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   ALFRED W. GUMAER. -- In manifold directions has the forceful individuality of Judge Gumaer been exerted beneficently in connection with civic and material progress within his forty years of residence in Nebraska, to which state he came when a young man and in which he has been prominent and influential in public affairs and business enterprise. He has served in various offices of distinctive public trust, is now judge of the county court of Garden county and was one of the founders of Oshkosh, the judicial center of the county,--a place named in honor of his native city in Wisconsin. The record of achievement on the part of the judge during the years of his residence in Nebraska reflects credit not only upon him but also upon the state, and as one of the essentially influential and honored citizens of Garden county it is imperative that he be accorded a definite tribute in this history.
   Alfred W. Gumaer was born at Oskosh, Wisconsin September 1, 1853, and his native place, now one of the beautiful and thriving cities of the Badger state, was a straggling lumbering town at the time he was there ushered onto the stage of life. He is a son of William G. and Priscilla (Weed) Gumaer, both natives of the state of New York. On the paternal side Judge Gumaer is a scion of a sterling French-Hugenot family whose original location in America was in Ulster county, New York, and in all succeeding generations likewise has the name Gumaer been honorably linked with the annals of our nation. The original American progenitors made settlement in Ulster county about the year 1685.
   Judge Gumaer was a child at the time of his parents' removal to Weyauwega, Wisconsin, where his father engaged in the operation of a flour mill and a saw mill. There the subject of this review attended the public schools of the period, and later he continued his studies in the high school at Oshkosh, after which he pursued a course of study in the University of Wisconsin, at Madison. On leaving this institution he joined an engineering corps, with which he assisted in the surveying of the line of the Wisconsin Central Railroad. He was thus engaged about two years and then became associated with his uncle, J. H. Weed, in the lumber business at Oshkosh, his native place. The concern operated several saw mills in Wisconsin and conducted a large business. Judge Gumaer continued his association with this enterprise for five years, and in 1879, he came to Nebraska and opened what was known as the Oshkosh lumber yard at Grand Island, being associated with his brother, Henry G. They also opened a yard at St. Paul, this state, and conducted both enterprises about two years. They then sold the Grand Island yard, and in Valley county opened a yard at Ord, the county seat, as well as a yard at North Loup, these being pioneer lumber yards in that county and having been successfully conducted by the founders for several years.
   Within the period of these activities in the eastern part of the state Judge Gumaer and his brother, in association with Herbert W. Potter, John Robinson and George T. Kendall, came to what is now Garden county and founded the town of Oshkosh, which was destined to become the county seat. All took homestead and pre-emption claims in this vicinity, after which they proceeded to fence the whole Valley, and to lay out the town of Oshkosh. Here they engaged in the cattle business upon a large scale and the company erected the first frame store building in the new town, the lumber having been transported across the Platte river by fording, as no bridge had yet been constructed in this locality. In 1894, these sold to August Sudman & Company the town site of eighty acres, and each of the original founders then assumed individual control of his own land claims.
   During all these years of pioneer operations in the Panhandle country Judge Gumaer retained his interests at St. Paul, where he continued the operation of the lumber yard. In 1884, as a resident of St. Paul, he was elected to represent Howard county in the state legislature, and he gave yeoman service, in the furtherance of wise and timely legislation, as one of the active working members of the lower house. He was specially vigorous in his support of the act commonly known as the Slocum law.
   Prior to coming to Nebraska Judge Gumaer had traveled up and down the Mississippi river for three years, in the interest of the Weed Lumber Company, a Wisconsin corporation. In 1886, after the death of his father, he became president of the Weed & Gumaer Manufacturing Company, which was engaged in the manufacturing of baskets at Weyauwega, Wisconsin, where it also supplied the town with electric lighting facilities. As the eldest of the children Judge Gumaer had general supervision of the family interests until the estate of his father was settled.
   Reverting to the political or official activities of the subject of this review, it may be stated that in 1889, he was elected treasurer of How-



