NEGenWeb Project
Kansas Collection Books

Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska

Produced by
Don Schreiner.

Surface and Natural Products | Early Settlement | Events and Items

War Record | County Organization | County Roster
County Representation


Court House and Jail | Railroads | Ferry and Transfer Companies
Otoe County Fair Association | Otoe County Medical Society
The Old Settlers' Association | Assessments for Taxation


Nebraska City:  Early Settlement | Selling Town Lots | A Judicial Joke
An Incident of the Panic | An Era of Speculation


Nebraska City (cont.):  Transportation and Telegraphs | Incorporation
Official Roster | Criminal | Education

Nebraska City (cont.):  Religion

Nebraska City (cont.):  The Press | Government Offices
Fire Department | Fires | Societies | Wyuka Cemetery


Nebraska City (cont.):  Public Buildings | Hotels | Banks
Board of Trade | Elevators | Nebraska City Gaslight Company
Manufacturing Interests

9 - 14:

** Nebraska City Biographical Sketches **

PART 15:

Syracuse:  Education | Religion | Societies | Railroad Interests
The Press | Biographical Sketches

PART 16:
Syracuse (cont.):  Biographical Sketches (cont.)
PART 17:

Palmyra:  Education | Societies | Religion | Business
Biographical Sketches

PART 18:

Dunbar:  Events and Items | Education | Religion | Societies
Railroad Interests | Delaware Precinct (biographical sketches)

PART 19:

Unadilla:  Religion | Societies | The Press | Events and Items
Biographical Sketches

PART 20:

Wyoming | Camp Creek | Other Towns
Biographical Sketches:  North Branch Precinct | Hendricks Precinct
Osage Precinct | McWilliams Precinct | Berlin Precinct | Minersville
Otoe Precinct

List of Illustrations in Otoe County Chapter

Part 12


MAX KOHN, wholesale and retail dry goods merchant, came to Nebraska City in February, 1867, and engaged in the dry goods business five years. Then he went to Tecumseh, where he remained for five years, engaged in mercantile trade. After that he came back to Nebraska City and became a member of the firm of L. Wessel & Co. They carry an average stock of $20,000, and do both a wholesale and retail business. Their trade last year amounted to $50,000. Mr. K. was born in Schutiber, Bohemia, March 14, 1850. He came to America October 28, 1866, and located in New York City. From there he went to Newark, where he staid until he came here. He was married at Nebraska City, December 8, 1872, to Carrie Wessel, a native of Haslau, Bohemia. They have three children, Amanda, Rosa and Edgar. Mr. K. is a member of the K. of H., Royal Arcanum, I. O. O. F., A., F. & A. M., and Bnai Brith.

T. T. KOOP, dealer in groceries and hardware, and agricultural implement salesman, came to Nebraska City, May 4, 1870. For two months he was employed as salesman in a store, and then entered the implement trade with Wilhelmy Brothers, being a partner in that house. In 1874, he began traveling for the Champion Mower and Reaper Company, in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, and kept it up for a year, when he went into business again with Wilhelmy Brothers for a year. He is now salesman for Simpson & Draper. He was born at New Bremen, Auglaize Co., Ohio, March 8, 1847, and lived there until he was seventeen years old, when he removed to McGregor, Iowa. Lived there until he came to Nebraska City. He was married at Nebraska City, May 31, 1877, to Eliza Huber, a native of Pine Grove, Schulykill Co., Pa. They have one child, Bessie.

C. H. KORFF, general merchandise, was born January 29, 1830, in Principality of Schaumburg Lippe, Germany. Came to this country in the fall of 1846, first locating in St. Louis, remaining there eleven years, with the exception of two years, when he was at Stillwater, Minn. The first few years in St. Louis, he followed clerking, and for three years ran a grocery store for himself. From there he came to Nebraska City, June 2, 1859. He engaged in clerking for about six years; then went into business for himself and has continued ever since. Mr. K. was Mayor one term and member of the Board of Education four years. He is a member of A., F. & A. M. Was married in Nebraska City, October 28, 1866. They have five children, Lily M., Mamie S., Annie C., Charles R. and Julia A.

