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BENAJAH A. ROSEBROUGH, a prosperous business man and thoroughly respected citizen of Mitchell, Nebraska, who is connected in a business way with the Mitchell Mercantile company, lays no claim to being a pioneer of this section, though he has undergone many of the pioneer conditions. He is one of those who, having spent a period on a farm, deserted the soil to enter commercial pursuits and has found success and prosperity therein, for today lie enjoys great popularity due to courteous treatment, absolute fidelity to engagements, reasonable prices and expeditious service. All these qualities have served to attract to the store trade that extends over a wide stretch of the surrounding countryside. His standing in business circles is excellent, and rests upon more than a decade of honorable and straightforward dealing.
Mr. Rosebrough is a native of Illinois, born at Havana, August 20, 1868, the son of Ben A. and Matilda (Tomlin) Rosebrough, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of New Jersey. To them were born five children: Elizabeth, the wife of Joseph P. Fisher of Mitchell, deceased; Cora, married George Drake Coon, Pecos, Texas, and is deceased; Benajah A.; Frank, who lives in Rockport, New York; and Bertha, the wife of Gilbert Carey, a resident of Dewitt, Nebraska, deceased. For many years the father of the family was a carpenter and contractor in Illinois but later became a farmer, a vocation he followed until his death which occurred April 8, 1907, his wife having passed away in 1876.
Benajah received an excellent education in the public schools of Illinois and upon graduating from the high school entered Lincoln University, Lincoln, Illinois, where he finished a course of study before graduation. Soon after the close of his college career the young man was engaged in Y. M. C. A. work for about a year, but this impaired his health to such an extent that he was forced to seek less confining occupations and accepted a position with the Hoosier Furniture Company, of Lincoln, Illinois. Thirteen months later he returned to New Holland for a vacation but left to accept the position of manager of the Ryan furniture store, of New Holland, Illinois. Mr. Rosebrough heard the call of the west, however, and looking up various localities decided to come to Nebraska which he did in 1904; the country looked good to him as he says today and he determined to make this great commonwealth his future home. For a year he lived much as did some of the pioneers of the earlier days, but in 1905 he came to Mitchell to accept a position with the Mitchell Mercantile Company; as head of the undertaking, furniture, and hardware departments. He at once began the study of embalming and received a license to practice in February, 1908; the following June he passed second in the class at Omaha, receiving his Nebraska license in 1910. Not satisfied with his preparation for this important profession, Mr. Rosebrough took a post graduate course in embalming under Professor Howard Eckles, being one of eleven men in a class of thirty-eight members to pass the examination in dermo surgery. He has recently embalmed the largest known man in this section of the world as he was six feet and two inches tall, and weighed seven hundred and twenty pounds.
On April 26, 1899, was solemnized the marriage of Benajah Rosebrough and Nellie Derr, who was born and reared in Illinois, and to them have been born five children: Mary, at home; La Verne, in Scottsbluff; Paul, at home; Immogene and Dorothy. The family are members of the Presbyterian church while Mr. Rosebrough's fraternal affiliations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias, while he exercises his privilege of the ballot as an independent, voting for the best man to fill office.
CHARLES D. CASPER, editor and proprietor of the Bridgeport Herald, has been known and appreciated in journalism in Nebraska for many years, and through the medium of his own facile pen might disclose much that is interesting in relation to newspaper work and political movements during that time. For Mr. Casper is equally well known in public affairs and as a member of both houses of the state legislature, has been influential in placing some very important laws on the statute book. He is a self made man and struggled up from a boyhood environment of orphanage and limited opportunity.
Charles D. Casper was born at Red Lion, near New Castle, Delaware, being one of two children born to Richard and Margaret (Reed) Casper. His sister, Emma, is the widow of Richard Dilmore and resides in the city of Philadelphia. Both parents spent their lives in Delaware, the mother of Mr. Casper dying in his childhood. The father married Mary Reed, sister of his first wife and they had two children, both of whom are now deceased. The father never accumulated property. Mr. Casper's birth took place December 10, 1845, and his school privileges were limited, as he practically looked after himself until he enlisted for service as a soldier in a cavalry regiment in the Civil War, with which
he served two years and one month. In 1866 he came west and for three years was a member of the regular army of the United States, receiving his honorable discharge in Dakota.
