Resource Center, On-Line Library
his daughter in Alberta, Kansas. Mrs. James was born in Lee county, Iowa, was reared, educated and met her husband there. After elementary school days were over she matriculated in the Denmark Academy and upon the completion of her course graduated. She passed away in 1888.
Frederick James was reared in Franklin, Nebraska., where he received his educational advantages in the Franklin Academy, graduating with the class of 1899, and soon after completing his education accepted a position in the office of the Franklin Free Press, where he remained about a year before taking up similar work for a paper in Nelson, Nebraska, but resigned upon being appointed deputy postmaster of Nelson. After his term of office was over, Mr. James was employed as a carpenter for three years, learning the practical side of the contracting business, but his business ability soon was demonstrated and he was called to Sioux City, Iowa, to operate a lumber yard for an Iowa concern, leaving at the end of a year to go on the road as salesman for a sash and door factory and for five years made his home in Hastings, while on the road. Then the Yost Lumber Company made him an attractive offer to come to them as cashier of their head office at Lincoln, Nebraska, which he accepted, remaining with them until March, 1917, when he became established independently in business, buying the Peterson and Sons lumber yard at Potter and since then has been secretary, treasurer and manager of the F. D. James Lumber Company of that city. Mr. James is a man well and favorably known in Cheyenne county, of which he has been a resident for three years. He leads an exceedingly active business life, continually coming in contact with other staple, reliable men, and at the present time he is numbered with the county's best and most dependable citizens. Since locating in Potter he has taken an interested and aggressive part in all the movements for civic improvement, being a director of schools and a member of the board. For some time he has been a stockholder and director of the Liberty Oil and Refining Company of Cheyenne county and has had an important influence in shaping the policies of this flourishing concern. In politics Mr. James is an adherent of the Republican party, while his fraternal affiliations are with the Masonic order, the Modem Woodmen of America and the United Commercial Travelers.
June 23, 1904, Mr. James married Miss Inez Van Valin, a native of Nuchols (sic) county, who was reared and educated there and after graduation became a school teacher, but was engaged professionally but two years before her marriage. There are two children in the family: Edwin and Frederick D., Jr.
W. O. WIELAND, of Mitchell, Scotts Bluff county, is assuredly a man who well merits representation in this history, for he is not only a pioneer of this section of the state but has also had a full share of the experiences marking the change of the Nebraska Panhandle from a sparsely settled cattle country, into a section notable for progressive citizenship, for well developed farm properties and for thriving and attractive cities and villages. He is the owner of an extensive and valuable landed estate in Scotts Bluff county and is one of its substantial citizens. He knows western Nebraska thoroughly and is one of its loyal and enthusiastic "boosters," as he may well be, for here he has achieved large and worthy success through his well directed enterprise, which needed for its consummation only such opportunities as are here presented. Mr. Wieland owns one quarter section of land, and most of this large tract is provided with irrigation. He has made good improvements on the property, and is one of the men who are doing big things on a big scale in the furtherance of agricultural and live-stock industry. He is also vice-president of the State Bank of Mitchell, one of the substantial financial institutions of Scotts Bluff county.
Mr. Wieland takes a due amount of satisfaction in reverting to the old Keystone state as the place of his nativity. He was born in Center county, Pennsylvania, August 4, 1860, a son of Daniel T. and Polly (Keller) Wieland. Mr. Wieland acquired his early education in the public schools of his native state and was twenty-eight years of age when he came to Nebraska and initiated his experience as a cowboy in the great western section that was then known principally as a cattle country. His rise to prosperity and high standing in the community has been won entirely through his own efforts; and he has the greatest confidence in the splendid future of the section that has already become known as one of the most progressive and opulent divisions of our great state. In national politics he is a Democrat, but in local matters he is not bound by partisanship and votes for men and measures meeting the approval of his judgment. In the time honored Masonic fraternity he has received the Thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, his wife
and daughter hold membership in the Eastern Star.
