NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center
On-Line Library  

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 860

windmills and tanks, and a very fine new barn, thirty by forty feet, just finished.

     The marriage ceremonies of Mr. Marchant and Miss Rosena Davis took place in England in 1879. Mrs. Marchant was born in England and is a daughter of John and Fannie (Gardner) Davis. To this union were born eight children - Rosena (deceased), Ernest, Albert, Bertha, Minnie, Fred, Arthur and Gertrude. Two of Mr. Marchant's sons have land adjoining his own ranch in Dawes county.

     Mr. Marchant has always been prominently identified with local affairs, and from the date of his settlement in this part of the country has taken a keen interest in the growth and development of Dawes county. His name is sure to appear on any list of the prominent old settlers of western Nebraska, where his genial countenance and friendly spirit have made him a host of warm friends, which his manly character and genuine worth have long retained. He has a good school on his place and has been treasurer for four years. Mr. Marchant holds certificates as one of the best mine foremen in this part of the state.


     The gentleman mentioned above is one of the sturdy sons of Sweden, who came to the new world with a brave heart to carve out a name for himself and establish a home in the wilderness, and well has he succeeded in his determination, now being proprietor of a good ranch, and has also become one of the prominent citizens of his locality. He resides on section 26, township 16, range 52, in Trognitz precinct, his estate being one of the most valuable in that section of the county.

     Peter Nelson was born in Sweden, January 14, 1867, the youngest in his father's family of four children. Both parents are now deceased. When he was about fifteen years of age he left his native land and came to American, settling at first in Vail, Crawford county, Iowa, April 21, 1882, remained there for two years, during which time his parents joined him. He then went to Dakota, but only spent a few months in that country, coming to Cheyenne county, whither his parents had preceded him, about Christmas time of 1885, in a one-horse rig, enduring the inclement weather of that time of year. He returned to Iowa, where he spent about two years, then came back and settled permanently in Cheyenne county in 1888, taking up a homestead on section 26, township 16, range 52, filing on the land in February, and at once built a rude dwelling in which he lived for several years. He had a hard time in starting his farm, going through all the pioneer experiences, but gradually forged ahead, put improvements on his place in the way of good buildings, wells, fences, etc. He owns at the present time nine hundred and sixty acres, engaging in stock raising and mixed farming, running about one hundred head of cattle and quite a number of horses. About one hundred and seventy-five acres are devoted to the raising of small grain, and the entire ranch is kept up in the best possible condition, every corner bespeaking the most painstaking care and good management.

     Mr. Nelson was married at Sidney, March 2, 1904, to Miss Florence Herbolsheimer, the event occurring at the Metropolitan Hotel, and was a very pretty affair, the young people having a host of friends and acquaintances, and their married life has been a happy one. Two children have come to bless their union - Hilma and Alice. Mrs. Nelson, a daughter of Daniel and Alice (Seagraves) Herbolsheimer, was born in Adams county, Nebraska, coming to Cheyenne county with her parents in infancy. The old people are now living in this vicinity, and are well known as prominent old-timers of that region. Our subject has always taken an active interest in all affairs pertaining to county, state and national government, and is a stanch Republican, and represents his precinct on the county committee. He is a leading citizen in his community, serving as treasurer of school district No. 13 for several years. On July 1, 1898, he was appointed postmaster of Sextrop, which he held for several years, and then resigned. Mrs. Nelson was appointed to the position March 5, 1907, and has proven a most capable and popular official. Mr. Nelson was reared in the Swedish Lutheran church and is a member of the Potter camp of the Modern Woodmen of America.


     Elmer E. Wales, who is classed among the old residents of Keya Paha county, is a progressive and energetic farmer, proprietor of a fine estate in Keya Paha precinct.

     Mr. Wales was born on a farm in Goodhue county, Minnesota, March 7, 1863. His father was of Yankee stock, born in Massachusetts, and followed farming all his life. He was in Mankato at the time of the Indian massacre and a witness of those terrible scenes,

