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four hundred acres of the best farming land to be found in the county, as he has transformed the wild prairie into highly cultivated and productive fields. In connection with general farming he is also interested in stock raising.

     In June, 1878, Mr. Robson led to the marriage altar Miss Frances A. Porter, a daughter of William and Sarah E. (Goodrope) Porter, both natives of England, where Mrs. Robson was also born. With her mother she came to the United States in 1872 and took up her residence in Nebraska, where she successfully engaged in teaching school for three years. By her marriage she has become the mother of eleven children, whose names and dates of birth are as follows: Augustus F., April 4, 1879; Vinnie P., December 20, 1880; Edith L., May 14, 1882; Annie F., April 15, 1884; William A., July 25, 1886; Roy T., February 8, 1889; Evelyn P., April 30, 1891; John H., October 21, 1893; Herman M., September 4, 1895; Rhoda S., March 9, 1897, and Mary R., August 4, 1898. The parents and older children hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, and Mr. Robson belongs to the Masonic fraternity. In his political views he is a strong Democrat, but has never sought office, preferring to give his time and attention exclusively to his business interests. He may be properly classed among the self-made men of York county, who, by the exercise of their own industry and perseverance, have not only gained for themselves a home and a competence, but have materially assisted in the progress and development of the country round them. He enjoys the unqualified regard of the entire community in which he lives. 

Letter/label or barOUIS T. BOUCHARD, who may be found at his home on section 24, precinct E., Seward county, is a stanch American, though born in Canada. He began in this county many years ago in the most modest way, with but the smallest possible amount of cash to work upon, and by thrift, economy and undaunted pluck he has reached his present enviable position, that of an upright, honest and independent Nebraska farmer.

      Mr. Bouchard was born at Stockbridge station, near Montreal, Canada, and is a son of Nelson Bouchard, who has been numbered with the silent dead these many years. His mother is still living in the old Stockbridge home at a venerable age, and has been a sufferer from paralysis since 1887. His parents were both born in Canada, and his maternal grandfather was a soldier in the war of 1812. Louis remained with his parents until he reached the age of fifteen years, when he left home to win a living for himself. He crossed the line and came into Vermont, which was then a land of promise to the youth of Canada. There he found employment on a farm, and presently made his way to Dixon, Illinois, securing a position in a store, which he held for two years. But he was by nature a farmer, and became back to it and put in the next five years of his life among the neighboring farmers. In 1874 he crossed the Missouri and looked upon the inviting soil of Nebraska for the first time, that he might find himself a home on its broad and swelling bosom. He bought his land in this county September 4, 1874, and settled upon it the spring of the following year. It was somewhat improved with a house, stable and chickencoop, built of Nebraska "brick," as the sod was jocosely called. In 1875 he raised his first crop, and here he has lived to the present time.

      Mr. Bouchard and Miss Mary Olson were married in 1876. She was a native of Illinois, and died September 9, 1893, leaving one child, May A. His second marriage occurred August 17, 1896, Miss



Roxie E. Evarts becoming his wife. They have two children, Norval E. and Avora. Mr. Bouchard has now two hundred and eighty acres of land, all well improved and without a dollar of incumbrance--a record of care and industry creditable to any one. He put up his present residence in 1881 at a cost of eleven hundred dollars, and in 1898 has just completed a hay house that cost him one hundred and fifty dollars. His farm buildings are superior and the thoroughness of his farm appointments attract attention. His land is now all under cultivation, and is rented to advantage. He has followed general farming, with considerable attention to hogs and cattle, and has met with a very substantial success. He was reared in the Catholic church, and is a devoted supporter of that communion. He has been treasurer of school district 37 for twelve years and is a believer in education. His daughter is now a student at the State University, and is making a special study of music. He has given her every advantage in her schooling, and is proud of the progress she has made. 

Letter/label or barLAUS ABRAHAMS, a stalwart and sturdy representative of the noble yeomanry who make up the agricultural population of Seward county, has his homestead upon section 24, precinct D, where for twenty-seven years he has successfully engaged in general farming. He claims Germany as his native land and was born April 19, 1844, a son of Charles N. and Annie (Maak) Abrahams, who were also natives of that country, and there the mother died. In 1884 the father came to the United States and passed his last days at the home of a son in Missouri, dying there in April, 1896. By trade he was a carpenter, but he also engaged in farming and conducted a store for some time in Germany. In the family were eight sons and two daughters, of whom seven sons came to the new world, and four are now living. The daughters are both deceased.

