NEGenWeb Project
Kansas Collection Books

Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska
Lancaster County
Produced by Debra Parminter.


Physical Character | Early Settlement | Indian Troubles
Salt Basins


County Organization | Official Roster | County Statistics
Railroads | District Schools | Taxation
County Poor Department | County Societies


Lincoln:   Early History | Incorporation | Official Roster
City Institutions | Post Office

Lincoln (cont.):   University of Nebraska
Lincoln (cont.):   University of Nebraska (cont.)

Lincoln (cont.):   Insane Hospital
Nebraska State Penitentiary | The Second Revolt


Lincoln (cont.):   Public Schools | Fire Department
The Press | Churches


Lincoln (cont.):   Societies, Associations, Etc.
Temperance Societies | Musical Societies
Business Interests | Banks | Hotels


Lincoln (cont.):
Wholesale and Manufacturing Establishments
Biographical Sketches- ABBOTT~ALLEN

10 - 24:

** Lincoln Biographical Sketches ** (cont.)

PART 25:

Bennet:   Churches | Societies |
| Biographical Sketches - ALLSTOT~GRIBLING

PART 26:
Bennett:   Biographical Sketches - HANSON~PIPER
PART 27:
Bennett:   Biographical Sketches - RHEA~WILSON
PART 28:
Waverly:   Biographical Sketches
PART 29:

Firth:   Biographical Sketches
Roca | Other Points
Biographical Sketches
Grant Precinct | Saltillo Precinct | Stockton Precinct

List of Illustrations in Lancaster County Chapter



H. D. RHEA, attorney, real estate, collection and insurance agent. One of the leading representatives of the legal fraternity of Lancaster County is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of Illinois and was born in Bond County, October 10, 1847. His father, John Rhea, was well known in agricultural and mercantile circles of that section. His grandfather, Hon. Henry D. Rhea, for many years was County Judge, and largely and favorably acquainted in southern Illinois. The subject of this sketch was reared to manhood and educated in his native county, also receiving the benefits of the State Normal Schools at Carbondale and Bloomington. In 1865 he tendered his services to the Union cause, enlisting February 3, in Company D, One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Was honorably discharged September 22, 1865. He took up the study of law at Greenville, Ill., and in 1873 and 1874 attended the St. Louis Law School and in the latter year passed a creditable examination for the St. Louis District Court and was admitted to practice. Was located temporarily in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Iowa. Eventually, in the autumn of 1879, he took up his abode in Bennet. His practice as an attorney will compare favorably with any in the county and in real estate and insurance he has built up a lucrative business. Mr. Rhea is gifted oratorically, is an impressive speaker, a close student, and thoroughly conversant with the topics of the times. In 1876 Miss Rebecca Scoggins became his wife. She is the daughter of L. A. Scoggins, Esq., one of the pioneers of Lincoln, Neb. By this union they have one daughter, Murtle. Mr. R. is a member of the G. A. R.

