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Mrs. Elisabeth McClenahan



sylvania and the mother in Virginia and their marriage took place at Plum Creek, Nebraska. Of their five children the following are living: Emma, who is the wife of Charles Godby, of McCook, Nebraska; Edwin, who is a printer, lives at Scottsbluff; Florence, who is the wife of Harry Fiest, lives in Colorado; and Frank B., who is so widely and favorably known in the Panhandle. The father, a printer by trade, came to Nebraska in the seventies and settled first in Dawson county, where he worked in a mill and on a ranch before moving to Custer county where he homesteaded. He is a Democrat in politics, is a Knight of Pythias, and both he and wife belong to the Episcopal church.
   Frank B. De Conly attended the Callaway public schools and the Lexington high school, after which he went to work for the Union Pacific Railway at Callaway, where he remained fourteen months. He then spent five months at Hastings in the paint shop of Haines Brothers, and seven months for the Burlington Railroad as checker. He then went into the incubator factory of the M. M. Johnson Company, later becoming an office man there and remaining eight years. In the meanwhile, from being an enthusiastic baseball player for recreation, he became an expert in the national game, and for seven years played professional baseball as third baseman in the State League and the Tri-State League. In this connection he is remembered admiringly all over the country. In 1912 Mr. De Conly came to Scottsbluff and embarked in the real estate business and in the fall of that year went into the stock business. He now has three large farms, his main activities being feeding cattle and sheep, his record showing that in one year alone he fed 10,400 head of sheep, and each year ranges from 3,000 to 10,000, and from 500 to 1,000 cattle. He has demonstrated great business capacity, has invested wisely and at present is identified with a number of prospering business concerns. In addition to being vice president of the Scottsbluff Livestock Company, he is vice president of the Fisher Grocery Company, and owns one-third of the company stock and one-fourth of the livestock, in the former organization. He owns three hundred and forty acres of fine land.
   In 1910 Mr. De Conly was united in marriage to Miss Neva Wyman Palmer, who was born in Seward county, Nebraska, and is a daughter of David B. Palmer, a heavy stockman and leading citizen of Seward county. Mr. and Mrs. De Conly have one son who has about reached the engaging age of two years and bears his maternal grandfather's honored name. Mr. De Conly is a vestryman in the Episcopal church at Scottsbluff. He is an independent in his political opinions but is a very active and influential citizen in all matters pertaining to the progress of Scottsbluff. During the two years of his service as a member of the city council, he was president of that body the entire time. He is a Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner. He has never lost interest in manly sports and is a member of the Athletic Club at Omaha.

    ELIJAH McCLENAHAN, pioneer in irrigation, farmer and financier, who is now numbered among the substantial business men of Scottsbluff, has been the architect of his own fortune, and having based his life's structure on firm, substantial foundations, has builded (sic) soundly and well. When he entered upon his career he was possessed of little save inherent ability, great ambition and the determination to succeed, and these have been sufficient, through their development, to enable him to become a large landholder, progressive farmer, and man of finance in a well-to-do community that does not lack for able and successful men of enterprise and progress.
   Elijah McClenahan was born in Keokuk county, Iowa, October 26, 1866, the son of Elijah and Elizabeth (Wilson) McClenahan, the former a native of the famous state of Kentucky, who settled in Illinois at a very early date at the time when the government was having difficulties with the Indians over their refusal to give up the lands they had ceded to the United States under a promise of removing west of the Mississippi river. Mr. McClenahan (senior) was one of the men who helped build a log fort in Stark county when Black Hawk and his band went on the warpath with the idea of driving the whites out of their territory, and forts were necessary in various localities where the whites could gather for protection against their Indian foes, who crept stealthily upon the outlying settlements and murdered the unsuspecting women and children when the men were away or out in the fields. After remaining in Illinois for some years, Mr. McClenahan removed still farther toward the frontier and settled in Keokuk county, Iowa, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, passing away there in his seventy-fifth year. Elizabeth Wilson McClenahan was born in Ohio, where she spent her early childhood, receiving an excellent practical education in the public schools of that state; when a young girl her parents removed to Iowa and



