NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center
On-Line Library



of Virginia, and the mother a native of North Carolina. John R. Henton was one of the first settlers in the region of Logansport, Indiana, settling there in 1830, when the town consisted of two or three log cabins. He located on a farm there, and remained for thirty-six years. He removed to Plattsmouth, Nebraska, in 1866, and died there the following year. His faithful wife survived him twenty years, her death occurring in 1887.

      George Henton was reared on a farm until his sixteenth year, when he learned the carpenter's trade, and worked at that until the breaking out of the Civil war; he then enlisted in Company G, Fifteenth Indiana Infantry, and was mustered in June 4, 1861, at Camp Lafayette. He was sent with his company to Indianapolis, and after about three weeks there, was sent to Virginia. After participating in the battles of Greenbrier and Elk Water, he went to Camp Wickliff, Kentucky. In the spring of 1862 he was among the first troops to arrive at Nashville, and soon afterward proceeded to Pittsburg Landing, where he arrived just about the time that memorable fight ended. He followed Beauregard's retreating army to Corinth, and was then sent back to Louisville in pursuit of General Bragg. When that general turned back across Kentucky the sharp engagement at Berryville took place, in which our subject participated. He then went to Nashville where he was encamped for some time, his next scene of active fighting being at Stone River. Being on detached service, Mr. Henton was with the Tenth Indiana Battery during the first day's fighting but was with his own regiment the second day. After this battle they went into camp at Murfreesboro, and were shortly afterward ordered to Chattanooga. He took part in the bloody battle of Chickamauga, and later at the battle of Missionary Ridge. Of the three hundred and thirty- four men with whom he went into this battle two hundred and two were killed or wounded. Of his own company but seven men returned to tell the story. Shortly after this battle an attack of pneumonia made it necessary for him to be sent to the hospital at Nashville, and on his recovery he remained at the barracks at Nashville until the expiration of his term of enlistment. He was mustered out at Indianapolis June 25, 1864. He returned home and attended school until the spring of 1865, when he again enlisted, this time in the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Indiana Infantry. He remained in camp at Indianapolis until the latter part of April, was then ordered to Washington, and then to Alexandria, Virginia, for guard duty, but two weeks later was sent to Dover, Deleware, where he was discharged August 4, 1865. Although he saw so much active service and participated in some of the fiercest battles of the war, he was never wounded or captured, although at Missionary Ridge he was knocked down by an exploded shell, and he came out of the fight with several bullet holes in his clothing.

      After the close of the war Mr. Henton attended school about two years, and then accompanied his parents to Plattsmouth, Nebraska, where he worked at his trade until he went to York county, in 1872. He filed a soldier's homestead claim to the northwest quarter of section 34, township 10, range 3, and has resided upon the same ever since. In 1872 this land was all wild, unbroken prairie, and he set to work with a will to put it into a state of cultivation. He erected a frame house fourteen feet square, with a shingle roof, it being among the first buildings of the kind in the township as the early settlers were for the most part domiciled in dug-outs at that period. He broke about twenty-five acres of land the following year and planted some corn, which produced a fair crop. He early saw the importance of the stock raising industry



for that country, and for many years gave it much attention. His farm is in a high state of cultivation, and in fertility and productiveness is not surpassed by any in the township.

      Mr. Henton was married October 6, 1868, to Lydia Eikenbary. Mrs. Henton was born May 11, 1844, in Burlington, Iowa, daughter of Samuel and Martha (Crawford) Eikenbary, the former a native of Preble county, Ohio, and the latter of Union county, Indiana. Mr. Eikenbary was one of the pioneers of Nebraska, he and his wife settling near Plattsmouth in 1856, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. Eikenbary was a member of the territorial legislature when it convened at Omaha.

      Mr. and Mrs. Henton are the parents of the following children: Frank E.; Ethel H., wife of Herbert Harris; L. Madge, deceased; George Earl, of Stockton, California, where he is studying medicine. Mr. Henton is a Republican and takes an active interest in political matters. Mrs. Henton is a member of the Christian church at Charleston. 

