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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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ty acres of good land. He settled on this land in 1878 and has made this home ever since.

     Mr. Huston is a native of Ohio, born near Bloomfield. His father, Frederick Huston moved from Ohio to Peoria county, Illinois, with his family in 1866, and there David grew to manhood. The father enlisted in the Civil war and served in a great many different engagements, being with the Army of the Potomac on its various campaigns, and suffered all the hardships and privations of a soldier's career. After the close of the war he returned to Illinois and remained there up to 1886, then came to Nebraska, locating in Harlan county, Mr. Huston, Sr., is an intelligent and well-read gentleman, still in good health, and is at present living with David on the latter's homestead. He is now in his eighty-five year.

     Our subject has succeeded in building up a good farm and comfortable home here, although he has passed through some very hard times in accumulating his present property. During the early years he suffered all the discouragements incident to the life of the pioneer setters, but states that conditions here are much more favorable for farming and stock raising than in Illinois, and he is in position to know, as he has tried in both states.  Mr. Huston says that one man can work as much land in Nebraska as would take two men to work in Illinois.

     In addition to his farming enterprises Mr. Huston owns a threshing rig in partnership with his son, J. J. Huston, and they operate all over the section and mange to make a nice income during the season.

     Mr. Huston was married to Miss Fanny C. Herndon, daughter of Joseph Herndon, who was an early settler in this county, coming her in 1882. He is a large landowner here and is well known throughout this part of the state. Mr. and Mrs. Huston are the parents of two daughter, Ella M. and Carrie E., also three sons, J. J., mentioned above, John D. and J. McKinley, all living at home and assisting their father in carrying on the farm.

     Mr. Huston has been assessor of his precinct for a number of years. He is also a member of the school board and active in all local affairs tending to the betterment of conditions in in his locality, at present serving as president of the Antelope Fine Stock Company.



     Theodore Sagert, an early settler and highly respected citizen of Sioux county, has fought his way through many difficulties and discouragements to a very substantial success. He is a man of keep business perception and executive ability, and has proven his good citizenship in many ways.

     Mr. Sagert was born in Brandenburg, Germany, in 1862, and his parents still reside on the old homestead there. The father followed farming all his life, and during his boyhood Theordore assisted him in the home work, also was taught the bricklayer's trade as a young man. At the age of nineteen years he left home and came to America to seek his fortune, and was the only one of his family ever to leave their native land. He landed in Baltimore, and after spending a short time in the east, located in Page county, Illinois, remaining there for two years, then emigrated to Colorado.

     He lived in Denver for a time and later went to Leadville, working in the smelter most of the time. From there he went into South Dakota, locating in Sanborn county, and there followed ranching, remaining in that vicinity for one year, then went to the Winnebago and Crow reservation, took up a tract of land and begun to built it up, but after a short time was obliged to abandon it. From there he came to Nabraska, driving overland, and his first stop was made at Chadron. During the journey he spent the nights camping out, and often came across bands of Indians, who were for the most art very friendly, and several times shared his meals with them at their camp. The trip took him twenty days, and after stopping at Chadron a few days went into the Black Hills with three other men, including C. E. Eastman and himself. There each picked out a location, Mr. Sagert taking a homestead on Horsehead creek in South Dakota, and proved up on the land, finally coming back to Chadron, and in the spring of 1886 he begun railroading, following that work for five years. He was appointed assistant roadmaster of the Black Hills division, and held that position for two years. In 1893 he received the appointment of division roadmaster for the West Line into Wyoming, and remained as such for six years, then returned to the Black Hills division, being roadmaster on that line for the same length of time.

     During the building of the Deadwood line he acted as superintendent of the job. He is one of the oldest railroad men in this section of the country.

     In May, 1904, Mr. Sagert quit the road for good and settled in Harrison, where he has done much in the way of building up the town, one of the most important contracts he has undertaken being the building of the Harrison

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water works system. He has done all in his power to promote the best interests of the place in a commercial and education way, and at present is serving as alderman of his ward.

