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buys from 12,000 to 15,000 bushels. All his farm is well fenced, 160 acres of it with a "hog tight" and the remainder with a first-class wire fence, the whole being so divided that stock can be handled to the greatest advantage and with the utmost ease. There is an abundant supply of sheds and shelters for protection from winter's cruel cold and summer's severe heat; in fact, in all the appointments our subject aims to have those of a first-class stock farm, as his is.
The parents of our subject were natives of Kentucky, in which State his father died when Stephen D. was quite a little boy. His mother with her family of five children then removed to Illinois in 1867. It was an apparently interminable struggle and endless anxiety for this noble woman to provide for her children, and as soon as it was possible our subject, being the eldest son, took the lead in endeavoring to assist in the support of the family. Being born on the 2d of February, 1852, he was fifteen years of age when his mother removed to Illinois. They have now a good farm in Labette County, Kan., where the mother and one daughter reside. The following are the members of this interesting family, viz.: Stephen D., our subject; William, who is married and lives in Kentucky; Mary B., who resides with her mother; Amelia, happily married to Jacob Botoff, a prosperous farmer in Labette County; Amanda, now Mrs. Ora F. Penneywitt, resident in the same county, each being in the same neighborhood.
Miss Harriet McElvain, of McDonough County, Ill., is the lady whom our subject chose to be his life companion, and with whom he was united in marriage upon the 14th of January, 1872, since which time it has been abundantly demonstrated that the step was a most happy one. Mrs. Terry is the daughter of George and Jane (Barr) McElvain, who still reside in Illinois. There have been born to our subject seven children, who have received the names here following: Clifton D., John H., Oscar, Amelia, William H., Lou and Mattie, all of whom are still living.
The ancestry of the Terry family for several generations have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in this communion our subject and wife also find their religious home, and are by the entire membership in common with the community at large held in highest esteem. In political circles our subject is not prominent, usually voting with entire disregard to the party of a candidate, and thinking solely of his fitness for the desired office and his character.
OBERT F. NORCROSS is a well-informed and reliable business man, who has made a brilliant success of farming on his well-improved land on section 31, Logan Township. His father, William F. Norcross, was born in Erie County, Pa., on the 14th of February, 1812, and in 1840 he moved to Warren County, Ill., where he now resides, continuing his early vocation of farming. His father, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of Ireland, and after coming to America he served as a private in the War of 1812. The mother of our subject was Maria L. (Dixon) Norcross, who was born in Erie County, Pa., in 1818, and died at the age of forty years, in 1858, by which a family of five children, named John G., Marietta, William P., Hobert F. and Henry H., was bereaved of her tender care.
Our subject was born in Warren County, Ill., on the 31st of August, 1851, and as he reached boyhood's years he began the acquisition of his education, which was completed in 1872 by graduation from the High School at Monmouth, Ill. In the spring of 1875, being then about twenty-four years old, he removed to near Beatrice, where he engaged in farming for three years, and in 1878 he bought his present place, consisting of 100 acres on section 31, Logan Township. When the land came into his possession it was in an uncultivated state, since which time he has made many improvements, and has set out orchards of fruit trees, groves of native timber, and beautiful hedge fences, which add greatly to the value and appearance of the place. His house, barns and farm buildings are all in excellent condition, containing the modern conveniences and improvements, while within a distance of forty rods from the house there is a spring of clear, cool and refreshing running water. All that ingenuity can devise or labor procure has been
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done to beautify and increase the utility of this splendid farm, and the owner of it may well feel gratified because of his success. In 1883 he purchased 160 acres of land two miles east of the home farm, on which he has made many improvements,
On the 12th of February, 1874, our subject was united in marriage, in Monmouth, Ill., to Miss Laura E. Webster, who was born in Erie County, Pa., on the 12th of November, 1856. Her parents, O. E. and Emily E. (Dunn) Webster, were natives of the same county, the former having been born in 1835, and the latter in 1838. They are the parents of four children, named Laura E., Stella, Elroy and Zoah, and the father is the present Street Commissioner of Beatrice. By their marriage our subject and his wife are the parents of one child, named Bertie, who was born on the 25th of April, 1876, and is brightening their home with the charm of his boyhood's years.
