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cowboy's existence. In the fall of that year he went to North Dakota and remained three months, spending the time in Wells county, and up near the Canadian line, where he worked at the threshing business. He next returned to Nebraska, going to Wisner, where he spent some time, and in the fall of 1885 took up a homestead situated in section 15, township 31, range 47, in Dawes county. There his first building was a board shanty, and he lived in this for a time, then put up a sod house. During the first year he worked in the woods, getting out timber and teaming, but after that time devoted his entire time to farming his homestead. He remained on the place continuously up to 1890, then went to Wyoming, where he spent one winter in the log camps north of Lusk. He also put in two years in the Sand Hills in Cherry county, where he worked at ranching. In 1900 he again went into North Dakota with a large drove of horses. He came back to Dawes county in 1901 and again began farming and building up his estate. He was successful in his ventures and gradually added to his acreage until he is now proprietor of a ranch of eight hundred acres, well improved and in first-class shape in every way.

     Mr. Sateren has always taken an active interest in affairs of interest in his locality and aided every movement for the betterment of the conditions in his community. He has served his district as road overseer, also acted as director of the district school, and is a worthy and influential citizen. Politically he is a Republican.


     The gentleman whose name heads this personal history is well known throughout Cherry county as possessing a broad and intelligent mind, taking a deep interest in all matters pertaining to the advancement of educational questions of this locality. Mr. Rauer resides on section 6, township 33, range 31, and is highly esteemed as a worthy citizen and good neighbor.

     Mr. Rauer was born in Freiberg, Province of Silesia, Germany, April 6, 1865. His father, August Rauer, was a laborer in the old country and died when our subject was but a year and a half old; he remained with his mother, Mary, (Ende), until he reached the age of twenty, then came to America, sailing from Antwerp on the Bergenland of the Red Star line, and landed in New York city in October, 1885, after a voyage of ten days. He located first at Mansville, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, where he worked in the coal mines for one year, then came west to Warren county, Iowa, and spent one winter working in the mines there. He next went to Omaha, securing work on the Burlington & Missouri railway in western Nebraska during March, April and May, 1887; he then came to Cherry county, and on May 15 of that year filed on the homestead which is his present home. During the first six months after coming he worked on the waterworks at Rock Springs and Green River in Southwestern Wyoming in order to get a start. He built a sod house and a stable of the same material, breaking up his ground with a yoke of oxen which he used for a time before he was able to purchase horses. He went through the drouth (sic) periods and had a hard time getting a start, "batching it" for several years. In 1894 he sold off his chattels and went into the Black Hills and Big Horn mountains, and there followed ranching, mining, cutting ties, and anything he could get to do, remaining for three years. He returned to Nebraska and remained for two years, then went back to the mountains, where he spent a year and a half, and in 1902 came back to his farm and has lived on it constantly since that time. The house he had erected was destroyed by fire November 14, 1907. He has three hundred and sixty acres of good land and all well improved, and he is also part owner in a threshing outfit, which is run all over the neighborhood through the threshing season. Mr. Rauer has seen all the different phases of pioneer life, traveling from Omaha in a wagon and to the Big Horn mountains by the same means. When he first located here he was compelled to haul all the water for use on his farm from a creek two and a half miles away, and his nearest trading post was Valentine, a distance of twenty-eight miles from his home, or at Tuxton, nineteen miles distant. He is one of the old-timers, and has taken an active part in the history of the country from its beginning. Politically he is an independent voter, and is a member of the Georgia lodge, Modern Woodmen of America.

     In June, 1903, Mr. Rauer was married to Mrs. Florence Bolles, born near Manchester, Iowa, daughter of George and Phoebe (Handcock) Draper. One son, Charles, was born of her first marriage.


     Among the well-known railway men of the western part of Nebraska the subject of this review holds a prominent place. He has been in this line of work for many years past, and is thoroughly familiar with all branches of the business. He is a resident of North Platte,

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Nebraska, where he has built up a pleasant home.

     Mr. Vernon is a native of Muskingum county, Ohio, and was raised there. His father, John Vernon, died March 17, 1903, at Boone, Iowa, where he had lived for forty-seven years. His mother was Miss Caroline Lambert, also of Muskingum county, Ohio. Our subject entered the employ of the Union Pacific Railway Company at Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1880, and worked as a brakeman and conductor on that road for six years, traveling between Cheyenne and Sidney, and later from North Platte to Denver. In 1886 he moved to North Platte and was appointed yardmaster on February 15th of the year and has held that position continuously ever since. During the twenty-one years which he has held this position and had charge of the North Platte Union Pacific yards, not a person has been injured, nor has any animal or vehicle ever received a scratch, although the traffic over these tracks is very heavy. He has been a member of the Order of Railway Conductors since 1892, and held the office of secretary of that order, division 35, for ten years, serving up to 1904, and attended the Order of Railway Conductors' convention which was held at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in June, 1904. He is also a Mason.

