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of the prosperity which it records, and his business and private life are pregnant with interest and incentive, no matter how lacking in dramatic action,--the record of a noble life, consistent with itself and its possibilities in every particular.

      Mr. Smith was born in the town of Groton, Tompkins county, New York, June 4, 1854, and of that county, his parents, Theodore and Adelia Ann (Francis) Smith, were also natives. His grandfathers, Anson Smith and Patterson Francis, were also born in New York, and were farmers by occupation. The mother of our subject died in the county of her birth, in 1857, but the father, who was born December 25, 1834, still resides there, Throughout his active business life he has been interested in agricultural pursuits. Our subject is one of a family of three children and is the only survivor, his brother having died at the age of five years and his sister at the age of three months.

      Mr. Smith, of this review, completed his literary studies in the State Normal School of Cortland, New York, where he graduated with the class of 1883, and he later engaged in teaching and also studied law for a time. Since 1887, however, he has been interested in the stock business. Coming west in the winter of 1883, he located in Glendive, Montana, where he worked on a stock range for two years. In the fall of 1885 he came to Polk county, Nebraska, and purchased his present farm, on which he located in the following spring, and which at that time was practically in a wild state. The same year he built his present comfortable dwelling and later erected good barns and other outbuildings as they were needed. Although he was very successful both in the practice of law and in teaching, he could not resist the inherited taste for agricultural pursuits, his ancestors having all been farmers and drovers. For two years he engaged in teaching in Polk county, but the second year he began dealing in cattle upon a small scale. Since 1894 it has been his aim to keep between three and four hundred head of cattle upon his place and at the present time has three hundred and eighty-five head. In connection with two other parties, he is also engaged in shipping cattle from the Montana ranges to the Nebraska corn belt. He owns four hundred acres of land in Polk county, of which one hundred and forty acres is devoted to clover, one hundred and eighty to grass and forty to wild grass.

      In 1883 Mr. Smith was united in marriage with Miss Libbie Leonard, who was born in Delaware county, New York, September 12, 1862, and was also educated in the Cortland State Normal and Training School, graduating in the same class with her husband. She successfully engaged in teaching for a time in the high school of Clyde, New York. Her parents, Asa D. and Adeline (Mackey) Leonard, were both natives of Delaware county, New York, and were prominent farming people. During his youth her father attended school with Jay Gould. He is still a resident of Broome county, New York, but the mother is now deceased. They had only two children--Mrs. Smith, and Wilson V., of New York. Mrs. Smith's paternal grandfather was Henry Leonard, a native of New York, who had three sons who served with distinction as surgeons in the Civil war. Her maternal grandfather, Levi Mackey, was also born in the Empire state.

      Mr. and Mrs. Smith have four children: Leonard, born in 1884; Delia, in 1887; Ruth, in 1895; and Mildred in 1897. The parents are consistent members of the Christian church. Socially Mr. Smith belongs to Arborville Camp, No. 1499, Modern Woodmen of America, and politically is connected with the Republican party, though he is rather conservative in politics. He has been a delegate to the state Repub-



lican convention, at Lincoln, and long served as a member of the local school board. Although quiet and unassuming in manner, he makes many warm friends, and has the confidence and respect of all with whom he comes in contact, either in business or private life. In connection with this sketch is shown a portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. 

Letter/label or barEORGE ROSITER, a pioneer of York county, whose home is situated near the city of York, was born in Herkimer county, New York, March 18, 1843, a son of Thomas and Mary (Duress) Rositer, the former a native of Vermont and of French descent, and the latter a native of Virginia, but also of French descent. Thomas Rositer moved to Virginia when a young man, and from there to Herkimer county, New York, and thence to Oneida county, New York, where he spent the remainder of his life. His father, John Rositer, was also a native of Vermont, and a soldier in the Revolutionary war.

