Part 2: Political History
Part 3: County Roster | Seward County Schools
Death of a Pioneer
Seward: Incorporation | Societies | Religious
Part 4: Seward (cont.): Schools | Driving Park Association
Part 5: Seward: Biographical Sketches (cont.)
Part 6: Milford: Location and Natural Features
Early History | Churches
Societies | Biographical Sketches
Part 7: Utica: Biographical Sketches
Biographical Sketches:B Precinct | C Precinct
Part 8: Biographical Sketches: F Precinct | G Precinct
I Precinct | J Precinct
Part 9: Biographical Sketches: K Precinct | L Precinct
M Precinct | N Precinct | O Precinct | P Precinct
List of Illustrations in Seward County Chapter
The village of Milford is situated on a high, commanding plain inclining to the east and bordered by the high banks of the Big Blue River on the north. The first authentic knowledge of this lovely site was given by some early hunters, who found it occupied by about 5,000 Indians, comprising the Pawnees, Otoes and Omahas, who had rendezvoused here when resisting the whites' encroachment of the Sioux territory. Traditional history makes it a favorite camping-ground of the Pawnees and a rendezvous of the Pawnees, Otoes and Omahas when joining their united bands to defeat and protect themselves from the inroads of their bitter enemies, the murderous Sioux. A gigantic oak standing alone on the prairie near the bluffs is pointed out as the traditional "council tree," where many a compact has been sealed for exterminating the white man and saving the lives of their squaws and papooses.
Many relics of the "Indian reign" have been dug up on the ground which the town site now occupies, and many other evidences prove that it was a favorite resort and hunting-ground. It was a feeding-ground of vast herds of buffalo, elk, antelope, the principal wild game of the chase, and the waters of the Blue abounded with various species of fish, offering great attraction to the wild, romantic life of the red man. No evidences of a permanent Indian village exist--only traces of a temporary residence. When Mr. J. L. Davison established his ranch at this point in 1864, the remains of the tepee poles of 400 deserted lodges were still standing on the bluffs. At this date, the old Sioux camp was about a half mile north, and the Pawnee camp a half mile south of the old "council tree." It is a singular fact that this tree is similar in many respects to the famous historical oak of New England, the "charter oak," at Hartford, Conn. The branches project at the same angles and have the same shape and appearance. Some years ago it was struck by lightning, which tore the bark from one side of the trunk just as it did with the "charter oak," and it has healed over, leaving a similar mark.
The beauty of the scenery and the picturesque appearance of the river with its beautiful green woods stretching away for miles up and down the pretty winding valley of the Blue and in majestic beauty across river, forest and prairie as far as the eye can reach, renders the site of Milford very attractive.
At one point, the observer stands on a high bluff or precipice fully sixty feet high, beneath which sweeps the river, which here makes several great bends, furnishing natural water-power.
The varied and romantic scenery is fast bringing the town into notoriety as a popular summer resort. Boating facilities are offered for a distance of five miles up the river with a depth sufficient for a steam yacht of moderate size.
Among the many attractions of this favored spot is a deep gorge or cañon heavily timbered. At the foot of the bluffs, from between ledges of rocks four to six feet above the surface of the water, a million little streamlets flow, and, forming into large drops at the lower edge of the rock, reflect the colors of the rainbow on the dusky background, in precipitating themselves on the bank beneath, in the light of a beautiful summer sun, while the water is pure, cool and refreshing.
The river at first appearance presents that of a cozy inland lake, in the center of which is a small island known as "Picnic Island," heavily timbered with oak, cottonwood, walnut and ash; some of the trees are very large, one familiarly called the "Monarch of the Forest," being eighteen feet in circumference.
Along the banks on either side of the river are wild-looking ravines, which will no doubt in the near future give birth to many a romance.
The water-power is peculiarly arranged to resist the pressure of the floods and elements, without danger to the dam or mills by an acute bend in the river just above the location of the present dam, the current striking the south bank just about the site of the mills, which is composed largely of magnesia, limestone and is fully fifty feet high, thus resisting the force of the water and sending it back in the direction of the north bank, causing the greater volume of the water to flow over the center of the dam.
The bed of the river is limestone, so there is no danger of its washing out. Below the dam, the river is much wider and flows over continuous rapids for some thirty rods, effecting a rapid drainage for the escaping water.
Of the two natural water-powers afforded here, but one is at present utilized. At the upper one a flouring mill has been in operation since 1866. It has eight feet head and a good substantial brush dam laid on a solid stone foundation. One side of the flume and headway is cut into the solid rock. There are three wheels in running order in the flume, two of the Little Giant and one of the "New Dayton" make, known as the Eclipse. The building containing the milling machinery is a solid oak structure, not imposing in appearance, but substantial and well built. Steel rollers instead of buhrs are used in the manufacture of flour. There are nine sets in the operation, which require dressing only once in five years and are far superior to the old style of milling in their uniformity of operation. It is estimated that 100 pounds of flour manufactured under this process is equal to 122 pounds made under the old process. The entire equipment of the mills comprise the latest and most approved machinery. The capacity of the mills is 250 barrels per day.
