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RANCH OF JOHN ENGSTROM
After his school days were over in Hamilton county, Albert W. Peterson worked as a farmer and also as a carpenter, early showing skill with tools and continued to live in Hamilton county until March, 1915, when he came to this city, the rapid settlement of which and expansion of industries, offered abundant opportunity for his line of work. He has done a great deal of substantial building here and gives all his time to carpentering and contracting. Formerly he owned a farm in the eastern part of Scottsbluff county, but this he sold in the spring of 1919. He has property in the city which includes a comfortable and extremely attractive residence at No. 2008 Avenue A, a beautiful home.
Mr. Peterson was married February 24, 1906, to Miss Mina Hanson, who lived at Chicago, Illinois, and is a daughter of Hans Hanson and his wife, who spent ther (sic) entire lives in Sweden. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson are members of the Swedish Mission church and greatly interested in its various avenues of benevolence. Like his father, Mr. Peterson prefers independent in politics.
JOHN ENGSTROM. -- This representative agriculturist and stock-grower of Scottsbluff county has been a resident of Nebraska for nearly twenty-seven years and by making use of the advantages here offered he has made his way forward to the goal of independence and marked prosperity. Today he is the owner of 160 acres of the finest property in the western part of the state. Mr. Engstrom is one of the sterling citizens here who has had the prescience and energy to make the Most of the opportunities offered in connection with civic and material development and progress. He is a native of Sweden, that land which has furnished this great country so many of its earnest and progressive men of affairs. His natal day was May 20, 1859, being the son of Swan and Louise (Carlson) Engstrom, both of whom were Scandinavians, born in Sweden. Both parents were vigorous and sturdy, the father living to the advanced age of seventy-four years and the mother to seventy-six years of age. John's father was a farmer, but as land allotments are not large in Sweden he learned the shoemaker's trade, in which he was engaged a part of the time. There were six children in the family but only three brothers broke the home ties to begin a career in America: Gustav, Emil, and John, who landed in the United States in 1882; Gustav subsequently returned to the mother country, but John remained, determined to win a way in the great west. Emil died in Kansas. He has been in the greatest sense the architect of his own fortunes and few men have played a more sturdy part in the development of the communities in which they lived. Both civic and industrial lines have been benefitted (sic) by the interest displayed in them by this young Swede, who soon after coming to this great land went to St. Paul, Minnesota, where so many of his countrymen had established homes. He soon found employment in Minnesota but later went north, being employed by a railroad in Canada for a considerable period before deciding to become an owner of land, the great desire of nearly all men who came to America from Europe. With this idea in mind he came to Nebraska and soon had filed on a claim in Sidney Valley, Cheyenne county, he proved up on this land, living there six years before removing to Scottsbluff county, purchasing 160 acres of land in section 15, forty-five acres being under ditch. Mr. Engstrom has proved himself one of the world's constructive workers and in the furtherance of his own prosperity has aided in the civic and material development and progress of the country and state of his adoption and as one of the prosperous representatives of the western section of this great commonwealth deserves recognition in this history.
Mr. Engstrom first married Anna Carlson in Sweden; to this union five children were born: Carl J., who lives at home; Gustav A., deceased; Anna, the wife of Otto Swanson, a farmer in Scottsbluff county, and Betty Louise, now living in Chicago.* For his second wife Mr. Engstrom married Ada Carlson, also a native of Sweden, and they have one daughter, Hilda Carlson, who is at home. The family are members of the Swedish Mission church. Mr. Engstrom is a man of sterling character and ability, so he has been called upon to serve as a school director, an office in which he has made a record for liberality and progressiveness as he takes great interest in the welfare of his community and the prosperity and happiness of the rising generation. Politically he is an independent, believing that the man best fitted to hold office should be elected.
Mr. Engstrom sold his farm in 1919 and moved to Scottsbluff where he has bought property. He worked for fifteen years to make his farm one of the best improved properties in the county and deserves much credit for what he has accomplished.
* Only four children (of the five) are named in the book.
