Early Settlement | Organization | County Seat Troubles
Part 2: Investigation of Treasurer Van Sickle
The Agricultural Society | Progress of the County | Storms
Prosperity of the County | Schools | Public Buildings
Part 3: Kearney Junction: Troubles with Cowboys
The Murder of Milton M. Collins
Part 4: Kearney Junction (cont.): Criminal | Bank Failure
Religious | Lodges and Societies | The Press | Education
Business Interests | Buda (Kearney Station).
Part 5: Kearney (cont.): Biographical Sketches
Part 6: Kearney (cont.): Biographical Sketches (cont.)
Part 7: Kearney (cont.): Biographical Sketches (cont.)
Part 8: Gibbon: Biographical Sketches
Part 9: Shelton: Biographical Sketches
List of Illustrations in Buffalo County Chapter
[RESIDENCE OF SAMUEL L. SAVIDGE.]
SAMUEL L. SAVIDGE, attorney and counselor at law, located in Kearney in November, 1873, and immediately began the practice of his profession. He was born in Vienna, Ohio, March 13, 1843. Lived in his native city until six years of age, until eleven years of age in Hillsboro, then to twenty-one years of age on a farm in Minnesota; attended school until he was twenty-six years old. Entered Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, from which he graduated in 1873, then entered the law office of Thompson & Davis, of Merriam, Iowa; was admitted to the bar in October, 1873, after which he removed to Kearney, Neb. He was married in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, 1874, to Miss Susan E. Bauman, of the latter city. They have two children--Charles H. and May K. Mr. S. is a Knight Templar in the Masonic order of Kearney, Neb.
JOSEPH SCOTT, County Treasurer, Buffalo County, located on a homestead two miles north of Kearney in 1872, being elected County Clerk in the fall of 1873, when he moved to Gibbon, then the county seat of Buffalo County, holding the office from January 1, 1874, to January 1, 1876. The county seat was removed to Kearney in 1875, whither Mr. S. removed at the expiration of his term of office. He engaged in the real estate business, and was elected County Treasurer in the fall of 1881.
JOHN D. SEAMAN, dealer in grain and agricultural implements, opened business in spring of 1874; his sales of implements have averaged $30,000 per annum; has bought on an annual average of 200,000 bushels of all kinds of grain. He employs from seven to ten men in the busy season. Mr. Seaman located in Kearney, Neb., Feb. 13, 1873. Opened a farm and followed the business since in connection with other business. He was born in Elkhart County Indiana, Feb. 15, 1839. Was raised a carpenter, and followed the same until he was twenty years of age, then engaged in the manufacture of lumber until 1865, when he when he went into the hardware business in his native place as traveling salesman until he came West. He was a member of the Nebraska State Senatein 1879-80. Was married, in Goshen Ind., in 1859, to Miss H. J. Grant, of the latter place. They have three children--Ada H., Harry L., and Frank G.
W. B. SLAUGHTER, D. D., first settled in Omaha, Neb., in 1866, and was Pastor of the First M. E. Church three years, then took charge of the church at Bellevue and that vicinity two years; from there he went to Brownville, Neb., and preached three years, then to Lincoln, Neb., where he also preached the same length of time, after which he was made Presiding Elder of the Omaha District, which position he filled with honor to himself and the church, and died in the second year of his labor, July 26, 1879. He was esteemed by all with whom he became acquainted as a kind-hearted, diligent worker for the good of his fellow-beings and a true Christian. He was the author of a work entitled the Modern Genesis, which was published to the world, and highly spoken of by critics as a work of good examples. He was born in Yates County, N. Y., July 15, 1822, and was about twenty years of age when he began studying for the ministry. He was married in Lockport, Niagara Co., N. Y., June 26, 1856, to Miss Adelaide Butterfield, of Olcott, latter county. Mrs. Slaughter was born Nov. 16, 1832. She has been an active member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, has also exerted a fine influence, and been an active worker for the Women's Foreign Missionary Society. Mrs. S. is favorably known, and highly esteemed by the many intelligent citizens of Nebraska as an active and diligent worker for the elevation of the human family. They have four children--Bradner D. (married and living at Fullerton), Sarah Ellen (married to Mr. A. M. Clark and living in Omaha), Hattie (married to Mr. S. Hawver, also living in Omaha), William B., Jr. (now attending school in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. ).