There is also an immense grain warehouse and elevator in connection with the mills, having a storage capacity of 120,000 bushels of wheat and 2,000 barrels of flour.
The original mill was erected by Messrs. J. L. Davison and William Reed, in August, 1866. It was a small frame building and was in successful operation in January, 1867. It was furnished with only one run of stone, but fully supplied the wants of the settlers at that date. A saw-mill was also run in connection with the grist-mill, which was put in operation early in the spring of 1867. About this time, Henry Wortendyke purchased the interest of Mr. Reed and the following May, of 1868, sold out to Mr. Thompson. The mill was operated by these gentlemen until September, 1868, when Mr. Thompson sold his interest to Mr. Davison. Mr. Davison was sole proprietor until he admitted Mr. J. H. Culver as a partner, and together they operated it until 1880, at which date Messrs. Johnson and Perry purchased a half-interest in the mill and power, and the mill was rebuilt to its present dimensions.
In the month of November, 1881, Messrs. Culver and Davison made a transfer of their interest to Messrs. Johnson, Perry & Co., and shortly after the firm name was changed to its present proprietors, Messrs. F. S. Johnson & Co. The mills are known as the "Quenchaqua," and the brand of flour manufactured as "Shogo." They are Aztec words, "Shogo" meaning "the very best," and Quenchaqua, "Number One." Outside of manufacturing interests, the more important business enterprise is stock-raising.
All branches of business are quite well represented, of which general merchandise, hardware, farming machinery are the principal interests. The town has two church buildings, a fine brick schoolhouse and two good hotels. The schools are graded into three departments, and have an attendance of ninety pupils.
The press is represented by the Seward County Democrat, inaugurated by W. D. Alexander in the month of February, 1882.
The first settler at Milford was J. L. Davison. He discovered the site of the future town while guiding a party to the gold fields of Pike's Peak, and was attracted to it by its wild natural scenery, and the splendid facilities it offered as a water-power. In the month of April, 1864, he camped upon the spot, and a few days later built a dug-out in which he lived until the following fall, when he built the first frame house erected in the town, and established his well-known ranch.
The Indians were numerous and often paid him visits in their journeys to and fro across the country.
After the Territorial road was laid out from Nebraska City at a point on the Platte River, where it met the old Government Trail about forty miles east of Fort Kearney, better known as the "Steam Wagon Road;" his ranch became a favorite stopping place for freighters and emigrants.
In the fall of 1865, Mr. William Collier took up his residence here and the following spring added the third inhabitant to the town, who built the second building. Mr. William Reed came shortly after and built the next building. About this time, Mr. Davison established a blacksmith shop, and in August, 1866, Messrs. Davison and Reed built a brush dam across the Blue and commenced the erection of their grist-mill, which was in successful operation in January, 1867, and upon the advent of spring they had also completed a saw-mill and put it in operation. Mr. Lewis Morgan arrived about this time, and succeeded Mr. Davison in the blacksmith shop.
Judge Henry Wortendyke arrived during the summer, and purchased an interest in the grist-mill. During the winter of 1866-67, through the liberality and influence of Mr. Davison, the first school ever taught in the town was held at his house. Miss Eva Hooker was employed as teacher, and the school numbered about ten pupils. In 1868, District No. 1 was formed at this place, and a regular school maintained. During this year J. E. Doom opened the first store with a stock of general merchandise. In the spring of 1869, Mr. S. G. Merriam inaugurated the second business house with a stock of general merchandise. The first schoolhouse was built in the summer of 1867, and a second school established with G. B. France as teacher. It was a small frame building built of slabs from the saw-mill, and was used only a short time after the Congregational Church was erected; it was rented by the town for school purposes, and in 1874 the Baptist Church was purchased and converted into a schoolhouse.
The post office was established in the fall of 1864, with Mr. J. L. Davison as Postmaster.
April 10, 1869, the First Congregational Church was organized; the following summer the Baptist Church was organized, and in May, 1870, Milford Lodge, I. O. O. F., was chartered. Among those who located at Milford about this time are: Messrs. J. H. Culver, Thomas A. Healey, I. A. Gallup, S. K. Keys, Judge Henry Wortendyke and W. G. Haselwood. The Blue Valley Record was founded by J. C. Culver and H. G. Parsons, and issued its first number December 29, 1870, under whose efficient management, it was maintained, materially aiding in building up the town and bringing settlers into the surrounding country until April, 1873, at which date it was consolidated with the Lincoln Leader of Lincoln.
The town struggled along enduring all the many inconveniences of pioneer days, until the advent of the Atchison & Nebraska Railroad, which ran its first train into the town, and from the site of a lonely solitary ranch, it has grown to be an important town of 500 inhabitants, with all promise of becoming a future manufacturing village of Nebraska.
The First Baptist Church of Milford was organized in the summer of 1870, in the Congregational Church building. The original members were: Rev. W. G. Haselwood, Mrs. W. G. Haselwood, S. K. Keys, Mrs. S. K. Keyes, John S. Bartlett, Mrs. J. S. Bartlett, A. A. Messenger, Miss Emma Davison.
