NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center
On-Line Library



fourth in order of birth in their family of eight children, of whom only four are now living. His maternal grandfather, John Lintner, had a narrow escape from the Indians when a babe of two years, and his great-grandfather, George Lintner, shouldered a musket and fought for the independence of the colonies as a soldier of the Revolutionary war. The ancestors of our subject were from Germany, and he is able to understand their language but cannot speak it.

      During his boyhood and youth Mr. Dillenbeck attended the common schools of New York, and at the age of twenty years entered the service of his country, enlisting as a private in Company C, Twentieth New York Volunteer Cavalry, under Col. N. B. Lord. He took an active part in the engagements at Spring Hill, Virginia, Blackwater and Suffolk, and was in the service for one year, nine months and twenty-one days, being honorably discharged at the close of the war with the rank of captain, won by meritorious conduct on field of battle. Soon after his return home he decided to seek his fortune in the gold fields of California, and taking the Nicaragua route passed through Yucatan, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, New Granada and Mexico, and on his return to New York gained by investigation a thorough knowledge of the West Indies.

      At the age of twenty-six Mr. Dillenbeck was united in marriage with Miss Lizzie Gates, a native of Massachusetts, who was then nineteen, the ceremony being performed at Easton, New York. She is a lady of culture and refinement, who was educated in the high schools of Charleston, Massachusetts, and successfully engaged in teaching in Vermont and New York. Her ancestors were passengers on the famous Mayflower which landed the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock in 1620. Her parents were Winthrop and Lydia N. (Wyman) Gates, natives of Maine and Massachusetts, respectively. They were married in the old Bay state, where they continued to reside for some years and then removed to New York, where the father died at the age of seventy-two years, leaving five children besides the widow, who is still living in New York at the ripe old age of eighty-two years. In the family were originally eight children, of whom Mrs. Dillenbeck is the fourth in order of birth. By her marriage to our subject she has become the mother of seven children, of whom four are now living: John Winthrop, who married Alice Sanders and lives on a farm in Seward county, Nebraska; Lydia M., who was principally educated in the Milford high school, and has been a most popular and successful teacher since fourteen years of age; and Wilford and Maude E., who are at home and are still attending school.

      For four years Mr. Dillenbeck engaged in the general mercantile business in New York state, and at the age of thirty-two was elected sheriff of Saratoga county, for a term of four years, and most creditably filled that office. At the age of thirty-eight he emigrated to Seward county, Nebraska, with his family, consisting of wife and two children, and located a homestead of eighty acres in P precinct, it being the last to be had in the county. He at once began its improvement and development. The land was very rough for this section, but he had had experience in mining in California, and believed his land contained mineral ore of value, which has proved to be the case, as gold, silver, iron and copper have been found. The first assays were made September 5, 1895, at which time a company was formed, known as the Middle Creek Mining Company, but owing to a disagreement among the members it was soon disbanded and nothing was accomplished. A friend and Mr. Dillenbeck then advanced six hundred dollars each but made little progress



toward the erection of a plant.. Finally a syndicate was formed, a sluice made and a smelter put in operation, but this proved only partially successful. The vein of ore is only four feet below the surface and extends down to the depth of fifty feet all over Mr. Dillenbeck's eighty-acre farm, and contains an average of eight dollars to the ton of gold, silver, iron and copper. As soon as he is able to get the proper machinery, for he has had to work alone and almost empty-handed, he believes he will be able to make a fortune from his land. One difficulty has been to get a smelter that will properly extract the different minerals from the soil without wasting too much of the precious metals, but he now thinks that he has completed the proper process and plan for operation. Mrs. Dillenbeck has ever taken an active interest in these preparations, is herself a geologist, and with her husband owns several rich mines in Arkansas, where he is now working in connection with four companions, who have formed a corporation representing five hundred thousand dollars. Besides this valuable property, Mr. and Mrs. Dillenbeck own four hundred acres of land in this state, much of which is underlaid with rich mineral deposits, and the prosperity that has crowned their efforts has been due entirely to their own enterprise, perseverance and good management. They are pleasant, genial people, who make many friends, and their hospitable home is ever open to their large circle of acquaintances. 

