Location and Natural Features | Early History | Crimes and Casualties|
First Events | County Organization | Political History
First Case in Court | General County Topics
Means of Communication | Schools
Central City: Churches | The Press | Societies | Banks | Flour Mills|
Public Buildings | Biographical Sketches
Clark's: Churches | Biographical Sketches|
Silver Creek: Biographical Sketches
Chapman: Biographical Sketches
List of Illustrations in Merrick County Chapter
Inset of Baptist Church
In February, 1875, the name of Central City was prefixed to what had been known as Lone Tree Station. The change was made in pursuance of a petition sent to the District Court. Lone Tree had been platted by the Union Pacific Railroad Company in the fall of 1866, and for the past three years before it became Central City, had been growing with especial rapidity.
On December 31,1877, a town organization was effected, the first officers being as follows:
Board of Trustees, J. W. Sparks, Chairman; James H. Berryman, Quartus B. Skinner, James Vieregg and Jacob Fuhrman; Clerk, J. E. Wilder.
Under the general State law the town cannot organize as a city of the second class until she has a population of 1,500 people. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees of Central City was held January 12, 1878.
Its officers at present are: Trustees, J. R. Ratchiff, A. L. Reinoehl, John Payne, J. M. Persinger, W. P. Porter; Clerk, C. W. Adams; Treasurer, J. W. Sparks; Attorney, H. A. Bruno; Marshal, O. F. Persons.
There is no fire department connected with the town organization.
Central City, within the past three years, has doubled its population. It has good railway facilities by way of the Union Pacific and Burlington & Missouri River roads. This advantage, joined with the fact that it is in the midst of a fine agricultural and stock-raising country, and is the county seat, gives it a good general and local trade. It has, moreover, good schools and churches, two banks, two newspapers, two hotels, two lumber yards and grain elevator, and everything to match. Its population is over nine hundred.
The town has two good district schools, under the management of a Principal, J. F. Connor.
The building north of the Union Pacific depot is a substantial two-story frame structure, erected in 1872, at a cost of $3,500.
The scholars are graded into five departments. Mr. Connor has four assistants. South of the track is a one-story frame building for the primary department. Mrs. Fish is the teacher. The attendance at both schools is about one hundred and seventy-five.
The first religious society in the county was organized by Elder T. B. Lemon, of the M. E. Church, at the residence of James G. Brewer, on Sunday, June 24, 1866. He took his text from Daniel, chap. vi, 10th verse, and during five days of the following week conducted a protracted meeting in the log schoolhouse. At the close of the meeting, a class was formed with Jacob Rice as leader.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1871. Elder M. A. Fairchild preached the first sermons, but the first regular pastor was Rev. J. S. Donaldson, who commenced his labors the next year. In October, 1874, came J. M. Dressler, who, after remaining two years, was succeeded by J. Marsh. Rev. R. Pearson followed the latter in October, 1877. Rev. S. Wood, who at present has the society in charge, assumed control in October, 1880. The society, one of the leading ones in the city, has a membership of seventy-six, and a large and growing Sunday school. The church building was erected in 1876. With the parsonage attached, the property is valued at $2,000.
Baptist Church.--This society, the strongest in the city, was formed January 19, 1872. Foremost in the work of organization and among its constituent members were E. H. Wilder and wife, Mrs. Hilton and H. C. Osterhout. The first services were held by Rev. John Gunderman, who resigned in July, 1880. Rev. J. J. Keeler, the present incumbent, assumed charge in September. The church organized with only seven members; it now numbers 120. The church building was erected in 1872, and was the first religious edifice in town. The entire property is valued at $1,500.
The Presbyterian Church of Lone Tree was organized April 14, 1872, its first pastor being Rev. George W. Newell, who served from 1872 to 1878. Next came Rev. Joseph Patterson, who remained pastor until March, 1881. During April, the present incumbent, Rev. H. McLean, assumed charge. The church is now in a flourishing condition, having a membership of forty-five. Its prosperous Sunday school is under the superintendency of John Hays. The entire value of the church property is $3,000, the society being one of the most substantial in Central City.
Congregational Church.--The society was organized in April, 1872, under the pastorate of Rev. L. H. Jones. He served until March, 1874. In May, Rev. Albert Fitch took charge, and has continued to serve up to the present time. The society has a membership of twenty-eight, but no regular house of worship.
