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



THORER HANSON, farmer and stock raiser, P. O. Bennet, Lancaster Co., Neb. This substantial agriculturist and well known gentleman, is a native of Norway, and was born in Christiana, August 26, 1832. Educated and learned the cabinet making trade in his native country, and pursued that vocation until 1866, when he came to America. Located temporarily in Chicago, Ill., in the employ of a lumber company. Moved to Oconto, Wis., and engaged work in his trade. In 1867, his family, which he left in Norway, came to the United States, and took up their abode in Oconto. In 1868, came to Nebraska, locating in Nebraska City, and for one year worked at the furniture trade. Mr. H. being a superior workman, always commanded the highest wages. On the 12th of April, 1869, located on eighty acres of land, where he now resides. Not having enough land to demand his entire time, he engaged in working at his trade in Lincoln, for his Nebraska City employers, who had a branch house there. Continued working in Lincoln until 1873, when he turned his entire attention to farming. Has been adding from time to time to his estates, and at present, 1882, has 320 acres. This year he has erected a residence which is a striking contrast to the one that was first erected in Lancaster County, for his home. Mr. H. is an industrious, progressive citizen. He is closely identified with the Norwegian Lutheran Church, and has done much toward the organization of the church society in Nemaha Precinct. In Norway, on the 29th of December, 1857, Miss Theo Andersen became his wife. They have had twelve children--Helmer, Torval, Maria, Emma, Richard, Walter, Nora, Hubert, Sherman, Adolph, Gerhard and lost one, Matilda, died in Oconto, Wis.

JAMES H. HARPER, farmer and stock raiser, Section 2, P. O. Bennet. Among those that figured at an early day in the State of Nebraska, is the subject of this sketch. Mr. H. is a native of West Virginia, and was born December 7, 1839. His early life was spent in that State, and he was there educated, and learned the harness and saddlery trade. The autumn of 1859 found him in the Territory of Nebraska, and located at Nebraska City, where he worked at the harness trade for upward of four years, when in company with Mr. Enoch Riggels, he succeeded his employer in business. The style of the firm for a considerable length of time, was well known as Harper & Riggels. Mr. H. eventually sold out, and returned to the scenes of his childhood, West Virginia. Sojourning temporarily, came again to Nebraska, and engaged in working at his trade in Nebraska City, continuing two years, when he went to Julesburg and engaged in the photographing business for a time; returned to Nebraska City, residing until the spring of 1869, when he located on his present farm. His estate consists of 120 acres, under a high state of cultivation, and the surroundings indicate comfort and prosperity. He was married in June, 1862, to Miss Elizabeth Dodson. By this union they have had nine children, six of whom are living--John, James, Walter, Stella, Henry and Georgia; lost three, Fred, Charlie and Fannie. Mr. H. is a member of the K. of P.

D. H. HARRIS, the merchant and custom miller of Bennet, is a native of England, and was born in Monmouthshire, May 31, 1845. Was reared and educated in his native country, and learned the miller's trade. In 1864, came to the United States, pursued his vocation in different parts of Wisconsin, for a time after which he went to Nebraska and Colorado. In the fall of 1866, located on the Blue in Nebraska, in what is now Seward County. Since that time he has been prominently identified with the milling interests of the State, having been instrumental in building or starting four mills previous to coming to Bennet. The first was at Camden, in 1867, for Roper & Parker; in 1870, at Seward, for Bois & Sons, and in 1876, started a mill on Lincoln creek. In 1877, in company with others, engaged in milling at West Mills. Continuing for a time, when he removed to Sarpy County, where he remained for about three years. In the autumn of 1881, established his present business in Bennet; it has been continually on the increase, as he manufactures an article of flour of a superior quality, consequently it has a wide and well merited reputation. Mr. Harris is one of the most experienced men in the trade. In 1869, he married Miss Ann M. Bingman. They have three children--James R., John H., and Edmond D. Mr. H. is a Master Mason.

