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WILLIAM H. WRIGHT.
of the principles of democracy, and has served as secretary of its county central committee in Garden county. During the progress of the World War Mr. Mark gave every possible assistance in connection with the various national campaigns projected for the aiding of the government and its military and naval forces, his services as a public speaker having been enlisted as one of the "four-minute men." He was made chairman at Oshkosh and acting county chairman. He was a volunteer reserve of Garden county during the war, being also chairman of the Smilage committee, secretary of the county council of defense, associate member of the legal advisory board, chairman of the civilian relief committee for the Oshkosh A. R. C., and vice-chairman Oshkosh A. R. C. and public-service representative of the government's employment bureau. The governor of Nebraska advised him to remain on the local field, where he could work to better advantage in supporting the nation's war policies than he could by enlisting for military service. Mr. Mark is descended from eight ancestors who served in the war of the Revolution. The lineage of the Mark family traces back to staunch Scotch origin and the original American representative or representatives were numbered among the early settlers at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1666. The American founder of the Durfee family, the maternal line of the subject of this review, was Thomas Durfee, who emigrated to this country from England, about the year 1665.
October 12, 1905, the subject of this sketch was united in marriage to Miss Frances E. Twiford, a lady of exceptional musical ability and assistant in the School of Expression of the Wesleyan University at University Place, Nebraska. Possessed of an impulsive, carefree disposition, so often found in musical prodigies, looking forward with great enthusiasm to a life on one of Uncle Sam's reclamation homesteads, the stern realities of homestead life soon changed optimism to pessimism. It was with difficulty that Mr. Mark induced her to continue as a homestead resident until residence proof could be made. Following the depressing experience of extreme illness and prolonged disability, in the spring of 1913, the convalescent husband went to a lower altitude, only to return that fall a disabled man on crutches. This was too much for the sensitive wife. She declared marriage was a failure and that she had no further use for a husband. Finding the lady could not he changed from this attitude, Mr. Mark disclaimed all interest in family property, both real and personal, and began life anew. Following the statutory two-year limitation, Mrs. Mark applied for and received an absolute decree of divorce. They have two children, Harriet T. and Arc Durfee. At the age of thirteen Mr. Mark made a profession of Christianity and at present is a member of St. Mark's Lutheran church of Oshkosh.
WILLIAM H. WRIGHT (deceased), a pioneer of Scottsbluff city and county, was born at Whitehall, New York, July 23, 1834. He spent his boyhood years at home upon the farm where he was born, and was educated in the public schools, and later at Oberlin college, Oberlin, Ohio.
On November 13, 1857, he was married to Ellen J. Clark, who was born at White Hall, N. Y., March 31, 1839. Miss Clark was also educated at Oberlin college, and was residing there at the time of her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Wright returned to Whitehall and for a number of years operated the old Wright farmstead. In 1870 they came west and bought a farm in Mills county, Iowa, and this farm they still owned at the time Mr. Wright was called home. It was near old Pacific City. For a time he maintained a real estate office in Glenwood, the county seat, and Mrs. Wright and the sons operated the farm.
In 1890 they moved to Weeping Water, Nebraska, and here he left the family for a short time and came up to the Scottsbluff country. The family followed the subsequent spring, and they bought a small farm near where the city of Scottsbluff now stands. Alliance, fifty-five miles away, was then the nearest railroad town.
To Mr. and Mrs. Wright there were born seven children: Carlton C. was legal adviser of the North Western system in Nebraska for several years. He was elected city attorney of the city of Omaha, which position he filled with exceptional ability and honor. Then he became the general counsel for the North Western system and moved to Evanston, Illinois, with offices in Chicago. This place he held until his death in February, 1918. (2) Catherine, the eldest daughter, was married to Rev. F. T. McCollum, a, Congregational minister of Chicago. She passed away at the age of forty-eight years. (3) Fred A. is an attorney, and resides at Scottsbluff, where in county and city affairs he has held many positions of honor, and has always been active in public affairs. (4) Chas. W. was a son who died at the age of sixteen years. (5) Flavel L. spent many years of his life in this vicinity, and was known over a wide range of territory as an auctioneer of exceptional ability. He was active in public affairs
and upon the right side on public questions. His ability attracted the attention of the North Western Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and he now resides at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he went to take charge of the company's business in the Keystone state. (6) Cullen N. is vice president of the Platte Valley State Bank, at Scottsbluff, and is president and resident manager of the Tristate Land Company, which company has large irrigation interests as well as other financial connections with a large part of the valley.
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Wright were Congregationalists, but there being no church here when the town was organized, they were among the eight charter members of the First Presbyterian church at this place, and they assisted in the building of the first stockade shack in which the first church services were held in Scottsbluffs city.
The vision of William H. Wright has been demonstrated. He came here and saw the magnificent stretches of land, and when the lean years came he sought to amalgamate the interests at home and finance affairs from the east. The panic of the early nineties checked for a time the development, and wrecked the first corporation, but with the revival of business, other and new men of affairs took hold of it. Mr. Wright took an active part therein, and every man who invested in the first enterprise was repaid with interest and profit. He knew that the new enterprise was to succeed, he saw into the future, a little of the wonderful city and empire about it, but he did not live to see the water actually running in the great canal, to which he had devoted so much time and energy. To him, more than any one person, is that canal a monument of ability. He died May 10, 1906, and rests in Fairview, on a beautiful plot irrigated from the Tristate canal.
