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ent farm in Union township, Butler County, Nebraska. On locating here they had one daughter, Maudie E., and since then three other children have been added to the family, namely: Lola M., Emma L. and Allen Woolsey, now in his second year.

      Though deprived of good school privileges during his youth, Mr. Gubser has made the most of his advantages, and through his own efforts in maturer years has obtained a liberal education. He has not only acquired a good practical store of knowledge by "burning the midnight oil," but has achieved much in a literary way. His political views have led him through various processes of evolution up to modern socialism, which has many supporters among the best and brightest minds of the age. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and religiously he is a supporter of the Advent faith. The Gubser home is one of the most pleasant places of Union township and abounds in evidences of culture and refinement. Its inmates are both widely and favorably known throughout the community. 

Letter/label or barOHN ROMSDAL, widely known as one of the oldest settlers, and most thorough going and prosperous agriculturists of York county, Nebraska, has his homestead on section 10 of Lockridge township. He is of Scandinavian parentage, and brought with him to this country the habits of thrift and economy, which are the chief characteristics of the children of Norway. He is a fine type of our self-made men, having begun for himself with absolutely nothing, except the tools which nature gave him, and an indomitable will, which enabled him to surmount all obstacles.

      Mr. Romsdal was born at Alten Copper Works, Norway, June 13, 1345, and is a son of Ole and Joran Romsdal. They were both natives of Norway, and the father died on the ocean, during the voyage to America. Our subject received his education in the common schools of his native land, and at the age of nine he began to work in the copper mines, following in the footsteps of his father, who was also a miner. Mr. and Mrs. Romsdal were the parents of six children, two sons and four daughters, of whom three are in America, namely, our subject and two of his sisters.

      John Romsdal came to America in 1866; he landed at Quebec, but proceeded at once to the United States, where he secured employment in the copper mines of Michigan. He remained there one year, and then removed to Marquette, in the same state, where he found work in the iron mines for one year. In 1868 he moved his family to Chicago, Illinois, and proceeded to Montana to try his luck at gold mining. Upon his arrival there he secured employment, and made that place his home for two years. In July of 1870, he came to York county, Nebraska, and homesteaded a claim on section 10 of Lockridge township. The land was all wild and unimproved, but by constant labor he has brought the same to a high state of cultivation, and is now reaping the reward for his many years of toil.

     He was married in Norway, in 1863, to Miss Mary Danielson, a native of the same, and to this union have been born nine children, eight of whom are still living, and of whom we have the following record: Jacob E., Lena A., John, deceased, Rosa E., Philip M., Eliza M., Frederick William, Charles O., Mary E. He and family are all members in good standing of the United Brethren church. Mr. Romsdal has been quite actively engaged in the local political matters of the township in which he resides, and has filled the office of supervisor of the same for two terms. He has also served as a central committeeman from the township. He affiliates with the Republican party on all questions, except that of the monetary



standard of the government, which he believes should be bi-metalism, silver and gold, and the paper currency issued by the national government. In his business affairs he has followed general farming for many years, and has been very successful, having amassed a comfortable competency, which will enable him to enjoy the fruits of his labor in the retiring years of his eventful life. He is essentially a self-made man, as he started out in life with practically nothing to depend upon except his own resources, but by his perseverance, pluck, and energy, he has slowly mounted the ladder of fortune, until to-day he is accredited with being one of the most substantial men of the township. 

