Resource Center, On-Line Library
mercantile establishments, merchant, was one of the pioneer men to believe and engage in the cement business, clerk of the county, postmaster, mayor of the city of Antioch, and is one of the representative ranchmen and merchants of Sheridan county. In all these vocations he displayed the business ability, financial foresight and thrift which he applied to his industries, personal and public, and by these qualities won and kept the respect of his colleagues, while at the same time gaining a comfortable fortune for himself. Mr. Smith was born near Manlius, Illinois, July 18, 1854, the son of William H. and Phlinda (Stickle) Smith, the former a native of Wyandotte county, Ohio, while the mother was born in Muskingum county of that state. Frank was the second child in a family of three born to his parents. His father was a farmer so that the children grew up in the country. In addition to his agricultural pursuits, the father became an inventor and made the first two wheeled corn cultivator on the market which was later manufactured at Galesburg, Illinois. He, however, gained title for it as he sold the rights of the cultivator in 1859 or 1860 for thirty-five dollars, but the new machine revolutionized the corn industry, doing away with the old one horse, double shovel plow, but like so many men of genius, while he could invent the machine he did not realize its value and so let a fortune for himself and his children slip from his grasp. Frank attended the district school near his home and thus laid the foundation for a good, practical education, which was fortunate as he lost his right hand below the elbow in his fifteenth year in a broom corn scraper. This accident would have daunted a Youth of less high heart and courage, but he determined not to let this ruin his life and has "carried on," as the soldiers say, and been on the job every minute of the time and perhaps made more of a success than if he had not been forced to use all his grit and determination to overcome a physical defect. For fifty or more years this brave man has faced the world and by his determination "to do, and to conquer" has achieved a marked success and fortune all of his own making. When Mr. Smith was only eleven years old his father died and he was forced to go to work for farmer's to help support the family. He continued to study whenever he could get to school and in 1873 came west and accepted a position as teacher in Carleton, Thayer county, Nebraska, where he taught three years, but the life, of a teacher did not appeal to him and he decided to enter another field where there seemed to be a future and resigned to go into a store in Fairbury, Nebraska, to remain five years, thoroughly learning the business. Mr. Smith was married at Wyanett, Illinois, to Miss Rosetta Aldrich, born in Bureau county, that state. Her parents were Fenner S. and Martha (Mowery) Aldrich, both natives of the state of New York. Seven children have been born to this union: Ethel, at home with her parents; Gerald A., engaged in the management of the pumping station of the Union Potash Company at Antioch, is also a partner with his brother, Fenner A., in the ownership and management of a fine brick garage having a building covering a hundred by fifty feet, while his fraternal affiliations are with the Odd Fellows; Frederick V., a graduate, of the Chadron Academy, married Miss Josephine Hoffand, and now is engaged in the grocery and hardware business in Antioch, being the father of two sons and is also a member of the Odd Fellows and a member of the Congregational church; Fenner A., a graduate of the Chadron Academy, with his brother is the owner of the Potash Garage and his wife was Miss Alice Jackson of Dawes county, and they have two boys and are members of the Congregational church; Homer C., also a partner in the garage with his brother, married Miss Maude Cogdill and they have one child, a son; Zilma V., a graduate of the Chadron Academy, is a teacher in Antioch, and Frank J., who enlisted in the army when war was declared against Germany and spent a year at Deming. After his marriage Mr. Smith returned to Wyanett, Illinois, and engaged in the mercantile business, but the call of the west was in his ears. He longed for the freedom and opportunities afforded on the prairies and returned to Fairbury where, he accepted a position in a clothing store, remaining three years before he went to Emporia, Kansas, to engage in the cement business, but on account of his health returned to Nebraska in 1888, locating in Loup county and in 1892, availed himself of the homestead act and filed on a homestead. From the first he took an active part in public affairs and was-elected county clerk, serving four years, and at the same time managing his farm. Two years later he moved to Dawes county, farmed, and also engaged in the cement business, building many walks in Chadron. In 1914, Mr. Smith came to Antioch to engage in the mercantile business; the same year he was appointed postmaster, serving in that capacity five years. When Antioch was organized as a city he was elected the first mayor. He resigned from office in 1918, because of the "flu,"
but is still in business, owning one of the finest men's furnishing houses in the Panhandle, housed in a building Mr. Smith erected for the purpose in 1917, having a floor space of forty by sixty feet. He also owns a fine, modern home in Antioch. Mr. Smith is one of the pioneer residents of this section as well as one of the oldest merchants and takes great pride in this town of potash fame, and is glad that he has been able to take, part in the opening up and development of the northwestern section of the state and as he expresses it, "helped to put Antioch on the map." He is a liberal, broad minded American, ever ready to assist in the good works of county and town, giving liberally and is a typical western booster. The family belongs to the Congregational church while Mr. Smith is an Odd Fellow.
