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Gustav Adolph Thomas, Gottfried Thomas, Carl Thomas, Christian Henry Thomas



later in the express business in Illinois, and now lives retired at Joplin, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Snyder attend the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a Knight Templar Mason and belongs to other organizations.

    VALENTINE THOMAS, a resident of Sioux county, belongs to that class of men who have not only been eye witnesses of the wonderful changes that have taken place but have contributed in large measure to the development and upbuilding of this part of Nebraska. No finer body of land can be found in this section of the country than "Dutch Flats," a name given to this fertile valley by the subject of this record, who was the first settler to locate here.
   Valentine Thomas was born in Rhine Province, Germany, June 5, 1856. He was reared and educated in his native land and was married there in 1885 to Miss Elizabeth Kamann, who was born in the same locality. In 1887 they bade adieu to home and friends and sailed for America, landing in Baltimore, Maryland, in June. From there they made their way to Nebraska, where Mr. Thomas had a halfbrother living in Saunders county. A month later they came to what was then Cheyenne county and took a preëmption of one hundred and sixty acres in what is now Scottsbluff county. Their first home was a very primitive one, a dug-out, and here the family Iived until they were entitled to receive a deed to their land from the government. Mr. Thomas then took a tree claim one mile north, in what is now Sioux county, and established another home. After proving up on this he went five miles further north and took a homestead where he engaged in the sheep business for fifteen years. Here they endured all the hardships and privations incident to the settling up of a new country, but they were filled with that determination characteristic of their race, meeting and overcoming all obstacles, played their part well and as the years have gone by they have prospered and Mr. Thomas is one of the wealthy, land owners of the Panhandle. He returned to the tree claim where he has erected modern improvements and where he now makes his home being the owner of three hundred and thirty-nine acres of valuable land, due to the extensive irrigation system that has been inaugurated, of which Mr. Thomas has always been an enthusiastic advocate and to which he is a liberal contributor. Their first home, "a Soddy," still stands, though it has been moved a mile from its original location. His judgment has been good, and seeing an opportunity to increase his fortune, he invested in three and one sections of land in Arkansas and Prairie counties, Arkansas, devoted to rice culture, which is now under the management of two of his sons. As proof of the value of this investment we may mention that in the year 1919 one hundred thousand dollars of rice was raised and marketed from this plantation.
   Mr. Thomas has been public-spirited to a high degree. No movement for the good of his community ever seeks his aid in vain. He was instrumental in getting others to come to this country and all are loud in their praises of having been induced to cast their lot in a community that is excelled by no other portion of Nebraska.
   The home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas has been blessed with the birth of five children: Anna Katrina, who was born in Germany, died in childhood; Christian Henry, the first white child born in Dutch Flats, who is now operating a sheep ranch in Wyoming; Gottfried and Gustav Adolph, who are managing their father's rice plantation in Arkansas; and Carl, who is a successful farmer near the home place.
   Mr. Thomas is independent in politics and has served his district as school director and road overseer. The family are members of the Presbyterian church.
   While he has been successful and acquired a large amount of this world's goods, he has not been remiss in any duty of citizenship and wherever known has a host of friends.
   Mr. and Mrs. Thomas relate many interesting experiences of the early days. The second year they had twenty-five acres of wheat and the market price was forty cents a bushel at Alliance, sixty-five miles away. They brought a supply of money with them from Germany and it looked odd to them to see people pick up bones on the prairie and haul them to Alliance and sell them for $6 to $10 per ton. But Mr. Thomas was glad to do that when his money had been invested and he needed cash. Mrs. Thomas has pillows made from feathers picked from wild geese more than thirty years ago. They ground wheat in a coffee mill and made bread. Once when vieing (sic) with a neighbor to see who could make a pound of coffee last the longer, Mrs. Thomas made a pound last six weeks, but it was not very good coffee.

