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of our subject, passed away while on a visit in Pennsylvania. They raised seven children, of whom the oldest, Elizabeth Bennett, is now dead. Our subject is the second child, and Ann Osborne the third. Sarah Hoyt is dead, and William is living in Phelps county.

     Joseph Strickler was raised in Pennsylvania, and attended the district school nearest him, but the greater part of his education is self-acquired. He struck out into the world and assumed his own independence when he was twenty-two years of age. He was bred to a farmer's life, and he followed that when he bore the burden of his own destiny. He accompanied his parents to Illinois, and enlisted, in 1862, in Company K, One Hundred and Nineteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and entered the army with the rank of sergeant. The regiment was assigned as guard to the Mobile & Ohio railroad in Western Tennessee, and he was taken prisoner by General Forrest in December of the year of his enlistment. He was parolled (sic), and presently exchanged. But his days of active service were over. He had contracted disabilities while in the service whose effects did not readily leave him. So he was sent to Benton Barracks, at St. Louis, and presently discharged. He returned to Adams county, and when he had somewhat recovered his health was united in marriage with Miss Nancy A. Bennett. She was a daughter of Thomas Bennett, and came into Adams county with her parents in 1858. Her father died there, but her mother is still living. After the wedding Mr. Strickler settled in Chattan, Illinois, where he was engaged in farming, and carrying on at the same time a general mercantile business. In 1876 he brought his family to this county, and settled on section 10, Waco township. This was a farm partially improved. He put it into good order, and made it rank with the best. The next year he removed to Waco, and opened a general store. He was the pioneer merchant in that city, and won the personal regard of the early settlers. He continued in business for eleven years, and then returned once more to rural life, and located where he now resides. To this farm he has given much attention, and his labor shows what it has been by the solid and durable character of the improvements he made upon it. He is the father of eight children. The oldest of them, Emma, is the wife of Dr. A. Downing, of Merna, Nebraska. She is the mother of two children, William, and an infant not yet named. Bertha is the wife of William Lancaster, who lives at Gresham. She is the mother of two children, Jennie and Linn. Thomas is a minister, and lives at Waco. He is the husband of Miss Gracie Johnson, and the father of six children, Frances, Ruth, Herbert, Lester, Cecil and an infant. George, Addie and Nellie are younger children. Two have died. Our subject and his wife are members of the Methodist Protestant church, at Waco, of which he has been trustee and superintendent of the Sunday-school. He is a member of the Masonic order at York and is a strong Prohibitionist. He has been nominated for various positions by his party, and personally is highly regarded by his neighbors. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM C. HARTMAN, whose home is in Staplehurst, Seward county, easily takes first rank among the active business men of this section. He has an alert vision for commercial possibilities, and has carried out to success many difficult undertakings. His life has not been long, yet in its years he has engaged in several very different callings, and has made all contribute substantially to his exchequer. Whether he follows farming, the management of an extensive livery and boarding stable, or the handling of stock, his custom



ers know that they can depend on what he says.

      Mr. Hartman is one of the early settlers of this county, and has long been closely associated with its general business. He was born at Clayton Center, Iowa, September 28, 1856, and is a son of Fred and Caroline (Etling) Hartman. They were natives to the soil of Hanover, Germany, and came to this country about 1835. They found a home at Fort Wayne, Indiana, where the husband and father cleared a farm of forty acres near the city and made it productive. He held it until it so rose in value that he thought it wise to sell it. He moved to Clayton Center, Iowa, in 1840, and secured a farm which became the site of the town. In 1867 he sold out a second time, and came to this county to find a home for his remaining days. He purchased a half section of land and converted it into one of the finest farming tracts in this part of the state. His wife was the mother of three sons and three daughters that grew to manhood and womanhood. She died in 1860. All their children, with the exception of one daughter, are now living in this county.

