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Mr. Waterman was educated in the public schools of New York, then spent several years in the oil fields of Pennsylvania. In 1884, he came west, locating in Cheyenne county, Nebraska. He first took a tree claim, returned to Pennsylvania for the first winter but came back in 1885, to take up a homestead nine miles north of Big Springs, at the Day postoffice. He still owns the homestead but sold the tree claim for five hundred dollars, which todary (sic) is worth a hundred dollars an acre. The winter of 1885, was very mild so that the Watermans did not suffer from cold. They shipped their goods from Pennsylvania and though Mr. Waterman had money to buy supplies they were not in the country to buy and they lived on what he terms "sow belly" and water gravy until the next summer passed and they harvested some crops.
October 12, 1869, Mr. Waterman married Miss Libby King, the daughter of Henry and Lydia (Powers) King, natives and residents of New York and one child was born to this union: Henry, who married Sophia Grass and now lives in Big Springs.
Mr. and Mrs. Waterman have witnessed many changes in the Panhandle since they come here more than thirty-five years ago; they have seen the country grow and develop and towns dot what was a wilderness. Mr. Waterman wishes he had been forced to buy and keep more land. He experienced the vicisudes (sic), up and down of all early settlers but is glad that he stayed to win prosperity.
Mr. Waterman still owns the old home farm but rents the land; he also owns a fine business block in Big Springs. In politics he is a Democrat and also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America.
CHRISTOPHER McCORMICK .-- If his youthful ambition were to achieve worthy success, that ambition has been realized in generous measure; if he were determined so to order his life as to win and retain the high regard of his fellow men, that reward has been granted to him,--and thus this sterling citizen of Garden county is a man who is most consistently accorded tribute in this history, especially in view of the fact that through his well ordered activities he has contributed definitely to the social and industrial progress and prosperity of the famed Nebraska Panhandle, to which this publication is dedicated.
Mr. McCormick was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, August 24, 1854, and is a son of John and Anna Jane (Graham) McCormick, the former of whom was born in Ireland, in 1826, and the latter of whom like wise was a native of the Emerald Isle, though her father, Robert Graham, was born in Scotland. The parents passed their entire lives in the native land, where John McCormick was a farmer by occupation, he having attained to the venerable age of eighty-six years and his wife having passed away at the age of forty-five years. Of their family, Christopher, of this sketch, is the eldest, and five of his brothers likewise became residents of Nebraska; Calhoun, who maintains his home in Garden county; Andrew G., and Thomas, who reside at Lewellen, Garden county; Robert, who lives at Bigspring (sic), Beuel (sic) county; and James, who is deceased.
The schools of Ireland afforded to Christopher McCormick his early educational advantages, and the discipline proved effective in the developing of his alert mental powers and fortifying him for the practical duties and responsibilities of life. At the age of twenty-two years, he received from Queen Victoria a ticket which provided him transportation to New Zealand, and in that island colony of England he became actively identified with railroad construction, though his major occupation was that of farming. After living in New Zealand four years he went to Australia, where he remained about two years, during which time he gave his attention to farming. He still further broadened his experience on the return voyage to Ireland, for he made the trip by way of Honolulu and San Francisco, and thus incidentally made his first visit to the shores of the United States. He remained in Ireland about three years and then, in 1883, came with his family to America and settled at Crete, Saline county, Nebraska, near which place he was engaged in farming about three years. Mr. McCormick then became a pioneer settler in that part of old Cheyenne county that now constitutes Garden county, having taken up homestead and tree claims in 1884, though it was not until 1886, that he removed with his family to the pioneer farm. In due course of time he perfected his title to his claims, and developed them into one of the productive, valuable and well improved farms of the county. There he continued his activities as a successful agriculturist and stock-raiser until 1916, when he removed to the village of Lewellen. Here he has since lived virtually retired, in the enjoyment of the rewards of former years of earnest toil and endeavor. He has been liberal and public spirited in his civic attitude, is a Republican in political allegiance, served eight years as a director of the Lewellen board of education, and is one
of the principal stockholders of the Farmers State Bank of Lewellen, of which institution he is vice president. He and his wife are earnest and active members of the Methodist Episcopal church in their home village, and they have the high esteem of the people of the county in which they have maintained their home for more than thirty years.
