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Ind. The parental family consisted of nine children.
Our subject and his wife commenced the journey of life together in a neat and modest home in Indiana, making it a rule to live within their income, and have labored harmoniously together with one common interest. Their union has been blessed with three children, namely: Elmer E., who has partial management of the farm; Walter O., who operates there with his brother; and George Martin, who is pursuing his studies in the schools at Beatrice. Mr. Greer while a resident of Logan Township served as Justice of the Peace until his removal to Beatrice. Politically, he affiliates with the Republican party, and is a prominent figure in the county conventions, being often chosen as a delegate to these assemblies.
APT. NATHANIEL HERRON, Chief of the Fire Department of the city of Beatrice, and ex-member of the Nebraska Legislature, is one of the most prominent and popular men of Gage County. He would be singled out in any community as a personage endowed by nature with more than ordinary gifts. He is of commanding presence, of Herculean muscle, of fine features, and his deep bass voice is at once musical and impressive. His career has been marked by a nobility of purpose all through life, in his social and domestic relations as well as before the public, in his civil as well as his military service in the Union Army during the late war.
The subject of this sketch was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, Aug. 13, 1834. His parents were Thomas and Jane (Triplet) Herron, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Virginia. Thomas Herron was a shoemaker by trade, and engaged in the boot and shoe business for many years. During the late war he enlisted as a private in the 12th Indiana Cavalry, refusing a Lieutenant's commission, and after being discharged he returned to his home; he was afterward killed in a railroad accident in Indiana. By this sad calamity two sons were left fatherless--Nathaniel (our subject) and his brother Thomas. Both were soldiers.
As a boy young Herron at an early age evinced the brilliancy of intellect and the resolution of character which have since distinguished him. He was fond of his studies, and when a lad of thirteen years became a student of Dayton (Ohio) Academy. Later he served an apprenticeship at the shoemaker's trade under the instruction of his father, and worked at this until reaching his majority. At the age of twenty-two years he left the home of his childhood, and making his way to Indiana set up in business for himself at Delphi, in Carroll County. He was a great favorite among young and old, and there became acquainted with a most estimable young lady, Miss Delilah F. McFarland, to whom he was married Sept. 25, 1858, and soon afterward removed with his bride to LaFayette, Ind., where he again established the boot and shoe business, and carried on a prosperous trade until the breaking out of the war. With an habitual unselfishness which had been the distinguishing trait of his character, he now laid aside his personal plans and interests, and enlisted in Company G, 20th Indiana Infantry. His popularity with his comrades at once secured for him the Captaincy of the company. The 20th Indiana was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and Capt. Herron did valiant service as a soldier in the country around Richmond, when it was believed he could be still more useful in recruiting the 16th Indiana Battery. The plans connected with this were subsequently changed, and Capt. Herron became a member of the 72d Indiana Infantry, which was then, in 1862, being organized. He was again given a Captain's commission, and assigned with his regiment to the Army of the Cumberland, declining a Majorship.
After a few months, being greatly debilitated by continued fever. Capt. Herron was obliged to accept his honorable discharge. He returned to his old haunts at LaFayette, Ind., but after recovering his strength again hastened to the rescue of his country, enlisting this time with the 150th Indiana Infantry. Henceforth he did duty on the non-commissioned staff, and remained in the service until the close of the war, receiving his final discharge in August, 1865.
After leaving the army Capt. Herron resumed business in LaFayette, Ind., one year, then crossing the Mississippi located in Waukon, Iowa, where he
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built up an extensive boot and shoe trade, and where he resided five years. Thence, in 1871, he came to this county and homesteaded 160 acres of land in Clatonia Township. He not only labored incessantly in improving his own property, but ever lent a helping hand when possible to those about him. Many are the men whom he befriended, and who still live to speak of the kindness they experienced at his hands. He endured in common with the other pioneers hardship and privation, the discouragement of indifferent crops, the battle with the grasshopper plague, and in the main was successful.
