First Murder Trial | Progress and Prosperity
Part 2: Loup City: Early History | Biographical Sketches
Wilhelmshohe | Cedarville
This town is situated in the Middle Loup Valley, on the bottom lands of the river, and on a very small creek known as Dead Horse Run. The location of Loup City is a pleasant one, in this beautiful and fertile valley, and affords a fine view of some of the most romantic scenery in the valley.
The town as yet has no railroad advantages, and the nearest railroad towns are St. Paul, to the eastward, and Kearney Junction to the southward, yet it is an enterprising little town, with a population of upward of three hundred and fifty. Besides its natural advantages, from being nearly in the center of one of the most fertile counties of the Loup Valley, it is the county seat and the largest settlement of Sherman County. There are also prospects of a railroad to be built up the Middle Loup Valley to this point, probably within a short time.
The citizens of the town are of an exceptionally energetic and enterprising class, and do all in their power to further local improvements. The town has a good schoolhouse, the county building and court house, two hotels, two livery and feed stables, one printing office, one saloon, one bank, two blacksmith shops, one carpenter shop, five land and insurance offices, one harness shop, two general merchandise stores, one hardware store, one meat market, one furniture store, two flour and feed stores, and one millinery store. Besides these business houses, the different professions are well represented.
The very earliest settlement of the county was at Loup City, as it was the object of the organizers of the county to found a town and enter their homestead claims, or farms. close around it. In 1873, there were but very few settlements in the county away from the immediate vicinity of this town.
As soon as the first settlements were made in the spring of spring of 1873, the town began to build up. All was life, bustle and energy, to prepare residences and places for business. The originators of the town and the county had high hopes for the early success of their enterprise, and used the greatest efforts to attract settlers. Thus the summer of 1873 was spent in building up the town, and making the various improvements necessary to render life pleasant in what was until that year an uninhabited country. During this first year, a large schoolhouse was built, a court house commenced, a newspaper established and several business houses erected and opened.
The first store was opened in April, 1873, by Frank Ingram, and a hotel was opened soon after by C. E. Rosseter. These were soon followed by other business houses. Ingram was the first Postmaster.
In the spring and early in the summer of 1874, the town continued to grow slowly, as the county began to be settled up around it. Everything looked promising for the bright hopes of its founders, when the grasshoppers devastated the county during the summer. Business now became dull, and during the following winter and the summer of the next year until a crop could be raised, times were hard, indeed, for the residents of Loup City.
In the fall of 1875, though business revived a little, the town was not very prosperous. Many of the settlers had already left the county, on account of hard times, and the support to the business houses of Loup City was small.
The winter of 1875-76 was a dull one. The summer of 1876 opened with more favorable prospects for the little town, as the travel to the Black Hills was great, and a route had now been opened up the Middle Loup Valley, by way of Loup City. This, for a time, helped the business of the town, but soon the reports of danger from the Indians frightened many of the emigrants away from the route, and many of the settlers also left the county.
In the spring of 1877, immigration to the county began on quite a large scale, and the prospects of the town again improved and quite a number of business houses were opened. Besides the increasing settlement of the adjoining country, travel to the Black Hills by this route was again resumed, and furnishing the travelers with supplies added much to the income of the business men. From this time on, the success of the town of Loup City seemed to be assured.
In the spring of 1878, the number of new settlers in the Loup Valley was greater than ever before, and a number of business and professional men now came to Loup City, erected new buildings, and a new life was imparted to the already growing town. From that time forward until the present time, the town has continued to grow slowly but steadily.
From the date of the first sermon preached in Loup City, by Rev. William Willard, in July 1873, until the present time, religious services have been kept up most of the time. Different church societies have an organization here, and a large element of the citizens are church-going people. There is yet no church edifice, but the Methodist Episcopal Church has one in course of erection.
The Sunday school was organized at an early date in 1873, and has since been kept up. The attendance at the present time is a large one.
The public school has always been well sustained. The first action of the settlers of 1873, was to build a large and expensive schoolhouse, and since that time the educational improvement of the young has received careful attention.
