NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center
On-Line Library



against the flames. He told them to leave: and was getting the fire under control when the wind changed and drove it back again, forcing him to run eastward into the burned stretch. Hearing cries from his mother, who had become fastened in the fence, he ran through the fire and succeeded in conveying her to the pasture, and at the same time the father reached them. Both were very badly burned, and in trying to tear the burning clothing from his mother, our subject was terribly burned about the face and hands, being to this day unable to straighten out his fingers. His right eye-lid was so badly burned that the skin from the temple had to be used in forming a new one. Dr. Mills, of Osceola, did his best to alleviate the sufferings of all three, but the mother died twenty-four hours after the fire, and. the father at the end of thirty days. They were devout members of the Lutheran church, and had the respect and esteem of all who knew them.

      In the family of this worthy couple were eight children, who were taught lessons of industry, obedience, truthfulnesss and piety, also respect for God, law and order. They were kept at home until they attained their majority, and then were allowed greater liberty, mingling more with the young people of neighboring hamlets. The oldest, Carl Johan, is dead; he received a two years' course of military drill in Sweden, and on coming to the United States, in 1862, at the age of twenty-three years, he went to Marshall county, Illinois, and there enlisted as Charles G. Holt, in Company G, One Hundred and Thirtieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was a good and efficient soldier, took part in all the battles of his regiment, and died August 17, 1865, while on his way home, being buried at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was unmarried. Swen August was married in Sweden to Matilda Hokenson and came to America with his parents. In 1873 he removed to Polk county, Nebraska, and secured a homestead on the west half of the southwest quarter of section 20, township 14, range 3. He improved that place and died thereon October 15, 1896, leaving a widow and six children: Nels Peter Ludwig, Minnie Constantsia, Albert, Ottilia, Jennie and Alma. Meri Skelott (or Marie Charlota) is the wife of Peter J. Jones, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. Nels Peter, the subject of this sketch, is next in order of birth. Olof came to America with his parents and was married in Polk county, Nebraska, to Hattie Anderson, by whom he has three children: Lawrence, Adina and Erma. His homestead is the east half of the southwest quarter of section 20, township 14, range 3; Matilda, who resides on the same section, is the wife of J. A. Johnson and has five children: August, Albert, Enoch, Adele and Lydia. Emma, the youngest of the family, is the wife of Rev. Frederick Peterson, of Rush Point, Minnesota, and has six children: Frederick, Lydia, Ernest, Frideborg, Ida and Olga.

     Nels Peter Hult, whose name introduces this article, was reared on a farm in his native place, and received a common-school education. Emigrating to the new world in 1865, he located in Henry, Marshall county, Illinois, where he first worked as a farm hand and later operated rented land. In April, 1872, he came to Polk county, Nebraska, located his pre-emption and later homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 20, township &4, range 3, which at that time was all wild land. Upon the place he built a one story frame house of three rooms, the lumber for which he hauled from Columbus. The first year he raised the best crop of potatoes his farm has ever produced, and also raised some sod corn; in 18-73 he raised ten acres of wheat and twenty-five acres of corn; and the following year raised some wheat, but the grasshoppers took the corn. He now has three hun-



dred and twenty acres, all under excellent cultivation, and with the exception of eighty acres, he, himself, placed the entire amount under the plow.

      On the 10th of March, 1874, Mr. Hult married Miss Betsey Johnson, who died on the twenty-fourth of the following August. He was again married September 27, 1879, his second union being with Mrs. Ida CharIota Peterson, née Chindgren, sister of P. O. Chindgren, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. She was born in Hogstad, Sweden, April 11, 1849, and remained there until her parents removed to Mjolby, Sweden, where she made her home until coming to America at the age of twenty years. In Mercer county, Illinois, she married Oscar Peterson, by whom she had one child, Anna Louisa Victoria. By her marriage to Mr. Hult she has six children: Esther Lydia, Oscar Nathaniel, Peter Julius, John Philip, Ida Matilda Frideburg, and Melvin Bernhard. The parents are prominent and active members of the Swedish Lutheran church at Swede Home, are teachers in the Sunday-school, and Mr. Hult has served as deacon from the organization of the church and as secretary for twenty-three years. He has also been a delegate from the church to the synod, and in 1897 was the representative from the conference to the general synod at Rock Island, Illinois. He was treasurer of the conference five years, and has always taken a very important and active part in all church work. Mrs. Hult is a leading and influential member of the Ladies' Society of the church, of which she has been president two years.

