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was born in Chester County, Pa., about the year 1805, and was, there reared to manhood and served as a young man through the whole Mexican War under Gen. Lee, in the position of Quartermaster. At the close of the war he returned to the Quaker State, where he made his home until 1852, and then removed with his family to Illinois, settling in Fulton County, where he was engaged as surveyor and school teacher.
The father of our subject died in Illinois, aged eighty-two years, in the fall of 1887. He had won considerable distinction during his life and was an adventurous spirit, in early boyhood he showed signs of great precocity, accompanied by fearless daring. Leaving his parents while still a small boy, he boarded a man-of-war with the intention of serving as a sailor, but was not received; being thus deterred in his efforts and his design frustrated, he managed to secure a position as clerk upon a merchant vessel, and remained in the service about two years, in that time circumnavigating the globe, besides a number of other trips. When he enlisted in the Mexican War service he with the same fearless spirit went forward, diligent in every duty. Of the 106 men who enlisted at the same time, in the same company, only five returned home, the father of our subject being one of that number. In his later years he made his home with his son Joseph until his death, which occurred in 1887. The maiden name of his wife, the mother of our subject, was Phebe Ann Ring, who was born in the year 1811, in Delaware County, Pa., and died on the 5th of December, 1878, aged sixty-seven years, four months and five days. She was the mother of eleven children, whose names appear in the family register as follows: Hannah, William, Joseph Brinton, Rebecca, George, Ada, Nathaniel, Martha A., Franklin, Sarah J. and Mary.
Our subject was a debutant upon the stage of life upon the 4th of March, 1835, at Chadd's Ford, Delaware Co., Pa., in the house where Gen. Washington had his quarters prior to the battle of Brandywine. At the age of seven years he accompanied his parents to their new home in Custer County; at fifteen to the State of Illinois. His education was obtained in the old-fashioned rate school. In the latter State he hired out by the month and continued so to do until he arrived at the age of thirty-five. In 1861 he made a trip to Texas, but the war broke out and he was forced to return to Illinois. This trip was disastrous to him; throughout the immediately preceding seven years he had labored for one man, and in that time was enabled to save sufficient to purchase a herd of cattle, and attempted to move with them overland to the Lone Star State. But for the war and Spanish fever he would have cleared a handsome profit, but under the circumstances it was impossible, and all his money having been launched in this venture it was the death blow to his hopes for the time; en route he lost the larger number of them by the Spanish fever.
Going back to Illinois Mr. Levis began life anew, and worked for one year by the month, and saved enough to purchase a team and rented a farm. Upon the 16th of May, 1872, he was married to Mrs. Amanda C.. a daughter of Thomas and Unity (Parker) Smith. Her father was born near Wheeling, W. Va.. her mother in Mohawk Township, Coshocton Co., Ohio. Her parents settled in the latter State and made it their home until the year 1847, when they removed to South Fulton, Fulton County. Her father was by occupation a chair, cabinet maker and painter. Upon his removal to Illinois he turned his attention to farming: he is still living, and is aged eighty-one years. The mother of Mrs. Levis died in 1881, at the ripe age of sixty-five years. They were the parents of ten children, whose names are as herein recorded: Phoebe E., Amanda C., Uriah C., Marl J., Hannah J., Hebron M., Isaiah L., Louis W., James E. and Ruey A.
The wife of our subject was the second child in the above family, and was born Sept. 9. 1835, in Fallsbury Township, Layton Co., Ohio. She began while quite small to spin, weave and pull flax, advancing by regular gradation step by step until she was enabled to perform any and every part of the process between the preparation of the raw material and the finishing of the garment ready for time wearer, for in those days all garments, whether woolen or linen, etc., were made at home. Her education was somewhat restricted, owing to the fact that she was two miles from the nearest schoolhouse, and frequently it was impossible to traverse
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the path that led thereto. At an early age she began to work out as a means of support, and was the fashioner of her life experience. She was married to Moses Robertson, of Indiana, and by that union became the mother of one child, Elviana, who is since deceased. She was afterward married to James W. Boyd, and presented him with two sons: James F., who is now in Johnson County, Neb., and George W., deceased. Her third marriage was with our subject. Their family numbered two children: Annetta, deceased, and Lenora M., who resides at home and is attending school.
