NEGenWeb Project
Kansas Collection Books

Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska
Lancaster County
Produced by Debra Parminter.


Physical Character | Early Settlement | Indian Troubles
Salt Basins


County Organization | Official Roster | County Statistics
Railroads | District Schools | Taxation
County Poor Department | County Societies


Lincoln:   Early History | Incorporation | Official Roster
City Institutions | Post Office

Lincoln (cont.):   University of Nebraska
Lincoln (cont.):   University of Nebraska (cont.)

Lincoln (cont.):   Insane Hospital
Nebraska State Penitentiary | The Second Revolt


Lincoln (cont.):   Public Schools | Fire Department
The Press | Churches


Lincoln (cont.):   Societies, Associations, Etc.
Temperance Societies | Musical Societies
Business Interests | Banks | Hotels


Lincoln (cont.):
Wholesale and Manufacturing Establishments
Biographical Sketches- ABBOTT~ALLEN

10 - 24:

** Lincoln Biographical Sketches ** (cont.)

PART 25:

Bennet:   Churches | Societies |
| Biographical Sketches - ALLSTOT~GRIBLING

PART 26:
Bennett:   Biographical Sketches - HANSON~PIPER
PART 27:
Bennett:   Biographical Sketches - RHEA~WILSON
PART 28:
Waverly:   Biographical Sketches
PART 29:

Firth:   Biographical Sketches
Roca | Other Points
Biographical Sketches
Grant Precinct | Saltillo Precinct | Stockton Precinct

List of Illustrations in Lancaster County Chapter



This thriving and substantial town is situated in the northeast corner of Nemaha Precinct, in Lancaster County, four miles west of the boundary line of Otoe County, on the line of the B. & M. R. R. It is seventeen miles east of Lincoln, and forty-one miles west of Nebraska City. The town site was formerly owned by William Roggenkamp, and was laid out, and the first buildings erected in 1871, at which time the Midland Railroad (now under lease of the Burlington & Missouri) reached here. The town derived its name from John Bennet, one of the officials of the Midland Railroad Company. The surrounding country is sufficiently rolling to make good drainage, and the soil is admirably adapted for the production of corn. Small cereals are also raised very successfully. Bennet has attained considerable celebrity on account of its quarries, of which there are several, adjacent to the town The stone is of a superior quality for building purposes, the strata averaging seven feet, about nine feet below the surface. Large quantities of this stone are shipped annually to all parts of Nebraska. This industry promises, in the near future, as the State grows older, to be one of more than ordinary magnitude.

Nemaha Branch, a creek a few miles below the town, affords excellent water power, and passes through the village itself. The strip of timber which borders its banks contains a variety of wood, such as box elder, ash, red and white elm, oak, walnut, etc. O. P. Stone and Thomas Price are principally interested in the stone quarries we have mentioned, which are a decided addition to the importance of the village. Besides increasing the business of the place, giving employment, in season, to a large force of men, Bennet is situated in the midst of a productive agricultural district, and has therefore become quite an important grain center, and point of distribution. In 1881, about 300 cars of grain were shipped from the station. The Nebraska City Elevator Company operates the largest establishment of this kind, which was built in 1875, but has since been improved and increased in capacity. Its capacity is now 20,000 bushels. Joseph Southwick is the local representative of the company, and has full charge of its business at this place. George Eggleson also operates a smaller elevator, of 5,000 bushels capacity, erected in 1881, and owned by S. W. Little & Co., of Lincoln. In this connection, the busy flouring mill of D. H. Harris should receive prominent mention. It was erected by A. L. Strang & Co., in 1875-76, and purchased by its present proprietor in July, 1881. The mill has a capacity of 200 bushels of wheat and 250 bushels of corn per day, and has three run of stone--two for wheat and one for corn. The style of the establishment is "Altamaha Mills." The lumber yard of the place is operated by J. E. Vanderlip, one of Bennet's prominent merchants. Situated as the place is, its general trade is good, and growing steadily.

With the general advance of Bennet's business interests, is noticed the growth in educational facilities, and social and religious requirements. Prof. S. P. Barrett is principal of an excellent graded school, being assisted by Miss E. M. Hull. The total attendance is 115, of which number seventy-five belong to the primary department--the balance to the grammar. The school building, a substantial two-story, frame structure, was completed in 1879.