      For eight years Mr. Hult has been the efficient president of the Scandinavian Mutual Insurance Company of Polk county; in politics he is a stalwart Republican, and has ever taken an active interest in the success of his party, often serving as delegate to the conventions, but never aspiring to office.

      Since 1884 he has been school treasurer of district No. 47, was the first postmaster of Swede Home, and Mrs. Hult sent the first letter from that office. Polk county has no more honored or valued citizens than this worthy couple, who have the respect and esteem of all with whom they come in contact. A portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Hult appears in connection with this sketch.




Letter/label or barN the spring of 1872, a person standing on the little hill where the beautiful Church of God now stands, and looking eastward, could see one caravan of settlers after another coming within sight, as though coming from another world. The range of vision was almost boundless. The sun seemed to rise and set in the burned and blackened prairie; nothing obstructed the view-not a tree or a bush, no cornfields, no houses. The plains looked gloomy, forlorn and barren. The only thing to break the monotony was the scattered skeletons of human beings and animals. The Red Sons of the Wilderness had not been very particular about burying their dead. More particular they were to roam around and beg of the settlers, and as they usually were many in company and of an awe-inspiring aspect, they had good success, and therefore came often, so that they became quite a burden to the settlers the first years.

      Nature, also, was wild. Rain storms came so suddenly that five and six inches of water on the level ground was frequently seen. The small, temporary shanties, which had been built, felt as if rocking on the waves of the ocean. The floods of rain broke through, filled the beds and covered the ground, which served as floor, so that the inmates were often compelled to both lie and walk in water. The dugouts were



not much better. They also let in the water, which had to be carried out, leaving several inches of soft, sticky clay, which made it almost impossible to walk.

      But all these rain-floods, with their thunder-clouds and lightning, did not worry, but rather encouraged the settlers. Happy, they made their long trips to Columbus and Seward, thirty and forty miles distant, for all their lumber and other necessities of life for both man and beast-brought their green firewood from the Platte river, and hauled the most of their water a distance of three or four miles.

      During this time wells were dug, and additional buildings for man and beast erected, mostly of sod. At the same time, they did not forget to break the land and plant corn on the sod, this corn becoming afterward the only thing for the most of them to depend on for the coming year, because now the reserve of, money was gone, with few exceptions, and credit was not to be had.

      In the spring of 1873, a little wheat was sown, but as there was little money and no credit, it was not much-just enough for one harvester for many miles around. But that harvester was kept going day and night. In the spring of 1874, more land was cultivated and sown with wheat, and several harvesting machines were bought, which also were kept busy day and night. That year the grasshoppers took all the corn, and before they left they laid such a large amount of eggs in the ground as to cause dark forebodings for the future. The spring of 1875 started in very favorably. Grain and grass were growing fine, but at the same time the young grasshoppers began hatching out of the ground in such vast numbers that in some places they could be scooped up with scoop-shovels. But before they had done any harm one of our heaviest rain storms came and swept them away so completely that they were never seen or heard of again. The grasshoppers roamed through the settlement here at times for several years, but did not do much damage, and at last they disappeared altogether, so that now they seem to be a thing of the past. The hailstorms were more persistent and greatly dreaded. Every year reports came that portions of the country here and there were entirely cleaned out by hail, till the year 1882, when a portion of the country four miles west, another five miles northeast, and another part one mile northwest from here, were swept completely clean, and the rest of the country around here more or less damaged. Some of the hailstones were the shape and size of common tea cups.

