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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

Part 14


J. H. ARGABRIGHT. P. O. Nemaha City, was born in 1842, in Fayette County, Ky.; came to Nebraska in 1859, with his brother, J. W.; was employed as a Government freighter three years; enlisted in 1863, in the Second Nebraska, taking part in Gen. Sully's Indian expedition; returned and enlisted in the Twelfth Missouri Cavalry, serving until the close of the civil war; fighting at Franklin and Nashville, and in the memorable pursuit of Gen. Hood; returned and married in February, 1866, Miss Rhoda Clover, of Grundy County, Ill.; has since been engaged in farming, owning 166 acres in Nemaha and Aspinwall Precincts. Mr. and Mrs. Argabright have seven children--Fred., Frank, Alice, Nina, Lela, Charles and Llewellyn, all born in Nemaha County.

JOHN BARNES, farmer, P. O. Nemaha City, was born in 1821, in Westmoreland County, Penn. He is the son of John and Catherine McCutchin Barnes, both natives of Pennsylvania. At the age of nineteen, he removed to Lee County, Iowa, and married Elizabeth Harger, of Indiana. After a residence of seventeen years in Iowa, Mr. Barnes removed, with his family, in the spring of 1857, to a claim near Nemaha City, removing to his present 170-acre farm in 1869. He has erected good buildings and made other improvements. He became a member of the Presbyterian Church in Iowa, and was one of the founders of the Brownville Church, of which in early times he was an Elder. Mr. and Mrs. B. have nine children--Casner, Eunice, Amanda J., Isham B., John S., Luther H., David, Lydia H., and Mary E. The four eldest were born in Iowa, and the others in Nebraska.

J. J. BENDER. of Bender & Dillon, druggists, Nemaha City and Calvert. Mr. B. came to this State in 1879; located in Nemaha City, and has been in the same place and business since. He is a native of Boone County, Ind., born in 1849. Three years later, his father, David Bender, moved to Holt County, Mo.; J. J. Bender began the study of his profession with Dr. Brand, of Graham, Mo.; began business for himself in 1870 in Graham; removed to Marysville, Mo., in 1877, and was in a woolen mill there until his removal to Mound City, Mo., whence he came to Nebraska. Mrs. Bender's maiden name was Sarah E. Brown; born and married in Graham, Mo.

JOHN P. CROTHER, Nemaha City, located at that point in 1857, coming from Michigan. Mr. C. is an Englishman by birth, and a boot, shoe and harness maker by trade. When he came to Nemaha City, not one hundred acres of land were broken in the precinct, it being a sort of a bubble town, populated by claim-holders who were soon after compelled to move their frail shanties, then composing Nemaha City, out upon their claims, which operation laid the foundation for the present prosperity of Nemaha. Mr. C. has been Justice of the Peace most of the time since 1859; was in the Territorial House of 1861-62-63. He has been a Republican ever since the party was organized. He and his family are members of the Episcopal Church. No pioneer of Nemaha County is more familiar with its history, or has taken more pride in its progress, than has Squire Crother.

PHILIP CROTHER, Postmaster of Nemaha City, was born in 1843, in Lancashire, Eng. He is the son of J. P. Crother, who emigrated to the United States in 1849, locating in the State of New York. Young Crother early showed evidences of an active, unsettled disposition. After attending the schools of Syracuse, N. Y., Cleveland and Detroit, he assayed to join Col. E. D. Baker's famous regiment of New York City, but was rejected by the United States Examining Surgeon; returning to his native land, he enlisted in the English army; was stationed on the Isle of Wight, during one of Queen Victoria's visits, and acted as guard at the Osborne House; assigned to the East Indian Army; he served three years in India, reaching the position of Lance Sergeant. Becoming sick of the service, he took French leave of the army while quartered near the ancient and historic city of Patna, safely made his way to Calcutta, shipped aboard an American vessel, and worked his passage to Boston. In February, 1869, he arrived at Nemaha City and has since resided here. Has held many local offices; was elected County Superintendent of Schools in 1877; served four years, and appointed Postmaster January 11, 1882. Married in Nemaha City June 8, 1873, to Carrie E. Fisher, by whom he has two sons--William G. and Philip, Jr. To few men is allotted the strange career of Philip Crother; coming to a foreign land in boyhood, traveling about for a few years; returning to his native island, thence going to the Island of the Brahmins, the Hindoos and the Sepoys, experiencing the startling adventures and wonderful escapes peculiar to that wild, weird country, and at last settling down in so quiet a place as his present home. Mr. C. says his marriage rendered him a happy man, though his felicity received a terrible shock in the death of three little and beloved daughters in February, 1880.