In 1865 Mr. Boyd and his wife (now Mrs. Levis) heard the report of the remarkable work done in the Idaho gold mines and the success there possible, and accordingly made it convenient to journey thither in the hope of bettering their position. They settled in the vicinity of Boise City; for some time they had realized that their portemonnaic had been in a state of chronic decline, and upon arrival it was to them an aching void that demanded immediate strenuous efforts to fill. This they accordingly set about at once. Mr. Boyd in the mines, his wife as cook for the miners, for which she received $70 a month. Mr. Boyd also took up a timber claim and kept it for a short time, and then sold his privilege, returning to Illinois via Salt Lake City, of which place Mrs. Levis' recollections are most vivid. The financial outcome of this trip over and above all expenses connected with their return journey, was the munificent sum of $15,000 in "dust."
Mr. and Mrs. Levis remained in Illinois about four years after their marriage, but came to this State and settled in Nemaha Township in 1880, and to their present home in 1883. Our subject is the owner of 160 acres of excellent land and twenty head of cattle. In all he operates 320 acres, and is recognized as one of the leading and most successful farmers of his district. He is a prominent member of the Farmers' Alliance, and one of its energetic and strong supporters. For about three years he has been School Moderator, discharging the duties of that office with satisfaction to all concerned. In political matters he is strongly in favor of the present administration, and usually votes and works in the interests of the Democratic party.
Mrs. Levis is a member in good standing of the Christian Church at Hooker, and is considered among its most devout and consistent members. She is one of the charter members of the cause at that place. In the community Mr. and Mrs. L. are held in the highest estimation on account of their personal worth, as well as their success, which has been signal in view of all the adverse circumstances encountered.
OHN POSTLEWAIT is an old Virginian, a son of Joseph Postlewait, and a native of Monongalia County, Va. His mother was Margret Gleason, who was a native of Prince George County, Md., and by their marriage they had a family of ten children, of whom our subject was the third. His father died in Ohio, and his mother in Burlington, Iowa. The gentleman of whom we write was born on the 3d of July, 1820, and when he was two years old his parents went to Licking County, Ohio, where he remained until the year 1853, when he went to Burlington, Iowa. In that city he was engaged in shipping and feeding stock and buying grain, and in that business continued until 1861, when he returned to Ohio. In 1866 he again went to Burlington, and in 1871 to Ottumwa, Iowa, at which place he engaged in mining until 1884.
In the spring of 1884 our subject came to this State, and resided for about six months in Odell, afterward moving to his farm, consisting of 120 acres on section 10, Glenwood Township. He has made fair improvements on it, and is pleasantly situated in one of the happiest of homes. The main line of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, from Kansas City to Denver, passes through his farm, and within four rods from his house. He was married in Pennsylvania, on the 5th of September, 1854, to Matilda F. Craft, who was born in Uniontown, Pa., on the 7th of October, 1830. Mrs. Postlewait is a daughter of George and Eliza (Workman) Craft, both of whom died in Ohio, having reared a family of ten children, of whom the wife of our subject was the sixth. By this marriage our subject and his wife have become the parents of
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two children--George C. and Henry J. Henry J. died in Ottumwa, Iowa, when he was fifteen years old, and George C. is a resident of Glenwood Township, and resides with his parents.
While living in Ottumwa, Iowa. Mr. P. was one of the County Commissioners, and he was also a candidate for the State Senate, having been defeated by the Republican candidate by but a few votes in a Republican district, which speaks well for his popularity. Since his arrival in this county he has held the office of Treasurer in his township, and is regarded as one of the truly representative men of this section. He is a Democrat in polities, and is an enterprising business man. He and his wife are members of the Catholic Church. They took a nephew, Gilbert G. Postlewait, to their home when he was two and a half years old, and as his foster parents, they have regarded him as one of their own children. Mrs. Postlewait is an accomplished and intelligent lady; in her home she is an admirable wife and mother, and in the circles of society her amiability and charming manners have won for her a host of friends and admirers.
