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viving her husband only three days. Their remains were interred in Havana cemetery, Mason county, Illinois. Of their ten children only four are now living, namely: Emeline, aged seventy-five years; Henry, sixty-six; Miller, sixty-one; and Anna, forty-seven.

      Miller Valentine was educated in the common schools of his native state. His education was very limited, as they had no free schools in the state at that time, but he has acquired a wide range of information by reading the public press, and few to-day have any better knowledge of events than he has. In 1855 he accompanied his parents on their removal to Illinois, where he engaged in the butcher business until the fall of 1862. In response to his country's call for troops to help put down the Rebellion, he then enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served for three years, during which time he participated in many important battles and skirmishes, such as the battle of Missionary Ridge. He was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, and was then sent to Chicago, Illinois, where he received his full pay. Returning to his home in Mason county, Illinois, he resumed the butcher business for nine years and later turned his attention to farming.

      On the 8th of March, 1866, Mr. Valentine married Mrs. Catherine Heater, widow of Corporal Heater, who was killed in the battle of Shiloh. She was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, in 1833, a daughter of Philip and Louise Bayler, who died in Mason county Illinois, and were also buried in Havana cemetery. In their family were twelve children, of whom seven are still living. In order of birth they are as follows: Eliza, Fannie, Rebecca, Jessie, Mary, Catharine, Sarah, Sophia and four who died in childhood.

      Mr. and Mrs. Valentine began married life in limited circumstances and at first had many hardships with which to contend, but before leaving Illinois he had managed to save two thousand dollars. Coming to Fillmore county, Nebraska, in 1886, he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Belle Prairie precinct, for three thousand nine hundred and fifty dollars, and in 1891 bought an eighty acre tract in the same precinct for one thousand two hundred dollars. This was raw land, but he soon converted it into well-cultivated fields, and now owns and controls five hundred acres of well, improved and tillable land. His home farm ranks second to none in this locality, being under excellent cultivation, nicely arranged and improved with good and substantial buildings. The lawn is adorned with beautiful shade trees, and a good orchard yields its fruit in season. This attractive home has become a place of rest, contentment and ease for our subject and his worthy wife. In connection with general farming he is also engaged in stock raising, and by his own good management, enterprise and industry, he has become a wealthy citizen.

     Socially Mr. Valentine affiliates with the Grand Army of the Republic and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln, and has since been an ardent supporter of the Republican party. He and his wife are highly respected by all who know them on account of their genuine worth and many excellencies of character, it being their constant aim to do good to their fellow citizens. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM HAYNES.--There is no class of biography which is more interesting to the reader than that of the industrious, enterprising farmer's boy who has risen unaided from humble circumstances in life to a position of affluence and comfort. Prominent among the men of Butler




county who have thus laboriously toiled onward and upward is the subject of this sketch, now successfully carrying on operations as a general farmer on section 28, Olive township, where he owns a highly cultivated and well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which has been acquired by industry, frugality and excellent management on his part.

      Born in Greene county, Indiana, October 20, 1842, Mr. Haynes is a son of Berry and Nancy (Bingham) Haynes, natives of Virginia and North Carolina, respectively. His maternal grandfather and uncle, Fred Bingham, were both soldiers of the war of 1812. The parents of our subject were married in the Old Dominion, and at an early day emigrated to Indiana, where our subject, who was the eighth child and second son in the family, was reared upon a farm until eleven years of age, when they removed to Illinois, settling in Tazewell county, about three miles from Pekin. There both parents died, honored and respected by all who knew them. The father died in 1865 and the mother in 1878.

      After two years spent in Illinois, William Haynes went to Iowa, where he remained a year, and then returned to Illinois, this time locating in Mason county, where the following three years were passed At the end of that time, when about seventeen years of age, he returned to Indiana, there engaging in farm work until the fall of 1860, when he went to Logan county, Illinois, and made his home near Lincoln until after the outbreak of the Civil war.

