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MR. AND MRS. DENVER N. PLUMMER
the board of county commisioners (sic), on which he served six years, when he resigned on account of ill health, he was able to greatly further the best interests of the county in many ways. He belongs to the Odd Fellows and also to the Modern Woodmen.
DENVER NEWTON PLUMMER is another of the progressive citizens who has shown the skill and enterprise that make for success in connection with industrial enterprise in the favored section of Nebraska to which this history is dedicated. In section 7, township 23-56, about four and one-half miles distant from Morrill, Scottsbluff county, is to be found the well improved and ably managed farm of Mr. Plummer. He came to the county in 1910 and here purchased land in the north central part of this progressive county. To his original domain he has since added until he now has a valuable landed property of 240 acres, all under effective irrigation and having the intrinsic richness of soil that makes irrigation farming so remarkably profitable in this locality. He has made excellent improvements on his land including the erection of good buildings, and is one of the resourceful and representative agriculturists and stock-growers of his county, with, a high personal standing that indicates fully the estimate placed upon him by his fellow men. Loyal to all civic duties and responsibilities, Mr. Plummer has given his support to measures and enterprises that have been projected for the benefit of his community and county, and in local politics he is independent, though in a basic way he advocates and upholds the principles for which the Republican party stands sponsor, Both he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church in Dutch Flats.
Denver Plummer was born near the city of Des Moines, Iowa, on the 29th of January, 1871, a son of James and Sarah Lavena (Garrett) Plummer. The parents were born and reared in the old Buckeye state and the father was one of the early settlers of Iowa, where he accompanied his parents at an early age, and where he reclaimed a pioneer farm. The family later removed to Colorado and Ezra Plummer and his wife passed the closing years of their lives in the state of Colorado, both having been earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal church and his political faith having been that of the Republican party. Concerning their children adequate mention is made on other pages, in the sketch of the career of John W. an elder brother of the subject of this review.
Denver Plummer was about eleven years of age at the time of the family removal from Iowa to Colorado, in which latter state he was reared to maturity and received the advantages of the public schools. Prior to coming to Nebraska he had given his attention principally to farming and was owner of land in Larimer county, and the maximum success that has marked his career has been that gained since he established his home in Scottsbluff county and assumed the labors and responsibilities incidental to the development of a productive farm. He has not waited for success but has won it through his own efforts, though he gives full credit to Scottsbluff county for the splendid opportunities it has afforded him.
In 1905 Mr. Plummer was united in marriage to Miss Cora Drummond, who was born in the state of Missouri, and their marriage has been blessed by three children--Veda Virginia, Ezra Allen, and Vivian Margaret --- who lend brightness and cheer to the pleasant family home.
WALTER J. ERICSON, who is one of Bayard's representative citizens and substantial business men is president of the Farmers State Bank and is also the head of the Ericson Hardware Company. In many ways he has been active in the development of Bayard and stands deservedly high in public esteem. He was born at Bertrand, in Phelps county, Nebraska, in 1885.
The parents of Mr. Ericson, John and Mary (Peterson) Ericson, were born in Sweden. They came to the United States in the early eighties, acquired land in Phelps county, Nebraska, that is still in the possession of the family, and the father died on the homestead in the spring of 1919. The family lived at first in a sod house, as did many of their pioneer neighbors, and the father cultivated his land with oxen. Of his family of nine children, Walter J. was the fourth in order of birth. The other survivors are: Charles, in the drug business at Loomis, Nebraska; Frank, a general merchant at Hillrose, Morgan county, Colorado; Axel, a druggist at Bayard; Harry, also in the drug business at Bayard; Esther, the wife of Victor J. Johnson, operating the old Ericson homestead, and Emil, associated with his brother, Walter in the hardware business. He was born at Bertrand in 1890 and came to Bayard in August, 1915. On November 21, 1917, Emil Ericson was married to Miss Alta Durnal, who is a daughter of R. F. Durnal.
