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fortable, and his farm buildings are substantial, well and conveniently arranged, admirably adapted to the various uses and necessities.
Our subject came to the State and county in 1872, and for four years rented a farm, and was so pleased with the climate, surrounding soil and production, that he determined to make it his home, with the above-mentioned result. The secret of his success lies in the fact that he thoroughly understands his work, that he knows both what is required, and the best methods by which the purpose may be effected, which knowledge, coupled with the patience, thrift and large aptitude for industrious effort, has been productive of the prosperity which he to-day enjoys, and other things being equal, like effects will proceed from like causes in every instance.
Mr. Knoche is a native of Germany, and was born on the 28th of September, 1835, to Henry and Mary (Orendorff) Knoche. The father of our subject, who never left his native country, followed the occupation of a blacksmith, and was considered a skilled worker. Our subject came to the United States in the year 1850, and was followed some years after by his mother, who is now residing with her daughter, Mrs. Shelhorn, and has reached the advanced age of seventy-three years. Mr. and Mrs. Knoehe, Sr., were both members of the Lutheran Church, and were brought up in its communion from infancy.
Our subject is the eldest of three sons and one daughter; besides these the family circle included one half-sister. With the exception of this lady and one brother, all the family have become residents of this country. Mr. Knoehe was brought up in Germany, and there received his education. Upon coming to this country he first settled in Chicago, Ill., and then engaged as a farm hand. He was quite careful and saving, and at that time engaged in laying the foundation for the success of these later years.
Upon the 17th of January, 1859, at Black Walnut, which is about thirty miles south of Chicago, Ill., our subject was united in marriage with Miss Mary Hottendorf, who was born at Riepen, May 3, 1836, and is the daughter of Fred and Mary Hottendorf. She came to this country when about twenty-two years of age. accompanied by her uncle, and located near Chicago. where she met our subject. She has presented her husband with eight children, whose names are recorded as follows: Sophia, the wife of Dan Moshel; Henry, who is the husband of Minnie Turner, and whose farm is southwest of Beatrice; Mary is the wife of Fred Shimel, of Jefferson County; Otto, who is his father's assistant upon the farm; Minnie, happily married to Fred Yarko, also of Jefferson County; Christ, Joseph and Lotta, all of whom are at home.
The religious connections of our subject and his wife are in the Lutheran Church, of which they have been adherents since their confirmation. In political matters our subject is in harmony with the Democratic party, of which he has for years been a supporter. This interesting family is much respected in the community, and our subject is among the leading German-American citizens of the township.
OHN WOLFE was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, in White Eyes Plains, on the 12th of June, 1839, and is a son of David and Eliza Wolfe, who were natives of the same State. The father was a son of one of the early pioneers of White Eyes Plains, who settled there before the War of 1812, and about the time Ohio was admitted as a State into the Union. Our subject spent his early years on the old homestead which had been in the family possession for a great many years. During his school days he received the educational advantages offered by the common schools, though they were but meager, and after that time he assisted his father in the work of the farm, developing physical strength and intellectual abilities as he advanced to manhood's years, and thus the time passed until the breaking out of the war.
When our subject was about twenty-two years old he enlisted in Company C, 51st Ohio Infantry, under Capt. Benjamin F. Heskett, whose place was supplied after his death by Carter B. Harrison. He participated with his regiment in the battles of Stone River and Chickamauga, at the latter place being taken prisoner by Longstreet's men, but was
exchanged and sent to Columbus. He then participated in the battles of Ringgold, Resaca, Peachtree Creek, and in others, distinguishing himself for his courage and bravery, and his loyalty to the cause for which so many valiant men battled, and for which so many perished; our subject fortunately was but slightly wounded at the battle of Chickamauga. He was honorably discharged in 1864, after which he returned to his home and again engaged in the duties of a civilian. In March, 1865, he moved to Henderson County. Ill., where he continued the occupation which he had learned when a boy until 1879, in which year he moved to this county and made his home on his present farm. He now owns eighty acres of good farming land on section 28, Barneston Township, on which he has made very many improvements, and which, in return for his diligence and the labor expended on it, yields a fair crop of cereals and general farm produce. He also gives some attention to the raising of live stock, cattle, horses and hogs, and has been generally successful.