      Our subject was but about one year of age when the family moved to Oneida county, New York, where he was reared and educated. During the early part of his life he was a molder by trade, and followed that vocation until the breaking out of the Civil war. He enlisted, in April, 1861, in Company H, Seventh Illinois Infantry, from Logan county, Illinois, whence he had moved in 1860. He was mustered in at Springfield, April 22, 1861, and was then sent to Saint Louis. From there he went into camp and drilled for three months. He then participated in the engagements at Fort Holt, Tennessee, Fort Henry, Fort Donelson and Shiloh. At the last named battle he was wounded in the right foot and was discharged for disability in June, 1862. He then returned to his home in Illinois, but his patriotism soon asserted itself, and August 22, 1862, he became a member of Company C, One Hundred and Sixth Illinois regiment. With this command he went to Columbus, Kentucky, Jackson, Tennessee, and then the company was stationed along the Mobile & Ohio railroad, guarding trestle work and bridges. In June, 1863, he participated in the siege of Vicksburg, after which he did scout duty until the close of the war. While in the detached service, near Meridian, Mississippi, he was taken prisoner by Forrest's cavalry, but escaped within four weeks, and returned to the Union lines. After the close of hostilities, he returned to Logan county, Illinois, and worked for several years on a farm. In 1869 he paid a visit of several months to his New York home. In 1870 he moved from Illinois to York county, Nebraska, and made his home for a short time with Peter Heller, who had settled on the Blue river, near the Seward county line.

      Mr. Rositer then pre-empted an entire section of land for eastern parties, and in the spring of 1871, returned to Illinois to accompany the settlers to their new homes. Upon arrival, however, they decided not to locate in Fillmore county and the company scattered and went to different parts of the state. Being unmarried, Mr. Rositer made his home for a time with James A. Taylor. In September, 1874, he filed a soldier's homestead claim to the northwest quarter of section 30, Leroy township, and then went to Illinois to file a claim to the lady who has since presided over his household. Her name at that time was Miss Colista Rinehart. She was born in McLean county, Illinois, January 19, 1849, a daughter of Peter and Comfort (Hammitt) Rinehart, the former a native of Germany, who came to America with his parents in 1832.

      After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Rositer came to York county, Nebraska, in the spring of 1875, and began housekeeping in a sod house, on their homestead, in



Leroy township. Although they experienced many of the hardships to which the Nebraska pioneers were subject, they have persevered and prospered, and are one of the prominent and well-to-do families of the township. The farm is not only supplied with all necessary improvements, but is supplied with some of the luxuries of life, such as an orchard of two acres of bearing apple trees, and also a two-acre orchard of young peach trees. In politics, our subject is an ardent supporter of the Republican party, but has never sought or held a public office. He takes an active interest in educational matters and has been a member of the school board for five or six years. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Robert Anderson post, No. 32, at York, and has served that post in the capacity of senior vice commander. Mrs. Rositer is a member of the Methodist church. To Mr. and Mrs. Rositer have been born a family of five children, viz.: Rowland, Mary, Fannie, Warren and Vernon. 

Letter/label or barAMES D. CUNNINGHAM.--Among the citizens of mark in Seward county, no on is more worthy of consideration than the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch. He is a man of wide and varied experience, and since taking up his residence in the county, in 1868, has exerted a beneficial influence in promoting its prosperity and development.

      He was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, September 1, 1816, and is a son of Thomas and Catherine (Cook) Cunningham, the former a native of Virginia, the latter of Somerset county, Pennsylvania. The father, however, was reared in Pennsylvania, and was there married at the age of twenty-eight years, while his wife was sixteen. For fourteen years they continued to make their home in that state and then emigrated to Wisconsin, where both died, the father at the age of sixty, and the mother at the age of seventy years. Our subject was the oldest of their thirteen children, of whom only four, two sons and two daughters, are now living.

