Resource Center, On-Line Library
years of age when he left the old Keystone state and established his residence in Illinois, where he became a prosperous farmer and where he died at the age of fifty-two years. His widow, who was born in the city of Philadelphia, now resides in the home of her son Joseph E., at Gering, and as he is a bachelor he is favored in having his loved and gracious mother as the supervisor of the domestic economics of their pleasant home.
Joseph E. Keller is indebted to the public schools of Illinois for his early educational discipline and after the death of his father he continued to attend school until he was sixteen years of age, having been assigned a place in the Evangelical Orphans' Home at Flat Rock, Ohio. In initiating his independent career he was identified with farming for one year and thereafter, in 1893, he came to Scottsbluff county, Nebraska, where he has since maintained his home and where pioneer distinction is due him. Here he has contributed his quota to the advancement of farm enterprise, has given attention to the breaking and training of horses and has given efficient aid in connection with the construction of the various irrigating ditches in the vicinity of Gering. He is an enthusiast in regard to this section of the state and is a citizen who is well known and highly esteemed. In politics he gives his support to men and measures meeting the approval of his judgment and is independent of strict partisan lines. He is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America, as a member of the camp in his home city.
PETER THOMPSON. -- A varied and interesting career has been that of this vital and progressive citizen of Scottsbluff county, where he is prominently identfied (sic) with the basic industry of raising and feeding cattle and where he is the owner of a valuable landed estate of large area. His fine cattle ranch is situated at the head of Nine Mile canyon and comprises twelve hundred and eighty acres, besides which he is the owner of a quarter-section of land four miles northeast of Minatare, in which village he maintains his residence.
Mr. Thompson was born in Denmark, April 11, 1872, and is a son of Andrew Thompson, who immigrated to the United States in 1879 and located in Kansas City, Missouri, where he died within a short time thereafter, his wife having passed away in Denmark, shortly prior to his coming to America. Peter Thompson was a lad of about six years when he came with his father to the United States and after the father's death he was taken into the home of his aunt, in Kansas City, where he remained until he was thirteen years of age and here he was afforded the advantages of the public schools. At the age noted, he showed his juvenile independence and self-confidence by "beating his way" to Omaha, from which city he continued his journeying to the capital of Nebraska. At Lincoln he found employment in the railroad yards, and he was thus engaged about one year. He then made his way to Ogallala, Keith county, and for the ensuing period of about eighteen months he was employed on farms and ranches in that vicinity. Thereafter he again yielded to the wanderlust, and continued his travels into Montana and Alberta, Canada. Finally he enlisted in the United States Army, in which he served from 1891 to 1894, having been stationed at Angel, Island, California. After the expiration of his enlistment he went to Cheyenne, Wyoming and in 1895 he returned to Nebraska and entered claim to a homestead in Deuel county. He eventually perfected his title to this claim and there he continued to be actively engaged in the cattle business until 1902, when he purchased his present extensive and well improved cattle ranch in Scottsbluff county. His energy and progressive policies have here brought him success and prominence as an exponent of the cattle industry and he is one of the substantial and valued citizens of the county. He owns his attractive residence property at Minatare, where he is one of the associate owners of the farmers' co-operative store, besides which he has the distinction of being mayor of the village at the time of this writing, in the winter of 1919. He is one of the loyal and representative men of of the town and has been a member of the village council for a period of eight consecutive years. He has done all in his power to further the civic and material upbuilding of Minatare and was especially active in the work that resulted in the erection of the present fine school building in the village. In politics Mr. Thompson designates himself an independent Republican, and he has been affiliated with the Knights of Pythias for fully a score of years. In addition to his local interests he is a stockholder in the Higgins Packing Company, of South Omaha, and it is specially to be noted that his success has come entirely as the results of his own ability and well directed efforts.