      The subject of this brief biographical history spent the first twelve years of his active life in Iowa, and came with his parents into this county at that age. In the pioneer days, boys early applied themselves to the business of home making, and young Hartman worked by his father's side in making the wilderness a home. In early manhood he left home, and coming to Staplehurst purchased a tract of land adjoining the town site. He soon became a very ready and successful real estate dealer. Mr. Hartman has also engaged in extensive stock transactions, and some years ago he went into the livery business (sic), which he still maintains, and every year he markets some of the finest road horses in the west.

      Mr. Hartman and Miss Nancy Kenison were married in 1877. She was born in Iowa, and has presented her husband with six children, Caila, Rosa, Florence, Fred, Alma and one who died in infancy. She died in 1895, and her husband was married again the following year, Miss Lizzie Schultze becoming his wife. He is a Republican, and has been a member of the state central committee. 

Letter/label or barOHN MEYSENBURG, the subject of this sketch, was born August 29, 1849, in Luxembourg, Germany, and came with his parents to this country in 1864; settled on section 24, 16-2, Butler county, Nebraska, in the spring of 1870. The homestead where he now lives was homesteaded by our subject in September, 1870. The family located in Dubuque, Iowa, when they came to America. Our subject was not yet of age when he came to Butler county, Nebraska.

      He was married April 14, 1877, to Susan Reisdorf, a daughter of Peter and Anna (Simon) Reisdorf. She was a native of a small village in Luxembourg, Sandweiler, three miles from the city of Luxembourg, and first made her home in Chicago, Illinois, removing from this place to Butler county, Nebraska. She is the mother of five children: Dominick, Mary, Anna and Kate, and one that died, August.

      Our subject has been active in important affairs of the county, being a member of the county board for six years, and still serving. He has always been careful of the interests of the people, serving them in such a manner as to insure the confidence and respect of all who were his daily associates, in business, social, and religious matters. Was a prominent member of the Catholic church, and one of its first adherents at the foundation of it in this county.

      He is now the possessor of seven hun-



dred and forty acres of land, well improved, has a comfortable home, fine barns well stocked, and is highly esteemed for the thrift and good judgment he has shown in his management of his own affairs, as well as those of the county. In politics, he is a free silver democrat, and has filled a number of township offices. 

Letter/label or barACOB JENNINGS WARNER BREWER, a retired farmer of Seward county, is one of the oldest citizens of this region and by its people he is held in that reverence and respect tacitly accorded those whose lives have been distinguished by integrity and usefulness During his long and eventful life he has experienced many hardships and privations, but with the aid of his most estimable wife he at length overcame them and at last prosperity seemed to crown their combined efforts.

      Mr. Brewer was born in Tyler county, West Virginia, June 21, 1815, a son of Samuel and Mary (Lacy) Brewer and grandson of David and Euphemia (Warner) Brewer. His great-grandfather was Derrick Brewer, who was of Holland descent, and was a farmer by occupation, as have been most of his descendants. As his mother died when he was only two years old, our subject was reared by his grandmother, while his father was engaged in boating on the Ohio river. He married again and lived on the banks of that stream in West Virginia until his death, which resulted from a fall he received in Indianapolis. He was over seventy years of age at the time of his death.

      The subject of this sketch remained with his grandfmother (sic) until fifteen years of age, when he started out to make his own way in the world, first working for about a year for John Morgan, who followed rafting on the Ohio river. He naturally drifted down the Mississippi to New Orleans and from there went to other southern cities, where he would cut wood and work at anything that he could find to do until spring, when he made his way north again to stay during the summer months. In the fall he would again go by fiat boats to the south, where his winters were spent until reaching manhood.

