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Jeffries spent the first two years of their wedded life in Lee, and thence went to Iowa. They are now the parents of four children--Howard J., Ross W., Esther and Urith, the eldest sixteen years of age and the youngest two. Our subject with his estimable wife is a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which they became identified in 1856 and 1868. In politics Mr. Jeffries votes the straight Republican ticket, and is in favor of everything tending to improve and elevate the people. He has been connected with the School Board of this district, and is a man in whom his neighbors have confidence, and whose esteem he enjoys in an unlimited degree.
Mrs. Jeffries is the daughter of John and Margaret (Uhl) Williamson, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of Maryland. Her father died a prisoner of war in Libby Prison, being starved to death by the rebels; the mother died in Carroll County, Iowa, Jan. 29, 1887. Notice will be found of them in the sketches of her brothers, Henry and George Williamson. on another page in this work. Mrs. J. was born in Frostburg, Md., Sept. 29, 1848, and spent her childhood and youth under the parental roof, remaining with the household circle until her marriage. She received the advantages of the common school, and was trained to those housewifely duties so essential to the happiness of the home.
ILLIAM BLAKELY, Supervisor of Blakely Township, and one of the best known and most prominent men of Gage County, also one of its oldest actual settlers, is still located on his original homestead in Blakely Township, which was named in his honor, and where he has a good farm of 160 acres on the southwest quarter of section 20. Adjoining this he has a similar amount on section 29, which was secured from the Government by pre-emption before the Homestead Law went into effect. His possessions all together aggregate 520 acres, situated on section 19, 20, 29 and 30.
Mr. Blakely has been a resident of this county since 1857, a period of over thirty years, having landed July 17th of that year, with his brother Nathan, upon time present site of the city of Beatrice. It is hardly necessary to say that the "city" at that date bore little resemblance to its present state, being then a bleak prairie. The land selected by Mr. Blakely lies along Cub Creek, which was formerly called Minnehaha Creek, the finding of two bear cubs in this vicinity inducing the change of name. This proved a most fortunate investment, the land being exceedingly fertile, owing largely, of course, to the judicious treatment it has undergone at the hands of its owner. The creek has proved valuable, not only in furnishing ample water facilities, but as a means of drainage, and has also fed a stretch of fine walnut timber, besides oak and hackberry.
The original log house built on his first pre-emption claim is still occupied by our subject, although having been transferred some distance from its original site and being subjected to the repairs and additions required for the comfort and convenience of the modern household. In front of the Blakely residence is a fine grove of trees, planted by the hand of our subject many years ago, and now yielding a most grateful protection from the heat of summer and the storms of winter. In 1841 Mr. Blakely commenced as a clerk with S. & G. Smith in South Britton, Conn., in a general country store, they dealing in about everything that could be handled in a store, and received the sum of $50 with board for two years' services. In 1843 he was with Edwin Marble in the largest drygoods store in New Haven. His business was large and the clerks were confined to the building twenty-two hours out of twenty-four, and all for $100 per year, including board. The close confinement and change from country to city living was more than his constitution could withstand, and before the close of the year he was carried home upon a bed, his friends claimed, with the same fatal disease which had taken away more of the family, viz: consumption. He was placed in the care of an old family physician, and in a few months was able to buffet with mankind for a living.
In 1844 Mr. Blakely went to Middletown, N. J., and commenced teaching a district school, and remained in the school eighteen months. In 1846 he removed to Long Branch, and was teaching three
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years in one district, averaging fifty scholars most of the time. He, however, became tired of teaching, and therefore went back to Connecticut, clerking for Packerd Swift, in the old town of Derby, ten miles from New Haven. In 1852 he was offered the position of chief clerk and good pay by Lucius Blackmail, of the city of Birmingham, Conn., which Mr. Blakely accepted, and here found plenty of work, as Mr. Blackman not only carried a large assortment of all kinds of goods usually carried, but in addition dealt heavily in carpets, oil-cloths and paper-hangings, which occupied eight different rooms, and in less than two years Mr. B. once more returned home to rest.