      But those that did the most damage were the size of chicken eggs. These fell so thick that they chopped, up the earth and growing grain in one mass, which was afterward imbedded in ice. After such a hailstorm everything looked desolate. The roofs of the buildings were more or less damaged, the windows broken, and the floors flooded with water, hailstones and broken pieces of glass. All smaller animals, domestic and wild, were killed, and in many instances also the larger ones. The trees were broken, bruised and stripped of their foliage. Think if such a hailstorm would come now over this beautiful country. The snowstorms were also very troublesome. The common duration of such a storm was three days, during which time the air was so full of snow and prairie soot that you could not see your own hand held at arm's length. Woe to the one who thoughtlessly left the house! He could be very near it and still not be able to find it. Around the dug-outs the snow piled up at the beginning of the storm so that it was very difficult to get out, and in many cases their inmates, from lack of anything to burn or eat, had to stay in bed till the storm was over, and the neighbors came and dug them out. The snowstorms came so suddenly



that any one out on a journey might without warning be overtaken by one. How necessary it was to be watchful, may be seen by the following: A man was down on one of the islands in the Platte river, gathering wood for fuel, when he noticed a dark threatening cloud coming up in the west. Hurriedly he started. for home with only a few sticks of wood on his wagon. Coming out on the Platte bottom he could see along the river upwards of fifty wagons, all hurrying home. But as the snowstorm turned out to be of a somewhat mild sort, all got safely home. The terrible prairie fires, now, also belong to the past. Their reigning power closed with the great calamity which I spoke of in my personal history. I will therefore only speak of it a little in general.

      It happened on Sunday morning, October 20, 1878, that a man by the name of Nordberg fired a gun four miles west of here, by which the dry grass caught fire. The fire kept on before a slow south wind all of the forenoon and part of the afternoon, at which time we had services at church, also a funeral. But having arrived at the church we saw that the fire had come up opposite the settlement in the northwest, and there were also signs of a storm from the same direction. Instantly several young men were dispatched to section 9 to start a fire and burn off the prairie along a narrow fireguard from A. Tolin's to William Peterson's corner. The distance was half a mile, and was the only point where the fire readily could get into the settlement.

      But when they were about half through with their work, the storm and the fire came from the northwest with such a rush that, to save themselves, they were compelled for a moment to take refuge on the strip they had burned off, only to be the next moment hurrying to their respective homes.

      It was said by a man, who stood and watched, that it took exactly two and a half minutes from the time the fire leaped up the Platte bluffs until the Swede Home church was enveloped in the flames, a distance of several miles. The people there scattered, and the coffin was for the time carried out to a newly-plowed field. The church steps caught fire, but the fire was put out by Mrs. A. Tolin, who had not yet left the church. In this fire three were burned to death, several others severely burned, and several others lost their harvested crops, farm implements, etc. Since then we have had good success in all our undertakings, so that now Swede Home constitutes one of the best settlements in the state in regard to beauty as well as industry and prosperity. And have we therefore great cause to be thankful to God, who has extended his blessings to us during the past twenty-six years, yea, during our whole lifetime. He is worthy of praise, glory and power forever. N. P. H. 

Letter/label or barUGUST WALDMAN.--This name will be recognized throughout the greater part of Seward county as that of an enterprising citizen and member of the agricultural district of H precinct. Mr. Waldman was born in Saxony, Germany, September 28, 1847, a son of August and Concordia (Laukner) Waldman. The parents were also natives of Germany and lived and died in that country. They reared a family of seven children, of whom our subject is the youngest and the only one who migrated to America.

      Mr. Waldman was educated in the common schools in the vicinity of his birthplace, between the ages of six and fourteen years, and supplemented this course with a term of six months in college. At the age of fourteen he was also confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran church. He then turned his attention to cabinet making, and while learning his trade, he earned his living by



soliciting for a newspaper. At the age of nineteen years he entered the German army and served two years. August 1, 1868, he boarded the steamer at Bremen, en route for America, and arrived at Baltimore on the 21st of the same month. From there he went to Virginia, but after a stay of only two months he returned to Baltimore and worked for a time at his trade. He next took a trip through Pennsylvania, visiting all of the principal cities of that state, and from thence to St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained until the spring of 1870. He then moved to H precinct, Seward county, Nebraska, filed a homestead claim to eighty acres of land and built upon it a sod house and moved into bachelor quarters. For a time after locating here, he was engaged in carpenter work in connection with the task of putting his farm under cultivation and placing upon it such improvements as go to make up a first-class estate and attractive home. Settling here in the early history of this part of the state, Mr. Waldman has seen the country in all the stages of development and has been identified with its growth and prosperity. At the time he filed his homestead, Lincoln, which was his nearest market, was a mere village, and the farm houses for many miles in that part of the state consisted of only a few scattering sod houses and dug-outs. He was one of the victims of the ravages of the grasshoppers, and eager to check their depredations, he invented a machine to kill the pests, but it proved quite unsuccessful. The drouth also added to the hardships of his pioneer experience, but in spite of it all he has managed to make a comfortable living and to incidentally lay aside something for old age. He has now passed his fifty-first milestone in the voyage of life, but is well preserved for his age, and is still able to do six day's work in the week.

