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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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ing in a very primitive style, building a sod shanty to live in and breaking his first land with a team of oxen. The years passed and although there were many disappointments in the yield of the farm, yet he has prospered and has developed a fine home and farm and built up a fine stock business. He runs about one hundred and forty head of cattle, cultivating only one hundred and sixty acres of this one thousand two hundred and eighty-acre ranch, most of the land being devoted to grazing purposes. A fine frame dwelling of six rooms was built near the old "soddy", so many years the family residence, in the fall of 1908, a dwelling of which he may well be proud. It is the subject of one of our illustrations on another page.

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     Mr. Cuickshank was married in Aberdeen, Scotland, February 7, 1880, to Miss Maggie Keith, a native of Aberdeenshire and daughter of William and Christina (Sim) Keith. This marriage has been blessed with the following named children: David, Jr., married and living on a ranch near the home place; Anna, wife of Frank Drake, a farmer of Dawson county, Nebraska; William (deceased); John, Jessie, wife of William Hecht, a meat dealer of Kearney, Nebraska; George, Bessie and Walter.

     Mr. Cuickshank has been one of Keith county's most prominent and progressive citizens and has taken a deep interest in the growth and affairs of his community. He has done his share toward the material development of the locality in which he has lived for so many years. He is Republican in political views and religiously is a Presb;yterian. In his younger days he personally acquainted with George Cruickshank, then a very old man, Great Britain's most famous cartoonist, though no kinsman unless in a very remote degree.


     Gardner H. Folsom is one of the well-to-do farmers of Cherry county. Mr. Folsom was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, January 16, 1857, and reared on a farm. His father was Rodney Folsom, of English descent, his forefathers having emigrated from England in 1637. His mother was Charolette Macomber, of Scotch-Irish decent, born in Vermont. During the Civil war Rodney Folsom served in the One Hundred and Ninth New York Regiment, and died in St Lawrence county in 1873. Our subject is the third in a family of five children. He started in life for himself at the age of eighteen years, following all kinds of work, in 1876 going into the pineries of Wisconsin, and at the end of ten years was head sawyer at a salary of four dollars per day.

     In 1881 he was married to Miss Jennie Kyen, born in Norway in 1859. Her father was Siven Kyen, and her mother, Christine Ross, they coming to America in 1867 with their family of four children, of whom Jennie was the second. Two children have been born to Mr. And Mrs. Folsom; Lottie, wife of Newton Gates, of Gordon; and Pearl C.

     In 1886 our subject came to Cherry county, locating on his present home, taking a pre-emption and tree claim, holding the latter until 1904, also taking by purchase an additional seven or eight hundred acres. His ranch now comprises four hundred and eighty acres of deeded land and a homestead, situated in section 30, township 35, range 37, on which he has erected on of the finest ranch houses in the county. He controls by lease and otherwise about seventeen hundred acres of land, and is constantly improving his property, running one hundred head of cattle and eighty-five horses.

     Mr. Folsom has met with reverses at different times, having been burned out, losing even all clothing, so that the family was obliged to wrap themselves in blankets until clothing could be borrowed from the neighbors. He was one of the old settler in this locality and in the days his wife cooked the family meals over a fire built in a hole in the ground as a substitute for a stove. They have had heavy financial losses, experiencing all the hard times that the pioneers saw, and Mr. Folsom yearns for more of the old-time frontier life, although Mrs. Folsom declares she has seen enough of it and prefers the comforts they are able to enjoy. At one time in his career, Mr. Folsom went into the hotel business at Spencer, Wisconsin, coming out loser, having to work two years to pay his indebtedness before he could come west. He afterwards engaged in the cattle business with a partner and there lost considerable money, being obliged to dispose of a part of his land to get out of company debt and settle the estate.

Mr. Folsom is a Republican. He has been justice of the peace and has held other local offices.


     In the person of Capt. James S. Robbins, of Wallace, Lincoln county, Nebraska, we find the genial postmaster of that place, popular as a public official, and highly esteemed as a worthy citizen.

