Part 2: Tekamah: Biographical Sketches
Part 3: Arizona: Biographical Sketches
Decatur: Biographical Sketches
Part 4: Alder Grove: Biographical Sketches
Oakland: Biographical Sketches
Lyons: Biographical Sketches
List of illustrations in Burt County Chapter
This little village is situated nearly six miles in a direct line from Tekamah, and a little to the north of east. The first settler was J. M. Simpson, who arrived here in August, 1855. Asa Chillcot came in 1856. This village has a store, post office, blacksmith shop, church and schoolhouse. Arizona is the home of ex-State Senator Beck, a brother of United States Senator Beck of Kentucky. Raising corn and feeding stock are the main occupations of the farmers near Arizona.
M. V. AUSTIN, farmer, Section 2, P. O. Arizona, is a native of Calhoun County, Mich.; came to his present farm in 1869. He owns ninety-five acres of land. Is Treasurer of the School Board. Enlisted in 1862 in Company L, Sixth Michigan Cavalry; was discharged at Leavenworth, Kan., in 1865.
HON. WILLIAM B. BECK, farmer, Section 11, P. O. Arizona. He is a native of Scotland. In 1834, he came with his parents to Wyoming County. N. Y. There he assisted on their farm. In 1849, went to California; engaged in mining; returned to New York in 1851, there continued farming till 1855, when he came to Nebraska, located in Burt County, where he has since resided, except for one year in Colorado. He owns one of the best improved farms in this locality, consisting of about 400 acres, and is largely engaged in stock raising. He represented this county in the Legislature in 1855-56. Was also a member of the Senate in 1879.
BENJAMIN L. BEAN, farmer, Section 27, P. O. Tekamah, was born in La Fayette County, Wis.; raised in Iowa County. He enlisted in August, 1862, in Company A, Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry. Served to the end of the war. In 1866, came to Nebraska. Worked on the Union Pacific Railroad as foreman for A. H. Johnson, contractor, till 1867, when he came to Arizona Precinct, and has since been engaged in farming. He owns 553 acres of land, 140 acres of which is under cultivation. He feeds about forty head of cattle and about fifty hogs.
W. N. BUCK, farmer, Section 36, P. O. Tekamah, is a native of Medina County, Ohio. In 1857, came to De Witt County, Ill. In 1860, removed to Missouri. In 1862, came to Harrison County, Iowa. The following year came to his present locality, where he has since resided. He owns 105 acres of land, which he has improved. He is feeding about fifty-two head of cattle and about 30 hogs.
JOHN L. BURPEE, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Tekamah, was born in Worcester County, Mass., January 1, 1857. He came to Burt County, Neb., in 1858; went to Denver, Colo.; returned to Burt County in 1859, where he remained till 1862, when he went to McKean County, Penn., and engaged in the stave, shingle and mill business; in 1864, returned to Burt County, where he has since resided. He owns 160 acres of land which he cultivates.
L. H. BURPEE, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Tekamah, is a native of Worcester County, Mass.; came to Nebraska in 1857; located in Arizona Precinct, where he has since resided. He entered 160 acres of land; now owns 200 acres most of which is under cultivation. He has been twelve years Treasurer of the School Board.
A. N. CORBIN, farmer, Section 11, P. O. Arizona, was born in Huntingdon County, Penn.; in the spring of 1856, came to Jefferson County, Iowa; in the fall of this year, he came to Burt County, Neb.; he pre-empted 160 acres, where he now resides. Owns now about 640 acres. About 200 acres of this land is under cultivation. He now owns seventy-five head of cattle and about seventy-five hogs.
SAMUEL D. CORNELIUS, farmer, Section 17, P. O. Tekamah, born in Huntingdon County, Penn.; came to Tekamah in 1857; ran a hotel there about two years; he then worked at the carpenter trade about six years; in 1859 he was appointed Postmaster; held this office six or seven years. He engaged in farming in about 1863, which he has since continued. He owns 160 acres of land; which he homesteaded.
