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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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schools. Four children came to bless this marriage, named as follows: Edna, Florence, Harold and Doris, the first three born in Dawes county, and the youngest in Cherry county.

     Mr. Collins takes an active part in all local affairs, and is a member of the town board. He is a Democrat in politics and a member of the Modern Woodmen of America at Merriman.



     W. P. Hunnicutt, who resides on section 31, Laird township, is one of the prosperous farmers of Phelps county, Nebraska, and has gained a valuable estate and enviable reputation as a worthy citizen through his industry and enterprising labor.

     Mr. Hunnicutt is a native of Indiana, reared and educated in Randolph county, where he assisted his father in running his farm, and from his experience in that and other states prior to coming to Nebraska, is of the opinion that the latter is superior to almost any place as a farming region. In Indiana the soil is nearly all clay and wears out quickly, while the greater of this state has loamy soil and is richer and lasts better, and one man here can do as much as two men there. He first came to Nebraska in 1882, and in the fall of 1884 purchased his present farm. Since locating on this place he has gone in mostly for grain raising, but always keeps a number of head of good stock--from thirty to fifty head of Red Polled cattle and about fourteen fine Norman horses for use on his farm. He also runs from fifty to one hundred hogs most of the time. He prefers the Red Polled cattle as best for all general purposes, being good milkers, beefers and gentle, having no horns. Mr. Hunnicutt raises fine crops of corn, the grain averaging forty to sixty bushels per acre, and oats from thirty-five to sixty bushels. Wheat is also a good crop with him, yielding twenty-five to forty bushels per acre, and A1 in quality. For three years, from 1882 to 1885, he farmed in Seward county, but likes it better here than there. He has three sons who assist him in carrying on his farm, and each cultivates one hundred and eighty acres of land, keeping it in first-class shape, where in Indiana it would take four or more men to work the same number of acres. When Mr. Hunnicutt first located on his place there was only forty acres broken up, and only two frame houses between his place and Holdrege, and the development and growth of this region has been very rapid since that time. He has a fine large grass pasture. He also has a nice ten-acre patch of alfalfa.

     Mr. Hunnicutt was married in January, 1885, at Louisville, Indiana, to Miss Susan Binford, of Henry county, Indiana, and they have a family of three sons, namely: Frank B., Charles A. and Jonathan Raymond, all at home with their parents. The good wife died September 28, 1908, mourned by all the family and a host of warm friends. She was a model mother and home-maker and is intensely missed by the members of the home.

     Mr. Hunnicutt's father was a native of Virginia, settling in Indiana when a boy, and died there in January, 1907, at the advanced age of ninety-one.

     Our subject belongs to the Independent People's party, and was for some years on the county central committee, attending all the conventions as a delegate. He was also on the district school board for nineteen years. He and his family are members of the M. S. church at Pleasant View, and Mr. Hunnicutt acts as a trustee of that church, also is superintendent of the Sabbath school. He is one of the foremost citizens in all matters of local importance, and recognized as a leading public-spirited member of the community.




     Calvin H. Hagerman is one of the older residents of Brown county, Nebraska, and is widely known around Ainsworth as a man who is to be respected alike for his plain and honest character, his upright life and his long service in the Union army during the war of the great Rebellion, when he bore arms for liberty and law. Now that his day is nearing the sunset of life it is his privilege to look backward over a long and useful career and to feel that he has done something for the world and the welfare of man.

     Mr. Hagerman was born on a farm in the state of New York, February 18, 1833; his parents were also born in that state, though his father came of English ancestry, while his mother was of German descent. He was one of a family of eighteen children that blessed their union, eleven of whom reached maturity. He was reared in Michigan, whither his parents removed in 1836, being numbered among the first pioneers of the state. He was reared in Lenawee county, of that state, and secured limited school privileges until he was ten years of age; schools and teachers were not plentiful in a new country, and the young lad was early thrown on his own resources. While still a boy he made a trip in 1852 to Wisconsin working on farms but returned to Lenawee