      Prompted by a spirit of patriotism, Mr. Haynes enlisted in July, 1861, in Company D, Seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry-the first regiment raised in that state for the war of the Rebellion and joined his command at Cairo. His first engagement was at Springfield, Missouri, which was followed by the battle at Belmont, that state. Having been rendered unfit for service by sickness, he was discharged in April, 1862, and returned home, where he soon recovered under the careful nursing of his mother. In August of that year he re-enlisted, this time becoming a member of Company C, One Hundred and Sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and about the 1st of December was ordered south with his regiment to Jackson, Tennessee, taking part in the raid from that place to Columbus, Kentucky, under Colonel Lawler.. During this expedition most of his company was lost, and the remainder returned to Jackson, and thence proceeded to Bolivar, Tennessee. In April, 1863, Mr. Haynes went with his command to Vicksburg, later to Helena and Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was detailed on the Red river expediton (sic), and on returning from Galveston, Texas, marched overland to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he was mustered out. On reaching Springfield, Illinois, he was honorably discharged August 2, 1865, and gladly returned to the pursuits of peace, finding farming more congenial to his tastes than fighting.

      For some time Mr. Haynes made his home in Tazewell county, Illinois, and he was married August 12, 1866, in Clinton county, that state, to Miss Sarah Sheets, a daughter of Adam Sheets, of Dewitt county, Illinois. They began their domestic life in Tazewell county, where three children were born to them: Harriett, Thomas and William, and since coming to Butler county, Nebraska, in September, 1871, five others have been added to the family: Charles, Nancy, Arthur, Walter and Laura. In his political views Mr. Haynes has always been a Republican, and still holds to the principles of that party, although at the presidential election of 1896 he supported the free-silver platform. In days of peace he has ever been as true to the interests of his country as he was when fighting on southern battle fields for the old flag and the cause it represented. Butler county has no



more honored or highly esteemed citizen than William Haynes. 

Letter/label or barOHN DALTON, the present chairman of the county board of supervisors of Seward county, needs no special introduction to the readers of this volume, but the work would be incomplete without the record of his life. No man in the community has been more prominently identified with its agricultural and political history or has taken a more active part in its upbuilding and progress. He cheerfully gives his support to those enterprises that tend to public development, and, with hardly an exception, he has been connected with every interest that has promoted general welfare.

      Like many of our most progressive and public-spirited citizens, Mr. Dalton was born on the other side of the Atlantic, his birth occurring in county Longford, Ireland, June 24, 1853. His parents, John and Nancy (Heslin) Dalton, were also natives of the Emerald Isle. The father, who was a blacksmith by trade, came to the United States when a young man and located at Cold Springs, New York, where he worked at his trade for some years, but finally returned to Ireland, where both he and his wife died. They had only two children, our subject and a sister, Mrs. Ella Rebholtz, who died July 11, 1886, at La Porte, Indiana.

      Mr. Dalton, whose name introduces this sketch, was reared and educated in La Porte county, Indiana, where he also learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed in connection with carriage making in that county until 1878. It was in that year that he became a resident of Seward county, Nebraska, where he purchased a tract of railroad land adjoining his present farm and erected thereon a small house. He at once began to break and improve his land, and as his financial resources have increased he has added to the original purchase until he now has three hundred and twenty acres of valuable and productive land in A and B townships, on which he is still successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising.

      On the 9th of February, 1880, Mr. Dalton led to the marriage altar Miss Nora A. Condon, a daughter of David and Catherine (Regan) Condon, who emigrated from Ireland to the new world in early life and were among the first settlers of La Porte county, Indiana, where they still reside. To Mr. and Mrs. Dalton have been born five children, as follows: Bernard V., Thomas W., Erma R., Ella M. and Nona C., all living. The parents are communicants of the Catholic church.

      Mr. Dalton is a recognized leader in the ranks of the local Democratic organization, and has done much to advance the interests of his party in Seward county. His fellow citizens, recognizing his fitness for office, have elected him to a number of important positions of honor and trust. For one term he served as assessor of A township, which he also represented on the board of supervisors, and he has also filled the office of assessor of B township for two terms. In 1896 he was appointed live stock commissioner by the governor of Nebraska for one year, and is now serving his third term as supervisor from the first district, and his second term as chairman of the board. In 1885, 1886 and 1887 he was a member of the county board of agriculture and is also a member of the board of directors of the Home Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of Seward. 

