Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume II



through experience with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. He has never sought to change his occupation and in fact finds farming a congenial pursuit and one which is bringing to him a substantial and gratifying annual income. He is now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres and the farm is divided into fields of convenient size by well kept fences, while all the farm work is conducted according to modern methods and exemplifies the ideas that science has put forth, while practical experience has proven their value.

  On the 28th of October, 1909, Mr. Ahrens was united in marriage to Miss Emma Müller, who was born in Bismark township, this county, June 8, 1885, her parents being Friedrich and Magdalena (Karlin) Müller.. They now have two sons, namely: Paul Frederick, who was born August 23, 1910; and Arlo Edwin, whose natal day was February 2, 1912. Mr. and Mrs. Ahrens are well known in this county, having an extended acquaintance, while many come within the closer circle of friendship. Those who know them speak of them in terms of warm regard and among business acquaintances Mr. Ahrens is mentioned as one who is as reliable as he is enterprising.


  Daniel Weiser is a resident farmer of Sherman township, living on section 8, where a valuable property of three hundred and sixty acres pays tribute to the care and labor which he bestows upon it. He was born in Austria, February 3, 1855, a son of Frank and Johanna (Browner) Weiser, both of whom have passed away, at the ages of forty-five and forty-seven years respectively. The father was a weaver by trade and served for seven years in the Austrian army as an officer of minor rank. He belonged to the Catholic church, passing away in that faith after having spent his entire life in Austria.

  When Daniel Weiser put aside his textbooks, after attending the public schools, he worked as a farm hand in Austria, being thus employed until 1877, when at the age of twenty-two years he came to the United States. He then purchased land in Sherman township, paying one hundred and fifty dollars for eighty acres. Upon this tract he put up a sod house and with characteristic energy began the arduous task of developing and improving the farm, to which he has kept adding from time to time until he now has three hundred and sixty acres, on which is to be seen a fair set of buildings. His entire life has been devoted to general agricultural pursuits and the success which he has attained is the merited reward and legitimate result of his labors.

  In 1883 Mr. Weiser was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Beitel, a native of Austria and a daughter of August and Bertha (Koenig) Beitel. The father, a factory worker in Austria, emigrated to the United States and in 1879 took up a homestead claim of eighty acres in Humphrey township, Platte county, Nebraska, where he devoted his attention to general farming. Mr. and Mrs. Weiser are the parents of eight children, namely: Anna, the wife of Adam Kimig, who is an agriculturist of Sherman township and by whom she has one child; Louis; Emma; Bertha; Paulina; Martha; Ella; and Ida.

  The family hold membership in St. Mary's Catholic church of Grand Prairie



township. Mr. Weiser has been active along no line outside of business, preferring ever to concentrate his energies upon the development and improvement of his farm, whereby he has provided a comfortable living for his family and gained for himself a place among the substantial and well-to-do residents of the township.


  Henry F. J. Hockenberger, numbered among the most prominent citizens of Columbus, is actively identified with real-estate, loan and insurance interests as a member of the Becher, Hockenberger & Chambers Company. His birth occurred in Corning, New York, on the 8th of September, 1860, his parents being William and Charlotte (Roehrig) Hockenberger, the former a native of Baden, Germany, and the latter of the Rhine province. William Hockenberger, born in 1818, emigrated to the United States in 1846, while his wife came to this country with her parents in 1837. Their marriage was celebrated in Rochester, New York, in 1847. The death of Mrs. Charlotte Hockenberger occurred in 1865 and the following year Mr. Hockenberger wedded Mrs. Mary Halm nee Kling. In 1878 they removed to Boone county, Nebraska, where his demise occurred in 1887 and his widow then returned to New York, in which state she passed away in the year 1905. George Hockenberger, the paternal grandfather of our subject, spent his entire life in Baden, Germany, and was an agriculturist by occupation.

  In his youth Henry F. J. Hockenberger attended the public schools of Elmira, New York, and Blossburg, Pennsylvania, the family home having been established in the latter town in 1868. He put aside his textbooks at the age of thirteen years and subsequently worked at coopering in Elmira, New York, for two years. On the expiration of that period he returned to Blossburg, Pennsylvania, where he was employed in his father's brewery for two years and then accompanied his father and stepmother to Nebraska. Here he worked on a farm and in a flour mill for one year and occupied himself with odd jobs for a time. At the age of eighteen years he secured a position with the Columbus real-estate, loan and insurance firm of Becher & Price, which at the end of two years became Gus G. Becher & Company. He continued in the service of that concern for ten years and on the expiration of that period, in 1891, he was admitted to a partnership in the firm, which then became Becher, Jaeggi & Company and was changed to Becher, Hockenberger & Chambers when in 1900 Leopold Jaeggi was succeeded by E. H. Chambers. In 1913 the business was incorporated as the Becher, Hockenberger & Chambers Company. The record of Mr. Hockenberger is a splendid illustration of the power of industry, perseverance and energy in the attainment of success, for he has worked his way upward from a humble position in the business world to one of prominence and influence. Since 1886 he has served as secretary and director of the Columbus Land, Loan & Building Association and for the past two years he has been the chief executive officer of the Young Men's Christian Association in Columbus.

