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Kansas Collection Books

Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska
Produced by Jeanne Walsh.

Part 6


Carleton is a town of about 425 inhabitants, is located on the St. Joe & Western Railway, in the northern part of the county, about four miles west of the central parallel. The location is a very pleasant one and surrounded by the most fertile and well-improved farms. The country being farther from the Little Blue is not so hilly as around Alexandria or Belvidere. That it is the best grain market on the railroad in the county proves the fertility of the soil. The town has not perfected a village organization, but steps will soon be taken to do so. Up to 1876, the growth was exceedingly slow, the only notable improvement being the erection of a $6,000 school building. But during that year there was a "boom", there being ten good business houses, the Centennial and Empire Blocks surpassing in magnitude anything in the county at that time and a large number of dwellings.

In 1879, the town was visited by a $20,000 conflagration, which was a great calamity for so small and young a town, but indomitable will and perseverance have left but few traces of the great loss.

In schools, churches and society, Carleton has much to be proud of, as in all these we see causes for gratification.

The large two-story school building, erected and furnished at a cost of $6,000, is an ornament to the town, and the school employing three teachers, preparing pupils for the Freshman's course in the colleges of the State are of more credit than their fine building.

The religious element of the place has not been inactive. There are two active organizations, with commodious church edifices that are without incumbrances. Its schools and churches give a better idea of its society than we could with our pen without their aid.


Methodists.--In February, 1872, this denomination organized, holding their first meeting in a "dug-out", a pioneer's original habitation. They afterward worshiped in the schoolhouse, until 1879, when a $600 church building was erected. Rev. Harlan C. Rhodes organized the charge since which time Revs. Mr. Gage, Charles Wehn, Goss, Judge Blain, C. W. Holopeter, E. J. Hancock and J. C. Nichols have consecutively held the position of pastor. Under Judge Blain's preaching there were forty conversions. The membership has increased from nine to about fifty, not enumerating those who have removed.

Presbyterians.--This church was organized by Rev. Mr. Dixon, in June, 1879. Rev. J. M. McDonald, the present pastor, succeeded Mr. Dixon. The church is out of debt and has a commodious house of worship, erected in 1880 at a cost of $1,600. The membership has steadily increased from about ten at organization to thirty.

About three miles north of Carleton, a colony from Pennsylvania settled a few years ago. They are principally Lutherans and have erected a church edifice.


S. W. CHAMBERS, real estate and insurance, was born in Stark County, Ohio, April 22, 1822, residing on a farm there until 1856, when he removed to Bureau County, Ill. where he farmed and taught school for three years; he then went to California, where he was engaged in mining until 1863, and then removed to Arizona, farmed for some time, and was for three years employed in the United States Quartermasters Department. In 1871, returned East to Illinois, then to Ohio, and came to Nebraska in the spring of 1872, pre-empted 160 acres in Carleton Precinct, Thayer County, on which he resided, and was engaged in farming for six years. He moved into the town of Carleton in the spring of 1878, and shortly afterward engaged in this business. He has been Justice of the Peace for three years, and elected Assessor of this precinct in April, 1882.

JAMES F. GREEN, farmer, was born in Geauga County, Ohio, February 25, 1832, and reared on a farm, and at twenty-eight years of age took a farm for himself, which he conducted until he came to Nebraska, and in connection with his farming pursuits, for some years carried on a dairy and cheese factory. Mr. Green located in Beatrice, Neb., in January, 1870, and farmed in that neighborhood for a year. He came to Carleton in 1871, homesteaded 160 acres, and has resided on it since. The first five years he kept a hotel; since his arrival, in this place has been engaged in connection with his farming pursuits, in raising cattle, making a specialty of Hereford and Durham breeds; has now some 320 acres of land. He was married in Geauga County, Ohio, September 17, 1862, to Mary J. Babcock. They have four children--James, Minnie, Delia and George H.

HENRY B. HAMILTON, proprietor of Exchange Bank, was born in Peoria County, Ill., in November, 1852, and reared on a farm, after which was for some years employed as a clerk in mercantile business. He came to Nebraska in September, 1871, homesteaded 80 acres in Fillmore County, and resided there for five years, during which time he was engaged in farming. He came to Carleton in August, 1876; was for seven months engaged in buying grain. In May, 1877, he engaged in real estate and collecting business in company with W. W. Edwards; three years later they dissolved partnership, and Hamilton joined M. W. Lucy; they then opened the Exchange Bank. In September, 1881, the firm dissolved, and Mr. Hamilton has since conducted the bank alone. He has some 13,000 acres for sale in this and Fillmore Counties.

