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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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as an old settler and worthy citizens of his community.

   Mr. Spearman was born in Mt. Pleasant, Henry county, Iowa, in 1838. His father, J. D. Spearman, was extensively engaged in the cattle business in Iowa for many years, and when our subject was twelve years of age the family moved to Sarpy county, Nebraska, and during the trip they crossed the Missouri river on the ice, the river being frozen from bank to bank. There they went through pioneer experiences, and Charles attended the country schools, at the same time helping his parents build up their farm and home. When he reached the age of twenty-one he started in for himself, going to the southwestern part of Kansas where he spent one year, then to Springfield, Nebraska. He started in at railroading, running from Columbus to Fullerton, Nebraska, and next went to Oregon, where he remained up to the fall of 1884, engaged in general work. Mr. Spearman first located in Dawes county in 1885, settling near Crawford, where he lived for a time in a tent, and then a dugout, which he occupied for a period of six months, doing all sorts of work in order to make a living, and beginning his farm. He saw hard times, and worked at freighting, and hauled bones to Chadron, receiving nine dollars per ton for them. He located on his present farm in 1898, and has a ranch of one thousand two hundred and eighty acres, all deeded land, and is engaged in the stock raising business. He has two hundred and fifty acres of his ranch irrigated, and has made a success of the work he has undertaken. He has one hundred and twenty-five acres in alfalfa and harvests a large quantity each year.

   In 1889 Mr. Spearman was appointed postmaster of Crawford and held the office for four years, and in 1893 was elected marshal serving for four years and also was state water commissioner for three years. He has always taken an active part in public affairs, and to his efforts are due much of the success of this region as an agricultural and business section.

   Mr. Spearman was married in 1881 to Miss Josephine Meyer, daughter of Frank Meyer, a farmer and old settler of Sarpy county Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Spearman are the parents of the following children: James B., Cyrus, Grant, Eliza, Merle, Eunice and Francis.


   During his career as a farmer and ranchman and one of the pioneers in western Nebraska, the mentioned gentleman above has incidentally become one of the best known citizens of this section of the country. He came to this region during its earliest stages of development and has remained to see it changed into a splendid fertile farming and ranching community, and has the satisfaction of knowing that to his efforts part of this growth has been due. He now resides in section 4, township 21, range 36, on his Kincaid homestead where he occupies a pleasant rural home, and has a host of good friends by whom he is held in the highest esteem.

   George W. Swiggart was born in 1857, in Sullivan county, Missouri. He is a son of George W., Sr., and Martha (Grimm) Swiggart, the former of German and the latter of English descent. The family came to Nebraska when our subject was an infant, first settling in Omaha, arriving there in 1860, and there George grew to manhood, attending the common schools, and he well remembers when the Union Pacific railway was built through and west of that vicinity. They went through every phase of pioneer life in the west, and had many bitter experiences during those days. At the age of eighteen George emigrated to the western part of the state, locating near McCook, in Redwillow county, and there again went through pioneer trials and privations, following ranch work, traveling all through that section of the country as a cowboy, rounding up cattle, etc.

   Mr. Swiggart settled in Grant county, driving in with a team and covered wagon, locating on section 10, township 21, range 36. He erected a sod house and other necessary buildings, and at once started in the stock business, but had a hard time to get ahead, as the region was swept by prairie fires at regular intervals, and one year he lost nearly all of his bunch of cattle in this way. He kept improving the place as he grew better able, and added to his ranch so that he finally became owner of two thousand and forty acres, a large part of which he has lately sold to his sons. He has a good house, large barns and many improvements, and the entire place is fenced and cross fenced. He has about fourteen acres of heavy grove that he planted himself on his south ranch, which is a valuable part of the property. The place is devoted exclusively to stock raising and he keeps a large number of cattle which he uses for breeding and market purposes.