W. A. HARTLEY, farmer and stock raiser, Section 24 Township 8, P. O. Bennet. Popularly known throughout Lancaster County is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of Illinois, and was born in Randolph County, August 17, 1843, was reared and educated in his native county. In 1862, he enlisted in Company D, Eightieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served throughout the war. Participated in twenty-three engagements; among those are Perryville, Stone River, Lookout Mountain. Was on the Sherman campaign, and the battle of Nashville. For two months was a prisoner on Belle Isle. After the war, located in Illinois. Came to Nebraska in 1870, and has since been associated with the growth and development of Lancaster County. During the years 1879-80, he was the county's efficient Deputy Treasurer; was Justice of the Peace for three terms, and Assessor two terms. Mr. H. is a man of untiring perseverance, is well read, a deep thinker, a ready and entertaining conversationalist. He married in 1873, Miss Eliza Dunlap, of New York. By this union, they have three children--Annie, Ella and Mabel. He is a member of the G. A. R., and Post Commander of Upright Post, No. 62.

C. W. HEFFLEY, the grocer, one of Bennet's most popular business men, is the subject of the sketch. He is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Somerset County, December 15, 1852. His father, Annias Heffley, came to Nebraska, in 1856, and was one of the pioneer merchants of the State, being prominently identified by the growth and prosperity of Nebraska City, where he was engaged in merchandising, and was favorably and widely known during the palmy days of early western immigration. His death occurred in Nebraska City, in February, 1876. C. W. came to Nebraska City in 1863, was there reared and educated, following the vocation of clerking in his father's store. He traversed the western country to a considerable extent, eventually in the spring of 1879, located in Bennet, and for about two years followed clerking, when he embarked in the grocery trade. Mr. H. is a thoroughly experienced business man, and his genial disposition makes him hosts of friends, as well as substantial patrons. On July 25, 1880, Miss Ada Tucker, an estimable lady became his wife. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., Nemaha Lodge, No. 32, and the K. P., Midland Lodge, No. 12; of the former is Permanent Secretary and the latter, P.C.

CHRISTIAN JEANSEN, farmer and stock raiser, Section 26, P. O. Bennet. Of the foreign element that has emigrated to the United States during the past quarter century, to make homes in the western wilds, there is none that has made more rapid strides than the Danes. Lancaster County has a fair portion of those worthy individuals, and the subject of this sketch may be mentioned as a prominent one. He was born in Denmark, May 2, 1827, was reared, educated and resided in his native country until 1872, when he came to America, locating in Chicago, Ill., and worked for several months, went to Michigan, and engaged in working in the lumber woods, in this branch of industry he spent one and a half years. For about five years was engaged in agriculture and horticulture in LaSalle County, Ill., and for two years, farmed in Woodford County, and from that point came to Lancaster County, Neb., locating on his present farm, the spring of 1881. His estate consists of 160 acres of choice land, the greater portion of which is under cultivation. He is one of the most prosperous farmers in the precinct. In 1866, Mrs. Johanna Christena Peterson became his wife. He is a member of the Lutheran Church.

J. CALVIN JOHNSTON, farmer, Section 27, P. O. Bennet. Is a native of Indiana, and was born in Allen County, November 17, 1856, was reared and educated in his native State. His father, Rev. James Johnston, is prominently and favorably known as a Methodist minister and one of the oldest in the northern Indiana Conference. J. Calvin learned the carriage making trade at Burlington, Iowa, and pursued that vocation in connection with other branches of mechanism for several years. In 1879, turned his attention to farming, locating where he now resides. His estate of 160 acres is one of the most desirable in the precinct, and by superior management Mr. Johnston has placed himself among the substantial agriculturists of Lancaster County, he is a genial, well informed gentleman and well merits success. On the 8th of January, 1880, Miss Isabella Kendall became his wife, they have by this union one daughter; Eva A.