The church building was completed in 1871, but had no pastor until the spring of 1872, at which date Rev. H. W. Brayton was called, officiating for a period of six months.
The First Congregational Church of Milford was organized at a council formally held at Milford April 10, 1869. In this council Rev. Charles Little as pastor, and S. A. Bidwell, as delegate of the First Congregational Church of Lincoln; Rev. Fred Alley as pastor, and L. F. Reed and L. W. Peet, as delegates of the First Congregational Church of Weeping Water.
The following named persons are the original members of the church, being received into fellowship at the sitting of the Council April 10, 1869: William H. Reed, Patrick Davidson, Andrew J. Waterman, Lee H. Smiley, Nancy C. Reed, Sophia Davidson, Elizabeth Jane Waterman, Mary Jane Smiley, Esther Smiley, Sallie M. Smith, Mariam Hooker, Sophia D. Hooker, Messrs. A. J. Waterman and P. Davison, were chosen Deacons, and Lee H. Smiley, Clerk.
Rev. T. N. Skinner became pastor of the church at its organization, and continued to sustain this relation until January, 1872.
The pastoral office became vacant upon his removal, remaining so until the following May, at which date Rev. H. A. French, then a licentiate, coming from Oberlin Seminary, was chosen as his successor.
During the year 1869, the church was built on Lots 1 and 2 of Block (1), Town of Milford, at a cost of $1,600, $400 of this amount being received from the American Congregational Union.
At a special meeting of the church held May 10, 1873, Messrs. H. M. French, M. M. Davidson and L. H. Smiley were appointed a committee to issue letters missive, calling a council to ordain Pastor H. A. French to the work of the Gospel ministry. The council met at Lincoln May 28, 1873, and the services of ordination took place in the evening.
The church is in a prosperous condition, and has a membership of forty-seven.
A short time after this, the society sold their building to the town for school purposes, and, although the organization has since been kept alive, it has had no pastor, receiving an occasional supply.
Methodist Episcopal,-- In the year 1866, a mission of this church was established at Milford, and attended by Rev. Mr. Skaggs. For the conference year of 1867, no supply was sent to this field. In 1868, Rev. Mr. Hawkes was stationed here. In 1869, Rev. Mr. Oliver and Rev. Wm. Worley; 1870, Rev Mr. Blacknell; 1871-72, Rev. D. C. Brennan; 1873-74, Rev . John Gallagher. During the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Gallagher, in 1874, the society was organized and a board of trustees appointed, consisting of Alexander Smith, P. J. Goodrich and Samuel Brown, their election taking place June 6, 1874. In August, 1875, Judge Henry Wortendyke was elected to fill vacancy caused by the resignation of Alexander Smith.
The church was also built during these years, which marks the era of the great grasshopper scourge, and rendered this a most difficult undertaking; yet the work was pushed to a successful issue, the cost reaching nearly $1,400, and was dedicated August 22, 1875.
In 1876, Rev. Thomas H. Worley was appointed to the church , and re-appointed in 187l At this date the Milford Circuit was inaugurated, and the work then included a number of out-lying stations. In 1878, Rev. Mr. Smith was appointed to this circuit; 1879, Rev. P. Van Fleet, and in 1880, the present pastor, Rev. G. M. Coufer, who is now serving his second year.
The present Board of Trustees are:
Samuel Brown, Joseph Swearengen, Judge Henry Wortendyke, Alfred Hiller, John Harmon.
The church is sound financially; has a membership of forty-five, and is one of the prominent churches of this denomination in Seward County.
Emmanuel Evangelical Church of Milford, was organized by Rev. S. W. McKassan in May, 1880. The organizing members were Messrs. J. Gruby and wife, Martin Abtz and wife, Albert Matzk and wife, Edward Mundawke and wife, Philip Brox and wife, S. J. Shupp and wife, George Brox and William Abtz. Rev. Mr. McKassan became pastor of the church at the organization, and still ministers to this people. The church was completed in the month of August, 1880, and is valued at $1,000. Total membership, eighteen.
Blue River Lodge, No. 30, A., F. & A. M., was chartered April 25, 1870, and is the oldest lodge in the county.
The roll of charter members include the following gentlemen:
James Holland, P. J. Goodrich, A. Courtright, George B. France, H. A. Brisbin, J. L. Bandy, C. D. Hooker, S. H. Biggs, J. B. Ira, S. K. Keys.
First Worshipful Master, James Holland; first Senior Warden, P. J. Goodrich; first Junior Warden, J. B. Ira. The charter ws issued by Grand Master Harvey P.Deuel; William E. Hill, Grand Senior Warden; John Reed, Grand Junior Warden; and Robert W. Furnas, Grand Secretary. The lodge owns a fine hall well furnished; has a total membership of forty, and is in a flourishing condition. The present officers are:
Pliney E. Dinsmore, W. M.; John A. Raymer, S. W.; George W. Brandan, J. W.; Thomas Bishop, Treasurer; C. M. Turner, Secretary.
