NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center, On-Line Library




the, above family is a member of the Catholic church, but the father was reared a Lutheran. They are widely known and universally esteemed.

   WALTER E. JENNINGS was an infant pioneer of this great commonwealth who remembers that his first home here was a sod house half in and half out, but a rather good warm home at that and while the family prosperity was so great that he has no distinct recollections of that warm sod house, he believes it must have had an excellent influence upon his infant character for it must have played its part in making him the upstanding, fearless, progressive citizen of today. Before his eyes have passed the kaleidoscopic panorama of change that has worked silently but unceasingly since territorial days to change the silent rolling prairies, the "Great American Desert," as it was known for so many years, into a great agricultural state, one of the richest in the Union, now covered with thriving farms, populous towns and cities knit together with threads of steel. He has watched from year to year and even today as his eyes travel across the wide fields of Scottsbluff, asks himself, "Is it real?" For today he is a prosperous, well-to-do farmer on land that even the Indians held of little value save for the wild game they killed upon it.
   Walter Jennings was born in Iowa in 1873, the son of William A. and Mary E. (Whipple) Jennings, the former born in Illinois in 1848, while the mother was of fine old New England ancestry, born in Connecticut in 1841 and died in 1916. The father was a farmer in Ohio who emigrated to Nebraska soon after the admission of this state to the Union. He located in Valley county in 1873, took up a homestead on which he proved up and made some improvements, then disposed of it to profit. He seems to have been a pioneer by nature and when settlements began to be marked, moved on to more virgin country. After leaving Valley county the family made a home in Boone county on land purchased by the father, but the lure of the west was in his blood and before long they went to Midland, Montana, but later returned to Scottsbluff county, where at last the goal of his desire was reached for he still resides on his farm in the vicinity of Mitchell, a hale, hearty old man of seventy-three years, who can recount many thrilling and interesting experiences of the early days in this state. He is a Republican in politics, The family were members of the Episcopal church. Eight children constituted the younger members of the family: Gustavus, a farmer near Mitchell; James W., on a farm in Montana; Walter; Mary E., the wife of Oscar Collins, a farmer of Valley county; John Elbert, a farmer in Boone county; Edward M. is located on a farm near Bayard, Nebraska; Frederick, also on a farm near Bayard; and Charles, who has a farm not far from his two brothers there.
   Though he has not advanced far beyond the psalmist's span of three score years and ten and still possesses to the full amount his physical and mental vigor, Mr. Jennings has the distinction of having lived in Nebraska nearly a half century, and it is gratifying to him to know that he has been able to play a part in the civic and industrial progress that have taken place since his parents first brought him here as an infant in arms. He spent his boyhood days on his father's farm in Valley county, acquiring his early education in the public schools afforded in the new country at that period. He made the various changes with the other members of the family in Nebraska, working during his youth for his father and later independently for himself, His taste was for rural life, and in 1906 he came to Scottsbluff to establish a permanent home. He took up a homestead of eighty acres on which he proved up and at once engaged in general farming and stock-raising. Mr. Jennings has a high grade of stock on his farm and specializes in Duroc Jersey hogs. He has a beautiful home, well built and kept farm buildings, and no better cultivated land is to be found in the Mitchell district. Times have changed, but so has the subject of this sketch. He is up-to-date in methods, buys the latest farm machinery, and thus today enjoys the well-earned fruits of a well-spent, profitable life, standing high in local circles for his honesty and kind-heartedness. He now owns 240 acres. He is a Republican in politics, while with the family he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
   In 1896 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Jennings and Miss Ethel D. Weare, the daughter of Burney and Sarah R. (Coffin) Weare, who live in Mitchell. Mrs. Jennings is a woman of high intellectual attainments. being a graduate of the high school at Ord, who for some years before her marriage taught school. She is a charming, gracious woman who has aided her husband in every way to attain his present success and comfortable fortune. The following children belong to the family: Cecil May, the wife of Henry S. Sullivan, who was a soldier during the World War, being a member of a supply company in the Eighty-ninth Division; Geneva L., the wife of Luther Stiver, who lives on a farm north of



Mitchell; and William, Walter, and Evelyn, all at home. Mr. Jennings is enjoying a well earned success though he is only a man of middle age, for in every relation of life he has measured up to the full standard of manhood and loyal citizenship.

