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of this vicinity during the winter terms, alternating that vocation in the summer months with agriculture. In the winter of 1884-85 he was first enrolled among the instructors of Sterling, and has ever since been a teacher here, still continuing to farm in the summer. He is progressive and scholarly, and keeps well abreast of the times in regard to the most approved methods of imparting instruction, and occupies an assured position among the educators of Johnson County.
   Mr. Hitchcock was married, March 30, 1884, to Miss Hattie L., daughter of William and Jane Kneeland. She is the only surviving child of her parents, and was the first child born in the city of Sterling, her birth occurring here May 20, 1867. Of her marriage with our subject one son has been born, Willie F. The cozy home of Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock is the center of refinement and true culture, and its genial and courteous host and hostess make it attractive to a large circle of friends. Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and they nobly second every effort of their fellow-members to elevate the moral status of the community in which they liv (sic)
   Mr. Hitchcock, like his father and brothers, is a firm supporter of the principles promulgated by the Republican party.

[The HITCHCOCK article above was typed for NEGenWeb by Carole Williams <williams@sunet.net> Thank you, Carole.]

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Letter/label or doodleNN E. (ALLISON) WATSON and her late husband, John J. Watson, were among the early pioneers of Johnson County, and were active in the development of tier agricultural resources, and in otherwise promoting her growth. To people of their sterling worth and strong integrity of character the county is greatly indebted for the high moral tone that pervades its society. Mrs. Watson is now living in the seclusion of one of the coziest and most comfortable homes to be found in the pleasant town of Sterling, where she is deservedly held in the highest respect and esteem. The death of her husband, which occurred on the homestead, Oct. 8, 1882, at the age of fifty-four years, was a severe blow to the interests of the community, of which he had so long been a valued member. He was but little past the prime of life, and in the midst of a busy and useful career, which it was hoped might be continued for many years. But a kind and wise Providence ruled it otherwise, and be was taken away before the decrepitudes of old age had rendered life a burden. leaving behind him in the hearts of many warm friends the memory of a true and upright man, who was beloved by all for his tender heart and many generous benefactions. His character was unblemished, and in his public life, for he took an active part in the administration of civic affairs, he was always devoted to his duty, and was never known to swerve from the straightforward path of honesty and rectitude.
   Mrs. Watson, our subject, was born in Frederick County, Va., to Simpson and Maria (Mills) Allison. When she was about seven years old her mother removed to Wheeling, W. Va., her father having died one year before, leaving a widow and four children, namely: Andrew J.; James A., who died at Wheeling, aged eighteen years; Ann E. and John M. The latter was blind, and was educated in Staunton, Va. The mother of our subject died in Wheeling, Aug. 29, 1853, aged forty-six years. The daughter of whom we write was carefully reared to womanhood by that excellent parent, and trained in all the household duties that go to make an accomplished housewife. She was united in marriage to John J. Watson April 23, 1848, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. William Armstrong. In 1856 she and her husband emigrated to Southern Kansas, but after a stay there of about three months, on account of drouth and sickness they left for Iowa, where they lived for about a year. In 1857 they came to Johnson County, Neb., which they proposed to make their future home, and they bought a tract of 160 acres of land from the United States, at $1.25 an acre, and later bought the 5-acre plot on which they had put their buildings, supposing it to be included in their purchase, but finding afterward that it was just across the line. This land was finely located about a mile northwest of Sterling, and there they improved a fine farm, on which they lived until Mr, Watson's death. Mrs. Watson bought her home in the town, and moved into it the next March. She and her husband had no children, but in the kindness of their hearts they

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adopted a son, William C. Watson, whom they reared as tenderly as if he were indeed their very own. He was united in marriage to Miss Matilda Krantz in August, 1887.
   Notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Watson was a strong Democrat he was appointed, during President Lincoln's administration, Postmaster of La Trobe post-office, which was established on his home farm, and was the first in this part of the county. He discharged the duties of that position with characteristic fidelity, and to the perfect satisfaction of his fellow-citizens, until his death. He was the founder of a star route from Nebraska City to "Nursery Hill," now within a mile of Syracuse, Neb., and he was Road Supervisor several years prior to his decease. Mr. Watson was a veteran of the Mexican War, in which he did gallant service for about two years, when he was honorably discharged on account of ill-health. He was an exemplary Christian in his daily conduct, although not a member of any church.
