NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center, On-Line Library



   On August 18, 1920, Mr. Meyer married, at Mitchell, Nebraska, Miss Vinnie Newell, the daughter of W. Newell, of that city. Her father was a rancher of the district north of Mitchell, and one of the well known men of his district.
   Mr. Meyer is a Democrat, a member of the A. F. & A. M., Odd Fellows, and Woodmen of the World, and was raised in the Baptist church. He is one of the progressive and enterprising men who are making history in the Panhandle, not alone by his own achievements, but by the wide influence he exerts through the Sun, which is one of the well edited, newsy sheets of western Nebraska.

    THOMAS EDWIN PHILLIPS, one of the popular business men of Harrison, who owns and manages the leading drug store of the town, is a man who has made a great success of his business as a druggist and Harrison is to be congratulated that it has such a proficient, conscientious, and able man to carry on the exacting business of a druggist. In addition to his prescription department, Mr. Phillips also carries all the side lines that the public have come to expect and demand in a drug store, and has one of the most attractive houses in the Panhandle, where he has had a remarkable success.
   Thomas E. Phillips was born in Truro, England, the son of Thomas Edwin and Mary (Hendy) Phillips, both of whom were born in Cornwall, England. Thomas attended the schools in his native town, graduating in 1897. He decided to come to the United States to make his home, and in 1909 started in business at Chadron, Nebraska; and related that when he started up there he had practically no capital but his early business training, ability to work, and the determination to success, and he has won out; for today he is one of the leading business men of Harrison. In August, 1916, Mr. Phillips moved to Harrison, opened his store, and from the first has met with gratifying and marked success. He has taken an active part in the life of the town since settling here and during the World War was a member of the County Council of Defense, also of the food administrator for the county, offices which he filled with credit to himself and the satisfaction of the people.
   December 24, 1907, Mr. Phillips was married, at Des Moines, Iowa, to Miss Jessamine Pearl Foxwell, the daughter of William Foxwell, who was born in Wisconsin, but later moved to Columbus, Nebraska. He died at Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1914, surrounded by his wife and three daughters: Mrs. Maude Slatterly, of Chadron, Mrs. Gertrude Richards of Lincoln, and Mrs. Jessie Phillips, of Harrison. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Phillips: Mary Louise, born at Chadron, October 27, 1914.
   Mr. Phillips is associated with the Methodist church and is one of the enterprising men who takes an active part in all movements for the improvement and upbuilding of Harrison, as he is energetic and enthusiastic in his business and applies the same ideas to public welfare.

    JOHN ELMER MARSTELLER, deceased, was one of the early settlers of Harrison, Sioux county, and took a prominent part in the upbuilding of the city and county, as he was a man of energy, progressive in his ideas and a successful business man. For years he held positions of responsibility in Harrison and Sioux county, giving of his time and money in the interests of the people and district. His death was a loss not alone to his family and friends, but to the whole community where he had labored for nearly forty years.
   Mr. Marsteller was born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, March 19, 1863, and died in Harrison, February 10, 1921. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Marsteller, also natives of Mercer county, Pennsylvania. The boy was reared and educated in his native county, where he later learned the carpenter's trade. Hearing of the many opportunities offered young men in the new western country he came to Nebraska in the early 80's, locating near Harrison, in Sioux county, at a time when the little settlement consisted of a town of tents. He at once began to work at his trade and assisted in building many of the early structures of Harrison, which stand as a monument to his skill and ability. Later Mr. Marsteller engaged in business in Harrison as a hardware and furniture merchant. When his business had grown he became a general merchant, carrying all lines demanded in such a growing community. In all lines he met with gratifying success as he gained the confidence of the settlers by his fair, honest dealing. He watched the great development of this section of Nebraska and took a prominent part in it, for he invested his money in land and became one of the well known and prominent ranchmen of Sioux county. For some years Mr. Marsteller was postmaster of Harrison, a position be was well qualified to fill; at one time and another he held most of the offices of the village board of Harrison and was county commissioner of Sioux county at the time of his death. During the World War Mr. Marsteller was one of the prominent figures in all war



