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GEORGE E. MASON
he was only nine years old when he began farm work and continued interested in that line until 1894, at the same time acquiring a working knowledge of the building trades. He came to Scottsbluff county in 1886 and assisted in building the first houses in Scottsbluff village, to which place he moved in 1900. He carried on building and contracting until 1915 when he erected his own comfortable residence and since taking possession of it has applied himself entirely to intensive gardening, his main object being to grow exceptionally fine vegetables to exhibit at state fairs. During the five years his products have appeared on exhibition he has won first premiums for four years, and won first premium for the best county display in the world at the International Soil Produce Exhibition, at Kansas City in 1918. This is a notable distinction and reflects great credit on Mr. Evans.
On July 28, 1886, Mr. Evans married Miss Minnie J. Coakes, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, and they had two children: Charles J., who is employed with a sugar company at Bayard, Nebraska, and Ada Appoline, the wife of Ernest Parmenter, of San Diego, California. The mother of these children died July 26, 1893, on her twenty-fifth birthday. On January 20, 1901, Mr. Evans married Miss Henrietta E. Hughes, who was born at Eldora, Hardin county, Iowa, and they have four children: Donald, Allen, Dorothy, and Winfield James, who took first premium when two years old at the 1916 county baby show, also at the Lincoln State Fair, when twenty-eight months old. Mrs. Evans is a member of the Presbyterian church. In politics Mr. Evans is staunch in his adherence to Republican principles. He is a Scottish Rite Mason and has passed through the chairs of the local lodge.
GEORGE E. MASON is a sterling citizen who contributes no negligible quota to the business prestige of the village of Bayard, Morrill county, where he is successfully conducting a well-equipped general wood-working shop. Further interest attaches to his career by reason of the fact that he is distinctively one of the pioneers of this favored section of the state.
Mr. Mason was born in New York city, on the 6th of February, 1852, and is a scion of the staunchest of American ancestry of German origin, his parents and his paternal grandfather having likewise been natives of the national metropolis and his paternal great-grandfather having been born in Hessen, Germany, whence he was sent by his sovereign to the American colonies. This sturdy patriot joined the Continental forces and served with utmost valor as a soldier in the war of the Revolution. Frederick E. Mason, father of the subject of this sketch, upheld the military prestige of the family name by his service in the defense of the Union when the Civil War was precipitated. He became a member of Company C, Sixty-ninth New York Volunteer Infantry, in which he rose to the rank of lieutenant. He was killed at the battle of Antietam in August, 1863. He was by trade a wood-carver and pattern-maker. His widow, whose maiden name was Hattie Weinerger, eventually contracted a second marriage, when she became the wife of Ferdinand Dippel. In 1874 they removed to Indianapolis, Indiana, where the devoted mother is still living (1919) at the venerable age of eighty-seven years. Her parents were natives of Germany and were residents of New York at the time of their death.
George E. Mason passed the period of his childhood and youth in New York city, where he was afforded good educational advantages, including those of a leading academy of music, an institution in which he developed his exceptional musical ability. In the national metropolis he served a four-years apprenticeship to the trade of pattern-maker, and thereafter he obtained from the government a position as chief musician and instructor in organizing and instructing a government band in the city of Chicago. In his official capacity he was later sent to various other localities, and in 1877 he was assigned to duty at Fort Laramie, where he remained six weeks. He returned to this frontier post in the following year and there served as chief musician, with the rank of lieutenant, until 1879, when he resigned his governmental post and engaged in the work of his trade, in New York city. There he continued his activities until 1884, when he removed to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he continued the work of his trade until the autumn of the following year, when he heard and responded to the call of the progressive west. It was thus in the fall of 1885 that Mr. Mason came to western Nebraska, where he located a homestead in what is now Scottsbluff county, his pioneer home being situated four miles east of the present village of Minatare. To the developing and improving of his claim Mr. Mason continued to give his attention until 1901, when he sold the property and removed to Bayard, Morrill county, and established himself as a carpenter and builder. He continued to be thus engaged for a period of about three years, within which he erected some of the first of the more substantial and permanent buildings of the new town. Since that time he has successfully conducted his general wood-working
shop, gaining high reputation as a skilled artisan, as well as a reliable and substantial citizen to whom is accorded pioneer honors. Mr. Mason has never abated his interest in music. He had the distinction of organizing the first band at Gering, Scottsbluff county, as well as the first at Bayard. While residing on his claim he drove a distance of fifteen miles to instruct the band at Gering, and as a skilled musician he has otherwise done much to develop general musical interests in this section of the state.
