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gaged in mining in the employ of the government as civil engineer. He was also with General Cameron as a member of the colonial forces in the Maori campaign for some months and remained in that country and in New Zealand for seven years, being one of the first prospectors on the west coast of New Zealand. Returning to England he made his home in London while engaged in settling up his father's estate. In December, 1872, he crossed the Atlantic to the United States and first located in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he remained for one year. The following three years were spent at Seward, this state, and in 1876 he came to Fairmont, Fillmore county, and purchased a farm in Blue Valley township, which he broke and improved, but later sold. Later he bought and improved several places until 1879, when he purchased the home in Fairmont township, where his widow still resides. It was all wild prairie land, but under his able management and by his untiring labor he soon converted it into one of the best and most desirable farms of the county. In 1874 he visited California and Oregon, but soon returned to Nebraska, and here successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising, giving special attention to the breeding of Cottswold sheep. He also bought and sold county paper, and in business affairs met with excellent success.

      In 1878 Mr. Jenkins was united in marriage with Miss Lottie Bock, a native of Michigan and a daughter of William H. and Catherine (Cavanaugh) Bock, who were natives of Pennsylvania and Ireland, respectively. The father died in Michigan in 1866, and in 1872 the mother, with her family, came to Fairmont, Nebraska. Prior to her marriage, Mrs. Jenkins successfully engaged in teaching school for some years. To our subject and his wife were born four children, all of whom are still living, namely: George S., John D., William G. and Charlotte L.

      Mr. Jenkins was a recognized leader in the Republican party in his community, taking a very active and prominent part in political affairs, and in 1879 was elected to the lower house of the state legislature, where he most capably and satisfactorily represented his district for two years. In religious faith he was a Catholic, and in his social relations was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He was noted for his sterling integrity, his honor in business and his fidelity to all the duties of public and private life. He was widely and favorably known and had many friends throughout the state. His death, which occurred May 14, 1897, was deeply regretted by all who knew him, and Fillmore county thereby lost one of its most valued and useful citizens. 

Letter/label or barILLIAM CRlSTOPH KASTNER is not a man to whine about hard times or the good luck that waits on other men. He has been altogether too busy in making a fortune for himself out of hard fate and unfavorable conditions. He has a productive farm near Bradshaw, Nebraska, which he has converted from the wild prairie, where he lives with all the peace and freedom of a king. Such men as he are the pride of the American republic, men who rise from the abysmal depths of poverty and destitution, and rear numerous families to honor, intelligence and industry.

     Mr. Kastner was born in Saxe-Weimar, Germany, July 18, 1848, and was a son of Henry A. and Anstena C. (Shict) Kastner. They were Saxon farmers, but when young William was only three years old they emigrated to America, coming via New York to Milwaukee. They remained in the Cream City of Wisconsin for about a year, when the senior Kastner moved out into the country and bought a farm in Dodge county. It was entirely unimproved and was covered



with timber. A vast amount of surface stone was in the way of profitable cultivation and the labor of removing stone and timber was immense. Fences were constructed that apparently will last until the crack of doom, and the trees were burned and the ashes sold to asheries not far away. By this slow and painful process ten to twenty acres would be cleared and secured for cultivation each year, and gradually the farm would take shape and character. When William was about sixteen years of age his father lost his eyesight, and henceforth much of the labor of the place fell on his young shoulders. In 1864 he volunteered, and entered the Union army as a member of Company D, Seventh Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. It was late in the war, but he was in time to participate in some severe fighting. At Hatoher's Run he received a ball in his shoulder which has never been extracted, and was taken prisoner, and thrown into the rebel hospital at Petersburg. The wound which he received early in the morning, was not dressed until ten o'clock at night. He spent some time in Libby prison at Richmond, and was finally discharged from the military service at the general hospital in Milwaukee. When he entered the army he received a bounty of three hundred dollars, which he immediately paid over to his father, and his accumulation of pay which amounted to a very respectable sum at the close of the war went to the same destination. He lived with his father until the day of his wedding, December 10, 1868. At that time Miss Fredereka Bower became his wife, and in every possible way has proved herself a most helpful companion and wife to her honorable and industrious husband. They rented the home farm for a year, when they determined to come to Nebraska for the sake of the larger opportunity it offered for themselves and their children, and in March, 1872 they made their first appearance in the state.