she accompanied them to the new home in the west. In 1887, accompanied by her children, she became a pioneer settler of the Panhandle, settling on a homestead where the city of Scottsbluff now stands. She was a hale, hearty woman, enured to the hardships and privations through which she passed during the hard and trying years of frontier life, but was thrifty, willing to work, and of many good deeds, that stood in number as the years of her life counted by days. She was a devoted mother and it was for the advantages that her children might have that she located in this section at a time when habitations were few, civilization in its dawn on the high prairies, and privations many, but she lived to see that her faith in this section was justified, as she was over eighty years of age before summoned to her last long rest. She was a member of the Christian church. Elijah was the second child in the family and one of the seven who accompanied his mother to western Nebraska. Andy J., who lives in Utah, was the oldest but Elijah and Mrs. John Emery are the only members of the family in Scottsbluff.
   Elijah McClenahan spent his youthful years in Iowa, where he received the educational advantages afforded by the excellent school system of that state. He helped his parents on the farm, thus at an early age becoming well acquainted with the practical side of farm industry as he early assumed what duties he was capable of carrying on a pair of young shoulders and what his growing strength permitted, for there is always plenty for a boy to do on a farm, from herding cattle to feeding stock and driving team and plow. When his mother came west Elijah was a young man just past his twenty-first birthday and he determined to establish himself independently and took up a homestead two miles west of the present site of Scottsbluff. He proved up on the land, broke the sod of the prairie for his early crops, and when his capital allowed, made good and permanent improvements on the place in the way of a house and farm buildings. He engaged in diversified farming and stock-raising and during slack periods of farm work or when he could get some other member of the family to care for his stock, rode the range as a cowboy, as that was the period when the great cattle companies had vast herds on the plains and required great cattle camps for their many men who guarded and directed the manner in which the cattle ranged in feeding. It was in this way that he materially aided his financial resources and at the same time gained an invaluable knowledge of the cattle business which was of great use to him in his own business enterprises when the cattle barons and their monopolies were a thing of the past in the Panhandle and where once was range is now a smiling countryside where the green crops wave in the breeze with many a flourishing village and town which are fine indications of the prosperity of this section once known and called the "Great American Desert." Mr. McClenahan from his first coming to this section had great faith in its agricultural possibilities; he was determined that not only himself but others should have the most that their lands could produce. He was a man who kept abreast of the times, the improvements in farm methods and any project that would give a great yield from the soil, so that it is not surprising that he was one of the first to believe in and advocate irrigation for the Platte valley. The soil was fertile, the sunshine unfailing in the high prairie country, all that was needed to make this a garden spot was assured water, and there was plenty of it in the river. The problem lay in getting a sufficient quantity onto the land. He was one of the projectors and the first superintendent of the Winter Creek irrigation ditch, the pioneer project in this section. He helped not only materially but financially in the building of the ditch, being the man who removed the first shovel of earth on the construction work, it might be said he laid the foundation stone for it. For fourteen years he devoted a large part of his time and much of his energy to the great and paramount question of the Platte valley, will irrigation pay? He kept a careful record of the amount of water used in the Winter Creek district, the number of acres it watered and the greater yield per acre under ditch, and it was from his careful and painstaking work, a report of which was filed with the government that the Reclamation Service decided to place Scottsbluff county under government reclamation, which has been the making of the small land-holder along the Platte. Later, Mr. McClenahan was instrumental in the work of building the Mitchell ditch and the Enterprise project, which have so materially changed conditions of farming and settlement in this vicinity, and have developed a semi-arid region into one of the last beautiful and productive regions of the great commonwealth of Nebraska. In truth, "the desert now blossoms like the rose." Inherited from his Blue Grass father, Mr. McClenahan has had a fine taste for horses all his life and when his capital permitted he invested in some fine blooded stock, raising polo ponies for the eastern market and high grade riding horses. He also owned one of the fastest quarter milers of western Nebraska, "Ten-