   WILLIAM E. KENT, who is president and general manager of the Scottsbluff Potato Growers' Association, is a well-known business man in several states other than Nebraska, for he long was an important factor in the lumber industry and was financially interested in all the numerous plants operated by the Walrath & Sherwood Lumber Company in Nebraska. He has long been recognized as an able, dependable business man, whose natural sagacity has been invaluable in the large enterprises in which he has engaged. Mr. Kent however, had little assistance in building up reputation and fortune, early beginning to depend on his own efforts, and his entire career has been marked by persevering industry assisted by intelligent judgment. He was born in Portage county, Wisconsin, in 1860.
   The parents of Mr. Kent were Edward L. and Sarah L. (McGuine) Kent, the latter of whom was born in Scotland in 1833, and died in 1917. The father of Mr. Kent was born in England in 1830, and died in 1917. He came to Detroit, Michigan, and from there went to Wisconsin, where he was married in Milwaukee, in 1851. In Michigan he was a farmer and buyer of logs and in Wisconsin was in the lumber business. He served three years and three months in the Civil War as a member of the Nineteenth Wisconsin volunteer infantry, and suffered both capture and slight wounding. Of his five sons and two daughters, two sons, William E. and Frank J., and two daughters, Jennie and Cora, are living. Frank J. Kent is a wheat grower near Walla Walla, Washington. Jennie is the widow of James McIcroe, a large rancher and state trustee of prisons; and Cora is the wife of Frank Hammil and they own and live on the old family homestead. The parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. The father was active in the Republican party and prominent in the Order of Odd Fellows.
   William E. Kent had high school advantages at Almond, Wisconsin. In 1879 he began working in the northern woods of Wisconsin, and for a number of years spent much time in the great timber country. After working seven months for a logging firm, J. J. Kennedy & Co., of Spencer, Wisconsin, he used the money he earned to complete his education.
   In 1882 he came to Nebraska and homesteaded in Antelope county, but soon sold his claim and with his brother went to work with the construction gang on the Oregon Short Line Railroad, from March to September, 1882. He came then to Platte Center, Platte county, and for eleven years was manager of the Chicago Lumber Company of Omaha, retiring when the business was sold to Walrath & Sherwood. Subsequently, however, he became financially interested with this firm when they bought his plant at Monroe, and was in business at North Bend as a member of the firm of the Walworth, Sherwood & Kent Lumber Company, acquiring interests in every plant operated by the firm. He became auditor of the company and handled all the business in Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Iowa. He founded the Platte Valley Cement & Tile Company of Fremont, Nebraska, and was president of that concern until 1916, when he sold his lumber and other interests and moved to Sioux county. He owns a quarter section of irrigated land and lived in Sioux county on his farm until the spring of 1919, when he came to Scottsbluff to assume the duties of president and general manager of the Scottsbluff Potato Growers' Association. He has greatly improved the business outlook of this organization, which is a mutual body that expects to have warehouses erected in a dozen towns throughout the valley.
   On December 16, 1886, Mr. Kent was united in marriage to Miss Anna Bucknell, of Waupaca, Wisconsin, and they have two children: Pearl, who is the wife of Fred Young, a farmer near Mitchell and they have two children, William Andrew and Andrew Kent; and John Edward, who married Hester Collins, of Dodge county, Nebraska, has one child, Helen Marie, and is with the Union Pacific Railroad. Mr. Kent is a member of the Federated church at Mitchell. He is a Republican in politics and is a Consistory Mason.