WILLIAM ROGGENKAMP, farmer. Among the sturdy pioneers who braved the hardships of the Western wilds, when the great State of Nebraska was in its crude condition, was Mr. William Roggenkamp. He is a native of Germany and was born in Prussia, November 17, 1832. His youthful days were spent in agricultural pursuits in his native country, where he resided until he attained his nineteenth year, when he crossed the ocean, taking up his abode in New Jersey, for two years; he was employed as a clerk in a feed store in Newark, after which he followed various pursuits, until 1857, when he came West, locating in Cook County, Ill., for a time also was a resident of Lake County, Ind. In the spring of 1860, came to Nebraska, arriving by steamboat, at Nebraska City, where he left his family and walked out to where Bennet is now located; his first body of land consisted of 120 acres, and he has been adding to this from time to time until the present year (1882) it is upward of 1300 acres. His first residence was a log house of diminutive size, the lumber of which he drew from Nebraska City. In after years he occupied a commodious log structure which was destroyed by fire in 1871. His present palatial mansion was erected in 1881; it is attractively situated on a gently rising hill, a short distance southwest of Bennet, the town site of which is located on his land. Mr. R. came to Nebraska with limited means, but with a determination to make a home and secure a competency, which he has accomplished by striving industry. The obstacles he had to contend with in early years were numerous in the extreme, and his success in life is a fair illustration of what can be accomplished where there is a will to execute. He has been frequently called upon to accept of offices which he has rigidly declined, being no political aspirant, but is closely identified with the educational interests of the community. The spring of 1853, in New York he was married to Miss Gustina Katufska, of Prussia, Germany. She has always been a kind and affectionate wife, always ready to extend a helping hand. She was born August 20, 1832, they have had a family of nine children, five of whom are living; Robert, born April 1, 1854, he has been very industrious, and always brief and ready to greet you with a kind favor; John B., born July 26, 1858, he has been very prominent and industrious and always ready to do a kind deed, and greet you with a smile; Lizzie, born February 2, 1864, she is educational, industrious and always accomplishes whatever she undertakes; she is always cheerful and bright, and stands among the many admirers ready to extend a helping hand. Henry, born November 17, 1865; he is also very educational, industrious and refined and attentive, always ready to give regards, very prominent in his daily occupations, he stands amid the splendor of the many admirers. Minnie, born November 19, 1867, she is very educational, industrious and refined, always ready to do a kind thing, always cheerful and bright as the morning star, and very graceful. They have lost four; Albert, born May 20, 1856, died October 27, 1857; Gerhart, born February 2, 1864, died February 2, 1864; William, born May 23, 1861, died August 26, 1877, and Gustina, born January 19, 1870, died November 29, 1877. [We print this as sent in by Mr. Roggenkamp at his request.]

WALTER M. SEELY, favorably known as one who has identified himself with the State of Nebraska, is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of Iowa and was born in Fayette County July 4, 1848, his father, S. S. Seely, was one of the pioneers of the Hawkeye State, having located at Brush Creek, Fayette Co., in 1846. In 1850 he was the choice of the people for the County Clerk, and discharged the duties of that office for ten years, his residence being in West Union. During his sojourn there was largely interested in the saw mill business at McGregor and Johnstonport, on the Mississippi River, and figured conspicuously in commercial circles for a number of years. Walter was reared and educated in West Union, making his debut in the journalistic world as a devil in the office of the West Union Gazette, where he became proficient as a compositor, was connected with different newspapers in northeastern Iowa and southern Minnesota. In 1868 came to Nebraska, residing for a time in Palmyra, where his family and his father located that year. Mr. S. S. Seely is now a resident of Santa Barbara, Cal. In 1873 the subject of this sketch entered the employ of the State Journal, at Lincoln, Neb., as compositor and was identified with the publication of that paper for three years; a portion of that time being on the reportorial staff. In 1877 located in Bennet and taught the Bennet school for the terms of 1878-79. In August, 1879, was appointed Postmaster for Bennet, filling the duties of the office creditably to himself and satisfactorily to the public until April, 1881, when he resigned and accepted the position of Private Secretary for Senator C. H. Van Wyck. During the sessions of the Nebraska Legislature in 1877-79-81, was Assistant Secretary of State Senate, and during the Senate of 1875 was Assistant Sergeant at Arms of the House During these years was correspondent for the Chicago Inter Ocean, Mr. Seely possesses a versatile and well disciplined mind, is a close observer of local and national affairs and wields an eloquent pen; he has a genial disposition, is very companionable and entertaining. He is a member of the K. of P., and Red Men. The 30th of March, 1875, Miss Alice Eaton, a native of Ohio, became his wife. By this union they have three children, Ora, S. S., and Roscoe Grant.