JOHN DENNY, farmer, Section 23, P. O. Tekamah, was born in Lawrence County, Ind.; there raised and engaged in farming; in 1866, came to Nebraska, and located on this farm. They own 640 acres of land, part of which he entered. He and his sons are largely engaged in live stock. They have 150 head of cattle and about 150 hogs, and employs five teams.
J. F. ELLIS, general merchandise, is a native of Cattaraugus County, N. Y.; came to Omaha in 1867; worked at the carpenter trade about two years; in 1869, removed to Blair; followed contracting and building. He assisted in putting up some of the first buildings there. He also homesteaded eighty acres of land in Sheridan Precinct. In 1871, he bought of Mr. Newton an interest in this store. They carried on the business till 1879, when Mr. Newton retired from the firm. He is Assistant Postmaster. Has been County Commissioner three years.
JOHN FEES, farmer, Town 21, Section 36, P. O. Tekamah, was born March 2, 1856, in Tekamah, he being the first white child born in Burt County. In the winter of 1855, his parents came to Tekamah. Soon after settled on Section 24, Arizona Precinct. Engaged in farming; they removed to this farm in the spring of 1869. His father died in 1879, aged sixty-nine years and eleven months. He now owns about 180 acres of land, including the farm formerly owned by his father. Also about 120 acres of timber land.
A. H. GATES, farmer, Section 3, P. O. Arizona, was born in Erie County, N. Y.; raised in Stephenson County, Ill.; in 1855, came to Nebraska; located on his parents present farm, consisting of 320 acres of land, which he pre-empted. His house is now surrounded with a large number of trees, also a walnut grove, all of which are his own planting. He enlisted in 1862 in Company B, Second Cavalry; served eleven months.
JOHN A. GOODWILL, farmer, Section 10, P. O. Arizona, is a native of Stark County, Ohio. In June, 1857, he came to Omaha; worked in a brick yard about six months, then removed to Burt County, where he has since resided. He owns 358 acres of land, part homestead and part entered. Married, in 1871, Miss Mary Ray, of Muscatine, Iowa. Have five children, two sons and three daughters.
M. M. HARNEY, farmer, Section 3, P. O. Tekamah, is a native of Jacksonville, Ill.; in 1857, came to De Soto, Neb.; in 1858, removed to Cuming City; in 1863, he enlisted in Company B, Second Nebraska Cavalry; served eleven months; in 1864, came to Arizona Precinct; the following year removed to Harrison County, Iowa; followed farming; in 1870, returned to Burt County and settled on this farm. He owns 400 acres of land. One hundred and eighty acres of this is under improvement. He is feeding forty-three head of cattle, and carrying through about seventy head; also about eighty hogs. Employs three teams.
GEORGE C. LATTA, farmer, Section 1, P. O. Tekamah, was born in Jackson County, Iowa, where he was raised; followed farming; in 1878, he settled on this farm. He owns 520 acres of land, which is improved with a substantial class of buildings. He is largely engaged in live stock. He is feeding about 175 head of cattle, and is carrying through about 300 head. His stock is mainly shipped to Chicago. Six teams are in use in working this farm.
JONATHAN LYDICK, farmer, Section 2, P. O. Arizona, is a native of Knox County, Ohio. In 1845, came with his parents to Jefferson County, Iowa. Assisted on their farm. September, 1856, came to this farm, where he made a claim, consisting of 320 acres. He now owns about 1,000 acres, and has one of the best improved farms in this locality. He has from five to six miles of hedge fence which he planted himself. He has just completed a new barn, which occupies the site of one that was destroyed by fire about three years ago.
H. C. LYDICK, farmer, Section 2, P. O. Arizona, was born in Knox County, Ohio; came with his parents, to Jefferson County, Iowa, in 1845. There he remained till 1857, when he came to Arizona Precinct. He made claim of 160 acres, where his house now stands. Since then he has added from time to time, and now owns about 1,240 acres. Most of this land is under cultivation. He has seven tenants on his lands. He fed in 1881 about two hundred head of cattle and a large number of hogs; enlisted in 1862 in Company B, Second Nevada Cavalry; served eleven months.