work, being an officer of the Red Cross, and was chairman of the County Council of Defense in the united war work campaign. He gave freely of his time and energies in assisting the government to prosecute all war work both in county and town. He was a Democrat in politics but stood for the ideas that were best for the country. Mr. Marsteller was for many years a member of the Masonic order, also belonged to the Woodmen of the World, and Modern Woodmen of America. Reared in the Methodist faith, he early joined that church and was devoted to the religious interests of his community, willing to make great sacrifices in the interests of the church and its people. For more than twenty years he was superintendent of the Sunday School.
   May 14, 1890, Mr. Marsteller was married at Harrison to Miss Ida Smith, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Smith. Mrs. Marsteller's father was one of the leading merchants of Harrison, owning a general store. Four children were born to this union: Bessie Janett, the wife of L. A. Alexander, of Hanover, Indiana; Vernard Emmett, who married Nell Anderson; Byrdice May; and John Wesley.
   Mr. Marsteller was one of the true Christian men whose life was above reproach, who performed many acts of charity of which no one was ever aware; ever ready to help others in distress; he took a prominent part in all civic and communal affairs and became the recognized leader of Harrison. He was broad minded, charitable, yet held positive convictions as to life conduct and had the courage to express them. His life was one that might well be emulated by the rising generation.

    SAMUEL KNORI, one of the prominent ranchmen of Sioux county, who has accumulated a large estate in Nebraska since he came here some twenty-eight years ago, through his own initiative and ability and the determination to succeed, is well and favorably known in this section where he has made a success of his vocation.
   Mr. Knori was born in Switzerland in 1867, the son of Andrew and Anna (Zvahlen) Knori, who spent all their lives in Switzerland as farmers. The mother died there in 1880, and the father in 1911.
   Mr. Knori was reared on his father's farm and attended the public schools for his educational advantages. When his schooling was finished he learned farming under his father. But as there was little opportunity for a young man to get ahead in his country, he decided to come to America and learn what fortune could be gained in this land of opportunity and plenty. Landing in New York in 1891, Mr. Knori came west and spent two years in Wisconsin, where he learned the American methods of farming and our customs. Land was high there, so he came to the Panhandle in 1893 and took up a homestead three miles north of Harrison. From the first he prospered, due to his training as a farmer and willingness to work so that today he is the owner of two thousand acres of land ten miles north of Harrison on Monroe creek, for as he made money Mr. Knori invested it in land, which has made him one of the largest landed proprietors of the county. At the present time he runs about two hundred head of cattle annually. He carries on some general farming and devotes much time to stock raising and feeding.
   Before leaving Switzerland, Mr. Knori spent the required time of two years in the army. He is a Democrat and for twenty years has been a member of the Woodmen of the World. His church affiliations are with the Lutheran organization.
   January 15, 1900, Mr. Knori married Miss Elizabeth Noreisch, who was born in Germany in 1881. Her parents were farmers in that country and spent their lives there. Four boys have been born to this union: John, Samuel, Emanuel A., Gustave, and Lewis, all of whom are at home.
   Mr. Knori has made a study of agriculture in the western part of Nebraska and is today recognized as one of the able and substantial men of his district, where he is ever ready to assist in all movements for the development of his community or the county.

    GEORGE W. McCORMICK, one of the well known ranchers of Sioux county, who is regarded as a substantial and progressive agriculturist of his section, was born at Green Bay, Wisconsin, June 30, 1866, the son of S. W. and Charlotte L. (Smith) McCormick. The father was a contractor and builder in Green Bay, who later moved to Neligh, Nebraska, where he followed the same business for a number of years. In 1870, Mr. McCormick built a boat which he loaded with lumber and went down the Mississippi river with it to the mouth of the Missouri river. From there he returned up stream to St. Joseph, Missouri, and within a short time of reaching that town came to Nebraska, locating at Neligh.
   George McCormick was reared in Green Bay and later in Nebraska, receiving his educational advantages in the public schools of his home town. In 1908 he decided to come to the Panhandle and take advantages of government land, settling on a homestead in Sioux county



in the Harrison district, where he has made a specialty of sheep and now has many head. In addition to his interest in sheep, Mr. McCormick has carried on such general farming as he found profitable along with raising cattle and sheep, and has found all lines brought good returns. He has gained high standing in the county since locating here and has made a business of his farming, so that it has brought substantial income for his time and labor.
   February 23, 1894, Mr. McCormick married Miss Jane Longeor, the daughter of Harvey Ingalside Longeor, at Lakeland, Nebraska, and they have the following children: Hattie A., George W., Roy Samuel, Ralph, Nellie May, Addison, and Esther Rose, all at home.
   Mr. McCormick is a Republican and a man who takes an interest in all the progressive affairs of his community, assisting in the upbuilding of his district and the county.

