NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center, On-Line Library




   ROBERT O. CHAMBERS. -- Without its men of business enterprise no community could make much progress, and one of the leading factors in development is a good, live newspaper, particularly devoted to local interests. Minatare, Nebraska, one of Scottsbluff county's beautiful and prosperous little cities, may owe much to its leading journal, the Minatare Free Press, which is owned and ably edited by Robert O. Chambers, long well known in the educational field.
   R. O. Chambers was born at Sidney, Nebraska, May 8, 1889, a son of Chas. P. and Susan (Sanderson) Chambers, natives of Indiana, who came to Nebraska and settled in old Cheyenne county, in 1885. Mr. Chambers was reared in that county, attended the public schools and after being graduated from the Sidney high school took a course in the Chadron Normal School. From 1906 until 1916 he taught school very acceptably in different sections, but in the latter year bought the Free Press, which he has made one of the leading organs of the county. It is Democratic in political policy but is mainly devoted to city and county affairs, Mr. Chambers being a writer of ability and discretion.
   In 1912 Mr. Chambers was united in marriage to Miss Helen Schroeder, who was born in Colorado, and is a daughter of Frederick W. and Minnie (Brockmann) Schroeder, and they have four children, namely: Robert, Frederick, Dorothy, and Glen. Mr. and Mrs. Chambers are members of the Episcopal church. He has additional business interests as he is in partnership with Smith Chambers in the real estate line, and at present is serving as clerk of the town board. He belongs to the order of Knights of Pythias.

    H. C. BRASHEAR. -- Under the modern system of agricultural and live-stock industry the application of energy and good business policy insures success, and this has been significantly demonstrated by the man whose name heads this brief review. H. C. Brashear is a native of the Keystone state, born in Venango county, Pennsylvania, August 3, 1859, the son of R. A. and Sarah A. (Seaton) Brashaer, the former a native of Brownsville, Pennsylvania while the mother was born in Butler county of the same state, and is still living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at the mature age of eihgty-three (sic) years. The father was a noted civil engineer, gained great renown in this profession which he followed the greater part of his life. To him was intrusted the first survey of the ground for laying out the Hoosac tunnel in Massachusetts and for many years he held the important position of chief engineer of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad. He was a man of exceptionally high standing among men of the engineering profession; was a Mason of high degree, and a stalwart Republican in politics, was loyal and progressive as a citizen and his ability and popularity gave him marked influence in community affairs, serving as city councilman of Franklin, Pennsylvania for a number of years. There were six children in the family: W. G., who lives in New York; H. C., the subject of this review; F. L., who travels for a manufacturing house of Pennsylvania; Lillian, the wife of F. B. Wolt, lives in Norfolk, Nebraska; Eugenia, the wife of F. L. Wright of Harrisburg, Pensylvania (sic), and R. A., on a homestead in Montana. Belonging to a family of ample means, and high education it was but natural that H. C. Brashear should follow in the footsteps of his father in this matter. He received his elementary education in the public schools of his native town, his father seeing that the foundation was well laid. This was greatly supplemented by his father's still more valuable information, technical knowledge and experience, which he imparted to his son. The young man spent his youth and early manhood in Pennsylvania, but he wished wider fields and knowing of the many opportunities afforded in the west determined to establish himself independently and came to Nebraska in 1886 for that purpose. He saw a great future in agricultural industries, and stock raising, results today justify his far sighted vision, Soon after reaching Nebraska Mr. Brashear located in Cheyenne county, homestead one hundred and sixty acres, pre-empted one hundred and sixty and purchased one hundred and sixty, an immense amount for one man to handle at that time. While he did not share the hardships and vicissitudes of the pioneers of territorial days he had his full share of blizzards, droughts and insect pests to contend with. On his fine estate he made the best improvements and soon was extensively engaged in general farm industry, including general agriculture, raising of the grains suitable to this climate and altitude, stock-raising and feeding. He has always held that thorough-bred cattle paid the best and has adhered to this principle in stocking his land and before long all his holdings will he under the government ditch, so that every acre may be irrigated, thus insuring a crop each year. This is a great contrast to the condition of the rolling prairies when he first came here as it was then necessary to