      In 1872, Mr. Waldman was married, at the age of twenty-four years, to Miss Annie Eliza Otto, a daughter of Earnest and Sarah (Moring) Otto. Mr. Otto was, a native of Germany. Upon reaching the American side of the Atlantic, he first located in Lancaster, Illinois, where Mrs. Waldman was born December 4, 1856. Her father is still living in Holt county, Nebraska, at the age of seventy-four years. To Mr. and Mrs. Waldman have been born nine children, seven of whom are still living, whose names are as follows: Charles, Annie, Clara, Arthur, Gertie, Eldorado and Ida. Mrs. Waldman died in January, 1898, at the age of forty-two years, leaving her husband and seven children to mourn the loss of a devoted christian wife and mother. 

Letter/label or bar. E. WARTHEN.--Among the brave men who devoted the opening years of their manhood to the defense of our country from the internal foes who sought her dismemberment, was Mr. Warthen, now a prominent and honored resident of Fillmore county, Nebraska, his home being on section 8, Bryant precinct, and he is still ready at any time when the country needs his services to again take up arms and fight for the old flag.

      Mr. Warthen was born in Morgan county, Indiana, October 2, 1844, and is a son of the late John A. Warthen, a native of West Tennessee, who died in 1883, at the age of sixty-three years, being laid to rest in Carleton cemetery, Thayer county, Nebraska. In his death the community realized that it had lost a true and tried citizen, an upright, honorable man, and a devoted Christian. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Eliza J. Minton, is a native of Virginia, and is now living with our subject at the age of seventy-five years. Her ancestors had made their home in the Old Dominion for many generations, and were of Scotch and German extraction. Our subject is one of a family of thirteen children, of



whom ten reached years of maturity. Both the paternal and maternal grandfathers of our subject were soldiers in the war of 1812.

      In 1860, W. E. Warthen moved to Clarke county, Iowa, where, at the outbreak of the Rebellion, he enlisted in Company F, Eighteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and later became a member of Company H, Ninth Iowa Cavalry. As a gallant and fearless soldier, he participated in many hard-fought battles, and was always found at his post of duty. On receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to Iowa, and in Osceola, that state, was married in April, 1866, to Miss Sarah C. Lingle, who is also a native of Morgan county, Indiana, born February 19, 1847, and is a daughter of Jacob and Mary M. Lingle. She is the oldest in their family of six children, and her brothers and sisters are still residents of Osceola, Clarke county, Iowa, where the mother also resides. The father died about ten years ago. To Mr. and Mrs. Warthen have been born nine children, as follows: Oliver N., Mary E., Lawrence E., Rhoda L., Ralph L., Francis E., Marshall D., Cora M. and Ernest E.

      Mr. Warthen is one of the many brave soldiers during the Civil war who have taken up their residence in Nebraska. In 1872 he came to Fillmore county, and took a homestead and also a timber claim. In common with the other early settlers he and his faithful wife endured all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. At first Pleasant Hill and Swan Creek were their nearest milling points and for corn they paid fifty cents per bushel. Fuel was obtained from the Little Blue; there was then but one store in Carleton, and our subject was in Edgar when the first storebuilding was erected at that place. But as the years have passed the country has become more thickly settled, all the comforts of civilization have been introduced, and in their adopted county Mr. and Mrs. Warthen have prospered, being now the owners of a most desirable and well improved farm of two hundred and forty acres in Bryant precinct. The family is one of prominence in their community and their friends are many throughout the county. In early life Mr. Warthen's father was a Democrat, but when the question of the free-school system came before the people and that party opposed it, while the Republicans favored it, he joined the latter organization and continued to fight under its banner. Our subject also espoused the principles of the Republican party, and has ever taken quite an active and prominent part in local politics, being tendered the nomination to several offices of honor and trust. 