C. H. KRESSEN, proprietor plow works, was born in Prussia, February 6, 1847, came to the United States in the spring of 1866, locating in Chicago for the space of eighteen months, then coming to Nebraska City, engaged in blacksmithing for seven years; at the end of which time he started his present business. Mr. K. manufactures and sells over 200 plows every year, and the demand is rapidly increasing. He was married in Nebraska City to Anna Schrider, in April, 1872. They have five children, Emil, Katie, Frank, Emma and Annie. Mr. K is a member of the I. O. O. F.

W. C. LAMBETH & BROTHER, merchants; commenced business in the spring of 1872. They deal in dry goods, clothing, etc., doing some jobbing. Their trade is fully twice as large as it was in 1872. Then they carried a stock of from $10,000 to $12,000; now they have at least $30,000 on hand. They do a business of about $60,000 a year, and give employment to six clerks.

WILLIAM C. LAMBETH came to Nebraska City, in the spring of 1862. Prior to the organization of his present firm, he was with J. Blum & Co., as a partner. He was born at Lexington, Lafayette Co., Mo., August 9, 1846. For a few years prior to his removal to this place, he lived at St. Louis. He was married at Nebraska City, October 18, 1872, to Amanda F. Torbett, a native of Kentucky. They have four children, William R., Kate, Charles A. and Howard A.

GEORGE W. LEIDIGH, meat market, was born in Philadelphia, Penn., February 11, 1850. Leaving there he came to Nebraska City, in May, 1870, and after remaining about five months, took a homestead in Kansas, and resided there three years; then came back to Nebraska City, engaging in the butchering business about a year; then went into the grocery business with S. McConiga, for the same length of time; from that he started his present business. Is a member of the School Board, and also a member of the Knights of Pythias. Mr. L. was married to Miss Laura McConiga, in September, 1873. They have four children, George Malon, William Aaron, Bessie May and Oliver G.

[Portrait of N. B. Larsh, M. D.]

N. B. LARSH, M. D., physician and surgeon, came to Nebraska City, April 9, 1859, and has practiced ever since, with the exception of three years' army service, and two years as superintendent of the State Insane Asylum. In 1862, he entered the army as assistant surgeon of the First Nebraska, and served nearly three years. He was a member of the Territorial Legislature in 1861 and 1862, and of the State Senate in 1872. He assisted in the organization of the State Medical Association, and has been president and held other offices therein. He has also held the position of Alderman and other city offices. Dr. Larsh was born in Eaton, Preble Co., Ohio, January 6, 1835, and lived there until 1857. Then he went to Darke County, and practiced at Palestine for two years, when he came here. He graduated from the Miami Medical College at Cincinnati, March, 1857. He was married at Nebraska City, December 22, 1859, to Ella S. Armstrong, a native of Ohio. They have seven children, Sallie C., Ella L., John M., Rachel I., Frank B., Paul A. and Gwendellyn. The Doctor is a member of the A., F. & A. M., Lodge, Chapter and Commandery, of Knights of Honor, and of the Royal Arcanum. He belongs to the State and County Medical Associations.

LEIDIGH & MASOM, ice dealers; supply obtained from the Missouri River. Their houses will contain about 1,800 tons. Business established in 1880. Edwin Masom, of the firm, was born in Northamptonshire, England, June 24, 1849. In 1867, he came to the United States, and settled in Nebraska City, Neb. Engaged in general occupations until present firm was organized. Married in Nebraska City, in 1876, to Mrs. Marien Bevele, a native of Devonshire, England. Mrs. Masom has one child by her former husband.

L. LEVI, proprietor livery stable, came to Nebraska City March 27, 1863, and engaged in mercantile business for five years. He then improved some farms in Otoe County, and was engaged in farming until 1881, when he actively engaged in the present business., he having been connected with it more or less for ten years. He was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, August 7, 1831, and came to America in 1851. He lived in the Southern States most of the time until he came to Nebraska; coming here from Tennessee. He was married at St. Louis, March 12, 1865, to Caroline Aaron, a native of Germany. They have five children: Emma, Flora, Minnie, Robert and Eugene. Mr. L. is a member of the I. O. O. F., and K. of H., and Royal Arcanum. He has been Grand Patriarch of the first-named order for the State.

