Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska
State Industrial School, and for all the business blocks of any size in the city. He ships his product to Grand Island, Hasting, and all parts of the state. His son, W. E. Hibberd, now manages the brick yard, and two other sons, John C. and Charles F., are managers of the contracting and building end of the business. Another son, Adelbert L., works with the company, and its first lieutenant in the Second Nebraska National Guard, Company A, to which he gives a great deal of his time and attention. One daughter, Elma M., is a teacher in the Kearney public schools, and another, Lucy, is married to L.B. Clark, of Lincoln, Nebraska. Our subject was married while still in England to Miss Emma M. Gould, and the family is well and favorably known all through this community.
One fact which speaks volumes for Mr. Hibberd's character is that on foreman of his brickyard, Paul Beyer, has been with him in this capacity for twenty-eight years. During the panic of 1893 Mr. Hibberd lost heavily, but stuck to the town, and has come out all right. He has been a man of untiring energy and industrious habits all through his life, and has given his best efforts to whatever he has undertaken, and thereby achieved the greatest success, which he richly merits.
Solomon Hartzell, one of the most substantial agriculturists of Dawes county, Nebraska, lives on his fine farm in section 13, township 33, range 48. He is an old soldier, a man of patriotic spirit, untiring energy and active mind, and has done his full share toward the development of the financial interests of the community where he has chosen his home. He has a wide acquaintance and enjoys an enviable reputation.
Mr. Hartzell was born in Canton, Ohio, in 1831. His father, Adam Hartzell, was a brick maker by trade who also followed farming part of the time, and was a pioneer in Indiana. He married Susanna Ringo, of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. When our subject was four years of age the family came to Indiana and settled in Wabash county on a farm, and there he grew up and was educated. A the age of eighteen he started to learn the carpenter's trade and worked at that for many years in different states. He was married in Michigan to Miss Louisa Hammond, his first wife, who died at Mankato, Minnesota. They had two children, both dead. He was married the second time at Mankato, Minnesota, to Miss Katherine Briton, and they were the parents of ten children. His second wife died in Chadron, Nebraska, and this wife was Mrs. Mattie Herron, of Dawes county, the marriage being held in his own house.
During the time Mr. Hartzell worked as a carpenter he was in different states, including Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri, and in this manner became familiar with man y different section. He also spent some time in Colorado, and 1884 came to Dawes county, driving by team from Valentine. He took up his present homestead and built a dugout and "batched it" for a time, until his people could come and join him. His farm is located Little Bordeaux creek, and consists of three hundred and twenty acres, of which he farms eighty acres, which is irrigated. He has made a success of farming as well as at the carpenter's trade, at which he has worked off and on all his life. He furnished the plans for the Dawes count school house, and helped build that structure.
When Mr. Hartzell was thirty-one years of age he enlisted in the Ninth Minnesota Regiment, Company E, and saw hard service through the west, fighting the Indians in Minnesota, and has a brilliant record as a soldier.
Mr. Hartzell is a man who keeps abreast of the times and he is identified with the Republican party politically, although deeply in sympathy with the Prohibitionists.
ALFRED E. WATKINS.
Alfred E. Watkins, one of the prominent young business men of Perkins county, engaged in the mercantile business at Venango, is a gentleman of intelligence and progressiveness.
Mr. Watkins was born in Will county, Illinois, in 1873. He is a son of Peter and Mary Phillips Watkins, both natives of England, who came to the United States during their youth, the former dying in Illinois in 1882, where he had spent many years engaged in farming, and there our subject was raised until he was fourteen years old. The family then came to Nebraska, settling on a homestead on section 25, township 9, range 41, which the mother and sons built up in good shape, Alfred remaining at home up to 1902, then came to Venango and started in the hotel and livery business, which he carried on for three years, building up a good patronage, then returned to the farm and lived on it for three years. In 1906 a brother, Frank Watkins, established a general store in Venango, and two years later our subject went in partnership with him in the business, and together they have increased their trade extensively and are doing exceedingly well in the work.
