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home until their death. They were the parents of ten children, all of whom lived to years of maturity. Our subject was the youngest child, and was born in Brothers Valley, now Summit Township, Somerset Co., Pa., on the 23d of January, 1817.
From his earliest years our subject was intrusted with little tasks and duties, which were increased as he advanced in years and experience, and later supplemented by the lessons of the school. After completing his education in the usual institution he continued upon the old homestead until he was twenty-seven years of age. He then took a farm of his own, and operated the same successfully until he was about thirty, when he was elected Superintendent of the County Poor House, and held the same for eight years. He was also engaged in mercantile pursuits for some years, and in the year 1858 was elected Sheriff of his native county, served three years, and for one other term served as Deputy Sheriff in the absence of the gentleman elected.
In the year 1864 Mr. Walker removed to Dixon, Ill., and engaged in superintending the work of his farm, which was situated not far from the city. While there he served two years upon the Board of Aldermen, and for two years as Street Commissioner. He was also elected and served two terms as Marshal. He made his home in Dixon for a little over thirteen years, but in the fall of 1887 removed to this county, and settled upon the site of what is now the city of Odell. During the Garfield administration he was appointed Postmaster, and held the office for about three years. In 1887 he was elected Supervisor of Paddock Township, and has continued to hold that office. He has also served upon the City Council, and has taken deep interest in matters of schools and education.
While still resident in his native county our subject was united in marriage, on the 11th of November, 1838, with Miss Lydia Miller, born in the same district, Sept. 22, 1817, and a daughter of Abram and Mary Miller, both of whom lived and died in Somerset County. The home of our subject has been rendered more completely attractive and happy by the birth of a son, who has been named Charles, and is now a prosperous manufacturer and resident in Sedalia, Mo.
Our subject is the owner of several pieces of valuable property in Odell. In 1887 he was chosen Postmaster in the State Senate, during the 1887 session. He has been a lifelong member of the Republican party, and always votes its ticket. As a citizen and officer our subject is very highly esteemed by the community at large, as well as by those who are more intimately acquainted with him.
R. CHARLES C. GAFFORD is a leading and prominent physician and surgeon in Wymore. His father, Joseph Gafford, was born in Baltimore, Md., in 1822. He received a common-school education in the city of his birth, and while still a young man he went to LaFayette, Ind., where he was for many years engaged in the furniture business. In 1873 he removed with his family to White Cloud, Kan., where he continued in the same business until about 1880, when he bought a farm eight miles north of Hiawatha, Kan., on which he still lives. He married Miss Doreas Sherwood, and to them have been born eleven children, ten of whom are still living, viz: William, Delia, Anna, Alvin, Charles C. (our subject), Elizabeth, John, George, James and Daniel.
Dr. Gafford was born on the 3d of April, 1860, in Des Moines, Iowa, and when he was a small child his parents moved to Rensselaer, Ind., thence to Burlington, Kan., and again, to White Cloud. In Burlington our subject began the pursuit of his education, supplementing it with a High School course at White Cloud, after which he began the study of medicine in the year 1877 with Dr. J. Bussing, of Hiawatha, Kan. He took a course of lectures in 1879-80, and another course in 1880-81, at Keokuk, Iowa, being graduated on the 3d of March in the class of '81.
Immediately after his graduation our subject came to Wymore and began the practice of his profession, where he continued for two years, when he completed his professional knowledge by a course at the New York Polyclinic in the spring of 1883. Then he returned to Wymore, and has continued his practice up to the present time, having become a prominent surgeon in this vicinity, also
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being the surgeon for the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, and examiner for all the old-time insurance companies doing business in Wymore.
Dr. Gafford was elected to the State Legislature in 1886, on the Republican ticket, serving as Chairman of the Committee on Asylums, also on the Committee of Labor, his term as yet unexpired. He is quite a young man, and has an excellent beginning for a life of prominence and usefulness. Mrs. Gafford was formerly Miss Mary Fenton, of Randolph, N. Y.
