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MR. AND MRS. WILLIAM DEBILY.
He was sent by the English government to the West Indies, and land which he there purchased is presumed to yet be an asset of his estate. He died in the West Indies and his widow subsequently contracted a second marriage, she too being now deceased. The subject of this memoir acquired his early education pricipally (sic) in the schools of England and as a young man he came to Nebraska with Lord Jones, who owned a large tract of land in the vicinity of Crete, Saline county. There Mr. Ford gained in this connection wide and practical experience in the herding of cattle under the conditions of the pioneer days, and after coming to the state he had occasion to make five visitations to England, at varying intervals. His stepfather came to Nebraska about two years after he himself had here established residence, and the former took up a homestead in Butler county, he and his wife having passed the remainder of their lives in this state. Mr. Ford became actively identified with farm enterprise in Butler county and there he continued to reside until 1908, when he moved to Scottsbluff county and took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in section 20, township 23-54. Later he added greatly to his holdings, and at the time of his death he was the owner of a tract of two hundred and eighty acres, which is still in the possession of his widow and children and which is one of the well improved farm properties of this section of the state, Here are conducted successful operational (sic) along the lines of diversified agriculture and stock-raising, and the two sons of Mr. Ford are here well upholding the honors of the family name. In a general way Mr. Ford was a Democrat in politics, but he was a zealous advocate and supporter of the cause of prohibition and did all in his power to bring about the obliteration of the liquor traffic. He was affiliated with the Modem Woodmen of America and was an earnest member of the Presbyterian church, as is also his widow.
In Butler county, this state, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Ford to Miss Katie French, who was born in Illinois and who is a daughter of George and Mary (Wilson) French, who established their residence in Butler county in 1882, after having made the overland trip from Illinois by medium of team and wagon. Mr. French, who was a veteran of the Civil War, in which he served three years in defense of the Union, purchased land and improved a good farm in Butler county. He passed to eternal rest in 1904 and his venerable widow still resides in Butler county. In conclusion is given brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Ford: Gertrude is the wife of Charles Hills, a farmer in Scottsbluff county; Grace is the wife of Harry Drawbaugh, of David City, this state; and Charles I. and George I. remain upon the old home farm, of which they have the active management. Charles is married, the maiden name of his wife having been Edna Stratton; George married Jesta Andrews.
WILLIAM DEBELY, who owns one of the productive irrigated farms of Scottsbluff county, was born in Switzerland, August 9, 1860. His parents were Frederick and Sophia (Peret) DeBely. The father was born in France but went to Switzerland when young and learned the watchmaking trade, which he followed until his death at the age of sixty-two years. The mother was born in France, came to the United States in 1900 and is now deceased.
William DeBely was reared and educated in Switzerland. In 1888 he came to the United States and located in Scottsbluff county, Nebraska, where he was variously employed until 1892, when he homesteaded. The hardships of early times in this section affected him to some extent, but he never became discouraged and now feels well repaid for his hard work in the development of his property. He carries on general farming and raises stock.
In 1887 Mr. DeBely was married to Elizabeth Lowe, who was born August 4, 1859, and died May 16, 1901. Her parents never came to the United States. They have five children: Frederick, Pearl, Carl, Blanche, and Fannie. Mr. DeBely and his family belong to the Lutheran church.
JOHN MATHSON. -- Admirably has this sterling citizen demonstrated the forceful energy and mature judgment that have made those of Scandinavian birth or lineage so potent a factor in connection with the industrial development of many of our western states, and in Scottsbluff county he has reclaimed and improved a fine farm property in the Mitchell vicinity, his home place being in section 5, township 23-55. As one of the substantial and highly respected men of the county he is entitled to recognition in this history.
Mr. Mathson is a native of Norway, where he was born in the year 1879, and he is a son of Mathiason and Emborg Mathson, the former of whom still resides in Norway and the latter of whom is deceased.