Letter/label or bar. P. MONSON.--Perhaps no man in all Polk county, Nebraska, is so well known for his intelligence, active public spirit and thorough appreciation of the wants of his locality, than the gentleman whose name heads this article. He came to the county at an early day, and has since been identified with all matters pertaining to the upbuilding of the better interests of the locality in which he lives. His active participation in the public affairs has not been confined to matters of interest to his own township, but he has thoroughly acquainted himself and been associated in all matters relating to the welfare of the entire county. He is one of the largest landowners in the county, and resides on section 24, township 14, range 3, where has a valuable farm. He was born in Sweden, October 26, 1845, and is a son of Mons Nelson, who was also a native of Sweden, where he was born in 1805. He died there in 1871, having been the parent of eight children, all of whom grew to maturity. They were named as follows: Stena, deceased; Anna, in America; John, in Sweden; Carrie, deceased; Hannah and Mary, in Sweden; N. P., the subject of this sketch, and Andrew, deceased. Mr. Nelson was the son of a wealthy man, and followed agricultural pursuits during his life. He was subject to military duty in his native land, and was a prominent man in the district in which he lived, and refused several official positions. He gave all of his children the benefit of a liberal education and his death was lamented by all to whom he was known.

      Mr. Monson was reared and educated in Sweden, and spent his early life on his father's farm. He served in the army of his native land and was one of the landwehr. He emigrated to America in 1868, and made the voyage across the ocean on the steamer David, sixteen days from Liverpool to Quebec, by the way of Newfoundland. The weather was very cold and they encountered a great many icebergs during their passage across the Atlantic. After landing at Quebec he proceeded at once to Altona, Knox county, Illinois, where he worked for farmers for one year and a half. He then secured employment in a store at Altona, which position he held for another year and a half. He then located at Stromsburg, Polk county, Nebraska, with the Headstrom colony, which was organized in the spring of 1871, in Knox county, Illinois. He took up his residence at Stromsburg, and was one of the very first ones to locate there, and took up the homestead where he now lives. In the spring of 1872 he built a dugout on his homestead and then went to Lincoln, Nebraska, to work, for the railroad in the stone quarry. In the fall of 1872 he worked on the section where Kenesaw now stands. He continued to work for the railroad, until the winter of 1872-73, when he secured employment in a stone quarry in Iowa. He then went to Plattsmouth where he was engaged to work on a steamboat for three months. He then returned to his home and broke several acres of his land, after which he returned to



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Lincoln, and worked on the section three months. In the following September he went to Omaha, and secured a position with Chas. Childs, with whom he remained until May 1874, when he again returned to his farm and broke a few more acres. He remained at home for two months, when he went into the store and postoffice at Stromsburg for Lewis Headstrom, for whom he worked, from July, 1874, until March 1, 1876. Mr. Monson then went to Lincoln, and entered the law office of J. M. Robison, an attorney there, as a partner to practice before the land department of the general land office at Washington, D. C. He continued in this line of business until March 1, 1879, when he returned to his home, where he has resided continuously ever since.

      On April 9, 1879, Mr. Monson was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Matilda Anderson, who was a native of the same place in Sweden, from which our subject came. She was born December 27, 1849, and died December 10, 1886. They were the parents of one child, Andrew M., who was born February 9, 1880. He is a fine help to his father, and is gifted with sound common sense, and has been given the advantage of a fairly good education.

      Mr. Monson has labored hard on his farm to make it one of the best in the county, and success has crowned his efforts in every way. He is now the sole proprietor of five hundred and sixty acres of fine land, and has one-third interest in another eighty-acre tract, also two hundred and forty acres in section 35, township r, range 3 west. The home farm consists of five hundred and sixty acres, all of which is subdivided into fields by well constructed fences, and is adorned with all modern improvements, which were put in by Mr. Monson himself. There are three sets of farm buildings on the estate, all of which belong to our subject, in addition to which he has a one-third interest in the fourth set. The farm is well stocked, and he has one herd of a dozen head of the finest breed of short horn cattle in Nebraska. His farm is given over to general farming and stockraising which he carries on according to the most improved and scientific methods, and he gives his personal attention to the management of his entire estate. The first house he lived in was a dug-out, which gaye place to a frame house fourteen by twenty-two feet, that he built in 1876, and resided in until i88. In the last-mentioned year he built the handsome brick residence that now adorns his estate, at a cost of three thousand dollars, and now is the proud possessor of one of the finest homes in the county.

