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States Light Dragoons, and our subject served in the Civil war, as before mentioned. Thus each generation of this family, since its settlement on this side of the Atlantic has furnished a soldier for his country's support. 

Letter/label or barALENTINE GERLITS occupies a prominent place as a well-to-do and progressive member of the farming community of York county, Nebraska, where he has near Charleston as fine a farm of two hundred and forty acres as the state can show. He took it in the raw, has thoroughly improved it, and put upon it such valuable and permanent improvements that it ranks among the best farms in the state. And the beauty of it all is, that every particle of this good fortune has come out of his own brain and brawn. No one has given him a dollar, or been disposed to help in any way. He has simply toiled and struggled on and success has waited upon honesty and industry, economy and persistance.

      Mr. Gerlits was born in Bavaria, May 22, 1844, and had the usual education the German public schools afford. He was a son of John and Frances Kohn (Meyers) Gerlits. His father was a stone mason, and his parents were married in 1843, and came to this country when he was still a young child. They passed through New York and located in Wilksbarre, Pennsylvania, where they remained for nine years. The elder Gerlits was dissatisfied with mason work, and concluded to seek the comforts of a farm life. He took his family into what was the far west, and settled on a farm near Iowa City, Iowa. He is still living on the Iowa home at the venerable age of eighty-one years. Mrs. Gerlits died in March, 1889.

      Valentine Gerlits spent his early life at home and when he was twenty-one began working for himself, sometimes with the neighboring farmers, and sometimes at other employments. He was careful and prudent, and when five years had passed in this manner felt warranted in proposing marriage to Miss Paulina Ahlbrecht. She accepted him and they were married at Iowa City, October 27, 1870. They began their career as husband and wife by renting a farm, on which they remained for nine years. But the west drew them, as it had thousands of other adventurous souls, and they came into York county by wagon road, September 10, 1879, and pushed out still further west to an eighty acre tract which he had purchased from the railroad land company the year before. It was the west half, southwest quarter of section 13, township 10, range 4 west. He built a frame house, and settled down to carve a home for his family out of the wilderness. It was indeed a wilderness. There was not a furrow turned, nor a tree planted, or the primeval wildness disturbed in any way when it became his by purchase at the age of thirty-five. He began turning over the sod in the spring of 1880. He and his sons are caring for one hundred and sixty-five acres of grain and ninety-two acres of corn in the summer of 1898. They have done excellently well, and are proud of their twenty years in Nebraska.

      Mr. and Mrs. Gerlits are the parents of eleven children all but one of whom are now alive and healthy. Of these children, Clara L. is the oldest and is the wife of Charles Remington, of Smith county, Kansas. The oldest son, William H., still lives at home and gives his care and interest to the management of the farm, and the welfare of his younger brothers and sisters. He has considerable skill with the brush and pencil, and his friends say that if he should devote his life to art he would not fall to mediocrity. The other and younger children are Albert Francis, Edward Charles, Arthur John, Mary Francis, Leonie Amelia,



Gertrude Pauline, Valentine Francis and Louis Philip. Mr. Gerlits and his sons are members of the Catholic church at York, while his wife and daughters are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Council. He is a member of the fraternal order of the United Workmen. They stand well in the commmnity (sic). 

Letter/label or bar. HEMENOVER, a worthy representative of the agricultural interests of Precinct D, Seward county, was born in Sussex county, N. J., November 18, 1835, and his parents, Mathias and Margaret (Boyd) Hemenover, were also natives of that state, where they continued to make their home until 1844, when they removed to Fulton county, Illinois, spending their last days at that place. By occupation the father was a farmer, and he reared a family of nine children, three sons, of whom two now live in Nebraska, and six daughters.

