Organization | Crime, Schools, etc. | Statistics
Part 2: Blair: History | Churches | The Press | Business and Trade
Societies | Biographical Sketches
Part 3: Arlington: Biographical Sketches
Cuming City: Biographical Sketches
Fontenelle: Biographical Sketches
Part 4: Fort Calhoun: Biographical Sketches
Hiland | Herman: Biographical Sketches
Admah | Kennard | Desoto: Biographical Sketches
Biographical Sketches: Richland Precinct | Grant Precinct
List of Illustrations in Washington County Chapter
[View of Blair.]
Blair was founded in 1869. It is favorably situated on a plateau about eighty feet above and two and a half miles from the Missouri River, and in north latitude forty-one degrees and thirty-two minutes. The original settlers upon this beautiful plateau were three brothers - Jacob, Alexander and T. M. Carter, who had located here in May, 1855.
In 1864 the Northern Nebraska Air-Line Railroad Company was organized, and in 1867 received a grant of seventy-five sections of land, which grant was transferred to the Sioux City & Pacific Railroad Company, during the same year, the company being composed of John S. Bowen and four other gentlemen. In 1868 John I. Blair and associates became owners of the franchises of the road. In June, the people of Washington County, at a special election, voted to the S. C. & P. Company, $75,000 in county bonds, and the company which had been awaiting the result of the election, immediately thereafter, under the management of John I. Blair, pushed the road across the Missouri, and built it centrally through the county, from east to west, to Fremont, reaching there before December 1, 1868. During construction of this road, speculation was rife as to the exact location of the prospective railroad town. De Soto's hopes of being the eastern terminus of the road had been cruelly nipped in the bud by the decision of the company to cross the Missouri River three miles above where she was located, the place of this crossing of the river being determined by the existence of Carter Valley, which here runs down to the Missouri, affording a natural opening through the bluffs. Then the question of the location of the town was settled, upon the purchase by the railroad company of the three Carter brothers, named above as original settelrs, and of James S. Stewart, William Temple and C. H. Beekman, of 1,075 acres of land; this land being the present site of Blair, and the offering of this land for sale, in lots at public auction. This sale took place on the 10th of March, 1869, and lots to the aggregate value of $61,000 were sold that day, the highest price paid for any one lot being $350.
This sale was conducted ostensibly by the Railroad Company, but in reality John I. Blair purchased the whole tract of the original settlers; it was he who sold the lots, and it was he in whose honor the town was named. From this time the future of the town of Blair seemed assured, and ever since she has experienced a healthy growth. Business men and many people from other less favored towns in the county, as well as strangers from outside the State, hastened to Blair. In 1869 the county seat was removed here from Fort Calhoun.
The first Postmaster of Blair was Charles E. Laughton. Probably the first building on the present site of Blair was what is now a part of Brunswick Billiard Hall, erected near its present site, and occupied then by two men named Clark and Donovan as a "railroad store." In this store J. J. Adams opened the first permanent trading establishment. The earliest resident of Blair with a family, so far as can be determined, was C. H. Eggleston, who moved here in December, 1868. The present S. C. & P. depot was completed in March, 1869, a part of it being used as a hotel and eating-house. J. E. West & Co., were among the first to establish themselves in business, erecting the present post-office building, and putting in a large stock of general merchandise. H. C. Riordan moved his hardware store from De Soto. A. Castelter & Co., established themselves in the collecting, real estate and banking business. Jesse T. Davis and Dr. F. H. Longley moved in from De Soto in April. There was a general rush for Blair from all parts of the county.
The first child born in Blair was Henry Seirt, Jr., son of Henry and Mrs. Seirt, on May 21, 1869. The first marriage was that of Hans Grimm to Miss Lizzie Harder.
The Fourth of July was appropriately celebrated in this first summer of the city's existence, John S. Bowen being orator of the day, and Dr. F. H. Longley, Marshal.
The first Republican County Convention was held at Blair in the fall of 1870, Elam Clark, presiding.
The town of Blair was first governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the County Commissioners, and consisted of the following for 1869: J. H. Post, Chairman; Alexander Reed, Dr. F. H. LongIey, C. B. Herman and M. V. Wilson.