      Mr. Monson has taken advantage of every opportunity to increase his fund of general knowledge, and is undoubtedly one of the best posted men of the county. He has been a leader in political matters, as his natural tendencies lead him to occupy first place as a leader among his people. He has been a potent factor in all the political fights which have occurred here. He has a high ideal in politics, and has carried on successfully one of the bitterest fights politically that has ever taken place in the state. He took a prominent and active part in politics while he resided in Lincoln, Nebraska, prior to 1879.

      The poor corn crop of 1884 and the four preceding years had caused an agitation for the formation of a new political party, and some of his neighbors requested him to take the lead in the matter, which he did, hoping in this way to be instrumental in bringing out much needed reforms. A nonpolitical organization was formed here which was called the "Farmers' Justice Union," and Mr. Monson drew up a set of by-laws, the first article of which was justice. The second article is as follows: "The by-laws of this Union shall be according to what justice from time to time shall demand."



      Mr. Monson was the leader of the organization and the first meeting was held in district school number 49. Some outsiders attempted to defeat the object of the meeting, but it was a success notwithstanding their efforts to the contrary, and the people were thus encouraged. The party was made up of the best element of the settlers of the county, and the first reform instituted was to refuse to pay more than ten per cent, interest, where heretofore they had been compelled to pay twenty-four percent. It was successfully carried out as far as the members of the union were concerned. Mr. Monson studied out a plan to use the power of this organization politically for the good of the people at large, and the first campaign was fought in 1887 upon the issue that only such banks as would loan money at ten per cent. could have county funds on deposit. They then joined the anti-monopolists, and made the campaign upon that one issue, and prohibited the county treasurer from accepting any interest from banks for the county funds. These farmers offered a candidate of their own in the person of A. O. Monson, whose bonds they also furnished. The battle was one of the bitterest kind, and was fought without regard to party lines. This organization adhered then to the Union Labor National party, and they carried it through in this county by one hundred and thirty majority, in the face of a most determined opposition, not only of their opponents, but also some of their erstwhile friends. It was one of the greatest victories for the people at large, and the benefit was of the most pronounced type to those who had occasion to borrow money. Mr. Monson then got the new machinery in running order, and experienced the keenest satisfaction in what they had accomplished. They then organized to fight against the railroads, and styled themselves the Farmers Stock and Elevator Company, of Osceola. He then instituted a lawsuit against the Union Pacific Railroad company to compel them to give a site on their tracks for an elevator. They won the case, but it was appealed before the state board, but they were again successful in gaining their point. After that temporary absence he became a member of the Republican party. He became a member of the "Farmers' Alliance" and advocated that the railroad rate on shipments should not be exorbitant, but was unsuccessful in accomplishing this much needed reform. He is a bi-metallism, and is still a member of the Republican party.

      In 1887 Mr. Monson organized a local insurance company covering Polk and adjoining counties. They confined their business exclusively to the Scandinavian settlers, and they now have three hundred thousand dollars in risks at present. They pay fifty cents per year on each one thousand dollars insurance, that is to defray running expenses. It has so far paid all the expenses, besides paying all losses, and they have a five hundred dollars surplus on hand. Mr. Monson has a withdrawal card from the I. O. O. F. He is a man of firm convictions, and is bold in his assertion of them. He is a man of excellent business qualifications, and a character of the highest order, for which he is justly respected by all who know him. His many friends will be pleased to find in this volume a portrait of this worthy citizen. 

Letter/label or barOHN F. FUSBY is successfully pursuing the occupation of a farmer on the fertile soil of section 30, township 13, range 2, in Stromsburg precinct, Polk county, Nebraska. His skill and thorough practical knowledge of his calling have been potent factors in producing the present solid prosperity of the locality. He is yet in the prime of life, but has already won a reputation for business talent and sagacity that will be of great benefit to him in the future.



