NEGenWeb Project - Furnas County
Who's Who in Nebraska, 1940
Jennie H. Cox
HE seventy years of the settlement of Furnas County might briefly be chronicled in events of historical significance, for their interest lies not in dates or momentous events, but in the lives of the sturdy homesteaders and pioneers who came here to make their homes on the Great American Desert. Classed under this title on the maps for many years, this section came into possession of the United States in 1803 as a part of the Louisiana. Purchase. Passed over by the early rush of emigrants to the golden opportunities of the west, it was not until after the admittance of Nebraska as a state in 1867 that homesteaders began to seek the lands in this section.
Although explored by hunting parties and surveyed by the government, it was not until 1870 that a permanent settler chose to make a home within the confines of the present county. This was Ben Burton who was familiar with western Nebraska. Formerly engaged in freighting from Elm Creek to Cheyenne, he located a small trading post between the banks of Deer creek and the Republican river, just southeast of the present townsite of Holbrook. His nearest neighbors in the valley were at Red Cloud and Guide Rock, nearly a hundred miles away. Although this was in the spring of 1870, even now remains of the original log house may be seen at this site, which was known as Burton's Bend, a name still retained by the precinct. In the fall of the same year Galen James, a scout with government men when the county was surveyed, took up residence at the forks of the Beaver and Sappa creeks, in the southeastern part of the county.
Government records, however, show that the first homestead filed by John A. Nilson in Furnas County on May 1, 1871, was located at the west edge of the town of Arapahoe. A granite marker, plainly visible to travelers along the modern oiled highway No. 6, now designates the spot.
In the very early days of settlement this region proved to be a veritable paradise for hunters and the homesteaders relied upon this source for much of their living. Buffaloes by the thousands still roamed the prairie; antelope, deer and elk were also to be had. Wild turkeys furnished the main dish for many an early settler's Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner but were among the first wild life to disappear. Quail, prairie chickens and some grouse, ducks and geese comprised the feathered game. For the trapper, the beaver, otter, badger, opossum, and racoon proved the most lucrative field and a few gray wolves, wildcats and mountain lions could also be found.
Among the many hardships suffered by the first settlers were the prairie fires and the Indian raids. Until the land was well broken, many disastrous fires raged across the plains. Some of them burned from the Platte river over into Kansas, jumping the Republican river in various places. The fire, probably the most extensive in pioneer history, occurred Oct. 15, 1878.
Furnas County lay in the disputed territory claimed by both the Sioux and Pawnee Indians and bands from both tribes were seen at various times. Little trouble was experienced if the whites complied with the demands of the Indians for food. The worst real scare, causing people to leave their claims and gather in the settlements, came in 1878 when the Cheyennes, discontented with their reservation in Oklahoma, broke away and traveled across western Kansas and Nebraska, bound for their former home near Fort Robinson. As the tribe swept along, homes were pillaged, horses stolen and murders committed. Although the Indians passed farther west, several hundred frightened men, women and children gathered for mutual protection at Stone's Fort, west of the present Wilsonville. While herding cattle farther up the Beaver valley the husband of one of the women there was killed by the Indians.
A trail for Texas cattle from Fort Hayes to Fort McPherson and North Platte laid its course across the county and the herds were disposed of to the ranchers in the sandhills. The trail crossed the Republican a few miles east of Arapahoe and in the crossing many cattle were lost. These strays were a great boon to settlers who later found them. Buffalo meat and Texas beef were standard items of the early settlers diet. Among the names of the cattle men driving herds along this route were the Olives, who eventually ran athwart the law; Holliday, Richard King, Joel Collins and Sam Bass. The latter two were implicated in the robbery of a Union Pacific express at Big Spring.
In 1872, an effort was made to organize this county under the name of James, the one in popular use, honoring William H. James, then governor of the state. Considerable reference is found to this name in older writings and it was mistakenly thought by some to have honored Galen James. The name, James County appears on some of the homestead filings of 1872, but that title, seems to have been used for a much larger area than the present county of Furnas. There is some authority found, too, for the statement that at one time this section was part of what was called Lincoln County, and is said to have been represented in the legislature by Wliliam (sic) F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody. However, immediately previous to its organization, the present county
was attached to Harlan County, for the purpose of revenue and election.
In January, 1873, the legislature convened and through the representative, Captain Garber, later the governor, action for county organization was started. Factions began fighting to secure a size which might benefit certain towns with regard to designation as the county seat. The boundaries were finally set by the legislature as thirty miles, east and west, and twenty-four, north and south, and the name given it was Furnas, honoring Robert W. Furnas, then governor of Nebraska. Furnas was a resident of Nemaha County and had been editor of the Brownville Advertiser.
By proclamation of the governor, the first election of officers for the new county was set on Tuesday, April 8, 1873. Voting was to be conducted at the Love and Colvin store in Arapahoe and the store of J. H. McKee in Beaver City. At the former place Alex Hagberg, Milton Fisher and John Uhlman were appointed judges and Charles Caldwell and George Hill, clerks; at the latter, place, T. M. Williams, H. W. Brown and Joseph Armstrong were judges and C. A. Danforth and J. H. McKee, clerks.
In the famous Easter blizzard on April 13 of that year returns from Beaver City were held up in reaching Lincoln. When the day of canvassing the returns arrived, county officers were declared elected and certificates were issued by the secretary of state on the basis of the only votes at hand--those from Arapahoe. Another set of election certificates had to be issued when the final count was made and considerable bitterness resulted from the ensuing confusion.