      The subject of this sketch was reared and educated in his native land, and as soon as old enough to be of any assistance he helped his father in the store and on the farm. On leaving home in 1865 he crossed the broad Atlantic, landing in New York, and first located at Davenport, Iowa, near which place he engaged in farming until 1871--the year of his arrival in Seward county, Nebraska. He made the journey here by team, and on reaching his destination took up a homestead on section 24, D township. His first home here was a dugout twelve by sixteen feet, but after living in it for two years, it was replaced by a good sod house, and later a substantial and more commodious frame residence was erected. He at once commenced breaking prairie and in due time had his farm all under excellent cultivation, He has succeeded far beyond his expectations and is now the owner of a fine farm of three hundred acres, all well improved.

      Mr. Abrahams was married in Iowa, in 1869, to Miss Matilda Horn, also a native of Germany, but the only child born to them is deceased. They have an adopted son, however, Frederick H. They are active and prominent members of the German Lutheran church, of which Mr. Abrahams was one of the founders, and have the respect and confidence of all who know them. In politics he is a "sound money" Democrat, and he has most acceptably filled the office of town treasurer for three years. 

Letter/label or barOHN W. HAFER, who is a resident of section 3, Chelsea township, Fillmore county, is one who may be fittingly termed a self-made man. He was born October 16, 1847, at Rainsburg, Pennsylvania, and was a son of Robert and Ellen C. (Morgert) Hafer.




      The grandparents on the paternal side were John Hafer, whose occupation was that of a miller, and Mary Hafer. The maternal grandparents were Peter and Elizabeth (Cesney) Morgert. The ancestors were all of French and German descent, and most of them followed farming as means of livlihood (sic). Robert Hafer moved in early life to Illinois, where he bought a farm in Henry county, where our subject was reared and educated. He remained on his father's farm until he was twenty-four years of age, and then began working on the Rock Island railroad, and worked there two years. On December 25, 1873, at the age of twenty-seven, he was married to Miss Hester M. Hammond, at Morristown, Illinois. She was a daughter of Alexander and Catherine J. (Sperbeck) Hammond. Her paternal grandparents were Mathew and Hannah A. (Ketchum) Hammond, and the maternal grandparents were John and Martha (Ostrander) Sperbeck, who were all born in America, but whose ancestors originally came from Holland. Immediately after their marriage they commenced farming, and farmed on rented land for seven years. After carefully considering the matter, he decided that the west offered more and better agricultural advantages than the east, and he determined to try his fortune in the west. In the spring of 1881, they loaded all their goods on the cars, and started for Fillmore county, Nebraska, and arrived at Fairmont on March 18, and in the middle of April the family moved on their farm. Prospects were not encouraging, however. for the land was entirely unimproved and uncultivated. But they went to work with a will and by thrift and economy they were enabled to add one hundred and sixty acres more to their farm. He now has three hundred and twenty acres of fine farming land all under a high state of cultivation and well improved. His buildings are large and well preserved, and are all built with the idea of convenience. He has by careful cultivation grown a fine orchard of apple, cherry and plum trees, which serve not only to beautify his home, but also to furnish an abundance of fruit.

      To Mr. Hafer's marriage have been born nine children, eight of whom are still living: John R., Catherine M., who is a member of the celebrated Ladies Geneva Marine Band, which organization has already won an enviable reputation, Mary E., Frank A., Lottie A., Cleveland, Bessie Irene, and Lela G.

      While Mr. and Mrs. Hafer were both reared under the influence of the Protestant religion, yet at present neither is connected with any church organization, but are both members of the Degree of Honor of the A. O. U. W. fraternity. Politically our subject stands in the rank of the Independent party and is a firm believer in bi-metalism, and he has aided materially in placing the Independent party on its present strong footing in Fillmore county. The people have manifested their confidence in his ability and integrity by electing him to the office of assessor of his township, which office he held for three years. He also served as school director for three years, and acquitted himself with credit. He takes a great interest in all educational matters, and in any movement that is for the benefit of his county. 