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 861

seeing the punishment meted out to the marauders when thirty-seven were hung from one gallows. The mother, whose maiden name was Philanda Davis, was born, reared and educated in Vermont, going to Minnesota with her husband in 1854. Her father had an artificial arm and had to cut grain with a sickle and do other farm work to support his family of thirteen children, twelve of whom were girls. When our subject was a young lad but seven years of age he began hard work and plowed with a team of oxen, doing other heavy labor as well. The family moved to Marshall county, Kansas, in 1874, but the swarms of grasshoppers devoured their crops and compelled them to migrate. They went to Montgomery county, Iowa, remaining there up to the time of coming to Nebraska. When Elmer reached the age of twenty he struck out for himself, following farm work in Nebraska and in 1883 came to O'Neill, where he obtained employment on a ranch at twenty dollars per month. He located in Gordon, and after a short time there moved to Montana with some cattle drovers, where he remained for two years on the ranges, sleeping out during the winter, sometimes in three feet of snow. He finally returned to Nebraska and filed on a pre-emption near Burton, in Keya Paha county. In 1890 he located near Naper, remained three years, then bought his present home in section 23, township 35, range 17, paying for the land thirty dollars in money and a colt which he owned. There was only a sod house on the place, but he went to work improving, since building a comfortable house, barn and other necessary buildings. He drilled a well, which he boarded up with old lumber, having hard work to get nails enough to do the work, so scant were the funds at his command. He worked out part of the time, among other things shucked corn in snow knee deep for two cents a bushel. The best wages he could make was fifty cents a day, and he was glad for even that slight remuneration for his toil. He also drilled wells for the farmers and managed to get along, but was often tempted to leave, but for lack of sufficient money could not get away. He helped build the first bridge at Brocksbury, and did a great deal towards general upbuilding of the region. He has made a success of farming and in other enterprises since locating here, now owning three hundred and twenty acres of good land, of which half is under cultivation. He is also engaged in the cream business, having opened the first cream stations at Mills, Jamison, Butte, Naper, Carlock and Brocksburg, collecting and shipping each week about one hundred and twenty-five cans of cream. He is agent for the DeLaval separator and sells about forty each year.

     December 25, 1887, our subject was married near Mills to Miss Ella Sharp, whose parents, Solomon and Caroline (Godfrey) Sharp, were early settlers in Butler county, Nebraska. To Mr. and Mrs. Wales the following children have been born: Clarence S., Blanche P., Goldie M., Noah Edmund, Sylvia, Flossie, Gale and Dale (twins), of whom all but Gale are still living with their parents, having a pleasant home and hosts of warm friends in the community.

     Mr. Wales is a Republican and active worker for his party, although he has never held office. With his family he is a member of the Free Methodist church.


     Ferdinand Wendt, who enjoys the distinction of being the owner of one of the largest and most modernly equipped ranches in Nebraska, is a native of the state which he has chosen for his home. He was born on a farm in Cass county, in 1876, a son of August and Laura (Swan) Wendt, both of whom were natives of Germany.

     Mr. Wendt received his education attending the country schools, assisting his father in building up and improving the farm in Cass county, which is still the property of the family. In November, 1906, Mr. Wendt's father died. His mother had passed away in December of the year previous. In 1887 the elder Mr. Wendt made a trip to Dawes county, investigating the possibilities which this western field presented, and eventually brought his family here in 1893, locating on section 27, township 30, range 51. At this period there were practically no improvements on the place. At the present writing, our subject has one of the largest ranches in Nebraska, comprising an area of thirty-six hundred and ten acres, three to four hundred acres of which are under cultivation. Besides a farmer, he is a stock raiser of no mean ability. He has erected a pleasant and commodious home on his farm, together with good buildings in which to keep his provisions and house his stock. There is an abundance of fine timber on the ranch, where he has erected a first-class sawmill, giving part of his time to the manufacture of lumber.

     Mr. Wendt was united in marriage in February, 1899, to Miss Jessie Hayden. She was

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 862

a daughter of Polemus Hayden, of English descent, a highly respected and prominent old settler. Mr. and Mrs. Wendt are the happy parents of four children, viz.: Eddie, Albert, Louisa and Alice.

     Mr. Wendt has always taken strong Democratic ground in matters of politics. He has done his work well, and while he is a thorough farmer and stock raiser, and much devoted to home and family, has also from his first coming to Dawes county taken a keen and vivid interest in everything that relates to local matters and public improvements. He has watched the growth and development of the county with keen interest from the start, where he has made a host of loyal friends, who recognize in him one of the leading settlers.


     E. G. Carter, agent of the Burlington & Missouri Railway at Naponee, Franklin county, came to Nebraska in 1892 in the interest of that railroad, locating at Alma, where he held the position of operator. He remained there for a short time, then was transferred to Inavale, where he spent two years. From there he was sent to Naponee, from 1894 to 1898, working for the company for four years. He was next sent to Atwood, Kansas, and remained there up to 1894, then returned to Naponee, where he has since resided. Mr. Carter was born in Illinois in 1872. His father, Joe B. Carter, was a native of England, who came to America in the early forties, locating at Medora, Illinois. He married Lucy Kemper, who had two brothers in the Civil war, both of whom were killed at the battle of Appomattox Court House. Our subject grew up in Illinois and in 1894 he came to Franklin county from Macoupin county, Illinois, and invested in land in this part of the state. In 1897 he bought three hundred and twenty acres in Turkey Creek township, for which he paid sixteen dollars per acre, and in 1907 he sold the same land for eighty-nine hundred dollars, which shows conclusively the rapid rise of land values in Nebraska in the past few years. Our subject was married in 1897 to Miss Nora Wilt, daughter of J. W. Wilt, who is part owner of the Naponeee flouring mills, with a capacity of sixty barrels per day. His partner in the business is Mrs. M. E. Polly, his sister-in-law, and widow of James Polly, who was associated with Mr. Wilt up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1890. He was a cousin of Mr. Wilt, and served in the Civil war for four years.

