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rectorship of the cathedral at Lincoln to that of David City, where he remains the present incumbent. During his incumbency Nebraska has passed through the darkest days of its history, but notwithstanding these facts many improvements have been made, thanks to the zeal and good will of the people form St. Mary's congregation. St. Mary's still grows and prospers, and being situated at the county seat, in the midst of a thriving population, it bids fair to become one of the leading churches in Nebraska. 

Letter/label or barOBERT J. OVERSTREET, one of the well-to-do farmers of Arborville township, York county, was born in Galesburg, Knox county, Illinois, January 15, 1843.

      The parents of our subject were Milton and Catherine (Martin) Overstreet. Milton Overstreet was born near Lexington, Kentucky, January 16, 1819, and lived there until 1841, when he moved to Galesburg, Illinois, where he still lives. He was married in Kentucky, in 1838, to Catherine Martin, who was born in Connecticut. She is still living. They are the parents of a family of six sons and three daughters. Three of the sons now live in Nebraska, and two in Illinois. Our subject's grandfathers were Robert Overstreet, of Irish lineage, and Joel Martin, a native of Connecticut, who went to Kentucky, and later to Illinois, where he died in 1875.

      Robert J. Overstreet was reared in Illinois, and has always followed the calling of a farmer. He owned a farm in Illinois, but in 1884 he removed to Nebraska, and purchased a farm in Arborville township, York county, where he now lives. He owns a quarter section of fertile land, under a high state of cultivation.

      Mr. Overstreet was married in Illinois, January 24, 1866, to Charlotte Treat Bull, a daughter of William H. Bull, who was a native of Connecticut, and who moved to Knox county, Illinois, in 1858, where he died the following year. Mrs. Overstreet"s mother bore the maiden name of Phoebe Stowe, a relative of Harriet Beecher Stowe. She still lives in Knox county, Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. Overstreet three children have been born: William M., a farmer in York county; Luther M., a graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and now ensign on board the battleship Oregon; and Lillian A., now at home. The family are members of the Congregational church of Arborville. Mr. Overstreet holds membership in the A. O. U. W. In political views he is a Republican, though he has never sought political preferment. He has been successful in his chosen pursuit, has a good home, and the respect of all who know him. 

Letter/label or barA. GUSHEE.--The splendid farm owned by this gentleman on section 32, township 1, range 2, Osceola precinct, Polk county, is a standing monument to his industry, perseverance and good management. He comes under the category of self-made men, having been thrown upon his own resources early in life, and succeeded only by the exercise of his steady, plodding labors, both mental and physical. He was born in Appleton, Maine, February 18, 1836, a son of Almond and Elvira (Drake) Gushee. The father was born in the same town in 1805, when the place was known as Hoke, and was a son of Almond Gushee, Sr., a native of Massachusetts, and grandson, of Abram Gushee, of French descent. The mother of our subject was born in Union, Maine, in 1807, a daughter of Jesse Drake, and after the death of her first husband, which occured (sic) in Appleton, in 1847, she married Henry Meserby, now deceased, who was a soldier of the war of 1812, and by whom she had one child--Mrs. Martha Keller. There were five children born of



the first union, namely: Mrs. Vestine Pease, now deceased; L. A., of this sketch; Albert and Cordana, deceased; and Frank, a physician, also deceased, who was a soldier in the Fifth Massachusetts regiment during the Civil war, later was made captain of artillery, and was wounded in the head at Baton Rogue, by the bursting of a shell.

      Reared in Appleton, Maine, L. A. Gushee began his education in the schools of that place, and later took a commercial course at Boston, Massachusetts. For ten years during his youth he was employed in a shoe factory at Natick, Massachusetts, and in June, 1861, enlisted as corporal in Company H, Thirteenth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. From Fort Independence, in Boston Harbor, the troops went to Hagerstown, Maryland, and from there went on a forced march to Harper's Ferry, being two days without food. They were assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and for a time were engaged in guarding the Chesapeake & Ohio canal. Mr. Gushee took an active part in many skirmishes and was under the command of General Banks when he drove the rebels from Winchester, Virginia. Alter a great many marches and counter-marches he was placed in McDowell's corps in front of Washington, on the Rappahannocic river. Being taken ill, he was taken to the hospital at Alexandria and on his recovery was detailed as clerk, but was soon afterward again taken sick and honorably discharged on a surgeon's certificate in December, 1862. Returning to his home in Maine, he afterward tried to re-enlist, but was rejected.