Letter/label or barESLEY TROLLOP, a representative farmer and influential citizen of Waco township, York county, carrying on operations on section 10, is a native of Lincolnshire, England, born February 18, 1829, and is one of a family of nine children, whose parents were William and Mary (Clifton) Trollop. He grew to manhood in his native land, but in 1852 crossed the Atlantic and proceeded at once to Illinois, where he worked in different places



for a few years. In 1855 he located in Logan county, that state, and turned his attention to farming. On the 7th of August, 1862, he joined the boys in blue, enlisting in Company H, One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry as a private, and with his regiment proceeded to Kentucky. Under Gen. Gordon Granger, he was in a number of skirmishes, followed by the battle of Franklin, and at Chickamauga, on Sunday, September 20, 1863, he received a gunshot wound in the right hip and another in the left thigh. For thirteen days and nights he lay on the field of battle without food or water, and was there found by three surgeons who were passing near him, and who carried him to a vacant log house near by, where they found twelve other wounded men. Three days later they were taken prisoners and carried into a rebel camp, but on the 3rd of October were recaptured by the Union army and were sent to the field hospital at Chattanooga. Three weeks later Mr. Trollop was transferred to the hospital at Nashville, where he remained one month. He was then granted a three months' furlough which he spent at home, and at the end of that time reported for duty at the Nashvile (sic) field hospital. In 1864 he was transferred to the Mounted Invalid Corps at Washington, District of Columbia, doing city patrol duty until finally discharged in February, 1862, on account of his wounds.

      Returning to Illinois, Mr. Trollop lived for one year in Delavan, and then rented a farm, which he operated when his health would permit. In 1871 he came to York county, Nebraska, and located on the homestead where he still continues to reside, his family arriving the following year. At that time there were only three or four families in the township, and most of the land was still in its primitive condition. He put up a board shanty on his place, and in 1872 rented twenty acres of land of Joseph Allison and raised some corn. The following year he raised some crops, but the grasshoppers destroyed his wheat, and the next year they also took his crops. During the year 1883 he lived in Waco, but with that exception his home has been on the farm since coming to this state, and he now has the entire tract of three hundred and twenty acres under a high state of cultivation.

      On the 18th of March, 1860, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Trollop and Miss Sarah Ann Stockton, a native of Hunterdon county, New Jersey, and a daughter of William Stockton, now a resident of Waco, Nebraska. She is descended from distinguished Revolutionary ancestry, Commodore Stockton having belonged to the same family. To Mr. and Mrs. Trollop have been born nine children, namely: Lyman, deceased; Charles L., George A., Joseph H., Mary H., Emily, Lavinia, Alice May, and Nina, deceased.

      Fraternally Mr. Trollop is an honored member of Dick Yates Post, No. 41, G. A. R., of Waco, in which he has served as senior vice commander, and politically he is identified with the Republican party. He has held the office of road supervisor and has also been a member of the school board for about seventeen years, the duties of which positions he has most ably and satisfactorily performed. He is widely and favorably known throughout the county, and his circle of friends is only limited by his circle of acquaintances. 

Letter/label or barEVI M. SIDWELL. --The fine farm on section 29, Thayer township, York county, owned and occupied by this gentleman, invariably attracts the eye of the passing traveler as being under the supervision of a thorough and skillful agriculturist, and a man otherwise of good business qualifications. He was born in Warren county, Iowa, September 14, 1853, a son of




Hugh and Eva (McVicker) Sidwell, natives of Preston county, West Virginia, who, in 1852, emigrated to Iowa and settled in Warren county. In 1861 they removed to Appanoose county, that state, and in 1876 came to York county, Nebraska. The father's death occurred in Humboldt. this state, in 1892, and the mother died the same year at the home of our subject in York county. To them were born a family of eight children, five sons and three daughters. The father was twice married, his first wife being a Miss Baker, who died in Virginia. The grandfather, Jesse Sidwell, spent his last days in Iowa.

      The subject of this sketch is the oldest of the children born of the second marriage, and was reared and educated in Iowa, where he began work as a farmer. Throughout his active business career he has been interested in agricultural pursuits, an occupation which his ancestors had followed for several generations. After renting land for some time in his native state, he purchased a farm of forty acres, which he traded in 1876 for a claim on section 18, Thayer township, York county, Nebraska, and at once removed to his new home. To the original tract he later added forty acres by purchase and continued to reside upon that place until 1888, when he removed to his present farm on section 29, Thayer township, which he has converted into one of the most highly cultivated tracts of the neighborhood.