     Mrs. Carter's father is a native of Darke county, Ohio, who came with his father, William Wilt, to Clark county, Iowa, in 1855. John Wilt, Mrs. Carter's great-grandfather, was a native of Pennsylvania, who settled in Darke county, Ohio, previous to the War of 1812, while his wife, Martha Polly, daughter of Rev. James Polly, also of Darke county, Ohio, who was a familiar figure in the history of that section of the country during the early days in which the Alexander Campbell movements resulted in the founding of the Christian or Disciples' church. James Polly afterwards came to Clark county, Iowa, and was among the pioneers in that state. His two brothers, Jacob and Barnhill, were also ministers in the Disciples' church, and the Pollys, together with the Rev. Barnhill Polly, came originally from Pennsylvania.

     Mr. and Mrs. Carter are the parents of two children, namely: Glen and Margaret. The family is well known and highly esteemed throughout the community in which they reside. Mrs. Carter is a woman of charming personality, and a fine musician and a graduate of the Lincoln Normal School. She is very active in musical circles, and an earnest worker in the Disciples church, of which the family are members. Her mother was before her marriage Miss Asenith Ann Wiley, of Wayne county, Indiana. Mr. Carter is a Mason and a member of the Chapter at Atwood, Kansas.


     Fred C. Tschabold, one of the energetic farmers and ranchmen of Sioux county, Nebraska, is also an old settler of that region. He is the owner of a valuable estate and his home is one of the most pleasant to be found in the locality. The road leading up to his residence follows the course of a deep ravine, or creek bed, which is dry all the year round except a few days each spring, and one cannot imagine anything more picturesque than this driveway, as it winds gracefully, with high banks, which are covered with beautiful foliage and trees. Assisting nature, Mrs. Tschabold has added greatly to the beauty of this road by planting many flowers by the wayside, making it a spot which leaves a most pleasant memory in the eye of the beholder.

     Mr. Tschabold was born in the city of Berne, (sic) Switzerland, in 1853, and was the son of C. J. Tschabold, a government official of that country. His mother was, prior to her marriage, Miss Margaretta Berger, and she

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 863

died when our subject was a lad of nine years. Three years later he came to America, and after landing in New York city spent a short time in New York state, then went to New Jersey, and finally settled in Iowa, where he spent about five years. He next came to Nebraska, locating in Cuming county, following farming in that vicinity. In 1892 he landed in Sioux county and worked rented land at first, later took a homestead in section 21, township 32, range 55, and started to build up a home. He began to break up land for crops, and part of the time was obliged to work out by the day to make a living, receiving the munificent sum of sixty-five cents per day for his labors. While he was away working for others his wife held down the homestead, and to her efforts are due much credit in the accumulating of their property, as she worked bravely to help her husband keep their little home and improve it. They met with much hardship and went through the usual bitter experiences of the pioneers in the west, but managed to get along and gradually improve their homestead, adding land as they became better fixed, and are now the possessors of six hundred and forty acres, situated near the head of West Hat creek, known as "Pine Nook." They have a good water supply and considerable timber, and for two years operated a sawmill on the place. Thirty acres are under cultivation, used for small grains, and he is engaged to quite an extent in stock raising.

     Mr. Tschabold was married in 1885 to Martha Davis, daughter of James Maynard and Jane (Gross) Davis, the father's death occurring when she was a child eighteen months of age, and her mother dying August 17, 1906. Portraits of our subject and his wife appear on another page.

Picture button
     Mr. Tschabold takes a commendable interest in local affairs, and is one of the leading citizens of his township.

     The gentleman whose name appears at the head of this review is one of the strong characters of the community in which he lives, having always taken an advanced position relative to all matters pertaining to the general good, and his mature life finds him surrounded with the evidences of success and comfort. Our subject was born in the state of New York in 1854, and was the son of William H. and Katherine (Mink) Cronk. The father was a native of New York state and came to Nebraska in 1872. The mother was born in New York. Our subject was reared on a farm and was inured to hard work until 1874, when the whole family came west to Nebraska, settling in Valley county on government land. It was here that our subject started out for himself, living in a dugout and sod house, his first team being a yoke of cattle. All supplies and material had to be hauled from Grand Island, sixty-five miles distant. Indians were still in the country and the settlers had to carry their guns with them when they went to the fields, and our subject had many trying experiences with these marauders. Once an Indian attempted to steal a mule out of Mr. Cronk's barn, but the mule objected and practically kicked the robber out of the building. Our subject's wife has been often frightened and seriously annoyed by the roving bands of Indians that infested the prairies. On the old farm were seen traces of a battleground, skulls, bones, graves, relics, ornaments, etc.