J. F. DRAIN (of Skeen & Drain) merchants, Nemaha, is a son of J. H. Drain, and was born in McLean County, Ill. He served in the Ninth Iowa Cavalry during the civil war, and even afterward on the Texan frontier, being discharged in 1866. His partnership with Mr. Skeen was formed in October, 1880, he having been previously associated with his brothers, William and George, in the same business. He married Miss C. E. Barnes, and they have four children all born in Nemaha County. His father, now a wealthy farmer of this precinct, was born in Kentucky and is of Virginian ancestry. He settled, in 1826, in McLean County, Ill., near the now flourishing city of Bloomington, then a hamlet of four log cabins. his father, Robert Drain, buying land here. James H. Drain built the first log house in Hardin County, Iowa. He brought his family to Nemaha County, Neb., in 1864. His wife was Winna Howell, by whom he has five children--J. F., Candis A., William T., Nancy E. and George W.

J. M. HACKER, farmer, P. O. Nemaha City, was born September 12, 1825, in Montgomery County, Ohio. He is the son of David and Catherine Gile Hacker, who removed to Fountain County, Ind., in 1829. J. M. Hacker spent about nineteen years in Boone County, Ind., where he received an academic education, and became a practical surveyor. He removed, in 1855, to Iowa, and came from there to Nemaha County, Neb., in 1858, remaining until April, 1860, when he removed to Linn County, Kan. There he spent the hot, dry summer of 1860 in Kansas, and actually saw eggs cooked by the heat of the sun on the stone steps of a farm house. In the fall of 1860, he settled in Appanoose County, Iowa, where he remained until his permanent settlement in Nebraska, in April, 1863. In the fall of that year, he was elected County Surveyor, and held that office two terms. In the fall of 1867, he was elected County Clerk, serving out three terms most acceptably; was elected County Surveyor in 1875, and twice re-elected, resigning his office during his third term to accepted the position of Deputy County Clerk, which he held until the fall of 1881. Mr. H. is a Republican of Whig antecedents, and a Methodist, with most of his family. He is a member of the Brownville Chapter and Commandery of the A., F. & A. M.; he is also a distinguished Odd Fellow, having served sixteen years as District Deputy in the five southeastern counties of Nebraska. Mr. H. also belongs to the K. of P., and the Sons and Daughters of Temperance. He has lived on his present farm since 1869. Married in Warsaw, Ind., in 1851, Mary J. Fairbrother, of Wayne County, Ind. They have six children--James O., George W., William T., Charles R., Mary E. and Harvey D.

M. P. HANEGAN, attorney at law, Nemaha, born August 24, 1853, in Stark County, Ohio. In 1857, his parents settled in Marshalltown, Iowa, where young Hanegan received his schooling. He read law in the office of C. C. Donald, Crawford County, Iowa, and was admitted to the Bar of that State in June 1877; removing to Nebraska, he located at Nemaha City, and was admitted to the bar of Nebraska September 15, 1881.

THEODORE HILL, Nemaha City, was born in Lyons, Wayne Co., N. Y., July 19, 1832; came West and located at Brownville, Neb., in 1857, beginning as a clerk for McAllister, Dosier & Co. The firm of Crane & Hill was then founded (Dr. Crane and Theodore Hill). Three years later, Mr. Hill bought out the Doctor's interest; ran the business himself five or six years; admitted his brother, Louis Hill, as partner in 1866, and in 1868 bought the incompleted building of J. McPherson, erecting the three-story building known as "Hill's store." Owing to long-standing financial embarrassment, the firm made an assignment in 1878, since which time Theodore Hill has resided in Nemaha City in the interest of Nebraska Elevator Company, and as the salesman of E. S. Hawley & Co., agricultural implement dealers, of Nebraska City. Not withstanding his partial failure, Mr. Hill has established a fine reputation for probity and ability among business men of Nemaha County.