In 1902 Mr. Watkins was married to Miss
Martha Watkins, who is a daughter of W. J. Watkins, of Grant, Nebraska. Two children have been born to our subject and his estimable wife: Gerold, who died at the age of fourteen months, and Warren, who is now a sturdy lad of three years.
LOUIS E. TIFFANY.
Enterprise and perseverance, supplemented by honest industry, have been the stepping stones by which the gentleman above name has reached his present station. He is one of the prominent agriculturists of Keya Paha county, an old settler of that region who has aided materially in transforming a wilderness into a thriving farming district.. Mr. Tiffany is widely know and universal esteemed in his community and enjoys a pleasant home and many warm friends.
Mr. Tiffany was born in Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, May 11, 1872, the midst of the oil fields of that state. His father, John N. Tiffany, was of English-German stock, and died in Nebraska, Aug 22, 1895. He married Miss Henrietta Foust, who was born and reared in Pennsylvania, and they had a family of ten children, our subject being the ninth in order of birth. Four sons and one daughter came to Nebraska, where they built up good homes. When Louis was twenty-one years he began for himself, starting in the oil business at Pittsburg, drilling in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.
In the fall of 1883 he came to Keya Paha county with his father, who took up a homestead on section 29, township 35, range 20, and in the early days they saw wild times in this region. Their homestead was about in the center of the tract for the horse and cattle rustlers of that time and they had a number of animals stolen, and as late as 1903 they were bothered with thieves, losing eighteen head of cattle. They were one of only two families who did not leave the neighborhood during the Indian scare of 1891. Mr. Tiffany and his father built up a fine farm and home, planted tress and built fences, and were among the influential citizens of the county. The former now has a farm of three hundred and twenty acres, mostly good farming land, and he keeps on hundred and twenty-five head of cattle and one hundred and fifty hogs. In 1906 he had eight-five acres of the finest corn in the country, and his crops are always first-class. He has been successful in the stock business, and during the dry years that saved him from leaving his place, as he lost three crops in succession and had it not been for his cattle he would have had to quit the business. Their dwelling was the seat of Enterprise post office from 1890 to 1897, when his father served as postmaster. This was the third office to be established in the county.
Mr. Tiffany was married near Springview June 18, 1902, to Miss Lillie Carnahan, whose parents were Jasper and Ruth (Atkinson) Carnahan. For fifteen years Mrs. Tiffany was one of the successful teachers of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Tiffany; have one adopted daughter, Minnie.
Our subject is and always has been a strong Democrat. He has never taken any active part in politics, as he has given his entire attention to the building up of his farm and home, although he is classed among the men who have had the interests of their community at heart and were willing at all times to aid in all matters wherein their locality would be benefited.
One of the leading old settlers of Cheyenne county, who has spent many years of his life in building up a home and fortune for himself, and who has incidentally aided materially in the development of the region where he chose his home, is found in the gentleman above names. Mr. Radcliff resides in Sidney , and with his family enjoys a comfortable home surrounded by many friends and acquaintances, and is held in the highest esteem by all.
Mr. Radcliff is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, born in 1864, on a farm. His father, Andrew Radcliff, was a farmer and laborer, who came to America from Ireland, when a young man and his mother was also born in Ireland. When our subject was thirteen years of age he started out for himself, settling in Missouri, there following farm work for one year. He next went to Texas, and became a "cow-puncher," but remained only a short time, driving cattle over the line and into Kansas, and working as a "cow-puncher," as this vocation was called in early days. He gradually worked north, and in 1874 came into Nebraska, and worked on different ranches all over the western part of the state for many years, during the summer months sleeping on the ground and leading a rough cowboy's life, He was employed by a number of cattle outfits and liked the rough work and the exciting experiences which came to him.