      As our subject was quite small at the time of the removal of the family to Illinois, he passed the greater part of his early life in that state, attending school in the little log school-houses then so common in the west. As soon as large enough to handle the plow he began to assist in the labors of the field, and early became familiar with every department of farm work. He continued to follow agricultural pursuits in Illinois until 1883, which year witnessed his arrival in Seward county, Nebraska. Buying a farm in precinct D, he has devoted his energies to its development and cultivation until he now has one of the best improved farms in the county, and it yields to him a golden tribute in return for the care and labor he has bestowed upon it.

      With the very natural and laudable desire to surround himself with all the comforts of a home, the most important thing was to seek a life companion, who would be a true helpmeet to him. Accordingly Mr. Hemenover was married in 1858 to Miss Annie E. Kerkhuff, also a native of New Jersey, and a daughter of Jesse and Caroline (Kerkhuff) Kerkhuff, who were born in New Jersey and from that state removed to Illinois, where they continued to make their home until called from this life. Mr. and Mrs. Hemenover have two children: George M. and Ina. In his political affiliations our subject is a Republican and he always gives his support to all measures which he believes calculated to prove of benefit to the community. 

Letter/label or barSAAC JAMES BEATTIE is a hardworking and successful farmer, whose home is not far from Bradshaw, York county, Nebraska, whose history is a highly creditable one. He has contended in pioneer days with every kind of discouragement and difficulty, but he never lost heart in the future of the state, and is to-day enjoying the fruit of an honorable and useful career.

      Mr. Beattie was born January 6, 1856, in Kendall county, Illinois, and is a son of Joseph and Mary (Wright) Beattie. He belongs to an old and reputable Scotch family, who came into this country, by way of the north of Ireland, bringing with them the granite-like honesty and uprightness of character that belongs to Scotland, and infusing it with something of the readiness and wit that is associated with the "Emerald Island." The senior Beattie came into the United States in 1847, and located in Chicago, where he bought property and carried on a general store for about four years. But he soon became disgusted with a town founded on a marsh, where every few rods even in the more important streets could be seen sticks set up and bearing the legend, "no bottom here." He sold out his store, and went into Kendall county, where he bought land at a dollar and a quarter an acre, and engaged in farming, which he fol-



lowed for many years. The young man. Issac J., passed his boyhood and youth in the Illinois country, and lived with his father until he had attained his twenty-fifth year. He was then married to Miss Lizzie May Hopkins, a daughter of Cary Allen and Mary Jane (Cherry) Hopkins, and the young couple followed farming a year in that neighborhood, and then attracted by the stories of the remarkable fertility of Nebraska soil, determined to test it for themselves. They removed to this state and February 25, 1882, settled on the farm they now occupy which under their fostering care has become a model farm. On the books it is described as the southeast quarter of section 2, township 10, range 4 west, but is known far and wide as the Beattie farm. On it are ten acres of thrifty timber, principally hard wood, and an orchard of every kind of fruit the climate permits. Mr. and Mrs. Beattie are still young in years, and feel that the better part of life is still before them. They have four children, Carey H., Joseph F., Murray B. and Stella M. These children are constant attendants upon the instruction of the public school, and contemplate special training afterwards in literary and scientific directions as their varying natures may seem to demand. For it is deeply impressed upon the parental consciousness that these children will be superior farmers if they have a larger education than the neighborhood affords. No better avocation than farming is desired for them, but an educated farmer is to be the ruler of the new century according to the ideas that prevail on the Beattie farm. Its proprietor is a member of no church organization, but friendly to all, and looks upon the church and the school house as the two foundation stones of American liberty. Mrs. Beattie is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Bradshaw, and is a woman of popular traits. She commands the respect of the community, and is the center of a wide circle of friends. Her father and mother were born in 1837, he in Ohio, and she in New York. Her mother died in 1879, but her father is still living in Aurora, Illinois.

      Mr. Beattie has long affiliated with the Republican party, but in 1890, driven by a profound sense of the need of absolutely new ideas in the political world, he left the old party, and united with the People's Independent party, and is a strong supporter of its principles. He has never taken an active part in the working of the party machinery, but has been elected three times as the treasurer of his school district, for his heart is so much in the schools that he could not refuse to serve their interest. He comes of a long-lived race, and revisits his old home, where his father still lives. The family may well be proud of its Nebraska representative. 

