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PETRUS PETERSON AND FAMILY.
immense business has been developed. In April, 1902, the Platte Valley Telephone Company being incorporated with a capital of $50,000, E. H. Price, of Whittier, California, became president, and Mr. Alexander secretary and general manager. The assets of the company reach three hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, and they operate a hundred and fifty miles through the valley, from Bridgeport, Nebraska, to Guernsey, Wyoming, and serve twenty-two centers in Wyoming and Nebraska, including Guernsey, Heitville, Sunrise, Single and Torrington, Wyoming, and Morrill, Mitchell, Gering, Beard, Minatare, Melbeta and Scottsbluff.
At Clayton, New Mexico, in 1900, Mr. Alexander was united in marriage to Miss Catherine W. Jost, who was born in Missouri, a daughter of John Jost, a farmer near Kansas City, Missouri. The parents of Mrs. Alexander were born in Germany, came young to the United States and were married here, and now reside in California. Mrs. Alexander is a lady of education and charm. They have one child, Louise Reberta (sic), who was born in October, 1911, and is attending school.
Mr. Alexander is a Republican, trained in this party faith by his honored father, but in no sense has he ever been a politician, and has never asked for a vote or sought for an office. Nevertheless he impressed his fellow citizens so favorably that he was elected the first mayor and re-elected and subsequently served a third term, his thorough business administration of affairs resulting, as mentioned above, in the installation here of the water, sewerage and light plants. Mr. Alexander is somewhat prominent in Masonry. A man of travel and broad-minded citieznship (sic), he is a very entertaining conversationalist.
PETRUS PETERSON, who is in the real estate and insurance business at Dix, Nebraska, is also a progressive farmer and substantial citizen of Kimball county, is widely known through his official association with agricultural organizations at Dix. Mr. Peterson came to Nebraska in 1915 and few men have been equally successful in a material way in so short a time, or have more entirely secured the confidence of their fellow citizens in their trustworthiness.
Petrus Peterson was born in Denmark, June 14, 1879, a son of Christian and Mary Peterson. Mr. Peterson has two brothers and one sister, namely: Henry, who is a. farmer near Belgrade, Nebraska; Chris, who is a farmer near Millarton, North Dakota; and Anna, the wife of Peter Olsen, a farmer near Boomer, Iowa. The parents came to the United States and settled in western Iowa where they were farming people, both dying in 1914. Petrus Peterson attended the country schools and assisted on the home farm until he was twenty-seven years old, when he embarked in a general store business. In 1915 he sold his store and came to Nebraska, buying 160 acres of land in Kimball county, which he has increased to 800 acres. He raises some stock but gives his main attention to grain farming, his yield in 1918 being 6,000 bushels which he doubled in 1919. Much of the work of the farm is done by tractors.
In 1903 Mr. Peterson was united in marriage to Miss Annina Jensen, whose parents died in Denmark, after which she came to the United States and made her home with a sister in Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have four children, namely: Elsie, Chris, Henry and Donald, all of whom are attending school.
Mr. Peterson, as a good citizen, has made his influence felt in his section of the county, for he has taken an active interest in all movements for public welfare. He is particularly interested in the public schools and is serving as treasurer of the high school district. He is a stockholder and secretary of the Farmers' Shipping Association. Fraternally Mr. Peterson is a Mason, belongs to Danish Brotherhood at Council Bluffs, Iowa, and to the Odd Fellows lodge at Honey Creek, Iowa.
FREDERICK H. ROBERTS, who has played an unusually active part in the development of some of the most important public utilities of Scottsbluff, is officially identified with large enterprises at other points, and throughout a considerable portion of the west, is known as a man of ample fortune. Mr. Roberts is yet scarcely in middle life and twenty-six years ago he was working as a factory boy at ten cents an hour. His business success, however, has not been achieved through any spectacular methods, but by the old-fashioned path of patient, steady industry, helped in his case, by ambition and a quick understanding.