      As there were no public schools during the boyhood and youth of our subject, he received no educational advantages whatever. He was twelve years of age at the time of the removal of the family to Wisconsin, which state at that time was very sparsely settled and wild animals and game of all kinds were plentiful. When sixteen he killed eight deer in one day. The family made their home on the Little Platte river in Grant county, and our subject aided in the arduous task of converting the wild land into rich and productive fields. He was also employed from 1831 until 1833 by the government to survey certain portions of the southern part of the state. In 1832, at the age of sixteen years, he entered the Black Hawk war, which was a hard and bloody struggle between the early settlers and the Indians, lasting from April until September of that year. His father was a commissary sergeant in the same war, while his father-in-law, George Washington Jones, and two brothers, Joseph and William Cunningham, were privates, and fortunately none were killed.

      In 1844, Mr. Cunningham was united in marriage with Miss Lucinda Jones, a daughter of George W. and Sarah (Thompson) Jones, who were married in Kentucky, January 30, 1825. Her father was born April 7, 1804, in South Carolina, of Welsh ancestry, and her mother March 16, 1807, in Christian county, Kentucky. In their family were fourteen children whose names and dates of birth are as follows: Elizabeth Jane, February 22, 1826; Lucinda, December 25, 1827; Eliza Jane, March 4, 1830; Sarah Ann, January 18, 1832; George L., January 26, 1834; John F., July 15, 1836; Araminta M., August 1, 1838; Harrison C.,.



November 23, 1840; David T., January 1, 1843; Josephine C., April 4, 1845; Sophrona Ellen, April 27, 1847; Melissa E., May 13, 1849; James T., February 11, 1852; and William S., April 16, 1854. Only four of this family are living at the present writing, in 1898. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham, namely: Melvina C. is now the wife of Norman Hill, of Monroe, Green county, Wisconsin; Warren David makes his home in Milford, Seward county, Nebraska; Lydia N. is the wife of George E. Tindall, a farmer of Seward county; James D. is living in Oklahoma, where he has served one term as county treasurer and has been renominated by his party; Sarah married Ira Pool and lived in Wisconsin, where she died at the age of twenty-nine years, leaving a husband and three children; Lucinda H. married Elisha Courtright and died at the age of thirty-four years, leaving a husband and two children; Charles Perry was born in Jo Daviess county, Illinois, May 12, 1845, and died at the age of twenty-two years while in the service of his country during the Civil war; and George T., who was born in Lafayette county, Wisconsin, and died when only six weeks old.

      In 1868 Mr. Cunningham and his family started for Nebraska with five horses drawing a wagon and buggies, and on their arrival in Seward county he secured a homestead of eighty acres in I precinct, and also bought another eighty-acre tract, for which he paid $1,000. Upon this farm he made his home for fifteen years and experienced all of the hardships and trials incident to life on the frontier, their first home being a small frame house with a dugout kitchen and cellar or cave. As there were no railroads at that time, traveling was difficult and they were compelled to go to Plattsmouth to market, a distance of seventy-five miles. Lincoln at that time was a mere hamlet, and gave little promise of becoming the thriving city which we to-day see. In 1883 Mr. Cunningham removed to the town of Milford, where he purchased real estate, and still owns twelve good residences. He has prospered in his new home and has never had occasion to regret his coming to Nebraska. He has won his way to the regards of the people with whom he has come in contact, either in business or social life, and has many warm friends throughout Seward county. 

Letter/label or barAMES A. KEEGAN, who for the past eleven years has most acceptably served as assessor of Fairmont township, is a man whose success in life is due entirely to his own well directed efforts, for he started out in life for himself empty-handed. He is a native of Maine, his birth occurring near the city of Bangor, October 8, 1846. His parents, John and Sarah (McCue) Keegan, were both natives of the Emerald Isle and emigrated to the United States when about twelve years of age, the former coming with an uncle in 1798, the latter with her brother in 1811. They grew to man and womanhood in Maine and were there married about 1834. The father was a lumberman and followed that occupation in connection with surveying, assisting in establishing the line between Canada and the United States in 1842. On coming west in 1849, he settled in Jackson county, Iowa, where he engaged in farming and stock raising until his death, which occurred in 888. He lacked only four months of being a centenarian. He was noted for his charity, and was well known and highly respected by all. His wife died in 1889. In their family were nine children, three sons and six daughters.