Mrs. Wright is a woman of great energy and intelligence. She has been foremost in religious, educational and civic work. With a number of friends, she organized the first woman's club in the city, which was named for a very dear friend at Weeping Water, and still is active as the Laura M. Woodford club. The first lecture course put on in this city was through the instrumentality of this club. Although eighty years of age she retains her health, strength and mental vigor, and walks with the brisk step of a woman of half her years. Her contribution to the community will endure for many years to come.
GEORGE H. MORRIS, M. D., is a representative physician and surgeon upholding high standards and professional prestige in the Nebraska Panhandle.
Dr. Morris was born in Des Moines county, Iowa, September 4, 1866, a son of William H. E. and Mary A. (Yates) Morris, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Kentucky. The parents became pioneer settlers in the Hawkeye state, where the father developed a farm and worked as a carpenter. He removed from Iowa to Carthage, Illinois, and in that state he passed the remainder of his life, his death having occurred in the city of Peoria, when he was about seventy years of age, He was one of the gallant representatives of Iowa in the Civil War, serving three years as a member of Company K, Second Iowa Cavalry. His widow was a resident of Hancock county, Illinois, at the time of her death, at the age of eighty years.
Dr. Morris was still an infant when his parents removed from Iowa to Hancock county, Illinois. He passed his boyhood years on the home farm and attended the public schools, including the high school at Carthage, Illinois. As a young man he was in the government service in connection with the U. S. lighthouse system of the Mississippi river. In this and other positions which he held, he carefully conserved his earnings, with a definite ambition to declare himself for the medicine profession. Thus through his own energies he provided the means which enabled him to complete the course in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, where he graduated with the class of 1907. After receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine he engaged in the practice at Okmulgee, Oklahoma, but within a short time came to Nebraska. He located near North Platte, Lincoln county, to engage in professional activities until 1911, when he moved to Oshkosh, Garden county, where he has since built up a large and substantial practice that clearly places him among the representative physicians and surgeons of this favored section of Nebraska. He has kept abreast of the advances made in his profession, and in 1908, completed an effective post-graduate course in the Chicago Polyclinic, and the preceding year took a graduate course in the medical department of the University of St. Louis, while in 1915 he graduated at the Chicago Polyclinic. Prior to his graduation in medicine the doctor had completed a course and been graduated at the Keokuk College of Pharmacy in 1906, and the next year served as a member of the faculty of that institution. He is an active member of the Lincoln County Medical Society, the Nebraska State Medical Society and the American Medical Association.
Dr. Morris is a Republican and served about two years as chairman of the Republican central committee of Garden county, besides which he has given effective service as chairman of the Oshkosh Board of Health, and was examining physician on the local exemption board when the nation was recruiting for the army and navy in connection with the World War. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, the Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist and Presbyerian (sic) churches respectively.
DAVID F. FICKES, who has given able service in the office of assessor of Garden county since 1915, became a resident of this section prior to the creation of Garden county, and he was one of the first men to be elected commissioner of the new county. He has been closely identified with the industrial and civic growth and development of the county and his present official position gives him knowledge of, values in the county, so that he is able to speak with emphasis and assurance of the wonderful advances that have been made within the period of his residence in this section of the state.
Mr. Fickes claims the Keystone state as the place of his nativity. His parents, Isaac L. and Margaret (Weyandt) Fickes passed their entire lives in that fine old commonwealth. David Fickles (sic) was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, January 11, 1858, and after completing the public schools he pursued a higher course of study in a normal school in Pennsylvania. He put his acquirements to practical application for a time as a teacher in the schools of his native state. Thereafter he, was identified with railroad construction work in the state of New York and later in eastern Canada, and later engaged in the operating of a steam shovel in the state of Tennessee, in connection with the work in the ore mines, where he worked for five years. In the autumn of 1892, Mr. Fickes came to Nebraska and became a pioneer settler in what is now Garden county. Here he took up a homestead, which adjoins the corporate limits of Oshkosh, which he still owns. He reclaimed and developed the land, made good improvements on the place, and devoted himself to diversified agricultural operations and the raising of live stock. He now rents the farm to a reliable tenant. Mr. Fickes purchased an adjoining tract, so that his landed property in the county now comprises three hundred and twenty acres.
Mr. Fickles (sic) is a Republitcan (sic) and has been influential in public affairs of a local order during the period of his resident in Nebraska. He served one of the first county commissioners of Garden county, and in 1915, he was appointed county assessor to fill a vacancy. The following year he was elected to this office, his mature judgment and accurate information making him a most satisfactory arbiter of real estate value. He is one of the pioneer members of the Masonic fraternity in Garden county and is a citizen who commands unqualified popular confidence and esteem. His wife is a member of the Lutheran church.
