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a farm near the city of London, and died there at the age of eighty-four years. His father, Thomas Shotwell, was also a native of the state of New York, a farmer by occupation and of English descent. Our subject's mother bore the maiden name of Miss Margaret Zavitz, and was also a native of Canada and was reared in the province of her nativity. Her father, Jacob Zavitz, is supposed to have been born in Canada of German descent. Mrs. Margaret Shotwell died in 1861.

      Our subject is the sixth child and fourth son in the order of birth of a family of eight children, all of whom grew to maturity. He was two years of age when he moved to Canada with his parents, and was there reared and received a common school education. From Canada he moved directly to Butler county, Nebraska, in 1869, and first took a claim in section 14, Union township. This tract of eighty acres he improved and made his home until 1875, and then moved to Nance county, and made that his home for one year. He then returned to Butler county and lived in different places until 1892, and then located on the farm he now owns and makes his home. This farm comprises one hundred and twenty acres of fine land, which is all improved and in a high state of cultivation. Mr. Shotwell also still owns the old homestead in Union township.

      December 25, 1875, our subject was united in marriage with Miss Leah L. Bunting, a native of Mercer county, Illinois. She is a daughter of Ebeneser and Susan (Moore) Bunting, a sketch of whom will apper (sic) on another page of this volume. Mrs. Shotwell was educated in the public schools of Mercer county, Illinois, and moved with her parents to Butler county, Nebraska. She is the eighth child and the third daughter in the order of birth in the family of which she is a member. Mr. and Mrs. Shotwell have no children. They are both members of the Society of Friends, and 25

      Mr. Shotwell is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Harmony lodge, No. 31, of David City, and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, No. 124, David City. In political views, our subject is a Republican. 

Letter/label or barAVID PRICE.--This gentleman, who throughout his active business career has mainly engaged in agricultural pursuits, now owns and operates his father's old homestead in New York township, York county. A man of great energy and more than ordinary business capacity, his success. in life has been largely due to his own efforts and the sound judgment by which he has been enabled to make wise investments and take good advantage of his resources.

      Mr. Price was born in Wales, May 25, 1855, and is a son of Benjamin Price, who is mentioned more fully in the sketch of Thomas Price on another page of this volume. Our subject acquired the greater part of his eduation (sic) in the schools of Wisconsin, but continued his studies after coming to York county, Nebraska, with his brother in 1873. For some time after coming to this state he worked by the month as a farm hand, but in 1876 purchased a tract of wild land on section 11, New York township, which he improved and continued to cultivate for a few years. On selling that place he purchased the land on which the present village of Thayer has since been laid out, and he sold it to the Thayer Town Site Company. He then bought his father's old homestead, consisting of a quarter section in New York township, and is now successfully operating the same, in connection with the feeding of live stock.

      In York county, Mr. Price was married, in 1878, to Miss Sarah E. Denney, a native of Iowa, who the year previous had came to Nebraska with a married sister.



      Her parents, David and Mary (Corner) Denney, are natives of Ohio and Indiana, respectively, and in 1851 emigrated to Iowa, where they still continue to reside. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Price are as follows: Nettie A., deceased; Clyde B., Harry C., Iva L., Homer O. and Rolland D. The mother and children are connected with the Methodist Protestant church, and the family is one of social prominence in the community. Politically Mr. Price is a stalwart Republican, and socially is a worth member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Modern Brotherhood of America. 

Letter/label or barOSEPH NEVILLE. --Among the sturdy, energetic and successful farmers of York county, who thoroughly understand the vocation which they follow, and are consequently enabled to carry on their calling with profit to themselves, is the subject of this sketch. He is actively engaged in agricultural pursuits on section 35, Leroy township, where he owns a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres.

      Mr. Neville is a native of the Emerald Island, born May 4, 1847, in Kings county, Ireland, and in 1855 was brought to America by his parents. Abraham and Margaret (Maby) Neville, who first settled in Albany, New York, but a few years later removed to Quebec, Canada, where the father died. The mother is still living and now makes her home in York county, Nebraska.

