Mr. Osborne is a Republican politically and active in local affairs, having served as justice of the peace for twenty-one years.
Mr. Osborne married Miss Emily W. Benson in Oak Grove, Illinois, December 4, 1873, she being a native of McLean county, of that state, a daughter of James and Polly Ann (Henshaw) Benson. They have a family of four children namely: Dale, married and now living in Idaho: Thomas C. Osborne, married and living in Wayne, Nebraska, where he has charge of the Presbyterian church; Eva June and Dean H., living on the home ranch.
Mrs. Osborne is a member of the Christian church, while Mr. Osborne is a comrad of the Bayard Post, No 350, Grand Army of the Republic.
Andrew Nelson, residing in Potter precinct, came to Cheyenne county in 1889, and here has become well known as one of the leading old settlers of the section.
Mr. Nelson was born in Sweden, September 19, 1848, grew up there, and at the age of twenty concluded to try his fortune in the new world, so took passage at Goettenberg for Copenhagen and thence in the old side-wheel vessel Accellera, which was soon afterward lost at sea, landing in New York city, May 6, 1869. He came direct to Mineral Ridge, Iowa, where he made his home for one year, and at Glidden two and a half years while working in the construction department of the Illinois railroad between Sioux City and Dubuque. From there he went to Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, spending one winter, and next to Missouri, where he remained up to 1876. From there he moved to Knox county, Illinois, attending school at Knoxville for about a year and a half, striving to improve his somewhat neglected education, and afterwards spent four years in Jacksonville, Illinois, half of that time as attendant at the insane hospital. During the time he was in that state he made a trip back to his native land to visit the scenes of his childhood.
From 1882 to 1889 he resided in Cass county, Illinois, cultivating rented land, and next came to Potter, Nebraska. At this time he filed on a homestead in section 28, township 15, range 52, which is now his home ranch.
He made a success of ranching
from the first, although he passed through all of the pioneer
experiences and saw hard times, but stuck to the place through all
the good, bad and indifferent times, finally succeeding in
improving it with a good stone dwelling and other buildings,
fences and windmills, continually adding more land to his original
homestead, until now he owns or controls nineteen hundred and
twenty acres, which comprises one of the most valuable ranches in
the county. He has about one hundred and twenty acres cultivated,
and runs sixty head of cattle and ten horses. He has plenty of
good water, pumped by windmills for all farming and domestic
purposes, is a practical agriculturist and operates a model ranch.
A view of the substantial ranch buildings may be found on one of
our illustrative pages.
On June 8, 1907, Mr. Nelson married Miss Gertrude Uncapher at Sidney. She is a native of Fairbury, Jefferson county, Nebraska, coming to Cheyenne county in 1903. Mr. Nelson is a Republican, but has never sought office, devoting his time to his ranching interests, and besides is connected with the mercantile business of Nelson & Company at Potter. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Two brothers, Earl and Bradford Hopkins, comprise the above firm, who are prominent ranchers of section 35, Industry township, in Phelps county.
The ranch is situated one and a half miles southeast of Atlanta Station, on the Burlington & Missouri railway, and consists of three hundred and twenty acres. It was established in 1902 and intended for breeding and raising of Duroc Jersey pure bred hogs, and this has been carried out to the letter, they being now the owners of a fine herd of hogs and considered the leaders in this industry in their section of the state.
Our subject's herd is headed by Kant Be Beat No. 10239. The cost of this animal was six thousand and fifty dollars, he being bred out of King Hustler and dam. He is the highest priced boar in the world of any breed and has been shown fifty-eight times in the ring, winning fifty-seven first prizes and sweepstakes. He has been exhibited at all of the great shows in eastern states, including New York, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, and he stands as the most perfect specimen in the world. His weight is ten hundred and sixty pound in the show ring. The ownership of this hog places
Hopkins Bros. and their partners at the head of the red hog business. His get in 1906 on seventy-nine premiums at the different exhibitions out of ninety-two in which he had been entered.
Besides this celebrated animal Hopkins Bros. also own Red Prince Iam, by old Red Chief Iam and dam Garnet, the latter being the sow that topped John Briggs & Son's sale held at Clay Center, Nebraska, in 1907, this sow bringing the fancy price of six hundred and ten dollars, purchased by Henry G. Warren, of Inland, Nebraska. Another splendid animal owned by Hopkins Bros. is Earl's Ohio Chief, sired by the six thousand-dollar Ohio Chief, and while the former is not a show hog, he is the sire of first-class stock and appeals strongly to breeders on account of qualities which make him a very desirable animal for market. At the present time Hopkins Bros. have on hand seventy-five pure bred hogs. Each year they hold a large sale at Holdrege, the sale taking place on the 17th day of February, and as it is advertised widely every breeder of note is well aware of the kind of stock which they will find. Some very high prices are realized for their offerings, and the demand is growing each year as breeders realize the superiority of pure-bred stock.