      From Natick, Massachusetts, Mr. Gushee went to West Virginia, in 1867, and after teaching school in that state was similarly employed in Ohio for about six years. Coming to Polk county, Nebraska, he homesteaded his present farm in 1873, and erected thereon a little board shanty, 14x12 feet. The first year he raised a small crop of sod corn, but the next year the grasshoppers destroyed everything. He had no other neighbors, and on his return home at night from market was guided only by the buffalo bones which he had stuck up to mark the path. In connection with his farming operations, he engaged in school-teaching for some time, and prospering in his undertakings he is now the owner of a good farm of two hundred acres, sixty of which are under excellent cultivation and well improved.

      In 1867 Mr. Gushee was united in marriage with Miss Mary L. Phillips, a native of Marietta, Ohio, and a daughter of Joseph M. Phillips, and to them was born one child, Helen E., now the wife of Dr. Harvey Gregg. They are widely and favorably known and have a host of warm friends. Politically Mr. Gushee is now independent, and is an advocate of the free coinage of silver, but previous to the Republican convention held at St. Louis in 1896, had always supported that party. He has acceptably served as assessor of Osceola precinct, and was also elected justice of the peace, but refused to qualify. 

Letter/label or barON. RODERICK E. DUNPHY, was born in Lafayette county, Wisconsin, in 1848. He learned the blacksmith trade in his native country, and lived there until 1872, when he went to Rockford, Illinois. In 1873 he returned to his old home, and married Miss Elizabeth A. Gregory. He remained there until 1879, when he came to Seward and opened a wagon and carriage shop, and has conducted a successful business ever since. He served for four years on the city council, and in 1882 was elected to the state senate from his county. In 1886, his wife died, leaving him the care of their two children, Miss Gabriel B., and Homer G. He has always occupied a high position in his community, and has



always been ready to assist in any public enterprise that would tend to develope in any way his city and county. He is now serving on the school board. 

Letter/label or barARREN J. POST, a leading and influential citizen of Momence precinct, Fillmore county, and a representative of one of its prominent pioneer families, is successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits on section 20. He was born in Vermont, March 14, 1853, but was educated in the schools of Illinois, in which state the family then made their home. His parents, Andrew J. and Mary Louisa (Barnes) Post, were also natives of the Green Mountain state, and to them were born four children, two sons and two daughters, namely: Savilla Hannah, who married Ira Goodsell, and died in Illinois at the age of thirty-four years, leaving five children, three sons and two daughters: Etta, wife of E. C. Jackman and a resident of Kansas, and Harvey J. and Warren J., who are both living in Momence precinct, Fillmore county.

      After their marriage the parents of our subject remained in Vermont for several years, the father being engaged in agricultural pursnits (sic), and then removed to Illinois, where he continued his fanning operations until the migration of the family to Nebraska in 1874. He took up a homestead of eighty acres in Momence precinct, Fillmore county, and the son also took up a similar amount. For about nine years the family lived in a sod house and underwent all the hardships and privations incident to to life on the frontier. They had their crops destroyed by the grasshoppers and also by drought and hail, which caused hard times, but by careful management, strict economy and untiring labors, they overcame all obstacles in the path to prosperity and success at length crowned their efforts. The father died in 1881, at the age of fifty-one years, and was buried in Momence cemetery. The mother survived him a number of years, dying in 1897, at the age of seventy, and she was laid to rest by the side of her husband. Both were faithful and earnest members of the Congregational church, and enjoyed the respect and esteem of all who knew them.

      Warren J. Post and his brother now live on the old homestead, and with them reside their niece, Savilla Etta Post, now fifteen years of age, who brightens their home by her presence. In common with the early settlers they had much to contend with in pioneer days, their nearest market being Sutton, a distance of thirteen miles, for Geneva was just starting and Shickley had not yet been thought of. They are enterprising, wide-awake and progressive business men, to whom due success has not been denied, for they are now the owners of three hundred and twenty acres of valuable and highly cultivated land. In religious faith they are Congregationalists, and in politics are Populists, but at local elections support the man whom they believe best qualified for office, regardless of party ties. In all the relations of life they have been found true to every trust reposed in them and their circle of friends seems only limited by their circle of acquaintances.



