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MR. AND MRS. JOHN H. CAMPBELL.
with the parents. Mr. and Mrs. Walsh are leaders in their community where they have been the active promoters and supporters of all helpful enterprises, as Mr. Walsh has ever advocated good roads, good schools and the most advanced methods in farming.
JOHN H. CAMPBELL, who is one of Kimball county's best known men, now living retired at Kimball, was born in De Kalb county, Illinois, September 17, 1849. His parents were William R. and Sarah Ann, (Helmer) Campbell. Of their children, John H. was the youngest, the others being as follows: James W., William R., Orlando, and three daughters, all of whom are deceased; and Mrs. Adele Hulbert, of Pine Bluff, Wyoming, and Mrs. Anna Eckerson, of Aurora, Nebraska.
John H. Campbell grew up on his father's farm in De Kalb county, occasionally attending school in the winter seasons but the whole sum of educational opportunity was small. When nineteen years old he married Elizabeth Murry, daughter of a neighboring farmer in De Kalb county, who died early, leaving three children, namely: Alice, who is deceased; Iva, now Mrs. Pheiffer, who lives in Banner county; and William R., who is deceased. In 1880 Mr. Campbell was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Murry, and to this marriage the following children were born: Ora, who is deceased; Roy L., who is a resident of Kimball; Mrs. Etta F. Reiseberg, who lives in Kimball county, and William R., who is deceased.
Mr. Campbell came to Nebraska in 1871 and homesteaded in York county, coming from there to Kimball county, April 17, 1886, which county has been his home ever since. He homesteaded and still owns his ranch of two sections, where he engaged in general farming and raised cattle and sheep for a number of years. In 1912 Mr. Campbell came to Kimball in order to give his children better advantages than those afforded by ranch life, and for four years conducted a land business, he with his son owing 4160 acres of fine land. He has recently retired, selling his modem office building to Edward Larson. Although never very active in politics, Mr. Campbell as one of the solid, dependable men of the county, has often been called upon for public service, and he was one of the first county commissioners of Kimball county. He takes pride in the fact that two of his grandsons served with honor in the great war. The family attend the Presbyterian church. They all belong to the fraternal order of Highlanders, and Mrs. Campbell has the degree of honor in this organization. The Campbell name is one held in very high esteem in Kimball county.
FRANK STEARNS, president of the largest mercantile establishment of Morrill and one of the best known business houses in the Panhandle, is numbered among the progressive and substantial men of western Nebraska. He is a self-made man and has won to his present position by his own efforts and hard work. Mr. Stearns is an energetic man of great personal magnetism, and these qualities combined with his great capacity for handling people and an eye for detail have aided him in building up a prosperous business house within a short period, for today he is one of the substantial business men of the Platte valley.
Mr. Stearns is descended from old New England and Pennsylvania stock. He was born in Chippewa county, Wisconsin, January 11, 1871, the son of Eugene M. and Eva (Brown) Stearns, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Pennsylvania. There were three children in the Stearns family, but Frank is the only one living. Eugene Stearns received a good education in his youth, and as there were not many good openings for a young man in the east, he came west, locating in Wisconsin, where he established a general mercantile house which he conducted with marked success for many years. Having accumulated a comfortable fortune, Mr. Stearns retired from active business some years ago and is now enjoying the mild climate of the Pacific coast, as he lives in Portland, Oregon.
Frank Stearns passed his youth in his native state, attended the public schools until he was fourteen years old, when the family came to Nebraska, locating at Loup City, Sherman county, where he continued his education, graduating from the high school and later attended a commercial college at Omaha, taking special courses to prepare for financial life. Mr. Stearns had already learned the mercantile business in his father's store which helped him in the choice of his studies. After returning to Loup City for a time. Mr. Stearns went to Alliance in 1888, and became one of the prime movers in the establishment of the town of Bayard, Morrill county; as it was through his energy and the money he supplied that the Nine Mile irrigation ditch, known as the Bayard canal, was constructed, which, with other canals has brought prosperity to a large and rich agricultural district.