      Mr. Kastner made a homestead entry on the southeast quarter of section 34, township 10, range 4 west, where he still resides. He has a good frame barn, and other buildings belonging to a well appointed farm. He began with the raw prairie, and now has over one hundred acres under cultivation. The antelope and the bison have vanished forever, and their ranges are white for the harvest. He has always been a hard-working man, and is seldom found idle. He has earned every dollar he ever had, and is the maker as well as the owner of a well improved and attractive farm of two hundred acres of as fine land as may be found in the state. It may be said of him, "that he looks the whole world in the face, and owes no man a dollar."

      Mr. and Mrs. Kastner are the parents of ten children, all of whom with one exception are still living. They are Anna Mary, Lydia Annie, Lena, Frederick, Henry, William, Minnie, Ella and Selma. The oldest daughter is married to Louis Snyder, who owns a farm a mile and a half from the orphan's home at Jamestown, North Dakota. The other children are all at home, and are doing their part in the farm and house work. The father, mother and the three oldest children are members of the Evangelical church, and are people of standing and character in the community. He is a Republican and cast his first vote for General Grant. 

Letter/label or barEORGE F. MARSH, whose home is on section 20, West Blue township, is not only one of the useful and valuable citizens of Fillmore county in days of peace, but, when the nation was in peril during the dark days of the Rebellion, he was one of the men who fought most valiantly for the old flag and the cause it represented.

      His paternal grandparents were David



and Susan Marsh, natives of Pennsylvania, but removed to Ohio with their parents at an early day. The grandfather served his country in the war of 1812 under General Harrison. The grandmother was left a widow with three small children, two daughters and one son, John. Being a remarkably energetic woman, she reared her children to manhood and womanhood, and in 1840 accompanied them to Illinois, riding the entire distance on horseback. Later she made a visit to Ohio and returned also on horseback. Upon the death of one of her daughters she took the care of her three grandchildren whom she raised to near man's and woman's estate. She was then called to Iowa by the death of her second daughter, who left a family of motherless children whom she cared for until 1857, when she returned to Illinois, and made her home with one of her granddaughters, whom she accompanied to Miami county, Kansas, where she died March 13, 1883, at the ripe old age of eighty-eight years.

      His parents, were John and Ann E. Marsh. The latter was born in Pennsylvania, August 10, 1813, and emigrated to Ohio in an early day. Her maiden name was Foresman.

      The former a native of Ohio was born in Pickaway county, August 23, 1814, and grew to manhood in his native state. In 1840 he migrated to Illinois, and in DeWitt county entered a tract of wild land, which he converted into one of the most desirable farms in that locality. His entire life being devoted to agricultural pursuits. He was one of the prominent and influential citizens of his community, and was elected to the office of supervisor. He remained and operated his farm in DeWitt county until 1881, when he sold his farm and removed to Franklin county, Kansas, where he bought and operated a farm until his death, which occurred January 16, 1892. In his native state he was married to Mrs. Ann E. Kagan, née Foresman, and they became the parents of sixteen children, ten of whom reached the age of maturity, five sons and five daughters. Three daughters and the subject of this sketch are now living in Nebraska. The mother died in DeWitt county, Illinois, November 9, 1872. Like her husband, she was respected and esteemed by all who knew her.

      George F. Marsh was born in DeWitt county, Illinois, October 19, 1840, and obtained his education in the public schools of the same county. He early became familiar with every department of farm work, which he continued to follow there until the opening of the Civil war. Responding to his country's call for aid, he enlisted July 10, 1861, in Company E, Twentieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for three years, and on the expiration of that time veteranized, remaining in the service until hostilities ceased, and being honorably discharged July 16, 1865. He took part in the battles of Frederickstown, Missouri, October 21, 1861; Britten's Lane, Tennessee, September 1, 1862; Port Gibson, Mississippi, May 1, 1863; Raymond, May 12; Jackson, May 13; Champion Hills, May 16; and Vicksburg, from May 19 to 22, 1863. At the last-named engagement he was wounded in the right elbow and a few minutes later in the right leg, and was sent to the hospital, first at Memphis, Tennessee, and later by hospital boat to Quincy, Illinois. The following December he re-joined his regiment at Black River, Mississippi, and his next engagement was at Chunkey Station, Mississippi, February 19, 1864, followed by the battles of Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, June 27, 1864, and Atlanta, July 21 and 22, 1864. Here he was again wounded in the right arm and was confined in the hospital until the 10th of November, when he reported for duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Although he was not a commissioned officer, he was given command of a