May 29, 1883, in County Tyrone, Ireland, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. McCormick to Miss Margaret Wood, a daughter of Samuel and Jane (Wilson) Wood, both of whom passed their entire lives in Ireland, where the former died in 1862, at the age of fifty-two years, his widow having attained to the age of seventy-six years. They became the parents of three sons and four daughters, all of whom came to the United States. Allan Wood, the eldest, served as a member of an Illinois regiment during the Civil War, and the youngest son, Samuel, became a cleryman (sic) of the Methodist Episcopal church, his ministerial services having been initiated in Illinois and thereafter continued in Nebraska. In conclusion is entered brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. McCormick: Jennie is the wife of Calhoun Orr, of Lewellen, and they have one child; Jack, married Lotta Davis and served in 1919-20 as treasurer of Deuel county, with residence at Chappell, has two children; Edward W., of Lewellen, married Birddie Eggers and has one child; Robert A., of Lewellen, served in the United States Signal Corps during the nation's participation in the late World War; and James C., of Lewellen, married Maude Beddoe, has one child.
S. AUGUST FORNANDER, early settler and successful farmer of Deuel county who came here when this country was unbroken prairie, was born in Sweden, July 26, 1864, the son of Carl and Greta (Ankerberg) Carlson, both natives of that country, where the father was a farmer, who died in 1869, being followed by his wife in 1899. The mother came to the United States in 1887 to Knox county, Illinois, remained there until 1893, when she located in Phelps county, Nebraska, but five years later, in 189 8, moved to Cheyenne county. She lived with one of her sons the rest of her days. There were six children in the family, all of whom live in this county.
August Fornander was educated in the public school of his native country and came to the United States in the Spring of 1881. He first located in Knox county, Illinois, but two years later came farther west to Phelps county, Nebraska, then to Deuel county in 1885. He took up a homestead a mile south of his present farm as he, traded the original place to his brother in order to have all his land in one section. Mr. Fornander's first team in this country was a pair of bulls which were broken to the yoke. Later he bought horses. As soon as he would get a crop in on his homestead Mr. Fornander would leave for Colorado to work and earn money for supplies and one time worked on a ranch there. While on the homestead the first years he "batched" it by himself. Water had to be hauled from the tanks often times six to twelve miles, costting (sic) fifteen cents a barrel at first, this price was lowered and finally water was free. Sometime when Mr. Fornander and his brother got up early for water they would find other (sic) had been ahead of them and the water gone from several tanks making a long tiresome journey. In the early days the people of this section raised many cattle as numerous homesteads had been abandoned and there was range, but within the past decade great changes have come and today Mr. Fornander carries on general farming due to his improved methods and modern machinery. He tills some hundred and fifty acres; is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator at Chappell and has been treasurer of school district number sixty-three since it was established.
July 10, 1914, Mr. Fornander married Miss Anna Simmons, the daughter of August and Sophia (Johnson) Simmons, natives of Sweden and two children have been born to this union: Neal and Joel. Mr. Fornander is an independent Republican, has never aspired to office beyond those of local affairs as he helped organize school districts number thirty-two and sixty-three and acted as trustee. He and his wife ar (sic) members of the Lutheran church and assisted in organizing Batesta church and later Berea church, in which they are active workers.