      While still a resident of Iowa, Mr. Sidwell was married in 1874 to Miss Martha J. Adams, a daughter of John N. and Mary S. (Sheek) Adams, who had removed from North Carolina to Iowa at an early day. There the father died, but the mother is still living and is a resident of that state. Mr. and Mrs. Sidwell have a family of nine children, namely: Emma I., now the wife of C. M. Albin; Myrtle M., Susan M., Oscar J., Lulu B., Leona, Lawrence M., Bina E. and Audray Rose. Socially, Mr. Sidwell is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, while politically he is a supporter of the Democracy, and has been called upon to fill some minor offices in his township. 

Letter/label or barEORGE N. NICHOLS, a worthy representative of the farming interests of Butler county, became a resident of Platte township in June, 1869, and is now the owner of a well improved and valuable farm on section 22, having transformed the wild land into highly cultivated fields. He has watched the development of the resources of this region with the interest which every intelligent man feels in regard to the section of the country where he has spent the best years of his life, and should feel satisfaction in the thought that he has been no unimportant factor in bringing it to its present condition.

      Mr. Nichols was born in Orleans county, New York, June 30, 1833, a son of Henry and Nellie (Food) Nichols, and when two years old was taken by his parents to La Grange county, Indiana, where he lived until he attained his majority. In 1854 he removed to Webster county, Iowa, where he was married in July, of the following year, to Miss Sarah Baxter, a daughter of George and Lavina (James) Baxter, who also became early settlers of Butler county, Nebraska, securing a homestead in Platte township in 1869. To our subject and his wife were born two children: Mary Ellen, now the wife of Ransom Butler, of Nuckolls county, Nebraska; and William Ira. They also have an adopted son, Fred Nichols.

      On leaving Webster county, Iowa, Mr. Nichols came to Butler county in June, 1869, as before stated. He camped out upon his claim the first season until a frame house, 14 X 20 feet in size, could be erected. It was one of the best dwellings in the neighborhood at that time. Mr. Nichols experienced all the trials and diffi-



culties of frontier life, but is now enjoying the reward of his labors and his struggles, in the possession of a fine homestead, where he is surrounded by all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. His political support is always given the men and measures of the Republican party. 

Letter/label or barAMUEL L. SHILEY.--York county his many well-to-do and successful farmers, who have accumulated what they have of this world's goods through individual effort. Among this class the name of the subject of this notice is entitled to a place. He is residing on section 28, Thayer township, where he is industriously engaged in the prosecution of his noble calling, and is meeting with far more than ordinary success.

      Mr. Shiley was born October 1, 1848, in Blair county, Pennsylvania, of which state his parents, William H. and Elizabeth (Strickler) Shiley, were also natives. The father, who was a coachmaker by trade, died before his son Samuel was born, but his wife survived him many years and died at the home of our subject in Nebraska. Reared in his native state, Mr. Shiley obtained his education in its public schools. In August, 1864, before he had attained the age of sixteen years, he enlisted in Company B, Two Hundred and Eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and was one of the faithful defenders of his country until hostilities ceased. He participated in the battle of Fort Steadman, was in all of the engagements around Petersburg, and also took part in the battle of Appomattox. Although he was never wounded, he contracted rheumatism while in the service, and also had his hearing impaired.

      When the war was over Mr. Shiley returned to his home in Pennsylvania, where he spent two years, and then went to Illinois, where he worked for three summers.

      It was in 1871, that he came to York county, Nebraska, and took up a homestead on section 28, Thayer township, on which he erected a sod house, where he lived alone for seven years while devoting his entire time and attention to the cultivation and improvement of his land. He has met with decided success in his farming operations, and is one of the most successful stock raisers in the county, making a specialty of pure blooded Aberdeen Angus cattle. Although he came west without means, he is now the owner of four hundred acres of rich and arable land which yields to him a golden tribute in return for the care and labor bestowed upon it. Upon the place he has erected a comfortable and pleasant home besides good and substantial out-buildings, which stand as monuments to his thrift and industry.

