NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center
On-Line Library



killed by the Indians, at Hatfield, Massachusetts, in 1677, while defending his home. The next in direct line was also named John. He was born in 1652 and died in 1750. His son, John, was born in 1682 and died in 1716. Nathan, a son of the latter John, was born in March, 1716 and died in 1786. The next was Daniel Graves, our subject's grandfather, who was born either in Massachusetts or Vermont, September 26, 1769, and died October 11, 1833. He was captain of a company of militia during the war of 1812; conducted a hotel and tannery for some time, and also engaged iii the manufacture of potash. Our subject's father was a hatter by trade but most of his life followed farming. When a boy about fourteen years old, in company with a younger brother, he helped to furnish the music during the enlistment and mustering of a regiment, of which his father was a captain of a company. He played the fife, his brother the tenor drum. As boys and musicians they followed the regiment as far as Crown Point, when a battle occurred and they were sent to the rear and soon after returned home against their will, not being allowed to enlist on account of their youthful age. In 1847, the father of our subject left the Green Mountain state and removed to McHenry county, Illinois, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred July 2, 1869. His wife was the daughter of Jedediah Rogers, who was also of the ninth generation in America. The present representatives of the family are of the thirteenth generation and are descendants of John Rogers, the well-known historical character, who was burned at the stake. Our subject is the youngest of a family of six children, four sons and two daughters. The mother departed this life in 1871. One of her sons is Bishop Graves, of Nebraska, whose official jurisdiction includes the west half of this state and the northern half of California.

      In Illinois Daniel Graves, of this sketch, was reared, and in the common schools of that state obtained his education. At an early age he began work upon the farm, and throughout life has continued to follow agricultural pursuits. Although he started out for himself at the age of twenty-one empty-handed, he soon became the owner of a small farm of fifty-six acres in Illinois. On selling that place in 1877 he came to York county, Nebraska, and purchased four hundred acres of railroad land on section 11, Arborville township, and as his financial resources increased, he has added to his possessions until he now owns one thousand and forty acres, which he has transformed from wild prairie into highly cultivated fields. His elegant home is one of the best in the county; the other buildings are all in keeping with the residence, and upon his place is fourteen miles of fence. He feeds more stock than any other man in the county, having upon his place from two hundred and fifty to two hundred and seventy-five head of cattle and nearly the same number of hogs.

      In 1872 Mr. Graves was united in marriage with Miss Martha Loomer, a daughter of Timothy and Almira Loomer, the former a native of Nova Scotia, and the latter of Vermont. At an early day her parents removed to Illinois. Two of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Graves are deceased, while the living are Almira, Nora M., Daniel, Jr., Mabel P. and Henry C. The family hold membership in the Episcopal church, and in social circles occupy an enviable position. Fraternally Mr. Graves belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Woodmen of America, and politically is identified with the Democracy. At one time he was elected a member of the board of county commissioners, and while filling that position was a member of the building committee that erected the court house, but he never again



consented to become a candidate for office, preferring to give his entire time and attention to his extensive business interests. 

Letter/label or barHARLES A. McCLOUD, senior member of the firm of McCloud & Shreck, one of the leading real estate and loan firms of York, is an old settler in that locality, and has for many years been identified with the business interests of that region. He has also taken an active interest in all matters of a public nature, and has filled various official positions. Mr. McCloud was born in Appanoose county, Iowa, May 14, 1859, a son of William E. and Anna M. (Sears) McCloud, natives of West Virginia and Ohio. They were married in Iowa, and the father was a stock raiser by occupation.

      Our subject received his preliminary training in the public schools of Iowa, and later attended the Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant, Iowa,. and then took a full course in the Bryant & Stratton Business College of Cincinnati. In 1877 the family moved to York county, Nebraska, and for two years our subject was engaged in the lumber business at Waco. In 1881 he was appointed deputy county treasurer of York county, under J. W. Bennett, serving four years. In 1886 he assumed the position of assistant cashier of the Citizens State Bank. He served as a member of the county board from 1889 until 1894, and served as right-of-way agent for the Elkhorn railroad during the years 1887-88, his territory being from Omaha to Hastings and from Linwood to Superior. During this time he also continued the real estate business. In 1893 he entered into partnership with Mr. Shreck, and has since done business under the firm name of McCloud & Shreck. From 1893 until 1896 he was traveling state auditor and expert accountant. Politically Mr. McCloud is a Republican, and was a delegate to the national convention in 1888. He also served on the county central committee for seventeen years, and at different times has served on the state central committee. He is also the vice-president and one of the directors, and the largest stock holder of the Mutual Building & Loan Association.