      He was born March 10, 1853, in Henry county, Iowa, and is a son of John Strong, who died before our subject was born. His mother married Fred. Fusby, in Henry county, Iowa, where they were early settlers. They took up raw land in the timber, which they improved and cultivated, and in 1873 came to Nebraska. They took up as a homestead the farm on which they now reside, and have brought the same from wild unbroken prairie to highly cultivated land. They resided in a sod house for three years, and their first crop was destroyed by the grasshoppers, but in 1875 they succeeded in raising a good crop. The stepfather of our subject died January 6, 1893, and his mother now resides in Stromsburg. By her second marriage the mother of our subject had six children: Mrs. Tilda Baker, William, Emma, now Mrs. Rystrum, Alfred, Henry, and Mary Hughes. The parents were members in good standing of the church, and were devout Christians.

      John F. Fusby was reared and educated in Henry county, Iowa, and received the advantage of a course of study in the common schools of the district in which he resided. He has followed the plow from the age of ten, and when he was twelve years of age he swung the cradle in the harvest field. He was married on November 14, 1876, to Miss Clara Johnson, a native of Sweden, and is the parent of four children, viz.: Elmer E., Emma C., Leonard J., and Rebecca A.

      Mr. Fusby is now the owner and propritor (sic) of one of the finest estates in the county, which consists of two hundred and eighty acres, all of it being under cultivation. He carries on a general farming and stock raising business, and has his land all adorned with the latest and most modern appliances in the way of improvements. He built his present residence in 1878, and now has one of the most desirable pieces of property in the county. He has been the architect of his own fortune, and has secured all he possesses by his own untiring efforts. Politically, he affiliates with the Republican party, and at present is moderator of school district No. 34. He is a thorough believer in the adage that knowledge is power, and is providing his children with a good education, with which they can carve their own way through this life. He has always been a hard worker, and the results of which can readily be perceived by glancing over his well regulated farm, which, when he took possession of it was all raw prairie. He is active, intelligent, and progressive, and is held in high esteem by all to whom he is known. 

Letter/label or barLWOOD C. GILLILAND, one of the leading newspaper men of York county, is editor and proprietor of the Blue Valley Journal published at McCool Junction. He was born in Hancock county, Illinois, February 28, 1870, and is a son of George W. and Mary F. (Smith) Gilliland, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Illinois. George W. Gilliland was a farmer, and in 1884, thinking to benefit his condition, he removed to Ellis county, Kansas, locating on a farm near Hays City, his family joinning (sic) him the following year. In 1893 he removed to Davenport, Nebraska, where he still resides.

      Elwood C. Gilliland, our subject, was educated in the country schools of Hancock county, Illinois, and also at Carthage, in the same county, supplementing this with a course in the high school at Hays City, Kansas. having removed to Kansas with the family when fifteen years of age. For six years he taught school in Ellis county, Kansas, and during vacations learned the printer's trade: In 1894 he went to Davenport, Nebraska, and for about two years was connected with the People's Journal at that place. He then, April j, 1896, leased the plant and



had full charge of it until May 15, 1897. He then established the Blue Valley Journal at McCool Junction, which he has since successfully published. The Journal is an enterprising eight-page paper and is circulated extensively throughout this section. It is essentially a local paper, although broad and aggressive in defending the honest convictions of its editor.

      Mr. Gilliland was married at Davenport, Nebraska, June 9, 1897, to Florence Berkey, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of David A. and Louisa (Phillippi) Berkey, both of whom were natives of the same state.

      Mr. Gilliland is a member of the M. W. A. at McCool junction and takes an active interest in all moves calculated to advance the interests of his home town. Both he and his wife are members of the Evangelical Lutheran church at Davenport, Nebraska. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM H. SMITH, editor and publisher of the Seward Independent Democrat, at Seward, Nebraska, was born in Henry county, Illinois, in 1873, and is a son of William L. and Maria E. (Edwards) Smith, natives of Maryland and Illinois, respectively. The father was a farmer by occupation and removed to Illinois at the close of the Civil war, in which struggle he took part as a member of Company B, Second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving for four years. He participated in many battles and skirmishes, including the engagement at Shiloh, where he was wounded in the knee. He died in 1881. In the family were three sons, but our subject is the only one living in Nebraska.