Letter/label or barEORGE COON.--The man who was content to go through the Civil war as a "high" private, doing his duty nobly and unflinchingly on the field of battle or in the camp, is to-day one of the leading citizens of Belle Prairie township, Fillmore county, Nebraska, being successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits on section 6. He was born in Lee county, Illinois, in 1844, and is a son of John and Louisa (Shaw) Coon, natives of Indiana. The father died in Clinton county, Iowa, at the age of forty-one years, leaving a widow and eight children. Seven children are still living, namely: George, our subject; Henry, a professor in the National Business college of Kansas City; John, a cook employed in Kansas City; Levi; Ellen; Sarah and Emily.

      The subject of this review received only a common-school education. At the early age at seventeen years he offered his services to the government to fight for the preservation of the Union, enlisting in 1861, in Company F, Sixteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was sworn, into the United States service at St. Louis in 1862, and participated in a number of important engagements, including the battles of Pittsburg Landing, Corinth, Iuka, Champion Hill, Vicksburg and Black River Bridge. Dur-the (sic) last-named engagement he helped to burn the bridge. At Atlanta, Georgia, he was captured after he and his comrades had used up sixty rounds of cartridges and made three empty charges. They were at length overpowered and taken prisoners. The battle ground was so strewn with dead and wounded that it was almost impossible to pass along. This was during the siege of Atlanta, July 22, 1864, and Mr. Coon was not released until April 1, 1865, when he was exchanged. He was incarcerated in Andersonville prison, where he suffered untold hardships, being almost starved to death. His weight was reduced from one hundred and fifty to ninety pounds. After his exchange he returned home on a furlough as soon as his health would permit, and at the close of the war was honorably discharged.

      For some years Mr. Coon made his home in Wheatland, Iowa, where he was married in 1868, to Miss Madora Barber, a daughter of Luman and Susan (Alford) Barber. The mother died at the age of twenty-five years,



leaving a husband and four children to mourn her untimely death. The father subsequently married Miss Anna Shiffer, by whom he had ten children. He is still living in Custer county, Nebraska, at the age of seventy-five years, and enjoys good health. Mr. and Mrs. Coon have a family of ten children, all living, namely: William, John, Bessie, Samuel, Eugene, Marion, Raymond, Charles, Arthur and Mabel. The youngest three and daughter are still at home.

      In 1871, Mr. Coon brought his family to Fillmore county, Nebraska, and in Belle Prairie precinct he took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he has since continued to reside, devoting his time and attention to its improvement and cultivation. On his arrival here he had but twelve dollars in money and a team of horses, and for the first five or six years the family lived principally on corn and the vegetables grown in their own garden, and they experienced all the other hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. Their nearest mill was at Pleasant Hill and they went to Beatrice for their groceries. The sod house, which was their home for eleven years, has since given place to a comfortable frame residence, supplied with all the comforts of life, and the wild land has been converted into well cultivated fields by the industry, perseverance and good management of our subject. He now receives a pension from the government, to which he is justly entitled, as his health is greatly impaired, the result of his army life and his imprisonment at Andersonville. Since casting his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln, he has been unswerving in his support of the men and measures of the Republican party, and he always faithfully and conscientiously discharges his duties of citizenship. He is highly respected by all who know him and has many friends in his adopted county. 

Letter/label or barETER DOYLE has been a resident of Bradshaw township, York county, for some sixteen years, and in that time he has proved himself a bright and progressive farmer, reaping substantial results from hard work and capable management. He is now about forty years old and is among the leading citizens of the county. He belongs to an old Irish family, which has contributed strong men to Ireland in former generations, and he himself is not an unworthy representative of a virile race.

      Peter Doyle was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, December 15, 1857. His father, Peter Doyle, was born in county Westford, Ireland, and was a contractor and employer of labor in the old country. He left Ireland and came to America about 1850, and landed in New York. For a year or more he was alone in this country, but his wife came over and then life resumed its wonted comfort. He spent several years in boating on the Mississippi river, part of the time in charge of a dredging boat at New Orleans. He went from the southern city to Sangamon county, Illinois, and engaged in farming in that and Logan county, where he died in 1856, at the age of forty-two. A sketch of his wife appears elsewhere under the name of Mrs. Mary Haney.