In September, 1872, the town was organized as a city of the second class, and the following named officers elected:
Mayor, J. H. Himgate; Councilmen, William Maher, E. M. Denny, John W. Tew and M. Gallagher; Police Judge, John S. Bowen; Marshall, Rice Arnold.
The present Mayor is A. Perkins, and Postmaster, L. F. Hilton, editor of the Pilot.
The population is estimated by those best competent to judge, at not less than 1,700.
Schools,--The first school taught in Blair, was in 1869, by Miss Sarah E. Kibby, though previous to the founding of the town, Miss Lida M. Newell, in 1868, taught in the same little log house. Since that time the schools have made great progress, and now Blair prides herself in having one of the finest high school buildings in the State, an attractive three-story structure, erected in 1872 at a cost of $15,000. She also has two good ward school houses, the last having been completed in February, 1882, in which, school opened on February 13, 1882, taught by Miss Louise Kemp.
The religious interests of Blair are also well provided for, there being five churches, Methodist Episcopal, United Brethren, Congregational, Baptist and Catholic.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was moved from Cuming City to Blair in the summer of 1869. The first sermon was preached in this year by Rev. Jacob Adriance, in a car at the railroad station, previous to the removal of the church. Rev. Adriance became the first regular minister. The present church edifice and parsonage are worth about $4,000, and membership forty.
The first sermon was preached to the United Brethren by Rev. Mr. Belknap, who became their first regular minister. Their present church was built in 1879, at a cost of nearly $600. They now have a membership of forty.
Rev. D. P. Chase preached the first sermon to the Congregationalists on February 12, 1870. Their church was organized in the same year, with Rev. M. Tingley as first regular minister. Their present church edifice was dedicated on November 22, 1874, is a neat, frame building, costing nearly $2000, and the membership of their church is thirty five.
The first sermon preached to the Baptists was on the last Sunday in April, 1869, by Rev. E. G. O. Groat, on the platform at the railroad station, who also organized the first Sunday school. Their church building was moved from Cuming City in the fall of 1872. It is a neat frame building, which with parsonage, is worth nearly $2,000, and their church membership is sixty.
There is also a large Catholic Church.
The county buildings consist of a court house and jail: the first a two-story brick, originally designed for a school house: the latter is also a two-story building, mostly of stone.
Blair has two weekly newspapers, the Blair Republican and The Pilot. The Pilot was established in Tekamah, Burt County, in 1871, by J. Y. Lambert, but was removed by him to Blair in 1874. In 1875 George Sutherland purchased it, and its present publisher, L. F. Hilton, took editorial charge. In 1879 Mr. Sutherland sold his interest to the present proprietors. The Pilot is a wide awake, enterprising and influential Republican newspaper.
The Blair Republican was established in July, 1870, as the Blair Times, by a stock company, consisting of W. H. B. Stout and other citizens of Blair. J. C. Lillie was first editor. Gen. John S. Bowen succeeded Mr. Lillie, and edited an excellent paper. After numerous changes in proprietors, and one change in politics--from the Republican to the Democratic faith--it was purchased in August, 1880, by C. B. Sprague, who changed its name to the Blair Republican, and also changed its politics to Republican. Mr. Sprague still publishes the paper.
The Blair Register was established in May, 1869, by Hilton & Son. On January 1, 1871, L. F. Hilton, the junior member of the firm, became editor and proprietor, publishing the paper until the following spring, having 1,200 actual subscribers in Washington, Burt and Douglas Counties. At this time the paper was suspended and the material sold under foreclosure of mortgage.
The Washington County Democrat was started by Blue & Samson, September 22, 1821. On the 28th of November they removed it to Bell Creek, where after a brief struggle of five weeks it succumbed to the inevitable, and died from want of support. It was Democratic in politics, and there are comparatively few Democrats in the county. On November 8, 1881, at the State election, the Democratic candidate for Supreme Judge, W. H. Munger, received in Washington County 402 votes, while the Republican candidate, Samuel Maxwell received 1,215.