Milford Lodge, No. 18, was chartered May 30, 1870. The charter members were:
Thomas A. Healey, J. C. Collier, Andrew McNish, C. L. Smith, Ira A. Gallup, Peter Ogilive.
The first Noble Grand was Thomas A. Healey; first Vice Grand, J. C. Collier; first Secretary, Andrew McNish; first Treasurer, C. L. Smith.
The lodge convenes weekly; is in a prosperous condition, and carries the names of thirty-seven members upon its rolls.
The present officers are:
H. C. Atwood, N. G.; John Englehaupt, V. G.; I. A. Gallup, Secretary; Joseph Swearengen, Treasurer
Winslow Post, G. A. R., of Milford, was mustered in September 1, 1880, with the following veterans as charter members:
J. H. Culver, Company K, First Wisconsin Infantry; J. S. Dillenbeck, Company L, Twentieth New York Cavalry; G. W. Lazenby, Company L, Seventh Iowa Infantry; J. C. Hogoboon, Company A, Ninety-fifth Illinois Infantry; A. F. Duryea, Company A, Fifth New York Infantry; J. B. Mitchell, Company C, One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Infantry; S. D. Eastman, Company C, Twenty-third Wisconsin Infantry; John T. Wilson, Company G, Twenty-first Michigan Infantry; Charles Phoenice, Company F, Fifty-seventy Pennsylvania Infantry; Samuel Stadler, Company C, Twenty-fifth Michigan Infantry; J. G. Howard, Company K, Fifth Michigan Cavalry; E. R. Brown, Company K, Sixteenth Wisconsin Infantry; Joseph A. Miller, Company F, Two Hundred and Eleventh Pennsylvania Infantry; G. V. Hageman, Company D, One Hundred and Third Illinois Infantry; H. C. Atwood, Company B, Forty-fifth Iowa Infantry; E. Swank, Company E, One Hundred and Thirty-third Pennsylvania Infantry; John Harmon, Company C, Seventy-eighth Illinois Infantry; Joseph Swearingen, Company H, One Hundred and Fortieth Pennsylvania Infantry.
The Post is named in honor of Capt. Winslow, Commander of the United States ship Kearsarge, that captured and sunk the famous rebel cruiser, the Alabama. At the time of her capture, the Alabama had taken refuge in the port of Cherbourg, France, and was ordered to leave by the French Government. As soon as she reached the high seas, Capt. Winslow pursued her, and an engagement took place, which resulted in her capture and destruction.
The first officers of the Post were:
J. H. Culver, P. C., J. B. Mitchell, S. V. C.; H. C. Atwood, J. V. C.; E. Swank, Adjutant, S. Stadler, Q. M.; J. G. Howard, Surgeon; S. D. Eastman, Chaplain; J. A. Miller, O. D.; George Lazenby, O. G.
At the present time, twenty comrades are enrolled, and the post is in a flourishing condition; officered as follows;
T. A. Healey, P. C.; J. B. Mitchell, S. V. C.; J. Davidson, J. V. C.; J. Raymer, Adjutant; J. Swearingen, Q. M.; J. A. Miller, Surgeon; G. M. Couffer, Chaplain; A. A. Hiller, O. D.; G. V. Hageman, O. G.
WILL D. ALEXANDER, proprietor and editor of the Seward County Democrat, a four-page seven-column, published at Milford, with a circulation of 450 copies, although it is but just established. The subject of this sketch was born in Linn County, Mo., on the 3d of March, 1860, and previous to his coming to Nebraska was proprietor of the McDonough Democrat, published at Blandinsville, Ill., in company with George S. Fuhr, which he edited for three years.
HENRY C. ATWOOD, drug store at Milford, came to Nebraska in 1867, and took up a homestead on Section 10, Town 9, Range 3 east, O Precinct, Seward County. Here he resided until 1873, when he came to Milford, and, in company with G. I. Smiley, opened a drug store, which was the first one in the place. This they operated together for three years, and Mr. Atwood has since successfully conducted the business alone. He was born in Washington County, Iowa, in 1846, and resided there with his parents until he came to Nebraska, with the exception of four months which he spent in the war of the rebellion, in the Forty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company B. Mr. Atwood was the first school teacher in J Precinct, and pursued that calling for five years, three in teaching in Nebraska and two in Iowa. Was married, at Milford in 1876, to Miss Eliza Barlett, of Gallatin, Mo. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M., Blue River Lodge, No. 30, at Milford, and is a charter member of Milford Lodge, No. 18, of the I. O. O. F.
JOHN H. ATWOOD, brother of the above, was born in Preble Co., Ohio, May 25, 1843; he removed with his parents to Iowa, when only a small child, enlisting when only eighteen years of age, in the Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company K, of the rebellion in 1861. After serving three years, he returned to Iowa, where he lived until 1868, when he came to Nebraska and homesteaded the farm on which he now lives, on Section 32, Town 10, Range 3, J Precinct; has served as Assessor of that precinct four terms. He was married, in Washington County, Iowa, in 1870, to Miss Catherine C. Curtice. They have a family of three children --Sidney, Mary B. and Edna E.
