NEGenWeb Project
Kansas Collection Books

Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska

Nemaha County
Produced by
John McCoy.

Topography | Pre-Historic | Early Settlement

First Fourth of July | Reminiscences | Jayhawking
Organization | County Seat Troubles

War History | Official Roster | County Buildings | Railroads | Ferries
Farmers' Clubs | Grasshoppers | Agricultural Society

Nemaha County Mills | Bridges | Educational | Religious | Progress
Statistics of Property | National and State Officials
Brownville:   Early History | Pioneer Incidents | Surveys and Additions


Brownville (cont.):   Incorporation | Official Roster
Nemaha Valley Insurance Company
The Brownville Stone and Stone Coal Company
The First Telegraph Line | The First Train of Cars | Storm and Flood
Express Robbery | Educational | Religious | The Press


Brownville (cont.):
United States Land Office | River Improvements | Post Office
Masonic And Other Organizations | Library Association and Lyceum
Hotels | Banks | United States Express Company
Walnut Grove Cemetery | Manufactories | Attorneys and Physicians
Carson | London

 8 ~ 10:

Biographical Sketches:

PART 11:

Peru:  Early History | Societies | Education | The Press
Railroads and Business Interests | Personal and incidents

PART 12:
Peru (cont.):  Biographical Sketches
PART 13:

Nemaha City:  Early Settlement | Organization | Education
Religious | Societies | The Press | Business Interests

PART 14:
Nemaha City (cont.):  Biographical Sketches
PART 15:

North Auburn:  Early History | Religious | Educational | Societies
Press | Hotels
South Auburn:  Religious | Societies | The Press

PART 16:
North Auburn & South Auburn:  Biographical Sketches
PART 17:
Brock:  Biographical Sketches
PART 18:
Aspinwall:  Biographical Sketches
PART 19:

Johnson & Clifton:  Biographical Sketches
St. Deroin - Febing - Bedford:  Biographical Sketches

PART 20:

Other Towns:  Biographical Sketches

List of Illustrations in Nemaha County Chapter



HON. J. J. MERCER, of Brownville, was born January 1,1833, in Clarion County Penn. His trade of blacksmith was learned in early life of an uncle. Coming West in October, 1855, he resided for a time in Tipton, Marion and Benton City, Iowa, and in 1850 he removed to Liberty, Ill., enlisting from that town August 1, 1862, in the Seventy-eighth Illinois Infantry as private soldier. He served in the grand old Army of the Cumberland, participating in all the great engagements fought at Perryville, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Kenesaw Mountain, Resaca, Dalton, Buzzard's Roost, Burnt Hickory, Marietta, Rome, Peach Tree Creek, Jonesboro, and the last great battle before Atlanta and Savannah. He was commissioned, March 4, 1863, as First Lieutenant, having been previously promoted from Second Lieutenant, on the field of Kenesaw Mountain, for distinguished services performed with the utmost heroism; he was promoted as Captain of his company. In this capacity he served the remainder of the war. Capt. Mercer marched with his regiment and Sherman from Atlanta to the sea, and through the Carolinas, and took an active part in the battle of Bentonville, N. C., where the rebel Johnston made his last stand; was mustered out June 7, 1865, at Washington, D. C.; resided at Liberty, Ill., till December, 1868, when he settled at Brownville, where he has since followed his trade. He is a stanch Democrat, and in 1877 represented his district in the Legislature. Mr. Mercer has served three terms as Master of the N. V. Lodge, No. 4, A., F. & A. M., was for years N. G. of the I. O. O. F., and is now Recording Secretary of the same. He married Miss Elizabeth Flora, of Pennsylvania, by whom he has three children--David H., born in Benton City, Iowa; Clara and Minnie, born in Liberty, Ill.

