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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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 Granlund, a successful and prosperous farmer of Center township.

     Mr. Granlund was married in 1885 to Miss Emma Anderson, of Laird township. To Mr. and Mrs. Granlund four children have been born, namely: Minnie V., Agnes Luella, Carl Bennett and Evald Ferdinand, and the family have a pleasant home and enjoy the friendship of a host of people.

     Since January, 1908, Mr. Granlund has been in the hardware business in Holdrege.



     Burt E. Cheney is one of the progressive young farmers of Brown county, Nebraska, and counts a host of friends at Ainsworth and the vicinity, where his manly and upright character, his push and energy have brought him well to the front. The occupation to which he has addressed himself is a noble one, and the price it demands for success, honesty, integrity and industry Mr. Cheney is ready to pay.

     The subject of this writing was born in Lynn county, Iowa, December 3, 1875, where his father, John Cheney, was engaged in farming. He was born in Milford, Massachusetts, coming with his parents when a boy to Jackson county, Iowa. After his marriage he bought a farm in Dubuque county. He came to the state at an early day, living successively in Lynn, Delaware, Marshall and Crawford counties prior to moving to Brown county. He settled on a homestead in section 16, township 30, range 22.

     The first house which he constructed for his family home was a rough log cabin, which later gave place to a one and a half story log dwelling, which was afterwards covered with siding resembling a frame house.

     Burt E. Cheney was seven years old when the family sought a location in Nebraska, and here he was reared and educated. He remained at home as long as his father lived, and when he died took charge of the paternal estate. In 1898 he bought it, and here he has since made his home.

     Mr. Cheney and Miss Emma Baker were united in marriage December 19, 1897. She was born in southern Nebraska, a daughter of Samuel Baker, a pioneer in Brown county, where he settled in 1884. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Cheney has been blessed with three children--Freda I., Niel B. and Floyd A.

     They own a choice farm of one hundred and sixty acres, all fenced and in fine condition, with a large new barn replacing the log structure which in earlier days served as a dwelling. In political views Mr. Cheney is Democratic.



     Through exceptionally good management and persistent labors the gentleman here named has acquired a well developed farm, and is enabled to enjoy the comforts of modern farming. He is of a progressive nature and has had a wide experience in farming and every detail of his work is looked after and personally supervised by himself. His estate is situated in section 25, Westmark township, Phelps county, Nebraska. A portrait of him will be found on another page of this volume.

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     Mr. Anderson was born in Wormland, Sweden, in 1852, and came to this country in 1880, bringing his mother with him to this state, where she died in 1903. His father died when he was an infant. After landing in this country he came to Chicago and worked for three years in the McCormick Reaper Works, and there are now hundreds of his Swede Coworkers employed there, and all of them put together could not raise sufficient capital to buy the land and stock owned by our subject, and this is one of the strongest arguments in favor of able-bodied men quitting the cities and wage work and getting onto farms, and young men to get out in the country and take hold of the breaking plow. Mr. Anderson's judgment and foresight realized this and he acted on his convictions, bought a team with his last money and came west, and the old saying, "He came, he saw, he conquered," holds good here. He landed in Phelps county in 1883, and bought a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres in Center township, improving it, putting up a house, barn and other buildings, planted over seven thousand trees, and soon afterwards bought one hundred and sixty acres in Anderson township. These two pieces of land he exchanged for four hundred and eighty acres on which he now resides; also bought eighty acres adjoining that, and has bought several pieces more, so that his farm consists of six hundred and forty acres, and also has property in Holdrege. He also has three hundred and twenty acres of pasture land in Cottonwood township and a six hundred and forty acre ranch in Dawson county, where he rents an additional one hundred and five acres. In 1905 he sold six cars of cattle and one car of hogs, which netted him seven thousand dollars. He now has thirty-five horses, one hun-


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dred hogs and two hundred and thirty-five head of cattle, the latter all raised by him for market. From the above it will be seen that he is one of the most successful farmers in this county, and he can say that it was all made since coming to Nebraska, by his own unaided work and hustling along intelligent lines, for he is a man of cast-iron constitution, full of "go" and energy. He is well posted on farming, stock, markets and local and national affairs, in all of which he takes a keen interest, shrewdly recognizing what makes for success and general prosperity, and expressing his views with force and reason. He is owner of a threshing machine, which he uses on his farm, doing only a limited amount of outside work. This year (1906) he raised four thousand bushels of wheat, thirteen hundred bushels of barley and oats and two hundred and thirty acres of corn, which promises a yield of fifty bushels to the acre. He had a large crop of hay also. He markets very little of his crop, preferring to make the profit by feeding it and selling the resulting fat cattle, hogs and colts. When he first came here he could not even harness a team properly, but was not discouraged, as "Where there's a stout heart, strong arms, and a will, there's always a way," and he has certainly proven that it pays to go at a thing right and stick to it.

     Mr. Anderson was married in 1900 to Miss Emily Swanbert, and has a family of four children, as follows: Elmer, Ruth, Priscilla and Phoebe. The family are members of the Free Mission Swedish church at Phelps Center, and Mr. Anderson is a trustee of the same. For the past several years he has been a school treasurer for his section. He is a Republican, and takes a lively interest in all local and state affairs of his party. Our subject was burned out in 1906, lost barn, granary and corn cribs, and six horses and other valuable property. He has rebuilt and has better buildings and also added to his house.



     Louis Aufdengarten, a well and favorably known resident of Paxton precinct, has the honor of being the oldest settler now living in Keith county, Nebraska. Mr. Aufdengarten was born in Prussia, April 17, 1847. His father, Herman Aufdengarten, was a farmer and linen manufacturer, who spent his entire life in Germany, as did also his mother, who was Mary Witte.

