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Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska
Douglas County
Produced by Liz Lee.

Part 1      Part 3

City of Omaha

Note: Please refer back to the Omaha first page, or to the Chapter Table of Contents for the complete listing.

SECTION 1:  The Early DaysSECTION 2:  More Early Days
SECTION 3:  Omaha in 1870SECTION 4:  Present Day (1882)
SECTION 5:  CrimesSECTION 6:  Fires and Public Works
SECTION 7:  Health, Parks, MailSECTION 8:  The Press in Omaha
SECTION 9:  Press ContinuedSECTION 10:  Religious
SECTION 11:  Religious (cont.)SECTION 12:  Cemetery and Schools
SECTION 13:  Legal and MedicalSECTION 14:  Opera House-Hotels-Business
SECTION 15:  SocietiesSECTION 16:  Societies (Cont.)
SECTION 17:  BusinessSECTION 18:  Manufacturing
SECTION 19:  Manufacturing (cont.)

20 - 46:

   ** Omaha Biographical Sketches **
| WOODARD~ZEHRUNG | West Omaha Precinct | Douglas Precinct |

List of Illustrations in Douglas County Chapter

City of Omaha 37


[Portrait of James O'Connor]

RIGHT REV. JAMES O'CONNOR, Catholic Bishop of Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana, born in Ireland September 10, 1823, came to America in 1838, was educated at Philadelphia, Pa., and the College of Propaganda, Rome, Italy, was ordained there March 25, 1848, by Cardinal Franconi; returned to America and labored in the diocese of Pittsburgh, Pa., for some thirteen years, had charge of St. Michael's Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pa., for some seven years, and was also administrator of the Diocese for a year; then in charge of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary at Philadelphia, Pa., for ten years; afterward had charge of Homesburg parish, Philadelphia, Pa. for about four years; was consecrated Bishop of Debona, and Vicar Apostolic of Nebraska August 26, 1876, at Philadelphia by Bishop Ryan, of St. Louis, came to Nebraska in September, 1876, and has resided at Omaha since. He established Creighton College, by means of an endowment left by Mrs. Edward Creighton, at Omaha, in September, 1878, also established the Academy of the Sisters of Mercy, in 1878, and three parochial schools, in charge of the same sisters at Omaha, in September, 1881, established the boarding schools of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart.

GEN. GEORGE MORGAN O'BRIEN, was born in Garrymoile, County Wexford, Ireland, May 1, 1827. He is a direct lineal descendant of that old historic family and "house" known and designated in Europe, but more particularly in Ireland, their home, as "the O'Briens" of the "House of O'Brien," the head of which was called "The Great O'Brien." He is the son of Patrick O'Brien and Miss Anne Codde, daughter of the celebrated Gen. Codde. He received his early tuition and training at his father's house, from private tutors, and when of sufficient age was sent to the Academy of Coolgariff, and in 1845 entered upon his collegiate course in Wexford. The famine years of 1846-47 demanding the time and services of his father, and his assistance as clerk, he was taken from college, assigned to the Barony of Scarawalsh, as clerk connected with the public works, for the relief of those suffering from privation and famine; this position he filled with credit until the spring of 1847. Subsequently he took an active part in the rebellion of 1848. With his kinsman of the old name, William Smith O'Brien. Upon the failure of that movement, and the arrest of many of the leaders, Ireland became an unsafe place for the O'Briens, and on the 22d of April, 1849, he sailed with his father and family for America, and arrived in Milwaukee, Wisc., June 14, of that year. The family had to depend chiefly on George M. for support, and with that same courage that characterized him in all pursuits, he set about his duty; being a fine mathematician, and having received instructions as a civil engineer and surveyor, he selected this pursuit, entered upon it as a profession, and successfully pursued the same during the summer months, directing his attention to the study of law during the winter months, which last named study, particularly that part pertaining to real property, had proved part of his education in his native country. In September, 1851, he married Miss Kate E. O'Carroll, a lineal descendant of the old patriotic family of that name, and on her mother's side, of the O'Byrnes, of Wicklow County, Ireland, who were compatriots of the O'Briens in the rebellion of 1798. At the time of the breaking out of the late war of the rebellion O'Brien donned the blue as a private soldier, on the 13th of April, 1861, as a member of the Clay Battalion, in the city of Washington. He was subsequently Colonel of the Forty-second Iowa Infantry and the last commanding officer of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry, and earned, by gallant and meritorious services, the rank of Brigadier General, by brevet, which rank he held from February, 1865, until the time of his muster out of service on the 17th of May, 1866. His first entry into Nebraska was on the 19th of August, 1863. In command of an expedition against the hostile Indians. He served on the plains of Nebraska and Colorado with credit to himself and his command against these savages. On his muster out of the service in May, 1866, Gen. O'Brien moved his family to Omaha, and subsequently was admitted as an attorney of the State and Federal Courts in Nebraska, and in 1873 was admitted as an attorney and counsellor of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is now engaged in the general practice of the law, at Omaha, Nebraska. His special forte, however, is in that branch of the law pertaining to real property and equity cases, and in defense of parties in the Federal courts, charged with violating the criminal laws of the United States. The general is quite unassuming in his manners, devoted to his profession, honest and earnest in the performance of his duty. He is strongly attached to his friends, a powerful advocate of any cause he engages in, and is zealously devoted to the liberation of his native country from British rule, and in the promotion and propagation of the broadest measure of liberty to all humanity. He has a family of eight children, three boys and five girls.

