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JAMES R. RUSSELL AND FAMILY
agricultural sections of the United States with prosperous and growing cities and towns every few miles.
Mr Newsum stands high in his circle of aquaintances (sic) as a man who has been upright and enterprising. He has made a success of his life and has retired to enjoy the fruits of his labors, enjoying the friendship and respect of all who know him.
JAMES R. RUSSELL, a pioneer of Scottsbluff county and one of the energetic and progressive citizens of the Mitchell valley, is a representative of the spirit that in recent years has proved such an important factor in the advancement of the Panhandle. He is the owner of a valuable and productive farm located in section 35, township 23-57, and he has also been identified with the business interests of the valley from first locating here and his career has been marked by a versatility that has done much to make him one of the substantial and influential men of this locality, well known for its able agriculturists and progressive, successful business men.
James R. Russell is a native of the Badger state, born in Vernon county, Wisconsin, in 1868, the son of Calvin Russell, who was born and reared in Ohio. Mr. Russell grew to manhood on the farm owned by his parents in Wisconsin and acquired his education in the public schools. In 1888, a mere boy in years, he broke all the home ties and with high heart and the determination to success started for the west to seek and make his fortune. Coming to Nebraska in 1888 he soon looked the different localities over, became an embryonic farmer and pioneer of the Panhandle. He took a homestead of 160 acres. Twelve years later the Young man married and from then on for several years, he and his devoted wife encountered many hardships and weathered many storms, but they (lid not falter in courage, made the best of the circumstances and privations, without complaints, and manifested the faith that has been graciously rewarded in the later years. Industrious by nature, Mr. Russell in the early days obtained work wherever he could get it to tide over the hard years when crops were destroyed by grasshoppers or burned up by the drought, and by means of such employment provided his family with the necessities of life and was able to retain his land and gradually carry forward the added improvements which he deemed necessary to become a successful farmer. He went 200 miles away to find work and assisted in building the railroad west of Alliance. This land, located in township 23-57, as been his home continuously during the long intervening period. He has added to the original tract and is the owner of 400 acres, all now in a high state of cultivation, is well equipped for intensive farming and extensive stock-raising, with substantial buildings that have taken the place of the first placed there. Mr. Russell has been a deep student of agricultural methods and naturally was one of the first men of the valley to realize and advocate the value of irrigation. He has one hundred and twenty acres of his land under water and it is mostly a question of time before many more acres will be under ditch. Mr. Russell raises a good grade of stock on his farm and finds that branch of farming very profitable. He tells of the makeshifts the early settlers were forced to employ when they could not obtain necessary farm machinery and family supplies and laughs as he describes how the first postoffice of Mitchell, a frame structure eight by twelve feet square, was put up over night in the stress of necessity and that he became the first postmaster, cancelling (sic) thirty dollars worth of stamps the first month. Branching out into a pioneer merchant, Mr. Russell became owner of the second store in Mitchell where he handled everything needed by the farmers of the valley.
While Mr. Russell is an advocate of the principles of the Republican party, he is bound by no strict party lines when it comes to casting his vote in local elections and gives his influence to the man he deems best qualified to serve the community or county. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Fraternal Union, and the M. W. A., while the family are members of the Congregational church. In 1900 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Russell and Miss Lena Ewing, a native of Pennsylvania, who accompanied her parents to Nebraska when her father settled in this state in 1887. Thomas Ewing is now deceased, after having been a potent factor in the development of the region, being a representative pioneer settler who shouldered his part in opening up the middle west for settlement and development. There are seven children in the Russell family: Eva, Lester, Thomas, James, John, Clem, and Amy, all of whom are at home and to whom their father and mother have given all the educational advantages that their children cared to avail themselves of.
From first settling in the Panhandle, Mr. Russell has been progressive in spirit and is the advocate for all movements that tend to the betterment of the county and community in which he lives. Both he and his wife take an active part in their church affairs and they are numbered among the sterling and honored pioneer citizens of Scottsbluff county.