February 28, 1901, recorded the marriage of Mr. Thompson to Miss Caroline A. Douglass,
of Alliance, Box Butte county, this state. Mrs. Thompson was born at Genoa, Nance county, Nebraska, and is, a daughter of George and Ida (Merrill) Douglass, well known pioneers of western Nebraska. Mrs. Douglass passed to the life eternal in 1910, when about fourty-four (sic) years of age, and Mr. Douglass now resides in the state of Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have six children, all of whom are at the parental home at the time this review is prepared, their names being entered here in respective order of birth: Noel G., Leon L., Peter, Jr., Cora, Corinne, and Lulu. The family is one of prominence and popularity in the home community.
ANTON HIERSCHE became a resident of Scottsbluff county in 1886, is thus entitled to pioneer honors and has done well his part in connection with the social and industrial development and upbuilding of this now favored section of Nebraska. He was a pioneer in the sheep industry in western Nebraska and through his well ordered activities he acquired substantial success. He is now living virtually retired from active business and maintains his home in the city of Scottsbluff. His loyalty to and appreciation of this section of Nebraska are of unequivocal type, for while he has traveled extensively both in this country and Europe and has been a close observer of conditions, he states impressively that these travels have but heightened and confirmed his opinion that for attractiveness as a place of residence and as a field offering great opportunities to the honest and earnest worker, western Nebraska stands pre-eminent. As a citizen who is well known and who commands unqualified popular esteem, Mr. Hiersche well merits representation in this history.
In the old ancestral home, at Hirschberg, Bohemia, a place that had been in the possession of the family for six generations, Anton Hiersche was born on the 14th of May, 1863. He is a son of Menzel and Anna (Engel) Hiersche, both of whom passed their entire lives in that section of Bohemia, where the father died at the age of sixty years and the mother at the age of seventy years. In the family were six sons and three daughters, two of the children having died in infancy. The daughters remained in their native land and four sons came to the United States and became American citizens.
In the public schools of his native town Anton Hiersche gained his early educational training under effective conditions, and at the age of fourteen years he there entered upon a practical apprenticeship to the butcher's trade. With this line of work he continued to be identified until he had attained the age of eighteen years, when he severed the gracious home ties and set forth to seek his fortunes in the United States. He landed in the port of New York city on the 24 of October, 1881, and incidental to his venturesome voyage he had assumed an indebtedness of seventy dollars. He was fortified, however, with ambition, courage, self-reliance and determined purpose, so that he bravely faced the problems that confronted him in the land of his adoption. After working as a farm hand in Clinton county, Iowa, for one year, at a wage of twelve dollars a month, he had so conserved his earnings as to be able to pay the debt above mentioned and also had a sufficient additional sum to enable him to remove to Sac county, Iowa, where he continued for a time as a farm workman, after which he rented land and engaged in farming in an independent way, His two years of experience in this connection brought him a negative success, and he accordingly determined to come to Nebraska, where he felt assured of better opportunities. In December, 1885, he arrived at Sidney, Cheyenne county, this state, with only thirty-seven cents as a starting capital. Of this amount he paid thirty-five cents at a stage station fifteen miles north of Sidney, for a breakfast consisting of a cup of coffee, a biscuit and a piece of bacon. From Sidney he made his way on foot to Cider Flats, south of Gering, Scottsbluff county, and he covered the distance--seventy-five miles--in two days. He passed through a wild range country, and when the cattle made charges at him he would frighten them away by waving his hat and coat.
In February, 1886, Mr. Hiersche filed a preemption claim to the northeast quarter of section twenty-one, township twenty-one, range fifty-five, and after completing proof of this property he went to the western part of Wyoming, where he found employment as a ranch hand, in the meanwhile having previously taken a tree claim near his pre-emption, this tree claim having been the north half of the southeast quarter of the south half of the northeast quarter of section eight, township twenty-one, range fifty-five. From Wyoming Mr. Hiersche made his way into Montana, where he worked on ranches and gained his initial experiences in connection with the sheep industry as conducted on an extensive scale. In 1894 he returned to Scottsbluff county, and for an aggregate of $725 he sold sixty-one head
of cattle, jointly owned by himself and his brother Wenzel. They borrowed sufficient additional money to enable them to buy eight hundred and fifty lambs, which they purchased of Senator Warren, at Cheyenne, and for which they paid about $800. The brothers first handled these sheep on a ranch south of Gering, and in 1896 they removed to section twelve, township twenty-three, north of Scottsbluff, where they continued to be most successfully associated in the sheep business until 1910. Incidental to their somewhat extensive operations it became necessary for them to borrow money from time to time, and on such loans they paid an average of two per cent a month, while at time they found it necessary to pay as high as four per cent a month. Wool was sold at five and one-half sents (sic) a pound, lambs at five and one-half cents a pound and ewes at four cents a pound, in the Omaha market.
