NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center
On-Line Library



dren, six of whom are still alive. They are Amelia A., Sophia E., Naomi L., Adaline, Henry A. and LaVerna. Sophia was married while her parents lived in Iowa, February 24, 1876, and now lives with her husband at Miller, a railroad station in South Dakota. Naomi married George Eckerson, and resides in York. Adaline is the wife of Alanson Eberhart, and has her home in York. The other children are still under the maternal wing, and have not left the farm. Henry takes much of the responsibility of the work since his father's death, and practically carries on the farm. La Verna, the youngest daughter, is a teacher of approved skill and standing, having taught seven terms. At the present time she is not engaged in the school-room, but is devoting herself to the care of her mother, and trying to make what sunshine she can for her last days. 

Letter/label or barRTHUR M. ROBSON has been prominently and actively identified with the agricultural interests of Thayer township, York county, since pioneer days, and has borne an important part in its upbuilding and prosperity. He was born on the 27th of July, 1837, on the Isle of Bute, Scotland while his parents, Thomas and Ann (Manning) Robson, were natives of England, but of Scotch lineage. Throughout his active business life the father was a government gauger. Both he and his wife died in Lincolnshire, England. In their family were seven sons and four daughters, of whom three sons came to America, two being residents of York county, Nebraska, the other a printer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

      As soon as he had attained a sufficient age, Arthur M. Robson entered the public schools of England, where he pursued his studies until fourteen, when he accepted a position as clerk in a railroad office, being thus employed for sixteen years. He was married in that country, in 1859, to Miss Sarah Bell, a native of England, and a daughter of Robert and Amy Bell, residents of Peterboro, where the father engaged in contracting and building. The following children have been born of this union: Frank P., Horace, Annie, Charles S., Arthur, Rhoda M., Fannie S., Alfred E., all living, and two who died in infancy.

     In 1870 Mr. Robson emigrated to America, and first located at Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he found employment on the Union Pacific bridge, which was then being constructed across the Missouri river at that point. In 1871 he came to York county. Nebraska, and filed a homestead claim, but did not bring his family here until 1873. Their first home, which was a rude dugout, has been replaced by a good frame residence, and all of the improvements upon the farm stand as monuments to the industry, enterprise and perseverance of the owner, who has labored untiringly in transforming the wild land into a highly cultivated tract. When he secured the land from the government his nearest neighbor was five miles away, and almost the entire county was still in its primitive condition. He has never regretted coming to the new world, for here he has gained a comfortable home and competence for himself and family, and is now the owner of a half section of land, on which he is extensively engaged in stock raising as well as farming. In politics he is independent, and has been called upon to serve his fellow citizens as school director, and as town clerk for six years. In the Church of England he and his family hold membership. 

Letter/label or barENRY H. WELLER, is widely known as one of the leading merchants of Staplehurst, Nebraska. He has won his present position by the display of qualities




that are seldom found combined in one tradesman, but when they are, they give command of the situation. He began very modestly in commerce, and by strict attention to business, the careful study of the wants of his patrons, and catering to their comfort, has been remarkably successful for so young a man.

      Mr. Weller is of southern birth, and was born in the city of New Orleans February 14, 1862. His parents were George and Catherine (Meyer) Weller. His father was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, and his mother in Hanover. They were both brought to this country when very young, and their parents settled in New Orleans. She came over the ocean in 1836, and her advent preceded his by eight years. They became acquainted in the southern city, and were married there about the year 1857. For many years their home continued there, and it was not until 1883 that they were seen in Seward county. The husband and father died in 1890, but the wife and mother is still living and has attained a very venerable age. They were the parents of two sons, both of whom are residents of this county.

