NEGenWeb Project - Polk County
Who's Who in Nebraska, 1940
Chattie Coleman Westenius
HE history of Polk County is similar to the early history of other counties in central Nebraska. The early pioneers were men and women of courage who looked at the rolling prairies with visions of fertile fields in the future. They suffered hardships which come to pioneers who spend many years of life in a primitive manner, in order that their descendants may enjoy the luxuries which are ours today. Here the automobile of today travels over hard surfaced roads which the pioneer had plodded with his slow moving ox team. The modern dwelling has replaced the sod house and dugout, and even the pioneer with his vision of the future could not have been farseeing enough to sense the change which has been made in the past seventy years.
The first settlement in Polk County was made along the old Overland Trail which connected Nebraska City with Fort Kearny. The site was marked by the D. A. R. chapter of Stromsburg at a point near Clarks, near an old Indian burial ground. These early settlers in 1863 located in what became Island and Clear Creek precincts and remained only three years. Records show deeds made in May and September, 1866. What became of those settlers is unknown.
The first permanent settlement in the county was made in 1867, when Albert Seaver located on the Blue river. He, was followed by Thomas Connelly who became his near neighbor. The next year William Patterson, Ned McMurty, John Patterson, V. P. Davis and Rev. James Query came, all settling in what is now Hackberry precinct, with the exception of Rev. Mr. Query and McMurty, who located in what became Osceola and Clear Creek precincts respectively. In 1869 J. H. Mickey, H. C. Query, Hubert Thelen, T. W. Blake and William H. Record settled on claims.
In 1870, twenty families arrived and settled in Valley, Island, Stromsburg and Clear Creek precincts. The next year brought seventy families, among whom were C. H. Morrill and Albinus Nance. Two years later saw the great tide of settlement and all the good free land was taken.
From the earliest settlement until 1870 Polk County was a part of Butler County, when on Aug. 6, 1870, by proclamation of the governor, the present county of Polk was organized with two precincts: Hackberry the south half and Clear Creek the north half. In April, 1871, Platte precinct was formed to embrace the west part of the county extending from north to south. There are now nine precincts.
The first election was held Aug. 6, 1870, at the log home of Frank Hibler, with the following election board: Judges, James Query, C. A. Ewing and W. E. Loring; clerks, Frank Reardon and James Patterson. An earlier census taken by J. H. Mickey gave the population of the county as 90.
The vote cast was estimated at from 50 to 60. The following officers were chosen: Clerk, Frank Reardon; sheriff, Ole Bredeson; judge, James Query; treasurer, J. H. Mickey; commissioners, Jonathon Crockett, C. A. Ewing and Sid Stone. No superintendent or surveyor had been elected, so John Fox was appointed to the former office and F. M. Stone to the latter. An election the next year made C. A. Ewing, sheriff; Ghordus Stull, judge; A. G. Sherwood, surveyor, and Dr. S. O. Whaley, coroner. All others were re-elected. There was no county seat, no courthouse, and each official had his office in his own home. A safe was purchased for the use of the clerk, but it was too large to go through the door of his home, and stood outdoors until a courthouse was built. Immediately after election the county seat was located on the s 1/2 of NE 1/4 Section 24, Township 14, Range 2 West, about 3 1/2 miles southeast of the present site, and was named Osceola.
Oct. 10, 1871, an election was held to permanently locate the county seat. The contesting locations were 19-15-2 near the German Church on the valley and the present site. By a majority of 14 the present location was chosen. A frame courthouse was built and accepted by the commissioners in March, 1872. This building burned on Jan. 1, 1881, and with it many papers of historic value. A new brick building was built at a cost of $10,000 and completed in 1882, the pride of the whole county, as it was the most pretentious building of its kind in central Nebraska. It was given so much publicity that people came from miles around to see the structure and an excursion train was run from David City to this "wonderful building." Another contest to relocate the county seat was held in 1916. Stromsburg was a contender, but Osceola won as before and the present beautiful structure was erected at a cost of $125,000 on Oct. 10, 1922.
Polk County is comprised of 450 square miles and has approximately 288,000 acres of land fit for cultivation. In this county, the north fork of the Blue river arises, and the Platte river forms the
north and west boundaries. The county is adapted to agriculture, stock raising and dairying.
The first school house in the county was built in Hackberry precinct, The first marriage, of Willliam (sic) Thomas and Miss Clara Crockett, took place on Feb. 11, 1871, and on April 2, 1871, T. W. Blake wed Matilda Query. Both ceremonies were performed by Rev. James Query, county judge, at his home. In 1871 there were seven school districts; in 1873, 33 school districts and 750 school children; in 1883, 2,344 school children.
The development in the county's growth has been in agriculture. In 1871 there were 700 acres in cultivation; in the next five years the acreage had increased to 53,906, and in the next half decade that amount had doubled. Property valuations reached $1,314,487 and the population 9,000.