DAVID W. SMALLEY, clerk, located in Kearney, Neb., September, 1878, and engaged in the dry goods and grocery business two years, then clerked for Stein & Kramer a year, then entered into his present employment for H. Willhelmy. He was born in Grafton, Windham Co., Vt., December 12, 1847. Was raised on a farm until he was twenty-one years old; he then engaged in various occupations, and finally located in Galva, Henry Co., Ill., and worked three years for his brother in the agricultural implement business. Opened a tobacco store on his own account a year, then into the livery business until he came to Kearney, Neb. He is a member of the K. of H. Lodge, No. 1335. Was City Treasurer a year. He was married, in Galva, Ill., August 3, 1869, to Miss Lizzie P. Washington, of the latter city. They have three children--Gracie D., Charlie W. and Warren R.
[Portrait of Geo. E. Smith]
GEORGE E. SMITH, dealer in fancy goods, stationery, etc. He and his brother, James A. Smith, were the first settlers at this point. They located the first claims and built the first house in Kearney Precinct as early as April, 1871. George E. was the first Postmaster in Kearney, holding the office some four years. He has also been quite an extensive dealer in real estate, acting as local agent of the South Platte Land Company for the sale of city lots and lands adjoining the city. He has held many minor offices in the city, and is now the City Clerk. He was born in Rochester, Ind., January 2, 1843. Was married in Logansport, Ind., in 1872, to Miss Emma H. Clem, of the latter city, a daughter of George P. Clem, Esq. They have four children--Claude V. and Pauline, living, Paul Clem and Karl Emmet deceased.
SYLVESTER S. ST. JOHN real estate, insurance, loan and collecting agency, sells private lands. He was born in Fairfield County, Conn., October 8, 1840. He was brought up a printer, and followed that business until he came to Kearney. He ran a job office at Janesville, Wis., under the firm name of Veeder & St. John, and began in the spring of 1868 the publication of the Rock County Recorder. He enlisted, August 20, 1862, in the Twelfth Wisconsin Light Artillery, and participated in the battle of Iuka, September 19,1862; second battle of Corinth October 3 and 4, 1862; Grant's raid to Holly Springs, Yazoo Pass expedition, Vicksburg campaign, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hill, Vicksburg, Mission Ridge, surrender of Atlanta, Ga., and Altoona, and was wounded in the latter battle; in the march to the sea, Raleigh, N. C., and was mustered out at Newbern, N. C., May 1, 1865; returned to his home and soon engaged in the printing business. He was present at the organization of Kearney Township, and was the first Town Clerk, and is at present a member of the City Council. Was married, in Milton, Rock Co., Wis., July 15, 1868, to Miss Hattie E. Carter, of Rock County, Wis. They have five children--Lewellyn N., Roy E., Arthur S., deceased, Ralph W., deceased, Romaine A., Earl V. and Amy M., an adopted daughter. Mr. S. is a member of the Masonic order of this city and Treasurer of Blue Lodge; Captain General of his Commandery.
CHARLES ROBERT STIMPSON, farmer, located half a mile west of Kearney in June, 1872; lived there five years, and followed various kinds of business. He moved on his farm, which is located on the old Kearney Reservation, east of the city, December 1, 1877, without any means, erecting his dwelling just previous to moving, and going in debt for the material, from which it was erected. He now owns about 169 acres of fine land on Section 33, 85 acres of which is under cultivation; fine shade trees, good house and barn, teams and tools. His was the first claim occupied on the reservation. He was born in Huron County, Ohio, February 4, 1833. He went to Minneapolis, Minn., locating at Lake Minnetonka, twelve miles west of the former city, where he lived about twenty years; followed boat building etc. He was married in the latter place in the spring of 1862, to Miss Arvilla Harrington, of Ashtabula County, Ohio. They have five children--Adella, now teaching school; Byron, Leonard, Homer and Helen. He enlisted in Company F, Sixth Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, in 1863. Was transferred to Eleventh Regiment, and was made Commissary Sergeant. Participated in the battles of Nashville and Franklin, and in the Sioux war on the frontier. Was mustered out in Fort Snelling, Minn., in June, 1865.
