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1879 with one small house, but has been compelled to add to it from year to year, until now his houses have a capacity of 2,000 tons.
John Mordhorst, Sr., the father of our subject, was born in Holstein in 1795, and in the days when education did not occupy its present position, but after he had received what was obtainable in that regard, he learned the trade of stone cutting, and made it his life occupation, succeeding in establishing quite an extensive business, frequently filling very large contracts. He was married about the year 1818, and became the father of seven children, six of whom were sons. He lived until about the year 1872, and was survived by his wife only six months.
Mr. Mordhorst, our subject, has at all times been energetic, enthusiastic and public-spirited in everything which promised to be of advantage to the town, and has done, perhaps, more than might be called his share in that regard, and is accorded the heartiest esteem and sincerest regard of his fellow-citizens. He has served as Sheriff of Rock Springs, but is by no means an office-seeker. Ever since coming to the country he has sought to become fully conversant with the institutions peculiar to this form of government, and has been conscientious and consistent in his adherence to the Republican party. Socially, he is connected with the I. O. O. F., and enjoys the sincere respect of his fellow members.
EORGE WILLIAMSON. In no other country than America can there be found such a union of nationalities, not simply in the matter of living in neighborly congeniality, but in the more intimate relations incident to intermarriage between representatives of divers countries, an illustration of which is found in the parentage of our subject, who is the owner of an excellent farm, situated on section 28 of Glenwood Township, and also the efficient, careful and painstaking Clerk of the township. His father, John Williamson, was born about the year 1823, in Ireland; his mother, Margaret Uhl, was a native of Pennsylvania.
Mr. John Williamson received his early education in the parish schools of his native country, and afterward turned his attention to brick-making as a means of livelihood. He emigrated to the United States in the year 1840, landing at Philadelphia, shortly after making his way to Pittsburgh, and followed his chosen calling. In the late unpleasantness he enlisted in Company A, 75th Pennsylvania Infantry. After considerable service he was taken prisoner at the battle of Missionary Ridge, and incarcerated in Libby Prison, where he succumbed to the horrors of the situation, and died in November, 1863. After this almost crushing affliction his wife undertook the task of rearing their children, and from that on lived for them. She had the joy of seeing them started well in life, and went to her last rest on the 31st of January, 1887, at Carroll, Carroll Co., Iowa.
Of the above family our subject was the third child born. He first opened his eyes to the light on the 1st of July, 1852, at Pittsburgh, Pa., and was still in his infancy when his parents removed to Frostburg, Md., and one year later they removed to Dixon, Ill., where he grew to manhood, and with the exception of one year spent in Iowa, lived until the spring of 1879, when he came to Gage County. He settled in Glenwood Township, which he has made his place of residence ever since, he has a very fine farm, including some eighty acres well in hand and brought to a high state of cultivation.
While resident in the city of Dixon our subject became the acknowledged friend of Miss Mittie E. Miller, which relation was exchanged upon the 8th of December, 1872, for the more close companionship of the wedded state. Miss Miller is the daughter of Ephraim and Mary (Boone) Miller, who are residents of Shrewsbury, Pa. Their family included seven children, Mrs. Williamson being the second. She was born in Peru, Ill., on the 13th of January, 1854. Mr. and Mrs. Williamson are happy in being the parents of a daughter, Nellie M., who is now thirteen years of age.
Our subject was elected to the office of Clerk of Glenwood Township by a large majority at the election of 1886, and was re-elected time following year. His first office in the township was that of Constable, to which he was elected in 1885, and so discharged the duties of the same as to lead to the
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subsequent office. Mrs. Williamson is a devout member of the English Lutheran Church, and is very highly respected therein. Her husband has always been greatly interested in Governmental and political questions, and votes uniformly with the Republican party. He is a consistent friend of every project that will advance the elevation of society morally, or promote its temporal interests.
HARLES MOSCHEL, junior member of the firm of Lang & Moschel, is with his partner carrying on a thriving trade in groceries, and everything pertaining thereto, and is located on Fifth and Ella streets, in the city of Beatrice. He first opened his eyes to the light on the other side of the Atlantic, in the village of Webenheim, Germany, Jan. 28, 1847, and was the fourth in a family of seven children, five sons and two daughters. These are all living and residents mostly of the United States.