The various kinds of business and trade are well represented in Blair. There are now (1881) seven general stores, three hardware, three drug, and three grocery stores, three agricultural implement depots, one steam flouring mill, one boot and shoe store, two banks, one furniture store, two confectionery stores, one jewelry store, two tailor shops, two elevators, and numerous other industries, aggregating at least sixty in all, besides a full supply of lawyers, physicians and agents, insurance and loan.
[WASHINGTON COUNTY BANK.]
Blair is also becoming an important shipping point for both grain and live stock. Tyson & McKinney, during the last nine months of 1881, shipped 408 fat cattle, value $24,540; and 6440 hogs, value $99,874, mainly from Blair.
There is a good fire department, and numerous secret societies.
Cuming City Lodge, No. 21, was organized March 10, 1868, at Cuming City, and was chartered June 25, 1868. The first charter members and officers were: Nathan Carter, W. M.; J. H. Hungate, S. W.; L. R. Fletcher, J. W.; A. T. Johns, William E. Hill, James H. Thompson, Benjamin Newkirk, N. Cameron, and W. H. Cuming. This lodge was removed to Blair, and changed to Washington Lodge, No. 21, in November, 1869.
Chapter 13 of Royal Arch Masons was organized December 9, 1875. Its first charter members and officers were: E. H. Grinnell, M. E. H. P.; Jesse T. Davis, M. E. K.; S. H. Fawcett, M. E. S.; V. G. Lantry, Secretary; J. H. Hungate, Treasurer; W. H. Palmer, C. H.; E. H. Clark, P. S.; Rice Arnold, R. A. C.; Frank Clark, G. M. first V.; C. H. Willard, G. M. second V.; Frank Harriman, G. M. third V.; R. Allberry, Guard; Henry Newell, Henry Collins, Charles Lawrence, H. W. McBride, O. V. Palmer, and H. B. Dexter.
The Odd Fellows were instituted October 1st, 1869, with the following members and officers: S. B. Taylor, N. G.; J. W. Newell, V. G.; M. C. Huyett, Secretary; J. H. Van Horn, Treasurer; James Denny and B. F. Hilton.
John A. Dix Post No. 52, Department of Nebraska, G. A. R., was organized July 2, 1880, with 113 charter members, and the following officers: L. W. Osborn, Com.; G. P. DeTemple, Adjutant; --. Jackson, S. V. Com.; F. W. Kenny, Jr., V. Com.; C. McMenemy, Q. M.; W. H. Palmer, Surg.; J. H. Patrick, Chap.; W. C. Sexton, Officer of the Day; George Sheely, Officer of the Guard; B. M. Willsey, Sergeant-Major; and John Connell, Quartermaster Sergeant.
The Railroad Company early set an excellent example by planting two groves just south of the railroad. One of these groves contains about four hundred trees, mostly cottonwood, in rows about twelve feet apart each way. This grove now serves all the purposes of a park. The other is not used, the trees in it being yet too small. The streets are at right angles, running east and west, and north and south, and vary from eighty to 120 feet wide, and are shaded to a large extent with maple, cottonwood and other favorite trees, planted in 1869.
In Blair there are only four saloons, thanks to the rigid license laws of the State, which requires saloon-keepers in cities of not more than ten thousand inhabitants to pay a yearly license of five hundred dollars.
M. BALLARD, attorney at law, is a native of Grayson County, Ky., and came with his mother to Mason County, Ill., when a child. At the age of nineteen he commenced the study of law, and at the age of twenty-one years was admitted to the bar; he then commenced practicing in Macon County, and afterwards removed to Des Moines, Iowa, where he continued in practice three or four years. He then married, and settled in Iowa County, continuing the practice of his profession till September 13, 1869, when he came to Blair, where he has since resided. Mr. Ballard held the office of School Fund Commissioner in Iowa County, Iowa, eight years; he was a delegate to the Constitutional State Convention convened at Lincoln, Neb., in 1871. Mr. Ballard derives much pleasure in cultivating a fruit garden of twenty-five acres near town, which he has owned since residing here.