I. OBERFELDER & CO., wholesale millinery and notions; business established in Omaha, in July, 1881. They carry a stock of from $30,000 to $50,000 according to the season, occupy two floors, 44X100 feet in extent, and have twenty employes; keep four men on the road. Mr. Oberfelder was born in Bavaria, Germany, March 2, 1844. He was educated at home and emigrated to the United States in 1863, locating in Omaha a few weeks, then continuing west, learning the business in Denver, Salt Lake City and Montana. In 1865 he commenced business for himself, and commenced the wholesale millinery business in Council Bluffs, Iowa, removing from there to Omaha. He was married in Nuremberg, Germany, July 4, 1872, to Miss Frieda Offenbacher of that city. They have three children, Joseph H., Hattie M. and Herbert M. Mr. O. is a member of A., F. & A. M. and the I. O. O. F., of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

OLE OLSON, of Bailey & Olson, brick manufacturers and contractors, born in Denmark, in 1838; learned trade of mason and bricklayer in that country. Came to America in 1867, and to Nebraska the same year, located in Omaha, and was engaged as a bricklayer until the spring of 1877 when he entered into partnership with F. E. Bailey, and has continued in business with him since. Married in Omaha, in 1867, to Anne M. Johnson, native of Denmark. She died April 18, 1873. Mr. O has never married since. They have one son, Charles M.

JAMES OLSEN, meat market, 717 Pacific street, Omaha. Mr. Olsen was born in Denmark, 1851. In 1865 he came to this country and settled in Omaha, where he has been actively identified with the business industries of this place since. He established his present business here in 1873, and has successfully conducted it since. In 1872 he was married to Miss Mary Larson, who was born in Sweden, in 1849, and who passed from this life, September 1879, and is buried in the cemetery here. Mr. Olsen has one daughter, Elizabeth D. Olsen.

C. M. O'DONOVAN, contractor and builder, was born in Ireland in 1844. Came to America in 1866, settling in New York City, where he was engaged in his business until 1881, when he came to Nebraska and has been in the employ of the City Water Works Company as assistant superintendent in laying water mains. Was married in 1861 to Miss Ella Teura. They have one child, a girl.

