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teer Infantry, under Colonel Black, ex-commissioner of pensions. For three years he was in active service in the south and took part in the battles of Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove, Arkansas, the siege of Vicksburg, and numerous skirmishes. On the expiration of his term of enlistment, he was honorably discharged in 1864 and returned to Illinois, where he made his home until coming to Nebraska in 1872. In York county, he secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres on section 18, Thayer township, erected a sod house thereon, and moved into it. Ten years later a good frame dwelling was built and in it the family still reside.

      On the 8th of December, 1864, occurred the marriage of Mr. Taylor and Miss Jane Downey, daughter of John and Martha (Jamison) Downey, and a native of Ireland, whence she came to the United states in 1861. To them have been born twelve children, as follows: Hettie I.; John J., deceased; Frank W., deceased; Benjamin H.; Willie, deceased; Mattie; Evana; Norman, deceased; Joseph; Jessie; Samuel; and Walter. The family hold membership in the Presbyterian church of Benedict, and in politics Mr. Taylor is identified with the Republican party. For six years he has most creditably served as justice of the peace, and has been an efficient member of the school board in his district for eleven years. He is held in high regard by the entire community in which he has so long made his home. 

Letter/label or barENRY WOOD is one of the honored pioneers of Butler county, having settled here in February, 1871, and has since engaged in agricultural pursuits on section 22, Platte township, with most excellent results. His farm, with its tasteful and substantial buildings, its neat fences and its general air of thrift and comfort, forms one of the most attractive spots in the landscape of the township.

      Mr. Wood first opened his eyes to the light of day November 10, 1840, in Yorkshire, England, and is a son of Abraham and Mary Wood. At the early age of twelve years he entered the employ of a railroad company, and continued to follow that occupation until coming to America in 1871. In his native land he married Miss Harriet Doughty, who died in Nebraska in 1875, leaving five children: Henry A., Samuel W. and Clara R. (now the wife of Fred Hereford), who are not residents of Butler county; and Ernest A. and Alfred V., who have been reared by the second wife of our subject, and treated by her as her own children. In 1876 Mr. Wood married Araminta Swan, a native of Coles county, Illinois, who came to Nebraska in 1865. Her parents were William M. and Rhoda (Briscoe) Swan, and she traces her ancestry back to early colonial days. Her maternal grandfather was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and fought under General Washington. He was of English descent, while his wife was of Scotch lineage. By his second union Mr. Wood has five children, namely: John James, Rhoda P., Ethel S., Charles Henry and Marion I.

      Crossing the Atlantic to try his fortune in the new world, Mr. Wood landed in New York city, in January, 1871, and at once proceeded to Nebraska, passing through Burlington, Iowa, and Ashland, this state, on his way to Butler county. Being thoroughly familiar with railroad work, it was at first his intention to engage in that occupation in this country, but seeing an opportunity of getting a home for himself and family, he came to this region and for eighty-six dollars purchased a claim of eighty acres in Platte township, Butler county. He prospered in his new undertaking, and is to-day the owner of a fine farm of two hundred acres, which is well-



improved and under a high state of cultivation. As a citizen and business man he stands high in the esteem of his neighbors. In the various enterprises inaugurated for the advancement of the community he has been a cheerful and ready assistant, and takes a lively interest in the progress of the people around him. Both he and his wife are sincere and faithful members of the Methodist church, and are held in high regard by all who know them. 

Letter/label or barOHN W. STRAIGHT, M. D.--Among those who devote their energies to the practice of medicine and surgery and have gained a leading place in the ranks of the profession is Dr. Straight, who in a comparatively short time has built up an excellent practice in Benedict and surrounding country. He was born in Brown county, Ohio, February 22, 1868, and is a son of Francis M. and Louise (Euans) Straight, highly respected farming people. In 1881 the father removed to Omaha, Nebraska, but now makes his home in Wyoming. The Doctor's early education was secured in the common schools of his native state, and after the removal of the family to Omaha, he became a student in the schools of that city. On starting out in life for himself he was first employed as a stenographer and typewriter at Omaha in the state office of the Phenix Insurance Company of Brooklyn, and most acceptably filled that position for five years.