Walter J. Ericson was reared on his father's farm near Bertrand, where he attended school, and remained in Phelps county until 1911, when he came to Bayard, where his brother
Frank was conducting a hardware business. He purchased his brother's hardware store and reorganized the business and it is now widely known as the Ericson Hardware Company, his brother Emil, as mentioned above, being associated with him. As president of the Farmers State Bank, he is additionally well known in commercial circles. While business claims much of his time, Mr. Ericson, as an earnest citizen, has concerned himself with civic development and betterment, and is an active, fearless and useful member of the city council, in which body he is serving his second term. In politics Mr. Ericson is a Republican, as was his father, He belongs to the Masons and the Odd Fellows.
GEORGE G. CRONKLETON, who is cashier of the First National Bank of Bayard, has been identified with the banking business during many years of his life and has been connected with the above institution since the spring of 1911. Mr. Cronkleton is held in high esteem at Bayard, where he has, on numerous occasions, been called to public office, in which he has served faithfully and conscientiously, and he has furthered many desirable public enterprises by the influence of his active interest. He is a native of Iowa, and was born March 14, 1876, at Dunlap, in Harrison county.
The parents of Mr. Cronkleton were Ezra J. and Julia (O'Hare) Cronkleton, the former of whom was born in Ohio, and the latter in Ireland. The father went to Iowa when a young man and served in the Civil War as a member of Company C, Second Iowa Cavalry, until captured by the enemy. He was a prisoner of war for ten months in Alabama. After returning from his exhausting experiences in the war, he traveled about for a time and then was married at Boone, Iowa, located soon afterward at Dunlap, and for many years was engaged in business there as a contractor and builder. His death occurred at Dunlap on August 17, 1913. In his earlier years he belonged to the Christian church but later became a Catholic, of which church his wife was a devoted member. Of their five children, George G. is the third of the survivors, the others being: Charles J., who is a resident of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Mary J., and Eugenia, both of whom live at Council Bluffs.
After completing the high school course at Dunlap, Mr. Cronkleton became deputy postmaster and subsequently deputy county auditor of Harrison county, his financial talents being thus early recognized and called into play. After retiring from office be accepted the position of assistant cashier in the First National Bank of Dunlap and remained with that institution for six years. He then made a visit to the Pacific coast and during his sojourn there served as cashier of the First National Bank of Ritzville, Washington. In the meanwhile his brother had engaged in the grocery trade at Council Bluffs, and when Mr. Cronkleton returned to Iowa he entered his brother's store and remained there three years. He then visited Wyoming and once more became identified with a large financial institution, serving for one year as assistant cashier of the bank of Noble, Lane & Noble, at Lander, Wyoming. He then accepted the office of cashier of the bank at Henry, Nebraska, and continued as such for eighteen months. In 1909 he came to Bayard and in May, 1911, became cashier of the First National Bank, an institution of which city and county are proud. It operates with a capital of $50,000; surplus, $10,000; average deposits, $450,000.
In November, 1913, Mr. Cronkleton was united in marriage to Miss Anna Morrow, a daughter of Thomas Morrow, extended mention of whom will be found in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Cronkleton are members of the Catholic church and he belongs to the Knights of Columbus. In his political affiliation he has always been a Republican. He has served as a United States commissioner, and since coming to Bayard has been town clerk and also a member of the school board.
THOMAS F. WATKINS, who, probably is as well known in Morrill county as any other individual, unless Mrs. Watkins, his admirable wife be excepted, came to Bayard in 1910. Since then Mr. and Mrs. Watkins have owned the Commercial hotel and have had much to do with the development of what was then a village into the close semblance of a city. Mr. Watkins was born at Swansea, Wales, May 27, 1848.
The parents of Mr. Watkins were Thomas and Mary (Davis) Watkins, the former of whom was born in Wales, December 11, 1814, and the latter February 27, 1822. They came to the United States and located on 160 acres of land in Monroe county, Iowa, when Thomas F. was an infant. There were two older children in the family, nine more were born in America, and besides Thomas F., the following are living: W. D., who resides at Long Beach, California; D. M., who owns the old family homestead in Monroe county, Iowa; Mary M., who is the wife of Thomas Lewis, of Long Beach, California, and Mittie, who is the wife of Martin Haller, a farmer
near Springfield, Missouri. The parents were members of the Baptist church.