Besides the pure bred red hogs, Messrs. Hopkins feed and raise high-grade red Durocs for market. They have built up a paying business and their ranch is equipped with all the necessary buildings and conveniences, including pastures and pens for the accommodation of their stock. They have forty acres fenced off in three lots, with one ten-acre timber tract, also patches of alfalfa and grass land. The balance of the place is used for pasture.
The ranch is elegantly situated, of the best soil, and everything is of the very highest class, both men devoting their entire time to the hog breeding business, which they declare is the best road they know of to success. They have the judgment to buy the best animals in the first place, and the industry and energy to develop from this stock something still better, and together with this ability they possess the necessary adjunct of proclaiming the merits of their herd in all its excellence from the housetops, so to speak, in order that all in need of such stock as they produce may know where to apply. They are among the leading advertisers of pure bred Duroc, Jersey hogs in the country, and for these energetic and enterprising young men one is safe in predicting that their career will bring the profit and substantial reward which they so richly deserve.
Among the successful and prosperous farmers and stockmen of Cheyenne county, we give the name of William Mika, who is owner of a fine estate in section 18, township13, range 47. He has made this region his home for the past twenty years and more, and during his residence here has built up a good home and gained the confidence and esteem of all with whom he comes in contact.
Mr. Mika was born in Fort Madison, Lee county, Iowa, on the 21st day of September, 1859. The first ten years of his life were spent in that vicinity, then his parents gave him into the charge of an uncle, who took him to Hanover, Washington county, Kansas, and he remained there for five years, returning to his boyhood home in 1874, being called there by the serious illness of his father, who died January 1, 1875. He spent three of four years with his mother, then returned to Kansas, and was back and forth between Iowa and Kansas a number of times during the next several years. He was married at Hanover, Kansas, August 8, 1882, to Miss Catherine Hlava, and together they came to Cheyenne county, Nebraska, in the spring of 1887. Mr. Mika took a homestead on section 18 in the fall of the previous year, and they located on this land and began to develop a farm, starting as was usual with the pioneers in a sod shanty, and going through many privations and meeting many discouragements in the shape of failure of crops, etc., and it was a number of years before he was able to get ahead any, managing, however, to make a comfortable living. After times grew better he began to improve his place by the erection of good buildings, and adding land to his original possessions, so that he is now owner of about eight hundred acres, cultivating about one hundred acres and using the balance as a stock ranch, and running a large herd of cattle and small bunch of horses.
Mr. Mika has one of the pleasantest homes in his locality, and he has a charming family of children, two of whom are married and the rest living at home, named as follows; Mary, wife of Frank Oliverious, and Agnes, wife of Frank Stimka, both families living in Cheyenne county; Kate, Willie, Eva, Lillie, Frankie and Sophia, who assist their parents in carrying on the home farm. Mr. Mika's mother still resides in Fort Madison, Iowa, while both parents of Mrs. Mika died in Bohemia some years ago. Mr. Mika takes a commendable interest in local matters, and has done his full share as a good citizen of his community. In political sentiment he is a Democrat.
Mr. Peacock was born in Huron county, Ohio, in 1861. His father, William, was an old settler in Sheridan county, Nebraska, born in England, and following ranching in this state for many years. He married Ann Dickson, who was of Irish descent, born in America. They were the parents of six children, our subject being the eldest, and all were raised in Ohio, receiving a common school education. Frank lived at home until he was twenty-four years of age, when he emigrated to Iowa, settling on a farm, which he carried on for about a year, then came to Sheridan county, Nebraska, and homesteaded a tract of land lying some distance south of the town of Gordon. His first dwelling was a sod house that had dirt floors, and he began as nearly all the pioneers were obliged to do in those days -- handling ox teams, etc. He went through every part of pioneer experience, all of which were met with a sturdy determination and the fortitude that would discourage one of our present-day farmers. He succeeded in proving up on his farm and worked faithfully to improve it in every way, meeting with losses caused by the drouth seasons, and one year lost his entire crop by hailstorms. He passed through eight hard years, during which he was unable to raise one good crop, then times began to get a little better, he was able to make a little headway, and continued to live on it up to 1898. At that time he undertook the management of the Balch ranch and acted as foreman of the place for two years. He was next employed on Shaddock's ranch in the same capacity for one year, both being situated in Cherry county.