Letter/label or barEROME C. FORD, one of the old and honored pioneers of Seward county, is now living at his home on section 2, precinct G, and recalls with satisfaction the changes that have since come over the face of Nebraska since he first looked upon its prairie soil. He has been an active man, and has had his full share of the vicissitudes and dangers that are common to all men. But he has lived through them all and survives to contemplate a green and peaceful old age.

      Mr. Ford was born in McHenry county, Illinois, June 8, 1840, and was a son in the home of Cyrus and Amarilla (Brown) Ford. They were natives of New York and Vermont, and following a rural life, moved to Illinois, where the husband and father died in McHenry county April 10, 1863. Benjamin Ford was the grandfather of Jerome, and he lived and died in New York. Mrs. Cyrus Ford was born November 5, 1805, and died March 4, 1897, at the home of her son Jerome. He was the youngest of her family, and her last days were spent by his fireside.

      Jerome Ford received the most of his schooling in a log school-house in McHenry county, and while the surroundings and appointment were rude, yet the instruction was good, and there were strong men who went out from those pioneer structures. The war breaking out just as he was entering upon his majority, he hastened to enlist in the Union army, and was a soldier in Company H, Thirty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served throughout the war. He was at the battles of Pea Ridge in 1862, Perryville, and Stone River. In this last engagement he was wounded in the hip, taken prisoner, and confined in Libby prison for some weeks. He was with his regiment again in the fall of 1863, in time to participate in the romantic struggle of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. He fought in the battles around Atlanta and was wounded in the head at Kenesaw Mountain. From this time he was put on detached duty and was mustered out in 1865. He was a brave and efficient soldier, and made a record of which any man might well be proud.

      At the conclusion of peace the war-worn veteran made his way back to his Illinois home, and spent a number of years there. In 1869, feeling the American hunger for land, which is said to be a national characteristic, he came to this state in search of a home, and entered a homestead claim in Butler county. He lived there five years, and erected the first frame house ever seen in that part of the state. In 1874 he moved to the city of Seward, and spent the



next seven years in the milling business. In 1881 he retired from the mill and purchasing the land where he now resides, devoted himself to making a farm. It is on section 2, in precinct G, and his assiduous and persistent labors are evident in the very great improvement that has been effected in all the appointments of the farm. He was married in 1864 to Miss Lorinda Beebe. She was a native of New York, and is the mother of three sons and one daughter, Fred S., Elmer E., Harry E. and Lydia. The daughter married a Mr. Miller, and is now dead. He is an enthusiastic member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and has a welcome greeting for any old soldier. He is a Republican and has been elected to several township offices, and has also served on the board of supervisors. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM STEWART.--While "the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong," the invariable law of destiny accords to tireless energy, industry and ability a successful career. The truth of this assertion is abundantly verified in the life of Mr. Stewart, a prosperous farmer residing on section 8, Waco township, York county.

      He was born in County Cork, Ireland, 1815, and in 1827 came to the New World with his parents, John and Eliza (Willis) Stewart, the former a native of Scotland, the latter of County Cork, Ireland. They took up their residence in the county of Northumberland, Province of Ontario, Canada West, where the father secured a valuable tract of one thousand acres of timber land. He was a well educated man, and in the old country had followed merchandising, but in America devoted his energies to clearing and improving his land. He did not live long, however, to enjoy his new home, dying in 1830, at the age of fifty-two years, and his sons then took up the work of improvement and cultivation of the home farm. His wife died in 1863. Both held membership in the Episcopal church, and were highly respected by all who knew them. Their children were James, Jane and Elizabeth, all now deceased; Thomas; Mary, deceased; William; Benjamin and Ann, both deceased; and John.

      William Stewart was twelve years of age when brought by his parents to America, and amid scenes of frontier life he grew to manhood, aiding his brothers in clearing and operating the home farm until he attained his majority. He received a fairly good education in his native land, but did not attend school to any extent in Canada. At the age of twenty-two he started out to make his own way in the world, and at first conducted the farm left him by his father, operating it quite successfully until coming to the United States.

