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county seat, Gering. Of this original homestead of 160 acres he later disposed, after having made good improvements on the place, and he then invested in other land, his valuable holdings now comprising 240 acres, devoted to diversified agriculture and the raising of excellent types of live stock, and the greater part of the tract having been supplied with good irrigation facilities. This admirable ranch property, accumulated through the earnest and honorable endeavors of the owner, is situated in section 1, township 15, and is eligibly situated about one-half mile east of Gering.
Mr. Weber was born in Germany, on the 10th of March, 1863, a. son of Anton and Gertrude (Petz) Weber, both of whom were born in Cologne, Germany, and both of whom passed their entire lives in the fatherland of their nativity.
William Weber acquired his youthful education in the excellent schools of his native land, and he was an ambitious young man of eighteen years when he severed the home ties and immigrated to America, in 1881. He arrived in April of that year and soon made his way to Illinois, where he continued to be employed--principally at farm work--until 1887, when he came to Nebraska and numbered himself among the pioneers of what is now Scottsbluff county. Here he has kept pace with the splendid march of development and progress, and at all times he has stood exemplar of the most loyal and public-spirited citizenship, so that he has a secure place in popular esteem. He has assisted in the furtherance of those movements that have conserved the best interests of the community and was for some time president of the Central Ditch Company, controlling one of the important irrigation projects of the county. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party, he and his family are communicants of the Catholic church and he is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America.
In 1889 Mr. Weber wedded Miss Minnie Brown, of Utica, New York, and her death occurred at the home in Scottsbluff county. Of this union were born four children: William H., is a prosperous farmer in this county; Bert R., likewise is identified with farm enterprise in the same county and he is individually mentioned on other pages; Anna is the wife of John Fohland, a farmer south of Melbeta, this county; and Harry died at the age of five years. In 1904 Mr. Weber was united in marriage to Miss Winnie Newby, a native of Missouri, and she likewise is deceased, the two children of this union having died in infancy. Mr. Weber contracted a third marriage, when Miss Ida Davis became his wife, she having been born and reared in Nebraska.
GOTTFRIED KAMANN is one of the sturdy, hardy pioneers of Nebraska, who has known the hardships and privations of early settlers in the west and who has contributed his share to the upbuilding of the county. It is to this citizen that recognition is here accorded.
Gottfried Kamann was born in Rhine province of the German Empire in 1862, being the son of Heinrich and Gertrude (Boyenschen) Kamann, both natives of Germany, where they were reared and educated. The father was a blacksmith in the old country who was engaged in the practice of his vocation for many years, thus earning a comfortable living for his family. At the age of eighty-one years he bravely broke all the old ties that bound him to the land of his birth and sailed for America to join his children who had established themselves in the great "Land of Promise." After seven years passed with the members of his family he passed away here at the age of eighty-eight years and four months.
Gottfried Kamann was reared and educated in his native province in Germany, received excellent educational advantages in the public schools of Germany which were at that time conducted by the state, and thus laid the foundation for an excellent practical education which has proved of great value to him since coming to the United States and engaging in business, independently. He was a far-sighted youth, saw that with the land in his native country largely owned and controlled by the Junker class, there was little chance or opportunity for him to acquire land of his own and he did not care to spend his life in the laboring class. For many years Mr. Kamann had heard of the many advantages to be had in the United States and after attaining his majority and his period of military service over, he decided that his future would be brighter in America, and on March 6, 1885, set sail for this country. For two years he was engaged in varied occupations while learning the customs of the country and the English language and thus had an excellent opportunity to hear of the different sections of the country and decide which section would be the most desirable for his home. Mr. Kamann chose Nebraska, locating on a homestead on the Dutch Flats in 1887. He at once began im-
provements on the place, such as farm buildings, a house, and as water was the paramount need of every settler, drilled the first well in this locality, from which all the neighbors hauled their water for a long time. The country was sparsely settled at this period, farm houses being far apart with great stretches of prairie separating the primitive homes of these sturdy pioneers of civilization and Mr. Kamann says that he saw antelope, deer and other wild game running across his land and could go hunting from his dooryard for supplies of meat. What changes this man has seen in the brief span which has elapsed since he first drove into the country, for today the wide prairies which smiled with wild flowers in the sun have become a prosperous countryside of fine farms, dotted with thrifty and thriving communities that are as barometers of the country itself. Upon first establishing himself here Mr. Kamann had to drive to Sidney for his supplies but was glad that he had the money to get them as many of the first men to locate here had a very hard time, became discouraged and returned to their old homes farther east, but this German was determined that he would not be daunted by a few hard years, and his faith in the section has been justified, and today he is himself the possessor of a comfortable fortune won on these prairies of the west. There were two children in his family, himself and his sister Elizabeth, who is the wife of Valentine Thomas, who resides in Sioux county.
