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comrades were taking dinner at the home of three young ladies, they were surprised by the sudden arrival of a Rebel squad which claimed them as prisoners of war. They were marched down the road but a little way, however, until they discovered that they had been made the subject of a practical joke by a number of their comrades in Confederate uniform. About the 23d of March, 1864, the regiment was ordered to Camden and they had several sharp skirmishes along the route, among them the one at Prairie du Ann. After remaining about four weeks at Camden, General Banks, having been defeated, our forces fell back after a sharp conflict at Jenkins Ferry, to Little Rock. There they remained until the spring of 1865, when they were ordered, by boat, to New Orleans, Louisiana. From here they were sent, by the way of Lake Ponchartrain, to Fort Morgan. On this trip, our subject was detailed with a number of his comrades to take charge of a boat-load of mules. A storm arose and the boat became unmanageable so that the captain ordered the mules driven overboard. Before this order could be executed the storm changed so that the sailors could control the boat, and the mules, as well as the crew, were saved from a grave in the Gulf of Mexico. upon arriving at Fort Morgan, Mr. Wright joined his company and started for Spanish Fort, which, after a siege of about fourteen days, surrendered and the Union forces took complete possession of the city of Mobile. The army was then sent up the Tombigbee river after the Rebel General Taylor, who surrendered after a few weeks. They were next ordered to Texas to take charge of the army of the Rebel General Morgan, and from there they returned to New Orleans to be mustered out, which was done July 7, 1865. Mr. Wright then started for his home in Iowa, which he reached August 11, 1865.

      Upon reaching home, our subject began again to help his mother about the farm. About this time, also, he renewed the acquaintance of Miss Elnora Fishback, with whom he had corresponded for three years during the war, and they were married in October, 1865. They rented a farm in Keokuk county, Iowa, and made that their home until January, 1868, when the wife died at the birth of her daughter, Elnora. Mr. Wright then left his two children, Theodore Parker and Elnora, with his mother, who, although far advanced in years to be troubled with the care of children, went a long way toward taking the place of their mother until October 8, 1868, when our subject had enthralled a helpmate and again took his children to his own home. Mr. Wright's second wife, who bore the maiden name of Miss Elizabeth Ann Kiester, moved to the neighborhood of Mr. Wright's old home in March, 1868, and lived on a farm with her father until the time of her wedding. In 1870 our subject moved with his family to Seward county, Nebraska, and located near Goehner, where they are now living on a fine, well-improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and are surrounded with such home comforts as make life enjoyable.

      To Mr. Wright's second marriage have been born eleven children, eight of whom are living, and their names in the order of their birth is as follows: Lillie May, Charles L., Maud M., George C., Ida B., James F., Joseph H. and Jessie E. Elnora, the second child of the first wife, is married to Mr. F. Price and is living in Shenandoah, Iowa. Lillie May is the wife of Lewis Cromwell. They are living on a farm of their own and have a bright, interesting little family of three children, Earl, Effie and Oliver. Mr. Wright's oldest son is not married, but is living in Brainard, Nebraska, and has charge of the grain elevator at that place. Politically our subject has been a life-long, stanch Republican, casting his



first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln. He is not a member of any religious denomination, but his wife and son, Parker, are connected with the Methodist church. 

Letter/label or barETER WEISER, a representative farmer of Polk county residing on section 26, township 14, range 1, Hackberry precinct, was born in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, August 10, 1833, and is a son of George and Barbara Ann (Oswald) Weiser, who spent their entire lives in that state. They reared a family of eleven children, of whom seven are still living. The father was a soldier of the war of 1812, and two of his sons, Peter and Jacob, went to the defense of their country in the Civil war.