     Mr. Vernon was married November 7, 1873, to Miss Ida M. Templin, daughter of W. D. Templin, a veteran of the Civil war, member of Company D, Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, in which he was first lieutenant. He was in the Red River expedition, and on that expedition lost a limb. He served as mayor of Boonsborough, Iowa, and also held the position of agent at that place, and is one of the most prominent and highly respected citizens of that locality. Mr. and Mrs. Vernon have five sons, all of whom are now active and useful young men, each a promising member of the profession he has chosen. They are named as follows: C. L., a brakeman on the Union Pacific Railway; John, and Charles, both following the same occupation; William, who was connected with the same road; Jessie, at present attending school. Harry was killed in an accident on the Union Pacific railway at Lodgepole, February 28, 1904. His son John was married September 18, 1907, to Miss Jennie McMicheal. She died October 23, 1908.


     Solon D. Stuart, one of the truly self-made men of Keya Paha county, is a prosperous business man of this community.

     Mr. Stuart was born on a farm in Caledonia county, Vermont, July 6, 1856, of Scotch-German parentage and is the fifth in a family of seven. When a young boy his parents, Seth and Sarah (Harvey) Stuart, moved to Illinois, where they located on a farm in Stark county, and here he was reared and educated, receiving a common school education. In 1879 Mr. Stuart started out for himself, settling in Mahaska county, Iowa, where he followed farming for eight years.

     In 1880 he was married to Miss Alice N. Guthrie, whose father, John D. Guthrie, was an American of Irish descent. To them four children have been born, namely, Inza F., Hazel L., Laura A. and Wayne. In 1885 our subject moved his little family to Keya Paha county, settling on a pre-emption in section 34, township 32, range 22. His start was very small, and his first home was a sod house in which he lived for two years. Here he experienced many hardships and privations, suffering from the drouth (sic) periods, and to support his family Mr. Stuart did contract work, three years of this time being spent in Iowa.

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     In 1900 Mr. Stuart came to Springview, where he opened a grocery and drygoods store, which he operated six years before exchanging it for a farm of four hundred and eighty acres on Turkey creek, three miles southwest of Springview. The buildings form a page of illustrations in our work. He has also done considerable contract and bridge work in this county.

     Mr. Stuart is one of the oldest settlers in this county, a public spirited citizen, and has done his full share in the making of the history of Keya Paha county. In politics he is Republican.


     James W. Cook, one of the leading pioneer settlers in Nebraska, is a farmer by occupation, who has built up a good home and gained the respect and esteem of all who know him. Mr. Cook was born in Upper Canada, February 18, 1852, within twenty miles of London. His father, John Cook, was a farmer of Scotch descent, and came to Michigan with his family in 1861. His mother was Miss Louisa Whaley, born in England, who came to Canada with her parents at the age of eleven years. There were nine children in the family, of whom our subject is the third member in order of birth, and he was reared and educated in Michigan. In 1879 Mr. Cook came to Nebraska with his family, settling in Colfax county, purchasing a farm there, on which he resided up to 1899, the place comprising one hundred and twenty acres, for which he paid

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six dollars per acre. After he had worked this for several years, improving the farm to some extent, he sold it for thirty-five dollars an acre. He had done exceedingly well on this farm, and accumulated quite a snug sum, and after the sale moved to Brown county, settling on his present ranch of six hundred and forty acres located in section 23, township 32, range 21. Part of this is used for grazing, and he has part under cultivation and raises banner crops on the land. Nearly all the hay and grain he raises is fed out on his farm, as he is extensively engaged in stock raising, giving particular attention to mules and hogs, which he finds more profitable than other stock. On the Niobrara river bottoms he has his best farming land, on which he raises splendid crops, having twenty-five acres of alfalfa. A fine brook running through the place supplies the family and stock with an abundance of water. When desired this is turned into a flume, which carries it to a water mill, which grinds all the feed needed for stock on the farm. A fine stone arch cave furnished cold storage for milk, butter, etc. Mr. Cook was married in January, 1876, to Miss Stella Sherman. Two children were born, one of whom, Elgin, survives. In June 1879, while the family lived in Colfax county, Mr. Cook's first wife died, and on June 19, 1888, he was married to Miss Mary Sebert, two children resulting from this union, Celia and William. Mr. Cook takes an active part in all county and local affairs, and has served his school district in various capacities at different times. In political sentiment he is a Republican. In religious faith the family are followers of Mrs. Eddy in Christian Science.