ROGER P. BIRGE, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 2, O Precinct, P. O. Milford, was born in Hartford, Conn., November 4, 1824. He received a common school education in his native State, and in 1836 came West to Trumbull County, Ohio, in company with his parents, but the following year they all returned to Connecticut, where he remained until 1850. Again he started westward, and this time got as far as Washington County, Iowa, and bought a farm, on which he resided four years. Then he moved to Rice County, Minn., where he resumed farming, and was there at the time of the Indian massacre, remaining until 1867, when he returned to Iowa, this time settling in Polk County, where he lived until 1869. He then came to Seward County, Neb., settling on the place where he now lives, and owns 240 acres of land, 200 of which are under cultivation, and has a nice grove and a fine young orchard. Mr. Birge was married to his first wife, Miss Isabelle L. Reed, of Pennsylvania, in 1853, in Iowa, and who died in Minnesota in 1866, leaving five children, one son and four daughters. He was married to his present wife, Hellen M. Deforist, in New York State, in December, 1867, they both being members of the Congregational Church nearly ever since their residence in Milford.
GEORGE W. BRANDON, physician and surgeon, Milford, was born June 22, 1847, in Lee County, Ill.; received his literary education at Dixon Seminary, and in the spring of 1868, entered the office of Dr. J. F. Marsh, at Dixon, and read medicine with him until the fall of 1869, and at that time entered the Chicago Medical College, which he attended one term, and in the summer following studied with Dr. Hunt, of Dixon, and afterward attended lectures at Ann Arbor, Mich., after which, he returned to Dixon and re-entered the office of Dr. Hunt. In the fall of 1870, he entered the Rush Medical College at Chicago, where he graduated in the spring of 1871. His first practice was at Sublette, Ill., and in the spring of 1872 came West to Nebraska, locating at Milford, where he resumed his profession, living there ever since. He was married December 16, 1875, at Milford, to Miss Laura A. Haverstock. Dr. Brandon is a member of the A., F. & A. M., Blue River Lodge, No. 30, belonging also to the I. O. O. F., Milford Lodge, No. 18.
JOHN J. BRIGGS, real estate broker and land agent for the Burlington & Missouri Railroad Company, Milford, came to Nebraska in 1868, and first located at Camden, where he took up a homestead on Section 28, Town 9, Range 4 east, where he lived , working part of the time at milling until 1872, and then went to Seward, and took charge of the Banner Flouring Mills for three years. He took charge of B. & M. Land Office October 15, 1879.
JACOB H. CULVER, of the firm of Davison & Culver, stock farmers, dealers in stock and grain, Milford, was born in Mercer County, Ohio, on the 19th of June, 1845. He is the son of Lewis and Mary Culver, both natives of Ohio. His mother's maiden name was Hazel. They removed from Ohio to Wisconsin when the subject of this sketch was only two years of age, settling in Sheboygan County, where his father was engaged in the lumber traffic. Here Jacob H. attended the district schools until he was sixteen years old, and then enlisted, in 1861, in Company K, of the First Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, as drummer boy, serving as such for one year; at the expiration of that time, at the battle of Perryville, one of the State color-bearers was killed, and he took his place, carrying it through the service with meritorious honor; was at the battles of Perryville or Chaplin Hills, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, and also in the Atlantic campaign. He was mustered out of service in October, 1864, when he returned to Sheboygan County, Wis., and in the fall of 1866, entered the State University. In 1869, was elected Engrossing Clerk of the Senate of Wisconsin, and in the spring of the year following, having heard a great deal about the good qualities of Nebraska, and the many openings presented for young men of ability, he emigrated to that State, selecting Milford as his sphere of action. In the spring of 1870 he was appointed Postmaster of that village, at the same time establishing a weekly paper, known as the Blue Valley Record. This he successfully published in company with H. G. Parsons, for a little more than two years, when they bought a half-interest in the Daily Leader at Lincoln, and consolidated the office of the two papers at that place. Previous to their taking hold of this paper, it had not been a success financially, but after working at it for awhile, they brought it up to a paying basis, and after running it a short time Mr. Culver sold out; then returned to Milford and purchased a share in the water-power of that place, and in 1874 bought a half-interest in the flouring mills from J. L. Davison, and after rebuilding the dam and flume, operated the mill until 1879; then Johnson and Perry, of New York, were added to the firm, and they immediately began the erection of their extensive mills now occupying that site, known as the Quenchaqua Mills, meaning No. 1. The mill uses the Hungarian process of grinding by rollers instead of stones, and has capacity for manufacturing 250 barrels of flour per day. In 1880, he sold out his interest in the mills. Mr. Culver was one of the organizing members and stockholders of the Blue Valley Railway Company, and at their first meeting was elected Vice President of the same. He was the instigator of the Winslow Post, No. 56, of the G. A. R., at Milford, being chosen First Commander of the same, and is now A. A. A. G. of the Department of the Nebraska. Belongs to the Masonic fraternity in the Blue River Lodge, No. 30, and is one of the proprietors of the town site, and to his energy and ability may the success of Milford be largely attributed. He was married, on the 2d of July, 1870, to Adai Davison of that place. They are both original members of the Congregational Church society.
