Politically our subject is a Republican. He is a member of the village board or trustees. Mr. Rouch is unmarried.
ERNEST L. MYERS
The gentleman whose name introduces this article is widely known as one of the leading business men of the thrifty little city of Newport, Rock county, Nebraska, which owes not a little of its present prosperity to the establishment of his lumber yard at that time, where he developed those peculiar characteristics that put him in the very front rank. His congenial spirit and friendly ways have made him popular wherever he is known, and his unquestioned honesty and square dealing have retained the friends his habits have won.
Mr. Myers was born in Union City, Pennsylvania, January 26, 1863, and was reared on a farm. The family belongs to an old American stock still represented in Union City. When Mr. Myers started in life for himself he was twenty-three years of age. For two years he was employed in his native town, and in 1888 he made his first appearance in Newport, Nebraska, where he was later to accomplish such substantial results. He made pre-emption entry on section 12, township 29, range 17, and devoted himself to the development of his claim. For two years he lived in a sod house and worked with a tireless energy to bring these virgin acres into a profitable cultivation. In November, 1885, he was married to Miss May A. Tillotson, and to this happy union have come two children, Ruth and Raymond.
In 1890 Mr. Myers opened a lumber yard in Newport, which was the second one to be established in the place, and from the first it has commanded a large and profitable trade. Ten years later he established the Bassett Hardware and Supply Company at Bassett, which has become a widely known and popular institution. In 1902 he opened the E. L. Myers Mercantile Company at Carns, with which he operates an extensive lumber yard and seeks to serve the general welfare of that prosperous and extensive region. Mr. Myers has a largely patronized general store at Newport, of which Mr. M. Paradise is the local manager, a worthy coadjutor of his resourceful and energetic principal. Mr. Myer, in addition to his extensive and complicated mercantile enterprises, gives much attention to the real estate business, and handles land in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. He engaged in the hay business at Bassett in 1900, and this, like all his other enterprises, has proved successful from its inception.
It is hardly too much to say that Mr. Myers has done more than almost any other man in the development of this great section of imperial Nebraska, and the history of Newport is much in evidence to this effect. In 1890, when Mr. Myers located here his lumber yard, it was almost abandoned western town, but his coming to it seemed to be the signal for a new awakening that has transformed the place.
In political matters Mr. Myers has been identified with the Republican party, and was elected to the general assembly on that ticket in 1895. The following year he was a delegate to the St. Louis national convention, and has served on the state central committee. He is a member of the governor's staff, participating in the presentation of the silver service to the battleship Nebraska, at San Francisco in the spring of 1908. He takes an active part in local affairs, and is an energetic citizen and upright business man. He is prominent in Masonic circles, being a member of the Blue lodge at Bassett, the chapter at Long Pine, the commandery at Norfolk and the consistory and shrine at Omaha. He also holds membership in the Odd Fellows, the Woodmen, the Royal Highlanders and the Elks.
EDWARD R. YEAGLE
Among those who have come to western Nebraska during recent years and through thrift and industry have accumulated a large amount of property and aided in the building up of the commercial and financial interest of the locality where he chose his home, the gentleman above named deserves prominent mention. Mr. Yeagle resides in Sidney, Cheyenne county, where he is engaged in business, and is regarded as a worthy citizen and substantial business man.
Mr. Yeagle was born at Charleston, Virginia, in 1866. His father was of Southern blood, engaged in the general merchandise business in Charleston and well known through that section of the county. He married Amelia Yeagle. Our subject was raised and educated in the city of his birth, and was a clerk in his father's store as a boy and young man, and when about eighteen years old started out to make his own way. He spent some years as a sailor, during which time he made two trips around the globe. He afterward learned the cook's trade in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and followed the work in that state and later at Grand Rapids and Saginaw, Michigan. In 1893 he came west to Kearney, Nebraska, and there engaged in the restaurant business and run (sic) it for a year. Next he moved to Sidney, where he went into the same business, but his place was destroyed by
fire soon after and he lost everything, as there was no insurance on the place or contents. However, he stuck to it, opened another restaurant there, and is doing well. His place is located on one of the most prominent corners of the town, and it is the first and best restaurant in town, and it is the first and best restaurant in Sidney, well patronized by the best class of people. Aside from this business he has made money in other enterprises, having built a fine stone block, and also owns two lots on Main street, where he intends to erect a stone hotel soon. He is a first-class business man and has made a study of his line of work and knows the restaurant business from start to finish.