      Peter Weiser remained in his native state until twenty-two years of age, and there acquired his literary education and also learned the molder's trade, at which he worked until his emigration to Iowa in 1856. In Louisa county he worked as a farm hand until after the inauguration of the Civil war. There he enlisted in August, 1861, as a private in Company K, Second Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, and after the regiment was organized at Davenport they were ordered to St. Louis. Later they were at Bird's Point, New Madrid, Fort Pillow, Pittsburg Landing, and were in the advance of Pope's division on Corinth, participating in the siege at that place. After assisting in cutting the railroad at Booneville, our subject was captured May 30, 1862, was first taken to Black Land, then to Mobile, Alabama, where he was confined until July 4, 1862, and after a few days at Selma, Alabama, was held at Macon, Georgia, until October, when he was taken to Libby prison, and quartered on the second floor of that building until about the middle of the month, He was then taken to Aiken's Landing and paroled, and after a month or six weeks spent at Annapolis was ordered to Saint Louis, where he was exchanged. At the time of his capture he weighed one hundred and eighty-five pounds, but on being released from those loathsome prison pens of the south he weighed less than one hundred pounds. On rejoining his regiment at La Grange, Tennessee, they operated along the Memphis & Charleston railroad, and took part in the Grierson raid. At White Station, Tennessee, Mr. Weiser was discharged, after three years and three months spent in the service, and returned to his home with an honorable war record.

      Mr. Weiser continued to reside in Louisa county, Iowa, until 1871, when he came to Nebraska and took up his residence upon his present homestead in Polk county. He was accompanied by William Fosbender, and they made the first claims upon the table land in this section of the county. They were army comrades, having enlisted together, were captured at the same time, and were confined in the same prisons. Subsequently they married sisters. On locating upon his claim, wolves and antelope were still quite plentiful in this region, and for miles around nothing could, be seen but rolling prairie, with the exception of one tree and a hay stack. The first season he built a sod house and raised a small crop of sod corn, but acre after acre has been placed under the plow until he now has one hundred and thirty acres of his two hundred acre farm under a high state of cultivation and well improved with substantial buildings;

      In 1872 Mr. Weiser was united in marriage with Miss Eveline Metts, a native of Indiana, and to them have been born four children: George E.; Minnie Bockoven; Mary Catharine; and Eva Maud, deceased. The wife and mother is a consistent member of the Methodist church, and Mr. Weiser belongs to the Grand Army Post, No. 102, of Shelby, in which he has served as commander and also as quartermaster for two



terms, and is now senior-vice. In political sentiment he is a pronounced Republican, and has always attended the caucuses and conventions of his party, taking an active interest in its success. In 1875 he was a candidate for the office of county clerk of Polk county, and has been elected assessor and also justice of the peace, but refused to qualify. He has, however, been an efficient school officer since the organization of his district, and most faithfully discharges his duties of citizenship. As an old soldier, honored pioneer and highly respected citizen of Polk county, he is certainly deserving of representation in a work of this character. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM DEREMER belongs to that class of honest and hard-working farmers who have made the western region blossom like a garden. Their story is the epic of the nineteenth century, and will live in history as the most marvelous achievement of this wonder-working age. A few years ago, and there was a great "American desert" that extended from the Missouri river to the Rocky mountains, and in the early days a journey from New York to Buffalo was fraught with more dangers and attended with more excitement than a trip round the globe would be to-day. From his pleasant home in Beaver township, York county, the gentleman whose name introduces this article, can look back over half a century, and contemplate a rough and rugged way by which he has come up to his present ease and comfort.

      William Deremer was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, January 6, 1845, and is a son of Peter and Rosana (Wentling) Deremer. In this county they were born, and there she died in 1878. He still survives, and resides in Bedford county at a very great age. He contracted a second marriage, the fruit of which was one son, Harry. By his first wife he was the father of a numerous family, ten of whom are now living. Their names are Joseph, William, Henry; Mary, George, John V., Martha, Ida, Terista and Samuel G. The two oldest sons, Joseph and William, bore arms in the Civil war, and on more than one field of danger evinced their loyalty and devotion to the Union.