JONATHAN L. DAVISON, farmer and stock-raiser at Milford, was born in Limetown, Conn., and is the son of Jonathan L. and Sarah M. Davison, the former being of Scotch and Irish descent, the latter, whose maiden name was Miller, of French extraction. The subject of this sketch moved to Bloomfield, Ontario County, with his parents when two years of age, and here received a common school education, and afterward attended the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary. In 1842, was married, in New York, to Miss Jerusha A. Weeks, who was a native of that State, and in 1847 moved to Dodge County, Wis., where he farmed until 1857, that being the time of his removal to Nebraska. First located on Salt Creek, and took up a claim twelve miles south of Lincoln, working it until 1862, then went to Camden, Seward County, and started a ranch, being one of the very first settlers in the county. During the same year, he was appointed by the Territorial Legislature as one of the Commissioners to open a road from Nebraska City to Fort Kearney, which was known as the old Freight Trail, and crossed the Blue River at Milford. Mr. Davison established the first post office at Camden, being the first in the county, and was the first Postmaster of the same. Here he lived until April, 1864, then went up the Blue River and took up a homestead where he now lives, and which forms a part of the present village of Milford, and was the first settler in O Precinct. In 1867, in company with William Reed, he had the site of Milford surveyed and laid out in town lots, and has since made this his home, being one of the founders of the Congregational Church society there. Mr. Davison has the honor of being the first Probate Judge in the county, and is a member of the Masonic Society at Milford, Blue River Lodge, No. 30.
PLINEY E. DINSMORE, boot and shoe store at Milford, came to Nebraska October, 1878, locating at Milford, where he opened the first shoe store in the town. He was born in Kennebec County, Me., on the 11th of November, 1836, and is the son of Thomas and Eunice Dinsmore, who were of English and Scotch extraction, and were Quakers. The subject of this sketch learned the shoemaker's trade in his native State, pursuing that vocation there until 1878, at which time he removed to Nebraska. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M., being made a Mason at Belfast, Me., and is, at this writing, Master of Blue River Lodge, No. 30.
JOHN ENGELHAUPT, furniture dealer and undertaker at Milford, was born in Germany, 1853, and came to the United States with his parents when only a child. They settled in Buffalo City, N. Y., where the subject of this sketch remained until 1879, when he came West to Nebraska, working at the carpenter's trade in various places in the State, up to the time when he came to Milford and started his present business, being the first of the kind in the town. He was married, in June, 1880, at Milford, to Miss Annie Hajek, of Crete, Neb. Mr. Engelhaupt is a member of the A., F. & A. M., Blue River Lodge, No. 30, at Milford, also of the I. O. O. F., Milford Lodge, No. 18.
REV. HERMAN A. FRENCH, Pastor of the Congregational Church, Milford, was born in Granville, Putnam Co., Ill., on the 3d of July, 1845. Here he received a common school education, and worked on his father's farm until 1862, when he went to Oberlin, Ohio, and entered the Preparatory Department of Oberlin College; he graduated in the college class of 1868, and in the fall of the same year entered the Union Theological Seminary at New York City. After attending there for one year, he returned to the Oberlin Theological Seminary, where he graduated in 1871; then he returned home, and after spending a short time with his parents, came in April of 1872 to Nebraska, settling at Milford, where he took charge of the church of which he is now pastor, and was ordained in 1873, at Lincoln, by a Council called by the Congregational Church of Milford. The subject of this sketch was elected Representative from Seward County to the Legislature in 1878. He is now Secretary of the Seward County Sunday School Association; has been Scribe and Treasurer of the Blue Valley Association of Congregational Churches ever since it was organized, in 1876, and is also a member of the Milford Board of Education, in which he holds the office of Director. He was married, in 1881, to Miss Mary E. Merriam, of Milford, and is the founder and editor of the paper known as Church and Village, which is published in the interests of the Congregational Churches of Nebraska.
REV. WILLIS G. HASELWOOD, grain buyer for the firm of F. S. Johnson & Co., Milford, was born in Grant County, Ky., on the 1st of September, 1820. He is the son of John and Sarah Haselwood, who were of Old Virginia stock, his mother's maiden name being Jarvis. The subject of this sketch received a common school education in his native State, and in 1853 made his first move westward, which was to Adams County, Ill. Here he followed agricultural pursuits until 1864, when he removed farther west to Jefferson County, Iowa, where he resumed his former occupation. After living here until 1869, he then came with his family to Nebraska and took up a homestead on Section 30, Town 10, Range 3 east, J Precinct, Seward County, and was among the early settlers of that precinct; served as County Commissioner in 1876, 1877 and 1878, and was School Director in his precinct for eight years. In 1880, moved his family to Milford, having been married in Kentucky, in 1841, to Miss Nancy A. Thompson, of Kentucky. He is a member of the Baptist Church, and has preached for twenty-five years in connection with his other callings.