The excellent and thorough education which our subject received entitles him to a prominent rank among the educators of his township, for, although he is not immediately engaged in the work of teaching, he has for six years been the Director of the schools, and has given careful and conscientious service in behalf of the educational institutions of his township. He is an ardent Republican, and does not lose an opportunity to further the interest of his party. In business matters he is distinguished for his uprightness and integrity, and his word is everywhere considered as good as his bond. His wife is an amiable and estimable lady, possessing true, womanly characteristics, and takes a proper pride in her excellent domestic qualifications.
EORGE W. CAMPBELL. The eventful life of the subject of the following narrative, and which now spans a period of over fifty years, began at the modest country home of his parents in the township of East Smithfield, Bradford Co., Pa., May 3, 1835, and is culminating in its prime amid the surroundings of an enjoyable home on section 33, in Nemaha Township, this county. A soldier of the Union army during the late Civil War, he survived more than ordinary hardship and suffering, and at its close in 1868, sought a home among the people of the young and promising State of Nebraska. He was prospered in his venture, and now, sitting under his own vine and fig tree, with comfort and plenty around him, can look back with a reasonable degree of satisfaction upon the results of a life whose aim has been to make himself worthy among good citizens, and of value in his community.
The parents of our subject, George W.. Sr., and Harriet (Kingsley) Campbell, were also natives of Bradford County, Pa., and represented excellent German blood on the father's side, and on the mother's Scotch-Irish. The elder Campbell was a lumberman and farmer, and acquired a large property. His death took place not far from the place of his birth, in Burlington Township, Bradford Co., Pa., in 1887, when he was seventy-eight years old The mother is still living, making her home with Sterling at the old home, and is now aged about seventy-four. The parental household included nine children--William. George W., Jr. (our subject), Almira, Martha, Cbauncey, Owen. Sterling, John and Alanson.
When the subject of this sketch was about five years old his father purchased a large sawmill in Burlington, Bradford Co., Pa., which he operated about fifteen years, and then selling out, moved on a farm. In the meantime young George made himself useful about the mill, attending the saw and handling lumber. Their home being in the wooded districts, the opportunity for education was somewhat limited, although our hero mastered the common branches, and branched out considerably in philosophy and the scientific studies. His regular school days, however, terminated at the age of fifteen years, and his acquirements after that were mainly by his own efforts at home. He continued under the home roof until twenty years old, and was then united in marriage with Miss Mary, daughter of John and Polly (Holmes) Dewey, who with their family were natives of New York State. Mrs. Campbell was the fourth in a family of five children, and was born in Chenango County, Aug. 4, 1834. She remained a resident of the Empire State until a maiden of sixteen years. Her father
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died when she was a small child, and the family being left without means, the children were separated, and Mary found a home among strangers. After a few years her elder sister married and Mary went to live with her, in Bradford County, Pa. Here she was provided with educational advantages, and developed into a teacher, by which means she supported herself comfortably until her marriage.
Mr. and Mrs. Campbell continued in Pennsylvania a year after their marriage, and then removed to Carroll County, Ill., where Mr. C. rented a farm, and was making good headway toward a competency when there came the first call from President Lincoln for troops to put down the rebellion. To the other ties which bound Mr. Campbell to his home had been added that of a father, but he determined to forsake all in response to the demands of true patriotism, and accordingly enlisted in Company B, 7th Illinois Cavalry, being mustered in at Camp Butler, in October, and drilling at Camp Butler, Springfield. On the 15th of December the regiment received orders to move, and went via Cairo to Bird's Point, Mo., where Mr. Campbell made the acquaintance of Gen. Grant. Under him they skirmished for a time, and were then ordered to Shiloh, reaching that point just after the battle. They afterward participated in the siege of Corinth, and did railroad duty in that section for some time. Mr. Campbell was with the troops of Gen. Grant on his first expedition against Vicksburg, but they were forced to return to LaGrange, Tenn., on account of a scarcity of supplies. Their next move was as guard along the Tennessee River, but the approach of Gen. Price caused them to fall back to Corinth, where they engaged in the second battle at that place.