      In the meantime Dr. Straight had begun the study of medicine, and in 1888 entered the Omaha Medical college, from which institution he graduated with the class of 1891. This was supplemented by a year spent in the Douglas County hospital, where he gained an excellent practical knowledge of the science of medicine and surgery. In 1892 he opened an office in Louisville, Nebraska, where he remained for a year and a half, then moved to Curtis, and in 1895 came to Benedict. He is a progressve member of his profession, who keeps abreast of the latest discoveries and. theories by his perusal of medical journals, and his skill and ability are attested by the liberal patronage he enjoys, and which rank him among the leading physicians of York county.

      At Curtis, Nebraska, Dr. Straight was married, in 1894, to Miss Elizabeth Bower,. a native of Illinois, and they now have a little daughter, Ruth E. Both hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, and the Doctor is also identified with the State and York County Medical societies,. the Masonic Order, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Home Forum, and the Modern Brotherhood association. In his political affiliations he is a Republican, but has no desire for office, preferring to give his undivided attention to his large and constantly growing practice. 

Letter/label or bar. W. HOOPS is a prominent citizen and. pioneer of precinct C, Seward county, is his settlement here dating from 1866. He one of Ohio's honored sons, his birth occurring in Columbiana county, that state, November 10, 1843. His parents, Thomas W. and Elizabeth (Elliott) Hoops, were both natives of Pennsylvania, but in early life removed to Ohio, where the father followed farming until 1880. It was in that year that he removed to Gage county, Nebraska, where he spent the remainder of his life, passing away October 8, 1894. In his family were four sons, but our subject is the only one living in this state.

      The public schools of Ohio afforded Mr. Hoops his educational privileges, and when old enough he began to work on the home farm, thus acquiring an excellent knowledge of every branch of agriculture. Choosing the occupation to which he was reared as a life work, he followed farming in Ohio.



until 1866, when he came to Nebraska and took up a homestead in C township, Seward county, where he now resides. Upon his place he erected a sod house and at once commenced the improvement and cultivation of his land. He now owns a quarter section, comprising one of the most fertile and productive tracts in Seward county, and is successfully engaged in its operation. Although his early life here was filled with many hardships, he is to-day reaping the reward of his industry in the enjoyment of a comfortable competence and pleasant home.

     In April, 1871, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Hoops and Miss Lydia J. McFadden, a native of Indiana, and they have become the parents of six children, as follows: H. Harrison, Machus, Lyman H., Cora J., George and Rosie, all living. Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Hoops are members of the Presbyterian church, while socially he belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen arid the Modern Woodmen of America, and politically is a supporter of the Republican party. Wherever known they are held in high regard. 

Letter/label or barR. ROBERT McCONAUGHY, York's leading physician, was born in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, April 6, 1852, a son of James and Harriett (Shallenberger) McConaughy, both of whom were born in Pennsylvania.

      James McConaughy was born at Ligonier, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, in the year 1810, a son of John and Margaret McConaughy, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. James McConaughy was educated in the common schools of Pennsylvania and the Washington and Jefferson College. He then spent some time at farming and at the carpenter trade, spending his leisure time reading medicine.

      In 1838 he entered the Jefferson Medical College, of Philadelphia, although he was compelled to work his way through college and practice some before completing his course. After graduating in 1845, he practiced in Pleasant Unity two years. In 1840 he moved to Mount Pleasant and made that his home and base of operations until 1886, when he moved to York, Nebraska, where he still resides, Since moving to Nebraska, he has not practiced medicine. He had four brothers who were physicians, only one of whom, David W., is now living. He is still practicing in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. James, our subject's father, was vicepresident of the State Medical Society of Pennsylvania in 1865, and president of the Westmoreland County Medical Society in 1859. He was married in 1844, and five children, two sons and three daughters, blessed his home. Of this family, our subject is the oldest son and second child, and one son and one daughter are now dead.