Catholic Church.--When the Union Pacific Railroad was put through the county, Father Ryan, of Columbus, held missionary services in Central City. His line of usefulness extended all the way from Fremont to Rawlins. This was in 1866. The society in Central City erected a church edifice four years ago. It now has a membership of twenty-seven families. Father E. Geary was appointed to the charge in October, 1881. He has also under his care a society in Clarksville, which numbers twenty-three families, and one at Aurora, Hamilton County, composed of forty families.
Christ's Church (Episcopal)--An Episcopalian society has been alive in Central City since 1874, Rev. H. C. Shaw, of Silver Creek, having been its rector. For some time before the erection of the present neat edifice, services were held in the court house. The building was dedicated to divine service on Sunday, March 12, 1882, Bishop Clarkson presiding. The audience filled it to overflowing. The society at present consists of twelve communicants.
The Merrick County News, the pioneer journal of the county, made its first appearance March 21, 1872, at Lone Tree, the county seat. It was a six-column folio (presumably patent) issued every Thursday, Republican in politics, and owned and edited by Henry Kelsey. The following quoted data are furnished us by George A. Percival, an old resident and journalist of the county: "The first number of the Lone Tree Sentinel (the second paper in the county), was issued by the "Lone Tree Publishing Company," about April 10, 1873, with W. H. Webster and George A. Percival as editors. The Sentinel was started as a 'railroad paper,' to advocate the carrying of the Midland Pacific Railroad bonds, and in opposition to the News, which, after advocating the bonds for a time, suddenly flopped to the other side, and was very generally supposed to have been bought up by the Union Pacific Company. Messrs. Webster & Percival continued in editorial charge of the Sentinel about five months, when they resigned and were succeeded by Mr. L. Waters, who conducted the paper about one month and resigned, when Mr. Ira Prouty assumed the goose-quill and got just one number of the paper. Its mission having been accomplished, it was allowed to die. Subsequently, the press and material were sold to W. H. Mitchell and C. C. Berger, of Dannebrog, Howard County.
"Early in April, 1874, George A. Percival and L. Waters purchased the press and material of the Merrick County News, and on the 9th of that month issued the first number of the Lone Tree Courier, which they continued to publish until August 20, of the same year, when they sold the paper and office to M. C. Hutchings and S. R. Bowerman (firm name, Bowerman & Hutchings). On these gentlemen assuming charge of the paper, Hon. Ed. Parker was made editor-in-chief, which position he held until January 21, 1875. On March 4, 1875, the name of R. F. Steele appears in the place of M. C. Hutchings, the latter gentleman having sold his interest in the paper to Mr. Steele. The new firm name was Bowerman & Steele, under which the paper was published until June 3, 1875, when Mr. Bowerman slid down off the editorial tripod, leaving Mr. Steele sole editor and proprietor. Mr. Steele continued the publication of the paper alone until March, 1877, when he associated with him Mr. H. R. Persinger, who retained his interest in the paper until November 8, 1877, when he sold it back to Mr. Steele. The firm name, during this time, was H. R. Persinger & Co. From this time, Mr. Steele went it alone again until January 23, 1879, when he published his valedictory, and introduced his successors, Messrs. A. Fitch. & Bro. The Courier was an all-at-home six-column folio from its establishment until September 2, 1875, when it was enlarged to seven columns, continuing on the all-at-home plan until February 22, 1877, when it appeared with patent outsides. Practically it has been a Republican paper from the start. Messrs. A. Fitch & Bro., in March, 1881, employed Mr. Samuel D. Cox as associate editor with A. Fitch, Jr., who had previously been sole editor, and, on the 1st of April, 1881, enlarged the Courier to a six-column quarto, "patent inside."
The Clarksville Messenger was first issued May 4, 1878, by James G. Kreider. On the 10th of April, 1879, Mr. John C. Hartwell assumed control, Mr. Kreider having suddenly disappeared. On the 1st of May, 1880, Mr. A. T. Brown was added to the proprietorship, now under the firm name of Hartwell & Brown. August 2, 1880, Mr. Brown became exclusive proprietor, and January 29, 1881, the paper suspended. April 8, 1882, Mr. Hartwell renewed publication under the name of the Revised Messenger. The Messenger is a seven-column folio, patent outside, and has always been Independent, save under Mr. Brown's control, when it was Republican.