      It was upon the Bedford county farm that the subject of this article grew to manhood. Pennsylvania had good schools and he profited by them. In the spring of 1865 he also enlisted in the Federal army, and was enrolled in Company C, Fifth Maryland Volunteer Infantry. The hour was late, but he was in time to help in the overthrow of the army of Virginia at Appomattox, and to see the trailing of the rebel banners in the dust. After the fall of the Confederacy he was on provost guard duty for several months at Richmond, Newport News, Fredericksburg, and Centerville, Virginia. It was while on duty at Newport News that he received a sunstroke. The regiment was discharged at Baltimore in September of the year of his enlistment. His career as a soldier was not prolonged, but covered the last days of the war, and is full of valuable and instructive memories.

      Mr. Deremer was married in December, 1866, to Miss Amanda Hardinger, a native of Bedford county, Pennsylvania. The old Keystone state seemed somewhat overpopulated for a young farmer to have a fair chance, and so our subject and his wife crossed the line into Mineral county, West Virginia, in 1876, where he engaged in farming, and spent three years in that manner with not very satisfactory results. They determined to make a far stride, and in 1879 came into York county, Nebraska. It seemed like going to the other side of the world to those who had been accustomed to the crowded regions of the east. But as the eyes of Mr. Deremer and his family



swept over these flower loaded prairies they had a vision of coming towns and factories and farms, and were well content to be in at the first. He put up a little frame building 14 x 16 feet, and raised a crop on the newly broken sod. And here he has lived to the present day. He owns one hundred and sixty acres, and operates eighty acres beside. He is a believer in mixed farming, has an interest in blooded stock, and makes a specialty of Poland China swine.

      Mr. and Mrs. Deremer are the parents of seven children: Nora, Lucy, Levi, Rose, William, Carrie and Daily D. They are members of the Methodist Protestant church, and in this religious organization he has held official station. He is an enthusiastic Grand Army man, and belongs to Winchester Post, No. 139, at Utica, Nebraska. In this body he is a senior vice commander. He belongs to Utica organizations of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is a Republican, and has served on the election board, and has been a member of the school board in district 33. He is a man who well deserves the good esteem of his neighbors, and this is ungrudgingly given him. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM JOHN BLAIR.--There is particular satisfaction in reverting to the life history of the honored gentleman whose name initiates this review, since his mind bears impress of the historical annals of the state of Nebraska from the earliest pioneer days, and from the fact that he has attained to a position of prominence in the thriving little city of Linwood, Butler county, where he has made his home almost constantly since he was two years of age. Mr. Blair was born in Venango county, Pennsylvania, August 8, 1856, and is a son of James and Mary A. (Brown) Blair, the former also a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of county Tyrone, Ireland, where she grew to womanhood. The paternal grandfather, John Blair, was one of three brothers who came to this country from Ireland at an early day, and one located in New York, another in New Jersey, and John in Pennsylvania. The last named reared three sons--Robert, now a ranchman and mine owner in Arizona; James, the father of our subject; and William who was killed in the Civil war.

      In 1857 James Blair, with his family, left Pennsylvania intending to go to Kansas, but on reaching Liberty Landing; Missouri, he found that the border ruffians were making things a little too unpleasant in Kansas for peaceably inclined people. After staying for a time at Liberty Landing, he came up the river to Nebraska City, and from there proceeded to the site of the present village of Linwood, where he located in 1858, being the oldest settler of Butler county. The family lived in a dug-out on the bank of Skull creek, and raised their first crop on the squaw patches along that stream. The first year of their residence here there were five thousand Pawnee Indians camped in the neighborhood, and the father had many thrilling experiences with the red men. At one time he hired two squaws to gather pumpkins, agreeing to pay them each four pumpkins. They disputed among themselves about the division of the pay, and when Mr. Blair insisted on a fair division this angered the Indians and they determined to kill him that night. He heard of their intention, however, through a friendly Indian, "Little Billy", and so was prepared. When they arrived that night the big Indian chief told the braves that if they killed the white man there would be trouble as there were many other white men who would come and revenge his death. Of a brave and fearless disposition, nothing could frighten him, and he finally persuaded them to abandon their purpose.



