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sheep business and later raised cattle also. The father died December 12, 1908, but the mother survives and lives on the old homestead adjoining that of William D. His early years in Kimball county were mainly spent in herding cattle and working on the farm. In later years Mr. Atkins has extended his interests and is now one of the county's substantial farmers.
In 1890, Mr. Atkins was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Pywell, daughter of John and Mary Ann Pywell, both of whom are deceased. Their family consisted of three sons and three daughters, the survivors all living in Nebraska, To Mr. and Mrs. Atkins three daughters and two sons were born; Mabel, the wife of George Ketch, of Kimball; Arthur E., who served overseas in the great war, in the One hundred and ninth Engineers, was promoted to top sergeant, returned to America safely and was honorably discharged at Fort Dodge, July 1, 1919; Grace, the wife of Harley Neely; Ira, who assists his father; Mary, deceased; and Heloise, at home.
For many years Mr. Atkins has been active in the councils of the Democratic party. Fully twenty-five years ago he was elected chairman of the town board and one (sic) many occasions since has filled important offices, in 1914, being elected a county commissioner, the only one of his party candidates elected, and in 1919 was re-elected for a second term of four years. He has also served as highway commissioner. He signed the franchise for the first telephone company in the county. He is prominent in the order of Knights of Pythias, being past chancellor, and also in the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Atkins and his family belong to the Methodist Episcopal church.
YORICK NICHOLS was born in Tioga county, Pennsylvania, in 1863, the son of William A. and Nancy (Mitchell) Nichols, both natives of Pennsylvania. The father was an attorney who practiced law at Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, until 1869, at which time he removed to Kansas, where he continued his law practice and at the same time took a homestead and proved up on it. He did the first hardwood building in that county, having floated lumber across the Neosho river with an ox team. He also dug the first cellar in Neosho county, started the town of Tioga, Kansas, and practiced his profession there until he died in 1873, a successful man and one of the pioneers who helped to start the development of the great West following the Civil War.
Yorick Nichols was the oldest boy of five children in the family. The others were: May, the wife of Henry Block, now deceased; Carroll, who died in Morrill a few years ago, and who together with his brother Yorick built the first substantial building in that town; Willis, who lives at Sweetgrass, Montana, and is the owner of the townsite at that place; and Blanche, now Mrs. Henry Russell, at Mitchell, Nebraska.
Mr. Nichols still keeps as one of his most prized relics his father's commission as a captain in Hancock's corps of the Union army, signed by President Abraham Lincoln.
In 1882 Yorick Nichols came to Wyoming and worked as a cowboy. He took a preëmption claim and timber claim in that part of old Cheyenne county, Nebraska, which is now Scottsbluff county, and also a homestead of 320 acres in Wyoming, with 100 acres under irrigation. He has followed stockraising for his main occupation all his life, feeding in the winter time, and raising a good grade of stock. He ran cattle on 5,000 acres adjoining the present town of Henry, Nebraska, which town was founded by him. His place is now known as "Little Moon Ranch."
He was married first to Alice D. Dyer, a native of England and a woman of literary talent who did quite a little writing. She is now deceased. They had an adopted son, Henry B. Dyer, who met an accidental death by drowning a few years ago. It was in his honor the town of Henry was named.
Mr. Nichols' present wife was (sic) Maude Lawrence, a native of Nebraska. She is a member of the Christian church.
Mr. Nichols is an independent voter. He is one of the best known of the old-timers of westeren (sic) Nebraska and eastern Wyoming, and claims the distinction of being the first bona fide settler in this part of the North Platte valley.
CALVIN NEELY, one of Kimball county is highly esteemed citizens, for many years was engaged in the stock business but now lives practically retired in his comfortable home at Kimball. Mr. Neely was born in Grant county, Wisconsin, December 27, 1861. His parents were Samuel and Anna Neely, who had eleven children and eight of these reached maturity. Samuel Neely enlisted in the Forty-second Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War at Lancaster, Wisconsin, and was honorably discharged at Cairo, Illinois.