The winter of 1862 was spent by the regiment in camp at LaGrange, Tenn., and the spring of 1863 opened with the Greyston raid of sixteen days, and six days of which Company B rode by itself 425 miles, fighting along the road. At the siege of Port Hudson they guarded the rear with credit, and then took boats up to Memphis for the purpose of recruiting. They then went to Collierville, Tenn., and while there on picket duty, Mr. Campbell with twenty-five of the forty-nine men thus engaged was captured during the fight, Nov. 3, 1863; there were engaged 500 Union men and 2,000 rebels. The prisoners were taken to Cahaba. Ala., where they were kept until the following April, and were then transferred to Andersonville.
The horrors of Andersonville Prison, Mr. Campbell states, could not by any possibility be exaggerated. Sufferings awful, and unmitigated by a gleam of humanity on the part of their captors, made the lives of the weary victims a wretched mockery. Nauseous food, impure water, crowded and vermin infested quarters, contributed to disease and death, which took away all but eight of the company of twenty-six. Mr. C. and his comrades remained there until August, 1864, when they were removed to the sporting ground of Charleston, kept there four weeks, and then taken to Florence, where Mr. C was released on sick parole.
After regaining his liberty Mr. Campbell made his way first to Annapolis, Md., and thence to his father's house in Pennsylvania, arriving there in January, 1865. He received his honorable discharge in April following, having been in the service three years and six months, thirteen months and eleven days of which had been passed as the captive of the rebels.
Mr. Campbell after rejoining his family in Carroll County, Ill., was unable to do any work for fully a year, but after a time gradually resumed farming. He made up his mind to secure a home of his own as soon as possible, and believing he could make better headway upon the soil of a newer country, started for Nebraska in the spring of 1868. He was accompanied, by his wife and two children, and they made the journey overland, with a wagon and two teams of horses. They crossed the Mississippi at Lyons, Iowa, and pushed their way through the Hawkeye State, crossing the Missouri at Brownville, and touching Tecumseh. The prairies of Nebraska were then mostly in their primitive condition. Mr. Campbell took up a homestead claim of 120 acres, and commencing at first principles, slowly but surely built the foundation of his present home. In connection with the cultivation of the soil he has turned many an honest penny as a well-borer, having sunk 500 or 600 wells, probably more than any other man in this part of
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Gage County. The first dwelling of our subject in this county was a board shanty, and they occupied this nearly five years. They have now a substantial residence which compares favorably with those of their neighbors, convenient out-buildings, and a beautiful grove of cottonwood and maples planted nineteen years ago by the hands of the proprietor. A flourishing apple orchard of 130 trees yields bountifully for the needs of the family, with a fair assortment of the smaller fruits. The household circle numbers four children--Dewey, John, Effa and George B. The second and third in order of birth. Nettie and Hattie, died at the ages of six and one-half years and three months, respectively. Dewey married Miss Abbie Kessler, and is a resident of Hooker Township; they have one child, a son, Roy. John and Effa operate jointly two farms in this township; the youngest son has charge of the home place. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and our subject, as an ex-soldier, has for a long period been Quartermaster in Sergt. Cox Post, G. A. R., at Adams. It is hardly necessary to say that politically, he is a "dyed in the wool" Republican.
OHN CARSTENS. Among the representative farmers and esteemed citizens of Clatonia Township, the subject of this sketch occupies a good position, socially and financially. He possesses all the admirable qualities of the substantial German race, and is a native of that Empire, having been born in Hanover, Feb. 24, 1843.