ard county, a position in which he continued the incumbent four years and in which he gave a most efficient administration of the fiscal affairs thus consigned to his charge, his election to this office marking his candidacy on the Democratic ticket, and the same party having previously elected him to the legislature, as noted above. In 1896, bringing his technical skill as a civil engineer once more into play, Judge Gumaer assumed the position of deputy United States surveyor, with Robert Harvey, and entered into a contract to complete the survey of the counties as yet unsurveyed in the northeastern part of Nebraska, said counties having been a part of the old Rosebud Indian reservation. This work received his careful and able attention until it was completed. At this juncture reference may be made to still another phase of the interesting and varied career of Judge Gumaer. In February, 1898, at the suggestion and request of George D. Meiklejohn, Assistant Secretary of War under President McKinley, Judge Gumaer took the reindeer expedition for the United States government from New York to the Alaskan Klondike, this expedition involving the transportation of five hundred and forty-three reindeer to the far north, these all being animals previously trained for work. The well broken animals were in direct charge of one hundred and thirty-four Laplanders, and when the outfit arrived at Seattle, Washington, the expedition was halted, owing to contingencies incidental to the Spanish-American war. Under these conditions the reindeer were finally sent forward to J. S. Jackson, superintendent of education at Nome, Alaska, this herd forming the nucleus from which the government has developed a large number of the deer, which are used in northern Alaska for both work and food purposes, the experiment having proved most successful and extremely valuable in results. After arriving in Alaska Judge Gumaer joined the military exploring expedition that set forth under the leadership of Captain Glenn, to make extensive explorations in Alaska, at the instance of the government. Judge Gumaer served as chief guide and special agent of the war department on this historic expedition, by which was made the first survey from Valdez across the Copper river and thence onward to Forty mile river. This hazardous and trying trip was made with pack train, and its work proved of importance and enduring value. Judge Gumaer returned to "the states" on the last boat that left Alaska prior to the close of navigation in the fall of 1898. He returned to the national capital, where on January 1, 1899, he was appointed deputy collector of customs, under General Tasker H. Bliss, for the port of Havana, Cuba. He retained the post of military collector at this port for three and one-half years,--or until the government of the island was restored to the Cuban people, in 1903. After leaving this governmental post Judge Gumaer returned to Nebraska, but about two months later he was appointed inspector of immigration at Ellis Island, New York, where he remained three and one-half years, at the expiration of which he was transferred to the position of immigrant inspector for the port of New Orleans. After retaining this incumbency thirteen months he resigned the office and returned to Oshkosh, Nebraska, to which place the railway line had just been completed. Here he has since remained as a vital factor in the development and upbuilding of this section of the Nebraska Panhandle. He was one of the most active worker (sic) in the movement that led to the division of old Deuel county and the organization of Garden county, in 1909, and he had the distinction of being elected the first county judge of the new county. The high popular estimate placed upon him has been shown in his continuous retention of this important office, by successive re-elections, and he has had no opposing candidate save on the occasion of the first election.
   Judge Gumaer retains his original homestead in Garden county, the one hundred and sixty acre tract being provided with excellent irrigation facilities and being under a high state of cultivation; he has erected good buildings and made other improvements upon the property. The judge rents the farm to Italian contractors, who utilize the land for the propagation of sugar beets, this farm being situated one mile east of Oshkosh. In addition to this valuable property the judge owns six hundred and forty acres twenty-five miles north of Oshkosh, and this range is rented for grazing purposes. In 1888, Judge Gumaer was a member of the company which construct (sic) the Oshkosh irrigation ditch, one of the first projects of this kind in what is now Garden county.
   As previously intimated, Judge Gumaer is a stalwart advocate and supporter of the principles of the Democratic party, and he has been influential in its ranks during the years of his residence in Nebraska. He is actively affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, including Mount Arrartt Commandery, No. 27, Knights Templars, at St. Paul, this state, and Jordan



Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, in the same town besides which he is a charter member of Oshkosh Lodge, No. 286, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, in his home village, and a life member of Tangier Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, in the city of Omaha.

