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died in 1912, and of the three children the eldest was Ida May, who died October 20, 1917. William and Albert remain with their father in the pleasant home which he has provided at Oshkosh.
MRS. SARAH E. VALENTINE, needs in this publication no voucher for her popularity, not only in her home community of Oshkosh, Garden county, but also on the part of the traveling public, for she is the gracious and generous hostess of the popular Oshkosh hotel known as the Travelers' Home, her management of which has made it a place that fully justifies its title.
Mrs. Sarah E. (Stratton) Valentine was born at New Troy, Berrien county, Michigan, and is a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Abley) Stratton, the former of whom was born in the state of New York and the latter was a girl of fourteen when she came to America from her native Switzerland, in company with her parents. James Stratton was a pioneer in southern Michigan and he passed the closing period of his long and useful life at Three Oaks, that state, where he died at the patriarchal age of ninty (sic)-two years, his wife having died in the city of Chicago, at the age of sixty-four years. Mrs. Valentine acquired her early education in the public schools of her native place and thereafter completed a commercial course in the Savor's Institute, of Chicago. She became an assistant instructor in the telegraphic department of that institution and retained this position about one year. Within a short time afterwards she became the wife of James H. Redding, and they established their residence on the upper peninsula of Michigan, at Menominee, where their son, Emmett F. Redding, was born September 5, 1886. He now lives in Chicago, where he is assistant superintendent of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, having been with that company for ten years, working from the bottom up to his present position. They remained there eighteen years, and there Mr. Redding died, at the age of fifty-five years. Mrs. Redding then removed to Chicago, where she followed the profession of nursing and where her marriage to William H. Valentine was solemnized.
In 1913, Mrs. Valentine came to Oshkosh, Nebraska, mainly to assume charge of and perfect title to the homestead that had been taken up, in Garden county, by her deceased sister, Miss Flora A. Stratton. On July 17, of the same year, she assumed control of the Travelers' Home, which excellent hotel she has since conducted with marked success, so that it is a specially favored resort for the traveling public. She has perfected title to the land mentioned and is still the owner of the property. Mrs. Valentine is a popular factor in the social activities of Oshkosh, is a member of the Congregational church and is actively affiliated with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
SAMUEL P. DeLATOUR cast in his lot with the people of progressive Nebraska in the year 1880, after a previous valuable experience of official and business life in the state of Arkansas. In Nebraska his career has been marked by constructive and successful enterprise and he is one of the influential pioneer citizens of the splendid Panhandle of the state, with prestige as a banker and as a prominent man of the cattle industry. He is president of the Bank of Lewellen, Garden county, and the owner of valuable farm land in this county, where he has the distinction of becoming the first settler in Bear Creek precinct. He has been a prominent figure in civic and material development and progress in this section of the state and is an honored citizen, meriting special recognition in this history.
Samuel P. DeLatour was born at Platteville, Wisconsin, September 15, 1848, and, as the name implies, is able to trace his lineage back to sterling French origin, though the family has long been established in America. He is a son of John J. and Sarah J. (Parr) DeLatour, the former of whom was born in the state of New York, in 1815, and the latter of whom was born at Greenville, Bond county, Illinois, in 1825, her parents having been numbered among the earliest of the pioneer settlers of that section of Illinois, where she was reared and educated and where her marriage was solemnized in 1844. John J. DeLatour completed a course in the historic old Williams College, New York, and was a man of exceptional intellectuality, his profession having been that of civil engineer. About the time of attaining his legal majority he removed to the west, in 1835, and established his residence in Illinois, where he became prominently identified with the real estate business, as well as with pioneer farm enterprise. During the climacteric period of the Civil War he gave effective service to the Union, as an official in the quartermaster's department. He passed the closing period of his life in the city of Chicago, where he died at the venerable age of eighty years. In the meantime he had been for a time a resident of Wisconsin, where he had various business and industrial interests, the
family having returned to Illinois when the son, Samuel P., of this review, was a child of two years. The devoted wife and mother died when she was about eighty-four years of age, and of the five children--three sons and two daughters--Samuel P. was the second in order of birth.