P. O'MALLEY, was born in Louisburgh, County Mayo, Ireland, June 1848. He left his home April 1866, and arrived in St. Louis, Mo., May 5, of same year, remained in that city until the first of June when he left there and went to McGregor, Iowa; when he went to work on the track for the M & St. P. R. R. Co. Remained with the company for nearly two months, after which he went to work in the lumber yard of Hayt & Burdick. He worked in that yard until the spring in 1867, when Messrs. Hayt & Burdick gave him charge of a salesyard in Leroy, Minn. He remained with this lumber firm until September, 1868, when he went to work in the passenger depot of the M & St. P. R. R., at North McGregor. Remained with this company until April, 1869, when he left McGregor and started for the West, arriving in Omaha on April 15, and went to work for the U. P. R. R. on the 20th and was employed as gang boss in their lumber yard. Remained in that position until November, 1871, when he was appointed foreman and lumber inspector of the Car and Building Department Lumber Yard, the position which he now holds. Was married to Miss Ellen M. Gentleman, of Paris, Canada, July 22, 1874. Four children being born to them, two of whom are living--Mary W. and John J.; two being dead--John J. and Charles M. He is a member and trustee of the Emmet Monument Association, and also a member of the Union Catholic Library Association, of Omaha.

HENRY OSTHOFF, proprietor Weckbach House, Sixteenth street. Erected in 1877 by William Weckbach, contains fourteen rooms, can accommodate twenty four guests. There is also a fine barn in connection. Mr. O. located in Omaha in April, 1878, emigrating from Philadelphia, Pa., where he had lived previously, being one year there in the furniture business, and followed farming and gardening the remainder of the time. He was born in Germany, April 14, 1851; emigrated to America in 1867. He was married in Philadelphia, Pa., April 3, 1878, to Miss Hannah Dilworth, who is a native of Chester County, Pa.

EDWIN R. OVERALL, residence 1819 Farnam Street, Omaha. By occupation a United States Mail Carrier, Omaha post office. Arrived in Nebraska, May 1, and located at Omaha and first engaged as steward of Cozzen's Hotel, until September, 1869, and on October 17, 1869, was appointed General Delivery Clerk of the Omaha Postoffice, and held the same position until 1879, and has been connected with the postoffice department since. Was born at Charles, St. Charles Co., Mo., August 25, 1835, and lived there till twenty years of age; then moved to Chicago, and lived there till 1868; from there to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he embarked in the restaurant business until he removed to Omaha. Was engaged during the Rebellion as agent in Chicago for raising the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-sixth Regiments of Massachusetts, colored troops. Is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and joined the North Star Lodge, No. 1, of Chicago, Ill., in March, 1856, and was elected as Junior and Senior Warden, and Master for two years, and being under the jurisdiction of Ohio, was elected Grand Junior Warden in 1865, and assisted in laying the corner stone for rebuilding of Wilberforce University, at Xenia, Ohio. Is present Master of Rough Ashler Lodge, No. 74, of Omaha, which is under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Missouri; is also District Deputy Grand Master for said Lodge; is also a member of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third degree, for the southern and western jurisdiction of the United States; is also Deputy Grand Inspector General of the Grand Consistory, for the State of Nebraska; is also vice-president of Missouri and Nebraska Coal Company, and is secretary of Timber and Homestead Colony of Nebraska; was also elected president of the National Convention of colored people, at St. Louis, in September, 1872, which decided in favor of Grant's re-nomination for President of the United States. Margaret L. Blackburn was maiden name of his wife, was born October 5, 1833, near Loretta, in Essex Co. Va., Were married at Chicago, June 5, 1859, and have six children, Ida Elizabeth, Victoria Eugene, Florence Esther, Norman Edwin Augustus, Maud Electah and Guy Harvey Leonard.

[Portrait of S. A. Orchard]

SAMUEL A. ORCHARD, of the firm of Orchard & Bean, carpet dealers, wholesale and retail, was born in Livonia, Washington, Co., Ind., September 20, 1835; moved to Nebraska in 1855; was engaged in farming one year. From 1856 to 1863, he was engaged in the mercantile business. During the Rebellion he was appointed Assistant Provost Marshal, which position he held to the end of the war, and then engaged in the mercantile business until 1870, when he was appointed Surveyor of Customs, opening the port here. He resigned in 1872, to accept the office of assistant Postmaster, which place he filled until 1877. Since then he has been engaged in the carpet business. Mr. Orchard was married to Eliza A. Crawford, of Omaha, in 1865. Two children were born of this union, Charles Colfax and Mabel Gray.

