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Kansas Collection Books

Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska

Produced by Karen Elliott.

Part 4


is a post office situated in the northwest part of the county. The first settlements were made here in 1867, by George Robinson, J. A. Brown and George Cox. The first school was taught here in 1871, by C. B. Sawtelle, in the residence of George Robinson. Afterward, in the same year, a schoolhouse was built, and also in the same year the first sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. Perkins. In 1880, a church was built by the Methodists. A post office was established in 1876; first Postmaster, A. C. Randall.



JOE BAYER, farmer, Section 15, P. O. Alder Grove, is a native of Franklin County, Penn; came to Burt County in 1872, and located on this farm, then an unbroken prairie; he owns 440 acres, now well improved and a large part fenced; his house, barn and other buildings will compare with any others in this county. He is wintering about fifty head of cattle, about one hundred hogs, and employs three teams to work his farm.

DAVID CLARK, farmer, Section 24, P. O. Alder Grove, Burt County, was born August 20, 1815, in Jefferson County, N. Y.; at the age of ten years, came to Lorain County, Ohio, with his parents. In 1851, he went to California, where he remained two years, then returned to Ohio. Enlisted in 1863 in Company K, One Hundred and Third Ohio Infantry; served five months and was discharged on account of physical disability. In March, 1867, he came to this locality, and has since been engaged in farming. He owns 760 acres of land, and is one of the most successful farmers in the county. Married, in 1841, to Miss Lucy A. Foster, of Lorain County, Ohio. They have two children--Hiram G. and Emily (now Mrs. Mennell).

W. A. CLARK, farmer, Section 14, P. O. Craig, was born in Harrison County, Ohio; in the spring of 1868, came to Burt County; entered two sections, 14 and 15; located on Section 15. He afterward sold the south half of this section; in 1869, removed to Section 14, where he has since resided and made extensive improvements. The lumber used in building his house he hauled from Omaha; occupied three days in making the trip. He has two tenants working his land; from four to six teams are employed. In June 1874, he was appointed Postmaster here. This office was known as Clark Post Office, till the fall of 1881, when it was changed to Craig. He enlisted in 1865 in Company K, One Hundred and Seventieth Ohio Infantry; served four months.

WILLIAM S. CRAIG, farmer, Section 13, P. O. Craig, is a native of Harrison County, Ohio; was there engaged in farming; in 1870, came to Nebraska; located on this farm. He owns about 1,800 acres of land and donated the land where the station and town of Craig are now being built. Mainly through his exertions the station was located here. He has under fence about 450 acres, which are largely used for pasture. His attention has been largely directed to raising sheep. Lately the number has been largely reduced. He now owns about 500. Is Treasurer of the Presbyterian Church, Treasurer of the School Board, Justice of the Peace, and other offices.

ANDREW STRUTHERS, farmer, Section 14, P. O. Alder Grove, was born near Montreal, Can.; in 1863, came to Chicago; in 1864, removed to Iowa; was employed in building bridges for the C., P.& N. R. R., after known as the S. S. & P. R. R. In 1865, he enlisted in Company H, Twelfth Iowa Infantry; served to the end of the war. He then returned and resumed bridge building; continued till 1868, when he came to Burt County, Neb. He owns 240 acres of land, and leases 320 for pasture and hay. He is feeding about fifty head of cattle and about 150 hogs, and requires from four to five teams to work his farm. He was appointed Postmaster in the spring of 1878; still holds this office.


This thriving town is situated in the western part of the county, on Logan Creek, in Logan Valley. The first settler here was a Mr. Aaron Arlington who, with his wife and four daughters, arrived from Philadelphia in 1859. One of his daughters married a half-breed by the name of Pilcher. At this time, their nearest neighbor was "Commodore" Decatur, over thirteen miles away. John Oak arrived here in 1862 and purchased the site of Mr. Arlington, and it is after Mr. Oak the town is named. The next settler was James Askwig, in 1869, and, about the same time, came A. Morrell, George Healea and J. S. Lemmon, the present Postmaster at Oakland.

