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was causing an increase in the value of property and a little settlement at Dix was expanding into a village. Mr. Birt took advantage of this opportunity and started a store, and his appointment as postmaster was brought about. He remained at Dix for four years and in addition to his general store, conducted a lumber yard, sold coal and handled grain. When he sold his interests there his yearly sales amounted to more than $12,000. He traded his store to Philip Nelson for a section of land that adjoined his homestead. He now owns sixteen hundred acres of land, carries on general farming and keeps about one hundred head of high grade White Face cattle.
   In 1893 Mr. Birt was united in marriage to Miss Catherine McRory, a daughter of Richard and Elizabeth McRory. They were residents of London, England, where the father followed the trade of harnessmaking. Mrs. Birt is one of a family of fourteen children, as follows: Charles Jones, who died in 1906; Richard Jones, who has been chief decorator of Windsor Castle for almost fifty years; Ellen, who is the wife of Charles Lonergan; Henry G., who follows his father's trade in London; Edward G., who is conducting a market business in London; Mary, who was the wife of Bert Chenney, a city policeman in London; Francis M., who lives in the Malay Straits settlements, the home of the Royal family; and Arthur, who is manager of a rubber estate in that part of the world; Catherine, who is Mrs. Birt; and five who died in infancy. Mrs. Birt has reason to be proud of the record made by her family in the great war. She had seventeen nephews who served on the battle fields of France, all of whom lived to return after being honorably discharged, although one was badly gassed by the inhuman enemy and another had an arm shattered, and still another returned with the D. C. M. shining on his breast.
   Mr. and Mrs. Birt have children as follows: Lillian Maud, who is the wife of John Clausen, Jr.; Arthur, who, at the time the United States entered the great war, offered his services to the sheriff of Kimball county, who sent him to a training camp at Lincoln from which he subsequently, was honorably discharged and is now operating his father's ranch; Alfred G., who is, also on the home ranch; Hazel D., who is attending the high school at Kimball; and Audrey E. and Joyce O., who are at home. Mr. Birt and family are members of the St. John Presbyterian church.
   Although Mr. Birt has by no means retired from active life, he has shifted his ranch responsibilities to the capable shoulders of his eldest son; his time being largely occupied with other business affairs. He is a director of the Farmers Elevator Company at Dix, and is secretary and treasurer of the Farmers Union Co-operative store at that place. He is prominent in the councils of the Republican party, is precinct assessor and chairman of the Republican Central committee. He was chairman also of the board of regents of the Kimball county high school. For more than twenty years Mr. Birt has belonged to the order of Modern Woodmen, and is an Odd Fellow, his local conection (sic) being with the lodge at Sidney.

    GEORGE EHRMAN.-- One of the younger generation of agriculturists carrying on operations in Scottsbluff county, whose progressiveness and industry are rapidly bringing him into a favorable position, is the man whose name heads this review.
   Mr. Ehrman was born in Germany, June 9, 1884, the son of George and Katherine Ehrman, an account of whose lives will be found elsewhere in this volume under the name of Frederick Ehrman. George accompanied his parents to America when they emigrated from their native land and received his educational advantages in the public schools of Colorado where the family located after reaching the United States. While living at Brush, in the mountain state, he devoted himself to his studies and thus laid the foundation for a good practical education. After his school-days were over Mr. Ehrman began to farm with his father so that while still a youth he had a good working knowledge of agricultural business and farm methods. He remained in Colorado until 1910 when he decided to establish himself independently in business operations and that year in partnership with his brother Frederick came to Scottsbluff county and bought 160 acres. At that time no one believed the land was worth much and could not see where the brothers were to become successful but irrigation solved that problem and today most of the property is under ditch and that which is not makes fine grazing pasture. Eighty acres more land was added to the original holdings in 1913, at a hundred dollars an acre, the final payments being completed in 1917. This joins the town of Gering and is worth $500 per acre. This now belongs to George personally and is one of the show places of the county, a rather fine thing for two young farmers to do when you consider that all the equipment they had ten years ago was their ability to work and a de-



