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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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many discouragements at first on account of the unsettled condition of the country and met with losses in crops and cattle, he gradually forged ahead and was able to improve his land extensively. He erected good buildings, and worked into the stock business, at the present time having over eighty head of cattle and quite a bunch of horses. He has one hundred and sixty acres under cultivation, raising good crops of small grain, and has been very successful in both farming and the stock business, owning about eight hundred acres jointly with his wife.

     Mr. Johnson was married to Mrs. Bettie Nelson, at Sidney, Nebraska, November 24, 1895. Mrs. Johnson was born in Sweden and was a widow with two children, Ernest Alfred and John Oscar, when she was married to our subject. Mr. Johnson's parents are both dead, having spent their entire lives in Sweden. The family have a wide acquaintance in the locality, and enjoy the esteem and respect of all who know them. Mr. Johnson is prominent in local affairs and known throughout the county as a citizen of sterling worth and a farmer of intelligence and enterprise. In political sentiment he is a Republican. Religiously he was reared in the Lutheran faith.



     The name of Harry L. Bartlett is a familiar one to the residents of Dawes county, Nebraska, where he has lived for many years, locating here when this region was practically in its infancy, and has taken a leading part in its development and growth from its early settlement. He owns a well improved and valuable estate in section 6, township 29, range 47, and enjoys a pleasant and happy home.

     Mr. Bartlett was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1865. His father, Alfred E., married Rebecca Putnam, also born and raised in Massachusetts, and they afterwards came west and were among the oldest settlers in Nebraska, where the father engaged in the farming and ranching business. The subject of our sketch was but three years of age when his parents settled in Audubon county, Iowa, and he was reared and educated there, attending the country schools during his boyhood. At the age of twenty Mr. Bartlett came to Nebraska and settled on a homestead in the southeastern corner of Dawes county, "batching it" for several years, living near a brother who had settled here some years before. He. proved up on his claim, and was in the cattle business from the first, farming a small portion of his place, and during the hard times working in the Black Hills in the mines. He spent a short time at Deadwood. He filed on another homestead in section 12, township range 48, and remained for four years, farming during that time, but proved up also and located on his present farm in 1893. Here he bought land, put up buildings and developed a good ranch and has been most successful in every venture, the place consisting of thirty two quarter sections, a large part of which he along the Pepper creek. He has it all fenced and cross fenced, and devotes his time to the sheep raising business principally although he has about thirty horses and a few head of cattle. One hundred and fifty acres are devoted to farming purposes, raising small grain, corn, oats, etc., for feed for his stock.

     In the early days of Mr. Bartlett's residence here he went through many rough experience in traveling by team through the wild country, surrounded by wild beasts and spending many a night sleeping on the snow covered ground. For some time he was employed as a stage driver, carrying the mail from Hay Springs to Nonpareil in Box Butte county, and at that time there were only three dwelling places on the road between these two towns.

     Mr. Bartlett was united in marriage in 1893, to Miss Bessie Fenner, daughter of Bradford Fenner, an old settler in this state. Prior to her marriage Mrs. Bartlett was a teacher in the schools of Dawes county. Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett are the parents of two children namely: Arthur, aged fourteen years, and Raymond, aged ten years.

     Mr. Bartlett is a Republican in his politic views and takes a keen interest in party affairs.



     The above named gentleman resides section 3, township 32, range 44. of Sheridan county. He was born in Holstein, German in 1857, and was raised on a farm there until twenty-three years of age. His father, Max Rohwer, who was born in 1817 and died in 1899, and his mother, who was Margaret Rohwer, born in 1818, and died in 1900, never left the fatherland. There were three boys and two daughters in the family, our subject being the youngest member of the boys. He started working for himself on farms in Germany when sixteen years old, but spent some time at home with his parents, and in 1880 he came to America. locating in Fremont, Nebraska. Here he worked out on farms for

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two years, then spent a year in Wyoming and a short time was in eastern Iowa.

     In the spring of 1884 he filed on his present pre-emption. He had shipped a car of stock from Walcott, Iowa, to Valentine, and drove them from there to his farm. At this time he had two other Germans in partnership with him. He immediately began building a set of farm buildings on his place, and the house he put up then is still standing. During the first year he worked on the railroad and the following year broke up some land and put in a crop. He "batched it" on his claim up to 1886, when he was married to Miss Annie Shicowsky, born in Holstein, Germany, in 1863, who came to America when a young woman, settling in Sheridan county. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Rohwer, who are named as follows: Emma, Olga, Minnie and Johnnie, all born and raised on the present pre-emption.

     For a few years everything went along nicely. Mr. Rohwer raised a few good crops and was just nicely started when the dry years came, and from 1893 up to 1897 he had hard work to keep things going. He often felt very discouraged and would have left the place if he had found a buyer, but now is very thankful that he stuck to it. Times got better and he has succeeded in a marked degree. He now owns four hundred and eighty acres of good farming land, and cultivates about one hundred and thirty acres, keeping about fifty head of cattle and twelve horses. He has erected a good set of farm buildings, and has his land all fenced and cross fenced. During 1906 he put up a fine house and large barn, costing him about two thousand dollars. He is well satisfied with what he has done since coming here, and feels that he could not have done any better in either Germany or Iowa, and probably not nearly so well. He does not care to sell his holdings, and would not care to live anywhere else, as he likes the location and has every convenience of a model rural home, with the mail brought to his home every day, and pleasant and comfortable surroundings.