There are several strong and flourishing religious denominations in Bennet. The Presbyterian Society, formed in 1879, with fourteen members, now has a membership of sixty-five. Rev. O. Compton being still in charge. It is their intention to build a church during the coming summer.

Methodist Episcopal Church.--The society was organized the spring of 1879. In 1880, a neat frame church was erected at a cost of about $1,500. Trustees, Joseph Southwick, J. G. Southwick, J. C. Smith, Charles Sidders and F. A. Sidles. It now has a membership of about eighty, Rev. Mr. White of Lincoln, being the pastor in charge.

Danish Lutheran Church.--The Danish Lutherans have also a strong organization of about twenty-five families, Rev. Mr. Goodesen being their pastor.

Norwegian Lutheran Church.--Was organized in December, 1874, with the following members: T. Hanson, W. Nelson, J. C. Johnson, Ole Nelson, Henry Bolt, L. Rasperson, O. Anderson, H. Peterson, C. Olson, S. Monk, J. Michilson, H. Peterson, C. Bolt. The first services were held in a schoolhouse, in 1878, Rev. C. Jansen of Minneapolis, Minn., officiating. On March 7, 1875, the following named became members : George Rasperson, O. Anderson, P. A. Anderson, J. Anderson, I. Anderson, L. Anderson, M. Oleson and C. Anderson. This society had flourished a few years, when the Danish element, of which it was largely o posed, withdrew and organized a society of their own and in 1879, the original Norwegian Lutheran was reorganized. They are all assiduous workers in the Christian army. A fourth society which furnishes religious strength to the village is the United Brethren, Rev. O. D. Cone in charge. The church has so grown that in all probability a building will soon be erected.


Benevolent societies are well represented. Of the Masonic Lodge, J. J. King is W. M., and D. H. Harries, S. W.

Independent Order Odd Fellows, Nemaha Lodge, No. 32.--Was instituted June, 20, 1872, charter members being John O. Moore, R. N. Stall, John Stall, T. J. Dixon, C. J. McCord, J. S. Violet, S. H. Violet, T. F. Farnsworth, A. C. White. Present membership, thirty-two. Officials: John Hartzel, N. G.; Chris. Schintall, V. G.; A. Gribling, Treasurer; W. K. Purvis, Secretary; C. W. Heffley, Permanent Secretary. They have a neat and well furnished hall, and the lodge is in good working order,

Midland Lodge, No. 12., K. of P.--Was instituted October 14, 1879. Charter members: Robert Stall, D. M. Stall, John Stall, Doran Hunt, Samuel Stall, Henry C. Deal, William Ax, John Stall and Mrs. Robert N. Stall. Present membership (1882), thirteen. Officials; J. A. Monk, C.C.; C. W. Heffley, P. C.; C. J. Jordan, V. G.; Daniel Livingstone, P.; J. H. Harper, M. F.; George Bodfield, M. E.; D. A. Grass, M. A.

Upright Post, No. 62, G. A. R.--During the Great American Rebellion, Mrs. Elizabeth Upright of Iowa, had ten sons who entered the service in defence of the Union. It being something unusual for so many representatives out of one family, and that her name might be perpetuated, the organizers of Post 62, at Bennet, in honor of that lady gave it the title as above. The Post was organized April 29, 1881, with the following officials: W. A. Hartley, P. C.; A. P. Varney, S. V P. C.; G. R. Wilson, J. V. P. C.; D. A. Gran, Chaplain; Ed. N. Cobb, O. D.; John Owen, O. G.; Samuel Tilton, Q. M.; Dr. E. T. Piper, Post Surgeon; J. J. King, P. A; Silas Bates, S. M.; D. W. Ellis, Q. M. S. The Post comprises forty-one members and is in a flourishing condition.

There is also a Temple of Honor lodge, which is keeping alive the already strong temperance sentiment of Bennet.