Letter/label or barLIAS FRANKLIN, a well-known farmer residing on section 24, Platte township, is a worthy representative of one of the prominent and highly-respected pioneer families of Butler county, and they have borne an active and important part in the building and development of this region. Our subject was born in Will county, Illinois, March 18, 1856, and was a lad of twelve years when brought by his parents, Lawson and Amy (Parks) Franklin, to Butler county, in the fall of 1868. This region was still in its primitive condition, very few settlement had been made, and the settlers were widely scattered.

      Our subject's father was born in Cayuga county, New York, in 1816, at an early day emigrated to Will county, Illinois, from there removed to Webster county, Iowa, and on leaving that state came to Nebraska. He died in Butler county, February 22, 1876, but his widow is still living here. She, too, is a native of Cayuga county, New



York, and is a daughter of Ebenezer Parks, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and lived to the extreme old age of one hundred and five years.

      The first home of the Franklin family in Butler county was a sod house on the north side of Skull creek, just opposite to our subject's present residence, and one of the poles used in its construction is now a large willow tree eighteen inches in diameter. Elias Franklin was reared amist (sic) frontier scenes, and early in life became familiar with the arduous task of developing the wild land into highly cultivated fields. He has become a thorough and skillful agriculturist, and now successfully operates the old homestead.

      On the 12th of October, 1876, in Butler county, was consumated the marriage of Mr. Franklin and Miss Catherine Morish, who was of Bohemia parentage and died September 29, 1887, leaving four children: George Albert, William Henry, Edwin Walter and Charles Victor. Mr. Franklin is a consistent member of the Congregational church, and is widely and favorably known in the locality. Politically he is identified with the Republican party, and socially affiliates with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. 

Letter/label or barRANKLIN L. CROWNOVER.--Pennsylvania has contributed a large quota of the sturdy, energetic agriculturists of York county, and among them are to be found men of sterling worth and integrity, who have succeeded in life through their own energy and perseverance, and not as the recipient of any legacy. Among this class of citizens is the subject of this notice, who by economy and diligence has accumulated a handsome property, owning and occupying a fine farm of two hundred acres on section 14, Morton township.

      Mr. Crownover was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, September 1, 1842, and is a son of Peter and Ellen (Carmon) Crownover, who were also natives of that state and farming people. In 1859 they emigrated to Missouri, but in 1862 were compelled to leave their home there on account of the bitter feeling against northern men in that region. They next lived in McDonough county, Illinois, where the father died in 1869. He was twice married, his second union being with Miss Catherine Frankenbery, who died in the same county, in 1873. He had a family of twelve children, four sons and eight daughters.

      The education of our subject was all acquired in the schools of Pennsylvania prior to the emigration of the family to Missouri. In the latter state he assisted his father in the farm work until 1861, when he enlisted in Company G, Second Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, known as " Merrill's Horse." With that regiment he served for five months under General Fremont, and was then mustered out. In August, 1862, however, he again joined the boys in blue, this time as a member of Company H, One Hundred Nineteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and remained in the service until hostilities ceased, being honorably discharged September 12, 1865. He was in the battles of Queen Hill and Meridian, Mississippi, Fort Derucy, Pleasant Hill, Grandy Corps, Cain River, Bayou Le Moore, Martsville Prairie, Yellow Bayou, Louisiana, Nashville, Tennessee, the siege of Mobile, and many engagements of lesser importance. He was never wounded, nor was he ever off duty for a single day. When mustered out he was holding the rank of corporal.

      After the war Mr. Crownover lived in Illinois for two years, and then returned to Missouri, where he made his home until 1875, when he located permanently in York county, Nebraska. The year previous he had come to this state and secured



a homestead on section 14, Morton township, where he still resides. Like most farmers of this region he is also interested in stock raising, and in both branches of business is meeting with good success.