GEORGE B. MOORE, editor and proprietor of the Nemaha County Granger, was born November 18, 1839 in Lisbon, Androscoggin County, Me. He came West in April, 1868, locating at Brownville, where he was engaged as Principal of the High School; studied law, and was admitted to the bar of Nemaha County, of which he is still a member. In 1874, he bought the Granger of A. S. Holladay, and has since conducted its publication, pursuing an independent line of politics, although its political complexion is tinged with Democracy. The paper is devoted exclusively to the interests of Nemaha County. Mr. Moore edits his own paper, permitting no interference. It is readable, spicy and popular with Nemaha men of all parties. Its editor has a good military record as well, having served through the war of the rebellion with the Seventh Maine Infantry, thereby perpetuating the traditions of the family, as ancestors of his served with distinction in the war of the Revolution, and in the struggle of 1812. He is a son of Joseph and Anna Pierce Moore. His wife was Louisa M. Cushman, of Webster, Me.

JOHN H. MORRISON, farmer, P. O. Brownville, is a native of Miami County, Ohio, where he was born in 1822. His boyhood was passed in his native State, which he left in 1850 for California. Returning to Ohio, he lived there till 1857, when he settled in Nemaha County, Neb., was a Brownville merchant for a time, and was elected County Treasurer in 1860. Owing to the fact that all the able-bodied tax-payers of the country were nearly all on Southern battle fields, Mr. Morrison could not support his family on the office fees, and resigned in about a year. In 1870, he exchanged his town property for the farm on which he now lives. He married Nancy E. Favorite in his and her native county. They have five children--Laura B., born in Miami County, Ohio; Carrie M., Edwin B. and Phil Sheridan, born in Brownville, and Mattie M., born on the homestead. Mr. Morrison is a Republican of Whig antecedents, and a member of the Cumberland Church.

R. V. MUIR, Brownville, was born October 22, 1827, in Lanarkshire, Scotland. In 1835, his parents brought him to America, the family locating in Greene County, N. Y. Fifteen years later, a removal was made to Carbondale, Penn. In 1856, he was elected Treasurer of the Nebraska Settlement Company, and in that capacity came to Table Rock, Neb., where, in company with Luther Hoadley, he built a saw-mill. During the same year, 1857, the company built a saw-mill at North Star, opposite Brownville, which saw-mill fell to the lot of Mr. Muir at the dissolution of the firm in 1858. He managed this mill, and at the same time conducted a large real estate business until 1867, and from that time until 1874, engaged in mercantile business at the same point. From 1874, until his practical retirement in 1881, he devoted himself to the flour business, at High Creek Mills, in Atchison County, Mo. He went into this business in 1863. His substantial brick residence, one of the most elegant homes in Brownville, built in 1870, has an inside finish of butternut, bird's-eye maple and black walnut cut in his old saw-mill. Mr. Muir is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and is a Republican in politics. He married Esther Davidson, by whom he has three children--Downie D., Frank D. and Robert D. The two oldest were born in Carbondale, and the youngest in North Star, Mo. The oldest is Assistant Cashier of the First National Bank of Lincoln, Neb. and the second Cashier of a private bank in Osceola, Neb.

CHARLES NEIDHART, proprietor of the Brownville Marble Works, was born in 1843, in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. He first came to America in 1851, with his grand parents, who returned to Germany when he was thirteen years of age, he accompanying them. When he was seventeen, he returned to the United States, and located at Beardstown, Ill., where he took his first lessons in marble cutting. In 1865, he went to Germany, and for about two years attended the Historic School of Science at Frankfort-on-the-Main. In 1868, he located in Brownville, beginning his present business on a very small scale. The commodious brick building, now occupied by him with four practical marble-cutters, was built in 1873. In his branch shop in Falls City, Neb., he has four employes. His sales are extensive, and increasing throughout Southwest Nebraska. He married Amelia Lightenberg, by whom be has five children--Lina, Sophia, Louisa, Emma and Amelia. The family are Lutherans. Mr. N. has served in the City Council, and is a popular and esteemed business man.

S. A. OSBORN, of the law firm of Osborn & Taylor, Brownville, was born July 9, 1851 in La Fayette County, Wis., attended the common schools of his native county, removed to Fremont County, Iowa; took a classical course at Tabor College, graduating therefrom. In 1875, he came to Brownville, and studied in the office of W. T. Rogers, a prominent attorney of that city, was admitted to the bar in March, 1876; opened an office of his own in 1877. Mr. Osborn is the attorney of the Calvert Town Site Company; he is a Republican and served twice as City Treasurer.