company of recruits at Chattanooga, Tennessee, and as such took part in the battles of Nashville, December 15 and 16, 1864, and at Decatur, Alabama, December 27, 1864. With his company, he then proceeded by rail and water to North Carolina, and after participating in the battle of Kingston, March 10, 1865, rejoined his regiment at Goldsboro, North Carolina. With his regiment, he then went to Raleigh and on to Washington, District of Columbia, where he took part in the grand review, May 22 and 23, 1865;. Soon afterward he was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky. and returned to his Illinois home.

      In the fall of 1865 Mr. Marsh went to Kansas and returned in 1866, when he resumed his occupation as a farmer. In 1873 he came to Nebraska and became a resident of Fillmore county, locating on the farm where he now resides. The wild, uncultivated tract he has transformed into one of the best and most attractive farms in the county, having placed it under a high state of cultivation and improved it with good and substantial buildings. On coming to this state, he drove across the country with a four-horse team, being twenty-six days in making the trip.

      In McLean county, Illinois, December 30, 1868, Mr. Marsh married Miss Eleanor C. Bosserman, a native of Ohio, born April 13, 1845, a sister of W. H. Bosserman, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. To them have been born nine children, namely: Charlie; John, deceased; Mary E.; Georgiana; Samuel B.; Edward D.; May B.; Julia M.; and Eleanor B. Fraternally Mr. Marsh is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and has been connected with the Masonic order for thirty-seven years. Politically he is identified with the Republican party and has most creditably and acceptably filled several township offices, including those of treasurer, collector and justice of the peace. As an agriculturist, he has been fairly successful and his upright, honorable course in life commends him to the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has come in contact.

      Samuel B. Marsh, son of the subject of this sketch, was a member of the First Nebraska National Guards, and when the call was made for volunteers for the Spanish-American war, he enlisted in Company G, First Nebraska United States Volunteers, May 8, 1898. He participated in the capture of Manila, Philippine Islands, and all subsequent battles up to date. 

Letter/label or barOHN BECKMAN, an old settler of H precinct, Seward county, is one of the men whose names are connected with the history of the growth and development of the community in which he lives. He owns a large and well improved farm, is influential in matter of local politics and a consistent member of the Evangelical Lutheran church.

      Mr. Beckman was born in the province of Hanover, Germany, May 6, 1851, a son of John Beckman. The father was also a native of the Fatherland and migrated from thence to America in 1871, where he died about four years later. His companion, who in her girlhood bore the name of Miss Elizabeth Goecke, died in Germany. They were the parents of a family of six children, five sons and one daughter. One of these sons died in H precinct, Seward county, Nebraska, at the age of fifty-five years, and one son and the daughter are now living in this precinct, besides the subject of our sketch.

      Our subject was educated in the common schools of Germany and also in America, and was confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran church at the age of fourteen years. He left the land of his birth in 1868, embarking at Bremen, May 6, and landed in New York on the 23d of the same month. From there he proceeded to Clayton county,



Iowa, where he worked on a farm for two years and a half. He then moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, and for two years followed the mason's trade. In the fall of 1872, he came to H precinct and filed a homestead claim to an eighty-acre tract of land which now forms a part of his present estate. He began improving his new farm by constructing a dugout which housed him during the first year of his life in the far west. During this time he boarded with his brother. In the spring of 1874, he was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Hanich, a resident of Lancaster county, Nebraska, about a mile and a half east of Mr. Beckman's homestead. They at once began housekeeping on the farm which is still their home. The original eighty acres, however, is now only a part of a fine large farm of four hundred acres, all of which is improved and tillable.

