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Mr and Mrs J T Thoelecke



quarters at Scottsbluff since July, 1918, has identified himself with local interests and has made many personal friends.
   James R. Murphy was born at Elkhart, Illinois, in 1878, the ninth in a family of ten children born to Patrick and Ann E. (Barron) Murphy. Both parents were born in Ireland but passed the greater part of their lives in the United States, to which the father of Mr. Murphy came at the age of seventeen years, and the mother when a babe of six months. They were married at Freeport, Illinois. The father died in 1909, at the age of eighty-seven years, and the mother in 1911, at the age of eighty-three. They were members of the Roman Catholic church. In earlier years Patrick Murphy was a superintendent of construction work for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, but spent his final years as a farmer in Illinois.
   James R. Murphy was educated in the public schools, including the high school at Williamsville, after which he worked for the Callahan-Kratz Construction Company of Omaha, on the Illinois Drainage & Mississippi canal. Then he spent a year in the state normal school at Normal, Illinois, following which he continued his studies for three years in the University of Illinois. Thus well equipped for both professional and business life, he chose the latter and soon became identified with the Commonwealth Edison Company, Chicago, six months later, in 1907, transferring to the Western Electric Company of the same city, where he continued until 1909, when he was called to take charge of the Hoisington Light & Ice Company, of Hoisington, Barton county, Kansas, where he remained until 1917. In the meanwhile, in 1912 he had taken charge of the Great Bend Water & Electric Company, of Great Bend, Kansas, and served as vice president and general manager of both plants. Mr. Murphy then went to Wellington, Kansas, as city engineer and superintendent of public utilities, and from there came to Scottsbluff in July, 1918. The Intermountain Railway Light & Power Company distributes power to Gering, Minatare, Melbeta, Bayard and Scottsbluff, furnishing heat to Scottsbluff and ice throughout the entire valley, Mr. Murphy being the alert, capable general superintendent of all the plants. The importance of this work largely claims his time, but he is not indifferent as a citizen. In every way possible he has shown an interest in Scottsbluff, contributing to local movements and encouraging worthy enterprises, with the expectation of making this city his permanent home.
   In 1915 Mr. Murphy was united in marriage to Miss Elinor Lewis, who was born at Great Bend, Kansas, and they have two little daughters, namely: Margaret Ann and Genivieve. Mrs. Murphy was reared in the Methodist Episcopal faith but Mr. Murphy belongs to the Catholic church. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and of the Elks at Scottsbluff, Neb. In his political views he is a Democrat with a tendency toward independence.

   JULIUS THEO THOELECKE, who was one of the pioneer merchants of Sidney, Cheyenne county, Nebraska, is now a resident of Pocatello, Idaho. He was born in Stade province of Hanover, Germany, April 12, 1854, and when given regular courses in education, he learned the jeweler's trade by working four years as an apprentice.
   In 1872, on the 26th day of June, he landed in New York city and went at once to Iowa City, where he landed on July 3d. Here he took up his trade, working for his brother until the summer of 1874, when he went overland to Omaha, where he again took up his trade, and worked for about three months, after which he went to Plattsmouth. At this place he remained for about a year, falling ill with typhoid fever. Then he went to Saint Joseph, Missouri, and remained until October 7, 1875. From there he returned to Germany for a year's visit, after which he returned to Omaha, and resumed work at his trade. October 7, 1877, he bought a jewelry store at Tekamah, Nebraska, which he operated until April, 1879, when he sold out. In July of the same year, he located at Sidney, Nebraska, then in the wild frontier, and opened a jewelry store, which he operated continuously until December 9, 1894. He then went to Pocatello, Idaho, and engaged in the jewelry business successfully until the present time. He is now closing out with the intention to retire permanently from business activity.
   On November 15, 1878, he was married to Miss Lyda E. Ringland, at Iowa City, Iowa. She was born, reared, and educated at Iowa City, and died at Pocatello, Idaho, March 16, 1918. In her younger years she was a vigorous woman of exceptional strength and courage, and none of the frontier dangers had any terrors for her.
   In August, 1885, Mr. Thoelecke took a homestead in that part of Cheyenne county, Nebraska, that later became Banner county. He made final proof in due time and still owns the land (1919). He is well acquainted with Grant L. Shumway, the historian of this work, and unconsciously contributed to the unknown