      James A. Keegan was reared in Iowa and educated in the schools of Bellville, that state. He remained under the parental roof until twenty-five years of age



and continued his residence in Iowa until March 1, 1878, when he came to Fillmore county, Nebraska, and rented a homestead here for twenty-one years. In connection with its cultivation, he also operates land of his own and is successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising, giving special attention to thoroughbred horses, for which he finds a ready sale at the highest market prices. He now owns a well-known horse, Senella, to-day the fastest horse in Nebraska.

      On the 5th of April, 1869, Mr. Keegan married Miss Sarah J. McLees, a native of Maryland, and a daughter of Daniel C. and Agnes (McKillup) McLees. They were natives of Scotland, who came to the United States in 1834, and located at Mt. Savage, Maryland, where they were married and in 1847 they located in Iowa, where the father died in 1873. The mother later moved to Davenport, Nebraska, where she died August 7, 1895. Our subject and his wife have eight children, namely: John; Mary J., wife of M. Shrader, of Zwingle, Jackson county, Iowa; Aggie, who is engaged in teaching school in Nebraska; Nathaniel C., Frank, Sadie, William E. and Emma, all at home.

      The Republican party has always found in Mr. Keegan a stanch supporter of its principles, and in local politics he takes quite an active and influential part, having served as a delegate to state, county and congressional conventions. He is widely and favorably known throughout the county and has a host of warm friends who esteem him highly for his genuine worth. 

Letter/label or barAMES D. HOUSTON, one of the pioneers, of New York township, York county, was born in Perthshire, Scotland, June 20, 1841, a son of Andrew and Emily (Ritchie) Houston, both natives of Scotland. The father was a farmer and followed that occupation in Scotland until 1870, when he migrated to the United States, settled in Wisconsin, and moved from there to York county, Nebraska, where he and his wife both died in the year 1880.

      Our subject is the only son and the only child now living of a family of three children. He was educated in Scotland and was engaged in farming in that country until he came to America in 1869. He first located in Wisconsin, but only lived there one year and then moved to York county, Nebraska. He filed a homestead claim to a farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 8, New York township. He built a frame house, hauling the lumber from Lincoln, Nebraska, and soon developed the raw, unbroken stretch of prairie that comprised his homestead into a cozy home and profitable farm.

      Mr. Houston was married in England, in 1867, to Miss Mary Lidington, a native of Buckinghamshire, England, and to this union have been born six sons and one daughter, whose names are as follows: James, William B., Andrew, Kate L., Ritchie, George and John E. Of this family George is now dead. The entire family are members of the Episcopal church. Mr. Houston has served for seven years as a member of the board of supervisors, and two years as township assessor. Politically he is a Republican. 

Letter/label or barHARLES W. DERBY enjoys the well-earned distinction of being what the public calls "a self-made man," and in Butler county he ranks not only among the successful business men, but is regarded as one of the leading and prominent citizens who in all the relations of life is true to the trust and duties reposed in him. His uniform courtesy, his genial manner, his reliability in all trade transactions and his.




faithfulness in public office have made him a popular citizen and one well worthy of mention in this volume.

      Now a resident of David City, he was born in Henry county, Illinois, October 27, 1851, and is a son of Benjamin and L. J. (Pinkney) Derby. His father was a native New York and about 1844 emigrated to Illinois, becoming one of the pioneer settlers of Henry county. During the war of the Rebellion he enlisted in the One Hundred and Twelfth Volunteer Infantry, but alter serving for a year was honorably discharged on account of disability, and six months later died from disease contracted in the service. He was of English descent. His wife, also a native of the Empire state and of English lineage, is now living in Lincoln, Nebraska, at the age of sixty-nine years. By her first marriage she had a family of four sons and four daughters. After the death of Mr. Derby she was again married, and by the second union three children were born.