GEORGE PALMER, Second Lieutenant of Company K, Ninth United States Infantry now station at Fort Omaha, Neb. was born in Waukesha, Waukesha Co., Wis., October 6, 1852, and lived in native place until six years of age, thence to Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire, Wis., till 1872, at that time was appointed as cadet to military academy at West Point by Gen. Rusk, and graduated at West Point in 1876, and was assigned as Second Lieutenant of Company K, Ninth Infantry. Was first stationed at Fort Laramie, Wy. T., and then at Camp Robinson, Neb. Then went on Gen. Crook's Powder River expedition of 1876-77, then to Fort Omaha, thence to Chicago during the riot in July and August in 1877, then returned to Fort Omaha, next to Fort Sanders, to Fort Sidney then to Cheyenne in 1878, from there with Major Thornburg's expedition of 1878, then back to Omaha in July, 1880, and has been stationed here since. Is connected with Pleasant Hours Social Club of Omaha.

A. A. PARKER, physician and surgeon, came to Omaha in June, 1874, and has engaged in practice since that time. He was born in Aylmer, Ottawa Co., Canada, August 9, 1841 and lived there until seventeen years of age. He enlisted in Company B, Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the Guthrie Gray battalion in April, 1861, after three months' service he re-enlisted in the same regiment for three years, he remained in service one year and a half being finally discharged July 31, 1862. Read medicine with Dr. A. L. Carrick, Cincinnati, graduating from the Ohio Medical College in March, 1867. He commenced practice in Cincinnati, remaining there until March, 1871. Next year and a half he spent at Neosho Falls, and then moved to St. Louis, moving thence to Omaha, Neb. He married at Mount Holly, Ohio, March 7, 1871, Miss Ella S. Guiou of Cincinnati. They have four children, Alice G., Ada H., Blanche W. G. and Cecil B.

CHURCHILL PARKER, of Parker & Bowers, came to Omaha in 1873. For two years he handled the Deere plow, and in 1875 became interested in the Davenport Plow Co., and was in the plow business until 1879. He then engaged in handling farm machinery in partnership with W. J. Kennedy, and in January, 1880, Mr. L. M. Bowers became associated with Mr. Parker in the general agricultural implement business. They give employment to two traveling salesmen. Their sales are principally in Nebraska. In 1881 the business done by this house amounted to $210,000. Mr. Parker was born at Oppenheim, Fulton Co., N. Y., and lived there until he came to Erie County, N. Y. when eight years old. His parents moved from there to Fond du Lac where he stayed until he was eighteen years of age. For several years he engaged in the lumber business at Oshkosh, and then entered the implement trade, having been at the last for twenty years. Mr. P. was married at Oshkosh, May 26, 1856, to Catherine Swart, a native of Deposit, Delaware Co., N. Y.

T. N. PARKER, head clerk on the Omaha & Ogden Railroad P. O. mail service, was born in Portville, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y. March 14, 1847. Removed with his parent to Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1858, where he was educated. Enlisted in 1861 in Company B, Forty-sixth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving four months, the regiment enlisting for three months. Was appointed into the railway mail service in 1873. Mr. P. is a member of the G. A. R., of Omaha.


J. C. PANTER, druggist, established in 1882 as successor to Dr. J. C. Panter & Co. His business now amounts to from $12,000 to $15,000 a year. Judson C. Panter, M. D., druggist, came to Nebraska in December, 1871 and located at Friendville, Saline County, where he remained about three years. From there he removed to David City and lived there until he came to Omaha. He was born in Philadelphia April 1, 1850. When six years old he came to Illinois and lived in El Paso for nine years. Went from there to Chicago, where he stayed three years. He has been in the drug business for ten years. He is a graduate of Rush Medical College class of 1869. He was married at York, Neb., June, 1874, to Mary Bishop, a native of Scotland. They have three children, Jessie B., John A. and Frankie. The doctor does nothing but a prescription business. He is a member of the I. O. O. F.

