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CASS COUNTY.

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low-citizens, and in him they find one who is always ready to co-operate with them to advance the interests of the city or county. He was elected County Commissioner in 1882, and was re-elected to that important office in 1883, and again in 1888. While acting in that capacity he paid close attention to the duties devolving upon him, discharging them in such a manner as to give general satisfaction, and his official career is without a stain. He is a leading Republican in Cass County, and he has been a delegate to numerous conventions of his party. He cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, and has since been a stanch supporter of the party.
Letter/label or doodle

Letter/label or doodleOHN FREDERICK STULL. (This name was always spelled in the German language by his ancestors, Stoll. His father also spelled it Stoll, but John F., our subject, changed the spelling to Stull, after he became old enough to do business for himself. When he writes in German he spells it Stoll, in English, Stull hence this explanation). Mr. Stull was a pioneer of Nebraska, and to him and men of like decision, courage and practical energy, Cass County, of which he was an early settler, is greatly indebted for its high rank among its sister counties in regard to commerce, agriculture, and the various interests that go to make up a prosperous and wealthy community. He is prominently identified with the farming and stock-raising interests of Plattsmouth Township, where he has a large and valuable farm and a pleasant, commodious home.
   Mr. Stull was born in Germany, May 13, 1831, and in October, 1834, he came with his parents, Henry and Elizabeth (Degen) Stoll, to the United States. They were likewise natives of Germany, as had been their ancestors as far back as known. They located in Pike County, Ohio, where the mother, a woman of genuine worth, passed away from the scenes of earth Oct. 20, 1840. After her death our subject and his father kept house alone for two years, when the father married Magdalena Spohn. Two years later John Frederick and five brothers and sisters went out in the world to earn their own living among strangers. Our subject at that time began to learn the trade of blacksmith at Piketon, Ohio, with Louis Rogers and Horatio Adams, serving an apprenticeship of two and one half years. He subsequently opened a shop for himself two miles out of town, and continued in business for himself there for two years. In 1849 he went to Kentucky, but after a stay of two years there he returned to Ohio, and lived in Columbus for a time. From there he went to Illinois and worked awhile at his trade, and then he sought Council Bluffs, Iowa, in the fall of 1855, finding it only a small town, with but few houses. He met there a Mr. Savers, agent for the Western Stage Company, whom he had known in Ohio, and that gentleman wanted to employ him to shoe horses for the company. He having previously worked for that company in Ohio.
   Mr. Stull was thus engaged for a short time, and then took a trip into Nebraska, on a sort of exploring expedition, going as far west as Salt Creek, thence south about 100 miles, where he embarked on the Missouri River and came to Plattsmouth, arriving here Feb. 28, 1856, at which time there were but three shanties in the place. Here he was offered twelve lots in the business part of the town if he would put up a smithy, the contract being that he keep the shop open for business one year before receiving the deeds. He was also offered eight lots in Omaha, and four lots in Council Bluffs, with a shop and stock, if he would locate in either of these places. But he liked this point so much better than other parts of the Territory that he decided in favor of Plattsmouth, on account of the quality of the land, and erected the first blacksmith-shop in the county. The City Board of Plattsmouth was in Glenwood, Iowa, and at the end of the year, when he was to get his deeds for his lots, they had so risen in value as to be worth from $500 to $1,000, so that he got but one lot. He sold out his shop and claim for $1,500 one month before the year expired, and took up a preemption claim of 320 acres on the land where he has made his home ever since, and became the first actual settler on the Platte River bottom. He built a frame house, arranging the planks perpendicularly, and then a wall of sod two feet thick and planks outside of that,

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CASS COUNTY.

building in that fashion as a means of defense against the Indians, putting holes through the thick walls so that he might shoot at them if he were attacked. In the same summer (that of 1857) the Indians threatened to kill all the white settlers at Plattsmouth, and the women and children were shipped across the river to Glenwood, Iowa. But Mrs. Stull, with dauntless heroism, resolutely refused to accompany them, saying that she would not leave her husband, and if he died she would die too. Therefore they braved together the horrors of living in a region where life was made uncertain on account of the treacherous redskins, and bravely staid on in their gunboat, styled house.
   A Frenchman at St. Mary's, Peter A. Sarpy; for whom Sarpy County was named, who was an agent employed by the Government, scared the Indians out of their first threatened raid by showing them some mowers which had been shipped up the river, and told them they were cannon that the Government had forwarded with orders to kill the "red devils" if they did not behave themselves, and the Italians were thus quieted for a time. They were very troublesome in other ways, however, as they would beg or steal everything they saw. Mr. and Mrs. Stull passed through those trying days with better success than some of their fellow pioneers, and with the growth of the county, which they have witnessed and aided, their prosperity is deservedly insured, and they are now numbered among the substantial and well-to-do citizens of this township, where they have made their home for so many years. Mr. Stull has a fine farm comprising 400 acres, with all the necessary improvements, and he raises all the stock that the farm will carry, feeding all his grain.
   In 1866 Mr. Stull, having incurred many expenses through the long illness of his wife and the resultant doctor's bills, took a trip across the plains as a teamster with others, in order to make money more rapidly than he could at home, he having his own team. They journeyed through the heart of the country where the Indians were the most troublesome, and while on the frontier were pursued many times, quite often having slight encounters with the savages. On their return the towns and settlements were burned and the inhabitants killed in their rear, our subject and his companions being only a day ahead of the Indians, who were on the warpath. On his return from the trip across the plains a Mr. Davis accompanied him from the northwestern part of Nebraska, near Cottonwood, to Salt Creek. That gentleman had some $80,000 in gold and bonds in a belt, and he asked Mr. Stull to let him travel with him in his wagon. as he did not want his men to know that he had so much money with him for fear they would kill him for it. He and Mr. Stull took out the thimbles of wagons that the Indians had burned, and filled them with gold and bonds, and thus concealed them. Mr. Stull remembers very clearly about the murder of the Johnsons and a Mr. Kelly in 1857, and he is under the impression that they were killed for their money by a mob of about nine men, who were very likely citizens of this county, and that they threw their bodies into the Missouri River. He speaks of this, as it has been previously written that "we, the citizens of Cass County, put the murderers across the river," while, in fact, it was only a mob who did the whole work, beyond a doubt.
   In 1857 Mr. Stull broke and cleared forty acres of land on his 320-acre claim at a cost of $5.50 an acre for breaking. and he erected a small house thereon at a cost, for the lumber, of $85 a thousand feet. He also planted a large orchard on it and made other improvements, but the man who had preempted the land for him sold it to a speculator, and our subject had to leave and begin life anew, having lost all that he had previously saved, amounting to $3,000. However, he did not lose his pluck and ambition, but by honest endeavor, incessant and well-directed toil, aided and encouraged by a good wife, he retrieved his fallen fortunes.
   Mr. and Mrs. Stull were united in marriage Dec. 25, 1856. She was formerly Agatha Hengstler, and was born in Baden, Germany, on the 17th of January, 1836. They have six children living, namely: John J., John F., C. Laurence, Amelia, Henry and Agatha. Mr. Stull and his wife are deservedly held in high esteem by the many true friends that they have gathered about them in their many years' residence here, not only as early settlers of this township, in whose upbuilding they have had a hand, but on account of their many good qualities of head and heart. They were reared in the Lutheran

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Bio. of Mr. Stull typed by Judy Ryden, jryden@Rogue.CC.OR.US

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