Letter/label or barEWIS C. MOUL, on honored pioneer and highly respected citizen of York county, Nebraska, arrived here in the fall of 1871, and has since made his home on section 28, Hays township, while he has taken an active and prominent part in the development and improvement of this section of the state. He was born in Schenectady county, New York, October 28, 1831, and is a son of David and Catharine (Wager) Moul, also natives of the Empire state. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, emigrated with his family to the territory of Wisconsin, in 1844, and there secured a claim of government land in Dodge county, being among the earliest settlers. He and his wife spent their remaining days there.

      The subject of this sketch was a lad of thirteen years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Wisconsin, and in that state he grew to manhood, and was married in June, 1855, the lady of his choice being Miss Mary Purdie, a native of St. Lawrence county, New York, and a daughter of John and Marian (Shaw) Purdie, who



were born in Scotland. Six children bless this union, namely: Willis, Walter, Clarence, Nellie, Jennie and John.

      After his marriage, Mr. Moul bought land and engaged in farming in Wisconsin for several years, but in the fall of 1871, accompanied by his brother, he came by team to York county, Nebraska, and filed a homestead claim to eighty acres of land on section 28, in what is now Hays township.--At the time the few settlers in this region were widely scattered, and most of the land was still in its primitive condition, being undisturbed by the plow. Mr. Moul hauled the logs for his cabin from Blue river, and erected a little house fourteen by sixteen feet, in which the family lived for several years, and which is still standing upon the place--a landmark of pioneer days. To his original claim he has added, by purchase, eighty acres of railroad land, making in all a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which he has placed under a high state of cultivation, and improved with good and substantial buildings. During the first years of his residence here he raised good crops of wheat, but for several years the grasshoppers took most of his corn. He readily recalls the terrible Easter blizzard, which occurred in 1872, lasting three days, and was one of the worst storms in the history of the state. Mr. and Mrs. Moul are charter members of the Fairview Methodist Episcopal church, assisted in the organization of the same, and have always taken an active and prominent part in its work, being numbered among the most valued and highly-esteemed citizens of Hays township. 

Letter/label or barOHN THOMAS. McKNIGHT.--Prominent among the business men of Brainard is Mr. McKnight, who for over a quarter of a century, has been closely identified with the history of Butler county, while his name is inseparably connected with the financial records of the town. The banking interests are well represented by him, for he is to-day president of the bank of Brainard, the leading moneyed institution of the place. He is a man of keen discrimination and sound judgment, and his executive ability and excellent management have brought to the concern with which he is connected a high degree of success. The safe conservative policy which he inaugurated commends itself to the judgment of all, and has secured for the bank a liberal patronage.

      Mr. McKnight was born April , 1839, in the town of Wayne, Lafayette county, Wisconsin, and on the paternal side is of Scotch descent, the family being founded in this country before the Revolutionary war by three brothers, one of whom settled in Michigan, the second in Pennsylvania and the third in Virginia. From the last he is descended, and in Washington county, Virginia, both his father, Miles McKnight, and grandfather, Anthony McKnight, were born. They were farmers by occupation. When eighteen years of age Miles McKnight went to Tennessee, and in Smith county, that state, was married, about 1827, to Miss Johannah Dillehay. In 1836 the family emigrated to Wisconsin, and in Lafayette county made their home for many years.

      The subject of this sketch was the third son in the family, and was reared on the home farm in LaFayette county, Wisconsin, until eighteen years of age, obtaining his early education in the public schools. After engaging in milling for two years, he entered Hillsdale College, at Hillsdale, Michigan, at the age of twenty, and remained a student in that institution until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he laid aside his text-books to enter the service of his country.

      Responding to the president's call for aid, Mr. McKnight enlisted in August, 1861, in the Fifth Wisconsin Light Artillery, and afterward, on the 13th of September, 1862,



re-enlisted, this time becoming a member of Company B, Thirty-first Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, for three years. He entered the service as a private, but in February, 1863, was promoted to lieutenant, and when General Harrison took charge of the forces around Chattanooga our subject was appointed quartermaster of the Twentieth Army Corps and attached to the General's staff. On entering the service he was with the Army of the Mississippi at Island No. 10, and later was with the Army of the Cumberland, participating in the battles of Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, the Atlanta campaign, and many other important engagements. His promotion was for meritorious conduct on field of battle, and he made a brave and efficient officer, being very popular with the men under him, who clamored for his promotion. At the close of the war he received the commission of brevet major, and at Dalton, Georgia, was honorably discharged in February, 1865. He became personally acquainted with General Harrison.