Money was a very scarce commodity in the west during the early eighties and as Mr. Kamann was a strong, healthy man, he found employment with the construction men when the railroad was built from Broken Bow to Alliance, and with this money was enabled to place many improvements on his land that other settlers had to do without or wait to establish at a later date, after they had managed to sell some of their farm produce at some distant market. From first locating in the valley, Mr. Kamann took active part and interest in all movements for the development of this section, being one of the first men to have the vision of what this land would become with water and as a consequence was one of the pioneers in irrigation, working on the construction of the first ditch which was to bring water to the thirsty earth and prosperity to the Morrill section. This was known as the "Farmers Canal," which has been such an important factor in the development of what is now one of the richest farming sections of the whole country as well as the most prosperous, for the river valley soil, with plenty of water and the never-failing sunshine of the high prairies, has caused the valley lands of the Panhandle to become a veritable garden spot where the greatest returns are obtained from the labor placed upon the land.
In 1891, Mr. Kamann married Miss Wilhemina Bremer, and to this union five children have been born. Those living are: Henry a farmer of Scottsbluff county, who responded to his country's call when the United States declared war against Germany and served with the rank of sergeant in the army, but has been discharged and is again at home; Arthur W., also a farmer in Scottsbluff county; Clara A., a school teacher in her home district; and Katharine, who is at home. Mr. Kamann is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and has attained the thirty-second degree. The pioneers of the eighties and nineties know Mr. Kamann's early activities and hold him and his family in high esteem and today he is regarded as a prominent and leading spirit in the community.
JOSEPH C. WILLIAMS. -- These lines concern one of the younger generation of business men--one just a decade beyond his majority; one who comes of sturdy, fine, old colonial stock, of a family that located on the Atlantic seaboard states during the period of settlement in the tide water region and their indomitable courage and characteristics that insure a high degree of success have been handed down to the man whose name heads this review. Mr. Williams is the owner and manager of the largest drug house in Henry, which he established himself and today it is one of the leading business houses in the valley of Scottsbluff county.
Mr. Williams is a southerner, as he was born in Allendale, Barnwell county, South Carolina, December 12, 1888, being the son of Joseph J. and Virginia (Wooten) Williams, the former also a native of South Carolina, while the mother was born, reared and received her early education in Florida. Three children grew up in the Williams family: Edgar L., lives at Greeley, Colorado; Joseph, and Lelia who married James T. Pomeroy of Chicago. Joseph J. Williams was a physician who came west and located in Colorado when Joseph was a small boy. For many years Dr. Williams was engaged in the practice of his profession in Hotchkiss, Colorado, where he built up a lucratice (sic) practice which he enjoyed until he retired from active life, dying November 19, 1919, at Hotchkiss, Colorado. Mrs. Williams died in 1915. Dr. Williams
was a member of the Baptist church, was for many years a Democrat in his political faith and fraternally was allied with the Masonic order.
Joseph Williams received his early educational training in the excellent public schools of Hotchkiss, Colorado, After finishing the elementary grades he entered the high school, graduating after a four year course. Following this he entered the pharmacy department of the Colorado State Agriculture college, where he remained a student until he received his degree of Ph. G. He was at once registered as a graduate in pharmacy under the state pharmacy board and admitted to practice his profession. Within a short time Mr. Williams came to Scottsbluff, where he worked for the Great Western Sugar Company until 1915, when he believed he saw an excellent opening in Henry and located here. He opened a modern up-to-date store on the main street, equipped with every convenience to handle his trade and now enjoys a fine business. A good drug house is one of the necessities of a community and a pharmacist must use care to give safe and satisfactory results, as his business is regulated by strict laws of the state and nation and he is no less responsible for the health and life of his patrons than the physician whose prescriptions he is called on to fill. Henry has been fortunate in having Mr. Williams in whom full reliance can be placed. He carries a fully equipped stock of the various medicines, patent medicines and all lines allied to the drug business which the public has learned to expect and demand. His store is very attractive and is one of the most prosperous representative business centers of the town.
On June 25 1912, Mr. Williams married Miss Florence Wallace, a native daughter of Scottsbluff county, who was reared here on the high prairies, received her educational advantages in the public schools and here also met her future husband. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Williams, Joseph Wallace and Virginia Lee, attractive youngsters for whom a bright future is in store.
Mr. Williams is an independent in politics, and though he takes no active part in political affairs a worthy and representative citizen who lives up to his own high standards of Americanism, as the worthy scion of an old southern family should. Fraternally his affiliations are with the Masonic order as he has taken his 32d degree in that order.