Capt. Herron was early recognized as one of the most industrious and skillful farmers of the new county, but became prominent in local affairs, and in 1877 was elected a member of the Legislature to fill a vacancy. In the fall of 1879 he was elected Sheriff of Gage County by a large majority. He had in the meantime removed to the city of Beatrice in order to complete the education of his two lovely daughters, Loretta May and Leta Grace. This period of his life was so fraught with content and happiness that he one day remarked to his wife he feared it could not last. His words proved prophetic, for during the winter of 1879-80 scarlet fever carried away these lovely girls, and the stricken parents were bowed to earth under the stroke. In their deep affliction they had the sympathy of the entire community. These children, like their parents, were possessed of more than ordinary intelligence, and were fine musicians, having inherited the rare art of singing and voices of more than ordinary melody from their parents, Capt. Herron being a magnificent bass singer and his wife a fine alto.
For the period of six years Capt. Herron filled the office of Sheriff acceptably, receiving the last two terms a unanimous election, the Democrats bringing forward no candidate against him. He at one time, with the exception of one vote, received the entire support of both parties. In 1886 he was appointed Chief of the Fire Department at Beatrice under Mayor E. O. Kretsinger, and immediately organized two volunteer companies, which were soon followed by two more. His services in the department have been characterized by that zeal, energy and conscientiousness which have distinguished him through life in every worthy cause. The result is that the city of Beatrice possesses the finest fire department of any city in Nebraska.
Soon after he became connected with the department Capt. Herron was presented with a gold badge by the hook and ladder company, which was soon followed by the presentation by the three hose companies of a silver trumpet which is valued at the sum of $60. Through his untiring efforts in the giving of musical concerts and the soliciting of private donations, assisted by other means, Capt. Herron succeeded in obtaining a hook-and-ladder truck for the department without expense to the city, and which is valued at $400. He has indeed become one of the indispensable features of the department. He carries his honors with exceeding modesty. He identified himself with the Masonic fraternity and with the I. O. O. F. many years ago, and is also a Past Commander in the G. A. R. While a resident of Clatonia Township he was instrumental in the organization of the first Sunday-school within its limits. His politics have already been indicated, and the Republican party has no more efficient man in the county. His property consists of three dwellings in the city of Beatrice, besides a choice vineyard, embracing five acres northeast. His residence is pleasantly situated on Ella street, and is the frequent resort of hosts of friends.
Mrs. Herron, who has proved a most suitable helpmate to such a man as her husband, was born May 20, 1814, in Carroll County, Ind., and is the daughter of Enoch and Delilah (Knight) McFarland, who were natives of Kentucky and Ohio respectively; they are both deceased.
HRISTIAN HILL. The gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch is one of the most substantial and reliable citizens of Glenwood Township, with whose business and agricultural interests he has been identified for a period of twenty years. A native of Luzerne County, Pa., he was born Nov. 18, 1840, and reared to manhood amid the quiet pursuits of country life.
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When a lad of about thirteen years he left the hills of the Keystone State with his parents, and his home thereafter was in Lee County, Ill., until he was a man nearly thirty-nine years old. Thence, in March, 1879, he came to this county, and has since been a resident of Glenwood Township. He owns and occupies a good farm of 160 acres on section 29, and is surrounded by those comforts and conveniences which are the legitimate reward of the man whose labors have been characterized by perseverance and integrity. He has labored industriously in the improvement of his homestead, as its appearance indicates. Besides the erection of suitable buildings he has planted fruit and shade trees, which not only serve to embellish his property, but add materially to its value.
The parents of our subject, Nathan and Judith (Billhimer) Hill, were natives of Luzerne, Pa., The father was a farmer by occupation, and died in Lee County, Ill., in 1876; the mother is now living at the old homestead in Lee County.
Christian Hill was reared to habits of honesty and industry, and at an early age learned those lessons of self-reliance and economy which have been the secret of his success in later years. When twenty-one years old he began the struggle of life on his own account, and at the age of twenty-three established domestic ties of his own by his union with one of the most estimable young ladies of Lee County, Ill., Miss Ellen M. Bossemeyer, to whom he was married on the 3d of September, 1863, at Cairo. Mrs. Hill is the daughter of Frederick and Hannah (Gaumer) Bossemeyer, the former a native of the Province of Hanover, Germany, and the latter of Pennsylvania. The father emigrated to the United States at an early period in his life, and after marriage the parents settled in the Keystone State, whence they emigrated to Illinois in 1852 or 1853. There the father engaged in farming, and departed this life at his home in Dixon, in March, 1883. The mother is still living and a resident of Dixon, Ill. Their family consisted of ten children, seven of whom are living. Mrs. Hill was born Dec. 8, 1846, and spent the opening years of her life in Pennsylvania. She completed a good practical education in Illinois, and remained with her parents until becoming the mistress of her own household. Of her union with our subject there have been born eight children, seven sons and one daughter, six of whom survive, namely: Franklin M., Alice M., John A., Herbert N., Elmer F. and Arthur; George E. and Chalmer A. died when young. Mrs. Hill, about 1878, identified herself with the Lutheran Evangelical Church, of which she has since been a devoted member. Mr. Hill has for his religion the precepts of the Golden Rule, and in politics is a stanch Democrat.