PEARL M. STONE, educator and agriculturist, furnishes in his career another exemplification of self-made manhood. He is one of the most prominent and prosperous exponents of farm enterprise in the Mitchell section of Scottsbluff county, is a liberal and progressive citizen who well merits recognition in this publication. Mr. Stone claims the great Sunflower state, to the south, as the place of his nativity and is a scion of one of the sterling pioneer families of that great commonwealth. He was born in Smith county, September 28, 1876, the son of W. E. and Madord (Duffie) Stone, the former a native of Illinois and the latter a descendant of a long line of New England ancestors, having been born in Vermont. The father was one of the successful farmers who settled in Kansas during territorial days when that was regarded as a "Land of Promise," and such it proved to be for him. There were three children in the family, two of whom are living: Pearl and Edna, the wife of Thomas Maycock, who resides in Gilette, Wyoming.
His father being a man of comfortable means Pearl was given all the educational advantages that this section of the country afforded as his parents removed from Kansas to Scottsbluff county in 1890; the father being instrumental in the great enterprise of securing the irrigation ditch which has made this county "bloom-like the rose." The boy attended the public schools at Gering and Lincoln, graduating from the Western Normal school in the latter city. The following seven years Mr. Stone devoted to his profession as teacher and the success he gained in this field may be understood when we learn that he was then elected county superintendent, an office most creditably filled by him for two years. A highly educated man, he kept abreast of all the questions of the day and being of far vision saw that the free, independent man of today is the one who owns land; this man being his own master. The wide world must be fed and the farmers of this great country are carrying on the greatest agricultural business ever witnessed in history. Mr. Stone had opportunity to observe the more than satisfactory results achieved by the farmers on irrigated land and having been reared on a farm in childhood was well qualified to take up this pursuit for life. During his scholastic years he had accumulated considerable capital and with this was able to purchase a large tract of irrigated land, consisting of three hundred and twenty acres in Mitchell township. Mr. Stone has been remarkably successful in his farming which is diversified, through he carries on a large stockraising and feeding business. Mr. Stone keeps cognizant of all questions of the day and improved methods of farming and thus has come to be recognized as one of the leading exponents of this industry in his section of the country. He has demonstrated that a cultivated mind and fine instincts reach their highest development often-times amid rural surrounding, diffusing around them that refinement and peace which. are the hall marks of the cultured. Mr. Stone has for years been a supporter of the Republican party; is an advocate of every movement for the improvement of his community; he and his wife are members of the Christian church while his fraternal affiliations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In 1910 he married Miss Minnie Whittaker, native of Kansas, who became the mother of five children: Ellen, Maxine, Perl Hazen, Dorothy and Bernice, all of whom are at home attending school and all assured an excellent education because of their father's superior mental attainments.
LAWRENCE A. FRICKE. -- The successful men in Western Nebraska today, are by no means all of the older generation. Starting out to carve a career for himself, a young man undoubtedly is helped if his educational training has been thorough, but not education alone explains personal popularity, political prominence and keen business foresight. Possessing these qualities, Lawrence A. Fricke has become a leading representative citizen of Bayard while still almost at the beginning of his career as a dealer in real estate.
Lawrence A. Fricke was born at Madison, Nebraska, January 8, 1889, and is a. son of Herman and Johanna (Ruegge) Fricke, both of whom were born in Germany. They came to the United States as young people and were married in Illinois. In 1865 they came to Richardson, Nebraska, where he bought land and traded a horse for additional land. He followed farming in that section for some time, then moved to Omaha and went into the agricultural improved implement business and still resides in that city, being now retired. Ten of his eleven children survive, Lawrence A. being the youngest of the family. In politics the father is a Republican and both he and the mother are members of the German Lutheran church.
After completing the high school course at Omaha, Lawrence A. Fricke spent one year in the Nebraska State University and then entered on railroad work in the engineering department of the Burlington system. In 1914 he embarked in the real estate business at Bayard, in partnership with his brother- in-law, Peter O'Shea, of Scottsbluff. The firm handles both farm, and city property and through choice locations and honest business representations, has built up a prosperous business.