      In 1845 Mr. Stewart was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Willis, also a native of County Cork, Ireland, who died in the fall of 1886, leaving five children, namely: John; William, who married Annie Hyde and has four children--William J., David A., Mary Elizabeth and Charles H.; Eliza, who first married John Salmon and after his death wedded James Anderson; Annie, who married Ed Wilson and died leaving one son, Leroy Wesley; and David, deceased.

      In 1877 Mr. Stewart came to York county, Nebraska, and obtained a homestead on the north half of the southeast quarter of section 8, Waco township, on which he built a little frame house, 14 x 20 feet. He raised his first crop the following year. In 1886 he removed to section 6, of the same township, and 1893 located upon his present farm. He is now the owner of four hundred acres of well improved and highly cultivated land, on which are five sets of farm buildings. Both sons own one hundred and sixty acres each. Aside from



voting the People's party, Mr. Stewart takes no active part in political affairs, while religiously he is identified with the Episcopal church. His genial, pleasant manner has made him quite popular in both business and social circles, and as a public-spirited, enterprising man, he is recognized as a valued citizen of the community. 

Letter/label or barRVILLE M. MOORE, M. D., member of the firm of Shidler & Moore, physicians and surgeons, was born in Ripley, Brown county, Illinois, July 30, 1859. His father, S. V. Moore, was one of the first physicians in York county, and his biography will appear on another page of this volume.

      Our subject was educated in York county, having moved there with his parents in 1869. He attended the public schools of the district in which he lived and also the York Seminary. While not in school, he devoted the most of his time to farming until about twenty-one years of age, when he began the study of medicine under Dr. W. H. Babcock, of Bradshaw, York county, and remained under his direction for three years. He then entered the Bennett Medical College of Chicago, in 1882, attending that institution for one year. In 1883 he entered the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated from same June 3, 1884. He also took a special course in diseases of the eye and ear at Pulte Medical College in Cincinnati.

      Dr. Moore began the practice of his profession in Bradshaw, Nebraska, in 1884, and continued in that place until 1896, when he came to York and associated himself with Dr. Shidler, and since then they have practiced in partnership. Dr. Moore is a man of excellent education, and being of social turn, has become quite prominent in the social circles of the city and vicinity. In all matters tending to promote the general welfare and to develop the business and social interests of his adopted town he has taken a hearty interest and has aided materially in various ways in the up-building and strengthening of good local government. He is a member of the York County Mediical (sic) Society, is president of the Nebraska State Eclectic Society and a member of the National Medical Association. He is a Royal Arch member of the Masonic fraternity, is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Woodmen of America. In 1891 Doctor Moore supplemented his medical education by taking a course at the New York Post Graduate Medical School. As a man he is highly respected, and as a physician and surgeon he ranks among the foremost of his profession and enjoys an extensive and ever-increasing patronage, both in general practice and surgery, although the firm makes a specialty of surgery 

Letter/label or bar.ILLIAM J. LANYON, who, as a stock breeder and farmer, has been prominently identified with the business interests of York county since 1872, and his affairs have been so managed as to win him the confidence of the public and the prosperity which should always attend honorable effort. His homestead is pleasantly located on section 23, Stewart township.

      Mr. Lanyon was born in Linden, Iowa county, Wisconsin, February 2, 1843, and is a son of Simon and Mary (Batten) Lanyon, natives of the parish of St. Allen, Cornwall, England, where they were married June 4, 1838. Soon afterward they emigrated to the United States and located in Iowa county, Wisconsin, the father following blacksmithing at Linden until 1853. After two years spent at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, he returned to Linden, and in 1864 again went to Mineral Point, where he made his home until called from this life



March 20, 1889. During the Black Hawk war he was called out for drill. His wife died November 6, 1892. In their family were six children, who reached years of maturity: S. H., who died in Pittsburg, Kansas; Mrs. Mary A. B. Carter, of Le Mars, Iowa; William J., of this sketch; Carrie L. Webber, of Pittsburg, Kansas; Reuben S., of Joplin, Missouri; and Frank W., who died in Pittsburg, Kansas. The last named was cashier of the Pittsburg National Bank; was a thirty-second-degree Mason and treasurer of the Knight Templars of the state of Kansas; was also a member of the Benevolent and Patriotic Order of Elks; was a World's Fair delegate from Kansas; and was the candidate of his party for the state senate at the time of his death.