AARON PALMER, baker, grocer and confectioner, Brownville, born in 1859, in Holt County, Mo; he accompanied his father and family to Brownville in 1859. The father, J. C. Palmer, a carpenter by trade, died in that city March 1, 1879, leaving a widow and seven children. Aaron Palmer began driving an express wagon for A. Robinson in 1875; three years later bought a wagon and team of his own, ran that a year and then associated himself with R. Johnson, and established his present business, buying out his partner and selling to a professional baker, whom he in turn bought out, having managed a thriving business alone since 1881. A branch establishment at Calvert thrives under the management of B. Saunders. Mr. Palmer is looked upon as the boss baker of Brownville, and prospers accordingly, assisted by his wife, formerly Della Furlough, of Maryland.

THOMPSON PAXTON, farmer, was born in 1809, in Adair County, Ky., has been a life-long farmer; removed to Lee County, Iowa, in 1840; married, in 1853, Eliza H. Semple , a native of Pennsylvania, and daughter of a leading attorney of Lee County. Mr. Paxton came to Nebraska in 1857, first settling on the present farm of John Barnes, removing to his present farm in 1869. Mr. and Mrs. Paxton have had three children, sons, but death has claimed them all--the last, Robert Francis Paxton, having been drowned during the summer of 1873, in the Missouri River, opposite Brownville; he was a promising youth of nineteen summers, the idol of his parents, and the center of an admiring group of young friends, several of whom witnessed his tragic death in those treacherous waters.

EX-JUDGE J. H. PEERY, farmer, P. O. Brownville, was born in 1825, in Tazewell County, VA. His father, James Peery, distinguished himself in the war of 1812, as Colonel of a Virginia regiment; his son, our subject, was elected Sheriff of Tazewell County when nineteen years of age; joining the State Militia, he rose to the rank of Colonel. In 1859, he removed to Gentry County, Mo., and engaged in the mercantile business. In 1863, removed to Buchanan County, Mo.; came from there to his present 300-acre farm in 1870; was a delegate in the Constitutional Convention of 1875, served as County Commissioner from 1876 to 1879; he is Independent in politics, and is a member, with his wife, of the Protestant Methodist Church. He married Elizabeth Fudge, a native of Virginia, by whom he has five children--Martha, James and Mary, born in Virginia, Alexander and Henry, born in Missouri.

CAPT. W. A. POLOCK, of Brownville, was born August 12, 1817, in Philadelphia, Penn., resided in his native city until 1834, when he enlisted in the United States Regular Army, serving in the regiment of which Z. Taylor was Colonel, and Jefferson Davis a Lieutenant. While stationed at Fort Snelling, Minn., the noted negro Dred Scott, was an acquaintance of his. After three years of military service, he began farming in Illinois, which business he followed twenty years. In April, 1857, he located at Brownville, which has since been his home. Capt. Polock was very active in organizing Company C, of the Nebraska Second, of which company he was First Sergeant, Second and First Lieutenant, and finally Captain by brevet. His division of the army has the honor of having made the first great haul of rebel prisoners, it capturing 1,200 of them in December 1861. Capt. Polock served with his regiment at Fort Donelson, Shiloh and Corinth, also in the guerrilla campaigns in Missouri and Arkansas; was mustered out of the United States service in July, 1866. He married in Winchester, Ill., Nancy Lewis, a native of Kentucky, by whom he has three children--Lucy A, Theodore H. and Nanny. Since the war Capt. Polock was Postmaster of Brownville for about nine years.

[UNION HOTEL -- J. G. RUSSELL, Proprietor.]

JAMES G. RUSSELL, proprietor of the Union House, Brownville, was born in Bangor, Me.; began traveling as a showman when about eighteen, and continued that erratic life for about twenty years, visiting every State in the Union (except California) and Canadas, and New Brunswick. At the outbreak of the civil war he enlisted as a cavalryman in Chicago; was assigned to the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, with which regiment he saw some hard service in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, fighting at Corinth, Iuka, Coffeeville, Buzzards' Roost, etc. Returning from the war, he located at Brownville and has since lived at that place; has been a most successful manager of the Union House since May, 1880; his extensive travels and eventful life enabling him to read human nature in a way which makes him most popular in the roll of mine host. Mr. Russell is one of the leading members of the Brownville Temple of Honor, having graced all its official positions, and of course runs a strictly temperance house. He married Ellen Stevens, who was born in Logansport, Ind. They have four children--William H., James L,. Nellie M. and Charles E., all born in Brownville.