The subject of our sketch is a son of John and Gesche Carstens, being the eldest of the family, and has only two brothers living; of Tebbe C. a sketch appears in this work. His mother died in Hanover and his father lives in this county. John early in life became familiar with farm pursuits, while at the same time he was thoroughly educated in the common schools of his native Province. In 1866, when a young man twenty-one years old, he entered the Hanovarian army and fought against the Prussians on the side of the Austrians in the beginning of the memorable struggle between those two countries, in the battle of Langensabza. Finally retiring from the army at the close of the struggle, he emigrated to America, embarking from the port of Bremen on an ocean steamer, and after a voyage of three weeks landed in New York City. Thence be proceeded to Schuyler County. Ill., where he was employed at farming several years. The fall of 1874 found him with his steps turned still further westward, and making his way to this county he purchased 160 acres of land from the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company, at $7 per acre. This was located on section 11, Clatonia Township, and upon this he has since lived and labored, transforming the raw prairie to a highly cultivated farm, and putting up the buildings required for his comfort and convenience.
In his pioneer labors our subject found in his devoted wife a most efficient assistant, and he generously accords her that credit which is too often withheld from the pioneer wife and mother. He had no means when he landed upon American soil, and his possessions to-day are consequently the result of his own industry and economy. His marriage occurred two years after his emigration to this country, the wedding taking place in Rushville, Ill., on the 12th of March, 1868. The maiden name of Mrs. Carstens was Mary Schmid, and she was also born in the Fatherland, Feb. 1, 1847. Her parents were Jurgen and Etta (Goldenstein) Schmid, who lived and died in Germany. Mrs. C. came to the United States in the fall of 1865. Of her marriage with our subject there have been born seven children, namely: George J.. Feb. 24, 1869; Lilly G., July 15,1873; Arthur E., Aug. 16, 1876; Mary Anetta, April 12, 1879; Theodore F., Jan. 31, 1881; Alvin B., Oct. 27, 1882, and Emma F., June 29, 1885.
The property of Mr. Carstens includes 160 acres of land, enclosed with good fencing, and producing in abundance the rich crops of Southern Nebraska, He has a good set of frame buildings with improved machinery and a fair assortment of live stock, including cattle, horses and swine. In religious matters he belongs to the German Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was one of the founders, and has been a Trustee for many years. Both he and his estimable wife have always taken an active in-
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terest in the success of church and school, and sought to educate their offspring in the manner which shall make of them good and worthy citizens. Mr. Carstens, politically, votes the Republican ticket, and has served upon the School Board of his district a number of years. In the spring of 1887 he was elected Assessor of Clatonia Township, and has served on its Board of Elections many times. He is considered one of the representative men of his community, active in all good works, and the subject of a record which his children may look upon in later years with pride.
B. SPRAGUE is the senior partner of the firm of W. B. Sprague & Son, proprietors of the Sunnyside Ranch, on sections 17, 18 and 19, Nemaha Township, one of the largest cattle ranches in this county. He is a son of Frederick A. and Bridget (Moodey) Sprague, the former of whom traces his ancestry to English, and the latter to Irish families. The father served in the War of 1812. and after his marriage with the mother of our subject in Medina County, Ohio, they made their home on a farm in that county until the year 1841, when they removed to Waukesha County, Wis. The father purchased a large tract of land, which he devoted to agricultural purposes, and meeting with much success he accumulated wealth, and became the owner of several sections of land.
The father of our subject was an able politician, and was distinguished among his contemporaries by being elected to the Wisconsin State Senate, receiving the election to that honorable office on the Democratic ticket by a large majority, which speaks well for his popularity. He died in February, 1865, in his seventieth year, and the mother died in January, 1885, in her eighty-third year; they were the parents of nine children, all of whom were spared to become honored men and women, and their names are as follows: Frederick A., Jr., Romeo, Joseph, John Q., Juliet, Peter, William B., Hiram B. and Elizabeth.
Our subject was born in Ritchfield, Medina Co., Ohio, on the 16th of April, 1838, but as he was only three years old when his parents moved to Wisconsin. He has no recollections of his early home. When he became a young man he was early taught to take care of horses, oxen, stock in general and farming implements, and to swing the ax with a strong and steady hand, living as he did in a country abounding in woods with but small clearings. He otherwise had an experience in common with the other sons of the early pioneers of Waukesha County. His schooling was rather limited, owing to the limited advantages of the time, and he remained at home engaged in the duties of the farm until he became twenty-one years old, at which age he was married.