or rather obscure history of this county and vicinity years ago.
   Upon the Thoelecke homestead was employed Francois Jourdain, from whom the historian first learned of the story of Mallet brothers and their journey through this country, and from his friend Tommy Chaunavierre (Shunover) came the connecting link between the past and the present. This story is told in full. elsewhere in this history.
   Mr. Thoelecke was an active Republican, and was a delegate to a Republican state convention held in Omaha. He never wanted office for himself, but was active for his friends and party, taking part in all the town, county, and state elections.
   At present he is an active member of the B. P. 0. E. No. 674 at Pocatello, Idaho. He has been prominent in both the Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows, being a charter member of both at Sidney, but he has since dropped out of them, retaining his fraternal allegiance only to an active interest in the Elks. This lodge has made him its representative to the Grand Lodge.
   Mr. and Mrs. Thoelecke were never blessed with any children of their own, but they have an adopted son, Stanley H. Thoelecke, who for some time has been associated in business with his foster father.
   Stanley was a twin child from a distant relative of the Thoeleckes. At the age of six months, when he was taken to care for by them, he lacked the vitality to hold up his head. Dr. Stewart, then of Sidney, said that his lungs were gone, or never had been sound. Mrs. Thoelecke, fondly called "Lyde" by her friends, then took the child in hand, and in her own vigorous way she treated it. In a year the boy was a strong, healthy child. He has charge of the acetaline (sic) welding and repairing department in the traction company at Pocatello, and is a splendid entertainer, with high ambitions, in addition. They are now talking him for mayor of his city.

    WILLIAM A. McCAIN, who through thrift and good management has, in a comparatively short time, built up a fine garage and automobile business, came to Scottsbluff in another line in 1905. He was born in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, April 22, 1882.
   The parents of Mr. McCain are William W. and Orpha A. (Granger) McCain, who reside at Stevensville, Pennsylvania, where the father has been a merchant for thirty years. During the Civil War period he was a captain in the Home Guards. Of his three children the two survivors, William A. and Mildred, both reside at Scottsbluff. The latter is the wife of Clarence L. Morris of this city. In politics the father of Mr. McCain is a Republican, and both parents are members of the Presbyterian church.
   William A. McCain completed the public school course at Stevensville and then assisted his father in his store. In 1905 he came to Scottsbluff and was a clerk in the store of J. A. Smith for three years before engaging in business for himself. In 1908, in partnership with C. 0. Harris, and with a capital of $600, they opened a garage and continued together for five years, when James D. Shaw became Mr. McCain's partner. This firm has made great headway and now has an investment of $50,000. A general automobile business is done and the firm handles the Overland and the Willys-Knight cars. Through wise investments the firm has accumulated valuable city property and two farms.
   In June, 1910, Mr. McCain was united in marriage to Miss Leda A. Ross, who was born in Iowa, a daughter of William Ross, who is a produce merchant at Maitland, Missouri. They have three sons, namely: William Ross, Jack L. and James A., their ages ranging from eight to three years. Mrs. McCain is a member of the Presbyterian church. Mr. McCain is a solid Republican, not a seeker for any office, but a man of sincere political convictions who conscientiously maintains them.

    ARTHUR L. SELZER, city engineer of Scottsbluff, worthily represents that admirable class of American modern young men, who leave the schoolroom with fixed ideas of usefulness and seldom fail in reaching satisfactory results. In a disordered world this fact has saving grace. Mr. Selzer was born at Carroll, Iowa, April 9, 1887.
   The parents of Mr. Selzer are Michael and Munzen (Maier) Selzer, the former of whom was born in Baden, Germany, October 26, 1858, and the latter at Des Moines, Iowa. The Selzer family was founded in the United States by the grandparents of City Engineer Selzer, George and Mary (Marz) Selzer, who came here from Germany in the spring of 1868 and spent the rest of their lives on their homestead in the state of Iowa. The father of Mr. Selzer came to Nebraska City, Nebraska, in 1884, the year of his marriage, and resided there until 1913, when he came to Scottsbluff, where he is a substantial business man.
   Arthur L. Selzer had the best of educational advantages afforded him, and in 1911 was graduated as a civil engineer from the Nebraska State University. He immediately



went to work for the Tri-State Irrigation Ditch Commission, resuming his activities with the Tri-State after his return and continuing until he entered upon the duties of city engineer, to which he was elected in 1914, and has remained in office ever since because of marked efficiency. He devotes his whole time to the duties of his office.
   In 1912 Mr. Selzer was united in marriage to Miss Willa J. Wallace, who is a daughter of Wilbur Wallace, who is in the banking business at Henry, Nebraska, and they have one child, Bettie, an engaging little daughter of three years. Mr. and Mrs. Selzer are members of the Presbyterian church. He is a Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner.