      The subject of this sketch was reared and educated in Linden and Mineral Point, Wisconsin, and at the age of twenty-nine years began life for himself. He was married March 8, 1866, to Miss Elizabeth J. James, who was born in Camborne, Cornwall, England, October 26, 1843, a daughter of Joseph and Jane (Rogers) James, also natives of Cornwall. In 1848 the family came to America and settled at Dodgeville, Wisconsin, where the mother was ill with typhus fever for seven months. She died in October, 1861. In 1853, the father, who was a miner by occupation, went to California, and there his death occurred. Mrs. Lanyon was the oldest of their three children, the others being Mary A., now the wife of Alfred Roberts, of Emporia, Kansas; and Joseph H., who was a soldier of the Civil war, and died in Streator, Illinois, July 25, 1872, being buried by the Odd Fellows' fraternity, to which he belonged. Mrs. Lanyon was reared and educated in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, and by her marriage has become the mother of six children; Mary Luella; Irving H., Maurice S. and Reuben J., both residents of Pittsburg, Kansas; Emily J., familiarly known as Dollie; and W. John.

      It was on the 14th of June, 1872, that Mr. Lanyon and his family arrived in York county, Nebraska, and camped on section 23, Stewart township. A few of the settlers who were here at that time are still residents of the township. Our subject secured a homestead on section 24, built thereon a good frame house 14 x 22 feet, and made many other improvements, but eleven years later sold the place and purchased his present farm. He has three hundred and twenty acres of rich and productive land, all under excellent cultivation, and improved with a good residence, and one of the best barns in this part of the county. In connection with general farming he is quite extensively engaged in the breeding of horses. He has owned such famous horses as Bay Boston, 1031 (4849), which was from the best stock of England and imported by George B. Brown & Company, of Aurora, Illinois. He now has a Clydesdale stallion--Scotch Miracle--which was sired by Scottish Chief, a full blooded Scotch Clydesdale, who was sired by King of the West, half Clyde and half English coach. His granddam was a Black Hawk. At one time Mr. Lanyon owned the roadster stallion, Peter K., who traces direct to Membrino Chief, and his dam was a Hambletonian mare noted for her speed. He now has some very fine specimens of horse flesh, including La Nyon, 30440, three years old, sixteen and one-half hands high, a pure bay and a fine stallion. Besides horses, he also raises thoroughbred Red Duroc hogs, and some very fine cattle.

      In his political affiliations, Mr. Lanyon is a Republican, and has most creditably filled the offices of township treasurer, road overseer and school director. Socially he is a member of the Masonic lodge of Gresham, and religiously both he and his wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal church of that place, in which he has served as steward.



Letter/label or bar ON. CHARLES H. SLOAN.--Faithfulness to duty and strict adherence to a fixed purpose in life will do more to advance a man's interests than wealth or adventitious circumstances. The successful men of the day are they who have planned their own advancement and have accomplished it in spite of many obstacles and with a certainty that could have been attained only through their own efforts. This class of men has a worthy representative in Hon. Charles H. Sloan, who began life amid unfavoring circumstances on an Iowa farm and has risen to distinction as an eminent lawyer and statesman. Although yet a young man he has left the impress of his individuality upon the policy of Nebraska and is regarded as one of the most prominent and able citizens whose interests are linked with those of the Tree Planters state. His portrait appears on another page.