The Merrick County Item made its first appearance January 14, 1880, a seven-column folio, all-at-home, under the proprietorship of R. F. Steele and L. C. McCarn (Steele & McCarn). June 2, 1880, J. H. Dony purchased Steele's interest, and the firm became Dony & McCarn, the paper running with stereotype plates. August 4, 1880, the paper was purchased by George A. Percival, with himself and R. F. Steele editors. The Item on the 13th of April, 1881, enlarged to a five column quarto, and, on the 12th of May, published its last issue in Merrick County, whence it shortly removed to Omaha. The Item, we think, was Republican from its origin.
On the 1st of January, 1882, the Central City Nonpareil, a stalwart Republican organ, was started by Messrs. Millard & Holcomb, in opposition to the Courier, an Independent Republican organ. Mr. Holcomb retired in a few weeks, leaving Mr. Millard in sole control. The Nonpareil is a seven-column folio, patent inside.
County Agricultural Society.--An organization was effected, April 8, 1874, with Horace Allen, President; H. C. Osterhout, V. P.; N. R. Persinger, Secretary; James Vieregg, Treasurer. Eighty acres of land for a fair ground were purchased, but in 1876, twenty acres were sold for a cemetery. A floral hall in the shape of a maltese cross has been erected, and other improvements have been made. The exhibition grounds are situated one and a half miles north of Central City. The present membership of the society is twenty, with officers as follows: President, S. L. Wiser; V. P., Robert Campbell; Treasurer, Isaac Trever. The Merrick County Agricultural Society, although young in years, is destined to play its part in the material development of this section.
Bugle Post, G. A. R., was organized July 19, 1879. The charter members were: Franklin Sweet, N. R. Persinger, W. H. Webster, J. G. Holden, F. M. Spencer, James Sullivan, J. J. Fisher, C. C. Jewell, H. C. Osterout, J. M. Donaldson, R. A. Mears, W. A. Porter, Matt. Donaldson. R. F. Steele, Robert S. Woodden, M. M. Burke, J. H. Doney, Dan Spencer, W. E. Letcher, R. E. Tillinghast, D. T. Root, George Carigal, E. R. Burnett and John Berley. The whole number of names enrolled thus far has been eighty-one, but the present membership is only forty. The officers are: W. H. Webster, Post Commander; C. D. Chapman, S. V.; K. E. Brown, J. V.; J. G. Holden, Quartermaster; Mr. Larcom, Chaplain; Dan Hopkins, Officer of the Day; A. N. Pillsbury, Officer of the Guard; C. Hostetter, Adjutant.
Merrick Lodge, No. 73, I. O. O. F., was organized May 6, 1879, with the following charter members: Alex. S. Bleyer, William E. Letcher, R. W. Boyd, R. C. Baldwin, M. M. Halleck, C. W. Best, R. S. Woodden, James H. Dony, Henry McCarn, J. T. Ecker, Judson Cullison. At present the lodge numbers thirty members, with the following officers: N. G., C. E. Lind; V. G., C. A. Stitzer; R. S., Charles Green; Treasurer, Q. B. Skinner.
Lone Tree Lodge, No. 36, A., F. & A. M., was granted a dispensation August 9, 187l, and a charter June 16, 1872. Its charter members were: Leland L. Doolittle, David Thomas, Joseph B. Adams, Thomas Matthews, Jason Parker, Milton A. S. Goff, Martin V. Scott, Daniel Hopkins, Nathaniel H. Barton, Bell E. Berryman, William H. Crites, James E. Fitch, John T. Briggs, Newton R. Persinger, James R. Ratcliff. Its membership is seventy-five, with the following officers: J. W. Sparks, W. M.; Charles W. Adams, S. W.; Arthur Boles, J. W.; James Donnovan, Treasurer; Bell E. Berryman, Secretary. The lodge now numbers seventy-five members, and is in so flourishing a condition, financially, that it is building a hall, which is to be occupied at once. It will be nicely furnished. The hall, 22x93 feet, is located in the Berryman Block.