The parents of our subject, Christian and Margaret (Schanzen) Moschel, were of pure German ancestry, and the father spent his entire life upon his native soil. He followed cabinet- making, and died in middle life, about 1854. The mother subsequently with five children emigrated to America, and after a brief sojourn in New York City the family proceeded to the vicinity of Peoria, Ill., settling on a tract of land several miles from the city. Charles at that time was a lad of about seventeen years, and continued with his mother until twenty-six years old. The family finally removed to the vicinity of Chenoa, Ill., and the boys still continued the agricultural pursuits upon which they had entered when coming to America. The mother died in September, 1886.
Mr. Moschel, in 1872, crossed the Mississippi to this State, and locating in Beatrice, associated himself first as a partner with Messrs. J. Kline & Co., and engaged in general merchandising for a period of fourteen years. He then became a partner of Mr. Lang in the grocery business, in 1887. He was married, Aug. 22, 1876, to Miss Maria Braun, who was born in November, 1852, in Germany, and is the daughter of Domnis Braun, who, with his wife, was a native of Germany, and came to this county in 1878. Mr. B. resides in Beatrice.
To Mr. and Mrs. Moschel there have been born three children--Maria L.. Carl F. and Anna E. They occupy a pleasant home in the southwestern part of the city, and are highly esteemed among a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Mr. M., socially, belongs to the K. of P., No. 30, at Beatrice, and politically, gives his support to the Democratic party. He has steadily declined becoming an office-seeker, but is always willing to work for his friends.
The mother of our subject late in life came to this county, and died at the home of her son, Louis Moschel, in Beatrice, in September, 1886. Having been born in 1813, she was consequently seventy-three years old at the time of her decease. One sister and two brothers of our subject are residents of Livingston County. Ill.; another sister married Mr. J. Klein, and resides in Beatrice. Mr. Moschel was at one time a member of the firm of J. Klein & Co., with whom he continued in business for fourteen years. Upon the dissolution of partnership the stock was divided, Messrs. Moschel and Lang taking the groceries and Mr. Klein the dry goods. Among the wide-awake and enterprising business men of Beatrice Mr. Moschel occupies no secondary position.
ONS NELSON. Of the little colony in Gage County of those who are natives of Sweden, who have made this their adopted State and country, few are more worthy of mention in a work of this character than the subject of this sketch, who, with his sons, is among the most industrious and loyal, and we might add successful, members of the community. He was born in Sweden, April 28, 1822. As he became old enough he was drafted into the multitudinous details of farm work, and continued upon his father's farm until he became of age, and then farmed on his own account until he came to America in the spring of 1870, with his wife and four children, and settled in Sangamon County, Ill. There he engaged in agriculture for about two
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years, and then removed to Nemaha County, in this State, and continued to operate a farm with increasing success for about six years. He then removed to Glenwood Township, this county, which has been his home ever since
The present farm of Mr. Nelson includes 120 acres of excellent and well lying land, which he works upon the line of general farming, at the same time raising a small amount of stock. He has made good improvements, his farm being in an excellent state of cultivation. His barn and other buidings (sic), although not elegant and fanciful, are good, solid and convenient, erected with a view rather to use than ornamentation. His dwelling is pleasant and well built, and was put up with the same purpose in mind as in the case of the buildings above mentioned. Its appearance is rendered more pleasing by the abundance of fruit and forest trees in its vicinity.
While yet in his native country, as noted above, our subject was married, the event being celebrated in February, 1848, when he was united with Malena Waldemars, who was born in the same country, on the 1st of February, 1830. Their family included four children, whose names are recorded as herein given--Lind, Peter, Nels and Thomas. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson are both members of the Lutheran Church, in which communion they were brought up, and to which they have ever been faithful.
Our subject is not what is understood by the term a politician, but he is at the same time duly interested in matters pertaining thereto, and is usually found voting with the Republican party, which finds in him a stanch friend and supporter.
AMES D. MYERS is President of the First Commercial Bank, of Odell. He was born in Waverly, Tioga Co., N. Y., on the 14th of May, 1824. and remained on his father's farm until he was twenty-one years old, after which he spent four years in a store as clerk, and was engaged in the mercantile business for two years at Waverly. In the spring of 1852 he went to California, via the Isthmus of Panama, and was absent from his native city for about three years.