      Dr. Robert McConaughy, the subject of our sketch, was educated at the academy of Mount Pleasant, and at Lafayette College at Easton, Pennsylvania. He began reading medicine under his father in 1872, and in 1873 he entered the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, and in 1875 he graduated and began practice in partnership with his father. One year later he moved to Scottdale, and remained there four years. He then returned to Mount Pleasant, and in 1885, moved from thence to York, Nebraska, and has made that his home continuously since. He is a member of the York County Medical Society, and first vice-president of the State Medical Society, and for five years was railway surgeon for the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley railroad, and is the present surgeon of the Burlington & Missouri River railroad. He has been a member of the United States pension board for the past eleven years. In



politics he is a Republican and is an ardent worker in that organization.

      Dr. McConaughy was married in 1892 to Miss Floy Lawrence, a native of Iowa. The Doctor is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and held the office of grand medical examiner for Nebraska, in the latter organization, two years. He and his wife are both members of the Presbyterian church. 

Letter/label or barEORGE W. SMITH, for many years a leading citizen of Geneva, Nebraska, and long identified with prominent commercial enterprises of Fillmore county, has had a somewhat varied career, and has won his present enviable standing in the financial world by the exercise of those primal instincts of honesty, enterprise and integrity that are common to human nature. But he has had a clearer business vision perhaps than most men, and has been a little quicker to take advantage of the drift of events. He has inherited a good name, and traces his descent from the Mayflower voyagers through his maternal ancestry.

      Mr. Smith was born in Hillsdale county, Michigan, December 10, 1846, and was a son in the family of Job A. and Hannah (Wiborn) Smith. His father was a native of New Jersey, and came from a Scotch family which traces its origin back to German sources. His mother's family was purely English in its earlier days, and established itself on the soil of Massachusetts with the heroic company of those who came to a then untrodden wilderness, seeking peace and liberty of conscience. Job Smith was a farmer in New York, where he had come as a young man and where he had early married. He followed a westward tide of emigration at an early day and entered into the milling business near Adrian, Michigan, which he followed for many years.

      He died at the home of his son, the subject of this sketch, in Geneva, about a dozen years ago. His mother died in or about 1873 or '74. George was a child when his parents moved to Michigan, and was only nine years old when they went to Ionia county. They remained there two years, and then found a home in Branch county, where he remained until he had reached twenty-four years of age. He had good educational advantages, and for some time was a student in the high school at Coldwater. His father was a miller at Adrian, but was a farmer for the remainder of his life, and his children were mostly reared on the farm. The farm is a good place to grow men, and there deep draughts of vital energy have been taken by those who have swayed the affairs of the world.

      When Mr. Smith had passed his twenty-fourth birthday he left home and struck out for himself. He joined a brother in Owasso, who was in the drug business and a practicing physician as well. He became interested in the study of medicine, and devoted much time to it. He sold out his interest in the store and went to Detroit to take a course of lectures in the Homeopathic college. He did not complete the full course, but returned to Owasso, and spent some time as assistant in his brother's office while pursuing his studies still further. He did not find medicine as attractive and profitable as he had supposed, and discovering business qualifications he took a position in a wholesale grocery establishment, which he held for two years. Then, in company with an intimate friend purchased a grocery store in Owasso, and carried it on very successfully for two years. The firm name was Smith & Lawrence, and the association continued until the spring of 1878, when it was terminated by the withdrawal of Mr. Smith, who had decided to come to Nebraska for a new business field. He looked the state over quite thoroughly and weighed



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the advantages of several points, and selected Geneva as a very desirable location. He came here very soon after the closing of his business in Michigan and engaged in a loan office, which grew into the Geneva Exchange bank the following year. It was the first institution of the kind in the town, and proved of vast advantage to the business interests of the region. He was its first president, and retained its uninterrupted control until 1888, when it became the First National bank of Geneva. In 1886 he also established a private bank at Milligan, which remained under his control for some five years when he sold it. He disposed of his interest in the First National bank in 1894, when it was consolidated with the Geneva National bank, and still bears that name.