R. LARKIN, farmer and stock dealer, Section 20, P. O. Bennet. He is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Delaware County, September 9, 1838, was raised and educated in his native State. A few years before the braking out of the American Rebellion, he removed to Ohio, and in 1862, enlisted in Company I, Sixty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, serving about one year, when he was honorably discharged. For a time was a resident of Ohio, Indiana and Iowa, in 1872, he came to Lincoln, Neb., and engaged in working at his trade, that of carpentering and building, in which he is one of the most proficient in the country, many of the substantial structures in the Magic City contain specimens of his handiwork. For seven years Lincoln was his abiding place, with the exception of two years spent in Oakland, Cal. Mr. Larkin turned his attention entirely to agriculture and stock dealing, in 1879, he formerly owned the place now occupied by Mr. Simpson. That he has made a success in the West may be inferred from the fact that he came to the State in meagre circumstances and has by skillful management, good judgment and industry, identified himself among the solid men of Lancaster County. His 160 acres of clover land is fenced off into fields, and conveniently arranged to facilitate the handling of stock. His residence, barn and out buildings, are desirably located and the general surroundings, indicate the supervision of a competent overseer. Mr. Larkin has been twice married, first to Miss Clara Williams, daughter of Hon. T. J. Williams of Chester Hill, Morgan Co., Ohio. Her death occurred in 1874. On March 21, 1882, Miss Liddie E. Branson became his wife, she is the daughter of Dr. S. Branson of Chester Hill, Morgan Co., Ohio. Mr. L. is a member of the Masonic order and the G. A. R. By his first wife has one son, John B.

FREDERICK LARSON, farmer and stock raiser, Section 25, P. O. Bennet; is a native of Denmark, and was born October 11, 1832; was reared, educated and resided in his native country until 1869, when he came to America, locating in Bureau County, Ill., residing about three years, when he came to Nebraska, locating where he now resides. Mr. Larson has a fine farm of eighty acres in a high state of cultivation. He is one of the sterling farmers of Nemaha Precinct. In 1857 he married Miss Fredeckka Rakka, of Denmark. They have three children, Amandus, Bertha, and Christinia (now Mrs. Melick, of Kansas). Mr. Larson is a member of the Lutheran Church.

F. C. MAY, farmer and stock raiser. This well-known gentleman is a son of the prominent agriculturist, H. May, and was born in Germany, September 10, 1857. In 1870 came to the United States with parents, locating in Woodford County, Ill., where the family resided until 1878. The autumn of that year they came to Lancaster County. The subject of this sketch has been reared a farmer, and is thoroughly conversant with its details. His estate consists of 160½ acres of choice land, one-half of which is under cultivation. On the 15th of February, 1882, Miss Annie Heupel, of Lancaster County, became his wife.

H. MAY, farmer and stock raiser, Section 22, P. O. Bennet. One of the most prominent farmers of Lancaster County is the subject of the sketch. He is a native of Prussia, Germany, and was born May 27, 1830; was reared and educated in his native country; for a number of years followed sheep raising; served two and one-half years in the army. In 1870 emigrated to America, locating in Woodford County, Ill., where he engaged in conducting a farm for Mr. George Warren. Here he remained until early in 1879, when he became a resident of Nebraska, locating where he now resides, on the farm of Mr. George Warren, which he operates in connection with a large tract of land of his own, on Section 27, Nemaha Precinct. Mr. May is a thoroughly conversant agriculturist, and has made farming a success by industry and practical experience. He married in 1858 Miss Minnie Rickert. By this union they have six children, Frank, Henry, Augustus, Lena, Otto and Emma. Mr. M. and family are members of the Presbyterian Church.