   WILLIAM E. CALHOUN, who is proprietor of the Star Moving Picture house at Scottsbluff, has been identified with this industry since 1913, and through excellent judgment and careful management, provides much ejoyable (sic) entertainment to his patrons. Mr. Calhoun was born in Adair county, Iowa, in 1881.
   The parents of Mr. Calhoun, William and Margaret (Emmons) Calhoun, were born in Pennsylvania and accompanied their parents early to Iowa. The father was a farmer in that state, near Greenfield in Adair county,



but retired from active life in 1900, when he moved to Nebraska. In politics he is a Democrat and both he and wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal church. Of their eight children, William E. is the youngest of the survivors, the others being: Jennie, widow of Samuel Miller, lives in Idaho; Myrtle, the wife of C. T. Jackman, a real estate dealer in Idaho; Hattie, the wife of James Pence, a railroad master mechanic, at Deadwood, South Dakota; Frank, in the furniture business at Cambridge, Nebraska, where the parents yet reside.
   William E. Calhoun obtained his education in the public schools, had some farm experience and then learned the carpenter trade and after coming to Scottsbluff in 1910 was engaged as a carpenter and contractor until 1913, when he became interested in his present enterprise. The Star, in size and equipment, compares favorably with like places of entertainment in other cities, and there is much evidence to show that Mr. Calhoun's efforts are appreciated.
   In 1904 Mr. Calhoun was united in marriage to Miss Maude Allen, who was born in Nebraska. He takes no very active part in politics, voting independently, but is very much interested in the further development of Scottsbluff and the welfare of its people, for here he has been able to lay the foundation of what promises (sic) to be an ample fortune.

   SANFORD STARK, a member of Scottsbluff's retired colony, and for years a prominent citizen, belongs to an old New England family of military distinction and of Scotch descent. The records of this family in Connecticut date back to 1658. Mr. Stark was born in New London county, Connecticut, December 3, 1849, the son of Henry S. and Mary E. (Rathbun) Stark, who spent their entire lives in Connecticut. The father was born in 1822 and died in 1857; the mother, born in 1826, died in 1909. They had four children, Elizabeth, Charles R. and Sanford yet surviving. Elizabeth is the widow of John F. Randall, who left Yale college to enter the Union army in the Civil War, in which he served as a commissioned officer and afterward was prominent in the insurance field at St. Louis. Charles R., has been treasurer of the Rhode Island Horse Shoe Company for many years. His son, Charles R., Jr., has just returned home from honorable service in the World War. The parents of the above family were members of the Baptist church. The father followed the sea all his life, was captain of many vessels and was widely known in seafaring circles. His parents were Sanford and Nancy (Park) Stark, of Connecticut, where they lived and died, the former serving a short time during the War of 1812, and his ancestors were members of the Colonial army under General George Washington, and thus their names occur in the history of Revolutionary days. Elisha Rathbun, the maternal grandfather of Sanford Stark of Scottsbluff married into the old Connecticut family of Parker. Both he and wife lived to advanced old age as did the paternal grandparents, Grandmother Stark being ninety-six years old at the time of her death.
   Sanford Stark was educated in an academy at Mystic, Connecticut, the Civil War breaking into his academic studies, however. On account of his father being a seafaring man, ships were familiar and interesting to him in boyhood, and during the last year of the war he succeeded in being the captain's helper on a supply vessel running to Key West and Pensacola (sic). He returned then to his studies and afterward became a clerk in a store, but the sea called him once more and he took passage on a vessel from New York to San Francisco, by way of Cape Horn, and from the western city sailed for Europe and by the time he reached New York again, thirteen months had elapsed. He, recalls that experience with pleasurable emotions but his life since then has been passed on land. Business affairs have mainly engaged his attention and prior to coming to Scottsbluff, in August, 1909, he was cashier for the Great Western Sugar factory, at Longmont, Boulder county, Colorado. When the company began the construction of its plant at Scottsbluff, Mr. Stark was transferred to this city and continued as cashier until he resigned in November, 1918, at which time he retired from business. He has continued an active citizen, however, and during the late war assisted very materially in the war loan drives and the Red Cross work. Mr. Stark is well and favorably known at Denver where, from 1879 to 1893, he conducted a wholesale boot and shoe business.
   On November 4, 1872 Mr. Stark married Miss Lucy Latham Dansom*, who was born at New London, Connecticut, a daughter of Nathaniel and Catherine (Latham) Ransom*, lifelong residents of that state. Mrs. Stark's father left a prosperous lumber business to become a soldier in the Union army during the Civil War, as a member of the Twenty-first Connecticut infantry. He suffered wounds that required hospital care. Mrs. Stark has

* Surnames appear as spelled in the book, and do not agree!