ALBERT PAXTON, for several years one of the active and energetic men engaged in handling real estate at Scottsbluff, is well known as a handler of realty and other activities in the middle west, and also owns some
very valuable farm land near Henry, in Goshen county, Wyoming. Mr. Paxton was born at Rensellaer, Jasper county, Indiana, August 27, 1867, the son of William F. and Isabella (Sharpe) Paxton, the former born at Bedford and the latter at Johnstone, Pennsylvania. They were married in that state, then moved to Ohio and later settled in Indiana, where they lived out the allotted span of life. Of their family of eight children two reside in the West, Ralph and Albert, the former of whom owns and operates the Paxton hotel at Torrington, Wyoming, and also owns a farm in that vicinity. The father was a farmer in Jasper county and was active in the Democratic party of that section. Both parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Albert Paxton was given educational opportunities in his youth, his father being a man of education himself. The young man began his business life as a clerk in a store at Montpelier, Indiana, and later, for a number of years was manager of the New York Store Company in that city. He became prominent in Democratic party circles was recognized as a man of civic influence, was elected to the city council of Montpelier and served as president of that body. In 1908 Mr. Paxton came west to Wyoming, locating at Torrington, where for a number of years he engaged in the live-stock business, being an extensive buyer of horses, on one occasion buying seven carloads in a month, at Henry, Nebraska. In 1917 he embarked in the real estate business at Scottsbluff and still owns his handsome residence here, although recently he has transferred his real estate business to Torrington, Wyoming, where he is associated with G. E. Gannon. They are doing an extensive business in general real estate, farm loans and insurance.
In 1894 Mr. Paxton married Miss Anna Bebout, who was born in Indiana, and they have two children: Albert E. and Melva, aged respectively seventeen and thirteen years. The family belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church. He is identified with the Knights of Pythias.
LIGGETT FURNITURE CO. -- A recent business enterprise at Scottsbluff that may confidently be expected to be of substantial importance to the city, is the furniture and house furnishing goods store established here May 24, 1919, by Clarence D. and Dwight W. Liggett, under the firm name of Liggett Furniture Co. Both members of the firm are men of business experience and of the highest possible personal character.
Clarence D. Liggett was born in 1884 and Dwight W. Liggett in 1890, both in Union county, Ohio. Their parents are John W. and Mary (Hardy) Liggett, both natives of Ohio, the father born in 1852 and the mother in 1853. In addition to the two sons mentioned, they have two others, namely: Raymond H., who is connected with the Mid-west Construction Company, and James Bruce, who, since his military service overseas ended, has been associated with his father in business at Fort Morgan, Colorado. He was in the Thirty-sixth Division in France and was wounded in the battle before Compiegne, but fortunately not fatally and has been recently welcomed home. The paternal grandfather was John Liggett, who was born in Virginia, moved to Ohio and spent the rest of his life there. The maternal grandfather, W. D. Hardy, was born in Scotland, came to the United States and died on his farm in Greene county, Ohio. When John W. Liggett left Ohio, he was ready to invest and enter into business at some favorable location in a western state and he selected Fort Morgan, Colorado, where he went into the furniture business and has continued there ever since. He is a Republican in politics and both he and wife are members of the United Presbyterian church.
Clarence D. Liggett was educated at Cedarville College, in Ohio. He began his business career as proprietor of a bicycle shop at Fort Morgan, and later became associated with his father at that point in the furniture business and still owns a half interest in the store there. He then entered into partnership with his brother at Scottsbluff, in 1919, and already the firm has an established place and firm standing in the city's commercial life. In 1912 he was united in marriage to Miss Blanche Coulter, a native of Iowa, but at that time a resident of Colorado, and their little daughter Helen is four years old, and a son, Howard Dean, born November 21, 1919.
Dwight W. Liggett was educated at Cedarville College in Ohio. In 1913 he came to Scottsbluff, where he was interested in the Mid-West Concrete Construction Company, but sold his interest to his brother and in the spring of 1918 established the Liggett Furniutre (sic) Co., at Antioch, Nebraska, and Mr. Liggett came back to Scottsbluff and the present business was founded here May 24, 1919. In 1915 Mr. Liggett was married to Miss Lona Smith, who was a school teacher at Lodgepole, Cheyenne county, Nebraska, but a native of Iowa, and they have a little daughter of eigh-
teen months whom they have named Dorothy Dell. Dwight W. Liggett is a member of the Presbyterian church at Scottsbluff, and Clarence D. Liggett belongs to the United Presbyterian church at Fort Morgan. The brothers are Republicans in their political affiliation and both are men of sterling worth.