In 1910, Anton Hiersche disposed of his sheep and landed interests and since that time he has not been engaged in active business, his well earned prosperity justifying him in the gracious retirement which he enjoys. Since his retirement Mr. Hiersche has traveled somewhat extensively, both in this country and Europe, but he has constantly looked upon Scottsbluff county as his home and has never wavered in his allegiance to and appreciation of the section in which his maximum success was gained as one of the world's productive workers. He takes loyal interest in public affairs, especially all things touching the welfare of his home county and state, and in politics he maintains an independent attitude.
WILLIAM I. KENDALL has been a resident of Nebraska from the time of his young manhood and here he has so effectively availed himself of opportunities that he has achieved substantial prosperity. He has concerned himself successfully with agricultural and livestock enterprise in Scottsbluff county and now resides in the city of Scottsbluff, a citizen well worthy of recognition in this publication.
Mr. Kendall was born in Freeborn county, Minnesota, on the 18th of July, 1864, a date that indicates that his parents were numbered among the pioneers of that state, He is a son of Isaac and Christiana (Clark) Kendall, the former a native of New Hampshire and the latter of Ohio. Isaac Kendall settled in Minnesota in the early pioneer period of its history and he represented that commonwealth as a gallant soldier of the Union in the Civil War. He continued to be engaged in farming and stock-raising in Minnesota until 1881, when he came with his family to Nebraska and settled at Chadron, Dawes county. In 1884 he took up homestead and tree claims in that county, and he not only perfected his title to these properties but also improved the land and became a successful agriculturist and stock-raiser, besides which he owned and operated a saw mill. He eventually removed to Oregon, and at Burns, that state, he died when seventy eight years of age, his venerable widow being still a resident of that village.
William I. Kendall was reared under the conditions and influences that marked the pioneer epoch in the history of Minnesota, where he made good use of the advantages afforded in the public schools. He was a youth of seventeen years when, in 1881, he accompanied his parents to Nebraska. In 1883 the family moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and in 1884 they returned to Nebraska, settling in Dawes county. On his land Mr. Kendall raised and fed cattle and horses in a successful way, and he was associated with his father in the operation of the saw mill. In 1887 he removed to Harrison, Sioux county, where he remained about one year, and in 1889 he located at Custer City, where he engaged in the lumber business, in connection with which he operated a saw mill. There he remained until 1898, when he removed to Chadron, and in 1901 he came to Scottsbluff county, where for the ensuing three years he conducted farming activities on the old W. H. Wrght (sic) place. For the next two years he occupied the Gable farm, and thereafter he farmed one year on the place owned by Michael Powers. Upon leaving this farm he removed to the city of Scottsbluff where he purchased a good residence property and where he has since maintained his home. Mr. Kendall has opened up and developed much farm land in this county and has been known as a vigorous and productive worker--one who has contributed his share to civic and material development and progress. For four years he had active charge of the feed yards at the beet-sugar factory at Scottsbluff. He has identified himself loyally with community interests, is a Republican in his political proclivities and is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America.
At Hay Springs, Sheridan county, Nebraska, on the 12th of November, 1885, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Kendall to Miss Jennie Eltingsteb, theirs having been the second marriage performed in that place. Mrs.