     Another one of the prominent old-timers of western Nebraska, and a well-known cattleman who has passed through all the experiences of the pioneer of that region, is found in the person of the gentleman above named. He now resides on section 6, township 17, range 45, Lisco precinct, where he owns a valuable estate and is held in the highest esteem and respect by his fellowmen.

     Mr. Dailey was born in Stevenson county, Illinois on April 17, 1857. He was the youngest child in a family of eleven, and with his brothers and sisters was raised on a farm, attending the country schools, where he received a somewhat limited schooling and remained at home until he was eighteen years of age. At that time he struck out for himself, going to Iowa, and spent ten years there, them went to Leavenworth, Kansas, remaining a year, coming to Greeley county, Nebraska, driving through the country by wagon train. After about a year in that locality he returned to Kansas, then returned to Nebraska and settled in Deuel county, then Cheyenne county, in the fall of 1887, where he has since remained. He filed on a homestead on section 6, township 17, range 45, and during the first few years met with many discouragements in getting his ranch started. He witnessed the drouth (sic) years, when for four seasons he raised no crop of any kind. He went through sod-house experience and often had a hard time to get along, but by dint of honest labor and strict attention to his ranch work he was able to add improvements in the way of erecting good buildings, fencing his land, etc., and became possessor of one whole section of land, which he devotes to stock raising and farming. He now has a herd of about one hundred head of stock, cattle and horses, for which he has abundant pasture, and raises a large amount of hay each year.

     Mr. Dailey was married in April, 1882, in Butler county, Iowa, to Miss Ellen Noonan, who is a native of New York state, her parents being pioneers in Iowa, where she was reared. The parents of both Mr. and Mrs. Dailey are dead. Seven children have been born to our subject and his wife, namely: Bernard F., Patrick, who died April 19, 1884, Winifred, John E., Margaret, Mary, and Robert, who died September 8, 1900. Mr. Dailey is the only member of his family to settle in Deuel county, while Mrs. Dailey has one sister living here.

     Our subject is one of the substantial and highly esteemed citizens of his township, has been an important factor in its development, and has filled different local offices. In political sentiment he is a Democrat. When he first settled here he had to haul supplies thirty miles, and many nights camped out on the roads, his meals consisting of potatoes and bacon, using a molasses can for a coffee pot.


     Foremost among the early settlers in Nebraska is the subject of this review, who has seen the development and growth of Valentine from its start.

     Mr. Stetter was born in Richmond, Virginia, August 1, 1856. His father, John G. Stetter, Sr., was born in Germany and came to this country when a young man, here following the occupation of a farmer and dairyman. Our subject lived with his parents in Virginia until he reached the age of twenty, when he struck out for himself, coming west to Fort Robinson, Nebraska, to what was then called Sioux county, driving by team across the country, camping out summer and winter in government service.

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While at Camp Robinson he was he was (sic) appointed the first sheriff of the county, serving in this capacity for one year, when he was appointed head ambulance driver under General Crook. Later under Gen., E. V. Sumner, he saw service, driving teams all over the west where the country was literally overrun by renegades, horse thieves and stage robbers from the south. In Crook's expedition at Fort Robinson Mr. Stetter came to Fort Niobrara, where his brother handled the beef contract for the United States government and the same contract for the railroad, as the first railroad into Valentine was then in the course of construction.

     In 1895 our subject was married to Miss Maggie Danley, who conducted the first Sabbath school in Dawes county, and they were the first couple ever married in that county. At this time he had the beef contract at Fort Robinson, and they lived in a dugout, where their first child, Leta A., was born, she being the first white child born in Dawes county. Miss Leta attended the Valentine high school, graduating with high honors, and entered the State University, graduating from that institution in 1906, and was elected principal of the Dewitt high school in 1906-'07, filling the same position at McCook in 1907-'08, teaching English literature, Latin and German. She is a brilliant writer and scholar and a young woman of rare talent and ability, of whom her father is justly proud. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society.