ENRY WILLIAMSON has for five years been Justice of the Peace in Glenwood Township. He is a son of John Williamson, who was born in Ireland, and Margaret (Uhl) Williamson, who was a native of Pennsylvania. His father emigrated to America a number of years ago, and at the time of the Civil War he enlisted in Company A, 75th Illinois Infantry. In the battle of Mission Ridge he was taken prisoner and thrown into Libby Prison, in which place he died in November, 1863. The mother died in Carroll, Carroll Co., Iowa, on the 31st of January, 1887. They had a family of six children.
Our subject was born in Dixon, Lee Co., Ill., on the 6th of December, 1855. He spent his early life in the town of his nativity, and was about eight years old when his father died, after which sad event he went to live with his uncle on a farm, a little distance from the city. He remained with his uncle until he became twenty-one years of age, and then took a course of instruction in Baylies Business College, at Keokuk, Iowa. He again returned to Dixon and remained for about six months, and he then went to Carroll, in Iowa, at which place he was engaged in buying grain and selling coal. For two years he engaged in that business, and in the spring of 1880 he came to this county and settled on section 30, Glenwood Township, where he owns 160 acres of land. He has erected good and comfortable buildings, and is well supplied with modern conveniences in the way of agricultural implements and articles of general utility which so much facilitate the work on a farm. He has improved the land until it is in a fine state of cultivation, and it is devoted to the purposes of general farming and stock-raising.
On the 1st of April, 1881, our subject was married in this township to Miss Nellie A. Faxon, a daughter of John W. and Asenath (Olds) Faxon, who are old and esteemed citizens here. She was born in Whiteside County, Ill., on the 21st of February, 1859, and is the mother of two children--George F. and John H. Our subject was first elected Justice of the Peace in the fall of 1883, and he has so admirably discharged the duties of that office that he has continued in the same capacity until the present time. He is among the number of enterprising men who realize the advantage of learning in all the walks of life, and has been prominently connected with the management of the schools in his township, having served as Director. He is a member of Jasper Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Odell. and is heartily in favor of the administration of the Republican party. His family are well situated and enjoy the respect of all the residents of the community.
ILLIAM TATGE, deceased. This gentleman was one of those who came from beyond the seas to this freer country, with its larger opportunities, more promising outlook and happier institutions. He was born upon the 9th of April, 1839, in Germany, and spent the years prior to his manhood in his native country, where also he received his education and instruction in his chosen occupation. He was about twenty-seven years of age when he determined to take his journey to the great country of which he had heard so much, and which seemed to be a very Eldorado.
Upon landing in the New World our subject went at once to Bremer County, Iowa, and speedily found work as a laborer, by which he was enabled to save sufficient to begin farming upon his own account after about eighteen months. Upon the 26th of January, 1868, in the same county, he was united in marriage with Miss Emma Meier, who was, like himself, a native of Germany, in which
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country she was born on the 10th of December, 1848. She was seventeen years of age when she came to the United States. It was her misfortune and sorrow to he bereaved of her mother while yet in her seventh year, and when she came to this country she did so alone, leaving her father and step-mother in the old home. She came believing that in America she could make a better success of life than by remaining on the other side. Upon landing she proceeded at once to Iowa, and it was not long before she made the acquaintance of our subject. with the above-mentioned result. They concluded to try their fortune in Nebraska, and removed hither in the year 1873, purchasing 240 acres in Blakely Township, and lived upon it for about seven years, improving it and bringing it to a high state of cultivation. He then sold out, and purchased 320 acres of new land, and set to work to bring it to as perfect a state of cultivation as possible. This is the place of residence of Mrs. Tatge and her family. It was not long before this farm began to show signs that there was back of the activities at work upon it a mind and strength determined to achieve the conquest of the original condition of things and the institution of a higher cultivation. A very pleasant home and beautiful farm are the result, for our subject was a splendid farmer, and, withal, a hard worker, and as a result, as his high moral character and genial, liberal spirit became known by his new neighbors, he was greatly admired and respected. His last sickness and death resulted from rheumatic trouble contracted in the old country, and which led him down into the "Valley of Death" on the 25th of January, 1885.