    SLATTERY BROTHERS are owners of the Caledonia Ranch. Among the early settlers and pioneer ranchmen of Sioux county no men are more well and favorably known than the Slattery brothers: James, born in 1861; William, born in 1867; Daniel, born in 1879, are all natives of Chateaugay, New York, while Patrick, the youngest, born in 1882, is a native of Iowa. They are the sons of Daniel and Alice (Ryan) Slattery, the former born in 1809, died in 1879 at Winthrop, Iowa, while the mother was born in Ireland in 1830, and died in Sioux county in 1917.
   Daniel Slattery and his brothers received their educational advantages in the public schools of Winthrop, Iowa, and there Daniel graduated from the high school. With their mother they came west in 1887, and Daniel filed on a homestead in Sioux county in July of that year, land which was the start of their present large ranches, and which has never passed from the original owner. The Slattery family prospered; they weathered all the early hard years of draught and insect pests and remained in the country when other settlers grew discouraged, gave up and left the country. They believed that the land in the Panhandle could be made to pay and remained to demonstrate the fact. The older boys worked hard, encouraged by their courageous mother, and as times became better made money on their cattle, bought more land from time to time until today they own some thirty-six hundred acres, known throughout this section as the Caledonia Ranch, one of the finest ranching properties in Sioux county and the northwest. They run about two hundred head of cattle annually and harvest some two hundred tons of hay, which is used for feeding.
   The brothers have never married, but maintained their home with their mother during her life and now run a fine bachelor establishment.
   Known throughout this section of the state as excellent business men and successful ranchers, the Slattery brothers are always ready to boost for improvements of their section, giving of time and money to all laudable movements.
   They are Republicans and members of the Catholic church. Many and interesting are the events and experiences of which they can tell of the early days in the Panhandle, the cattle industry, and first attempts at farming. Today they devote their time to raising and feeding cattle and the necessary farming in connection, and are large shippers to the eastern markets.

    WILBUR F. SHEPARD, prominent ranchman and banker of Sioux county, to whom pioneer honors should be accorded, as he came to the Panhandle in 1887, and passed through all the hardships and privations of the early days on the frontier, has gained wealth and position through his own hard work, determination to succeed in the west, and his faith in the future of this section. Today Mr. Shepard is one of the largest landholders in Sioux county and, also owns a large tract of land in Wyoming, all of which has been under his active management and supervision for years. He is regarded as one of the successful and progressive men of this section, which is known for its able men of affairs.
   Mr. Shepard was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, being the son of John R. and Mary (Swickard) Shepard, the former a native of Jefferson county, Ohio. He died at Ottumwa in 1900, but the mother still lives at the old homestead in a house which was built on the land in 1876. Wilbur Shepard was sent to the public school for his elementary education and then to the schools of Ottumwa, where he received an excellent general education. He learned farming under his father in Iowa and has followed that vocation all his life. Coming west when the Panhandle was regarded and actually was the frontier, Mr. Shepard took up land in old Sioux county when there were no towns in this section, habitations were few and far apart and the principal business was running cattle. He holds the first tax receipt ever paid on land in Sioux county, which shows that he was practically the first settler, perhaps not actually the first, but the first to lawfully hold land and pay taxes on it. Many and interesting are the



experiences and stories which Mr. Shepard tells of the early days; how many of the settlers became discouraged and left, but he remained, having faith in what the country would eventually become, and this faith has been justified, for today Mr. Shepard holds ten thousand acres of valuable land on which he runs two thousand head of cattle. Eight thousand acres are located in Sioux county and two thousand across the line in Wyoming. Starting with a small ranch, Mr. Shepard made money in cattle and invested in more from time to time, so that today he is the owner of a vast estate. Turning his attention to other lines of enterprise, Mr. Shepard became interested in banking and bought stock in the First National Bank of Harrison; is a director of that prosperous and sound financial institution. He is a Republican and a member of the Methodist church.
   June 25, 1895, Mr. Shepard married Miss Anna E. Zubst, the daughter of Frederick and Dora Zubst, both of whom are dead. They came to America from Germany and were farmers all their lives. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Shepard: George H., Leroy, and Minnie May, all at home with their parents.
   Since 1887, when he came into Sioux county, Mr. Shepard has taken a prominent part in the upbuilding and development of this section. He has always been a loyal supporter of all improvements of the county and his own community, and today is one of the most substantial and prominent ranchmen of the northwest, a position he has gained by his own efforts.