     In 1884 Mr. Stetter opened a saloon in Valentine, soon after closing this out and going into a meat market in Chadron, Nebraska, which he conducted until 1890, then returning to Valentine and again going into the saloon business. He is also the owner of saloons at both Cody, Nebraska, and Hot Springs, South Dakota. At one time he followed the fortunes of a prospector in the Black Hills country, and while there was nothing better to do, went on the stage as a comedian in the Gem Theater under the management of Al. Swarringer. He is a natural-born story teller and entertainer, a man of wonderful resource and conversational ability, and this fact has made it possible for him to mix with the greatest characters of the west in the early eighties. He has been intimately associated with men who stand high in the army and nation, among whom are General Miles, Major Woods, and others equally notable.

     Mr. Stetter has resided in Valentine almost constantly since March, 1890, and after the death of his first wife, which occurred February 8, 1890, he was married May 20, 1896, to Miss Fanny Barling, who was born in England, and was a dressmaker in Valentine at the time of her marriage.

     Mr. Stetter is a staunch Democrat, representing his community at different conventions, and takes an active part in all local and state politics.


     Among the well-known residents of Sheridan county is George H. Ireland, a man of sterling character and active public spirit. He has resided in this locality many years and has become closely identified with its history. He has a well improved farm and pleasant home and enjoys the respect and esteem of his fellowmen.

     Mr. Ireland was born in Illinois June 29, 1850, and in his infancy came west to Iowa with his parents, who settled near Iowa City, where his father had land warrants from the Mexican war, taking the land for them. His father, Lemuel L. Ireland, was of American stock, born in Ohio, and had served for two years in the Mexican war. He tried to enlist in the Civil war, but was refused on account of his age. Our subject is the oldest in a family of nine children, and at the age of twenty-two he started out for himself. Previous to this he had worked out at different times, being employed on his uncle's farm for two years. He went to Adair county, Iowa, where he farmed for eleven years, and there saved considerable money. In March, 1887, he came west, landing in Gordon, Nebraska, and has lived here ever since. For the first two years he worked rented land, then located on his present homestead. The first year he settled on this farm, he built a sod house, in which he lived up to 1906, when he moved into a fine cement block house, thirty-two by thirty-eight feet, and he now has one of the most pretentious dwellings to be seen anywhere in this locality. During the dry years he planted his crops faithfully and spent much hard labor cultivating them, but could not even raise enough for seed, and to support his family he was compelled to work out by the day. At the time of the Indian war in this part of the country, during the years 1890-'91, they lived in fear for their lives, but bravely stuck to their home, and came through it without having experienced any serious injury. He now owns six hundred and forty acres of good farming land and forty acres of timber, the latter being in the vicinity of Wounded Knee. Of this, he has under cultivation one hundred and fifty acres, and the balance is used for hay and grazing. He also keeps a large drove of stock, which nets him a nice sum each year. Of late years he has been very successful in his farming and stock raising operations, and has improved his place with good buildings, machinery, fences, etc.

     Mr. Ireland was married in 1878 to Miss Alice C. Wilkinson, born in Illinois in 1854,

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her father, Wilson G. Wilkinson, was a farmer of American stock, born in Virginia, and her mother, Elizabeth Slaughter, was born in Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Ireland have five children, namely: Roy, Earl and Pearl (twins), Ethel and Fred, all of whom were raised in the county.

     In political faith Mr. Ireland is an independent voter, and takes an active interest in the affairs of his party. He has held local office at different times, and has gained the confidence of all who know him.


     Should the reader ask for a representative German-American farmer of Cherry county, Nebraska, for a man who embodies in himself the best elements of the old German character who has quickly entered into the hopes and ambition of modern America, the name that heads this sketch might well be given him. Mr. Kadas resides on his well-kept farm in section 31, township 35, range 34, where he has built up a comfortable home.

     Mr. Kadas was born in the city of Alt Stettin on the Oder river, Germany, February 1, 1852. His father was a sharpshooter in the German army, and in 1848 received a severe wound at Verschen, Poland, while in the service of his country, from which he died in 1864. Our subject himself was in the Sixth Cavalry and served in the Franco-Prussian war, in 1871, receiving a slight wound in a skirmish at Sainte. His family were among the rich and influential Germans and he was never taught a trade, as all of the poorer classes in the country are obliged to do. When a young man he made a tour of Russia, England and France, and then embarked for the new world, coming to Wisconsin in 1873, where he began working on a farm and later was employed in a tannery at La Crosse. He came to Cherry county in 1885, and his first job after locating here was on the railroad as a section hand. He only worked at this a short time, and in the same year took up his present homestead and started a farm. He built a frame house of good size, sixteen by twenty-four, and went to work with a will in improving his property. He was one of the earliest settlers in this part of Cherry county, and has done his share in building up the region. He is well known all over the community, and commonly called by his friend and acquaintances "Dutch Bill" a sobriquet which was applied to him when he first worked on the section to distinguish him from "Calico," "Wild," and "Irish" Bills, there being four Williams at work at that time, and the name has stuck to him ever since. He has established a good ranch, owning nine hundred and sixty acres of land, with one hundred and thirty cultivated and the rest in pasture and grazing land. His residence is fourteen by twenty, and he has a good barn twenty by eighty, with necessary sheds, with wells and windmills, and his whole place is under fence. A fine view of the residence and surroundings will be found elsewhere in this volume.

