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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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success, cultivating about one hundred and twenty acres, and runs a small herd of cattle and about fifty head of horses. Mr. Law was married in Bellwood, Nebraska, December 30, 1897, to Miss Carrie Hofrichter, who was born and reared in Illinois.

     Our subject is a Republican and a stanch supporter of the principles of the party. He is active in township affairs, and is now serving as treasurer of school district No. 34.



     Thomas Moore, of Franklin county, Nebraska, is one of the leading residents of that locality. He is a retired merchant, coming to the county in 1879, establishing a general store at Macon, which he carried on up to 1903. Mr. Moore was born in Ontario and grew up in his native land. His father, John Moore, served for five years in the Grenadier Guards and was mustered out at Montreal in 1840, locating in Ontario. When Thomas was a young man the family moved to New York State, settling near Plattsburg. The father is now dead, and one of our subject's most prized possessions is the former's discharge papers. He grew up in New York State, and in 1862 enlisted in the Ninety-sixth Infantry and served in the Army of the Potomac, taking part in all of the big battles, including Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, etc. He saw the seamy side of a soldier's career, suffering much privation, and while he was fortunate in never being severely wounded during the different engagements in which he participated, saw much of the horrors of war, and like every one else was heartily glad when the struggle was over. He left the army with a brilliant record and is now one of the prominent veterans in his part of the country.

     After his discharge he returned to New York State and engaged in the lumber business, which he carried on for eleven years, then came to Nebraska, making his first settlement at Kearney, landing here in 1879. Soon afterwards he located permanently in Macon, which at that time was a village with a few hundred inhabitants, and established a mercantile business, which he continued up to 1903. He was one of the first men to put a stock of goods in the town, and much of his patronage was drawn from the Indians during the earlier years. He was appointed postmaster at Macon immediately after locating here and held the office for sixteen years. He served as county commissioner, holding the office one term, and in 1880, under the new law, was elected to the first board of supervisors, also serving for one term. In 1884, during the hard times which prevailed in that locality, he was appointed president of the state board of relief for the settlers who had suffered from loss of crops and were unable to make a living, and he was one of the most active in securing this help and assisting in their relief.

     Mr. Moore was the leading spirit in establishing the Methodist Episcopal church in Macon, and was superintendent of the Sabbath school for twenty-four years, also acted as trustee of the church. For twelve years he served on the school board of the town. All this time his trade was increasing and he did well in a business way, constantly increasing his line of goods, and his success was due wholly to his energy and honesty of principle in dealing with the public, making him one of the most influential and highly respected citizens this region has ever known.

     In 1903 Mr. Moore came to Franklin and founded the Moore Mercantile Company in Franklin, taking in partnership his two sons-in-law, John Garrett, who formerly lived in Hexton, Colorado, and E.J. Briggs, of Trenton, Nebraska, where he owns a fine twelve hundred-acre ranch. They carried on this business up to 1906, then sold out to Messrs. Hesse & Co., who now operate the store. Mr. Moore also is owner of three hundred and twenty acres in Trenton, which is well stocked with cattle, horses and hogs, and his intention is to remove to this property in a short time and permanently reside there.

     Mr. Moore has a family of two daughter and two sons. He is a member of the Masonic lodge, Ancient Order United Workmen and a prominent Grand Army of the Republic man.

[transcribed Jan. 1999 by Carol Wolf Britton <>. Thomas Moore is Carol's 2-Great-Grandfather.]



      The gentleman whose name heads this personal history is one of the very old settlers of western Nebraska, coming here from Iowa about 1880 and settling at that time near Hastings, which then was a very small town with many Indian inhabitants. He moved to Brown county in 1882 and was among the earliest settlers in this region, voting at the first election ever held in the county. Since his early residence here he has been an important figure in the affairs of his community, and has passed through all the old Nebraska times, watching its growth from the primitive state into the thriving agricultural and commercial district it has now become.