   Mr. Swiggart has a family of seven children, named as follows: Ralph, Grace, Edith, Ora, Walter, Ray and Georgia, the last mentioned a child by a second marriage, his first wife having died in this county in 1892. Her maiden name was Susan Doyle, of Lancaster, Nebraska, of Irish descent. Mr. Swiggart's second wife's maiden name was Lyda Worth, of Washington, county, Kansas, daughter of John R. Worth and

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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Margaret (Dunlap) Worth, old settlers in Kansas. Our subject was one of the organizers of the county in which he now resides, and was elected one of the first county commissioners, having held that office for twelve years. He has been a member of the school board for many years past, has helped organize many schools, and always given liberally of his time and money in aiding every movement toward the advancement of the best interests of his locality and the county. An interesting picture of several views of Mr. Swiggart's properties is presented on another page.

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      Mr. Swiggart has traveled extensively through the west, and is thoroughly familiar with conditions existing in Wyoming, Montana and Colorado, having spent considerable time in those states while following his ranching interests.

   The gentleman above named resides in Cheyenne county, where he is the owner of a good ranch and one of the substantial and prosperous men of his locality.

   Patrick Rowlan was born in Canada, growing up there to the age of nine years, then came to the United States with his parents, they settling in Kansas about 1873 and lived there until he was seventeen years old. In the fall of 1880 he went to Nevada and there followed freighting for a time, returning to Kansas after about one year, and then back to Nevada, this time purchasing a horse and cattle ranch in that state. He only remained about a year and a half, at the end of that time going to Wyoming. In 1893 Mr. Rowlan came to Cheyenne county and took a homestead on section 35, township 19, range 48, proved up on same and added more land to his original tract so that he now is owner of three hundred and twenty acres of deeded land besides controlling a section of leased school land. During the first few years he went through hard times in getting his ranch started, but gradually improved his place, erecting good buildings and getting a portion of it under cultivation, so that he now crops one hundred and fifty acres, has plenty of fine bottom hay land, etc.

   Mr. Rowlan runs about four hundred and fifty head of cattle, and a bunch of seventy-five horses. His land is connected with Brown's Creek Ditch Company, and he also has a private ditch. He also owns and controls about one thousand acres situated fourteen miles northwest of his home ranch, besides some Bridgeport property. He has a handsome ranch house and substantial barns and every modern device in the way of machinery for the proper operation of his ranch and farm.

   Mr. Rowlan's father and mother are both dead, and he is the youngest of a family of eight children. He was married on May 19th, 1896, at Alliance, Nebraska, to Miss Annie C. Hoggerty, who was born and reared in Illinois. They have a family of two children, Stella May and John Francis, both bright and interesting youngsters. Mr. Rowlan is well and favorably known to all the old residents in his vicinity, and is active in local affairs, at present serving as treasurer of school district 128. In political faith he is a Republican.


   John Pavlat, one of the extensive and wealthy farmers of Lodge Pole precinct, is a prominent citizen of Cheyenne county. He has built it himself a valuable estate and an enviable name as a man of sterling worth and active public spirit, well meriting his high standing and success.

   The subject of this sketch was born in the village of Dodleb, Bohemia, on the 19th of June 1846; he grew up there, and came to America in 1867, landing in New York on March 15th of that year, after a voyage of nine and one-half days. The first three years after coming to the new world he spent in Chicago at harnessmaking, and then went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he remained for about five years working at his trade; next moved to Hanover, Kansas, and for about eleven years followed his vocation in that state. He first saw Cheyenne county in the spring of 1887, arriving on the last day of April, he immediately filed on a homestead located in section 32, township 14, range 47 and has remained on that place ever since, leading a typical ranchman's existence, having gone through all the experiences that fell to the lot of the early settler in that region. He worked hard and faithfully, and succeeded in developing a good farm and ranch, now owning four hundred and eighty acres of good land. He cultivates about eighty acres and deals in stock quite heartily, running at the present time fifty head of cattle and twenty horses. His ranch has a good set of buildings, and every part of it shows good management and thrift in its operation. Besides his ranch property Mr. Pavlat owns considerable property in Lodgepole, which is his postoffice address. On Christmas day 1871 he was united in marriage to Miss Mabel Tehel, at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was born in Bohemia, coming to America when eight years of age with her parents. Her parents are both deceased, the moth-