      Socially Mr. McCloud is a member of the Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and also the Masonic fraternity, holding his membership in the commandery and consistory degrees. Mr. McCloud has not only been successful in his political career, but he has also gained an enviable position among the business men of York county. Besides his extensive general loan and real estate business, in which he handles considerable eastern capital, he is engaged in buying grain at York, Nebraska, and also owns and operates a farm of two thousand acres of land. In 1883 Mr. McCloud was united in marriage to Miss Flora S. Bowman, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa. 

Letter/label or barLIVER PERRY HAGER, one of the representative and prominent farmers of York county, Nebraska, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, October 18, 1831, a son of Peter and Katie (Romesburg) Hager. His paternal grandparents were natives of Germany. Reared on the home farm, he obtained an excellent knowledge of every department of farm work, and remained with his father until he reached the age of twenty-four.

      About this time Mr. Hager became acquainted with Miss Elizabeth A. Show, a daughter of William and Juliann (Clement) Show, also natives of Pennsylvania, and on the 19th of June, 1856, they were married. They began housekeeping upon a farm in the midst of a forest and before crops could be planted the great trees and underbrush had to be cleared away, sawed up, rolled into



great heaps and burned. The labor of opening up a farm in the wooded portions of the older states is exceedingly laborious, and a man is often worn out physically and becomes old and gray before his farm is in a good condition for raising the necessaries of life. But Mr. Hager and his wife were young and full of hope and not easily discouraged by the labors which lay before them as both had been reared in the arduous duties of farm life, and having gone to work with a will they soon made their fields to blossom with the various products of the soil, after building a log house and the usual Pennsylvania barn. There our subject successfully carried on his farming operations for eight years or until 1864. There being great need for more troops in the field, he left, as thousands of others had done, his farm, wife and children, to help swell the Union ranks in the great war of the Rebellion, enlisting in August,. 1864, in Company K, Sixth Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery. He remained in the service until the war ended by the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, and for seven months his regiment guarded the chain bridge across the Potomac about seven miles from Washington, D. C., at which point Fort Ethan Allen was located. He remembers being awakened by a great clamor of the soldiers on the night of President Lincolin's (sic) assassination, and for a time all was confusion until the guards were stationed around the sleeping city, but before this could be done the murderer had made his escape. When the war was over, Mr. Hager returned with his regiment to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where they were discharged June 22, 1865.

      He then returned to his home and family in that state, but in November, 1866, removed to La Salle county, Illinois, where he purchased a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits for six years. Being somewhat dissatisfied with the prairies of Illinois, he decided to seek a home in the new state beyond the Missouri river, and again started toward the setting sun, landing in York county, Nebraska, in October, 1872. Securing one hundred and sixty acres of Hayes township which had never felt a plow and was entirely destitute of a tree, he unloaded his wagons and immediately commenced the erection of a house out of "Nebraska brick." This sod dwelling, sixteen by thirty feet, with its sod roof and board floor, was the home of the family for four years, when it was replaced by a more commodious and substantial frame residence.

      Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hager; six are still living and all are married with the exception of the youngest. In order of birth they are as follows: (1) Sadie M. is the wife of W. D. Clark, and they have five children: Blanch G., now the wife of Thomas Merica, by whom she had one son, Glenn; Maud, wife of Dr. Gordon, a prominent and successful physician of Stockham, Nebraska; Oliver P.; Calvin C.; and Netia F. (2) Calvin C. married Mary Pursel and died leaving two children: Lella and Mary. (3) William P., a farmer of Hayes township, York county, married Hattie Morse and has three living children: John O., Claud C. and Roy, while his youngest child, Chauncy B. died at the age of thirteen months. (4) Julia S. is the wife of Ezra Walters, of Lushton, York county, and they have two children: Pena Pearl and Denzil B. (5) Albert E., a resident of Lincoln, Nebraska, graduated from a business college of that city August 9, 1898, and is a successful teacher. He married Effie Parsons and has one son, Darwin. (6) Ida M. married Fred Shepherd, by whom she has one child, Arlo Guy, and they live on the old Hager homestead. (7) Katie M. is a graduate of the State Normal school at Peru, and since the early age of sixteen years has been a very successful and popular teacher.