     Mr. Robbins was born at Sodus Point, Wayne county, New York, April 25, 1838, going to Richland county, Ohio, with his parents

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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in 1839, and afterward to Huron county, that state, where they lived for fifteen years. They moved to Hillsdale county, Michigan, when he was eighteen years of age, and three years later he left home and went to DeKalb county, Illinois, following teaching at Malta for some time. On May 7, 1862, he enlisted in the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, serving for three months, then re-enlisted in the Ninety-fifth Illinois and served up to the close of the ware, being mustered out August 21, 1865. During all of this time he was with the Army of the Tennessee, and took part in the battles at Pittsburg Landing, Corinth, Vicksburg, the Atlanta campaign, at Franklin and Nashville, having the almost unparalleled record of his regiment, never making a march or fighting a battle in his absence. At the storming of Vicksburg the Ninety-fifth Regiment lost two hundred and sixty-two men killed and wounded in the short space of fiteen minutes. Our subject comes of a long line of fighting men, his grandfather, Serel Robbins, were natives of Oneida couty, New York. He has an uncle, Reverend Samuel F. Porter, who is a minister of the Congregational demonination and lives at Oberline, Ohio, now ninety-four years of age.

     Mr. Robbins came to Nebraska after leaving the army in 1865, locating in Nemaha county, and lived there up to 1893 he was appointed postmaster under McKinley and moved to Wallace. He was the first postmaster at Grant, now Tallmadge, Nebraska, appointed in 1867, and acted in this capacity for two years. Afterward he served as justice of the peace and assessor in Nemaha county. In 1880 he went to Tecumseh, Johnson county, where he was elected city clerk, and a member of the city council for several years. He was county commissioner for Lincoln county, from 1900 to 1903, and also served as county assessor, elected to that office in the year 1903 and his term expired January, 1908. He has always voted the Republican ticket, attended county and state conventions, and taken active part in party affairs. He has followed teaching nearly all his life, and began this work while living in Hilllsdale, Michigan, in 1858, and afterward taught in Lincoln county for many years.

     Mr. Robbins was married in 1861 to Miss Elizabeth J. Robb, of Warren county, Indiana, daughter of Robert Robb, who settled in Johnson county, Nebraska, in 1868. Her oldest brother, Washington, served with him in the Civil war. Mr. and Mrs. Robbins have one son, Herbert Clay, who owns a ranch of twelve hundred and eighty acres situated in Lincoln county. This is owned in partnership with his father, and is used for a stock ranch, raising cattle, horses and hogs, and is located near the Redwillow creek.

     One daughter, Annie B., wife of C.E. Wheaton, lives with her husband on a ranch in Hayes county. Mr. and Mrs. Robbins only raised two children, but have an even dozen grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Wheaton have eight children, four boys and four girls, and Mr. and Mrs. Herbert C. have four, three boys and one girl.


     The gentleman above names is one of the well know old-timers of western Nebraska, having come to that region when the country was a barren prairie, just beginning to be settled by those brave pioneers who came here prepared to suffer all kinds of hardships and privations in order to carve out for themselves a name and acquired a home and fortune for themselves, many of whom have remained to see the wilderness develop into a fertile tract and are now the owners of fine farms and are leading citizens of their locality.

     Gustave Noreisch was born in Germany in 1850, was brought up on a farm and as a boy was taught to do all kinds of hard labor. When he was a young man of twenty-two years he entered the German army and served the regulation time, also following farming until 1884, when he decided to try his fortune in the new world, so took passage on an emigrant ship for America, arriving in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1882. He at once struck out for the western states, landing in Cuming county, Nebraska, and worked out as a farm hand in that vicinity for five years. He then came to Sioux county and took a pre-emption at head of War Bonnet valley, building a dugout, which was his home for about two and a half years. He purchased a team of horses the first summer and put in a few crops, but was completely hailed out, and was obliged to secure employment on the railroad to make a living for his family. In 1891 he settled on his present location, section 9, township 32, range 56, lying along Prairie Dog creek, and his first dwelling on that farm was a log house, which they occupied for a number of years. His ranch comprises twelve hundred and eighty acres, part of which is leased land,

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and he engages principally in stock raising. About ninety acres are under cultivation, on which he raises small grains, and receives a good yield each year. Mr. Noreisch has a good set of farm buildings, the place is well fenced, and every improvement has been put on by his own hands. He has met with many failures of crops and other losses, but has stuck to the place and is now one of the successful and prosperous men of his community.