      Mrs. Beckman was born in Germany, December 29, 1852, was educated and confirmed in the vicinity of her birthplace, and came to America with her parents in 1872. They then proceeded to Lancaster county, Nebraska, and at the age of twenty-one years, she became the wife of our subject. To this congenial union have been born a family of nine children, upon whom they have seen fit to bestow the following names: Minnie, Emma, August, Robert, Adolph, Rudolph, Bertha, Aberthena and Anna. Minnie and Emma are married, and August is employed in a general merchandise store at Germantown. All of the children were baptized, and all who have arrived at the age of fourteen years have been confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran church. Our subject has become one of the best known and most widely respected citizens of H precinct. He is thrifty, industrous and at once generous and economical in his financial affairs. He has accumulated considerable means and is now enjoying the results of an active and successful career. Politically he is a stanch Republican. 

Letter/label or barARTIN V. SAMPLE, M. D.--Butler county has few more energetic or wide-awake men among the younger members of its population than this gentleman. His name will be readily recognized by the citizens of Bellwood and vicinity as one of its most popular and efficient physicians.

      Dr. Sample first came to Nebraska in 1885, locating at that time in Milford, Seward county, and did not locate in Bellwood until October, 1897. He was born in Morgan county, Illinois, and his father, John Sample, was a brick and tile manufacturer, of Jacksonville, Illinois. Our subject was educated at the Lincoln Medical College, from which he graduated with the class of 1894. He was married in 1896 to Miss Dora Schaaf, of Milford, Nebraska, and in October of the following year he moved to Bellwood, Butler county, and began the practice of his profession in that city. A man of progressive ideas, studious and painstaking in all his professional work, although he is still a young man and the latest accession to the medical profession in Bellwood, the subject of this sketch has already built up a large and lucrative practice and has established himself firmly in the good-will and esteem of his medical brethren. As a citizen he is loyal in his adherence to the principles of right government, and as a friend and benefactor he has gained an enviable reputation.

      He is a member of the State Eclectic Medical Society, also the Modern Woodmen of America, Home Forum Benefits, Tribe of Ben Hur, Royal Neighbors, and is medical examiner for all of these. In politics he is a free-silver Democrat. 

Letter/label or bar. F. ROBBINS, one of the brave defenders of the Union during the dark days. of the Civil war, and a prominent representative of the agricultural interests of Fillmore county, has his homestead on sec-




tion 34, West Blue township. His record is that of a man who by his own unaided efforts has worked his way upward to a position of affluence. His life has been one of industry and perseverance, and the systematic and honorable business methods he has pursued have won him the support and confidence of many.

      Mr. Robbins is a native of New York, his birth occurring in Genesee county, October 27, 1840, and is a son of Frederick and Louisa (Logan) Robbins, also natives of that state, and the latter a representative of the same family to which General John A. Logan belonged. The paternal grandfather, Levi A. Robbins, was horn in Massachusetts, and about 1792 removed to New York, his death occurring in Genesee county, that state. He engaged in farming and also followed blacksmithing and wagon making. The maternal grandfather Logan was a native of New York. The parents of our subject continued to reside in the Empire state throughout life, the father, a farmer and butcher by occupation, dying in 1842, the mother in 1861. Their only daughter is also deceased.

      F. F. Robbins, the only son of this worthy couple, was educated in the common schools of his native state, and later followed farming there after the outbreak of the Rebellion. In response to the president's call for more volunteers, he enlisted in 1862, in Company G, One Hundred arid Twenty-ninth New York Volunteer Infantry, and the following year re-enlisted and was transferred to the Eighth New York Heavy Artillery. He was first engaged in skirmishing throughout West Virginia, and later took part in the seven days' fight in the Wilderness, and the battles of Spottsylvania; Cold Harbor, Virginia, where the regiment lost 639 in killed, wounded and missing; North Ann river; Monkey river; and Turkey Bend on the James river. There were two engagements at the last named place. Mr. Robbins also took part in the engagements in front of Petersburg, assisted in tearing up the Weldon railroad, and was in the battle of Ream's Station. At that place he was captured while serving as acting sergeant, and for six months was held a prisoner. During his captivity he was changed from one prison to another several times, being confined in Libby prison, Richmond, Virginia, Belle Isle, Salisbury, North Carolina, and other places. Shortly after his exchange in 1865 he was mustered out. He was slightly wounded at the battle of Cold Harbor, and was hit by a piece of shell at North Ann river, but was never seriously wounded, and only once was he confined in the hospital for a short time.