The Omaha and Republican Valley railroad was built into the county and reached Osceola June 23, 1879. In ten years the population had increased a hundred times in the county, and the rolling barren prairies which had been roamed by Indians and wild animals, with trees only along the banks of the Blue river, was converted into a garden spot. In 1906 the railroad was built to Central City to join the main line of the Union Pacific. In 1907 the town of Polk was laid out. A second railroad, the Kansas City and Omaha, was built from Fairfield to Stromsburg in 1887.
Polk County, like all other parts of the west, had difficulties to surmount. One murder was committed within its borders and the murderer was hanged at the county seat. One of the early settlers, Ned McMurty, was massacred by the Pawnee Indians on Aug. 8, 1869. McMurty had left his home to go to Columbus, and was not heard from. Six weeks later his body was found in a pond near the Platte. There were several arrow and knife wounds in his back but the cause of the killing was unknown. The Easter storm of 1873 caused much suffering; the grasshopper scourge of 1874 harrassed the settlers; a prairie fire on Oct. 20, 1878, caused the death of two early citizens, Mr. and Mrs. John P. Hult, and the blizzard of '88 has gone down in history. Many other things tended to discourage the pioneers but nearly all stayed.
The settlers of Polk County were religious persons and many churches sprang up. The first was a Methodist Church, with Rev. James Query as pastor. As there were no church buildings, services were held in sod houses and dugouts, the homes of settlers and the whole county was his parish. As soon as schoolhouses were built, these were used also for churches.
Before railroads entered Polk County, Ulysses, Columbus, Seward and even Lincoln were trading centers. Many a farmer walked to one of these towns and carried a sack of flour home on his shoulder.
Besides the postoffices of the towns now existing there were a number of country postoffices scattered over the county--Thornton, Beulah, Redville, Wayland, Pleasant Home, Swedehome and Cyclone. Rural free delivery put an end to such offices.
Polk County has furnished the state two governors and one congressman. Albinus Nance was elected governor from Polk County and served from 1879-83. He was 30 years old when elected and was known as the "Boy Governor" of Nebraska. John H. Mickey served as governor from 1903-07. In addition, Ashton C. Shallenberger of Alma, who served as governor 1909-11, was a resident of both Osceola and Stromsburg in the early eighties. John N. Norton served the fourth district in the 70th and 72nd congresses, 1929-31 and 1933-35, from Polk County, and Shallenberger also represented the same district in congress.
Polk County has four towns on the railroad and a small inland settlement, *Swedehome, with a store, a large church and several dwellings.
*When the postoffice was first established in Swedehome, the name of the settlement was spelled as one word. After the establishment of R. F. D. service, it became Swede Home, as it appears now in Swedish newspapers. In December, 1938, the Farmers Union Co-operative store was destroyed by fire. The village now consists of a Swedish Lutheran Church and nine residences.
Osceola, the county seat, was the first town organized in the county. It was first located about three miles southeast of the present site and was moved to the present location in 1870 when the county seat was located. J. H. Mickey and William F. Kimmel chose the site, and the location was made permanent Oct. 10, 1871. The first building erected was the courthouse, completed in January, 1872. The town was incorporated Aug. 26, 1881, with F. L. King, J. P. Heald, Owen Wilson, H. A. Scott and W. F. Myers, trustees. The postoffice was established in June, 1872, with William E. Loring as postmaster.
At that time it was the terminus of the overland mail route from Lincoln via Ulysses. William H. Waters built the first store in 1872, and in that year J. H. Mickey and Loring built the first residences. The schoolhouse was built in December, 1872. The Methodist Church was organized in 1872; a Congregational Church was organized the same year. Wesleyan University was first located in Osceola but was moved to York in 1879 and to Lincoln in 1894. Evan Mickey, son of J. H. Mickey, was the first child born in the town. The first newspaper, "The Homesteader," was established in 1873, now the "Record," with H. B. Arnold, editor. Osceola now has two newspapers, one bank, three churches, a modern school, and a population of 1,052.
Stromsburg, the second town in Polk County, was founded by Lewis Headstrom, a member of a townsite company at Galva, Ill. He selected the
site and laid out the town in June, 1872. Headstrom also built the first business house and the first dwelling. In 1880 the town had grown to 400 inhabitants and was incorporated into a village, with A. L. Sprague, John Castile, H. Vogel, George H. Butler and W. A. Post trustees. On March 13, 1888, it was incorporated into a second class city. Headstrom became the first mayor and the council was made up of Alex Scott, O. Headstrom, A. L. Sprague and J. G. Green. The school district had been organized on Feb. 17, 1872, and the first church was built two years later. The Central Baptist Seminary was established in January, 1886, and continued until 1888. The school was again opened in 1889 as the Bryant Normal and Business University and continued until April 21, 1898, when the three story, $15,000 brick structure was destroyed by fire. The postoffice was established Nov. 11, 1872, with James Calvin Smith postmaster. The first newspaper in Stromsburg was established June 25, 1875, by W. B. Faree. Since that time there have been seven other ventures in the field with twenty-two different editors. Today Stromsburg has but one paper. Stromsburg grew and prospered and is the largest town in Polk County, with a population of more than 1,300.