Frederick H. Roberts was born at Winterset, Iowa, August 13, 1877. His parents are Hugh M. and Cordelia M. (Bowers) Roberts, the former of whom was born at Racine, Wisconsin, and the latter in Pennsylvania. They were married at Marshalltown, Iowa, and now live retired and highly respected, at Norfolk, Nebraska. They have two sons, Samuel R. and Frederick H. The former lives at Hamilton, Montana, where he has charge of the agricultural department of the Great Western
Sugar Company. Hugh M. Roberts is a veteran of the Civil war, having served during the last six months, enlisting as soon as his age permitted his acceptance as a soldier. He has been active in the G. A. R. post at Norfolk, Nebraska, and he and wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church there. When he came first to Nebraska he homesteaded in Brown county, lived on his farm for eight years and for one year on another tract near Ainsworth. In 1891, the family home was established at Norfolk.
After his school period was over, Frederick H. Roberts went to work in a small grocery house at Norfolk, where his duties were those of a general clerk, then found employment out-of-doors, cultivating sugar beets, later secured a job herding cattle at six dollars a month, and then accepted a place as electrical helper in the sugar factory. He continued in the factory from 1893 until 1907, making rapid progress and became superintendent of the plant at Sterling, Colorado, and later became interested in the factory financially. His electrical training in the meantime had borne fruit and when he came to Scottsbluff in 1911, he established the C. & R. Electric Company that supplied Gering and Scottsbluff, and in 1913 he bought a partnership interest, which he retained until March, 1916, when he sold it to the Inter-Mountain Railway Light & Power Company. Mr. Roberts is president of an investment company at Scottsbluff; is president of the light plant at Riverton, Wyoming, and is financially interested in the electric plant at Loval, Wyoming. His business sagacity has also been shown in the purchase of rich farming areas, and he owns valuable land in Scottsbluff county.
In 1905, Mr. Roberts was united in marriage to Miss Clara Runge, who was born at Bridgeport, Connecticut, a daughter of Herman and Lena (Schriner) Runge, both of whom were born in Germany, came early to the United States and were married at Bridgeport. The mother of Mrs. Roberts is deceased but the father survives and, in association with his one son, W. M. H. Runge, is engaged in the hardware business at Denver. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts have six children: Morris, born in 1906; Esther, born in 1908; Hugh, born in 1911; Carl, born in 1912; Gretchen, born in 1913; and Carroll, born in 1914. Mr. Roberts and his pleasant family have a beautiful home at Scottsbluff and they are people of social importance. They belong to the Presbyterian Church, are foremost in all general charitable movements, and both Mr. and Mrs. Roberts were very active during the World War in Red Cross work, Mr. Roberts being president of the local Red Cross board. In politics he is a Republican, takes a hearty interest in everything pertaining to the city's welfare and at present is a member of the school board. He is a Thirty-second degree Mason and a Shriner, belongs to the Knights of Pythias and the Elks and is past chancellor commander of the Knights of Pythias. Personally Mr. Roberts is a man of genial presence and he not only commands respect from business and casual acquaintances, but wins their friendship as well.
HARRY T. BOWEN, who has been very active in the business affairs of Scottsbluff for over a decade, and a leader also in civic matters, is the main factor in an enterprise of great importance carried on as the Bowen Investment Company. Mr. Bowen was born at Beacon, in Mahaska county, Iowa, January 8, 1873.
Mr. Bowen's paternal ancestors came from Wales and the maternal, from England. His father, John W. Bowen, was born in Wales, a son of John Bowen, who was a mine worker in Wales before he came to the United States. He died on a farm in Iowa. The mother of Mr. Bowen, Ellen (Burdess) Bowen, was born in England and died in January, 1902. Her father, John Burdess, brought his family to the United States and located in Mahaska county, Iowa, where he was a mine worker near Oskaloosa for a number of years. John W. Bowen was reared in Iowa and early in the Civil war enlisted as a soldier in Company E, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry, in which he served three years and was wounded at Atlanta. In 1885, he homesteaded in Gage county, Nebraska, residing at Lincoln from 1887 to 1900, during which time he was in the oil business. From 1892 nutil (sic) 1898, he was city clerk. His present place of residence is Portland, Oregon. Of his six children, Harry T. is the second in order of birth, the others being: Albert L., who is in the livestock business at Denver; William E., who is associated in business with his brother Albert L.; Herbert J., who is a farmer and stock feeder near Gering; Minnie L., who is a widow, resides at Scottsbluff; and Lola, who is the wife of B. J. Jellison, of Scottsbluff. The above family was reared in the Christian Church. The father is prominent in G. A. R. circles and is a Mason, a member of the order of Woodmen, and is also an Odd Fellow.