H. L. STRONG, dealer in real estate, loan and collection agent, opened the business in February, 1882. He first located a homestead on Section 14, Township 10, Range 17, containing 160 acres; bought 160 acres railroad land, making: 320 acres. He also raised considerable stock. He was born in Norwalk, Huron Co., Ohio, April 19, 1837. He began teaching at the age of seventeen, and followed it five years; engineering three years. He enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Eighteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry; was placed on detached service, participating in eleven general battles, among which are Vicksburg, Grand Gulf, Champion Hill, Black River Bridge, Jackson and Red River expedition. He was then topographical engineer for Gen. A. L. Lee, from Baton Rouge to Pascagoula, and was also in battles of Carrion Crow, Brashear City, Fort Donelson and many skirmishes. Was under fire every day from May 1 to July 4; was mustered out in New Orleans, La., October 8, 1865. He returned to Hamilton, Ill., and began traveling from Keokuk, Iowa, for a grocery house as salesman in December, 1865; continued six months, and went to Cleveland, Ohio, and engaged as collector for a wholesale marble company until 1876, then returned to Hamilton, and opened a wholesale marble yard, which he continued until the fall of 1877; sold out, and moved to Nebraska. He was married in Nauvoo, Ill., in 1859, to Miss Arathusa Putman, of Putman, Ohio. He is a member of Kearney Masonic Order, including Chapter, and now holds the office of Excellent Scribe in the latter.
HOBART E. SWAN, farmer, first came to Kearney, Neb., in 1873, and engaged in the lumber and coal business about two years. He also loaned money on real estate. He owns 320 acres of land, east one-half of Section 4, and 160 acres on Section 7, in Kearney Precinct. All of his land on Section 4 is improved, the remainder is meadow land. He was born in Middlesex County, Conn., April 7, 1817. Was raised on a farm; moved to Vermont when he was quite a young man. He was married, in 1839, to Miss Susan A. Wade, of Sharon, in the latter State, May 20, 1839. He moved to East Haddam, Middlesex Co., Conn., and farmed two years; then to West Hartford, Vt., and farmed four years, after which he moved to Lebanon, N. H., and farmed four years. He emigrated to Lake County in Northern Illinois, in November, 1848, where he farmed until March, 1873, at which time he started for Nebraska. They have three children--Clara S., now married to Mr. A. Bridge, and living in Missouri; Mary E.. now married to Mr. A. Richley, and living in San Francisco, Cal., and Charles O. Swan, now at home, assisting his father. Mr. Swan has not aspired to any political office.
ANDREW SWENSON, firm of Swenson Bros., dealers in a general line of drugs; opened the business in May, 1880. They carry a stock of $4,500 to supply their trade. Mr. S. first located in Batavia, Kane Co., Ill., in the spring, of 1870, then went to Chicago, Ill., three years in the wholesale clothing business; then to Moline, Ill., and engaged in the dry goods and clothing business three years; then to Cambridge, Ill., and engaged in the drug business until he settled in Kearney, Neb. He was born in Sweden October 31, 1845; came to America in 1870. He served two years in the Swedish Army.
F. J. SWITZ, dealer in all kinds of household furniture--carpets, wall paper, curtains and fixtures; also undertakers and supplies for same. He keeps a stock of from $10,000 to $15,000; opened the business in March, 1875, and employs four men in the business. He first located in Thayer County, Neb., and lived five years. He came to Kearney, Neb., in 1875. He was born in Prussia, Germany, February 20, 1843; came to America in 1854, and located in Cleveland, Ohio, where he lived until 1861. He enlisted on September 19, 1861, in Company G, Forty-second Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which was commanded by the late James A. Garfield. Mr. S. participated in thirteen general engagements, and was mustered out in Columbus, Ohio, December 4, 1864, then returned to Cleveland, Ohio, and lived until 1869, when he went to Lee County, Ala., and engaged in the manufacture of household furniture until he came to Nebraska.