John Mathson was reared to maturity in his **tages (sic) of the common schools, and in 1900 he
native land, where he was given the advan- (sic)** immigrated to America and established his residence in Wisconsin, where he found employment at farm work, besides which he attended school at intervals during the years of his stay in the Badger state. Thence he went to Denver, Colorado, where he found employment in connection with the manufacturing of brick, and from that state he continued his way westward and visited California and Nevada. In 1906 he came to Nebraska and took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in Scottsbluff county, and this place has since continued the stage of his energetic and well directed enterprise as a successful agriculturist and stock-grower. He has made excellent improvements on the farm, which has good buildings that were erected by him personally, as he is a skilled workman at the carpenter trade. For eight years he was identified with the government reclamation service. In politics Mr. Mathson is an independent voter and he has served efficiently as school director of his district. He had supervision of the construction of the consolidated school building in his locality, and he and his wife attend and support the Union church organization. He is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World. Mr. Mathson is progressive and wide awake as an exemplar of farm enterprise, and his valuable farm property has been provided with excellent irrigation facilities.
In 1905 occurred the marriage of Mr. Mathson to Miss Hannah Mundel, who likewise is a native of Norway, and their pleasant home is brightened by the presence of their five children: Erling, Judith, Helen, Lloyd and Ruth.
** Scrambled text between the double asterisks.
WILLIAM B. SWINDELL is one of those valiant souls who braved the hardships of the frontier in western Nebraska and became a pioneer of pioneers in that part of Cheyenne county that is now included in Scottsbluff county. He has reclaimed one of the large and valuable farm properties in this section of the state and his well improved estate is situated four and one-half miles north of the village of Minatare. In a general way as well as an individual way he has been an artificer of development and progress, and he is known and valued as a sterling citizen to whom the highest pioneer honors are due.
Mr. Swindell was born at Silver Creek, Delaware county, Iowa, on the 26th of October, 1857, and is a representative of one of the honored pioneer families of that section of the Hawkeye state, where his parents, William and Isabel Swindell, settled in the year 1851 and where they passed the remainder of their lives, secure in the high regard of all who knew them. He whose name introduces this review acquired his youthful education in the district schools of his native state, where he was reared under the influences of the pioneer days, and at the age of twenty years he became a clerk in a general store at Manchester, Iowa. In 1885 he came to what is now Scottsbuff (sic) county, Nebraska, and entered a pre-emption claim four and one-half miles north of Minatare, which now a thriving village then had no semblance of communal dignity. He perfected his title to his original claim, as did he also to adjoining homestead and tree claims, and under his vigorous and well ordered direction this property has been developed into one of the fine landed estates of this locality, the improvements being of the most approved modern type. Mr. Swindell has been somewhat of a leader in community affairs and has held three commissions as postmaster at Minatare--two under President Taft and one under President Cleveland. He is a Republican in his political adherence and has long maintained affiliation with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, in which he served twelve years as recorder, besides which he has passed the official chairs not only in this organization but also in that of the Modern Woodmen of America, in which latter he held for six years the office of clerk of his camp.
August 27, 1882, recorded the marriage of Mr. Swindell to Miss Ida Johnston, of Manchester, Delaware county, Iowa, and they have two fine sons: Earl J., who was born December 27, 1887, married Miss Clara Smith and they reside at Hot Springs, South Dakota; Donald W., who was born January 18, 1889, was afforded the advantages of the University of Nebraska, and when the nation became involved in the great world war he entered the military service, in the officers' training camp at Fort Sheridan, Chicago. His command was not called into active service over sea (sic) and he gained therein the rank of sergeant; he is now residing at Minatare.
EDWARD F. VANDERBERG has shown marked energy, enterprise and good judgment in his various business operations during the period of his residence in Scottsbluff county, and he is now the owner of valuable real estate in the city of Scottsbluff, where he is successfully established in the barber business, besides which he is the owner of property in
the state of Wyoming. His advancement has come as the result of his own energy and ability and he is one of the well known and popular citizens of his home city and county.