The first officers for the county were as follows: Commissioners, W. B. Bishop, C. W. Mallory, and James Parmenter; clerk, N. M. Ayers; judge, H. W. Brown; surveyor, A. Coppom; treasurer W. Newell; sheriff, M. Johnson; superintendent of schools, B. F. Whitney; coroner, A. A. Plumb. On Oct. 14, 1873, at the general election the voters selected Beaver City for the county seat, a decision contested by Arapahoe until 1876, when it was settled by a decision of District Court Judge Gaslin. The first courthouse was the McKee and Denham store in Beaver City.
Among the many hardships endured by the early settlers were the plagues of grasshoppers, likened to the locusts of the Bible. Arriving like a cloud out of the skies in August of 1874, for three years these pests took the hard won crops of the pioneers and forced many an unfortunate to return to his former home. The visitations of the hoppers form the basis for many a pioneer yarn and the fact remains that the country was stripped of all vegetation and for years many a fence post or other exposed wood was kept as mute evidence of their insatiable voracity.
The blizzards, too, played their part in the discouragement of these days. In the winter of 1871-72, snow remained an unusual length of time upon the ground and thousands of Texas cattle, driven into the Republican valley to winter, starved to death.
Steady settlement of the county began in 1872 and for many years the business of the land office flourished. Lowell, while the closest railway point, was the location of the government office, which was later moved to Bloomington. Plum Creek on the Union Pacific, now Lexington, was the freighting point for the most of the county until the building of the Burlington through the county in 1879-80.
The first postoffice in the county was established in Arapahoe in 1872 with a mail route out of Alma. The following year a route was established through Beaver City on to Wild Turkey, now Wilsonville, where Miss Jennie Plumb was the first postmaster, the settlers themselves making the trip once a week for the mail.
The name Wilsonville was chosen for that settlement from the name of two brothers, L. M. and Carlos Wilson, who established themselves in the stock raising and merchandising business. Other early settlers included J. A. Gibson, Robert McComb and sons, Daniel Crooks, George Miller, A. A. Plumb, Henry Remington, Marion McDonald, John Sosper, J. R. Johnson, Rowley, Thatcher, Trowbridge, Jenkins and McDonald.
Around the Lynden postoffice were to be found the Meyers brothers--Isaac, Philip, John and Henry; B. F. and George Goble, J. H. Roberts, Jeff McKown, T. L. Jones, William McKinney, Frank Griffith, Daniel Donahue, John Stevenson, Stukey Harding, John Wine, Dopps, Wolfe, McKastor and DeMotte. The name of Hendley was given to this settlement by the Burlington when a branch line was built through there in 1887.
The townsite of present county seat, Beaver City, was laid out in 1873 by J. H. McKee, R. J. Denham, M. R. and Jesse Hadley and when the postoffice was established a vote for a name was taken by the few residents to choose between Cresswell, for the postmaster general at that time, and Beaver City. Still other familiar names found at that time were Mondell & Ashley, J. R. Brown, A. D. Allen, J. Tiger, W. E. Crutcher, L. Kinsman, Fletcher, Maple, Downing, Nat and Ed Ayers, Capt. J. H. Freas, Jake Downing, William Kinzer, Sturdevant, Sumny, Williams, A. E. Harvey, Armstrong, Danforth, Ellis and later, Garveys, Ehrmanns, Hicks, Stubbs, Strattons and Inmans.
Early in the spring of 1871, a townsite company was formed in Plattsmouth to locate a town in the Republican valley and an exploring party, headed by Capt. E. B. Murphy, chose the site of the present town of Arapahoe, halfway between Elk and Muddy creeks on the north side of the river. Later in the year, another party arrived and on July 18, 1871, the townsite was surveyed and George Love and G. W. Colvin were left to hold claims and the townsite through the winter. Familiar names in this section later were: Capt. E. B. Murphy, Lees, J. N. Baxter, D. S. Hasty, Charles Albee, L. Clute, Ed
Anguish, D. N. Prime, Heistand, Adam Reitz, Pete Kneizel, Atkinsons, Uhlmans, d'Allemands, E. N. Allen, Roberts, Chindors, T. K. Clark, Larsons, Woodwards, Misners, Wagners, Beckers, Hagberg, John Stevens, Casbergs, Lawtons, Mrs. Swartout, Ruhles and Enos Clark.
The first ones to settle in what is now the Oxford community were the Sheffreys and Clarines in '71. They were followed, shortly, by the Struves, Pettygroves, Ballards, Coles, Peases, and Lees. In 1880 the town of Oxford, named for Oxford, England, was started. Capt. R. O. Phillips, the railroad's "town locator," established the site. Among others found there then were the Hawleys, Clemmons, Ericksons, Amsbergers, Newmans, Mat Johnson, Barretts, A. Walter, Capt. J. M. Lee, E. E. Wild, J. M. Forest, Jesse Moon and Harry Hazlitt.
The town of Edison received its name as an honor to Eddie Rohr, a son of Robert H. Rohr, an early resident and storekeeper there. Others settling around this community were Charles R. Draper, Nathan Bailey, Mrs. Elizabeth Fisher, Joe Miller, Ira French, Jacob Prime, T. W. White, James Fewell, Theodore Phillips, John Armstrong, Dick Phillips, John Russell, S. L. Farmer and John Arnold.
In the Cambridge community the first claim was taken by Hiram Doing in 1871, who sold out in 1876 to J. W. Pickle, the latter being one of the chief property owners and promoters of the town. In fact the community was at one time called Pickleville, but many other names, such as Northwood City, Scratchpot City and Lickskillet were also used until the present name was formally adopted. A postoffice, known as Medicine Creek, was established in 1874 and among the earliest business men, besides the Pickles, were Rockwell, Dr. Hobson and James John. The names of the incorporators of the town of Cambridge in 1885 appeared as W. H. Paling, the first mayor, James John, J. W. Pickle, W. P. Bennett and W. E. Babcock.
