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
JAMES BONE, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 8, Town 11, Range 2 east, P. O. Seward, came to Nebraska in the spring of 1876, and purchased an unimproved quarter section of school land. Has since added to it until he now has a fine farm of 240 acres, 120 being under plow and well improved. The subject of this sketch was born in Shelby County, Ind., July 15, 1832, removing to Fulton County, Ill., in 1842, where he made his home until his removal to Nebraska, following the occupation of a farmer in different localities. Was married in McDonough County, Ill., in 1863 to Matilda McGrew, by whom he has one daughter--Luella. Mr. Bone has been Treasurer of School District No. 69 for two terms.
ALBERT E. BRADLEY, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 2, Town 11, Range 2 east, P. O. Seward, was born in Lamoille County, Vt., on the 13th of December, 1838. He lived in his native State until 1862, at that time going to Troy, N. Y., where he worked in a foundry as a molder, having previously learned that trade in Burlington, Vt., following this occupation until 1875; then came West to Nebraska, and purchased the farm on which he now lives, containing 160 acres of land. He was married in Rutland, Vt., in 1866, to Miss Mary M. Smith, who was a native of that State. They have four children--Bert I., Sadie M., Hattie M. and Nellie I. Both himself and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church and are efficient workers in that society.
HENRY BICK, farmer, Section 12, P. O. Seward, was born in Germany, October 14, 1842. Came to the United States with his parents in 1846, and first settled in Sauk County, Wis. Here he enlisted, in 1861, at Sauk City, in the Ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company D, and served till the close of the war, being in all of the principal engagements of his regiment. Came to Nebraska in 1869, and homesteaded the place where he now lives, having been previously married, in Wisconsin in 1867 to Miss Amelia B. Shoemaker. They now have a family of three sons and two daughters. Mr. Bick was among the first settlers in F Precinct, and in the fall of 1880 was elected Representative of Seward County in the Legislature.
HENRY CROSS, merchant and Postmaster at Tamora, F Precinct, was born near Boston, Mass., on the 4th of April, 1814. He is the son of James and Margarette Cross, who were English. When only two years of age, his parents moved West, and settled in Ross County, Ohio, where he made his home for a good many years. He married Catharine Hedges, of Pickaway County, Ohio, in 1836, and in 1842 moved to Jones County, Iowa, remaining there until he enlisted in 1861, in Company D, Ninth Iowa Infantry Volunteers, and served two years, and was discharged for disability, and when discharged in 1863, after getting home, moved to Marshall County, Iowa, in 1863 and lived there till 1870. Came to this State, and took up a soldier's homestead in Seward County, on Section 12, Town 10, Range 1 east, L Precinct, on which he lived, improving his land, until March 1, 1882; then moved to Tamora, where he and his son, Ezra H., run a store, and on March 4, 1882, was appointed Postmaster of the said place. He and his son also buy grain. He has served as Justice of the Peace of L Precinct. He and his wife are original members of the Grand View M. E. Church. Their family consists of eight children--Mary A.(now married to L. D. Brakman, of York County), J. H. H., William A, George F., Sarah C. (now Mrs. R. J. Bullock, of York), Joseph E., Ezra H. and Margaret E. (married to Daniel Brown, of Seward County).
SAMUEL D. DUTTON, farmer, Section 10, Town 11, Range 2 east, P. O. Seward, first came to Nebraska in 1867, locating in Lincoln, where he was a dealer in agricultural implements for a couple of years. In April, 1869, he came to Seward County, and homesteaded the place on which he now lives, consisting of 160 acres, accepting the privations of pioneer life as a part of the contract. He has kept on improving his farm until he now has 135 acres of it under cultivation. The subject of this sketch was born in Franklin County, Mass., on the 3d of September, 1836, and is the son of Samuel W. and Mary Dutton, née Dascomb, who were of old New England stock. In 1862, he enlisted in the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Company H., serving until the close of the rebellion, and immediately afterward came West to Rock Island, Ill., but after remaining there a short time he decided to go farther west. This time he got as far as Hardin County, Iowa, and lived at Iowa Falls until 1867, when he removed to Nebraska as above, and was among the earliest settlers in F Precinct.
DAVID H. FIGARD. farmer, and stock-raiser, Section 12, Town 11, Range 2 east, P. O. Seward, was born in Bedford County, Penn., July 10, 1841. After receiving an education such as the district schools of Pennsylvania afforded in those days, he pursued various occupations, among them farming, until the fall of 1862, then enlisted at Hopewell, in the One Hundred and Thirty-third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company C, and, after serving his term, returned to his native State, resumed his labor on the farm; was also employed for a time in the coal mines before his removal to Nebraska. In 1866, he homesteaded the land on which he now lives, owning 160 acres, of which he has over one hundred under cultivation. He moved his family onto his claim in the following spring, where he has made his home ever since. He has served as Assessor of F Precinct for two terms, and was Census Enumerator in 1880. He is a member of the G. A. R., Seward Post, No. 3, and is also an I. O. O. F., belonging to Seward Lodge, No. 26, and a charter member of the same. He was married in Pennsylvania, in 1860, to Amy Anderson, of that State. Their family consists of two sons and two daughters.