HARLES ZIEGENHAIN takes rank among the skilled and scientific farmers of Lincoln Township, where he has a fine farm of eighty acres on section 16, all in a splendid state of cultivation, well supplied with substantial buildings, and lying just outside the corporation of the village of Ellis. He has been a resident of this State since 1877, and for a few years he rented a farm and assumed the management of it, at which he was so successful that he was soon enabled to purchase a farm of his own. In 1882 he secured his present farm, and since that time he has made most of the improvements on it, showing by his excellent judgment in the construction of the buildings and the general thrifty appearance of the place his knowledge of agricultural arts, and his ability to practice them. Previous to his residence here he had made his home in Taylor County, Iowa, to which place he had gone from McLean County, Ill. He made his home in the latter place from the year 1867 to 1876, engaged in farming, as he has since been.
Our subject was born at Frankfort on the Main, Germany, on the 21st of July, 1825. His parents, John and Magdalena (Fischer) Ziegenhain, were also natives of the same country, and of pure German ancestry. In 1833 they came to the United States, and died on the way from New Orleans to St. Louis, in the same year. the father at the age of forty years, and the mother when thirty-nine years old. Our subject was but eight years old when he came with his parents to this country, and after his double bereavement he returned to his native country to make his home among the family relatives and friends. He was there educated in his native tongue, and was early taught to depend upon his own labor for his maintenance, thus early developing the quality of self-reliance, without which very few people achieve success in life. In his native country our subject met and married Miss Anna E. Doonbrack, who was a native of Bremen, and had spent all her life there previous to her marriage, after which she came with her husband to the United States, and died in 1876 at her home in McLean County, Ill. She was then aged fifty-three years, and was the mother of six children, one of whom, named Mary, died in Iowa, when she was twenty years old. Of the children who survive we have the following record: John is in Bloomington, Ill.; Herman married Miss Amanda Schello, and resides in Gage County; Lizzie is the wife of Charles McQueen, and makes her home in Gage County; William was educated in the college at Springfield, Ill., and is a minister in the Lutheran Church, at St. Louis, Mich., and Charles resides in Gage County. All the children have received good educations, and are prospering well in their different vocations.
Mr. Ziegenhain was a second time married, in Beatrice, to Mrs. Rosa Schmidt, nee Groser, who was born in Saxony, Germany, and when she was a girl came alone to America. She was first married in Pennsylvania, where after a time her husband died, leaving her with three children, named August, Fred and Edward, all of whom are yet single. Our subject and his wife are well-known and active members of society, who number among their friends the best and most influential citizens of the community, and have taken a warm and active
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interest in the Lutheran Church, of Blakely Township, whose cause and the cause of religion they have been laboring to promote. Our subject is a well-informed and ardent Republican in politics, and is highly esteemed as a business man and loyal citizen.
OBERT KYD. In the following sketch is presented an outline of one whose experience of life is many-sided, and if opportunity offered would present many chapters of absorbing interest, and not a little of instruction. Our subject was born at Dungiven, County Londonderry, Ireland, Sept. 2, 1830. He is the son of Robert and Elizabeth Kyd, natives of the same place. He left Ireland April 7, 1848, and arrived at New York May 11. He had served two years as an apprentice at carriage-making when a boy in Ireland, and worked for a few months in a wagon and wheelwright shop in New York until the fall of 1849, when he went to New Orleans, and superintended the loading and running of flatboats from that city to the lower coast until the spring of 1850, when he went to Cincinnati. In that city he continued to make his home until 1884, and worked upon the canal boats for some time, and then bought an interest in a boat, and for the next twelve years continued to run as a canal boat Captain, at one time owning as many as three boats.
In the late war our subject was Captain of Company B, of the Fremont Guards of Ohio, for four months, and they were upon guard duty for the larger part of the time. Subsequently for five years he served in the National Guards, as Captain of the same company, 8th Regiment, Col. S. S. Fisher. In 1884 he came to this county, and in the month of February of that year settled where he now resides. He is the owner of 280 acres of land, which he occupies in general farming and stock-raising. In the latter department he gives attention almost solely to graded stock of the higher orders, and is very particular concerning their surroundings and treatment.