MILTON E. HARRIS. -- One of the leading business men of the Platte valley is found in Milton E. Harris, rancher and cattle feeder, and also proprietor of the most extensive meat business in the section west of Lincoln. Mr. Harris came to Scottsbluff in the spring of 1907 and his immense business is the result of his energy and good business judgment. Mr. Harris is a self-made man, starting out for himself at the age of eleven years and has fought his way steadily upward with the old watchwords of industry and perseverance ever in mind.
Milton Evan Harris was born in Hancock county, Illinois, August 12, 1879, and is a son of John G. and Jane (Latham) Harris and the youngest of eight children. Both parents were born in Ohio, later were residents of Illinois, and the mother died subsequently at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The family was established at Brush, Colorado, in 1901, where the father served in some town offices, and died at that place in February, 1902. Three of his mother's brothers were soldiers in the Civil War. He was a Republican in politics and both he and wife belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church. All through life his business was farming but his efforts did not bring great financial independence.
When eleven years old Milton E. Harris started to work for Dr. Martin for his board and attended school at La Harpe, Illinois, and two terms after 1893 at Ray, Colorado. At the latter place he worked in a butcher shop for two years, then went on a ranch and was employed near Ray on a ranch for about two years. He then worked in a brother's meat shop at Brush, Colorado for two, years, following which, in May, 1907, he came to Scottsbluff and bought a meat shop here. Mr. Harris prospered from the first and has continued to prosper, as indicated by the report of business for the year of 1907 showing its amount as $9,862.15 and the acknowledgment that since then it has amounted to $125,000 per year. To provide facilities for such expansion, Mr. Harris erected a handsome building of brick construction, on Broadway, with dimensions 26 x 140 feet with fine basement, 7 feet high and 124 feet long in which every modern improvement is installed and all devices for the sanitary handling and preparation of meats provided. Wherever the "T. H. S." trademark is seen, representing the Harris Sanitary market, his patrons, and people at large, feel confident as to the quality of meat and produce appearing under this style. As manager Mr. Harris has his brother-in-law, George Hillerege, an old experienced meat man, entire efficiency marking every detail of the business. Mr. Harris owns a fine ranch near Scottsbluff and feeds from 500 to 800 cattle and hogs.
In politics Mr. Harris votes the Republican ticket but gives the greater part of his time to his business affairs rather than public matters. He is identified with the order of Odd Fellows.
He married, April 30, 1901, Miss Helen Dow, a native of Jo Davies county, Illinois. They have three children: Beulah, Chas. L., and Emmett G.
OTIS W. SIMMONS, who is a member of the contracting firm of Simmons Brothers, at Scottsbluff, is exceedingly well known in the construction line here, and is numbered with the city's active and representative citizens in many ways. Mr. Simmons was born at North Bend, Dodge county, Nebraska, September 16, 1885, and is a son of Charles H. Simmons, extended mention of whom will be found in this work.
Otis W. Simmons attended his first school in Scottsbluff, held in one of the primitive sod houses very numerous in his boyhood days all through the newly settled sections of the West, later had advantages at Gering, and in 1903 was graduated from the high school of Scottsbluff. He then learned the carpenter trade and about that time became greatly interested in amateur photography, which be still sometimes engages in as a recreation, owning many pictures of artistic value taken all through the beautiful Platte valley. In ... (sic) Mr. Simmons became associated with his brother, W___ L. Simmons in the contracting business and they have done a large amount of substantial residence building here, at the present time having ten residences in course of construction and giving steady employment to five skilled men. The firm enjoys the reputation of perfect reliability and their work is constantly increasing in volume.