The history of the newspapers of Loup City is as follows: Early in the fall of 1873, a move was made on the part of the leading men of the new town to establish a newspaper. Money was raised by subscription, material purchased and E. S. Atkinson was engaged as editor. The paper was called the Loup City News and the first issue was published November 3, 1873. Afterward the name was changed to the Sherman County Times. In 1874, O. B. Willard took charge of it. In 1876, it. was bought by A. B. Tutton and F. W. Pratt. In November, 1877, it was discontinued. In the spring of 1878, it was again established by Hale & Benschoter. In the summer of 1880, it was again purchased by O. B. Willard its present editor and proprietor.
O. B. Willard, editor and proprietor of the Sherman County Times, was born in Watertown, Wis. in 1853. In 1867, he removed to Missouri. Attended Johnson College at Macon until eighteen years of age, when he learned the printer's trade in the office of the Shelby County Herald, which was edited and published by his father, Rev. William Willard. In the spring of 1873, he came to Nebraska, located at Kearney and worked in the office of the Daily Press, published there. In November, 1873, he removed to Loup City, where he took charge of the mechanical work on the Loup City News, which paper he purchased in 1874. In the fall of the same year, he was elected County Clerk. In 1874, he resigned and went to California. On November 12, 1875, he began the publication of the Outlook, at. Santa Monica, Cal. He remained in California five years, a part of the time being on staff of the San Francisco Stock Exchange and reporter on the Chronicle. In 1880, he returned to Loup City, and bought the Sherman County Times, which he has since published. He was married, November 28, 1881 to Miss Allie C. Rosseter, of Loup City.
Mrs. Allie C Willard (née Rosseter), Postmistress at Loup City, was born April 13, 1860. She is a daughter of C. E. and Lydia Rosseter. In 1872, she moved to Grand Island, Neb., with her parents, and the next spring with them to Loup City. She was one of the first ladies to settle in Sherman County. Here she assisted her father in his hotel, until at the age of seventeen she began teaching school. She afterward attended the Gibbon High School. Owing to the sickness of her mother, she left school and took charge of the household duties again in her father's hotel. In the fall of 1879, she was engaged in the office of the Literary and Educational Notes, a literary paper published at Kearney, Neb. In the spring of 1880, she returned to Loup City, and in the fall of the same year was appointed Postmistress there, which office she has since retained. On the 28th day of November, 1881, she was married to O. B. Willard, of Loup City.
WILLIAM BENSCHOTER, proprietor livery stables, and farmer, first came to Loup City, with family, July, 1872. Bought 160 acres of land in March, 1872, where the village is now located. He and his brother (M. W. Benschoter) laid out Loup City in 1873, and named it. William Benschoter engaged in farming; brought the first domestic cattle in Sherman County, since which time he has followed stock-raising, etc. Erected the first frame dwelling-house in Loup City in 1872, hauling the lumber by teams over sixty miles. Born in Eaton, Seneca Co., Ohio, September 1, 1826. Lived in native State until 1851. Moved to Ionia County, Mich., and farmed nine years; then moved to Delaware County, Iowa, and farmed until he came to Nebraska. Married, in Ionia County, March, 1853, to Miss Eugenia E. Showerman, a native of New York State. They had five Children--Orlando, George, Ellie, Jacob and John. Almond, by former marriage, is now in Black Hills, D. T..
M. A. HARTLEY, Count, Surveyor of Sherman County, Neb., first came to Nebraska in 1868. Followed hunting and trapping along the Middle Loup River about nine years. He was one of the first white men who came to Sherman County. There were no settlers in the county. He took a claim on a Section in Town 16, Range 15, west Sixth Principal Meridian, and four miles northwest of where Loup City now stands. Out of the 160 acres, he now has 120 under cultivation. He also owns forty lots in the city and 160 acres in Valley County, Neb. He is agent for Burlington & Missouri Railroad lands, and has 200,000 acres of same for sale, at an average price of $3 per acre. Elected County Surveyor in fall 1879. Re-elected in 1881. Was first Sheriff of Sherman County in 1873. Held the office until he was elected Surveyor. Went to Black Hills on a prospecting tour in 1876. He has fought Indians all over the country and has taken many redskin scalps. Was Government scout in 1866 and 1867, and a bold and fearless frontiersman. Was born in Edgar County, Ill., October 10, 1838. Came west alone when he was only fifteen years old, went into Kansas and joined the celebrated Jim Lane's scouts. Was with the latter and John Brown, of Harper's Ferry fame, and during nine years service in Texas Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Dakota he never slept under the roof of a house. Being many years engaged in scouting, hunting and trapping, he is certainly acquainted with the many varying features of Western life, and certainly deserves credit for his valuable assistance to the early pioneers who began the development of the now mighty West. Was married in Sherman County, Neb., in September, 1874, to Miss Lizzie Hays, who was born in Clark County, Mo., May, 1857. They have one daughter--Grace, born August, 1876.