  On the 8th of September, 1883, in Columbus, Nebraska, Mr. Hockenberger was united in marriage to Miss Amelia L. Metz, a daughter of Philip and Josephine (Becher) Metz, her father being one of the founders of the Metz Brothers Brewing



Company of Omaha. To our subject and his wife have been born six children, as follows: Lottie M., who gave her hand in marriage to Julius S. Nichols, of Columbus, Nebraska; William E.; Philip R.; Elaine K.; Paul H.; and Josephine Charlotte.

  Politically Mr. Hockenberger is a staunch prohibitionist and a member of the state committee of prohibition. He has also served on the Columbus school board and the library board, being now a member of the latter. In 1881 he joined the Columbus Militia and was connected therewith for two years or until his company was disbanded, doing service in Omaha during two weeks of strike riots in 1882. Fraternally he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America and he likewise belongs to the Men's Club, the Young Men's Christian Association and the Commercial Club and is an honorary member of the fire department, having served thereon for eight or nine years. He attends the Grace Episcopal church, in which he is serving as vestryman, but he is a member of the Baptist church. His energy, enterprise and progressive spirit have carried him forward into important relations with various interests of the community and have made him a citizen whose worth is widely known.


  John Janicek is a resident of Columbus, his home being at the corner of Seventeenth and Platte streets, but he is proprietor of a garage at Humphrey, where he spends three or four days each week. He was born in Austria, January 24, 1868, and is a son of Frank and Caroline Janicek, who were natives of the same country, there remaining until the year 1877, when they bade adieu to friends and native land and sailed for the new world. They did not tarry on the coast but made their way at once into the interior of the country with Butler county, Nebraska, as their destination. The father had followed farming in Austria and on coming to this state he purchased and improved eight hundred acres of land, which he continued to cultivate until 1899, when he retired anti removed to Columbus, there residing for thirteen years. His wife died in 1901, after which he made his home with his children until he, too, passed away in March, 1912.

  John Janicek was a lad of nine years when he accompanied his parents on their emigration to the new world, after which he was reared in Butler county, Nebraska, where he remained, assisting his father in the development and improvement of the home farm until he reached the age of twenty-seven years, when he removed onto a tract of one hundred and sixty acres given him by his father. This he improved and later extended the boundaries of his farm by additional purchase until he owned a half section of land, which he further developed and cultivated for about sixteen years. At the end of that time he sold his farm and invested in a section of land in Greeley county, Nebraska, an improved farm that he still owns and now rents, deriving therefrom a good income. At the end of that time he removed to Columbus, where he has since resided, being now pleasantly located in an attractive home at the corner of Seventeenth and Platte streets. In April, 1915, however he established a garage at Humphrey for his son and now spends about



three or four days each week in supervising the business there. He also has the agency for the Ford cars and he is a stockholder in the Portland Cement Company of Superior, Nebraska.

  In November, 1894, Mr. Janicek was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Thanel, her father being Emanuel Thanel, a native of Austria, who is still engaged in farming in that country. Our subject and his wife have three children, namely: Frank, who is engaged in the automobile business at Humphrey, Nebraska; and Annie and Rudolph, both attending school.

  The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church and politically Mr. Janicek is independent, voting according to the dictates of his judgment and the demands of the times. His life has keen one of persistent energy and his efforts have been fruitful of good results bringing him substantial return for his labor as the years have gone by.


  Edgar Howard, owner and publisher of the Telegram of Columbus since 1900, was born at Osceola, Iowa, September 16, 1858, a son of James Dakin and Martha (Daniel) Howard. They were natives of Ohio and Virginia respectively and were born on the same day --July 9, 1824. The father spent his boyhood days in Ohio and afterward removed to Indiana, whence in 1853 he went to Iowa, where he engaged in the cattle and merchandise business. He had previously been a school teacher and merchant. For more than three decades he remained a resident of Iowa, passing away in Des Moines in 1884. His wife long survived and died at Enid, Oklahoma, in 1913.

  Edgar Howard attended private and public schools and afterward became a student in the Iowa College of Law, a department of Drake University, but did not graduate. He was admitted to the bar at Papillion, Nebraska, in 1885. He first became connected with newspaper publication on the Glenwood (Ia.) Opinion and as a boy printer traveled extensively over the country, never remaining long at any place. He filled the positions of printer, reporter and city editor, and for quite a time was connected in the last named capacity with the Daily Herald, of Dayton, Ohio. He first began newspaper publication on his own account at Papillion, Nebraska, where he was owner of the Times in partnership with George Magney, now county attorney at Omaha. After remaining there for three years he went to Benkelman, Nebraska, and established the first democratic paper published between McCook and Denver. He also spent three years there, after which he returned to Papillion and again purchased the Times, which he published until 1900, when he came to Columbus and purchased the Telegram from Senator Pascal, since which time he has edited that paper. He has attracted some attention as a political writer. His writings have always shown forth strong antagonism to special interests and trusts menacing the welfare of the masses. In politics he has ever been an earnest democrat, giving stalwart support to the party principles and never hesitating to express clearly and forcibly his convictions. In 1894 he was elected to the state legislature from Sarpy county, and was the only member



elected as a straight democrat. He resigned his legislative seat to take the office of probate judge of the same county, which he filled from 1895 to 1900.