DAVID OLDS, general merchant, was born in Elmore, Washington County, Vt., in 1824, and reared on a farm; at sixteen years of age he went to Lowell, Mass., and was employed in a cloth factory for a few years, after which he was employed and engaged in mercantile business in various States for seventeen years. He came to Nebraska in 1871, and homesteaded eighty acres in Carleton Precinct, Thayer County, and resided on it for eight years. In April, 1874 he engaged in the general merchandise business at Carleton, and on July 1, 1878, became associated with A. F. Clemons, who retired April 1, 1880, since which time Mr. Olds has conducted the business alone. He is the owner of 320 acres of land, all under cultivation. Mr. Olds was elected Assessor of the precinct in 1872, and County Coroner in 1873, holding each for one term. He was married at Logansport, Ind., September 26, 1867, to Matilda E. Ballard. They have four children--Grant, Charles, Sarah and Georgie.

EMORY TRUESDELL, farmer, was born at Union, Broome Co., N. Y., August 2, 1826, and reared on a farm until eighteen years of age, when he went to Wayne County, Penn.; was for several years employed in coal business, and for ten years "contracting" in same business. In 1861, he went to Marshall County, Iowa, and followed farming for four years, subsequently removing to Madison County, N. Y.; was for two years engaged in stage and livery business, after which he was for several years engaged in real estate business at Binghamton, N. Y. In September, 1875, in company with Dr. H. Mills, opened an Electro-pathic Institute near Binghamton, in which he was engaged for about three years, his wife having charge of the ladies department. She is a graduate of "Electro-pathic Institute at Toronto, Ont. Mr. Truesdell came to Carleton in June, 1879, purchased 160 acres adjoining the town, and has since given his attention to farming.

MERRITT TRUESDELL, general merchant, was born in Union, Broome Co., N. Y. September 19, 1817. After he reached the age of manhood, he was for some years engaged in the stage and livery business in New York State and Pennsylvania. In 1864, he turned his attention to farming, and followed it for five years in Broome County. He then went to Arkansas, and was for two years employed as a road agent for a stage company, after which he returned to his farm in Broome County. Mr. T. came to Carlton, April 9, 1874, and was for several years not actively engaged in business. Early in 1878, he engaged in stock-raising. He has now 320 acres of land, besides considerable cattle and 250 hogs on hand June 16, 1882. On November 28, 1878, he purchased his present business from his son, Sidney A., who manages the business for him, Mr. T., Sr., giving his attention to the farm. He was married in Pleasant Mount, Wayne Co., Penn., to Emeline A. Mumford. They had one son, Sidney A., Postmaster at this place.

EDWARD O. WALLACE, harness manufacturer, was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1832, and seven years later removed with his parents to Ripley County, Ind. At fourteen years of age, he began to learn his trade, and followed it until he enlisted, in October, 1862, in the Third Indiana Cavalry, serving until August, 1865. After this, he resided in Bement, Ill., and was engaged in business as a contractor and builder. He came to Nebraska in February, 1871. Followed his trade for six weeks in Lincoln, after which he engaged in this business at Crete, carrying it on there until he came to Carleton in the fall of 1876, at which time he established his present business. His wife opened the first millinery establishment in Crete in 1871, and is now engaged in that business at this place.

JOHN B. WILEY, wagon and blacksmith shop, was born in Switzerland in 1840, and learned the trade of blacksmith there, following it for ten years. He emigrated to America in 1867, and was employed in railroad machine shops at Clinton, Iowa, until he came to Nebraska, in May, 1870, at which time he located in Kiowa Precinct, Thayer Co., and opened a blacksmith shop, and also joined his brothers in building a saw-mill on the Little Blue River. In this he was interested for some three years. Mr. W. came to Carleton in March, 1874, and at once engaged in this business. Has now the leading blacksmith and repair shop in this place and does an extensive business. He was married in Switzerland, in 1864 to Dorothea Federspeiel. She died May 24, 1875, leaving three children--Joseph, George and Albert. Mr. W. was married the second time at Carleton in 1877 to Ellen Anderson. They have two children--Henry A. and John.