E. S. HAYHURST, dealer in hardware, stoves, and tinware, opened trade in February, 1880, and carries a stock of $3,000 in goods. He was born in Catawissa, Columbia Co., Penn., March 30, 1854. Lived in his native State until he came to Nebraska. Worked at the trade of tinsmith in Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Village Board Loup City and School Treasurer. Was married, in Williamsport, Penn., in 1879, to Miss Mattie E. Willits, of Williamsport, Penn. They have one daughter--Harriet H.
C. H. E. HEATH, firm Wall & Heath, attorneys at law, Notaries Public; special attention given to Land Office business, pre-emption and timber claims, land contests, etc. He first came to Nebraska in 1877, located in Howard County on a homestead. Farmed a year. Moved to Loup City in 1878, and engaged in editing Sherman County Times, and the practice of law. Admitted to bar of District Court in October, 1877. Born in Island Jersey, England, March 6, 1845. Came to America in November, 1876. Began the study of law in his native country in 1866. Admitted to the bar, at Lincoln's Inn, January, 1871; then practiced law and wrote for the press until he came to America. He stood first in the class of mathematics in the University of Oxford, England, in graduating class of 1866.
JOHN HOGUE, farmer and stock-raiser, came to Loup City in the spring of 1879, and purchased 640 acres of land, also 140 acres below the city; now has 180 acres under cultivation; he has also eighty acres adjoining the city which is laid out in town lots for sale; also has 100 lots in the village; he was born in Steuben County, N. Y., April 30, 1814; lived in his native State until 1836; moved to Ohio and lived there until 1842; then moved to DeKalb County, Ind., and lived there until he came to Nebraska. Has also followed farming; now owns one-half section land in DeKalb County, Ind., and other real estate, village property, etc. Was married, in Ohio, February 20, 1842, to Miss Cornelia Pray, who was born In Madison County, N. Y., January 26, 1817. They have six children--Mary A., now Mrs. William H. Koons, living in Noble County, Ind.; Ellen C., Francis; Albert, married and living In DeKalb County; John Herman, married and living in Noble County; William J., married and living in Noble County; Claudius F., married and living in Sherman County, Neb. Both Mr. H. and his wife are members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church.
JUDGE GEORGE W. HUNTER, County Judge, Sherman County, Neb. He first came to Nebraska April 14, 1881, and located in Loup City. Elected County Judge in the fall of 1881. He was born near White Pigeon Mich., February 24, 1839. His parents moved to Michigan City, Ind., in 1842, and settled near the city; also lived Hebron and Crisman, Ind., until the spring of 1881. During his residence in the latter State, he followed various occupations, being a farmer, Justice of the Peace four years, Township Trustee four years. He enlisted July 11, 1863, in Company I, Seventy-third Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, as musician. Served in that capacity until, for physical disability, he was discharged at Murfreesboro, Tenn.. January 1, 1864. He was married August 22, 1864, in Valparaiso, Ind., to Miss Malonia Z. Briggs, of the latter State. Mr. Hunter is a member of the I. O G. T. and other organizations.
E. G. KRIECHBAUM, of the firm of Lalk & Kriechbaum, dealers in general merchandise, carry a general stock of about $8,000. The business was opened in the fall of 1878. They have also a bank in connection, where is transacted a regular banking business. They do an exchange business with the Omaha and Chicago banks. Mr. K. located in Loup City in 1878, and began trade. He was born in Burlington, Iowa, November 14, 1855. Lived in his native place until he came to Nebraska. He was married in Burlington, Iowa, in the fall of 1880, to Miss Mary O. Klein, of the latter city.