      Since his retirement from banking interests, Mr. Smith finds his attention fully occupied in caring for his large personal interests and real estate holdings. He owns one thousand and forty acres of improved land in this county, and has brought it up to a high state of cultivation. He has always been a Republican until 1896. In that year he felt his duty in another direction, and strongly supported the free silver movement. He says he is properly classed in politics as a Free Silver Republican. In former years he has taken a deep interest in the party movements, and has contributed liberally to its funds, but he has never been an aspirant for office nor has he held one, otherwise than serving his fellow-townsmen as mayor. He belongs to the Masonic chapter and commandery, and while not a member of any church contributes liberally to all. He was married, June 9, 1881, to Miss Addie F. Dempster, a native of Dundee, Illinois, and a daughter of Alexander R. and Sarah (Johnson) Dempster. Her father was born in Scotland, and her mother in Vermont. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of four children, Warren J., Florence (deceased), Hazel A. and George D.

      They occupy a fine home, thoroughly modern in all its appointments and furnishing, which is a credit to the town its owner has done so much to build up and improve. Accompanying this sketch appears a portrait of Mr. Smith. 

Letter/label or barHOMAS BIGGS, one of the most prominent and influential citizens of Stromsburg precinct, Polk county, Nebraska, is successfully operating a large and well regulated farm, which he conducts according to the most modern and improved methods, on section 32, township 13, range 2. He was born October 22, 1844, in DeKalb county, Illinois, and is a son of John and Mary Jane (Gurney) Biggs. They were both natives of Northampton, near Welford, England, where they were married. They emigrated to America about 1832, and settled near Pontiac, Michigan. John Biggs took out his naturalization papers at Chicago, Illinois, in the year 1832. He entered new land in Michigan, and later he entered two hundred acres, on which part of the city of Chicago now stands. He next took up land in DeKalb county, Illinois, which he improved, and then removed to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, about 1840. His place of abode was near Lawrenceburg in Indiana, and from there they removed to Morgan county, Illinois. From the latter place they went to Christian county, in the same state, where he entered new land, which he improved and resided upon until his death, which occurred in 1852. His wife survived him ten years and then passed to the world beyond in June, 1862. John Biggs was the son of an English gentleman, and knew little about work, though he had an excellent education, which he put to good use in America, by teaching school. He was the father of nine children, two girls and seven boys, three of whom, William, Thomas, the subject of this article, and Charles



served in the United States army during the late Civil war.

      Thomas Biggs was reared and educated in the common schools of Illinois. He was raised on a farm and at an early age he began work on the same. He enlisted in 1862 in Company K, One Hundred and First Illinois Volunteers, as a private. The regiment was sent to Cairo, Illinois, from whence they were ordered to Columbus, Kentucky, and attached to the Fourteenth army corps. At the battle of Holly Springs six companies of his regiment were captured, but his company was not among then). They were then ordered to Vicksburg, under General Grant, and were detailed to guard prisoners at Milliken's Bend and Chickasaw Bayou. After the fall of Vicksburg, the regiment went to Columbus, Kentucky, where it was assembled in full, as the other companies had been exchanged. They were then ordered to Bridgeport, Alabama, and became a part of the Third brigade, First division of the Twentieth army corps under the command of General Joseph Hooker, which went to Knoxville to relieve Bumnside's army there. They took part in in the Chattanooga campaign, and on May 4, 1864, participated in the battle of Lookout Mountain, that far-famed battle above the clouds. The regiment was then deployed at skirmishing, and in the battles of Resaca and Dalton, Georgia, their division lost 1,800 men. This was during the Atlanta campaign, in which they were engaged in the battles of Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, and engaged in the siege of Atlanta, at the termination of which they started on the famous "march to the sea," under General Sherman. They were engaged in many battles and skirmishes during that memorable campaign, among which were battle of Bentonville, through to Raleigh, North Carolina, and were present at the surrender of Johnston's army. The command to which he belonged then marched through Richmond to Washington, District of Columbia, where they participated in the Grand Review. They were then sent to Springfield, where they were mustered out in June, 1865. Mr. Biggs fought during the entire term of his enlistment without missing a day of duty, nor was he ever captured or wounded during his term of service.