On the 17th of March, 1864, after his return from the service as a prisoner of war, our subject was united in marriage with Miss Matilda F. Gray, a daughter of David J. and Henrietta Gray, who also lived in White Eyes Plains, in Ohio. The father had enlisted as a Union soldier in the late war, and was nobly engaged in defending his country when he lost his life near Vicksburg, being among the large number of valiant soldiers who died far from home amid time cruel scenes of the battle-field. The mother died in White Eyes Plains, Ohio, March 27, 1855. Mrs. Wolfe was born in White Eyes Plains on the 4th of September, 1839, and by her marriage with our subject has become the mother of five children, who bear the names of Anna L., Gertrude, Clara A., Orvil G. and Elmer E. Anna married Francis E. Godfrey, of this township, and has one child, named Gertrude E.; the remaining members of time family are at home.
The war career of our subject entitles him to an honorable membership in the Colman Post No. 115, G. A H., of Wymore, which is an active organization, and has a membership of about ninety. While he is interested in the state of politics and is concerned for the welfare of the country he does not take an active part in advocating the policy of any one of the parties, though he is a member of the Republican organization, and generally votes for the candidates of that party. He and his wife are esteemed members of the United Brethren Church, of Olive Branch, and as progressive and intelligent citizens they are entitled to honorable mention among the well-respected families of their township.
OHN ALSBACH, M. D., widely and favorably known as one of the most efficient surgeons and physicians of Beatrice, was born in the city of St. Gallen, Switzerland, March 19, 1827, and is the son of Jacob and Elizabeth Alsbach, who were also of Swiss birth and parentage, and whose family consisted of five sons. The parents spent their entire lives upon their native soil.
At the age of six years our subject, in accordance with the laws and customs of his native country, was placed in school and pursued his studies until a youth of fifteen. He was then required to confine his attention strictly to farming, and was thus employed until twenty years old. In the summer of 1853, impatient of the restraints which would not allow him to branch out as he desired, he set sail for America, and after a voyage of forty-seven days landed safely in New York City. Not long afterward, however, he proceeded southward to New Orleans, where he engaged in the practice of medicine, and lived until the year 1864. During the war he was occupied at New Orleans, and after its close migrated north to Marietta, Ohio, of which he remained a resident for sixteen years, and occupied himself at his profession. In the year 1873 he removed to Lincoln, Ill., and in the fall of 1877 turned his steps still further westward, and coming to this county located in the city of Beatrice, and was soon recognized as one of its most practical and skillful physicians. He follows the Old School system, and has for his partner his step-daughter, Miss Elizabeth Grabe, who possesses fine capabilities, and seems particularly adapted to the profession. The wife of our subject, formerly Mrs. Louis
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Grabe, was born in Marietta, Washington Co., Ohio, in 1837, and was married to Dr. Alsbach at Lincoln, Ill., in March. 1878. Her first husband. August Grabe, died at Marietta. Ohio, leaving two daughters. The widow, with her children, not long afterward moved to Lincoln, Ill.
The family residence of our subject is a tasteful and substantial structure, located in the eastern part of the city, and is one of its most attractive and comfortable homes. Dr. Alsbach in the winter of 1884-85 took a course of lectures in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at St. Louis, Mo., from which he was graduated with honors; he is now in the thirty-third year of his practice. Miss Elizabeth Grabe is a regular graduate of the Woman's Medical College, of Philadelphia, Pa., in the class of '84, and is a lady of more than ordinary capabilities, one who has established herself in a marked degree in the confidence and esteem of the people, among whom she labors in a faithful and conscientious manner. Her sister Lorena E. is a compounder and pharmacist of the office, and is also a young lady more than ordinarily bright, and finely adapted to the duties which she has assumed.
ILLIAM W. CLOIJGH has for fourteen years been identified with the public affairs of Highland Township, and has proved himself an enterprising citizen of the same. He is a native of Venango County, Pa., and was born on the 24th of February, 1846, his parents, Horace P. and Anna Clough, having been natives of New York, who had made their home in Pennsylvania. His mother died in the year 1866, when she was fifty-four years old, and the father is now residing in this county, having reached the age of about seventy-two years. In their family there were nine children, of whom the following survive: Marion M., in Nemaha Township, this county; Levi D., in Cortland, the editor of the Cortland Herald; Grace J., also in the same city; Lucy M., the wife of H. G. Gilmore, of Highland Township; Otis H., in Peoria, Ill.; William W., our subject; Josephine, the wife of Lee Johnson, of Pennsylvania, and Celeste A., the wife of Enos Barkey, Jr., of Highland Township.