Upon the 28th of February, 1861, our subject and Miss Mary Martin were joined in holy matrimony, and their union has been fruitful in the birth of five children, four of whom are still living. Their names are recorded as follows: Annie (deceased in infancy); William J., engaged as topographer for the Union Pacific Engineering Corps; Robert R., James H. and Annie E., all of whom are unmarried. Mrs. Kyd is the daughter of Matthew and Elizabeth Martin, and was born at Stranorlar, County Donegal, Ireland, on the 5th of February, 1835. Her parents were natives respectively of Scotland and Ireland, and were residents of Stranorlar, but are now deceased.
While a resident of Cincinnati our subject was for fifteen years Captain of the guard of the workhouse, and also helped the Sheriff of that place in his duties through the terms of the District Court. He has at all times taken a very deep interest in educational matters, and those enterprises that were for the advancement of the interests of the rising generation. He has been successful in building here perhaps the finest country school-house in the entire county. Mr. Kyd has given to his children the best high school education the city of Cincinnati afforded, and is proud of the fact that his son William took the third prize for drawing at the general examination of the Cincinnati public school in the year 1876, the lad being then but twelve years of age.
Our subject stands high in the Masonic fraternity, with which he has been connected for thirty years. He has received all the degrees, from that of Entered Apprentice to Knight Templar inclusive, and in Lodge, Chapter and Commandery is highly esteemed by his fellow-members, as he is also by the community at large.
ICHAEL KNOCHEL has resided for eight years on his present farm, consisting of 160 acres of good land on section 24, Lincoln Township, on which he has made many improvements. For ten years previous to his residence here he was engaged in farming in Logan County, Ill., where he had met with good success, but not so much as his ambition led him to expect. He was born in the Rhine Province, Germany, on
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the 1st of November, 1833, and is of pure German ancestry, his father, Michael Knochel, being a native of the same country, and uniting himself in marriage with a German lady named Elizabeth Stout. The parents lived in their native country until they had gathered about them a family of twelve children, seven sons and five daughters, after which they came to the United States and made their home in Erie County, Pa., in 1853, just one year after their son, our subject, had come. The family were bereaved of their father in 1868, when he was about sixty-one years old, but the mother is still living in Erie County, Pa., and is now eighty-five years old, still retaining all her faculties, and quite active for one of her advanced age.
Our subject was educated in his native tongue in Germany, and in 1852 came alone to the United States, making his home in Erie County, Pa., where he began life as a farm laborer. There he spent the next twenty years of his life, having in the meantime married, on the 20th of October, 1857, Miss Mary Page, who was also born in the Rhine Province, Germany, on the 26th of March, 1832. Her parents, Ludivich and Barbara Page, lived and died in Germany. When she was a young woman she came alone to the United States and became the wife of our subject. Since their marriage they have labored in unison, and have together endured many hardships in the endeavor to make and save a competence for their later days. Our subject worked for sixteen years in a sawmill in Pennsylvania, and since his removal to this State he has prospered well, and has reaped the reward which seldom fails to come to those who exercise the sterling qualities of manhood, industry and perseverance. Their farm has been improved by good buildings and fences, and its fertility increased so that it is in a condition to bring forth abundant harvests, and repay the owner for the great labor he has expended on it.
To the pleasant home which has been prepared by the considerate parents have come six children, named: Wendel, Kate, Grace, Barbara, George and Valentine; all are at home with their parents.
Mr. and Mrs. Knochel and family are members of the German Catholic Church, and as is characteristic of the adherents of that organization, they are devout in their religions duties and industrious in their daily vocations. The former affiliates with the Democratic party in politics, and is a highly esteemed member of society in his community, having won the respect and friendship of those with whom he comes in contact by his display and evident possession of the admirable qualities of manhood.
ON. HIRAM WADSWORTH PARKER, one of the capitalists and prominent business men of Beatrice, is of New England birth and parentage, his native place being the town of Oakham, Worcester Co.. Mass., where he first opened his eyes to the light Dec. 17, 1827. His father, Luke Parker, also a native of the Bay State, was born in 1790, and married Miss Tamar Hastings.