      The gentleman whose name introduces this article is indebted to the scholastic institutions of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for his more advanced education. On the completion of his school days he came directly to this county. He entered mercantile pursuits, and became the manager of the large store of Herman Diers. He continued with him for three years, and went into business for himself in 1884. He opened a general store, which has quickly become an important center of trade and fashion for a wide circle. He holds his trade and commands an increasing patronage. He was married to Lissete Scheumann in 1886. She is an estimable lady and has many friends. She has presented her husband with six children, all of whom are living. Their names are Lissete, Henry W., Clara M., George H., Fred C., and Louisa S. Mr. and Mrs. Weller are members of the German Lutheran church. He is a Republican, but has! never sought an office. His home, his church, and his business are a world large enough for him, and beyond them his thoughts have never cared to stay. 

Letter/label or barIRAM Y. DIEMER, a public-spirited enterprising farmer and stock-raiser of Butler county, stands among the foremost men of his calling. He has devoted his life to agricultural pursuits almost exclusively, and is the proprietor of as good a farm as can be found in Olive township, his home being located there in section 10, where he settled in January, 1874. He was born in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, January 25, 1833.

      His father, Michael Diemer, was born in the same county and state and was a carpenter and shoemaker by trade, and his wife, our subject's mother, Susan (Rasley) Diemer, was also a native of Pennsylvania. Both the father and mother were of German ancestors. They moved to Stephenson county, Illinois, in 1847, and settled on a farm near Freeport.

      Our subject was married in Stephenson county, Illinois, January 13, 1859, to Miss Hester Clingman, daughter of Abner Clingman, of Stephenson county, Illinois, and a sister of Judge Clingman, of Butler county. Their children were born in Stephenson county. The oldest, Arthur B., is now a resident of Butler county, Nebraska. He married Miss Rosa McKellips, daughter of Darwin, a sketch of whom will appear on another page of this volume, and one son, Arthur Wayne, has been born to them. Eda F. Baer, the oldest daughter, is the wife of William Baer, of Butler county, Nebraska; and Addie L. is the wife of David Miller, also a resident of Butler county.



     Mr. Diemer is a Republican in political views and has used his influence and elective franchises in the support of the candidates of that party since its organization, and although he has never taken a very active part in political affairs, he is always ready to lend a helping hand in all matters which tend to the upbuilding or strengthening of good government. He and his wife are both charter members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are zealous, devoted workers of that denomination. Mr. Diemer is also endowed with activity, persistence, and a good capacity for well-directed labor, which have placed him in the forefront among the farmers of his vicinity, and his labors have been rewarded by the acquisition of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, well stocked and equipped with all modern conveniences, and his is one of the pleasant and attractive homes of the county.

      Arthur B. Diemer, our subject's oldest son, although he is still a young man, occupies a place of considerable prominence in Butler county. At the early age of eighteen years he fitted himself for the profession of a school-teacher, and, with the exception of one year spent in a drug store in David City, he has, since been continuously engaged in teaching. He is at present also performing the duties of town clerk of Olive township. 

Letter/label or barETER NELSON.--The story of the wonderful physical resources of America and of the opportunities offered to honest toil and industry to gain a footing in business and, society, have attracted here many natives of kingdom of Sweden. And it affords us great pleasure to devote a few brief paragraphs to the record of the life of one of those sturdy pioneers, who have been instrumental in the building of an empire. Mr. Nelson is one of the representative agriculturists of Polk county, where, on section 19, of township 14, range 2, he has a fine farm of 160 acres. He was born January 25, 1846, in Sweden, and is a son of Nels Hanson, who was a farmer by occupation and died in Sweden.

      Mr. Nelson passed his boyhood days, and grew to manhood, in his native land. He received the advantages of a good education, and followed the occupation of a farmer. He emigrated to the United States in 1868, and landed at New York city, from whence he proceeded to Moline, Illinois. He remained therefor a while engaging in various kinds of work. He next located in Warren county, of the same state, and secured work on a farm, where he remained four years. At the end of that time he rented a farm in the same county, on which he resided for a number of years. In 1882 he came to Osceola, where he has since resided, having purchased the farm which he now owns before he settled permanently in the county. It was all raw and unbroken prairie when he took possession of it in 1883, but by diligent and unremitting toil he has succeeded in bringing the same to a high state of cultivation. The farm consists of 160 acres of land, one hundred acres of which are under cultivation. He has put in all the present improvements, and in 1886, he built an addition to his barn, and in 1897 he replaced the frame house which he first erected on his land by a modern and commodious dwelling.