ETER NELSON. Of the large number who have come from across the sea to make for themselves and their loved ones a home in the New World, there are few who are more worthy of success than the intelligent, industrious, indefatigable and independent sons of Sweden, who from their habit of settling in colonies would appear to be somewhat intrenchant in their proclivities. The farm of our subject is upon section 5 of Glenwood Township, adjacent to his father, Mons Nelson. (See sketch.)
Our subject was born in the southern part of Sweden on the 26th of May, 1853, and received in the schools of his native country a fair education. He came to the United States in 1870 in company with his father, who settled in Nemaha County. Our subject remained upon this homestead assisting in its work until the year 1877, when he started in life on his own account, having been working up to this desirable end since he had attained his majority, he now made his home in Kearney, Neb., and for four years engaged in business as a liveryman, thence removing at the end of that period to this county, in the fall of 1882, when he settled in Glenwood Township upon a farm of 120 acres, which he has greatly improved, and brought to a splendid condition.
While in Kearney our subject was united in marriage, Match 31, 1880, with Charlotte Dahlstrom, who is the daughter of Samuel and Charlotte (Hanson) Dahlstrom. She was born in Central Sweden, on the 15th of August, 1855. There have been given to our subject and wife two children, Oscar, the first-horn, however, living only six months.
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Their second child, Leroy, was born Aug. 28, 1882, and is a source of continuous delight to his parents.
Our subject is possessed of large intelligence, which he has not omitted to strengthen and improve by study, and by his energy, thrift and labor is rapidly becoming one of the most prosperous farmers in his district. He takes great interest in educational matters, and has been called upon to fill some of the school offices. He is a highly esteemed member of the I. O. O. F. and the A. O. U. W. His sympathies as a politician are with the Republican party, and by the members of the same in his district he is looked upon as a valuable adjunct to the working force of the party. It is not too much to say that in days not far distant it is more than probable that his efforts will be recognized, and it is certain that should such opportunity arise the people of Nebraska will have no occasion to regret their selection.
ARREN COLE. The Great West has not only developed energetic and enterprising business men from its native residents, but it has held out irresistible inducements to men of sound judgment and excellent ability, who have been attracted from the older and more populous States; it has not only been the haven of thousands of poor men, who have come with empty purses and hands, willing to replenish them by honest labor, but it has proved the most promising and lucrative investment for men of wealth and influence. Among those of the latter class who have assisted in the development of the natural resources of so rich a country, and have been closely identified with the interests of this State, is the gentleman in whose honor this sketch is written. He has been a resident of this county since 1880.
Our subject was born on the 3lst of March, 1835, in Troy, N. Y., and is a son of Lewis and Polly (Coon) Cole, who were also natives of New York. Of their ancestors we have the following record. The great-great-grand father of our subject, accompanied by his two brothers, came to the United States from Holland, and were early settlers in New York City. The great-grandfather was a slave-owner in Dutchess County, N. Y., and all of the ancestors of our subject resided on the Hudson River, and were engaged in mercantile and agricultural pursuits. The grandfather was John I. P. Cole. About the year 1800 the father of our subject was engaged in the mercantile business in Troy, in which he continued for several years, but later in life, having accumulated a large amount of wealth, he discontinued his business, and lived a retired life in the enjoyment of ease and comfort. He died in 1872, eleven years after the death of the mother of our subject, and was the father of ten children, eight sons and two daughters, of whom our subject is the youngest.