In 1901 Mr. Peacock moved to Merriman and engaged in the hotel and livery business, which he carried on for a time, then sold out both and started a grocery and butcher business. This he kept for several months, then purchased his present store, into which he put a complete list of drugs. He built up a good trade and did a thriving business for three years, then sold out his drug stock. Mr. Peacock has met with considerable success in his different enterprises, and is classed among the prosperous citizens of his community. Personally Mr. Peacock is a gentleman of a sociable manner, a genial companion and has a host of good friends, enjoying the esteem and confidence of all with whom he comes in contact.
In 1885 Mr. Peacock was married to Miss Zella M. Dubbs, daughter of Lewis Dubbs, who is an American by birth, formerly a farmer, but for the past few years has been traveling over western Nebraska in the government service.
Our subject has two daughters, Pearl and Julia, both charming and accomplished young women. Mr. Peacock takes a leading part in local affairs and lends his influence for good government. He is a Republican.
WILLIAM J. COONEY.
The birthplace of William J. Cooney is Laurel, forty-five miles northwest of Toronto, Canada, where he firsts saw the light September 20, 1853. His long, useful and industrious life has brought him many warm friends and won the confidence of the community in which he now lives. Mr. Cooney's father was Anthony Cooney, a reputable farmer of Canada, his mother was of English birth.
The subject of our sketch was reared in Canada, learning the carpenter's trade. He came to the States in 1878, locating for two years in Shenandoah, Iowa, where he worked at his trade. He commenced railroad work as a foreman of a construction gang for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company for four years operated in southwestern Missouri. For two years he was in the contracting business at Shenandoah, from whence, in 1883, he came to Nebraska, locating for about two years in the city of Lincoln. December 15, 1884, he built a house and prepared for pioneer life. But he did not stay.
Removing to Denver he engaged in contracting and building for several years and did not return to Keith county until 1893. At this time he bought land near the town of Brule, and during all the years he has been most actively engaged in his old business of contracting and building and he has constructed many business buildings and residences in all parts of the county. He has been very successful and his profits have enabled him to become owner of lands in all parts of the county. No one has been more prominent in the construction work of this region. He built the Keith county court house and the Exchange Bank and numerous other fine residences and buildings in the county seat. His
operations have also taken him into Ogallala county, where he has put up many splendid homes and business blocks. He has won a name and reputation as one of the most successful and honorable contractors and builders in western Nebraska.
William J. Cooney was married in 1881 to Miss Laura Radcliffe, of Mt. Ayr, Iowa, her parents being from Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Cooney have been blessed with eight children - Eva, Lena M., Benjamn W., Emerson R., Bertha Lucile, William J., Laura C. and Olive Eona.
Mr. Whetstone was born in Henry county, Illinois, in 1860, and reared there on a farm. His father, W. J. Whestone, was born in America of German parentage, and followed the blacksmith's trade, also farmed much of the time. During the war he served in the Fifty-fourth Indiana Infantry for about eighteen months and saw much hard service in that time. He married Cynthia Barkus, who was a native of Indiana, and they reared a family of eight children, our subject being the third in order of birth. When the latter was about eighteen years of age he left home and began on his own account, emigrating to Kansas, where he spent on year, then came into Dawes county, Nebraska, following farm work in Kansas and later in Nebraska.
After a short time in Dawes county he filed on a homestead and pre-emption, proving up on both tracts, and during those first years here he passed through pioneer experiences, seeing some pretty hard times. He lived in a sod shanty for a number of years, witnessed the drouths and met with many discouragements so common to the early settlers in the section, and although he often became disheartened he never gave up hope, but continued to devote all his efforts to improving his property and eventually succeeded in building up a good home there.
In 1901 Mr. Whetstone came to Keya Paha county, purchasing a partly improved farm of two hundred acres on section 16, township 33, range 24. He has been engaged principally in the stock business since locating here and has done well. At the present time he has twenty-five head of cattle and about seventy-five horses, besides quite a bunch of hogs. His farm is well supplied with substantial buildings and improvements of all kinds, and Mr. Whetstone is progressive and up-to-date in his methods of operating his ranch.
In 1883 Mr. Whetstone was married to Miss Corinne Crandall, daughter of Leroy and Elizabeth Golden Crandall, the former dying when Mrs. Whetstone was a small girl. Six children have been born to our subject and his estimable wife, named as follows: Bertha, Jennie, Harry, William, Mabel and Mildred, all living at home except two, who are married. Mr. Whetstone is a Democrat and while he does not take an active part in politics he evinces a great interest in local matters, and has been especially helpful in establishing and building up the schools of this locality as well as in other sections where he has made his home.
REV. M. E. DOLAN.