Mr. Stearns had been bookkeeper in Loup City after leaving college. In the bank he became familiar with finance and later took charge of his father's bank at Bayard. He then engaged in a mercantile business in Scottsbluff but sold the store to come to Morrill in 1915, as he believer (sic) there was a good opportunity for an establishment here. He soon opened the "Stearns Store," which is the best known mercantile house in the town and one of the representative ones of its kind in the county. Mr. Stearns carries a large and representative line of goods; he is up-to-date in his business methods as his policy is service, square dealing and he now enjoys a trade covering a wide territory in the valley and surrounding country, where his reputation for honesty and integrity have won him customers as well as a high place in the esteem of the people. Mr. Stearns typifies the progressive spirit of the west, while he is conservative in financial matters. He is a Republican, takes an active part in politics and was three times state representative in the legislature from the seventy-fifth district in 1913, 1915 and 1917. Mr. Stearns has headed every movement for civic and communal progress that will develop this section and Morrill, and it was through his efforts that the Irrigation School at Scottsbluff, the only one of its kind in the world, was secured for this section. In January, 1920, Mr. Stearns sold his store in Morrill to Harry M. Stearns and Roy C. Craig and he now devotes his time to the management of his six hundred and forty acre ranch in Morrill county. Most of the land is under irrigation and is rented.
Mr. Stearns married Miss Ada Flanagan, of Illinois and they have three children: Harry M., living in Morrill; Irene M., and Leslie, both at home.
RALPH E. CAPPER, one of the native sons of Nebraska, who is a prosperous farmer and stock-raiser of Scottsbluff county, has been well and favorably known here the greater part of his life. Mr. Capper is an example of what may be accomplished by the application of intelligent energy in one direction, his success in his agricultural activities depending upon his natural leanings and the study which he has given to his business problems.
Ralph Capper was born at West Union, Nebraska, in 1882, being the son of Howard and Susan (Predmore) Capper, the former a native of Illinois, while the mother was born in Iowa. The father was a farmer who located in Iowa at an early day and later removed to Custer county, Nebraska, where he engaged in farming and stock-raising until 1900, when he with the family came to the Gering district to locate upon a homestead. Here in the valley Mr. Capper continued the general agricultural pursuits with which he had been engaged farther east and soon became one of the substantial and progressive men of this section. There were five children in the family: Grace, the wife of Charles Johnson, of Dalton, Montana; Ralph; John, in Gering; Amy, married Walter Beebe, a farmer of Wyoming, and Howard, on a farm in Scottsbluff county.
Mr. Capper was a member of the Modern Woodmen and with his wife was a member of the Christian church.
Ralph received his early academic training in Custer county, where he attended the public school of his district. After locating here he finished school and then engaged in farming, first with his father and later independently as he took up a homestead of a quarter section of land in section eighteen, township fifteen. Mr. Capper has placed fine improvements on his place, has a good comfortable home, and is demonstrating the success attained by the adoption of modern methods in general farming and also raises a good grade of live-stock. He is progressive in his ideas and also advocates the same in all lines of life; he boosts for all movements that tend to the development of his county and community and has taken active part in the affairs of the valley for some years, as he is school director of district No. 12 at the present time. Politically he is a member of the Socialist party, is a member of the Modern Woodmen and participates in general social activities.
In 1906, Mr. Capper married Miss Anna Cook of North Platte, Nebraska, and to them seven children have been born: Grace Dulce, Warren, Claudia and Carroll, twins; Percy and Vesper, all at home. These children have a bright future as their parents intend to give them every opportunity in an educational way to fit them for life.