  On the 11th of November, 1884, at Clarinda, Iowa, Mr. Howard was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Burtch, her father being Alexander Burtch, who was a pioneer postmaster at Bellevue, Nebraska, in 1857 and 1858. To them have been born three children, namely: Findley Burtch, whose birth occurred October 8, 1885, and who is now in the United States treasury department service at Cristobal, Panama (canal zone); Mary Burtch, who was born February 5, 1888, and gave her hand in marriage to Harry Rex, of Creston, Iowa; and Helen Burtch, who was born November 2, 1893, and lives at home.

  In religious belief Mr. Howard is an Episcopalian. He enjoys Bohemian life and cares little for the conventionalities which are based upon custom rather than common sense. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons, having attained the Knight Templar degree of the York Rite and the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, while with the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine he has crossed the sands of the desert. He is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Woodmen of the World and the Imperial Mystic Legion. Mr. Howard has become well known in newspaper circles in Nebraska.


  The attractiveness of Platte county as a place of residence is evidenced in the fact that many of her native sons have remained within her borders, finding here business conditions and opportunities which have enabled them to win success and gain a creditable position among men of affluence. To this class belongs Louis F. Phillipps, who is now living retired in Columbus after long connection with mercantile interests in his native county.

  He was born December 29, 1863, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Phillipps, in whose family were six children, and three sons and two daughters are still living. The father, a native of Baden, Germany, died in 1907, at the age o£ eighty-two years, having long survived his wife, who was a native of Switzerland and died at the age of sixty-eight. He was a shoemaker by trade and on coming to the United States settled in Missouri but in 1856 cast in his lot with the pioneer residents of this county, having made the journey by team to Nebraska. He secured a homestead claim in Loup township, where he faced the conditions and hardships of frontier life. The Indians were still numerous in this part of the state. Wild game of all kinds could be had in abundance and there were many other evidences of the fact that civilization was just beginning to push its way into the western region. Mr. Phillipps used ox teams in cultivating his farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which was situated a half mile from the Platte river. His early home was a dugout and it contained few comforts and conveniences, but with resolute spirit he set to work to develop his land and provide a living for his family. He carried on general farming and when the grasshoppers destroyed his crops he removed to Columbus and worked at his trade. In time he established a store for the sale of shoes and later added a stock of groceries, becoming one of the enter-




prising merchants of the town, continuing active in business until fifteen years prior to his death, when he retired. His religious belief was that of the Catholic church.

  Louis F. Phillipps attended the public schools of Columbus and when fifteen years of age became an apprentice in a painter's and carpenter's shop. He continued to engage in painting until twenty-one years of age, when his health became poor and he took up carpentering, at which he worked for six years. In 1893 he engaged in the sporting goods business, carrying a stock of guns, bicycles, phonographs and other merchandise of similar character. He had practically no capital with which to start in this business but his enterprise, diligence and honorable dealing carried him through and he won success, remaining active along that line until 1909, when he retired. His trade in the meantime had increased to extensive proportions, bringing to him a gratifying annual income. He is still the owner of valuable landed possessions, having three hundred acres in Nance county, Nebraska, together with two hundred and thirty-five acres on what is known as Buck Island, at the mouth of the Platte and Loup rivers.

  In 1894 Mr. Phillipps was joined in wedlock to Miss Margaret Wellmann, who was born on the same lot in Columbus on which their home now stands. To them have been born two children: Harold, who is a graduate of the Columbus high school; and Catherine, at home.

  Mr. Phillipps is a prominent and well known figure in fraternal circles He has been a very active and zealous member of the Knights of Pythias lodge, in which he has held all of the offices. He also belongs to the Woodmen of the World, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Sons of Herman. His connection with the Maennerchor indicates his activity in musical circles and he is likewise a charter member of the Orpheus Society. His political indorsement has been given to the democratic party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his ability, have several times called him to public office. For six years he served as a member of the city council, exercising his official prerogatives in support of various movements for the public good. He has also been water commissioner and for six years was a member of the school board, serving for one year as its president. He stands at all times stanch in support of those measures which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride.


  Timothy Joseph Cronin, of Platte Center, who is conducting a livery and feed business and is also a breeder of fine horses and mules, was born in County Kerry, Ireland, on the 11th of May, 1872, and spending his youthful days in that country pursued his education in the public schools. He was a young man of nineteen years when he bade adieu to friends and native land and sailed for the United States in 1891, settling at Erie, Pennsylvania. There he learned the boiler maker's trade and for two years was in the employ of the Erie City Iron Works, after which he sought the opportunities and business advantages of the growing west.