Letter/label or barARTIN VAN VLEET is a substantial and well-to-do farmer and stock raiser of York county, and his career is a brilliant illustration of what is possible for energy and persistence in a new country. His business operations, which have been varied and extensive, have been characterized by




sound sense and have invariably justified his judgment.

      Mr. Van Vleet was born in Saint Joseph county, Michigan, March 27, 1852, and is a son of Philo and Helen (McDonald) Van Vleet. His father drew his first vital breath in the state of New York and his mother in Ireland. They married and settled in Saint Joseph county at an early day, but afterwards removed to Clinton county, where they both died, the wife and mother in 1863, and the husband and father surviving until 1897. Martin was only two years old when this removal was made, and in that county he lived until his early manhood. He found an opportunity to begin life for himself under advantageous circumstances, and located near Pittsford, Hillsdale county. There he became a husband and the head of a family in 1875, leading to the matrimonial altar Miss Ida Lake. She was also Michigan born and bred, and claims the town of Ovid as her native place. She is a daughter of Otho and Charity (Lovejoy) Lake. They were born in New York, and came into Branch county in 1832, where they lived and died, the former in 1889, and the latter in 1856.

      After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Van Vleet lived in Pittsford three years and then came west to Saunders county, Nebraska, where they settled on a farm. Here Mr. Van Vleet made several changes to good advantage, buying and selling with a profit .at every transaction. In 1892 he came to York county and bought a quarter section -of land near Waco. This became valuable, and he sold it to buy again three eighties, where he now resides. This farm shows the handiwork of an experienced farmer, and is under a high state of cultivation. To-day he is one of the most prosperous and independent farmers in the county, and -a very sharp contrast might be drawn with his financial condition when he came to this state twenty years ago, when he was practically without resources. Industry, enterprise and push have lifted him in that time to an ample competency. He is independent in politics, and refuses to let any man do his thinking for him, either in that or religion. He is the father of a numerous and interesting family of seven children, all of whom are living. Their names are Charles, Frank, George, Barbara, Edna, Clara and Philo. 

Letter/label or barMIL SCHOTT.--No country has afforded greater opportunity to the poor man than our own; it is indeed the poor man's country. Here an industrious, frugal man has a chance to secure a fortune. Many fail to do so, but the best of our population lay by some of their earnings, and soon find themselves in the possession of a handsome property. Among them is the gentleman whose name heads this article, being the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 26, township 15. range 2 west, Valley precinct, Polk county.

      Mr. Schott was born December 14, 1850, in Alsace, now a province of Germany, but at that time formed a part of France, and there his parents, Joseph and Lena (Mier) Schott, spent their entire lives, the former dying in 1886, the latter in 1884. The father was a farmer, and served for seven long years in the French army. The children of the family are Emil, of this sketch; Catharina, still a resident of Alsace; Martin and Mary, twins, who also make their home in Alsace; and Anthony, who is now living in Polk county, Nebraska.

      Upon the home farm in his native province Emil Schott remained until nineteen years of age, but in August, 1870, volunteered to join the French army, and was assigned to the Chasseurs. He participated in eight important battles, including the engagements at Amiens and Arras, and at



the last one, in the department of Bartkallis, January 18 and 19, 1871, he was taken prisoner by Prince Charles' army. With his fellow prisoners he was kept in a barn over night, and then marched to Arras, where they were confined in the National prison until they could be placed on a train and shipped to Germany, being three nights and two days without food. On reaching Metz they were given some rice and meat, and then marched back to the cars and sent on to Peniprich, where they obtained supper. Proceeding to Coblentz, Mr. Schott was under guard at that place from January 28, 1871, until the 2d of April, and then worked for a time in a restaurant, after which he returned home. At one time, while in active service, a bullet passed through the overcoat strapped to his shoulders, making seven holes in it, but he was fortunately uninjured.