In his boyhood Thomas F. Watkins had but meager educational advantages. He early learned to perform farm work and labor in the coal mines. In 1890 he came to Alliance, Nebraska, where he carried on a meat business for four years, after which he worked on a ranch in Box Butte county for four years. In 1898 he came to Morrill county and after marriage took charge of his wife's homestead and put the property in fine shape. Later he bought a tract of land near the homestead and subsequently his wife secured a second homestead. In 1910 they moved into Bayard, as mentioned above, and went into the hotel business. The Commercial hotel is known all through this section and patronage never fails.
At Hemmingford, Nebraska, Mr. Watkins was married to Mary Nebraska (Joice) Dual, who is affectionately known by many in Nebraska, as she bears the distinction of having been the first white child born in Nebraska City, Neb. In this connection, by her kind permission, part of a private letter is here quoted, that will prove interesting to every reader:
"My father, Jacob H. Joice, of Dayton, Indiana, emigrated to eastern Nebraska in the year 1854 and settled in what is now the thriving city of Nebraska City, building the fifth house which was built in this city, obtaining the material from the natural forest surrounding the little place. The population of the surrounding country consisted chiefly of Indians from the Otoe tribe which, as a general rule, were very friendly to the white settlers, J. H. Joice was of Irish descent while his wife, formerly Angeline Blacklidge, was of Scotch descent. I was born on the 17th day of December, 1854, and by the request of a prominent man of the community at that time, I was named Mary Nebraska, he promising if the child was so named he would deed her a quarter section of land when she reached her majority, but this promise was never fulfilled. At the age of three years I moved with my parents to Iowa, locating where at one time Eastport stood, From Eastport we moved to Hamburg, Iowa, where I grew to young womanhood and was married. It was only a few years until I was left a widow, during which time I lived in Savannah, Missouri. After the death of my parents the call of my native state appealed to me so strongly, that I emigrated to Bayard, Nebraska where I met and married Thomas F. Watkins. The first year of our married life was spent in the city of Alliance, Nebraska, after which we located on a homestead three miles due east of Bayard, Nebraska, where we underwent the hardships and privations of the early pioneers of that day. We lived the life of the pioneer ranchman for about sixteen years, when we moved to Bayard in the year 1910, purchasing and operating the Commercial hotel of that place. Bayard at that time consisted of a population of about 200 men, women and children. At this time the settlers coming from eastern Nebraska and adjoining states, began locating on the lands adjacent to Bayard, where they organized a successful irrigating. project which transformed a former desert into a veritable Garden of Eden." Mrs. Watkins concludes with expressions of pleasant anticipation concerning the annual homecoming celebration of the early pioneers of Nebraska City to which she had been invited and in which she has found herself a highly honored guest whenever she has been able to attend.
Mr. and Mrs. Watkins have had no children of their own but they raised two children, Stella Slausen and Richard Dual, the former of whom is deceased, the latter being a resident of Bayard. They also raised a nephew of Mrs. Watkins, Frank Joice, deceased. For forty-nine years Mr. Watkins has belonged to the order of Odd Fellows and both he and Mrs. Watkins are old members of the auxiliary order of Rebekah, and both have represented their local body in the Grand Lodge. Mr. Watkins has never been a politician and at present he maintains an independent attitude on public questions and votes according to his own judgment that has been ripened by many years of thought and mingling with his fellowmen. Mrs. Watkins has one brother and one sister, H. A. Joice and Mrs. Hattie White, both of whom reside at Bigelow, Holt county, Missouri.
JOHN L. LOEWENSTEIN, who is the able manager of the L. W. Cox & Company lumber business at Bayard, is not only an alert and enterprising business man, but is also an earnest and useful citizen in a public capacity. During the seven years of his residence at Bayard, he has so firmly established himself in the confidence of his fellow citizens that in April, 1918, he was elected a member of the city council and has faithfully performed every duty pertaining to this office.