HENRY H. SMICE, one of the leading merchants of Antioch, is entitled to pioneer honors in Nebraska and for that reason should be accorded a record in this history of the Panhandle. He was born in Louisa county, Iowa, January 19, 1864, the son of William H. and Carlista (Day) Smice, the former a native of Germany. Henry was the only child born to his parents. At the outbreak of the Civil War his father enlisted in an Iowa regiment for eighteen. months, but after his discharge from the service again enlisted at Memphis for the period of the war. He died and when Henry was eighteen months old his mother married a second time, a Mr. Daniel Wainwright, and Henry has thirteen half brothers and sisters from the second marriage. The family moved to Columbus, Nebraska, when Henry was a small boy so that his childhood was spent on a farm here. The trip was made by boat and rail as far as Columbus and the remainder in true pioneer style in a. prairie schooner overland to the farm, situated south of Grand Island on the Wood river in the Alda district. While still a youth Henry well remembers that he shocked grain for fifty cents a day and obtained what educational advantages he could in the winter time. At the age of eighteen he started out independently to earn his living and from that day to this has done so. He began to farm for himself near Alda, but when the grasshoppers came and ate up two crops in succession he grew discouraged and sold out for a team of horses, land that today is worth two hundred dollars an acre. Mr. Wainwright built a mill on the Wood river and settlers came from great distances to have their grain ground, sometimes more than a hundred miles as people lived far apart and mills were still farther in that early day. Mr. Smice remembers that hundreds of Indians came, some from nearly every tribe in the vicinity, making a stop at the mill on their yearly hunting trips and to barter furs And bides for meal and flour. One time when the father was away some Pawnee Indians came to trade and seeing no man just took possession of the place but the mother called to a woman to get a musket and when they saw it the Indians knew they were covered and vacated, contented with the Pour and meal Mrs. Wainwright had given them. In 1882, Mr. Smice returned to Kearney county and accepted a position with the men who were building the branch of the Burlington Railroad from Hastings to McCook, remaining with this outfit until the cold weather stopped the work. He then went to Hastings and soon was offered the management of the old Hollard Ranch which he ran for two years, leaving it to establish a feed and livery business at Hartwell, Nebraska, being engaged thus for six years. In 1885, Mr. Smice married Miss Nellie Holland at Hastings, Nebraska, who died in 1887, and Mr. Smice was married a second time on December 31, 1887, to Miss Nellie Howard, at Bedford, Iowa. She was the daughter of Peter Howard. Mrs. Smice is a graduate of the Nodaway high school, Nodaway, Iowa, and was the oldest in a family of six children. Mr. and Mrs. Smice have two children: Bulah M., who married Joseph Rum, storekeeper for the Hoard Potash plant at Lakeside and they have two children; and (sic) Orville M., a little lad of five.
In 1888, Mr. Smice became one of the pioneer settlers of Box Butte county, locating in Alliance where he held a position with the railroad for about eleven months before he located on a ranch about twelve miles south of Antioch where the family remained two years then went to Iowa, but five years later they were back in Alliance, where Mr. Smice was variously engaged until February, 1919, when he purchased a building fifty by thirty feet on Second street in Antioch and opened an up-to-date second hand store, for he saw that with the climbing prices there was a good opportunity to make money in handling used furniture. He also manages an excellent repair shop where he is equipped to handle all kinds of repair work. Within a short time he expects to add a line of fine new furniture and the prospects of a fine business are assured.