Since the death of her husband Mrs. Tatge has taken the reins of government of both farm and household into her own hands, and has relied entirely upon her own resources, with the gratifying result that there are few farms better managed or more successfully operated than that upon section 8 of Blakely Township, a fact which speaks volumes regarding her mental powers, intelligence and ability. She is the mother of seven children, two of whom, William and Henry, are deceased. Those who are still living are Caroline, the wife of Mr. Fred Vieselmeyer, a farmer in Colorado; John, Frederick, Emma and Ida. Mrs. Tatge and her family are members in good standing in the Lutheran Church, into which they were introduced, and in which they have continued, since the earliest days of life.
This deeply interesting family have received the most hearty sympathy and esteem of the community, and are in every way worthy thereof. They have exhibited a brave and noble spirit in all that has been undertaken and effected since the death of our subject, which affliction was borne with the utmost patience and resignation.
EORGE B. REYNOLDS, one of the most successful general farmers of Lincoln Township, is pleasantly located on section 15, where he owns and operates 160 acres of good land, he came to Lincoln Township from Beatrice in the spring of 1883, locating upon a farm which had no improvements, and has since industriously employed his time cultivating the soil, putting up the necessary buildings, and effecting the improvements which have transformed it into one of the most desirable homesteads of this region. With genuine enterprise and good taste he has planted a grove of maple trees adjacent to his dwelling, which in due time will add greatly to the beauty and value of the property. His stock and farm machinery are highly creditable to his enterprise and good judgment, and as a business man and citizen he is looked upon as one of the important factors of his community.
Prior to settling upon this farm Mr. Reynolds had been engaged in mercantile business at Beatrice for a period of fourteen years. During that time he dealt in general merchandise, carrying a large stock of the articles most generally in use at the farm and in the village household. His straight-forward methods of doing business gained for him a large patronage, and he there laid the foundations of the success which has uniformly attended him. He became a resident of this State in the fall of 1868, emigrating across the Mississippi from Sullivan County, N. Y., where his birth took place on the 19th of August, 1834. There his boyhood and
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youth were passed upon a farm, and he became familiar with agricultural pursuits, which he followed during his early manhood.
Andrew Reynolds, the father of our subject, also a native of the Empire State, was born in Orange County, where he lived until twenty years of age. Then starting out for himself, he cast his lot among the pioneers of Sullivan County, that State, taking up a tract of laud in the woods, and building thereon a comfortable homestead. In that county he was also married to Miss Catherine Van Benschoten. This lady was of German ancestry, but a native of New York State, and the daughter of Garrett Van Benschoten, who had served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and spent his last days in New York.
The parents of our subject began life together among the early settlers of Sullivan County, N. Y., which continued their home until they departed hence. The father engaged in farming his entire life. The homestead is located in Fallsburg Township, and there the parents passed from earth, the father in 1876, at the age of eighty-four years, and the mother in 1877, aged eighty-three. They were most excellent and worthy people, and members in good standing of the Baptist Church. The household circle included five sons and three daughters, three of whom are living, and of whom George B., our subject, was the youngest son.
Mr. Reynolds attended the pioneer schools of his native county when a boy, and later became a student of the institute at Bethany, Pa. He was a youth of more than ordinary intelligence, fond of his books, and at the early age of eighteen years began teaching, at which he was engaged several years during the winter seasons. At the age of twenty-four years he was married in the county of his birth, Dec. 28, 1858, to Miss Stella B. Sherwood. This lady was born in Liberty, Sullivan Co., N. Y., Aug. 22, 1837, and is the eldest daughter of Bradley B. and Eliza (Burr) Sherwood, who were natives of Connecticut, and who came to this State about 1880. The mother died in Beatrice in the fall of 1887, when past seventy years of age. The father, aged nearly eighty, is still living, and makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Henry Randall, of Beatrice. The parents united with the Presbyterian Church early in life, and as members of the community performed well their part.