      Coming to this country at the age of eight years, Joseph Neville grew to manhood on this side of the Atlantic, and received a common school education, as he says "very common at that." He accompanied his parents on their removal to Canada, but when about twenty-two years of age he returned to the United States, and lived for a time in Vermont. Subsequently for several years he resided in Michigan, where he engaged in farming, teaming and lumbering. It was in March, 1875, that he arrived in Nebraska and bought one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land in York county, on which he still resides. To the cultivation and improvement of the wild tract he at once turned his attention, erecting thereon a small frame house with a large sod addition, and also a sod stable. As the years have passed he has placed acre after acre under the plow, has built a more comfortable and modern residence, good barns and other outbuildings, and now has one of the most desirable farms of its size in the township. As a result of hard work, economy and good management he has secured a comfortable competence which ranks him among the well-to-do citizens of the locality.

      November 25, 1879, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Neville and Miss Elizabeth Foley, who was born in Peoria, Illinois, a daughter of John and Ellen (Donevan) Foley, natives of Ireland. One daughter, Mary, graces this union. The family are communicants of the Catholic church at York, and in the social circles of their community occupy an enviable position. Mr. Neville casts his ballot with the Democracy, and has acceptably served his fellow citizens in the capacity of town treasurer. 

Letter/label or barIEUT. JOSEPH MILLER, whose home is on section 32, township 1, range 2, Platte precinct, is one of the prominent and representative citizens of Polk county, who as a Union soldier during the dark days of the Rebellion made for himself a war record both honorable and glorious. He was born July 29, 1842, in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, a son of Peter and Nancy (Bradman) Miller, also natives of the Keystone state, and the former of Quaker stock. The father died in 18--, the mother in 1875. Both were lifelong members of the Methodist church, took an active part in its work,



and had the respect and confidence of all who knew them. Their children were Jonathan, who was a member of Battery C, First Illinois Light Artillery, during the war; Mary Ann Swartwood, deceased; Joseph; William S., a member of Company G, Seventy-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry; James D.; and Mrs. Rachel Elizabeth Wark, a resident of Jackson county, Kansas. Joseph Miller was reared on a farm and educated in the district schools. In 1856 he accompanied his parents on their removal to Noble county, Ohio, and remained under the parental roof until he reached the age of nineteen, when he resolved to strike a blow in defense of the Union, enlisting as a private November 29, 1861, in Company G, Seventy-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. During the battle of Fort Donelson, his regiment was sent to that place, later camped for a time at Fort Henry, and was then ordered to Crump's Landing. As a part of General Lew Wallace's division they next went to Adamsville, where they were stationed during the first day of the fight at Shiloh, but after a forced march they arrived on that famous battle field about ten o'clock that night, and participated in the engagement all the next day. Here Mr. Miller had his lip cut by a bullet. This was followed by the siege of Corinth, and the battle of Jackson, Tennessee, under Gen. J. A. Logan. With his command our subject then engaged in scouting all over Tennessee, and in chasing guerillas and Jackson's "cowtails". He was then in a number of engagements in Mississippi and Tennessee going as far south as Coffeyville, and later returned to Grand Junction. From there the regiment proceeded to Moscow, and went into winter quarters at Memphis.

      On the way to Vicksburg they cut the canal through to allow the water to run from the river into Lake Providence, and then marched to Bruinsburg, crossed the Mississippi and on to Vicksburg, where they arrived in time to participate in the siege. The brigade to which Mr. Miller belonged met Gregg's Texas brigade in battle at Raymond and came off victorious. They then recaptured Jackson, were in the battle of Champion Hills, the engagement at Black River, and the charge on Vicksburg, May 22, 1862, remaining there during the siege. In the meantime, however, they drove the rebels from Yazoo City, and were afterward placed under Sherman's command to watch General Joseph E. Johnston. They were on guard duty at Clinton, and again met Jackson's cavalry in battle. While in camp at Vicksburg they took part in many engagements all over the country and drove the enemy from Monroe City. After spending a thirty days' furlough at home, Mr. Miller again reported for duty, and went on the Meridian raid, and was in the Baker's Creek skirmishes. He assisted in recovering guns which had been stored at Zanesville, Ohio, then took the cars for Cairo, Illinois, by steamer went up the Ohio to the mouth of the Tennessee and then up that river to Clifton, where he started out in search of Sherman's army, overtaking them at Ackworth, Georgia. He was in the engagement at Bush Mountain east of Big Shanty, and was all through the Atlanta campaigns ending with the fall of that city July 22, 1864. His regiment then followed Hood's army north to Galesville, Alabama, after which they returned to Atlanta and started on the celebrated march to the sea. At Savannah they took boats for Beaufort, South Carolina, whence they marched to Pocataligo and on to Goldsboro, where they participated in a fierce engagement, and later captured Columbia, South Carolina. At Raleigh Johnston surrendered, and the Union troops then marched by way of Richmond to Washington. District of Columbia, taking part in the grand review there. With his regiment Mr. Miller then proceeded to Louisville, Kentucky, and later