John L. Loewenstein was born at Keokuk, Iowa, in 1882, the only son of Christopher and Caroline (Schultz) Loewenstein, both of whom were born at Keokuk, of German parentage. The mother died there in 1916, but the father survives and carries on his business
of hardware merchant in that city. In politics the father is a Republican, fraternally is an Odd Fellow, and all his mature life has been a member of the German Evangelical church. Mr. Loewenstein has one sister Mildred, who is the wife of Frank Wiseman, who is a salesman in the electrical line, at Oakland, California.
After his public school course at Keokuk, John L. Loewenstein attended a commercial school. The first business opening he found was in a shoe factory and for several years he remained there and learned the trade. From there he went into railroad work as an employe in the main office of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. One year later he accepted a position with the Iowa State Insurance Company, with which concern he continued for two years and then embarked in the drug business on his own account, at Cantril, Iowa, and remained so connected for four years. In the meanwhile Mr. Lowenstein kept alert as to other business opportunities, and when he found a congenial opening in the lumber trade, with E. G. Caine, at Indianola, Nebraska, took advantage of it and continued there until 1912, when he came to Bayard and accepted his present position. He has substantial knowledge along several lines of activity and a very wide acquaintance, has a genial manner that wins friendly attention and an upright character that in the business world means trustworthiness.
In 1904 Mr. Loewenstein was united in marriage to Miss Edna Frances Caine, who was born at Keokuk, Iowa. They have three children: Madeline, Lillian, and Josephine. Mr. and Mrs. Loewenstein are members of the Presbyterian church. He is a Republican in his political affiliation, and he belongs fraternally to both the Masons and Odd Fellows. Bayard has made wonderful progress within the last few years and credit is due those men of business foresight and true public spirit who have in every possible way furthered her interests and it is but just to say that Mr. Loewenstein is one of these.
CHARLES H. HARPOLE. -- There are few lines of reputable business that do not have adequate representation at Bayard, in fact the little city can claim same progressive concerns that would be creditable anywhere. Reference may be made to the Burke & Harpole Company, dealers in general hardware and furniture and undertakers, the founder of the business being Charles H. Harpole, who came to Bayard in 1900. He was born in Warrick county, Indiana, December 15, 1863.
The parents of Mr. Harpole were W. S. and Elizabeth (Griffith) Harpole, the former of whom was born in Virginia and the latter in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Their people settled in Indiana when they were young and they were married there and remained until 1881, when they moved to southwestern Missouri. The father bought land there and both died on the home farm. Of their ten children seven are living, Charles H. being the only one residing in Nebraska. His educational opportunities were somewhat meager, confined to a little country school near his father's farm in southern Indiana. He grew up on the home farm, accompanied his parents to Missouri and afterward followed an agricultural life there until 1900, when he came to Bayard, Nebraska. Here he saw a business opening in the hardware line and started in a small way, in partnership with D. J. Burke. Immediate success followed as the village grew into a town and then a city, and Mr. Harpole and Mr. Burke proved equal to the occasion. At first they increased their stock but later found themselves needing more room and purchased the large brick building they now occupy. The business is now incorporated as the Burke-Harpole Company, which is capitalized at $30,000. There is hardly an instance in the city where a business enterprise has developed more rapidly or substantially. In addition, Mr. Harpole is interested to some extent in farming, owning valuable land in Morrill county.
In August, 1893, Mr. Harpole was united in marriage to Miss Elneta Mingus, who was born in Ohio. She died without issue, in June, 1914. Mr. Harpole was married second in 1916 to Miss Emma De Vault, who was born at St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mrs. Harpole is active in the various avenues of beneficence carried on by the church. Mr. Harpole belongs to no fraternal body except the Modern Woodmen. He is a staunch Republican in politics and has served with great efficiency on the school board and in other town offices. He is held in high esteem at Bayard and is numbered with the representative business men of the place, one ever ready to encourage worthy enterprises and generous in his support of charitable movements.
WILLIAM WEBER.-- The year 1887 marked the arrival of Mr. Weber in that part of old Cheyenne county that is now comprised in Scottsbluff county, and he became a pioneer homesteader in the vicinity of the present
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