      My parents were born in Vermont. After they were married they moved to Green county, Illinois, 1856. They went on a farm that was nearly all timber. They cleared the ground in order to raise a crop. The second year the Army worm destroyed all the small grain. They had a hard time those years. They staid four years there. Then they moved to Woodford county, Illinois, and bought a farm that was all prairie. The estate of my grand-father was not settled until the war broke out. Then the administrator enlisted and was killed, his



bond was worthless, and everything was then lost. There were six children in my grandfather's family. Each one was to have two thousand two hundred dollars. So that put father in such bad circumstances that he lost the farm that he had bought. Then he rented a place until rent, got so high they could not make a living at it. So in September, 1873, we emigrated to Nebraska. It took us five long weeks. We landed in Beatrice; it was then a small town, but lively all the same. When we came on our land, father and I had four dollars and sixty cents between us. Then we traded one team for oxen, then we began breaking prairie. We put in ten acres of wheat and twenty-five acres of corn; the grasshoppers ate the corn up and I heard at the time that some of the neighbors lost their plow shears and grindstones. Let that be as it may, we had ours covered up, so if they ate theirs up, we were in luck. We got our fuel to burn from the South Blue river. We had twenty miles to haul it. It was green cottonwood; it made a good fire after you had burnt all the water out. But then there was no cotton-wood left. But what was the stuff then was a good sod-house. I believe if we had a sod-house for this winter (1899) it would have been more comfortable.

      In the autumn of 1874, L. D. Phillips, P. L. Lancaster and myself went buffalo hunting. As neither we nor any of the neighbors had any meat of any kind and no money to buy any, we started from home with two wagons and eight large barrels for the [neat. We went by the way of Hastings; it only contained about twenty houses at that time, and from there to Kearney; it contained about one hundred houses and it was a pretty tough place then. There were Mexicans and cow-boys. They ran the town almost as they pleased. We stayed there two days and bought our supplies. There was a man killed while we were there. Next we went to North Platte City. It was a very lively town--too much so for us tenderfeet from the east. We got two antelope while crossing the Platte valley. We went south to the Republican river. In crossing the river we got mired down in quicksand. We had to unload and carry everything out. The water was three and one-half feet deep.

      While a Nebraska gentle breeze was blowing from the north, then it was to build a fire and dry our clothes. Next we started across to the Red Willow. Then our eyes began to get larger, for we could see herds of buffalo in all directions. We camped on Red Willow at noon. We were very anxious for some buffalo meat, so after dinner we started to see what we could do with them. They looked like sod houses moving to us, so we agreed to kill only animals one and two years old, so we would have nice tender meat. We got two that afternoon. While we were going to camp we got one wolf and one wild cat. To make a long story short, we got our barrels filled with nice tender meat. I killed my first buffalo with my first shot. I have some very nice buffalo horns now, and think a great deal of them as old relics. We were with the buffaloes two weeks.

      Just one mile from our camp there was an Indian buried in a tree. It was wrapped in a blanket, such as beads and wristlets were also with it. It was laid on poles and they were laid across the limbs of the tree. All the rivers and small streams were full of beaver and otter. There were many elk, deer, antelope and wolves. We saw herds of buffalo that were three miles long and from one-half to two miles wide. We thought at the time there were thirty thousand head in some herds. This may seem large, but it is all true. We killed forty buffaloes, four elk, several deer and antelope. We saw where the Indians had killed from twenty-five to one hundred buffalo in one place that did not cover fifteen acres of ground. We got arrows that laid where the remains were left. Remember, we spent all our money at Kearney to buy our supplies. So when we started back we didn't have any flour or tobacco when we reached Kearney. We had to hunt antelope and sell them to get money to buy provisions. It was straight meat three times a day for one week. We thought it pretty tough at that time. I believe I could get along now for a day or two on some good tender buffalo meat. As I stated before, we started hunting antelope and selling to Kearney people. Next we concluded to ship our barrels of meat home from Kearney to Edgar. Father and the neighbors went



and got it. Then they were very much pleased. Each barrel weighed over four hundred pounds. We stayed at Kearney for two weeks and sold forty dollars worth of antelope and deer. While we were hunting in the- sand hills we saw where there had been a buggy burned, and by it was a man's skull and some other bones. I suppose it was the work of the Indians.