     Mr. Wheeler was born in Northhampton-

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shire, England, in 1831. His father, Benjamin Wheeler, was a soap and candle maker in that country, bringing his family to America when our subject was a lad of ten years. They crossed the Atlantic in a sailing vessel, experiencing the usual hardships during the voyage, spending several weeks, and sometimes even months on the sea. After landing in New York city they came west, settling in Wisconsin in the town of Waukesha, which was at that time called Prairieville, and there John was raised, receiving a common school education and following farm work during most of the time, also threshing, teaming, etc., as a young man. During wartime he enlisted in Company G. First Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, and with his regiment saw service at Fort Ellsworth, Virginia, and other points in the east, remaining with his company until the close of the war, then returned to his home town.

     He remained in Wisconsin for a short time, then moved to Iowa, settling on a farm, and spent ten years there, and as many were emigrating to Nebraska about this time, he joined a party who were traveling overland to that state, landing near Hastings, where he located on a homestead. There he started as the majority of the pioneers did, with very little money and a few household goods, team, wagon and a few tools, going through many hardships and much privation. The family witnessed the drouth seasons there, living in a sod house for a number of years, and many times hardly knew where their next meal was coming from, as they were unable to raise any crops during the dry years excepting a few vegetables and a very little grain. However, he remained on the place up to 1890, then came to his present location, owning at the present time a well improved quarter section, and is doing well. The farm is well supplied with good water, some timber and he has erected good buildings, and is succeeding in building up a very productive farm.

     Mr. Wheeler was married, November 15, 1855, to Miss Electra T. Palmer, who is now deceased. She left a family of the following children, namely: Emma Jane, Joseph L., Charles H., Carline E., Alfred Benoni, Lucius F., Rosena H., James Franklin, Fred H., Ralph Waldo E., Harry Albert, Harvey U. and George C. All are now grown and settled in different parts of the country, and all are filling honorable vocations in life. Mr. Wheeler was again married on March 6, 1890, to Mrs. Elsie DeWitt, who was an early settler in these parts, her first husband being a pioneer homesteader, he dying during their early residence here, leaving his widow with a family of three children, as follows: Osa, Ira and Emma, all now married and living in homes of their own. Of his second marriage on child was born, Grace L., who is now a charming young lady. Mr. And Mrs. Wheeler and family are held in high esteem in the community and have a large circle of friends.



      Among the leading citizens of Cheyenne county none stands higher in the minds of his associates than the gentleman here named. For many years he ahs been engaged in farming near Dixon, has developed a fine farm and enjoys all the comforts of a rural home and the esteem of all with whom he comes in contact.

     Mr. Meyers was born in the kingdom of Wittenberg, Germany, January 12, 1868, and grew up in that country. When he was seventeen yours of age he came to America with his father, mother, three brothers and two sisters. They located in Sidney, Nebraska, and soon afterwards settled on a homestead about four miles southwest of the town of Potter, in Cheyenne county. There they started in the humble way of all the pioneers and rapidly developed a good farm, making good headway considering the different little discouragements they met with in the way of unfavorable weather conditions, etc. They saw some hard times, and after living on the homestead about three years the father was taken ill and his death occurred on Christmas day, 1888. The mother and children continued working the farm and succeeded in building up a comfortable home and Mrs. Meyers and one daughter still occupy the place, which is situated on section 14, township 14, range 53.

     Our subject began working for the Union Pacific Railroad Company about 1890, and remained in the employ of that concern for nine years, finally settling on a homestead on section 32, township 15, range 54, which originally belonged to his wife, and they have added to the farm until it know contains twelve hundred and eight acres. Mr. Meyers has put about seventy-five acres under the plow, and raises considerable grain, also has a herd of one hundred cattle and other stock, including a nice bunch of horses. The ranch is fully equipped with good buildings of all kinds, and everything about the place is in fine shape, bespeaking good management and care in its operation.