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They afterwards became very friendly and greatly admired his shooting qualities. For a year Mr. Blair conducted a ranch north of Kearney, on the old Mormon trail, but at the end of that time returned to this section of the state and in 1868 leased the Shinn ferry, which he operated for two years while he made his home on Shinn's island.

      Reared in this wild, unsettled region, William J. Blair had no opportunity of attending school until after he was thirteen years old. The first school here was taught by Mrs. S. D. Shinn, who was a well educated woman, whom the settlers hired to teach a term of ten weeks in her own home. Although his educational advantages were very meager, Mr. Blair made the most of them and improved every opportunity. Soon after he attained his majority he entered Doane College, at Crete, Nebraska, and for many years afterward successfully engaged in teaching during the winter months, while he followed farming through the summer season. In July, 1887, he was appointed manager of the Platte Valley Grain & Lumber Co., at Linwood, which position he held for two years, when Blair & Co. succeeded to the interests of that firm, and later sold to the Trans-Mississippi Grain Co. He is also manager of the Edholm elevator and owns a fine farm in Bone Creek township. As a business man he is notably prompt and reliable, and commands the -confidence, of all with whom he has dealings.

      Mr. Blair was married, March 16, 1884, to Miss Rhoda M. Perkins, a daughter of E. M. Perkins. Prior to her marriage she successfully engaged in teaching, having acquired an excellent education in Doane College and the Baptist Seminary at Gibbon. One son has been born to this union: Robert R. Blair. A group portrait of this interesting family is presented in connection with this sketch.

      Mr. Blair has always been prominent in political circles, is an ardent Republican, and has been a delegate to all of the county and district conventions of his party since attaining his majority. At one time he was candidate for county clerk on the Republican ticket, but was defeated. Fraternally he is identified with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Woodmen of the World, and the Tribe of Ben Hur, while religiously he is a member of the Congregational church. He was appointed postmaster at Linwood, June 16, 1898. 

Letter/label or barROF. CHARLES WILLIAM TAYLOR, one of the most able educators in this section of the state, is now principal of schools at Ohiowa, and is filling the position in a most creditable and satisfactory manner. He is devoting his life to labors wherein wealth and influence availeth little or naught, the measure of success depending upon the mentality, intellectual acquirements and broad culture of the individual.

      Prof. Taylor was born in Red Oak, Montgomery county, Iowa, June 3, 1874, and is the only child of James Henry and Tamar Ann (Ratliff) Taylor, early settlers of that county. The father was born in Jefferson county, Iowa, November 8, 1839, and was provided with good school privileges. While attending the Iowa Wesleyan University at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, he enlisted in Company M, Fourth Iowa Cavalry, for service in the Civil war, and was under the command of Colonel Winslow. He participated in a great number of hotly contested battles and remained in the service for three years and eleven months. On being mustered out in 1865, he returned to his native state and entered the employ of the hospital and asylum at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, as an attendant. It was there that he met Miss Tamar Ann Ratliff, who was employed



in the same institution, and on the 8th of November, 1870, they were united in marriage. She is also a native of Iowa, born in Henry county, March 4, 1849, is a graduate of the Salem high school, and was for two years employed in the hospital. In 1872, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor moved to Montgomery county, Iowa, where they purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, and to its cultivation and improvement he devoted his energies until 1893, when they removed to Red Oak and are now living retired, enjoying the fruits of their former toil. The paternal grandparents of our subject were natives of Virginia, but all of the family with the exception of one uncle were supporters of the Union cause during the Rebellion. They are all Republicans in politics. The Ratliffs were from North Carolina and were members of the Society of Friends.