      Peter Doyle, the subject of this article, when he was eighteen years old, left the parental roof, and started out to fight the battle of life for himself. His step-father gave him a mule, and with this as his entire capital he rented land, and by hard labor and good management forced the soil to yield him a generous award each year. He took his money that he saved during six years of this arduous labor, and came to this county in the fall of 1881, and found eighty acres in Bradshaw township that pleased his critical eye. He bought the tract, taking a bond for a deed. He returned to Illinois, and was married to Miss Anne Kelly, February 8, 1882. She is a



daughter of John and Alice (Fagan) Kelly. Her parents were married in Hancock county, Illinois, in 1857. Her father and grandfather came from Limerick, Ireland. In this country they were tillers of the soil, which was probably their occupation in the old Irish home.

      The young couple came directly to their Nebraska home, and arrived on the new farm March 3, 1882, where they have resided to the present time. They had only thirty acres broken, and not a tree growing. In the fall of 1889 they had finished paying for their land, and felt free to purchase a second eighty acres, which has rounded out their place into a quarter section of fine farming land. They are the parents of six children: Mary, William, Patrick, James, Katie, and John. They are in full connection with the Catholic church at York, and are devout believers in the apostolic way of salvation. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is a silver Democrat, and is a man of character and standing at home. 

Letter/label or barHILIP SMITH, the efficient and popular postmaster of Bellwood, has since the spring of 1872 been prominently identified with the agricultural interests of Butler county, locating at that time on section 4, Savannah township. From his old home in Wisconsin he made the journey by team, and as one of the pioneers of this region he took an active part in the development and prosperity of the county.

      Mr. Smith is a native of Cook county, Illinois, born January 11, 1845, where Barington Station is now located, and there he made his home until ten years of age. The Smiths were of Pennsylvania Dutch stock, and the grandfather of our subject was a farmer by occupation. Martin Smith, our subject's father, settled in Cook county, Illinois, about 1842, having removed to that state from New York, where he was born and reared. He married Adaline Drake, a daughter of Otis Drake, who belonged to an old "Yankee" family. About 1852 our subject's parents, with their children, removed to Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, locating upon a farm, where Philip grew to manhood. Desirous of striking a blow in defense of his country, he enlisted in 1864, at the age of nineteen years, in Company D, Forty-fifth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and with his regiment participated in the battle of Nashville. The war having ended he returned to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where he was honorably discharged in 1865. From that time until 1871 he spent in traveling over Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin, in search of a desirable location.

      In the spring of 1871, in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Smith and Miss Sarah Gardner, a daughter of Benjamin Gardner. One son blessed this union: Benjamin, who was born in Wisconsin and is now living in Bellwood, Nebraska. The wife and mother departed this life in Butler county, in 1877. Mr. Smith was again married, in July, 1882, his second union being with Miss Mary E. Buffalo, formerly of Indiana, and a daughter of Bryant Buffalo. To them have been born seven children, three sons and four daughters, namely: Etta May, Mabel Elizabeth, Philip, Dayton J., Anna Marie, Charles and Mary Evaline.

      Until appointed postmaster of Bellwood, Mr. Smith gave his entire time and attention to farming and stock-raising after coming to Butler county, and in the latter branch of his business has been remarkably successfully. He is a wide-awake, progressive business man of known reliabillity (sic), and is therefore justly deserving the prosperity that has come to him through honest toil. Since attaining his majority he has given an unwavering support to the Republican party, has taken quite an active inter-



est in its welfare and done all in his power to insure its success. For five terms he served as assessor of his township, and has also creditably filled the offices of justice of the peace and constable. He has also taken an active part in county and state conventions, being the nominating delegate to the last state convention of his party. In December, 1897, he was appointed postmaster of Bellwood and the prompt and able manner in which he is discharging the duties of that position wins the commendation of all concerned. Socially he is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and religiously is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Also a member of C. R. Lowell Post, G. A. R., No. 83. 

Letter/label or barEANDER S. CALLAGHAN.--This name will be readily recognized by the citizens of the vicinity of Germantown, Seward county, as one of the most popular and influantial (sic) citizens of H precinct, which has been his home for many years. Mr. Callaghan is of Irish descent, Dublin, Ireland, being the birthplace of his grandfather, Patrick Callaghan. The latter was reared in the land of his nativity and was there married. He subsequently migrated to America, locating in Schenectedy, New York, with his family which consisted of two sons and three daughters, of whom our subject's father, James Callaghan, was the second son. James Callaghan, being desirous to try the life of a seaman, determined to do so in spite of his father's objections, and the father afterward bound him on a man-of-war and he was there educated and there he reached the age of thirty-five years. He then returned to Schenectady and was there married to Miss Lucy Jennings, and followed the vocation of farming during the greater part of the remaining years of his life. Later in life he moved to Allegany county, and for eight years he filled the position of foreman. He died at the age of eighty-nine years, after a sickness of only two hours, but his wife attained the age of ninety-eight years.