Mr. DeLatour acquired his preliminary education in the common schools of Illinois, then completed a higher course of study in the Clark Seminary, at Aurora. In December, 1869, about three months after the celebration of his twenty-first birthday, Mr. DeLatour established his residence at Huntsville, Arkansas, where he was appointed deputy clerk of the district court. He remained at Huntsville until 1872, when he removed to Helena, Phillips county, that state, where he served not only as clerk of the district court but also clerk of the United States District court, besides where he engaged in the banking business. In 1880, he resigned the office of clerk of the Federal District Court and came to Nebraska. Soon after his arrival in this state, Mr. DeLatour settled at Cambridge, Furnas county, where he became associated with William R. Babcock in organizing the Republican Valley Bank, besides engaging also in the live-stock and mercantile business. In 1883, he disposed of his various interests in Furnas county and came to the western part of the state, to establish a cattle ranch ninty (sic) miles northwest of North Platte, in that part of old Cheyenne county that is now included in Garden county. He thus became the first settler in the present Blue creek precinct of Garden county, as he filed entry on a pre-emption claim of a hundred and sixty acres, in 1884, improving it into a good ranch which he devoted principally to the cattle industry, an enterprise which proved successful. The ranch later was in the newly organized Deuel county, and still later was included in the newer county of Garden. A man of broad experience and fine intellectual endowment, Mr. DeLatour was well qualified when he was called upon to serve, through appointment, as county attorney of Deuel county, an office of which he continued the incumbent one term.
In 1911, Mr. DeLatour organized the Garden County Bank, at Lewellen, and in this enterprise he was associated with his two younger sons--Eugene and Ben C. In 1914, the father and sons purchased the business of the Bank of Lewellen and the two institutions were then consolidated, under the title of the Bank of Lewellen. Mr. DeLatour has since been president of this substantial and well regulated institution, which has a capital stock of $50,000.00, and deposits which have now reached an average aggregate of $260,000.00.
Well fortified in his convictions as to matters of economic and governmental (sic), Mr. DeLatour gave his support to the Republican party until 1895, when he transferred his allegiance to the Democratic party, of whose basic principles he has since continued a stalwart advocate. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and his religious views are in harmony with the faith of the Episcopal church, his wife having been a zealous member of this church.
At Helena, Arkansas, in 1873, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Delatour to Miss Lucy McGraw, who was reared and educated in that state, though she was born in Kentucky. Her sister became the wife of Honorable Powell Clayton, who served as governor of Arkansas and later as United States senator from that state. Mrs. DeLatour, a woman of most gentle and gracious personality, died in January, 1897. Of the four children the eldest is John McGraw DeLatour, who served in the medical department during the World War and who is now a resident of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, where he is engaged in a real estate business; Samuel Van Allen DeLatour resides at Lewellen, Garden county, and gives his attention principally to stock-raising; Eugene, whose death occurred October 23, 1918, was associated with his father in the banking business at Lewellen, and prior to the organization of Garden county he served two terms as county clerk of Deuel county; and Ben C. DeLatour, who is vice-president and general manager of the Bank of Lewellen.
JOHN MEVICK. -- When it is stated that for five successive years this well known pioneer and live-stock man of Garden county captured the grand champion prize for car-load exhibits of hogs at the Denver Stock Show, Denver, Colorado, it becomes apparent that he has not been laggard in promoting the live stock industry and advancing stock standards in the Panhandle of Nebraska. His admirably improved stock farm, which still receives his personal supervision, is situated about four miles northwest of Lewellen, in which village he maintains his residence, after having lived on the farm for nearly a quarter of a century.