     The marriage of our subject with Miss Mary E. Lawler was celebrated in April, 1874. The bride was the daughter of Michael and Anna (Grant) Lawler, both natives of Ireland. Her father was a farmer and carpenter and was one of the pioneers of Lewis county, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Cronk are the parents of seven children: William A., Myrtle L. (dead), Lottie Louise, Adrian St. Elmo, Rodney Earl, Rosetta May, Lillian Z. and George W. The living children are all grown up and are honored citizens of the community in which they live, some of them being married and all engaged in business enterprises of their own.

     Mr. Cronk made his home in Valley county for years and had a fine farm and home and made a splendid success of his agricultural pursuits and became one of the leading old-timers and citizens. December 15, 1893, our subject came to Loup county and settled on his present fine farm of four hundred and eighty acres, where he has made good improvements, built barns, fences and put things in shape for future successful operations. Mr. Cronk has been one of the most active and successful of the early pioneers and is accorded a prominent place among his friends and neighbors, by whom he is held in high esteem. In politics he is a strong Socialist and is pronounced in his views.

     Mr. A. V. Cronk has been quite an inventor. He was patentee of the link car coupler, the adjustable hame and a pump for irrigation purposes, also several other valuable patents. For the want of means he has not pushed his

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 864

patents as he should have done, but is on the lookout for a partner who has means to purchase a half interest. Mr. Cronk and Sam Hesselgesser were the prime promoters of the telephone system through this part of the country, in the counties of Loup, Garfield and Valley.

     Mrs. Cronk has been quite a writer for several of the leading papers and other publications. She is a cultured and scholarly lady and has a large circle of literary and social friends. Mr. and Mrs. Cronk have a daughter, Lillian Z., who will soon graduate with high honors from the Wisconsin College of Music at Milwaukee. The whole family have especially good musical talent.

     Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Cronk will be found on another page of this volume.

Picture button

     C. R. Sawyer is one of the substantial ranchers of Sheridan county, Nebraska. Mr. Sawyer was born in St. Joseph county, Indiana, in 1852. His father, an Ohioan, who served in the One Hundredth Indiana Volunteer Infantry during the Civil war, is still hale and hearty and resides in Iowa. Our subject is the eldest in a family of three, and up to the time of his twenty-fifth year lived at home with his parents. In 1877 he was married to Miss Tacy A. Paxton, daughter of Thomas Paxton and Sarah Knowles Paxton, both of American stock, born and raised in Ohio. The young couple started out for themselves, buying a forty-acre farm, on which they lived for ten years, and at the end of this time, in 1887, came to Sheridan county and located on the farm where he now resides. He at once went to work building up his farm and met with marked success until the beginning of the dry years, when he was compelled to give it up, and engaged in the cattle raising business.

     Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer, named as follows: Clarence O., Opal E. and T. Lucile, all of whom were born in Iowa and raised in Nebraska, where they all received a good common school education in the public schools, after which they assisted their parents on the farm, and are now all nicely located near by.

     Mr. Sawyer came to Sheridan county with practically no capital and has succeeded in building up a nice home, his ranch comprising one thousand acres of deeded land in sections 30 and 31, township 31, range 43, and has his place well stocked and improved, enjoying the fruits of his labor, and declaring that he has seen all the pioneer life he cares for. He has never visited his childhood home since coming west, and says he does not think he would care to return to the east to live.

     Mr. Sawyer is a man of sterling character, universally esteemed by his fellow-men. In politics he is a Democrat, but never votes a straight ticket.


     The above mentioned gentleman has been identified with the farming interests of Phelps county for many years past, and during this time has acquired a valuable estate by dint of his honesty and industry and is classed among the substantial and prominent residents of Williamsburg township.

     Mr. Anderson was born in Sweden and came to this country when fifteen years of age. He came to Phelps county in 1890 from Galesburg, Illinois, to take the position of foreman of the Hawkinson ranch, comprising twenty-four hundred acres, located in Williamsburg and Cottonwood townships on the Platte river. On this ranch they run from four to five hundred steers annually, and besides these feed from two to four hundred each year. All the hay for these cattle is grown on the ranch, and they buy twenty-five hundred bushels of grain each season. They also raise from two to five hundred hogs each season. Our subject was very successful in the management of the large estate, and operated it to the financial benefit of his employers. In 1891 he sowed on this ranch the first alfalfa ever planted in Phelps county, and there is now five hundred acres of this grass on the ranch. This has added wonderfully to the value and importance of the stock industry in western Nebraska. After retiring from the management of this ranch, when it was sold to the present owners, he bought his farm of three hundred and twenty acres of bottom land on the Platte river four miles from Elm creek and fifteen miles north of Holdrege, and also purchased eighty acres in Cottonwood township, building the substantial and comfortable residence he now occupies, and since taking possession of this ranch he has raised from one to two hundred cattle and fifty to two hundred hogs, besides feeding a large number annually. He has all of his land except eight acres planted to alfalfa, and about one hundred and seventy acres of this produces four tons per acres at each cutting. Lately he has sold all his stock and intends to de-

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 865

vote all attention and time to feeding cattle and hogs for market, constantly feeding from two to five cars of cattle and about two carloads of hogs at a time. Before coming to Nebraska he had had a great deal of experience in farming and stock raising in Knox county, Illinois, and he considers this state far ahead of Illinois for these pursuits and would not exchange his lands here for any in that vicinity or any other place he has ever struck, and he says that what he has accomplished here can be done by any young man who has the training, experience and industry for farming and stock raising and feeding.