  It was on the 12th of December, 1893, that Mr. Cronin arrived in Platte county, Nebraska, where he engaged in farming for his uncle, Mike Cronin, for about three years. He then began farming on his own account by renting land in 1897
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and for about a year carried on general agricultural pursuits. At the end of that time he accepted a position in the general store of Bruckner & Greisen, with whom he remained for two years, when he entered the livery and feed business and began breeding horses and mules. He is an excellent judge of stock and has bred some very fine horses, his business having now reached large and profitable proportions.

  On the 15th of November, 1910, Mr. Cronin was united in marriage to Miss Nellie Fenton, a daughter of Simon and Mary Fenton. They have two children, James Jeremiah and Fenton Thomas. The parents hold membership in the Catholic church and Mr. Cronin belongs to the Modern Woodmen Camp No. 3264 and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He is a democrat in his political belief and has filled the office of road supervisor. He is now serving as chief of the Platte Center fire department and manifests at all times a progressive citizenship, giving earnest and effective support to public movements which tend to benefit the community.


  On the roll of Creston's leading citizens appears the name of Frank M. Leach, an enterprising merchant now engaged in the hardware and implement business under the firm name of Leach & Palmateer. He was born in New York, September 7, 1864, a son of L. B. and Ann P. (Dickinson) Leach, who were natives of New York. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, removed to the middle west in 1865, settling in Clinton, Iowa, where he purchased land which he owned and cultivated until 1871. He then sold that property and came to Platte county, where he secured a homestead in Humphrey township. He then bent his energies to the development and improvement of that place, continuing its cultivation throughout his remaining days. He died December 6, 1906, while his wife survived until June 10, 1910.

  Frank M. Leach was reared and educated in Platte county, Nebraska, being but seven years of age when his parents came to this state. He remained under the parental roof until he attained his majority and then started out in life for himself by renting land, which he continued to cultivate for five years. Removing to Boyd county, he there homesteaded and spent two years in cultivating a new tract. He then returned to the old home place in Humphrey township, which he later purchased, and continued to develop and further improve that farm until he decided to put aside agricultural pursuits and enter commercial circles of Humphrey, where he purchased the Humphrey Buck Works, which he conducted for three years. He then sold that plant and bought land in Creston and Humphrey townships, carrying on general farming for three years, after which he once more sold his farm and removed to Creston. Here he purchased the hardware and implement business of G. W. Smith and has since conducted it, having a well appointed establishment and a good trade. In the spring of 1912 he admitted Arthur Palmateer to a partnership under the firm style of Leach & Palmateer. They carry a full line of shelf and heavy hardware and they also handle the Ford and Studebaker cars, both branches of their business bringing to them substantial returns. Mr. Leach is also a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of



Creston and in the Citizens State Bank of Creston, and is a stockholder and vice president of the Humphrey Telephone Company. Throughout his entire business life he has ever been watchful of opportunities and has improved many which others have passed heedlessly by. His time has been well spent and deserved success crowns his efforts.

  On the 13th of February, 1887, Mr. Leach was married to Miss Frances M. Hummel, a daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Snyder) Hummel, who were natives of Pennsylvania. The father was a farmer by occupation and in an early day left the east, removing to Jackson county, Iowa, where he purchased land, there carrying on general farming throughout the residue of his days. He passed away in June, 1895, having for almost three years survived his wife, who died in September, 1892.

  Mr. and Mrs. Leach have six children: Vera, born December 31, 1887; Pearl, whose birth occurred April 1, 1889; Stella, who was born on the 10th of February, 1893; Clifford, born April 24, 1895; Raymond, born January 4, 1898; and Ruth, October 1, 1907. In his religious faith Mr. Leach is a Presbyterian and fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Pythias and with the Modern Woodmen of America, having been identified with the latter organization for twenty-two years. Politically he is a democrat and is the present assessor of Creston township, while for the past five years he has been a member of the town board. For several years he has served on the democratic county central committee and takes an active and helpful part in advancing the principles in which he believes. He is a man ever loyal to his honest convictions and his position is never an equivocal one, for he fearlessly announces his course and adheres thereto.


  Joseph Bender owns and occupies a fine residence in Humphrey and is today enjoying a well earned rest -- the fruits of his former toil. He was long actively and prominently identified with agricultural pursuits and as the years went on his carefully directed efforts brought to him a substantial measure of success. He was born in Henry, Marshall county, Illinois, June 7, 1866, and is a twin brother of Henry C. Bender, of Granville township, and a son of Peter and Catharine (Mallmann) Bender. The father was born in Menamebach, Germany, October 3, 1825, and the mother's birth occurred in Wenhausen, Germany, February 17, 1832. He was a farmer by occupation and he served for three years in the German army. In 1856 he came to America, settling in Henry, Illinois, where he rented land and engaged in farming until the spring of 1886. In that year he came to Humphrey and purchased large tracts of land in Humphrey and Granville townships, owning at least one thousand acres. He afterward gave each of his eight children eighty acres of land as they became of age. He located in the town of Humphrey and carried on general farming with the help of his sons, being known both in Illinois and Nebraska as a prominent stockman and farmer because of his extensive interests and the able manner in which he managed his affairs. He retired from active business life at the death of his good wife December 29, 1906, and was making his home with his son Joseph at the time of his death on the 7th of



November, 1910. He was a man of keen business discernment, readily recognizing the possibilities of a situation, and his energy and enterprise brought to him substantial and gratifying success.