to Columbus, Ohio, where he was mustered out July 16, 1865, with the rank of first lieutenant, having been promoted from private to corporal, then sergeant, later orderly sergeant and finally first lieutenant of Company F, though he remained with Company G. He was forage master of his regiment on the march to the sea and also the march to Goldsboro, and was one of the most brave and fearless soldiers of the command, always being found at his post of duty.

      On receiving his discharge Mr. Miller returned to his Ohio home, but in August, 1865, went to Owen county, Indiana, where he operated a farm until 1870, and then spent the following year in Andrew county, Missouri. Coming to Polk county, Nebraska, in 1871, he located on the southwest quarter of section 30, township 15, range 3, where he made his home until the fall of 1895, when he removed to his present farm. Here he owns one hundred and sixty acres of land, all improved and under excellent cultivation.

      In February, 1867, Mr. Miller was united in marriage with Miss Martha E. Scott, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Oliver and Hannah (Graham) Scott, now deceased. One child graces this union--Angie H. The parents are active and prominent members of the Fairview Methodist Episcopal church, of which Mr. Miller is a trustee, and for years he has also been a class leader. Both have also been teachers in the Sunday school, and he has served as superintendent of the same. He is also one of the most prominent members of Ellsworth Post, No. 29, G. A. R., at Silver creek, of which he is a past commander, and is senior vice of Platte Valley District Reunion. He is a recognized leader in the ranks of the local Republican organization, takes an active and influential part in campaign work, and in the fall of 1896 erected a bulletin board, 16x7 feet, in his front yard, on the top of which was displayed a picture of McKinley, and underneath all kinds of quotations appropriate to the occasion. For years he has been an efficient member of the Republican central committee of Polk county, has been the candidate of his party for the state legislature, and in the fall of 1896 he was honored with the nomination for the office of state senator. He served as a county commissioner, and his public service was most exemplary. As a citizen he ever stands ready to discharge every duty devolving upon him, and throughout the county he is honored for his sterling worth and exalted character. 

Letter/label or barACOB FRIESEN, a well-known and prominent farmer of York county, was born in the south of Russia, February 23, 1841, a son of Jacob and Katrina (Fast) Friesen, and grandson of Gerehardt and Katrina (Montlar) Friesen. Our subject's immediate ancestors were all farmers in Germany and Russia with the exception of his grandfather, who was a tailor in the former country. The family originally lived in Holland, but the King of Prussia, whom the common people called "Old Fritz" induced them to remove to Germany. They settled in Prussia, but in course of time were obliged to leave, as the Germans made a law requiring all Mennonites to do service in the army and war was in opposition to their religious convictions. Russia, wishing to secure a good class of farmers, offered them land if they would settle in that country, which they did, becoming a good class of industrious citizens. Later for the same reason they were obliged to leave that country. Hearing favorable accounts of the United States, they sent delegates to different parts of this country, among the rest the great western state of Nebraska, to see if good homes were to be had in this young nation. The committee reported favorably



and soon many families, among them Jacob Friesen and wife, came to America in the good ship Teutonia, landing in New York City, whence they proceeded by train to Lincoln, Nebraska. From that city thirty-six of these families set out for York county, and the other sixty-five families started for Kansas. The former party located in the southwest corner of York county, Nebraska, where they bought railroad land on ten years' time, paying six per cent interest, and it was not long before each family had a good home.

      Having saved some money in Russia, Mr. Friesen paid cash for his land, the railroad company discounting to him forty per cent. Upon his place he built a sod house, twenty-two by thirty-two feet, with walls three feet in thickness. At this time he had two horses, a wagon, two cows, but not a cent in money, and his family consisted of wife and three children. There was not a tree or shrub in sight and the sod had never been disturbed by a plow, but he went to work with the determination to make another home in this new country and success at length crowned his efforts. He now owns eight hundred and eighty acres, all free from indebtedness, and under excellent cultivation. The orchard upon his home place contains over two hundred apple trees, two hundred cherry trees and other fruit trees in abundance, especially grapes, from which he manufactures the best of wine.