W. A. LLOYD, grocer, came to Nebraska City first in October, 1865, and stayed here about two years. He then lived in Holt County, Mo., until 1874, when he came back to Nebraska City, and has lived there since. For the last three years he has been in business for himself. Mr. Lloyd was born in Lee County, Va., October 4, 1847, and removed to Missouri with his parents when six years old. He was married near Nebraska City, November 25, 1865, to Luella Burrus, a native of Carroll County, Mo. They have three children: Thomas Preston, Mary Virginia, and Lee Colvin. Mr. Lloyd is a member of the K. of H., and of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

ROBERT LORTON, wholesale grocer, came to Nebraska City in June, 1855. His father, John L., settled in Illinois in 1805, and took part in the Black Hawk war, being captain in the same regiment with Abraham Lincoln; and in 1836 he emigrated to Iowa. In 1854 he was appointed, under Franklin Pierce, Superintendent of the Otoe Indians, which position he held from 1855 to 1861. He moved back to Illinois in September, 1863, where his death occurred some three months later. Robert was employed as a clerk from 1857 to 1866, and in July, 1867, engaged in the retail and jobbing grocery business, which he continued until 1875. He then sold out an account of ill-health, and was out of business until 1879. In that year he engaged in the wholesale and retail grocery trade with Charles L. Potts, under the firm name of Lorton & Potts. September 1, they discontinued the retail trade, and have since conducted a jobbing business in Nebraska and Iowa. Mr. Lorton was born near Burlington, Iowa, October 8, 1837, and lived there until he came to Nebraska. He was married at Nebraska City in 1867, to Henrietta H. Behan, a native of Westport, Jackson Co., Mo. They have three children, Mary W, Ritta, and Edgar Campbell. Mr. L. was one of the original stockholders and directors of the Nebraska City National Bank, and has been vice president thereof for the last six years. Since 1875 he has been interested in cattle-raising in Dundy County, Neb., being a member of the Hour Glass Cattle Co., whose ranch extends into Kansas.

FRANK McCARTNEY, clerk in the County Clerk's office, came to Nebraska with his parents, Allen T. and Ellen D. McCartney, in April 1857. They located near Nebraska City, living there in Wyoming Precinct, Otoe co. Frank lived on a farm until 1878, and then taught school until February, 1880, in the public schools of Otoe County. He was educated in the Otoe County schools and the State University, attending the latter two years. In February, 1880, he entered the County Clerk's office. He was born near Madison, Jefferson Co., Ind., December 12, 1852, and lived there until he came to Nebraska.

GEORGE R. McCALLUM, Sheriff, came to Nebraska City July 1, 1860. He was a student for about a year, and then was employed as a clerk until 1863, when he learned the saddlery and harness business, and continued at it for four years. In 1867 he was elected County Clerk, and re-elected in 1869. During a few years after leaving the Clerk's office he engaged in real estate and insurance until 1874, when he was elected City Treasurer, and in the same year bought the Chronicle, which he ran as a daily and weekly paper for two years. When he disposed of his paper he again engaged in real estate and insurance, continuing until the fall of 1877. In that year he was elected Sheriff, and in 1879 and 1881 he was re-elected. He was born in London, Canada, August 19, 1842, and lived there and in Michigan prior to coming here. He was married at St. Joe, Mo., November 26, 1868, to America Frances, daughter of Judge William Toole. She is a native of St. Joe. They have two children: George W., born March 1, 1870, and Grace Alice, born December 27, 1872. Mr. McCallum is a member of A., F. & A. M., Lodge, chapter and Commandery, and of the K. of P.

JOHN McMECHAN, a merchant of St. Louis, Mo., came to Nebraska Territory April 5, 1854, and the same year laid out Kearney City, south of the site of Nebraska City, and now one of its wards. Since that date he has been actively identified with the interests of Otoe County, residing during the past eighteen years on what is known as the Headwood farm, a fine tract of land near the city, and containing one of the first planted and best producing orchards in the county. Mr. McM. has five sons and three daughters. The eldest of his sons, David B., after engaging in the hardware business for more than twenty years in Kearney City, the first in that line of trade, is now in business in Kansas City, Mo. John H. is manager of the Headwood farm, devoting a large portion of his time to the experimental culture of small fruits and the breeding of fine stock. Andrew C., under appointment of the Hon. Samuel G. Daily, entered the U. S. Naval Academy at Newport, R. I.; the first resident of the Territory receiving such an appointment; he graduated with honor in June, 1868, and is now in the naval service. William B., at present in the practice of law at Kansas City, graduated from Union College in 1872. Ed. E., now in the mercantile business, graduated from the Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, Pa., in 1874; both of these being the first from Nebraska to receive degrees from the respective institutions.