    GEORGE E. STREEKS, who is a descendant of one of the earliest homesteaders in Banner county, still lives in the comfortable old log house on the homestead, in which he was born, May 18, 1886, and has the historical distinction of being the third white child born in Banner county.
   The parents of Mr. Streeks were Christian C. and Ellen V. (Ashford) Streeks. The mother was a native of Canada and of English ancestry. The father was born at Washington, D. C.; came in early manhood to Nebraska and became widely known on the cattle ranges and for many of the old-time big ranches he served as foreman. He was one of the first pioneers of Banner county to secure a homestead and afterward lived on his land until his death which occurred October 9, 1909. He was somewhat interested in politics, was a Democrat and loyal to his party but never accepted any public office except in relation to the public school. He had two sons, George E., of this sketch, and Frank. The latter maintains his home at Akron, Ohio, and travels in the interest of Goodyear Tire Company. The mother of Mr. Streeks passed away May 2, 1902, mourned by many who had been benefitted by her sympathy and kindness through life.
   George E. Streeks attended the public schools in Banner county, He has always lived on the old homestead, forty acres of which he inherited, and it is on this portion of the land that the old house stands. Although the body of the house is constructed of logs, a frame addition has been built, the lumber for which had to be hauled from Sidney, sixty-seven miles distant. Mr. Streeks now owns three hundred and twenty acres and devotes it mainly to ranch purposes. He breeds Hereford cattle and has about thirty head for market each year, and about a hundred head of Duroc-Jersey hogs. He carries on his farm operations carefully and systematically and has always succeeded in his undertakings.
   On April 14, 1909, Mr. Streeks was united in marriage to Miss Hazel M. Lalley, a daughter of Marin and Jennie (Ellis) Lalley, the former of whom is deceased. Mrs. Lalley lives in Scottsbluff county. Mr. and Mrs. Streeks have children as follows: Ellen, born February 5, 1910; Edgar, born October 25, 1912; Fred, born January 3, 1914; Marie, born February 2, 1916, and Marjorie, born July 16, 1918. Mr. Streeks, has never held political office and is an independent voter.

    CHRISTIAN PFEIFER. -- One of the representative citizens and substantial residents of Banner county is Christian Pfeifer, heavy landowner and extensive breeder of White Face cattle. Mr. Pfeifer's residence is magnificently located, directly at the foot of Wild Cat mountain, which is five thousand feet above sea level and rises eight hundred feet above the house. He was born at Galion, in Crawford county, Ohio, December 28, 1868, the son of Godfrey F. and Emma (Snyder) Pfeifer, the former of whom was born in Germany, March 31, 1839, and died in Nebraska, January 8, 1916. The mother of Mr. Pfeifer was born in Ohio, August 17, 1835 and died September 19, 1913. The father was an educated man and after coming to the United States taught school first in Ohio and later in Kansas, coming to the latter state when it was opened for settlement. In 1875, he homesteaded in Kansas and remained on his land until 1901, when he retired and came to Nebraska, after which until his death he lived with his sons. He was a Democrat in politics and both he and his wife were members of the Christian Church. Of their seven children, Christian is the eldest of the survivors, the others being as follows: John, who lives in Scottsbluff county; Laura, who is the wife of Frank Sears, of Saint Regis, Montana; and Katie, who is the wife of Francis Whitman, near Paradise, Kansas.
   Christian Pfeifer attended school until nine years old and occasionally through a winter term later on and was also, to some extent, instructed at home by his father, but since the age of fourteen years has practically looked after himself in every way. He has had many experiences and has seen wonderful development in this section. He remembers away back in boyhood his father going to work on the railroad in order to get enough money to buy provisions for the family after the grasshoppers had ruined the crops, and on one occasion carried a bag of flour on his shoulders a distance of six miles to his home. He has seen many settlers gathering the dried bones of cattle and buffalo that had died from lack of food and the severe winter weather, and at one time saw these bones piled eight feet high at Kimball. He witnessed the hauling of all the lumber for the building of Gering, it being freighted from Kimball. He had exper-