Among the names of other early residents and homesteaders were S. K. Keyes, Mrs. A. Waugey, George Culver, Alonzo Crapser, Pat and William McKillip, Thomas Andrews, J. W. Carrothers, I. A. Hanning, T. S. Carr, Michael Mousel, W. J. Slater, George Sayer, W. H. Allen, Hiram Allen, D. M. Logan, Frank Pahl, D. Gutzman, M. Karash, Patsy O'Connor, A. E. Reagor, G. G. Miller and George Shaw.
For many years the settlement on Deer creek was known as Burton's Bend, for the county's first settler, but when about 1890 a grain elevator was built near the railroad right-of-way, business moved that direction and E. S. Childs and George Colvin of Arapahoe laid out for the Lincoln Land Company a townsite. The name, Holbrook, was adopted and the incorporation was in 1892. Philip Hines, for many years a hunter and trapper on the river, made about the first settlement on the south side of the river, near what is now Holbrook. Ernest Tietze came at about the same time; other names. familiar in early days were Michael Morrissey, Cyrus Callahan, Fen Murdock, Jared Bennett, John Moore, Charlie Erickson, Dick Varnes, the Rankin family, Worthy Crippen and H. C. Bible.
A postoffice known as Carrisbrook, with James Lumley as first postmaster, flourished from 1873 to 1887 in Lincoln precinct, in the southeast part of the county. It was named from the Lumley estate in England and other English families coming to that section were the Mitchells and C. E. V. Smiths. Other early settlers in that precinct were Galen James, John Keiser, Eugene Dolph, Elder S. B. Mayo, W. H. Harman, David Brown, W. B. Bishop, B. F. Whitney and Philip French, Charlie Rosenberger and Orin Ross. The only postoffice now in this precinct is Hollinger.
Because water was the first consideration of the homesteaders, first settlers chose the river and creek valleys. In well digging the water table was closer to the surface and crop growing was easier. Furnas County, with the Republican river and its many small creeks running through the northern part, and the Beaver and Sappa creeks, larger tributaries of the river bisecting the southern half, was especially attractive to settlers. The fertile claims along the streams were the first taken up. Significant of this tendency is the fact that every town in the county today is located upon a stream. Oxford, Edison, Arapahoe, Holbrook and Cambridge lie in that order in the Republican valley from east to west.. Named in the same order, along the southern side of the county on the banks of the Beaver creek are Hollinger, Beaver City, Hendley and Wilsonville.
The population of the county, according to the 1930 census, was 12,140. Although there are nine towns within the county, only the four largest, Cambridge, Beaver City, Oxford and Arapahoe, were in the 1,000 class.
There are excellent schools in the county, with the seven larger towns having modem brick school buildings. There are two modern, sanitary swimming pools, at Arapahoe and Cambridge and the latter boasts a fine small museum. Among recent improvements are a CCC camp at Beaver City and a silica dehydrating plant at Edison.
With a soil of excellent fertility, agriculture has always been the main industry of the county and because it is all dry land farming, prosperity has been greatly contingent upon rainfall. Early settlers knew bad years and crop failures but as a rule those who remained with the land were repaid for their toil. The only irrigation of any great extent was from a ditch used five years about 1894, which brought water from the Medicine creek, along the north edge of the Republican valley as far as Arapahoe. At the present time pump irrigation is coming into use in the valleys and considerable effort is being put forth to secure an irrigation project in the Republican valley.
Furnas County has ranked high in the number of herds of purebred cattle and hogs but the toll of the drouth years of the thirties has been severe on
all classes of livestock, the shortage of feed making it necessary for farmers to curtail their feeding and breeding activities. Cambridge, however, is home to some of the foremost breeders of Hereford cattle, the Mousel brothers, whose sales of stock, even in these years, set a record, for the state. The county, at one time also ranked unusually high in the production of alfalfa.
Furnas County can claim to be the starting point of the career of one of the most prominent political figures of the day--the Hon. George W. Norris, senior senator of the congress of the United States. He came to Beaver City as a young man and opened an office for the practice of law and it was here that he met and married a Miss Lashley. Here he made the first step forward in his long career when he became judge of the district court.
The worst disaster in the history of the county was the flood of May 31, 1935, in the Republican valley. Furnas County suffered heaviest in loss of life and in estimated property damage. Of the more than one hundred lives lost in the catastrophe, about thirty were accounted for within confines of this county. The fertile valley was irreparably damaged; many farms lost all or most of the improvements and some were torn up past further farming or covered with sand to a depth prohibitive of cultivation. Hundreds of head of livestock perished and several hundred people were left homeless. The Burlington railroad, the county's biggest taxpayer, was a heavy loser and had to rebuild many bridges and miles of track.
The past seventy years have seen a vast change in this county--from the open prairie to well developed farm lands; from the ox teams to the trucks today; from the top buggies to the streamlined cars; from the livery stable to the service station. They have seen many things come and go--the dugouts and soddies; the broom com industry; the race tracks, the baseball leagues; the high tension days of the World War with the resultant prosperity and deflation.
The present time has brought vast changes in all things--whereas the pioneers traveled miles for the mail a few times a week, radios now bring news flashes as history is made around the world; where homesteaders forged their own trails across the prairie, travelers ride on oiled or graveled highways. The last nine years of drouth in Furnas County, however, have proved that its citizens need the same resourcefulness and courage that characterized the pioneers and it is to be expected that they also will be repaid for their loyalty as were those staunch believers of the past.