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     Mr. Kadas was married in 1871, while living in Germany, to Miss Mina Schueler, a native of Germany, where she died after giving birth to two sons, both of whom also died in the old country.

     Mr. Kadas is a jolly, sociable man, well liked by everyone with whom he come in contact. He is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the Cody lodge, Modern Woodmen of America.


     In listing the self-made men of Cheyenne county, Nebraska, who have become well-to-do agriculturists, and have aided materially in the development of the farming interests of this region, a prominent place is accorded the name of T. M. Freeman. For many years this gentleman has followed farming in Cheyenne county, during which time he has met with pronounced success and is known as one of the substantial citizens and well merits his high standing.

     Thomas M. Freeman was born in Champaign county, Illinois, on the 23d day of December, 1855. He was raised and educated there, living on his father's farm as a boy, attending the country schools and receiving a fair education for those days, while assisting his parents in carrying on the work on their farm.

     He came to Wayne county, Nebraska, in 1885, spent about a year and a half there, then moved to Cheyenne county, landing here on May 18, 1887, immediately taking up a homestead in section 34, township 17, range 60, which is his present ranch, or the beginning of the extensive place he owns at this time, which consists of one thousand six hundred acres. He has developed a fine farm and ranch, erecting a splendid set of buildings, and has made a complete success of farming and ranching. He cultivates about two hundred acres, and runs about one hundred cattle and a large bunch of horses.

     Mr. Freeman has passed through all the early Nebraska times, when he first located here there being but a few straggling settlers in the region where he chose his home, and he has watched its growth and development from its earliest states. He is a true westerner in spirit and a genuine old-timer of the state, always tak-

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ing an active interest in all that tends to the benefit of his locality. He is a stanch Republican in political faith.

     The father of our subject is still residing in Champaign county, Illinois, also the other members of his family, but the mother has been laid to rest for about twenty years.


     Andrew Leonard, residing in Washington township, Franklin county, came to Nebraska in 1884 and purchased the farm on which he now lives, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres in section 1.

     Mr. Leonard was born in Ireland in county Galway, where he was raised. His father, James Leonard, came from Ireland with his family, settling in Champaign county, Illinois, where they lived for many years. Our subject enlisted in the Fourth Illinois Cavalry and served for three years under Grant and Sherman. He took part in the battles at Fort Henry, Fort Donaldson, Bedford Landing, Pittsburg Landing, Corinth, at the siege of Vicksburg, and then went with his regiment to Natchez, and during all the times he participated in these different actions he was only wounded four times.

     After the war closed Mr. Leonard returned to Illinois, and spent some years in that state. He located in Franklin county in 1884 and at once started to build up a good farm and home, and has met with pronounced success in his work here, has a comfortable home and is highly esteemed by all for his good qualities as a citizen, neighbor and patriot. He is member of the Grand Army of the Republic and the family are devoted members of the Catholic church. Mr. Leonard has been a member of the school board in his district for many years, and has also served as assessor for his township.

     Mr. Leonard was married to Miss Rose Kellogg, of Champaign county, Illinois, and to them have been born the following children: Thomas, a farmer and living at home; Andrew, residing at Salt Lake City, Utah; Ruskin of Nuckolls county, Nebraska, and Dan, a farmer in this county.


     Peter Belgum, who owns a well improved farm in this section, has been a resident of Box Butte county for more than twenty years past, settling here in the year 1886. Mr. Belgum was born in Norway in 1864, his native town being about one hundred miles from Christiana, where he grew up and was educated until he was twelve years of age, when his father came to this country with his family of three children, of whom our subject was one member, their ship landing in New York city June 28, 1877. They immediately struck out for the western states, and settled in Boone county, Nebraska, where they were among the first pioneers in that part of the state. The father built a house and opened up a farm and met with good success while on that place and the father still lives in Boone county. Our subject's mother died in the old country when he was about eight years old.