As a pioneer Mr. Mason bore his full share of responsibilities in connection with civic development and progress. He has never wavered in his allegiance to the Republican party. He served as justice of the peace in both Scottsbluff and Morrill counties, his services in this office covering a period of fully a quarter of a century, besides which he was a member of the first school board organized in what is now Scottsbluff county.
October 15, 1884, recorded the marriage of Mr. Mason to Miss Christina Ruehl, who was born and reared in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, her parents having been natives of Germany and her father having served as a gallant Soldier of the Union in the Civil War. In 1886 Mrs. Mason joined her husband on the pioneer farm in western Nebraska, and she had the distinction of being the third white woman to become a resident of this now favored section of the Platte Valley, where she bravely bore her share of pioneer trials and vicissitudes. Of the eight children of Mr. and Mrs. Mason three died in early childhood. George E. conducts a barber shop at Bayard, and is also the leader of the Bayard band and head of a well-trained orchestra in this village; Edith is the wife of Nelson Wysong, of Harrison, Arkansas; Maude Emily is the wife of Lloyd Staples, of Los Angeles, California; Lydia L. is the wife of Frederick Young, of Bayard; Hazel E. remains at the parental home.
Mr. Mason is one of the well known and highly esteemed citizens and business men of Morriss (sic) county, and in connection with his wood-working shop, which is fifty by sixty-four feet in dimensions, he conducts a blacksmith shop, so that he is prepared to handle diversified work with expedition and ability.
JOHNSON H. GRAVES, for many years identified with lumber interests in different states of the Union, has been connected with Scottsbluff enterprises more or less continuously since 1908. He is vice president and treasurer of L. W. Cox & Co., of this city. Mr. Graves is a native of Nebraska, born at Palmyra, August 7, 1873, the son of James A. and Eva T. (Quick) Graves, the former born in Illinois and the latter in Pennsylvania. James Graves came to Nebraska in 1868 and was married at Nebraska City. There were five children in the family, three of these survive: Johnson H., of Scottsbluff; May, the wife of Charles Young, of Freeport, Illinois, and Carroll, a farmer near Fort Lupton, Colorado. The parents were members of the Baptist church. The father was identified with the Populist party during its political ascendancy, and he belonged to the orders of United Workmen and Woodmen of the World. The paternal grandfather, John Graves, spent his last years in the state of Washington and died there in his ninety-fourth year.
Johnson Graves was reared on his father's homestead in Otoe county, attended the local schools and the State University for three years. He then accepted a position in the state land commisioner's (sic) office at Lincoln, which he filled four years, and in 1896-1897 was a clerk in the state legislature. For five months he was associated with the Barnett Lumber Company at McCook, Nebraska, and from that time may be dated his interest in the lumber industry, in which he has since been an important factor. In different capacities he has been connected with the lumber trade in Nebraska, Colorado, Montana and Idaho. With the intention of locating permanently, Mr. Graves came to Scottsbluff in 1908 and bought out the Pathfinder Lumber Company, afterward he had interests at other points for five years, then returned here and bought an interest in the large enterprise conducted under the name of L. W. Cox & Co., incorporated, of which he is vice president, treasurer and manager. In business circles he stands high.
On August 24, 1899, Mr. Graves married Miss Jennie Holland, who was born in Otoe county, Nebraska, and is a daughter of L. J. and Sidney E. Holland, the former was a prominent farmer in Red Willow county, from which he was elected a member of the state legislature in 1900. Mr. and Mrs. Graves have two children: Jackson, who is in school, and Elizabeth May, who has just passed her second birthday. Mr. Graves has settled convictions in regard to politics and has always been affiliated with the Democratic party.
HENRY W. NEFF, an enterprising business man of Scottsbluff, is a member of the firm doing business here under the name of the Carr-Neff Lumber Company, which has the distinction of being the oldest business firm in this city. Mr. Neff was born in Penn-
sylvania, came to Nebraska in 1890 and to Scottsbluff in 1900.