      Our subject was the eldest son and third child of the first marriage, and was reared in Henry county, Illinois, where, at the early age of eleven years he started out to make his own way in the world. Whatever success he has achieved is due entirely to his own efforts, and his industry and enterprise in the affairs of life has been most commendable. He first worked by the month as a farm hand, receiving six dollars per month in compensation for his services. In the fall of 1870 he came to Butler county, where he opened up and cultivated a half section of wild land for J. D. Bell. Upon that land the town of Bellwood is now situated. For seven years Mr. Derby continued to develop and improve that property, and then located on an adjoining farm which he purchased of Benjamin Rochen. Until 1880 he continued to devote his energies to general farming and then sold his property, after which he took charge of the stock farm of R. H. Henry, there engaging in the raising, purchase and sale of live stock for twelve years. In 1893 he was elected sheriff of Butler county and removed to David City, where the following year he embarked in the livery business, which he has since followed with good success. He also purchased the old Commercial Hotel, which he is now fitting up for general use. His stable is equipped with a large line of fine carriages, and he keeps on hand good horses, being thus well prepared to attend to the wants of his many patrons. His readiness to please his customers and his honesty in all trade transactions has brought to him a good business and he derives therefrom a substantial income.

      In the discharge of his official duties Mr. Derby has been very prompt, looking after the best interests of the community by protecting the public from the lawless element which would threaten the destruction of life and property. He was re-elected in 1895, serving for a second term, and was then defeated in 1897 by fifty-three votes, although the fusion ticket of Democrats and Populists had a usual majority of ten hundred and fifty. The many Democratic votes which Mr. Derby, the Republican candidate, received was certainly a tribute to his personal worth and an indication of his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him by his fellow citizens. He has long been a recognized leader in Republican ranks, and has been chairman of the county central committee since 1896.

      In the fall of 1873 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Derby and Miss Ida Warren, a daughter of Captain Miles Warren, of Savannah, Nebraska, one of the honored pioneers of Butler county, identified with its interests since 1869. Nine childern (sic) have been born of this union, as follows: Nellie, wife of High McGriffin, editor of the Gresham Gazette," of York county, Nebraska; Ethel, Arthur Roy, George, Harry,



Ida, Benjamin H. and Mary, all at home. All were born in Butler county and the family circle yet remains unbroken by the hand of death.

      Mr. Derby is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Bellwood Lodge, No. 21, also of Bellwood Camp, No. 288, M W. A., and is a charter member of the Woodmen of the World. Such is the life record of one who has contributed largely to the development and advancement of Butler county, to the promotion of its business interests and to its public life by his faithful service in office. 

Letter/label or barAMES D. WHITE--The officials of York county are probably as popular and highly thought of as those of any county in the state. Therefore, when one avers that Mr. James D. White, who holds the offices of clerk and register, is quite as well known and esteemed as any of his neighbors in the county building, he has said a good deal, but has exaggerated not a whit. Mr. White is popular, he is competent, and he has handled his public charge in a businesslike manner, hence he has been very unanimously accounted a success. He was born in Pike county, Indiana, December 14, 1850, and is the son of James M. and Elizabeth (Gourley) White, natives respectively of Canada and South Carolina. James M. White was born in 1811, and was but eight years old when his parents came to this country and settled in Indiana. He was a shoemaker by trade and carried on business for many years in the Hoosier state, where he died in 1872. There was but one child, our subject. He was educated in the schools of Gibson county, Indiana, and at the age of twenty-two went to Nebraska, where he carried on farming near Lincoln for about one year. He then removed to York county and secured a farm, which he cultivated for the succeeding nine years.

      Following this he went to York and engaged in the grocery business for the next four and a half years, and then accepted a position with the State Bank, which he held about four years. From that time until 1895, when he was elected county clerk and register, he was in the real-estate and insurance business. He was re-elected to the office of clerk in 1897, and still occupies that office. Mr. White was for two years a member of the county board, and five years city treasurer of York, and has also been a justice of the peace. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and the M. W. of A.