In 1859 our subject was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Hazlehurst, a daughter of George and Margaret (Brown) Hazlehurst. The parents were natives of England, and their ancestors were noted for their inventive genius, grandfather John Brown, of Manchester, England, having been the inventor of the first steam loom used in the large cotton factories in that city. The father was an excellent weaver, and became the overseer in a cotton factory in his native country, but having conceived the idea of coming to America, he embarked for this country in the year 1840. He bought a farm in Oswego County, N. Y., on which he remained for some time, and met with success, but he subsequently removed to Fall River, Mass., and became overseer in the "Que-Que-Chan" Mills, in which capacity he remained for six years. He then went to Oneida County, N. Y., where he resided for several years, until he came to Waukesha County, Wis. For thirty years the father served as an overseer in the cotton mills, twenty-four years of which were spent in England.
Mrs. Sprague's mother died in 1868, at the age of sixty-five years, and her father died in 1875, in California, aged seventy-five years. They had a family of five children, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood; their names are as follows: Edward, William, Mary, Elizabeth and Margaret. William Hazlehurst was at one time the foreman in the Hayward Mines, and was well known in San Francisco. He accumulated a large amount of wealth, and was at one time a millionaire. Mrs. Sprague was born in Manchester, England, on the 23d of July, 1839, but her earliest recollections
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are of her home in Oswego County, N. Y. She was five years old when her parents moved to Fall River, Mass., where she attended school, and worked in the factory. When she first began to work in the factory she had to have a stage to stand on, and attended two looms.
The education which Mrs. Sprague received was obtained in the schools of Westmoreland, and when she was fifteen years old she went to Waukesha County, Wis. Her mother was afflicted with ill-health, which made it necessary for her to take charge of the household until the time of her marriage with our subject. After their marriage they bought a farm of 120 acres, and in 1864 our subject began to buy horses for the army. After the war closed he went to Pennsylvania, and for eleven months he worked in the oil region, returning again to Wisconsin in 1866, and resuming operations on his farm. In 1870 he went to Troy Center, Walworth County, and engaged in the stock and produce business, also having an interest in the lumber business. He continued therefor three years, meeting with very good success, and then returned to his former home and purchased a sufficient amount of land to make him the owner of 360 acres. He carried on farming in Waukesha County until 1879, when he exchanged one of his farms for lands in Gage County, and afterward sold the other farm in Wisconsin and bought cattle, bringing with him about 100 head when he came to Nebraska.
Our subject settled on his own farm in Sherman Township, nine miles east of Beatrice, and for three years he took the entire management of the farm, consisting of 480 acres. He then exchanged it for a quarter-section near Beatrice, some other lands, and the remainder in money, and worked on his new farm until 1887, when he came in charge of the Sunnyside Ranch. He has been as a rule very successful, but a short time ago he met with a drawback from having bought 200 head of stock cattle from Rosenbaum Bros., live stock commission merchants, of Omaha. The cattle proved to have been mortgaged, and the loss to our subject was $4,000, on account of which a suit is in litigation, and now pending in the Supreme Court. In carrying on his ranch our subject handles 400 head of cattle, sixty horses and fifteen teams. In company with him is his son William, and together they operate one of the largest stock farms in the county, having 1,400 acres under cultivation, and 500 acres in pasture. They have a very elegant home, and all its appointments speak of wealth and refinement.
There are four children in the family of our subject, whose names are William B., Jr., Ada E., Mary E. and George H. William B. married Miss Ada Onyon, and they have one child, named Erma; Ada E. married Edward Burton, of Eagle, Waukesha Co., Wis., and they reside on the old homestead with their two children. Harry B. and George William; Mary E. and George H. are living at home with their parents. Mrs. and Miss Sprague are influential members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Summit, and are admirably fitted to grace their luxurious home, possessing as they do many charms of person and manner united to the admirable qualities of mind and heart. Our subject is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is an able advocate of the Democratic party. Both Mr. and Mrs. Sprague understand thoroughly the happy art of entertaining their guests in their handsome home, and their hospitality and kindly bearing fit them to adorn the highest society.