Mrs. Reynolds was reared in Liberty Township, Sullivan Co., N. Y., where she pursued her first lessons in the district school, and later became a student of a higher school at Pleasant Mount, Wayne Co., Pa. Like her husband she possesses rare intelligence, and as a member of society and the mother of a family is fully equal to the duties of her high position. Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds continued residents of their native county in New York State until 1868, when they came with their son to Nebraska, and settling in Beatrice, remained there until after the birth of two children. Thence they removed to their present home in Lincoln Township. They have now but three children living. The eldest, Nathan, married Miss Emma Perkins, and is now editor and proprietor of the Tecumseh Republican, having been connected with the State Journal at Lincoln for some time; Gilbert and Stella are at home. The latter is teaching, and the former managing the farm. William died at the age of four years. Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds are connected with the Presbyterian Church at Beatrice. Mr. R. is a stanch Republican politically, takes an active part in local polities, and has served as Chairman of the County Central Committee for some time. While a resident of Beatrice he was elected City Treasurer, serving creditably, and since coming to Lincoln Township has also served as Township Treasurer. As an efficient and capable man, he has fulfilled all the duties of life in the most praiseworthy manner, and enjoys the esteem and confidence of all who know him.
DWARD G. WALTHER, City Clerk of Blue Springs, also conducts a prosperous saddlery and harness business, doing his own manufacturing, and enjoying a good patronage. He came to this city on the 8th of July, 1881, and for four years was employed at his trade in different places. He established in business on his own account in December, 1885, and enjoys a monopoly, having the only harness store in the place. He is straightforward and methodical in his business trans-
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actions, and a man in whom the people have abundant confidence.
Richard Walther, the father of our subject, was born on the other side of the Atlantic in Saxony, Germany, on the 27th of August, 1839, and left the Fatherland with his father when a lad ten years of age. The family settled near Watertown, Wis., where the father first occupied himself in farming, but later engaged in mercantile business. There our subject pursued his first studies, and upon approaching manhood served an apprenticeship at the harness trade. Later he established himself in business at Hustisford, where he operated until 1868. In the meantime he had been married, and now crossing the Mississippi came to this State, settling first in Plattsmouth, where he lived until 1870. He then changed his residence to Franklin County, taking up 160 acres of land. There he engaged extensively in hunting and trapping, which was at that time a very lucrative employment. In time, however, the tide of immigration served to reduce the number of fur-hearing animals, and in 1873 Mr. Walther abandoned his business as a trapper, and engaged in farming and the milling business. In 1880, with his son, he removed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and resumed harness-making. From there, a year later, he came to Blue Springs, establishing the shop which he conducted until 1885, when he sold out to his son, E. G., our subject, and went to Florida, and engaged in fruit-growing and general farming. In 1888 he returned, and located in Brunswick, Mo., and is engaged in the harness business.
While a resident of Wisconsin Mr. Richard Walther was united in marriage with one of his own countrywomen, Miss Antonio Yahr, and they became the parents of five children, Edward G. being the only son. Two of his sisters are now in Gage County, Neb., and two in Wisconsin. The mother died at her home in Hustisford in 1869, and the father married again. He was a man prominent in the affairs of his community, serving as Justice of the Peace, and after coming to Nebraska was greatly interested in its advancement and progress. As one of its pioneer settlers, and a man in all respects worthy, he was held in the highest esteem. He was the incumbent of the various school offices of his township, and gave his support and encouragement to those projects calculated for its advancement and prosperity.
The subject of this sketch was born in Hustisford, Wis., July 10, 1862, and was a little lad of seven years when he came with his sister to Plattsmouth, Neb. He was cared for by strangers until the second marriage of his father, in 1872, when he went to live with him in Franklin County. There he remained until he was nineteen years old, serving an apprenticeship at the harness business, and upon leaving home was employed at different places until 1885. He then purchased the business of his father in Blue Springs, where he has since been established, and is now on the highway to prosperity. He is popular among his townsmen, and a member in good standing of the I. O. O. F.