JOHN CONNELL, meat market, is a native of Champaign County, Ohio, and was raised in Missouri. October 1, 1872, he came to Blair, and opened a harness shop; carried on this business till 1878, when he commenced his present business. He served during the war as a member of the Home Guard, and enlisted in 1865 in Co. F. Fifty-first Volunteer Infantry, and served one year. When in Albany, Mo., he was City Marshall and Constable, in all about five years. Married in 1852 to Rebecca Scrivner, of Coles County, Mo. They have two children--one son and one daughter.
H. CASTETTER, banker, is a native of Akron, Ohio. In the spring of 1857 he came to Nebraska; was elected County Clerk in 1859, held that office eight years, as well as Recorder. In 1869 he engaged in the banking business, which he has since continued.
L. S. COOK, engineer, Sioux City & Pacific Railroad, is a native of Washington County, Ohio. Came to Harrison County, Iowa, in 1865, with his parents, and assisted on their farm till 1871, when he secured employment with this company as fireman on the Iowa Division. June, 1879, he removed to Blair, and was promoted to his present position. Married in 1878 to Hannah E. Magner, of Woodstock, Ill. They have one son--Arthur C.
E. COOK, firm of O. V. Palmer & Co., general merchandise, hardware, etc., is a native of Champaign County, Ohio. At the age of sixteen he removed to Kentucky, and engaged in merchandising and other business pursuits till 1861, when he was commissioned Captain of Co. H, Twenty-second Kentucky United States Infantry; remained in the service one year. In the fall of 1862 he returned to Ohio, and in the spring of 1865 removed to Harrison County, Iowa, and followed milling and farming. In 1872 he opened a general store at California Junction, Iowa, in company with his son-in-law, the late O. V. Palmer, who died June 5, 1881. In 1874 they closed out their business, and came to Blair, opened a store, firm of Palmer & Cook, and later Palmer, Dexter & Cook. In about 1876 the firm changed to O. V. Palmer & Co. Married in 1852 to Julia F. Downs, of Greenup County, Ky.; have four children--Emma L., now Mrs. Palmer, Charles, Welsey J. and Edwin F.
C. C. CROWELL, lumber, grain and banking, is a native of Cape Cod, Mass. In the spring of 1869 he came to Omaha, and in the fall of that year he removed to Blair, and run a flour mill a short time at De Soto. In 1870 he engaged in the grain business on the Sioux City & Pacific railroad. A year or two later he engaged in the lumber trade, which he has since continued, as well as at other points on this road. Married December 5, 1867, to Miss P. D. Foster, of Cape Cod, Mass. They have five children--three sons and two daughters.
G. P. De TEMPLE, formerly engaged in livestock, is a native of Buffalo, N. Y. Enlisted in 1864 in Company I, Seventy-eighth New York Infantry, and served three years. Was clerk in Gen. George H. Thomas' Division. In 1867 he was appointed Special Agent of the Treasury Department, and held this position one year. September, 1868, he came to Cleveland, and in July, 1869, removed to Blair, where he has since resided, engaged principally in the livestock business.
J. H. DICK, foreman of the Sioux City & Pacific Railroad round house, is a native of Chautauqua County N. Y. Came to Chicago in about 1866, and was employed with the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad two years. He then came to Plattsmouth, Neb., and was five years foreman of the Burlington & Missouri shops; he then returned to Chicago, where he remained three years. October, 1880, came to Blair, and has since held his present position.
H. GRIMM, farmer, section 12, post office Blair, is a native of Germany, and was born May 5, 1841. Came to America in 1865, and located in Douglass County, Ill. The following year he removed to Nebraska City, and thence to Omaha, where he remained till 1869, when he came to Blair. He owns 152 acres of land. Married June 12, 1869, to Elizabeth Hather, of Germany. This was the first marriage ceremony performed in Blair. They have seven sons and one daughter.
[Portrait of Jesse T. Davis.]
JESSE T. DAVIS, attorney at law, is a native of Marion County, W. Va. Came to Nebraska in 1854, and located at Omaha; April 17, 1855 he removed to Washington County, and worked at the carpenter trade about four years. In 1859 he was appointed Clerk of the District Court, and held this position four years; in 1863 was elected Probate Judge, and has held the office of the Probate and County Judge in all eight years. He was elected State Senator in 1866, and served one term. When in the Senate he procured the land grant and was mainly instrumental in getting the Sioux City & Pacific Railroad through Washington County. Was admitted to the bar in 1864, and has since been in constant practice. Was United States Assessor from 1867 to 1870; has been for four years County Attorney, and still holds this position.