      After the war, Mr. Robbins remained in New York until 1868, when he removed to Shiawassee county, Michigan, and engaged in farming there for six years. In 1873 he came to Fillmore county, Nebraska, and homesteaded the farm where he now lives. The same spring the family located on the farm, where a small dugout, 10 x 12 feet, had been made, and twenty-five acres of the land broken. Although his crops have been at times destroyed by grasshoppers and droughts, he has prospered in his adopted state, and is now the owner of one of the best improved farms in the county. His lawn is one of the most beautiful in this region, it being ornamented with evergreen trees trimmed in an artistic manner. The home is a model of neatness and comfort, and everything about the place indicates the supervision of a careful and painstaking owner.

      In March, 1867, Mr. Robbins wedded Miss Mary A. Taber, who was also born in Genesee county, New York. Her parents, Clark and Rebecca (Peck) Taber, were natives of New York, and for many years lived upon the place in that state, where the mother died, but the father's death occurred in Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Robbins have



two children: Ora A., and Carrie E., wife of S. MI. Avery, of Fillmore county.

      Mr. Robbins is a member of the Regulators, an organization formed in 1890 to protect the farmers from horse thieves and criminals, and he has served as secretary from the start. He was also one of the organizers of the Republican party in the county and state, and he filled the office of town clerk in Michigan for six years and here for two years in a most creditable and satisfactory manner. He has also served seventeen years on the school board of the district he now lives in. 

Letter/label or barDGAR FOX, an honored veteran of the Civil war and a thorough and skillful farmer residing on section 6, Union township, Butler county, was born in Genesee county, New York, January 21, 1839. His father, Elisha Fox, was also a native of New York, and of English descent. Upon a farm in Genesee county he was reared in much the usual manner of farmer boys, and on attaining to man's estate he married Miss Eveline Kelsey. Of the children born of this union there are now living: Edwin, a resident of Minnesota; Eleanor, of Iowa; Ezra, of Floyd county, Iowa; Eveline, of Henry county, Illinois; and E. O., who makes his home near Bellwood, Butler county, Nebraska; and Edgar, of this sketch. Egbert, who died in this county, in 1897, was one of the early settlers of this region. When the family left Genesee county., New York, in the spring of 1844, they moved to McHenry county, Illinois, settling on a farm near Crystal lake, where our subject grew to manhood and learned the carpenter's trade.

      In 1859 Edgar Fox emigrated to Saline county, Missouri, where he was married to Miss Mary Amelia Berrey, whose father, John Berrey, had moved with his family to that county from McHenry county, Mrs. Fox being reared in the same neighborhood as her husband. When the Civil war broke out Saline county, Missouri, proved a very uncomfortable home for Union men, and Mr. Fox and his wife returned to McHenry county, Illinois, where he enlisted in August, 1862, in Company F, Ninety-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was first in McCarty's Division, Seventh Army Corps, and his first engagement was at Tallhosse, Mississippi. Returning to Memphis, the regiment went by boat to Milliken's Bend and Lake Providence, after which they went into winter quarters. In the spring of 1863 they started for Vicksburg, Mississippi, where they arrived on the 19th of May, and Mr. Fox participated in the first and second charge on that stronghold, his command being the first of the troops to enter the fort on its evacuation on that memorable Fourth of July. He took part in the Red River expedition under A. J. Smith, and was also in the Guntown expedition, where his brother Ezra was captured and sent to Andersonville prison. During his three years service, our subject was in many engagements throughout different sections of the south, assisting in the capture of General Price in Missouri, and also took part in the battle of Nashville, in 1864, and Mobile and Spanish Fort in 1865. At the end of his term of enlistment he was honorably discharged. Returning to McHenry county, Illinois, he remained there until the spring of 1866, when he and his oldest brother went to Bremer county, Iowa, living there until coming to Butler county, Nebraska, in June, 1871. With the agricultural interests of Union township he has since been identified and from the unbroken prairie has developed a fine farm, which stands as a monument to his thrift and industry.