      William H. Smith was educated in the common schools of Iowa, and at the age of seventeen entered the office of the Tipton Conservative, of Tipton, Iowa, as devil, and there learned the art of printing, remaining in that office until March, 1897.

      Coming to Seward, Nebraska, he then purchased the Seward County Democrat, and in June of the same year bought the Independent, consolidating the two under the present name of the Seward Independent Democrat. The Democrat was established in 1891 and the Independent in 1893, and both have often changed hands. The paper is now the organ of the Democratic and Populist parties of the county, and under the able management of our subject it has become a bright newsy sheet and very popular with the reading public. Mr. Smith takes quite an active and prominent part in political work, and is meeting with good success in the publication of his paper. Socially he belongs to the Knights of Pythias. 

Letter/label or barHOMAS D. WIRT, deceased, was in life one of the best known and highly respected citizens of York county, Nebraska, where he was comfortably situated on a profitable and well improved farm. He was also widely and favorably known as one of the early settlers of the county, and his name is indissolubly connected with the growth and development of this section of the county. He was born in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, July 1, 1832, and was a son of Daniel and Margaret Wirt. His parents were both natives of the "Keystone State," from whence they moved in 1834, to Jackson county, Indiana, where the father followed his trade, which was that of a tanner, until his death in 1851.

      Thomas D. Wirt was the youngest boy in a family of four sons born to his parents, and was but two years of age when he accompanied his folks to Indiana in 1834. He received his education in the common schools of Jackson county, Indiana, where was living, until he had attained the age of seventeen. He then went west and located in Burlington, Iowa, but did not remain there very long, as he soon afterward made



his way to the pineries in Minnesota, where, he worked for two years. Mr. Wirt then returned to Iowa, where he followed agricultural pursuits until 1873, when he came to Nebraska and located a homestead on section 14, of Morton township, York county. The land was all unimproved, and he erected a sod house on the same, in which he made his home until his death.

      Mr. Wirt was a veteran of the late war, in which he served for three years. He enlisted in 1862 in Company E, Thirty-fourth Iowa, as a corporal, and participated in the following battles Arkansas Post, siege of Vicksburg, after which he took part in the Texas campaign, and the battle of Mobile Bay, and several other minor battles and skirmishes. He served his entire term of enlistment, without receiving a wound of any kind, and after the close of hostilities he returned to his home in Iowa, where he resided until he moved to Nebraska in 1873.

      On April 12, 1857, Thomas D. Wirt and Miss Mary A. Holmes were united in the holy bonds of wedlock in Lucas county, Iowa. The bride was a native of Jackson county, Indiana, and a daughter of William S. and Elizabeth (Iseminger) Holmes, who were natives respectively of North Carolina and Ohio. They came to Iowa in 1854, and located in Lucas county, where they made their home until their deaths.

      Mr. and Mrs. Wirt were the parents of four children, as follows: Daniel H.; Maria now Mrs. Isaac Bagnell, of York; Kate, now Mrs. Jasper Kinyon; and Anna K., who is residing at home. He was a member of the Christian church, and a devout believer in its precepts. In his political belief, he was a stanch supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and though he ably filled the office of township supervisor he never sought political preferment. Mr. Wirt departed this life on the 12th of February, 1885, and his demise occasioned many expressions of condolence to his bereaved family, as he was very well acquainted and known throughout the entire county. He was one of its representative citizens, and his death was a sad blow to both his family and the community at large, as the family mourned a husband and father, while the county lost one of her most prominent citizens. 