THOMAS A. HEALEY, Assistant Postmaster at Milford, and lawyer, came to Nebraska in 1869, and took up a homestead on Section 10, Town 9, Range 2 east, N Precinct. Here he resided for four years, and in May, 1872, previous to his removal from there, he was appointed Postmaster at Milford by President Grant, filling the office until the fall of 1877. He was then elected Representative from the Twenty-sixth District in the Assembly, occupying that position for two years, and in 1880 erected the Saratoga Hotel, at Milford, and was proprietor of the same for one year, when he sold out. Mr. Healey was born in Montreal, Canada, June 28, 1842. Coming to the United States with his parents, they settled in Kenosha County, Wis., where the subject of this sketch enlisted in the late war, in the First Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry, Company M. After serving one year, he was wounded at Hodge's Ferry, Ark., in the left arm, thigh and across the breast, which disabled him for further service, and he returned home. He was married, in Wisconsin, in April, 1865 to Miss Kate M. Bundy, of that State. He served two years as Sheriff of that County. Is a Commander of Winslow Post, No. 56, of the G. A. R., at Milford, and is also a member of the I. O. O. F. being a charter member of the Milford Lodge, No. 18, and was their first Noble Grand.
PHILIP I. HOOKER, retired farmer, Milford, was born in Utica, N. Y., on the 22nd of November, 1811. Is the son of John and Ann Hooker, the former a descendant of old New England stock, the latter, whose name was Derbyshire, being a native of Yorkshire, Eng. The subject of this sketch received a common school education, and then worked at the tanner's trade in his native State until 1834, when he came West to Michigan, where he was married in December, 1835, at Tecumseh, to Miss Mary A. Derbyshire, who was born in New York November 20, 1814. Traveled through Indiana and Illinois, and then returned to his native State. Some time afterward he came West again as far as Kenosha County, Wis., where he commenced farming, and was among the early settlers of that county. In the spring of 1866, moved his family to Nebraska, having been there the fall previous and taken up a homestead on Section 29 and 30 in P Precinct, Seward County, and erected the first frame house in the county. Mr. H. has served as Justice of the Peace in that precinct for two terms. Mrs. Hooker is one of the original members of the Congregational Church of Milford. Their family consists of five children--Sophia, William C., Christopher D., Evelyn T., Marion, Ida. Clinton and Christopher were soldiers in the rebellion.
FREDRICK S. JOHNSON, senior member of the firm of F. S. Johnson & Co., proprietors of Quenchaqua Flouring Mills, and Bankers at Milford. The subject of this sketch came to Milford, Neb., in March, 1880, and in company with James F. Johnson and H. D. Perry, purchased an interest in the above Flouring Mills, from the original proprietor, J. L. Davison. In the following August the firm of Johnson, Perry & Co., bought out the other partners, and the mill was operated by them until the death of Mr. Perry, which occurred December 22, 1881, since that time the firm being F. S. Johnson & Co., consisting of F. S. and James F. Johnson The mill is a brick and frame building, four stories high and 36 x 46. Is run by water-power, with a fall of 14 feet, and 150 horse-power. Since April, 1881, have been turning out 250 barrels of flour per day. They use steel rollers instead of buhrs for the manufacture of flour, and have nine sets of these rollers, which only require dressing once in five years. They are very much superior to the old style of milling, and produce better results as 100 pounds of this flour is equal to 122 pounds ground by buhrs. The "Shogs" flour took the first premium at the Nebraska State Fair for the best spring wheat made in the State, and the bread from this flour also took the premium. The names "Shogs" and "Quenchaqua," stamped on the sacks, excited considerable curiosity at the exhibition, as every one wished to know the meaning of them. They are Aztec words, "Shogs" the brand of flour, meaning "The Very Best" and "Quenchaqua," the name of the mills, meaning "Number One." The subject of this sketch was born in Oswego, N. Y., September 15, 1856, and received his literary education at Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.
LEWIS D. LAUNE, Notary Public and loan agent at Milford, Neb., farmer and stock raiser, was born in New Jersey, November 24, 1831, being the son of Rufus and Sarah Laune, the former being of French descent, and the latter, whose maiden name was Hawes, being a descendent, from the old New England stock. His parents moved to Ohio, where he lived until 1851, and then went to St. Louis, Mo., and worked at painting, and was foreman in the construction of the St. Louis, Belleville & Murfreesboro R. R. Here he remained three years; then he went to Iowa, then to Illinois, and finally to Winona, Minn., where he farmed and worked at his trade until 1860, that being the time of his removal to Nebraska. He first worked at his trade in Nebraska City, then removed to Syracuse and started a ranch, which he operated until 1866, when he came to Milford and took up a homestead, on which he now lives, being one of the first settlers in O Precinct; owns 200 acres of land, and keeps 60 head of cattle for breeding purposes. Mr. L. opened the first hotel at Milford, known as the Milford House, of which he was the proprietor for five years. In 1865, was a member of the Territorial Convention from Otoe County, and has served as Justice of the Peace for four years in O Precinct, and Notary Public seven years. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. Milford Lodge, No. 18. Is proprietor of Laune's Addition to Milford, which was surveyed and laid out in town lots in the fall of 1879. He was married in Fort Madison, Iowa, in 1856 to Miss Jane H. Wolbert, by whom he has four children--Cassius L., Laura J., Finley R., and Sidney B. Mr. L. was the donor of the lot on which the Baptist Church at Milford was erected, his wife being one of the original members of that society.