HERMAN G. STEWART, who is one of the capable and progressive representatives of the farming and stock-raising industries of the Mitchell valley and Scottsbluff county, is not one of the earliest settlers in this section as he located in Sioux county when he first came to Nebraska, but since coming into the valley of the Platte has kept pace with the steady advancement that has marked this favored section of the state. Mr. Stewart was born in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, September 29, 1854, beng (sic) a child of Henry and Ruth (Grant) Stewart, the former a native of New York and the latter of Ohio. Henry Stewart was descended from a. long line of colonial ancestors who had played an important part in shaping the growth and development of our great country when it was in its infancy and he himself as soon as he attained manhood's estate took an active and interested part in the councils of the Republican party, as he was one of the fifty men who organized it, when the new party began to take shape. He had a good, practical education in his youth and upon this excellent foundation he continued to build by wide reading along both political and business lines, until he was regarded as one of the best informed men of his day. Mr. Stewart was one of the men who believed that a great future lay in store for the great Mississippi valley and early determined that be should have his part in the opening up and development of the country. As railroads were few and the price of transportation high he came west by way of the great lakes, making the trip from New York by boat. After arriving in Wisconsin he located on a farm in Fond du Lac county, where he immediately engaged in general farming, and stock-raising when that state had hardly been reclaimed from the wilderness, for Wisconsin was heavily timbered, especially along the water course, and Fond du Lac county is in the lake country. There were seven children in the Stewart family: Martha, the wife of W. A. Thornton, died at Crawford, Nebraska; Martela, the wife of John Stewart, a distant relative, is deceased; Celia L., married Thomas Jefferson Cummings, and now lives at Riverside, California; Henry, lives near Crawford on a farm; Heman G., A. E., a farmer in Scottsbluff county, and John F., a farmer near Crawford.
Mr. Stewart was reared on his father's farm in Wisconsin and there received his educational advantages in the public schools. While
still young he left home to start independently in life and removed to Iowa with his parents in 1867. They located on land in the western part of the state and later moved again to Mills county, where the father died. Mr. Stewart thought he saw an opportunity to get some good land in Kansas and took up a homestead in that state on which he proved up and after making improvements on the farm was able, to dispose of it at what he considered a good price for those days. He then came to Nebraska and bought land in the Loup river valley, in Nance county, but learning that Indian land could be bought for eight dollars an acre in Sioux county, disposed of his holding near the river to locate in the extreme northwestern part of the state on the high prairies. He filed on a homestead, on the pre-emption plan and later homesteaded, so that he had considerable landed estate. After living on this new land for some time Mr. Stewart made fine improvements of a permanent character, had raised the land to an excellent state of fertility and was well and favorably known as a farmer who believed in modern methods in conducting his farm enterprise and was one of the first to place his land under irrigation, for his study of agricultural subjects had led him to know that on this western land any profitable crop could be raised provided there was assured rainfall or water and today he has five hundred and forty acres under ditch which is equal to more than three times that number of acres as far as making money is concerned if he was not able to get water, the right amount, and at just the right time necessary for the growing grains. Mr. Stewart, like his father has taken an active part in politics and the esteem in which he is held by his friends and acquaintances is shown by the fact that he has twice represented his district in the state legislature. Independent in his manner of life, early led to think and do for himself. Mr. Stewart is an independent in politics, and draws no close party lines when the question of the best man for office comes up. In 1876, Mr. Stewart married Miss Marie Clites, a native of Illinois and to this union five children have been born: Thadius a cattle rancher in Sioux county; George F., who lives at Wind Spring on a ranch which he owns; Herman C., a farmer of Sioux county; Mary R., the wife of Clyde Cross who owns a farm near Mitchell; and Mabel E., who married Fred Newell a Sioux county rancher. The Stewart family are Christian Scientists.
WILLIAM E. ALVIS. The proprietor and editor of a newspaper is a man of great potential power for good or evil in a community as he occupies a vantage ground from which he may make or mar a reputation, or build or tear down a cause worthy of support. Not only the city of Morrill but Scottsbluff county and the western panhandle has reason for congratulation that the Morrill Mail is in such capable sagacious hands that are so thoroughly clean as those of the present owner. It is considered one of the best general news sheets published in the county, as well as an outspoken, fair play exponent of the best element of political elements in this district; in fact, it is in all respects well worthy of the thought and sound judgments displayed in its news items and editorial columns and reflects credit on its joint editor and publisher, William Alvis, one of the younger men of the newspaper fraternity, who are playing an important and able part in shaping the policies and destinies of Western Nebraska.
Mr. Alvis is descended from a long line of colonial ancestors on his father's side as the family located in the Old Dominion during the early days of its settlements and various members of the family have taken a prominent and active part in the life and politics of their community from that early date to the present time and it is but seeming that a descendent of such an illustrous (sic) family should now be carrying on the torch of progress, as civilization is westward making its way. William Alvis was born in Clark county, Iowa, April 26, 1891, the son of John W. and Ida M. (Thompson) Alvis, the former born in Virginia, where he was reared and received his early educational advantages and after attaining his manhood being a youth of ambition and action he came west, locating in Iowa, where he engaged in business as a farmer. The mother was born and reared in the west, and spent the greater part of her life in her native state of Iowa, where her three children William, John W., and Hazel were born. In 1906, the family removed to Scottsbluff county, where John Alvis took up a homestead. As he was already a practical and successful farmer he soon had the wild land under cultivation, had erected the necessary buildings on the farm and a comfortable home for his wife and children. Later he was able to dispose of the place at a handsome profit and returned to Iowa, where he again engaged in farming, an occupation
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