The first store was opened by Marks & Ross, in 1870. The first physician was Dr. T. W. Leeper, in 1877, and the first lawyer was A. B. Charde, 1878. The first preacher was Rev. W. E. Axling, of the Baptist Church, in the year 1875, and the first school was taught by Miss Paulina Clark, in 1878. The present high school building, a neat, two-story frame structure, costing $3,000, was completed in the summer of 1881, and the school opened on September 1 of that year.

In Oakland there are four church organizations, each one having an edifice of its own. These four are of the following denominations: Swedish Lutheran, Swedish Baptist, American Lutheran and Episcopalian. The town has two banks, one flouring-mill, two elevators, three agricultural depots, two drug stores, two lumber yards, three physicians and one newspaper, the Independent, established by George W. Brewster, on the lst of October, 1880. In 1880 the population was 345; in 1881, it is estimated at 700, and is largely composed of Scandinavians.


JOHN P. ANDERSON, farmer, Section 30, P. O. Oakland, is a native of Sweden; in 1857, came to Moline, Ill.; afterward removed to Richland Grove; in 1861, came to Rock Island; there married Miss Matilda Shenstrom, who was born in Sweden; came with her parents to Illinois when a child of two years; they have two children--one son and one daughter. In the spring of 1866, they came to Menona County, Iowa; in June, 1866, they removed to Nebraska and located on the farm, consisting of 160 acres; they boarded with John Oak while he was erecting a cabin, which was the first cabin built north of Oakland, except one built by Josiah Everett a short time before. He drew up a petition giving this precinct the name of Oakland, which was presented to the County Commissioners, and by them approved and adopted. He was one of four who first came to this precinct, except John Oak, who had been here about four months before. In the summer of 1867, the post office was established in Oakland; John Oak was appointed Postmaster, and Mr. Anderson was his assistant. This farm has now a grove of about twelve acres northwest of his house, about three hundred apple trees south of his house, with about a mile of shade trees planted round his farm, which is now one of the most desirable farms in this locality. Mr. Anderson has always taken an active part in the educational interests in his locality.

JOHN G. ARTHUR, dealer in agricultural implements, wagons and buggies; also Victor Folding and Lock Desks, and Domestic Sewing Machines, Oakland. Is a native of Oneida County, N. Y. In the spring of 1879, came to Decatur, Neb.; in September, 1879, came to Oakland, and has since been engaged in this business; he built one of the first buildings in the new town. He owns a farm of 160 acres in Oakland Precinct. Is a Justice of the Peace, a member of the M. E. Church, and Superintendent of the Union Sabbath School. He was married in December, 1880, to Miss Mattie Laughlin, of Fitchville, Ohio.

F. W. BARNS, of the firm of A. E. Wells & Co., bankers, is a native of Racine County, Wis. During 1878-79, he attended Williams College, Williamstown, Mass.; in 1880, came to Blair; a few months later came to Oakland, and at once became a member of this firm.

A. BECKMAN, live stock dealer and real estate, is a native of Sweden. In 1864, he came to Henry County, Ill.; came to Oakland Precinct in 1864; homesteaded 160 acres; he now owns 240 acres which he improved. In the spring of 1881, he commenced the live-stock business; he handled the past eight months about $95,000 worth of hogs; he also attends to the sale of lands in the Logan Valley.

A. B. CHARDE, of the firm of Charde & Beckman, Logan Valley Real Estate Agency. At about the age of ten years, he came to Jefferson County, N. Y., and there commenced a preparatory course of studies. In 1875, he came to Decatur, Neb., and commenced the study of law with Watson Parrish; completed his studies with F. M. Johnson in 1878; has since been engaged in law and real estate; they are the only real estate firm in the Logan Valley, representing the counties of Burt, Dodge, Washington, Cuming, Stanton, Wayne, Dixon and Dakota; he is also land agent for the Sioux City & Pacific Railroad Company.

F. J. FRIED, of the firm of Cook & Fried, lumber and coal, is a native of Sweden; in 1874, came to Fremont, Neb., and engaged in the lumber business; in 1877, came to Omaha, and there edited a Swedish paper one year; came to Oakland in 1879; he with Mr. Cook then established this business. He was married in 1878, to Josephine Vickell, of Sweden; they have one daughter.