     When our subject was twenty-one years of age he came west and began working for himself, settling in Box Butte county, where he filed on a homestead, and he still occupies this claim, which is situated in section 33, township 26, range 48. He put up a sod house and broke up land for crops with an ox team which he brought with him, and during the early days he also worked out by the day and week on neighboring farms, freighting, and anything he could find to do. He did construction work on the Burlington railway, which was being built from Broken Bow to Newcastle, South Dakota. He was able to get along pretty well in this way up to the time the poor years struck this locality, and then for eight years was unable to get ahead to any extent, barely making a living on account of failures of crops due to drouths (sic), etc. He kept hard at it, however, and as the years grew better, conditions becoming more favorable, he began to build up his farm and add to his land, so that at the present time he is owner of half a section of good land, and has a good farm, highly cultivated and well improved with buildings, etc., and engages to quite an extent in raising cattle and horses. Mr. Belgum also operates one thousand two hundred and eight acres of leased land, which he uses for pasture and ranching purposes for his herds of cattle and horses.

     During the early years in this region Mr. Belgum camped out at night under his wagon when making trips through the country, and went through all the pioneer's experiences and privations. The section was very sparsely populated, there being only a few houses on the road between his farm and Hay Springs when he first settled here.

     Mr. Belgum was married in 1885 to Lena Olson, born in Norway. Five children came to bless this union, namely: Oscar, Julius, Tillie, Albert and Juliar, who died at the age of sixteen, in October, 1901. Mr. Belgum had the sad

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misfortune to lose his good wife by death October 15, 1905.

     Mr. Belgum has been on the school board for a number of years, and takes an active part in the upbuilding of his district.


     Persistent industry and patient perseverance has placed this gentleman among the prosperous agriculturists of Phelps county, Nebraska. He came to Nebraska in 1880, locating in York county, with his father, Dr. Elihu Harlan, who bought a farm there, which he still owns and resides on it at the present time, now aged eighty-eight years. Dr. Harlan was born and brought up at Liberty, Union county, Indiana. He was a skillful physician and pharmacist, practicing his profession in Iowa for several years, but on coming to Nebraska gave it up for farming..

     Our subject began his farming career in Iowa, and came to Nebraska, locating in the above county in an early day. He purchased a relinquishment and homesteaded in Union township on one hundred and sixty acres, farming this for five years. Here he lost by death his wife. She left one son, Elroy, sixteen years of age. After her death Mr. Harlan went to Colorado, where he bought some irrigated land, remaining there for some years. While in that state he married Miss Wilson, a native of Ohio, and one child has been born to them, named Ralph. He sold his property in Colorado at a good advance over what it cost him, and came back to Nebraska, investing in land near Loomis, Phelps county, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres. He also bought one hundred and sixty acres near Bertrand and recently disposed of this, and has purchased one hundred and sixty acres situated two miles northwest of Holdrege, which he intends to keep for a home and not to sell. This farm is improved with a fine house, barns and outbuldings, and has a fine grove of trees growing nicely. It is one of the best located and the finest home farms in the county. Two years ago this was sold for one thousand dollars, and the price Mr. Harlan paid for it was twelve thousand dollars, and at the present time he could take an advance over this figure should he wish to do so, showing the rapid appreciation of lands in Phelps county.

     When Mr. Harlan came here he had no capital, and worked for five years on his father's farm. Since then he has made all he has by his own hard work and shrewd business methods in buying and selling lands. He has had wide experience in Iowa and Colorado, and strongly states that Nebraska is the "best ever" and he considers the greater success of the last few years due to the fact that people have come to know better the country, its soil and requirements, as this was true in his own case. He now, after plowing, harrows down the land two or three times, making the soil fine and level so it will stand dry weather and still produce big crops. In 1906 on one piece of land he raised forty bushels of wheat to the acre, and a piece put in later made twenty-five bushels, but all of it went sixty-three pounds per bushel and was bright and A1 grain.

     Mr. Harlan is a strong advocate of potato culture in Nebraska. In 1905, from a patch of forty-four acres, he raised four thousand bushels of potatoes, all fine stock. He has all of the best potato machinery and thoroughly understands the matter of growing this vegetable. One year in Iowa he raised one thousand bushels from a patch of ten acres, selling the entire crop at one dollar per bushel, and this year he is also getting the same price at the market in Holdrege. There is no better preparation for other crops than to use the land for potatoes the previous year, except that it sometimes makes the ground too strong for oats. More money can be made from the culture of potatoes than from any other crop, as one man can easily attend to forty or fifty acres. However, one should not plant here varieties, that make many potatoes to the hill, as should there be a dry season the potatoes will be very small. The Ohio Acme, Daughter of Early Rose and Carmen No. 3 are the best kinds for this state, running about six large perfect potatoes to the hill.