     Mr. Anderson enjoys a comfortable home and pleasant surroundings, his family consisting of himself, wife, one son and a daughter, the son (Glen) being a telegraph operator for the Union Pacific Railway and the daughter (Nellie) has been a teacher in the Phelps county schools for two years. In the spring of 1907 he moved to Elm Creek, Nebraska, and has retired from active farming and ranching, but owns a fine residence.


     Amos C. Cullers, who for the past score of years has made western Nebraska his home, and during that time has given his best efforts to the task of assisting in the development of his locality, and incidentally building up for himself a good home and productive farm, is one of the old settlers of this region. He remembers well the early days when pioneers were obliged to suffer all manner of hardships and privations in getting their homes started, and he richly deserves the prosperity that has come to him through honest industry and faithful labor. Mr. Cullers' residence is in section 17, township 32, range 53, and he is widely known throughout Sioux county as a man of active public spirit.

     Mr. Cullers was born in Hardy county, West Virginia, in 1856, on a farm. He come of good old American stock, and was raised and educated in the common schools of his native state, and grew up accustomed to all kinds of hard farm work. At the age of twenty-two he struck out for himself, following farm work in the east for a number of years. He came to Sioux county, and at that time the town of Crawford had just been laid out and the sale of lots in progress, many settlers locating there. He picked out a location on Cottonwood creek, in section 17, township 32, range 53, and although he had no capital to start with, at once put up a shanty and started to break land for crops, etc. He gradually improved his place and was able to raise fairly good crops of small grains, planted trees and added good buildings and improvements as he became better able. He had many setbacks in the way of failures caused by drouth (sic), but never lost his courage, and by dint of constant attention to duty, was able to get along pretty well and as the years went by purchased additional land, until he has now become proprietor of a good ranch of seven hundred and twenty acres, which is beautifully situated at the head of Cottonwood creek. He farms about ninety acres of this and uses the balance for pasture and hay land, as he raises a large number of cattle and other stock each year. Mr. Cullers has one of the finest orchards in his locality, including all the small fruits, apples, plums, etc.

     Mr. Cullers was married in West Virginia, on December 25, 1880, to Martha Shipe, also born and reared in that state. Of this union five children have been born, namely: George, Nora, Ira, Dorothy and Archie.

     Our subject has always taken an active part in local politics. He was elected county commissioner in 1903, serving up to 1906, and for three years he held the office of precinct assessor in Cottonwood precinct. He has also been deputy assessor in three different precincts in Sioux county. He is a Democrat in politics.


     Among the early settlers in Brown county, Nebraska, who have been instrumental in the development and growth of the agricultural and commercial resources of this section of the country, the gentleman above named takes a leading place. Mr. Wales resides on his fine farm in Lakeland, where he enjoys the fruits of his hard labor in years gone by surrounded by comfort and plenty.

     Mr. Wales is a native of Portage county, Ohio, born on his father's farm July 22, 1849. The latter, Asaph Wales, was of American stock, as was the mother, whose maiden name was Rowena Alford. In a family of three children our subject was the second member, growing to manhood in his native county, attending the country schools until eighteen, when he became an apprentice in a wagon shop at Windham, serving three years; and he afterwards followed his trade for four years, two winters of this time at River Falls, Wisconsin. In company with his brother Francis, Mr. Wales secured land

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 866

in Mower county, Minnesota, under a land warrant issued to their grandfather, Oliver Alford, for services in the war of 1812 and they have farmed together for nine years.

     In 1884 Mr. Wales and his brother came to Brown county and settled on a tract of wild prairie land situated thirty miles southwest of Ainsworth, in Lakeland. Here they put up a farm house, sodding it over, in which they lived for many years. When they arrived here they had three horses and a carload of cattle to start with, and at once went to work building up the ranch, which now comprises fourteen hundred and forty acres, all but three quarter sections being deeded land, and here they are engaged in stock raising on an extensive scale. Mr. Wales had Lakeland postoffice established on his place, of which his wife has served as postmaster from its opening. Mr. Wales was also active in organizing Lakeland precinct, and in getting good schools started in his district, helping to build five sod school houses in that locality. Mrs. Wales served as teacher the first two terms and taught one term in the Moon lake district. She has also been active in organizing and maintaining Sunday schools. Mr. Wales has done more than his share in building up the country and richly deserves the success he has attained in the possession of his fine estate. July 1, 1893, the family witnessed the complete destruction of their home by a cyclone that swept that region with its fury.

