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Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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proved in fine shape with good buildings, barns, fences, etc. Mr. Hesselgesser has been successful in his farming operations and has established himself firmly on the way to wealth and prosperity. He has taken an active interest in local affairs and haw won his way to the high esteem of his friends and associates.

     Our subject was married in the spring of 1892 to Miss Lottie Cronk, daughter of Adolphus Cronk, one of the old leading pioneer settlers of Valley county, Nebraska, now a resident of Loup county. Mr. and Mrs. Hesselgesser have been blessed with three children: Wayne, Earl and Lila, which forma most intelligent group



     Walton A. Kenaston is one of the most prominent old settlers in northwestern Nebraska and has taken an active part in the development of that region. Walton A. Kenaston is a son of Dr. J. A. and Mrs. C. E. Kenaston, born in Marion county, Iowa, in 1858 and moved with his parents to Nebraska in 1868. His father took up a homestead in Cass county, half way between Plattsmouth and Lincoln, and lived there most of the time for twelve years. In the year 1880 our subject removed to Long Pine, Nebraska, which was unorganized territory at that time.

     In the spring of 1881, Walton A. Kenaston was married to Minnie B. Gordon, who was a native of Massachusetts.

     Mr. Kenaston took an active part in the affairs at Long Pine, and was one of the promoters of this place before it had a railroad and helped to organize the county of Brown. In February, 1883, with his wife and one child, Edward, and his brother Logan, he again moved over into what is now known as Keya Paha county, it being at that time a part of Brown county. In 1891 he moved with his family to Butte, Nebraska, and was one of the promoters of that thriving little city, and afterward helped to organize the county of Boyd out of a part of the Sioux reservation which extended into Nebraska, and which had been opened to settlement. He put up the second livery barn and first implement building in Butte and afterward engaged in the real estate business with T. S. Armstrong. He helped to establish and lay out the little town of Bonesteel, South Dakota, and built the first livery barn there.

     In 1898 he sold his interest in Boyd county and again returned to Keya Paha county, where he has since resided, engaged in farming and stock raising.

     Mr. and Mrs. Kenaston have a family of four boys, Edward, Orrie, Floyd and Willard; the two girls, Gracie and Nellie



      Among the representative farmers of Cheyenne county, Nebraska, who have aided materially in its development and advancement, a prominent place is accorded George Kretz, who resides on his well improved estate in section 10, township 13, range 50, Sidney precinct. He is a gentleman of energetic character, and well merits his success and high standing.

     Mr. Kretz was born in Germany, in the village of Bruchsal, province of Baden, April 24, 1866, and grew to the age of thirteen years in his native town. In October, 1879, he started alone for the United States, sailing from Bremen on the Werra, then making her second trip. After a passage of eleven days, he landed in New York, where he spent four years in the wine establishment of Peter Leuk, and in George Gerhard's bottling works. He then went to St. Joseph, Missouri, and later came to Cheyenne county, arriving in April, 1883. He soon afterwards filed on a homestead in the southeast quarter of section 10, township 13, range 50, and later took up a Kincaid homestead in the same section, and is now owner of four hundred and eighty acres in all. He has built up a good home and has done well, having been largely engaged in stock raising. He has all good stone buildings on the ranch, and every appointment about the farm bespeaks careful attention to details in every part of the work. The milk house with its concrete tank is especially noteworthy. He has seen hard times, but is now on the high road to wealth, and well deserves his success, as he has spent all his time in developing his home. A new dwelling constructed in the spring of 1907 is a great improvement to the place. A view of the ranch buildings and rugged scenery surrounding it, is present elsewhere in this work.