      On the 9th of June, 1871, Mr. Schott bade good-by to friends, home and native land, and sailed for America, locating first in Canton, Ohio, where he worked on a farm for nine years. In 1880 he wedded Miss Mary Friedman, who was born in Stark county, Ohio, in 1860, a daughter of Joseph Friedman, a native of the United States, but of German parentage. They began their domestic life upon a rented farm in Stark county, Ohio, where they remained for five years, coming to Polk county. Nebraska, in 1885, and locating upon their present farm of two hundred and forty acres. With the exception of four acres the entire tract is under excellent cultivation, and their comfortable residence was erected in 1893, and barn in 1888. Mr. Schott gives his entire time and attention to general farming and stock raising, and has prospered in his undertakings, being today one of the most substantial citizens of his community.

      Of the eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Scott, the eldest died in infancy. The others are as follows: Cora and Clara, twins; Rosa, Annie, Joseph, Eva and John. The parents are devout members of St. Andrew's Catholic church, with which Mr. Schott has been officially connected, and he also belongs to the Modern Woodmen camp at Osceola. He is entirely independent of party lines in his politics, considering, in the exercise of his elective franchise, rather the fitness of the man for the office than the party who placed him in nomination. 

Letter/label or barON. W. R. DAVIS, of Seward, was born in Yadkin county, North Carolina, November 26, 1824. He was married to Miss Margaret A. Bohannon, and to them were born eight children, two of whom died in infancy: Rebecca, Annice, Mattie, Abner Y.; Major A. V., and Josephine. They moved to Iowa in the year of 1852, and in 1857 came and settled in Cass county. He was elected to three sessions of the Territorial Legislature, and in 1862 was appointed assistant assessor of internal revenue. In 1864 he enlisted in the army, and on December 10, 1864, while he was yet in the army, his wife died. He was discharged by his own request, and upon his return home from the army, he was immediately appointed assistant assessor of internal revenue, in August, 1866, he married Miss Hannah C. Coleman, and to them were born two children,. Nellie R, and Frank R. Mr. Davis has always been an active business man, and has done much to build up Seward, always taking an active part in any enterprise that would lead to the development of his county. 

Letter/label or barOHN HOKOM, a prosperous and representative agriculturist of Momence precinct, Fillmore county, Nebraska, living on section 19, was born in Sweden, in 1839, and in that country his parents spent their




entire lives, the mother dying only a few years ago. The meager education he acquired during his boyhood and youth was obtained by three months' attendance at the common schools of his native land. At the age of fifteen years he was confirmed in the Lutheran church of Sweden, and for two years he served as a soldier in the Swedish army.

      With the hope of bettering his financial condition, Mr. Hokom emigrated to America at the age of twenty-nine years, and on landing in New York proceeded at once to Knox county, Illinois. Later he spent a short time in Wisconsin, but returned to Knox county, Illinois, where he spent six years in farming, at first working for others by the month. While residing there Mr. Hokom was married, in 1872, to Oliva Anderson, also a native of Sweden, born April 23, 1846. She was reared and educated in her native land and came alone to the new world. She is the third in order of birth in a family of five children, three sons and two daughters, the parents of whom were Andrew and Lena (Monson) Bangston. To our subject and his wife have also been born five children, as follows: Martin, Henry, Hattie, John and Ida, all residents of Nebraska.

      On leaving Galesburg, Knox county, Illinois, Mr. Hokom came direct to Fillmore county, Nebraska, and in Bryant precinct purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land south of Shickley for six dollars per acre, but the family was forced to endure many hardships during their early residence here, and he at one time offered to trade the entire tract for a horse, as he become very discouraged. He remained, however, and a year later sold the place for one thousand eight hundred dollars. In 1883, he bought his present farm of two hundred and forty acres in Momence township, for which he paid three thousand and two hundred dollars, and which is now one of the best places in this locality, but all of the improvements found thereon have been placed there by himself and family. The land is under a high state of cultivation, the buildings are of a good substantial character, and everything about the place betokens thrift and prosperity. Left fatherless at an early age, Mr. Hokom began the struggle of life for himself when quite young, and on coming to Fillmore county had but five hundred dollars in money and a team of horses, but he has gradually worked his way upward, overcoming the obstacles in his path, until he is now the possessor of a comfortable competence and is one of the well-to-do citizens of his community. In his political affiliations he is a Populist, but was originally a Republican, and he gives his support to all measures which he believes calculated to prove of public benefit or will in any way advance the interests of the people around him. 