Calvin Neely grew up in Wisconsin and obtained his schooling there. As one of a large family he early had to assist in his own sup-
port by working on farms and herding cattle and remember (sic) how far he felt from home and how big the world looked to him, when his father sent the eleven-year old boy to look after the herding a dozen miles away. He accompanied his parents to Nebraska in 1886, when his father homesteaded in Cheyenne county. The family lived there about eight years, then moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where the father died, the mother returning then to Nebraska, where she lived with a daughter until her own death.
In 1887 Calvin Neely was united in marriage to Miss Ella M. Bliss, daughter of Ambrose K. Bliss. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss came to Nebraska in 1886 and located in Cheyenne county, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres and proved up on the claim. In 1898 they moved to Eaton, Colorado. The mother died in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1901 and the father died in Denver, Colorado in 1908. Mr. Bliss was a corporal in Company C of the Twentieth Wisconsin Infantry, and served for three years, being mustered out at Galveston, Texas, July 14. 1865. Mrs. Neely was one of a family of eleven children, like her husband, and all reached maturity except one who died when fourteen months old. The Bliss family lived in Wisconsin, but Mr. and Mrs. Neely were married in Cheyenne county, Nebraska. They became the parents of three sons and one daughter, namely: Charles Vere, Chester C., Harlan L. and Doris G. All three sons were soldiers in the great war that has left its black trail of sorrow in so many homes. The eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Neely, Charles Vere Neely, was well and affectionately known all through Kimball county, for he had qualities that won him friends wherever he went. For about twelve years before entering the National army, he had lived at Golden, Fruitdale and Maple Grove, Colorado. He was sent from Golden in the draft contingent leaving April 27, 1918, to Camp Funston, where he was assigned to the Three hundred and fifty-fourth infantry and was sent overseas with the Eighty-ninth division. Although, through bravery exposed on hundreds of occasions to a soldier's hazard, he escaped injury until the practical ending of the war, receiving his death wound just fifty minutes before the signing of the armistice that ended the fighting. In a beautiful, touching letter received subsequently by the bereaved family, his closest comrade during their sojourn in France, says: "a better buddy in every way, a more fearless soldier, a quicker or more dependable runner, and a surer guide, never lived." Neely Post No. 22, at Kimball was named in his honor.
Chester C. Neely, the second son, is an overseas soldier who is now at home, having been honorably discharged from military service, May 17, 1919, at Camp Lee, Virginia. He had twelve months of training at Camp Funston and Camp Cody, New Mexico, then went to France attached to company A, One hundred and ninth engineers, Thirty-fourth division, and served there eight months. Harlan L., the third son, was in training for some months at Lincoln, Nebraska, and Camp Sherman, Ohio,, and was honorably discharged. The one daughter of the family, Doris G., a high school graduate, is employed in a Kimball business house as a bookkeeper and resides with her parents. Mr. Neely and his family are members of the Presbyterian church
SAMUEL B. HANNA, who has the distinction of being the second oldest real estate dealer, in point of time, in Kimball county, came here in 1906 and has built up an extensive business, connection in land and insurance. Mr. Hanna was born in Fayette county, Ohio, April 7, 1870. His parents were James and Tabitha Hanna. His mother died May 28, 1870, leaving a daughter, since deceased, and Samuel B., an infant. In 1904 his father came to Nebraska and bought land in the Wood River valley, on which he lived until 1907, when he moved to Oklahoma and his death occurred in 1915, at Hennessey, in Kingfisher county. Both parents were members of the Presbyterian church, solid, respectable people of good old Scotch-Irish stock.
Samuel B. Hanna had adequate school opportunities in his youth but no special advantages. In 1906 he came to Kimball county and on June 1, of that year, embarked in the real estate and insurance business, having secured an agency from W. F. Shelton, of Omaha, in the sale of Union Pacific Railroad lands. In fulfilling this contract Mr. Hanna has handled many thousand acres of land, disposing of the last tracts in this section in 1911. Perhaps no one in the business is better qualified concerning land of every description and value all through Nebraska, and many eastern firms consult him concerning investments. He also represents old line insurance companies. In every phase of his business Mr. Hanna has been found reliable and upright.