     Mr. Sagert was married in 1899 to Miss Freda D. Tripple, who was born in Hanover, Germany. They are the parents of two children, Emma and Freda, the latter now attending school away from home. The family have a pleasant home and are will liked by all who know them either in a business or social way.



     This subject of this sketch, John Jacob Geisert, was born in Baden Baen, in Germany, in 1868. His father, Matthew Geisert, lived and died in Germany, and his mother, Louisa Hornecker, was also a German. Mr. Geisert spent his youth in Germany, attending the German schools and afterward learning the trade of painting and paper hanging. He worked at these trades until 1886, and, in that year, he and the rest of the family joined an elder brother, who had emigrated to America at an earlier date. When his brother came to America in 1884, he located in Keith county, where he took a homestead on which the family lived after arrival.

     Our subject worked as a clerk in a grocery store for two years, at the end of which time he began work at his trade, traveling through the states, and visiting the cities of Buffalo, New York, Chicago and Denver.

     In the fall of 1892 he was married n New York City to Miss Ernestina Bossert, who was a German by birth. Mr. and Mrs. Geisert have two children, Louise and Henry Jacob After his marriage, Mr. Geisert came to Ogallala and followed his trade for a time, afterward going into business for himself. He opened a store in 1896, carrying a large and varied line of paints, wallpaper, furniture, carpets and the like. He also does contract work in painting had has built up an extensive business in this line. He has made a success of everything he has undertaken and has done his share in developing the natural resources of this region.



     D. S. Battershell, another of the really old-timers of western Nebraska, is now owner and manager of the Paxton Hotel, the leading hostelry of the town of Paxton, and is held in high esteem as a public-spirited citizen. He has passed through every form of pioneer life since coming to this state, and during his residence here, covering a period of about fifteen years, has managed to father together a comfortable property, and has made his influence felt in all matters of interest to the public.

     Mr. Battershell was born in Indiana in April, 1863. When he was an infant his parents removed to Illinois, and he was raised in Champaign county. His mother and father were both natives of Kentucky, the mother now dead, while his father resides in Indiana. Our subject came to Clay county, Nebraska, in 1884 and farmed there for five years, then moved in to Lincoln county, where he filed on homestead rights on section 26, township 11, range 33, and still own his farm. He came to Cheyenne county in 1904, purchasing a piece of land on section 28, township 14, range 48, containing four hundred and eighty acres, and succeeded in building up a good home and developing a productive farm. This ranch he disposed of in 1907, and at that time moved into Paxton and engaged in the hotel business, which he also succeeded in carrying on at a profit.

     In 1884 Mr. Battershell, was married to Miss Laura Atkinson, who died in1904, leaving a family of five children. In November, 1906, our subject was married to Clara Homer Kluckhuhn, and they have one child, Ada, a charming little miss.

     Mr. Battershell is a Republican, and a stanch supporter of party principles.



     H. G. Gumaer, one of the early settlers of Nebraska, who has passed through all the pioneer experiences of the region, is now prosperous and successful as a result on many years of labor and persistence. He resides on his valuable estate situated on the North Platte river adjoining the old town of Oshkosh, where he is surrounded by all the comforts of rural life.

     Mr. Gumaer was born in Waupaca county, Wisconsin, on October 31, 1856. He was the second child in a family of seven, three boys and four girls, and both father and mother are no dead. The former died while the family still lived in Wisconsin, about 1887, and the latter's death occurred when our subject was about nineteen years of age. Both parents originally came from New York state.