      After the cessation of hostilities he made his home in Morgan and Sangarnon counties, Illinois until about 1868. On September, 27, 1865, Mr. Biggs was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Jane Noble, who was born May 16, 1850, at St. Margaret, Canada. Her parents, John and Maria (Patterson) Noble, were both natives of Ireland, were married in Canada, and settled in Cass county, Illinois, where her father was accidentally killed in 1856. Her mother still survives and resides in Polk county. They were the parents of four children, and the mother subsequently married a Mr. Gormley. After the marriage of our subject he removed to Logan county, where they made their home until February,. 1873, when he located in Polk county, Nebraska. He settled on his homestead in section 32 of township 13, range 2, on the 15th of March of that year, and built a small frame house with the lumber which he hauled from Lincoln. He raised corn on his farm in 1873, but the following year his crop was destroyed by grasshoppers. The next year, 1875, he succeeded in garnering a good crop, but in 1876 he was again visited by that terrible pest, the grasshoppers. The next misfortune that befell him was the destructive hail storm of 1881, which destroyed his entire crop, and also broke every pane of glass in his residence, which he had built in 1880, having lost his former home by fire in 1879. But notwithstanding the misfortunes and adversity through which he passed, he is now one of the most substantial farmers in the vicinity. He owns seven



hundred and twenty acres of fine land in this county, and also has forty acres of land at York, York county, all of which is under cultivation. The land was all wild and unbroken when he secured it, but it is now in a very prosperous condition; he has an orchard consisting of four hundred apple trees, all bearing, and it is all the result of his own untiring energy.

      Mr. and Mrs. Biggs are the parents of sixteen children, eleven of whom are now living, viz: Jennie; Lulu, the wife of Berry McCart, and the mother of three children, as follows: Merle, Earle, and an infant; John, Kate, Daisy, Grace, Mabel, Edna, Dora, Frank and Roy. The family are all members in good standing of the Adventist church. Mr. and Mrs. Biggs are both members of the Forum at Benedict. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America at Benedict, the G. A. R., the Masonic fraternity and the A. O. U. "N. at Stromsburg. Politically he is a freesilver Republican. The family are old settlers here and belong to one of the most prominent families now living in this vicinity. 

Letter/label or barHILIP PRIDAY is one of the honored pioneers and representative citizens of Thayer township, York county, where he has made his home since 1872 and has been closely identified with its agricultural interests. On first coming here he homesteaded eighty acres on section 18, which he still occupies, and where he has built up one of the most desirable farms in the locality. While struggling with the primitive soil and bringing about the improvements which he has reason to view with satisfaction, he has also watched with the deepest interest the growth and development of this section of the state, and, in the establishment of one of its most valuable farms, has contributed his quota to its progress and prosperity. He now owns three eighty-acre tracts under a high state of cultivation and improved with excellent farm buildings.

      Wilkeshire, England, was the early tramping ground of our subject, his birth occurring there July 29, 1836. His parents, Richard and Sophia (Fry) Priday, were natives of the same shire, born in the village of Brinkworth, and there they lived and died. They were farming people and were highly respected by all who knew them. The maternal grandfather of our subject was John Fry.

      In the family of ten children, Philip Priday was the ninth in order of birth, and in the common schools of his native land he acquired his literary education. At an early age he begon farming, and continued to follow that pursuit in England until 1872, when he crossed the broad Atlantic, landing in Portland. Maine, whence he proceeded at once to York county, Nebraska, and took up a claim, as previously stated. He has since been numbered among the most successful and enterprising farmers of his community.