     Mr. Wales is a strong Republican, active in local and county affairs, having served as justice of the peace for many years past.

     On December 18, 1877, Mr. Wales was married to Miss Mary Cox, born in Watoma, Waushara county, Wisconsin, November 6, 1856; she is a daughter of Frederick Cox, a native of England, and her mother, Olive Grover, is a descendant of the Hamilton family which came to America in the Mayflower.

     Mr. and Mrs. Wales have a family of three children, namely: Frank A., Claude L. and Malah. They are members of the Congregational church, and Mr. Wales affiliates with the Ancient Order of United Workmen of Johnstown.


     August F. Ladwig, a well known and highly esteemed old settler of Perkins county, Nebraska, has devoted the past forty years of his life to the active pursuit of agriculture in different parts of the state, and is now proprietor of an excellent ranch situated on section 34, township 10, range 35, where he has met with pronounced success in his chosen occupation.

     Mr. Ladwig was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1846, and is a son of Peter Ladwig, who married Maria Ladwig, who, though having the same name, was in no way related to him, they coming to America with their little family and settling in Wisconsin. While in Germany he was engaged in the stock business, buying and shipping cattle. He eventually died in Wisconsin. August grew up in his native land, served three years in the German army, this experience proving of great benefit to him in later years. He was discharged from the service in 1870, and then came to the United States, locating in Wisconsin with his people, following farm work most of the time, and also working in the lumber woods for three winters. He was employed in a grain elevator in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, for two years, then left the state and came to Nebraska, his first location being in Seward county, and after one year in that vicinity returned to Wisconsin, taking a homestead in the lumber regions there.

     He tried hard to get a farm started, working hard and faithfully, but the stumps, stone and mud were more than he could stand, so he finally sold out and came back to Seward county, locating at Seward, where he clerked in a hardware store, employed by J. F. Goehner, remaining there for a short time, then went into the hardware business in partnership with his brother Albert, establishing a store at Fullerton, Nebraska, and ran the business for one year. In the spring of 1886 he came to Perkins county and took a homestead tree claim in Marvin precinct, "batching it" in a sod house for six years, always being able to make a living and gradually improve his place. He went through the usual hard times experienced by the early settlers in the region, but stuck to his place and by industry and thrift managed to get considerable ahead in the way of improving his homestead, stocking up with cattle, etc., and building it up in good shape. He owns six hundred and forty acres, which is one of the most valuable tracts in the locality, and every cent of his property has been accumulated through his own efforts and good management. In 1891, without the aid of another person he succeeded in raising a crop of twenty-three hundred bushels of grain. During the hard times of 1893-96 Mr. Ladwig never had any idea of leaving the country as so many did, but "hung

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 867

on" and is now a citizen who is a credit to the community.

     Mr. Ladwig is engaged principally in stock raising, having quite a bunch of very fine horses, and in the early days he was known far and near as "the man with the fat horses." taking especial pride in his animals.

     Mr. Ladwig was married in 1892 to Miss Maria Hopping, a native of New Jersey.

     Our subject has always done everything in his power to further the best interests of the community in which he resided, and deserves great credit for the efforts he has put forth in behalf of his fellows. He was elected county commissioner in the fall of 1894, serving in that capacity for three years.


     Reuben W. Mahaffy, who has spent many years of his career in western Nebraska, is one of the leading citizens of that section of the country. He came here during the earliest days of its settlement, has watched its growth and development, and incidentally assisted in a large measure to build up the region, as he has really improved three different places since locating here. He now resides fifteen miles southwest of the town of Mullen, where he owns a splendid ranch of two thousand acres, which is considered one of the finest ranches in Hooker county.

     Mr. Mahaffy was born near Burlington, Henderson county, Illinois, in 1866, on a farm. His father, William, born in the north part of Ireland, was a prominent stockman and pioneer of Iowa, lived there for many years and his death occurred in Montgomery county, Iowa, in 1886. His wife was Ellen Small, of American blood, while he was of Scotch-Irish descent. The mother was reared in Ohio.

     When our subject was a small boy the family moved to Iowa, settling in Montgomery county, and there he was raised and educated, attending the country schools, and assisting his parents in the farm work. At the age of nineteen he was left an orphan and was compelled to start out and make his own way in the world, and live on the home farm for about two years, carrying that on as best he could. In 1890 he came to Nebraska, locating in Custer county, opened a ranch and operated it for three years. He then moved to Grant county and started another ranch, putting up sod buildings after a short time, but at first his family lived in a tent. Whitman, situated thirty miles northwest of his place, was the nearest town, and he was obliged to haul all supplies from that town. His ranch was located on North Dismal river, and he succeeded in building up a good home, remaining there up to 1904, then came to his present homestead. This he has improved in good shape, erecting substantial buildings, putting fences around the whole place, drilling wells, etc., and it is a valuable property, containing in all twenty hundred acres, all good range land with plenty of pasture, etc.