At home Mr. Blakely had an opportunity of studying upon what he was to do in the future, and soon made up his mind to follow the lamented Greeley's advice, and started for the Western country. In 1855, Mr. Blakely, together with J. B. Barnes, who was soon after Superintendent of Schools in Henderson County, Ill., and his brother, purchased a section of university land in Hardin County, on the Iowa River, and attempted to open up a new farm, but as this was hard work he soon concluded to start with an ox-team for an exploring trip in the northern and western part of the State. In July he went to Dubuque with two yoke of oxen, and bought a full load of everything which would be useful to them while in the wilderness.
J. B. Barnes, Nathan Blakely (our subject's brother) and himself started from Eldora, the county seat of Hardin County, Iowa, in August, 1855, with the two yoke of oxen and a fine cow, which not only followed with the two dogs without any care or attention, but also afforded them plenty of both milk and butter. They first went north through Franklin and Cerro Gordo to Mason City, which contained six log cabins; then to Clear Lake, where they remained three days near a band of the Winnebago Indians. They appeared to be very hospitable, always appearing about meal time, and soon devoured everything either eatable or drinkable after they left the mess box. There were only four families living around the lake, but they had the Western cheek, and claimed all the timber and all the water front around the lake, either for themselves or some imaginary persons. Mr. Blakely and party left for the West through Hancock and Kossuth, and there found the county seat on the East Fork of the Des Moines, called Algona, and occupied by a man named Call. Starting West from here, they did not see either a sign of an inhabitant or a white person for six weeks, and in that time passed through the county of Palo Alto, up the West Branch of the Des Moines to the six lakes, called the Six Sisters, in Emmet County, township 98 north, range 33 west. They were obliged to follow the Des Moines across the State line into Minnesota before attempting to cross, and kept up along the east bank for five days, then, in crossing, became fast in the mud and unloaded for the first time. Mr. Barnes had been sick with the ague for three weeks, and Nathan Blakely one week. Besides this trouble a band of Indians annoyed them by attempting to steal anything they wanted, and would not give them the name of their tribe. Our subject and party would not allow them to take the least thing, although they knew they were entirely at their mercy, if an Indian has any, but showed them that they proposed to maintain their own rights, and they finally left them. They then turned south, and found the corner of ranges 35 and 36 west, township 100 north, on the north line of Dickinson, and soon found Spirit Lake and Okoboji, and explored them for nearly a week. The Sioux paid them a visit here, but gave them no trouble. From the lakes they went to Oceola, O'Brien, Clay, Buena Vista, Pocahontas and Humboldt, where they once more found white people; thence to Webster, at Ft. Dodge to attend the sale of Government lands at the opening of the land office at that place, and there encountered the first snowstorm, on the 22d of October, 1855. They soon went back to Eldora, after an absence of three months, and immediately began selling goods for J. W. Jones, and remained with him until leaving for Nebraska, in May, 1857.
Mr. Blakely looks back to those early days as one of the happiest periods of his life. He was a great lover of Nature in her wild solitudes, enjoying nothing better than to travel over the quiet country, which in ninny sections lay yet undisturbed by the hand of man. When making settlement here Mr.
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Blakely found that his nearest neighbor was two and one-half miles away. It was no uncommon occurrence to travel thirty miles to visit a neighbor, the journey usually occupying from five to six days. The people at that time were each interested in the welfare of the other, and such was the confidence a man had in his neighbor that it was seldom the formality of a note was given for the loan of money. Their religion was the maxim of the Golden Rule, each man striving to do unto his neighbor as he would he done by. With the influx of a mixed population, however, more stringent measures became necessary.