W. H. LALK, of the firm of Lalk & Kreichbaum, came to Nebraska September 12, 1878, and located in Loup City, where he engaged in the mercantile business, opening the business October 6, 1878. He was born in Burlington, Iowa, September 25, 1849. He lived in his native State until he came to Nebraska. He graduated from the Burlington Baptist College in 1864. He was in the employ of R. M. Raab & Brother, wholesale and retail clothiers, Burlington, Iowa. He was married October 28, 1880, to Miss M. A. Graesser, of the latter city. He is also a member of the I. O. O. F., of the same place.
R. J. NIGHTINGALE, firm Nightingale Brothers, attorneys at law, real estate, land and collecting agents. Mr. R. J. Nightingale first located in Seward County in the fall of 1869, on a homestead. Farmed until 1880. Began reading law in 1869. Admitted to the bar of the District Court in the April term, 1880, in Sherman County, by Judge William Gaslin. Born in England in 1846. Entered the London University, and graduated in 1867, taking the degree of A. B. Read law two years. Came to America in 1869. Began the practice of law in Loup City in the spring of 1882. Married in Seward County, Neb., in October, 1880, to Miss Emily S. Smith, a native of England.
C. J. ODENDAHL, dealer in a general line of drugs, medicines, school books, paints, oils, cigars, tobacco, notions, etc. Opened trade in January, 1879, and carries a stock of $1,000. Born in Oquawka, Ill., September 16,1853. Moved to Iowa in 1868. Was raised a druggist, being a prescription clerk in Burlington, Iowa, seven years. Also served in the same capacity two and one-half years in Creston, Iowa. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., of Burlington, Iowa. Married in Loup City, Neb., March 1, 1880, to Miss Viola E. Rossetter, of Sonora, Hancock Co., Ill. They have one son--Frederick E.
CYRUS E. ROSSETER, proprietor of the Rosseter House, first came to Nebraska in 1862, making a trip through the State at that time. Settled in Grand Island in 1870, and followed contracting and building two years and kept hotel one year. Came to Loup City in 1873, and engaged in the latter business. Erected the Rosseter House 1874, at cost of $4,000. Size of building, 24x66 feet, two stories high, and has accommodations for forty guests. When Sherman County, was organized, he was made County Treasurer. Held the office one term. When he settled in Sherman County, there were only two houses in the whole county. The Rosseter House was the first hotel erected. Born in Randolph, Portage Co., Ohio, July 30, 1838. Parents moved to Indiana when he was three years old. Moved to Nauvoo, Ill., in 1846. Lived there until 1870, when he went to California. Followed mining two years. Married October 15, 1857, in Nauvoo, Ill, to Miss Lydia A. Williams, of Fayette County, Ohio. They have nine children living--Allie C., Viola E., William E., Nancy A., Hattie C., Louis A., Cyrus S., Katie, (Adelaide M., deceased) and Mary L. Mr. R is a member of Ashley lodge, No. 33, A., F. & A. M.,.of Grand Island, Neb.
JOEL R. SCOTT, attorney at law, first come to Nebraska in the spring of 1880, and located in Loup City, where he engaged in the practice of law. Born in Fulton County, N. Y., March 7, 1855. Family moved to Grundy County, Ill., in 1856, where he lived on a farm until he come to Nebraska. He began the study of law in the Wesleyan University, at Bloomington, Ill., in the fall of 1875. Continued about three years, pursuing the common branches, leaving in the junior year. Admitted to the bar in the District Court in 1882, by Judge George Gaslin. Married in Livingston County, Ill., May 22,1878, to Miss Maggie Sharp, of the latter county. They have one daughter--Lola Scott. Mr. S. at present holds the office of Justice of the Peace.
ROBERT TAYLOR, County Clerk of Sherman County, Neb., also dealer in general merchandise, carries a stock of about $6,000. He was elected County Clerk of Sherman County in the fall of 1881. He first located in Loup City in July, 1879, and began mercantile business August 1 of the same year. He was born in Holmes County, Ohio, April 22, 1831; lived in his native State until 1852, and went to Placerville, El Dorado Co., Cal., and engaged in mining and lumbering there and in Washington Territory, remaining on the Pacific coast for eight years; returned to Ohio in 1860, and studied medicine with Dr. A. J. Scott, two years; then entered the Buffalo, New York, University, and graduated in the class of 1863-64 from the Medical Department, practiced until September, 1864, and entered the army as Assistant Surgeon of One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry; mustered out in June, 1865; then settled in practice in Lucas, Ohio, a year; then practiced at Ft. Wayne, Ind., ten years; opened the mercantile trade at the latter place, and continued for four years, when he removed to Nebraska. Was married in 1861, in Ohio, to Miss S. Gorsuch, of Millersburg, Ohio. They have three children--Alfarata V., Ina L. and Fannie L.