      Born near Monticello, Jones county, Iowa, May 2, 1863, the subject of this review is a son of James W. and Elizabeth (Magee) Sloan, natives of the north of Ireland. When a child the father came to America with his parents, Charles and Jane (Weir) Sloan, who were also born on the Emerald Isle, and were of Scotch-Irish descent. They spent their last days in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where James Sloan was reared to manhood and learned the weaver's trade. In that city he married Elizabeth Magee, who had come to America alone when about fifteen years of age, and after their marriage they emigrated westward, locating on a farm near Monticello, Iowa. They now reside in Fillmore county, Nebraska. Believing education to be one of the best preparations for the responsible duties of life they made many sacrifices in order to give their children good school privileges, the mother frequently saying that a good education was worth more than a quarter-section of land.

      Charles H. Sloan spent his early boyhood days on the farm in Jones county, and acquired his education in Monticello. About six months before the time of graduation he began teaching in that county, and on the 1st of March, 1881, resumed his own studies in the State Agricultural College, of Ames, Iowa, where he completed a four years course in three and a half years, graduating when twenty-one years of age. He made his way through college by teaching in vacations and working nights and mornings during the school year. He won distinction during his collegiate course both as a scholar and athlete, was the popular editor of the college paper, a favorite on the campus, a leading member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and was graduated with the highest oratorical honors of his class. Several time has he returned to his alma mater to deliver addresses before the college, at the request of the faculty or societies.

      In the fall of 1884 Mr. Sloan was elected principal of the public schools of Fairmount, Nebraska, where he remained three years, during which time he greatly raised the standard of the schools, making them very efficient as an educational center. During his principalship he devoted his evenings to the study of law under the direction of John P. Maule, and in 1887 was admitted to the bar, after which he formed a law partnership with his former preceptor which continued until January, 1891, the senior partner having removed to Lincoln in 1888. Mr. Sloan was not long in demonstrating his ability in the conduct of important litigation and became especially prominent as a trial lawyer, owing to his keen power of analysis and his splendid gifts of oratory. He was retained as advocate and counsel on many suits heard in the state and federal courts and for two or three years was city attorney. In the fall of 1890 he was nominated on the Republican ticket without a dissenting vote for county attorney and was the only Republican elected. He



Picture button




served in that position for two terms, the second time being elected by a vote of three hundred above that given any other Republican candidate on the ticket. After the first year there was no man acquitted who was placed on trial and no charge that he filed was ever quashed. During his term of office many intricate problems arose for solution and were satisfactorily disposed of, his service at all times being most commendable. On the 6th of July, 1893, he delivered the oration at the laying of the corner stone of the new court house, addressing the largest crowd ever assembled in the county. In 1890 the Populists had carried the county by one thousand majority, and three years later there was a hot fight to elect county officers to occupy the new temple of justice. After one of the most bitter contests in the history of this locality, the Republicans elected their entire ticket and all agree that the result was largely due to the efforts of Mr. Sloan.

      In the fall of 1894, just prior to the expiration of his term of service as county attorney, he was nominated to represent the twenty-fourth senatorial district, comprising Fillmore and York counties, in the general assembly. He made a thorough canvass of both counties, running against one of the strongest Populists in the district, and was elected by a majority of seven hundred and forty-three. In the senate he supported by vote and influence John M. Thurston, who was elected United States senator. He served as chairman of the committees on constitutional amendments and federal relations and was chairman of the committee on privileges and elections and a member of the judiciary, agriculture, enrolled and engrossed bills, educational asylums, labor and public lands and building committees. As charman (sic) of the constitutional amendment committee all amendments that year submitted to the people were by him introduced into the senate and house. He was the author of and introduced the anti-oleomargarine bill, of which he was in charge until it was incorporated on the statute books of the state. He was also the author of the resolution whereby the name of Tree Planters state was adopted, and his speech in connection therewith was one of the most popular, entertaining and patriotic delivered at that session. Six bills introduced by him, besides amendments to the constitution, became laws, a record unparalleled by that of any other member during that term. He attained high reputation as one of the orators and wits of the senate and was. popular with both parties on account of his, genuine worth and his fidelity to the causes. and measures in which he believed. He is justly regarded as one of Nebraska's foremost orators and his services are much in demand on public occasions. He delivered) the oration at the state fair at Omaha in September, 1896, before the Pioneers' Association and the same was published in full in many of the daily papers of Nebraska, receiving many flattering comments from the state press. On the 15th of June,. 1898, he was the orator at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition for the grand jurisdiction of the Masonic fraternity, and again his address awakened the most complimentary comment.