J. P. McPHERSON, pilot of the B. & M. R. R. transfer boat at Nebraska City. Mr. McP. has no positive knowledge of his parentage. His mother went to Schenectady, N. Y., about 1840, and being taken suddenly ill, she died without having any opportunity of making any statement. He at that time was about three years old. It is supposed from words dropped occasionally in the conversation that his mother came from Canada, and had married some sea captain against the wishes of her parents, and was brought to Canada by him. On her death the boy was adopted by the McPherson family, of Schenectady. He was raised partially in that city, and then moved to Galway, Saratoga Co., with his adopted parents. About 1855 he struck out West, and located in Bellevue, Neb. He worked at farming and surveying that winter, and the following spring went to Omaha and engaged with the Ferry Co.; remained during the season, then went to New York on a visit. In the spring returned to Nebraska, and engaged in steamboating on the Missouri River, an occupation he has since followed with the exception of a short time spent in Denver, etc., on a mining trip. He engaged with the B. & M. R. R. in 1879, being located at Plattsmouth on the transfer boat. He removed to Nebraska City in May, 1881. He was married in Plattsmouth, August 10, 1880, to Miss Leesley, of that city. They have one son, Charles.

THOMAS McCULLOCH, dealer in hides and leather, came to Nebraska City in 1864, and remained until 1875. In that year, he went to Champaign, Ill., where he resided until he returned to Nebraska City in the spring of 1878. For a while he was in school here, and afterward entered the newspaper business, being one of the proprietors of the Press. While at Champaign, he was in the hide and leather trade, and has followed the same business since he returned here. He was born at Terre Haute, Ind., March 6, 1846, and lived there until he first came to Nebraska. He was married at Mattoon, Ill., November 25, 1870, to Addie M. Burnett, a native of Terre Haute. They have four children--Edward B., Austin B., Arthur T. and an infant son.

McCULLOCH & BURNETT, dealers in hides and leather, commenced business July 1, 1878. For the last two years they have been doing a wholesale trade, their business being chiefly in Nebraska, though they sell also in Iowa. They now do an aggregate business of $35,000 per annum. Their trade includes hides, leather, findings and saddlery hardware.

R. F. McCOMAS, president of the Nebraska Transportation Company, is a native of Cabell County, W. Va., where he was born, February 14, 1834. His parents were old residents of that section. He remained at home until 1856, in which year he located in Bellevue, Neb., where he engaged in speculations in real estate. In 1858, he settled in Nebraska City, and engaged in freighting between there and Salt Lake City, Denver, etc. He continued in this until the completion of the Pacific Railroad destroyed the business.--From 1867 to 1869 was engaged in the mercantile business in Nebraska City, and in 1870 bought an interest in the Nebraska Transportation Company which he still retains. He was married in Nebraska City, November 12, 1863, to Miss Bettie J. Simpson, of Kansas City, Mo. They have four children--Mary, Eugene, Duke and Rufus.

WASH McCALLUM, Deputy Sheriff, was born in Lambeth, Lancaster Co., Canada, July 4, 1850. His parents moved to Michigan, and from there to Nebraska in 1860, settling in what is now Nebraska City, then known as Kearney. He finished his education at Ottumwa, Iowa High School. From the time he was fifteen years old he devoted his attention to horse dealing, and since 1869 or 1870, to horse training. He has trained a great number of racing horses, among which we may mention "Little Frank," a pacing horse that was king of his circuit for some years. Mr. McC. was married in Greenfield, Adair Co., Iowa, November 5, 1879, to Miss Priddy, of that county.

DONALD MACCUAIG, of E. S. Hawley & Co., came to Nebraska City, June 4, 1857, and engaged in farming in Belmont Precinct. He continued this until he was elected County Clerk, in the fall of 1873, and held the office six years. After a trip to Europe, he became a partner in the firm he is now with, July, 1881. He was born in Argyleshire, Island of Isla, Scotland, February 8, 1835, and came to America in 1856. He spent most of the time at Green Bay, Wis., until he came here. He was married in Belmont Precinct, Neb., December 3, 1862, to Elizabeth Cook, a native of England, near Dudley. They have six children--Duncan A., Andrew, Hannah, Margaret, Lizzie and Florence. Mr. M. is a member of K. of P., K. of H., and royal Arcanum.