CHARLES E. WAITE, Sheriff Sherman County, Neb., located in Loup City, April 10,1879; also located on a homestead and farmed, etc.; was made Deputy Sheriff in the spring of 1880; appointed in the fall of 1881. Was born in Bethlehem, Hunterdon Co., N. Y., July 16, 1856; lived in his native State until 1865, when his family moved to Preston, Fillmore Co., Minn.; located on a farm near the latter place; farmed until 1867, and moved to Palmyra, Warren Co., Iowa, where Mr. W. followed teaching several years. He attended the Agricultural College of Ames, Iowa, also Baptist University of Des Moines, three and a half years, then came to Nebraska.
AARON WALL, firm of Wall & Heath, attorney and counselors at law, forming a copartnership in June, 1880; he first located at De Witt, Saline Co., Neb., in 1871, and engaged in the practice of law until 1873; then made a tour in the West and finally located in Denver, Colo., where he practiced law some time; practiced some time in Kearney, Neb, and from there to his present place in 1876. Was elected County Judge in 1877; held the office four years. Was born in England in 1849; came to America in 1862; began the study of law In the office of J. V. Rogers, of Plainwell, Mich., continued a year; then entered the law office of Henry O. Stoughton, Otsego, Mich., and continued until 1869, being there admitted to the bar; also taught school and attended Albion (Mich.) College; admitted to the bar in the District Court of Nebraska in 1871. Married, in 1875, Miss Addie Van Heusen, of Amsterdam, N. Y.; have one daughter, Minnie Wall.
JOHN Wall, attorney at law; located in Loup City in the spring of 1878, and engaged in the practice of law. Was born in Livingston, Caledonia Co., N. Y., November 9,1854; lived in his native State until his parents moved to Allegan County, Mich., in 1855, where he lived until 1878; he is a graduate of the high school at the latter place; began the study of law at Wayland, Mich., in 1874, entering the office of David Stockdale, and continued two years, attended and taught school two years; was admitted to the bar of the District Court of Nebraska in 1879, by Judge George Gaslin. Married in Loup City, in 1880, to Miss Belle Landers, of the latter place; they have one daughter, Ina. Mr. W. is a member of I. O. O. F. of Wayland, Mich. He is a thorough business man, and a good lawyer.
JACOB ALBERS, Postmaster, Justice of the Peace, and dealer in general merchandise settled in Wilhelmshohe, October 9,1878, being sent out to Sherman County, to look up a location for a large German colony, who were coming from Brooklyn, N. Y. There are now seventy-five families comprising the colony who are farmers in the above county, with good improvements. Mr. A. was born in Hanover, Germany, June 5, 1842; first came to America in 1868; lived in State of New York about ten years, engaged in grocery business. Married in Brooklyn, in 1869, to Miss Betty Knoop, a native of Germany. Have three children--Johanna, Jacob, Wilhelm. He was a member of the Hanoverian Army three years; participated in the war of 1864.
R. C. HARDIN, County, Superintendent of Public Instruction for Sherman County, located in St. Paul, Howard Co., in 1873, and taught school five years. Then located on a homestead near Cedarville, in southwest part of Sherman County, and since farmed. Elected County Superintendent Sherman County November, 1881. Owns 240 acres of land, with eighty acres under cultivation, Section 34, Town 14, Range 16. Born in Mercer County,. Ill., April 16, 1841; lived in native State until he came to Nebraska. Enlisted in August, 1861, in Company A, Third Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Participated in battles of Belmont, Mo., Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hills, siege of Vicksburg, Atlanta. Jonesboro, Nashville, Kenston and Goldsboro. Mustered out in Springfield, Ill., July 13, 1865. Married, in Illinois, 1864, to Miss Mary L. Furry, of Ohio. Had six children--George E., Ada L., Charles W., Mary J. (Horace C., deceased) and Celia E. He is a member of Mercer, Ill., Lodge, No. 210, A., F. & A. M. Also member of M. E. Church and local pastor of same of his place.