     Mr. Noreisch was married in Germany, in 1878, to Miss Louisa Westbrecht, whose parents spent their lives in German, as did our subject's father and mother. Together they came to the United States to seek home and fortune, and have raised a family of six children. All bright and intelligent young people, named as follows: Mary, Bertha, Emma, Augusta, Matilda and Martha.


     Through exceptionally good management and persistent labors the gentleman herein named has acquired a well developed estate, and is enabled to enjoy the comforts of modern farming. He is of a progressive nature, has had a wide experience in his line of work, and every detail is looked after and personally supervised. Mr. Poole's pleasant home is in Deuel county, and he is one of the best known settlers in western Nebraska, known throughout the region as one of the oldest educators in point of years in this part of the country, he having been connected with the public schools here for eleven years, and previous to that was a teacher in Colfax county for fourteen years.

     George W. Poole first saw the light on August 22, 1858, born in Wyandotte county, Ohio, and lived there until he was twenty-two years of age, at that time his father, mother, brother and two sisters coming to Nebraska, locating about eight miles northwest of Schuyler, where the father took a homestead and farmed for a number of years. The latter died in Colfax county in June, 1900, and his widow still survives, she living in Schuyler at the present time. Our subject made Colfax county his home up to 1894, then came to Deuel county, following farming and school teaching nearly all of his years. After four years in this vicinity he filed on a homestead on section 34, township 16, range 455, proved up on the land, and now has a ranch of three hundred and eighty acres. He has two hundred acres of this cultivated and raises splendid crops, using the balance as a stock ranch, running a bunch of horses and cattle.

     Mr. Poole was married in 1894 to Anna Bott, born and reared in Colfax county, Nebraska. Her parents are still living in the state. Four children have come to bless their union, and they are named as follows: Anna Marie, Freda, Vera and Julia, who form a most interesting family group.

     Politically Mr. Poole is a Republican, and is at present serving as assessor of Deuel county. He is a broad-minded man in all respects, and one who has won the respect and esteem of all with whom he has come in contact by his many sterling qualities.

Above biography provided by Gloria Greger <>


     Among the younger resident of Brown county who have met with marked success in the agricultural pursuits, we mention the name of Clarence V. Casselman, who occupies a finely improved estate in section 15, township 30, range 23. Mr. Casselman was born in Grundy county, Illinois, May 8, 1875, and was reared and educated there until ten years old, when he came to Nebraska with his parents. His father, Charles Casselman, of German descent, was one of the oldest settlers in Brown, county: the mother of our subject, Mary Patterson in maidenhood, was of Scotch lineage, her parents coming to this country some time prior to her birth. There was a family of six children, Clarence being the second , and he began for himself when he reached the age of twenty-two years, following farming as an occupation. He tilled rented land for about five years, then bought a farm in 1903, settling on the southwest quarter of section 15, and here he has an farm of three hundred and twenty acres, eighty of which lie in section 22, cultivating two hundred acres of this, with the rest in pasture and hay land. He has his place well improved, and employs thoroughly up-to-date methods and machinery in its operation.

     Mr. Casselman was married December 23, 1896, to Miss Georgia Curry, born in Wisconsin, and daughter of James and Mary (Patten) Curry, old settlers in Nebraska. To them two children have been born, namely: Frank E., and Velma.