ELISHA McGUIRE, farmer, Section 26, P. O. Tekamah, is a native of Carroll County, Ohio; in 1851, came to Iowa City, Iowa; was engaged in driving stage; in about 1858, came to Omaha; also drove stage about two years; in 1860, came to this farm, which he entered. He now owns eighty-seven acres of land. He enlisted in 1863 in Company B, Second Nebraska Cavalry; served eleven months.
W. W. MASON, farmer, Section 34, P. O. Tekamah, is a native of Summit County, Ohio; in 1855, came to Jackson County, Iowa. In 1858, he removed to Kansas; in 1865, came to Burt County, Neb.; located in Arizona Precinct, where he has since resided. He owns 160 acres of land and is largely engaged in live stock. He is now feeding about eighty head of cattle.
W. B. NEWTON, Postmaster, blacksmith and farmer, Section 2, P. O. Arizona, is a native of Chautauqua County, N. Y.; came to Barry County, Mich., in 1851; came to Tekamah, Neb., in 1857; the following year removed to his present locality. He owns 267 acres of land; about two hundred twenty of this he has improved. In 1868, he opened a general store; continued this business till 1879, when he sold out to Mr. Ellis. He was appointed Postmaster in 1869, which office he still holds. He opened a blacksmith shop in 1865, which he has since continued. He owns a half-mile race track, which is used for training fast horses. He sold a horse in 1880, trained on this track, for $1,000.
PETER REINERT, farmer, Section 2, P. O. Tekamah, is a native of Prussia; in 1854, came to Waukesha County, Wis.; engaged in farming. In 1862, he removed to McKean County, Penn.; there engaged in farming and lumbering; in 1866, came to Burt County; settled on this land. He owns 220 acres, which is well improved, with a good barn and other outbuildings. He built his residence in 1881; cost about $1,400. He has been connected with the schools since his residence here.
M. L. REYMAN, farmer, Section 11, P. O. Arizona, is a native of Salem, Washington Co., Ind. In April, 1857, he removed to Kansas. In December of this year, he came to Nebraska; located in Arizona Precinct, where he has since resided. He pre-empted 160 acres of land, which he has since owned and improved.
P. L. RORK, farmer, Section 11, P. O. Arizona, was born in Chautauqua County, N. Y.; came to Barry County, Mich., in 1835, with his parents; assisted on their farm; enlisted in 1862, in Company C, Eleventh Michigan Cavalry; served to the end of the war. He then came to Burt County, Neb., and settled on his present farm, consisting of 120 acres of land; has held the office of County Commissioner.
JESSE SPIELMAN, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Tekamah, is a native of Huntington County, Penn.; in May, 1857, came to Burt County, Neb.; has since been engaged in live stock and farming. He owns about 1,160 acres of land, a large portion of which is used for pasture for his stock. He cultivates about two hundred and fifty acres and feeds about one hundred head of cattle and about one hundred and fifty hogs. He was the first Treasurer of Burt County; held this office four years.
H. S. M. SPIELMAN, farmer, P. O. Arizona, Burt County., Neb., was born in Blair County, Penn., one and a half miles from Williamsburg; moved to Huntington County, and resided there till October, 1857; came to Nebraska; located in this locality. He pre-empted 160 acres of land; now own 974 acres, including forty acres of his original purchase. He has been connected with the School Board since its organization. He feeds eight-five head of cattle for beef and one hundred and fifty head of hogs for market yearly on an average.
J. H. STORK, farmer, Section 34, P. O. Tekamah, was born July 8, 1835, in Prussia; in June, 1854, came to Quincy, Ill.; in the spring of 1856, he removed to Fontanelle, Neb., and in the fall of this year returned to Quincy, Ill.; in 1857, he, with Mr. Sprick, returned to Fontanelle; in 1858, came to Omaha, and followed teaming about three years, He then returned to Fontanelle; worked at farming two years; enlisted in 1863, in Company A, Second Nebraska Cavalry; served eleven months, then returned to Fontanelle, where he was married to Frederica Michael; of Mecklenburg, Ger.; had six children, three living, two sons and one daughter; in the spring of 1865 came to this locality. He owns 520 acres of land, on which he has made very fine improvements.