FRANK AARON SIDLES, real estate dealer. Among the largest real estate owners and one who has been closely identified with the growth and development of Lancaster County, is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Somerset County, April 3, 1841. His father Daniel, who was a blacksmith, is a native of that State. His grandfather Sidles, came from Germany. His mother, Catherine Zorne, was a Pennsylvanian, and as far back as the maternal ancestry can be traced they were natives of the same State, being among the early settlers of the town of Berlin. The family consisted of nine children, Emmeline, Sarah, Julia, Henry, Charles, Frank Aaron, Rebecca, Mary and Daniel. When Frank attained his twelfth year, the family moved West, locating in Freeport, Ill., where he was educated and raised to manhood. His father pursued his vocation, that of a blacksmith, for many years, and was well and favorably known throughout Stephenson County. His death occurred December 19, 1879. His mother, well advanced in years, is at this writing, 1882, a resident of Dakota, Ill. The subject of this sketch for a number of years pursued the real estate business in Freeport, and in Pontiac, Livingston Co., Ill., and for eight years was engaged in the grocery and drug business, in Dakota, Ill. In 1873, he became a resident of Nebraska, locating at Nebraska City, and in 1874 took up his abode in Bennet. His interest in the State dates from 1871, when he purchased one half section of land in Otoe County. He was engaged in the grain business and afterward in the drug business, in connection with each vocation was acting with the B. &. M. Company as land agent. When Bennet was organized as a town, he was appointed and afterward elected as Chairman of the Town Board, which position he discharged creditably to himself and to the satisfaction of the people. Mr. Sidles is a live business man, and by his affable demeanor has made a host of friends in Lancaster County. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. On the 19th of February, 1867, Miss Hattie Heffley became his wife. She is the daughter of Josiah and Sarah Heffley, who were both born in Somerset County, Pa. Their family consisted of six children, William Charles, Cyrus Porter, Hattie, Mary Susan and Peter. Susan died at the age of two and one-half years. The grandfather, Peter Heffley, was born in Berks County, Pa., and grandmother, Sarah Heffley, in Somerset County, Pa. She lived to the age of eighty-four years. Grandfather William Atchison and grandmother Susan Atchison were both natives of Ireland, he having served through the war of 1812 in the United States. Mrs. Heffley, wife of the subject of our sketch, was born in Pennsylvania, October 11, 1840. By this union they have three children, Carrie Willmina, born July 18, 1869, in Dakota, Ill.; Harry Edgar, born December 30, 1873, in Nebraska City, Neb.; Frank Barton, born February 7, 1877, in Bennet, Neb. Mr. and Mrs. S. are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He helped, to organize the first society in Bennet, and contributed largely towards the present church edifice, of which he is one of the trustees and has been since the church was established.

JESSE A. SMITH, general merchandise, is one of the most substantial and leading merchants of Bennet. He is a native of New York and was born in Livingston County, January 1, 1855. When eleven years of age, he came West with his parents, his father, P. A. Smith, locating in Omaha, Neb. In 1873, he engaged in merchandising in Lincoln, and is prominently identified in the commercial circles of the Magic City, where he still resides. Jesse learned the details of his trade in his father's store, and afterwards was employed as a clerk in the establishment of J. N. T. Jones, in Lincoln. The first of April, 1880, he established his present business in Bennet, and his trade has been one of solidity and rapid growth.

JAMES G. SOUTHWICK, farmer, is a native of New York, and was born in Erie County, November 10, 1845, and reared in his native State until sixteen years of age, when by his father's consent, he left the paternal roof to seek his fortune in the far West. He arrived in Iowa poor in pocket but rich in hopes of a brilliant future. It may be said that he commenced at the bottom round, as he hired out as a farm hand in Cedar County for $10 per month. By husbanding his earnings, in due course of time he secured a farm and was identified among the agriculturists of Cedar County for a number of years. For three and one-half years he was in the employ of the B. C. R. & N. R. R. Co. as station agent. Was also Postmaster at Centerdale, Iowa, for three and one half years. He was one of the organizers and stock holders of the bank at West Branch, Cedar Co., and is favorably known among the enterprising citizens of that portion of the county. He located in the State of Nebraska early in 1877, taking up his abode in Bennet, erected what was at that time the finest and largest store in the town, and engaged in merchandising, in which he was eminently successful, continuing for three years, when he turned his attention to agriculture and dealing in real estate, being largely interested in town lots in Bennet. His residence is one of the most attractive and the location one of the most desirable in Lancaster County, the surroundings indicating comfort and prosperity. He was married to Miss Mary Doniphan, of Buffalo, N. Y., January 1, 1867. Her many acts of charity and kindness are still fresh in the minds of those who mourned her sudden death two years after. He was again married in 1871, to Miss Esther Austin, a native of the State of New York. They have three children, Allison Duane, Vesta Myrtle, Winnie Lyle. Mr. S. has always been a live worker in the cause of religion, education and temperance. He has been a member of the I. O. of G. T. since 1861, and has always been found among the foremost to assist in the suppression of vice this. Mr. S. was chosen assistant Indian agent under agent Tatum, in 1869, and was stationed at the Camanche and Kiowa Agency, on the establishment of Fort Sill, in the southwestern part of the Indian Territory, in that year, which place he filled with credit to himself and satisfaction to his superiors. Mr. Southwick is making arrangments to start a bank in Bennet.