CLAUDE D. RICE is one of the merchants of the Panhandle who, while a recent resident of this section, has made a fine record in commercial circles in Sheridan county and the town of Antioch. Mr. Rice was born near St. Joe, Michigan, February 4, 1881, the son of Alonzo and Jennie (Aldrich) Rice, both natives of that state. Claud was the fourth in a family of seven children. The father enlisted at the outbreak of the Civil War in one of the Michigan Volunteer regiments and served under the stars and stripes four years, taking part in many of the hardest fought engagements and battles of that conflict. He entered the army at sixteen years of age as a drummer boy but showed such ability and miliary (sic) strategy that he was rapidly advanced from one office to another, so held that of brigadier general when he was mustered out of the service in 1865. After the war Mr. Rice learned the trade of millwright and followed this vocation in the great lumber mills of his native state for many years. When Claude was three years old his father came west, locating on a homestead near Hay Springs and there the boyhood days of the child were spent. As there were no district schools in that country at that early days, Claud studied at home until he was nine years old. The family lived at first in the typical "soddy" of the plains but later the father freighted logs from Pine Ridge, forty miles away, and erected a comfortable log house for his family. About the time of Claud's ninth birthday the Rice family moved into the village of Hay Springs and he then entered the public school. As he was an ambitious boy and wanted money of his own he caught fish in the Niobrara river, dug a hole in a sand bar and kept them there for sale. When he earned his first money he felt quite a capitalist. From the time the boy was twelve until his sixteenth year the family lived in Custer City as Mr. Rice was engaged in running a saw mill there as timber was cut and sent to the mines. Claud worked in the mill under his father as all-around-man and practically learned the milling business. However, he was anxious to be financially independent and in 1897, went to Chicago, arriving in the spring he soon found a position in a piano factory where his knowledge of wood working stood him well. After a year in the city he went to St. Joe and worked in a paper factory there three years, learning the trade of paper making. On leaving Michigan he returned to Chicago soon to work for the street car company, a position he held a year and a half. In 1901, Mr. Rice was married in Chicago, to Miss Nellie Allen, a native of Glasgow, Scotland. Five children were born to this union, but in 1908 the family all came down with typhoid and when Mr. Rice recovered all were dead but the youngest boy, John, who now lives with an aunt in Chicago. In, 1910, Mr. Rice was married a second time in Alliance, Nebraska, to Miss Grace Culliver, of Box Butte county and one little girl was born to them. Ten days after she was born the mother died and more than a year later, in 1911, Mr. Rice was united in marriage with Miss Aurie Smith, at Alliance. She was a native of Custer City, South Dakota, and their family consists of one boy and two girls: Jennie, a student in the kindergarten, Claud, Jr., and June, a baby. Mr. Rice came to Antioch in 1917, to become a partner with his brother Alonzo, Jr., in a fine meat business. They own and operate one of the finest markets in this section and have built up a most gratifying trade which brings in good returns. Both brothers are progressive in ideas and methods and are fine citizens of the community.