      As soon as he had reached a sufficient age, Professor Taylor began his education in the common schools of Montgomery county, Iowa, where he pursued his studies until fifteen. He then entered the Red Oak high school, where he graduated with honors June 2, 1893. completing a four years' course of study in three years. As his parents were living in the country he drove eight miles each night and morning while attending school there. The following year he successfully engaged in teaching school in his home district. In the fall of 1894, he became a student in the State University of Nebraska, where he pursued a four years' course, graduating in June, 1898. He also took a special military course and received a certificate and life commission signed by Governor Holcomb, of Nebraska, as retired first lieutenant in the state militia. In addition to this, he successfully completed the requirements of the university teacher's course, consisting of two years of professional study; is honored with a life certificate granted by the chancellor and the faculty of the State University of Nebraska, and on his graduation received the degree of A. B. He holds a diploma from the Everett High School Society, of the Red Oak high school, which was obtained during his youth for oratorical ability and forceful arguments in debates. For these same qualities he was honored by being chosen-to participate in the Iowa state declamatory contest, April 19, 1893, and he won fourth place. In the university he was a member of the Palladian Literary Society. He was also vice-president of the State Oratorical Association; secretary of the Local Oratorical Association; secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association; and was one of the representatives of the university in the Nebraska-Missouri debates, held at Columbia, Missouri, in May, 1898. For the past year Professor Taylor has been principal of schools at Ohiowa, Fillmore county, Nebraska, and fills the position with credit to himself, and to the entire satisfaction of the trustees, patrons and students of the school. Though young in years, he is a most able and thorough educator, and is admired by all who know him for his frankness, honorable traits and noble character. He worked part of his way through college. He is a devoted Christian, and an active and prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

Letter/label or barHOMAS MORTON HOWIE.--The agricultural element that has been so largely instrumental in the upbuilding of Butler county is finely represented by this gentleman, one of its earliest settlers, who has a valuable farm in Bone Creek township, of which he is a leading farmer and one of the most prominent citizens.

      Mr. Howie was born in Waukesha county, Wisconsin, December 19, 1852, the youngest of a family of five children born to John and Marion Howie. The family can trace their lineage back to the Howies of



Lock Goin, in the time of the persecution of the Protestant church in Scotland. The following is an extract from the records in the parish of Loudon, Scotland:

      "This certificate, given in the parish of Loudon, Scotland, April 2, 1841, attests that John Howie and Marion Miller, in the parish of Loudon, have had their purpose of marriage regularly proclaimed, and that no objections have been lodged to prevent their marriage, is attested by

"Per And. Campbell."    

      The foregoing certificate has the following endorsement, in Mickle Byre, parish of Loudon, April 2, 1841: "The parties here specified were married by me, Jno. Bruce, Minister."

      Six weeks after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. John Howie emigrated to America and settled in Livingston county, New York, for two years, and then moved to Waukesha county, Wisconsin, and located on a farm. Their first child, John Howie, was born in New York. He died during the Civil war, in Memphis, Tennessee. The next son, William, is a minister in the United Presbyterian church, at Seattle, Washington. James Andrew moved to Butler county, Nebraska, with our subject, Thomas Morton, but about the year 1890 he moved to Smithville, South Dakota, and engaged in the stock business. A sister, Jane, was married to George Robinson, of Butler county. She died in 1890.

      Thomas Morton Howie, the subject of this sketch, was married April 12, 1877, to Miss Janet Allen, a daughter of James and Janet Allen, both of whom were born in Scotland, and the mother emigrated to this country in 1840. About two weeks after his marriage, our subject started from Wisconsin, overland, to Butler county, Nebraska. In 1877 he bought eighty acres of land in section 1, Bone Creek township, which is still his home, and which he has increased from time to time by purchase until he has an excellent farm of four hundred acres of well cultivated and well improved farming land. Mr. and Mrs. Howie are both members of the United Presbyterian church, and are the parents of a family of four children, upon whom they have bestowed the following names: James Allen, May, William Morton and Ida Jane. In political affairs Mr. Howie affiliates with the Prohibitionists. 