GEORGE HODKIN, farm, P. O. Nemaha City. Mr. Hodkin was born in 1820 in Derbyshire, Eng.; has father died in England, and his mother married again, George Derbyshire. Mr. Hodkin came to America, locating first in New Hampshire, going thence to Lowell, Mass., where he worked as a blacksmith six years. He came to Nebraska with Willis Hill in May, 1855; engaged in farming and teaming until 1862, when he enlisted in Col. Penneck's Missouri Militia, and was in the service eighteen months. His wife and children had remained in Connecticut during most of this time, but, on his return from the war, he joined them in Nemaha City; settled on his present farm in 1867; on this he has erected every building and planted every tree and vine with his own hands, and he has over one thousand apple and peach trees growing, besides grapes, pears, plums, cherries and all the small fruits. He married in England, Martha Hamilton, who died April 11, 1869, leaving him an only child--Anna, now Mrs. William Hawxby, who prospers on an adjoining farm. The present Mrs. Hodkin was Mrs. Priscilla Crother, relict of the late William Crother, of Nemaha City. Mr. Hawxby has a good farm and owns forty acres of good land in company with Mr. Hodkin on the Nemaha bottom.

DR. F. G. HOLMES, deceased, of Nemaha, was a son of Col. Holmes, United States Army, a distinguished soldier who fought in the Black Hawk war, and died soon after at Jefferson Barracks, Mo. Dr. Holmes brought his family, comprising the present Mrs. Welton and a son, R. H. Holmes, by a former marriage, to Nemaha, in 1858. He located on a farm here, and for years managed it in connection with a large medical practice. He died in 1875, at the age of forty-eight. In 1871-72, he was United States Indian Agent at Yankton Agency, D. T. He was a Republican in politics, and an Episcopalian. He was active in sustaining the first Episcopal Church and Sunday school in the county. He married Mrss F. A. Frisbie, of Waterbury, Conn., by whom he had five children--Lizzie M., Daniel C., Sarah E., Delia A. and Ruth M. B. A. Welton, who married Mrs. Holmes, after spending about twenty years in Illinois, farming and a few years in Berrien County, Mich., located, in 1880, in Nemaha County, Neb. By his former and deceased wife, he had a son--Charles M. Welton, now engaged in farming in this county.

J. B. HOOVER, merchant, Nemaha City, who was born in Miami County, Ohio, in 1835, is a son of Dr. Jerome Hoover and Ann (Prill) Hoover, both Virginians by birth. Dr. Hoover entered the town site of Nemaha City (320 acres) in 1854; moved thereon, with his family, in May, 1855. J. B. Hoover made a claim adjoining it to the west, and opened a stock of goods in partnership with W. H. Hoover, in 1856, and has continued in business almost constantly since. During the civil war, he was engaged in freighting to the Rocky Mountains, employing several teams and making several trips himself. His large brick house, now run by Mr. Davis as the "Hoover House," was built in 1856. Mr. Hoover married Elizabeth Tann, who died October 16, 1859, leaving a daughter--Frances. Mr. Hoover's second wife, Fannie (Simpson) Hoover, died, Oct ober 22, 1879. The only child, Frances, married P. L. Erving, of Plum Creek, Neb., and Treasurer of Dawson County. Esquire J. P. Crother and Mr. Hoover are the only original settlers of Nemaha who have stuck by it through adversity and prosperity, and are both as well known as respected.

DR. JAMES KAY, Nemaha City, was born April 27, 1836, in Bedford County, Penn. When he was quite young, his parents, William and Susan Kay, located near Alexandria, Ohio. Young Kay studied medicine in Lewisburg, and began practice in West Baltimore, Ohio. He married Susan A. Sutton, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, by whom he has two daughters--Bessie Maud and May Blanche, born in Nemaha City, where he located in 1869. The Doctor is a Democrat and an Odd Fellow. He served out a ninety-day term of enlistment in 1862, with the Eighty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He is the oldest practitioner in Nemaha City, and a very successful one.