I. B. WAMBAUGH, farmer. He first came to Nebraska in April, 1871, and located on Section 30, Town 9, Range 15, taking a homestead. He has followed farming since living in Nebraska. He has now sold his farm, and located in Phelps County, on School Section 36, Town 7, Range 19. He was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, October 24, 1832; was raised on a farm, and followed horticulture previous to going West. He went to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1854, and engaged in the real estate and patent business until 1860. He then went to Bloomington, Ill., and there engaged in horticulture until April, 1861, when he enlisted in Company B, Eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry; mustered out; re-enlisted in Sixty-second Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry in February, 1862, and served in that regiment until December, 1862; was mustered out in Holly Springs, Miss., by special order of Gen. U. S. Grant. He again entered the service, in August, 1864, being mustered in as Second Lieutenant; and, in September, 1864, he was appointed Captain of Company B, One Hundred and Seventy-sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry; was in the battle of Corinth, and at Nashville, Tenn., in December, 1864. He had charge of patrol duty from October, 1864, to May, 1865; was mustered out in Nashville, Tenn., June 18, 1865. He returned to Dayton, and again entered into horticulture until 1871, when he came to Nebraska. He was married in Eaton, Preble Co., Ohio, March 13, 1860, to Miss Lizzie Reel, of West Alexandria, Preble Co., Ohio. They have two sons and two daughters--Frank Burton, Mattie May, Howard and Effie Ann. He is a member of I. O. O. F. and Past Grand worthy member of the Grand Lodge of Nebraska; also the Encampment, and is Past High Priest of the same; also a member of Knights of Honor, Kearney Lodge, No. 1335, and D. P. D. and P. D. of same. He is also a member of Sedgwick Post, No. 1, G. A. R.
ROLLIN C. WARD, professor of vocal music, voice culture and thorough bass, harmony, musical composition and instrumentation. He is at present located in Leavenworth, Kan. He employs three vocalists and musicians to assist in conducting musical conventions, and is at present holding musical conventions throughout the West. He holds conventions of five days' duration, in which the theory and practice of music are thoroughly taught. He was born in Johnstown, Penn., October 23, 1854. He began the study of music at the age of seven years. His parents being poor, he was obliged to depend on his own resources and what little assistance he could get from others. By due perseverance he became able to teach his first school at the age of fifteen. He taught vocal music, thorough bass and harmony, in the Eastern States until he was twenty-five, when he entered Prof. R. B. Mahaffy's Normal Musical School, in New Brighton, Penn., near Pittsburgh, under the instruction of Prof. Mahaffy, Carl Retter, of Pittsburgh, Penn., and H. F. Johannesson, of New Brighton, Penn., taking a complete course, and passing examination with the honor of the first prize in all branches of music.
E. R. WATSON, money loaner and insurance agent, opened the business at Kearney in December, 1881; located at Nebraska City, Neb., in May, 1879, and engaged in merchandising and money loaning up to December, 1881, when he came to Kearney Neb. He was born in Charlottesville, Albemarle Co., Va., July 27, 1850 followed book-keeping until he went to Nebraska City. He began for himself at the age of sixteen. He was married at Greenwood Depot, Albemarle Co., Va., September 18, 1880, to Miss Nannie H. Cocke, of the latter place. They have one daughter--Effie Reede. He is a member of the Widow's Son Lodge, No. 60, A., F. & A. M., of Virginia. Since December 7, 1881, he has loaned over $22,000, secured on real estate and chattels in Buffalo, Kearney and other counties.