About the 1884 our subject took up a homestead situated thirty miles northeast of Sidney, and there put up a log house which he lived in for several years. He improved his land and built up the place in good shape, and now owns three thousand two hundred acres, and engages extensively in the cattle and horse business, running about four hundred head of
stock. In 1894 he moved his family to Sidney in order to give his children the benefit of the better schools, and he has a good residence there and owns besides other town property, and is one of the prosperous and substantial citizens of his section.
Mr. Radcliff was married in 184 to Miss Bertie Gast, daughter of Sam Gast, who is a pioneer in this state. Mr. and Mrs. Radcliff are the parents of three children, all born in this section, named as follows: Harriet, Clayton and Anne.
Mr. Radcliff is an active public spirited citizen, and takes a commendable interest in locat affairs, serving his locality in different capacities for a number of years. He is a Democrat.
WILLIAM H. ROTHWELL.
William H. Rothwell, one of the leading old time residents of Nebraska, has given liberally of his time and money to the up building of the community where he makes his home, and he commands a high station as a worthy citizen and energetic business man. Both he and his estimable wife are descendants of good old Virginia stock, celebrated far and wide for their hospitality and cordiality to friend and stranger alike. Mr. Rothwell has a valuable estate and is proprietor of a model ranch, and his home and family both are worthy representatives of the good old Virginian stock from which they sprung.
Mr. Rockwell was born in Albemarle county, Virginia, in 1858, of English blood. His father Warren, was a prominent farmer of that locality, and a soldier in the Civil war for two years, and died during war-time. Our subject's mother was Lucinda White, of Albemarle county, Virginia. He grew up in his native state until the age of thirty, engaged in the mercantile business at that time at Reunion, and operated a store there for over eight years.
In the year 1888 Mr. Rockwell came to Grant county, Nebraska, and took a pre-emption, going through pioneer experience in the first few years. That place was situated twenty-five miles southeast of Hyannis, and his first dwelling was a sod house. He started to break up land with a team of oxen and used them for all his farm work during the first five years. He freighted through the country, making many long trips, camping out under his wagon many nights, and recites many interesting tales connected with those early days.
At the first he tried to farm, but found it hard to raise good crops, so gradually drifted into the cattle business, and has met with splendid success in that line of work. He has added to his ranch until he now is owner of two thousand acres, consisting of plenty of range land for his cattle, some timer, and the place has a fine supply of good clear water. He has erected good buildings, fine house and commodious barns and sheds, and the entire ranch is fenced.
On May 14, 1884, Mr. Rothwell was married to Jennie M. Weed, daughter of George Weed, a prominent merchant and educator, and son of William Weed, one of the leading merchants of Richmond, Virginia, well know through the war times. Mrs. Rothwell's mother was a descendant of a prominent old American family, of Albemarle county, Virginai, her maiden name being Blackwell. The following children were born to our subject and his wife: Anna W., Carrie (dead), William A., George W., Ambler M. and Ethel May. Both parents and children are among the popular members of society in their community, and all are well like and have host of warm friends.
Mr. Rothwell is a Democrat in his political views. He has always taken a leading part in local public affairs, and served as assessor of his township for two years after the county was organized.
JOSEPH GEORGE DENTER.
One of the best and most extensive ranch places in Keith county, Nebraska is that owned by Joseph G. Denter, who is conceded to be one of the most successful stock men and farmers in territory.
Mr. Denter was born in the small village of St. Jan in Bohemia, August 24, 1861, and came to America with his parents in 1866. The family sailed from Bremen and landed in New York after a voyage of seven weeks on the Atlantic. They came west by way of Baltimore and settles in Johnson county, Iowa, near North Liberty, where the father , Charles Denter, was a prosperous farmer: our subject's mother's name before marriage was Josephine Cerny.
Joseph G. Denter was reared and educated in the Hawkeye state and on March 3, 1886, he was married to Miss Mary Stirsky, a native of Bohemia, and daughter of Anthony and Dora (Cimburck) Stirsky, who came to America during Mary's infancy and settled in Lynn county, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Denter have four children, Max L., Belle and Frances, twins, and Mabel, the three girls being successful teacher of the county.