      Returning to his old home in Wisconsin, Mr. McKnight engaged in teaching school and also spent another year in Hillsdale College. During the war he was married, May 18, 1862, to Miss Mary E. Pinney, a daughter of A. G. Pinney, of New Jersey, and a sister of Mrs. J. F. Russell, of Butler county, Nebraska. They have three children: Albert H., who was born in Wisconsin, and is now in the hardware business in Dwight, Butler county; Eugene A., who is in the hardware business in Lincoln, and Estella M., wife of Charles H. Harriger, of Butler county.

      It was on the 10th of October, 1870, that Mr. McKnight became a resident of Butler county, and for eight years he successfully engaged in farming on section 12, Oak Creek township. He then came to Brainard, where he was interested in the real estate and collection business for some time, and in 1885 opened the Exchange Bank, the first financial institute in the town. A year later he admitted A. K. Smith to a partnership in the business, and the name was changed to the Bank of Brainard, of which Mr. McKnight is now president, Henry Schulz vice-president and Mr. Smith cashier. At different times Mr. McKnight has also been interested in mercantile operations, but this has been incidental to the main issue, which is in financial operations. Although never admitted to the bar, he is well qualified to engage in the practice of law, and is a safe counsellor especially on the subject of business transactions. He has been most active in the development of the town of Brainard, has built a large number of its buildings, and is recognized as one of the most useful and valued citizens. In the early days of the county he was a member of the board of county commissioners, but has never cared for official honors, preferring to give his undivided attention to his extensive business interests. He is a Master Mason, was one of the organizers of the lodge at Brainard, and served as its first master. He is the present commander of Cruft Post, G. A. K, and is one of the most prominent members of that body. As a financier he ranks among the ablest in Butler county, and as citizen he manifests the same loyalty in days of peace as in days of war, when he followed the old flag to victory on many a southern battle field. 

Letter/label or barOHN WESTERHOFF is the fortunate owner of a fine farm of three hundred and twenty acres in precinct H, in Seward county, Nebraska, and is well and widely known as an old settler and a valued and influential citizen of the community in which he lives.

      Mr. Westerhoff was born in Germany,



January 26, 1833, and was educated in the common schools of that country, beginning his mental training at the age of six years, and spent about eight years in school. At the age of fourteen years, he was confirmed in the Reformed church, in Germany. During the same year he became an apprentice to a tinsmith and followed this line of work until he attained the age of twenty years. At this age, he entered the German army and served two years and six months, after which he returned to his profession and was thus engaged until twenty-six years of age. In 1858, he migrated to America, crossing the Atlantic in a steamer to New York, and from thence moved to Warsaw, Illinois, where he engaged in farming for. about eleven years.

      In 1862, our subject enlisted in the Second Missouri Cavalry, under Rosecrans, and served in that capacity for three years and two months. participating in the battles of Gregsville, Chereokee Bay, Merriam, Marmaduke and others, but without receiving a wound, and was mustered out at St. Louis, Missouri, March 4, 1865. He then went to Hancock, Cook county, Illinois, and was there engaged in farming until 1869. Two years previous to this, however, realizing the truthfulness of the scriptural passage, "It in not good for man to be alone," he took a helpmate, and the happy couple made their home in Illinois for three years. Then, with his wife and two children, he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, and for a short time made their home in a small frame house, 12 x 14 feet, for which they paid a monthly rent of twelve dollars. Mr. Websterhoff (sic) then took a homestead in precinct H, Seward county, and for twenty-nine years has made that his home. His first domicile, on the new farm, was a "dugout," so well known to the old settlers of the west. Four years later, however, he was able to build a frame house, which was only the beginning of quite a lengthy line of improvements which he has since added to, his home, and can now justly boast of a farm that ranks among the finest of that section. During the first few years that he spent in Seward county, Mr. Westerhoff was obliged to go seventy-five miles to market, Nebraska City then being the nearest town, and it required from six to ten days to make the trip with the ox team.