  Mr. and Mrs. Peter Bender became the parents of nine children, as follows: Peter, who was born June 12, 1853, and died on the 9th of April, 1915; Philip, whose birth occurred June 24, 1855, and who passed away November 3, 1912; John William, who was born May 11, 1858, and follows farming in Humphrey township; Mary, whose natal day was July 5, 1859, and who died on the 17th of September, 1863; Catharine, who was born May 23, 1862, and gave her hand in marriage to Edward Leible, of Elgin, Nebraska; Annie, who was born July 11, 1863, and is the wife of Stephen L. German, a farmer of Granville township; Joseph, of this review; Henry C., who was born June 7, 1866, is a twin brother of Joseph and is engaged in farming in Granville township; and Lizzie, who was born February 22, 1876, and is the wife of Fred Van Ackeren, of Cedar Rapids, Nebraska.

  Joseph Bender attended the common schools of Marshall county, Illinois, and assisted his father in the cultivation and improvement of the home farm until twenty years of age, when he located on the eighty-acre tract given him by his father, situated on section 22, Humphrey township. There he lived and farmed for twenty years and to his original holdings he kept adding until he owned three hundred and twenty acres of good land, which he brought under a high state of cultivation and to which he added many modern improvements. Year by year his farm work was systematically and carefully carried on. He studied soil conditions, knew the crops best adapted to climate and became acquainted with the needs of all kinds of cereals raised in this part of the country. His work was directed by intelligent judgment and brought splendid returns. In 1907 he retired and removed to Humphrey, where he purchased eighteen acres of town property, including a fine residence. He then rented his farm and today lives retired, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. For years while upon the farm he handled registered Poland China hogs and took many premiums thereon. He also owned a thoroughbred Percheron stallion, Black Champion, and all of the stock which he kept upon his farm was of high grade. He now has another property in the city besides his home, which is one of the finest residences of the county.

  On the 21st of January, 1890, Mr. Bender was united in marriage to Miss Katie Wunder, a daughter of Simon and Paulina (Yachter) Wunder, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father became an agriculturist of Henry, Illinois, and there spent the remainder of his life. Mr. and Mrs. Bender have two children, namely: Tracie, who was born on the 30th of March, 1891; and Irene, who was bow March 25, 1894, and gave her hand in marriage to Tony Schacher, of Humphrey.

  Mr. Bender and his brother Henry challenge any pair of twins in the state for weight, the former tipping the scales at two hundred and forty and the brother at three hundred pounds. In his political views Joseph Bender is a democrat and has filled a number of local offices. He was a member of the township board for six years, was road boss of Granville township for seven years and has been constable and justice of the peace in Humphrey township. He is a member of the city council, now serving his seventh year, and at the present time he is mayor



of Humphrey. He has also been officially connected with the schools as director and trustee. He and his family are identified with St. Francis Catholic church of Humphrey, of which he is a trustee, and he is a member of Humphrey Council of the Knights of Columbus. His has been an active and useful life, fraught with good for the district in which he has lived, his labors being farreaching and important along lines that have led to public progress and improvement.


  Janet Claire McAllister is filling the position of assistant postmaster at Columbus, proving most efficient in that connection. She was born May 26, 1890, in the city which is still her home, a daughter of William Alexander and Mary (Coalter) McAllister, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this work. Passing through consecutive grades in the public schools, she became a student in the Columbus high school and was graduated therefrom on the 6th of June, 1908. Later she attended the Nebraska State University and for one year engaged in teaching, but turned from that profession to accept a clerkship in the Columbus postoffice, with which she is now connected, having been appointed assistant postmaster on the 19th of November, 1913. She knows every phase of postoffice work, is most systematic and careful in conducting the interests of the office and has maintained a most creditable and satisfactory record in the discharge of her duties. Miss McAllister is a member of the Presbyterian church of Columbus and has a very wide acquaintance in this city, in which her entire life has been passed and in which her attractive qualities have gained her wide popularity.


  William R. Frey is the owner of a bottling works at Humphrey, his native town. He has always resided there and, active along business lines, has made for himself a creditable position in commercial circles. He was born December 31, 1890, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Schmitz) Frey, natives of Germany. The father came to America when eighteen years of age and made his way to Illinois, where he worked as a farm hand. He afterward cultivated a rented farm for several years and later removed to Platte county, Nebraska, where he purchased land which he continued to develop and improve until 1905. He then retired and removed to Humphrey, where he and his wife now make their home, enjoying a well earned rest.

  William R. Frey was reared and educated in Humphrey and attended both the public and parochial schools. He started out in the business world in connection with the implement trade and a year later he entered the employ of Mr. Baekes, a nurseryman with whom he remained for a year and a half. He next purchased a dray and engaged in teaming for two or three years, after which he bought out the Humphrey Bottling Works and has since conducted business along that line. He bottles soft drinks, all of his own manufacture, including soda water,



pop and various other light beverages. He has a well equipped plant and does a good business. The excellence of his product insures a ready sale of the output.