JOHN W. GRANNELL, one of the retired colony of Big Springs who has made a success of varied lines of endeavor since he came here in the early days was born in Vego county, Indiana, January 1, 1859, the son of Noah and Elizabeth (Baulding) Grannell, the former a native of Ohio while the mother was born in Indiana. The father was a cooper by trade and followed that vocation most of his life, having a shop of his own. He was a Democrat and a member of the Masonic order and with his wife was a member of the Presbyterian church. There were seven chil-
dren in the family of whom four are living, but John W. is the only one in the west. He received his education in the public schools of Indiana. Mrs. Grannell died when the boy was fourteen years of age and he began to work among strangers by the month until he was married on December 7, 1881, to Miss Margaret Clugston, also of Indiana. After that Mr. Grannell farmed in his native state until the family came to Hastings, Nebraska, in 1884, where they lived until 1900. That year Mr. Garnnell (sic) took a homestead in Perkins county ten miles south of Big Springs. Good improvements were made on the place and he farmer (sic) it for seventeen years, having bought three hundred and twenty acres in 1899. He then sold the land and retired to Big Springs. At first he worked as a carpenter so as to fill his time as he had always been busy; for when the Grannells came here it was necessary to haul water for their use and that for the stock in addition to the general farm work. This first farm had no water but the second had a well. During the first years when crops were poor, Mr. Grannell worked out for other men to secure money to buy supplies, then took care of cattle but later managed his own farm. After coming to big (sic) Springs Mr. Grannell bought a meat market, managed it two years and sold to engage in the restaurant business but disposed of that and purchased a pool hall and cigar store where he remained six years. Following this he ran a meat market again, a cigar store and then retired from the mercantile business entirely, working as a carpenter just a little. When Mr. Grannell started in business in Big Springs it had but a few buildings so that he has seen its great growth and development. Mr. Grannell is an Independent in politics, is a member of the Presbyterian church, served on the school board for thirteen years and was assessor of his district many years. He is well known and liked in Big Springs where he has taken his part in the upbuilding and growth of the town.
EDWIN A. PHELPS, Sr., was an early railroad man and resident of Big Springs for more than thirty-five years; there are few better known and popular men in the Panhandle. Mr. Phelps was born in Milford, Oakland county, Michigan, December 24, 1842, the son of Aaron and Mary (Armstrong) Phelps, both natives of Batavia, New York. The father was the owner of a saw mill and flour mill and at one time of a distillery in addition to managing a farm. He was a prominent man in his community until he moved to Chicago in 1853, where he owned and operated a hotel. The mother died in 1854, being survived by her husband until 1894. Mr. Phelps was a Republican. There were eight children in the family, of whom only two survive: Eliza, the, wife of Henry Crane of Chicago, and Edwin of this review, who received his educational advantages in the schools at Milford, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois. When only eighteen years of age the young man began his independent career as a railroad man. For a few years he was brakeman, then became a machinist and in 1865, went to Tennessee to build railroad bridges for several years. In 1870, he came west, locating in Nebraska to engage in erecting bridges from Omaha to North Platte. He came to old Cheyenne, now Deuel county, early in 1883, as bridge foreman for the Union Pacific Railroad; spent three years in that work and then filed on a homestead and timber claim. This land he proved up and farmed for some time before returning to the employ of the railroad retiring in 1912. Since then Mr. Phelps has not been actively engaged in business though he did not sell his ranch until 1919.
Mr. Phelps was the first assessor of Deuel county, elected on the Republican ticket, but now votes with the Democratic party. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, though he was one of the organizers of the Methodist Church at Big Springs and the first Sunday School was held in his home in 1884.
In October, 1869, Mr. Phelps married Miss Sarah E; Grote and they became the parents of two children: Edwin A., Jr., and Arthur L., both living in Big Springs. When Mr. and Mrs. Phelps first came to Big Springs the town consisted of a section house, depot and their home, built out of bridge timber, was the third structure. The first store was opened in 1884, and a drug store was built and operated two years later. On Christmas eve, 1885, Mr. and Mrs. Phelps gave a dance in their new hotel building which was formally opened the next day and this structure has been in constant use up to the present time. While Mr. Phelps worked on the railroad his wife managed the hotel and we learn the conditions of the country at the time from the fact that the railroad furnished all its hands with guns to protect themselves against the Indians and kept a small detachment of soldiers at every station. Mr. Phelps is a member of the Masonic lodge and he and his wife are highly respected and well known from their long residence in Big Springs, They have seen the many towns grow up and the country develop
from a wilderness to fine productive farm lands.