Shelby, the county's third town, was located in Canada precinct in July, 1879, and was known as Arcade. When the railroad was built the name was changed to Shelby. The first postoffice, established in 1876 in the farm home of Seth Bennett, was called Cyclone. It was moved twice, finally reaching the town, when the name of the office changed. The first schoolhouse was built on the original site of Arcade, one mile east of the present location. It was moved to town six years after it had been built, in 1879. The first church was established in 1881 by the Methodists. The oldest resident of the town is Frank Leibee. The first newspaper was established in 1879 by Greeley Dawson and after four changes is still being issued as the Shelby Sun. The first business house was built by H. Dunning and the first residence by R. O. D. Cummings. Shelby now has a population of nearly 600.
Polk, the fourth and youngest town in the county, was established in 1907 when the branch of the Union Pacific was built west to join the main line. Wesley Wilson was the town's moving spirit. The town was located on land purchased from Cass McConnell and Victor Anderson. The original town board consisted of Dr. D. H. Westfall, Eric Forslund, B. A. Darrow, C. C. Tewell and Grant Ramage. The first school was held in 1907 in a church and the upper floor of the Anderson furniture store. A fine four room schoolhouse was built in 1908 and a large addition has since been added. As the town was built in a well settled locality many churches had sprung up nearby and several of these were moved into town. A Baptist Church had been organized in 1881 and a building erected at LaClede was moved to the site of Polk in 1906. The Cooper M. E. church was organized in 1873 and a building erected in 1874. In 1899 a Free Mission church was organized and a church built on the Nels Nyberg farm. Both congregations moved to town and new buildings were put up. A Free Methodist church was organized in 1895 and in 1910 that church also was moved to Polk, all four churches having modern buildings. The town has a population of about 550, and boasts two miles of paving.
ANDERSON, ANTON C: Retired; b Frodinge, Sweden Oct 2, 1858; s of Andrew Nicholson Anderson-Anna S Engstrom; ed Sweden; m Louise Anderson Feb 4, 1884 York; s Emil J; d Esther L (Mrs Albert Elfors), Julia A (Mrs George H Presson), Lillian I (Mrs W Fred Johnson); 1881 came to Amer; 1881-1886 emp by brother Frank A as clk in gen store, Stromsburg; 1886-88 clk for R Gold & Co; 1888-93 ptr of brother Axel in gen store; 1893-1906 owner & opr Anderson & Sunberg store; 1905-11 oprd store as ptr of E J Anderson & G H Pressen; 1911- retired; treas Scandinavian Mutual Ins Co 27 years; past mbr MWA; hobby, reading; res Stromsburg.
ANDERSON, AUGUST H: Retired; b Eksjo, Sweden Mar 10, 1866; s of John A Anderson-Louisa Samuelson; ed Moline Ill; Luther Coll; m Bessie Holm Oct 5, 1898 Swedehome; 1869 came to Amer; 1879-94 helped father farm, Polk Co; 1894- Indep farmer until retirement; mbr bd of edn 6 years; mbr Farmers Co-op Grain Assn; mbr Farmers Co-operative Oil Co; Swedish Luth Ch: wife's parents came to Amer in 1882 and settled in Polk Co in 1884; res Stromsburg.
ANDERSON, C L: Physician & Surgeon; b Stromsburg, Neb June 14, 1904; s of Dr Charles A Anderson-Lucinda R Holmquist; ed Stromsburg HS; U of N, BSc. MD 1928; Alpha Kappa Kappa; m Marville J Pielstick Oct 19, 1931 York; s Gorden Leroy; d Shirley, Donna; 1928 Interne Baylor Hosp, Dallas Tex, 1 mo post grad surgery Cook Co Hosp, Chicago; 1929- prac med, Stromsburg, 1938 estab hosp; mbr sch bd 3 years; Comml Club; AF&AM; Bapt Ch; res Stromsburg.
ANDERSON, EDWIN LEONARD: Funeral Director; b Polk Co, Neb Mar 25, 1893; s of Victor Anderson-Emma Wilson; ed Stromsburg HS 1912; architectural course, ICS; show card & window display course, Koester Sch, Chicago 1928; m Olga Almeda Elving Dec 1, 1920 Sioux City Ia; s Victor Elving; d Virginia L; 1914-19 farmed; 1919 became lic embalmer; 1919-22, 1926-28 & 1930-34 emp by father in furn & undertaking bus, Stromsburg; 1922-26 oprd bus for father, Polk; 1929-30 mgr furn & undertaking bus for S Hammerstrom, Oakland; 1934- owner & opr Edwin Anderson Funeral Home, Stromsburg; city treas; mbr city coun 2 years; Comml Club, secy 5 years; BSA, past scoutmaster, mbr troop com; life mbr vol fire dept; Bapt Ch; Dem; hobby, landscaping; res Stromsburg.