ience in catching wild horses. He would often chase them for three days before he could catch them. There would be from fifteen to twenty in one bunch. Stallions of the bunch, on noticing the approach of a rider, would whirl and come to meet the rider and when within a short distance suddenly snort and turn, race back to the herd and chase them away by biting them.
   On one occasion when chasing horses Mr. Pfeifer glanced behind him and saw a horse covered with sweat rapidly approaching, with a grey wolf close behind him; he turned and gave chase to the wolf, but his horse being tired, he lost both wolf and horses. Another recollection of his boyhood is of the use of oxen in the old days for farm labor. Practically no farm machinery was in use and no one had ever dreamed of such an astonishing contrivance as a farm tractor of modern days.
   Mr. Pfeifer worked and rode range for the L. F. Cattle Company, which owned sixty five thousand head of cattle, for nine years, saved his money and since then has ranched for himself. He came to Wyoming in May, 1884, helped to take out the first ditch on Rawhide creek, remained one season but in the fall returned to Kansas and remained in that state until 1886, when he came back to this part of Nebraska. For several years he worked all around Kimball and from Greeley, Colorado, to Cheyenne and Julesburg, during the first year runing (sic) cattle as far as Ogallala, but after settlers began to come in, the cattlemen had to hunt other ranges. There were yet a few buffalo left but Mr. Pfeifer never shot any but on many occasions brought down antelope, He has trailed catttle (sic) from Texas to Wyoming, the trail being from a quarter to a half mile wide. On one occasion, on the way from Texas, at Pine Bluff the herd started for water and a railroad train ran into the stampede and killed sixty head. Mr. Pfeifer was in Banner county at the time of the battle of Wounded Knee. On account of the Indians so successfully running off the horses of the settlers, the cowboys succeeded in training their horses to run into the corrals when the Indians appeared.
   In recalling these and many other early hardships, it is no wonder that Mr. Peifer (sic) declares these days in Nebraska better than the old ones. He now owns twelve hundred and twenty acres of farm and grazing land, cultivating about five hundred acres and raising. three hundred cattle annually in addition to horses and some hogs and is interested also in buying and selling hogs.
   On January 18, 1894, Mr. Pfeifer was married at Kimball, to Miss Iva B. Campbell, who is a daughter of John H. and lizabeth (sic) (Murray) Campbell, early settlers in Kimball county. The mother of Mrs. Pfeifer died when she was a child but her father survives and is a very prominent business man of Kimball. Mr. and Mrs. Pfeifer have children as follows: Floyd C., who served in France during the Great war; Agnes Fay, was married to Aaron Shaul September 17, 1919, and has a child, Roena Pearl Shaul, the first grandchild, born September 9, 1920; Inez B., Elsie Fern, Gladys Irene, Edythe M., and Christian John. The family attend the Christian and Baptist churches. Mr. Pfeifer has never accepted a political office although he has been identified with much that has substantially developed this section. At present he is an independent voter. He remembers the winter of 1919-20 as a very hard winter, and that on April 17, 1920, a severe storm starting with a rain and killed more cattle than was ever before known.

    EVERETT BIGSBY, who is a prosperous general farmer living on his homestead situated on section thirty-two, town nine, Banner county, is well known in the county to which he came when twelve years old. He has always been engaged in agricultural activities, on his own account and for others, and is numbered with the successful farmers of this section. He was born in Sanilac county, Michigan, December 11, 1876.
   The parents of Mr. Bigsby were William and Isabel (McClellen) Bigsby, the latter of whom was born in Ireland and died in Banner county, Nebraska, in September, 1916. The father of Mr. Bigsby was born at London Canada. He came to the United States prior to the Civil War, in which he served for eighteen months and afterwards settled on a soldier allotment in Michigan. From there he moved to Buffalo county, Nebraska, and homesteaded, and five years later, on May 10, 1887, came to Banner county, took a pre-emption and tree claim, both of which he subsequently sold, but he resided in Banner county until his death in 1910. Of his family of ten children Everett was the fifth in order of birth, the others being as follows: Georgianna, who is the wife of John B. Hentz, county treasurer of Banner county; Chester, who lives in Iowa; Stella, who is the wife of Leonard Ball, lives in Michigan; Fred, who lives in Idaho, married Edith Case, who is now deceased; Roland, who lives in Banner county, married Clara Fuller; Myrtle, who is the wife of Arthur Olsen, a farmer in

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