DANIEL S. PARMELEE, farmer Section 23, has 160 acres of land all improved, containing twenty acres woodland, or cultivated grove. Mr. P., first settled in Omaha in 1859, took up 160 acres of land four miles west of Omaha, then went to Colorado, retaining his land in Douglas County. Engaged in mining and freighting in States, after which he began farming and dealing in grain at Elkhorn station, bought grain four years, since which he has followed farming. He was born in Claremont, N. H., December 10, 1821, lived in the latter State six years, when his parents moved to Ohio and lived same length of time, then moved to Albany, N. Y., where he lived until he was twenty-one years of age, then went to Baltimore, Md., and engaged in the manufacturing of brick, also engaged in railroading, living there twelve years, when he moved to Watertown, Wis., engaged in manufacturing brick, living there from 1855 to 1859. Went to Colorado and followed mining, and developed the original descovery claim known as the Smith & Parmelee mine, located at Gregory Point, Colo., remaining there until 1863 when he returned to Omaha. He was a member of the last Territorial Legislature, which was then held at Omaha, he was also a member of the two first State Legislatures. He was married in Syracuse, N. Y., October, 1842, to Miss Mary A. Barber, born in Utica, N. Y., March 22, 1822. They had two sons, Edward A. and Harry S. Mr. P. is a member of the Masonic Capitol Lodge of Omaha, Neb.

EDWARD A. PARMELEE, Clerk in Quartermaster Department of Omaha.

M. PARR, drugs and fancy goods in business since 1876; succeeded James K. Ish. Mr. Parr was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, February 9, 1842. First engaged in the drug business in 1856, at Cincinnati, Ohio, and was in the business for himself there for a time. Removed to Leavenworth, Kan., remaining only a few months, and then in 1872, settled in Omaha, Neb., and engaged in clerking for James K. Ish, whom he afterwards succeeded. He was married in Omaha, December 9, 1873, to Mrs. Helen L. McIntosh, of Michigan. Mrs. Parr has one child by her former husband, William. Mr. P. is a member of the A., F. & A. M. Lodge and Chapter; I. O. O. F. Lodge and Encampment.

REV. JAMES PATERSON, M. A., Senior Canon of Trinity Cathedral, Omaha. Neb., and Rector of St. Marks Protestant Episcopal Church, in that city, was born in Scotland, in 1826, where he received his education. He graduated in Theology, at Nebraska College and Divinity school, in 1869, and was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Clarkson, on April 4, of that year, and to the priesthood, January 15, 1871, by the same bishop, and has ever since been actively engaged in the educational and missionary work of the diocese. He was one of the original incorporators of the Cathedral Chapter, was its first clerk, which position he still holds; was Rector of Brownell Hall--a school for young ladies--from 1870 to 1875; Missionary Rector of Holy Trinity, Bellevue, from 1870 to 1877; undertook the rectorship of St. Mark's, Omaha, in 1871, and still holds it. Has been a member of the "Standing Committee" of the diocese, and secretary of the same since 1872; secretary of the Annual Council of the Diocese, since 1870; secretary of the Board of Trustees, of Nebraska College and Divinity School, Nebraska City, and Brownell Hall, Omaha, a school for young ladies, during the same period. He has for some years been, and is now one of the Examining Chaplains of the Bishop. In 1873 he was associated with the Rev. Dr. Garrett, and the Hon. J. M. Woolworth of Omaha, in the editorship of the Guardian, a monthly journal, then established, and their joint property. When Dr. Garrett was made Bishop of Northern Texas, the name of the paper was changed to that of Church Guardian, and has been carried on since by him as sole editor and proprietor. The paper has a good reputation all over the States. Mr. Paterson was married in 1849, and had the misfortune to lose his wife in 1876. He has one son, a merchant in Omaha, the sole fruit of his married life.

