blade of grass, now stand among
other embellishments, 2,500 beautiful forest trees,
planted by the hand of our subject, while he has
devoted five acres to an apple orchard of the finest
varieties, besides the smaller fruits which supply the
family in their season with dainties which can only be
grown under proper care and training.
The subject of this sketch was born
in Niagara County, N. Y., May 31, 1857, and lived
there with his parents until a lad ten years of age,
pursuing his studies in the common school. He then
removed with his parents to Henry County, Ill., where
he completed a practical education, and became fully
acquainted with all the details of farm life. His
father, Horace King, was born in New York State about
1811, and removed from its eastern portion to Niagara
County after his marriage with Miss Desire J. Burton.
They became the parents of three children, namely:
Edward F., William L., and Charles L., our subject.
The mother and sons are all living, the latter
carrying on farming successfully in Todd Creek
Precinct, this county. The parents continued residents
of New York State until 1867, then removed to Henry
County, Ill., and from there in the spring of 1881
joined their sons in this county, where the father
died in the fall of 1886. The mother is still living
on the farm in this precinct. Horace King, although a
very intelligent man, was no politician, but kept
himself well posted upon affairs of State and National
interest and conscientiously voted the Republican
ticket. The parents in earlier years identified
themselves first with the Methodist Church, and then
with the Free Methodists. The family bears the highest
reputation in this county, being careful and
conscientious in their business transactions, prompt
to meet their obligations, and in all respects
peaceable and law-abiding citizens.
Miss Mary J. Huntley, of Knox
County, Ill., was married to our subject at her home
in Walnut Grove Township, Nov. 27, 1879. This union
resulted in the birth of one child, a son, Charles H.,
who is now living at home. The young wife only
survived her marriage until 1883.
Mr. King contracted a second
matrimonial alliance, with Miss Cora B. Huntley, a
sister of his first wife, and to them also there has
been born one child, a son, Levi H., who is now four
months old. Mrs. Cora (Huntley) King was born in Knox
County, Ill., Nov. 10, 1864, and is the daughter of
Levi A. and Elizabeth (King) Huntley, the former of
whom was born in New York State, and removed thence to
Ohio early in life, and from there to Knox County,
Ill., where he became prominent and well-to-do, and
where, with his excellent wife, he is still living.
They are people held in high respect in their
community, and members in good standing of the
Christian Church. Their family consisted of three
daughters, namely: Mary J., Nellie E. and Cora B.
G. VAN NESS. The history of Nebraska has many chapters
of frontier life and experience, and they are in every
way equal to those of other States, although possibly
not so pretentious. One who has had much experience in
Nebraska frontier life is the gentleman whose life is
here briefly sketched, who has been identified with
the State since the year 1871.
Mr. Van Ness was born in Columbia
County, N. Y., in the month of June, 1833, and there,
resided during the first fourteen years of his life,
and received the foundation of his education. Then,
with his parents he went to DeKalb County, Ill. He is
a son of Jesse and Rachel (Biglow) Van Ness, who were
natives of New York. After three years of residence in
Illinois the family removed to Columbia County, Wis.
There the father died in November, 1882, at the age of
eighty years. The mother of our subject still
survives, and makes her home at that place.
The family of which Mr. Van Ness is
a member included four children, he being the second.
From his youth he has been more or less upon a farm,
intermingling with the varied incidents of such a
calling. In 1871 he came to Harlan County, Neb., and
there entered a claim of 160 acres. He lived within
one mile of Alma, the county seat. Upon the occasion
of his first visit to Alma the town was infested by a
herd of buffalo, and he had the keen satisfaction of a
hunter in seeing two fall under his hand. He remained
among the buffaloes and In-