SAMUEL FRIED, live stock, is a native of Sweden; in 1864, came to Henry County, Ill.; in 1867, came to Oakland, and homesteaded 160 acres of land in Section 31, which he improved; in 1868, he was appointed Postmaster, and held this office till 1875; he then opened a general store, and continued it about three years. He has held various local offices--Assessor, Treasurer of the School Board, and others.

W. L. HANDY, hardware, stoves, tinware, etc. Is a native of Albany, Mo.; in 1872, he came to Blair; worked for Reordan & Kerney, hardware, about five years; the firm of W. L. Handy & Co. was then established, they buying out C. A. Meyers & Co.; this business continued till January, 1880, when Mr. Handy came to Oakland; worked for Blanchard & Latta about one year; W. L. Handy then bought out Blanchard & Latta, and has carried on the business ever since March 12, 1881; he does a business of about $17,000 a year.

HON. ROBERT HANSON, farmer, Section 12, P. O. Oakland, is a native of Denmark; in 1863, he came to Racine, Wis., and worked at the carpenter trade; in 1866, he came to Omaha and worked at his trade till 1870, when he removed to this farm; he homesteaded 160 acres, and now owns 420 acres of land, about one hundred and twenty-five acres under cultivation and otherwise well improved. He represented this county in the Legislature in 1879; has been School Treasurer since its organization. He was married in 1870 to Miss Sophia Hanson, of Denmark; they have four children--three sons and one daughter.

JAMES HANSON, farmer, Section 12, P. O. Oakland, is a native of Denmark; there learned the trade of carpenter and wagon maker, with his father, who carried on this business; in 1866, he came to Omaha and worked at his trade there; in 1867, he came to Oakland and homesteaded 160 acres of land, which he has since owned and improved; he also owns about ten acres of timber land and twenty-five acres of meadow land. Mr. Hanson is one of the oldest settlers in this county.

JOHN S. LEMMON, dealer in agricultural implements, was born in Fountain County, Ind.; raised in Parke County; in 1854, came to Council Bluffs; in 1856, removed to Fontanelle, Neb., where his father owned a steam saw-mill; worked in this mill till 1861, when he enlisted, November 10, in Company D, Fifth Iowa Cavalry; was taken prisoner August 10, 1864, near Atlanta; remained in prison till April 17, 1865; was mustered out of the service June 5, 1865. In 1868, he came to Oakland Precinct, located on a farm in Section 13, which he has improved. In August, 1879, he came to Oakland and commenced this business. He is a member of the Village Board, is a School Director, Assessor, and has held the office of Justice of the Peace.

J. S. LOVELAND, proprietor of the St. Paul Hotel, is a native of Ogdensburg, N. Y. In about 1854, he came to Bremer County, Iowa, engaged in farming; afterward removed to Ida County. In about 1861, he came to Nebraska and located at Decatur; homesteaded 160 acres of land; was Government carpenter with the Omaha Indians about four years; then returned to Decatur, and kept a hotel about two years. In February, 1881, he came to Oakland and opened this house.

L. J. MALMSTEN, of the firm of Morell & Malmsten, dealers in general merchandise, is a native of Sweden, and came to Oakland in 1869, and engaged in farming. In 1875, he became a member of this firm, and now personally manages the business; is also Deputy Postmaster. He was married, in 1874, to Miss Mary Morell, of Sweden. They have four children, two sons and two daughters.

JOHN L. NELSON, of the firm of Lund & Nelson, furniture and undertaker, is a native of Sweden. In 1867, he came to Galesburg, Ill.; in 1869, came to Rock Island, Ill., and there worked at this business till September 1, 1881, when he came to Oakland and engaged in this business. He was married, in 1872, to Caroline Chillstrum, of Henry County, Ill. They have four children, one son and three daughters.