Bennet Branch of the Anti-Horse-Thief Association.--This organization, which has become one of magnitude in the Northwest, has proved very beneficial to owners of horseflesh. It is so systematically arranged that rarely one of those marauders escapes with an animal; and it is a safe protection for members of the association. The Bennet branch was organized the summer of 1881, with R. T. Chambers, Worthy Chief; A. Gribling, R. Secretary; J. Southwick, Secretary, and J. Hartzel, Treasurer. Present membership (1882), thirty.

Company I, Nebraska National Guards.--Was organized June 23, 1880, and is conceded to be one of the finest drilled companies in the State. They were called on duty by Gov. Nance to assist in the suppression of the Omaha riot in the spring of 1882. Officers: L. P. Derby, Captain; Ed. N. Cobb, First Lieutenant; W. K. Purvis, Second Lieutenant; T. A. McMillan, First Sergeant; E. J. Lane, Second Sergeant; J. P. Bratt, Third Sergeant; F. D. Smith, Fourth Sergeant; G. W. Allstot, Fifth Sergeant.

The village of Bennet sprang into existence with the building of the railroad through Lancaster County. Thomas Elrod erected the first house on the town site in 1871. It was used both as a dwelling and a store. During the next year, H. R. Kemper built a hotel, which was first run by Thomas Price. The present landlord is John Hartzell, and his house will accommodate about twenty-five guests. During this same year (1872) Walter Scott also started a store. Since then, as may be seen from the facts already given, the growth of Bennet, has been steady. It is situated on high ground, its location being quite beautiful. The town was named in honor of Hon. J. B. Bennet, then president of the Midland Pacific Railway, and was platted in 1871.

Bennet was incorporated as a town, December 1, 1881. The first town board consisted of James G. Southwick, F. A. Sidles, J. E. Vanderlip, A. Gribling and J. P. Bratt; W. K. Purvis, clerk. The population in spring of 1882 was about 350.


JAMES H. ALLSTOT, farmer and stock raiser, Section 20, P. O. Bennet; is a brother of George W. Allstot, and came to Lancaster County with the family in 1870, his father is recognized as one of the pioneers and favorably known as an agriculturist. James H. was born in Parke County, Ind., November 3, 1847, came to Dubuque County, Iowa, with his parents when quite young, and there spent his youthful days. For four years was a resident of Marion County, Iowa. He has secured a fair start in life by untiring industry and promises in the near future to be numbered among the stalwart farmers of the State.

S. P. BARRETT, A. M., Principal of Bennet Public schools, favorably known as being closely associated with the educational interests of Lancaster County, is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of Ohio and was born in Kingsville, Ashtabula Co., June 7, 1834, was reared in his native State, receiving superior educational advantages. He attended and graduated from Kingsville Academy, after which he entered the University of Rochester, at Rochester, N. Y., in 1856, and graduated from that institution in 1859. In the fall of the same year he engaged in teaching school at Chattanooga, Tenn., where he taught two years; whence he removed to Buchanan, Mich., where he became Principal of the public schools of the city, which place he filled four years. He then engaged in mercantile business in Nunda, N. Y., for one year, in which place he also taught previous to his entering college at Rochester N. Y. His whole subsequent life to the present, 1882, has been devoted to teaching as follows: two years at Kingsville Academy, Ohio; three years at Buchanan, Mich.; four years at Dallas City, Ore., and three years at Baker City, Ore. In 1879, becoming desirous of obtaining rest from his continued labors, he located on a farm in Nebraska. It is a short distance west of Bennet, on Section 5, and one of the most desirable homes in the precinct. Since he has been in Nebraska, in connection with conducting his farm, he has taught school, having been the Principal of the Bennet schools for several terms as an educator; and the satisfaction he gives the people may be inferred from the fact that the public is ardent in his praise. Prof. Barrett has a good command of language, does a full share of thinking, is a good judge of human nature, is social and genial, has an aptness to make and retain friends, and is honorable in all his motives, measuring with precision the wants of the future. In 1862, Miss Mary J. Hovey, of Nunda, N. Y., became his wife; by this union they have five children; Hovey P., Jay A., Grace M., Edith A., and Inez D. Mr. and Mrs. Barrett and the three eldest children are members of the Baptist Church. Prof. Barrett has been associated with that denomination since 1851, and his wife since 1852.