The Blakely family traces its later origin to New England, where the subject of our sketch was born in Litchfield County, Conn., July 3, 1821. His father and his paternal grandfather, who both bore the name of Daniel, were also natives of the same State, and followed farming all their lives, the latter spending his wholly upon the soil of Connecticut, where his bones were laid to their final repose. Daniel, Jr., was reared in his native county, followed farming like his forefathers, and was married first to Miss Chatfield, a lady of ancestry similar to his own. William and his brother Nathan continued in the "land of steady habits" until after the death of the mother, which took place in 1839, together with the death of a daughter, Sophia. William L., the eldest son, died when a lad. Daniel Blakely left his native State in 1856 and joined his sons in Iowa. Our subject and his brother Nathan had left Connecticut in the spring of 1854, and coming to the West, located first in Hardin County, Iowa, near the embryo town of Eldora, among the early pioneers. At this place Daniel Blakely, Jr., looked his last upon the things of earth, passing away in February, 1861.
William Blakely came to this county a single man, but after determining upon his future course in life, took to himself a wife and helpmate in the person of Miss Cornelia D. Bailey, who was born in Racine County, Wis., Oct. 24, 1843. Her parents, Asa F. and Janet (Ford) Bailey, were natives of New Hampshire and New York, and came to Nebraska in the spring of 1863. They endured the common lot of pioneer life, its struggles, hardships and privations, and are still living at an advanced age, their home now being in the city of Beatrice.
Mrs. Blakely had grown to womanhood when her parents came to this county, and has had her full experience of life in a new country. She is the mother of three children, the eldest of whom, Jessie L., followed teaching in the schools of this county, but is now married. George A. and Albert C. continue at home with their parents. Mrs. B. and her daughter are members of the Congregational Church, of Blakely Township. Mr. Blakely, politically, votes independently, and has held other offices besides his present one, to which he was elected in the fall of 1885.
Mr. Blakely has been a prominent and useful man in his county, beginning his public services as early as 1858, when he was appointed Probate Judge for a term of two years. From 1862 to 1865 he was Government Assessor for the South Platte District, and in 1870 served as Deputy Marshal, and likewise took the census of Gage County. He was also one year the Assessor of Gage County. He was one of the organizers of the Republican party in Southern Nebraska, and has never felt that he had reason to depart from the principles to which he then gave his cordial support. During the Grange movement in 1872 and 1873, he was appointed Deputy Grand Master, and also served on the Executive Committee for the State from 1873 to 1876. He in the meantime organized a number of Grange Lodges in this part of the State, and distinguished himself here as elsewhere by his industry and usefulness. On the 28th of July, 1886, he was appointed and commissioned by James W. Dawes, Governor of Nebraska, as a delegate to the National Farmers' Congress, which met in St. Paul, Minn., and was in session three days, August 25, 26 and 27.
The Old Settlers' Association finds in Mr. Blakely one of its most efficient members. In the I.. O. O. F. He has been actively interested for forty years, being Grand Master of the State in 1885-86, and a member of Subordinate Lodge No. 19, and Encampment No. 16, both of Beatrice. As one of those who looked upon this section of the Great West in its primitive days, he is held in due consideration and respect, and has built up time record of an honest man and a good citizen, in a short time he will have
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reached his threescore years and ten. He has gathered from a varied experience of men and things those lessons by which he has been enabled to perform well his part, and leave to his children a name of which they need never be ashamed. The ALBUM of Gage County is greatly enhanced by giving the portrait of William Blakely, which has been made from a recent picture.
OSEPH K. LANGDON, one of the most enterprising and successful merchants of Paddock Township, of which he is a pioneer, is conducting a large business as a dealer in all kinds of implements in Odell. He is a native of Luzerne County, Pa., born Aug. 9, 1852, to Samuel P. and Nancy (Emory) Langdon, natives of Pennsylvania. In 1854 his parents removed to Wisconsin, and continued to reside in that State for many years, the father engaged in the hotel business. Mr. Langdon died May 29, 1886, having attained the ripe old age of nearly eighty years. He was a man of sound principles, and of much decision of character, readily commanding the respect of all with whom he came in contact. The mother of our subject makes her home with him, surrounded by all the comforts that loving hands can provide to make her declining years pleasant.