      Our subject was born in Tompkins county, New York, October 7, 1838, and was educated in the common schools of Wellsville, of that county, and in the evening select schools, which he attended while learning the trade of a millwright. After serving an apprenticeship of eight and a half years in this line of work, he took charge of the machinery at Wellsville. During this time, or on September 24, 1860, he was united in marriage to Miss Annie M. Smith. In the following September he enlisted and an outline of that part of his life that was spent in the Civil war will appear later in this article. After the close of hostilities, the state of Mr. Callaghan's health was such that he was unable to engage in any kind of labor for about three years. He next moved to Laporte, Indiana, and on January 13, 1867, he entered the employ of the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Railroad Company in that city, as a carver in their wood-shop. Here he worked until the fall of 1871, when he was employed by the Hannibal & St. Joe Company, in their shops and also as engineer of a locomotive. Owing to the sickness of his wife, he resigned this position in the spring of 1872 and moved to Plattsmouth at the time the B. & M. railroad started in Nebraska, and was employed by that company both as a carver of wood in the engine department and as engineer on the road. In 1873, when the road was completed as far as Kearney, he was sent to Lincoln and there served as master mechanic until 1875. Mr. Callaghan then moved with his family to Seward county, Nebraska, and located on a homestead in H precinct and made that his home for nine years, or until he secured a clear title to the property. He next moved to the town of Germantown and



has since devoted his attention to contracting and building. He has performed the duties of the office of justice of the peace for nine years in succession, that of notary public for six years, and in March, 1898, he became postmaster at Germantown. In politics he is a stanch Republican, having cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln.

      Mrs. Callaghan is of Irish descent, her great-grandparents having been natives of that country. They moved from thence to Newburg, New York, where Mrs. Callaghan's grandfather, Leonard Smith, was born. The latter married Miss Emma Trimmer and to them were born seven sons and one daughter. Of this family, Henry Smith was born March 7, 1813, and died March 30, 1870. He was united in marriage on November 6, 1834, to Miss Mary Smith, and of their family of nine children, four are still living, of whom Mrs. Callaghan is the youngest. Mr. and Mrs. Callaghan have one daughter, Mary, wife of Lyman Smith.

      Leander S. Callaghan enlisted early in 1861, in response to the first call for volunteers, and was sent to Virginia in April of the same year. At the completion of the three months, for which he first enlisted, he re-enlisted for nine months. After this term expired, he enlisted in the renowned One Hundred and Thirtieth New York Volunteers. This regiment arrived on the thirteenth of September at Suffolk, Virginia, where a large number of newly organized regiments were sent. Here they camped in the immediate vicinity of a swamp, which caused a great deal of sickness and considerable death from malaria. They were nevertheless rapidly perfected in military dicipline, made several reconnoissances (sic) and earthworks were thrown up around Sufolk that that (sic) city might be made a base of supplies for future operations. While still at this city, on August 14, 1862, our subject was appointed first sergeant of Company E, of the One Hundred and Thirtieth New York, which was but a beginning of the line of promotions he received during the war. On December 4, 1862, he became second lieutenant, and first lieutenant June 15, 1863. September 15, of that year, he was transferred to the first New York Dragoons, and finally received a captain's commission February 9, 1865, and was discharged July 18, 1865.

      It chanced to be Mr. Callaghan's lot to participate in an unusually large number of hotly contested engagements of the war. The principals ones with which he was connected are as follows: Deserted House, Virginia, January 3°, 1863; Siege of Suffolk, Virginia, April 11 to May 3, 1863; South Quay, Virginia, June 12, 1863; Franklin, Virginia, June 13, 1863; Baltimore Cross Roads, Virginia, July 4, 1863; Manassas Plains, Virginia, October 17,1863; Culpeper Court House, Virginia, November 20, 1863; Stannardville, Virginia, February 23, 1864; Todds Tavern, Virginia, May 7, 1864; Spottsylvania, Virginia, May 8, 1864; Andersons Ridge, Virginia, May 10, 1864; Yellow Tavern, Virginia, May 11, 1864; Meadow Bridge, Virginia, May 12, 1864; Mechanicsville, Virginia, May 12, 1864; Howes Shop, Virginia, May 28, 1864; Old Church, Virginia, May 31, 1864; Cold Harbor, Virginia, May 31 and June 1, 1864 Trevillian Station, Virginia, June 11 and 12, 1864; Darby Town, Virginia, July 27 and 28, 1864; White Post, Virginia, August 10, 1864; Newtown, Virginia, August 11, 1864; Kearneysville, Virginia, August 25, 1864; Shepardstown, Virginia, August 25, 1864; Smithfield, Virginia, August 28-29, 1864;. Opequan Mills, Virginia, September 19, 1864; Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864; Mount Jackson, Virginia, September 23, 1864; New Market, Virginia, September 25, 1864; Port Republic, Virginia, September 26, 1864; Cross Keyes, Virginia, Sep-