In 1907 Mr. Simmons was united in marriage to Miss Nellie G. Cline, who was born at Osceola, Iowa, and is a daughter of W. S. Cline, extended mention of whom will be found on another page of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons have two children, namely: Helen, who was born February 25, 1909, and
Harold, who was born August 11, 1911. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Simmons is in active membership with the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen, has passed the chairs and has represented the local lodge in the Grand Lodge on three occasions, and has served almost continuously since 1905 as keeper of records and seal. Mr. Simmons is an earnest and straightforward citizen, ever ready to do his part in bringing about the best of conditions. Politically he is a Republican.
DANIEL D. DAVIS, who is one of Scottsbluff's most esteemed retired citizens, has long been identified with the substantial development and material progress of this city and county. He is widely known, as he came to Nebraska in 1884 and homesteaded in Scottsbluff county in 1886. This section has been his chosen home ever since, where many marks of public confidence have been shown him, and where mutual and sincere regard has followed the acquaintanceships of years. Mr. Davis was born on Catawba Island, Ottawa county, Ohio, March 7, 1859, the son of Captain Daniel N. and Sarah (Prentiss) Davis. The father was born on Long Island, New York, and followed a seafaring life, being captain of a sailing vessel on Lake Erie at the time he was attacked by a highway robber and murdered for his money, while on a visit on land, in November, 1868. The Davis family was reared in the Baptist church by a good mother. Captain Davis was active in politics long ago and was a Democrat until the party accepted the candidacy of C. L. Vallandigham, who had favored the cause of the Confederacy during the war in which his own son had suffered, when he changed his political views entirely and became a Republican.
Daniel D. Davis, on account of the early loss of his father, had fewer educational advantages than otherwise, and when twelve years old spent one hard winter working in the northern woods. Following that season he assisted his brothers in their fishing industries, which they carried on at Willoughby and Wickliffe, Ohio, remaining with them about five years. In 1884 he came to Nebraska and went to work for a brick manufacturing company near Lincoln, then opened a little store in the town, and struggled on as a youth does who has but little capital and is entirely dependent upon his own resources. On March 1, 1886, Mr. Davis came to Scottsbluff county and immediately filed on a homestead claim, building his own little dugout on his land and making himself as comfortable as possible. In the meanwhile he had impressed his neighbors so favorably that in 1889 they had him appointed deputy county clerk when the county organized and he served in that office for a year, and having read law, he was admitted to the bar. Mr. Davis then returned to his homestead, which he had been improving and developing. In later years he became an important factor in Republican politics in the county, forwarding by his influence many movements of importance and accepting responsibilities when he believed such a course would be beneficial for the community. He served four years as county assessor.
In January, 1891, Mr. Davis married Miss Frances I,. Brown, a lady of unusual intellect and educational prominence. Mrs. Davis was born at Sidney, Iowa, a daughter of James N. and Lois (Clark) Brown, the former born in Canada and the latter in Michigan. They had seven children and Mrs. Davis is the youngest of the five survivors. She attended school at Sidney and Hamburg, Iowa, and after being graduated from the high school at Tabor, in 1889 came to Nebraska and engaged in teaching school at Madison, returning then to Iowa. In 1890 she was elected the second superintendent of the schools of Scottsbluff county and served ably in this responsible position for two years. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have two children, Edwin P. and Alice E. Edwin P. Davis was born April 22, 1897, attended school at Minatare, Nebraska, and was graduated at Ames, Iowa. He volunteered June 5, 1917, in Company E, Fifth Nebraska National Guards, was in training at Camp Cody, was transferred to the One Hundred Thirty-fourth Infantry, and accompanied the American Expeditionary Forces to France in October, 1918, and remained in Europe in the Army of Occupation for twenty-five months. During this time Mr. Davis served in Company K, Forty-seventh Infantry, Fourth Division, during the World War, marched into Germany with the American Army of Occupation, and after the armistice was stationed at Addrian, Remogen and Coblenz, Germany until relieved and returned home, being honorably discharged at Camp Dodge, August 4, 1919. Alice E., the one daughter of the family, is a graduate of the Scottsbluff high school and is attending college at Ames, Iowa. Mrs. Davis is a member of the Presbyterian church and is actively interested in social questions of the day and in various charities that appeal to her benevolent impulses. Mr. and Mrs. Davis suffered a severe bereavement in the death of his sister, who was the wife of the late Edwin F. Moulton, a noted educator, superintendent of
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