Letter/label or barRWIN E. LINCOLN, a prosperous and enterprising business man of McCool Junction, Nebraska, holds a prominent position among the mercantile workers of York county. He opened up a hardware store in 1889, and in 1897 added furniture and farm machinery, and each department carried a very complete stock. In furniture and hardware he is the first and only dealer in the junction, and by the observance of business habits and strict integrity he has won a wide circle of friends.

      Mr. Lincoln was born in Canton, New York, April 27, 1857, and is now at the very prime of his powers. He is a son of Myron and Sylvia A. (Page) Lincoln. His father was born in New Hampshire, and his mother in Vermont. They both removed to New York at an early age, and in that state they married. They came to Illinois, and settled on a farm in Grundy county in 1857, and continued its tillage



many years. Myron Lincoln died in Streator, Illinois, in 1874, and his widow is still living, and has her home in McCool Junction. She has attained the venerable age of seventy-five, and still keeps her mental vision clear and unimpaired. Erwin grew to manhood in Illinois, remaining on the farm and attending the district school after the fashion of farm lads until he was sixteen years old. At that time his parents removed to Streator. He followed them, and was a teamster for some years, when he bought a farm in company with a brother-in-law, and engaged in its cultivation. He made a trip to this state in 1877, and spent two years in farming some leased school lands in York county. In January, 1888, he brought his young wife from Streator, and locating at the junction began that business career which has in a few brief years yielded such substantial results. He worked in an elevator for some six months, and then conducted a butcher business for himself a year or more. He laid the foundation of his present large and extensive business by buying a half interest in a small stock of hardware, and opening a store under the firm name of Lincoln & Grier. In less than three months, he not only bought his partner out, but also bought the goods of another and rival firm, and consolidated the two stores and has managed a large and growing business without assistance other than that of hired labor. He has one of the leading establishments of the county, and draws patronage from a long distance away. His success is due to his own energy and honest character. He brought but little money into the county, and has conquered a place in the business world by strict attention to his work, a desire to please, and honesty in the simplest transactions. He is looked upon as one of the leading citizens of the town, and has served on the village board several years, and is now acting in that capacity. He is a Democrat, though not an earnest politician. He prefers rather to give his time and attention to his business, which is richly repaying a close devotion. He is a charter member of the Lackens camp of Modern Woodmen, and was its clerk for some four years after its organization. He has filled nearly every official station in that order since his connection with it. He was married September 18,1881, to Miss Catherine Teters. She was born in Grundy county, Illinois, and is a daughter of John and Susan (McAllister) Teters, who formerly lived in Ohio. She has presented her husband with three children, Cora, Lewis and Emmet, and has contributed materially to his success in life by her housewifely genius and social instincts. 

Letter/label or barOHN HILGER.--Among some of the most enterprising citizens of Butler county are those who were born in Germany, and who have brought into this fertile and productive country the thrift and economy of the old world. Among these there is no figure that stands out more prominently in the history of the county than John Hilger, a well-known farmer, residing on section 10, Olive township.

      Mr. Hilger was born April 2, 1841, in Luxemburg, Germany, of which place his father, Dominick Hilger, was also a native. Our subject obtained his early education in the public schools of his native land, and remained in that country until 1855, when he sailed for the United States, living on a farm in Jackson county, Iowa, until after the Civil war broke out. In 1862 he enlisted in the Fifth Iowa Cavalry for three years or until the close of the war, and with the Army of the Cumberland participated in the battles of Murfreesboro, Chattanooga and Atlanta, being honorably discharged from the service in 1865.

      Returning to his home in Iowa, he en-



gaged in farming there for three years. In the meantime he was married, in Jackson county, on the 30th of December, 1867, to Miss Florence Grier. Her father, Peter Grier, of Jackson county, was also a native of Luxemburg, Germany, and having crossed the Atlantic became a resident of Iowa early in the '50s. Mr. and Mrs. Hilger became the parents of six children, whose names and dates of birth are as follows: Julia, 1868; George, 1870; Louisa, 1872; Christian, 1874; Emma, 1876; and Agnes, 1880. The wife and mother was called to her final rest October 15 1882.