Mr. Casper then went to Iowa, where there was need of harvest hands and after the season was over accepted work as a section hand on the railroad. It was in 1872, at Victor, Iowa, that he started in a printing office to learn the trade and continued there and even owned a newspaper in that town for a short time before locating at David City, Nebraska, where he established his first permanent residence. Mr. Casper became a prominent factor in Democratic politics, was elected the first county clerk of Morrill county and served three years. In 1885 he was elected to the lower house of the state legislature; in 1886 was sent to the upper house from Polk and Butler counties, and in 1893 was returned to the house and served two terms. He returned to David City and resided there until 1905, when he came to Morrill county and homesteaded and in 1906 came to Bridgeport. In the meanwhile, Mr. Casper had conducted the Bridgeport Blade for one year, and the Bayard Transcript for eighteen months. On March 1, 1911, Mr. Casper founded the Bridgeport Herald, a weekly journal, which has built up a wide circulation and fills a long felt want. It is ably edited and its columns give both the news of the outside world and of local happenings that interest subscribers. In connection with his newspaper, Mr. Casper owns and operates a fine job printing office.
Mr. Casper was married December 21, 1880, to Nancy M. Brownsett, who was born in the Province of Quebec, Canada, and they have three daughters: Emma M., the widow of Earl M. Duncan, is her father's able assistant in the newspaper office; Grace A., the wife of F. J. Hansen, a railroad agent at Shelton, Nebraska; and Ruby L. B., the wife of A. T. Bjoraas, a brick contractor at Torrington, Wyoming. Mr. Casper is a member of the Presbyterian church. For many years he has been a Mason and at the present time is serving as master of his lodge at Bridgeport.
CLYDE SPANOGLE, who is one of the three owners of the Bridgeport Bank, the pioneer banking institution here, is prominent in other fields than banking, public affairs having engaged his attention for some years, although at present he gives the most of his attention to the rapidly growing business of the bank. Mr. Spanogle enjoys the distinction of having been elected the first mayor of Bridgeport.
Clyde Spanogle was born in Hamilton county, Nebraska, May 10, 1880. His parents were, Andrew J. and Catherine (Stover) Spanogle, who were born and married in Pennsylvania. They came from there in 1879 to Nebraska, and the father bought two sections of land in Hamilton county, in association with his brother, and latter established the first bank at Phillips, which he conducted for a number of years, then sold, retiring from business, and his death occurred in 1892. The mother of Mr. Spanogle died in 1902. In youth the father and mother belonged to the Dunkard church but lated (sic) united with the Baptist church. The father was a man of sterling character and in 1883 was honored in Hamilton county by election to the state legislature, in which body he served with steadfast adherence to what he believed to be right.
Clyde Spanogle attended the public schools and completed his education in the Williamson School of Mechanical Trades at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1900. Since 1903 he has been connected with the Bridgeport Bank, in the ownership of which he is associated with his brother Mark Spanogle, and Fred R. Lindberg. Fred R. Lindberg is president of the bank; Mark Spanogle is cashier and Clyde Spanogle is assistant cashier.
In 1909 Clyde Spanogle was united in marriage to Miss Martha Sheffel, who was born at St. Louis, Missouri, and they have one son, Andrew John, born in 1915.
Mr. Spanogle stands deservedly high in public esteem at Bridgeport, where for years he has been an earnest citizen and a worker for civic betterment. For five years he was chairman of the village board, elected on the Republican ticket, at different times has been city clerk, and in 1918 was, elected mayor of Bridgeport. He has given encouragement to many worthy business enterprises here as an aid to commercial development and has been liberal in his support of patriotic and charitable movements affecting the whole community. He attends the Episcopal church.