      We came home when winter had commenced. I remember that winter was a very hard one. My brother, Harvey J. Post, and myself killed eighty jack-rabbits that winter. We shipped them to Omaha. We got as high as fifty cents apiece for them. That kept us till spring. Then I went to Illinois and worked till it was time for me to be back on my homestead. Before I forget a little incident I will tell you what happened when we were hunting. Mr. Phillips, our partner in hunting, was a great hand to tell us stories of what happened while he was in the army. We have listened to him for hours at a time. What I am about to tell, he will remember well. Each time he would tell us a story he would wind up with "Right about face." I suppose that was in the drill he had to perform for Uncle Sam. We had been out from early morn till about four o'clock P. M. We had been hunting on foot. We made our shoes out of buffalo rawhide. They were very nice to wear because they were very soft and pliable. But when they got dry, they were very slippery, so much so you had to be very careful or you would sit down very sudden. We had a very steep hill to go down and our slippery shoes were not very comfortable. The hill was about sixty yards to the level. There were several bunches of cactus, a kind of a flower plant. But had some very sharp thorns. We started down the hill, Mr. Phillips in the lead as usual. All at once his slippery shoes flew up and down the hill he went straight for a large bunch of those prairie roses, stickers and all. He inclined one shoe for the north pole and one for the south pole. When he struck those prairie roses he turned a complete somersault and alighted on his feet squarely. And I hallooed to him, "Right about face."

      I will never forget once, when Mr. Phillips and myself, had been hunting, and was crossing a large cañon that led from the divide to the Red Willow. The canon was about forty rods across from bluff to bluff. At some time there had been a very large rain, for in the center of the cañon it had washed out several places that would run from one foot to four feet deep. We were crossing this when we saw several buffalo coming down the the cañon. So we got in one of the places and sat down, and waited for the buffalo to come. We probably waited twenty minutes, when Mr. Phillips says, "I guess it is going to rain, did you not hear it thunder." And I raised up to. look, and see how near the game was. I no sooner looked over the bank than I said, "look at the buffaloes." The cañon was full of them. If we had let them come any nearer it would probably have been bad for us. Mr. Phillips and I were coming into camp. There was a buffalo run out from under a bank. I shot at him, he went a few yards and laid down. Mr, Phillips says " by smut," I will have a chance to show Lancaster that I can kill a buffalo by shooting them in the head, Mr. Phillips was hunting with a small muzzle-loading rifle, so now I will tell my story. We walked down within thirty feet of the buffalo; Mr. Phillips says "now I'll fix him," so he fired at his head. Mr. Buffalo shook his head. So Mr. Phillips loaded his gun again, putting two charges of powder in this time, and fired again. This time the buffalo shook his head a little more than common. The old gun was loaded again with three charges of powder, and it spoke again. Mr. Phillips and the old gun dissolved partnership, but the buffalo was his. As I have no more time to write, I will have to stop on my Wild West stories. 

Letter/label or barAMES FROM.--The subject of this sketch is one of the leading farmers of Olive township, Butler county. He located on the southwest quarter of section 30, of that township, in April, 1871, and has since made that his home, and in the prosecution of his farm work he has been very industrious, progressive in his ideas, and ready to take advantage of every turn of the tide to improve his circumstances.