P. J. BRATT'S SONS, dealers in hardware, agricultural implements and furniture, prominently identified in eastern Nebraska, and favorably known in commercial circles, is the firm of P. J. Bratt's Sons, although but a short time has elapsed since they were established here. Their present large and increasing trade is evidence of sterling business qualifications. A. Bratt, the senior member of the firm, is a native of Illinois, and was born in Bureau County, Ill., August 26, 1854. When young removed with his parents to Rock Island County, Ill., where his father, Mr. P. J. Bratt, engaged in merchandising at Coal Valley and was widely known as one of the substantial merchants of that county for many years. His death occurred in 1874. His sons conducted the business at Coal Valley until 1880, when they established their business in Bennet. In the summer of 1880 they erected their large and well arranged establishment. In the autumn of that year they opened it. The subject of this sketch during his sojourn in Bennet, has been closely associated with its progress. Upon the organization of the town, he was appointed Treasurer of the Town Board. In 1879 Miss Laura E. Clark, of Illinois, a native of Ohio, became his wife. They have one son, Harry. Mr. Barrett is a Master Mason. John P. Bratt, the junior member of the firm of P. J. Bratt's Sons, is a native of Bureau County, Ill., and was born February 9, 1857, removed with his parents when young to Coal Valley, Rock Island Co., Ill., where he was raised and educated. In company with his brother A., assumed his father's business after his death. In 1878 came to Nebraska and purchased a half section of land in Stockton Precinct, but did not come to the State to reside until 1880, when he resided for a time in Stockton. He is largely interested in buying and selling real estate, in connection with his other business. While in Stockton Precinct he was Justice of the Peace and member of the School Board. In June, 1881, was appointed Justice of the Peace in Bennet, and the same autumn elected to this office, which at the present time (1882), he holds. He is a gentleman of pleasing address, and is eminently popular with all who form his acquaintance. Is a Master Mason and Third Sergeant of Co. I. N. N. G.

E. N. COBB, farmer and stock raiser, Section 23, P. O. Bennet. He is a native of Wayne County, Penn., and was born December 18, 1844; resided in his native State until the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted in the Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania, after serving three months was discharged on account of ill health. He soon re-enlisted in the Seventeenth Pennsylvania, served two months and was transferred to the Eighteenth United States Infantry. He participated in anumber of warm engagements, among those were Stone River and Chickamauga, at the latter battle he was severely wounded in the ankle, after which he was on detached service until the close of the memorable battle of Lookout Mountain, when he rejoined his regiment. Was honorably discharged at Louisville, Ky., September 10, 1865. After the war, returned to Pennsylvania, and for seven years was a resident of Susquehanna County, after which he came to Nebraska. He married, April 28, 1869, Miss Raphel Hewit. By the union they have had five children, George F., Calvin D., Minnie B., Zady G.; lost one, Maud, died in 1882. Mr. Cobb is First Lieutenant of Company I, Nebraska National Guards, and a member of G. A. R., and O. D. of Upright Post No. 62. He is thoroughly conversant with military tactics and takes a live interest in military affairs. Is a member of the I. O. O. F., P. G. and School Director for District 78.

FRANK COGGESHALL, farmer and stock raiser, Section 26, P. O. Bennet. Deserving of special mention in the history of Nebraska is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of New Haven, Conn., and was born April 13, 1848. His earlier days were spent and education received principally in his native State. When quite young he manifested a strong desire to visit the Western country, and before the war, then a mere youth, came to Iowa, where some relatives resided, remaining a considerable length of time, when he returned to his home in New Haven. In 1864, tendered his services to the union cause, enlisting as a drummer boy, and served in a Connecticut regiment, until the close of the Rebellion, when he was honorably discharged. For a few years after the war was engaged in freighting, across the plains. In 1869, located his present farm, and from that time has been identified by the developments of Lancaster County, although not constantly a resident. His farm is one of the most desirable in the precinct, on which is situated an attractive and comfortable residence. Mr. Coggeshall is a logical reasoner, thoroughly conversant with the events of the day, and an entertaining conversationalist. He married in 1880, Miss Livey Kelsey, of Illinois, a lady whose graces of mind and heart endear her to a large circle of friends.