      In 1852 Mr. Hager cast his first presi-



dential vote for Winfield Scott, four years later supported John C. Fremont, and has never failed to cast his ballot for each succeeding Republican candidate for the presidency. He is an honored member of the Grand Army Post of York, and his wife belongs to the Woman's Relief Corps. In religious faith they are Methodists, and have been identified with that church for the past thirty-five years, while most of their children are also connected with that denomination. The parents are spending their declining years in retirement in the city of York, where they are surrounded by a large circle of friends and acquaintances who esteem them highly for their sterling worth and many excellencies of character. 

Letter/label or bar. W. OCKEN is one of the capable and enterprising young men who has done so much to build up Staplehurst, and make secure the future of Seward county. He is not yet forty years of age, but has developed a grasp of the situation in a business way that shows a mind naturally fitted to the intricacies of modern commerce. He is the proprietor of a boot and shoe store in Staplehurst, and by his tact and skill as well as by the quality of his goods and the honesty of his methods, has won a wide patronage from the best people of the county.

      Mr. Ocken is a native of Germany, where he was born January 18, 1859, and is a son of Lawrence W. and Alena (Ernsten) Ocken. They belonged to families that had been native to the soil of Germany for many centuries, and are endued with the best spirit of Teutonic civilization. The senior Ocken is a painter by trade, and emigrated to the United States in 1889, and is now living in this county. His wife died in October, 1885.

      J. W. Ocken spent his youth in his native land, and was educated in the schools of his neighborhood. He learned the shoemaker's trade in the old country, and followed it until 1883. That year he came to this country with the laudable ambition of improving his condition. He made his way directly to Chicago, where he spent one year. The following summer he appeared for the first time in this county, and opened a shoe store in Staplehurst. He has prospered in his business, and was very soon able to put up a business building, and fill it with a well-selected stock of footwear. On September 9, 1898, Mr. Ocken's store was destroyed by fire, causing an entire loss of all his stock and household goods. He, however, resumed operations again and is now doing a good business with an entire new stock. He is a popular merchant and by his accommodating spirit and honest dealing has won and holds many friends.

      Mr. Ocken was married in 1891 to Miss Wilhelmina Bieberick, whose birthplace was in Indiana. She is a lady of genial and hospitable characteristics, and is highly respected throughout the community. They have three children: Lenhart, Otto, and William. They are all living, and are fine bright lads. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ocken belong to the German Lutheran church, and are active workers in its behalf. He is a Democrat, though in no sense an active politician, or office-seeker. He devotes himself to his business, and has achieved a very considerable success. He reached Staplehurst in 1884 without means, and today owns a fine stock of goods complete in every department, and without a dollar of encumbrance. It is a creditable record. 

Letter/label or barRASMUS KRUMBACH, a well-known farmer residing on the southeast quarter of section 4, township 13, range 1 west, Hackberry precinct, Polk county, is one of the most prosperous and energetic men of the community, who from an humble beginning in life has accumulated handsome property.



      He not only commenced without means, but was obliged to battle with the elements of a foreign soil and the customs of a strange country, as he is a German by birth and parentage. He was born December 6, 1855, in Prussia, where he grew to manhood, securing a good high school education. In 1875 he crossed the broad Atlantic, reaching Polk county, Nebraska, on the 8th of March of that year, and for a couple of years he made his home with his brother John.

      Mr. Krumbach then purchased the northeast quarter of section 24, township 13, range 2, which at that time was very slightly improved, but to the further development and cultivation of his land he at once turned his attention, though he continued to live with his brother until 1881. In September of that year he wedded Miss Mary Benda, who was born in Austria, December 4, 1860, a daughter of Reinhard Benda, also a native of Austria, where he followed the trade of a weaver until coming to America in 1879, when he settled in Clear Creek precinct, Polk county, on wild land, and has since devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits. Mrs. Krumbach is the oldest of the family of five children still living, the others being Joseph, Theodore, Reinhard and Emma. The union of our subject and his wife has been blessed with two daughters, namely: Anna Elizabeth and Mary Helen.