FENNER A. SMITH. -- In the thriving community of Antioch, one of the live and enterprising business men is Fenner Smith, who with his brother Gerald, is actively engaged in the management of an automobile garage which they own. Mr. Smith also has the distinction of being the pioneer merchant of the town and though still a young man is deserving of pioneer honors and mention in this history of the Panhandle. He is a native son of Nebraska, born in Loup county, February 15, 1890, the son of Frank H. and Rosetta (Aldrich) Smith, whose biographies appear upon another page in this history. Fenner, named after his grandfather Aldrich, was the fourth in a family of seven children. Frank Smith owned a ranch in Loup county and there the children spent many of their childhood days. When Fenner was about seven his father left this place and moved to a new farm near Chadron. The boy was sent to the district school nearest his home where he laid the foundation of a good practical education. He early learned habits of thrift and under the tutelage of his father became a good, practical farmer. When only eight years old Fenner began to earn money for himself by herding cattle, receiving the munificient (sic) sum of a dollar a week for the work. After completing the course in the country school Mr. Smith entered the Chadron Academy where he graduated in 1909. Soon after this he accepted a position with the Northwestern Railroad, as time-keeper at the
stone quarry owned by that corporation at Hot Springs, South Dakota, where he remained a year then returned to Nebraska and took up a homestead of two hundred and forty acres in Dawes county, twenty-five miles southwest of Chadron. He was already a good farmer and studied agricultural subjects with the idea of becoming a still better one and succeeded to a marked degree, due to his diligence, executive ability and hard work. In addition to the home farm, Mr. Smith rented five quarter sections, raised cattle, hogs, and grains. He made a good living and for five years kept, as he expresses it, "bachelor hall." In 1916, having a good offer for his ranch Mr. Smith leased to advantage and came to Antioch to join his brother in the ownership and management of a general mercantile establishment, the first store in the town. Associated with him was his brother Frederick V. This partnership continued two years when Fenner sold his interest to his brother. About this time he concluded not to return to his ranch and sold his holdings near Chadron and formed a new partnership, this time with his brother Gerald. They built the Potash Garage, a brick and tile structure fifty by a hundred feet which is equipped with every modern convenience for service, repair work and sales. Three skilled mechanics are employed in the repair department, while the brothers themselves handle the sales department as they are agents for Ford cars and Republic trucks in the towns of Birsell, Hofland, Antioch, Lake Side and Ellsworth, also the contributing territory thereto. In addition to the above business they handle a fine line of accessories and tires, having a very valuable stock.
On October 20, 1917, Mr. Smith was married at Chadron, to Miss Alice Jackson, the daughter of Thomas W. and Anna L. (Hakenson) Jackson, the former a native of Iowa, while the mother was born in Sweden. Two children have been born to this union: Otis Cecil and Aldrich F. St. Clair. The family are members of the Congregational church. Mr. Smith is one of the second generation of pioneers in business in the Panhandle where he has surely "made good," for he has been successful in every line of endeavor in which he has been engaged. He still owns a four hundred acre ranch not far from Chadron which is a money making investment, while he is at the same time enjoying a most gratifying return for the money invested in his business in Antioch.
JESSE W. WILSON, one of the younger generation of successful farmers of the Panhandle has for many years been familiar with conditions here and has not, therefore, been called upon to change the manner and methods of his business. He has been successful and no further voucher is needed than the fact that he himself owns twenty-five hundred acres of fine land and in connection with his partner, who is his uncle, controls about twenty thousand acres of fine grazing and farm land in this vicinity. Mr. Wilson was born in Madison county, Iowa, February 2, 1882, the son of James E. and Dora (Windon) Wilson, the former born in Lucas county, Iowa, while the mother was a native of West Virginia. Jesse was the second in a family of seven children; he attended the district school near his home in Iowa until his twelfth year when the family came to Nebraska, locating on a homestead north of the present site of Antioch, which is located on three of the forties owned by Mr. Wilson. Jesse early began to assist his father in the work about the farm, learned the practical business of agriculture under his father during the summer vacations, while going to school during term time. After completing the local schools he attended the Chadron Academy for two years and as he had decided upon a business career, entered the Broken Bow Business College, to take a special course for three years. Upon finishing his education he accepted a position under his uncle J. O. Wilson in Custer county, remaining there, for a year. On November 25, 1905, Mr. Wilson was married at Alliance to Miss Ada E. Harrell, born in Madison county, Iowa, the daughter of Edgar and Etta (Hancock) Harrell. She was the third in a good old fashioned family of ten children. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, Dorothy E., a student in the Antioch schools. After his marriage Mr. Wilson engaged in farming for a year before he and his brother Ray Wilson formed a partnership and opened a men's furnishing store in Merna, Nebraska. Receiving a good offer for the stock and business good-will sometime later, the brothers traded for a farm near Anselmo, then bought another farm on West Table making a fine ranch of the two tracts. Working the land for a year to put it under good cultivation they were offered and accepted a satisfactory price for the two farms and the next year were engaged in running a steam plow breaking land along the North Platte river. The following season Mr. Wilson decided to give
both himself and his wife a vacation and spent a year in California in travel and pleasure. Mr. Wilson's wife died October 26, 1918, and on September 6, 1919, he was married at Kansas City, Missouri to Miss Lavinda Cochran, born in New Canton, Illinois, the daughter of Ellis L. and Ora I. (Shipman) Cochran both born at New Canton, Illinois. Mrs. Wilson is the younger of the two girls in the family. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are Presbyterians.