ADAMS, MERLE LESLIE: Farmer & Stockman; b Carleton, Neb Mar 21, 1894; s of John Quincy Adams-Anna E Foley; ed Carleton HS 1912; m Anna Christine Jacobson Dec 22, 1916 Deshler; s Donald Dale; d Vera Faye (Mrs Donald Steven Lewis); 1912-16 tchr in rural schs near Deshler; emp summers by hdw co & RI RR; 1917- farmer & stockman, opr 420 A farm land S W of Arapahoe; past mbr sch bd dist 104; past leader 4-H Club; 1932-36 committeeman AAA, VP land use com; 1934-35 bd mbr Farm Bur, Beaver City; pres S W Neb Assn of Co Commrs & Co Clks; Neb Assn of Co Commrs, Co Clks, Co Registers of Deeds & Co Highway Commrs; Rotary; U B Ch; Rep; hobby, fine livestock; off Courthouse; res Arapahoe.
ALLEN, JOHN PRESCOTT: Bank President; b Stratton, Neb Nov 28, 1890; s of Charles Luther Allen-Mary Lucretia Prescott: ed Trenton HS 1907; Doane Coll 1909; Neb Wes, BA 1911; m Vera E Leopold June 18, 1913 Trenton; s Clifford Eugene, John Prescott Jr; d Bonnie Jean (Mrs Harold Gunning); 1911-14 with father in gen mdse store, Trenton; 1914-16 tchr, Hitchcock Co; 1916-19 asst cash Farmers & Mchts Bank, Trenton; 1920-24 cash Citizens State Bank, 1924-87 pres & mgr; 1938- pres & mgr Security State Bank, Oxford; C of C; Rotary; AF&AM 655, Culbertson; RAM 85; KT 16; Tehama Shrine; BPOE, McCook; Rep; hobbies, hunting, baseball; off Security State Bank; res Oxford.
ANDERSON, FLOYD DIXON: Hardware & Furniture Dealer; b Lenox, Ia May 31, 1874; s of James Renwick Anderson-Sarah Ellen Maxwell; ed Lenox Ia HS; m Ruby Elzora Rice Oct 20, 1897 Wilsonville; 1892-93 resided at Wilsonville; 1893-95 resided at Lenox Ia; 1895-1902 & 1905-19 farmed near Wilsonville; 1902-05 oprd grain elevator; 1919-21 oprd grain elevator & was secy of Farmers Union; 1920- ptr of brother, W M Anderson in hdw & furniture bus; past mbr sch bd; Neb Retail Hdw Assn; Bapt Ch; Dem; hobby, hunting; res Wilsonville.
ANDERSON, JOHN NOLEN: Farmer & Stockman; b Washington, Ia Dec 2, 1870; s of John Valentine Anderson-Anna Maughlin; ed Wilsonville HS; m Cora Ladaska McDonald Oct 12, 1898 Wilsonville; s John McDonald; d Annetta (Mrs L W Ashby); Helen (Mrs Leo Trupy), Cora Evelyn; 1886 came with father to Wilsonville & engaged in farming; 1891- indep farmer & stockman, raised more hogs than any other man in Furnas Co before U S Corn-Hog Program was estab; pres of first Corn-Hog Program in Furnas Co; 1935- Furnas Co commr; 48 years mbr sch bd dist 81; S W Neb Assn of Co Commrs & Co Clks; Meth Ch; Dem; hobby, hunting; office Courthouse; res Wilsonville.
BALLARD, RALPH ORRICE: Farmer & Stockman; b Oxford, Neb Sept 30, 1892; s of Henry L Ballard-Emma Elizabeth Wade; ed Oxford HS 1911; m Bertha Amelia Marie Stolting Aug 21, 1935 Fairbury; 1911-34 farmed with mother & sister 4 mi S W of Oxford; 1934- ptr of sister, mgr of farm & opr 1800 A of land; 1907- specializes in raising Hereford cattle, Farmers Co-op Assn; AF&AM 138; Scot Rite, Lincoln; Presby Ch, elder, treas; Rep; hobbies, reading, athletics; res Oxford.
BELLAMY, HARLEY LeROY: Pharmacist; b Decatur, Ill Nov 29, 1889; s of John Bellamy-Sarah Jane Denton; ed Cambridge HS 1905; Northwestern U, PhG 1910; m Gertrude May Picthall Nov 12, 1913, Cambridge; s Robert Paul, Donald Fordyce; 1905-08 druggist appr for Guy Butler, Holbrook; 1910 owner & opr drug store, Cambridge; mbr Neb St bd of examiners in pharm; mbr bd of edn; past pres Neb Pharm Assn; Amer Pharm Assn; NARD; C of C; past pres Rotary; AF&AM 150; Scot Rite & Tehama Shrine, Hastings; Congl Ch; Rep, hobbies. music, sports; office Bellamy Drug Store, res Cambridge.
BENJAMIN, CLARENCE LeROY: Hardware Dealer; b Arapahoe, Neb Sept 6, 1892; s of Andrew Benjamin-Annie Lee; ed Arapahoe HS 1910; U of N; m Gertrude Proud Dec 29, 1917 Manhattan, Kas; s Robert A, John Philip; d Betty Proud; 1912-14 bkkpr Arapahoe State Bank; 1914-17 with father in impl bus; 1919-20 with father in A Benjamin Inc, impl bus; also oprd store in Oxford, sold in 1925; 1929 mgr hdw bus since selling impl bus to Perry Lbr Co: past mbr town coun; past mbr sch bd; mbr vol fire dept; during World War 1917-19 with 355th inf Co C, Camp Funston, O/S attached to GHQ Co A, hdqrs batt, Chaumont, France, disch July 3, 1919 with rank of sgt; Amer Leg 96, ch mbr, past post comm; Neb Retail Hdw Assn; VP Comm Club; pres Rotary, ch mbr; treas Furnas Co ARC; AF&AM 293; Norwegian Luth Ch; Dem; hobby, reading; res Arapahoe.