This growing and prosperous town is located on the St. Joe & Western Railroad, in the fertile valley of the Big Sandy, midway between Carleton and Alexandria. The town was surveyed and platted in 1872; but, owing to some difficulty in perfecting the town site, no buildings were erected until the fall of 1873. In that year, Elm Grove Post Office was removed to Belvidere and H. O. Talmage, one of the oldest settlers in this part of the county, was appointed Postmaster. The first building was erected by W. A. Williams and occupied by J. L. Hole as a residence and store combined.

The country around Belvidere is quite thickly settled, making the place a good business point. The present population is about 375, which is constantly being increased by emigration from the Eastern States. An abundance of soft water is found at a depth of from twenty to thirty feet. Brick of a superior quality are manufactured, and sold at so reasonable a figure that buildings are erected with them nearly as cheaply as with lumber.

The people are mostly Americans, intelligent and enterprising, taking great interest in education. It has a good graded school, employing two teachers. The school building, although not very extensive, is a good one and well kept.

The town is noted for its strong temperance proclivities, nine-tenths of the people being hearty supporters of the cause. The place is without a saloon, and, indeed, public opinion is so strong against the liquor traffic that it would be impossible to maintain one.

The flourishing lodge of Good Templars, although perpetuating the same principles, has been changed to the Library Association, with Reuben Town as President; Miss Sophia McGougan, Secretary, and Hamlin Whitham, Treasurer.

Their temperance principles indicate a high moral and religious standing, which is borne out in fact.

The Presbyterians are erecting a church edifice. They have no stationed pastor, but are making preparations for one. The Methodists, Christians and Episcopalians, have meetings at stated times at the schoolhouse, so that every Sunday is occupied with religious worship.


FREDERICK L. BRUNING, manager for H. Greg & Bros, grain dealers, was born in Mason County, Ill., in 1850, and reared on a farm until twenty-one years of age, after which he was employed as a clerk in the mercantile business. He came to Nebraska in August, 1877. Was for a year employed as a clerk in the dry goods and grocery establishment. He then purchased 160 acres of land in this precinct, and farmed it for a year or more. In August, 1880, he entered upon the duties of his present position. He owns a nice farm of 160 acres, which he rents. Mr. B. was married at Belvidere in May, 1879, to Mattie E. Wight. They have one son--Lewis L.

PETER F. BURRUSS, general merchant, was born in Campbell County, VA, September 30, 1833, and reared on a farm. At twenty-one years of age, he removed to West Virginia, and managed a farm for other parties for several years. In 1857, he went to Fayette County, Mo., where he was engaged in the same capacity until 1860, when he returned to Virginia, and gave his attention to farming in that State. He enlisted, in August, 1863, in the Second Virginia Cavalry. Was taken prisoner in June, 1864, while home on furlough, and held until March 10, 1865. He then returned to his native State, and was for three years employed as a carpenter. Mr. Burruss came to Nebraska in 1869. Was employed for two years in a lumber yard at Nebraska City. Afterward in the same capacity at York, Seward Co. In 1873, he went to Hastings, and opened a lumber yard, remaining there until he came to Belvidere in June, 1874, at which time he opened a lumber yard at this place. He sold this out in 1880, but bought it back in April, 1882, and now carries a stock in this business of $6,000. In 1878, he also engaged in the hardware business, and two years later added a general stock. Mr. B. owns a fine residence and 550 acres of land. He was elected a Commissioner of Thayer County in November, 1880, for a term of three years. The subject of our sketch was married in Campbell County, VA, in February, 1878, to Jennie Carson, and they have two children--Albert and Fulton.

HENRY W. CORNELL, general merchant, was born in Branch County, Mich., March 13, 1842, and reared on a farm. He came to Nebraska in the spring of 1863, and homesteaded 160 acres in Otoe County; resided on the same for two years, during which time he was engaged in farming; he then moved to Jefferson County, Kan., and was engaged in the same capacity; in April, 1872, he returned to this State and took up his residence on the Big Sandy, Thayer County, and was for three years engaged in mercantile business; in January, 1875, he was appointed Deputy County Clerk, holding that office for one year; he came to Belvidere in 1876, and purchased his present business. He has a nice brick store building which he built in 1880, and commands a large trade; he has been a member of the School Board for several years, and was elected Treasurer of that body in April, 1881, for a term of three years. Mr. Cornell was married in Nebraska City in the fall of 1863, to Addie M. Dey; they have seven children - Bertha, John, George B., William H, Pearle, Fay and Olive.