    SAMUEL M. THOMAS, prominent ranchman of the Harrison district, Sioux county, who came here in the early days and has played an important part in the opening up and development of this section of the Panhandle, where he is today recognized as a man of prominence and substantial fortune, should be accorded pioneer honors, as he came here when habitations were few, town unknown, and settlers far apart.
   Samuel Thomas was born near Iriquois, Illinois, in 1852, the son of Samuel and Evelyn (Courtright) Thomas. The father went to California during the gold rush and died there in 1852, soon after his arrival. The mother died in Iowa. Samuel was reared by his mother, who was left a widow when he was an infant, and received his educational advantages in the public schools. He says that he attended school only a few years, as he was compelled to earn his own living as soon as he was old enough to do so; in fact since he was ten years of age. The boy began to work for farmers and in that way learned farm business, which he has followed since his childhood. Knowing that there were opportunities of securing land in the western part of Nebraska, Mr. Thomas came west in 1888 and took up land in the Panhandle of Nebraska. He came across the country in true pioneer style in a prairie schooner, bringing all his worldly goods in the wagon. He was one of the first men to locate in what is now Sioux county and with a smile says that he "enjoyed all the trials and pleasures of pioneer life," which consisted mostly of privations, hard work and hard knocks for many years. Mr. Thomas was not discouraged by all the suffering and hard work, stuck to his land when others were leaving to go back east, and has lived to see the great changes and improvements come to this section, so that today he and the other old settlers enjoy all the comforts and luxuries that were not dreamed of in the early days. He has as well accumulated a comfortable fortune, and is the owner of a ranch of three thousand one hundred and sixty acres. From first coming here Mr. Thomas has specialized in raising stock and today is well known as a breeder of high bred Polled Hereford cattle. He has gained a wide reputation for this and is one of the well known breeders of his section, owning a fine lot of stock.
   December 25, 1873, Mr. Thomas married Miss Edeline Bouroughs of Illinois, the marriage taking place in that state. Mrs. Thomas's father was a prominent man of his locality, being a member of Congress at the time Black Hawk signed the treaty with the government in 1849. The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas: Theressa, the wife of T. C. Lewis; Charles, who married Mary Turner, died in 1917; Ira, who married Christine Peterson; Henry, who married Esther Hamlin; and S. E., who married Clara Larsen.
   Mr. Thomas is a Republican and a member of the Methodist church.

   ALBERT L. SCHNURR, president of the First National Bank of Harrison, Sioux county and vice-president of the bank of Van Tassel, Wyoming, is one of the prominent business men and financiers of the Panhandle and western Nebraska, where he has gained a prominent place in banking circles by his ability in business and progressive ideas as a banker. He has gained the confidence of the people of his section by conservative methods during a period of readjustment of the world and



of our own country, when the people must look to the bankers to assist so materially in tiding the country over the crisis. Young in years, Mr. Schnurr is old in sagacity and under his able guidance the banks of which he is the executive head are doing a growing business each year.
   Mr. Schnurr was born in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, August 21, 1879, the son of William and Rosa Schnurr, the former a native of Ohio, while the mother was born in Virginia. Albert received his elementary education in the public schools of Mount Pleasant and, in 1896, graduated from the high school there. For a year he attended an academy and then graduated from the business department of Iowa Wesleyan College. He studied law after entering business life and was admitted to the bar in Nebraska in 1906. After leaving college Mr. Schnurr was employed in law offices in Mount Pleasant and later in Omaha; during this time he devoted all his spare time to studying law with such excellent results that he took the bar examination in Nebraska and was admitted to practice here. Mr. Schnurr came to Harrison in 1905, just a year before he became a lawyer; he was elected county judge, holding office in 1908, 1909, and 1910, proving a most efficient member on the bench. In the fall of 1910, Mr. Schnurr became interested in the First National Bank of Harrison, was elected vice-president of the institution at that time and began the business of learning banking. His professional training and business life of early years assisted him greatly; and it was due to his constructive ideas and able guidance that the First National gained in depositors and standing in the nine years before he became the actual head of the bank in 1919. Later he also became interested in the Van Tassel bank, bought a large block of stock in it and became its vice-president. Mr. Schnurr's rise as a banker has been consistent and rapid, which attests his ability as a financier.
   During the World War he was chairman of Sioux county in each Liberty Bond drive; was chairman of the War Savings campaign, and a member of the executive committee of the Sioux County Red Cross Society. In every way he assisted the government in the active prosecution of the war in his community and county.
   Mr. Schnurr, as has been stated, was county judge in 1908, 1909, and 1910, and is a member of the village board of Harrison, having been elected in 1920. Progressive in his business, he believes in applying the same methods to communal affairs and is an excellent man to have running the town's affairs. In addition to his banking interests, Mr. Schnurr is secretary and treasurer of the Harrison Real Estate and Loan Company, which is a growing concern.
   For three years Mr. Schnurr was high secretary of the Independent Order of Forresters of Nebraska; is Past Master of Sioux Lodge No. 277, of the Masons; Past Noble Grand of Harrison Lodge of the Odd Fellows; is a member of the Brotherhood of American Yeomen, and is a Scottish Rite Mason.
   At Harrison, on June 29, 1910, Mr. Schnurr married Miss Elsie M. Rohwer, the daughter of Eggert Rohwer, who settled in Sioux county in 1887, being one of the prominent ranchmen of the county. Two children have been born to this union, William Eggert, and Clarence A.
   The Schnurr family is one of the prominent and well known ones of Harrison and Sioux county, where they have a host of warm friends.