D. A. MORTON, blacksmith and dealer in agricultural implements, Nemaha City, was born and learned his trade in Mt. Vernon, Ohio; removed to Missouri in 1858; served two years in the Missouri Battalion during the war. Removed from Atchison County, Mo., in 1869, to Nemaha City. Worked at his trade ten years; then added a complete line of agricultural implements; sells everything used on a farm, including wagons, buggie and the Glidden Barb Wire; has been a member of the School Board, and held other local offices. Mr. Morton married Laura J. Sutton, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. They have five children--Minnie, Anna, Nellie, Dora and Cora. A son, William, died in infancy.

J. B. REES, of Nemaha City, is one of the live liverymen of the county; came here in 1879 from Hardin County, Iowa, where he followed the same business. He built his commodious stable in the fall of 1879; employs three men and from six to ten teams in his livery, freighting, mail-carrying and draying business. Mr. Rees is a genial and accommodating business man, whose teams and ways of doing business merit the large patronage accorded.

CYRUS ROWEN, farmer, P. O. Nemaha City, was born in 1812, in Butler County, Ohio; removed, in boyhood with his father, Andrew Rowen, to Indiana; the family subsequently removed to Iowa, where both parents died. Cyrus Rowen came to Nebraska in 1864; settled on his present farm in 1866. Mr. Rowen has been three times married, have three children by the first wife--Amos, Nelson and Charlotte; eight children by the second wife--Jasper N., Dyraxcy, Wesley, Hiram, Albert, Cyrus B., Harvey and Louis. By the present wife, he has two children--George W. and J. Loren. The six eldest were born in Indiana, the youngest in Nebraska, and the others in Iowa; of these Amos, Charlotte and Louis are not living.

JOHN SHUCK, of Nemaha City, was born in 1815, in Muskingum County, Ohio. Married, in 1836, Nancy J. Trusler, born in the same county in 1816. They removed, in 1837, to Scott County, Iowa; came to Nebraska in 1860, located in Nemaha City the next year, Mr. Shuck working as a blacksmith; their home burned down in 1870 compelling their removal to their farm, in the outskirts of the village, on which they have since lived. In 1877, Mr. Shuck began to investigate Spiritualism; took part, with his wife, in several seances, where his powers of healing were first noticed, he completely removing, by a few passages of his hands, a sever pain in the breast of Mr. S. Howe, a neighbor, caused by the kick of a colt. About the same time he cured a badly-sprained wrist for Moses Banks, while in the mediumistic circle. These cures caused him to adopt the profession of healer for the benefit of mankind, he having performed about twenty-five remarkable cures on chronic cases, affecting nearly every organ in the human body. J. N. Kelly, living near Aspinwall, has been nearly cured of chronic dyspepsia and asthma combined, after his case had been abandoned by a dozen physicians, among them Dr. Bishop, of St. Joseph. Mrs. Shuck has had the experience of nearly a half century as a midwife, and the cures affected by this genial and magnetic old couple are fully appreciated by the people in their vicinity.

ALEXANDER D. SKEEN, farmer, P. O. Nemaha City. Mr. Skeen was born in 1815, in Sumner County, Tenn.; when seventeen years old, he located in Jackson County, Mo., where he married Mary Blevins, of Green County, Ky. In 1837, he removed to the Platte Purchase, in Buchanan County, Mo.; removed, in 1854, to Atchison County, Mo.; from there in October, 1854, he crossed the river and selected the claim which has ever since been his home (Section 1, Town 4, Range 14 east). Mr. Skeen spent the winter of 1854-55 on this claim, building a rude log cabin upon it in February, 1855; located here, with his family, in April, 1855; his brick house, the first erected in Nemaha County, was built in 1856. A. D. Skeen was one of the very earliest settlers in, and is now the oldest resident of, Nemaha County. During the winter of 1854-55, Mr. Skeen's neighbors were Houston Russell (since deceased), Robert Herren (now in California), and Nathan Myers. These four men were "baching it," the only family in the neighborhood being that of William Hays, who had built a cabin on the bottom a mile and a half south of what is now Brownville. Mr. and Mrs. Skeen have raised a family of nine children--Margaret (Mrs. Dr. C. B. Snow); Thomas Benton, Richard, Elizabeth (Mrs. D. Tourtellotte); Lucy J. (Mrs. James Hyatt); Mary (Mrs. H. Shubert); Kenyon, John W. and Nancy A. (Mrs. James Linn). All of the children, except Mrs. Hyatt, now in Iowa, are residents of Nemaha County. Mr. and Mrs. Skeen are members of the Christian Church, and are a well-preserved and intelligent old couple.