W. H. DAVIS, agent for the B. & M. R. R. Mr. Davis is a native of Indiana, and was born in Parke County, July 15, 1855, was reared and educated in the Hoosier State. He commenced and learned telegraphing on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, after which he was connected with the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad, also the Michigan Central, with the latter company was operator for two years, at Porter, forty miles east of Chicago. The autumn of 1879, came to Nebraska and entered the employ of the B. & M. Co., as assistant agent at Sutton, on the main line, continuing for a time, when he became agent and operator at Hampton, having charge of that office six months; thence to Bennet. On the 26th of November, 1877, Mr. D. was wedded to Miss Minnie Cheney, of Furnessville, Ind. By this union they have one daughter, Dora, born in 1879.

M. B. DECK, physician and surgeon, is a native of West Virginia, and was born in Martinsburg, October 26, 1852. His father, Abraham, was a native of that State, and his maternal ancestors (Faris) were among the pioneers of Virginia. The subject of the sketch was reared and educated in his native State and took up the study of medicine in the office of Dr. N. D. Baker, after which he attended the university of Maryland, at Baltimore, graduating in March, 1878, commenced practice at Darksville, W. Va.; came to Nemaha County, Neb., in September, 1881, continuing until January, 1882, when he came to Bennet, and formed a partnership with Dr. Piper. He married May 25, 1880, Miss Lottie Benson, of New Jersey. They have one son by this union, Harry.

CAPT. L. P. DERBY, Postmaster of Bennet. There are but few citizens, for a radius of many miles around Bennet, that are more popularly known or highly esteemed than Capt. Derby. He is a native of Hancock County, Ill., and was born February 14, 1844. When quite young he removed with his parents to Williams County, Ohio. His father was a contractor and builder in West Unity, where the subject of this sketch was educated, raised and learned the painter's trade. On the 16th of September, 1861, he displayed that spirit of patriotism which has characized his career, by enlisting in Company B, Sixty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under Capt. Sidney Sprague. At the battle of Fort Donelson his eyes became injured to such an extent that they never fully recovered. Participated at the battle of Pittsburgh Landing, was at Matamoras, on the Central Mississippi campaign, Siege of Vicksburg, first and second battle at Jackson, Miss., Meridian raid, operations against Atlanta, and with Sherman on his famous march to the sea. After which he was at Columbus, Raleigh, Goldsboro and other minor engagements. At the battle of Champion Hills he received a slight flesh wound. On the 22nd of February, 1866, was promoted to Second Lieutenant of the Fourteenth United States Infantry, continuing in the service of the West and South until 1871, when he resigned as First Lieutenant of the Eleventh United States infantry. After the long and continued years of a soldier's life, repaired to his old home in Ohio. Settled in Bennet in 1878, following different pursuits until 1881, when he was appointed Postmaster. In June, 1880, when Company I. of N. N. G. was organized, he was appointed Captain, which office he still holds. Is a member of the G. A. R. and on the deputy staff. Capt. Derby has had a varied experience, is a brilliant conversationalist, and on the whole is one of the most genial and companionable of men. In 1879, Miss Mary Henderson, of Grand Rapids, Mich., became his wife. By this union they have two children, Winnie and Arthur.

G. W. EGGLESTON, grain and coal dealer, is a native of England and was born in Lincolnshire, February 23, 1850. Came to America with parents when young, living for a time near Akron, Ohio, after which in Peoria County, Ill., where his father William was engaged in agricultural pursuits. The family also for several years resided in Cedar County, Iowa and emigrated from that point to Nebraska, the senior Eggleston locating in Lancaster County. The subject of this sketch took up his permanent abode in the State in 1873, and commenced tilling the soil near Bennet. In 1875 engaged in merchandising, continuing one year, when he established present business which has grown under his careful supervision to be lucrative and substantial. He married in October, 1877, Miss Edith Gouram, of Nebraska. They have two children, George W. and Frank LeRoy. Mr. E. is a member of the I. O. O. F.