The subject of this sketch was reared in Wisconsin, and received the preliminaries of his education in her public schools. He subsequently entered the Normal School of White Water, where he received a thorough practical training, fitting him for any career that he might choose to adopt in after life. Upon leaving school, being desirous to become master of some lucrative trade, he set himself to work to learn that of wheelwright, and was thus employed in Wisconsin until the spring of 1880, when he determined to try life in the West beyond the Mississippi, and we soon find him located in what is now Paddock Township. As this township was not laid out until the following fall, he thus became one o its early settlers. He soon found work at his trade, and was engaged in a wagon. shop for two years. In the spring of 1882 Mr. Langdon, with characteristic enterprise and foresight, saw a fine opportunity in this new and rapidly growing country to establish himself in his present business, immediately availing himself of it, and has since carried it on with gratifying success. He came here a poor man, but by industry and good management he has made money, and has increased his sales from 300 the first year to from $12,000 to $15,000 per annum. He has besides acquired considerable property by judicious investments; he owns two pieces of desirable resident property, has his business house and lot, and also owns some stock in the county, horses, cattle and hogs.
Mr. Langdon was married in Wisconsin, July 3, 1877, to Miss Emma Thompson, a daughter of Edwin and Alma (Folsom) Thompson. Her mother died in Wisconsin in February, 1869. Her father is still a resident of that State. To Mr. and Mrs. Langdon have been born two children: Fay, their only son, and a daughter, Lona, who died Sept. 23, 1884.
Mr. Langdon is a young man of education and fine business talents, that promise to place him among the moneyed men of Gage County within a few years. His geniality and ready tact make him well liked by all who have the pleasure of knowing him, and he has secured many warm friends since coming to Nebraska. In his political views, he is an unswerving Republican; he does not aspire to office, although he takes decided interest in promoting the prosperity of his township.
ORRIS JONES. It is quite common to remark among the prominent men of a community in almost every department and circle, that they who are looked upon and spoken of as the successful men have come up through trial and difficulty from the lower plane to the higher level in life, the fact being, that by just such processes of disappointment, difficulty and adverse circumstances is the man developed, and abilities and powers that would otherwise have remained unknown, although possessed, have been brought into action, and thus every opposing force has become a blessing and a benediction. This is true throughout the whole realm of nature.
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The biography of Mr. Morris Jones might well serve as a case in point, and illustration of the above. He is the son of David and Margaret Jones, the former of whom is now deceased. They were natives of Wales, in which country our subject was born in July, 1849. He accompanied his parents to the United States in 1870; settling in Wisconsin he engaged in day labor until 1879, when he came to this county, and rented some land and began farming. In this good fortune continued to attend him, so that to-day he is the owner of 160 acres of good land for purposes of agriculture and stock. raising, which he follows exclusively, devoting more especial attention to the latter, finding the breeding of higher grades of stock very remunerative in a rapidly developing country such as Nebraska.
While living in Wisconsin our subject made the acquaintance of a very excellent young lady, Ann, daughter of Thomas J. and Margaret Jones, of LaFayette County, Wis. She was born in said county, Dec. 9, 1858. On the 22d of February, 1875, this lady, Ann Jones, and our subject plighted their troth and sealed their marriage vows. Their union was fruitful in the birth of five children, whose names are as follows: Margaret, Miriam, James, Thomas O. and William L.
The wife of our subject is a member of the Welsh Methodist Church, with which she has continued since childhood. Our subject is affiliated with the Republican party, and has for many years been an active worker in behalf of the same.
EORGE W. KIERSEY, of Glenwood Township, is spoken of as one of its solid and reliable men, steady-going and thorough in his farming operations, prompt to meet his business obligations, peaceable and law-abiding as a citizen. He cast his lot with the people of this county in the spring of 1879, and has since been numbered among the most highly respected members of the community.
The property of our subject embraces 160 acres of land on section 20 in the western part of Glenwood Township, where for a period of nearly eleven years he has labored industriously in the cultivation of the soil and the production of the crops best adapted to the region of Southern Nebraska. For this task he was well fitted both by experience and early training, having spent the greater part of his days amid the peaceful employments of country life. In his young manhood he became a soldier of the Union Army, and for a period of four years devoted himself to fighting successfully the battles of freedom and Union.