E. B. HAMILTON, farmer, Section 3, Town 18, Range 11 east, post office Blair, was born September 19, 1822, in Washington County, Ind. In the spring of 1857 he came to Nebraska, and located at Cuming City, and has since been in this locality. He owns 115 acres of land. He enlisted in 1863 in Co. F, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, and served to the end of the war. Mr. Hamilton has been the recipient of many public offices, amongst which may be mentioned County Commissioner, Justice of the Peace, Assessor nine years, and has always taken an active part in the educational interests in his district; he has also been Deputy County Clerk two years. Was married October 19, 1843, to Miss Drusilla Rice, a native of Fayette County, Ky.
FRANK HARRIHAN, Station Agent Sioux City & Pacific Railroad, is a native of Niagara County, N. Y. Came to Milwaukee when a boy, with his parents, and has been engaged in the hotel business thirteen years in Milwaukee, Wis., Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown, Iowa, Kansas City, Mo., and in Colorado till 1872, when he came to Blair, and was appointed to his present position, which he is about to resign, having been elected in the fall of 1881 County Treasurer. He had formerly held the position of train master two years.
E. HEINZERLING, saddles and harness, is a native of Prussia. At the age of fourteen he commenced to learn this trade, which he has since followed. In 1866 he came to New York, and worked there till 1869, when he came to Omaha. In the spring of 1869 he removed to Blair, and at once commenced this business. Married in 1868 to Anna Loechel, of Prussia. They have four children--Edward, aged thirteen years; Frank, aged eleven years; Louis, aged nine years, and Rudolph, aged seven years. Is a member of the I. O. O. F.
L. F. HILTON, , Postmaster and editor of The Pilot, is a native of Maine, and came to Wisconsin with his parents when a child. He removed to Nebraska in 1869, and at once engaged in the newspaper business. The Pilot was established September, 1874, by J. Y. Lambert. The following year Mr. Hilton purchased this paper, and has since conducted it. Was appointed Postmaster February, 1879.
J. H. HUNGATE, of Hungate & Crowell, Washington County Bank. Established June 1, 1881.
K. S. JOHNSON, milk dairy, is a native of Erie County, N. Y. In about 1852 he was employed by the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, assisting in its construction; continuing in the employee of this road about nine years; he then bought a farm of sixty-four acres in Erie County; engaged in farming pursuits till 1878, when he came to Blair; he owns the property where he resides, which he has had constructed since coming here; married in 1854 to Mary Finger, of Lawrence County, Ind. Their family consists of five sons.
WILLIAM KRULL, meat market, is a native of Prussia; came to Philadelphia in 1867; soon after removed to Omaha; carried on a meat market about two years; he then went to California, where he remained about four years; returned to Nebraska and settled in Blair in 1879; married in 1870 to Agnes Hatten, of Germany. They have three children--two sons and one daughter.
THOMAS P. LIPPINCOTT & Co., farm machinery, corn meal, ground feed, etc., is a native of Washington Co., Ind.; came to Washington County, Neb., with his parents in 1857, where he has since resided. In 1874, he, with James Foley, commenced the agricultural and livestock business. This partnership continued till 1877, when Mr. Foley retired from the business. Mr. Lippincott was elected County Clerk in the fall of 1881. Assumed the duties of the office January, 1882.
J. W. HAYLE, confectionery, books, stationary, &c., is a native of Philadelphia; came to Omaha in 1875; soon after removed to Blair and commenced this business; from a small beginning he has worked into a prosperous business; he is about constructing a brick store 24x100 feet, to cost about $5,000; when completed he will fit up a first class restaurant which will not be surpassed by any in the State; married in 1877 to Mattie McCloud, of Newport, Ky. They have two daughters.