   Mrs. Watson is a valued member of the Presbyterian Church, and also of the society Home of the Friendless. 'Verily her works do praise her," and her good deeds are silent witnesses of a noble life.
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Letter/label or doodle AMES M. THOMPSON, one of the early settlers of Johnson County, and one of its representative men, is the owner of an exceptionally fine farm comprising the whole of the northwest quarter of section 18 of Todd Creek Precinct. In 1886 he retired from the active operation of his farm, and is now engaged in attending the office of the Jennings Lumber Yard, and being a Justice of the Peace, holds his office at the same place.
   Mr. Thompson first saw Nebraska in the year 1865, when he came prospecting, and in those journeying traversed almost the entire State. On the 9th of May, 1866, he crossed the river at Brownville with his family and stock, using for the purpose one of the flatboats commonly in use. They had left their home in Knox County, Ill., on the 18th of April, and did not arrive at his farm on EIk Creek until the 12th of the following month.
   His farm when first taken up was barren of everything but the native prairie grass, and entirely uncultivated, but before very Iong its appearance was vastly changed for the better, and it is now one of the finest farms in the county.
   In first locating upon his homestead Mr. Thompson built a log house, which served him until 1874, when he erected a very handsome frame dwelling. He has also put out fully eight acres of forest trees, has planted two good and extensive orchards, and also a peach orchard of 1,000 trees, The farm by way of fencing has a well-kept, thick hedge, which presents a very picturesque appearance and answers the purpose perfectly. His various buildings and other improvements are in keeping with such as would be found upon a model farm, where both the knowledge and the means are at hand to obtain a well-nigh perfect result. Most certainly our subject has the knowledge, ability and energy, and has effected his purpose. He has chiefly been engaged in the raising of swine, cattle and horses, and in these employments made a large financial success.
   The subject of our sketch has been a Justice of the Peace for twelve years, and for fifteen consecutive terms was Judge of Elections. For many years he continued to hold the office of Moderator of the school district. His religious convictions have led him to the membership of the Christian Church, with which Mrs. Thompson is also affiliated. In that communion our subject has for many years held the office of Deacon. He is also a member of the G. A. R., and Chaplain of the local post. He is held in very high regard by his neighbors, is a man of character, and honest and worthy, and it is not forgotten that he did whatever was in his power in the earlier days of settlement in the district, in order to advance its interests and bring it to its present enviable condition.
   The subject of our sketch was born in Brown County, Ohio, on the 28th of May, 1818, and resided there until 1831. His parents saw to it that he received a good practical English education, and afterward he was fully instructed in both the practice and theory of agricultural pursuits. He started life for himself, and went to farming in his native county. There he met the lady of his choice, Miss

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Belinda Schoonover, to whom he was united in wedlock on the 24th of January, 1843. To them have been given nine children, of whom five are still living. Their names are as here appended: Elijah C., Frances M., Belinda J., James M., Jr., and Douglas E. Those deceased are as follows: Mary E., Tobiatha A., Emma E. and Belle.
   Leaving Ohio in 1851 our subject went to Knox County, Ill., where he continued farming until 1861. On the 16th of November of that year he enlisted in Company G, of the 58th Illinois Infantry, and served in the Cumberland campaigns. He saw much service, and shortly after the fight at Ft. Donelson was taken sick and taken to the hospital at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he remained until August of 1863, and on the 3d day of that month received his discharge. Upon leaving the hospital our subject received an honorable discharge, owing to disability, and thereupon returned to Illinois, where he shortly after sold out his interest, and came to this State, as mentioned above.
   The wife of our subject was born in Randolph County, W. Va., in 1824, and there lived until she was about eight years old. At that time her parents migrated to Ohio, which became her home until her marriage, as above mentioned. The tie has not yet been severed, and as the years have succeeded each other they have but told the same story of faithfulness and devotion in her wifehood. She has been a true helpmate to her husband, and devoted mother to their children. She is the daughter of Ebenezer and Sarah (Reek) Schoonover. Her father was a native of West Virginia, where he followed the occupation of a farmer, and died in the year 1842, leaving his widow and five small children. These later removed to Ohio, where Mrs. Schoonover lived until our subject came to this State, when she accompanied the family, and died in 1883, being then ninety-two years of age.