THOMAS RICHARDS, Brownville, came here in 1867, as a farmer, locating in Douglas. In 1872, he with F. A. Tisdell, bought the hardware business of W. D. Shellenberger. Mr. Tisdell retired three years later, Mr. Richards continuing the business till January, 1882, when he closed it out with the intention of devoting himself to the agricultural implement business, in which he had been engaged for the last ten years. Mr. Richards was born in Galena, Ill. where he grew to manhood. He enlisted in December 1861 in the Forty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served with the army of the Tennessee until the close of the civil war in 1865, participating in battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Port Gibson, Raymond, Champion Hills, siege of Vicksburg, the advance upon and capture of Atlanta, the historic march to the sea and through the Carolinas, and the last battle, Bentonville, N. C. Mr. Richards married Abbie H. Miles, a native of New England, by whom he has two children--Fannie, born in Richardson County Neb., and Henry M. born in Brownville.

JOSHUA ROGERS, liveryman, Brownville, was born in 1824, in Rochester, N. Y. resided in his native State until he was twenty-four, when he settled at Port Washington, Wis. After a brief experience in the livery business here he removed to Madison, Wis., and drove stage from that city to Baraboo and Sauk Prairie for seven years. Brownville, Neb., became his residence in 1858. Mr. Rogers has been especially unfortunate as regards fires, as his first stable opened on the site of Campbell's warehouse burned down; his house, built in 1861, was also destroyed. The three brothers, Rogers, were all well-known pioneers of Brownville, Benjamin conning in 1856. Joshua Rogers was for years engaged in the transfer business, and prior to the civil war in freighting to the Rocky Mountains. He is Republican in politics, and served twenty years ago under Daniel Plasters, as Deputy Sheriff, which office he now holds; he delights in early reminiscences, relating his experiences while camping out with the earliest land seekers in the county; his wife was Susan Huddart, of London, Eng., by whom he has five children, all born in Brownville.

WILLIAM T. ROGERS, attorney and counselor at law, Brownville, was born March 23, 1845, in Warsaw, Ky. His early life was spent and his education attained in his native State; was admitted to the practice of law in September, 1867, and graduated from Louisville, Ky., Law School in the spring of 1868; began practice in Shawnee, Kan., and a year later located in Brownville; was the first Police Judge in 1870, and has served several terms as Mayor of the city, though never an active politician. Mr. Rogers is an enthusiastic Freemason and Knight of Pythias; he is a popular and successful lawyer and a public-spirited citizen.

JOSEPH SCHUTZ, jeweler, Brownville, has been in that business longer than any one now resident of the State; opened his first shop at Nebraska City in August, 1856, in the same building with Messrs. O. P. Mason, Charles and George Dorsey. An Englishman named North was then the owner of the only stock of jewelry in the Territory of Nebraska, except his own; there being no establishment of the kind in the then rival towns of Omaha and Brownville, and only three shops in St. Joseph, Mo. Since 1858, Mr. Schutz has done business in Brownville, he commencing in August of that year in the corner of Dr. Holladay's drug store. Mr. Schutz is Republican in politics; served twelve months with Col. Furnas during the war; has erected buildings in Brownville, and at all times taken his place with the best citizens. By his first wife, Ida Ulick, who died in 1866, he had two children, Theodore and Ida; by the present wife, Phillipina Kirsch, he has three--Charles, Rosa and Amelia. Mr. Schutz was born in 1832, in Baden, Germany, and came to the United States in 1853.

S. SEEMAN, grocer of Brownville, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and came from St. Louis to Brownville in 1865, was for about three years in the clothing business; then for a time dealer in live stock, etc. Was elected Constable in 1868 and held the position ten years; in the butchering business for about two years, and began his present line of business in December, 1880; has a neat and tasteful store, of which he was the builder in 1879. Mr. Seeman is also the owner of a pleasant home in Brownville, and is what may be called one of her live business men. He married in Tecumseh, Neb., Miss Anna A. Cross, who was born in Pennsylvania. Their two children were born in Brownville.