     Mr. Rohwer is not a party man in local affairs, and never held any office except local, and never sought one. He is a Republican.

     Mr. Rohwer is an industrious and energetic worker, and shows good judgment and marked ability in all his business dealings. He is much above the average in intelligence and is always interested in all that tends to the advancement of conditions in his locality. He tells of the hard times he passed through during the drouth periods, and, states that at one time he seeded about fifty bushels of wheat, and did not raise enough to get the seed back. Of late years he has raised as high as thirty-three bushels of wheat per acre, thirty of corn and about sixty of oats, and his potatoes have yielded a banner crop, going nearly one hundred bushels to the acre.



     Among the active workers in local political and educational affairs in Keya Paha county, Nebraska, and one who has always taken a deep interest in the development of the commercial and agricultural interests of his locality, the gentleman above mentioned takes a prominent place.

     Mr. Campbell was born in Adams county, Iowa, March 28, 1858, and reared on his father's farm. The latter, Benjamin C. Campbell, served in Company F, Twenty-first Missouri Regiment. for three years, and had two brothers killed in that war. In 1863, while the father was still in the army, the mother, who in her youth was Elizabeth Scott, moved with her family to Adair county, and in 1871 migrated to Polk county, Nebraska. In a family of seven children, our subject was the third in order of birth. At twenty years of age he began farming for himself in Polk county, attending Cornell College, in Iowa, until he was twenty-six. He came to Keya Paha county in 1884, taking up a homestead on section 2; township 33, range 24, his present farm. He put up all his buildings himself, using the timber from his own land, on which there is also plenty of fine running water. During the first years he went through hard times, and was obliged to haul all provisions from Ainsworth, his nearest trading post. He had but little money to start with and worked hard to establish his farm and home, but has been amply rewarded for his labors. He now has four hundred and eighty acres of deeded land and two hundred and eighty acres under the Kincaid homestead law, cultivating one hundred acres of this and using the balance for hay and pasture land for his stock, of which he keeps from seventy-five to eighty head of cattle, part of them registered Shorthorns, and thirty good horses. He has of late taken up the breeding of mules.

     Mr. Campbell was married in Polk county, April 13, 1884, to Miss Tennie Arnott, a native of Wisconsin, who came to Polk county with her parents, David and Jane (Forsythe) Arnott, in 1882. Five children have been born

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to them, namely: Arthur D., Evan H., Ellen, Ida, and Flora, all living at home at the present except Arthur, who is lumbering in Washington.

     Mr. Campbell is a man of wide experience and superior intellect. He received a good education, and for seven years followed ministerial work in Brown and Cherry counties in the Methodist Episcopal church. He has also been active in political circles, is a Republican and elected county treasurer in 1889, serving four years. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen.



     The gentleman whose name heads this personal review is well known in Kimball county as a progressive agriculturist and stock grower, having up to 1907 been engaged in the sheep raising business, also a prominent shipper of his locality. He is now a resident of the town of Kimball, connected with the blacksmithing department in P. Maginnis' establishment.

     George Gunderson was born in Florence, Nebraska, January 9, 1875. He is a brother of Hans Gunderson, one of the early settler in western Nebraska, and was the second youngest child in his father's family, growing up on the frontier and is a typical representative of the sturdy native born and bred Nebraskan. A sketch of this brother appears elsewhere in this volume. In 1888 our subject came to Kimball county and filed on a homestead on section 30, township 14, range 53, proved up and lived there for several years, going through all the early hardships of the pioneers in the section. He sold this homestead and now has a Kinkaid claim of four hundred and eighty acres in section 26, township 14, range 54, on which he raises sheep and horses, also farms about forty acres of the place. He ahs been very successful in his different enterprises, and for so young a man is the possessor of a tidy fortune, gained through his individual effort, thrift and good management.

     Mr. Gunderson was married at Kimball, in September, 1898, to Miss Gertrude Frederickson, who was born in Denmark and came to the United States about the year 1892. They have three children , all bright and interesting young people, and they are named as follows: Ida, Helen and George Carol.

     In 1904 Mr. Gunderson was elected coroner of Kimball county, and held that office one term, proving himself a capable official. He is Republican.



     Isadore D. Whaley, a prominent business man of Hyannis, Nebraska, has built up a good home and acquired a leading position in the affairs of the community through his integrity and honesty in all his dealings.

     Mr. Whaley was born in Simcoe, Lower Canada, in 1863. His father, Milton Whaley, was a native of Ireland, and his mother, who was Loretta Green, was born in America, of Irish descent. He was reared in Ohio, the family having settled there in his early boyhood, and he attended the common schools, and later the high school at Geneva, Ohio, from which he was graduated in 1885. He also took a course at Payne Avenue Schools, Cleveland, Ohio, and acquired a thorough schooling, which stood him in good stead during his later career.