Lone Tree Lodge, No. 1782, K. of H.--This lodge was organized April 5, 1879, with the following charter members: Dan Hopkins, A. F. Brininger, T. W. Lyman, J. H. Dony, George Wells, S. L. Wright, William E. Letcher, Berend Cruse, Frank Jewell, G. B. Skinner, David Lear, E. Bockes, H. D. Reynolds, Otto Foster, R. F. Steele, W. H. Webster, J. J. Fisher, J. R. Ratcliff, J. G. Holden and O. Skinner. Lone Tree Lodge has now a membership of twenty-eight, and is growing. Its present officers are: D., T. W. Lyman; V. D., James Eatough; Assistant D., D. Lear; Reporter, Otto Foster; F. R., Frank Jewell; Treasurer, H. D. Reynolds; Chaplain, N. S. Belden; Guide, A. F. Brininger; Guardian, P. C. Nielson; Sentinel, Albert Miller.
Central City Lodge, No. 41 (I. O. G. T.), was organized July 26, 1876. Its present membership is forty-five, with the following officers: S. E. Hostetter, W. C. T.; Mrs. Kate Hostetter, W. V. T.; A. Fitch, Jr., F. S.; Josie McDonald, Treasurer; C. W. Brininger, W. M.; A. Fitch, Sr., W. Chap.; Nettie Abbott, R. S.
Eastern Star, Evergreen Chapter, Lodge No. 19, was organized May 13, 1879. Mrs. Sarah E. Ratcliff was then chosen as W. M., and has continued to serve as such. The lodge has a membership of forty-five, and is growing.
Central City Bank.--Messrs. H. C. Metcalf & N. R. Persinger, proprietors, was established in November, 1877. It was established as a private bank, and has remained as such. There has been no change in the firm partnership. The bank does a general banking business; has a savings department connected with it, a farm loan department, and a real estate department.
The following statement, issued December 1, 1881, gives the present condition, substantially, of the Central City Bank:
Resources.--Cash on hand, $9,002.36; due from other banks, $2,365.17; total, $11,367.53; loans and discounts, $43,698.71; real estate, $7,631.94; furniture and fixtures, $2,415.60; expenses, $498.06; other investments, $608.71; grand total, $66,220.55.
Liabilities.--Capital stock, $15,000; surplus fund, $7,973.07; undivided profits, $1,768.59; individual deposits, $29,786.39; certificates of deposit, $11,692.50; grand total, $66,220.55.
Joseph N. Osterlind & Co.'s Bank was established in the fall of 1881, by Mr. Osterlind. The bank does a general business, also deals in real estate, loans and mortgages. Its success has been assured from the start.
H. C. Metcalf's Grist-mill.--Six miles east of Central City is a grist-mill of three run of stone, owned and operated by H. C. Metcalf. It was built in 1879. Mr. Metcalf has an elevator and flour mill at St. Paul, where most of his interests now are.
J. C. & W. Brewer's Mill is situated about three and a half miles southwest of town, and was erected in 1878. It has three run of buhrs, its patent brand being the "Lone Tree." Its work is, however, mostly custom. The building is a three and a half story frame structure, and well arranged, the property being valued at about $10,000.
The Opera House, in the Central City Bank building, is a fine little hall, with a seating capacity of 300. The building was completed in July, 1881, and is the most substantial in the city. The Opera House is under the management of F. M. Persinger.
Bockes House.--This house is one of the leading hotels of Central City, and has gained a large share of public patronage. It is maintained in good style by E. Bockes, who has remained its owner and proprietor since the building was erected in 1876. The dimensions of the building are 64x40 feet, two stories and basement. The Bockes House has accommodations for forty guests. Attached to it and maintained for their convenience is a good livery stable. The entire property is valued at $7,500.
Central City House was built in 1871, by H. M. Bryant. Additions were made the next year. As it stands now, the building is a two-story frame structure 60x80 feet, and will accommodate about forty guests. It passed through several hands, until two years ago, the house came under the management of Gregory, its present proprietor. The value of the property is about $5,000.
H. P. ALDRICH. agent for Oswald Oliver, lumber and building material, was born near Laingsburg, Shiawassee County, Mich. Resided on a farm, and later taught school; afterward went to Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; attended Eastman's Commercial College; graduated from there in 1875. In the spring of 1877, he came to Hastings, Neb.; taught school, and was agent for musical instruments. December, 1880, came to Central City. He has had charge of this yard since. He also handles musical instruments and sewing machines.
NELSON BARNES, live stock; was born and raised in Randolph County, Ind., and learned the carpenter trade there, which he followed there about ten years. March 1871, came to central City; worked at his trade about three years. He then was employed by the Union Pacific Railway in Wyoming and Utah about five years; returned to Central City, and has since been largely engaged in live stock. He owns a farm of about 480 acres improved; also seven acres where he now resides. He now owns about 200 head of cattle.