WATSON PARRISH, attorney at law and banker, is a native of Tennessee. At about the age of two years he came with his parents to Whiteside County, Ill. After receiving a preparatory course of studies, he attended the Knox College at Galesburg. At the breaking-out of the war, he enlisted in Company G, Thirty-ninth Illinois Infantry, and served three years and four months. He then went to Ann Arbor and entered the Law Department of the University of Michigan; graduated in the class of 1866. In September, 1866, he came to Decatur, Neb.; opened a law office, and has since followed his profession. He was elected to the Legislature in 1869; served during the extra session till 1871. He, with Mr. Griffin, established this bank October 4, 1879. Mr. Parrish has always taken an active part in the Republican State Conventions.

W. E. PEEBLES, dealer in general merchandise, was born in Elgin, Ill. When one year old his parents came to Bremer County, Iowa. His father practiced medicine. In 1867, they came to Decatur, Neb.; in 1868, he attended Parson's College at Cedar Rapids; remained there two years; then returned to Decatur, and clerked in a drug and grocery store till 1875. He then bought out his employer, giving notes for $500, the amount of the stock, he being then but eighteen years old, and having no money to pay down. By strict attention to business, he was enabled to meet these notes when due. He removed to Oakland in 1880, and is now doing the largest business here and second to none in the county, carrying a stock of about $15,000, and selling about $50,000 yearly. Mr. Peebles is an example of what ability and enterprise can accomplish in the West.

JOHN G. PRESTON, farmer, Section 19, P. O. Oakland, is a native of England. In 1842, he came to America; in 1852, he engaged in railroading and continued in this business about twenty-eight years. In 1867, he purchased this land, and in the spring of 1880, located here. He owns 800 acres in this county, also 100 acres in Douglas County; is largely engaged in live-stock, and now owns 135 head of cattle, and 125 hogs. About five teams are used in working this farm, which is one of the largest in this locality.

FRED RENARD, proprietor of the Eagle Mills, was born in Cologne on the Rhine, Germany. In about 1850, he came to Dodge County, Wis., and engaged in farming. In 1860, he came to Washington County Neb., and also followed farming, where he owns about one section of land. In 1873, he came to Oakland and built this mill, which was the second mill built on Logan Creek. This mill he has since operated. It has three run of stones for wheat and one for corn. He also owns fifty-five acres of land with this mill.

JOHN P. ROSEN, of the firm of Rosen, Olander & Co., dealers in general merchandise, is a native of Sweden. In 1869, he came to Oakland Precinct; in 1878, he formed a company known as J. P. Rosen & Co., who bought out the stock of Samuel Fried, carrying on this business till the fall of 1879. He then bought out his former partners and formed the company of Rosen, Olander & Co., which has since continued. He was married, in 1880, to Clara E. Peel, of Des Moines, Iowa. They have one daughter.

DR. R. H. RUST, physician and surgeon and druggist, is a native of Virginia; came, with his parents, to Missouri when a child. In 1849, he commenced the study of medicine; graduated at the Keokuk Medical College in the winter of 1850-51. He has practiced about twenty years in Dallas County, Iowa; in the fall of 1879, came to Blair; June, 1881, came to Oakland and opened this drug store. He is probably one of the oldest practicing physicians in the State.

J. J. STUBBS, grain, is a native of Preble County, Ohio; in 1870, came to Omaha; was employed as civil engineer for the railroad about five years. He then engaged in the grain business, which he has since continued; in the winter of 1879-80 came to Oakland; has since built an elevator, which is used in the storage of grain.

IRA THOMAS, firm of J. R. Thomas & Sons, grain and lumber, is a native of Wyoming County, N. Y.; in 1860, he came to Tekamah, and was afterward editor and proprietor of the Nebraska Advocate; business manager for G. P. Thomas & Co. at Oakland in 1879; May, 1880, the present firm was established. Their grain business amounts to about $90,000 a year. They own the only steam elevator in the county. Their lumber business amounts to about $45,000 a year. Their business is done principally in the Logan Valley district.

F. A. WALLERSTEDT, druggist, was born in Mercer County, Ill. At the age of eighteen years, he commenced to learn this business, which he has since followed. In the fall of 1876, he opened a store at Orion, Ill.; continued there in business till the fall of 1879, when he removed to Oakland, where he has since been carrying on a very prosperous business.