pins," who won many a race and was a source of pride to his owner. However, this was but a side-line of the extensive business in which Mr. McClenahan engaged, for, after the railroads were built through Scottsbluff county, he began to be one of the heavy and extensive cattle feeders of this section. Buying in the west he shipped here, fattened his stock and then shipped to the big packing centers of eastern Nebraska and Kansas, a business which proved most successful, due to his early experiences in range cattle and his keen ability as a buyer. Up to the time of Mrs. McClenahan's death. Elijah lived with her, managing her landed interests. He is now a partner with Charles Beatty in a four hundred acre ranch southeast of Minatare, which they are devoting to diversified farming. Both men are progressive in their ideas, have introduced modern methods and use modern machinery and are reaping the reward which justly comes to men who devote time, brains and effort to the business in hand. Mr. Clenahan owns ten acres of land in the southeastern part of Scottsbluff which he is arranging for an extensive cattle feeding yard, a project which has long been needed in this section, of which Scottsbluff is the center. In politics Mr. McClenahan is a member of the Republican party, and though he takes no active interest in the politics of the state, is intensely interested in the men who run for local office, believing that only good, conscientious men should fill public positions. On December 26, 1912, Mr. McClenahan married Miss Nellie Boone, a Hoosier by birth, being reared and educated in her native state of Indiana. She was the daughter of John and Martha (Southerlin) Boone, both of whom were born and reared on the Wabash river. Mr. and Mrs. McClenahan have five children: Pearl A., Merle E., Joseph A., and twins, Nellie and Ellen, who have a bright future, as their parents are determined that they all shall have every social and educational advantage afforded by the schools of the town and state for the equipment of life's battle, which is strenuous at best. Mr. and Mrs. McClenahan are estimable people, who believe, advocate and support every movement for the betterment of civic and communal life, and are held in high esteem by their neighbors, fellow-townsmen, and a large circle of friends.

    WILLIAM P. HODNETT, M. D., who has been engaged in medical practice at Scottsbluff for some years, is highly esteemed professionally and is equally valued personally. Dr. Hodnett was born at Danville, Virginia, September 2, 1883. His parents, William P. and Belle (Price) Hodnett, are natives of Virginia and still live in the old home at Danville. The father of Dr. Hodnett is a man of ample fortune, now practically retired. When the Civil War closed he, like many other residents of the South, found it necessary to entirely rebuild his fortunes and was entirely successful. He owns valuable business property at Danville. He is of high personal standing there, has served in the city council for many years, is a sturdy supporter of the Democratic party and is a constistory Mason and a Knight of Pythias. Both parents of Dr. Hodnett are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is the only one of their seven children to establish a home in Nebraska.
   Dr. Hodnett was liberally educated. After attending private schools he spent one year in Randolph-Macon college, Ashland, Virginia; two years, in the Virginia State University, and in 1912 was graduated from the medical department of the University of Colorado. After graduation he practiced for one year in St. Luke's and Mercy hospitals, Denver, then in the city of Denver and the mining camps near Telluride, in San Miguel county, Colorado. In the fall of 1916 Dr. Hodnett came to Scottsbluff, finding a ready welcome for a man of his professional ability, and continued alone until March, 1918, when he formed a partnership with Dr. F. W. Plehn, the firm being recognized as one of the ablest in the city.
   In 1912 Dr. Hodnett was united in marriage to Miss Eleanor Finley, of Denver, Colorado, and they have two children; William Finley and Virginia Belle. Dr. Hodnett and wife are members of the Presbyterian church and take active part in social affairs. In politics he is a sound Democrat and for many years he has been identified with the Masonic fraternity. Dr. Hodnett belongs also to representative medical organizations and occasionally contributes to their literature.