THOMAS ISETT JAMES, Postmaster, was born in Blair County, Penn., January 19, 1829, where he learned the trade of tailoring and followed it for a livelihood until he came to Nebraska in September, 1869. He homesteaded 160 acres in Belvidere Precinct, Thayer County, and resided on it some seven years, during which period he was engaged in farming. In August, 1875, he was appointed Postmaster, and has held that position ever since, excepting the year 1880; he enjoys the confidence and esteem of the entire community as a faithful and efficient officer, and a good citizen.

JAMES LESLIE, farmer and stock-raiser, was born in Scotland in 1848; immigrated to America with his parents in 1851, and was reared on a farm in Cedar county, Iowa; he enlisted in February, 1863 in Company C, Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry, and served until the war closed, after which he gave his attention to farming in Cedar County. He came to Thayer County, Neb., in February, 1873, and purchased 200 acres in Gilead Precinct, where he resided for six years, engaged in farming. In 1879, Mr. L. came to Belvidere; he is the owner of about six hundred acres of land, and is extensively engaged in farming and stock-raising, making a specialty of Short-Horn cattle and Poland-China hogs. During the year 1880, he was also engaged in implement business at this place, and is now in connection with other pursuits engaged in buying and shipping live stock. The subject of this sketch was married in Scott County, Iowa, in 1868 to Lucy I. Wilson; they have three children--Annie, William and Myrtle.

C. F. MOORE, druggist, was born in Ashtabula County, Ohio, in October, 1838, and reared on a farm in St. Joe, Mich., and was for some years employed as a clerk in the mercantile business. In 1860, he crossed the plains to the Pacific Slope, where he remained for four years, principally engaged in hotel business. He came to Nebraska in June, 1866; located at Pawnee City, and for seven years carried on the mercantile business. Removing to Belvidere in 1873, he was for some years engaged in dealing in grain and live stock, and purchased his present business in August, 1881. Mr. M. carries a nice stock worth about from $1,500 to $2,000. He was married in St. Joseph County, Mich., in 1864, to Martha J. Graves, they have five children--Ella, George R., Harry, Eva and Edna.

HARVEY N. MORGAN, farmer, was born in Cattaraugus County, N. Y., in 1843. At eight years of age, his parents removed to Branch County, Mich., and he was reared on a farm there, and also farmed for several years in Kane County, Ill. On August 11, 1862, he enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Fifth Illinois Infantry, serving until June 17, 1865. Returning to Kane County, he farmed and was variously employed for about seven years. He came to Nebraska in November, 1872; homesteaded 160 acres in Belvidere Precinct, Thayer County, residing on it nine years. He has always been engaged in farming since his arrival here, and was also from June, 1881 to the following January, engaged in mercantile business at this point. Mr. Morgan came to this State with very small means; he is now the owner of over 1,200 acres of farm lands, besides considerable town property, which is the result of energy and hard work. He was married in Kane County, Ill., November 5, 1868, to Annie Westgarth. They have two children--Bertha and Myrtha.

DR. J. J. PIGGOTT, the largest farmer in Thayer County. He owns 1,480 acres of improved land, and all in Town 4, Range 2, which brings him in about $10 an acre. His tenants have good houses, barn, granaries, etc., and the Doctor is making 12 to 15 per cent on his money, while he greatly advances the interests of the county. Such men as he are needed in Nebraska. The Doctor comes from an old and cultured St. Louis family, and is a fine physician although, he rarely practices now. He is uncle of J. P. Kingsley, M. D., Secretary and Professor of Physiology and Diseases of Children, in the Missouri Medical College, St. Louis. The Doctor owns a large tract of land in Kansas, and talks of opening a stock farm there.

F. SERVOSS, general merchant, was born in New York. He went to Illinois in 1861; in the spring of 1867, he came to Nebraska and opened a farm nine miles east of Lincoln; in the spring of 1868, he secured an interest in the lumber business at Beatrice, the county seat of Gage County, with William E. Hill, a prominent business man of Nebraska City. In 1872, he went to Fairbury and engaged in the grain and lumber business; built at this place the first steam grain elevator in interior Nebraska; visited California in view of locating in a different climate; located at Belvidere, his present home, in 1866, where he follows general merchandising. He has at times been engaged in several other enterprises, enjoys the confidence of the community and is a thorough business man.

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