      On the 24th of May, 1840, he was united in marriage with Miss Susan Smith, whom he had known from childhood, and the following year he leased a little farm in Kentucky, which he operated quite successfully for three years. Deciding to go to Iowa, he placed his entire worldly possessions on a boat bound for the Des Moines river, he and his little family taking passage on the same vessel. When opposite Green river an accident occurred, the boiler bursting and the steam filling the boat. The wife was badly scalded and their baby was killed instantly. By another boat they then proceeded to the Des Moines river, and on leaving it Mr. Brewer secured a man to take his wife and oldest child, with their few household goods, to Davis county, Iowa, and they went to housekeeping on a claim upon which had been built a little house of poles, the cracks being filled with mortar. Here, with their one child, Mr. and Mrs. Brewer lived like most poor people on the frontier. For three years they were ill most of the time with what was known as ague. The second year, by the hardest work, our subject managed to split six rails a day until enough had been made to fence two acres. His good wife volunteered to carry the larger end of the rail, she being the stronger at that time, and in this way they carried all of them until the fence was completed. A kind neighbor then plowed the ground and Mr. Brewer planted corn, potatoes and garden vegetables. On the claim was a few white oak trees, which he cut up into splits with a broken case knife which he once found, and being unable to work on the farm he converted the splits into baskets,



and his faithful wife gleaned the tender willow rods from the lowlands along Soap creek and started a rival basket shop, making her baskets from the willows. When he was too weak to cut the trees down Mrs. Brewer, who from first to last carried hope in her heart and a smile on her face, would take the ax and perform that duty for him, splitting them up until the pieces were small enough to be handled with his broken case knife. Some good farmer would take their baskets down the Missouri river and exchange them for corn meal, which cooked with water in various ways formed their only food for nearly three years. When he became strong Mr. Brewer worked at various occupations and remained upon his farm for eleven years. On selling the place, he went to Page county, Iowa, but a year later removed to Missouri and bought a farm on Nodaway river, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits for ten years. When the Civil war broke out he offered his services to his country, but the examining officer refused him. Being a Union man he was constantly molested by copperheads and rebels, who several times came nearly killing him, and he was at length forced to move away in self defense. One morning a boy came running to his home to notify him that twenty-five men, then only two miles away, were going to kill him. Immediately he took his little family in a wagon and started for Nebraska City. He made good his escape. Being without money he hired out to drive teams across the plains and was thus employed for about a year. As the war was over he then returned to his home in Missouri, but finding everything but his land destroyed, he sold his farm and moved to Otoe, Nebraska, where he bought eighty acres of land and engaged in farming there for four years. His next home was in Lancaster county, where he took up a government homestead, but after living there about eight years he sold and moved to the West Blue valley, Seward county, where he purchased the farm which he still owns.

      There the wife who had so patiently and cheerfully shared all the hardships of their early married life, passed away in 1895 while he was ill at the home of a daughter whom he was visiting. She was a most estimable lady who had the love and respect of all who knew her. Of the ten children born to them six are still living. (1) Amanda is the wife of Madison Brooke and they had two children; Mollie, who married Charles Rives and died, leaving three children; and May, who married Earl Gilbert and has one child; (2) Elias married Lucinda McDonald and had three children; John N.; Emma, who married Bert James and has four children; and Sylvia, who married a Mr. Weir and has two children.

      After the death of his first wife, Elias Brewer married Martha King, and they now live in Kansas. The only child of the second union is Eva, who married Reuben Donaldson and has one child. Thus our subject has eleven great-grandchildren. (3) Hulda first married James Thompson, by whom she had one child, now deceased. After his death she married Elijah Brim and they now live in Oklahoma. (4) Benjamin F., who lives on his father's farm, married Emeline Richardson, and they have two daughters, Farin and Bernice. (5) Catherine is the wife of Jonathan Courzine, who lives in Otoe county, two miles from Douglastown, and they have four children: Franklin, Mary, Emer and Katy. (6) Dora is the wife of F. P. Hazleton, a farmer of Otoe county, and they have two children: Otis and Clyde.