FRANK M. SANDS is a conspicuous, example of the faith that conquers. In common with most of those who chose western Nebraska for a place of abode in the early days, faith was about all that he brought with him. But he had an abiding faith in the ultimate development of this section of the country, and had the tenacity of purpose
that wins. Mr. Sands and the late William H. Wright, of whom mention is found elsewhere in this volume, were the two men most prominently identified with the promotion of irrigation in the valley of the North Platte river. Mr. Sands has lived to see the realization of their early plans for making one of the most productive sections of the country in the place which was then only a semi-arid, sparsely settled prairie, and to share himself in the rich harvest that has come to those who put their faith and their efforts into the development of western lands.
He was born in Stanfordville, Duchess county, New York, on December 25, 1850, the son of Isaac G. and Sarah A. (Badgley) Sands. Both his parents were natives of New York state, and the father farmed in that state all his life. He also ran a freight boat from Poughkeepsie to New York City. Hannah Griffin, the grandmother of Frank M. Sands, saw the first steamboat, Fulton's "Clermont," on one of its voyages. Six children were born in the family, two of them, Charles B. and Elma, being now deceased. The others, besides the subject of this sketch, are all living in New York. Their names are: James H., who owns land in New York and also in eastern Nebraska; Nettie, the wife of M. B. Cole; and Henrietta, the wife of Charles F. Bishop, an attorney at law in New York City. The father was a Whig in politics, and on the formation of the Republican party became a member of that political faith and was active in politics. The mother was a member of the Christian church.
Frank M. Sands took a course in civil engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and set out to make that profession his life work. In 1872, he was in Chicago when the great fire that destroyed that city broke out, and the hotel in which he was staying caught fire. He came on west and worked as an engineer for the government and in railroad construction in Arizona, then started in the sheep business in New Mexico and Kansas, handling and feeding sheep for market. In 1886, he was married to Miss Phena Rogers, a native of New York and the daughter of Silas and Ada (Chamberlain) Rogers.
Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Sands came west and located at Nonpareil, in Box Butte county, Nebraska. Here Mr. Sands embarked in the banking business, opening the Bank of Nonpareil. He still remembers driving to Nonpareil with a team of ponies, tying his team, and going into the postoffice to inquire for mail. The postmaster was Gene Heath, and near the window the accommodating postmaster maintained a public plug of Horseshoe chewing tobacco, the idea being that patrons of the office should help themselves to this while waiting for their mail.
Two years later, in 1888, Mr. Sands removed his bank to Alliance, where he bought the first business and residence lots and built the first brick building. He continued in business there for four years, then came to Gering in 1892, and bought about two thousand acres of land. Part of the house in which he still lives is built of lumber hauled from Pine Ridge. Here he turned his attention to irrigation construction work, and for the next ten years engaged in the building of irrigation ditches in the capacity of contractor and engineer. He was superintendent and financial manager of the Gering canal, and also engaged in general farming and stockraising, which latter calling he has since followed. He fed five hundred head of cattle last year. He has developed his land to a high state of productiveness, and recently sold a quarter-section for three hundred and fifty dollars per acre, the price received for one acre being about what the entire quarter was worth when he came to this section of the country.
To Mr. and Mrs. Sands five children have been born: Charles B., who now manages the home farm; Henry H., a farmer in Scottsbluff county; Sally, who lives at home; Antoinette, a teacher; and William B., who has lately completed a term of fifteen months service in the American army in France, being in the motor truck service with the front line of troops.
Mr. Sands in politics is an independent voter, Blue Lodge Mason. He has held the office of county commissioner and every office connected with the Gering Irrigation District. He is a man who is abreast of the times, well informed on public questions, and his judgment commands the respect of all his acquaintances. He stands high in the community as a man of integrity, and has the satisfaction of knowing that his life of honorable and industrious effort has been rewarded with success.