BILLESBACH, HARVE LEE: Railway Agent; b Heartwell, Neb Jan 11, 1890; s of John A Billesbach-Jennie Haws; ed Kenesaw; m Margaret Olive Tull Jan 18, 1911 McCook; s Max Lee, Rex Leon, Neal Lynn, Dale Arlo; 1905-06 CB&Q RR depot helper, Arapahoe; 1906-08 emp as barber by uncle, Kenesaw; 1908-12 CB&Q RR teleg opr, Oxford, St Francis Kas, Atwood Kas, Orleans, Minden, Norton Kas, Arapahoe, Parks, Roggen Colo; 1912-14 CB&Q RR agt at Max, 1914-16 agt at Funk, 1915- agt, Edison; past mayor Edison, town clk; mbr town coun; mbr CB&Q RR Veterans Assn; ORT; secy-treas Comml Club; chmn BSA troop 134; AF&AM 293; Chris Ch; Rep; hobbies, golf, care of home; res Edison.
BROWN, CLINTON MAHLON: Banker; b Steuben Co, Ind Feb 2, 1869; s of Ezekiel Brown-Mary C Barry; ed Hillsdale, Mich Coll; m Clara B Cone June 1883 Madison O; s Clinton Mahlon Jr, Roscoe Erastus (dec); d Mary (Mrs H E Day), Charlotte Almeda (Mrs Carl Hilliard), Geraldine (Mrs R L Oddie); 1881 came to Lincoln & resided 4 mos, moved to Beatrice & was emp by Gage Co Bank; 1882-83 bkkpr in Gage Co Bank; 1883-84 cash Gage Co Bank which became Beatrice Natl Bank; 1885-86 owner & opr collection agcy, Beatrice; 1887- pres First Natl Bank of Cambridge which he org as Cambridge State Bank; dir Enterprise L & B Assn; dir Cambridge Tele Co: active in building city park; past mbr sch bd; 1900-01 mbr state legislature; Comm Club; Neb St Hist Soc; IOOF 132; Rep; hobbies, reading, ranching; office First National Bank; res Cambridge.
BURKE, BENJAMIN WINGARD: Superintendent of Schools: b Beatrice, Neb Oct 29, 1903; s of William Wingard Burke-Ada Clausson; ed Beatrice HS 1922; PSTC, BA 1932; Colo St Tchrs Coll, Greeley; m Norma Angeline Dodge July 24, 1932 Peru; d Blaine Ada; Kathryn Gertrude; 1922-27 tchr, Gage Co; 1927-30 tchr in grades, Clatonia; 1932-34 history & music tchr, Max HS; music orgn took sweepstakes trophy at dist contest, McCook; 1934-38 supt of schs, Hamlet; 1936 sch band & glee club rated superior in dist contest, Holdrege, 1937 glee club rated superior in dist contest, McCook: 1938 supt of schs, Edison; 1938 sch band rated superior at dist contest, Holdrege & at natl regional contest at Colorado Springs, Colo; V P Furnas Co Administrators Club; Mid-Valley Athletic Assn, mbr bd of control; NEA; Comml Club; hobby, music; office Edison HS; res Edison.
BUSH, RALPH FREDERICK: Agricultural Extension Agent; b Naponee, Neb Aug 31, 1906; s of Fred D Bush-Mary Fox; ed Naponee HS 1926; U of N, BSc 1932, MA 1939: Chicago Theological Seminary; U of Ark, summer 1936; 1934-36 Greeley Co agrl agt; 1938- Furnas Co agrl agt: Neb Assn of Co Agrl Agts; C of C; Rotary; First Meth Ch; hobby, reading; off Courthouse; res Beaver City.
BUTLER, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: Attorney; b Harrison Co, Ia June 20, 1881; s of Harvey Gibson Butler- Ida Clara Wills; ed Cambridge HS 1898; Doane Call, 1899-1900; U of N, LLB 1907; Acacia; Phi Delta Phi; m Maudlee Lewelling Jan 29, 1913 Beaver City; 1908-12 with E B Perry in law prac, Cambridge; 1912-22 with E J Lambe in law prac; 1914-15 Furnas Co atty, 1922-34 sr ptr in law firm of Butler & James, Cambridge; 1924-31 assisted in liquidation of failed state banks in western & southern Neb; 1934- mbr law firm Butler, James & McCarl, McCook; atty for CB&Q RR; represents Fed Land Bank in Furnas Co: local representative of Dun & Bradstreet; dir Cambridge Tele Co; dir Enterprise L & B Assn; 1919 mbr Neb constitutional conv; past city atty, Cambridge; 1935- mayor; past pres 14th Judicial Dist Bar Assn, chmn complaint com; past VP Neb St Bar Assn; ch mbr & first pres Rotary; past pres Comm Club; AF&AM 150; Scot Rite 32o, Tehama Shrine, Hastings: IOOF 132; BPOE 1434; Congl Ch; Rep, mbr State Central Com; hobbies, horseback riding, fishing; off First National Bank Bldg; res Cambridge.