      Mr. and Mrs. Krumbach began their domestic life upon the farm which he had previously purchased, and he soon had two hundred acres under a high slate of cultivation, all fenced, an orchard plated, and a good frame residence, barns and other buildings erected thereon. In 1889 he removed to his present farm, which is also improved with substantial buildings, including a pleasant home, which he built with the exception of the kitchen. Here he owns four hundred acres of rich and arable land, three hundred and forty of which he has placed under a high state of cultivation, and is successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising, making a specialty of Poland-China hogs. In religious faith he is a Catholic, holding membership with the congregation at Shelby, and in his political views is independent, preferring to cast his ballot for the man whom he considers best qualified to fill the office, regardless of party ties. He has served as judge of election and a member of the school board of district No. 67, being moderator and treasurer of the latter. He is a warm friend of the cause of education, and has provided his children with good school privileges, one daughter having attended school at York,. Nebraska. 

Letter/label or barDWARD A. ARMSTRONG, a popular and respected farmer residing in Stanton precinct, Fillmore county, was born in Illinois, November 10, 1863. He attended the common schools of his district until he was fourteen years of age, and that completed his education so far as school was concerned. At thirteen years of age his father died, and the responsibility of the family cares devolved in a measure on his youthful shoulders. In 1881, the widowed mother with her children moved to Clay, and took a farm there, and after remaining there one year, again made a move, and came to Stanton precinct, Fillmore county. Here they bought a farm of three hundred and twenty acres at seven dollars and seven dollars and a half per acre, paying one-tenth of the purchase price in cash, and the balance in annual payments. When they first took up their abode on the farm they had purchased, their only buildings were a sod house and a sod stable. They lived for seven years in this way, when at last they were able to afford nice frame buildings. Under their careful and industrious manage-



ment, they have gotten their farm under a high state of cultivation.

      Our subject was the son of Edwin and Mrs. Susan (Corey) Armstrong. Edwin Armstrong, Sr., was born in one of the New England states, and after his marriage to Miss Susan Corey, who was a native of Vermont, he came west and settled in Illinois, where he died in 1876. The mother came west with her son, and lived with him until her death, which occurred November 14, 1898. She lived to be sixty-seven years of age, and was a devoted Christian mother. Her remains were interred in the Geneva cemetery. To their marriage were born five children: Mrs. Annete Elwell, now living in California; Albert E., who married Miss Minnie Talkington, and who is living in Fillmore county; Mrs. Flora Eugene Walker, now living in Denver, Colorado; Fannie A. Innman, also living in Colorado; and Edwin A. In 1890, at the age of twenty-seven, our subject was united in marriage to Miss Rhoda Brown, who was born in England, March 1, 1871, and was the daughter of Benjamin and Ann (Land) Brown, who were natives of England. When she was two years of age, she came to America with her parents. On their arrival in this country, they came at once to Lincoln, Nebraska, and after living there awhile, they came to Fillmore county, and purchased eighty acres of land, on which lived until 1890, when they bought land in York county, and upon which they are now residing. They were the parents of five children: Mrs. Julia Nahrgany, now living in McCool; Walter C., Earnest E. and Rhoda, the wife of our subject. To the marriage of Mr. Armstrong have been born four children: Earl E., who is seven years of age; Claud C., five years of age; Hazel M., three years of age; and Leone M., nine months of age, all of whom are living and staying at home. Both he and his wife are active Christians, and are greatly interested in religious work. Politically he is a strong Republican, and is an active worker in any measure that will benefit his community, and his fidelity to all duties imposed upon him has made every one his friend. 

Letter/label or barOHN SHAPLAND, the well-known proprietor of one of the most desirable farms of Morton township, York county, comes from across the sea, his birth occurring in Devonshire, England, March 4, 1832. His parents, John and Mary (Howard) Shapland, natives of the same country, emigrated to the United States in 1851 and took up their residence in Genesee county, New York. Subsequently they removed to Illinois and settled in La Salle county, where the mother died, but the father is still living there at the extreme old age of ninety-five years, honored and respected by all who know him. By occupation he is a farmer.