Mr. Fricke was married in February, 1917, to Miss Eleanor Parks, who was born at Greeley Nebraska, and they have two children, namely: Robert L., who was born in January, 1918; and, Johanna Ruth, who was born January 16, 1919. Mr. Fricke was baptized in the German Lutheran church. He is a leading Republican of Morrill county, has served Bayard in the office of mayor with the greatest efficiency and is a city councilman at the present time. He is a Consistory Mason of advanced degree. Personally, with genial manner that shows, sincerity, Mr. Fricke impresses one favorably and he has a wide circle of friends.
IRA BIGELOW, who has been a resident of Nebraska almost his entire life, owns and operates a fine farm in Morrill county, upon which he has placed substantial improvements. Mr. Bigelow has been prominent in the Tri-State Ditch project, and served three years as treasurer of this enterprise. He was born in Wisconsin, May 27, 1868, and is a son of Reuben and Saphronia Bigelow.
When Ira Bigelow was three years old, his parents left Wisconsin, moved to Iowa, settled there on a farm and remained until 1879. Another change was made and Mr. Bigelow remembers the journey from Iowa to the new home in Holt county, Nebraska, where his father homesteaded. He attended school there and later went to Omaha and came to Morrill county in 1910. Here he purchased eighty acres of wild land and immediately set about its development and improvement. He now has a valuable farm and is in a position to feel well satisfied with conditions of all kinds as they are in Nebraska.
In 1895, near Kearney, Nebraska, Mr. Bigelow as married to Miss Esta Ford, who was born and reared in Iowa. Her parents, Samuel W. and Angelina Ford, came from Iowa in 1887 to Kearney, Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Bigelow have had children as follows: Mrs. Zana Warren, lives at Redington, Nebraska; Mrs. Pearl Harms, lives near Bayard; Vera, lives at home; Ray died at the age of three years; and Hazel, lives with her parents. Mr. Bigelow is not identified with any particular political party but is a wide awake citizen and casts an idependent (sic) vote for the candidates of whom his own good judgment approves. He takes a deep interest in the public schools and has served in the school board for fifteen years.
HENRY MILLER, whose valuable irrigated farm in Morrill county, Nebraska, lies on section fifteen, town of Bayard, has been a resident of Nebraska for thirty-eight years and during that long period has witnessed many wonderful changes. He has been a farmer all his life and has developed a fine property on which he lives.
Henry Miller was born in Alsace Lorraine, then a province of Germany, March 10, 1860. His parents were farming people named Peter and Elizabeth (Schmidt) Miller, who emigrated from Germany to Canada, in 1866. The change of climate and manner of living did not agree with them and both died shortly after reaching their new home. Henry was young at the time. He remained in Canada, where he obtained a fair amount of schooling and learned to be a farmer until 1881, when he came to Nebraska and settled in the eastern part of the state. He followed farming there until 1909 and then came to Morrill county and bought two hundred and forty acres of wild land. With accustomed industry he began the development of his land and soon had a crop started but a drouth ruined it, and in the season of the following year, a hailstorm caused great damage to his growing crop. Since that time, however, Mr. Miller has been continuously successful, and with his large farm all irrigated may well be considered one of the county's substantial agriculturists. He has excellent improvements, keeps standard stock, owns modern machinery and his entire place gives the pleasing impression of a profitable, well regulated farm.
Mr. Miller was married to Miss Alvina Going, who was born in Germany, March 23, 1861. Her parents came to the United States from Germany in 1867 and settled in the eastern part of Nebraska, where the father carried on farming until his death. The mother of Mrs. Miller still lives on the old home farm and is now in her eightieth year. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have had eight children:
Henry and Willie, twins, both of whom live in eastern Nebraska; Louis, lives in Wyoming; Martha, the wife of L. J. Tilden, of Morrill county; Alvena, the wife of E. J. Tilden, of Wyoming; and Walter, Esther and Paul, all of whom are at home. The family is of the Lutheran faith. Mr. Miller is independent in his political views. His neighbors know him to be an honest, dependable man.