   Of the children of our subject the eldest son is the husband of Emma E. Nicholson, of this precinct, and follows the occupation of farming, and is also a preacher of the Christian Church. Three children call him father, whose names are as follows: Hattie M., Albert and Wilfred. Francis M., who also lives in this precinct, was united in wedlock with Miss Mary A. Libby; they also have three little ones, viz: Jessie May, Della and Clarence. Belinda is the wife of George W. Knowles, of this precinct, and they have six children, viz: Rodgers, Effa, Harry, Grace, Earrele and Clinton B.; Douglas E. married Miss N. Merwin, and two children brighten their home; James M. is unmarried and lives at home.
   Charles Thompson, the father of our subject, was born in Ireland, near Dublin, and emigrated to America. While quite a young man he located in Pennsylvania, and followed his chosen occupation of stonemason. There he met and subsequently married Miss Margaret Kerr, of Pennsylvania. Their family included nine children, six of whom attained their majority. In the year 1809, accompanied by his family, he moved to Brown County, Ohio, where he took a tract of heavily timbered land, and cleared for himself a farm. In this work every member of the family assisted, for all found something to do. After improving this farm Mr. Thompson continued to make it his home until 1864. He then sold it and moved to Knox County, Mo., where he took up another farming property, continuing to reside upon it until his death, which occurred in October, 1865, he being then eighty-nine years of age. His wife, who was eighty-two years of age at the time of her demise, departed this life in February of the same year. He was for many years a devout member of the New Light (Christian) Church, and sustained the highest possible character in all his relations in life.
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Letter/label or doodleATHAN D. PIERCE, a well-known and honored citizen of Sterling, is identified with the agricultural interests of Johnson County, owning, as be does, one of the finest farms in this part of Nebraska, which is delightfully located one and one-fourth miles from Adams. Mr. Pierce is a native of St. Lawrence County, N. Y., his birth taking place amid the beautiful scenes of that part of the country, Sept 23, 1837, and there the early years of his boyhood were passed. When he was a child his parents Daniel and Wealthy

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(Wheelock) Pierce, removed with their family to Geneva, Wis., where he grew to manhood, carefuIly trained in all that goes to make a true man and a good citizen. His parents subsequently settled in Waupun, Wis., where they both died the same week, in August, 1882. Thus they who were so devoted to each other in life in death were not long divided. In 1860 our subject went to Fox Lake, and was there engaged in the general merchandise business until the following year, when the war broke out, and as a true-hearted and loyal American he put aside his business, and all thoughts of the success that seemed assured, to join his brave comrades, and go forth with them to battle in his country's defense. He enlisted in Company A, 2d Wisconsin Infantry, and for two years was a faithful and efficient soldier in many it hard-fought contest. But the terrible sufferings and hardships of such a life told on his constitution, and although not wounded his health was broken down, and he was honorably discharged in the fall of 1862, and it, his old home slowly regained strength and vigor under the loving care of his friends.
   The next important step in the life of our subject was his marriage, July 18, 1863, to Miss Oravilla V. Kingsbury. She is a daughter of Ephraim and Rosina S. (Thayer) Kingsbury, who now reside in Pawnee City, Neb. Her father was formerly a heavy lumber dealer in Newport, Wis,, where they were living at the time of our subject's marriage. He is now an extensive stock dealer. Three sons complete the pleasant household of Mr. and Mrs. Pierce, as follows: William H., a bright, manly youth who entered the navy at Chicago, Aug. 1, 1888; and Frank and Fred, who live at home, and have not yet completed their education, but are still in school.