DEAN R. RANDALL, who has spent the greater part of his life in Nebraska, is a substantial farmer and highly respected citizen of Scottsbluff county. He was born in Trempealau county, Wisconsin, September
9, 1871. His parents were James M. and Lucy (Hassan) Randall. His father was born in Michigan and in early manhood worked in the great logging camps of Michigan and Wisconsin. He was a man of fine constitution and still survives, living at Gering, Nebraska, in his eighty-fourth year. In 1885, he moved to Nebraska with his family, settling in Butler county, but, in 1886, he pre-empted and took a tree claim in Scottsbluff county. The mother of Mr. Randall was born in New York and died at the age of thirty-six years.
Of his parents' family, Dean E. Randall was the second in order of birth. He obtained a public school education and grew up on a farm and has followed agricultural pursuits all his life. In 1890, he homesteaded, and his wife did also, in this county, and now owns and operates five hundred and twenty acres. This land has been well improved and is a fairly representative farm property of this county.
Mr. Randall was married to Miss Sadie Belden, who was born at Jamestown, Kansas, and is a daughter of Wallace and Amanda (Dugger) Belden. The parents of Mrs. Randall came to Nebraska thirty-three years ago, homesteaded near Bridgeport, and there the mother yet lives, the father being deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Randall were married December 24, 1904, at Chimney Rock, in Morrill county, and they have four children, namely: Kenneth, Darrell, Glenn and Rena, all of whom have had educational advantages. In politics Mr. Randall is a Republican. He has never cared for political honors but has been interested in having good schools and served on the school board for four years.
WILLIAM F. PULLEN, who is an enterprising young farmer of Morrill county, belongs to an old pioneer family of this section that has been known and respected here for many years. His father, William Pullen, homesteaded here among the first settlers, developed his land and has a good property. Later he moved into Bayard and has continued to live there.
William F. Pullen was born at Bayard, Nebraska, June 25, 1896, and grew up in Morrill county, receivingg (sic) his education in the public schools. He assisted his father on the farm and ranch until 1915, since which time he has been working for himself, renting his mother's farm of eighty acres, and also a hundred and sixty acres of hay land. He has the reputation of being industrious, provident and successful, and wherever known is held in high esteem. He owns modern machinery and carries on his various industries according to the latest methods. methods.
Mr. Pullen was married to Miss Pauline Worick, a daughter of John Worick, who now lives on a farm northeast of Bayard. They have two children: Frances and Dorothy. Mr. Pullen carries life insurance in the Mid West Life Insurance Company. In politics he is careful and cautious and votes independently, having more trust in his own judgment than in the often conflicting statements of party campaigners.
CHARLES W. McFERON, an industrious farmer and respected citizen of Morrill county, was born in Washington county, Illinois, May 12, 1877. His father, J. L. McFeron, was born in Perry county, Illinois, seventy-three years ago. He came to Nebraska in 1898 and settled at Sidney, Cheyenne county. He resides with his son, Charles W. His wife is deceased.
Charles W. McFeron came first to Nebraska in 1895. His first summer was spent on a farm but for twelve years afterward he worked on ranches in different sections then went to Texas. There he engaged in general farming until 1917, when he came to Morrill county with the intention of investing in land. In the meantime he is operating a rented farm of a hundred and twenty acres of well improved land and when an advantageous opportunity presents itself, he will become a landowner here. He will be a welcome addition to the county's permanent citizenship.
In 1910, Mr. McFeron was married to Miss Zella Van Degrift, who was born in Saline county, Arkansas, and is a daughter of William and Nettie (Kawk) Van Degrift natives of Arkansas, who now reside at Texas City, Texas. Mr. and Mrs. McFeron have three children: Alma, Elbert, and Calista.
FRED BREYER, who is one of the representative men of Morrill county, resides on his valuable irrigated farm of two hundred acres, which lies in section 7, township 20-51. Mr. Breyer was born in Michigan January 4, 1867. His parents were Edward and Lucy (Kostenbader) Breyer. His father was born in Scotland and came to the United States in 1858, locating first at Baltimore, Maryland, but later went to Michigan and married there. His
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