In 1892 Mr. Hanna was united in marriage to Miss Effie M, Briggs, who was born at
Greenfield, Ohio, a daughter of Jesse and Delilah Briggs, farming people. To Mr. and Mrs. Briggs nine children have been born: Charles Wesley, a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church, in Ohio; Elijah, deceased, was a farmer; Jesse, died in 1918; Effie and Elmer, twins, the latter of whom died in infancy; Clara, the wife of Edward Preston; Martha, resides at Greenfield, Ohio; Rebecca, the wife of William Roseboom, a retired farmer of Summitville, Indiana; and Emma, who was the wife of William Fisher. The family home is a handsome modern residence on the corner of Fourth and Chesnut streets, Kimball. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hanna are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is prominent in the order of Kinghts (sic) of Pythias, being a past chancellor and deputy grand chancellor and master of finance in the local body, and belongs also to the Modern Woodmen.
WILLIAM J. CRONN, who has been a prominent citizen of Kimball for many years, active in business and foremost in civic affairs, was born at Millbrook, Ulster county, New Jersey, July 7, 1860. He was reared and educated in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, had public school advantages, and was twenty years old when he went to Wisconsin, his parents following about eight months later.
The family lived in the above named state for five years and then the father moved to Nebraska, in 1885, locating in Colfax county. In 1890 he took up a homestead in Banner county but at a later date sold it and moved to California, where they are still living near Los Angeles, being aged about eighty-six years. Of their thirteen children nine are living. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
William J. Cronn was thirty-eight years old when he came to Kimball county and started into business in the village as a painter and paper-hanger. Business prospects at that time were not very bright for the village and Mr. Cronn remembers seeing three of the rather limited number of houses moved by their owners out on their ranches. He found plenty to do however, as he was the only man in his line in the neighborhood and the most of the painting and paper-hanging jobs between Sidney and Cheyenne came to him. He now has a paint and paper store at Kimball and is a contractor in this line of work. He owns considerable propertly (sic) at Kimball included in which is his fine modern residence.
In 1888 Mr. Cronn was united in marriage to Miss Hattie Longworth, a daughter of William Longworth and wife, who reside in Schuyler, Colfax county, Nebraska. The latter have three daughters and one son: Ethel, the wife of Mr. McGregor, has five children; Alice, who married Mr. Wilson and resides at Kimball; Chester, a painter by trade; and Irene, her father's assistant in the store. From the first Mr. Cronn has been enterprising and progressive as a citizen. He has been mayor of the city and is now serving in his third term as city alderman. In speaking of him his fellow citizens say, "he is a fine man." Mr. Cronn and his family belong to the Methodist Episcopal church.
GEORGE W. HARVEY, who is a highly respected retired resident of Kimball, came to Nebraska many years ago, and in one way or another, has been identified with the substantial development of several sections of the state. He belongs to that sturdy group of pioneers who blazed the way for those who later more comfortably followed the trail.
George W. Harvey was born in Hardin county, Ohio, March 19, 1849. His parents were Brice and Caroline Harvey, who were married on February 18, 1847. They had two children, George W. and Mary D., the latter of whom died in infancy. The father died on the old homestead in Ohio, June 8, 1856. The mother remained a widow six years, then married John Merritt, a fine man, a farmer and stockman of Jones county, Iowa. To the second marriage of Mr. Harvey's mother seven children were born, and the mother died February 16, 1904, on the homestead situated three miles west of Olin, Iowa.
After his father died and until his mother married again, George W. Harvey lived with his grandparents and an uncle, then went to Iowa with his mother and step-father, the latter treating his stepson very kindly and he remained at home until he was twenty-one years old. In August, 1871, Mr. Harvey was united in marriage to Miss Cora A. Williams, a daughter of Harris and Louise (Young) Williams. Mrs. Harvey had one brother, who died in infancy. Her mother died in Illinois, while her father was a farmer and stockraiser, near Joliet, but he later moved to Iowa and died in Jones county. To Mr. and Mrs. Harvey the following children were born: Celesta, born August 8, 1872, died in infancy in Iowa; Lillian, born October 8, 1873, is the wife of John McKinnon, who owns a fruit farm in California; Charles, born May 27, 1875, is a rancher in Montana: Ella born
March 8, 1877, is the wife of Frank O. Baker, who is a banker; Arthur, born June 18, 1878, is in business at Joliet, Wyoming, is married and has three living children; Earl, born March 18, 1881, conducts a stock ranch and farm in Banner county, is married and has seven children; and Nina E., born April 30, 1882, is the wife of William Deakin, of Omaha.