     When our subject was fifteen years of age he left home and took passage at Bremen the middle of September on an emigrant steamer, the "Hansa." for America, landing after a stormy passage of seventeen days in New York City, and went direct (sic) to Toledo, Ohio, where he lived for about two years, employed in a sash, door and blind factory, the latter part of the time as shipping clerk. He then went to Omaha, Nebraska, ascending the Missouri by steamer from St. Louis. He spent four years in Omaha as a clerk in a grocery store. After that he went to Julesburg, Colorado, which was then the old town and situated six miles from where the present town of Julesburg is located. In 1869 Fort Sedgwick was moved from old Julesburg to Sidney, and he located at Ogallala, where he established a store, the first opened in that town. He also was the first man to erect a residence in Ogallala, and his son Henry was the first white child born in the locality. He put in a small stock of general goods, dealing principally with the Pawnee Indians and scouts, and with the white soldiers in the region. The buffalo soon began roaming through the region and then the hunters came in large numbers, which increased his business to a great extent. Soon after this period the ranchmen and cowboys began to settle in the country, and he was obliged to constantly enlarge his stock, so that he carried a stock of $20,000 to $25,000, and had the biggest establishment in that part of the state. He carried on this business until 1876, when he sold out and went into stock raising, which he tried for three years, then went back to the mercantile business, continuing until 1886, but as his health began to fail he was obliged to quit, starting a mill, the first in Ogallala. The mill was burned in 1894.

     In 1898 Mr. Aufdengarten came to his present location, which he had taken as a tree claim in the early days, and he then began to build up a farm. He improved it rapidly, and now has a tract of three hundred and twenty acres, with irrigated meadow land, pleasant premises, good buildings of all kinds, etc. He has ten acres devoted to fruit, having apple, peach, plum and cherry trees, besides grapes and other small fruits. There are over two hundred grape vines bearing splendid fruit, and his is one of the finest equipped and best cultivated farms in the vicinity, having the finest grove to be found in the region surrounding a dwelling.

     Mr. Aufdengarten has been a leading citizen of Keith county since locating here, and was one of the men who helped organize it

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as a county in 1873. He was appointed the first county clerk and held the office for eight years. Later he served as county treasurer for four years, and has held other important offices in the region. In politics he is a Democrat and is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.




     Patrick Henry O'Rourk, one of the best known residents of Sheridan county, is honored as a public-spirited citizen and one of the ablest attorneys in western Nebraska. He lives in Gordon and for the past thirteen years has followed his profession here, building up an extensive business, and is one of the interesting characters of this section of the country.

     Mr. O'Rourk was born in Granville, Milwaukee county, Wisconsin. His father, Michael O'Rourk, was born in Ireland, as was also his mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Rogers, both coming to the United States when quite young, locating in Syracuse, New York, where they were married by the Rev. Father Hayes. Our subject was the second member of his parents' family of twelve children, and grew up in Wisconsin, attending the common schools, and has made his own way in the world since he was a small boy. He was an apt scholar and at the age of sixteen years began teaching school, and at the same time kept up his studies in law, graduating from the law department of the University of Wisconsin, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Laws and being admitted to the bar of the supreme court of Wisconsin, before he was of age. He tried his first case in the courts of law when he was nineteen years of age.

     Mr. O'Rourk early developed marked ability as a public speaker and was elected to the lower house of the Wisconsin legislature, being the youngest member in the assembly, and the first man born in the state elected to the legislature of the state. He was afterward elected to the senate of Wisconsin and served two terms in that body, and while serving as a senator, Senator Spooner, of Wisconsin, styled him "the Marc Antony of golden-edged oratory." Mr. O'Rourk built up a prosperous law practice and was attorney for John Fitzgerald, an extensive railroad builder, and he handled cases for this gentleman in the Dakotas, Nebraska and several other western states.

     In 1873 he acted as reporter for different papers in the east and traveled through the West Indies and Australia, and was also in some of the western states in this capacity, and it was during this year that he first traveled through the Platte Valley. In 1893 he came to Gordon and located, opening a law office, and has since made this his permanent residence. For some years he was a lecturer and earnest worker in the cause of temperance, and lectured on the subjects of "John Wesley and the Methodist Church," The Soldier and His True Dignity" and "Sisters of Charity."

     He has done a great deal of newspaper work in the past years, and had become so thoroughly conversant with conditions throughout the west that his writings of this section of the country influenced immigrants to these states to a large extent.

     Mr. O'Rourk is widely known throughout the western states as "Senator" O'Rourk, and through his varied experiences has met many of the leading men of the times, among whom he is accorded a prominent place.



     For many years past the gentleman whose name heads this review has been one of the prosperous farmers of Brown county, Nebraska, where he has built up a fine home and farm through his industry and good management.

     Mr. Barker is a native of Albany county, New York, born July 13, 1862. His father, Nathaniel Barker, was a carpenter by trade, who moved to Ford county, Illinois, when our subject was a boy, and there on a farm Alonzo learned to endure the hard work of the farm in his younger days, receiving a common school education. In 1884 he came to Brown county with his parents, where they located on a farm on Long Pine creek. The father died in Fillmore county in 1898.

     Alonzo, on reaching maturity, took up a pre-emption in section 18, township 31, range 20, and proved up on his claim, living on that place for two years. He then homesteaded his present place in section 17, at that time a barren tract of land. He built a log cabin and other buildings, adding improvements as he could and purchasing more land as he was able, until he now owns a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres, with a good dwelling and sufficient barns, sheds, cribs and other buildings. He has thirty-five acres under cultivation and engages principally in stock raising, which has proved very profitable to him.

     Mr. Barker operates in all, with leased land,

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