The same year they were married, our subject and his wife started overland for a new location in western Nebraska. They drove all the way from Iowa in a covered wagon drawn
by a team of three-year-old colts, camping out, the trip lasting five weeks on the road. They brought two cows with them, and this was their small start when they settled on their present homestead in Keith county. They built a small frame house, broke some land and commenced laying the foundation of the prosperity that is now their portion in life.
They passed through all the trying experiences so common to the life of the pioneer-the years of drouth and crop losses from various causes and the hard times beginning in 1893, at which time they were the only family left in the locality of all those who had come from Iowa in the same year. Mr. Denter secured a few head of cattle and gradually worked into stock raising.
He has now a grand ranch of one
thousand four hundred and forty acres in the valley of the South
Platte river and he cultivates about two hundred acres of the
land, of which eight-four acres are irrigated, with one hundred
and ten acres in a tract on the river that can be put under ditch.
Most of his ranch is devoted to grazing and hay production. The
original small claim dwelling was later incorporated ;into a
larger house, and both into the fine large ten-room dwelling
constructed in the summer of 1908. There are large barns and
outbuildings, a fine grove of Lombardy poplar and other tees and a
number of apple and cherry trees, with considerable small fruit.
We are pleased to call attention to a view of the elegant
residence with its fine location and surroundings depicted on
ARTHUR E. BOWRING.
Arthur E. Bowring, a prosperous and enterprising ranchman of Cherry county, is a resident of Merriman precinct. He is a gentleman of more than ordinary intelligence and good business ability, and has gained a valuable estate by his thrift and industry, and enjoys the respect and esteem of this fellowmen.
Mr. Bowring was born in Crawford county, Iowa, of Scotch-English stock, April 20, 1873, and reared there until twelve years of age. His father, Henry C. Bowring, was a native of England and came to America at the age of twelve, settling with his parents in Canada where he remained until 1867.
He started railroading at an early age and followed that occupation until 1894, when me moved to Nebraska, and was the man who laid the Chicago & Northwestern tracks through Woodbine, Iowa. He worked as a watchman there when Woodbine was the end of the road, and for four years was yard-master for that road at Dunlap, Iowa. He also laid the foundation for the first roundhouse at Iowa Falls, and even after going to Nebraska continued at railroad work for some time. He laid the tracks east of Yankton as far as Gayville, South Dakota, and all his life was spent in this work almost exclusively up to 1894. Our subject was the seventh member of his father's family of ten children, and on reaching his twenty-first birthday, he struck out for himself, although for some time previous to this he had been engaged in the stock buyine business. In 1894 he took his present homestead, and his ranch now consists of one thousand three hundred and twenty acres, a large portion of it being good hay land. He and his father together run five hundred and fifty head of cattle and number of horses, and they have over a hundred head of the fines Shorthorn calves to be found in this locality. All of his brother have followed in their father's footsteps and worked on railroads since growing up. When Mr. Bowring and his father first landed in Cherry county it was in an entirely undeveloped state, and they have been among those who have watched its growth and improvement almost from the time of its organization, and have seen the ups and downs of a pioneer's lot. Mr. Bowring takes a commendable interest in all affairs of the community where he resides, attending the conventions and assisting n all matters which tend to the betterment of conditions in his locality. He served as county commissioner for three years from the third commissioner's district. Both he and his father are stanch Republicans. Mr. Bowring is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Woodmen and the Royal Neighbors.
Bendick Danielson, one of the prominent farmers of Box Butte county, resides on section 9, township 26, range 48, where he owns four hundred and eighty acres of good farm and ranch land. He has been a resident of this locality for the past twenty years, and has developed a good farm and enjoys a comfortable rural home, and the esteem of all whom he meets.