    MICHAEL SELZER, who is a leading business man of Scottsbluff, is identified with the Scottsbluff Creamery Company, of which he is a stockholder and treasurer and also general manager. Mr. Selzer was born in Baden, Germany, October 26, 1858. His parents were George and Mary (Marz) Selzer, who came to the United States in April, 1868, and spent the rest of their lives on their homestead in Iowa. They had the following children: George, in the automobile business at Carroll, Iowa; Marie, a widow, lives at Denver; Michael, a valued resident of Scottsbluff; Kate, who lives on the old homestead in Iowa; Jack, who farms the old homestead; Barbara, who lives with her sister and brother on the homestead, and John, in the ice cream business at Carroll, Iowa. The parents were members of the Lutheran church.
   Michael Selzer remained on the old homestead until he was twenty-three years old, then worked for a time in a bottling factory before engaging in the business for himself in 1882 at Carroll. In 1884 he came to Nebraska and bought out a bottling plant at Nebraska City, where he carried on the business until 1913, when he came to Scottsbluff and became identified with an important concern here as above mentioned. Through thrift and business alertness he has accumulated much valuable property which is represented in farming lands in both Morrill and Scottsbluff counties. The Scottsbluff Creamery Company has an authorized capital of $50,000. The manufacture of butter and ice cream is carried on and bottling of soft beverages is also a feature.
   At Des Moines, Iowa, in 1884, Mr. Selzer was united in marriage to Miss Munzen Maier, who born in that city, and they have three children: Arthur L., city engineer of Scottsbluff; Caroline, the wife of D. C. Leach, who is cashier of a bank at Beard, Nebraska, and Milton R., now at home after almost two years of service in the aviation corps of the United States, which he entered in June, 1917. Mr. Selzer and his family attend the Christian church. He belongs to the Elks at Nebraska City and to other organizations. In politics he chooses to be independent and while at Nebraska City accepted no political offce (sic) except on the school board.

    ASA F. MIDDAUGH, who has been identified with the business interests of Scottsbluff since 1913, exemplifies the progressive spirit that so signally marks the young American business man. Honest, active, enterprising, well educated and of courteous demeanor, the country's commercial interests seem to be safe in such hands. Mr. Middaugh is president and general manager of the Scottsbluff Motor Company.
   Mr. Middaugh was born at Denver, Colorado, August 26, 1890, one of five children born to Asa F. and Amelia (Siever) Middaugh, who were married at Cimarron, Colfax county, New Mexico. The father of Mr. Middaugh was born at Erie, Pennsylvania, a son of William Middaugh, who was also born in Pennsylvania. In 1860 he came to Colorado and was elected the first sheriff of Denver county. The father of Mr. Middaugh accompanied his father to Colorado but after his marriage and the birth of his children, established himself in the mercantile business at Del Norte, where he was a merchant and banker until he retired, when he returned to Denver, which remains the family home. The mother of Mr. Middaugh was born at St. Louis, Missouri. Of their three surviving children, A. F. is the youngest, the others being: Nettie, the wife of A. M. Johnson, of Chicago, and Florence, who resides with her parents.
   A. F. Middaugh was graduated from the Denver high school in 1909, after which he spent two years in the Colorado State Univercity (sic). He had two years of business experience with his father at Del Norte, following which he came to Scottsbluff and in October, 1913, in partnership with Ray Smith, opened a garage and handled the Ford automobiles. In 1916 he sold his Ford interest and organized the Scottsbluff Motor Company, which is capitalized at $15,000. The business is in a highly prosperous condition, the company handling the Dodge and Cadillac cars.
   On October 30, 1916, Mr. Middaugh was united in marriage to Miss Mable Maxon, who is a daughter of E. E. Maxon. Mrs. Middaugh is a member of the Presbyterian church.