In 1882 Mr. and Mrs. Harvey came to Nebraska and located in Burt county, the nearest market town being Decatur. They remained in Burt county for some years, Mr. Harvey buying three hundred and twenty acres, which he sold in 1888 and then they came to what is now Banner county, just prior to the contest over the county seat, details of which are found in the county annals. After taking up a pre-emption in Banner county he proved up, remained twelve years and from time to time bought land until he now owns seventeen hundred and sixty acres of fine land there. Mr. and Mrs. Harvey's first home was in a tent that served them for six months, when Mrs. Harvey's uncle, Ebenezer Williams, built them a stone house, Mrs. Harvey assisted in mixing the mortar, and a warm, comfortable residence was the result. When Mr. Harvey had his house ready to move into, he had just seventy-five cents in his pocket, and when his household goods arrived at Kimball he could not find any place to store them, so hauled them out to his homestead, covered them with boards and left them undisturbed until he had managed to put in a crop on forty acres.
Mr. Harvey at that time had to drive sixty miles to Cheyenne to find a market for his crop, and received thirty-five cents a bushel for wheat that took the first prize at the state fair and also the sweepstake prize for the best wheat grown in Nebraska. Like other settlers he faced hard times on many occasions, often worked for seventy-five cents a day at anything that offered, and during one winter Mrs. Harvey went to Cheyenne and did nursing in order to add to the family exchequer, and at other times she remained to look after the crops while Mr. Harvey and son Charles worked for John Gordon on Horse Creek. It was not all work and no play in early times, however, and Mr. Harvey had an enjoyable occasion, when settlers from all over the county met in Bull Canyon and got acquainted with each other, that being the first "get together" meeting they ever had, but not the last. At one time Mr. Harvey had an open range in Banner county of fifty-five sections and it took him three days to ride around it. The first school house was built by the settlers, a log structure 16x24 feet in dimensions, which was used for some years as the taxes in the district did not prove sufficient to build a new one. In 1909 Mr. Harvey came to Kimball and bought fifty acres and a comfortable residence. He and wife are members of the Presbyterian church.
FRANCIS O. BAKER, who is a man of business prominence in Kimball county, where he has large land interests as well as in Banner county, is president of the Bushnell State Bank at Bushnell. Mr. Baker was born in 1863 in De Kalb county, Illinois. His parents, William and Mary (Newport) Baker, were born near Dover, England, and after coming to the United States lived for two years near Syracuse, New York, then moved to De Kalb county, Illinois. In 1877 they went to Nebraska, settling in Saline county, where the father yet lives, but the mother died in June, 1917. They had children as follows: an infant that died at birth; Mattie, who married Emmett Buckingham of Beaver Crossing, Nebraska, and they have five children; Charles, who is a retired farmer and stockman, lives at Lincoln; Francis O, who was fourteen years old when he came to Nebraska; and Addie, who is deceased.
Francis O. Baker had public school advantages in Illinois, accompanied his parents to Saline county, Nebraska in 1877, and remained at home assisting his father until he was twenty-four years old. At that time he went to Banner county, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres, on which he proved up and to which he subsequently added. Mr. Baker now owns four sections of land in Banner county and one section in Kimball county, having lesser interests in other counties. In May, 1910, Mr. Baker came to Bushnell and embarked in the mercantile business, shortly afterward organizing the Bushnell State Bank. He served this institution at first as cashier, but in 1917 was elected president and has ably directed its affairs ever since, making it one of the sound, stable banks of the county, Mr. Baker having the full confidence of the public in his business sagacity and personal integrity.
Mr. Baker was married in 1893, to Miss Ella Harvey, a daughter of George W. Harvey, a prominent retired citizen of Kimball. Mr. and Mrs. Baker have three children: Charles, born in 1898, has finished his high school course and is assisting his father; Robert born March 8, 1904; and Alice, born
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