Letter/label or barYMAN BEACH, a systematic farmer, and a business man of more than ordinary capacity, is a prominent representative of the agricultural interests of Fairmont township, Fillmore county. By building up a fine homestead on section 13, he is recognized as an important factor in preserving the reputation of the township as one of the best and most highly developed sections of the county.

      Mr. Beach was born in 1825, in Warren county, New York, where he grew to manhood. His father, Henry Beach, was a native of Connecticut, as was also his grandfather, Benjamin Beach. About the close of the Revolutionary war, the latter removed with his family to eastern New York, where he followed farming until called from this life. Henry Beach, the father, continued his residence in Warren county, New York, where he died at the advanced age of ninety years. He had a family of seven sons who reached years of maturity, but our subject is the only one living in Fillmore county, Nebraska.

      In 1846, Lyman Beach migrated to Wisconsin and first located in Walworth county, but later removed to Columbia county, where he took up a tract of government land engaged in farming there until 1870. That year he moved to Whiteside county, Illinois, and in 1879 came to Fillmore county, Nebraska, where he bought



railroad land on section 13, Fairmont township, and to its cultivation and improvement has since devoted his energies with most gratifying results, having converted the wild land into a well improved farm.

      Mr. Beach was married, in 1851, to Miss Clarissa D. Green, who was born in Orleans county, New York, in 1831, a daughter of David and Ruth (Southwick) Green, who were natives of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, respective, and removed to Wisconsin in 1847. There her father died, but the mother's death occurred later in Illinois. Of the four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Beach, only one son, Edward D., is now living. 

     EDWARD D. BEACH, just mentioned, was born in Columbia county, Wisconsin, December 8, 1865, and in childhood accompanied his parents on their removal to Illinois, and later to Nebraska. He acquired a good practical education in the common schools, and upon the home farm early gained an excellent knowledge of every department of farm work, following that pursuit continuously since reaching man's estate. In 1883 when eighteen years of age, he enlisted and served three years in Company G, Nebraska National Guards. In 1886 was celebrated his marriage with Miss Minnie Fisher, a native of Whiteside county. Illinois, and a daughter of Frank and Maggie (Fowler) Fisher, who were from Michigan. The children born of this union are Bessie C., Verna L., Rena R. and Ruey B., all living.

      In their political views, both father and son are Republicans, and the latter takes quite an active and prominent part in political affairs, having served as a delegate to all county and state conventions for several years. From 1888 until 1893, he most creditably and satisfactorily served as county supervisor, and his public and private life have been alike above reproach. When elected a member of the county board he was but twenty-three years old-the youngest on a board of nineteen members. After serving one year he was elected chairman over considerable opposition and retired after serving four years.-still the youngest member. Socially he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is a past grand, and he is at present venerable consul of Exeter Camp No. 887, Modern Woodmen of America. He is also a member and one of the board of directors of the Fillmore County Farmers Mutual Insurance Company. Religiously, the family are all connected with the Methodist Episcopal church. Wherever known they are held in high regard, and their sterling worth has won for them the respect of, the entire community in which they live. Both father and son have pleasant homes which are ever open for the reception of their many friends.. 

Letter/label or bar. H. RUSHTON.--Prominent among the business men of this section of Nebraska is the gentleman whose name initiates this review, and who, as president, is now the head of the Fairmont Creamery Company. He is a man of keen discrimination and sound judgment, and, his executive ability and excellent management have brought to the concern with which he is connected a high degree of success. Coming to Fairmont in moderate circumstances, he has made his way to the front rank in business affairs, and his success is made more emphatic by the broad and generous interest he shows in all that concerns good citizenship.

     The Fairmont Creamery was organized, as a stock company in 1884, but Mr. Rushton is the only one of the original members now connected with it. It was re-organized in 1887, with the following officers: Wallace Wheeler, president; J. H. Rushton, secretary and treasurer; N. A. Stuart, vice-president, and J. O. and I. V. Chase,.

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