termination to succeed. From the first the Ehrman brothers placed good and permanent improvements on their farm, these have been added to with the passing years and a fine comfortable home erected where the mother now lives. The soil has been raised to a high state of fertility, they are engaged in general farm enterprises and specialize in thoroughbred stock, having pure-blooded Percheron horses, Short Horn cattle and Duroc Jersey hogs, shipping a large quantity to the eastern markets each year. Mr. Ehrman believes in modern methods on the farm and has inaugurated many that he believes are efficient in his business. He is a shrewd buyer and good seller, due to his study of market conditions and today is one of the best and most representative members of the younger generation of the farming element of the valley who are making history for the Panhandle as one of the most productive sections of a rich state. Mr. Ehrman is all independent in politics and a member of the Lutheran church. He advocates and supports all movements for the development of the county and his community and lives up to a high standard of citizenship. In 1919 he erected a beautiful modern home and a large barn in 1917. On his place is one of the finest homes in the county. His place adjoins the town of Gering.

    HANS C. L. LARSON. -- When the good people of Kimball county refer to their best and most useful citizens, they are considering such men as Hans Christian Lund Larson, a successful and enterprising farmer and stockraiser, who, lives up to every requirement of law and order, sets an example of thrift and industry, and co-operates officially and otherwise with his township neighbors in work for the general welfare.
   Mr. Larson was born in Polk county, Wisconsin, June 20, 1880, one of a family of two sons and six daughters born to Peter and Sophia Larson, the other members of the family being as follows: Mary, who is the wife of Peter Nelson, a prominent resident of Kimball county; Annie, who was accidentally killed on the railroad in 1906, was the wife of Peter Nelson; Emma, who died at the age of eight years; Rose, who is the wife of Guy M. Fleming, of Kimball county; Emma, who is the wife of Jesse Rockwell; and Lillian and Clarence V., both of whom reside at Kimball. The father of the above family was born in Denmark, May 11, 1852, and died in Nebraska, September 21, 1910. He came to the United States when about twenty-one years old, shortly afterward locating at Taylor Falls, Wisconsin, where he lived as lumberman and farmer for eighteen years. His marriage to Sophia Hanson took place in Wisconsin, and they lived on his farm in Polk county until they came to Nebraska, living at Potter at first, then homesteading a quarter section and securing also a quarter section tree claim in Kimball county, situated ten miles south and one mile east of Dix. The father proved up and spent the rest of his life on this land, the mother, after his death, retiring to Kimball.
   Hans C. L. Larson was ten years old, when his parents moved to Kimball county. He worked on the home farm and had school advantages in both country and town. When the Kinkaid law went into effect, he determined to take advantage of its provisions, with excellent business judgment securing his present farm, filing on section 2-12-54, proved up and built a comfortable farm cottage and a commodious barn, the dimensions of the latter being 48x48 feet. He has made numerous other improvements that greatly enhance the value of his property which is kept in the best possible condition. He has 300 acres of his land under cultivation and keeps one hundred and fifty head of cattle and horses. Mr. Larson has a section of school land under lease as pasturage.
   On March 30, 1909, Mr. Larson was married to Miss Minnie T. Benson, who is a daughter of Gunder and Louise Benson, whose other children were as follows: Helen, John, Ida, deceased in Canada; Elizabeth, Emma, Clara, deceased on the homestead, Alice and a son who died in infancy. The father of Mr. Larson was born in Norway and was only six years old when he accompanied his parents to the United States. They settled in Iowa and Mr. Benson grew up there and remained until 1907, when he came to Kimball county and located four miles south and east of Dix, where he died four months later. The mother of Mrs. Larson has a fine home in Dix. To Mr. and Mrs. Larson three children have been born, namely: Glennie, who was born December 18, 1909; Mable, who was born October 8, 1911; and Marguerite, who was born April 3, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Larson moved to Dix and built a fine residence in order to give their children advantages of schooling there, Mr. Larson being a firm believer of education. He has served six years as a faithful member of his township's school board and for three years has been school treasurer.