      On leaving Jackson county, Iowa, Mr. Hilger came to Butler county, Nebraska, and has since been prominently identified with its agricultural interests, making for himself a comfortable home and fine farm. Politically he is a free silver Democrat, and has served his fellow citizens in the capacity of township treasurer and collector, filling the latter office for five years, his last term just expiring. In religious belief he is a Catholic. 

Letter/label or barYRUS B. THOMPSON is one of the early settlers and representative farmers of Fillmore county, having since the spring of 1871 successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits in Fairmont township. As a man of more than ordinary intelligence and enterprise, he has materially assisted in the building up of the township and attracting to it a thrifty and industrious class of people.

      Mr. Thompson was born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, November 8, 1837, a son of John S. and Nancy (Osborn) Thompson, also natives of Pennsylvania. The paternal grandfather, William M. Thompson, was born in the same state of Scotch-Irish parentage, his ancestors having come to the United States from county Armagh, Ireland, prior to the war of 1812.

      He was a farmer by occupation and spent his entire life in Pennsylvania. He had three sons, who grew to manhood, and of these John S., our subject's father, was the eldest. In early life he learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed in his native state until 1867, and then removed to Iowa. Later he made his home with our subject in Nebraska, and his youngest son in Kansas, and died at the home of the latter in 1898. His wife had passed away in Fairmont, Nebraska, in 1886, and the remains of both were interred there. To them were born nine children, seven sons and two daughters, but only three sons are now living, and our subject is the only one living in Fillmore county.

      During early life Cyrus B. Thompson pursued his studies in the common schools of Pennsylvania, and later engaged in teaching school and farming in that state until after the Civil war broke out. In 1862 he went to the front as a member of Company A, One Hundred and Forty-second Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and remained in the service until honorably discharged May 29, 1865. He participated in the battle of Fredericksburg, in Burnsides' muddy march, and the engagements at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Franktown, Thoroughfare Gap, Rappahannock Station, the Wilderness, Laurel Hill, Spottsylvania, Tolopotomy creek, North Anna river, Bethesda church, Cold Harbor and Petersburg. In front of Petersburg he was wounded, July 14, 1864, by a shot in the right hand, and for some time was unfit for duty. Later he took part in the battles of Hatcher's Run, Dobney's Mills, the second battle of Hatcher's Run, Fort Stedman, Boydton Plank Road, Five Forks and Appomattox Court House, where Lee surrendered. He was several times slightly wounded, but never seriously, and was only off duty a short time. When mustered out he was holding the rank of first sergeant.



      Returning to his home in Pennsylvania, Mr. Thompson remained there until the fall of 1866, when he went to Jackson county, Iowa, and rented land for a short time, but the following year moved to Jasper county, the same state, where he made his home until coming to Fillmore county, Nebraska, in the spring of 1871. On the 27th of February, of that year, he located his homestead on the northwest quarter of section 14, Fairmont township, and it was not long before he transformed the wild land into highly cultivated fields. He hauled the lumber for his first home from Lincoln, and erected a little house, 14 x 16 feet, in which the family lived for some years. A few Indians were still to be seen in this region, and wild game was plentiful. His third crop was destroyed by the grasshoppers, and he has encountered many other trials, but in the main he has prospered in his adopted state, and is now the owner of three quarter sections of land, all under excellent cultivation and improved with good buildings.

      On the 4th of March, 1869, Mr. Thompson was united in marriage with Miss Sarah M. Sterrett, a native o Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Robert and Martha (Elrod) Sterrett, who were also born in that state. Of the seven children born of this union, four are still living, namely: John S., Stella L., Charles D. and Fred H., all residing at home, and the daughter is successfully engaged in teaching school. The parents and children hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, and receive and merit the respect and esteem of all who know them. Fraternally Mr. Thompson belongs to the Masonic fraternity, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Grand Army of the Republic, and politically he affiliates with the Republican party. He has served as assessor of his township, but has never sought office, preferring to give his time and attention to his business interests. He is a man honored arid esteemed wherever known and most of all where he is best known. 