JOHN JOHNSON, one of the pioneer settlers of Deuel county who located here when settlers were few and far apart, has the distinction of having lived in three counties and never moved off the original homestead, as he came before the new counties were erected. and as they were formed became a resident of each in turn. Homesteading in Cheyenne county it was split and Deuel county formed then again divided and Garden county was erected, Mr. Johnson was born in Sweden January 25, 1857, the son of Joseph and Johanna (Junison) Johnson, both natives of the same land where the father was a farmer all his life. He also operated a flour and saw mill and ran a blacksmith shop on a large scale and at one time ground all the wheat from the surrounding seven counties. Mr. Johnson took a prominant (sic) part in political life, holding several public offices; he died in 1878 and the mother in 1909. There were ten children in the Johnson family, but Gust and John are the only ones living in the western part of Nebraska, as the former resides at Oshkosh. The family were members of the Swedish Lutheran Church of which the father was a deacon.
Mr. Johnson received his education in the public schools of Sweden and then worked on the farm until he came to the United States in 1879. He first settled in Iowa where land was selling at three dollars an acre but in 1885, came to Deuel county to secure a homestead for a permanent home. This he sold in two years and then bought other land, a section of which he still owns though he has retired from active life, and now lives in a fine home in Chappell, where the family located in 1917.
It can honestly be said that Mr. Johnson is a self-made man as all he had when he came to Deuel county was a cow, calf and a few chickens, but he was not afraid of work and soon became established as a well-to-do farmer. At the time of his settlement wild horses and antelope were common on the table northeast of Chappell where he located, cow boys rounded up the horses and corralled them for market. When Mr. and Mrs. Johnson stopped at Julesburg, Colorado, on their way to the new home they were forced to sleep in the telegraph office on the floor, as the hotel, section house and all buildings were filled with the cowboys asleep for Julesburg was a shipping point for cattle.
In September, 1883, Mr. Johnson married Miss Christine Anderson, the daughter of John P. and Stenguta, (Samuelson) Anderson, who settled in Iowa at an early day. One child has been born to this union, Jennie, the wife of L. R. Nelson living northeast of Chappell.
Mr. Johnson is a Republican and has been a hard worker for his party; has been elected to several public offices and was delegate to the county conventions a number of times. With his wife Mr. Johnson is a member of the Swedish Lutheran Church. He has taken active part in public affairs, helped organize the church and, several public schools and served as school director of his district nine years. When the railroad came through this section he was appointed appraiser of land for the branch running to Oshkosh.
PAUL SWANSON, one of the substantial and prosperous farmers of the Chappell district, Deuel county, is a native of Sweden, that country which has given the United States such a large proportion of its best settlers. He has demonstrated that a man who is determined to succeed in this country can do so, Mr. Swanson was born in Sweden May 16, 1851, the son of Swen Olson and Swembo Swanson, both born and reared in Sweden where they spent their entire lives. The father was a general farmer and followed that vocation all his days. There were six children in the family, but Paul, of this sketch, and his brother Ola who lives in Minnesota, are the only ones in the United States.
Mr. Swanson was educated in the excellent public schools of his native land; served in the army two months every year until he was twenty-one years old, as is required in Sweden, and then engaged in farming. Learning of the many opportunities for a man to secure land in America he came to the United States in 1885, locating first at Galesburg, Illinois, but two years later moved to Iowa where he remained a year before taking up a homestead on the divide in Deuel county. Coming here in 1888, he is one of the early settlers of this region and has seen the many changes that have taken place in the opening up and development of the Panhandle, also taking his part in the agricultural industry of Deuel county. Mr. Swanson made many improvements on his farm and lived there until 1915, when he moved to land south of Chappell, which his wife had homesteaded. He now is engaged in general farming and has a large amount of pasture land on the two sections.
In September, 1916, Mr. Swanson married Mrs. Bessie Jacobson, the widow of Andrew Jacobson, a pioneer of Deuel county. Mrs. Swanson came to western Nebraska about two years after her husband and took up a home
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