MATTHIESEN BROS., general merchandise. They are natives of Schleswig Holstein, Germany; came to Nebraska in 1869. Mr. F. H. Matthiesen came to Blair in 1870, and with Mr. Logan established this business in 1873; they continued till 1880, when Mr. Logan retired from the business; his brother then became a member of the firm. This store was opened with a stock of about $6,000. They are now carrying a stock of about $15,000.
CHAUNCEY F. M'COY, Superintendent Sioux City & Pacific Railroad, is a native of Cambria County, Pa. At the age of fifteen he removed to Pittsburgh; was in the employ of the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne & Chicago Railroad. Was appointed to his present important position November 1, 1881.
M. M. M'KENNEY, firm of Tyson & McKenney, live stock, is a native of York County, Maine. In 1854, he came to Minnesota ; engaged in farming there till 1860, when he removed to the Wood River, Nebraska; in the fall of 1864 came to Washington County, where he has since resided; he owns 740 acres of land, 260 acres of which are well improved. All of which he has accumulated since coming to Nebraska.
H. W. M'BRIDE, general merchandise, is a native of Orange County, N. Y. In 1865, in company with Mr. Wood, they opened a general store in Pennsylvania; continued there in businoss two years. In 1867 he came to Monticello, Iowa; was there in business two years. In 1869 he removed to Blair, where he has since resided. November, 1875, Mr. McBride bought out this business, formerly conducted by B. Rosa, which he has successfully carried on since, doing a business of about $72,000 a year, and employing six clerks.
J. MILLER, boots and shoes. Born in Hessen, Germany, Dec. 8, 1842; at the age of fourteen years he came to St. Louis, Mo. There he commenced to learn this business; he enlisted in 1864 in Company F, Forty-First Missouri Infantry; served to the end of the war. In 1866 he came to Leavenworth, Kas., thence to Omaha, where he worked at this trade about nine years. In 1875 he came to Blair and at once established this business; married in 1868 to Malessa Graham, of Missouri. They have five children, three sons and two daughters.
SOLOMON MYERS, farmer, Section 10, post office Blair, was born November 5, 1819, in Oswego County, N. Y. In 1844 he came to Jo Davies County, Ills.; followed farming there till 1865, when he came to Burt County, Neb.; ran a store in Decatur about three years; he took up about 400 acres of land and followed farming; in 1873 he came to Blair; in 1877 he removed to his present farm; has been Assessor three years, Justice of the Peace one year; married in 1843 to Phebe Williams, of Oswego County, N. Y. They have five children--two sons and three daughters. Is a member of the Seventh Day Adventists.
E. H. MONROE, firm of Monroe & Hayes, drugs and jewelry, was born in 1839 in Burlington, Vt., and raised in Fon du Lac, Wis., In 1868 he came to Ames, Iowa, and in company with Soper & Thomas, opened a dry goods store. They continued the business six years. Mr. Monroe then came to Blair, Neb. In 1879, this business was established under the firm name of E. H. Monroe & Co., which continued until March, 1881, when the firm changed to Monroe & Hayes; he enlisted in the fall of 1862 in Company A, Second Wisconsin Cavalry; was mustered out as sergeant, November 17, 1865, at Austin, Texas.
W. W. NOYES, engineer, Sioux City & Pacific Railroad, is a native of Monroe, Mich. In 1869 he came to Blair, where he has since resided. In 1871 he commenced working for this company, first as fireman, and now as full charge of a locomotive; married October, 1879, to Johanna Carter, of Ohio. They have one daughter--Eugenia.
S. E. OMO, agricultural implements, is a native of New Berlin, Pa.; came to Nebraska, September, 1874, and located at Scribner; engaged in the grain trade, also at Elkhorn Valley; there he remained about eight months; he then removed to Plum Creek, Dawson County; there engaged in merchandising a short time. In 1875 he came to Blair, where he has since resided, and engaged in his present business.
L. W. OSBORN, attorney-at-law, is a native of Corning, N. Y. In 1869 he came to Blair, and has since been engaged in the practice of this profession; was a member of the State Senate in the winter of 1873-4; was Chairman of the Republican County Committee from 1874 to 1877, and a member of the National Republican Central Committee from 1876 to 1880; he is Commander of John A. Dix Post No. 52, G. A. R.; also Colonel of the Washington County Veteran Association. Is Senior Vice-Commander of the Department of Nebraska, G.A.R.