G. W. WHITEAKER, firm of Clarke & Whiteaker, dealers in real estate. Mr. W. located in Kearney, Neb., in the spring of 1881, and engaged in the real estate business as above. He had previously bought 320 acres of land near Hastings, Neb. He was born in Alexander County, Ill., January 23, 1845, living in his native county until he was twenty-one. He then went to Jersey County, Ill., and engaged in farming and teaching until 1876, and moved to Macoupin County, Ill.; followed the same occupation until he came to Nebraska. He was married, April 13, 1877, to Miss Electa Potts. They have one daughter--Zella A. Mrs. W. died February 12, 1880. Mr. W. is a member of the Commandery Lodge, A., F. & A. M., of Kearney, and of the M. E. Church. He owns eighty acres of fine land inside the city corporation.
[Portrait of A. L. Webb.]
A. L. WEBB, dealer in a general stock of agricultural implements. He was elected Mayor of Kearney, Neb., at the election of 1876, and has held the same by re-election since, excepting 1879. He located on his present place and began building on the corner of Tenth and Wyoming streets in October, 1873, completing a building 24x60 feet, two stories high, and a warehouse 40x50 feet. The store was the ninth building erected on that street. It was set on fire and burned, with his dwelling, on the night of February 27, 1878, by an incendiary, John Nelson, who is now serving out a sentence of twenty years in the State prison. Mr. Webb sells on an annual average $20,000 worth of agricultural implements. He was born in Leroy, Genesee Co., N. Y., March 2, 1833. He followed a seafaring life from the age of nine to twenty-six, running away from home at the former age; consequently he has realized many events in the seaman's life which would fill volumes of interesting reading. He opened the sale of agricultural implements and merchandise at Indianapolis, Ind., doing a general business for fourteen years previous to going to Nebraska. During the war of the rebellion, he was engaged in the Government employ as conductor of transportation of live stock between Indianapolis and the Southern States. He has one son, Theron E., born June 11, 1859, by a former marriage. His son is a graduate of the Rush Medical College, Chicago, Ill., and is at present practicing medicine in Shelton, Neb. He was again married, February 26, 1875, in Indianapolis, Ind., to Martha S. Hale, of Pittsboro, Hendricks Co., Ind. His first wife's maiden name was Rebecca A. Alexander, of Pittsboro, Hendricks Co., Ind. They were married February 16, l858. His wife died February 11, 1863. Mr. Webb is a member of Rob Morris Lodge, No. 46. A., F. & A. M. He also assisted to organize the Royal Arch Chapter, No. 23, in the fall of 1881, and chartered the latter part of January, 1882. He is also a member of Mount Hebron Commandery, No. 12, Knights Templar of Kearney, Neb.
HENRY A. WILHELMY, successor to H. Randles, dealer in groceries, queensware, etc., carries a stock equal to $4,000 to supply his trade. He located in Buffalo County, Neb., in February, 1876, on a farm, with his parents. He was born in Janesville, Wis., December 14, 1858; moved to Manchester, Iowa, and lived there until he came to Nebraska. He was married, December 24, 1879, to Miss Electa C. Pettis, of Kearney. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and Masonic fraternities.
[RESIDENCES OF HENRY G. AND H. FRED WILEY, KEARNEY.]
H. FRED WILEY, Cashier Buffalo County Bank, with Henry G. Wiley, President, and F. L. Gibbs, Assistant Cashier. The bank is owned by H. G. & H. F. Wiley, and was organized and opened to the business public in June, 1879. The deposits equal from $30,000 to $60,000 annually. They do a general banking business. H. Fred Wiley located in Kearney in June, 1879, and immediately opened the banking business. He was born in Rockingham, Vt., in September, 1853, was raised on a farm; removed to Galva, Henry Co., Ill., and engaged as clerk in a bank about two years; then went to Woodhull, Ill., and engaged in the banking business, in company with his father, H. I. Wiley, until he came to Nebraska. They kept and owned what was known as the Farmers' Bank, in the latter place. He was married, in Galva., Ill., 1879, to Miss Lillie S. Clark, of the latter place. They have a son--Henry C. Mr. W. is a member of the Masonic order of Kearney.