Letter/label or barHOMAS ALEXANDER HUSTON, a thrifty and enterprising farmer residing on section 7, Chelsea township, Fillmore county, Nebraska, was born in Washington county, Indiana, September 22, 1827, a son of David Mitchell and Elizabeth (Thompson) Huston. His paternal grandparents were Alexander and Margaret (Mitchell) Huston, who were of Scotch-Irish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Thomas and Isabel (Baker) Thompson, who were of Irish extraction. Our subject was reared on the old home farm in Indiana, where he continued to reside until coming to Nebraska in February, 1882. He was educated in the public schools of his day, pursuing his studies in a school house built of round logs, the cracks being filled with mortar. The seats were also of logs hewed off on one side, with pins for legs, and the desks were of rough boards placed on pins driven into the wall. One log extending across the room was cut out to admit the light, and the place was heated by a huge fireplace, six feet wide, in which were burned great logs of beech, oak, maple, and hickory. It was here that our subject learned to read and "cipher to the single rule of three," and since then his knowledge has been acquired by contact with the outside world.

      After the death of the mother on the 16th of July, 1846, the father and children kept house by themselves, until, becoming tired of this, our subject decided to secure, if possible, a wife, and at the same time some one to cook his meals for him. His choice



fell upon Miss Susan Jane Drain, with whom he had been acquainted a year, and on the 12th of December, 1848, they were united in marriage. She is a native of Kentucky, and in 1847 removed to Indiana with her parents, Stephen and Nancy (Pearce) Drain. Her paternal grandfather was Thomas Drain, and her maternal grandparents were Adam and Ona (Graves) Pearce.

      On leaving the old homestead in February, 1882, Mr. Huston loaded his effects into a car, and with his wife and children, proceeded to Fairmont, Fillmore county, Nebraska. He located npon (sic) a farm which he had purchased two years previously, it consisting of the southwest quarter of section 7, Chelsea township, where he has since made his home. Upon the place is a fine bearing orchard of apples, plums, and cherry trees, and the wife, remembering the fruit trees of her native state, planted peach seeds, so that they now have thirty peach trees which are just beginning to bear fruit. Besides these they have an abundance of currants, gooseberries, strawberries, etc. The buildings upon the place are in perfect harmony with the well-tilled fields, and the neat and thrifty appearance of the farm plainly indicates the supervision of a careful and painstaking owner. In connection with general farming he is also interested in raising horses, cattle, and hogs.

     Of the nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. Huston, five are still living, namely: (1) David B. married Flora Brownell, daughter of Benjamin Brownell, of Tekamah, Burt county, Nebraska, where they now reside. To them were born seven children, six of whom are living, namely: Lela M., Claud B., Mabel, Alice, Walter L. and Clara B. (2) Leander is with his parents. (3) Lillie B. is the wife of Henry Muhlenber, who owns and operates a farm in Bennett township, Fillmore county, and they have one child, Jennie I. (4) Ellen N. is the wife of Albert Ewalt, also of Bennett township, and they have one daughter, Susan E. (5) Nannie L. is at home and oversees the housekeeping, while her brother, known as "Lee," has charge of the farming operations, and whenever crops are raised in the county he can duplicate the best. Father and son are both identified with the Republican party, and have an abiding faith in its principles. Mr. Huston cast his first presidential vote for General Taylor, and has always taken an active and commendable interest in public affairs. Formerly he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, but since coming to Nebraska has never united with any religious organization, though his wife and Miss Nannie are members of the Methodist Episcopal church in Geneva. 

Letter/label or barDWARD CHATTIN, one of the most prosperous agriculturists and highly respected citizens of York county, whose home is on section 18, Leroy township, was born in Essex county, England, June 27, 1834, a son of John and Mary (Fiske) Chattin, natives of Suffolk county. The paternal grandfather was also a native of England, but was of Scotch descent. John Chattin, who was a thatcher by trade, emigrated with his family to the United States in 1848, but his wife died on the voyage when about mid-ocean and was buried at sea. They made the passage on an American sailing vessel, which, owing to very rough weather, was six weeks in reaching the harbor of New York. By steamboat they proceeded up the Hudson to Albany, by the Erie canal to Buffalo, by steamer to Cleveland, then by an extension of the Erie canal to Beaver, on the Ohio river, whence they traveled by steamboat to St. Louis, and up the Mississippi to Canton, Missouri. Going ashore before breakfast, Mr. Chattin fortunately discovered a party of campers who were on their way to Schuy-

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