JOSEPH SOUTHWICK, grain and agricultural implements. This enterprising gentleman is a native of Erie County, N. Y., and was born July 6, 1843. His father was a farmer, and Joseph spent his boyhood days in tilling the soil of the empire State. When he attained his majority he moved West, locating in Cedar County, Iowa, engaging in agricultural pursuits, and was engaged in that vocation until 1873, when he came to Nebraska, locating in Lancaster County, three miles northwest of Bennet. Here he farmed until 1878, when he took up his abode in Bennet, and for one year was a clerk in the mercantile house of Southwick & Austin. In the autumn of 1879, engaged in his present business. Mr. S. is one of Lancaster County's most public spirited men and is always found on the right side of moves that will prove beneficial to its progress. He is a member of the M. E. Church, and was to a considerable extent instrumental in the erection of the present church edifice in Bennet, of which he is one of the trustees. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and the Anti-Horse Thief Association. He was married October 3, 1865, to Miss Elizabeth Austin, of Cedar County, Iowa. By this marriage they have four children, Edith, Myra, Grace and Edgar H.

JOHN STALL, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 4; P. O., Bennet. He is a native of Ohio, and was born in Coshocton County, November 3, 1816. His parents were from Cumberland County, Pa. His grandfather, Abraham Stall, was a native of Holland, and was one of the wealthy and early settlers of Pennsylvania. The subject of this sketch was educated and made his home in Coshocton County for many years, following the pursuit of agriculture. In 1868 he came to Nebraska, locating where he now resides. The country at that time was in its crude condition; the settlers being limited in number and far apart. Mr. S. at once turned his attention to developing a farm, and though he met with many losses and had barriers to contend with, by industry and attention has admirably succeeded. His estate is one of the finest in the precinct, and is adorned with a thrifty growth of maple and walnut timber, comprising thirty acres. Mr. S. has never been a political aspirant; preferring the quiet and peace of his legitimate pursuits. He was married, May 24, 1840, to Miss Elizabeth Harger, of Ohio. By their union they have had eleven children; Irvin, Robert N., Lucinda Jane, Susanna, Justina, William T., John C., Sophronia, Daniel M., Richard S. Lost one, Emma, who died at Joliet, Ill. They have one adopted daughter, Mary L. Mr. S. is an Odd Fellow and a member of the K. of P. Of the latter order, it was largely through his instrumentality the lodge was established in Bennet. He is a warm friend of the order and contributed liberally to sustain it. He was for eight years treasurer of the lodge in Bennet. Some years since it was reported that an estate worth $70,000 in Holland awaited the claim of Abraham Stall's heirs, but these have not yet been able to prove their identity.

WILLIAM R. STOCKING, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 28; P. O., Bennet; is a native of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and was born September 4, 1844. His father, Abner Stocking, was a native of Massachusetts, and came to Ohio when very young. His grandfather, Joseph Stocking, was one of the pioneers of Cuyahoga County, and lived to see it fully developed. The subject of this sketch was reared and educated in his native State, following the pursuits of agriculture. Eventually located in Ogle County, Ill., where for a time he was identified in the same capacity. In the autumn of 1879 he came to Nebraska, locating where he now resides. Mr. S. is one of Lancaster County's most sterling farmers, and a perfect gentleman in every particular. He was married in March, 1872, to Miss Elizabeth Lilley, of Ohio. By this union they have two children, Layton and Vera.