ANDERSON, MARGARET E: Music Teacher; b Stromsburg, Neb Aug 28, 1908; d of Dr Charles Anderson-Lucinda R Holmquist; ed Stromsburg HS; U of N, BA; Kappa Delta; Alpha Rho Tau; Delta Omicron; m Clement L Anderson June 11, 1936 Stromsburg; tchr, Stromsburg 7 1/2 years; tchr private lessons in piano & voice; PEO; Womans Club; Bapt Ch, dir of choir, mbr Mission Circle; res Stromsburg.
ANDERSON, VICTOR: Mortician & Merchant; b Satra Sandviken, Sweden Mar 22, 1865; s of Anders Anderson-Karin Person; ed Sweden; Carl Barnes Embalming Sch, Chicago 1904; m Emma Wilson Dec 25, 1888 (dec 1903); s Edwin, Albert; d Clara, Emma; m Charlotte Samuelson June 22, 1904 Stromsburg; s Carleton, Vernon; d Alvina, Jeannette; 1894 came to US, located in Polk Co; 1884-1903 farmer; 1903- owner & opr furn & undertaking bus, Stromsburg; 1932 state sen; mayor; pres bd of edn; pres hotel co; pres cemetery bd; mbr
lib bd; pres Comml Club; Nebraskana Soc; Bapt Ch, past treas, trustee, deacon, vice-chmn; chmn & treas Neb St Bapt Conf; bd mbr Gen Bapt Conf of Amer; res Stromsburg.
BAILEY, J W: Hardware Dealer; b St Clare, Kas Feb 7, 1887; s of Samuel Bailey-Etta L Bowers; ed Okla; U Prep Sch Tonkawa Okla; m Jennie L Moore Feb 27, 1924 Stromsburg; s Samuel M; d Lois Jane; 1923- owner & opr hdw store, Stromsburg; during World War ent US army June 27, 1918, O/S Aug 12, 1918 until Armistice; Amer Leg, past comm & adjt; pres Comml Club; Bapt Ch; hobbies, fishing, hunting, golf; res Stromsburg.
BAKER, MORACE ERWIN: Farmer & Stockman; b Polk Co, Neb June 7, 1893; s of William H Baker- Matilda C Fusby; ed Polk Co; York Coll; Midland Coll; U of N; m Myra A Glasser Dec 21, 1921 Polk; s Robert W, Donald A; d Ruth Arleen, Patty R; with father on farm until 1916; 1916-17 in garage bus, York; 1919- indep farmer; mbr bd of edn; during World War 1917-18 in aero squadron 216 at Kelly Meld Tex, Long Island N Y, Salisbury Plains, England; disch Camp Funston Kas Dec 20, 1918; hobby, travel; res RFD 1, Stromsburg.
BOBBITT, M D: Teacher; b Alvo, Neb Sept 28, 1906; s of G D Bobbitt-Orpha Rouse: ed Elgin HS 1925; Neb Wes; grad work U of N; Colo State Tchrs Coll, Greeley; m Pauline Wilcox Jan 12, 1930 Lincoln; s Marion Douglas; d Margaret Jane; 1931-34 tchr, Dawson; 1934- tchr & HS prin, Stromsburg; secy-treas Polk Co Men Tchrs Assn; Comml Club; past 139A scoutmaster; Meth Ch, SS supt; res Stromsburg.
BRANTING, H B: Implement Dealer; b Polk Co, Neb May 23, 1898; s of Otto F Branting-Hilma E Jones; ed Polk Co; Luther Coll; m May Gustafson June 9, 1920, Axtell: s Kermit Dellis; d DeAnn May; after sch in impl bus with family, Swedehome; 1919-25 in impl bus with father, Osceola; 1925- impl dlr, Stromsburg; vol fire dept, chief at Osceola; mbr city coun 5 years; mayor; mbr sch bd 3 years; pres Comml Club; hobby, fishing; res Stromsburg.
BRAUER, HERMAN G: Mortician & Manufacturer; b Lancaster Co, Neb Oct 18, 1873; s of Adolph Brauer-Marie Heyne; ed Lancaster Co; Worsham Sch of Embalming, Chicago 1928; m Grace Menssen Feb 25, 1897 Hamilton Co; d Lillie (Mrs Barthold Baack), Rossella (Mrs John H Kruse), Violet (Mrs Sam Wall), Verbena (Mrs Leo Wurtz); 1894-1904 farmed and in threshing bus: 1904-33 in threshing bus; 1906 built first house in Polk; 1907-18 in contracting & concrete bus; 1929- mortician, Polk; Mar 1938 granted US patent on individual surface mausoleum which he now manufactures; mbr city coun 19 years, mbr bd of edn 15 years; mayor 14 years; chief vol fire dept 30 years; Comml Club, past Pres & ch mbr; Luth Ch; res Polk.