     In reviewing the history of Dawes county, Nebraska, the citizens who have contributed to her welfare must be given special mention, and a prominent place among their number must be accorded the gentleman above named. Mr. McCoy is a pioneer settler, coming here in 1886, and is one of the best-known and most highly respected men in his region. He is a prosperous agriculturist and has built up a comfortable home, and fine farm near Crawford, where he enjoys a peaceful and contented life.

     Mr. McCoy is a native of Washington county, Indiana, born in 1848. His father, Isaac L. McCoy, was of Irish-Scotch descent, a stockman by occupation, who married Deliatha Stuart, born of English parents. When our subject was five years old the family moved to Iowa, settling near Burlington on a farm and were pioneers in that section, but did not remain there for long when they moved to Davis

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county, living there for five years. They next went to Monroe county, and during this time our subject was acquiring a common school education and assisting his parents in the work of carrying on their farm. About 1871 he went to Kansas, where he spent two years, then came to Brownsville, Nebraska. He had traveled all through Nebraska while it was still a territory, and he and his father did freighting from Omaha to Denver, the former making the trip three times when the Indians were in a hostile state. From Brownsville Mr. McCoy went to Emerson, Iowa, where he was engaged in the hotel business for a time, and then to Kearney, Nebraska, where he remained for seven years. In 1886 he came to Dawes county, driving through the country with a covered wagon, and the first summer he was here lived in a tent, building a log house in the fall. He first settled on a pre-emption and later on a homestead. His first supplies were hauled from Chadron. Crawford was then merely a tent town. During the first years his nearest neighbor was five miles away, and Indians were numerous in his locality. He at that time owned three ox teams and hauled timber from his farm and for others in the vicinity, which he exchanged for provisions. He saw some hard times, being hailed out a few times and meeting other losses and discouragements. He engaged in the stock business a number of years ago, and is still following this and farming a part of his ranch of two thousand forty acres, all fenced and improved with good buildings, etc. There is a good grove of natural timber on the ranch, and good clear springs of running water, making it an ideal stock ranch.

     Mr. McCoy was married in 1869, at Glenwood, Mills county, Iowa, to Miss Ellen Otis, whose father, Barnabas Otis, was a mechanic and machinist, and a prominent citizen of that county. Mr. and Mrs. McCoy have a family of six children, who are named as follows: Irving, Guy, Lulu, Bertha, Barney, and Ruby, all of whom are married and settled in homes of their own near the parental home. Mr. McCoy and his wife are grandparents to eleven children.

     In politics our subject is a Democrat on reform movements and takes an active interest in all local and county affairs. He has held the office of justice of the peace for fifteen years, and is now a notary public.


     Foremost among the old settlers of western Nebraska who have aided materially by their influence and personal effort in developing that region, is the gentleman whose name heads this review. Mr. Skinner was one of the first to take up homestead rights here, and the first public school was held in his home, as was also the first Sabbath school, of which his wife was the leading spirit. Mrs. Skinner was also the first school teacher in the district, and the first religious service in this vicinity was held at their home, both our subject and his wife taking an active part in all these affairs. Both Mr. Skinner and wife are of the Presbyterian faith. They went through all the pioneer experiences, suffering the many hardships and privations so familiar to the people who settled here when the country was new, inhabited chiefly by Indians, and with all kinds of wild beasts roaming the forests. From the earliest days of settlement in this part, our subject and his wife have watched the growth and development and during those years have managed to accumulate a nice property by dint of good management and earnest effort, and are now in position to enjoy their declining years in peace and comfort. They have a pleasant home in section 17, township 25, range 49, and are held in high esteem by all who know them.

     James H. Skinner was born in Waterford, Erie county, Pennsylvania, April 13, 1835. His paternal grandfather was born in Ireland, came to America during the early settlement of Pennsylvania, where our subject's father was born and lived all his life. He married Mary Ann Certson, of Eric county, Pennsylvania. Our subject was raised in his native state and lived with his parents there until he reached the age of eighteen years, then left home and came to Illinois. He only remained a short time, then returned to his parents' home and began working as a carpenter and painter, following that occupation for some time.