SAMUEL TILTON, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 34; P.O. Bennet. This enterprising agriculturist is a native of Ohio, and was born in Stark County, April 25, 1842. When eight years of age he removed with his parents to Cass County, Ind., where he was reared to manhood and educated. His boyhood days were spent in tilling the soil. In 1861 he was among the first to respond to the call for troops to suppress the Rebellion, and enlisted in Company B, Forty-sixth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, serving fourteen months, and was discharged on account of disability. After recuperating for a time, he re-enlisted in Company B. One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served until April 22, 1866, when he was honorably discharged. Mr. Tilton participated in thirty-six engagements, and it is safe to state that he contributed a full portion toward preserving the Union. Among those were Island No. Ten, Fort Pillow, Franklin, Kenesaw Mountain and Nashville. He returned to Indiana after being discharged and engaged in farming until the spring of 1869, when he located on his present farm in Nebraska, being one of the pioneers in Nemaha Precinct. Mr. Tilton is a model farmer, combining the practical with the theoretical. Although he had many drawbacks to contend with during his first few years in the State, his success is a fair illustration of what can be accomplished in Nebraska by industry and good judgment. His residence, which is one of the most attractive in the precinct, was partially built in 1869 and completed two years later. On the 15th of August, 1867, Miss Mercie Carr, a native of Ohio, became his wife, and by the union they have four children; Frankie S., John O., George J. One died in infancy--Ida E. Mr. T. is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and Q. M. of Upright Post No. 62.

J. A. WHITLOCK, farmer and stock raiser, Section 14, P. O. Bennet. One of the sturdy pioneers who took an active part in converting the desolate prairies of Lancaster County, into fields that are productive of abundance, is the subject of the sketch. He is a native of West Virginia, and was born February 7, 1830, was reared and resided in his native State until 1853, came to Illinois, locating in Douglas County, where he followed for a number of years, the vocation of plastering. In 1867, Nebraska attracted his attention, and in that year came to Nebraska City, and in 1868, came to Lancaster County, locating where he now resides, the county at that time was in its crude state, there not being but a few residents in what now comprises the thickly populated Nemaha Precinct. He had the usual number of drawbacks of the pioneer to contend with, for a time was obliged to get his milling done down on the Blue, taking two days to make a trip. Mr. Whitlock commenced in the State in a small way as a farmer, and by industry and husbanding his resources has placed himself among the substantial agriculturists of the State. In 1880, he erected a fine residence, which is one of the most attractive and indicates comfort and prosperity. He married in 1868, Miss Nancy Harmon, they have five children; William S., Melissa B., James A., John R. and Lillie May.

G. R. WILSON, Justice of the Peace, farmer and stock raiser, Section 23, P. O. Bennet. This well known gentleman is a native of the State of New York, and was born March 10, 1843. His father, Dr. J. G. Wilson, came west with his family when the subject was quite young and for a number of years was prominently identified with the medical fraternity of Dubuque County, Iowa, his home being at Farley, here G. R. was reared and educated. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company F, Twenty-first Iowa Volunteer Infantry and served throughout the Rebellion, participated at the battles of Vicksburg, Port Gibson, Black River Bridge, Champion Hills and other notable engagements, at Vicksburg was severely wounded in the hand, was honorably discharged January 9, 1865. After the war, for a time was a resident of Iowa, then removed to Missouri, locating in Mercer County for several years. Was engaged in the hardware trade, and for five years was Justice of the Peace and Notary Public. In the spring of 188? he took up his residence on his present farm in Nebraska, which is under a high state of cultivation, and will compare favorably with any in Lancaster County. Mr. W. is a man of excellent judgment and thoroughly conversant with the current events of the times. Has been Justice of the Peace since January, 1882. Is a member of the G. A. R. and of the J. V. P. C. of the Upright Post No. 62. He was married January 24, 1866, to Miss Salome Stover of Jones Co., Iowa. They have two children, Oceola and Charles W.

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