J. T. BIGGS, farmer, Section 26, P. O. Central City, born in Ohio County, Va.; in 1854, came to Council Bluffs; followed painting a short time, then removed to Omaha; assisted in putting up a building for William Clancy three miles above Omaha; in the spring of 1857, returned to Council Bluffs; engaged in the hotel business; in 1860, came to Hamilton County, Neb.; kept a ranch there about nine years; removed to Merrick County in 1869; located on his farm, consisting of 160 acres. Married, November 9, 1865, Mary F. Groves, of Vermont; They have six children, three sons and three daughters.
E. BOCKES, proprietor Bockes House, is a native of Cattaraugus County, N. Y.; there followed farming and lumbering; in 1869, came to Central City; took a homestead of eighty acres, which he improved and still owns; continued farming till 1876, when he built this hotel; has since carried on this business; in 1880, he enlarged this house which is now one of the most pleasant and best kept houses in the State. Mr. B. has been Deputy Sheriff several years. Married, in 1852, Miss Susan Bullock, a native of Allegany County, N. Y.; they have two children, one son and one daughter.
J. G. BREWER, flour and feed, was born in Livingston County, N. Y. In 1838, came to Milwaukee, Wis.; engaged in farming; in 1859, he went to Colorado; in the fall of 1860, came to Merrick County and took a homestead of 160 acres; engaged in ranching until the completion of the railroad. In 1869, he built a saw-mill, sawed cottonwood and railroad ties. In 1872, he built a grist-mill, which was destroyed by fire in 1880. This was the first mill built on the Platte River or in the county. This mill was supplied with three run of buhrs, located about five miles from Central City, in 1879. He also built another mill, located about three and one-half miles from town. This mill he is still operating. He was the first County Judge in this county. Held this office about eight years.
D. W. BRINKERHOFF, livery, was born and raised in Lewis County, N. Y.; in 1856, came to Fond du Lac, Wis.; followed farming there about three years; in 1860, came to Henry County, Ill.; farmed there till 1871, when he came to Central City; located on a farm of eighty acres four miles from Central City; continued farming till the fall of 1881, when he removed to town and started the livery business. Married, in 1856, Louisa Rogers, of Lewis County, N. Y. They had one daughter--Mrs. Deiderich, who died in the spring of 1881, aged twenty-four years.
F. A. CRAIG, harness and saddles, was born in Hopkins County, Ky.; commenced to learn this trade at the age of sixteen, in Greenville, Ky.; followed it there several years; in 1857, came to Menard County, Ill.; carried on this business there about eighteen months. He enlisted in 1862 in Company F, Seventy-third Illinois Infantry; was discharged in February, 1863; in 1864, came to Greenview, Ill.; also carried on this business there shout five years, and followed farming about two years; in the spring of 1873, came to Merrick County; engaged in farming there; he continued till November, 1877, when he came to Central City and opened this business, which he has since continued.
OTTO FOSTER, Deputy County Treasurer, was born in Dresden, Saxony. After receiving a preparatory course of studies he entered the high school of the Holy Cross, where he remained five years. He also attended the University of Leipsic one and one-half years. There he graduated, and was admitted to the bar. He then engaged in law, and practiced about one and one-half years; then entered the First Regiment of King's guards; remained with the regiment six years. Served in 1863 in the war against Denmark, and was detailed to Gen. Von Haake's staff as Secretary for the Commander of the Division. Received his discharge as First Lieutenant in the spring of 1865; then engaged in the book business in Hamburg, a short time. Removed to Kiel; was employed as Clerk of the Department of Widows' and Orphans' Court. May, 1868, came to Pennsylvania; followed tanning, and later farming. In 1878, came to Central City; was a short time Deputy County Clerk. The past four years he has held his present position.
E. HANSON, firm of E. Hanson & Co., grain and coal, is a native of Denmark; in 1867, came to Chicago; soon after to Franklin Grove, Ill.; there remained about three months; then came to Grand Island, Neb.; in 1868, he made a trip to the Rocky Mountains; returned to Grand Island in the spring of 1869; worked in the round house, and later worked for the Union Pacific Railroad; in 1871, he came to Chapman; there learned telegraphing; he then went to Rawlins, and was night clerk there two years; returned to Chapman in 1876, and engaged in the lumber and coal business. He still continues this business at Chapman as well as Central City; in the spring of 1881, he made a visit to his native country; returned in August, when he established this business at Central City.