     Mr. Skinner was married in 1867, to Miss E. T. Durham, whose father, Ezra Durham, was a capitalist, of English descent and her mother's maiden name was Lucinda Head. In 1884 the young couple settled in Michigan, at Maple Valley, and spent two years in that locality, then struck out for the west, coming to Nebraska, April 2, 1886. Here Mr. Skinner filed on section 17, township 25, range 49, driving to his new home from Hay Springs, which was the nearest railway point, seventy or eighty miles distant. They were obliged to camp out at night, as the settlers' homes were few and far between, and had with them their entire possessions.

     They put up a rude shanty as a dwelling, and started to make a home, having a hard time during the first years, meeting with every form of disappointment in the way of failure of crops and other discouragements, but never thought

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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of giving up, and finally succeeded in developing their farm in good shape, putting up substantial buildings and doing all the work of building up his home and farm with his own hands, aided by his faithful life companion, and today they own a fine estate of four hundred and eighty acres as a result of their perseverance and pluck.

     Mr. and Mrs. Skinner have a family of six children, names as follows: Henry J., Eva, Edgar, Mary, Maud and Myrtle, constituting an interesting family. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Skinner will be found on another page of this volume.

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     Our subject has always done his full share as a public-spirited citizen, giving freely of his aid in every movement, which has been started toward promoting the best interests of his community. He has held different local offices, justice of the peace, school director and road overseer. Politically he is a Republican.

     Lewis L. Millard, a prominent farmer of Keya Paha county, Nebraska, is one of the men who carries on a diversified system of agriculture in a most successful manner, with results that richly reward his thrift and industry. He resides on section 19, township 34, range 22, and is a splendid specimen of a clear-headed, progressive agriculturist, his well-kept farm bearing evidence of his tact and good management.

     Mr. Millard was born in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, March 7, 1859. His father, George E. Millard, was a farmer and early settler in Johnson county, Nebraska, coming here in 1866 with his family. He was of old Welsh stock, born in America, and married Caroline Madison, born in New York, of American parents. Our subject was raised on the frontier, where he attended the country schools and assisted his parents in carrying on their farm, beginning this work when but seven years old. The family lived in Johnson county up to 1885, then settled in Merrick county, the father now residing in Scotts Bluff county.

     At the age of twenty-six Lewis left home and struck out for himself, settling in Keya Paha county on a homestead located eight and a half miles northwest of Springview. Here he put up a rough sod shanty and remained on that farm with his family up to 1904, building up a good home and farm there, the place consisting of four hundred and eighty acres on which he had put good buildings, planted a large orchard, and carried on mixed farming on two hundred acres. He witnessed the drouth (sic) periods, but never actually suffered from hardships, always being able to make a good living and enough to keep constantly improving his property.

     In 1904 he sold out that farm and purchased his present homestead, where he has nine hundred and sixty acres, three hundred and fifty of which is under cultivation. He has a good house, barn, granary, windmills and tanks and all the equipment necessary for operating a model farm. Since coming here he has also planted many fruit trees and has a fine grove of forest trees.

     Mr. Millard is a blacksmith by trade, and for eighteen years had a shop on his farm and did considerable work for his neighbors and people living in his vicinity.

     On September 20, 1883, our subject was married in Helena, Nebraska, to Miss Charlotte Montgomery, daughter of Thomas M. and Prudence (Pierce) Montgomery, both of American blood, the former a painter by trade, residing in Vigo county, Indiana, at the time of his death, which occurred in Florida, whither he had gone in search of health. Mr. and Mrs. Millard have a family of five children, namely: Walter, living in Colorado; Guy, in Long Pine; George, living in Keya Paha county; Gladys and Myron.

     From the time of his early settlement in this section of the state, Mr. Millard has been active in advancing the commercial and educational interests of the region. He was one of the leaders in establishing the schools here and deserves much credit for the part he has always taken in the upbuilding of his community. Politically he is a Populist and takes an active interest in party affairs.


     John J. Mandeville is a native of Indiana, being born in Jasper county of that state, in 1857. His father, Giles, was descended from early colonial stock of Holland-Dutch blood. His mother, Mary (Krantz) Mandeville, was of Scotch stock and her family dates back to Revolutionary war times.

     Our subject was reared on a farm in the state of Indiana until he attained manhood. His educational facilities were limited and in his young days he had but little schooling. He loved to go up into the woods and hunt for wild game and was a great hunter, his father's place at Beaver Lake being the headquarters of the hunters of a widespread country. Thus he acquired the spirit of the chase and hunted a great deal in his youth. He learned to read and write when he was twenty years old, and then

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