      Mr. Nelson was joined in the holy bonds of matrimony in 1871 to Matilda Mary Danielson, a native of Sweden, born there June 25, 1854. There have been eleven children born to bless this union, of whom we have the following record; Albert, Ellen, Cecil, Annie, Amanda, Hilma, Gustave, Oscar, Esther, Myrtle. The family are members in good standing of the Swedish Lutheran church at Swede Home. Mr. Nelson was one of the trustees of the above church, and is the present treasurer of the Polk



county Fair association, which position he has been holding for the last five years. In political matters he uses his elective franchise in support of the candidates of the Populist party, and is a regular attendant at all the conventions of that party of which he is one of the charter members. He was a member of the school board of district No. 61. Before he came to America he served in the Swedish army. Mr. Nelson has, by thrift and economy, succeeded in amassing enough to enable him to pass the remainder of his days in idleness. He is a very pleasant neighbor, congenial companion, and has an agreeable family, and resides in one of the most hospitable homes in the township. He is well known and highly respected for his uprightness of character, and strict integrity. 

Letter/label or barREDERICK C. HARTMAN was born in Prussia, December 15, 1845. His parents, Frederick and Caroline (Oeting) Hartman, came to the United States in the same year, and in 1852 they came to Iowa. There they remained until 1868, when the family removed to Seward county. The father died in 1897. They were the parents of three children, all boys, two of whom are residing in Seward county at this time. The mother died in Iowa in 1862. Mr. Hartman was reared and educated in Indiana and Iowa, and began farming in the latter state, and followed that calling there until 1865, when he came to Nebraska, but did not locate here at that time, but two years later, in 1867, he came to Seward county, and took up a homestead. He erected a dug-out and lived in that for some time, and then built a log house, and then began breaking out a farm. He owned this farm until 1878, when he disposed of it and removed to Gates (sic) county, Nebraska, and took up land in that county, remaining there until 1895, when he disposed of that farm and again returned to Seward county, buying a quarter section, on which farm he has since made his home. In 1863, when the war clouds were floating so heavily over our land, he enlisted in Company B, Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteers, but did not take part in any active service.

      Mr. Hartman was married in Seward county, in 1870, to Miss Dora Hornburg, who was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, and came to the United States in 1868, and they are the parents of seven children, six boys and one girl, as follows: James F., Alexander W., Walter W., Harry H., Arthur J., Roy G., and Beatrice F., all of whom are living. In his political views, Mr. Hartman is a stanch Republican, but has never sought nor filled any office. When Mr. Hartman first settled on Lincoln creek, it was a wild and unsettled region, there being but two other settlers there beside him, they living above and below him, and he can remember very distinctly when the Indians were around there, and had considerable trouble with them, as they used to steal every thing that was loose. He has been very successful and has a nice home, and a farm under a high state of cultivation. 

Letter/label or barSCAR SWANSON is a successful farmer of York county, Nebraska, and has his home near Bradshaw. He belongs to that coterie of Swedish American agriculturists, who have done so much to make this county blossom like a garden, and the history of the county could not be fairly written without his name.