Mr. Vanderberg was born at Rock Island, Illinois, on the 25th of August, 1867, and is a son of Leo and Mary Ann (Marshall) Vanderberg, both of whom were residents of Nebraska at the time of their death. Leo Vanderberg came from Belgium, in 1848, and was a young man when he came to America. He resided in various states of the Union prior to coming to Nebraska, and the major part of his active life was devoted to agricultural pursuits. Mrs. Vanderberg was born in Kentucky, where her father was an agriculturist and slave-owner of no little importance prior to the Civil War, and she developed her talents in such a way as to become a woman of superior education and high intellectuality.
Edward F. Vanderberg was about seventeen years old at the time of the family removal to Nebraska, his early education having been gained principally in the public schools of Illinois, where also he acquired his initial experience in connection with farm enterprise. At the age of seventeen years he was found independently engaged in farming and stockgrowing in Frontier county, Nebraska, where he thus continued operation eleven years. He then removed to Maywood, that county, where he learned the trade of barber, which he there followed three years. On the 15th of August, 1901, he established himself in the barber business at Scottsbluff, and he began operations with but one chair. He eventually developed a large and representative trade, with a well equipped shop, and in 1909 he further manifested his progressive spirit by establishing and equipping the first thoroughly modern laundry in the city. He sold this latter business after successfully conducting the same about two years and thereafter he again gave his attention largely to his barbering business. In 1906, Mr. Vanderberg took up homestead and pre-emption claims in Funston precinct, ten miles northeast of Scottsbluff, and the same year he sold his rights to this property for $400. It is worthy of special mention that on Angust (sic) 15, 1919, the west eighty acres of this tract sold for $18,000. The four hundred dollars which he received for his claims Mr. Vanderberg invested in his business operations and since that time he has made substantial advancement, as shown in his ownership of his business property, his attractive residence in Scottsbluff and a farm at Goshen Hole, Wyoming. June 13, 1903, his barber shop was destroyed by fire, but he promptly erected a new and modern building on the site.
In politics Mr. Vanderberg maintains an independent attitude, and his popularity is indicated alike by his affiliation, as a charter member, with the local organizations of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Knights of Pythias. He has passed all of the official chairs in his Odd Fellows lodge and is also a valued member of the Scottsbluff Country Club.
At Maywood, Frontier county, on the 27th of May, 1900, Mr. Vanderberg wedded Miss Emma J. Schnase, a daughter of Gustave and Rose (Meyers) Schnase, both natives of Germany. Mr. Schnase came to the United States in 1865, and he and his wife eventually became pioneers in Frontier county, Nebraska, where he became a prosperous farmer near Maywood. Mr. and Mrs. Vanderberg have four children, all of whom remain at the parental home, Doris S., Elsie May, George Edward and Rosemary Ann. The eldest daughter was graduated in the Scottsbluff high school as a member of the class of 1919.
PARVIN E. GILBERT, who resides in the city of Scottsbluff and who is the owner of a well improved and irrigated ranch estate in the county, has here been prominently identified with mercantile and industrial interests for nearly a score of years, and he is now serving as salesman for a leading wholesale grocery house. He has been active in progressive movements that have inured to the advancement of Scottsbluff county and is a citizen who is well entitled to recognition in this history. Parvin Edson Gilbert was born in Van Buren county, Iowa, July 18, 1879, and has been a resident of Nebraska since his boyhood. He is a son of David L. and Minnie J. (Stout) Gilbert, whose marriage was solemnized November 22, 1877, and who were residents of this state, at the time of the father's death, on the 6th of May, 1887. On the 1st of November, 1895, Mrs. Minnie J. Gilbert contracted a second marriage, by becoming the wife of William M. Garrison, and she passed to the life eternal on the 17th of January, 1904.