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     Our subject was married on April 25, 1900, in Cheyenne county, to Miss Mabel Spicknall, daughter of James Spicknall. The latter is a native of Dearborn county, Indiana, born April 19, 1844, and made that locality his home for twenty-five years. He enlisted n Company C, Fifty-second Indiana Infantry, on November 28, 1861, saw hard service for a bout a year and a half, and on account of serious illness was discharged from the army April 12, 1863. Returning to his Indiana home, he followed farming there some eight years; coming to Nebraska in 1871, settling in Webster county. He remained there up to 1888 and then moved to Cheyenne

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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county, where he filed on a tree claim, which he still owns, the place adjoining our subject's in the same section. He married Cynthia C. Hoffman, in Bladen, Webster county, on December 2, 1877, and from this union four children resulted of whom Mrs. Kretz is the eldest, followed by Thomas A., Bertha M. and Roy W. Spicknall. Mr. Spicknall now resides in Bladen, where he is well known and highly respected as one of the foremost citizens. He is active in local affairs, and an Independent voter.

     Mr. Kretz and his wife are the parents of five children, named as follows; Winfield, Fred, Clement, George and Andreas Peter. Our subject is a Republican, and takes a deep interest in party affairs; he affiliates with the Ancient Order of United Workmen of Sidney.



     Among the pioneers settler in the western part of Nebraska, who has always done his full share towards the up building of that region, no one has a better claim to distinction than the gentleman whose name heads this personal history. Mr. Dugger resides in Long Pine precinct, Rock county, and is one of the prominent citizens of that locality.

     Mr. Dugger was born in Ogle county, Illinois, November 24, 1853. He is a son of James Dugger, a farmer of Scotch-Irish descent, born in Kentucky, and his mother was Miss Susan Corder, of Kentucky, born of French parents. Our subject is the third member in a family of six children, and was reared and educated in Adams county, Iowa, where the family settled in the year 1865.

     He attended the common schools there during his boyhood, and at the age of twenty-one years started for himself in the world, following farming in that state, where he had bought land of the Burlington & Missouri railroad. He owned several different places there, and gained a great measure of success in the work. At this time he was married to Miss Amanda McCance, a native of Ohio, then residing in Iowa. Her parents, Manson and Isabella (Field) McCance, were natives of Ohio, where the father died. The mother moved to Iowa with her family in 1874. Mrs. Dugger remembers seeing the troops in pursuit of Morgan on one of his daring raids into Ohio. In 1883 the family moved to Rock county, Nebraska, and took up a homestead in section 14, township 31, range 19, this being without any improvements whatever, and the country comparatively new. There were no close neighbors to this place, and they were among the first settlers of that locality. He put up a dugout which was covered with tar paper, and they lived in this for a few years.

     He set to work improving the farm, planted trees, which have developed into a fine grove of many varieties, containing a good number of small fruits; a special feature of the place is the profusion of evergreens, some of which are neatly trimmed, giving to the smoothly cropped lawn a park effect. When he came to this place he had not even a team to start with. Bassett was so new that there was only one store building besides the section house, while Newsport lacked even that extra one. His farm now contains three hundred and twenty acres of land, and he is engaged principally in stock raising, which he finds to be a very profitable enterprise. He is now in a position to enjoy his possessions and says that he does not care to go back to the old days when they had to endure so many privations on account of the drouth periods, and the many pests which troubled them. During those days Mr. Dugger sold nursery stock for a livelihood, and for a period of four years the wife was left at home alone much of the time, on one occasion for a whole fortnight, which was not agreeable in those lonely days. For a number of years he worked on the hay flats during the season which kept him away from home many days at a time.

     Mr. Dugger is a strong Democrat, and has held different offices in his community, being assessor for several years. A view of the home and its beautiful groves and garden is to be seen elsewhere in this volume.

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     Gerald M. G. Cooper, a prominent citizen of Rushville, Nebraska, was born in London, England, in 1862. His father, George Armytage Cooper, was educated for the law, but drifted into business and later the lecture platform, becoming a speaker of ability, traveling all over the United Kingdom. Of a family of eleven children our subject was the youngest and received the rudiments of his education in Manchester, England, where he lived with his two youngest sisters during the time his parents were traveling. He was moved from Manchester to Grimsby, Lincolnshire, where he was for over a year under a guardian, a Mrs. Lincoln, whose memory he treasures with the utmost veneration, for she was a woman of noble character and bore some of the qualities of the great emancipator, of whose deeds he was to read in later years. After several years traveling with his parents, he was apprenticed to Charles Federick Reynolds on the Barrow Herald, published at Barrow-in-Furness,

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

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Northwest Lancashire, where he was for nine years on the staff, the paper being the oldest established in that city of fifty thousand inhabitants.