Harry T. Bowen obtained his education in the graded schools of Lincoln. He entered the
business world in that city as a bookkeeper, later worked on text books, and for five-years was bookkeeper for the city treasurer, then went into the First National Bank of Lincoln and continued there until 1908, when he came to Scottsbluff. In this city he became assistant cashier in the First National Bank, and in 1909, became cashier, following which change he remained with that institution until 1916, when he went into the farm loan business and inaugurated the Bowen Investment Company which now controls a large acreage. Mr. Bowen is a heavy feeder and extensive dealer in livestock, while the company has handled various properties and estates. It owns the Ford garage at Scottsbluff and formerly owned the First National Bank building, which it recently sold for seventy-five thousand dollars. In 1916, Mr. Bowen purchased the First National Bank of Gering and sold the same in 1917. His business sense has always been acute and finance his favorite field of effort.
In June, 1898, Mr. Bowen was united in marriage to Miss Anna Pike, who was born in Illinois but at the time of marriage was a resident of Lincoln. They have two sons, Ralph and Wayne, aged respectively eighteen and fifteen years. Mr. Bowen and his family are members of the Presbyterian Church. He has always been intelligently active in politics, is a leader in Republican circles and for three years has served as a city councilman. For the past two years he has been president of the Scottsbluff Commercial Club, and is always to be found among those who are promoting the best interests of this city. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons and the Knights of Pythias. As a business man Mr. Bowen has always inspired confidence, and socially and publicly is a man of sterling character and high ideals.
JENS C. PEDERSEN. -- Building operations at Gering have been extensive during the past six years, and that much of the work has been notably satisfactory, both in design and substantial character, may, in all justice, be attributed to Jens C. Pederson, architect, and a practical builder and contractor. Mr. Pedersen has now reached a point in his successful career, when be can devote his entire time to his profession after performing the duties of a public official. Mr. Pedersen is city engineer at Gering.
Jens C. Pedersen was born September 8., 1883, in Denmark. His parents are Eric and Christian (Rasmussen) Pedersen, both natives of Denmark, where they still live. Of their nine children six survive, but only two have come to the United States, Carrie and Jens C. The former is the wife of Andrew Christiansen, a farmer near Ottumwa, Iowa. The parents are members of the Lutheran Church. The father followed the carpenter trade in early life and later became a builder and contractor, and when fourteen years old Jens C. began to assist his father. He attended the public schools and when he displayed special talent his father afforded him a course of instruction in a technical school at Aalburg, Denmark, where he studied architecture.
In the meantime, Mr. Pedersen's sister Carrie had come to America and was comfortably settled in Iowa. After completing his studies in the Aalburg School of Design, he decided to join his sister in the United States and engage in the practice of his profession in this country. He reached these shores in 1901, and went to his sister's home. Although there did not seem to be any great demand in Wapello or adjoining counties for the beautiful architectural designs he had in mind, there were many farmhouses and barns to be built and he found plenty of employment. Although Mr. Pedersen made no fortune while building in the agricultural sections, he has the satisfaction of knowing that the structures he erected were substantial in character and as attractive in appearance as circumstances permitted. In 1913, he came to Gering and opened an office and since then has prospered in every way; his professional reputation firmly established by the designing and building of the head gate for the Castle Rock Irrigation canal. He continued his building operations both in Gering and Scottsbluff until 1915, his last building contract being the Christian Church at Scottsbluff, a structure that is greatly admired. Since then he has devoted himself to architectural designing exclusively and among the fine structures erected from his plans may be mentioned a number of beautiful modem residences at Bridgeport; the Ideal Laundry at Scottsbluff and numerous residences; a modern school house, store buildings and residences at Beard, and a seventy thousand dollar school building at Gering, also a hotel and many residences, He carries on his work with the help of two assistants.