The Parker family was first represented in Massachusetts, probably during the Colonial days. They were of English ancestry, and Luke, the father of our subject, was a tanner by trade. Hiram W. about 1834 removed with his parents to Athens County, Ohio, where they lived three years, and where the father followed his trade. 'Thence they removed to Chillicothe, where our subject completed his education at an early age. When a lad of fourteen he entered the office of the Scioto Gazette, the oldest paper in the Buckeye State, and served an apprenticeship of seven years at the printers' trade. He next held a position in the office of the Ancient Metropolis, which was then under the control of George Armstrong, a resident of Omaha. Here he remained two years. In 1848 he proceeded to the city of Columbus, becoming all employe of the Ohio State Journal, then under the editorial charge of W. B. Thrall and Henry Reed. In 1850 Mr. Parker left Columbus and established the Ironton Register, in Lawrence County, Ohio, which he conducted until 1858. He then disposed of the office and its appurtenances to R. N. Stimpson, who was subsequently editor of the Marietta Register.
In the fall of 1857 Mr. Parker visited Nebraska and determined upon his future location. A year later he took up his residence seven miles north of
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the present site of Beatrice, and there resided until the spring of 1865. Thence he removed to the southern part of Seward County, and purchasing land laid out the town of Camden, erected a sawmill, and made general preparations to establish himself in business. Two years later he had a flouring-mill in operation, a large building with two run of buhrs. This proved the nucleus around which a goodly number of emigrants gathered and built up their homes. The Burlington & Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska, having left the embryo town some six miles north, resulted in the paralyzing of its city pretensions, but its agricultural and water privileges, among the best in the State, received ample recognition, and had the effect to keep there a class of intelligent and progressive men.
Mr. Parker upon coming to this section of country was at once recognized as a valued addition to its farming and business interests, and as a man eminently fitted to hold responsible positions. In the fall of 1860 he was elected to represent the counties of Johnson, Gage and Clay in the Territorial Legislature, and later was elected County Judge under the old Territorial law. He also served as County Clerk and Postmaster, besides acting as Commissioner of Seward County for a term of three years. In 1871 he was solicited to accept the nomination for Secretary of State, but after the first ballot withdrew his name. That same year he was elected as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention at Lincoln, and was also appointed Register of the United States Land Office at Beatrice, which position be held for a period of thirteen years, under the administrations of Grant, Garfield and Arthur.
In 1852, while a resident of Ohio, Mr. Parker was united in marriage with Miss Almira T. Dole, of Portsmouth, Ohio, and a graduate of Grand River Institute, in Ashtabula County. They spent the first six years of their wedded life in Ohio. They are now the parents of four children, but two of whom are living, viz: Frank H., who is married and a resident of Santa Cruz, Cal.; Louis C. continues at home with his parents; the two deceased sons were Charles D. and Eddie H.
Mr. Parker assisted in the organization of the First National Bank, of which he has been Vice President and Director, and he is now a stockholder and Director in the Beatrice National Bank. He is President of the Beatrice Canning Factory and of the Beatrice Sewer Pipe Works. Socially, he belongs to the Masonic fraternity, being a member of Beatrice Lodge No. 26, and in the I. O. O. F. was Grand Master of the State. For a period of nine years he has been a member of the School Board, and has served as a member of the City Council. He was one of the principal movers and a stockholder in the erection of the Masonic Temple and the post-office building, which structures are a great credit to the city, being ornamental as well as useful. The fine brick residence occupied by the family was erected in 1885, and is situated in a commanding position in the western part of the city. It is handsomely finished and furnished, and its inmates enjoy the friendship of a large circle of acquaintances, composed of the cultivated element of the community. Mr. Parker cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Winfield Scott, and gives his support to Republican principles.
OSIAH M. RUMBAUGH has retired from active business life and is now enjoying the comfort and seclusion of his pleasant and attractive home in Blue Springs. He was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., on the 16th of August, 1839, his birthplace being one mile north of Greensburg, and he is a son of Henry and Susanna Rumbaugh, who were natives of Armstrong County, of the same State. His father was a son of Henry Rumbaugh, an officer in the Revolutionary War, in which he distinguished himself as an able advocate of American freedom and liberty. The father died in the year 1871, when he was seventy-two years old, and the mother in 1874, at the age of seventy-two years. Our subject spent his early life in his native county, engaged in the variuos (sic) duties of a farm life, and received his education, which was a thorough one, in the Greensburg Academy.
At the beginning of the civil difficulties which so
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