one sister, Kittie, the wife of Edwin H. Tift, a lumber merchant of Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. Stark have the following children: Catherine, the wife of A. K. Sage, proprietor of a large plumbing and steamfitting plant in Brooklyn, New York; Harry S., vice-president of the First National bank of Scottsbluff; Frederick B., a farmer near Scottsbluff; and Helen, who married J. B. Badgley, a bookkeeper with the sugar factory in this city.
   Mr. Stark and his family belong to the Baptist church. In politics he is identified with the Republican party. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

   JOHN F. RAYMOND, for many years profitably interested in agricultural pursuits and still owning valuable farm properties, came to Scottsbluff in 1901, but has been a resident of Nebraska for more than forty years. Of New England birth and ancestry, he possesses many characteristics that have made that section notable, business foresight being included.
   John F. Raymond was born at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1852, and is a son of Josiah and Fannie A. (Hurlbut) Raymond. His father was born in Connecticut in 1815, a son of Joshua Raymond, who spent his life in that state. Josiah Raymond was a man of brilliant parts, a prominent lawyer at Hartford and also a farmer near that city, and for some years served in the state legislature. He died in Connecticut in 1862. He was married there to Fannie A. Hurlbut, who was born in the same house as was Noah Webster, the lexicographer, in which house her father, Samuel Hurlbut, died. She came to Otoe county, Nebraska, with her family, in 1879, bought railroad land and died in 1889. Of the family of seven children, the survivors are as follows: Robert O., a farmer near Gurley; John F., an esteemed resident of Scottsbluff; Fannie E., who lives at Scottsbluff; Charlotte H., who also resides in this city; and Henry J., a farmer in Cheyenne county. Both parents were members of the Presbyterian church.
   John F. Raymond was educated in his native city and as a young man came to Nebraska in 1878 and bought land in Otoe county, removing in 1885 to Cheyenne county, where he pre-empted land on which he continued to live for many years. He engaged in general farming and raised a large amount of stock, becoming a well-known shipper. Mr. Raymond was active in his farm industries until he came to Scottsbluff county and retains full ownership of his land, which is some of the finest in Cheyenne county, but his investment in a tree claim on the edge of Scottsbluff he subsequently sold to the sugar company of this city for $28,000. He owns considerable realty in the city that he has under favorable rental.
   In November, 1914, Mr. Raymond was united in marriage with Mrs. Adelaide During, who was born at Milton, Illinois, a daughter of Charles and Mary (Davis) Chaplin. Mrs. Raymond's mother is deceased, but the father survives and resides at Pittsfield, Illinois. He is a veteran of the Civil War, have been wounded in the service of his country. Of his eight children, there are but three survivors, Mrs. Raymond and her two sisters: Mrs. Charles Johnson, of Pittsfield, and Miss Nellie Chaplin, who resides with her father. Mr. and Mrs. Raymond are members of the Presbyterian church. He has never had any political ambitions, but, like his father before him, has always believed in the sound principles upon which the Republican party was founded and has supported this organization.

   REV. FRANK A. WOTEN, pastor of the Christian church at Gering, Nebraska, is probably as well-known as any citizen of Scottsbluff county. He is a young man of versatile gifts, of sound philosophy and vigorous personality. While in no sense a crusader, he carries his religion into the most practical things of life, through example as well as precept, proving the saving grace that follows honorable industry and strict adherence to the principles of law and justice. He is a native of Nebraska, born in Gage county, December 5, 1883.
   The parents of Dr. Woten were William I. and Susan (Swaner) Woten, the former of whom was born in Jay county, Indiana, December 5, 1857, and the latter April 4, 1856. The mother died in January, 1917, but the father still resides on his Gage county homestead which he secured in 1881. Of his family of nine children, Frank A. was the second in order of birth, and four others survive: Claude, who lives at Fresno, California, is a National bank examiner; Goldie, who resides with her father; Sylvia, who also lives at home; and Grace, the wife of Howard Hall, a farmer near Wellfleet, in Lincoln county, Nebraska. The father has followed agricultural pursuits all his life. In politics he is affiliated with the Democratic party. The Christian church holds his membership.
   Frank A. Woten grew up on the family

Prior page
General index
Next page

   © 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by Pam Rietsch, Ted & Carole Miller