The year 1897 recorded the marriage of Mr. Wieland to Miss Mary Shull, and they have two sons: Leonard and William Arthur.
CHARLES HIGH. -- Though he has not yet reached the psalmist's span of three score years and ten and still posseses (sic) a full amount of physical and mental vigor, Mr. High has the distinction of being one of the pioneer settlers of western Nebraska. The memory of this man compasses almost the entire gamut that has been run in the development of this section of Nebraska from a prairie wilderness to a populous and opulent district of a great commonwealth; and it is gratifying to him that he has been able to play a part in the civic and industrial progress and upbuilding of the state and Panhandle.
Charles High was born in Illinois, July 30, 1852, the son of Lemuel G. and Sabina (Reed) High. The father was a native of the Buckeye state where he spent his boyhood and early youth receiving his excellent practical education in the public schools of his home district and after attaining manhood's estate engaged in an independent business career as a farmer in Illinois, but died while in the prime of his life, at the age of thirty-two years, in 1860. Mrs. High was a Hoosier by birth, but her family removed to Illinois when she was a small child and it was there that she was reared and educated, met and married Lemuel High. She was a devoted wife and mother and when left a widow with small children shouldered the responsibilities of both father and mother to them. She lived to have the satisfaction of seeing her son Charles develop into a fine man, as she lived to be eighty-seven years old, passing away in 1914.
Charles remained at home with his mother on the farm after his father's death and while still a young boy began to assume what farm duties he could for his age and strength, and thus at an early age was a good practical farmer. He attended the district school, thus gaining a good foundation for an education which he has steadily continued through wide reading of the best and most practical literature and the varied periodicals that bear on all subjects of life and commercial interests. As soon as his years permitted he assumed management of the home place which he conducted for fifteen years for his mother. Mr. High read much of the west and determined to take of the advantages offered by cheap land in the newer country beyond the Mississippi.
Leaving Illinois, the family came to Nebraska, locating in Dodge county, about forty miles west of the Missouri river. There they established a new home and Mr. High again engaged in farming. He devoted much time to the study of farm conditions in this section, the best crops for the climate and soil and this study was rewarded by bountiful crops. He worked hard, was thrifty and before many years became a man of means with capital to invest. As the, western part of the state was becoming well known as one of the most fertile sections Mr. High disposed of his holdings in Dodge county and came to the Panhandle in 1913, having great faith in the future of this part of the country. Locating in Potter Mr. High purchased a half section of land, where he again engaged in business as an agriculturist, raised the land to a high state of fertility, made many excellent improvements and at the end of five years sold the farm at a good advance on the original investment, having earned it all with his own hands guided by foresight, initiative and by following modern methods in his management. He had specialized in alfalfa for feeding, wheat, potatoes, hogs and cattle, all of which seemed to thrive in the Lodgepole valley under his skillful guidance. Having been a land holder, Mr. High was not contented to be without some landed interest and, in 1917, he bought a full section of land north of Dix, where he farmed two years. During this time he greatly improved the estate, so that when he disposed of it in 1919, he did so with a handsome profit. After retiring from active participation in active agricultural life he became interested in the Citizens Bank of Potter and purchased a small block of stock in that flourishing institution. He has branched out into commercial life as his interests include holdings in the Farmers Elevators of Potter and Dix. For many years Mr. High has taken an active part in communal and civic affairs, doing his part as a prominent and progressive citizen should, as he was county supervisor of Dodge county for six years and after locating in Cheyenne county was chairman of the Potter town board for two years. In politics he is an adherent of the Democratic party while his fraternal affiliations are with the Masonic order and the Modern Woodmen of America.
July 2, 1885, Mr. High married Miss Susan Edwards, at Abington, Illinois. She was a native of the Old Dominion, but her family removed from Virginia to Illinois when she was a small child so that she was reared and educated in the latter state and there met and
married her husband. She was a loving wife and mother and played a gallant part in establishing the new home in the west. Mrs. High passed away in 1912, at the age of fifty-three years, leaving a sorrowing husband and family. Mr. and Mrs. High had three children: Mrs. Sabina Catherwood, lives at North Bend, Nebraska; Mrs. Bertha McChihan, is a resident of Potter; and Robert, who also lives in Potter, has four children of his own.