EBENEZER JULL, County Surveyor, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 3, Town 11, Range 2 east, P. O. Seward, was born in Kent, England, November 21, 1837, and lived in his native land until the spring of 1871, being in the meantime married, in 1857 to Miss Eliza A. Sanders. Emigrated to the United States in the spring of 1871, coming directly to Nebraska, where he purchased 320 acres of Land from the B. & M. R. R. Co., on which he still lives. In 1874, the first post office in F Precinct was established, his daughter, Marianna E., being appointed Postmistress of the same, which was called Staplehurst, and was held in his residence until the completion of the railroad at that point, when it was moved to the village. Mr. Jull has served as Justice of the Peace in that precinct for seven years, and, in the fall of 1881, was elected County Surveyor of Seward, being a man well adapted to fill that position. His family consists of six girls and five boys.
GEORGE C. McKAY, farmer, Staplehurst, came to Nebraska in 1869, first locating at Lincoln, where he was employed at the mason's trade and Justice of the Peace. In 1872, removed to Seward County on a farm in C Precinct, Section 28, Town 12, Range 2 east, on which he lived until March, 1879, teaching school three winters, and was Justice of the Peace four years, when he came to Staplehurst and erected the first house in the village, and engaged in real estate. Mr. McKay was born in Onondaga County, N. Y. , September 24, 1807, residing in his native State until twenty-five years of age. He then came West to Portage County, Ohio, where he resided until 1853, being there married to his first wife, whose maiden name was Melissa Knapp, who died in May, 1842, leaving two children. He was married to his present wife, Mrs. Rachel Hathaway, in Ohio, in February, 1845, and, in 1853, he removed to La Fayette County, Wis., that being his home until he came to Nebraska. He has served a term as County Commissioner of Seward, his third year expiring January 1, 1882, and has filled that position ably and efficiently, always working for the interest of his county and the people, and has the warm esteem of the public in general. He has followed school teaching in three different States during the winters.
SAMUEL G. MATHEWS, merchant, Section 22, Town 11, Range 2 east, P. O. Seward. He was born in Howard County, Md., June 25, 1827, and is the son of James B. and Catherine Mathews, the former being a native of New York. His mother was of Welsh lineage, her maiden name being Griffeth, and her father was a Captain on Gen. Washington's staff in the Revolutionary war. The subject of this sketch received an academic education at the Roxbury Academy, under the tuition of Prof. Thomas Russell, D. D., and, at the age of sixteen years, entered the wholesale dry goods store of his uncle, Israel Griffeth, at Baltimore, where he continued for a quarter of a century. In the fall of 1868, he decided to go West, and went to Milwaukee, Wis., where he operated a produce commission business for one year. Then came to this State and homesteaded a farm, which he still owns, containing eighty acres. He was married in Frederick, Md., in 1847, his wife's maiden name being Catherine Elizabeth Cromwell; a native of Maryland, and a descendant of Oliver Cromwell.
H. F. MAYLAND, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 10, Town 11, Range 2 east , P. O. Seward, was born in Prussia, November 2, 1823. His father being a farmer, he helped him at home until 1835, when they emigrated to the United States, and settled in Allen County, Ind., where the subject of this sketch received such education as the common schools of those early days afforded. Arriving at manhood, he chose farming as his vocation, and in 1854, was married in Allen County, Ind., to Miss Lissette Berning, her native place being in the same county. In 1868, he came West to Nebraska, and purchased the farm on which he now lives, containing 160 acres, eighty-four of which are in Section 4, F Precinct. Mr. M. has since made this his home, with the exception of two years spent in Kansas, and has always been deeply interested and connected with the public enterprise of his town and county. Mr. Mayland was baptized and raised in the German Lutheran Church. He remained a member of this church until 1872, when, on account of personal difficulty with the minister, he severed his connection with the Marysville Church. Mr. and Mrs. Mayland have a family of six boys and four girls.