      In the family often. children, John Shapland is the third in order of birth, and upon a farm in his native land he grew to manhood, acquiring an excellent knowledge of agricultural pursuits under the able guidance of his father. Leaving home in 1849 he crossed the Atlantic and first set foot on American soil at Quebec, Canada. He lived at Batavia and Lockport, New York, for two years and then went to Chicago, where he entered the employ of the Illinois Central railroad, working for that and other roads for the following eight years. He then removed to La Salle county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming until after the inauguration of the Civil war. In 1862 he manifested his love for his adopted country by enlisting in Company D, One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was in the service until the 1st of March, 1865, during which time he participated in nearly all the engagements in which his regiment took part. At Elk River he was



one of ten to storm the stockade, and for this gallant service was awarded a medal by the government. He was in all the engagements of the Atlanta campaign, and at the battle of Peach Tree Creek was severely wounded July 20, 1864, a shot passing through his neck and coming out of his mouth. He was discharged March 1, 1865, at Mound City, Illinois, and returned home with he rank of corporal.

      In Illinois, Mr. Shapland was married, in 1865, to Miss Martha A. Kendall, a native of Maine, and a daughter of Thomas and Mary Kendall, who were also born in the Pine Tree state. Three children bless this union: John K., who married Carrie Dickey; Mary A., wife of E. O. Jenkins; and Edwin S., who married Leota Donaldson. The family remained in Illinois until 1884, when they came to York county, Nebraska, and Mr. Shapland purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Morton township, which he has converted into a fine farm. He has since added to his possessions and now owns two hundred and twenty acres. His political support is always given the men and measures of the Prohibition party, and religiously he and his family are devoted members of the United Brethren church, in the work of which they take an active part. 

Letter/label or barSAAC EASTWOOD, a worthy representative of one of the prominent and highly respected pioneer families of West Blue township, Fillmore county, whose home is on section 12, was born in Yorkshire, England, December 21, 1855, and is a son of Thomas and Fannie (Thorp) Eastwood, also natives of Yorkshire. The paternal grandfather, Joseph Eastwood, spent his entire life in England. About 1863, the father visited the United States, but did not remain long, however, and it was not until 1871 that he brought his family to the new world to make their future home. On landing in this country they proceeded at once to Fillmore county, Nebraska, where the father still resides, an honored and highly esteemed citizen of his county. Here the mother died in 1895. Of the six children born to them, four sons and two daughters, four died in England, the only survivors being our subject and his brother John, both residents of Fillmore county.

      Isaac Eastwood was reared and educated in his native land and there started to learn the machinist's trade, but was forced to abandon it on account of failing health. In 1871, he accompanied his parents on their emigration to America and took up his residence in Fillmore county during the fall of that year, making his home here continuously since. The father homesteaded the place where our subject now resides, it being the west half of the northwest quarter of section 12, West Blue township, which at that time was all raw land, and the first home of of the family in the new world was a sod house, in which they began life in true pioneer style. Some years later it was replaced by a good frame residence. After living here for about eleven years our subject took charge of the home farm, and also of an adjoining quarter section, on which he lived for some time. He is a skillful farmer and has met with most excellent success in the operation of his land.

      In 1882, Mr. Eastwood married Miss Inez Aldrich, a daughter of P. M. Aldrich, whose sketch appears on another page of this volume. She died in February, 1884, and Mr. Eastwood was again married, March 11, 1886, his second union being with Miss Nancy F. Chambers, a native of Felicity, Ohio. Her parents, John and Mary Chambers, were both natives of Germany, and for some years made their home in Cincinnati, Ohio, but are now deceased. Mrs. Eastwood is a most estimable lady and a consistent member of the Presbyterian church.



      Our subject gives special attention to stock raising, and feeds from three to four car loads of cattle annually and two car loads of hogs. He is essentialy (sic) a self-made man, who has accumulated a comfortable competence through his own efforts, patiently enduring the hardships of a pioneer life that he might profit thereby, and the result has amply justified the shrewd and intelligent foresight of this clear-headed, energetic man. Socially he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and politically is identified with the Republican party. He has most acceptably served as treasurer of West Blue township for two terms. 