SAMUEL T. STORY, farmer, Section 34, P. O. Tekamah, was born in Washington County, Ark. There he was raised. In 1861, he entered the Confederate army, where he served about one year. He then joined the United States army as Superintendent of Transportation; remained in the service about two years; in 1864, came to Burt County, Neb.; located on this farm. He now owns 954 acres of land, about one hundred and sixty acres of which are under cultivation; employs three teams, and is feeding about one hundred and fifty head of cattle and about two hundred hogs.
F. L. SNYDER, farmer, Section 23, P. O. Tekamah, is a native of Germany. When a child he came with his parents to Pennsylvania; there he assisted at farm work. In November, 1867, he came to Burt County, Neb.; owns now 440 acres of land, and feeds from fifty to eighty head of cattle a season. He was married in 1870, to Mary E. Taylor, of Pennsylvania. She came to Jackson County, Iowa, when a child, with her parents. They have three children, one boy and two daughters. He enlisted, October 1, 1861, in Company C, Twenty-third Pennsylvania Infantry; served about four years; re-enlisted as a veteran in November, 1863; was taken prisoner June 16, 1864, in front of Petersburg, Va.; sent to the Andersonville prison, Georgia, and held till the close of the war.
About five miles north of Arizona, on the Missouri River, is a small settlement called Riverside. At this point there are located a store and saw-mill. The former post office was discontinued in 1881, by Postmaster General James, as was also that at Bertrand, formerly situated about ten miles northwest from Tekamah, and that at Homestead, about six miles south of Arizona.
Alder Grove Post Office, ten miles southwest of Tekamah, and that at Craig, a small station on the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad, eight miles west from Tekamah, are still retained, and these villages, being surrounded by fertile farming lands, are destined to become important in the future history of the county.
Golden Spring was so named because of the proximity of a beautiful spring by that name, which flows from the rock and is noted for the purity of its waters. The town is situated about ten miles north of Tekamah, and contains a post office.
Decatur is situated in the northeast part of the county, on the Missouri River, between Elm and Wood Creeks. The mouth of the latter is on the forty-second parallel of north latitude, the former boundary line between Burt County and the Omaha Reservation.
The first claim located near Decatur was by a Mr. Rose, in 1855, and the second by T. J. Hinman, in August, 1855, who built his house of the first lumber shipped across the Missouri at this point. The town was located in the fall of the same year, by the Decatur Town and Ferry Company, this company being composed of Peter A. Sarpy, Stephen Decatur, B. R. Folsom, T. J. Hinman and others.
Col. Sarpy had an Indian trading post here in 1855, and under him Stephen Decatur and Conrad Engleman were clerks. In 1856, John Chase opened the first store. The first blacksmith was George Irwin, in the same year. The first physician to locate here was Dr. Thomas H. Whitacre, who surveyed and platted the town site. Dr. McDougall came next, but did not remain. Most of the trading done in Decatur at this time was with C. F. Porter, who was then keeping the principal store. Robert Percival was the first Postmaster, in 1857. In this year, property took a sudden rise, and acquired a speculative value considerable above its real value, owing to the fond anticipation, entertained by the people, that the Iowa Central Air-Line, now the Chicago & North-Western, would cross the Missouri at that point. Capt. S. T. Leaming, who was engineer in charge of the party surveying the line of the road, at this time purchased of Mr. Rose his claim of 320 acres, paying him therefor $20 per acre in gold This transaction gave a great impetus to the sale of lots and lands in and around Decatur. Numerous town shares were valued at $1,000 each, and one share was sold for $1,100. Each share was composed of forty lots, each lot being forty-eight feet front by 145 feet deep. The railroad was, however, finally deflected, and made to cross the river at Omaha, and lands fell to their normal value.