MARCUS RICHTMYER, farmer, Sec. 2, town 11, Range 2 east, P. O. Staplehurst, was born in Schoharie County, N. Y., on the 9th of January, 1843. In 1866, his parents moved to Greene County, N. Y. In 1861, enlisted in the Fourth New York Heavy Artillery, in which he served until December, 1864, being wounded in the right leg at the battle of Petersburg, on the 18th of June of the same year. He then returned to New York State, where he resumed his former occupation, which was that of a farmer, and, in 1867, was married in Columbia County, his wife's maiden name being Hannah M. Hosford, who was born in Greens County. In the spring of 1868, he came West to Sauk County, Wis., but, after remaining one year moved to Nebraska and homesteaded the farm on which he now lives, owning eighty acres, which are under cultivation. He is a member of the G. A. R., Seward Post, No. 3, and is also an I. O. O. F., of the Seward Lodge, No. 26. They have five children--Mary A., Nell E., Sarah M., Emma and Ella.
GEORGE SLONECKER, farmer and carpenter, Section 14, Town 11, Range 2 east, P. O. Seward, was born in Pennsylvania on the 20th of June, 1825. When a boy he served an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, and lived in his native State working at his trade, and was married in 1850 to Miss Susan Gibbs, who was a native of Pennsylvania. In 1856, made his first move Westward, which was as far as Fulton County, Ill., where he farmed in connection with his former occupation, and in the spring of 1869 came to Seward County, Neb., where he bought a quarter section of land, and pre-empted eighty acres more, which now makes him a fine farm of 380 acres, having since added more to it. Mr. Slonecker was one of the original members of the United Brethren Church society at Seward, and built their church free gratis, his wife also having been a member of that society since she was fourteen years old.
JOHN SLONECKER, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 22, Town 11, Range 2 east, P. O. Seward, was born in Westmoreland County, Penn., on the 5th of February, 1822, and is the son of John and Elizabeth Slonecker, who were of German Origin. Resided in his native county until 1838, when he went to Harrison County, Ohio and was employed in farming and various other occupations until 1844. Then moved to Fulton County, Ill., that being his home until he removed to Nebraska in the fall of 1875. He now owns 160 acres of land, 100 of which are under cultivation, and is excellent farm land. He has some very fine improvements, consisting of a nice residence, the main part 24 x 14, and one and a half stories high, and an L 28 x 12. He has a fine grove of trees surrounding his house, and a barn 28 x 24. He was married in Illinois, January 10, 1850, to Miss Emma Henderson, who was born in Harrison County, Ohio, April 30, 1830. They are both members of the Christian Church society. They have three children living--Russell, William and Mary. Johnnie died November 2, 1875, in Nebraska.
LA FAYETTE WELDON, farmer, Section 30, Town 11, Range 2 east, P. O. Tamora, Seward County, was born in Oswego County, N. Y., on the 19th of March, 1835 being the son of Calvin and Angeline Weldon, both natives of New York State. The subject of this sketch came with his parents to Kane County, Ill., in 1846, which was his home until 1870, at that time coming to Nebraska. Took up a homestead of 160 acres of land, and has worked and improved it until he now has 120 acres under plow, which makes him an excellent farm. In 1862, he married Ellen Hurley, in Illinois, by whom he has three children--Mary A., Alice E., and Calvin.
JOHN WOODS, farmer. Section 18, Town 11, Range 2 east, P. O. Seward, was born in Armstrong County, Penn., April 29, 1839, and is the son of Jacob and Barbara Woods, who were of German descent. His mother's maiden name was Widaman. In 1859, John Woods moved west to Vinton County, Ohio, where he was employed as charcoal burner. In 1862, enlisted in the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, Company G, serving until the close of the war, when he returned to his native State, and afterward to Ohio. In 1867 , came farther West, to Mercer County, Ill., where he remained until the following spring, that being the time of his removal to this State. He took up a homestead, of the land on which he now lives, and owns 160 acres of good, improved farm land, which he works to the best advantage. He is an original member of the Good Templar Society at Seward. Was married in Seward County, in 1872, to Sarah Olgilvie, who died in 1877, by whom he had two children--John W. and George. The latter died in 1872.
PETER J. GOODRICH, farmer, stock-raiser, carpenter and builder, Section 10, Town 11, Range 3 east, P. O. Seward, was born in Sudbury, Rutland Co., Vt., May 12, 1823, being the son of Levi L. and Abagail Goodrich, who were of the old Plymouth Rock stock. His mother's maiden name was Marriett. The subject of this sketch learned the carpenter's trade, and in 1849 sailed on the vessel Helen Marr as ship carpenter, pursuing the same for three years. Then returned to Vermont and was employed as conductor on the Burlington, Rutland & Bellows Falls R. R., and acted in that capacity for various companies till 1855. He then emigrated to Columbus, Ohio, between that time and 1857 making several trips back East. Then came farther West to Aurora, Ill., and engaged with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. R., until 1861, and then went to Green County, Wis., and was in the employ of the Milwaukee & Mississippi R. R. for four years. Then commenced farming, which he continued until 1869. Then came West to Nebraska, and took up a homestead in Seward County, On Section 2 Town 9, Range 2 east, in N Precinct, upon which he lived, improving his land and working at his trade until 1875. Then moved to Section 12 for four years, and at the expiration of that time located on his present farm. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M., and was the first W. M. in the county of Blue River Lodge, No. 30. He was married in New York State to Caroline E. Brisbin, a native of that State, September 8, 1853. Both are members of the Baptist Church of Seward. During his residence in the N Precinct he was Justice of the Peace for four years.