M. T. PATRICK, proprietor, in company with his brother A. S. Patrick, in stage lines, running from the Union Pacific Railroad at Rock Creek, north to McKinney, Fort Custer, and the Yellow Stone River, and Laramie City to North Park, and several lines in Wyoming, Nebraska and Dakota Territory. They began business in 1878. M. T. Patrick had formerly run the lines from Cheyenne and Sidney to Deadwood, in company with M. Salisbury, in 1876. He first located in Omaha in 1856, and engaged in general merchandise and lumber business about three years. He enlisted as private, in Company A., First Nebraska Cavalry, in August, 1861, and was made Captain at the organization of the company. The regiment was consolidated with Iowa troops at St. Louis, Mo., under Gen. Curtis, when Mr. P. was made Lieutenant Colonel of the Regiment, which was then called the Fifth Iowa Cavalry. He engaged in the battles of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Pittsburgh Landing, and went through with Gen. Thomas in the battles before Atlanta. Mr. P. was a commander of a brigade under Rousseau and Kilpatrick, in their raids. He was mustered out at Nashville, Tenn. He returned to Omaha and was appointed Indian Agent for the Sioux, Cheyennes and Arapahoes, and served in that capacity four years, after which he resigned to take the marshalship of Utah territory, which he filled from 1869 to 1873, inclusive. He then was superintendent of miners for an English company, where he remained until he became interested in the stage business as noted above. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. February 7, 1834. Was married in Wooster, Mass., August 16, 1881, to Miss Eliza Bardette, who is a native of New York City.


HON W. A. PAXTON, livestock and wholesale grocer. Is a native of Washington County, Ky. Came to Omaha January, 1857, and has resided here most of the time since. He engaged in the live stock business in 1869, and has since successfully carried on this business. He now owns a ranch at Ogalalla, Keith Co., Neb., stocked with 16,000 head of cattle. During the years of 1871 to 1876 he supplied the United States Government with about 15,000 head of cattle. He is also engaged in the wholesale grocery business which was established in 1879, and doing a business of about $1,000,000 a year. He is now erecting a three story brick building 88x122 feet, cost about $40,000 to be used for their grocery trade. Mr. Paxton represented this county in the Legislature doing 1880.

[Portrait of James H. Peabody, M. D.]

J. H. PEABODY, M. D., physician and surgeon, was born in Washington, D. C., March 7, 1833. In May, 1869, in Louisville, Ky., he married Miss Mary V. Dent, a native of Maryland, she died in August, 1865, leaving one son, John Dent Peabody, who graduated in medicine in New York in 1881. In November, 1867, in Omaha, he married Miss Jennie Yates, who was also a native of Maryland. The only child of this union died in 1869. We extract the following biography from a work entitled "The Physicians and Surgeons of the United States." "The Doctor is of English descent, his ancestors emigrated to New England in 1665. He was educated in private schools, and read medicine with Dr. T. J. Cathcart of Columbia College, and Dr. J. E. Morgan, of the Medical Department of Georgetown College, D. C., from which he graduated March 7, 1860. He practiced in Washington, D. C., from 1860 to April, 1862, when he entered the United States Army. He received his commission as Surgeon from President Lincoln. He served at Carver Hospital Washington, D. C., was at Antietam. In the course of the war he was in charge of several hospitals in the West, among them the United States Marine Hospital, St. Louis. In July, 1864, he came to Omaha as Medical Director District of the Platte Department of Missouri. At the close for the war he returned East and attended a full course of lectures at Bellevue College, New York City. In April, 1866 he returned to Omaha. He has contributed to the History of the War, to the Transactions of the American Medical Association, Transactions Nebraska Medical Society, various articles for St. Louis Medical Journal and Philadelphia Medical Reporter." From 1866 to 1874, he was Acting Assistant Surgeon U. S. A., in attendance upon officers and their families at Omaha, and attended to a large general practice during that entire period. In 1874 he resigned his position on account of the ill health of his wife. The Doctor has been president of the medical societies of the State of Nebraska and the City of Omaha and has been a liberal contributor to all public enterprises in his adopted city. He was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel by President Johnson for meritorious services during the war.

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