     Mr. Gumaer left Wisconsin when he became of age, locating in St. Paul, Nebraska, in the spring of 1879, in company with his brother

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Alfred W., and they engaged in the lumber business at that place, their's being the first venture of its kind in the town. In 1885 our subject came to Oshkosh. He trailed a bunch of cattle from Howard to Deuel county, and launched into the ranching and cattle business, which he has followed continuously ever since. He selected a tract of land lying on the North Platte river, consisting of about one thousand acres, and has added every improvement to the place, and it is called one of the most valuable ranches in the region. He has it stocked with about five hundred cattle and a fine bunch of horses, and is rapidly becoming one of the wealthiest residents of the county. Mr. Gumaer is unmarried. He is a Democrat, and was elected the first county commissioner of Deuel county, and again in 1903 was elected to the same office, and has served continuously in that capacity for the past six years. He is prominent in all county and state affairs.

     Alfred W. Gumaer, brother of our subject, who was born in Wisconsin in September, 1854, is now living in Deuel county. He was in the United States custom service for six years, and is equally well known with G. H. Gumaer. He also is unmarried.

     W. F. Gumaer, another brother, was born in Wisconsin in 1874. He came to Howard county, Nebraska, shortly after his father's death, and located at St. Paul, where he attended the high school and graduated from that institution. He returned to Wisconsin, where he spent some years, and in 1906 came to Oshkosh. He was married here in the same year to a daughter of W. W. Bowers, and is now engaged in the general mercantile business.

     Two sisters of our subject, Mrs. A. L. covey and Mrs. H. B. Vandecar, are living at St. Paul, Nebraska, while another sister is the wife, of H. L. Cook, residing at Lincoln. The other sister, Mrs. H. W. Potter, still lives in Wisconsin.



     W. H. Parriott, who has devoted his entire career to agricultural pursuits, has met with pronounced success in Keya Paha county, Nebraska. He is owner of a fine farm there, has brought his land to a good state of cultivation and has aided in many ways in the development of the agricultural interests of his locality. He is also one of the old-timers of the region, and has gained a high station through his integrity and industrious habits. He has a pleasant home on section 35, township 33, range 23, and there enjoys well deserved success.

     Mr. Parriot was born in Porter county, Indiana, in 1854. He grew up there to the age of eleven years, then came with his parent to Fort Des Moines, Iowa, where he received his later education in the public schools of the town. His father, Adam H. Parriott, was of American stock, and he followed farming all his life. He married Sarah Hall, of French descent, a native of Canada, and they reared a family of six children, of whom our subject was the second member. He started to make his way in the world at the age of twenty-four years, following farm work in Iowa u to the spring in 1883, when he came to Keya Paha county and settled on a homestead, this being his present location. He was in this region during the hard times which swept this portion of the state and has passed through all the trials of pioneer life, often becoming discouraged, but never thought of giving up, fighting bravely every difficulty that came across his path, and he has been well repaid for his efforts. When he landed here he had nothing, and from this start, by dint of strictest economy, energy and persistence he has succeeded in accumulating a nice property, his ranch comprising nine hundred and sixty acres, all good land, and about two hundred acres cultivated. The balance he uses as hay and pasture land, keeping about three hundred head of stock.

     Several years ago Mr. Parriott planted an orchard and now has nearly every kind of domestic fruit for home use. The ranch has good farm buildings, a nice residence, etc., including about five and a half miles of good fence.

     In 1879 Mr. Parriott made a trip to Indiana, and there was married to Miss Nora A. Huggart, who is also a native of Porter county. She is a daughter of a prominent veteran of the Civil war. Mr. and Mrs. Parriott have one child, Gordon W., now twenty-five years of age. He is also a homesteader in this county, owning a quarter section ,which adjoins his father's ranch.

     Mr. Parriott has always been greatly interested in school affairs in his locality and has done much toward establishing and helping build up the different school districts. Politically he is a Republican, and stanch supporter of party principles, although he has never sought public preferment.



A history or biographical work relating to the early days and the pioneers of western Nebraska would not be complete, without a sketch of the career of James Scott, who de-

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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parted this life in 1894. James Scott spent a long and useful life in Keith county and by his death the community lost an upright and conscientious neighbor and citizen.