     Mr. Cassleman is a highly esteemed citizen of his community, and is well know as an energetic and enterprising young man who richly deserves much success in the work in which he is engaged. In political sentiment he is a Democrat; fraternally, he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, his home lodge being at Ainsworth.

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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     The State Industrial School at Kearney, Nebraska, is an institution of which the people of the state are justly proud. They feel that every dollar spent in its construction and operation goes directly to the promotion of the public welfare. It deals with a class of boys who are more unfortunate than criminal, changes their conditions, and in a great majority of cases makes honorable and upright men out of what very largely found themselves as "misfits" in a world that seemed to them hard and cold and cruel. It is an educational, not penal institution, and the endeavor is to so educate the mind, the hand and the heart, that the boys on whom its influence falls may be able to go out into the world and become honorable members of society.

     It has a magnificent plant consisting of three hundred and twenty acres of fine and mostly rolling land, two and a half miles west of the city of Kearney, on which are erected seven large buildings, consisting of five family or grade buildings, an administration building and an industrial building. In addition are many structures for farm purposes, such as horse and cow barns, hog houses, chicken house, boiler house, engine room, green house, paint shop and pump house. The various buildings are situated on elevated land, and the general view of the surrounding contry is unusually good. This great interest was for four years under the management of Mr. Hayward, whose name heads this article, and who won many laurels for its rapid growth and development.

     B.D. Hayward, whose names appears above, became superintendent of the State Industrial School in April, 1903. During the following four years he won a standing for himself in the work of industrial education second to no man in the work. He had previously been engaged in educational work for fifteen years as superintendent of schools at St. Paul, Nebraska, where he also practiced law for ten year, having graduated at the Law College of the University of Nebraska. He is a native of Pomeroy, Ohio, as is also his wife, who had been a teacher for twenty years, and was devoted heart and soul to the educational and uplifting processes that prevailed in the State Industrial School under her husband's care.

     Mr. and Mrs. Hayward and their enthusiastic co-workers set their faces determinedly against the ideas so widely prevalent that this was a penal school and the boys prisoners. Results proved the wisdom of this cours: and citizens of the state as they visited this school and came to know of the good done there, changed their ideas and came to know th institution as the Hayward made it, an intellectual benefaction to the neglected and homeless.

     The character of this work was wonderfully advanced by the abandonment of the country school idea, and the grading of the student under the public and city school system.

     At the close of the fourth year in the service of the state, Mr. Hayward moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where on October 16, 1908, he opened the Nebraska Military Academy, having a magnificent building and campus, and a most flattering enrollment of cadets. At the close of the first month of school the academy building was totally destroyed by fire. Only a few days of school were lost, however, a temporary location being secured at once, and plans being made promptly for the securing of a permanent location.

     After receiving many most complimentary offers from other cities for the removal of the academy, Mr. Hayward has decided to stay in Lincoln, and will begin shortly to rebuild on the original site. By next September the academy will be housed in three new buildings, entirely separate except in front, where the appearance will be much the same as before. The academy already enjoys a liberal patronage, in spite of its misfortunes: and the prospects for the next year are gratifying.


     Edwin M. Searle, one of the prominent of the early settlers, claims Allegany county, New York, for his birth place, having been born there January 1, 1849. The Searle family came from England in Colonial days. His father, Steadman B. Searle, was a farmer, and his mother, Angelina Rice, was from old American families of the state of New York, her grandfather having been a quartermaster in Washington's army. He came as a pioneer from Vermont to Allegany county in 1800 and cleared a farm. Our subject's father came to Indiana about 1825 and married in Logansport, where his wife's people had settled in the early thirties as pioneers of that state.

     Our subject enlisted in Company K, One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Indiana Volunteer and Kentucky. After leaving the army he went to a school at Syracuse, New York, where he learned telegraphy, following that and railroading in Peru and Attica, Indiana, and came to Nebraska in 1867, where he held a position as operator on the Union Pacific railroad at North Platte. The road was being built to the coast with the terminal of that line in Keith county. He worked at North Platte for two months and then took an office out on the line and worked

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