      To Mr. and Mrs. Fox have been born four daughters: Olive, Cora, Armina and Susan, and they also have an adopted son, Lester. A public-spirited, progressive citi-



zen, Mr. Fox has always taken an active part in local political affairs, and he has been called upon to serve as justice of the peace seven years and school treasurer for the long period of twenty years. His fidelity to duty is among his chief characteristics and has been manifested in both public and private life. The success that has crowned his efforts is due entirely to his enterprise, industry and good management, and he may be justly numbered among the self-made men of the community. 

Letter/label or barETER KRON, deceased, was for many years one of the leading and highly respected citizens of West Blue township, Fillmore county, Nebraska, where he successfully carried on operations as a general farmer. He was born in Sweden, about 1821, and was there reared to agricultural pursuits. About 1848 he crossed the broad Atlantic and took up his residence in Brooklyn, New York, where he worked in the navy yard until after the opening of the Rebellion. He manifested his love for his adopted country by enlisting in Company A, Forty-eighth New York Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the Army of the Potomac. During his three years' service, he participated in many battles and skirmishes, and though he fortunately escaped unwounded, his health was badly shattered by his arduous service.

      After the war, Mr. Kron continued his residence in Brooklyn until 1870, when he came to Lincoln, Nebraska. In the spring of that year he took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of wild land in West Blue township, Fillmore county, where his family still continue to reside. He constructed a dugout upon his place, in which the family lived until their present comfortable residence was erected. They began life here empty-handed and by working for others, he and his wife managed to buy an ox team, with which he broke and began the cultivation of his land. As years passed by, many comforts were added to their home, and he continued to successfully engage in agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in January, 1886.

      In Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Kron was married, in 1860, to Miss Sophia Moody, also a native of Sweden, who came to America when twenty-six years of age and worked in that city until her marriage. To them were born four children, namely: Victoria and Frank, both deceased: Josephine, wife of Elof Lindgrem, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; and Charles A.

      In political sentiment Mr. Kron was a Republican. With his family, he attended the Methodist Episcopal church, and by his upright, honorable life, he gained the confidence and respect of all who knew them. 

Letter/label or barOHN LINDGREM, deceased, was one of the honored early settlers of Fillmore county, and was prominently identified with its agricultural interests for many years, owning and operating a good farm in West Blue township. He was one of the worthy citizens that Sweden has furnished to the new world, and he possessed many of the admirable qualities of the people of his native land, being honest, industrious, enterprising and energetic.

      Mr. Lindgrem was born in Sweden, in 1815, a son of Carl Johnson, who spent his entire life in that country. There our subject was reared, and on reaching manhood married Miss Christina Swanson, by whom he had five children, but only two are now living: Elof, who is now living on the home farm in West Blue township; and a daughter who still resides in Sweden. In his native land Mr. Lindgrem continued to carry on farming until 1868, when with his family he sailed for the United States, land-



ing in New York city. After about six months spent in Harlem, New York, he removed to Princeton, Illinois, where he lived until 1870, and then came to Fillmore county, Nebraska, taking up a homestead on section 4, West Blue township. After constructing a dugout for the accommodation of his family, he began to break and improve his farm, but at the end of seven years traded it for one hundred and twenty acres in the same township, upon which he made his home until called from this life in January 26, 1893. He placed the land under cultivation and made many excellent improvements thereon in the way of good and substantial buildings. His wile departed this life February 26, 1898. Both were faithful members of the Lutheran church, and were revered and honored by all who had the pleasure of their acquaintance. In politics Mr. Lindgrem was first a Republican, but later voted independent of party ties.

      Elof Lindgrem, the only son, now owns and operates the homestead. He was born in Sweden, November 23, 1854, was reared and educated there, and accompanied his parents on their emigration to the United States in 1868, remaining with them during life. While in Princeton, Illinois, he attended school, and also pursued his studies for a short time in a log school-house after coming to Fillmore county. On the 24th of November, 1887, he was united in marriage with Miss Josephine A. Kron, a sketch of whose parents appears elsewhere in this work, Mr. Lindgrem early began to assist his father in the labors of the farm, and throughout life has successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits, now owning a valuable farm of a half section, all improved and under cultivation. It is his intention to soon retire from active labor as he has already secured a comfortable competence which will enable him to spend the remainder of his life in ease. He will probably visit his native land and then make his home in Grafton, Fillmore county. He, too, is independent in politics, and socially affiliates with the Masonic fraternity and the Modern Woodmen of America, being a charter member of the Woodmen camp at Grafton. He is one of the highly esteemed citizens of his community, and has a host of warm friends. 