In 1897, Mr. Yeagle was married to Miss Emily Jamison, daughter of James Jamison, an old settler and prominent farmer of Amherst, Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Yeagle have two children, namely: Harold and Mabel. The family are well liked by all, and Mr. Yeagle is active in all local affairs in his community
L. L. MERCURE
L. L. Mercure, known throughout Hooker county, Nebraska, as a man of good citizenship and untiring energy, in the pursuit of duty, is a resident of township 24, range 32, where he owns and operates an extensive ranch. He has been identified with the up building of that locality for many years, and while acquiring his valuable estate has also gained for himself an enviable reputation as a worthy citizen. He is also a leading old settler of that region, and from its beginning has taken an active part in its development and commercial growth.
Mr. Mercure was born in New York state in 1844, in the town of Ticonderoga. He is a son of Joseph L. Mercure, of Canadian birth, who was a ship carpenter by trade, working on Lake Champlain. He married Charlotte Cossey, American born. The father came to the United States when a young man. Our subject grew up in his native state, and as a young man followed the life of a sailor on different lakes, river and canals in the east, a continued at that for over twenty years. He became a partner with his father in the shipyards, and was with him in the business for about eight years, building in that space of time forty-four canal boats. Mr. Mercure next started in the mercantile business, buying produce and shipping it into New York city, and carried on a large trade in that line for ten years or more. He came to western Iowa, settling in Sloan, Woodbury county, where he engaged in the furniture business in partnership with a brother, and remained in that vicinity for two years, then followed railroad construction and building for several years, in that time helping to build the Chicago & Northwestern railway up the White river into Wyoming. He has the distinction of putting in the first mile of grading west of Thedford, Nebraska, on that line. In the spring of 1888 he, together with several others, went into Cherry county and took up government land, and there his daughter was the first teacher in their school district. He settled on Loup river, still continuing in the carpenter trade in Seneca, making that place his home for a number of years.
Mr. Mercure started in the cattle business in 1900, locating on his present ranch the following year, and has developed a fine property. He is proprietor of a splendid ranch containing three thousand acres, situated four miles southeast of Mullen, and on his place he has erected a fine residence, twenty-six by twenty-eight, which is one of the show places of the locality. He has also put up all good barns and outbuilding and has every improvement for operating a model ranch. He had the misfortune in 1907 to lose his house and entire contents by fire, suffering a loss of fifteen hundred dollars.
In March, 1867, our subject was married at Sandy Hill, New York, to Emma Cossey, born and reared in that locality. Five children were born of this union, namely: Minnie A., Nelson., Myron O., Clarence P. and Fred R.
Mr. Mercure has always been one of the leading men of his community, active in public affairs, and has served as justice of the peace at different times, also has held the office of township assessor for several terms. He is a Republican in politics
L. C. KINNEY
L. C. Kinney, numbered among the prominent pioneers in western Nebraska, has built up a good estate in Kimball county, and there resides, surrounded by the comforts of life and esteemed by his associates.