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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er's demise occurring in the spring of 1908. Both of Mr. Pavlat's parents have also passed away. To our subject and his estimable wife the following children have been born: John, married and living at Sidney; Joseph, married, residing in Denver; Mary, wife of Joseph Bell, living in Oklahoma; Rosa, now Mrs. J. L. McIntosh, living at Sidney; Vlasta, now Mrs. Frank Doyle, living, in Old Mexico; Libbie, now Mrs. Noah Walters, residing at Rock Springs; Richard, Jennie, Millard, Lilly, Henry and Frank, of whom the four youngest are living at home. Two children, Jennie and Ray, are now dead.

   Mr. Pavlat has always taken an active interest in political affairs, both state and county. He has been school director of District No. 12 for the past few years, and prominent in township matters of importance. In politics he is a Democrat.


   Harry J. Boyles, residing in Gordon, Nebraska, is the genial and popular proprietor of a pool room which furnishes amusement and pastime to many of the younger members of Gordon families, and is a man well known and liked in the community.

   Mr. Boyles was born in Bellefonte, Center County, Pennsylvania, in 1867. His father, Ebenezer Boyles, was a glassworker in Nebraska, and later moved to Nebraska, where he farmed for many years, taking up a homestead in Sheridan County, in 1886. Our subject was reared in his native state, and came west with his parents, the family settling four and a half miles east of the town of Gordon. Here they put up sod buildings and started in to improve the place. While living in Pennsylvania our subject had learned the glassworkers' trade and after coming west attended school in Denver two years, then went to San Francisco, where he worked at his trade. He next returned to Pennsylvania, where he remained for twelve years working in different parts of that state, following his trade all the time. This broke down his health and he was obliged to leave there, so came back to Nebraska to recuperate. Prior to this he had been to Findlay, Ohio, and also Shirley, Indiana, working at his trade, but did not like those places well enough to settle permanently. In all he spent twenty years as a glassworker, and in 1903 came to Gordon. He purchased his father's ranch, and operated this for one year, then gave it up and moved to the town of Gordon, where he established a pool room in June of the latter year taking active management of this business in 1904. He runs a first-class place and has the patronage of the best citizens, enjoying the respect of all who know him in a business or social way.

   Mr. Boyles was married in 1895 to Miss Elizabeth E. Pethnes, of French descent, whose father was a glassworker. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Boyles, namely: Leonora, aged eleven, and Sarah, now four years old.

   Mr. Boyles is classed among the old settlers here, having gone through the pioneer days with his parents, and at different times has worked all over this section of the country and become acquainted with many of the early settlers located here.


   Henderson Murray, a well-known old settler of western Nebraska, resides on his pleasant farm in Bloomington township, Franklin county. He came to this county in 1872, taking a homestead in Marion township, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres which he broke up and on which he built a log house and farmed for a period of twenty-five years, then bought another one hundred and sixty acres there which he used for farming and hog raising purposes. He kept steadily at work and has accumulated a nice property, and is one of the solid and progressive citizens of his locality.

   Mr. Murray was born in Campbell county, Tennessee, and his grandfather, Thomas Murray, was one of the first settlers in that state. Our subject's father, James D. Murray, married Susan Langley, who was a native of Surry county, North Carolina, daughter of Mathew and Patience (Osborn) Langley, who moved from there to Campbell county, Tennessee. Our subject's great grandfather, James Langley, served in a North Carolina regiment through the Revolutionary war, and received a severe wound in one of the battles. His father's ancestors were pioneers of Tennessee, and went through terrible experiences, especially fighting Indians, when at times women were known to take up arms. Our subject came to Cass county, Nebraska, when a boy, with his father, James D. Murray, who located in Rock Bluffs, where he became a member of the town board and occupied a prominent place among the leading citizens of his community, holding different local offices. Mr. Murray was united in marriage in 1875, to Miss Bridget Doher, a native of Ireland, who came to America with her parents when a child, the family settling in Virginia, and later moving west. Mr. and Mrs. Murray have a family of seven children, who are named as follows: Stephen A., of