      In 1870 Mr. White married Miss Sirena Broadwell, a native of Indiana and a daughter of David and Catherine (Welty) Broadwell. Mr. and Mrs. White are the parents of eight children, two of whom are deceased. Those living are: Clarence M., Elsie A., James D., Etta P., Horace R. and John F. 

Letter/label or barHOMAS J. BENDER occupies a position in the front rank among the leading and successful agriculturists of West Blue township, Fillmore county, Nebraska, where he owns and operates a fine and well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 27. He was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, December 3, 1846, a son of Benjamin F. and Sarah (Youngs) Bender, the former a native of Ohio, the latter of Pennsylvania. In early life the father followed the occupation of a farmer and tanner, but later became interested in the lumber trade. He made his home in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, where the greater part of his life was passed, and there he died March 4, 1897, honored and respected by all who knew him. The wife and mother is still living in that county. To them were born four sons, namely: Peter A., Francis T., John S. and Thomas J. Our subject's paternal grandfather,



Peter Bender, removed from Pennsylvania to Richland county, Wisconsin, where he engaged in farming until his death. In his family were seventeen children, twelve sons and five daughters. The maternal grandfather, Casper Youngs, was also a farmer by occupation, and spent his entire life in the Keystone state.

      The early life of Thomas J. Bender was spent like that of most farmer's sons, in a comparatively uneventful manner until sixteen years of age, attending the common schools and assisting in the labors of the farm. Although quite young, he enlisted in 1864, in Company G, One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and was in the service until hostilities ceased, being honorably discharged in 1865. He participated in the battles of Winchester and Fishers Hill, and at the famous engagement at Cedar Creek was wounded in the left leg. He was then confined in the hospital until the following spring, and on rejoining his regiment was engaged in guard duty until mustered out at the close of the war.

      Mr. Bender returned to his home in Pennsylvania and remained in that state until coming to Nebraska in the spring of 1872. Here he first located in Dawson county, where he took up a homestead, and to its cultivation and improvement devoted his energies for six years. In 1878 he traded that place for one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 27, West Blue township, Fillmore county, where he has since resided. Forty-eight acres had previously been broken, and tinder his able management the entire tract was soon placed under the plow. The farm in all its appointments indicates the thorough and progressive agriculturist, who has availed himself of the best and most improved methods of tilling the soil and carrying on the various other interests appertaining to the country homestead.

      In 1869 Mr. Bender was united in marriage with Miss Mary J. Rouser, who was born in Pennsylvania, of which state her parents, Joseph and Mary (Rogers) Rouser, were also natives. The children born to this union were as follows: Joseph T.; Iza D., now the wife of L. M. Farrar; Letitia, wife of G. B. Rothwell; Elwood, Erbanus, Naomi, Alda, Dwight, Hubert and Harvey, who was drowned in the Blue river in 1893. The wife and mother, who was a most. estimable lady and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, departed this life in May, 1893. Mr. Bender also holds membership in that church, and socially is connected with the Grand Army of the Republic, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Loyal Mystic Legion. In political sentiment he is an ardent Republican, but has never been an aspirant for official honors. By his straightforward and honorable course in life he has gained the confidence of all with whom he has come in contact, and is justly deserving the high regard in which he is held. 

Letter/label or barONORABLE CHARLES DEPUTY CASPER, one of the most prominent citizens of David City. Butler county, was born December 10*, near Red Lion, Newcastle county, Delaware. His father, Richard Casper, was of Scandinavian descent, and came of Revolutionary stock. His mother, Margaret Reed Casper, was a descendant of George Reed, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was also a native of Delaware.

     Our subject's early education was limited to eighteen months in the county schools, and at the age of sixteen he enlisted as bugler in Company B, 1st Delaware Cavalry, serving until July 4, 1865, when he was discharged. For a time he drove mules on the Susquehanna canal and mined coal in Ohio, and in July, 1866, he enlisted again in the Second Battallion, Thirteenth Infantry,
*No year of birth is given. According to "Semi-Centennial History of Nebraska", 1904 - Charles D. Casper was born in 1845.

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