      In religious belief Mr. Brewer is a Baptist, but at the present time is not connected with any church. He is a pronounced democrat in politics, and supported William J. Bryan at the last presidential election. He voted for Henry Clay in 1844, and was prevented from voting for



Martin Van Buren, as he was running on the river at that time. He remembers seeing General Jackson, and he lived for a time with, and worked for, William Henry Harrison. He is still hale and hearty, though eighty-four years of age, and recently walked eighteen miles without being excessively weary. 

Letter/label or barAMUEL L. SMITH is a man of enlightened and progressive views, and his standing as an old settler of York county is beyond question. He lives on a farm on section 20, West Blue township, and was identified with the earliest history of the region.

      Mr. Smith was born in Jackson county, Tennessee, October 9, 1842, and was a son of Calvin Smith. His father moved to Iowa in 1851, where young Samuel attained manhood, and then sought a home in Nebraska. He came into York county, and settled on section 32, West Blue township, but did not find here his final home. He removed to Exeter, Nebraska, where he died. He was the father of three girls and five boys, and of this family four are now living. Samuel Smith grew to manhood and spent his earliest years on a farm. He struck out for himself at the age of twenty, and was for some time a journeyman farmer, but in 1871, came into this state, and settled where this history records him. At that time York county was a wild prairie, but the very richness of its wild grasses and flowers gave promise of the fertility of its fields under the touch of the husbandman. Young Smith was not afraid of the hardships of early days, and spent the first eighteen months of his life in the state in a dug-out. He was able after the expiration of that time to put up a frame house, and assume the comforts of the older east. He broke his first prairie in 1871. He raised his first crop the next year and took it to Lincoln, fifty miles away, to find a market. He owns to-day one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land nearly all of which is under cultivation. He has made all the improvements, and studies the opportunities of mixed farming. In the presence of such distinguished success as an agriculturist, it hardly need by said, that he is exclusively a farmer. Farming is large enough to reward a man's devotion, and he has found it so.

      Mr. Smith was married, in 1864 to Miss Sarah Baldridge, a daughter of Carol Baldrige (sic), an early settler in Iowa. He died in his home in that state, and left behind the memory of a just and honorable man. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have five living children: Flora Norris, Hattie Larkin, Earl, Artie and Maggie. They are members of the Christian church at Exeter, and he has been an official in that religious organization for many years past. In political matters he affiliates with the Populist movement, and was treasurer of West Blue township for three years. He is at the present moment a justice of the peace in his home township, and for many years has been a member of the school board of district No. 14. 

Letter/label or barREDERICK SCHARFENBERG, proprietor of a good farm pleasantly located on section 7, Baker township, York county, was born in Saxony, Germany, July 6, 1842, a son of William and Clara (Rupsem) Scharfenberg, also natives of the fatherland, where they lived and died, the former being a weaver by trade. Until fourteen years of age our subject attended the public schools of his native land, thus acquiring a good practical education, and then learned the trade of weaving with his father and worked at the same until he attained the age of twenty. He then entered the regular army, and during his three years and a half service participated in the Prussian-Austrian war.



      In 1866 Mr. Scharfenberg left the army and came to America, locating first in Wisconsin, where he worked on a farm. He was married, in 1872, to Miss Anna Reum, also a native of Germany, who came alone to the New World. After his marriage he removed to Mitchell county, Iowa, where he rented land and engaged in farming until the fall of 1879, when he came to York county, Nebraska. Here he bought one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land on section 7, Baker township, which at that time was all raw prairie, but at present is a highly improved farm, representing many years of bard labor and economy. Beaver creek runs through the farm and furnishes water all the year round for his stock. To his original purchase Mr. Scharfenberg has added a tract of eighty acres, and now has a valuable and productive place of two hundred and forty acres. He is an enterprising, progressive farmer, and a business man of more than ordinary ability, who has attained a well-merited success through his own well-directed efforts. In religious sentiment he and his wife are both Lutherans, and in politics he is independent. 