CADWALLADER, MILES EDWARD: Farmer & Stockman; b Raymond, Neb Nov 17, 1893; s of Charles Swartz Cadwallader-Emma Charlotte Reynolds; ed Oxford HS 1913; KSTC, 1917; U of N; College Park, Md, Coll; m Fay Susan Babbitt Nov 29, 1917 Cambridge; s Miles Edward Jr, Joseph Dale; d Madge Maxine, Joy Ruth, Lois Ann; 1913-15 tchr in rural sch; 1915-16 tchr of grade sch, Oxford; 1917-18 supt of schs, Republican City; 1919- farmer & purebred Hereford cattle raiser on Cadwallader home farm, 1922-24 also athletic coach & English tchr, Oxford; 1924-28 supt of schs, Republican City; 1929- 4-H Baby Beef Club leader in Furnas Co, had state champion club 5 years; NSTA, 1927 pres dist 5; pres S W Neb Schoolmen's Club; 1928 pres Neb St Declamatory Union; 1934- pres Neb Hereford Breeders Assn; dir SW Neb Hereford Breeders Assn; Amer Hereford Assn; secy Oxford Farmers Exchange; 1935- trustee Neb Farm Bur Fedn; 1918-19 during World War radio electrician SC at Lincoln & Camp Meade Md, disch Feb 19, 1919 Camp Dodge Ia; past master AF&AM 138; secy RAM 47; Presby Ch, elder; hobbies, 4-H Club work, stamp collecting; res Oxford.
COWAN, MARSHALL MANLEY: Oil Dealer; b St Lawrence Co, N Y Dec 2, 1876; s of Aden Appleton Cowan-Anna J Leach; ed Oxford HS; m Ella Huff Dec 19, 1898 Oxford (dec); d Zora Inez (Mrs Robert Heath), Verna Ella (Mrs Elmer Blincow): m Maggie E Nicholson Mar 14, 1907 Hastings (dec); s Bacil Edward; m Jennie Yowell Lake June 1, 1939 Denver Colo; 1879 came to Furnas Co; 1897-1929 farmed; 1929-31 emp by Conoco Oil Co; 1931- owner & opr oil bus including distribution for Oxford & vicinity; owns 600 A land in Furnas Co; mbr village coun; past mbr sch bd dist 64; C of C; Rep; hobby, sports; res Oxford.
COX, JENNIE HASTY: Assistant Editor; b Arapahoe, Neb Dec 18, 1903; d of Dominicus S Hasty-Dora S Otter; ed Arapahoe HS 1921; U of N; m Ralph Lewis Cox June 18, 1924 Arapahoe; s Rodney Tyler; d Cathleen Joanne; worked part time in the Public Mirror off, Arapahoe, while attending HS; since college has been with Public Mirror; author of history of Furnas Co for Who's Who in Neb: mbr lib bd; NPA; secy-treas S W Neb Press Assn; Past Pres Woman's Club; past worthy matron OES 212; St Paula Episc Ch, past pres of guild; Rep, pct committeewoman; hobbies, flowers, reading; res Arapahoe.
COX, RALPH LEWIS: Publisher; b Sioux City, Ia Dec 18, 1901; s of Walter H Cox-Bessie Richardson; ed Arapahoe HS 1919; m Jennie Hasty June 18, 1924 Arapahoe; s Rodney Tyler; d Cathleen Joanne; 1919- 29 printer for father on Public Mirror, Arapahoe; 1929- publisher Public Mirror since father's death; pres, past secy sch bd; vol fire dept, secy; SW Neb Press Assn, past pres; NPA, VP & past dir; past pres Rotary; Comml Club; AF&AM 293, past master; Episc Ch, mbr bishops com; Rep, chmn Furnas Co Central Com; hobby, outdoor sports; res Arapahoe.
CURRY, SAMUEL FLOYD: Bank Cashier; b Knottinghill, Mo July 19, 1898; s of George Robert Curry-Elizabeth C Frost, ed Ava, Mo HS 1918; SW Mo St Tchrs Coll, Springfield; m Melia C Phillipson Oct 10, 1920 Holbrook; s Warren H, Paul J; d Carolyn Ruth; 1918 during World War secy local draft bd & vol in SATC; 1919 bkkpr, Holbrook Auto Co; 1920-31 asst cash Security State Bank of Holbrook, 1931- cash; past mbr village bd; pres sch bd, 4th term; pres Furnas Co Bankers Assn: Comml Club; AF&AM 257; past post comm Amer Leg 234; Bapt Ch; Rep; hobbies, hunting, fishing; office Security State Bank; res Holbrook.
DAVIS, CHARLES EDWARD: Dentist; b Oxford, Neb Feb 17, 1893; s of Frederick Harrison Davis- Elizabeth Ann Smallwood; ed Oxford HS 1911; Creighton U, DDS 1916; grad work Northwestern U, 1984; m Gladys Ethel Neurberg Dec 31, 1917 Houston Tex; s Dean Harrison; d Donna Elizabeth; 1911-13 clk for master mechanic, Swift & Co, St Joseph Mo; 1916-17, 1919- prac dentistry, Oxford; treas sch bd; com chmn of BSA troop 185; during World War ent U S army as dental surg & 1st lt, O/S 11 mos, disch Camp Dix N J July 10, 1919; 1919-24 capt of dental res corps; Amer Leg 219, past post comm; Neb St Dental Assn; C of C; AF&AM 138; Presby Ch; Dem; hobbies, fishing, BSA work; res Oxford.
DAVIS, JOHN EMERSON: Farmer; b Madison Co, Neb Apr 28, 1880; s of George Davis-Laura Angeline Bunce; ed Alma HS; m Ruth Augusta Branstine Sept 28, 1903 Lonoke Ark; s Ray E, John Ralph, Carl Jacob, George W, Theodore Paul; d Grace (Mrs Elmer Coffey), Mary (Mrs Carl Nicodemus), Truth (Mrs Walt Sturtevant Jr), Wilma, Dorothy, Jean, Ariel, Winnie, Shirley; 1900-01 emp by GN RR Co, Great Falls Mont, 1902- farmer & stockman, Harlan & Furnas Cos; past dir Beaver-Sappa Pub Pow & Irrigation Project; first pres of Farmers Equity Co-op Creamery Assn; past clk Eldorado twp, Harlan Co; past road overseer
& past supvr Eldorado twp, Harlan Co; past dir sch dist 16, Harlan Co; C of C; AF&AM 60, master; Progressive Rep; hobbies, hunting, fishing; res Stamford.