C. HOSTETTER, firm of Breninger & Hostetter, general merchandise, is a native of Elkhart County, Ind. In 1873, came to Central City; was engaged as clerk in a store; in 1876, this firm was established; from a small beginning they have worked into a large prosperous trade. In the fall of 1880, he was elected a member of the Legislature, representing Merrick County. He enlisted in 1861 in Company G, Forty-eighth Indiana. Served four years.
H. B. MILLARD, editor and publisher of the Central City Nonpareil. He is one of the young men who have made their way in Nebraska. Mr. Millard was born in Three Rivers, Mich., in 1860; came to the northwestern part of Iowa in 1873, where he commenced life on his own responsibility in the office of the Cherokee Times. In 1879, he came to Nebraska, first locating at North Bend, where for two years he published the North Bend Bulletin. Disposing of his paper there in December, 1881, he came to Central City, where, in company with S. W. Holcomb, he issued the first number of the Nonpareil January 5,1882. Latterly, he assumed sole control of the paper. Mr. Millard is one of the youngest newspaper men in all Nebraska, nevertheless his paper occupies a prominent position in the front rank of the leading local and political newspapers of the West, evincing a goodly amount of public spirit, and taking a lively interest in all topics of the times. It is doing much to develop the resources of the West, and especially those of its own county, which in a measure accounts for its success and popularity.
JOSEPH N. OSTERLIND, banker, is a native of Sweden. In 1867, came to Chicago; soon after engaged in the book and stationery business with F. C. DeLang, present State Senator from Cook County, Ill.; continued about four years; in 1870, came to Creston, Iowa, and took charge of the mortgage and loan department of the Bank of Creston there, remained two and a half years, then removed to Fontanelle, Iowa; was Cashier of the Farmers' Bank about one year, when the increased business at the bank at Creston demanded his return; he sold out and returned to Creston and assumed the duties of his former position there. In the fall of 1881, he withdrew from the bank and came to Central City, and established the Bank of Merrick County. His success in the banking business at Central City has been something remarkable. Central City and Merrick County seem to recognize a live and energetic business man, judging from the patronage he has received since opening. Mr. O. is at present engaged in an emigration scheme which will undoubtedly prove of great benefit.
[Portrait of N. R. Persinger.]
N. R. PERSINGER, Central City Bank, is a native of Shelby County, Ohio. In 1853, came to Linn County, Iowa; there worked at the carpenter's trade; also attended the Cornell College at Mt. Vernon. After remaining about four years in the county, he returned to Ohio. At the breaking-out of the war, he enlisted as private in Company F, Twentieth Ohio Infantry. Was mustered out as Captain at the close of the war. Soon after came to Indiana; engaged in farming. In 1870, he went to Iowa; July, 1871, came to Central City; in the fall of 1873, he was elected County Clerk; held the office two terms. November, 1877, he with Mr. Metcalf engaged in the banking business, in which they still continue. Mr. Persinger has been for the past four years Regent of the State University.
HARRISON W. PERSONS, general merchandise, is a native of Vermont, born near Montpelier. In 1871, he came to Central City and built this store, then on the prairie; there were but two other stores here at that time; he also built a residence, the north side of the railroad track, which was the second residence erected on that side of the track. He then opened a small store; as his business required this store was enlarged. They have worked into a large and prosperous trade The first car load of flour and salt received in Central City was consigned to this firm.
J. R. RATCLIFF, real estate and live stock, is a native of Parke County, Ind., and there raised. He enlisted September 10, 1861, in Company B, Forty-third Indiana Infantry; served till the end of the war; was taken prisoner April 25, 1864, and confined at Camp Ford, Texas, about ten months. At the close of the war he returned to Indiana, and engaged in merchandising about four years. In 1870, he came to Iowa. The following year he came to Central City, where he has since resided. He first engaged in farming, which he continued about three years. He was then appointed Postmaster; held that office about one and a half years. In the fall of 1875, he was elected County Treasurer; held this office till January, 1882.