tember 28, 1864; Tomms Brook, Virginia, October 8, 1864; Woodstock Races, Virginia, October 9, 1864; Strasburg, Virginia, October 14, 1864; Cedar Creek, Virginia, October 19,m 1864; Newtown, Virginia, November 12, 1864; Bloomfleld, Virginia, November 29, 1864; Liberty Mills, Virginia, December 22, 1864; Gordonsville, Virginia, December 23, 1864; Dinwiddie Court House, Virginia, March 2!, 1865; Five Forks, Virginia, April 1, 1865; Southerland Station, Virginia, April 2, 1865; Amelia Court House, Virginia, April 4, 1865; Sailors ;Creek, Virginia, April 6, 1865; Appomattox Station, Virginia, April 8, 1865; Appomattox Court House (Lee's Surrender), April 9, 1865. Mr. Callaghan was also at the head of his regiment on detached service in the battle of Gettysburg, and participated in all of the Bull Run engagements.

      Mr. Callaghan can look back over an honorable military career spent in trying to defend the Union. Both as a private soldier and as an officer he was always true to his country and to the cause it was struggling to maintain. During those times he was a brave and true soldier and served his country well and faithfully, so to-day he is a true and faithful citizen and one of the most influential and exemplary men in the community in which he lives. Mr. Callaghan can still vividly picture and accurately describe many of his experiences while in the service. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM McCURDY.--Nebraska and its destinies are in the hands of young men, and among the young men of Fillmore county few possess that high degree of business ability and genuine integrity that are the leading characteristics of the gentleman whose name heads this article. His home is on section 24, Franklin township, near the village of Tobias.

      Mr. McCurdy was born in Iowa, November 12, 1871. His parents were Lewis Cass and Mary Wilson McCurdy. His father purchased for one thousand and three hundred dollars, one hundred and sixty acres of unimproved lands in Franklin township, Fillmore county, Nebraska and in October, 1880, moved with his family to the new home. They overcame the disadvantages of early Nebraska life, and soon changed the unimproved land into one of the best improved farms in that portion of the country. Their industry and skillful management placed them in a position to purchase additional land, and they were soon in possession of three hundred and sixty acres, comprising one of the finest tracts to be found in the locality. They had an attractive home, surrounded by all the conveniences that go to make farm life agreeable. Here the father, Lewis Cass McCurdy, died December 24, 1894. His remains rest in Pleasant Ridge cemetery, Franklin township, together with the remains of his son Henry, who died at the age of nineteen. Mr. McCurdy was a devoted and loving husband and father, a loyal citizen and highly respected by the entire community. The daughter, Mrs. Effie Ainsworth, is now living in Tobias, Nebraska. The mother also lives in retirement in the same town with her daughter.

      William McCurdy grew to manhood in his Nebraska home. In 1893 he was married to Miss Lottie L. Stainbrook, daughter of Marcus and Julia Stainbrook, natives of Pennsylvania. Her parents moved to Illinois, and later removed to Jefferson county, Nebraska, where they entered a homestead claim, and where they are still living. They have a comfortable home, and have prospered in their adopted state. Mrs. McCurdy was born in Jefferson, Nebraska, October 2!, 1874. She received a liberal education in her native state, and is a lady of high attainments. She has one brother



Clarence, and one sister, Myrtle. To Mr. and Mrs. McCurdy three children have been born: Bessie, Eva, and Clarence Guy.