His parents were Benjamin Landis and Mary (McMurtry) Neff, the former born in the Keystone state, a descendant of fine old Pennsylvania stock, while the mother was of Scotch-Irish stock. They were married in Pennsylvania and the father died in that state. Their eldest son came to Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1880, later moving to Sidney and still later to Lexington, Nebraska, and in 1890 the other members of the family joined him there and all still reside there except Henry W. They are as follows: Maggie, the widow of J. E. Robb; Ada, the wife of J. D. Eger; John, in the lumber business, and Benjamin Landis, in the real estate business. The family belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, in which the father was an exhorter.
Henry W. Neff was graduated from the Lexington high school in 1897, then attended the university at Denver, after which he returned to Lexington and remained six months. Desiring a business career Mr. Neff took this time to look about for a promising opening, and in 1900 he associated himself with J. M. Carr at Gering, and they organized the Carr & Neff Lumber Company, which, now incorporated, is the Carr-Neff Lumber Company, capitalized at $60,000, with an investment of $200,000. They maintained a plant at Gering and at Scottsbluff until 1903, when they moved the main plant to the latter city. The business has prospered, although both partners started the enterprise on borrowed capital. They have lumber yards at Mitchell, Bridgeport and Northport, and they do a general lumber and coal business and handle paints, oils and other commodities. Mrs. Neff is treasurer of the company.
In February, 1903, Mr. Neff married Miss Libbie Johnson, of Lexington, Nebraska, who died May 13, 1910, leaving one son, Kenneth Landis, who was born January 7, 1905. Mr. Neff was married a second time in August, 1913, to Miss Anna Burnham, and they have one daughter Margaret Ann, who was born in July, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Neff are members of the Presbyterian church. In politics he is a Republican and formerly was very active in village affairs. While serving on the village board, of which he was chairman, he brought about the installation of the electric light plant and the city water works, these public utilities doing as much as anything else to bring population and capital here. He has given encouragement to many of the stable enterprises which are rapidly making this beautiful little city known far and wide.
LEE E. LEWIS, one of the progressive business men of the younger generation who are making financial history in the Panhandle, resides at Scottsbluff and is the owner of a stock ranch in this county. He attributes his business success to the opportunities he found awaiting when he decided to make Nebraska his permanent home, as he came to the state in 1897 and to Scottsbluff in 1911.
Mr. Lewis was born in Rice county, Minnesota, April 12, 1870, the son of Richard D. and Adelia (Wales) Lewis, the former born in the state of New York and the latter in Wisconsin, in which state they were married. Of their five children but two survive: Lee E. and Incy D. The father came to Wisconsin with his parents in childhood. He worked at the carpenter trade when he reached manhood. When the war between the North and South was precipitated, Richard D. Lewis enlisted in the Union army and served three years and three months as a member of the Twentieth Wisconsin volunteer infantry. After the war closed he moved to Minnesota, where he homesteaded. He was a Republican in his political views and both he and wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Lee E. Lewis had school advantages at Faribault, Minnesota, after which he was a clerk in a store for a time, then was a farmer for six years in northern Minnesota. In 1897, with sixty cents in his pocket as capital, Mr. Lewis came to Nebraska and settled in Valley county. Gradually he became independent in the stock business, not through any great good luck, but through the old reliable method of hard work and a saving sense of thrift. In 1911 Mr. Lewis came to the Panhandle, locating in Scottsbluff, and has been a vitalizing force here ever since. He became associated in the furniture business with G. L. Wilcox and also was an auctioneer until 1918. In the meanwhile he had acquired one of the finest cattle ranches in this county, which lies eighteen miles north of Scottsbluff, where he feeds and ships right off the grass. Mr. Lewis is very appreciative of what Nebraska has done for him, but his friends call attention also to his capacity for hard work and the business integrity which has backed all his ventures.
In 1900 Mr. Lewis married Miss Ida L. Sheldon, who was born in Greeley county, Nebraska, and they have two children, Irma May and Donald D., both attending school. Mr. Lewis and his family belong to the Methodist Episcopal church. While never unduly active in politics, he has firm political convictions and has always been affiliated with the Republican party. He has belonged to the order of Odd
Fellows for many years and also is a member of the Modern Woodmen.