Mr. Middaugh belongs to the Elks and retains his membership in his old college fraternity, Phi Delta Theta.

    ALEXANDER MESTON, who owns and operates one of the best equipped and most modern laundry plants in the Platte valley, has been established at Scottsbluff since 1912, but has had many years of experience in this business at other points. Mr. Meston was born in April, 1870, in Black Hawk county, Iowa.
   The parents of Mr. Meston were Alexander and Agnes (Hutchinson) Meston, both of whom were born in Scotland. They came to the United States in 1867 and before coming to Nebraska lived in Iowa and in Wisconsin, where the father worked as a blacksmith. For five years after coming to this state he was in the lumber business at Harvard, in Clay county, and then moved to Spring Ranch, where he was engaged in milling until his death, in 1890. Of his children, Alexander was the third in order of birth, the others being as follows: Sarah Ann, the wife of Dr. F. W. Dean, of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Agnes, a teacher in the public schools of Hastings, Nebraska; John James, in the hardware business at Bradford, Illinois, and Helen, who resides with her mother at Hastings. Miss Meston is a highly educated lady and for six years was dean of the Women's department at Doane College. The family attends the Congregational church.
   Alexander Meston attended school at Spring Ranch and spent two years in Doane College, after which he assisted his father in the milling business. In 1890 he first embarked in the laundry business and continued in that line at Hastings until 1900, removing then to North Platte, where he owned a laundry which he conducted until October, 1912, when he came to Scottsbluff. Up to that time laundry facilities here were indifferent, but Mr. Meston bought a plant that he could remodel and started into business. By 1916 he found it necessary to enlarge his quarters and erected a suitable building of brick construction in which he has continued ever since. He has introduced modern machinery and laundry equipments of the best class and his trade has continued to expand until now he ships laundry all through the valley. While his success has been marked it was brought about entirely through his own efforts. He is a large employer of labor, keeping thirty regular laundry workers throughout the year.
   In 1901 Mr. Meston was united in marriage to Miss Maude Mable Martin, who was born in Adams county, Nebraska. Her father, S. Lewis Martin, an old pioneer of Adams county, was one of the first sheriffs and afterward was chief of police at Hastings. He arrested the famous Olive robber gang that operated in Custer county. Mr. and Mrs. Meston have three children, namely: Alexander, Margaret and Dorothy, their ages ranging from three to eight years. Following in the political footsteps of his father, Mr. Meston is a Republican. He belongs to no fraternal organization except the Elks.

    NATHANIEL M. SNYDER, electrical engineer, is a member of the firm of C. D. Snyder & Son, in the battery business at Scottsbluff. He was born at Weeping Water, Nebraska, April 4, 1880, and is a son of Cecil D. and Florence M. (Hizart) Snyder.
   The father of Mr. Snyder was born in the village of Tripps Corners, near Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in 1855. In 1872 he came to Weeping Water, Nebraska, and went into the milling business, removing to Alliance in 1896 and from there came to Scottsbluff in 1897. At one time he had an extensive milling business and his special brand of flour took the first prize at the state fair in Lincoln. For about fourteen years Mr. Snyder was a miller at Scottsbluff, using alfalfa for fuel during the time that Kimball was the nearest railroad shipping point. He then went into the feed business, and subsequently, with his son, embarked in the battery business under the style of C. D. Snyder & Son. They have operated a Willard Storage Battery station for a number of years.
   Nathaniel Marion Snyder was graduated from the Alliance high school in 1898, then entered the state university and was graduated from the electrical mechanical course in 1901. He began the battery business with the Studebaker firm at South Bend, Indiana, where he remained eight years and had entire charge of the electrical automobile, department. He is identified with several professional bodies, including the Institute of Electric Engineers of London, the Institute of Radio Engineers and others.
   In 1907 Mr. Snyder was united in marriage to Miss Mable Grace Earnest, who was born in Bureau county, Illinois, a daughter of Hamilton and Emma (Charlton) Earnest. Both parents died while she was young, her father in Illinois and her mother in South Dakota. She was adopted in her infancy by an uncle and aunt, John R. and Anna Elizabeth (Charlton) Earnest, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania and the latter at Philadelphia in the same state. In his younger years Mr. Earnest was a mining operator in Missouri,

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