     Mr. and Mrs. McCurdy are living on their highly improved farm, surrounded by conveniences rarely found in rural homes, and with their interesting children, form a pleasant family circle. Mrs. McCurdy's pleasing manner has gained her many friends. Mr. McCurdy is a man of great natural ability, energy, and genuine integrity. He is an influential citizen, and destined to become a leader. In political views he is a Democrat. 

Letter/label or barENRY RHOADS.--Among the substantial and enterprising agriculturists of York county, whose names are scattered through the pages of this volume none are more worthy of mention than the gentleman whose name heads this brief biographical notice. A native of New York, he was born in Chenango county, August 29, 1840, and is a son of Andrew and Almira (Coats) Rhoads, also natives of the Empire state, the former born in 1815, the latter in 1811. The paternal grandparents of our subject were of German birth and at an early day came to this country, while the maternal grandparents were pioneer settlers of Maine, from which state they afterward moved to New York. Our subject's parents were married in 1837, and when he was about six years old they removed, with the paternal grandfather, to De Kalb county, Illinois, where the father engaged in farming until his death, which occurred April 14, 1880.

      In De Kalb county, Henry Rhoads grew to manhood, and at the age of twenty-one years, he enlisted on the 15th of September, 1861, in Company C, Fifty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was honorably discharged December 25, 1863: and with the whole regiment re-enlisted at Pulaski, Tennessee, as a veteran volunteer, being finally discharged July 5, 1865, as hostilities had ceased and his services were no longer needed. He participated in the battle of Pittsburg Landing, Corinth and others; was with Sherman on the celebrated march to the sea, and was in all the engagements on the way. Although his service was arduous, he was fortunately never wounded, nor was ever confined in the hospital on account of sickness.

      Returning to his home in De Kalb county, Illinois, Mr. Rhoads was there married, July 3, 1869, to Miss Hilah Hasbrouck, by whom he has thirteen children, all still living: Mary A., Albert and Alfred (twins), Lorena H., Anna G., Ada S., Garfield H., Oren E., Irvin L., Lee O., Stella O., Della A. and Ernest A.

      In the fall of 1870 Mr. Rhoads brought his family to York county, Nebraska, where he secured a homestead claim, and at once set to work to improve his farm which, today is one of the most highly cultivated and desirable places of the locality. Since attaining his majority he has been a pronounced Republican in politics, but aside from voting he takes no active part in political affairs, preferring to give his entire time and attention to his business interests. His farm consists of two hundred and forty acres of rich and arable land, on which is a good bearing orchard and a substantial residence and barn. Socially he is a member of Noble Grave Post, G. A. R., of Bradshaw, while his wife is identified with the Home Forum, and is consistent member of the United Brethren church. They have found a pleasant home in York county, and are surrounded by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM H. GARRISON, one of the early pioneers and self-made men of Fillmore county, Nebraska, located on section 28, Franklin township, where he now




resides, in 1871. He came to this state in limited circumstances, and by the exercise of his resolute will and persevering industry, has built up one the most creditable homesteads in his township. He took up one hundred and sixty acres of land over which the plowshare had never passed, and in due time effected the improvements necessary to complete the country home, and which now farms one of the pleasing features in the landscape of that section. His straightforward methods of doing business and his value as a member of the community, have gained for him a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, who have watched his career with interest and are not slow to acknowledge that he is deserving of all the good that has fallen to him.

      Mr. Garrison was born in Lee county, Illinois, January 20, 1847, a son of William and Amelia (Omen) Garrison, who were born, reared and married in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, whence they emigrated to Lee county, Illinois. There the father followed farming for some years, but spent his last days in retirement from active labor, near Dixon, Illinois, where both he and his wife died and were buried. In their family were nine children, seven of whom are still living: George L., a Methodist Episcopal minister of Iowa; Mrs. Hannah Girton, a resident of Carthage, Missouri; Mrs. Martha 3. Cooper, who lives near Carthage; Mrs. E. E. Riddelsbarger, of near Bellville, Kansas; Peter, of Azusa, California; Harriet E., a physician of Dixon, Illinois, and William H., our subject.