break the virgin sod in order to put in a crop, today waving fields of grain are seen for miles where in 1886 there was nothing but wild grasses and prairie flowers. Mr. Brashear has no communion with apathy or idleness, has been a productive worker and has been found busy at all stages of his career. Essentially a business man, he has had neither time nor desire to enter the turbulence of practical politics or to seek public office, though he is liberal and public spirited in his civic attitude and gives staunch support to the principles of the Republican party and is able to give sound logical reasons for his adherence to its tenets. Widely known throughout this section of the state, he has by his earnest endeavors entrenched himself firmly in popular confidence and esteem, and this has contributed to his success as a cattle man and farmer.
   Mr. Brashear was married in 1884 to Miss Lenora Golden, a native of Pennsylvania, the daughter of John Golden, and two children have been born to this union: R. A. who is married and lives on one of his father's farms, and J. W. who still lives at home associated with his father in business.

    A. C. DAVIS. -- Practical industry wisely and vigorously applied seldom fail of attaining success, and the career of the man whose name heads this review, now one of the progressive farmers of Scottsbluff county, is but added truth of the statement. When he started out in life he had but few advantages to assist him along the road to success, but his diligence and judicious management have brought him ample reward for his labors.
   Mr. Davis was born in Tennessee, June 16, 1876, the son of J. A. and Margaret (Arrowood) Davis who had eight children: John, who lives in Colorado; Laura, also a resident of that state; the subject of this sketch; Florence, the wife of A. P. Jones, lives in Utah; S. J., of Morrill, Nebraska; Elizabeth, the wife of Frank B. Kelly, lives in Colorado; and M. F., also a resident of Morrill. When Mr. Davis was but a young child his parents removed to Colorado, in 1879, where the boy spent his youth and early manhood, attended the excellent public schools of his district and while a little lad began to assume many duties around the home farm. As his age and strength increased he assisted more and more in the labor incident to the operation of a farm and under the guidance of his father learned the best methods of planting and harvesting, so that when he reached manhood he was well equipped with the practical experience to enable him to became a farmer on his own account. He started out for himself at an early age, operating land in Colorado for some years before coming to Nebraska. It is nine years since he purchased his present fine, one hundred and fifty acre tract in Scottsbluff county, which since 1910 he has brought to a high state of cultivation and by the erection of suitable buldings (sic) he, today, has a very valuable property all of which is under irrigation. General farming and stock-raising form the basis of the enterprise carried on by the owner who makes the proud boast that "There is nearly everything on the farm but weeds and a mortgage." In politics he votes as an independent, while his fraternal associations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World.
   In 1907, Mr. Davis married Alice Brown, a southern woman born in Alabama, and to them have been born five children: Ruth, Arthur, Margaret, Ellen and Mart, all of whom are at home under the careful training and guidance of their parents.

    SHERIDAN GUMMERE. --The pioneer families of Scottsbluff county who played their parts in the vital drama that has turned this section of Nebraska into a paradise for the homeseeker, developing the unbroken prairie into a garden spot of the earth, where thriving communities have grown up, have reason to hold themselves responsible for much of the present day progressiveness. While many of those who actually experienced the actual hardships of the early days have passed away, there still remain many who, through sheer force of will and energy, brought out of primeval conditions what have become twentieth century actualities. Among these is found in Sheridan Gummere, who was a homsteader (sic) of the year 1897. A member of such a family is Sheridan Gummere who came to Scottsbluff county nearly a quarter of a century ago and took up a homestead on the virgin prairie.
   He was born in Champaign county, Illinois, June 3, 1870, the son of Jack and Elizabeth Gummere to whom were born ten children: William, living in Oklahoma; Sheridan; Lottie, deceased; Anna, the wife of Arthur Draper, lives in Idaho; Otto, who for some years has been in Alaska; Daisy, the wife of Oskar Departee, also lives in Idaho; Ira, a resident of Montana; Nellie, who married. Frank Frazer; Leonard, who now lives in the state of Washington; and Ida, who also is married. The father of this sturdy family was a farmer in Illinois who learned of the fine public domain