     Mr. Meyers was married to Miss Christina Stengel in December, 1905. Mrs. Meyers was born and reared in Germany, and came to this

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country with her parents when a child of eight years, and both father and mother died here some few years ago.

     Mr. Meyers is classed among the prosperous residents of his locality and takes a commendable interest in local affairs, lending his influence to the up building of every enterprise which tends to its advancement and the welfare of those of his community.



      Elmer E. Deutler, the genial manager and owner of the Johnstown Hotel, of Johnstown, Brown county, is one of the oldest settlers in western Nebraska, and a highly esteemed resident of his community.

     Mr. Deutler was born in Lewisburg, Union county, Pennsylvania, in 1861. His father, Henry G., was a shoemaker of German descent. He enlisted in the United States army at the beginning of the Civil war, and served in Company D, Fifty-first Pennsylvania Regiment. During a battle he was taken by the enemy and thrown into Andersonville, Prison, where he died. His widow, who was Mary Stoughton, was also a native of Pennsylvania, of English and German descent, was left with a family of four boys, of whom our subject was the youngest, and when he was nine years of age the mother came to Nebraska with her little family, locating in Dodge county, where she took a homestead, settling on the land in 1871. There they went through pioneer experiences in getting their home started, witnessing the grasshopper raids, drouths, etc., but managed to make a scant living by working out in the vicinity at whatever they could find to do, remaining there up to 1884, then left the place and came to Cherry county. There they settled on a homestead twelve miles southwest of the then small village of Johnstown, and began to improve their home. They went through ox team experience, using oxen for all the work on the farm, breaking the land and hauling fuel, etc., for about four years. They tried hard to raise grain, but found climatic conditions and soil was not especially adapted to the work, so gradually got into the stock business and in that line were most successful, enabling them to accumulate a nice property in time.

     Mr. Deutler filed on a homestead and tree claim on his own account during this time, proving up on both, and in 1889 moved Johnstown. For a number of years he farmed on rented land near the town, and later purchased a farm which he operated up to 1906. In the latter year he bought the Johnstown Hotel and has run the place since that time, being very successful in the venture. He is a man of pleasant manners and good business ability, and has the faculty of making friends, which is a necessary quality in a man who successfully carries on a hotel business.

     During his early residence here Mr. Deutler traveled all through this country as surveyor, having been elected county surveyor on the Republican ticket and serving two terms in that capacity. In this manner he became well acquainted with most all of the settlers in the region, making him one of the best know men in this part of the state. In 1905 he was Republican nominee for county treasurer, but was beaten by a small majority. He has always been active in local and county politics and is a staunch supporter of party principles.

     In 1893 Mr. Deutler was married to Miss Lillian Beebout, whose father, William Beebout, is a well-known old settler of Brown county. Four children have been born of this union, namely: Jessie, Merle, Ellsworth and Clara, all born in Brown county.



      Milo E. Webster, one of the early settlers and prosperous farmers and ranchers of Davison precinct, Cheyenne county, lives on his finely improved estate of one thousand two hundred and eighty acres, where he has spent many years of his life. He is one of the pioneers who have gone through all the old-time "cow-men" and ranching experience and come out successful in a wordly and spiritual way, gaining the esteem and confidence of all with whom he has had to do, and is now one of the leading citizens of his community.

     Mr. Webster was born in the town of Sandsfield, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, September 3, 1860, receiving a common school education, helping his parents carry on the home farm, and after reaching manhood was employed in farm labor in his native county some five years. In 1887 he emigrated to the western country, arriving in Cheyenne county, Nebraska, in the spring. He at once filed on a homestead in section 18, township 16, range 51, to which he secured complete title and then sold. He was employed for ten years on the Pomeroy ranch before starting into cattle raising for himself.

     In 1896 he purchased land in section 4, township 16, range 50, acquiring additional land surrounding until he now owns one thousand two hundred and eighty acres by purchase, and still

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