DAVIS, SAMUEL FRANCIS: Merchant; b Claremont, Mo Nov 18, 1881; s of William Frank Davis-Martha M Carmichael; ed Holbrook HS;, U of N, Sch of Agr; m Eva Harriet Frazier June 28, 1910 Holbrook; d Helen Joyce; with parents came to Furnas Co 1885; resided on farm; 1906- owner & opr of S F Davis Gen Store, Holbrook; mbr village bd; mbr sch bd; Comml Club; AF&AM 257, Scot Rite, Tehama Shrine; OES, worthy patron; Rep; hobbies, reading, raising flowers; res Holbrook.
DISBROW, ELNORA MAUDE: Teacher; b Arapahoe, Neb Aug 16, 1886; d of Edgar Langdon Disbrow-Anna Griffith; ed Arapahoe HS 1903; PSTC, BA 1934; grad work U of N; Kappa Delta Pi; 1903-05 tchr, Gosper Co; 1905-08 tchr in grade sch, Arapahoe; 1908-09 tchr in grade sch, Eustis; 1909-12 tchr in grade sch, Bertrand; 1912-15 tchr & ward prin, Holdrege; 1915-16 tchr Bancroft Jr HS, Lincoln; 1916-19 prin & normal training tchr, Arapahoe HS; 1919-22 prin Beaver City HS; 1923-27 Furnas Co supt of schs; 1927- normal training tchr & dean of girls, Arapahoe HS; pres lib bd; NSTA, past secy & past pres 5th dist; NEA; past worthy matron OES: PEO; DAR, past mbr-at-large; Episc Ch; Rep; hobbies, cooking, collecting cream pitchers; res Arapahoe.
EINSTEIN, JOSEPH: Retired Merchant; b Waldorf, Germany May 12, 1861; s of David Einstein-Pauline Ottenheimer; ed Germany; m Belle Hens Aug 7, 1896 Burlington Ia; came to US Feb 1879; 1879-80 emp by Ottenheimer Co, importers of corsets, N Y City; 1880-86 clk in store, Augusta, Ky; 1886-89 part owner of Nathan Berwanger CO, Augusta Ky; 1899-1934 owner & opr Joseph Einstein Clothing Store, Arapahoe; 1919- raiser of purebred Hereford cattle, breeder of Anxiety 4th strain; past mbr town coun; past mayor; past pres Comml Club; VP Furnas Co ARC since World War; KP; Dem; hobbies, philanthropy, is third cousin of Prof Albert Einstein; res Arapahoe.
ELLIS, ABNER DELOS: Furniture Dealer; b Danby, Mich Sept 25, 1856; s of William Benton Ellis-Charlotte Hendershot; ed Portland Mich; m Sarah Lydia Banning Dec 8, 1877 Portland Mich; s Clarence Verne (dec); d Delia Maude, Orril Blanche (dec); 1879-86 with parents homesteaded at Precept Neb; 1886-87 retd to Portland Mich, via wagon & team, taking 2 mos to make trip; 1887-95 emp in furn store of father-in-law Beaver City; 1895-1904 emp by various cos, Portland Mich; 1904-10 owner & opr variety store, Beaver City; 1910-16 emp by Raleigh Medicine Co, Oberlin Kas; 1915- mgr used furn store, Beaver City; Rep; hobby, fishing; res Beaver City.
EMMETT, ROLAND FINCH: Bank President; b Arapahoe, Neb Nov 2, 1891; s of Edward E Emmett-Kathleen Finch; ed Lincoln HS 1909; U of N; m Twyla Tull Dec 15, 1920 Arapahoe; s Roland Edward; 1911- with Citizens State Bank, Arapahoe, 1913-28 cash, 1928- pres; 1915- city treas; chief vol fire dept several years; 1918 during World War 2nd lt field arty stationed at Camp Zachary Taylor Ky, disch 1919; Amer Leg 96, past comm; ch mbr & past pres Rotary; VP Furnas Co ARC; AF&AM 293, past master; Scot Rite & Tehama Shrine, Hastings; Episc Ch; Rep; hobbies, bonds, tennis, hunting, fishing; off Citizens State Bank; res Arapahoe.
EVANS, CHARLES VERNON: Bank Cashier; b Arapahoe, Neb Apr 27, 1905; s of Charles Monroe Evans-Muriel Kreglow; ed Arapahoe HS 1922; m Mildred L Frost Sept 25, 1932 Arapahoe; s Charles Harvey; 1922-23 bkkpr Equity Store, Arapahoe; 1923-27 bkkpr & teller Citizens State Bank, 1927- 34 asst cash, 1934- cash; past mbr town coun; mbr sch bd; treas vol fire dept; secy Furnas Co Bankers Assn; secy S W Neb Regional Clearing House Assn; pres Comml Club; secy-treas Arapahoe HS Alumni Assn; secy, past master, AF&AM 293; treas Ch of Christ; Dem; hobbies, hunting, fishing, sports, Comml Club work; office Citizens State Bank; res Arapahoe.