During the summer of 1852 he was engaged in the gold mines, and from the mines he went to the valley of the San Jose, where he engaged in farming in company with a friend. After raising two crops our subject sold his interest and returned to Waverly, his trip to California having been a financial success.
On returning from the Pacific Coast our subject was married, and at once came West, traveling all through the summer of 1855 seeking a home, and finally he decided to stop at Independence, Iowa, where he continued to live for eleven years. He took a prominent part in the building of that town, erecting several business blocks and dwelling-houses. He owned a farm close to the city, and for a time engaged in feeding and shipping cattle and stock, also having an interest in the mercantile business in town. In 1866 he sold his farm and moved to Geneva, Ill., where he bought a flouring-mill and took charge of it for three years, at the same time having connection with a grain and commission house in Chicago.
Our subject sold his mill and moved to Chicago, where he bought property and continued in the commission business until 1870, when he again sold and went to Chetopa, Labette Co.. Kan., with a stock of goods. He located a branch house at Coffeyville, and for two years he took the management of these two stores, in the meantime being engaged in buying and selling cattle, shipping them to Annawan, Henry Co., Ill., near which village he owned a stock farm. After selling out his stores in Kansas our subject bought a farm near Dixon, Ill., and fed cattle on both farms, he sold the Dixon farm in 1875, and again engaged in the commission business in Chicago, in which city his family had continued to reside.
In the year 1880 Mr. Myers again forsook the commission business, selling his claim, and came to Nebraska in the interest of the Lincoln Land Company. He bought 360 acres of land in what are now known as Greenwood and Paddock Townships, on which the village of Odell now stands, our subject being instrumental in platting the city. He has since engaged in the mercantile business and again disposed of it. In May, 1883, he established the First Commercial Bank, which
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was an individual bank until March, 1888, when under the laws of the State it was organized as a State Bank. He has since continued President, with Franklin Walker as Vice President, and Monroe Robertson, Cashier. They carry on a general banking business, and our subject is also engaged in handling live stock. He is the owner of excellent farming land and valuable town property.
On the 14th of March, 1855, Mr. Myers was married, in Corning, N. Y., to Miss Elizabeth A. Cress, who was born in Smithsboro, Tioga County, on the 1st of August, 1827. They have become the parents of three children: James, Ida and Maggie, the last-named of whom died when she was eighteen months old, and the first and second named being at home with their parents. Our subject is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is a Republican in politics. He has shown an unusual amount of public spirit and business activity, and in the various cities in which he has been connected with business he has lent his aid to the establishment of reliable firms. Few men who have led such active, busy lives as he have been so universally successful in their enterprises.
BENEZER MOSES is one of the earliest pioneers of Sicily Township, having come here from Delaware County, Ohio, in November, 1869. He located the farm which he still owns and on which he now lives. When he came here the prairies were not inhabited by white people, the red men still holding undisputed sway over the lands on which the Great Father had placed them. The neighbors were few and far between, there being but seven families of white people, who had their houses built near the creek which runs through the farm of our subject. The Indians then abounded, and they still indulged without molestation in their favorite pastime of hunting, deer and antelope being here in large numbers.
Our subject was married in Delaware County, Ohio, Feb. 27, 1868, to Mrs. Mahala Cramer, who had previously been the wife of William Cramer, her maiden name, Mahala Hoover. She was the mother of two sons by her first marriage, John M. and Jacob L., who were reared by their mother and our subject. Soon after Jacob became twenty-one years old both of the boys went to Hayes County, Neb., where they still live, each of them having taken up a claim of land. Jacob was married, on the 27th of August, 1884, to Miss Dora Nickols, of this neighborhood, and with them John now makes his home, their farms adjoining.
Mr. and Mrs. Moses have been given a family of six children, of whom Mary, Cyrus E., Laura I. and Emry, are still living, while Clara and Ellen are deceased. The wife of our subject departed this life on the 23d of February, 1887, at the age of forty-eight years. During her life she had been an active member of the Methodist Church, an estimable and consistent Christian woman. She possessed many amiable qualities, was a kind friend and neighbor, and had faithfully shared with her husband the toils and hardships incident to the life of an early settler in a new and undeveloped country.