In Ohio, in 1882, Mr. Fickles (sic). married Miss Irene Fought, who was born and reared in that state, and the two children of this union are Howard and Orvin. Howard was married April, 1910, to Daisy Pueschel of Columbus, Nebraska, and they have two children, David Vada, both at home. He is successfully engaged in the hardware business at Oshkosh, and Orvin, is at Pueblo, Colorado. He was one of the gallant young men who gave to. the nation loyal service on the European battle fields during the World War. He was a private in the Three Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, Eighty-ninth Division of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, and while with this command he was wounded by a fragment of shell, in the battle of Argonne, November 3, 1918. He returned to his native land after the signing of the armistice.
EDWARD S. WOOD, who, in the winter of 1919, was treasurer of Garden county, needs no further voucher for his hold upon the confidence and good will of the people of his constituent county. He is one of the progressive citizens who are proving alert and resourceful in furthering the general welfare of Garden county, where he is the owner of a valuable tract of land, besides having an attractive home at Oshkosh.
Mr. Wood was born at Sutton, Clay county, Nebraska on July 15, 1880, a son of Samuel and Gertrude R. (Reeder) Wood. The father was born and reared in Ireland and about the year 1859, came to the United States and found employment on a farm in the state of Illinois. By his own efforts he provided the means for securing the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church. He was in the very flower of his strong and useful manhood when he came to Nebraska and here he rendered service in the ministry, serving as pastor in turn of the Methodist churches at Sutton, Central City and Tecumseh. He retained his charge in the last mentioned places
until his death, when he was about forty years of age. His widow, who now resides at York, was born in Ohio, where she received her earlier education, which was supplemented by further study after the removal of the family to Illinois, in which state her marriage was solemnized. In the public schools of Nebraska Edward S. Wood continued his studies until he completed a course in the high school at York, then was employed three years as clerk in a grocery store. In 1900, he came to the Panhandle of Nebraska and established his residence in what is now Garden county. During the ensuing winter he was employed on a ranch, and he then entered the service of John Orr, one of the large landholders and extensive cattle raisers of this locality. Mr. Wood continued his association with Mr. Orr for five years, and thereafter he was in the employ of the Western Land & Cattle Company, and held the position of foreman the greater part of the time. He gained broad and practical experience in connection with the cattle industry and is still manager of the company. This concern has about five thousand acres of deeded land, used for the grazing of herds of cattle, besides which the company has four head of buffalo. Mr. Wood continued the management of the business of this corporation until he was made a Republican candidate for the office of county treasurer, a post to which he was elected by a majority that was gratifying, in view of the fact that Garden county normally gives substantial Democratic majorities.
In addition to being a staunch and active supporter of the cause of the Republican party and an influential figure in its local councils, Mr. Wood maintains affiliation with the Modern Woodmen of America, the Odd Fellows and Masonic orders. In Garden county he is the owner of eleven hundred and fifty acres of excellent grazing land, which he rented upon assuming his present county office. Mrs. Wood is a member of the Methodist church.
On June 9, 1909, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Wood to Miss Nora Beaver, of Des Moines, Iowa, and their son Orien is nine years old.
REUBEN LISCO, is a sterling pioneer of the Panhandle of Nebraska; and has exerted influence in connection with civic, business and industrial affairs. He came to the Panhandle country nearly forty years ago, when this section of the state was practically nothing but unbroken prairie land, with the raising and feeding of cattle as its sole productive industry. He gained experience in herding cattle on the great open range; he was long and prominently identified with the cattle business when operations were conducted upon an extensive scale; he has witnessed and aided in the march of development and progress and he is today one of the leading citizens of Garden county, where he is president of the Lisco State Bank, in a town that was named in his honor. He is direct and unassuming in his varied activities and is essentially one of the representative business men of the great country to which this history is dedicated.
Mr. Lisco claims the Hawkeye state as the place of his nativity and is a representative of one of its early pioneer families. He was born in Worth county, Iowa, November 20, 1858, a son of William and Martha (Shields) Lisco, both of whom were born and reared in Ireland, where they were married and then came to America, imbued with a determination to find better opportuniies (sic) for the winning of independence and prosperity. They first settled in one of the eastern provinces of Canada before becoming pioneer of Iowa where the father reclaimed a farm and became a successful agriculturist. He lived to be eighty-four years old and his wife was about fifty-three years of age at the time of her death, in 1881. Of their eight children six are living. The family came to Nebraska in 1873, and settled near Columbus, Platte county, where the parents spent the remainder of their lives, the father having secured land and developed a pioneer farm.
Reuben Lisco attended the public schools of his native state and was a lad of about fourteen years at the time the family removed to Nebraska, his broader education having been here, gained principally in the school of practical work and experience. He remained at home until of age and a year later, in 1881, he made his way to the Panhandle of Nebraska. He found free and vital life in this great cattle district of western Nebraska, for he was employed as a cowboy by what is now the Rush Creek Land & Stock Company, of which corporation he is president, a statement which implies that he has been continuously associated with the cattle business here during the intervening period of nearly two score years. When he began life as a cowboy the place on which he was employed was known as the Club Ranch, and his reliability and energy enabled him to make such advancement that when the operating company was reorganized he was given the position of manager. In the meanwhile he accumulated considerable land
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