FRANK H. PUTNAM, who has been interested in the lumber business at Bridgeport since 1905, has been active in the public affairs of city and county and is well and favorably known in Western Nebraska. Mr. Putnam is a native of Iowa, born in Davis county, September 13, 1855, a son of Green M. and Mary M. (Kelsey) Putnam, the former of whom was born in Illinois and the latter in Indiana. The paternal grandfather, Elijah Putnam, was born in Virginia, moved from there to Illinois
MR. AND MRS. JOSEPH NEIGHBORS
and later to Iowa, where he engaged in farming during the rest of his life. The maternal grandfather, George Kelsey, died in Missouri but removed from Indiana to Iowa when the mother of Mr. Putnam was a. child. Both parents were reared in Iowa, were married there and both died in that state. Of their ten children six are living, Frank H., the only one in Nebraska, being the first born. The parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
After his period of school attendance was over Mr. Putnam assisted his father on the home farm until he was twenty-one years of age and for one year afterward engaged in agricultural pursuits on his own account. In 1878 he came to western Nebraska and for several years worked for a cow outfit, but in 1884 homesteaded in Morril (sic) county. Later he traded his homestead for Sand Hill ranch, and there was engaged in the cattle business until 1905, when he came to Bridgeport and bought the Bridgeport Lumber yard. The business at that time was incorporated for $25,000, but under his able management was increased to $75,000. He served as president of this concern until 1917, when he sold his interest but still fills the office of manager.
Mr. Putnam was married in 1890, to Miss Emma C. Hutchinson, who was born in Wisconsin, and they have two children: Glenn G., formerly a farmer in Morrill county; and Hazel M., the wife of Chester Carter, who has returned to Bridgeport after two years of overseas service with the American Expeditionary Force in France. Mrs. Putnam is a member, of the Episcopal church. A zealous Republican, Mr. Putnam has been honored by party choice for responsible public positions and has served on the city council and also as county commissioner. He is somewhat prominent in the order of Odd Fellows and has passed all the chairs in the local lodge.
THOMAS F. NEIGHBORS, one of the younger members of the bar at Bridgeport where his friends and well wishers are many, has been in practice here since 1915, not continuously, however, as he spent almost two years as a soldier in training during the World War. Mr. Neighbors is a native of Nebraska, born at McGrew, in Scottsbluff county, in 1891.
Mr. Neighbors comes of military ancestry, as his paternal grandfather, Joseph Neighbors, was a soldier in the Civil War and fell at the battle of Nashville. His maternal grandfather, Dr. Thomas Franklin, served with the rank of captain in the Civil War, under the command of General Grant. Afterward he became a physician at Gering, Nebraska and continued in practice there until his death.
The parents of Mr. Neighbors are Joseph G. and Carrie A. (Franklin) Neighbors, who were born, reared and married in the state of Missouri. They came to Nebraska in 1885, settling first in Custer county, but in 1887 the father homesteaded in Scottsbluff county and the family home has been near McGrew ever since. The father has always been affiliated with the Democratic party but has never accepted public office. He is a member of the Baptist church and was one of the founders of the lodge of Odd Fellows at Bayard. The mother was reared in the Methodist Episcopal faith. Of their five children three survive: Grace, the wife of Samuel Shove, a merchant at Glenrock, Wyoming; Thomas F., of Bridgeport; and Melvin, who resides, on a farm near McGrew.
Thomas F. Neighbors attended the country schools in early boyhood, in 1908 was graduated from the high school at Bayard, from the Wesleyan Academy at Lincoln, in 1912, and in 1915 completed his course in law at the University of Nebraska. He immediately entered into practice with F. R. Williams, the partnership being dissolved when both answered the call to arms, Mr. Neighbors entering service May 12, 1917. For three months afterward he was in the training camp at Fort Snelling, Minnesota and afterward until his discharge in February, 1919, was at Camp Dodge. Upon his return to private life Mr. Neighbors immediately picked up the broken threads of his personal business and re-established his law practice at Bridgeport where he has found his professional efforts appreciated. He has served as city attorney both at Bayard and Bridgeport.
On Spetember (sic) 4, 1918, Mr. Neighbors was united in marriage to Miss Irene Welsher, who was born at Knoxville, Iowa, a daughter of B. R. Welsher. Mrs. Neighbors grew up in the Methodist Episcopal church, but Mr. Neighbors is an Episcopalian. In politics he is active in his support of Republican doctrine, and fraternally is identified with the Knights of Pythias. He is a young man of stable, well poised character, able in his profession and earnest and public spirited as a citizen.