in the middle west and decided to avail himself of a farm with the idea of giving his boys and girls greater opportunities than could be afforded in a more settled country east of the Mississippi river, and with this end in view came to Nebraska in 1897, pre-empted a claim in Scottsbluff county, established a home and engaged in general farming. That he met with success goes without saying when we know that today he. has retired from active participation in work to enjoy his sunset years in well earned and well deserved case and comfort.
   Sheridan Gummere received his education in the public schools, attending during the winter when the exigencies of farm work permitted and while but a lad of thirteen became a practical farmer himself at an age when most youths are thinking more of sports than making a living, for he has supported himself by his own unaided efforts since that period, a thing which few men of this day can boast. When the Gummere family came west, Sheridan had already decided to establish himself independently as soon as possible. As soon as his age permitted he took up a homestead and began operations as a farmer and stock-raiser, and through making the most of his opportunities, working industriously, managing his affars (sic) carefully, and applying all his knowledge to his daily labor, he has succeeded in accumulating a great agricultural estate of a thousand and eighty-five acres, so that today he is surrounded by the comforts and conveniences that serve in some measure to compensate him for the numerous hardships which he experienced during his early days in this section. He has fine improvements on all his property, excellent farm buildings. Mr. Gummere is accounted one of the energetic and progressive men of his community and belongs to one of the families which is well known in the county. His long experience in agricultural pursuits has made him more or less of an authority in western Nebraska, and he is frequently called upon by his associates for counsel and advice. Politically he is a Republican but politics and public affairs have had small share in his career, but his actions have always shown him to be a public spirited citizen, ready to support good measures, and a man who owns such a vast property with five hundred acres under irrigation has ample means to give liberally.
   In June, 1899, Mr. Gummere married Miss Della Pense, and to this union one child was born, Mildred, who lived a happy, joyous childhood until her thirteenth year when she was taken away, leaving a saddened home and sorrowing parents.
   For years Mr. Gummere has been a leading factor in every important, public-spirited movement for the promulgation of high standards in business circles, intensive and modern methods in farming and his influence is a valuable and valued one.

    HENRY M. SPRINGER.--The business career of Henry M. Springer has been significantly characterized by courage, progressiveness, as well as by dynamic initiative and executive ability that brings normally in its train a full measure of success. His resolute purpose and integrity have begotten the popular confidence and esteem that are so essential in the furtherance of success in the important lines of enterprise along which he has directed his attention and energies, and through the medium of which he has, gained secure status as one of the representative figures in the financial circles of western Nebraska, and stockmen of the Northwest. During practically his entire business career Mr. Springer has been closely associated with the live-stock industry and there is needed no further voucher for the precedence he has gained than the statement that today he is vice-president of the First National Bank of Mitchell, the oldest banking institution of the city. It has a capital stock of $25,000; surplus of $25,000 and deposits of about $727,000. Mr. Springer has shown special constructive talent, and through his effective policies and efforts he has furthered the success of every financial enterprise with which he has been associated. As one of the representative business and stock men and progressive and public spirited citizens of Scottsbluff county he merits specific recognition in this publication.
   Henry M. Springer is a Missourian, born in Sullivan county, March 3, 1860, the son of E. Y. and Hollie A. (Jones) Springer, both natives of Illinois and to this union five children were born, but two of whom are living. The family consisted of Henry; John M., who, lives in Goshen county, Wyoming; William A., deceased; Flora, the wife of Edgar M. Sanders, a resident of North Powder, Oregon, is deceased. The father of the family was a successful farmer in Illinois who removed to Missouri at an early day locating in that state in 1852, where he again followed agricultural pursuits until he felt the call of the great west and in 1879 fitted out a praire (sic) schooner and with the members of his family either in the wagon or on horseback, made the long over