     After leaving school he traveled for a time, going all through Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, spending several years at Minneapolis, engaged in the furniture business. He next went to Colorado and was in Leadville during the early history of that region. From there he moved to southern Colorado, then to New Mexico, so that by the time he was twenty-two years of age he had seen more of the United States than many men twice that age, and through travel had acquired a wide knowledge of conditions existing in different parts of the country. He returned to Ohio in about 1885, settling in Ashtabula county, and made that his home for about five years, then came west to Nebraska, his first location being Grand Island. After spending three years in that vicinity he associated himself with the Burlington railroad with head quarters at Dunning, and was in the employ of that company for two years. He came to Grant county, still working for the Burlington railway, and has spent in all thirteen years in the service of that road. During his early residence in this vicinity he had taken up a homestead in section 31, township 24, range 31, Grant county, and now owns a tract of six hundred and forty acres.

     Mr. Whaley was married in 1885, to Hattie Williams, daughter of James H. and Hattie E. (Stevens) Williams, the father a prominent veteran of the Civil war, and an old settler in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Our subject is the father of three children, namely: Milton H., Ella and Charles. The family occupy a pleasant home in Hyannis, Nebraska, and are highly esteemed by all, and considered among the leading old timers of the region. Mr. Whaley has always been actively engaged in

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helping to build up his community, assisting in the development of the agricultural section and is a worthy citizen. Personally he is broad-minded and liberal in all matters, and has had a large and varied experience in the affairs of his country for so young a man.

     Special mention should be made to Mr. I. D. Whaley's children, and also his son-in-law, as they are among the most widely know musicians of the west. They have an orchestra of their own and have played in eastern and western Nebraska. Milton H. Whaley is a prominent cornet player: Ella Whaley, now Mrs. C. E. Frostic, is a pianist: Charles Whaley is a clarionet player and Mr. C.E. Frostic, the son-in-law, is a violin player.



     Henry Grosenbach, of Emerson township, Harlan county, Nebraska, extensive land owner and successful farmer, came to this county in 1887, purchasing a farm in section 1, consisting of six hundred and forty acres. He was born in Tazewll county, Illinois, and his father, Jocob Grosenbach, settled there in the pioneer days of that state, faming on forty acres, and eventually became a large land owner. He came from Germany as did also his wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Rorebach. Our subject was raised in Illinois and farmed there up to 1887, then moved to Nebraska, engaging in mixed farming and stock raising, and from the very first has been most successful. He has kept adding to his holding in this county and is now proprietor of over two thousand acres of land, and is one of the wealthiest men in his locality.

     He devotes all of his time and attention to his farming operation, and everything is kept in the finest condition possible, with every improvement for the prompt carrying on of farm and domestic work.

     Mr. Grosenbach was married in November, 1874, to Miss Elenora Ficht, a native of Tazewell county, Illinois, also born and raised there. They have a family of ten children, named as follows: Henry, Daniel and John, all of this county: Edward, living at Lincoln, Nebraska: Lizzie (married), Katie (married), and the other three children deceased.

     The family are members of the Evangelical church, and highly respected members of their community. Our subject and family removed from the farm to Mascot Village in September, 1908. He built a fine residence with modern conveniences. He has retired from active life.



     The gentleman whose name heads this review is one of the foremost citizens of this locality. He is one of the early settler in Nebraska, and has done his full share in the development of the agricultural interests of the community where he chose to make his home. He lives on a well improved farm in Brown county, and is a representative farmer and worthy citizen. An interesting picture of his place will be found on another page of this volume.

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     Mr. Toulson, was born in the village of Caythorp, Lincolnshire, England, July 5, 1837. His parents were day laborers in England, where they lived and died, never having left the mother country. Our subject was reared in the locality in which he was born, with meager school advantages. He began working out at the age of six years, scaring birds and picking stones, doing more strenuous labor as soon as he grew old enough. He determine to strike out for himself, and 1873 came to America, sailing from Liverpool, October 2d on the City of Paris, of the Inman line, landing in New York October 12th, locating in Crawford county, Iowa. He secured work, saving his wages with which to send for his family, which he did in the spring of 1875, they joining him in June. In 1883 he located in Nebraska, settling on his present farm in section 10, township 31, range 22, where in time he acquired four hundred and eighty acres, of which he has since given a half section to his son. Here he was among the first settlers in this locality, there being but one house between Ainsworth and Plum creek, the whole country being practically a wilderness. The place he settled on had no improvement whatever, but he went to work and soon had built up a good home, and gradually added the improvements necessary for funning a successful farm.

     He and his son Tom together now own eight hundred acres of land, part of which is in a high state of cultivation. He also has one of the finest orchards to be found in Brown county, containing five hundred fruit trees of all kinds, in splendid condition. His garden is one of the best kept and most productive in the locality in which he resides.

     Mr. Toulson was married in Manham-on-Trent, England, November 5, 1860, to Miss Jane Hunt. Six children have been born to them, four of whom are now living, named as follows: George, deceased; Enoch; Mary Jane, wife of Oscar McIntosh, of Washington; Ann Elizabeth, who married George Remert, of Ainsworth; Rachel, deceased, and

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