A native of Licking County, Ohio, Mr. Kiersey was born June 29, 1846, and there lived until the death of his mother, which occurred when he was eight years of age. He was then taken into the home of his uncle in Allegany County, N. Y., where he spent several years, and then moved with the latter to Pennsylvania. After eighteen months spent in the Keystone State, young Kiersey moved to Licking County Ohio, making his home this time with a sister of his. Later he migrated to his native county in Ohio, and from there in a few months proceeded to Ogle County, Ill., where he was engaged on a farm until the outbreak of the late Civil War.
Soon after the first call for troops Mr. Kiersey enlisted, Nov. 5, 1861, in Company H, 46th Illinois Infantry, and followed the fortunes of war until its close. He endured the hardships and privations incident to the life of a soldier, meeting the enemy in many important battles, and gathering from his army experiences a fund of practical knowledge with which he would not willingly part. He fortunately escaped wounds and other injury, with the exception of the often severe strain upon strength and endurance, and at the close received his honorable discharge at Baton Rouge, La.
Upon retiring from the service Mr. Kiersey returned to Illinois, and located upon a farm in White Rock Township, in the vicinity of Rochelle, Ogle County, where he carried on agriculture most of the time until the beginning of 1868. Then, disposing of his interests in the Prairie State, he crossed the Mississippi and located in Story County, Iowa, and worked on a farm there and in Washington County about three years. From the former he came to Nebraska in April, 1879, and in 1884 secured the quarter-section of land which he has since owned
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and occupied. In the meantime he visited Kansas, spending three years in Washington County.
In Washington County, Kan., Mr. Kiersey married Miss Harriet B. Atwood, Feb. 19, 1882. Mrs. Kiersey is the daughter of Moses and Mary Atwood, and was born in Georgetown, Mass., Feb. 1, 1850. Her parents were natives of New Hampshire, and came west to Iowa about 1855, and to Kansas in 1878. The mother passed away at their home in Washington County, Kan., in September, 1880. The father is still living. Their family consisted of eight children, five of whom are living.
To our subject and his wife there has been born one child only, William L., Nov. 15, 1883. Mr. Kiersey carries on general farming, and has a fair assortment of live stock. He has planted a goodly array of fruit and shade trees, and with his little family is surrounded with all the comforts of life, besides having a prospect of something to fall back upon on a rainy day. Politically, he is a Republican.
EROY PAYNE. The subject of this sketch came to this State in the fall of 1868, taking up his abode first in Saunders County. He had moved to that region from LaSalle County, Ill., where he had carried on farming. In Saunders County he took up a homestead claim of eighty acres, and resided there until the spring of 1878, when he came to this county and bought of the Government 160 acres of land on section 10, in Glenwood Township, to the improvement and cultivation of which he has since given his time and attention. The present condition of his property would indicate that he has labored to excellent advantage, for he has substantial buildings and the other appliances necessary for the comfort of his family and the carrying on of agriculture in a successful and profitable manner.
A native of Wayne County, Pa., our subject was born March 12, 1842, was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools. His father, Homer Payne, was a native of the same county as his son, and married Miss Louisa Greeley, also a native of the Keystone State. They lived there for a time after their marriage, then changed their residence to Luzerne County, and from there emigrated to LaSalle County, Ill., where the father engaged in farming, and where the death of the mother took place in April, 1855. Homer Payne, after the death of his wife, went to Smith County, Kan., where he still resides.
To the parents of our subject there were born six children, five sons and one daughter, of whom Leroy was the second child. He was eleven years old when his parents left his native State, and he resided with them until a youth of twenty years. He was thereafter a resident of LaSalle County most of the time until his marriage. This most important and interesting event of his life took place in Ottawa, Ill., on the 28th of September, 1865, his bride being Miss Almira White, who went with her parents to LaSalle County, Ill., when about ten years old. Mrs. Payne was born in Schenectady County, N. Y., Sept. 16, 1846, and is the daughter of Wilbur and Catherine (Leevey) White, who were both natives of New York State and lived there until going to Illinois. They are now residents of Saunders County, Neb. Their family consisted of five children, of whom Mrs. P. was the eldest. She acquired her education in the district school, and remained with her parents until becoming mistress of a home of her own by her marriage with our subject.