   In 1866 Mr. Pierce, who had not yet fully recovered his health which was so impaired by his army experiences, decided to take a trip in it buggy from Kilbourn City, Wis., across the country to Nebraska, a distance of 700 miles, and try the effects of this salubrious climate, and if he liked it, make his future home here. He and his wife made the journey as contemplated, and derived from it much pleasure, his health also being highly benefited. They settled in Pawnee City, where Mr. Pierce was engaged in farming most of the time. In the year 1882 he came to Sterling, and bought a farm of eighty acres eight miles north of the city, to which he removed his family. But about three years ago he came into the city with them to make his home here, where he owns a commodious house in which they live very comfortably, and which they render attractive to friend and stranger by the genial and wholesouled hospitality extended to welcome the coming and speed the parting guest. Mr. Pierce's farm in Adams, which he purchased in 1888, is finely improved, is well supplied with good buildings, and has an abundance of fruit trees, and all that goes to the making of a first-class farm.
   Mr. Pierce is in every respect a thoroughly good citizen and a fine man, and his neighbors speak of him in the highest terms. He and his estimable wife occupy a high position in social and religious circles. They are valued members of the Baptist Church, they zealously use their influence to promote every work for the good of the community. Mr. Pierce is one of the leading members of the G. A. R., Sill Post No. 99, and also of the F. & A. M., Bethlehem Chapter No. 20; is Chaplain of both organizations, and has attained the Royal Arch degree in the lodge at Pawnee City. He is not an office-seeker, preferring the peace and quiet of his pleasant fireside to the bustle of public life, but he has been a member of the City Council, taking that office at the earnest solicitation of his friends, who had no difficulty in electing a man of his well known ability and integrity. In his political sentiments he is with the Republicans, although he favors the principles of the Prohibition party.
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Letter/label or doodleA. HARRIS is one of the foremost business men of the prosperous and lively city of Sterling, who are taking an active part in building up its commercial interests, as he is a prominent grain dealer here, carrying on an extensive and profitable trade. He is a native of England, his birth taking place in that country Jan. 5, 1824. His parents, William and Sarah (Cornfort) Harris, died when he was quite young, leaving him dependent upon his own exertions for a

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livelihood. Our subject was, however, well endowed with muscle and brain, a stout heart and willing hands, and at the age of seventeen he came to the United States to seek work, with the hope that he might gain a more comfortable home in return for his labors than he could in his native land. He located in Maine, and soon obtained work in the town of Cooper of a farmer at $8 a month, taking his payment in trade instead of money. He worked thus for about three years, and also was employed in the lumber region, near Holton, Me. In that town he met, and at the end of that time married Jane Montgomery, a native of Scotland, as were her parents, with whom she had come to America when a child. They located in the Province of New Brunswick, but they spent their last years in Rochester, N. Y., with their daughter, Mrs. Harris.
   After marriage Mr. Harris and his wife had gone to that city, and with his wife's money he established himself in the general merchandise business, which he carried on there quite successfully for several years. But he was ambitious to try life in the West, and in 1859 he moved with his family to Iroquois County, Ill., and there turned his attention to farming. He resided there until 1879, engaged the while in agricultural pursuits, quit in that year, made another move still further west, and shortly after we find him established in Sterling as a grain dealer, which business he has since followed with marked success, as he has built up a large and exceedingly paying trade, and is regarded as one of the solid men of the city.
   In August, 1875, our subject and his family met with a sure bereavement in the death of the beloved wife and mother. She was an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; a woman of true Christian worth, whose many amiable qualities endeared her to many beyond the household circle, where the thought of her is a sacred memory. Of her pleasant married life six children were born, of whom the following is recorded: William lives in Portland, Ore.; Francis lives here; Agnes, Mrs. Bernard Hotchkiss, died in Atwood, Kan.; Jennie is now Mrs. Dr. Helms, of Burchard, Nell.; John lives near Sterling; Oliver lives in the city.
   Mr. Harris has taken a prominent part in local and county affairs, his wisdom and experience being highly appreciated by his fellow-citizens, and he has been a member of the City Council of Sterling and Chairman of various county and precinct committees at different times. He is a firm supporter of the policy of the Democratic party, being much opposed to the tariff. He came to the United States duringthe campaign in which Polk was elected to the Presidency, and he was very much interested in the novel methods of electioneering in this country, whose institutions were so different from those of his native England. Mr. Harris is a thorough business man, prompt and systematic in his methods, and conscientious and upright in his dealings. He is influential in promoting schemes for the advancement of the city, and is' held in deservedly high respect. He has one of the most imposing residences in the city, to which he retires from the cares of business, and where he often pleasantly entertains his friends.