Parvin E. Gilbert was afforded the advantages of the excellent public schools of Ogallala, Keith county, Nebraska, where he was graduated in the high school, and he early gained business experience of practical and valuable order. In 1901 he engaged in the
general merchandise business in Scottsbluff, as successor of Mr. Kirkpatrick, who opened the first store in the new town. Mr. Gilbert was the first to initiate a free-delivery system in connection wth (sic) retail mercantile enterprise in Scottsbluff and in order to meet the demands placed upon his establishment by a constantly expanding trade he removed from the original store to larger quarters on the present site of the First National Bank. In August, 1905 he sold his substantial business to the firm of William Rice & Company and turned his attention to the reclamation and improvement of his landed estate in Scottsbluff county. On the 14th of June, 1904, under the provisions of the reclamation act, Mr. Gilbert filed entry on a homestead, and to this place he removed with his family in January, 1906. He assisted actively in the building of the government irrigation canal and laterals and continued his service until the work was completed to Lake Alice. Through this medium he gained for his land excellent irrigation facilities, and he made excellent improvements on the tract, the most of which is seeded to alfalfa. He erected good buildings and brought the place to a status that marked it as one of the valuable properties of the county. In the autumn of 1910, Mr. Gilbert returned with his family to the city of Scottsbluff, and since 1911 he has given specially effective service as traveling salesman for a wholesale grocery house, the while he continued to give a general supervision to his ranch property.
The Democratic party finds Mr. Gilbert aligned as one of its loyal supporters, he is an appreciative and valued member of the Scottsbluff Commercial Club, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
July 14, 1904, recorded the marriage of Mr. Gilbert to Miss Golda Agnes Westervelt, daughter of James H. and Luranie A. Westervelt, well known citizens of Scottsbluff county. Mrs. Gilbert completed a course in the Scottsbluff high school in 1903, and she is a popular factor in the representative social activities of her home city. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert have four children, and their names and respective dates of birth are here noted: Adelaide Bernice, November 5, 1905; Lucile Marie, February 29, 1908; Howard James, March 4, 1910; and Charles L., January 16, 1914.
THOMAS E. CHAMBERS. --More than thirty years ago, when Scottsbluff county was still an integral part of Cheyenne county, Thomas E. Chambers and his wife became pioneer settlers near Minatare, though that now thriving village was at that time not to be found "on the map." They lived up to the full tension that marked the pioneer period in the annals of Scottsbluff county, and in addition to reclaiming one of the excellent farms of the county Mr. Chambers long held precedence as one of the leading merchants at Minatare, where he is now living retired, in the enjoyment of the rewards of former years of earnest and successful endeavor. As one of the representative citizens and pioneers of the county he is consistently accorded recognition in this history.
Thomas E. Chambers was born in County Kent, England, on the 18th of December, 1858, and his early education was obtained in the schools of his native land. On the 18th of December, 1871,--his thirteenth birthday anniversary--Mr. Chambers landed in New York City. He proceeded to Wapello county, Iowa, and for thirteen years he was employed in connection wth (sic) coal-mining industry in the Hawkeye state. In 1884 he removed to Hamilton county, Nebraska, where for three years he was a coal merchant, and he then moved and numbered himself among the pioneer settlers of that part of Cheyenne county that is now included in Scottsbluff county. He arrived on the 23d of March, 1887, and settled on a homestead claim two and one-half miles northeast of Minatare. He made improvements on the land and in due time perfected his title to the property, which he eventually sold to advantage. It is but fitting to state that when Mr. Chambers came to Nebraska his resources were very limited, his equipment when he arrived at Sidney having comprised one hundred pounds of flour, one hundred pounds of corn meal (which was later stolen from him), one dozen chickens, two cows, and a few household effects. Upon arriving at the Camp Clark bridge he had no money to pay the toll, and he borrowed one dollar from L. C. Marquis to meet this emergency. He thus depended entirely upon his own exertions in making his way to prosperity in the new country, and it is needless to say that he and his loyal wife endured their full share of the hardships and trials that marked the pioneer epoch in the history of Scottsbluff county, while they pressed forward to the goal of definite success which should ever attend honest and earnest endeavor.
Mr. Chambers has always stood ready to do all in his power to further the advancement and prosperity of his chosen county and state and he has been influential in community af-
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