J. H. MASTERS, nurseryman, fruit grower and florist, was born in Warren County, Ky., August 15, 1819. His parents removed from there to Springfield, Ill., when he was nine years old, and lived there until 1835; then emigrated to Bureau County in the same State, remaining there until 1852. At this time he went to Missouri, continuing there two years, in expectation of Kansas being opened for settlement. While in Illinois he was engaged in agricultural pursuits. In November, 1854, he came to Nebraska and worked at carpentering in Nebraska City until March, 1855, when he located on his present place. He has the honor of having planted the first orchard in the Territory, as well as the first nursery; this was in 1855. This orchard contains 2,000 apple, about 300 peach, 100 cherry and 100 pear trees. Mr. M. was appointed Justice of the Peace by Gov. Izard, and afterwards elected for one term; was also a member of the Legislature in 1872-3; is a member of A., F. & A. M. He and his son are starting a nursery near Lincoln, and it is his intention to remove his stock to the new location. Mr. M. was married twice in Illinois, and the last time in Nebraska, in 1863. He has four children living, Abbie E., wife of W. H. Wilson; Josephine E., James W. and Alice I.

DR. RODNEY H. MATHEWS, dentist, came to Nebraska City in the spring of 1858, and has practiced dentistry ever since. He did some freighting in early days. Mr. M. was born in Lake County (formerly Geauga), Ohio, February 15, 1822, and was educated at Western Reserve College, and Grand River Collegiate Institute. He graduated from the Cleveland Medical College the first term after its location at Cleveland, and practiced medicine for about ten years. He then began the study and practice of dentistry. He was married at Nebraska City, September 27, 1858, to Amelia Rukenbord, a native of Carrollton, Ohio. They have one child--Mattie Maud, having lost four. His grandfather, Samuel Huntington, was the first Governor of Ohio, and built the first house in Cleveland, a log cabin, situated back of the present American House. He was Paymaster during the war of 1812. Dr. Mathews belongs to the I. O. O. F., and A., F. & A. M.

JULIAN METCALF came to Nebraska City, in July, 1857, and engaged in banking. He was born in Charlestown, Sullivan Co., N. H., in 1833, and lived there until 1855. He then spent two years in Cleveland, Ohio, and then moved to St. Louis, where he staid until he came to Nebraska. He is half owner of the Nebraska City Elevator Company, Mr. Hill owning the balance. They have eight warehouses along the Nebraska R. R. from Nemaha City to Bennet.

JAMES S. MILLER, real estate dealer, came to Nebraska City, in the fall of 1864, and engaged in freighting until 1868. For three years he was Deputy Treasurer, and spent three years in Missouri. In 1875, he engaged in his present business, having been in the mercantile trade in Saline County, while in Missouri. He was born at Danville, Ky., October 10, 1835. In 1837, his father moved to Saline County, Mo., and he lived there until he came to Nebraska, with the exception of six years spent in business at St. Louis. He was married at Nebraska City, in March, 1865, to Celia Bennett, a native of Virginia. Mr. Miller is a member of the Presbyterian Church and of the Temple of Honor and Good Templars.

RICHARD H. MILLER, dealer in real estate, came to Nebraska City, in June, 1857, and engaged in mercantile business, which he continued until 1861. He then took to freighting until 1868, when he entered the lumber trade for four years. The next two years he served as County Treasurer, and has since been in his present business. When he entered the Treasurer's office the floating indebtedness amounted to $235,000, and county warrants were worth only 50 to 70 cents on the dollar. During his two years' term he collected $365,000 in taxes, some of the indebtedness dating way back in the `60's, and all of if from 1860 to 1874. He was born at Danville, Ky., June 2, 1832, and lived in that State five years. Then his father located in Saline County, Mo., with his family. For four years he was in the commission business t St. Louis, and came from there to Nebraska. He was married May 29, 1859, in Nebraska City, to Marietta Craig, a native of Galena, Ill. Mr. Miller is a member of A., F. & A. M., K. of H., and the Presbyterian Church.