A railroad bridge could easily and cheaply be built across the Missouri at this point, as the river is narrow, there is no soft bottom land on either side, and the solid rock is only twenty-two feet below the river bed, at the corner of the Omaha Reservation.
The Town and Ferry Company was chartered in 1856. Letters patent of the United States, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, were granted to the town of Decatur on May 1, 1862. Decatur was made a city of the second class in the fall of 1869, and reduced to a village in the spring of 1880.
The first Mayor was Capt. Silas T. Leaming, in 1858. As a village, it is now governed by a board of five Trustees.
Hon. Frank Welch was one of the early settlers, locating here in 1857. He was afterward elected to Congress from Nebraska, and died in 1878. T. J. Laughlin came here in 1858.
The first birth in Decatur was that of a daughter to O. F. Wilson, who with a Mr. Williams, kept the first hotel. The first death was that of John Gardner. A Mr. Paul, who had made a settlement just below Decatur, with the view of starting a rival town, to be called St. Paul, accidentally shot and killed himself in 1859.
To the Congregationalists belongs the credit of having organized the first religious society here, but to the Episcopalians that of having built the first church edifice. At the present time, there are four churches-one Episcopal, one Methodist, one Presbyterian and one Catholic. There are also now at Decatur the following business establishments: Six general stores, one hardware store, two blacksmith shops, two drug stores, two saw-mills and one flouring-mill, two agricultural implement depots, one bank, two law firms, two physicians and one graded school. The school building is a substantial two-story brick, with a large four-square tower, all resting on a foundation of concrete and costing $5,800.
There are now published in Decatur a monthly magazine entitled the Round Table, and a weekly newspaper called the Decatur Herald, both established there in the fall of 1881.
In the spring of this year, a company, composed of A. B. Fuller, W. E. Drury, George E. Atwater and some others, engaged Col. G. F. Straight to test the existence of coal in paying quantity in the strata beneath Decatur. A workable vein of good coal being found there would greatly enhance the business and prospects of the town. Boring was commenced on April 1, 1881, and on October 13, a depth of 480 feet had been reached. At a depth of seventy feet, a thin vein of lignite coal was found; and at a depth of 230 feet, a vein of good bituminous coal, four feet thick, was found, according to Col. Straight, analysis showing nearly 42 (41.85) per cent of fixed carbon.
At from 450 to 470 feet, there was encountered a sort of fine-grained water rock, that would furnish an artesian well with a pressure sufficient to throw a stream twenty feet high. And at a depth of 470 feet was found a layer of the same brown sandstone, which, at Ponca, in Dixon County, at a depth of 570 feet, was found to lie immediately on a vein of coal four and a half feet thick. It is therefore inferred that there is a stratum of good coal here immediately beneath the point of the drill.
Decatur is now the home of the Rev. William Hamilton, who, since the fall of 1837, has labored as a missionary among the Indians. With him it has been a labor of love. Some fifteen years ago, he translated into the Iowa language the Gospel of St. Matthew, with some other portions of the New Testament, and some portions of the Old Testament, which he now engaged in copying into the Omaha.
Henry Fontenelle, a brother of Logan Fontenelle, the last great Omaha chief, lives on his farm just out of Decatur, on the southeast corner of the reservation. He has considerable influence with the Omahas, and they are greatly indebted to him for the progress in agriculture they are now making.
The Decatur Herald---This paper was established December 21, 1881. It almost immediately acquired an acknowledged position and influence in the county, and rapidly increased in circulation. It is an excellent local paper, and, in politics, is emphatically Republican. It is published by Price & Neville.
JAMES ASHLEY, hardware, also of the firm of Drury & Ashley, bankers, is a native of England; came to New York in 1852, and worked in Brooklyn in the iron railing business two years. In 1854, he came to Chicago and followed the same trade there. In the spring of 1857, he came to Dakota County, Neb., and there carried on the blacksmith trade during the summer. In the fall he removed to St. Louis. In the spring of 1858, returned to Dakota County, carried on the blacksmith trade at Logan. In the fall of 1858, he came to Dakota City, and carried on his trade till 1860, when he removed to the Omaha Reservation; worked as the Government blacksmith four years, then came to Decatur in 1864. He, with his brother, carried on a shop two years. He then returned to the agency, where he again worked four years; was then appointed by the agent, Trader with the Omahas; continued two years; then returned to Decatur and went into the hardware business. Their bank was established in February, 1879.