Mr. Kinney was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, on July 9, 1843. He grew to manhood there, removing to New Hampshire at the age of twenty-three, and from there to different states in the east for several years, finally landing in Nebraska about 1882, coming here from Wyoming, where he had spent one year. He at once settled on the homestead which is now his home ranch in section 2, township 14, range 58. When he located here there was only one other settler near him and only five ranches in Kimball county (formerly included in Cheyenne county). Here he passed through all the early Nebraska times so familiar to the old settlers
that there is little need to review the incidents, but managed to prove up on his claim and improve the same, slowly at first, but as the years grew better and conditions were more favorable for the development of the agricultural resources he was able to accumulate a little money and add to his original holdings, and is now proprietor of fifteen hundred acres, all good range and farm land, which he devotes to stock raising principally. He is known throughout this part of Nebraska as a thorough stockman, dealing extensively in high bred horses, handling at the present time from three to four hundred head. He has some very fine animals in his herd, knows every detail of the business, and stands high as an authority in breeding and raising standard bred trotting and pacing horses. He handles many Kentucky bred animals, and has produced some fine specimens of this breed. His name is familiar to horsemen all over the westerner states, and, in fact, throughout the states. His fifteen hundred acres of ranch above mentioned is located on both side of Lodge pole creek, three hundred acres of which is under the best kind of irrigating ditches. This insures a good crop every year.
While living in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, Mr. Kinney was married to Miss Addie Webster, who is a descendant of the celebrated Webster family, the event occurring on March 20, 1856, and they are the parents of one child, Mabel, wife of Samuel E. Rutledge, residing in Denver, Colo. Our subject was one of a family of six children, of whom, beside himself, but one sister and brother are living.
During his lifetime here in
Nebraska, Mr. Kinney was built up two distinct ranches, which are
classed among the best, and he has taken a most active part in the
development of this part of the state. On another page of this
volume will be found portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Kinney
Among the prominent old settlers of Cherry county none is more widely know or highly respected than the man whose name heads this article, and who now resides on section 15, township 34, range 29.
Mr. McDermott was born in Leitrim county, Ireland, in 1875. His father, Bernard McDermott, was a native of Ireland, and worked there in the mills. His mother, in maidenhood, was Mary Daley. Shortly after the birth of our subject the family moved to Liverpool, England, where they remained until Mr. McDermott was twelve years of age, when the family moved to New York, where they remained a short time, then moved to New Jersey, and in 1885 moved to Cherry county, Nebraska.
Mr. McDermott's mother settled in Cherry county in 1886 and took up a homestead claim, which she later proved up on. She lived on this place up to her death, which occurred in 1903. When the family settled in Cherry county they took up farming and stock raising in a small way. They were handicapped because of a lack of money with which to operate. The first buildings erected were very flimsy, rickety affairs, and the only teams they had were small ponies. Then another thing they had to contend with was poor crops. The dry years came on the crops were almost totally destroyed. However, this did not discourage them; they persevered, and as a reward for their industry and energy they today own one of the finest places in western Nebraska. The place consists of five hundred and sixty acres, most of which is devoted to stock raising, which is carried on on a large scale. One hundred and sixty acres of the farm is under cultivation and produces good crops. The entire place is fenced and cross-fenced, and is thoroughly improved with all modern conveniences, a good dwelling house, good barns and outbuildings, and the place is well supplied with an abundance of good water.
Mr. McDermott has taken an active part in all public affairs in his neighborhood. He is highly esteemed in the community in which he resides.
He has traveled and read extensively and is one of the best posted men in Cherry county
A. A. GUSTAFSON
A. A. Gustafson, residing on Section 1, Divide township, has been a resident of this section since 1882, and is one of the best known old-timers in Phelps county. He is a farmer and owns a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which is operated by his son Julius. Mr. Gustafson is a builder and contractor by trade, and one of the best in his line of work, a man of sterling character, held in the very highest esteem by all who know him.
Mr. Gustafson was born in Sweden and raised there, in his young manhood learning his trade as a builder at Ostergotland, and followed the work there for several years, in 1872 coming to America and settling in Illinois. He first located in Nebraska in 1882, coming from Rock Island, Illinois, where he had worked as a contractor for a number of years. He at once bought his present farm and has built up a splendid place here, having erected a set of the
finest farming buildings to be found in this locality. Everything is of the very best, fitted up with the most modern conveniences, and even in this rich section of the country it is regarded as a model farm and home. He has lived in many different parts of the United States, and has followed his trade in Illinois, California and all over Nebraska. He built the Bethany and Freedom churches at Axtell, the Axtell school house and Presbyterian church, beside the Lutheran church at Shickley and most of the finer residences and farm buildings in this section of Kearney and Phelps counties. He enjoys the reputation of being an A1 contractor and builder of which his excellent work speaks volumes. Mr. Gustafson is one of the foremost men in his locality and has held numerous positions of trust in his community.