JOSEPH HERBERT FOSTER, one of the prominent business men of Dalton, who has taken an able part in the development of the town and its varied enterprises, is today regarded as one of the rising men of this section in commercial affairs.
He was born near Charleston, Coles county, Illinois, April 9, 1873, the son of Josiah H. and Susan F. Foster. The father was one of the pioneer settlers of this region as he came to Nebraska in 1888, and took up a homestead nine miles northwest of Potter. He had been a soldier of the Union Army during the Civil War and made proof of his land under soldier's rights; but later moved to eastern Nebraska and after a few years there returned to the old home at Villagrove, Illinois, where he now lives at the age of eighty-five years.
Herbert Foster accompanied the family when they came to Nebraska in the early days and was educated in the common schools of Illinois and Nebraska after coming to this locality. Later he attended the high school at Sidney. When his schooling was over Mr. Foster worked for about two years on ranches in the western part of the state, spent one more winter in school and then began teaching in Cheyenne county under Miss Mattie McGee, then county superintendent. He followed this profession for eight years, doing ranch work and breaking horses in between times; then for eight years devoted all his time to ranch and range work before owning and managing a ranch of his own. Mr. Foster was well versed in the business and was successful in his enterprise, made money and entering commercial life became one of the organizers of the local corporation known as the "Dalton Co-operative Society," at Dalton, in 1909. The company started with a paid up capital of fourteen hundred dollar; it was well managed and at once began to make money and today has a capital of fifty thousand dollars, and in 1920 did a business of nine hundred and seventeen thousand dollars. The company is an independent corporation doing business in lumber, grain, coal, hardware and livestock, a general business that is of great benefit to the surrounding country. Mr. Foster also helped to organize the Great Divide Telephone Company (incorporated), the only incorporated farmers telephone company in western Nebraska, with a paid up capital of ten thousand dollars. From this it will be gathered that he has been a man who has materially assisted in the development of his community. At the time of the organization of the co-operative company, Mr. Foster bought a large block of its stock and later purchased more, being today one of the heaviest holders. He also invested in the stock of the telephone company and in the Farmers State Bank, of Dalton, one of the promising financial institutions of the Panhandle.
For two terms Mr. Foster was assessor in Davison precinct, Cheyenne county, but takes no active part in politics, though he votes as a Republican. At the present time he is secretary-treasurer of the Dalton Co-operative Society; secretary of the Great Divide Telephone company; treasurer of the board of education of Dalton; a member of the village council and is president of the Farmers State Bank. As its executive head he has initiated policies that have placed the bank on a sound financial basis, won the confidence of the people and is regarded as one of the sound and reliable bankers of the western part of the state.
December 4, 1905, Mr. Foster married at Sidney, Nebraska, Miss Edith M. Davison, the daughter of James and Mary Davison, who settled in Cheyenne county in 1885. One daughter has been born to this union, Frances, at home.
Mr. Foster is a member of the Knights of Pythias, at Dalton; of the Odd Fellows, of which he is secretary; belongs to the Dalton Country Club, and attends the Presbyterian church. His entire time is devoted to his various interests, and today Mr. Foster is considered one of the leading financiers and bankers in this part of the Panhandle and state.
HUMPHREY SMITH was born at Waverley, Canada, at the lower end of Georgian Bay, in 1847. He was the son of Charles and Mary (Le Brash) Smith. He was the oldest of a family of thirteen children, only four of whom are now living. The others being: Jesse, who lives on the old family homestead at Waverley; Frank, living at Bakersfield, California, a carpenter by trade; and Anna, the widow of William Hagerty, living at South River, Canada.