W. B. ATWATER, of the firm Atwater & Byram, dealers in general merchandise, is a native of La Porte County, Ind. In 1857, he came to Minneapolis, Minn. In 1861, he enlisted in Company B, Ninth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry; served one year in the Sioux war and two years in the South; was six months in Andersonville and other prisons, then returned to Minnesota and engaged in lumbering. In 1867, he removed to Chicago, Ill., and engaged in contracting and building; in 1877, he came to Decatur, Neb., and engaged with his brother in general merchandising. In 1879, he commenced this business. Mr. Byram was admitted as a partner in June, 1880. Their sales average about $17,000 a year.
GEORGE E. ATWATER, of the firm of Atwater & Hoppock, general merchandise, is a native of La Porte County, Ind. In 1872, he came to Decatur, and the following year he established this business. His means then were limited to $25 only. He has worked into a large and prosperous business. Their sales now amount to about $25,000 a year. He is chairman of the village Board of Trustees, and Vice President of the Decatur Mining Company, organized in February, 1881.
C. B. BARLOW, dealer in drugs and general merchandise, was born in Cheshire, England, in 1861, and came to Paterson, N. J., where he remained a few months, then came to Boston and engaged in silk manufacturing, known as the Boston Silk and Woolen Mills. In 1865, he returned to England; remained there but four months, then came to Chicago. In 1867, he came to Decatur and opened a general store, which he has since continued. In 1873, he bought out a stock of drugs, and has since then carried on this business also. He has been a member of the council two terms.
E. D. CANFIELD, of the firm of Canfield & Hobbs, dealers in general merchandise, was born in Essex County, N. Y., in the spring of 1848, and came to Waukesha, County, Wis., in 1858; came to Decatur and worked at the carpenter trade two or three years; he then worked on a contract in building four or five houses on the agency. He was then appointed Assistant Engineer at the Omaha Agency Mills; held that position three and a half years; then removed to Omaha, and clerked in a store fifteen months at $100 a month; he then bought a farm of 120 acres two miles south of Decatur, which he has since improved, working on this farm in the summers and clerking in Omaha about three and a half winters. After living on this farm about three years longer, after repeated solicitations from Bishop Hase, he, with his wife, removed to Dakota Territory and taught school there four years. He was then urgently requested by the Commissioners of Indian Affairs to go about two hundred miles north in the Territory, and take charge of their school. After remaining there about one month his wife died. He soon after resigned his position and returned to Decatur, September, 1881, and became a member of this firm.
CHARLES R. DAKIN, dealer in furniture and agricultural implements, is a native of Concord, Mass. In 1833, he came to Geneva, N. Y.; in 1835, removed to Cleveland, Ohio; clerked in a store, and carried on business about four years. In the fall of 1839, he came to Waukesha County, Wis., and carried on a general store there and in Milwaukee; he closed his Milwaukee store, after running it about eighteen months; continued in business in Waukesha till 1863, when he came to Decatur and opened a farm which he improved, In 1875, he engaged in banking, continued about two years, then sold out to a stock company. He owns 120 acres of land, which is well improved, where he has resided for the past nine years. He has been Treasurer and member of the school board.
W. E. DRURY, of the firm of Drury & Lewis, attorneys at law, and of the firm of Drury & Ashley, bankers, is a native of Erie County, Penn. At the age of eight years he came with his parents to Michigan. At the breaking out of the war, he enlisted in Company G, Ninety-sixth Illinois Infantry; served about one year; was discharged on account of physical disability. He re-enlisted in the Ninth Illinois Cavalry; served till November, 1865, then returned to Chicago, and in the spring of 1866, came to Decatur and homesteaded 160 acres of land and improved it. He was elected County Superintendent and held that position four years. During this time he took up the study of law; was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1879, and has been actively engaged in this profession since. They established their bank in February, 1879.