Our subject spent the first twenty years of his life in his native State, after which he took the responsibility of shaping his future course in life into his own hands, and thinking that he would take advantage of the inducements offered by the rapidly developing Western country, he went to Henry County, Ill.; where he resided a number of years and successfully managed a farm which he rented. He was married, in Henry County, Ill., on the 23d of June, 1868, to Miss Frances Welch, who was born in Philadelphia, Ohio, on the 15th of June, 1848, and is a daughter of Zachariah and Anna Welch, who were natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively. Her father died in the year 1876, when he was about sixty years old, and her mother is still residing in Henry County, Ill. By their marriage our subject and his wife have become the parents of seven children, whose names and the dates of their birth are appended as follows: Claude A. was born Nov. 1, 1869; Ella A., June 4, 1872; Bessie A., Nov. 13, 1873; Ralph Z., Aug. 27,1875; Harry G., Jan. 6, 1877; Ray, in September, 1878; Ira, Aug. 27, 1883.
In the spring of 1874 our subject brought his family to this county, and bought 160 acres of land of the Burlington & Missouri River Land Company, at $6 per acre, and made his home on it ere there had been a furrow turned. He began at once to put it in a condition for cultivation, arid gradually has worked it up to its present splendid condition, having made many noticeable improvements which could have been accomplished only by much hard labor and industry. He has endured the usual hardships and self-denials which seemed a necessary accompaniment of an early settler's life, although he has enjoyed the society of many other residents who were here before him, and in that respect he had a great advantage over the first settlers, who came when Indians and wild animals claimed this section for their home, and if there were any white neighbors they were many miles distant. When our subject arrived in this county he had one wagon and team, his household goods, and what money there was left of the $25 with which he started. He has seen the vast changes which have been wrought in
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one and a half decades, and he has contributed his share of labor and funds toward the public improvements. He is a Republican in polities, and has always favored the measures by which the good of his country and the interests of his community might be secured, and is anxious that its advantages, educationally and religiously, may rank with those of the surrounding communities.
UGUST ZAHLTEN. In the subject of this biographical compendium is found a worthy representative of that Kingdom now absorbed in the German Empire, Prussia, that has in the past played no unimportant part in the history of Europe. Its people are of Teutonic origin, and possess the solid, sterling and unassuming qualities distinctive of the race. His father, Frank Zahlten, was born in Oberschwedeldorf, Prussia. The maiden name of his wife was Beata Habel, who was born in the same place. Her husband was by occupation a grocer, and followed that business until the 1st of August. 1886, when he died at his home. The family of which our subject was a member numbered seven sons and one daughter, all of whom attained to years of maturity. Of these the only member of the family who came to the United States was our subject.
Mr. August Zahlten was born on the 6th of January, 1846, in Oberschwedeldorf, and continued to reside at home until he reached the age of nineteen years, which were occupied from arrival at the usual age in the various duties of school, which was followed for a period of four years in learning the trade of a miller, which he continued to follow for about three years. In April of 1866 he left Prussia and came to America, for a time making his home in Brooklyn, thence migrating to Algona, Iowa, where an uncle was living. With him he remained one year, working upon the farm; he then engaged in a flouring-mill, and worked in the same for about eight years.
In 1872 our subject entered into wedlock with Mary Sophia Apel, daughter of John Julius and Elnora (Burckhart) Apel. Her father was born in Germany in 1825, and came to this country when fifteen years of age, and was engaged with much prosperity in farming until his death, April 30, 1888. His wife, a native of the same country, was born upon the 6th of May, 1830, and now lives in Arkansas. Their family included eight children, seven of whom are now living. Their names are recorded as follows: John, a farmer of Thayer County, Neb.; William, of Arkansas County, Ark., in which place each of the succeeding members of the family reside, excepting only Sophia, the wife of our subject. These are Nora; Rosetta, now Mrs. Uriah Hawkins; Lewis and August, both of whom are agriculturists.