DR. STEPHEN A. MECHAM, P. O. Bennet, one of Nebraska's oldest and most respected citizens. He is a native of St. Lawrence County, N. Y, and was born August 6, 1815. His father, Stephen, was a farmer, and the subject spent his earlier days in tilling the soil. However, when comparatively young, he turned his attention to the study of medicine, under the tutorship of his grandfather, Dr. Thomas Mecham, a prominent herbal physician in his day. When eighteen years of age he commenced to practice, and continued in New York until twenty-eight years of age, when he came West, locating at Springfield, Ill., where he engaged in practice, and studied under Dr. Todd, father-in-law of Abraham Lincoln. After four years in Springfield, came to Iowa, which at that time was a howling wilderness, locating on Sugar Creek, Lee County, a short distance from Montrose. In 1846 he located in Scott County, Iowa, fifteen miles north of Davenport, where he continued with farming and practicing his profession. In 1850 crossed the State, locating where the city of Council Bluffs now stands. In connection with his brother Lafayette, he helped to build the first log house there, and engaged in the blacksmithing and butchering business. In 1851 he was one of the members who helped to survey and lay out the town site of Omaha. Resided in Bluffs until 1855, when he removed to De Soto, Neb., a small village a short distance north of Omaha. Here he engaged in milling, but, owing to the dam giving away, and the expense incurred in reconstructing it three times, it proved disastrous to him financially. In the spring of 1858, with his family in the wagon, he arrived on the site of his present home. On the middle branch of the Little Nemaha he and others had made a detour of the country, and they all had agreed to locate there; but owing to the unprepossessing appearance of the country, all but two backed out. The country at that time was very crude, and it was quite a curiosity to see a white man. As to the location he chose, it was well selected and showed good judgment. He would be frequently asked by the wayfaring traveler, in latter years, why he settled in such an isolated place, and his answer was that he proposed to raise potatoes for the laborers that would build a railroad by his door. How well his prophecy has been verified is obvious. The Doctor was always a staunch friend to the red men, and received many testimonials from them in return. He had serious obstacles to contend with at that early day. He was obliged to do his milling at Coonville, upon Plum Creek, and to make his round trip it would take two weeks. He would have to build his bridges going, and frequently be obliged to rebuild them coming back, owing to wash-outs. He made some little money by gathering salt on Salt Creek and drawing it to Iowa with cattle, where he sold it. His claim consisted of 360 acres. Of this he hired fifty acres broken, at an expense of $5 per acre. As the country began to settle he was called on by those in need of medical attendance, and soon attained a lucrative practice, So far as can be ascertained he was the first practitioner in what comprises now Lincoln District. Much credit is due the Doctor for the live interest he took in showing the country to the new comers. His latchstring was always on the outside, and many of the first residents of the State remember his hospitality. The first school in that vicinity was secured through his instrumentality, he hiring the teacher at his own expense; and he has always been identified with the educational and religious sentiment of the community. Although the Doctor is well advanced in years, he still retains his mental and physical facilities, and bids to be yet for many years numbered among the pioneers of Nebraska. He still continues to practice, but does not court patronage, as he thinks it is about time to retire. In 1840 he married Miss Nancy Martin, an estimable lady, who has been with him through all his struggles and triumphs. She, too, is still hale and hearty, and bears but few marks of the early days.

JAMES N. MINOR, farmer, Section 20, P. O. Bennet. This well-known citizen and pioneer is a native of Ohio, and was born May 20, 1820. His father, Ephraim, was a native of Virginia, and a soldier in the war of 1812. At an early age the subject of this sketch removed to Coles County, Ill., where he spent the greater part of his life previous to coming to Nebraska, following agricultural pursuits. In 1863 he tendered his services to the Union cause, enlisting in Company I, Fifty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, on August 24 of that year; was captured with others and retained as prisoners for several months before an exchange took place. The greater portion of his time in the service was on guard duty. After being mustered out continued farming until 1869 in Illinois, when he came to Nebraska, locating where he now resides; was one of the first settlers in Nemaha Precinct, and had many hardships to endure, which is subsequent to the first residence in a new country. Mr. M. has always been a man of untiring industry, working with zeal at anything he undertakes. Although past the meridian of life, is hale and hearty. He has a large acquaintanceship in Lancaster County, and is respected by all. In 1847 Miss Margaret A. Dinning, of Illinois, became his wife. By this union they have had nine children, four of whom are living, Gideon A., Jonathan, James E. and Mary J. Lost five, John M., Lucy, Lauretta, Margaret A., and one in infancy. Mr. M. belongs to the G. A. R.

GIDEON A. MINOR, farmer, Section 20, P. O. Bennet, is a native of Cole County, Ill., and was born November 8, 1847; was reared to manhood and educated in his native State, and came to Nebraska with the family in 1869. He is one of the sterling and prosperous young farmers of his precinct, and is a thoroughly schooled agriculturist. In 1869 he was married to Miss Annie Hunt. They have two children, Mary Margaret and Annora Elizabeth.

JAMES E. MINOR, is a son of James N., and brother of Gideon A. Minor; was born in Cole County, Ill., September 11, 1854; was a resident there until 1869, when he came to Nebraska with his father, with whom he still resides. James is one of Lancaster County's most popular young men.