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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Franklin; Horatio J., assistant cashier in the Exchange Bank of Franklin; Ernest E., with his father on the farm; William H., also at home, and Susan M., wife of Charles E. Shoemaker, of Franklin, and two dead. Our subject has been a Mason since 1868, and a prominent member of that organization. He is held in high esteem by all who know him, and is a man of high character and sterling qualities which gain him friends in every walk of life. Politically he is a Democrat. In 1891 he was elected county treasurer, and reelected the following term, and has served as assessor of his township at different times.


   A striking example of what may be accomplished by the exercise of industry, perseverance and good management is found in reviewing the life history of the gentleman above named. He started his business career without means excepting a strong heart and willing hands, and is now classed among the foremost substantial citizens of Box Butte county. He is an old settler in that region, is a prosperous farmer, owns a fine farm, and is enjoying a comfortable and pleasant home.

   Mr. Schultalbers was born in Hanover, Germany, July 3d, 1857. His father was a farmer and lived and died in Germany, as also did his mother. Our subject was reared in his native country until he was twenty-five years of age, at which time he struck out for the new world, landing in Baltimore, December 23d, in the year 1882. He came directly west, to St. Louis, and joined a colony of German settlers in St. Louis county, Missouri, and there worked out by the month, spending about four years in that vicinity. He then came to Cuming county, Nebraska, worked one summer and came to Box Butte county in 1886 and bought some land, picked out a location and filed on a tree claim, later took up a pre-emption in 1888 and a homestead in 1889, all on the same section, then returned to Missouri and worked for another year, at which time he came back to Nebraska and began to improve his land. He broke ground for crops, put up a sod shanty, and from the spring of 1889 began living in the house, steadily improving his place, doing all his work with the aid of a team of mules during the first years. He "batched it" up to 1894, and in that year returned to St. Louis and was married to Mary Moellerhaus, who was born and reared in Germany and came to America in the year 1894, being here only a short time before being married.

   Mr. Schultalbers bought his present farm in northwest quarter section 3, township 27, range 48, in 1886, and moved to the place with his bride after his marriage and begun building up the place as a permanent home. He has improved the farm splendidly, and now owns eight hundred acres of deeded land, also operating three hundred and twenty acres of leased land all of which is fenced and kept in first-class condition. He farms about seventy acres and raises good crops, and even during the dry years was fortunate in always having a fair yield. In August, 1896, lightning struck his barn and completely destroyed the building but he at once rebuilt it and was getting along well, when three years later during a severe electrical storm he was struck by lightning and was unconscious for quite a long time, but recovered, although the report soon became circulated that he had been killed. He was severely injured, by the shock, one-third of his body being entirely burned over but he suffered no very permanent injury, being left a little deaf. At the same time one of his cows was struck and the animal killed within a few feet of where our subject stood.

   Mr. Schultalbers' family consists of himself, wife and six children, who are named as follows: Mary, Lena, Rose, Henry, Freda and Annie.

   Our subject is a strong Democrat, active in local politics, always working for the best interests of his locality. He has been on the school board for several years past.


   Among the prominent and successful business men of McCook, Nebraska, we wish to mention the name of H. H. Berry, the subject of this review. He is well known all over the surrounding country as a man of ability, industrious and a citizen of true worth.

   Mr. Berry is a native of Illinois and was born in 1845. His father, Keeling Berry, was a old settler in Illinois, locating there in 1822. He was a native of old Virginia, where the family were early settlers. At the breaking out of the war our subject determined to aid his country in the fight for liberty and freedom, but waited until 1864 and enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Illinois Regiment at Virginia county, Illinois, and served until the close of the war. In 1884 he came west locating at McCook, where he took charge of a dry goods department in one of the leading stores, continuing in this position for three and a half years. He then established himself in the grocery busi-

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