ROBERT E. BARRETT. -- The purchaser of land who is careless about securing a clear title to the same, often finds himself involved in serious legal difficulties as to real owner
ship. Hence the careful, patient abstractor is best called in, his accurate and attested documents making investments sound and safe. In Robert E. Barrett, city clerk of Bridgeport, Morrill county has one who has had long experience in the abstract business. Mr. Barret (sic) is a native of Nebraska, born at North Platte, October 23, 1872.
His parents were Harry and Jane (Barchard) Barrett, the former born in Ireland and the latter in England. Both came to the United States as young people and were married in the state of Missouri. Of their twelve children Robert E. was the seventh born and six still survive. The father was connected with railroad construction work all his life, a vigorous, hardy, dependable man. While yet young, in Missouri, he was foreman of section gangs and after coming to Nebraska in 1867, was continued in the same position and for years was employed in construction work in the vicinity of Lodgepole, where both he and wife died. They were faithful members of the Roman Catholic church. In his earlier years the father was a Democrat but the issues brought forward in the campaign of 1884 when Hon. James G. Blaine was a candidate, caused him to change his party allegiance and ever afterward was a Republican.
Robert E. Barrett attended school at Lodgepole and Chappell, Nebraska, and the first work he ever did was as a laborer on the railroad. In the course of years he was interested along other lines, and in 1904 he was elected county clerk in old Cheyenne county, serving four years. It was while acting in this public capacity that he did his first abstract work and was the only abstractor in the county. Later he moved to Julesburg, Coloroda (sic), where he engaged in the lumber business for seven years before coming to Bridgeport to open an abstract office, and has developed this business into one of great importance. In politics he is a Republican, is city clerk of Bridgeport, was census enumerator in 1900, and is secretary of the Northport Irrigation District. In 1897 Mr. Barrett was united in marriage to Miss Grace Durkee, who was born in the state of New York, a daughter of David Cook Durkee, a homesteader in Nebraska. Later he and wife removed to Julesburg, Colorado, and still live there. Mr. and Mrs. Barrett have three children: Maude, Barchard and Leander. The family belongs to the Presbyterian church. It is not always that men immersed in business cares find leisure for literary expression even if they have talent, and it must be conceded that Mr. Barrett has had a fairly busy life. Nevertheless he has found time to add to the world's contribution of enjoyable literature, has published one book, "Treading the Narrow Way," and has written poetry of high-literary quality.
WILLIAM E. GUTHRIE, whose extensive business activities and public efforts have made him prominent for years in Wyoming and Nebraska, has been a resident of Bridgeport since 1904, and he is now secretary of the board of irrigation in. this district. Mr. Guthrie was born at Rue, in Marion county, Ohio, July 26, 1849, the son of Isaac F. and Rachel (Fredrick) Guthrie. The father was born in Ohio, a son of Joseph Guthrie, and a grandson of Colonel John Guthrie, an officer in the Revolutionary War, who was born in Pennsylvania and settled at an early day in Pike county, Ohio. The mother was born in Virginia, a daughter of John Fredrick, an early settler of Ohio. Mr. Guthrie's parents were married in Ohio and he was the second born of their twelve children, the other survivors being as follows: S. A., in the sheep business in Wyoming; a sister, who is the wife of County Clerk Clelland, of Converse county, Wyoming; P. E., in the cattle business, lives at Broken Bow, Nebraska; and another sister, the wife of J. B. Russell, a capitalist of Savannah, Missouri. The father of this family was very prominent in Marion county, Ohio, for many years. He was a successful farmer there and owned his Ohio farm until the time of his death, although, in 1885 he came to Merrick County, Nebraska, bought land near Clarks, and died on that place. In politics he was a Democrat. For twelve years he was county commissioner of Marion county and for fifteen years was a justice of the peace. He belonged to the Masonic fraternity and lived up to every rule of the order. The mother of Mr. Guthrie was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and the father was a liberal contributor. They were people of solid worth and their descendants recall them with emotions of pride and veneration.
William E. Guthrie enjoyed educational advantages in the district schools in boyhood and later in the Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio. From college he returned home to give his father assistance and remained until 1878, when he came to Wyoming and there, for twenty-five years prospered in the cattle business. In 1895 he located in Omaha and shortly afterward bought a farm and feedyard at Clarks, in Merrick county, where he continued to handle cattle for the next twenty years.
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