      To Mr. and Mrs. Friesen were born ten children, of whom seven are still living: John W., who married Katrina Dick and lives a mile and a half east of the home place; Anna, wife of David D. Johnson, who lives only twenty yards from the old home; Jacob J., at home; Katrina, wife of John H. Pankratiz, who lives two and a half miles west of her father's place; and Peter, Isaac and George, who are still under the parental roof, and all assist in the work of the farm. The oldest son rents his land and is successfully engaged in teaching school, having been educated for that profession. The family are all faithful and earnest members of the Mennonite church. Mr. Friesen cast his first presidential vote for Hayes and the last for Bryan, believing in voting for the best man rather than for party. 

Letter/label or barAMES PRESTON CORWIN is a wealthy and prosperous farmer and the proprietor of an extensive farm, principally in section 10, precinct E, Seward county. He knows by experience the possibilities of Nebraska for a poor man, and though he is now rated among the prominent farmers of the county, when he made his appearance in the state all his resources in the world were comprised in the clothes on his back, and fifteen dollars in money. Like thousands of others he has toiled and labored, denied himself, and saved, that now while still almost a young man he might possess an ample competence.

      Mr. Corwin was born in Knox county, Ohio, October 5, 1852, and is a son of James and Margaret (Barcus) Corwin, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. They remained in Knox county until 1854, when they were carried along by a flood of western settlement, and made their home in Fulton county, Illinois. There the paternal Corwin entered the Union army in the spring of 1862, enlisting in the One Hundred and Third Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was a valiant soldier and died in the service, passing away September 21, 1863, at Camp Sherman, Black River, Mississippi. His widow still survives, and makes her home with her children. She is the mother of seven children, whose names are Edith (Mrs. Rector), Elmore H., Meredith W., James P., Alice (Mrs. Liester), Alonzo J. and Leonard S. Elmore was a



soldier in the Seventh Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, and was wounded at the battle of Nashville where the rebel General Hood was so badly defeated.

      James Preston Corwin was reared to manhood in Fulton county, and had his education very largely from the Illinois public schools, though he has kept his eyes open as he has journeyed along life's way. In the fall of 1873 he came into this country, and secured employment as a farm hand for a few months, and in the following February became the proprietor of an eighty acre tract of wild prairie land, the east half of the northwest quarter of section 15, precinct E. That year he broke twenty acres, and in 1875 settled upon the land, raised a crop, and broke a second twenty acre piece. He boarded during the summer, and was married on the twenty-fourth of the October following to Miss Mary H. Oliver, who was born in Winona, Minnesota, May 29, 1856. She is a daughter of A. J. and Pheba Ann (Gray) Oliver, who settled in Minnesota in 1855, where they remained for fourteen years when they entered upon a homestead in this county, and here they are still living. Mrs. Corwin is the mother of one son, Warren, and is a lady of many excellent traits and social qualities.

      Mr. Corwin moved to Utica in 1883, and was away from his farm a year, but came back again to rural life, and has won a large success as an enterprising and progressive farmer. He is the owner of seven hundred and eighty-four acres, all of which is under cultivation except one quarter section. He has two sets of buildings, and ample improvements of every kind of labor he may find it necessary to do. He is a general farmer, and devotes much attention to grain and stock. He belongs to several fraternal orders, and much enjoys the intimacies of lodge relations. He belongs to the Utica lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Woodmen of America, of which last order he is a local trustee. With his wife he belongs to the Rebekahs, where he has served as trustee. Mr. Corwin is an earnest and wide-awake Republican, and is the local justice of the peace. For three terms he has been treasurer of school district number 59, and is a man of whom his fellow townsmen speak uniformly well. 

Letter/label or barORACE S. OVERSTREET, one of the well known and highly respected residents of Lockridge township, has had personal experience in the making of not a little of the history of York county.