      Mr. Swanson was born in Buffalo, New York, November 27, 1852, into which city his parents had come from Sweden a little more than a year before. The father did not keep his family long in New York, making the first stopping place of his westward journey in St. Charles, Illinois, and then not satisfied with his surroundings came to



Jefferson county, Iowa. He afterward removed to Henry county, that state, where he bought eighty acres of land and went to farming. The young Oscar did not begrudge giving his time and labor to his father until he was twenty-one. The family were on the farm, and it had to be paid for, and the children labored gladly for the sake of the home it promised for the father and mother. He was married to Miss Charlotte Burke, February 11,1874, in Swedsburg, Iowa. He bought a forty-acre tract near that town, and farmed it in that community for three or four years. But the opportunity was too small, and he sold out his little establishment and, putting his belongings into a covered wagon, started for York county, Nebraska, an overland journey of some four hundred miles. He made his first appearance in this county in the fall of 1878, and rented a farm which he operated for several years. In four years he saved money enough to pay for a farm of 160 acres, which under his faithful care has become a valuable place. Here his family remained for several years when his wife died, leaving him alone. December 12, 1889, he remarried, Miss Emma Norquist becoming his wife. She is a daughter of John P. Norquist, and is the mother of three children, Ephraim Eugene, Lilly Otilia and Violet Elnora.

      Mr. and Mrs. Swanson have a happy home and are well situated. They have a fine farm, which is well tilled and is thoroughly improved. The various farm buildings are commodious and kept in a clean and healthy condition. The farm abounds in orchard trees, including all best varieties, and an abundance of small fruits. He is only forty-six years of age and his wife is thirteen years younger. They are still in the morning of life, and command the hearty respect of all good people who know them. They believe in the church and the school and are members of the Lutheran order, and, following the tenets of the church, are not associated with any secret order. He is a wide-awake and interested member of the Republican organization of his township and has never voted any other ticket. He is actively engaged in its various organizations, and feels it still has a work to do for the good of the country. 

Letter/label or bar. N. LOGAN, who is now living on section 34, Stewart township, is recognized as one of the most intelligent and skillful farmers of York county. In connection with the raising of grain he gives considerable attention to stock, and is pursuing the even tenor of his way as an honest man and good citizen, furthering the good of the community as he has opportunity and enjoying the respect of his neighbors. His early home was in Whiteside county, Illinois, where he was born October 24, 1845.

      John Smith and Elizabeth (Warren) Logan, our subject's parents, were both natives of New York state. His paternal grandfather, Robert Logan, was a native of county Monaghan, Ireland, and on coming to the United States in 1809, took up his residence in Steuben county, New York. His maternal grandfather, Russell Warren, was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and belonged to an old and distinguished family of that state, of which General Warren, who was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill, was also a representative. In 1836 the parents of our subject emigrated to Whiteside county, Illinois, upon government land, just after the Indians left that region, and there the father improved a good farm, upon which he made his home for forty years. He then moved to the village of Prophetstown, Illinois. His death occurred in 1887 while visiting in York county, Nebraska, and his remains were interred in the United Brethern



cemetery here. His wife had died in 1863 and was buried in the Sharon cemetery, Whiteside county, Illinois. In 1844 they reunited with the Presbyterian church and died in that faith, honored and respected by all who knew them. They reared a family of eight children, four of whom are still living: H. N., George E., Addis C. and Robert B. Of these our subject and his brother George were soldiers of the Civil war.

      In the county of his nativity, H. N. Logan was reared in much the usual manner of farmer boys. On the 3d of March, he enlisted in Company B, Thirty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and after joining his company at Dixon, Illinois, went into camp at Springfield. He then proceeded to New York city by way of Rochester, Buffalo and Albany, was then sent to Beaufort and Goldsboro, N. C., where he joined the regiment, where they were engaged in skirmishing, and was in Raleigh at the time of Johnston's surrender. They then went to Richmond, Virginia, Fortress Monroe and Washington, District of Columbia, and after participating in the grand review, went to Louisville, Kentucky, where they were mustered out. At Chicago, Mr. Logan was paid off and returned home July 18, 1865.