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Letter/label or doodleOHN J. OLMSTED, a citizen of prominence and good standing in Vesta Precinct, came to this county in February, 1879, and settled on the land which he still owns and occupies. For nine months he kept bachelor's hall, and then took a family into his house, with whom he lived until his marriage to Miss Jennie L. Jones, Aug. 13, 1882. He has since given his undivided attention to the building up of a homestead and the development of his land, and is numbered among the well-to-do and enterprising men of the northeastern part of the county. He has good buildings, with an abundance of fruit and shade trees, and all the other surroundings which form the complete rural home. His farm comprises 160 acres on section 19, and, in addition to general agriculture, he raises graded stock, leaving a fine assortment of cattle.
   Our subject was born near Maquon, in Knox County, Ill., Oct. 13, 1854, and is the son of Thaddeus and Elizabeth (Jones) Olmsted, the former a native of Franklin County, Ohio. They left the Buckeye State and settled in Knox County, Ill., during its pioneer days, where the father carried

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on farming. The parental household included five children, of whom John J. was the second born. The others were Louisa, Theodore, Belle and Amos. All are living. Louisa took kindly to her books, and before her marriage was employed as a teacher. She is now the wife of Rufus Howe, of Western Precinct. Theodore is a practicing physician, residing at Lincoln.
   Our subject spent his boyhood and youth on the farm in his native county which his father built up from the uncultivated prairie, and there became familiar with the various employments of rural life. His education was conducted in the district school, and he was taught at home those habits of industry which have been the secret of his success in life. After his marriage he carried on the improvement of his property uninterruptedly, and has been remarkably successful, at the same time pursuing that course, both in business and social circles, by which he has gathered around him many friends. He is at present the Treasurer of School District No. 53, and, with his estimable wife, is a member in good standing of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, attending services at Rose Hill school-house. To Mr. and Mrs. Olmsted have been born three sons--Walter, Warren J. and Amos.
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Letter/label or doodleILLIAM HINWOOD LIBBY. Among the worthy pioneer settlers of Johnson County is the subject of our sketch, who is also one of the representative farmers of to-day. He is the owner of a very fine property, comprising 120 acres lying on section 30, township 4, range 12, of Todd Creek Precinct; also about 110 acres of excellent bottom land on section 25, township 4, range 11. He first came to the State in December, 1865, and was on a prospecting tour, being anxious to take a homestead in the most favorable locality he could find. He decided upon a claim of 160 acres on section 21, township 4, range 11, and then returned to his home in Indiana, where he staid the winter, and early in the following year settled upon the claim.
   Naturally when our subject located on his new homestead everything was before him yet to be accomplished. Not a furrow was turned, not an improvement made. He began to cultivate his land hopefully, carefully and diligently. He put out a hedge around the land of natural timber, a large number of forest trees, covering perhaps eight acres; also a fine apple orchard and fuly four acres of peach trees. From the latter there have been taken as many as 1,500 bushels in one year, but many of the trees are now dying out. In his field he devoted himself chiefly to grain farming. Among other improvements, first in order and importance was the erection of a dwelling, which was a commodious and pleasantly arranged farm house.
   In 1879 our subject sold his property and bought his present farm, which was partially improved, and now presents a far different appearance. The house, stables and other farm buildings are better than many found upon other properties that would apparently warrant the expectation of almost a model farm and surroundings. Here, as before, he gave careful attention to the details of his farm, and did not overlook the forest trees about the house, orchards including cherry, plum, pear and apricot trees, vinery and such pleasant and profitable departments, and building good fences, including one mile of hedge, He has about 2,000 forest trees upon the place, and twenty acres of natural timber. Since coming to his present farm Mr. Libby has given no little attention to stock raising and feeding, and is the owner of some very fine horses, and large herds of swine and graded cattle. He also at one time dealt quite extensively in cattle, shipping many carloads, and driving as many as 500 head in a year. He is certainly one of the most successful farmers in the precinct, and in connection with his cattle dealing is known throughout the State and even beyond its borders.