F. R. PATTERSON, freight agent, Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad, is a native of Boone County, Mo. When a boy he commenced working in railroad offices as operator and in other capacities, and has since followed this business; he has been in the employ of the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific; Burlington & Missouri and Chicago & Alton railroads; July 1, 1881, he came into the employ of this company and has recently been promoted to his present position.
ALONZO PERKINS, County Judge, is a native of Waterloo, N. Y.; came to La Salle County, Ills., in 1844; came to Nebraska in 1856 and brought a portable saw mill, which he run six or seven years; he then removed to the Pawnee Reservation; ran a mill there three years; then removed to Omaha and was engaged in the hotel business about one year; he then removed to Fontenelle, where he followed farming till 1877, when he was elected County Judge ; he represented this county in the Territorial Legislature in 1857; was elected County Commissioner in 1867, and served three years; he has also held the office of Postmaster, Justice of the Peace, and various other offices. Mr. Perkins also served twelve months in the Mexican War.
E. C. PIERCE, furniture and undertaker, is a native of Ulster County, N. Y. In 1867 he came west, settled in Blair in 1869, and opened this business in 1871; commenced in a limited way, and by strict attention to business has succeeded in working up a very prosperous trade; he now carries everything used in the undertaking business, and a full line of furniture which he is prepared to sell as reasonably as any house in this State.
ALEX REED, real estate, is a native of the State of New York; came to Nebraska in 1857, and settled on a farm west of Fort Calhoun, where he remained six years; he then was elected County Treasurer, and held that office twelve years, and has since been engaged in real estate.
W. S. RICHARDS, grocer, is a native of Boston, Mass.; he enlisted in 1861 in Company E, Third Connecticut Infantry; served about four months; removed to Pittsburgh in 1864, where he held a position as clerk in a store; remained there till 1867, when he came to Washington County, Neb.; followed farming a few years; he then opened a general store in Herman, where he continued in business about four years; his son, J. H. Richards, opened this store, August 8, 1881; it is now being conducted by his father.
DR. A. J. RYAN, firm of Palmer & Ryan, physicians and druggists and jewelry, is a native of St. Joseph County, Ind.; commenced the study of medicine in Illinois; in the fall of 1872 he came to Blair and continued his studies; graduated at the Rush Medical College, Chicago, in 1875; he then removed to Hooper, Neb., where he practiced about two years; October, 1877, he removed to Blair, and with Dr. Palmer bought out the business of J. H. Post, which they have since continued.
T. B. SEELEY, train dispatcher and superintendent telegraph Sioux City & Pacific Railroad Company, is a native of DeKalb County, Ind.. When a boy he came to Harrison County, Iowa, with his parents; there he assisted on their farm; in 1875 he came to Dodge County, Neb., and with the exception of one year has worked for this company since; in 1878 he removed to Sioux City, where he remained one year; September, 1879, came to Onawa, Iowa; was appointed station agent and soon after removed to Missouri Valley; there held the position as train dispatcher; March 1880, came to Blair and has held his present position.
E. L. SHARPNECK, firm of Sharpneck & Majors, manufacturers and dealers in all kinds of mining machinery, and sole manufacturers of Sharpneck's patent pony stamp mill, was born near Wheeling, Va.; came to Harrison County, Iowa, in 1857 with his parents, where he assisted on a farm; in about 1876 he came to Blair and started a machine shop; they now give their entire attention to the manufacture of their celebrated pony stamp mill which is used in crushing rock and separating gold; two of these machines are now in operation in Montana, and one in Wyoming; others are being shipped to the various mines as soon as completed.
HENRY SIERT, saloon and billiards, is a native of Schleswig, Germany; came to Scott County, Iowa, in 1866; worked there one year on a farm; came to Nebraska in 1867; two years later he came to Blair, and has since been engaged in this business; married in 1868 to Anna Satorius, of Germany. They have eight children--five sons and three daughters.