The birth of Mrs. Zahlten occurred upon the 12th of March, 1850, in Crawford County, Ohio, and she was married at Algona, Kossuth Co., Iowa, April 13, 1872. For two years after this event our subject continued to follow his employment at the mill, but in 1874 he removed to Saline County, in this State, and for three and a half years followed the same employment. At the end of that period the removal to this county was effected, where he leased 200 acres of school land for twenty-five years, and commenced farming, making stock-raising the special feature thereof. In 1884 he had prospered so that he was able to purchase a quarter of section 24, Sherman Township, paying for the same $12 per acre. At that time it was all wild, uncultivated and undeveloped land, but thanks to his industry it is now well improved and brought to a high state of cultivation. Upon it he has seldom, if ever, less than 100 head of cattle, and from fifty to 100 hogs. In 1879 he suffered an exceedingly heavy loss by prairie fires, that destroyed everything save only his house and buildings, but despite this and every other reverse and difficulty, he who but a few years ago had not even sufficient to take him to his uncle, as previously mentioned, has accumulated a fair competency and acquired a handsome property.
In his religious convictions our subject follows the teachings of the Catholic Church, of which he is a devout member. His wife walks in the light of the instructions of the Lutheran Church, in which she was brought up. Their family includes five children, who are all still at home. Their names are as follows: Richard J., born in the year 1873; Joseph A., Jan. 29, 1876; Ernest A., April
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1, 1878; Bertha M., May 2. 1880, and Clara Amelia, Jan. 3. 1884.
For a period of nine years Mr. Zahlten has been School Treasurer, and also for several years a member of the School Board. These offices entirely unsought by him, are all he has ever held. In matters political he is strictly independent; the question of party does not influence him a particle. His vote is given only to that candidate who in his judgment is capable, and who will best serve the interests of the people.
ENRY C. STOLL. Gage County has few more prominent and honorable citizens than Henry C. Stoll, whose biography is here presented in condensed form. He was born in Nassau, Germany, on the 23d of February, 1830. When sixteen years of age he came to this country, and located in New York City, and there made his home until 1853, engaged in the confectionery business. In Will County. Ill., he engaged in farming until 1858, and then built a flouring-mill at Mokena, Ill. This was burnt in 1860, and resulted in a loss to him of $10,700. This swallowed up in one conflagration all he had saved, and left him in debt at least $1,600, almost all due to Messrs. Fairbanks & Co. This amount he paid in the fall, eight years later.
From Illinois our subject went to Crawford County, Mo., in 1861. There he engaged in farming, but in August of the following year he returned to Illinois. There he took land and followed farming, which was supplemented by a creamery business, and every year saw him more truly successful. In 1867 he became a stock farmer, and began the breeding of thoroughbred hogs, continuing in this line of business until the fall of 1878, enjoying every year most gratifying financial success. At the end of that period he came to this State, and located upon the farm he still occupies. He purchased the whole of section 17, Riverside Township then an unbroken stretch of prairiel and, and was most uninviting, but he had faith in the outlook, and went to work. To-day it were no easy task to find a better cultivated farm, a more complete set of farm buildings, or more adapted to the varied uses desired, than those of our subject. Reference to the view of the farm. etc., in this volume, will doubtless make this more clear. His dwelling is a splendid specimen of the architect's and mason's art, and was erected at a cost of not less than $5,000. It is of modern design and style, and is constructed of limestone, and the interior finished in hardwood, and the whole handsomely decorated.
Our subject has been very careful in the building of his stock houses, and has given them his special care and personal supervision, both before and during their erection. His pig-pens consist of half-acre lots, and one pig-house stands 24x100 feet, and is a stout frame building lined with brick, lathed and plastered. This is designed for the accommodation of the smaller pigs during winter, and for their further comfort this house is heated by two stoves throughout the more severe months. Each of the above referred to pig-pens is provided with good, stoutly built and warm sheds, sufficiently large to accommodate all the pigs that would be in the pens at one time. At feeding time the hogs are provided for by a wagon especially designed, and built for the purpose of handling their feed with the least possible inconvenience, waste or objectionable feature. Our subject raises Poland-China, Chester White, small white Yorkshire, and Black Essex hogs, raising not less than 400 head per annum. His reputation in this branch of industry is fully established in every hog market throughout the country, and wherever he is known in business his character is such that his word is taken in numerous instances as a sufficient guarantee, where usually something more tangible is required.
Although giving attention chiefly to hogs, our subject raises quite a number of Holstein and highgrade cattle, and the same care and provision are given to their requirements as to the smaller stock. Water is supplied to the various sheds, pens and tanks, and even to his residence, by a very powerful windmill pump, that keeps the farm thoroughly supplied with all the water that is required. Without doubt this is one of the best arranged and most thoroughly equipped stock farms in the county, besides being from the natural situation one of the most delightful places for residence. Being but
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