      In tracing the life of our subject we find that he is a native of Center county, Pennsylvania, and was born in 1840, a son of Daniel From, also a Pennsylvanian by birth and a farmer by occupation. Mr. From was reared on a farm and attended the public schools during the winters, but each summer he entered a private educational institution. At the age of fifteen years he moved with his parents to Stephenson county, Illinois, and made that his home until the breaking out of the Civil war. He then enlisted in company B, Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, being enrolled at Camp Butler, September 10, 1861, and was in the service continuously from that date until the close of the war, and his experience was one of unusual activity. He reached Fort Donelson with the regiment of which he was a member a day and a half before its surrender, participated in its capture and his regiment was the first to occupy the captured fortress. After an overland march to Fort Henry he was included in the fleet which was reorganized to go to Pittsburg Landing, or Shiloh. During the battle at this place our subject escaped the jaws of death with the loss of a portion of his clothing by the explosion of a shell. From there he went to the siege of Corinth, Mississippi, and after its evacuation, to Memphis, Tennessee, where he went into camp in July. After breaking camp in the following September the regiment moved to Bolivar, Tennessee, and here Mr. From was overcome with heat and sickness and was sent to convalescent camp at LaGrange, Tennessee. He was next engaged in and around Vicksburg, and from there went to Camp Cowan, where he re-enlisted and then went home on his veteran furlough. Returning to service in March, 1864, he was sent to New Orleans, and from thence to Mobile and Spanish Fort. He next participated in the charge on Blakely, and then returned to Mobile, which had surrendered, and was there detailed to guard the government stores in Mississippi.

      At the close of the war, Mr. From was mustered out of service at Baton Rouge and went to Cairo by the river, and from thence by rail to Camp Butler, where he received his discharge February 2, 1866. From war to peace was but a little step for Mr. From and he resumed the more tranquil vocation of a farmer as readily as he had turned from farming to war. He next moved to Marshall county, Iowa, and shortly after, April 21, 1867, he was united in marriage to Miss Emeline Pifer, daughter of John Pifer, of Marshall county Iowa, and to this union were born nine children, of whom we have the following record: Mary F., now the wife of J. G. Lichliter, of Butler county, Nebraska; William H., who died in Iowa; Francis and John H., who were both born in Marshall county, Iowa; and Edward, James W., Myrtie May, Uriah and Harvey, born in Butler county, Nebraska. Mr. From is a member of A. Lincoln post, No. 10, Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. From is a potent factor in the prosperity enjoyed by Butler county and has been of great assistance in developing and extending its agriculture. He has an extensive farm, well stocked and equipped with fine buildings, and his surroundings testify clearly of the success he has made in life. 

Letter/label or barEORGE WATTS, one of Seward county's wealthy farmers and prominent citizens, is making his home on a fine tract of two hundred and forty acres of land in precinct N, Seward county, his residence being situated in section 4, near the village of Goehner. Mr. Watts is an old settler of this locality, and as a result of his thrifty and economical habits and his shrewd business management, he has acquired considerable means and is possessed of several



tracts of farm land in adjoining counties, and also of property in the town of Goehner.

      The subject of our sketch is a native of Somersetshire, England, his natal day being May 28, 1841. He is a son of William and Sallie Watts, and the names of his maternal grandparents were Joseph and Mary. Mr. Watts came to America in company with his mother when he was thirteen years of age. His father had migrated to the new world three years previous, settled in Wisconsin, and had worked the most of the time at day labor. When his wife and George arrived, they moved to Spring Grove, Illinois, where they made their home until George attained the age of twenty-six years. Mr. Watts engaged in farming near Spring Grove for five years and then went to Minnesota, where he remained one year. After this he returned to Wisconsin, and was there engaged in farming and hauling cranberries for about five years, and during the winters of that period he worked in the lumber regions. Upon his return to Wisconsin he met Miss Jennet A. Zalzell, and was united to her in marriage in Juneau county on the 11th day of October, 1867.