   HANS P. NELSON. -- In times of great trouble and industrial unrest in a country, it is a relief to turn attention to such sturdy, self-



reliant men as Hans Peter Nelson, who is one of the substantial and representative men of Kimball county. It probably would be a difficult matter to convince such a man that there is anything ignoble in the work of hand and brain, hard, continuous honest work, through which he has been able to build up an ample fortune in one of the finest states in the American Union.
   Hans Peter Nelson was born in Denmark, March 28, 1853, and is the younger of two sons born to Nels and Bertie Nelson. His older brother bore the name of Rasmus. Through a second marriage the father had two daughters, namely: Sina and Bertie. The father had a small farm of four acres and spent his life in Denmark.
   When Hans P. Nelson was a boy he helped his father till the little home farm, and later worked for neighbors who had somewhat larger tracts of land, during this time possibly hoping for a future that would enable him to cross the great ocean to a country where fertile land was easy to acquire. It is not probable, however, that in those days he ever dreamed of his present possession of hundreds of acres of richly productive land, of the fine, stock in his pastures and investments in reputable business concerns. It was not until he had been married six years that the opportunity came for Mr. Nelson to come to the United States. After landing in the harbor of New York, he and wife soon were on their way to Linn county, Missouri, where he rented farm land and remained for ten years. It was on October, 18, 1882 that he and wife reached America, and it was in the spring of 1893 that they came to Nebraska. Mr. Nelson homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres in Kimball county, and after the Kinkaid law became a fact, took an additional three-quarter section, to this large body of land adding gradually until he now owns two entire sections of some of the finest land in Kimball county, all of which he acquired through his own industry. Mr. Nelson carries on extensive general farming and stock-raising and has four hundred and eighty acres under cultivation, He is yet active in looking after his farm industries and is ably assisted by his adopted son, John W. H. Nelson, who is a very enterprising and capable young man. The latter married Miss Edith Whittaker, a daughter of H. A. Whittaker, and they have two little adopted daughters: Ruth, who was born in 1917 and Mary, who was born in June, 1919.
   Mr. Nelson's marriage took place in Denmark, in 1876, to Kirsten Hanson, who accompanied him to America and bore her part in his struggles to make headway after reaching this country. Mrs. Nelson came with him to the homestead in Kimball county, Nebraska, but remained with him only two years longer, her death occurring May 3, 1895. She had taken much pride and interest in the new home, and when she passed away Mr. Nelson laid her to rest within fifty feet of the front door. It was not until 1919 that her remains were removed to the beautiful city cemetery of Kimball. Mr. Nelson is not only interested in his land but has other investments, including stock in the Farmers Elevator Company at Dix.

    JOHN N. RASMUSSEN. -- Not nearly all the interesting stories have yet been told of the pioneering days and people of Nebraska. There may be a similarity in many of these but nevertheless there is always a personal touch that arouses interest. To Howard county in its early days, came many strong and sturdy people who brought with them the habits of thrift and industry in which they had been reared in the native Denmark, and of these was the Rasmussen family which has continued true to type.
   John Nels Rasmussen, who is one of Kimball county's upright men and substantial farmers and stockraisers, was born in Howard county, Nebraska, September 7, 1878, one of the two children born to Hans and Maria (Nelson) Rasmussen. Mr. Rassmussen had one sister, Julia, who married James Miller, who lived near Greeley, Colorado, at that time, moved later to Idaho, where she died on her husband's pioneer ranch. Both parents of Mr. Rasmussen were born in Denmark. The father came to the United States when a young man, in 1863, and located near Green Bay, Wisconsin. The mother come in 1865 and for a time was in New York and a short time in Chicago, finally Green Bay, and there, in 1867 Hans Rasmussen and Maria Nelson were married. Until 1871 they remained in Wisconsin, but in that year decided to move to Nebraska in order to secure government land. They traveled by railroad to Omaha, in which city they secured a prairie schooner and a team of horses, with which they started across the prairie to Howard county, Nebraska, where the father homesteaded eighty acres. The wagon served as a home until other arrangements could be made, and the family lived on the homestead for twenty-one years, during that time often facing hardships of all kinds.