Kendall was born July 3, 1869, at Brooklyn, New York, where she was reared and educated. She was but four years old at the time of her mother's death and was reared by the paternal grandparents of Mr. Kendall, having accompanied them to Wisner, Nebraska, when she was a girl. In conclusion is entered brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Kendall: Charles died January 9, 1917, born August 29, 1887, at Scottsbluff, and was about twenty-eight years old at the time of his demise; Lucy passed away at Custer City, when but eight years of age; Ralph J. is married and resides at Scottsbluff; Harry J. likewise resides in this city, and he was a soldier in the national army in connection with the World War, having received his training at Camp Dodge, Iowa; and Augusta is the wife of Marshall Barnhart, of Bayard, Morrill county. They have a baby boy, born October 29, 1919, named Berle.
ORIN DELBERT CHAPEN. -- Though from the inception of its settlement and development the western part of Nebraska has offered manifold attractions and advantages, yet those who have proved successful here have been the men whose energy and judgment enabled them to take full advantage of the opportunities presented, for supine ease and listlessness never prove efficient, no matter how great the advantages offered. Mr. Chapen, who is now living retired in the city of Scottsbluff, has been a resident of Nebraska for approximately thirty-five years and here he has achieved success worthy of the name, as a man of initiative and constructive ability and as a citizen whose loyalty has been shown in labors that have made for development and advancement.
Orin Delbert Chapen was born at Sandusky, Ohio, December 25, 1851, and is a representative of one of the sterling pioneer families of the old Buckeye state, within whose gracious borders were born his parents, John and Elizabeth (Smithers) Chapen. The father was a valiant soldier of the Union throughout the Civil War, in which he served as a member of an Ohio regiment of volunteers, and the major part of his active career was marked by close identification with the basic industry of agriculture, He was a resident of Ohio at the time of his death, which occurred when he was about seventy years of age. Mrs. Elizabeth (Smithers) Chapen, mother of the subject of this review, was thirty-two years of age at the time of her death, her parents George William and Mary (Arnold,) Smithers, having been born in Pennsylvania and having been pioneer settlers in Ohio, where the former died at the age of eighty years and the latter at the age of seventy-nine years. Orin D. Chapen was but seven years old at the time of his mother's death and he was taken into the home of his maternal grandparent, by whom he was reared and educated, his scholastic training having been acquired in the public schools of his native state. Thereafter he continued his association with Ohio farm enterprise until 1883, when he removed to Edgar county, Illinois, where he was engaged in farming until 1885, when he came to Nebraska and established his residence in Hamilton county. There he put his former experience to good use by turning his attention to agricultural and live-stock industry, and there he continued to reside until 1890, when he removed to Deuel county and took a homestead, the same being not far distant from Garden, in Garden county. In Deuel county Mr. Chapen developed a valuable ranch, which he devoted principally to the raising of cattle and horses, and thereafter continuing in the stock business about four years he removed to Alliance, Box Butte county, where he engaged in the livery business. In 1905 he established himself in the same line of enterprise at Minatare, where he remained for a time, as did he also at Bayard, Morrill county. Within these passing years he was successful in his business activities, and since 1907 he has maintained his home at Scottsbluff, in which city he is living retired.
In politics Mr. Chapin is a stalwart Republican, and while he has never sought public office he served very efficiently as assesor (sic) of Alkali precinct, Deuel county, in 1901-02. He is a member of the Protestant Episcopal church, while Mrs. Chapen belongs to the Christian church.
In Delaware county, Ohio, on the 20th of October 1875, Mr. Chapen wedded Miss Lottie J. Linnabary, and she passed to eternal rest when thirty-five years of age. Of this union were born four children: Mrs. Maude L. Van Deusen, of Stockham, Hamilton county; Mrs. Cora B. Rutter, of Minatare, Scottsbluff county; Mrs. Rose E. Fulton, who is deceased; and Clarence L., who died when about twenty-eight years of age. At Scottsbluff, on the 9th of October, 1902, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Chapen to Mrs. Louise J. (Hibbs) Baker, who was born in West Virginia, as were also her parents, Dr. Stephen and Malinda (Yost) Hibbs, the former of whom, a successful physician and surgeon, at
© 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by Pam Rietsch, Ted & Carole Miller