BRIGHAM, FRED HENRY: Retired; b Jones Co, Ia Mar 4, 1870; s of Milan H Brigham-Phoebe White; ed Polk Co; m Mattie E Vanderbilt Feb 16, 1898 Shelby; s Rex S; d Jean M; with father on farm until 1887; 1887-1924 indep farmer on land where father homesteaded 1872; pur adjoinIng land & now owns 320 A; 1924- ret; past mbr Polk Co sch bd; past mbr Shelby bd of edn; mbr original AAA Allotment Com 3 years; father came to Polk Co via covered wagon in 1872; res Shelby.
BUCHTA. JOHN: Retired; b Madison Co, Ill Dec 26, 1860; s of John Buchta-Sophia Kaiser; ed Madison Co, Ill; m Sevilla Heitzman Mar 21, 1893 Polk Co; s John W; d Verna R (Mrs Leroy Rhodes), Alverta H (Mrs W W Herrman); worked on Ill farms until 1883; 1883-85 emp on Neb farms; 1885-1920 farmer 320 A near Osceola; 1920- ret; treas bd of edn 20 years; IOOF; wife's parents were pioneers in Platte Co, settling in 1871; res Osceola.
CAMPBELL, PHILLIPS BROOKS: Attorney; b Osceola, Neb Sept 7, 1893; s of Henry H Campbell-Anna Teele; ed Osceola HS 1911, valedictorian; U of N, BSc 1920; 1921-24 studied law in off of King, Bittner & Campbell at Osceola; Alpha Gamma Rho; m Dorothy Garber June 2, 1923 Geneva; s Henry Crawford; 1924 adm to Neb bar; 1924-25 mbr Campbell, Bittner & Campbell law firm, Osceola; 1926-35 with father in law prac; 1935- prac law indep; 1935-36 pres sch bd; 1927-29 mbr city coun; 1939- Polk Co atty; during World War 1917-18 in field arty US army, promoted to sgt, commd 2nd lt with AEF & attd U of Nancy, France; Amer Leg, comm & service ofcr Osceola post; Neb St & Amer Bar Assns; Country Club; past master AF&AM; YMCA; mbr BSA com; ARC; SA; Meth Ch; Rep, chmn Polk Co Central Com; hobbies, golf, reading; off Post Office Bldg; res Osceola.
CARLSON, GUST EMIL: Clergyman; b Sumner, Neb Sept 23, 1902; s of Pontius Pilate Carlson-Hildur Leon Tina Anderson; ed Sumner HS; Kearney HS; academic dept Grand Island Coll; Grand Island Coll, BA 1929 Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville Ky, ThM 1932, with highest honors; 1924-26 tchr Jr HS, Sumner; 1932-37 pastor, Greencastle Ind; 1937- pastor, Stromsburg; hobby, work with boys; res Baptist Parsonage, Stromsburg.
CARLSON, LEO VICTOR: Bank Cashier; b Stromsburg, Neb Mar 12, 1901; s of John E Carlson-Hannah Nelson; ed Stromsburg HS 1919; U of N, BSc 1925; 1919-26 oprd electrical bus, Stromsburg; 1926-33 traveling representative of R G Dunn & Co; 1933-35 asst cash Stromsburg Bank, 1935- cash; Comml Club; hobby, reading; res Stromsburg.
CORNISH, KENNETH AARON: Bank Cashier; b Osceola, Neb May 29, 1896; s of Walter A Cornish-George (sic) A Lohr; ed Shelby HS 1915; U of N 1917; m Ruth P Smith Sept 15, 1920, Osceola; 1915-16 tchr rural sch; 1920-24 bkkpr & asst cashier, Farmers State Bank of Osceola; 1924-27 Polk Co dep treas; 1927-35 Polk Co treas; 1935- cash First Natl Bank of Osceola; city clk 4 years; during World War enl in USN Nov 27, 1917 at Kansas City Mo, sent to Great Lakes naval training station, Chicago, tsfrd to yeoman's training sch, sent to Philadelphia navy yard camp; Aug 1918 sent O/S as 3rd class yeoman to naval air base, Paulliac, France; tsfrd to admirals hdqrs at Brest, France Sept 1918; disch Oct 23, 1919 as chief yeoman at Great Lakes station; past comm, adjt & treas Amer Leg; treas ARC; Comm Club: treas AF&AM; Meth Ch; Dem: treas Polk Co Central Com; hobby, fishing; res Osceola.
CORNISH, WALTER A: Retired; b Lake Co, Ind Mar 31, 1853; s of Aaron Cornish-Rebekah Jane Loomis; ed Lake Co, Ind; m Georgia Ann Lohr Feb 5, 1882, Osceola: s Roy A, Kenneth A; came from Ind to Neb 1873; Polk Co surveyor 10 years; 1893-1938 published Shelby Sun; 1938- ret; chmn village bd many years; past noble grand IOOF; U B Ch; Dem; res Osceola.