The mother of our subject was born in Germany, and was the daughter of Ernest Yahr, a native of the same locality, and of pure German ancestry. The family crossed the Atlantic when their daughter Antonio was a child of eleven years, and settling on a farm in Dodge County, Wis., remained there with them until her marriage. In the Fatherland Ernest Yahr was employed as a woolen manufacturer, but upon coming to this country engaged in farm pursuits. He departed this life about 1882. His excellent wife had preceded him to the silent land in about 1844. They were most worthy people, and members in good standing of the German Lutheran Church. The father and his sons improved a fine farm from the wilderness of Dodge County, Wis., and the latter are now numbered among its best citizens. Politically, Mr. Walther affiliates with the Republican party.
ILLIAM G. WASHBURN, Secretary and Treasurer of the Beatrice Sewer Pipe Company, is a native of Maine, and was born in Calais, Washington County, May 26, 1851. He lived there with his parents, George and Eliza (Gilmor) Washburn, until a lad of thirteen years. George Washburn, father of William G., was Captain of Company K, 12th Maine Regiment, and served during the late war, mostly under command
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of Gen. Butler. He died at Houlton, Me., April l, 1883; the mother is still living, making her home with our subject. Their family consisted of six children, three sons and three daughters. The eldest daughter, Emily W., died Feb. 24, 1884; two brothers, Charles Fremont and George A., reside in Gage County, this State; Mary E., single, and Julia C., the wife of Horace Waite, are residents of Boston. The father was a native of Kennebec County, Me., and the mother of Belfast, Ireland.
When William G. was thirteen his parents changed their residence to Houlton, Aroostook County. There our subject attended school and continued until a youth of nineteen years, being occupied when not at his studies as the assistant of his father in his flouring-mill and on his farm. He completed his studies at Houlton Academy in Maine, and then leaving his native State went to the town of Holyoke, Mass., where he was employed by the lumber firm of Wiggin & Flagg, with whom he remained five and one-half years. In May, 1872, we find him in Chicago, Ill., and the employe of S. K. Martin, a lumber dealer, as traveling agent; he was thus occupied until 1876. Then, returning to Massachusetts, he engaged with a Boston lumber firm, handling their material on commission, and was connected with the lumber trade at the Hub until in December, 1878.
In January, 1879, Mr. Washburn formed a partnership with S. K. Martin, of Chicago, and they established a lumber business in Beatrice, where they operated together until January, 1888; at that time they closed out the yard at Beatrice and Mr. Washburn disposed of his lumber interests. In the meantime they established branch yards at Wymore and Liberty; the two latter are being managed by the brothers of Mr. Washburn for S. K. Martin & Co. The Beatrice Sewer Pipe Company was incorporated in 1884 and began business in 1885, and our subject was one of the original stockholders. On the 25th of May, 1887, he was elected Secretary, and in 1888 Treasurer, which position he holds at the present time. The factory is located half a mile south of the city, although within the corporate limits. It furnishes employment to forty men. Mr. Washburn devotes his entire time to the business, and is considered the proper man for the place he occupies. They have built up a large and growing trade and the output is of a superior quality.
One of the most important events in the life of our subject was his marriage. April 15, 1881, his bride being Miss Flora E., daughter of D. O. and Julia A. (Peabody) Wight, of Boston, Mass. Of this union there have been born four children, namely: Edward Wight, Jessie Beatrice, Arthur Wendell and Edna Gilmor. Mr. Washburn represented the First Ward as Alderman for a period of four years, and is an ex-President of the Board of Trade. Politically, he is an uncompromising Democrat.
UGUST VONDERFECHT. The subject of this sketch, a man in the prime of life and midst of his usefulness, occupies a prominent position as a leading farmer and stock-raiser of Clatonia Township, where he has lived for the last twelve years. He has built up from a tract of wild land a valuable farm, and is numbered among the well-to-do citizens who have made their mark in Gage County as men of industry and intelligence.
Our subject first opened his eyes on the other side of the Atlantic, in the Province of Hanover, Germany, March 24, 1847. His parents were John and Sophia (Long) Vonderfecht, and he was their youngest son. Their family included nine children, three of whom are living; two are residents of Gage County and one of Germany. The father died about 1886; the mother is in Germany.