Our subject has a very fine farm consisting of 120 acres on section 7, which he has brought to its present state of cultivation, and on which he has erected good farm buildings. He has had quite an experience in pioneer life, has seen the prairies cleared of their former inhabitants, and in the place of their tents and wigwams there have sprung up countless towns and cities in a thriving and flourishing condition, with churches, school-houses, business blocks and handsome residences, all an indication of the rapid progress of civilization in this section of the country.
When our country was convulsed with the late civil strife, our subject was among the brave men who assisted in her rescue, enlisting in Company B of the Ohio National Guards, on the 28th of May, 1863, with which company he remained for six months. Then he enlisted in Company D, 187th Ohio Infantry, in which he served one year, and was discharged on the 29th of February, 1866. With this company he participated in the battle of the Wilderness at Richmond, Va., where they were fighting constantly for seven days. He was also in several smaller engagements, but fortunately he received no wounds. He is a member of Rawlins
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Post No. 35, G. A. R, of Beatrice, and affiliates with the Republican party. To his loyal efforts in her defense, and his unabating zeal in developing her resources, is the country much indebted.
ACOB KLEIN. There are few more capable, popular or successful business men than the subject of this sketch, the proprietor of the well-known dry-goods and clothing emporium in Beatrice. He is a native of Germany, and was born near the city of Bingen, which stands upon the banks of the Rhine, and has been celebrated in song and story. His birth occurred on the 31st of March, 1846. He accompanied his parents, Jacob and Margaret (Weiser) Klein, when they came to the United States in 1855. The family landed in New York City, thence went to Peoria, Ill., from there across the Illinois River to Tazewell County, where the father leased a farm, and there they made their home for over ten years, after which they removed to Livingston County, in the same State. There in 1874 Mrs. Klein departed this life, and was followed on the same mysterious journey, in 1879, by her husband. Their family included five children, of whom our subject was the youngest.
Jacob attended school in his native country from the age of six to ten years. The educational process was continued in the district schools of Illinois for two years; after that he gave his whole time to the work of the farm, remaining with his parents until he was about twenty- three years of age; then he started for himself, at first upon the old homestead in Livingston County. In 1873 he came to Beatrice, where he has since resided. Immediately upon his arrival he entered into a business partnership with Charles Moschel and Emit Lang, under the firm name of J. Klein & Co. This partnership continued until January, 1887, during which time, in answer to the demand of their business, they had added to their former stock. an extensive line of general dry-goods and clothing. Early in 1887 the three partners divided up the stock, our subject taking the dry-goods and clothing as his department, which has abundantly proved its power to yield a handsome and remunerative profit.
The business of Mr. Klein is carried on in what is known as the Klein Block, a large, handsome, well-built and substantial building. It is two stories with a ground measurement of 25x110 feet; it is supplied also with a good basement, which is utilized for the purpose of receiving and storing goods, packages, cases, etc. Since starting for himself Mr. Klein has added to his stock quite a generous line of furnishing goods; also a hat department and another for boots and shoes. He is, perhaps, one of the best established tradesmen in the city, and a worthy representative of the mercantile interests, not only of Beatrice but of Eastern Nebraska.
Mr. Klein was married in the year 1871, the maiden of his choice being Catharine Moschel, of Livingston County, Ill., but a native of Germany, who came to America in 1865. A sketch of her parents is given in the history of her brother, Charles Moschel. Four children have been given to them as the fruit of this union, whose names are: Jacob A., Frederick K., Ida M. and John C. The wife of our subject is the daughter of Christian and Margaret (Schauzen) Moschel, who were born in Germany.
In addition to his store and his business interests, our subject is largely engaged in other matters. He is a large stockholder, and also a director of the Beatrice Canning Company, and is one of the original twenty who founded the Gage County Agricultural Society. He is also connected with the Beatrice Paper Company, of which he is Vice President, and a member of the School Board. In addition to the above he is agent for the various ocean steamship companies, and is in power to contract for shipments and sell passenger tickets in the usual way. He is also a Notary Public, and has quite a large business in the line of collections and foreign exchanges. Upon time list of stockholders of the Gage County National Batik, the name of our subject is very frequently met with, in fact there are very few, if any, of the various societies, companies and associations that have been projected for the benefit and advancement of Beatrice, with which he has not been identified, and in
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