Letter/label or barEPTHA MOSHER, one of the most progressive and successful agriculturists of Fillmore county, owns and operates a fine farm on section 13, Geneva township, and in its management displays the scientific knowledge and skill which characterize the modern farmer.

      He was born in Saratoga county, New York, June 2, 1840, a son of Elisha and Elizabeth (Packer) Mosher, the former also a native of Saratoga county, while the mother was born in connecticut (sic) and removed to New York state with her parents when young. Elisha Mosher was principally engaged in farming throughout life, although he operated a sawmill for several years. In 1853 he removed with his family to Michigan, but three years later went to Starke county, Illinois, locating near Toulon, in which village his last years were spent in retirement, dying there in March, 1889. His wife still survives him, and now, at the age of seventy-seven years, makes her home in Lincoln, Nebraska.

      The subject of this sketch was about thirteen years old when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Michigan, and amidst pioneer was reared, his education being mostly obtained in Stark county, Illinois, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, though he attended school conducted in a little log school-house in Michigan for a short time. He continued to assist his father on the home farm until after the outbreak of the Civil war, when he resolved to strike a blow in defense of the Union. In August, 1862, he joined Company H, First Regiment, New York Marine Artillery, and leaving New York city by boat proceeded to Morehead, where the troops were landed going by rail to Newburn. They spent about six months on Roanoke Island, doing garrison duty and making raids on the main land round about. At Port Royal, South Carolina, Mr. Mosher shipped on the gunboat Vidette, where he remained three months. One night they came nearly receiving a broadside from the blockading fleet, the captain making a mistake in signaling the name of his gunboat. The command had been given by the fleet to man the guns before the mistake was discovered. The gunboat proceeded to Folly Island, near Charleston, where a landing was effected with their guns, together with the Third New York Artillery. This was the first landing made for an attack against Charleston.

      Mr. Mosher was honorably discharged April 30, 1863, and returned to his home in Stark county, Illinois, where he bought land



and engaged in farming until coming to Fillmore county, Nebraska, in the fall of 1875. He bought the east half of section 13, Geneva township, which had previously been purchased from the railroad company by a man who had broken most of it, although he had made no improvements in the way of buildings. Here our subject has since resided and has devoted his energies to the cultivation and improvement of the place with marked success, converting it into one of the finest farms of the locality. It is pleasantly located about four miles from Fairmont and three and a half miles from Geneva. In connection with his farming operations he has engaged in threshing for several years, and now owns a good self-feeding, self-measuring., wind stacker, modern machine, and a new fifteen horse power, direct flue, straw-burning engine. He does an extensive threshing business, and in connection also operates a corn-sheller, probably shelling as much corn every year as any person or firm in the county. He is decidedly of a mechanical turn of mind and has many arrangements about his farm to facilitate work. He and his son Harry invented a grain-weighing machine, which was patented March 23, 1897, in the name of the son, and is pronounced a success. While being tested it averaged nine bushels per minute, the full capacity of a corn-sheller, and is adapted to weighing all kinds of grain in threshing, elevating, etc.--in fact, it registers the weight of grain in handling in any capacity. The Keystone Manufacturing Company, of Sterling, Illinois, have been negotiating for the use of same for their machinery, and also the J. I. Case Company.

      In 1868 Mr. Mosher was married to Miss Matilda Fowler, a native of Starke county, Illinois, and a daughter of Brady and Rebecca Fowler, and two children blessed this union: Brady G., who died in the fall of 1894 while attending the State University at Lincoln; and Harry W., at home. Fraternally, Mr. Mosher is an honored member of the Grand Army Post of Fairmont, and politically is a Republican, of the Abraham Lincoln type. As a business man and citizen he is well worthy the high regard in which he is universally held. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM SORRILL.--A fine farm on section 20, Baker township, York county, improved with all modern accessories and conveniences, represents the years of labor of Mr. Sorrill; substantial buildings stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise; and the owner is accounted one of the most progressive and influential agriculturists of the community. He was born in Worcestershire, England, September 30, 1843, and is a son of Henry and Sarah (Stinson) Sorrill, also natives of the same county, and representatives of one of the old and highly respected families of England, the ancestry being traced back through many generations. The father of our subject was a farmer. He lost his wife in 1845, and in 1852 he went to Australia to seek his fortune in the gold fields of that land.