      Mr. Overstreet was born in Galesburg, Illinois, November 28, 1849. His parents Milton L. and Catherine (Martin) Overstreet, were of English descent and settled in Kentucky, and followed the occupation of agriculture until 1841. In that year he removed to the vicinity of Galesburg, and presently became a resident of that city, and there he is still living. He was married in Kentucky in 1838, and his wife's father, Joel Martin, later became a resident of Illinois.

      Horace S. Overstreet was the fifth in a family of eight children. He was educated in Illinois and at an early age began farming. When he was seventeen he superintended a farm. He followed that occupation in his native state untill (sic) 1884, when he purchased a farm on section 28, Lockridge township. When the land passed into his possession it was devoid of improvements, and by unremitting toil he has brought it up to a high pitch of fertility. He owns two hundred and forty acres of land and follows every kind of farming and stock-raising.

      He was married September 24, 1873, to Miss Rebecca Cox, a native of Missouri. Her parents Tarleton Y. and Cynthia Cox



were from Virginia and Kentucky, and after their marriage settled in Sedalia, Missouri. Mrs. Overstreet is the mother of two children, Clifford C. and Susie E., both of whom are living. She and her family are members of the York Methodist church. Mr. Overstreet has been a Democrat for many years and has filled several minor offices of township and school district. He is a successful farmer and holds the respect of his own neighborhood. 

Letter/label or barLFRED H. BURGE is a leading spirit in the farming community of Plum Creek township, Butler county, Nebraska. He is the proprietor of an extensive farm, which he operates in an up-to-date manner, and is known far and wide as a representative of the agricultural interests of Nebraska, of whom the state need not be ashamed. Mr. Burge was born in Henry county, Iowa, August 2, 1857, and is the only son of J. J. and Mary A. Burge. His father was a native of Ohio, and his grandfather was born in Green county, Pennsylvania. Jacob Burge, a native of the old Keystone state, early followed the tide of westward emigration and located in Ohio. But the tide was ever flowing on, and it carried him farther west into Illinois, and finally into Iowa, where he died in 1876. He was born February 13, 1804, and was taken by his parents into Licking county, Ohio, in 1812. There he grew up, and was married July 29, 1824, to Rachel Neel. Nine years later he moved to Sangamon county, Illinois, and in 1835 took up a homestead near New London, Henry county, Iowa, where, as already noted, the remainder of his life was spent. The venerable partner of his long and active life is still living, and is tenderly regarded by those who have come after her. Her son, the father of our subject, died January 1, 1898, in Ulysses, Butler couuty (sic). He was of a somewhat adventurous disposition, and went to California in 1850 in search of the golden fleece. Perhaps he did not find all the wealth he looked for in that land of promise, but he was fairly successful, and after a stay of four years came back and bought four hundred acres in Iowa.

      Alfred H. Burge grew up to manhood under the parental roof-tree and was a farmer both by instinct and education. When he reached his twenty-first birthday he was the owner of eighty acres of land in Henry county, Iowa, which he very successfully operated for the next three years. In 1879 he became the head of a family, Miss Alice, a daughter of J. H. Argersinger, then of Henry county, Iowa, but now of Omaha, uniting her destinies with his. Two years after this happy event Alfred H. Burge and his father came to Butler county, and bought section 26, of Plum Creek township at the rate of seven dollars and eighty cents an acre, and the same winter, in company with his father and his brother Jeremy, bought another section in the same township. In the life-giving atmosphere of the new west the intellectual activities of men are quickened, and the Burges did not sit down on their new possessions to be hewers of wood and drawers of water for all who might seek to burden them. To them agriculture was associated with the most vital interests of the community, and the nation, and they early began to think and act along independent lines. Alfred Burge realized that the time had come for something new and different to be done in the field of political activity, and welcomed the formation of the People's party, in the days when it required a strong character to be independent. He has won the regard of his fellow townsmen, and is now serving his second year as a member of the Board of Supervisors. They know him as a man of character and ability, and are disposed to demand his service in other and more responsible positions. He is still young, and will be heard from in the future.



      He is a Master Mason, and is a popular and efficient worker in these fraternal circles. To Mr. and Mrs. Burge have been born two children, both daughters, Laura A., a native of Iowa, and Ethel M., who was born in Nebraska. He has provided a fine home for his charming family, and evidences of taste and refinement abound on every hand. 