      In January, 1878, Mr. Shiley was united in marriage with Miss Susan Madden, also a native of Blair county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Charles and Margaret Madden, who spent their entire lives in that state. Four children grace this union, two sons and two daughters, as follows: Ralph C., Floyd P., Ethel M. and Ruth E. Mr. Shiley and family are all connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Thayer, and he is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Home Forum. His political support is always given the men and measures of the Republican party, and it is safe to say that no one in his community has more or warmer friends than Samuel L. Shiley. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM VOLZKE, who follows farming on section 2, Waco township, where he has a good farm of three hundred and twenty acres, is a native of Pomen (sic), Prussia, born June 20, 1836. He was reared to manhood in the land of his birth, and in accordance with the law of the coun-



try attended the public schools between the ages of six and fourteen years, acquiring a good education to fit him for the practical duties of life. On putting aside his textbooks he entered upon his business career in the capacity of a farm hand, and later was employed by a baker for four years. Subsequently he spent five years in the service of a hotel proprietor, and thus step by step advanced, working his way by slow degrees from a humble position to one of affluence.

      Mr. Volzke was married, in 1861, to Miss Minnie Stark, a native of Pomen, Prussia, and in 1866 they crossed the Atlantic to America. While making the voyage one of their children died of sea measles. Two months were spent as passengers on the sailing vessel Nicker before they reached the harbor of Quebec, for which port the vessel had embarked. Our subject and his family then made their way to Detroit and on to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and for five years resided in Kenosha county, Wisconsin, and worked for one man (M. Kingman) on a farm for five years. In 1871 they came to Nebraska, taking up their residence upon the farm which is now the home of our subject. It was then a wild tract on which not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made, but with characteristic energy Mr. Volzke began its development. His home was a little frame house, twelve by sixteen feet, covered with sod. During the first season he broke twenty acres of ground and planted ten acres of sod corn; in 1872 he put in twenty acres of corn, but could not buy any seed wheat; in 1873 he raised a crop of corn and of wheat, and the following year had some wheat, but his corn was eaten by grasshoppers. Thus he struggled along for several rears, and in order to get some ready money to meet expenses also worked on the railroad, but as time passed he overcame the difficulties and obstacles attendant upon the development of a new farm and is now the owner of a valuable and highly cultivated farm. His possessions aggregate three hundred and twenty acres, of which one hundred and ten acres are under cultivation and yield to the owner a golden tribute in return for his labor. He has planted an orchard and carried on general farming and stock-raising, now meeting with success in his undertakings. All that he has is the result of his own labors, and having been the architect of his own fortunes he has builded wisely and well.

      Mr. and Mrs. Volzke have three living children: Fritz, who married Rose Kuhn and has seven children, Anna, wife of Herman Munt, by whom she has four children; and Willie, who married Barbara Shaar and has two children: Our subject and his wife have also lost four children. They are members of the German Lutheran church, in which he has served as trustee for six years. In politics he is a stalwart Republican and for six years served as a member of the school board, while his son Fritz is now a member of the board. His hope of bettering his financial condition in America has not only been realized, but in addition to gaining a comfortable competence, he has secured a good home and won many friends. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM McBETH is one of the highly respected and substantial citizens of Polk county, whose early home was on the other side of the Atlantic, and who came to this country in limited circumstances, but with the hope of gaining a home and fortune in this free land of ours where better opportunities are furnished ambitious, industrious and enterprising young men than in the old world. His dreams of the future have been more than realized, and he is to-day the owner of one of the best farms in Polk county, pleasantly situated on the northeast quarter of section 12, township 14, range 2.



      Mr. McBeth was born in December, 1837, in County Londonderry, Ireland, where his parents, James and Mary (Dennison) McBeth, spent their last days, the father dying when our subject was only six years old. For twenty-one years he was a soldier in the British army, and after being honorably discharged received a pension. One son, James, was also in the British service for ten years and took part in the Crimean war. There were eight children in the family, but only two are now living: Mrs. Isabella Mowbrey, still a resident of Ireland, and William, the subject of this sketch.