      Mr. Crownover was married in Illinois in November, 1870, to Miss Mary L. Darr, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Greenberry and Martha Darr, who were also born in the Buckeye state. Our subject and wife have two children: Carrie E.; and Charles E., now a civil engineer with the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad. The family are members of the Lutheran church, and Mr. Crownover also belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Brotherhood of America. He always votes the Republican ticket, but has never been an aspirant for office, though he takes a commendable interest in public affairs, and gives his support to all measures for the good of his township or county. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM MITCHELL, a wide-awake and intelligent citizen of York county, and one of the leading farmers of his community, makes his home on section 2, township 11 north, range 4 west. He is a native of Indiana, born in Clay county, November 6, 1848, and is a son of John Mitchell, who was born in Virginia, September 26, 1806, and when a young man removed to Kentucky. There he became acquainted with Miss Mary Adkins, who was born in that state, June 22, 18 11, and when he was twenty-one and she fifteen years of age, they were united in marriage. A few months later this young couple removed to Clay county, Indiana, and settled upon a heavily timbered tract of land where they made their home for seventeen years. Possessed of a large amount of energy and a strong determination to succeed they began their life in a new state, and by industry and perseverance cleared away the forest and opened up a fine farm of the richest soil the western, states could produce. Mrs. Mitchell was one of a family of eleven children, and by her marriage became the mother of thirteen, twelve of whom reached man and womanhood, and have reared families of their own, with the exception of James, who enlisted in the war of the rebellion and died soon after the great battle of Shiloh before his term of enlistment had expired.

      In the fall of 1851, the father, with his wife and eleven children, left their Indiana home and removed to Boone county, Iowa, where the subject of this sketch grew to manhood. At the age of twenty-seven years he was united in marriage with Miss Eliza Mitchell, who was then twenty-six. She was a native of Cadiz, Harrison county, Ohio, and when a few years old was taken to Mahaska county, Iowa, by her parents. William and Mary Ann (Atkison) Mitchell, who later removed to Jasper county, the same state, where the mother died at the age of forty-six years. Subsequently the family located in Boone county, where our subject's wife lived on her father's farm northeast of Boone City until her marriage. They now have seven children, three sons and four daughters, who in order of birth are as follows: Etta M., now the wife of Rev. Richard Richards; Clara N.; Emery L.; Chester H.; Mary A.; F. Guy; and Nellie P. With the exception of the oldest daughter all are at home.

      Soon after his marriage William Mitchell, with his wife, started for the new state just west of the great river, but found that the greater part of Nebraska had been taken up by home-seekers who had preceded them. In York county he purchased eighty acres of his present farm and later bought another eighty-acre tract on section 35, the same township, from the railroad company. This lies directly north of his first purchase, and the whole place consists of as fine farm-



ing land as can be found in the state. Here Mr. Mitchell commenced life in earnest, breaking prairie, planting trees, and making many other excellent improvements, which add greatly to its value and attractive appearance. He now has a fine bearing orchard of cherry and apple trees, which give forth in abundance the richest fruits. Here Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell have found a pleasant home since June, 1877, and are surrounded by a large circle of friends and acquaintances who appreciate their sterling worth and many excellencies of character. They are both earnest members of the Baptist church, and he is identified with the Democratic party. Since the erection of the gold standard by the Republican party, he is willing to affiliate with any party that will place the finances of the country back to the standard of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln, giving us again the free and unlimited coinage of silver. 