HON. J. L. MITCHELL, attorney, came to Nebraska City, in 1875, having lived at Sidney, Iowa, since 1856. He has been in practice since 1858. Mr. Mitchell was born near Belleville, Hendricks Co., Ind., October 28, 1834, and lived in that county until he came to Sidney. He assisted in raising Company E, Twenty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, enlisting August 15, 1862, being a member of the Iowa Legislature at the time. He afterwards became Captain of his company and served until August 1864, when he was mustered out on account of wounds received in a battle at Jenkins' Ferry, Ark. He served one term in the Iowa Legislature, was Clerk of the District Court, and in 1879, was a member of the Nebraska Legislature. He was married at Sidney, Iowa, in August, 1861, to Helen E. Hedges, a native of Sinclairville, Chautauqua Co., N. Y. She died in October 1880, leaving two children: Kate and Mary. Mr. Mitchell is a member of the Presbyterian Church and of K. of H.

HORACE MONROE was born in Concord, N. H., May 17, 1837. About 1847, his parents settled in Oshkosh, Wis., where he was brought up and lived until 1859, in which year he settled in Nebraska City, Neb., and engaged in the livery business, in which he has continued since. He was married in Nebraska city, in 1860, to Miss A. E. Hollister of that city. They have four children; Nellie, Frank, Mary and Dana. Mr. M. is a Knight Templar in the Masonic Fraternity.

F. COOPER MORRISON, civil engineer, was born in Washington County, Pa., June 5, 1817. His parents were old residents of that section. He continued on the farm until about 1835, when he engaged in teaching. Three years later he went into the mercantile business first as a clerk and afterward in business for himself. In 1848, was elected Recorder of Deeds of Washington County, Pa., and was re-elected in 1851; on the expiration of that term was engaged in the office of the Clerk of Quarter Sessions, where he continued until 1857, in August, of that year he settled in Nebraska City. In 1858, was elected City Clerk, a position he held for three years. Was two years Assessor and one year Collector of Taxes, and three years City Engineer. Mr. M. was engaged in the land office, at Nebraska City, from 1857 to 1860. In 1861, he was engaged in the Surveyor General's office. After leaving this, was engaged in the mercantile business in Nebraska City, until lately. He was married in Washington County, Pa., March 20, 1845, to Miss Sarah Clark of that county. They have one daughter, Clara. Mr. M. is now in his sixty-sixth year and still continues to follow his profession as surveyor and engineer.

S. H. MORRISON, dealer in jewelry and musical instruments, came to Nebraska City, October 28, 1866. In March, 1867, he engaged in the jewelry business and afterward added a stock of musical instruments. He sells Steinway and other pianos and organs of various manufactures. His sales of musical instruments are in southeastern Nebraska and in Fremont county, Iowa, doing but little jobbing in jewelry. He was born in Washington, Washington County, Pa., April 27, 1834. In 1858 he removed to Wisconsin and lived on Lake Superior for his health for some time. He has earned his living since he was sixteen years old. He was Deputy Recorder at Washington, Pa., and lived a while in West Virginia. Attended commercial college at Pittsburg and then taught penmanship at various points in Pennsylvania. In November, 1858, he went to Lansing, Mich., where he attended an academy and studied surveying and geometry and taught writing to pay expenses. In the spring of 1859 he went to Milwaukee and stayed a year and then to Portage for a year. He enlisted in Company G, Second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, April 19, 1861, as a private. After the second Bull Run, where he was wounded, he was appointed Second Lieutenant. He was again wounded at Gettysburg and in January, 1864, he was honorably discharged on account of disability from wounds. In March he was commissioned by Lincoln a Second Lieutenant in the Veteran Reserve Corps and was ordered to Louisville, where he commanded a detachment of unassigned troops at Camp Joe Holt, Jeffersonville, Ind. Two months later he was assigned to the Second Battalion Veteran Reserve Corps commanding the Eighty-third and Eighty-fourth Companies until January, 1866. He was also post commander at Jefferson Hospital and military assistant to the surgeon in charge. In January, 1866, he returned to Pennsylvania to await orders and was honorably discharged June 30, 1866. Mr. M. is a member of the a., F. & A. M. Western Star Lodge No. 2, Keystone Chapter No. 2, Mount Olivet Commandery No. 2, also K. of H.