Letter/label or barERDINAND ADOLPH OEHME, deceased.--In the death of the late Ferdinand A. Oehme, Center township, Butler county, lost a worthy citizen and excellent farmer, as well as one of the early settlers of the county. He settled on section 2, of this township in September, 1879, and from that time until his death, although he had formerly been a civil engineer; he devoted his time almost exclusively to agricultural pursuits and left his widow and family an excellent, well-improved farm and a cozy and commodious home.

      Our subject was born in Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany, June 12, 1836. His father was a cotton merchant and manufacturer of that city, and Ferdinand, being the oldest son, was given the advantage of a liberal education, and was well versed in engineering and an expert accountant. After finishing his education he was placed in charge of the manufacturing interests of his father and held that position until he embarked for America in 1868. He stopped for a time in New York but soon went west and accepted a position with the Rock Island & Peoria Railroad Company as mining engineer and made his headquarters at Moline. Illinois. His wife and family joined him about a year later. After the change in the management of the railroad our subject resigned his position and accepted one with the company that was then constructing the Rock Island bridge. From here he moved to Plattsmouth, Nebraska, where he was engaged in the office of the Burlington & Missouri River railroad in Nebraska, and, with the exception of one year spent in railroad construction in Texas, he was engaged in Plattsmouth and in Omaha, Nebraska, as an accountant and compiling statistics for the Burlington & Missouri River railroad in Nebraska until 1879. Owing to failing health, caused by the confinement of his office work, Mr. Oehme was then forced to resign his position with the railroad and adopt a more active line of work. He accordingly moved to Butler county and settled on the quarter section now occupied by the family, as before stated.

      In September, 1862, while in charge of his father's business in Chemnitz, Germany, our subject was united in marriage to Miss Anna Louise Richter, a daughter of Frederick Richter, a forester. Mr. and Mrs. Oehme reared a family of five children, three of whom were born in Saxony, one in Plattsmouth and one in Omaha, Nebraska, and their names in the order of their birth are as follows: John D., is living at home; Johanna, also at home; Paul is married and living at Wichita, Texas; Florence and Perceval, both living at home. Since the death of Mr. Oehme, the farm has been carried on by his widow and those of the children that are still living at home. Our subject was a man of excellent business ability and met with success in every line of work in which he engaged, both in his father's factory in Germany and the various enterprises in which he embarked after migrating to America. Although he never aspired a



prominent position in the political world, Mr. Oehme was interested in everything that had a tendency to promote the public good, and contributed liberally of his time and means to all worthy enterprises, and represented his precinct in the capacity of supervisor, and also held some of the minor offices. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM B. FRANCIS is a wide-awake, progressive farmer of Seward county, Nebraska, who has achieved success through his own individual efforts, and is now one of its well-to-do as well as highly esteemed citizens. He was born in Oquawka, Henderson county, Illinois, November 9, 1859, and is a son of James F. and Lizzie (Ankrom) Francis, who were originally from Loudoun county, Virginia, and were pioneers of Illinois. For some years the father followed boating on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, then engaged in the lumber business until 1871, when his entire lumber yard and sawmill were destroyed by fire, causing a loss of some twenty thousand dollars, after which he was engaged in the dry-goods business until 1880. He then went to Colorado and tried mining for a year without success and then he came to Seward county, Nebraska, and made his home here until his death, which occurred three years later. In his family were five sons, of whom three are now residents of Nebraska. The wife and mother departed this life on the 1st of January, 1890.

      During his boyhood and youth William B. Francis pursued his studies in the schools of his native state, and when his education was completed assisted his father in business for some years. He also came to Seward county in 1880 and five years later purchased his present farm, comprising a quarter section of rich and fertile land, which he has placed under a high state of cultivation and improved with good and substantial buildings, so that it is now one of the most desirable farms of the neighborhood. Although he came to the state in limited circumstances he has steadily overcome the difficulties and obstacles in his path to success and now has a comfortable competence.