DAVIS, FRANK WILLIAM: Pharmacist; b Franklin Co, Neb Jan 19, 1894; s of Casius C Davis-Ella Nora Gleason; ed Franklin HS 1915; U of Denver, PhG, m Orpha E Jones June 11, 1919 Seward; s Kenneth Lee; worked in drug store, Franklin, during or year in HS; 1919-29 owner & opr drug store, Stamford; 1929-85 mgr & part owner Kunkel & Davis Inc, Grant; 1935- owner & opr drug store, Polk; mbr bd of edn; during World War enl at Fort Logan Colo June 4 1917, sent to Fort Riley Kas, assigned to 17th Co of 2nd div of field med service; Sept 1917 Camp Funston Kas, mbr of 89th div in the 356th field hosp, 314th sanitary train, O/S June 1918-19, took part in St Mihiel, LaGrange Farm, Meuse-Argonne engagements and mbr army of occupation; disch as sgt 1st class med dept at Fort Dodge Ia; past comm & ch mbr Amer Leg at Stamford, tsfrd to Grant, past comm- pres Comml Club 2 years; hobbies, hunting, fishing; parents homesteaded in Franklin Co 1880; res Polk.
EKSTRAND, GUSTAF ENOCH: Manager Public Power District; b Blue Earth Co, Minn Oct 15, 1889; s of Gustaf N Ekstrand-Charlotte Swanson; ed Polk Co; Chicago; Fremont Normal; m Hilda Peterson May 27, 1921 Omaha; s Arnold Enoch, James Gordon: d Margaret Louise; 1916-17 emp in stores dept of UP RR, Omaha; 1917-18 shipping clk for Burgess-Grandeen Electric Co, 1919-23 electroplater; 1923 Fuller brush salesman, Stromsburg; 1923-37 emp in Rystrom Co; 1937- mgr Polk Co Rural Pub Power Dist; past mbr vol fire dept; during World War enl in US army May 26, 1918 in marine corps, sent to Parris Island S C & Quantico Va for training, Aug 1918 sent to Hoboken N J, then O/S to Brest France where batt engaged in police work, Oct 1918 with 75th Co of 6th regiment on Meuse-Argonne drive until Armistice, recd 2 minor wounds during this drive & recd Purple Heart Decoration, participated in march to the Rhine, remained with army of occupation at Honningen Germany until July 1919, disch as corporal & clk; past comm & past adjt Amer Leg Post 132, past co comm, sgt at arms, dept of Neb; past pres Comm Club; VP Polk Co ARC; Polk Co chmn CMTC; chmn BSA com; Bapt Ch. SS supt; Rep; hobby, travel, electric development; res Stromsburg.
ERICKSON, MRS L A: Jeweler; b Jonkoping, Sweden Jan 20, 1874; d
of Gustaf Rydberg-Caroline ___; ed Stromsburg HS; Bryant Bus Colll, Stromsburg; Hastings Coll; U of N; m L A Erickson June 30, 1909 Stromsburg (dec 1928); s Willard L, Clifford A; 1883 came from Sweden to US, then to Stromsburg where father pur wagon shop; 1889-1909 tchr, 1899-1909 at Lincoln; 1909- homemaker; 1928- with sons opr husband's jewelry store; Womans Club; pres Stromsburg HS Alumni Assn; Comml Club; Bapt Ch; hobby, art; res Stromsburg.
ERICSON, ERNEST G: Hardware Dealer, b Bishop Hill, Ill Aug 6, 1882; s of Eric Ericson-Justine Johnson; ed Polk Co; York Bus Coll; m Lillie Ericson June 23, 1928 Bishop Hill Ill; s Clyde; d Doris; 1905-24 in hdw bus with father, brother & N Edberg, Stromsburg; 1924-39 with Albin Anderson oprd Ericson & Anderson Hdw Store, 1939- owner & opr Ericson Cash Hdw; mbr sch bd 6 years; Comml Club; Bapt Ch, clk several years; res Stromsburg.
EVINS, MRS SAMUEL D: Homemaker; b Pawnee City, Neb Feb 18, 1898; d of Fred Schnepp-RosEtta Haskin; ed Pawnee City HS 1916; PSTC, BA 1920; m Samuel D Evins May 21, 1925 Beatrice; 1920-25 prin DuBois HS; 1925-29 prin Bradshaw HS; 1925- homemaker; Fedn of Womens Clubs, treas 4th dist, past Polk Co pres; mbr lib bd; past pres Civic Improvement Club; past pres Amer Leg aux; chmn state com of childrens work of Internatl Coun of Churches; accredited tchr for childrens religious edn in interdenominational sch; Meth Ch, dir of religious edn and supt jr dept, mbr Neb conf of religious edn, pres WHMS, Polk Co chmn childrens religious work; hobby, religious edn; res Stromsburg.