Letter/label or barAMES HENRY BELL, a prominent farmer living in section 12, Chelsea township, Fillmore county, was born June 20, 1837, in the northern part of Ireland. He was one of a family of seven children. The entire support of this family was derived from a small tract of four acres of land. James was educated in the common schools, and the first twenty years of his life were spent in his father's home. Many times stories of the New World reached his ears, and his mind opened to the possibilities which might lay before him if he were only there to take advantage of them. When he reached the age of twenty years, he determined to come to America, and so gathered together his effects, which were few in number, and he, accompanied by a younger sister, who also determined to try her fortunes in the New World, went to Liverpool, England. and took passage on a ship bound for New York. The ship was fitted with sails, and as the weather was very rough and stormy, the voyage required nine nine weeks to accomplish it.

      Immediately on his arrival at New York, they went to Elizabeth Port, N. J., where they both secured employment, he in trimming vessels, and his sister as a domestic. She only remained here about eleven months, when she returned to the old home. While James was was at Elizabeth Port, he took the necessary steps to become an American citizen. He remained there for two years, and then went to visit some of his relatives who lived in Canada, and worked for an uncle there for two years. One day his uncle, who was an extensive land-owner, offered him one hundred and fifty acres of land if he would clear it off. After inspecting the land, which was covered with a heavy growth of beech, birch, pine, etc., some of them four and five feet in diameter, he came to the conclusion that he was not equal to the task of converting that veritable forest into a farm suitable for cultivation and declined the offer. On December 20, 1862, while he was yet visiting in Canada, he was married to Miss Bridget Welch, who was a daughter of Antone and Sarah (McDonald) Welch. She was born July 12, 1843, in the southern part of Ireland, and came to Canada with her parents, who purchased a small farm there. Mr. Bell lived in Canada until 1865, when they moved to Iowa, where he secured a position on the railroad, and by carefully saving his money he soon had enough to buy forty acres of land. He lived there until 1871, when, selling his land to good advantage, they loaded all of their effects in a canvas covered wagon, and started for Nebraska. The journey was long and tiresome, and accompanied by many dangers and hardships. On one occasion, while fording a river, the wagon was overturned by the swifty flowing current, and had it not been for the prompt action of Mr. Bell, they would have lost everything they had. But finally, three weeks after the time they started, they arrived in Fillmore county. Finding a suitable location for a farm in the west half of the southwest quarter in section 12, Chelsea township, he went to Beatrice and took out his homestead papers. His first dwelling was a hole dug in the bank large enough to accomodate (sic) his family, and in this he lived for one year, when he erected a sod house, the floor and roof being made of boards. By hard work and economical living he served enough in the course of a few years to buy an addi-



tional eighty acres of land from the railroad, and then he had a nice farm of one hundred and sixty acres of good, fertile land. By thrift and industry Mr. Bell and his family have greatly improved this land, and it is now a model, well cultivated farm.

      To Mr. Bell's marriage have been born nine children, seven of whom are still living, as follows: Hilliard W., who married Miss Emma Rhoda, a daughter of Fred and Sophia Rhoda; Lizzie, who married Sylvester Irelan, and who is living in Mexico; Frances, who married Dennis Hennessey, and is now living in Deadwood, S. D.; Hattie E., who married Earnest Rakestraw, and is now living in Fillmore county; Irvine J., Luella and Alvin S., the last three named living at home.

      Formerly Mr. Bell voted the Republican ticket, and for many years stood in the ranks of that party, but in 1896 when the money question figured so prominently as an issue in the campaign because of the Republican party adopting the gold platform he renounced his allegience (sic) to that party, and joined the ranks of the Independent party, and has since been an ardent believer in its principles. By his sterling integrity and his strict adherence to duty as an American citizen he has won the confidence and esteem not only of his neighbors and friends, but of all who know him. He and family are not members of any religious denomination and have no ideas or beliefs as to our future conditions. 

Letter/label or barRANK LAIRD is a prominent and representative farmer of York county, Nebraska. His home is near Bradshaw, on land which he has converted from an unbroken wilderness into a fertile and highly productive farm in twenty years. He is of Scotch descent, and is a man of character, integrity and honor. The tilling of the soil is to him the noblest of all occupations, and the farmer a prince and a king among his fellows. It hardly need be said that he largely lives up to these great ideals.