      Elizabeth Klingenmuller, the estimable lady who presides over the household affairs of our subject, was born in Hanover, Germany, March 10, 1848. At the age of six years she came to America with her parents' and settled in Illinois, and at the age of eighteen, she was united in marriage to Mr. Westerhoff, the subject of our sketch. To this congenial union have been born nine children, all of whom are living, and whose names in the order of their birth are as follows: Fred N., Mary C. E., John W., Wilhelmina, Mary, Carl C., Emma H., Louis H., and Robert F. The children are, all living in Nebraska, except one daughter,. who is making her home in Oklahoma.

      Our subject's father, John W. Westerhoff, was also a native of Germany and lived in that country until 1863, when he migrated with his family to America, and spent the remaining years of his life in the state of Illinois, where he died at the age of seventy-two years, and was buried in that state. Mrs. Westerhoff's parents were farmers by occupation, and also spent the latter part of their lives in the state of Illinois, and are there buried. 

Letter/label or barNDREW J. DAY is one of the honored pioneers of York county who located here in the fall of 1870, his first home being about a mile north of the present site of the city of York, and since that time he has been engaged as an industrious tiller of the soil. He formed an intimate acquaintance with the hardships and trials of pioneer life,




and as the result of his industry and resolution, he is now the owner of a comfortable homestead, comprising one hundred and twenty acres on section 21, Leroy township. He is numbered among the liberal-minded and public-spirited citizens, who, while carving out their own fortunes, having contributed, as they have found opportunity, to the well being of the people around them.

      Mr. Day was born near Wilkesbarre, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, December 10, 1839, a son of Layton J. and Susan Day, also natives of Pennsylvania. The mother died when he was about eight years old, and soon afterward he was bound out to a farmer near Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was deprived of educational advantages, but his training in the line of work was not limited in fact, he was variously employed during early life, doing anything at which he could earn a livelihood. He was among the first to respond to his country's call for aid, enlisting in April, 1861, at Danville, Montour county, Pennsylvania, in the three months' service, and was assigned to Company F, Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under command of General Patterson. With his regiment he went to Williamsport, Hagerstown, Maryland, and then into Virginia, and at Falling Water, near Martinsburg, that state, be participated in a skirmish, in which his company lost one man. Having forded the Potomac river, he took cold, and was unable to accompany his regiment to Harper's Ferry, but was sent back to Martinsburg, and later was taken to the hospital. On his recovery he rejoined his command, and, on the expiration of his term of enlistment was honorably discharged at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

      About a mouth later, on the 12th of August, 1861, he enlisted in Company E, First Regiment Volunteer Light Artillery, being mustered in at Washington, District of Columbia, and by steamboat went to Hampton Roads, near Fortress Monroe, whence they marched toward Richmond. When within nine miles of that city they took part in the battle of Fair Oaks, and a few days later was driven back by Jackson to cover of the gunboats. Shortly after they marched to Yorktown and took a steamboat to Petersburg, being under Grant at the siege of that place and Richmond. After the fall of the latter city, Mr. Day assisted in dismounting the guns and cleaning the arsenal, and then went to Philadelphia, where he was finally discharged as a veteran volunteer July 20, 1865.

      After the war Mr. Day leased a boat and engaged in business for himself on the Pennsylvania canal, but the boat soon sank, causing him considerable loss. He was then variously employed at different places in his native state until the fall of 1867, when he decided to try his fortune in the west and accordingly went to Iowa, locating near Mt. Pleasant, where he worked one summer on a farm for Robert Waugh. On the 23d of September, 1868, he was united in marriage with Miss Frances A. Detrick, who was born near Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, April 19, 1840, a daughter of Jacob and Hannah M. (Hannis) Detrick, also natives of the Keystone state. Five children bless this union: Orlando H., a cattle man of Texas; Edward A., who recently enlisted for service in the war against Spain, and is now at Manila; and Asa W., Grizzie F. and A. Jay, all at home.

     In the fall of 1870, Mr. Day, accompanied by his wife and child, of one year, started overland for Nebraska, and finally located in York county in November of that year, passing the first winter in a sod shanty north of what is now the city of York. The following spring he filed a soldier's, homestead claim to the northeast quarter of section 18, Leroy township, proved up. the same and afterward sold it. In the spring of 1883 he purchased his present

Horz. bar

Prior page
TOC part 2
Next page

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