Mr. and Mrs. Payne spent the first few years of their wedded life in LaSalle County, Ill., and there their first child was born. They are now the parents of four sons and four daughters, seven living, namely: Charles, Alice L., Ada, Nellie, Almira May, Leroy and Glenn. Elmer died when one year old. They are being properly trained and educated, and there is every reason to suppose will do honor to their parents as good and worthy citizens of the future.
Mr. Payne was reared in the principles of Democracy, and to this party has given his honest adherence since becoming a voter. He has been prominent in local affairs, holding the office of Township Assessor nine years, four years in Saunders County and five years in Glenwood Township, this county. He has also served as Commissioner of Highways. Socially, he belongs to the I. O. O. F.,
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being Past Grand, and a delegate to the meeting of the Grand Lodge at Omaha in the fall of 1888.
Mr. Payne, when a lad of thirteen years, while driving a team of spirited horses which ran away, was thrown out of the wagon and suffered the breaking of his right arm, it was improperly set and never recovered its former strength. In some respects this has proved quite a drawback and considerably interfered with his strength and efficiency in the often arduous labors of the farm. His boys, however, are growing up, and will soon be able to take his place, and the industry with which he has labored in former years has secured to him the fair prospect of something for his ease and comfort in his declining years.
AMUEL ECCLES, one of the highly respected and valued citizens of Riverside Township, and whose residence is situated upon section 3, was born in Chautauqua County, N. Y., on the 19th of September, 1847. When about three years old, his parents, John and Mary (Whitehead) Eccles, removed across the State line into Warren County, Pa., which adjoins Chautauqua County. Our subject was about three years of age when this removal was made. There he was brought up and educated, continuing thus employed until he was in his sixteenth year.
Not long after passing his fifteenth birthday our subject enlisted in Company M, 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry, and served about seven months, then was honorably discharged. His regiment was in the battle of Gettysburg, and saw considerable service in conflicts of lesser note. His army experience, while no less dangerous, though perhaps somewhat briefer than that of many of his comrades, left him unwounded, although the horrors of war will always present to his memory a picture aglow with terrors, cruelties, sorrows, pain and carnage.
When twenty years of age Mr. Eccles removed to Henry County, Ill., and there made his home for two years, when he removed to Guthrie County, Iowa, and staid for one year. Thence he removed to Michigan, and there made his home for another year. His health then failed him, and he went to Tennessee, and resided at Pomona in that State for about two years, and was rewarded by a complete recovery of vigorous, rugged health.
Upon the 24th of September, 1872, about the time our subject left Tennessee, he was united in marriage with Miss Alzada Howd. After a happy wedded life of about seven years this lady died, on the 17th of September, 1879, leaving two children, viz: James F., who was born on the 17th of September, 1877; and Esther M., who was born Feb. 22, 1876, and died April. 14, 1881. Our subject was married a second time, on the 7th of June, 1881, to Mary E. Cole, of Plattsmouth, Neb., and there have been born to them two children, whose names are Grace and William L.
Mr. Eccles has a fine farm of 114 acres upon section 3, and upon this he has erected a pretty, substantial dwelling, well situated, and in the midst of attractive surroundings. He has made ample provision for the comfort and welfare of his stock, his stables being well constructed and arranged. The date of his entrance to this county was March, 1874, and at that time what is now a well-cultivated farm was then native prairie in all its wildness. By far the greater part of the life of our subject has been spent in farming, and he is thoroughly conversant with the various phases and parts of this work. During the time spent in Michigan he was engaged in handling lumber, and in Iowa was engaged in railroading. With these exceptions and that of his army experience, he has followed agricultural pursuits.