On his return to Nebraska, Mr. Wilson operated his father's farm, situated west of Alliance, for about a year but was able to purchase about the kind of land he wanted a mile west of Antioch, and now makes his home there. Since locating in Sheridan county he has become one of the heavy stock raisers of this section, as he has been far sighted enough to that the meat industry of the future is to be in the hands of the small operators now that the day of the open range is over. For some time Mr. Wilson has been associated in this enterprise with his uncle, W. G. Wilson. As stated they own and control over twenty thousand acres of land in this part of the Panhandle, annually run close to a thousand head of stock and raise the necessary fodder and grain for maintaining this herd and the horses they raise and sell. Yearly they ship by carload lots to the eastern markets. and are meeting with assured success. In addition to his ranch interests, Mr. Wilson holds stock in the Pioneer Potash Company of Antioch, the plant being located on his land and at the present prices and prospects the company will make much money. Mr. Wilson is one of the influential men of his section, is progressive in his ideas and methods, and supports most liberally all movements for the upbuilding of the county and town. He is a member of the Elks club and takes an active part in communal and civic affairs.
EDSON GERING. --There are few residents of Gering, Nebraska, better known than Edson Gering, who has witnessed the growth of this city from earliest days to its present importance. It was founded by his father, the late Martin Gering, who gave it his name. Edson Gering has lived here for over thirty years and has done his part as a good citizen. For sixteen years he was a trusted employe of the United States government as a mail carrier between Gering and Scottsbluff, with the remarkable record of never missing but one train in all that time. Mr. Gering owns valuable real estate at Gering, where he conducts a private cab service.
Edson Gering was born September 20, 1861, in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, the only son of Martin and Sarah Jane (Slote) Gering, the former of whom was born in Germany and the latter in New Jersey, and they were married in Pennsylvania. In 1879 they moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where Martin Gering first conducted bottling works and later a saloon. In 1882 he moved to Custer county and operated a restaurant at Westerville for a time and then opened a hardware and implement store. In 1888 he came to Scottsbluff county, invested in land, established the town that bears his name and afterward was a hardware dealer and general merchant here for years. He was a man of great business enterprise. He was a veteran of the Civil War, in which he served four years as a soldier and to the day of his death, which occurred in the city of Washington, he bore the marks of his wounds. In politics a Republican, he was always influential in party councils. He belonged to the Masonic fraternity, and both he and wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Edson Gering obtained his education in the schools of his native state, and afterward learned the ironmolder's trade. In 1887 he came to Scottsbluff county on a prospecting tour, which resulted in his returning as a permanent resident, with his father, in 1888. During early years here he engaged in hauling and freighting, and with reference to pioneer experiences in this section, Mr. Gering is a repository of knowledge.
In the fall of 1888 Edson Gering was united in marriage to Miss Nellie M. Winner, who was born near Rochester, Minnesota. They have children as follows: Ralph W., a sailor on the United States battleship Yankton, has been in the naval service over two years and is now with his vessel in Cola Bay, Siberia; Clara, the wife of Ora Martindale, a farmer in Banner county, Nebraska; Harry, a cattle feeder in Scottsbluff county; Charles, who operates a draying business in Scottsbluff; Ivis, the wife of Reuben Lobdell, a carpenter at Gering; Sidney, is in the vulcanizing business at Lusk, Wyoming, and Gladys, who remains with her parents. The family attends the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics Mr. Gering has followed his father's example. As one of Gering's first citizens he has always been mindful of her best interests and has served usefully as a member of the town board. Both he and wife belong to the Royal Neighbors and he is a member of the Modern Woodmen.