  On the 10th of November, 1914, Mr. Frey was united in marriage to Miss Josie Foley, a daughter of John and Rachel (Johnson) Foley. The father, who has been in the service of the Illinois Central Railroad Company as section foreman for the past twenty-eight years, now makes his home at Anthon, Iowa. The mother passed away in 1905.

  In religious faith Mr. and Mrs. Frey are Catholics and he holds membership with the Knights of Columbus. Politically he is a democrat, voting for the men and measures of the party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He is well known in Humphrey and this part of the county and has many friends among those who have known him from his boyhood as well as among the acquaintances of later years.


  Judge Ernst C. Halm is one of the substantial and highly respected citizens of Humphrey, where he is filling the office of justice of the peace and also conducting an insurance agency. His life, having always been well spent, has gained him warm regard and he has the faculty of winning the friendship of those with whom he comes in contact. He was born in Dansville, New York, December 14, 1861, a son of John Baptist and Marie (Kling) Halm, who were natives of Prussia. It was about 1848 that the father came to America, settling in New York city, where he became associated with the German Staats-Zeitung, the largest German daily paper in this country. He acted as traveling representative for the company, visiting all parts of the United States in the interest of the paper. While at New Orleans he accidentally slipped from a gang plank and the injuries which he sustained resulted in his death in 1868. His widow survived him for many years, passing away at Mount Vernon, New York, in August, 1905.

  Judge Halm was reared and educated in New York city, in Elmira, New York, and in Blossburg, Pennsylvania, the last named town being just across the boundary line from New York. His time was passed in the three places until he reached the age of fifteen years. His mother had married again about 1865, and in 1877 the family removed to Boone county, Nebraska, where his stepfather homesteaded a quarter section of prairie land and also secured an eighty-acre timber claim. Judge Halm remained with his mother and stepfather until he attained his majority, when he started out in life on his own account, going to Columbus, Nebraska, where he was employed in a grocery store as clerk for two years. He then entered into partnership with C. G. Hickok and Julius Rasmussen, and in addition to conducting a grocery business at Columbus they established a store at Platte Center, conducting both places for three years. On the expiration of that period they sold out to C. C. Carrig, with whom Judge Halm remained for six years or until September, 1895, when he removed to Humphrey to work in a general store. There he remained for seven years, after which he returned to Columbus and was employed in a dry goods store for five years. He then again came to Humphrey and accepted a position in the general store of McKillip & Ewing, with whom he



continued for three years, when he turned his attention to the fire insurance business, in which he has since been engaged. In 1911 he was elected justice of the peace of Humphrey and has since occupied the position, with office in the city hall. He has made a most creditable record, his decisions being strictly fair and impartial, based upon the law and the equity in the case. At the same time he is successfully conducting an insurance agency. handling life, accident and fire insurance and writing many policies annually.

  Judge Halm has been married twice. In January, 1882, he wedded Miss Jennie Johnson, a daughter of John Johnson, who was a native of Sweden. To them was born a son, Eugene W., who is now thirty-one years of age and acts as advertising manager for the Bankers Realty Investment Company of Omaha. The wife and mother passed away in 1889 and in 1898 Judge Halm was again married, his second union being with Ada Todd Farrell, a daughter of John and Jane (Almond) Todd, natives of England. They emigrated to the United States in an early day and the father worked at the machinist's trade in Illinois during the remainder of his life. After his death Mrs. Todd became the wife of Mathew Farrell, a pioneer agriculturist of Platte county, Nebraska, who took up a homestead claim here in the late '60s. He is an honored veteran of the Civil war and since putting aside the active work of the fields, in 1905, has resided at the Soldiers Home at Grand Island. His wife passed away in the year 1907. Judge and Mrs. Halm have a daughter, Burdetta M., who is twenty-one years of age and is engaged in teaching school.

  Judge Halm is a Catholic in religious belief and is identified with the Knights of Columbus and with the Modern Woodmen of America. In community affairs he has taken a deep and helpful interest, has served on the school board and when a resident of Platte Center was a member of the town council and also mayor of the town, largely furthering its interests by his public-spirited devotion to the general good. He now owns two fine residences in Humphrey, one of which he rents, occupying the other, which he and his wife have made a most hospitable home, its doors being ever open for the cordial reception of their many friends.