At the age of ten years Mr. Smith went to Lake Superior and was reared there by different people. When he was twenty-one he took out citizenship papers in the United States and
came west to Scandinavia, Kansas, where he remained two years. When the Black Hills country was opened he was back at Lake Superior again, and at that time he came to Anselmo, Nebraska. The railroad was then being built, and he opened a store and hotel at that place and remained there until the drouth of the early nineties. He then went to the Black Hills, and in 1907 came to Bayard and bought a lumber yard. He has now practically retired from active business.
While on Lake Superior he was married to Emily Hart, and to them five children were born, all of them now living. They are: Eugene, who farms and conducts a barber business at Portland, Oregon; Charles, living at Paulson, Montana; Harvey, who was a captain in the United States army and served in the Philippines in the Spanish War and was a training captain at Portland, Oregon, during the late war, and is now in the insurance business; Daisy, now Mrs. Fred Fleming, of Greeley, Colorado, and Silas, a civil engineer of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Mr. Smith was married a second time in 1901, to Ida Reed, a native of South Dakota, and they have two children, Sidney and Herbert, both of whom are at home.
Mr. Smith is a member of the Methodist church and a Republican in politics. He has had a varied life of pioneering and adventure. He has been successful and is now able to retire from the active struggle and enjoy a well earned rest in the evening of life. He is respected by his neighbors and friends as a man of honorable character and good judgment.
ROBERT OSBORNE, who is now living practically retired at Gering, judicial center of Scotts Bluff county, is consistently to be designated as one of the representative pioneers of this section of Nebraska to which this history is devoted. As a Scotchman he possesses the admirable traits of character for which the sons of bonnie old Scotland are famous, and his energy and ability have been conclusively proved by the worthy success and prosperity he has achieved through his association with farm enterprise in western Nebraska. He has accumulated and still owns one of the extensive and valuable landed estates of Banner county, and remained on this fine ranch until 1914, when he established his residence at Gering; his retirement having been prompted alike by his somewhat impaired health and specially by his desire to give to his children the excellent advantages of the Gering schools.
Mr. Osborne was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, on March 29, 1861, and is a son of Robert and Mary (Hamilton) Osborne, the former of whom died in Scotland and the latter of whom came with her children to America and located in Illinois, where she passed the remainder of her life, the father having been long identified with the coal mining industry in Scotland.
Robert Osborne acquired his early education in the schools of his native land and was an ambitious youth when, in 1881, he came to the United States and established his residence in Illinois. Thence he later removed to Kansas, and, in 1887, he came to western Nebraska and numbered himself among the pioneers of the present Banner county, where he secured and duly perfected title to a homestead and a preemption claim. Here he lived up to the full tension of the pioneer days; gave his zealous labors to the development and improvement of his land and eventually accumulated in that locality his present well improved and valuable ranch of fifteen hundred and twenty acres, the same having continuously been devoted to diversified agriculure (sic) and stock-raising.
As a citizen Mr. Osborne has exemplified distinctive loyalty and public spirit, and he served four years as county assessor of Banner county, later having served for a similar period as precinct assessor in Scotts Bluff county. In politics he maintains an independent attitude and gives his support to men and measures meeting the approval of his judgment. In connection with his pioneer experiences in Banner county it may be noted that he there dug the first well on Swede Point.
The marriage of Mr. Osborne occurred in 1883, when he wedded Miss Margaret Draper, who was born and reared in Illinois and who, traveling by train, arrived in Banner county before he did, as he made the overland journey with team and wagon. For nearly two weeks after his arrival in this section of Nebraska he was unable to find trace of his wife and children, but he eventually discovered them in Banner county, where the reunion was a joyful one, as may well be imagined. In conclusion is given brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Osborne: Robert L. has general supervision of the old homestead ranch in Banner county; Martha is the wife of F. F. Stafford, of that county; Lewis likewise resides in Banner county, where he is successfully identified with farm enterprise; Belle is the wife of Arvil Barstow, of Scotts Bluff county; Clarence and Hugh, W. are associated with their older brother in the man-
© 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by Pam Rietsch, Ted & Carole Miller