JOSEPH E. WARREN, manager of the American and Western Potash Company and mayor of Antioch, is one of the younger business men in the Panhandle who has had varied
experiences in commercial life and today is well and favorably known in Sheridan county where his rise in financial circles has been rapid, but demonstrates that when the right man and the right position come together nothing can follow but brilliant success. Joseph E. Warren was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, July 25, 1882, the son of Fritz H. and Mary A. (Cress) Warren, the former a native of Pawnee City, Nebraska, while the mother was born in the city of Milwaukee. Joseph was next to the youngest in a family of five children born to his parents. His father was manager of the New York Plumbing Company for eight years and also held office as county clerk of Pottawatomie county, Iowa, for two terms. Later he was appointed clerk of the United States District Court for the district including Iowa, serving in that capacity for a term, so that the children were reared in Council Bluffs, attended the public schools there, laying the foundation for good educations. Joseph graduated from the high school in 1897; he had already earned money for himself by working in the Nonpareil Printing Office helping feed the press, so had tasted the sweets of independence as well as learned what it was to work for his money. Soon after finishing school Mr. Warren came to Nebraska, locating with his grandfather, Colonel J. E. West, at Rushville, and together they engaged in running the Commercial Hotel until 1899, when Joseph went to Omaha to accept a position as time-keeper, then worked in the stock yards until 1909. That year he returned to Rushville to help his grandfather in the management of a general mercantile establishment of the town, which the colonel owned. The next year the young man purchased a confectionery store in Rushville which he operated for two years. Being a natural musician Mr. Warren realized the great lack of musical facilities in the town and was the prime mover in the organization of an orchestra which toured the western part of Nebraska, playing for concerts and dances until 1917, when they came to Antioch to play at a barbecue, which was given when the city was selling off lots in the newly platted town. This was in September, and Warren liked the town so well he decided to stay for a time. He began to work for the American Potash Company as a common laborer, but true ability will not stay down and at the expiration of a month he was put in charge of the evaporation department. He began to devote time and energy to studying the business and within a short time his salary jumped from twenty-five cents an hour to more than a hundred and fifty dollars a month. For eight months he had supervision of his department, then in June, 1918, entered the office of the company as time-keeper, but a month later was promoted to the office of bill and cost clerk. One month in this position and he was advanced to chief clerk of the office and when, in the fall of 1919, the Western Potash Company consolidated with the American Company, Mr. Warren was offered and accepted the management of the new concern. This but shows what western energy, superimposed upon natural ability and the determination to get ahead and succeed may accomplish when there is the will to do so, and a man is not afraid to work. Big concerns are ever on the outlook for men of ability and Mr. Warren was chosen from a large number who could not quite measure up to the job.
On February 11, 1918, Mr. Warren was married in Antioch to Miss Reneta C. Bahler, a native daughter of Nebraska, born in Indianola. One child has been born to them, arriving early in the morning of Armistice day, November 11, 1918, and the parents are very proud of young Joseph Blumer, who is named in honor of F. L. Blumer of Lake Side, who is the general manager of the Hord Potash Company of that village. Mr. Warren has made a host of warm business associations and friends since he located in Sheridan county and it was a fine tribute to his citizenship when he was elected mayor of Antioch in the spring of 1919, with only four dissenting votes cast against him. He is one of the young, energetic, progressive business men who are making, not alone writing the history of finance and commerce in this new field in the Panhandle and the country at large. The Warrens are members of the Episcopal church, while Mr. Warren is also a member of the Elks.