Letter/label or barWAN LARSON is one of the enterprising, energetic and industrious citizens of Bryant precinct, Fillmore county, his home being on section 13, where he has a fine farm of eighty acres pleasantly located only a mile and a half from Shickley. By his industrious application to his work and good management, he has succeeded in acquiring this valuable property, for he started out in life for himself in limited circumstances.

      Mr. Larson was born in Sweden in 1837, and is a son of Lars and Mary Bengston, in whose family were twelve children, but only three sons and one daughter came to America. The parents both died in Sweden, the father at the age of eighty-two years, the mother at the age of eighty-nine. They had the respect and esteem of all who knew them. Our subject was educated in his native land and was there confirmed in the Swedish Lutheran church at the age of fourteen years. For two years he was a soldier in the Swedish army, and during his residence in that country followed the occupation of farming.

      Before leaving Sweden, Mr. Larson was married, in 1874, to Miss Ingrid Stahl, who was born there in 1847, and was confirmed in the Lutheran church at the age of fifteen. Her parents were Swan and Stina Stahl, who spent their entire lives in Sweden, the former dying at the age of seventy, the latter at the age of seventy-two. For forty three years the father was a soldier in the regular army. Mrs. Larson is the fourth in order of birth in a family of eight children, and of these she had three brothers. who also became residents of the United States. Three children have been born to our subject and his wife, namely: Nels,



Olof and Hilda. The younger son and daughter are still at home. Nels, who is now twenty-three years of age, has been in the employ of business men of Shickley for the past nine years and has won the confidence of all by his honesty and manly bearing. He is conversant with several languages, is an energetic and shrewd business man of sterling qualities, is highly respected by all who know him, and undoubtedly the future has in store for him success and honor.

      In 1883 Mr. Larson and his family came to the new world, and on reaching the shores of this country proceeded at once to Bryant precinct, Fillmore county, Nebraska, where he rented land until 1892. He then purchased eighty acres of raw land, which he began to break and improve, but subsequently sold that place at a good profit and purchased his present farm of eighty acres at a cost of $2,200. This beautiful tract is well improved and under a high state of cultivation and yields to the owner a golden tribute in return for the care and labor bestowed upon it. The first home he owned here was a sod house, but prosperity has crowned his well-directed efforts and he now has a comfortable residence, surrounded by good out-buildings. Mr. and Mr. Larson united with the Lutheran church in Sweden, to which they still adhere, and they and their children now hold membership in the Stockholm church, Bryant precinct. 

Letter/label or barEV. JOHN AMSDEN CHAPIN.--Only the history of the good and great comes down to us through the ages. The true religion has been the strongest influence known to man through all time, while the many false doctrines that have sprung up have flourished only for a day and then vanished. More potent at the present time than at and period in the world's history are the work and influence of Christianity, and among those who are devoting their lives to its inculcation among men is Rev. Chapin, of Seward county.

      He was born in Calais, Washington county, Vermont, April 2, 1833, and is the fifth child in the family of John Amsden and Diadama (Merrill) Chapin. He attended the Calais common and private schools and aided his father in the work of the home farm until twenty years of age, when he went to Springfield, Massachusetts, where he worked in a lumber-yard for eighteen months. He then entered the old Ames machine shops at Chicopee, Massachusetts, as an apppentice (sic), remaining there two years and a half, or until the autumn of 1857. Living on the sea coast, he often made trips as a sailor on the fishing boats along the coast and in the gulf of the St. Lawrence, but he finally became satisfied that this was not a very paying business, and accordingly he returned home in the fall of 1858 and entered the academy at Westfield, Massachusetts, where he pursued his studies for two years.

     While employed as a sailor Mr. Chapin became acquainted with Miss Sarah Perkins and upon the completion of his academic course they were married in May, 1861, after which he worked in the government machine shop, manufacturing Springfield rifles until December, 1863. In company with two of his brothers he then enlisted in Company I, Third Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, the company being afterward detailed by order of General Butler to serve as an engineering corps, in which capacity they served until hostilities ceased. They were finally discharged at Galloup's Island with honors for faithfulness and promptness in the discharge of their duties in making pontoon bridges and doing other work in the engineering line. After their return home, Governor Andrews of Massachuetts issued a circular complimentary to Company I, giving them full praise for

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