     James Scott, deceased, was a native of Galway, Ireland, where he was born in 1830. He was reared and educated and married in his native land, taking as his helpmeet Sarah Britton, who was also of Irish nativity. This union was blessed with five children - Patrick, Martin, Delia, Kate and John.

     James Scott came to America in 1880 and the balance of the family came the following years. For a time they lived in New Jersey, then later in Connecticut, from whence they came west to Wisconsin, settling on a farm. Here they sustained a severe loss by fire, losing house, household goods and all of the family records. The two sons, Patrick and Martin, were the first to try their fortunes farther west coming to Keith county, Nebraska, in 1885. The next year the father and the rest of the family followed, locating on a homestead.  The boys worked on the section for the Union Pacific Railway Company and our subject ran the section house to help with the finances during the hard times and the drouth years.

     Our subject's uncle, Tom Scott, came to the territory first in 1876, and November 26th located in homestead on the North Platte river. He lived there through all the years and was one of the prominent and successful old settlers of the region in which he located. He followed railroading a great part of the time.

     James Scott was successfully engaged in farming and stock raising and built up a splendid home. The family now has a ranch comprising two thousand and eighty acres and one hundred and sixty acres of leased land, the farm being located on both sides of the South Platte river and extending back into the hills. The ranch is finely improved in every respect with good house, barns, spring, windmills, fences, trees and everything necessary in the conduct of a modern and prosperous stock and farm business.

     James Scott passed through all the trying experiences common to the lot of the pioneer, but his persistent industry and constant endeavor left a good patrimony for his family when his death occurred.



     Samuel H. Osborne, a very well known and highly respected citizen of Morrill (formerly Cheyenne) county, Nebraska, has a valuable estate in Bayard precinct, besides land in other localities near. He is one of the prominent old settlers in the region, and has passed through all the old Nebraska times, assisting in no small degree in the up building and development of the vicinity.

     Mr. Osborne was born in Licking county, Ohio, February 16, 1841, where he spent the first seven years of is life. In 1848 his parents, Joshua and Harriett (Rigby) Osborne, natives of Pennsylvania and Virginia, respectively, moved to Steuben county, Indiana, with their family of eleven children, seven sons and four daughters, and there our subject grew to manhood. He enlisted in Company H, Eighty-eighth Indiana Infantry, and was with Company A, First United States Engineers, for three years and three months, in active service all of that time in the Army of Cumberland under Buell and later Rosecrans. He was discharged from the army at Nashville, Tennessee, having a brilliant record as a soldier. Three brothers were also in the service. One met his death in battle at Stone River, December 31, 1862; another brother was severely wounded at Huntsville, Alabama. Our subject was in the battles of Stone River and Perryville, Kentucky, at Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, and all the skirmishes between the latter place and Atlanta, Georgia. Here he turned back to Nashville under Thomas.

     After the war closed Mr. Osborne returned to Indiana and remained there up to 1869, going at that time to McLean county, Illinois, and later to Iowa.

     In March, 1871, he came to Nebraska, and in October removed to Ottumwa, Iowa, where he worked for three years. Returning to McLean county, he followed farming until 1887, when he came to Nebraska, settling in that part of Cheyenne county which is now Morrill. Here he filed on a homestead on section 25, township 21, range 52, at that time entirely unimproved land.

     He pre-empted about three hundred acres in section 2, township 20, range 52, ninety acres of which were under irrigation: also acquired a Kincaid claim of four hundred and eighty acres in section 35, township 23, range 52. He improved these tracts extensively, having two irrigation ditches on the home place and has been engaged in grain and stock raising during all of the time he has been in the region. At the present time he has about fifty head of cattle and a small bunch of horses. He has a complete set of good farm and ranch buildings and every convenience and improvement for the proper operation of a model ranch. We call attention to a view of the home to be found in our illustrative pages.

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