      William Sorrill was thus thrown upon his own resources, and his educational advantages were thereby limited. He has made his own way in the world since the days of his youth, and whatever success he has achieved is due entirely to his well directed efforts. He worked as a farm hand in England until 1870 and then determined to seek a home in America, bringing his father with him. Crossing the Atlantic, he made his way at once to Morgan county, Illinois, and rented a farm near Jacksonville, continuing its operation for fourteen years. His father died in that county in 1882, and in 1884 he came to York county, Nebraska, where he purchased eighty acres of land on section 21, Baker township. He planted his crops and had every indication



of fine harvests, but on the 19th of July a terrific hailstorm destroyed all. Under such discouraging circumstances he worked on, and at length better days came. In 1891 he sold his first farm and purchased his present home on section 20, Baker township. His laud is now under a high state of cultivation and a splendid orchard furnishes all kinds of fruit in season. A modern residence and substantial barns and out-buildings contribute to the value and attractive appearance of the place, and the farm is now one of the most desirable in the county.

      Mr. Sorrill has been twice married. In 1865 he wedded Sarah Ann Young, a native of Worcestershire, England, and a daughter of John and Jane (Kent) Young. She died in the hospital at Jacksonville, Illinois, December 19, 1894, and on the 3d of June, 1896, Mr. Sorrill wedded Sadie White, a native of Jacksonville, Illinois. Mr. Sorrill has been justice of the peace for nine years, and was recently re-elected for a two-years term, a fact which demonstrates his satisfactory and commendable service in office. He discharges his duties with the utmost fairness and impartiality and has the confidence and regard of all. In politics he is a Populist and takes an active part in the work of the party, doing all in his power for its growth and success. He and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, and enjoy the hospitality of many of the best homes in this locality. Mr. Sorrill has by a well-spent life and well-directed efforts in the business world won the honorable American title of "a self-made man," and his example may well serve to encourage others who like himself start out in the journey of life with no capital save energy and determination to succeed. Mrs. Sorrill is a daughter of Francis M. and Lucy (Williams) White. They were both from near Chattanooga, Tennesssee (sic). They moved to Morgan county, Illinois, in 1864. They died in that county, the father in 1892 and the mother in 1878. They had eight children, all now dead but four daughters. 

Letter/label or barHARLES J. NOBES, deceased.--Probably no man has been more intimately associated with the business interests of central Nebraska than the gentleman whose name heads this article, and his name is indissolubly connected with the history of the growth and development of the counties in which he operated. He was an old settler of York county, and had become well known to a large circle, and had pursued a career that had won an abundant reward in a financial sense.

      Mr. Nobes was born at Joliet, Illinois, May 26, 1849, a son of Isaac and Ann J. (Boy) Nobes, the former a native of the Isle of Wight, and the latter a native of Ireland. The father came to America when a young man and was a sailor for a number of years. He was married in this country, and later located in Joliet, Illinois, where he was employed as a ship carpenter for several years. For thirty years he operated a large stone quarry in that city. They were the parents of a family of five children, three sons and two daughters, of whom our subject was the second child and also the second son in the order of their birth.

     The subject of our sketch was educated in the common schools of Joliet. He found his first employment as keeper in the state penitentiary, in that city, and was thus engaged for two years. In 1874 he came to Nebraska and was appointed deputy warden in the state prison, and in 1880 was promoted to the office of warden, and spent, in all, twelve years as an officer in the prison. In 1886 he came to York and opened a farm loan business and also engaged in breeding trotting horses, and followed that line of



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