THOMAS MORTON, proprietor of the Nebraska City News, was born in England, March 17, 1829, and came to America with his parents when an infant. They first located at Columbus, Ohio, in 1830, where he lived until 1844, when he went to Louisville, Ky., and learned the printer's trade in the Democrat office, working there until 1849. From there he went to California and stayed until 1853, engaging in mining. He returned to Columbus and stayed a few months, then going to Louisiana, where he remained until 1854. He then returned to Ohio, and in July came out to St. Mary's, Iowa, where he worked on the St. Mary's Gazette until November, 1854, and then moved to Bellevue, Neb., where he took charge of the mechanical department of the Nebraska Palladium, setting the first column of reading matter ever set in the then Territory of Nebraska (November 14, 1854). He remained at Bellevue until March, 1855, when he came to Nebraska City and had charge of the Nebraska City News for a year, when he and J. Sterling Morton purchased it. He did the early territorial printing, and was one of the judges at the first election held at Bellevue. He was married in Cincinnati, Ohio, October 31, 1859, to Caroline Woodruff, a native of New Jersey; they have three children, Jean, Otoe and Elizabeth. Mr. Morton is Treasurer of the Old Settlers' Association of Otoe County.


HON. J. STERLING MORTON was born in Adams, Jefferson Co., N. Y., April 22, 1832. The first one of the family of whom there is authenticated record is Richard Morton, a blacksmith by trade, a Scotchman by birth and a Puritan in religion, who moved from Hartford Conn., to Hadley, Mass., and thence to Hatfield about 1668, or `69. Governor Morton's grandfather, Abner Morton, graduated at Dartmouth College in 1799, and his father, Julius Dewen Morton, a native of St. Albans, Vt., was a man of marked ability, having fine business capacity and sound judgment, and being at the time of his death, president of the Farmers and Mechanics' Bank of Detroit. His mother was Emeline Sterling, a resident of Adams, N. Y., at the time of her marriage, September 30, 1830. Removing with his parents to Michigan, at an early age, the subject of this sketch attended school at Albion, subsequently at the State University at Ann Arbor, and finally at Union College, New York, then under the charge of Dr. Eliphalet Nott, from whom he received his diploma in 1854. Prior to this time he had shown strong predilections toward journalism, being a frequent contributor to the Detroit Free Press, and to other papers of reputation. On October 30, 1854, he was married to Caroline Ion French, of Detroit, with whom he had attended school from childhood and to whom he had been engaged from the age of sixteen. On the same day, accompanied by his wife, he started for Nebraska, arriving at Bellevue early in November, remaining there for some weeks, and then removed to Nebraska City, where he made a contract with the town site company, becoming owner of five town shares and seventy lots on the town site. He received the sum of $50 per month, for editing the Nebraska City News. This he did for about a year, resuming the position in 1857, and doing editorial work at intervals until 1877. In 1855 he was elected to the Territorial Legislature, was again a candidate in 1856, but defeated by eighteen votes in consequence to his opposition to chartering "wild-cat" banks. He was reinstated as a member in 1857, and took an active part in the adjournment of the Legislature to Florence, a struggle as bitter, perhaps, as any in which Nebraska has been interested. He succeeded Thomas B. Cuming as Secretary of the Territory in the spring of 1858, and became active Governor within a few months by the resignation of Governor Richardson, and was succeeded in his position by A. S. Paddock in 1861. In the fall of 1860, he was nominated by Democrats as a Delegate to Congress, his opponent being Samuel G. Daily, with whom he engaged in a series of debates, stumping throughout the Territory. The result of the election showed Morton fourteen votes in the majority, and he was accordingly certified as Delegate. Secession coming on and his party being in the minority, his seat was contested, however, the question being finally decided in favor of his opponent. Morton, at this time but twenty-nine years of age, enlisted in his behalf the strongest intellects on the Democratic side of the House. A labored argument was made by Pendleton, sustained by speeches from Richardson, of Illinois, Vallandingham, Voorhees and John J. Crittenden, the last mentioned moved and successfully insisted upon the passage of a resolution, granting the defeated contestant mileage and pay for the time he was :in Washington. In the course of the debate, Richardson said: "Mr. Speaker, my young friend is one of those men who can make things happen."--a sententious remark frequently and applicably applied to him since. Returning home, Mr. Morton took no active part in politics until the spring of 1866, when he received the gubernatorial nomination, contesting with David Butler, the honor of being the first Governor of Nebraska, as a State. He debated with Butler until the condition of the latter's throat necessitated the substitution of General Thayer, as the Republican champion. In consequent of the alleged irregularities in Rock Bluffs Precinct, Cass County, by which about 160 were thrown out, Butler was declared elected, thus also giving the Republicans a majority of seven in joint legislative ballot. Without a caucus being held Morton received the entire strength of his party for United States Senator, the vote standing twenty-eight to twenty-one in favor of T. W. Tipton. Mr. Morton has declined nominations since. He was appointed to represent Nebraska at the Paris Exposition and was one of the commissioners at the Philadelphia Exposition. He has been a prominent member and President of the State Board of Agriculture and Horticulture, and is the originator of "Arbor Day," a festival adopted by many of the Western States. Coming to Nebraska when it was a wilderness, locating on unbroken prairie land contiguous to Nebraska City, the ambition of Mr. Morton has been less the acquisition of wealth or the praises of fame, then the establishing of a home on the truest and best signification of the term. In this he has been aided, few know how admirably, by his wife. How they have succeeded, the many who have enjoyed the rare hospitality of Arbor Lodge will testify. Of this home, Mrs. Morton was the light, displaying in her family relations true womanhood, that of the sustaining, helpful wife, and the devoted mother. To her rare, artistic taste, and personal efforts are largely due the beauty and harmony of Arbor Lodge. Her duties to her neighbor, she counted as secondary only to the obligation she owed to God. On June 29, 1881, the light went out. There are four children, Joy, Paul, Mark and Carl. The first three of them are in business in Chicago, the youngest is yet in school.