Our subject was married in 1875 to Miss Anna L. Lind, and to them have been born ten children, named as follows; John Alfred, Thure Albert, Martin Waldemer, Oscar Otto, Herman Julius, Anna Margarette, Carl Axel Emanuel, Elmer Ewen Aaron, Emil Wilhelm Constantin and Hannah Amelia Duzenia
THOMAS B. AUGUSTINE
Perseverance and integrity are the stepping stone by which many men have reached success, but of the early settlers of the west these characteristics were required I grater measure than usually falls to the men of a more settled region. The gentleman above mentioned possesses these attributes in a marked degree, and to this fact is due his present success. He resides in section 11, township 33, range 47, where he has a finely developed farm, and has an enviable name as one of the progressive and substantial citizens of Dawes county, Nebraska.
Mr. Augustine was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, in 1863. His father, John H. Augustine, is a land loan broker, also farmer, and served in the Civil war. He married Emma J. Turner, of Somerset county, Pennsylvania. The family settled in Marshall county, Iowa, in the fall of 1865, on a farm, and there our subject grew to manhood, assisting his parents in the farm work and attending the country schools during his boyhood, and later the Albion Seminary in his home county. In January, 1884, Mr. Augustine arrived in Valentine, Nebraska, coming by team from there, through a snowbound region. Here he located on a pre-emption and tree claim, and during the first few months lived on Beaver creek in a rented shack. He moved on this place in April 1884. His first building was ten by twelve, built of boards, and was the first house in Dry creek valley. He also built the second house in Dry Creek valley, fourteen by sixteen feet, and now has fine frame house, a story and a half high, twenty-two feet, and up-to-date barns and other buildings. He got his first team in the spring 1885, and worked out much of the time freighting from Valentine, for which he received sufficient to make a living. When he came here there was a party of six men with him, and he was the only one who stuck to the region. He has been engaged in the stock business, raising both cattle and horses, and has made a decided success of his work. He has a ranch of over four thousand acres, and has everything in first-class shape, and is one of the largest landowners in his section of the country. He has built many miles of fence on his ranch, and has plenty of running water and springs on the place, which is also well supplied with natural timber of all kinds.
Mr. Augustine was married June 3, 1908, to Miss Milda A. Kleeman, born in Lancaster county, Nebraska, but has lived here in Dawes county ever since she was a year old. Her parents, Frederick and Amelia Kleeman, settled in Dawes county in 1885, and were both of German descent. Mrs. Augustine is a lady of culture and has taught considerable in the schools here.
Mr. Augustine is a strong Republican. He has missed only three county conventions since Dawes county was organized, and has acted as delegate to many state conventions. He has always taken an active part in politics, and has nominated several men who have served as county officers
JOHN C. WEEKLY
John C. Weekly, who owns and operates a ranch of eight hundred and forty acres in township 9, range 38, is one of the substantial men of his community. He is a pioneer of Perkins county, and has devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits and made a success of the work, and has raised a large family who are equally successful in the various occupations which they have chosen.
Mr. Weekly was born in West Virginia in 1861 on a farm. His father and mother were both born in Virginia, the former dying there in 1876. Our subject was raised and educated in his native state, following farming during his boyhoods years, living in that section up to 1883, then came to Illinois, and there spent three years, afterward settling in Perkins county during the winter of 1886-1887. The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad was then
being put through this part of the state, and he secured employment on the construction work and also started to build up a home, having filed on a claim, which is his location at the present time. His first dwelling was a dug-out, and later had a sod house, in which he lived for a number of years, then put up a new sod shanty. During the drouth years he witnessed hard times, part of the time being obliged to work out in order to make a living, spending some time at Kearney, and also in Greeley, Colorado. He was unable to raise a good crop on his land during the dry years, so gradually worked into the cattle business, and gathered together quite a bunch of stock and was most successful n this venture. He put good buildings and improvements on the farm, which now consists of eight hundred and forty acres, and he has four hundred acres devoted to mixed farming at present time, the balance being in hay and pasture land. The ranch is about all fenced and every part of it bespeaks the good management of our subject. He has a large barn, forty by sixty, erected in 1908, and numerous other smaller buildings.