      In 1871 he came to York county, Nebraska, and took up a claim, consisting of the southwest quarter of section 34, Stewart township. While breaking the wild land he engaged in teaching school during the winter months. The year of his arrival he raised some garden vegetables and planted about eight acres in sod corn, but the winter set in early and the deer ate every ear of his crop. In 1872 he raised a good crop of wheat, oats and corn. For six years his home was a sod house, and it was then replaced by his present comfortable and commodious residence. Of his two hundred and forty acre farm he has placed one hundred and fifty acres under plow, and has many improvements on the place which add to its value and attractive appearance.

      On the 29th of April, 1874, Mr. Logan was united in marriage with Miss Annie M. Runyan, a native of Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Robinson) Runyan, who came to York county in 1870 and located on the northwest quarter of section 24, Waco township. There the father improved a farm, on which he and his wife died. Their children were Almira Allie, deceased, Thomas, a resident of Waco, Nebraska; Mrs. Almeda Olmstead; Mrs. Jennie Parsons; Samuel R.; James B.; Mrs. Annie M. Logan, and John W. Mr. and Mrs. Logan have eight children: Bertha M., Dora, Hannah, Nelson G., John A., Samuel R., Almira A. and Herman E.

      In his social relations Mr. Logan is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Gresham, and Gresham Post, G. A. R., while in politics he is identified with the Republican party. For ten years he has been assessor in his precinct, supervisor of Stewart township three terms, a member of the school board twenty-five years, and moderator of school district No. 35 at the present time. 

Letter/label or barOHN FOLEY is a not unworthy representative of the Irish race in America. He is a wealthy farmer in Bradshaw township, York county, and has his children close about him. He is somewhat advanced in years, has traveled over extensive regions, and declares he has not seen as fine a farming country as York county affords anywhere from Ireland to Illinois.

      John Foley was born in county Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1836. His father was Patrick Foley, who left Ireland in 1849 for this country. He landed in New Orleans and went straight to St. Louis, where he



remained for about a year. His next stop ping place was Peoria, Illinois, which was a small town at the time. He lived here about twelve years, when he died, and his remains now rest in the city cemetery. The mother of the subject of this writing died before the family left Ireland, and the son, as soon as he was able to shift for himself, went to work for the surrounding farmers, receiving at first fifteen dollars. He worked for five years for this rate and saved almost all his money. When he was a little older, he met Miss Donnevan, and made her his wife in 1857. He was in DeWitt county, Illinois, at that time, but after his marriage returned to Peoria, where he lived until 1861. The war broke out, and he was among the first to respond to the call for soldiers. He enlisted in Company E, Forty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under the command of Captain Thomas Lynch. The regiment was in the battles of Spanish Fort, and Blakeley, where he was wounded. He served throughout the war, and was discharged January 21, 1866. He returned to Peoria, and made his home in that city until 1873, when the removed to this county. He filed a soldier's homestead claim on a fourth of section 20, township 11, range 4 west, and has added to it by purchase enough to constitute a farm of two hundred and eighty acres. His dwelling-house has cost him over fifteen hundred dollars, and his ham is worth four hundred. He has improved his farm with apple and cherry orchards, and is very pleasantly situated in his later life He has done a good work for the county He is not yet an old man, and is in splendid health. He is retired from active farm work, and is living in the village of Bradshaw with his family. He has been twice married, and had, by his first wife, three boys and two girls, who are now in business for themselves with their own homes Their names are Michael, James, Martin, Lizzie Nevils, Mollie Fusy, and Hattie Layton. By his second wife he had two children, John and Agnes. She was a widow, and had one child before her marriage with Mr. Foley, Addie Piper. He has settled his children around him, having given to each of them a piece of land, and all are doing well.

      Mr. Foley has been a life-long Catholic and believes in the old apostolic way of worshiping (sic) God. He is a free silver Democrat, and, as he says, proposes to stand by that principle until the government returns to fundamental principles of justice and right. 