CHARLES LOUIS OTTO, carpenter and contractor, identified with the building interests of Bennet and Lancaster County, is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of Germany and was born in Saxony, December 15, 1853. When fourteen years of age came to the United States, locating in Du Page County, Ill., making his home principally at Downer's Grove. For a time was a resident of Hinsdale. He learned the carpenter trade which he followed for several years, and also was a teacher of a German school. In 1880 came to Nebraska, locating in Lancaster County for several months. Was the proprietor of the Bennet hotel. He has built many of the substantial structures in Bennet and is a first class mechanic in every particular. The spring of 1882 was elected member of the Town Board and also holds the office of Constable from January 1, 1882, to January 1, 1883. Mr. Otto married, in 1879, Miss Louisa Wolf, of Illinois. By this union they have had two children, one of whom is living, William. Lost one, Robert, deceased April 5, 1882. Mr. O. is a member of the Knights of Pythias.

HENRY PETERSON, farmer and stock raiser, Section 25, P. O. Bennet. This gentleman is a native of Denmark and was born April 3, 1847. Was reared, educated, and resided in his native country until 1868, when he came to America, locating in Bureau County, Ill., which was his home until 1874 when he became a resident of Nebraska, locating in Nemaha Precinct, Lancaster County. Owing to the crop failure when he first embarked in farming, he relinquished agricultural pursuits and for four years worked at his trade, that of a miller, in Lincoln. Mr. Peterson has a model farm and is one of Nebraska's most sterling and progressive citizens. In 1874 he married Miss Maggie Christenson, of Denmark. By this union they have three children, H. William, Emma C. and Clara M. He and his family are identified with the Lutheran Church.

E. T. PIPER, physician and surgeon. Whatever the calling may be the pioneer has many difficulties to contend with and obstacles that can not be obviated. Such is pre-eminently true of the medical profession in a sparsely settled country. One of the early practitioners in Nebraska and a man widely known throughout Lancaster and other counties is Dr. E. T. Piper. He is a native of Ohio and was born in Belmont County, November 2, 1815. His father, Edward, was a native of Wooster County, Mass., and his mother, Elizabeth Phillip, a native of Pennsylvania. When seven years of age he removed with his parents to Montgomery County. Thence to Seneca County, where he was principally educated and took up the study of medicine in Adams Township. After becoming conversant with the details of his adopted profession attending the Eclectic Medical College in Cincinnati, O., graduating in the winter of 1853. Practiced medicine for a time in Ohio and in 1855 came to Ogle County, Ill., locating in Linville, where he was prominently identified with the medical profession for a number of years. In 1862 he enlisted in the Thirty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry as Assistant Surgeon. After the battle of Shiloh was transferred to the floating hospital, D. A. January. After serving for about one year was on hospital duty at St. Louis for six months. In 1864 he again took up his practice in Ogle County, Ill., continuing until 1868, when he came to Nebraska, locating on Section 24, Stockton Precinct, in Lancaster, and opened a farm which he conducted for a number of years and still owns. The country at that time was in a comparatively crude state and the few settlers were scattered over a vast area of territory. At that time he was the only physician between Lincoln and Nebraska City, and his services were almost constantly in demand, frequently being called in Otoe, Cass, and Johnson counties, and those drives in inclement weather, over bleak prairies, no bridges and uncertain roads in many instances, were among the drawbacks the Doctor was obliged to encounter. His success as a practitioner is well known and needs no comments from the writer. There is perhaps no physician in eastern Nebraska who is held in higher esteem by the fraternity than Dr. Piper. He is considered authority in intricate cases and is frequently called upon as counsel. The Doctor is a great reader, has an excellent memory, well posted on the current events of the day, is very sociable and held in high esteem by all those who know him. For four years he was Coroner of Lancaster County. In 1841 he married Miss Liddie Dentler of western Pennsylvania. They have five children, four of whom are living. Anna, now Mrs. Hill, Mary, now Mrs. William Fosket, of Firth, Neb., Martha, now Mrs. John Becker, Firth, and Edward D., resides in Bennet. Lost one, Ada. Mrs. Piper's death occurred in Nebraska in May, 1880. The Doctor is a Master Mason and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

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