Mr. Mevich was born at Kenosha, Wisconsin, October 3, 1860, and is a son of Peter and Mary Mevich, the former a native of Germany and the latter of Ireland, their marriage having been solemnized at Kenosha, Wisconsin,
from which state they removed to Illinois in the year 1861, both having been young people when they came to the United States. Peter Mevich became a substantial farmer in Henry county, Illinois, but he died in the very prime of his manhood, having been forty-seven years of age at the time of his demise, and his widow, who long survived him, having attained to the venerable age of eighty-two years, her death occurred at Henry, Illinois.
John Mevich was an infant at the time of his parents removal to Illinois, and there his early education was acquired in the public schools at Mineral, Henry county. His initial enterprise as a farmer was prosecuted in Illinois, where he remained thus engaged for a period of three years. He then removed to Hamilton county, Iowa, whre (sic) he continued in agricultural pursuits for three years, at the expiration of which he came to Nebraska and numbered himself among the pioneer settlers in that part of old Cheyenne county that now constitutes Garden county. He took up homestead and tree claim and instituted their reclamation from the prairie wilds. With the passing years he continued to make excellent improvements on the property and became a specially prominent and successful representative of live-stock industry in the present Garden county, remaining on his original farm for the long period of twenty-four years. He still owns the property, to which he has added until he now has a valuable landed estate of twelve hundred acres, and though he has resided in the village of Lewellen since 1909, he continues the active management of his farm and substantial live-stock operations and stands as one of the most extensive breeders and feeders of hogs in the western part of the state. His fine ranch, known as one of the best equipped in the Nebraska Panhandle, has four miles of hog fence, and three hundred acres of his land receives effective irrigation from Blue creek, he having been prominently concerned in the building of this irrigation system. In addition to raising hogs on a large scale Mr. Mevch (sic) usually runs an average of nearly two hundred head of cattle on his ranch and about fifty to sixty head of horses, though he is gradually reducing his activities in the raising of horses. He has been a leader in movements tending to advance the agricultural and live-stock industries in Garden county and was the first president of the Garden County Fair Association, of which office he continued the incumbent from 1910 to 1917; in the meantime he wielded vital influence in forming the policies and directing the other activites (sic) that have made this organization a most successful adjunct of industrial progress in the county. In politics he is a staunch supporter of the cause of the Republican party and fraternally he is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are sterling pioneers who have a wide circle of friends in the section of Nebraska in which they have long maintained their residence.
At Lewellen, Garden county, March 31, 1890, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Mevich to Miss Grace White, daughter of Wellington and Mary (Langton) White, the former was born and reared in Wisconsin and the latter was born in England, whence she came with her parents to America when a girl, the family home being established in Wisconsin. Mr. White served as a member of a Wisconsin volunteer regiment in the Civil War, and continued with his command during virtually the entire period of this historic conflict. He finally came with his family to Nebraska and he and his wife now maintain their home at Lewellen. Mr. and Mrs. Mevich have two children: Ruth M. is the wife of George H. Morris, of Oshkosh, Garden county, and Charlotte M. remains at home.
J. MONROE BRUNT, who has secure vantage ground as one of the substantial citizens and pioneers of Garden county, where he has been successful in his operations as an agriculturist and stock-grower, claims beautiful old Union county, New Jersey, as the place of his nativity. In the village of Rahway, in that historic county, he was born July 12, 1858, and is a son of Joseph and Emma Brunt, both of whom were born in England, and the latter of whom was a girl when she accompanied her parents to America, the family home being established in New Jersey. Joseph Brunt was reared and educated in England and was a young man when he came to the United States, where he became a successful contractor at Rahway, New Jersey. In that state he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives, she having been sixty-four years of age at the time of her death and he having attained to the venerable age of eighty-two years. They became the parents of seven sons and three daughters, and the subject of the review is the youngest of the number. The four older sons, William, James, Harvey and George, all served gallantly as soldiers of the Union during the Civil War and all were members of the same artillery command, with assignment to the same cannon.