In the fall of 1906, Mr. Pedersen was united in marriage to Miss Marie Larsen, who was born in Denmark, and they have two children: Myrtle and Meyrna. The family belongs to the Lutheran Church. In politics Mr. Pedersen is identified with the Democratic party, and fraternally he is a Mason and an Odd Fellow.
JOSEPH L. REEL. -- Two occupations, ranching and banking, have attracted the interests and energies of Joseph Reel, and in both fields of endeavor he has won standing and prosperity, being at this time the owner of about fifteen hundred acres of valuable land in Cheyenne county and is president and manager of the Farmers, State Bank of Dalton. Also he has been a prominent figure in public life and in several positions of marked responsibility has demonstrated his worthiness for such honors and his capacity for discharging the duties of his position.
Mr. Reel is a native of the Buckeye state, born in Pickaway county, June 21, 1881, the son of Aaron and Symantha (Lewis) Reel. .His father was also a native of Ohio, was reared there and educated in the public schools. After his schooling was over he became an apprentice in a meat house and learned the practical side of that business, and in due time when his term of service was over engaged in an independent business of his own as the owner and proprietor of a meat shop. He was a man of excellent habits and was just in the prime of life when called by death in his forty-fifth year. Mrs. Reel, like her husband, was an Ohioan, where she grew to womanhood. She met and married Aaron Reel and was left a widow when her son Joseph was a boy of eight years. She survived her husband and now resides at Vermillion, Illinois.
Joseph Reel was reared in Ohio and given excellent educational. advantages in his youth in the public schools. He was an enterprising boy and early determined that he was going to help his mother and himself along in the world. He felt the call of the great west but at first did not go far from his native state as he established himself as a farmer in Illinois, where he remained for six years, becoming recognized as one of the well-to-do men of the locality and won general public confidence by his straight forward manner of handling business affairs. Mr. Reel came to Nebraska in 1915, locating in Cheyenne county. The first year he rented a farm to give him time to look around and opportunity to select just the tract that would be his idea of a permanent home, and then purchased his land where he at once took up the active management of farm industries. Mr. Reel possesses the kind of energy, resource and initiative required of the young man who would succeed in any profession, and is a prominent factor in the development of new methods of farming and stock-raising in the Dalton locality. However, he was too broad guaged (sic) and had so active a mind that all his abilities could not find expression in the country, so he branched out into financial circle as his capital had become considerable, and in 1918, just three years after becoming a resident of this great state, organized the Farmers State Bank of Dalton. From its inception this sound, progressive institution has won the confidence of the people, due to the policy inaugurated by Mr. Reel as president and manager. He is keen of vision, a natural financier and keeps abreast of all banking business of state and nation and under, his skillful guidance it is but natural that the bank should have a most phenominal (sic) growth. Since locating in Dalton and becoming a member of the financial circles of the Panhandle, Mr. Reel has invested heavily in other commercial and civic enterprises that are playing a great part in the development of this section of the state, as he is director and stock owner in the Farmers Elevator of Dalton and also of the Dalton Trading Company Elevator. A man of excellent education, high character and marked ability, it is but natural that the people of the county had confidence in him; and when it became necessary to elect a county commissioner to manage the tremendous business of this growing district he was chosen and elected by an overwhelming majority, and today is filling that office. Since becoming a resident of this section Mr. Reel has established a reputation for carrying on all his operations, of whatever nature, in a progressive and capable manner, and as stockman, farmer, banker and county official stands high in the esteem of the people, his business associates and friends. In politics he is a Republican.
On September 4, 1907, Mr. Reel married Miss Mary Ernest, at Omaha, Nebraska, a native daughter of this state, who was reared and educated here and is a member of the Roman Catholic Church. There are three girls in the Reel family: Minnie L., Myra, and Isabelle, all of whom are at home.
BERNARD F. DAILEY has passed virtually his entire life thus far within the borders of western Nebraska, and has become thoroughly imbued with the progressive spirit which marks this section of the state. He is one of the successful agriculturists and stockraisers of the younger generation in Garden county, and concerning the family history adequate mention is made on other pages, in the sketch dedicated to his father, Robert F. Dailey.
Bernard F. Dailey was born in the 12th of February, 1883, and his early education was obtained in the schools of Deuel, Garden
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