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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county to remain until he was twenty-three years of age. In 1856 he made a permanent settlement in Bad Axe county, now Vernon county, Wisconsin, and for three years was in the employ of a brother in that state. In the meantime the country had gone wild over the stories of gold in the Colorado mountains, and our subject started for Pike's Peak in search of this fabulous wealth. But like many another craze, the closer he drew to the scene the less real it appeared and meeting over five hundred teams returning, before he reached the mountains, he had determined, after camping three days on Turkey Creek, near the Kansas-Colorado line, to turn back, as the chances seemed all against him. It was during this delay he enjoyed his first buffalo hunt. Starting out on foot, he met a herd coming his way. Hiding in the grass, he waited until they were in range, and then fired at a big bull but the shot missed. However, a second shot grazed the bull, which enraged him, and he started to hunt the hunter. The enraged bull was rapidly nearing the young hunter, who discovered at this juncture that his gun was useless. This was a serious matter, as he had only a hunting knife left with which to defend himself. Fortunately for our subject, the herd alarmed by the strange actions of the bull, stampeded, and in the wild scramble which followed, the bull was turned from his course. A bullet having lodged in the barrel of Mr. Hagerman's gun, he was unable to shoot at the now fleeing animals.

     Shortly after this he went to Missouri, where he passed a year and a half. Then for the third time went to Wisconsin. This was in 1861, and in the meantime the war for the Union had broken out, and Mr. Hagerman was among the first to enlist from Wisconsin, becoming a member of Company A, Wisconsin Volunteer Artillery. The battery very soon saw active service at Cumberland Gap and near the Cumberland and Kanawha. It passed the Vicksburg campaign, and took part in the battles of Port Gibson, Champion Hill, and Black river, being sent the next year to the relief of the Red River expedition. Throughout the war they were employed much of the time in hard and dangerous campaigning. The captain of the company, J. T. Foster, of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, became the colonel of the battery, and achieved a reputation as one of the very ablest artillery officers in the service. About the time of his discharge Mr. Hagerman was sent to New York as one of the detail in charge of a body of rebel prisoners. He was discharged at Madison, Wisconsin, on the expiration of his enlistment, in 1864. The company started out with an equipment of light brass guns, but were soon supplied with twenty-pounders, and before the close of the war had two full batteries of the heavier cannon.

     When Mr. Hagerman returned to civil life he found work in a Wisconsin saw mill, and later was engaged in farming for several years. For a period of three years he lived in Iowa, and about 1880 settled on the Platte river in Nebraska. In 1882 he located in Brown county, having filed on a claim in September, 1881, and partially constructed a sod house. They drove across country from the Platte, the trip occupying from February 9 to March 1, the day they reached their homestead in what was then almost an unbroken wilderness for miles around.

     Mr. Hagerman was married November 2, 1861, to Miss Sarah J. Crandall, a native of St. Lawrence county, New York, a daughter of Ezekiel Crandall, and a descendant of an old American family; the mother Jane Coburn, was of German descent. Her father was a farmer, and is remembered as an honorable and upright man. Mr. and Mrs. Hagerman became the parents of the following children: Leona, Elmer (dead), Hattie, wife of George A. Smith, Oran (dead), Edgar, Melvin, Worthy and Grace, wife of Leve Lindquist.

     When Mr. Hagerman and his family came into Brown county to make their new home they drove overland from the Platte. The journey across the prairie was a hard one at this time of the year. They rested on the trip for three days at O'Neill before proceeding on their journey through the rain and snow. On arrival at their destination they found the only improvement on the place consisted of a sod house with but half a roof and no floor. A start had been made, however, and after some six years the sod house was replaced with a better home. Mr. Hagerman was always improving and today has a fine establishment. He began with ox teams, and at first all the money he secured was from the sale of cedar posts, which he cut in the canyons and sold at the railroad station. At the present writing, 1909, Mr. Hagerman owns nearly a section of land, of which some three hundred and twenty acres are under active cultivation, and here it is said that he has the finest set of farm buildings in the county. The farm house is a fine and imposing two-story structure, with one story addition. Here he has cultivated a considerable orchard, one hundred and eighty apple trees and many cherry and plum trees. The small fruits are plenty, and his front lawn is regarded with admiration by all who see it,

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