   D. J. POLLOCK, who is well-known through the Platte Valley as a cattleman and judge of stock, has been a resident of Scottsbluff for some years and is interested in dealing in stock and also real estate. Mr. Pollock was born in Union county, Iowa, December 29, 1860, and is a son of James P. and Eliza (McVay) Pollock.
   Mr. Pollock's father was born in Knox county, Ohio, a son of Samuel Pollock, a native of Scotland, and the mother in Greene county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Vincent



McVay, who was also born in Scotland and came in early manhood to the United States. Both parents died in Iowa, the father when aged eighty-seven and the mother sixty-eight years. They had children as follows: W. V., who resides at Gering, Nebraska, is a retired farmer; D. J., who resides at Scottsbluff; J. L., a resident and officeholder at Des Moines, Iowa; R. M., of Larned, Kansas, is a traveling salesman; and one deceased. The father was a farmer all his life. Both parents were members of the Scotch Presbyterian church.
   After his school period ended, Mr. Pollock began to assist his father on the farm and has been identified more or less with farm activities all his life. In 1916 he came to Scottsbluff county and settled on land near Scottsbluff that he had previously bought, and has made raising thoroughbred stock the main feature of his business since coming to the upper valley. He raises Duroc hogs extensively and has paid as high as $400 for a thoroughbred boar.
   On October 21, 1891, Mr. Pollock married Miss Lillie B. Stalcup, who was born in Iowa and died in that state February 26, 1913, the mother of four children: Etha, connected with a business house at Scottsbluff; Zaida, at home; Dorothy, a student in Doane college, Crete Nebraska; and Howe, a mechanic for the Page Motor Company. The family belongs to the Presbyterian church. In politics Mr. Pollock is a Democrat, and while living in Iowa, was the first of his political party to be elected to the office of assessor of his district. Mr. Pollock is held in high esteem as a man of sterling character.

    MATHEW J. HIGGINS, general merchant at Scottsbluff, and an active, interested, public spirited citizen, is a business man of long experience. He came to this city in 1913 and founded the Golden Rule store, through honorable methods and business integrity making the name significant. He was born at Camden New Jersey, November 4, 1879.
   The parents of Mr. Higgins were M. J. and Esther (Rodgers) Higgins, the latter of whom was born and married in the city of Philadelphia, and now resides in Iowa. The father of Mr. Higgins was born in Wilmington, Delaware, and from that state enlisted for service in the Civil War, entering company C, Fifty-first Delaware infantry, in which he served during the closing months of the war, during that time contracting disease which finally caused his death. After his marriage he engaged in the hotel business at Philadelphia, in 1876 removing to Iowa, where he was a merchant. He was a Republican in politics and was a member of the Presbyterian church. Of his seven children M. J. was the third in order of birth, the others being: Frank, in the grocery business at Malvern, Iowa; William, in the employ of the Standard Oil Company, at Malvern; John, a commercial traveler for a San Francisco business house; Edward C., manager of the Penny store, at Blackwell, Oklahoma; and Charles, in the grocery business at Malvern. The mother of the above family is a member of the Episcopal church.
   Mr. Higgins attended the public schools in his native state and later the Chicago University. He began business life as clerk in a store and had fine training as an employe of the great house of Marshall Field & Co., first in the Chicago establishment and later as one of the firm's highly regarded traveling salesmen. He then embarked in business for himself at Las Animas, Bent county, Colorado, where he confined himself to handling dry goods and shoes, and remained in business there for seven years. In 1913 he came to Scottsbluff, invested in property and started the Golden Rule store which has proved an exceedingly successful enterprise, his amount of business having doubled each year. He has been obliged to enlarge his quarters to accomodate (sic) his large stock of dry goods, shoes and clothing. As a merchant here he stands in the first rank.
   In September, 1904, Mr. Higgins was united in marriage to Miss Eva K. Knox, who was born at Grand Island, Nebraska, and is a member of the Christian church. They have an interesting family of four children, namely: Frank, Harold, Chester and Paul. Mr. Higgins is interested in all that concerns Scottsbluff, its schools, its business, its social advantages, and as a member of the city council, in which he is serving his second term, he carefully considers such matters and lends his influence accordingly. In the political field, Republican principles and candidates have always been his choice. He has long been identified with the Odd Fellows.

    FRANK R. BECKER, who is well-known in business circles at Scottsbluff, is part owner and general manager of Diers Bros. & Company store, with which important commercial house he has been identified for a period approaching twenty-one years. He was, born in Dearborn county, Indiana, in 1878.
   The parents of Mr. Becker, J. P. and Mary T. (McCracken) Becker are deceased. The

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