The venerable mother of Mr. Rassmussen, with her unimpaired memory, can tell of those days, of their trials and pleasures, in a very interesting way. In the spring of 1892 they left Howard county and came to Kimball county, settling on section 10-13-53, and resided there until the father's death.
   John N. Rasmussen remained at home and assisted his father both before and after coming to Kimball county. In 1913 he was married to Miss Helen Benson, a daughter of Gunder and Louise Benson. The father of Mrs. Rasmussen died in 1907 but the mother survives and has many friends and acquaintances in Kimball county. The entire connection belongs to the Lutheran church.
   Mr. Rasmussen was one of the first to be prepared to file on land under the Kinkaid act when the opportunity came. In 1904 he homesteaded under this law, on section 22-13-53, and now has three hundred and twenty-five acres of his extensive tract under careful cultivation, and gives much attention to stock, keeping one hundred and fifty head of cattle and horses. He devotes the most of his time to looking after his farm industries, but has some other investments, included in these being stock in the Farmers Union Elevator at Potter. Mr. Rasmussen has always been deemed a good citizen, is widely known and belongs to that class of men of whom it is often said, "his simple word is as good as his bond." Mr. and Mrs. Rasmussen have one child, Elmer J., born December 9, 1919.

   ANDREW ANDERSON. -- There are few men better known or more highly respected in the neighborhood of Potter, Nebraska, than Andrew Anderson, who, for many years has been a large landowner here, an extensive farmer and stockman, and financially interested in a number of successful business enterprises at Potter and Dix.
   Andrew Anderson was born in Denmark, September 24, 1862. His parents were Peter and Maria Anderson, natives of Denmark, where the father died in 1911, at the age of eighty years and the mother in 1915, at the age of eighty-two years. Andrew Anderson had one sister and four brothers, as follows: Elsie, who died at Plano, Illinois, was the wife of Michael Johnson; an infant that died at birth; one who died aged three years; Jens, who is a farmer in Denmark; and Edward who lives at Brush, Colorado.
   In 1873, accompanied by his only sister, Andrew Anderson came to the United States. After landing in the harbor of New York, they made their way to Plano, Illinois, where the sister remained the rest of her life, Mr. Anderson, however, working in that vicinity for three years only. He then came to Potter, Cheyenne county, finding employment in the village for a year, after which he began to accumulate land which now aggregates many hundred acres. He took up a half section, homesteading one hundred and sixty acres, with tree claim of one hundred and sixty acres and has remained here ever since, and at the present time has eight hundred acres of deeded land, and a twenty-five-year lease on a half section of school land. Of this he has two hundred and fifty acres devoted to general farming and is a heavy raiser of cattle and horses, formerly turning out as many as two hundred head a year. Mr. Anderson's improvements have kept pace with his financial progress. He has an abundance of water which he utilizes according to modern methods, has erected one of the handsome farm residences of this section and barns and other farm structures equal to the best in the county.
   In 1892 Mr. Anderson was married to Miss Elsie Johnson, a daughter of Jens Johnson. Mrs. Anderson was born in Denmark and grew up in the same neighborhood as Mr. Anderson. When he had a home prepared he sent for her and she came alone to America and joined him. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have had but one child, a daughter, who is now the wife of Jacob Nelson and they live in Kimball county. A son of Mr. Anderson's brother, Christian Anderson, now a young man of twenty years, has lived with Mr. and Mrs. Anderson since he was left motherless at the age of two years. He is now Mr. Anderson's right hand man.
   Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are members of the Danish Lutheran church. Mr. Anderson has never been very active in local politics, but he has been an important factor in founding and carrying on business concerns of considerable magnitude in this section and has investments in the Dix Mercantile Company at Dix, the Farmers Elevator at Potter, he also has stock in the Western Mortgage Company of Denver. He owns a residence at Potter.

   JACOB M. NELSON, who is a prominent citizen of Potter, Nebraska, and interested in business enterprises here, was born in Denmark a son of Julius and Sophia Nelson, who came to the United States in 1886.
   It was considerable of an undertaking for

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