      The common schools of his native land afforded William McBeth his educational privileges, and he remained in Ireland until July 18, 1860, when he crossed the Atlantic to the new world. After spending one year in New York City, he went to Stark county, Ohio, where he subsequently joined the Union army, January 29, 1862, as a private in the Third Ohio Battery, Light Artillery. After three months spent in Virginia, they returned home and re-enlisted for three years, and at Waynesburg, Ohio, were prepared to go to Fort Henry. Mr. McBeth joined them at St. Louis and took part in the battle of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, the siege of Corinth, and the battle of Iuka, after which they went into winter quarters at Memphis, Tennessee. They were next in the engagements at Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Mississippi, Champion Hill, Black River, the siege of Vicksburg, and after the fall of that stronghold went with General Sherman to drive General Joseph E. Johnston back, which they did at Meridian, Mississippi. They then returned to Vicksburg, where the entire battery veteranized in March, 1864, and were granted a thirty days' furlough. Later they were ordered to Cairo, Illinois, then went with General Sherman to Huntsville, Alabama, and were in the battles of Resaca, Dalton, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek and Atlanta, July 22. They were then sent with General Thomas to Nashville, and took part in the battle at that place December 15 and 16, 1864, after which they remained there until March, 1865. They were then mounted at Fort Donelson and engaged in hunting bushwhackers until the close of the war. At Cleveland, Ohio, they were mustered out, July 31, 1865. Mr. McBeth was in every engagement in which his battery took part, but was fortunately never wounded nor taken prisoner.

      After the war, Mr. McBeth worked in Stark county, Ohio, until 1869, when he removed to Knox county, Illinois, making his home there until April, 1873, when he came Polk county, Nebraska, and secured his present homestead. The few settlers at that time were widely scattered, and antelope and deer still roamed over the prairies. Our subject's live stock at that time consisted of but one cow, and his finances were also low, but a grocer at Osceola kindly allowed him to get his provisions on credit for eight months. The first year he broke some land and raised a small crop of sod corn, and since that time has steadily prospered until to-day he is the owner of a valuable tract of five hundred and sixty acres, all improved with the exception of eighty acres. To accomplish this he has labored untiringly.

      In 1868 Mr. McBeth married Miss Sarah Melissa Seaburg, who was born in Stark county, Ohio, January 30, 1843. Her parents, Joseph and Catherine (Munn) Seaburg, were natives of Pennsylvania and Scotland, respectively, were married in the Keystone state, and became early settlers of Stark county, Ohio, where both died. They had eight children, of whom seven are still living, and three sons--Charles M., James C. and Dallas--served in the Union army during the Civil war. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. McBeth, of whom six



are living: James M., who wedded Mary Blaschkie, and is now serving as captain of the Sons of Veterans, at Osceola; Emily J., who married Guy Pierce and has one child, Norman A.; Robert H., who is first lieutenant of the Sons of Veterans at Osceola; Frank M.; Mary F.; and William Harrison.

      Mr. and Mrs. McBeth are leading members of the Presbyterian Church at Osceola, in which he is serving as elder, and they regularly attend both the church services and Sunday school. He has been senior vice-commander of the G. A. R. post, at Osceola, of which he is an honored member, and his wife belongs to the Woman's Relief Corps. Since becoming a citizen of the United States, he has given an unfaltering allegiance to the Republican party, has been an active worker in its ranks, has served as assessor of Canada precinct, and has been a school officer for the long period of eighteen years. This country has no more patriotic or loyal citizen than Mr. McBeth, who gives his support to all measures which he believes in any way calculated to promote the general welfare or advance the interests of his county, state or nation. 

Letter/label or barOHN R. DOWNING an experienced and successful agriculturist of York county, residing on section 18, Stewart township, was born in Adams county, Illinos (sic), April 12, 1851, a son of R. H. and Rebecca (Bennett) Downing. The father was born in either Indiana or Virginia, and was a son of Rezin Downing, a native of Loudoun county, Virginia, who lived for a few years in Indiana, and during the forties removed to Adams county, Illinois, locating near Camp Point, where his death occurred. The mother of our subject was born in Indiana, of which state, her father, O. H. Bennett, was an early settler, but he, too, removed to Adams county, Illinois, during the pioneer days of that locality and there spent the remainder of his life. Our subject's parents were married in that county and there made their home upon a farm near the village of Golden. The father died January 26, 1897, but the mother is still living on the old homestead, and although helpless she still enjoys good health. She is a member of the Methodist church, to which her husband also belonged. Their children were as follows: John R., of this review; W. O., a resident of York county, Nebraska; Mary Eliza; Nancy Ellen; Charles A., of Hancock county, Illinois; Florence Emma; Laura; Cora Effie and Warren Hampton.