MARTIN J. KING.-- In these days, to the ordinary individual, the ownership of vast tracts of land and thousands of cattle represents wealth almost inconceivable, yet there are men in Morrill county who go quietly about the ordinary affairs of life without ostentation, who can claim such possessions. A sale of 2,300 acres of land recently recorded by Martin J. King, one of the county's well known cattlemen, brings this to mind, although it is but an incident that may be repeated, for Western Nebraska men are apt to think and act in large figures. Mr. King has spent almost all his life in Nebraska but his birth took place September 12, 1878, at Creston, Iowa.
The parents of Mr. King were Valentine and Barbara (Hutchinson) King, natives of Ireland and truly worthy people there and later in the United States. They located first in Maryland but after the ways of the new country had become familiar, removed to Iowa and lived there as farmers until 1887, when they came to Cheyenne county, Nebraska. The father homesteaded and turned his attention to growing cattle, in the course of years becoming one of the big cattlemen of this section, at one time having 6,000 head. He was a good business man, attended closely to his own affairs, voted the Democratic ticket and brought up a large family in the Roman Catholic church. He died at Alliance, Nebraska, the mother of Mr. King passing away in the city of Omaha. Of their children Martin J. was the fifth in order of birth, the others being: William, lives at Alliance, is in the stock business; Patrick, a farmer near Blackfoot, Iowa; John, a farmer in Morrill county; Annie, resides at Alliance; Maggie, the wife of L. Jacobs, a farmer near Angora; Nellie, the wife of James Murphy, a ranchman near Alliance; and Thomas, lives on the old King homestead, and with one of his brothers owns no less that 14,000 acres of land in Morrill county and runs about 1,000 head of cattle. John King keeps 300 head of cattle, included in these being 150 pure-bred Herefords.
Martin J. King was nine years old when the family located near Alliance, Nebraska, and he remembers going to school in a little tent, for schooling was one of the first privileges the most of the early settlers endeavored to secure for their children, second only to religious instruction. Later he had public school advantages. After his school days and until 1915 when he moved into Alliance, Mr. King engaged in ranching and became one of the county's well known cattlemen. He has a fine farm of 320 acres but has retired entirely from active farm and ranch life. For several years he carried on an automobile business at Alliance and then came to Bayard and bought the Bayard Hotel, and now occupies his time in managing this place of business.
In 1907 Mr. King was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth L. Shetler, who was born near Kearney, Nebraska, and is a daughter of Lesley L. Shelter, who came to Cheyenne county in 1887 and now lives retired at Denver. Mr. and Mrs. King have three children: Lavern L., Catherine Barbara and Martin Carroll, the youngest being at the engaging age of three years while the older children are doing well at school. Mr. King and his family belong to the Catholic church. Mr. King follows his father's example in political membership but has never been willing to accept a public office. He belongs to the lodge of Elks at Alliance.
CHRISTIAN NUSZ, who owns a well improved farm situated on section 12 town of Bayard, Morril county, Nebraska, has not lived in the United States so very many years and still fewer in Nebraska, but he has demonstrated what a man of energy and enterprise can accomplish when given free opportunity. Mr. Nusz was born in Russia, in 1869, a son of Christian and Mary (Hass) Nusz. Both parents were of Russian birth. The father died on his farm in Russia and the son hopes that his beloved mother still lives there. The unsettled condition of his native land has made it impossible for Mr. Nusz to communicate with the old neighbors and eight years have passed since he had reliable news.
In 1908 Mr. Nusz came to the United States and made his way to Kansas. There he worked as a laborer until 1914, when he came to Morrill county and invested his savings in one hundred and sixty acres of land. He has not spared himself in developing this land and has improved it very well. Almost all of
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