      In 1859 Mr. Priday was united in marriage with Miss Ann Jones, a daughter of John and Sarah Jones, both natives of England. They have no family. Mr. Priday assisted in the organization of his township, and has always taken an active and prominent part in public affairs, but has never sought office. Politically he is a Republican, and religiously, he and his estimable wife are both devout members of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

Letter/label or barION'S CONGREGATION OF THE GERMAN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, situated on Lincoln creek, Seward county, Nebraska, was organized in 1870, with the following roll of members: Fred Hartmann, Fred Scheumann, John Schoepf, William, Meyer, F. Mayland, V. Hermann, John Leuthke, August Daeh-



ling, Henry Daehling, William Daehling, J. Bertiam, William Burgenger, C. Tempun, L. Niels, Echardt Haufmann, H. Neujahr, Henry Reiling, John Maack and Charles Boehnen.

      The first pastor of Zion's congregation was the Rev. T. Gruber, who was installed in November, 1870, and who also had charge of another congregation on Middle creek, Nebraska. The Rev. Gruber accepted the call of another congregation in 1873. and after this a student of theology, Mr. L. Huber, had charge of the congregation for a time. In 1874, one of the members, Mr. Fred Hartmann, donated about three and a half acres of his estate to the congregation, and on this property a new church and parish house were erected, and the remainder of the tract was used for a cemetery. During the same year, the Rev. J. Seidel, of Quincy, Illinois, took charge of the congregation and served in that capacity for about two and a half years. During this time, the congregation added to its property by purchase three and a half acres. After the Rev. Seidel left, the Rev. T. Haessler, of Crete, Nebraska, accepted a call of the society and took charge of the work, and during the time that he was pastor, in 1877, a new and larger churchbuilding was erected, and the old one was used by the parochial school that was organized a short time previous in connectoin (sic) with the church.

      In 1879, when the congregation consisted of thirty-four members, it joined the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and other states, which at present consists of about 1,500 pastors and and 2,000 congregations. After five years of service in this place, the Rev. Haessler took charge of another congregation, and in 1882, the Rev. J. Geo. Weller was chosen by this society as its pastor. In 1884, a new school was built, and in 1888, the present church, building was erected at the cost of about $4,000. In 1891, there were eighty pupils in the school, the work became too great for the pastor, and Mr. H. Hillmann was chosen as teacher. A fine large schoolhouse, 26 x 40 X 12 feet, was also built during this year. After serving this society in the capacity of pastor for twelve years, the Rev. J. Geo. Weller accepted the position of professor of the Evangelical Lutheran Teachers Seminary, at Seward, Nebraska, and the Rev. J. Catenhusen, the present pastor, then took charge of the congregation. At present, the congregation numbers sixty-two voting members, and an aggregate of about five hundred souls, and has eightyseven scholars in the school, and the entire property is valued at about $6,000.00 Since the organization, about 600 have been baptized, 260 have been confirmed, ninety couples united in the bonds of holy matrimony, 125 dead have been buried, and for benevolent purposes, about $5,000 have been collected. 

Letter/label or barHARLES C. WULLBRANDT.--It is perhaps early in its history to speak of York county's oldest families, as that term would generally imply the occupation of the same lands and locality by many successive generations of the same family. But if any family in York county can lay claim to that distinction it is that of which our subject is a member. He accompanied his parents to that locality in 1869, he being but fourteen years of age at that time. He now owns a large tract of valuable land, and makes his residence on section 24, McFadden township.

     The parents of our subject, Charles H. and Fredericka (Holloch) Wullbrandt, were natives of Germany. Charles H. Wullbrandt was born in 1828, and was reared and educated in Germany, and was a carpenter and cabinet maker by trade. When about twenty years of age he came to America,

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