Letter/label or barARWIN McKELLIPS.--This gentleman is the fortunate owner of one of the fine estates of Olive township, Butler county, where he settled in April, 1871. He was born in Erie county, New York, May 14, 1824, a son of Samuel McKellips. The father, who was of Irish descent, moved to Erie county, New York, from Bradford, Vermont. Of his family our subject is the fifth child in the order of birth, and the second son. The oldest brother, Dennis, died in Illinois, where the family was living at that time. One sister, Elizabeth Hecker, is now living in Adair county, Missouri, and another, Rosana Betts, is living in Umatilla, Oregon.

      The subject of our sketch lived in Erie county, New York, until he was seventeen years of age, and then moved with his parents to Adams county, Illinois, where the parents located on a farm. Here our subject spent the remaining years of his boyhood, and November 3, 1850, was united in marriage to Miss Martha Wittekiend, daughter of Thomas Wittekiend, a farmer of Adams county, Illinois. Their first child; a daughter, died in infancy, and of the rest we have the following record: Samuel T., born in Adams county, Illinois, now resides



in Butler county, Nebraska; James, was born in Hancock county, Illinois; Helen, wife of Oscar Fox, of Butler county; Carrie, wife of Stuart Lichliter, of Butler county, Nebraska; Millard F., now living in Lincoln county, Nebraska; Emery C., of Butler county, Nebraska; Phylander D., Butler county, Nebraska; Rosa E., wife of Arthur Diemer, of Butler county, Nebraska; Sadie and Jerusha, the latter of whom was born in Butler county, Nebraska;

      Our subject and Mrs. McKellips are still living on the farm on which they first settled in Nebraska and their large family are among the business and social leaders of the county. He is a very pleasant neighbor, genial, warm-hearted, and lives in one of the most hospitable homes of the township. He has labored hard on his farm to make it one of the best stock and grain farms in the county, and has provided it with commodious and cozy home, and outbuildings that are convenient and substantial in their construction. It has been the great aim of his life to launch his children out upon the sea of life well equipped, and it is gratifying to see each one well established in business and recognized as useful and respected members of society. 

Letter/label or barNTHONY PROHASKA, whose portrait is presented with this sketch, has for twenty years been a well-known farmer of York county and an important factor in its public life. He belongs to that class of representative citizens, who in the face of difficulties and obstacles have the determination and will to work their way upward and gain that success which is desired of all. Industrious, energetic, progressive and honorable, he has won a desirable property, and gained the confidence and good will of all with whom he has been brought in contact.

      Mr. Prohaska was born near Vienna, Austria, May 7, 1848, a son of Adam and Elizabeth (Straka) Prohaska. The father was a Bohemian, and the place of his birth was in Austria, his natal day being December 25, 1815. He not only spoke his own language, but was also well educated in the German tongue, and after coming to America gained a fair knowledge of English. When our subject was ten years of age the father emigrated to the United States with his family. He had engaged passage in a steamer, but when he presented himself at Bremen he found that the vessel had already sailed so he made the trip on a sailing vessel. The voyage consumed fifty-four days, and the family were somewhat impatient, for they had expected to complete the trip in a very few days, but when they learned that the steamer on which they had expected to embark had never reached port, they felt very thankful that Providence had interfered to save them from a watery grave. After five days spent in New York they proceeded to Johnson county, Iowa, where the father secured a farm. In addition to its cultivation he carried on carpentering, having learned that trade in his native land, and in Johnson county he made his home until within three years of his death, which occurred in his eighty-first year. He was a faithful Christian and a life-long member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

     At the age of fifteen Anthony Prohaska left his father's home and started out in life for himself. On the 12th of May, 1863, he left Iowa City to drive cattle across the plains to Denver. For nearly two years he remained in Colorado, leaving Fort Collins in February, 1865, for Montana, by way of Salt Lake City. He worked on a ranch in Montana for some time, becoming acquainted with the irrigation methods of that district and also with many of the hardships of western frontier life. He next visited Salt Lake City and Fort Benton and then went




Picture button


Horz. bar

Prior page
TOC part 2
Next page

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