CHARLES L. LYON, farmer, Section 12 Town 11, Range 3 east, P. O. Seward, was born in Du Page County, Ill., on the 10th of May, 1846. Followed farming until December, 1863, when he enlisted in the Seventeenth Illinois Volunteer Calvary, Company H, serving till the close of the rebellion, when he returned to Illinois and resumed farming till October, 1867. He then came West to Nebraska. First located at Plattsmouth, and in the spring following he came to Seward County, and homesteaded the place on which he now lives. His farm contains 160 acres, of which ninety acres are cultivated, some of the improvements being a grove of eight acres, of his own planting, and a fine young orchard. He is a charter member of Seward Post, No. 3, of G. A. R. Was married at Lincoln, Neb., in 1873, to Miss Rose Davison, of Illinois, by whom he has three children--Grace A., Hector D. and Nellie.
THOMAS BEST, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 35, Town 10, Range 4 east, P. O. Pleasant Dale. He was born November 3, 1826, in Scotland; came to the United States in 1834 with his parents, who settled in Jefferson County, N. Y., where the subject of this sketch made his home until 1872, and was married in Lawrence County, in 1848 to Miss Jane Cuthbert; his occupation is that of a farmer. In 1872, he came West to Nebraska, locating in Seward County, on the farm where he lives at this writing, which contains 160 acres of land. He has held the office of Assessor of I Precinct for three years, and of Justice of the Peace eight years, being still in office. His family consists of eight children--Jenette, William G., Catherine S., Margarette, Walter, George and Mary.
NATHAN B. NEWTON, farmer, grocer and Postmaster, Pleasant Dale; came to Nebraska in the spring of 1872, and bought the farm on which he now lives. He was appointed Postmaster of Pleasant Dale in 1879, conducting the same at his residence until December, 1880, when he opened the store mentioned above, and moved the post office into it. Mr. Newton was born August 29 , 1819, in Suffolk County, N. Y., at the town of Islip, which is fifty miles from New York City. In his younger days, he pursued the calling of a sailor on the Atlantic Ocean for eight years, and also learned the mason's trade, which he afterward worked in Ohio. He was married, in this State at Painesville, Lake County, in 1844, to Miss Margarette Lynch, a native of Pennsylvania. They have a family of nine children--Robert L., Margarette E., Hannah A., Wilfred E., Frank E., Charles S., Carrie, Ezra J. and Eva B.
SAMUEL BROWN, farmer, Section 35, Town 10, Range 3 east, P. O. Milford; was born in Greenbrier County, W. Va., March 30, 1813, and is the son of William and Sarah Brown, who were of English descent. They moved to Brown County, Ohio, when Samuel was only three years old, and here he lived until 1851, first farming with his father and afterward by himself. He then moved to Pike County, Ill., where he followed his former occupation till the fall of 1864, that being the time of his removal to Nebraska. He first lived in Nebraska City, and, in the spring of 1866, moved on the place where he now lives, having homesteaded it in September of the year previous, and was among the very first settlers in J Precinct. He was married, in Brown County, Ohio, in 1832, to Miss Diantha Granger, who was born December 27, 1812, in New York State. Mr. B. has been connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church since 1842, his wife since 1832, and both are original members of the church of that denomination at Milford. Their children number eight--Esther A., Mary J., Susanna, Emily J., Josephus, Easter, Doratha E. and Samuel H.
LIEUT. GEORGE W. LAZENBY, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 36, Town 10, Range 3 east, P. O. Milford, was born in Clinton County on the 8th of September, 1840, living there with his parents until 1854, when they moved to Knox County, Ill. Here they farmed for four years, and, in 1858, came West to Wapello County, Iowa, continuing their former occupation. In July, 1861, the subject of this sketch enlisted in the Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company I, serving until the close of the war, being wounded May 15, 1864, at the battle of Resaca, Ga., in the right leg, and afterward promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, and served as such till the close of the rebellion; then returned to Iowa, and, in the spring of 1866, came to Nebraska, and took up a homestead in Seward County, Section 22, Town 10, Range 3 east, where he made his home until 1871, at that time moving to the village of Milford, and worked in the mill for two years, and, in 1873, moved on the farm described at the head of this sketch. Mr. Lazenby is a charter member of Winslow Post, No. 56, of the G. A. R., and was married, in 1867, to Miss Alice A., daughter of J. L. Davison, of Milford.