      In 1885 Mr. Francis married Miss Etta Ankrom, a native of Hancock county, Illinois, and a daughter of Jamison Ankrom. To them have been born four children, namely: Addie M., Minnie A., Cora E. and Rhoda G., all living. Although he has never aspired to office, Mr. Francis takes a deep and commendable interest in public affairs, and in his political views is a Populist. Socially he is an honored member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Woodmen of America. 

Letter/label or barEUBEN H. CONANT.--One of the most attractive rural homes in Thayer, township, York county, Nebraska, is that of the gentleman above mentioned. The estate which he occupies is located on section 14, and it is conducted upon modern scientific principles of agriculture, besides which it is adorned with all modern improvements. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch is a veteran of the late war, and is one of the pioneers of Thayer township. He is one of the representative farmers of York county, and has been a conspicuous figure in the extension and development of the agricultural interests of the same. He was born in Ashtabula county, Ohio, October 15, 1844, and is a son of Richard R. and Sallie (McKenzie) Conant, who ere both natives of New York state.

      Richard H. Conant, the father of our subject, was a son of John Conant, a shoemaker by occupation. He was a farmer and lumber dealer, and followed these occupations in Ohio, until 1856, when he located in Warren county, Illinois, where his death occurred in 1876. His good wife is



still living near Hopkins, Missouri, being nearly one hundred years of age. They were the parents of nine children, seven sons and two daughters.

      Reuben H. Conant received his education in the schools of Ohio and Illinois. As soon as he was old enough he began to work on a farm, which occupation he has followed ever since, with the exception of twelve years, during which time he followed the carpenter's trade. He followed the trade of a carpenter for three years after he settled in Nebraska. He took up his residence in York county in 1879, when he purchased .a farm in Thayer township, on section 14. It was railroad land and none of it was improved, but with the characteristic energy ,.that predominates in his life, he set to work and erected a small frame house upon the land and commenced his task of cultivating it. To-day he has as fine appearing a farm that one could find anywhere, and he is reaping the benefit of his well directed labors. He has followed general farming and stock raising ever since his residence in the county, with well-merited success, for the many hours of toil he spent on his farm.

      Reuben H. Conant was not slow to respond to the call for volunteers, during that trying period prior to the actual commencement of hostilities, and accordingly on June 12, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Thirty-third Illinois Infantry at Galesburg, Illinois, and served with distinction until December, 1865. He was engaged in the following battles during his service: Pea Ridge and Fredrickstown, Missouri; Fort Gibson, Jackson, Bakers Creek, Big Black .river, Siege of Vicksburg, in Mississippi; Posscoville, Texas, and Mobile, Alabama. He held the rank of sergeant, and in all fought in about thirty-six battles and skirmishes through which he passed, and received but one wound, which occurred while campaigning in Arkansas.

      Mr. Conant was united in marriage in June, 1867, to Miss Orilla Churchill, who was a daughter of Calvin and Sallie (Bugbee) Churchill, who came from Ohio and settled in Illinois in 1847. Mr. and Mrs. Conant are the parents of two children upon whom they have bestowed the following names: Fred S. and Phillip F. Socially Mr. Conant is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Degree of Honor Modern Woodmen of America, and the Home Forum. In his political life he is a stanch upholder of the Republican party, and a firm believer in its principles, though he has never sought any office. He has achieved his well earned success solely through his own efforts, and enjoys the respect and esteem which is accorded to him by all who know him, either in business or social life. 

Letter/label or barOHN B. KAUFFMAN, an honored J pioneer and influential citizen of West Blue township, Fillimore (sic) county, Nebraska, was born in Lancaster, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, April 28, 1825, a son of John and Eliza (Brubaker) Kauffman, also natives of that county. The paternal grandfather, Christian Kauffman, was born in Pennsylvania, of Dutch parentage, and the father died in that state. Our subject's mother afterward married a Mr. Bengman, Widaman, and removed to Ohio, in 1829, settling near. Dayton in Montgomery county. Her last days, however, were passed in Nebraska, and she died in Boone county, this state, April 11, 1890, at the ripe old age of eighty-three years.

     Our subject accompanied the family on their removal to Ohio, in 1837, where he was reared, his education being acquired in the common schools of that state. At the age of sixteen he commenced learning the blacksmith's trade, which continued to follow in Ohio until April, 1870, when he came to

Horz. bar

Prior page
TOC part 2
Next page

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