   CHARLES H. IRION. -- Among the prospering citizens of Scottsbluff are many men of high personal standing and wide business experience and one of these, whose life story is very interesting to follow, is Charles H. Irion, who for a number of years has been extensively engaged in handling choice real estate here and all over the country. Mr. Irion was born in McLean county, Illinois, May 8, 1860, the



son of John and Susan (Osborn) Irion, who still survive ad live at Miles City, Montana. The father was born in Germany and the mother in Kentucky. They were married at Jacksonville, Illinois, and eleven children were born to them, Charles H. being the eldest of the family. The others were: Edward, a stockman in Montana; William, in the horse business in Montana; John, operates a ranch in Montana; Lewis, in the stock business in the same state; Sadie, the wife of Jack Mettlin, a retired farmer at Alliance, Nebraska; Maggie, the wife of Mr. Kelley, a sheepman in Montana; Albert J., who has been a government horse buyer, has a ranch in Montana; Ray and Farber, both of whom are in the stock business in Montana, and one child deceased. The parents are members of the Christian church. In politics the father is a Republican. He is a man of education and is particularly well posted in history. In 1877 he moved from Illinois to Arkansas, where he remained but a short time, returning then to Illinois but shortly afterward he moved to Iowa and then to Missouri and Nebraska from there to Montana in 1899. He has been a farmer and stockman all his life.
   Although Charles H. Irion was an unusually intelligent boy, he had very little encouragement in the way of education after the family moved to Iowa. His first work away from home was a season spent as a harvest hand in Missouri. He then found an employer in Minnesota, who consented that he could attend school and work for his board and clothes, and it was in this way that Mr. Irion secured a teacher's certificate and taught his first school at New Richland, Minnesota, in the meantime he put in a crop, on some rented land, that turned out well financially. He was able to take some money back home with him when he joined his parents at Oregon, Missouri, to which place the family had moved in 1883. He bought an interest in his father's team, put in a crop with his father and after it matured and he had paid his debt, he yet had $180 in cash. On March 16, 1885, the entire family started westward, with three teams but all of the horses were old and worn out animals, however they managed to haul the wagons into Nebraska, and on April 15, 1885, the family camped near running water and Mr. Irion took a claim on land in Box Butte county, three of his brothers and his father also taking claims. They had nothing, however with which to carry on either farm or domestic life. Mr. Irion tells of how he started for Camp Clark in order to get flour having about $80 by that time to buy necessities with. A blizzard set, in, through which he drove all one day and had to pay $2 to cross the river on the bridge. On the home trip, when within a half mile of the cabin, the horses gave out and he turned them loose and walked the rest of the way, having been absent two days.
   For a number of years Mr. Irion broke prairie for other settlers for a living, also did freighting and has seen great herds of deer, antelope and buffalo on the then open prairies. His father made the necessary improvements on the different claims while his son was away. On his pre-emption land he had to pay $1.25 an acre, then borrowed $500 on the place and with a small capital he had, bought cattle and afterward started a little store at Lawn, Nebraska, which he conducted until 1895, in the meanwhile securing a postoffice under the name of Belle, of which he was postmaster for four years. He then sold his interests there and moved to Marsland, Nebraska, where he bought a store building for $100 and a residence for $150 and went into business. He prospered there and remained until 1902 whon (sic) he sold his property, bought three hundred head of steers and a ranch in Sioux county, later purchased more cattle and the whole investment has proved very profitable. In 1903 he came to Scottsbluff and rented the Emery hotel, which he operated advantageously for three years. In 1911 he embarked in the real estate business and today has an extensive business all over the country, making a specialty of ranch properties.
   In 1893 Mr. Irion married Miss Ada M. Lane, who was born at Hale, Iowa, a daughter of L. F. Lane. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Irion: Lettie R., the wife of J. Newton Hughes, of Scottsbluff; Archie R., born April 25, 1897; and Charles and Donald, both of whom are in school. The eldest son, Archie R. Irion, brought the dreaded yet precious "gold star" into the family, for he met a soldier's death on the soil of France. He entered the service of his country in April, 1917, left, home in June for Omaha, on June 16, went to Deming, New Mexico, where he completed his military training and by July 17 had reached France as a member of the American Expeditionary Force. He belonged to Battery B One Hundred and nineteenth artillery, in which he was a sergeant. He was wounded September 29, 1918, and his brave spirit passed away November 11, 1918. His name belongs on Nebraska's Roll of Honor.