OHN CHERRY. The people of Grant Township have every reason to be proud of the fine farms that are to be found so plentifully scattered over its broad acres, and its reputation as a stock-raising district is not unenviable. Among those who have done not a little to support and extend the latter is the subject of our sketch, whose ranch and residence are situated upon section 22. This has been his home for more than twelve years, although he has been a resident of the State since 1867. He is the owner of 300 acres of well-improved, excellent land, upon which almost every improvement has been the work of his own hands.
For the first few years after coming to the State our subject made his home in DeWitt Precinct, Saline County, taking a homestead on Turkey Creek, and working upon it until he brought it to
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the condition of a good and productive farm; then he came to his present property, which, being watered by the Soap Creek is fruitful, even in dry seasons, and is by no means devoid of other natural features that go to make it a most desirable property, well adapted to all the uses that might be demanded from either an agricultural or pastoral standpoint.
Prior to coming to this State our subject had been living in Ohio, which was his native State. He was born in Clarke County, on the 11th of October, 1883, and was two years of age when his father removed to a farm in Logan County, where he made his home until his death, which occurred when he was forty-six years of age. He was the husband of Susan McManarva, who, after her husband's death, rejoined her sons by taking the journey to their Nebraska home, but died the same fall after she came out, which was in 1867. At the time of her demise she was seventy-two years of age.
The subject of our sketch was the third child born to his parents, and until he attained the estate of manhood resided upon the old Logan County farm. In that neighborhood he became acquainted with Miss Julia A. Robertson, and to her was joined in wedlock, in Logan County, Ohio, May, 15, 1861, This lady was born in Virginia, in the year 1835. Her family had for several generations been residents of that State, and had been among its most successful farmers, an occupation which her father also followed. She was not twelve years of age when her parents removed to Logan County, where she received her education, and was further prepared by her mother for the time when she would be called upon to rule her own household.
As the years have sped in their courses the fruit of this education has been the more apparent and happy. Her husband and nine children have all had occasion to thankfully acknowledge the happy influence encouragement and help she has brought to them. One member of the family has reached the "bourne from whence no traveler returns;" this was their son David A. The other children. are as follows: Minerva M., the wife of Francis Walburn, whose home is upon part of Mr. Cherry's land in this township; William A., who is his father's assistant upon the farm: John D., James C., Anna E., Thomas O., and Edward L. and Charles. who are twins.
The days of the married life of our subject and his wife have been spent in hard, continuous work, mutually assisting in order that they may together enjoy the pleasures of rest and the enjoyment of their fortune and home. They have been faithful to the vows made, and their home is one o the most happy and pleasant. It is their pleasure to receive the hearty respect of their fellow-citizens, who recognize in them the attributes of character, honor, loyalty and rectitude. Both are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and have so continued from their youth. In his political aspirations and sentiments our subject is with the Republican party, and is a recognized trusty friend of the same.
. P. WESLER. Among the worthy citizens of Lincoln Township who are entitled to an honorable mention in this collection of biographies, because of loyal service in behalf of the Union and interest in the public affairs of the township, is the gentleman whose name we have just recorded. For about eight years he has made his home on his farm, consisting of 160 acres on section 11, most of which is in a highly improved condition. Previous to his residence on his present farm he had lived for about eight years in Beatrice, where he was engaged as a builder and contractor, being a practical brick-mason by trade. He erected some of the best buildings in the city during the time of his residence there, but since his removal he has given his attention solely to farming and its accompanying business of stock-raising. He first came to this State in 1870 and made his home in Brownville, Nemaha County, whence he came here and secured a homestead of 160 acres in Highland Township, on which he made many improvements and lived for about five years previous to his residence in Beatrice, since which time he has sold the homestead.
Our subject was born in Miami County, Ohio, on the 6th of September, 1844, and when he was eight years old the first great sorrow of his life occurred in the death of his father, Elijah Wesler. The latter
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