Mr. Danielson was born in Norway, in the southeastern part, on a farm, in 1858. His father was a farmer and lived and died in his native land, and there our subject grew to manhood, following the work of a cabinet maker by trade. He served for two years in the Norwegian army, and in 1882 left the land of his birth and came to the United states, landing in New York in September, 1882. He came directly west to Nance county, Nebraska, where he spent a short time, then went to Albion, in Boone county, and there followed the work of cabinet maker, having learned that trade when a boy in Norway.He worked in a furniture store for about four years after coming here, and in 1885 moved to Box Butte county, driving from Hay Springs with a wagon containing all his possessions. On this trip only a few houses were seen between Hay Springs and the place he located on. He had very little to start with and he first put up a rude sod shanty, and put in a crop of sod corn the first summer, also a few potatoes. H worked continually in building up his place and breaking up ground, working out in the neighborhood breaking land for others, digging wells, and also did railroading, working on the railroad grades on the roads being put through this section at that time. About three years were spent in the railroad yards at Alliance.
After Mr. Danielson had proved up on his claim, during the dry seasons he had a hard time to get along, and was obliged to work with a bridge gang, traveling through Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska, employed by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway Company. About 1892 the times began to get better and he devoted his whole attention to building up his place, and he gradually added to his acreage and is now owner of four hundred and eighty acres of deeded land and leases eighty acres, engaging in stock raising, and farming on a small scale, raising Irish potatoes, small grains, etc.
In 1901 our subject had the misfortune to be burned out, losing the finest crop of grain he had ever raised (all of which was stacked), a good barn and other buildings, which was a very severe loss. He has rebuilt, and now has everything in first-class shape all over the place. He is one of the very foremost potato raisers in all Box Butte county.
In political sentiment Mr. Danielson is a strong Republican.
CHARLES D. GASTON.
Charles D. Gaston, one of the most highly esteemed of the old settlers of Keith county, was born May 2, 1859, in Halifax county, Nova Scotia. His father, John Gaston, was born in Canada, of Irish parents and lived there all his life, following the occupation of farming. He died about 1902 at the age of ninety. Our subject's mother, Marjoria Blackie, was also born in Nova Scotia, her people being of Scotch descent. Her mother was a Miss McKay, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, who died in Nova Scotia at the home of Mr. Gaston at the age of ninety. Two uncles of Mr. Gaston attained the ages of ninety-nine and one hundred and six.
Our subject lived in Nova Scotia until he twenty years old and received his education there. He came to the states in 1879, sojourning first to New Hampshire and Vermont. He learned the iron moulder's trade with a brother-in-law at St. Johnsbury, Vermont, but remained at this trade but a short time, because or poor health. In 1884 he came west, working at Moline, Illinois, from February to May, and then moved on to Keith county, taking a homestead ten miles south of Ogallala, part of the time living on his farm and the remaining time working in the town. The first building on the homestead was a sod house. He proved up on his homestead and farmed there for twenty years. During this time he lost many crops from drouth: in 1890, he planted one hundred aces and reaped nothing. For a time after this loss, he had to work out by the day in order to make a living.
He married, November 15, 1997, to Miss Fannie Hull, a native of Rolling Prairie, Indiana, whose father, Adam Hull, was a farmer and old settler in Nebraska. Her mother was Catherine Walt in her youth. Mr. and Mrs. Gaston have had seven children: Raymond (deceased), Frank, Isaac a., Kitty M., Charles A., Kenneth and Doritt.
In the early days before Keith county was thickly settled, Mr. Gaston witnessed occasional shootings at Ogallala, and saw one man killed during the wild days when the cowboys sometimes shot up the town. At that time it was no an uncommon occurrence for a man to be shot in the street for apparently no reason.
In 1904 our subject came to Ogallala and opened a feed store, with his father-in-law for a partner. In 1907 he established a general store, the business having been successful from the start.
Mr. Gaston is one of the earliest settlers and has watched the growth of the county for many years and has done his part in building it up, engaging in numerous enterprises during that time.