Mr. Irion and his family are members of the Presbyterian church. He has always been a Republican and has known many of the party leaders who have maintained its principles through stormy times, but has been unwilling to accept political office, believing he could be more effective as a loyal, law-abiding private citizen.

    JAMES D. SHAW, who is a reputable business man of Scottsbluff, whose experience has been gained in several lines of effort, has made his home at Scottsbluff for a number of years and since April, 1915, has been in the automobile and garage business. He has a wide acquaintance and a host of business as well as personal friends.
   James D. Shaw was born at Baresville, Ohio, January 18, 1882, and is a son of Richard and Elizabeth Shaw. He has one sister and one brother, namely: Delilah Ann, who is the wife of A. F. Petersen, a farmer and rancher of Buffalo Gap, South Dakota; and William M., who is a farmer and feeder near Seward, Nebraska. The father of Mr. Shaw served four years in an Ohio regiment in the Civil War, during which time he was thrice captured by the enemy, made two escapes and once was exchanged. He died in Ohio in 1882. In 1889 the mother of Mr. Shaw removed with her children to Omaha, Nebraska and still lives there. She is a member of the First Christian church of that city.
   In the graded schools of Omaha, James D. Shaw received educational training. The first money he earned was by working on a farm near Omaha. Afterward he entered the employ of M. C. Peters Mill Company, for whom he traveled for seven years selling alfalfa feeds, visiting Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Idaho and Wyoming. He then located at Scottsbluff and went into the hay business, buying hay all through the Platte valley. In the meanwhile he became interested in the automobile business and embarked in the same with Mr. McCain, in April, 1915.
   The firm handles the Overland and Willys-Knight cars and the Republic trucks and does a large business.
   On June 24, 1908, Mr. Shaw was united in marriage to Miss Cynthia Ellen Raymond, who was born at Florence, Nebraska, and is a daughter of H. S. Raymond, who is a fruit grower near Omaha. Mrs. Shaw is a member of the Episcopal church at Scottsbluff, while Mr. Shaw belongs to the First Christian church at Omaha. Like his father before him, Mr. Shaw is a Republican in politics. As a citizen and as a business man he stands high in public regard.

    CLARENCE E. BOGGS, who has led an active business life ever since completing his education, is a young man of business dependability, social standing and personal uprightness. He is one of the younger circle of business men of Scottsbluff, and is president and general manager of the Scottsbluff Milling Company.
   Mr. Boggs is a native of Illinois, born at Havana, in Mason county, August 8, 1877, a son of James W. and Elizabeth C. (Caldwell) Boggs, who had three other children, namely: James W., who was in the first draft for service in the great war, was with an engineering corps in the American Expeditionary Force that went to France in October, 1917, now resides at Lincoln, Nebraska; Charlotte Rose, who resides with her father at Lincoln; and Allen M., who is now at home, was in a soldiers' training camp at Fort Worth, when the great war closed. The father was born in Ohio and the mother in Illinois, and they were married at Crete, Nebraska. Her death occurred at Lincoln in 1909. In politics the father is a Republican and for thirty-four years was deputy county treasurer of Lancaster county He came to Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1879 and for a number of years was in the insurance business. He is a member of the Unitarian church, and belongs to the Odd Fellows.
   After completing the high school course at Lincoln and being graduated in 1898, Clarence E. Boggs spent two years in the state university. Immediately afterward he went into the towel supply business at Lincoln, in which he continued for eighteen years and then engaged in the milling business. In October, 1917, Mr. Boggs came to Scottsbluff and organized the Scottsbluff Milling Company, which is an incorporated concern, capitalized at $25,000, and since then has given his main attention to the development of his business. The selling territory is all through the Platte Valley and the business is very prosperous.
   In 1902 Mr. Boggs was united in marriage to Miss Cora M. McGrew, who was born at Lincoln, and they have three children: Alice, Barbara and Robert. Mr. and Mrs. Boggs are members of the Presbyterian church. Politically he is a Republican, but in no sense is he a politician, just a good, reliable, earnest and law supporting citizen.