Letter/label or bar. C. BENNETT, well known throughout Polk county as one of its most enterprising and progressive agriculturists, owns and operates an excellent farm on section 23, Canada precinct, and also takes an active and prominent part in promoting the welfare of his adopted county. He is a worthy representative of old New England stock, born in Tolland county, Connecticut, May 13, 1830, and is a son of William and Harriet J. (Dunham) Bennett, who spent their entire lives in that state, the father dying there June 5, 1880, aged eighty-four years, the mother November 7, 1849, aged fifty. They were earnest and faithful members of the Baptist church. The paternal grandfather of our subject was William Bennett, a son of Nathaniel Bennett, and the maternal grandfather, who also belonged to an old Connecticut family, was Seth Dunham, a son of Seth Dunham, Sr. Our subject is one of a family of eleven children, who in order of birth are as follows: Janes, deceased; Mary E. and George D., twins, both deceased; Theodore F., deceased; J. C.; Austin, deceased; W. Henry and Austania; and Amanda, Seth D. and Charles Edgar, all three deceased. Three of the sons were soldiers of the Civil war: Seth D., who was a member of the Seventh Connecticut Volunteer Infantry; and George D. and Theodore F., who belonged to the Twenty-first Connecticut Regiment, and the latter was killed at the battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia. William Traganza, the husband of Austania, also died in the service.

      During his boyhood and youth J. C. Bennett attended the common schools and aided in the work of the home farm, remaining in his native state until he attained his majority. In 1852 he went to Delaware county, Ohio, where he engaged in teaching for a time, and then removed to Marshall county, Iowa, where he made his home for twenty-seven years and there reared his family. He purchased a tract of school land entirely unimproved, and also bought a little cabin, which he moved thereon in 1856, making that place his home from that time until coming to Nebraska in April, 1883. At that time only twenty acres of his present farm had been cultivated, and there was not a bush or tree upon the place, but to-day the entire tract of four hundred acres is under fence, and one hundred and twenty acres is highly cultivated and well improved with good farm buildings, all of which have been erected by Mr. Bennett. The place is pleasantly located eight miles east of Osceola, and is one of the most attractive and desirable farms of the locality. In addition to general farming he is engaged in stock raising, making a specialty of shorthorn cattle.

      In April, 1856, was consummated the marriage of Mr. Bennett and Miss Elizabeth Bockoven, who was born in Dela-



ware county, Ohio, in November, 1833.

      Her parents, Jacob and Eliza (Dalrymple) Bockoven, were early settlers of that county, where their deaths occurred. In their family were eleven children who reached years of maturity, namely: William, Susan, deceased; Jinks; Maria; Mrs. Bennett; Martha; George, deceased; Mary; Israel; Emma and Lucretia, both deceased. Of the six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bennett five are now living: Eliza A., wile of Jeremiah Reeder, by whom she has one son, Harry J.; George A., who married Laura Hayhurst and has four children, Frank R., Grace, Lester and Ruth Esther; Seth W., who married Maud Hayhurst, and has two children, Nellie E. and John E.; Hattie J., at home; and Frank, who married Addie Fish, and has one child, Wilbur F. The family are connected with the Presbyterian church and are widely and favorably known throughout the community. Politically Mr. Bennett has been a lifelong Republican, takes an active part in local political affairs, and has frequently been a delegate to the conventions of his party. While a resident of Marshall county, Iowa, he filled the offices of township trustee and president of the school board. He was also a member of the Union League of that state. He is one of the most popular and influential men of his community and justly merits the confidence which is so freely accorded him. Both of his grandfathers, William Bennett and Seth Dunham, served in the Connecticut legislature at the same time, the latter serving two terms. 

Letter/label or barARTIN CADY, a farmer by occupation in section 28, Alexis township, Butler county, was born in Perinton, Monroe county, New York, August 10, 1837. He is the son of George W. Cady, a native of Montgomery county, New York, who was born there December 15, 1810, and grandson of David Cady, whose birthplace was the little Nutmeg state. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary war and drew a pension for being wounded in that struggle for independence. The father of David Cady was of English descent, Elizabeth Cady Stanton being a cousin of his.

      George W. Cady came west with his parents to Michigan in 1854 and settled in Branch county, where they bought four hundred and forty acres of land. He was married to Eliza Frederick in 1834 in Ontario county, New York. His wife was born in Duchess county, New York, and died in Butler county, Nebraska, at the age of sixty-nine years.

