miss Minnie Molstad in 1889. She was born in Germany in 1865. This happy union was blessed with four children, Bernhard, Johanna, Minnie and Sophia.
Realizing that the opportunities to be found in America were extremely inviting to those willing to embrace them, Mr. Uhlken accompanied by his family immigrated to this country in 1893. He spent two years in Saline county, Illinois where he hired out. He was economical, save his money, and learning of the great opportunities which western Nebraska held out to the ambitious and thrifty, he came west to Dawes county in 1895, where he purchased his present farm in section 9, township 30, range 50. There was nothing but a log house on the place when it came into his possession, but to a man possessing the thrift and energy of Mr. Uhlken this was no obstacle. He went to work with a strong will, and in a remarkable short space of time began to realize the reward of his untiring efforts. He now has a substantial and commodious stone house, a barn. forty by sixty six feet, and good sheds. He has added adjacent lands to his original possessions, and is now the proprietor of a ranch of eight hundred and twenty-seven acres of good land. One hundred and twenty acres of this he has under cultivation, eighty acres are of fine timber land, while the balance is pasture and hay land.
While Mr. Uhlken has worked hard and devoted his time and energy toward making for himself and family a comfortable home in Dawes county, he has taken a lively interest, local affairs, and is a man who enjoys the respect and esteem of the surrounding community. Since coming to Dawes county his success has been most remarkable, and his upright and honorable career should be an encouragement to the young men of the present generation as in it they can see what thrift and industry, honesty and integrity can always accomplish.
JOSHUA H. BROWN.
Joshua H. Brown, a prominent resident and old timer of Deuel county, Nebraska, makes his home in Chappell precinct, where he has a very extensive ranch and pleasant surroundings. Mr.
Brown was born in Mercer county, Illinois, July 6, 1841. His father was one of the earliest pioneers of that county, settling in the region in 1831.
Our subject grew up in his native county, living there until he was twenty one, enlisting in Company H, Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry, on July 22, 1862. He saw hard service as a soldier, taking part in the battles of Perryville and Stone River, and was through the entire campaign march from Louisville to Nashville under General Buell, following Bragg's army. His company went into winter quarters at Nashville in December, 1862. At the battle of Stone River he received quite a severe wound, but was only disabled for a short time, and never left his regiment for a day. Afterward he was in the battles of Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, through the Atlanta campaign and the battles of Franklin and Nashville, seeing every phase of army life and suffering all the hardships of war. He was mustered out of service at Springfield, Illinois, in June, 1865, at that time returning to Mercer county, remaining there up to the spring of 1888, following farming all of the time. While living in that locality he was prominent as a public-spirited citizen, and served as sheriff of his county, holding that office during 1879-1880.
Mr. Brown first came to Nebraska in the fall of 1885, when he took a tree claim, locating in Deuel county, afterward spending considerable time away, and then settled permanently on a homestead on section 18, township 13, range 44, in the spring of 1888. This homestead is now his home farm, and he is proprietor of eleven hundred and twenty acres altogether. He has improved his ranch in fine shape, having about two hundred acres under culitvation (sic), and is engaged extensively in the stock business, keeping about one hundred head of cattle and a bunch of horses and mules. He is one of the wealthy men of his region, and highly esteemed as a friend and neighbor.
On January 1, 1868, our subject married Mrs. Mary Rodgers, whose maiden name was Mary Dilley, born and reared in Mercer county, Illinois, their marriage occurring there. They have a family of six children living, and had the misfortune to lose a little girl in 1881, when she was a baby a year old. The living children are named as follows: Vinnie R., wife of A. A. Bradley, now living in Kansas; Gus B., married, and occupying a farm of his own which adjoins the ranch of his father; Cyrus D., Joshua Logan, Vernice and Benjamin F., attending the Agricultural College at Lincoln, Nebraska. The three older sons all have homesteads of their own in the county, on which they have proved up. The whole family are exceedingly bright and well educated young people, nearly all having been teachers in Deuel county at one time. They are a most interesting group, of whom their parents are justly proud.
Politically Mr. Brown is a stanch Republican, and takes a leading part in local affairs. He has built up a fine home and ranch from the wild prairie land, and has good buildings, timber, etc.
Otto Perso, a prosperous and highly respected farmer of Davison precinct, Cheyenne county, has a well kept and comfortable estate in sections 1 and 2, where he has spent many years of his career. He owns a ranch consisting of eight hundred acres, and is one of the well-to-do, progressive farmers and ranchmen of his locality.
Mr. Perso was born in Monroe
county, Wisconsin, May 16, 1865. His father, Ferdinand Perso, a
native of Brandenberg, married Mrs. Minnie Zibbell, whose husband
had died on the voyage to America. Otto followed farm work and
attended the country schools until he came west, arriving in
Cheyenne county in the fall of 1886. He immediately filed on a
homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in section 2, township
16, range 50, and proved up on the place, and later added to it,
until his boundaries enclose the acreage above mentioned. He
cultivates one hundred and thirty acres, growing small grains, and
raises considerable stock as well, having seventy-five head of
cattle and a small bunch of horses. He makes a specialty of the
raising of high grade Hereford cattle, and has some fine animals
of this breed at the head of his herd. A typical westerner, he is
a recognized authority on stock in his section of the country,
having had a long experience in ranching. His buildings are far
above the average of western country dwellings and his house is
furnished in keeping with outward appearance. A large stone barn
shelters his stock and a new granary has a capacity for storing
large crops of grain. The place is the subject of one of our
finest illustrations, which will be found on another page of this
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