   GEORGE W. STOCKWELL, who has charge of the battery and electrical business



for himself at Scottsbluff, has had considerable electrical experience and is considered an expert in his line of work. Mr. Stockwell was born in Dawson county, Nebraska, November 22, 1889.
   The parents of Mr. Stockwell are Frank E. and Emily Kate (Adams) Stockwell, who now are esteemed residents of Wilder, Idaho. The father was born in Iowa and the mother in Missouri. They were married at Loup City, Nebraska, and their children are: Edna, the wife of Leo Rengler, a merchant at Overton, Nebraska; George W., resides at Scottsbluff; Ray, foreman of the H. Gilchrist ranch in Montana; James, lives at Bayard, Nebraska, where he is assistant cashier of a bank; and Herman, lives at Wilder, Idaho. Frank E. Stockwell came to Sweetwater, Nebraska, in 1876, where he followed farming for a time, then homesteaded in Dawson county and remained for twenty-three years. He has always been a foresighted business man and that took him to Grand Island, where he profitably engaged in the horse business for four years and then returned to Dawson county, but soon afterward bought a store at Paxton, in Keith county, which he operated for four years. Mr. Stockwell also conducted a store at Beard for a while, then moved to Wheatland, Wyoming, and from there to Wilder, Idaho, where he owns a productive fruit farm. He belongs to the Odd Fellows and the United Workmen.
   George W. Stockwell was educated at Overton, Nebraska, where he was graduated from the high school, then learned the telephone business and followed that for ten years, being engaged at different points. In 1916 he came to Scottsbluff to work in the battery department of the automobile business of McCain & Shaw, and now has full charge as mentioned above.
   In January, 1915, Mr. Stockwell was united in marriage to Miss Pauline Dilla, who was born in Missouri, and they have two children, Elaine and Wayne. Mrs. Stockwell is a member of the Catholic church, but Mr. Stockwell was reared in the Methodist Episcopal church by his mother. In party politics he maintains an independent attitude.

   JAMES M. CARR, who has been identified with the lumber industry at Scottsbluff for almost twenty years, is a native of Nebraska, born in 1875 at Lexington, in Dawson county, and has practically spent his entire life in the state. Mr. Carr bears a name that has long been held in high repute in business circles, his father having been active and successful in this section for many years. Mr. Carr is secretary and outside manager of the Carr & Neff Lumber Company of Scottsbluff.
   The parents of Mr. Carr are James P. and Ada M. (Martin) Carr, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania and the latter in Ohio. They were married at Lexington, Nebraska, where they now reside. They have had two children: James M. and J. C. The latter is in the stock business at Lexington. James P. Carr came to Nebraska in 1872 and homesteaded in Dawson county and still owns the old place. Later he engaged in the mercantile business, in which he continued until 1893, when he sold out and since then has devoted himself to looking after numerous business interests in which he has investments, one of these being the Carr & Neff Lumber Company of Scottsbluff, of which he is president. Since coming to Nebraska he has built up his entire fortune, natural business capacity combining with generous opportunity, and he now is one of the substantial men of this section.
   James M. Carr attended the Lexington public schools and was graduated from the high school in 1893, after which he spent one year in the Lincoln normal school. Mr. Carr entered business as a clerk in a general store and continued with his first employer for seven years. In 1900 he came to Scottsbluff and embarked in the lumber business with a partner under the style of Carr & Neff, which has since been changed to the Carr & Neff Lumber Company. In addition to acting as secretary of the company, Mr. Carr attends to the outside yards and business details.
   In 1903 Mr. Carr was united in marriage to Miss Ada Johnston, a daughter of G. S. Johnston, a farmer near Lexington, and they have one daughter, Dorothy, attending school. Mr. and Mrs. Carr belong to the Presbyterian church. He is a good citizen but is identified with no particular political party.

    CHARLES M. MATHENY, who is entitled to affix a number of letters to his name, indicating high scholarship, has practically spent his life in the school room and has high standing as an educator in Nebraska as well as in his native Ohio. For seven years he has been superintendent of the Scottsbluff schools.
   Charles M. Matheny was born at Athens, Ohio, January 6, 1874. His parents were Rev. L. G. and Hannah (Martin) Matheny, the former of whom was born in Ohio and the latter in New Jersey. The mother of Professor Matheny died in April, 1914. Her father, William Martin, was born in Ireland,

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