W. H. FROST, farmer, Section 24, P. O. Bennet. This enterprising young agriculturist is a native of England and was born in Chesterfield, June 18, 1857. When quite young he came to America with his parents. For a time the family resided in Utah, but eventually, in 1870, they located in Lancaster County, Neb., being among the pioneers of Nemaha Precinct. Mr. Charles Frost, father of W. H., was closely identified with the early development and the progress of the county to the time of his demise, August 27, 1880. Mrs. Jane Frost died in Otoe County, June 24, 1879. She had been over in that county attending church when taken sick. The first house the family had on their new farm was destroyed by fire an few years after their arrival and was a serious drawback as it contained a large amount of grain, as well as the loss sustained by being deprived of the building. W. H. was reared on a farm and devotes his entire attention to agricultural pursuits in which branch he is making a success. In 1879 Miss Annie Bayless, a native of Quincy, Ill., became his wife. They have had two children, Charles is living, Eva died August 7, 1881.

DAVID A. GRAU, contractor, builder and architect. This popular gentleman is a native of St. Lawrence County, N. Y., and was born April 18, 1842. When he was quite young came West with his parents. His father, who was a blacksmith by trade, located in Columbia County, Wis., being among the pioneer vulcans of that country, and was prominently identified among the early settlers. In 1861 the subject of this sketch tendered his services to the country, enlisting October 8, in Company D, Tenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Participated in many of the notable events of the war. Among those was Perrysville, Ky., Stone River, Kenesaw Mountain, Resaca, and Atlanta. Was with Sherman. Served three years and was discharged in Milwaukee, Wis., November 4, 1864. Returned to Columbia County and resided there for a time, when he went to Iowa where he pursued his vocation of contracting and building, eventually returning to Wisconsin, and in 1880 came to Nebraska, locating in Lincoln, and was interested in the building of many of the basements of the substantial and attractive edifices of that city, among them the Journal office, Kelly's block, and the C. C. Burr building. In the autumn of 1881 he came to Bennet. Mr. G. is one of the most thoroughly experienced builders in the country and has attained a wide and well merited reputation. He is a member of the K. of P. and of the Grand Army of the Republic.

A. GRIBLING, harness and saddlery, one of the pioneer substantial business men of Bennet, is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of New York, and was born in Herkimer County, August 28, 1841. When quite young he was deprived of his father by death. His boyhood days were spent in gaining an education in his native county. In the spring of 1862 he commenced to learn the harness and saddlery trade, at Fredonia, N. Y. In August of that year, he tendered his services to the Union cause, enlisting in Company B, One Hundred and Twelfth New York Volunteer Infantry, under Gen. Dix. Soon after being mustered in, he was put on detached service, being placed in the Seventh Massachusetts Battery. His first engagement was at Deserted House, Va., and the next Hanover Junction, near Richmond, thence to New Port and Washington. Was called to New York City during the riot, but on his arrival it had subsided, and he returned to Washington, thence to New Orleans. Was with Gen. Banks on the famous Red River expedition. On returning, camped for several months at Morganzies Bend, after which was at Little Rock, Duvall's Bluffs and Montgomery, where he rejoined his regiment. Was honorably discharged at Buffalo, N. Y., on July 1, 1864. Again located at Fredonia, N. Y., and completed his trade. In 1865, came west, and after a temporary sojourn in Iowa and Illinois, returned to New York, not to remain, however. After a few months' sojourn, he became a resident of Rockford, Ill. For a time worked as a journeyman, after which he embarked in trade, continuing to reside in that city two years. In 1868 came to Nebraska, locating four miles north of Bennet, engaging in agricultural pursuits. Continuing in that capacity until he engaged in trade in Bennet in 1872, with the exception of a short time spent in Lincoln. Mr. G. was the first and only harness and saddlery man in Bennet, and the large and lucrative trade that he has built up is prima facie evidence of his popularity. From 1876 to 1879, he was Bennet's efficient Postmaster. Upon the organizing of the Town Board, he was elected one of that body. Mr. G. is a member of the I. O. O. F., and Recording Secretary of the Nebraska Horsethief Association. In 1873, Miss Ida Graves, an estimable lady, became his wife. She is a native of New York.

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