A. J. SKEEN farmer, P. O. Brownville, is a son of John Skeen, and a pioneer of Nebraska. Mr. Skeen was born in 1844, in Sumner County, Tenn.; came to Nebraska with his parents in November, 1855; located on his present farm in October, 1867; married February 11, 1868, in Jackson County, Mo., Martha Watts, a native of St. Charles County, Mo. They have seven children--John A., Sarah M. William D, James E, Benjamin T., Charles A. and Andrew S., all born on the home farm. Mr. S. is, in national politics, a Democrat; is an Odd Fellow, and has held local offices. His father, John Skeen, was born in Sumner County, Tenn. He married Malinda Denning, and, with her and five children, located on the Nemaha Bottom in the fall of 1855. His pioneer log cabin (still standing) was 18x22 feet, and in it was organized the first M. E. society in that part of the State. Mr. Skeen's claim was the fourth entered in Nebraska at the Omaha Land Office. His neighbors, during the first winters, were L. Johnson, W. Hill, A. D. Skeen, F. Swartz, James Stillwell, H. Kelley and the Titus family. Mr. and Mrs. Skeen have had seven children --Andrew J., Melvina E., J. A., died in Tennessee; Benjamin T. and Kenyon P. and John W., who both died in May, 1857, Jennie M. Mr. and Mrs. Skeen are good types of the old settlers of Nebraska, and have the genuine Tennessee hospitality.

J. Q. A. SMITH, farmer, P. O. Brownville, was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, September 4, 1821. He is the son of Edward Smith, a native of Ireland, and Jane Richardson Smith, born in Fauquier County, Va. J. Q. A. Smith learned cabinet-making in boyhood, and after visiting various other Southern cities, located in Lexington, Mississippi, where he followed cabinet-making for thirteen years. In 1858, he came to Nebraska. His present farm, which he bought of Mr. Whitney in 1860, it being at that time little more than bare land. The orchard, store house and all other improvements have been put there by Mr. Smith. The large stone house of Mr. Smith was built in 1870-71. Mr. Smith married Abigail Neely, of Licking County, Ohio. They have three children--J. Q. A., Jr., Charles A. Q. and Helen J., all born on the Nemaha County farm.

H. D. SNYDER, Deputy County Treasurer, was born in Highland County, Ohio, July 23, 1829. His early life was spent as a farmer. In 1852, he removed to Illinois. There he engaged in teaching. From Illinois, in 1856, he came to Cass County, Neb., removing to Brownville in 1867. In 1869-70, he was Deputy County Clerk under J. M. Hacker. A. H. Gilmore, County Treasurer in 1875, appointed Mr. Snyder as his Deputy, to which position he was re-appointed in January, 1882, by County Treasurer Bousfield. Mr. Snyder is a member, with his wife, of the M. E. Church, and a member of Nemaha Valley Lodge, No. 4, A., F. & A. M. He married in Ohio, in 1851, Elizabeth Strain, who died in September, 1875. By the present wife, formerly Lida Legg, he has two sons--Oscar and Lester.

B. F. SOUDER, harness-maker, Brownville, was born March 18, 1841, in Perry County, Penn. Four years later, his parents settled in La Salle County, Ill., where both spent the remainder of their lives. B. F. Souder learned his trade in Kendall County, Ill. Enlisted June 13, 1861, in the Twentieth Illinois Infantry, serving in the McPherson Seventeenth Army Corps, participating In the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh and in the siege of Vicksburg. On his return from service, in July, 1864, he went to St. Joe, Mo.; came from Missouri to Brownville in 1867. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M., K. of P., and the T. of H., and is a Republican. He married Laura Collins, of Brownville, by whom he has three children, born in Brownville.