Young Vonderfecht received a practical education in his native country, and early in life became familiar with agricultural pursuits. In the early part of 1866, determining to seek his fortunes on the Western Continent, he embarked on a sailing vessel from the port of Bremen, and after a tedious voyage of eleven weeks and one day, he set foot upon American soil in the city of New York. During the voyage they had run out of provisions and about a third of the passengers were thrown overboard, and the balance were half starved upon their arrival at their journey's end. Our subject proceeded directly to Tazewell County, Ill., where he was employed three years as a farm laborer, and
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with a small amount of money which he had managed to save, now started for Nebraska. He first homesteaded eighty acres of land on section 34 in Buda Precinct, Lancaster County, upon which he resided six years. Not being quite satisfied with the result of his labors there, he resolved to change his residence, and accordingly settled on the land which he now occupies, and which is pleasantly located on section 20. Here he now has 240 acres, all of which he has brought to a productive condition. He has also erected substantial buildings and surrounded himself and family with those comforts and conveniences indispensable to the happiness of the modern agriculturist.
Our subject, while a resident of Tazewell County, Ill., was united in marriage with Miss Maggie Heller, and they are now the parents of five interesting children, three sons and two daughters; they are all living and named respectively: William H.; Emma Sophia, born Jan. 1, 1872; Lena, April 13, 1873; Edward, July 31, 1877, and Ernst, April 3, 1884. Mr. Vonderfecht is Democratic in polities, and a member in good standing of the Lutheran Church. He occupies the position of Moderator in his school district, is quite prominent in local affairs, and a man whose opinions are uniformly respected.
ANIEL MOCHEL, a leading German farmer of Lincoln Township, owns and occupies 160 acres of land, which he has brought to a good state of cultivation, and upon which he has erected a substantial set of frame buildings. A view of the homestead is presented on an adjoining page. In addition to general agriculture he gives considerable attention to stock-raising, keeping a goodly assortment of cattle, horses and swine, he possesses the true thrift and industry which are national characteristics of his race, and is one of the most peaceable and law-abiding citizens in this community.
Our subject came to this township in 1882, removing from the vicinity of Beatrice, where he had a farm of eighty acres which he improved from the raw prairie. He first set foot upon the soil of Nebraska in 1876, and the greater part of that time has been a resident of Gage County. A native of the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, he was born on the 17th of March, 1854, and came to the United States with his mother, Margaret (Shantz) Moschel, his father, Christian Moschel, having died in his native Germany when Daniel was a child of eighteen months. The widowed mother brought all her children with her, and they located first in Tazewell County, Ill., where they maintained themselves by farming, and where they lived until crossing the Mississippi.
The mother of our subject died near the city of Beatrice at the age of seventy-four years, Oct. 4, 1876. Both parents belonged to the Protestant Church. Daniel is the youngest of seven living children, and acquired his education chiefly in the schools of Tazewell County, Ill. He was early in life made acquainted with hard labor, and thus formed those habits of industry which have resulted in his ultimate success. After coming to this county he was married in Lincoln Township, Oct. 6, 1878, to Miss Sophia Knoche. Mrs. Moschel was born in Illinois, Jan. 5, 1860, and is the daughter of Christopher Knoche, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Knoche left Illinois in 1870, and taking up his abode in this county engaged in farming. The parents are now residents of Gage County.
Mr. Moschel and his wife began the journey of life together in Midland Township, and worked in harmony to build up a homestead. Their union has been blessed by the birth of six children, one of whom died in infancy, and another, whom they named Clara, when two months old. The survivors are Christian, Caroline, Minnie and Elmer. The eldest is nine years of age and the youngest one year. Mr. Moschel as the native of an Empire having among its laws the admirable one of compulsory education, believes in securing to the young those advantages which will make of them worthy and intelligent citizens, and accordingly will give to his children the education which his means and station will justify. He cast his first Presidential vote for Tilden, identifying himself with the Democratic party, of which he still remains a firm supporter. The homestead which he has built up, adding greatly to its
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