JOHN L. JENNY, a native son of Nebraska who by his western "push," ability and hard work has built up a fine business along two lines in Antioch, is one of the younger generation who has had varied experience in business and financial circles since he entered upon an independent career. Mr. Jenny was born near Columbus, Nebraska, May 8, 1887, the son of John L. and Amelia (Becker) Jenny, both natives of that little mountain country Switzerland, known for its population of thrifty, industrious inhabitants. The father came from his native land to the United States in 1873, and Mrs. Jenny followed the next year. John senior was a farmer by vocation and after landing in America came west, lo-
cating on a homestead eighteen miles north of Columbus, being one of the earliest settlers of that region. He made good and permanent improvements on his land, erected a comfortable home for himself and wife, and was one of the hardy, determined pioneers who had great faith in the future of Nebraska and was not discouraged and driven out of the state by the hard, dry years of the late eighties and early nineties but held on, and lived to see his faith in his land justified. John Jr., was the fourth in the family of six children. When he was old enough his parents sent him to the school nearest the farm and there he laid the foundation for his practical education. When he was yet a lad of fifteen John went to Dubuque, Iowa, to live with a relative and learn the machinist trade as well as novelty iron working. He was paid while learning this business, but not much, and of that sum had to pay four dollars a month for his board and laundry. For three years the boy remained in the city tending strictly to his business and had the satisfaction of knowing that he had thoroughly mastered the trade. Following this he went to Stillwater, Minnesota, to work for his uncle August Becker, being engaged in putting up saw mills in that locality for two years. During this time Mr. Jenny realized that a knowledge of electricity would be of value to him and to gain this went to Chicago to take a position where he worked on general electric equipment, learning the practical side of that line of business. Feeling that he had a working knowledge of this business he returned to the middle west, locating in Omaha, where he was employed in various garages as he could put to good use his knowledge of metal work and electricity at the same time when repairing cars, and also learn the automobile business from the ground up. On June 12, 1911, Mr. Jenny was married at Omaha to Miss Dorothy M. Garlich, born at Mineola, Iowa, the daughter of Fred and Odalite (Ollinwinkl) Garlich, both natives of Germany. Two children have been born of this union: Adaline Emma, eight years old and Myrtle May, just past three. In the spring of 1918, Mr. Jenny come (sic) to Antioch to assist in the construction of the Western Potash Company's factory and when it was opened for operation he was given the position of night foreman, which he held until the concern ceased to operate in July 1919. He then accepted a position at the Standard Potash Works, where he remained until November. In the meantime he had kept his eyes open for business opportunities and soon saw that there was a great demand in the town for an European hotel, so with his wife's hearty approval and co-operation he invested in such an enterprise, opening up a first class rooming hotel in the Burr Block where he and his wife have from the first met with great success. On February 1, 1920, he leased a building and opened an up-to-date garage, where he is well equipped for repair work and is the agent for the Sells automobile, carries a fine line of supplies and accessories, and maintains a good service station. The Jenny family are members of the German Lutheran church and Mr. Jenny is one of the young men who is becoming recognized as a leading business man of Sheridan county.
SEWARD E. CROSS, formerly county judge, has been a resident of Banner county, Nebraska, for more than thirty-two years and has long been one of. the county's representative citizens and most substantial residents. He has been identified with much that has served to develop and build up this section of the state, and his name not only represents financial importance but personal worthiness as well. Judge Cross was born in Jasper county, Iowa, March 30, 1875, the son of Benjamin D. and Alice (Geist) Cross, the former born in Muskingum county, Ohio, May 29, 1954, and the latter in Jasper county, Iowa. Mrs. Cross died in 1883. The seven children of the family all survive, Seward E. being the eldest. The others are: John, Pearl D., Ethel, Frank S., Mabel and Benjamin D., Jr. Ethel is the wife of Earl Harvey, of Hull, Nebraska; Mabel is the wife of Earl Callahan, and they live on her father's ranch in Banner county. This ranch, known as the Bay State ranch, is one of the oldest in Banner county. Benjamin D. Cross located there in 1885, and carried on an extensive stock business until recent years when he retired. He has twenty-nine hundred and sixty acres in his ranch, all fine hay land. When he came here Indians were numerous, but he knew how to keep them friendly and never had any particular trouble with them. He now resides near Harrisburg, Nebraska.
Seward E. Cross attended School at Newton, Iowa, and from there came to Banner county, March 30, 1887. He assisted his father until ready to enter ranch life on his own account. He purchased a section of land for a dollar and eighty cents an acre, and added to this land until he now owns nearly five thousand acres, six hundred in alfalfa. After starting to operate his ranch he found himself with some spare time and was led to engage in a general mercantile business at the same
time; in this enterprise he continued for eleven years. In March, 1919, he disposed of his store to Icheberger and Graves, also of Harrisburg, and then retired to his farm to resume its active management. In the meanwhile he had become a leading factor in county politics and in 1913 was elected county judge on the Republican ticket, an office he filled with dignity and efficiency. Since then he has served four years as county assessor. Since June 1, 1919, Judge Cross has been one of the stockholders of the Harrisburg State Bank.