    RALPH B. SCHNURR. -- Citizens of Sioux county owe much to the vision and sagacity, the loyalty to the county's best interests by Judge Ralph B. Schnurr. For many years he has been a staunch advocate of the possibilities of Sioux county as a combination farm and ranch community. He has practiced as well as preached it, and men have listened to his words because they have had the convincing quality of practical experience as well as the insight and philosophy of an educated and cultured man.
   He was born April 15, 1886, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, the son of William and Rosa Schnurr, who for many years were helpful and highly esteemed residents of the charming Iowa town. The father was born at Springfield, Ohio, and the mother in Richmond, Virginia. She was the daughter of John Rukgaber, a contractor of that city. For thirty years, and up to the time of his death, in 1909, William Schnurr was a prosperous shoe merchant of Mt. Pleasant, and one of its representative citizens. He was of German descent and traced his family back to the Ruprechts.
   Ralph B. Schnurr, with whom this sketch has principally to do, early gave promise of his intellectual and prosperous business career. He was a fine student in his boyhood and he was graduated from the Mt. Pleasant High school with honors. Later he attended the business college of the Iowa Wesleyan University and learned the principles of modern business, which were of incalculable benefit to him in later life.
   He first engaged in different kinds of mer-



cantile business as an employe, studying how business principles were applied in each one to make for business success. With this sort of a training he later engaged in business for himself, first in the abstract, insurance and loan ranching operations, and as a breeder of pure Hereford cattle. At the present time his main business interests are in ranch lands and the oil industry, and he has the utmost faith in the future of Sioux county in both branches of these undertakings.


From January 5, 1911, to January 6, 1921, he was county judge of Sioux county, Nebraska. During this ten years of service he acted in the capacity of land commissioner and rendered valuable assistance in the settlement and upbuilding of Sioux county. The services he thus rendered were of immense benefit to the people of this county, because they came from a sagacious mind and a willing heart. Judge Schnurr's retirement at the end of his ten years of faithful service was purely voluntary. Judge Schnurr found time, also, to devote to semi-public affairs. For several years he was secretary of the Fair Association of Sioux county, and at the present time he is secretary-treasurer of the Harrison N. F. L. Association. He has been active in various lodges, including the I. O. O. F., Patriarchs Militant, the Rebekahs, the Elks, and the Woodmen of the World.

   Judge Schnurr was one of the most active and loyal of citizens during the World War, and the advice that he gave and the example he set were noted with pride and pleasure by the great circle of his friends and admirers in Sioux county. He acted as secretary of the county council of defense and chairman of the legal advisory board for Sioux county, and in both these capacities he rendered able and single-minded service.
   Judge Schnurr was reared a Presbyterian, but he is a man of broad and liberal views on matters of religion and in politics. At the present time he is affiliated with no church but is a supporter of them all, believing that each of them has its work to do in making the world better. In politics he is a Democrat, but here again he is liberal in his views, able to discern the weaknesses as well as extol the virtues of his own party and being generous enough to accord just commendation to men in other parties whom he believes to be able and upright.

   Mrs. Schnurr's maiden name was Margaret M. Bixler. She was married to the judge, November 13, 1920. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James M. Bixler, both of them now deceased. They were early settlers in Illinois, later pioneers of Indian Territory and, after the death of her husband, Mrs. Bixler moved with her adult sons and daughters to Sioux county, where they acquired valuable ranch holdings.
   An active, upright, educated man, Judge Schnurr is a fitting type of the men who have made the barren wilderness fruitful, who have transformed its wildness and monotony into prosperous ranches, comfortable, stately homes, and towns where the hum of industry never ceases. These are the men who are the bone and the sineu (sic) and the brains of America and from them and the areas they inhabit this nation gets. its virility and courage which enable it successfully to pass every crisis and to face every foe, both without and within.


Prior page
General index
Next page

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