KENYON SKEEN (of Skeen and Drain, Nemaha City), is a son of Alexander Skeen, who was born in North Carolina, and after residing in the States of Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Missouri, settled, in 1856, on the farm where he now lives, near Nemaha City. Kenyon Skeen was born, 1846, in Buchanan County, Mo.; attended the Nemaha school, and afterward graduated from the Commercial School at Greencastle, Ind. In 1872, he began mercantile business in Nemaha; was engaged in milling here in 1879-80-81, and still owns a half-interest in the mill property. The present mercantile firm was established in October, 1880. Mr. Skeen married Miss Candis Drain, by whom he has two children--Hattie and Pearl, both born in Nemaha. Mr. Skeen and wife belong to the Christian Church, and he to the I. O. O. F.

JOHN B. STIERS, farmer, P. O. Nemaha City, was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 1833; settled in Missouri in 1849; was in California from 1853 to 1858; returned, visited his old Ohio home, and, in the spring of 1859, settled on his present farm, purchased of Joseph O'Pelt. In 1863, Mr. Stiers enlisted in the Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry; served a year in Gen. Davies' Body Guard; then went on the Powder River expedition, serving on the plains until his discharge in July 1865. He returned to his Nebraska farm, and married, March 6, 1870, Miss Emeline Clover, of Grundy County, Ill. They have one living son--Samuel E., born November 11, 1872, and have lost two children--Guy and Mary L.

J. A. TITUS, merchant, Nemaha City, was born in 1831, in Providence, R. I. Located in February, 1855, on Section 2, Town 4, Range 15, Nemaha County, Neb., entering 160 acres. His father, N. G. Titus, with wife and four children, locating in the county at that time. N. G. Titus died during 1855, his widow, now surviving him at the age of seventy-five. J. A. Titus is now the oldest settler in Nemaha Precinct; followed farming up to 1870, with the exception of 1862 and 1863, when he was on the Western plains. The firm of Titus and Bro. was formed in 1870. J. F. Titus retired in 1879, when the present firm of Titus and Williams was formed. Mr. Titus is a Freemason and an Odd Fellow. He married Mary A. Burns, a native of Pennsylvania, by whom he has seven children--Jennie, Lydia M., George N., Charles A., Albert, Joseph and Frank. Mr. Titus was Postmaster from 1870 to 1874, and again in 1881. In politics, he has been Republican ever since the rebel guns were turned upon Fort Sumter.

J. M. TROWBRIDGE, farmer, P. O. Nemaha City, settled in Richardson County, Neb., in 1864; engaged in farming until 1870, when he purchased the Wells Mill property; rebuilt the mill and ran it about two years. He then resumed farming, and is now the owner of 360 acres in Nemaha County, and 160 acres near Hebron, Neb. From 1877 to 1880, he lived in Brownville, and during 1881, he owned a half-interest in the Nemaha Valley Mills, which he sold. In the spring of 1882, by an exchange of land, he came in possession of an elegant home in Nemaha City, where he now lives, carrying on at the same time his large farm in Aspinwall Precinct. On this farm he has about one hundred head of cattle, including some fine pedigreed stock. Mr. Trowbridge was born in 1834, in Washington County, Ind., and grew to manhood in Morgan County, Ind.; removed, in 1857, to Kansas, and a year later to Marshall County, Ill., where he remained six years. He married, in Hardin County, Iowa, Miss Delia Hitt, of Morgan County, Ind. They have a little daughter--Grace Louise, born in Brownville. Mr. and Mrs. Trowbridge are members of the Christian Church.

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