EDWIN J. MURFIN, attorney, came to Nebraska City February 27, 1880. He was born in Manchester England, May 6, 1850, and came to America in infancy. He lived in New York and Jersey City until he came here, January 22, 1872. Was admitted to practice in New York City, and practiced there until he came here. Mr. Murfin saw service during the Rebellion, and has been identified since the closing of the war with the National Guard of New York, being Captain in the Seventy-first Regiment, receiving his discharge in December, 1879.

FREDERICK MUTTON, plumbing, painting and glazing, was born in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, July 18, 1844. He learned his trade with his father there and at the age of seventeen he went to London and worked at his trade, remaining about eighteen months when he returned home and commenced working for Bell Bros., and staid with them up to within a short time of coming to America. He left home coming direct to Nebraska City, arriving here in May, 1873, at which time he engaged in his present business. Mr. Mutton has been Grand Chancellor of the Grand Lodge of the State of Nebraska, K. of P., 1880-81, and was also Keeper of Records and Seal for Subordinate Lodge, six years. He was married at Cambridge, England, to Lydia Gravestocks, in August, 1865. They have six children living, William Frederick, Alfred James, Emily, Lydia Sarah, Joseph and Annie.

JAMES J. MUTTON, house, sign and ornamental painter, was born in Cambridgeshire, England, December 10, 1846. He learned his trade with his father and worked at it there until coming to this country, taking a through passage from London to Nebraska City, arriving here May 6, 1870, when he at once engaged in his present business. Mr. Mutton is a member of the Equitable Aid Union Insurance. He was married in this city to Ella Austin, of Illinois, in November, 1874. They have two children living, Harry and Florence.

NEILS WINTNER NEILSON, of the firm of Neilson & Koch, plasterers, bricklayer, etc., was born in the village of Sanderkongerslers, Denmark, February 18, 1831. He went at his trade there when he was fifteen years old, and after serving five years as an apprentice worked at it one year, at the end of which time he was drafted and served four years. He was in six battles and received two wounds. After the war ended he worked at his trade again until leaving for this country in 1871. After landing in New York, he came direct to Nebraska City, arriving here in the month of June, and engaged in the present business for himself. In August, 1881, he formed a partnership with H. M. Koch. He built two large schools and numerous other buildings in this city. He was married in Nebraska City, July 8, 1871 to Miss Susannah Huffman, but was unfortunate in losing his wife and re-married July, 1876, in Nebraska City, to Miss Louisa Tilthauser. They have one child, Teny. Mr. Neilson was a soldier under King Fredrick VII.

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