ALEXANDER STARRY, farmer, P. O. Brownville. Mr. Starry is a native of Ohio, who spent his early life in Indiana. In 1852 he settled in Jasper County, Iowa, living in Jasper and Hamilton Counties until 1865, when he settled on his present 210-acre farm, then buying 170 acres of D. Plasters. Mr. Starry has a fine orchard of 700 apple and 200 peach trees, and is a progressive and successful farmer, who has met with but one misfortune of consequence, that being the total loss of his house and its contents by fire in 1870. The loss was about $2,500, not a dollar of insurance covering it. For a number of years the family lived in a granary, until more prosperous times enabled them to build the substantial two story frame house in which they now reside. Mrs. Starry was Birthena Woodward, and there are six children--Melissa, Walter, Addie, Harvey, Buell and Nettie.

JOHN STRAIN, farmer, P. O. Nemaha City, was born in 1832, in Tippecanoe County, Ind.; removed in 1854, to Iowa, thence to Missouri, and thence to Kansas. In this then new Territory, during the years 1855-56, he saw much of " border ruffianism" in its worst phases. Himself a strong Abolitionist, he was warned repeatedly to leave the Territory, on pain of death, but instead, organized and became Captain of a company of thirty determined Northern men, who were bound to defend themselves and each other against all comers. By skillful night marches Capt. Strain got his company through to Topeka, at one time making an organized band of pro-slavery men believe be had several hundred men at his disposal by scattering them along a ravine. At Topeka, his company surrendered to the United States forces, but were purposely allowed to escape; joining a party of 200 Free-Soilers, they marched to Lawrence, Kan., and joined the main body of Abolitionists under Robinson. The pro-slavery men (2,500 strong), surrounded the town, threatening to burn it. The Free-Soilers, then only eighty in number, threw up intrenchments, resolved upon a good defense. Gov. Geary, with the United States Regulars, now appeared upon the scene, and inviting Capt. Strain with his men to join him, they did so. Geary then rode to the camp of the women-whippers and told them that if they entered Lawrence it would be over his corpse, assuring them that he, as Chief Executive, had "back-bone" enough to enforce the laws. This caused the dispersion of the " chivalry ". Late in 1856, Mr. Strain removed, with his family to Nemaha County, Neb., settling on the farm he now owns, where by building and tree-planting he has made a homelike home. He married in Missouri, Letitia Sales, a native of McLean County, Ill. They have eight living children--Elizabeth, Mary, Celia, Martha, Nettie, Margaret, John C. and J. Arthur. The eldest was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and the others in Nebraska.

[Portrait of Charles F. Stewart, M. D.]

CHARLES F. STEWART, M. D. came to Brownville in 1857, and immediately began the practice of medicine. In 1871, he was appointed Superintendent of the State Hospital for the Insane, which office he held until 1875.

B. STROBLE, baker and dealer in family groceries, confections, teas, tin, wooden-ware and all goods found in a general store. He came to Brownville in 1870, working for three and a half years in the bakery of I. S. Nase. In 1875, he began for himself. Deals in family groceries, teas, canned goods, nuts, toys, pistols, cutlery, queens, glass, tin and wooden ware, besides organs and other musical instruments. He has been a baker all his life and owns the only established bakery in Brownville. His wife was Lizzie Reist, of Goshen, Ind.

JOHN S. STULL, County Judge of Nemaha County, was born May 6, 1842, in Marengo, McHenry Co., Ill. He spent his early life on a farm. Enlisting, August 15, 1862 he fought, with Company K, of the Third Illinois Cavalry, at Haines' Bluff Arkansas Post, Memphis and through the Vicksburg and Nashville campaigns. At the close of the war, he returned to his old home and attended school for a time. Read law with Hon. L. S. Church, of Woodstock, Ill. Attended two terms in the Ann Arbor, Mich., law school, from which he graduated in 1871, locating in Brownville in August of that year. He served as Police Judge, was twice elected Mayor and is now serving his third term as County Judge. He is a son of Leflar and Ellen Cannon Stull. His wife was Lillie Cecil, a native of Miami County, Ohio. They have two children.

S. M. SUMMERS, merchant, Brownville, was born, June 19, 1840 in Washington County, Mo. He is the son of S. R. and Gincy Summers, both Kentucky people. He came to Brownville, in the spring of 1856, from Holt County, Mo. In 1865, he became the owner of a brick-yard, known as Summers' brick-yard. In 1873, he interested himself in milling, owning at different times two grist-mills in Richardson County. Later, he managed for three years the Howard mill. Began his present business in 1879. Runs a general store and a large stock. He is a Democrat. His wife was Sarah Jane Westfall, by whom he has four children.