Lyons is a flourishing town on the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad, eight miles from Oakland, and also on Logan Creek, on the far-famed Logan Valley. The first permanent settler in the vicinity of Lyons was Josiah Everett, who, with three brothers, came here in July, 1866. About the same time, however, possibly a little earlier in the year, Peter McMullen, M. Willsey and R. L. Hart came in to select their homesteads, but did not settle until 1867. In 1868, Mr. Levi Richardson came here from Decatur, with his family, and in 1869, Mr. O. S. Comar and family. In the same year, Mr. Waldo Lyon came here from Arizona, Burt County, and it is after him the town is named.

William Waite move into the precinct in 1868, and into Lyons in 1874.

The first store was opened by a firm from Onawa, Iowa, in 1871, and Franklin Everett built a large store in 1874. O. S. Comar built the first wagon shop in 1873, and L. A. Peterson built his blacksmith shop in the same year, and was the first regular blacksmith, although Josiah Everett had previously done what labor in that line he was called upon to do.

The first child born in the neighborhood was a daughter of Peter McMullen, in 1867. The first death was that of a Mr. Hotchkiss, in 1868. The first minister was Rev. J. M. Peebles, now of Decatur, through whose influence the present Presbyterian church edifice was built. At the present time, there are three churches in Lyons, being, in addition to the Presbyterian above mentioned, a Methodist and a Catholic organization.

Lyons has three general stores, one dry goods and millinery store, two drug stores, two groceries, two hardware stores, two blacksmith shops, one flouring-mill (built in 1870), two lumber yards, two agricultural stores, one bank, and other places of business. There is one lawyer and also one physician.

Lyons has a fine two-story frame school building, costing $3,000, with over one hundred pupils. This village contains about seventy-five buildings, most of which are neat two-story frames, and a population of 250. In 1880, there were less than one hundred in the town.

The farmers of Logan Valley, in which both Lyons and Oakland are situated, are engaged mostly in stock-raising, although grain in considerable quantities is also raised. The soil of this valley is very fertile, and it would seem as though in it were to be found all the conditions of successful and satisfactory farming. The valley is broad, its slopes are gentle and easy of ascent, and, with the never-failing, rapid-running and beautiful Logan Creek, skirted with trees standing singly, in rows and in groves, with its numerous farm buildings surrounded by hedges, orchards and domestic groves of cottonwood, maple and walnut, with its herds of cattle and sheep fattening upon the rich native grasses of its plains and hillsides, with its fields of waving cereals, it presents altogether a scene of picturesqueness, richness and beauty such as the eye of the traveler seldom sees.

This beautiful valley was named Logan in honor of Logan Fontanelle, by the Quincy colonists, and only a few days after they had named Fontanelle after the same friendly Omaha chief.

[Portrait of W. Harrington, Tekamah.]


O. S. COMAR, general merchandise, is a native of Bennington County, Vt.; in 1864, came to Columbia County, Wis.; followed wagon making; in 1868, came to Everett Precinct; engaged at farming and wagon-making. March, 1877, he opened a grocery store, and gradually worked into a general stock. He enlisted, in 1861, in Company A, Second Vermont Infantry; remained in the service till the fall of 1864.

FREMONT EVERETT, attorney at law and firm of Everett & Shumway lumber, was born in Allmakee County, Iowa; in 1868, came with his parents to Everett Precinct. In the spring of 1877, he commenced the study of law; was admitted to the bar, at Onawa, Iowa, in 1879; has since been engaged in this profession. Their lumber business was established January 1, 1880.

FRANKLIN EVERETT, Postmaster, banker and live stock, is a native of Somerset County, Me.; in 1852, came to Dodge County, Wis.; in 1854, removed to Allamakee County, Iowa; in the spring of 1868, came to Nebraska; located in Everett Precinct. They were the third family in the precinct. He owns about fifteen hundred acres of land, and is largely engaged in live stock; is now feeding about one hundred and fifty head of cattle and thirty horses. November, 1874, he opened a general store; was then appointed Postmaster; closed out his store September 15, 1880; June, 1881, commenced banking under the firm name of F. Everett & Son; has been two years County Commissioner.