   Mr. Libby has been a man of business, and has not given an absorbing attention to matters of political import.. He, however, is a good and true citizen, and usually votes with the Republican party. He is very favorably known in both the fraternity of the K. of P. and the G. A. R.
   The subject of our sketch is by birth it Canadian, and was born in Oxford County, Canada West, on the 18th of November, 1841, living there with his parents until he was about thirteen years of age.

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Then, with them, he went to Porter County, Ind. They settled near Valparaiso. His education was received in the home schools, but completed in Indiana. After leaving school his mind was directed to the more serious engagements of daily life, and he engaged in farm pursuits.
   In 1862 our subject enlisted, on the 5th of July, in Company I, 73d Indiana Infantry, which became attached to the Army of the Cumberland, and he served through the western campaigns. During that time he took part in many battles, among them the following: Perryville, Stone River, Nashville, Franklin, Day's Gap, Crooked Creek, Blunt's Farm, Ala., and Pulaski, Tenn. Strange as it may seem, he passed through military life without a serious wound, and the more so because at the fearful battle at Stone River his company went into the battle fifty strong, and when the memorable engagement was over less than half that number answered the roll call. At Rome, Ga., in 1863, while under Col. A. D. Straight, he was taken prisoner and carried to Belle Isle, where he was held for forty days, suffering greatly and witnessing much distress on the. part of his comrades. He received an honorable discharge on the 2d of July, 1865, then returned to Indiana, leaving shortly afterward for the West upon the above mentioned prospecting journey.
   The marriage of our subject with Miss Sarah Murray was celebrated March 13, 1869, which union has been fruitful in the birth of three children. two of whom, viz., George E. and Edie, are still living. Miss Murray was born in Vermont, at Hinesburg, on the 4th of August, 1844. While she was still quite a child her parents removed to Boston, and later to Lowell; another removal took them to Lawrence. When she was ten years of age her parents migrated from the old Bay State to Vermont, and thence to Indiana, and settled in Porter County, residing there until 1866, when they went to Missouri, which has since continued to be their home.
   Mrs. Libby is the daughter of Calvin and Caroline (Moody) Murray. Her father was a native of the Green Mountain State, and followed the occupation of a machinist, which partly accounts for the number of removals mentioned above. But he took up farming upon coming West, and still owns a fine farming property in Atchison County, Mo. He is seventy-nine years of age. His wife, who is a native of Vermont, has reached the advanced age of seventy years.
   William Libby, the grandfather of our subject, was an Englishman. He, however, emigrated to Canada, and enjoyed quite a reputation as a machinist, which was his chosen occupation. His son William, the father of our subject, was born at Falmouth, a seaport in the South of England, and came to this country when about twenty-two years of age. He became the husband of Miss Wealthy Townsend, near London, Canada, about 1824, and they became the parents of nine children, eight of whom lived to mature years, our subject being the sixth child. His death occurred at Quebec, in August of 1855, while on his way to England. His widow is now living in Todd Creek Precinct, having taken a homestead there. She is a native of Connecticut, and in her girlhood received the best education then obtainable. She has now attained the advanced age of eighty years, but is still in the enjoyment of comparatively good health. She is very highly esteemed by all who know her, and is held in highest regard.
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Letter/label or doodleEWIS E. OST. Among the enterprising and progressive young men who stand in the front ranks of Johnson County, is the subject of our sketch. He comes of an Eastern family, having been born in the State of Massachusetts. He was retired and educated at Shelburne Falls.
   Mr. Ost is the son of Elias G. and Kate Ost, who were natives of Germany. His birth occurred at Shelburne Falls, Sept. 14, 1861, and even in his early days he gave proof of the powers he has since more clearly manifested and so clearly utilized. When about eighteen years of age our subject was engaged as agent and operator at the Hoosac Tunnel station on the Fitchburg Railroad, and there continued until 1880.
   Mr. Ost came to Johnson County in 1881, and located at Elk Creek, but, after remaining there a

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