land trip to Idaho, where he engaged in stockraising and general farming for five years. He then returned to the eastern part of Nebraska, traveling through the Panhandle on the trip but the spirit of the west had entered into his blood and not contented in the more thickly settled sections he again turned his face toward the setting sun and came to Scottsbluff county. Here he entered actively into the civic and business life of the community, soon became a figure in public and municipal affairs, gained the confidence of his associates which was demonstrated when they elected him to represent this district in the state legislature. Mr. Springer was active in the local councils of the Republican party; his. fraternal relations were with the Masonic order while he and his wife were members and supporters of the Methodist church. In 1910 he passed from life having been a successful business man, loving and devoted father and husband, leaving a sorrowing wife and family. Mrs. Springer still resides on the old home farm south of Mitchell.
   Henry Springer attended school in Missouri during his youth, then accompanied the family on their long and interesting wagon trip across the plains to Idaho and today he can recount many of the thrilling and interesting events which happened during the journey. While in the west he was engaged to some extent in agricultural pursuits but had a natural love for horses and devoted more of his time to that branch of industry as he was a youthful cowboy, loving the free, open life of the range, even its loneliness and hardships could not dampen his enthusiasm. In 1884 he, his father and brothers drove a herd of four hundred head of horses clear from Idaho to Bridgeport, old Camp Clark at that time, where he disposed of them and then determined to locate here permanently, took up a tree claim in 1885, making his home in Wyoming, set out the required trees to secure the land and in 1889 took up his residence. He at once engaged actively in agricultural pursuits and stock-raising which has been given his greatest attention and time. Soon after coming here he began improving his property, put his previous experiences to good use by buying horses to stock his farm and soon developed a prosperous business. Mr. Springer has for a long term of years been recognized as the most progressive and substantial farmer, stock-raiser, feeder, and shipper in this section of the state. When the First National Bank was organized it was but natural that such a man should be chosen to guide the financial policies of the institution. Under his careful and progressive regime the First National Bank has made a wonderful advancement in the volume of its business; it is regarded as the soundest bank in the west, doing a volume of business almost incredible for a banking house for its years. While taking an active part in the Republican party Mr. Springer has served as county commissioner when the county was young and is again serving in the same office at the present time. He is an active member of the Masonic fraternity and belongs to the Eastern Star and Modern Woodmen.
   In 1882 Mr. Springer married Miss Alice Boltenberg, who was born and reared until her marriage in Illinois. Their family numbered five, three of whom are living: Odessa, married to Edward B. Deering, lives in Torrington, Wyoming; Ruby, is the wife of Lon D. Merchant of Goshen county, Wyoming, and Vera, who is at home. Two chidren (sic) died in infancy.

    THOMAS H. YOUNG, rancher and business man is a Pennsylvanian who transferred his activities to the middle west when this section was still called "The Great American. Desert," where he has made a record of which any man might be proud. For forty-three busy years Thomas Young has been known in the Panhandle and today he is one of the best known farmers and stock-raisers of this section. He has seen wonderful changes of all kinds since first coming here and has done his fair share in the development of the county's agricultural resources and in establishing such necessities of civilization as, good roads, schools and churches. When a community can claim a majority of such, stable and dependable men as Mr. Young its permanence and progress are assured.
   Mr. Young was born in the Keystone state July 2, 1860, the son of William and Melissa Jane (Logan) Young, both natives of Pennsylvania. To them were born five children but two of whom are living: Margaret, deceased; Emma, deceased; Jerry, also deceased; James, who lives at Butler, Pennsylvania, and Thomas, the youngest, The father was a carpenter and builder, being regarded as a master workman of his trade in the locality where he lived. He was accidentally drowned in 1864. He was a member of the Presbyterian church and in politics a staunch Republican. It was a hard struggle for the mother left alone with a growing family on her hands and in 1870 the battle proved too much for this fragile but loving mother and she passed from life leaving her

Prior page
General index
Next page

   © 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by Pam Rietsch, Ted & Carole Miller