      Upon leaving Wisconsin, our subject moved with his wife and two children, to Seward county, Nebraska, the year before the grasshoppers made, their ravages in that state. Here he settled on the east half of the northeast quarter of section 4, in precinct N, for which he had previously traded Wisconsin property, giving the deed to his wife as a present. He at once built a sod house, fourteen by eighteen feet, with an addition ten by fourteen feet. This structure he furnished with a shingle roof and a board floor, which gave him the name of "The aristocrat" among the early settlers. He then went to work in earnest for himself, having heretofore worked only for others. During the first year he broke eighty acres and planted it in corn, wheat, oats and cottonwood cuttings, the latter with the view to cultivating shade trees. A few years later, he was able to add to the original farm by purchasing an adjoining eighty acres, and still later he purchased the third eighty from the railroad company. Mr. Watts then turned his attention to improving his farm and set out trees, not only for shade, but from year to year put out fruit trees, including apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries and grapes, which have now been bearing for several years, enough for his own family and for many of his neighbors. Besides his home place of two hundred and forty acres, our subject has one hundred and sixty acres of farm land in Valley county, and also one hundred and sixty acres in Cheyenne county, one hundred and sixty acres in Frontier county, and also has a two-story brick business building in the village of Goehner, and he and his wife have other houses and property in this village. As evidence of the diligence and skillful management exercised by Mr. and Mrs. Watts, we will add right here that with the exception of four hundred dollars, which Mr. Watts received from his father's estate, and the sum of one hundred and two dollars, which Mrs. Watts received from her father's estate, their entire possessions have come through the ordinary channels of agricultural profits. They have twice suffered loss by fire, amounting, in all, to not less than one thousand dollars.

      The family consists of the following named children, viz: John, Nettie, William L., Georgianna, Richard A., Albert J., Frank D. and Agnes E. 

Letter/label or barNDREW J. SWANSON is one of the most prosperous and successful of Polk county, his home being on section 26, township 14, range 3. As a young man of twenty-two years he came to America, and with no capital started out in a strange land to overcome the difficulties and




obstacles in the path to prosperity. His youthful dreams of success have been more than realized, and in their happy fulfillment he sees the fitting reward of his earnest toil.

      Mr. Swanson's early home was on the other side of the Atlantic, his birth occurring August 26, 1845, in Smoland, Sweden. There his father, Swan Swanson, a well-to-do farmer, spent his entire life, dying about 1891. Our subject grew to manhood in his native land, and received a good practical education, which has well fitted him for life's responsible duties. In 1868 he emigrated to America and settled in Knox county, Illinois, where he worked for farmers until coming to Nebraska in 1871. After purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land in Polk county, he returned to Illinois and did not locate upon his homestead until the following year, having built theron a little frame house 12 x 18 feet.

      In August, 1872, Mr. Swanson married Miss Anna M. Olson, a native of Galesburg, Illinois, and a daughter of Peter Olson, now a resident of Saunders county, Nebraska. They began their domestic life in the little house he had erected and carried on housekeeping in true pioneer style, while he broke ten acres the first year, planted it in corn and also raised some sod corn. They were living here during the great snow storm in April, 1873, and also passed through the grasshopper plague the following year, those insects destroying his entire crop of corn. Notwithstanding these drawbacks, Mr. Swanson has prospered and is now the owner of eight hundred acres of the best farming land to be found in the county, all of which he has placed under cultivation with the exception of twenty acres. He rents the greater portion of his land, but operates a tract of three hundred and twenty acres, upon which is a fine orchard of about sixty bearing trees set out by him, besides many shade and ornamental trees. He has an excellent brick residence, built in 1885, at a cost of three thousand dollars, and upon his home farm are other improvements, which have cost a similar amount.

      Mr. Swanson has been called upon to mourn the loss of his estimable wife, who died very suddenly April 29, 1896, and was laid to rest in the Swede Home cemetery. She was a true helpmeet to him in their early pioneer life, and to her encouragement and aid he attributes much of his success. Of the twelve children born to them only six are now living: Hilda C., Anna M., Emma J., John Albert, Carl August and Allen Bernard, who have received good educations in both English and Swedish. The daughters now keep house for their father.

     Mr. Swanson is a consistent member of the Lutheran church at Swede Home, of which his wife was also a member, and he has been officially connected with the same, and has assisted in building two churches in Polk county. He holds the highest policy in the Scandinavian Mutual Insurance Company, and has been a member of its board of directors. Lately he has given his political support to the People's party, and his influence is never withheld from any enterprise which he believes will prove of public benefit or will in any way promote the general welfare. Although an adopted son of America, his loyalty is above question, and his labors in the interests of his county have been most effective and beneficial. 

Letter/label or bar . H. ROGERS.--A gentleman of the highest character and strictest integrity, combined with a wide knowledge of men and the world, is always sure to cause a man to become well known. The above attributes are possessed by the subject of this sketch, who is illustrating them by his life of usefulness in Lockridge township, York county. He was born in Cumberland coun-


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