      William H. Garrison was educated in the common schools and the Mt. Morris Seminary, of Mt. Morris, Illinois. In September, 1864, when only seventeen years of age, he enlisted in Company F, First Illinois Light Artillery, and his battery was engaged in several hotly contested battles, including that of Nashville, Tennessee. The war being over and his services no longer needed, he was mustered out July, 26, 1865, and returned to his home in Illinois. Later he was married in that state to Miss Emmogene V. Simmons, a resident of Franklin Grove, Illinois, and in 1871 they came to Fillmore county, Nebraska, taking up the homestead previously mentioned. Their first home here was a dugout and for two years they lived in a sod house, but it has since been replaced by a good frame residence. Mr. Garrison had. to go to Crete for his lumber and groceries, and he was the first to raise a crop of grain west of Little Sandy creek, so thinly settled was this region at that time. His education was here put to practical use, as for a number of terms he successfully engaged in teaching school in his district and has since served almost continuously as a school director. He was one of the first teachers in the township.

     Mrs. Garrison died December 24, 1874, leaving a husband and two children, Emmogene V. and William L., to mourn her loss, and her remains were interred in Franklin Union cemetery, which is located on the southwest corner of our subject's homestead and is known as the Franklin Union cemetery. It is the first known cemetery in the township. Mr. Garrison was again married, in 1877, his second union being with Miss Sarah E. Appleford, who was born in Ontario, Canada, July 13, 1856, a daughter of John G. and Mary (Colver) Appleford. The mother died in that country and the father later came to Nebraska, locating near Bruning, where he is now living retired at the age of seventy years. To them were born five children, two of whom are still living, George S. and Sarah E. Mr. and Mrs. Garrison have become the parents of the following children: Jennie E., Franklin F., Florence A., Clara J., Mary A., Elmer R., and John G.

      Mr. Garrison has made farming and stock raising his principal occupation



throughout life, and has prospered in his undertakings, being now the owner of a valuable farm of two hundred and eighty acres under a high state of cultivation and well improved. He has thirty head of cattle and one hundred head of hogs and twelve horses. He is a member of the Farmers Elevator & Creamery Association, and gives his support to all enterprises which he believes calculated to prove of public benefit. His political support is always given the Republican party, and he cast his first presidential vote for U. S. Grant. His fellow citizens, recognizing his worth and ability have often called upon him to serve in public positions of honor and trust. He has served as a member of the board of supervisors of the county for three years, and as assessor for two terms. Socially he is quite prominent, and is an honored member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Modern Woodmen of America, and of the Grand Army of the Republic. One of his first political efforts in Fillmore county was in the election held to organize the township and select its name, Mr. Garrison suggested Franklin, others in the meeting suggested Germantown. The vote was running so close that Mr. Garrison took his team and went and brought other voters not present at the meeting, thus winning for the name of Franklin by one majority. 

Letter/label or barOHN SCHMIDT, a prosperous and successful farmer residing on section 5, Stanton township, Fillmore county, was born in Germany, November 15, 1840. He was the only son of Philip and Susan (Grebs) Schmidt, and when he was only nineteen months old, his mother died. He was reared and educated in Germany, attending the German schools until he was sixteen years of age, and then learned the cooper trade. He worked at this trade in his mother country until he was twenty-three years of age, when he determined that he could better his condition in the new world, and accordingly, in June of his twenty-third year, he sailed from Weinollsheim, in the Liberty, a vessel fitted with sails, and after a rough and stormy voyage lasting for thirty-three days, he finally landed in New York harbor. Immediately after his arrival in New York he started for Buffalo, where he secured a position at his trade, and after a short stay in that city he went to Crawford county, Pennsylvania, and from there he went to Pittsburg, and then to Chicago, where he worked one year. From there he went to Milwaukee, and after working there for seven months, went to visit his father who was living in Canada. He only remained at home two months, however, when the roving desire came upon him, and he went to Titusville, Pennsylvania, and to various other eastern cities, working in Pittsburg two years, Cleveland, Ohio, three years, but on account of the low wages and lack of employment he went to Sterling, Illinois, and secured a position in the distillery, working in that one place for nine years.

     While he was living in Sterling he was married, on January 3, 1871, to Miss Barbara Meon, who was the daughter of Lawrence and Elizabeth (Vock) Meon. Her parents were born in Germany and have always lived there. To their marriage were born five children, of which number Barbara was the eldest, and she and her sister Mary were the only ones who ever came to America. Our subject and his wife lived in Sterling for about fifteen years, and seeing the advantages offered in the west, came to Nebraska and purchased eighty acres of land, paying seven dollars per acre for it. This farm is still their home, but it has been wonderfully improved, all accomplished by the industry and perseverance of Mr. Schmidt and his family. To their marriage, have

Horz. bar

Prior page
TOC part 2
Next page

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