G. C. SMITH, firm of Smith & Wilson, livery, is a native of Jackson, Mich. In 1854 he came with his parents to St. Louis. Mo.; this was his home till 1863, when he removed to Davenport, Iowa; in 1869 came to Nebraska, and has been engaged in the live stock business most of the time since; he was also engaged in pork packing with Herman Bros.; he engaged in the livery business, October 1881.
JOHN GEORGE SMITH, firm of Smith & Blaco, live stock, is a native of Germany. In 1848 he came with his parents to Ohio; in 1864 came to Harrison County, Iowa, clerked in a store till 1869, when he removed to Blair, and with Mr. Dexter opened a general store which they continued about three years; he has since then been engaged in live stock and farming; he owns 400 acres of land, 140 of which are improved; married in 1870 to Ollie J. Flinn, a native of New York. They have six children--three sons and three daughters.
JUDGE J. W. TUCKER, attorney at law, is a native of Crawford County, Ind.; he enlisted June 8, 1861, in Company B, Twenty-Fourth Indiana Infantry; served until 1862, when he returned home and recruited two companies, and was commissioned Captain Company D, Eightieth Indiana Infantry, and served to the end of the war; was mustered out of his regiment as Lieutenant Colonel; on his return he commenced the study of law; was admitted to the bar in 1868 in Orange County; has since been following this profession; he was elected in 1873 prosecuting attorney of the Tenth District; held that office two years; in 1877 he came to Blair, and was elected County Judge, November, 1881.
F. S. TUCKER, Superintendent County Poor Farm, post office Blair, is a native of Jersey County, Ill.; came to Blair in 1876, followed farming and was appointed to the above position in 1879; he owns a house and three lots in Blair; he is now serving his second term as Assessor; married August 1869, to Mary Lorain, of Washington County, Ohio. They have four children--one son and three daughters.
EDWIN K. TURNER, farmer, Section 13, post office Blair, is a native of Calhoun County, Ill. Since a boy he has always been engaged in farming. In 1875 he came to his present farm; he owns 830 acres, about 225 acres of which are improved; he built his house in 1875; cost about $1,400; married in 1866 to Miss Martha A. Tucker of Madison County, Ill. They have four children--three daughters and one son.
L. H. TURNER, proprietor Blair Mills, is a native of Culpeper County, Va. When a year old his parents removed to Clark County, KY. At the age of thirteen he came to Missouri; in 1837 came to Calhoun County, Ill.; there followed farming and lumbering till 1870, when he came to Blair. He owns the Blair Mills, which he assisted in building; he also owns five acres and seven lots with his residence, and other property in town; also 500 acres of land, part of which he cultivates; he has three children by a former marriage, and one child by his present marriage.
J. E. WEST, livery, is a native of Fulton County, N.Y.; came to Illinois in about 1852; in 1860 he removed to Washington County, Neb., where he has since resided; followed the carpenter trade and farming, and has cradled wheat where the town of Blair now stands; he commenced the livery business September, 1878; enlisted in 1862 in Company B, Second Nebraska Cavalry, served about eleven months; married in 1848 to Jane A. Snell, of Fulton County, N. Y.; had ten children, seven living--Josephine (now Mrs. Lewis). Justus F. (now carrying on the livery business in Oakland). Amy A. (now Mrs. Wild), Starr King, Mary J. (now Mrs. Monahan), Katie and Jennie.
W. M. WILKINS, farmer, Section 17, post office Blair, is a native of Somerset County, Pa. At about the age of twenty-two years, he came to Iowa; there he remained till 1869, when he came to Washington County, Neb.; he owns 360 acres of land three miles west of Blair, a large portion of which he has improved, except hay ground; married in 1871 to Sarah J. Allen, of Indiana. They have four children--three sons and one daughter. He is a large stock raiser, and is owner of several new and improved machines. Crossed the River in 1869 opposite Blair.
M. V. WILSON, livery and live stock, is a native of Alleghany County Md.; came to Nebraska in 1864, and has been engaged in live stock most of the time since, he commenced the livery business with Mr. Smith in October, 1881; he owns one farm of 240 acres and one farm of 160 acres, both of which are largely improved; he has been engaged in banking and real estate about two years; has been Deputy County Treasurer with Mr. Hungate and other officers.