Mr. Weekly was married in 1885 to Miss Mary Maxwell, born and reared in West Virginia. Mrs. Weekly's father died in April, 1907. Eleven children have come to bless the union of our subject and his esteemed wife, named as follows; Goldie, Harry, Winnie, Addie, Mattie, Ward, Rose, Edna, Walter, Edith and Raymond, forming a happy congenial family group. They enjoy a comfortable home, Mr. Weekly having recently erected a handsome residence, twenty-six by twenty-six, two stories in height, and their home is one of the most hospitable in community.
Mr. Weekly votes independent of party politics. He has been assessor, and has always taken an active part in the up building of his section. He is now on the school board, and has been an important factor in the establishment of the schools in the county
DAVID A. CLOPTON
David A. Clopton, who is closely identified with the farming interests of Keya Paha county, Nebraska, is a resident of Custer precinct, where he has met with marked success in operating his fine estate. Mr. Cloton is one of the old-timers in this region, and is widely known as an industrious and energetic farmer, universally esteemed as a worthy citizen.
Mr. Clopton was born in Green county, Iowa, May 15, 1859. His father, Isaac Clopton, a native of Illinois, of American stock, was an early settler in that county, and is living there at the present time. The mother was Nancy Salmon. Our subject was the fourth child in a family of twelve, and during his boyhood years assisted in carrying on the home farm, learning to do all kinds of hard farm work when a small boy. At the age of twenty-one years he began for himself, working for his father for four years, then took a farm in that vicinity, on which he lived for a year. In 1885 he came to Keya Paha county, and settled on a homestead on section 1, township 44, range 21, and still occupies this place. He lived with his brother-in-law until he had proved up on his place, planting four thousand trees on his homestead, also assisting his neighbors in starting their groves. He broke up seventy-five acres, which he farms, and has two hundred acres of hay and pasture, owning in all three hundred acres of hay and pasture, owning in all three hundred and twenty acres. He keeps fifty head of cattle, fifteen horses and quite a lot of hogs, and has good buildings and fences. He has one of the finest homes in the county and has accumulated all this property from a start of practically nothing as all he has when landed there was a team and wagon and two cows. He was one of the first settlers in this locality, and grew with the region, and is now considered among the leading citizens of his community.
Mr. Clopton was married in Springview, January 1, 1889, to Miss Katie Blakeley, whos parents, John and Lydia (Sampson) Blakeley, were pioneers in this county and still reside here. Mr. and Mrs. Clopton are the parents of the following children; Myrtle J., Ira B., Ray W. and Genevieve.
Although our subject has never taken a leading part in politics, he has given his aid for the best interest of the people of his locality, and aided materially in the advancement of the agricultural and commercial opportunities. He is a loyal Republican, having always voted that ticket, and a member of the Baptist church
MR. AND MRS. OSCAR C. LUTZ
Mr. And Mrs. Oscar C. Lutz are numbered among the pioneers of eastern Nebraska, settling in York county in 1872.