Q. B. SKINNER, of the firm of Skinner, Stone & Co., general merchandise, was born in Niagara County, N. Y.; resided in Cattaraugus County. At the age of twenty, he came to Shiawassee County, Mich., and there engaged in farming. In the spring of 1859, he came to Nebraska and located in Platte County, now Colfax County, and engaged in farming. In the spring of 1872, he came to Central City and was engaged in building the court house. In the fall of this year he entered into the grain and coal trade, continuing at this business till the spring of 1880. In the summer of 1880, he made a trip across the mountains, and returned in the fall. Their present business was established in the fall of 1881. Mr. Skinner has served as County Commissioner both in Colfax and Merrick Counties.
C. A. STITZER, druggist, was born in Schuylkill County, Penn.; raised there and learned the drug business, which he followed about three years. In 1877, he came to Omaha, thence to Lincoln. In 1878, he came to Central City. In August, 1880, he, with Dr. Guillemot, established this business. November, 1881, the Doctor retired from the firm, since which time Mr. Stitzer has successfully carried on the business.
I. S. TYNDALE, merchant, the only strictly dry goods merchant in Central Nebraska. Though not among the earliest settlers of the county, he was the first to see the need and importance of a first-class grade of fine goods to supply the demand of many who were sending thousands of dollars abroad for such goods. With quick perceptions of the requirements of a growing community, Mr. T. introduced at considerable expense and some risk an entirely new era in the dry goods trade of Central City. He gave his whole attention and efforts to keep the fine trade of this and adjoining counties from sending their money to Eastern markets. By providing them with the finest goods at Eastern prices, the people of the county soon realized the great advantage of buying at home, and now extend a generous patronage to Mr. Tyndale, whose venture has proved an eminent success. The intelligent business enterprise of a few merchants may insure the success of a new town if exerted at the right moment, while the sordid, stupid policy of narrow-minded men would keep out all competition in business and thus drive away the best trade, which will surely cripple the life of a young town. Mr. T. is quite a young man, a native of Montreal, Canada, who came to the great West determined to make a success of his business and advance the interest of the county in which he has made his home. Nebraska has room for many more of such men. His trade extends from Rawlins, W. T., 600 miles west, to Lincoln, from which he receives some of his heaviest orders. His store is claimed headquarters for the first trade in Nebraska, which is most important to the town and county.
JAMES VIEREGG, grain and agricultural implements, was born in Germany; came to Nebraska in 1858; located in Merrick County; took a homestead of 160 acres, which he improved. He is the oldest settler of this county, and the first County Treasurer; held this office from 1865 to 1876; was also engaged in farming till 1870, when he came to Central City. He and Mr. Persinger engage in loan and real estate business. In 1876, he established his present business, which he has since continued.
W. H. WEBSTER, attorney at law, was born in Pontiac, Mich., April 25, 1835; was raised near Rochester, Monroe Co., N. Y.; graduated at Genesee College, at Lima, N. Y., in the class of 1859. He entered the service in September, 1861, in Company I, Eighth New York Cavalry; was wounded in April, 1863, at Beverly's Ford, Va., from which he received a pension. He studied law at Lima and Rochester before he entered the army, and was admitted to the bar at the last named place. Soon after his discharge, in 1864, he practiced in Rochester, and subsequently in the courts of Mason and Cabell Counties, W. Va. He was a member of the Legislature from Mason County, W. Va., in 1871. He came to Central City, Neb., in the fall of 1872; has since followed his profession; also engaged in farming. He owns a farm of 240 acres three miles north of Central City, on which he resides. He was nominated on the Democratic ticket for Governor of Nebraska in the fall of 1878.
S. C. WHEELER, locomotive engineer, Burlington & Missouri Railroad, was born in Columbus, Ohio, March 2, 1855. In 1869, he moved to Nebraska, and located in Nebraska City, and engaged with a surveying party on the Midland Pacific. When the road was completed, he was connected with the locomotive department, and continued in this until the transfer to the Burlington & Missouri Railroad. Has since been engaged by the latter. He was married in Central City, Neb., December 23, 1880, to Miss McDougal, a native of England. They have one child, a son, W. C., born March 22, 1882. Mr. W. is a member of the K. of H. of Nebraska City, No. 925, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.
J. B. WHITTAKER, M. D., and druggist, was born in Colombiana County, Ohio, and there raised, and received his early education. He afterward attended the Charity Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio; there graduated in 1870. In the spring of 1871, came to Central City, where he has since been actively engaged in the practice of his profession. In 1873, he opened a drug store, which he has since continued. The Doctor has been United States Examining Surgeon for Pensions, and four years Coroner.