FETTERS, WILLIAM HENRY: Retired; b Kosciusko Co, Ind Nov 13, 1844; s of Jacob B Fetters-Saloma Nine; ed Ind; m Sarah A Sawyer June 12, 1866 Goshen Ind; s John C; d Cloey J (Mrs Frank Fruide), Elizabeth A (Mrs A R Larson, dec); 1865-72 farmed in Ind; Sept 1872 came in covered wagon to Neb & homesteaded in Polk Co; 1872-1903 farmed; 1903- ret; during Civil War enl in Army of the North at Webster Ind Aug 2 1862, engaged in battles in Crab Orchard Ky, Bardstown Ky, Stone River Tenn, Triune Tenn, Nashville Tenn, Tallahoma Tenn, Bridgeport Tenn, Sun Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Knoxville; wounded & captured at Stone River, sent to Libby Prison where he was exchanged and retd to command, disch Nashville Tenn June 30, 1865; only survivor of GAR in Polk Co; res Stromsburg.
FLODMAN, HERBERT ODGER: Farmer; b Polk Co, Neb Feb 20, 1882; s of Charles F Flodman-Hilma J Widga; ed Polk Co; m Alma H Hult Sept 2, 1902 Polk Co; 1902-24 rented mother-in-law's farm, 1924 pur farm, 1924- owner & opr; 1932 Master Farmer, Mrs Flodman also recd honor & recognition; 15 years dir Luther Coll, Wahoo; pres Scandinavian Mutual Ins Co 20 years; bd mbr & treas Farmers Union Store, Swedehome; mbr bd of edn 18 years; Neb Master Farmers Assn, vice-chmn 1938, 1939- chmn: pres Farmers Union, Swedehome; Luth Ch, trustee, financial secy & treas; hobby, travel; res RFD 1, Osceola.
FRENCH, WALTER RUSSELL: Superintendent of Schools; b Page, Neb Jan 23, 1894; s of Leroy T French-Elizabeth H Bryan; ed Page HS; Neb Wes Acad 1914; Neb Wes, BSc 1927, U of N, MA 1933; Delta Omega Phi; Pi Gamma Mu; Alpha Gamma Beta; Phi Delta Kappa; m Evelyn L Murphy May 7, 1918 Inman; s Walter R Jr, Wendell L; d Elizabeth E, Jean L; 1916-18 farmed with father near Page; 1918-21 indep farmer; 1921-22 tchr, Holt Co; 1922-23 HS prin, Chambers; 1923-29 supt of schs, Inman; 1929-36 supt of schs, Mead; 1936- supt of schs, Stromsburg; during World War enl in US army Sept 4, 1918, sent to Camp Grant Ill, assigned in inft, tsfrd to 2nd Co 2nd batt of 164th depot brigade at Camp McArthur Tex: disch corp Dec 19, 1918 at Camp Funston Kas; Comm Club; past mbr IOOF; hobby, music; father homesteaded in Holt Co 1880; res Stromsburg.
FUNKHOUSER, SAMUEL JAMES: Hardware Dealer; b Greensburg, Ind Dec 26, 1858; s of Jacob Funkhouser-Margaret Jaeger; ed Champaign Co Ill; m Ella Grubbe Dec 31, 1882 Indianapolis Ind; s Everett S; d Alta M (Mrs Webster Bland); with father on farm, Ill until 1877; 1878-82 ptr of brother on farm, Ill; 1882-86 indep farmer, Ill; 1886 came to Polk Co & rented farm; 1887-90 pur & opr farm near Shelby; 1890 traded for 160 A farm which he rented while he oprd tenant farm; 1894-1902 owned & oprd 160 A farm; 1902 ret but still owns farms; 1902-08 in hdw & impl bus, Shelby; 1908-22 managed farm ints; 1922- in hdw & impl bus; past J P; Comml Club; Meth Ch; res Shelby.
GRANERE, RALPH JOSEPH: Band Director; b Stromsburg, Neb Mar 12, 1915; s of Joseph C Granere-Edith Johnson; ed York HS 1932; KSTC 1932-35; Columbia U 1935, mbr Columbia & Riverside Symphonies of New York City; scholarship violin student with Herbert Ditler, New York City; Caledonia; m Francis B Moore Apr 9, 1936 Kearney; s Terry J; d Judy Rae: 1984-35 priv instr in violin at York, Stromsburg, Polk & Kearney; 1986 concert master, Kearney Symphony Orchestra; 1936-37 music, history & English tchr, Dunning HS; 1937- conductor Stromsburg municipal band & HS band & Orchestra; Comml Club: Meth Ch; Dem; hobby, music; res Stromsburg.