Rev. M. E. Dolan, pastor of St. Patrick's church in Chadron, Nebraska, who during the comparatively short time he has been engaged in ecclesiastical work here (about two years) has gained a host of friends and made his influence felt in many ways throughout the community, is highly esteemed by all regardless of religious faith, and under his guidance the parish of which he has charge has prospered in a marked degree.
Rev. Dolan was born in the city of Loc Ray, County Galway, Ireland, in 1872. When he was a child of five years his parents came to America and settled in Omaha, Nebraska. There our subject grew up attending the public schools and later entered the Creighton University. He spend some time in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he took a theological course, and then went to Harvard University, thus preparing himself thoroughly for his church work.
In 1904 he was ordained a priest of the Holy Catholic church, and for one year acted as assistant pastor in the church at O'Neil, Nebraska, and later in the same capacity at the new cathedral in Omaha.
In 1907 Father Dolan accepted the pastorate of St. Patrick's church of Chadron, and during his brief residence here he has become greatly beloved by the people of his congregation, always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need of his services, either as pastor or friend, and his labors are thoroughly appreciated by the entire community.
Mr. Childers was born near the town of Mystic, Iowa, in 1858, and raised on a farm there. His father, James, who was of French descent, followed farming during all his lifetime. He raised a family of three children, our subject being the youngest, and he lived at home until he was twenty years of age, then started for himself, coming to Tilden, Nebraska, where he engaged in the mercantile business and carried it on up to 1885. He moved to Cody from Tilden, opened a restaurant and built up a good trade, and at the same time bought and shipped cattle for market. While living in Cody he made a trip to Texas, looking for a new location, but after looking the ground over thoroughly was unable to find anything that suited him, so decided to come back to Nebraska. He spent about one and a half years in the south altogether, then returned to Nebraska, and spent the following years in Cody, Cherry county, until 1901, at which time he moved to Merriman and started in the saloon business, which he carried on up to the time of his death, when his son Clyde took charge of the establishment. During his residence in western Nebraska Mr. Childers succeeded in accumulating a comfortable property. He was classed among the old settlers of these parts, coming her during the very early settlement of the region, having practically nothing to start with, went through ox team and every other pioneer experience, and stayed to see the section grow to be one of the good farming countries of the west. He was enthusiastic regarding the possibilities here and felt satisfied that a man could do as well here as any place on earth, provided he was willing to work in earnest.
Mr. Childers was married at Meadow Grove in 1883 to Miss Martha Ames, who is a native of Iowa and reared in that state. They had two children, Clyde, mentioned above, and Cleve. The former is also married, his wife's maiden name having been Miss Myrtle Stuart. She is a daughter of Ed Stuart, who is well known here as one of the earliest settlers in Cody, coming here in 1882. Clyde has one child.
Both Mr. Childers and Clyde have always been strong Democrats, but while the former never took an active part in politics, he was well read man, keeping thoroughly abreast of the times, and was well posted on all matters of public interest.
FRANK B. LANCE.
Frank B. Lance, one of the pioneers of Perkins county, is a man of wide experience in agricultural pursuits and has a thorough knowledge of his calling. In his early youth he chose farming as a career and during later years through systematic labors and good judgment has acquired a valuable property and a home amid comforts, and, it may be added, many of the luxuries of modern life.
Mr. Lance was born in McDonough county, Illinois, July 20, 1869, on a farm, and raised there until he was sixteen years of age. At that time he came to Nebraska and spent several years in the eastern part of the state, locating in Perkins county in 1890, arriving here in the fall of the year.
His mother and stepfather had settled here in 1885, our subject having made his own way from the time he was boy of seventeen. He filed on a homestead, having nothing in the way of worldly goods excepting fifteen dollars in money and a wife. His stepfather helped him get started by taking second mortgage on his homestead, and he started in earnest to build up a home, putting up a sod shanty and beginning as all the pioneers of those times were obliged to do, with scarcely the necessary household furnishings. He met with considerable success in his farming, ventures, never having his place in good shape, remaining on it up to 1901. In that year he was elected county clerk, and served in that capacity for six years, then went back to farming, purchasing his present farm, which is situated one and a half miles southwest of Grant. Here he owns twelve hundred and eight acres. He has two hundred and twenty-five acres under cultivation and the balance in pasture and hay meadow.. The ranch is equipped with a complete set of substantial buildings, including a comfortable residence, plenty of bars, sheds, etc., and is engaged in stock raising on a large scale. He has one of the best kept and most prosperous appearing farms in the locality and enjoys a comfortable income through good management and strict attention to his work. Besides his farming interests Mr. Lance has devoted a good deal of his time to school teaching, and dur-