  The Columbus Club House is one of the most enterprising business interests of the county seat of Platte county. It is owned by the firm of Whitcomb & Ellsworth and is the only undertaking of that character in the city. It furnishes a place of clean amusement and is splendidly equipped for the purpose for which it is intended. There are three bowling alleys of the finest maple and they were used in the national tournament at Peoria, Illinois, held in March, 1915. The alleys are equipped with the latest pin-setting devices and all around the room is a large balcony for the comfort and pleasure of those who desire to watch the game but do not care for the moment to participate therein. The alleys are liberally patronized by gentlemen and ladies. In fact it is the purpose of the firm to maintain an amusement house that the people of highest standing will attend. There are three pocket billiard tables on the first floor and a liberal patronage is also accorded in that department. In addition to the billiard tables on the first floor there is also one




in the rear of the balcony which is always in use. The club house also maintains one of the finest equipped cigar and tobacco stores in Nebraska and their soda fountain can scarcely be surpassed. Both proprietors are very considerate of the wishes of their patrons, doing everything to further their comfort and pleasure, and there is no convenience lacking that is usually found in an establishment of the kind. In a word, the Columbus Club House is an establishment worthy of and receiving the patronage of the best and the city has reason to be proud of this well conducted and ordered business carried on by the firm of Whitcomb & Ellsworth.


  P. H. L. Meyer is the owner of one of the splendidly improved properties of Humphrey township, his home farm being on section 35. He there has a fine modern residence, while other equipments and accessories of the model farm add to the attractive appearance of his place. He has gained prominence as a breeder and raiser of registered stock, his name in this connection being known throughout western Nebraska. Germany has furnished a large percentage of citizens to Platte county and among this number is Mr. Meyer, who was born near Hamburg on the 25th of April, 1867. His father, Henry Meyer, was also a native of that place. He was a farmer by occupation and was left a large fortune by his father, who was with Napoleon in his march against Russia. Henry Meyer became a very extensive landowner and attained large riches in the old country.

  P. H. L. Meyer pursued his education in the schools of the fatherland and in 1885, when a young man of eighteen years, crossed the briny deep to the new world, settling in Platte county, Nebraska, where he engaged in merchandising. While living at Creston and at Humphrey he visited every family in this part of the state, selling to them all kinds of merchandise, and he still has the covered wagon from which he disposed of five hundred thousand dollars worth of goods. His business affairs were most carefully and wisely conducted, hence his success. In 1902 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of well improved land on section 35, Humphrey township, and removed to that farm, upon which he has since resided. He carried on general farming and stock-raising until 1914, when he retired from active farm work and rents out his land, while at the present time he is engaged in the piano and sewing machine business as a retail dealer. In 1915 he built a new residence upon his farm and has also erected a large cattle and horse barn. In addition he has built a hennery eighty feet long and is raising pure blood Rock Island Reds, his chickens being famous throughout this part of the state. He also breeds pure blooded Duroc Jersey hogs, keeping registered stock and selling for breeding purposes all through this part of Nebraska. He began breeding pure-blood hogs in 1907 and success has attended his efforts in large measure.

  In February, 1892, Mr. Meyer was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Westmeyer, who came to this country from Germany, her native land, when a little maiden of eight years. To them have been born twelve children, nine of whom still survive, as follows: Ernest, who follows farming in Humphrey township; Ida; Hilda; Regina; Dora; Elmer; Allen; Raymond; and Louis.

  In his political views Mr. Meyer was for many years a stalwart republican



but is now independent. He and his wife and children are members of the German Lutheran church. He thinks out along independent lines and is a progressive man in thought, purpose and action. Indefatigable industry has ever been one of his salient characteristics and upon it he has builded his success, becoming one of the prosperous residents of his part of the state.


  When sixteen years of age Adam Hydo came alone to the new world and has since been dependent entirely upon his own resources, so that whatever success he has achieved and enjoyed is the merited reward of persistent, earnest effort. At the present time he is manager of the Omaha Elevator Company at Tarnov. He was born in Austria in December, 1891, and is a son of Andrew and Anna (Fide) Hydo, who were natives of that country, where the father was a hotel proprietor. He never came to the new world but passed away in Austria in 1912, while his wife's death occurred there in 1911.

  Adam Hydo attended school in his native country and in 1907 bade adieu to friends and family and sailed for the United States, being then a youth of sixteen years. He settled first at South Omaha, where he worked on a Polish weekly paper, and later he removed to Fullerton, Nebraska, securing employment in that locality as a farm hand. He was afterward employed in different stores for five years and on the 28th of December, 1914, he came to Tarnov, where he accepted the position as manager of the Omaha Elevator Company of Omaha, having charge of their business at this place. He buys grain and is developing a good business at this point.

  Mr. Hydo holds membership in the Catholic church and is a member of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America. He also belongs to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, while his political support is given to the republican party. He has worked earnestly to advance along business lines and already has attained a creditable position for one of his years.


  Albert F. Plagemann has since the fall of 1908 been identified with the German National Bank of Columbus, its stockholders representing some of the best known and wealthiest citizens of Platte county and, since April, 1909, he has served as cashier of this financial institution. Mr. Plagemann was born on a farm in Polk county, Nebraska, November 26, 1871, and is a son of Frederich and Augusta (Schulz) Plagemann, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father, who was born in Mecklenberg in 1813, engaged in milling in the fatherland. He was there married and about 1864 emigrated with his family to the new world. He took up a homestead claim in Polk county, Nebraska, and was identified with agricultural interests until the time of his death, which occurred in that county in 1878, when he was about sixty-five years of age. The mother survived for more



than a quarter of a century and passed away in Columbus in 1905, at the age of seventy-two years.