Letter/label or barOAH M. THOMPSON, deceased, was one of the honored early settlers of Fairmont township, Fillmore county, Nebraska, and during his residence here assisted greatly in its development and prosperity. He was by nature liberal and public spirited, and wherever he took up his abode maintained an interest in the people round him, and contributed of his means and ability to their improvement socially, morally and financially. No man is more worthy of representation in a work of this kind and there is none whose name is held in more grateful remembrance.

      Mr. Thompson was born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, September 18, 1839, a son of John S. and Nancy (Osburn) Thompson, and a brother of Cyrus Thompson, whose sketch appears on another page of this volume. In his native county our subject was reared and educated, and remained on the home farm until after the breaking out of the Civil war. On the 8th of August, 1862, he enlisted in Company A, One Hundred and Forty-second Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He participated in several battles, and was with Burnsides on the famous march in the mud through Virginia. Being taken ill he was sent to Carver Hospital, Washington, District of Columbia, where he remained until honorably discharged, June 20, 1862. Returning to his home in Pennsylvania, Mr. Thompson remained there for some time, and then went with his brother Cyrus to



Iowa, where he lived until coming to Fillmore county, Nebraska, in 1871. He homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 14, Fairmont township, and after erecting a small frame house thereon, began to break and cultivate his land. He experienced all the hardships and privations of frontier life having his crops destroyed by grasshoppers and drouth; but he steadily overcame all difficulties in the path to prosperity, and at his death was quite well-to-do. He continued the operation of his farm here until 1885, when, on account of failing health, he removed to Thomas county, Kansas, where he pre-empted a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres and also a timber claim, which his widow has since disposed of. There he made his home until called from this life September 9, 1892, leaving many friends as well as his family to mourn his loss.

      On the 1st of May, 1873, Mr. Thompson married Miss Elda L. Gleason, a native of Wisconsin and a daughter of Alonzo and Betsy (Lewis) Gleason, who were both born in Ashtabula county, Ohio, and representatives of old Connecticut families. Her parents came to Fillmore county. Nebraska, August 5, 1871, and pre-empted a quarter section of land in Madison township, to the cultivation and improvement of which the father devoted his energies for some years.

      He is still a resident of the county, but the mother is now deceased. Two children were born to our subject and his estimable wife, namely: Frank M., a native of Fillmore county, married Ella Reel, a daughter of Henry H. Reel, and now operates the home farm in Fairmont township; and Anna L. lives at home with her mother in the same township. The family is quite prominent socially.

      Mr. Thompson was a faithful and earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and also held membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. Although he never aspired to office, he took a lively interest in political affairs, and was a stanch supporter of the Republican party. He was a man universally respected, and one whose word was considered as good as his bond, and in his death the community lost one of its most honored and useful citizens. 

Letter/label or barAFAYETTE SOWERS.--Among the leading and representative agriculturists of Butler county, there is none who stands a more prominent figure than the gentleman whose name introduces this sketch. Since the fall of 1872 he has been a resident of the county, making his home on section 10, Center township, where he first purchased eighty acres. As his financial resources have increased, however, he has extended the boundaries of his land from time to time until he is now the owner of three hundred and sixty acres of some of the finest farming land to be found in this section of the state. Being a thorough and systematic farmer, prosperity has crowned his efforts, and the success that he has achieved is certainly well deserved.

     Mr. Sowers was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, January 19. 1824, and is a grandson of a Hessian soldier who was hired by the British during the Revolutionary war. At the end of that struggle he located in this country, where his descendants have since made their home. Our subject's father, George Sowers, a farmer and trader by occupation, was born in Winchester county, Virginia, about 1783, and died in Greene county, Pennsylvania, at the age of eighty-two years. When seventeen years old he removed to Washington county, Pennsylvania, where he subsequently married Miss Anna Home, a daughter of John Home, and they. became the parents of eleven children, of whom our subject is the sixth child and third son. His oldest brother, John, lives in Douglas county,

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