On coming to this State our subject had in his possession some $700 as the foundation of his fortune. The first year was an entire failure, owing to the grasshoppers, and by them his crops were entirely destroyed, leaving him to start the next year with one team, a cow and a few implements. That year he was more fortunate, and has been increasingly so from that on; patience, perseverance and industry brought him through that time of trial, and have carried him on to prosperity. The pleasant home which he to-day enjoys, and his well-stocked farm, are the harvests these have produced for him. He has had all the trials and difficulties that crowd upon one in beginning life in a new coun-
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try, but has borne them all, has earned the confidence and esteem of all his neighbors, and attracted to himself many friends by his most praiseworthy conduct throughout. The farm lies chiefly in the valley of the Big Blue River, and is, therefore, superior to the higher land, which is liable to suffer from drouth, besides not being so rich in soil, and this is one of the best farms in the county.
In 1886 our subject was elected Justice of the Peace, and the following year Supervisor of the township, and re-elected in 1888, which office he still holds. Religiously, our subject and wife are connected with the United Brethren Church, of Beatrice, and are among its most devout members. Mr. Eccles is also a member of the G. A. R., Rawlins Post No. 35, and Beatrice Lodge No. 19, of the I. O. O. F. Politically, he is a Republican. There are few families more appreciated in the community than this of our subject, few more highly esteemed, and none more worthy.
AMES W. BRIDENTHAL. Of the countless numbers who have gone to settle up the new West, few have been more enthusiastic, more thoroughly absorbed with the thought that they were working for the future as well as for their own interests, and therefore, more public-spirited and liberal-minded, and better prepared to undertake the hardships and trials of frontier life, than many of those who came into this county. The gentleman of whose life an epitome is herewith presented affords a happy illustration of the above fact.
In Sicily Township, on section 23, is a beautiful farm of 320 acres, in an excellent state of cultivation, the property of our subject, whose residence thereon is one of the most pleasant homes in the county. Mr. Bridenthal is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born at Chambershurg, in that State, on the 28th of April, 1836, and there spent the first nine years of his life. In 1845 his parents removed to Wayne County, Ohio, he of course accompanying them, and in that place the greater part of his education was received, both that obtained in the common schools, and that which gave him a knowledge of the work and management of the farm.
Subsequently Mr. Bridenthal removed to Indiana, and located successively in Huntington, Whitley and Marshall Counties. From the latter, about the year 1855, he removed to Woodford County, Ill., where he remained until the fall of the same year, then moved to Peoria County, Ill., where he remained until 1860, then went to Warren County. During this time he had been laying broad and deep a solid foundation for other days, and making provision for the success and prosperity that have since come to him. The removal of our subject from Illinois to Gage County was made in April, 1884, when, after prospecting for some time, he concluded arrangements which led to his present settlement. Every year has seen his property increasing in value, and the harvests more abundant.
While in Warren County, Ill., our subject made the acquaintance of Miss Ella S. Butler, who is a daughter of Isaac and Ann L. (Jones) Butler, who were natives of Virginia and Pennsylvania respectively, but were married in Ohio, and in that State made their home for several years, afterward removing to Indiana, from there to Illinois in 1864, settling in Warren County. In the latter State her father died, in 1875, aged seventy-one years, and her mother, who is in her eightieth year, is still living. In early life both became members of the Christian Church, and to this communion Mrs. Butler is still devoted.
The marriage of our subject was celebrated at Plymouth, Marshall Co., Ind., on the 26th of October, 1860, and there were six children born to them, whose names are recorded as follows: Kenneth D., Lake, Maude, Mae, Charley W. and Dick. All these are living except Maude. who passed through "the valley of the shadow of death" upon the 1st of July, 1887, having reached the age of twenty-two years. Her death was as peaceful as her life had been beautiful, and the mortograph "So He giveth His beloved sleep" is most happily fitting in her case. Kenneth was married, Feb. 5, 1884, to Miss Lizzie Rankin, of Warren County, Ill., and Lake is cashier of the Wymore Citizens' Bank.
The parents of our subject, John and Lydia
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