CAPT. JOHN B. MITCHELL, druggist, Milford, was born in Preble County, Ohio, March 24, 1827. Crossed the plains to California in 1851; remained until 1855, then returned to his native State. After remaining there for a short time, removed to Illinois, and engaged in the drug business in Cambridge, Henry County. He there enlisted in the army for the Union in 1862, and raised Company C of the One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Volunteers Infantry, of which he was commissioned Captain, serving as such during the war in the Army of the Ohio. Was three times wounded. At the close of the war he returned to Illinois, and resumed his old business, remaining there until 1880, when he came to Milford, Neb., where he embarked in his present business, which is rapidly increasing in both stock and trade.
JOHN A. RAYMER, retired farmer and stone-mason, Milford, came to Nebraska in 1869, locating in Seward County, where he homesteaded a place on Section 24, Town 10, Range 4 east, I Precinct, making his home here till 1878, when he moved into the town of Milford. The subject of this sketch was born in Wyoming County, N. Y., March 3, 1838, where he lived till 1841, then coming West with his parents to Stephenson County, Ill., where he was living at the breaking-out of the war of the rebellion. Enlisted at Freeport in the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company B, in the year 1861, and served three years, and in 1865 re-enlisted in the Forty-sixth Illinois Volunteers Infantry Company G, serving one year more. Mr. Raymer crossed the plains in 1858, at the time of the Pike's Peak excitement. Was married in Illinois, in 1864, to Miss Caroline C. Heiler, who was born in Buffalo County, N. Y., their family consisting of two children--George A. and Annie B. The subject of this sketch is a member of the G. A. R., Winslow Post, No. 53, being also a member of Blue River Lodge, No. 30, of the A., F. & A. M., both of them being at Milford.
WILLIAM C. SMILEY, livery and sale stables, Milford, came to Nebraska in May, 1866, taking up a homestead in Seward County, Section 4, Town 9, Range 3 east, O Precinct, and here made his home until 1873, when he bought another farm, which he operated till the spring of 1879, that being the time of his removal to Milford, where he started the business mentioned above. His livery barn is 56 x 44, and will comfortably shelter thirty head of horses. Mr. S. is a member of the G. A. R., Winslow Post, No. 56, and is an Odd Fellow, belonging to Milford Lodge, No. 18. Was a soldier in the war of the rebellion, enlisting in the Forty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company B, and served until the close of the war.
LEE H. SMILEY, farmer and stock-raiser on Section 4, Town 9, Range 3 east, P. O. Milford, came to Nebraska in August, 1866, and took up a homestead as described above, on which he has lived ever since, with the exception of one year. During that year, he ran a general merchandise store in Milford in company with Thomas Healey. The subject of this sketch was born April 9, 1842, in Warren County, Ind., and was married at Plattsmouth, Neb., in 1869, to Miss Mary J. Beach, Mr. Beach and wife being among the original members of the Congregational Church society at Milford. Mr. Smiley was a soldier in the rebellion, enlisting in 1862 in the Nineteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company C, and serving until the close of the war. He is one of the original members of Winslow Post, No. 56, of the G. A. R., at Milford.
SOLOMAN J. SHUPP, dealer in hardware and farm machinery at Milford, came to Nebraska in 1880, locating at Milford, where he started a hardware store, which was the second of the kind in the town. Although he commenced business in a small way, he has gradually increased both stock and trade. He was born in Crawford County, Ohio, July 14, 1852, and was married in the same State in 1873, to Miss Mary Shieber, by whom he has two children--Milo E. and Ada G. Mr. Shupp is a member of the Evangelical Association at Milford, and also of the A., F. & A. M., Blue River Lodge, No. 30.
JOSEPH STOCKHAM, deceased, was born in Ashtabula County, Ohio, in 1811, his parents having come to that State in very early times. When about twenty-five years of age, he came West to Illinois, and settled on Fox River, in De Kalb County. Here he was married, in 1862, to Miss Eliza Sherman, who still survives him, and, in 1863, went the overland route to Nevada, where they resided about eight months, Mrs. Stockham being the first white woman in the Paradise Valley. They were, however, compelled to leave here, then going to California, but, in 1866, came back from there and located in O Precinct, Seward Co., Neb., where they continued to reside up to the time of his death, which occurred October 1, 1878. His wife, Eliza, now lives in the village of Milford.