FREDERICK SWARTZ, farmer, P. O. Brownville, was horn in 1811, in Wurtemberg Germany. He came to America in 1832, and spent twenty-three years in Reinersburg, Penn., as a tailor. He married Margaret Lobaugh and started with her and their nine children for the New West in the spring of 1855. The wife and mother died on a Missouri Steamer April 10, and the father and the motherless brood of little ones, the two eldest twins but fourteen years old, landed at Brownville, Neb., May 10, 1855. Brownville was then a hamlet of four cottonwood houses. Mr. Swartz built a log cabin for his family in the wilderness, five miles distant. Mr. S. was at this time very poor. He was not able to buy a cow, and he worked for day wages to get bread for his family. During the winter of 1855-56, Mr. Swartz moved to Brownville and took up tailoring and acted as Deputy Postmaster in a cottonwood shanty, keeping the mail in a cigar box. In leaving the office he used to put the letters in his tall hat, from which they were distributed as he met their owners. Mr. S. did not and does not claim to have carried the vote of Nemaha County in his pocket, as ambitious politicians do at this day, but he certainly can claim to have once carried the Brownville Post Office in his hat. In 1856-57, a good many settlers coming in, the first school was started. Mr. Swartz took great interest in originating both day and Sunday schools. Few men deserve more credit for an unselfish life-work than does Frederick Swartz; as he cared for and educated his large family, alone, under the most discouraging circumstances. Since the spring of 1856, he has lived on his present farm; has erected good buildings, and laid aside a competence. In 1881, he revisited the old Pennsylvania home and the German Fatherland. Mr. Swartz was undoubtedly the first German settler to locate in Nemaha County. He was also very prominent to secure the school district organization, his daughter Margaret teaching the first term in that part of the county. Eight of his children, viz., Margaret J., Mary A. (twins), Peter L., Hiram M., Ottoran McD., Hannah M., Rachel and Martha are now living. David J. died in Arkansas while in the Union Army, during the civil war.

[Portrait of T. W. Tipton.]

EX-UNITED STATES SENATOR THOMAS W. TIPTON, Brownville, born August 5, 1817, near Cadiz, Ohio. He was a student in Allegheny College, Meadville Penn., and graduated from Madison College, Pennsylvania, in 1840. In 1849, he was appointed to a position in the United States Land Office, which he resigned in 1852, in order to take the stump for Gen. Scott. the Whig candidate for the Presidency. Few men, if any, in the United States have taken part in so many Presidential campaigns as Mr. Tipton. His most effective speeches were delivered in behalf of Clay, Taylor, Scott, Fremont, Lincoln, Grant, Greeley, Tilden and Hancock. Having been admitted to the bar in 1844, he resumed the practice of law at McConnellsville, Ohio, in 1853. In 1856, he received authority to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church, but, preferring the democracy of Congregationalism to the Methodist Episcopacy, changed his church relation. At Brownville, Neb., he served a small Congregational Church organization for one year prior to 1860, and was elected Chaplain of the First Nebraska Infantry, in July, 1861, in which capacity he served till the end of the war. In 1845, he was a member of the Legislature of Ohio; in 1859, was elected to a constitutional convention in Nebraska, and in 1860 was a member of the Territorial Senate. In July, 1865, he was appointed Assessor of Internal Revenue for Nebraska, on the same day on which he was mustered out of the United States service. He entered Congress on the 4th of March, 1867, drawing a term as United States Senator. His competitor for this position was Hon. I. Sterling Norton, one of the best and ablest Democrats Nebraska ever produced. In 1869, Senator Tipton was re-elected for a full term of six years, and served it out with profit to his State, and honor to himself. The Senator has a way of expressing his convictions in a manner so earnest, a logic so forcible, and withal so sensible, as to win him a national reputation for stern and uncompromising adherence to his principles. No act of his has done more to convince the country of this than his espousal of the cause of Horace Greeley for President in 1872. A United States Senator, member of the dominant political party, then in overwhelming majority in the nation and his adopted State, yet, for ideas of right, justice and political honor, he repudiated the dictum of its leaders, and gives the new movement the most earnest and unselfish support ever granted by a politician, to a cause, manifestly hopeless from the outset. Since the defeat and death of the great statesman, whose name was to his party as the white plume of Henry of Navarre to his lancers, Senator Tipton has done noble work for the Democratic party. His efforts on the stump In Indiana and New York during the Tilden and Hendricks campaign of 1876; bringing him still into greater prominence in the eyes of the nation. Nominated by his party, in 1880, as a candidate for Governor in Nebraska, he said in reply to an interrogatory, as the reason of his acceptance of the nomination, " I did it in order to try and keep the Republican majority down to 25,000." The Senator's family consists of his wife, whose maiden name was Rachel Irwin Moore, of Pennsylvania--Thomas Corwin, married to an English wife, in England; William M., married to a Spanish wife, in Santa Fé, N. M.; D. Perry, now of Socorro, N. M.; and Alice Atkinson, only child of his daughter, Kate Tipton, who was the wife of Gen. H. M. Atkinson, of Santa Fé, N. M.