      It is Mr. Sloan's intention to devote his. time almost exclusively to his profession, and at the bar has gained a position second to none in his district. He is remarkably strong as a trial lawyer, and has also won. some notable victories in the supreme court. He has one of the largest and finest law libraries in this part of Nebraska and his; knowledge is comprehensive and accurate.. One of his distinguishing characteristics, which has contributed in a marked degree to his success in law and politics is his splendid command of language, his forceful arguments and his aggressive yet courteous utterances. He is an indefatigable worker



and everything that he undertakes receives his best efforts. Financial success has also crowned his labors and he has made judicious investments of his means, owning some handsome residence property, a section of land in Fillmore county and other western realty. He is also a stockholder in two banking institutions and has the executive ability and sagacity of the men in commercial life.

      On the 1st of October, 1889, Mr. Sloan was united in marriage, in Woodbine, Iowa, to Emma Porter, who was born near that place, her parents being Frank and Lucy (Frances) Porter, the former of Irish and the latter of French descent. Mr. and Mrs. Sloan were in college together, the latter completing the course a year later than her husband, after which she was engaged in teaching prior to their marriage. She is a cultured and refined lady who presides with gracious and pleasing hospitality over their home. She is especially prominent as a promoter of the literary interests and tastes of Geneva and is a member of the P. E. O., a western literary and social organization. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Sloan: Ethel, eight years of age; Blaine, six years old; Charles Porter, a lad of four; and William McKinley, a babe.

      Mr. Sloan is a Royal Arch Mason and a valued member of the Knights of Pythias and Modern Woodmen societies, and of the latter was the first venerable consul of the county. He is a man of high intellectuality, broad human sympathies and tolerance, and imbued with fine sensibilities and clearly defined principles. Honor and integrity are synonymous with his name and he enjoys the respect, confidence and high regard of the people of his adopted state. 

Letter/label or barOHN W. KINGSTON has the distinction of being the first settler of Arborville township, and has been an active participant in the development of York county. He was one of the brave defenders of the Union during the Civil war; is to-day one of the most useful and highly respected citizens of this section of the state; and on the rolls of York county's most honored pioneers his name should be found among the foremost.

      Jefferson county, New York, was his early home, hs (sic) birth occurring there February 19, 1832, while his parents, John and Betsy A. (Spofford) Kingston, were natives of England and New Hampshire, respectively. The father came to the United States in 1805 and settled in New York, where he made his home until his death. By occupation he was a farmer and potash boiler. In his family were five children, three sons and two daughters.

      Until twelve years old John W. Kingston remained in New York, but in 1845; removed to Branch county, Michigan, and later to Van Buren county, same state, where he was residing when the Civil war broke out. Filled with patriotic ardor he enlisted in 1862, in Company G, Nineteenth Volunteer Infantry, and remained in the service until hostilities ceased, being honorably discharged June 10, 1865;. He took part in the battles of Thompson Station, Tennessee, Resaca and Cassville, Georgia, Kenesaw Mountain; Lost Mountain; Burnt Hickory; Burnt Pines; and Peach Tree Creek; after which the regiment was on detached duty until the march to the sea. After participating in the grand review at Washington, D. C., they were mustered out. At Thompson Station, Mr. Kingston was captured by the rebels and confined in Libby prison for one month.

     At the close of the war he returned to Michigan, where he continued to reside until June, 1870, when he removed to Saline county, Nebraska. The following November, however, he came to York county, and located upon a homestead in Arborville township, when his near neigh-

Horz. bar

Prior page
TOC part 2
Next page

© 2002 for the NEGenWeb Project by Pam Rietsch, Ted & Carole Miller