HAHN, MRS GRAYCE E: Clerk; b Polk Co, Neb Nov 19, 1908; d of William A Stevens-Florence M Peterson; ed Polk HS 1926; Neb Wes summer terms 1926 & 1933; U of N 1931-33; Kappa Phi; m Lloyd W Hahn Apr 23, 1935 Washington Kas; d Marilyn F; 1926-27 tchr, Polk Co; 1927-29 emp as chief tele opr, Polk; 1983-35 emp by Central City Nonpareil; 1935- Polk Co correspondent for newspapers including Lincoln Star & Omaha World-Herald; 1938- clk & steno for Agrl Conservation Program, Osceola; past leader & mbr 4-H Club, mbr Polk Co exec com; secy Polk Co Farm Bur; Meth Ch; hobby, newspaper work; res RFD 3, Stromsburg.
HANSEN, WILLIAM OTTO: Butcher; b Elkhorn, Neb Aug 15, 1890; s of Herman A Hansen-Frauke Wicht; ed Elkhorn HS 1905; Mozer-Lampman Bus Coll, Omaha 1913; m Gladys M Miller June 30, 1920 David City; s Robert W; d Margaret Anne; 1:905-13 with father in meat market, Elkhorn; 1913-18 & 1919-32 ptr of Carl T Frahm in meat bus, Osceola; 1932- Proprietor Hansens Market; mbr bd of edn 9 years, pres 3 years; mbr vol fire dept 5 years; during World War Apr 27, 1918 ent US army Camp Funston Kas, assigned to Co M 355th inf 89th div, O/S with AEF, Toul sector, France, took part in the St Mihiel drive & Meuse-Argonne, in Germany with army of occupation until May 1919, sent to Camp Funston Kas & disch as corp June 3, 1919; while in France acted as interpreter for German prisoners & in Germany interpreted for staff ofcrs; Amer Leg, finance ofcr, past comm; BSA, coun mbr; Comm Club; past master AF&AM;. Scot Rite, Sesostris Shrine, Lincoln; past worthy patron OES; hobby, travel; res Osceola.
HANSON, JOEL: Abstracter & Insurance Agent; b Galva, Ill Aug 21, 1873; s of Peter Hanson-Betsy Jaderberg; ed Polk Co; Bryant Bus Coll, Stromsburg; m Grace McCray Jan 7, 1909 Osceola; s Lowell D; d Dorris R; 1903-06 oprd father's farm near Osceola; 1906-15 Polk Co dep clk; 1915-19 Polk Co clk; 1919- in ins bus; 1926- in abstract bus; during World War mbr US army draft bd; Polk Co assessor 4 years; secy bd of edn 4 years; past mbr city coun; Osceola Comm Club; past master & secy 17 years AF&AM 65; past worthy patron OES; past mbr venerable coun MWA; Meth Ch, treas & SS supt; hobby, horseshoes; res Osceola.
HASTINGS, JAY: Real Estate & Insurance Agent: b Aurora, Ill Jan 9, 18751; s of Henry Hastings-Elnora Lythel; ed David City HS 1895; Abraham Lincoln Correspondence Sch, Indianapolis Ind 1908; m Tillie E Stiles Aug 21, 1898 David City; s Charles D; 1896-1904 owner & opr groc bus, Ulysses; 1904-06 salesman for Omaha Whol Groc Co; 1906- in real estate & ins bus, Osceola; 1935 & 1939 state legislator; mbr city coun 11 years; chmn park bd 5 years; secy Polk Co Fair Assn 6 years; past pres Comm Club; MWA, mbr venerable coun 10 years; hobby, politics; res Osceola.
1Died Nov 14, 1939.
HAYHURST, WILLIAM CLYDE: Auctioneer; b West Branch, Ia Feb 19, 1872; s of Ezra S Hayhurst-Esther Gardner; ed Ia; m Emma Louise Chase Dec 12, 1893 Shelby; d Alma L, Cora Mae (Mrs Bruce Stiverson); 1888-94 emp on farm; 1894-1915 indep, farmer on various farms in Polk Co; 1915 ret from active farming; 1915- auctioneer; still owns 160 A; mbr city coun; Comm Club; IOOF: U B Ch; Rep; wife, daughter of Henry W Chase who came in 1870, was 2nd white girl born in Polk Co; res Shelby.
HERBES, HOWARD WALTER: Publisher; b Cedar Rapids, Neb Mar 8, 1913; s of Walter John Herbes-Margaret M Dunker; ed Osceola HS; 1931; Mergenthaler Linotype Sch, Chicago; m Alice Yeltman Sept 5, 1931 Bethany Mo; s Howard Walter Jr, Harley Glen; d Mary Alice; 1932-36 editor & publisher Prague Herald, Prague; 1934- publisher Polk Progress; mbr vol fire dept; past secy Comml Club; res Polk.
Second part (Herbes-Wilson)
Who's Who in Nebraska (introduction & directory, list of abbreviations)
Visit Polk County website
© 1999, 2000, 2001 for the NEGenWeb Project by Ted & Carole Miller