     After severing his connection with the Herald he went to London to be with his parents, and gravitated to the office of Shepard & St. John, publishers of The Civilian and the Civil Service Competitor. Here he extended his knowledge of the business, particularly in book work. After being with this firm five years, he joined his brother, Godfrey C. Cooper, in business in High Holborn, where he became manager of the sportsman's outfitting establishment.

     In the spring of 1892 Mr. Cooper came to the United States, coming direct to Gordon, Sheridan county, Nebraska, and filed on a homestead just across the line in Cherry county. He remained here five years, and drifted into the newspaper business on the Gordon Journal, where he ultimately acquired an interest with H. G. Lyon, and assisted in the work of publishing this paper for some time. In September, 1907, he moved to Rushville and bought the Recorder from Charles P. Bresee, paying a hundred dollars for the outfit, which consisted of an old army press and a hatful of type. This paper was the first established May 8, 1895, by Dodge Hemming, and was afterwards owned by a company until it passed into the hands of Mr. Bresee, who sold it to our subject. When Mr. Cooper first took hold of the paper there was practically little or nothing to it. The subscription list was small, and everything had run down at the elbows. For the first six months it did not pay its expenses, but at the end of that time our subject threw off his coat and by dint of hard work and careful management he was built up the most modern plant in the county, doing a large job printing business and increasing the circulation to a remarkable extent.

     Mr. Cooper was married in 1897 to Miss Emma Hetzel, whose parents are old settlers in Sheridan county, now living in Gordon. They moved from New York, where they came over from Baden Baden, Germany, to LeMars, Iowa, and from thence moved to Sheridan county, Nebraska, in 1886. Mr. Cooper now owns one of the finest residences in the county, besides his own office and is blessed with two children - Vera Grace and Gerald Frederick Cooper.



     The subject of this sketch is an efficient railroad man connected with the Union Pacific railway and well know all over that line as a popular and trustworthy employe, and has an enviable reputation as a worthy citizen in North Platte, where he resides

     Mr. McComber is a native of Syracuse, New York, and was raised and educated in that city. His father, William C. McComber, came from Vermont, and his mother, who was Miss Jerusha Tyler, was a native of the state of Massachusetts. When he had finished school he started out for himself and struck out west, locating in Denver, and began work with the Union Pacific railway in 1886. He remained there for two years, then moved to North Platte, Lincoln county, Nebraska, and since that time has been a conductor with that road. Previous to beginning with the Union Pacific he was with the Southern Pacific railway for about five years, and knows the work from the ground up, and has mad a splendid success of his chosen profession. He is one of the most active men and earnest workers in the railway ranks, in all matters pertaining to that business, and for the benefit of railway employes. From 1898 to 1904, inclusive, he was general chairman of the Order of Railway Conductors, and eleven lodges, and he also served on the local committee of this lodge for a great many years. He has attended the national convention six times, and is always one of the legislative committee, which office he has held for the past four years. In 1904, when the Nebraska state legislative committee was formed he was mad chairman of that body, and is at present filling this position. This committee meets when the legislature holds its session, and the chairman remains at the capitol during that time

     Mr. McComber was married to Miss Nellie Fraser, a native of Rome, New York, whose father, Edwin Fraser, was a soldier in the Union army and was killed at the battle of Gettysburg. Mr. and Mrs. McComber have two children, Roy and Claude

     Mr. McComber is a man of active public spirit, and takes a commendable interest in all affairs relating to the good of his fellowmen. He is a prominent member of the Masonic lodge, and also of the United Workmen



     Persistent industry has placed this gentleman among the prosperous agriculturists of Dawes county, Nebraska. He is one of the earliest settlers in this section of the state and

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