     Mr. Mahaffy was married at Red Oak, Iowa, in 1889, to Marian E. Eddy, daughter of Levens Eddy, a prominent educator of that vicinity, and who settled in Iowa as a pioneer, coming from Kentucky.


     The gentleman whose name heads this personal history has spent many years in building up a name and home, and probably no one is better known among the old settlers of western Nebraska than he. For the past thirty years he has been closely identified with the upbuilding of the best interests of his locality, and is now living a quiet and retired life in Scandinavian township, where he has a beautiful home surrounded by all the comforts of a peaceful rural community.

     Mr. Shumard is a native of Clermont county, Ohio, born in 1845. He is a son of Thomas Shumard, whose father, also Thomas Shumard, was one of the first settlers in the city of Cincinnati. He came from New Jersey, coming in a flat boat down the Ohio river, settling in Hamilton county, where his family was raised. Our subject's mother was Miss Mary Knott, daughter of John Knott, also of that county. Mr. Shumard grew up there, and in 1861 enlisted in Company G, Forty-eighth Ohio Regiment, and served during the entire war, receiving his discharge in June, 1866. He was with the Army of the Tennessee for over three years, and afterward at Tyler, Texas, as a prisoner. He fought at the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Pittsburg Landing, and at the first battle, siege and capture of Corinth, Holly Springs, Memphis, Arkansas Post and Post Gipson, all through the campaign and siege of Vicksburg, and afterward in the Red river campaign with Banks. He also took part in the Cross Roads campaign and was captured by the rebels at that battle, but saved the flag, which was the only case on record of a prisoner's concealing the union colors and brought them back to his regiment. This flag is now at the state house, at Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Shumard was only sixteen years

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 868

of age when he enlisted, and during his many battles received more than one wound, but he has a brilliant record as a brave soldier. He was at Fort Blakely on the day of Johnson's surrender to General Sherman.

     In 1879 Mr. Shumard came to Nebraska, homesteading one hundred and sixty acres on section 24, Scandinavian township, Harlan county, and has resided on this place ever since. His first dwelling was a dugout, in which he lived for six years, and at the end of that time erected a comfortable farm house and has always been engaged in mixed farming here.

     In 1883 our subject was united in marriage to Miss Mary Beam. She is a daughter of William Beam, whose father, John Beam, was one of the oldest settlers at Cincinnati, Ohio, coming there very early from Pennsylvania. Mrs. Shumard's mother was Ellen Robinson, from Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Shumard are the parents of one child, Raymond, aged eighteen years, living at home.

     Mr. Shumard is a man of active traits and broad mind. He has been a splendid local and county official, faithful in all things. He is clean-cut, straightforward and vigilant, and a splendid type of farmer and public official. He is one of the organizers and secretary and manager of the Wilcox and Ragan Telephone Company. He has served on the school board as secretary ever since 1880, and was town clerk and justice of the peace. He was elected county supervisor in 1895 and has served for twelve years continuously. He was appointed postmaster in 1907 by President Roosevelt. He is an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic post at Huntley, Nebraska, and is a prominent Mason and Workman. He also acts as class leader of the local Methodist Episcopal church, and has carried on this work for the past twenty years. Politically, he has always been a Republican.


     The gentleman whose name heads this personal history is a prosperous and successful ranchman of Morrill, formerly Cheyenne, county, being proprietor of a valuable tract of land in Redington precinct, situated on Lawrence Forks creek, well improved with buildings, orchards and groves. He is known as one of the leading men of his locality, who has done much to bring about the present success of the same.

     Henry Niehus was born December 24, 1855, in the village of Besenbeck, near Elmshorn, province of Holstein, Germany, and came to the United States when he was a lad of sixteen, sailing from Hamburg March 1, 1871, in the Holsalia. After a voyage of eighteen days he landed in New York, and came to Grand Island, Nebraska, where friends had preceded him. He remained there until 1880, following fence construction and contract hay making most of the time. He then went to Cheyenne, Wyoming, riding the range in that country for ten years in the employ of the "Two Bar" and Warren Company's ranches. He returned to Nebraska and filed on a homestead which he later sold. After disposing of the property he purchased nine hundred and twenty acres on sections 11 and 12, township 18, range 52, now increased to over a thousand acres, and has developed this into a fine place. Four hundred acres are under cultivation with a good orchard of four hundred trees and eight hundred grape vines, besides much large natural timber, big groves, plenty of running water the year around, and everything to make it an ideal homestead. Seventy acres are irrigated. He has erected good buildings of all descriptions, including granary, cribs, barns and sheds for the accommodation of two hundred and fifty head of cattle and fifty horses, also keeping one hundred hogs each year. Ten teams are required for the work of this extensive farm. A view of the home with a partial view of the fine natural timber is presented on another page of our work.