FRANK C. MAGRUDER, civil engineer by profession, came to Scottsbluff in the spring of 1915 and took charge of the Farmer Irrigation District that, under able management, is making Nebraska one of the garden spots of the country. Mr. Magruder was born at Webb City, Missouri, January 16, 1879.
The parents of Mr. Magruder, William Edward and Mary Alice (Randall) Magruder, now reside near Appleton City, Missouri. The father was born at Kirksville, Missouri, a son of John Henry Magruder, who was born near Baltimore, Maryland. The grandfather came to Missouri at an early day and went to California in 1849. After he returned to Missouri, he was a stock buyer and conducted a meat business. William Edward Magruder is a blacksmith by trade. For a number of years he was a miner, but now is a farmer near Appleton City. In politics he is a Democrat and fraternally is a Mason. He married Mary Alice Randall, who was born at Macomb, Illinois, and of their eight children the following are living: Claude, a blacksmith at Lamar, Missouri; Harry Edward, a blacksmith and miner, at Milford, Utah; Frank Cecil, who resides at Scottsbluff; Ralph R., who lives in South Dakota; Alfred and Raymond J., both of whom are farmers near Appleton City. The parents are members of the Christian church.
Frank C. Magruder was educated at the Missouri State University, from which he was graduated as a civil engineer in 1903. He soon attracted attention in his profession and was sent to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, on government work, later was transferred to South Dakota, and in the spring of 1915 was appointed to his present responsible position and came to Scottsbluff. He has inspired confidence and the thorough manner in which he attends to the small details as well as the great ones, gives promise of still more marvelous results than those already brought about.
In 1908 Mr. Magruder was united in marriage to Miss Martha Driver, of Hill City, South Dakota, and they have two children: Lida Jane and William Henry. They are members of the Episcopal church. He is a Mason and both he and wife belong to the Eastern Star, of which he was worthy patron at Bellefourche (sic), South Dakota. He is a Republican in politics.
GUY CARLSON. -- The twentieth century is notable for the important commercial interests, established and ably managed by men young in years but old in their business visions. An able representative of this class in the upper valley is Mr. Carlson of Scottsbluff, who came to the Platte valley in 1910 and to this city in 1915, where he has since been in business, and is now senior partner in the Carlson-Scott Implement Company. Mr. Carlson is a native son of Nebraska, born in Kearney county, October 25, 1886, his parents being C. J. and Anna V. (Gustafson) Carlson, who now live comfortably retired at Axtell, Nebraska. They were born in Sweden. The father came to the United States at the age of nineteen years and took a homestead in Kearney county, Nebraska, in 1881. The mother accompanied her parents on the journey to the United States when she was a small girl of six. Besides Guy they have two other children: Elmer, who carries on the home farm near Axtell, Kearney county, and Lawrence; a farmer near Twin Falls, Idaho. The parents are members of the Presbyterian church. In politics the father and sons are all Republicans.
Guy Carlson attended the public schools of Axtell, Nebraska, after which he spent nine months taking a business course in a commercial college at Hastings. After his studies were finished he spent some years on the homestead in Kearney county as a practical farmer. In 1910 he came to the Platte valley and for four years bought grain for the Central Granaries Company, of Minatare. In 1915 he located in Scottsbluff and engaged in the implement business with a Mr. Bennett, whom he subsequently bought out, and in 1917 sold a half interest in the concern to Ambrose E. Scott, since which time the firm carries on business under the name of the Carlson-Scott Implement Company. The trade territory of the firm is largely the Platte valley, and their stock is complete, including modern threshers and farm tractors. Both partners give personal attention to the business which is one of the largest at Scottsbluff.
In 1916 Mr. Carlson married Miss May Lane, who was born in Iowa. June 9, 1919, was born a daughter, Bonney Elane. Mr. Carlson is a member of the Modern Woodmen and the Knights of Pythias, of which order he is vice chancellor. He is interested in all that concerns the welfare of the city and at present is serving in the office of fire chief, much to the satisfaction of his fellow citizens.
JAMES R. MURPHY, who occupies an exceedingly important position as general superintendent of the Intermountain Railway Light & Power Company, has made his head
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