  Albert F. Plagemann was reared on the home farm in Polk county and at the usual age entered the country schools there. Subsequently he pursued his studies for one winter in the public schools of Columbus. At the age of sixteen he became a clerk in a hardware establishment of this city, there remaining two years. He then spent eight months in a commercial college in Omaha, where he pursued a business course. Subsequently he went to Kansas and for two years was employed at farm labor. In November, 1897, he once more returned to Columbus and became collection clerk for the Columbus State Bank, remaining in that capacity for twenty-six months. He next entered the employ of the First National Bank of this city as bookkeeper, being thus engaged eight years; and in September, 1908, he was employed by the German National Bank in a similar capacity. His ability was soon recognized and in January, 1909, he was made assistant cashier, while in April following he was made cashier and has since filled this important and responsible position. His career has been a constant progression. From the time of his entrance into business circles he was keenly alive to the interests of his employers, at the same time safeguarding his own, and this is the key which always unlocks the door to promotion. Mr. Plagemann is also a director in the Home Savings Bank of Columbus.

  It was on the 16th of December, 1908, that the marriage of Mr. Plagemann and Miss Mary A. Schneider occurred. She is a daughter of August Schneider and by her marriage has become the mother of one daughter, Martha Augusta Rosetta.

  In politics Mr. Plagemann is a democrat, while in religious faith he is a Lutheran. He has never been active in public affairs, and the only office he has held was that of a member of the school board. His life has ever been characterized by integrity, accuracy, promptness and courteous treatment of customers. Quiet and unassuming in manner, he has raised himself to a prominent position with one of the strongest financial institutions in Platte county.


  All of the substantial improvements which are seen upon the farm of William Klug on section 25, Bismark township, are the work of his hands and he is accounted one of the enterprising and progressive agriculturists of the community in which he lives. Nebraska numbers him among her native sons, His birth having occurred in Colfax county, August 4, 1873. His father, John Klug, whose name indicates his German nativity, was united in marriage to Miss Annie Gisen, a native of Switzerland. They came to America in or about 1868, arriving on the 3d of July, and in that year John Klug homesteaded in Colfax county, Nebraska. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon his place, but with characteristic energy he began its development and in course of time converted it into productive fields. Both he and his wife passed away in the same year, 1913, the former at the age of seventy-seven and the latter when fifty-eight years of age.

  William Klug was reared in his native county and the usual experiences of the farm boy were his, his time being spent in the enjoyment of youthful pleasures, in



the work of the fields and in the duties of the schoolroom. His training brought to him a knowledge of the value of industry, economy and perseverance, and the lessons which he thus early learned have proven of value to him in his later years. He has always devoted his life to farming and is now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 25, Bismark township, constituting a good farm property. The improvements thereon, all made by himself, stand as a monument to his thrift, industry and progressive spirit. He carries on general farming, producing good crops, and his labors are being attended with substantial success. He also owns other land, including one hundred and twenty acres in a body in Colfax county and two or three smaller tracts.

  In 1899 Mr. Klug was married to Miss Anna Schutte, who was born in Colfax county, a daughter of Henry and Gesine Loseke. Her father is now deceased, but her mother resides in Columbus. Mr. and Mrs. Klug have become parents of six children: Ewald, Louis, Laura, Esther, Alvina and Raymond. In politics Mr. Klug is independent, voting according to the dictates of his judgment and the requirements of the situation. He has served as a member of the school board and believes in the employment of good teachers and the maintenance of schools which shall be of practical value in training the young for the duties of life. He has also served as a member of the board of the German Lutheran church, in which he holds membership, and his life is guided by the teachings of that organization.


  Among the active, energetic farmers of Humphrey township is numbered Joseph Brockhaus, who is living on section 31. He arrived in this county when a youth of fifteen years, his birth having occurred in Wisconsin, February 2, 1861, his parents being G. H. and Annie G. (Summers) Brockhaus. He began his education in the schools of his native state and there had the usual training of the farm lad, remaining in Wisconsin until 1876, when he came with his parents to Platte county, Nebraska. He has always remained with his parents but started in business independently at the age of twenty-five years, when he took charge of the home place, which he has since cultivated, his father turning over two hundred and forty acres to him at that time. He now has a splendidly developed farm on which are lacking none of the accessories and improvements of the model farm of the twentieth century. He has added to his original holdings by the purchase of one hundred and twenty acres adjoining, so that he now has an excellent farm of three hundred and sixty acres situated on section 31, Humphrey township. He afterward bought two hundred and twenty acres on section 3, Humphrey township, which is also improved and which he rents. His work has been carried on along systematic lines, and the results of his carefully and intelligently directed labor are seen in the success which has crowned his efforts, his five hundred and eighty acres of land being the visible evidence of a life of well directed energy and thrift. He is also a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Humphrey and of the Farmers State Bank there.

  On the 16th of February, 1886, Mr. Brockhaus was joined in wedlock to Miss Josephine Fangmann, who was born in Kentucky, June 7, 1808 a daughter of Anton and Carrie Fangmann, who were natives of Germany. They came to America at


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