      Our subject has one brother, Henry C. Cady, an engineer on the N. Y. C. & H. R. R. and a resident of Buffalo county. His father, George W. Cady, enlisted in the Eighth Michigan Infantry in the Civil war. He died in the hospital at Nashville, Tennessee, July 4, 1865.

      Martin Cady left Michigan in March, 1861, and went to California. Was engaged in mining for a time and later had a ranch in Nevada. Lost everything by fire and in 1866 returned without anything. He was married in Branch county, Michigan, December 21, 1857, to Ellen McDonald, a daughter of Edward McDonald, of Branch county, Michigan. He left Michigan in the spring of 1869 and came to the Platte Valley, took up eighty acres of land, increased now to two hundred, showing his acquisitive powers and ability to add to instead of decreasing his store from day to day.

     He is the father of two sons, Fred C., Geo. M., and one daughter, Mina E. (Houston), wife of Harry Houston. He is a grand Master Mason, a Democrat in politics, a member of the Baptist church, one of the founders of the First Baptist church of Beliwood, a man of strict integrity, re-



spected for his efforts and success in leading a good, conscientious life, and looked upon as one of the most thrifty farmers of his section of the county.

      In the early days of this county he was a carpenter by trade, built the first building in David City and the first court house there; has made it the home of his adoption, and is one of the leading citizens of his community. 

Letter/label or barON. C. E. HOLLAND, attorney-at-law, Seward, Nebraska, holds a prominent place among the members of the legal fraternity in this portion of the west. His acquaintance extends far beyond the limits of Seward county, and he has clients from distant parts of the state. He is bright and aggressive in his tactics, and not only excels in the presentation of his own cases, but in the analysis and defeat of hostile argument. A portrait of Mr. Holland accompanies this biography.

      Attorney Holland was born in Fulton county, Illinois, May 19, 1859. His parents were Marion and Margaret A. (Wilson) Holland, and they were natives of Ohio and Illinois. His paternal grandfather, Zachary T., was a farmer in Virginia, and to this occupation he bred his children. The maternal grandfather of the Seward attorney, Samuel Wilson, came from Glasgow, Scotland, and was a man of great force of character and strong convictions. Marion Holland settled in Illinois in 1856, and is still living in that state. He spent seven years in Iowa, but returned to his home east of the Mississippi. He was the father of two sons, both of whom are now living in this county.

      Attorney Holland received his education from the public schools of Iowa, and in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where he attended Howe's Academy, and the Wesleyan University of that place. He was graduated in 1880, and three years later received his Master's degree from the university. From 1880 to 1883 he was principal of the city schools at Greenfield, Iowa, and proved himself a capable and successful teacher. In the fall of 1879 he began the study of law, under the supervision of Woolson & Babb, a well-known legal firm of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Judge Woolson is now on the United States district bench for Iowa, and sustains a reputation as a fearless and upright member of the judiciary. Mr. Holland attended the instruction of the law department of Yale, and was graduated from that famous institution in 1885. He was immediately admitted to the state and federal bars of Connecticut, and was regarded with much approbation by his preceptors. He did not however establish himself in the East but at once sought a location in the newer regions beyond the Missouri where a young man might be supposed to stand a better chance for business. He visited Seward, and was so pleased with the outlook that he hung out his shingle in this city, and here he remains to this day. In 1887 he was elected county judge, and served a term on the bench with much success. He has been mayor and city attorney of Seward, and has ever been ready to serve his community in any way it might be demanded of him.

     Mr. Holland was married in 1881 to Miss Sarah L. Chenoweth. She was born in Indiana, and is an attractive and cultivated woman. They are parents of two children, Yale C. and Vivienne, who are both living. In a political way Mr. Holland votes and acts with the Republican party, and has served on its county committee four years. He has received many evidences of its appreciation of his services, and when so many were swept off their feet by the Populistic tide, he stood steadfast, and is regarded to-day as one of the old and sturdy Republicans of the county.



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