FINCH, RUBEN OSBERN: Engineer; b Cambridge, Neb Jan 10, 1884; s of William Osbern Finch-Anna Josephine Stenner; ed Cambridge HS 1903; m Grace A Daniels Oct 11, 1916 Fairmont; s Merlyn Osbern; d Anna Loraine; 1903-04 asst opr Cambridge Electric plant; 1904-05 mgr light plant, Wauneta; 1905 construction worker & repair man for F C Krotter Elevator & Lbr Co,1906-07 repair man for Updike Grain Co; 1907-10 with father on farm, Redwillow Co; 1910-11 fireman for UP RR; 1912-13 emp by Cambridge light plant; 1914-19 owned & oprd fee plant, Cambridge; 1920-22 farmed in Furnas Co; 1923- city engr, light & water commr, supt of light plant, Cambridge; paid $87,500 bonded indebtedness of light plant & made $250,000 worth of improvements; past pres C of C; past pres Rotary; AF&AM 150; Congl Ch; Dem; hobbies, collecting guns & semi-precious stones, woodcraft; res Cambridge.
FISH, ALBERT EDWARD: Retired; b Ontario, Canada Apr 8, 1863; s of Samuel Harris Fish-Margaret Anderson; ed Ontario Canada & Neb; m Anna Belle Osborn July 24, 1890 Elwood; s Fred; d Lenora Lutricia (dec); came with parents to Monroe Co Mich 1877; 1879 moved to Harlan Co & 1881 to Gosper Co where father farmed; 1886-1935 indep farmer near Oxford; ret, rents land; past mbr Gosper Co sch bd dist 34; Meth Ch, Meth Brotherhood; hobby, croquet; res Oxford.
FISH, FRED: Implement, Hardware & Furniture Dealer; b Elwood, Neb June 28, 1891; s of Albert Edward Fish-Anna Belle Osborn; ed Smithfield; Bertrand HS: m Anna Olive Leggott Sept 1, 1918 Elwood; s Dale, Paul Edward, Wayne; d Donna Jean; 1909, 1911-14 rural sch tchr, Frontier, Gosper & Thayer Cos; 1910 emp by father in gen mdse store, Murdock; 1914-16 with father, farmed near Elwood; 1917-26 indep farmer near Elwood; 1926-27 owned half int & oprd The East Elevator, Elwood; 1927- opr Internatl Harvester Co bus; 1935- also sells furn, hdw & well supplies, Oxford; Neb Retail Hdw Assn; C of C; IOOF 58; Meth Ch; Rep; hobbies, sports; res Oxford.
FREAS, CARLETON EARL: Merchant; b Ringgold, Penn Mar 22, 1869; s of Jacob Hubert Freas-Margaret Angeline Sprankle; ed Beaver City; m Rosa Alexander Feb 4, 1901 Beaver City; s Harold Alexander, Carleton Earl Jr; d Mildred Maude (Mrs Claude Berreckman); with parents came to Neb 1875; prior to 1900 emp in Davis & Berger Gen Mdse Store & various other stores, Beaver City; 1900- owner & opr C E Freas Gen Mdse Store, Beaver City; 1930 took sons into bus and they assumed most of management; owns 640 A, Furnas Co; mbr city coun; mayor; ch mbr Rotary; C of C; First Meth Ch, trustee; Rep; hobbies, outdoor sports; res Beaver City.
FRENCH, JOHN ALEXIS: Retired; b Edison, Neb July 8. 1876; s of Ira French-Martha Melvina Wells; ed Edison; m Katy Ostrom Apr 7, 1894 Elwood; s Dale Alexis, Bonnie Avery; d Freda Melvina (Mrs H H Harlan), Mae Belle (Mrs J T Pierce), Lois (dec); 1894-1904 farmed & did masonry & other work, Edison; 1904-05 in Minden Grain, Co, Edison; 1905-11 with W H Ferguson Grain Co. successors to Updike Grain CO, Edison; 1911-39 mgr Farmers Co-op Elevator, Edison; past mbr town coun; past mbr, sch bd; during World War active in Liberty Loan drives; past mbr IOOF & MWA; Chris Ch, deacon many years; Rep; hobby, reading; res Edison.
FRENCH, THADDEUS VAUGHN: Publisher; b Edison, Neb Jan, 14, 1912; s of Orn French-Ethel M Osborn; ed Edison HS 1929; 1931-32 grad work, Edison HS; extn course in bus administration, Modern Bus Inst, Denver, Colo; m Ella Manley Dec 4, 1937 McCook; while attending HS worked part time in Bourne & Samples Groc store, Edison, after graduation worked for same store 1 year; 1932- in newspaper work, Edison; 1934- manager & publisher of Edison Echo; NPA; SW Neb Press Assn; Comml Club; Chris Ch; Rep; Edison pct committeeman; hobby, photography; res Edison.
GAITHER, ERNEST ARTHUR: Clergyman; b Rulo, Neb Jan 29, 1893; s of Bazil Lancaster Gaither-Cora Olive Van Gilder; ed Lincoln HS 1914; Denver Colo U; m Anna Marie Smith Sept 28, 1921 Bellwood; d Lyla Marie (dec); ordained minister at Lincoln Sept 1923: while in coll, pastor at Victor Colo & Jefferson Ave Ch, Denver; 1920-21 pastor Meth Ch, Bellwood; 1921-23 pastor, Loretto; 1923-25 pastor, Clarks; 1925-28 at Hardy; 1928-33 at Shickley; 1983-35 pastor, Wauneta; 1935-39 pastor, Cambridge; 1939- pastor Meth Ch, Stuart; during World War enl in US army, med dept Oct 17, 1917 at Fort Logan Colo, stationed at Fort Riley Kas & Camp Beauregard La, disch Mar 19, 1919 at Camp Beauregard La; Amer Leg 199; C of C; AF&AM 150; OES; Meth Ch, mbr Neb conf; Rep; hobbies, golf, fishing; res Cambridge.
Part 2 (bios: Garey-Zike)
Who's Who in Nebraska (introduction & directory, list of abbreviations)
Visit Furnas County website
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