G. W. TAYLOR, of Osborn & Taylor, Brownville, was born in Grant County, Ind., October 29, 1852. Five years later, his parents removed to Fremont County, Iowa, where he received his common-school and collegiate education. Read law and taught school alternately for a time. Entered the law office of James McCabe, Shenandoah, Iowa, and soon afterward formed a partnership with Judge Stockton, of Sidney, Iowa. Was admitted to the bar in March, 1879, and came to Brownville in July, 1881, when the present partnership was formed.

ROBERT TEARE, Brownville, born on the Isle of Man. He has spent most of his life on American soil. Locating in Brownville in the fall of 1856, he clerked for McAllister, Dozier & Co. for a year, and then, until 1862, was in the employ of Crane, Hill & Co. Mr. Teare now spent a year on his native island; returned, and was appointed by Gov. R. W. Furnas as the Omaha Indian Trader, which position he held until the expiration of the Furnas administration. Has since been in active business in Brownville--of late years in the agricultural implement business. Mr. Teare married Mary C. Downey, of Maryland, by whom he has five children. all born in Brownville.

C W. WHEELER, of Brownville, an early settler and ex-Probate Judge, was born in Carlisle, Penn., and removed to Miami County, Ohio, when fifteen years of age. In April, 1856, he reached Brownville, where he has since resided. From 1858 to 1862, he was County Judge of Nemaha County. But his chief connection with the growth and interests of Brownville was in the role of a contractor and builder, as he built during 1856 the second store building in the place. The next year he built the Presbyterian Church, and what was then the Brownville House, now the Marsh House. During 1858, he erected for himself the house now owned by Judge Stull, another for I. T. White (now the Dr. Crane residence), and the frame house on Main street now occupied by Dr. Eberly, the Hoadley house, and others. For many years past Judge Wheeler has devoted himself to bridge building, he having built scores of iron, combination and wooden bridges in this and other counties.

A. R. WIGHTMAN, A. M., Principal of the Brownville High School, is a native of Allegany County. N. Y. After pursuing a limited course of study in Alfred University, he entered Union College, graduating with distinction in 1857; has since devoted his best energies to the cause of education. He was for years Principal of a High School in Tioga County Penn., which position he relinquished to accept the chair of Natural Sciences, and later that of Latin and Literature in Alfred University. A Methodist in religious convictions, his conflicting theology finally led to the severance of his connection with that noted Seventh Day Baptist institution. For a time thereafter, he taught in the High Schools at Springville and Hamburg, in Erie County, N. Y. Owing to the failing health of his wife, Prof. Wightman resolved to come West, which he did in 1875. After teaching a year in Plattsmouth, and four years in Fremont, he was elected to his present principalship in September, 1880. Mrs. Wightman, nee Jane A. Stanton, continued to fail in strength and died February 28, 1882, in Brownville. She left three children, which share with a devoted father the grief inflicted by the loss of so good a wife and mother.

Top of Page   First Page   Back   Next

County Index