      Mr. Laird was born in Knox county, Illinois, November 9, 1853. His father, Homer Laird, was a native of Trumbull county, Ohio. He conducted a livery stable in Illinois for many years. He entered the United States service in 1863 as a veterinary surgeon, and was attached to the Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Cavalry. He died in the army from disease contracted in the course of his duties. The grandfather of our subject, Justin Laird, came from Scotland, and while moving his family by boat from Ohio to Illinois, disappeared one night before the boat had left the Ohio river, and was never seen again. He is supposed to have been murdered and his body thrown into the water. The bereaved family went on to Illinois, and settled in the southern part of that state. They afterwards went north into Stark county, and then penetrated the western part of Iowa, and made a home near Council Bluffs. But that region was then all too wild and turbulent, and the Laird family returned to Illinois, and located in Knox county, where they were at the time the subject of this writing was born.

      Frank Laird had the privilege of good schools in the progressive region in which he was born, and he. was an attendant upon their instruction until he had reached the age of fifteen years. His widowed mother's straitened circumstances compelled him to earn his own support and if possible contribute something to the family purse, and we find him at that early age working for the neighboring farmers at fifty cents a day. As he grew older his wages were raised until he received twenty-five dollars a month and his board. He continued as a journeyman farmer until he reached the age of twenty-three, when he married and set up a home for himself. His wedding with Miss



Lydia E. Jackson occurred July 1, 1877. She was a daughter of John Jackson, and Ann Mahany, and hence has both Irish and German descent. She was educated in the Stark county public schools, and finished in the high school at Toulon. The following winter the young man and his wife, feeling that Illinois no longer presented the opportunities for getting ahead that they could find in a newer state, left it and came into York county, Nebraska, where prosperity has greatly crowned their labors. They reached the county January 24, 1878, and purchased the southeast quarter and the south half of the northeast quarter of section 1, township 10, range 4, west. It was railroad land, and was an untrodden wilderness. Mr. Laird immediately broke it up, and the first year turned over one hundred and twenty acres, and the following year, eighty acres more. He put up a little frame house, 16 x 20 feet, and only one story high. Here he has toiled and labored, paid out large sums towards the indebtedness on the farm, kept his family, and improved his environments, until the place is practically paid for, and has become a cultivated and valuable property.

      Mr. and Mrs. Laird are the proud parents of a family of nine children, all of whom are living and enjoying good health. Their names are Ethel G., Arthur H., Edith L., Eva B., Frank W., Clarence W., Edna V., Charles M. and Elva M. They attend church and Sunday-school, are regular in their work in the common school, and are ready and willing assistants of their father and mother in the multiform cares of a farm life. They are fast growing up to be men and women, an honor to their parents and an ornament to the society of which they form a part. Mr. Laird was "born and raised a Republican," as he said, "but when the party went after the English golden calf he left it, and now votes an independent ticket." He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and his wife has joined the degree of Honor connected with society. They hold to the Congregational faith, and are proud of and loyal to the state in which their lot is cast. 

Letter/label or barORACE WOLVIN, who owns a good farm on section 23, precinct E, Seward county, is a good representative of the farming interests of Nebraska. He is an industrious and hard working man, of much intelligence, and a sound and rugged integrity that will tolerate no sort of tricky dealing. He is devoted to the soil, and holds no career so worthy of regard as that calling which he follows.

     Mr. Wolvin is a native of St. Clair county, Michigan, and counts his age from May 31, 1851. He is a son of Peter and Mary Ann (McCartney) Wolvin, who were early settlers in that county, and came originally from Cayuga county, New York; his father was a soldier in the Union army, and served in Battery H, Michigan Heavy Artillery, and later transferred to the Light Artillery. He served over three years and made an honorable record. Both he and his wife are now dead. Horace passed his boyhood and youth in St. Clair county, and was one of a family of six sons. The eldest of these, Joseph, was a soldier in the Union cause, and is now dead. Cornelius also followed the flag. Horace, Peter and Charles were younger sons, and the youngest of the family, Henry, is dead. Horace was reared on a farm, and had a very good common school education. When he became a man, he worked among the farmers of Oakland county for some five years, and came to this state in 1878. He bought a quarter of a section of railroad land. He reached the county with a yoke of oxen and thirty-six dollars in his pocket, but he was strong of heart and arm, and the difficulties have vanished before him. He now owns, clear

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