He helped to construct some of the first buildings erected in the town of Ogallala, among
them being the Methodist Episcopal church, which he assisted in dedicating.
He was prominent in the social affairs of the town in early days, having been one of a committee to arrange for the first masque ball ever held in Ogallala, a function that has not since been excelled.
Mr. Gaston has held many offices during his residence in Ogallala, among them being precinct assessor, which position he held in the early days, when politics first interest the settlers. In politics he is a Democrat, and is an member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Ogallala.
GEORGE J. DAVIDSON, DECEASED
The magnificent estate which is know to have belonged to the gentleman whose name is at the beginning of this article is one of the finest and best ordered in the pricinct of Brinkerhoff, Rock county, and is well worthy of comparison with any to be found in the state of Nebraska. It is conspicuous for the manner in which it has been cultivated for the manner which it has been cultivated and improved, and is especially notable from the fact that it is the only tree claim in a long distance that was able to meet the requirements that attended its proving-up. Mr. Davidson, deceased, had an ample tree culture, and he developed a grove that supplies all the fuel needed for the homes in which he and his son dwelt. The two Davidsons owned more than three thousand acres of land, out of which at least on section may be pronounced of the very vest character of farm property. It all present opportunities for a diversified farming that can take in every interest susceptible to Nebraska agriculture.
Mr. Davidson was born on a farm in Indiana in 1851, where his father, Thomas Davison, had been living since he was nineteen years old. Born in Ireland, he early felt the inspiration of the larger and freer life across the ocean, and early came to the United States to make his home in the west.
His wife, Isabelle Foster, was a native of county Durham, England, and was brought to this country when only nine years of age. George J. was the fourth member of a family of seven children that were born to his parents. They had their home on the White river, in Indiana, and there was much to do on a farm in a timbered country, and a full share of it came to him who in after years was to become the successful Nebraska agriculturist. The parental need detained our subject at home until he was twenty-seven years of age when he struck out for himself, marrying, in 1870, Miss Amelia Dotty, an American girl of German antecedents. Her people had settled in Pennsylvania on their arrival in this country, and here Mrs. Davidson was reared and educated. She is the mother of three children: Arlanda, Amelia and Ruth.
After his marriage Mr. Davison bought a farm in Pike county, Indiana, on which he expected to spend his days. However, he found his health failing so badly that removal to a more favoring clime became imperative, and trial was made of what Nebraska might do for him. When he reached this state he was so weak he had to be lifted off the train. For a time he stopped in the eastern part of the state, and found himself so much improved that he took a pre-emption claim, on which he presently "proved-up", and found himself the proprietor of real Nebraska dirt. With gaining health is courage increased, and he made a timber tree claim, and later still a homestead entry in section 29, township 31, range 20. His first residence was but a frame shanty twelve by sixteen feet, and perhaps would hardly be thought a possible home for a family today: but then it was enough, and the wind-searched structures in which dwelt a people winning their homes thought equal to palaces in another land. When Mr. Davison first located here his nearest neighbor was miles away - Bassett was only a post office, and wild game abounded. The vastness of the change wrought since his coming can not possibly be appreciated by one who has not witnessed such a transformation here or elsewhere.
Mr. Davison, deceased, was a prominent citizen and took an active part in public affairs. He affiliated with the Republican party, and was an influential worker in both county and state politics. He was a delegate to the national Republican convention when President Harrison was put in nomination.
The subject of this sketch, Gottlieb Kaiser, lives on a lovely farm and is surround by all those comforts which tend to make a happy contented old age.
He was born In East Prussia, Germany, February 1, 1845. His father died when our subject was but a child and mother died when he was but ten years old. When but a small lad he took to a seafaring life and was on the water as a sailor for twenty-four years. He sailed many seas, visiting Russia, England, South America and ports of Africa.
In 1870 our subject was married to Miss Mollie Sulies, also a native of east Prussia, Ger-