      Upon the home farm in Adams county, Illinois, John R. Downing grew to manhood, while his education was obtained in the district schools of the neighborhood. In 1874 he married Miss Henrietta A. Hughes, also a native of that county, and a daughter of James A. and Sarah B. (Becket) Hughes, who had removed there from Indiana at an early day. Nine children were born of this union, namely: Inez May, Asa Elmer, Ora Ella, Otho Rezin, John Calfee, Ray Hampton, Ethel Fredonia, Laura Adeline and Oscar Tate.

      Mr. and Mrs. Downing began their domestic life upon a farm in Adams county, where they lived for five and a half years, while he engaged in its operation during the summer season and taught school during the winter months. In 1879 they removed to Atchison county, Missouri, where he improved a farm, and continued its cultivation until coming to Nebraska in 1882. At that time he located upon his present farm in Stewart township, York county, which comprises 240 acres, of which two hundred is under excellent cultivation and well improved with good and substantial buildings. As a farmer and stock-raiser he is meeting with a well deserved success, for he thoroughly understands his chosen calling, is a man of sound judgment and good executive ability.



      As a Republican, Mr. Downing takes quite an active interest in political affairs, and has capably served as treasurer of school district No. 55. With his wife and five older children, he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and is now serving as trustee and steward in the same. Socially he affiliates with the Ancient Order of United Workman at Gresham, and he and his wife and eldest daughter belong to the Knights and Ladies of Honor, at that place. 

Letter/label or barON. JOHN H. MICKEY.--Rising above the heads of the mass there have always been a series of individuals, distinguished beyond others, who by reason of their pronounced ability and forceful personality, have commanded the homage of their fellow men, and who have revealed to the world those two resplendent virtues of a lordly race-perseverance in purpose and a directing spirit which never fails. Such a man is Mr. Mickey, whose name stands foremost on the roll of the prominent men of Polk county, who have been the founders of her prosperity, the promoters of her enterprise. He belongs to that class of representative citizens who advance the general welfare by promoting their individual success, and his life history is inseparably interwoven with the annals of this locality. With this sketch is presented a portrait of Mr. Mickey.

      John H. Mickey was born near Burlington, Iowa, September 30, 1845, and is a son of Oliver P. and Betsey Ann (Davison) Mickey, both natives of Pennsylvania. Emigrating to Iowa the father located near Burlington the year following the Black Hawk war, making his home with his uncle, Mr. Gerhart, four miles west of the city. He was a farmer by occupation. Soon after his marriage he removed to Louisa county, Iowa, and purchased a tract of raw land seven miles south of Wapello, the county seat. There he improved a valuable farm, making it his home until his death. He held membership in the Methodist church and took an active part in its work, serving as steward, class leader and Sunday-school superintendent, and was often a delegate to conference. He was also a warm friend of the cause of education and did all in his power for the advancement of the schools. He died while visiting in Nebraska, November 14, 1892, when about seventy years of age. His widow still survives him and makes her home in Wapello, Iowa. They were parents of nine children: John H.; George F., deceased Adeline T., wife of Leander Blake, of Northfield, Iowa. Albert P., a hardware merchant of Osceola, Nebraska; Weston, deceased; Thomas, who was drowned in Iowa river; William O., a farmer residing near Osceola, Nebraska; Basil S., also a farmer of that locality: and Iona, wife of Isaac Jamison, of Louisa county, Iowa.

     John H. Mickey was reared on the home farm in Louisa county and is indebted to its common schools for his educational facilities. During the war of the Rebellion, roused by a spirit of patriotism, he enlisted in his country's service in August, 1863, as a member of Company D, Eighth Iowa Cavalry, and was mustered into the United States service at Davenport, Iowa, on the 30th of September. The regiment soon went to Louisville, Kentucky, then marched to Nashville and spent the winter near Waverly, Tennessee, scouring the country after guerrillas. In March, 1864, they were ordered back to Nashville and at Chattanooga joined Sherman's army, preparing for the Atlantic campaign. Under command of General McCook he participated in that campaign until the siege of Atlanta, when his command was ordered to the right of the city to meet the forces of General Kilpatrick, who were coming around from the left. The two armies failed to meet, but General Mc-

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