While living in his native city Mr. Cole received an academic education, and while verging on young manhood, when he was not at school, he worked at the carpenter trade on buildings near Troy, belonging to his father. The old homestead in that city has been in possession of the family for over 100 years, and is at present owned by Thomas Cole, a brother of our subject. In 1857 Mr. Cole went to Woodford County, Ill., to look after some land which he owned, and he also worked at his trade and made his home in that county until he came to Nebraska, on a similar errand, to look after his land and property, which required his attention the greater part of the time. From a healthy boy he had grown to be a strong man of portly physique, and when the Civil War engaged the attention of the country's loyal citizens our subject was incapacitated for service in her behalf because of his portliness, but in order to prove his loyalty he paid a substitute $1,000. His father sent two men to represent the family in that trying crisis.
In 1880 our subject came to Nebraska, and settled on the land which constitutes his present home farm, consisting of 320 acres on the south half of section 26, Midland Township, adjoining the corporation of Beatrice. Eight years ago this land was raw prairie, on which no improvements had been made, but by the enterprise of the owner there are now fine maple groves, fruit orchards, and other trees in abundance, while the fields yield excellent harvests of all kinds of cereals and farm produce. The residence which adorns this fine farm is one of the handsomest and best in the county, is
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large and commodious, and furnished in excellent style and taste. The farm buildings are large and substantial, and harmonize in appearance with the handsome house. Mr. Cole owns 480 acres of land in this county, and has some valuable property in Florida. He is one of the founders of the People's Bank in Beatrice, and has been connected with it since the time of its organization. The business block in which this bank is located was built by our subject, and is the finest in the city, and one of the finest in the State, and is owned by the banking company.
The gentleman of whom we write was married, May 13, 1857, to Miss Laura M. Dustin, who was born in Rensselaer County, N. Y., and is a daughter of N. A. Dustin. They have two children living, named Emma E. and Albert T.; Lydia E. is deceased. Mrs. Cole is an esteemed member of the Baptist Church, and is a talented lady, possessing many charms of true womanhood. Mr. Cole has never connected himself with any secret or religious society, but is well known as a leading man in public affairs, having frequently held office in his township. He is a Republican in polities, is quite wealthy and enterprising, and enjoys the reputation of being the owner of the most valuable and best located farm in the county, while his association with the bank gives him prominence among business men in Beatrice.
RNEST BOSSEMEYER is the proprietor of one of the best appointed farms of Glenwood L Township, pleasantly located on section 19, and in him we find one of the most intelligent, energetic men of this county. A native of the then Kingdom of Westphalia, situated in the northern part of the German Empire, he was born June 18, 1838, and comes from that sturdy and substantial element which has done so much toward the development of the Great West. To Germany is America largely indebted to-day for the progress she has made as a nation of freedom and intelligence, and one who has obtained her best elements from the sons of the Fatherland.
Our subject spent the years of his childhood and early youth amid the scenes of his birthplace, and in common with the children under one of the best governments in time world, was placed in school at an early age, remaining under instruction until a lad of fourteen. He was bright and ambitious, took kindly to his hooks, and when sixteen years old had formed a well-developed plan for the future. This was none other than emigration to America, upon whose soil he believed he could sooner realize those worthy ambitions which had visited his couch in dreams when a boy.
Young Bossemeyer, in November, 1854, bade adieu to his native land and the scenes of his childhood, and proceeding to Bremen embarked on a sailing-vessel bound for the city of Baltimore, where he landed six weeks later, and after a brief sojourn made his way to a point south of Dixon, in Lee County, Ill., where he engaged in farming and remained for a period of eight years. He then changed his location to the vicinity of Sterling, where he remained two years, was thereafter in Morrison one year, then, crossing the Mississippi, took up his abode in Hardin County, Iowa. In the Hawkeye State Mr. Bossemeyer engaged in farming until the fall of 1882, when he came to this county and settled in Glenwood Township, of which he has since been a resident.
The property of Mr. Bossemeyer includes 160 acres of finely cultivated land, upon which he has effected good improvements, fully in keeping with the enterprise and intelligence which he possesses in no ordinary degree. The farm residence is noticeable for its air of convenience, neatness and comfort, and the barn and other outbuildings are good. There are fruit and shade trees, choice live stock, cattle, horses and swine, and all the other appliances of a well-regulated country estate.While industriously engaged in the tilling of the soil, our subject has at time same time given due attention to the cultivation of his intellect, being one of the best informed men in Gage County. He chooses a choice and instructive course of reading, is independent in religious thought and convictions, and stands upon that broad and liberal platform characteristic of the school of modern thought. The world of art and nature provides him abundant recreation, and he delights in following the
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