At the time of their settlement much of York county was open for homestead settlement. However, they preferred to purchase railroad land, and secured a tract of four hundred and eighty acres in section 13, township 11, range 2 east, at a purchase price of five dollars per acre. They erected a frame dwelling on the land, hauling the lumber from Seward, a distance of thirty-five miles, and the same was afterward used as
a public school building, and was the first frame school house erected in the school district. As there was no homestead land deeded in the school district, their taxes on that account were very high, being one hundred and eighty-five dollars for a year or two. They were among the sufferers from the grasshopper plague and lost their crops in the drouth years of the early nineties. Mr. Lutz first saw the valley of the North Loup while buffalo hunting in 1873
Mr. and Mrs. Lutz are of genuine pioneer stock, their parents having settled in Mercer county, Illinois, in 1832, when that portion of Illinois was almost wholly unsettled, and wild game in abundance. Mr. Lutz and family came to Garfield county in 1898, where they now reside. Their first property in the county was the steam flouring mills of Burwell. Their present residence is on section 21, township 21, range 15 west, on a tract of eight hundred and forty acres, their residence being one of the best in Garfield county, situated in a beautiful grove of elm and cottonwood. Mr. Lutz was born in Mercer county, Illinois, March 14, 1845, and Mrs. Lutz were married November 1, 1870, the fruit of their union being five children, viz.; Orley L., who died in infancy; Mrs. Iola Lutz, of Custer county, Nebraska; Ora C., who died in childhood; Stella, of Ord, Nebraska, and Marie, who is at home. Mr. and Mrs. Lutz are members of the Christian Science church, and Mrs. Lutz is a Christian Science practitioner, having had more than usual success in the practice of Christian Science healing. To the grand achievements of the early pioneers of Nebraska we are greatly indebted, and among the number we honor the names of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Lutz
GEORGE G. CLARKE
George G. Clarke, one of the successful and prosperous farmers of Box Butte county, has acquired a fine estate and enjoys all the comforts of rural life,. He is a gentleman of good business judgment, and has an enviable reputation as a worthy citizen and good neighbor. His home is in section 27, township 24, range 49, and he had to freight all of his lumber fifty-five miles from Pine Ridge to construct buildings on his farm, and all of his wood for fuel was hauled about eighty miles from northwestern Crawford county.
Mr. Clarke was born at Lockport, New York, in 1872. His father, J. W. Clarke, was of Scotch descent, a machinist by trade. The father married Christina Kailey, and they settled n Pennsylvania. The family came to Illinois during our subject's boyhood, remaining there up to 1883, and then came west to Nebraska, locating at North Platte, where they lived for seven years, when George left his parents' home and came to Box Butte county. For some little time he worked in Alliance, and later his mother moved there, and now lives in Aurora, Hamilton county. In the fall of 1891 he located on a ranch which belonged to his mother, and was situated ten miles southwest of Alliance. There he has lived ever since, building it up in fine shape, and has made money. When he first took the place all he had as a start was seven head of cattle and a pony, and was obliged to borrow money to begin work on the place, and during the first years had a hard time to get along, "batching it" for the first few years. He managed to secure some work in the vicinity to make a living and put on some improvements in the way of buildings, and soon got into the stock business. He freighted through the country for one year for the railroad, etc. He has been very successful in his stock raising ventures, and has made plenty of money during the past several years, owning a finely improved ranch of four hundred acres, and is called on of the well-to-do men of his locality.
On June 26, 1898, Mr. Clarke was united in marriage to Miss Minnie J. Hawkins, daughter of J. C. Hawkins, who is a prominent old settler in this region. Her mother was Rebecca Anderson, and they settled in western Nebraska about 1887, living for many years in that locality, where Mrs. Clarke was reared and educated. Mr. and Mrs. Clarke are the parents of two children, George H., aged five years in November, 1908, and Stella Minnie, aged four months
Nicholas Jacobson, owner of a valuable estate in Trognitz precinct, Cheyenne county, was born near the little seaport of Rone, in Sweden, August 6, 1862. His father was a farmer and raised his family in his native country, where our subject assisted in the labor on the home farm, and was early taught to do all kinds of work, receiving the usual common school education of the children of his station in life. The father finally decided to come to America to seek a fortune and build up a home for his family, and leaving his family on the homestead, left his native land for the new world, and after landing in the United States he proceeded to Chicago, where he labored for two years, securing funds to send for his family. Shortly before their arrival he went to western Iowa, and