Picture button
     Mr. Niehus was married at Grand Island, Nebraska, on November 25, 1879, to Miss Dora Foellmer, who was born in Kratzeber, province of Thuringia, Germany, and came to America in 1871. Four children have been born to them, as follows: Anna, now the wife of Ray Haskell, living in Bridgeport; Hilda and Joseph, at home; and Theresa, married to W. E. Bardan, residing near Redington.

     In times past Mr. Niehus has been an active member of the local school board, and has always taken an active interest in all local and county affairs. He is a Republican, politically, and a member of Redington Camp, No. 2607, Modern Woodmen of America. In December, 1907, he revisited the old country after an absence of thirty-seven years. Of course, not even his sister knew him, though neighbors could see a family resemblance, finally concluding he must be the lost Niehus who went to America so many years before. His venerable mother was delighted to see him and he intends soon revisiting the old home again. He brought back with him a fine variety of German potatoes, a winter bar-

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 869

ley, which promises to be a valuable addition to the grain products of western Nebraska.


     George A. Camm is one of the leading old settlers of Cherry county, Nebraska, where he has built up a comfortable home and farm on the south half of section 24, township 34, range 28. He came here when this section was very sparsely populated and by his industry and perseverance has gained a wide reputation as a successful agriculturist and worthy citizen.

     Mr. Camm was born in Cleveland, Ohio, January 24, 1852. His father, James M. Camm, a native of Sacket's Harbor, New York, was a soldier in three wars: The Florida, the Mexican, and later in the Civil war. In the latter war he served ninety days in the Fourteenth Wisconsin as first lieutenant which he resigned to raise Company G in the Forty-first Wisconsin, of which he was elected captain. The family moved from New York to Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1861, and there reared their family of four children, of whom our subject is the second member. He remained with his parents until fifteen years of age, then secured employment on the Chicago & Northwestern railroad, as newsboy, running between Oshkosh and Green Bay, but was only in the work a short time when his parents made him quite the road and return to school. After leaving school he returned to railroading and followed that occupation for twelve years, most of the time in service on the Green Bay & Minnesota railway as wiper, fireman and engineer. It was during this time railroads changed from wood to coal for fuel and Mr. Camm wad employed four years teaching the firemen on the peninsula division the use of coal. In 1881 he left the railroad and moved to Cherry county, locating with his father on homesteads of three hundred and twenty acres in section 24, township 34, range 28, and still lives on this land, having purchased his father's quarter section after he had proved up on the title, living in Nebraska from 1881 to 1896. His first house on this farm was a stockade house with a stable in one end and hog house adjoining the building, the living rooms for the family being in the middle of the building. The sod roof of this was so defective that during rainy weather the family lived in a tent erected in front of the living rooms. He had one ox team when he came, but did use them long, purchasing a team of horses costing two hundred and fifty dollars, and within twenty-four hours after buying the team, one horse died. This is but one of the many incidents that made up the sum of hard times in Nebraska; and another, his being obliged in the harvest of one crop of corn and vegetables, to use a wheelbarrow for hauling it to the barns. By determination and hard work he gradually improved his place, and now has a fine tract of land which is continually rising in value. There are three hundred and twenty acres, all of which is under fence, with a good set of farm buildings all in good condition, a new barn replacing one destroyed by fire in 1907. Although he often became discouraged in contending with the many misfortunes that have overtaken him since coming here, Mr. Camm's resolute character has carried him safely through to final success. He farms about one hundred and thirty acres, which supports a goodly number of stock and when farm work is not pressing adds to his store by freighting between Valentine and Rosebud Agency. He was one of the first to carry mail between these points, in which service he was engaged four and a half years, in all but six months of which time he had the contract in his own name.

     Mr. Camm was married in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, October 22, 1884, to Miss May Stephenson, a native of Wisconsin, who was at that time attending the State Normal School. Seven children have been born of this union, named: Hazel, Harry, Nellie, Ethel Bessie, James, Magdalena and Winnifred E., all of whom are natives of Cherry county, and all are living except Ethel B., who was killed April 24, 1901, by the wheels of a freight wagon, and Winnifred E., lost in the burning of the barn in February, 1907.

     Mr. Camm takes an active part in all local affairs, being prominent in the school district of which he is director, and aims to do his full share as a citizen and neighbor. He has never sought any political office, but is interested in all county and state affairs of importance, voting the straight Republican ticket. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and Modern Woodmen of American lodges of Valentine.


     George W. Snyder, one of the leading and influential ranchers of Keith county, Nebraska, was born in Bureau county, Illinois, March 18, 1856, of German descent, his father, Henry

Horizontal Bar

Prior page
Name index
Next page
© 2002 for NEGenWeb Project Resource Center by Marilyn Estrada, T&C Miller