J. Monroe Brunt acquired his preliminary education in the public schools of his native
state, where he supplemented his training by a course of higher study in Princeton University, from which historic institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1878, with the degree of Bachelor of Law. He was well equipped for the legal profession, but his tastes and inclinations led him into other fields of endeavor, so that he never engaged actively in the practice of law. Mr. Brunt became associated with his father's contracting business, of which he was superintendent about five years, and he then assumed a large contract in the supplying of natural ice to the city of New York, After the completion of this contract he conducted a general merchandise business in his native town of Rahway for a period of about ten years, and for about one and one-half years thereafter he was connected with the company operating the DeBrosse street ferry, between New York City and New Jersey. In 1881, Mr. Brunt set forth for the west, and finally settled in Henry county, Illinois, where he was engaged in farm enterprise about four years. He then, in 1885, came to Nebraska and established his residence at Ogallala, but in 1887, he came to what is now Garden county and took up a pre-emption claim about three miles distant from the village of Lewellen, which was not marked by a single building at that time. Later he filed claim to a homestead adjacent to his pre-emption claim, and here he has maintained his residence during the long intervening years, which have been marked by worthy achievement on his part. His landed estate now comprises five hundred acres of well improved and productive soil, and here, in connection with diversified agriculture, he is giving special attention to the raising of live stock-horses, cattle and hogs. He has been notably prominent and successful in the raising of horses of fine type and has made this department of his farm enterprise one of major importance. Mr. Brunt has given his influence and co-operation in the movements and enterprises that have tended to advance the general welfare of the community and in his personal activities has kept pace with the march of splendid development and progress in this section of the state. Upon the organization of the Bank of Lewellen he became the first depositor in the new institution. He has been prominently identified with irrigation development here and was for ten years superintendent of the Bratt irrigation ditch--1896-1906.
In politics Mr. Brunt is aligned in the ranks of the Democratic party, and prior to the organization of Garden county he served, in 1888-9, as sheriff of Deuel county. Prior to coming to the west he had served as chief of police in the city of Rahway, New Jersey, for two years, 1877-8. As a young man he served about three years as a member of the New Jersey National Guard, and he was first sergeant of Company F, Third New Jersey Regiment, when it was in active service during the great strike turbulence in New York City in 1880. He is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and both he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church at Lewellen.
The marriage of Mr. Brunt was solemnized at Ogallala, Nebraska, in 1887, when Miss Ella Ross became his wife. She was born in Iowa, and is a daughter of Samuel and Mary A. (Newsome) Ross, who were natives of Pennsylvania and who became pioneer settlers in Iowa, the father having been seventy-six years of age at the time of his death and the mother having passed away at the age of sixty-two years. Mrs. Brunt came to Ogallala, Keith county, Nebraska, in 1886, and near that place she took up a homestead, to which she perfected her title in due time and of which she eventually made a profitable sale. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Brunt the eldest is Ethel, the wife of George West, of Lewellen, and has two sons and two daughters, and Nine V., Clayton W. and Edith M. remain at home. Clayton W., the only son, served in the coast artillery during the progress of the World War and received his honorable discharge after the signing of the historic armistice.
GEORGE M. COCHRAN is the owner of a well improved farm of two hundred and forty acres, three miles northwest of Lewellen, Garden county, and is now giving his active supervision to the property, with energy and good judgment that are giving him maximum returns in his operations as an agriculurist (sic) and stock-grower. He was long identified with railway service, and in this connection he was foreman of the extra corps of workmen that laid the track on the North Platte Valley branch of the Union Pacific Railroad, through Garden and other counties in western Nebraska.
George Madison Cochran was born in Jennings county, Indiana, August 15, 1869, and is a son of Richard M. and Elizabeth (May) Cochran, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Indiana, to which state her parents removed from North Carolina. Richard M. Cochran became a prosperous farmer in Indiana and later in Kansas. He removed to Montana, 1899, and died a year later. Mrs.
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