R. S. HART, agricultural implements, is a native of Monroe County, N. Y.; in 1865, came to Nebraska; located in the Logan Valley. He owns 266 acres of land, which he improved and now rents. In the fall of 1881, he removed to Lyons and established this business. He enlisted , in 1861, in Company B, Tenth Wisconsin Infantry; served three years. He then re-enlisted in the Hancock Corps; served to the end of the war. Mr. Hart turned the first sod and broke the land where Lyons is now located.

L. KRYGER, druggist, manager for C. F. Goodman, is a native of Buffalo, N. Y. The past twenty-one years, he has been engaged in this business. In 1871, he opened a drug store at West Point, Neb.; continued there about nine years; June, 1880, came to Lyons; has since had charge of this business.

E. R. LIBBEY, farmer, Section 31, P. O. Lyons, is a native of Pittsfield, N. H.; in 1849 came to Dane County, Wis.; engaged in farming and lumbering; in the spring of 1867, came to this farm. He owns 240 acres of land, about one hundred and sixty acres under cultivation; is one of the first settlers in this locality. He is feeding about twenty-four head of cattle, one hundred hogs and employs two teams to run this farm.

HON. W. LYON, firm of W. Lyon & Sons, proprietors of Lyon's Mills, was born in Vermont; raised in Connecticut. In 1843, came to Dodge County, Wis.; in the fall of 1865, came to Omaha; opened a general store, continued about one year. He then removed to Arizona Precinct, Burt County, where he was engaged in merchandising and ran a saw-mill. In 1869, came to Lyons. The following year he built this mill. They own over 1,200 acres of land. He formerly owned the land where Lyons now stands. He was a member of the State Senate; also a member of the first State Constitutional Convention.

J. F. PIPER, firm of Blanchard & Piper, general merchandise, is a native of Franklin County, Penn. In 1865, he came to Wayne County, Ohio; in 1877, came to Tekamah, clerked for John F. Kessler about four years in Tekamah and Lyons. In August, 1881, he, with Mr. Blanchard, bought out Mr. Kessler, and have since been carrying on this business.

JOHN RIESCHE, farmer, Section 36, P. O. Lyons, is a native of Hanover, Germany. In 1866, came to Minnesota; came to Burt County in 1870; worked for Mr. Yeaton in 1871. He removed to this farm, which he owns, consisting of 160 acres of land, well-improved, with a good house and barn, and other outbuildings. This property he has made since coming to Nebraska. Married, in 1873, Emily Hendricks, of Hanover, Allamakee Co., Iowa. They have six children, two sons and four daughters.

JOEL S. YEATON, farmer, Section 1, P. O. Lyons, is a native of Somerset County, Me. In 1864, came to Houston County, Minn.; followed farming there five years; came to Decatur, Neb., in the fall of 1869; removed to his present farm in 1870; owns 750 acres of land, and has one of the best improved farms in this county. His house was built in 1872, which cost about $3,000. He was one of the building committee in building the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a member. He has also contributed largely to the support and building of the Presbyterian Church. Joel S. Yeaton was born in Belgrade, Me., June 23, 1824. His wife, Susan T. Yeaton, was born in Somerset County, same State, May 7, 1831. They have six children--Florence May, born April 4, 1851; Zelotes D., May 25, 1853; Elias M., February 10, 1855; Melvin T., January 10, 1856; Edgar A., February 14, 1866; Edna T., July 28, 1868. The first four of the children were born in Somerset County. Me, the two others in Houston County. Minn.


This little town, which is also in Logan Valley, was started in the fall of 1880, by the location of a station there by the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad. It is on the farm of B. F. Barber, who located there in 1874. Bancroft has, besides the station, a post office, store, blacksmith shop, hotel, and a population of twenty-five.

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County Index

Index of Illustrations - Burt County
  1. [View of Tekamah.]
  2. [Bardwell & Reed's Agricultural Warehouse.]
  3. [Portrait of B. R. Folsom.]
  4. [Portrait of W. W. Latta.]
  5. [Portrait of J. P. Latta.]
  6. [Portrait of D. L. McLaughlin, M. D.]
  7. [Portrait of Geo. P. Thomas.]
  8. [Portrait of W. Harrington, Tekamah.]