HENRY FONTENELLE, farmer, P. O. Decatur, was born at Bellevue, Sarpy County, in 1832. In the spring of 1855, he came to the Omaha Reservation and on account of trouble between the Omahas and Sioux, he returned to Bellevue and remained there till the spring of 1856, when he again returned to the reservation, where he has since resided. He also owns 160 acres of land, outside the reserve, in Section 4, Decatur Precinct, which he has improved. Mr. Fontenelle is well informed on all matters pertaining to the county. He has been United States Interpreter twelve years; was Government farmer two years, and was appointed chief of the tribe by the Agent. He has since resigned.
F. E. LANGE, farmer, Section 30, P. O. Golden Spring, is a native of Saxony; came to America in 1852; was engaged in cabinet-making and car-building in many of the Eastern States. March, 1855, he went to Kansas; thence to St. Joseph, Mo.; in May, 1855, he came to Burt County, and assisted in building the first houses in the county, and was one of six of the first settlers in the county. He owns about a section of land; the spring on his farm was dedicated in the summer of 1857, naming it the Golden Spring. There was a store and other buildings here then, and the intention was to build a town known as Central Bluffs. The first election of officers was in the fall of 1855, when the settlers organized the legislative session. Mr. Lange was elected one of the County Commissioners, and served two terms; he is now serving on his fifth term. He has always been connected with the School Board since its organization.
CAPT. S. T. LEAMING, civil engineer, is a native of Schoharie County, N. Y. When four years old, he came with his parents to La Porte, Ind.; in 1852, he went to California; returned in 1855; then took up engineering, he having studied and been actively engaged in the field before going to California; in the winter of 1856-57, he was employed by the Iowa Central Air Line (now the Chicago and North-Western) Railroad; surveyed the road from Ida Grove to the Missouri River; in 1857, came to Decatur and bought a claim of 320 acres from Mr. Rose, for which he paid $6,400; he now owns 120 acres joining the town on the south, where he resides; also owns about two hundred lots in town. He assisted in organizing the town, and was the first Mayor; he held the office four years; in 1858, helped organize what was known as the Decatur South Pass Air Line Railroad Company; was elected Chief Engineer of said Company, and made the first actual railroad survey ever made in Nebraska----said survey running westward from Decatur 100 miles---and the next year was elected to the Territorial Legislature and served two years; he was appointed to allot the farms for the Omaha and Winnebago Indians; was County Surveyor two years. He enlisted, in 1862, in Company I, Second Nebraska Cavalry; was promoted in 1863 to First Lieutenant, and later promoted to Captain, which rank he held when mustered out.
HENRY MARSH, farmer, Section 10, P. O. Golden Spring, was born in Livingston County, N. Y., about 1854; came to Jackson County, Iowa, in 1859; came to Burt County, Neb. where he has since resided. He owns 800 acres of land, and is largely engaged in live stock; he winters about two hundred head of cattle and about one hundred and twenty-five hogs. Golden Spring Post Office was established in 1874; he was then appointed Postmaster, and has since held this office.
IRA THOMPSON, proprietor Thompson House, is a native of Chautauqua County, N. Y., where he was raised and educated. He enlisted in August, 1862, in Company B, One Hundred and Twelfth New York Infantry, and served to the end of the war. Returned to his native town, where he remained till 1875, then came to Hardin County, Iowa; ran a hotel there; in 1879, removed to Battle Creek, Iowa; there ran a hotel also; in August, 1881, he came to Decatur, and has since had charge of this house.
THOMAS WOOD, grocer, is a native of Leicestershire, England; in 1857, came to Ogle County, Ill.; followed farming. Enlisted in 1861, in Company K, Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, and served to the end of the war. In 1866, he came to Marshall County, Iowa, and there followed farming; in 1871, he came to Decatur, and ran a threshing machine and engaged in breaking prairie. In March, 1879, he commenced this business; he sold the past year fifty-five hogs, and owns now 140 hogs.