On July 25, 1899, the judge was united in marriage with Miss Rachel M. Grubbs, a daughter of August B and Jennie (Axford) Grubbs. Mrs. Cross' father is deceased but her mother survives and lives at Flowerfield, Nebraska. Judge and Mrs. Cross have four children: John, Gladys, Alice and Dale. The family is socially prominent. Judge Cross has seen wonderful changes take place in this section since he first came here and perhaps might modestly deny that his constant good citizenship, his energy and enterprise and his hearty co-operation with others in sustaining progressive movements that had a substantial basis, had any large measure of influence in the county's evident advancement, but his many friends and admirers think otherwise.
ROY D. WILSON. -- No medium of information is so complete as the newspaper, and in modern days no agency is more educating. Consistent readers of newspapers have right at hand, whole libraries of travel and histories of scientific achievement, also have the ripened opinion of men learned in every profession and line of business, and in addition may keep in touch with local happenings that are generally interesting because of familiarity. The community in which live newspapers are supported, is a progressive one. Attention may thus be called to the Banner County News, an eight page, six column journal, published at Harrisburg, Nebraska, which is owned and published by Roy D. Wilson, the present county clerk of Banner county, Mrs. Roy D. Wilson, and their son Roger Wilson, a recently returned overseas soldier of the World War.
He was born December 20, 1871, at Tolona, Champaign county, Illinois, a son of Samuel L. and Mary M. (Crane) Wilson. He has an older sister, Estella, who is the wife of Herbert W. Royal, of Rocky Ford, Colorado. The mother, a native of Pennsylvania, died in 1909. The father, who was born in Ohio, was a veteran officer of the Civil War, died in March 1904. He served five years in the cavalry regiment during the war, and was a first lieutenant and until the close of his life maintained his membership in the Loyal Legion, an organization of officers of the Civil War. After retiring from military life he taught school, but in 1881 entered the newspaper field and organized, published and edited journals in different sections of the country until the close of his life. He was prominent in the Republican party and for many years was postmaster at Beattie, Kansas, but otherwise accepted no political honors, preferring the congenial, if not altogether remunerative work of the newspaper. He founded a newspaper at Manning, Iowa, was in the newspaper business at Cherokee, Iowa, at Wallace, Axtell and Beattie, Kansas, edited a mining journal at one time at Denver, and in association, with his son Roy D., conducted a paper at Ponca, Oklahoma.
Roy D. Wilson attended school in Iowa and later in Kansas, but a large part of his education was secured in his father's printing office, where he became a practical student when only nine years old. His beginning was made in the Monitor office, at Manning, Iowa. He learned the trade in the old time way, long before linotype machines were introduced, and he says he has set type on all the large daily newspapers from Chicago to the Pacific coast.
After his father's death, Mr. Wilson was interested in a publishing business at Vermillion, Kansas, but in 1906 he bought the Observer, at Kimball, Nebraska, which he conducted for eight years. He then started the Pine Bluffs Post, at Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, which he continued for six months, then bought the Review at Potter, Nebraska, and operated it for a few months. In November, 1917, he bought the Banner County News, a paper with a circulation of three hundred and fifty copies at that time. The business has been so developed and expanded since then that it has become one of the leading papers of the state. Its main circulation is in Banner county, the interests of which are carefully looked after in its columns, its circulation also has been doubled, making it one of the best advertising mediums in the county. Since Mr. Wilson was elected county clerk, the business has been managed by Mrs. Wilson, who is a woman of great newspaper ability herself, and their son, since his return from war service. The office has been thoroughly renovated and a power cylinder press installed, new type bought, and the latest ideas in producing a first-class newspaper adopted. In its political policy the paper is Republican.
© 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by Pam Rietsch, Ted & Carole Miller